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13 Days of Final Fantasy: Final Fantasy IV

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Final Fantasy IV

Is a console role-playing game developed and published by Square (now Square Enix) in 1991 as a part of the Final Fantasy series. The game was originally released for the Super Famicom in Japan, but has been ported by TOSE to the Sony PlayStation, Bandai’s WonderSwan Color, and Nintendo’s Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS, with increasing changes. The game was re-titled “Final Fantasy II” during its initial release outside of Japan as the original Final Fantasy II and III had not been released outside of Japan at the time. However, later localizations used the original title.

The game’s story follows Cecil, a dark knight, as he tries to prevent the sorcerer Golbez from seizing powerful crystals and destroying the world. He is joined on this quest by a frequently changing group of allies, several of whom die or appear to die throughout the game. Final Fantasy IV introduced innovations that became staples of the Final Fantasy series and role-playing games in general. Its “Active Time Battle” system was used in six subsequent Final Fantasy games, and unlike prior games in the series gave each character their own unchangeable character class.

With its character-driven plot, use of new technologies and critically acclaimed score by Nobuo Uematsu, Final Fantasy IV is regarded as a landmark of the series and of the role-playing genre. It is considered to be one of the first role-playing games to feature a complex, involving plot, and is thought to have pioneered the idea of dramatic storytelling in an RPG. The various incarnations of the game have sold more than four million copies worldwide. A sequel to the game, Final Fantasy IV: The After Years, was released for Japanese mobile phones in 2008, and worldwide via the Wii Shop Channel on June 1, 2009.

The Plot of the game: {Spoilers if you’ve never played it!!!}

Final Fantasy IV begins as the Red Wings are attacking the city of Mysidia to steal the Water Crystal there. When Cecil, Captain of the Red Wings, afterwards questions the king’s motives, he is stripped of his rank and sent with Kain to deliver a package to the Village of Mist. There, Kain and Cecil watch in horror as monsters from inside the package destroy the village. A young girl, Rydia, is the only survivor and summons an earthquake in anger, separating Cecil and Kain. Cecil awakens afterward and takes the wounded Rydia to a nearby town. Baron soldiers come for Rydia, and Cecil defends her.

Soon after, they meet Tellah, who is going to Damcyan Castle to retrieve his eloping daughter. Anna is killed when the Red Wings bomb the castle. Edward, Anna’s lover and the prince of Damcyan, explains that the Red Wings’ new commander, Golbez, did this to steal the Fire Crystal for Baron as they had stolen the Water Crystal from Mysidia. Tellah leaves the party to seek vengeance on Golbez for Anna’s death. Cecil, Edward, and Rydia decide to go to Fabul to protect the Wind Crystal. There the Red Wings attack, and Kain reappears as one of Golbez’s servants. He attacks and defeats Cecil; when Rosa intervenes, Golbez kidnaps her as Kain takes the crystal. On the way back to Baron, the party is attacked by Leviathan and thus separated.

Cecil awakes in Mysidia. There, he learns that to defeat Golbez, he must climb Mt. Ordeals and become a Paladin. On the mountain he encounters Tellah, who is searching for the forbidden spell Meteor to defeat Golbez. Cecil becomes a Paladin, while Tellah learns the secret of Meteor. Upon reaching Baron the party confronts the King of Baron, only to discover that he had been replaced by one of Golbez’s minions. After defeating him, Cid arrives and takes them to one of his airships.

On the airship, Kain appears and demands Cecil retrieve the final crystal in exchange for Rosa’s life. After the crystal is retrieved, Kain leads the party to the Tower of Zot, where Rosa is imprisoned. At the tower’s summit, Golbez takes the crystal and attempts to flee. Tellah sacrifices himself to stop Golbez with Meteor, but only weakens him, although it does end Golbez’s mind control of Kain. Kain helps Cecil rescue Rosa and Rosa teleports the party out of the collapsing tower to Baron.

In Baron, Kain reveals that Golbez must also obtain four subterranean “Dark Crystals” to achieve his goal of reaching the moon.  The party travels to the underworld and encounter the Dwarves who are currently fighting the Red Wings. They stop Golbez from stealing the Dwarves’ crystal, and are rejoined by Rydia in the fight. They flee the underworld in the airship, and Cid sacrifices himself to reseal the passage to underworld. The party travels to the Tower of Babil where the crystals are being kept. When they reach the crystal room, the party falls through a trap door to the underworld. The heroes go to retrieve the eighth crystal before Golbez. Upon retrieving it, Golbez reveals he still has control over Kain, and takes the crystal. After learning of the Lunar Whale, a ship designed to take travelers to and from the moon, the party is rejoined by Cid, and travels to the surface and boards the ship.

On the moon, the party meets the sage Fusoya, who explains that Cecil’s father was a Lunarian. Fusoya also explains that a Lunarian named Zemus plans to destroy life on the Blue Planet so that the Lunarians can take it over, using Golbez to summon the Giant of Babil, a colossal robot. They return to Earth and the forces of the two worlds attack the Giant. After the party breaks the robot, Golbez and Kain confront them, only to have Fusoya break Zemus’ control over Golbez, in turn releasing Kain. Cecil learns that Golbez is his older brother. Golbez and Fusoya head to the core of the moon to defeat Zemus, and Cecil’s party follows. In the moon’s core, the party witnesses Golbez and Fusoya kill Zemus, but then quickly fall to his resurrected form, the spirit Zeromus. Cecil and his allies defeat Zeromus. Following the battle, Fusoya and Golbez opt to leave Earth with the moon. In an epilogue we see Kain atop Mt. Ordeals while everyone else reunites to celebrate Cecil and Rosa’s wedding and their coronation as Baron’s new king and queen.

Making Of The Game….

After completing Final Fantasy III in 1990, Square planned to develop two Final Fantasy games—one for the Nintendo Famicom and the other for the forthcoming Super Famicom, to be known as Final Fantasy IV and Final Fantasy V respectively. Due to financial and scheduling constraints, Square dropped plans for the Famicom game and continued development of the Super Famicom version, retitled Final Fantasy IV. A mock-up screenshot of the cancelled title was produced for a Japanese magazine, but little other information exists about it.

Final Fantasy IV was lead designer Takashi Tokita’s first project at Square as a full time employee. Before this, Tokita wanted to make a career as a theater actor, but working on the game made him decide to become a “great creator” of video games. Initially Hiromichi Tanaka, the main designer of Final Fantasy III, was also involved in the development of the game. However, Tanaka wanted to create a seamless battle system that had no separate battle screen and was not menu-driven, and since Final Fantasy IV was not going in that direction, he changed development teams to work on the action RPG Secret of Mana instead. The development team of Final Fantasy IV was composed of 14 people in total, and the game was completed in roughly one year.

Initial ideas were contributed to by the game’s director, Hironobu Sakaguchi, including the name of Baron’s royal air force, the “Red Wings”. As the game’s lead designer, Tokita worked on all the game’s events and contributed pixel art. He stated that there was a lot of pressure and that the project would not have been completed if he did not work directly on it. According to Tokita, Final Fantasy IV was designed with the best parts of the previous three installments in mind: the job system of Final Fantasy III, the focus on story of Final Fantasy II, and the four elemental bosses acting as “symbols for the game” as in the first installment. Other influences include Dragon Quest II. The themes of Final Fantasy IV were to go “from darkness to light” with Cecil, a focus on family and friendship bonds with the large and diverse cast, and the idea that “brute strength alone isn’t power”.[33] Tokita feels that Final Fantasy IV is the first game in the series to really pick up on drama, and the first Japanese RPG to feature “such deep characters and plot”.

The game’s script had to be reduced to one fourth of its original length due to cartridge storage limits, but Tokita made sure only “unnecessary dialogue” was cut rather than actual story elements. As the graphical capacities of the Super Famicom allowed Yoshitaka Amano to make more elaborate character designs than in the previous installments, with the characters’ personalities already evident from the images, Tokita felt the reduced script length improved the pacing of the game. Still, he acknowledges that some parts of the story were “unclear” or were not “looked at in depth” until later ports and remakes of the game. One of the ideas not included, due to time and space constraints, was a dungeon near the end of the game where each character would have to progress on their own—this dungeon would only be included in the Game Boy Advance version of the game, as the Lunar Ruins.

Now For My Take On The Game…..

I don’t own this game. But this summer I’m actually going to buy it, as a part of the playstation game, Final Fantasy Chronicles. I’ve seen some gameplay on youtube, but other than that I can’t really give my opinion on this. Though I will have a full review when I play it this summer 😀


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