I would like to start off by saying Happy 30th Anniversary to Square Enix popular video game franchise Final Fantasy. This year marks the 30th anniversary and I would like to express my love to the this game series. After watching this video FINAL FANTASY XV: New Legacies, I got inspired to write how much did Final Fantasy affected my life. According to the video, fans of the game tells their own stories on how did they came across Final Fantasy and what was the affect to their lives. It may not be greatly impacted like finding romance or dealing with social anxieties but this series has indeed affected for maybe for the better. Warning, this is a lengthy post!
I never actually became a fan nor played every single game of the series until much later. Actually, as a kid, I was always interested in childish games like Mario on the NES, Sonic on the Game Gear or Crash on Playstation. I do remember my family owning the classic Final Fantasy NES game however. I once tried it because I thought it was going to be a side scrolling adventure game but it turns out, it was an RPG game and it left a bad taste in my mouth. I died so fast in the game that I gave up on it and never came back.
Kingdom Hearts – An Alternative to Final Fantasy
Many of you know this by now, I am a fan to Square Enix other series Kingdom Hearts. Kingdom Hearts is a video game created together by both Square Enix and Disney. As a kid, I wanted this game because I wanted to play with the other Disney characters, plus I got to meet Donald and Goofy. The first Kingdom Hearts game I played was Kingdom Hearts 1. Besides meeting the Moogles in Traverse Town since I was unaware of where they came from, I encountered the Final Fantasy characters from VII, VIII and X; VII included such as Cid and Cloud, VIII had Squall (in the game, he is called Leon), and X had Tidus and Selphie. I had a feeling these guys weren’t just original characters made for this game since according to Jiminy Cricket’s journal, these characters came from different video games. I got intrigued especially after fighting them in the story and Olympus Colosseum; I was impressed on how cool these characters acted and I love the weapons even if they still look impossible to use (Buster Blades and Gunblades, Final Fantasy with weirder weapons than the Keyblade).
Final Fantasy VII – The Side Stories
While I was still in my Kingdom Hearts phase, I grew curious on Final Fantasy and I wanted to go after Final Fantasy VII since it was a series known for it’s popularity. Since I didn’t have the PS1 game of it, I just bought the sequel film Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. Even though I got spoiled because I didn’t play the original FFVII, I really enjoyed the story, combat and characters of the movie. I was happy to see Cloud and Tifa and I was excited to meet new characters (they were new to me) Vincent Valentine and Barret. I even got the new, updated Blu-Ray film Advent Children Complete. Another story I got into was Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII, a game where players take control of Vincent Valentine and shoot enemies and fight off enemies. Vincent became one of my favorites besides Cloud and I really enjoyed the voice given to him Steve Blum and the music of the game was candy for my ears; the song REDEMPTION by Gackt was amazing. Last but not least of the side stories, I also got Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII. CC was prequel game where players play as Cloud’s best friend Zack Strife and learn the life of the army SOLDIER. Players was also met with his romantic partner Aerith and met the soon to be villain Sephiroth and his mentor Angeal and learn the origin of the Buster Blade. This game introuced a fun combat system where players can use special abilities or summons triggered by the emotions DMW. This overall game pulled my heart-strings without mercy because of the betrayal Zack dealt with and the ending song in the final battle. The song Why by Ayaka was so beautiful, it sometimes make me emotional as of today. My life with the side stories of Final Fantasy VII was not the end, it was introduction to more tales.
Dissidia: A tale of good vs evil
I remembered buying Dissidia for my PSP and I was excited to play as Cloud and relieve the fight with Sephiroth. As soon as I installed the game, I was introduced to many unfamiliar characters from different titles. I met heroes of light such as Cecil from FFIV, Bartz from FFV and even Squall from VIII. The villains were also very cool to play; I played as Sephiroth from VII, Garland from FFI and even Kefka from FFVI. I love playing as these new characters and I enjoyed fighting as the good guys and fighting Chaos, the god of discord.
Later on, I played the next title Dissidia 012 [Duoedecim] where they added more characters like Tifa from FFVII and Lightning from FFXIII. After spending time fighting the computer with these characters, my interests for Final Fantasy grew and I had a goal to play each of these games and own the titles. However, as time passed, this goal was not fulfilled and my drive for FF dimmed. The one game to restore it was none other than Final Fantasy XV.
The sleeping Versus XIII and the awakening XV
I actually heard a little bit about this title under the name Final Fantasy Versus XIII. From my knowledge, Versus XIII was a game that took place in a parallel universe besides Final Fantasy XIII. I actually saw the trailers of this game when it was called Final Fantasy XV and I saw it in prototype gameplays. Unlike most gameplays, Final Fantasy XV relied in a free action combat instead of turn-based combat; this game looked as if it could be played as a Kingdom Hearts game. Knowing that I played Kingdom Hearts, I wanted to experience this game and be able to teleport and summon multiple weapons. In my first impression these early trailers, I didn’t really understand the story and I sometimes kept seeing the main character Noctis as Sasuke from Naruto and Prompto either as a funny version of Cloud or a Naruto look-a-like. When I heard this game was coming out in 2016 for PS4, I was eager to jump in the hype train. I had to endure long agony months and tolerate a delay release to experience FFXV. Once I was able to play this game, I fell in love with everything. The story was great but I really cared about the characters. In funny way, I grew attached to Noctis and his friends (nicknamed Chocobros), Prompto, Gladiolus and Ignis, more than Noctis and his childhood friend Lunafreya. I laughed with the gang and I even cried in the last chapter. I could relate to these characters and I wanted to enjoy this game with them for a long time.
During the time I waited for Final Fantasy XV, I met some fascinating friends along the way who been with me for a long time. I found my own group.
My Chocofriends – You guys are the best
(Whoever drew this fanart, I think this is the best I seen. Comment down below of who is the artist and give them credit for it!)
The first person I met joining the bandwagon was Levi fan in Twitter who goes by the username @RuViKKK18. She and I always talked about how excited we were waiting for this game. My contact with her also led me to another fan who also loves FFXV and the character Ignis. The username is IgnoctSama and I met this fan while I liked and comment on her art. After the first encounter, IgnoctSama grew interest with me and we ended up having a long chat about what are we looking forward to in this game. It was then I later met a roleplayer fan who goes by @Keith_XV_ (her real account @heartless_cos). I met her by accident when I met her character when she was in the middle of a roleplay adventure. It was after a while, we grew from being strangers to friends and we ended up making up wacky adventures. Another friend I met is no longer on Twitter but friends in LINE. Her name was Naj and she was like a sister to me. She was first known as Luna as her RP character but she was also a fan of Kingdom Hearts. I met her from talking to IgnoctSama and she told me that she has a friend who also likes Kingdom Hearts. After I met her, we were closer as brother and sister. After a while after meeting these people, I met many more fans of the fandom and I developed this friendship with them. From happiness to sadness, I felt like I had a lot of brothers and sisters who always stand by me. If one of us was hurt, one of us will comfort them; if we were laughing, we would share the fun with others and feel this happiness.
My Legacy Continues
Even though the game is called Final Fantasy, this is not the end of the game series. With so many titles coming out like Dissidia Final Fantasy NT and Final Fantasy VII Remake, I doubt Final Fantasy will ever end. I am not sure what the future holds but I have a new goal in my gaming life: I want to experience the fun of Final Fantasy with my friends. It has been 30 years since the first game was released and I missed out on a lot of titles. Just like the games,every game I play will be a new adventure and I will meet new faces and old friends. Even if we are not together in person, I know they are with me. We may laugh or cry but we will always come back to the same campfire spot. I hope to continue my legacy to the future and I am hoping my friends will follow me. If my friends will ever leave me and need me, I will wait for them in the save point. As we head to the future, let’s help make Final Fantasy great and make the fandom better. Thanks to Final Fantasy, I was able to meet new friends and make long lasting bonds with them. I have gained more brothers and sisters and I would like to meet more. I want to visit new worlds and stories be the hero. If you want to be my Chocobro and/or Chocosister, you know where to find me.
See you at the new game +
What is your Final Fantasy Legacy?