This week marks the release of, well, not too much, so I thought instead I’d jump ahead and take inspiration from next week’s PS4 release of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn and take a look at the original Final Fantasy.
Created as a last ditch effort by a company at the end of their financial rope, Final Fantasy ended up being a hugely influential smash-hit that went onto spawn the most sprawling, decadent gaming franchise ever. Here’s a few interesting facts about one of the most important JRPGs of all time…
1) The creator of Final Fantasy also popularized the Japanese dating sim. While not particularly well known on this side of the Pacific, dating sims in which the player attempts to romance various virtual ladies are a staple in Japan. These games are, at best, kind of sad and at worst just outright porn, so it may come as some surprise that the whole misbegotten genre was more-or-less spawned by Final Fantasy mastermind Hironobu Sakaguchi.
Before he made Final Fantasy Sakaguchi created all kinds of different games for Square, including Nakayama Miho no Tokimeki High School, a game in which you, as a high school kid, try to woo popular-at-the-time Japanese idol Miho Nakayama. The game wasn’t the first Japanese dating sim, but it was the first to feature a real-life celebrity and the first to be a mainstream hit.
Also interestingly, the game was co-produced with Nintendo itself, with Metroid co-creator Yoshio Sakamoto working on the game.
“Push A” indeed.
2) Final Fantasy is also linked to the creation of first-person shooters. The lead programmer of Final Fantasy was Nasir Gebelli, an Iranian-American whiz programmer who created groundbreaking first-person shooters such as Horizon V and Zenith for the Apple II in the early 80s. John Romero, designer of Wolfenstein 3D and Doom has cited Gebelli as a major inspiration and influence.