Final Fantasy 1 has always held a special place in my heart. It was the second RPG I played on the NES (first being Dragon Warrior) and the first that I really spent time leveling up and focusing on the game. With Dragon Warrior, I hurried through. I was new to the world of RPG’s and did not really know what I needed to do. I can remember spending about a week fighting a Rock giant (I think that is what it was) in an old castle. I was definitely not strong enough, but eventually leveled up enough to struggle through the fight.
Final Fantasy was a bit different. On of my friend’s owned it and played it religiously. Even after he beat the game, he played it over and over. I got really curious to find out what was so special. One day, while helping him clean the basement (Where he kept the NES), I slipped the game in my coat pocket. I know it was wrong, and I could have just asked to borrow it. I still feel horrible about doing it, even today (and that was about 23-24 years ago).
When I took it home to play it, I was immediately immersed into the world and the characters. Visually, it was not much different to Dragon Warrior. but there was something different, something that made me want to take my time and play the game right. To make a long story short, I took my time, leveled up, and defeat the game with only a slight struggle. My Friend eventually asked me to help him look for the game in his basement, of course I found it in a dark corner of his basement. I actually did fess up to him about what I had done.
Recently, I downloaded Final Fantasy 1-3 on my iPhone. I was reluctant because I have purposely avoided the remakes . The first original Final Fantasy was a gaming icon, and really set me on a path to immerse myself in various RPG type games. The remakes make the game look great, but I was worried that too many new additions to the game would destroy the simplicity of the classic. I will admit that I was wrong.
The iOs version was a bit tougher than the NES version. The Bosses had more HP, and their attacks were stronger, however I stayed true to the original and leveled up as much as possible. Overall, I did very well and only died 3 times. I did not complete the Labyrinth of time, or the 4 extras (Earthgrift, Hellfire, Lifespring, and Whisperwind), I plan on going back and completing them though.
I did run into one issue though. As I was fighting Chaos at the end, I was doing pretty well. My health was maintained and my attacks were ferocious! He used a curaga, which restored 9999 hp, but I held my ground. Towards the end, I was slowly losing the fight, and finally with only my Black Wizard remaining, a violent Flare landed the final blow. The screen flashes as he began to fade away. My hands were sore form the battle, so I sat the iPhone down. The screen began to fade black after a few seconds. In the excitement, I thought my screen had went into a power saving mode, so i hit the home button to turn it back on. I was wrong…it was just the game, and by hitting the home button I had closed the game. I had defeated him, and then did the equivalent of pressing the reset button on an NES… I could have stopped there and just said that I beat the game, but it wouldn’t be the same. So, a little later in the night, I went into the battle again. This time i was expecting the worse, but it actually went much smoother than the first time.
As I watched the ending, I remembered back to my early days of gaming. All the nights filled with generic Dr. Pepper and completing near impossible levels. And I realized that I had been denying myself of those feelings by ignoring the remakes of the classics. So now it is on to Final Fantasy 2. I hope to play it over the next few weeks, as time allows. I will then move on to three and maybe replay them in order after that too.
Sometimes, even the old games can be new again. I may be one of the older gamers on this page, but I am sure a lot of you have original consoles and games. I urge you to purchase some of the original cartridges that were the roots of your favorite series and give them a shot. For example, I challenge all of the Zelda fans to replay the classic NES cartridges. Only this time play them knowing where they take place in the timeline. Is the experience different know that you know what happened before the game? I would also like to hear about some experiences you have had with defeating a crucial part of a game, and then forgetting to save, or being taunted by a freak power outage.