34 years ago on December 18th, gaming was forever changed with the introduction of the Final Fantasy RPG franchise on the NES. The original Final Fantasy game released 34 years ago on December 18th, 1987 while Square was on the verge of bankruptcy. Final Fantasy was directed by creator Hironobu Sakaguchi and produced by Square founder Masafumi. Key developers such as Hiromichi Tanaka (Square Enix Product Development Division-3), Akitoshi Kawazu (SaGa series) and Koichi Ishii (Mana series) were also on board. These developers drew influence from timeless RPGs/tabletop games like Ultima, Wizardry and Dungeons & Dragons. Renown illustrator Yoshitaka Amano was brought onto the project with his iconic art-style. Composer Nobuo Uematsu brought the iconic Prelude and world of Final Fantasy to life with his tunes.

Final Fantasy saved Square from bankruptcy, but it helped create a major franchise that spawned even more games and media. Dragon Quest debuted before Final Fantasy, but the RPG genre was finally popularized to the world outside of Japan. The game also introduced key elements into the genre such as a job system and enemy weaknesses. This is commonplace for turn-based RPGs but it all started with games like Final Fantasy. Players became the Warriors of Light, traversed the overworld, saved the Princess of Cornelia and faced off against Chaos. A simple narrative in hindsight, but revolutionary in gaming at the time. This helped improve the games to come, leading to legendary stories told throughout the decades. In 2021, fans are captivated by the story of Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker and anticipating Final Fantasy XVI. Players are becoming Warriors of Light in their own right to this day.

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Raul Ochoa, a.k.a. Soul Kiwami, is the Deputy Editor in Chief of Final Weapon. With a passion for the Japanese gaming industry, Raul is a huge fan of Nintendo Switch, PC hardware, JRPGs and fighting/action games. business email: [email protected]