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Final Fantasy (Japanese: ファイナルファンタジー Fainaru Fantajī?) is a media franchise stemming from a series of fantasy role playing games (RPGs) created by game designer Hironobu Sakaguchi and developed by Square Enix. The series includes sixteen released main video games, including direct sequels, and a number of spin-offs.
The series began in 1987 with the eponymous video game conceived by Sakaguchi. Ironically, the series was originally Square’s last game, hence the title “Final” Fantasy, but due to the success of it, Square was able to continue creating games. The video game series has since branched into other genres such as tactical role-playing, action role-playing, massively multiplayer online role-playing, racing, and fighting.
The first Final Fantasy was a revolution for its time. Where most RPGs would feature mostly one-on-one battles, Final Fantasy was the first game that would face you off against multiple enemies. Final Fantasy was also the first RPG to divide the screen. Whereas most RPGs would be from a first-person perspective, Final Fantasy split the screen to see all the players and enemies. Final Fantasy had 6 classes to choose from, which could eventually be upgraded. The upgrading was revolutionary and gave players a lot of choice. Throughout the entire Final Fantasy series, Square Enix continued creating innovative new ways for an RPG to be played, using subjects and gameplay that were never used before in other games.
Although most Final Fantasy installments are independent stories with various different settings and main characters, they feature identical elements that define the franchise. Recurring elements include plot themes, character names, and game mechanics. Plots center on a group of heroes battling a great evil while exploring the characters’ internal struggles and relationships. Character names are often derived from the history, languages, and mythologies of cultures worldwide.
GameTrailers also did an entire Retrospective series dedicated to the franchise.
On April 4th, 2000, the single topic blog Final Fantasy Network was created, which featured news, reviews and media related to the Final Fantasy franchise. On March 13th, 2005, the Final Fantasy Wiki was launched, accumulating upwards of 14,170 articles in the first eight years. On March 10th, 2008, the /r/finalfantasy subreddit was created, which gained over 17,400 subscribers in the next five years.
The series has been commercially and critically successful. It is Square Enix’s best selling video game franchise, with more than 100 million units sold, and one of the best-selling video game franchises. It has gained multiple awards and even holds 7 Guinness World Records in the Guinness World Records Gamer’s Edition 2008.
The series is well known for its innovation, visuals, and music, such as the inclusion of full motion videos, photo-realistic character models, and orchestrated music by Nobuo Uematsu. Final Fantasy has been a driving force in the video game industry. The video game series has affected Square’s business practices and its relationships with other video game developers. It has also introduced many features now common in console RPGs and has been credited with helping to popularize RPGs in markets outside Japan.
You Spoony Bard
You Spoony Bard, sometimes shortened to Spoony Bard, is a phrase from Final Fantasy IV (II in America). It is used as a comical and nonsensical insult by the character Tellah against the character Edward.
The phrase is used to poke fun at Bard classes in RPGs and MMORPGs, due to the fact that Edward was the worst character in terms of power or stats in FF IV. It is also used on other famous people named Edward, and to make fun of real bards or musicians, such as Shakespeare
Cactuar is a monster from Final Fantasy VI that continues to appear in many later FF releases. On the Internet, Cactuar has become the subject of a popular series of Newgrounds animations and other fanfics due to the Game’s fandom. But on SomethingAwful, Cactuar’s physical resemblence to a Swastika was further exploited in a number of images.
Cactuar has appeared in countless threads on 4chan, used in a variety of ways. One popular use is to start a thread featuring an image of cactuar with the text “Don’t Mind Me, On My Way to Page 10” which invariably instigates users to post in the thread.
Sephiroth / One-Winged Angel
Sephiroth (セフィロス Sefirosu?) is a fictional character in Final Fantasy VII, where he is introduced as the main antagonist. Sephiroth has been well-received within the video game community, and is regularly featured in top positions on many villain lists, as well as lists of Final Fantasy characters. While his role in the story has been praised, many websites commented on how difficult it is to defeat Sephiroth in the games he appears in. Various types of merchandise based on his appearance have been developed, such as figurines.
Sephiroth’s theme song, One-Winged Angel, has also received much praise from the gaming community. The song is one of the most recognized tracks in the series. One-Winged Angel has been remixed numerous times for different games in which Sephiroth is featured. But the song has also been remixed outside the game, including even a orchestra remix. Sephiroth is also often depicted with a black wing extending from his right shoulder because of the song, a character trait that originated from Final Fantasy XII.
Omega Kawaii Cloud Song
Omega Kawaii Cloud Song is a flash animation created by DeviantArt user SpookyDoom. This animation consists a chibi caricature of Cloud from Final Fantasy 7 singing about potions giving him cavities and fighting cactuars. The song was also set to weird music and a catchy tune.
J-E-N-O-V-A Remixes orginate from the song known as J-E-N-O-V-A, from Final Fantasy VII. It was a battle theme that played when fighting one of the game’s major antagonists, Jenova, a parasitic alien life-form.
The song has an easily exploitable rhythm, making it easy to create videos of the song using video clips and sound bytes. This originated from the Japanese video sharing website Nico Nico Douga, but has now spread to Youtube.
Clash On The Big Bridge
Clash On The Big Bridge (also known as Battle With Gilgamesh) is a popular theme song from Final Fantasy V. The song is commonly used in instrumental remixes and MADs among Final Fantasy fans. The song is also known as the theme of Gilgamesh, a popular villian from the series. Gilgamesh has returned multiple times throughout the series because of his popularity, always combined with his theme song or a remix of it.
A Chocobo (チョコボ chokobo?) is a fictional creature from the Final Fantasy video game series. Chocobos first appeared in Final Fantasy II and have been featured in almost all subsequent Final Fantasy games, as well as making cameo appearances in numerous other games. In the games, unlocking the Chocobo sometimes goes together with different minigames. A spin-off series featuring chocobos has also been created. The return of chocobos in nearly every FF game has given the creature quite some popularity.
Tidus’s Laugh / Haw Haw Haw
Final Fantasy X was the first game in the series that included voice acting. However, the quality and synchronisation of the voices in the English version weren’t always of the highest level. The character Tidus has a particular abnormal laugh in one scene of the English translation of the game. This laugh has become one of the more popular examples for Bad American Voiceacting. The scene in which Tidus “laughs” out loud has received much derision online, with comments on its forced nature and lack of resemblance to any conventional laugh, being compared to such things as a seagull. The laugh is often represented as the phrase “Haw Haw Haw”.
Garland Will Knock You All Down
Garland is the first boss the player encounters in Final Fantasy. In the original Final Fantasy, Garland’s personality receives little development. In Dissidia Final Fantasy, however, he is given more personality. Like the other villains, he is extremely arrogant.
The phrase “I, Garland, will knock you all down!” is often associated with Garland. It has become somewhat of an inside joke in the Final Fantasy community, claiming that Garland will knock down anything in his path. The joke is also a little ironic, since the first battle with Garland is relatively easy to complete.
“I’m Captain Basch”
“I’m Captain Basch” is a phrase that originates from Final Fantasy XII. Near the beginning of the game, the party rescues the character Captain Basch from a dungeon, some years after his supposed execution. Basch needs to spread the word that his death was faked and he is alive by letting the character Vaan cause a commotion. Vaan’s idea of a commotion was rather absurd, as he would run around a city yelling that he is Captain Basch. The lines and how ridiculously they are presented is one of the reasons that Vaan is not a popular character among Final Fantasy fans.
Aerith’s Death / “Why Didn’t They Just Use a Phoenix Down?”
Aerith (エアリス・ゲインズブール Earisu Geinzubūru) – Aeris in the English releases – is one of the main characters in Final Fantasy 7. The scene revolving around her death has received a great deal of attention. Players commented on message boards and blogs about the emotional impact the scene held. Her death is considered one of the notable events in the history of the series due to its shocking and unexpected introduction. It’s also one of the most popular Death Spoiler Reveals. It has been spoiled so much that the scene of her death has become well known, even to those that have not played the game.
The phrase “Why didn’t they just use a Phoenix Down?” is a joke associated with Aerith’s death. A Phoenix Down is an item in the game series which is used to revive characters who have been killed. People joke about her death, stating that the characters could’ve easily used a Phoenix Down on her, thereby bringing her back to life.