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Final Fantasy (Japanese: ファイナルファンタジー) 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 video game series, which consists of sixteen direct sequel and spin-off titles, has also inspired numerous motion pictures, anime films and novels.
NES Titles (1987 – 1990)
Final Fantasy, the original title, was released in Japan on December 18th, 1987 for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), which featured a turn-based combat system, experience points, an overworld map and randomly encountered enemies. Final Fantasy II was released in Japan the following year, introducing multiple recurring concepts to the series, including the trademark chocobos. Final Fantasy III was released in Japan on April 27th, 1990, which used a similar experience points and character class system as the original title. The game is credited for being the basis of the "Job System" that would be found in many RPGs to come.
SNES Titles (1991 – 1994)
Final Fantasy IV was released in 1991 for the Super Famicom console in Japan and the SNES in North America, where it was renamed Final Fantasy II due to the previous two titles never being sold worldwide outside of remakes.Final Fantasy V was released in 1992 for the Super Famicom and SNES. Final Fantasy VI (renamed Final Fantasy III in North America) was released in 1994. The game received critical acclaim and sold more than 3 million.
PS Titles (1997 – 2000)
Final Fantasy VII (1997) was the first title in the series to transition from 2D to 3D computer graphics with polygonal characters on pre-rendered backgrounds, followed by Final Fantasy VIII in 1999 and Final Fantasy IX in 2000, all of which were developed for Sony's PlayStation console. VII and VIII both received PC ports in 1998 and 1999, with IX receiving no port until one was recently announced by Square-Enix, released in early 2016.
PS2 Titles (2001 – 2006)
Final Fantasy X was released in 2001 for Sony's PlayStation 2 console, followed by the 2002 release of Final Fantasy XI, the first massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) in the series (with a total of six expansion packs and add-ons) and the release of Final Fantasy X-2 in 2003. Final Fantasy XII was launched for PlayStation 2 in 2006. In addition, Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings was released for Nintendo DS in 2007. As of May 2015, Square-Enix released the final expansion pack of Final Fantasy XI titled Rhapsodies of Vana'diel, with support for all console versions ending in March 2016.
PS3 Titles (2009 – 2010)
Final Fantasy XIII was released in 2009, which spawned the sequels Final Fantasy XIII-2 and Lightning Returns. Final Fantasy XIV, the second MMORPG in the series, was launched for the PC and the PlayStation 3 in 2010, and after a failed first launch, the game was rereleased as Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn to a large amount of positive reviews, including receiving the Best MMORPG of 2015 award from sites such as Playstation Blog and GameInformer. The game currently has more than 5 million subscribers.
PS4 Titles (2013 – Present)
Final Fantasy XV was unveiled as an upcoming RPG for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox at the 2013 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). A Remake of Final Fantasy VII was announced for the PlayStation 4 during E3 2015, with the game proper set to be divided into episodic portions to mimic the multi-disc nature of the original game, a change met with mixed reception online. In addition, Final Fantasy XV currently stands delayed until November 29th, 2016 to bolster quality testing so that the finished product matches expectations. This entry in the series is currently being promoted alongside a companion anime, a full-length movie, and two limited edition variations of the game.
Movies and Animated Adaptations
Two movies were developed as spin-offs of the series. The first to be released was Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, a full-CGI movie released in 2001. The movie was a critical success, praised for being far beyond other movies of the time in terms of visual effects, but the movie was a commercial bomb, only grossing 85 million in comparison to the 137 million dollar budget, and the movie was considered a failure despite the immense critical acclaim. Another movie, designed as a sequel to Final Fantasy VII, was released in 2005 named Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. The movie garnered mostly positive reviews, and the re-release, Advent Children Complete was met with more positive reception, and was praised for many improved effects and CGI. Two anime series named Final Fantasy: Legend of the Crystals and Final Fantasy Unlimited were also released in 1998 and 2001 respectively, with Legend of the Crystals being a sequel to Final Fantasy V and and Unlimited being a spin-off of the series. As of March 30th, an anime centered around Final Fantasy XV named Brotherhood: Final Fantasy XV premiered as a free-to-watch web anime, serving as a prequel to the main game that ran for 5 episodes. A sixth episode to the series is to be included with the limited edition release of Final Fantasy XV. The game will also have a feature-length CG adaptation called Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV, slated to tell a story congruent to the main game.
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. As of June 2013, a ,Facebook page titled "Final Fantasy" has garnered more than 357,000 likes.
The series has been commercially and critically successful as Square Enix's best selling video game franchise. As of 2013, the series has sold more than 100 million units worldwide and has received multiple awards, including seven Guinness World Records. The series is well known for its innovation, visuals and music, including cinematic cut scenes, photo-realistic character models and orchestrated scores by Nobuo Uematsu. It has introduced many features commonly found in console RPGs and has been credited with helping to popularize the genre in markets outside Japan.
You Spoony Bard
You Spoony Bard is an insult from Final Fantasy IV used by the companion Telah toward the character Edward. The phrase is often used online to mock the Bard classes in games for being weak and useless.
Cactuar is a monster from the franchise that has become the subject of a series of animations on the flash website Newgrounds and is often mocked for its resemblance to the swastika symbol on the Internet humor site SomethingAwful.
Sephiroth / One-Winged Angel
Sephiroth (セフィロス Sefirosu?) is the primary antagonist in Final Fantasy VII who is often considered one of the most memorable characters from the franchise. While his role in the story has been praised, many fans have criticized how difficult it is to defeat the enemy. Sephiroth's theme song "One-Winged Angel" has received much praise from the gaming community, having been remixed numerous times for different games in which the villain is featured.
Omega Kawaii Cloud Song
Omega Kawaii Cloud Song is a flash animation created by DeviantArt user SpookyDoom consisting of a caricature of Cloud from Final Fantasy 7 singing about potions giving him cavities and fighting cactuars.
J-E-N-O-V-A Remixes are various recreations of the song "J-E-N-O-V-A" from Final Fantasy VII popularized on the Japanese video sharing website Nico Nico Douga and YouTube.
Clash On The Big Bridge
Clash On The Big Bridge (also known as Battle With Gilgamesh) is a theme song from Final Fantasy V commonly used in instrumental remixes and MADs. The song is also known as the theme of Gilgamesh, a recurring villain in the series.
Tidus's Laugh / "Haw Haw Haw"
Final Fantasy X was the first game in the series to use voice acting, which had several quality and synchronization issues in the English release of the game. In one cut scene, the character Tidus laughs in an awkward fashion, which has since become an examples of bad American voice acting.
Garland Will Knock You All Down
Garland is the first boss the player encounters in Final Fantasy who is associated with the ironic phrase "I, Garland, will knock you all down!," which is used to mock the villain for being easy to defeat.
"I'm Captain Basch"
"I'm Captain Basch" is an expression stemming from a scene in Final Fantasy XII in which the party rescues the character Captain Basch from a dungeon. To spread the word that he is alive, the character Vaan suggests he runs around the city yelling "I'm Captain Basch!"
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), or Aeris in the English releases, is one of the main characters in Final Fantasy 7 who dies in a dramatic cut scene during the game. Online, the scene has frequently been used as a death spoiler reveal.
The phrase "Why didn't they just use a Phoenix Down?" is a joke associated with the character's death, pointing out that her companions could have revived her using the "Phoenix Down" in-game resurrection item.
 Youtube – One Winged Angel
 Youtube – One Winged Angel Orchestra Remix
 Final Fantasy Wiki – Garland
 GameTrailers – Final Fantasy Retrospective
 Final Fantasy Wiki – Aerith's Death
 Gamentropy – Why Didn't They Just Use a Phoenix Down (private site)
 Reddit – /r/finalfantasy
 Wikia – Final Fantasy
 FinalFantasy.net – Final Fantasy Network
 Facebook – Final Fantasy
 Wikipedia – Final Fantasy
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