FFVII Recap, Ep. I: Swords vs. Machine Guns

Into Midgar we go! I hope I don’t bore you with my Maechen imitation, but I’m seeing so many things now that I didn’t understand the first time I played FFVII. Warning: there will be spoilers referring to events later in the game.

The opening FMV is still a lot of fun, with retro CGI graphics transitioning smoothly into live gameplay.

While I’ve been enjoying my 8 month sojourn in 16bit/retroland, it feels luxurious to come back to a PS1 game with backgrounds detailed enough for storefronts. (I briefly misread “Goblins Bar” as “Goblins Ban[k]” and was thinking, “Gringotts” even though this game predates HP.) And yep, there’s Loveless, a play that’s referenced in most of the FF7 spinoffs. Someday I need to get my hands on Crisis Core.

Aeris’ etherial appearance contrasted with urban grunge is a startling juxtaposition, reminding me of my own experience moving from green countryside to the big city (which I’ve since fled). She walks the old-school players out of the shadows and into the Brave New World of FF7, where the visual setting is now a major (if not the dominant) character in the story, as it will be for all future FFs.

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Let’s Play Final Fantasy VI, Ep. I: Hope and Free Will

I’m laaaate starting my FFVI gameblog, although I started it at the beginning of the month.

Opening FMV analysis time!

When I first started playing Final Fantasy in the VII-VIII-X era, I was mildly bemused by a series whose releases seemed at first  to have almost nothing in common but their titles and big yellow birds. As I’ve worked my way backwards, I’ve enjoyed that “click” of recognition whenever I spot recurring elements: FFXII’s glossair ring airships, the trains of FFVII and VIII, the Evil Empire (“empire bad, kingdom good,” as we first learned all the way back in FFII), and the tragic/unearthly damsel. FFVI’s mechs, however, are almost a first for the series (I say almost, since Doctor Lugae, the Hojo lookalike in FFIV, drove one in his boss battle).

It’s interesting to see how the old FF character classes of white mage, black mage, fighter, thief, ranger, ninja, summoner, monk and berserker are submerged yet remain visible beneath the surface. (Coming to the franchise so late, I was  puzzled about fans calling Tifa a monk, or Cid a dragoon, or why Kimahri was blue. Now I understand!)

Like any good opening FMV of the mature FF years, this one raises all sorts of questions about who-what-where-why that will only become intelligible on a replay.

I pause to listen to a orchestral performance of Terra’s theme, since my emulator makes it sound less than the perfect bit of music it is. Then, onward.

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Final Fantasy V Recap, Ep I: Ham and Cheese Sandwich

As usual, I’d like to start my Let’s Play Final Fantasy with (1) a link to Moogle University’s FFV write-ups which inspired my own playthrough and (2) the opening FMV from the PS1 remaster (Final Fantasy Anthology, 2003, which is what hooked me on this game despite the flatter-than-Data’s-poetry localization):


  • Dear Squeenix, when you turn Amano’s concept art into 3D, you do not have to leave their skin the color of a piece of paper.
  • It’s amazing how quickly graphics look dated, isn’t it? But Uematsu’s music still soars.
  • I adore the outrageous spines and jewels sticking out of everything, especially that pirate ship.
  • Black trenchcoat? Check. Katana? Check. Bishie badassitude? Check. Sephiroth, you are a cheap imitation of the ORIGINAL appearance of this character design. Nyah nyah. 

Now let’s start the iOS edition.

Final Fantasy V IOS splash screen

Okay! I’m not entirely happy with the stretched iOS redraws of the original character sprites. So, while I’m going to be screencapping from iOS FF5, I’ll be featuring some original-game sprites from videogamesprites.net for snark & commentary. Also, just to be even more confusing, the iOS version appends Amano’s original character portraits to speech boxes — concept art that the in-game sprite designers sometimes completely ignored!

Note: Boldface is actual game dialog, non-bold is my paraphrase, or…er…embellishments.

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Final Fantasy III Recap, Episode I: Cute Overload


The original, 1990 Japanese Final Fantasy III starts out differently. It’s much more like FFI, with four completely generic, unnamed “Onion Knights” (aka “Onion Kids”) bumbling into a cave after an earthquake.

Here’s a derpy fan translation of the original:

Official Square material makes all four of them 14, whence the kawaii generic Onion Knight representing FFIII in Dissidia.

In 2006, FFIII finally came out in English via a Nintendo DS remaster that made the heroes more than cardboard and converted 8-bit sprites to 3D chibis. That’s the version that got ported to iOS. So with apologies to old-school purists…

Final Fantasy III: Victory dance

Luneth: …
Rydia: …
Ingus: …

Me: *Takes 2 HP from TEH CUTE*

Now, let’s head out to the recap!

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