Final Fantasy Turns 25 - A Celebration of One of the Most Important Game Series
- By: CM Boots-Faubert
- Posted 20th Aug 2012
If we include the games in the Compilation and Collection game series and sub-series and add them all to the total for the main series and sub-series listed above, what we end up with is a game series that has had a total of eighty-seven (87) titles spanning the period from December 1987 to today -- and that is what Square Enix is celebrating when it holds events to mark the massive high-water mark for the Final Fantasy game series!
The 25th Anniversary Celebrations
Earlier this year Square Enix launched a new website commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the Final Fantasy series, and is creating several products specifically to celebrate the anniversary, and while the total number of events, offerings, games, and destinations are presently unknown, the celebration of the 25 Anniversary of the Final Fantasy series is thought to be one of the most massive endeavors on the part of Square Enix and its PR machine -- ever.
The events that we do know about include:
-- The creation of a new set of 25th Anniversary logos that have been added to the Final Fantasy XI title screen to compliment the FFXI 10th Anniversary logo and celebrations.
-- The new 25th Anniversary Website in Japan.
-- The new 25th Anniversary Website in North America (Canada and the USA).
-- The new 25th Anniversary Website in France.
-- The new 25th Anniversary Website in Germany.
-- The new 25th Anniversary Website for the Benelux Region.
-- The new 25th Anniversary Website for Spanish Languages.
-- A dedicated art gallery for Final Fantasy artwork in Shibuya that commemorate the series' 25th Anniversary. The exhibit includes development materials, artwork by Yoshitaka Amano, various objects on display and staged events on August 31st, September 1st, and September 2nd.
-- Distant Worlds Concerts commemorating the Anniversary scheduled for November 2nd, 2012 in London (UK), and December 7th, 2012 in Chicago (USA).
-- Piano Opera Final Fantasy I/II/III 25th Anniversary presentations.
-- Piano Opera Final Fantasy IV/V/VI 25th Anniversary presentations.
-- Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Symphony Touring Concerts celebrating the 25th Anniversary.
-- The re-release of Final Fantasy III for Sony PSP as an exclusive digital download specifically to commemorate the Anniversary.
-- The re-release of Final Fantasy VII for Windows PC as an exclusive digital download specifically to commemorate the Anniversary.
-- A massive collection of commemorative objects, collectibles, including (but by no means limited to) coffee tumblers, mouse pads, coasters, commemorative stamps, glasses, clothing, and action figures branded for the 25th Anniversary.
-- A unique special deck of Final Fantasy 25th Anniversary-themed playing cards that feature 54 pieces of art from the entire Final Fantasy series and sub-series collections.
-- New special sets for the Final Fantasy Strategy Card Game branded for the 25th Anniversary celebrations.
The Importance of Final Fantasy
While a case can certainly be made that the Final Fantasy game series (all of them) have provided a great deal of entertainment and helped to successfully stave off months (literally) of personal boredom, the real importance has to do with the stories that they tell, and the intense feelings that the immersion process has given to gamers who are fans of the carefully crafted characters who tend to serve as the core identity for the games.
Of the recent titles the impact and impression that characters like Lightning, Snow, Serah, Sazh and his son Dajh, Hope, Oerba whose in-your-face go-to-hell attitude elevated the character to the top of the heap for many gamers despite its minor role overall. There is Galenth Dysley, the ruler of the Sanctum and main antagonist; Cid -- variations of whom have been significant characters across the spectrum of the games, including the MMO's.
When it comes to player-characters -- and let us be honest here, the characters that gamers play and in particular the characters that they embody in the online MMO offerings in the series -- represent genuine and meaningful relationships for most gamers, so whether your favorite is your Hume or Galka from Bastok, your Elvaan from the ivy-covered walls of San D'Oria, or your Mithra and Tarutaru characters from Windurst, they are one-and-all important members of your virtual family and in some respects have come to identify you, as a gamer, in the online worlds of Final Fantasy!
FFXI producer Hiromichi Tanaka once remarked in an interview that the gamers who played in the world of Final Fantasy XI number among the most intense he had ever experienced, and the fact that they all come from other games in the series and arrive seeking some sort of connected experience -- and find it -- was for him and his team a serious motivational force as they created and then expanded the game, which is still commercially viable today!
The world of Final Fantasy has had significant impact upon the gaming lives of the players who have embraced it; the loss of a character or even a favorite Chocobo is sufficient to bring tears to a players eyes, and the welcoming "kupo-kupo!" of your house Moogle after a long absence from the game can have the sort of heart-pounding force usually reserved for old friends and relatives!
In a world in which well-loved games are closing down and disappearing, the strength that keeps the Final Fantasy universe alive and well and online for our gaming enjoyment is something to be celebrated, as is the first 25 years of its history, lore, and gameplay! Here is to the next 25 years, and may they be interesting and just as intense!