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alt.games.final-fantasy FAQ (Part 1 of 3)

( Part1 - Part2 - Part3 )
[ Usenet FAQs | Web FAQs | Documents | RFC Index | Sex offenders ]
Archive-name: games/video-games/final-fantasy/part1
Posting-Frequency: weekly
Last-modified: 2001/12/30
Version: 2.0.2

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
           +---------------------------------------------+
           | * * * The alt.games.final-fantasy FAQ * * * |
           |           * * * Part 1 of 3 * * *           |
           +---------------------------------------------+

*** What's New in this FAQ ***

Version 2.0.2 (12/30/02):
- Acknowledged the release of a new Final Fantasy game, Final Fantasy X.
- Updated some parts to discuss the FF animated movie, Final Fantasy:
The Spirits Within.


* 0.0 - An explanation

One of the most frequently asked questions the FAQ maintainer has been
receiving recently is the reasoning behind the cross-posting of this
FAQ. There is a reason why this FAQ is cross-posted into several groups:

1. rec.games.video.nintendo is receiving the FAQ because all of Square's
games from the company's beginnings until Treasure Hunter G in 1996 were
released for Nintendo game consoles.

2. rec.games.video.sony is receiving the FAQ because all of Square's
games from Tobal #1 in 1996 to the present were and will continue to be
released for Sony game consoles.

3. Both of the above also receive the FAQ because many news servers do
not receive alt.games.final-fantasy, so their only place to get
questions and answers about both old and new Square games is through the
rec.games.video.* groups.

4. rec.answers, news.answers, and alt.answers receive the FAQ in order
for this FAQ to be compliant with UseNet FAQ guidelines.

5. alt.games.final-fantasy.rpg is receiving the FAQ since the group is
no longer used as an online role-playing group, and is as often used to
discuss Final Fantasy as the original group.

Basically, no one forces anyone to read the FAQ. If anyone out there has
a problem with the FAQ's presence on newsgroups other than
alt.games.final-fantasy, then they do not have to read it if they don't
want to. The cross-post is a courtesy feature for the many people whose
news servers don't carry alt.games.final-fantasy and would otherwise
have no means of receiving an up-to-date version of the FAQ.


*** Table of Contents ***

Section 1 - Intro to alt.games.final-fantasy
1.1 - Welcome to alt.games.final-fantasy!
1.2 - What is Final Fantasy?
1.3 - Does Square make any video games other than the Final Fantasy
series?
1.4 - What can or can't be discussed in alt.games.final-fantasy?
1.5 - What is alt.games.final-fantasy.rpg?
1.6 - What are alt.games.final-fantasy.hentai and
alt.games.final-fantasy.tech-support?
1.7 - Didn't Square Soft go out of business?
1.8 - Why won't Square Soft release game XXX in the USA?
1.9 - False Urban Legends about Square's Games (READ THIS!)
1.10 - Square Soft Resources on the InterNet
1.11 - Copyright, disclaimer, etc.
1.12 - Changes History
1.13 - Thank You's and Other Acknowledgements
1.14 - The Ultimate Final Fantasy Glossary
1.15 - I want to post the FAQ, too!
       Why is the FAQ being posted to newsgroup XXX?
       The FAQ is too big to post!
       Why don't you post the FAQ more/less often?
1.16 - I'd like to tell you about <something already in the FAQ>!
       Where can I find this <item already covered in the FAQ>?
       Why don't you add <something already covered in the FAQ>?
1.17 - Can you send me a copy of this FAQ, or anyone else's FAQ?
1.18 - Why don't you just rip content out of other people's FAQs?
1.19 - My evil news administrators do not and will not carry the
alt.games.final-fantasy newsgroup...
1.20 - Will there be any Final Fantasy games for future game consoles
other than the PlayStation 2 and WonderSwan?
1.21 - Will Square ever become a Nintendo third party again?
1.22 - How was this newsgroup created, anyway?
1.23 - Where did the name "Final Fantasy" come from?

Section 2 - The Final Fantasy Series
2.1 - The Final Fantasy Series (Intro)
2.2 - Final Fantasy Games for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)
2.2.1 - Final Fantasy I (USA: Final Fantasy I)
2.2.2 - Final Fantasy II (not released in the USA)
2.2.3 - Final Fantasy III (not released in the USA)
2.3 - Final Fantasy Games for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System
(SNES)
2.3.1 - Final Fantasy IV (not released in the USA - for the Super NES,
anyway)
2.3.2 - Final Fantasy IV Easytype (USA: Final Fantasy II)
2.3.3 - Final Fantasy V (not released in the USA - for the Super NES,
anyway)
2.3.4 - Final Fantasy USA (USA: Final Fantasy Mystic Quest)
2.3.5 - Final Fantasy VI (USA: Final Fantasy III)
2.4 - Final Fantasy Games for the Nintendo Game Boy (DMG)
3.2.1 - Final Fantasy Gaiden: Seiken Densetsu (USA: Final Fantasy
Adventure)
2.5 - Final Fantasy Games for the Sony PlayStation (PSX)
2.5.1 - Final Fantasy VII (USA: Final Fantasy VII)
2.5.2 - Final Fantasy VII International (not released in the USA)
2.5.3 - Final Fantasy Tactics (USA: Final Fantasy Tactics)
2.5.4 - Final Fantasy Collections (USA: Final Fantasy Anthology)
2.5.5 - Final Fantasy VIII (USA: Final Fantasy VIII)
2.5.6 - Final Fantasy IX (USA: Final Fantasy IX)
2.5.7 - Final Fantasy Chronicles (special USA release)
2.6 - Final Fantasy Games for the Sony PlayStation 2 (PS2)
2.6.1 - Final Fantasy X (USA: Final Fantasy X)
2.7 - Are there any movies/direct-to-videos based on the Final Fantasy
series?

Section 3 - Other Games by Square Soft
3.1 - Square Games for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)
3.1.1 - Highway Star (USA: Rad Racer)
3.1.2 - The 3D Battles of World Runner (USA: The 3D Battles of World
Runner)
3.1.3 - Rad Racer II (not released in Japan)
3.2 - Square Games for the Nintendo Game Boy (DMG)
3.2.1 - SaGa (USA: The Final Fantasy Legend)
3.2.2 - SaGa II (USA: The Final Fantasy Legend II)
3.2.3 - SaGa III (USA: The Final Fantasy Legend III)
3.3 - Square Games for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES)
3.3.1 - Seiken Densetsu II (USA: The Secret of Mana)
3.3.2 - Seiken Densetsu III (not released in the USA)
3.3.3 - Chrono Trigger (USA: Chrono Trigger)
3.3.4 - The Secret of Evermore (not released in Japan)
3.3.5 - Front Mission (not released in the USA)
3.3.6 - Breath of Fire (USA: Breath of Fire)
3.3.7 - Romancing SaGa (not released in the USA)
3.3.8 - Romancing SaGa II (not released in the USA)
3.3.9 - Romancing SaGa III (not released in the USA)
3.3.10 - Bahamut Lagoon (not released in the USA)
3.3.11 - Super Mario RPG (USA: Super Mario RPG)
3.3.12 - Rudora no Hihou (not released in the USA)
3.3.13 - Treasure Hunter G (not released in the USA)
3.3.14 - Hanjyuku Hero (not released in the USA)
3.3.15 - Breath of Fire II (not usually considered a Square game, but
discussed in this newsgroup anyway)
3.4 - Square Games for the Sony PlayStation (PSX)
3.4.1 - Tobal #1 (USA: Tobal #1)
3.4.2 - Tobal II (not released in the USA)
3.4.3 - Bushido Blade (USA: Bushido Blade)
3.4.4 - Xenogears (USA: Xenogears)
3.4.5 - Front Mission Alternative (not released in the USA)
3.4.6 - SaGa Frontier (USA: SaGa Frontier)
3.4.7 - Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon (not released in the USA)
3.4.8 - Einhander (USA: Einhander)
3.4.9 - Parasite Eve (USA: Parasite Eve)
3.4.10 - Brave Fencer Musashiden (USA: Brave Fencer Musashi)
3.4.11 - Ehrgeiz (USA: Ehrgeiz)
3.4.12 - SaGa Frontier II (USA: SaGa Frontier II)
3.4.13 - Chocobo Racing (USA: Chocobo Racing)
3.4.14 - Chrono Cross (USA release coming soon)
3.4.15 - Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon II (USA: Chocobo Dungeon II)
3.4.16 - Vagrant Story (USA: Vagrant Story)
3.4.17 - Seiken Densetsu: The Legend of Mana (USA: Legend of Mana)
3.4.18 - Front Mission III (USA: Front Mission III)
3.4.19 - DewPrism (USA: Threads of Fate)
3.4.20 - Parasite Eve II (USA: Parasite Eve II)
3.5 - Square Games for the Sony PlayStation 2 (PS2)
3.5.1 - Driving Emotion Type-S (USA: Driving Emotion Type-S)
3.5.2 - The Bouncer (USA: The Bouncer)
3.5.3 - Gekikuukan Pro Baseball (not released in the USA)
3.5.4 - All-Star Pro Wrestling (not released in the USA)

Section 4 - Frequently Asked Questions about the Final Fantasy Series
4.1 - General Hints about the Final Fantasy Series
4.1.1 - Monster XXX or Boss YYY is too difficult...
4.1.2 - What kind of a party should I choose?
4.1.3 - Why do you refer to Final Fantasy III as "Final Fantasy VI"?
        Which Final Fantasy games were put out in the USA, anyway?
4.1.4 - Translation aside, what are the differences between the Japanese
and American versions of these games?
4.1.5 - In regard to the previous question, what about non-Final Fantasy
games?
4.1.6 - Why can't I resurrect certain characters who die?
4.1.7 - Tables of Information
4.1.8 - Known bugs in several Square games (USA releases, USA titles)
4.2 - Final Fantasy I
4.2.1 - How do I get into the Sea Shrine?
4.2.2 - How do I get the Excalibur Sword?
4.2 3 - How do I get into the Mirage Tower?
4.2.4 - What do I do with Matoya?
4.2.5 - I defeated the Vampire...
4.2.6 - I defeated Lich, now what do I do?
4.2.7 - I defeated Kary, now what do I do?
4.2.8 - I got the Floater, but what use is it?
4.2.9 - I defeated Kraken, now what?
4.2.10 - I defeated Tiamat, now what?
4.2.11 - What items can I use in battles?
4.2.12 - What magic should I use to defeat the elemental fiends?
4.3 - Final Fantasy IV and Final Fantasy IV Easytype (USA: Final Fantasy
II)
4.3.1 - Palom and Porom have been turned to stone...
4.3.2 - I got the Poison Axe, but no one can use it...
4.3.3 - Where is Odin?
        Odin talks about some Summoned Monsters place...
4.3.4 - How do I deal with cursed items?
4.3.5 - How do I defeat Asura?
4.3.6 - How do I defeat Bahamut?
4.3.7 - How do I defeat Odin?
4.3.8 - How do I get the rarest armor in the game?
4.3.9 - The Magus Sisters are giving me problems...
4.3.10 - Where can I find some really rare items?
4.3.11 - What calls can I find and give Rydia?
4.3.12 - What spells should I use to defeat the elemental fiends?
4.3.13 - How do I get to the Cave Magnes (the Dark Elf's Cave?)
4.3.14 - How do I defeat the Dark Elf?
4.3.15 - Why are the characters speaking in really sloppy English? (US
SNES version)
4.3.16 - How can I tell if I have the "original version" or the
"easytype version" of Final Fantasy IV?
4.4 - Final Fantasy VI (USA: Final Fantasy III)
4.4.1 - What time is it?
4.4.2 - How do I get the Water Rondo dance for Mog?
4.4.3 - I'm in the World of Ruin, and can't find Shadow...
4.4.4 - How do I defeat Wrexsoul?
4.4.5 - How do I defeat MagiMaster?
4.4.6 - Where is the Cursed Shield?
4.4.7 - What do I do with the Cursed Shield?
4.4.8 - Where is the Atma Weapon?
4.4.9 - How do I increase my chances of getting critical hits on
enemies?
4.4.10 - How do I revive General Leo?
4.4.11 - Where is the Air Anchor?
4.4.12 - Where can I find the secret characters?
4.4.13 - How do I get the Crusader Esper?
4.4.14 - Where is the Ancient Castle?
4.4.15 - Where are the Golem and ZoneSeek Espers?
4.4.16 - Where is the Raiden Esper?
4.4.17 - Should I get the Ragnarok Esper or the Ragnarok Sword?
4.4.18 - Where is the Experience Egg?
4.4.19 - Where are the Illumina, Muscle Belt, Rename Card, Marvel Shoes,
Merit Award, Cursed Ring, etc...
4.4.20 - I just gave Relm the command to sketch monster XXX, and
everything got all weird/locked up...
4.4.21 - The world has ended, and my party's missing...
4.4.22 - My character was low on HP, and he/she just did a really
strange but powerful attack...
4.4.23 - I want to know where all the Espers are...
4.4.24 - Where can I get the most powerful stuff in the game?
4.4.25 - I got a Snow Muffler and a Bone Club, but how do I equip it on
my sasquatch?
4.4.26 - Where is the Paladin Ring?
4.4.27 - Where are the dragons in the forest north of the Veldt?
4.4.28 - What is the best way to get through Kefka's Tower?
4.4.29 - How many endings are there? Is there a "secret ending"?
4.5 - Final Fantasy VII
4.5.1 - How do I revive Aeris?
4.5.2 - Why do so many bad things happen to Aeris?
4.5.3 - Why are the characters swearing so much?
4.5.4 - How do the 'Elemental' and 'Added Effect' materia work?
4.5.5 - What does it mean when a Materia is 'born'?
4.5.6 - How do I learn Enemy Skills?
4.5.7 - What do I need to do in order to make Cloud dress up as a woman?
4.5.8 - Sector 7 has just been destroyed. I bought Batteries from the
Weapon Shop in Wall Market, but I don't know what to do now.
4.5.9 - What do I do about Reno's 'Pyramid' attack?
4.5.10 - I'm in the Shinra HQ. How do I solve Domino's puzzle?
4.5.11 - I'm still in the Shinra HQ. Where do I go now that Jenova has
escaped?
4.5.12 - I'm currently listening to Cloud recounting his past at Kalm
Town. Is there anything special I can do during his flashback?
4.5.13 - How do I capture a Chocobo?
         Do I have to have one in order to cross the marsh near the
Chocobo Barn?
4.5.14 - I'm fighting Bottom Swell at Under Junon. What do I do about
the Waterpolos that appear around my character?
4.5.15 - I'm supposed to use Mr. Dolphin to get Cloud up on top of the
electrical tower. But, I can't seem to land on the beam...
4.5.16 - Where do I go once I have the Buggy?
4.5.17 - There's an iron safe in the Shinra Mansion at Nibleheim...
4.5.18 - I just escaped from Rocket Town in the Tiny Bronco, Cid's
airplane. What do I need to do now?
4.5.19 - Hey...when I went on a date at the Gold Saucer, it was with
Aeris. But last time I played, it was with Tifa. What gives?
4.5.20 - I finished the clock puzzle and am trying to escape, but the
Demon's Gate boss is beating me up!...
4.5.21 - I need to find the Lunar Harp, but where do I dig?
4.5.22 - How do I leave Icicle Lodge?
4.5.23 - I crash-landed into the Ice Gate Glacier and don't know what to
do now...
4.5.24 - I'm having trouble navigating through the snowy wasteland
that's between the Ice Gate Glacier and the old man's cabin. How do I
get through this?
4.5.25 - If I go east from the snowy field, there is a woman who tells
me to go away. What am I supposed to do here?
4.5.26 - Hey, I've been incarcerated in Junon! And Tifa's getting
gassed! How can I free her before it's too late?
4.5.27 - Right now, I'm trying to get a Huge Materia and prevent North
Corel from being hit by a train...
4.5.28 - I'm at the underground Submarine Dock, and Reno just sent a
boss, C. Armor, to attack my party...
4.5.29 - What's the code to release the Huge Materia from Cid's Rocket?
4.5.30 - How do I fight the Ultima Weapon? It keeps running away!
4.5.31 - How do you kill those Magic Pots?
4.5.32 - Yeah, but what if I want to kill the Master Tonberis?...
4.5.33 - There's this guy in Kalm Town who wants to trade things with
me...
4.5.34 - I want to get Secret Character #1 in my party...
4.5.35 - Okay, now I want to get Secret Character #2...
4.5.36 - Isn't there some way to get back into Midgar during Disc 2 or
3? How is it done?
4.5.37 - I'm trying to find all six Turtles' Paradise flyers...
4.5.38 - Is there another way to get a Gold Chocobo aside from striking
a deal with the trader at Kalm town? I need some Chocobo breeding tips!
4.5.39 - How do I enter the 'secret' battle that Master Dio is
sponsoring at the Gold Saucer's Battle Square?
4.5.40 - Where can I get all the Materia Orbs in the game?
4.5.41 - How do I get the Huge Materia and Master Materia?
4.5.42 - Are there any Materia besides the ones listed above?
4.5.43 - How do I gain new Limit Breaks?
4.5.44 - Where are the Extreme Limit Break manuals located at?
4.5.45 - Where can I find my character's Ultimate Weapon?
         What makes the Ultimate Weapons so special?
4.5.46 - What are the Weapons? How do I defeat them?
4.5.47 - What do the greens and nuts do to my chocobos?
4.5.48 - What other neat things can I do with my materia?
4.5.49 - How do I perform that "unlimited money trick" that I've heard
about?
4.6 - SaGa I (USA: The Final Fantasy Legend)
4.6.1 - How do I get the Excalibur?
4.6.2 - Where is the Nuke Bomb?
4.6.3 - How do I solve Ryu-O's riddle on Floor 5?
4.6.4 - What's the best way to defeat Ashura?
4.6.5 - Where can I find a Board?
4.6.6 - How do I get through Sei-Ryu's Castle?
4.6.7 - What is the best weapon in the game, and where can I find it?
4.6.8 - Where did my glider go?
4.7 - SaGa II (USA: The Final Fantasy Legend II)
4.7.1 - Do I really need to conquer the Nasty Dungeon?
4.7.2 - What do I do in Venus's World?
4.7.3 - What do I do with the Masamune, Aegis, and Heart MAGIs?
4.7.4 - Where is the Seven Sword?
4.7.5 - How do I defeat Apollo?
4.7.6 - What are the best items in the game, and where are they?
4.8 - Final Fantasy Tactics
4.8.1 - How do I kill Gafgarion?
4.8.2 - How do I survive the battles at Riovannes Castle?
4.8.3 - How do I learn the Ultima spell?
4.8.4 - What does the "Secret Hunt" thief skill do?
4.8.5 - How do I get the secret character?
4.8.6 - How do I survive the battles at Limberry Castle?
4.8.7 - How do I get various jobs?
4.9 - Final Fantasy V
4.9.1 - There is a dead end in the Valley of the Dragons...
4.9.2 - How do I defeat Bahamut or any of the other difficult
near-end-game bosses?
4.10 - Final Fantasy VIII
4.10.1 - How do I get from Balamb to Timber?
4.10.2 - Where are all the GFs?
4.10.3 - Where is the White SeeD ship?
4.10.4 - How do I defeat Sorceress Adel?
4.11 - Final Fantasy IX
4.11.1 - Is this game ever going to be released for Windows, like Final
Fantasy VII and VIII were?

Section 5 - Frequently Asked Questions about Other Square Soft Games
5.1 - Chrono Trigger
5.1.1 - How do I defeat the Golem Twins?
5.1.2 - I'm at the Forest Ruins...
5.1.3 - How do I forge the Masamune?
5.1.4 - What do I do in the Northern Ruins?
5.1.5 - There's something in some chests in 600 AD which interfere with
the Pendant...
5.1.6 - My party is in the Falcon, and I've lost everything...
5.1.7 - What do I do with Fiona in 600 AD?
5.1.8 - What must I do to get the New Game + mode to be active on my
copy of the game?
5.1.9 - How do I remove the curse on Frog?
5.1.10 - How many secret characters are in this game?
5.1.11 - Are there any hidden weapons for my secret character?
5.1.12 - How do I defeat the Son of Sun?
5.1.13 - The Moon Stone is missing, and I suspect the greedy mayor has
it...
5.1.14 - What does the right telepod do?
5.1.15 - How many endings are in this game?
5.1.16 - There's a locked drawer in a house in Dorino...
5.1.17 - Gaspar says that someone needs my help, and to find that person
fast...
5.1.18 - Does Ayla's weapon ever change?
5.1.19 - Can I get Schala to join my party?
5.2 - Seiken Densetsu III (not released in the USA)
5.2.1 - What do I do in the Black Market?
5.3 - SaGa Frontier
5.3.1 - What do I do next?
5.3.2 - How does magic work in this game?
5.4 - Parasite Eve
5.4.1 - Where can I find key XXX?
5.4.2 - What does Maeda's Gun do?
5.4.3 - What do the various weapon effects do to the weapons?
5.5 - Xenogears
5.5.1 - How do I defeat Calamity?
5.5.2 - How do I get a gear to perform combos?
5.5.3 - How do I get gear parts in Dazil?
5.5.4 - How do I defeat Redrum?
5.5.5 - How do I defeat Id?
5.5.6 - How do I defeat Shakahn's gear?
5.5.7 - How do I solve the puzzles in Anima Dungeon 2?
5.5.8 - Someone in the Snowfield Hideout wants the Kishin Sword...
5.5.9 - Does the "special options" gear menu actually do anything?
5.5.10 - Where can I find some more guns for Billy and Renmazuo?
5.6 - Brave Fencer Musashiden (USA: Brave Fencer Musashi)
5.6.1 - Where are the scrolls and crest guardians?
5.6.2 - OK, so where are the crests?
5.7 - Vagrant Story
5.7.1 - I took the FAQ's advice in article 4.1.1, but I'm still getting
wasted...

Section 6 - Secrets of the Games
6.1 - Final Fantasy I
6.1.1 - The Pirates' Puzzle Game
6.1.2 - In the Hall of the Giant King
6.1.3 - More Mega Monsters
6.1.4 - The Magic Map Trick
6.1.5 - Coneria's Invisible Man
6.2 - Final Fantasy IV (not released in the USA)
6.2.1 - The Programmer's Room
6.3 - Final Fantasy IV Easytype (USA: Final Fantasy II)
6.3.1 - Item Duplication Trick
6.3.2 - The Mighty Spoon, the ultimate weapon in the universe?
6.3.3 - The Man on the Moon
6.3.4 - Secret Weaponry
6.4 - Final Fantasy V
6.4.1 - The Hero's Song
6.4.2 - Gogo's Secret Job
6.5 - Final Fantasy VI (USA: Final Fantasy III)
6.5.1 - Secret Chocobo Stables
6.5.2 - Carrie Fisher, meet Celes Chere
6.5.3 - Unlimited experience, unlimited money, 99 potions
6.5.4 - Another Atma Weapon & Ragnarok Sword?
6.5.5 - Alternative Blitz Commands
6.5.6 - Free inns - why buy your mattress anywhere else?
6.5.7 - Returners' Hideout: Gauntlet or Genji Glove?
6.6 - Final Fantasy VII
6.6.1 - Ace the Chocobo Race
6.6.2 - Reset the game without having to sit through the PlayStation
startup
6.6.3 - All 7 Fever
6.6.4 - Chocobo Racing: To the winner goes the spoils
6.6.5 - Unlimited Items
6.7 - Chrono Trigger
6.7.1 - Reset the game without touching the reset switch
6.7.2 - Changing character names
6.7.3 - Secret Triple Techs
6.7.4 - The Super Secret ROM file (PSX versions only)
6.8 - Seiken Densetsu II (USA: Secret of Mana)
6.8.1 - Mana weapons without Mana magic
6.9 - Secret of Evermore (not released in Japan)
6.9.1 - Unlimited stamina
6.9.2 - Secret alchemy recipes
6.10 - Highway Star (USA: Rad Racer) and Rad Racer II
6.10.1 - Continue a stage
6.10.2 - Hidden stage select
6.10.3 - Skip to the end
6.11 - The 3D Battles of World Runner
6.11.1 - Continue a stage
6.12 - SaGa I & II (USA: The Final Fantasy Legend I & II)
6.12.1 - Sound Test
6.13 - Final Fantasy Tactics
6.13.1 - Square Parodies
6.14 - Einhander
6.14.1 - Secret Weapons
6.14.2 - Secret Special Bonuses
6.14.3 - Secret Einhanders
6.15 - SaGa Frontier
6.15.1 - The Programmer's Room
6.15.2 - Lots and lots of money
6.16 - Parasite Eve
6.16.1 - Second Scenario?
6.16.2 - One man's junk really is another man's treasure
6.16.3 - Toolkits and Wayne's Trading Cards
6.17 - Xenogears
6.17.1 - Alice's Wedding Dress
6.17.2 - The Big Joe Saga
6.17.3 - The Badge Treasure
6.17.4 - Midori's Ring
6.17.5 - Lots and lots of money
6.17.6 - Battling Secrets
6.17.7 - Shevat's Secret Treasure
6.17.8 - The Trader Card
6.17.9 - Emeralda's Growth Spurt
6.18 - Chocobo Racing
6.18.1 - Secret Course
6.18.2 - Secret Characters
6.19 - Vagrant Story
6.19.1 - Play it again for the first time


       +----------------------------------------------------+
       |*** Section 1 - Intro to alt.games.final-fantasy ***|
       +----------------------------------------------------+

* 1.1 - Welcome to alt.games.final-fantasy!

Welcome to alt.games.final-fantasy!

What, did you expect more in this article? (Read onward to find out what
we do here, why we do what we do here, and anything else that's not
covered by the two items I just mentioned.)

WARNING: This newsgroup contains subversive truths, absurd lies,
guerilla philosophy, and several very naughty words. Open mind before
reading.

So, gather around, everyone, and Uncle Nu will tell you a story...


* 1.2 - What is Final Fantasy?

"Final Fantasy" is a series of role-playing video games for the Nintendo
Entertainment System, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, and the Sony
PlayStation by Square Co. Ltd, a Japan-based video games company with
offices in the USA and maybe a few other countries as well.

The Final Fantasy series of games are among the most popular RPGs for
any video game or computer platform.

What makes the Final Fantasy series unique is how every game sequel uses
a different world from the game before it and different
this world, but usually maintains the same game engine, game play, and
some of the different kinds of items used in the games. And for those
people who think that video games are uneducational or rot young minds
away need look no further - the Final Fantasy series of games usually
contain items and characters taken out of either world history or
different mythologies. Even some of the characters and places in the
game have mythological functions to them.


* 1.3 - Does Square make any video games other than the Final Fantasy
series?

Of course. In fact, Square's first few games weren't RPGs - "Rad Racer,"
"King's Knight," and "The 3D Battles of World Runner" were their three
first games in the USA. These days, however, Square doesn't put out
anything much that's not an adventure game or RPG.

Some of these will be mentioned later.


* 1.4 - What can or can't be discussed in alt.games.final-fantasy?

Just about anything. In alt.games.final-fantasy, anything goes.

Actually, if you have a question about any Square game, you'll probably
get a better answer in one of the rec.games.video.* groups. For better
or for worse, alt.games.final-fantasy is rarely used for its original
purpose, which was to discuss Final Fantasy-related topics.

You'll probably get flamed, though, for trying to ask questions
pertaining to software piracy. You'll also be disliked greatly if you
don't have an open mind and a sense of humor.


* 1.5 - What is alt.games.final-fantasy.rpg?

It's essentially a dead newsgroup. Once upon a time, it was used by
participants in an online "writing RPG," which has now passed on.

The group was rmgrouped a very long time ago. However, seeing how no
Usenet servers accept rmgroup commands, it is still very widespread.


* 1.6 - What are alt.games.final-fantasy.hentai and
alt.games.final-fantasy.tech-support?

Both groups were created by Ahmed "X" Hassan as sub-groups of
increasingly popular trends on alt.games.final-fantasy.

The purpose of alt.games.final-fantasy.hentai is to act as a repository
for binaries containing "hentai" images of Final Fantasy & other Square
characters. "Hentai" is a Japanese word which generally means "pervert"
or "perverted," etc.

The purpose of alt.games.final-fantasy.tech-support is to discuss
technical problems with Square games - in other words, not necessarily
gameplay-related questions.

Both newsgroups are probably dead today (7/8/01).


* 1.7 - Didn't Square Soft go out of business?

This may seem like a ridiculous question, but it was a very true concern
back in 1996, when Square's US offices mysteriously closed down.

Truth can sometimes be stranger than fiction - Square Co. Ltd totally
reorganized their offices in the USA. Here's a summary of what happened:

Around October/November 1995, Square opened a new office in the Los
Angeles area, known as "Square LA". The purpose of the Square LA office
was (and still is) to work on high-end graphics for future Square games.

Square LA demonstrated their expertise in CG (computer graphics) by
creating a small demo on Silicon Graphics workstations. This demo
featured characters from Final Fantasy VI, and was completely animated
in 3D. Most people, including Nintendo Power magazine, assumed that
Square was showing off what could be a future Nintendo 64 title.

In early 1996, Square Soft (in Redmond, WA) released Secret of Evermore,
which along with Rad Racer II, was a game they had actually produced
themselves. (Previous games were all produced by Square Co. Ltd in
Japan, and released in the USA by Square Soft.) Shortly afterward, the
Japanese mothership shut down the Redmond division. At the same time,
Square Co. Ltd announced Final Fantasy VII - exclusively for the Sony
PlayStation (switch!).

This set sort of a panic on Final Fantasy fans in the USA. Although FF
VII would not be released for some time now, the question remained:
Would it be released in the USA? Square Soft had been shut down, and
Square LA was not equipped to port Japanese games. No one knew if the
title would be released in the USA or not. Moreover, what happened to
Nintendo? Square shocked the gaming world by abandoning Nintendo and
signing on with Sony. Some people had thought that this move was a
mistake. Some people still do.

Then, Sony Computer Entertainment America got involved: They published
FF VII in Japan, and reported that FF VII would be released in the USA.
They had yet to decide if it should be "modified" from the Japanese
version, but strong user feedback made Sony release the game uncut - for
the very first time - in the USA. (The first Square PlayStation game
released in the USA was Tobal #1, which contained a demo disc of FF
VII.)

Later on, Square Co. Ltd opened up a second Square Soft, located nearby
Square LA. They also set up a second CG shop, located in Honolulu. Thus,
"Square LA" became "Square USA, LA Division" and the Honolulu office
became the Honolulu division of Square USA. Square Soft's name remained
unchanged.

So, what happened to the original Square Soft? The employees either
moved to what was then Square LA, or they joined a new company, known as
"Big Rain". (Big Rain was founded by Ted Woolsey, the same person who
brought FF VI and Chrono Trigger to the USA.) Big Rain changed its name
to "Craveyard" at the end of 1997, and joined up with another company,
called "Crave Entertainment." After their one game, "Shadow Madness,"
tanked in US game stores, Craveyard is most likely no longer around.
According to GameSpot, Ted Woolsey isn't involved in games anymore.

But ever since Tomoyuki Takechi stepped down as Square's president in
early 2001, analysts are getting a little worried about Square again.
Square has spun off three other development groups (Sacnoth,
MonolithSoft, and Brownie Brown), spent over $100 million on the Final
Fantasy movie (and got a small fraction of that amount back in box
office revenue), and meanwhile watched as Final Fantasy IX sold less
copies than Final Fantasy VIII. Time will tell if they can recover.


* 1.8 - Why won't Square Soft release game XXX in the USA?

This is a hard question to answer. The truth is, though, that Square
Soft can only translate and release what Square Co. Ltd tells it to
translate and release.

Believe it or not, there are cultural differences between Japan and the
United States. What could be considered decent in Japan can be
considered "mature" in the United States, and vice versa. Square has
been notorious for holding back some games (eg. Xenogears) due to mature
themes that may offend American customers.

The other thing involved is economics. In the USA, role-playing games
don't sell well compared to action and sports games. What makes more
economical sense, to release a game in one area and sell millions of
copies of the game, or release generally the same game in another place
and only sell hundreds of thousands of copies?


* 1.9 - False Urban Legends about Square's Games (READ THIS!)

Usually, in alt.games.final-fantasy, when nothing else is happening in
the Square world and we've all practically exploited a game to its
fullest, the only thing we do to keep ourselves entertained is to make
up false rumors about the game.

Sometimes these have been fun to do, but unfortunately, some people
actually believe these false rumors, and as things turn out, we get
people asking for things that they've "heard were in the game," but they
really aren't there.

It's been requested that the original list of questions never to ask be
elaborated, so let's see a list of false rumors and realities (if
any)...

WARNING! There are some minor spoilers ahead!

Final Fantasy IV (II US):

Rumor: Palom and Porom can be unstoned in the full (PSX) version of the
game by getting an item called the "Basilisk's Eye."
Reality: There is no Basilisk's Eye item in any of the various versions
of Final Fantasy IV. There is also no possible way of unstoning Palom
and Porom. See article 4.3.1 for more information.

Final Fantasy V:

Rumor: An incompletely translated copy of Final Fantasy V was leaked
from Square several years ago and posted on the Web.
Reality: Actually, the translation that leaked was a fan translation
that was only halfway done. The translation group RPGe was working on
the translation, but an incomplete version of it was stolen from them
and posted on the Web with some other organization's name on it. The
unfinished fan translation has lots of lines that say "(fill in here)"
and have garbage battle command windows, etc. Unfortunately, reports are
coming in that the plagerized incomplete translated version of the game
is still circling around the 'net.

Final Fantasy VI (III US):

Rumor: There are colored chocobos, or chocobos of different sizes, in
the game.
Reality: The only chocobos in the game are the yellow ones at the
stables.

Rumor: General Leo can be revived.
Reality: Once General Leo is dead, he stays that way. There is a Game
Genie code that has a probability of changing an existing character into
Leo, but there is no way to revive him in the actual game.

Rumor: Doing some tasks in a different order, or top-secret tasks,
reveals a secret ending.
Reality: There is only one ending to Final Fantasy VI, although there's
several variations on that ending.

Rumor: Shadow has more than five dream sequences.
Reality: Shadow has no secret dream sequences to unlock.

Rumor: There is a way to play the game over again with all the
characters at their current levels, with most of the same inventory,
etc. like the "New Game +" feature in Square's Chrono games.
Reality: None of the Final Fantasy games have this feature.

Rumor: There exists more than two secret characters, including one
called "Akfek," etc.
Reality: There are only two secret characters in Final Fantasy VI, one
sasquatch and one mime, and no more than that.

Rumor: Secret Character #2 is actually Daryl (or some other NPC) in
disguise.
Reality: Secret Character #2's identity is a secret; there are
absolutely zero clues in the game that single out any NPC that it may
be. But there is no way that it could be Daryl. In the Japanese version
of the game, Secret Character #2 refers to himself as "ore" (pronounced
like "olay") which means "I" in Japanese, but the word "ore" can only be
used by men. And Daryl was not a man.

Rumor: Rydia and other Final Fantasy IV characters make guest
appearances in Final Fantasy VI.
Reality: None of the Final Fantasy IV cast of characters make an
appearance in Final Fantasy VI. The only character in a Final Fantasy
game that was grabbed out of one game and dropped into another was
Gilgamesh (FF V and VIII).

Rumor: The Atma Weapon, if thrown at Kefka, takes him down in one hit,
and says something like "too much damage to calculate" or something
similar.
Reality: This was a popular rumor, origin or intention unknown. It is
not true; the Atma Weapon does nothing other than regular damage if it
is thrown at Kefka.

Rumor: There is a way to uncurse the Cursed Ring and turn it into a
super-powerful Hero Ring.
Reality: Some people have reported that this works in very early prints
of the game, but for now, this should be treated as a rumor. It should
not happen in the PSX re-release of the game.

Final Fantasy VII:

Rumor: There is a trick to acquire unlimited money that involves a town
named "Manchuria."
Reality: There are no towns named "Manchuria" in Final Fantasy VII. None
of the town names in the North America and Europe versions of the game
from the original Japanese release. The rumor actually supposedly is
true for some other game, but some individual claimed it worked in Final
Fantasy VII, and the rumor mill went wild.

Rumor: The game was shipped incomplete; there were several important
things that Square took out of the game, and we should all flood Square
with mail demanding that they release the complete version of the game.
Reality: STOP IT! STOP IT! Most of these demands cite one Ben Lansing,
who more or less admitted that he fabricated his story about Final
Fantasy VII being incomplete. The game is as complete as it is ever
going to get, and no letter writing campaign will change that.

Rumor: There is a way to revive Aeris.
Reality: Not without a GameShark, there isn't. There is no way to revive
Aeris after the "incident" occurs, not with an Underwater Materia or
anything else. This is the #1 false rumor about Final Fantasy VII, it
has persisted ever since the game was released, and many people would be
glad if it would just go away.

Xenogears:

Rumor: Ramsus is a playable character who can be unlocked after
Omiomorph is defeated during disc 2.
Reality: This is another popular false rumor that was started as a joke
in a popular Xenogears secrets guide, but some people apparently did not
understand the joke and took it seriously.



* 1.10 - Square Soft Resources on the InterNet

Square Co. Ltd's Official Home Page:
http://web.square.co.jp/
Square Co. Ltd (in Japan) has their own official home page now present
on the World Wide Web. Too bad it's all encoded in JIS, so unless your
browser can decode Japanese characters, it's illegible. If not, and if
you can read Japanese, you might find something useful there, no one
knows...

RPGamer, or formerly known as "Square Net":
http://www.rpgamer.com/
Contains lots of information on everything about Square Soft - the
games, the company, the fans. Definitely worth a look. It has less
multimedia than the official Square Soft page, but has more
"underground" content.

The Arris Dome:
http://www.cris.com/~shelbyh/chrono/chrono.shtml
This site is Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross player's heaven: Lots of
useful and interesting information about the Chrono games, the
characters, the plot, etc. If you've played either of the Chrono games
before, you owe it to yourself to come here.

The Final Fantasy Compendium:
http://www.ffcompendium.com/
This fan site serves as a general dictionary to everything Final
Fantasy. It's worth a look for Final Fantasy newbies and veterans alike.

The Official Square Soft Home Page:
http://www.squaresoft.com/
Contains information about many of Square's games from Tobal #1 through
Chrono Cross.

PlayOnline:
http://www.playonline.com/
Contains information about many of Square's games from Final Fantasy IX
to present games.

GameFAQs:
http://www.gamefaqs.com/
This site carries less general, more precise FAQs covering a wide
spectrum of games. If you have a question about any game that isn't
answered in this FAQ, you can probably find your answer here.

Shinra Corporation:
http://www.shinra.com/
This is sort of a joke custom-tailored for Final Fantasy VII players.
Quick! Go visit it before Square finds out!

The Fridge
http://home.att.ne.jp/gamma/fridge/
The Fridge is the home page of Soraya Saga (Kaori Tanaka). While at
Square, she was involved in the design of Final Fantasy V and VI, and is
probably most famous for designing the characters used in Xenogears.
(Site has English, Spanish, and Japanese text)

Procyon Studio, Home of Yasunori Mitsuda:
http://www.procyon-studio.com/
Yasunori Mitsuda has written the soundtracks to a number of games;
including Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross, Xenogears, and Mario Party. He
has also produced some of the sound effects for Final Fantasy titles.
This link goes to his home page. (It's now available in English.)

Amano's World:
http://amanosworld.com/
This is the official home page of Yoshitaka Amano, the character
designer behind Final Fantasy I-VI and Final Fantasy IX. The site talks
about Amano's involvement with manga, Final Fantasy, and many of Amano's
other projects.

Final Fantasy - The Spirits Within:
http://www.finalfantasy.com/
This is the official home page for the Final Fantasy movie that was
released in theaters in the summer of 2001.


* 1.11 - Copyright, disclaimers, etc.

This FAQ is Copyright 1996-2000 by Nick Zitzmann.

DISCLAIMER #1: This FAQ is provided "as is" without any express or
implied warranties. I (Nick) have made every possible effort to make
sure that the information contained in this FAQ is correct, but in the
event that something is wrong, then I am not to blame.

DISCLAIMER #2: Neither I nor any of the participants of
alt.games.final-fantasy are in any way related to Square Soft or its
employees, etc. Everything here is unofficial to Square.

DISCLAIMER #3: The participants of alt.games.final-fantasy and myself
speak only for ourselves, not Square Soft or Nintendo or Sony or our
employers or any other related company.

DISCLAIMER #4: We live in a sick society if we have to have disclaimers
on everything... (That's what I think, at least.)

This FAQ is to go over some of Square Soft's games, answer questions,
etc. If you see anything missing from the FAQ, please send it to Nick
at: nickzman@eskimo.com


NOTE! BEFORE YOU SEND ME MAIL...
Please take the time to edit your post. Specifically, do not quote the
entire FAQ just to add a few lines worth of a response. If you're going
to send a generic reply to this FAQ, then it might just be better not to
quote at all. Thank you...

I accept mail from almost every non-rogue site.

I will not accept mail from these sites:
- Anything within the agis.net network (are they still around?)
- Any site with an invalid IP address, or messages with blank IDs
(Due to constant abuse and receiving nothing useful from these sites, I
will never read mail sent from them.)


NOTE FOR ANYONE ELSE WHO WANTS TO FOLLOWUP TO THE FAQ ARTICLE: The
Followup-To header has been purposely set to "poster" - if you did a
real followup, the post would also go to every UseNet newsgroup this FAQ
is posted to, including several moderated ones (alt.answers and
news.answers). However, some newsreaders out there are brain-dead and
will ignore the Followup-To line completely! If you followup to this
article, make **absolutely** sure that you are following up in E-Mail
only. Thank you.

The latest version of this FAQ will always be always be available via
FTP:
<ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet-by-group/>
(This FTP server is the official repository for UseNet FAQs. The most
current version can usually be found here several days after it's
posted.)

Feel free to do the following with the FAQ:
- Read, share, and enjoy. <8*)
- Distribute the FAQ as long as Article 1.11 and my copyright are
present.
- cite bits and pieces of the FAQ, as long as you make it clear that
you're citing a piece from the alt.games.final-fantasy FAQ.
- If you can fill in an empty part of the FAQ, let the maintainer know.

You may **NOT** do the following to the FAQ:
- Sell or otherwise commercially distribute this FAQ for or not for
monetary purposes without the explicit written permission of the author,
except for downloading off commercial online services which charge.
- Post any part of the FAQ to any online service where, in its terms of
use statement, mentions that posted information becomes the property of
the hosting company.
- Plagerize the FAQ, create derivative copies of the FAQ, or distribute
the FAQ without Article 1.11 present. Please don't do this; the author
works hard to maintain the FAQ and doesn't want to get ripped off.

I and the many others (see article 1.13) who have contributed to the FAQ
have put a lot of time and work into this FAQ. As the maintainer of the
FAQ, I expect all the readers to follow the guidelines above when
dealing with the FAQ. If you don't agree with those guidelines, you must
stop reading this FAQ and destroy any copies you might have made now.

This copyright statement is subject to change without notice, and
applies to all past & present versions of the FAQ.


* 1.12 - Changes History

The version history was last wiped in version 1.9.1 of the FAQ.

Version 1.9 (11/4/00):
- Parasite Eve II has been added to section 3.
- The sizes of all the Final Fantasy games have been added to article
4.1.7.
- The "death chart" in article 4.1.6 has also been updated.
- As usual, the glossary has been updated.

Version 1.9.1 (11/20/00):
- Now that Final Fantasy IX is out, large parts of this FAQ have been
updated to contain information about the newest game out there.
- The glossary has been updated again. It just never ends!
- The URLs have also been updated.
- It's been a while since the version history has been cleaned out, so
it's beend done in this release.

Version 1.9.2 (1/8/01):
- There are a number of new glossary updates once again.
- By popular request, article 4.10.4 has been written about defeating
Adel in FF VIII.

Version 2.0 (7/8/01):
- OK, your FAQ maintainer was suddenly motivated to update this thing
after letting it rest for half a year. It must have had something to do
with the fact that Final Fantasy IV has finally been officially released
in its full, uncensored form in North America. As Square Soft themselves
put it, it's about time!
- Several old, obsolete articles have been rewritten or updated.
- Now that there are _five_ different versions of Final Fantasy IV
floating around out there, new article 4.3.16 attempts to classify the
five versions into two categories, "original" and "easytype."
- Some of the URLs in article 1.10 have been updated.
- There are several new glossary items here. Keep these updates coming,
folks! Your FAQ maintainer is trying his part, too.
- Something of a background has been written for Legend of Mana.
- Background is now included for Front Mission and Final Fantasy
Chronicles.
- Added new spaces for All-Star Pro Wrestling and Final Fantasy
Chronicles.
- Updated some of the Final Fantasy IV and Chrono Trigger content to be
consistent with the PSX versions of the games.
- Added a new hint for the PSX release of Chrono Trigger (thanks to Zach
Keene).
- Moved Vagrant Story hints from article 4.11 to 5.7 for consistency
reasons. Not sure why it was in section 4 in the first place.
- Added the single most asked question ever about Final Fantasy IX to
article 4.11.

Version 2.0.1 (9/11/01):
- Several URLs to other Square-related sites have been updated or
deleted.
- The glossary, as usual, is slightly updated.
- Since it's been requested that the FAQ be more comprehensive about
false rumors, article 1.9 has been rewritten to more extensively cover
Square urban legends. We suggest everyone reads it. Now.
- A few minor changes here and there that probably aren't worth
reporting...

Version 2.0.2 (12/30/02):
- Acknowledged the release of a new Final Fantasy game, Final Fantasy X.
- Updated some parts to discuss the FF animated movie, Final Fantasy:
The Spirits Within.


* 1.13 - Thank You's and Other Acknowledgements

The author would like to thank these people for their help:

- David Powell (David_Powell@brown.edu) for stories and information
about Seiken Densetsu/Final Fantasy Adventure and SaGa III.
- Nicholas Yarymowich (ax164@FreeNet.Carleton.CA) for making a list of
Chrono Trigger endings.
- Tatsushi Nakao (Tatsushi.Nakao@Colorado.EDU) for stories and
information on Rudora no Hihou.
- Chris Killam (logain@atcon.com) for providing information about FF IV
rare items.
- Aki K. Seiya (seiya@ix.netcom.com) for information about the story of
Seiken Densetsu III and info about the Black Market in the same game.
- Rob Vanatta (rvanatta@calweb.com) for the Secret of Evermore story.
- My 11th grade Mythology teacher, who taught me a lot of the stuff you
see in the Final Fantasy Glossary below. <8*)
- D.J. Green (nebulosa@best.com) for the Final Fantasy V story.
- Io (mc3488@mclink.it) for the Final Fantasy Mystic Quest story.
- Laurence Hartje (lhartje@primenet.com) for mentioning a tip about the
Son of Sun in article 5.1.
- Dan Posluns, for contributing stories for Breath of Fire and Breath of
Fire II, as well as some information about SaGa/FFL III.
- Ian Kelley (ikelley@mail.sas.upenn.edu) for making several
contributions to the Romancing SaGa stories and pointing out a few other
things.
- Gordon Kam (ckam002@cs.auckland.ac.nz) for the Bahamut Lagoon story.
- Alan Kwan (tarot@netvigator.com) for the Hanjyuku Hero story.
- The list of FF VI/III Colosseum items was originally by Albert Calis
(aka the All-Mighty Bill, d040963c@dc.seflin.org).
- Kao Megura (cgfm2@hooked.net) was the author of articles 4.5.4 through
4.5.45, as well as article 4.5.48. He also recommended the strategies
mentioned in article 4.5.47. Wow! That's a lot of FAQs answered. Thanks,
Kao, and good job!
- Arlo (ajkristo@students.wisc.edu) for submitting some info about FF
II.
- NF (naavaash@rocketmail.com) for submitting some info about Parasite
Eve.
- Zach Keene (zjkeene@bellsouth.net) for some help with Einhander and
the origins of "Seibzehn".
- Ace Jayce (glasswalker@ax.apc.org) for information regarding the four
SaGa monsters.
- Zak Gillman (zg317598@oak.cats.ohiou.edu) for providing information
about the Leviathan.
- The home page of Ohara, Japan, home of Miyamoto Musashi,
<http://www.harenet.or.jp/ohara/>, for information used in the glossary
items about Musashi and Kojiro.
- Larry Leow (chickenno1@hotmail.com) for some insight to the origins of
Fei in Xenogears.
- Some of the foreign words in the glossary were confirmed using
AltaVista's translation services at <http://www.altavista.com/>.
- Matthias Lambrecht (mlambrecht@handshake.de) for lots of information
about Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon, Xenogears, and Final Fantasy III.
- Neal Wilson (wilcafe@execpc.com) gets the credit for the "open mind
before reading" paragraph in the article 1.1.
- NightShade (Mario.Laubacher@span.ch) and RPGamer for information
regarding Quetzalcoatl, Minotaur, Gato, Gaia, Nouvelle, and Carbuncle in
the glossary.
- Richard Healey (rhealey@bu.edu) for some help with the origins of
Genji, Id, Anima/Animus, and the real amount of damage which the Aire
Tam Storm attack in FF VII is capable of doing.
- Dan Szymborski (czerny@mindspring.com) for providing insight into the
origins of Andvari and Asura.
- The information about Cid in the glossary mostly came from
Encyclopedia Brittanica (<http://www.brittanica.com/>).
- Credit for the information about the changes between the Japanese and
USA releases of Final Fantasy VIII goes to Yuzu-chan (YuzurihaX@aol.com)
and Musashi (kirei_musashi@team-rocket.net).
- The information about Crescens, Dora, Zeal, and Zeboim in the glossary
came from the Catholic Encyclopedia
(<http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/>).
- Jon Niehof (jnieho38@calvin.edu) for providing some extra information
about changes in Final Fantasy VII.
- Ken Arromdee (arromdee@rahul.net) for confirming those Xenogears city
names were from the Hebrew calendar, and for the suggestion to move some
content around...
- Danos (danos2@theglobe.com) for pointing out an alternate use of the
word "Carbuncle."
- The Dome of the Sky (<http://walt.stcloudstate.edu/Dome/>) is the
source for Regulus in the glossary.
- Chris Foley (chris.foley@sourcesmith.com) for pinpointing the location
of the real-life Ogopogo.
- Daniel Orner (omegaonyx@geocities.com) for submitting glossary
information for the anima relics, Aphel Aura, Ether, Kadomony, Malakh,
Soylent, and Zephyr. He also pointed out the reference to Zeboim.
- Richard Dare (richarddare@netscapeonline.co.uk) for submitting
glossary information for Ifrit, Seraphim, and information about Front
Mission.
- Jay Decator (DECATJR@aol.com) for submitting glossary information for
Heidegger.

Also, thanks to everyone who has submitted minor changes and typo
reports. You know who you are!


* 1.14 - The Ultimate Final Fantasy Glossary

This glossary covers many of the acronyms, etc. used in this FAQ & the
alt.games.final-fantasy newsgroup, as well as some other things found in
Final Fantasy games.

(NOTE: In the glossary, when referring to Final Fantasy games, I'm using
the Japanese sequel numbering, not the American numbering. For a
conversion table between the two, please read article 4.1.3.)

FF: Short for "Final Fantasy".

NES/DMG/SNES: NES is an acronym for "Nintendo Entertainment System," DMG
is "Dot Matrix Game Boy," and SNES is "Super Nintendo Entertainment
System". These are the American names of Nintendo's products. (They're
called "famicoms" in Japan.)

CT: Short for "Chrono Trigger".

PSX: Short for "PlayStation". The extra letter comes from its
development name - the PlayStation started out as an experimental CD-ROM
drive for the SNES back when Nintendo announced that they would use
CD-ROM technology in their products. Nintendo backed out of the deal
during the development, so Sony ended up releasing the PlayStation as a
stand-alone system.

SoM/SD: Short for "Secret of Mana". (SD is short for "Seiken Densetsu,"
or "Legend of the Holy Sword" in English.)

HP: Hit Points. In most RPGs, the characters hit point amount determines
how much physical damage they can take before they get taken out of
commission.

MP: Magic Points. Characters who cast magic spells use these for their
energy when they cast the spells.

GP: Can be either Gold Points, or Gold Pieces. They are the units of
currency in most of Square's games.

Achtzehn (from Xenogears): "Achtzehn" is a German word, meaning
"eighteen". It most likely represents the eighteenth step in the Hebrew
sephiroth, which refers to the world of humans. (See "Sephiroth" and
"Seibzehn".)

Aegis Shield (from various FF games): Athena (Minerva's Greek
equivalent) used this shield in battle.

Aeris/Aerith (from FF VII): The word "Aerith" is a derivative of the
word "Earth". (See "Terra".)

Aire Tam Storm (from FF VII): The word "Airetam" is the word "Materia"
spelled backwards.

Alpha and Omega (from Xenogears): The opening quote from Xenogears came
from a quote from the new testament, from Apocylapse/Revelations 22:13:
"I am the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the
end."

Alexandr/Alexander (from FF VI & VII): Alexander was named either after
King Alexander of Macedonia, or Tsar Alexander I of Russia. The former
conquered all of the known world in the 4th century BC, and had several
cities made in his name (such as Alexandria, Egypt). The latter was the
tsar who helped Britain end the reign of Napoleon I in France during the
19th century. Judging by the summoned monster's Russian architecture,
Alexander was most likely named after the latter of the two...

Andvari (from Xenogears): Andvari was a dwarven character who appeared
in an Icelandic epic story, the Volsunga Saga. In the story, Andvari had
a horde of gold which was taken from him by the giant/trickster god,
Loki. (See "Fenrir.") After his gold was stolen, Andvari cursed the gold
as well as anyone who received it.

Anima/Animus (from Xenogears): The Anima is Karl Jung's feminine aspect,
while the Animus is Jung's masculine aspect. Both represent respectively
feminine and masculine traits in human behavior.

Anima Relics (from Xenogears): Xenogears's anima relics were named after
ten of the original twelve tribes of Israel: Reuben, Simeon, Levi,
Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, and
Benjamin. Actually, one of the anima relics, Dinah (which replaces
Benjamin on the list), is named after the daughter of Jacob.

Aphel Aura (from Xenogears): "Aphelah" is the Hebrew word for darkness,
and "ora" is the word for light. But when the genders are switched
around on the two words, they become "aphel" and "orah," meaning a
change from darkness to light.

Asura/Ashura (from SaGa/FFL I, SaGa II/FFL II, and FF IV): The Asura is
from Indian (Hindu) mythology, and literally means "those who were
denied ambrosia". The legend says that the father god, Brahma, married
the goddess Shatarupa and created two races of people, the Daityas and
Adityas. Both races working together extracted the essence of
immortality from the seas, but the Adityas kept the essence to
themselves. The Daityas then became the gods' enemies, and became known
as Asuras. According to the story, the Asuras' conflicts with the gods
then became the origin of all conflict.

Aveh, Kislev, Nisan, and Shevat (from Xenogears): All of the major
cities in Xenogears (except for Solaris) were named (loosely) after the
Hebrew names for months, taken from the Bible. This includes Tammus,
which was called "Thames" in the USA version of Xenogears (see
"Thames").

Ayla (from Chrono Trigger): Ayla's name, story, and physical description
were derived from a character by the same name in the 1980 novel "The
Clan of the Cave Bear" by Jean M. Auel. In this novel, a natural
disaster causes Ayla to leave her home and eventually be taken up by the
Clan of the Cave Bear, a clan in which she works her way to the top and
ends up becoming humanity's future.

Behemoth and Leviathan (from a number of FF games): In Judaism, before
God created the void, there were two demons: The demon of earth
(Behemoth) and the demon of water (Leviathan). These demons are said to
exist even to this date. ("The Leviathan" was also the title of a book
by Thomas Hobbes, a philosopher of the 17th century who believed very
strongly in an absolute monarchy.)

Beowulf (from FF Tactics): The story of Beowulf is told in a traditional
Nordic epic poem. Beowulf, according to legends, helped King Hrothgar
rid his territories of a monster named Grendal, and Grendal's mother.
After doing so, he returned to his homeland where he reigned as king.
When a dragon was awakened in his homeland, though, he was expected to
defeat it. He wins, but dies after the battle.

Bismark (from FF VI): Bismark was probably named after Otto von
Bismarck, a Prussian chancellor who united all of the German states
(except Austria) into one unified German country in the 19th century. He
is most famous for saying that "nations aren't formed out of speeches
and compromises, they are formed out of blood and iron."

Black Cauldron (from FF VII): Hades's attack, "Black Cauldron," comes
from Celtic mythology & traditional stories. The Black Cauldron, as
defined by the Celts, was a magic cauldron which could re-animate the
dead if their bodies were boiled inside the cauldron. A popular
retelling of the story of the Black Cauldron can be found in the second
book of Lloyd Alexander's Prydain Chronicles, called "The Black
Cauldron". (The whole Prydain Chronicles is based on Celtic mythology.)

Brigandier (from Xenogears): "Brigand" is another word for "pirate".

Cain/Kain and Abel (from FF IV and Xenogears): In the Old Testament,
Cain was one of the original sinners, who broke the commandments when he
slew his brother, Abel.

Carbuncle (from every FF game after FF VI): A carbuncle is a skin
inflammation filled with pus, as well as another name for a red gem.

Cecil (from FF IV): We'd like to imagine that Cecil was named in honor
of Cecil Fielder, an American Baseball player who played one season on
the Hanshin Tigers in Japan before coming back to the USA to play on the
Detroit Tigers (and on his first season back he hit a whopping 51 home
runs, thus dominating the major leagues). Probably not, though.

Celes (from FF VI): Celes probably got her name from the Roman goddess
of grain and harvests, Ceres ("Demeter" in Greek mythology). According
to Greek myth, Ceres's habits and work schedules were what caused
seasons to happen - her daughter, Persephone, was taken by Pluto to be
his wife. Jupiter would allow Persephone to be with Ceres half of the
year (between late March and early September) and be with Pluto the
other half; therefore, when Persephone was with Ceres, she would be at
work and crops would prosper, and when Persephone was with Pluto, Ceres
would confine herself to mourning and crops would be affected. Thus, the
seasons are created - Spring and Summer when Ceres is at work, and Fall
and Winter when Ceres is sequested in mourning.

Chaos (from FF I): In Greek/Roman mythology, before anything, there was
nothing but Chaos, where everything was mixed together. Then, out of
Chaos came Gaia (Earth), and then Uranus (the sky), and thus, Order came
from out of Chaos. This is where we get words like "chaotic," which
basically mean "disorganized". In FF I, however, Chaos is portrayed as
the ultimate evil, which is not necessarily true every time. (See
"Gaia".)

Cid (from almost every FF game): It's most likely that Cid was named
after Rodrigo Diaz (1043-1099), aka "El Cid", a national hero in Spain's
Castile region. As a military leader, Cid never lost a battle, and won
victories for both the Christians and Muslims inhabiting Spain at the
time. After switching alliances several times, Cid managed to take over
the rich kingdom of Valencia, which he ruled until his death. His legend
was documented in an 11th century poem, called "The Song of Cid", as
well as the 1637 play "Le Cid" by Pierre Corneille.

Cloud (from FF VII): A bunch of suspended particles which appear in a
planet's atmosphere. On Earth, for instance, clouds contain suspended
water particles. (You've always wanted to know that, right?)

Cockatrice (from just about every Square game, really): It is said in a
legend that, when the moons are just right, a chicken somewhere will lay
an egg. On that night, a snake will appear and curl itself around that
egg. When the egg hatches, a fearful monster called a "Cockatrice"
emerges from it. The monster, half bird and half snake; has the powers
of the Gorgon, and can turn people into stone just by people looking at
them.

Crescens (from Xenogears): Saint Crescens was a companion of Saint Paul
during the early years of Christianity. Crescens was supposedly a bishop
of Galatia (now modern-day Turkey), according to the New Testament, and
is listed as one of the seventy disciples of Christ by the
Pseudo-Dorotheus.

Crono (from Chrono Trigger): Taken from the word "Chronos," which refers
to simple wristwatch time. That leads into things like Chronologies
(history, time by time) and Chronic (occurring and getting worse over a
period of time).

Crusader/Jihad (from FF VI): The Crusades were a series of major wars
fought during Europe's middle ages (around 1000-1200 AD) against the
Muslims, who had invaded the Byzantine Empire, which included Israel
(the Jews' and Christians' holy land). The Crusaders were the people who
fought in any of these wars. In the end, though, the Muslims won the
Crusades by taking over the Byzantine Empire, and turning it into the
new Ottoman Empire (which lasted until the end of World War I). (Note:
"Jihad" literally means "struggle" in Arabic.)

Cyrus (from Chrono Trigger): Cyrus was named after Cyrus the Great, who
was probably the most famous among the kings of the Persian Empire.

Dora (from Xenogears): Dora was named after a town dating from Biblical
times in the Middle East. It's still inhabited today.

Eden (from FF VIII): The Garden of Eden, mentioned in the Old Testament,
is according to the Testament the birthplace of humanity. The Testament
tells a story about Adam, a human made out of the likeness of the
Jewish/Christian God, and Eve, created out of Adam. They were also the
parents of Abel and Cain (see "Cain/Kain").

Einhander (from Einhander): Einhander (pronounced: EYE-n-HEN-DER) is a
German word meaning "one-handed".

Elixir (from various Square titles): An "elixir" is an old fashioned
medicine that used alcohol.

Elru (from Xenogears): "Elru" sounds suspiciously like "Elul," which is
the name of yet another Hebrew calendar month. (See "Aveh".)

Ether (from Xenogears and various FF games): Ancient Greek scientists
once proposed that the "ether" is the substance from which all matter
was permeated.

Excalibur/Xcalber (from every single FF game & then some): In the
Arthurian legend, once Arthur had lifted the sword out of the stone &
thereby becoming the King of the Britons, Merlin directed Arthur to a
magical lake. Within the lake was a lady (the "Lady of the Lake"), who
granted Arthur a mighty sword named Excalibur. Once Arthur had died, the
Lady of the Lake took the sword back.

ExDeath/X-Death (from FF V): ExDeath is just short for "Exceeding
Death". Wow! Wasn't that short?

Fatima (from Xenogears): "Fatima" is a word that has several meanings in
different religions. For one, Fatima was one of the daughters of Islam's
Prophet Muhammed, and the mother of the early Caliphs of Islam. Fatima
is also the name of a town in Portugal, a region that was partially
Islam before Ferdinand and Isabella's reign of Spain began. It was in
Fatima, Portugal in 1917 that three shepherd children, Lucia, Francisco,
and Jacinta, spotted a vision of the Virgin Mary, who told them three
things. One of these things she told Lucia was a prediction that, if
Russia turned to communism (Russia had two revolutions occur in 1917,
the first was the overthrow of the tsar, and the second was the
Communist Revolution), it would spread many errors across the world.
(For more information, read:
<http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20000626_message-fatima_en.html>)

Fei (from Xenogears): Fei's "proper name," Wong Fei-Fong, is derived
from the Chinese folk hero Wong Fei-Hong. The real-life Fei was a
practitioner of medicine and quite possibly a Kung Fu master who
supported the Westernization of China during the late 19th-early 20th
century. Empress Tzu-Hsi, the second to last ruler of China, feared that
foreign powers would demand her early retirement and had every attempt
at Westernization shot down.

Fenrir and Midgar Zolom/Terrato (from FF VI, FF VII, and Xenogears):
More Norse mythology. When Loki (one of the Aesir, but really one of the
Giants) mated with a giant, the Fenris Wolf (Fenrir) and the Midgard
Serpent (Terrato) were conceived. Both reached Asgard (the world where
the gods lived) sometime afterward. Odin promptly threw the Midgard
Serpent into the ocean, not realizing that the Midgard Serpent would
grow to be so tremendous that it would circle around the world several
times. As for the Fenris Wolf, he also grew up fast, and made all the
gods (except for Tyr) afraid of him - he had already broken several of
the chains, and there are entire stories to how the gods found a way to
permanently bound the Fenris Wolf. Unfortunately, while they were
bonding the Fenris Wolf, Tyr lost a hand, but the bond would hold until
Ragnarok (when the Fenris Wolf would break free and devour Odin). Loki
and his mate would also conceive Hel, who became ruler of the
underworld, and where Christianity gets its name for the Christian
underworld.

Flea, Slash, and Ozzie (from Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross): We'll
probably never know if this theory is correct, but it is believed that
this trio of fiends were all named after contemporary American hard
rock/heavy metal figures. Flea is, of course, one of the Red Hot Chili
Peppers; Slash was part of Guns 'n Roses; and Ozzie was probably named
after Ozzy Osbourne (of Black Sabbath fame). It should be noted that
these names were used only in the US release of the game; the characters
had different names in the original Japanese release.

Freya (from FF IX): Freya is the Norse goddess of beauty, and is the
rough equivilant of the Roman goddess Venus in Norse mythology (see
"Venus"). "Friday," or "Freya's Day," is named in honor of Freya.

Gaia/Gaeus (from Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross, and Legend of Mana): In
the Greek creation story, Gaia (the earth) emerged from out of Chaos.
Since then, the word has come to refer to the "mother Earth". It is also
the name of a theory formulated by chemist James Lovelock in 1972, that
hyphothosizes that Earth is like a living organism, and all life on the
planet are parts of the whole organism.

Gato (from Legend of Mana): "Gato" is a word that makes various
references to cats in Latin-based languages.

Gargoyles (from FF I and FF VII): Gargoyles are small statues, usually
fountainheads, which look like small dragons. In most fantasy RPGs,
gargoyles are animated versions of these statues.

Genbu, Seiryu, Byakko, and Suzaku (from various SaGa titles): These four
colorful animals were originally represented in oriental mythology.
Genbu (the turtle) represents earth, winter, and north. Seiryu (the
dragon) represents water, autumn, and west. Byakko (the white tiger)
represents wood, spring, and east. Suzaku (the phoenix) represents fire,
summer, and south. The four also appeared in two Japanese animes: "Yuu
Yuu Hakushou," where the four were supernatural beings the heroes had to
kill, and "Fujigi Yuugi," where they were animal gods representing
seasons.

Genji (from FF V and VI): The word "Genji" brings up some stories of
Japanese history. There was the world's first novel, "The Tale of Genji"
by Murasaki Shikibu, which told a story about a prince named Genji who
practiced poetry. In reality, though, the Genji (or "Minamoto,"
depending on how one reads the name's Kanji text) family created Japan's
first shogunate. An ancient Japanese tradition states that the shogun
was a blood relative of the Genji family, even if this was not the case.
(See "Shogun".)

Gilgamesh and Enkidu (from FF V and VIII): The Epic of Gilgamesh was one
of the very first epic tales ever told on historic record. Gilgamesh was
the king of the Sumerian city-state of Uruk, and was hated by the people
so much that the gods sent a man named Enkidu to challenge Gilgamesh to
a duel. Gilgamesh brought Enkidu to him, they fought, and in the end,
they emerged not as rivals but as best of friends. So when Enkidu died,
Gilgamesh set out to find the secrets of eternal life, even though a
wise sage named Utnapishtim warns him that there is no such thing as
"permanence". Gilgamesh eventually found a tree which would allow men to
live forever if he would only eat the fruit it grew, but on the way back
to Uruk, he loses the tree to a serpent. (The epic, as written, ends
there; but we're to assume that Gilgamesh died within a year of the
incident.)

Godfather (from Xenogears): This one-of-a-kind weapon was most likely
named after "The Godfather," a famous movie released in 1972 which was
written & directed by Francis Coppola and starred Al Pacino. The movie,
which at first appears to be about crime and the Mafia, is argued by
some to be a movie about a big family.

Guildenstern (from Vagrant Story): Guildenstern was named after a
character from one of William Shakespeare's tragic dramas, "Hamlet". In
the play, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are childhood friends of Prince
Hamlet, who switch associations between Hamlet and King Claudius.
Claudius uses the two to investigate the cause of Hamlet's madness, but
Hamlet picks up on the dual association after the two repeatedly blow
their cover later in the play. In the end, Claudius sends the two to
England to deliver a message requesting the execution of Hamlet should
he arrive in England, but Hamlet tricks them and swaps the letter with a
letter requesting the execution of both Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.

Gungir Spear (from SaGa/FFL II and FF VII): Odin's battle spear (see
"Odin").

Hades (from FF IV & VII): Hades, in Greek Mythology, was Zeus &
Poseidon's brother, and controller of the Underworld. (Note: Hades is
not an actual character in FF IV, but the King and Queen of Eblan make a
reference to him, or at least they do in the American version. Also, the
"Black" items for Cecil in the American version of the game were called
the "Hades" items in the Japanese version.)

Heidegger (from FF VII): Heidegger was most likely named after Martin
Heidegger, an early 20th century philosopher. Heidegger wrote that: "The
feeling of dread (Angst) brings the individual to a confrontation with
death and the ultimate meaninglessness of life, but only in this
confrontation can an authentic sense of Being and of freedom be
attained."

Heimdal (from Xenogears): Yet again, more Norse mythology. The Norse god
Heimdall was the keeper of Bifrost, a rainbow bridge which lead between
the world of the gods (Asgard) and the world of humans (Midgard). (See
"Midgar".)

Hermes (from SaGa/FFL I and SaGa II/FFL II): Hermes (aka "Tiw," or
"Mercury" in Roman mythology) was the Greek god of communication, and
the protector of the travelers. "Tuesday," or "Tiw's Day," is named
after Hermes.

Id (from Xenogears): Sigmund Freud, the father of modern psychology,
devised this important topic in psychology. Freud used the term to
represent human instinct; this includes survival instinct as well as
hunger, greed, reproduction, and destruction.

Ifrit/Jinn (from various FF titles and Chrono Trigger): An "Ifrit," or
"Ifritah," is a powerful version of a djini (or jinn, sometimes spelled
as "genie" in English). In pre-Islam Arabia, jinn were demons of the
desert with malformed animal forms, and were considered dangerous. After
the spread of Islam, jinn continued to exist as one of three created
intelligences: angels formed of light, jinn of subtle fire, and humanity
of the dust of the earth. In the later Islam formation, jinn only
appeared as forms of fire and smoke. Perhaps the most well-known story
about jinn is the story of Aladdin and the Magic Lamp, told by
Scheherezade as part of her "1,001 Arabian Nights" stories, where a poor
man named Aladdin found fame, fortune, and some adventure through a jinn
he found in a magic lamp.

Jabberwock/Jabberwocky (from SD II/SoM): "Jabberwock" is a creature
mentioned in Lewis Caroll's famous poem, "Jabberwocky". The poem's first
& last paragraph goes like this:
"'Twas brillig, and the slithy toevs
   Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
  All mimsy were the borogoves,
   And the mome rabs outgabe."
The Jabberwock, then, was a "monster" in this poem. The first RPG to
have a portrayal of a Jabberwock was Electronic Arts/Interplay's famous
RPG, "The Bard's Tale." In that game, the Jabberwock was portrayed as a
mighty two-headed dinosaur who guarded the Crystal Sword, an essential
item to finishing the game. Every Jabberwock appearance in every game
since then has been portrayed in a similar way, and Secret of Mana is no
exception.

Janus (from Chrono Trigger): In Roman Mythology, Janus is the god of
open doors and generally represents various opposites that we see in
life. Janus has no equivilant in Greek Mythology, making him a "unique"
god to the Romans.

Kadomony (from Xenogears): "Kadmoni" is a Hebrew word, meaning "the
first ever."

Knights of Round (from FF VII): The Knights of the Round Table, in the
original Arthurian legend, were King Arthur's main group of knights.
(See "Excalibur".)

Kraken (from FF I, FFA, and SaGa/FFL I): The kraken is a legendary sea
monster of northern seas. Not to be confused with the legendary Loch
Ness Monster.

Lavos (from Chrono Trigger): The idea for Lavos seems like it may have
been inspired by the infamous Cthulhu (pronounced "kuh-tue-lue"). In
"The Call of Cthulhu," by H. P. Lovecraft (a horror writer from the turn
of the 20th century), Cthulhu is an entity who sleeps silently below
ground. In the story, his awakening would spell the Apocalypse, as he
would rise and drain the world of all its natural resources.

Lich/DarkLich (from FF I, FF VI, FFA, SaGa/FFL I and SoM): A lich is a
dead body which has been reanimated by some strong source of magical
power.

Locke (from FF VI): Again, this is pure speculation, but Locke might
have been named after John Locke, a political commentator of the 17th
century. Locke was one of the philosophers who created what we call
"natural law" today, which basically means that he believed in reason
being the best government. Locke, unlike his peers, believed that
experience was the thing that brought us knowledge, and the environment
around us forms our minds.

Lucca (from Chrono Trigger): Probably named after a region of Italy, but
no one has any idea if that's right or not.

Malak/Malakh (from FF Tactics and Xenogears): "Malakh" is a Hebrew word,
meaning "angel."

Melchior, Gaspar, and Balthezar (from Chrono Trigger and Xenogears): In
Christianity, these three wise men departed to meet Jesus on the night
of Christ's Mass (Christmas).

Merkava (from Xenogears): In Judaism, Merkava is another name for the
chariot of God. It was described in Ezekiel 1:4 to 1:28: "And I saw,
and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, and a great cloud, and a
fire infolding it! And brightness was about it, and out of the midst
thereof, that is, out of the midst of the fire, as it were the
resemblance of amber. And in the midst thereof the likeness of four
living creatures [cherubs]: and this was there appearance. There was the
likeness of a man in them." ... "As the appearance of the rainbow when
it is in a cloud on a rainy day: this was the appearance of the
brightness round about."

Midgar (from FF VII): In Norse Mythology, Midgard was the realm of the
living, where all of the humans lived. Wrapped around Midgard is the
Midgard Serpent (see "Terrato"). Midgard will cease to exist after the
Day of Ragnarok (see "Ragnarok").

Minerva (from FF VI) and Arachnid (from FF I): Minerva was a Greek/Roman
goddess who was thought to be the foremost weaver the world had known,
until a skilled mortal named Arachne challenged her to a weaving
contest. So, Minerva accepted the challenge, and when she wove, she wove
a message out to Arachne to give up before something bad happened. But
Arachne didn't yield, instead, she wove up a design which directly made
fun of the gods. For her blasphemy, Minerva turned Arachne into a
spider, so she would go out and weave for the rest of her life. Today,
the words "arachnid," "arachnophobia," etc. come from the outcome of
this story.

Minotaur Brothers (from FF VIII): The Minoan Civilization, which existed
on Crete Island between 2600 and 1100 BC, became fascinated with stories
of humans with the heads of bulls. One such story said that the original
Minotaur was the son of King Minos, who was born with a bull's head and
lived out his life in the king's dungeons.

Mu/Void (from FF V): Mu was supposed to be a lost continent of sorts
that was rumored to exist somewhere around Polynesia. Because Mu has
been proven to not exist, just the word "Mu" has come to mean
"nothingness" or "nonexisting". "Mu" is also a Zen Buddhist principle
referring to nothingness, and has been incorporated into the Japanese
language to mean "nothing". (NOTE: There are characters in Chrono
Trigger who call themselves "Nu". These are totally different, and
shouldn't be confused with Mu.)

Masamune and Murasame (from most FF and SaGa/FFL games): The Masamune
and Murasame blades were made by two rival Japanese swordsmiths, who one
day competed against each other. Their swords were put into the water
for a period of time. Since leaves passed around the Masamune, but were
sliced by the Murasame, the Masamune won the competition. Since then,
the Masamune has been associated with holiness, while the Murasame has
been associated with curses.

Musashi and Kojiro (from Brave Fencer Musashiden): Both characters were
named after legendary Japanese samurai. Musashi was named in honor of
Miyamoto Musashi, a 17th century samurai, who used an original style of
fighting which involved a short sword and a long sword. Kojiro was named
in honor of Sasaki Kojiro, one of Musashi's opponents.

Nouvelle (from Legend of Mana): The French Gospel is called "La Bonne
Nouvelle", meaning "the good news". "Nouvelle" by itself can mean either
"new" or "news" in French.

Odin (from SaGa II/FFL II and every FF game after FF IV): In Norse
mythology, a giant cow which nourished the Frost Giant Ymir (before the
world was created) melted a curious block of ice one day, and the first
Norse Aesir, Bure, emerged from the block. Bure resisted Ymir, and
called upon his sons (who weren't born yet) to bring Ymir down. Ymir was
defeated, but Bure died in the battle. One of the surviving sons of Bure
was Odin, who then went forth and created Yggdrasil (the World Tree)
which linked Ymir's body (now called "Midgard," or the human world) to a
number of other worlds. For starting the creation of Yggdrasil and
fathering most of the Norse gods, Odin became the master god of all the
Norse Aesir/Vanir (who were the Norse gods). Today, we name our
Wednesday in honor of Odin. (See "Yggdrasil".)

Omega (from FF V and VIII): "Omega" is the last letter of the Greek
alphabet, and generally refers to the end of anything. (See "Alpha and
Omega".)

Ogopogo (from FF IV): Another sea monster! This particular one was
sighted in Lake Okanagan in Canada's British Columbia.

Quetzalcoatl (from FF VIII): Quetzalcoatl; in Aztec and Mayan
mythologies; was described as the winged-serpent god of human
sustenance, self-sacrifice, penitence, rebirth, and butterflies. The
Aztecs and Mayans believed Quetazalcoatl named all of their landmarks,
domesticated animals, established their priesthood, created fire, and
created music & dance. Quetzalcoatl was also believed to one day come
from the east and put an end to human kingship. As a result, the Aztecs
mistook the Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes as Quetzalcoatl, and
Cortes & his men proceeded to take down the Aztec empire & build Mexico
City in its place.

Ragnarok (from FF VI, VII, VIII, and Tactics): Yet another element of
Norse mythology. Ragnarok was the day when all the Norse gods and the
evil Frost Giants would meet in war (and unfortunately the Giants would
win). Due to the lack of gods, Yggdrasil would catch fire, and all the
worlds (including Midgard, the humans' world) would be scorched, making
Ragnarok a Norse version of an apocalypse. However, after a period of
darkness, several new entities (several sons of Odin and Thor) would
come out, restore Yggdrasil, and Midgard would flourish in a new world
of eternal peace.

Redrum (from Xenogears): Read it backwards, and it says "murder".

Regulus/Regrs (from Xenogears): "Regulus" is a Latin word, meaning
"little king". It is also the name of a star in the Leo constellation.

Renzokuken (form FF VIII): "Renzoku" is a Japanese word, standing for
continuity, and "ken" is the Japanese word for sword. Therefore,
"Renzokuken" means "consecutive sword."

Rosencrantz (from Vagrant Story): See "Guildenstern".

Rydia (from FF IV): Since the letters L and R are monophones in the
Japanese language, "Rydia" was probably directly named after the ancient
state of Lydia. Lydia was part of the Persian Empire (see "Cyrus"), and
its most famous leader, Croesus, initiated what became the Battle of
Marathon in Greece. Croesus was the richest man in the world in his day,
and is the origin of the seldom-used phrase "As rich as Croesus".

Seibzehn (from Xenogears): "Siebzehn" (note the spelling; the game's
spelling is incorrect) is a German word, meaning "seventeen". The number
most likely refers to the seventeenth step in the Hebrew sephiroth,
which refers to the beginning of the angel world. (See "Sephiroth" and
"Achtzehn".)

Seigfried/Sigurd (from FF VI and Xenogears): In addition to Beowulf,
Seigfried was another popular folk hero of the Norse. The legends say
that Seigfried was made invincible by bathing in the blood of a dragon,
but a leaf which fell into his bath left him with a weak spot between
the shoulders. Seigfried's story was retold in an opera by Richard
Wagner, in which each character had a theme song which would play
whenever a scene involved that character. This style of musical
presentation was applied initially in Final Fantasy IV, and has been
used in numerous other Square games since then.

Sephiroth (from FF VII and Xenogears): In Judaism, the "Sephiroth" is a
code of sorts, and the English word "cypher" comes from "sephiroth". The
word is Hebrew for "numbers," and have ten different aspects. The
Kabbalists (Jewish mysticists) believe that unlocking the Sephiroth is
the key to interpreting the scriptures from the bottom up, and thus
reaching Yhwh (God, Yahweh, Jehovah, etc).

Seraphim (from FF VI): In the Old Testament, the book of Isaiah tells us
about seraphim, supernatural beings who surround the throne of God
singing praises. They were given three pairs of wings: One for flying,
one to cover their feet, and one to cover their eyes (they couldn't look
at God directly).

Shiva (from FF IV through VIII): In Hinduism, Shiva is the god(dess) of
destruction. During his/her dance, when he/she beats on his/her drum,
one universe (out of many) is destroyed, and another one is made to fill
the void. (Maintainer's note: I've seen Shiva portrayed as either male
or female. The truth is out there...)

Shogun (from SaGa/FFL II): "Shogun" was the title awarded by Japan's
emperor to the samurai who, by their newly acquired title, then become
the military dictator of Japan. The line of shogun ruled Japan up until
the time of Prince Meiji in the late 19th century, who reformed the
nation and brought about the end of the shogunate.

Sleipnir (from SaGa/FFL II): Odin's eight-legged horse (see "Odin").

Soylent (from Xenogears): The word "Soylent" most likely came from a
science fiction book and movie, "Soylent Green," by Harry Harrison. The
book, set in the future, tells a story about a revolutionary new food
called "Soylent Green" which is made out of... people?

Stier (from Xenogears): "Stier" is a German word, meaning "bull". In
English, a "steer" is a castrated bull.

Terra/Tina (from FF VI): Terra is not only a feminine name, but also
refers to Earth. "Terra Firma," for example, is a word meaning "land".

Thames (from Xenogears): "Thames" is the name of a river and valley in
England.

Thanatos (from Secret of Mana): "Thanatos" is an Ancient Greek word,
meaning "death personified". (Thanks to sherlock@ksu.edu)

Tiamat (from FF I, FF VIII, and SaGa/FFL I): In Babylonian mythology,
Tiamat co-created the world with her husband, Apsu. Later on, Ea (the
god of wisdom) slew Apsu; and his son, Marduk, challenged Tiamat. Marduk
eventually slays Tiamat.

Toroia (from FF IV): This city may have been named after Troy, a city
belonging to the Persian Empire of ancient times, which was famous for
one particular woman. Troy was the site of the famous Trojan War, where
the Mycenaeans in Greece fought the Trojans over the capture of their
queen, Helen. (Helen is also known as "Helen of Troy," or "The Face that
Launched a Thousand Ships".) The Greeks won the Trojan War by use of the
famous Trojan Horse, which fooled the Trojans into letting them into
Troy.

Tower of Bab-il/Babel (from FF IV and Xenogears): It is said that during
the time of the Old Testament, a group of people were planning on
building a tower which would take them all the way up to God. When God
found about this, God made these people unable to communicate with each
other as a punishment, so the project was never executed due to the
people's failure to communicate with each other. (This tower might have
also inspired the Tower in FFL I and the Pillar of the Sky in FFL II.)

Ultima (from FF II, VI, VII, and VIII): "Ultima" was probably named in
part after Richard Garriot's "Ultima" series of PC RPGs. The first few
Ultima titles were published by Sierra On-Line, but everything after
that was published by Origin (which is now owned by Electronic Arts).
"Ultima" also means "last" in Latin.

Venus (from SaGa II/FFL II): In Roman Mythology, Venus ("Aphrodite" in
Greek mythology) was the Roman god of beauty. Needless to say, she was
one of the most popular of the Roman gods, but even she despised some
people, like a mortal girl named Psyche. Venus did have one child
(Cupid, a demigod of love in Roman mythology), and has also given her
name to the second planet from the sun in our solar system.

Vicks/Biggs and Wedge (from FF VI, VII, VIII, and Chrono Trigger): Biggs
and Wedge were two Rebel X-Wing pilots who fought side-by-side with Luke
Skywalker in the original Star Wars movie during the assault on the
Death Star. It's quite possible that the translator thought that Biggs's
name was "Vicks" and used that instead. (Note: The name was corrected in
FF VII.)

Vierge (from Xenogears): "Vierge" (pronounced: "VEE-eh-jhh") is a French
word, meaning "virgin". The name most likely refers to Jesus's mother in
the New Testament, Mary, who gave "virgin birth" to Jesus.

Weltall (from Xenogears): "Weltall" is a German word, meaning
"universe".

Xenogears (from Xenogears): The prefix, "xeno," means "alien" in ancient
Greek. The suffix, "gears," is used throughout the game Xenogears and
some other video games (ie. "Metal Gear") as meaning "robot". Hence,
"Xenogears" means "alien robot".

Yggdrasil (from Xenogears): In Norse mythology, Odin created Yggdrasil
as a world tree, which kept the world in balance. At the top of
Yggdrasil was Asgard (pronounced: "us-guard"), the home of the gods. The
bottom was Nifelheim (or Hel), the Norse afterlife. Between those realms
lay Midgard, the realm of humans and former body of the ice giant Ymir,
as well as separate realms to house the giants and other creatures. The
Norse legends predicted that Yggdrasil would be destroyed during
Ragnarok, but years after the incident, the survivors would come back to
live in a new world order of peace. (See "Odin," "Midgar," "Ragnarok,"
etc.)

Zeal (from Chrono Trigger): "Zeal" is an archaic term used to describe
eagerness, or in a religious context, love in action. It almost always
has to do with actions to promote an idea or religion, ie. taking
actions and creating works "by the love of God."

Zeboim (from Xenogears): The Bible's Book of Genesis mentions the sister
cities of Sodom, Gomorrha, Adama, Seboim (it can be spelled either way),
and Bala (sometimes also called Segor), which existed in an unknown
place around the time of Abraham. The cities were destroyed in Genesis
19:28 for their citizens committing a number of sins against God, and
their names have ever since been associated with acts of sin (ie.
"sodomy").

Zephyr (from Xenogears): "Zephyr" is an English word, meaning "mild
breeze."

Zohar (from Xenogears): The "Haz-Zohar," or the "Book of Splendor," is
one of the levels of the Jewish sephiroth. It was intended to give
insight symbolically into the inner life of God, whose symbols were
based on the Torah and Israel's life in exile, in order to provide a
cosmic-symbolic interpretation of Judaism and the history of Israel.
(See "Sephiroth".)


* 1.15 - I want to post the FAQ, too!
         Why is the FAQ being posted to newsgroup XXX?
         The FAQ is too big to post!
         Why don't you post the FAQ more/less often?

There's a little bit of misunderstanding among many of the people in the
alt.games.final-fantasy newsgroup.

This is an **official** UseNet FAQ. The maintainer noticed that there
was no official FAQ for this newsgroup, so he wrote one to answer many
questions that were asked repeatedly over and over again in the
newsgroup that everyone was getting tired of answering. After it was
written and posted it originally, it was then sent it to the UseNet FAQ
people at MIT to turn it into an official FAQ.

Because this is an official UseNet FAQ, there are some restrictions on
what can and can't be done with the FAQ:

1. No one but the FAQ maintainer can post the FAQ.

2. Changes in the FAQ header are extremely trivial. In order for the
maintainer to add or drop newsgroups, he needs to send mail to the FAQ
people and wait for them to approve of the change. FAQ maintainers can't
change the headers by themselves, they have to request and then be told
to do so.

3. The FAQ people are extremely backlogged in mail. It takes nearly a
month in order to approve of the changes.

4. The FAQ is posted once a week. If it was posted posted more often, it
would not only be a waste of bandwidth, but a nightmare to archive.
Since the FAQ is archived at an FAQ FTP server at MIT along with the
rest of the UseNet FAQs (ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet-by-group/), we
don't want to flood them with FAQs to archive.

As for the FAQ being too large to post, it depends on your newsreader.
Most newsreaders for Mac and Windows systems aren't especially graceful
with large articles, especially some Windows newsreaders which don't
allow custom headers. The FAQ is posted using plain old Inews on a Unix
host.


* 1.16 - I'd like to tell you about <something already in the FAQ>!
         Where can I find this <item already covered in the FAQ>?
         Why don't you add <something already covered in the FAQ>?

These kinds of questions are the most annoying received by the
maintainer. Please, folks, the maintainer doesn't want to hear another
thing about:
* how to defeat the MagiMaster in FF VI,
* where to find the rarest items in FF IV Easytype, and/or
* how to get vaguely mentioned secret characters in your party in any
game.

Just read the FAQ before you waste his and your own time asking any of
these kinds of questions or sending info about stuff that is already
covered. It's all there. Really.


* 1.17 - Can you send me a copy of this FAQ, or anyone else's FAQ?

Sorry, the maintainer is not a human FAQ server, nor does he ever want
to be. If you want a copy of the FAQ, please get it from any of the
abovementioned sources or read the weekly posting in the newsgroups.
Other FAQs can be found all over the WWW if you look in the right
places, such as the Unofficial Square Soft Home Page.

As for other FAQs, the maintainer doesn't have them, so he can't give
them to you...


* 1.18 - Why don't you just rip content out of other people's FAQs?
(Yes, this is a frequently asked question.)

That would clearly be a copyright violation. The maintainer needs
special permission from others to incorporate their work into the FAQ.


* 1.19 - My evil news administrators do not and will not carry the
alt.games.final-fantasy newsgroup. Can I still read/post messages there
and how?

If your news administrators refuse to carry the newsgroup (and you
asked, begged, and bribed with chocolate), you can still get it by using
either Deja.com to read & post news, or a commercial news service.

Google's UseNet Groups Service can be reached at
<http://groups.google.com/>. There is probably a list of commercial news
servers somewhere out there - try searching Excite
<http://www.excite.com/> or Yahoo <http://www.yahoo.com/> or some other
directory.


* 1.20 - Will there be any Final Fantasy games for future game consoles
other than the PlayStation 2 and WonderSwan?

That's actually a good question. While Square has usually dedicated
itself to one console at a time, the rumor mill says that Final Fantasy
XI may appear on more than one console. So far, though, nothing has been
announced about this.


* 1.21 - Will Square ever become a Nintendo third party again?

The simple answer: Not likely.

Sony has been bugging Nintendo about data storage on CD-ROMs compared to
the "game pak" and magnetic-optical drives Nintendo uses. CD-ROMs have a
limit of about 650MB of data, while Nintendo's MO drive with game
cartridges will only store up to 65,535K of data.

When Sony's Phil Harrison made this argument against Nintendo at the E3
expo in the summer of '97, he used an example: Final Fantasy VII. FF VII
uses about three CD-ROMs and would weigh in at 1.8GB of data (if every
CD was full), much of which was full-motion video. There's no way that
any Nintendo system could cram that much data into one game, unless
Nintendo took up either CD-ROM or DVD-ROM technology in the future.

George Harrison (no, not that George Harrison) of Nintendo's response:
He didn't care about Final Fantasy VII, because, according to him, "most
of their [Nintendo's] customers wouldn't want/appreciate such a slow and
tedious game such as Final Fantasy VII."

That's not the only reason why Square dropped Nintendo, though. The two
companies had a very long and turbulent relationship. For more
information, take a look at this URL:
<http://www.sol.no/games/psgamer/news0997/09019701.htm>

Some time in early 2001, Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi
announced that he would like to remake Final Fantasy IV through VI on
the Game Boy Advance, but Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamamuchi told the
press that this was not going to happen.


* 1.22 - How was this newsgroup created, anyway?

alt.games.final-fantasy was basically a happy mistake. The newsgroup
itself was created by some guy under the alias "Tom Servo" (aka "Big
Bob, Lord of Love") back in October 1994, a guy who added new alt groups
without discussing them first. alt.games.final-fantasy was one of the
groups that he created.

Although it was rmgrouped the same day it was created, it still became
fairly distributed among Usenet servers. Later on, another person,
Einexile, re-newgrouped the newsgroup in Febuary 1995. This time, the
newgroup was accepted as legit.

Here's a copy of the message which created this newsgroup, courtesy of
UUNET Communications:

Control: newgroup alt.games.final-fantasy
Newsgroups: alt.config
Path:
uunet!sparky!kwiudl.kwi.com!netcomsv!netcomsv!ix.netcom.com!netcom.com!tomservo
From: tomservo@netcom.com (Tom Servo)
Subject: cmsg newgroup alt.games.final-fantasy
Message-ID: <tomservoCx6pLn.GBL@netcom.com>
Sender: tomservo@netcom.com (Tom Servo)
Organization: NETCOM On-line Communication Services (408 261-4700 guest)
X-Newsreader: TIN [version 1.2 PL1]
Date: Tue, 4 Oct 1994 22:28:23 GMT
Approved: tomservo@netcom.com
Lines: 3
Xref: uunet control:1257731

-- 
"I do not have a beard, but my brother does."
--- Jim Collier

For those of you wondering about the existence of Tom Servo, he's still
alive and posting, just not necessarily in the alt.games.final-fantasy
newsgroup. (He has E-Mailed your humble FAQ author, stating that it was
nice to see alt.games.final-fantasy still running.)


* 1.23 - Where did the name "Final Fantasy" come from?

According to an early 1999 interview in Next Generation magazine, Final
Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi said that the game was named the way
it was because when the game was being developed, it was his last effort
to make a worthwhile fantasy game. Sakaguchi was also involved in the
production of previous Square games, such as Highway Star (aka "Rad
Racer") and 3D World Runner, and wasn't happy with the way either one of
them turned out.


           +--------------------------------------------+
           |*** Section 2 - The Final Fantasy Series ***|
           +--------------------------------------------+

* 2.1 - The Final Fantasy Series (Intro)

There are currently eleven Final Fantasy games - ten plus a variation on
Final Fantasy IV, and eight SaGa games. Eight of the ten FF games were
released in the USA; in the descriptors below it will be mentioned if
the game was released in the USA or not. The first three SaGa games were
released in the USA as "The Final Fantasy Legend," and are vastly
different from the regular Final Fantasy games.

The first three Final Fantasy games were released for the NES, the next
four were released for the SNES, the most recent three were released for
the Sony PlayStation, and all the SaGa/Final Fantasy Legend games were
released for the Nintendo Game Boy. All of the Super NES Final Fantasy
games have been republished for the PlayStation. Future Final Fantasy
games will be on the PlayStation 2.

The odd-numbered Final Fantasy games (I, III, V, VII, and IX) have a
relatively small cast of characters with a very large plot. The cast of
characters generally does not change for the length of the game.
Instead, the characters have various "jobs" which they can perform -
they can be a fighter, mage, thief, ninja, etc. all in one. In FF I, the
characters start out with fixed jobs but get promoted to better jobs
roughly halfway through the game, and in the others, the characters can
learn new jobs as they become available in their various methods.

The even-numbered Final Fantasy games (II, IV, VI, and VIII) have a very
large cast of characters with a plot which revolves around the character
development of each character. The cast of characters changes rapidly
for the length of the game - characters appear, disappear, come back,
and can not be changed for the most part. Each character performs one
single job which they stick to for the duration of the game, with the
exceptions of Cecil and Rydia's "promotions" in FF IV, how all of the
characters can eventually learn to use magic in FF VI, and FF VIII's
"junction" customization system.

Final Fantasy Tactics is a strategy game with a basically infinite cast
of characters. Otherwise, it is the same as the odd-numbered Final
Fantasy games.

The SaGa games (I, II, and III) have a single-person cast, and up to
three other party members to compliment this one person. The latter two
games include NPCs which can join the party for a small piece of the
storyline, then come and go as they please. The characters are jobless
and generic, so they can do whatever they want to do. Characters come in
the form of humans (generic characters), mutants (generic characters
with strong spellcasting abilities and four pieces of inventory
representing certain memorized spells), and monsters (who are friendly
to the party and can change into the forms of other monsters). The
latter two games also include robots (generic characters whose abilities
depend on what items you equip them with, and their items are recharged
at inns). SaGa III also has beasts (combinations of humans/mutants &
monsters) and cyborgs (combinations of humans/mutants & robots). Human
and mutant characters can be either male or female - the only difference
other than the character's appearance is the character's starting
statistics which tend to weigh more towards strength for males and
toward agility for females. And weapons have a limited life as well -
all weapons and items can be only used a limited amount of times before
they break and new ones must replace them. (More about the vastly
different Romancing SaGa and SaGa Frontier games in the next section.)


* 2.2 - Final Fantasy Games for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)


* 2.2.1 - Final Fantasy I (USA: Final Fantasy I)

Playable characters: N/A (characters are created by the player)

NPCs: N/A

It is a dark time for the Kingdom of Coneria. The world had been kept
functioning and intact by four prevailing elemental powers - Earth,
Fire, Water, and Air. But now, fertile valleys are turning into useless
clay, the world's volcanoes are threatening to erupt uncontrollably and
unpredictably, the ancient Sea Shrine has been invaded and once-peaceful
marine life has turned against seagoers, and the Sky Warriors of Lefein
have lost their prize possession - the Sky Castle - to monsters with
control over the skies. It looked like the world was falling apart
uncontrollably, until a wise sage named Lukahn told the King about the
Prophecy of the Light Warriors - in times of terror, four Warriors would
appear, and they alone would set things straight again. Princess Sara
heard about this, and left the castle to find the Light Warriors
(unfortunately, she never returned). One day, though, some time after
the Princess's disappearance, a group of four showed up at the gates of
Coneria Castle, and each one of them held a darkened Orb. You control
the Light Warriors, and you must lead them on a quest to return light to
the Orbs and gain elemental powers back to where they belong. Did I
mention reality's fate depended on you and you alone? Good luck.

Final Fantasy I is the game that started it all. It was vastly different
from any other RPG available for the NES, as well as being one of the
best RPGs in its time. Although this game lacks many things that were
added to future Final Fantasy games - like Chocobos, for instance - it's
still a great game to play over and over again. It's pretty long, too,
for an NES game.


* 2.2.2 - Final Fantasy II (not released in the USA)

Playable characters:
Frionel, Guy, Maria, Lionheart, Minh, Josef, Gordon, Layla, Richard

NPCs:
Cid, Hilda, Nellie, Scott, Paul, Borgan

The evil Paramekia Empire is casting a dark mood over the world. By
military power, it keeps all who oppose it in thrall. However, rebellion
slowly stirs in the city of Altea, where its queen Helen makes a
desperate attempt to fight the Empire. Helen uses the powers of three
wandering youths (Frionel, Guy, and Maria) to aid her in her battle
against the overbearing empire. However, not everything is what it
seems, and the many friends and enemies made throughout the journey
always have surprises up their sleeves.

Final Fantasy II was a great departure for the series; in fact, it's far
more similar to the SaGa games. There were no "levels", but individual
attributes are raised when used in battle. Magic raises levels with use,
and both its MP cost and power goes up when it did. Magic was still
bought in shops, but it could also be found in dungeons. Characters
could equip up to two items to use in battle (but couldn't access
anything else). There was no job system or character classes of any
type; everyone can gain expertise in everything.

Story-wise, this is the first game where characters change: the first
three characters were constant, but the fourth one was variable. The
story was also far deeper than its predecessor, with double-crossings,
comebacks, enemies turned friends and vice versa. The three heroes (the
lanky Frionel, stoic Guy, and noble Maria) were aided by Minh, Altea's
magician; Josef, a heroic martial artist; Gordon, a cowardly prince;
Layla, a high-spirited pirate; Richard, a dragon knight; and Lionheart,
Maria's knightly brother.

One of the more interesting innovations was the Keyword system. When a
keyword was heard in a conversation, it could be learned and said to
someone else to get a different response or advance the story.
Unfortunately, it garnered too many problems and was scrapped. Other
than that, the gameplay is far more refined than the first FF game:
additions like specific places to put armor, ability to save anywhere on
the world map, additions of face graphics and more detailed menus, all
serve as a great stepping-stone to later Final Fantasy games.


* 2.2.3 - Final Fantasy III (not released in the USA)

Playable characters: N/A (characters are created by the player)

NPCs:
Sara, Cid, Desh, Elia, Unne, Dorga

Other Characters:
Allus, Delilah, Gigames, Goldor, Gorn, Taca

Four mystical Crystals protect the four Elements of the world. When an
evil magician named Zande tries to take their power, fate calls upon
four boys to protect them. The Four Warriors are granted special Jobs by
the Crystals they save, for aid in thwarting Zande's plans. The four
will travel from their home on a floating continent, out to a much
larger world. They will use a variety of airships, submarines, sailing
ships, and chocobos to reach their destinations. They will fight dozens
of enemies using over twenty specialized Jobs. And they will discover
that behind Zande lies an even greater fear: the Dark World, ruled by
the Cloud of Darkness, who is just waiting to come out and devour the
real world...

Final Fantasy III was a huge leap forward in innovative gameplay. Jobs
played an integral part in the game, and jobs could be switched at any
time (as long as there were Capacity Points, which were acquired by
winning battles). Jobs were far more versatile, allowing up to three
different commands in battle, and also being able to equip different
armor and use different abilities. Jobs ranged from the physically
powerful Knight, Karateka, and M.Knight, to magicians like the Summoner,
Shaman, and Sage, and novelty jobs like Archer, Geomancer, Bard, and
Scholar. Some physical jobs can cast magic, as well. This made for a
large variety of gameplay, and a huge amount of secret treasure hoards
helped along the way.

The battles and menus were the prototype for the later games; the only
thing missing was the Active Time Battle system, implemented in FF IV.
Overall, FF III was a very enjoyable experience; the soundtrack was
excellent for an NES game, the graphics were solid, the world was large,
and the game was challenging. A fitting legacy to the Final Fantasy
name.


* 2.3 - Final Fantasy Games for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System
(SNES)


* 2.3.1 - Final Fantasy IV (not released in the USA - for the Super NES,
anyway)

Playable Characters/jobs:
Cecil Harvey                     [Dark Knight/Paladin]
Kain Highwind                    [Dragoon]
Rydia                            [Summoner]
Tellah                           [Sage]
Gilbert (Edward) Chris von Muir  [Bard]
Rosa Farrell                     [White Wizard]
Yang Fang Leiden                 [Karate]
Palom                            [Black Wizard]
Porom                            [White Wizard]
Cid Pollendina                   [Engineer]
Edward "Edge" Geraldine          [Ninja]
Fuusuuya (FuSoYa)                [Lunarian]

NPCs/jobs:
Baigan                           [Adviser]
Golbez                           [Black Wizard]
Takashi Tokita                   [Director]

The world was at peace with itself, and kingdoms governed their land
justly and with little or no quarreling with bordering kingdoms. In one
of the kingdoms, though - Baron - an engineer had finally came up with a
machine that would give mankind its ultimate dream come true - the
ability to fly. These machines, called "airships," would allow for
unrestricted sky travel, and so, Baron became the most powerful kingdom
in the world. A man named Cecil, who was originally trained to be a Dark
Knight, took up the job of creating and commanding a fleet of Airships,
and the people who flew the ships became known as the "Red Wings". One
day, Cecil was commanded by the King of Baron to fly to the town of
Mysidia and take a magic crystal from the town. The Red Wings did so,
but after the mission, Cecil realized what he had done and questioned
the King's authority to use the Red Wings to bully a foreign town. So,
at that, the King stripped Cecil's authority and commanded him to bring
a present to the nearby town of Mist, where humans could call up
monsters to do their bidding. Cecil was not going to do this journey
alone - he would be accompanied with a skilled Royal Dragoon named Kain.
In Final Fantasy IV, players control Cecil, and guide Cecil through a
series of plot twists and sub-quests which send Cecil out on a mission
to save the world from a fiend named Golbez and the strange power
controlling Golbez's actions.

Compared to other Final Fantasy Games, Final Fantasy IV was quite long
and detailed - Cecil would be separated and rejoined with Kain many
times in the story and meet other allies like Rosa, a wizard with magic
healing powers; Edge, an ambidextrous ninja; and Tellah, a sage with
strong magical powers. Cecil wasn't assisted just by humans, however, as
this game had many forests which are homes to chocobo birds which could
give the party rides or recover their MP or even store items for them.
As Cecil made progress in exploring his world, two more worlds would
open themselves up for exploration. This is a timeless classic and a
favorite to many Final Fantasy fans.

The most notable addition to Final Fantasy IV, though, was a "real-time"
battle system in which warriors prepare themselves for battle based on
their agility level, and when they receive a command, they take out
orders immediately. There is no time to waste in battles in this game,
since when the party's getting ready to attack or when no orders are
being given, the monsters will be attacking you based on their agility
levels. Then, there are surprise attacks where the monsters will strike
first, pre-emptive attacks where the party has a chance to strike first,
and the dreaded back attack.


* 2.3.2 - Final Fantasy IV Easytype (USA: Final Fantasy II)

This is a version of Final Fantasy IV that was released exclusively for
American customers, but Square Co. Ltd also brought it out in Japan.
It's the same as FF IV, except that some of the more trivial and
nonimportant sub-plots and items were taken out of the game, and the
enemies toned down and special battle tactics removed.

Here's a quick summary of the changes in the Easytype version:

- The only battle tactics which survived in this game were the ones
which were absolutely essential for the characters to have, like Fight,
Item, Magic for magic users, Jump for Kain, Kick for Yang, etc.
- Prince Gilbert's name was changed to "Edward". A few other characters
have slightly different names, like Cain became "Kain," Fuusuuya became
"FuSoYa," etc. Because the letters L and R are monophones in the
Japanese language, Palom and Porom could have been called "Parom" and
"Polom," and it wouldn't have made a serious difference.
- The enemies have different names. Enemies also attack less often. All
enemies, including bosses, are much weaker & easier to defeat.
- Items that cure every condition in the original game are extremely
rare, and instead, the party had to carry different items to cure
different conditions (as in the SaGa games). These items were
consolidated into an easily available heal-all item in the Easytype
version.
- All character development & detail was taken out of the game, except
for that of Cecil's, who is the only "important" character to develop.
They still removed some of Cecil's background, though - the original
game hints to the player that Cecil and Rosa had been sleeping together
for a long time.
- The Programmer's Room that was hiding in the pub/cafe in the Dwarf
Castle in the original game was removed from the Easytype game.
- One of Rydia's calls, Cockatrice, has disappeared; as well as two of
the white magic spells Rosa could cast, Protect ("Armor") and Shell.
- The Beginner's School only appears in Baron in the original game. In
the Easytype game, the Beginner's Schools are located almost everywhere.

The USA version is also different from the Japanese game in several
ways:

- The original game had a strip dancer in Baron. While the Easytype
version still has this strip dancer, the dancer keeps her clothes on in
the American version.
- The "Cecil and Rosa kissing" sprite was edited so that they only
embrace, but do not kiss.
- The scythe that's above Rosa's head in the Tower of Zot was replaced
with a large, blunt instrument. (Apparently, killing people with scythes
was questionable, but killing people with bowling balls was not.)
- Lots of dialogue was censored, especially references to death. The
characters talk about sacrificing themselves, but they put in a very
subtle way, and do not mention the word "die" or "death" or even "kill"
once.
- The "Tower of Prayers" is the "Tower of Wishes" in the USA version.
Because of this, the Mysidians do not pray, they only wish for things to
come true.
- The "H'na Hon" or "pornography book" is (not mysteriously) missing
from the USA version.
- Other phrases that are "questionable" (in Nintendo's book, apparently)
were censored. For instance, "the color of blood" became "the color of
rubies".
- In the Japanese version of the game, Cecil and Kain were sent on a
mission to take a bomb to the area around Mist in order to slay some
monsters, not fully knowing its true intentions. In the USA version, the
bomb became a "Package" which Cecil and Kain were required to deliver to
Mist.


* 2.3.3 - Final Fantasy V (not released in the USA - for the Super NES,
anyway)

Playable characters:
Butz (Bartz) Klauzer, Lenna (Reina) Tycoon, Galuf Baldesion, "Faris,"
Kururu (Krile) Baldesion

NPCs: N/A

The game opens when the main character, Butz, is out riding with his
chocobo, Boko. A huge meteorite slams to the earth, not far from him.
When he rides over to investigate, he finds a young woman and an older
man. The man has lost his memory, but can remember enough to call
himself Galuf. The girl identifies herself as Lenna, princess of Tycoon.
Satisfied that they are all right, Butz lets them leave, only to chase
back after them when the road they travel starts to crumble beneath them
and they are attacked by goblins. Eventually, he rescues them and they
set off to find a way back to Tycoon, only to find themselves captured
by pirates as they explore a watery cave.

The pirate leader, Faris, spares them when he finds that he has a
pendant exactly like the one Lenna was wearing. He agrees to take them
to the Temple of Wind, since there is no wind to be found. At the Temple
of Wind, they find that the crystal of wind has been shattered.
Concerned about the remaining three crystals - water, fire, and earth,
the party of four - Butz, Galuf, Lenna, and Faris (who later turns out
to be a she) chase after the remaining three crystals, only to arrive
just in time to see each one shatter. After the shattering of the last
crystal, Galuf's granddaughter, Kururu, comes out of the meteorite that
heralded the destruction of the last crystal, and offers to take him
home.

Butz, Lenna, and Faris, with the help of the inventor genius Cid (who
created a ship powered by - and later not powered by--the crystal of
fire) and his grandson Mid, find a way to power their own journey after
Galuf, who they want to help out in the quest that brought him to their
world. Arriving on Galuf's world, they find him pitched in a battle
against ExDeath, a tree into which all of the evil forces in that world
had been summoned. With the help of Galuf and his friends Zeza and
Kelgar, they continue an assault on ExDeath. Butz learns of the true
origin of his father, Dorgan - who was born on this world, and left for
Butz's world to watch over the crystals, which kept ExDeath sealed away.
ExDeath had once been defeated by the four Warriors of the Dawn - Galuf,
Zeza, Kelgar, and Dorgan - and sealed away by the crystals, but he found
a way to shatter them and escape, wreaking havoc on Galuf's and Butz's
world. Now, each of the remaining Warriors of the Dawn (Dorgan died in
Butz's world of natural causes, perhaps precipitating ExDeath's move on
the crystals) must sacrifice his life in order to help the four heroes
of this generation - the Light Warriors - defeat ExDeath for once and
for all. Zeza sacrifices himself in the depths of a Barrier Tower, one
of four generating an impenetrable barrier around ExDeath's castle.
Galuf is slain in a battle with ExDeath himself, trying to regain the
power of the crystals of this world. One of the crystals is shattered,
but your party manages to regain control of the other three when Galuf
uses his last strength to force ExDeath to retreat. Kururu takes Galuf's
place in your party, gaining his knowledge and experience from the will
of the crystals that resided in him and moved into her with his death.
Kelgar uses the last of his strength, giving it to Kururu to break the
trapping illusions of ExDeath's castle when you go to storm it. In the
final battle with ExDeath, though, the three remaining crystals are
shattered, and the events which follow show the true link between
Galuf's and Butz's worlds, and pave the way to the final defeat of
ExDeath.

In Final Fantasy V, unlike in I and IV, character classes aren't fixed.
From the fragments of each of the crystals, your characters obtain
"jobs" - character classes ranging from the familiar Knight, White Mage,
and Red Mage, to the slightly more exotic but still recognizable Caller,
Dragoon (Dragon Knight), and Ninja, to totally new classes like the
Elementalist (Wind/Water Mage), the Monk, the Magic Sword Knight, and
the Blue Mage (which class is revisited in Final Fantasy VI in the form
of Strago). Characters may switch between these jobs any time they are
not in battle, but as they stay in a job and earn experience in it, they
learn abilities in these jobs. Each character, in addition to his job,
can use one ability learned from any class. Some of these abilities
duplicate powers the class has naturally - casting white magic, using a
harp as a weapon, and summoning the elements - to new abilities that can
assist your character even while he plays the class s/he learned it
from: summoning woodland creatures, raising your hit points by up to
30%, and paralyzing enemies. Success comes from making suitable mixes of
both primary jobs and secondary abilities, making sure that you have
ample ability to attack while simultaneously being able to defend and
heal yourself.


* 2.3.4 - Final Fantasy USA (USA: Final Fantasy Mystic Quest)

Basically, there is Benjamin, a boy who was raised by an old man of his
village. One day, while he is with a man on the top of a hill, a great
earthquake starts, and they are attacked by a monster; and it's a very
strange thing, because monsters have never been seen anywhere for a long
time... Benjamin kills the beast, and returns to his town only to start
a journey that will bring him all across the world, until the final
battle with a powerful being called the "Dark King".

There are many differences from this and the other Final Fantasy games;
the world is divided in four parts (and everyone is related to an
Element) linked by a giant Tower, but the tower's doors were sealed
long, long ago, to separate the four regions; in every region there is a
large dungeon (ie the Ice Pyramid, Lava Dome, and Pazuzu's Tower) which
holds a boss monster that controls that land.

Another difference: during the game, some of your actions will modify
the very shape of the world: you start in the Earth region, that is
becoming more and more dry and ill, and you will restore it to
fertility; the Water region is freezing, and you must restore warm to
it, and then open a hole with a powerful bomb in a sealed waterfall that
once used to fill a great lake in Wind's region, and now is sealed; the
Fire region is being shook up by powerful earthquakes (you'll see them
on the world map !) that you will stop, and in the Wind region you will
stop the strong wind that is going to destroy the city. During the whole
game, your party will be composed only by two characters: you and
another, that will often change. The last (and biggest) difference from
other games is there are no battles on the world map, but only in the
locations, and the monsters are visible, and a battle can be started
only by going into them; and, when killed, they will disappear.


* 2.3.5 - Final Fantasy VI (USA: Final Fantasy III)

Playable characters/jobs:
Tina (Terra) Branford     [Magitek Knight]
Locke Cole                [Thief/Treasure Hunter]
Mog                       [Moogle]
Edgar Roni Figaro         [Engineer]
Mashe (Sabin) Rene Figaro [Karate]
"Shadow"                  [Ninja]
Celes Chere               [Magitek Knight]
Cayenne (Cyan) Garamonde  [Samurai]
Gau                       [Wild Boy]
Setzer Gabrielli          [Gambler]
Stragus (Strago) Magus    [Blue Mage]
Relm Arrowny              [Artist]
Secret Character #1       [Snowman/Sasquatch]
Secret Character #2       [Mime]

NPCs/jobs:
Biggs (Vicks)             [Magitek Knight]
Wedge                     [Magitek Knight]
Bannon                    [?]
(no name)                 [Ghost]
Leo                       [General]

One thousand years ago, humans infused with magical powers granted to
them from three goddesses called the "Magi," destroyed their world in
the War of the Magi. The Magi, realizing what they had done, stopped the
war by turning themselves into statues and hiding in a specially
enclosed part of the world. The magical creatures they created, the
Espers, became sick of the evil that they saw in the human world, and
went to live with the Magi statues. The War of the Magi ended, magic
disappeared, and civilization as a whole was set back a thousand years.

One thousand years later, when humanity finally began to recover from
the devastating war, a man named "Gestahl" was trying to unite the
entire world under a new legion which he was to rule. This new legion,
the Empire, slowly began to take over more and more of the world. His
three military commanders; Leo, Kefka, and Celes; would see to that.

The Empire has also been trying to revive the forces of magic, starting
by invading the Espers' World & capturing some Espers. They also found a
girl named Tina (Terra), who is said to have been born with mysterious
magical powers, and was given a "slave crown," so that she could be
totally controlled by the Empire.

One day, the mining community of Narshe discovered a frozen Esper,
probably left over from the War of the Magi days. Once the Empire had
heard about this, they sent a recon group out to find this Esper. This
recon group consisted of officers Vicks, Wedge, and Tina (Terra). But
her real mission had yet to come...

Final Fantasy VI, although not as challenging as its predecessor, had a
number of improvements over Final Fantasy IV. The sheer amount of
character depth and plot changes make a long and challenging game fold
out to you instead of the player knowing everything just by the
beginning of the game. Final Fantasy VI also has the largest party size
- there are no class changes like there was in Final Fantasy V, so every
character has his/her own personal strong points and skills to build on.
There are also two secret characters in this game for players to find.
The geographical features again contribute to the game's story, as
different modes of transportation are needed to get to several different
scenarios; like rafting down river rapids, taking ferry boats, and even
submerging a castle under desert sands in order to get around a mountain
range.

The major new addition to this game are mainly new ways of using the
Super Nintendo's Mode 7 effects - Chocobo and Airship rides are no
longer over a flat map, but are now 2.5-dimensional and are really cool
to watch.


* 2.4 - Final Fantasy Games for the Nintendo Game Boy (DMG)


* 2.4.1 - Final Fantasy Gaiden: Seiken Densetsu (USA: Final Fantasy
Adventure)

All life in the world springs forth from a waterfall which flows from
the base of a tree known as the Tree of Mana. The waters from this tree
are the essence of life itself, and not only create life, but purify
those living in the world. In turn, the goodness in the world supports
and strengthens the Mana Tree. However, this idyllic relationship is
very unstable. The Mana Tree dependance on the will of all those who
live in the world means that should the beauty and peace of the world be
tainted with evil, the tree will suffer. Given a great enough evil, the
tree will begin spewing forth waters that no longer strengthen peace in
the world, but rather breed evil in the minds of the inhabitants of the
world. This generation of evil will spiral in until the world is
completely consumed by it. Anyone who managed to gain control of this
tree could effectively rule the world with near limitless power. Thus,
the tree was to be protected - the shrine that surrounded it was
considered sacred and no man dared tread on its hallowed grounds.
However, long ago, the Emperor of a land known as Vandole entered the
shrine and began to use the power of the Mana Tree to enhance his evil
and enslave the people of his kingdom. However, his attempt to rule the
world was thwarted by the Gemma Knights, the guardians of the Mana Tree,
and the Mana Family, the Tree's keepers. Following the battle, the Mana
Family feared that the tree could once again be used for evil purposes,
and therefore decided to seal the shrine with a magical pendant. Many
years later, another corrupt ruler turned his eyes toward the Mana Tree.
Dark Lord, ruler of the Empire of Glaive, wishes to use the tree for his
own evil purposes. He is assisted by a sorcerer named Julius, who knows
a suspicious amount of information about the nature of the Tree and the
Pendant that was used to seal the shrine. Some people of this world are
unfortunate enough to be captured and forced to fight evil monsters for
the entertainment of Dark Lord, as well as the increase amount of evil
in the world. These people fight over and over until they die. The hero
is one of these people, and was originally captured after sneaking into
Dark Lord's castle to find out what he and Julius were up to. After a
battle one day, his best friend, when lying on his death bed, tries to
tell the hero what he knows about what is going on. He manages to mumble
only a few words about Mana, the Gemma Knights, and a particular person,
Bogard, whom the hero should see if he should ever escape. The hero
indeed escapes, and eventually finds this person, after being pushed off
a cliff by Dark Lord and being saved by a young girl. Bogard turns out
to be a Gemma Knight, but is very old. He helps the hero continue on his
journey, but he learns very little from Bogard. Bogard almost doesn't
help the hero at all, until he sees a pendant the girl has around her
neck...

This game is not an RPG in the way the the SaGa and Final Fantasy series
were. It is actually an adventure game, fought real-time. Although
similar in battle-style to Nintendo's Legend of Zelda, it differs
greatly because of the presence of a good storyline and the ability to
develop, and more importantly, control the development of, your
character. You have the ability to talk to people, as well as sell and
purchase items, armor, and weapons. At certain points you learn special
magic spells, and at others you will be assisted by one of several
characters who will not only fight at your side, but will also offer
advice or provide some service (i.e. heal you).


* 2.5 - Final Fantasy Games for the Sony PlayStation (PSX)


* 2.5.1 - Final Fantasy VII (USA: Final Fantasy VII)

Playable characters:
Cloud Strife, Barett (Barret) Wallace, Tifa Lockheart, Aerith (Aeris)
Gainsborough, Red XIII, Cait Sith, Cid Highwind, two secret characters

NPCs:
Sephiroth

Final Fantasy VII's story is based on the Gaia theory - that the world
is a living being which puts its own life into the creation of living
beings. When a person is born, that person takes a little life from the
world. When a person dies, the life returns to the world.

In the far future, a company named "Shinra" regulates all of the world's
politics and power.

A long time ago, an alien creature slammed into the northern continent
of the world. Shinra's scientists classified this alien as "Jenova," and
noted that its bodily systems were far superior to those of humans. So,
the Shinra scientists experimented with creating a human with some of
Jenova's abilities. This little experiment with genetics, once born, was
named "Sephiroth;" and later became the leader of Shinra's elite army,
SOLDIER. Sephiroth, being half human and half Jenova, was thus the
world's ultimate fighter.

Shinra's latest technological breakthrough is a new power plant, called
"Mako," which betrays the Gaia theory and can drain the world of its own
life to create power.

Shinra is not unopposed, though. A group opposed to Shinra's dominance
called "Avalanche" has formed, and they have a new member, an ex-member
of SOLDIER, named Cloud. Cloud and the others' mission is to shut down
Mako before all is lost.

Once that this mission is complete, however, there's still much more in
store for Cloud & Avalanche. Shinra is a very large company, with nearly
unlimited resources. Cloud & Avalanche will have to travel across the
world, fighting Shinra forces & destroying Mako power plants. And
Sephiroth plays no small role in this...

Final Fantasy VII continues a trend that started in FF VI: The world is
futuristic and high technology rules supreme, but magic is still present
and people still fight with broadswords. The game takes this a little
farther, though, by placing the setting in a world which is totally
futuristic, unlike FF VI's world where there were only a few futuristic
settings (Figaro, Vector, etc.) that made everything else look
third-world. The job system from FF V has, in part, returned as well.

New to Final Fantasy VII is a "chocobo breeding system," where players
can build custom chocobo birds from a chosen set of genes. The set of
genes used will determine the kind of chocobo, its traits, abilities,
etc.

This is Square's first "true" 3D RPG. In other words, hand-drawn
graphics and sprites have been replaced by rendered polygons, thus
creating a "true" three-dimensional environment. Best of all, unlike
World Runner, the player doesn't need 3D glasses to view this game. <;*)


* 2.5.2 - Final Fantasy VII International (not released in the USA)

With all of the changes that Square made to the USA version (see article
4.1.4), it's as if the USA version is actually more difficult in places
than the Japanese version was. This version of Final Fantasy VII,
released in Japan, incorporates all of the changes made to the USA
version into the Japanese original. A fourth disc was also added, which
had some useful tools for playing the game.


* 2.5.3 - Final Fantasy Tactics (USA: Final Fantasy Tactics)

Playable characters/special jobs:
Ramza Beoulve               [Squire]
Alicia, Lavian, Rad         [generic recruits]
Malak Galthana              [Hell Knight]
Cidolfas "T.G. Cid" Orlandu [Holy Swordsman]
Worker 8                    [Steel Giant]

NPCs/special jobs:
Agrias Oaks*                [Holy Knight]
Gaff Gafgarion              [Dark Knight]
Delita Hyral                [Squire/Holy Knight]
Algus Sadalfas              [Squire]
Boco*                       [Chocobo]
Ovelia Atkascha             [Princess]
Mustadio Bunanza*           [Engineer]
Olan Durai                  [Astrologist]
Alma Beoulve                [Cleric]
Rafa Galthana*              [Heaven Knight]
Meliadoul Tingel*           [Divine Knight]
Zalbag Beoulve              [Arc Knight]
Beowulf Kadmas*             [Temple Knight]
Reis Dular*                 [Holy Dragon/Dragoner]
Secret Character*           [Soldier]

* = character begins as an NPC, and can optionally become a PC

Final Fantasy Tactics is based on a series of true stories about
feudal-age Europe: The Black Death, Hundred Years' War, and War of the
Roses, among others.

Many years ago, the death of the king in Ivalice caused the neighboring
kingdom of Zelamonia to claim Ivalice's throne. This caused the Fifty
Years' War to occur between the kingdoms. Although Ivalice remained
independent after the war, its resources were severely drained. After
the war ended, however, Ivalice's nobility was able to restore the
kingdom's prosperity as neighboring kingdoms were hit by the Black
Death.

Now, there is an even greater problem at hand. Ivalice's Princess Ovelia
has been kidnapped, the king has died, and the succession of the throne
has fallen into question again. The Gallione family, whose coat of arms
was a white lion, had a relational tie to the acting queen. However,
fearing the suppression of the family of the queen, Parliament has
chosen the Zeltennia family to rule. Their coat of arms was a black
lion, and they also had relational ties to the dead king's family.

This conflict between the two houses erupted into a civil war, known as
the "Lion War".

According to legend, a commoner named Delita Hyral was supposed to bring
an end to the war. Delita, a member of the Hokuten army that fought for
Ivalice during the Fifty Years' War, would then establish his family as
the ruling dynasty of Ivalice.

However, an ancient controversy has prevented the war's real hero, Ramza
Beoulve, from being known. Despite the evidence of Ramza's quest, the
Church tried to destroy any memories of him. Now, in the future, some
historians have discovered Ramza's adventure for the first time.

In Final Fantasy Tactics, the player guides Ramza on his quest from
being a simple page into a mighty hero.

Final Fantasy Tactics is not a typical Final Fantasy game. Where the
other games had common role-playing elements, Tactics is more of a
strategy game. Ramza is joined by a group of warriors and mages that are
(usually) hand-picked soldiers that have their own abilities. Every
character can move and attack, but can learn new abilities depending on
how many "job points" the party has acquired.

Final Fantasy Tactics also employs a job system that is almost identical
to that of the job system in Final Fantasy V. All players, including
Ramza, start out as squires. However, as they gain "job points" in
battle, they can take on different jobs. Squires and chemists are the
most basic of jobs, but with a little experience, a warrior can learn to
cast black magic, or a black wizard can wield a sword. The possibilities
are totally up to the player.

All in all, Final Fantasy Tactics is a very complex game. Fortunately,
there is an extensive online help system which should get some players
started. Still, this game isn't for everyone.


* 2.5.4 - Final Fantasy Collections (USA: Final Fantasy Anthology)

The Final Fantasy Collections is a re-release of three classic Square
games: Final Fantasy IV, V, and VI. Each has new opening and ending
video clips, and Final Fantasy VI includes a new mode allowing players
to look at some of the artwork used in the game and its promotion.

The Anthology that made it to the USA has some important differences
from the Japanese Collections. The list of differences is in article
4.1.4.


* 2.5.5 - Final Fantasy VIII (USA: Final Fantasy VIII)

Playable characters/jobs:
Squall Leonhart [SeeD Soldier]
Quistis Trepe   [Garden Instructor/SeeD Soldier/Blue Mage]
Zell Dincht     [SeeD Fighter]
Selphie Tilmitt [SeeD Soldier]
Rinoa Heartilly [Princess of the Forest Owls]
Laguna Loire    [Galbadian Soldier/Journalist]
Irvine Kinneas  [SeeD Sniper]

NPCs/jobs:
Seifer Almasy    [SeeD Candidate]
Ward             [Galbadian Soldier/Janitor]
Kiros            [Galbadian Soldier/Bounty Hunter]
Secret Character [Secret Job]

Final Fantasy VIII takes place in a world where high technology coexists
with magic. In this world, there is one person gifted with with powerful
magic, and she is known as the "sorceress."

The game starts in a military school, called "Garden," where children
and young adults train to enter the military. Garden also sponsors a
team known as "SeeD," which is composed of a group of elite soldiers.

Squall Leonhart and Seifer Almasy are two students enrolled in Garden
who are trying to join SeeD. After Squall passes (and Seifer fails) the
final examination in the besieged city of Dollet, Squall and a team of
other SeeDs board a train to the city of Timber, where Squall has a
mysterious dream about a soldier named Laguna...

Final Fantasy VIII is a story in two parts. For most of the game, the
player plays as Squall and his party. Every once in a while, the game
will switch over control to Laguna, whose story takes place some time
before Squall was born.

The major new feature to the game is the "junctioning" system, where
magic spells can be used to boost character attributes through use of
summoned monsters called "guardian forces."


* 2.5.6 - Final Fantasy IX (USA: Final Fantasy IX)

Playable characters/jobs:
Zidane Tribal              [Thief]
Vivi Ornitier              [Black Mage]
Adelbert Steiner           [Magic Knight]
Garnet "Dagger" Alexandros [White Mage/Summoner]
Freya Crescent             [Dragoon]
Quina Quen                 [Blue Mage]
Eiko Carol                 [White Mage/Summoner]
Amarant Coral              [Monk]

NPCs/jobs:
Marcus           [Thief]
Blank            [Thief]
Cinna            [Thief]
Secret Character [Secret Job]

As the story opens, Zidane Tribal and a group of actors travel on their
airship to the kingdom of Alexandria, where they would perform a popular
play, "I Want to be Your Canary" - and kidnap Princess Garnet. Once
Zidane finally catches up with Garnet, though, something more
interesting happens: Garnet reveals that she wanted to be kidnapped in
order to get away from Alexandria. They escape alongside a small mage,
Vivi Ornitier, and the captain of the knights, Adelbert Steiner, but
their ship is shot down by Queen Brahne.

Once they make it back to civilization, they find out something more
interesting: that a group of black mages similar to Vivi are in pursuit
of the princess, and they are willing to kill Zidane and the others in
order to capture her. The same group of mages, meanwhile, are busy
taking over other rival kingdoms to Alexandria. Zidane, Garnet, and the
others look for reasons why...

Final Fantasy IX brings back the classic characters, music, and gameplay
that made it into the first five Final Fantasy games. Features from
Final Fantasy VI-VIII, such as refining and limit breaks, have also been
worked into the game. 

The characters were designed by Yoshitaka Amano, the character designer
behind Final Fantasy I through VI, instead of Tetsuya Nomura, who
designed the characters to the last two Final Fantasy releases.


* 2.5.7 - Final Fantasy Chronicles (special USA release)

In reality, after years of hearing requests from fans, Square Soft
reversed their decisions not to release the PlayStation re-releases of
Final Fantasy IV and Chrono Trigger in North America. This represents
the final release Square Soft has published for the original PlayStation
in North America.

The US version of Final Fantasy IV is the eqivilant to the original,
non-easytype version of the game. The dialogue and items have been
retranslated from scratch; only the character and location names remain
constant from Final Fantasy II on the Super NES. In addition, most of
the slowdown problems that plagued the original Japanese re-release have
been fixed.

Chrono Trigger is identical to the Super NES game released in 1995,
except for the addition of a Final Fantasy VI-like bonus mode and
anime-style cutscenes placed throughout the game.


* 2.6 - Final Fantasy Games for the Sony PlayStation 2 (PS2)


* 2.6.1 - Final Fantasy X (USA: Final Fantasy X)

(Nothing here right now. Writer needed!)


* 2.7 - Are there any movies/direct-to-videos based on the Final Fantasy
series?

Yes, there are; there's two of them.

"Final Fantasy: Quest for the Crystals" is a Japanese animation that's
set in the world of Final Fantasy V, one hundred years after the death
of ExDeath. It has been translated, and you might be able to find a copy
in some stores, especially ones which specialize in Japanese animation.

"Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within" is a CG movie not based on any of
the previous Final Fantasy games, although the storyline has some
elements in common with Final Fantasy VII's Gaia theory theme, and it
was directed and co-produced by Final Fantasy series creator Hironobu
Sakaguchi. It ran in theaters during summer 2001, and should be
available for rental and purchase (as of 12/31/01) on DVD and VHS.


          +----------------------------------------------+
          |*** Section 3 - Other Games by Square Soft ***|
          +----------------------------------------------+

* 3.1 - Square Games for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)


* 3.1.1 - Highway Star (USA: Rad Racer)

Rad Racer was one of the early NES racing games in which the player
drives either a sports car or an F1 racer down roads and must make it
past certain checkpoints in a given amount of time in order to finish
the race and move on.

The only thing which made this old NES game unique was that, if you
pressed Select during game play, the colors would change so the player
could wear 3D glasses and play the game in a 3D motif instead of the
regular 2D graphics. Hey - it was made in the 80s, after all.


* 3.1.2 - The 3D Battles of World Runner (USA: The 3D Battles of World
Runner)

This game follows the story of World Runner, a character who can run for
super-long distances without tiring, and his goal was to dash through a
level in a certain amount of time. At the end of each level was a dragon
boss who had to be defeated in order to move on to the next. Sort of
like Rad Racer, except it had a plot to it and the game focuses on a
human instead of a car.

Also like Rad Racer, this game had a 3D feature. Gotta love those 1980s.


* 3.1.3 - Rad Racer II (not released in Japan)

Generally the same as Rad Racer, except with new tracks, the F1 car
removed, the 3D feature removed, and a little bit different of a feel to
it. But otherwise, it was relatively unchanged from the original.


* 3.2 - Square Games for the Nintendo Game Boy (DMG)


* 3.2.1 - SaGa (USA: The Final Fantasy Legend)

Long ago, the ancients built a gigantic Tower which linked many
different and unique worlds together for easy access. It is said that a
special Paradise exists on the top floor of the Tower, but oddly enough,
monsters have come out of the tower and the "main" worlds of the tower
have been sealed off by fiends, all under control of a creature named
Ashura. Now, there is another who has dared to brave the adventure,
destroy Ashura and claim the elusive and infamous (yet only fabled)
Paradise.

SaGa is very different from the regular Final Fantasy games - there are
no set characters and no occupations. Instead, you get to make up your
own party (see article 4.1). Humans must be manually upgraded using
various items the party acquires, mutants upgrade on their own and learn
up to four new spells on their own, and various monsters who gain powers
by eating the meat of other monsters.


* 3.2.2 - SaGa II (USA: The Final Fantasy Legend II)

It has been said that when the ancient gods created the worlds, they
linked each and every world together by way of one main Celestial World
which would connect to other worlds by way of a tower known as the
"Pillar of the Sky". One of the ancient gods, Isis, then turned herself
to stone and split herself into seventy-seven separate stones which were
scattered far and wide. These stones became known as MAGI stones, and
when a person used the powers of the MAGI, he or she would effectively
be a contemporary god. Five such people - Ashura, Venus, Magnate, Odin,
and Apollo - went out and gained powers by collecting MAGI and used them
to become more god-like.

Meanwhile, an underground operation of people known as "guardians" were
storing MAGI of their own so that these gods couldn't go too far in the
way of increasing their powers. One of these people is the hero
character's father, although he had to keep a low profile in order to
prevent blowing his cover while in front of the gods he was working
against, so even his family didn't know his real identity very well as
he left when the hero was young. Now that the hero (whose name and
identity the players get to choose) is older, he/she/it decide to go out
and find his/her/its father, and on the way, he/she/it must collect MAGI
on their own to help on the search. The hero is not alone, however,
he/she/it takes three other people with him/her/it on the mythological
Father Quest.

SaGa II is much more detailed and longer than the original game. There
are many more worlds to discover and many more sub-quests that must be
embarked on the player's way towards finding the hero's father. There
are the same character classes from the original SaGa, with one addition
- robots, who become powerful based on the weapons it has equipped, and
its weapons will never break but instead will recharge themselves when
your party sleeps at the Inn and be useful once again. The MAGI also
plays a role in the game - different MAGI have different uses, and some
MAGI can be equipped with a character to give him/her/it special skills
like extra strength/agility or resistance to an elemental power.


* 3.2.3 - SaGa III (USA: The Final Fantasy Legend III)

Thousands of years ago, immortal beings fought a long war over who
should become the ruler of a world known as "Pureland". As the battle
went on, these beings created more and more powerful magic and more
devastating weapons. Unfortunately, the side affects of these
increasingly powerful means of war began to show their signs in other
universes. The effects of such attacks were so great as to actually
threaten the existence of other worlds. Sol, the creator of The World,
feared that the effects of these attacks would soon spell the end of his
world. So, he built a great spacecraft, known as the Talon, that was
capable of flying at incredible speeds, and could even traverse the
different dimensions themselves, allowing him to travel to other worlds.
So, Sol used this ship to travel to Pureland, where he managed to seal
the warring immortal beings, and more importantly the effects of their
magic, in their world. This exercise was very taxing for Sol, though,
and when he returned to The World he had just enough energy to spread
the 13 key components, known as Units, throughout the time and space
occupied by his world. He then fell into a deep sleep. Hundreds of years
later, the immortal Pureland beings have grown powerful enough to
finally retaliate against Sol for sealing them off from the rest of the
worlds. Using their combined magic, they summon a water entity that
manifests itself above the oceans of The World, and was visible to all
inhabitants of the World, past, present, or future. This apparition
created two great problems for those who lived in The World. Out of this
entity came forth hordes of evil and dangerous creatures who threatened
the lives of the inhabitants of the World. Also from this entity poured
forth water, and slowly began to flood The World, which not only
threatened the lives of those who lived there, but their posterity as
well. Only one mortal, known as the Elder of Dharm, in The World knows
the true reason for the presence of the Water Entity, and what the
ultimate goal of the monsters that was ravaging the surface of his world
was. The hero is raised by this man, and when he/she/it grows old
enough, the Elder tells the true story of the Water Entity, and how the
hero must travel across land and time itself to hunt down and find the
scattered pieces of the Talon, so that the Purelanders can once again be
stopped, and the world can be saved.

SaGa III offers a different style of fighting than in SaGa I and SaGa
II, that is similar to Final Fantasy VI. The player normally has four
members in the party, but can be joined by a fifth character from time
to time. The player doesn't have a choice into the nature of your
original characters, but they do have the opportunity to develop them
though the gaining of experience. The characters also have the chance to
change to/from robots, cyborgs, beasts, and monsters, through the eating
of monster meat or installation of robot parts obtained in battle.
Robots don't have the ability to use magic, and are initially weak, but
have the ability to upgrade through the addition of part capsules.
Cyborgs are a cross between human/mutants and robots. Monsters don't
have the ability to use any items, but generally have high HP and must
continue to eat the meat of stronger monsters if they wish to continue
to develop. Beasts are a cross between human/mutants and monsters.
Unlike SaGa I and II, many weapons have unlimited usage, but there are
also many 1 use items.  Also new is unlimited use magic that can be
purchased or created with combinations of stones that are found
throughout the game. There are also special non-combat spells which will
allow you to fly though the air and swim under water. When flying the
Talon, you can fly though the air, and the Talon will fight along with
the party when they encounter enemies.


* 3.3 - Square Games for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES)


* 3.3.1 - Seiken Densetsu II (USA: The Secret of Mana)

The player-namable hero is a child who grew up in the little village of
Potos, out in the middle of nowhere it seems. He was raised by the
villagers there, since his parents just left you in the care of the
village before they mysteriously disappeared. One day, while out in
areas which were forbidden for the townspeople to enter, he gets
separated from his friends and found a strange sword stuck in stone -
calling his name. He take the sword, but when he does, the area becomes
invaded with evil creatures who fight back against the villagers. Turns
out, the sword the hero took was protecting the town, and so, without
the sword and with the hero being held responsible, the townspeople
drive him out of town. The hero's adventures lead him into a long quest
which turns into a journey to save the world from an evil being named
Thanatos, who is trying to revive an ancient device of destruction known
as the "Mana Fortress".

The whole Secret of Mana series was Square Soft's first real venture
into creating adventure games instead of RPGs. In this game, the player
gets a variety of different weapons, and over the course of the game
have to improve them in order to get farther into the game. Your main
character will not alone on your quest, two others - a girl and a sprite
- will eventually join the party, and you can assign these characters to
being either computer-controlled or you can have up to two other people
playing the same game at the same time.


* 3.3.2 - Seiken Densetsu III (not released in the USA)

Long ago, when the world was still in the darkness, the Mana Goddess
sealed the 8 beasts of disaster that were to bring destruction into 8
stones using the Mana Sword. Darkness then faded, and thus the world was
created. Mana Goddess transformed herself into a tree. Years passed
by... Until one day, the peace came to a sudden halt. Power-hungry ones
trying to take over the world, breaking the seal and releasing the
powers of the 8 beasts... Trying to possess and wield powers greater
than those of gods and goddesses... Mana was being depleted from the
world quickly... and the Mana Tree was starting to wither and die. And
thus, the Triangle Story begins...

Seiken Densetsu III is based on conflicts between a neutral country and
a leading (strong) country:
                Forcena <--> Artena
                Rolante <--> Navarre
                Wendel <--> Beast Kingdom

This combination creates 2 Triangles:
                BK ---- Artena       Wendel ----Forcena
                  \     /                 \     / 
                   \   /                   \   /
                  Navarre                 Rolante
which can be imposed on top of each other. The story is based on the
relationships among these countries. Therefore, the story will differ
depending on which character you start the adventure with.

There are 6 characters in Seiken Densetsu 3. Your party will consist of
3 of the 6 characters.  Depending on who you choose as your main
character, your purpose, story, course of action, and the final enemy
will differ. You can choose from:
        Duran (Forcena): soldier
        Angela (Artena): magic user
        Charlotte (Wendel): cleric
        Hawkeye (Navarre): thief
        Riesz (Rolante): amazoness
        Kevin (Beast Kingdom): grappler

DURAN:  Forcena
The game starts with a tournament scene. Duran is up against Bruzer.
Duran wins (of course). Duran's father, Roki was known as the "Golden
Knight," and was a good friend of the king (Eiyuu-ou). He disappeared
when Duran was still a young boy. His mother, Simone, died of illness,
so Duran and his younger sister Wendy, were brought up by his Aunt
Stella. He had no real memories of his father, but like him, Duran
became the best swordsman among the young, and became a soldier for
Eiyuu-ou. Duran is on watch at the castle. The other guard goes on the
round for the last time for the night before their replacement is to
arrive.  We enter Duran's dream... (he falls asleep.) Duran as a young
boy, asks where his father is going. Roki replies he's going to go fight
a dragon - Ryuutei - the strongest among all dragons. He never returns.
It was reported that he fell into a bottomless pit with Ryuutei. Simone
collapses after she whispers "so he was a golden knight till the very
end... I'm sure that's what he would have wanted..." Simone admits to
Stella that she had been ill, but didn't say anything because she didn't
want to burden Roki. (Simone probably dies at this point.) Duran wakes
up, and the area is covered by a bright red light. He finds the soldiers
on the floor, and a mage in red robes appear. Duran attacks, but fails.
He collapses after he is struck by magic. Voices are heard, and the mage
splits. (Just in a knick of time... how 'bout that. ^^; ) Forcena
advisors suspect Artena of sending spies into Forcena. They want to
attack Artena, but Eiyuu-ou stops them - there's no proof yet and no
apparent reason as to why they would do this. He orders spies to be sent
into Artena. Duran's in the pub, upset that he was beaten. Wendy comes
to cheer him up, but runs off. Duran then visits a fortune-teller. And
his adventure begins...


* 3.3.3 - Chrono Trigger (USA: Chrono Trigger)

It has been one thousand years since order has come out of chaos and the
Kingdom of Guardia had united the entire world together, so now, the
citizens of the world will celebrate a giant Millineal Fair in tribute
to the event which happened a thousand years ago, and all the hardships
it had gone through since - like a war against an evil wizard named
Magus who tried to take over the kingdom four hundred years ago. Crono
is a common boy in this world, and he wakes up one morning to go and
celebrate the Millineal Fair with the rest of the known world. Crono had
only barely entered the fair when he accidentally bumped into a girl
wandering around in the crowd. She claimed that her name was Marle, and
asked Crono if she could follow him around for a while, and he accepted.
The couple travelled to an exhibit at the fair which was being put on by
Crono's best friend, Lucca, who was an inventor and scientist. The
invention was a telepod - you could step in one end and come out the
other. Crono tried it out first, and sure enough, came out the other
side in one piece. But when Marle tried it, she just disappeared without
a clue to where she went. Although this made Lucca panic, adventurous
Crono took the one thing Marle left behind when she disappeared - her
strange pendant - and stepped back into the pod. This time, he
disappeared, and awoke to find himself in the same place he was in, but
he was now four hundred years back in time...

As Crono, the player must travel back and forth in time to fix damaged
time strands in order to prevent the possibility of having an alternate
reality in which everything is destroyed in the future by an alien
creature named Lavos. Marle and Lucca will also be along for the ride,
but Crono will also meet certain characters from different points in
world history which will join the party on his way.

Chrono Trigger is in many ways like a Final Fantasy game, except instead
of a few large worlds there are many smaller worlds with links to the
past, present, and future to be explored. The idea of moving back and
forth in time is not a new one, but it does add so much to the story of
this game which revolves around time travel. The coolest new feature
this game has to offer over the others is multiple endings - the ending
is different depending on when Lavos is defeated (see article 5.1.15 for
more information).


* 3.3.4 - The Secret of Evermore (not released in Japan)

Basically, the storyline is very simple. It is about a boy and his dog
(whom the player names). from Podunk, USA. The boy is a bit obsessed
with Science Fiction films, as he is constantly referring occurrences in
the game to the films. The game starts with him and his dog leaving a
movie. His dog runs off to chase after a cat, which leads him to a huge
mansion. The dog runs in the mansion, and the boy follows. Inside, they
find a huge machine. The dog chews on the wire, and the machine sucks
him up inside. The boy has no choice but to follow. They find themselves
in a spaceship. The professor who used to live in Podunk in the 1960s
(it was his mansion) throws the boy and his dogs to some sentries, who
are easily beaten with a bazooka found there. Then, the boy and his dog
jump out the spaceship and fall to the earth. The boy also finds that
his dog has mutated.

The game play is similar to that of Secret of Mana. However, the magic
is a bit different. You use something called "alchemy" if you have ever
played the Ultima Series, the magic system will be VERY familiar to you.
Using the L and R buttons, the dog can "sniff" out items you need to
cast a spell. I.E. ash, crystal, water. Then, to cast a spell, you need
like 2 ash and 1 water.


* 3.3.5 - Front Mission (not released in the USA)

Front Mission is a turn based strategy game set in the near future.
Similar in format to such strategy games as Tactics Ogre, Ogre Battle,
and Final Fantasy Tactics, Front Mission places you at the head of a
small team of mobile suit clad mercenaries fighting for control of the
disputed Huffman Island.

Each battle takes place in one of many small but well-realised isometric
landscapes, ranging from wastelands to cityscapes. In combat the game
zooms in to give a more detailed view of the character and opponent who
fight using a wide variety of short, mid range and long range weapons.

Between levels, players have the opportunity to customize and upgrade
mobile suits using an impressive number of add-ons, weapons and body
parts, as well as gamble or fight in a coliseum.

Although Front Mission's excellent menu system and user interface are in
English, making the game perfectly playable to English speakers, the
storyline is entirely in Japanese. Despite this, the linear nature of
the story and the lack of any story based decision making means that the
game can be played from start to finish without too many problems.

Gameplay wise, Front mission is well balanced and easy to master thanks
to its clear interface. Some may find the game a little short, but this
does not detract from what must be one of the most playable and visually
appealing strategy games on the SNES.


* 3.3.6 - Breath of Fire (USA: Breath of Fire)

In times of peace, the discovery of a wish-granting goddess has caused
the rebirth of the Dark Dragons. Now they are amassing armies and
seizing towns, it is only a matter of time before the world bows before
them. The time has come for the Light Dragons to strike back, but they
have all been wiped out or are powerless. One young man will rise to the
challenge. He will have to travel the world and gain the powers of the
dragon, but he will not be alone. Seven other warriors from clans
throughout the world will go with him, and together they will somehow
stop the Dark Dragons, and the fanatical goddess that guides them.


* 3.3.7 - Romancing SaGa (not released in the USA)

Players can select one out of 8 characters as their main character, and
they'll get to meet all the other characters in the middle of the game.
(And more, of course). Players don't get level up, but they get
individual Power, HP, etc up after normal fights, randomly. (Kinda like
FF II - the Japanese version, that is.) The stories differ from
character to character. The player gets to know pieces of the story by
playing each character, but they form a big picture. Basically, there
are 3 bosses, two of which were beaten a long time ago by a hero. Maybe
a few heroes... They leave 12 pieces of jewelry, and two of them are
lost.  As the last boss is being reincarnated, the world became messed
up. So the eight people, for different reasons, start on their journies.


* 3.3.8 - Romancing SaGa II (not released in the USA)

A long time ago, seven heroes saved the world. Before they went away,
they said they would be back when there's a crisis. Recently, monsters
start to harm the innocent people. People were hoping for the seven
heroes to return. Indeed, finally, the seven heroes have returned, but
this time, they are monsters killing the innocent people. The main
character of the story starts on a quest to save the world. Players get
to play different generations of the royal family. They can develop a
country of their own, and can allocate resources in your country to
invent things. They can pass on techniques and skills to any
descendants, and save weapons for them.


* 3.3.9 - Romancing SaGa III (not released in the USA)

600 years ago, an event known as the "Shishoku" occurred when "Shisei,"
the Death Planet, eclipsed the sun, and all new infant life died on
Earth. All infants, baby animals, and new plants died. However, one baby
survived the "Shishoku," and when he grew up, he became the "Maou"
(Demon King) and conquered the earth. He opened the "Abyss Gates" to a
dimension where four races of evil Abyss beings lived. These beings
flooded the earth. However, suddenly the Maou disappeared, and the
attacks of the Abyss Gate monsters decreased.

300 years later, after the earth began to rebuild from the Maou's
domination, and another "Shishoku" occurred. Again, one baby managed to
survive the event, and the Maou's memory began to come back to the baby.
Fearing another world domination, the people tried to kill the infant,
but as fate would have it, the baby was not killed. However, when this
baby grew up, he became the "Seiou," (Holy King) and united the world in
peace and harmony. In addition, the Seiou sealed the Abyss Gates
completely.

Now, 300 years after the second "Shishoku," just as the peace that the
Seiou installed began to fall apart, yet another "Shishoku" occurred,
and yet another baby survived. However, having not yet fully grown,
nobody knows how this baby will turn out.

Romancing Saga 3 takes place more than a decade after the third
"Shishoku." The player picks a main character out of eight characters:
Julian, a member of the Shinon group of pioneers; Ellen, a childhood
friend of Julian's and fellow member of Shinon; Harid, a world-famous
mercenary; Sara, Ellen's younger sister; Monica, the princess of the
country of Roanu; Katarina, Monica's personal guard and surrogate older
sister; Thomas, a childhood friend of Julian, Ellen, and Sara, and
president of a trading company; and Mikhail, Ellen's older brother and
young king of Roanu. Through a random storm, all these characters get
tied together and go on a single quest in the beginning, splitting into
different parties. Afterwards, the story splits and focuses on the main
character's point of view. Later on, the main characters learn that
there are four Abyss Gates still open and go out to seal them off. And
of course, the baby that survived the "Shishoku" plays no small part in
all of this...

In terms of gameplay, RS3 shares some similarities with RS2 in that
there are no experience levels and character advancement depends solely
upon what each character practices. At the beginning of the game, in
addition to picking a main character, the player must also pick a
homeworld and weapon for your character. These choices will affect what
areas of the game the player will do well in. A large part of the combat
system depends on weapon techniques learned randomly in battles.
Although the techniques are learned randomly, weapon skill and primary
weapon also affect this as well. Like the other RS games, there are no
random battles; the monsters you fight are determined randomly, but
fights will not start until you run into an enemy icon on the map. 
Being an almost completely non-linear game, the plot of RS3 will depend
slightly upon various choices the player makes throughout the game, and
what characters are in the party. Unlike most RPGs, though, instead of
having one continuous plot, RS3 consists almost entirely of many small
subplots. Most of these subplots can be taken in any order, and it is
not necessary to complete all of them. Also, some subplots are only open
to certain characters, like the company management event for Thomas, and
the "country ruling" event for Mikhail.


* 3.3.10 - Bahamut Lagoon (not released in the USA)

In a strange world (name?) where lands float in the air (ala realm of
air from deathgate), an emperor launched an attack on the other
countries. The hero is the leader of the "Dragon riders" of the last
country to be attacked. The emperor attacked this country the last
because of the legend that the greatest and most powerful dragon will
come when the country is in crisis. The dragon riders attack, and lost,
and the country was taken over, along with the princess. She and the
hero are lovers. Well, after some time, the hero returns from his
dissapearence (he dissapeared after the battle) and forms the rebellion,
and tries to rescue the princess.

This game is actually a strategy game with RPG elements. Characters form
groups of 4 and each group has a dragon. This game's unique feature is
how the player "feeds" different things to the dragons, ie. used armor,
potions, weapons, items etc. and they add or decrease the dragons'
attributes. Another is the dragons cannot be controlled by the player.
The player controls the dragons buy 3 commands: Follow and do not
attack, follow and attack enemies in range, and free attack. The dragons
react according to their attributes, like if it's intelligence is good,
it would avoid poisonous areas on the map when moving and hit the enemy
at where they're weakest (hate it when the enemy is of element lightning
and the dragon cast lightning and HEALS it). Other attributes are like
elements, which controls what type of attack the dragon uses, and normal
attacks(claws and teeth!) and defense etc. Oh, BTW, the dragons change
appearance too.


* 3.3.11 - Super Mario RPG (USA: Super Mario RPG)

The plot to this game (which was co-produced by Square and Nintendo)
seems simple at first. In fact, the plot is almost exactly the same as
the plots in many of the previous Super Mario Bros. games: The Princess
has been kidnapped by Bowser (again!), and Mario (Luigi makes his only
appearances in the game's manual this time around) goes after her. This
time, Mario travels straight to Bowser's castle, and while the two are
fighting, a strange thing happens: A giant sword falls from the sky and
into the castle; sending Mario, Bowser, and the Princess flying out of
the castle. Mario fortunately lands right into his small house, but the
Princess is missing and Mario can't get back into the castle. As the
plot thickens, however, it's revealed to Mario that the Star Road has
been shattered by the Smithies (the same forces guiding the sword), and
without it, wishes can never be answered. In order to fix the Star Road,
Mario needs to find seven stars, and then drive the Smithies out of the
Mushroom World.

Super Mario RPG not only enhances on the Mario theme by keeping classic
Mario elements (like the ?-mark blocks everyone's familiar with,
Starman, etc.) and adding in a new semi-3D world, but it's also the
first of the many Mario games over the years to have a role-playing
style to it. Mario punches, hammers, jumps, kicks shells at enemies; and
also fights with a group of up to two other characters. There's plenty
of tiny bites of humor throughout the game, puzzles to solve, places to
visit, and various sub-games to play. Some of the puzzles and sub-games
in Super Mario RPG, however, may only be easy for people who can
maintain a solid rhythem and have an understanding of the C major scale
in sol-fesh, because non-musicians may have a hard time trying to race
Boshi or helping Toadofsky with his songs. Otherwise, this is a very
solid game.


* 3.3.12 - Rudora no Hihou/Rudra's Secret Treasure (not released in the
USA)

After 4000 years of prosperity of the one race of life, there will be
one who brings the end to that race... one's name is known as Rudora.
Rudora will bring an end to one race and also brings creation of the
next race to prosper. Almost 4000 years have past since the race begin
to flourish... air was polluted, and there was a sign of the end of
human race worldwide. Will there be a way to escape from Rudora's
routine of destruction and creation? "Rudora no Hihou" vividly describes
the human race that fought against destiny in the last 16 days before
Rudora's destruction began...

In "Rudora no Hihou," the player searches for the strongest magic by
themselves. With different combinations of the specific word (Japanese
characters), magic attribute, strength and MP consumption will change.
Explore around to making magic and create your own ultimate magic!


* 3.3.13 - Treasure Hunter G (not released in the USA)

The FAQ maintainer has never played this game before, so could someone
help him fill this space here? Thanks.


* 3.3.14 - Hanjyuku Hero (not released in the USA)

Hanjyuku Hero was a "simulation game" produced by Square around the time
of FF V (FF5), for the SFC. There was a predecessor on the Famicom, but
I have no information about it. The game contains lots of Japanese puns,
and was not translated to any foreign language.

The player, "hanjyuku hero," was the leader of an Arumamuun nation. But
over a long period of peace, he becomes sloppy, so the nation is on the
verge of destruction. Just then, the "kanjyuku army" invades, and the
player is to fight a war against them.

The game is a simple real-time simulation, where the objective in each
stage is to capture all the castles on the map, then defeat the stage
boss. Each unit consists of a leader and a bunch of nameless soldiers.
The characteristic of this game is the "egg monsters": some leaders (on
either side) are equipped with an "egg," which allows them to summon an
egg monster in battle. However, that which monster would appear is
random, and the power of the egg monster varies greatly, though in most
cases it would have no problem squashing enemy human troops.

The story is a comedy, with a hero who is kind of sloppy. The highlight
is on the egg monsters, many of whom are parodies or puns of FFIV (FF4)
characters and objects.


* 3.3.15 - Breath of Fire II (not usually considered a Square game, but
discussed in this newsgroup anyway)

When only a young boy, after a disturbing dream and a mysterious
encounter with a dragon, the hero's family has disappeared and no one
recognizes him. He runs from the town with a young thief named Bow, only
to be challenged by a horrific demon that calls him the destined child.
It easily renders him unconscious and throws him from the cave. Ten
years later, he and Bow have become junior Rangers at a town, and in the
events that follow he begins to realize that he is, indeed, the destined
child. And he has a mission.


* 3.4 - Square Games for the Sony PlayStation (PSX)


* 3.4.1 - Tobal #1 (USA: Tobal #1)

Tobal #1 was Square's first experiment with the fighting game genre.
They mixed fighting and role playing in a mode called "Quest mode,"
which will be very familiar to you if you've played Double Dragon V
before.

Originally, the main selling point behind this game was that it included
a demo disc for an upcoming Square game, Final Fantasy VII.


* 3.4.2 - Tobal II (not released in the USA)

The FAQ maintainer has never played this game before, so could someone
help him fill this space here? Thanks.


* 3.4.3 - Bushido Blade (USA: Bushido Blade)

Bushido Blade is a fighting game with Japanese swords - "Bushido" is a
samurai sword fighting style. Characters in this game don't have energy,
as in traditional fighting games, but are instead defeated by any
bone-crunching katana slash. Little else can be said about the game...


* 3.4.4 - Xenogears (USA: Xenogears)

The destruction of an intergalactic space ship lead to the population of
the previously uninhabited continent of Ignas. The north nation, Kislev,
has been at war with Aveh, the south nation. It was then that the Church
(aka "Ethos") discovered ancient fighting robots known as "gears," and
so, armies on both sides dug up & deployed these gears to aid their war
efforts. Later, the government of Aveh was taken over by a mysterious
high-tech force known as "Gebler," who continued to fight against
Kislev.

Xenogears tells a story about Fei Fong Wong, a small-town young adult
with a gift for visual and martial arts. Fei's two best friends, Timothy
and Alice, are marrying each other. On the day before their wedding,
though, their village is mysteriously attacked by gears. Unable to
resist, Fei climbs into an empty gear, unaware of the cruel destiny
which awaits him...

The most unique feature of the game is the actual battles with robots.
During the course of the game, each character acquires one gear which
they can call during combat to use against larger & stronger enemies.
Gears do not actually "level up" but acquire their power by purchasing
better parts for them to use.

This is also the first Square game to have hand-drawn anime movie
sequencies instead of having pre-rendered movies exclusively.


* 3.4.5 - Front Mission Alternative (not released in the USA)

See 3.4.2.


* 3.4.6 - SaGa Frontier (USA: SaGa Frontier)

Just like Romancing SaGa I, this game has no central storyline. Players
can select a character, and then guide that character through their
life. Along the way, the character may encounter other lead characters,
as well as a number of supporting characters.


* 3.4.7 - Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon (not released in the USA)

A chocobo from a chocobo village found a magic crystal which made him
become evil, and now resides in a mysterious dungeon. Now, another
chocobo from the town is going to brave the dungeon and find him.

The best way to describe the game would be that it is a Rogue-like game,
complete with magic and summoned monsters. There's also a "forge
system," where weapons can be combined to become more powerful. The
village also grows as the player gets deeper into the dungeon.

This game came packed with a "mysterious data disc" which included cheat
saves for existing Square games and preview videos of some of Square's
other games - Xenogears, Parasite Eve, Soukagai, and more. (A variation
on this disc, without the saved games, was published with Parasite Eve
in the USA.)


* 3.4.8 - Einhander (USA: Einhander)

Earth has declared war on Selene, a prosperous moon colony first settled
in the 21st century. Although Earth is still likely to win the war with
its vast resources, Selene has a new hope: Fighter ships by Endymion and
Astraea, known collectively as "Einhander," are being used successfully
to thwart Earth's progress in the war.

The player controls one of three ships: The Endymion FRS Mks. II and
III, as well as the Astraea FGA Mk. I. Each ship can be equipped with
special weapons stolen from enemy ships in battle. Weapons can be
mounted on the top or bottom of the Einhander, and behave differently
depending on the side they're on.

Einhander is at heart a two-dimensional futuristic shooting game,
similar to the Gradius and R-Type series. However, unlike the
traditional shooters, everything in the game is animated in 3D.


* 3.4.9 - Parasite Eve (USA: Parasite Eve)

Based on a Japanese novel of the same name, Parasite Eve casts the
player as Aya Brea, a 23 year-old rookie cop with the New York Police
Department. As Christmas approaches, she is invited to an opera at
Carnegie Hall with her boyfriend. While watching the show, however, the
lead female singer, Melissa Gilbert, gives Aya a strange look, then
proceeds to cause most of the audience to spontaneously combust.
Unscathed, Aya runs to the stage to confront Melissa, who now insists on
being called "Eve" and begins to drop hints about the "liberation of the
mitochondria" to come...

Produced by Square USA, Parasite Eve contains many breathtaking CGI
visuals and spans 2 CDs. Some of its unique features include the
Parasite Energy system (a bar not unlike a Magic Points system which
only regenerates in battle), which represents the activity of the
mitochondria within Aya's body, and the Weapons Graft system, which
enables the player to customize their weapons and armor with features
from other armaments.

The USA version of the game also packed in a demo disc containing a demo
of Xenogears; plus previews of Brave Fencer Musashi(den), Final Fantasy
VIII, and Bushido Blade II. The disc was the rough equivilant of the
"mysterious data disc" which came with Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon in
Japan.


* 3.4.10 - Brave Fencer Musashiden (USA: Brave Fencer Musashi)

When the Thirstquencher Empire kidnaps the princess of the Allucaneet
Kingdom while her parents are on vacation, who's she gonna call? Brave
Fencer Musashi! After an opening quest where Musashi finds the long
sword named Regent ("Lumina" in the USA release), he departs on a quest
to save the princess and 35 of her missing servants. Along the way,
he'll collect scrolls which unlock powers of his sword; as well as
dueling with fearsome crest guardians and his arch-rival, Kojiro.

This game came packed with a demo disc containing a playable preview of
Final Fantasy VIII.


* 3.4.11 - Ehrgeiz (USA: Ehrgeiz)

This game, co-developed by Square and Namco, is sort of like a cross
between Tekken and Tobal, with a few characters from Final Fantasy VII
thrown in.


* 3.4.12 - SaGa Frontier II (USA: SaGa Frontier II)

In the Kingdom of Finney, an heir is born to the throne. The heir,
Gustave XIII, enjoys a nice life as being the future king of Finney -
until it is discovered that Gustave has no Anima, the element which
gives people magical powers, making Gustave by default unfit to rule. He
and his mother, Sophie, are exiled to a faraway kingdom where they
became treated like nobles. Gustave's story begins after he learns about
smithery from a master blacksmith...

SaGa Frontier II builds on the first game by reducing the amount of
quests in the game while adding to the plot/storyline of Gustave and one
other character, a digger named Wil Knights. The game brings back a
variation of SaGa Frontier's battle system, as well as an all-new "duel"
one-on-one battle system, and reintroduces the breakable weapons from
the first SaGa games.


* 3.4.13 - Chocobo Racing (USA: Chocobo Racing)

This go-cart-style racing game features a diverse cast of Final Fantasy
characters. In addition to characters such as the chocobo and goblin
(imp), there is the white and black mages from the original Final
Fantasy, Cid Pollendina from Final Fantasy IV, Mog from Final Fantasy
VI, and a few secret characters from Final Fantasy VII and VIII.


* 3.4.14 - Chrono Cross (USA: Chrono Cross)

Twenty years after Crono and friends returned from defeating Lavos in
Chrono Trigger, time and space are once again distorted. Serge, a kid
living in the small village of Arni, is asked by his friend, Leena, to
hunt down some Komodo scales. Upon presenting the scales to Leena at the
nearby Opassa Beach, however, Serge is suddenly surrounded by a blue
light, and he collapses. Upon awakening, he finds himself in an
alternate reality where he drowned ten years ago...

Chrono Cross, despite having a different producer and character designer
for the game, is a worthy successor to its predecessor. While most of
the gameplay and some of the characters from the first game are back,
the game features an overwhelmingly large cast of characters, who become
available depending on some of the decisions the player makes while
playing the game. Also, the game does away with time meters in battles,
and the intensity of attacks in battles can be determined by the player,
sort of like in Xenogears. The game uses 3D characters on pre-rendered
backgrounds, and has a small amount of full motion video clips.


* 3.4.15 - Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon II (USA: Chocobo Dungeon II)

See 3.4.5.


* 3.4.16 - Vagrant Story (USA: Vagrant Story)

Vagrant Story is set in a world which resembles mainland Europe during
medieval times. As the story opens, Duke Barbadoa's manor has been
sacked by Mullenkamp, a group of religious fanatics led by Sydney
Losstarot. Meanwhile, Ashley Riot, an elite knight called a
"riskbreaker," enters the ghost town of Lea Monde. During Ashley's
visit, he encounters dark powers like the world had never seen before.
And Sydney seems to be controlling them...

Vagrant Story combines the best features of action, adventure, puzzle,
and role-playing games to provide a gaming experience like no other.
Ashley acquires a variety of weapons which possess strengths and
weaknesses over various elements and character classes. Weapons and
armor can be combined together, and weapons can be attached to a variety
of grips and jewels, allowing players to make their own customized
weapons. There's also an in-depth magic system with four varieties of
spells.

The game also has one of the largest storylines in a Square game since
Xenogears, as well as one of the best in-game graphics engines ever seen
in a PlayStation game.


* 3.4.17 - Seiken Densetsu: The Legend of Mana (USA: Legend of Mana)

There isn't much backstory to this game. Basically, players take control
of a character set in a Secret of Mana-like world and complete various
quests for the various characters in the world. Each location can only
be reached by placing an everyday item on a world map, causing the new
location to be revealed.


* 3.4.18 - Front Mission III (USA: Front Mission III)

See 3.4.15.


* 3.4.19 - DewPrism (USA: Threads of Fate)

See 3.4.18.


* 3.4.20 - Parasite Eve II (USA: Parasite Eve II)

See 3.4.19.


* 3.5 - Square Games for the Sony PlayStation 2 (PS2)


* 3.5.1 - Driving Emotion Type-S (USA: Driving Emotion Type-S)

See 3.4.18.


* 3.5.2 - The Bouncer (USA: The Bouncer)

See 3.5.1.


* 3.5.3 - Gekikuukan Pro Baseball (not released in the USA)

See 3.5.2.


* 3.5.4 - All-Star Pro Wrestling (not released in the USA)

See 3.5.3.


* * * To Be Continued in Part 2 * * *
-- 
Nick Zitzmann
ICQ: 22305512

To see my real signature, finger my E-Mail address.

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