Back in the Day: Final Fantasy 7

Because 2004 doesn’t qualify as “Back in the Day” to me.

Sometimes a video game comes along that tells a timeless story. A story we all know and love: Spiky-haired Boy with big sword meets Girl. Girl likes Spiky-haired Boy with big sword. Spiky-haired Boy with big sword finds out Girl is last of an ancient race tied to the very planet itself. Spiky-haired Boy with big sword and Girl discover supposedly dead super soldier with even better hair and bigger sword is planning to destroy EVERYTHING. Girl is stabbed by supposedly dead super soldier with even better hair and bigger sword (not in the sexy way) and no, really, there ISN’T a way to revive her, sorry. And then there’s a flaming ball of death in the sky.

End of Disc One.

And I’m sorry if you were just spoiled, but dude. Come on. Aeris DIES, the boat SINKS and Rosebud is his fucking SLED.

Final Fantasy 7 is, obviously, the 7th installment in the Final Fantasy series. For those of you unfamiliar with Final Fantasy, heathens, that doesn’t mean it’s the 7th sequel. The series is related by similar story and gameplay elements, but none of the games are really tied together storywise (in fact, the only direct sequel to a game was the sequel to Final Fantasy 10, which was actually known as Final Fantasy 10-2…though there are indications that FF10 and 10-2 are tied to FF7…but that’s a long story). 7 is a game you either love or hate from what I’ve seen…many fans of the “classic” Final Fantasies weren’t happy with the story’s sci-fi elements and setting and the movement away from classic sword and sorcery genre.

But regardless of the critics, 7 has gone on to be probably the most well known of the games…or at least the most profitable. In fact, I’m writing this blog partially in celebration of the release of Final Fantasy Crisis Core for the Sony Playstation Portable (PSP). The game has lent itself to an expanded universe including multiple video games, an anime and a feature length movie: Final Fantasy: Advent Children.

Character-wise, the cast was much smaller than the previous installment, Final Fantasy 6, but still offered a wide variety of characters and two optional characters. I mean, if you can CALL Vincent Valentine optional.

Your playable cast…and Cait Sith. Really, did ANYONE ever use him?

The game itself was the first Final Fantasy to be rendered in 3-D and was the first to be released for Sony’s Playstation console. The game was ALSO to be released for the Ninetendo system, however a number of complications (mostly involving the game’s length and Nintendo’s refusal to move to the disc format over cartridges) forced that to be put aside. It also meant that no Final Fantasy would be released for a Nintendo system until Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles released for the Game Cube.

The game also encouraged breeding of Chocobos. I think my favorite commentary on the whole situation is either here or here (originally a hidden animation from Legendary Frog. Sorry, wasn’t going to subject you to the mini-game just to see it :/)

Sadly, FF7 is hard to get ahold of these days. I can only hope that means Square-Enix is planning a re-release at some point in the future. But now, just the case for the game goes on E-bay for $10 plus shipping.

But of course, the biggest question is, who’s got the better hair: Cloud or Sephiroth?