Recurring FINAL FANTASY logo.
|Platform(s)||Android, Arcade, BlackBerry OS, Windows Phone, Mobile phone, MSX, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo DS, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo Entertainment System, GameCube, iOS, Ouya, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation Vita, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Wii, Microsoft Windows, WonderSwan, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch|
|Platform of origin||Nintendo Entertainment System|
|Year of inception||1987|
|First installment||FINAL FANTASY (1987)|
|Latest installment||FINAL FANTASY VII Remake (2020)|
The FINAL FANTASY (ファイナルファンタジー) universe refers to the Super Smash Flash series' collection of characters, stages, items, and properties that hail from SQUARE ENIX's best selling franchise of console role-playing games and one of the most recognized series in the video games industry. The installments feature recurring elements like plot themes, character names, and game mechanics, though most installments have independent storylines with various different settings and main characters. The KINGDOM HEARTS franchise serves as a pseudo spin-off of the FINAL FANTASY franchise (with some characters making guest appearances) making it a sub-universe of the latter. Although it was eventually introduced in the Super Smash Bros. games, years after its introduction in the Super Smash Flash, it carried a different symbol, that being a crystal — a recurring legendary item found is all the FINAL FANTASY games — rather than the series initials, the latter of which was added in Beta 1.3.
Series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi had intended to make a role-playing game (RPG) for a long time, but his employer Square refused to give him permission as it expected low sales of such a product. However, when the RPG DRAGON QUEST was released and proved to be a hit in Japan, the company reconsidered its stance on the genre and approved Sakaguchi's vision of an RPG title. The team wanted a title that would abbreviate to "FF", which would sound good in Japanese. The name was originally going to be Fighting Fantasy, but due to concerns over trademark conflicts with the roleplaying gamebook series of the same name, they needed to settle for something else. They eventually chose FINAL FANTASY. According to Sakaguchi, any title that created the "FF" abbreviation would have done.
The first installment of the series, FINAL FANTASY, premiered in Japan on December 18, 1987. Three FINAL FANTASY installments were released on the Nintendo Entertainment System. FINAL FANTASY was released in Japan in 1987 and in North America in 1990. It introduced many concepts to the console RPG genre, and has since been remade on several platforms. FINAL FANTASY II, released in 1988 in Japan, has been bundled with Final Fantasy in several re-releases. The last of the NES installments, FINAL FANTASY III, was released in Japan in 1990; however, it was not released elsewhere until a Nintendo DS remake in 2006.
The Super Nintendo Entertainment System also featured three installments of the main series, all of which have been re-released on several platforms. FINAL FANTASY IV was released in 1991; in North America, it was released as FINAL FANTASY II. It introduced the "Active Time Battle" system. FINAL FANTASY V, released in 1992 in Japan, was first in the series to spawn a sequel: a short anime series titled FINAL FANTASY: Legend of the Crystals. FINAL FANTASY VI was released in Japan in 1994, but it was titled FINAL FANTASY III in North America.
The PlayStation console saw the release of three main FINAL FANTASY games. The 1997 title FINAL FANTASY VII moved away from the two-dimensional (2D) graphics used in the first six games to three-dimensional (3D) computer graphics; the game features polygonal characters on pre-rendered backgrounds. It also introduced a more modern setting, a style that was carried over to the next game. The eighth installment was published in 1999, and was the first to consistently use realistically proportioned characters and feature a vocal piece as its theme music. FINAL FANTASY IX, released in 2000, returned to the series' roots by revisiting a more traditional Final Fantasy setting rather than the more modern worlds of VII and VIII.
Three main installments, including one online game, were published for the PlayStation 2. The 2001 title FINAL FANTASY X introduced full 3D areas and voice acting to the series, and was the first to spawn a direct video game sequel, FINAL FANTASY X-2. FINAL FANTASY XI was released on the PS2 and PC in 2002, and later on the Xbox 360. The first massive multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) in the series, FINAL FANTASY XI also introduced real-time battles instead of random encounters. The twelfth installment, published in 2006, also includes real-time battles in large, interconnected playfields.
FINAL FANTASY XIII was developed for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, and was released in 2009 in Japan, and in 2010 in North America and Europe. It is the flagship installment of the Fabula Nova Crystallis FINAL FANTASY XIII compilation. Final Fantasy XIV, an MMORPG was released in 2010 for the PlayStation 3 and PC. As a result of the game's poor reception, Square Enix formed a new development team to create FINAL FANTASY XIV: A Realm Reborn, which was released worldwide on August 27, 2013 for the PS3, PC and the first entry for the PlayStation 4. The latest entry in the main series is FINAL FANTASY XV, whose development cycle began in 2006, when it was a PS3-exclusive spin-off titled FINAL FANTASY VERSUS XIII, which lasted approximately ten years. It was released worldwide on November 29, 2016 on the PS4 and Xbox One.
FINAL FANTASY has spawned numerous spin-offs and metaseries. Three SQUARE ENIX games were released in North America with their titles changed to include "FINAL FANTASY": THE FINAL FANTASY LEGEND and its two sequels. The games, however, are part of Square's Saga series and feature few similarities to FINAL FANTASY. FINAL FANTASY ADVENTURE is a spin-off that spawned the Mana series. FINAL FANTASY MYSTIC QUEST was developed for a United States audience, and FINAL FANTASY TACTICS is a tactical RPG that features many references and themes found in the series. The spin-off Chocobo series, Crystal Chronicles series and KINGDOM HEARTS series also include multiple FINAL FANTASY elements. In 2003, the video game series' first direct sequel, Final Fantasy X-2, was released. Other spin-offs have taken the form of compilations: Compilation of FINAL FANTASY VII, Ivalice Alliance, and Fabula Nova Crystallis FINAL FANTASY XIII. In 2008, SQUARE ENIX released FINAL FANTASY IV: The After Years for the Mobile Phone in Japan and in 2009 for the WiiWare in North America. FINAL FANTASY VII ADVENT CHILDREN was released in Japan on September 2005 North America on April 2006 has been topping the charts of anime till date selling 10.5 million. The blu-ray version of the film was the fastest selling anime Blu-ray in in Japan selling 100000 copies in its first day. In 2015, it was announced FINAL FANTASY VII protagonist, Cloud Strife, would be making an appearance as playable fighter in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U alongside his home stage, Midgar, both released as paid DLC; this happened after game's director, Masahiro Sakurai was requested to add a FINAL FANTASY character in Super Smash Bros. and Cloud was elected among the others. He returns alongside related content in Ultimate, where his nemsis Sephiroth was added as DLC in December 2020, expanding the sparse representation of the series.
In the Super Smash Flash series
In Super Smash Flash
The FINAL FANTASY franchise appears in Super Smash Flash, and, like many others, has only one character to represent it.
- Cloud Strife: Appearing as an unlockable fighter, Cloud is the main protagonist of the game FINAL FANTASY VII. He is portrayed as a mercenary and self-proclaimed ex-member of SOLDIER, a select, genetically augmented military unit operating under the de facto world government and megacorporation Shinra Electric Power Company. He wields a sword called the Buster Sword which is mainly used in all of his attacks except for his down attack where he casts a spell that create a magic shield around him. Cloud is also known as the eternal unlockable since due a glitch, everybody could fight Cloud in his unlock match; even with the same Cloud.
In Super Smash Flash 2
The franchise returned in Super Smash Flash 2 with more representation, this time with games from the NES and SNES eras.
- Black Mage: A very unexpected starter character who debuted in v0.7 of the demo, the Black Mage is the offensive magic caster of the Light Warriors fro the FINAL FANTASY series. While the Black Mage has weak combat skills and the lowest HP out of any character class, he is capable of inflicting negative status effects and causing great damage to the enemy with his Black Magic. All of these compose the majority of his move set in SSF2.
- White Mage: Another recurring job class from the FINAL FANTASY, when she is released, White Mage will conjure a positive magic spell on her summoner, like recovering a portion of damage or all together at once.
- Chaos Shrine: A stage derived from the first FINAL FANTASY game. It consists of various ruins and it is located at the center of the archipelago in which FINAL FANTASY takes place. The shrine also features a Dark Crystal in Garland's chamber.
- Lunar Core: A stage from FINAL FANTASY IV. It's a large stage with two platforms over three more platforms that are connected by staircases. If hazards are turned on; then beams of red light will appear horizontally and vertically that will harm the player.