Saturday, May 12, 2007


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Main article: Final Fantasy music
Final Fantasy is the first Japanese-origin video game franchise to mass market its soundtracks in the United States. The international popularity of video game music began to surge with the success of the Final Fantasy series, particularly Final Fantasy VI and later games in the series. Nobuo Uematsu was the chief music composer of the Final Fantasy series until his resignation from Square Enix in November 2004. His music has played a large part in the popularity of the Final Fantasy franchise abroad. In the 2004 Summer Olympics, the American synchronized swimming duo consisting of Alison Bartosik and Anna Kozlova were awarded the bronze medal for their performance to music from Final Fantasy VIII.[9] Uematsu is also involved with the rock group The Black Mages, which has released two albums of arranged Final Fantasy tunes. Other composers who have contributed to the series include Masashi Hamauzu, Junya Nakano and Hitoshi Sakimoto. Hitoshi Sakimoto, Hayao Matsuo, Yuji Toriyama, and Nobuo Uematsu have composed the soundtrack of Final Fantasy XII.
There have already been two successful runs of Final Fantasy concerts in Japan as of 2004. Final Fantasy soundtracks and sheet music are also increasingly popular amongst non-Japanese Final Fantasy fans and have even been performed by the London Symphony Orchestra. On November 17, 2003, Square Enix U.S.A. launched an AOL Radio station dedicated to music from the Final Fantasy series, initially carrying complete tracks from Final Fantasy XI in addition to samplings from Final Fantasy VII through Final Fantasy X. Many video game and MIDI world wide web sites offer renditions of Final Fantasy musical pieces, and many remixes can be found.
The Dear Friends: Music From Final Fantasy concert tour was established, starting February 2005, due to the success of the first Final Fantasy concert performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra at Walt Disney Concert Hall on May 10, 2004. Music from Final Fantasy was first performed outside of Japan as a part of the Symphonic Game Music Concert series in Germany. The Final Fantasy soundtracks have also joined the catalogue of the iTunes Music Store.
While the music in the games offers wide variety, there are some frequently reused themes. The games often open with a piece called Prelude, which is a simple arpeggio theme in the early games, with further melodies added in later games. The battle sequences that end in victory for the player in the first ten installments of the series would be accompanied by a victory fanfare that used the same nine-note sequence to begin the fanfare, and it has become one of the most recognized pieces of music relating to the Final Fantasy series. The fanfare was also used in the movie Final Fantasy VII Advent Children as Loz's ringtone, heard while he was in Aerith's Church fighting Tifa. Other memorable tunes include the Chocobo's theme, the Moogle's theme, and a piece originally called "Ahead On Our Way" in Final Fantasy I, which was in fact the opening theme and which is now usually played during the ending credits of the game and called "Prologue" (in many cases, this theme is also known simply as "Final Fantasy").
Notably in the character-driven Final Fantasy incarnations, a significant element in each game's musical score is the use of leitmotifs. A leitmotif, popularized by Romantic Era composer Richard Wagner, can be described as a 'theme melody' for a specific character, situation, or other entity. In nearly all Final Fantasy games, the most important characters and plot elements have their own theme music. For example, in Final Fantasy VII, the song "Anxious Heart" is generally played whenever the main character's troubled past is brought up in the storyline.
Video game music, in particular the popular tracks from the Final Fantasy series, has also found its niche in the Australian market. Hiroaki Yura founded Eminence Symphony Orchestra, which claims to be the first group outside of Japan to perform anime and video game music. Nobuo Uematsu attended one of their concerts in 2004. Similar endeavors have also been founded by the American-based organisations Play! and Video Games Live.

Sunday, April 29, 2007



See also: Final Fantasy designers category

Yoshitaka Amano designed the characters for the first six Final Fantasy games, as well as providing some conceptual artwork for Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy IX. The above is a depiction of Terra riding a suit of Magitek Armor from Final Fantasy VI.
Artistic design, including character and monster design work, was handled by Japanese artist Yoshitaka Amano from Final Fantasy through Final Fantasy VI, as well as title logo designs for all of the main series and all of the image illustrations from Final Fantasy VII onward. Following Amano's departure, he was replaced by Tetsuya Nomura, who continued to work with the series through Final Fantasy X, with the exception of Final Fantasy IX, in which character design was handled by Shukou Murase with Toshiyuki Itahana and Shin Nagasawa assisting Murase. Nomura is also the character designer of the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, and all three installments of the upcoming Fabula Nova Crystallis: Final Fantasy XIII. In Final Fantasy XI, the characters were designed by Nobuyoshi Mihara.[8]
Akihiko Yoshida, who served as character designer for the spinoff title Final Fantasy Tactics, as well as the Square-produced Vagrant Story, recently became more involved with the series as the character designer of Final Fantasy XII and the Final Fantasy III remake.
In October 2003, Kazushige Nojima, the series' principle scenario writer since Final Fantasy VII, resigned from Square Enix to form his own company, Stellavista. He partially or completely wrote the stories for Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VIII, Final Fantasy X, and Final Fantasy X-2. Square Enix continues to contract story and scenario work to Nojima and Stellavista.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Common themes and motifs

Common themes and motifs
Main article: Common themes of Final Fantasy
Though each Final Fantasy story is independent, many themes and elements of gameplay recur throughout the series. Some spin-off titles have cameo appearances of characters from preceding stories, but in most cases merely the names are reused, so that each game has its own unique collection of characters in totally unrelated worlds.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Final Fantasy (series)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Final Fantasy (ファイナルファンタジー, Fainaru Fantajī?) is a series of RPGs and films developed and published by Square Enix Co., Ltd. (formerly Square Co., Ltd.).
Final Fantasy is the fourth-best selling video game franchise of all time, having sold over 70 million units worldwide as of January 2007, trailing Mario, Pokémon, and The Sims.[1] The franchise later branched out into other genres and platforms, such as tactical RPGs, portable games, MMORPGs and games for mobile phones. The series also spurred the release of three animated productions and two full length CGI films.
The first installment of the series premiered in Japan on December 18, 1987, and Final Fantasy games have subsequently been localized for markets in North America, Europe and Australia on numerous video game consoles,[2] IBM PC compatible computers, and several different models of mobile phones. Future installments have been announced to appear on seventh generation video game consoles. Two upcoming titles for the PS3 include Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy Versus XIII.
As of March 2007, there are about 28 games[3] in the franchise. This number includes installments from Final Fantasy to Final Fantasy XII, along with a few direct sequels (Final Fantasy X-2) and numerous spin-offs.
1 Overview
2 Common themes and motifs
3 Design
4 Music
5 Graphics and technology
5.1 The cartridge generations
5.2 The disc generations
6 Gameplay
6.1 Game screens
6.2 Battle system
7 Notes
8 References
9 External links

[edit] Overview
See also: List of Final Fantasy titles
Square Co., Ltd. first entered the Japanese video game industry in the mid 1980s, developing a variety of simple RPGs for Nintendo's Famicom Disk System (FDS), a disk-based peripheral for the Family Computer (also known as the "Famicom," and known internationally as the Nintendo Entertainment System). By 1987, declining interest in the FDS had placed Square on the verge of bankruptcy. At approximately the same time, Square designer Hironobu Sakaguchi began work on an ambitious new fantasy role playing game for the cartridge-based Famicom, inspired in part by Enix's popular Dragon Quest (known as Dragon Warrior in the United States until 2005).[4] According to unconfirmed sources, Sakaguchi had plans to retire after the completion of the project, so it was named Final Fantasy. Andrew Vestal, who used to run the UnOfficial SquareSoft HomePage (UOSSHP), also attributed the name to the company's hopes that the project would help with their financial woes.[5]Final Fantasy reversed Square's lagging fortunes, and became their flagship franchise.
Following the success of the first game, Square quickly began work on a second installment. Unlike a typical sequel, Final Fantasy II featured entirely different characters, with a setting and story bearing only some thematic similarities to its predecessor. Some of the gameplay elements, such as the character advancement system, were also completely changed. This approach to future installments has continued throughout the series, with each major Final Fantasy game introducing a new world, a new cast of characters, and a new system of gameplay.[6][citation needed