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Terra and Lightning's RPG Roundup

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Friday, September 6, 2013

Episode 7: Final Fantasy—Wash Your Damn Face! (NES)

Final Fantasy
Platform: NES. NES version also available on the Wii Virtual Console (for this review, anyway)
Japanese Release Date: December 17, 1987
North American Release Date: July 12, 1990
Difficulty: Moderate
Amazon Price: $85 for a new NES cartridge
Wii Virtual Console: About $5

One podcast episode, two reviews!

Lightning's Review
When a fountain tells you to wash your #%#%#@% face, then you’d better damn well do it.

The Good
  • This is the real deal! This version reviewed is THE 8 bit original Final Fantasy that started it all. For you retro gamers out there, this is a treat that holds up well despite being over 20 years old.
  • The 8 bit beep beep boop booping of the soundtrack and the colorful sprites will bring tears of nostalgia to your eyes.
  • A solid (if simple) combat and class system that allows for high replay value.
The Bad
  • You want a good RPG story? Well, you won’t find it here. This is as bare bones as they come.
  • A targeting system that will make you bellow in rage when your characters hit dead air when you’ve misjudged how long it will take to kill an enemy. It may add some strategic value to the game, but more often than not it will just add frustration.
The Ugly
  • Realizing that there is NO WAY to warp out of a dungeon after your white mage dies.
  • The Ogre Corridor of Doom. You have been warned.
  • Viewing red mage cosplay pictures on the net.  

That pretty much sums it up.

The Lowdown: Despite being almost as old as I am, this game has aged well. I would in fact recommend playing this version over the PlayStation port to get the original experience (that is, if you have an NES or Wii readily available). Don’t let the primitive graphics and soundtrack fool you – this game has high replay value, provides a decent challenge, and gives you a firsthand view of how Final Fantasy developed into the blockbuster franchise that it is today. The only instance in which I wouldn’t recommend playing is if you aren’t interested in games that are for the most part dungeon crawlers – players craving a complex story may be disappointed.

Music Credits:
RPG Roundup Theme Song: "Video Game Theme," J. Arthur Keenes Band. Creative Commons Attribution License.
Final Fantasy Original Soundtrack
Final Fantasy Playstation Soundtrack


  1. Yay! Final Fantasy I! My podcatch dropped your podcast for some reason, so it took me a while to realize why I wasn't getting updates and listen to the latest episodes.

    I'm a little sad that you didn't bring up my favorite part of the game--the Sky Castle. The whole game has a medieval aesthetic, and then you find the airship that breaks it a bit, and then a robot in the waterfall cave, and then you travel to what's apparently a space station guarded by a killer robot. I love the way that Japanese RPGs don't slam a rigid wall between sci fi and fantasy like most Western RPGs tend to. Other Final Fantasies do a better job of integrating it, like you mentioned about FFIV or FFVII, but I really love FF1's whiplast "WTF ROBOT" factor.

    So, I'd have to weigh in on preferring the NES version. "Ineffective." is rage-inducing, but they turned the Sky Castle into an actual castle instead of a space station. (T^T)

    The reason FF1 has spells divided into levels and a limited number of spells cast per level is because Dungeons & Dragons. A lot of the monsters come from D&D too--Ochus and Mindflayers, for example.

    On Xenogears: I would certainly like an episode, and would not deluge you with hate mail even if you spend two hours bashing it. You could always read Xenogears: A Rope of Robots instead, though. :p

    Keep up the excellent podcasting!

  2. It's the Hall of Giants, not the OCoD.

    1. We know. Ogre Corridor of Doom is what we like to call it. Hall of Giants isn't as funny sounding.


  3. Ok. Just checking. I agree OCoD is funnier. Keep up the great work. The podcasts are excellent.