So a co-worker and I were discussing how boring Final Fantasy I is.
I was making the point, that at the time it was released, it was awesome (I got it for Christmas the year it came out).
It was far superior to Dragon Warrior (Dragon Quest in Japan). In Dragon Warrior you only had one character and the battle interface was like the DBS in RPG Maker VX/ Ace. Final Fantasy was so cool because you had 4 characters from the get go that you also got to choose their class (which were pretty distinct from one another) and a really basic sideview battle system.
They both had extremely long and boring dungeons were every floor looked the same and an abundance of annoying random encounters. Also both gave you little to no help on were the hell you were suppose to go or what you were suppose to be doing.
But the thing is with Final Fantasy there were some pretty memorable moments. I still remember getting through the super hard ruined castle to fetch the Rat Tail (to this day I don’t know why there was a Rat Tail in a treasure chest) to get the upgrade for all your classes which was totally worth it. Also it was badass that the final boss was Garland (the first boss only upgraded) and Warmech was a brutal hidden boss too. That’s a lot to remember about a game I played over 20 years ago. I don’t remember much about Dragon Warrior except that they gave you a free copy with your Nintendo Power subscription (which was handy since my copy got destroyed in a fire).
But back to my original point. Over the years the bar has certainly been raised on RPG design. Compared to newer games a lot of the games I loved when I was a kid just plain suck. But their are some that are still just as fun because, even though they have graphics that make the RTP in RPG Maker look revolutionary in comparison, they have great stories, interesting characters, and some great gameplay mechanics.
Let’s take Final Fantasy VI (Final Fantasy III on SNES) for example because I’ve been playing it with my kids lately.
In the graphics department there isn’t any face sets in the message boxes (just the name of the speaker) and no wicked cool CG cut scenes, but where it shined was the character sprites. They blushed, laughed, panicked, sighed, threw the hands in the air, etc. and these expressions were done well enough that even my 6 year old daughter understood their meaning immediately.
When it comes to gameplay mechanics this game really loaded you with options. Every character had a unique abilty: Locke could steal, Sabin had an button input ability that was reminiscent of fighting games, Gau could emulate enemies, Celes’ Runic could absorb spells, Go-Go could copy the last attacks, and so on. The party was constantly being split into separate groups that you could switch between easily and it served a multitude of purposes like defending somebody from an army of bad guys and puzzles. They even split the group up so each group could achieve story goals simultaneously. There’s more, but this is getting long.
The characters. Man the characters were so good. Most NPC had their own problems that had nothing to do with the player characters. The Espers (the summons in this game) were even given distinct personalities that made me really appreciate the sacrifices they made. The player characters were varied on their depth, but they were never nameless nobodies. Oh yeah, and Kefka (the big bad guy) was nuts. Also some of the characters were hidden and getting them was completely optional.
The story had so many things going for it too. Depending who was in your party when you went to certain locations you could get little snippets of their past and sometimes this led to great items or abilities. If you are too slow in one part of the game one of your characters permanently dies. And the biggest story hook the bad guy wins and pretty much destroys the world as you know it and your left with most of the world a wasteland and that’s only halfway through the game.
This game was on SNES and should be the bar for a game made on RPG Maker. All of this stuff can be achieved with the Maker.
Final Fantasy I sucks not because it wasn’t made right at the time, its that they got so much better later on and its few good points became standard. The graphics aren’t a factor because Final Fantasy VI’s graphics are terrible compared to even PS1 games, but its still a hell of a good time.
But my overall point is this: now that we have played some amazing RPGs you can’t make a Final Fantasy I, you’ve got to make at least a Final Fantasy VI cause if I can play it 20 years later and still enjoy it, that’s a damn good game.
Here’s something fun for those who took the time to read that or just scrolled down.
This song is by the hilarious Your Favorite Martian. Warning: Some Crude Humor and Cartoon Violence.
Elsewhere in the World of RPG Maker:
Ramiro keeps updating the his RBS and I like that you can use a lot with the DBS like the Combo Window.
Yanfly posts about the Event Window which is damn useful especially in heavy treasure games.
And Nessiah keeps making the RTP better and better with Monsters.
Till my next rant, see ya.