Friday, May 27, 2011

THEPLAYGAMER3: Final Fantasy V

Videos >





Final Fantasy V
Developer - Square
Publisher - Square
Release date - September 30, 1999


Final Fantasy V is a medieval-fantasy role-playing video game developed and published by Square (now Square Enix) in 1992 as a part of the Final Fantasy series. The game first appeared only in Japan on Nintendo's Super Famicom (known internationally as the Super Nintendo Entertainment System). It has been ported with minor differences to Sony's PlayStation and Nintendo's Game Boy Advance. An original video animation produced in 1994 called Final Fantasy: Legend of the Crystals serves as a sequel to the events depicted in the game. It was released for the PlayStation Network on April 6, 2011 in Japan. An enhanced port of the game, with new high resolution graphics and a touch-based interface, was released for iPhone and iPad on March 28, 2013, and for Android on September 25, 2013.

The game begins as a wanderer named Bartz investigates a fallen meteor. There, he encounters several characters, one of whom reveals the danger facing the four Crystals that control the world's elements. These Crystals act as a seal on Exdeath, an evil sorcerer. Bartz and his party must keep the Crystals from being exploited by Exdeath's influence and prevent his resurgence.

Final Fantasy V has been praised for the freedom of customization that the player has over the characters, achieved through the greatly expanded Job System. Despite being released only in Japan, the Super Famicom version sold more than two million copies. The PlayStation version has earned "Greatest Hits" status, selling more than 350,000 copies.



Story

The backstory of Final Fantasy V is revealed in phases through cutscenes and interactions with non-playable characters. One millennium before the events of the main story, a powerful mage named Enuo imperiled the world using the power of an evil entity called the "Void". The people retaliated by using twelve legendary weapons to vanquish Enuo; however, the Void itself could not be destroyed. Consequently, the people split the world's four elemental Crystals into two sets, effectively creating two worlds. The Void then became sealed in a dimensional cleft between the two worlds.

Nearly a thousand years passed without incident, and both worlds prospered due to the powers of their Crystals of Wind, Water, Fire, and Earth. New kingdoms and towns flourished, and travel by ship acted as a critical means of commerce and communication. However, a sinister force was stirring in the second world—ever since the Void incident, malicious demons had been sealed inside a tree in the Great Forest of Moore. The corrupted amalgamation of spirits emerged as Exdeath, the game's primary antagonist. When Exdeath attempted to claim the world for himself, a group of heroes called the "Four Warriors of Dawn" (Galuf, Xezat, Dorgann, and Kelger) sealed him within the first world using its Crystals, and peace returned for another thirty years.


Final Fantasy V features five player characters, though only four of which are playable at a given time. Bartz Klauser is a traveling adventurer who becomes involved in the story when he investigates the site of a meteorite strike. Lenna Charlotte Tycoon is a princess of Tycoon who follows her father to investigate the Wind Shrine's Crystal. Early on, Bartz finds her unconscious and saves her from goblins. Galuf Doe is a mysterious old man who was discovered unconscious near the meteorite with a case of amnesia. Faris Scherwiz is a pirate captain who captures Bartz, Lenna, and Galuf when they try to steal her ship; she is revealed to be Sarisa Scherwill Tycoon in disguise. Krile Mayer Baldesion is the granddaughter of Galuf who journeys with him to the planet and receives his abilities.


Gameplay


Final Fantasy V includes many standard role-playing elements as well as renovated features introduced in earlier Final Fantasy games. Players navigate from a top-down perspective; a traversable overworld connects the various towns, dungeons, and other points of interest. The player can traverse the overworld by foot, Chocobo, hydra-guided ship, wind drake, or airship, depending on the situation. Most towns contain scattered inns for resting, shops for purchasing equipment, and people from whom the player can gain information. The player may also embark on several side quests that become available as the story progresses. Characters grow in strength by gaining experience points from random encounters with monsters on the overworld or in a dungeon. Experience culminates in a "level up", in which character attributes such as hit points and magic power increase. A menu-based management system allows the player to equip, heal, and change each character's selected job outside of battle as well as to save the game's progress.

Final Fantasy V is the second Final Fantasy game to use the Active Time Battle (ATB) system, in which time flows continuously for both the player and enemies during combat. This system was first established in Final Fantasy IV, but in that game there was no way to visibly anticipate which character's turn would come up next. In Final Fantasy V, the player can see which playable character's turn is next in battle, in the form of a time gauge—or "ATB Bar"—which fills according to a character's speed. When the selected character's turn arrives, the player can execute one of several commands, such as attacking the enemy with an equipped weapon, using a special ability or item, or changing the character's row position. The ATB mechanic with a gauge, as seen in Final Fantasy V, would be used in the four following main titles in the series and remains a staple mechanic of the franchise.

The main feature of the gameplay of Final Fantasy V is the Job System. Players can freely select jobs (also called "classes") for their characters to master, allowing each character to gain special abilities and potentially master all 22 jobs (26 in the Game Boy Advance version). Each character begins with only the "Freelancer" class; to gain access to new jobs, players must acquire crystal shards. This system is an improved version of the one in Final Fantasy III; several older jobs were either reused or revamped for Final Fantasy V, such as the Black Mage and Thief. The game also introduces several classes to the series, including the Blue Mage, Time Mage, and Mime. Each of these classes has been featured in numerous Final Fantasy installments since.

Once the player gains access to the job system, characters begin to earn a separate form of experience—Ability Points—in conjunction with regular experience points. Characters gain job levels after accumulating AP; as with regular levels, the required amount of experience increases after each job level. AP and job levels do not transfer from class to class. As job levels increase, new skills become available for the character to use in a new form of customization; characters learn job-specific abilities that may be transferred to a new job. For example, a character with the Knight job who has also earned job levels as a Black Mage may set Black Magic as a secondary command, enabling both Black Mage and Knight abilities in battle. The nature of these abilities varies; while some serve as special commands in battle, others may be innate to the class or activated automatically when conditions are met, such as the Thief's "Caution" skill, which prevents rear attacks from enemies. This system allows for deeper customization of characters.


Development


Final Fantasy V was directed by Final Fantasy series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi who, prior to the release of Final Fantasy IX, called it his favorite Final Fantasy game. The character, image, and title logo designs were created by series illustrator and image designer Yoshitaka Amano, while the actual character sprites were designed by Kazuko Shibuya. The monsters were designed by Tetsuya Nomura. Amano has stated that he counts his depictions of both Faris from Final Fantasy V and Terra from Final Fantasy VI among his favorite Final Fantasy designs. The writing of the scenario text was a collaborative effort between Sakaguchi and Yoshinori Kitase. Sakaguchi conceived the plot and was in charge of it, while Kitase tried to include more humor to lighten up the relatively serious story. The Job System was designed by Hiroyuki Ito, who worked on the game as a battle planner alongside Akihiko Matsui. Mode 7 effects were used in the airship sequences, which moving in the airship would cause the planet to rotate on its axis. In total, Square employed a team of 45 people to create the game, and 16 Mbits of space were used to accommodate for the sprites, animations, and detailed background. According to GamePro in a May 1993 issue, the Japanese authorities had asked Square not to release the game during a school day because schoolchildren would skip class to wait in line for the game.

The official English translation of Final Fantasy V began shortly after the release of the Japanese version. The game was to be titled "Final Fantasy III" in North America, but the project fell through. Square then announced that due to its differing tone and much higher difficulty from the rest of the series, they would be releasing it in North America as a standalone game with a yet-to-be-determined title, rather than part of the Final Fantasy series. This plan was quickly aborted. Translator Ted Woolsey explained in a 1994 interview, Final Fantasy V is just not accessible enough to the average gamer". Rumors circulated that a second attempt at localization would be made and that the game would be titled Final Fantasy Extreme, but this attempt was also canceled. A third attempt was made to port the game to Microsoft Windows-based personal computers for North American release by developer Top Dog Software, but this was canceled. Another attempt to port the game to Windows for North America was "handled by Eidos Interactive" circa 1998 (but it is unclear whether this is the same version Top Dog Software was working on or an actual fourth attempt). The continual canceling of the localization angered fans and led to Final Fantasy V becoming one of the first games to receive a complete fan translation.

No comments:

Post a Comment