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Wolf Kanno
11-06-2011, 01:38 AM
Working through a series of articles I'm writing looking back on the series and their impacts on FF and the RPG genre of the time, I've been kind of amazed at how much the later FFs do owe a lot to FFII and how it marked the beginning of most of the iconic elements of FF that has lasted into today. My question is, do you think FFII was important to the franchise or it something that could have been skipped and never bothered with?

Pike
11-06-2011, 05:48 PM
Disclaimer that I'm basing this analysis off of the GBA version:

This game feels to me like FF4/6 Lite. You see the beginnings of characterizations, the beginnings of plot, you see characters doing things like sacrificing themselves for the rest of the party as a sort of foreshadowing for one of FF's favorite things to do :tongue: and so on. You're starting to get items after fights and you've got "beavers", which are sort of proto-moogles.

The game tried some things that didn't work, as well, but were experimented with nonetheless.

So yeah I think it was important to the franchise. To be fair I might be biased because I am playing through this game for the first time currently and I am madly in love with it.

Bolivar
11-07-2011, 02:58 PM
Absolutely. On the one hand, it of course started the tradition of every FF being different, in both story and gameplay systems, but still having a familiar look to the other games. I'm not sure if this was a fluke and Kawazu just tried to make his own game using FFI's template...

But of course you have the large cast of characters, rebels fighting an empire, chocobos, sacrifices, the beginnings of a customization system, guest characters, an angry female pirate, the quiet giant, the dark knight, character working with the enemy, and a lot of stuff i know I'm forgetting.

It may be people's least memorable game from the NES era, but the fact that it kept a ton but changed so much to the basic formula made it the most important game in the series.

Tigmafuzz
11-12-2011, 08:11 AM
Absolutely. On the one hand, it of course started the tradition of every FF being different, in both story and gameplay systems, but still having a familiar look to the other games. I'm not sure if this was a fluke and Kawazu just tried to make his own game using FFI's template...

But of course you have the large cast of characters, rebels fighting an empire, chocobos, sacrifices, the beginnings of a customization system, guest characters, an angry female pirate, the quiet giant, the dark knight, character working with the enemy, and a lot of stuff i know I'm forgetting.

It may be people's least memorable game from the NES era, but the fact that it kept a ton but changed so much to the basic formula made it the most important game in the series.
Damn. You stole what i was going to post.

Jiro
11-14-2011, 02:38 PM
Every game was essential to the progression of the series. Everything is a test run, to see what works and what doesn't. The fact that it was skipped over for release outside Japan was probably not a very smart move though. In any case, even if the game was absolute trash, it still would have contributed to the series as a whole.

Wolf Kanno
11-16-2011, 02:22 AM
I think the fact that fans outside of Japan weren't exposed to it until a later date was part of the problem. I mean, it was the first FF to really bring in a story and drama with its more fleshed out characters. Sure Firion and Co. are basically blank slates with names, but all the other temp party members and other cast members are actually fleshed out pretty well, especially when compared to DQ's NES titles barring DQIV of course. I still feel it has the best soundtrack of the NES titles.

As I said before, the more I play with II's system, the more ingenious I find it to be, because its actually well thought out. The real headache the system creates is from the players who feel obliged to max out all stats (which the game is built around preventing you from doing so) and abilities. I don't really blame the system. Is is still a bit grind heavy? Yes, but name me one console RPG at the time that isn't? That's just how RPGs were designed back then. Still, there were no other RPGs that allowed the player that much control over their party, and you also gpt to see so many FF staples debut like Cid, Chocobos, Bomb, Behemoths, Malboro, Iron Giant, Dark Knights, Dragoons, Blood Swords, Holy Lance, Rune Axe, and even secret lethal tricks in the game.

I think the Keyword system was pretty neat and its a shame it hasn't been kept to some degree. I find it amusing that XII did give you the ability to record important conversations with bolded info so you could remember it. Course, no game references FFII more in the series than FFIV.

Bolivar
11-16-2011, 04:50 AM
Damn. You stole what i was going to post.

Haha my bad son, but yeah, FFII's a game I've spent a lot of time playing and really enjoying.

I agree with Wolf's last post that the game probably would've gotten more recognition if it was released in North America. It did a lot of things that FFIV gets credit for, but I would even say it did a lot of things that FFVI would do later. When you think about some of the things that happen in the middle of the game, this is a dark, dark story. You can see a lot with VIII's story as well, with the war orphans who help a resistance with one of them disappearing to join the other side very early in the game. And then of course there's all the crazy similarities of FFXII's rebellion, with the Mysidian Tower->Guest Sacrifice->Cyclone Castle at the end of FFII being strongly similar to Pharos->Guest Sacrifice->Sky Fortress Bahamut ending sequence of FFXII. I used to have a theory of the similarities between even-numbered FFs as opposed to the similarities of odd-numbered FF's... My theories on the series have dissipated as I've moved on to other games, but it's always interesting to look at little patterns like this.

But it's also cool to look at other little things that have carried on outside of reference-heavy games, like Leonheart/Lionheart, or a dragoon whose last name is Highwind, Mysidia, and Leila's character. This was also the first game with a ball room dance scene! It was repeated in FFV and of course FFVIII, but I'm sure the last one didn't have these games in mind at all...

Overall FFII is probably tied with FFV for my favorite 2D FF. I really lost myself in the plot and the combat system is really flexible, letting you really feel like you own these character setups by the time you reach the end game.

black orb
11-28-2011, 03:15 AM
Cid, Chocobos, Bomb, Behemoths, Malboro, Iron Giant, Dark Knights, Dragoons, Blood Swords, Holy Lance, Rune Axe, and even secret lethal tricks in the game.
>>> This..:luca:

chionos
12-05-2011, 02:15 AM
Some people love how SE recreates what Final Fantasy means with each new installment and some people hate it. Personally, I love it, and FFII is the archetype for SE's brand of experimentation. I don't think FF would be what it is (take it or leave it) without FFII.

Sylvie
12-18-2011, 12:36 AM
I think the attribute-leveling system opened a few doors in the RPG world. I always thought it was cool.