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Thread: Final Fantasy Eras

  1. #1
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    • Former Cid's Knight

    Boco Final Fantasy Eras

    So this has been a working idea in my brain for a few years now, but I like to divide the FF games into different eras based on a few historical and technological aspects.

    So for me, the franchise is divided into 4 eras currently:

    1st Era - FFI-FFV/MQ - The Sakaguchi Era (1987 - 1992)
    2nd Era - FFVI/SoM - FFXI - The "Golden" Era (1993 - 2002)
    3rd Era - FFX-2 - FFXV - SE "Franchise" Era (2003 - 2015)
    4th Era FFVIIR - Now - The Modern Era (2016 - Now)

    I may elaborate when I have more time. Does anyone else do stuff like this?

  2. #2
    Newbie Administrator Loony BoB's Avatar
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    Loony Bob (Twintania)

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    For me, it's generally done in consoles. So FFI-III, IV-VI, VII-IX, X-XII, XIII-XIV. But it's fun to ponder other options, too, as you have.

    I wouldn't include FFXI inside the golden era. FFXI and FFXIV are their own unique era, perhaps, but if I had to split them out I'd say FFXI is closer to FFXII than FFX in how it plays and feels.

    I guess for me these days you could say it's more of a "this game started this, which remained in the series as the base expectation from that point onwards"

    FFIV began the (notable) character development/focus compared with previous games in the series

    FFVII began the heavy use of science fiction in the series (I know FFIX and perhaps FFXVI are not sci-fi focused but these are exceptions to the rule these days)

    FFX ended the use of a traversable world map

    FFXII began the positionals/action based combat

    It remains to be seen what kind of lasting legacy the more recent games will have on the series to help turn them into defining points, we'll only know as the newer games come out so we can look back at them clearly.
    Bow before the mighty Javoo!

  3. #3
    Dark Knights are Horny Garland's Avatar
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    FF-FFV: The Crystals -- There were a whole lot more thematic commonalities in the first five titles than the following ten. IX recognised this. This is the era when Square thought it knew what it meant to be a Final Fantasy. A gamer who played FFs I-V asked to speculate on VI would've assuredly been wrong.

    FFVI-FFXV: Anything goes -- Final Fantasy is just a name.
    Knock yourselves down.

  4. #4
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    For me, the eras come down more to the behind the scenes stuff and who is creatively in control. Largely because I feel it paints what the games released in the time frame feel like. The only entry I go back and forth on is FFXV, since its development started at the beginning of one era and is associated heavily with FNC before getting turned into an official number title in what feels like a very different era. Part of me feels the end of the third era really happened with FFXIV ARR being officially released.

    As for XI, the MMOs are always annoying to place, but I lumped it together with the Golden Age since it's development and release largely fell into the era and it one of the projects Sakaguchi was excited for. Not to mention, it was a huge success for Square and the franchise. X-2 feels more like the first major shift for the franchise, since it's the first sequel, the first official game under the SE banner, and the first one largely developed without Sakaguchi's input. The third era is largely marked for me as an era where SE designed titles with the intent of EU type content, so Ivalice Alliance, Compilation of FF, and the FNC largely define this era for me.

  5. #5

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    I divide it into technical level and qualitative level.


    Technical level:


    1-9 Retro and 10- to today modern. The key differences are the voice acting and full 3D graphics, facial impressions, modern sound.


    The quality level basically only describes FF4-FF12, as the mainline series has delivered outstanding results here. Although FF10 and FF12 already had significant weaknesses, the overall experience was still good enough. From FF13 on, this was over.

  6. #6
    300dpi in a 72dpi zone Slade's Avatar
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    My mind tends to categorize them in three part era installments mostly due to the three game per console thing they started with. Obviously there's liberties taken for the stuff post X due to random releases, spinoffs and MMO's, but for the most part I see it like this:

    FFI - FFIII ---> NES era (The old skool era)
    FFIV - FFVI ---> SNES era (The retro era)
    FFVII - FFIX ---> PS1 era (The "my-first-FF" era)
    FFX - FFXII (including X-2) ---> PS2 era (Testin' the waters era)
    FFXIII - FFXV (plus MMO's/Type-0/Stranger of Paradise) ---> PS3/PS4 era ---> (50/50 era/franchise era)
    FFXVI - PS5 era ---> (Modern era..... for now)

    Silly bracketed captions aside, that's pretty much how I see them. Also, there was so much going on around that PS3/PS4 era with things like series within series (Fabula) and long development hells (FFXV née Versus XIII) and other spinoffs of varying quality and intent that it kind of all seemed like one era as opposed to PS3 and 4 being two separate ones. You know, in case anyone was wondering

  7. #7
    Friendship *is* magic. MJN SEIFER's Avatar
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    I haven't really thought of it in this detail (other than FF to FFX being the era where it "felt like" Final Fantasy to me, but that is pure opinion.), but I guess that FF to FFV could be seen as "The Crystal Era", as Garland basically pointed out.

    FFVI to FFX still feel like Final Fantasy to me, but they indeed aren't part of The Crystal Era - they may be more a technology meeting fantasy era, a "Science Fantasy" almost - which is ultimately the reason I don't mind (and in fact, like) fantasy stories having technology. Final Fantasy IX is kind of the exception to both of these, but that makes sense, as it was going back to the series' roots in various places - it was the "Nostalgia" Final Fantasy.

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