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Final Fantasy II

The original Japanese (only) release in the Final Fantasy series (1988).

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The great adventure of 93 was the quest of a lifetime.

  • Sep 27, 2010

Final Fantasy II came out on the SNES in America in the early 90's not too long after the first Final Fantasy game on the NES.  More Final Fantasy games came out in Japan in the interim and it threw off the numbering scheme here in the states since those games weren't released here.  We in the US didn't see the "real" Final Fantasy IV (This was the second in the states, 4th in Japan) until the early 2000's on the PlayStation and there were some differences.  Today though, I am talking about the one I grew up on and spent my young years playing, Final Fantasy II on the SNES.

You play as Cecil, leader of the Red Wings Airforce of the Kingdom of Baron who use they're flying Airships to start raiding other Kingdoms for powerful crystals.  Cecil is starting to wonder why the King is so violent these days and the King strips Cecil's command and tasks him with a quest when he completes it, he will be reinstated.  The quest ends up burning a hidden town to the ground and Cecil must get home and learn what has happened to his King.  Cecil makes friends, enemies along the way, sees heartbreak and finds and rescues his love and learns some interesting secrets about his past and the ones he seeks on his quest.

Final Fantasy II is an RPG that forsakes the turn based style of other RPG's and uses what is called the active time system where your character's agility determines when they attack again in the battle or when the monster attacks.  With enough agility you can keep your turn going and defeat your enemies.  Spell casting works in a similar method where some spells take longer to cast then others for the desired effect.  Move your character around the map between caves, castles, and other locations and at random intervals a battle will take place.  Make your commands for attacking monsters, using healing items and more.

Cecil starts as a Dark Knight using the evil power of his dark sword for fighting off enemies but will make the change to a Paladin to open his world up to the power of light and using more weapons and even magic.  Other characters come into play over the original NES Final Fantasy where you had a permanent party of 4 tailor made to your tastes of fighters and magic users.  Final Fantasy II can have you completely alone as Cecil or gaining a party of as many as 5 and the party instead of being blank slates have they're own personalities.  Kain is your aloof friend who comes and goes and uses Jumping power to defeat his enemies.  Yang is an honorable karate fighter who has manners and fists for combat.  Tellah is a vengeful old Sage who's magic destroys all in his path.  Along the way there are many challenges to overcome like Cave Magnes where your metal weapons are paralyzed, Mount Ordeals and it's undead denizins and even worse, the Sealed Cave where it's Trap Doors will devour your party. 

The game unlike the previous NES game is REAL linear.  Very rarely does the game break off it's path for you to really explore.  It's possible in a few places in the game but mostly it has one path and you follow it to your destination.  It's not Final Fantasy 13 levels of bad but it's only got a branch or two here and there.  The game opens up much more when you get the airship and more so when you have the modified airship for the underground but that is largely it.

The games only really failing is that it is a little too easy in some places.  There are a few hard parts but level grinding is not as important as it used to be.  The most powerful healing items are inexpensive and can even be found in a great supply in caves and the cave's hidden passeges are outlined in many places so that it's easy to find them.  Some parts of the script you can tell didn't survive the translation such as when Tellah is reffered to as Edward's Father (father in law really) but it's nothing you can live without.  Should I decide to review the PS version which reincorporates the missing elements from the Japan version, I will talk about them more there and focus more on the SNES version.

Even though the later Final Fantasy 3 outdoes this version on almost every level, the graphics and sound for a SNES game are great.  All the music tracks are memorable and identifiable.  Cave music, music when something terrible has happened or Cecil makes a revoluation, the futuristic towers it's all good.  The graphics are lush and colorful I can still see the mountain top view from the mountain levels and still think it looks wonderful even for a game as old as this.  It's another one of those games where you can see the SNES's colors taken advantage of and FF3 turned it up even more.

The game has it's hiccups here and there including but not limited to the Final Fantasy emo hero who mopes around a little too much, but none of that matters a lot in the long run.  The series was still fresh and relatively free of the Sony era garbage that the series would pick up like pop singers, stupid mini games, dress up and even more syrupy soap opera stories.  It started to show a little here but it was just a taste, not the main course.  My middle school years are etched with this game and I will never forget it.  If it wasn't for Final Fantasy 3 which came out a little later, this really could have been the in fact, Final Fantasy.

The great adventure of 93 was the quest of a lifetime. The great adventure of 93 was the quest of a lifetime. The great adventure of 93 was the quest of a lifetime.

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More Final Fantasy II reviews
review by . May 10, 2010
posted in The Gaming Hub
Final Fantasy turned out to be a raging success on the NES.  Especially in Japan.  Before Final Fantasy I even came to the United States, Final Fantasy II was already dropping down in Japan.  The game was a follow up to the original Final Fantasy, but it outdid the first Final Fantasy in just about everyway.  Except for one, and it ends up being the biggest detraction from Final Fantasy II.        First, a little history.  Final Fantasy II actually …
Quick Tip by . September 26, 2010
posted in The Gaming Hub
The second home console release in the states for Final Fantasy brought a lot to the table and not ALL good but the game and it's time spent playing it made for great memories.
Quick Tip by . September 26, 2010
posted in The Gaming Hub
Going by the PS1 redux, this is an assbackwards game when it comes to building your team. Realistic yes, but still assbackwards. Had some moments here and there.
review by . July 02, 2001
posted in The Gaming Hub
Lets get something strate first: This game is REALLY Final Fantasy IV!!! The ONLY reason it's called Final Fantasy II is because Final Fantasy II & III for Nintendo never came to the US! So Nintendo decided to just skip those numbers so no one would feel like their missing out on something! With that said Final Fantasy II way a good addition to the SNES library! Although there was some cencoring done to the language, and even though some questionable sceans were cut, it was one of Super Nintendo's …
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John Nelson ()
Ranked #8
Born in Wausau Wisconsin. Move at an early age to Ventura California and lived for 8 years. Growing up in a big city landscape didn't prepare me for my next move: Archbold Ohio with a population of … more
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Final Fantasy II is a console role-playing game developed and published by Square (now Square Enix) in 1988 for the Family Computer as a part of the Final Fantasy series. The game was only released on this system in Japan, although enhanced remakes for the PlayStation and Game Boy Advance were released in North America and the PAL region. Other remakes were released on the WonderSwan Color and mobile phones. The most recent remakes were for the PlayStation Portable in 2007 and the Wii Virtual Console in Japan on June 16, 2009.

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