Thursday, July 20, 2017

Happy (belated) 26th anniversary, Final Fantasy IV!

Although I recently singled out Final Fantasy V as one of the 10 titles that most shaped my taste in video games (read this post for more of my thoughts on the matter), that doesn't mean I dislike its 1991 predecessor.

On the contrary, I adore Final Fantasy IV nearly as much as I adore Final Fantasy V. The former's characters, graphics and soundtrack all blew me away when the game originally landed on store shelves 26 years ago--nearly to the day, if we're talking about the Japanese release--and they continue to have a special place in my heart today.

Going back a bit, though, can you believe Final Fantasy IV first saw the light of day 26 whole years ago? Actually, I can believe it, as it definitely feels like it's been ages since I was 15. (That's how old I was when the game hit the streets in my neck of the woods.)

Illustration by bykillt
That said, I remember tackling Final Fantasy IV for the first time like it was yesterday. The SNES my older brother and I shared was set up in the lower level of our childhood home, attached to a tiny color TV our parents bought us for Christmas a few years earlier. (Granted, it was quite the improvement from the even smaller black-and-white television we previously used to play our stack of NES carts.) As we did with most games back then, my brother and I huddled in front of the aforementioned monitor and slowly but surely made our way through Final Fantasy IV as a team. One of us would play for a few hours--with more than a bit of verbal assistance, of course--and then hand the controller to the other so he could do the same.

My fondest memories of that initial experience (spoiler alert!): being introduced to Rydia and her summoning skills, climbing Mt. Ordeals so Cecil could become a Paladin, Palom and Porom sacrificing themselves, and journeying to the moon to defeat Zeromus and save the planet.

What are your most cherished memories associated with Final Fantasy IV? Also, which version of the game do you like best? (I personally prefer the original release, though I'm also pretty fond of the DS remake.)

See also: previous posts about Dōbutsu no Mori's 15th anniversary, the GameBoy Advance's 15th anniversary, the GameBoy's 28th anniversary, the SNES' 25th anniversarySega's 56th anniversary and Taito's 63rd anniversary

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