Final Fantasy (ファイナルファンタジー) is the first game in the long line of Final Fantasy games. At first the game was not expected to be the huge hit it really was. The game was Square's first big success and establish them as a company that could do well in the gaming market.
Originally released on the Famicom in Japan, the game would later be ported to the MSX2 home computer, translated to English on the Nintendo Entertainment System, and remade several times on such consoles as the PlayStation, WonderSwan Color, PlayStation Portable, Mobile phones, and soon, the Virtual Console. The game has also been compiled with its sequel, Final Fantasy II, as Final Fantasy I & II for the Famicom, Final Fantasy Origins for the PlayStation, and Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls for the Game Boy Advance.
Four hundred years prior to the start of the game, a people known as the Lefeinish (Lufenian), who used the Power of Wind to craft a giant space station (called the Floating Castle (Sky Castle) in the game) and airships, watched their country decline as the Wind Orb went dark. Two hundred years later, violent storms sunk a massive shrine that served as the center of an ocean-based civilization, and the Water Orb went dark. The Earth Orb and the Fire Orb followed, plaguing the earth with raging wildfires, and devastating the agricultural town of Melmond as the plains and vegetation decayed. Some time later, a sage called Lukahn tells of a prophecy that four Light Warriors will come to save the world in a time of darkness.
The game begins with the appearance of the four youthful Light Warriors, the heroes of the story, who each carry one of the darkened Orbs (Crystals). They arrive at Coneria (Cornelia), a powerful kingdom which has just witnessed the kidnapping of its princess, Sara, by a knight named Garland. The Light Warriors travel to the ruined Temple of Fiends in the northwest corner of Coneria, defeat Garland, and return Princess Sara home. The grateful King of Coneria builds a bridge that enables the Light Warriors' passage east to the town of Pravoka. At Pravoka, the Light Warriors liberate the town from Bikke and his band of pirates, and acquire the pirates' ship for their own use. Though having the ability to travel across the water, the Light Warriors remain trapped within the Aldi Sea, in the center of the southern continent. On the south side of the sea is the kingdom of the elves, where the prince has been put into a cursed sleep by Astos. To the west is a ruined castle, where a king tells you that Astos stole his crown and hid it in the Marsh Cave to the south, though when the Light Warriors retrieve his crown, he reveals himself to be Astos. He has also stolen the witch Matoya's (Matouya) Crystal. With her Crystal back, Matoya provides an herb to awaken the Elf Prince. The Elf Prince gives the Light Warriors a key capable of unlocking any door. The key unlocks a storage room in Coneria Castle which holds TNT (Nitro Powder). Nerrick, one of the Dwarves of the Cave of Dwarf/Dwarf Village (Mount Deurgar), destroys a small isthmus using the TNT, connecting the sea to the outside world.
After visiting the near-ruined town of Melmond, the Light Warriors go to the Earth Cave (Cavern of Earth) to defeat a vampire and retrieve the Ruby, which gains passage to Sage Sarda's (Sadda) cave. With Sarda's Rod, the Warriors venture deeper into the Earth Cave and destroy the Earth Fiend, Lich, who is responsible for the earth's decay. The Light Warriors then obtain a canoe and enter Gurgu Volcano (Mt. Gulg) and defeat the Fire Fiend, Kary (Marilith). They recover the Floater (Levistone) from the Ice Cave, which allows them to obtain an airship. After proving their courage by retrieving the Rat's Tail from the Castle of Ordeal (Citadel of Trials), the King of the Dragons, Bahamut, promotes each Light Warrior. Using an air-producing fairy artifact known as Oxyale, the Warriors go to the Sunken Shrine to defeat the Water Fiend, Kraken. They also recover a slab with fragments of the Lefeinish language. A linguist named Dr. Unne uses the slab to decode the Lefeinish language, which he teaches to the Light Warriors. Following this, the Light Warriors travel to a small and distant town — the last remaining outpost of the Lefeinish civilization. The Lefeinish give the Light Warriors access to the Floating Castle (Sky Castle) that Tiamat, the Wind Fiend, has taken over. With the four Fiends defeated and the Orbs restored, the Warriors find that their quest is not yet over: the true enemy waits two thousand years in the past. Traveling to the past, the Warriors discover that the four Fiends sent Garland (now the archdemon Chaos) back in time and he sent the Fiends to the future to do so, creating a time loop by which he could live forever. The Light Warriors defeat Chaos, thus ending the paradox. By ending the paradox, however, the Light Warriors have changed the future, to one in which their heroic deeds from their own time remain unknown outside of legend.
Final Fantasy (unlike many later titles in the series) does not have any pre-defined characters. Instead, at the beginning of the game, the player has the option to choose classes for each of the four characters in the party. The classes available to the party are as follows:
- Fighter (Warrior)
- The strongest of the classes, Fighter is able to equip the strongest weapons and armor, and after class change can use low levels of white magic.
- Thief is the fastest of all classes, usually having to be the one who lets the party flee. He is able to use decent weapons, and after class change can use low levels of black magic.
- Black Mage
- Black mage is usually considered 'evil', for his uses of magic as dark and destructive. He can eventually use any black magic spell, and is usually low on HP.
- Red Mage
- Red mage is probably the most well-balanced, considering that he can use decent weapons and armor, use both white AND black magic, and has the most average stats.
- White Mage
- White mage is the 'healer', and can eventually use any white magic spell. White mage can only use blunt objects such as hammers.
- Black Belt (Monk)
- Black belt is the bare-handed fighting machine. Eventually he can surpass the fighter class in strength, but he can only equip weak armor, such as cloth and cap.
Note: Some of the class names have changed in later revisions of the game text. The "newer" names are in parentheses.
When the party brings a rat tail to Bahamut as proof of their courage, their character classes are upgraded, allowing more equipment and skill choices. The list is as follows:
- Fighter -> Knight
- Allows low-level white magic.
- Thief -> Ninja
- Allows low-level black magic.
- Black Mage -> Black Wizard
- Allows all black magic.
- White Mage -> White Wizard
- Allows all white magic.
- Red Mage -> Red Wizard
- Allows more advanced white and black magic (still not all, though).
- Black Belt -> Master
- Nothing special.