Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Aamaazing: Final Fantasy II

3:00 PM on 04.13.2011 // meteorscrap

[meteorscrap tells us why he fell in love with Final Fantasy II (IV) for his Monthly Musing blog. Want to see your own work on the front page? Go ahead and write a blog on this month's topic and it might get promoted! -- JRo]

While I've previous stated that I don't consider a game's story to be more important than gameplay and that I can, in fact, enjoy a game without a storyline. In fact, I do place the value of a game's story far lower than I place the gameplay. While I don't mind a good story to go with a good game, a good story needs a good game to go with it in order for me to play it.

Which brings me to Final Fantasy II.

I can remember the when I picked up Final Fantasy II from the rental place. I was staying with my grandparents, and my grandfather had noticed the SNES I got for my birthday was tucked away with my clothes. He decided to take me to the shop and allow me to pick a game, any game. This was 1994, and I'd just turned ten years old.

The shop didn't have much, really. A couple games I already owned and a box with a stark red background which immediately drew my attention. I flipped it over and better yet, it resembled Dragon Warrior, an NES game I'd finally conquered not long ago. It even had an in-battle graphic for my hero and it looked fantastic! I snatched it up.

These were cutting-edge graphics, back then.

Immediately I popped the title in, and was treated to a cutscene. Not just any cutscene, but a full-length thing that took, like, six or seven minutes. Unaccustomed to the story and having learned well the lessons of Dragon Warrior, I read every scrap and even made a note or two, presuming that, like Dragon Warrior, once the cutscene was done and I embarked on my quest, I'd need some of the information to help me.

But then I wandered around, triggering more cutscenes, and by the time I actually got Cecil and Kain out of the castle I had a half-page worth of notes. However, one thing stuck in my mind: I had to get to the damned Village with the Package. That was my goal for the moment. I quickly noticed that Kain dealt a bit better damage and that Cecil didn't have a special attack (not knowing that it had been dummied out), and so I spent an hour or two grinding out levels so that I could visit the cave.

Yes, it's easy enough to laugh about it now, in retrospect. However, my only two previous introductions to the world of the console RPG had been Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy. I thought it was a written rule that you had to spend a couple hours grinding against enemies in order to progress. I didn't know that Final Fantasy II (IV... shut up!) was balanced for a playthrough without level grinding (or at least, not until the end) and that the version I'd received, alongside having several abilities dummied out, had been modified to be easier besides.

Thus, with dozens of Cure1s under my belt, I journeyed through the cave, defeated the boss monster, and delivered the package.

And then the village exploded.


And suddenly my real quest was revealed: Bring down my king. Which, to my mind, was a rather shocking twist. So I pressed on, and very quickly, I lost sight of my original goal. Between finding Rosa in the next town I visited to learning that Goblez was manipulating things behind the scenes, the story continued to change my goals and eventually I found I'd discarded them, wrapped up in the narrative like a protective blanket.

I always knew what to do, where to go. Rather than having to explore and figure out for myself where I had to go, what I had to do was spelled out by what was going on in the plot. And what a plot it was! Instead of just being rewarded with a new piece of equipment, the game rewarded me with more of the story every time I fought my way through a dungeon. While these days, I've grown accustomed to a good story to go along with my games, in those days a game having much of a plot was unheard of.

It was the continuing adventure which enthralled me. The changes the game would throw at me which continued to expand the scale of the adventure, continued to keep me blowing through dungeons and adapting to my ever-changing party.

I'm getting a class change that lets my tank cast healing spells? Sweet!

The story hooked me, and it made those little pixels more than just a game, for me. It took a story and made me invested in it for the first time in a video game, making me want to beat the dungeon not just to say I had, but to see more of the adventure poor Cecil found himself engaged in.

Which is probably what made the first transitory sequence with the Lunar Whale so enthralling to watch. Really, the sequence is not that impressive, technically speaking. Even at the time, the technology used to render it was nothing too special.

Yet as the sequence engaged, it wasn't just a transition. It was the story engaging my imagination, telling me that Cecil needed to actually take the fight to a whole, second planet and that I was a part of a story that was magical and enthralling to be a part of.

As much as I might go on about how gameplay is so important, truthfully speaking the story of Final Fantasy II was one of the main reasons I'm still a gamer today. It captured my imagination even as it got its hooks into me through the gameplay.

Other games before it convinced me that gaming was worth my time. Games beyond Final Fantasy II introduced me to greater stories, more impressive gameplay depths, and even the sequel to the game proved to be a deeper, richer experience.

Yet to this day, the first trip to the moon will always be the first moment in my gaming history that I thought was Amazing.

 Follow Blog + disclosure

This blog submitted to our editor via our Community Blogs, and then it made it to the home page! You can follow community members and vote up their blogs - support each other so we can promote a more diverse and deep content mix on our home page.

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

Status updates from C-bloggers

Shinta avatarShinta
KnickKnackMyWack avatarKnickKnackMyWack
Say whaaaaaat?
Gundy avatarGundy
Voting for Broforce made me think of the most American person that could ever exist. President Michael Wilson!
Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
By the way, that IGPX collection is a new release. It's the first time the show is available in a complete package, and the first time it's been available in any format in about 10 years. [url][/url]
gajknight avatargajknight
This is your daily reminder that Taxi Driver is the best movie ever and if you disagree then all I can say is: God, you're square.
Nathan D avatarNathan D
I love when someone at work tries to claim you screwed up on something and it completely backfires on them. I try to help them save face afterwards, but secretly I'm like...
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
I still love Tearaway Unfolded despite the shit pacing and hell yeah I'm going for that plat. It'll be my 2nd plat, first since Sly 2 Remastered back in 2012. So it's been a while. gotta beat the game first tho :P
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
Tearaway Unfolded's final level is my least favorite kind. Life is Strange-esque linear path (through a void) of moments from the game. Bleh.
Shinta avatarShinta
Gravity Rush Remastered looks reallllllyyyyyy nice. Video and screenshots didn't quite do it justice. Seeing it in person is much better.
Virtua Kazama avatarVirtua Kazama
We are T-7 days until the release of Street Fighter V! There will be a blog released on the February 15, only one day before the release. This blog is about reflecting on Street Fighter IV.
Terry 309 avatarTerry 309
Can good videogame music sugarcoat a game so much that we forget it's a bad game?
lewness avatarlewness
My Wii U came back from repairs... It does not recognize me anymore. It does not remember anything - Xenoblade, Smash, everything. Also, the game disc that was trapped when I sent it is in a separate sleeve, cracked. RIP data.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Separated at birth? [img][/img]
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
I got my RNDM Viynl by Mega Ran last night but forgot to post a picture. Enjoying it so far though.
Mike Wallace avatarMike Wallace
Damn, my 26" monitor just crapped out on me. S'what I get for buying knockoff brands I guess. Back to the 19" non-HD monitor for me.
Jinx 01 avatarJinx 01
I miss mapping :( I was thinking about learning GameMaker, but now I'm leaning toward Unreal Engine 4, maybe to map for the new UT?
ikiryou avatarikiryou
I've spent the past 3 hours with that Lost Planet spinoff EX Troopers after finding it on sale for $20US on Amazon. It would've been great if Capcom had released it here. Or if they decided 2 turn that IP into Monster Hunter w/ guns set in an open world
Amna Umen avatarAmna Umen
Anyone notice that the Qposts are posting in the Normal Blog list? Niero? Bueller?
SpielerDad avatarSpielerDad
Rubio supporters rough up robot at New Hampshire rally. Mr. Destructoid's long lost cousin?
Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
For a nice mailbox surprise today! Forgot I ordered this a while back.
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -