on 15 January 2005
These two classic games have been re-released for the third time, now on the Game Boy Advance. First I will discuss Final Fantasy, followed by Final Fantasy II.
In FF, the world was shrouded in darkness. Lukahn prophesied that four warriors of light would one day appear to restore everything back to normal, basically. You control the warriors of light. You begin by naming your characters and giving them each one of 6 classes which upgrade later in the game: Warrior (Knight), Thief (Ninja), Monk (Master), Red Mage (Red Wizard), White Mage (White Wizard) and Black Mage (Black Wizard), each with their own strengths and weaknesses. I won't go into this, but you basically can customise your party to suit your needs and battle style. Once you select your classes and names, you can't change them. Ever. Unless you play again. You level up with, well, levels, and each level up increases your stats slightly.
The storyline is the same. You are on a quest to restore the four crystals to grace (plenty of NPC's tell you this) and defeat Chaos. The graphics are quite good. The battle landscapes are very well-done, and the FMV's are stunning compared to what you might see on other GBA games. The characters and NPC's alike are very small, and you could say not that detailed. They are similar to the little sprite people in later Pokemon games, but more detailed than those.
Each character can equip a weapon, a shield, a helm, and piece of body armour, and a pair of gloves. These increase their stats in most cases, although an exception is that Monks do more damage without weapons. And some equipment can decrease stats such as evasion.
A note on magic. In towns, there are white and black magic shops. There are 4 spells of each level (1-8), but a character can only equip 3 per level. Knights and Ninjas can also use low level white and black magic respectively. Red mages can only use certain spells.
There are also some additions to this version. The spell charge system has been abandoned and replaced with the MP system. Many things have been renamed, and bosses have different stats. There are new dungeons-Soul of Chaos. Each of these is accessible after defeating a certain boss (four dungeons, so four bosses). In each, you will be able to face bosses from other FF's, including the infamous Omega and Shinryu from FF5! And a small thing-the B-button dash was added.
Wow! I have written so much yet still haven't said a thing about FF II. Here goes...
Long story short, the emperor of Palmecia has unleashed monsters from the underworld upon the world. You play a young group of rebels named Firion, Maria, Guy and Leon. Their parents are killed when Fynn is attacked by the empire. They flee to a remote town called Altair, where they join the rebel army. At the beginning, Firion, Maria and Guy set out to Fynn to find Leon. Other characters come and go during your progression through the game.
FFII uses a unique levelling system where your actions in battle increases your stats. For example, attacking increases your strength and losing HP increases your max HP. Get it? This system has since been employed in many other games.
Now the magic system. You but magic tomes from shops, and teach characters spells. As they are used, their level increases. However, one character can only learn 16 spells. The MP system is also used.
As for equipment, each character has a right and a left hand piece of equipment, a helm, body armour and gloves. You can choose whether to give a character two weapons or a weapon and shield. There are many different types of weapons that can be equipped, or they can simply fight bare-handed.
After clearing the game, you will gain access to the Soul of Rebirth dungeon. Here you have a completely different party, all who have died. They must take ultima (most of you will know this as the ultimate magic, and if you don't, it is). A nice little sidequest.
The graphics in FF2, are pretty much the same as FF, except that on the main menu you see the character's face instead of a little sprite of them.
There is also a bestiary which records all the monsters you have defeated in either game.
Overall, this game is a great buy. It's two for the price of one, and who doesn't like to save? Go on, treat yourself!