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Retro Fire

Written: 10.20.12
Acquired: 2.7.06
Status: Cart with manual
Price: $17.66

Pub: SquareNov. '91
Dev: Square8 MEGS

Growing up, I never much cared for RPGs. My brother loved them, but I saw them
as slow, uninteresting and I'd much rather play a genre that produces immediate joy. In my 20's my views started to shift and I began to love the RPG genre. My first foray was back in December 2007 beating Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest. My 2nd RPG? Couldn't think of a better candidate than Final Fantasy II. It was my first 'real' RPG (if you don't count MQ). And here are some of my thoughts and memories...
Fair warning: some spoilers lie ahead. Proceed with caution...

                                                                       THE STORY GOES...

Crew: Captain Cecil! We're about to arrive

Cecil: Good

Crew Guy 1: Why are
we robbing the crystals
from innocent people?

Crew Guy 2: That's our duty. And that's that

Crew Guy 1: Do we really have to keep doing this?

Cecil: ....

Crew Guy 3: Prepare for landing!

In Mysidia the saying is, "Like taking crystals from an old man..."

Elder: You have won. Take the crystal

Cecil: You should have saved yourself the trouble and just said that earlier

Elder: Before you take it though, just one question. Why would the King of Baron do this?  Why do you pursue the crystals
so eagerly?

Cecil: ....

Crew Guy 2: SHUT UP old man, or I'll shut you up for good myself!

Crew Guy 1: Captain, I don't know if we can keep doing this

Cecil: Listen!  Possessing the crystal is an essential factor for our prosperity. More importantly, His Majesty judged that the Mysidians know too much about the secret of the crystal. We are the Red Wings, the air force of the Kingdom Baron!  The Royal Command is absolute

Crew Guy 3: You sure?

Cecil: ....

Baigan: About time, Cecil! I see you have the Crystal of Water. Well done

Cecil: Yes indeed. But... the Mysidians were so helpless...

Baigan: What are you trying to say?

Cecil: Well... it's just...

Baigan: Don't get soft on me now. You did what you had to do, and that's that

Cecil: ....

Baigan: ... Follow me...

Baigan: Your Majesty!  I'm afraid Cecil has developed a conscience now and a rebellious air. I don't think we can trust him going forward

King: I have no room for backstabbers. I'll take care of him swiftly

Cecil: You called, Sir?

King: Yes!  Good job, Cecil. Hand me the crystal

Cecil: Sir... are we doing the right thing?

King: You dare question me, YOUR KING?!?

Cecil: I just want to know what's going on

King: Let's cut to the chase. I know of your discontent, Cecil. Since you no longer trust me, you cannot be commander of the Red Wings. You are dismissed from your post!

Cecil: What?!

King: Take this package, and venture to Village Mist. Just remember this one thing. A man digs his own grave. Guards, get him outta my sight!


Rosa: Cecil!  What's
wrong?  You haven't
been yourself lately

Cecil: In Mysidia, we had to rob from innocent folk

Rosa: Oh dear...

Cecil: I'm just a Dark Knight with no courage
to disobey His Majesty

Rosa: Humph!  The real Cecil I know would never whimper like this!

Cecil: Rosa, tomorrow...

Rosa: I know. I know. Get some rest, for tomorrow is a big day... for all of us...
                                       Easily one of my favorite scenes from the game. So atmospheric!

There's nothing like a 3 AM conversation with the one you love...

                                                                 And so, the adventure begins...

In typical RPG fashion, you trek through the land in an overhead view. It's simplistic, but that's what is so beautiful about it, too

The graphics were simple but that's what I like about it

Enemies randomly crop up and you go to this battle screen. Growing
up I thought this RPG-ing business must be awfully boring, but now I can't get enough of it. Go figure!

You gotta love magic attacks that strike all enemies at once

Send a charge up that raven's ass, why don't cha

And so, the bartering begins

Early on in the game, Cecil fulfills a life long dream when he legally changes his name from Cecil to Steve. Hey, can you blame him?

Talking with the locals is all part of the RPG storytelling fun

                                               Oooh, the plot thickens. Who is this strange old man?

Hmm. I reckon this can't be too good...

                                           Steve: Friend to the downtrodden and sick  [Puh-lease -Ed.]

Rydia: Antlion don't sound like the name of something tame...

                                                  Old Guy: Let's see what kind of game this kid has...

Rosa: Thank you for being here with me...

Steve: Get some sleep

Old Guy: Ugh... no game at all!

Steve: Say whaaaa?!
Um, no she doesn't...

                                       Old Guy: YOU FOOL. I'm blind and EVEN I can see she likes you!

Rydia: You always understood me, Steve...

                                                 Peer pressure is everywhere you look: life, RPGs...

Edward: FOR ANNA!

Rydia: OOH, SOOO NOT FAIR!  Playing the dead girlfriend card!

                                                  [Steve screaming a guy's name in bed, eh? -Ed.]

Yang's effin' awesome. Love him

                                                              Here comes the calvary at last!

Palom and Porom the twins are comic relief characters to the max

Steve: Um... hi there... oh and PS- no thanks on PPS

                                           Old Guy: What happened, was there no decaf this morning?

[Lord knows one STEVE is enough!  -Ed.]

                                                         And God said, "LET THERE BE LIGHT"

Envy is the ruin of us all

                                                Plenty of story twists abound in FINAL FANTASY II

Here, why don't you take a look!

                                                                 "Oooooooooh.... ahhhhhh...."

This line cracks me up because we all know a person like this in our
lives [Or... perhaps you
are THAT person -Ed.]

Old Guy: Hey I'm old and blind, cut me some slack. Listen again!

Final Fantasy II
was considered as one of the first really deep involving storylines in an RPG quest. You connected with the characters and they seemed like people you could latch onto and believe. It was all part of the fun and magic

                                                        Such a sad, sad scene this was... *SNIFF*

Finding a bevy of treasure chests like this was like striking the jackpot. Your eyes just light up as you make your way around each box. It's classic 2D RPG gaming at its best

Will you find a new weapon, shield, armor or item?  Fun fun...

An epic battle is waged between Golbez and Tellah. Tellah has a magic spell up his sleeve known as Meteo. It causes an insane 9999 HP reduction, but at what cost?

                                          The story moves along at a brisk pace and is easy to get into

In life, we have to learn how to forgive those who have harmed us. If we don't, then we're the ones suffering. A good lesson I've learned over the years

Forgiving someone can do wonders for the spirit... let it go, folks

                                       What would an RPG be without an innocent perverted moment?

Along the journey it's prudent to heed the wisdom of elders...

                                             But not this one... d'oh!  Love Square's sense of humor...

I remember this scene. Kind of an ominous one...

                                                       Edge the ninja was a pretty bad-ass dude

Gotta love these little in-house bickering scenes. They add charm to the game and are always a hoot to read. Nothing like a little good old fashioned tension amongst the ranks to break up the monotony of the trip

Bickering means PASSION, and this team has that in spades

                                            Edge is 1337!  I told you he was bad-ass. He's 1337 bad-ass

Door #1, #2, or #3?  Which door shall it be?  Hmmmm

                                       Of course, Nintendo of America would not allow it to say "PRAY"

"For me WHAT?!  What 'cha say??  Shoulda been listening, oi!"

                                                 Plenty of intense drag-'em-out boss fights await you

Can you survive the challenges ahead?

                                         [Oh so you mean LIKE... basically for the rest of eternity -Ed.]

Will he, at long last, grow a set of balls?

                                           [Wouldn't bet on it. Steve always whiffs with the ladies -Ed.]

Who needs fancy 3D graphics when you have THIS?

                                               Final Fantasy II proves gameplay rules over graphics

But don't get me wrong, I do like the game's graphics, too

                                                          "But it was just my stomach growling"

In the end, a grand celebration is held and many old faces come back to the fray for one big reunion bash. By the way, if you haven't figured it out by now, I do tend to show some mini spoilers in my work from time to time. Best rule of thumb: check it out *only* if you have already beaten it and just want a trip down memory lane!  Relive | Remember!

Ah, how good to see everyone again!

                                                   "OK everyone, now let's do the ELECTRIC SLIDE!"

I just love how in this game the numbers get stupid high. HP of 5611? Ha, gotta love it. My final stats were

Steve L55 3699 HP
                222 MP
Rydia L51 1704 HP
                449 MP
Edge L52 2614 HP
               168 MP
Rosa L53 2654 HP
               440 MP
Kain L54 3373 HP

This shot was from the previous owner's save slot. He went nuts...

                                                                    WHAT THE CRITICS SAID

Final Fantasy II was very well received by the game critics. As many already know, this is actually Final Fantasy IV in Japan, and many also think that the US translation was a bit crap compared to the real Japanese dialogue. Even with a less than stellar translation, it's still a great experience. The critics agreed as EGM gave it
the Game of the Month honors, earning scores of 9, 8, 8 and 7. Super Play Magazine rewarded it with a high mark of 90%. Many fans believe you can't go wrong with this game, and a pretty decent number even prefer it to the "almighty" SNES Final Fantasy III. Part II is often considered the first real "game-changing" RPG, particularly when talking about just the SNES. Final Fantasy II is a well-paced, story-driven RPG no SNES fan can afford to miss. If you've somehow missed it all these years, be sure to bump it up to the top of your queue        "DO YA DARE THINK YA CAN DEFEAT MY GREATNESS?  HA!" 


After beating Final Fantasy Mystic Quest as my first official RPG run-through, I'm so glad my second was Final Fantasy II. If Mystic Quest eased me into the genre, which I blindly loathed as a child, then Final Fantasy II made me a fan of the genre for life. I discovered, as a young adult now, just how much satisfaction the RPG genre can produce. The action may not come fast and furious, but the great storytelling and the intricate weaving in and out of characters who have grown on you emotionally, is a heck of a ride no other genre can provide. From love subplots to betrayal to even death... Final Fantasy II is a breathing and organic piece of art that sucks you in and doesn't let go until the very last magic spell. You can't ask for much more from a video game than that

My full-blown RPG conversion came courtesy of Final Fantasy II :)

From Yang to the wacky twins to Cid to Edge, there are a bunch of characters you'll grow attached to as you go about the journey. Although Cecil is the main star here, it's more like an assemble cast. Sure, the formula's a bit simple and basic... but isn't that also part of the charm? You go from town to town, talking with the locals, picking up clues, buying supplies, leveling up in the nearby forests and caves, and then battle a boss to move onto the next region. It is the storytelling aspect of these games that I admire so much. When an RPG is done right, like this one is, it sweeps you away to a far away land full of wonder and danger. It's video game escapism at its best. Long day at work? Long holiday weekend? Nothing like popping in a quality RPG to get away from it all for a few moments. All in all, Final Fantasy II may be linear, may not have many side-quests and it may even seem rather basic to hardcore RPG'ers, but there's an undeniable charm to the game. The story moves along at a brisk pace, the characters are endearing and it's a great RPG with a stellar soundtrack. If you haven't played this game yet, you're missing out on one of SNES' best

Graphics: 7
Sound: 9.5
Gameplay: 9
Longevity: 8

Overall: 9.0

Gold Award

On a side note, Final Fantasy II was a notable eBay win for me. As I spoke about in LOG IT!... I made a buying and blog log of my 2006 SNES purchases. This one has a good story. It was a lot for Mystic Quest, II and III. On February 2, 2006, I put it on the watch list with little interest. I figured it would spike in price soon enough. I had a college class on Tuesdays that semester that got out at 1:15, so after driving back home I was usually back by 1:45. With 10 minutes to go, the auction was surprisingly stuck on 18 bids and $41. I sniped it at $43 (plus $9.99 S&H) with 3 seconds to go. My max was in the high 70s, so I saved a total of potentially up to $35. It made my day, and I like to think four or five people simply got busy and forgot to bid at the last second. I've been there for far too many other auctions in the past, heh. Lesson learned: always put things on watch. It can't hurt!  Once in a while, you get mad lucky. I was reading through my log and all these old memories came pouring back. It's true, as the lad in Terranigma suggested, we should all make a record of our tale... otherwise, our memories/stories fade away with time...

For now. We all know there's nothing FINAL about Final Fantasy!