Final Fantasy I

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Spoiler warning: Plot spoilers, such as the fact that


may follow. Read on at your own discretion.
Final Fantasy I
Developer(s) Squaresoft
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Release date 1990
Genre RPG
Platform(s) NES
Rating E
Would Immanuel Kant play it? Yes

Final Fantasy I (Japanese: ファイナルファンタジーI; Fainaru Fantajī Aye), also known as The First Final Fantasy and Original Fantasy, is a video game that was never actually intended to be called Final Fantasy until the last minute before its release. Many suspect that the reason for this strange development relates directly to the game developers' plans of making hundreds of thousands of sequels and spinoffs from the very beginning. The reason behind the whole "This is our Final game, lol" gimmick was to make gamers feel guilty for not giving Squaresoft a chance in its early days, so that they would buy this so-called last game just to give them some consolation before they "went bankrupt". In the years to come, we would see that this ploy worked perfectly.

The Game[edit]

In Final Fantasy I, your ultimate objective is to save the world. This objective had never been used before in a video game, and will probably never be used again. The methods of saving the world, however, take the user through a series of intricate plot lines, story twists, and gripping suspense. In fact, the excitement and emotional overload is evident in the very beginning of the game, where a prophecy states that four warriors must each carry an orb into the kingdom of Coneria, consequently facing the most tedious, and dreary, and difficult adventure of their lives. The player is given the chance to determine which four warriors he will damn to this adventure, though he or she also has the option of cloning some of the warriors. However, for each clone made, another available warrior will be spared. It is a tough decision, and after it is made, the characters, and players, often find themselves in tears. But perseverance in the face of obstacles such as insurmountable rivers soon sets their minds apart from the teary farewell of the game's beginning.

Gameplay requires vast amounts of skill, and only 3.5 people on record have beaten the game, mainly because most people lay their controllers down in horror right at the extremely nasty pirate gangbang on the second town, so it would take a very "experienced" mind (for lack of a better term) to get past it, and whatever other sick horrors this game might hold. However much skill it takes, though, the game possesses little strategic value. Beating the game requires only manic and frenzied button mashing; while this provides little entertainment value, the players are generally so hooked on the plot they will not want to stop playing for even a second.

Character Classes of Final Fantasy I[edit]

NOTE: This section may contain names of a few spells you have never heard of. Kindly check them with the spell list given below if you want to to find anything funny.

The Thief Class[edit]

The fear- some Thief.

Final Fantasy I features one of the most awe-inspiring characters ever created: the Thief. The Thief is the epitome of pure awesomeness. Wearing nothing but a brown potato sack and his flowing blue hair, the Thief leaps into battle in a fit of rage. Final Fantasy I was truly ahead of its time.

The Thief class is a refreshing change from the unfair stereotypes surrounding thieves in most video games. In fact, the Thief doesn't actually steal anything! The Thief's main specialty is that he can run away really, really well. The Thief who doesn't actually steal is a prime example of Squaresoft's uncanny ability to think outside the box.

Even better, it upgrades to the Ninja Class, which doesn't do any Ninja stuff. The Ninja class uses shields and armor. What the hell kind of ninja wears armor? A dead one, that's what. Except ninjas can't die, which means that the game reaches a glitch whenever you equip your ninja with armor. So, nothing changes, effectively. But then... (cut off for your own mental health)

The Fighter Class[edit]

This is a picture of the game beating itself for you.

The Fighter's job is to make the game easy. Although the game is rumored to be diabolically hard, there is a little known difficulty-selection system. To make the game easier, simply add more Fighters to your party. The difficulty levels are as follows:

  • Zero Fighters: "Forget it"
  • One Fighter: "Pretty tough"
  • Two Fighters: "Now that's better"
  • Three Fighters: "This is the easiest game ever"
  • Four Fighters: "The game just beat itself for me"

Fighters can never be killed, and the strategy for employing them in battle is very simple: hit bad guys with swords until dead. After they are promoted, they get to use healing magic, as if they need it.

Fighters upgrade to Knights. Some people think that that reduces the FDQ (Fighter Difficulty Quotient) because your party no longer consists of "Fighters" in the literal sense. But all it does is make them even stronger and able to heal themselves, as previously mentioned. Weren't you paying attention? Needless to say, that only raises the FDQ by 1.5 per Knight (as opposed to 1 per Fighter), which can lead to a FDQ of 4.5 or even 6. This is why at this point, some people simply stop playing as the game will probably beat itself for them three times over.

The Black Belt Class[edit]

You remember when people all around the world didn't know every last f***ing nuance of Japanese culture? Me neither. But this class is a testament to that time. The Black Belt is effectively the class that never gets to use awesome swords because they're supposed to beat the crap out of people with their bare hands. But he's only called a Black Belt because he painted his belt black. He doesn't even know any martial arts: the only technique that he ever uses is the crude but effective "punch enemy twice with same hand and somehow hit them eleven times" technique.

As powerful as the Black Belt can potentially become (he can theoretically kill the final boss in one hit), his power does not progress linearly like the rest of the classes. Rather, his capabilities are determined by a very, very complicated equation involving such factors as the position of Neptune, relatives to your mom, the price of a share of McDonalds stock ten minutes from now, and the ratio of how many kittens Oprah has huffed in a fortnight to the total amount of meat in the Kingdom of Loathing's entire economy.

Based on these factors, it may be better to equip or not equip the Black Belt with a weapon, to equip or not equip him with armor, to look or not look at the Armor or Status screen, or to split or not split an infinitive four times in the same sentence. If the right decision is made in each of these instances, the Black Belt will be ungodly-ly powerful. If the wrong decision is made, then he will suck so much that black holes won't be able to escape him.

He upgrades to the Master class, which pretty much gives him no new abilities. Adding a Black Belt to your party not only decreases the FDQ by one Fighter, but also means that you have to sell those awesome swords that you find. And the money won't do the Black Belt any good because 1) he has taken a vow of poverty, and 2) he refuses to wear any armor except bracelets, hand towels, and cardboard boxes.

The White Mage Class[edit]

White Mages cast healing and defensive magic... sometimes. Most of the time, they're hiding in the third or fourth row hitting with their hammers for single-digit damage. Either that or they're using Heal Helms over and over during random battles. Which is healing magic, so it works.

The White Mage is the great paradox of Final Fantasy I: their job is to cast healing magic, their defense is somewhere between "nothing" and "wet cookie," and they take up a slot that another Fighter could be in. These three factors combine into a self-contradictory cataclysm of unnecessariness. You don't need a White Mage's skills if you don't have a White Mage.

One thing that White Mages are good for is switching to the front for a boss battle and casting RUSE until they can't be hit. This significantly reduces damage to the party, because the boss misses every other time he attacks. Once again, though, having a Fighter instead of a White Mage makes the White Mage unnecessary: Fighters soak damage like crazy, and they don't need to spend the first three combat rounds casting spells to do it. They can hit with swords instead.

White Mages upgrade into White Wizards, which can either mean that they turn into half-immortal beings from a Tolkien novel, or into leaders of racist organizations. Your call.

Just put a cone over his head if you're a racist.

The Red Mage Class[edit]

The Red Mage is the concept of "well-rounded" given physical form. He is able to use almost any low-level spell in the game, fight using most of the best weapons, wear pretty good armor, and basically prance around like a conceited jerk while putting the White and Black Mages to shame by doing both of their jobs and then some.

The Red Mage is second only to the Thief in terms of pure awesomeness. Square was awestruck by this creation, simultaneously falling in love with and being terrified of the Red Mage's power. Such was their fascination with him that they put him in Final Fantasys 3, 5, and Tactics Advance, albeit in a watered-down form.

Red Mage and Black Belt are best friends. Black Belt can't use any weapons or armor, so he gives the weapons and armor that he finds to Red Mage. Red Mage then sells whatever he doesn't need for money. He then returns the favor by casting FAST on Black Belt to turn him into a tornado with legs and fists, and casting healing spells on him whenever he gets hurt while his Absorb is low.

It is rumored that White Mage and Black Mage are secretly plotting to assassinate Red Mage as revenge for stealing their jobs. How they can accomplish this is unknown; Red Mage is not undead, so White Mage can't hurt him, and Black Mage's spells are useless in the face of a MUTE casting. Furthermore, the White and Black Mages have abysmal physical defense. And Red Mage knows how to use swords.

The Red Mage upgrades to the Red Wizard, which is one of the coolest looking changes to his appearance ever. Remember when you put that bottle of Dr. Pepper in your campfire and it exploded? It's even cooler than that. Trust me.

Lest we forget, Red Mages are red. And we all know what that means... it means that he goes faster. And add that to the FAST spell... well, that puts him in the same league as Chuck Norris, Jesus, Mr. T, The Dali Lama, and Bruce Lee. Just barely, mind you.

He can also play piano.

The Black Mage Class[edit]

The Black Mage is a joke played by Square on rookie Final Fantasy I players. His job is allegedly to cast offensive magic, but like the White Mage, he spends most of his time in the back rows stabbing with knives for single-digit damage. His appearance is based on stereotypes of Vietnamese people.

Vietnam didn't soften you none, huh?

His first level spells become obsolete (relative to what a Fighter could be doing) before you get into enough battles to actually cast all of them. His second level spells become obsolete before you can afford them. His third level spells do not suck, and actually remain useful right up until you get the coveted Zeus Gauntlet. After that point, not only do his third-level spells become obsolete, but the Black Mage himself becomes such a ridiculous parody of himself that he doesn't even participate in battle anymore, but rather hides his face in shame.

The Black Mage can cast FAST, though. And FAST does not suck. There's just one little problem: the Red Mage can cast FAST too. And the Red Mage is superior to the Black Mage in every way except the whole "magic" thing, and not by much in that category. Remember those cool fourth-level spells? Red Mage can use those too. The Red Mage can even cast FAST on himself in good conscience.

All black magic above level 4 is crap. NUKE does less damage to a single enemy than a hit from a Black Belt's fists. And NUKE is one hell of a lot more expensive than a Black Belt's fists.

Black Mages can upgrade into Black Wizards, which causes them to lose their trademark wizardry hat, and changes their status from Vietnamese to some kind of Napoleonic figure. This has been widely regarded as a bad move, since Black Wizards have breath that can kill, which was previously only deflected by their hat. And since it only goes to party range, guess what that means.

Mysteries of Final Fantasy I[edit]

Tceles B Hsup[edit]

The Light Warriors hear the mysterious phrase from one of the brooms.

This enigmatic phrase is believed to be the key to Final Fantasy I's cerebral and convoluted plot. It is quoted by the brooms in the cave where the legendary sorceress Matoya resides. One theory is that "Tceles B Hsup" is God's true name, the broom being none other than the Messiah. Others believe that, by drawing a 4x3 grid on Final Fantasy I's world map and writing these letters in the squares, one can reveal the notorious War Mech's hidden identity. Since nobody has actually bothered to do this, however, this too is just a theory. Another theory is that it may be linked to Tetris; when you put the letters in the spaces between the pre-made blocks, some message is made. Yet another theory is that this is an half-translated phrase that was supposed to read "Testicles be tough." We may never know the secret behind this famous phrase. In the Game Boy Advance remake, it was changed to "Tceles Nottub B". Many people are confused by this event, and still are today, wondering if it has the same meaning.

In a totally unrelated discovery, players found out that Tceles B Hsup spelled backwards is "Push B Select". By pressing "B" and "Select" buttons simultaneously you see the World Map while you're in outer world (not in battle). Of course, this still gives us absolutely no idea of what the enigmatic phrase truly means.

The Spells[edit]

Tceles B Hsup is not the only unsolved mystery of Final Fantasy. All of Final Fantasy I's spells are strange 4-character codes, most of which have been deciphered. Final Fantasy I's spells include:

  • AFIR: A Fir. Creates trees. confirmed
  • AICE: Believed to be a misspelling of ice. Freezes the battlefield, letting you save it for later. confirmed
  • ALIT: ALlITeration. This allows the White Mage to attack using poetry. confirmed
  • AMUT: A Mutt. Creates various types of dogs. confirmed
  • ARUB: Atypical Rescue Using Bread. The White Mage distracts enemies with slices of white bread, allowing the party to escape unharmed. Only works on imps. confirmed
  • BANE: Bans th scond vowl in th alphabt from th whol gam. confirmd
  • BLND: BLoNDe. Some uncool dude, like, decided to make a joke about like, hair color. Ohmygod. Like, whatever. confirmed
  • CONF: sends your party to a CONFerence. Good for getting out of boss fights. CONFirmed
  • CUR2: Summons two curs (mongrels). confirmed
  • CUR3: Summons three curs (mongrels) confirmed
  • CUR4: Summons four curs (mongrels). confirmed
  • CURE: Crush Under Retarded Elephants. Self-explanatory. confirmed
  • CUNT': Just the personality of 5 out of 4 characters. Yes I mean 5 out of 4. Yes. Yes indeed chapman. Unless you love Warrior of Light. Then you're not a chapman. Go away!
  • EXIT: Thought to be a respelling of X-It. Many assert that the game creators would never lengthen a spell name. No one understands this spell. unconfirmed
  • FADE: Turns theeee seeecond voweel of the alphabt into a passing fad. S(ee) BAN(E). confirmd
  • FAST: Lets your characters participate in Ramadan. Consequently, their "inner strength", or ability to survive without food increases, resulting in their HP to double. confirmed
  • FEAR: FEast At Ralph's. Since Ralph is over 4 letters long, some doubt this is the correct solution. unconfirmed.
  • FIR2: Creates two fir trees. confirmed
  • FIR3: Creates three fir trees. confirmed
  • FIRE: Frigid Ice-Regulated Elasticity. Causes the skin to be made out of a cold rubbery substance. confirmed
  • FOG: FO'Gettaboutit. Summons a mafia member. confirmed
  • FOG2: FO'Gettaboutit TOO. Summons another mafia member. See FOG. confirmed
  • HARM: Harms enemies in order to hurt and possibly even wound them. This causes them pain as well as harmful damage that hurts. confirmed
  • HEAL: Unknown. Some believe this spell must be cast on the Thief in order to unlock his secret "steal" ability. Maybe Square never did break the stereotype. unconfirmed
  • HEL2: Sends two people in your party to hell. confirmed
  • HEL3: Sends three people in your party to hell. confirmed
  • HOLD: HOpe Lets me Down. This emo band cries your enemies to death. confirmed
  • HRM2: The Black Mage casts this spell and immediately goes "Hrmmmmm..." twice, increasing his intelligence. But, then again, intelligence does absolutely nothing, so this spell, likewise, does absolutely nothing. confirmed
  • HRM3: Variant of HRM4. confirmed
  • HRM4: A typo of HRM3, the Black Mage casts this spell and then says "Hrmmmmm..." until his head explodes. confirmed
  • ICE: A typo of lice. Puts a louse on your opponents head, causing them to get distracted and scratch themselves. confirmed
  • ICE2: May be a typo of 2 lice. Puts two lice on your opponent's head, making them scratch psychotically. confirmed
  • ICE3: A more powerful version of ICE2, puts three lice on your opponent's head. confirmed
  • INV2: INVentory x2. Duplicates every item you're carrying. confirmed
  • INVS: Short for invoice. Obtain additional funds by billing in-game small business owners for services rendered. confirmed
  • LAMP: Rumored to stand for Let's eAt Mashed Potatoes. A good healing spell. However, some believe that LAMP actually stands for Look At My Pants, and argue that this action could also have healing value. unconfirmed
  • LCK2: Lick your enemies twice. Makes them think you're gay, making them want to run away. confirmed
  • LIF2: Short for Liftu, Japanese for doomsday. The most powerful attack spell in the game. confirmed
  • LIFE: Limited Intensity Flatulence Explosion. Kind of annoys your enemies. confirmed
  • LIT: Short for Literature. Similar to ALIT, You attack with short stories. confirmed
  • LIT2: Backwards for 2 'til. Has something to do with clocks, but the rest is unknown. unconfirmed
  • LIT3: Backwards for 3 'til. Similar to LIT2. unconfirmed
  • LOCK: Let's Order Chinese chicKen. There is much debate over whether or not the Chinese actually have chicken.
    The LOCK spell in action.
  • MUTE: Lts mutts (e)at th scond vowl in th alphabt. Must us AMUT bfor using this spll. S(ee) BAN(E). Also stops Mags from casting splls for some rason. confirmd
  • NUKE: Starts global thermonuclear war, hence annihilating all your enemies. However, this doesn't quite work out in practice as till date, magic has been unable to successfully harness the power of nuclear energy. confirmed
  • PURE: Purifies water, making it more healthy for your party. A very effective healing spell. confirmed
  • QAKE: A respelling of cake. Dumps cakes on the heads of enemies. confirmed
  • RUB: An ancient massage technique guarded by the Black Belt Clan. confirmed
  • RUSE: From the phrase "reduce ReUSE, recycle". Your characters help the environment, which in turn somehow confuses your enemies, making them miss every time they attack you. confirmed
  • SOFT: Strategically Ordered Flint Tabs. Creates a neat arrangement of extremely hard rocks. confirmed
  • SABR: Summons SABRina, the teenage witch. She even puts the Red Mage to shame! confirmed
  • SLEP: Causes a Jew to appear and complain about how he "Schlepped all the way over here just to fight some fechockta monsters." The guilt causes your enemies to commit suicide. confirmed
  • SLP2: SLaP x2. Gives a quick doubleslap that catches monsters off guard. confirmed
  • SLO2: Possibly sloth. Turns your enemies into sloths, making them easier to kill. unconfirmed
  • STUN: It is NUTS backwards. Shells peanuts automatically, providing food for your party members. confirmed
  • TMPR: Lets you TaMPeR with the game's controls. You automatically win the game. confirmed
  • WALL: Black Mage attacks with a wall of bricks; very powerful spell. confirmed
  • WARP: Believed to be a misspelling of WRAP. Puts your enemies in wrapping paper, embarrassing them so that they'll run away... and trip. confirmed
  • XFER: X-FEaR. Disables the effects of the FEAR spell. Since no one really knows what FEAR does, no one knows what XFER does either. unconfirmed
  • XXXX: Drowns opponents in a tidal wave of Queensland beer. confirmed
  • ZAP!: By making zapping noises with his mouth, the gamer could electrocute his enemies. Unfortunately, since the microphone NES controller never came out, this spell does nothing. confirmed

Reviews and sales[edit]

Game reviewers the world over were amazed at the glorious nature of this game. They declared that it would be one of the most influential RPGs in years to come, surpassed only by Dragon Warrior because it released a year earlier. Many critics also predicted that this would not be the end of Squaresoft, but would in fact be a new beginning.

Several reviewers also expressed their desire to see this game remade for future gaming consoles. "I'm pretty sure that technology is going to advance considerably ten years from now," said a notable critic "If, hypothetically, an advanced gaming console does come along, I would love to see this game being adapted for it! There could be so many names for it- Final Fantasy Origins, and the console could be called PlayStation....".

However, several critics expressed their reservations regarding such a move. "Now that I've predicted that this game will herald a new beginning for Squaresoft, I would also venture to suggest that they will leave no stone unturned to make this seem like one of their worst games in the future. I mean, it did take a lot of time for me to search for random encounters in order to level up. And the exploration also took plenty of time, given that I was being ambushed by countless-odd monsters on my way. If Square can improve the pacing and leveling up mechanism of their future RPGs, I'm afraid this game might even suck by-let's say, 21st Century standards. In that case, there really would be no point in a remake, would there?" said another notable critic.

The public were led to believe that this game would be the first, and last in the series, hence the name FINAL fantasy. As a result, hordes of people bought the game in order to provide some consolation for Squaresoft before they "went bankrupt". Not only did this move save the company's ass, it also provided them with an idea to trick the gamers every time they released a new RPG by labeling every one of their titles as a "Final Fantasy" game. Despite the fact that these RPGs had almost nothing in common with each other, gamers continued to buy them, thinking that the company would "become bankrupt after this one for sure." As of now, the company remains financially stable and sound, and the "Final Fantasy" franchise has become so popular and successful that nobody even cares if they go bankrupt now.