Happy Birthday FFVII - Where Were You?

I saw this pop up and almost gave it a quote with my answer.

Squaresoft deserves more than a quote of a tweet, even if we're remembering to hit publish a little while after the anniversary.

Oh, excuse me, Square Enix.

Final Fantasy deserves more.

Twenty years ago, to date myself, I was 15. I didn't own a Playstation but the Internet was just getting big enough that they could no longer get away with numbering this Final Fantasy differently in the US market compared to the Japanese market.

When you do the math that means I was born in 1982, there, saved you a step.

Square finally said goodbye to Nintendo with this one. It was rather traumatic back then.

VII wasn't my first Final Fantasy. My cousin and I had beaten Final Fantasy VI (US 3) at least two years before. I had finally found a copy for my SNES from Funcoland. I had the Nintendo Power guide of the original Final Fantasy on my shelf. Didn't play that one until much later when they ported it to the GBA.

Earthbound hit its 20th anniversary only three years ago.

Like then, I don't feel old, I feel proud to be part of history.

Penny-Arcade put it best a long while back about how their (and my) generation were the ones who grew up and were raised by the infancy of the Internet. We were lucky enough to find kind and wise mentors online who took us under their wings rather than exploited us. Can't seem to find that link right now.

Mentored by the first non toxic gamers.

If you can't tell by now, Final Fantasy has been a pivotal part of my gaming career, even if some it ends up collecting dust.

Warning: FFVII spoilers ahead. (May as well say it, just in case.)

I may not have had a Playstation when FFVII came out, but a few years later I had a Mac that was capable of emulating the Playstation hardware with a tool actually published by a legitimate developer (Connectix).

So plugging in a USB controller and dropping the disc into my G4 mac I finally got to start this epic adventure.

Following the same habit that my cousin and I established when we played Final Fantasy VI I started naming the characters after people I knew.

I became Cloud.
Redflare (now my wife) became Aerith...

Yep, if you played the game I can already hear your moan because I've shared this story IRL and gotten that response.

Aerith dies.

Final Fantasy VII may not have been my first Final Fantasy, but it was the first game where I experienced death of a major character. Perhaps this is why I can't get into George R.R. Martin's works. I know it's why I've never actually finished FFVII. That jerk Sephiroth killed my wife!

Looking back on it now, at the twentieth anniversary, the worlds of Final Fantasy are still important to me... even if I haven't gotten in the freshly fixed car on FFXV quite yet I have no regrets that I have it.

It also taught me to stop naming game characters after people I knew. :p

Perhaps when this rumored episodic remaster of FFVII finally sees the light of day I'll pick that up and finally beat it.

It doesn't hurt that "Final Fantasy" and "FlameFlash" share the shortened "FF" either.

Like Mario and platformers, it's my opinion that without this series RPGs would not be where they are today.

It even helps inspire music!



So let us go forth as the winter season approaches the Northern Hemisphere and we have an extra excuse to hide inside, and save more worlds. Perhaps even our IRL one.

Happy birthday Final Fantasy VII. You weren't my first, but I'll always remember you.

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