Nostalgia is a funny beast. Things as a child seem so much more grand than they do when you are an adult. When you are a kid a summer can seem endless, winter magical, and video games epic. I remember as a kid when I first unwrapped Final Fantasy. I think I was in fifth or sixth grade and it was THE game. Yes some kids were playing Contra and I wet my appetite for this genre on Dragon Warrior. But this game was different! Heck it even said FINAL Fantasy so obviously this is the last fantasy game I would ever need. I opened the box unwrapped the game and stared at the shinay rule book. Then tossing the book, I slipped the cartridge into the machine pushed the button and it just blinked white and black. Well heck, oh ya I know what to do! So I took the cartridge out and gave its inaugural blow. Now now folks I did not do fulacio upon this virgin vidio game. You youngens may not know this but if you blow inside your video games often times they will work when before they would not. Why is that, I don’t know but if ever your PS4 game does not work try blowing in it, you never know (warning this blogger is not a technological guru and any advice should be taken with a grain of salt). After the completely proper blowing of the video game the intro music began and the rest is history.
This game had me from the very first part of choosing characters. Before now I had never played a game where I could choose my own type of characters. Fighters, mages, rogues, even a black belt could be chosen for your group. The graphics where normal for the time but the music was actually pretty nice. Game play was simple enough to understand but it had a bit of complication with the extra options other then attack, magic, and flee that made things interesting. But what really got me was when I beat the first boss Garland and crossed that bridge was the cut scene. If you don’t know what I am talking about and did not play it back in the day you would not understand. Before now games did not have cut scenes (or at least none of the ones that I had) and this one promised high adventure and I was sucked in.
Well I played for hours and hours, restarted a few times and never quite beat it. For many years I went back to the game for a bit but I just never finished the deal. It is not that the game is overly hard, after the first few time of playing you get the knack and you just have too keep playing. But new games came along and then school and life. In the end the game just kind of never ended for me. I always loved it but I never beat it. That all changed last year.
My kids were bugging me and I decided that I wanted to go to my room and do something by my self. So I plugged in the trusty Nintendo (I own three) and decided to start a new game of final fantasy. At that moment as kids are wont to do they rushed in yelling and screaming. Probably with the express mission of bothering their father. As I was about to throw a fit my daughter saw what I was doing and said “can I play?” Then my son said ya me too and the uproar grew in size and annoyance. At this moment I had a choice, throw the little monster out or trick them. Well as any good father would I tricked the little bastards (love ya kids) and said sure but I get the controller. My plan was simple I named the characters after myself and the kids and told them to not be so animated. Then as the game went on I read the text and informed them whenever the character did something.
Now I figured after the initial excitement wore off they would be bored out of their gourds, but not they really started to dig it. They knew who they were and seemed to enjoy the story. Of course there was times when they would wonder off and I could really get some grinding in but invariably they would come back. We would all be on the big bed watching the screen and I would be telling them the story of Final Fantasy. This actually helped me to complete the game since they would bug me to play it all the time. Who knows in the not so distant future this might be one of those things they remember about their childhood. I dont know but I do know that we got to bond a bit over an old 1980’s game.
In the end I was sitting there with the kids when we discovered the Garland was the main bad guy after all! They all were excited and I was excited because even though I knew that little spoiler I was about to beat the game. Well after about five minutes of playing we as a family did beat Garland and saved the day. First try with no deaths so I was pretty happy with that.
So there I was sitting there and the credits rolled when my daughter said, “ok dad time for the next Final Fantasy. I happened to have the PS1 combo disc with Final Fantasy one and two on it. So I said all right then lets do it and off we will go. I have never really played this one so this should be an adventure for all of us. So if you are a parent never underestimate the power of just hanging out with your kids. Even watching a parent play an old RPG can be a fun time for all of you.