North American Release of Final Fantasy for the NES
Final Fantasy (ファイナルファンタジー, Fainaru Fantajī) is a console role-playing game created by Hironobu Sakaguchi, developed and published in Japan by Square (now Square Enix) in 1987, and published in North America by Nintendo of America in 1990.
It is the first game in Square's Final Fantasy series. Originally released for the Nintendo Entertainment System, Final Fantasy was remade for several video game consoles and is frequently packaged with Final Fantasy II in video game collections. The story follows four youths called the Light Warriors, who each carry one of their world's four elemental orbs which have been darkened by the four Elemental Fiends. Together, they quest to defeat these evil forces, restore light to the orbs, and save their world.
The game received generally positive reviews, and it is regarded as one of the most influential and successful role-playing games on the Nintendo Entertainment System, playing a major role in popularizing the genre. Praise focused on the game's graphics, while criticism targeted the time spent wandering in search of random battle encounters to raise the player's experience level. All versions of Final Fantasy sold a combined total of two million copies worldwide by March 2003.
Final Fantasy was one of the most influential early console role-playing games, and played a major role in legitimizing and popularizing the genre. According to IGN's Matt Casamassina, Final Fantasy's storyline had a deeper and more engaging story than the original Dragon Quest (known as Dragon Warrior in North America). Many modern critics have pointed out that the game is poorly paced by contemporary standards, and involves much more time wandering in search of random battle encounters to raise their experience levels and money than it does exploring and solving puzzles. Other reviewers find the level-building and exploration portions of the game as the most amusing ones. The game is also considered by many as the weakest and most difficult installment of the series.