The long-running and best-selling Final Fantasy franchise has at its heart just five simple elements or concepts, according to Square Enix.
At an open conference in Tokyo on the publisher’s new Luminous engine, as reported by Kotaku, a Square Enix presentation listed the five core concepts that it believes make a Final Fantasy game.
Magic and summoning, which have always been a part of the series’ gameplay, were the first two items on the list, and the only mechanics.
The third item, “gorgeous beauty”, is an interesting one; fans often forget that even early Final Fantasy games demonstrated significant graphical prowess. Final Fantasy V and VI’s scrolling overworld maps were astounding, and THEIR pixel art still looks good today. Final Fantasy VII’s block character models look strange to us now, but were considered revolutionary as RPGs made the leap to 3D fields for the first time.
The fourth and fifth items are “refinement” and “change and challenge”; each game is different to the last – hopefully better. The “challenge” part was not made entirely clear, and culd refer to challenging the player, or the developers challenging themselves.
The next major Final Fantasy release is expected to be either the vapourous Final Fantasy Versus XIII or Final Fantasy: Lightning Returns, the last of the Final Fantasy XIII sequence.
So there you have it – not moogles, chocobos, airships, famous swords, specific monsters or Cid.