As you may, or may not know, last year a story started circling around the internet about a pirate version of Final Fantasy 7. Low and behold, this was not just any old pirate, like a burnt CDR of the much revered PlayStation title. No, this was something different.
A Chinese company called ShenZhen Nanjing Technology developed a “port” of Final Fantasy 7 for the Famicom, which is the Japanese Nintendo. The game itself was actually released for a Famicom clone called the SUBOR.
That’s right; some crazy bastards made a complete 8-bit version of the beloved Final Fantasy 7. The game and story are completely intact, save for the Yuffie and Vincent side quests. Obviously, there are no cut scenes, and many of the sprites and music are farmed from other Famicom games (Final Fantasy 2 and 3, and Akira to name a few).
Around the time this was first making the rounds across message boards and gaming news sites, amongst cries of “FAKE!”, I was keeping a close eye on the story. I knew that I had to have that game. Not only am I a certified Final Fantasy devotee, but I am also a Famicom maniac and an avid pirate collector. Finally, my three true loves had converged into one stellar beautiful holy grail. I trolled forums and auction sites for months after that looking for a copy of this epic video game achievement, with no luck. It seemed that the only way you could find one was to actually go to Asia and search street markets, or know someone with a connection. Just over a month ago, I found just such a connection:
And now it’s mine, all mine (insert laughter). It wasn’t easy, though. The seller that I found absolutely refused to ship from the US to Canada. I begged and pleaded with the guy for a week straight, with no luck. I wasn’t about to give up that easily, however. I put out the call on the RetrowareTV.com message boards pleading my case and asking if someone state-side would receive the package for me and re-mail up to Canada. A brave soul screen-named Drakul (who does the RetroBeats segment over at RetrowareTV.com, which I highly encourage you all to check out) answered my plea and to him I owe a dept of gratitude. Seriously, best dude ever. In history.
For all of the hassle and money (seriously, ouch) that I weathered to own this game, you may ask “Was it worth it?”. My answer would be a resounding “Fuck Yeah”. Honestly, the second I signed for the package this instantly became my most treasured possession.
I mean, just look at these pictures! It’s a fucking work of art.
I played it for about 45 minutes tonight, and what I can tell you so far it that it is hard as hell and completely in Chinese. I am going to fight through it, however and post a review sometime in the future, as well as some scans of the artwork, manual and an in depth analysis of the insides of the cart.