Final Fantasy I & II Famicom

I picked this up just yesterday from my local video game shop, Replay Games. It was priced slightly lower then the fair market price, because that’s the way they roll. The box has some slight crushing, nothing to servere, however whats in the box is absolutely pristine.

This release is the first two Final Fantasy games for Famicom re-released as a 2-in-1 cart. The game came with a bunch of extras, such as a strategy guide and a double sided world map. Despite the array of goodies us westerners got with our console RPGs, like maps and hint books and reference cards, it was not very common for these extras to be packaged with games in Japan. Part of the reason we where so spoiled over here is that the RPG genre wasn’t nearly as popular in North America, a region where the Nintendo and it’s contemporaries where thought of as kids toys. These bonuses where added by publishers as an attempt to sweeten the deal. This was a must because some publishers thought that if us dumb Canadian / Americans got stuck in one of their games that we would give up and steer clear of their future releases.

RPGs where already extremely popular in Japan, even by the time Square released the first Final Fantasy game, so they did not run into this problem. Also, the supplemental strategy guide market in Japan gained popularity nearly a decade before it caught on in the west, so there really wasn’t any need to put anything extra with the games.

However, in 1994 when Final Fantasy l & ll was released, the Super Famicom had already taken the crown from the original Famicom, and the Famicom’s days where numbered. Add to that the fact that Square was re-releasing two games with, other than a handful of graphic tweaks and one typo correction, no additional content or added value. This prompted them to put out a limited edition package. Included with the over-sized cart (similar to many of Namco(t)’s cartridges) was the standard instruction manual, a two sided world map, and a perfect-bound strategy guide/artbook that covered both games. Also of note, everything was held in place on the inside of the box by a Styrofoam brick, much like the one included in all North American Nintendo games.

The strategy guide also doubles as an art book, as it’s filled with page after page of Yoshitaka Amano’s beautiful drawings in full color. The book appears to be quite comprehensive with it’s coverage of both games.

Final Fantasy I & II was the last cart that Square released for Nintendo’s original Famicom, and it was also the first time the Square released a compilation of games in the Final Fantasy franchise, a practice that they are now (in)famous for.

The quality of the artwork and layout through the extra’s is fantastic, and I highly recommend die hard Final Fantasy fans and Famicom collectors alike both track down a copy for themselves.

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