On this edition of Famicom Pirate Monday, I have a game that I have been actively seeking ever since I discovered it existed over a year and a half ago. I picked this up on Ebay of all places for MUCH less than I would’ve paid for it.
This game, titled simply “Final Fantasy IV”, is as far as i can tell a pretty faithful (hardware limitations considered) 8-bit remake of the beloved Super Nintendo classic Final Fantasy 2 (IV).
You can imagine some of the inherent difficulty that comes with playing a game completely in simplified Chinese, but from the hour or so I was willing to sink into this game it appears that most of the major opening plot points are established. I say “most of” because the opening of the game starts on the airship just after Cecil snatches the crystal of water from the Mysidians, so that bit has been gleaned off.
Other than that, there is the fight on the airship deck with the Floating Eyes (see below), however instead of fighting all three at the same time like the original, you fight them in three successive battles. It then moves to the throne room scene with Baigan, the King, and the introduction of Kain. I wholeheartedly say that I am quite impressed with the level of detail in this game.
Of course, the game does play like dog shit; but not nearly as bad as the Final Fantasy VII Famicom pirate. The battles are slow, you are pretty under powered in the first few battles. Things do get easier once Kain joins you as a party member, but even still the enemy encounter rate is even higher than the Famicom Final Fantasy 3, which is saying a lot. Speaking of the Final Fantasy VII pirate, I noticed that this title borrows all of that games musical score, which is primarily comprised of looping distorted farts. In the games defense, these farts sometimes resemble Final Fantasy-esque music.
I don’t mean to complain, however. The sheer magnitude of this endeavor deserves our utmost respect and attention; yes it is not the best Final Fantasy game ever made, not even close. Hell, you might even call it broken- nigh, unplayable; but it is still among the greatest Famicom Chinese originals I have ever come across, and the brave Chinese pirates should be proud of their accomplishment.
Again, like most Chinese pirates, packaging is the high point for me. It seems, much like the FFVII pirate, that a surprising amount of effort was put into making this game look professional. It has that signature Chinese pirate flourish of being printing on holographic paper (no unauthorized reproductions, now!) and comes with a manual and this wicked awesome cart label, which I am pretty sure is from Dissidia:
Being a Final Fantasy lover, I was destined to own a copy of this game. It makes a nice addition to my Famicom pirate collection, and is nicely book ended by my Final Fantasy X2 pirate and my Final Fantasy VII. Keep your eyes on Ebay if you want a copy of this; it’s bound to turn up again… maybe.