The first iteration of Final Fantasy was released on December 18th, 1987.
The first re-release of Final Fantasy was released on June 1st, 1989 in Japan only.
The MSX2 computer standard was roughly analogous in terms of technical capabilities compared to the Famicom, and as such, the MSX2 version of Final Fantasy is nearly identical to the original Famicom version. While the Famicom was designed to operate exclusively as a gaming console, the MSX2 was intended to be used more generally as a personal computer. Thus the game was subtly altered to take advantage of certain features offered by the MSX2 compared to the Famicom.
- Format – Released on floppy diskette, the MSX2 version has almost three times as much storage space compared to the Famicom (720 KB vs. 256 KB), but suffers from a variety of problems not present in Nintendo's cartridge media, including noticeable loading times.
- Updated Visuals – The MSX2 version sports a minor but noticeably improved color palette that adds a degree of vibrancy to characters and background graphics.
- Random encounters – The world map has been slightly altered, with the placement of monster tiles occurring at different locations.
- Save System – Game data could not be saved onto the original program diskette, requiring a blank floppy diskette to save one's progress. It was possible to store only one saved game on any given disk at one time, although it was possible to have multiple diskettes for multiple saved games.
- Sound and Music – The MSX2 features more sound channels than the Famicom, and thus music and sound effects were altered or improved for the port. Several Dungeon themes were changed for specific locations.
- Gameplay Changes – The Monk's Strength has been lowered when gaining a level and do less damage when unequipped. In addition, a number of items available in stores have also had their prices changed.
The first international edition of Final Fantasy, released on July 12th, 1990. It is the North American localization of the original game.
Almost identical to the original Famicom version, technical limitations and the censorship policies of Nintendo of America resulted in a few minor changes to certain elements:
- Shortened Magic terms – The original game program provided only four character spaces for magic spell names, meaning a number of the Japanese spell names had to be abbreviated to fit the space requirements for the English version. These changes include "Flare" being reduced to "NUKE" and "Thunder" to "LIT".
- Altered Sprites - Several enemies were given new sprite designs, including the Evil Eye, Death Eye, Medusa and Earth Medusa.
- Censorship – Nintendo of America's policy prohibited games from featuring any overt Judaeo-Christian imagery or reference to death. Churches no longer featured crosses, and the Death spell was renamed to "RUB".
A compilation of both Final Fantasy and Final Fantasy II, released on February 27th, 1994 in Japan only.
Incorporates the enemy sprite changes from the North American version (Evil Eye, Death Eye, Medusa and Earth Medusa, with their names remaining identical ("Beholder" and "Death Beholder"). However, several guidebooks released for the compilation such as the Final Fantasy I∙II Kanzen Kōryaku-hen use the revised names along with the original Medusa sprite design.
Released on December 9th, 2000 in Japan only.
A number of major changes were introduced for the WonderSwan versions:
- Upgraded Visuals – The WSC versions utilise 16-bit pixels equivalent to the Super Famicom, which included larger color palettes and full background images for battles.
- Parity – Character sprites such as the upgraded classes were redesigned to more closely resemble the designs of the Super Famicom Final Fantasy titles.
- Shops -When accessing a shop, each room can now be explored, each with a counter where the shop menu can be accessed.
- Battles - Battle screens were redesigned to resemble the battle screen layout used from Final Fantasy II onwards, with all textual information moved to a blue window on the lower screen and battle information on the upper screen.
- Cutscenes – New cutscenes using the in-game sprites were added to expand the game's story, including the construction of the bridge by the Cornelian army.
- Increased Text Boxes – The WonderSwan version removes the restriction of being unable to display more than one window of text when interacting with NPCs. The original Famicom version could not display more than one window of text during a conversation, which meant that all conversations with NPCs were limited in length.
- Battle Changes – Failed actions when attacking defeated monsters have been removed; e.g. a character that targeted "Enemy A" will no longer miss and instead redirect their attack to "Enemy B".
- Movement - The option to "Dash" was introduced: holding down a specific button while walking around a town or dungeon will double the character's movement speed. Both options can be toggled via the game's configuration screen.
- Spells – In the original version, Jobs which can cast magic have successive "spell levels", with each having three available slots per spell level, but can choose from an additional fourth spell. Once selected, it was not possible to "unlearn" spells in order to free up space for the unchosen fourth spell. The WonderSwan version enables the player to delete purchased spells.
- Saving – The WonderSwan version provides up to eight individual slots for saved game data. The "Quicksave" feature allows the player to save progress at any time outside of battles. This will exit the game, however, and as soon as the game is resumed any Quicksave data is lost.
- Items – In the original versions, only items specifically assigned to a character could be used during battle. In the WSC, there is a party-wide "pool" of items that can be accessed at any time by all characters. Certain status healing items and spells (such as Life and Soft) could now be used during battle. The status ailment Silence no longer prevents items from being used.
- Music – In addition to rearranging the original soundtrack, several newly composed songs were arranged by Nobuo Uematsu.
- Enemies – All enemies including bosses have had their values altered to balance the gamplay, including increased HP. The enemies Evil Eye and Death Eye use their revised sprites, and retain their revised Japanese names.
An enhanced re-release for the PlayStation was released along with Final Fantasy II, titled Final Fantasy Origins (or Final Fantasy I+II Premium Collection in Japan). Both games are based on the WonderSwan Color versions, retaining most of the changes featured. The game was released on October 31, 2002 in Japan, followed with a March 14, 2003 release in Europe and a April 8, 2003 release in North America.
Along with the WonderSwan Color changes, additional features were added:
- Updated Visuals – Visuals have higher resolution with new graphical effects.
- Rearranged Soundtrack – Improved sound quality for music equivalent to the existing Final Fantasy titles on the PlayStation, with additional tracks added by Nobuo Uematsu.
- Localization – The Japanese version's script was changed to include kanji. English localization has been improved and retranslated to more closely follow the original Japanese script and terminology. Character and spell lengths were increased from four to six characters. The jobs Fighter and Black Belt are renamed Warrior and Monk, respectively.
- Save System – Saved game data takes up one block on the PlayStation memory card, which means that up to fifteen games can be saved onto each card. The "quick save" feature of the WSC version was excised, but in its place a "memo save" feature was introduced where game data can be temporarily saved to the PlayStation's RAM. The data remains until the system is turned off, or its power supply is otherwise interrupted.
- Full Motion Video - An FMV cutscenes and omake – The game is now book-ended with two full-motion, prerendered video cutscenes.
- Bonus Content - An "Omake" (or bonus) section was made available that includes a Bestiary, an Art Gallery and an item collection which are unlocked as the player progresses through the game.
- Easy Mode – A new "easy mode" was introduced wherein shop prices are cheaper, experience levels are gained faster, Mage/Wizard spell pools are more generous and extend to the double digits for each level, unlike the standard mode where they cap at 9/level, and stats grow more rapidly. This mode is optional and can be chosen at the title screen.
- DualShock Support - The game features rumble support with the DualShock controller.
- Released in Japan on July 29, 2004, and WorldWide on December 3rd, 2004.
Another fairly extensive list of changes accompanies the Game Boy Advance release as part of Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls.
Among them are:
- Reduced difficulty level – The GBA version's difficulty level most closely resembles the "easy mode" of the PlayStation/Final Fantasy Origins version. Unlike that version, however, there is no option to switch back to the original difficulty. The redirection of "ineffective" hits, which had been optional since it was introduced in the WSC version, is now mandatory.
- Lower resolution graphics – compared to the PlayStation version, graphics are of similar quality to the WSC version, although the GBA has a slightly higher screen resolution and certain sequences (such as flying around on the airship) look better on the GBA than on the WSC.
- New magic system – The "spell level"-based magic system was dropped in favor of the magic point-based system used in more recent Final Fantasy games. Although spells are still classified at certain levels for some purposes (characters can still only be equipped with three of the four available spells of any given level), every spell is now assigned a point value. When cast, that value is subtracted from a total number of magic points (or MP) that applies to all spells known by a character.
- New item system – Many new items were introduced, including the reviver item Phoenix Down. Healing items are now easier to procure and less expensive. The party starts with 500 gil instead of 400 as in previous versions. The player can also now obtain item drops from enemies.
- Omake bestiary – The omake artwork gallery and item collection present in the PlayStation version have been omitted, but the bestiary gallery remains and operates in much the same way.
- Miscellaneous game engine tweaks – Certain classes have been modified: the Thief and Monk have become more powerful, whereas the Red Mage has become less so. Stat growth has been altered, and Intelligence now affects the strength of weapon-based magic spells.
- Altered save system – The game can now be saved at any time outside of battles. There are three available save game slots.
- Monsters have even more HP – Because the introduced changes make the game even less challenging, many monsters and bosses have had their hit points increased.
- "Auto-naming" – During character creation, the player can choose to have the game randomly assign a name to each character. The names are taken from other Final Fantasy games and include Desh (Final Fantasy III), Giott (Final Fantasy IV), Kelga (Final Fantasy V), and Daryl (Final Fantasy VI), among others.
- Soul of Chaos – Four new optional dungeons have been introduced, one corresponding to each Fiend, and become available after that Fiend is defeated. The dungeons are especially challenging and feature items and monsters not found elsewhere. At the end of each dungeon there are a variety of boss monsters from subsequent games in the Final Fantasy series, including the bosses from the World of Darkness from Final Fantasy III, the Archfiends from Final Fantasy IV, the bosses from the Interdimensional Rift from Final Fantasy V and the bosses from Final Fantasy VI.
- Released on March 1, 2004(JP)
Bandai Namco Entertainment released a mobile port of Final Fantasy worldwide as a Java game.
Gameplay is based on the NES release, but with some noticeable differences:
- Bugs present in the NES version were largely fixed, with exception to commonly retrofitted "bugs" such as the Peninsula of Power and miscalculated critical hits.
- A re-translated script.
- An expanded inventory system, allowing the player to carry every item present in the game.
- A quicksave function that may be toggled off and on. The game saves to a separate quicksave slot whenever the player enters a new room or floor, and the file is erased upon being loaded. In difficult dungeons, this feature can be exploited by stepping out of the room or entering the last set of stairs, then re-entering to ensure the quicksave file is not erased. If the party is slain or the player needs to reset, the quicksave file may be used to retain the player's position in the dungeon.
- Dashing and re-targeting, both of which may be toggled off and on (similar to the WSC and Origins versions).
- Some enemy groups have been rearranged. Stronger enemies are sometimes encountered much earlier in the game.
- The Knight and Ninja classes no longer have their MP (or spell charges) capped at 4. Both may advance as high as 9 charges per spell level.
- Chaos's HP is doubled, compared to his NES counterpart.
- The 15 Puzzle minigame is inaccessible.
Sound effects are absent, but the player may choose to turn background music off and on. BGMs consist simple MIDI arrangements with no looping points, and there are no boss themes, save for the battle with Chaos. The graphics are a compromise between the GBA and NES versions, having detailed sprites, but retaining more generic map and dungeon tiles similar to those used in the NES release.
Hi-Potions, Phoenix Downs, and other items introduced in the GBA version are not present. The player must make do with standard Potions, Antidotes, Gold Needles, Sleeping Bags, Tents and Cottages. No hidden extras are featured in this port. Clearing the game only displays the ending sequence, with no option to save and begin a New Game Plus file.
Namco's version was typically priced around $4.99, or 4€ and it is 600 KB large.
- Released on April 19, 2007(JP), and February 8, 2008(WW).
In honor of the 20th Anniversary of the first Final Fantasy game's release, Square announced another remake, this time for the PlayStation Portable. The soundtrack is borrowed from Final Fantasy Origins. The script is nearly identical to the GBA version. This version was later released for the Nintendo 3DS with the addition of Stereoscopic 3D.
The known changes and features are:
- Higher resolution – The graphics have been updated and are more detailed. Aerial effects have been added to the towns and dungeons.
- Soul of Chaos Dungeons – The new dungeons from the Dawn of Souls version remain. The music tracks from boss battles were changed to the tracks of the games the new bosses originated from, which consists of five new tracks.
- The Labyrinth of Time – The new dungeon with greater difficulty than any other in the game and its new superboss surpasses even Omega, Shinryu, and Chaos in difficulty.
- Amano art gallery – The art gallery featured on Final Fantasy Origins has returned.
- FMV Scenes – The FMV scenes from the PlayStation version have returned. The only exceptions are the Square Enix logo replacing the Squaresoft logo and a new Final Fantasy logo artwork.
- Red Fang, Blue Fang and White Fang now use a fixed Intelligence value of 45 instead of the user's Intelligence for damage calculation (the user's Luck is still used). This makes them far more powerful for early and mid game.
- Released on May 26, 2009(JP), and May 7, 2010(WW).
- The Family Computer version is available for download in Japan while the Nintendo Entertainment System version is available in North America and Europe.
- The game is not available on 3DS and Wii U outside Japan.
- The Japanese version uses the revised name and sprites for the Eye (ex-Beholder) enemies despite no Famicom copies of the game doing so. It also uses the original uncensored Medusa sprites.
- Released on June 24, 2009(JP) (PSOne).
- Released on February 16, 2011(WW) (PSP).
- Final Fantasy Origins is available for download in North America for the PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita. The games are released separately in Japan.
- The Anniversary Edition versions are available for download in Europe and Japan for the PlayStation Portable and PlayStation Vita.
iOS/Android/Windows Phone (Original)
- Released on February 25, 2010 (iOS).
- Released on July 27, 2012 (Android).
- Released on June 4, 2012(JP), and June 13, 2012(WW) (Windows Phone).
The port of the original and second Final Fantasy games to the iOS were available separately in Apple's App Store and through the Final Fantasy Portal App for $7.99/£7.99 each. Both games have graphics similar to the Anniversary Edition and their special dungeons. With a single purchase, both the English and Japanese language versions are made available (through the phone's system language). Gameplay from the original Final Fantasy remains the same as in the PlayStation Portable port, while the Final Fantasy II iOS version adds new gameplay elements, mainly the implementation of touch controls. The Window Color option has been removed, and the Art Gallery can no longer be featured. The music quality is slightly worse in comparison to the Official Soundtrack version (which is fully preserved on the PSP Anniversary editions, quality-wise).
"Quick save" allows saving the party's current location either on the overworld map or in dungeon mode when the application gracefully exits. This means that when gameplay is interrupted by returning to the home screen, receiving a phone call, or putting the device in sleep mode and subsequently syncing the device (which resets the device's current status), the game will resume in the same location when "Resume" is selected at the opening screen. If the player chooses to open a save file or new game, the data is deleted.
This version has several bugs. One of the worst is that instead of a random value within a range, HP and MP go up by either the minimum or maximum possible value when leveling up. The minimum value appears to be picked 15 times more often than the max value.
A port of the iOS version to Microsoft's Windows Phone platform was made available on the Windows Phone Marketplace in Japan on 4 June 2012, and America and Europe on 13 June 2012. Features unique to this version include a phone status indicator (time, signal, WiFi status and battery level) on the left or right side of the screen (depending on device orientation) and Xbox Live Achievements.
As with apps for the platform, a demo of the Windows Phone version is available. The main difference from the full version is that upon reaching the drawbridge and watching the introduction to the game proper, gameplay is halted and a message appears, stating "This concludes the Demo. Buy the Full Game to play on!". Touching the screen here returns the player to the title screen. Another feature is an option in the title screen menu that offers a direct link to the app listing in the WP Marketplace, where players can purchase the full version. Should the player do so, they can immediately continue from where the demo ends.
Final Fantasy was made available on the Google Play store 27 July 2012. It is similar to the iOS and the Windows Phone 7 versions, both based on the PlayStation Portable remake, but does not include the bonus dungeons that were not in the original game. Final Fantasy on Android was available for $7.99 / £7.99 in the Google Play store and runs on Android 2.1-compatible devices and up.
Versions based on the 20th Anniversary release were available for purchase until July 28, 2021, when they were replaced by the Pixel Remaster versions (below). Existing license holders who have not upgraded their operating environment may re-download their prior purchase for an unspecified limited time.
A version of the game was released for purchase within Final Fantasy Portal App, and was a free download until the end of August 2015. It is not compatible with the non-Portal version of the game.
- Released on January 21, 2015(JP).
A port of the Anniversary Edition for the 3DS is included with first print copies of Final Fantasy Explorers. It was later released on Japanese eShop only.
- Enhanced 3D graphics.
NES Classic Edition
- Released on November 11, 2016.
The original NES version of Final Fantasy is included in the international NES Classic Edition, released November 11, 2016. The console is a miniature replica of the NES, and includes a static library of 30 built-in games that support save states and accessories for the Wii.
- Released on July 28, 2021.
- The game features refined pixel art for characters and enemies, with a majority being based on the original Nintendo Entertainment System release. NPC sprite designs are lifted directly from later releases of the original game and Final Fantasy V. This version uses the Unity game engine.
- Boss character sprites on the map are lifted from the Game Boy Advance release, which have not had their palettes updated to reflect the new battle sprites. The most noticeable of these is Tiamat, who appears blue outside of battle but green during battle.
- Auto Battle has been implemented, which repeats the last action chosen for each character, and makes combat faster.
- In-game maps have been introduced for every area. The world map displays the number of chests and items remaining to be collected in every location. Maps of dungeon floors also display the locations of chests. Room interior within dungeons are not displayed unless the party is also standing in an interior.
- The game combines gameplay elements of several previous releases:
- MP returns to the "Charge" system for each spell level from releases prior to the Game Boy Advance release, dropping the single MP pool.
- The maximum character level remains 99 from the Game Boy Advance release.
- Player characters, enemies and bosses retain their stats from the Game Boy Advance release.
- Accuracy and Evasion are represented on the character status screen by a percentage rather than a value from 0 to 255 as in the Game Boy Advance release. The percentage is the ratio of the character's current stat value out of 255. For example, a level 1 Thief has 30 Accuracy, and 30/255 will display as 11%.
- The Intelligence stat affects the damage inflicted and health restored by magic spells.
- Prices of items, equipment, and spells are based on the Easy Mode prices from the PlayStation release.
- The expanded item pool that includes Elixirs, Ethers and more are retained from the Game Boy Advance release.
- Permanent stat boosting items, such as Power Plus, that were introduced in the Game Boy Advance release are not included, which makes achieving maximum stats nearly impossible in a normal playthrough.
- The game reuses the localization from the Game Boy Advance and 20th Anniversary releases, with some minor changes. For example, Matoya does not repeat her entire speech when spoken to multiple times, instead simply saying "my eye!"
- The game retains some minor cutscenes introduced in the PlayStation release, such as the bridge being built north of Cornelia. However, the cutscene of the party descending to the Sunken Shrine is not present.
- Some area encounter tables have been returned to their NES/PlayStation state, for example Black Flans are once again present on the first two floors of the past Chaos Shrine.
- The Soul of Chaos bonus dungeons from the Game Boy Advance and 20th Anniversary releases are not included, along with the enemies, bosses, and equipment found inside. The Labyrinth of Time bonus dungeon from the 20th Anniversary versions is also not included.
- New animations for items and spells have been remade in a pixel inspired style.
- Includes a fully re-orchestrated musical score based on prior editions.
- Many of the sound effects from previous versions have been replaced with the sound effects found in the 3D remake of Final Fantasy IV, the mobile/Steam ports of Final Fantasy V, and Final Fantasy VI.
- The tile-overlap bugs that gave rise to the "Peninsula of Power" have been patched out.
- Fixed encounters have been reworked as monsters-in-a-box and as hooded NPCs the player must interact with to initiate combat.
- Unlike many of the fixed encounters, the player cannot escape from any of the monster-in-a-box or hooded NPC encounters.
- The western corridor of the first floor of the Cavern of Earth, known colloquially as the Hall of Giants based on how nearly every step results in an encounter with Hill Gigases, is instead implemented as a pair of hooded NPCs resulting in these encounters. They can be fought repeatedly by exiting and re-entering the cave.
- Tall scenery objects like pillars can now be walked behind on their upper tile, enabling many shortcuts through dungeons.
- Petrified party members now gain EXP.
- Petrified party members remain selectable targets for enemy attacks, which will always miss.
- There is no longer one guaranteed turn of Sleep after being successfully inflicted. Enemies are capable of waking up the turn it is inflicted, meaning they do not miss any turns.
- Enemies no longer cycle through their spell or skill list, but can cast any spell or use any skill in any order, and can choose to use the same spell or skills consecutively.
- The morale system is not implemented and almost all enemies are scripted to have a set chance of fleeing each turn regardless of level.
- Enemies can fail to flee (indicated by a "miss" message).
- The spell Fear effectively does nothing.