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SummaryI guess this is the first game ever that has a (decent) ending
The GoodI wasn't born yet when this game was first released, but I'm sure it was an incredible hit at this time. Some RPG were already there (Dragon Warrior, Ultima, etc...) but this one is much better and it's the one who had success with the role-playing genre. It has much better graphics and game-play than those few games, and this is probably the first game ever that have a decent storyline and a decent ending. Here you are an average game at this time : "A pretty princess has been kidnapped by an evil guy/monster/dragon or something, you shall rescue her and to be the master of the world". Or "You shall save the world from alien invasion with your space ship". All games had hard-cored stories like that. In this game, you have to save the princess at the very beginning, but it's rather a joke than a quest. And this is the first game where the princess does actually encourage you for your REAL quest, that is save the world, but not from aliens at all : from chaos. The average ending for the games at this time was "Yeah, congratulations. Got extra bonus score : 10'000 points" And then a new game begins again, only your score points remain for your previous game. I won't spoil Final Fantasy's ending, but it's more than decent, it's awesome, especially for this time, believe me or not. And there is NO new game starting after you completed the game.
Yeah, that's not all you'll get. Graphics aren't very good, but they are much better than Dragon Warrior's ones, for example. Some gloomy places are especially impressive. Also, you can both speak to people and open treasures with just the A button, when you press a direction on the D-pad, the hero immediately moves, all those stuff prove than Final Fantasy is indefinitely better than Dragon Warrior. Also, you can play 4 characters and be in front of up to 9 monsters at the same time, and both allies and enemies are well detailed in battle. I think this is the first game where you can see an actual difference between two swords, two axes, etc...
Music is still cool, but often too short (~15 seconds and the thing will repeat), and some music like the one you hear in a shop or in a castle would decrease my main opinion about the music of this game. Yeah, we're far to the incredible music you can hear into some of Final Fantasy sequels, but this is a good starting block.
The idea to select your party at the beginning of the game is good, and you can't change your mind later so this add a challenge to the game. The only problem is that when you start a new game, you haven't a good idea about what is a black mage, black mage, and what will be the exact differences, except if you read the instruction book.
The BadThis game has in a lot of poor stuff, too. Most people had complains about the lack of Cid, Muggles, Chocoboes or something like that. For me that's absolutely not a problem, this is the first Final Fantasy, and all this stuff didn't exist yet, so how could this be said against the game, since those stuff DIDN'T exist ? Nope.
The music may be awesome, it's sound quality is poor. This is the NES, okay, but many NES games haven't only beeps and bleeps for sound effects, Final Fantasy is far to be on the list. There is only some sound effects in the game, and they're really poor.
Also, there is only one kind of healing-potion in the game. It heals ~30 HP and at the end your Max. HP is ~600 so, as you can see ~20 potions are needed to heal you totally. They shall do some better potions. That's not all, when you want to fill your stock of 99 potions, you have to buy the 99 separately, so to 99 times select the potion, and 99 times answer "Yes" at the seller's confirmation request. So you have to enter to an item shop, press 198 times the A button and exit. Square could input the possibility to buy more than one item at the same time. There is no way to cure your MP except sleeping in a Inn or "House" item that's very expensive, and that's frustrating at the end of huge dungeons (this would be okay without the potion problem I've say above).
There is a lack of action in the battle system. Yeah, Active Time Battle wasn't here yet, and when a character is fighting a monster that is already dead, it doesn't fight a remaining monster, but does an "Ineffective" attack, very scaring stuff. They could do something more... huh, how to say this ? More exciting. Battles will quickly become boring. Animation in battle is very simple, but still better than Ultima's or Dragon Warrior's one, so I won't complain about it.
One last thing, you can wear only 4 weapons and 4 protections at one time, and this is horrible. I hate item limitation, especially when you have to look on the net to show what you'll found in a treasure to know which of your 4 item you actually have you shall drop. But many RPG, even today (Golden Sun for example), have frustrating item limitations and this is one of the most evil thing about RPGs.
Oh, yeah, you can only have one saved game at the same time, and you shall sleep, so pay to save. For example you want to start a new game with 4 red mages just for fun, you'll have to erase your previous save where you trained up light warriors up to level 32 during many hours of gaming... pretty frustrating isn't it ? So this unfortunately decrease the replayability thing.