Final Fantasy V
- Final Fantasy V (2021 on Android, Windows, iPhone...)
The Elemental Crystals are the life source of the planet. With them, gentle winds blow, the seas are active, fire burns bright, and the earth is full of life. All seems well in the world, until the wind suddenly stops, the sea begin to grow stagnant, the heat of fire becomes scarce, and the earth begins to wither. King Tycoon, sensing a premonition of evil, hurries off to check on the Wind Crystal, only to witness it destroy itself.
Meanwhile, a young traveler named Bartz is camping in a field when a giant meteor strikes the planet. When he heads out to examine the meteor, he is shocked to find a young girl named Lenna, who is the princess of Tycoon, and an old man named Galuf, who is on a critical mission. Later, joined by Faris, a pirate captain, the foursome must travel the land in search of the destroyer of the Crystals, and save the planet at any cost.
Final Fantasy V is a role-playing game that uses the Active Time Battle system first introduced in Final Fantasy IV. It also incorporates the Job/Ability system from Final Fantasy III, which keeps the core gameplay centered on four main characters and allows the player to change their classes, or 'jobs'. A new feature lets the player assign an ability from one job to a character who has another job.
An updated version with additional content has been released on Game Boy Advance.
- ファイナルファンタジーＶ - Japanese spelling
- 最终幻想5 - Chinese spelling (simplified)
Credits (SNES version)
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Average score: 78% (based on 8 ratings)
Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 87 ratings with 3 reviews)
JRPG's and I have had this sort of intrigued-disgusted relationship going on.
I would often proclaim my disgust of something I viewed to be the lesser of the rpg races. "These are savage rpg's, perverse creations," I would say while I drank my Earl Grey with pomp.
"They offer no character customization, no choice, no freedom, and exploration in these games means just going around the corner to find that extra chest."
And yet I was intrigued by them. Something constantly kept attracting me.
I was like a british colonial officer who gazed upon the savages and didn't know whether to admire or despise them.
"No civilized man should be seen playing a savage rpg! These stories are banal, unbearably naive and disgustingly sexualized!"
And yet at night times I would sneak away to indulge myself in my perverse attractions....
I was a sick and perverted man, believing in the superiority of my race, and yet being seduced by this.... oriental she-demon. Oh, how I struggled.
And then I discovered Final Fantasy 5, which is a marvelous and wonderful game. A game which also does a lot of things differently than most jrpg's.
A game that made me realize that deep down, we're not that different.
I used to bring up the very restrictive character customization of jrpgs to prove their inherent inferiority. "In civilized rpg cultures, we can build whatever character we want," I said, while holding my cup of Earl Gray with a pointy finger.
And then Final Fantasy 5 gives me 4 characters and a dozen of different classes and says: "So go ahead, you can build whatever character you want."
"Can this truly be? That there is no savage or civilized - there is just the game?" I was humbled.
Surprisingly, Final Fantasy 5 was also the game that the degenerate race-traitors told me to avoid.
"It doesn't have any story or characters. It lacks powerful emotional scenes. It's not true to the spirit of the series. Go play Final Fantasy 8 if you want to see a true masterpiece."
But that is a lie. FF5 is full of typical Final Fantasy moments - tragic deaths, heroic self-sacrifice, secret histories. It just doesn't focus on them, because the main focus is on the game. And it does give you enough drama that you can care about these characters. There is character drama in this game.
It is just not a storytelling piece of work like the later Final Fantasies are. It's not like the 6th or the 7th. You always have freedom to explore. The plot restricts you only so much that the area you can explore has it's limitations. But you can always explore and always discover secrets. And you have 3 different worlds to explore.
And to be honest, even with it's spartan presentation, it has a better storytelling than even some of the later FF games. It never wanders of into bullshit territory.
I remember this one game, where late in the game everyone discovered that they were childhood friends who were separated by amnesia. :)
It is a heroic save the world tale, which is just an excuse to give us this awesome game to explore and have fun with.
And as a game, it's much more fun that the future FF's. It is unbelievable how much such a little thing like character customization can add to the game. It works like this. Your basic character has no skills. Sure he can hit stuff, but he is just like that. Nothing unique. So you apply a class to the character. Make him into a Black Mage. He now can do destructive magic. You level up all the levels in the class (usually the max is 4), and then your normal status can use black magic without needing to be a black mage. And then you apply a different class. Let's say a knight. Now you have a Double-Grip Sword wielding Knight who can do Black Magic. Once you level up all the levels inside the class, the attributes of the class become part of that character. But you don't need to even go that far. Each leveling inside the class grants you class-specific skills. You can combine different classes with different skills. And you can do this any time you want.
So let's say, there is this boss. You fought that boss, You failed miserably. Normally, you load and grind some levels. In FF5, you might want to try out applying different classes to your characters to see what then happens.
FF5 is not a difficult game. But it is challenging. Not to your patience, but to your creativity and strategic thinking. That's the best kind of challenge. That's what I enjoyed the most about this game. This complete freedom in building your characters.
I fail with a boss. I don't go grind with anger and frustration. I just try something else. Eventually you will figure out what works and what not. What gives more damage and what less. Some builds and combinations are more powerful.
I had a White Mage with a constitution of a Berserker and a double-grip ability of a Knight. I was really proud of the damage that little girl could do.
This was the last game Hironobu Sakaguchi directed. Different people took over the franchise. First delivering the most loved and famous games of the series. Later also, the most hated. The franchise took a different direction. A good direction too I would say. While a fun game, the Nintendo Crystal Fantasy type of setting is an acquired taste. It just lacks a certain... grit.
As a wrpg player, which means I have an extra refined taste in settings, and I can say that one of the problems I've had with jrpg settings is that they all lack that certain grit and realism, but this Nintendo Crystal Fantasy setting is one of the more superficial ones. Light on substance, feels artificial. Too many crystals.
Considering it's a game from 1992, meaning that you need to come out of your comfort zone anyway to adjust your gaming sensibilities a bit... I found it to be pretty easy to get into this game. That it's style of fantasy needs a bit of adjusting to is the only thing I can find fault in.
The Bottom Line
FF5 was a true pleasure to play. It's a logical game, it's fun to build characters, it rewards exploration with powerful items and even story sequences. It has amazing gameplay. It is not as memorable and evocative as some later FF games, but it is one of the better Final Fantasy games, and dare I say it, one of the better jrpg's. It's Nintendo Crystal Fantasy setting needs to get used to, but all in all, I had fun. And I'm happy to say - this game is worthy!
SNES · by The Fabulous King (1330) · 2014
Released in 1992, Final Fantasy V, was the follow up the excellent Final Fantasy IV. Can it’s sequel live up? You likely know by now that I am not a hardcore Final Fantasy fan, so, here is my unbiased review.
I first played Final Fantasy V, in the late 90’s. I was on an RPG kick. And having just rediscovered many old favorites, and some new ones. I played Final Fantasy V, shortly after playing the fourth(again-MM-). FF V was never released outside Japan, until some 10 years after it’s initial release. So when I played it, it was via the magic of ROMS. This may help explain the confusion of why FFVI is called FFIII in the USA.
The plot of FFV is just rehash of FFIV. Once again, the crystals are in danger, and you must get them back. Blah, Blah, Blah. This time you are a rouge Butz, who looks very much like Cecil from FFIV. When he meets the princess he takes it upon himself, for unclear reasons to help her. And is drawn into a quest to save the world.
The graphics are decent for 1992. It is the same exact graphics engine from FFIV.
The music and sound effects are okay. Some of the music just plain sucks. But what can you do?
The optional boss fights were a neat idea. And they add a bit of challenge to the game.
Why would Squaresoft do this? Just when FFIV pulled the series out of the gutter of mediocrity, they go and release this game. Which is actually a step back for the series. The plot is too similar, to past Final Fantasies. A kingdom is in danger, because someone or something is trying to claim the elemental crystals. And your ragtag group for unclear reasons takes it upon themselves to stop it.
Seriously enough with the crystals already. How many fantasy worlds have elemental crystals? It’s like if JRR Tolkien kept on writing “Lord Of The Rings” books that involved the rings of power. It’s like the old Super Mario games, in it’s repetitive and lazy storytelling.
Nothing special in the gameplay department. The only new addition is the class change system, which sucks anyway. And is just a knock off Dragon Quest V. But then again that is all that Final Fantasy is. Basically you characters are a blank slate.(Maybe that’s why they have such a plain design.-MM-) And you get to pick what class to train them as. This could have been cooler if it would have been more refined. The game also has you do this numerous times. Is it any wonder that Square never used this system again?
ATB, or Active Time Battle, is back, and one of the biggest pieces of shit to come out of this series. Some zealots would say that it is dramatic. But that is B.S. How can a lame battle system, in which you must wait for a bar to fill dramatic? That is like saying that waiting for a download to finish is dramatic. Give me a break.
Speaking of character design, it is so plain and dull. Final Fantasy has not had designs this bland since the original game. But then again latter entries into the series bring back the boring designs, like FFVII. And they all have ridiculous names. Why are there no James‘, or Anna’s in Final Fantasy’s world. And furthermore the characters themselves have no personality whatsoever. They are for all intents and purposes automatons.
The spell animations are dull. Like watching paint dry. Even the summon spells are not all that they are cracked up to be.
And don’t get me started of the monsters. That are NOT animated. Unless you count blinking as an animation. Seriously, Phantasy Star II, came out in 1989, and has fully animated monsters. And your party just takes one step forward and swings there weapon and that somehow hurts the monsters. What are you doing? Cooling them off with a breeze from you sword?
How could I forget the attack rate. You are getting attacked by monsters every 25-30 seconds. No wonder these games take 60+ hours to complete!
And save points. Yet another dubious contribution from the Final Fantasy series. Why not just save anywhere? No, I have to backtrack to a save point.
Some of the music in this game is a cacophony. The battle music one of these. It is so annoying and repetitive. It could drive one to madness, like in an old horror story.
The Bottom Line
If you are new to the Final Fantasy series, and are curious about, it’s roots, then go ahead and skip this one and play Final Fantasy IV, and VI. Or II, and III, for my American friends. If you are a hardcore fan of the series you likely will think that I am an idiot and play this one anyway.
SNES · by MasterMegid (723) · 2009
In the old days, the Final Fantasy series really meant something in a world where Japanese RPGs cloned and copied themselves tirelessly - those were games that actually experimented with gameplay. Final Fantasy V is, in this respect, the highlight of the entire series. It is focused on the gameplay, offering the player diverse and meaningful options for character customization, subsequently enhancing the game's replay value - which, in my opinion, should be one of the chief concerns of a good RPG designer.
When I say "diverse", I mean more than choosing whether you want a black mage or a samurai in your party. The game's famed Job system is so complex that covering it in one playthrough would be impossible. Basically, the game has real party creation - a feature that all but disappeared from Eastern RPGs. The four characters you can use in the game are, essentially, blank states - they have no distinguishing characteristics, it is up to you to develop them in any way you see fit. Again, "any way" means more than make one character an axe-wielding tank, another a healer, etc. There is a very impressive amount of abilities and classes in the game - and, what's more, after you've learned an ability, you can actually try out a new class while still keeping the earlier skill.
Needless to say that very soon you'll be delving into esoteric calculations of damage and defense, becoming intensely devoted to the lofty goal of building a dual-weapon Hunter who can also cast time magic and protection spells on the party. The choices are far from being only cosmetic - while you can, theoretically, win the game with any combination of classes (why not try out four White Mages and see how it goes?), only careful balancing of skills can ensure a smooth victory. Many enemies in the game are resilient or immune to certain types of attack, so the old rule "don't cast fire on a fire-breathing monster" returns with a vengeance - you must experiment and see which setup works best against which type of enemy. This is fun, addictive, and leads to replays, which is exactly what I need from an RPG.
Furthermore, Final Fantasy V has a huge world, probably the largest of the entire series; it has, in fact, three worlds, and even features exploration of ocean depths with a submarine. Yes, the worlds have to be tackled in a particular order; but as the game advances, it opens up considerably, with the final (and probably largest) segment containing optional areas and dungeons, optional tough enemies, as well as the possibility of marching straight to the archenemy's lair and trying to face him with a low-level party.
Some say that the story of this game is less emotional and less dramatic than in other Final Fantasies. I dare say it is less sentimental and less melodramatic. There are emotional moments, sacrifices, and large-scale events in the game; it's just that they aren't presented as long non-interactive cutscenes and are not being dwelt upon in large chunks of badly written text afterwards.
The first couple of hours of Final Fantasy V are, frankly, rather terrible. You begin with generic characters following the tiresome scripted routine of a Japanese RPG - walk a few steps, watch a cutscene, continue on the prescribed path. In no way is this bland beginning indicative of the game's subsequent development. But I wish I were given the option of simply skipping that needless, lengthy prologue, and get to the meat and potatoes of the game.
The inherent linearity of the genre is present in this game as well, though it does open up in a much more noticeable fashion as it runs its course. But particularly the first half of the game still follows the simplified formula of going only where the designer wants you to go. It is easy to lose interest in the game before it shows you all its tricks.
The random encounter rate is - as it is usually the case with such games - irritatingly high. Granted, the excellent character-building system makes sure that you'll always be hungry for those ability points; but perhaps there could be another way of allowing the player to fight many monsters while also giving him a more valid possibility to avoid these battles.
The Bottom Line
If you like the interesting gameplay elements of Final Fantasy but are tired of hour-long cutscenes and continuing dumbing-down of the series, Final Fantasy V is the right game for you. It combines the unique charm of Eastern RPGs with customization and flexibility in the gameplay that would give even some Western counterparts a run for their money. If this is the black sheep of the series, then I prefer that color.
SNES · by Unicorn Lynx (180491) · 2018
1001 Video Games
The SNES version of Final Fantasy V appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.
Cancelled US version
The game was going to be translated to America under the moniker Final Fantasy Extreme (because of its supposed complexity) before it was cancelled in favor of Secret of Evermore.
- Gilgamesh and his sidekick Enkidu, two minor villains of the game, take their names from those of ancient heroes of Babylon. The Babylonian "Poem of Gilgamesh" is considered one of the greatest epic pieces of ancient literature.
- There is a "I-am-in-a-game" kind of joke in Final Fantasy V. In one of the towns of the First World, talk to a dancer on the stage. Butz and his friends will start dancing with her, and then tell to various people in the tavern: "Dance with us!". They end up by saying: "And you too, yes you there, the one who sits in front of the TV!".
- In the library of Zaza's castle (the last library room, where a woman stands), examine the left-most bookshelf, that contains magazines. Butz will say something like: "Let's see... pl...play...playb... nope, I guess they don't have this stuff here".
Final Fantasy V for the SNES was only released in Japan, Squaresoft never translated the game until it appeared on the PlayStation as part of the Final Fantasy Anthology. However, it was one of the first large RPGs to have been fan-translated from Japanese to English.
Most of the names are different in fan-translated English SNES version and Playstation re-release. Here are some of them: * SNES: Butz, Leena, Kara, Worus, Istory, Lonka, Exdeath * PSX: Bartz, Reina, Krile, Walz, Easterly, Ronka, X-Death
- 2006 – GBA Game of the Year
- 2006 – GBA Game of the Year (Gamers' Vote)
Related Sites +
- MobyGames ID: 4876
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by Satoshi Kunsai.
Wii U, PlayStation 3, Wii, PSP, PS Vita added by GTramp.
Game added August 26th, 2001. Last modified September 17th, 2023.