Square Enix’s acclaimed Japanese RPG series Final Fantasy celebrates its 35th anniversary in 2022. It’s not surprising that the franchise has managed to appropriate its own myths, including those related to its own name, over such a long period of time by industry standards.
One of the most popular legends over the years is the story that Square was on the brink of bankruptcy and the original Final Fantasy was his last hope for success. In a recent interview, series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi admitted that’s not the case.
Sakaguchi originally wanted the game’s name shortened to FF (similar to Dragon Quest and DQ/Drakue). A better option (Fighting Fantasy) has been picked up by a number of RPG books “finally” author “reluctantly” Final Fantasy agreed. For the first time the developer commented on this 2015.
No less entertaining were the origins of the urban legend about the meaning of the term Final Fantasy than main dream, illusions. According to Sakaguchi, this interpretation is thanks to an elementary school teacher who decided to give his students a personal understanding of the title.
The students then sent Sakaguchi (a long time ago) a postcard asking if their teacher was right. The game developer did not even think about this meaning, but immediately put it into operation: “I told everyone right away that Final Fantasy was the final illusion. We should thank this teacher!”
Sakaguchi’s interview coincided with the recent release of the Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster remasters on PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch. Featuring Sakaguchi speaking about the franchise (see video above), artist Kazuko Shibuya and Final Fantasy brand manager Yoshinori Kitase.
The story of Final Fantasy began in 1987 but continues to this day. Over the decades, the series has become one of the flagships of the RPG genre, selling over 180 million copies. The newest game in the franchise, Final Fantasy XVI, released on PS5 on June 22 and has already become a hit, although it doesn’t live up to its RPG heritage.