The first in the long-running series of games by Squaresoft1. So named because it was to be Hironobu Sakaguchi's2 final game after several lukewarm attempts (King's Knight comes to mind...).

The plot is simple. You play the part of four anonymous heros, known throughout the world as the Light Warriors of legend, that each hold a dimmed Orb. Each is an Orb of the Elements, one for each of fire, water, air, and earth. At one time, these Orbs glowed brightly, and the land was safe... but now their power is diminished, drained by evil Fiends, and the lands are in chaos. The earth rots, the winds are wild, the seas are angry, and fire is uncontrollable. It is your duty to defeat these villains and return the world to order. And as you do, you find out that they themselves aren't the originators of all of this evil, but a rather demonic chap named Chaos.

Although many sub-quests appear along the way, the main plot is simple, if confusing in it's entirety. As you play on, you learn that the Fiends started appearing two thousand years ago, but have weakened. To try and regain their former glory, they send a lackey, Garland (whom you defeated in the very first dungeon) back into the past. In the past, Garland melds with the powerful fiends, and becomes Chaos. You then yourselves, as the Light Warriors travel back in time yourselves and defeat Garland/Chaos again. After doing so, you are thrown back into present day, and because Chaos and the Fiends were defeated before they could do any actual harm, the world is saved and, to this timeline's inhabitants, has always been this way. Nobody's heard of the 'Light Warriors', and your orbs shine brightly.

This confused a lot of people. Not to mention it being a good example of a Time paradox, and why you must be very careful when dealing with Time Travel in a story.

Final Fantasy I is intresting in many ways. It improved upon the genre of Console RPG created by Dragon Warrior, and sold like gangbusters in the US when it came out3.

The game had a fairly loose flow to it. It was linear up until you opened up a canal from the interior sea to the outer ocean with some TNT, but then it became pretty non-linear. It is the only game in the series to do this.

Oddly enough, being the first game in the series, it started a few of the games-long streaks of 'traditional elements'. It started the Elemental orb/crystal theme that was in every game through Final Fantasy V. The omnipresent spells of FIRE, ICE, and LIT are created, as are the Prelude, 'Bridge Theme'4, and Victory Theme musics. Both Excalibur and Masamune also originate in this game. Also within is the ubiquitous Airship.

Sadly, the game is the only one not to have Cid within it.

1 Then called Square Co. LTD.
2 Not to mention Square's last game to boot. They were really in dire straits ;)
3 Unfortunatly, it's success didn't bring us another game in the series until Final Fantasy IV, which was called II in the states.
4 Known as such by fans because it is played as you cross the bridge after completing the first dungeon, while a short monolouge and opening credits roll by.