Today, the game seems to suffer from the curse that has affected many DOS games - that of backward compatibility. The game will completely lock up when a Chocobo Race is entered if it is running under an unsupported operating system (read: Windows XP); since you must enter a Chocobo race at least ONCE in the game, Windows XP users are SOL(1). The PC port is not without its merits, however - a number of features were added or changed.

  • Since the game saved to the hard drive, a total of 150 save slots were available. Should those save slots ever become full, each savefile was about 64 KB, so the player could easily move the savefile to another folder in order to make room for more.
  • MIDI music. Depending on your computer's sound card, the MIDI music could either sound beautifully composed or remind you of what the Genesis sounded like. Sound Blaster AWE32/64 users were treated with a SoundFont specially designed for the game. Since MIDI has no voices, this meant that One Winged Angel suddenly had a new remix applied to it (Actually, this depends if your card supports SoundFonts or not. A special SoundFont was made for One Winged Angel, which includes the voices. If you load lb2 and play the AWE version of OWA, you will hear the choir singing. Without LB2, the voices just sound like a loud wooden block).
  • 3D acceleration
  • As WWWWolf mentioned in his writeup above, Direct3D was used for 3D acceleration. If the player had a graphics card that could handle this, the player was treated to sharp, crisp models. This had the unfortunate side effect of working too well - the models looked great, but the prerendered backgrounds didn't
  • A "quit" option was added to the subscreen menu.
  • If FF VII was installed to the hard drive, the game loaded battles and areas much faster. It only took up a scant 500 MB.
  • All references to the PSX buttons were replaced with rather unintuitive controls - (START) (MENU) (CANCEL) (TARGET), etc - all centered around the numeric keypad. The game's box supplied a piece of cardboard which fit over the numeric keypad to help you remember
  • Some new dialogue was added to the beginner's hall at the beginning of the game. Cloud now tells the player of all the exciting possibilities that are possible with saving the game (!). You can even e-mail your save files to your friends! If you get angry and want to hit the computer, shut off the computer and give you and your computer a rest.
  • A minimal configuration tool was supplied with the game. This tool ran tests on your 3D hardware to determine if it could handle basic features like gourad shading and such. You could also pick your MIDI synthesizer and primary display driver.

All in all, quite an interesting port, inspiring Squaresoft to do it again with Final Fantasy 8. For some reason, Final Fantasy 9 was never ported to the PC.

Update 6/13/2002: Apparently FFVII references an invalid segment of memory when loading the Chocobo Races. Because Windows XP is an anal-retentive operating system, it will not allow this; a small patch is out to rectify this situation