SNES RPGs – Final Fantasy II, Final Fantasy III

I must admit a transgression that I am attempting to remedy. I completely dropped the ball when it came to Super Nintendo RPGs. I was so enthralled by the gorgeous updates to already existing Nintendo franchises such as Zelda, Mario, Metroid, Punch Out, Castlevania, Mega Man and Contra, that I completely ignored the unique RPG titles that publishers such as Square & Nintendo were churning out. The only two RPGs for the SNES that I owned prior to this month were the two Final Fantasy games available for the console in North America.

Final Fantasy II and Final Fantasy III aka Final Fantasy IV and VI respectively in Japan and by most followers of the franchise, were the only two RPGs for the SNES that I picked up in the years shortly after their initial release. I had owned and played the original Final Fantasy on the NES but it didn’t grab me the way that Zelda, Metroid, Crystalis or other action/adventure games did so they weren’t high on my priority list when the sequels came out in the early 90s. Because of my lukewarm experiences with both Final Fantasy and Dragon Warrior on the NES, I not only skipped the FF games on the SNES but essentially all other RPGs. The unfortunate thing about this is that the SNES ended up becoming so well known for its stellar RPGs (e.g. Chrono Trigger, Secret of Mana, Super Mario RPG and Earthbound just for starters) & I missed out on all of them back in the 90s and even when I was buying used SNES games for significantly cheaper in the early 2000s. I’m attempting to remedy that by picking up a couple of the most well regarded RPGs for the console this month. More on that to come in my final SNES post in November.

As for the two Final Fantasy games I do own, I don’t even recall when I bought them but my best guess would either be in the late 90s or early 2000s. I would have picked them up used since I don’t own the boxes and I never threw away any of my video game boxes for new games bought. I didn’t become aware until much later that in North America, Nintendo completely denied us the opportunity to play the real FF2 and FF3 on the NES. I’m guessing it was due to the fact that we were only getting the first Final Fantasy on the NES by the time FF3 was released in Japan on the Famicom in 1990. We were so behind Japan that it probably seemed pointless to translate and port over FF2 and FF3 onto the NES when the SNES was going to be released in only a year. So Nintendo made the decision to release the Super Famicom’s FF4 on the SNES in 1991 titled as Final Fantasy II so as to prevent confusion for us North American dullards. I’ve never played the original Final Fantasy IV but allegedly the version we got was a relatively average port in comparison. Now I can’t exactly explain why we didn’t get Final Fantasy V on the SNES but from what I’ve read, once again Square and Nintendo determined that our North American tastes were too simple and we couldn’t handle a game so complex and difficult (cue eye roll here) as FF5. We eventually got a version of it on the PlayStation Final Fantasy Anthology compilation but that would be years later. Our version of Final Fantasy III was Japan’s Final Fantasy VI and this game is much more revered here than its predecessor. As for me, it would be another 4 years before I would give RPGs a real second chance when I played Final Fantasy VII on the PlayStation. My best guess is that after I finished this game sometime around 1999, I probably went back and bought the two SNES titles and wondered to myself, where the hell are Final Fantasies 4-6?

Currently in my collection:

Final Fantasy II/IV – game, manual

Final Fantasy III/VI – game, manual, strategy guide

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