45

Why does the Final Fantasy franchise of RPGs, anime, manga, etc. contain "Final" in the title?

  • Is it that the original concept of the first game was intended to portray the ending of a story? Was it derived from in-universe content?
  • Or is it because the creators did not plan to produce more games, and did not expect that any sequels would be desired?
  • Or was the inclusion of the word "final" chosen for a completely reason?
27

I recently read this Destructiod article detailing why Sakaguchi decided to call the game Final Fantasy.

The article states that he wanted to use the abbreviation "FF" because it rolls off the tongue nicely in Japanese.

According to Sakaguchi, the team wanted a title that had a simple abbreviation in the Roman alphabet (FF) and a four-syllable abbreviated Japanese pronunciation ("efu efu"). Because of the setting and style, "fantasy" was an easy choice. "Final" wasn't the first choice of adjective, however.

The initial proposed name was "Fighting Fantasy," but it was already taken by a tabletop game. And so it is, Final Fantasy.

"To be sure, we had our backs to the wall when we were developing Final Fantasy," Sakaguchi said, "but really, anything that started with an F would have been fine for the title."

The Destructoid article links to a Famitsu article (in Japanese) where Sakaguchi says this. The article is dated 24th May 2015.

The article goes on to explain that FF composer Nobuo Uematsu confirms the story of "Final implies it may have been the last game" but that was in a Wired article from six years ago.

This doesn't disprove the original theory that "Final" was the last one. But it's interesting that Sakaguchi doesn't appear bothered about what the first 'F' stood for, but never denied the theory that they made it 'Final' because he was planning on quitting if the game was not successful.

  • 1
    The other answer was very good as well, but this one covers both the swan song aspect and the alliteration aspect with a link in the Destructoid article to the Famitsu Japanese gaming magazine article that quotes Sakaguchi's keynote address at Ritsumeikan University. Excellent work. – seijitsu Jun 7 '15 at 23:58
54

Hironobu Sakaguchi, a designer at Square (the company who developed Final Fantasy), was essentially creating what he saw as a magnum opus. After his lack of success with previous Square titles (nearly leading to its bankruptcy), this was his final attempt to live out his fantasy of developing games.

From Wikipedia:

Though often attributed to the company allegedly facing bankruptcy, Sakaguchi explained that the game was his personal last-ditch effort in the game industry and that its title, Final Fantasy, stemmed from his feelings at the time; had the game not sold well, he would have quit the business and gone back to university.

Wikipedia attributes this to another article, with a direct quote:

“The name ‘Final Fantasy’ was a display of my feeling that if this didn’t sell, I was going to quit the games industry and go back to university. I’d have had to repeat a year, so I wouldn’t have had any friends – it really was a ‘final’ situation.”

  — Hironobu Sakaguchi

  • 12
    And what a final attempt it was. It spawned many sequels. The irony. – Mast Jun 5 '15 at 12:30

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.