Final Fantasy V is the fifth installment in the Final Fantasy series by Square Co., Ltd., originally released for the Nintendo Super Famicom. The game was ported to the Sony PlayStation, and this version was eventually translated and marketed in North America and Europe as part of the Final Fantasy Anthology collection. The game's Super Famicom version is notable for being one of the earliest fan translations to reach completion, by RPGe in 1997. Final Fantasy V was later released for the Game Boy Advance, as part of the Finest Fantasy for Advance compilation.
The game centers around a group of four strangers brought together by circumstance to save the Crystals that have mysteriously begun shattering one by one. Eventually it is revealed that the one behind the phenomenon is the villain Exdeath, as part of a plan to release himself from his imprisonment and to gain the power of the Void, a realm of nothingness, which could bestow absolute power on one able to resist being absorbed by it. The four thus turn their attentions to defeating Exdeath and stopping the Void's unstable energies from consuming their world.
Final Fantasy V was the first Super Famicom Final Fantasy to incorporate the use of kanji in the Japanese text. Previous NES Final Fantasy titles had originally used an all-hiragana script due to character-space limitations. Final Fantasy IV was the last to do this (despite the fact that a kanji script was possible at the time), and is the most visibly connected to its predecessors in style.
The anime, Final Fantasy: Legend of the Crystals, is an OVA sequel to Final Fantasy V taking place two hundred years after the game's events.
The main gameplay feature is the revamped Job System (originally in a different form in Final Fantasy III and introduced in the original Final Fantasy), allowing all characters to potentially master up to twenty-two Jobs. The player starts out with no Job classes (they are defaulted as "Freelancer," a class which can be reverted to later on), and as they travel to new Crystal locations, the party acquire new Jobs. A separate form of Experience, ABP, is introduced for the advancement of the characters' Job levels, while they continue to earn regular Experience Points. The system also introduces a streamlined method of "multi-classing," allowing each character to learn Job-specific abilities and carry one or two over when they change their class. After Final Fantasy V the Job System was absent in the series until the Final Fantasy Tactics series, Final Fantasy XI and Final Fantasy X-2.
Battle innovations include reworking the famous Active Time Battle system, so that the player could, for the first time in the Final Fantasy series, see whose turn would come next. Other Final Fantasy conventions, such as the Blue Mage, are introduced, adding new elements to battle.
Format:Main The game stars a crew of five unique characters. The initial four remain together for much of the game, until one is permanently replaced by the fifth character.
- Bartz Klauser (バッツ・クラウザー; Battsu Kurauzā) is an adventurer and the "main character" (he is the first person the player controls, and he is often representative of the party). He becomes embroiled in the adventure at the very beginning, when he comes upon the crash site of a meteor with his Boko, his chocobo, and meets Lenna. Bartz's name is Butz in both the original Japanese and the fan-translated versions.
- Lenna Charlotte Tycoon (レナ・シャルロット・タイクーン; Rena Sharurotto Taikūn) is of the princess archetype, and meets Bartz at the meteor. She is the daughter of King Tycoon. Her name was transliterated as Reina in the Western PlayStation versions.
- Galuf Halm Baldesion (ガラフ・ハルム・バルデシオン; Garafu Harumu Barudeshion) is a mysterious old man with amnesia discovered unconscious at the meteorite. His past is initially unknown, but is revealed as the story progresses.
- Faris Scherwiz (ファリス・シュヴィルツ; Farisu Shuvirutsu) is a pirate whom the party meets when they try to sneak aboard her ship. During the game's first portion Faris disguises herself as a man. She has a connection with Lenna that is later revealed.
- Krile Mayer Baldesion (クルル・マイア・バルデシオン; Kururu Maia Barudeshion) is Galuf's granddaughter and aids the party several times. Later in the game, she takes Galuf's place in the party. Her name is Cara in the fan-translated version.
Bartz Klauser, a lone wanderer who rides a chocobo named Boko, notices a meteor crash in the woods near Tycoon. He comes across a young woman under attack by goblins and rescues her. She tells her name is Lenna Charlotte Tycoon, and that she is looking for her father, the king. They discover an old man near the meteor who is unable to remember anything except for his name: Galuf Doe. Lenna reveals she is on her way to the Wind Shrine where her father, the king of Tycoon, has gone to discover why the wind has suddenly ceased. Galuf, realizing he needs to go there (though he has no idea why), goes with her. Bartz continues on his way, but is unable to get far before his chocobo forces him to return and rescue Lenna and Galuf from more goblins. The three decide to travel together to the Wind Shrine, but the path is blocked by the crash, leaving water as the only route.
Because there is no wind, there is no way to sail. Despite this, the trio observes a pirate ship pulling into a secluded harbor, and they attempt to steal it. The captain, Faris Scherwiz, soon captures them, but recognizes Lenna's pendant and decides to help them get to the Wind Shrine. Later, when the friends are stuck in the Ship Graveyard, while trying to change Faris's wet clothes, the truth is revealed; she is a woman.
They find that the four elemental crystals of Wind, Earth, Fire and Water, are actually the seal binding Exdeath, a powerful warlock who tried to take over the world years before. Each crystal is being used to improve people's living, effectively draining them of their power. The party, now titled the Warriors of Light, embark on a quest to protect the crystals, but one by one, they are destroyed.
In their attempt to save the last crystal, they meet Krile Mayer Baldesion, Galuf's granddaughter, who helps Galuf regain his lost memories. As the final crystal is destroyed Exdeath is freed from his seal and goes to Galuf's homeworld. Galuf and Krile follow him, but will not let Bartz, Lenna and Faris travel with them, because if they do so, they would never be able to return. The trio still manage to find a way to Galuf's world and when the party arrives, Exdeath is already wreaking havoc, battling Galuf's armies on the Big Bridge and Bartz, Lenna and Faris end up being captured. Galuf sneaks into Exdeath's Castle to save them, defeating Gilgamesh, one of Exdeath's lieutenants, in the process. The warriors are blown to a distant continent when Exdeath erects a barrier around his castle during the group's escape. After the group make their way back to Castle of Bal it is revealed Galuf is actually a king in this world. They are advised to see a sage named Ghido, but Exdeath manages to sink the sage's island into the ocean.
The warriors join up with one of Galuf's companions and former Warrior of Dawn, Xezat Matias Surgate, who is leading a fleet against Exdeath. They infiltrate one of the towers powering the barrier around Exdeath's castle, but Xezat is forced to sacrifice his life in order to help them accomplish this. The warriors enter the castle, but find it sealed and learn of Exdeath looking for something in the Great Forest of Moore. They reach the Master Tree and dispel the seals, but Exdeath reveals the party has released the world's crystals and claims their power and devastates the group. Krile intervenes, but Exdeath holds her in a ring of fire. Galuf breaks his crystal, saves Krile and fights Exdeath until he collapses. Exdeath retreats and Galuf dies of his wounds, despite the party's efforts to save him.
Krile joins the party in Galuf's place and the party enters Exdeath's castle and defeats him, but the three remaining crystals shatter and the two worlds merge together. They learn Exdeath seeks the power of the Void, which had been sealed in the Interdimensional Rift, and was kept sealed by dividing the worlds. Exdeath eventually acquires this power, and uses it across the world, consuming entire towns. Lenna is caught in the Void when Tycoon Castle is swallowed. Ghido proposes the party collect the four Slabs in order to unseal the twelve legendary weapons used against Enuo, a being that sought to use the Void a thousand years earlier.
The party seeks out the slabs and breaks the seals on the weapons. Exdeath sends monsters sealed inside the Interdimensional Rift, called the Demons of the Rift, after them. The first Demon, Melusine, possesses Lenna, but is forced out when Tycoon Castle's Hiryuu arrives. The party eventually enters the Interdimensional Rift, where Exdeath has acquired the power of the Void, and shows his true form - that of a tree. The party survives the Void with help from the original Warriors of Dawn and King Tycoon, and battle Exdeath. In the middle of the battle, Exdeath is overwhelmed by the Void and becomes Neo Exdeath, intent on destroying everything, even himself, but the party still manages to defeat him. At Exdeath's defeat all the towns swallowed in the Void are restored and the crystals again manifest in the elemental shrines.
The ending varies based on how many people are still alive at Neo Exdeath's defeat. Cid receives a letter from a member of the party talking about the future. If everyone survived, Krile will visit the Master Tree, and mourn for her grandfather, until the others cheer her up and remind her of her duty to protect the crystals. If anyone in the group died during the battle, they will be unable to return home. The survivor, or survivors, will visit the Master Tree, and find that those lost in the battle have returned to life and the Light Warriors embark to protect the crystals once more.
The original Super Famicom version of Final Fantasy V was never released in North America. As translator Ted Woolsey explained in a 1994 interview, "it's just not accessible enough to the average gamer." Plans were made to release the game in 1995 as Final Fantasy Extreme, targeting it at "the more experienced gamers who loved the complex character building." For unknown reasons, however, Final Fantasy Extreme never materialized.
In 1997, video game studio Top Dog was hired by Square to port the original Super Famicom game to Microsoft Windows-based personal computers for North American release. Although a good deal of the game was completed, ultimately, communication problems between the Top Dog and Square's Japanese and American branches led to the project's demise. During the same year, an English fan translation patch for the Final Fantasy V ROM image was released on the Internet by RPGe. The release was well received, and until 1999 was the game's only widely available English language version.
In 1999, a PlayStation compilation Final Fantasy Anthology was released, which includes Final Fantasy V (as well as the also unofficially released American PlayStation version of Final Fantasy VI). Some names were interpreted differently, yielding Butz in the fan translation, and Bartz in the official. In 2002, this version of Final Fantasy V was released in Europe and Australia (alongside Final Fantasy IV). Some fans were unhappy with the dialogue translations, particularly Faris's "pirate accent," which was not part of the original script. When played on the PlayStation 2, the emulation graphics glitch on the save screen, although the graphics restore on the overworld map. This error causes the game to crash on the PlayStation 3 and PSP. This bug is not present in the PAL or Greatest Hits versions of Final Fantasy Anthology.
Ports and RemakesEdit
Final Fantasy V AdvanceEdit
A port of Final Fantasy V for handhelds had been considered by Square (now Square Enix) in early 2001. However, the project failed due to the absence of an appropriate platform - the WonderSwan Color was not powerful enough to run the game, and Nintendo did not allow Square to develop on the Game Boy Advance, despite Sakaguchi's wish.
Years later, after relations between Square and Nintendo improved, the game was successfully ported to the Game Boy Advance under the title Final Fantasy V Advance, and was released in North America on November 6th, 2006. Changes made from previous versions are graphical tweaks and a new translation, four additional Jobs, a bestiary, a quick save function, music player, and a new 30-floor dungeon. Unlike the Advance port of Final Fantasy IV, some of the bugs of Final Fantasy V were fixed. There is also not as much choppiness and lag in the graphics.
On January 18th, 2011 a port of the original SNES version of Final Fantasy V was released for the Wii's Virtual Console service only in Japan.
A port of the PlayStation version of Final Fantasy V was released for PSN in Japan on April 6th, 2011, in Europe on April 13th and in North America on November 22nd, 2011.
- In Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls, the bosses Atomos, Gilgamesh, Shinryu and Omega appear in the original Final Fantasy's Lifespring Grotto bonus dungeon.
- In Final Fantasy IV: The After Years, the same four bosses appear as guardians for the Crystals of the True Moon. Gilgamesh makes a direct reference to his origin by asking for Bartz before he dies.
- Final Fantasy V and Final Fantasy VI are the only Nintendo-era Final Fantasy titles that have not yet seen a remake (as opposed to a port). Remakes for both have been considered for the Nintendo DS, but Square Enix has attributed the delays to graphical issues. However, remakes for the 3DS are being considered.
- The Guardian Tree that Exdeath fuses with at the end of the game, actually resembles the treasured "Yggdrasil" Tree from Norse mythology that was described as the beam that supports the universe.
- This is the first game to have two sisters as playable characters. It is also the first game where females outnumber the males in the party.
- Final Fantasy V Advance official site (Japanese)
- Final Fantasy Anthology official site (North American)
- Final Fantasy V Advance official site (North American)