Dissidia Final Fantasy (2015) is a battle game based of the hugely popular Final Fantasy series founded by Squaresoft (now Square Enix). The game features the 14 protagonists from each title (I-XIV), but noticeably absent from the arcade version are the playable villains of previous Dissidia releases.
Online videos so far reveal three-player combat teams and the ability to summon, similar to the RPG antecedents the game is based upon. Summon eidolons (Espers) include Ifrit, Shiva, Odin, Ramuh and Leviathan.
The franchise’s stable of characters was ahead of the curve in many ways. The Final Fantasy series was among the first role-playing games to include playable female main characters: Tina (Terra) Bradford (VI) and Lightning (XIII). The series also introduced us to Barret Wallace (VII), who features prominently in the new Final Fantasy VII Remake trailer. As leader of the rebel group Avalanche, Barret is one of the first – if not the first – black hero to be included within a role-playing game’s main caste.
The games contain many recurring themes such as deicide and elemental crystals (or orbs) maintaining the natural order in a precarious balance, and the immersive storylines often make use of in medias res narrative gameplay.
“Final” Fantasy is ironically titled given that back in the late 80s when the original release debuted on the 8-bit NES, “Square was going to go bankrupt and the designers believed that it would be the company’s swan song.” The bleak forecast turned out to be anything but the case, as a simple tale of four heroes on a quest to revive the world’s elemental crystals also breathed new life into a then-dwindling video game company. Today the series is undeniably the most popular RPG series in history; and with at least 20 titles to its credit, an expansive lore and a loyal fan base, the franchise looks to have a lengthy future ahead.