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Countdown to a Memorial

by August 17, 2014 0 comments

Almost two years ago, we — and, if we’re being specific, me — promised you all some coverage of the Final Fantasy 25th Memorial Ultimania Vol. 2. If you’ve been on the forum, you may have seen some material from it, but nothing organized in a fancy presentation yet.

Well, we still don’t have that. However, if you’ll give me about a week, I should be getting that stuff to you.

What I do have right now is even more long awaited, though, even if (probably) not as exciting. What we have today are all of the Impressive Scenes from the FF 20th Anniversary Ultimania File 2: Scenario guide collected in one place for your perusal at long last.

These are the four scenes from each game selected for inclusion in the book as among the most memorable from each game — the most “impressive” upon the memory, so to speak. The Japanese word 印象的 (いんしょうてき/”inshouteki”) means precisely that; “impressive,” “memorable,” “unforgettable.”

You, of course, may disagree with some or all of the selections made in the Ultimania (I disagree with some, honestly), but there’s no challenging most of them. Some of the hardest hitting, most moving and funniest scenes from the history of the Final Fantasy series are assembled here. Well, at least from those main FF titles that were out at the time the book was published.

The book featured Impressive Scenes for the first 12 entries in the main series, as well as X-2. That’s 13 games, for those of you not keeping count.

That’s also why it has taken me so long to get this project finished. I started it a long time ago. Two years ago, probably. I gave up for a while because, quite honestly, it was a daunting task.

The entry for the first Final Fantasy alone probably took me eight hours because of all that I had to put into it. It wasn’t just getting lines from the official English localization of the version released on the NES. It wasn’t just getting corresponding screenshots matching those in the book. It wasn’t just doing some (admittedly small) translations out of the book. It was all of those things, and the parts that sound the easiest were actually the most difficult.

There aren’t a lot of YouTube playthroughs out there of the NES version of the first Final Fantasy, and of those that are out there, they still didn’t collectively have all the dialogue I needed, as quite a bit of the lines from the Impressive Scenes for the first FF were optional — triggered by speaking to NPCs. I actually had to download an NES emulator, a ROM of the first FF and a hacking tool that allows you to go through all the NPC lines.

And I still had to figure out how to use the shit so it would actually help me.

Thankfully, none of the other games proved quite so difficult to work with, but I still ran into problems, such as there being no official English localizations for the NES versions of FFII and FFIII — necessitating that I do things a bit differently for those two. I also had the issue of trying to compile Impressive Scenes for FFXI, a game I’ve never played.

By the time I was finished with its section, though, I may as well have just played the damn game for all I had to learn to understand the proper context for those scenes.

Also, in total, 105 screenshots were taken for this article.

Anyway, enough griping. If you’re interested in a little more about the troubles and thought processes I ran into while putting this article together, you’re more than welcome to read the Notes section at the bottom of the article itself.

Without further ado — except to remind you that I will be posting stuff from the Memorial Ultimania Vol. 2 very soon — I hope you enjoy this article.

FF 20th Anniversary Ultimania File 2: Scenario — Impressive Scenes

Please feel more than free, by the way, to discuss your thoughts on this article on our forum.

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