Several video games have either been adapted into or have had spin-offs in the form of manga and novels. The first was the novelization of Final Fantasy II in 1989, and was followed by a manga adaptation of Final Fantasy III in 1992. The past decade has seen an increase in the number of non-video game adaptations and spin-offs. Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within has been adapted into a novel, the spin-off game Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles has been adapted into a manga, and Final Fantasy XI has had a novel and manga set in its continuity. Seven novellas based on the Final Fantasy VII universe have also been released. The Final Fantasy: Unlimited story was partially continued in novels and a manga after the anime series ended. The Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy XIII series have also had novellas and audio dramas released. Two games, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance and Final Fantasy: Unlimited, have been adapted into radio dramas.
Because of graphical limitations, the first games on the NES feature small sprite representations of the leading party members on the main world screen. Battle screens use more detailed, full versions of characters in a side-view perspective. This practice was used until Final Fantasy VI, which uses detailed versions for both screens. The NES sprites are 26 pixels high and use a color palette of 4 colors. 6 frames of animation are used to depict different character statuses like "healthy" and "fatigued". The SNES installments use updated graphics and effects, as well as higher quality audio than in previous games, but are otherwise similar to their predecessors in basic design. The SNES sprites are 2 pixels shorter, but have larger palettes and feature more animation frames: 11 colors and 40 frames respectively. The upgrade allowed designers to have characters be more detailed in appearance and express more emotions. The first game includes non-player characters (NPCs) the player could interact with, but they are mostly static in-game objects. Beginning with the second game, Square used predetermined pathways for NPCs to create more dynamic scenes that include comedy and drama.
In 2005, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, a theatrical CGI film, and Last Order: Final Fantasy VII, a non-canon OVA, were released as part of the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII. Advent Children was animated by Visual Works, which helped the company create CG sequences for the games. The film, unlike The Spirits Within, gained mixed to positive reviews from critics and has become a commercial success. Last Order, on the other hand, was released in Japan in a special DVD bundle package with Advent Children. Last Order sold out quickly and was positively received by Western critics, though fan reaction was mixed over changes to established story scenes.
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First impressions of the box was that I had never heard of any of these games, which is not a bad thing. Part of the reason I wanted to try this service is like the fun of exploring new games at conventions. After getting into each game and having read the rules, it became obvious to me that I liked the sound of each game, but I quickly realised that as much as the board game Capitals appealed to me, it would not be a game that my family would like to play.
Although most Final Fantasy installments are independent, many gameplay elements recur throughout the series. Most games contain elements of fantasy and science fiction and feature recycled names often inspired from various cultures' history, languages and mythology, including Asian, European, and Middle-Eastern. Examples include weapon names like Excalibur and Masamune—derived from Arthurian legend and the Japanese swordsmith Masamune respectively—as well as the spell names Holy, Meteor, and Ultima. Beginning with Final Fantasy IV, the main series adopted its current logo style that features the same typeface and an emblem designed by Japanese artist Yoshitaka Amano. The emblem relates to a game's plot and typically portrays a character or object in the story. Subsequent remakes of the first three games have replaced the previous logos with ones similar to the rest of the series.