The series features a number of recurring character archetypes. Most famously, every game since Final Fantasy II, including subsequent remakes of the original Final Fantasy, features a character named Cid. Cid's appearance, personality, goals, and role in the game (non-playable ally, party member, villain) vary dramatically. However, two characteristics many versions of Cid have in common are 1) being a scientist or engineer, and 2) being tied in some way to an airship the party eventually acquires. Every Cid has at least one of these two traits.
Three Final Fantasy installments were released on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). Final Fantasy was released in Japan in 1987 and in North America in 1990. It introduced many concepts to the console RPG genre, and has since been remade on several platforms. Final Fantasy II, released in 1988 in Japan, has been bundled with Final Fantasy in several re-releases. The last of the NES installments, Final Fantasy III, was released in Japan in 1990; however, it was not released elsewhere until a Nintendo DS remake in 2006.
Investigate was our first Board Game Bento, and it was extremely impressive even before we saw the contents. By chance, I saw the UPS guy coming up to our porch with a bright red armful, and my first thought was “that huge box can’t be it, can it?” Usually, I can just crack the screen door and grab most deliveries with one hand, even most other subscription boxes like Loot Crate. I don’t have enormous hands, but I don’t have Donald Trump sized hands either. Board Game Bento Investigate is a 13″x11″x6.5″ box, so I had to open the screen door most of the way, step out onto the porch, and grab it with both hands, as its smallest side couldn’t possibly be grasped one handed except by this Ukranian strongman.
Starting with Final Fantasy VIII, the series adopted a more photo-realistic look. Like Final Fantasy VII, full motion video (FMV) sequences would have video playing in the background, with the polygonal characters composited on top. Final Fantasy IX returned to the more stylized design of earlier games in the series, although it still maintained, and in many cases slightly upgraded, most of the graphical techniques used in the previous two games. Final Fantasy X was released on the PlayStation 2, and used the more powerful hardware to render graphics in real-time instead of using pre-rendered material to obtain a more dynamic look; the game features full 3D environments, rather than have 3D character models move about pre-rendered backgrounds. It is also the first Final Fantasy game to introduce voice acting, occurring throughout the majority of the game, even with many minor characters. This aspect added a whole new dimension of depth to the character's reactions, emotions, and development.
The biggest game in the box belongs to Heroes Wanted by Action Phase Games. The game, for one to five players, has players making their heroes using a pair of cards, with strengths and weaknesses, as well as a unique quirk. Players then take on villains, minions and each other to become the hero with the most fame at the end of the game. The game features quite a few scenarios to try as well. Between the scenarios and the variety of heroes you can become, Heroes Wanted will offer quite a bit of replay.
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Magic is another common RPG element in the series. The method by which characters gain magic varies between installments, but is generally divided into classes organized by color: "White magic", which focuses on spells that assist teammates; "Black magic", which focuses on harming enemies; "Red magic", which is a combination of white and black magic, "Blue magic", which mimics enemy attacks; and "Green magic" which focuses on applying status effects to either allies or enemies. Other types of magic frequently appear such as "Time magic", focusing on the themes of time, space, and gravity; and "Summoning magic", which evokes legendary creatures to aid in battle and is a feature that has persisted since Final Fantasy III. Summoned creatures are often referred to by names like "Espers" or "Eidolons" and have been inspired by mythologies from Arabic, Hindu, Norse, and Greek cultures.