Fabula Nova Anniversaris:
Celebrating Thirty Years of Final Fantasy
Intro by Mike Salbato, Feature by RPGFan Staff

This is it, Marty, this is the big one. The year 2017 marks the 30th anniversary of Final Fantasy, a series that certainly needs no introduction. Conveniently, it also coincides with the 20th anniversary of the founding of RPGFan (back when we were still LunarNET), but that's a story for another day...

Sometime during the summer months, we started talking about doing a feature to mark the anniversary of the biggest franchise in our beloved genre. The conversation and plans continued to grow and become more grand, until we had the seeds in place for what you're reading now: A huge collection of articles, short stories, and podcasts by as many RPGFan editors who wanted to contribute. We had little in the way of guidelines, and encouraged people to come up with their own articles. The result was a mix of articles that range from evaluation of certain Final Fantasy games to deeply personal tales and everything inbetween.

This collaborative nature is also how we arrived at the name. Despite the mixed success of Final Fantasy XIII's Fabula Nova Crystallis universe, it felt like the perfect name for our feature, as we needed a big umbrella term to put sometimes disperate articles and ideas under. And in a series with key and recurring terms like crystarium, L'Cie, magitek, chocobos, some guy named Cid, and countless other things that sound like utter nonsense to a non-gamer, how could we do better than Anniversaris?

The feature grew big enough that it was quickly apparent that we had to space out each part of it, so you can properly digest each portion, and nothing gets lost in the ether. The result is that we will be adding to this feature twice a week from now until the beginning of January 2018. I've perhaps never been as proud of our staff's ability to come together on a collaborative feature as I am on this one: It's by far the biggest feature in our history, and I can't wait for you to discover it over the coming weeks.


Final Fantasy Memoria
Memoria Intro
Final Fantasy Final Fantasy II Final Fantasy III Final Fantasy IV Final Fantasy V Final Fantasy VI Final Fantasy VII Final Fantasy VIII Final Fantasy IX Final Fantasy X Final Fantasy XI Final Fantasy XII Final Fantasy XIII Final Fantasy XIII-2 Final Fantasy XIV Final Fantasy XV Final Fantasy Legend FF Mystic Quest Final Fantasy Tactics
Retro Encounter 111 Retro Encounter 112

From Cornelia to Eos: A Final Fantasy Series Retrospective from a First Timer
From Cornelia to Eos Part I From Cornelia to Eos Part II From Cornelia to Eos Part III From Cornelia to Eos Part IV

Articles
Un-Tradition: On Final Fantasy's Identity and Reinvention Crystal Tools Without A Craftsman: Examining The Development of Final Fantasy XIII Now Hiring: Jobs Throughout Final Fantasy History There's Something About Maduin: The Underappreciated Summons of Final Fantasy The Cids Are Alright: The Cids of Final Fantasy Final Fantasy Spin-Off Spotlight I Love You, Man: Exploring Platonic Love in Final Fantasy XV Distant Worlds 30th Anniversary Concert Impressions A New World: Intimate Music from Final Fantasy Concert Impressions Final Fantasy Rogues Gallery: The Best of the Worst, and Necron We Met in Eorzea: Dad of Light and Connection in Final Fantasy XIV Final Fantasy: A Legacy of Art Impressions The Lion War: Finding the Voice of Ivalice The Emerald Linkshell: A Final Fantasy XIV Roundtable You don't need a reason to help people! ~ Finding Your Purpose in Final Fantasy IX

Retro Encounter Episodes
Retro Encounter 109: Final Fantasy IX Retro Encounter 110: Final Fantasy Film Festival Retro Encounter 111: Final Fantasy Memoria Part I Retro Encounter 112: Final Fantasy Memoria Part II Retro Encounter 113: Final Fantasy

Update Log

If you're just discovering this feature and want to move through it chronologically, below is the archived log of exactly which part was posted when.

Memoria: Final Fantasy Mystic Quest & Final Fantasy Tactics
February 20, 2018

Say what you want about Baby's First Final Fantasy, the soundtrack is packed with killer tunes. We also wrap up Fabula Nova Anniversaris definitively with artwork of one of Final Fantasy's most revered knights.

Memoria: The Final Fantasy Legend
January 19, 2018

The perfect complement to Un-Tradition, one of our final Memoria entries covers one of the odder games to don the Final Fantasy moniker over the years. Especially since it isn't even an actual Final Fantasy game.

Un-Tradition: On Final Fantasy's Identity and Reinvention
January 19, 2018

Our final analytic article of Fabula Nova Anniversaris, Robert Fenner delivers a critical hit of a piece, discussing why we will never see another Final Fantasy exactly like that one we loved years ago. And why that's not only important, but by design.

Memoria: Final Fantasy XIII-2
January 16, 2018

We covered all the mainline games already, but we couldn't let an opportunity to talk about Final Fantasy Tactics go by unrecognized.

Final Fantasy Spin-Off Spotlight
January 12, 2018

One could fill a book with the amount of spin-off titles, merchandise, and music that exists outside of the main Final Fantasy games. We don't have a printing press, but still wanted to celebrate some of the series' key side stories.

From Cornelia to Eos: A Final Fantasy Series Retrospective from a First Timer - Part IV
January 9, 2018

And now the final curtain! In this finale to the series, Keegan covers the remaining single-player Final Fantasy games: FFX, XII, XIII, and XV.

Memoria: Final Fantasy XIV & Final Fantasy XV
January 9, 2018

Memoria is near the end, but there's still life in it! This time we look at the risen-from-the-dead-to-be-a-success Final Fantasy XIV and newest entry in the series which features a boy band.

Memoria: Final Fantasy XIII
January 5, 2018

Final Fantasy finally makes the jump to the seventh generation of consoles, but not without a hiccup or two. Final Fantasy XIII is not a fan favorite, but Peter Triezenberg certainly thinks it desrves more, and shares his fond memories here.

Memoria: Final Fantasy XI & Final Fantasy XII
December 29, 2017

A sadly-small number of the current staff spent much time in Final Fantasy's first MMORPG, but thankfully, Derek is one of them, and shares his memories of Vana'diel. Oh, and there's stuff about Final Fantasy XII too.

There's Something About Maduin: The Underappreciated Summons of Final Fantasy
December 29, 2017

Summons are an absolute must in a Final Fantasy game, but not every Eidolon makes the cut in every single game. Alana's here to give you an overview of some of her favourites, and some of the most overlooked creatures in the series.

I Love You, Man: Exploring Platonic Love in Final Fantasy XV
December 26, 2017

Final Fantasy XV introduced its fair share of firsts for the series, and Nick discusses one of the most well-done and surprising of them all in this article.

The Cids Are Alright: The Cids of Final Fantasy
December 22, 2017

Appearing in almost every mainline game, Cid is a Final Fantasy staple. Both Mikes and Alana talk about their favourite Cids, and discuss the impact they have in their own game.

Memoria: Final Fantasy IX & Final Fantasy X
December 19, 2017

We know: There's really nothing we could say about Tidus and Yuna's fight against Sin that pays proper tribute to Final Fantasy X compared to the efforts of some, but we do our best.

Distant Worlds 30th Anniversary Concert Impressions
December 19, 2017

Distant Worlds is currently touring the world to celebrate the series' anniversary, but the concert tour also celebrates its 10th birthday. Alana went to see the the concert at London's very own Royal Albert Hall, and tears were shed.

From Cornelia to Eos: A Final Fantasy Series Retrospective from a First Timer - Part III
December 15, 2017

In this entry, Keegan dives into the PSone trio of Final Fantasy titles, with looks at Final Fantasy VII, VIII, and IX.

Memoria: Final Fantasy VII & Final Fantasy VIII
December 15, 2017

One of these is often considered the best of the PSone era in gamers' hearts, and one has a salary system.

Retro Encounter 113: Final Fantasy
December 14, 2017

If there was ever a proper time for Retro Encounter to do a quick one-episode hit of the original Final Fantasy, this was the time. Join Robert Fenner and Michael Sollosi for a look at Final Fantasy's origin (but not Final Fantasy Origins).

The Emerald Linkshell: A Final Fantasy XIV Roundtable
December 12, 2017

Four RPGFan editors from all walks of Eorzean life come together to talk about our experiences in Final Fantasy XIV, where the game has been, and where it's going.

Now Hiring: Jobs Throughout Final Fantasy History
December 12, 2017

A dark knight, a bard and a geomancer walk into a bar and say "Hey, you're from that hugely popular Final Fantasy series too, right?" Keegan takes a look back at some of the most memorable additions to the series' job system.

Final Fantasy: A Legacy of Art Impressions
December 8, 2017

It stands to reason Square Enix themselves would want to celebrate Final Fantasy as well, and part of their celebrations are a month-long art exhibit featuring artwork from all fifteen titles, and more.

The Lion War: Finding the Voice of Ivalice
December 8, 2017

We pulled former RPGFan Music Managing Editor Stephen Meyerink out of retirement for one last job his insights on two things he knows better than many others: Ivalice, and localization.

Retro Encounter 112: Final Fantasy Memoria Part 2
December 7, 2017

Several RPGFan editors get together for this companion piece to our ongoing Memoria entries, to share even more insight to their experiences. Part 2 of 2.

From Cornelia to Eos: A Final Fantasy Series Retrospective from a First Timer - Part II
December 5, 2017

Keegan's back to tell you more about his mammoth undertaking! In part II of this huge feature, Keegan treads the waters of the SNES-era, perhaps the series' most consistent period.

Memoria: Final Fantasy V & Final Fantasy VI
December 5, 2017

You'll never think of celery the same way again.

Crystal Tools Without A Craftsman: Examining The Development of Final Fantasy XIII
December 1, 2017

There may be no Final Fantasy nearly as divisive as Final Fantasy XIII — though Final Fantasy XV comes close at times — so Peter looks at the title's development history, that proves to be as convoluted as its plot.

We Met in Eorzea: Dad of Light and Connection in Final Fantasy XIV
December 1, 2017

It's easy to write off something like a TV show spin-off of a game as a cash grab, but Caitlin discusses why there's actually much more to Final Fantasy XIV: Dad of Light than one may expect.

Retro Encounter 111: Final Fantasy Memoria Part 1
November 30, 2017

Several RPGFan editors get together for this companion piece to our ongoing Memoria entries, to share even more insight to their experiences. Part 1 of 2.

Memoria: Final Fantasy III & Final Fantasy IV
November 28, 2017

Today we wrap up the 8-bit games with Final Fantasy III, and dive into the SNES era with the adventures of Cecil, Kain, and co.

A New World: Intimate Music from Final Fantasy Concert Impressions
November 28, 2017

What a time we live in, where there is not one, but two ongoing tours of musical performances for Final Fantasy. Hilary shares her experience at the "newer" tour, A New World.

From Cornelia to Eos: A Final Fantasy Series Retrospective from a First Timer - Part I
November 24, 2017

Keegan has taken on the admirable task of completing every Final Fantasy game before this feature ends. He kicks things off with the NES trilogy, proving that age has not made these games any easier...

Final Fantasy Rogues Gallery: The Best of the Worst, and Necron
November 24, 2017

Sure, we all have our favorite protagonists, but Final Fantasy has brought us so many memorable villains, we have to highlight some of them.

Retro Encounter 110: Final Fantasy Film Festival
November 23, 2017

If you ever doubted how far your RPGFan editors will go to provide you with both insight and entertainment, this episode is what you need. Mike, Keegan, and Peter watched three Final Fantasy films and discuss the spirits tales within.

"You don't need a reason to help people!" ~ Finding Your Purpose in Final Fantasy IX
November 21, 2017

Alana discusses the concept of "purpose" and how several members of Final Fantasy IX's cast manages to find theirs.

Memoria: Final Fantasy & Final Fantasy II
November 21, 2017

Memoria is not the only part of our Final Fantasy 30th Anniversary celebrations, but it will serve as a consistent backbone throughout the coming weeks. We start things off today with Final Fantasy and Final Fantasy II.

Retro Encounter 109: Final Fantasy IX
November 16, 2017

Surprise! This episode was actually the precursor to our big feature, as the first of four consecutive Final Fantasy-themed episodes of Retro Encounter. Alana, Stephanie, and Keegan get together to talk about the beloved Final Fantasy IX.