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Final Fantasy Anthology - The TRUTH!

by Julia Simpson

Warning: Contains Final Fantasy V Spoilers

( note - FFV spoilers. LOTS of them.) ( note2 - I only use the original names when it comes to V characters and the names of the games. Just thought I'd mention that...)

For years we've waited, hoping against hope that Square would finally agree to bring their great masterpiece, Final Fantasy V over to Canada (What? I'm Canadian, so sue me!) and the U.S. Finally, we get it in the form of the FF Anthology... But was it really worth it? Is it going to be now that only the few lucky people who have the translated ROM (or even the original cartridge, drool...) will ever know the truth? That the Anthology gave everyone FFV, but in such a way that it would have almost been better to have just left the game to the Japanese, importers, and emulators? Unfortunately, I think this is going to end up being the case...

Okay, let me start off by saying that I LOVE FFV and I've played and beaten nearly every FF (numbered) game. Well, except for FFII(j, beep it!) which I just started, and FFI which I'll play someday. I refuse to comment on my feelings toward VII, simply because I don't want people complaining that I loved/liked/hated it. So there. Oh yeah, and I'm partially writing this editorial as a response to JD's FFA review. I respect his opinion (it IS a review, after all) but between that, my feelings when I rented FFA and (re)started V, and the general response to Anthology, I felt that I had to write an editorial on this subject. Okay, enough boring introduction. On to the ACTUAL editorial... ... ...

A long time back when I first heard that the Anthology was coming over here with V for the first time, I was overjoyed. Finally, the greatest FF game (don't bash me, please... I love VI, really!) was coming over to N. America! Now I'd actually OWN the game, not an illegal ROM! Heck, I'd actually planned on BUYING it! However, over time my excitement was slowly depleted. I saw the FMV's and, unlike so many, I was mortified. Admittedly, more at the VI ones, but the V ones disturbed me as well. Now, I know that they were originally Amano-sama's designs, but I feel that they could have at least made an attempt at making them look like the characters! Kefka, Setzer, and Celes are the ones that come foremost to mind regarding VI. Kefka just looked... well, anyway... *_*, Setzer looked VERY odd in my opinion, and Celes, while looking cool, just didn't look like herself. And regarding the holy V...? Well, I have to say that everyone had some type of crime in his/her looks. Butz had white hair and did NOT look like... Well, Butz! Lenna (you will NEVER EVER EVER catch me calling her (shudder) Reina) looked awful, in my opinion. Orange tied up weird hair, a very odd sickly orange dress-type-thing just don't suit her, never mind her face. Faris looked cool, I'll admit. Okay, fine, so not everyone had something wrong. I admit that I love the way Amano-sama draws her... Galuf looked very odd, Cara looked okay I guess (alright, fine, so it's just Butz, Lenna, and Galuf that really bug me) and Exdeath (ditto about the Lenna thing!) looked... weird. Granted, they were very nice FMVs in technicalities, but personally I hate them. But on to my next point...

The Translation.
Now, I know that technically my ROM is not the official nor real translation, however I am more basing this on how the Anthology translation sounds, not how official it is. I played up to the North Mountain, died at the fight with Magisa (see? One S, not two!!) and didn't have the heart any longer to stand level raising the 3-4 levels I needed to beat her and her husband what's-his-face. Now, I know that people always say that you have to play more of a game to judge it and I definitely agree with that, but not with this. I'm beginning to wish that I'd stopped way earlier, preferably before I met Faris. That was by far enough to see that they (Square) had ruined an utter masterpiece: Final Fantasy V. (Interestingly enough, just as I typed that line Prelude came on on my FFV soundtrack... spooky, ne?)

Now, what's wrong with the translation, you ask? Well, here ya go...

1) The Names. (Drumroll, please.) Some of these I got from just playing the game, most I got from the Internet and a helpful little list of name changes I found. Well, here goes: Butz - Bartz (yuck, what was the matter with Butz?), Lenna - Reina (shudder... I've already voiced my opinions about that so I wouldn't say anything except that the name really does not suit her), Cara - Krile (yes, I know that's her Japanese original name, but I don't like it. It just annoys me...), Exdeath - X-Death (AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He sounds more like a beeping attack then a villain! I mean, think about it. X-Fight lets you attack 4 times, X-Magic let's you cast magic twice over, and X-Death let's you cast Death twice in a row! Wow! (sarcasm iminent...)), Syldra - Hydra (why???), Boco - Boko (was there some sort of sick logic in that I've failed to find?), Carwen - Kerwin (okay, sure...), and Worus - Walz (what the..?). Okay, that's basically it for ones that I know for sure. Now from that list...
Guido - Gill
Dorgan - Drogan
Kelgar - Kelga
Bal - Val
Rugor - Lugor (actually, there is logic in this due to Japanese 'L's and 'R's, but it still sounds sort of weird.)
Istory - Easterly (it isn't even IN the East! It's in the West! It'd be like calling Jidoor 'Eastdoor' or something, despite the fact that the people there refer to it as the 'western most town on the world map', but I digress.)
Lix - Rikks (Okay, this just makes me MAD. I love Lix, it has incredible music and lots of sentimental value, not to mention that it's not in the 3rd world... -_-
Many job names and ability names were changed as well, but most of those except for Dragoon - Lancer don't really make me that mad. Okay, that's most of the main ones. Some people may not consider this very important, but it really makes me sad that all those great people/places will be re-named with names that will be known to the normal public...

2) Faris. I mean, I know she's a pirate, but they didn't have to overdo it that much, did they? That really was a god-awful accent... Just had to get that out. ^_^

3) Some Misc. Ie., after winning a battle it says 'YESS!!!' in big letters. Can someone PLEASE tell me what's up with that?? I mean, what was the matter with 'Won the Battle'? And they changed Potions to Tonics in V and Tonics to Potions in VI. That's just odd. Nothing really wrong with it, it's just rather odd. Oh yeah, and they called Fenix Downs Phoenix Downs in both games. ;_; I like Fenix Down! Granted, it's technically not correct but it looks cool...

4) General Speech... Basically all the main characters I've met so far sounded, well, weird. I don't even want to know what happened to Gilgamesh and Exdeath. *_* Butz seemed to say much more then normal, mainly because his way of speaking just did not fit HIM. Same with Galuf who sounded way to much like a perverted old man then Galuf. And Faris... Well, see above. Anyway, enough about the (horrible) translation, on to something else.

The Music.
I love the music in Final Fantasy V. End of story, I'm obsessed with it and I own the original CD, not some cheap SonMay ripoff (unlike my VII cd...). So quite understandably I was mortified to discover that the sound quality in the FFA version of V was, well, atrocious. Now, I'd be quite willing to admit that it was the fault of my TV, however I happen to have two TVs and it sounded like cr*p on both, so I'm pretty sure it's the game itself. The boss music had taken on an extrememly tinny sounding effect, and the battle music just sounded awful, same with the town music, the pirates music and several others. Now, it may just be the copy I rented, but I doubt it because VI sounded fine from what I can tell. Anyone find this problem/annoyence?

The Nice Little Cute Swirly Battle Transistion Thingy.
How cute. Now, I have nothing against a good old battle transition (Xenogears' screen breaking comes to mind) but this is just annoying. Granted, it would be fine in another game, but it doesn't seem at all right in a 16 bit game like FFV. It takes too long for the battles to come because of this, and the ending screen closing in thingy is just as annoying.

Okay, that's enough on the 'rant and scream about Anthology' subject, now onto my 'disagree with JD's review' subject. Now, everyone's allowed to have their own opinions, of course, but I'm getting really sick of people insulting V's plot. I quote him exactly: "Unlike its predecessor FF V does not contain a set of inspired cast of characters or character interaction/development. The premise of the story is simple. After a meteor unexpectedly crashes into the planet the crystals suddenly are in danger of being destroyed. The four characters are then entrusted to journey the world in order to save the four Crystals. While the story presents a number of twists and turns in your journey, by today's standards it is as predictable and banal as can be expected."

Everyone these days seem to be under the impression that 'The storyline in V's okay but it's not great. Basically, the plot is to save the 4 crystals and stop the Evil Lord Exdeath from destroying the world'. It's NOT. It's like saying that Xenogears is about some amnesia-stricken artist from a mountain village who gets caught up in a great war with lots of religion involved or something like that. It just isn't TRUE! Or saying that VII is about a group of terrorists out to stop a company who is destroys the world and has a main character with a huge sword, insane hair, and severe mental difficulties. Okay, I lied. I mentioned VII. So sue me, I didn't say that I wasn't going to mention it, just that I won't comment on my feelings towrads it. Or... or... that VIII is about some military organization named after a plant out to stop an evil sorceress who dresses in really low-cut black dresses and happens to be the wife of the military organization's principle but don't tell anyone. ^_^ It just isn't RIGHT!!!!! I mean, there's so much MORE then just the crystals! The Braves of Dawn of 30 years ago, the great war with Enuo 1000 years ago, the world splitting, a rift known simply as 'the Cleft of Dimension' forms, a small forest village sucked in, frozen in time throughout the centuries *The Town... of Mirage*, the great power of 'mu' -Nothingness- returns called upon by an evil lord spawned from a tree, making the same deadly mistake as the Wizard Enuo 1000 years ago... It's an incredible storyline if you look beyond 'The storyline is to save the crystals'. God, I love that game... (drools incessently)

Okay, I had to say that... It's been driving me insane that some people just can't see the plot for what it really is. I mean, there is several plot twists in it, such as just the FACT that the final boss is a tree ^_^, Dorgan being part of the Braves of Dawn, the worlds rejoining after 1000 years... Sure, they aren't as great as, say, Xenogears, VII, or VIII, but do people expect that? Do they expect a Xenogears-like plot for every game, or at least close? I'm not saying that's what he expected, but I got the idea that he wasn't impressed at all, or barely, by V's plot. Also, I do personally believe that it's plot, the gameplay, and the overall game exceeds VI. Uh oh, here come the flamers... (ducks) Hey, this is an Editorial, ne? Opinion counts! ^_^ Not to say I don't like VI, believe me. It, along with VIII and Xenogears are currently tied in 2nd place for fav games, although Xenogears is definitely creeping up to first. Besides, VI DOES have better characters, especially Kefka. Anyway, I don't want to insult JD (hey, he's cool!), I was just very insulted by his remarks about V's plot and characters, mostly because I've heard many of the same comments recently. I suppose it just greatly saddens me to see such an incredible game reduced to what the Anthology made it into. Am I doomed to forever hear V's main characters referred to as Bartz, Reina, Faris, Galuf, Krile, and X-Death? I suppose I am, and I also guess that I'll get used to it. I just hate that so many gamers will never know what V was really like because of FFA. Just one word of advice to everyone who hasn't played the V ROM. Go on to the Internet and download ZSNES (It's better then Snes9x...) and the translated ROM, you won't regret it and hopefully some people out there will realize how much better the original was. I hope...

Well, sorry that was so long... I just needed to finally get out all that out of my system. Who knows? I'll probably start some great big controversy in the Editorials, but hey, we needed some new subjects. The FMV arguements and Console Wars are wearing thin very quickly. Er, and if anyone agrees with me on this whole FFV/A thing, could you please email me? My friend and I want to start a club for V lovers and A haters. Thanks for your time. Bye!

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