Final Fantasy Anniversary Edition

Garland returns for the 20th anniversary of Final Fantasy, and he is ready to knock you all down.
Michael Caleb - Staff Reviewer

Content at a glance:

Violence: Weapons waved in the air at enemies; no contact is seen.

Spiritual Content: Prophecies, crystal balls, mythological creatures, monsters, fantasy magic, magical crystals sustain the world.

Language: Nothing explicit, but there are some questionable lines.

Adult Content: Bikini tops, alcohol, drunkenness.

Commendable Content: Player characters put themselves in danger for the sake of others.

To commemorate the twentieth year since the release of the original Final Fantasy, Square-Enix released Final Fantasy Anniversary Edition, a graphically updated port of the original classic.


Just as in the original, you control the Warriors of Light, who are tasked with bringing order back to the world by restoring the crystals that sustain the elements. This also entails defeating the fiends of earth, fire, water, and wind before confronting evil itself. The story is simple, without much in the way of filler or explanation, keeping in line with the original.


FF:AE has the same nostalgic tunes as the original, but the quality has been upgraded to sound more orchestral. It really is nice to listen to the music that I’ve known for years, but with an added flare. The sound effects are appropriate to the action, as swords sound like they are slicing, clubs sound like they are bludgeoning, and fire sounds like it is burning.


A CGI opening cinematic was added to this edition, which looks nice, but is not that significant within the context of the game itself.

On the whole, the graphics stay true to the original, but are much more colorful and polished, giving everything a strange neo-retro look to it. The player sprites are mostly of the same style as the originals, but certain sprites have a more anime-ish feel to them thanks to the addition of spiky hair. Enemy sprites are still images, with the only effect being a flash or disintegration.

Layer effects have been added, such as the shadows of clouds moving across the ground, fog in certain areas, and so on. On the world map, you can notice parallax if you pay close enough attention to certain objects.



Nothing new here, really. The game still plays as it did before, although it does seem to be a bit easier than its NES iteration. You select your characters actions from a menu, and then those actions are carried out in the ensuing skirmish. This is little to no direction as to where to go next, which can lead to extended backtracking trips for those unfamiliar with the original. The extra dungeons that were added for the Gameboy Advance version, Dawn of Souls, are still present in this version and will allow you to earn powerful extra items to bring back to the main game.


During battle, your warriors stand on the right side of the screen while the enemies stand on the left. Whenever you attack, a warrior will take a couple steps forward, swing their weapon a couple times in the air, then walk back in line. The weapons do not make contact as far as the player can see, although contact is clearly implied.


Spiritual Content

A prophet named Lukahn foretells the coming of the Warriors of Light. Enemies include vampires, animated skeletons, ghosts, demons, and mythological creatures. Most characters the player can choose from will have the ability to use magic at some point; there is white magic for healing and defensive support and black magic for damaging and offensive support. There are churches in the game which the player can go to in order to remove curses or resurrect characters. Magical crystals sustain the forces of nature, and through them, the stability of the world. The player is required to retrieve a crystal ball for an old fortune teller.


I did not come across any specific uses of curse words, but there were instances of phrases such as “Son of a *hic*!” and a reference to someone having “cannon balls of steel.”

Adult Content

Certain characters wear bikini tops. There are references to alcohol and drunkenness.


Commendable Content

The Warriors of Light put their lives in danger multiple times throughout their quest in order to restore order to the world and make the lives of those around them better.


The original, Final Fantasy Origins, Final Fantasy I&II: Dawn of Souls, and now Final Fantasy Anniversary Edition: the first Final Fantasy has been released a number of times in its twenty years of existence. If you have no problem with fantasy magic, then there should not be anything to offend you in this game. However, since this version is virtually the same as the Dawn of Souls version, ignoring the graphical facelift, there is little reason to buy it again if you have played it in the past and are not a hardcore fan of the series.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Eden Communications or the Answers Network.

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