The road to Final Fantasy XV has not been an easy one.
Originally announced at E3 2006 as Final Fantasy Versus XIII, it was to be a prime part of a brand new set of vaguely interconnected titles, dubbed “Fabula Nova Crystallis Final Fantasy.” The set would also include Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy Agito XIII, and all titles within would be tied together through similar themes and mythos, while not all part of the same world.
A lot has changed since E3 2006.
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As Final Fantasy XIII received two mediocre sequels and Agito XIII lessened its connection to Fabula Nova Crystallis by dropping the XIII altogether, Versus XIII went into development hell. It would go for years without a peep from anyone related to the project, and no matter how many interviews, creative director Tetsuya Nomura never stopped giving us vague and cryptic answers that were barely answers at all.
Fast forward to E3 2013. Rumors of Final Fantasy Versus XIII being silently taken out to pasture or becoming vaporware had become all too common by this point, while “inside sources” insisted the game was on track and looking better than ever. Sure enough, Square Enix showcased a brand new trailer at the Expo, revealing for the first time the game’s official name change to Final Fantasy XV.
Since then the powers that be have been much more forthcoming and open with regards to news and updates on the project, which suggests it is finally working its way out of development and into our homes. This is perhaps most evident with the recent announcement of a standalone playable demo being released to players who pre-order Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, coming out March 17, 2015.
Hopeful fans have their fingers crossed that a Q1 demo indicates a holiday release in the same year. Looking at the game’s current track record, however, I think it’s safe to say that is wishful thinking, and more likely is a release sometime in the 2016 calendar year, ten years after its initial announcement. Final Fantasy XV will have a decade of hype and anticipation to live up to, and meeting the expectations of fans is never more difficult than when they are made to wait and worry and wait some more. Regardless, the game is moving forward, and we will see it in time.
Now I consider myself to be a fairly avid Final Fantasy fan, but many would disagree, as I fall into the common “VII was my first” camp. Including VII I have only played half of the properly numbered Final Fantasies, and when I play the game I’ll have waited ten years for, I want to have full appreciation for the series to date.
This is all to say that I am issuing myself a challenge.
I want to see where the series started in Final Fantasy. I want to learn why Final Fantasy VI is widely heralded as not only the best Final Fantasy, but one of the greatest RPGs of all time. I want to have a legitimate go at a massively multiplayer online Final Fantasy experience with XI and XIV. I want to give the Sphere Grid in Final Fantasy X a second chance, and actually finish the game. I also want to re-play Final Fantasies IX and XII, two of my favorites that I’ve somehow only played through once each. So here’s what I’m going to do:
Throughout 2015 my goal is to play through each numbered Final Fantasy game from I to XIV, in anticipation of Final Fantasy XV finally becoming a reality. I will be documenting my playthroughs both here on Save/Continue via blog-style posts, and live-tweeting on my personal account, @zacharyplyons. I’ll have 365 days to get through 14 role-playing games, while still working my 40-hour work-week day job and living a regular life. That’s just over 26 days per game, which isn’t much time for a busy adult with many important things to do. Still, I will do my best, and hope to gain some support throughout this journey.
So keep your eyes peeled here, and show your support on Twitter with the hashtag #RoadtoXVin15. Travel this road together with me, and experience my journey through 27 years of Final Fantasy in just one, starting January 1, 2015.