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Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls
|Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls|
Square Enix (Japan)
|This article uses content from Wikipedia (view authors), and falls under the compatible Creative Commons license.|
Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls is a compilation of the first two Final Fantasy games, Final Fantasy and Final Fantasy II released for the Game Boy Advance in 2004. It was first released in Japan as Final Fantasy I∙II Advance (presumably named after the Famicom compilation, Final Fantasy I∙II). Graphically, Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls is very similar to the individual remakes for the WonderSwan Color in Japan and the PlayStation compilation, Final Fantasy Origins.
Both games were faithful in content to the original Nintendo Entertainment System versions, and the package, while graphically similar to the WonderSwan Color adaptation of the first game, also contains the Bestiary feature, which allowed the player to view images and statistics of enemies that they had defeated in both games, and which first featured in the PlayStation package.
However, the package lacked the ability to choose between easy and normal games as was available in Final Fantasy Origins, although not in the original. Many reviewers complained that the first game appeared to default to "easy", making the heroes level-up much more easily and rendering enemies much easier to defeat, especially in comparison with the original. Many items were cheaper, the party began with more money, and defeating enemies brought greater rewards. Others praised the reduced difficulty level, saying that the high difficulty level (especially in comparison to later titles) was its primary weakness.
In Final Fantasy II, magic degrading as physical strength grew and vice versa was removed; unlike the changes to Final Fantasy I, this was generally better received among players.
Another thing that was added to both games is the ability to save the game at any point out of battle, and later resume from that same point, while the originals only allowed this under certain conditions. This was not a feature in Final Fantasy Origins or the original versions of the games.
Other modifications and extras
A number of other changes were introduced to the Game Boy Advance adaptations:
- The magic system used in the original versions, where magic capable characters would only be able to cast spells of a particular level a set number of times, was replaced by the now standard points (MP) system used in later games. However, certain spells are still restricted to characters above a certain level. Some fans have complained this change is part of the reason the game is now much easier, with it working out that now you can cast Cure for example, many times for little MP, whereas previously a lower number of cure spells would be allotted, and using Cure would remove the number of times one could use two other spells such as Harm/Dia (NES/GBA).
- Intelligence now plays much more of an influence on the effects of offensive magic spells.
- In the NES version, if a character was ordered to attack a character that was no longer there, the hit would be "ineffective". The WonderSwan Color edition of the game offered the player the option of maintaining this style of attack or having attacks redirected to a still existent foe. The Game Boy Advance forces this change, meaning that ineffective hits no longer occur.
- The Thief and Monk characters are much more powerful. Thief also appears to have lost his ability to instantly run from battles, often the Black Mage is now the best running character. The Red Mage had been weakened somewhat.
- A "profile" system. The cartridge would allow for three sets of saved games, including unlockables in the bestiary.
- To allow for the needs of a portable gaming system, the save point based system (where the player could only save when located in an inn) was scrapped in favor of being able to save at any point in the game.
- Many monsters have more HP.
- Character names may now be up to six letters long; the limit in the NES version was four.
- It is possible to unlock a Music Player by beating both Final Fantasy and Final Fantasy II. All the music from both games is available in this mode.
- In Final Fantasy, there are new weapons, not found in previous versions, obtained in the Soul of Chaos dungeons including Ultima Weapon, by defeating optional bosses.
Final Fantasy also featured four extra dungeons not available in any other editions known as the "Soul of Chaos" dungeons. These dungeons are accessible by collecting crystals that appear after defeating each of the Elemental Fiends, there is a dungeon for each fiend and each contain 4 bosses from other games, for example, Hellfire Chasm contains the Elemental Lords from Final Fantasy IV. The Earthgift Shrine (which contained the bosses Cerberus, Echidna, 2-Headed Dragon, and Ahriman, from Final Fantasy III) is 5 levels deep and needs to be done four times to fully complete, Hellfire Chasm (Barbariccia, Cagnazzo, Rubicante, and Scarmiglione, from Final Fantasy IV) is 10 levels and requires two trips to complete, Lifespring Grotto (Gilgamesh, Atomos, Omega, and Shinryu, from Final Fantasy V) is 20 levels and requires two trips, and Whisperwind Cove (Typhon - Chupon -, Orthros - Ultros -, Phantom Train, and Death Gaze - Doom Gaze -, from Final Fantasy VI) is 40 levels and requires one trip. Some of the bosses in this dungeon are much harder then the last boss of the game. The hardest bosses seem to be in Lifespring, which contained bosses from Final Fantasy V, such as Omega and Shinryu.
Final Fantasy II featured a completely original feature found in none of the other contemporary remakes. Once completed, a bonus storyline entitled Soul of Rebirth would be accessible to the player, featuring a number of characters who had been killed off during the course of the main story. The game only features 4 areas and most of the time will be spent training up for a 2nd encounter with the last boss. An Ultima tome can be achieved but it requires the killing of the extremely powerful Ultima Weapon.
Most reviewers applauded the game as one of the most successful retro packs of recent years, lauding the enhanced graphics, features and gameplay. 
GameSpot awarded the package 7.2 out of 10, stating that "though each game is showing its age a bit, the combined package is still worthwhile for old-school RPG fans and patient neophytes." .
Several references to other games and media are noted throughout the game, some of them found by way of traversing through Final Fantasy's bonus dungeons.
- A reference to The Legend of Zelda series is made in the town of Elfhiem, in the form of a gravestone labeled "Here Lies Link." This is from the original Japanese release; the original English release for the NES said "Here Lies Edrick", in reference to the Dragon Warrior series.
- During a conversation in one of the game's many towns, a character remarks that a man from long ago, Cid, created the airships. Cid was never mentioned in the first releases of Final Fantasy, and didn't become a recurring character until the second game.
- A possible reference to the game Chrono Trigger may be found in one of the randomly selected dungeon rooms of Whisperwind Cove, which host two robots, one pink and the other beige, possibly a reference to Robo and Atropos.
- A reference to Final Fantasy IX can be discovered in a randomly selected dungeon floor in Lifespring Grotto, with a dancer remarking her dream of being chosen for the Tatarus Theater troupe in their production of "I Want to be Your Canary", a troupe that Zidane was once a part of. Another reference is made in Whisperwind Cove in a randomly selected floor, with one of many young boys remarking his desire for a "Trance Kuja" doll.
- A reference to Homestarrunner.com is made in a randomly selected room in Hellfire Chasm, with one resident remarking "This is private property. Trespassers will be burninated!"- an obvious reference to the site's "Trogdor".
- A reference to Kingdom Hearts can be found in a randomly selected room in Whisperwind Cove, where one of the young boys directly quotes the first line of the series' first game.
- Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls on Codex Gamicus
- North American website (archived)
- Japanese website (archived)