Alex Rodriguez

Alex Rodriguez taking his position at 3rd base at the beginning of a new inning

Alexander Emanuel Rodriguez (born July 27, 1975 in New York City), nicknamed A-Rod, is widely regarded as one of the best players in Major League Baseball today and at a young age is already being talked about among the all-time greats. Starting his major league career with the Seattle Mariners, he signed an unprecedented free-agent deal with the Texas Rangers, before being traded to the New York Yankees. Rodriguez began his career as a shortstop, but switched positions to third base upon joining the Yankees. In 2003 he became the youngest player in major league history to reach 300 home runs, and, on June 8, 2005, he became the first to to hit 400 home runs before the age of 30. He has been married to the former Cynthia Scurtis since November 2, 2002: the couple's first child, Natasha Alexander, was born on November 18, 2004.

On November 17, 2003, Rodriguez won his first American League Most Valuable Player award. It was the second time in MLB history that a player of a team finishing last in the league was given the award (Andre Dawson also won the award for the last place Chicago Cubs). The following month the Rangers tried unsuccessfully to trade Rodriguez and his hefty salary to the Boston Red Sox. The Players Association blocked the deal, however, because the Red Sox wanted to cut Rodriguez's salary. Then on January 25, 2004, he was named captain of the Rangers. Less than three weeks later, he was traded to the Yankees, the first reigning MVP to be traded in the history of Major League Baseball.

Beginnings

Born in New York City, Rodríguez moved back with his parents to their native Dominican Republic when he was 4. They moved to Miami, Florida 4 years later. There, Alex's father announced he had to go to New York for a short time; he never returned. Rodríguez has said in interviews he can forgive his father for abandoning the family, but that he will never forget.

Rodríguez was a star player at Miami Westminster Christian High School. His skills were rewarded when the Seattle Mariners made the 17-year old the #1 pick of the amateur draft in 1993. He made a rapid rise through the organization and made his major league debut at just 18 years of age, becoming one of the youngest players to appear in a game at shortstop.

Early career with the Seattle Mariners

After his major league campaign in 1994 was cut short by the players' strike, he split most of 1995 between Seattle and their AAA club 30 miles away in Tacoma before staying on the major league roster in August, making a pair of postseason appearances on the Mariners' playoff run. One of his most important contributions in the playoffs was consoling second baseman Joey Cora, who memorably broke down in tears after the Mariners' loss in the League Championship Series.

He took over as the regular shortstop the following year, and immediately became a superstar, hitting 36 home runs and pacing the American League with a .358 batting average, and leading the league in runs, total bases, and doubles; great numbers even by the standards of the Kingdome, one of the American League's best hitter's parks. He came close to being the youngest MVP in baseball history, but fell 3 points short to Juan González; possibly denying him this honor were the two Seattle-area sportswriters who voted for the award, as they gave him 8th and 9th place votes.

Rodriguez was a favorite with Mariners fans. He hit for the cycle with them in 1997, but slumped that year with only 23 home runs and a "mere" .300 average; the Mariners nonetheless won the division but were quickly eliminated from the playoffs. He recovered with authority in 1998 by becoming the 3rd member of the 40 homers/40 stolen bases club, racking up 42 HR and 46 SB. Despite missing 30+ games with an injury and playing home games at Safeco Field (a considerably less hitter-friendly ballpark than the Kingdome) for the second half of the season, he matched his HR total in 1999.

The Mariners entered 2000 with A-Rod as the cornerstone of the franchise, having dealt superstars Randy Johnson and Ken Griffey, Jr. in the past two seasons. Rodriguez continued to put up great numbers as the team's remaining superstar, and hit 41 more HR's in 2000 as he hit .316, doing so playing in the best pitcher's park in the AL. Winning the AL West in 2000, Rodriguez hit well in the playoffs, but the Mariners lost to the World Series champion New York Yankees in the LCS. He still made an appearance in the Series, sitting in the stands of Shea Stadium watching his friend Derek Jeter play in that year's all-New York World Series between the Yankees and New York Mets.

Texas Rangers

A free agent after the season, Rodriguez, who wanted to go to a Series-caliber team, was immediately rumored to be heading to the Mets because of his appearance at Shea, but instead chose to go to the Texas Rangers (last in their division in 2000), signing what is the largest contract in American sports history, a 10-year contract worth an astounding $252 million. Because of the contract, considered outrageous by many fans, Mariners fans that loved him immediately turned on him for taking the money and running instead of staying with a winner; to this day he's regularly booed every time he returns to Seattle.

Despite the enormous pressure carried by the contract, Rodriguez continued to produce, and has been even better than before. He hit 52 home runs in 2001, and followed that up with a major league best 57 home runs in 2002, the most ever for a shortstop. He put a bookend on that year by winning his first Gold Glove Award. Unfortunately, the Rangers made no real improvement in the two years he played there, finishing last both times, and it likely cost him the MVP award in 2002, as he finished second to fellow shortstop Miguel Tejada. Although Tejada had lesser numbers than Rodriguez, he played for a championship-caliber team. The Mariners didn't miss him; they won 116 games in their first year without him.

Rodriguez 's last season with Texas, 2003, was another productive year for A-Rod. He hit .298 with 47 home runs, won his second consecutive Gold Glove Award and was named the league's MVP, despite the Rangers remaining mired in last place.

New York Yankees

On February 15, 2004, after a period in which he had been courted by the Boston Red Sox and named as the Rangers' captain, Rodriguez was traded to the New York Yankees for second baseman Alfonso Soriano and a player to be named later. In the trade, the Rangers will have to pay $67 million of the $179 million left on Rodriguez's contract. Since New York already had a star shortstop in team captain Derek Jeter, the trade developed only after New York's third baseman, Aaron Boone, suffered a season-ending knee injury while playing a game of pickup basketball during the off-season. After Rodriguez agreed to switch positions and play third base, the deal between New York and Texas was consummated.

In addition to moving from shortstop to third, Rodriguez had to make another change upon joining the Yankees. He had worn uniform number 3 his entire career, but that number on the Yankees is retired in honor of Babe Ruth. There was some speculation as to what his number would be, but in spring training he showed up with uniform number 13, answering the question.

Rodriguez performed well, though average by his standards, in his first season with the Yankees, hitting .286 with 36 home runs and 106 runs batted in, his seventh consecutive season with at least 100 RBI. Near the end of the season, Yankees manager Joe Torre moved Rodriguez to the No. 2 spot in the batting order, directly behind Jeter.

During the 2004 American League Championship Series against the Boston Red Sox, Alex Rodriguez caused controversey when he "slapped" the baseball out of pitcher Bronson Arroyo's glove when running to first base. Rodriguez was called safe at first, and Derek Jeter scored from first base. But the umpires huddled and ended up calling him out, which made Jeter return to first base. This action by Rodriguez has given him a bad image, especially among Red Sox fans.

Salary

Alex Rodriguez's salary of $25,705,118 is the highest in Major League Baseball in the 2005 season.

2005 Season Highlights

On June 8th, Rodriguez hit his 400th career home run, becoming the youngest player in Major League history to do so at 29 years and 316 days old. Ken Griffey, Jr. was the previous record holder by reaching 400 home runs at 30 years and 141 days old.

Alex Rodriguez Stadium

In 2003, Alex Rodriguez gave a $10 million gift to the University of Miami to build a new baseball stadium. While in high school, Rodriguez had signed a letter of intent with the University to play baseball. He had even enrolled in classes, but on his way to the first class he met a scout for the Mariners who offered a large signing bonus and he signed ending his college career before it began. Had he attended the first class, the Mariners would have been unable by Major League Baseball rules to sign him, and no one would have been able to draft him for 2 more years.


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. This is most likely a result of the merger with Enix, which was well-known for producing sequels and spinoffs associated with the Dragon Quest series. Had he attended the first class, the Mariners would have been unable by Major League Baseball rules to sign him, and no one would have been able to draft him for 2 more years. Starting with that game, however, several such sequels emerged, especially the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII series of games/movies, all of which continue the story of the game Final Fantasy VII. He had even enrolled in classes, but on his way to the first class he met a scout for the Mariners who offered a large signing bonus and he signed ending his college career before it began. Until the release of Final Fantasy X-2 the idea of a "direct sequel," that is, a game which picked up directly from the story of a previous game in the series, was unprecedented in the series. While in high school, Rodriguez had signed a letter of intent with the University to play baseball. The original Final Fantasy I and Final Fantasy II are released in Final Fantasy Origins, and for the Game Boy Advance as Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls. Final Fantasy III has not yet officially been released in the US, and never rereleased on any platform in any market, but Square-Enix currently plans to release it for the Nintendo DS.

In 2003, Alex Rodriguez gave a $10 million gift to the University of Miami to build a new baseball stadium. Final Fantasy IV was released in Final Fantasy Chronicles for the PlayStation, while Final Fantasy V and VI were released in Final Fantasy Anthology for PlayStation. was the previous record holder by reaching 400 home runs at 30 years and 141 days old. Later ports include translations of the Japanese games with their original numbering. Ken Griffey, Jr. FF3us or FF6j. On June 8th, Rodriguez hit his 400th career home run, becoming the youngest player in Major League history to do so at 29 years and 316 days old. To solve this, many fans use the disambiguating suffixes "us" and "j" for American numbering and Japanese numbering respectively, e.g.

Alex Rodriguez's salary of $25,705,118 is the highest in Major League Baseball in the 2005 season. This has been a source of much confusion, with many American fans continuing to refer to IV and VI by their American numbers. But the umpires huddled and ended up calling him out, which made Jeter return to first base. This action by Rodriguez has given him a bad image, especially among Red Sox fans. Starting with Final Fantasy VII the pretense was dropped, and all subsequent games used their original numbering, leading to an apparent "jump" over 3 games. Rodriguez was called safe at first, and Derek Jeter scored from first base. Final Fantasy IV became "II" and VI became "III". During the 2004 American League Championship Series against the Boston Red Sox, Alex Rodriguez caused controversey when he "slapped" the baseball out of pitcher Bronson Arroyo's glove when running to first base. Originally, Final Fantasy II and III for the Famicom and V for the Super Famicom were not released in America, so Square of America decided to change the numbers of the US releases to hide this fact.

2 spot in the batting order, directly behind Jeter.
. Near the end of the season, Yankees manager Joe Torre moved Rodriguez to the No. On the other hand, the single-player Final Fantasy X-2 has attracted negative attention for its status as the first direct sequel to a previous Final Fantasy game, and for its supposed overreliance on fan service. Rodriguez performed well, though average by his standards, in his first season with the Yankees, hitting .286 with 36 home runs and 106 runs batted in, his seventh consecutive season with at least 100 RBI. A number of diehard fans have accused Final Fantasy XI for neglecting the traditions of the series by switching to a massively multiplayer online format. There was some speculation as to what his number would be, but in spring training he showed up with uniform number 13, answering the question. Of the more recent installments in the series, Final Fantasy XI and Final Fantasy X-2 have been most frequently singled out for criticism.

He had worn uniform number 3 his entire career, but that number on the Yankees is retired in honor of Babe Ruth. Fans of these games often argue that the nostalgia factor plays a significant role in many of the negative critical responses to post-Final Fantasy VII installments. In addition to moving from shortstop to third, Rodriguez had to make another change upon joining the Yankees. Nintendo's Legend of Zelda, Konami's Suikoden, and Square Enix's own Dragon Quest franchises are strong competitors of Final Fantasy. After Rodriguez agreed to switch positions and play third base, the deal between New York and Texas was consummated. More recent installments of the series (following its premiere on the Sony PlayStation in 1997) are especially attacked by critics within the video game community. Since New York already had a star shortstop in team captain Derek Jeter, the trade developed only after New York's third baseman, Aaron Boone, suffered a season-ending knee injury while playing a game of pickup basketball during the off-season. Some cite a lack of interactivity (overuse of full motion video), rigid and often linear story structure, and unoriginality.

In the trade, the Rangers will have to pay $67 million of the $179 million left on Rodriguez's contract. Although the franchise is extremely popular, it is not without critics. On February 15, 2004, after a period in which he had been courted by the Boston Red Sox and named as the Rangers' captain, Rodriguez was traded to the New York Yankees for second baseman Alfonso Soriano and a player to be named later. Unlike previous games, battles in both Final Fantasy XI and Final Fantasy XII take place on the world map, with no separate battle screen. He hit .298 with 47 home runs, won his second consecutive Gold Glove Award and was named the league's MVP, despite the Rangers remaining mired in last place. Early details suggest Final Fantasy XII will adopt a similar system. Rodriguez 's last season with Texas, 2003, was another productive year for A-Rod. Final Fantasy XI featured a fully real time combat system similar to that employed by the game EverQuest: when confronted with an enemy, a character would automatically perform basic physical attacks unless otherwise instructed by the player.

Although Tejada had lesser numbers than Rodriguez, he played for a championship-caliber team. The Mariners didn't miss him; they won 116 games in their first year without him. As this ranking was displayed on screen during battle, it was possible to know when a character and/or enemy would move several combat turns in advance, and to plan battles accordingly. Unfortunately, the Rangers made no real improvement in the two years he played there, finishing last both times, and it likely cost him the MVP award in 2002, as he finished second to fellow shortstop Miguel Tejada. In the CTB system, every creature in battle would be ranked according to speed. Despite the enormous pressure carried by the contract, Rodriguez continued to produce, and has been even better than before. He hit 52 home runs in 2001, and followed that up with a major league best 57 home runs in 2002, the most ever for a shortstop. He put a bookend on that year by winning his first Gold Glove Award. Final Fantasy X abandoned the ATB system in favor of the "Conditional Turn-Based Battle System" (CTB). A free agent after the season, Rodriguez, who wanted to go to a Series-caliber team, was immediately rumored to be heading to the Mets because of his appearance at Shea, but instead chose to go to the Texas Rangers (last in their division in 2000), signing what is the largest contract in American sports history, a 10-year contract worth an astounding $252 million. Because of the contract, considered outrageous by many fans, Mariners fans that loved him immediately turned on him for taking the money and running instead of staying with a winner; to this day he's regularly booed every time he returns to Seattle. Generally each of these games included both "active" and "wait" modes: when "wait" mode was chosen, then all activity relating to the time gauge would pause whenever the player was using a submenu to choose a magic spell, item, or special attack.

He still made an appearance in the Series, sitting in the stands of Shea Stadium watching his friend Derek Jeter play in that year's all-New York World Series between the Yankees and New York Mets. When a specific character's time gauge was filled, the character could act, which would then reset the timer. Winning the AL West in 2000, Rodriguez hit well in the playoffs, but the Mariners lost to the World Series champion New York Yankees in the LCS. The ATB system was semi-real time, and afforded every creature in combat a time gauge. Rodriguez continued to put up great numbers as the team's remaining superstar, and hit 41 more HR's in 2000 as he hit .316, doing so playing in the best pitcher's park in the AL. Starting with Final Fantasy IV, and continuing until Final Fantasy IX (and revived in Final Fantasy X-2), the "Active Time Battle" (ATB) system was introduced. in the past two seasons. The player would input all battle commands at the beginning of each combat round, which would then be carried out based on the speed rating of each character.

The Mariners entered 2000 with A-Rod as the cornerstone of the franchise, having dealt superstars Randy Johnson and Ken Griffey, Jr. Final Fantasy I through Final Fantasy III all featured a traditional turn based battle system. Despite missing 30+ games with an injury and playing home games at Safeco Field (a considerably less hitter-friendly ballpark than the Kingdome) for the second half of the season, he matched his HR total in 1999. Often these special attacks are integrated into the "job system," which has appeared in several games in the series (Final Fantasy III, Final Fantasy V, Final Fantasy Tactics, Final Fantasy X-2). He recovered with authority in 1998 by becoming the 3rd member of the 40 homers/40 stolen bases club, racking up 42 HR and 46 SB. Most games in the series (from Final Fantasy III on) feature a variety of "special commands," over and beyond the traditional "Attack," "Defend," "Cast Magic," and "Run" battle commands, such as the ability to steal items from enemies, or performing a leap attack. He hit for the cycle with them in 1997, but slumped that year with only 23 home runs and a "mere" .300 average; the Mariners nonetheless won the division but were quickly eliminated from the playoffs. Most games in the series utilize an experience level system for character advancement (although Final Fantasy II did not), and a point-based system for casting magical spells (though Final Fantasy I, Final Fantasy III and Final Fantasy VIII all featured different approaches).

Rodriguez was a favorite with Mariners fans. As such, Final Fantasy uses a menu-driven, turn-based battle system. He came close to being the youngest MVP in baseball history, but fell 3 points short to Juan González; possibly denying him this honor were the two Seattle-area sportswriters who voted for the award, as they gave him 8th and 9th place votes. Final Fantasy borrowed many gameplay elements from its primary rival, the Dragon Quest franchise. He took over as the regular shortstop the following year, and immediately became a superstar, hitting 36 home runs and pacing the American League with a .358 batting average, and leading the league in runs, total bases, and doubles; great numbers even by the standards of the Kingdome, one of the American League's best hitter's parks. The games often feature various minigames with their own graphical engines. One of his most important contributions in the playoffs was consoling second baseman Joey Cora, who memorably broke down in tears after the Mariners' loss in the League Championship Series. The games typically have several types of screens, or modes of interaction, broadly categorized as:.

After his major league campaign in 1994 was cut short by the players' strike, he split most of 1995 between Seattle and their AAA club 30 miles away in Tacoma before staying on the major league roster in August, making a pair of postseason appearances on the Mariners' playoff run.
. He made a rapid rise through the organization and made his major league debut at just 18 years of age, becoming one of the youngest players to appear in a game at shortstop. Final Fantasy X-2 utilized the same game engine as Final Fantasy X, and was aesthetically not much different. His skills were rewarded when the Seattle Mariners made the 17-year old the #1 pick of the amateur draft in 1993. Final Fantasy X was the first game in the series to use voice overs to any degree. Rodríguez was a star player at Miami Westminster Christian High School. Final Fantasy X was released on the PlayStation 2, and made use of the more powerful hardware to render certain cutscenes in real-time, rather than displayed in pre-rendered video.

Rodríguez has said in interviews he can forgive his father for abandoning the family, but that he will never forget. Final Fantasy IX returned briefly to the more stylized design of earlier games in the series, but maintained most of the graphical techniques utilized in the previous two games in the series. There, Alex's father announced he had to go to New York for a short time; he never returned. The full motion video sequences utilized a display technique wherein video would play in the background while the polygon characters would be composited on top. They moved to Miami, Florida 4 years later. Starting with Final Fantasy VIII, the series adopted a more photo-realistic look. Born in New York City, Rodríguez moved back with his parents to their native Dominican Republic when he was 4. As the only real user-interaction outside of battle was menu-driven, the developers saw no need for fully 3D-rendered overhead graphics.

Less than three weeks later, he was traded to the Yankees, the first reigning MVP to be traded in the history of Major League Baseball. Released shortly after Final Fantasy VII, the spinoff title Final Fantasy Tactics, once again utilized sprites for the characters. Then on January 25, 2004, he was named captain of the Rangers. However, Final Fantasy VII's FMVs often lacked consistency, with characters appearing tiny and very indistinct in one scene, and extremely detailed in the next. The Players Association blocked the deal, however, because the Red Sox wanted to cut Rodriguez's salary. Final Fantasy VII was also the first Final Fantasy game to use full motion video sequences, part of the reason why the game spanned a full three CD-ROMs. The following month the Rangers tried unsuccessfully to trade Rodriguez and his hefty salary to the Boston Red Sox. The characters and entire game world were now 3-dimensional, with fully pre-rendered backgrounds.

It was the second time in MLB history that a player of a team finishing last in the league was given the award (Andre Dawson also won the award for the last place Chicago Cubs). 1997 saw the release of Final Fantasy VII for the Sony PlayStation and not Nintendo 64 as originally anticipated. On November 17, 2003, Rodriguez won his first American League Most Valuable Player award. This would continue to get more advanced in Final Fantasy VI, and the trend would continue to make the games much more erudite. He has been married to the former Cynthia Scurtis since November 2, 2002: the couple's first child, Natasha Alexander, was born on November 18, 2004. Finally, in Final Fantasy V, the games began to use kanji. In 2003 he became the youngest player in major league history to reach 300 home runs, and, on June 8, 2005, he became the first to to hit 400 home runs before the age of 30. Much of the dialogue was simply clumps of text, making it especially hard for older gamers and foreigners learning Japanese.

Rodriguez began his career as a shortstop, but switched positions to third base upon joining the Yankees. The text of the Japanese language versions of early Final Fantasy games was comprised purely of kana. Starting his major league career with the Seattle Mariners, he signed an unprecedented free-agent deal with the Texas Rangers, before being traded to the New York Yankees. These games utilized updated graphics and effects, as well as higher quality music and sound than in previous games, but were otherwise similar to their predecessors in basic design. Alexander Emanuel Rodriguez (born July 27, 1975 in New York City), nicknamed A-Rod, is widely regarded as one of the best players in Major League Baseball today and at a young age is already being talked about among the all-time greats. The same basic system was used in the next three games, Final Fantasy IV, Final Fantasy V, and Final Fantasy VI, for the Super Famicom (known internationally as the Super Nintendo Entertainment System). On the main world screen, small sprite representations of the leading party member were displayed because of graphical limitations, while in battle screens, more detailed, full versions of all characters would appear in a side view perspective.

Final Fantasy began on the Nintendo Family Computer ("Famicom," known internationally as the Nintendo Entertainment System) as Final Fantasy I in 1987, and was joined by two sequels, Final Fantasy II and Final Fantasy III, over the next three years.
. The battle sequences that end in victory for the player in the first ten installments of the series would be accompanied by a victory fanfare that used the same nine-note sequence to begin the fanfare, and it has become one of the most recognized pieces of music relating to the Final Fantasy series. The Prelude is actually based off of Bach's piece by the same name.

The games often open with a piece called Prelude, which was a simple arpeggio theme in the early parts, with further melody parts added in latter installments. While the music in games offers wide variety, there are some frequently reused themes. The Final Fantasy soundtracks have also joined the catalogue of the iTunes Music Store. Music from Final Fantasy was first performed outside of Japan as a part of the Symphonic Game Music Concert series in Germany.

The next performance was February 19, 2005 in Rosemont, Illinois by the Chicagoland Pops Orchestra, and currently, as of 2005, the "Dear Friends" concert is on tour in the US. That concert was a three-day sell out. An orchestral Final Fantasy music concert in the United States was performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra at Walt Disney Concert Hall on May 10, 2004. Many video game and MIDI world wide web sites offer renditions of Final Fantasy musical pieces.

launched an America Online radio station dedicated to music from the Final Fantasy series, initially carrying complete tracks from Final Fantasy XI in addition to samplings from Final Fantasy VII through Final Fantasy X. On November 17, 2003, Square Enix U.S.A. Final Fantasy soundtracks and sheet music are increasingly popular amongst non-Japanese Final Fantasy fans and have even been performed by the London Symphony Orchestra. Other composers who have contributed to the series include Masashi Hamauzu and Junya Nakano.

Uematsu is also involved with the rock group The Black Mages, which has released two albums of arranged Final Fantasy tunes. In the 2004 Summer Olympics, the American synchronized swimming duo consisting of Alison Bartosik and Anna Kozlova were awarded the bronze medal for their performance to music from Final Fantasy VIII. His music has played a large part in the popularity of the Final Fantasy franchise abroad. Nobuo Uematsu was the chief music composer of the Final Fantasy series until his resignation from Square Enix in November 2004.

Square Enix continues to outsource story and scenario work to Nojima and Stellavista. He partially or completely wrote the stories for Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VIII, Final Fantasy IX, Final Fantasy X, and Final Fantasy X-2. In October 2003, Kazushige Nojima, the series' principle scenario writer, resigned from Square Enix to form his own company, Stellavista. Akihiko Yoshida, who served as character designer for the spinoff title Final Fantasy Tactics, as well as the Square-produced Vagrant Story, has been announced as the designer of the upcoming Final Fantasy XII.

Following Amano's departure, he was replaced with Tetsuya Nomura, who continued to work with the series through Final Fantasy X, with the exception of Final Fantasy IX, where character design was handled by Shukou Murase, Toshiyuki Itahana and Shin Nagasawa. Artistic design, including character and monster design work, was handled by renowned Japanese artist Yoshitaka Amano from Final Fantasy I through Final Fantasy VI. Some key objects and concepts that have appeared in more than one Final Fantasy game include:. From the strong influence of history, literature, religion and mythology on the story to the frequent reappearance of certain monsters and items, these shared elements provide a unifying framework to the series.

Though each Final Fantasy story is independent, many themes and elements of gameplay recur throughout the series. In a way, the Final Fantasy franchise has been a creative showcase for Square's developers, and many elements originally introduced in the series have made their way into Square's other titles, most notably two of its other major franchises, SaGa and Seiken Densetsu. Many elements and themes would recur throughout the series, but there would be no direct sequels until the release of Final Fantasy X-2 in 2003. This unusual approach to sequels has continued throughout the series, with each Final Fantasy game introducing a new world, and a new system of gameplay.

Following the success of the first game, Square quickly began work on a sequel. Unlike a typical sequel, Final Fantasy II featured entirely different characters, with a setting and story bearing only thematic similarities to its predecessor. Far from being Square's last hurrah, however, Final Fantasy I reversed Square's lagging fortunes, and became Square's flagship franchise. Recognizing that the project could very well turn out to be Square's last game, the project was entitled Final Fantasy. At approximately the same time, Square designer Hironobu Sakaguchi began work on an ambitious new fantasy role playing game for the cartridge-based Famicom, inspired in part by Enix's popular Dragon Quest (also known as Dragon Warrior).

By 1987, declining interest in the FDS had placed Square on the verge of declaring bankruptcy. first entered the Japanese video game industry in the mid 1980s, developing a variety of simple RPGs for Nintendo's Famicom Disk System (FDS), a disk-based peripheral for the Family Computer (Famicom, known internationally as the Nintendo Entertainment System). Square Co., Ltd. As of early 2005, eleven games have been released as part of the main series, as well as several more spinoffs and related titles.

It is Square Enix's most successful franchise, having sold over 60 million units worldwide to date. Future installments will also appear on the Nintendo DS and PlayStation Portable. The first installment of the series premiered in Japan in 1987, and Final Fantasy games have subsequently been localized for markets in North America, Europe and Australia, on nearly every modern video game console, including the Nintendo Entertainment System, the MSX2, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, the Sony PlayStation, the WonderSwan Color, the PlayStation 2, IBM PC compatible, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo GameCube, and several different models of mobile phone. It may be the most widely distributed "game series" of all time, including both standard console games and portable games, a massive multiplayer online game, games for mobile phones, a computer-generated movie, two anime series, and an upcoming direct-to-DVD movie.

Final Fantasy (Japanese: ファイナルファンタジー Fainaru Fantajii) is a popular series of role playing games produced by Square Enix (originally Square Co., Ltd.). Part of the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII series. Cell-based OAV serving as a prequel to Final Fantasy VII from Zack's point of view. Last Order: Final Fantasy VIIforthcoming

    .

    Part of the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII series. CGI OAV serving as a sequel to Final Fantasy VII. Final Fantasy VII: Advent Childrenforthcoming

      . Released in North America by ADV Films in 2003.

      Original 25 episode television anime series featuring concepts and creatures from the Final Fantasy games. Final Fantasy: Unlimited — 2001

        . Directed by Hironobu Sakaguchi. Feature-length, theatrically released CGI movie featuring concepts and creatures from the Final Fantasy games.

        Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within — 2001

          . Released in North America by ADV Films in 1998. Anime OAV serving as a sequel to Final Fantasy V. Final Fantasy: Legend of the Crystals — 1994
            .

            Released in Japan as Final Fantasy I & II Advance. Remake of Final Fantasy I and Final Fantasy II with bonus quests and dungeons. Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls — 2004 — Nintendo Game Boy Advance

              . Released in North America and Europe in 2003 without any packaging extras.

              Compilation of the PlayStation remakes of Final Fantasy I and Final Fantasy II in special edition packaging with omake extras, under the title Final Fantasy I+II Premium Package. Final Fantasy Origins — 2002 — Sony PlayStation

                . Released only in North America, a compilation of the PlayStation remakes of Final Fantasy IV and the Super NES game Chrono Trigger. Final Fantasy Chronicles — 2001 — Sony PlayStation
                  .

                  European version – released in 2002, a compilation of the PlayStation remakes of Final Fantasy IV and Final Fantasy V. North American version – released in 1999, a compilation of the PlayStation remakes of Final Fantasy V and Final Fantasy VI with a special edition soundtrack CD. Final Fantasy Anthology — 1999/2002 — Sony PlayStation

                    . Never released in North America or Europe.

                    Compilation of the PlayStation remakes of Final Fantasy IV, Final Fantasy V and Final Fantasy VI in special edition packaging with omake extras. Final Fantasy Collection — 1999 — Sony PlayStation

                      . Never released in North America or Europe. Compilation of Final Fantasy I and Final Fantasy II on one cartridge.

                      Final Fantasy I.II — 1994 — Nintendo Family Computer

                        . Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core — 2006 (announced) — Sony PlayStation Portable. Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerberus — 2005 (announced) — Sony PlayStation 2. Final Fantasy VII: Before Crisis — 2004 — NTT DoCoMo FOMA 900i series mobile phones.

                        Compilation of Final Fantasy VII series

                          . Direct sequel to Final Fantasy X. Expanded "international edition" released for the PlayStation 2 in 2004. Final Fantasy X-2 — 2003 — Sony PlayStation 2
                            .

                            Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles — 2003 — Nintendo GameCube. Including Weapons, Moogles, and Items. Features Cloud, Yuffie, Cid, Aerith, Sephiroth from Final Fantasy VII, Squall and Selphie from Final Fantasy VIII, Tidus and Wakka from Final Fantasy X, As well as many other references to previous Final Fantasy Games. Sequel Currently in Production.

                            Game created by a working group of both Square and Disney. Kingdom Hearts — 2002 — Sony PlayStation 2

                              . Features Cloud Strife, Tifa Lockheart, Yuffie Kisaragi, Vincent, Sephiroth and Zack from Final Fantasy VII. Fighting game developed by Dream Factory and released by Square.

                              Ehrgeiz — 1998 — Sony PlayStation

                                . Chocobo Land — 2002 — Nintendo Game Boy Advance. Never released in North America or Europe. Chocobo Stallion — 1999 — Sony PlayStation
                                  .

                                  Racing game featuring characters from both Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon and the Final Fantasy series. Chocobo Racing — 1999 — Sony PlayStation

                                    . Released in North America as Chocobo's Dungeon 2. Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon 2 — 1998 — Sony PlayStation
                                      .

                                      Remade for the Bandai WonderSwan in 1999. Never released in North America or Europe. Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon — 1997 — Sony PlayStation

                                        . Chocobo series
                                          .

                                          Final Fantasy Tactics Advance — 2003 — Nintendo Game Boy Advance. Final Fantasy Tactics — 1997 — Sony PlayStation. Final Fantasy Tactics series

                                            . Released in Japan as Final Fantasy USA.

                                            Final Fantasy Mystic Quest — 1992 — Super Nintendo Entertainment System

                                              . Remade for the Nintendo Game Boy Advance as Shinyaku Seiken Densetsu (Sword of Mana in North America and Europe). Released in North America as Final Fantasy Adventure. Seiken Densetsu — 1991 — Nintendo Game Boy
                                                .

                                                Released in North America as Final Fantasy Legend III. SaGa III — 1993 — Nintendo Game Boy

                                                  . Released in North America as Final Fantasy Legend II. SaGa II — 1991 — Nintendo Game Boy
                                                    .

                                                    Remade for the WonderSwan Color in 2002. Released in North America as Final Fantasy Legend. Makaitoushi SaGa — 1989 — Nintendo Game Boy

                                                      . SaGa / Final Fantasy Legend series
                                                        .

                                                        Final Fantasy XII — 2005 (announced) — Sony PlayStation 2. Rise of the Zilart and Chains of Promathia were both included in the European release of the game in 2004. Rise of the Zilart was included as part of the original North American release of the game in 2003. Two expansion packs have been released: Final Fantasy XI: Rise of the Zilart (2003) and Final Fantasy XI: Chains of Promathia (2004).

                                                        Also known as Final Fantasy XI Online: it is the first MMORPG in the series. At E3 2005, an Xbox 360 port was announced. Ported to the PC in 2003. Final Fantasy XI — 2002 — Sony PlayStation 2

                                                          .

                                                          Not to be confused with the SGI demo produced alternatively called either Final Fantasy X or Final Fantasy SGI. Expanded "international edition" released for the PlayStation 2 in 2002. Final Fantasy X — 2001 — Sony PlayStation 2

                                                            . Final Fantasy IX — 2000 — Sony PlayStation.

                                                            Ported to the PC in 1999. Final Fantasy VIII — 1999 — Sony PlayStation

                                                              . First Final Fantasy title to be officially released in South Korea (PC version). First Final Fantasy title to be officially released in Europe.

                                                              Ported to the PC in 1998. Expanded "international edition" released for the PlayStation in 1998. Final Fantasy VII — 1997 — Sony PlayStation

                                                                . Released as a standalone game for the Sony PlayStation in Europe.

                                                                Included as part of Final Fantasy Anthology (North American version only). Ported to the Sony PlayStation in 1999. Originally released in North America as Final Fantasy III. Final Fantasy VI — 1994 — Nintendo Super Famicom/Super Nintendo Entertainment System

                                                                  .

                                                                  Included as part of Final Fantasy Anthology (North America and Europe). Ported to the Sony PlayStation in 1998. Unofficially translated by RPGe (1998). Original version was never released in North America or Europe.

                                                                  Final Fantasy V — 1992 — Nintendo Super Famicom

                                                                    . Included as part of Final Fantasy Chronicles (North America) and Final Fantasy Anthology (Europe). Ported to the Sony PlayStation in 1997 and remade for the WonderSwan Color in 2003. Final Fantasy IV Hardtype unofficially translated by J2E (1997, 2001).

                                                                    Remade and edited to reduce difficulty level as Final Fantasy IV Easytype (1992). Originally released in North America as Final Fantasy II. Final Fantasy IV — 1991 — Nintendo Super Famicom/Super Nintendo Entertainment System

                                                                      . Remake for the Nintendo DS is forthcoming 2005 and has been announced for release in North America and Europe.

                                                                      Original version was never released in North America or Europe. Final Fantasy III — 1990 — Nintendo Family Computer

                                                                        . Included as part of Final Fantasy Origins and Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls. Remade for the WonderSwan Color in 2001 and the Sony PlayStation in 2002.

                                                                        Reissued with Final Fantasy II as part of Final Fantasy I.II for the Family Computer in 1994. Original version was never released in North America or Europe. Final Fantasy II — 1988 — Nintendo Family Computer

                                                                          . Included as part of Final Fantasy Origins and Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls.

                                                                          Remade for the CDMA 1X WIN W21x series of mobile phones as Final Fantasy EZ. Remade for NTT DoCoMo FOMA 900i series of mobile phones as Final Fantasy i. Remade for the MSX2 in 1989, the WonderSwan Color in 2000, and the Sony PlayStation in 2002. Reissued with Final Fantasy II as part of Final Fantasy I.II for the Family Computer in 1994.

                                                                          Original version was released in Japan and North America, but not Europe. Final Fantasy I — 1987 — Nintendo Family Computer/Nintendo Entertainment System

                                                                            . In some games, the option to change the color of the tables is given. This screen is usually a very simple blue-table layout, with a gloved hand to select one's options.

                                                                            Menu Screen — This screen is used for navigating your party's status, equipment, magic, etc. In some cases, pre-rendered video was overlaid with real-time rendered field screen graphics (FMV-3D). They can either be pre-rendered video (FMV), or they can be executed in with the same engine as the field screens. Cutscenes — These scenes are non-interactive playback that usually advances the plot.

                                                                            The world screen was eliminated in Final Fantasy X. These are usually not to scale, as a character may appear the size of a small mountain. Relatively little plot occurs here, but there are exceptions. World screen — A low-scale screen used to symbolize traveling great distances in times that would otherwise slow the game down unacceptably plot-wise. Final Fantasy XII will do away with "scene-battles": battle sequences will occur on the main field screen.

                                                                            In Final Fantasy VII and later, these screens are fully 3D, but very restricted in size. (For example, a random battle in a desert gets a desert backdrop.) Plot-relevant battles (as opposed to battling random monsters) may have a specially built battle screen/arena, however. Battle screens — Battles occur on a separate type of screen (or arena), usually with a change of scale and a backdrop "arena" that usually generically represents where the battle is occurring in the game. Final Fantasy X used a completely 3D field screen system, which allowed the camera angle to change as the characters moved about.

                                                                            Final Fantasy VII, VIII, and IX used pre-rendered and pre-painted backgrounds over which 3D models were overlaid. Prior to Final Fantasy VII, they were pseudo-orthographic, using a simple 2D engine. Final Fantasy VII marked the point that Final Fantasy would have realistic computer graphics, while Dragon Warrior stayed with anime style cel-shaded graphics. Dialog mostly occurs on these screens.

                                                                            Field screens — These are where the main interaction between the characters occurs, and indeed most of the exploration of the world occurs on these screens. Rebellion — Story-wise, many entries in the Final Fantasy series feature a plotline about rebellion against either an economical, political, or religious power (Final Fantasy II 's Emperor of Palamecia, Final Fantasy VI 's Gestahl's Empire, Final Fantasy VII 's Shinra Corp., Final Fantasy VIII 's Sorceress, and Final Fantasy X 's Yu-Yevon, to name a few). Crystals — Most Final Fantasy games feature some obscure reference to elemental crystals, and the stories of Final Fantasy I, Final Fantasy III, Final Fantasy IV, Final Fantasy V, and Final Fantasy IX, Final Fantasy XI, and Final Fantasy Tactics Advance revolve around such Crystals. The motion picture Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within also featured a character named "Sid," presumably an alternate spelling of the more traditional "Cid." In a similar vein, characters named Biggs and Wedge (homages to the Star Wars characters Biggs Darklighter and Wedge Antilles) have appeared in Final Fantasy VI to Final Fantasy X-2 (inclusive).

                                                                            Although he is never the same individual, he is usually presented as an owner, creator, and/or pilot of airships. Character names — A character named "Cid" has been present in every Final Fantasy game since Final Fantasy II. Lastly, summoned monsters (also known as Espers, Guardian Forces, Eidolons, or Aeons) such as Bahamut, Shiva, Ifrit, Leviathan and Ramuh have appeared in almost every title in the series. Certain monsters also reappear frequently, including Goblins, Tonberrys and Cactuars.

                                                                            Creatures/monsters — Creatures such as Chocobos and Moogles have appeared in most games in the series. While these are present in many console RPGs, Final Fantasy also has a standard list of items which may be used to cure specific ailments; for example the "Echo Screen" cures silence and "Soft" cures petrification. Status ailments and cures: Characters in Final Fantasy games are usually subject to a number of standard "status ailments" which cause deleterious effects, including silence, poison, petrification and confusion. Later additions have included blue magic (sometimes referred to as "Lore" or "Enemy skill"), which incorporates specific special attacks learned from monsters, and time/space magic, which includes status affecting spells such as "Haste," "Slow," or "Warp.".

                                                                            White magic and black magic represent healing/support and attack magic, respectively, while red magic incorporates elements of both healing and attack magic, at reduced effectiveness. Magical styles — Magic in the Final Fantasy series is generally divided into different schools, which are usually named after a specific color. In Final Fantasy X-2, the "Dresssphere" system actually allowed a player to switch a character's job during the middle of a fight. Additionally, several installments in the series (Final Fantasy III, Final Fantasy V, and Final Fantasy Tactics) have utilized a "Job" system wherein the player is able to switch character classes in between battles.

                                                                            Even in games where the player is not given the choice of choosing class alignment, these classes often play an important background role in the story. Character classes and the Job system — Playable character classes have included the Fighter, White, Black, Red, and Blue Mages, Black Belt, Thief and Mime. In many games, most notably Final Fantasy IV and Final Fantasy IX, the presence of airships is a key component to the story itself. Airships — Powerful airborne vessels which usually serve as a primary mode of transportation for the player.

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