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Final Fantasy was made in 1987 by Hironubu Sakaguchi and was actually made as a farewell "present" to Square Co. Ltd. He felt that the gaming world was going in circles and that no-one wanted to take any chances with a new type of game. So he decided to quit the buisness and start a new career doing something completely different, maybe becomong a fisherman. But before he could do this he needed to prove to both himself and the rest of the world that the age of groundbreaking games was not over. He sat down and worked over a long period in secret on his last project ever. His last dream. His Final Fantasy. And so the name was created. Final Fantasy was a single man's last wish for proving that new things could still be made. And so far every single FF game has improved the gaming world in ways no-one could imagine. Every game has introduced something new in terms of graphics, gameplay, voices & music, engine... You name it, Final Fantasy has always been the first to go in new directions. And that is how it should be. The moment Hironubu Sakaguchi feels the games are copying themselves he is going to quit and become a fisherman.
I have always been a great fan of the series, and I have played every single one of them. It is amazing to see how big the plot in the first game actually is (this game is very difficult to get a hold on), and how large the world is. If I was to pick a favourite all-time Final Fantasy story it would have to be that of FF X, but if I was to choose the most immense game on account of the time it was made, characters in the game, world, gameplay, feel and background it would be FF VI. No other game using the old FF engine was even close to that gem, and it is still one of the best-loved FF games by fans all over the globe... until now.
Delita Hyral X is the nickname for a man who has devoted large amounts of his life to creating a completely new Final Fantasy game with the old engine. I find it truly remarkable that a single man can create a game that lives up to the high standards set by the Final Fantasy games. Not only does Endless Nova live up to the name, it ranks up there with FF VI!
Like any other FF game with respect for itself, Final Fantasy - Endless Nova is set in a completely unique and detailed universe. Delita Hyral X has looked up at the sky and invented a whole civilisation amongst the stars, and by doing that he has moved the series to a new level - just as it should be. The inhabitants of this world live in a solar system with a sun that has entered the beginning stages of a supernova. For some unknown reason the sun does not explode, and years go by with all the people forgetting about the impending danger. A great war that took place over 400 years ago left a once mighty nation in ruins. For decades the once proud people wander the planet Coyas aimlessly, not managing to begin a new civilisation. Then an unknown scientist discovers the secrets of space travel and a way to make asteroids habitable, and the people start migrating to outer space. And thus the mighty asteroid colony of Finel Capital is born. As they start to explore the solar system, they discover that it is surrounded by an impenetrable asteroid/debris dome. This dome traps them from the rest of the universe, and thus the name Hells Dome was given.
You start the game as the carefree young Deren, previously a soldier under the command of the evil Sho. Sho left you to die on an asteroid after you refused to follow his orders. There you teamed up with the android Motor, who was discarded for being faulty, and you have stood against Sho's dictation ever since. One day you get a chance to make life a little bit worse for Sho, as a friend of yours has been taken by Sho's soldiers. He stole a weapon prototype your friend was working on, and now you have to bring it back before Sho uses it on innocent people. Needless to say, things doesn't go exactly as planned, and you find yourself hunted all over Hells Dome. You will, however, get away from Sho with the weapon prototype, but also with a new team member; a small girl who has lost her memory. Feeling sorry for her, you decide to try and help her to the best of your abilty. Your first idea is to take her to a doctor who once saved your own life. He lives in another city, on a different asteroid. Seeing as you can't stay long in the same place, you decide to make him the first stop on your journey. The fact that she looks different to any human in Hells Dome doesn't help your escape. You will have to keep a low profile and disguise her as best you can.
This is how the hunt of your lives begins. It is a hunt that will make you travel across the whole of the known universe, and even beyond into the unknown. You will team up with others along the way, and together you will fight for god, country, universe and most importantly for friendship and love.
The game is truly immense. There are 7 different playable characters, each of whom uses different weapons and has unique special abilities. There are about 300 different maps to explore, as well as many mini quests (and also a working arcade and casino), not to mention the items, weapons and armor available in the game. As with every Final Fantasy game, you must try to make the most out of every character. This means that you cannot have it all, instead you will have to compromise - should he or she get more Vitality at the cost of a low Speed? Should you try to enhance the good attributes further, or should you try to make the character balanced? Whatever you decide on, it had better work as there are lots of different mosters loose in Hells Dome. Some of these are FF regulars and are known to players all over the globe ever since the first Final Fantasy game, such as the Bomb. Others are completely new.
The graphics used are the ones you may remember from FF VI, with a very practical combination of first person view mode in the combats and a eagle-eye perspective in every other scene. I don't want to think about how long it has taken him to make every building, scenery and persons (i.e. EVERYTHING) in pixels! It is enough for me to know that he has really put his heart into making a game worthy of the Final Fantasy name. Most of the music is taken from other FF games (this is done do enhance the feeling of playing an actual game), but some of the music is made from scratch. This self-created music is in my opinion the best in the game. Take for instance the intro.
What I feel makes this game so special is the plot and history. Everyone can make a game using an old engine, but not many can make a story that is compelling, deep and surprising at times. You will see each of the characters in the game evolve throughout the game, and show more of their personalities as the story progresses. Each of the characters will grow on you, and you will begin to think of them as living, breething humans - and not some two-dimensional game personas. The story is also rich in details, and Delita Hyral X has managed to give the player small bits of information throughout the game without giving the ending away. The story will also separate the team from time to time, so you will have to play with every character in the game at least once.
If there is one thing that may be negative in this game (for some), it is the length. One can play through it in 10-12 hours. This may to some seem like a short time, but the game has a huge replay value. With 7 characters there are almost unlimited team-ups you can use. And there are also numerous mini-quests to be solved. To top it all off, the game has not been abandoned. It gets updated reguarly, and the version currently available here is 2.0. The biggest difference in this newer version is some new midi tracks, a love-point system (based on how you answer questions), a completely new side-quest and an extra scene during the ending (you will need a special item to see this one). The game hasn't suffered from being a bit longer, but I feel it has just the correct size to make you want to play it again and again.
In conclusion; Final Fantasy - Endless Nova has managed to uphold the high standards needed to use the name Final Fantasy. It is a game that will be loved by fans of the series, and a game that even Hironubu Sakaguchi would be proud of. If this game does not appear on your play-list, there is something really wrong with society. Everyone will be able to relate to one of the characters, and everyone will be able to complete this magnificent game. Delita Hyral X... you have my respect!
1. Install RPG Maker 2000 on your machine, and let it update your settings.
Review by: Tom Henrik
Safe for all ages
You need to install RPG Maker 2000