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In December of 1990, Final Fantasy 4 was released for the Super Nintendo with the name Final Fantasy 2. Why did Square name it part 2 instead of part 4? Well, Square had only released Final Fantasy 1 for the NES, they skipped the original Final Fantasy 2 & 3. Final Fantasy 2 (US) blew RPG fans away! It was the first RPG for the SNES. If you're still confused with the whole misnaming, here's a chart to make things easier for you:
Final Fantasy (NES)
US released (90's)
Final Fantasy (NES)
US released (early/mid 2000's)
Final Fantasy Origins, as Final Fantasy (PSX)
The complete Final Fantasy Anthology was only released in Japan for PSX. This anthology included ports of Final Fantasy 4-6. The only changes made were CGI animated sequences added to the beginning and end of the games, except Final Fantasy 4 only has one in the ending. The Final Fantasy Anthology that was released in the US in September of 1999 only included Final Fantasy 5 & 6. Why? Well, Square thought the anthology wouldn't be a big hit over here, so they decided not the invest the funds to include Final Fantasy 4.
The Wonderswan Color system (WSC for short) was Japan's petty competition to Gameboy Advance. Before Gameboy Advance's popularity crushed the WSC, Square was porting over several of their popular SNES games to it. One of them was Final Fantasy 4, released in March of 2002. The graphics have been slightly improved for this release. I have screenshots from this release.
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The US Final Fantasy Anthology turned out to be a hit. Square finally decided to bring over the anthology's Final Fantasy 4 in June of 2001. They bundled it with Chrono Trigger and released them with the title Final Fantasy Chronicles. And Square did something new with it, exclusive only to the US! They retranslated the script, supposedly being true to the original Japanese script, revealing all the things they cut out from the heavily censored SNES US release. Probably the main highlight of this release is the gorgeous CGI animated sequence added to the ending.
Years later on December 12, 2005, Square-Enix released a further improved version of Final Fantasy 4 for the Gameboy Advance. Firstly, it's properly translated; although the famous "Spoony bard" line is still there, but that's something that should remain. The graphics don't look much different from the WSC version. New features include several new bosses, two new dungeons, mini-games, a bestiary, increased difficulty, and the ability to recruit additional party members near the final moments. The image toward the right is the exclusive-to-Japan-FF4-themed Gameboy Advance. I have screenshots from this release.
Final Fantasy IV for the Nintendo DS was released July 22, 2008. It is entirely recreated in 3D! Similar to the previous remake of Final Fantasy III on the Nintendo DS, the control of the stylus is limited and optional in order to retain the same control input while allowing other players to use the Nintendo DS's unique touch control scheme. This remake introduces the Augment System, which allows for certain character-only abilities to be transferred to other characters who did not have them in the original and previous releases of Final Fantasy IV. Other new features include command menu customization, stylus-control mini-games, new game plus, bestiary, and a video/music player.
*I have screenshots, trailers, and official art.
Final Fantasy IV: The After Years, released in Japan as Final Fantasy IV the After: Tsuki no Kikan ("Final Fantasy IV the After: Return of the Moon") is an RPG developed by Matrix Software and published by Square Enix, and is the sequel to Final Fantasy IV. The first two chapters of the game were released in Japan in February 2008 for NTT DoCoMo FOMA 903i series phones, with a release for au WIN BREW compatible phones in May 2008 and Yahoo! Keitai compatible phones in November 2008. The mobile phone release was distributed in monthly installments, the first of which was free to download, while the following chapters available via subscription. An English-language release was announced as a WiiWare title on March 25, 2009. The first chapter was released in North America on June 1, 2009, and in the PAL regions on June 5, 2009. There are nine chapters in total.
*I have the trailer and official art for this release.
Released for the Sony PSP in April 2011, Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection is a compilation consisting of enhanced ports of the role-playing video games Final Fantasy IV and Final Fantasy IV: The After Years, as well as a new scenario called Final Fantasy IV Interlude, which is set between the two games.
In September 2021, Square-Enix released the Final Fantasy IV Pixel Remaster for Steam and mobile (iOS and Android). The Pixel Remaster features universally updated 2D pixel graphics, including character pixel designs created by Kazuko Shibuya, the original artist and current collaborator. All tracks have been remade, overseen by the original composer Nobuo Uematsu. The UI has been modernized. A new auto-battle feature was added to make random battles less of a chore. A 'boost' feature was added that allows you to increase the money, experience, and AP you earn.
Pixel Remasters for consoles
The Pixel Remaster was generally well received. Not everyone was a fan of the new pixel characters. The biggest complaint was the tiny font used for dialogue and the UI, which was difficult to read and had no resemblance to the original pixel-based font. I have a page with screenshots if you want to see the tiny font. Steam users were able to remedy this by installing custom-made fonts.
A year later, in April 2023 the Final Fantasy IV Pixel Remaster was released for Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4. It can be purchased individually or as a Final Fantasy 1-6 bundle. Square-Enix had promised this version would offer a pixel-based font. The new font was an improvement, but fans still weren't happy with it. It wasn't nostalgic and it still wasn't easy to read. Nevertheless, that didn't stop people from buying the Pixel Remasters. They allowed us to finally have the opportunity to play the classic Final Fantasy games on modern platforms.
In this epic adventure, the kingdom of Baron seeks to rule but wants the position of power a little too much for anyone's liking. Cecil, a Dark Knight in the Service of Baron sees this and questions the King. His interference gets him and his best friend Kain kicked out of the castle and without employment. These two friends have many adventures together, involving many different characters and many twists of fate. The 8 crystals, in the dark and light worlds, are in danger of being obtained by Golbez, the supreme evil power.
It's a masterpiece. The soundtrack is so good that I still occasionally listen to it in my spare time. The music blends well with the events that take place. The storyline was very well written and carries the qualities that Squaresoft is known for. The only drawback (that is if you're the type who doesn't like difficult classic RPGs) is that the game gets hard! Of course, the beginning of the game is easy, but as you progress the challenge of the battles slowly rises. The final boss is so difficult that you can't just barge in when you reach his lair. You need to run around and level up like 50 levels before you even think about challenging him. ^^;;
What a great game! I first played Final Fantasy 2 US a year or two after Final Fantasy 3 US came out. I bought it used from Funcoland. I remember enjoying it so much. The storyline blew me away. Final Fantasy 3 US was the main reason that convinced me to give Final Fantasy 2 US a try. Final Fantasy 3 US impressed me so much, I was so eager to play the Final Fantasy before it. Final Fantasy 2 US met my expectations and gave me much satisfaction. The only thing that let me down was the game's difficulty. Towards the end of the game, battles were so tedious! That was then - now it's easy for me.
I still consider this segment in the Final Fantasy series to be the most challenging. Nintendo Power also influenced me to play Final Fantasy 2 US. They made such a cool review about it, they put lots of pretty pictures and screenshots in it. No person influenced me to play it. RPGs weren't popular as I grew up, I was alone with my interests. A year or two after I played Final Fantasy 2 US, I learned the shocking truth that its real name was actually Final Fantasy 4 (in Japan). Furthermore, I was shocked that Final Fantasy 4's true sequel was Final Fantasy 5, not the Final Fantasy 3 that we knew in the US (since they skipped Final Fantasy 5 here in the 90s). Well, those are all my Final Fantasy 2 US memories. It is such a great masterpiece alongside its console brothers and portable sisters.
Final Fantasy 2 US was heavily censored and Americanized. Everything that Square felt was too violent or too sexual was removed. But thanks to a fan-based translation group known as J2e Translations, we can now enjoy a 100% uncensored, completely accurate translation of SNES Final Fantasy 4. It was released in July of 2001. I don't think you should bother playing Final Fantasy 2 US anymore, the retranslation is much better. You might be asking yourself, “Well, Squaresoft retranslated the script for Final Fantasy Chronicles and Gameboy Advance. How would I know which one is the truest to the Japanese original script?” Well, I for one trust the judgment and skills of the members of J2e Translations, so I consider theirs to be one that can be trusted. Ultimately, it all depends on your preferences with gaming, whether or not you should prefer the J23's retranslation or Squaresoft's retranslation. Anyway, you can grab J2e's retranslation from the Downloads section. All the shots in the screenshots section were captured from it (it uses a different font than FF2 US).