Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Which Final Fantasy Spin-Off Is Right For You? Four Heroes of Light Edition

The Final Fantasy spin-off retrospective chugs along today, this time with the 2010 Nintendo DS game Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light.

Less of a spin-off and more of a reboot of the series proper, this game takes the plot of Final Fantasy I-III and mixes in a few sprinkles of old school punishing game play and a restrictive inventory system to add to the charm/challenge. The story follows the 4 heroes of light as they fight to rid the world of evil demonic forces. Along the way, Satan turns someone into a parrot and your hero is turned into a plant. Clearly, some liberties were taken with the plot of this reboot...

(Warning: Many a spoiler follows below!)

The Basic Plot: At the ripe old age of 14, you present yourself to the king as part of a coming-of-age ceremony. When you arrive, said king tasks you with rescuing his kidnapped daughter. This routine task kicks off a string of hilarious misadventures that ultimately culminates in a battle with the prince of darkness himeslf.

The More Elaborate Plot: Chaos - the original and recurring baddie from many a Final Fantasy game - came into existence 300 years before the story of The 4 Heroes of Light began and fostered darkness in the hearts of men. This pissed off the great dragons of the realm, who apparently had other plans for the hearts of men, so they sent Chaos and his demon army packing.

285 years later, Chaos slips his imprisonment and the king's hero Garland Rolan is sent to stop the force of darkness but is instead corrupted by it. No one really notices or cares until you come along but by then they have bigger problems to deal with by then. Namely: a witch who kidnaps the princess, a rogue minotaur, Satan (who turns the king into a parrot a la Super Mario Brothers 3 and takes his place on the throne), a curse which turns the people of the entire kingdom to stone, a gang of pirates, a trapped treasure chest that turns the princess into a cat, judgmental and disappointed dragons, an army of demons, and- finally- a time loop.

It's small wonder that your characters have a hankering to kick Chaos's ass at the end of all of this...

What The Game Was Supposed To Look Like / What It Really Looked Liked:

You’re A Hero Because: Just after hitting puberty, you stumble into the wrong place at the wrong time and are immediately recognized by a grief-stricken king to be the very hero who can save his daughter. In reality, the monarch is Satan in disguise and he is sending you on a false quest to further his own goals. So, about that whole "hero" thing...

The Villain Is A Dick Because: He wears a jaunty top hat and exists only to tempt mankind into darkness and evil. Also, he commands Beelzebub, Belphegor, Mammon, and Lucifer which when combined with his outfit pretty much makes him the grand-daddy of all things fashionable and evil.

You Need To Stop Him/Her, Or Else: For once, the world as you know it will not be destroyed...

...but the souls of everyone in it will belong to Chaos. No word on what will happen to the legendary crystals, but you can safely assume they'll probably be toast.

Notable Additions To The Franchise: A punishingly restrictive inventory management system, 4-player Wireless co-op mode.

This Game Is Perfect For:
Those who love reboots of previously successful franchises, fans of old school Final Fantasy gameplay, plot, and difficulty.