There's no denying that Square Enix's first MMORPG Final Fantasy XI is starting to show its age. Despite being equal parts beautiful and inspiring (with music to match), the game launched 11 years ago and still supports the PlayStation 2 as a valid platform. As such, it can't hope to compete with the gorgeous graphics of its MMO successor Final Fantasy XIV (when it relaunches...) but it's still receiving a brand new expansion later this year.
Still, there are some players who feel that FFXI's age should be embraced rather than ignored, and one of these talented folk decided to give the game the 8-bit treatment. That's right: an 11-year-old MMORPG is going 8-bit.
Final Fantasy XI Fanmade RPG is an attempt to rebuild the game world of Final Fantasy XI in a fully customized version of RPG Maker. Trinnity, the player on FFXI's Bahamut server responsible for the project, states that it will be a single-player version of FFXI with character customization (race, gender) available at the start of the game.
It won't be an MMO - which is good news for those who no longer have the time for MMOs - and will feature a character recruitment system and a basic RPG battle system similar to Breath of Fire. If it has a retro soundtrack to match, I'll be playing from day one!
If you're interested in following Trinnity's project, there's a Facebook page and the original FFXIAH thread tracking his progress. In addition to the basic quests, zones, and jobs of the original vanilla version of the game, he's planning to go at least four expansions into FFXI's considerable content (Rise of the Zilart, Chains of Promathia, Treasures of Aht Urhgan, and Wings of the Goddess) with a crafting mechanic that might even match the intricacies the system that FFXI players have come to know, love, and hate.
There's no expected release date for this game just yet, but I think it's already a strong contender for Kawaiian Punch's 2013 Game of the Year. Suck on that, Fire Emblem: Awakening!
(I'm just kidding, Awakening. I could never be mad at you!)