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Final Fantasy Release Dates
Japan Releases | Japan Releases for Gameboy | U.S. Releases | Spinoffs

I hated having to fight malboros. But I had to in FF-VIII, because I needed the malboro tentacles for an ultimate weapon or two. And Square (Enix was not in the picture then) made sure that players have a devil of a time getting those tentacles. In case you're not familiar with malboros, they hit you with every single possible negative status effect in the game (okay, fine, I never really checked them off a list, but you know what I mean), which often renders your characters unplayable.

I used to call malboros as "marlboros" until my sister corrected me. And then I saw this malboro graphic while I was surfing teh internetz one day, and I had to have it.

That's also one way of knowing who is a Final Fantasy gamer. If you come across the name Malboro and think of the cigarettes, then you haven't played this game.

So that's my little ditty about that graphic there. Here's a set of monumental Final Fantasy dates. No, you won't get tested on these. This information came from the Game Informer Final Fantasy Special Edition. I might sell my copy of it if I'm really broke and have a must-shop-'til-the-buzzing-in-my-ears-stop trance. Or if it starts selling for obscenely excessive amounts of money on eBay. Whichever goes first. The list starts out by with the dates when the Final Fantasy games were released in Japan. Why? Because I feel like it. And because everytime a Final Fantasy game gets released in Japan, I feel the extreme urge to learn Japanese just so I can play the latest game. So there.

Some of the latest releases may not be on here. Because I'm lazy like that.

In Japan:

Final Fantasy- December 1987
Final Fantasy II- December 1988
Final Fantasy III- April 1990
Final Fantasy IV- July 1991
Final Fantasy V- December 1992
Final Fantasy VI- April 1994
Final Fantasy VII- Semptember 1997
Final Fantasy VIII- September 1999
Final Fantasy IX- July 2000
Final Fantasy X- July 2001
Final Fantasy X-2- March 2003
Final Fantasy XI- May 2002
Final Fantasy Mystic Quest (Final Fantasy USA in Japan)- September 1993
Final Fantasy Anthology- December 1998
Final Fantasy Collection- March 1999
Final Fantasy Chronicles- July 2000
Final Fantasy Origins- October 2002
Final Fantasy Tactics- June 1997
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance- February 2003

And here's a list of release dates for the Final Fantasy games for GameBoy (yep, in Japan). I was traumatized when I found out that these aren't really known as Final Fantasy games in Japan. Turns out Square changed the names and the elements of the games so that they can appeal to the U.S. audience. In Japan, the Final Fantasy Legend series is known as SaGa and the Final Fantasy Adventure game is known as Seiken Densetsu. I feel cheated. That means I really fell in love with the SaGa series (doesn't sound as romantic as the name Final Fantasy). But I tried playing the SaGa games on Playstation. I really did. It didn't work out.

Final Fantasy Legend (Makaitoushi SaGa in Japan)- December 1989
Final Fantasy Legend II (SaGa 2 Hihoudensetsu in Japan)- December 1990
Final Fantasy Legend III (Seiken Densetsu in Japan)- May 1991
Final Fantasy Adventure (Seiken Densetsu in Japan)- December 1991

And of course, here are the Final Fantasy U.S. release dates. This is where you realize that there had been holes in the game releases. Basically, until Final Fantasy Origins came out, Final Fantasy II was never released before. And until Final Fantasy Chronicles came out, Final Fantasy IV was never released before. Everything's fine and dandy now because Square remastered them and re-released them on Playstation. But whaddabout Final Fantasy III?! Are we doomed to twiddle our thumbs and wait? Okay, times like these, I really want to learn Japanese...and maybe get a Nintendo FamiCom. Whee.

In the U.S.:

Final Fantasy- July 1990
Final Fantasy II (Final Fantasy IV in Japan)- November 1991
Final Fantasy III (Final Fantasy VI in Japan)- October 1994
Final Fantasy VII- September 1997
Final Fantasy VIII- September 1999
Final Fantasy IX- November 2000
Final Fantasy X- December 2001
Final Fantasy X-2- November 2003
Final Fantasy Mystic Quest (Final Fantasy USA in Japan)- October 1992
Final Fantasy Anthology- October 1999
Final Fantasy Chronicles- July 2001
Final Fantasy Origins- April 2003
Final Fantasy Tactics- January 1998
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance- September 2003
Final Fantasy VII (PC CD-ROM)- May 1998
Final Fantasy VIII (PC CD-ROM)- January 2000

There's also a bunch of Final Fantasy spinoff games. Yeah, as if it wasn't enough that we have to shell out money for all these "real" Final Fantasy games (and some pseudo-Final Fantasy games like the ones for GameBoy...), we have to shell out money for these spinoff games too. Why, you ask? Why can't we just say no? Because we're addicted, that's why. Having a Final Fantasy-related game out there is like having an itch that wouldn't go away. Ever.

In Japan:

Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon- December 1997
Chocobo Racing- March 1999
Ehrgeiz- December 1998
Kingdom Hearts- March 2003

Yeah, Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon was released only in Japan. But I'm not as upset as not having Final Fantasy III in my grubby paws. Maybe because I always thought chocobos are a little weird. Sure, they're a Final Fantasy hallmark, but there's just something about them...

In the U.S.:

Chocobo's Dungeon 2- December 1999
Chocobo Racing- 1999
Ehrgeiz- March 1999
Kingdom Hearts- September 2002

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