Final Fantasy is a fantasy role-playing video game developed and published by Square in 1987. It is the first game in Square's Final Fantasy series, created by Hironobu Sakaguchi. Originally released for the NES, Final Fantasy was remade for several video game consoles and is frequently packaged with Final Fantasy II in video game collections. The story follows four youths called the Light Warriors, who each carry one of their world's four elemental orbs which have been darkened by the four Elemental Fiends. Together, they quest to defeat these evil forces, restore light to the orbs, and save their world.
The game was originally going to be called Fighting Fantasy, but the name was changed to Final Fantasy when the development team discovered Fighting Fantasy was the title of a series of single-player roleplay gamebooks.
Square believed the game would be the last title they ever released, as the company faced bankruptcy. Instead, the game was a great commercial success, received generally positive reviews, and spawned many successful sequels and supplementary titles in the form of the Final Fantasy series. The original is now regarded as one of the most influential and successful role-playing games on the Nintendo Entertainment System, playing a major role in popularizing the genre. Critical praise focused on the game's graphics, while criticism targeted the time spent wandering in search of random battle encounters to raise the player's experience level. By March 2003, all versions of Final Fantasy had sold a combined total of two million copies worldwide.
Final Fantasy takes place in a fantasy world with three large continents. The elemental powers on this world are determined by the state of four orbs, each governing one of the four classical elements: earth, fire, water, and wind. The world of Final Fantasy is inhabited by numerous races, including Humans, Elves, Dwarves, Mermaids, Dragons, and Robots. Most non-Human races have only one "town" in the game, although individuals are sometimes found in Human towns or other areas as well. Four hundred years prior to the start of the game, the Lefeinish people, who used the Power of Wind to craft airships and a giant space station (called the Floating Castle in the game), watched their country decline as the Wind Orb went dark. Two hundred years later, violent storms sank a massive shrine that served as the center of an ocean-based civilization, and the Water Orb went dark. The Earth Orb and the Fire Orb followed, plaguing the earth with raging wildfires, and devastating the agricultural town of Melmond as the plains and vegetation decayed. Some time later, the sage Lukahn tells of a prophecy that four Light Warriors will come to save the world in a time of darkness.