Debunking The Final Fantasy Naming Myth

Debunking The Final Fantasy Naming Myth

For years, no, decades, a legend has sprung up around the title Final Fantasy. It says that Square, which was in dire straits, thought this was going to be its last game — hence, Final Fantasy. The game’s creator, Hironobu Sakaguchi, says that myth is wrong.

Picture: Mega64

As reported by Famitsu (via Game Kana), Sakaguchi recently gave a talk about the history of JRPGs. According to Sakaguchi, the original idea was to give the game a title that could be abbreviated to “FF” in English (in Japanese, that is pronounced as “efu efu”). It’s a nice sounding abbreviation to Japanese ears.

Debunking The Final Fantasy Naming Myth

The word “fantasy” in Final Fantasy has always made sense. These games are fantasy. But the word “final” has always been a sticking point for some players. The legend surrounding the game’s name, however, explains why “final” is used.

However, the original title was going to be Fighting Fantasy. At that same time, there was board game by the same name. (Here, I’m assuming Famitsu is referring to the single-player Fighting Fantasy roleplaying books, which spawned board games.) Because of this, the title was changed to Final Fantasy.

Debunking The Final Fantasy Naming Myth

“Final” (ファイナル or “fainaru”) is a famous word in Japan, so for the game’s creators, it was probably a logical “F” word to pick.

So what does Sakaguchi say to the notion that this was conceived as the companys final project? “Those days definitely seemed like end times, but honestly, any word that started with ‘F’ would have been fine.”

So… Fabulous Fantasy? Fearless Fantasy? Fluffy Fantasy? Nah, glad they went with “final,” even if Square Enix keeps pumping them out.

Actually, wait. Is it too late to change the name to Forever Fantasy?


    • It seems like the complete opposite problem to me. One of them indicates an end and hasn’t, the other was never meant to end, but did.

  • But but….
    Wasnt there a FF release with a bonus disk which had him retelling this myth?
    Wasnt it… hmm.. FF10 perhaps?

    • Hah so I was right. It wasn’t Square, it was Sakaguchi (see my post below).

  • I hadn’t heard it was Square/Squaresoft’s one last attempt at it, but more it was Hironobu Sakaguchi himself’s one last attempt at it.

    Either way it seems like this is wrong. The real story is nowhere near as interesting as the now debunked myth.

  • Hm? Comments got removed…
    Anyway.. the FFX bonus disc comes with interviews.
    It recorded with him saying that he was deciding to leave the industry and his last game would be called “final fantasy” and that the ‘final’ part was a tribute to himself.

    • I was going to say the same thing. That is one of the few things I remember from that bonus disc. (along with Nobuo Uematsu composing music in the reception room)

  • Proofing at its finest.
    There’s an apostrophe that links to another article…

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