Final Fantasy Friday: An Un-Final Fantasy Question??

A Final Fantasy (et al) post to welcome you to the glory of Friday (if you don’t have weekends off then may this hopefully brighten the midst of your work week) with more located here!

I made my monthly trek to the bookstore today and picked up a manga based on a recommendation from Mr. Panda and the Well-Red Mage.  It’s for a non-Final Fantasy video game (trust me…I looked to see if they had any Final Fantasy manga, alas, they do not), and when I got home, I did my reading for the day, which included a book about the same non-Final Fantasy video game.  This started the gears in my head turning, because I realized but for Final Fantasy, this would probably be my favorite RPG (like) game.  So this week’s question is thus…


What is your favorite non-Final Fantasy RPG?

If it wasn’t for Final Fantasy, I’d be in more love with The Legend of Zelda, not that I don’t love that series for all its magnificence and music (speaking of which “Hero of Light” aka the end credits from Link to the Past just came on my iPhone).  This is the manga I bought today.

Barnes and Noble has a wonderfully sprawling manga section, but I had no idea Zelda manga even existed.  It was between this one and Majora’s Mask, which I’ll probably purchase next.

I’ve always pegged MM as my favorite Zelda, but I’m not sure anymore.  Twilight Princess is pretty high up there.  I plan to rewatch let’s plays for them all in chronological order when I finish reading Hyrule Historia, but I’ll talk more about this in my State of the Gamer post,

Now, you could argue that Zelda is not an RPG, and it is a debatable point.  I’ve always thought of it as an action-adventure/puzzle game with RPG elements.  Link doesn’t really have a personality outside of being “the Hero,” and he literally serves as a “link” between the player and the game.  You’re not going along for the ride as you do in Final Fantasy and other JRPGs, but rather steering the boat.  Where RPGs like FF are more like the books of the video game world, Legend of Zelda could be considered more of a Choose Your Own Adventure, which…is technically still a book, huh.

Anyway, I think you understand what I mean, but Zelda has enough RPG elements to qualify in my opinion, but Chrono Trigger would be another contender for my favorite non-Final Fantasy RPG, but I wanted to pick a non-Squeenix one as well.  CT has the time loop element like Zelda and FF (it does…look at the first and eighth game, though there’s much more to this assessment than just surface analysis), epic music (or should I say Epoch music), and numerous endings depending on what you do (choose your own ending).  Quite a few of my friends claim this as their favorite RPG, and I can hardly blame them.  I rank it among the greats based on “Time Circuits” alone.

Okay…so this is a little creepy.  I always thought this song was called “Time Circuits,” but when I looked it up, it appears to also have the moniker “Enhasa,” which refers to the Kingdom of Zeal also called the City of Dreams.  One of the books I’m reading just referred to a City of Dreams, as well.  Always wheels within wheels with me or I read so many books and play so many games that coincidences are just bound to occur…like how in the book store I saw a novel called Calamity and immediately thought “Is it from the sky?”  IT WAS!  I literally lolled in the middle of Barnes and Noble.

So what’s your favorite non-Final Fantasy RPG or your favorite RPG is a Final Fantasy is not your favorite.  Let’s discuss in the comments!

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67 thoughts on “Final Fantasy Friday: An Un-Final Fantasy Question??

  1. *cough cough*

    Other than the one I’m always babbling on about (and the other one I’m always babbling about), I also really love Zelda, particularly Twilight Princess. I never really classified it as an RPG, but why not? You project onto the character, collect tons of stuff, level up… hm…. I’m actually really afraid to play Skyrim, because if it’s as good as folks say it is, I’m in trouble haha

    Although right now I’m loving Horizon: Zero Dawn, so once I finish it I’ll have to think about whether it is solidly in my “favorites” pile. And you know, I never finished it, but I really like Baldur’s Gate.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well of course! Mass Effect is definitely up there for me, too, and it has a special place, because it’s one of the stories that made me like sci-fi even more, though it’s kind of more mystic/fantasy-esque than pure sci-fi. I’m finding that seems to be common, and I feel like we’ve had this conversation before hehe.

      Yasss! Twilight Princess is one of my favorites, arguably it’s my number one. Majora’s Mask used to be the unequivocal top, but I”m not quite so sure any more. I still like that creepy, the moon is falling aspect, but Midna *sigh* I kind of have a crush to be honest. I think Zelda is RPGish, enough so that you can partially classify it as one. It’s more action-adventure/puzzle, but it has RPG elements.

      You reminded me to add Baldur’s Gate to my backlog!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. OMG Final Fantasy manga would be fantastic! Squeenix cut out almost all of Lightning’s backstory from the finished XIII trilogy, and I would LOVE to see this in manga form 😀 *keeps dreaming* You’ve convinced me to get these awesome Zelda ones though!

    I say an RPG is whatever you think it is! Zelda is my answer to this question too in that case. Ocarina of Time is still my all-time favourite video game. That was the first Zelda game I beat and I’ll never forget the first time I saw Adult Link step out of the Sacred Realm 🙂 I loved Majora’s Mask too! It just doesn’t have that same “magic” feeling for me.

    Honorable RPG mentions: HZD, Tales Of Symphonia, Golden Sun, Fallout 3, and World of Warcraft.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’ve only seen fan made comics alas! Then there’s that novel “The Maiden Who Travels the Planet” about Aeris, which was fan made, and I’m like “Um?” I’ve read it…the writing isn’t that good *runs away from her own narcissism* but unfortunately it follows along the blatant story they’re presenting. I definitely have a pipe dream that one day Squeenix will do like the Star Wars franchise did and allow other books/stories to be published. This is another reason I’d LOVE for Disney to buy Squeenix, though I don’t know if they’d initiate that, hm. They also declared anything written is just “legend,” which is how they cleared out the canon. It’s annoying, but a fanfiction writer can dream! They might either run out of ideas or grow tired of pretty much telling the same story over and over again in a different way. Who knows? Anything is possible *keeps dreaming, too*

      I think Tales of Berseria is in the same series as Symphonia! I had Symphonia on my backlog first, but I was told that I can play them out of order and Berseria was a good place to start. Similar to Persona 5. Same as Final Fantasy, too. Ooooo I thought up another question! You’re an inspiration today, lady! ♥

      There’s an Ocarina of Time manga! I almost got that, but then I saw Twilight Princess and I like Twilight a little bit more than Ocarina, though the latter is still in my top favorite Zelda and games in general. MM used to be my favorite, but Twilight might be edging that out. I’m going to rewatch all of them in chronological order once I finish the Hyrule Historia. So many projects…

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve never heard of “The Maiden Who Travels the Planet”. I suspect the writing wouldn’t be able compete with certain Aeriseph fanfictions though 🙂 It would be nice if Squeenix allowed that. There are a few officially endorsed FFXIII novels but I can’t get good copies of them in English anywhere. All I could find was a poorly translated blog post for one of them… *sighs*

        Yep! Tales is like FF in the sense that none of them really connect. I’ve only played Symphonia and Legendia so far. I absolutely LOVED Symphonia (Legendia was good too but just not super awesome to me, haha). I really connected with Symphonia’s story and certain parts had me on the edge of my seat. I will also say there are some “World Tree” related themes in it. It’s easily on my Top 10 games list. I never tried any of the Persona games. Truthfully, they don’t seem like my type of games, but everyone seems to love them. I guess I should try them out someday! I can’t wait to see more intriguing questions 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • I think it’s only available if you buy Advent Complete. I didn’t read it, but I just know what it’s about. Since I doubt it contains any Aeriseph goodness, I’d have to agree based on that alone lol.

          I think I only have Berseria on my backlog right now because I’m trying to just have one game per series on the list. It helps cut down on the backlog. It’s the same thing I did with my books, but I’ll keep Symphonia in mind when I finish Berseria!

          Liked by 1 person

  3. I remember the first RPG series I took to other than Final Fantasy, when I was but a wee lad, was Breath of Fire. I played and loved numbers 3 & 4.

    If I am choosing Western RPG’s then I’d have to go with Elder Scrolls, Fallout and Dragon Age.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Hmm… I’m not sure I can pick a favorite but Lost Odyssey and The Last Story are two excellent ones with strong Final Fantasy DNA in them. I am also a huge fan of Vagrant Story and The Legend of Dragoon. If I move outside of JRPGs, then Mass Effect is at the top of that list along with Skyrim, the Fallout series, and the Shadowrun games.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I want to play Lost Odyssey so badly, but alas it’s only for the XBox 360 and I only have Sony products. I do own The Last Story though, which I knew was by Sakaguchi, the veritable father of Final Fantasy, so I’m excited to play that. I have Vagrant Story on my backlog and Legend of Dragoon. Mass Effect is probably what made me reconsider action RPGs AND Western RPGs in addition to more sci-fi based ones. I haven’t played Skyrim, didn’t realize Fallout was considered an RPG (I thought it was more FPS). Hadn’t thought about Shadorun! Just added that one.

      I’m pretty sure I subconsciously made this question so I could find out about more non-FF RPGs to play hehe.

      Like

  5. Persona 4 Golden. The time management, setting, combat depth, aesthetic, soundtrack, story, an characters are soooooo damn good. It’s the perfect JRPG, and I’d say I enjoyed it more than any FF. Anyone with a Vita should check it out, and those that don’t should at least give it a shot on PS2/PS3.

    I also really loved Lost Odyssey and The Last Story by Monolithsoft, and NieR Automata. The Legend of Dragoon is high up there too.

    The Zelda RPG argument is always so funny to me, because the series is clearly more an RPG than not. It’s missing a traditional level-up system, but there was one in Zelda 2. You’re still increasing your stamina, mana pool, and health by finding items; you hunt down new weapons and armor; gain new abilities; crawl dungeons and kill bosses, and plenty of RPGs have silent protagonists. Zelda 2 and Breath of the Wild are likely the best examples of Zelda as an RPG, but I’m fine wrapping the series into the RPG genre as a whole.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Whoa, P4G must be REALLY good. I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to say that hehe, but I’m definitely intrigued by your assessment. Is it only on the Vita? Yeah, looks like it’s only for the Vita. Lost Odyssey is only for the XBox 360 😦 I have The Last Story though, and Dragoon is also on my backlog 🙂

      I’ve thankfully never fallen into any flame wars about it, but it’s an interesting topic for discussion especially if you want to break down “What is an RPG?” I think Zelda qualifies especially if you look at an RPG as a game that tells a story, though you could argue that EVERY game tells a story. For me, RPGs have a cohesive and decided plot line, which makes me wonder if the original Zelda would qualify as an RPG, but subsequent ones definitely do. Hell, the original Final Fantasy barely qualifies as one if that’s the case as it’s not a very strong plot driven game at all. Ah semantics.

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      • The Golden update to Persona 4 is exclusive to Vita (still surprised we haven’t seen a PS4 port, since we’ve gotten ones for Gravity Rush, 999/Virtue’s Last Reward, and Danganronpa 1 + 2). You have a PS3, though, and the PS2 version of Persona 4 is available there digitally as a PS2 Classic for around $10. It’s gone on sale quite a few times as well, so maybe keep an eye out for that if you don’t plan on getting a Vita. It’s definitely a must-play JRPG.

        What many people feel separates an action/adventure game from an action RPG is a level-up system, but I’d argue that you’re generally improving core statistics in those systems and Zelda does that by giving you heart containers, etc.

        I mean, I get WHY you could argue that Zelda isn’t an RPG, but there’s more points as to why it is than isn’t.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’ll just grab the non-Golden version then when it goes on sale, since I don’t think I’ll be getting a vita anytime soon. I need to play with my PS3 more anyway hehe.

          Yup! With Zelda you do level up. You get more HP, you get better armor, a better weapon, etc. There are towns where you talk with people and accept quests. It’s an RPG in my book, and I’d consider myself a decent judge of RPGs.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. If I had to name my fave RPG series I wouldn’t pick Final Fantasy because the quality of the games has dipped in recent times. My fave franchises in the genre would have to be Persona, Atelier, Disgaea and Fire Emblem.

    Liked by 1 person

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  8. Thanks for the shoutout! I’m so happy you got the Twilight Princess manga! We’re possibly going to get it tomorrow at an anime convention. So excited! I love MM over TP because of its deep emotional themes and deviance from the norm, but TP is still an excellent Zelda game. It’s my wife’s favorite, haha.

    As for my favorite non-FF RPGs, I actually have quite a few, so I’ll just list them here since I can’t choose one. I don’t normally count Zelda as an RPG (though some like Zelda II and Breath of the Wild are more RPG-like) so I won’t list it here. I also won’t list strategy RPGs like Fire Emblem or Ogre Battle (though I love them too). Those are my silly rules. I’m going straight JRPG, haha. 😉

    Chrono Trigger (of course!)
    Xenoblade Chronicles X (original is also great, but I love this open world version more)
    Earthbound
    Tales of Symphonia & Tales of the Abyss
    Dragon Quest (favorites are VIII for its story/characters and IX for its superb job system)
    Golden Sun and its sequel The Lost Age
    Baton Kaitos and its prequel Origins
    Riviera: The Promised Land
    All 6 Mega Man Battle Network games
    Super Mario RPG (and also Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi afterwards)
    Kingdom Hearts (sort of counting it)
    POKEMON

    That list is my favorite RPG. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    • I honestly can’t decide which one I love more, MM or TP. I agree with you on MM’s deeply emotional themes, and I think the reason I love TP is because of Midna lol. Storywise it’s MM all the way, but I love that Twilight also has that dark atmosphere. Dilemma, dilemma!

      I’m shocked more people didn’t mention Chrono Trigger o.O It’s a huge fan favorite and way ahead of its time.

      I added Riviera: The Promised Land (never heard of that one!), and I had no idea Mega Man had some RPGs.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I love the Mega Man RPGs! They made like 6 on the GBA alone. It’s ridiculous for a system that lasted about 3 years haha. And Riviera is underrated! I played it on GBA but they released an update on PSP or Vita. I still love MM more for its emotional themes and masks! I love the Bomber’s Notebook side quests too!

        Liked by 1 person

          • I’ve actually never played Mega Man Legends, but I’ve heard great things about that series, which is primarily PS1, though also came out on N64. The series I played on GBA was Mega Man Battle Network, which has an action turn-based system hybrid that uses collectible in-game chips similarly to how Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories uses cards. They’re pretty similar games actually. I love the GBA even though it wasn’t long before the DS appeared. I had great RPG experiences on there. Also forgot to mention, but I love Bravely Default as well as a non-FF RPG. Though I’d say that it’s the closest thing to classic FF as far as modern JRPGs though.

            Liked by 1 person

            • I always thought Kingdom Hearts was an action RPG! That’s one of the reasons I never played it. I saw my husband get thoroughly thrashed by Sephiroth numerous times, and was quite amused by that hehe. If it’s more action turned based, I’ll definitely check it out!

              My GBA is attached to my DS, which is super convenient. I’m glad they decided to do that.

              Liked by 1 person

              • KH: Chain of Memories is more turn-based and you have a deck of cards to determine what you can do during each “round” of battle, but it’s still very much an action RPG. I’m surprised you haven’t played KH actually! I thought you would have by now because of Sephiroth and all the other FF characters are in it! Sephiroth is indeed, very difficult to fight, by the way.

                Liked by 1 person

                • I know! People are surprised I haven’t, but I am really turned off by the whole action RPG thing unfortunately. It’s why I want to try to play Mass Effect to prep for playing the FFVII Remake because I know that’s not going to be turned based. I was REALLY salty when I first found that out and was pretty upset for a bit. I figured I’d just watch a LP, but that didn’t sit well with me, because it’s FFVII. It’s something I HAVE to play, so hopefully they’ll have a low setting for actiony noobs like myself.

                  Liked by 1 person

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  10. I’m sure you already know my answer to this question based on one of my blog posts, but my favorite RPG is Super Mario RPG 🙂 I loved it so much as a kid and it just stuck with me all the way to adulthood. It’s one of few games that I’ve visited and revisited so many times and still love the story just as much every time I play! 🙂

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    • I don’t think I’ve played Shadow Hearts! *looks up* Well now it’s added to my ever growing backlog. I can never turn down a turn based RPG :p

      I’m not a fan of those either, but I’ve heard better things about XIV than XI. I don’t play well with others so any game where I HAVE to do that isn’t really my kind of game. Now granted I’m saying that all the while buying a Switch in order to play Mario Kart 8 with my blogger friends hehe. I think I’m okay playing with others if I know who they are, and MK8 kind of lends itself to that, but I guess I always saw RPGs as more solitary affairs, and I don’t want to be compelled to need to pull other people in.

      Well I’ve rambled enough. Thanks for commented and thanks for the recommendation!

      Like

  12. The Shin Megami Tensei series is my favorite non-final fantasy RPG. The entire series has a very different setting and tone than other JRPGs. Most people probably know about the Persona games, and those make a great entry point into the series.

    My personal favorite is SMT: Nocturne on the PS2 because of its dark and surreal setting. The gameplay is pretty brutal, but if you are familiar with the newer persona games it will be easier to adjust as their combast system is based on SMT:Nocturne’s.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have Persona 4 and 5 on my backlog! I’m just happy that some creators are still making turn based RPGs, since those are my favorite type.

      Whoa…I just checked out Nocturne and that definitely gets an add. Thanks for the recommendation! I’m an eternal goth, so when you say “dark,” I (ironically) perk up 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Great post! Final Fantasy is my life! I loved the classic ones but if I had to choose my favorite of all time – non-FF – it would be Secret of Mana. Final Fantasy 4 was my favorite game overall. I died on the inside when Squaresoft was no more…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I feel much more akin to all the ones below X, too! FFVII is my favorite story of all time, but FFIV is in my top ten favorite games easily (still working on that list). IV has arguably my favorite main character, and definitely favorite main male character in Cecil. I love his story arc.

      I’ve actually never played the Mana series! I know it’s more of an action RPG, so I wasn’t quite as interested in it. I might give it a go one day though 🙂

      Thanks for commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

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