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Final Fantasy V

A continuation of the Final Fantasy series by Squaresoft, Final Fantasy V is much like the other games of the series, with a few exceptions. In total, the party is made up of five characters, though only four can be used at once. Butz, the main character, lives to try and figure out what is wrong with the world, and to find out some things about his past. Other characters include Lenna, a princess of the kingdom of Tycoon; Faris, a pirate woman who sails the vast sea looking for treasure and adventure; Galuf, an old man whose origin and motivations are unknown; and Cara, a girl from another world who has strong magical power.

In the opening scene of the game, Faris is on her ship as she notices the wind suddenly calm down. At the same time, Lenna’s father King Tycoon notices the same thing and decides to investigate the Wind Crystal, the source of the world’s wind. He finds the crystal just as it shatters before his eyes. Shortly thereafter, a meteor comes crashing to the Earth, where Butz and his chocobo find an old man named Galuf lying on the ground. Galuf cannot remember how he got there due to the amnesia he suffered from the fall. The story goes on from there, as more and more travels and adventures reveal the plot of the evil sorceror Exdeath, a being thought to have been destroyed decades ago.

In regards to gameplay, the basic combat, movement and action is similar to that of other Final Fantasy games. One moves on a two-dimensional map, and on this map are many caves, dungeons, towns and monsters to be found. Combat is done in real-time, and is carried out by selecting from a number of spells, attacks and items, just as in other games of the genre.

The major point of note in this game, which is different than any other Final Fantasy game, is the “job class” system. As events take place in the game, the four characters will gain the ability to learn more than twenty jobs, such as the high-jumping Dragoon, the deadly-spellcasting Black Wizard and Caller and the sword-swinging Knight. With mastery of those jobs comes new abilities and strengths, allowing the player to customize the party in any way he or she wishes. Each character can develop the abilities from any two jobs simultaneously; combinations like a spellcasting Archer or a stealing Red Wizard are possible.

Interaction with the world is much like that found in other 2D roleplaying games, where the party walks around and talks to people in towns, searches for clues, explores dungeons and eventually travels on devices such as an Airship or a Submarine. With certain job classes come abilities that are useful in certain areas, such as the Thief’s ability to see secret passages and run quickly, or the Elementalist’s ability to avoid hidden pits and traps and walk on dangerous surfaces such as lava.

This game was released in the time between Final Fantasy II and Final Fantasy III for the Super NES. In Japan, Final Fantasy II and Final Fantasy III were actually Final Fantasy IV and Final Fantasy VI, respectively.

Final Fantasy V at a Glance