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Square Enix dates the first three Final Fantasy pixel remasters

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Final Fantasy I-III are headed your way this July, to PC and mobile devices.

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Square Enix has announced that Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy II and Final Fantasy III are headed to PC and mobile platforms on July 29, 2021. The games, part of its "Pixel Remasters" line, were originally announced during the company's E3 media briefing earlier this month.

As noted in today's press release, the games in the series will include the following key features:

  • Redrawn 2D pixel character and background graphics, featuring iconic FINAL FANTASY character pixel designs created by Kazuko Shibuya, the original artist and current collaborator

  • Beautifully rearranged soundtracks, overseen by original composer Nobuo Uematsu

  • Improved gameplay, including controller and touch controls, modernized UI, auto-battle options, and more

  • Dive into the world of the game with supplemental extras like the bestiary, illustration gallery, music player, and the ability to save at any time
There's no specific mention of difficulty balancing, though in the past Square Enix has put some effort in that direction. The Final Fantasy Origins collection from 2002 took the generally difficult first two games in the series and offered the option to play them in absolutely neutered form, ensuring even RPG newbies could see their quest through to its conclusion if they were willing to try much at all.

Today's press release included some neat quotes from key talent involved along the way, which we're including below.

Hironobu Sakaguchi, the "Father of Final Fantasy":

"When working on the originals, I didn't think that the Final Fantasy series would be remastered almost 35 years later. The video game industry had only just been established. So, with nobody else leading the way, we had to keep moving forward at the front line. I remember how we went through a lot of trial and error at that time. I'm very happy and grateful that Final Fantasy has continued for such a long period of time."

Yoshinori Kitase, Final Fantasy brand manager and producer of the Final Fantasy VII Remake:

"Every time a new Final Fantasy title is released, I think there are those who want to return to the origin of the series. This project began because we wanted to create a convenient way for fans and new players to enjoy these original classics, with consistent graphics and a unified user interface."

Nobuo Uematsu, composer for the early Final Fantasy games:

"We are rearranging all the music tracks this time. One of the first ideas I had was to make sure to stay faithful to the originals, but of course I couldn't just leave it in the original 3-tone sound, so they have been built up into full-scale tracks. I ahve made sure that the original atmosphere has been retained and each can be listened to as separate music pieces, so that fans can enjoy."

Though specific release dates have not yet been provided for Final Fantasy IV, Final Fantasy V and Final Fantasy VI, there is a bundle available that offers all six games, along with OSTs featuring a few songs from each game and wallpapers. Presently, you can purchase the bundle at a 22% savings, for a price of $74.82 USD. Individually, the games are regularly priced from $11.99 USD for each of the first two games, to $17.99 USD for each of the remaining four, with a total cost of $95.94 USD.

You may also recall that Final Fantasy III-VI are available already on Steam in various forms. The official Final Fantasy Pixel Remasters site offers some guidance on how those older titles will be impacted by the new releases.

Final Fantasy V and Final Fantasy VI will be "taken off sale," which seems to mean they will be removed from the storefront. "Customers who have already purchased these titles will still be able to play or re-download them," notes the site, "but please be aware that there may be situations where we are unable to guarantee correct function if the environment they are used on changes." Also, "Old Ver." will be appended to their titles so you can tell them apart in your Steam library.

Final Fantasy III and Final Fantasy IV will be renamed to Final Fantasy III (3D Remake) and Final Fantasy IV (3D Remake), as they are quite different from the pixel versions due to be added.

While the games are apparently only headed to PC and mobile devices for now, here's hoping Switch versions are on their way, as the series started out on Nintendo hardware. With Square Enix looking back fondly at some of its most important early titles and making them available to wide audiences, it would also be nice to see the company bring the games once again to relevant Sony platforms and expand their availability to Xbox gamers. Only time will tell whether that actually happens.

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Staff article by Jason Venter (July 01, 2021)

Jason Venter has been playing games for 30 years, since discovering the Apple IIe version of Mario Bros. in his elementary school days. Now he writes about them, here at HonestGamers and also at other sites that agree to pay him for his words.

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