“Our promise to ourselves is that for every single game that we make, we are going to give it our all, and then we finish it. We’ll end it in such a way that there is no to be continued checklist.” – Hironobou Sakaguchi
This was Sakaguchi’s promise to Final Fantasy, and probably one of the reasons why he hates sequels.
But the players might have another reason to hate sequels: they make the previous story anticlimactic.
Yuna’s pilgrimage was essentially a slow walk to her sacrifice, and her fate was left uncertain. Does she die at the end? If you’ve played the game all the way through, you know she doesn’t but only in hindsight…
You really didn’t really know at the time. And if Final Fantasy VII taught us anything, we know what happens to maidens who take it upon themselves to save the world from certain destruction. And that Seymour – whew! – was he a creep.
But if you haven’t played Final Fantasy X, you’d know Yuna survives from Final Fantasy X-2’s cover. But…where’s Tidus?
Same with Final Fantasy XIII-2. Once you saw Lightning on the cover, you probably knew her fate at the end of Final Fantasy XIII. But who knew, maybe Serah would have died? Well, she doesn’t.
You no idea Lightning wouldn’t be central to the gaming experience of the sequel. The back cover gives it away though.
What did you expect when you saw Lightning on the cover of Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII? Maybe you’d play someone else (you wouldn’t), but you probably knew Serah would “find” Lightning. And you could probably guess that, once again, Lightning plans to save her sister.
This doesn’t mean each game would lose emotional impact. Not necessarily; after all, Final Fantasy is all about the journey. Enjoy the ride!
But then, do the Final Fantasy sequels actually give away the plot in this sense? And should Square Enix stop making Final Fantasy sequels for the sake of keeping the previous stories in suspense? What do you think? 😊