Final Fantasy Gaiden

Seifer gazes into the distance
   Long have Final Fantasy fans dreamed that a true sequel to one of the games would be produced; one that actually continued the story of an existing Final Fantasy. The odds of such a project actually occuring, however, were thought to be minimal -- until Square shocked the world by announcing Final Fantasy Gaiden, a follow-up to Final Fantasy VIII. Originally scheduled to debut at the Spring '99 Tokyo Game Show, the game was pulled at the last minute to promote the continued sales of the original FF VIII.

   Final Fantasy Gaiden tells the story of Squall's nemesis Seifer. A fairly minor character in FF VIII, Seifer now sets off on his own adventure to "become a better person". Along the way, he's accompanied by fellow Disciplinay Committee members Fuujin and Raijin, as well as fan favorites Biggs and Wedge. Laguna, Kiros, and Ward from the core Final Fantasy VIII put in an appearance as well.

Seifer readies Ouroborous

   As befitting its nature, Final Fantasy Gaiden reuses much media from Final Fantasy VIII. The battle engine and world map are identical, and many of the locations and music pieces are also lifted from its sister title. Not all is recycled, however -- new spells and items have been added to the mix. And the reasons for the FF VIII's exclusion of traditional call spells such as Titan and Ramuh is now apparent -- both of them appear as Guardian Forces in Final Fantasy Gaiden, accompanied by brand new faces such as Ouroborous. A Moomba summon also features a role similar to the Chocobo summon in FF VIII -- could a "Odekake Moomba" PocketStation game be in store as well?

   While only 2 CDs, Final Fantasy Gaiden promises a quest as lengthy the original -- space was saved by cutting back on the number of FMV sequences the game contains, thus also freeing up Square's CG artists for work on other titles. To compensate for the slightly smaller size, FF Gaiden will retail for a mere 3800 yen ($32 US).

   The concept of a direct-sequel Final Fantasy may send the mind reeling - but when you stop to think about it, it makes a strange sort of sense. Many fans consider Final Fantasy VIII to be the greatest the series has seen; hopefully, Final Fantasy Gaiden will only build upon its reputation when it hits Japanese shelves this fall. Given that Final Fantasy VIII itself is not due to be released in North America until September, FF Gaiden will probably not appear until 2000. Expect an official announcement of its status at E3.

Preview by Fritz Fraundorf.
Final Fantasy Gaiden
Developer Square
Publisher Square EA
Genre Traditional RPG
Medium CD (2)
Platform PlayStation
Release Date
 Fall 99

Final Fantasy Gaiden revealed
8 screen shots and collages