Final Fantasy 1&2: Dawn of Souls (GBA, 2004)
Final Fantasy Dawn of Souls is a compilation including Final Fantasy 1 & 2. This came out a year after the Final Fantasy Origins (North American release) and gave gamers, in North America, the first mobile versions of the first two Final Fantasy games.
With this release, the games included new dungeons and a longer story for Final Fantasy 2. Unfortunately, the FMVs from the Origins compilation had to be taken out due to storage size, but still enjoyed better graphics versus the NES versions of the games. The harder difficulty was excluded as well, but that might be a good thing depending on the person playing.
The magic system in Final Fantasy 1 was replaced with a more modern system using the familiar MP setup. Four extra dungeons were added as well. As for Final Fantasy 2, the Soul of Rebirth dungeon was added which features characters that had died during the storyline.
Final Fantasy 1
In a world controlled by four elemental powers: earth, fire, water, and wind. Four Light Warriors appear to restore the light to the world.
As the game starts, players must pick four unnamed warriors for the quest ahead. Character types include Warrior, Monk, Thief, White Mage, Black Mage, and Red Mage.
The game begins outside of a kingdom, known as Coneria. The king hears word of the Light Warriors arrival and sends for them immediately. As the Warriors stand before the king, he explains that the knight Garland had just kidnapped his daughter, Princess Sara.
Gameplay includes an over world map, towns, dungeons, battle screens, and menu. Battles take place in a split screen, menu-based combat. Characters can be equipped with weapons, armor, and spells.
Directed by Hironobu Sakaguchi, Final Fantasy was able to bring its company, Square, out from financial troubles. It features artwork from Yoshitaka Amano and music from Nobuo Uematsu.
Final Fantasy 2
Let for dead, the game’s characters Firion, Maria, and Guy were rescued by the rebel princess, Hilda. The princess established a rebel base in the town of Altair after her kingdom was invaded by the Emperor. They were missing their friend Leon, who was with them when they were attacked. Wanting to join the rebels, Hilda refuses due to their inexperience.
Final Fantasy 2 began the tradition of completely reinventing the story and combat in comparison to the previous releases. Unlike Final Fantasy 1, Final Fantasy 2 had a cast of characters with their own names (but could be changed), a different kind leveling system based on which attributes were used most in battle, a keyword gameplay feature that had players bring up certain topics and items to NPC, and changed how players learned and used magic.
This was the first game in the series to include both Chocobos and the character Cid. As fans of the series know, these are both staples of the series and have shown up in pretty much every Final Fantasy game since.
Being a bigger game with a larger development staff, the Final Fantasy 2 localization for North America was never released. The reasons included the long development time, the age of the Japanese version, and the Super Nintendo being released at that time. There was a planned version in beta being developed and even had a prototype cartridge produced, but was no where near ready to be released. It took until this compilation for the real Final Fantasy 2 to be released over seas.