Thursday, August 23, 2012

FF2 NA. It Exists?

Note: This is from FF4, back when it was
released as FF2 in North America.

I’m having a really difficult time believing that this is legitimate.

Ebay seller fefea claims to have the one and only copy of Final Fantasy II for the NES localized for North America. Not FF4. FF2. The real FF2.
But wait! FF2 was never released in the U.S. on the NES. You are correct!

The seller is claiming that this was a sample providing to the WCES back in 1991 with plans to release the game a year from then. However this was scrapped when Nintendo began shifting more focus to the Super Nintendo.

Why am I calling shenanigans? The time frame isn’t syncing up. CES from 1978-1994 was broken into 2 trade-shows a year. A winter show WCES in January, and a summer show June called SCES.

Here’s the problem. FF4was released in 1991. The original, original NES version of Final Fantasy (the first!) was released July 12, 1990. FF4, localized as FF2, was released November 23, 1991.

This bugs me because the turn-around time for localization and conversion took way longer than a year back in the day. Not to mention the fact that titles were also changed in the game to reflect FF2 for North America. So it’s not just dialogue updates, but additional graphical changes within the game.

To drop FF2 in favor of FF4 at such a critical juncture in development is…really hard to swallow. We’re looking at least an 18 month turn-around for the changes that happened in FF4.

The fact that FF4 was released in North America in the manner that it was, a few months after its Japanese release date, it had to have been pre-planned over a year in advance and intentional. Now when technology upgraded, we were starting to see more consistent release cycles with the SNES instead of that one-two year delay. It still took upwards of a year, but early SNES games were the testing dummies.

As you can imagine, all of their manpower went into developing that one game including localization. SquareSoft, now SquareEnix, was not the power-house that we think of today. Everyone on the team worked on one game and one game only. Branching to do an English translation during the same time was unheard of.

I just can’t fathom that Square would spend so much time working on FF4, FF4 NA, AND FF2 NA at the same time. Epically with the changes made to FF4 to become FF2 NA.

I’m also suspicious due to lack of documentation. All that we know about the cartridge is that it’s blank, broken into, and has notes stuck on it indicating it’s a sample of FF2. There’s no way to verify if anything that this seller is saying is true.

I realize that’s a stretch is this really is a “sample” copy and the only one left, but there has to be some way to certify it with SE or someone to let us know it’s legit.

And 50k for an open game that’s been physically cracked into? Really? Not even the mint condition rarest of the rare NES games are worth a fifth of that.


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