Before Christmas we heard from community member Rident about what Final Fantasy means to him, plus all about his experience at our Final Fantasy 25th Anniversary community event.
Today, the Voice Box is graced again by another dedicated Final Fantasy enthusiast - zelu1984 - a Global Moderator over at the fan forum Final Fantasy Merchandise. His passion for Final Fantasy games knows no bounds, so we we're incredibly pleased to have had the opportunity to meet him in person and invite him here to talk on the blog.
Final Fantasy is a series that's had a great impact on my life. Ever since playing Final Fantasy for the very first time I've been hooked - the amazing characters, stories, music and gameplay let me experience many great moments, that I've wanted to re-play several times. I began building a Final Fantasy collection and soon joined FinalFantasyMerchandise.com where I got to meet amazing people – people who are now my friends.
Each Final Fantasy game is different, they've brought new innovations - sometimes good, sometimes not so much - but throughout the 25 years of Final Fantasy they've been incredibly enjoyable and worth spending all my free time on. I'm always eagerly awaiting next game in series and I hope that the Fantasy will never be 'Final'.
November 2 was a very special day for me; not only was it the Distant Worlds 25th Anniversary Concert, but also the Special Final Fantasy Community Event. The whole experience was amazing! We were able to meet the Final Fantasy legends – talk to them, take pictures and get their autographs on pieces of artwork, soundtracks and games.
Shortly after arriving we were invited to the Elgar Room where we would see a special video message from the various creators behind the Final Fantasy series, followed by a more private and intimate version of Distant Worlds!
As if the excitement wasn't already building up in anticipation, Nobuo Uematsu, Masashi Hamauzu and Arnie Roth entered the room, walked straight past us and took their seats at the front. We had the pleasure of listening to five amazing pieces. First up was the solo piano version of “March of the Dreadnaughts” from Final Fantasy XIII. Next, a string quartet performance of “Fight with Seymour” from Final Fantasy X - this one was my favourite! The string quartet was then joined by both Arnie Roth on violin and Nobuo Uematsu on keyboard in the performance of “Dark World” from Final Fantasy VI. Following this was another solo piano performance, this time of “Those Who Fight” from Final Fantasy VII and finally finishing with a new arrangement of “Chocobo Medley”. All of it was just fantastic and tailored specifically for this event.
After the performance we moved to a Gallery where artworks from all of the Final Fantasy games were displayed. Most of the pieces were canvas prints with also some previously unseen pieces of artwork. The real highlights were the Lightning Return oil painting made by Isamu Kamikokuryou and the sketch of Lightning made by Tetsuya Nomura from the upcoming game – shown for the first time.
In the next room Nobuo Uematsu, Masashi Hamauzu and Arnie Roth were doing autographs. At first they didn’t want to get their pictures taken but since everyone was asking they threw caution to the wind and many of us were lucky enough to get their photos with some Final Fantasy legends – I was one of them!
The Square Enix staff were very friendly and put a lot of time and effort into this event. I had a chat with most of them, some I have met before and found them to be genuinely nice and approachable people. It was a great experience and I feel very lucky that I was there!
You can read more on his blog here.