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Final Fantasy Was A Last-Ditch Effort At Gaming Success For Its Creator

"Final Fantasy" is one of the most recognizable franchises in the gaming world. Since the first game was released back in 1987, it has grown into a colossal property with millions of devoted fans. While it might have thrown out turn-based combat, the upcoming "Final Fantasy 16," which might be closer than we realized, is hotly anticipated by many hoping to once again journey into the fantastical world of Square Enix's blockbuster series.

Those familiar with the games are likely also familiar with the urban legend behind the name. As Kotaku points out, the idea has long-persisted that the game earned its name due to parent company Square being on the brink of bankruptcy. Therefore, the game's lead creator Hironobu Sakaguchi took what he believed would be his last project and dubbed it "Final Fantasy." As reported by the Japanese site Famitsu, a 2015 talk given by Sakaguchi seemingly debunked this popular theory. Now, however, composer Nobuo Uematsu has said that fans weren't too far off.

A game by any other name...

In the talk that he gave back in 2015, Sakaguchi claimed that the motive for naming the game came from a desire to be able to abbreviate its title to "FF" in English. With the reason being that the Japanese pronunciation "efu efu" would be pleasing to Japanese fans. According to Sakaguchi, the company's dire financial situation had no influence on the game's name. When asked about it, he said, "Those days definitely seemed like the end times, but, honestly, any word that started with 'F' would've been fine." That certainly takes the wind out of the sails on the popular theory, but an account from Chris Kohler of WIRED paints a different picture.

While meeting with the original "Final Fantasy" composer Nobuo Uematsu for an interview, Kohler asked if there was any truth to the legend of the original game's naming process. According to Kohler, he asked Uematsu if the name "Final Fantasy" was chosen due to Sakaguchi allegedly nearly quitting the game industry to return to college. In response, Uematsu said, "It's true that Sakaguchi was going to quit, but the bigger reason, the real reason, was that Square was going to go bankrupt and the designers believed that it would be the company's swan song." It seems, then, that we have two conflicting accounts.

Whatever the case behind the name's origins, both creators seem to agree that Square really was in trouble back in 1987. Thankfully for them, and for "Final Fantasy" fans everywhere, the game was enough of a financial success to spawn a series that is currently far from being finalized.