In a fit of bellicose megalomania, Emperor Paramekia/Palamecia decides to take over the world. After he attacks the town of Phin/Fynn, four youths, Frioniel/Firion, Guy, Maria and her brother Lionheart/Leon, try to escape, but are caught and left for dead by the imperial forces. Rescued in extremis by Minh/Minwu, a member of the resistance movement led by Princess Hilda of Phin/Fynn, they are brought to their headquarters, located in the small town of Altea/Altair. Lionheart/Leon goes missing, but the other three enlist in the resistance to help free the world from the evil clutches of the Emperor and his mysterious, Darth Vader-like sidekick, the Dark Knight. Along the way, they encounter cowardly royalty, pirates and the last dragoon, to name only a few, and visit exotic places aplenty, including Leviathan’s stomach and a Giant Tornado of Doom. While this isn’t exactly much to write home about, it’s still a step up from the first FF. There’s at least an attempt to tell a cohesive story with a unifying theme of resistance to imperialism, and a stronger guiding line than just “bring back the light of the ORBS!”, as in the first FF. The final stretches of the game do descend into somewhat dubious facility, notably concerning the location of the final dungeon, but other than that, it’s a commendable effort.
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