Meet a naughty knight called Cecil

Classic role playing game Final Fantasy IV gets a special GBA makeover

Meet a naughty knight called Cecil

When it comes to huge, in-depth role playing games with wacky Japanese characters, twisting storylines and great graphics and music, there's one series that comes to mind – Final Fantasy.

Because despite its name, each of the previous eleven (just count 'em) Final Fantasy games involved different characters facing off their foes in huge worlds with engrossing stories. Many of the early games weren't even released outside of Japan because it would have cost so much to translate all the text.

Which brings us to the subject of Final Fantasy IV.

This game's history on the home consoles is almost as interesting as that of its lead character, the dark knight Cecil. Originally released in Japan in 1991, it eventually came out in America as Final Fantasy II but wasn't released in Europe until 2002, when it was bundled with Final Fantasy V for PlayStation 2.

Now however it's being reworked for a special GBA version, with improved graphics, enhanced music and an expanded storyline.

Back to our unhappy dark knight. Cecil has got involved with the wrong crowd and done some bad things. As part of the Red Wings armada, he's burned down the village of Mist to steal its crystal for his master, the king of Baron. Realising the error of his ways, he embarks on a quest to set the world right and make amends for the atrocities he's committed.

The stage is set for over 30 hours of adventuring, as Cecil, together with white mage Rosa and dragon Kain, sets out to find redemption.

Travelling throughout the land, Cecil and his team always need to be on their guard, as at any time they could be plunged into a random battle with the creatures of the region. Battles are fought in a special arena, with each character taking turns to make their attacks, whether through magic or direct assault. Each character also has a certain attack speed, which can be tactically used to triggered extra attacks.

More strategy comes into play as you meet various characters in your adventures. Some of these will be added to your party, and help Cecil out when it comes to battles. This enables you to set up particular attack and defence options to best handle the different types of enemies you'll come across in a particular location.

In addition to the quest, which will see you journey across land, on sea and in the air exploring towns, caves and mountains, new features for the GBA game include a training dungeon, where you can improve your characters' health and strength attributes. You can also study the various enemies you come across to try and work out their weaknesses in the Bestiary, or listen to the game's classic music using the soundtrack player.

Due for release on the 2nd June, Final Fantasy IV is likely to keep your fingers busy for many, many hours.

Jon Jordan
Jon Jordan
A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon can turn his hand to anything except hand turning. He is editor-at-large at which means he can arrive anywhere in the world, acting like a slightly confused uncle looking for the way out. He likes letters, cameras, imaginary numbers and legumes.