The origin of the Final Fantasy name is not what you think reveals creator

Hironobu Sakaguchi has given the definitive explanation for what the Final Fantasy name means… and why it was almost called Fighting Fantasy.

Final Fantasy is obviously a pretty ironic name for a franchise that has sold 180 million copies and has just released its 16th mainline entry.

A lot of Japanese games have pretty nonsensical titles (Infinite Undiscovery is our favourite) but according to fan legend the reason Final Fantasy is called that is because it was the team’s last roll of the dice and that if it wasn’t a hit they’d go bankrupt. But it turns out that’s not true.

According to series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi they actually wanted to call it Fighting Fantasy, but since that was already taken they went for Final Fantasy instead. As Sakaguchi says, in the video interview below: ‘It’s not actually all that cool a story.’

Apparently, they were more interested in the initials FF than what they actually stood for, trying to give the game a cool abbreviation like Dragon Quest, which is known as Drakue in Japan.

‘So we reluctantly went with Final Fantasy as a last resort, says Sakaguchi.

The idea that the game’s name means ‘the ultimate illusion’ is another popular fan legend but apparently that came from a school teacher who translated the English name for her students, and when Sakaguchi found out about it he decided to use it.

There’s nothing in the interview about being on the edge of ruin, so assuming Sakaguchi is remembering things correctly that finally seems to give a definitive answer about the name.

Sakaguchi left Square Enix in 2003, with his most recent release being mobile game Fantasian. Although he’s clearly still friendly with many of the Square Enix top brass there’s never been any suggestion of him returning to the franchise.

In fact, he’s implied that the two-part Fantasian might be his last ever game, before he retires.

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