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Final Fantasy

From The Cutting Room Floor
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Title Screen

Final Fantasy/en

Developer: Square
Publishers: Square (JP), Nintendo (US)
Platform: NES
Released in JP: December 18, 1987
Released in US: July 12, 1990

GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
TextIcon.png This game has unused text.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.
PiracyIcon.png This game has anti-piracy features.

The final fantasy. Shortly after releasing this, Square failed and was never heard from again.

Hidden Game

Gotta do something to keep busy below deck.

While on the ship, press A + B 55 times to unlock a sliding puzzle game. Completing it awards 100G.

Leftover Text

The end of the main script of the American version contains some leftovers from earlier versions of the script.

e something…
disturbed my sleep?
I,KARY will not give
you the force of FIRE.
I shall burn you up with
my flames.<END>
The FIEND'S ball is
taking in all the water.
How foolish of you to
challenge me,KRAKEN
the FIEND of Water!!<END>
There's lightning from
the FIEND'S ball…
So, you have come this
Wind shall end your
little adventure.<END>
What? You can speak
The stone plate is on
the floor…
You sense something evil<END>

While these are identifiable as messages that also appear in the final script, some are a bit different. For example, "Leffeinish" was spelled "Lefeinish" in the final script. Here Kary says she will not give you the force of fire, but in the final script she says, "I, KARY will now show you the force of Fire, and you shall burn in its flames!!". This might lead one to think that "will not give" as opposed to "will show" was a mistranslation and the translator later fixed it, but, in fact, the original wording matched the Japanese phrasing.

For most of this text, the newline character is 01 (as in the Japanese version) instead of 05 (as in the rest of the American script).

Unused Graphics

Prohibition took a heavy toll...

This pub sign exists in the town graphics of both versions, but isn't referenced anywhere in the tileset, and no other signs in the final town tileset use 16x8. The sequel did feature pubs, but used a full 16x16 tile sign.


This little dude is found alongside the graphics for the orbs in the main menu. It's shown here using the message window palette.

Or is it an angry demon face?

Also found alongside the orbs are this shield(?) and star icon.


The routine at 0x3CFCB, run during transitions to maps other than the world map, takes the checksum of the "PROGRAMMED BY NASIR" text from the intro (0x37B1A-0x37B34). If it's been altered, the game pulls the top three values off the stack and executes an RTS, setting the program counter to some arbitrary value and effectively crashing the game. A similar protection and method of deliberately crashing is used in Dr. Mario.

Invisible Woman of Coneria

Princess! The floor said you were looking for me?

Going to this spot in Coneria Castle will reveal a message, which changes after the player obtains the Lute. This NPC mistakenly has the "in room" flag set, but was not placed in a room, meaning that her sprite (a typical female townsperson sprite) never shows up. This error also appears in the Japanese release. Rather than fixing her room flag, she was completely removed from later remakes.

Version Differences

To do:
Fully document which of these are regional differences and which are also present in FFI-II.

The US version changed a few minor issues with the original game. Most (if not all) of these changes are also in the late Famicom compilation Final Fantasy I-II and subsequent remakes.

Start Menu

Japan US
Final Fantasy I(JP)-start menu.png Final Fantasy I-start menu.png

Copyright information was added to the opening menu in the North American version.

Title Screen

Japan US
Final Fantasy I(JP)-title.png Final Fantasy I-title.png

The graphics on the title screen was adjusted so that the Nintendo copyright information could be added. The sloppy adjustment resulted in palette artifacts from the title logo (pink and blue pixels) in the grass and tree. In addition, the copyright symbol was altered and the title logo received a trademark. For some inexplicable reason, all text boxes were reduced in height, leaving a thick black border at the top.

Map Changes

The columns on the final floor of the final dungeon originally formed a pentagram, which became a triangle in the US release. Additionally, random encounters were removed from this floor to give the player some breathing room for the final boss, as an enemy encounter could literally occur during the character's speech.

Graphic Changes


Japan US
+ <3

While the Japanese version had churches, the US version had clinics due to Nintendo's policies on religious imagery. This change was made on the CHR level, and so the cross graphics are not present at all in the US version. The new heart sign was likely intended to use the same palette index as the other signs, but the palette assignment for its map tile was never changed.

Interestingly, the cross does not appear on the roof of the building in most remakes, though the steeple did.

Japan US
On the "minor changes" front, G are called Gil here. Where's my hat?

This change extended inside the church/clinic as well.

Earth Cave (Japan) Earth Cave (US)
Fairly standard fantasy fare, really. Not much to say here.
Ice Cave (Japan) Ice Cave (US)
Interestingly, this isn't exactly the same as the above cross. But this is the same candelabra.
Sky Palace (Japan) Sky Palace (US)
Jews in Space Futuristic... triangles!

These three tilesets all had either crosses or Stars of David replaced with different imagery.


Japan US
<GoldS> those 3 pixels are so hot Aww

Medusa's sprite was slightly altered to give her a top. This change extends to the Green (Earth) Medusas.

Japan US
Behold! Eye!

The EYE, known as the Beholder in the Japanese version, was completely redrawn to avoid copyright issues with TSR, the then-owners of Dungeons and Dragons (and, by extension, the beholder). This change extends to the Death Beholder/Phantom. All remakes of the game, including the Japanese versions, use the Eye's design.


Japan US
FF1J-Fighter.png FF1U-Fighter.png
Japan US
She's looking a bit deflated She still looks like a Klansman out of battle

The Fighter and White Mage's weak frames were touched up slightly.

Japan US
FF1J-Ninja.png FF1U-Ninja.png

The Ninja's victory/casting animation was changed so that his legs don't move.

Japan US
Get a haircut, ya hippie! Still in need of a haircut

Supermonk, as he was known in Japan, tamed his hair and grew a mullet in time for his US debut as The Master.

Japan US
FF1J-RedWizard.png FF1U-RedWizard.png

The Red Wizard's cape was touched up a bit, particularly his walking frame where the bottom of it originally disappeared entirely.

Japan US
FF1J-WhiteWizard.png FF1U-WhiteWizard.png

The White Wizard's head was moved a pixel to the right and her left hand was moved up a pixel.


Japan US
FF1J-Swords.png FF1U-Swords.png

Several of the sword graphics were touched up slightly.

Menu Items


Most items were given icons as a part of their name to better distinguish what they are. This was done because there usually wasn't enough space to include the full item name in English. Interestingly, unlike future Final Fantasy titles, the icons are drawn at the end of the item name rather than before it.

Text Colors

Japan US
4, you suck, I'm unequipping your rapier! Am I unequipping, trading, or dropping?! I DON'T KNOW!!!

The title of the weapon and armor menus are a beige shade in the Japanese version, and the currently selected option is highlighted in red. While this is technically still the case in the US version, the palettes have been set to white, making them indistinguishable from the standard text palette. This was likely done because the translators were unwilling or unable to resize the windows to account for the attribute table changes required to accommodate the longer English text strings.

Battle Formations

Some battle formations were altered for America to fix a small, relatively obscure glitch in which enemies will occasionally display corrupted colors, though this can still happen to Sea Trolls.