To celebrate "final fantasy 15" coming to Steam on March 6 I will be going through the entire "Final Fantasy" series, detailing not only the games but the company of Square themselves. Last time I went through the original three "Final Fantasy" games, and now I will go over the Snes era of the series.

'Final Fantasy 4'

Released in 1991 for the SNES, "Final Fantasy 4" re-defined what an RPG looked like. Square managed to utilize the improved power of the new console to create the building blocks for what modern day "Final Fantasy" games are based on.

The graphics of the game were given a major overhaul.

While still 2D, the sprites look clean and crisp. Animations in the game are smooth, and each character looks distinct and unique. Many people view the SNES era graphics of "Final Fantasy" games to be the best looking. Though the games are now in full 3D and look amazing, there is a certain charm and colorfulness to the SNES games that cannot quite be replicated.

You play as Cecil, a knight in the service of a king who seems to be pushing the world towards war. You meet a varied cast of characters throughout the game, and one of the biggest improvements to the game are the characters themselves.

Each character has their own story, their own motivations, and their own goals.

Some of them even come to conflict with your characters’ goals. This leads to a story that actually progresses through the characters, rather than having a set goal from the start of the game.

Each character was its own unique class as well. Cecil, the main character, is a dark knight. This means he has high HP, strength, and defense, but is a bit slow.

Rosa is a white mage, so while her HP and defense are quite low, her magic and speed are higher.

Throughout the game, your party gets switched around depending on where you are in the story. This means your tactics will also change depending on who is in your party at the time. The battle system was also changed, with the introduction of the ATB system.

ATB, or Active Time Battle, means that each character gets their turns at their own speed. You can choose actions when their time bars fill up, but the enemies have their own hidden time bars. This means everything happens in real time, so although you may not make actions the enemies will continue to attack. You could take turns as they come, or wait for several characters to get a turn to unload a lot of damage at once.

The game world itself is also expanded upon. Each town or dungeon has its own unique design to it, and there are lots of areas to explore and secrets to find throughout the game. The soundtrack is also to a very high level, with "Final Fantasy 4" widely held as the first classic soundtrack to the series.

This game was translated into English. However, upon American release, the game was called "Final Fantasy 2". Due to only the original game being released in America, Square decided it would be confusing to name it "Final Fantasy 4".

The problem was, the translation was not a complete success. Due to Japanese being a more compact language than English, a large chunk of the game text had to be changed just to fit it into the game cartridge. This led to some confusion for the American release, as things were not explained as clearly to save space.

This also led to the argument of how, exactly, do you translate the game from Japanese? Do you do a direct word for word translation? Do you interpret the game script, making cultural or ease of use changes?

Square never had to worry about these things before, as the earlier games had a more basic plot.

This led to the arrival of the infamous line “You spoony bard!”. Often seen as a nonsensical insult that makes no reference to the original Japanese, it is one of the most well-known memes to originate from "Final Fantasy". Square was known to be very unhappy with the original translation of the game. Each re-release of the game, whether for the PS1, GBA or even on Steam, tweaked and changed the translation to something more their liking.

"Final Fantasy 4" was a phenomenal success for Square, selling around 1.5 million copies for the SNES world-wide.

'Final Fantasy 5'

Released in 1992 for the SNES, "Final Fantasy 5" was another commercial success for Square.

Felt by many as an updated re-telling of "Final Fantasy 3", it certainly carries a lot of resemblances.

You play as Bartz, a wandering adventurer, who stumbles upon a meteor. There he is introduced to characters who set him on a large quest to save the world from destruction. Like in the previous game, each main character has their own motivations. Being able to expand their personalities means the game feels more focused and the characters more likable.

The game uses the ATB battle system from the previous game, though it switches to the job system previously seen in "Final Fantasy 3". As you progress through the game, your characters gain access to different jobs. As you level the jobs up you gain abilities that you are able to use in other jobs.

For example, if you train as a white mage you can use higher level healing spells. You can then switch to a thief but equip the ability to use white magic. This gives even more flexibility to the builds of your characters.The game’s difficulty feels a lot more balanced too.

While experience to level up is not as plentiful, ability points needed to level jobs are quite easy to obtain. This helps cut down on the grinding to learn new job skills. It does not take long to see what each job does as soon you collect a new one and can experiment freely.

The soundtrack for the game is quite good. Though not a huge step up from the previous installment, it is still known to be a solid soundtrack with some stand out songs.

The game introduces fan-favorite character Gilgamesh and his theme music, Clash on the Big Bridge. He later appears in several other games in the series and his theme gets a new remix each time.

Square made several attempts to translate the game for North American audiences, but no attempt was ever finished. Due to this, the game was not released outside of Japan until the PS1 re-release in 1999. Despite this, the game sold very well. It sold over 2 million copies in the first two months of release. The game is also available on the Game Boy Advance and Steam.

'Final Fantasy 6'

"Final Fantasy 6" was released for the SNES in 1994 and is widely seen by many today to be, not only one of the greatest RPGs of all time, but also one of the best games ever created.

You start the game controlling Terra, who is attacking the town of Narshe for the empire. There, she meets a mysterious creature who makes her pass out. The empire tries to track her down while a treasure hunter named Locke is recruited by the resistance to bring her to their headquarters.

"Final Fantasy 6" has a large cast of characters, with 14 in total to make up your final party. The vast majority of these get development throughout the game, whether through the story or side quests, you can complete to gain more of their backstory and insights.

A bonus of such a large cast of characters is that if you don’t like one character, you always have other options. Each character has their own unique skill to differentiate them, but everyone can eventually learn magic.

The world itself is huge, with towns and dungeons littering the landscape. There are so many secrets hidden around the world that may be impossible to find without prior information. The pacing and difficulty of the game are tight, never too easy, nor too difficult, while still moving you through the game fast enough so you always feel engaged.

The soundtrack is quite possibly one of the strongest in the entire “Final Fantasy” series. It has a villain, in Kefka, who is one of the most unhinged bad guys in video game history. Without getting into too much detail, he does a lot of dark things throughout the game. It gets to the point where you are actively wanting to stop him. There is so much to explore and do in the game that you aren’t even quite sure how they managed to squeeze everything into one cartridge.

This “Final Fantasy” was a series swansong for a Nintendo console, due to Nintendo sticking with cartridges for their next console while Square wanted to make use of discs that Sony’s Playstation was using, and they certainly went out with a bang.

"Final Fantasy 6" sold over 3 million copies in the first year of its release. It has been re-released several times over the years, a testament to its quality. You can find it for the Game Boy Advance, Steam, PS1 as well as the original SNES. If you only play one "Final Fantasy" game, make sure it is this one.

Next time we will look at the PS1 era of Final Fantasy games, where the series and the JRPG genre exploded in popularity.