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A Faithful Prequel

Final Fantasy: Sky Warriors is a fan-made prequel to the original Final Fantasy in RM2k3. It emulates the look and feel of the NES classic with some small concessions due to running in a different engine. We play as Garland before his infamous days of knocking down heroes and see the events that result in the state of affairs at the beginning of official game.

Let’s Talk About Assets!

The visuals are mostly ripped directly from 8-bit FF, as are many of the map layouts. The music leans more toward retro remixes, but some of the original tracks are there too (if I’m not mistaken). The new assets blend aesthetically for the most part. Some of the new monsters and bosses don’t feel like they match the style quite right. They look 8-bit, but the artwork and coloring just seem off to me. This is purely a nitpick since I think they wouldn’t bother most players and this is probably due to my familiarity with the old graphics. It’s cohesive enough to pass and the only piece that’s really out of place is the credits theme (but it’s badass so I’ll forgive it).

Let’s Talk About Story!

As a prequel tale with an established end goal, I’d say this is mostly convincing. You start out as Garland living in the Lufenian sky castle with the new characters Ruby and Cid. The former joins your party as a white mage and the latter is a brilliant technician who is responsible for the high-tech creations of his country. The inciting incident comes quickly when Tiamat invades and sends everyone fleeing in terror. Returning to Lufenia’s land-based dwellings, Cid forms a plan to power the elemental orbs to use against Tiamat and restore order. Thus, the quest begins.

There are a few more familiar faces along the way. You run into Bikke the pirate and Astos the black mage. Matoya is in one of the towns and she’s not a blind old mystic yet. There are also some new characters who seem oddly specific and whose origins I can’t speak for. I’m guessing everyone is FF-related in one way or another, but I don’t know enough to say.

The plot is relatively nonlinear since the game is largely open-world. It held up fine for me until the end when they tried to explain how Chaos comes into the picture. I can’t really describe it without spoilers, so suffice it to say it’s kinda weird. It also felt a bit strange to have proper dialogue and scenes in a game of this style since the original was so minimalistic and practical. That’s not a knock against it; I like that they put more emphasis on the story, I only felt it worth mentioning.

Let’s Talk About Gameplay!

This is RM2k3 with a retro FF bend. Given that you don’t start in the same place as the original, you explore the world in a completely different order. Monsters generally appear in the same places they used to, but are scaled for your expected party strength where possible. It’s linear for a short while at the start, but the world opens up rapidly and you can explore most of it at your leisure. It’s only a couple plot points before you can access the sea, and then the sky once airship use becomes necessary.

Many of the maps used are 1:1 with the original, which makes sense since there isn’t a huge amount of time between these events and the start of the canon game. However, there are also several new dungeons and scenarios to explore, so it isn’t totally unoriginal. The bosses are also unique as you don’t cross paths with the four fiends or Chaos outside of story scenes. There are new enemies and new variants of old enemies to find as well, but they don’t stand out much from the crowd. Combat is simple enough that you can take down most encounters with a good balance of offense and healing.

Bosses are a bit more eventful as they often spawn in reinforcements once certain thresholds have been crossed. Some of the bosses have special gimmicks, but again, you have enough options at your disposal to trivialize them. This is partially due to RM2k3’s handling of magic, which is much less limited than the original. There are still spell levels, but they only pertain to MP, so they all draw from the same pool and you can cast as much as you can afford. There’s a ton of magic you can buy or find for your party and most of it isn’t necessary. Certain equipment items let you use them from the menu to cast spells for free, and these are varied enough to cover most of your needs, provided you obtain them.

There’s nothing to it as far as puzzles go; just dungeon delving and combat all the way through. You need to search carefully and listen to hints in towns to find some of the bonus dungeons, but that’s about as complicated as it gets. It plays to the original’s strengths apart from the party versatility, as you only get the four heroes you find along the way.

Let’s Wrap This Up…

Although it’s easier to appreciate this game if you’re familiar with FF, I think it’s still a solid title. I can’t give it all the credit since so much of the graphics and world are borrowed from the original, but the new contributions and the ways it weaves into the existing plot are clever. As someone who’s played the original and knew a bit of what to expect, it was fun to explore and see what changes were there. For someone who’s never tried it, I imagine it would be engaging to navigate.


You can have your dragon and eat it, too.


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Woo! Sky Warriors second review, finally!

Thank you so much a for a playing mah game, Hali!
RMN's Official Reviewmonger
You're welcome! I'm always open to more!
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