Final Fantasy V was originally released exclusively in Japan for the Super Famicom, but it was later released in America for the PlayStation, Game Boy Advance, PCs and mobile phones.
A millennium ago, a powerful mage named Enuo summoned an evil entity called the “Void” to doom the world and spread demons far and wide across the land, but the people of the world retaliated by using twelve legendary weapons to vanquish them. They were able to stop Enuo, but they were unable to stop the Void.
In order to save the planet, they split the world’s four elemental crystals into two sets, creating two worlds and sealing the Void in a dimensional cleft between worlds. The demons that Enuo had unleashed were then sealed inside a tree in the Great Forest of Moore.
A thousand years pass and thanks to the powers of the four crystals of wind, water, fire and earth, the two worlds prosper. Travel by ship became the primary means of transportation, communication and commerce between the two worlds.
However, the demons sealed inside the tree were beginning to emerge forth as a corrupted amalgamation known as Exdeath.
Four warriors known as the Four Warriors of Dawn (Galuf, Xezat, Dorgann and Kelger) had successfully sealed Exdeath, bringing peace to the two worlds for another 30 years, but as anyone who plays a Final Fantasy game knows, peace does not last long.
When the king of Tycoon notices the wind in his kingdom begin to slow and stale, he ventures to the Wind Shrine to investigate, witnessing the Wind Crystal shatter before his eyes. The elemental crystals formed a seal upon Exdeath, but now they were breaking, which meant Exdeath would be released and make the planet uninhabitable again. It’s up to you to defeat him and save the world.
Bartz Klauser, a young traveler who is the son of Dorgann, one of the Warriors of Dawn who defeated Exdeath 30 years ago. Bartz’s quest begins when he investigates the site of a meteorite strike.
Lenna Charlotte Tycoon, princess of Tycoon who followed her father to the Wind Shrine to investigate the state of the Wind Crystal.
Galuf Doe, a mysterious old man who was unconscious near the meteorite site. He was one of the original Warriors of Dawn, but now he has amnesia and can’t remember who he is.
Faris Scherwiz, pirate captain who captures Bartz, Lenna and Galuf when they try to steal her ship.
Krile Mayer Baldesion, granddaughter of Galuf who eventually receives her grandfather’s powers.
Cid Previa, the engineer.
Mid Previa, Cid’s grandson.
Ghido, the turtle sage.
Exdeath, the main villain.
Gilgamesh, Exdeath’s henchman.
The game was written and directed by Hironobu Sakaguchi with Yoshinori Kitase contributing humor to the dramatic script. Designs were by Hiroyuki Ito with concept art credited to Yoshitaka Amano and Hideo Manaba, with additional designs for the monsters you battle in combat from Tetsuya Nomura (the man who would later go on to direct the Kingdom Hearts series and the 2015 feature film Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children).
There was an upgraded Active Time Battle system in this game that displayed a time gauge bar to let you know when it was your turn to fight.
There was deeper character customization and an expanded list of job classes, including the newly introduced Blue Mage, Time Mage and Mime.
At the time, Hironobu Sakaguchi called FFV his favorite game in the series, and while the game received a mainly positive reception upon release, some thought the story was weaker than the actual gameplay, calling the characters thin and the plot clichéd. Although even the gameplay wasn’t safe from criticism by people who felt it was repetitive, a callback to previous complaints aimed at the series about numerous enemy encounters and tedious experience building. Your tolerance towards these things fully depended on what kind of gamer you were.
Greater things were still yet to come for this series.