The Final Fantasy Pixel Remasters are almost definitive - but this is the missing content from other versions
The Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster series is on the way to consoles at long last - and with the PC versions long behind us and the additional console features revealed, we now know exactly what these new remasters of Final Fantasy I, II, III, IV, V and VI will include. They're quite definitive - but also missing some content from past versions of these games.
To be fair to Square Enix, the company was clear from the moment these Pixel Remasters were first revealed, when we were doing a feverish screenshot analysis of the new sprite work. The Steam page for FF1 featured a plain disclaimer: "This remaster is based on the original "FINAL FANTASY" game released in 1987. Features and/or content may differ from previously rereleased versions of the game." Similar disclaimers are present for the other five games.
But what does it mean? Well, let us break it down. It actually only effects five games in earnest - FF3 never saw any rereleases that added significant content. FF1, 2, 4, 5 and 6 all saw significant tweaks and additions however, particularly on GBA - and those additions have thus far generally carried through to every subsequent version.
Until now, that is. As the disclaimer warns, the changes - which have been kept from the 2000s GBA releases through PSP and several mobile interations, are out this time around. For hardcore completionists, this might be a list of content that soon can only be played in older versions. You might not want to sell those GBA carts just yet.
Content removed from the FF1 & FF2 Pixel Remasters
For Final Fantasy I, Final Fantasy II, and Final Fantasy III, we now know for certain the Pixel Remaster versions of the games are based off the original Famicom/NES versions of the titles. In subsequent years across rerelease on Wonderswan Color, PS1, and Game Boy Advance, additional elements were added to these rereleases of the games. If you played FF1 and FF2 in the on GBA 'Dawn of Souls' version, for instance, it's likely content you experienced there will be absent in the Pixel Remaster.
If these games are indeed based solely on the original NES versions, below we list what will lilkely be missing from FF1 & FF2. Because there were no significant later re-releases of the 2D Final Fantasy III, and no Western version at all, there's no additional content for that game to be cut. Additions were made to Final Fantasy III's 3D remake, but that is still available to play.
Final Fantasy I
- Soul of Chaos Dungeons: four additional dungeons added in the Dawn of Souls GBA version of the game, subsequently present in the 20th anniversary release on PSP and iOS re-release of the game. Each of these dungeons is very large - longer than any individual dungeon in the main FF1 progression. They unlock throughout the game's normal progression, opening up once each dungeon's elemental fiend is defeated during the main plot. These dungeons also featured call-backs (or calls forward?) to other Final Fantasy titles:
- Earthgift Shrine - featuring the Dark Crystal Guardians from FF3.
- Hellfire Chasm - featuring battles against the Four Fiends of the Elements from FF4.
- Lifespring Grotto - featuring battles against FF5's Omega, Shinryu, Atomos, and Gilgamesh.
- Whisperwind Cove - featuring battles against FF6 classics Typhon, Orthros, Death Gaze, and - yes - Phantom Train.
- Labyrinth of Time Dungeon: a single bonus dungeon in the 20th anniversary PSP version of FF1 that's also present in the iOS version. It's a puzzle-driven, multi-floor dungeon, and features a new ultimate super-boss at the end. The boss, Chronodia, has eight different forms and drops a unique piece of gear after each form is defeated. It unlocks late into the normal game progression of FF1.
Final Fantasy II
- Soul of Rebirth post-game story: added to FF2 as part of the GBA version and then later reappearing in on PSP and mobile, this quest only unlocks after completing the game. It appears in the menu as a new option in and is quite literally a new secondary quest that picks up where FF2 left off and tells a little more story - and it even includes a new playable character.
- Arcane Labyrinth Dungeon: three different dungeons that make up one larger dungeon in FF2, added in the 20th anniversary and mobile versions of the game. There's an element of chance to these dungeon designs - the players answer questions which determines the dungeon layouts. There are 45 possible floors to explore, each with different encounter tables and treasures to find. They can be approached at any time, and are designed to be revisited multiple times to get all their rewards.
Content missing from the FF4, FF5, and FF6 Pixel Remasters
While we currently don't know for absolute certain if Final Fantasy IV, V and VI will be based on their original SNES/Super Famicom versions yet, the wording on the bundle package and the fact that Square Enix made the choice to directly base FF1 and FF2 on the originals suggests to us that it's likely that the 16-bit FFs will get the same treatment.
If this is the case - and we'll update this page when we find out one way or the other - there will be similar cut content in FF4, FF5 and FF6, mostly from the Game Boy Advance versions of the game. Here's what might be absent in the Pixel Remaster:
Final Fantasy IV
- Lunar Ruins Dungeon: this bonus dungeon was added in FF4 Advance on GBA, and was then featured in FF4 Complete Collection on PSP. The mobile version of the game features an 'EX Dungeon' which is functionally similar to the Lunar Ruins. The dungeon features randomized floors and a new super-boss, Zeromus EG.
- In addition to the random floors, there are set 'trials' for each character - and when completed, they get exclusive ultimate weapons and equipment that changes and enhances their abilities. Each floor and trial completed nets a wide range of rewards.
- Party Member Switching: in the GBA release of FF4 onwards, in the late game you're able to switch party members and therefore add characters like Cid, Yang, Palom, and Porom back to your party. The only permanent party member is Cecil, and some scenes towards the end of the game change depending on who is in the party. In the original version, there's no party switching of this nature.
Final Fantasy V
- Sealed Temple Dungeon: added to FF5 in the GBA version and then available in the to-be-discontinued mobile & Steam versions of the game. The dungeon features multiple new battles including against Neo Shinryu and Omega Mk. II, and culminates in an all-new boss battle against Euno. The dungeon can be explored earlier in the game, but can only be fully completed after finishing the main game. At this point, it becomes a post-game dungeon, with its Cloister of the Dead area featuring the ability to rebattle most of FF5's bosses.
- New Jobs: playing the Sealed Temple dungeon also unlocks four new jobs not in the original game: Cannoneer, Gladiator, Oracle, and Necromancer.
Final Fantasy VI
- Dragon's Den Dungeon: a new dungeon added in FF6 Advance on GBA and then featured again in the to-be-discontinued mobile & Steam versions of the game. As the dungeon name suggests, it includes tweaked, more difficult rematches with the eight legendary dragons, and then an all-new fight against a new super boss enemy, the Kaiser Dragon. There's also a battle against Ultima Weapon hidden in here, but it's only accessible after you complete the rest of the dungeon.
- The Dragon's Den features many enemies not otherwise in FF6, including some drawn from previous games.
- The Dragon's Den Dungeon is also home to new ultimate weapons for every character except Gau and Umaro.
- Soul Shrine Dungeon: another new dungeon added into the GBA version of FF6, and once again also present on the to-be-discontinued mobile and PC versions. Once you've finished Dragon's Den and the main story, you can head to this dungeon as a post-game challenge.
- The soul shrine is intended as the ultimate challenge, where players have to face over a hundred battles against various difficult enemies and bosses.
- You can grind to complete the bestiary here, while the drops are powerful items that'll be helpful, especially in training to head back to Dragon's Den to beat Ultima Weapon.
- Extra Espers: added in FF6 Advance and present in subsequent versions, four new Epsers famed from elsewhere in the FF universe: Leviathan, Gilgamesh, Cactuar, and Diabolos.