Final Fantasy V by Chris Kohler

 

When Final Fantasy V was released for the Japanese Super Famicom in 1992, the game was an instant hit, selling two million copies in the first two months alone. With a groundbreaking job system that combined the usual character classes like knights, thieves, and mages with offbeat classes such as chemists, dancers, and bards, the game appeared to be a shoo-in for North American distribution. But the game was dubbed "too hardcore" for a Western audience and was swapped out with Final Fantasy Mystic Quest, a simplistic new game tailor-made for Americans.  

That didn't stop a teenage Chris Kohler from tracking down Final Fantasy V. The young RPG fan got a Japanese copy of the game, used it to teach himself Japanese, and with the help of some internet companions created the first-ever comprehensive English-language FAQ of the game. As the internet narrowed the cultural gap between the East and West more each year, the game was eventually translated into English for the PlayStation, Game Boy Advance, and iOS. 

Fans in the West finally got to learn what all the fuss was about. Now the acclaimed author of Power-Up and an editor at Kotaku, Kohler is revisiting the game that started his career in games journalism. Based on new, original interviews with Final Fantasy V's director, Hironobu Sakaguchi, as well as previously untranslated interviews with the rest of the development team, Kohler's book weaves history and criticism to examine one of the Final Fantasy series's greatest and most overlooked titles.

Pre-order your copy on Kickstarter!

​Chris Kohler is the author of Power-Up: How Japanese Video Games Gave the World an Extra Life, and the founding editor of Game|Life, the Webby-nominated video game section of WIRED. He is currently Features Editor of Kotaku, and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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