After nearly three hundred issues, Nintendo Power is finally coming to an end. To send this long-running periodical off in style, the Cover Critic has decided to review every single issue. Join him as he experiences every aspect of Nintendo's journey through their magazine covers.
Imagine, if you can, a time when Americans had no clue what a role-playing game was. The concept of turn-based combat, random battles and experience points were about as foreign as driving on the left side of the road and enjoying soccer. But Nintendo was willing to take a chance on these slow-paced adventure games. And one of the ways they did this was to release this strategy guide, a book specifically designed to lead you through the world of Final Fantasy.
Regardless of whether the audience is clueless or not, releasing a Final Fantasy strategy guide was smart. Although slight by today's standards, Square's classic adventure game is full of hidden treasure chests and tough bosses. This is the kind of game that demands detailed maps, item guides and a chart that exposes each enemy's weakness. Forget platforming action and ninja games, Final Fantasy is the reason why strategy guides still exist.
Thankfully the importance of this guide outweighs the goofiness of the cover art. Here we have four very large men huddled together in a teeny tiny air ship. We get the arrogant knight, axe-wielding soldier, perfectly centered ninja and a wizard who is dangerously close to getting his head chopped off by the blades. With no room to walk around or lie down, this looks like the single worst way to travel throughout the solar system.
And if that's what we're doing, why is it that none of our heroes is wearing a space suit? That is a floating city behind them, so clearly something funky is going on with the oxygen on this planet. Furthermore, why would we need propeller blades if we're floating through space? What kind of air ship is this? And seriously, Nintendo, can't you help a brother out and draw a bigger boat? I guess that's what Final Fantasy II is for.