Back in the 90s, Final Fantasy VII broke new ground in the RPG genre. With a then-huge budget and similarly vast story, it was widely regarded as a high point both for the franchise and its studio – even 20 years on, it’s still discussed in glowing terms.
All of which brings us to 500 Years Later: An Oral History Of Final Fantasy VII – a lavish new book devoted to the game’s making. In essence, its text is an expansion of the 30,000 word oral history article originally published on Polygon earlier this year; the added draw, particularly for Final Fantasy fans, is that the book is a big, handsomely-designed hardback publication from Read-Only Memory – the firm behind such videogame delights as Sega Mega Drive/Genesis: Collected Works and Sensible Software 1986-1999.
Like those earlier books, 500 Years Later is a lovingly put-together bit of design and print: its 200 pages are housed in thick, matt-black covers and a custom case, while its book marks serve as a cunning means of finding hidden messages and easter eggs. The pages themselves contain original illustrations and production art, as well as longer, uncut interviews with the dozens of artists and designers that made Final Fantasy such a classic.
500 Years Later is looking for backers on Kickstarter now, and £25 gets you a copy of the book. Lovely.