This is possibly the best Final Fantasy item I’ve ever brought!!! It was released at the end of last year for the 25th anniversary of the Final Fantasy series and is the most complete collection of games in one set. I brought it direct from Square’s Japanese e-store along with my Ultimanias with the help of a Japanese friend.
It arrived in a sturdy outer brown box with FINAL FANTASY 25th ANNIVERSARY ULTIMATE BOX printed on the side.
I opened this up to reveal a beautiful white box. It was housed in a slipcase and had all the details of what was included in Japanese on the back.
Underneath the slipcase, the box is pure white with just the words FINAL FANTASY and 25th ANNIVERSARY ULTIMATE BOX underneath, all in a mirror print in the middle on the front. The back was blank.
If you view the box from the side you can see the two white parts don’t touch. In this gap there a metallic material which reflects the light.
The top of the box slides off easily to reveal the contents wrapped in a protective layer.
Included inside are the Playstation versions of every main title from I through to XIII. As expected, I – IX are for the PS1 (except for III which was only available on the PSP), X – XII are for the PS2 and XIII is for the PS3.
The individual cases for each game are also white but they have Amano artwork printed on the front of each. It’s difficult to explain and also very hard to photograph but you should be able to just make out Cloud and Sephiroth in the picture below. Incidentally VII is the only international version included in the set. All the other games are their original edition (including XII – no Zodiac Job System here sadly).
As this item was strictly limited to Japan the games are only in Japanese. Square never included English menus and voice acting in their Japanese copies. I have popped VII and XIII into my PS3 for a spin and there is nothing special about the start up to the discs or content on them (I was hoping for a 25th Anniversary logo as the game booted but there isn’t). But all the discs do have new artwork from Yoshitaka Amano made especially for the anniversary. The artwork is both on the disc and also in the disc holder/case.
Something which I didn’t expect was the inclusion of manuals for each game. They are separate for each game and in their original style and format. So the PS1 ones are the small square size and the PS2 ones are taller. It was a nice touch in an age where most manuals are digital.
Also included in the set were two CDs. The first was a narrative in Japanese which goes through each game one by one with snippets of well known tracks from each game. As I can’t speak Japanese I can’t comment on the content. The second CD was very unusual. At first I thought I had a faulty disc but apparently not – the CD is a collection of 99 sound effects. For example the sound of one of the characters striking an enemy or the sound played when a chest is opened. Each track is only a few seconds long and is quite an unusual addition to the set. This CD is available on its own in Japan.
As well as the CDs, a bluray disc was also in the set which I haven’t watched yet but it includes an anniversary video.
Off the discs and onto the rest of the goodies included; there is a limited print of the 25th Anniversary artwork by Yoshitaka Amano and an acrylic frame to place it in. The print itself is printed onto very thick card; I’d say approximately 2 mm.
I expected it on thin glossy paper but that isn’t the case. The frame also comes with a plaque at the bottom with its number. Mine was 04132 although I don’t know how many were made altogether. This is definitely one of my favourite items in the set.
Next in the box was an art book which resembled a postcard book as the pages were thick and glossy.
It’s called Crystal Art Works and shows off some of the best art of the whole series. It’s very stiff so it was difficult to open the pages. I managed to pick out two of my favourites to show you – one of Lightning which was used in the Square Enix Members Ultimate prize a few years back and the other is a piece I had never seen before which has Lightning, Serah, Noel, Noctis, Rem and another Type-0 character who I don’t know the name of. It’s a really fantastic piece of art and I’d have loved a wall scroll of it. I hope Square produce one!
And finally the last item included was an item code for FFXIV. It’s a shame no actual disc was included for XIV but I suspect was due to the delay of a PS3 copy being released. The set is completely for Playstation after all, it wouldn’t have made sense to have included a PC version of the game. The item code is for a Mogu Mogu Earring. As A Realm Reborn hasn’t yet been launched I’m unsure what the item will look like or even what it’s stats will be.
And that is the Final Fantasy 25th Anniversary Ultimate Box in one rather lengthy post! Additional photos are in the gallery below. This is definitely one of the best items Square Enix has ever produced. They really pulled out all the stops for the anniversary! This set was expensive but when you consider the quality of it it’s no surprise. Something like this will only go up in price so if you missed out I suggest you don’t hang around!