Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon
|Final Fantasy Fables:
The official North American boxart, featuring Chocobo and Raffaello
|Genre(s)||Role-playing video game|
|Mode(s)||Single player. Multi-player|
Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon (チョコボの不思議なダンジョン 時忘れの迷宮 Chokobo no Fushigi na Danjon Toki Wasure no Meikyū?, lit. Chocobo's Mystery Dungeon: the Labyrinth of Forgotten Time), is a role-playing video game published by Square Enix for the Wii. It is an installment in the Chocobo series that focuses on Chocobo and his quest to free a town lost in time from eternal forgetfulness.
Development began in 2006, and during production the game was made easier to appeal to women and young people. The game also made extensive use of music from the Final Fantasy franchise and included new music that reflected lost time.
The game was well received by critics who praised the dialogue, graphics and use of nostalgia for Final Fantasy, but noted the games shallow and repetitive gameplay. An enhanced port of the game was released for the Nintendo DS on October 30, 2008 in Japan.
The gameplay involves randomly generated dungeons and turn-based battles of the Chocobo's Mystery Dungeon title, though new elements have also been incorporated into the gameplay, such as the Job system, which features ten jobs. Different jobs change the appearance of the player's Chocobo and alter the layout of the dungeons the players enter. "Pop-up duels" also make a comeback with the addition of enemy cards that can be brought to "Mog's House", where they can be used to play minigames such as "bat shooter", "kick darts", fishing, and gardening.
The player uses the Wii Remote to control characters. The player can also choose to use the Classic Controller, if preferred. As a player moves, Chocobo regains health, and if the player loses all of his or her health, he or she will be brought back to the beginning of the current dungeon. The game is Wi-Fi compatible, and players can battle against other players.
While searching for the fabled Timeless Power gem to power his Airship, Cid and his partner Chocobo ended up being sucked into a vortex and end up in the quaint town of Lostime within the island of Memoria, which disappeared from the rest of the world fifty years ago. In the center of Lostime is a clock tower which rings the Bell of Oblivion that makes everyone lose their memories. Along with his new friend Shirma and a mysterious boy named Raffaello who is able to create a labyrinth of memories, Chocobo has to recover the lost memories of Lostime's residents. However, these actions reveal the mystery behind Raffaello and the calamity that began the trouble.
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- Chocobo (チョコボ Chokobo?): The main character of the game. Travels with Cid as treasure hunters.
- Cid (シド Shido?): A legendary treasure hunter with Chocobo as his companion, wearing a western garb complete with western hat adorned with a feather. Once he aims for a treasure, Cid is determined to obtain it using his various inventions. One such is his grandfather's designs of an airship, though he needed a powerful gem to provide the energy for it to fly. It was his search for the Timeless Power gem in the Tower of Sands that got him and Chocobo into Lostime, learning of what became of his grandfather whose dreams were Cid's reasons for being a treasure hunter.
- Raffaello (ラファエロ Rafaero?) - A mysterious young child who suddenly appears in Lostime the night Chocobo arrived. Originally a baby who force-matured himself into a green-haired boy with marine-blue feathers growing on his back, he has the ability to open a passageway into the memories of those affected by the Bell of Oblivion. However, Raffaello's origins are tied to the mystery behind Lostime which is indeed a dark mystery long forgotten. Furthermore, each time he enters a Shrine and creates a cocoon, it not only ages him, but also awakens his true self. Once the final seal is broken, Raffaello assumes the form of the Priest of Darkness while he breaks the Bell of Oblivion and summons the flying fortress. However, the good person that was Raffaello was still alive within the Destroyer, fighting back as best as he can. But Chocobo manages to end the Destroyer's reign of terror, freeing Raffaello as he saves Chocobo from falling to his death from Cid's Airship. Now as a human child, Raffaello leaves Foundtime in Cid's airship to hopes of atoning for his actions.
- Magic Beast of the Black, the Destroyer - The Guardian of Darkness, a demon who feeds on the darkness and suffering in human hearts, using the very power to turn the Shrine of Darkness into the Floating Fortress, bent on destroying everything. But although sealed by the Bell of Oblivion, the Destroyer left behind Timeless Power, the Crystal of Darkness, in the outside world for one to fall for its allure of an ideal pawn. Once it did, the demon assumes the disguise of Raffaello who subconsciously carried out his plans to be reborn. Once he breaks the curse of the Oblivion Bell, the Destroyer reveals himself while subjecting the Lostime residents to the painful memories to regain his full power. Though Chocobo came to face him, he was no match for the Destroyer until the Oracles sent him their power to fight back as the Destroyer assumes his true form. Once defeated, the Destroyer ceases to be with Raffaello, which frees him of its evil, and the seal over Lostime is broken.
- Shirma Magnolie (シロマ・マグノーリエ Shiroma Magunōrie?) - A white mage determined to save the residents from "the memory thief", living with her aunt. A gentle and kind-hearted person who also worries a lot, yet in troubled times a very strong and virtuous character. It took Chocobo entering her mind twice to reveal her identity as the Oracle of Light who was blessed by Alexander. Though wounded when Raffaello is under the Destroyer's control, she sends Chocobo, the power of light, and darkness to fight back.
- Stella (ステラ Sutera?) - Shirma's aunt. She had raised Shirma since young and treats her lovingly like her own child. Afraid that Shirma might forget her memories, Stella moves away to the town edge to avoid them from hearing the sound of the Bell of Oblivion.
- Dungeon Hero X (ダンジョンヒーローX Danjon Hīrō Ekkusu?) - This masked Moogle aids Chocobo in his adventure in Lostime, though X uses many aliases that end with "Hero X". X first appeared in Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo Tales under the name of "Dueler X".
- Mayor Gale (ゲイル市長 Geiru Shichō?) - The Mayor of Lostime. He believes that forgetting is a virtue, but he changes his mind after Chocobo ends an eternal night.
- Roche (ロシュ Roshu?): Pastor of Lostime's Church. After regaining his memories, Roche offers his aid to Chocobo by teaching him to switch jobs.
- Freja (フレイア Fureia?): The female blacksmith at Lostime, loses her memories of her dead friend Zeke that are tied to Lostime's current status. Though she couldn't fight or use magic, she sought to protect their home by becoming the blacksmith. After regaining her memories as the Oracle of Fire who was blessed by the Phoenix, Freja offers her aid to Chocobo by upgrading his equipment and giving him her power to fight the Destroyer.
- Meja Iris (メーア・アイリス Mēa Airisu?): A maid at the coffee shop run by Dardola in Lostime. Her parents died when she was a girl, and she loves Stella's biscuits. She is actually the Oracle of Water who was blessed by Leviathan, offering her aid to Chocobo by giving him her power to fight the Destroyer.
- Dardola: The owner of a coffee shop, Dardola is a sort who looks on the bright side and sees music as a means to lift everyone's spirits up. When he forgot about that, Chocobo gets rid of the Cactuars running rampant in Dardola's mind to restore memories.
- Harry: Speaking in a British accent, Harry had a childhood dream of becoming a Dragoon but was too lazy to achieve it. But when he fell in love with a potion seller named Charlotte, he changes his ways and opens a hardware store after promising her that he will work hard for her and their unborn child. Both he and Charlotte lost his memories of each other until Chocobo restores them.
- Roddy: A boy who lost his father during the calamity, he promised his father that he would protect his younger sister Claire. But the two got separated in the chaos and lost their memories of each other until Chocobo entered their minds and undid the damage caused by the Bell of Oblivion, reuniting the siblings.
- Mysterious Black Mage Croma Magnolie (謎の黒魔道士クロマ・マグノーリエ Nazo no Kuromadōshi Kuroma Magunōrie?): Shirma's older sister, she was the Oracle of Darkness blessed by the Destroyer. But when her guardian beast went mad, she lost most of her power as she was subjected to the Bell of Obilivion, forgetting everything but her rage for her guardian's betrayal. Wandering through the temple, she attacked Chocobo with her spells because his actions are undoing the seal. But once remembering her true enemy is Raffaello, she attempts to kill him before he regains his full power. However, the Destroyer preys on Croma's love for Shirma to force her into taking the fatal blow meant for her. But Raffaello manages to keep Croma alive until Chocobo defeats the Destroyer, freeing Croma who is reunited with her sister and thanks Chocobo for opening the eyes to the truth.
- Irma (イルマ Iruma?) - A treasure fanatic, Irma aspired to become a great robber and became Cid's rival in treasure hunting. After the ordeal with Bebuzzu her and her Jailbird posse are taking a break, but Irma follows Cid to take the Timeless Power from him before she and Volg got sucked into Lostime along with Cid and Chocobo. Ending up with amnesia as a result, Irma became the opposite of herself, an air-headed kind girl named Amouri. But once Chocobo enters her mind and gets rid of the Assault Scissors plaguing it, Irma regains her true self with full knowledge of her actions as Amouri to her disgust. This led to Irma giving Cid Timeless Power so he can take out the Destroyer so they can leave Lostime, thanking Chocobo before she and Volg take their leave.
- Volg (ヴォルグ Vorugu?): A black Chocobo who loves a good challenge, he suffered his first loss against a monster and was scarred and near death when found by Irma, who gave him his name and purpose as her righthand bird. After stealing the Timeless Power, Volg ends up in Lostime in search for Irma. But once he finds Irma and she is restored, Volg falls victim to the Bell of Oblivion. Fortunately, Chocobo braves the giant monsters in Volg's mind and slays Molech to restore his memories, remembering the time he and Irma met as a result.
The Chocobo no Fushigina Dungeon Toki Wasure no Meikyū Original Soundtrack was released in Japan on January 23, 2008. The theme song, Door Crawl, which is both included on the soundtrack and available as a separate single, is written and performed by Ai Kawashima.
Development began in November 2006 with new members added to the Chocobo development team as the platform had shifted from the Nintendo DS to the Wii. Pastel colors replaced the bright colors of the Chocobo Tales. Some of the more difficult game elements were removed so that it would appeal to "small children and female" players. Square Enix's Virtual World had in-game advertisements for this game during the virtual world's first week. Joe Down Studio developed the music for the game and features extensive remixing of music from various Final Fantasy games due to the positive reception of remixed Final Fantasy music in the game Chocobo Tales. New music was composed for the opening movie and demo by Kumi Tanioka. The studio requested that they be allowed to use music from the early Final Fantasy titles as it would be appropriate to the theme of forgotten time. Musical cues such as the sound of pickaxes can be heard in the Fire Dungeon, and songs play backwards to indicate the restoration of memory. The theme of forgetting your difficulties is discussed in the game story, and the developers tried to convey that putting your all into resolving problems is much better than simply trying to forget, as the people in the game story have.
An enhanced port, titled Cid to Chocobo no Fushigi na Dungeon: Toki Wasure no Meikyū DS+ (シドとチョコボの不思議なダンジョン 時忘れの迷宮 DS+ Sido to Chokobo no Fushigi na Danjon Toki Wasure no Meikyū DS Purasu?, lit. Cid and Chocobo's Mystery Dungeon: the Labyrinth of Forgotten Time DS+), was released in Japan for the Nintendo DS on October 30, 2008. It features a new storyline centering on Cid, as well as new jobs for characters to learn.
The game experienced strong sales in the first week after release in Japan, but quickly fell from the video game charts. Square Enix reports a total of 160 thousand copies have been sold as of September 30, 2008, with 90 thousand units sold in Japan and 70 thousand units sold in North America. The enhanced DS version sold over 74,000 copies by the end of 2009.
IGN praised the game for its polish, especially its graphics and humorous dialogue, and for its wealth of gameplay choices. Video game website Joystiq previewed the game, complaining that despite some graphical improvements the gameplay was little different to earlier entries in the series, and was in fact "scarily reminiscent" of the ancient 1980 DOS game Rogue which inspired the genre. The game was the runnerup for best Wii game of July 2008 on IGN. It was awarded Best RPG for the Wii by IGN in its 2008 video game awards.
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- Official Japanese Chocobo website (Japanese)
- Official Japanese Chocobo no Fushigina Dungeon Toki Wasure no Meikyū website (Japanese)
- Official North American Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon website
- Official Japanese Shido to Chocobo no Fushigina Dungeon Toki Wasure no Meikyū website (Japanese)