Theatrhythm Final Fantasy

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Theatrhythm Final Fantasy
European cover art
Developer(s) Square Enix 1st Production Department
Publisher(s) Square Enix
Director(s) Masanobu Suzui
Producer(s) Ichiro Hazama
Artist(s) Atsuhiro Tsuchiya
Series Final Fantasy
Platform(s) Nintendo 3DS, iOS, Arcade
Release date(s) 3DS
  • WW: December 13, 2012[5]
Genre(s) Rhythm
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy (シアトリズム ファイナルファンタジー Shiatorizumu Fainaru Fantajī?, pronounced "theatre-rhythm") is a rhythm video game, developed by indieszero and published by Square Enix for Nintendo 3DS[6][7] and iOS. Based on the Final Fantasy video game franchise, the game involves using the touch screen in time to various pieces of music from the series.[8] The game was released in Japan in February 2012, and in North America, Australia and Europe in July 2012. An iOS version was released in December 2012. A sequel, Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call, was released in 2014. A third game based on the Dragon Quest series, Theatrhythm Dragon Quest, was released in 2015.


A fight in Theatrhythm featuring a four-member party fighting the boss Gilgamesh. The top right shows Cloud's stats and moves, while the yellow light below indicates the following character who attacks is Tidus.

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy is a rhythm video game. Players take control of four Final Fantasy characters, and select a Final Fantasy game from the first Final Fantasy to Final Fantasy XIII. Each game has three stages: field, battle, and event. Each stage features different game mechanics than the others; once a stage is completed, the characters level up. The difficulty level can be changed in order to make it appealing to "beginners and rhythm masters alike". Throughout the game, players can unlock music and movie scenes.[9] The gameplay requires players to tap on the screen in correct spots to the beat of the music playing.[10] Within the main game section "Series Mode", there are 3 unique stage styles: Field (Overworld) Music, Battle Music, and Event (Dramatic) Music, as well as the option to play through the opening and ending themes.

  • The Opening and Ending Theme segments involve simply tapping the screen in time with music notes as they move into the center of a crystal on screen.
  • Field music is a side-scrolling rhythm game, as the screen moves from right-to-left, and a player must either tap a note, slide the stylus in a direction, or hold the stylus down while following a waving line on the touch screen. The object is to reach the end of the stage before the music ends, where another character is waiting to give the player an item. Playing well causes the character to speed up, while missing will cause the character to fall down. There is an opportunity to ride a chocobo in each level for a speed boost.
  • Battle Music is a mock-battle, with the player tapping notes correctly to do damage to the enemies onscreen. The objective is to kill all the enemies and eventually a boss character during the duration of the song. The notes come in from left-to-right. In this mode, the players must tap a note, swipe the stylus in a direction, or hold the stylus down for a long note. Good timing causes character attacks to be more powerful and can also trigger special abilities. The player has the opportunity to perform one summon attack each battle.
  • The Event Music scene includes one or more scenes from the Final Fantasy game you select, and will play the scene onscreen in the background. Controls are similar to the Field sections, albeit players now follow the cursor as it moves around the screen. Clearing gold sections extends the level's song. Characters' stats and abilities other than Hit Points do not affect these stages

There is also a "Challenge Mode" that allows the player to choose the Battle, Overworld, or Dramatic music from a Final Fantasy game that they have cleared the normal difficulty of in Series Mode. The player then plays these one stage at a time, instead of in succession as in Series Mode. If an A rank or better is received on a song, a higher difficulty is unlocked. Unlocking a higher difficulty for all three songs from a Final Fantasy Game will unlock that difficulty in Series Mode. Within Challenge Mode, there is also a "no fail" practice option for each stage.

Lastly for the music section of the game, there is a "Chaos Shrine" mode. There are a total of 99 levels, with two stages per level - a field music followed by a battle music. For each level, there are three possible bosses, with each boss dropping three items for a total of nine potential item drops per level. These items are usually rarer items or crystals needed to unlock additional characters. If one scores high enough in the first field music stage, a sign will appear indicating they will go to "Boss 2 or 3", who will have better item drops. These levels have a difficulty level between the 2nd and 3rd levels from Challenge Mode. Additionally, Chaos Shrine contains songs from Final Fantasy games not featured in other areas of the game (for example, Mambo de Chocobo). The game also features downloadable content, allowing players to purchase new songs and stages from the Nintendo eShop.[11]


The game follows the events of the gods Chaos and Cosmos, a similar plot to Dissidia Final Fantasy for the PlayStation Portable. The space between the two is called Rhythm, which gives birth to a crystal that controls music. Chaos causes the crystal to become disrupted, and the only way to return it to normal is to increase a music wave known as "Rhythmia" (known as "Rhythpo" in the Japanese version).[12][13] As such, various characters from the Final Fantasy universe are brought together in order to harness the power of Rhythmia.[14]

Development and release[edit]

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy was proposed by Square Enix's Ichiro Hazama after working in the film Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. It was originally envisioned for the Nintendo DS but development faced difficulties due to the console's limitations. Upon seeing the Nintendo 3DS, Hazama once again gave his idea to his superior Tetsuya Nomura and the company Indieszero, which resulted in the production for the game on the Nintendo 3DS.[15] For the music selection, the Square Enix staff made a music survey during development of Dissidia Final Fantasy although most of the chosen songs were from Final Fantasy VII. All the songs were included in their original versions with the exception of the "Gurugu Volcano" from the first Final Fantasy which is based on the PlayStation release since the original version was shorter.[16] The idea of using the gods Chaos and Cosmos from Dissidia was proposed by Nomura as both Hazama and he had worked in such game and wanted to continue using them.[17]

The trademark "Theatrhythm" was filed near the end of E3 2011 by Square Enix.[18] Theatrhythm Final Fantasy was officially announced for release exclusively on the Nintendo 3DS handheld game console in the Japanese manga anthology Weekly Shōnen Jump.[19] It was originally announced for release only in Japan.[20] Square Enix Japan created an official website to promote the game.[21] Rumours came up that Theatrhythm Final Fantasy would be developed by Jupiter;[22] however, it was later confirmed on the official website that it would be developed by Indieszero.[21] The character and monster designs are designed by MonsterOctopus, who also designed the Kingdom Hearts avatars found in Kingdom Hearts Mobile and Kingdom Hearts Re:Coded.[23]


Aggregate score
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 80.86%[24]
Review scores
Publication Score
Edge 6/10[25]
Eurogamer 7/10[26]
Game Informer 8/10[27]
GameTrailers 8/10[28]
Giant Bomb 4/5 stars[29]
IGN 8.5/10[30]

In the first week of release in Japan, sales of just shy of 70,000 were reported.[31] Within one month, by March 11, 2012, the game had sold 112,344 copies in Japan.[32] As of March 26, 2012, the game has sold 133,245 units in Japan.[33]

IGN gave it an 8.5 out of 10 and an Editor's Choice Award; while praising the soundtrack and cuteness of the game, the reviewers still criticized the game for being graphically "mixed".[30]

In February 2012, Nobuo Uematsu, longtime Final Fantasy composer, played Theatrhythm Final Fantasy and expressed satisfaction at the game, stating that "As I remembered various things from the past 20 years, I was reduced to tears. FF music fans should definitely play it. Won't you cry with me?".[34]


A sequel, Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call, was released for the Nintendo 3DS on April 24, 2014 in Japan, North America on September 16, 2014 and Europe on September 19, 2014.[35] The game features 221 songs and a new versus battle mode.[36]


  1. ^ "Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Taps Into Stores On July 3". Siliconera. Retrieved April 5, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy dated, overpriced in Japan". Joystiq. Retrieved November 16, 2011. 
  3. ^ Europe - A pair of Square-Enix release dates | GoNintendo
  4. ^ "Theatrhythm Final Fantasy heading to Europe in Summer 2012". Square Enix. Retrieved March 22, 2012. 
  5. ^ "THEATRHYTHM FINAL FANTASY on iTunes". Retrieved December 18, 2012. 
  6. ^ Chris Kohler (6 July 2011). "Final Fantasy on 3DS is a...Music Game?!". Wired. Retrieved 6 July 2011. 
  7. ^ Chris Kohler (11 July 2011). "Square Enix Reveals Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Developer". Wired. Retrieved 11 July 2011. 
  8. ^ "Final Fantasy's Rhythm Hits 3DS". IGN. 6 July 2011. Retrieved 6 July 2011. 
  9. ^ Anoop Gantayat (7 July 2011). "Form a Party of Four in Theatrhythm Final Fantasy". Andriasang. Archived from the original on 15 August 2011. Retrieved 12 July 2011. 
  10. ^ "Final Fantasy 3DS rhythm game "Theatrhyth - - Video Game News, Trailers, Game Videos, and Files". 2011-07-06. Retrieved 2011-07-19. 
  11. ^ Final Fantasy Theatrhythm DLC on 3DS eShop this week •
  12. ^ Anoop Gantayat (2011-07-11). "Theatrhythm Final Fantasy's Prologue". Archived from the original on 2011-08-20. Retrieved 2011-07-19. 
  13. ^ "Theatrhythm Final Fantasy How to Play". Retrieved 2012-07-04. 
  14. ^ Davison, Pete (2011-07-11). "First Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Details Emerge, News from". GamePro. Archived from the original on 2011-12-01. Retrieved 2011-07-19. 
  15. ^ "Iwata Asks Many Questions About Theatrhythm Final Fantasy". Andriasang. February 13, 2012. Retrieved July 4, 2012. 
  16. ^ "Team Theatrhythm Final Fantasy on DLC, Frame Rates and Romancing Saga". Andriasang. February 13, 2012. Retrieved July 4, 2012. 
  17. ^ "How A Final Fantasy Versus XIII Song Got Into Theatrhythm And Other Questions". Siliconera. February 2, 2012. Retrieved July 4, 2012. 
  18. ^ Spencer (2011-06-17). "Square Enix Hasn't Said Anything About Theatrhythm... Yet". Siliconera. Retrieved 2011-07-19. 
  19. ^ Spencer . July 5, 2011 . 10:49 pm (2011-07-05). "Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Is Beatmania Meets Final Fantasy". Siliconera. Retrieved 2011-07-19. 
  20. ^ Previous post Next post (2011-07-06). "Final Fantasy on 3DS Is a … Music Game?! | GameLife". Retrieved 2011-07-19. 
  21. ^ a b "Sample the Beats of Theatrhythm Final Fantasy". Archived from the original on 2011-08-15. Retrieved 2011-07-19. 
  22. ^ Richard George. "Final Fantasy's Rhythm Hits 3DS - Nintendo 3DS News at IGN". Retrieved 2011-07-19. 
  23. ^ Anoop Gantayat (2011-07-11). "Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Character Designs From Kingdom Hearts Avatar Designer". Archived from the original on 2011-07-15. Retrieved 2011-07-19. 
  24. ^ "Theatrhythm Final Fantasy". Game Rankings. Retrieved July 7, 2012. 
  25. ^ "Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Review". Edge. July 16, 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-09-03. Retrieved July 8, 2012. 
  26. ^ "Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy Review". Eurogamer. July 4, 2012. Retrieved September 19, 2014. 
  27. ^ Turi, Tim. "Theatrhythm Final Fantasy". Game Informer. Retrieved July 7, 2012. 
  28. ^ "Theatrhythm Final Fantasy". GameTrailers. 2012-07-03. Archived from the original on 2012-07-11. Retrieved July 7, 2012. 
  29. ^ Shoemaker, Brad (2012-07-05). "Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Review". Giant Bomb. Retrieved 2012-07-05. 
  30. ^ a b "IGN: Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Review". IGN. Retrieved July 7, 2012. 
  31. ^ "First week sales". andriasang. Retrieved 14 March 2012. 
  32. ^ Ishaan (March 14, 2012). "This Week In Sales: The Debut Of Hatsune Miku and Future Stars: Project Mirai". Siliconera. Retrieved 16 March 2012. 
  33. ^ "Square Enix". Garaph (based on Famitsu data). 2011-12-19. Retrieved 16 March 2012. 
  34. ^ "Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Gets Nobuo Uematsu's Endorsement". Andriasang. February 5, 2012. Retrieved July 8, 2012. 
  35. ^ We're Getting the Sequel to Theatrhythm Final Fantasy | Kotaku UK
  36. ^ Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call 3DS Game Coming in 2014 - News - Anime News Network

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