Does Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin have anything as blatantly silly as that? This Final Fantasy spinoff does indeed. These ridiculous examples will touch on the mechanics as well as the plot. There will be spoilers ahead so tread carefully in this fun roundup.
Spoilers are included.
The Fiends and the idea of Chaos do not add up in Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin. The first boss players will fight looks like the knight Garland from the original Final Fantasy. It turns out to be Neon who was corrupted by the darkness and turned into this iron-clad warrior. However, why she and Jack turn into the same thing is a mystery.
Later on, players face Tiamat, who then turns into Sophia. The other three Fiends do not turn into anything besides fragmented data. These digitized fragments look like Jack’s friends, but how can that be? How can these Fiends sometimes be real, like in the case of Neon and Sophia, and sometimes be data?
There are a lot of odd choices with the game’s mechanics. Jack, for example, cannot jump, which is something plenty of games don’t allow. In some instances, players would be climb or vault over small obstacles if prompted though. That is not the case in Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin.
Jack is seemingly helpless facing a tiny ledge like the one in the screenshot. The character would barely have to lift a knee to get over this hump. It’s funny to imagine Jack defeating mountains of enemies with relative ease only to be stumped by tiny ledges and fallen over columns. Is this man not the true harbinger of Chaos? Most characters in this series are hindered by a lack of jumping so at least Jack isn’t alone.
The helplessness of Jack can be applied to one other moment in Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin. In one of the final dungeons of the game, a piece of ceiling falls from above and pins Jack under it. This piece of rubble is not that big and yet he cannot get it off.
If Jack can punch a giant Malboro so hard that it turns into a crystal and then explodes, then surely he could have lifted that debris off of himself. It takes three people to lift it instead. It is a ridiculous thing to see in games when health and danger are different between cutscenes and gameplay in RPGs. This is a related example of that phenomenon.
This RPG series started with magical crystals controlling the world. Their elemental powers and numbers varied from game to game but they were there for a good portion. For example, the first Final Fantasy has the Four Warriors of Light travel to these crystals to reignite their powers to heal the land. That seems to be the mission in Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin too. After Jack and the others complete a crystal, the world seems to heal itself.
However, for some unknown reason, the world is still plunged into darkness after all four elemental crystals are lit. The reason why is vague at best. If Jack’s team couldn't do it then how can anyone else? What changes between this prequel and the original game? Are Jack and the others too filled with darkness and thus put the destruction of the crystals on some sort of time delay?
When the power of the crystals shut down, the kingdom gets attacked by a large swarm of monsters. Jack and the others cannot repel this darkness, leading to most of the citizens, and the royal family, dying. Jack is tasked with rescuing Princess Sarah and her sister to keep the royal bloodline alive. When she refuses to leave, Jack punches Sarah in the gut, knocking her unconscious.
Jack then throws her over his shoulder and proceeds to run away. The idea of punching women in the gut to knock them out was a tired trope when it was still happening in the '80s and '90s. This applies to games as well as anime and films. It feels incredibly out of place in a game like Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin in 2022.
Technology crept its way into the Final Fantasy series ever so slowly. There were magical tech things in the early games, like airships, but by Final Fantasy 6 and Final Fantasy 7, technology was a huge part of the entries. Seeing a phone or something like that in those games was not hard to imagine. The original Final Fantasy was devoid of modern-day technology even by '80s standards.
It’s hard to imagine then that the world of Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin would have things like phones and AirPods. The people of the kingdom don’t have this tech though. Jack is seemingly the only one with gadgets and it isn’t treated as a big deal. What’s even wilder is imagining that Frank Sinatra lives in this world. The Lufenian origins are one of the biggest mysteries left unsolved in the game. With the existence of Sinatra, the Lufenians could be Earthlings from the future. That is a stretch of an explanation with a twist. Overall it is easier to say this game doesn’t make a lot of sense.