Codex Gamicus

Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin is an action role-playing game in the Final Fantasy series developed by Koei Tecmo's Team Ninja, and published by Square Enix in celebration of the series' 35th anniversary. As an alternate universe prequel of Square Enix's original Final Fantasy on the NES, the storyline follows a set of characters brought into a fantasy world to face the malevolent Chaos. The game was released in March 2022 for Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.

Gameplay[ | ]

Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin is an action role-playing game in which players take on the role of protagonist Jack, exploring environments and fighting monsters of the Final Fantasy series. Combat takes place in real-time, with Jack being able to switch between two assigned jobs and use physical and magical attacks. Once an enemy's "break gauge" is depleted, Jack can perform a finishing blow that crystallizes the enemy, allowing Jack to harvest them and restore a portion of his magic meter.

Plot[ | ]

Jack arrives in the kingdom of Cornelia, intent on destroying Chaos whose darkness has begun to plague the world, and is quickly joined by two other warriors, Ash and Jed, who have a similar mission. They petition the King of Cornelia to allow them to enter the Shrine of Chaos and destroy Chaos itself. While the King and his court are skeptical of Jack, Ash and Jed being the prophesied Warriors of Light due to the fact they are a party of three instead of four and possess only black crystals, the King allows them access to the Shrine of Chaos.

Jack and his party enter the Shrine of Chaos and seemingly defeat Chaos, only to reveal that the person they fought is a young girl named Neon, who similarly possesses a black crystal like them. She explains that she had also sought out to destroy Chaos ten years ago, but realized that Chaos is simply a myth created by humans to rationalize the existence of darkness. She had originally planned to absorb all the world's darkness to become the singular entity of Chaos that could be defeated by a band of heroes, but failed. Jack is skeptical of her story, and maintains that Chaos does exist and he will find it. Neon decides to accompany Jack's party as the fourth Warrior of Light. As they return to Cornelia, they muse about how all four of them have lost their memories, and Jack reasons it's to prevent them from making personal attachments that could interfere with their duty. The King then tasks the Warriors with restoring the Crystals of Wind, Fire, Earth, and Water to save the world.

To find the crystals, the Warriors meet with Astos, the King of the Dark Elves, who points them in the direction of the Wind Crystal. While searching for the Wind Crystal, the Warriors are transported to the Flying Fortress, a space station orbiting the planet. They defeat the Fiend of Chaos guarding the Wind Crystal, Tiamat, who reverts to another defeated hero named Sophia. The Wind Crystal is restored and Sophia decides to join the Warriors. As they journey to the Earth Crystal, the Warriors begin to recover fragments of their memories as they defeat monsters and absorb the darkness mist they expel into their crystals, and remember they all come from a faraway land beyond Cornelia. They subsequently find the Earth and Fire Crystals, defeating the respective Fiends Lich and Marilith. On the way to the Water Crystal, Neon admits to the Warriors that unlike them, she was born in Cornelia and now remembers that she was given her crystal by Astos. They then proceed to defeat the Fiend Kraken and restore the Water Crystal.

With the four Crystals restored, the Warriors return to Cornelia, only to find the darkness more prevalent than before. They are welcomed coldly and accused of being servants of Chaos just as monsters and darkness-infected pirates attack. After repelling the assault, the Warriors confront Astos looking for answers. Astos explains that he is an observer left behind by the Lufenians, a highly advanced civilization capable of interdimensional travel, tasked with reporting the balance of light and darkness in Cornelia. Astos then attacks the Warriors, and upon his defeat, they begin to recover more of their memories. It is revealed that Jack and his friends are in fact Strangers, Lufenian agents tasked with traveling to Cornelia to destroy the excess darkness Lufenia disposes of there. Jack and his friends have in fact been sent to Cornelia many times before, though their memories are temporarily erased on every deployment. However, if the Strangers fail to destroy the darkness, Lufenia simply resets the world. Disgusted by Lufenia's meddling in and manipulation of Cornelia, Jack and his friends secretly plotted with Astos to find a way to break Lufenia's hold over Cornelia. Astos reveals that Lufenia fears the darkness because if it combines with human emotion, it creates chaos, which is the one force they cannot control. He also reveals that upon his death, the darkness he has stockpiled in his body will be released and cover the entire world.

Jack and his friends rush back to Cornelia, but are unable to save Princess Sarah or any of the people. As Princess Sarah dies in his arms, Jack recovers more memories and remembers that he and Princess Sarah had fallen in love with each other. Seeing their chance, Ash, Jed, Neon, and Sophia attack Jack, forcing him to kill them in self defense and absorbing their collected darkness so he can become Chaos. He then forces open a portal back to Lufenia and absorbs Darkness Manifest, truly becoming Chaos. Fearful of chaos infection, Lufenia severs their connection with Cornelia, but warn Jack that Warriors of Light will rise to resist him. This gives Jack the epiphany that he can use his power to create conditions on Cornelia that will cause true Warriors of Light native to Cornelia to rise so they will no longer have to rely on Lufenia for protection. He then finds himself transported 2000 years in Cornelia's past by Ash, Jed, Neon, and Sophia, who have become his Four Fiends. As his friends lay the groundwork to create the Warriors of Light, Jack embraces his family name Garland and waits in his throne room as the Warriors of Light arrive to challenge him.