Although video game developer Square Enix had dabbled in a few direct follow-ups here and there, whenever the counter for its Final Fantasy role-playing franchise rolls over to a new numbered sequel, the company completely ditches the old cast of heroes and villains, and even the previous game’s world.
But even if the narrative is starting from scratch each time, that doesn’t mean the games aren’t connected. For example, every Final Fantasy has scenes where the player rides on airships or horse-sized flightless birds called chocobos. The cursor is always a white glove with a pointing index finger, and major victories in battle are marked by the sounds of the series’ instantly recognizable “Victory Fanfare.”
Gamers have already heard the short but sweet melody played by the NES, Super NES, and PlayStations 1 through 3, and this month, they can look forward to hearing it someplace new: at the register of Lawson convenience stores when they purchase special items.
On December 18, Square Enix is releasing the newest game in the franchise, Final Fantasy Explorers, an action RPG for the Nintendo 3DS. With this kind of high-profile title, there’s always the chance that every copy will be sold before you can make it to the store, so savvy gamers know it’s best to plan ahead and preorder.
Pricing on games tends to be pretty standard from one retailer to another, but there are two good reasons to give your business to Lawson. First, reserving Final Fantasy Explorers at one of the chain’s branches gets you access to an exclusive special in-game quest, which is the only way for adventurers to get their hands on an item called the Chocobo hammer. Second, when you pay for your game or go to pick it up, here’s what happens when the clerk rings you up.
If you’ve already put in an order for the game elsewhere, or if you don’t happen to own a 3DS, there’s one more way to hear the coolest cash register sound effect ever. The December issue of the Final Fantasy Magazine, which feature info, tips, and item codes for applicable titles in the franchise, hit newsstands on December 1. Buy your copy at Lawson, and just like when preordering Final Fantasy Explorers, you’ll be rewarded with the “Victory Fanfare.”
▼ Whether or not you want to spin around and throw your hands in the air is up to you.
There is one, small, knit-picky detail that’s bugging us, though. The “Victory Fanfare” plays when you defeat enemies in Final Fantasy, and is followed by a display showing how much experience and Gil (the game’s currency) you got. With that in mind, it seems like playing the music when you hand over your own cash is getting things kind of backwards.
Unless, maybe the music isn’t playing for you, but for Lawson.
▼ Defeated the customer! Got 700 yen and 2,316 experience points.
Mika levels up! Can now job change to “Assistant Manager!”