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Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin

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Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin
Stranger of Paradise Final Fantasy Origin logo.png
"My MiSsIoN iS tO kIlL cHaOs"
Protagonist(s): Jack Garland
Genre(s): Action
Rating(s): M
Platform(s): Microsoft Windows
PlayStation 4
PlayStation 5
Xbox One
Xbox Series X/S
Release: March 18, 2022
Developer(s): Team Ninja
Publisher(s): Square Enix
Country: Japan
Series: Final Fantasy
Successor: Final Fantasy (chronologically)
"Who writes this?"
Sees Tetsuya Nomura's name*
"Okay, that makes sense.

Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin is a 2022 action role-playing game developed by Team Ninja and published by Square Enix as part of the franchise's 35th anniversary. It serves as a prequel to the first Final Fantasy game.


Stranger of Paradise revolves around Jack Garland, who is obsessed with killing Chaos after learning that it has begun to take over the world with its darkness. He along with his companions set out to destroy Chaos and prevent it from plaguing the world.

Bad Qualities

  1. Jack Garland is an incredibly unlikable protagonist. He is far too serious acting, constantly delivers edgy lines, and never shuts up about Chaos, ultimately making a laughably cheesy character. His voice actor also does a laughably bad job at voicing him, especially when it comes to his constant grunting, which makes him even more cheesy.
  2. The opening sequence is a jumbled mess, as it constantly jumps between a lot of different scenarios without any context. Meanwhile, "My Way" from Frank Sinatra plays in the background, which is completely unfitting.
  3. The story is pretty bad, as it starts out being pretty uneventful and forgettable, and then becomes a confusing mess towards the end.
    • A lot of the story consists of teleporting to different dungeons to restore four powerful crystals. While passable in the 1980s, the teleportation feels lazy for 2022 standards, and disrupts the flow of the story. The crystals are also unoriginal, being based on the four classic elements (water, earth, fire, and air) that have been used in tons of other media.
    • The way the cutscenes, especially the final twist, play out are unintentionally funny to watch with how poorly written the characters are, especially when it comes to Garland.
    • The final twist about Garland being Chaos the whole time is confusing, comes out of nowhere, and is arguably one of the funniest cutscenes due to the problem mentioned above.
  4. Although it is supposed to be a reinterpretation and prequel of the original Final Fantasy game, it plays out very similarly to said game, making it feel more like a remake of said game than doing its own unique thing.
  5. Most of Garland's companions feel like they're there just for the sake of accompanying him, and they contribute very little to the overall story and during combat. They're also generic in personality, and lack any memorability.
  6. Although visually appealing, most of the areas are linear and offer very little to explore or do other than getting from point A to point B.
    • There are hidden chests here and there, but they're not worth finding since the loot is randomized and usually tend to contain useless items.
    • There's also nothing stopping the player from avoiding the enemies, and since most of the enemies are easy to avoid, it's possible to complete entire levels without killing most, if not any of the normal enemies.
  7. Although too easy for the most part, there's times where the combat tends to get overly chaotic, especially during the boss fights. This makes it difficult to tell what's going on and if you're taking damage or not. What's worse is that Garland has very little health and dies in a few hits.
  8. Speaking of combat, most of the bosses are annoying difficulty spikes. They mostly only target the player and rarely ever go after the companions, and since their attacks are designed for attacking both the player and the companions, this makes their attacks nearly impossible to dodge.
  9. Since you have four companions accompanying you for most of the game, trying to manually equip all five characters with better gear is pretty tedious. What doesn't help is that all five of them will constantly need better gear as the game progresses, and none of the skill trees increase damage dealt or defenses.
  10. The leveling curve for the main quests is too steep and will force the player to play the side quests. A lot of the side quests are lazily done as they involve backtracking through areas the player already went to.
  11. There's only one combat theme that plays throughout the game, which gets pretty repetitive after a while.
  12. The inventory fills up too quickly due to the levels giving you too many items that you'll likely never use.
  13. There's an option to upgrade your equipment, but this feels pointless since you'll most likely get better equipment in the next level.
  14. There's a menu to talk to different NPCs, but it feels tacked on without any though put into it. Most of the NPCs offer meaningless dialogue, and the game takes forever to load the dialogue.
  15. The graphics are outdated looking, looking no better than a game on a seventh generation console. The most visible example is with the character models and how lifeless they tend to look.
    • The performance is also rather poor, with the frame-rate frequently dipping during combat.
      • Porting Disaster: Even the Xbox One (base and S models) and Series S struggled with significant texture downgrades, despite the latter console use smoother frame-rate.
  16. The game's file size is strangely huge despite the outdated graphics and not even being open-world, being almost twice the size of Elden Ring's file size.

Good Qualities

  1. A fun combat system reminiscent to that of the Nioh games. The controls are tight, there's many different playstyles to use, there's many combos to pull off that give satisfying results, and the enemy deaths are satisfying to see.
  2. The game allows for co-op, meaning that up to 3 players can play together.
  3. The job system is unique compared to other Final Fantasy, as elements from the weapons system in Nioh are added here, and these elements transition well into the gameplay of a Final Fantasy game. There's plenty of different skill trees, each with their own tiers as the player progresses through them (basic, advanced, and expert).
    • It's also possible to use two skill trees at a time, allowing for more different playstyles to try out.
  4. There's also a lot of different armor and weapons to try out, even if the game gives you too much of it.
  5. The soundtrack is great, and has a lot of remastered and remixed tracks from older Final Fantasy games.
  6. In addition to the soundtrack, there's a bunch of other nice throwbacks to the older Final Fantasy games.
    • A lot of enemies from the older Final Fantasy games make a return here.
    • All of the areas are based on some of the most memorable areas from previous games.
  7. While it is tedious to have to go re-equip five different characters, there's an option that automatically picks better gear for them called "Optimize Equipment", which cuts down on the tediousness.


Prior to release, hype for Stranger of Paradise was minimal due to the trailers focusing too much on Garland and showing just how unlikable Garland is while at it, as well as having a demo that was unplayable due to bugs.[1]

Stranger of Paradise was met with mostly mixed reception from critics and gamers alike and is generally regarded as one of the weaker Final Fantasy games in the franchise. On Metacritic, the game has a Metascore of 65/100 on the PC, a 72/100 on the PS5, and a 66/100 on the Xbox Series X/S. Meanwhile, the user score is a 6.6/10 on the PC and PS5, and an 8.1/10 on the Xbox Series X/S.[2][3][4]

Stranger of Paradise sold poorly, and is one of the worst-selling Final Fantasy games in the franchise. In Japan, it sold only a little under 47,000 copies during its first week, which is the fourth-worst opening week of any Final Fantasy game in Japan.[5]



  • Jack's constant saying of "We're going to kill Chaos" has become a meme since its reveal trailer.


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