chapter  5
Nuclear discourse in Final Fantasy
WithRachael Hutchinson
Pages 24

This chapter examines nuclear discourse in the Final Fantasy series of role-playing games, first released by Square in 1987. It shows how the Final Fantasy series explores issues of nuclear power, using allegory and direct representation. The chapter provides several scenes from the games to show how nuclear power is represented, as raw material for energy and weapons, and as a radioactive element that can affect the human body. It shows how player engagement with the ideology of Final Fantasy is created through gameplay dynamics such as decision-making, item use, and character identification. The Japanese arts are well known for their use of atomic imagery, with memories of the 1945 bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki resonating through Japanese literature and film to manga, anime, the fine arts, photography and dramatic performance. FFVII was released as the flagship title for the original PlayStation console in 1997.