It wasn’t Excitebike. It wasn’t Metroid. It wasn’t Tecmo Bowl. It wasn’t even Mario. Final Fantasy was the reason I begged my mom for a Nintendo Entertainment System. The NES transported me to a world where a a group of “Light Warrior” adventurers could become any one of six character classes, evolving their powers and becoming something more. Healers, Ninjas, Fighters, Black Belts, Mages, and Thieves were just the tip of the iceberg. Unlocking travel in a skiff, a full size boat, and eventually the airship became staples of the series. I was absolutely hooked by the world that was brought to life by just 7 developers within Squaresoft, and I wasn’t the only one blown away. While the in-game graphics were just simple sprites, the artwork for the box art and character designs were made by Mr. Yoshitaka Amano. Amano-san went on to create the artwork that served as the foundation for the next 10 Final Fantasy games. When I spotted The Sky: The Art of Final Fantasy, I knew what I wanted for my birthday. Well, my birthday came and went (it was the 3rd of July), but the book was slightly delayed…until it arrived today. Here’s a little bit about the box:
Previously available only as a part of the now sold-out The Sky: The Art of Final Fantasy Boxed Set, Dark Horse is pleased to offer fans another chance to own the three-book hardcover set The Sky I, II, and III, included in the new The Sky: The Art of Final Fantasy Slipcased Edition! Yoshitaka Amano is one of the world’s foremost fantasy artists, and The Sky I, II, and III showcase Amano’s ethereal illustrations for the first ten Final Fantasy games. Each hardcover book in The Sky Slipcased Edition is 11 5/8″ high by 10 5/8″ wide, and printed on glossy stock. Volume 1 contains Amano’s work for Final Fantasy I-III, Volume 2 his contributions for Final Fantasy IV-VI, and Volume 3 features his art for Final Fantasy VII-X. The elegant slipcase containing The Sky I, II, and III features the same wraparound exterior artwork as The Sky Boxed Set, with a double-hinged flap that folds around the open edge and is held flat to the back side with a hidden magnetic closure, making it easy both to remove the books and to display the set closed.
The box set is over 600 pages of high-quality artwork, enclosed in hardback bindings and enclosed in a solid case. I can’t pry the smile off my face, and I wanted to share it with you. I’ve shot 27 images from the book to share with you, our readership. Enjoy.