Pokémon, Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts. These franchises are examples of the many popular Japanese role-playing games (JRPGs) available. If you’ve ever wondered how JRPGs became such a beloved aspect of gaming culture, Aidan Moher’s new book is for you. Fight, Magic, Items explores the history and origins of the JRPGs we know and love. And today Nerdist exclusively reveals the cover for Fight, Magic, Items: The History of Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, and the Rise of Japanese RPGs in the West.
Artist Sara Alfageeh created the striking cover. Moher tells Nerdist, “I had so many ideas for Fight, Magic, Items‘ cover: bold colors, obsessive details, fun Easter eggs, and everything between. And then Sara went and blew my expectations way outta the water. (Pun intended, sorry.) I’m also obsessed with the classic JRPG battle command motif, which were obvious inspiration for the book’s title. If you know, you know. But that’s just the first step on this journey to level up and take down the dark lord.”
In Fight, Magic, Items, Moher guides readers through the history of JRPGs. He begins with the origins of classics: Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest. As Moher looks back, he considers the technical challenges creators addressed while bringing their games to life. The video game industry today would be entirely different without JRPGs.
As the Fight, Magic, Items synopsis states:
The Japanese roleplaying game (JRPG) genre is one that is known for bold, unforgettable characters; rich stories, and some of the most iconic and beloved games in the industry. Inspired by early western RPGs and introducing technology and artistic styles that pushed the boundaries of what video games could be, this genre is responsible for creating some of the most complex, bold, and beloved games in history—and it has the fanbase to prove it. In Fight, Magic, Items, Aidan Moher guides readers through the fascinating history of JRPGs, exploring the technical challenges, distinct narrative and artistic visions, and creative rivalries that fueled the creation of countless iconic games and their quest to become the best, not only in Japan, but in North America, too.
Fight, Magic, Items arrives on October 4, 2022. You can place your preorder now.
Amy Ratcliffe is the Managing Editor for Nerdist and the author of A Kid’s Guide to Fandom, available now. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.