The Finalist of Battles

So the subject of numbers in titles has popped into my head again and the trend of erasing them is just as prevalent and irritating now as it was then (The upcoming MS Flight Simulator is particularly silly: its official name is actually more vague than its shorthand nickname, “MS Flight Simulator 2020”, which is necessary to figure out what you’re actually talking about). But while this annoys me, the reason it comes to my attention lately is because I might end up being guilty of it myself.

See, I’m working toward releasing a game: the current plan is to get the new version of Final Battle out to by August 30th (hold me to this, people). And when I say “the new version of Final Battle”, I’m deliberately skirting my dilemma. Because internally, I’ve been calling it Final Battle III, but I don’t know if I should. In fact, I might even call it The Final Battle. WHhhuuaaaa–

OK, so there are currently multiple versions of the Final Battle. There is the very first original one I made in Games Factory but never quite finished. There is the “remastered” version; overhauled many years later and released as Final Battle Remastered on this site only. As this is the first one to see daylight, it’s effectively “Final Battle 1”.

Final Battle 2… is a gravestone. Allow me to explain:

Back in the days when backing things up meant a zip drive, DVD or removable hard drive, I was working on a sequel to the old Games Factory staple in blitz basic; the first 3D engine I ever worked with. I was going all out, with 3D turret models and enemies, a fancy selection screen, damage and debris flying around when things exploded and so on. And although it was certainly never completed, it had a good deal of assets built when I suffered one of the most unexpected and catastrophic of hard drive failures. Those of us oldies will have some story like this, of the time where we learned our lesson about backing up and why modern github is great. But, long story short (too late), I lost Final Battle 2. Completely. No idea how it was missed from my backups, but it is gone to entropy. So it doesn’t exist but… it did, to me, so I’d feel weird calling a new game Final Battle 2.

And so we come to my latest Unity-driven attempt to revive the concept, as well as the reason I originally went with FB3 as the project title. However! However… those of you with the luxury of not living inside my head will probably have the perspective to say “Wait, nobody’s heard of any of these and they’re not on any store. Won’t it just be really confusing to use 3? Why not just release it as Final Battle?” I did consider this point, but felt notability shouldn’t affect a naming scheme. If Final Fantasy retconned all its earlier incarnations when the laters ones become well known, that would have been really confusing okay, you know what, forget it, bad example.

What I’m trying to say is, I get it. It’s a lot cleaner to just say “lets start afresh, here’s The Final Battle“. Nobody would notice the hypocrisy but me. But also, I think I have much better grounds to justify it than the likes of Sim City (2013), Flight Simulator (2020) and Tomb Raider (2018); who were hardly trying to gloss over an obscure blog page-download ancestor to their works.

I think calling it “THE Final Battle” makes me feel a tiny bit better about it, as that is technically different from the original. I just want my references to be unique! Is that too much to ask?

Edit: On completing this article, I realised I hadn't actually checked if the name was in use and obviously it is: with the definite article by an ancient multi-character Atari RPG, and as simply "Final Battle" by a very low-effort RPGMaker game (as a producer of low effort RPGMaker games, I feel positioned to make such a judgment). So in short, NEVER MIND THEN... I guess it will just have to be "The Final Battle : Anidran Defence Force Redux Second Crisis - Dream Drop Distance Measuring Stick". Or whatever. I'll figure something.

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