Square Co., Ltd.(JP) (also known as SquareSoft) was a video game publisher and developer that eventually became part of Square Enix. Square had worked with Nintendo on a few titles and had released about 55 games for their systems during two periods: the first was from 1985 to 1996, and the second was from 2002 to 2003.


Square's first games were released for Nintendo's Famicom. Their early games were not very successful, and the company was faced with the possibility of bankruptcy. Around this time, Square employee Hironobu Sakaguchi was charged with the creation of a game that might well prove to be the company's last. The result was Final Fantasy, a role-playing game for the Famicom.

The term Final was picked because he was planning on retiring from the gaming industry and that Final Fantasy was going to be his last game. Final Fantasy did much better than Sakaguchi and Square had expected, and led to a North American distribution deal with Nintendo of America, who released the game in the United States in 1990. Due to its success, Hironobu Sakaguchi's plans for retirement ended and he stayed at Square to develop new Final Fantasy games.

Final Fantasy was followed by a sequel, Final Fantasy II, that remained exclusive to Japan for several years. A North American localization was originally planned for II, but given the imminent arrival of Nintendo's Super Nintendo Entertainment System in America, it was abandoned in favor of a localization of Final Fantasy IV branded as Final Fantasy II. Square released a healthy dose of Final Fantasy titles to the SNES as well as other original titles such as Secret of Mana and Chrono Trigger.

Abandoning Nintendo

In 1996 after developing Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars for the SNES, Square announced that they were going to halt all planned titles for Nintendo systems and develop games exclusively for the PlayStation system due to its CD format. A key part of the new CD format was the ability to implement FMV sequences in their games. The last game they had published for a Nintendo system at the time was Treasure Hunter G.

Their return

In 2001, Square announced that it would join Nintendo once more with games such as Final Fantasy Tactics Advance and Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles being announced for Nintendo's Game Boy Advance and GameCube systems, respectively. Square's president Nao Suzuki deeply regretted his plan to deliver games exclusively on one console, and in an interview expressed his feelings by explaining that "our true enemy...was our pride". Suzuki noted that bashing the Nintendo 64 and attempting to convince Enix to abandon Nintendo consoles was not a very smart move on their part.

Square merged with Enix on April 1, 2003, and the new company was named Square Enix. Square had not been in a good financial state at the time - their movie Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within flopped, and the development of Final Fantasy XI paired with the costs of setting up an online service for the game left a dent in their wallet. The president of Square remained in his position as president of the new company.

List of games

Famicom/Nintendo Entertainment System

  • Thexder (1985)
  • King's Knight (1986) (re-released on Virtual Console)
  • 3-D WorldRunner (1987) (Tobidase Daisakusen on Japanese FDS)
  • Rad Racer (1987)
  • JJ (1987)
  • Final Fantasy (1987) (Re-released on Virtual Console)
  • Deep Dungeon III: The Journey to the Hero (1988)
  • Hanjuku Hero (1988) (re-released on Virtual Console)
  • Final Fantasy II (1988) (re-released on Virtual Console)
  • Square's Tom Sawyer (1989)
  • Final Fantasy III (1990) (re-released on Virtual Console)
  • Rad Racer II (1990)
  • Final Fantasy I-II (1994)

Famicom Disk System

  • Crystal Dragon (1986)
  • Deep Dungeon: The Heretic War (1986)
  • Tobidase Daisakusen (1987) (3-D WorldRunner on North American NES)
  • Apple Town Story (1987)
  • Hao's Mystery Adventure (1987) (Mystery Quest on North American NES)
  • Deep Dungeon: The Crest of the Hero (1987)
  • Jikai Shounen Met Mag (1987)
  • Cleopatra's Demon Treasure (1987)
  • Sword of Kalin (1987)
  • Nakayama Miho no Tokimeki High School (1987, Developed for Nintendo)
  • Raijin (1988)
  • Moonball Magic (1988)

Game Boy

Super Famicom/Super Nintendo Entertainment System

  • Koi wa Balance (1996)
  • Dynamitracer (1996)
  • Treasure Conflix (1996)
  • Radical Dreamers (1996)

Game Boy Advance