Every summer sees one of the longer running events of charity gaming- the Final Fantasy Five Four Job Fiesta. Eric Koziol, perhaps better known as revenantkioku, organizes the online event and has been gracious enough to speak with Old School Gamer magazine about the subject. It’s great to have you with us.

1. So, what exactly is the Final Fantasy Five Four Job Fiesta? Let’s start from the gaming perspective. What is it about Final Fantasy Five, in particular, that inspires so many people to play it every year for this event?

Final Fantasy 5 has twenty (twenty-two if you want to be picky, and twenty-six if you include the GBA release) jobs. By the end of the game, you’ll usually pick and choose the best abilities from those Jobs and have four extremely powerful characters.

In 2006 or so, a friend and I split the Jobs 50/50 and did a run with only those as our options. A while later I had the idea to narrow it down even further. This led to me divvying out jobs by hand on a forum. It got popular enough that I decided to use my Computer Science degree for something and made the page. First, it was one job from each of the Four Crystals (Wind, Water, Fire, Earth). Over time, new modes got added to spice things up for people who play again and again. Some people have done over eighty runs in a season. I’m not that young anymore, I usually don’t even finish my one, haha.

2. Now for the technical perspective. How does the Fiesta work as a charity event- how do people pay in, and where does the money go?

The Four Job Fiesta started out as a fundraiser for Child’s Play Charity. 2011 was a different time for these events. I’m not sure when Tiltify opened, but sites like that made it easier to expand what charities we raise money for. This year is for [The PCRF](https://www.pcrf.net), and I don’t think I need to explain why.

3. Now for the social perspective. Could you please describe the community that’s built up around the Fiesta, and the history of how this happened in particular?

It started out on a forum that I won’t name, and then when I made the site and plugged it into Twitter, that let it expand for the world to see. Things change, so I made a subreddit (Which is now closed, please don’t ask to join.) and a [Discord](http://discord.gg/CfdsKk8) server.

Part of the fun is Gilgabot (Who is not Gilgamesh. These are two entirely different characters!), originally only the Twitter bot I made to handle requests, now a personality all of his own, that I use to yell about gaming and other things, and promote the Fiesta.

4. A recent technical alteration is that the Fiesta used to require a Twitter account, although many people just used dummy accounts. Why did you change?

Twitter, for all its problems, is a social network platform. Your friends see you messaging about a game event, posting updates, etc. So, you get curious. You join as well. Without Twitter and Twitch, I doubt the Fiesta would have gotten as big as it has. Twitter changed their API policies, and while there is a free tier, I didn’t want to run into problems and need the $100 or $5000 a month tiers.

Since lots of people were getting tired of Twitter, I made the switch to log in with Google. Most people have Gmail, which made the switch fairly easy. Don’t worry, I don’t send spam or sell your email address. I already don’t want to get email, haha.

5. In general, you seem pretty laid back about how people Fiesta. Strictly speaking, for example, players are only supposed to use official releases, but some use romhacks that say, allow for earlier job access to maximize the possible gameplay variety in the first third of the game. The romhack in particular I’m thinking of replaces the elaborate final boss sprite with a Cactuar, so no one attempt is being made to deceive you, but you still label these as wins. Do you ever wonder whether you should?

I live by my rules but don’t force them on others. It’s just that simple.

6. There are several different official versions of Final Fantasy Five, all with their distinct advantages in terms of technical gameplay. Would you care to lay out what those advantages are, and if you have any particular personal favorite?

The North American PlayStation version is great just for Y-Burn. (The way “Wyvern” was translated.)
Other than that, each newer version has some Quality of Life changes. Some purists will stick to the original Super Famicom version, where you can do things like underflow Berserker’s Magic Stat so you can do massive damage with the Earth Hammer.

Newer ones play a bit faster, as you need a Thief to dash in the original release. There have been so many changes, though, too many to mention here. But we discuss them in Discord regularly.
As for my favorite? Probably my Super Famicom copy signed by Sakaguchi. But that might be cheating.

7. Preregistration starts tomorrow. Would you care to lay out any new changes or options for this year’s Fiesta that longtime players may find interesting?

Nothing big this year. I’m still trying to recoup from the damage Twitter’s API change caused. Last year, Team 375 was restricted to Regular runs. This year it’s open to Typhoon, Volcano, and Meteor runs. Curious what those words mean? Check out the [Help Page](https://www.fourjobfiesta.com/help.php)!

8. In terms of new players, what sort of run would you suggest, and why?

A Regular Run. Bells and whistles sound neat, but there’s so much different about a Fiesta Run compared to a normal play-through of Final Fantasy 5 that you’ll get a lot out of doing a Regular Run, even though it “sounds boring”.

I think the best example of someone doing it wrong that I can imagine was when someone was complaining about the problems they were having with an Extreme Difficulty romhack while trying to use the Fiesta rules. It’s like, friend, I dunno what to tell you. I designed this with the original game in mind, and keep the rules simple so everyone can play.

A Regular Run will give you plenty to play around with and learn about the game, especially if you’ve never played Final Fantasy 5 before. I’m always surprised by the number of people who tell me it’s how they first beat the game. But a little bit of restriction can open things up a bit, I suppose.

9. For players old and new who just get stuck with a really goofy configuration of jobs, what resources would you suggest they look into to find help?

Come to the [Discord](http://discord.gg/CfdsKk8). Talking with people is always more fun than going through a guide, and even then, we have those linked as well.

The thing is, as much as I love Final Fantasy 5, it’s not a _hard game_. People have beaten it with a team of four Berserkers – the job that you cannot control in battle and only attacks. Some moments can get tricky with certain Job configurations, but with a little bit of knowledge and (sometimes, but not always!) some grinding, you can do it.

10. Every year, you have something called The Run to kick off the Fiesta. Could you explain in your own words what the Run is, how it started, how you select who plays it, and how the Fiesta community at large (or anyone else) participates in it?

People vote for the Jobs for the players in The Run to use. Like any good voting system, donations can be used to boost your vote. When the Jobs are set in stone, the gracious runners spend some time plotting out The Run like any other speed run and then do a race.

It started as me doing it alone on my stream. But I’m no speedrunner and it took me nearly twenty-four hours the first two times – the second I had to give up. So I contacted people who actually did speed runs of the game and asked. They said yes. There are a number of people who do the game now, and so every year I poke around and get people to run.

Community participation is the aforementioned voting, and like many speed run competitions, there are goals that change depending on the donation goals met, which can be seen on [The Run page](https://www.fourjobfiesta.com/therun.php).11. Would you care to give us the various important dates for everything Fiesta related this year?

This (https://twitter.com/FF5ForFutures/status/1790873388875174134) sums it up. But:
June 1: Preregistration
June 15th: The Run
The Fiesta starts after The Run finishes.
The event runs throughout August.

12. Well, that’s all the questions I have for you. Is there anything I forgot to ask you, that you’d like to take the opportunity to answer now?

This is a project built out of love, not my full-time job. In fact, I do it on top of a full-time job and freelance work! So, while I ask people to donate to the charity first, throwing me a dollar a month on my [Patreon](https://www.patreon.com/revenantkioku) helps with the server fees and domain registration and lets me spend more time working on the site.

Well, it was great speaking of you. I’ll be looking forward to the Fiesta this year. Maybe even participating myself, if I can decide how.

William Schwartz William Schwartz (6 Posts)

William Schwartz is a media writer who specializes in South Korean media, but also writes about a wide variety of popular culture subjects- including retro video games.