Classic Deep Dives

Final Fantasy VII: A Six-Part Deep Dive Into Square's RPG Classic

From the role of Midgar to Aerith's famous death, we dive deep into an all-time classic.

A Link to the Past Deep Dive, Part 4: Why A Link to the Past's Dungeons Were Perfect

CLASSIC DEEP DIVE | In transforming dungeons from combat gauntlets to complex puzzles, the third Zelda reinvented the action RPG.

A Link to the Past Deep Dive, Part 3: Link's Trek Into Darkness

CLASSIC DEEP DIVE | The third Zelda's big twist was even better than the original's Second Quest.

A Link to the Past Deep Dive, Part 2: A Prologue That Spanned the World

CLASSIC DEEP DIVE | Link's journey across the entirety of Hyrule was in fact just the beginning of a much larger adventure.

A Link to the Past Deep Dive, Part 1: How an Intro Began Redefining the Zelda We Knew

CLASSIC DEEP DIVE | We commemorate the 25th anniversary of A Link to the Past’s release in North America by diving deep into what makes it great.

Final Fantasy VII Deep Dive, Part 6: Can Final Fantasy VII's Premise Pass Muster in a Modern Remake?

CLASSIC DEEP DIVE | What happens when the good guys are kinda... bad?

Final Fantasy VII Deep Dive, Part 5: An RPG Gets Existential With Its Central Question: "Who Am I?"

CLASSIC DEEP DIVE | How an RPG put a new spin on a classic literary concept.

Final Fantasy VII Deep Dive, Part 4: Sephiroth Skewered Our Expectations for RPG Villains... and Our Girlfriend, Too

CLASSIC DEEP DIVE | Final Fantasy VII's big bad wasn't all that big, but he was definitely bad.

Final Fantasy VII Deep Dive, Part 3: How a "Rotting Pizza" Defined the Plight of Final Fantasy VII's World

CLASSIC DEEP DIVE | The oppressive megalopolis at the heart of a classic RPG.

Final Fantasy VII Deep Dive, Part 2: How Materia Completed a Role-play Reversal

CLASSIC DEEP DIVE | The ultimate evolution of Final Fantasy's game design philosophy amounted to an inversion of RPG tradition.

Final Fantasy VII Deep Dive, Part 1: The Dramatic Opening That Thrust Players into an RPG Revolution

CLASSIC DEEP DIVE | But was it really so unprecedented?

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night Deep Dive, Part 3: The Metroidvania Lie

CLASSIC DEEP DIVE | Such a convenient word, but not the most accurate one.

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night Deep Dive, Part 2: A Classic's Sublime Structure

CLASSIC DEEP DIVE| How Konami created a new and different Castlevania by building on, and creating contrast to, what had come before.

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night Deep Dive, Part 1: The Story of the Ultimate Sequel

CLASSIC DEEP DIVE | The first entry in a new weekly column kicks things off by exploring the inner workings of a video game classic.