In the Final Fantasy Series, each story takes place approximately 500 years after the one before it. It is supposed the represent the cyclical power of ultimate evil. It would be hard to rationalize human characters living that long. This is a recurring theme in most of Square's games and is the main focus of Xenogears which also deals with reincarnation and destiny. Other games like Parasite Eve and Parasite Eve II have recurring characters, they just don't fit into the Final Fantasy Sagas.Originally posted by Sparkie
Speaking of SquareSoft, anyone care to enlighten me on why they constantly change the FF storyline and characters? Seems to me that they're never happy enough with the current setup, so they wipe the slate clean and start again!
Even so they are constantly trying to update their games if something is changed for the better in one game, it will make it into other games. The Materia system of Final Fantasy VIII was changed to match the system developed in Xenogears because it allowed better customization of characters. Parasite Eve has an advanced real-time combat system that is being incorporated into other games.
If you want to play a Square game (6 actually) with recurring characters. Pick up Saga Frontier. In it you play six different characters from start to finish. This means playing the game six different times. As you play you can see how each character has different struggles and interacts with the other characters provided. Be careful of how you play because it is very similar to the old Final Fantasy games in that you can get to the final showdown and not be powerful enough and not be able to leave that area. At least in the other games they release you can always leave and come back later when your more powerful.
All in all though each Square game helps build the one after it, from graphics work, rendering the 3DD characters, to integrating story lines. You can look at each game and see the new technical achievements it brings. Hopefully when the X-Box and GameCube come out Square will move to these platforms as well. Or Eidos, which releases Squares' PC ports, will port Square games to X-Box at least.