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Fight, Magic, Items updates—Signed preorders, an io9 excerpt, and more!

Fight, Magic, Items updates—Signed preorders, an io9 excerpt, and more!
By Aidan Moher • Issue #58 • View online

With the release of Fight, Magic, Items just two weeks away on October 4th, there’s a lot of news to share! So, let’s not waste time.
If you haven’t yet, it’s not too late to check out the book’s website for more information and goodies about Fight, Magic, Items or preorder a copy from your favourite bookseller.
io9 has an excerpt!
How Final Fantasy VII Changed the Gaming Landscape Forever
Fight, Magic, Items might be imminent, but while you await your preorder, you can head on over to io9 to check out an exclusive excerpt from the book.
This excerpt is an adapted version of the chapter covering Final Fantasy VII‘s risky development, meteoric success, and long legacy, and serves as a celebration of the 25th anniversary of its western release, which happened earlier this month.
Here’s a little sneak peek of the sneak peek:
There are moments in a person’s life when they know with certainty that things have changed and a new era has begun. That they’re taking a step forward in history. Drenched in the glow of a CRT, a group of friends explored the slums of Midgar and knew, with absolute certainty, that things would never be the same again. That night lasted forever and was over in the blink of an eye. When they stepped out into daylight the next morning, Midgar’s Sector 7 was burning at their backs, and they set forth into a new era of JRPGs.
Such was the impact of Square’s Final Fantasy VII. It changed not just the kids in my friend’s basement, but the entire genre its predecessors had helped establish a decade and a half earlier, crossing the threshold of a new era of JRPGs without looking back.
I had been a Nintendo die-hard my whole life, but later that morning, blurry eyed and sleep-deprived, I somehow convinced my dad to take a multi-hour trip by ferry and car to the Sony Store and lay down a few hundred bucks. We left with our very own PlayStation and a beautiful, shrink-wrapped copy of Final Fantasy VII— the allure of Square on PlayStation was irresistible.
Sony’s gamble had paid off.
This little Nintendo fanboy was now a PlayStation fan.
Preorder a signed copy of Fight, Magic, Items
I’ve had several people ask about ordering signed copies of Fight, Magic, Items—so I’ve teamed up with the legendary Munro’s Books to make that happen! I’ll be heading there on release day to sign their stock, including all preorders. So, to get your signed copy, all you need to do is preorder the book from Munro’s, and you’ll have it hot off the presses shortly after release.
They ship worldwide and generally rock, so considering supporting them!
Interview on
Fight, Magic, Items Author Aidan Moher Discusses the JRPG's Past, Present, and Future
I had a lovely chat with’s Jamie Lovett about Fight, Magic, Items, Japanese RPGs, writing, and what the future of the genre might look like. It’s an absolute pleasure to be interviewed by someone with such obvious experience and love for the subject matter.
Here’s a taste:
Aidan Moher has literally written the book on Japanese role-playing games. The Hugo Award-winning editor and journalist, whose work has appeared at Wired and Kotaku among other outlets, has written his first book. Titled Fight, Magic, Items: The History of Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, and the Rise of Japanese RPGs in the West, the book chronicles the ups and downs of JRPGs’ presence and popularity in North America, from the genre’s inception with Yuji Horii and Hironobu Sakaguchi creating Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy, respectively, to the 32-bit boom, to the work of a new generation of designers that grew up playing those 8, 16, and 32-bit classics.
Moher put a lot of personality and personal experience into Fight, Magic, Items, making it a rich, satisfying, and entertaining read. With only two weeks left until the book goes on sale to the public, caught up with Moher to chat about how Fight, Magic, Items came together and what he thinks the future has in store for the JRPG genre.
Twitter AMA
To celebrate the lead up to release, I’m holding an impromptu AMA over on Twitter! Drop by and ask me anything (reasonable) about the book, Japanese RPGs, writing, games journalism, Chrono Trigger, or anything else you might be curious about.
Aidan Moher
FIGHT, MAGIC, ITEMS is out in 2 weeks!

And r/JRPG declined an AMA because I'm "not a developer," so let's do an impromptu one here.

FIGHT, MAGIC, ITEMS, Japanese RPGs, Chrono Trigger, games journalism, whether Elden Ring is a JRPG. AMA!

⚔️ Preorder:
End Step
Two weeks! Have you preordered your copy yet?
There are lots of ways to support Astrolabe and my other work. Check ‘em out!
Keep in Touch
Enjoy Astrolabe? Want more SFF and retro gaming goodies? You can find me on Twitter and my website.
Astrolabe banner photo by Shot by Cerqueira on Unsplash
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