Logo for Fight, Magic, Items: The History of Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, and the Rise of Japanese RPGs in the West. Includes a stylized rendition of the title words.

As a kid in the ’90s, I fought goblins and demons. Raised rebellions, traveled through time, and rode a whale into space. I became the Dragonmaster and the Hero of Light. Didn’t we all?

“Aidan Moher has literally written the book on Japanese role-playing games.” – ComicBook.com

About The Book

Press start and discover the fascinating history of JRPGs.

The Japanese roleplaying game is a special genre that includes some of the most creative, influential, and beloved video games and series of all time. In Fight, Magic, Items, Aidan Moher guides you through the origin and evolution of the genre, beginning with the two games that started it all: Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest. Moher weaves in firsthand interviews and behind-the-scenes tales into a unique and entertaining tribute to a genre and games that inspired an industry and continues to capture the imagination of generations of fans including:

  • Chrono Trigger,
  • Phantasy Star,
  • Earthbound,
  • Pokémon,
  • Kingdom Hearts,
  • NieR,
  • Fire Emblem,
  • Persona,
  • Tales of…,
  • Suikoden,
  • Lunar,
  • and more.

Read an exclusive preview on io9


On sale: October 4th, 2022
Length: 320 pages
Publisher: Running Press
ISBN-13: 9780762479641
Genre: Video Games / Popular Culture / History
Cover Artist: Sara Alfageeh

What They’re Saying

Fight, Magic, Items is the intricate deep dive that the JRPG genre deserves.

Daniel Dockery
-Author of Monster Kids

This felt like a conversation with a friend. It’s cool a non-fiction book like this exists!

Michael G.

A wondrous in-depth look at the history of Japanese role playing games.


If you have any interest in Final Fantasy, classic games, or how the video game industry works, you owe it to yourself to pick up this book.

Max Covill
-Freelance Journalist specializing in Film, Anime, Pop Culture, and Video Games

This book is my life in an alternative history. [It] talks about the kind of experiences that I’ve tried to recapture despite never having most of them originally.


[Moher] combines a gift for compelling storytelling with an encyclopedic knowledge of the topic and an obvious and very genuine love of the genre.

Matt Wallace
-Hugo Award-winning novelist and games writer

About the Author

Aidan Moher (he/him) is a Hugo award-winning writer and editor who has written about almost every niche facet of geek culture you can think of from Terry Brooks to Dungeons & Dragons. And whether he’s penning wildly read essays on Lunar: Silver Star Story, the undeniable lasting power of Chrono Trigger (the best RPG ever made), or the forgotten history of Magic: the Gathering, he manages to infuse deep, personal, endearing hooks into every story he tells. He’s written for outlets like Wired, Kotaku, Electronic Gaming Monthly, Uncanny Magazine, Fanbyte, Tor.com, and more.

Portrait of Aidan Moher, author of Fight, Magic, Items: The History of Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, and the rise of Japanese RPGs in the west. A smiling man in his late thirties with short brown hair and a dark grey sweater.

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