The Longest Five Minutes is a game that knows people playing with it are familiar with JRPGs. It recognizes events that have happened in games that have come before and pulls the old “wink and nod.” You remember when characters were on a boat and attacked by some sea monster? What about when your party needed to escape from prison? We do too! But with The Longest Five Minutes, the game tries to take these familiar moments and put a spin on them to make them their own.
One of the best ways The Longest Five Minutes nods to past games is the dating segment. Yes, you can go on a “date” in one memory. It happens in the casino town. Funny thing, since Final Fantasy VII’s date happened at the Golden Saucer! Just like Final Fantasy VII, all three party members can be paired with Flash in this memory, with each one having a slightly different storyline to experience. That little reference might make people smile, especially since one of the places to stay is an eerie mansion.
There are times when The Longest Five Minutes even feels like Pokemon. In Pokemon Red and Blue, Team Rocket’s hideout had panels on the floor that forced you to go certain directions, with items to collect along the way. In Pokemon Gold and Silver, the Team Rocket headquarters had switches that needed to be flipped to turn off cameras and continue. The Longest Five Minutes has a broadcast tower with the same sorts of mechanics and feel to them. Panels along the floor force you to move on set paths. It is ridiculously easy to solve the puzzles, but the fact that both elements are there in a broadcast tower that easily could have fit in any Pokemon game is a nice nod.
While it was not intentional, I felt like the town of Gastonbury was a reference to Breath of Fire IV’s Chamba. In Breath of Fire IV, that town had a fog throughout it and monsters that were influenced and tainted as a result of its influence. The northern part of Chamba was barren, as a result. Once Flash and his team arrive in Gastonbury in their game, they find a place in a similar condition. The place is abandoned, fog is everywhere and various monsters lurk about as a result of the foul mist.
Then, there is the hot springs scene. Of course, The Longest Five Minutes has the group staying at a hotel with baths. I would say this memory reminds me most of the Persona 3 bath scene, since the game gives you a choice. Clover and Yuzu go to bath, and Regent attempts to convince Flash to peep on them. Players can then choose not to go. There is a different result based on your decision. I chose not to spy on them, and the result was Clover and Yuzu coming back with a beaten and battered Regent.
These are only a few of the more nostalgic moments in The Longest Five Minutes, and ones people will encounter in the first half of the game. There are plenty more times when the game salutes the past, occasionally in a way that puts a slight twist on things to make it memorable. For people who like pointing out moments that seem too similar to be a coincidence, it can be quite fun!
The Longest Five Minutes is available on the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation Vita and PC.