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Final Fantasy XII is the twelfth installment in the Final Fantasy series, also part of the Ivalice Alliance.
|Final Fantasy XII|
Fainaru Fantajī XII
|Release date|| March 16, 2006|
/ October 31, 2006
/ February 23, 2007
August 9, 2007 (international)
|Game modes||Single player|
The game was released on March 16, 2006, in Japan and in North America on October 31, 2006. The game was released in Europe and Australia on February 23, 2007.
As with each title in the Final Fantasy series the specifics of each aspect of game play are different. Like all of the other games in the series the player characters will level, gain skills, cast magic, use Summons, Limit Breaks and fight Monsters. There are also some fairly obvious differences in the game play of Final Fantasy XII.
Gaining levels and skills Edit
Levels are gained through Experience points. These points are all earned through battles with monsters, but never through battles with a boss or an Esper (only License Points are gained in these battles). Only characters in the party who are active will gain EXP after the battle. The EXP gained after killing an enemy is divided among the active party members.
Skills (called Technicks), abilities, magic, accessories, weapons and armor upgrades are all governed by obtaining Licenses. The player has complete control over the character's development via the License board. The player can use License Points to purchase whatever ability or item they want the character to be able to use. License Points (LP) are earned through killing all creatures, bosses and Espers in the game. Most creatures provide 1 LP, whereas rare monsters, Mark hunts, bosses and Espers provide 2 or more LP. All conscious characters whether in the active party or in reserve will gain LP from the victory. To use the new ability/item the player must also buy the ability/item from a shop.
In Final Fantasy XII, magic (referred to by the game as Magick) is purchased from vendors, similar to earlier installments. The magic is learned, and can be utilized by all characters that have paid the License Points to gain that level of magic. MP (or Mist Points) are restored through movement, or by activating a Save Crystal. Some augments allow a character to gain MP through dealing or receiving damage. Some items, like Ether, also restore MP.
- Main article: Esper
Summons, called Espers, are obtained through battling and defeating them throughout gameplay. There are 13 Espers in the game. Five are found through normal gameplay, and the other eight can be found in hidden areas after completing specific actions in the game.
Each Esper can be purchased on the License Board after the player has defeated them. Only one character can purchase any specific Esper, and that Esper is then linked to that character, effectively removing its square from the License Board of the other characters. When the character summons the Esper, it takes the place of the other two members of the party. The Esper will remain and fight independent of the character for a short amount of time, as long as the summoner is still conscious (unless the Esper be vanquished). Once the time is up, the Esper will unleash a special attack, given that the requirements for the attack are met, and disappear. The Summon uses up a full segment of the MP bar for each rank the Esper has. For example the esper Belias is a Rank I Esper and will use up one segment of the MP bar, while for example Zodiark who is a Rank III Esper will use up all three segments of the MP bar.
Limit Break Edit
- Main article: Quickening
The Limit Breaks in Final Fantasy XII are known as Mist Quickenings in the English version, and Mist Knacks in the Japanese version. Each Quickening is available on the License Board for purchase by any character. Once a character has purchased a Quickening, that space is removed from all other character's boards. Each character can purchase up to 3 Quickenings. There are 18 Quickenings on the board. When a character uses a Quickening, one segment of their MP is completely used up. Upon purchasing the second Quickening the character's MP bar doubles and is segmented in 2, and finally another segment is added, tripling the available MP when the character purchases their third Quickening. You can create a specific combination of Quickenings to open a Concurrence, which deals heavy damage to the target and all those nearby.
Monsters move freely across the landscape and battles are conducted on the field map without any transition. Enemies will only rarely surprise the party, although flying creatures will often attack from a higher elevation, and other creatures will spring out of the water or grass to attack. Additionally, normally docile monsters will become aggressive toward the party as they move past, or if the player decides to attack other creatures of the same genus.
Combat can be controlled manually or programmed via the use of Gambits. The Gambit system is used for the first time in this game. Like simple computers, the player can create a list of commands and dependencies to be carried out automatically by the characters to simplify the combat system. All commands relate to the character itself, the character's allies, or the enemies on screen.
- Main article: Ivalice
The World map of Ivalice actually does not appear to cover the entire world. Instead it shows a large portion of Ivalice in the map. This map shows the area once under the control of Raithwall the Dynast King, but now mostly under the control of the Archadian and Rozzarian Empires.
On the map are the Nations of Dalmasca, Archadia, Rozarria and Nabradia. The player can also visit ancient temples like the Stilshrine of Miriam, Mt Bur-Omisace, and the Tomb of Raithwall, as well as the village of indigenous people like the Garif and the Viera. Between all of these civilized locations are the zones patrolled and populated by various monsters. Each location is separated into zones, to allow players to elude monsters, and to allow for variations in terrain even in the same area.
Final Fantasy XII has a cast of six main characters. Unlike other Final Fantasy games, this team, once formed, is never changed at all. However, there are also three special guest characters (not including Hunt-allies), and the player plays a different character during the prologue.
Main cast Edit
- Vaan is the male protagonist and main character, but not in the traditional sense. While he is the character the player is first introduced to, he is actually just caught up in the events of the game, so the story is being told through his experiences. A street urchin, he lives on the streets of Rabanastre with his friend Penelo.
- Penelo is Vaan's closest friend. Like Vaan, her involvement is very limited, but she is important to the team none-the-less.
- Balthier, real name Ffamran mied Bunansa, is a cool and sophisticated sky pirate on the run from his past. He usually refers to himself as the 'leading man'. He was once one of the Empire's Judges and he is a member of the House of Bunansa, his father being the famed scientist Dr. Cid, the man responsible for the manufacting of nethicite. He left the Empire, disturbed by his father's apparent insanity and the direction the Empire was taking.
- Fran is Balthier's friend and partner, and as a Viera, the only non-Hume main character. Like Balthier, she is trying to shake off the past. She rarely speaks, but she usually has words of wisdom to offer.
- Basch fon Ronsenburg is a disgraced knight, who wants to protect his surrogate homeland of Dalmasca at all costs. He has a twin brother who is currently following a different path. He was branded as a traitor when he was accused of murdering the King of Dalmasca, a crime he did not commit. All will be revealed later on.
- Ashelia B'nargin Dalmasca is the princess of Dalmasca and the female Protagonist. She is doing everything in her power to rebuild her fallen kingdom. Before the events of the King's death she was married to Lord Rasler, Prince of Nabudis, and although their marriage was politically motivated, they nevertheless showed love and affection towards each other. Rasler heeded the call of battle and commanded the Dalmascan army to battle with Archadia in order to protect his homeland but was shot in the neck by an archer. Devastated by her husband's death, Ashe faked her own suicide to sow seeds of rebellion against Archadia, a rebellion she took a commanding role in.
Temporary playable character Edit
Final Fantasy XII takes place mostly in the Rabanastre, a small city-state in the world of Ivalice. A neutral party in the past wars between the neighboring Empires of Archadia and Rozarria, Dalmasca was ultimately conquered by Archadia and reduced to the status of an occupied state under Archadian rule, when its King Raminas signed the city into Imperial rule. As a result, formerly-loyal knight Basch murders his king for betrayal. Witnessing the betrayal is young Knight Reks, who reveals Basch's betrayal in his last breaths after being killed by his leader. Marquis Ondore, head of the Sky City of Bhujerba, narrates that the King's daughter, Ashe, had committed suicide after her newlywed husband, Rasler, was shot and killed with an arrow from an Archadian Imperial soldier during the Battle of Nalbina Fortress. He also announces that Basch had been executed for high treason.
Two years later, Reks' brother, Vaan, an orphaned street urchin living in the Dalmascan capital of Rabanastre, the Royal City, is stealing some treasure from the Archadian Consul's residence in the old royal castle of Dalmasca. While looting the castle's safe, Vaan meets Balthier, a Sky Pirate bent on stealing the Consul's treasures, and his companion Fran, a Viera Warrior. By coincidence, the underground Dalmascan Resistance movement assaults the royal castle on the same night in a military coup to remove the Archadian Consul, Vayne Carudas Solidor. Vaan's Looting gets noticed; he, Fran, and Balthier are pursued by Archadian soldiers. They escape into the Garamsythe Waterway, where they meet the surviving princess of Dalmasca, Ashe (though under the alias Amalia), who is also the leader of the Resistance faction.
Balthier, Vaan and Fran are sent to a dungeon from where they escape, bringing Basch, revealed to be alive and imprisoned since the war, with them. Basch reveals he has a twin brother, Gabranth, who stole his identity and murdered the king in a plot to blackmail Marquis Ondore and strip Dalmasca of any semblance of sovereignty. Shortly thereafter, the Bangaa headhunter Ba'Gamnan, and his group, who are looking for Balthier, kidnap Vaan's best friend Penelo under the incorrect assumption that she had a connection with Balthier, who would thus come to her aid. He, through coercion from Migelo and Vaan, as well as the word of Basch (who also had business to attend to there), eventually do travel to Bhujerba, to free Penelo, and in the process meet Larsa Ferrinas Solidor. Larsa is traveling under the name "Lamont," posing as a commoner, and is seeking what eventually turns out to be manufactured Nethicite. Larsa is later revealed as the younger brother to Consul Vayne, and is the second in line for the throne of Archadia. He helps the party rescue Penelo and later keeps her and the party safe from Archadian troops. At Bhujerba, the party meets Ashe again, and she requests Balthier's aid (in the form of a "kidnapping") to retrieve a proof of her royal blood: the Dawn Shard.
The party heads to the Dynast King Raithwall's Tomb to retrieve the Dawn Shard, and are subsequently captured by Judge Ghis upon leaving the tomb. A large, mysterious explosion provides opportunity for the party to escape. During their escape they witness—to their horror—that Judge Ghis's ship and the entire Archadian Eighth Fleet were destroyed by the power of the Dawn Shard, which is composed of a powerful substance called Deifacted Nethicite. Bent on wielding that power to free Dalmasca and avenge her fallen comrades, Ashe heads to a place where she can learn more about the Stone. By chance, they meet Larsa again, who persuades them to join both he and another mysterious enemy/ally at Mt Bur-Omisace to plan on how to stop the imminent war.
Disgraced by the Eighth Fleet's destruction, Vayne is called back to Archadia, and begins to suspect (correctly) that his father and the Archadian Senate will bypass him for Emperor, giving the throne to his brother Larsa instead. Unwilling to risk this occurrence, Vayne murders his father, dissolves the Senate, and immediately sends a ship to Mt Bur-Omisace to capture the Dawn Shard from Ashe. His envoy, Judge Bergan, arrives too late: Ashe and Larsa heard of the events, and Ashe had already obtained the Sword of Kings (which had the ability to destroy Nethicite). An enraged Bergan kills the holy man Gran Kiltias Anastasis and bombs Mt Bur-Omisace, but is unable to retrieve either the shard or the sword. Larsa is taken back to Archades.
Ashe and her party decide it is time to destroy all the Nethicite available in Ivalice, so they head to the Draklor Laboratory in the Archadian Empire to destroy the last shard. Dr. Cid, or Cidolfus Demen Bunansa, is Balthier's father, and uses the final shard to manufacture artificial Nethicite in Arcadia.
They are unsuccessful in destroying the Nethicite in the Draklor Laboratory, and are instead left with information pointing them to the Ancient City of Giruvegan. Dr. Cid is supposedly going there to retrieve more Deifacted Nethicite. The party enters the city, and fights to the center of the Great Crystal, an incredibly large and powerful piece of Nethicite in which the Occuria live. There, the history of Raithwall and Nethicite is revealed. Ashe is given the Treaty Blade so that she can carve out additional pieces of Deifacted Nethicite from the Sun-Cryst, source of all Nethicite, in order to achieve greater power and use it to destroy Archadia and its benefactor, the rogue Occuria Venat. She is conflicted as to her course of action.
Ashe and the party leave Giruvegan with the knowledge that Dr. Cid has used them to retrieve the Treaty Blade, and had no intention of traveling to Giruvegan. They return to Balfonheim, and Reddas joins the party to travel to the Ridorana Cataract, where the Sun-Cryst is housed in The Pharos lighthouse. In the lighthouse, Ashe realizes that all of the appearances of Lord Rasler are images constructed by the Occuria. Judge Gabranth arrives and briefly fights the party. Upon his defeat, Dr. Cid appears and banishes him back to the fleet, taunting Gabranth for his failure. Upon defeating Dr. Cid, the Sun Cryst begins generating so much power that there is no way that the party can survive, until Reddas sacrifices himself to destroy the Sun-Cryst with the Sword of Kings.
Vaan's party travel back to Balfonheim, and learn that the discharge of power activated the largest airship ever built, the Sky Fortress Bahamut, and the Resistance armies are staging a battle in the skies above Rabanastre. They travel to Bahamut to stop Vayne before he can destroy Rabanastre, and all of the Airships of the Resistance's fleet. Before they can reach Vayne, Gabranth arrives to stop them. This time, Gabranth appears to have given up everything, except his need to destroy his own brother. The party defeats Gabranth, and leave him beaten in the elevator. Vayne attacks, and Larsa helps the party fight him. As Vayne is beaten down, his Manufacted Nethicite sucks power from Larsa, and the ship around him. Gabranth joins the attack against Vayne, but is struck down, just as Vayne is mortally wounded. The party watches Vayne limp away from the battlefield onto an outer platform on Bahamut. Vayne calls for Venat, telling the Occuria that he must seek another to realize his ambitions of freeing Ivalice from the Occuria's tyranny. Venat replies, saying that by destroying the Sun-Cryst, the Age of Stones is now over, causing the Occurians to lose their influence on Ivalice's fate therefore fulfilling Venat's desire. Venat then dissolves, investing Vayne with its power as an Undying.
Vayne is eventually defeated by the party, and, unable to control his new powers, explodes into a cloud of Mist. Before the party can relax, they must stop the two warring factions from killing each other and damaging Rabanastre. Boarding the Strahl, the party makes its escape, and with Larsa, Ashe, and Basch's help (the latter posing as Judge Gabranth), manage to get both sides to stand down. Just as everything looks like it's going to be fine, the Bahamut starts to fall from the sky, onto Rabanastre. Judge Zargabaath starts to put the Alexander on a collision course, hoping to ram it out of the way. However, Balthier manages to stop him. To the party's surprise, Balthier and Fran are still on the Bahamut. While Ashe tries to convince him to get off the falling fortress, Balthier reminds her that he's a leading man, and a leading man can never die. Managing to restart the engines, Balthier starts to leave, with a wounded Fran in his arms. Before communications with the the party die for good, Balthier tells Vaan to look after the Strahl while he's gone. Vaan assures Balthier, before the Strahl flies away.
A year later, Penelo is writing a letter to Larsa. There is no longer any war, and Archadia and Rozarria are currently in peace. The party has split apart, each living their own separate lives, respectively. A month from now, Ashe will be crowned Queen of Dalmasca, so they won't be able to see each other anymore. A few months prior to this event, the Strahl was stolen. Of course, Penelo notes that it isn't really stealing, if it was the original owner taking it back. Balthier leaves behind Ashe's wedding ring, which she gave to him as compensation for the treasure Balthier did not get in the Tomb of Raithwall. Balthier also leaves a message saying that he found something "more valuable," which of course refers back to when he took Ashe's ring and said, "I'm only keeping this until I find something more valuable." Basch takes over his brother's place as Judge Magister and as Larsa's protector, with the council never knowing of Gabranth's death. The final scene shows Vaan flying his new Airship to Rabanastre, where the game Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings picks up.
Developed from 2001 to 2006, Final Fantasy XII cost approximately 4 billion Japanese yen (35 million USD) to produce with a crew of more than one hundred people. Yasumi Matsuno, originally announced as both producer and director, was forced to bow out of both roles midway through the creation of Final Fantasy XII due to health concerns. In his place, Hiroyuki Itō and Hiroshi Minagawa took over directorial duties, with Akitoshi Kawazu assuming the role of the executive producer. Matsuno remains credited for "Original Work/Scenario Plot/Supervision". Hitoshi Sakimoto was the music composer for the game, and Nobuo Uematsu contributed one new composition — the vocal theme, "Kiss Me Good-Bye", performed by Angela Aki. Renowned violinist Taro Hakase provided performances for Symphonic Poem "Hope", which served as a promotional theme along with "Kiss Me Good-Bye".
In early stages of development, the main character was to be "big and tough", but as development continued and targeting demographics were considered, he became more youthful in appearance. With the casting of voice actor Kohei Takeda, who also did motion capture for the part, he became less so and more "active, upbeat, bright and positive".
Veteran translator Alexander O. Smith was involved with the English localization of the script. Smith had previously worked on the localization for Vagrant Story as well as several other Final Fantasy installments, including Final Fantasy X. The voice overs were directed by Jack Fletcher, who had previously directed the voice overs for other Final Fantasy games as well.
In North America, the game was available in two versions — the stand alone game with a suggested retail price of $49.99 and a "Collector's Edition" for an additional $10. The Collector's Edition is an exclusive title offered only by GameStop or EB Games. This edition includes the original game packaged in a steelbook case, along with a special bonus disc, which contained Final Fantasy XII developer interviews, an art gallery, four U.S. and Japanese trailers, and a "History of Final Fantasy" featurette, which gave brief chronicles on all released and upcoming Final Fantasy games.
Changes to the North American version of the game include the addition of widescreen 16:9 support, and additional scenes and content that were left out of the Japanese version, due to rating issues.
Final Fantasy XII - International Zodiac Job System Edit
An international version of the game, titled Final Fantasy XII International Zodiac Job System, was released on August 9, 2007 in Japan as part of both Final Fantasy 20th anniversary and Ivalice Alliance campaigns. The game includes a new take on the License Board system, with twelve grids available instead of one, each corresponding to a different Zodiac sign and job. The battle system as a whole was also tweaked; guest characters are now controllable, while pressing the L1 button accelerates the game's speed. Additionally, the game features English voices and the widescreen 16:9 ratio support of the North American version, as well as a bonus disc based on the one initially released with the North American version. Finally, a new mode allows the player to hunt monsters and Espers in several series of small maps, to gain items and gil. A list of new features as below:
- The Zodiac Job System – There are now 12 License Boards, each one representing a job. Once a character chooses that job however, they are stuck with it throughout the entire game. Isolated licenses can be accessed by unlocking espers and quickenings.
- Trial Mode – The party must fight through 100 stages, each one containing stronger monsters. Completing this mode unlocks New Game+: Weak Mode.
- Controllable Guests – Guest characters can now be controlled, and their gambits can be edited. Their equipment can't be removed.
- Controllable Espers – Espers can now be controlled once summoned, and their gambits can be edited. You can now use their ultimate attack whenever you feel like it.
- Speed Boost – Holding the L1 speeds up the game, making getting around much easier.
- Gambit Changes – There are 16 new gambits. All the gambits can be bought upon leaving Barheim Passage.
- Item Changes – New items have been added, and some of their effects have been slightly changed.
- Enemy Changes – Enemies have been changed slightly, plus new enemies have been added. A battle against all five Judge Magisters is also included.
- Magick Changes – Some magic has been renamed, while others have been moved to other categories; Brave and Faith are now White Magick for example. Not all Magick can be bought, and some must be found in treasure pots.
- Equipment Changes – New weapons have been added, like the Excalipoor, while others have been slightly changed. Armor and accessories have also been slightly changed. Some weapons have different elemental alignments.
- Shop Listings – Some shops have had their inventory changed.
- Quickening Changes – Quickenings no longer take up MP, instead having their own Quickening bar.
- MP Changes – Since Quickenings don't use MP now, obtaining Quickenings doesn't increase MP. Instead, characters simply get more MP as they level up. Max MP is determined by your job.
- New Game+ – Two New Game+ modes are available. Strong Mode, where all characters begin at level 90, and Weak Mode, where all characters begin at level 1 and never level up. Nothing carries over into these new save files.
- Treasure Respawns – Treasures pots now respawn by just moving one screen away.
- Treasure Item Changes - Some items inside coffers have been switched around, added, or removed.
- Break Damage Limit – There is no damage limit any more. If a character does more than 9999 damage, the game will show it. Against very weak enemies, it is possible to achieve over 100,000 HP of damage with a single attack.
Also, unlike Final Fantasy X-2 International, which supported old Final Fantasy X-2 save files, this game does not support save files from the old Final Fantasy XII.
One of the known glitches in the game can cause enemies to disappear in the field. The method is to create a party of two party members. Cast Immobilize to one of the party members, and then use the other character to explore the field, at best as faraway from the Immobilized character as possible. Whenever an enemy appears, let the character engage into battle mode, and then quickly switch to the Immobilized member using the "switch leader" command. After that, switch back to the other party member, and the enemies engaged will disappear from the screen. The radius of their disappearance is as large as the on-screen map. This is useful especially when wanting to fight Zodiark in Henne Mines without having to fight other enemies on the way.
A useful glitch is the "zone-out" glitch. This glitch tricks the game into thinking a dead monster hasn't been spawned yet, and thus respawns it. The glitch activates when an enemy is killed, but the character crosses a zone line before the EXP and LP amounts appear on screen. The EXP and LP gained from killing the enemy are earned, but the monster will respawn (assuming its spawning conditions are met again) when the character crosses immediately back into the area they just left. This glitch is used most commonly to chain together rare game, without having to zone away twice between each kill. Exploitation of this glitch can also cause a very high battle chain, resulting in a larger amount, and increased frequency, of drops. This glitch is commonly used on the rare monsters Dustia, and Helvinek. Dustia by low leveled characters in the beginning of the game to quickly amass large amounts of EXP, LP, and gil (from selling the Books of Orgain that Dustia drops), and Helvinek to procure multiple sets of Grand Armor.
Another glitch is the "flapping hair woman" in Rabanastre, close to the bridge near the Sandsea. One also exists in the Rabanastre Aerodome, but will only rarely be activated.
Something that is more of a mistake then a glitch, is Dyce in the Nam-Yensa Sandsea. Before defeating Garuda, take note of what Dyce looks like. After defeating Garuda, Dyce looks completly different.
Voice Cast Edit
|Vaan||Kohei Takeda||Bobby Edner|
|Penelo||Yuna Mikuni||Catherine Taber|
|Princess Ashelia B'nargin Dalmasca||Mie Sonozaki||Kari Wahlgren|
|Balthier||Hiroaki Hirata||Gideon Emery|
|Fran||Rika Fukami||Nicole Fantl|
|Basch fon Ronsenburg||Rikiya Koyama||Keith Ferguson|
|Reks||Hideki Tasaka||Yuri Lowenthal|
|Larsa Ferrinas Solidor||Yuka Imai||Johnny McKeown|
|Vossler York Azelas||Masaki Terasoma||Nolan North|
|Reddas, Judge Zecht||Takayuki Sugo||Phil LaMarr|
|Vayne Carudas Solidor||Nobuo Tobita||Elijah Alexander|
|Judge Gabranth||Akio Otsuka||Michael Rodgers|
|Judge Bergan||Yōsuke Akimoto||Gary Martin|
|Judge Drace||Yoko Soumi||Julia Fletcher|
|Judge Ghis||Ryunosuke Obayashi||Mark Wing-Davey|
|Judge Zargabaath||Ryuzaburo Otomo||Simon Templeman|
|Emperor Gramis Gana Solidor||Hidekatsu Shibata||Roger L. Jackson|
|Doctor Cidolfus Demen Bunansa||Chikao Otsuka||John Lee|
|Lord Rasler Heios Nabradia||Yasuyuki Kase||Andrew Philpot|
|Migelo||Shiro Saito||John DiMaggio|
|Al-Cid Margrace||Norio Wakamoto||David Rasner|
|Marquis Halim Ondore IV||Akio Nojima||Tom Kane|
|Ba'Gamnan||Koji Ishii||Steven Blum|
|Jote||Yoshiko Sakakibara||Michelle Arthur|
|Mjrn||Yukana Nogami||April Stewart|
|King Raminas B'nargin Dalmasca||Takehiro Koyama||Nick Jameson|
|Gran Kiltias Anastasis||Tamio Oki||Dwight Schultz|
|Old Dalan||Takehiro Koyama||Dwight Schultz|
|Gilgamesh||Daisuke Gori||John DiMaggio|
|Garif Great-Chief Uball-Ka||Yoshisada Sakaguchi||Michael Chinyamurindi|
|Venat||Narumi Tsunoda||Anita Carey|
|Gerun King||Seiko Tomoe||Bernice Stegers|
|Kytes||Takehiro Koyama||Conner DeMita|