Square Unveils Final Fantasy XII


As promised earlier, Square-Enix today revealed the next installment in the Final Fantasy series. Well, there were already magazine scans available a few days ago, but now there's also some content on the Final Fantasy 12 website.


While I haven't cared about FF10 or 9 that much, the 12th one is a bit more interesting to me as it is being produced and co-directed by Yasumi Matsuno, director of Final Fantasy Tactics and Vagrant Story. And the name of the world Final Fantasy 12 is set to take place in should ring a bell for FFT fans: Ivalice. Same for some of the races you'll encounter throughout the game: Hume (FF11), Veira and Bangaa (FFTA). The guys over at Gamefront summed up some more information. Apparently there's a huge war being fought between the Empires of Arcadia and Rosaria. There are only some brief details on the two main characters, Vaan and Ashe, available, but it surely seems to be somewhat heavy on the cliché side. Vaan dreams of freedom and being an 'sky pirate' some day. And Ashe, princess and only child of the king of the Darmaska empire, is being decribed as energetic and tough (maybe stubborn). Certainly sounds familiar. Well, and you're not going to believe who may or may not fall in love. It appears that the developers haven't had a look yet at what should be a standard read for every JRPG designer.

Story premise aside there seems to be some speculation that Final Fantasy 12 might not feature a random encounter system anymore, although Square hasn't released much information on the battle system yet. The game is currently expected to ship some time in summer 2004 in Japan. No word on NA and PAL release dates yet. If you want to see some screenshots without fighting your way through the Flash-laden FF12 website, head over to this Gamefront section.


Vaan dreams of freedom and being an 'sky pirate' some day. And Ashe, princess and only child of the king of the Darmaska empire, is being decribed as energetic and tough (maybe stubborn).

That's enough to turn me off to the game right there.

Me want, me get... I might as well pre-order!

All this Final Fantasy stuff confuses the hell out of me... For some reason, I thought that the game I saw in the store today, Final Fantasy X-2, was what you were talking about. How is X-2 different from X12? There's so many friggin' FFXXXX games out there, I just can't keep up.

Well, SquareEnix seems to think that by using the X-2 notation, that people will think it is final fantasy 10 part 2, as opposed to 12. XII is really the 12th iteration of Final Fantasy, with a somewhat new world and a new cast of characters, which is the supposed tradition. To me it is confusing, and I have been playing and following the Final Fantasy series since the first one on the NES. So any time they decide to make a sequal to one of their original games, you will probably see something like IX-2, or V-2, or something like that. I hope they at least stay consistent in their inconsistency.

Final Fantasy XII != Final Fantasy X-2. The latter is what I would call a 'spin-off sequel' to Final Fantasy X, taking place in the same world and featuring some of the characters featured in X.

Apart from that there aren't many labels to get confused about. There are twelve 'official' Final Fantasy games, the latest one currently in the production as mentioned above. And then you have some spin-off titles (not directly related though) such as the Final Fantasy Tactics games, Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest (made by Square USA), Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles for GC and the Final Fantasy games for GB (which aren't actually Final Fantasy titles but were renamed for the Western market.) Next year Square is going to release a DVD movie titled Final Fantasy VII-2, which is supposed to take place after FFVII. And then there also a bunch of super-hyper-whatnot special editions in Japan, mostly nice cash-ins by Square through rereleasing an FF title with additional content (f.i., content that was added in US or PAL versions.) See, it's that easy.

I forgot I pre-ordered this last February, and I got mine today. I'll check it out and let you know what I think, though I'm a big fan of sparkly colors.