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Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
ファイナルファンタジータクティクスアドバンス
Fainaru Fantajī Takutikusu Adobansu
Developer(s) Square Co., Ltd./Square Enix
Publisher(s)
Release date
Japan February 14, 2003
United States September 8, 2003
Europe October 24, 2003
Genre Strategy Role-Playing Game
Game modes Single player, multiplayer
Ratings ESRB:EveryoneEveryone
PEGI:3+3+
USK: 6+
OFLC: 8+
Platform(s) Game Boy Advance

Final Fantasy Tactics Advance is a strategy role-playing game for the Game Boy Advance. Contrary to what its name implies, it is not a remake or a direct sequel to Final Fantasy Tactics, although it does share its setting, Ivalice. The gameplay, however, is quite similar with a few exceptions. The player is free to put together their own group of fighters known as a "clan", and control their actions over grid-like battlefields. For the most part, players are free to decide the classes, abilities, and statistics of their characters, which grow throughout the game. Final Fantasy Tactics Advance spawned a sequel, Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift.

The game begins in the "real world," called St. Ivalice, and in the initial stages of the game controls and actions are explained. The main character, Marche, his brother Doned, their friend Ritz, and fellow classmate Mewt then find a strange book which transports them all to the world of Ivalice, where the game truly begins.

Contents

Gameplay

The player takes the role of Marche, who is accepted into a clan and takes the role of leader, which means he must organize the members of the clan and take part in various missions to gain experience and status. These missions are offered in pubs scattered around the game's world map, and a fee must be paid in order to take part in each mission that vary in difficulty; they are essential to advancing the game's story and obtaining valuable items and experience points. Some missions require a special item to be in possession in order to accept the mission, this may mean another mission must be done to get an item that would allow you to perform the later mission. Others require a certain skill or job class in order to take part in them.

Competing against an enemy team of characters, which can consist of monsters, boss characters, or members of each of the five different races present in Tactics Advance, the player takes part in turn-based play guiding his character's actions across the three-dimensional battlefield.

The four types of missions include regular, encounter, dispatch, and area. Marche's entire party ventures to a particular location to do battle in the regular missions, and many of these are used to advance the story. In encounter missions, Marche's group battles a rival mercenary clan by purchasing a mission or by meeting them while moving about the map. They are represented by a character icon that freely moves about, and sometimes must be pursued in order to engage in combat with them. Dispatch missions which do not involve battle, and the player must temporarily sends away one member from his party for a certain amount of time to complete these. Area missions are usually a dispatch mission where Marche's clan can liberate certain regions to obtain bonuses and discounts at shops.

The first battle from Final Fantasy Tactics Advance.

At the game's start, the world map is entirely empty save for the starting location. The map is customized as the player wins "area tokens" after completing certain missions. These tokens are placed in slots on the world map of the player's choice and represent different terrains and settlements, such as plains, mountains, deserts, forests, and towns. Depending on the placement of the tokens, items are rewarded to the player, but in order to get to them they must travel to the newly placed location and engage in a "treasure hunt." A menu will appear above the location and enable the player to select this option, and the game then automatically scans the area for items, which are then put into the items menu for future use.

In addition to the main plot, there are two side plots: the Redwing Arc and the Judge Arc. The Redwing Arc centers around the Redwings clan, a foreign crime ring, their subordinate clan Borzoi, and their smuggled foreign monsters. The other is the Judge Arc, unlockable after beating the main three hundred missions. This serves as an alternative ending where Marche stays in Ivalice, overthrows corrupt judges, and becomes next in line for Cid's judge sword.

Multiplayer capability is also available for up to two players using a link-cable peripheral, which enables them to battle against each other and also trade items and party members. Additional missions and items are also offered when players link.

Job System

There are 25 job classes in Tactics Advance that govern a character's stats, equipment, and abilities. Most items that can be equipped have various abilities assigned to them, each available for use by characters of a certain job while the item is equipped. When a battle is completed, characters will receive Ability Points (AP) distributed over their currently equipped abilities. Once a target amount of AP has been accumulated for a given ability, the character will master that ability, allowing the character to use them at any time, regardless of items equipped and job chosen. Mastery of abilities in different jobs will eventually allow the character access to more jobs.

Units have a primary job which determines the stat boosts they receive when they level up and the attributes associated with that class. A unit may also have a secondary job, where they can use any abilities of the selected job, but with the stat profile of the primary job. For example, an Assassin with a Sniper secondary job could use abilities from both jobs, but has the stat profile and appearance of an Assassin, its primary job.

The Five Races

In addition to Humans, (called Humes in later renditions), there are four different character races. Moogles, represented most prominently by Marche Radiuju's best friend in Ivalice, Montblanc, are small and friendly. Their jobs inflict status effects and focus on speed. Nu Mou specialize very much at magic, and have one melee job, the Morpher. Bangaa are the most physically tough, specializing in melee. Viera are an entirely female species. They can be ranged, melee, or magic, with all their jobs speed-based, and are probably the most versatile race along with Humans. Each race has a certain list of jobs they can be, many of which (though not all) will be unique to them, and each race also has access to its own Totema. Additionally the shops in various towns will have discounts on items for particular races.

Each race is tied to a Totema, which can be called for an attack, providing the user has defeated the Totema and has ten Judge Points.

The five Totema are:

The Law System

Main article: Law System (Final Fantasy Tactics Advance)

The most prominent difference between Final Fantasy Tactics and Final Fantasy Tactics Advance is the Law System. In a battle, a judge is present on the map. The Judge will not fight for either side, but will merely move about, keeping himself as out of the way as possible. At times, he will also move the unconscious bodies, of enemies and allies alike, from one space to another. Laws are set by Judges, invincible arbiters present at each battle, with some exceptions. Laws may forbid the use of certain weapons, items, elemental spells, or status changes. Breaking a law results in punishment by Carding, the receipt of a red or yellow card. Imprisonment happens if a character infringes a law twice or knocks out another unit with a forbidden ability or weapon. However, Jagds have no Judges or laws; units knocked out in the Jagds will die and permanently leave the clan if they are not revived by the end of the battle.

To offset the difficulty of having things forbidden for use, there are certain things that are recommended by the Judges, and therefore grant Judge Points. Judge Points (JP) are used to carry out combos with nearby allies or to summon a Totema. JP are also received upon killing an opponent. Later in the game, the player gains the ability to add new Laws and cast "Anti-Laws," which can nullify laws that are already in effect.

Law and Antilaw Cards

After Marche rescues Ezel Berbier, he will have access to Law and Antilaw Cards. These can be used to change the laws in effect on any battlefield. Law Cards (white) impose new laws, though the maximum number of Laws can never be exceeded. Antilaw Cards (black) nullify laws that are already in effect. These can be used to grant a tactical advantage during battle, as enemies must also obey the law or they will suffer the same penalties the heroes do (assuming they are not wearing Hero Medals). On two occasions, cutscenes will show characters using special antilaws to help Marche out: Ezel uses one to avoid capture by Cid, and Cid uses one to nullify Llednar Twem's protective Fortune Law, rendering him vulnerable.

Jagds

Although Laws govern the majority of Ivalice, there are three lawless locations called Jagds, which judges avoid. Thus, no actions are forbidden, nor can judge points be earned. However, a character that is KO'ed in these locations will, unless revived before the end of the battle, permanently leave the party (and in the case of Marche, a Game Over will occur). This applies to Montblanc and any other "storyline characters", including Ritz Malheur.The Three Jagds are: Jagd Dorsa, Jagd Helje, and Jagd Ahli

Main Characters

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow. (Skip section)
Main article: List of Final Fantasy Tactics Advance Characters
  • Marche Radiuju - The hero of the story. After the real world changed into Ivalice, he started to change it back.
  • Mewt Randell - The other hero of the story. He was a shy boy, and became a prince after the town's transformation.
  • Ritz Malheur - Marche and Mewt's outspoken friend. In the real world, she had to hide her white hair by dying it red.
  • Montblanc - A young Moogle boy who saved Marche right after St. Ivalice's transformation.

Story

Marche Radiuju, the protagonist of the game.

Marche and his sick brother Doned moved into St. Ivalice, following their mother who believed that a change in environment would be good for Doned's health. The Radiuju family had lived in a hot place where it practically never snowed.

At school, Marche automatically receives the nickname "New Kid" by the bullies Lyle, Colin, and Guinness, and is even teased at for being so quiet like "a little girl", only for him to merely ignore them. Eventually he befriends Mewt Randell, and Ritz Malheur, the Class Head.

After school, Marche and his new friends agree to meet at his house to look at Mewt's new book on monsters and magic. At their way to Marche's house, Marche explained about Doned, his little brother who always visits the hospital for his unknown illness.

A little while later, they encountered Mewt Randell's father, Cid. He greets Mewt and asked if he had a nice day. As Mewt answered, Ritz commented that they rarely find a father act like that. In the Japanese version, Cid appeared drunk, while at the English version, a few citizens are charging him money. Mewt then explains that after his mother died, his family went into financial trouble. After the conversation between Mewt and Cid, they continued on to Marche's house which was "the house with the yellow roof".

As Marche arrived at his house, he encounters with Doned, who sits on a wheelchair. Doned asked how was he doing. After Marche answered that he had a snowball fight, Doned teased him that he couldn't do sports well.

Meanwhile, Ritz and Mewt came to Marche's house and introduce themselves. Mewt soon opened the old book, which has the illustration of the Bangaa, Viera, Nu Mou, Human, and Moogle. Ritz stated that the language written on the book looks like Latin, and after that Mewt reads "Alta Oron Sondus Kameela". The kids think it would be great if a game world like "Final Fantasy" becomes the real world. As the kids slept, St. Ivalice slowly transforms into a dream Ivalice; the snowy landscape changed into a hot climate filled with fantasy creatures.

When Marche wakes up later, he finds himself stranded in a strange land. Unintentionally offending a Bangaa, Marche receives Montblanc's help. Montblanc becomes his guide in the country called Ivalice, and even joined Montblanc's clan, Clan Nutsy. Marche then made it his mission to return the world to normal and to find his friends.

At first, Marche just does the odd mission, but while on the mission Twisted Flow, Marche is transported into a strange dimension where a Crystal is found. Before he could approach it, a being known as Famfrit appears, proclaiming himself a Totema, a defender of the crystal. Marche engaged the Totema in battle and was victorious. After Famfrit joined Marche's cause, the crystal shattered and an image of Mewt in pain appeared. A voice then told Marche that what he just destroyed was one of the world threads, and that if all are destroyed a new world would be born. Taking this as a hint on how to get his own world back, Marche resolves to destroy all the world threads.

After returning from the strange incident, Marche's next mission introduced him to the famous Ezel Berbier, who was under attack from several warriors aligned with the Judges. After helping Ezel, Marche is shown first hand the power of the Anti-Law cards. From then on, Ezel considered Marche a close friend and valuable customer.

It isn't until the mission Hot Awakening that Marche finds the next world thread. While at Roda Volcano, a violent earthquake opens up the portal to the crystal, which Marche blindly leaps in to. Inside he is confronted by the next Totema, or at least one of its forms, the Ultima Crystals. Upon defeating Ultima and shattering the crystal, another image of Mewt appears, this time demanding to know who is trying to destroy his dream world. When Marche returns to Ivalice, he starts to have second thoughts about going about destroying his friend's world.

During the mission Pale Company, Marche is ordered to find a ghost. Entering the Nargai Cave, Marche does indeed find some kind of spirit, but is completely unafraid of it. While following it, he is suddenly pulled into another portal and into a crystal chamber. The ghost is here too, but is suddenly absorbed by the next Totema, Adrammelech. Adrammelech claims that only his master may approach the crystal, so Marche decides to engage him in battle. After defeating him and shattering the crystal, Marche finds himself back in the cave where Babus Swain is waiting for him. Before Babus can really do anything, another image of Mewt appears and appears to be in pain. Babus asks Marche that even if the world is fake, is it really worth causing Mewt so much pain to revert it?

Later at Muscadet, Marche finds Judges taking away people for questioning, as they look for the people trying to destroy the world. When Marche sees a Moogle being mistreated he runs in and claims he's who they're looking for. The Judge questions this and sends in some units to see if he truly is who they want. After defeating the units, Judgemaster Cid appears and concludes that he is indeed the boy they're looking for. He then takes Marche in for questioning.

While Cid questions Marche, wanting to know why he is destroying the world threads, another portal just happens to open, taking in Marche, Cid, and Babus. Inside the chamber Marche is able to conclude that this Totema is severely weakened as the Exodus Fruit can do nothing at all. However, Babus claims that he will not allow anyone to destroy the crystal and tries to defend Exodus. Upon destroying all the fruit and Babus, the crystal shatters, and Marche and Cid are exposed to a scene from their past, causing Cid to regain all his memories. Now realizing that what Marche is doing is right, Cid allows Marche to leave.

On the mission Desert Patrol, Marche finally finds his brother, Doned. Not only is he still alive, he's also regained the use of his legs. However, instead of being equally happy to see his older brother, Doned runs to the nearest clan group and turns Marche in. Dumbfounded, Marche fights off the group and wonders what is wrong with Doned.

Marche can't stop thinking about what just happened, but during the mission Quiet Sands he encounters his biggest threat yet, the mysterious Llednar Twem. Llednar tells Marche to leave the Delia Dunes, and before he can ask why, his question is answered as they are pulled into another crystal chamber. Inside Llednar tries to kill Marche with his ultimate technique, Omega. Just before he can use it though, Cid appears and uses an Anti-Law to disable it. The two engage each other in battle, but Marche is no match for him. It is only when Llednar breaks a law that Cid red cards him and sends him away.

Proceeding to the crystal chamber, Marche is confonted by the final Totema, Mateus. Mateus tries to trick Marche out of his will to fight, but he has none of it, and engages her in battle. When Mateus is defeated, the crystal shatters, but the world doesn't change back. A voice, that of Queen Remedi, then proclaims that even without the crystals, the world will remain as long as someone wants it to remain. Realizing that his friends want this world to stay, Marche sets out to convince them to revert the world back.

Marche watched other people having a conversation about giving gifts. Montblanc then explains that the conversation is because that the Audience Day is coming soon. He later explains that in Audience Day; also known as Gift Day, is a special day where everyone gives Prince Mewt some gifts. Whoever has the best gift gets to meet him.

Knowing that it will be a chance for Marche to talk to Mewt, the clan sets out to get a gift, some Materite. In the Materiwoods, the clan is ambushed by a group of Viera bandits who knew that Marche would be there. Upon defeating the bandits, Marche realizes that it must have been Doned who told them where to find him. Surely enough, Doned appears before his brother and claims that he doesn't want to go back since he has nothing and Marche has everything, shattering the Materite the clan had come to claim. Doned then runs off, causing Marche to exclaim that Doned did have something he'd always wanted.

They still manage to make a gift in time to present to Mewt with Nono's invention, the "lugaborg". Marche was worried because Ivalice has a bounty on his head, but Montblanc tried to calm him down. However, inside the palace they are ambushed in the waiting room by the castle guards. After dealing with the initial batch, Babus appears to help them, wanting to know more about the other world.

Taking them to the throne room, Marche approaches an angry Mewt and tries to reason with him, but is cut short by Queen Remedi, who teleports Mewt away. Before they can do anything they are confronted by Llednar, who is invincible to anything they throw at him. Cid eventually arrives on the scene, causing Llednar to run away. Babus and Cid then promise to find where Mewt has gotten to.

While they looked for Mewt, Marche goes looking for his brother. He goes to a mythril vein and starts digging, which surely enough gets the attention of Doned. After disposing of his goons, Marche tells Doned that he was always jealous of all the attention he got and that he wishes he was as loved as him. Hearing these words makes Doned realize that it is wrong to be so selfish and agrees to help Marche revert the world.

After finding out that Mewt is hiding in Ambervale, Marche starts his trek there. However on the mountain path there he is confronted by his other friend, Ritz. She too wants the world to stay like this and attacks. Upon her defeat, she accepts her fate and allows Marche's clan through.

At Ambervale, Marche has one final engagement with Llednar, and using Ezel's ultimate Anti-Law, is able to dispel his protection, allowing him to defeat Mewt's evil side once and for all. Inside Marche confronts Queen Remedi, and manages to knock her out. While she is down and out, Marche begins to convince Mewt that this world is not good for him and that they should go home. However, before Mewt can be fully convinced, Queen Remedi reveals her true form, the Li-Grim, the final world thread and the collection of all the world's wishes. Marche fights and defeats her, allowing him to convince Mewt to return them all home. Mewt summons the Gran Grimoire and takes them all home.

Back in St. Ivalice, snow is falling once again, and they learn to appreciate their own lives, outside the realm of fantasy. Ritz may able to accept her white hair, as her friend comments her hair is as white as snow; Cid met Biggs, his former business subordinate; Marche and Mewt are now able to defend themselves against Lyle, Guinness, and Colin. When they called Marche "New Kid", he asked them to call him his real name. Doned gained will and helped another boy to play Final Fantasy.

Development

Rumors of the game's development began when Square announced its publishing agreement with Nintendo, and it was later confirmed by the producer Matsuno. The development team of Tactics Advance was constructed from employees of Quest Corporation, and work began in February 2002. This comes after Quest announced the handover of its software development team to Square, of which the former is famed for its Tactics Ogre series. Initially thought of as a port of Final Fantasy Tactics, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance was developed with an entirely new storyline and setting, and received significant changes to make it more user-friendly for the GBA handheld console; e.g. a quick-save function.

Final Fantasy Tactics Advance uses the gameplay of Final Fantasy Tactics, but introduced certain changes such as a customizable map for the world of Ivalice. While built for the Game Boy Advance, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance's graphics are vibrantly colored and extensively detailed, and though environments and characters are wholly sprite-based, facial expressions are easily identifiable and many motion frames have been given to create a smooth animation. The game also introduced an option to switch between three display modes. Two of the modes are optimized for gameplay on Game Boy Advance and the new Game Boy Advance SP, and one mode may display the game into a television screen using certain peripherals.

In Japan, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance's story was expanded and broadcast in Japanese radio stations. The radio drama titled Final Fantasy Tactics Advance Radio Edition was broadcast in four radio stations within Japan from early January 2003 to late March 2003.

Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift

There is a special feature in Final Fantasy Tactics A2 that only occurs when a Tactics Advance game card is in the GBA slot of the Nintendo DS while the Tactics A2 game card is in the DS slot. This setup unlocks the Clan Privilege Libra in the Tactics A2 game.

Music

Final Fantasy Tactics Advance's soundtrack is Final Fantasy Tactics Advance: Original Soundtrack, composed by Nobuo Uematsu, Hitoshi Sakimoto, Kaori Ohkoshi, and Ayako Saso. It also has its remix album named White: Melodies of Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, and an Japanese exclusive advertisment named Shiroi Hana.

Trivia

  • Marche mentions that Final Fantasy was a computer game, instead of any consoles that supports the following games.
  • The game was released in Japan on Valentine's Day, which might explain the pink calendar that appears at Marche's house.
  • Final Fantasy Tactics Advance was the winner of Penny Arcade's 2003 "Just One More Round, Is It Really Four In The Morning?" award.


Packaging artwork

See Also

External Links

  • Official North American site
  • Official European site
  • Final Fantasy Tactics Advanced Sprites ~GBA~

This article uses material from the "Final Fantasy Tactics Advance" article on the Final Fantasy wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.







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