POSTED BY: Alastair412
Obvious warning! May contain spoilers for FFXII as well as previous Square games!!!
02/17/03 v0.1 Core Information gathered. Not published.
02/19/03 v0.2 First release
11/19/03 v0.5 Post Conference Update
12/15/03 v0.55 New Char release
12/22/03¨v0.57 Jump Festa
Scope and Purpose
Game Settings and Background
Credits and Thanks
Scope and Purpose
This small FAQ summarizes what few things are known about FFXII at this point in time.
The content herein is a compilation of other poster’s work, and hence, their copyrights apply. It is quoted here under “Fair Use” practices, for the benefits of many.
External documents hyperlinked herein are copyrighted either by Square or their original publisher.
This list doesn’t claim to be complete or exhaustive: I collect what I deem useful data and compile it in this document.
Also note that most new names here are based on translitteration of Japanese words. Whether they will remain the same in the US / PAL releases remains to be seen.
2.1 Official site
The official Square-Enix site is at
2.2 Unofficial sites
An excellent source for Square news for those more gifted in German than Japanese, both quick and accurate:
Another good information compilation site:
You’ll find most available images at
as well as your preferred online mag.
2.5 Dev Q&A
On November 20th, part of the FFXII team submitted themselves to a Q&A session with foreign journalist, something definitely new.
While it doesn’t really reveal anything new, it is quite interesting to note what the team actually didn’t say and where they declined to comment.
You can find a transcript at
or a probably more accurate translation here:
2.6 Primary News Sources
Quiter remains the primary source of news:
Squarenet.info has it all in German within a few hours
Unfortunately, I have yet to find a squarenet equivalent in terms of speed and accuracy in English.
Your next best stop for news (not editorials) seems to be RPGfan, who now provide accurate Japanese translations sourced directly to Quiter
2.7 Website Hall of Shame
Back from the days of the FFX-2 Pre-Release FAQ, the list of sites which mistranslate and / or just plainly make up stuff. Any info you gather from there and post here as “news” will get you laughed at and probably flamed.
The Magic Box - Still the main offender
- Game Setting and Background.
3.1 Story background
FFXII plays in Ivalice (from FFT / FFTA). The two mighty empires of Arcadia(on the Ordalia continent) and Rosalia (on the Valentia continent) are at each other’s throat. Between them, the small but technologically advanced kingdom of Dalmasca has been acting as a buffer for some time.
But (to secure a strategical position, I guess) Arcadia invades peaceful Dalmasca, giving the setting of the story.
Ashe (19) is the daughter of the(late?) king of Dalmasca and heir to the throne. The invasion has forced her to join a resistance group. She will eventually meet up with Vaan (17), a young orphan yet optimistic citizen of Dalmasca who loves freedom. Vaan harbors dream of becoming a sort of flying pirate later on, and joins the rebellion because he’s unhappy with Arcadia’s yoke.
Several elements from FFTA make a return in FFXII: Bangaas, Vieras and NuMou are present. Further, the omnipotent Judges are back again, but it seems (cautious here!) they might be the bad guys now (speculation: on Arcadia’s side). They obviously are key to the story, though, as one of them are depicted on the game’s logo.
In an interview for Famitsû, the staff also mentionned that the characters are wearing light clothing because Dalmasca is a mediteranean / warm climate. They further indicated that orange and blue will dominate the visual impression from the game.
There will be a variety of airships in the game, this is already reinforced by the new concept art and the new screenshots.
In a Q&A session, the staff clarified that the whole game setting was about warfare, and that romance ought to take a step back compared to the previous FFs.
The official site’s “prologue” section carried the words initially playing during FFT’s title music:
'A warrior takes sword in hand,
Clasping a gem to his heart.
Engraving vanishing memories into the sword,
He places finely honed skills into the stone.
Spoken from the sword, handed down from the stone…
Now the story can be told…’
3.3 Battle System
Not much information has surfaced so far, except that FFXII will feature a seamless world-battle transition.
During the Q&A session, the staff was very reluctant to discuss the battle engine. When asked whether it would be a 3-character fighting party, they replied “Minaba: As you can see from some of the assets yesterday, there are three members of the party. Anything beyond that is up to your imagination at this point. We’ll be revealing more info on FFXII before the end of the year in Japan.”
Now this may mean more than 3 chars in battle, but don’t get too overexited: translation may be in the way, and PR stuff as well. Part of the Q&A session almost sounded like the battle engine wasn’t even completely finished - at least that was my impression.
In the Famitsû published just days ahead of Jump Festa, the staff was a little bit more forthcoming with information. It appears the team has been interested by one aspect of FFX-2’s system, and that the tired battle row won’t, fortunately, make a return here. They actually mentionned they wanted to take the concept of battle positioning from X-2 a step further.
Also, they alluded to the three “status” slots which can be seen for each character in the HP bar, mentionning that this would be a very surprising addition to some people yet very familiar to others. Not exactly open and forthcoming information
Speculation: The status slots get activated in combat by doing certain actions. Perhaps like the gate nodes on X-2’s garment grids, activating one or a combination of those three slots gives you additional bonuses, and activating all three enters the character in his overdrive / trance / limit / whatever-it’ll-be-called-this-time mode. More to come as soon as we know it
- Changing character equipment produces visual changes on the world map.
- Matsuno is also a big FFXI fan, and claims to bring some of the XI’s unique feel into a single-player experience like XII. This includes big locales, a vast world, a freely rotating camera among other, yet-to-be-unveiled things.
3.4 Cast of Characters
- Ashe, 19 years old, heir-apparent to the throne of Dalmasca, leader of the resistance
- Vaan, 17 years old, orphan, member of the resitance, wants to become a sky pirate later on
- Fran, age unknown, a Viera also member of your party, apparently particuliarly gifted with weapons (?)
- Balflear, 22 years old, apparently one of those sky pirates Vaan wants to become, wields guns, loves the freedom not to belong to any specific country (?)
- Fran and Balflear are supposed to be equal partners from way back.
- It appears now quite clearly that Ashe has been to her wedding. Whether it was completed or interrupted by an invasion, or she’s a widow, or her husband ran away or whatever is not known. We only know that he’s that sliver-haired unknown character in the trailers, that they seem to share the same sword at different times, and that they were about to get married together. It might become clearer later on.
- The staff has hinted that there were several more key characters still about to be revealed, several of them playable ones.
- Frequently Asked Questions (developping)
4.1 When is this game going to be released?
Japan ought to get it in Summer 2004. On November 19th, Square-Enix mentionned in a Famitsû interview that 70% of the game was complete. Don’t put too much stock on this, though - they also once mentionned, around March this year, that the game was 85% done…
4.2 Is this the same as FFX-2?
No. FFX-2 (ten-two) is a direct sequel to FFX, while FFXII (twelve) is a new game, with a standalone story.
4.3 Is this going to be online?
No. That would be FFXI.
4.4 What about FFVII-2?
There’s no FFVII-2. And you would want to discuss such things on the FFVII board, I expect…
4.5 But I heard about FFVII: Advent Children. Isn’t it the same?
No. FFVII: AC is a DVD movie. It also has its own board:
Now go away.
4.6 Is this going to be the last Final Fantasy?
To my current knowledge, FFXIII is already in the planning stages.
4.7 Who’s on the dev team?
- Producer: Yasumi Matsuno (producer and writer of Vagrant Story, director of VS, Final Fantasy Tactics, Tactics Ogre, and Ogre Battle, designer of all those except FFT).
- Director: Hiroyuki Itou (director of FFIX, co-director of FFVI, and battle designer of FFV, FFT, FFVIII, FFVI, and co-designer of FFIV & V).
- Event Director: Jun Akiyama (event director of VS and Kingdom Hearts and co-writer of KH).
- 3D Map Director / Character Designer: Akihiko Yoshida (character designer of FFT, VS, OB, TO, and Wild Card, and background director of VS and FFT).
- 2D Art Director: Hideo Minaba (art director on FFT, FFIX, and FFVI).
- Music: Nobuo Uematsu will do the main theme. Hitoshi Sakimoto (VS, FFT, FFTA) however will do most of the rest.
As you’ll notice, the main staff is full of people who have worked on some of the (in my eyes) greatest non-FF titles, namely VS and FFT. Of course, this doesn’t say anything about FFXII so far, but I hope, as others do, that some of their achievements in those titles will make a return here.
There are about 120 people working on the game, 30+ alone working in the graphics department.
The main character and a majority of the plot are finished.
On the trivia side, the 3D team is apparently working on in-house development tools to get beyond what’s currently available on the market.
Part of the staff went to Turkey to gather inspiration for the locales.
Finally, FFXII was rumored to span two DVDs, but this rumor is now several months old, and was never confirmed.
Regarding Hironobu Sakaguchi’s current role, Matsuno is said to still consult with him as the “spiritual father of FF” for things pertaining to the FF spirit. Aside from that, he doesn’t seem to have any active role anymore.
Oddly enough, Itou seems to have completely disappeared from the scene recently…
4.8 Will there be summons?
While the team has declined to comment, various people have already spotted what looks like them in the trailer, as well as FFT:A 's totemas.
4.9 Will this come out on the Gamecube?
No, it’s announced as a PS2 title.
4.10 What’s up with the FFTA connections?
First, the game is playing in Ivalice again. Several of FFTA’s races are present (see 3.1 above). Also worth to point out, Ashe and Vaan are of the “hume” race, the moniker for humains in FFXI.
Note that the “Ivalice” presented in FFXII will be a different one again than the two precent ones. It is hence not a sequel / prequel to the FFTs, but another take on a familiar world.
4.11 Dead Horses
The dead horses section contains subject debated to death on the forum. Obviously, we can’t stop you from posting, but frankly, most of the stuff below has been rehashed over and over.
A. Vaan is soo effeminate! Why can’t Square make a tough hero for a change?
Frankly, we don’t know. We’re not Square, and there’s no evidence whatsoever that any Square staff would bother reading this forum. Since about 150 persons have already expressed the same complaint, it isn’t absolutely necessary that you start another thread about it. But go ahead, you’ll most likely get flamed.
B. Ashe’s behind is sooo sexy / Ack! Fan Service!
Despite those two reactions being on the opposite spectrum, here’s actually an advice for both sides: get out more.
C. Ashe looks so much like Yuna!
Really? Thanks to DragoonAlexander’s photoshopping, you can verify this here:
Further, the latest screenshots show that Ashe is actually quite blonde, lessening the likeliness even more.
D. This is the last FF for PS-2.
OK, every platform so far had 3 FFs. And perhaps FFXIII will indeed be on PS3. But FFX, X-2, XI and XII are already 4 FFs on PS2, so there’s no set rule…
E. Ivalice? Square-Enix has become a huge recycler!
Actually, that’s the off-hand dismissive reaction of people unable to admit that things change.
I personally think that what we’re seeing today, from FFX / X-2 through FFXI up to FFTA / FFXII is that Square-Enix has changed a fundamental outlook in the way they operate. Until a few years ago, they manufactured games. Now, they have moved on to craft worlds instead, telling a series of larger-scale epic sagas in a similar background, which gets richer with details with every new story added to it. FFVII:AC also seems to participate to this logic. I like that. Sorry if you don’t.
F. Ashe touching her nose = sign for lesbian
Amusing, but no.
Not really the sign for lesbian at all.
G. Arcadia? Sky pirates? This is a SOA Rip-Off
Arcadia is a region in Greece. Airships are plentyful in FF from way back. No matter how much you loved SOA, we heard your arguments, over and over. Whether this is a rip-off of anything will be apparent when the game is released, not before.
- Credits and Thanks
This FAQ relies entirely on the news found and posted by several dedicated board members. My thanks to Solidglass, Dark Elf, ColdMephisto, Benjjjamin, Kouli, EnterNameHere, Khalahaley as well as the folks at ffxii.org for the substance present at this time, as well as to all those who provided additional stuff.
=== END FAQ
As usual, thank you for your feedback, comments, corrections and readership.