The real history of the “50 Year War” later referred to as “The Lion War” can now be revealed.
Final Fantasy Tactics is a grid-based, tactical RPG set in the world of Ivalice. This game is based during the events of a long war that occurred over 50 years. The Ivalice world has been used in other Square Enix titles such as Vagrant Stories and Final Fantasy XII. According to Yasumi Matsuno creator of Final Fantasy Tactics these three games all contain different tales from different ages of Ivalice
Plot: Set during the events of the “Lion War,” this game tells the story of an unsung noble hero named Ramza that ends the war after unveiling religious and political corruption. Players will discover that major characters are not safe within the world of Ivalice. This game was an epic fantasy set with political strife, war tactics and an epic story. This depth of fantasy had come to Literature, Dungeons and Dragons and a few movies but had not come to many video games. Having expansive plot lines allowed the players to fall in love with the characters and writers during this time games had the space to have unfolding plotlines.
Gameplay: Final Fantasy Tactics was another game in the series that used the Job system. The first game to use this was Final Fantasy, originally released in Japan of 87’, but later released on Nintendo in 90’. This game incorporated the Job system by having you level up each class in order to unlock more skills. Different from other Final Fantasy’s released in NA at the time, it allowed the characters to change Jobs and keep skills from old Jobs mastered. With the exception of the couple Final Fantasy’s, the Jobs system are mainly used Ivalice giving the characters uniqueness. In addition, the game provides side quests for players to complete to receive the best weapons, armor and characters.
Difficulty: Final Fantasy Tactics provides great challenge for new and experienced players entering the world of Ivalice. The game allows grinding through repeated battles to level up and receive gold. Without spending the appropriate time to grind and level the party up, players might find themselves in unwinnable battles and where you cannot return to town. The Job system allows the player to customize their party however they choose, or follow the plot and play with the characters provided which can challenge players unfamiliar with tactics games. Final Fantasy Tactics also comes with some flaws, one in particular is saving between battles. If the party is assembled incorrectly or not powerful enough, players might get stuck and unable to win.
Music: Orchestra music accompanies this game perfectly. 71 Tracks were created by Hitoshi Sakimoto and Masaharu Iwata who created all of the music for the world of Ivalice. They both worked and make the music over 10 years from 1997-2007. With the mix of medieval and magic it gives the game a certain traditional feel that doesn’t come with many tactical games. When faced with a fight where you are out numbered the player hears the music adjusted to harsher horns to inform of the danger coming. On the other hand, when having a peaceful conversation the music feels light and harmonious All in all a great accompaniment to this game.
Summary: This is one of my favorite games ever. I think that Ramza as the hero and the way it shows the fall of noble houses is fantastic. The story makes you question the actions some of the characters take giving the game great depth. Square Enix also used corrupt-church idea in this game which they have used in a few of their titles like Xenogears and the Final Fantasy’s. I always liked the skill customization each character had and figuring out the right combinations of skills was always a huge part of the game I found fun. All in all a amazing game I think everyone should play.
(This picture is from the PSP version – The War of the Lions)