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Final Fantasy XII

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Modified on 2011/09/12 01:18 by em2 Categorized as 3D, Task Games
Final Fantasy XII (ファイナルファンタジーXII Fainaru Fantajī Tuerubu?) is a console role-playing video game developed and published by Square Enix for the PlayStation 2. Released in 2006, it is the twelfth title in the Final Fantasy series. The game introduced several innovations to the series: battles occur without a transition to a separate screen; a customizable "gambit" system automatically controls the actions of characters; and a "license" system determines which abilities and equipment are used by characters. Final Fantasy XII also includes elements from previous games in the series such as summoned monsters, Chocobos, and Moogles.

The game takes place in the fictional land of Ivalice, where the empires of Archadia and Rozarria are waging an endless war. Dalmasca, a small kingdom, is caught between the warring nations. When Dalmasca is annexed by Archadia, its princess, Ashe, creates a resistance movement. During the struggle, she meets Vaan, a young adventurer who dreams of commanding an airship. They are quickly joined by a band of allies; together, they rally against the tyranny of the Archadian Empire.

Final Fantasy XII received near-universally high review scores, and earned numerous "Game of the Year" awards in various categories from noted video game publications. Selling more than two million copies in Japan, it became the fourth best-selling PlayStation 2 game of 2006 worldwide. As of March 2007, over 5.2 million copies of the game have been shipped worldwide. A sequel, Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings, was released for the Nintendo DS in 2007.

Final Fantasy XII was re-released in Japan as an International Version with the subtitle Zodiac Job System, which heavily modifies the game's character development system, by introducing jobs. Zodiac Job System version hasn't been released outside of Japan.


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History

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Gameplay

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Battle system

Unlike the previous single player Final Fantasy games which used a turn-based system, battles in Final Fantasy XII occur in the open field; however, menus are still used to issue commands to the characters. Battles unfold in real time, using a new system called "Active Dimension Battle" (ADB), which allows the player to battle in the overworld instead of in a separate battle screen. The player may issue commands to any of the three characters in the battle party at will; however, guest characters are controlled by the game's artificial intelligence. Battle commands include Attack, Magicks & Technicks, Mist, Gambits, and Items. Using these abilities, the player must destroy enemies before being defeated.

"Random encounters" have been eliminated in Final Fantasy XII; the transition to a separate battle screen like in other Final Fantasy titles is absent; instead, enemies are visible in the overworld before an engagement and the player may choose to fight or avoid them in open combat. A battle begins when the party comes within range of an aggressive enemy (or vice versa), if the party attacks a non-aggressive enemy, or if a story event initiates a confrontation. When a character or enemy begins to perform an action, target lines connect characters to other party members or enemies; different colors represent the type of action. The player may switch any active character with an inactive character at any time, unless the active character is targeted by an attack or ability. Characters who are knocked out may also be substituted. The absence of a transition to a battle screen means the traditional victory scene is also eliminated, though a successful "boss" battle does present the player with a "Congratulations" screen featuring the participating characters' victory poses and a variation on the well-known battle victory music theme used in most previous games in the series.

Another new feature in Final Fantasy XII is the "gambit" system, which allows the player to program each character to perform certain commands in battle in response to specified conditions. Using gambits, the player may set reactions to different stimuli for each character. Each gambit consists of three parts: a target, an action, and a priority. The target specifies which ally or foe to act on and the condition for applying the action. For example, the target "Ally: HP < 70%" causes the character to target any ally whose hit points have fallen below 70%. The action is the command to be performed on the target. The priority determines which gambit to perform when multiple gambits are triggered. These heuristics guide the characters when acting autonomously, though player-directed commands are always given top priority.

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Gambit system

Gambits are a functionality of the Final Fantasy XII battle system Active Dimension Battle. During the game, combat can be controlled manually and programmed via the use of gambits; manually entered commands take precedence and their immediate execution will interrupt gambit programming. The gambit system is slightly similar to the Macro system found in Final Fantasy XI.

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 (are targeted on) the character, the character's allies, or the enemies onscreen.

Gambits are a targeted "if A, then X" conditional statement/expression; each gambit on the list is evaluated and the first gambit that has a true, actionable condition, will be executed. Each time the character gets a new turn the list is re-evaluated, starting with the first gambit.

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Gambit system functionality

Gambits are composed of a target, a condition and an action to be performed on the target, only if the condition is true. If the condition is not true, the next gambit in the list is checked, and so on. The list is not in order of which action are taken; for example, a gambit with the "Enemy = Flying" condition at the top of the gambit list will never activate until the party encounters a flying enemy. Actions can be either the use of items or the casting of spells and technicks. There is no action for Quickenings and summons, which must be activated manually.

In or out of battle, each character can have have each individual gambit in their list turned on or off, at the gambit screen. Also, at the gambit screen or in the manual control menu, the current state of the gambit list as a whole can be turned off and back on. Gambits can be changed at any moment during a battle, and gambits can always be interrupted by manual input of actions.

The characters start with no list of gambits, gain two automatically through the course of the early game, and can buy licenses for an additional 10 gambit slots in the Augments section of the License Board.

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