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This is a "Wild Mass Guess" entry, where we pull out all the sanity stops on theorizing. The regular entry on this topic is elsewhere. Please see this programme note.
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
Video Game//Final Fantasy Tactics Advance

Marche's characterization is a Deconstruction of previous Omnicidal Maniac antagonists such as Garland, Exdeath, etc. However, he is not in the wrong.
  • The game has Marche travel the land of Ivalice with his army, fight the forces of the kingdom (which is being controlled by a malevolent entity posing as Mewt's mother, and Mewt himself, who is a poster boy for power corrupting) and plans to destroy the crystals, which are tied to the stucture of the world. Does this sound familar? Marche is clearly supposed to be a stand-in for antagonists in previous Final Fantasy games, such as Garland and Golbez. However, rather than Marche being in the wrong, the game is instead presenting what could drive somebody to act in the way antagonists in past F Fs have done. It is mentioned in the Japanese version that innocent people are dying in the battles within Ivalice, and we have the case of the zombies who share the names of the bullies, which raises the question of how many people were changed into monsters. And of course, we have the Totema, who rather than oppose Marche, aid him on his journey. As such, the game has you control a boy who can certainly be compared antagonists such as Exdeath, but unlike them, from his perspective.

Ivalice is The Garden of Eden and Marche was Adam

The Writers didn't want any bad consequences for anything, and just didn't think about any implications.
Wanting to stay in a Platonic Cave is bad...but the notion of a Dream Apocalypse is disheartening. So the writers went the Sweet and Sour Grapes route. Ivalice was fake. Ivalice was real. There is no contradiction. :Jedi Mind Trick:

Marche was being manipulated by the Totema to remove his and his friends' influence on Ivalice.
After accidentally freeing the first Totema, they start telling him exactly what he wants to hear: that Ivalice is "fake" and that he has to destabilize the world to return himself and his unwilling friends to their own world. Oddly, he accepts the contradictory idea that all of his native friends in Ivalice will be fine if he does this.
  • Note that the Totema are all based on past Final Fantasy villains, and in Final Fantasy XII are all considered to be fallen angels — in other words, not trustworthy sources of information.
  • In the What If? post-game, it's revealed that had Marche been fully assimilated into Ivalice, he would have become a Judgemaster and would have cleaned up corruption among the Judges. Judge corruption is widely present in Final Fantasy XII - the only Judge we're shown who isn't corrupt is killed in her second cutscene.
  • None of the other universes the book created have survived because they were tied to their creators; when their creators died, the universe died as well. When Normal Marche, Ritz, Mewt, and Doned were returned to the real world, the Ivalice counterparts that they were basically inhabiting remained, which is why you could play even after the end of the game.
    • What about the post-game mission where you find Mewt's teddy bear? I believe the game made mention of Prince Mewt vanishing.
      • Mewt's not dead, though, he just left Ivalice. More pertinently, the notion of the Grimore's fabrications being constrained by the mortality of their creators might be the justification behind Luso ending up in the real Ivalice rather than being thrust into yet another constructed world.

Ivalice is fake because Marche wants it to be.
Ultimately, the Book turned Marche and his friends into Reality Warpers. Ivalice became what they wanted it to be. Marche didn't want to be there, but he needed a reason. So Ivalice/His Subconscious gave him one. He still has to convince or break the wills of the others before he can change it back, though. Which leads to...

Marche subconsciously created the Ivalice Alliance World
The Ivalice of Final Fantasy XII came about so that Marche wouldn't feel guilty about destroying the "fake" Ivalice, even while he justified it as not being real. This is where all new souls who were present in Ivalice the World but not the Earth City of Ivalice ended up in.
  • This might possibly explain Final Fantasy Tactics A2.
    • What's even more notable to back this up is all the cameos that cross-intersect the Ivalice games. An obvious one that happens quite early in the game is Montblanc and his members appearing in Final Fantasy XII as a quite dominant and popular clan around the area. Montblanc even makes remarks implying past adventures with what is assumed to be Marche. In addition, we see Luso in the PSP port of Final Fantasy Tactics. So, in a sense, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance is secretly a prequel.

The Ivalice of FFTA is a temporary fusion of geography and people from Earth and the "actual" Ivalice.
No one dies; everyone gets sent back to their respective real world with memories of the "fake Ivalice" mostly missing... and then Luso gets sent over to the real thing by a different Grimoire.
  • Going further along this line of thought really hurts the "Marche is the real villain" theory. A bunch of kids from one dimension merge it with another dimension and the resulting dimension that forms has them placed into situations that allow them to live their own dreams. Best case scenario they just altered the whole world and positions were created for them to fill. Worst case scenario they stole actual occupants of this alternate world's lives. Regardless they have altered two worlds for selfish reasons. The kid who thinks there is something wrong with this situation is marked as the bad guy.
  • This short comic itself is following the above WMG... in Montblanc's view.

FFTA (and FFTA2) is a deconstruction of Fan Fiction
Since they found the Grimoire, they are the "Authors" of their "Story"; they created the world. It's one big fic because it takes place in the world of Final Fantasy Tactics, which they are all fans of.

More Evidence:

  • Self-Insert Fic: Mewt, Ritz, Marche, and Donned are all guilty of taking part in this, for obvious reasons.
    • FFTA2 has this even worse, as Luso acts almost exactly as if he were really in a self insert fic.
  • Mary Sue: Mewt. just... Mewt.
    • Not to mention Twem, a blindingly obvious God-Mode Sue with a Sdrawkcab Name who acts as The Dragon and is Nigh Invulnerable.
    • And Adelle from FFTA 2. She's played a lot more straight than Twem, actually.
    • And the Gira race (also form FFTA 2) is probably what you'd expect if you asked an average Fanfiction writer what they would look like as a half-dragon.
  • Elsewhere Fic: Little, if any reference is made to the original FFT. (correct me if i'm wrong)
  • Fix Fic: This applies less to characters in Ivalice and more to their own lives, since in Ivilice, Ritz has naturaly pink hair, Doned is has no medical problems, Mewt has a mother again.
  • Drabble: Ok, this is a bit of a stretch, but most of the side-missions seem to be this way.

  • Continuing along this line, the Aesop at the end gets cast in a totally different light - we go from 'illusion bad reality good' to 'fanfiction bad canon good.' Depending on your interpretation, this might seem a bit rich, considering the quality of TA's writing...

Marche wanted to be a supervillain
Think about it for a sec. He has working for him a group of mercenaries. He has a right hand man full of useful information. He wants to destroy the world. These are classic signs of supervillany. In addition everyone else got exactly what they wanted, to walk, normal hair, and a mom. Everybody but Marche who seemingly was so cool with his life he dragged everyone back from their stunning fantasy world to a not as cool real world, where all the problems that the alternate had fixed were back.
  • But his intentions are, at least as far as he can tell, not evil, so he's probably closer to a Knight Templar.
  • He also goes out of his way to help people, and the group of mercenaries are all good guys. And let's be honest, if your hair color changing is your idea of a "stunning fantasy world" you probably shouldn't be in one in the first place.

Marche was right
Shocking I know.
  • Which raises an interesting question. If the Book was dangerous escapist fantasy illusion...why did grown-up Mewt keep it in a spot where Luso could find it? And then treat Luso's adventures as harmless?
    • Because he didn't know it was an escapist fantasy illusion. He thought Luso had just wandered off to the same world he and Marche were in as kids.
    • The Ivalice Luso went to really was real. Figure that one out, if you can.
      • I will. Marche and co. transformed their world into Ivalice by using the Gran Grimore, a Grimore that "holds the power to shape the fabric of the world". The book from Final Fantasy Tactics A2, the one that Luso found in "Mr. Randell"'s library, was the Grimore Of The Rift, which warped Luso through a rift in space-time and spat him out into the real Ivalice. Different Grimores, different powers, different implications.
      • ...who keeps giving these kids magical books?
      • There might be some unexplained secondary purpose behind them. After all, a Lotus-Eater Machine is a pretty good way of keeping people from seeing what goes on behind the scenes. However, this seems to be a mostly Foregone Conclusion as far as canon is concerned... leaving it down, like so much else, to the fanfic writers.
      • The books give themselves to the kids, obviously. The one from the first game had malevolent intent and drew the kids into making a fantasy world that transposed the normal world onto the world of Ivalice. The second game's book was more benign, and drew Luso in so that he could stop Illua. Illua's book is probably one of the more evil ones as well.

Ivalice was a World Half Empty
More specifically, it was heaven for its makers and hell for almost everyone else. This is more evident in the Japanese version, which talks of how many innocent people are dying in the nonstop battles, and also makes Mewt, Ritz, and Doned much more self-centered and annoying. For bonus points, pay close attention the first time you rescue Professor Auggie—the zombies you slay bear the same names as the kids who bullied Mewt in the beginning, inviting the question of whether he deliberately made them into wandering lost souls.

Marche destroyed Ivalice out of jealously
All of his friends are happier there while his first steps in Ivalice are filled with accidental racism and awkward conversation with the natives. (Why yes, he looks -exactly- like a teddy bear Marche...)
  • Marche got what he wanted too, though. In the boring Ivalice he's a new kid who seems like he's been lonely most of his life and who seems to be kind of weak. In awesome fantasy Ivalice he's an action hero who is friends with a whole group of mercenaries who he is also the leader of.
  • Perhaps this is a justification for the 'Marche as Supervillain' WMG.

"Ivalice" is actually Purgatory
Mewt found the Necronomicon and it killed all of them by sucking out their blood to use as ink for the new pages it crafted from their skinned hides. Marche is a messiah figure much like Jesus Christ, by "destroying" Ivalice he is actually leading himself and the other lost souls to Heaven. Montblanc is his guardian angel sent to help him on his journey. Mewt's "mother" is Satan. The judges are her angels. The Totema are god's angels and the only reason they told Marche it's all just an escapist fantasy is so he'll lead his friends to Heaven without knowing it. The prison for lawbreakers is hell.

Montblanc is Marche's Manic Pixie Dream Boy
While Shara serves Ritz as an advisor while Mewt has Babus as his own servant, Montblanc is Marche's Manic Pixie Dream Boy. He helps him to get out of the world, and it's more clear in its radio drama.

A Grimoire is a tome of history, and a magical tome of history therefore...
The Grimoire was an attempt to perform a magic analogous to spheres, which could contain TRUE information on anything, by putting the TRUE information in a book. The best way to put this is that like Borges's map, the book is so accurately written that by altering the book, reality itself changes. The Grimoire was the only attempt by Ivaliceans to record history, in this case, the Lion's war and the various clan (family) wars going on in the past. St.Ivalice, the Ivalice Marche comes from, is actually Ivalice in the future, because after some sort of cataclysm that wipes out magic and magic lifeforms, humanity rebuilds itself into something resembling the modern age. St. Ivalice is named not only after the original country, but it's name has also become mixed with the local religion of St. Ajora. Hence, St.Ivalice. Mankind has forgotten about the races of the past, whose secrets are only remembered in old, yet still magical tomes. Mewt makes a personal wish on the magic of the grimoire, and then chooses to also give his friends their wishes. The grimoire is not a wish granter, but it can recreate the age of magic from the "truth" by applying it to the modern world to technically grant the wish, and it does so through the friend's wish's lens- Thus we get FFTA. Marche is of course able to stop this madness, because he is a descendant of the surviving Beoulve family, who obviously went by different names after The war of the lions. This explains the familial resemblance between Ramza and Marche. However, once the weird mix of past and present is removed, there is an after effect: The 'truth' has been affected, altered, and history itself is changed, and the repercussions make even Chronos's eyes go crossways. In the time of Magic, time duplicates of those whose actions had major repercussions are created, in this case, Marche, and possibly only Marche. Marche may have inadvertently created his own ancestor's ancestor, but I digress. This Marche goes on to become a high ranking judge, who then suffers the fate of dying against a certain dragon by boldly choosing to fight it alone, slightly before the time of FFXII. FFTA 2 Occurs because Mewt understands the power of the book and takes extra special care of it, and probably even sets up Luso's sojourn, and uses it in a more proper way: It's a way for others to travel into the past and learn about it. Any other appearances of Luso in Ivalice are him messing about in the past in a slightly alternate timeline for a return trip for kicks. Balthier just has a time machine.

The whole thing was a Batman Gambit by Li-Grim to make a permanent world.
Li-Grim has created worlds for the other owners of the Grimoire in the past but they were destroyed when the owner died and the cycle repeats itself with a new world being created every so often and being destroyed in a matter of decades. The other owners were all essentially an Author Avatar and thus the "Hero" of their story. When Mewt buys the book and takes it over to Marche's place Li-Grim devises a plan to break the cycle by having them choose to leave willingly. She Knows that only Marche would want to leave so she creates the Totema who convince him that it's an illusion, which she reinforces at the end so he can honestly tell that to the others. She sets up the rest of the world with Mewt as the "Hero" with Cid, Ritz and Doned set up with everything they want. She sets Marche up as the "Villain", to tear the world apart and convince the others to willingly go home. After Marche and co. defeat her she's able to use her powers to create a world tied to her own, presumably infinite, lifespan saving most of the people and places from "Dream Ivalice" along with other ideas in the process.

The Gukko storyline was Li-Grim's original 'Plot' to keep the kids focused.
Even if the kids had this world crafted for them by sacrificing there original world and turning it's inhabitants (save the kids reading the book) into puppets based on the whims of said children, there still needs to be tell tale signs that it's a 'Game' and the idea was the Gukko plot, give us a villainous organization to be taken down by the 'Heroes of Ivalice' to forward them along, it starts off small, has a hectic middle act and finally a climactic battle against a demon. Also the mission chain is 20 missions long and involves liberating most of the cities as well as throwing back to familiar elements in past Final Fantasy games which were on the kids brains.

The Ivalice in FFTA was real.
As an earlier WMG has pointed out, the Totema were based off of pretty much fallen angels who were likely not good sources of information. But my main argument is actually that all the characters, even the "fake" ones, had thoughts and emotions. You can practically hear the sadness in Babus' voice and the contempt in Llednar Twem's. They were not zombies. We can tell because there were actual zombies involved, too. I am not arguing that the Ivalice was the same Ivalice in FFT and FF 12, just that it was an actual world, and that Marche was manipulated into committing mass murder.

Marche will appear in a 3rd Dissidia...
On the side of Chaos (Ramza is on Cosmos obviously)! It will function as Ascended Fanon to the fan guessing and as an excuse to avoid figuring out who is the "true" villain (AND if they make a good fight) for FFT if they put Ramza in.
  • I seem to recall something like this mentioned elsewhere on this site. Marche would be a on the side of Chaos, all the meanwhile thinking hes actually a good guy. Of course, the warriors of Chaos would manipulate him into believing so. Cloud of Darkness, Exdeath and the Emperor, mostly (the Totemas!). Cant say how would Ramza enter in this whole thing, maybe the Warriors of Cosmos would distrust him due to some misunderstandings? It would be an interesting showcase of how history views Ramza and Marche; the former was a hero, but is mostly remembered as a traitor and a heretic. Marche, amongst his friends at least, is remembered as a hero, but Im sure they ocasionally think how good their life used to be at Ivallice.

Marche wound up in the actual Ivalice sometime after the game.
In Final Fantasy Tactics A2, Montblanc calls out for Marche if he's KO'd in battle. Tactics A2 takes place in the same world as Final Fantasy XII, meaning that it's not the same Ivalice as in Tactics Advance. Montblanc also mentions someone close to him being killed by Yiazmat, driving him to create Clan Centurio to eventually hunt the monster down. If Marche had been killed by Yiazmat sometime prior to Final Fantasy XII, this would explain both of these seemingly unrelated facts.

Final Fantasy TacticsWMG/Video GamesDirge of Cerberus

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