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WMG / Final Fantasy XII

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The game isn't finished.
Or rather, some parts are missing. Consider the International Zodiac Job System version, released around 1 year after the first launch of the game in Japan. Some of the changes are:
  • You can now control guest characters and summoned espers
  • You can x4 the speed of gameplay when pushing the L1 button.
  • There are now 12 different license boards, each assigned to a job
  • Quickenings now have their own bar
  • There is new equipment like the Zaitengrate (a bow), the Trango Tower (a one-handed sword) and the Gendarme (a shield)
  • They added the Trial mode: 100 fights of increasing difficulty
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  • Et cetera
Except for these it's the very same game with no changes to the main campaign. Where things start to seem weird is that even though they had more than a whole year to work on this new version the new equipment mentioned above is all invisible. No sprite. Neither the Zaitengrate nor the Trango Tower even produce a sound effect when used. The rest of new weapons (Orochi N, Masamune I, ...) just re-uses the skin of weapons that already were in the original game, nothing new. It just shows how little capital was put into the expansion.However, enemies which where nowhere in the original version can be fought in the Trial mode. In stage 86 of the Trial you fight Ricky, Elza and 6 Pirates. In stage 100 you fight all the Judge Magisters: Gabranth, Ghis, Bergan (all of which were also fightable in the original version), Drace and Zargabaath (which weren't fightable in the original version). All these enemies were characters in the original game but you didn't ever fight them.Now why would you go through the pain of creating new models and animations for these new enemies when you couldn't even model a skin for the new weapons ?My theory is that all these new enemies were assets from the developement which didn't found their way to the final game: Leftovers. It is known that Yasumi Matsuno who worked on the story of the game, left the team before the end of developement. It is possible that the plot he intended for had the party fighting Drace and Zargabaath at some point as well as pirates from Balfonheim and Ricky and Elza but it had to be re-arranged upon his departure. This could explain why some people find that the ending of the game that was released feels rushed.All that's left to us is to imagine what the original plot would have been like the parts where you fight these enemies had it not been scraped...

All or most of the party members are imagined by Vaan.
Vaan is a lonely and introverted orphan whose parents are never seen, and his only friend is Penelo. He spends most of his time killing small creatures in the sewer and stealing from people. The death of his parents and his sad situation have not done wonders for his already questionable mental health. News of his brother Reks' death finally sends him over the edge, and he sets out on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against The Empire. His lack of personality is not due to shoddy writing, but because he is projecting all of his more interesting attributes as alternate characters, in order to distance his broken and troubled mind from his violent actions. Note that he meets most of his new allies in dangerous spots; when faced with stress and danger he can't deal with, he invents a character to deal with it.
  • Gabranth does not have a twin brother. Basch is Vaan's personification of his own guilt at being unable or unwilling to serve in the army and prevent his brother's death. He looks like Gabranth, because Gabranth actually did kill Reks, but Vaan believes himself responsible. Vaan literally IS Basch Von Ronsenburg of Dalmasca.
  • Balthier is Vaan's ideal self - exactly the sort of sky pirate he dreams of being. He projects pretty much everything cool or meaningful that he does onto Balthier due to an inferiority complex that forces him to deny any heroic qualities he may have. He says he's the leading man, and he means it. He didn't die when the Sky Fortress went down, because he's Vaan.
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  • Ashe is the personification of Vaan's patriotism. The real life Princess Ashelia died, and was probably not nearly as badass as Ashe is, because they aren't the same person. This is why she's always referred to by the nickname.
  • Fran is a hybrid of all the beautiful and exotic women Vaan dreams of meeting as a sky pirate...and possibly his mother. She didn't die when the sky fortress went down, because she's Vaan. Make of that what you will, he's already pretty messed up.
    • This would explain nicely why she is a literal Playboy Bunny from the ears to her entire outfit. She's basically a teen fetish from a kid who generally has never been outside.
  • Penelo is either A. an actual human with a dangerous fascination with the antisocial thief-eunuch-boy-avenger, or B. Vaan's original imaginary friend, who becomes progressively less important as the other characters are developed in Vaan's mind. The main argument for Penelo's existence is her appearance in Tactics A2 along with Vaan, where the story is not told from Vaan's POV.

You can control all of the characters directly, and to a miniscule degree, because they're extensions of Vaan's mind. This is also why all of the characters have identical license board abilities, except for Quickenings, which are chained together anyway since he's really doing all of them. His sudden badassery at the very end of the game is a result of his mind partially fixing itself since he had just slain Gabranth and avenged his brother, placing his guilt-ridden mind at ease.Vaan is actually an extremely powerful character in subsequent games, because in XII, he was an unhinged, psychotic One-Man Army for most of it. He imagined his "friends" fighting, but it was all him, possibly Penelo if she existed, and occasionally Reddas, Larsa or Vossler.

  • In Dissidia, he can pull weapons from nowhere and execute awesome magical attacks, becoming one of the best characters in the game.
  • In Tactics A2, he's a brilliantly competent Sky Pirate and an awesome guest character.

All or most of the party members (except Penelo) are created by Vaan, using the Dawn Shard.

As the above theory about them being imagined by Vaan, but most of the other party members (except Penelo) were created by the Occuria to manipulate Vaan. It would certainly explain why they were able to interact with other characters. They could have taken on a life of their own when the Occuria gave up on their manipulations. In short, they would be sort of like low-power Espers that were mortal and weren't sealed away.

Penelo, Kytes, and Migelo are real. Penelo either knows the others in the party aren't real but plays along for the sake of Vaan's continued mental health (this is also why she seems so boring in comparison to the rest of the party), or believes in them because she too can see them. Penelo and Vaan actually are on an adventure but their journey is significantly less interesting.

  • As proof of this, many of the scenes with the main characters have quirky/funny background events with just Vaan and Penelo (for example, Phon Coast, where they are wanting to go swimming) and Vaan first met Balthier and Fran around the time he gained the shard. "Ashe" and Vaan are the only ones that see these ghosts, and the only reason they are ghosts is because his mind cannot reject their death like he has with Basch and Ashe. In reality, Vaan has been holding the Dawn Shard, and Vaan has been doing errands with Penelo for various officials with help from Ashe and the others appearing to be there. And he stole that airship.

Ivalice is Spira
Whenever the Mist is heavy (Golmore Jungle near the Vorpal Bunny, Barheim Passage, Nabreus Deadlands, Lhusu Mines (the closer one gets to Site 7), and so on), undead start to appear. So do monsters of huge size or other mutations. In fact, at least one hunt quest even mentions this effect, talking about how someone left their pet turtle out near the Lhusu Mines and it mutated to a huge size. In other words, the dead are unsent and fiends are being made.

Penelo is Vaan's conscience.
Any interaction Vaan has with Penelo basically points toward this. She's not real, and she's not even technically Vaan's imaginary friend; she is merely a physical representation of the voice in his brain telling him not to do stupid things. (Yes, there's one instance in the game where she's captured and must be rescued. This, however, could be explained away in lots of different ways: It was actually Vaan that was captured, it was another character or NPC, etc.)

The elementals found in the various areas are minor gods sent to protect the fauna of the area.
They are powerful and seem to be made of pure magic energy. They don't like when a magic spell is cast in their area, which makes it seem like they think magic is a threat, especially since they seem to be pure magic energy. They periodically cast protect on the animals of the region. In their bestiary information, they are said to be worshiped by certain sects.
  • Contributing to the theory, is the fact the Elemental Mardu Entite, is named after the god Marduk from Mesopotamian Mythology. The Mardu Entite, might even be the Marduk that's reffered as a Storm God in Vagrant Story.

Reddas is half Viera.
There's his skin color, of course, but also look at those fluffy sideburns and the bend across the top of his nose, both Viera traits.

The Jagd areas are caused by Occurian artifacts, and removing them causes the effect to disappear
Supposedly, the Jagd areas are caused by high concentrations of mist interfering with Skystones. However, as Bhujerba shows, it is possible to fly airships in mist/magicite rich areas without interference. Therefore, it must be somethings else that causes skystones to fail, and what is it that sucks up mist? Nethicite.

The three Jagd areas (The Yensa over the Sandsea, the Difohr over the Golmore Jungle/Feywood and the Lumooda over the Paramina Rift) all cover Occurian temples, containing Occurian artifacts (The Tomb of Raithwall/Dawn Shard, The Great Crystal/Treaty Blade and The Stillshrine of Miriam/Sword of Kings). And in two out of three cases, when you remove said magical doodad, the Empire's airships are suddenly flying over there. Coincidence? I think not.

  • The Imperial airships flying over the area are explained in-game as them developing a skystone, based on Manufacted Nethicite, specifically to work in Jagds.
  • The party's airship, The Strahl, is also incapable of going into the Jagd at first but by the time it can be used as a mean of fast-travel through the multiple areas of the game, notably the Jagd Lumooda, the Sword of Kings and the Treaty-Blade has already been acquired.
  • The Ridorana cataract in the Jagd-Naldoa can be accessed first only by using the party airship, the Strahl, even though the Sun-Cryst, also created by the Occuria, is at the top of the Pharos.

Basch was the one who killed King Raminas and Reks
The Evil Twin excuse was just a contruct of his insane mind after two years in prison. Think about it. He just murdered his king and a loyal subordinate who trusted him implicitly. And as he sits in prison, rotting away, he sees his twin brother, working successfully for the empire. Overcome by guilt and jealousy, he convinces himself it was not him who murdered the King, it was his brother. It makes so much sense. After all, he works for the empire, and they would want to make sure the peace deal does not go smoothly, right? And he doesn't know Reks, so he would have no compunctions against killing him. Anybody who thinks that Basch killed him is obviously mistaken, because Gabranth looks like him, they would think that wouldn't they?

And Gabranth? He plays along with it, because it works with his (and The Empire's) goals.

Viera aren't actually long-lived, they just count years differently in the Wood
As explained by the Viera wayfarer you meet at several points in the game, you can't see the sky inside the Wood, so they wouldn't notice days getting longer/shorter. Also, they are mostly cut off from the outside world. So, the viera have come up with their own way of counting years, which are shorter the Hume years, so people assume they are long-lived when they are in fact not.

Ashe's just the next chosen one. The Resistance (along with the main party) are the sacrifice.. And her Despair Event Horizon? Dalmasca getting wrecked by the battle between the Empire and the Resistance. "All is within the flows of causality"

The Nethecite is the One Ring.
Cid goes crazy over it, Ashe can't destroy it, etcetara.

Balthier knew all along that the Dusk Shard was Nethicite
He went after it originally to stop the empire from finding it. He could find it when the empire couldn't because he told Fran about it's properties so she could sense where it was. He acted cool about Vaan keeping it because he wanted to throw off suspicion- no-one would suspect some street kid of possessing the Nethecite, so if Vayne found out his true identity he wouldn't beat risk of getting the nethecite stolen off him. And when they got captured on the Leviathan, he let Vaan give it away to continue protecting his cover, figuring that he could steal it back later.
  • This actually would make some sense, as Cid, his father, was corrupt by the desire to have it. It isn't too much of a stretch to assume that Cid had studied the Dusk/Dawn shards and other nethicite items, and that Balthier would have heard about it from his father at some point.

Vann and Penelo are Self-Insert Fic characters.
Everyone knows the REAL protagonist in this game is Ashe, but the game wants you to think Vaan and Penelo are main characters. They are really self insert fic characters for the player and thus have little to no effect on the plot other than to simply be there.

The Occurias real objective was to stop the Moogles for taking over the world and the world changing event between FFXII and FFT is a huge cataclysmic war pitting Moogles against Occurias.
It is quite obvious that the Moogle should be by far the dominant race of Ivalice: They are everywhere, they are the main source of technological advance of the world (when people want to talk about Technology in Ivalice, they just say "Mooglecraft") and they are also quite essential for the economy (ruling Chocobo services, Clans, working in shops), plus, we know that they are at least as deadly as the other races on the battlefield (and they are even worse once they start using their own gadgets). So the big question is: Why isn't Ivalice the World Magitek Empire of the Most Mighty Mooglekin? Answer: The Occurias. The Occurias realised long ago that the Moogles would become the dominant species, and the whole process of choosing a dynast king was intended only to give a Hume lord the power to rule over everyone, including the Badass/Tech-savvy Moogles, while creating "stable" empires that would remain as technologicaly stagnant as possible. The Occurias figured that Moogles would be more tolerant toward the rule of big klutzy not-so-bright but mostly friendly Humes than toward the rule of arrogant noncorporal beings who enjoyed playing God.Then Vaan & Co learned the truth.Vaan is a member of Clan Centurio, remember, and after ho so many hunts done for the clan, chances are that by the time the team learned the truth, he had the ear of Mont-Blanc, so what follow is easy to guess:
  • A) The information about the Occurias' plan goes viral on the Mognet. The Moogles become understandably pissed to have been along with the other mortal races the unwitting pawns of the Occurias
  • B) The Moogles raid the Bahamut, Draklor Laboratory, and every place where there can be informations about Nethicites and Occurias Crystalcraft. Being the uncannily bright furballs that they are, the Moogles quickly find a way to reverse engineer the Occurias magitek.
Then war is all but inevitable, and the Occurias, having ran out of options, decide to immediately go nuclear against the mortals: a tragically untold war of gigantic proportion engulf the world as the Moogles are leading the other races against the Occurias and as the Occurias are indiscriminately scorching Ivalice in a last ditch of spite. Eventually, the Moogles commit a specie-wide Heroic Sacrifice throwing everything they have against the Occurias, and the resulting world is the Ivalice of FFT and Vagrant Story: a damaged world where ancient magics are still there, uncontrolled by Humes who never where able to reproduce the craft of the now extinct Moogles.

Yiazmat is the Ivalice incarnation of Shinryu
Yiazmat is a dragon-type enemy, is holy-elemental, is the game's superboss, and is associated with Omega Mark XII who was created to hunt it, all traits of the traditional Shinryu. Yiazmat may have actually been called Shinryu during development, but after the firing of Matsuno, "Shinryu" was renamed Yiazmat in tribute to the former employee and its Shinryu traits remained The Artifact.

Alternatelly, Yiazmat was originally supposed to be the Ivalice incarnation of Bahamut
Yiazmat looks more like Bahamut, having a metallic skin, instead of crystaline body, like Shinryu. Yiazmat is also described as the ruler of wyrms/dragons, a position described usually to Bahamut. And as noted in the Expy section on the main page, Yiazmat's characteristic Cyclone ability, acts very similary to Terraflare in the same game. Aside from that, it's notable Yiazmat's moves also resemble Bahamut's abilities from previous games. White Breath, inflicting the Stop status effect, is similar to Bahamut using Stop move in Final Fantasy VIII, and using ice element moves in Final Fantasy V and X. Stone Breath, resembles Bahamut's petrifying moves, like Impulse, and Impulsion. And finally, Cyclone, resembles Bahamut's various wind elemental moves, like Maelstorm, Tornado and Tempest Wing. It's possible that Yiazmat was originally called Bahamut, but after the firing of Matsuno, got renamed after him, as a Tribute and/or Take That!, as suggested in the above WMG. Vayne becoming the Bahamut-like Undying, seems to also be something done after Matsuno left the project.Three other interesting facts, connected to Yiazmat's design:

...Which coud mean Yiazmat isn't actually a bad guy
It's possible that Yiazmat's creator and Montblanc's master, might be the same person, and an Occuria. Which could mean Yiazmat killing him, was an act of heroic defiance, but still was something horrible from the perspective of Montblanc and his siblings. This could mean killing Yiazmat, is in reality a What the Hell, Hero? moment.

It's also possible that Yiazmat was allways meant to be a Composite Character of Shinryu and Bahamut
As it seems Yiazmat has traits of both of them.

Yet, another possibility is that Yiazmat was originally a further One-Winged Angel of Vayne and Venat.
Yiazmat, has a distinctive, mechanical look, not that different from the Undying. It's possible that originally, Vayne instead of becoming Vayne Novus, and then the Undying, would become direcly the Undying, and the Undying would absorb more parts of Sky Fortress Bahamut, and transform into an even bigger mechanical dragon - Yiazmat. Although seeing Yiazmat's concept art, it's possible Vayne originally had a more standard One-Winged Angel, without merging wth bits of Sky Fortress Bahamut.

"The Wood" is actually an Occuria.
It's all a ploy to keep the Viera under control, especially when one considers their sensitivity to the mist.

Balthier is the result of Fran's Husband Husbandry.
While the game is very low-key when it comes to romance, Balthier and Fran behave like an old married couple, understanding each other with half told sentences (look at they're conversation in the Jungle) and having obviously a lot of shared experiences, implying that they have known each other and possibly been intimate, for a very long time. Yet, Balthier being only 22, this would mean that the whole affair would have started when he was a teenager, or even before that. So maybe Fran did Groom Balthier (who was virtually parentless from at least age 14) to make him her companion. Then the romance between the two characters was downplayed when someone at Square Enix realized that the MoralGuardians would probably start a huge fuss if it became apparent that one of the main character of the game Shota's tendancies were too obvious and partially vetoed it.
  • They treat each-other more with respect than romance, another similarity to Han Solo and Chewbacca. Because they treat each-other basically exactly the same way.
Vossler is a bastard prince.
Well, look at the Dalmascans. All pale haired, fair skinned with a tan. Vossler looks naturally that colour, in that it is his skin tone, and his hair has a very dark-dusty quality. Who else has that? Al-Cid. Being a 'son of Dalmasca' it's likely he has Dalmascan blood and can't be pure Rozarrian at all (if it is indeed a racial trait to have hair and skin like that). Yet, with Basch being so loyal and so high up, he may as well be Dalmascan, so that wouldn't be an obstacle. His resemblence to Al-Cid is astounding, but due to having Dalmascan blood he can't be fully Margrace, and won't have the name, and being a bastard he also wouldn't have precedence over Al-Cid for the Rozarrian throne. That he never mentions it might be shame or just not feeling it relevant, considering himself fully Dalmascan. Just food for thought.

Basch wasn't actually held at Nalbina to silence Ondore.
Or rather, he was, but it wasn't the primary reason he was there. He says aboard the Leviathan that he knows the Dusk Shard's location, something Vayne's been trying to ferret out through various means for the past two years. It isn't such a stretch to imagine that being the actual reason Basch was kept alive and tortured.

Penelo is incredibly sycophantic.
Yes, in town areas we automatically control Vaan. However the first time we do it Vaan is alone, and later Vaan is sent on errands by Balthier and Basch. It is then heavily implied that actually this is not a case of Party in My Pocket, but that anytime we get to a town the grown-ups hit the bars and send Vaan shopping. So where's Penelo? Well, she actually prefers to suck up to the heroes than accompanying her friend.

The Occuria killed Rasler.
Well, not killed as such, but they made sure he stayed dead. Unlike most Final Fantasy games, the Ivalice games are implied to have magic actually capable of miraculous healing and raising the dead. Basch got Rasler out of danger, but when they came to revive him, they mysteriously found themselves unable to call his soul back. The Occuria had seized the opportunity, stealing away Rasler's soul so they could use his likeness to manipulate Ashe.

The Occuria aren't gods.
There's something very off about the Occuria, from their behaviour to their strange character designs, through to the fact they don't fit any of the divine beings mentioned anywhere in the game. This is because the Occuria are frauds, who stepped in after the Esperomachy and took the place of the real gods, who have since retreated from influencing the mortal realm. This is why they're completely powerless to interfere with the mortal realm without pawns.

Venat and Vayne, after fusing and dying, became the Ivalice version of Bahamut.
The Undying, the fused form of Venat and Vayne, looks a lot like Bahamut, and even has his characteristic attack, Mega Flare, and it's variations. They possibly took the name Bahamut, after their shared creation. Venat earlier also shown some affinity with dragons, releasing, and controlling Tiamat. Bahamut is sumonable in Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings, because it takes place after their deaths, and it's the fused spirit of Vayne/Venat that is summoned.

Alternatelly, Venat was allready the Ivalice version of Bahamut.
As mentioned before, she seems to have a connection to dragons, with her summoning/controling Tiamat, and her fused form with Vayne being draconic. She's also seemingly the most benevolent of the Occuria, despite being an antagonist, and argubly, the BigBad.

Yiazmat is actually the Psycho Prototype (possibly also Super Prototype) for Bahamut and Tiamat.
Feolthanos in Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings was said to have created Yiazmat as an Esper/Yahri, but sealed it, after not being able to control it. Revenant Wings also strongly implies most or even all Espers in Ivalice that aren't Scions of Darkness, were created by Feolthanos, or his servants. Feolthanos also really likes summoning Bahamut in the battle against him, implying he's especially connected to Bahamut. This would also explain why in Revenant Wings, Bahamut looks similary to Yiazmat's concept art, and why in game, Yiazmat looks like a bigger Tiamat with Bahamut's palette.

Some of Ivalice's races survived the Cataclysm, living to see times of Final Fantasy Tactics and Vagrant Story, although they evolved, or degenerated.
Seeq, became the very similary looking Orcs, seen in Vagrant Story.The corrupt among Nu Mou survived, and degenerated into Piscodemons, and other Mindflayers.Viera, to survive, transfered their spirits to the Woods, with which they allready were strongly connected, and became Dryads.Baknamy had adjusted to breathing on the surface, and became Goblins.

The two races that went extinct for sure, were Moogles and Aegyl, although the Moogles survived in a way as a summon.

It's also possible that these races, went from members of the society, to monsters, because humes grown increasingly agressive and predijuced towards non-humes.

The goddess Mateus bound to himself, was Shiva, at least in Yasumi Matsuno's original conception.
The bound goddess is described as a "Goddess of the Demesne of Ice", which fits Shiva perfectly. The bound goddess has also the pale blue skin which Shiva usually is depicted with, and she looks quite similar to Shiva's previous depictions in Ivalice games.

Helgas are the males of the Viera species.
The one Helgas we saw, Gran Kiltias Anastasis, had similary tan skin to Viera, and even similar body build. Anastasis also had great magic abilities, like Viera were said to have, and Helgas are said to possess telepathy, which could be identical to the Viera's ability to hear, and communicate with the spirit world. While the Helgas have lower mounted, and smaller ears, this may be because of sexual dimorphism.

The English translation contains a mistake regarding Ajora.
The bestiary entry mentioning Ajora causes a lot of confusion, as it places Ajora's birth nearly two millenia before FFXII. This would put FFT in the past of XII. But looking at the Ultimania's speculated timeline and machine translations of the bestiary entry, it seems the original intent was for the text to read something like "In the years following (the events of FFXII), Ajora formed a competing sect to the Light of Kiltia". This was probably 'fixed' in the localisation due to the fourth wall break - the Clan Primer otherwise only references events in the past.

The “Ivalice Alliance” games and Final Fantasy Tactics/Vagrant Story occupy different timelines.

Let's face it: there's some serious Fridge Horror in the idea that a World Of Ruin-level cataclysm occurs in Ivalice less than a century after XII ends. Not to mention the fact it turns every Ivalice Alliance game into something of a "Shaggy Dog" Story. So let's imagine an alternative. The cataclysm leading to the world-state of Final Fantasy Tactics and Vagrant Story is actually an averted Bad Future—one probably averted by the events of Final Fantasy XII. Perhaps Venat never rebelled at all in the original timeline. Perhaps Ashe chose a darker path, becoming the Occuria's new puppet. Either way, the events of XII avert the cataclysm, leading to a completely unknown future. Final Fantasy XII is thus broad-stroaks canonical to Tactics/Vagrant Story, but Tactics/VS are not the canonical future of Final Fantasy XII.

The Occuria are Ascians
The Ascians in XIV are used to being able to play the Long Game, treating people in the world like children treat toys at worst, or like The Chessmaster treating their most carefully laid pieces at best. Time and space mean nothing to them so long as their plan to cause an utter Class 6 destruction on one world while The Source suffers a matching elemental Class 2.

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