Final Fantasy 12 was first published in 2006 to commercial and critical acclaim, following several game of the year accolades, and receiving special praise for its innovative combat system, graphics, music, and voice cast. Additionally, the game received particular praise for the new franchise rather than revamping it, which is yet to this day seen as its legacy in the games that followed.
In the eyes of fans, no Final Fantasy game is ever created equal. There are millions of players who are either new to the franchise or those with extreme nostalgia and fandom for each game that comes out. Final Fantasy 12 was so popular that Square Enix appeared to have dragged the game away, implying that it was allowing many people to learn more about it, and that it was well-known.
The World of Ivalice
FF12''s impact on the modern Final Fantasy franchise begins with its development of a vast semi-open world, compared to what were typically linear and straightforward storyline paths for the franchise. At the same time, the world of Ivalice was a complete transformation in direction when considering player agency combining with world-building and art styles.
Ivalice''s natural beauty complemented by a more modern art style, but a story that focused more on complex topics than previous franchise entries. Political intrigue, corruption, and religion all made this Final Fantasy a more serious character. All of these elements combined combined played to one of the player''s greatest strengths - the characters from the group. Disregarding Vaan, the introduction of such a wide set of characters, all with unique backstory, motivations, and personal quests, made Ivalice a
With remarkable art direction, incredible music, and a semi-open world to complement it, FF12 felt built in - with civilians roaming architecturally different places, detailed and unique textures for weapons and armor, weather effects, and more. Final Fantasy 15, which initially praised for its linear approach, opened up into more of an open world in the latter half of the game.
Enemy Encounters in Final Fantasy 12
Alongside the open world, FF12 extended a brand-new enemy encounter system. Excluding the MMO-like Final Fantasy 11, FF12 was the first entry in the main series of Final Fantasy games to completely discard random enemy encounters. For the first time, players had the authority to engage them or avoid them entirely. This combined with the vast open world, players realised what they were getting themselves into, which led to a much more interesting combat system that also remained more popular.
Each game in FF12 has now included nonrandomized encounters. From Final Fantasy 13 to the Final Fantasy 7 Remake, each new game in the franchise has developed an entirely new level, with players able to see huge monsters over large distances, which impressed players and reviewers alike for its sense of scale and world-building. In FF12, every game has already included nonrandomized encounters.
Gambit System in Final Fantasy 12
Another benefit was the Gambit system, which enabled the player to program each character in a task based on specific conditions. If a character''s health was below 30%, another Gambit might instruct a character to use certain magic. Although the system was relatively straightforward to learn, it allowed a huge amount of diversity during FF12 encounters where having the right Gambits might be a win or lose situation.
This concept has once again enlivened itself in many forms in the franchise. Final Fantasy 15 utilized the gambit system as its core for the ''Trust System,'' a mechanic that would enlist story characters and online players. The franchise''s changing world with an almost MMO-like, modernized approach to combat changed forever, and even influenced other games such as Dragon Age and Pillars of Eternity.
Final Fantasy 12''''s Legacy
FF12 was a game that wasn''t quite ahead of its time, with both open worlds, real-time combat, and non-linear gameplay, although the game has been built from the JRPG traditions. Final Fantasy 13, FF7 Remake, and FF15 have all used many of the systems that FF12 developed for the franchise, incorporating all of the game''s advanced capabilities, from the more MMO-style gameplay to the more intriguing and engaging storytelling approaches. The game is still quite popular, particularly
Some fans believed the inclusion of a vast open world was a step too far, with the license board progression becoming too free and the Active Dimension Battle system too complex. Yet now gamers can see the DNA of FF12 in every Final Fantasy game in the franchise, standardizing its systems and developing upon them to further develop the traditional Final Fantasy structure. However, the concept of FF12 has continued to stand the test of time, with the release of the Zodiac Age remaster instilling its potential.
Final Fantasy 12: The Zodiac Age is now available on PC, PS4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One.