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Thread: The Lore Connection between FFXII, FF Tactics, FF Tactics Advance

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    Default The Lore Connection between FFXII, FF Tactics, FF Tactics Advance

    Hey all,

    In my current play through, I recognize some names from other titles like Montblanc. I found a post on ResetEra that talks about how FFXII precedes Final Fantasy Tactics as well. I understand both games are set in the same universe. I was wondering if there's any more information on the lore between both games? Thanks for any leads.
    "The Real Folk Blues" by Seatbelts ft. Mai Yamane

  2. #2
    Radical Dreamer Fynn's Avatar
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    FFXII takes place the earliest in the Ivalice timeline, FFT and Vagrant Story are last, FFTA2 takes place several years after FFXII, whole FFTA takes place in an imaginary land based on FFXII-era Ivalice. FFT and VS take place ages after a cataclysm that wiped out the other races, but even in the games before the cataclysm each game takes place in a different region, so the connection is loose enough that you donít need to know anything about any game to enjoy any of them. Iím sure Wolf Kanno can link you to a resource that further elaborates on the lore connections

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    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    Fynn largely covered it. The main thing to understand about the Ivalice Timeline/Lore thing is that it's a bit haphazard and hard to pin down because there are several different Word of God things going on that conflict with everything. If you only choose to count the games Matsuno would say, then the IA is just FFTactics and XII, with TA being a gaiden game and VS being a different IP al together. If you go by SE though, then any entry that takes place in some form of Ivalice counts except for the mobile entries and the Return to Ivalice events in XIV.

    For the sake of clarity, I'll list this by SE's suggestion.

    XII is the earliest entry in the series and takes place less than a hundred years from the time of St. Ajora in Tactics. It is the Golden Age of airships often spoke of in FFTactics in it's flavor text. The irony here is that XII's flavor text considers the Galtean Alliance era to be the Golden Age or Ivalice. This entry is most notable for trying to arc weld the whole franchise together with lots of references and cosmological changes to make Tactics and VS more compatible and fit into the Ivalice setting.

    Revenant Wings takes place a years after the events of FFXII, but is not exactly considered canon anymore. It was mostly developed by a different team and was meant to be a new IP before the execs forced them to make it into a slapdash sequel to XII. Even the team that developed it don't consider it part of the franchise.

    Tactics A2 takes place several years later in a different land and is the last game developed by the main team before they were eaten by the XIV team. It has several callbacks to XII and a few for TA. It is notable by the fanbase for really screwing up the timeline for fans by arc welding TA1 into canon, but I'll get to that below.

    FF Tactics takes place after the Cataclysm in a feudal middle age era. This game can feel a bit weird if you're playing any version that isn't the War of the Lions expansion since it was sort of a proto concept of Ivalice that has more in common with Matsuno's previous Ogre franchise than the Ivalice Alliance entries. The WotL expansion added in more references to the Ivalice Alliance and even had Luso and Balthier appear as optional heroes.

    Vagrant Story is a weird one... It was meant to be a new IP, but just as Tactics had some callbacks for the Ogre franchise, VS has callbacks to Tactics, which convinced some people it was a distant sequel to FFT. This was later forced upon it by SE, so Matsuno and his team have several call forward's to VS in FFXII. If you go by interviews with Matsuno though, it was never meant to be part of the Ivalice franchise, but he aggreed to add it in after he was asked by his bosses.

    Tactics Advance is the black sheep though. Before TA2, it was largely agreed upon by fans that the entry was a gaiden game that made references to hype FFXII which was still in development at the time. The game takes place in a place called St. Ivalice that is heavily implied to be our world, and the Ivalice of the game is a magic dream world created by Mewt based on FFXII. TA2 smurfs this all up by having Luso come to an Ivalice that is definitively the one from XII but Luso hails from the same St. Ivalice from TA1. More annoying is that characters like Montblanc, who was more of an established character in TA1 but was a different character in FFXII is now treated as being the same character. This makes the cosmology of Dream Ivalice more abstract and fans are still debating what is going on here with some claiming that Ivalice as we know it is some alternate world created by Mewt, meaning that TA1 is actually the first entry in the series. Others think the world from TA1 is a unique place and was simply a third world created by merging St. Ivalice with the actual Ivalice to make a quasi third Ivalice that was destroyed at the end of TA1 but characters from the two real worlds still retain their memories from that time. A third option is that Dream Ivalice is a fake world, Luso just happened to travel to the real Ivalice instead, and all of the callbacks to TA1 were meant to just be blink and you miss it fan service that never meant to be taken seriously as canonizing the events of TA1 as part of the main Ivalice timeline.

    The main thing that I have dug up though, is that Luso was not meant to travel to Ivalice a la Neverending Story style like he did. In the early drafts he was from Ivalice and the game was meant to be darker but the team was forced to change the script around into something softer. While it is unknown if referencing TA1 was something the team was asked to do, or something they chose to do on their own is unknown, but as it stands, TA2 causes a lot of headaches by canonizing TA1 within the main Ivalice timeline, when it was obviously meant to be a gaiden entry.

    One last note here. The events of the Return of Ivalice raid for XIV is said to be a what if scenario by Matsuno based on the fanon theory of Ramza's fate from the OG.
    Last edited by Wolf Kanno; 12-24-2020 at 08:24 PM.

  4. #4

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    Thanks Fynn and Wolf Kanno!

    This was very informative & answered my questions to a tee.
    "The Real Folk Blues" by Seatbelts ft. Mai Yamane

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