Advent Gaming Calendar 2019 Day 22: Final Fantasy XII

Credit to JRPGgamer’s YouTube Channel

Originally I was going to go with “Zephyr Memories” from the DS and PC version of Final Fantasy III. It is such a beautiful song and sets the mood for the adventure that is about to unfold. Then I remembered Final Fantasy XII existed and my mind completely changes. Sonova chocobo does the music in this game kick ass. What is essentially Final Fantasy: Star Wars, the opening does a great job in letting you know that this is Final Fantasy, but gets straight to the point of what is going on.

The opening starts with the traditional prelude to the Final Fantasy series. An excellent thing to do in my opinion since it gets players familiar with the idea that this is a Final Fantasy. In an earlier entry, I mentioned how familiar themes are good to have in an opening to reassure fans this is what they are expecting and not something completely foreign. You see the world and it looks like a fantasy world with some futuristic elements represented. The visuals look astonishing especially if you are playing the Zodiac Age on PS4 or Xbox. The inviting feel of the world speaks grand adventure exploring this beautiful world on both land and air.

And then the music changes. We see not Darth Vader and his clones of other younglin killers to this tone that sounds like something played during a grand battle. That is a sinpet of “Flash of Steel,” one of the many great tracks in this game. You then see fleets of airships being deployed and massive armies fighting. You see airships falling out of the sky and striking the ground where more battles are taking place. The scene went from beautiful and wonderment to facing the harshness of war; grounding the player that there is a mission that needs to be done, and it won’t be an easy one. At the end, the music changes again to the classic fanfare that everyone knows; again returning to the familiarity of the series. I forgot to mention this, but until now, the prelude to Final Fantasy had not been used since Final Fantasy VI (technically it was used in XI, but only fancy people with internet back in the day could play it) and would be the last time it was used in a mainline entry (well again technically it is used in XIV, but not a mainline single player game). In the final scenes, the cast of characters are shown along with bosses and a final shot of a crystal (again we haven’t seen one of those since late game IX I guess). It felt like the developers wanted to knock this game out of the park by once again returning to their roots while also introducing some new ideas instead of changing the entire world altogether. I do not believe any other Final Fantasy game could come close to a stellar introduction than the one XII sets up (we will see what Final Fantasy XVI through C does though).

Tune in tomorrow for Day 23!


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