The World of Ivalice
Ivalice is the world which comprises the settings of FF Tactics, FFTA, FF12/FF12RW, and Vagrant Story. Although the connections are tenuous, there is much evidence that the four games really are meant to take place in the same world. An absolute timeline is difficult to construct, so for the moment we would like to at least present the common themes throughout the different games. Note that FFTA's Ivalice is actually a "fictional" Ivalice, brought to life from a book called the Gran Grimoire, and based on a video game called "Final Fantasy". Hence, it's almost certain that it is not directly connected with the other games.
There are further crossovers to other games, viewable from the main In-Crossovers page.
The twelve signs of the Zodiac play an enormous role in Ivalice. In FF Tactics, every character has a sign which affects the damage ratio to units with similar or opposite signs. The story revolves around the Zodiac Stones, which are intimately connected with the demon Lucavi. The story itself is subtitled "The Zodiac Brave Story". It also introduces Serpentarius, the thirteenth Zodiac sign. FF12 continues the theme with Zodiac gems sprinkled around the world as general loot items, the best spear and shield being called the Zodiac Spear and Zodiac Escutcheon, twelve Zodiac gates in the Great Crystal area, and thirteen summonable Espers, each representing one sign. Many of the Espers are former Lucavi from FFT, others are Totema from FFTA; bosses from FF1, 4 and 5 and the Zodiac summon from FFT also are involved. Most of them have some sort of connection with their Zodiac sign. The thirteen also appear in FFTA2 where they are one-shot summons. Here is a complete list.
All thirteen Zodiac beasts appear as Espers in FF12, FF12RW and FFTA2. We will also indicate where else they appear.
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FF12 Title: The Corrupt
Also Appears In: FFTA as the Human Totema.
Sign: Pisces, the Fish
Limit Break: Frostwave
FF12RW: Floating unit; uses Flash Freeze and Blizzaja
CP: Meena Ascendant. Scion of darkness ruling and protecting those who live in the underworld, in opposition to Lahabrea, Abyssal Celebrant and scion of light. In the course of his rule, he submitted to avarice, and the darkness took his heart, transforming him until he was both evil and corrupt. Then in his cowardice did he bind a Goddess of the Demesne of Ice, and using her as a living shield, he challenged the gods. Defeated before their might, he fell screaming into the depths of hell, there to be imprisoned for eternity.
FF12 Title: The Whisperer
Also Appears In: N/A
Sign: Sagittarius, the Archer
Limit Break: Soul Purge
FF12RW: Thunder-element Melee unit; uses Soul Purge and Thundaja
CP: Dhanus Ascendant. Scion that is both horse and woman, wielding utter control over the souls that wander the underworld, in opposition to the Martyr Igeyorhm, scion of light. Though she once served the gods as a guardian, when Ultima announced her rebellion, Shemhazai went to her, whispering of the gods' hidden weaknesses. She then descended upon the land without leave of the gods, and taught men of destruction and evil. For this was she stricken down and bound.
FF12 Title: The Death Seraph
Also Appears In: FFT as Zarela the Dark Angel
Sign: Gemini, the Twins
Limit Break: Condemnation
FF12RW: Holy-element Ranged unit; uses Holy and Holyja
CP: Mithuna Ascendant. Heretic scion who wrapped the world in dark energies, seeking to take the souls of all living things to himself. Created in opposition to Emet-Selch, Angel of Truth, and scion of light. Originally tasks with the judging of men upon their deaths, his soul was tainted by the curses of those who raged against the heavens, and seizing one of the gods' servants, a shamaness, as a hostage, he rebelled against his creators. Even now, in defeat, he clutches the shamaness to him in his right arm, and with the aid of her death-wail does he summon the soul of darkness to do his bidding.
FF12 Title: The Judge-Sal
Also Appears In: FF5 as Exdeath, the final boss; in FFTA as the Viera Totema.
Sign: Libra, the Scales
Limit Break: Meteor (used in FF5 as well)
FF12RW: Earth-element Floating unit; uses Judgment and Meteor
Note that his FFTA version had a tree theme, which is closer to Neo Exdeath, whereas his FF12 version is closer to Exdeath's regular form. The backstory presented in the Clan Primer coincides with FF5.
CP: Tula Ascendant. Most ancient of the scions, created in opposition to Halmarut, the Arbiter, and scion of light. Tasked with keeping watch over the world, with the authority to judge the value of all things. As he watched, unseen, unknown, his attachment to the world dwindled and faded until it was as nothing. Fitting that he would desire to make the world, too, as nothing. Yet he fell in the war against the gods, and was thwarted, imprisoned in punishment for his heresy.
FF12 Title: The Impure
Also Appears In: FFT (PSX) as Queklain, the Impure
Sign: Scorpio, the Scorpion
Limit Break: Blight
FF12RW: Rank II Water-element melee unit; uses Malaise and Blight
CP: Vrishchika Ascendant. Scion created to rid the world of its impurities by swallowing them within himself, in opposition to Nabriales the Majestic, scion of light. The world, however, was more filled with impurity and corruption than even the gods dared imagine, and having swallowed it all, the once beautiful Cuchullain was transformed into a hideous thing, a deity of filth, and so did he turn against his creators. Wherever his feet should fall, there all life withers to dust.
History and People
There are several crossovers between the games. Again, this is not necessarily a proof that they are factually connected (the names may just be cute references).
- The biggest link is that of Saint Ajora. In FF12, the Clan Primer mentions that Saint Ajora started a spinoff of the Light of Kiltia religion, the Glabados Church, approximately two thousand years earlier. In FFT, Saint Ajora's life is placed as 1200 years before the events of the game. This would seem to place FF12 800 years after FFT. If this were the case, the "Holy Empire Yudora" in power at the time of Ajora's life would predate King Raithwall's Galtean Alliance by 900 years, and the "Fara Church" would be FFT's name for the Light of Kiltia (Faram being the name of the ultimate deity in both). Another hint is in FF12RW. The description of the Glabados Ruins has this line: "Sky pirates assigned this name to the ruins as well, its true name lost to history." This seems to indicate that the name Glabados is quite old.
However, there are some problems with this: in FFT, the Glabados Church is the primary religion of the time, whereas the original Light of Kiltia is dominant in FF12. Arguably, though, this could have happened once Saint Ajora was exposed as a fraud in the events of FFT. Another obvious problem is the total lack of non-hume races in FFT - again, one would have to say that the races immigrated to Ivalice or were discovered by humes in the ensuing 800 years. Though a bit of a stretch, given that humes are the dominant species in Ivalice in FF12, it's not impossible. A final problem is the fact that airships are common in FF12, but the only one in FF Tactics is inside a ruin, indicating that they were used in ancient times. Again, it's possible to say that the technology was "rediscovered". All in all, the timeline is confusing and contradictory.
- Unlike the other games, FFTA2 is presented as a direct sequel to FF12 and FF12RW. Many of the characters cross over and indeed reference events from FF12. However, it's also presented as a sequel to FFTA, despite the fact that FFTA features locations and places that are slightly out of sync with FFTA2's. For example, Montblanc and Nono appear in all four games, but the FFTA versions are quite different from the others. In addition, the Ivalice of FFTA is explicitly stated to be fictional and created from Mewt's mind, but the FFTA2 version seems to give the idea of an alternate universe which allows travel back and forth. In other words, FFTA seems to be entirely "retconned".
- Quite a few characters from FF12 are playable in FFTA2. These include Vaan (Sky Pirate), Penelo (Dancer, and uses viera jobs), Al-Cid (Agent, and can't change job classes), Montblanc (Black Mage), and Hurdy (Bard).
- Montblanc's other three brothers (Gurdy, Nono, and Sorbet) also make cameo appearances in FFTA2 as the gold moogle statues which appear in the status window as you complete quests.
- Clan Centurio of FF12 are the final tournament battle in FFTA2, and consist of Bansat (Viking), Emet (Soldier), Monid (White Monk), Krjn (Archer), Ma'kenroh (White Mage) and Ktjn (Green Mage). Note that this assumes that Vaan convinced Ktjn to become a clan member in FF12.
- One of FFTA2's story battles involve fighting a fake Vaan and Penelo. The characters who accompany them are meant to be parodies of the other four FF12 main characters. The main focus seems to be the weapon the character initially uses as well as their gender: Rosenbach (Basch), a sword-wielding Fighter; Baltre (Balthier), a Bangaa Cannoneer (because no humes can use guns); Pulan (Fran), a bow-wielding Viera Sniper; and Arshe (Ashe), a Gria Ravager (because there are no female generic humes!).
- Mewt makes an appearance as "Mr. Randell" in the ending of FFTA2, placing it between 15 and 25 years after FFTA. However, as mentioned above, other inconsistencies seem to indicate that FFTA has been largely excised from the canon continuity other than a few bits and pieces.
- The Lucavi of FFT are part of the Espers in FF12. The history of the Espers (given above) indicates Ultima leading a revolt against the gods. In FFT, the Lucavi are known as demons, and their leader is Ultima. However, instead of being summoned as separate bodies using glyphs, they are reborn and take over the body of a human using Zodiac Stones. One could be inventive in squeezing the two legends together to work, but it's difficult.
- Balthier appears as a crossover character in the PSP version of FF Tactics. The game is intentionally vague about how and why he came to Ramza's time, but indicates that it was after he'd gotten hold of the Cache of Glabados, putting his teleportation between the end of FFXII and the beginning of FFXII:RW. The game does not give Balthier a last name, probably to downplay the similarity between his and Mustadio's surnames.
- Luso from FFTA2 appears as a crossover character in the same game. This was despite the fact that FFTA2 hadn't yet been released when FFT:WotL was! Luso shares physical appearance, personality, and his journal between the two games, but other than he's just a cameo character. His special job class is given as "Game Hunter" (despite the fact that he has no special skills in FFTA2) and FFT definitely takes place in a far different time from FFTA2, which is after FF12.
- Vagrant Story's introduction is given by "A.J. Durai" - this is Alazlam from FFT, himself a descendant of Orran from the same game.
- Vagrant Story has four items that reference FFT characters: "Agrias's Balm", "Beowulf", "Orlandu", and "Altema".
- Vagrant Story has a Kiltian Temple as one of its later dungeons; the Light of Kiltia is the main religion in FF12.
- Both FF12 and FFTA have moogles named Montblanc and Nono, who occupy basically the same positions (one is a clan leader, one works with airships). Nono also appears in FF12RW. As mentioned earlier, Montblanc also appears in FFTA2 along with his brother Hurdy, who first appears in FF12. Nono is mentioned briefly in the game as well.
- The "naturalist Merlose" is often quoted in FF12's Clan Primer; Callo Merlose was a major character in Vagrant Story.
It is difficult to completely reconcile all areas of geography in the various games, but the names of many of the countries, continents and areas do cross over fairly consistently.
The main area in FFT, FFTA, and FF12. FFT describes it as a country, FFTA as a world, and FF12 as a region:
CP: The region consisting of the three continents of Valendia, Ordalia, and Kerwon, blessed throughout with verdant natural landscapes and climatic conditions supporting a great variety of life. Regional climate trends are thought to be determined largely by the density of Mist present in the air, though this correlation is not yet well understood. Many humanoids call Ivalice home, each belonging to a distinct cultural sphere. By far the most prevalent of these are the humes, and it is around their civilization that affairs throughout the rest of the world revolve.
Described as a country in FFT and a continent in FF12. Ordalia undertook a Fifty Years' War with Ivalice in the backstory of FFT. FFTA2 confirms it is a continent, and half of the game takes place in it.
Continent on the western edge of Ivalice. The vast plains in the interior are home to the great Rozarrian Empire. To the east of Rozarria the land is arid and largely desert. The Galtean Peninsula on the eastern portion of the continent is a crossroads connecting to Valendia and Kerwon both, and a strategic prize sought by empire and kingdom alike. Though Dalmasca controlled the peninsula for the last several hundred years, it was lost to the Archadian Empire in an invasion two years past.
Not mentioned in FFT, FF12 describes it as one of the great continents, and the home of the destroyed Nabradian kingdom. More importantly, Valendia is the setting for Vagrant Story.
CP: Continent lying to the northeast of Ordalia. The climate is overall quite clement, and levels of Mist are far more stable than on the other two large continents. Many towns and villages dot the hilly region stretching from the continent's interior to the shores of the Inner Naldoan Sea, most under the direct control of Archadia. The Kingdom of Nabradia, lying on the Phon Straits in western Valendia, prospered here until its destruction in the Archadian invasion of two years past, its capital of Nabudis becoming a deserted wasteland.
The only place other than Ivalice to be mentioned in all three FF games. Bervenia is described in FFT as being the birthplace of St. Ajora, controlled by the Glabados Church. There is also a volcano in the area, identified in FF12RW as Roda Volcano, which also appears in FFTA. Bervenia is the royal capital in FFTA. In FF12RW, it contains an area called Glabados which is the site of the Glabados Ruins.
There are several places which exist in both FFTA and FF12; however, since FFTA's places are arbitrarily positioned and often have no direct bearing on the story, there's no indication if they're really meant to be the same. These place names are: Eluut Sands (possibly turned into Eruyt Village in FF12), Giza Plains, Ozmonfield/Ozmone Plain, and the Salikawood. Al-Cid also mentions the "Ambervale of Clan Margrace" in Rozarria; in FFTA, Ambervale was also a private retreat for royalty. The Feol Warren in FF12RW is in Roda Volcano, which also appears in FFTA.
The city of Goug appears in FF Tactics as a city in Ivalice (or possibly Romanda, given the name of the guns sold there). In FFTA2 Goug is a city of moogles, and is in Ordalia. Both Gougs are cities that sell guns and excavate old ruins. No explanation for the discrepancy of countries is given.
FFTA2 includes Aisenfield, which originally appeared in FFTA.
It's possible that Lesalia from FFT is identical with Rozarria in FF12. Not entirely sure, though.
- FFTA, FFTA2, and FF12 all have "Judges", all of which play different roles in the game. FF12's Judges are leaders of Archadia's war council and play a significant story role. In FFTA, judges are extensions of the palace and Mewt's increasingly random "laws" which he insists on placing on clans. They show up as non-targetable units in battle, and in post-game missions can play a role and actually be enemies. Battles without judges (those that take place in jagd) mean that characters can die, though that seems to be more an indication of the "lawless" location rather than any sort of magic. In FFTA2, judges attach themselves to clans and ensure that the clan members can't die during battle. They seem to be little more than robots in this case, and indicate a more magical origin. Indeed, Lezaford explicitly states that judges play different roles in other parts of Ivalice.
- All four games have a side quest involving a pet Malboro named Carrot that runs away and needs to be retrieved. FFT has a Proposition, "Ultimate Atavism"; FFTA has a mission named "Carrot!"; FFTA2 has "My Little Carrot"; FF12 has Carrot as a mark.
- FFTA2 has mention of a "Count Minymum", who is attacked by Khamja (and blamed on Vaan and Penelo). Count Minimum featured in several Propositions of FF Tactics as well.
- Khamja itself is mentioned briefly in FF Tactics as the assassination squad that Rafa and Malak belonged to and which was run by Grand Duke Barrington. Again, FFTA2 and FFT take place in vastly different time periods, so the name is likely just a "shout out".
- Balthier's and Cid's last name, Bunansa, is the same as that of Mustadio and Besrudio in FFT.
- Cid's first name from FF12, Cidolfus, is the same as Orlandeau's first name in FFT.
- One of the clan ranks in FF12 is Riskbreaker, Ashley Riot's title in Vagrant Story.
- One of the enemies in FF12 is the Leamonde Entite. Leá Monde is the city of the dead which most of Vagrant Story takes place in.
- The final boss of FF12 highly resembles that of Vagrant Story; both used to be human; both are now winged monstrosities which circle around a circular area with a psychedelic background. Both have two forms, and the first form of both of them have grey skin and an attack called Ascension (or Last Ascension in VS).
- FFTA mentions the "Grand Grimoire", a possible reference to Vagrant Story's Gran Grimoire. Regular grimoires play a role in VS's gameplay as well; FF12 also has many "forgotten grimoires". FFTA2 continues the grimoire theme with both Luso and Illua having one, and also mentions the "Gran Grimoire" as part of an optional mission.
- There's a moogle named Nutsy in FF12; Nutsy is the first recommendation for Marche's clan name in FFTA (it can be changed).
- Many of FF12's monsters construct "palings" to ward off damage, a concept first explored in Vagrant Story.
- Vagrant Story has "cloudstones", floating stones which play heavily in puzzles. Cloudstones are also mentioned in FF12 as the loot item einherjarium, obtainable from the Babil enemy.
CP: The emissaries of the gods descend to us from the paradise far above the sky we know. Therefore must they travel between the land and the sky, for which they use the wondrous metal einherjarium, otherwise known as cloudstone. The babil, servants of the gods, have bodies rich in this substance. How many have tried to steal the cloudstone from them and thereby reach paradise? How many have the gods stricken down for that heresy?
- Snowfly Forest is an area of Vagrant Story where the exits on the map do not line up with each other, making it very easy to get lost. Snowflies appear as a loot item in FF12 as well, dropped by the Nightmare enemy.
CP: The uncharted wooded marches known as the Forests of Chaos are spoken of in legend, and though many are said to exist, little is known of their actual location. These dense forests, where the snowflies foregather in great flurries, brushing against the faces of all who pass, are so named because the sound of the snowflies' whirring wings pitch even the halest of wayfarers into confusion. They wander, lost, never again to leave the forest. While the marches may hide countless treasures, they are also places of unknown and unknowable danger. Consider your future, wayfarer. Consider your fate, and venture not into such places.
- FFT, FF12, and Vagrant Story contain written documents (narrated in FF12), written after the fact, which illustrate certain events in the game. In VS they were written by the Valendia Knights of the Peace and Callo Merlose; in FFT they were written by Alazlam (who apparently is telling us the entire Zodiac Brave Story) and in FF12 it's Marquis Ondore's memoirs.
- In FF12, on the way to Golmore Jungle, Vaan and Penelo are playfully teasing each other. The lines are not subtitled, but Vaan clearly says, "I guess this one was a success.", followed by "I got a good feeling!" Penelo soon after mocks him by repeating "I got a good feeling!". These lines are from the infamously bad translation of FF Tactics' Proposition success screens.
- In FF12, if you speak to Fermon the storyteller at the Alley of Muted Sighs in Old Archades, he makes the comment, "you should show a little more respect...for faerie tales." That's a line that Sydney uttered in the introduction sequence of VS. (Thanks to Adam Elmahdi.)
- A huge number of items and equipment are shared between FFT, FFTA, and FF12. A full list would be unnecessary, especially considering that FF9, which is not part of the Ivalice world, also shares many of these items. Notable items which do not appear in other FF games include the Perseus Bow, the Escutcheon, and the Materia Blade.
- Several artifacts appearing in FF Tactics have appeared as equippable items in FFTA. These include the Hanya Helm, Parade Helm, Zanmato, Scarab Charm, and Shijin Shield/Four-Deity Plate. Similarly, FFTA2 includes the Veil of Wiyu and Enavia Chronicles, both artifacts in FFT.
- FFT, FF12, FFTA, and FFTA2 have the Immobilize and Don't Act/Disable statuses.
- FFT, FFTA2 and FF12 have the Oil status.
- FFT, FFTA2, FF12, and Vagrant Story all feature invisible traps which trigger when stepped on and either damage or cause status effects, and can only be revealed by various special abilities.
- FFT, FFTA, and FF12 all have a weaker version of the Coeurl called Panther or Red Panther.
- FFT, FFTA, and FF12 all give guns a 100% chance of hitting its target.