Following last week’s FINAL FANTASY Type-0 release date reveal, Dengeki PlayStation has provided some more coverage on the upcoming PSP RPG.
■ The Nation of Concordia
Like the three other countries, Concordia has a Crystal and Peristylium of it’s own. The manifestation of Concordia’s Souryuu crystal is a great dragon who they revere as a queen. The Dragon Queen has a special relationship with Andoria whom was seen in the newest trailer. Concordia’s ruling class is comprised entirely of women, and it is said that they are a “petite” nation but adeptly wield spears or lances, some of which may resemble the traditional Dragoon job class from the Final Fantasy series. Five orders of knights protect the Souryuu Peristylium (loosely: “Five Star Guard Corps”), one of which Celestia belongs to. When compared to the other three countries of Oriens, Concordia is not as advanced from a military perspective, but they control the power of dragons as well as other monsters. Concordia is a country with a feeling of magic and fantasy.
Story & Characters:
■ Class Zero & A Story of War
Director Hajime Tabata makes a note that players should not consider any particular one of the Class Zero students the main character, and this goes for Machina and Rem as well, despite their special role beyond Class Zero. The narrative will be told from the group’s perspective and so it is best to not think of a main character, but the group as a whole. Special detail to the character has been added in gameplay to give them touches of flavor to their respective personalities. Tabata and the team have also worked hard to depict the game as a story of war and all the conflicting emotions that brings; they have also not shied away from showing images of violence and blood that are usually not present in the style that is normal for Final Fantasy. They imply that they must be careful with these scenes to send the right emotions.
■ Deuce (CV: Kana Hanazawa)
Deuce is the brown-haired girl that wields a flute in battle. She is very loyal to her duties at Class Zero, and she is kind-hearted and good-natured even if she can be a bit stubborn. It seems as if manipulating the pitch of her instrument will cause different effects in battle. Her special ability “Concerto” will create an opening in which you will be able to attack an enemy targeting her.
■ Seven (CV: Mayuko Aoki)
Seven is the young woman whom wields a sword-whip. While her expressions are somewhat cold she is kind and good-natured. It is because of this personality that she has won popularity with the underclassmen at the Suzaku Peristylium. Seven’s sword-whip is able to come apart and damage enemies at both close and long range. Her special ability “Catch” seems to ignore elevation differences between Seven and her enemies.
■ Jack (CV: Kenichi Suzumura)
Jack is the young man that has slicked-back hair and weilds a katana. He seems to always have a smile and is able to make wise-cracks easily. In dangerous surroundings he is encouraging his peers to take it easy. Jack’s play style is heavily involved with timed sword strikes, and his special ability “Surrender” is sort of a fake-out attack where he appears to surrender but then throws his weapon into an enemy.
■ Andoria (CV: Megumi Hayashibara)
Andoria is the princess of Concordia, and has a special relationship with the Dragon Queen (which is also the Souryuu crystal) through this role. She respects order and discipline and has a noble and fair spirit.
■ Celestia (CV: Nana Mizuki)
Celestia is from the nation of Concordia and is a member of the prestigious knighthood that protects the Souryuu Peristylium. She is very prideful of her nation.
■ Cadetmaster (CV: Masako Nozawa)
Director of logisitcs at the Suzaku Peristylium.
■ Commandant (CV: Kenji Utsumi)
Director of military affairs at the Suzaku Peristylium.
■ Provost (CV: Shigeru Chiba)
Director of academics and magical research.
■ Commissar (CV: Masako Ikeda)
Authority in charge of magic management.
Phantoma will play a large part in the game in the field and how your characters will progress and evolve their magic. When enemies are defeated, you can draw Phantoma from their corpses which comes in three colors: red, yellow, and purple. Doing this will restore your MP in different amounts depending on that color, but where Phantoma is really useful is the development of Class Zero’s magical assets.
The three main schools of offensive magic in Final Fantasy Type-0 are Fire, Blizzard, and Thunder spells. The spells themselves can be modified so that the function in very different ways although they are of the same element. They can be altered to have similar effects to shotguns, rifles, bombs, missles, and rocket launchers. Dengeki lists:
SHG: Shotgun-type magic that is powerful at short range but fires in a wide shot with little range.
RF: Long-distance magic with a narrow shot that shoots straight for the target.
BOM: Powerful at close range and can be used to make quick work of swarming enemies.
MIS: Homing magic that will chase after an enemy. At higher levels it will follow longer.
ROK: Magic that is aimed over-the-shoulder. When it strikes it will deal damage to adjacent targets.
For example, the spell “Fire-RF” will function as a long-range “rifle” shot of fire.
Similar to Final Fantasy XIII, Final Fantasy Type-0′s Crystarium will serve as the basis for developing character skills. For magic, the article cites that to refine “Fire-RF” to a higher level of magical potency, six red Phantoma must be used. You will be able to alter the attributes of your magic such as: potency, MP efficiency, casting time, range of fire, and rate of fire.
Shiva takes the spotlight again here, here Dengeki details that some of her attacks are called “Icicle Dance” and “Chilly World”. If you summon Shiva while it is snowing, her elemental potency of ice is increased. Her special attack “Diamond Dust” will require several button inputs from the player as it a continuous or “combo” ability. Odin is also briefly mentioned, with one of his abilities being listed as “Iron Sword”.
Nothing particularly new was revealed about the multiplayer component of Final Fantasy Type-0, but to further elaborate Tabata explained that this game’s multiplayer is played in brief sessions where you will replace a member of the other player’s party. If you would like to join someone else’s game you must do so from the game’s title menu suggesting that the character you control in battle may be independent of your save file’s version. Players who want others to join their game need only check an option in the game’s Configuration menu. You will also be able to stop players from entering your game through this option as well. Players will be able to earn a type of currency through successful play or completion of multiplayer sessions and objectives; this currency’s function will be revealed at a later time.
Active World Map:
■ A Hint of RTS
The students of Class Zero you control will be able to exit to the world map at their leisure between missions. The Active World Map mechanic will introduce ally and enemy units on the world map, and you’ll be able to issue orders to your comrades in Rubrum. There are elements of RTS games at work here, but Tabata shied away from calling them substantial and that it’s more of a basic approach rather than in-depth. You can view them as a sort of mini-game aside from the main campaign. If you should take control of or liberate a town, you will be able to shop there and perhaps at a discount.
■ Work In Progress
Director Tabata says the Active World Map in Final Fantasy Type-0 is extensive and resource intensive and that he and his development team are currently working on reducing the load times from where they currently are, harkening back to the PlayStation days of Final Fantasy to make the comparison. He does note that those who use the game’s Data Install feature will find the load times negligible.
■ A Long Time Coming
Final Fantasy Type-0 was first announced back in 2006 as Final Fantasy Agito XIII prior to January’s Square-Enix conference. Since the team was still deep into production of Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, development did not begin until 2008. Up until that point, production had only created the trailer and various other visual concepts. The 3rd Birthday’s development put “Agito XIII” on the second rung for about a year until development began in earnest in 2009. Long-time Square-Enix art director Yusuke Naora joined the project with Yusaku Nakai in tow to handle character and monster designs.
■ You Get What You Pay For
Final Fantasy Type-0 will be on two UMDs as well as carry a pricier selling point. Despite this, Tabata reassures that the amount and quality of the content of this game will justify that price point.