+ INTRODUCTION
        + GAMELOGS

        + STORY & CHARACTERS
                + VAAN
                + ASHELIA B'NARGIN DALMASCA
                + BASCH FON RONSENBURG
                + BALTHIER & FRAN
                + DALMASCA: PENELO, VOSSLER AZELAS, REKS
                + ARCHADIA: VAYNE SOLIDOR, LARSA SOLIDOR, THE JUDGES
                + OTHERS: CID BUNANSA, HALIM ONDORE IV, RASLER NABRADIA

        + THE FINAL FANTASY XII DRINKING GAME
        + BASCH, A STUDY IN FASHION DISASTER
        + VAGRANT STORY REFERENCES AND INFLUENCES
        + GALLERY / SCANS & SCREENS

VAGRANT STORY / IN OUR DARKEST HOUR
MAIN / ABOUT / CONTACT / LINKS


Given that Final Fantasy XII is an alternate elaboration on the world of Final Fantasy Tactics Advance; which, once again, is another alternate take on the world of Final Fantasy Tactics, the conclusion can only come that all of these worlds are someways paralleled, if not actually playing thousand-spanning footsies underneath the table. The setting itself, Ivalice, is already indication that we're all playing for the same team here. Not to mention the political backstabbery of CRAZY TIME present in all these games.

Vagrant Story also laid ground for commonality with Final Fantasy Tactics-- another tag to the creative team's use of certain continuous story and world elements, if not the outright Medieval fantasy style. However, Final Fantasy Tactics was only briefly cameo'ed in Vagrant Story; for example, the Agrias Balm makes note of the Zodiac Brave story from Final Fantasy Tactics, as well as naming the item in honour of one of the characters. Final Fantasy XII, though, takes the dive eyes wide to establish some major Vagrant Story connections.

We aren't even going to take a dive into the HAY GUYS ZODIAC BRAVE LEGEND LOLZ AMIRITE; or, Final Fantasy XII >> Final Fantasy Tactics >> Vagrant Story workings of a timeline. Marche doesn't get a say for Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, because we are still unable to reconcile with making little crippled kids cry.

THERE ARE SO MANY SPOILERS HERE I DON'T KNOW WHERE TO START.
Consider this your last warning.



CASE STUDY #1: UNDERCITIES, MINES, ZOMBIES THAT MAKE THE REALLY CREEPY FLESH THUDDING SOUND
The creative team has certain bents in their game developping needs-- one could hardly deny them such a trifling. And yet, for all of the Arabianesque and Roman Empire and Mediterranian provincials flavouring Final Fantasy XII, one of those most prominent recurring setting is that of some major creepy zombified dungeon crawlin' time. They are populated with vampire bats, and skeletal soldiers, and zombies that lurch about making some very familiar fleshy noises and that eerie groan when they are finally killed.

This is also the part where I mention that save points heal with effects almost identical to the various healing roots found in Vagrant Story.

One would expect that landing in the Bhujerba skycity would induce some crazy sky piratin' time. And yet, the major leveslutting revels in abandonned undercity mines. Populated by vampire bats. And zombies. And phantoms. The entirety of it is also very subtle earth tones-- we're having hangups over the dead boyfriend again, it seems.

Another trek takes you through some sandseas to the tomb of King Raithwall, which plays like some huge crazy freakass homage to Vagrant Story. Not only are the same manner of enemies present, and the setting atmospherically similar, but--



CASE STUDY #2: KING RAITHWALL, THE VALENDIAN CALENDAR, AND THE TEMPLE OF KILTIA
King Raithwall is revealed to have united the lands between Valendia and Ordalia-- which will be familar as one of the aggressors against Ivalice during Final Fantasy Tactics' fifty year war-- under his rule; during Final Fantasy XII, this rule has long since dissolved with time to form a variety of kingdoms and empires.

This leads to the reasoning behind the "Old Valendian" calendar that is in current use throughout Ivalice.


The Dawn Shard held within the tombs of King Raithwall is a symbol and concrete proof of his royal descendency-- the crystal glows in the presence of one of his line. Enter King Raithwall, stage left:


The Kingdom of Dalmasca, a small land caught between two warring giants, needs its deposed Princess Ashe to reclaim the Dawn Shard as evidence of her right to the throne before the Gran Kiltias of the Temple of Kiltia, on Mount Bur-Omisace.

The Temple of Kiltia is one of the important sites in the city of Lea Monde, from Vagrant Story, notably for the many types of crazy to go down there and Rosencrantz getting eaten by a statue for his overwhelming stupidity. Nobody gets eaten by statuary in Final Fantasy XII's temple, though. However, there is the prophet Anastasis who sees the future in dreams, not unlike Sydney Losstarot prophesizing the advent of tyranny should the world fall under Guildenstern's rule in Vagrant Story. In the case of Anastasis, though, he only dreams of happy rainbow time for everybody because Ashe is a good girl like that. This might be reason why Anastasis doesn't get any crazy time à la Müllenkamp televangelism. We don't completely discount the chances of getting STABBED IN THE FACE, though.



CASE STUDY #3: IN THE THEMES OF FAMILIAL SACRIFICE, PROTECTING YOUNGER INNOCENT BROTHERS AND A DARK POWER BEING CRAVED AND CONTROLLED
The Empire of Archadia is under the control of the Solidor family. The Empire himself is the head of the family, and Vayne, his eldest living son, holds most, if not all, of military power; Vayne is feared throughout the entirety of the Archadia, and makes even foreign empires lock their doors at night.

Vayne ruthlessly "bloodies his hands" over and over for the sake of not only establishing Solidor rule over Ivalice, but also to protect his younger brother. Larsa is young, and idealistic, and innocent to the point of being called "sweet" by others-- an innocence, in essence, that Vayne would seriously kick others in the face to protect. No blood is too much if Larsa remains unsullied. Their father, the Emperor, also holds Larsa as the light of his life; in a startling turn of events, elder son and father conspire even to enable the Emperor's assassination to take the heat off the Solidor family. Evidence to the will of both.

These all eerily mirror a similar familial situation in Vagrant Story-- how the Duke father seeks all to preserve his youngest son, Joshua, also handled as gently as possible by Sydney, the elder brother; how Sydney himself was the vehicle of his father's death; how Sydney set himself up as the villain of the game, bloodying his hands times over to accomplish what needed to be done.

All of this played over the board of Nethicite acquisition.

Ashe is captured, and flees, and is captured again, repeatedly, as each and every faction gets all tight in the pants over the notion of Nethicite, shards of stone that have the ability to gather the Mist-- what powers magic in here parts-- for destruction in terrifying degrees. And alike Guildenstern from Vagrant Story when he finally gets his big day in the sun with a bloody tattoo on his back and the powers of the Dark coursing through him, those who attempt to wield the stones are easily made mad by the insatiable hunger for power in even larger amounts. Or just mad, for all general accounts. Ashe faces this dilemna, though as the appointed master of heroics and most compatible with holy, she gets to have her happy ending.



CASE STUDY #4: VALENDIAN ZOETROPE.



CASE STUDY #5: STOP ME IF YOU'VE HEARD THIS ONE BEFORE<
GEE, THAT MUSICAL BIT WHERE LARSA IS CRADDLING HIS DYING BROTHER IN HIS ARMS SOUNDS A LOT LIKE THIS, plus having illicit congress with the arrangements in general. You might as well frame that scene with The Cathedral Atrium and back ripping fun time if it comes to running parellels that close.

PEE ESS.
Are you paying royalties to George Lucas? Does John Williams know that Hitoshi Sakimoto is stalking him and leaving dead birds on his doorstep? Dead birds of love?



CASE STUDY #6: INCOMPREHENSIBLE ARMOUR AND BATTLESHORTS
Oh snap.