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Final Fantasy XII releases after the release of Vagrant Story began to add incrementally firmer links between the world of Ivalice and the Ivalice of the Final Fantasy Universe. The setting is undoubtedly the same; the creator of Ivalice has said as much.[1] But the connections are more intricate and widespread than merely placenames; Vagrant Story events influence the Final Fantasy worlds later on in the timeline, and later works that occur earlier in the timeline incorporate events that were referred to in Vagrant Story as historical.

The 2006 console role-playing game Final Fantasy XII contains several references to Vagrant Story. Terms such as Riskbreaker, Leámonde and Kildea (albeit with different spellings in the localizations), are commonly used in both games. Yasumi Matsuno, the creator of Final Fantasy XII, was interviewed by Joypad, a French gaming magazine, in 2004 on Final Fantasy XII and the game world he conceived, Ivalice, when he joined Square in 1995. He describes Ivalice as a complex world with a very long history and the stories of Vagrant Story, Final Fantasy Tactics, and Final Fantasy XII are said to unfold quite close on the Ivalice map.[1]

The overlap of personnel, primarily Yasumi Matsuno enabled a protective legal umbrella of shared intellectual property rights. Likely, inspiration in part by the desire to create homages to co-workers and fellow staff added to the growth of connections between the two games. It seems likely that developers share player's nostalgia for prior content, and note the fact that players like to see the return of elements they previously enjoyed. The fact that old content is easy to add does not hurt either.

MacalaniaWoodsCentralPond

Tidus and Yuna of FFX in the central pond area of Macalania Woods, pyreflies of both the 'nebular gas' and 'sparkling light' types floating in great profusion above

SnowflyForest

Snowfly Forest, with a very light but significant sprinkling of Snowflies, with connections to Final Fantasy Pyreflies


Snowflies, Pyreflies, the Dark, the Lifestream and the Farplane Edit

Pyreflies are glowing, drifting white lights that tend to inhabit secluded and sometimes rural settings in Final Fantasy X and X2, that rise from bodies of the dead during a Sending ceremony,[2] and are said to be spirit energy from the the souls of the dead travelling to the FarPlane afterlife resting place of dead souls. Snowflies are drifting white lights in Vagrant Story's Snowfly Forest, and are mentioned in dialogue as being related to the spirits of the dead. The connection is made more clear when characters and enemies meet their death in the cutscenes, whereupon swarms of glowing lights ascend from the dying at the moment of their passing.

RosencrantzDeath

The death of the red-clad swashbuckler Rosencrantz, like Ashley a VKP operative. Lights arising from his body are similar to Snowflies in VS and Pyreflies in FF, both of which are related to ghostly spirits and death[3]

Lights float upward from corpses at the moment of death and soon dissipate, in Lea Monde.[3][4][5][6] According to Vagrant Story lore, souls are taken by the Dark that permeates the cursed city. Pyreflies arise from the body just as in Vagrant Story, although they drift around the area before slowly dissipating; in Final Fantasy lore, souls travel to the Farplane.

Pyreflies have a strong connection to previously living individuals and those who have reason to take note of their past life. The ceremony of Sending, in FFX, which ensures that a soul will reach the Farplane, is, like a funeral, a social gathering of those that knew the deceased, that releases pyreflies from the recently dead. The Farplane is filled with pyreflies, and they are said to be responsible for the phantom images of the dead that appear to people there. This shimmering distortion of the light similar to a mirage is seen not only in FFX, but in Final Fantasy XII, in the Necrohol of Nabudis, a place with many connections to the dead and undead.

There is one aspect of Pyreflies that appears to diminish their otherwise persistent supernaturalness; their presence in great numbers at the FFX Moonglow river crossing, although this, too, establishes a stronger connection with Snowflies, as both are seen in rural settings when not actually seen rising from the body of a dead or dying person. No explanation is made for Pyreflies' presence in great numbers at this location, although dialogue introducing to the player their connection with the dead and souls first occur at the Moonglow. It is easy to see how the artistic possibilities of the strong visuals created by the glowing Pyreflies in the riverside setting, and the usefulness of explaining the concept of Pyreflies soon before their appearance in the Farplane, might have compelled the developers to feature them there, in lieu of evidence of supernatural connections to the Moonglow.

The 2001 Final Fantasy CGI movie Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within was presented as science fiction, and magic was notably absent, but even this Final Fantasy reprised, as 'Gaia', the Final Fantasy VII 'Lifestream' concept of a source, repository, and destination of souls. In the final sequence, individual 'souls' of the extra-terrestrial lifeforce collective return to the planet fragment whence they came, rising from Earth's surface as, once again, glowing lights.[7]

The 2006 Final Fantasy CGI movie Final Fantasy: Advent Children repeated the sylvan habitat of glowing floating entities in the Sleeping Forest scene, after Cloud battles the Remnant trio, when he meets up with Vincent, although the lights are not explained or even referred to in dialogue.[8] The Lifestream's role as the source and destination of souls is intertwined with the Snowfly/Pyrefly medium when Kadaj dies, and his body dissipates into swirling black dust and lights spiralling upwards that have the characteristic light teal color of the Lifestream.[8]

Pyreflies appear in Dissidia Final Fantasy, in a lategame scene when the ten Warriors of Cosmos fade, one by one, as a result of Cosmos' ostensible demise; they rise from the warriors' bodies in the more visually stimulating and energetic swooping motion and globular, will-o-the-wisp appearance common to more recent inclusions.

In FFX Pyreflies were more like points of light, and in Vagrant Story, which lacked the more advanced light effects of later games, the effect of the soul departing the body bore resemblance to rising snowflakes; hence, one might presume, the name Snowflies for the drifting forest-dwelling version.

When the background story of the Pyreflies / Snowflies is removed from consideration, we are left with a visual effect, but this, too, shows a continuity between the games. In a purely visual sense, fireflies or magical firefly-like creatures are a visually stimulating addition to a game that is relatively uncomplicated to code. Slightly more complex visually than the Snowflies were Rock Fireflies, which healed the player's party, in another Playstation RPG by Sony, released in 2000, the same year Vagrant story came out: Legend of Dragoon.[9][10]

Final Fantasy VII and X-2: The Shinras Edit

Final Fantasy X-2's wunderkind Shinra, along with the crafty Al-Bhed wheeler-dealer Rin,[11][12] develop an interest into the Farplane and its potential as an energy source, a clue that the creators of X-2 added to link them to the Shinra Electric Power Company in Final Fantasy VII.[11][13] Rin and Shinra begin working together even before the events of the International / Last Mission scenario, as mentioned by Rikku in those games.[14]

Square has displayed more interest in expanding the Final Fantasy story than establishing canon, in their decision to outsource the Ultimania series of game guides, and so canon may default to Ultimania's version of events, but in this case that is not necessary. Final Fantasy's lead scenario writer has overtly stated he intended Shinra the youth to be directly connected with Shinra the company, elaborating upon the point in an interview with Ultimania Guide staff.

"Kazushige Nojima: '...After quitting the Gullwings, Shinra received enormous financial support from Rin, and began trying to use Vegnagun to siphon Mako Energy from the Farplane. But, he is unable to complete the system for utilizing this energy in his generation, and in the future, when traveling to distant planets becomes possible, the Shin-Ra Company is founded on another world, or something like that....... That would happen about 1000 years after this story, I think.'"[15][16]

The discussion also turned to the intended similarity between the establishing shot of the Bevelle Underground and the opening shot of Midgar in FFVII.[15][16]

This has the most far reaching implications of any connection, even though it is not a primary connection. Vagrant Story is not the same world or even the same universe as X-2, but the great majority of the Final Fantasy series is linked together thematically by the Lifestream, the Farplane and Pyreflies, which are concepts related to Snowflies and the magical flow of energy which the followers of Saint Iocus dubbed the Dark.


Connections to Final Fantasy XII Edit

Every area map is given a name in both Vagrant Story and Final Fantasy XII; while the more macabre of VS stylings were doubtless censored, even the most poetic and esoteric names of Vagrant Story are echoed in XII, with names like Walk of Stolen Truths and Invitation to Heresy.

From a production staffing standpoint, the two games are connected. By their music; Hitoshi Sakimoto wrote the Original Sound Track (OST) of both games. And by their story: Final Fantasy XII was originally directed by Yasumi Matsuno and Hiroyuki Itō, both of them having been handpicked by Hironobu Sakaguchi way back in 2001. Although Matsuno had to bow out of the development staff, ostensibly due to health issues, he is credited for "Story and Concept" and "Supervisor". As a tribute to his legacy, the development team of Final Fantasy XII included an optional boss in the game called Yazmat (a play on his aforementioned nickname, Yazumi Matsuno). In-game information about Yazmat (localized as Yiazmat in the North American version) is accompanied by a subtitle which reads, "Farewell to a Legend." Montblanc, who assigns the player the task of slaying Yiazmat, tells a story of how he and his moogle friends once worked with a wise leader and mentor with whom they did many wonderful things. Montblanc explains that Yazmat came along and killed that master, causing them all to break up.


  • The Iocus Rood Sigil/Blood Sin (cross with an X instead of a cross bar) remains related to the summoning of magic and creatures: it is in the background when the player summons, it is signed by Gabranth in his first major appearance, and a Blood Sin mark identical to the infamous tattoo appears on the skull of the shamaness during Zalera's spell "Death Wail".
  • Vagrant Story is set in Valendia. Valendia is one of the continents in Final Fantasy XII and the calendar used in game is known as the Old Valendian Calendar.
  • Leamonde Entites appear in Final Fantasy XII in the Nabreus Deadlands in the continent of Valendia.
  • One of the Clan Primer Ranks in Final Fantasy XII is Riskbreaker. Ashley Riot is a member of the Riskbreakers.
  • Several of the bestiary entries in Final Fantasy XII have quotes by a Naturalist called Merlose. This is Callo the Criminologist's last name.
  • Kiltia is mentioned as a sect in Vagrant Story. In Final Fantasy XII there is a religion called the Light of Kiltia.
  • Some creatures are named after Accessories found in the game, the list being:
    • Marduk - Nose-ring that is said to have been owned by Marduk, the storm deity. Name allusion for the Mardu Entite.
    • Salamander Ring - Ring imbued with the essence of a salamander fire spirit. Name allusion for the Salamand Entite.
    • Gnome Bracelet - Bracelet imbued with an earth spirit. Name allusion for the Gnoma Entite.
    • Undine Bracelet - Arm bracelet imbued with the essence of an undine water spirit. Name allusion for the Undin Entite.
    • Sylphid Ring - Ring imbued with the essence of a sylph air spirit. Name allusion for the Sylphi Entite.
    • Faufnir's Tear - Necklace bearing a crystal, Faufnir's Tear, wept from the dragon's eye when it died. Name allusion for the fiendish wyrm Fafnir (Final Fantasy XII).
  • D'tok of Vagrant Story and the Rare Game Dheed of Final Fantasy XII share the same name in Japanese.
  • Among the landscapes of Ivalice are Traps; red circles of magically charged traps with positive or negative properties hidden until the player uses Libra. There are also Traps in Vagrant Story; square panels that are hidden until Ashley triggers them, uses the Eureka spell or the Eye of Argon Item.
  • The ability Bonecrusher is similar to the Break Arts mechanic, in which one can sacrifice HP for a powerful attack. (weak link)
  • The Necrohol of Nabudis had also suffered a catastrophe similar to Lea Monde, in which the entire population was wiped out through magical means, and had become a dangerous ruin of its former glory, filled with the restless souls killed in the destruction.


Final Fantasy Tactics Edit

  • A short passage is quoted from A.J. Durai (and is part of some Rood Inverse illustrations). 'Arazlam Durai' was the narrator of Final Fantasy Tactics.
  • In a dialogue with Samantha, Sydney mentions how the Priesthood of Iocus worships a 'dead' god who is really a demon. Since the name of the Church associated with the Priesthood is never given, this may be an allusion to Saint Ajora Glabados.
  • Some Items and Gemstones are named after characters to Final Fantasy Tactics, and helps conclude that Vagrant Story takes place after Final Fantasy Tactics. The complete list being:
    • Agrias Balm: Balm used by the great knight Agrias as told in the Zodiac Brave Story. Associated with Agrias Oaks. In Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions, Agrias is given a lip balm as a gift. The Zodiac Brave Story is also a recurring theme in Final Fantasy Tactics
    • Haeralis: Star sapphire with the power of Haeralis the Brave. Slightly increases power against humans. Associated with Delita Heiral.
    • Altema - Garnet containing Altema the Fallen's spirit. Increases power against evil enemies. Associated the Lucavi Ultima (Final Fantasy Tactics). Ultima is also featured as a "Fallen" angel in Final Fantasy XII, the name translated to Artema in some localizations.
    • Orlandu - Actinolite containing a fragment of Orlandu's skeleton. Increases power against humans. Associated with T.G. Count Cidolfus Orlandeau.
    • Balvus - Chiastrite containing the ashes of Balvus. Increases power against undead. Associated with Barbaneth Beoulve, father of Ramza Beoulve.
    • Beowulf - Armandine holding Beowulf the Great's hair. Increases power against phantoms. Could be associated with Beowulf Cadmus.
    • Berial Blackpearl - Blackpearl with Berial's soul bound inside. Increases Dark affinity. Possibly associated with Belias (Final Fantasy Tactics) (Belial being an alternative rendering of the original Hebrew). In Final Fantasy XII, Belias (Summon) was revealed to be a Esper scion of Darkness.

Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift Edit

  • In one of its Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift/Side Stories has Montblanc requesting Hurdy a bottle of Prudence. Prudence is one of the wines found in Vagrant Story's Leá Monde.


Final Fantasy Tactics Advance Edit

  • The Gran Grimoire plays a major role in Vagrant Story's plot. The term would later be used for other magical books in the Ivalice series, but a set of Gran Grimoires would become a recurring plot item in the Final Fantasy Tactics Advance series.
  • One of the clan ranks in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance is Riskbreaker. Ashley Riot is a member of the Riskbreakers.


Other General ConnectionsEdit

There are certainly a few other arguable lesser connections to various Final Fantasy games:

  • The function of the 'Cure' spell is similar to Final Fantasy cures in that it will recover Hit Points for living characters but cause damage to Undead type creatures.
  • Spirit Surge is also an ability name, which did not appear again until Final Fantasy XI. It is a weak connection but Yasumi Matsuno was a part of the PlayOnline development which ultimately supported the title.
  • The 'Dragoon' Job is mentioned in the description of the Sigguld gemstone, which belonged to "Sigguld the Dragoon".


Arthurian References Edit

Accessories in Vagrant Story make reference to characters of Arthurian legends. Listed below:

  • Arturos - An artificial diamond made by the ancient Kildeans, named after a legendary king. Allusion of King Arthur.
  • Lancer - An artificial ruby made by the ancient Kildeans, named after a legendary knight. Allusion of Sir Lancelot.
  • Polaris - An artificial malachite made by the ancient Kildeans, named after a legendary knight. Allusion of Sir Bors.
  • Basivalen - An artificial serpentine made by the ancient Kildeans, named after a legendary knight. Allusion of Sir Percival.
  • Galerian - An artificial cat's eye made by the ancient Kildeans, named after a legendary knight. Allusion of Sir Galahad.
  • Vedivier - An artificial amethyst made by the ancient Kildeans, named after a legendary knight. Allusion of Sir Bedivere.
  • Berion - An artificial moonstone made by the ancient Kildeans, named after a legendary knight. Allusion of Sir Balin.
  • Gervin - An artificial topaz made by the ancient Kildeans, named after a legendary knight. Allusion of Sir Gawain.
  • Tertia - An artificial emerald made by the ancient Kildeans, named after a legendary knight. Allusion of Sir Tristam.
  • Morgan's Nails - Nails worn by the evil sorceress Morrighan in the tales of the old land. Allusion of Morgan le Fay.
  • Marlene's Ring - Ring worn by the sage Marlene, said to prove her half-devil, half-human blood. Allusion of Merlin, through another mistranslation.
  • Nimje Coif - Coif worn by the water nymph Nimje in the tales of the old land. Allusion of Nimue, lady of the lake.


Other Square Enix Connections Edit

The tale of a city and its residents sacrificed to draw magical power, a magical power which when given demands a blood sacrifice, and in particular the sacrifice of body parts replaced by metal ones, was used again in Fullmetal Alchemist, which was originally a Square Enix 'manga' in 2001.

Sydney Losstarot has given his "limbs to the gods";[3] Jan Rosencrantz lops off his arm, to find it is not only armor clad, but only armor, it comes alive in his hands and attacks him. Edward Elric and his brother Alphonse enter into a forbidden Alchemical pact to revive their mother, heedless of the irrevocable Alchemical equation which demands an equal sacrifice be made in exchange; poor Alphonse loses his body entirely, and is destined to be a lost soul; Elric sacrifices again, to regain this loss, giving up his arm, which must be replaced with a 'robotic' Automail one. A suit of armor is the only thing around which Elric can bind Alphonse's soul to; Al spends the rest of the series walking around as a giant empty suit of armor. The brother of Scar, sworn enemy of all Alchemists, also gave a limb to attempt to achieve the power of life over death[17][18]

Before the Fullmetal Alchemist series in its time, and referred to in flashbacks, is an incident in which a Philosopher's Stone, the only item capable of restoring Al to his former self, is created under mysterious circumstances involving the State Alchemists and the military. The entire town of Ishbal and its residents are consumed in the Alchemical transformation.[17][19] The destruction of Leá Monde and the sacrifice of the souls of its citizens create a "Wellspring" of dark energy to both augment and corrupt the magical energy already in the city from its Mullenkamp past[20] is a precursor to this.


TriviaEdit

  • The game was originally meant to feature a two-player option. Fans generally assume that Callo would have been the second playable character. Matsuno has stated that there were supposed to be several AI-controlled characters in the game. How the two-player option would have related to these AI characters is unknown.
  • Due to capacity and development time constraints, more than 50 percent of the game's story had to be cut from the final version, and the graphics' polygon count also had to be reduced.
  • Matsuno was reportedly inspired by "everything from Shakespeare to Jet Li" for the plot of the game.
  • Matsuno described Vagrant Story as a game "geared toward hard core gamers" and said the difference between mainstream games and it is similar to the differences between seafood and meat dishes, French cuisine and Japanese cuisine, soccer and baseball, rock and jazz, and Titanic and The Blair Witch Project.
  • An official comic book of the game was released in 2000.[1] It featured an exclusive interview of Yasumi Matsuno.[2]


DevelopmentEdit

Matsuno, the game's producer and director, preferred to create a new game title from scratch and use design ideas from staff collaborations, rather than reusing popular characters and designs that are found in sequels. Vagrant Story is regarded as a mixture of genres, as it contains elements of role-playing in its battles and platform games when in the field map. Matsuno explained that the development team was not eager to place Vagrant Story into a specific genre, preferring to create the game with a genre of its own.[21]


See Also Edit

External Links Edit

Citations Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 2004, Interview FFWorld.com in French, use Search Engine translator
  2. When Yuna Met Balthier ~EPISODE 4~"DON'T MESS WITH THE FISH" Ceremony begins at 4:07, Pyreflies at 4:56
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Vagrant Story part 16(of 21) Last of Rosencrantz
  4. Vid 16, 6:23
  5. Vagrant Story part 20(of 21)
  6. Vid 20, 6:48
  7. Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within
  8. 8.0 8.1 Final Fantasy: Advent Children Video Floating lights are seen in at 38:00, and lights rising from the dying Kadaj at 1:22:26
  9. Legend of Dragoon - Walkthrough Pt 04 by GoingCrazy201. Rock Fireflies at the very beginning
  10. Legend of Dragoon - Walkthrough Pt 20 by GoingCrazy201. Rock Fireflies at 18:46
  11. 11.0 11.1 Chapter 4 and 5, Final Fantasy X-2 Edited by In Series Crossovers, Final Fantasy Compendium
  12. Chapter 4 (alternate ending to Rin's Investigation): Rin: If word got out that machina pose a danger, people would fear them and stop using them. / Paine: So Yevon's not alone in sweeping things under the rug. / Rin: I firmly believe that machina are an indispensable part of Spira's development. Even if there is another incident, I intend to conceal the evidence. / Yuna: You really think people will follow you that way? / Rin: I am not alone in my thinking. We are researching ways to extract the vast energy that sleeps in Spira, and use it to power machina. / Paine: You're a jackass. / Rin: I will take that as a compliment
  13. Shinra: "Aha..." / Yuna: "What are you looking at?" / Shinra: "Farplane data. The more I study it, the more fascinating it gets. There's limitless energy swirling around in there." / Yuna: "Limitless energy?" / Shinra: "The life force that flows through our planet...I think. With a little work, we could probably extract the energy in a useable form." / Brother: "Sweet!" Shinra: "Of course, that'd take generations." / Brother: "That's no fun!" / Buddy: "Well, still, it is something worth shooting for." / Yuna: "Think how much Spira would change if we ever got it to work! Maybe one day we could build a city full of light, one that never sleeps!" / Shinra: "No doubt about it." / Yuna: "Just imagine! But I'll never get to see it...will I..." / (Shinra shakes his head, meaning "no") / Brother: "Shinra! Don't make Yuna sad!" / Shinra: "Right. My bad."
  14. Final Fantasy X-2 Ultimania Translations IGN. Edited by Ryu Kaze
  15. 15.0 15.1 Final Fantasy X-2 Ultimania Interview with FFX-2 creators, Page 723. Final Fantasy Forums
  16. 16.0 16.1 [Ivalicians Past and Present in Vagrant Story]].gamefaqs.com/boards/197341-final-fantasy-vii/40936683 Ultimania & Ultimania Omega] GameFaqs Boards
  17. 17.0 17.1 Fullmetal Alchemist (SUB) - 40 - The Scar
  18. Scar's brother's sacrifice at 11:34
  19. The background to the ritual to create the Philosopher's Stone using mass homicide to release spirit energy starts at 13:16. 13:44 "I also heard the story, from an outcast in Kishua;" says Elric, referring to the first time this fact was revealed, earlier in the series; "It takes a large number of human lives to create a philosopher's Stone"
  20. Vagrant Story part 9(of 21) Rosencrantz
  21. From the Development Team

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