Final Fantasy Type-0
|Final Fantasy Type-0|
Official Japanese box art
|Developer(s)||Square Enix 1st Production Department|
|Series||Fabula Nova Crystallis
|Genre(s)||Action role-playing game|
Final Fantasy Type-0 (ファイナルファンタジー 零式 Fainaru Fantajī Reishiki?) is an action role-playing game game developed and published by Square Enix for the PlayStation Portable. First released in 2011, the game is part of the Fabula Nova Crystallis subseries, a set of games sharing a common mythos which includes Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy XV. The gameplay is reminiscent of Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, with the player taking direct control of characters and taking them on missions and large-scale battles.
The game focuses on the stories of Class Zero, a group of twelve magic-endowed students from the Peristylium, a magical academy in the country of Suzaku. One day, the Milites Empire launches an assault on the other nations of Orience, seeking to control their respective crystals. When Suzaku is attacked, Class Zero are called into action and become entangled in both the efforts to push back and defeat the Empire, and reveal the secret behind the war and the existence of the crystals.
The game was originally announced as a title for mobile phones called Final Fantasy Agito XIII (アギトXIII Agito Sātīn?). It is directed by Hajime Tabata, who also directed Before Crisis: Final Fantasy VII. It was designed to provide players with easy access to the Fabula Nova Crystallis mythos. The game was eventually moved onto the PSP and its title was changed to distance it from Final Fantasy XIII, the subseries' flagship title. The game has received strong sales and positive reception in Japan, but so far has not been announced for a Western release. The game has also inspired two mangas: a prequel and a retelling of the game's story.
The gameplay of Type-0 is similar to the gameplay of Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII. Players control members of Class Zero across both a world map and environments rendered to scale with the characters similar to Final Fantasy XII and XIII. Players are sent on missions across Orience during the course of the game, both related to the story and independent of it. The player originally travels to preset destinations in the world on an airship supplied by the Suzaku Peristylium, but they eventually gain their own airship which can be freely navigated around the world, after defeating a powerful enemy guarding it. While outside combat, players can help breed chocobos, recurring galliform birds in the Final Fantasy series. Players must capture two chocobos on the world map and take them to a special ranch within the Peristylium: by pairing certain chocobos and added specific items, a special kind of chocobo can be bred for use. As players progress through the game, they can visit the Suzaku Archives to review defeated enemies, character information, in-game lore and special video clips. The game features a multiplayer option, where players can assist others within missions. The first and last segments of the game are not open to multiplayer, instead being single-playing only.
Type-0 uses a real-time, action-based battle system similar to Crisis Core. The player is allowed control of three characters, being able to swap between them at any time. Characters are given optional orders that can be obeyed or ignored as the player chooses. Characters lock on during attacking, but they can switch targets. During combat, characters are able to perform special timed attacks during the period when an enemy unit is attacking: the "Break Sight", which deals high damage, and the "Kill Sight", which kills a standard enemy with a single blow. Aside from human enemies, the game features recurring monsters in the series such as Cactuar, Malboro and Tonberry. Alongside enemies encountered in missions, there are special enemies that can be encountered while exploring the world map.
Defeated enemy units drop Phantoma: the color of the Phantoma indicates what aspect of the character it will recharge, be it HP or magic points. Phantoma can also be used in the game's leveling system, the Alto Crystarium, to strengthen a character's magic skills. The game's magic skills are split up into five basic groups named after types of guns. Many combat situations involve timed challenges: success rewards the character, while failure drains their health. If a character is killed in battle, the player can instantly select another to replace it. Each character has their own summon called War Gods (軍神 Gunshin?), which are summoned in place of a playable character and have their own set of skills: doing so empties the selected character's health gauge, removing them from battle. After a limited time in battle, they are dismissed. The summons available to players are series staples Shiva, Ifrit, Golem, Odin, Diablos and Bahamut.
The main gameplay is split up into a mission-based structure. The two types of missions encountered are the main, story-based missions and "Practice" missions, which act as side-quests. Moogles, another recurring creature in the series, hand out missions to the player: the objectives of missions change during gameplay. Players can also engage in large-scale battles on the world map, with the player taking control of large allied military divisions. Missions also involve liberating cities and towns from enemy forces, giving the player access to new shops and information from NPCs. The large-scale battles are most often encountered in the "Practice" missions. The player also receives optional orders: should they be accepted, the characters receive a temporary power boost, and completing the objectives yields rewards.
Players are able to transfer save data from the game's demo to the full game, in order to unlock special costumes, items and keep experience points. After completing the game once, players unlock a New Game+ option: in this mode, people can keep their stats and weapons from the previous playthrough, while also being unlocking story scenes and character-specific missions. A secret alternate ending is unlocked once certain conditions are met.
Final Fantasy Type-0 is set within the land of Orience, which is divided into four nations: the Suzaku Fiefdom of Rubrum, the Milites Empire, the Lorican Alliance, and the Kingdom of Concordia. Each nation has its own emblem (a bird, two tigers, a dragon and a tortoise based on the Four Symbols) and is blessed with a crystal that grants them unique powers: Rubrum controls the Suzaku Crystal containing the power of Magic, Milites controls the Byakko Crystal containing the power of science and weapons, Lorica controls the Genbu Crystal containing the power of the knights, and Concordia controls the Sōryū Crystal containing the power of Dragons. Each nation has an academy, or Peristylium, to research and protect the country's respective crystal. The crystals have the ability to mark humans as their countries' servants. These servants, called l'Cie, are branded with a symbol and are given a "Focus", a task to complete. However, while blessed with long life and the ability to transform into crystal, l'Cie are cursed to lose their memories over time. The people of Orience also lose their memories of the dead so they will not be held back by any past regrets, a mechanism put in place by the crystals for the convenience of the deities who crafted them. There exists a prophecy of a catastrophe threatening all of Orience, termed Finis, and that a chosen savior, known as Agito, will arrive and save them.
Final Fantasy Type-0 has fourteen selectable characters, who are all members of Class Zero that are based from the Suzaku Peristylium. The first twelve are named after playing card Trumps: card wielder Ace (エース Ēsu?, Voiced by Yūki Kaji), flute wielder Deuce (デュース Dyūsu?, Voiced by Kana Hanazawa), the archer Trey (トレイ Torei?, Voiced by Yūichi Nakamura), magic-gun wielder Cater (ケイト Keito?, Voiced by Minori Chihara), the mace wielding Cinque (シンク Shinku?, Voiced by Aki Toyosaki), scythe wielder Sice (サイス Saisu?, Voiced by Miyuki Sawashiro), whip wielder Seven (セブン Sebun?, Voiced by Mayuko Aoki), martial artist Eight (エイト Eito?, Voiced by Miyu Irino), spearman Nine (ナイン Nain?, Voiced by Daisuke Ono), katana wielding Jack (ジャック Jakku?, Voiced by Kenichi Suzumura), swordswoman Queen (クィーン Kuīn?, Voiced by Ami Koshimizu) and dual pistol wielding King (キング Kingu?, Voiced by Tomokazu Sugita). The last two, Machina Kunagiri (マキナ・クナギリ Makina Kunagiri?, Voiced by Hiroshi Kamiya) and Rem Tokimiya (レム・トキミヤ Remu Tokimiya?, Voiced by Ryoko Shiraishi), double as narrators with the game playing from their perspective.
Supporting them are their mentor Kurasame (クラサメ?, Voiced by Takahiro Sakurai), the Moogle, Hattsumikamine Rōtoyōsuna Eripuruchi (ハッツミカミネ・ロウトヨウスナ・エリプルチ?) or "Mog" (モグ Mogu?, Voiced by Sumire Morohoshi), and the l'Cie Zhuyu and Caetuna. Also supporting Class Zero is the mysterious Arecia Al-Rashia (アレシア・アルラシア Areshia Arurashia?, Voiced by Atsuko Tanaka), the former mentor of the senior members of Class Zero and the overseer for magical development at the Peristylium. The Class Zero members can travel to the other countries in Orience, fighting against Milites's military run by militant dictator High Commander Cid Aulstyne (シド・オールドスタイン Shido Ōrudosutain?, Voiced by Shuichiro Moriyama). Other major characters include the Rubrum l'Cie Caetuna (セツナ Setsuna?, Voiced by Marina Inoue) and the Lorican l'Cie Gilgamesh (ギルガメッシュ Girugamesshu?, Voiced by Kazuya Nakai), as well as the Concordian queen Andoria (アンドリア?, Voiced by Megumi Hayashibara) and her l'Cie knight Celestia (ホシヒメ Hoshihime?, Voiced by Nana Mizuki).
The story begins when High Commander Cid Aulstyne leads the forces of the Milites Empire in a campaign against the other three nations of Orience. After first conquering Locira, the Milites forces attack Rubrum and Concordia. Using a crystal jammer, Milites renders Rubrum's crystal of magic useless, allowing them easy entry. This act provokes Class Zero, an elite class who were the last to be blessed with magic by the crystal, to enter the war. They successfully drive back the forces of Milites, but during the conflict, Izana Kunagiri, Machina's older brother, is killed. Class Zero defend their homeland under the guidance of Kurasame and Arecia Al-Rashia, with Machina and Rem joining them as new members of the Class. Orience is soon consumed by war, with every nation attacking each other and Rubrum both defending itself and attacking its neighbors. The fighting is temporarily stopped when Queen Andoria uses the power of her nation's crystal and calls for a ceasefire. Class Zero go to attend the peace treaty signing. However, Andoria is assassinated by the Empire in order to spark fresh hostilities between Rubrum and Concordia.
Framed for Andoria's death, Class Zero goes on the run, managing to find refuge in Loricia before being transported back to Suzaku. Concordia and Milites form an alliance against Rubrum, led by Andoria's former protector Celestia. Rubrum steadily push back their forces into Lorica, where Class Zero defeats the l'Cie Gilgamesh. While they do this, tensions grow between Class Zero and Machina as he learns that their actions indirectly led to Izana's death, and that he was planted in Class Zero by Rubrum's leader to spy on Arecia. Following these revelations, Machina vows to become strong and protect Rem, who is secretly suffering from a severe illness. Finally, the l'Cie Caetuna summons the Grand Eidolon Alexander using the sacrificed lives of Rubrum students and soldiers, including Kurasame. Though she dies, Alexander decimates the forces of Concordia, Lorica and Milites, allowing Rubrum to conquer the three nations and emerge as the victor of the war. Soon after this, due to the imbalance caused by Rubrum's complete dominance, a force called the Lulusath Army, led by a mysterious figure called Gala, arrives and begins slaughtering the population of Orience. Faced with this, Arecia offers Class Zero the chance to become l'Cie: if they agree, they are thrown into battle against the Lulusath Army and die. In the canon ending, the twelve main members refuse, Machina becomes a Byakko l'Cie to protect Rem, and Rem becomes a Suzaku l'Cie when the crystal's protector dies. Machina and Rem end up fighting each other: Rem is mortally wounded, and she and Machina turn to crystal. Meanwhile, Class Zero go to the Palace of All Magic, where Cid has been possessed by Gala and become the l'Cie Arbiter of Lulusath, the instigator of Finis. Though initially helpless before him, Machina and Rem's spirits give them the strength they need to absorb the Arbiter's life force and halt Finis. Mortally wounded by the conflict, Class Zero spend their final minutes imagining their possible post-war lives.
On a second playthrough, further plot elements are revealed. The land of Orience is trapped in a stable timeloop created by Arecia and Gala, the respective servants of the deities Pulse and Lindzei, as part of an experiment to find the gateway to the afterlife: while Arecia tried to use powerful human souls to find the gateway, Gala attempted to force it open by killing hundreds of people and creating a flood of souls. The crystals were created to help in their plans, creating l'Cie to protect themselves and erasing the memories of the dead from the living to remove any kind of burdens they might feel. She also chose Class Zero as the test subjects for Operation Apostle, a means to find Agito. Each time, both failed, Finis arrived and the world was reset for another attempt: by the events of Type-0, the experiment had already been performed over six hundred million times. Cid's actions in Type-0 were motivated by his wish to free the land of the cycle. After Class Zero refused to become l'Cie, altering the course of events, Arecia convinced Gala to call off his warriors. After Cid's defeat, the souls of Class Zero spoke to Arecia, who revived Machina and Rem and allowed the people of Orience to remember their past, ending the cycle of war. The crystals then fade, Machina and Rem unite Orience and rebuild the world. Years later, Machina records the events to ensure they are never repeated, and dies with Rem by his side.
The decision to create the game, originally known as Final Fantasy Agito XIII, was made after the other two Final Fantasy XIII games had already been decided upon, and was made in response to the popularity of the mobile phone game Before Crisis: Final Fantasy VII. Tabata, who also contributed to the game's core mythos, was searching for a new project at the time after finishing Before Crisis and became the game's director. It was decided to make the game exclusive to mobile phones. The original staff members were Tabata, Yusuke Naora and Tetsuya Nomura, and development was slow due to most of the team being devoted to The 3rd Birthday. Kosei Ito, the producer of Before Crisis, was also originally involved. "Agito" roughly translates from Latin into "to put into motion". Unveiled at E3 '06, the game "[offered] players easy on-the-go access to the Final Fantasy XIII universe. Utilizing gameplay functions only available through mobile phones, it was supposed to provide players with a unique take on a story accessible anywhere their real-life adventures may take them." Developers had been planning a release on the next generation of cell phones as phones available at the time could not offer all the capabilities they would need. An issue developers had grappled with was whether or not to make the command buttons used in the game visible. The game was in development with the idea of making it a "full-fledged numbered game". The game's plot was thought to be "massive". It was described as an online RPG, but not "massively multiplayer". Another concept being developed were a day-night cycle and calendar system linked to real-world time and dates.
Later, the team decided to make it a full video game, facilitating its platform move from mobile platforms to the PlayStation Portable. The platform change was officially announced in 2008, along with the discontinuance of development on the mobile version. The game's name was also changed to Type-0 to distance it from Final Fantasy XIII, as the two games did not have much in common apart from their shared mythos. The game's logo was created by regular series artist Yoshitaka Amano, while the kanji symbol used in the logo was drawn by Naora, who also designed the Shinra logo in Final Fantasy VII and its companion media. The game made its first official public re-appearance as Type-0 at the Square Enix 1st Production Department Premier in Tokyo, along with a new trailer that was released to the public on January 27, 2011. The name Type-0 was originally trademarked by Square Enix in Europe on December 29, 2010 along with a logo. The game be one of few releases for the PSP to be released on two UMDs.
While the game was still known as Agito XIII, Tabata described it as "a major title that's formed from a variety of concepts" which include the collision of four fantasies (the world view), killing match between magic and weapons (battle) and the Ordinary and Unordinary (the two sides of reality). Despite its title change, the game was still kept within the mythos. The early story concept drew heavily from multiple mangas and animes, but little survived after the platform change, with Tabata instead opting for a new approach. An outside inspiration for the game's semi-historical atmosphere was the documentary series Centuries of Picture. They also used war films as inspiration for its story, which was darker than many other Final Fantasy games. The game's story was also meant to show a broad, historical view of how the Fabula Nova Crystallis deities mingled with and manipulated humans, while also telling a story far more focused on the human struggle than Final Fantasy XIII.
The music was composed by Takeharu Ishimoto, who also composed the music for Before Crisis, Crisis Core and The World Ends with You. Ishimoto asked the opinions of both Tabata and Nomura regarding its concept and genre, while basing the music around themes of war, life and death. For Type-0, Ishimoto fused the orchestral score with the choral work, while also rearranging leitmotifs to create more variety in the score. Like Crisis Core, he created the music to have a dark and heavy feel, but he used less rock songs to promote a feeling of immersion. One of his primary instruments for the score was the acoustic guitar. The game's theme song, "Zero", was composed and performed by Japanese rock band Bump of Chicken.
While English language localizations have been hinted and speculated by reliable sources, no definite confirmation on any version outside of the Japanese PSP version has been made. During development, Tabata stated he was trying to appeal to North American players in the direction of the game. An international version was reported to be in the works by the game's director, Hajima Tabata, in the game's official Ultimania guide, but has yet to be officially announced for release in North American or European territories. Tabata has stated that the team experimented with an HD port during the game's development. He later commented that the main reasons for the game not coming west was the flagging PSP market and the uncertainty of the Vita. In the wake of the game's release in Japan, 1Up.com and Joystiq speculated that the game could be successfully brought west as a port to the Vita.
In a November 2012 interview with GameSpot, Tabata stated that Square Enix was "taking a clean slate in terms of [their] plans.", stating that if there was demand, a western release would be considered. Later, during an interview with USGamer in September 2013, Tabata, commented on both Type-0 and its followup Agito. When asked whether Type-0 would reach the west, Tabata was hopeful in that respect: he said that the planned western release of Agito and the reaction of the fan community to both games had become a deciding factor, and that while the project had not been officially green-lit, it was in its final stages of preparation, clarifying that the game would not make the transition onto mobile devices or the PS3 as an HD Remaster, remaining instead a portable title.
It was awarded a near-perfect score of 39 out 40 by Famitsu, praising the story, multiplayer and the smooth experience. The game also received a positive review from Dengeki magazine, where four reviewers gave it 90, 90, 95, and 90, each one out of 100, averaging out to 91.25 out of 100. In the first week after its release, Final Fantasy Type-0 sold 472,253 units. As of January 16 2012, 2011, the game has sold 746,203 copies in Japan. PlayStation LifeStyle's Heath Hindman gave the game a score of 8/10 calling it "A hell of a game" with praise directed towards the game's music, combat, and story.
On November 2011, Final Fantasy Type-0 was adapted into a manga. It is illustrated by Takatoshi Shiozawa and published in Shonen Gangan magazine. The manga has been collected into a tankōbon volume and was released on April 21, 2012. Another manga titled Final Fantasy Type-0 Side Story: Icy Blade of Death ( ファイナルファンタジー零式外伝 氷剣の死神 Fainaru Fantajī Reishiki Gaiden Hitsurugi no Shinigami?). The manga is also illustrated by Takatoshi Shiozawa, supervised by Tetsuya Nomura and published in Shonen Gangan magazine on April 2012. It has been collected into a tankōbon and was released on September 22, 2012. The manga is set to end in January 2014.
A novel adaptation titled Final Fantasy Type-0: Change the World -The Answer- ( ファイナルファンタジー零式 Change the World -The Answer-?) has been released by Square Enix on April 21, 2012. A second novel adaptation titled Final Fantasy Type-0: Change the World 2 -The Penultimate Truth- (ファイナルファンタジー零式 Change the World 2 巻 -最後から二番目の真実-?) was released by Square Enix on June 28, 2012. The novels depict an alternate version events compared to the game.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Final Fantasy Type-0.|
- Final Fantasy Type-0 Official website (Japanese)
- Final Fantasy Type-0 manga introduction at Gangan Comics (Japanese)
- Final Fantasy Type-0 novel index at Gangan Comics (Japanese)