IMHO the best strategy game ever made. The only real similarities FFT had to the "real" Final Fantasy are the traditional ones: Same spells, character classes, chocobos, and a character named Cid (Thundergod Cid to be exact). Other than that, there are almost no similarities. The battle mode is totally new. Each battle is set on a 3D grid where you fight in turn based battles. Each turn consisted of 1 move and 1 action. Most of the non-battle portions of the games are done on menus and on the world map (You can't "explore" the towns).

Even though this is supposed to be an RPG, the translation is really bad and the story is slow and uninteresting, but who cares? The battles are a blast! They are very challenging, very long, and require much thought and participation. You don't just keep selecting Attack off a menu over and over like most RPGs. And they never get to the point where they are too easy either because enemies level up as the party does. There are hundreds of spells and techniques to learn. You will be playing this game for a long time. Unfortuantly the game went out of print. It is tragic, but you can still purchase the game on eBay (if you are willing to pay for the nose for it). Look for this one. It is a true PSX classic.

FFT is a tactical RPG from Squaresoft. The team that developed it was the same that worked on Tactics Ogre and have since moved on to Maxfive and their next project, Hoshigami: Ruining Blue Earth.

FFT is a story about our hero Ramza Beoulve and the Lion War. (There are no further plot spoilers in this writeup, which is probably less than the back of the box.)

The gameplay rocks. The job system is a modified form of the one in Final Fantasy 5--change a character's job and they can acquire new powers, which can be kept later when the character changes jobs. The battle maps are 3D and rotatable (a Good Thing™). The battles themselves are engaging and pretty, as well as challenging, especially if you decide to start playing without Orlandu when he's 40 levels higher than the rest of your party...

The music rocks. Nice, relaxing war anthems.

The translation is not so hot. Especially the tutorial. (I think sleep is the wrong status ailment to assign to the Mimic Daravon skill. Confusion might be even funnier.) Some of the spell translations have odd quirks--for example, summoning a Lich will get you Rich instead. If there are was ever any meaning in the descriptions of the Deep Dungeon levels, it's completely gone now.

Classic in-game quote: "I got a good feeling!"

See also Final Fantasy Tactics spell list.

Final Fantasy Tactics is the most viciously anti-Catholic game that I have personally ever played (warning: spoilers ahead). This has caused a great deal of controversy over the game - some applaud the Catholic-bashing while some decry it, but its presence should be obvious to one with even the broadest knowledge of the Catholic Church.

The game's Glabados Church is set up in a hierarchy obviously modeled on the church, including bishops, cardinals, and even the pope himself. The religion is based on the story and worship of St. Ajora, who supposedly performed various miracles throughout his life and was named the "Son of God." Following the path of an ancient legend, Ajora and his TWELVE disciples (i.e. apostles) collected the Zodiac stones and used them to rid the land of an evil demon. One of the powerful nations in the area feared the power of Ajora, and paid one of his disciples to betray him (hello, Judas). Ajora is then captured and executed at the Golgorand Execution Site (they weren't quite willing to call it Golgotha). I doubt I need to say it at this point, but St. Ajora is a rather obvious parallel for Jesus.

Throughout Final Fantasy Tactics, the Church is portrayed as meddling and power-hungry, and your enemies are frequently high-ranking Church officials. There are "Heresy Examiners" whose cruel methods of weeding out heresy parallel those used by the Inquisitors during the Spanish Inquisition. Near the end of the game it is revealed that not only did the Church help start the major war which dominates the game, but the Pope also plans to assassinate the leaders of the nations involved to make sure that he can lead the nations unopposed when the war is over. This sort of thing is fairly standard in anti-Catholic works, but Final Fantasy Tactics goes a step further - the "Glabados" Church is not simply wrongheaded, but is evil to its very core. The Church has begun collecting the Zodiac stones from the Ajora legend, stones which turn out to be excellent means with which to contact the netherworld. You are confronted by several high-ranking Churchmen who have used a stone to trade their soul to the devil for power, who you then must destroy. Not a nice representation of Catholic officials.

However, the game's most vicious attack is found in what you learn during the game about St. Ajora, much of which is contained in a secret text concealed from the world by the Church. Not only was Ajora not the "Son of God," he was a spy whose mission was to spread dissent and disorder; his "Judas" was another spy, sent to spy on him . Ajora did collect the Zodiac stones, as told in his story - not to save the world, however, but to conquer it. The demon from which St. Ajora was reputed to have saved the world was, in fact, St. Ajora. In the last battle of the game, St. Ajora is being resurrected (Second Coming) and you have to stop it, because he comes not as savior but as destroyer; this "Bloody Angel" means to destroy the world. Thus, the game's Christ turns out to be the Antichrist.

How you interpret all this is up to you. I have read editorials which angrily denounce Squaresoft for claiming that Catholics are just a bunch of devil worshippers, while others I have read claim that the similarities between the Glabados and Catholic churches are simply an unintended coincidence. Whatever your feelings on Catholicism, however, it is interesting to play this game and watch these parallels unfold before you. Incidentally, at the end of the game, one of the main characters publishes the truth about everything he saw; he was burned at the stake for heresy.

Final Fantasy Tactics was developed by Squaresoft and published in the US on January 19, 1998 by Square/EA for the PlayStation. It was quite rare and could bring prices from $60-100, depending on condition, until it was rereleased as part of Sony's "Greatest Hits" series on July 31st, 2002. (A note of interest: the first print run of disks in the rerelease had to be recalled due to a flaw that rendered them unplayable on PSOne and PlayStation 2 consoles.) The game is now easily obtained even in mainstream retailers.

Final Fantasy Tactics was rereleased in the last wave of Sony's "Greatest Hits" for the original PlayStation, despite the fact that Final Fantasy Tactics was actually an incredible flop, financially. Tactical RPGs, like the Shining Force, Front Mission, and Ogre Battle/Tactics Ogre series, have never had success as anything but cult classics.

The lead producer of Final Fantasy Tactics was Yasumi Matsuno, also known for Final Fantasy XI and Vagrant Story. He was also the head director of Tactics Ogre, a game to which Final Fantasy Tactics bears striking similarities. This probably didn't affect Final Fantasy Tactics' sales in the US, as Tactics Ogre was released after FFT in the US, due to a lack of a publisher. (Neither Ogre Battle nor Tactics Ogre was ever a big seller in the US anyway.)

For veterans of the strategy RPG genre, the game is much more fun played without ninjas or calculators. They take all of the challenge out of the game.

As of the time of this noding (August 18th, 2002), a port of Final Fantasy Tactics for the Game Boy Advance was in progress, complete with a new translation. One can only hope that Devaronese will become a thing of the past.

This new game is apparently a new sequel, with a completely different story and as-of-yet undescribed gameplay (as of October 10, 2002). The current working name is Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, but there's no word as to what the final title will be.

There is a sequel for the Game Boy Advance, titled, appropriately, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. In keeping with series tradition, FFTA is only a sequel insofar as gameplay is concerned, not story.

Final Fantasy Tactics || Final Fantasy Tactics Advance || Final Fantasy XII

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