Ignorant Dotard Translation Alert!: This document is a very rough draft of a translation that was never properly finished due to the intrusion of real-life concerns. I now once again have my physical copy of the settei book and have at last begun checking, correcting, and rewriting the document. As of now (6/23/09), it is revised up to the end of the Conveyance section. Geez, it's almost respectable.
I realize it's ill-advised to badmouth any part of one's work before its presentation, but to be honest: the Final Fantasy IV Settei Shiryou Hen is, alas, not nearly as thorough as such books are for other games - this particular publication, though it does yield a bit of good historical info, often amounts to little more than a glorified instruction manual. Sadly, Square wasn't at this time forthcoming with interesting background info - be it background on the game's production or background on the game's world and characters themselves - as, say, were the creators of the Phantasy Star and Lunar series, who included staff interviews, character backstories, alternate scrapped-in-production storylines, preliminary chara, monster, and item sketches, elaborate showpiece illustrations, and other goodies in their game fan books.
Anyhow, important notes before you get started:
Long, long ago...
a great light appeared in the sky above.
It bathed the earth below in its warm luminance
and then disappeared for parts unknown.
Afterward, four small lights remained
and a new planet soon was born in the heavens.
An evil will too reached out for Earth,
but it remained sealed away by a power stronger still.
Prologue - 2
Contents - 4
Characters - 5
Cecil - 8
Cain - 10
Rosa - 12
Gilbert - 14
Yang - 16
Cid - 18
Edge - 20
Tella - 22
Rydia - 24
Palom & Porom - 28
Final Fantasy IV Preview Part 1 - 34
World - 37
World Map - 38
Chart of International Relations - 39
Baron - 40
Fabul - 42
Damcyan - 44
Troia - 46
Mysidia - 48
Eblana - 50
Final Fantasy IV Preview Part 2 - 52
Conveyances - 53
Vehicular Evolution - 54
Hover Ship - 56
Cid's Airship - 58
Red Wings - 60
Enterprise - 62
Chocobo - 64
Final Fantasy IV Preview Part 3 - 66
Monster and Item - 67
Monster - 68
Item - 72
Final Fantasy IV Preview Part 4 - 76
Epilogue - 78
CHARACTER RELATIONSHIP CHART
A Succession of Reunions and Departures with Three Young People at the Heart of It All
The drama revolves around Cecil, Cain, and Rosa, three young people who live in the kingdom of Baron. Though they all serve in the Baronian army, they are drawn into a trap while following the orders of Baron's imperialist king; they then end up leaving the country.
Many different people await them along their journey - people who perhaps will become their allies and lend their strength to their cause. Bitter partings and dreadful encounters lie in wait as well. The many and varied dramas unfold around the hero, Cecil.
[The following is a text representation of the chart shown in the book. A <-> indicates that the feelings/relationship ties go both ways between the characters; an arrow with only one direction indicates that the feelings are one-sided/not reciprocated (at least not initially).]
Cid (chief airship mechanic) <-> Cecil (Dark Knight): like father & son
Cecil <-> Yang (leader of the monks): comrades
Cecil <-> Palom & Porom (mages): bound by fate; spying on Cecil
Cecil <-> Gilbert (prince of Damcyan/royal): comrades
Cecil <-> Cain (Dragon Knight): rivals, best friends
Cecil <-> Edge (prince of Eblana, ninja): comrades
Cecil <-> Rydia (Summoner): bound by fate
Yang <-> Yang's wife [man, she doesn't get a name here either!?]: husband and wife
Palom & Porom <-> Elder of Mysidia: teacher-pupil (grandparent-grandchild-type relationship)
Gilbert <-> Anna: lovers
Cain -> Rosa: unrequited love
Edge -> Rydia: vague affection, eventually
Rosa <-> Rydia: teacher-pupil relationship, eventually
Tella <-> Rydia: teacher-pupil relationship, eventually
Tella <-> Anna: father & daughter
Rosa -> Cecil: unrequited love
The Mysterious Young Man Who Possesses Unsurpassable Skill with the Sword - and the Airship
Name: Cecil Harvey
Height: 178 cm [about 5'10"]
Weight: 58 kg [about 128 lb.]
Equipment: Dark Sword, Dark Shield, Dark Helmet, Dark Armor, Dark Gauntlets
An elite young man who is not only a Dark Knight but captain of the
Airship Corps. The Airship Corps holds the most powerful position in
Baron, and Cecil stands at its pinnacle. The level of confidence placed
in him is readily apparent.
Despite his current prestige, Cecil began as a lowly section commander in the Baronian infantry. In recognition of his talent and skills, however, he was made a Dark Knight and appointed the first commander of the then-newly-established Airship Corps.
Cecil has grown up completely on his own, self-reliant, as he has no family. An orphan, he was at two years old selected by the king and raised in his care; after graduating from school, he enrolled along with his classmate Cain in the Baronian military academy.
His origins are unknown, but many people, men and women alike, have been charmed by his forthright demeanor.
Warriors of Destruction Who Fight Using Their Own Life Force and the Powers of Darkness
The most effective division of the Baronian Army - and one of the divisions to which the rank-and-file soldiers look up and yearn to join - is the Dark Knight Corps.
The only way to enter the Dark Knight Corps is through the royal decree of the king of Baron. Very few are chosen each year, and the selection process is not based on sheer swordsmanship and combat abilities alone. High public confidence in the candidate has also become important.
After being selected, one receives training with the Dark Sword, and then, once one masters the negative energy (dark force), one is permitted to go forth in battle. [Note: the verb-phrase used here, "mi ni tsukeru", can mean "to wear" or "to put one's body" or "to learn information". I originally had the phrase as "once one assumes the negative energy", but I figure that "masters" is more neutral. It's up in the air as to whether a Dark Knight just learns how to use the "negative energy" either out there in the universe or in one's heart to fight with, or if the energy is something with which one is infused before officially becoming a Dark Knight, or what. I dunno; looking at Cecil's experiences and pre-Paladin trial, it seems that one can never really "master" negative energy - which negates the validity of the new translation. Anyway, moving on.]
None but Dark Knights Can Wield These Black Blades
Wicked swords infused with "negative energy". If someone unschooled in negative energy themselves wields one, the negative energy seizes control of their heart, leading them to strike down others indiscriminately. None but a Dark Knight can wield these secret swords.
To tap into their greatest power, Dark Knights must clash their own life force against the power of the sword, releasing a negative energy that can be used to fight.
The negative energy will spread over a wide area, inflicting damage on several enemies at once.
Basic equipment for a Dark Knight. Cecil was issued this by the Baronian government when he joined the Dark Knight Corps. The strange bleached bones in its handle are a symbol of the power sealed within the sword.
True to its name, this sword harbors the power of shadow. The sword itself is fond of darkness; it has been sleeping deep within the bowels of the earth, biding its time - hence, perhaps, its bat-wing handle.
The Solitary Dragon Knight with a Gentle Soul Whose Heart is One with the Dragons
Name: Cain Highwind
Height: 183 cm [about 6']
Weight: 61 kg [about 134½ lb.]
Equipment: Spear, Iron Shield, Iron Helm, Iron Armor, Iron Gauntlets
Captain of the Dragon Knight Corps. Cain's father was also a previous
Dragon Knight Corps captain, and so his son has followed in his
footsteps. This, however, is only the beginning of a long story.
Cain lost his parents when he was young. Since his father was a particularly active and vigilant captain who led the Corps to great success in his day, rumors even arose that he was assassinated. The members of the Dragon Knight Corps fell to squabbling and chaos; only the fallen captain's dragon held true to his memory, still faithfully awaiting his return. The dragon's devotion touched the hearts of the Dragon Knights and spurred them to regroup. The dragon, however, continued to waste away regardless.
The corps member who eventually saved the fading dragon was Cain. Due to his great ability to connect with dragons, Cain was appointed captain of the Dragon Knight Corps.
Proud Masters of Dragons with a Long and Distinguished History
The Dragon Knight Corps is an elite unit steeped in history that for many, many years had held the top position in all the Baronian army. Dragon Knights train and tame dragons for riding, but since the process takes at the very least about fifteen years, positions within the corps are hereditary. Moreover, since dragon breeding is labor-intensive and cannot be mechanized, the Dragon Knight Corps has not been included in Baron's recent military expansion.
Amidst all this, the Airship Corps, with its great mobile power, was founded, and the Dragon Knight Corps finally ceded the highest position of power and prestige in Baron.
Though they are no longer #1, the Dragon Knights' strength and power remains unchanged from the days of old. Even the Airship Corps is no match for them in hand-to-hand combat.
Weapons Advantageous in Aerial Combat, Wielded Only by the Proud Dragon Knights
[Note: the word here, "yari", can mean either a spear or a lance. I'm using lance here because it's the more all-inclusive term.]
Weapons with long, polearm-type handles that're too unwieldy for general-issue soldiers. Historically, they've been strictly a Dragon Knight weapon.
Dragon Knights can handle a variety of both swords and lances; they favor the long range of lances, though, for the particulars of aerial combat and of fighting astride a dragon. The idea of a weapon exclusive to the Dragon Knights also appeals to them.
It's a familiar refrain among the Dragon Knights that the wind is the best friend of those who make the skies their battlefield. Therefore, the Dragon Knights are intimately familiar with the handling of this spear and wield it expertly. It's said to display formidable power in mid-air battle.
Has the power both to stab like a spear and to cleave like an axe. Since the spear can siphon the life force from its victim's blood, its wielder can use it to heal his wounds by striking at monsters.
Flying Dragon Lance
Infused with the spirit of the nature-loving silver dragon; is swift and agile, like its namesake. The spear is greatly effective against dragons.
A Girl with Concealed Emotions but a Smouldering Heart
Name: Rosa Farrell
Height: 162 cm [about 5'4"]
Weight: 47 kg [about 103½ lb.]
Equipment: 50 Iron Arrows, Bow, Leather Cap, Leather Garment, Iron Bracelets
Rosa is one of the most talented archers in all of Baron, but she is
renowned as much for her peerless beauty as she is for her skills with
the bow. Many young men seek Rosa's affections, but it is Cecil with
whom she is in love.
Being of noble blood and having a Dragon Knight for a father, however, Rosa is not considered a suitable match for Cecil, whose origins and parentage are unknown. Therefore, Rosa has kept her true feelings hidden within her heart.
Moreover, Cain is like family to Rosa, and as Rosa also lost her father when she was young, she deeply sympathizes with Cain.
Rosa enrolled in the newly-founded White Mage Corps, but even this action was prompted by her desire to be close to Cecil. Not much can be said of her true powers in white magic at this point.
White Magic Experts Who Hone Their Spiritual Power
One who uses white magic to help others is called a White Mage. They by nature dislike conflict, but in recent years, they have been posted in battle, also using magic that wounds and kills.
The Baronian Army has newly established a "Black Mage Corps" and a "White Mage Corps".
The White Mage Corps, however, holds very little power or influence in the Baronian Army, as the army has not historically devoted much of its resources to magic; it ammounts to little more than a relief unit.
Light Enough for the Physically Weak to Wield, but Difficult to Aim
The only weapon that can attack at long range. Nearly anyone can wield them, but their awkwardness makes them difficult to aim accurately. The weapon chooses its wielder, though, so those trained and skilled with the bow have no problem. Furthermore, a wide variety of designs are applied to the arrows themselves, producing a range of effects that augment a bow's attack power.
A Japanese-style bow said to have been used by the hero Nasu no Yoichi. [Note: Nasu no Yoichi was a Genji archer in the Genji-Heike clan wars of the twelfth century. He was famed for shooting a sacred fan pinned to the mast of an enemy sailing ship in stormy waters from a distance of about 70 meters at the battle of Yashima. Further info is available here and here.] Its accuracy is mediocre, but it's powerful enough to fell an enemy with a single volley. It also is said to possess strange powers that decrease attack power but increase the power of other equipment.
A wooden bow infused with elfin magic; it boosts one's agility and wisdom when equipped. It possesses high magic resistance and is very effective against magic-user types. When used as an item, it unleashes a burst of magic power.
An Elegant Prince, Successor to His Country's Throne, Yet Isolated from the Everyday World
Name: Gilbert Chris Von Muir
Height: 178 cm [about 5'10"]
Weight: 51 kg [about 112½ lb.]
Equipment: Harp of Dreams, Feathered Cap, Poet's Garb, Ruby Ring
Gilbert is the first prince of Damcyan and the successor to its throne.
He is the seventh generation of his line [the future Gilbert VII, in
other words]. Gilbert grew up to be an easygoing, gentle fellow - as
is the tendency within Damcyan's royal family, accustomed to their
country's long-lived, luxuriant peace.
Talent in balladry and business acumen is required of Damcyan royalty. Gilbert was blessed with wondrous musical talent and is greatly beloved among his people for it. He is of another mind when it comes to the latter field, however; he disdains the intricacies of commerce, not because he lacks business savvy, but because he simply has no interest in trade. This drives the current king of Damcyan up the wall.
The blood of a long line of minstrels flows through Gilbert's veins; he disdains his life of wealth and social status and decides to set out to wander the world.
A Royal Family of Both Minstrels and Merchants
The merchant state of Damcyan was founded by Gilbert I; he, of course, was a merchant himself. His success in business was instrumental in his ascent to the throne, but it was not the only reason he was chosen; one night, he drove away a group of desert-dwelling Sandworms that suddenly attacked him with the sound of his harp.
And so, the Gilbert lineage is composed of both minstrels and merchants, and his bloodline has carried on these traditions ever since.
Strange Instruments That Use Music to Inflict Spiritual Damage
The harps beloved by the peace-loving people of Damcyan are not meant to inflict physical damage. Therefore, one should not expect them to deal a great amount of damage, even when used in direct attacks. Rather, when strummed, the harps inflict psychic pain that causes foes to lose their will to fight, among other effects.
The harpist must be vigilant and strum the harp every round to maintain the attack, however, so one should use this tactic judiciously.
Harp of Dreams
Its attack power isn't high, but any evil within the range of its sound will be lulled into the world of dreams. Gilbert brought this harp with him from Damcyan.
A Warrior Monk Who Stands Second to None, Even in the Martial Nation of Fabul
Name: Yang Fang Leiden
Height: 182 cm [about 5'11½"]
Weight: 76 kg [about 167½ lb.]
Equipment: Flame Claw, Leather Garment
The captain of Fabul's warrior monks, Yang is their epitome - a stoic, serene man of few words.
He has followed ascetic training from early youth and is preternaturally skilled. Since his childhood, he has usually been at the top of his league, and he is currently - and undisputedly - held in the highest regard of anyone in Fabul. Though he is not one to boast of his own talents, it can be said that he apparently does chat a bit about his great popularity and warm regard among the people.
His only soft spot is for his bossy wife. She acts like she wears the pants, and there's a side of him that just can't stand up to her.
Monks of Disciplined Body and Spirit
A monk is one who trains his body as a weapon. Monks spend their days in Fabul training themselves in God's service.
Doing God's will is not their only calling, however; their main pursuit is physical training. They spend one month a year in training atop the icy highlands of Mt. Hobs. Those who survive such rigorous training attain a disciplined body and a peaceful soul.
Supplemental Weapons for Monks That Add an Elemental Attack
Weapons are redundant for monks, who've trained their very bodies to be weapons. Unaided, however, the body inflicts the same amount of damage to every foe.
Thus originated the claw. When a claw is infused with magic, its bearer can attack with the power of a certain element. Moreover, a pair of well-fitted claws has the potential to increase your hit rate.
Made of a special metal; electrocutes the enemy. Deals exceptional damage to mechanical enemies and enemies weak against thunder.
A claw said to be treated with the noxious fumes of Hell's miasma. Sticking the claw in an open wound shoots poison throughout the victim's entire body. It also increases attack power.
The Virtuoso Airship Mechanic Who Yearns to Fly Like a Bird in the Skies
Name: Cid Pollendina
Height: 159 cm [about 5'2½"]
Weight: 67 kg [about 148 lb.]
Equipment: Wood Hammer, Prisoner's Garment
Developer of the airships. He has long held a strong yearning for the
skies; he studied ancient Baronian lore and unearthed the ancient
technology of the "art of flotation" - which he combined with his own
aviation theories to bring the airship into being.
An artisan through and through, Cid hates having others interfere with his artistic vision. He resents having the airship used for military purposes, but he's been appointed chief of Airship Corps Maintenance by royal decree.
He has lost his wife and now lives alone with his daughter. He regrets never having had a son to whom to pass things along and has taken a shine to Cecil; he has let the boy ride his prototype airships ever since Cecil's early youth.
Those Who Devote Their Lives to the Joy of Creation
Engineers are those who belong to the Airship Maintenance Unit; they supervise the Baronian Airship Corps and repair their airships. Only those who have mastered piloting the airships Cid has developed can enlist in the highly elite Airship Corps. At present, the Airship Corps holds the highest position in all of Baron.
But among the engineers are naturally a great many imbued with vast creative spirit. The very job of being an auxiliary of the Airship Corps, Baron's front line of defense, is super-hard; to the Engineers, however, it's merely an extension of their existing interests, and the challenge makes them all the merrier.
Simple Tools, but Splendid Weapons in Cid's Hands
Hammers are just hammers, and in the hands of everyone but Cid, they're nothing but tools.
Cid, however, with his knowledge of machines, can use these hammers as weapons. He can instantly analyze a machine's structure; since he can discover all one's weak points in a single shot, it would be advisable to use them to deliver a sudden, surprise blow to the enemy. Of course, he can also exercise this ability on non-mechanical, organic enemies.
Fashioned from a special metal; the friction produced when it's used to attack creates an electric charge. It's especially effective against enemies weak against thunder. Extremely weighty; supposedly has special properties that increase one's power when the hammer is equipped.
The hammer generally preferred by artisans; also available on the open market. Cid uses it, too, to conduct repairs on the airships. They're advertised as being strong and sturdy, but they're not promoted as potential weapons.
A Hot-Blooded Ninja and a Double-Fisted Swordsman
Name: Edge ("Edward Geraldine") [Note: The last syllable of "Geraldine" is pronounced "dyne", as in the Dragonmaster's name.]
Height: 175 cm [about 5'9"]
Weight: 51 kg [about 112 lb.]
Equipment: Kunai x 2, Green Beret, Black Belt Garment, Mithril Gauntlets
Eblana's First Prince. As the king's only son, Edge is the sole heir to the Eblana throne.
The king views Edge as the apple of his eye, coddling him, but Edge, fiery and a man of action, hates being sheltered and hemmed in. He mouths off and has a hot temper; is also overconfident and a poor loser. His behavior is rather unconventional for royalty, but that's only, it seems, to hide his softer side. He has a strong sense of justice and an indomitable spirit, which is probably why he is so deeply beloved among his subjects. He indeed has the makings of a king.
Fierce Warriors Who've Mastered the Art of Both Invisibility and Swordsmanship
The faraway island kingdom of Eblana has a unique, thriving culture which has developed completely differently from and independent of those of the world's other nations. The magic-like art of ninjutsu was born here. One who has mastered ninjutsu is called a "ninja".
Ninja have not only ninjutsu at their disposal - they are skilled swordsmen as well.
Nintou [Ninja Swords]
Narrow Blades Crafted by the Eblana Culture
Nintou were developed from swords customarily used in neighboring countries that found their way to Eblana in ancient times, the culmination of the nation's own research.
Nintou are crafted with extreme precision - the people of Eblana are notorious sticklers for detail. According to recent analysis, they are more accurate than the swords of any other country.
Due to the peculiarities of the weapon, however, only Ninja can use them.
A dagger-like short sword; widely carried as a self-defense weapon by the common folk of Eblana. Since it's lightweight and easy to handle, it can also be thrown at the enemy.
Chrysanthemums are painstakingly inscribed in gold dust on the sheath, lending it the feel of a high-grade weapon. Its offensive power, however, is unextraordinary; this is nothing more than a run-of-the-mill katana-type weapon.
A flying weapon that deals damage when thrown at the enemy. Since it lodges itself deep in the enemy's body, it can be used only once, but it is highly effective. Since it is a flying weapon, it works well against flying creatures.
Makes Mincemeat of the Enemy in the Manner of Black Magic
As with nintou, ninjutsu was developed from the lore and know-how of other, faraway countries that drifted to Eblana long ago - in this case, magic was developed and evolved into ninjutsu. Since ninjutsu is based on magic, it operates on the same principles - it can hone one's intelligence and cause energy to explode.
If you want to try to envision what ninjutsu is actually like, you can just think of it as another type of magic, like white magic and black magic.
Now, let's take a look at each of the techniques of ninjutsu.
Katon ["Mass of Fire"]
Creates a sea of fire on one side of the battlefield which then ravages the enemy - but this mysterious art somehow leaves one's allies unscathed.
Suiton ["Mass of Water"]
Summons a flash flood that slams into foes. The water avoids one's allies, though, passing them by.
Raijin ["Raijin", "Thunder God"]
Calls down a great thunderbolt from the heavens. The lightning rends the sky, blasting directly down upon the enemies' heads.
Kemuridama ["Smoke Balls"]
Blinding smoke billows forth in battle, veiling the enemies' eyes. You can escape behind their backs in the meantime.
Kageshibari ["Shadow Bonds"]
Tethers the enemies' shadows to the earth, rendering their actual bodies incapable of movement.
Bunshin ["Body Split"]
Uses the power of the mind to split one's body into many and deceive one's foes. While the enemy is led astray, the caster takes the offensive.
A Gifted Old Wizard Whose Past Is Buried in Darkness
Height: 177 cm [abo ut 5'10"]
Weight: 48 kg [about 106 lb.]
Equipment: Staff, Leather Garment
An old wizard who lives in the remote village of Kaipo. When he was young, he was a famed wise man living in Mysidia, breaking one ancient magical seal after another with his abilities. One day, however, he unleashed a magic that was beyond the limits of his abilities to control, the effects of which ended up injuring many mages.
Deeply remorseful, Tella left Mysidia. He soon married an ordinary woman in a faraway village and produced a lone daughter, Anna. He lost his wife early on, and so his love for Anna has since redoubled.
Now, due to age, he has forgotten most of the magic he mastered. Fortunately, not even Anna is aware of his former reputation, and so he passes his days in peace, as an ordinary person.
Those Who Have Revived the Ancient Methods of Mastering Magics
The wizards of ancient Mysidia developed and mastered magics on their own, under their own power. The development of magic flourished, soon reaching the point where people were casting magic just to show off. This resulted in the injury of a great many mages, and so the magics were sealed away by the hands of the Great Sages.
It has become customary for present-day mages to undergo extensive training and be taught either white or black magic by Great Sages. But there are those who have mastered all types of magic - and they are generally called Wise Men. [Note: Tella's class could indeed also be translated as "Sage", but he is called "Tella the wise man" in big English letters right on the page. It's not to my liking, but it's an acceptable translation, so I'm sticking with it.]
Spiritual Weapons Whose Strength Rests upon the Quality of Their Patterns
Chiefly used symbolically in presiding over feasts and festivals. Of course, they're not meant to be used for striking an opponent, but rather to alter attack patterns or frighten away summoned spirits through the designs with which the staff is decorated. [God knows how mages are supposed to use these designs to do either of those tasks. I at first thought that the "designs" were patterns of movement in which the mages wove their staffs, using them to "change attack patterns" like a magical version of body English on a pinball machine, but judging from the Japanese uses of the phrase in question ("hodokosareta ishou") I've come across, this is apparently not the case and the designs really are decorative designs embossed/painted/carved/whatever right on the staff.] Naturally, they are most effective when equipped not by physically-powerful characters, but by magicians - white-magic users, to be exact.
Staffs are different from swords and the like; no matter how cheap the staff, the essential designs are always included. Since the staffs are used in presiding over festivals to the gods, the patterns by definition concern white magic. When the wizard concentrates and gathers his spiritual energy, an aura of white magic emanates from the tip of the staff.
Staff used to regulate one's power. When equipped, amplifies one's power and spirit/will [the "white magic power stat"]. If the wizard comes into contact with the aura emitted from the staff, he'll experience a surge of power from within and, stricken mad, unleash an wild barrage of attacks.
It is said that those skilled in the ancient magics offered this staff up to the gods when presiding over festivals of life. Wave it about, and the environs will be enveloped by the auras of the revenant dead.
A Young Girl of Blessed Circumstance Who Places Her Trust in Those Not of This World
Height: 107 cm [about 3'6"]
Weight: 18 kg [about 40 lb.]
Equipment: Rod, Hide Cap, Hide Garment, Iron Bracelets
A young girl born several years ago from a pure bloodline of Summoners. She was raised and cherished by not only, of course, her parents but by everyone in her village.
Her abilities as a Summoner live up to her heritage. The power of summoning is greater in children than in adults and greater in women than in men; the inhabitants of the Illusionary World are inclined to surrender their hearts to the pure of mind and soul. One could say that the girl Rydia has been blessed with the perfect conditions to develop these abilities to their utmost potential.
A Culture at Its Pinnacle - and the Brink of Its Extinction
Summoners are those who call forth "Those Not of This World" from the Illusionary World. When a Summoner learns summoning magic, it is necessary for her to master basic white and black magic - so Summoners can also use magic.
Currently, the Summoners, disdainful of worldly affairs, live in Mist, the place said to be the closest to the Illusionary World. Small groups of Summoners are scattered hither and yon throughout the world, but their bloodlines are weak and abilities limited. The Summoners of Mist have continually married within their own bloodlines, but the practice has certainly shortened their lifespans, and the long-term survival of these bloodlines looks doubtful. The future of the Summoners from any perspective does not seem bright.
Weapons Used for Control and Instruction Said to Tame Those of the Illusionary World
There are particularly powerful entities among those who are summoned who cannot be controlled with staffs and rods - only whips.
Moreover, the length of whips enables the bearer to attack enemies both near and far. Occasionally, the ensnared foe will be paralyzed.
Fire Lash [Note: the weapon is actually called a "Fire Bute" ("Byuuto" in straight katakana) in the original text. A few Japanese websites, this FF wiki among them, claim that the term is a skewed English loanword simply meaning "whip", though they all seem as puzzled as I am over the etymology.]
Produces violent heat through being cracked. The fire emitted increases one's capabilities - strength, endurance, speed; it does, however, decrease one's magic power.
The spurs spaced along the lash are made of a unique, electrically-charged metal. The alloy is specially formulated to prolong the length of the charge; the resultant whip is especially effective against enemies weak against lightning.
Their Tests Determine Your Fate as a Summoner
To call forth inhabitants of the Illusionary World and bend them to your
will is called Summoning. Perhaps it would be correct to say not so
much "bending them to your will", but instead earning the respect of the
denizens of the Illusionary World respect through your abilities as a
Summoner and the designs on your weapon, thereby earning their obedience
to your orders. If a Summoner calls forth a creature that overmatches
his or her own power by even a smidgen, that creature becomes a
frightful beast, uncontrollable and heedless of anyone's commands. To
make a good match of Summoner and summoned, one must have a solid
knowledge of the true nature and mettle of each beforehand.
God of light and lord of thunder beloved throughout the Illusionary World. It is his role in the Illusionary World to pass judgment over evil, and his impartiality and sense of justice far exceed those of anyone else in the land. He is, however, easy to summon, perhaps due to his righteous nature.
Armed with his trusty staff, he can control thunder itself in surges of lightning that rush forth from his cane. Summon him, and he will bombard the enemy with the thunder of his anger.
Calling forth a chocobo capitalizes on its true strength - its leg muscles - by delivering a kick to the enemy. Chocobos' thighs can get to be 100-120 cm [about 40-47 in.], so you can expect them to pack quite the punch. It's probably not a good idea, however, to use them against giant enemies, enemies with great defensive power, or fairly powerful enemies.
Shiva, the spirit of ice. Given to ferocity, she will freeze all whom she deems enemies. Her breath is absolutely chilling, and she delivers particularly merciless damage to entities who depend upon heat as their source of life.
Ruthless as she may be, Shiva is readily capable of fierce loyalty to her Summoner, so one could call her quite easy to summon.
Summons Ifrit, the spirit of fire. Ifrit is also fierce - though he pales in comparison to Shiva. His special ability is to breathe a fiery blaze, then, his own body wreathed in flame, to render the entire battlefield one great pillar of fire.
Since he's comparatively receptive to the commands of those who call him, there's a good chance he won't roast the summoner.
Summons a descendant of the Titans from Greek myth. They were defeated in a war against Zeus, but their bloodline lingers on. He has a kindly demeanor, and he is ever the gentleman, but his appearance is that of a high-echelon warrior.
When summoned, he causes a violent earthquake with his 7-ton body. He can also drop enemies into the fissures the earthquake creates.
Among all the dragons, Bahamut is the one closest to a god. Could also be called the "king of dragons". Lack the proper politesse, and he'll show you no mercy, ally or not. None but an extremely skilled Summoner will be able to summon him. He disgorges scorching flame to char his enemies.
The ruler of the sea, Leviathan. Incite this god's wrath, and he can sink the entire world beneath the ocean with great floods and tidal waves.
It would be nearly impossible, however, to anger this great and gentle soul. He will obediently yield to a Summoner's commands, attacking the enemy with tidal waves. Since he is a god, however, low-level Summoners cannot control him.
There are many great heroes and brave warriors who have given their all for this world - heroes who have died, become spirits, and inhabit weapons or armor. And there are cases where these spirits, when they encounter those of a like mindset, will lend their powers to them. Odin is one of those such spirits. He will never, though, ally with the weak.
They Possess Ever-Growing Abilities Akin to Those of the Ancient Mages
Height: 94 cm [about 3'1"]
Weight: 22 kg [about 48½ lb.]
Equipment: Ice Rod, Feathered Cap, Leather Garment, Iron Bracelets
Height: 93 cm [about 3'1", but a smidgen shorter than Palom]
Weight: 19 kg [about 42 lb.]
Equipment: Staff, Feathered Cap, Leather Garment, Iron Bracelets
Magic was once, generations ago, sealed away by great sages; learning it on one's own, unassisted, is a nigh-impossible task.
Palom and Porom, however, have been learning magics one after another since early childhood - just like the mages of old. ["Early childhood"?! They're only five, for God's sake; how much earlier could this "early childhood" have been?] Astounded by their youngsters, their parents decided to have them study under the Elder.
But Palom is a mischievous child with a rude demeanor. He is punished day in and day out by the Elder for playing pranks. Since Porom is mature for her age and ranks as Palom's older sister, she is more grounded and better-behaved and has made it her duty to discipline Palom. She seems to be held in high regard by the Elder. Due to their extraordinary magic power, however, great things are expected of both children.
Attack Mages Endowed by Their Intellect and Skill with Destructive Power Conducted through the Elements
To use one's knowledge to concentrate the surrounding elements into a burst of power that kills or wounds one's enemies is black magic. Black mages have abundant stores of knowledge and high intelligence. No small amount of studying is involved in acquiring this knowledge. Naturally, their intelligence increases through battle as well.
Mages Whose Stout Hearts and Unblemished Spirits Become Their Source of Power
The source of that which is called "magic" does not differ between white and black magic, but that which transforms that source into goodness and virtue through one's own spiritual power is "white magic". To be able to use white magic, one must first fortify oneself spiritually. There are, however, those who are naturally gifted with this spiritual power.
Able to Attack with the Magic Sealed within by Their Creators
Staffs infused with magic are called "rods"; they are most often are made of wood. That's because wood has properties conducive to magic-infusion - particularly if the tree is some thousands years old, in which case the wood itself can amplify magic power or double magical effects.
Therefore, a rod probably won't be able to deal enemies a mortal physical blow. Rods, like staffs, are weapons infused with magic, able to unleash black magic upon their use.
Rod of Transformation
[Note: the kanji combination used in the naming of this weapon can be read either as "henka", meaning "transformation" or "change", or "henge", meaning "goblin" or "apparition". I've chosen the former reading due to the item's description, though the name is most probably intended as a pun and the illustration depicts the rod as topped with a demon's skull.]
A rod infused with the hatred beasts hold toward humans, symbolized by the skull at the rod's tip. Whoever is struck by the magic issued from this rod is changed into a pig.
Created by the fairies of the air known as "Sylphs", infused with their trademark Confu magic. If someone comes in contact with the magic that surges from the wand, they will probably become confused. The staff will also be highly effective against giant-type creatures, the sylphs' natural enemies.
The Menacing Magic Whose Domain is Destruction
Black magic can become more powerful as one expands their knowledge of
the natural world. A person of average capabilities can use black magic
to a modest extent, but it is said that a formidable intellect to
necessary to master it.
[Note: as most FF fans know, a number of spells in both this section and the next have names derived from the magic's effects but cryptically stylized (such as "Slepul" for the sleep spell - sleep-pull, perhaps?). All I can really do is take my best shot at the romanization; in such cases, the spell's title in raw Japanese is included in brackets right after my own stab at the name.]
Fire - Firara - Firaga
Drastically accelerates the velocity of the electrons in the target matter, generating heat and, eventually, combustion. As a (naturally) heat-based attack, it is extremely effective against those who live in a cold environment or draw energy from the cold. It also seems to be effective against undead enemy creatures.
Called the first step in black magic, many have started their magical training by learning Fire.
Blizzard - Blizzara - Blizzaga
Blizzard was conceived by those weak against heat as a means of countering Fire.
Working on the opposite principles of Fire, Blizzard slows the velocity of its targets' internal electrons, lowering their body temperatures and causing them to freeze. Those frozen need only to be shattered to meet their end.
Naturally, Blizzard should be effective against those who live in a tropical environment or those who draw energy from heat.
Thunder - Thundara - Thundaga
There are two techniques used in Thunder. One is to generate electricity from inside the target's body. The second is to call down lightning from the heavens. The former method is relatively simple, but the latter method draws a great deal of power. Thunder deals great damage in places where electricity is easily conducted, like water, and to things powered by electrical systems.
Stimulates the sleep receptors in the cerebral cortex, lulling the victim to dreamland. Since the nature of the brain changes according to the organism, however, there're a fair number of creatures upon which this spell won't be effective.
Siphons away the target's life energy and transfers it to the caster. Beware, though, for using it on undead creatures, who lack life force, will have the opposite effect than intended.
Operates on the same principle as Drain; siphons away the target's mental energy and returns it to the caster. Since it requires a goodly amount of concentration, it's difficult to siphon a lot of energy away in one use.
Causes toxins to generate in the target's body, in turn causing the target's body to corrode bit by bit. The spell can rot the whole body away if left unchecked. The toxins will remain even after the end of the battle.
Reassembles the body's molecules and transforms one into a toad - or returns comrades who have become toads to their original state. If you become a toad, the only magic you can use is Toad.
In the same vein as Toad, turns the target into a pig or changes it from a pig back to normal. Unable to use magic, enemies transformed into pigs should panic and flee.
Stops time in the space around the target, rendering it unable to move. Ensnared enemies enter a state akin to paralysis; lacking the chance to retaliate, they can be attacked continually.
Degeon [dejon - a combination of "deru" (Japanese verb meaning "to leave") and "dungeon", I suppose]
Instantly returns you to the floor above you by creating a spatial distortion inside the dungeon. Since its chant requires concentration, the spell cannot be used in battle.
Causes the blood of living things to coagulate, effecting instant death. One could call this manner of death the ultimate in euthanasia. It is futile, however, to cast this spell on undead creatures or mechanical enemies, both of whom lack blood.
Turns the target's composite molecules into unliving stone. The petrified targets cannot move - their very vitals stop - and they cannot continue the battle.
Deals the target a mortal wound; afterward, they are so weak that a single attack can fell them. This magic, which inflicts wounds which bring the target to the verge of death without delivering the coup de grace, is in a sense extremely cruel.
Spawns and incubates bacteria at a horrible rate inside the body, dealing great damage. But its weak point is that, though the infection rate is severe, it takes a while for the microbes to multiply.
Creates an earthquake through causing a grand-scale seismic reaction, crushing the enemy through topological changes. One should not hope for it to be effective against enemies that can fly, however.
Upsets the balance of space, calling down a swarm of meteors. The magicians who can use it are few. Being a grand-scale magic, the spiritual energy it consumes is considerable.
Initiates nuclear fusion using the hydrogen atoms in the atmosphere, releasing a formidable amount of energy. A horrible magic that will deal near-mortal damage to any sort of target.
Gentle Magic of Healing and Recovery
White magic has developed along the path of virtue; it requires a stout
heart, not to mention a strong inner spiritual power unyielding to
temptation. As they strengthen, one's white magic power will increase
Keal - Kealra - Kealda - Kealga
Transforms spiritual energy into life energy, drawing it into the intended subject. One of the easiest white magics to master; a great many people can use it. When a white magician learns Kealga, she can completely refill a person's life energy - but she likely would not be able to do so were she not a highly skilled practitioner.
Raise - Araise [areizu]
Calls back a spirit separated from its flesh. It can be a difficult magic to cast if the practitioner is not fairly skilled. Furthermore, Araise also has the added effect in application of casting Kealga at the same time it recalls the spirit. Since it is applied magic, it exhausts the spirit more than casting Kealga after casting Raise.
Can make the body's nerves and internal molecules return to their original states in cases where status abnormalities (short of death) have developed. Can provide recovery from petrification, silence, and confusion, among other ailments.
Can instantaneously transport the subject by creating rifts in space. In battle, it allows you to escape from combat; in a dungeon, you'll flee to the outside.
Strains one's spirit to give birth to another self. The other self looks no different than the actual body; the idea is that the enemy will erroneously direct its attacks at the second self. Substitute this body for your own flesh.
Forms a barrier before the target. Attacks can pass through, but magic will bounce off and inflict damage back upon the caster. After several uses, however, the barrier will break.
Hardens the armor and other protective gear the target is wearing, thus increasing one's defensive power. One's resistance against physical attacks rises. Useful when battling powerful opponents who don't use magic.
Envelops the body in a protective membrane, providing resistance against magic. Effective against enemies who seem to use powerful magic. Invaluable in boss fights that look like they're going to be long and drawn-out.
Suppresses gravity, allowing one to move with more agility. Light on your feet, you can take two or more attack turns in the time it takes the enemy to get in one - quite an advantage.
The opposite of Haste, it increases the gravity around the target, slowing movement. Naturally, in the period in which the enemy is slowed down, you should be able to get in more than two attack turns.
Shrinks a body to Lilliputian size or turns a shrunken target back to its original full size. Convenient for squeezing into small cracks or spaces, but you can't execute physical attacks in this form.
Allows clairvoyant insight into the enemy's abilities - information like current and maximum life force, weak points, and at what level you will be able to defeat it. Good to reference in forming battle strategy.
Zooms high up in the heavens so that the surrounding topography can be surveyed. [Note: a subject is not given for this sentence, and a transitive verb is not used, so I don't know who or what is "zooming up" - the caster, the caster's "clairvoyant sight" generated by the spell, or something else generated by the spell.] A convenient tool for ascertaining one's surroundings and determining which way to go.
Nullifies magics cast on the target, returning target to its original status. Good to use on enemies sped up by Haste and comrades slowed down by Slow.
Severs transmission systems like nervous systems and electrical circuits, snaring the target in a state of paralysis. Since it is possible, however, for the victim to recover naturally, you can't completely count out those who've been paralyzed.
Powers up the target by reinforcing its muscles. As a side effect, however, the target subsequently becomes a mindless berserker who attacks unrelentingly.
Destroys part of the target's seat of thought so that it cannot speak a word. In effect, renders the target unable to use magic. A spell you'll want to use against magic-using monsters.
Deals the transmission systems an overload of stimuli, impairing judgment. The target thus attacks ceaselessly, unable to distinguish friend from foe.
Generates some antigravity at the feet of one's allies, enabling them to float just a little bit. One can thereby protect oneself against the painful damage inflicted by earthquake attacks.
Can purify the walking undead with divine holy power. It is more merciful to recall the luckless undead to God instead of leaving them to burn in hellfire.
Every Character Has a Distinct Personality
The characters are rich in personality, continuing the journey amidst repeated meetings and partings. Each is assigned a clearly-defined role right from the start, so there is no job system like in III - and with no need to select jobs, there is no need to manage job changes. There is one exception, however; one character does go through a "job change" (?) in accordance with a plot development.
The weapons and armor one can equip are also strictly classified by character. There is nearly no equipment designed for general use.
Caption [Cecil's Dark Knight status screen]: The characters featured are truly individualistic. Since you can't pick and choose character classes, you'll never feel dissatisfied with a character-class decision.
Many Different Battle Commands, Tailored to Each Character
The battle commands assigned to each character are also varied, wide-ranging, and numerous. Beyond the basic commands of "Fight" and "Item", each comrade is equipped with their own individual, tailor-made commands - including lots of new commands heretofore unseen [in the Final Fantasy series]. Furthermore, seeing as how one's actions in battle change according to the commands selected, each character ends up with their own unique moveset. The commands and moves belonging to the three characters at right [below here] might prove good examples of this. There are other commands besides,like "Aim" and "Bluff".
Caption [icons of each character using their special commands]: Cecil: Dark; Gilbert: Hide, Sing; Porom: False Cry, White Magic
New Battle System, "Active Time Battle", Debuts
Most of the time spent playing RPGs is devoted to the battle scenes. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the battle scenes' ability to hold the player's interest determines how fun of this type of game is. With the new "Active Time Battle" system, the element of real time is added to the battle scenario. The sense of tension is heightened by leaps and bounds, doubling the enjoyment the battles provide. In ATB, The quickest combatants move first. Unlike previous games, you don't input all the commands at once; you instead input each character's commands as their turn comes up in the battle order.
Caption [early Cain-'n'-Cecil battle scene - hey-ho! Cain has a "White Magic" command here!]: All combatants move in order of how fast they are, be they friend or foe, so you can choose your commands to suit the changing circumstances.
The Switch to Real Time Leads to Streamlined Controls
Since the battles unfold in real time, the monsters will attack you mercilessly even while you're choosing your commands. Those who hesitate will inevitably receive some damage in the meantime. ATB demands quick reflexes and the ability to make snap judgments. Thanks to these changes, you can enjoy thrilling battles that aren't static for a second.
Since time passes even as you're selecting commands, being slow at the controls can prove fatal. Therefore, we've made numerous improvements to the control system so that players can keep up with the need for instant action.
There are two big points of improvement. The first is that you use the L and R buttons instead of a command to escape from a battle. If you press and hold down the both L and R buttons simultaneously, you'll be able to run away. Since the controls respond instantaneously, you can run away before the monsters even have a chance to attack. The other point of improvement is that you can now choose to defend or to swap battle lines simply by pressing left or right on the control pad. This eliminates having to search for these commands in the battle menu so that you can act more quickly, even if it's by a split second, in battle.
This easy-to-handle control system enables the essential fun of the new ATB battle system to stand front and center.
Caption [Cain-'n'-Cecil battle scene pt. 2]: You can run from battle by holding down the L and R buttons, without selecting a command. Only the SFC could handle this feature.
Caption [even more fun with Cain-'n'-Cecil]: Press left on the control pad to change your party members' battle positions. You can switch the members in the front lines with those in the back instantly.
The Graphics Pack an Even Bigger Punch with the Power of the SFC!!
Spell graphics and animations add a spark to battle scenes. They've gotten more powerful and impressive as the series has progressed, and they, too, have obviously taken a great leap forward with the high-powered SFC hardware. Taking utmost advantage of the SFC's capabilities, they give the player an even greater sense of "being there".
There are many different animations, changing to suit the effect of each magic. The spells' power and effects are instantaneously apparent. These SFC-exclusive graphics could be called yet another jewel in the battle system's crown.
Caption [battle scene - Rydia casts Firara]: The magic graphics in the battle scenes leave nothing to be desired, with more power behind them than ever before. Using Firara, for example, invokes a complex graphical sequence. First, intensely powerful flames flare up at the monsters' feet.
Caption [battle scene - Rydia casts Firara, pt. 2]: Next, the roaring flames fly up and encircle their prey, and the enemies are dealt huge damage. By in effect combining two separate sequences, the effects of the magic are made readily apparent.
From "Buying" to "Learning", from a "Limited-Use System" to the "MP System"
The magic system has also been heavily renovated. Up until now, it's taken the form of buying magic from shops, but now magic is learned naturally as each character levels up. Also, while before every level of magic was restricted to a certain number of uses, that has changed to a system where MP is consumed every time magic is used. The changes lighten the load on the player's shoulders, if only by a little bit, allowing you to immerse yourself more in the game.
Caption [end of battle with Rosa learning Slepul]: The types of magic learned differ according to the character. Now, there's no more worrying about which type of magic you should buy.
Caption [Rosa's spell screen]: Of course, the amount of MP consumed differs depending on the magic. With the new MP system, you can cast spells one right after another.
Caption [battle scene; whole party floating]: Established magics have been revamped and streamlined, and a number of new magics debut. One kind of defensive magic, "Levitate", makes everyone in the entire party float in mid-air, protecting them from earthquake attacks.
A Wide World Composed of Six Nations
Long, long ago, before mankind even appeared on this earth, it is said that all the world's continents existed as a single, unified land mass. Then, through grand-scale shifts in the earth's crust spanning hundreds of years, the continent changed little by little, splitting into the four major continents as they now exist. The many shoals that can be seen along the shores in various parts of the land are lingering traces of those days.
Currently, six nations exist in this world. Three nations, Baron, Damcyan, and Troia, are situated on the largest continent; the remaining other three countries, Fabul, Eblana, and Mysidia, each lay claim to one of the smaller continents. Aside from the three adjacent nations, these countries have not had much exchange of communication, save for over extremely short, close distances, due to the considerable amount of space separating them. It is for that reason that each country has spawned its own unique and individual culture and customs independent from all the rest.
The central continent is the region that is the heart of the world's finances, culture, and industry. And among the nations of this continent, the one which has assumed a de facto position of world leadership is Baron.
International Relations Rest upon a Delicate Balance
Perhaps because the very existence of this world itself is new, the
history of any given country as a nation is extremely shallow - even
that of the oldest established nation, Baron, goes back only a scant 500
years. Most of the other countries have been formally founded over the
past 100-200 year period. Accordingly, the establishment of diplomatic
relations between the countries has also been quite recent.
Considering that there are countries that have not even yet ventured
into the diplomatic realm, it can be said that international relations
rest upon a very delicate balance.
The country that has most actively sought to bring about diplomatic relations and establish a world order is Baron, the same country that had most quickly established its own national identity. It swiftly established formal diplomatic relations between Damcyan, Troia, and Mysidia. Foreign policy concerning Fabul and Eblana is still in development.
On the other side of the coin, the country that is not really actively pursuing foreign diplomacy is Eblana. Not yet having had any formalexchanges with any country at all, it is said that the only contact it has had with other nations is a visit from Baron's airships.
For better or worse, the existing world has come to be centered around the country of Baron. But also, owing to the four nations outside of Baron who have crystals in their keeping, though the situation is precarious, the global balance of power is maintained.
[Below this passage is a diagram displaying the web of international relations, lines drawn between certain countries - presumably meaning that the linked two countries have established international relations, though this reading would yield information somewhat contradictory to that above. (Perhaps, as the historical information provided in the following nation-by-nation sections would suggest, the lines denote countries that simply have some sort of ties to each other.) The lines are between the following: Baron and Eblana; Baron and Damcyan; Baron and Mysidia; Fabul and Eblana; Fabul and Damcyan; Fabul and Mysidia. It is of note that Troia, though grouped a shaded block distinguishing the "crystal-possessing nations", stands all by its lonesome, no lines to any country at all. There are notes attached to some of the lines, which are translated below.]
[title and contents of shaded block] Crystal-Possessing Nations:
Nation of Faith, Fabul: Crystal of Wind
Nation of One Faith, Troia: Crystal of Earth
Nation of Commerce, Damcyan: Crystal of Fire
Nation of Magic, Mysidia: Crystal of Water
Military Nation Baron <-> Military Nation Eblana: non-aggression pact
Fabul <-> Eblana: have had private-level exchanges of martial-art technique
Note beneath Baron entry: country with the most territory
Military Nation Baron
Sovereign: King Baron
Area: 38,872 km² [about 15,008 square miles. In other words, it's about the size of the Mojave Desert and about half the size of Scotland. In comparison, the state of Maryland is 12,407 square miles. The greatest nation on this "earth" (this trans-venutian object?) is only slightly larger than Maryland. Um...]
Population: 3,500 [Not a typo. The entire population of the nation of Baron is thirty-five hundred people. Wait a little; it gets even better.]
Chief Industries: manufacturing, agriculture
The Martial Nation in Command of Eight Armies, the World's Strongest - This Is Baron
The country with the longest history and the strongest military might. The Baronian Army, the name of which makes all countries tremble, is divided into eight separate corps. Among these, the one whose history goes back the farthest is the Personal Guard. Their duty is to act as the king's personal bodyguards; all the corps' personnel are chosen on a hereditary basis.
Next formed were the Dragon Knights. Long ago, they gained the power to control flying dragons, a strength which came to be called "the soaring blitz". [Note: this might be an idiom with which I am unfamiliar.] For a long time, the Dragon Knight Corps was secure in its place at the head of the army, but, in recent years, it has been knocked from its perch by the development of airships. As the flying dragons were instantly replaced by the airships, with their maneuverability and mass production, the Airship Corps replaced the Dragon Knights at the head of the Baronian Army. The Airship Corps, also known as the Red Wings, is a highly elite unit which excels in flight technique. One mustn't forget the existence of the Dark Knight Corps, either. The Dark Knights, more skilled in combat than anyone else in the army, all started as general-issue soldiers, but each year, a number of chosen ones undergo the test of the Dark Sword and assume the Dark Force (negative energy). [Note: as you might have noticed, the above assertion about the Dark Knights being "more skilled in combat than anyone else in the army" somewhat contradicts information included in the profile of the Dragon Knights in Cain's section, which implies that the Dragon Knights are the most proficient in hand-to-hand combat. Perhaps the Dragon Knights are the most naturally gifted in combat, but the Dark Knights' assumed supernatural abilities put them at an unfair advantage?]
There are also four other additional military corps in Baron, of which the Army and Navy are two. Composed of general-issue soldiers, members in each are recruited on a volunteer basis. The development of magic in Baron also lags behind that of other countries; the previous kings of Baron never took magic power seriously. Since the new king took power, however, the White Mage and Black Mage Corps have been newly instituted, and more resources have been devoted to magical research. This has yet to lead to anything of practical use, however.
[Above this title is a map of the world, denoting - you guessed it - territory held by the country of Baron. The book does this for every country; I wish I had enough image-editing know-how to overlap all the maps to make an all-in-one reference to who holds what in the FF4 world. Baron's territorial claim isn't anything unfamiliar to FF4 fans, though - just what one would expect. (Baron does own the mountain range ringing the Damcyan Desert's southern border, though. It is also of interest to note that neither Baron nor Damcyan lays claim to either Mist or the mountain path leading into it.)]
[OK, cautionary notes for this and all national "chronological records"
forthwith. The historical events are arranged chronologically, from
least to most recent. Now, this is important: a date applies only to the event directly across from it. If an event has no date attached to it, it takes place some unspecified time between the events before and after it, and not just on the last preceding date mentioned. For example, Baron's parliamentary government began to form sometime between 800 and 500 years ago; the Dragon Knight Corps was founded sometime between 300 and 150 years ago.
Was that enough italics for everyone? Sorry for the over-emphasis, but the timelines are a bit difficult to understand without absolute clarity on this one point. The Baronian chronological record isn't the most illustrative choice; later chronologies illustrate this point a bit better.
And, of course, all dates are approximate, hence the "~" marks.]
|~800 Years Ago||A settlement is spontaneously generated in the abundant landscape. Development is quick, and the town in no time comes to function as a city-state.|
|The beginnings of a rudimentary parliamentary government - that is to say, something on the level of a meeting between the area's influential families.|
|~500 Years Ago||Internal strife erupts in the parliament, leading to a skirmish that results in bloodshed. This riot is afterwards called "The Three Days of Blood". The bloodline of the current King Baron quells the strife and, in the name of reinforcing parliamentary reform, establishes a constitution spanning fifteen articles. It is from this point that the history of Baron as a nation begins. At the same time, armed forces are established, deemed necessary for national defense and vigilance.|
|~450 Years Ago||King Baron I is born. At the same time, the watch committee is newly instituted as the Personal Guard.|
|~300 Years Ago||The arrival of a merchant ship from Mysidia. As a result, Baron's reputation as a military nation spreads throughout the world.|
|The Dragon Knight Corps is formed. Cain's ancestors are greatly involved in the event.|
|~150 Years Ago||Security treaty with Mysidia. An instantaneous, extra-dimensional trade route between the two countries is completed through Mysidia's efforts. It afterward comes to be called the Devil Road.|
Merchant Nation Damcyan
Sovereign: King Gilbert
Area: 36,235 km² [about 13,990 sq. mi., for you keeping track at home.]
Chief Industries: trade
A Kingdom That Has Prospered through the Minstrel Family of the Gilberts
North of Baron lies a little merchant nation situated in the center of the Damcyan Desert. It was originally a little settlement sprung from an oasis, but as it became a travel stop-over point, trade between fellow travelers started up there, and a market naturally formed of its own accord. It was Gilbert, the boss of all its brokers, through whom Damcyan came to be unified as a nation. Gilbert also introduced the concept of currency to the market. The world's present unit of currency, the "gil", takes its name from the man.
But getting back on topic, that the house of Gilbert was able to ascend to the Damcyan throne was not solely due to business acumen. Originally, great numbers of giant vermin called Sandworms infested the Damcyan Desert, attacking many travelers, and the whole of Damcyan suffered great losses many times over. Then, one day, under these circumstances, the entire Gilbert family came to Damcyan. Unfortunately, that very night, the country was attacked by Sandworms - but, just then, out of nowhere, the sound of voices raised in song flowed forth. At that, the Sandworms instantly retreated to the desert one after another. The singing voices belonged to the Gilbert family.
Coming from a long, unbroken lineage of minstrels, their singing voices somewhere along the line came to possess a mysterious power. The people gave thanks to the family, asking them to stay in their land. Their hearts moved by this wish, the family decided to settle down in Damcyan, continuing to spin their songs.
[Same thing as with Baron; just a map, no surprises in territorial boundaries.]
|~500 Years Ago||A troupe of traveling traders, Déraciné, wanders across an oasis. They establish a settlement and make it their permanent base. [Note: "déraciné"
is a word of French origin literally translated as "rootless". It's
apparently been adopted by the Japanese as well, and means "nomadic" or
[Also, strictly translated, the original Japanese verb states that Déraciné "washed ashore" (hyouchaku) to the oasis, but how does that happen in a desert, exactly?]
|The oasis is directly attacked by sandworms. It suffers a devastating blow.|
|The Gilbert family visits the oasis to do some trading. The Sandworms are driven away. It is "The Night of Word Essences". [Another Note: "word essences" is in Japanese "kotodama" (composed of the characters for "say"/"utterance" and "spirit"). The exact same term is used for the unique spells featured in Square's later game, Rudra's Secret Treasure, in which words themselves act as magics; new spells are acquired not through gaining levels, but by assembling word-magics syllable-by-syllable from the Japanese alphabet and following clues interspersed throughout the game in order to find the most effective combinations of syllables. (Every and any word you can type in Japanese produces a different magical effect. It's all very neat.) The English term "word essences" is taken directly from the Rudra portion of Square Japan's old English-language page. Anyhow, the basic point - in both Rudra and FF4, the term "word essences" refers to words, sung or chanted, which hold inherent magic power and produce magical effects.]|
|The Gilbert family prospers as wealthy merchants.|
|The future first king of Damcyan, Duster, discovers a jewel, "The Light of the Desert". His influence spreads as a result. [I'm sorry. Duster ("dasutaa" in katakana) is his name. I didn't make this up, and I couldn't think of any other romanization.]|
|~350 Years Ago||A constitution for Damcyan is enacted, and Damcyan is formally established as a nation.|
|A system of currency is introduced. Its basic unit, the gil, takes its name from the royal family.|
|A high-ranking priest from Fabul is invited as the first state guest. Ties of friendship between the two countries deeper.|
|~200 Years Ago||Official diplomatic relations are established with Baron.|
Nation of Faith Fabul
Sovereign: High Abbot of Fabul Temple
Area: 18,391 km² [about 7,101 sq. mi. For comparison, New Jersey measures 8,722 sq. mi.; Connecticut, 5,544 sq. mi.]
Population: 300 [Three hundred?!?! I swear the dilapidated old city manse-come-apartment building on my block has more people crammed into it than that.]
Chief Industries: agriculture, fishing
A Congregation of Those in Search of Spiritual Enlightenment, Grown into a Nation of Faith
The entire history of the nation of Fabul begins with a single temple. Fabul Temple was the place where priests from all over undergoing their ascetic training would come for extended periods of spiritual training. Soon, though, warriors from all over the world seeking to master all sorts of martial arts came to settle around the temple, leading to its growth into a town. Thus, Fabul came to be established as an independent nation under most unusual circumstances. Since its ties with Mysidia, a renowned country of mages, run quite deep, a ferry line connects the two countries.
On an incidental note, a single Dark Sword rests within the walls of Fabul Temple. This is the very sword that provided Fabul with the opportunity that led to its prosperity.
During the wars of a few hundred years ago, a lone Dark Knight, his entire body covered in wounds and his life hanging by a thread, found his way to Fabul Temple. In the course of receiving treatment for his wounds, this knight experienced a spiritual awakening under the instruction and teachings of the High Abbot and ended up entering into the Fabul Temple faith. The sword installed within Fabul Temple is the Dark Sword that Dark Knight abandoned. The story soon spread throughout the world, and those strong and in search of spiritual training began one after another to head to Fabul.
The grand goal of this nation of faith is spiritual enlightenment, but a squadron of mercenary troops has been formed to protect the country from outside enemy invasions. Perhaps, thoughm it would be better if we just called them a gathering of those who seek to attain a higher level of self-discipline.
[No surprises, again; basically everything on the northeastern continent east of Damcyan starting at Mt. Hobs, plus a couple of the northernmost Silveran islands.]
|~300 Years Ago||On the eastern shoreline near the base of Mt. Hobs, a peak long held sacred by the priesthood, a settlement of ascetic monks is established.|
|The monk Fabul climbs Mt. Hobs. He spends his first winter there.|
|Having received spiritual enlightenment, Fabul descends the mountain and founds a temple. A great number of priests take this opportunity and begin gathering around Fabul.|
|~100 Years Ago||The Dark Knight Leonhart asks Fabul for
lodging. There, through Abbot Fabul's teachings, he renounces his Dark
Sword and enters the priesthood. Taking this as a sign, priests head
for the temple in droves.|
[Note: The Dark Knight's name in original kana, "reonaruto", turns up as a adaptation of the names "Leonaert", "Lennart", "Leonhart", and in some cases "Leonardo" (likely the result of mistyping the last character, though sometimes a sharp European "d" will be adapted as a "t" sound). I've changed it to "Leonhart" from the previous "Renault" (probably an impossible translation, given the "o" in the kana I incredibly missed the first time around, though I suppose the inclusion of "Lennart" in "reonaruto"'s translations doesn't rule it out - not if mispronounced as "re-NOLT" instead of the proper French way, anyhow). Again, though, it's not the only possible romanization, and I might have chosen wrongly.]
|High Abbot Fabul passes away. Lamenting his death, his disciples make his son, the successor to his will, king and establish Fabul as a nation.|
|A monk army is established, training being its main objective. Also, at the same time, the issue of a national foreign policy begins to be tackled.|
|Commercial trade with Damcyan via Mount Hobs begins in earnest.|
Nation of Faith Troia
Sovereign: eight female Clerics
Area: 22,313 km² [about 8,615 sq. mi., a little smaller than the state of New Jersey]
Chief Industries: agriculture and forestry, livestock farming, tourism
A Paradise Abundantly Blessed by Nature, Populated Only by Women
A nation of faith situated northeast of Baron in an environment abundantly blessed by nature, surrounded in all directions by woods, lakes, and clear streams. The rulers of the country are eight female clerics - eight sisters who have protected the crystal as clerics for generation after generation. Additionally, not only they, but all the citizens of Troia are female; for 300 years, absolutely no male children have been born in the country. The water from the streams that flow through Troia is cited as the cause - that it possesses certain magnetic properties or such - but the truth of the matter isn't really understood.
Yes, Troia is indeed a country of none but women, but many foreign invasions and other crises have time and again been overcome through the power of women alone. What's more, the country itself has enjoyed good fortune, never having been drawn into any sort of direct military conflict. To protect the clerics, a whole unit of personal guards has been formed - they're all women, of course, though. Their battle uniform is what we today would call a "leotard". The true effectiveness of female soldiers, however, is as of yet unproved.
Among those not employed as clerics or soldiers, agriculture has flourished, capitalizing on Troia's natural abundance. They have also met with success in raising chocobos, and a new type of chocobo has even been discovered on the outskirts of Troia. The great majority of Troia's income is derived from agricultural exports and tourism - not because Troia has any tourist attractions of particular note, but because the idea of a country composed only of women attracts men from all over the globe. The amount of money they drop in Troia is huge.
[Again, no surprises; just the normal, naturally-delineated Troia territory, plus the part of the island on which the Earth Cave is situated where it's forest and grass and not mountains.]
|~400 Years Ago||In the lands of Troia live the clerics who have long provided a link between the gods and the people. Many come to live in and around the nature of the region.|
|~300 Years Ago||Eight girls are born, the clerics' future successors. That year, it finally becomes so that absolutely no male children are born in Troia. The clerics, keeping a close watch on world affairs, formally establish Troia as a nation and begin militarization in order to protect the surrounding populace. An all-female personal guard unit is established.|
|The last male born in Troia passes away. Troia becomes a completely female country.|
|The eight sisters ascend to the position of clerics/clerical seats.|
|~100 Years Ago||A messenger from Baron comes to Troia; diplomatic relations are established.|
|A Troian traveler discovers a nest of chocobos.|
|Success with chocobo breeding. Chocobos are developed as a new mode of transportation. Through this, there is a rapid increase in visitors to Troia, which is instantly transformed into a tourist destination.|
Nation of Magic Mysidia
Sovereign: the Sage Minh [Note: the sage's name in raw katakana is "min'u" (mi-n-u, not mi-nu), which I originally translated as "Minuh". Afterward, however, I happened upon my Final Fantasy Art Museum 2 cards - specifically, the ones pertaining to FF2j, a game which, along with another mystical city named Mysidia, also features a magically-inclined character named "min'u". There, the fellow's name is spelled "Minh" in English letters. Now, the cards are not the most reliable sources when it comes to romanized spellings (one depicting a knight rushing forth with swords in hand is entitled "The Dashing Worrier"), but I've since found other sources which back this spelling up, so Minh it is.]
Area: 20,352 km² [about 7,858 sq. mi.]
Chief Industries: agriculture, fishing
The Country at the Center of Magical Culture Where Mystic Research Has Thrived Since the Days of Old
A country of mages founded by a "Minh", who drifted ashore about 500 years ago. The land is the center of both white and black magic culture. There are two ages in Mysidia's history - what are called the Old (Ancient) Age of Magic and the New Age of Magic.
At first, mastery of magic was nothing more than one of the benefits of spiritual training. Eventually, however, the mastery of magics that held great power and produced grand-scale effects came to be thought of as a status symbol among practitioners. Soon, this attitude sparked a private magical arms race. Disregarding their elders' words of warning, they searched for magics with greater and greater effects, concocting one spell after another devoid of the true spirit of magic. It finally came to the point where practitioners were casting magics beyond the limits of their abilities, whereupon the situation spun completely out of control. A great many magicians were hurt as a result. Enraged, the sage Minh sealed away all magic. With this, the fate of the Old Age of Magic was itself sealed.
Next to come was the New Age of Magic. Magic was eventually restored by Minh's voice from the heavens, and it became so that wizards could not master magic through their wills alone. The substance of the magic differs according to the magician upon whom it is bestowed, so each magician comes to possess different spells. As the ban [on magic] was lifted soon after the anger [Minh's anger, presumably] was quelled, magic research started up once more. But, in this age, research proceeds from the idea of expanding upon certain base magics.
[Mysidia owns the whole sprawling isle/continent upon which it is situated.]
|~500 Years Ago||A fishing boat drifts ashore on account of a storm. The captain forms a fishing village with himself as its chief.|
|Tsunamis inflict damage for two years running. Spiritual training begins, borne out of necessity for surviving the harsh natural environment.|
|At the end of his training, the captain's descendant [or offspring - the word used could be translated as either], Absalom, learns a magic, "Blizzard", that can freeze high waves. The nation enters the age of its development into a country of wizards.|
|The perfection of "Fire". The perfection of "Thunder" follows. What are commonly called the three great types of black magic are established. About this time, there are growing signs of training for the sake of magical development.|
|~200 Years Ago||Through a miscast "Thundara" by Eikob (subsequently called "The Warlock Fool"), a third of the town is vaporized. [Note: the Warlock Fool's name is "eikobu" is raw katakana; I can't find a correlating "actual" name (save for that of actor Atta Yaqub), so I'm just taking a personal stab at it. It could be "Eicob", "Akob", etc.] The Sage Minh seals away all magic and at the same time places a magical barrier across the entrance to the Mountain of Trial.|
|~150 Years Ago||Upon the attack of a giant tsunami, the voice of Minh suddenly rings out, and the tsunami is quelled. Afterward, many people receive revelations from Minh's voice in dreams or in times of crisis.|
|Revival of magic. Research into methods of spiritual training starts over from square one.|
Military Nation Eblana
Sovereign: King Geraldine
Area: 15,694 km² [about 6,059 sq. mi. Again, a little larger than Connecticut - see the entry for Fabul.
In total, the amount of land held by the Blue Planet's six aboveground nations amounts to 151,857 km², about 58,632 sq. mi. By comparison, England (just England, not the whole U.K.), takes up around 55,000 square miles. There is a goodly amount of land left unclaimed by the six nations - most of the Silveran islands, the island where Agart is, some of the island where the Dark Elf lives, an island east of Troia, Mist and its mountain pass, a lot of the shoreline and mountainous areas of the Baron-Troia-Damcyan continent - again, I wish I could fashion one solidified map to show everyone's land holdings at a glance. Even if we're generous, though, and up the total amount of land in the whole FF4 (aboveground) world to, say, 80,000 sq. mi., there still wouldn't be as much dry land on the entire surface of the Blue Planet as there is in, say, Kansas. Cain weighs 135 lbs., Palom and Porom are 5 years old, there are 6,550 people in the world's six aboveground countries combined, Kansas is bigger than the total amount of land on the entire planet - what is Square using, dog measurements?
Incidentally, for those of you wondering about the size of the Blue Planet - if we give it our own ratio of land-to-water surface area, about 1:2, and use my admittedly generous supposition about the total amount of land on the planet, we're left with an estimate of 240,000 sq. mi. total surface area. By contrast, Ceres, at this writing the smallest dwarf planet in our solar system, boasts about 1,219,000 sq. mi. surface area - about five times the Blue Planet. Would it be uncharitable to wonder if the Blue Planet indeed does have enough mass to pull itself into a sphere?]
Population: 150 [yes - one hundred and fifty]
Chief Industries: agriculture, mining
The Military Nation Which Developed the Ninja Arts and Assembled a Ninja Army
A peculiar nation situated in the center of the Eblana continent, consisting of nothing more than a castle. Its retainers have not any sort of comunity or settlement, each of them instead living separately and quietly.
Eblana has not any diplomatic relationships with any other nations until recent years. This is because the currents in the seas surrounding Eblana are extremely turbulent, making the continent impossible to approach by the other countries' ships. Eblana's own culture inevitably developed alone and independent of the influence of other countries. The martial art born from these isolationist conditions was ninjutsu. The first to take up ninjutsu was the then-head of the house of Geraldine, ruler of the southeast part of the island. Many legends about how he supposedly mastered ninjutsu linger on, but the truth remains shrouded in a veil of mystery. Using his expert command of ninjutsu, he proved the victor in power struggles against several warrior factions, and the country of Eblana was born. Mere warrior or not, Geraldine had seized power, and so the house of Geraldine even now holds the reins of royal power.
To fortify Eblana as a nation and consolidate its strength, Geraldine founded an army, the Eblana Army. The Eblana Army's upper echelon comprises a group of warriors known as "ninja", of which King Geraldine himself originally assumed command. Royal rule is passed on hereditarily, within a single family. The royal family passes on the secret arts of the ninja from generation to generation, and all of the country's soldiers have mastered the craft of ninjutsu. Fearing that the power of ninjutsu might be divulged to other countries, however, the king has decreed its secrets strictly off-limits to foreign eyes - and they have remained a family secret to this day.
[Eblana owns the entire island upon which it is situated, naturally.]
|~300 Years Ago||Scattered hunting outposts dot the mountains. Minor territory skirmishes occur repeatedly between them.|
|The influence of a number of villages controlled by certain warrior factions increases. The island is split into three parts. [Oh, goodie - they can make a Geraldine's Ambition game to go along with Waizz Landeel's.] The battle for supremacy heat up.|
|The clan ruling the northern part of the island and the faction ruling the southwestern region unite. They begin to put the squeeze on the tribe in command of the southeastern region, led by the house of Geraldine.|
|The then-head of the house of Geraldine disappears into the mountain range. About one month later, the chieftain suddenly returns, having learned the art of ninjutsu. The power of the chief's ninjutsu is overwhelming, and his influence is at once reestablished.|
|~100 Years Ago||Peace is established between both powers through the "Abel Peace Treaty". The country of Eblana is established two years afterward. The head of the house of Geraldine is installed in power. Out of fear of the power of ninjutsu leaking out to other countries, Geraldine makes ninjutsu a family secret.|
|Construction of Eblana Castle is completed.|
|Baronian airships land. This is Eblana's first direct contact with a foreign culture.|
Graphics for the SFC That Overflow with the Sense of Being There
High-quality graphics that take full advantage of the capabilities of the SFC. Scenes overflowing with realism and the sense of being there constantly unfolding before the player's eyes. The start of battles, towns and castles, and dungeons, scenes of flight - at every turn, the player is overwhelmed. Additionally, the depth of the story is naturally augmented by the detail with which the game's world is illustrated. Everyone will experience this FF world in a way different from any before.
Perfect Perpective to Boot
Caption [Rosa in...the Watery Pass, I think]: Inside caves, on mountain tops, and elsewhere, two layers of scrolling in the background express a distinct difference between high and low. The clear sense of near and far on display lends a real depth to the background.
Now More Three-Dimensional
Caption [contrast between FF3 village and FF4 village]: The graphics of the buildings and castles in town cast intricate shadows and appear more three-dimensional. Furthermore, fires flicker, clocks tick, and more - it all truly seems real.
Flight Screens Pack a Real Punch
Caption [contrast between FF3 airship screen and FF4 airship screen]: The airship in-flight screens have changed from a direct-overhead view to a slanted perspective. The scenery on the ground rushes toward you; the illusion is completely convincing.
Rapid Progress Achieved through the Discovery of the Art of Flotation
The history of vehicles is vast. Since long ago, people have cleverly used animals like chocobos and flying dragons as transportation; given the state of technology in early times, people purely and simply could not develop new vehicles with their own hands - and were not able to do so for a very long while.
Time soon passed, though, and it happened that a young man living in Baron discovered some ancient ruins. Through a single volume he found within, a revolution in transportation was achieved. This young man's name was Cid Pollendina.
Cid took several years to decipher the archive he found. He came to learn of the super-technology known as the "art of flotation". Cid, whose yearning for the skies was far stronger than any other human's, set about developing an aerial engine through combining the "art of flotation" with the aviation science he himself had engineered. After numerous failures, he succeeded in completing his engine. His dream finally made reality, an airship was born.
Initially, the engines were installed in existing ships, but the manufacturing techniques were refined when the airships began to be used for military purposes. But, with yet more research and development underway, even greater innovation in the field is anticipated.
[This page is a chart of all the different conveyances available, each entry connected by a series of arrows showing how each evolved from the other. There are two charts - a mini one on the side, with Chocobo-->Black Chocobo, and then one for the man-made vehicles - Cid's Airship-->Airship "Red Wing"-->both the Hover Ship and the Airship Enterprise. And from the Enterprise, there is an arrow down to an "?" (supposedly) mystery craft.]
Long used as a riding steed. Still widely used as an easy form of transportation.
A new type of chocobo recently discovered by the people of Troia. Able to fly with its unusually large wings.
The world's first airship, created by Cid. Brought about a revolution in transportation.
Airship "Red Wing"
Cid's airship modified and mass-produced. Outfitted not only with armaments but an improved engine.
A ship for overland travel developed by Damcyan with Baron's technological assistance. The influence of flotation technology is evident.
Equipped with a newly-developed engine. Cutting-edge technology; currently the most advanced airship.
There is still room for improvement in airship technology. The day upon which a new model will appear is perhaps not so far away...
A Vehicle Developed for Short-Distance Land Travel, Perfect for Everchanging Terrain
[Note: the vehicle's name is written as "hover ship", two words, in the book.]
A hovercraft owned by Gilbert, king of the nation of Damcyan that demarcates the Damcyan desert. Three propellers generate lift, and one great primary driving propeller allows the vehicle to travel off-road. It can smoothly and nimbly cross not only deserts that would otherwise snag and catch the feet but marshlands, rivers, lakes, and other terrain. It can seat up to six passengers, yet it still can travel at speeds other vehicles cannot match. Unfortunately, however, it cannot be used on the open seas, at it cannot generate lift upon the choppy waves. Also bad on fuel consumption. [Those Damcyan desert oil merchants, trying to get us all dependent on foreign oil through their gas-guzzling hover ships.]
Total Length: 8 m [about 26.25 ft.]
Total Width: 4.5 m [about 14.75 ft.]
Total Height: 2.3 m [about 7.55 ft.]
Optimum Power Output: 3 lift engines, 70 HP each; 1 propulsion engine, 55 HP
Top Speed: 60 km/h [about 37 mph]
Seating Capacity: 6 people
The Culmination of the Super-Technology of Baronian Legend, Cid's Legacy, the First Airship
The super-technology of old Baronian legend, the art of flotation, was deciphered by Cid from an ancient text. He combined the legendary flotation theory with his own aviation theory, and the first thing he developed from the results was this airship. Not only did the ship fulfill the dreams of those who yearned to fly the skies, but, with improvements and remodeling on the ships themselves, it has made great contributions to society in the areas of transportation, freight, and elsewhere. There was no reason, however, not to put such cutting-edge technology to work for military purposes, and therefore, despite Cid's protests, the king by royal proclamation formed an Airship Corps.
Total Length: 45.5 m [about 149.3 ft.]
Total Width: 12 m [about 39.4 ft.]
Total Height: 7 m [about 23 ft.] (to the top of the deck), 27 m [about 88.6 ft] (to the tips of the propeller masts)
Optimum Power Output: 1 main engine, 1100 HP
Top Speed: 40 knots [about 46 mph]
Passenger Space: used for transportation, 30 people; used for freight, 10 people
Battle-Class Airship Created for the Baron Airship Corps
The general-purpose airship developed by Cid modified for battle purposes. Used as the official craft of the country of Baron's "Red Wings" Airship Corps, it is a lighter airship in every respect due to the raw materials used in its construction, and it has been upgraded with combat in mind. It is equipped with six slots for air-to-surface cannons and newly features three propulsion sub-engines for precise maneuvering. The aft propellers have also been powered up, drastically raising top speeds, increasing acceleration, and decreasing transit times.
Mass-Produced Red Wing Airship
Total Length: 46 m [about 151 ft.]
Total Width: 17 m [about 55.8 ft.]
Total Height: 7 m [about 23 ft.] (to the top of the deck), 27 m [about 88.6 ft.] (to the tips of the propeller masts)
Optimum Power Output: 1 main engine, 1300 HP; 3 sub-engines, 180 HP each
Top Speed: 55 knots [about 63 mph]
Passenger Space: 8 people
Armaments: slots for 6 air-to-land cannons
Caption [a fancily-drawn red wing with a green round jewel near its base]: official emblem of the Red Wings
The Brand-New Airship Created by the Tireless Cid
Cid marshalled all the advanced technology at his command to create this, his newest airship. From its engine to its chassis, it is the product of new trials and experimentation. Compared to previous models, the mass of the engine alone has been successfully reduced by approximately 80%. The optimum power output has also been raised by 30%. As for aerodynamics, its air resistance has been reduced to shockingly low levels, with a drag coefficient of 0.05-0.09. The ship so abounds with ultramodern technology that it absolutely requires Cid's personal attention - it cannot be mass-produced like the Red Wings.
Enterprise, the Swiftest Airship
Total Length: 55.5m [about 181.1 ft.]
Total Width: 17 m [about 55.8 ft.]
Total Height: 8 m [about 26.25 ft] (to the top of the deck), 27 m [about 88.6 ft.] (to the top of the propellers)
Optimum Power Output: 1 main engine, 1100 HP; 4 sub-engines, 180 HP each
Top Speed: 70 knots [about 81 mph]
Passenger Space: 8 people
Armaments: slots for 12 air-to-surface cannons
A New Species Discovered of the Chocobo, the World's Fleetest of Foot
Riding on the back of a chocobo, you can double your speed of overland travel and avoid enemy attacks. We are all well-acquainted with chocobos that run overland, but here a new species, the Black Chocobo, has been discovered. And what a find: a species capable not only of overland travel but also aerial travel - flight, in other words. It is basically capable of carrying 1 adult passenger (or two children). It can suposedly support two adults if there's no helping it, but the chocobo probably doesn't like it.
Total Length: approx. 180 cm [about 5'11"]
Total Width: approx. 110 cm [about 3'7"]
Total Height: approx. 170 cm [about 5'7"]
Optimum Power Output: approx. 3 HP
Top Speed: approx. 30 km/h [about 19 mph] (air travel time)
Seating Capacity: at most 2 people
Total Length: approx. 190 cm [about 6'3"]
Total Width: approx. 120 cm [about 3'11"]
Total Height: approx. 180 cm [about 5'11"]
Optimum Power Output: approx. 1.5 HP
Top Speed: approx. 35 km/h [about 22 mph]
Seating Capacity: at most 2 people
A Cavalcade of Varied Vehicles
FF vehicles are typified by the airship. Each and every time a new type of vehicle appears, it makes the adventure more enjoyable and less of a hassle. This game is no exception; many different vehicles are introduced to fulfill player expectations. There are, of course, vehicles heretofore unseen, and even the beloved airship gets some power-ups. Several types of vehicles await the player - and they can even evolve in the course of the game itself.
Caption [the Hover Ship moving over the shoals]: The "Hover Ship", making its debut. It can smoothly glide not only over land but the shoals as well.
New Species of the Beloved Chocobo Debut!
New species of the on-the-go chocobo are introduced - not only as transportation, but as storage units. One is the Black Chocobo, which can be used as a vehicle. Another is the White Chocobo, which can recover the party's MP. Both species live together happily with the other chocobos in the chocobo forests. In the depths of these forests live Fat Chocobos, which appear when you use Gisarl's Vegetables.
Airborne Black Chocobo
Caption [black chocobo in flight]: It can fly, but only at low altitudes, so it can't fly over mountains.
MP-Recovering White Chocobo
Caption [Rosa with white chocobo]: Stand before the White Chocobo and press the A button, and your MP will be instantly refilled.
Demons That Lie in Wait along the Adventure
This is a world where powerful monsters will attack you one after another. It is essential to have a thorough knowledge of the special characteristics of each before engaging them. The monsters' attack patterns are wide and varied; some specialize in offensive magic, others attack with brute force, etc. There are three types of monsters - monsters summoned from the Illusionary World through Rydia's powers, boss monsters, and the small-fry monsters which infest every corner of the globe. Here we will introduce the special characteristics of a representative sampling of boss monsters and small-fry monsters.
A frequently-encountered monster that lives all throughout the world, a dragon that has huge wings. It freewheels about the sky, then swoops down on its enemies. Marked by its pure red body, its strongest weapon is its fire breath, and so it is popularly called - and feared as - the "fire dragon" in many parts of the world due to its alleged ability to command fire.
A giant antlion that inhabits the vast Damcyan desert. Its sharp, giant pincers have the power to crush even rocks. It usually dwells deep under the sand, keeping to itself and seldom doing humans any harm. Once angered, however, it becomes uncontrollably crazy and violent. It is said to be able to sink one or two villages beneath the sands in the space of a single night.
Whenever this monster takes damage, its body swells right up like a blimp, growing ever larger. Once it gets so huge that it just about blots out the sky, it suddenly sets off a giant explosion. From within its body are then born several little bombs, multiplying the monster's attack power. Like the Mother Bomb, receiving damage causes these bombs' bodies to swell up and explode, dealing great damage to the enemy.
A mystic female dragon. Its attacks are extremely intense, from its many types of breath to its direct attacks that make full use of its tail. [Note: the adjective used here, "tasai", could mean either "different and varied" or "multicolored". I originally went with the latter but have switched it to the former; now that I think of it, though, I don't remember this boss using its breath for any of its dang attacks.] In particular, the destructive power of its tail, when swung with all its might, is said to be able to level an entire mountain in a single blow.
A crazed octopus that has settled in the city sewers. It is no ordinary cephalopod; its internal equilibrium has been upset from a chemical reaction to the sewage, and it has grown to a humongous size. Marked by its venomous hues; also has a hard and sharply-pointed head with which it can pierce enemies. Usually, it will entwine its enemies in its tentacles and their powerful suckers, squeezing the prey to death.
A species of dragon that walks on all fours. It does indeed boast the wings for which dragons are known, but they have degenerated over time and are now wholly vestigial, with no use other than intimidation. Also known largely by the bilious patterns on its body.
Rank-and-file soldier of the martial nation of Baron. An expert in combat, he has received military training since early youth; the method of fighting he so learns enables him to dispense with jobs with complete calm and utmost precision, to the letter of his orders. Though he can engage wild beasts larger than himself, he has the ability to instantly bring an end to the affair by cleaving his foe in half with a single stroke of his sword.
An insane female mage chased out of the country of mages who is incapable of mastering anything but attack magic. She attacks travelers on their way to foreign lands for trade and steals their valuables and jewels. Her magic power is several levels above male magicians, perhaps because she has a particularly tenacious nature due to being a woman. [Possible Sexism Alert (though I guess it is either way, isn't it?): the word used here, "shuujakushin", can also mean "obsessive".] She appears to be a young woman at first glance, but she uses a rejuvenating magic to camouflage her decrepit body.
[A tip of the hat to Daz, who alerted me to the true romanization of this monster's name, taken from that of a Slavic woodland spirit (alternatively spelled "Leszi"). Online sources typically describe Leshy as hairy males, though this wouldn't be the first time Japanese media recast something completely unrelated to sexuality as a nubile young woman.]
A half-physical, half-discorporeal being with the upper half of a long-haired woman and a lower half of ectoplasm. Essentially lacking an actual body of its own, it gains the ability to attack by possessing the corpses of young women. Even if its corpse is destroyed through direct attack, having lost only its physical body, the Leshy will simply go and possess a different corpse. It maintains its existence in this world by siphoning the life force of its enemies; those killed by the Leshy are themselves revived as new spectres.
A living-door monster. At once a trap and a monster. The victim thinks it just an ordinary door and tries to enter - whereupon the door slams shut and hurls its victim into another dimension. You might think it just an ordinary door Once one lets one's guard down and, thinking it an ordinary door, tries to enter, the door suddenly slams firmly shut, and its victim is thrown into another dimension. The victim is then absorbed right down to his very soul. Assault Doors lie in wait in pivotal points and places where people are likely to pass by, such as mansions or residences. Will not stop advancing on its prey until defeated.
Equipment for Getting through the Battle. Find out How to Use It Effectively.
Items for attacking, for defense, for recovery, and those necessary to advance the tale - all have many different characteristics. If you're not aware of each item's intended use, then you obviously won't have half the fun the unobstructed unabridged game has to offer. While there are also items familiar to us from elsewhere in the series, we will focus here on introducing the never-before-seen items which are making their debuts in IV. Wouldn't it be wiser to read this through in order to learn to use them effectively rather than relying on intuition and scraps of incomplete knowledge?
Mallet of Luck
[Note: this mallet, the Uchide no Kozuchi, is a mythological reference - it's carried by Daikoku, one of the seven Japanese gods of good luck. Daikoku is the god of material wealth, and one whap of the mallet can produce any material goods a person wishes for. I don't exactly see what that has to do with the mallet's use in FF4, though one source I looked up did mention that Daikoku's mallet is sometimes said to be able to grant any wishes made by children specifically, material or not, so perhaps there was some odd extrapolation concerning the wishes of temporarily-small people that went on in the programmers' minds.]
Possesses the power to return comrades who've been shrunk by enemies' Minimum spells to normal. You could say it jumped right out of the pages of the legend of Issun-boushi. (Issun-boushi is a Tom Thumb-like character from Japanese fairy tales who is eventually brought to normal size thanks to a similar mallet.)
An item which returns those transformed into pigs by Porky magic back to their original states. Despite the sarcastic name, Diet Food is an indispensable item. [Note: I really have to say that the illustration of this item seems strikingly out-of-place in the FF4 world. The diet food consists of half-dark-colored, half-white capsules in a sleek clear plastic box with one corner which neatly opens and closes for dispensing. The label text is in computer-ish-type, and the item just looks very Phantasy Star-ish.]
An herb said to be found at the summit of a mountain untread upon by human feet. For use when one's spells are sealed away by the magic of silence, Silece.
A compound medicine formed through a delicate balance between innumerable herbs and medicines. It has healing powers encompassing everything ranging from recovery of physical strength to removal of petrification to even revival from death. Has the same effect as Esuna.
Attack item composed of the gathered debris of meteorites. The effectiveness of the Meteo produced by attacking with the debris is a bit weakened - the equivalent of a Petit Meteo. [Note: there's a clause modifying "the debris of meteorites" at the start of the first sentence - "uchuu no shu (or oojika) to natta" - that for the life of me I can't translate. "Uchuu" means "space", "no" is a possessive particle, "natta" is the past tense of the verb "to become", and "shu" (or "oojika"), which uses an apparently rare-to-the-point-of-archaic kanji, means either a moose, elk, reindeer, large stag, or a whisk used by a priest made from the hair of such animals. Therefore, the clause would read something like "the debris of meteorites which has become a space reindeer" - or, alternatively, "the debris of meteorites which has become a whisk made from the hair of a reindeer". -_-;; I've looked in dictionaries, on the Japanese web, and other resources to see if this is an idiom or otherwise, and I've hit nada. Obviously, I can't fathom what idea this phrase would represent. The only thing I can think of is that they slipped up and made a typo. If anybody has any insight into this, please e-mail me.]
Hourglass that can control time for a brief while. Stops time around the target area so that one can avoid enemy attacks. Has the same effect of the magic Stop.
An item that houses one's soul and, as such, becomes a doll-substitute for oneself, absorbing all enemy attacks for you. Similar to the white magic Blink.
A curtain that glitters with the soft glow of moonlight. Wrap yourself in this, and it can reflect both the enemy's magical and special attacks.
An item consisting of a lattice of photons knitted together in a special way. Used to make enemy magic bounce back in battle. Effectively the same as the white magic Reflec.
[Note: "dorai" does indeed mean "dry", but I'm thinking it might mean a homonym instead here. The item is pictured in a glass oval chemistry beaker with a titration valve, and the name of some piece of chemistry equipment is tugging at the back of my mind, but I can't quite place it.]
Recovers magic power consumed in battle and elsewhere. A medicine that surpasses the effects of Ether, as a High Potion does a Potion; it is an indispensable necessity for long journeys.
[Tip of the hat #2 to Daz for the proper name.]
Whisker taken from the corpse of a Kuarl monster. Same as the black magic Death, possesses the profound power of sending all monsters, save for the undead, to their demise.
Fang taken from a dragon that breathes fierce flames. When thrown, packs as much punch as the flames breathed by the dragon.
Fang snatched from a dragon that breathes cold breath. Same as with the Red Fang, deals the same damage to the opponent at which it is thrown as would enveloping them in the dragon's freezing breath.
Fang from a dragon that attacks with blizzard-like breath. Same as with the others, produces the same effect that would delivering damage with snow-breath.
The ultimate medicine, developed to surpass even the effects of Ether. Completely recovers both HP and MP.
Enables one to know a monster's HP and maximum HP. Has the same effect as the white magic Rivra, which allows you to intuit the characteristics of the enemies you're fighting.
Sandals of Hermes
Light, durable footwear created by skilled craftsmen. Wearing them enables you to move more quickly, doubling your attack power. Have the same effect as Haste.
Chant a spell with this in hand, and you'll be able to siphon away a certain amount of the targeted opponent's MP. Has the same effect as the black magic Aspir.
Flinging this at your enemy affects their nervous system and hampers their ability to move. Has the same effect as the white magic Slow.
A tail feather dropped by the undying Phoenix; it emits a strange glow. As an item, it will, just like the white magic Raise, will revive those slain in battle.
A holy crucifix that has passed between the hands of countless priests. When pressed to the forehead of the accursed, it can disperse any and all evil power.
Wrath of the Gods
The wrath of the gods of the heavens above concentrated into and sealed within a single idol. When raised before the enemy you're attacking, it unleashes lightning like that of Thundaga.
Medicine that returns those transformed into frogs by Toad or such to their original forms. Made from the morning dew from the plants that grow on mountaintops. Its name is taken from the legend of curses being lifted by a beautiful girl's kiss.
An herbal compound, the most popular medicine for the recovery of physical strength. Can restore HP lost in battle, but only by a limited amount.
Medicine whose restorative powers surpass even those of High Potion. The potion is manufactured by adding the antibiotics penicillin and streptomycin to the herbs while they are being grown. [I was going to make fun of this concept - even correcting my previous mistranslation, it still seems outlandish - but former pharmacy tech Naflign informs me that it would be possible for the mold used in the antibiotics to have some sort of symbiotic relationship with a certain plant, and that it wouldn't be that outlandish for even a relatively primitive culture such as FF4's to come up with a rudimentary penicillin or streptomycin. Well...okay then. ...All right. ...Fine. ...... ::cautious glower::]
For use when someone has fallen into a deep sleep through such means as the black magic Slepul. Can send an awakening stimulus directly from one's auditory system to the brain cells.
Wrath of Zeus
The power of the wrath of Zeus, highest among the gods of the heavens, sealed into an idol of Zeus by a high and noble wizard. Attacks enemies with lightning, the same as Thundara.
Bell of Silence
One peal of this bell will seal away magic-using enemies' spells. Possesses the same effect as the white magic Silece; particularly effective against enemies who've mastered black magics.
One sip of this wine will turn anyone into a berserker. Will increase one's attack power, but lowers one's powers of evasion. Effectively the same as the white magic Berserk.
A grown unicorn holds many secret and mysterious powers. When used in battle, this horn will heal all status changes.
Bomb's Right Arm
Contains the mummified right hand of an exploded Bomb monster. [Note: the representation of this item shows it as a small, coffin-like container with a raised carving of a hand on top.] When thrown at enemy targets, it unleashes flames with the same destructive powers as the black magic Firaga.
Item composed of gathered fragments of a Bomb that has blown itself to bits. When thrown at the enemy like a grenade, it emits flames, same as Firara.
A Grand Tale in Which Intertwine Characters and the Backdrop of Their Countries
The characters' childhoods and the connections between their fellow countrymen combine to form a single grandiose tale. All sorts of events take place, one after another, as well as comrades' rencontres and their departures. Many different and varied occurrences await the heroes on their way. To its advantage, the story unfolds at a breathless pace, and the player is at once drawn in; it makes the game feel just like a epic movie.
Caption [a Baronian villager talking to Cecil: "Cecil of the Red Wings! If you're looking for Mist Valley, it's at the other end of the northern cave."]: The unfolding of the eventful story will surely never leave the player unsatisfied.
High-Quality Sound Born of the SFC's Capabilities
At times, music can influence a game itself for better or worse. In RPGs, which use music like sound effects in a theatrical production, its role is particularly crucial. Through the high-quality sound afforded by the SFC, which means sampling sound sources and stereo sound, FFIV's music proves to be another towering accomplishment. Right from the opening theme, if you listen to and compare the series's standard songs, the difference should become clear.
Caption [Cecil aboard the Red Wing airship in the opening]: The sheer amount of music, each piece exquisite and perfectly matched to the scene it accompanies, further enlivens the story.
The Settings Can Reflect the Player's Preferences
Interface here means the operating environment. All the little considerations taken here are evident in the interface and how easier it makes the game to play in even the smallest ways. Through the configuration function, the settings can be adjusted to reflect the player's preferences, becoming a truly user-friendly system. Three types of options have been newly prepared in conjunction with the adoption of the ATB system. The settings can be adjusted to correspond to the player's level [of skill, I guess].
Caption [Config screen]: Configuration screen layout. You can even adjust the color through the three basic colors, R (red), G (green), and B (blue).
Caption [Customize screen]: You can reassign the functions of the controller buttons to make the game easier for you yourself to use.
Caption [Multi-Player screen, assigning the party members to either controller 1 or 2]: You can make battles multi-player using a second controller.
Lots of Innovation in Even How Windows Open
The menu screens are important sources of information, since they inform you of your party's status. We have also concentrated on innovations in the positioning of windows, taking great consideration to display them so that they are as easy to understand as possible. The way each window opens when a selection is chosen is unique. One could say that this is yet another thing only the SFC could handle. Even the tiniest areas are elaborate affairs.
Caption [status menu]: The menu screens make the most minute essential information understandable at a glance. Upon choosing one of the eight command options lined up at the right of the screen, one accesses further detailed information and can take a number of actions from there.
Caption [Rosa's white magic screen]: When you choose a command, the window moves while expanding or contracting. This movement varies according to the command. But it never makes the window hard to see.
A long time passed...
Upon this world, which had come to preserve this delicate balance,
new changes began to emerge.
And so, as if set in motion by an unseen force,
young people concealing strong wills
begin to be swept up in the maelstrom of the new age dawning.
The crystals simply and silently
waited for their time to shine...