Final Fantasy XII Unveiled
11.13.03 - 3:56 AM

Just six days before the official presentation, first screens and the logo of Final Fantasy XII for PlayStation 2 have surfaced in Japan. The two main characters shown in the screens are called Vaan (male) and Ashe (female). Also visible are series trademarks such as chocobos and airships.

Final Fantasy XII will be officially unveiled during an event in Tokyo on November 19th.

UPDATE - November 19th:

Since the game has been officially unveiled in Roppingi Hills, we now have for you some real screenshots so you can take a closer look as well as a few pieces of art. In addition, we have a whole chunk of new information to be digested:

The game's world should be familiar to fans of Final Fantasy Tactics, as Final Fantasy XII takes place in Ivalice. For years the two kingdoms of Arcadia and Rosaria have been fighting against each other in a bitter struggle. Located in a strategically important corridor between the two powers is the small kingdom of Dalmaska. Arcadia's invasion of the kingdom prompts its princess Ashe to join forces with the resistance. As previously reported the game's two main characters will be Vaan and Ashe. The former is an optimistic and bright young man yielding from the ancient kingdom of Dalmaska, which has fallen under the control of the Empire. Due to the unsatisfactory conditions there, he has cut his ties with relatives there, seeking his very own personal freedom. As an adventurer, he dreams of being able to command an airship someday. Ashe is the sole daughter of the king of Dalmaska and hence the legitimate heiress to the throne. Following the invasion of her country, she becomes the leader of the resistance against the Empire. During a wild pursuit, she loses one companion after the other. Despite her desperate situation, she still hasn't lost the pride of a princess. In this situation she meets Vaan, and before long loses her heart to him. Thus their joint adventure begins.

In addition, in the most recent issue of Weekly Famitsu, Hideo Minaba and Akihiko Yoshida, Final Fantasy XII's art director and character designer respectively spoke about their new project. The game's main colors will be orange and blue. Because of Damascal's high temperatures, the characters' exposure will be pretty high. Regarding the logo, it was revealed that it illustrates the ruling power of Ivalice and was drawn with a judge in mind. The previously mentioned connection point to Final Fantasy Tactics Advance are the various races such as the Bangaa, seen in the first screenshots. Ashe received her sword from a yet-to-be-unveiled youth. The thing Vaan is carrying in his hand is apparently called a staff root, even though the duo did not offer any explanation of that term. Chocobos will still serve as a means of transportation, but Minaba and Yoshida declined to comment on another trademark of the series, summons as well as the battle system.

Final Fantasy XII is currently about 70% complete and has a Japanese release date of summer 2004.

Chris Winkler