Final Fantasy XII remaster to get International version features

There’s much to celebrate among fans of the Final Fantasy game franchise. Final Fantasy XV looks to be in tip-top shape, the Final Fantasy VII remake is being worked on, and Final Fantasy XII is getting a crisp remaster.

Here’s what we learned from our interview with director Takashi Katano and producer Hiroaki Kato regarding Final Fantasy XII's remaster, subtitled The Zodiac Age.

It's been in the works for some time now

Talks for the remaster of Final Fantasy XII have been going on for a long while now. It was apparently only a matter of timing.

Katano confessed that "discussions for working on the HD remaster of Final Fantasy XII have been in the works for some time now, but one of the conditions for that was to have the core members of the development team from the original game to come together and also took a little bit longer to adjust everyone's schedule because there were different assignments. But this time around we finally got everyone to come together."

Katano also stated that the release and success of the Final Fantasy X remaster gave them the encouragement and push they needed to follow through with their plan to remaster FFXII.

Improved sounds and visuals

As with every HD remaster, FFXII: The Zodiac Age will retain the look and feel of all its visual elements with the finer details such as textures and skins being given a more realistic upgrade.

The sounds and background music of FFXII: The Zodiac Age will also be enhanced to fit the remaster.

While the original PS2 version offered a “semi-quasi surround sound” with the technology they had in the past, the remastered game will have full surround sound in terms of its effects and music to give players a more immersive experience.

If you were concerned about which picking a particular version to buy because of the voice acting and language, you no longer need to worry. The Zodiac Age will include both English and Japanese voice acting options in a single version.

Katano also revealed that the original composer of the game, Hitoshi Sakamoto has also returned to rerecord the iconic music of Final Fantasy XII. You can switch between the original score and remastered score anytime in the game.

Overhauled difficulty and reintroduced systems

There were several gameplay changes that Katano and his team made for the remastered version of FFXII. Some of these came from player feedback, while others came from the introduction of gameplay features that used to be unavailable for the western version of the game.

When FFXII was first released many players had an issue with the game being too challenging compared to previous Final Fantasy games. This will be changed in the remaster according to Katano.

"We actually got some feedback regarding the original version of Final Fantasy XII about the battle being a little bit on the difficult side. So based on that feedback we actually overhauled the entire game balance,” Katano said.

The Job System for the License Board will be reintroduced in order to make things a little more challenging and exciting for players.

While the Job System has been available for the International Zodiac Job System version of the game, the system has never been available for those playing the western version of the game.

“In the original Final Fantasy XII there was a License Board that applied for all the characters. But once you advance enough with that system everybody became really strong and they became like superman,” Katano explained.

“So to make it more interesting and challenging as a game, we're introducing the Job System where you can assign one job per character. So there is a License Board with every Job so part of the enjoyment that the player gets would be from choosing which job for which character and having the right combination in your party,” he added.

The remaster will also have a mode which was only available on the international version of FFXII, called The Trial. For those who haven't heard of it., the Trial mode existed to challenge gamers and to test their character’s status and items. “You'll actually use your player data from the main part of the game and it tests you how far you can go through the 100 stages,” Katano explained.

Trial mode consisted of 100 levels to make things more challenging for the players. In Trial mode, players were not allowed to check the shop to purchase items so they had to be fully prepared. You can also only save after every 10th level.

“Gotta Go Fast” in Ivalice

Things will also be faster in the world of Zodiac Age. Katano’s team has introduced High Speed mode, a way to fast forward your movements in the game so you can get around Ivalice quicker. This high speed function can either be twice the speed or four times the speed of your regular movement.

Players can switch between these modes at the press of a button. The game will also incorporate shorter loading times and an auto-save mode for convenience. 

Are you excited for FFXII: The Zodiac Age? Let us know in the comments! –