Final Fantasy XII Re-Release Solves the Job Crisis
Final Fantasy XII returns in 2017 in its re-master title Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age to PlayStation 4, Sony announced yesterday. This newest iteration sees a return to the land of Ivalice and the characters that fans grew to love in the original release, including the protagonist and aspirant sky pirate Vaan and the infamous Balthier.
Unlike in its initial international release, the international release of Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age brings with it the Zodiac Job System that was only available to those who had the Japanese release of the original game.
In the original international release of Final Fantasy XII, the levelling system was known as the ‘License Board’. Invented by the game’s director Hiroyuki Ito, the ‘License Board’ system utilized a black and white chequered board with hundreds of squares each denoting an ability, spell, augment or equipment piece. Like in most games defeating enemies earns License Points (the game’s term for experience) which can be spent to unlock new abilities from one of the squares on the board.
The ‘License Board’ was not a standard square and appeared different depending on the version of the game. One of the main features of the ‘License Board’ were the Quickening and Summon squares. Although these squares originally appear on all character’s boards these squares can only be taken by one character and, once taken, are removed from all other character’s boards.
With the Zodiac Job System, these licences remain largely the same, with a few structural changes. The main difference brought about by the ZJS is the introduction of character classes. When a character joins the party the player may assign them one of 12 classes, each represented by one of the Zodiac signs.
The problem with the previous release of this system in Japan was that more than one character can be assigned a class and be able to buy licenses from the classes license board, but this would not be advised as some of the sections of the classes were separated by a summon square which could only be taken by one character and therefore would lock any other character out of taking any ability or skill beyond that square. Whether this has been fixed in the new international release is a matter that remains to be seen.
Many fans have wanted the Japan only Job System since the original release, so much so that there was an unofficial patch that could be downloaded to emulate the unique levelling system. With the new international release of Final Fantasy XII including the system along with updated graphics, a newly recorded soundtrack, shortened load times and an all-around polish the game should see a great number of sales. With the release of Final Fantasy XV in September this year, the re-release of such a well-loved title in the franchise will see both old fans and new fans brought into the award-winning game series with its newest release clamouring for a copy.