Ultimate Guide to Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age for Nintendo Switch

Sq.Enix art ffxii zodiac age
Sq.Enix art ffxii zodiac age (Image credit: Square Enix)

On April 30, 2019, Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age (FFXII) released to the Nintendo Switch. The original release to this game was March 16, 2006, which was over a decade ago. The graphics and gameplay have been enhanced for every long-term fan to enjoy if you're looking for a bit of nostalgia. If you're wondering what improvements have been made, what this series is about, or if you should buy FFXII then you've come to the right place.

Here's everything you need to know about Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age for the Nintendo Switch!

What is Final Fantasy?

The world of Final Fantasy takes place in a land fueled by magic, ancient beliefs, and a constant re-creation of war. There are crystals scattered across the world, said to contain the planet's life force, which gives magic the ability to exist. Welcome to where magic is real but something really bad exists to oppose it.

FFxii Screen shot characters

FFxii Screen shot characters (Image credit: Square Enix)

Because where there is power there will always be a dark force attempting to claim it for themselves.

The Final Fantasy series is seemingly never-ending, but it's always captivating in its own right. Each game serves as a new chapter that continues the tradition of good vs evil. There is always a group of heroes with their own sort of talent or magical power that band together to take out some large, sometimes ancient, force that's threatening their way of life.

The games are never just a journey of good versus evil but are also one of personal reflection. Every character has their own set of hardships, which you learn as the story progresses— and every one of them will be broken somehow and forced to either come out better than before or end up dead.

What kind of gameplay is it?

Final Fantasy XII plays from a third-person perspective in an open-world RPG. You have the ability to interact with most of the environment around you and control the camera with one of your analog sticks. Movement options include walking by foot, riding a Chocobo, teleportation from Save Crystals, or flying in an airship.

When it comes to fighting, you'll be using a timed, but free-form, combat style. That means after every strike you make there is a cooldown period before you're able to make your next attack, but you are able to walk freely throughout combat.

You can also open your menu to change between Attack, Magicks & Technicks, Mist, Gambits, or use your items.

What are Magicks & Technicks?

It almost speaks for itself. These are the types of base magic you are able to use in FFXII. There are five types of magic you can harness including Arcane, Black, Green, Time, and White magic. Technicks are the skills you unlock through those categories. There are 21 different types of Technicks in the game that range from abilities like rendering foes vulnerable to an element or casting random Black magic against an enemy.

What is Mist?

This is the source of magic in Lvalice, the region in which FFXII takes place, and fuels all the living things of the planet. Those who can harness the power of the Mist are capable of doing extraordinary things beyond what Magicks and Technicks can do. Unlocking your abilities with Mist grants you the means to recover MP faster, summon allies, "Quickening" (chaining button commands in order to chain multiple characters' attacks), and so much more.

What are Gambits?

Gambits are your ability to control your party members. Each Gambit has a series of commands or scenarios for your friends to help you in combat. You can unlock more Gambits in the License Boards, but you'll start with two from the beginning of the game. There are a decent amount of players I know who never touched this system, but it's another way to control and harness your strategies for battle.

In this remastered copy of the game, you'll be able to create and use three unique sets to switch between, as opposed to one.

What has been improved?

FFxii job system image

FFxii job system image (Image credit: Square Enix)

The Zodiac Job system is the system that controls your characters' classes with 12 different possibilities. In the older editions of Final Fantasy, you were only able to choose one class between your six character choices. In the remastered edition, you can assign your character two classes. Not only does that mean you have to do fewer playthroughs to get the full experience of the game, but it also means you can experiment with mixing the arch-types!

FFxii Thumbnail

FFxii Thumbnail (Image credit: Square Enix)

What better way to celebrate a remastered edition of Final Fantasy then with a completely re-orchestrated soundtrack?

The music that comes from the FF series has always been hauntingly beautiful. Of course, some people will prefer to listen to the original soundtrack for nostalgic purposes. That's okay! When you boot up the remastered edition of FFXII there's an option in the menu for you to decide which soundtrack will play during your game time!

Not much has changed in terms of the mechanical gameplay of the remastered edition, but the overall performance and graphics quality received quite the upgrade. The small improvements also include adding an auto-save feature and shortening the loading times.

A New Game+ system has been added to allow players to continue their adventure without losing some of the items they have worked so hard to obtain. Certain items like weapons, magic and gil obtained during previous playthroughs will carry over to New Game+ where your party members will be level 90.

Kelly Peirce