Ignorant Dotard Translation Alert!:
The document you are about to read is olllllld. Before today (December
15th, 2005), it hadn't been touched for about three years, sitting in
my hard drive awaiting its final touches while I became deluged with
real-life problems. With the U.S. release of FFIV Advance, though, I'm
in a what-the-hell mood, so here's the translation, warts and all.
It still needs a final rewrite to rid it of its remaining stiltedness, and certain proper nouns probably aren't in line with the current official Square translation. Most of the extra-info hyperlinks are probably outdated and dead. Unfortunately, my copy of the actual FFIV Compendium is currently packed away, and I'm loathe to do any major rewrites without being able to refer to the source text. Until I get another copy and my lamentably packed schedule clears, the current rough draft will have to do. (The eventual rewrite will be posted at http://home.att.net/~RCgamusic/ff4comp.htm .) Just please keep the above disclaimer in mind while reading.
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 Shuu 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 doesn't seem to be as 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, are the creators of the Phantasy Star and Lunar series, who include 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. (Hmmm. Perhaps I should check out the big Final Fantasy Collection books.)
Anyhow, important notes before you get started:
Long, long ago...
a great light appeared in the sky.
It bathed the earth below in its warm luminance
and then disappeared for parts unknown.
Afterwards, four small lights remained
and a new planet was born in the heavens.
An evil will yet reached out for Earth,
but it remained sealed away by a strong power.
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
Evolution of the Conveyances - 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
Repeated Reunions and Separations Centered around Three Young People
The heart of the drama is shaped by Cecil, Cain, and Rosa, three young people living in the kingdom of Baron. Though they are Baronian soldiers, they are drawn into a trap while following the orders of Baron's military expansion-obsessed king and decide to leave the country.
Many different people await them along their journey - people who perhaps will become their comrades and lend their strength to their cause. Their travels will be fraught with sorrowful partings and dreadful encounters. 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 repairman) <-> Cecil (Dark Knight): like a foster father-son relationship
Cecil <-> Yang (leader of the monks): comrades
Cecil <-> Palom & Porom (mages): concern; 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): concern
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: fond thoughts
Edge -> Rydia: vague affection, eventually
Rosa <-> Rydia: teacher-pupil relationship, eventually
Tella <-> Rydia: teacher-pupil relationship, eventually
Tella <-> Anna: father & daughter
Rosa -> Cecil: fond thoughts
The Mysterious Young Man Who Possesses Unsurpassable Skills in Swordsmanship and Airship Navigation
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 highest
position of power in Baron, and Cecil stands at its pinnacle; still,
though, he wants for the warmth of human trust.
Cecil began as a lowly battalion commander in the Baronian infantry. In recognition of his talent and skills, however, he was made a Dark Knight, and then appointed the first commander of the 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 with Their Own Life Force and the Powers of Darkness
The mightiest division of the Baronian Army - and one of the divisions the rank-and-file soldiers look up to 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. Nevertheless, many try out each year, but very few are chosen due to the high requirements for swordsmanship and combat abilities. 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.]
Blades Unwieldable by Anyone but Dark Knights
Wicked swords instilled with self-destructive "negative energy". If someone unschooled in negative energy themselves wields one, the negative energy seizes control of their heart and strikes them with insanity. None but a Dark Knight can wield these secret swords.
To tap into their greatest power, one must combine one's life force with the power of the sword, releasing an external negative energy with which 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 until the proper time. Its bat-wing hilt is probably also reflective of that.
The Solitary, Gentle-Souled Dragon Knight Whose Heart Lies 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 start of a long
Cain's parents died when he was young. Since his father was a particularly active and vigilant captain in those days, rumors flew about 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 nonetheless.
The corps member who eventually saved the dragon who had grown weak was Cain. Due to his great ability to connect with dragons, Cain was appointed captain of the Dragon Knight Corps.
Pedigreed Masters of Dragons Who Take Great Pride in Their Heritage
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, but since the process takes at least about fifteen years, positions within the corps are hereditary. Moreover, since dragon breeding is no longer considered beneficial or necessary to the country, 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 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.]
Long-handled, harpoon-like weapons 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; the long range of lances, however, is favored for the particulars of aerial combat astride a dragon. This's the primary reason why only Dragon Knights have use for lances.
It's said that the wind is the best friend of those who make the skies their battlefield. Therefore, the Dragon Knights are very 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; the spear still has the power to call forth his spirit at times. The spear is greatly effective against dragons.
A Girl Who Conceals Her Emotions but Harbors Fires within Her 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 much as
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 thought of as 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 friendly with all the members of Rosa's family, and Rosa, who also lost her father when she was young, deeply sympathizes with Cain.
Rosa enrolled in the newly-established White Mage Corps, but even this action was prompted by her desire to be close to Cecil. Not much is said of her true powers in white magic at this point.
Experts on White Magic, Heightening and Using 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 others.
The Baronian Army has newly founded 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 and holds precious little interest in healing.
Advantageous in Being 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. Skilled archers who have chosen to train with the weapon, though, have no problem. Furthermore, a wide variety of patterns 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 Yoichi. [Note: the Yoichi referred to here is Nasu no Yoichi, a Genji archer in the Genji-Heike clan wars of the twelfth century 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 great defensive powers against magic and is very effective against magic-user types. When used as an item, it emits 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 Bracelets
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 a rather
easygoing, laid-back fellow - as is the tendency within Damcyan's royal
family, accustomed to their country's long-lived, luxuriant peace.
Talent in song 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 hates 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 royal family 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 had 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 does not expect them to deal out a great amount of damage, even when used in attacks. Rather, when strummed, the harps inflict psychic pain that causes foes to lose their will to fight.
Since it is the responsibility of the harpist to strum the harp every round to maintain the attack, however, it'd be wise to be prudent in employing this tactic.
Harp of Dreams
Its attack power isn't high, but anyone evil-minded within the range of its sound will be lulled to the world of dreams. Edward brought this harp with him from Damcyan.
The Moustached Warrior Monk of the Military Nation of Fabul
Name: Yang Fang Leiden
Height: 182 cm [about 5'11½"]
Weight: 76 kg [about 167½ lb.]
Equipment: Flame Claw, Leather Garment
Yang is the captain of Fabul's warrior monks, a stoic, composed, exemplary fighter possessing extraordinary talent.
He has continued the ascetic training he has been following since early youth and is preternaturally skilled. Since his childhood, he has usually been at the top of his league, and he is currently held in the highest esteem 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 high popularity and warm regard among the people.
His only weak point is his bossy wife who rules the roost. There's a side of him that just can't stand up to her.
Monks Who Strive to Improve Their Body and Spirit
A monk is one who trains his body as a weapon. Monks spend their days in Fabul 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 Mt. Hobs. After surviving such rigorous training, they 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. The body, however, 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, well-matched claws can increase one's hit rate.
Made of a special metal; attacks the enemy with electric shock. Deals exceptional damage to machines and enemies weak against thunder.
A claw said to be tempered by the heat of the flames of hell. Sticking the claw in an open wound engulfs the whole body with pain. It also increases attack power.
The Jolly, Knowledgeable Chief of the Airships 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 and used to bring the airship into being.
He hates having others interfere with his craftsmanship and artistic vision. He's opposed to using the airship 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 and has taken a shine to Cecil; ever since his early youth, Cecil has ridden on board the inventor's airships.
Influencing Life through the Joy of Creation [Sounds like DuPont's new motto.]
Engineers are those who belong to the Airship Maintenance Unit and repair the airships of the Baronian Airship Corps. Only those who can handle and pilot the airship Cid developed can enlist in the elite group of the Baron Airship Corps. As aforementioned, at present, the Airship Corps holds the highest position in all of Baron.
But among the engineers are a great many imbued with great creative spirit. The very job of being an auxiliary of the Airship Corps, Baron's front line of defense, is super-hard, but since it's an extension of their existing interests to the Engineers, it still makes them happy.
Albeit Simple Tools, Splendid Weapons in Cid's Hands
Hammers are just hammers, and in the hands of everyone but Cid, their only use is as 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-machine-type, organic enemies.
Fashioned from a special metal; the friction produced when one attacks with it creates an electric charge. It's especially effective against enemies weak against thunder. Extremely weighty; also endowed with a special feature that is said to increase one's power when equipped.
A hammer generally preferred by artisans; also a mass-produced hammer. Cid also uses it to conduct repairs on the airships. They're advertised as being strong and sturdy, but they're not promoted as potential weapons.
A Fiery Ninja with a Two-Handed Swordfighting Style
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. Since he's 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, being a very active, energetic person, hates being sheltered. He mouths off and has a hot temper; is also overconfident and a poor loser. He's rather impulsive for royalty, but that's only because he hides his gentler nature. He has a strong sense of justice and an indomitable spirit, which is probably why he is so beloved among his subjects. He indeed has the makings of a king.
Fierce Warriors Who Employ Both the Arts of Invisibility and Swordsmanship
The faraway kingdom of Eblana has a unique, thriving culture which has developed completely differently and independently from those of the world's other countries. 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 continuing research.
Nintou are crafted with extreme precision - the people of Eblana by nature are sticklers for detail. According to recent analysis, they are more accurate than the swords of any other country.
A dagger-type short sword; widely carried about as a self-defense weapon by the common folk of Eblana. Since it's easy to handle, it can also be thrown at the enemy.
Chrysanthemums are painstakingly inscribed in gold dust on its sheath. This, however, is done for merely decorative purposes and not because the sword has exceptional destructive power. It's really a general-purpose, run-of-the-mill katana-type weapon.
A flying weapon that deals damage when thrown. Since it lodges itself deep into the enemy's body, it can be used only once, but its attack power is great. Since it is a flying weapon, it is highly effective against flying creatures.
Possessing the Characteristics of Black Magic, It Finely Dices up the Enemy
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 sources and 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 the list below of all the techniques of ninjutsu.
Katon ["Mass of Fire"]
Creates a sea of fire on one side which then ravages the enemy. But this mysterious art somehow does not damage one's allies.
Suiton ["Mass of Water"]
Call forth a sea of rough, brackish waves that then engulf the enemy. The water avoids one's allies, though, passing them by.
Raijin ["Raijin", "Thunder God"]
Calls down huge bolts of lightning from the heavens. The lightning strikes from the sky, blasting directly down upon the enemies' heads.
Kemuridama ["Smoke Balls"]
Violent smoke billows forth in battle, blinding 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"]
Using a chant, one's body is split into many, fooling the enemy. While the enemy is led astray, the caster takes the offensive.
A Gifted Old Wizard Whose Past Is Buried in Darkness
Height: 177 cm [about 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, unraveling one ancient magical seal after another with his abilities. One day, however, he unleashed a magic beyond the limits his abilities to control, the effects of which ended up wounding many mages.
Tella looked into his heart and left Mysidia. He moved to a faraway village, married an ordinary woman, and produced a lone daughter, Anna. Since he lost his wife early on, he has transferred all his loving feelings to Anna.
Now, because of his age, he has forgotten most of the magic he mastered. Fortunately, his former reputation as a wizard is completely unknown even to his daughter Anna, and so he passes his days in peace, as an ordinary person.
Ones Who Have Regained and Revived the Ancient Methods of Mastering Magics
The wizards of ancient Mysidia developed and restored and mastered magics on their own, using their own power. Enthusiasm over the development of magic gradually caught on, and before long, it got to the point where people began casting magic just to show off their own power. This resulted in the injury of a great many mages, and so the magics were sealed away by wise men's hands.
It has become customary for present-day mages to undergo training and be taught either white or black magic from 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 Is Determined by the Quality of the Applied 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 change attack patterns or frighten away summoned spirits through the designs applied to the staff. [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.) I could be wrong, but I don't think so.] 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 one summons a surge of spiritual energy, an aura of white magic emanates from the tip of the staff.
Staff that moderates one's power. When equipped, amplifies one's power and spirit/will [the "white magic power stat"]. When one comes into contact with the aura emitted from the staff, power wells up from within oneself, unleashing an wild barrage of attacks. [Yes, I know that syntax sucks.]
A staff said to have been offered to the gods while presiding over festivals of life by those who were able to use ancient magic. When it is waved, the environs are enveloped with 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 cared for by not only, of course, her parents but by everyone in her village.
Naturally, her true power as a Summoner is a force to be reckoned with. 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. It is said that the girl Rydia has been perfectly endowed with the proper conditions to develop these abilities to their utmost potential.
A Race Whose Identity as a Tribe is Clearly on the Brink of Collapse
Those who summon "Those Not of This World" from the Illusionary World are Summoners. 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. Various 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 that has certainly shortened their lifespans, and the continuation of those bloodlines looks doubtful. In any case, the future of the Summoners does not look 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 those a long way away the same as those a short distance away. Occasionally, the ensnared enemy will be paralyzed.
Fire Bute ["What's a 'bute'?" ("Byuuto" in straight katakana.) Darned if I know - I can't find an applicable definition or translation in either English or Japanese. I can say that the weapon's a whip in the picture and description, albeit by another name. "Fire Lash", perhaps?]
Produces violent heat through being cracked. The fire emitted increases one's luck, as well as one's power, strength, endurance, and speed; decreases magic power.
The spurs placed intermittently along the lash are made of a unique, electrically-charged metal. The metallic compound is specially formulated to prolong the length of the charge; especially effective against enemies weak against lightning.
Their Tests of One's Power Determine One's Mettle and 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
Illusionary World's denizens' respect through one's abilities as a
Summoner and the designs applied to the weapon one holds and getting
them to obey one's 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 essence and true mettle of each beforehand.
God of thunder renowned throughout the Illusionary World. As it is his position to pass judgment over evil ones, his impartiality and sense of justice far exceed those of anyone else in the Illusionary World. He is, however, an agreeable fellow, perhaps due to his righteousness.
Seizing his trusty staff, he can control thunder itself in surges of lightning that rush forth from his cane. When summoned, he attacks the enemy with the thunder of anger.
Calling forth a chocobo capitalizes on its true strength - its leg-power - by delivering a kick to the enemy. Chocobos' thighs can get to be 100-120 cm [about 40-47 in.], so they can pack quite a bit of power. 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. Possessing an intensely fierce character, she will freeze all whom she recognizes as enemies. With an absolutely cold will, she delivers damage particularly mercilessly to entities who depend upon heat as their source of life.
Though she is quite ferocious, she can demonstrate fierce loyalty to the one who summoned her and be quite easygoing.
Summons Ifrit, the spirit of fire. Ifrit is also fierce - but not so much as Shiva. His special ability is to breathe a fiery blaze, then, his own body wrapped in the flames, to change one face of the surrounding blaze into pillars of fire.
Plus, since he is comparatively receptive to the commands of those who call him, there's a good chance he won't roast or kill the summoner.
Summons a descendant of the Titans who come from Greek myth. They were defeated in a war against Zeus, but their bloodline lingers on. He has a kindly demeanor - he may be a demon, but he is a gentleman - but his appearance is that of a high-echelon warrior.
When summoned, he causes a violent earthquake with his 7-ton body. Enemies can also fall into the fissures and crevices the earthquake creates.
Among all the dragons, Bahamut is the one closest to a god. Could also be called the "king of dragons". If you assume an intensely haughty or impolite attitude toward him, he'll be utterly merciless and unforgiving toward you, even if he is your comrade. None but an extremely skilled Summoner will be able to summon him. He breathes burning flames toward his enemies, roasting them.
The ruler of the sea, Leviathan. He is feared as a god, for he has the power to sink the entire world beneath the ocean with great floods and tidal waves.
In calmer circumstances, however, it would be impossible to fear one with such a splendid spirit. He will obediently yield to a Summoner's commands, attacking the enemy with tidal waves. Since he is a god, low-level Summoners cannot control him.
There are many great heroes who have given their all for the sake of brave warriors and commoners - 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 not, however, annihilate weak enemies.
They Possess Ever-Expanding Abilities Akin to Those of the Ancient Mages
Height: 94 cm [about 3'1"]
Weight: 22 kg [about 48½ lb.]
Equipment: Ice Rod, Leather Cap, Leather Garment, Iron Bracelets
Height: 93 cm [about 3'1" - a tiny bit shorter than Palom, of course]
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 most difficult 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 at 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 a precocious child and ranks as Palom's older sister, she is calmer and better-behaved and has assumed the duty of disciplining Palom. She seems to be held in high esteem by the Elder. The magical skill of both children, however, is very promising and being closely watched.
Attack-Type Mages Endowed by Their Intellect and Skill with Powers of Wounding and Killing Conducted through the Atmosphere [This is a clumsy translation of the line, but eh.]
To use one's knowledge to congeal the surrounding elements and create 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 rises through battle.
Mages Who Manifest Their Stout Hearts and Unblemished Spirits as 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 strengthen and reinforce one's spiritual power. There are, however, those who are naturally gifted with this spiritual power.
They're Able to Attack through Magic Infused within by Their Creators
Staffs infused with magic are "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 magic-infused weapons designed to be able to emit and conduct black magic.
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.]
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 "atmosphere" known as "Sylphs", infused with their special vaunted Confu magic. When someone is touched by the magic that gushes out of the wand, they will probably become confused. The staff will also have great effect against giant-type creatures, the sylphs' natural enemy.
The Menacing Magic That Presides over Killing and Wounding
Black magic can become more powerful as one increases and strengthens
their knowledge of the natural world. Normal people can use it to a
modest extent, but a formidable intellect is said to necessary to
[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
Accelerates the speed of movement of the electrons which compose matter to an extremely high level, generating heat and causing ignition. Since it is of course a heat attack, it is extremely effective against those who live in a cold environment and draw energy from cold. It also seems effective against undead enemy creatures.
Called the first step in black magic, there are many people who started their magical training by learning "Fire".
Blizzard - Blizzara - Blizzaga
"Blizzard" is what was conceived as a means of countering "Fire" by those weak against heat.
Working on the opposite principles of "Fire", it slows the speed of movement of its targets' internal electrons, lowering their body temperature 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 the technique of generating electricity from inside the target's body. The second way is to call down lightning from the heavens. The former method is relatively simple, but the latter method generates 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 membrane, lulling the victim to dreamland. But since the nature of the brain changes according to the organism, there're a fair number of creatures upon which this spell won't be effective.
Siphons away the target's 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 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 little by little. If allowed to run its course, it could rot the whole body away. 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. When one becomes a toad, the only magic one 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 be confused and flee.
Stops time in the space around the target, so said target cannot move. Ensnared enemies enter a state akin to paralysis; lacking the chance to retaliate, they can continually be attacked.
Degeon [dejon - a combination of "deru" (Japanese verb meaning "to leave") and "dungeon", I suppose]
Distending the space inside the dungeon, instantly returns you to the floor above the one you are currently on. Since concentration is required for the chant, it cannot be used in battle.
Causes the blood of living things to congeal, causing instant death. One could call this manner of death utter euthanasia. It is futile, however, to cast this on undead creatures or machine-type enemies, both of whom lack blood.
Turns the target's internal atoms into unliving stone. Those turned to stone cannot move - their very vitals stop - and they cannot continue the battle.
Deals the target a mortal wound; afterward, they are so weakened that a single attack can defeat 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 microbes 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 bringing about a grand-scale seismic reaction, killing and wounding 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 group of meteors. The magicians who can use it are few in number. Being a grand-scale magic, the spiritual energy it consumes is considerable.
Sets in motion nuclear fusion from 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 Concerned with 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 absolutely unyielding to temptation. As they strengthen, one's
white magic power will increase in kind.
Keal - Kealra - Kealda - Kealga
Transforms spiritual energy into life energy, drawing it into the intended subject. One of the easiest magics to master in white magic. A great many people can use it. When you learn up to Kealga, you can completely refill a person's life energy; one therefore would most likely not be able to use that extent of magic if one were 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 pressure the nerves and internal molecules and return them to their original state in cases where status abnormalities (short of death) have developed in the body. Can provide recovery from, for example, petrification, silence, and confusion, among other ailments.
Can instantaneously transport the subject away through creating rifts in space. If engaged in battle, one can escape from combat, and if roaming about a dungeon, one can 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 err and aim their attacks at the second self, meant to take the place of the real body. [Redundant. Redundant.]
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 such the target is wearing, thus increasing defensive power. One's resistance against physical attacks rises. Effective in battles against powerful opponents who don't use magic.
Envelops the body in a membranous barrier, providing resistance against magic. Effective against enemies who seem to use powerful magic. Probably valuable in boss fights that look like they're going to be long and drawn-out.
Suppresses gravity, assisting one to move with more agility. If one can move more swiftly, one 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.
Turns a body into a midget; turns a midget-fied body back to its original full size. Convenient for squeezing into small cracks or spaces, but one can't execute physical attacks in this form.
Using clairvoyant powers, reveals the enemy's abilities - stuff like current and maximum life force, weak points, and how much it will take to defeat. 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 naturally recover, you can't completely count out those who've been paralyzed.
Provides a power-up through reinforcing one's muscles. But in addition, though, the target can henceforth think of nothing but battle, therefore changing into a berserker and attacking unrelentingly.
Part of the target's seat of thought is destroyed so that they 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 unrelentingly, unable to distinguish ally from enemy.
Causes some antigravity to generate at the feet of one's allies, enabling them to float just a little bit. With this, one can protect oneself against the painful damage inflicted by earthquake attacks.
Can purify the walking undead with divine holy power. The idea is that the unlucky undead will be recalled to God instead of being left to burn in hellfire.
Each Character Has a Distinct Personality
Characters rich in personality who continue the journey amidst repeated meetings and partings. Since they are each assigned a clearly-defined role right from the start, there is no job system like in III. And since there is no need to select jobs, there is no need to manage job changes. But there is an exception to the above; one character does go through a "job change" (?) in accordance with the development of the story.
Also, the weapons and armor one can equip are strictly classified by character. There is nearly no equipment designed for general use.
Caption [Cecil's Dark Knight status screen]: The characters who appear are truly individualistic. Since you can't pick and choose character classes, there's never occasion to feel dissatisfied with a character-class decision.
Battle Commands Are Also Character-Specific, Many and Varied
The commands allotted to each character in battle are also varied, wide-ranging, and numerous. Beyond the basic commands of "Fight" and "Item", each comrade is provided with their own individual commands tailored to their personal characteristics - 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 set of available actions. The commands and moves belonging to the three characters given at right [below here] might prove good examples of this. And, besides those, there are also commands 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
When playing RPGs, one is given an enormous amount of time to waste in the battle scenes. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the battle scenes' ability to hold the player's interest greatly affects the fun of this type of game. 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, and the enjoyment the battles provide is redoubled. In ATB, all the battle participants move in order of how fast they are. Now, unlike before, 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!]: Since all battle participants move in order of how quick they are regardless of whether they're friend or foe, you can choose your commands to suit the changing circumstances.
Simple Changes in Control and Operation Stemming from the Switch to Real Time
Since the battles proceed in real time, the monsters will mercilessly attack you even while you're choosing your commands. Those who badly hesitate will inevitably receive some damage in the meantime. ATB demands quick action and the ability to make snap judgments. Thanks to that, 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 also prove fatal; considerable improvements to the control system have therefore made it possible to cope with the need for instant action.
There are two big points of improvement. The first is that there is no command to select to run away; it is accomplished through use of the L and R buttons. If you continue to press down the L and R buttons, you will be able to flee from battle. Since the controls instantaneously respond to this, 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 just a little bit, in battle.
This easy-to-handle control system enables the true, 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 with the advent of the SFC could this feature be developed.
Caption [even more fun with Cain-'n'-Cecil]: Press left on the control pad to change your party alignments. You can switch the members in the front lines with those in the back instantly.
The Graphics Pack an Even Bigger Punch with the Abilities of the SFC!!
Magic graphics add a spark to battle scenes. These graphics, which have gotten more powerful and impressive as the series has progressed, have very evidently taken a great leap forward with the achievement of the high-powered SFC hardware. Taking utmost advantage of the SFC's abilities, they give the player an even greater sense of "being there".
There are many different shifting graphical patterns to suit each magical effect. With that power and these effects, you can tell spells apart just by their looks. These SFC-exclusive graphics could be called yet another added attraction of the battles.
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 clearly communicated.
From "Buying" to "Learning", from a "Repeated-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 customarily learned as each character rises up in level. Also, while every level of magic was restricted to a certain number of uses before, that has changed to a system where MP is consumed every time magic is used. Through these changes, the amount of responsibility placed upon the player is lessened, if only by a little bit, so that more of it falls on the game's shoulders.
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 adoption of the MP system, you can cast magics that aren't useless.
Caption [battle scene; whole party floating]: Pre-existing magics have been revamped and streamlined, and a number of new magics appear. One kind of defensive magic, "Levitate", makes everyone in the entire party float in mid-air, protecting them from earthquake attacks.
The Wide World in Which Exist 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 shallows 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 have one of the smaller continents. Except for between 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, individual culture and customs.
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 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 about 500 years. Most of the other countries have been
formally founded over the past 100-200 year period. Consequently, the
establishment of diplomatic relations between the countries has also
been only fairly recent. And considering that there are also 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 constructed the foundation of its own nation. It quickly 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 in Eblana. Not yet having established formal relations with any country at all, it is said that the only contact they have 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 other than Baron who care for and protect the crystals, 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
Merchant Nation, Damcyan: Crystal of Fire
Nation of Magic, Mysidia: Crystal of Water
Military Nation Baron <-> Military Nation Eblana: non-aggression treaty
Fabul <-> Eblana: have had private-level exchanges
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 Military Nation in Possession of Eight Armies, the World's Strongest - This Is Baron
The country possessing the most extensive, longest history and the strongest military might. The Baronian Army, the name of which makes all countries tremble, can be divided into eight separate corps. Among those, the one whose history goes back the farthest is the Personal Guard Corps. Their duty being to act as the king's personal bodyguards, all the corps' necessary members are all recruited on a hereditary basis.
Next formed was the Dragon Knight Corps. Long ago, the power to control flying dragons came to be called "heaven-sent lightning". [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 fallen from that position due to the development of airships. As the flying dragons were instantly replaced by modernization and mass production, the Airship Corps ascended to the top position in the Baronian Army. The Airship Corps, also known as the Red Wings, is a super-elite group which excels in flight technology. 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, were originally general-issue soldiers, but each year, a number of chosen ones undergo the test of the Dark Sword and master 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 puts them at an unfair advantage?]
There are also four other additional military corps in Baron, of which the Army Corps and Navy Corps are two. Composed of general-issue soldiers, members in each are recruited on a volunteer basis. Also, in Baron, the development of magic is behind that of other countries; this is because the previous kings of Baron never took magic power seriously, but since the new king took power, the White Mage and Black Mage Corps have been newly instituted, and magical research has been stepped up. 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 develops in the parliament, even progressing to a skirmish that leads to bloodshed. This riot is afterwards called "The Blood-Stained Three Days". 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 the nation of Baron 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 Corps.|
|~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 this event].|
|~150 Years Ago||Security treaty with Mysidia. An instantaneous, extra-dimensional travel route between the two countries is completed through Mysidia's efforts. It afterwards 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
The Nation 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 merchant who managed all the middleman buyers, through whom Damcyan came to be unified as a nation. Gilbert also introduced the first conception of currency to the market. The name of this world's present unit of currency, the "gil", is taken from this person.
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 harmful insects 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 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 very moment, the Sandworms turned back for the desert one after another. The singing voices belonged to the Gilbert family.
With a long family history of minstrel lineage preserved for generation after generation, 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 "wandering".]|
|Sandworms directly attack the oasis. 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. [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: Archbishop 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 Training, Grown into a Nation of Faith
The history of the country of Fabul begins in a single temple. Fabul Temple was the place where priests undergoing ascetic training would stay for long periods of time for spiritual improvement. Soon, though, warriors from all over the world fanatical about many varied kinds of martial arts came to decide to settle around the temple, and from then on, the temple began to grow into a town. Thusly, Fabul came to be established as an independent nation under most unusual circumstances. Since its ties with Mysidia, a renowned country of mages, are quite deep, a ferry-boat connects the two countries.
On an incidental note, a single Dark Sword rests within the walls of Fabul Temple. This sword is the same sword that has become symbolic of Fabul's prosperity.
During the skirmishes 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 Archbishop and ended up entering into the Fabul Temple faith. The sword installed within Fabul Temple is the Dark Sword that Dark Knight abandoned. As the story soon spread throughout the world, strong people in search of spiritual training began one after another to head toward Fabul.
The grand goal of this nation of faith is "spiritualistic training", but a squadron of mercenary troops has been formed to protect the country from outside enemy invasions. But, in truth, perhaps 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, long held as a sacred mountain by the priesthood, a settlement of monks is established.|
|The monk Fabul climbs Mt. Hobs. He spends his first winter there.|
|Having received a spiritual enlightenment, Fabul descends the mountain and founds a temple. A great number of priests take this opportunity and start to gather around Fabul.|
|~100 Years Ago||The Dark Knight Renault searches for an inn in Fabul. There, through Bishop Fabul's teachings, he renounces his Dark Sword and enters the priesthood. Taking this as a sign, many priests head for the temple.|
|Archbishop Fabul passes away. Lamenting his death, his disciples make his son, the successor to his will, king, and finally establish Fabul as a nation.|
|A monk army corps 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 Set in Lush Surroundings Comprising Only Blessed Women ["Blessed" as in "fortunate", not as in "holy".]
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. Also, not only they, but all the citizens of Troia are female. Since about 300 years ago, absolutely no male children have been born in the country. The water from the streams flowing Troia is cited as the cause - that it possesses some sort of 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-invasion crises have time and again been overcome through the power of women alone. Also, the country itself has enjoyed good fortune, never having been engulfed in any sort of direct military confrontation. To protect the clerics, a whole corps of personal guards has been assembled - they're all women, of course, though. Their battle uniform is in what we today would call "leotard-fashion". The true extent of the power of female soldiers, however, has not yet been made clear.
Growing agricultural products amidst Troia's natural abundance is very popular among those not employed as soldiers or clerics. There have been further advances and success in chocobo breeding, and a new type of chocobo has even been discovered on the outskirts of Troia. A big part of Troia's income is derived from the export of agricultural products 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 no matter where they live. 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, the clerics who have long provided a link between the gods and the people come to live among its people and around the outskirts of its nature.|
|~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.|
|~100 Years Ago||A messenger from Baron comes to Troia; international 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 instantly transforms 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". Afterwards, 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
A Country Centered around a Flourishing Culture of Magic, Sprung from Magical Research Continuing from the Days of Old [Sounds like a subtitle to some olde book.]
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 fruits of spiritual training. Eventually, however, the mastery of magics that held great power came to be thought of as a status symbol among practitioners. Soon, a competition regarding the development of magic ensued. Disregarding the elder's words of warning, they started searching for magics with greater and greater effects, and magics that had lost sight of the true spirit of magic were concocted one after another. Finally coming to the point where practitioners used magics that were beyond the limits of their abilities, the situation took a turn for the worse and got completely out of control. As a result, a great many magicians were hurt. The sage Minh, enraged by this, sealed away all magic. With this, the fate of the Old Age of Magic was sealed.
Next was the arrival of 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 to which it is taught, 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 foundation of 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 cruel nature.|
|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 into the era when it will begin to develop itself 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. At this time, there come to be growing signs of training for the sake of magical development.|
|~200 Years Ago||Through a miscast "Thundara" by Eikob (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, 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 the results in the entrance of 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. Afterwards, many people receive revelations from Minh's voice in dreams or in times of crisis.|
|Revival of magic. Magic research starts from the very beginning.|
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?]
Population: 150 [yes - one hundred and fifty]
Chief Industries: agriculture, mining
The Military Nation Which Developed the Ninja Arts and Has Constructed 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 created a village, 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 ocean currents of the seas surrounding Eblana are extremely violent, making the continent impossible to approach by the other countries' ships. Their 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 linger on concerning why and how he mastered ninjutsu, but it remains shrouded in a veil of mystery. Using his expert command of ninjutsu, he won power struggles against several warrior factions, and the country of Eblana was born. Though a mere warrior, Geraldine had seized power, and so the house of Geraldine even now holds the reins of royal power.
To solidify his hold on national power, he founded an army, the Eblana Army. The Eblana Army's upper echelons comprise a group of warriors called "ninja"; at first, King Geraldine himself commanded the ninja as their leader. Royal rule is passed on hereditarily, within a single family. The royal family passes on the trade secrets of being a ninja from generation to generation, and all of the country's soldiers have mastered the craft of ninjutsu. Out of fear of the power of ninjutsu leaking to other countries, however, these secrets are by royal decree absolutely 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||A scattered village is settled in the mountains as a hunting ground. Local minor territory skirmishes occur and resurge within the area.|
|The influence of several warrior-faction villages 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.] Battles for supremacy flare up.|
|The clan ruling the northern part of the island and the faction ruling the southwestern region unite. They begin to pressure the tribe 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 reappears, bringing ninjutsu with him. The influence of the chief's ninjutsu is fearsome, and his military might is at once reclaimed.|
|~100 Years Ago||Peace is established between both powers through the "Abel Peace Treaty". The country of Eblana is established two years afterward. 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.|
|Eblana Castle is completed.|
|Baronian airships fly in. This is Eblana's first contact with a foreign culture.|
Graphics for the SFC That Overflow with the Sense of Being There
High-quality graphics that take advantage of the SFC's abilities to a degree seen only in your wildest dreams. Scenes overflowing with realism and the sense of being there, constantly changing before the player's eyes. The start of battles, towns and castles, and dungeons, flying scenes - wherever the player goes, he or she is overwhelmed. Additionally, the depth of the story is of course augmented by what they see - by the detail with which the game's world is illustrated. Everyone will experience this FF world in a way different from any before.
An Acute Sense of Near and Far as Well
Caption [Rosa in...the Watery Pass, I think]: Inside caves, on mountain tops, and other such places, a distinct difference between high and low is created through two layers of scrolling in the background. Expressing a clear sense of near and far, it makes one sense a real depth in 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 work, and more - it all truly seems real.
Flight Screens Give a Perfectly Convincing Impression
Caption [contrast between FF3 airship screen and FF4 airship screen]: The airship in-flight scenes have changed from a screen with a direct-overhead perspective to a screen with a slanted perspective. The scenery feels more imminent; the illusion is completely convincing.
EVOLUTION OF THE CONVEYANCES
Great Progress Achieved through the Discovery of the Art of Flotation
The history of vehicles is vast. Since long ago, people have cleverly used animals such as chocobos and flying dragons as vehicles; with the state of technology back then, people purely and simply could not develop new vehicles with their own hands, and so it continued this way for a long time.
Time soon passed, though, and it came to pass that a young man living in Baron discovered some ancient ruins; through a single volume he found within, a great evolution in vehicles was brought about. This young man's name was Cid Pollendina.
Cid took several years to decipher the book of ancient writing he found. He came to learn of the super-technology of the "art of flotation". Cid, whose yearning for the skies was far stronger than any other human's, set about the development of an aerial engine through merging the "art of flotation" with the aviation science he himself had engineered. After numerous, repeated failures, he perfected a splendid engine. His dream finally made reality, an airship was born.
Initially, they were created fitted with just regular ship's engines, but the development techniques were refined when the ships started to be engineered for military purposes. But, with even further development underway, future evolution 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.]
Used since long ago as a riding animal. Even now, readily used as transportation.
Type of chocobo discovered by the people of Troia, who live closest to its habitat. Can fly with its wings, a size bigger than those of normal chocobos. [Note: the Japanese text says that black chocobos have bigger "hane", a word which usually means feather(s), but can also mean wing(s) under certain circumstances, of which I think this is one. If you think me mistaken, feel free to interpret the text the other way.]
The world's first airship, created by Cid. Brought about a revolution that led to the dawning of a new era in vehicles.
Airship "Red Wing"
Cid's airship modified and mass-produced. Not only outfitted with armaments, but the engine is improved.
A ship for overland travel developed by Damcyan with Baron's technological assistance. The influence of the art of flotation is evident.
Has a newly-developed engine installed. Cutting-edge technology; currently the highest grade of airship.
An airship yet another step up in development. The day upon which this new model will appear is perhaps not far away...
A Vehicle Centered around Short-Distance Land Travel Ideally Suited to a Changing Landscape
[Note: the vehicle's name is written as "hover ship", two words, in the book.]
A hover ship owned by Gilbert, king of the country of Damcyan that divides the Damcyan desert. Three propellers generate lift, and one great driving propeller allows the vehicle to travel off-road. It can enter deserts that otherwise snag and catch the feet and smoothly and nimbly cross marshlands, rivers, and lakes, among other terrain. Can seat up to six passengers; travels at a speed other vehicles cannot catch. The only thing is that since it cannot obtain lift upon the open waves, it regrettably cannot be used there. Also bad on fuel consumption. [Evil, evil 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/Capacity: 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 the old legends handed down in the country of Baron, the art of flotation deciphered by Cid from an ancient text. Transforming the legendary flotation theory into his own aviation theory, the first thing he developed from it was this airship. Not only did the ship fulfill the dreams of those who yearned to fly in the air, but improvements and remodeling done on the ship itself have facilitated great business services, such as carrying not only travelers but cargo as well. There was no reason, however, not to put such cutting-edge technology to work for military purposes. Cid protested, but the Airship Unit was formed under the King's orders.
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 poles)
Optimum Power Output/Capacity: 1 main engine, 1100 HP
Top Speed: 40 knots [about 46 mph]
Seating Capacity: for travelers' use, 30 people; for freight purposes, 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 lighter-weight in every place due to the material and has been designed in particular to be stronger against attack. Has six slots for air-to-land cannons and is newly loaded with three sub-engines for propulsion in order to gain agility and mobility. Also, the aft propellers have been powered up and reinforced, sharply accelerating top speeds and arrival 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 poles)
Optimum Power Output/Capacity: 1 main engine, 1300 HP; 3 sub-engines, 180 HP each
Top Speed: 55 knots [about 63 mph] Armaments: 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 Newest Airship Created by Cid, the Dogged Worker
The purest distillation of the super-technology Cid possesses, the newest airship he has created. From the engine to the body, everything on it has been developed through new trials and experimentation. Compared to older-model ships, the mass of the engine alone has been successfully reduced by about a whole 80%. Moreover, the optimum power output has been raised by 30%. The drag coefficient has been lessened by 0.05-0.09, making the air power of the entire ship a thing to fear. As the ship has come to demand such unprecedented, exclusive cutting-edge techonology, it absolutely requires Cid's personal touch and handiwork - 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/Capacity: 1 main engine, 1100 HP; 4 sub-engines, 180 HP each
Top Speed: 70 knots [about 81 mph - Cid can keep up with the flow of traffic here in Montana now, hooray!]
Seating Capacity: 8 people
Armaments: 12 air-to-land 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, avoiding enemy attack. We have until now been deeply familiar with those that run overland, but here a new type called the "black chocobo" has been discovered. The new species is not used for overland travel, but rather mid-air travel, seeing as how it flies in the sky. Basically, two children or one adult can ride on its back. Two adults can supposedly ride on one's back 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 Great Many Varieties of Vehicles Are Introduced One after Another
FF series vehicles, typified by the airship. Every time a new airship-type of vehicle appears, it makes the adventure more enjoyable and convenient. This time, once again, many varied vehicles are introduced in response to players' expectations. There are, of course, heretofore-unseen new vehicles, and the familiar airship has been further powered up. Several types of vehicles have been prepared for the player's use. And, in addition, the vehicles further evolve even in the game itself
Caption [the Hover Ship moving over the shoals]: The "Hover Ship", making its debut. It can lightly glide not only over land but the shoals as well.
New Species of the Beloved Chocobo Appear!
New species of the hyperactive chocobo are introduced, not only as transportation, but as depositories. One is the black chocobo, which can be used as a vehicle. Another is the "white chocobo", which can recover one's MP. Both species live in harmony with the other chocobos in the chocobo forest. Within the depths of such forests likewise live "Fat Chocobos", which appear when you use Gisarl's Vegetables.
Airborne Black Chocobo
Caption [black chocobo in flight]: Though it can fly, since it can only do so at low altitudes, it cannot 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 in the Adventure's Future
This world is one where powerful monsters attack one after another. It is essential to have a thorough knowledge of the special characteristics of each before engaging them. There are three types of monsters - monsters called back from the Illusionary World through Rydia's powers, boss monsters, and small-fry monsters. 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. Attacks enemies while freewheeling about the sky. Marked by its pure red body, its strongest weapon is its fire-breath attack, and so it is popularly called - and feared as - the "fire dragon" due to its alleged ability to command fire.
A giant antlion that lives in the expansive Damcyan desert. Its sharp, giant pincers have the power to crush even rocks. It usually dwells silently deep under the sand, seldom doing humans any harm. Once angered, however, it turns unmanageably crazy and violent. It is said to be able to sink one or two villages beneath the sands in a single night.
Whenever it takes damage, its body expands right up like a blimp. When it gets so big that it just about obscures the sky, it suddenly sets off a giant explosion. And from within its body are born several little bombs, multiplying its attack power. Like the Mother Bomb, receiving damage causes these bombs' bodies to swell up and explode. This deals great damage to the enemy.
A mystic female dragon. It deals out extreme amounts of violence with direct attacks that make full use of its colorful breath and tail. In particular, the destructive power of its tail, swung with all its might, is said to be able to level an entire mountain in a single blow.
An octopus gone mad and violent who has settled in the city sewers. It is different from other, normal octopi; through an underwater science experiment, its body's balance has been completely upset, and it has grown to a humongous size. Marked by its poisonous-looking color. Also has a hard, sharply-pointed head with which it can also pierce enemies. Normally, it entwines its enemies in its tentacles with its giant suckers, squeezing them to death.
A type of dragon which walks on all fours. The species had wings at one time, but now they've completely degenerated. Now, they have no use other than for intimidation. Known mostly now by the bilious patterns on its body.
General-issue soldier of the military nation of Baron. Battle expert. Has received military training since early youth; his method of fighting enables him to cool-headedly dispense with jobs precisely as ordered. Though he can engage animals larger than himself, he has the ability to instantly bring an end to the affair by cleaving his foe in half with one stroke of his sword.
An insane female mage chased out of the country of mages who knows nothing but attack magic. She attacks travelers on their way to foreign lands for trade and steals their valuables and jewelry. Her magic power is several levels above male magicians, perhaps because she has a particularly persistent nature due to being a woman. At first glance, she appears to be a young woman, but she uses a rejuvenating magic to camouflage her aged body.
[Note: this monster's actual romanized name might be different and a reference; in pure katakana, its name is "reeshii", which I have seen applied to a similar monster elsewhere - namely, the kimono-clad young-woman-spirit cardian which attacked during the cherry blossom-viewing in one episode of Sailormoon R. I can't determine if these "reeshii" are based on an actual Japanese mythological creature, but the above seems to indicate some sort of connection.]
A half-flesh, half-spirit being consisting of the upper half of a long-haired woman and an ectoplasmic lower half. Basically not having an actual, true body, 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, it 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 Racy are themselves revived as dead spirits.
A living-door beast. At once a trap and a monster. 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. Then, the victim is absorbed right down to his very soul. They [the Assault Doors] lie in wait in places where people are likely to pass by, such as mansions or residences. Will not stop moving ahead until defeated.
Equipment for Getting through the Battle. We Will Reveal How to Use Them Effectively
Items for attacking, for defense, for recovery, and those necessary to advance the tale - all have many different characteristics. If you are not aware of the intended use of each kind of item, then clearly all the interesting nuances which compose the whole of the game will be only half-revealed. While there are also goods quite familiar from throughout 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 the bodies of comrades who have been shrunk by enemies' Minimum spells to normal. An item said to be a [Buddhist] priest's legend made real. [Apparently, Daikoku was brought over/adopted from Chinese Buddhism into popular Japanese mythology.]
Items which returns those transformed into pigs by Porky magic back to their original state. "Diet food" is a sarcastic name for it, but it's 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 subtle 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 manipulates time within a certain area. Stops time around the target area so that one can evade 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 faintly glitters like moonlight. When worn, can reflect both types of enemy attacks, physical and magical.
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 exceeds the effects of Ether; an indispensable necessity for long journeys.
Whisker taken from the corpse of a Kuarl monster. [Note: the name of this monster is "kuaaru" in pure katakana, and the monster itself is a panther-like being. "Kuaaru" might thus correspond to an actual Western word, but, if so, I myself am stumped as to what it would be.] Same as the black magic Death, possesses the powerful effect of bringing all monsters, save for the undead, to death.
Fang taken from a dragon that breathes fierce flames. When thrown, produces the same effect 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 a dragon's cold breath.
Fang from a dragon that attacks with snowstorm-like breath. Same as with the others, produces the same effect that would delivering damage with snow-breath.
Ultimate medicine developed to exceed even the effects of Ether. Completely and instantaneously recovers both HP and MP.
Enables one to know a monster's HP and maximum HP. Possesses 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, well-made footwear created by skilled craftsmen. Enables quicker, more agile movement when worn, doubling one's attack power. Same effect as Haste.
Chant a spell with this in hand, and you will be able to siphon from the desired opponent as much MP as they have. Has the same effect as the black magic Aspir.
By covering one's opponent with this, one can affect their nervous system and hamper their ability to move. Effect is same as the white magic Slow.
A tail feather dropped by a phoenix which emits a strange glistening. An item that, same as the white magic Raise, will revive those slain in battle.
A holy crucifix that has passed between the hands of an unknown number of 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 who live in the heavens above condensed and sealed within a single idol. When raised before attacking enemies, it produces a lightning the same as Thundaga.
Medicine that returns ones transformed into frogs by Toad or such to their original form. Made from the morning dew from the plants which grow on mountain summits. 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 a certain number of points' worth.
Medicine whose restorative powers exceed even those of High Potion. The antibiotics penicillin and streptomycin are manufactured with the grade of medicinal herbs raised for it. [I was going to make fun of this concept, 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 one has fallen into a deep sleep through such means as the black magic Slepul. Can send an awakening stimulus directly from the brain to the nervous system.
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
Seals away magic-using enemies' spells when tolled. 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 any enemy into a berserker. Will increase one's attack power, but lowers one's powers of evasion. Effectively the same as the white magic Berserk.
Within a grown unicorn are hidden many mysterious powers. When used in battle, this horn will heal all status changes.
Bomb's Right Arm
Inside is stored the mummified right hand of a bomb that has blown itself up. [Note: the representation of this item shows it as a small, coffin-like container with a raised carving of a hand on top.] Creates flames with the same destructive powers as the black magic Firaga when thrown at the enemy targeted.
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...