Final Fantasy Tactics Advance (ファイナルファンタジータクティクスアドバンス Fainaru Fantajī Takutikusu Adobansu) is a tactical role-playing game developed and published by Square (now Square Enix) for the Nintendo Game Boy Advance. A spin-off of the Final Fantasy series, the game shares several traits with 1997’s Final Fantasy Tactics, although it is not a direct sequel. The player assembles a clan of characters, and controls their actions over grid-like battlefields. Players are mostly free to decide the classes, abilities, and statistics of their characters.
The game’s story centers on four children; Marche, Mewt, Ritz, and Doned, who live in a small town named St. Ivalice. The children are transported to a realm of the same name as their town, “Ivalice”, after discovering an ancient magical book. The story then focuses on the exploits of Marche as he attempts to return to the real world while facing opposition from those around him.
Tactics Advance is one of the initial products from the cooperation of Square and Nintendo made for the Game Boy Advance console; it was developed by the team brought over from the game company Quest Corporation. Following its release, Tactics Advance-themed merchandise was introduced. The game was positively received. It has a sequel, Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift for the Nintendo DS.
Tactics Advance was re-released for the Nintendo Wii U Virtual Console on January 28, 2016 for Europe, Australia and North America with Japan on March 30, 2016.
A screenshot of an early battle in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
In Tactics Advance, turn-based tactical battles take place on a three-dimensional isometric field. The player takes the role of Marche, a clan leader; he must organize the clan’s members and advance their status through missions that are offered in pubs. The player competes against the computer’s team in turn-based play, although unlike Final Fantasy Tactics characters execute their actions instantly.
Missions are tasks undertaken by a clan. There are four types of missions: regular, encounter, dispatch, and area. In regular missions, Marche’s entire party ventures to a particular location to do battle. Many of these missions are used to advance the story. In encounter missions, Marche’s group battles a rival mercenary clan by purchasing a mission or meeting them on the map. In dispatch missions, which do not involve battle, Marche temporarily sends away one member from his party. Area missions are usually a dispatch mission where Marche’s clan can liberate certain regions to obtain bonuses and discounts at shops.
Some missions, typically dispatch missions, require a special item to be in possession in order to accept the mission. Others require a dispatch character to have a specific job class. In regards to items, this may mean another mission must be done to get an item that would allow you to perform the later mission.
The world map is initially empty except for the starting location; it is customized as the player wins location “tokens” after certain missions. These tokens represent different terrains and settlements, such as plains, mountains, deserts, forests, and towns, that can be placed in slots on the world map. Items are rewarded to the player depending on the placement of the tokens. Ivalice also introduces areas called jagds, lawless slums that Judges avoid. Jagd is a German word which means the hunt. Jagds are the only places in the game in which a character can die; everywhere else, they are protected from death by the Judges and are simply knocked out.
Tactics Advance also offers multiplayer capability for two players. Players may cooperate or compete using a link-cable peripheral, and also trade items and party members. Additional missions and items are also offered when players link