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Talk:Final Fantasy Tactics Advance

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Bits and pieces, mainly regional differences

Nice work with breaking the opening battle, I always wonder about scripted stuff like that. I have a few notes on FFTA I scraped together but was too lazy to ever do anything with. There are some significant changes between the original Japanese release and subsequent localized versions of the game, enough to warrant a comparison to the way Final Fantasy 7 or the Kingdom Hearts titles were tweaked internationally. To my knowledge, none of these changes were implemented into the rerelease for the Wii U Virtual Console, based on archived playthrough streams on Youtube.

First off, the bit that has stuck with me for years: two songs were replaced with new ones for the US and EU releases, and I never figured out why, until I bothered to actually check this website yesterday. The themes that play during the Ivalice transformation sequence and while managing save data are missing from the OST. In the Japanese version, the pair of songs are different arrangements of a moody, mysterious melody - you can hear them in the GSF set (or on Zophar's Domain) as "Unknown Song 2" and "Unknown Song 3", or listen to one of them on Youtube. As noted in the video description, the songs are actually based on "Shiroi Hana" by the band ZONE, which was used for the Japanese commercial and apparently played after each part of the live performance of the radio drama.

Anyway, the Ivalice transformation tune was changed to a rather nice new theme that is actually synchronized to the sequence (labeled "The World is Changing" in the GSF set), and a new song was written for managing save data as well ("Data Screen" in the GSF set, and later named "Bookmark" on the A2 OST). I'm not certain of my recollection, but don't think these songs were in the Japanese version when I extracted the music data with gbamusriper, and the "Shiroi Hana" arrangements aren't in the music data for the US and EU releases. But the US version has an odd unused and unfinished-sounding arrangement of Uematsu's "Main Theme" ("Unknown Song 1"), and it syncs up pretty well with the Ivalice transformation cutscene, so I suspect it was going to be used for that before the new song was created. I'm less certain about this, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't in the Japanese data.

Second, the major gameplay changes. This is a mix of things I know are true and some which I never verified, so I apologize if I end up misleading anyone. The biggest tweak was to the controversial Law system. In the Japanese version, there is just "WORLD LAW", the list of things which are forbidden for the day/upcoming days and make Judges punish you with Yellow/Red Cards for relevant infractions. In the US/EU versions, the "WORLD LAW" text at the top of the list has been replaced by "FORBIDDEN", and parallel to that is the new "RECOMMEND" list of actions the Judges favor on that day and will award Judge Points for. In the original, you can only earn JP from defeating an enemy, but with the Recommend system, it seems Combos and Summons can be used a lot more frequently. I have no idea if the game was rebalanced for this.

Other changes I know of but haven't verified:

  • Laws against damage or health restoration outside certain paramaters (less than 20, more than 100, that kind of thing) were removed. Might still be in the data, though.
  • The number of Mission Items you can hold was doubled from 32 to 64
  • Gloves can now be stolen; however, the player can no longer steal Blue Magic abilities

....I thought there were others. But I can't remember any more right now.

Content-wise, back when the US version came out, I heard that some of the late/post-game optional stuff wasn't in the original. Specifically the missions related to corrupt Judges that you get after you clear the 300 regular missions, and also those missions which involve recruiting story NPCs (Ritz, Shara, Babus, Ezel and of course Cid). I really should have verified this at some point...

In terms of censorship, there's an interesting change in the scene after the snowball fight, when the children run into Cid. In the Japanese version, Mewt's father is by himself and clearly drunk as a skunk - swaying and stumbling, apparently slurring his words and even showing inebriation in his portrait. This was changed to have him be sober and apologetic as he is confronted by two men about some unspecified transgression at their unspecified workplace. The scene works out the same story-wise, but I feel the original really underscores the contrast between Mewt's real and reimagined lives.

Lastly, I did a side-by-side comparison of the three versions some time ago, although I didn't get farther than the formation of the clan. Based on what I found in an old text file, the remaining differences that weren't covered above were simple and UI-related:

  • The English font in the US and EU versions are sightly different - the latter is more visually compact
  • There are minor variations in what additional symbols are available in the naming menu between all three
  • The help windows which read "NOTICE" at the top originally said "CHECK!"
  • "WT" when showing the turn order became "TO" in the US version, but then "WT" again in the European
  • The character status sub-window was changed from saying "ABILITY" in Japan to "ABILITIES" internationally
  • Although I'm uncertain of the specifics, it seems the medal seen in the lower-left corner when targeting a Law-immune character was changed in the European version - it now has a longer ribbon and the text beside it was removed

Oh, and this isn't UI or TCRF-related, but in the Japanese version the Judge who sends the Bangaa to prison after the second tutorial battle apparently refers to the law against using items as "R2-4601". "R2" is presumably the Rank, but the additional number makes it sound like he's referring to some fictional penal code. Just a cute detail.

Okay, that should be it. Sorry about this whole mess, and me not bothering to actually add any of this to the page, and that so much of this is unverified. I might read through the guides at GameFAQs and maybe some Japanese sites to see if I can find anything that outright proves or disproves what I wrote. Keep up the great work. 7HeroesForceBattle (talk) 23:43, 23 September 2019 (EDT)