Post Reply Final Fantasy IV DS
Posted 7/14/08 , edited 7/14/08
Final Fantasy IV DS

Final Fantasy IV (ファイナルファンタジーIV, Fainaru Fantajī Fō?) is an enhanced remake of the original Final Fantasy IV, which was released in 1991. It was released for the Nintendo DS as part of the campaign for Final Fantasy series 20th anniversary on December 20, 2007 in Japan. Square Enix has officially announced a North American release for July 22, 2008, and the game is set to be released in Europe on September 26, 2008.

The game was developed by Matrix Software, the same team responsible for the Final Fantasy III remake, and was supervised by members of the original development team: Takashi Tokita served as executive producer and director, Tomoya Asano as producer and Hiroyuki Itō as battle designer. Animator Yoshinori Kanada storyboarded the new cut scenes.
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Gameplay

Final Fantasy IV retains the original Active Time Battle System from the initial Super Nintendo release. Similar to the previous remake of Final Fantasy III on the Nintendo DS, the control of stylus is limited and optional in order to retain the same control input while allowing other players to use the Nintendo DS's unique touch control scheme.

However, the remake features a new ability system known as the Augment System, known as the Decant Ability System (デカントアビリティシステム, Dekanto Abiriti Shisutemu?) in the Japanese version. The system allows for certain character-only abilities to be transferred to other characters who did not have them in the original and previous releases of Final Fantasy IV. Up to three abilities can come from temporary party members. When leaving the party, temporary characters will yield abilities of their own, the number of which is dependent on how many abilities they were given. There are also other abilities; some scattered around the world, and some that become available after certain story events.

This new system entails another new feature: command menu customization. All commands in a character's battle menu except the Items command can be replaced with augments. This includes individual abilities that are ordinarily contained in a group (e.g. Curaga can be added directly to Rosa's command list, rather than only being accessible through the White Magic sub-list).

The Augment System was devised to replace the system in Final Fantasy IV Advance where the characters that were temporary in the original version became playable again at a certain point. The developers felt that this system changed the game too much.

Other exclusive enhancements to the DS version of the game include:

* Minigames: Unlike the main game, the minigames are stylus-control only. Their function, aside from being fun diversions, is to increase the power of an Eidolon named Whyt (Pochika (ポーチカ, Pōchika?) in the Japanese version), who can be summoned into battle by Rydia, who he replaces in the battle line-up, and acts under computer control according to abilities set to him by the player. The minigames can be played in either single-player or wireless (not Wi-Fi) multiplayer.

* New Game Plus: Allows players to start a new game with certain enhancements carried over from a previous completed game. Certain other new features are only available in a New Game Plus.

* Namingway: Because of the voice-acted scenes, he can no longer change character names. Instead he goes around the world changing his own name to fit different occupations. Examples of his name changes include "Mappingway" (charting the maps on the lower screen), "Campingway", and "Weddingway". Following Namingway around the world and engaging in his sidequest yields numerous rewards.

* Chubby Chocobo, Bestiary, Video/Music Player: Like Namingway, because of new enhancements (in this case, the item limit being removed), Chubby Chocobo can no longer serve his original purpose. Instead, he can be called in order to access the new bestiary and video/music player. Any full motion video that has been viewed in the game's story may be replayed. The music player includes a super deformed Edward strumming his harp and giving information on the selected track.
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Plot and Setting

According to executive producer Takashi Tokita, the scenario writer and lead game designer of the original release, three quarters of the original script had been left out of the original Super Famicom version.

Some of this missing script has been worked into the DS version in the form of flashbacks, including the childhoods of Cecil, Kain and Rosa. There are also brand new scenes.
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Audio

In June 2007, Square Enix held a casting for a vocalist to sing a rendition of Final Fantasy IV's "Theme of Love" rearranged by Nobuo Uematsu. Megumi Ida was selected from approximately 800 applicants to perform the theme song Tsukino Akari (月の明り, Tsuki no Akari?, Moonlight).

Voice cast

One of the biggest enhancements to the DS version of Final Fantasy IV is voice acting, which can be turned off if the player so desires.
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Development

The official developer blog (maintained by producer Tomoya Asano) has outlined several key features of the remake. As in the original, players can reform their party with whoever they choose as party leader. When you enter the menu, the party leader will now appear on the bottom screen and you can read their thoughts about what is happening in the story at that time (the development team suggests players check this feature often for some funny anecdotes).

Other developer blog entries have focused on the art and programming of the game. According to the art director, Matrix tried to make each location of the game feel unique. For example, the desert commerce nation Damcyan has taken on a Middle-Eastern flair, Fabul has been given a Chinese feeling, and Eblan has been given the feeling of a Ninja residence, which was not possible in the Super Famicom edition due to limited data capacity. Final Fantasy IV displays more characters and enemies on screen during battle compared to Final Fantasy III, which required the modeling team to reduce the number of polygons per character without sacrificing quality. The main programmer also suggests that the game is much larger than Final Fantasy III from a data standpoint, and compressing all the data to fit on a 1Gb ROM was difficult largely due to the voice data

Reception

The game sold 590,000 copies as of April 2008.
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