A classic fantasy-RPG created with modern technology.
- —Tomoya Asano, introducing the game
Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light is a "gaiden" or "spin-off" game of the main Final Fantasy series. It was released for the Nintendo DS console in Japan and was released in North America on October 5, 2010.
The game is the second to be released with the Final Fantasy Gaiden subtitle in Japan, after Seiken Densetsu ~Final Fantasy Gaiden~ (which had been released as Final Fantasy Adventure in North America), though the two games have no relations to each other. Character design is done by Akihiko Yoshida, and the development team of Final Fantasy IV DS all returned to work on the title. While the four Heroes of Light have their default names, the player can name them at the beginning of the game, similar to Final Fantasy II.
A sequel to the game was considered by the development team, and eventually evolved into Bravely Default, a spiritual sequel with related concepts.
Gameplay follows normal RPG fare, though Magic Points are replaced by Action Points. Random encounters return, and the Battle system is turn-based, reminiscent of the first three Final Fantasy games on the Famicom. Changing equipment changes the characters' appearance.
- Main article: List of Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light crowns
The game uses a new variation of the job system called the Crown System, where jobs are linked to hats, known as Crowns. Each crown contains four skills and various bonus attributes, but magic spells can be used by all crowns. There are twenty-eight crowns available in the game. Unlike past versions of the job system, where Jobs determined a character's entire appearance, crowns are only signified by what is worn on a character's head, and equipment provides the aesthetic changes for a character's appearance.
Battles take place in a turn-based format, with several twists from the rest of the series. Instead of MP, the game uses Action Points (AP). Each turn the players regenerate one AP, to a maximum of five. And also unlike other games in the series, the player cannot choose the targets of their attacks and abilities. Monsters choose the target of their attacks and abilities with an Enmity system. The player has four choices of action each turn; attack with the character's weapon, use an item, use one of the character's abilities or spells, or Boost, which will generate extra AP and make the character crouch and increase defense against damage from physical attacks.
Another factor affecting the battle is enthusiasm. When the heroes are Psyched Up they become surrounded by a yellow aura and get a stat boost. When the heroes are feeling down they become surrounded by a blue aura and get a corresponding decrease in stats.
When a battle is finished, surviving characters receive all the Experience Points gained. If any items are dropped they are distributed among characters with space to hold them. And, finally, any Gems found are added to the party's total.
- Main article: Multiplayer
There is also a wireless co-op mode, where up to four players can play.
- Main article: List of Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light characters
There are four playable characters who form the eponymous Heroes of Light, along with four characters who join the party temporarily. Players are allowed to choose names for the four Heroes at the start of the game.
- Brandt - A carefree young boy who lives in the Kingdom of Horne with his mother Kuore. He has a strong sense of justice, yet still rough in manners.
- Jusqua - A young boy with an air of mystery surrounding him. He doesn't like it when things get tough, and generally abandons the missions that do.
- Yunita - A soldier from the Kingdom of Horne, sworn to protect and serve Princess Aire. She is a stoic and serious girl, but is nervous of her role.
- Aire - The second daughter of King Horne. She is the cheerful mood-maker of the group, but is a spoiled princess and has little knowledge of the outside world.
- Main article: List of Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light locations
The world in The 4 Heroes Of Light is not named. It is a single continent divided by mountain ranges and has extensive oceans. It is mostly temperate in climate, although not entirely. There are seven nations: Horne, the hometown of the main characters, Guera, Liberte, Arbor, Urbeth, Spelvia, and Invidia. The world is inhabited by humans, fairies, elves, and Dragoniers.
In the small kingdom of Horne, Brandt awakes on the morning of his fourteenth birthday. Today is the day he becomes an adult, and the custom of the realm says that he must go to the castle to present himself to the king.
Yet when he arrives at the castle he finds the king distraught and the youngest princess missing, abducted by the Witch of the North. With no one else to turn to, the king makes a shocking request: will Brandt save the princess?
And thus Brandt's adventure begins...
Eventually he is joined by three other brave young souls. Together they will experience a journey full of joyous meetings and sad partings.
Though at first they don't always see eye-to-eye, these four Heroes of Light will build bonds of trust and affection so strong that, in the end, they may even save the world.
This is the tale of their legendary quest.
- —Official Prologue
The story begins on the morning of Brandt's fourteenth birthday, the time when it is custom for males of Horne to present themselves to the king to become men. On his way there, Brandt finds King Horne distraught and is told to go find Princess Aire and save her from Louhi, the Witch of the North. Once Brandt makes it to the North Caves, he is attacked by a minotaur, but is saved by Jusqua. Jusqua joins Brandt and they continue on their quest eventually coming up to the Witch's Mansion, and find the princess's bodyguard, Yunita, who offers to join them. They are able to rescue Princess Aire, but when they return to town, everyone has been turned to stone.
A team of inspectors from Liberte are in the town looking for the cause of the curse. The head inspector offers to take the party to their city as refugees, but Brandt and Yunita say they need to try and save Horne, and Jusqua decides to just give up and go, so Yunita orders him to take Aire with him. Brandt and Yunita head out to Guera to seek a cure for the curse and meet Krinjh. The group goes to the Moonlight Tower where they get the World Map. After this, the group make their way to the town of Guera, where they meet the king, who decides to help them figure out the curse if they help him get rid of a monster problem in the desert. The party goes to the Quicksand Castle, where they defeat the Sand Devil, who is later revealed to be Ariadne. Ariadne and Krinjh then disappear.
While Brandt and Yunita explored Guera, Jusqua and Aire have their own happenings in the port town of Liberte. Aire explores the town and finds out that a young boy, named Apollo, had his parents kidnapped. She relays this news to Jusqua and they set off to the Pirate Hideout to set them free. After going through the Pirate Hideout, they realize that their leader, Captain Drake is, in fact, a Trollud in disguise and they defeat the monster freeing Apollo's parents and the real Captain Drake himself. Going further into the dungeon, Aire discovers an Arbor fairy only she can see, and the fairy decides to join their party after being freed from the vase it was captured in.
Soon after arriving into town, Aire hears of a treasure hidden inside a whirlpool during night, which piques her curiosity. She forces Jusqua along the trip and the two make their way through the maze. After finding the treasure guarded by a Seadevil, Jusqua goes into an outrage because of Aire's selfishness and leaves her. With only Lilibelle, the fairy, left in her companion, Aire opens the treasure chest, which transforms her into a cat and she is ejected out of the dungeon. Seeing that Jusqua at Liberte cannot help her in her current situation, Aire and Lilibelle decide to go to Guera and learn of a way to lift the hex. Along the way, they encounter an a Ogre Bear, who fatally wounds Aire, forcing Lillibelle to sacrifice herself to save her friend. At the same moment, Brandt decides that he would go find a way to break Horne out of the witch's contract himself, and leaves Yunita sleeping at the inn. He meets Aire the cat without knowing it is her, and they travel towards Arbor together.
Once they arrive at Arbor, Brandt is immediately transformed into a plant due to the Queen's distrust of humans, making him unable progress inside the great tree. The story returns back to Jusqua who meets another cat back at Liberte believing it to be Aire. Feeling responsible, he travels to the city of Urbeth to find a way to lift the animal hex on the cat. He finds a Sorcerer who claims to be able to help the cat, but for a price of 10,000 gil. Jusqua proceeds to deliver specific requests for the four merchant lords of Urbeth; Thauzand, Trylion, Bylion and Mylion.
On the way, he finds Yunita, who somehow managed to get here from Guera and lost all her savings in the process, and is now living with the poverty stricken part of the community. She joins the party and helps Jusqua collect the money unbeknownst of the hex Aire is affected with. Once given the fee, the Sorcerer asks Jusqua to return by tomorrow as lifting the curse will take some time. The next day the town is attacked by monsters that spawn from dolls the Sorcerer had created. Once the two defeat the monsters the Sorcerer has already made his escape towards Invidia by boat. Thauzand helps Jusqua by lending him his boat and he leaves Yunita for a second time back at the inn as he makes his way to his next destination.
Meanwhile, Aire the cat struggles to cure Brandt's vegetative petrification and soon meets a mouse named Torte. Torte helps her obtain the Animal Staff hidden deep within Great Tree Roots, but when used upon Brandt, he morphs into a dog. With both members being animals, they seek the Queen of Arbor for help, but in exchange they must calm down the rampaging Arbaroc, Guardian of Arbor who is a griffin who normally makes his nest atop the giant tree or Arbor, and bring him back to his senses.
Arbaroc's uncontrollable rage forces the party to defeat him in combat and the Queen of Arbor thanks them by making the Animal Staff into the Transformation Staff, which allows any party member to shift between animal or human form at will. The floating city of Spelvia appears just above Arbor and Brandt and Aire decide it to be their next destination.
However, only Aire makes it across while Brandt plummets back into Arbor. Following the Queen's advice, he travels further north to the western ice caverns looking for another way to Spelvia. At the same time Jusqua enters through the eastern ice cavern and the two eventually meet up to fight the Sorcerer and save the black cat he had captured. Jusqua laments on his false identification of the cat as Aire, which he almost risked his life to rescue.
With Brandt and Jusqua arriving at Invidia, they meet a young girl named Rekoteh and a city of Dragoniers, the race that sealed the Dark Lord many years ago. Rekoteh's father willingly assists the party by letting them have the newborn dragon after they acquire the Dragon's Harp to awaken it. While all three of them race towards Spelvia, Yunita is still at Urbeth and seeing that her only party member left her yet again, she decides that she must save Horne and the Princess by herself. Spelvia is hovering above Urbeth and Yunita chooses to climb the Tower to the Sky and cross a rainbow to reach Spelvia through the Spelvia Dungeons. She soon meets Aire and is grateful to see her well, but when they arrive into town, they discover it in utter turmoil.
Rolan, their ruler, has locked himself away in solitude thinking that humans are selfish and forces him to do all the work. These negative thoughts purged and influenced the Golems' thoughts living around Spelvia and the Golems would attack any human being they see, so Yunita and Aire travel into Rolan's Soul with the help of the Witch of the Sky. They destroy the monsters controlling Rolan, but this causes him to unleash the darkness locked away inside him and to warp reality itself. When returning to Spelvia, Aire and Yunita are reunited with Brandt and Jusqua. The party arrives in Rolan's chamber and is forced to defeat him in battle. After defeating Rolan, Rekoteh arrives and holds onto her brother.
The party have now been shot back decades into the past, and must acquire Weapons of Light once wielded by the genuine hero, Rolan (from whom their Rolan is descended and after whom he is named), in order to seal the Dark Lord. The party returns to Arbor and meet up with a young Torte in his human form. They follow Torte into the Great Tree Roots, they meet Torte inside and they agree to help him find the legendary White Magic, Lux. At the bottom of the dungeon, they find the chest containing Lux and Torte recommends that he opens it.
After Torte opens the chest, he accidentally releases Belphegor. After being released, Belphegor travels to Mount Gulg and plans to set off the volcano. The party returns to Arbor and Torte is changed into a mouse as punishment for releasing Belphegor. The party travels to Mount Gulg and witnesses Belphegor attempting to possess Arbaroc's body. Torte arrives and tries to prevent this, but he is knocked out by Belphegor. The party battles Belphegor and they defeat him. With Belphegor destroyed, the city of Arbor is finally at peace. Before they leave, Queen Arbor allows Torte to live in Arbor and explains that she aims to make peace with humans and gives the party the Lux spell.
When party arrives in Urbeth, they discover Urbeth was once the city of faith and the people are under a plague sent by Beelzebub. They also discover Thauzand's daughter is infected with the plague and try to buy a Hi-Elixir from the Apothecary, but the Apothecary charges a very high price for cure. The party follows the Apothecary throughout the Hunting Caves, at the bottom floor they discover that the Apothecary was a monster serving Beelzebub.
After defeating the monster, it drops a Hi-Elixir and the party takes it. The party returns to Urbeth and heal Thauzand's daughter and they learn that everyone in town has headed to the Tower to the Sky. The party goes to the Tower of the Sky and reveals to the civilians that Beelzebub has been fooling everyone in the town. After the party defeats Beelzebub and restore the city, the people of the town give the heroes the Cape of Light.
When the party passes through the Animal Burrow, Lilibelle will be trapped in a spider web but when freed it joins the party towards Liberte. If the party enters Pione's house, Pione will remark on how the fairy inspires him to work on his next masterpiece for the Glassworks Fair, but disaster strikes as Captain Drake and his pirates loot Liberte of their artworks including the kidnapping of Pione and Lilibelle.
At the end of the Pirates' Hideout, Captain Drake is being controlled by a Seadevil and nearly kills Lilibelle until the party interrupts him. Captain Drake and Lilibelle are set free from the demon's control and the Captain gives them an old compass, which allows access to Cetus, one of the Weapons of Light, which serves as a water transport. The whale is used to combat against Leviathan in the northern shores of Liberte, which the party successfully defeats.
The party goes Invidia and meets up with a younger Rekoteh, depressed about the fact she cannot see her brother in Spelvia. The party helps her by obtaining the Dragon's Mark in the Invidia Underground and brings it to her father. The Chief of Invidia tells Rekoteh to wait for Rolan to build his empire and this makes Rekoteh angry. Outside, Rekoteh explains to the party that the ice queen, Mammon froze Invidia into the frozen town it is now. The party travels to the Sun Temple and fight Mammon and manage to defeat it and lift the curse on Invidia.
After the party defeats Mammon and restores Invidia, the Chief tells Rekoteh they are going to see Rolan in Spelvia. After these events, Rekoteh gives the heroes the Armor of Light. When the party returns to Spelvia, the Witch of the Sky opens the path into Rolan's Soul and allows the party to enter. When inside Rolan's Soul, the party fights Lucifer and they manage to stop him from corrupting Rolan. After defeating Lucifer, Rolan gives the party the Sword of Light.
When the party first reaches Guera, they notice Krinjh and Ariadne are still alive and have brought a seedling from the Great Tree to Guera in order for the country to prosper, but this caused Ariadne's exile from Arbor. When the party decides to follow Krinjh to the Moonlit Tower, home of the Moon Folk race, they realize that several monsters were sent to murder him and so they travel to Quicksand Castle prior to his advice to help stop the outbreak.
Upon reaching the top, they discover King Guera secretly manipulating Ariadne's thoughts about Krinjh and used the powers of the seedling for evil. Krinjh arrives and shines moonlight on the King who takes on the form of the demon, Asmodeus. When successfully defeated, Krinjh gives the party the Shield of Light. He and Ariadne become rulers of Guera leading the nation to prosperity.
The party finally returns to Horne and arrive on the day Aire was born. They witness Queen Horne who is about to give birth to Aire. The party follows King Horne into the Magic Laboratory and witness King Horne making a deal with Louhi for the ultimate Black Magic, Desolator, in exchange for Aire's soul. The party is shocked and finally find the answers to the questions they have been asking since the beginning of the journey: their eventual defiance of this deal by killing Louhi is what sparked the curse. The party goes to Louhi's Mansion in an attempt to stop the deal from happening. Louhi transforms into Greaps but she is defeated. The witch attempts to fight the heroes again, but is stopped by Rolan.
Rolan and Louhi reveal to the party that King Horne was turned into a parrot by the demon Satan and the demon is assuming his form. The two instruct the heroes to find the Lamp of Truth to reveal Satan's true form so they can defeat him. The party returns to the Magic Laboratory and meets with Satan, Brandt and the others use the Lamp of Truth on him and reveal his true form. The party manages to defeat Satan and return King Horne into his true form. With the real King returned to Queen Horne's side once more, she is able to recover from giving birth and didn't die. Once the kingdom is returned normal, the King gives the party the Desolator Tome.
After fixing all the mistakes of the past, Chaos reveals the Star Chamber and attempts to fully cover the world in darkness. Brandt and the others head to the Star Chamber with Cetus's help. When they enter the dungeon, Chaos reveals to the party that he has sealed all their crowns and they must defeat all of his minions again to obtain them. After defeating Chaos's minions and obtaining their crowns, the party goes into the bottom levels of the Star Chamber to meet Chaos himself.
After he is defeated twice, Chaos arises once more and he destroys the crystal that's been assisting the party, weakening them, and almost causes the group to give up, but their allies encourage them to not give up and give them the power to stand again. The party battles Chaos one more time and defeats him. After Chaos's death, the Star Chamber begins to collapse, but the party manages to escape on the dragon, and find themselves back in their own time line. The party flies around the world and return all the Light Equipment to their owners.
After returning all the equipment to their owners, the heroes return to Horne Castle. After speaking with King Horne, Brandt and the others hear the dragon's cry and know they still have work to do. The group leaves, knowing that they are the Warriors of Light and they are destined to help the world.