The following is a list of version differences between the various ports of Final Fantasy IV. Throughout the various releases of the game, it has been subject to alterations to the game script, overall difficulty, item and spell system, and the abilities of the player characters. Some versions also have various new additions not present in the original release.
North American/Easy Type ReleaseEdit
The following changes apply to both the Easy Type Version and the North American release of the game. Changes exclusive to either version are noted as well.
- The magic spells Protect, Shell, and Dispel were removed, as well as Rydia's Cockatrice summon. Asura originally incorporated Protect into her attack script; it was replaced. Zemus's Malice and Zemus's Breath, however, still make use of Protect and Shell. The white magic icon was removed from the spells' names, replaced with a blank space.
- Removal/replacement of curative items. In the original game, almost every status ailment (such as Stone and Poison) had a corresponding item used to cure it (Gold Needle and Antidote respectively). These individual items were removed and replaced with the item Remedy, which cured all status ailments. Remedies were rarer and more expensive in the original version, but were made far more common and affordable in these releases. Other items, such as Ether, which were extremely rare in the original game, were far more common as well.
- Removal of attack items. The original game featured a wide assortment of magical items which could be used in battle to replicate the effects of a number of magic spells, such as a Red Fang to inflict fire damage, or Spider Silk to cast Slow. All of these items were removed, with the exception of the Red Fang. Cecil can be seen using a Blue Fang automatically in the game's opening sequence, even though they can't be found during the game itself. The original also contained a key item called Dark Matter, which Edge could steal from Zeromus in the final battle. This item did nothing, and was removed as well.
- Various item costs were decreased.
- The stats of several weapons were improved.
- Several abilities were removed: Tellah's Recall, Edward's Salve, Rosa's Pray, Yang's Focus and Brace, Palom's Bluff, Porom's Cry, and Fusoya's Regen.
- The Dark Knight enemy's HP was increased to 65,000. It was possible, with a little perseverance, to kill the enemy in the original game by alternating between attacking and healing, because it only had about 3,000 HP.
- In one cutscene in the original version, Rosa is rescued at the last moment from being executed by a giant scythe. In the Easy Type and North American versions, the scythe was replaced with a giant metal ball.
- In the original version, the Training Room consisted of a small room below the Devil's Road entrance in Baron. The training room in these versions is a two story building, which contains far more NPCs offering advice. There is one located in nearly every overworld town; several towns were edited slightly to add the building.
- The Developer's Office, a secret area in the Dwarven Castle where sprites representing the development team appear, was removed. This room was basically an Easter Egg where the player could converse with (and, in some cases, battle) the representations of the game's programmers. The maps themselves were replaced by the expanded training room.
Easy Type Only ChangesEdit
The Ribbon absorbs elemental attacks as well as nullifying status ailments. Other pieces of equipment have had less drastic buffs.
- Zeromus's final form has a different sprite.
- Many monsters, and nearly every piece of equipment, was renamed. For example, the Ragnarok was renamed to 'Sword of the Gods' (かみがみのつるぎ Kamigami no Tsurugi). The original names mostly consisted of English names written in katakana; the new names are Japanese and written in hiragana.
- The Ancient Sword became the Coral Sword which now has 5 points more than the Mythgraven Blade. It retains the Ancient Sword's effectiveness against ghouls, but has higher attack power and is lightning-elemental. Found in the Ancient Waterway.
- The Mithril Sword became the Piglet Sword, the sword is no longer available for purchase in the village of Mythril. The sword is no longer considered a metallic weapon, making the Lodestone Cavern easier. The sword occasionally turns enemies into pigs. Found in a pot in the passageway to Odin's throne below the east tower in Baron Castle.
- Stronger spells are numbered instead of having suffixes or prefixes like the original ("Blizzard2" instead of Blizzara).
- The Grimoire item is much more common. It is available from the beginning of the game, dropped by various monsters.
- Gold and Silver Apples are still available in this version.
- A number of monsters on the moon had their attack scripts altered, including Zeromus. This actually makes several of them more difficult than their original counterparts.
- The Flan Princess' location has been moved. They now appear in three rooms, excluding the one they originally appeared in, and they are encountered slightly more commonly. They occupy the second-to-rarest encounter slot, in addition to the rarest.
North American Only ChangesEdit
- Removal of religious imagery, such as "Holy" being renamed "White". The Tower of Prayers in Mysidia is renamed the Tower of Wishes (though one instance of "pray" was still left in, uttered by the Black Mage in the tower).
- Cecil's Darkness ability was removed. Notably, although Cecil cannot use the ability himself, his doppelganger still uses the attack in their battle.
- Textual edits to remove references to death and violence, partially to adhere to Nintendo's family friendly content guidelines. References to death and suicide in the original script were eliminated in the original North American translation.
- Altered item and attack names, changed to reflect their usage. The item Phoenix Down, for instance, which was used for reviving wounded/unconscious characters, was renamed Life; the item Remedy, which cured a variety of status ailments, was renamed Heal; and the item Potion, which restored a character's HP, was renamed Cure1.
- Each summon magic attack consisted of both a monster name and an attack name in the Japanese version (for example, the summon spell Leviathan performed the attack Tsunami); in the original English translation, short names (such as "Levia" for Leviathan) were used in the menu, and the full summon name was used in place of the attack name.
- A simplified script, due to space limitations. A number of subplots, most notably an ongoing story about Kain's background and relationship to his father, are removed. The script was also considered poorly translated, even by employees at Square.
- The ring icon used for the ring items does not exist in the Japanese version of the game. It was added in the English version using one of the character codes freed up by not having to support the Japanese character set, and helps compensate for how short item names were forced to be. The glove icon is used for the rings in the Japanese version.
The PlayStation rerelease is mostly identical to the original version of Final Fantasy IV. Some minor tweaks introduced in Final Fantasy IV Easy Type have been left in, but these are so rare that the average gamer could very easily play through the entire game and never notice them. The most notable changes are as follows:
- The ability to "dash" in dungeons and towns by holding the Cancel button
- The ability to perform a "memo" save anywhere on the world map. This save would remain active in the PlayStation's RAM until it was overwritten by another such save, or the power was turned off or interrupted.
- For the North American and European releases, an entirely rewritten translation which addressed most of the discrepancies between the original game and the SNES Final Fantasy II.
- Bookended by FMV sequences featuring scenes from the game.
The WonderSwan Color version of Final Fantasy IV had the following changes:
- Decreased screen resolution, and music and sound effects using the WonderSwan's sound chip, which met the specifications of the device.
- A number of overall new sprites and enhancements to the graphics and backgrounds, by providing additional details and color shading. The original character portraits were replaced with new, smaller portraits.
- A number of bugs from the original were fixed, while at the same time many new ones were introduced. Most of the bugs listed in the GBA section also apply to this version.
- The game has a quicksave feature, which allows the game to be saved temporarily at any time. This data is erased after loading it.
- The desert near the Antlion's Den was change to light green grass.
- The light green grass found around Fabul was changed into a desert.
The following are the changes in the Game Boy Advance release. The GBA is port of the WSC version and has the following additions/restorations:
- The graphics from the WonderSwan Color version have been further improved: More color has been added to some sprites, colors have been brightened, and a gradient effect has been added to the game's windows. New portraits have been drawn for the playable characters and Golbez. The music and sound effects have also been enhanced.
- A character's portrait is displayed in the dialogue boxes out of battle when they are speaking.
- The Active Time Battle bar appears in the battle window.
- A semi-new English translation. The dialogue script is based on the PSX release with some improvements, while the other text has been translated from scratch. Additionally, the European version of the game also offers German, French, Italian, and Spanish translations.
- The ability to switch party members; this ability is gained once the Giant of Babil is defeated. Players may choose to change members with Cid, Edward, Palom, Porom or Yang. Players can change party members as often as they like, but Cecil must remain in the party at all times. The cinematic scene before the fight with Zeromus changes slightly depending on who is and is not in the party.
- The "Cave of Trials" on Mt. Ordeals, containing monsters from various late-game dungeons with new bosses, each of which leaves behind a powerful new weapon for one of the above five characters.
- The 40-floor Lunar Ruins that opens up after the defeat of Zeromus. Within this dungeon there is a unique trial for each of the still-playable characters, and each trial is located after exploring three randomly selected floors from a group of four or five with powerful new enemies. New weapons, armor and items for each character can also be obtained inside.
- An in-game bestiary and unlockable music player
- The Claw's striking graphics were change from punches to claw slashes.
Some minor bugs were introduced into the game, such as the following:
- Many times, PCs will be skipped over for their turn. This is a function of the flawed ATB system. The game appears highly conflicted trying to work out the instant action ATB system used in 5 and 6, and the "casting time" differences in 4: If two characters have a ready turn (full ATB bar), then if a third bar fills up before the first of those characters finishes an action, it will ignore the original queue for an entire turn.
- Other things that can occur from this destructive ATB bug: rapidly melee attacking as someone tries to cast a spell can result in that character never casting the spell, at least until there's a break in the acting. This affects enemies as well, letting players delay their actions indefinitely. The most harmful aspect is its ability to skip exactly the person whose turn you're trying to get: "Defend" being an instant action, selecting it with the other characters in the party will result in the intended character never getting a turn.
- Some jerkiness while flying airships, more so when going left and right than up and down, and during menu navigation in and out of battle. The latter makes it less effective to select spells or weapons during fast-paced Active Mode battles.
- Minor lag when attacking during battles.
The following is a list of changes to the Nintendo DS release. The game as a whole was given a graphical overhaul to 3D, and included changes to incorporate the DS touch screen, increase the difficulty and add a new ability system. The specific changes are as follows:
- The party switching system from the Advance version is gone, as well as the new equipment and dungeons.
- The new augment system allows characters to learn special abilities in addition to their own innate ones. These abilities can be exchanged with the character's current abilities at any time outside of battle. Characters can learn abilities from former party members (as well as bosses and NPCs) that can be arranged to be used in battle.
- Stat boosts for Level 71 and on are affected by which augments the character is equipped with. With enough patience and the right combination of augments, all characters in the final party can achieve 99 in all stats.
- A number of new spells (seen in previous games like Final Fantasy XII) accessed via Twin Magic or the Recall ability such as Bravery, Faith and Bubble.
- Equipment options have been changed. Rosa is now the only character who can equip bows, Cecil can equip new elemental knives found in Troia, and Edge cannot equip Claws.
- A retranslated script incorporating many concepts originally left out, such as Zemus's desire for the Lunarians to populate Earth, and information regarding Kain's father. There's also a handful of new events, including a flashback to when Cecil was born, and how Golbez fell under Zemus's control.
- Various new cinematic sequences with voice-overs. A full CG intro with rendered character models is also added.
- The ability to walk and fly airships in eight directions, as well as through use of the touch screen.
- The new summon, Whyt, who replaces Rydia in battle and acts automatically, based on abilities you set it prior to battle. It has infinite MP and will act for approximately 3 turns before dismissing itself.
- The Fat Chocobo gives access to five minigames used to increase Whyt's stats, as well as an option to battle your Whyt with a friend's, customize its appearance using the DS touch screen, and change its battle behavior. The Fat Chocobo also lets you listen to the music player, watch previously seen cutscenes and view the bestiary.
- The Fat Chocobo no longer holds items, as the inventory space limit has been removed.
- Many of the bosses and enemies are much more difficult. In general, enemy HP is increased, new attack patterns are added, enemies do more damage, and they attack in greater numbers. Additionally, many enemies which would not use their more devastating attacks unless they were alone, will now use them at any time, even if other monsters are present. Perhaps to compensate, status spells like Stop and Hold are more effective, and a large majority of enemies and bosses are vulnerable to Slow.
- An altered loot system, with items dropped and Stolen from enemies changed.
- The player is now incapable of changing the characters' names, as voice acting makes this impossible. Namingway, now unable to change the main cast's names, changes his name throughout the game as you interact with him in various scenes in towns and dungeons. Namingway's misadventures form a game-arcing subquest as the player assists him in finding new meaning to his life and he changes his name to fit his situation.
- There is a minimap on the bottom screen, given by Namingway. Exploring 100% of the dungeon floor the map is displaying results in free items. Exploring 100% of all maps in the game rewards the player with a rare augment ability.
- The ATB Gauge gains a second red bar indicating the time between selecting an action and the action being performed.
- Upon entering the menus in the World Map or in towns, a word bubble appears over the character on screen - whoever is at the "head" of the party, reflecting their thoughts and feelings.
- Various abilities have been changed. For example, Yang's Focus no longer attacks for double damage; instead it allows Yang to charge his attack power up to three times, which will increase the damage done by any physical attack he executes. Porom's Cry now lowers enemies' defense stat, and Fusoya's Bless restores MP instead of HP.
- Various spell changes. Several spells have altered power or MP costs. Rydia's summons in particular are more powerful than before.
- Two optional superbosses, Geryon and Proto-Babil.
- A "New Game Plus" feature.
- The desert around Fabul from the Gameboy Advance was reverted back into light green grass.
- Some cinematic changes were incorporated as well: After Golbez's second defeat and his declaration that death will not overcome him, he simply turns around and grabs the crystal. In the SNES version, Golbez's hand became disembodied and grabbed the crystal after travelling through the room.
The following is from the mobile phone port of the game, which was only released in Japan so far.
- All new character sprites for during and outside of battle, with some taken from Final Fantasy IV: The After Years.
- The party-swapping feature from the Advance edition is reinstated, with some rebalancing on the characters.
- A whole new "EX Dungeon", which is a heavily redesigned version of the Lunar Ruins and shares the same entrance. The stories for the Lunar Ruins were changed.
- The inventory space is now unlimited. The Fat Chocobo is now used for a minigame. If the player finds one of eight Gysahl Greens from around the world, they will receive a reward from the Fat Chocobo in the Chocobo Forest.
- Namingway has been replaced by Tradingway, who must be visited in seven different locations. Each time the player meets him, they will get a Colored Card and an item. Collecting them all will award the player with the Unhappy Ear Hood, which refers to Namingway's ears.
- Other than the Pink Tail, the player can discover other tails in exchange for items. These include items that were seen in the The After Years, such as the Rapid Ring and Rare Band.
The following is from The Complete Collection for the PlayStation Portable, which also includes The After Years and a brand new scenario named Final Fantasy IV Interlude. The specific changes are as follows:
- New high definition sprites that are more in-line with the 20th Anniversary Editions of Final Fantasy and Final Fantasy II for the PlayStation Portable.
- The dialogue for Final Fantasy IV is a heavily edited version of the Advance release, retaining only a few lines from the DS script. Everything else in the game such as item and enemy names mostly follow the Wii version of the Final Fantasy IV: The After Years, which itself mostly follows the Nintendo DS translation of Final Fantasy IV.
- 3D polygonal cutscenes for various sequences in Final Fantasy IV, such as Leviathan rising out of the ocean or the Giant of Babil attacking the overworld.
- A gallery and bestiary option for all games is included.
- The player can switch between the DS or SNES versions of the music.
- The post-game content from the Advance version has been retained, as well as party swapping.
- Like Final Fantasy VI, players can select a new wallpaper for menus and dialogue boxes. There are a maximum of four choices.
- In the vein of the DS version, an auto-battle feature has been included and can be activated if the player pushes Select during a fight. It also speeds up the battle animation.
- Porom's Cry has been further altered and is now, for all intents and purposes, a free group-cast Confuse.
The iOS version uses the DS version's 3D graphics and cutscenes, and the control system has been altered to be more suitable to the handheld console. The interface is also completely different. The specific changes are as follows:
- The graphical quality has been slightly improved.
- The full CG intro found in the DS version has been omitted.
- Whyt does not appear and the minigames have been omitted.
- A new sidequest involving a search for eight eidolons has been added to replace the former method of talking to Whyt to acquire the Piercing Magic augment.
- The ????'s Love augment is now powered up by covering another party member in battle, with a one point increase in attack power per battle, up to a total increase of 99.
- Only one Limit Break augment can be acquired, even across multiple playthroughs.
- The music box has a different track list and Edward's commentary is not included.
- There are two difficulty modes, Normal and Hard.
- The Developer's Room has been altered to reflect the iOS staff instead of the DS staff.