Ivalice (イヴァリース, Ivarīsu?) is a recurring world in the Final Fantasy series. Created by Yasumi Matsuno, Ivalice has been the setting of several games, one not even of the series, but linked to it by this setting. Unlike many other Final Fantasy worlds, every game set in Ivalice has always been set in the same universe, usually at different periods in time.
- Main article: Ivalice (Final Fantasy XII)
Ivalice is a region consisting of three continents; Ordallia in the west with a secret islet called Den's Hideout, Valendia in the northeast and Kerwon in the south. However, only the lands bordering the Naldoan Sea are explored. Other Ivalician lands (the former Republic of Landis, etc.) are sometimes mentioned but not explored in the game. In ancient times, King Raithwall united the three continents to create the united Galtean Alliance. As time passed, conflicts split the continents again.
The continents are dominated by an assortment of industrialized city-states; the Archadian Empire and the Kingdom of Nabradia both in Valendia, the Rozarrian Empire in Ordallia, and sandwiched between the two continents is the Kingdom of Dalmasca. Strategically located between the rival neighboring states of Imperial Archadia and Rozarria, Dalmasca's position as a neutral buffer region between the two countries is eliminated when it is invaded by Imperial Archadia. Now reduced to an occupied territory under Archadian rule, Dalmasca is set to play a central role in the still-heated dispute between its neighbors, which is escalating once more.
- Main article: Ivalice (Tactics)
Ivalice is referred to as a kingdom in which the story of Final Fantasy Tactics takes place. Ivalice is similar to a European country in the Middle Ages. It is a feudal society with only one major religion, the Church of Glabados, of which all Ivalicians are members, mirroring pre-reformation Christian Europe.
Ivalice has recently suffered a series of wars that also involved the invasion of neighboring kingdoms of Ordallia and Romanda, which are not accessible or shown in the game. The Fifty Years' War in which Ivalice opposes the armies of Ordallia takes place before the game. This war has led to the current destabilized political situation and the War of the Lions, which serves as the game's main plot.
- Main article: Ivalice (Tactics Advance)
Ivalice is a dream kingdom created by Mewt Randell after he bought the Gran Grimoire from a bookstore. Mewt, his friends and the entire town was brought to this dream kingdom after Mewt uttered some magic words in the Grimoire.
The Ivalice of Final Fantasy XII is arguably based on Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, although a more mature version; this version is toned down for being created by a child. Laws play an important role in this world, being supervised by the Judges of the palace.
Ivalice may also refer to St. Ivalice, Mewt's hometown.
- Main article: Jylland
Ivalice is again a geographical region and not a kingdom. The land in which the story takes place is not a dream world like in Tactics Advance, but rather a region called Jylland, an area situated within the larger world of Ivalice. Jylland is comprised of the Loar continent in the west and the western half of the Ordallia continent in the east. Luso Clemens, the game's protagonist, was teleported to Jylland by writing his name in the Gran Grimoire. Here, Ivalice combines the elements in Tactics Advance with Final Fantasy XII.
- Main article: Valendia (Vagrant Story)
Vagrant Story takes place within the kingdom of Valendia, which shares the same name as a continent in Final Fantasy XII. The story spans three locations; the capital city Valnain, The Graylands and the evil city of Leá Monde where most of the gameplay and plot takes place. There are several references to Ivalice within the game. It is also notable that Final Fantasy XII uses the Old Valendian Calendar. The Kiltea religion also features in both.
While Vagrant Story is not labeled with a Final Fantasy title, the game was designed by Yasumi Matsuno, the director and story creator for Final Fantasy Tactics and the original director for Final Fantasy XII. Vagrant Story was actually meant to be a series name, with the first episode known as The Phantom Pain.
Vagrant Story being set in Ivalice is actually a retcon, as originally nothing suggested for a fact the game was set in that world. The game was not promoted as being connected to Final Fantasy Tactics on its release, and the Vagrant Story Ultimania makes no mention of Ivalice. At the time, Yasumi Matsuno was even stressing he made Vagrant Story because he wanted to move away (at least temporarily) from the Final Fantasy Tactics universe. He stated the games are connected only in 2004 in Final Fantasy XII interviews for a French gaming magazine, Joypad. Before that, the allusions to Final Fantasy Tactics in Vagrant Story could simply be seen as a Easter eggs and non-significant references.
History of IvaliceEdit
A brief over-look of the history of Ivalice. These are based on the definitive records in the respective Ultimania of each game and in-game information.
The Age of MythsEdit
The Gods worked upon the world of Ivalice. In their efforts they created the twenty four Scions based on zodiacs, with the scions split in half as scions of Light and Dark, tasked with important purposes. Some believe there is a Thirteenth Scion based on discoveries of ancient texts. The scions of Dark, as the tale goes, rose against the gods and were bound to the world, hence why only half the Scions appear as Espers.
- The creation myths of Ivalice are many, but one of the better known ones is as follows:
Before Ivalice was created, there exists two warring tribes of gods, the Fabar and the Danan. The war lasted for thousands of years, until the Prophet Matoya predicts the death of the Danan god-king Xabaam in the hands of his trusted blade. Xabaam fears his trusted General Ahnas to be the death of him, and imprisons him and his loyal followers into the darkest labyrinths. Ahnas implores the death-god Heth to free him in exchange for his own life. Freed along with his followers, Ahnas sought revenge.
Now Ahnas the Holy, he and his followers appeared millennia later upon the Fabar and battled against the Danan triumphantly. The Fabar god We'aka was intrigued with the strength of his vengeance and swore an oath to fight alongside his men. Battles raged on for countless millennia until Ahnas finally confronts Xabaam and defeats him.
While We'aka sought the head of Xabaam, Ahnas wished the Danan god-king pay for his misdeeds and immortalized Xabaam's body, transforming it into a great land and named it Ivalice. Now Ahnas the Shining, he and his followers then withdraw into the heavens, watching as Man lived and thrived upon Xabaam's eternal body.
The Age of GodsEdit
Thousands of years before the Galtean Alliance was established, the Occuria ruled over all of Ivalice. While Man was just starting to thrive, the Occuria built imposing structures such as the Pharos at the Ridorana Cataract. However, for reasons unknown, the Occuria withdrew from their command into hiding in their own city Giruvegan, causing mass confusion throughout the world until a new age finally dawned.
Some believed that this happened because of the Thousand Years War incited by the twelve Espers, led by the corrupt Holy Seraph Ultima. Eventually the Espers were defeated, and the Occuria, wanting to ensure the Espers would not rebel again, tied their existence into glyphs and banished them to the dark reaches within Ivalice.
At the same time, the aegyl Feolthanos defied the Occuria and sealed himself and his people on the Purvama of Lemurés to evade their wrath. In secret Feolthanos married a viera, creating a subspecies known as the Feol Viera.
Time of the GlaciersEdit
Ivalice is covered in ice, much like the ice ages of Earth. During this period many creatures adapted well to a land based way of life. Some creatures, such as the Croakadile, had a hard time surviving through the colder temperatures and their population dwindled. Eventually over all of Ivalice, glaciers begin to melt as the climate's temperature rises, flooding the planet. The sudden change in sea level killed many land species, and a number of surviving creatures, such as the Coeurl, were forced to adapt.
Magick enters IvaliceEdit
Vague records claim that magick was brought over Ivalice from an unknown continent, and into the hands of the Man. It is unknown if the Occuria had a hand in this or not.
1294 years before the Valendian calendar is established, The Light of Kiltia is founded. This religion proves relief for some people of Ivalice. Presumably, the religion is later related to the Church of Glabados, which worships Faram, the father, said to be at the head of the Kiltean pantheon.
The Galtean AllianceEdit
- Circa Old Valendian 1
Ivalice is at war. The Occuria, fearing Ivalice will be scarred even more, give the garif a large piece of nethicite, a weapon to set everything straight. The garif are unable to use it, however. Angered at the garif's incompetence, the Occuria came to learn of Raithwall's victory over Belias. Amazed, they gave the nethicite and a sword, to him.
Taking only three shards off the larger nethicite, King Raithwall unites all of Ivalice. He would now be known as Ivalice's first Dynast King, and the founder of the Galtean Alliance. During this time, the Empires of Archadia and Rozarria rise. Both are great nations and expand quickly.
King Raithwall later dies. He is buried with the Dawn Shard, and his tomb is guarded by an Esper he had defeated in life, Belias. The Dusk Shard goes to the Kingdom of Dalmasca, while the Midlight Shard goes to the Kingdom of Nabradia.
In Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift, the Ruins of Delgantua are described as dating back to the Galtean era. This is further evidenced by the ancient stone architecture that composes the rooms and halls of the abandoned ruins.
The Dancer-Priestess Müllenkamp lives during this era. A practitioner of the darker arts of Kiltia, Müllenkamp amasses a following, creates many magical Grimoires, and founds the city of Leá Monde. The Blood-Sin tattoo on her back is passed down through her family after her death, and serves as the key to Leá Monde.
The Age of TechnologyEdit
- Circa Old Valendian 706
Centuries pass, and the Empires of Rozarria and Archadia are at war. Eventually, a truce is signed. The son of Emperor Gramis Solidor, Vayne Solidor, kills his father and takes over the Archadian Empire. He hopes to start a war with Rozarria and Archadia, and become Ivalice's new Dynast King. It is revealed he is being led by the rogue Occuria, Venat, who succeeded in shattering the control its kind had over Ivalice.
A year later, the Purvama of Lemurés is revealed to Ivalice, along with the mysterious aegyl race. This sparks a great treasure hunting spree among Sky Pirates that a maddened Feolthanos attempted to take advantage of. The party that stopped Vayne Solidor, along with some new friends, manage to defeat Feolthanos and restore peace to Ivalice.
The Cataclysm and the Age of AjoraEdit
- Circa Old Valendian 800
At some point, a great catastrophe hits Ivalice, wiping out many landmarks and even taking out the race of the moogles. The other races disappear in this time. Man starts referring to the previous era as the Golden Era. He starts building again from the ground up.
In an age where airships and robots are commonplace, Pharism became the dominant religion of the Holy Ydoran Empire. At this time, a man called Ajora is born, and at the age of twenty starts to preach about the coming of Paradise. His influence caused unrest among the Pharist priests, and eventually, Ajora is caught and hanged by the Empire. After the execution, an earthquake happens, wiping out Ydora from the map.
Some people take this as a sign from the gods, and start praising Ajora as a child of the gods. Over the next few decades, Ajora's tale would become twisted to make him seem even greater. The Church of Glabados was founded by Ajora's disciples, with Saint Ajora as its main focus. Pharism eventually fades away, with the Church of Glabados now the main religion. Presumably, Germonique writes his scriptures around this time, describing Ajora in a less favorable light.
The War of the LionsEdit
- Circa Old Valendian 2000
Ivalice is now at war again, between two men after the throne. This war would become known as the War of the Lions. In reality, the War is simply a means for a greater evil. The Espers, now calling themselves Lucavi, have returned, and want to rule all of Ivalice. To this end, they possess people, and use them to do their bidding. Even the great Ajora was being possessed by one, their leader, Ultima. It is unclear why the Espers have changed their name to Lucavi, or what their final ultimate agenda is. Using the War of the Lions, the current leader of the Lucavi, Hashmal, hopes to revive Ultima.
In order to do so, they need a lot of bloodshed to revive Ajora, Ultima's last host. They manage to revive Ultima, but a young heretic called Ramza stops them. Ramza is considered a heretic, and his old friend, Delita Heiral, is remembered by history as the man who ended the War. The only man who knows the truth, Orran Durai, is found and executed by the church as a heretic. Several decades on, Orran's descendant Arazlam Durai finds his writing and decides to write his story.
While not historically relevant, Luso Clemens appears during this time period but how he gets there is unknown. It may be speculated that he used powers of his Grimoire of the Rift to return to Ivalice in a different era once he is freed from his imprisonment.
Balthier from Final Fantasy XII also appears in this era, claiming to have been brought to Ivalice's future by the Cache of Glabados. It can be speculated that during his time as sky pirate, Balthier found a magickal artifact that transported him through time. This is further supported by his own statement at the end of Final Fantasy XII that he was going after the Cache of Glabados.
The Graylands IncidentEdit
- Circa Old Valendian 2000
Previously, a Kildean priestess named Müllenkamp founded the city of Leá Monde. Her followers began to create a cult after her. As time passed, a man called Saint Iocus was born, and began prohibiting the use of magicks. The influence of the Iocus priesthood increases, and followers of Müllenkamp were hunted down in the Inquisition. Later, the prosperous city of Leá Monde is struck by a great earthquake, turning the city into a concentration of dark energy and lost souls. Riskbreaker Ashley Riot of Valendia goes to Leá Monde to stop Sydney Losstarot, a Müllenkamp cultist leader with an unknown objective to achieve in Leá Monde.
Eventually, Ashley finds that the real dark threat is Romeo Guildenstern, who wants the power of the Gran Grimoire. Stripping Sydney of his power, he reveals that the entire city is the Grimoire. Ashley stops Romeo, and in turn is granted the dark powers of Leá Monde. Ashley continues on to become the vagrant, eternally saving lost souls who have become the undead.
The True Zodiac Brave StoryEdit
- Circa Old Valendian 2400
The Modern Age(?)Edit
It is unknown if St. Ivalice in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance is a location in the same Ivalice as seen in the other games, as the history of this location is never explored. It is possible that St. Ivalice exists outside of the Ivalice seen in other games, and the name merely references it.
If St. Ivalice is taken to belong to the same world, it depicts a world seemingly several centuries in the future where magic has completely vanished and has been replaced by technology. In a small town by the name of St. Ivalice in the cold regions a young boy called Mewt Randell bought an ancient book, in reality a grimoire called the Gran Grimoire. Looking at it with his friends Marche and Ritz, along with Marche's little brother Doned, the book recreates a dream Ivalice following Mewt's designs, who in turn is inspired by a Final Fantasy game and the grimoire's illustration. Marche eventually reverts the world back to normal, knowing it isn't healthy to live in a dream world.
Ten to twenty years later, a young boy called Luso finds the Gran Grimoire, but unlike Mewt's experience, this time the Gran Grimoire actually sends Luso back in time to the real Golden Era. It is still possible this is not the same grimoire Marche used, as in Final Fantasy Tactics A2 the book is referred to as the Grimoire of the Rift.
Alternatively it is possible that the presence of Final Fantasy Tactics Advance in Ivalice itself is a retcon, as material related to Tactics Advance noted the existence of a civilization that was destroyed by Noah's flood.
Due to the history info provided above, the order that the games go is the following:
- Final Fantasy XII
- Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings
- Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift (Main Game)
- Final Fantasy Tactics
- Vagrant Story (not an official Final Fantasy title)
- Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
- Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift (Prologue & Epilogue)
- In Tactics A2, Luso is transported to an Ivalice that is in the timeline after Revenant Wings (when Vaan and Penelo fully become Sky Pirates, and hinted by the discussion they have with Hurdy) and before Final Fantasy Tactics (or during Tactics if his War of the Lions appearance is considered canon, which is possible since Mewt gave the Grimoire he used in Tactics Advance to Luso at the end of Tactics A2). This would also explain why Luso was looking for his friends in War of the Lions. If his War of the Lions appearance is canon, then it would take place after the events of Tactics A2.
- Tactics A2's double appearance is due to the fact that the appearances of Luso in both Ivalice and St. Ivalice.
Many of the characters in Ivalice have recurring roles throughout the games, due to all games in Ivalice being based in the same world.
Some examples are:
- Montblanc in Final Fantasy XII, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, and Final Fantasy Tactics A2.
- Nono in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, Revenant Wings, Final Fantasy XII, and was mentioned at Final Fantasy Tactics A2.
- Sorbet in Final Fantasy XII and Dive II Hunt: The Adventures of Sorbet.
- Hurdy in Final Fantasy XII and Final Fantasy Tactics A2.
- Balthier in Final Fantasy XII, Revenant Wings, and Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions.
- Ezel Berbier in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance and Final Fantasy Tactics A2.
- Luso Clemens in Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions and Final Fantasy Tactics A2.
- Penelo in Final Fantasy XII, Revenant Wings and Final Fantasy Tactics A2.
- Vaan in Final Fantasy XII, Revenant Wings and Final Fantasy Tactics A2.
- Al-Cid Margrace in Final Fantasy XII, Revenant Wings, and Final Fantasy Tactics A2.
- Mewt Randell in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance and Final Fantasy Tactics A2.
- Ashelia B'nargin Dalmasca or "Ashe" appears in Final Fantasy XII, Revenant Wings and was to appear in Fortress.
The Montblanc, Nono, and Ezel that appear in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance are part of the dream world Mewt created with the help from the Gran Grimoire, and thus are not real (although Montblanc possibly does have memories from when he was at the dream world Ivalice). However, Montblanc, Nono, and Ezel are real in the other games they appear in.
- The Golden Age of Ivalice is derived from cultural influence of Saudi Arabia, Turkey, India, and New York City while its post-Cataclysm era represented by Final Fantasy Tactics and Vagrant Story, is inspired from Middle/Dark Age and Renaissance-era France (French-Breton and Christianity) respectively. The Legend of the City of Ys, especially comes to mind with the fall of the Holy Ydoran Empire.
- Final Fantasy Tactics and Vagrant Story are both narratives: the events of Tactics are being told to the player by Arazlam Durai, using the Durai Papers as his source. Vagrant Story appears to be a investigative report on the Graylands Incident.