The (World Map, ワールドマップ?, lit. "Wārudo Mappu"), also known as the Overworld, plays a prominent role in many games of the Final Fantasy series. It is a smaller-scale representation that is used in the game to make travel less time-consuming and easier for the player. On it, the player can move about between various locations including Towns, Dungeons, and other areas, as well as fight monsters in Random Encounters. Later games, including Final Fantasy X, Final Fantasy XI, Final Fantasy XII, and Final Fantasy XIII, did away with an explorable World Map and replaced it with groups of large, fully-scaled, interconnected areas.
The game offers various modes of transportation to the player. In most games, the player is initially forced to walk to each location. But, more modes of transportation become available as the game progresses and the player is required to overcome geological obstacles. These modes include boats, airships, hovercrafts, chocobos, etc.
The Main Theme of the game is usually played whenever the players travels around the World Map. Certain games in the series, especially Final Fantasy IV, have more than one overworld theme, because there is more than one overworld map.
In Final Fantasy, the world had a single map made up of three continents. The world's geography included forests, mountains, deserts, and a volcano. The player could use a boat to travel by sea, a canoe to travel by river, and an airship to travel anywhere with a clearing available. Points of interest in this world are the Chaos Shrine, Cornelia, Ice Cave, Crescent Lake, Mount Gulg and the Citadel of Trials.
Like the original, Final Fantasy II only had one map. It is unique in the series in that it is connected all around the world as one giant land mass. Most of the map can be accessible from the start, however strong enemies usually appear if the player strays too far from the path they are meant to lead. Many areas are also inaccessible, and the party will not be able to enter them from the world map until later in the story. Mysidia and the Cave of Mysidia can be theoretically accessed from the start of the story, however in the latter most of the area is inaccessible due to a Doppelganger.
Final Fantasy III was the first game to have several maps. The party start off on a floating continent, but later find that their "continent" is nothing but a small island levitating above the face of a huge world. This surface world also goes through some changes throughout the game's course. When first discovered, the world has been flooded as a result of the Water crystal being taken over by Xande, leaving only a few patches of land accessible to the player. Later, the waters recede, revealing three large continents.
Final Fantasy IV has three world maps: the Overworld, the Underworld and the Red Moon. The Moon and Underworld are relatively small for world maps, however. The Overworld is the largest of the three world maps in Final Fantasy IV and the place where the majority of the game takes place. It consists of oceans, mountains, plains, and forests and contains a number of towns, castles, and enter-able areas.
The Underworld is the second world map visited in the game and is cave-like in appearance (due to being within the planet). Its terrain consists of lava and caves with a few towns and castles, as well as the ground entrance to the Tower of Babel. The Underworld is unique in that one cannot cross from one side of the map to another by repeatedly going in the same direction. The Moon is the third and final world map in Final Fantasy IV and is made up of a few caves and the crystal palace. The terrain of the Moon is quite plain, consisting of caves and craters. It is the smallest of the game's three world maps, and for that matter, the smallest of any world map.
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- See also: Planet R.
Final Fantasy V had three world maps: Bartz's homeworld, Galuf's homeworld, and both of these worlds combined. The game adds two additional theoretical World Maps. There is an underwater map for Galuf's homeworld which is used to sneak into the Barrier Tower. There is also an underwater map for the merged world. The submarine opens up many optional places to be visited, such as the Sunken Tower. Another World Map appears when the player allows Cid and Mid to upgrade the airship using Adamantite. This gives the airship the opportunity to fly at higher altitudes which allows the player to battle the Catapult. One the Catapult quest is completed, the player can no longer reach those high altitudes.
Final Fantasy VI had two World Maps: The World of Balance and the World of Ruin. The game begins in the World of Balance, and after Kefka Palazzo changes the positions of the Warring Triad, the world changes to the World of Ruin. Traveling options include airship, ferries and chocobos, which can be rented from stables in towns and forests.
- Main article: The Planet
Final Fantasy VII has three World Map modules, and it was the first to be rendered in full 3D. The World Maps in Final Fantasy VII are also the first World Maps with a controllable camera.
The primary World Map is the overworld. Although the overworld map remains the same throughout the game, there are a few changes at different points in the story, including the appearance of Meteor in the sky, and geographical changes. Some are just aesthetic such as the Temple of the Ancients and Mideel changing objects to reflect the changes in the field locations, while others change both aesthetics and functionality, including the addition of a crater in the Junon Area which renders Junon inaccessible by foot.
Most of the overworld is in daylight, but the area around Midgar and North Crater are always night, and the area around Cosmo Canyon is always dusk. The player can travel the map by buggy and Tiny Bronco on disc 1, and by airship on disc 2 and disc 3. Chocobos can be captured and used for transportation even across otherwise unreachable terrain.
The second World Map is the Bottom of the Sea map accessible with the Shinra Sub. Like underwater World Maps of previous games, the player can freely enter and leave it by surfacing and submerging the submarine. Only an area at the center of the World Map between the main three continents can be accessed, although there are numerous tunnels that travel underneath the continent. One of these tunnels leads to a location called ???, normally only accessible through certain breeds of Chocobo. The map display used is the same as the overworld map. There are no random encounters, but the player can face the Emerald Weapon in a fixed encounter here.
The third World Map isn't technically a World Map, however it is a World Map module within the game. In the Great Glacier is an area where the player is seen from a top-down view and they can move the camera. While traversing this area snowstorms occur changing the camera angle. To navigate the area, the player can leave flags so when the camera angle is changed they can follow in the same direction. The player can exit onto different areas by moving off the edge of the map, but there is still one area in the middle, a cave containing an All Materia. The World Map connects the rest of the Great Glacier to the base of Gaea's Cliff. There are random encounters.
- See also: List of Final Fantasy VIII Locations.
Final Fantasy VIII again had just one World Map, but had 32 locations to be explored. It was the first and only map to date to feature an optional 3D globe in place of the traditional map. While traveled on foot, the player can use the roads on the World Map to avoid random encounters. Other ways to travel the map are by rental car, chocobo, train, Balamb Garden, or by airship.
The area around Deling City is always night, and around Dollet it is always dusk. During the Lunatic Pandora event, the area near and around Tears' Point is enveloped in an apocalyptic red aura with the Lunatic Pandora itself seen hovering over the point. The artificial sea-haven for artisans, Fishermans Horizon, is located in center of the map's main ocean, and a causeway rail bridge spanning either direction from the town connecting Galbadia to Esthar, bifurcates the body of water making early transportation with the Balamb Garden difficult.
During the Time Compression most of the World Map locations become inaccessible and various "warp points" appear across the world for the player to travel in to and out of Ultimecia Castle, where the titular Sorceress that initiated Time Compression resides.
Final Fantasy IX has two World Maps. At first, players are only granted a map of the known civilized world: The Mist Continent. After certain conditions are met, players receive an ancient map detailing all of Gaia, which is simply an expansion of the first map. The player can travel the map by chocobo, boat or by airship. Gaia is comprised of four major landmasses and their surrounding islands: The Mist Continent to the southeast, The Outer Continent to the northeast, The Lost Continent in the northwest, and The Forgotten Continent in the southwest.
An endless night shrouds the Dark City Treno and an eternal rain falls upon the city of Burmecia, while the greatest landmass of the Forgotten Continent is forever locked in twilight (though the vast island archipelago in its southern region remains sunny). The overall lucidity of the skies varies in the presence of Mist. Being a product of the Iifa Tree and its roots, said Mist only permeates the Mist Continent and around the tree itself on the secluded western half of the Outer Continent.
During the final events of Disc 4, similar to the endgame structure of Final Fantasy VIII, many locales become inaccessible (likely because of disc capacity concerns); they are sealed off with Iifa Tree's roots, and the world becomes enveloped in Mist (also a likely processing shortcut). The World Map is very similar to the original Final Fantasy's World Map.
- Main article: Spira
Final Fantasy X is unique in its map system. Instead of having a large World Map with towns located around it, all locations are linked through paths. The player can jump quickly from area to area once they access the airship, Fahrenheit.
Vana'diel is the world of Final Fantasy XI, and it is unique in that a great portion of it is entirely inaccessible to its playerbase and is only mentioned in passing during the script dialogue of particular quests and missions or on in-game item descriptions. Upon its 2002 beta and release, Vana'diel consisted entirely of two major continents, dubbed the Middle Lands: Quon to the west and Mindartia to the east. Quon houses the Kingdom of San d'Oria and Republic of Bastok, while Mindartia holds in its southernmost region the Federation of Windurst.
Spanning the Bastore Sea at the world's center is the politically neutral Grand Duchy of Jeuno, which served as the central hub of the game for a number of years. Across the eastern sea of Mindartia is Aradjiah, a new continent released in the Treasures of Aht Urhgan expansion in 2006. Only the western portion of Aradjiah (also called the "Near East") is currently accessible to players, and lays home to the Empire of Aht Urhgan.
Prior to this though, in the Chains of Promathia storyline, the character Tenzen is said to hail from the Far East, the eastern portion of Aradjiah where apparently Phoenix once resided. The jobs of Monk, Samurai, and Ninja originally hail from this region. Additionally, both the Shikaree Sisters and Naja Salaheem hail from the Mithran homeland, the continent of Olzhirya somewhere south of Mindartia and Quon. Most of Olzhirya is occupied by the Gha Naboh Matriarchate where even male Mithra exist.
The islands of Tsahya and likely Zhwa are also assumed part of Olzhirya, as they appear on item descriptions as islands "far to the south". Rhazowa is the frosted home to the Orcish Empire and the origin of the Gigas - a continent north of even the coldest regions of the Middle Lands. Far to the west of Quon resides Ulbuka, likely origin to the Elvaan race in their home city Aldiaine. Ulbuka is also the origin of most totem-pole furnishings and the Bison Jacket armor set that resembles real-world Native American leather garbs.
It is understanding this unviewable, grand structure that one will come to realize that Vana'diel, in some loose respect, alludes to the basic cultural geography and historical development of the real world. Regrettably, this late in the game's lifespan, it is extremely unlikely that the Far East of Aradjiah, Olzhirya, Rhazowa, or Ulbuka will ever become explorable to players.
- Main article: Ivalice (Final Fantasy XII)
Ivalice is the name for a region in the world of Final Fantasy XII. It has three continents: Valendia, Ordalia and Kerwon. Final Fantasy XII has no traditional overworld, similar to Final Fantasy X, but the areas are much more wide and open. The player can travel through the world on foot, teleport via a Gate Crystal, or use the party's airship. Unlike previous games, Final Fantasy XII's world map indicates that the area explored by the player is only a small part of the entirety of Ivalice, with much of the continents stretching beyond the view of the world map.
The first chapter of Revenant Wings takes place in the same Ivalice as Final Fantasy XII. After the acquisition of the Galbana, the Purvama of Lemurés is accessible and plays host to the majority of the game's events. Later in the story, the party may freely travel between Lemurés, Ivalice, and the lofty Keep of Forgotten Time.
Unique among Final Fantasy installments, Revenant Wings allows the player to travel by airship very early in the game, and the world map itself requires a very short amount of walking.
Final Fantasy XIII has no true World Map. The game world can, however, be divided into two distinct sections: the large world of Gran Pulse and Cocoon, which floats above it. Player characters are limited to only certain sections of each world, and most of Cocoon cannot be visited more than once. Although Cocoon has the appearance of a small planetoid, it is actually hollow and its inhabitants live inside of the shell.
The player can travel the world map by chocobo. While there are monsters that roam about the map, there are also random encounters that the player can get into.
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- Main article: Ivalice (Final Fantasy Tactics)
The world of Final Fantasy Tactics, Ivalice, differs from that of previous games. It is made up of a series of locations represented by glowing dots on a 2-D map which the player can see at all times when not in battle. Ramza can move between these dots, and each space traversed takes up one day.
Blue dots signal a peaceful town or city, green dots signal an area where a random battle has a 50% chance of occurring, and red dots signal a location where a storyline mission will be forced upon moving onto the dot.
- Main article: Ivalice (Final Fantasy Tactics Advance)
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance is also set in Ivalice, but its geography is different from that of Final Fantasy Tactics. The world map is again a 2-D plane made up of a total of 24 location symbols rather than the worlds of other Final Fantasies. With a few exceptions, a new area can be placed in blank circles on the World Map whenever Marche completes certain missions. Moving between spaces on the map, symbolic or blank, takes one day.
- Main article: Jylland
A 2D region of Ivalice called Jylland is used for Final Fantasy Tactics A2. This Ivalician area spans two continents; Loar in the west and Ordalia in the east. Airships are used to travel between these two continents, from Moorabella in the west to Fluorgis in the east. Jylland is comprised of five territories, in which there are many smaller territories and locations. Tactics A2 differs from Tactics Advance in that all locations are set, and traveling between locations does not necessarily take up one day.
The player controls Benjamin on the world map. At first, the map is nearly all hidden by clouds except for the Earth Region and the strongholds of the Vile Four situated in the other regions. By defeating the Vile Four in their respected dungeons, new regions will be revealed as the clouds disperse on the world map. When a crystal is freed, that region will be restored back to normal.
Final Fantasy Legend III has two types of world maps for the original world: the Overworld and the Seafloor. But there are three different versions of the Overworld and Seafloor maps: the Past, Present, and Future version of the original world are all different from one another. There is also the Floatland map which is only accessible in the Future World. The last two maps are Pureland; the Overworld and the Underworld.
- Main article: List of Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Locations
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles's world is split into nine areas, each one containing dungeons or settlements. The dungeons and settlements are represented by little icons that represent the area. The Tipa Caravan moves across the map by selecting a location; along the way, random events can be witnessed on the path. To enter another area, the caravan must past through the Miasma Stream, which, depending upon the year in the game, can only be passed if the Crystal Chalice element matches the Miasma Stream's element for that year.
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates's map is made up of one area with towns and dungeons represented by small portraits on a 3D map. The entire map can be viewed freely, but new dungeons only appear as players progress through the game.
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King's map is used to assign quests for the adventures sent out by King Leo. None of the locations (besides Padarak) are seen, and they are only explored by the adventures. As they explore and defeat the bosses in each dungeon new locations show up on the map.
In Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time, dungeons and towns are represented by icons, much like in the original Crystal Chronicles. When connecting with friends, other icons will appear, such as character polygons or new locations. Characters are also able to freely move around on the map, much like in the old Final Fantasy games, except that there are no enemies nor monsters to fight against with.
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The player controls the lead character of their party on the map, although Brandt's icon is always displayed on the map view as an indicator of the player's location, regardless of whether Brandt is actually in the party or not. The map is 3D but the player can't rotate the map like in most other games. Some locations on the world map can only be entered by transforming into an animal with the Transformation Staff.
Initially, the player has no map view while on the world map, but they are given the map of the world during the story. The map is not as detailed as in other Final Fantasy games, and is merely an artwork of the world and doesn't have the locations displayed on it, although it does show the player's current position.
- Main article: World B
Unlike its predecessor, Dissidia 012 has a 3D World Map. It is used for most of the story, however, the classic 'Game Board' returns for dungeons. Certain actions earn the player Kupo Points (KP), which can be used at the Moogle Shops located around the world map. The player is able to form parties to travel the world map with. The map shown is a very similar to the original Final Fantasy's world map, although in a post-apocalyptic atmosphere, with Cornelia and possibly all the other cities in ruins.