Final Fantasy IV: The After Years Impression

Even though Final Fantasy IV: The After Years was playable on the E3 show floor, that demo revealed very little, especially for someone that has played Final Fantasy IV more times than I can count and on five different systems. Playing as a highly leveled Kain one-shotting monsters on Mt. Ordeals wasn’t enough to satisfy me. So I did what any fan of the game would do. I downloaded the real game.

Things kick off with Ceodore, the son of Cecil and Rosa. He’s on a mission to become a knight of Baron by going to Adamant Grotto to obtain the Knight’s Emblem. This is a task his father did before him, and it is something he must do alone. To help him learn the ins and outs of combat, series veterans Biggs and Wedge give him a hand, sometimes a bit too literally. Ceodore doesn’t really trust in his abilities, and that’s not very befitting a knight, let alone a prince.

So aside from a new story and playable characters, what does this game bring to the table? Primarily, the biggest addition is that the phase of the moon affects combat for both heroes and monsters alike. For instance, when the moon is full, physical attacks are halved, white magic is doubled, and black magic remains the same. During other moon phases, other attributes are affected. Unlike our moon which changes slowly, the in-game moon changes phases pretty quickly. Sleeping in an inn or tent will change the phase, but it can change just by being out in the field long enough.

The other big change is something called Band Attacks. By forming a bond with certain characters in your party, multiple units can do synchronous attacks, kind of like Twin Magic. I’ve only seen one so far, but they look pretty powerful. It’s an interesting addition to the battle system for sure.

Aside from what the game brings, there’s one more important topic. Price. Square Enix said at E3 that we should expect three main chunks, each 20 hours long and costing 800 Wii Points. There are also downloadable content packs like Rydia’s tale. I haven’t played that yet, but it costs 300 more Wii Points. It’s untelling how much this game will cost when it’s done, but so far, it’s looking to be worth the price of admission, especially if you loved Final Fantasy IV.

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