What will you fight for?
Dissidia Final Fantasy is a fighting game with action role playing elements developed and published by Square Enix for the PlayStation Portable. It released in December 2008 as part of the Final Fantasy series 20th Anniversary, and is the first title in the Dissidia Final Fantasy sub-series. The game features twenty characters from the original ten installments in the Final Fantasy series battling in a three-dimensional environment, with role playing elements allowing characters to be leveled up and customized. It was directed by Takeshi Arakawa and produced by Yoshinori Kitase. The characters were designed by Tetsuya Nomura, based on the artwork by Yoshitaka Amano (even characters whom Nomura originally designed). The score was provided by Takeharu Ishimoto and Nobuo Uematsu.
The plot centers around a conflict between Cosmos, the goddess of harmony, and Chaos, the god of discord. Each god has summoned ten warriors to fight for them against the opposing god. After a previous struggle left Cosmos weakened, she instructs her warriors to find ten crystals that contain the power of light, and which can turn the tide of the war if they can gather them all.
The game is a one-on-one action-based fighting game, in which battles take place in fully rendered three-dimensional arenas based on locations from the series. Characters can earn experience and level up, and their weapon, their armor, their accessory and their abilities can be customized. The game features both single player gameplay (in which the player can progress through the story or stage fights against an AI) and multiplayer to fight against friends.
Dissidia is an action-based fighting game mixed with RPG elements. Battles take place on fully rendered 3D fields, with characters free to roam around as they please. The environment can also be interacted with, with characters able to run up walls, grind along railings and destroy pillars and floors. Players have two types of attacks—Bravery and HP. Every character has their Bravery Points displayed above their HP bar, and whenever they land an HP attack, the damage done is equal to their Bravery.
Striking an opponent with a Bravery attack will drain their Bravery and increase the attacker's, thus increasing the HP damage they can do. If a player's Bravery is reduced to below zero, they enter "break" mode, where they cannot inflict HP damage, Bravery attacks against them do increased damage, and their opponent receives a significant boost to their Bravery. Every character has a unique fighting style and attacks, usually based on the character's abilities in their original game.
In addition to Bravery and HP attacks, players can use summons to assist them and can find new summons in certain stages or as part of a stage bonus. There is also an "EX Bar" meter that fills up during battle by collecting the EX Force that appears when players strike each other, or the randomly appearing EX Cores. Once filled, the character can enter EX Mode which grants a character-specific bonus and gives access to an EX Burst, a special move that deals massive damage to their opponent akin to a Limit Break from the main series. These moves are often a reference to each character's signature attack in their respective game, such as Squall using Renzokuken or Kefka using Light of Judgment.
After the battle is over, characters are rewarded with gil, EXP, and AP. Further awards may be given if the player fulfills certain conditions during the fight, such as winning within a time limit or landing an attack of a certain strength.
Of the twenty-two playable characters, each maintains their own experience level, and shares the same equipment supply. Characters begin at level one with only a handful of basic moves, but as they gain EXP and level up, they can learn more advanced moves. Moves are equipped using CP (Crystal Point), with a character able to equip as many moves as they wish as long as the total does not exceed their maximum CP. By earning AP, a character can master a move, reducing the CP needed to equip it, and sometimes make new abilities appear. Characters can also earn various bonus abilities and bolster their stats through equipment and accessories. Player can also earn PP, which are used to purchase special gameplay features, such as new characters or bonus music tracks.
In storyline gameplay, players move about a token representing their character on a tiled gameboard, and move up to objects and enemies and interact with them using "Destiny Points". Every time the player moves their character, they use a Destiny Point, and can sometimes earn more by defeating enemies. If the player is able to finish a stage without using all their Destiny Points, they earn a special bonus.
When the player reaches the Stigma of Chaos at the end of the stage, the stage is completed, and the player is awarded gil and PP depending on their remaining Destiny Points, HP, and other factors. Sometimes at the end of a stage, the player fights another character; in all ten "Destiny Odyssey" stages, after five stages the player fights their character's nemesis in the arena from their original game, such as Cloud fighting Sephiroth at the Planet's Core.
In the original Japanese version, when all ten Destiny Odyssey stages are completed, the player is given access to the Shade Impulse storyline, which leads the final boss: Chaos. In the North American, PAL, and Universal Tuning versions, only one Destiny Odyssey needs to be completed to unlock Shade Impulse, but the player can only attempt it with the character whose Destiny Odyssey they completed. Completing Shade Impulse unlocks other storylines and gameplay modes, including Distant Glory and the Duel Colosseum.
Dissidia features five game modes. The first is "Story Mode", where the player picks a storyline composed of five stages from which the game's plot unfolds. The storylines are composed of the Prologue, which acts as a tutorial; Destiny Odyssey I to X, which feature the story of how each Warrior of Cosmos obtains each of their Crystals; Shade Impulse I to IV, which mark the events after the heroes gather with all their Crystals obtained until the defeat of Chaos; Distant Glory: The Lady of Legend and Distant Glory: Redemption of the Warrior, challenges thrown by Shantotto and Gabranth; and Inward Chaos, where the player faces ultimate versions of the game's characters.
In the Duel Colosseum the player may find four arenas (sub-modes that vary in enemy level and treasure found) where they can fight enemies that give money and find treasures. Quick Battle is for a duel between any two playable characters. In Connection Mode the player may fight an opponent via ad-hoc, or "PS3 Party", or an AI Ghost, activated via Mognet or through a code. Finally, Arcade Mode is a game mode exclusive to the North American and European releases, where the player is given pre-defined characters to face against a gauntlet of five characters, rewarding them based on their performance.
The game has twelve arenas, ten serving as an important site of conflict between the heroes and the villains in their original games, and the other two being entirely new. Each arena can be played as a basic arena with no special features, or as a stage with a special "gimmick", effectively doubling the number of arenas. For example, the Chaos Shrine stage's alternate form constantly drains both characters' BP.
Player characters are split between supporting the cause of the "Goddess of Harmony", Cosmos, and the "God of Discord", Chaos. Both summoned the characters from the series with their own motives: Cosmos wishes to protect the Crystals from Chaos's forces and keep order, while Chaos wants to take control of the Crystals and upset the balance of power between good and evil. The narrator of the events occurring in Dissidia is Cid of the Lufaine.
There are twenty-two playable characters in all. A hero and a villain from each of the first ten Final Fantasy games, and a secret character from both Final Fantasy XI and Final Fantasy XII. Long-time series collaborator and character designer Tetsuya Nomura was in charge of the characters' design, although many of the characters, even those originally designed by Nomura himself, were designed to fit their appearance as drawn by Yoshitaka Amano.
Chaos and Cosmos have been at war for an eternity, but neither has emerged victorious. It seems the forces of evil has finally gained the upper hand when the Warrior of Light finds Cosmos mortally wounded from a battle with Chaos. With the forces of light in peril, Cosmos appears before the other nine heroes and entrusts them with the task of recovering the Crystals, which can save their worlds.
Though they do not fully understand the quest, the heroes set out to retrieve the Crystals in the hopes they can end the war. Each hero's storyline parallels to an extent the events, or at least the spirit, of the storyline in the hero's original game: Terra's story deals with her amnesia and her waning control over her powers, Cloud's concerns his indecisiveness and questioning his reason for fighting, Squall is torn between helping his friends and fulfilling his duty, and so forth.
The war has been going on for an eternity—every time the war ends and one of the gods is slain, the dragon Shinryu restores the losing god to life and the war begins anew. Though most of the heroes do not know this, the villains do; Sephiroth took his own life in the previous war, preserving his memories, allowing him to inform the villains and devise a plan. The villains put that plan in motion to end the war in their favor before Shinryu awakens.
The heroes return to Cosmos with their Crystals, but Chaos appears and incinerates the goddess, and departs to his realm. With Cosmos gone, her power over the heroes fades and they begin to fade back to their own worlds. With the last of her strength inside them, the Crystals keep the heroes from fading. Determined to avenge Cosmos and see her will fulfilled, the heroes journey to the Chaos Shrine. They learn the villains allowed the heroes to collect the Crystals, which contain Cosmos's light, weakening Cosmos to the point she could not be revived. Now that Cosmos is gone the cycle of war is over, with Chaos as the ultimate victor. Resolving to destroy Chaos and claim vengeance for Cosmos, the heroes each defeat their villain once again in battle.
At the Chaos Shrine, the ten Crystals combine to open the path to Chaos's realm, and the ten heroes confront the god of discord on his throne. Chaos is defeated and is consumed in flames as the heroes vanish. They appear in the fields outside Cornelia, and after some reminiscing, each return to their own worlds with their Crystal while the Warrior of Light heads to Cornelia.
In the secret ending, unlocked after obtaining all the Cosmos and Chaos Reports, Cosmos is shown to be alive in her world. She talks with Cid of the Lufaine, implying the world Cosmos now rules alone will fade out of existence.
First news of the game spread when Square Enix filed for the United States trademark registration of "DISSIDIA" and then with the opening of the Dissidia website with the game's logo. It was fully unveiled at Square Enix Party 2007 with the first trailer featuring the Warrior of Light, Garland, Zidane, Kuja, and Sephiroth. The game would be a part of the 20th Anniversary collection, and would unite Final Fantasy heroes and villains from previous games to do battle with each other. The game would be produced by Yoshinori Kitase, directed by Yousuke Shiokawa, and though music was handled by Takeharu Ishimoto, much of the music originates from previous games and was orchestrated by Nobuo Uematsu. Tetsuya Nomura designed the characters, basing each of them, even those of whom he designed himself in the past, on the original artwork from Yoshitaka Amano.
The game's concept began in the Kingdom Hearts series, where Nomura thought it would be fun to have Final Fantasy characters fight in Traverse Town, but was rejected as inappropriate for the series. He held onto the idea for battles in large 3D fields, and over the years developed it into including characters from different Final Fantasy games and giving them different fighting styles reflective of their original games. Finally ready to push for the project to be developed, Nomura was approached by younger Square Enix staff members, including Mitsunori Takahashi, and was asked to let them work on a project with him as director. Nomura gave them his concept for Dissidia on the condition they do it on their own, and aside from occasional advice, decided to let them follow and interpret his design notes as they chose.
While deciding on characters for Cosmos's forces was easy, deciding enemies was harder. "Rival" characters were opted as possibilities over strictly final bosses, as characters like Necron and Yu Yevon would have been unsuitable. At one time there were planned to be five secret characters, Kain Highwind being one of them. When he was cut as a secret character, Nomura thought Kain would be suitable to replace Golbez as the representative villain of Final Fantasy IV, but it was decided Golbez worked better as a balance with the other characters. Prishe, Vaan and Balthier were considered as well, Prishe being left out in favor of Shantotto, and Balthier being left out due to his then-appearance in War of the Lions. Gabranth was chosen as his replacement since, as a guest character, they didn't have to limit themselves to primary villains and heroes. Lightning was also considered, but it was decided against as Final Fantasy XIII hadn't been released yet, and so including her would mean introducing her and her skills in a spin-off game first.
The North American and European versions of Dissidia received many changes. For example, even though the Prologue originally acted as the tutorial, the western version has an additional, shortened tutorial separate from the Prologue, which covers only the gameplay's action-fighting elements. The Arcade Mode is a new gameplay mode that lets players fight a gauntlet of enemies (five in Normal mode, eight in Hard mode, and ten in Time Attack) for rewards.
There are also changes to the gameplay itself. The Story Mode can be beaten faster, depending on the player's decisions, as the Shade Impulse level opens as the player finishes their first Destiny Odyssey. Each character has adjusted abilities and several have new attacks to make gameplay more balanced. A demo was announced to be available through the US PlayStation Store on July 23rd, and it is free to download. The EU Playstation Store released the demo on August 20th.
The demo, released July 23rd on PSN, makes use of the new mode, "Arcade Mode" on Normal or Hard difficulty and the playable characters are Onion Knight, Cecil, Terra, Cloud, and Sephiroth. Before each match, is a three-page tutorial to show the player how to control the character and other information.
Unlike the Japanese version, when the character speaks their line, subtitles for what they say appear, and whenever a player wins or loses, it will say "Victory" or "Defeated", instead of "Win" and "Lose". When the Player is in EX Mode, the gauge is orange, instead of purple as seen on the Japanese version, though it is purple when the player gathers EX Force.
Dissidia Final Fantasy: Universal TuningEdit
On November 1st, Square Enix released an international version called Dissidia Final Fantasy: Universal Tuning in Japan. The game has the extras and enhancements from the US/EU release, and possibly more, including Dual Audio for Battle Voices which was confirmed on the main website. The game was released simultaneously on UMD and as a digital download on the PlayStation Store.
Dissidia Final Fantasy Original Soundtrack was released on December 24th, 2008, on two CDs. A Limited Edition version was also released. The soundtrack features arranged music from the series, rearranged by Takeharu Ishimoto and Tsuyoshi Sekito.
The Dissidia cast has been made into Trading Arts Figures, posing in their positions as depicted in their Dissidia artwork.
Dissidia also includes a purchasable bundle similar to that of Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-. It includes a copy of Dissidia, with limited edition cover art that features Cosmos and the heroes, and a PSP-3000 with engravings of Cosmos and Chaos, similar to the Crisis Core bundle. This set was only available in Japan.
A line of grape and citrus flavored Potion beverages with likenesses of the artwork for each of the heroes and villains on the cans have also been produced in Japan.
Studio BentStuff published the Dissidia Final Fantasy Ultimania α as an initial reference guide for the game on December 4th 2008. The Japanese magazine V-Jump also published the Dissidia Final Fantasy Destiny Hero's Guide on December 18th 2008, which covers all the 10 chapters of the story mode and provides info on the 22 characters' abilities and items.
A Dissidia entertainment pack was released in the U.S. on August 25, 2009. The pack includes a Mystic Silver PSP-3001, a 2GB memory stick, a copy of Dissidia, and a copy of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children on UMD. However, this bundle does not include cases for the games. The PSP also lacks the engravings of Cosmos and Chaos.
A preordered copy of Dissidia included a 2010 calendar featuring the main hero and villain of each installment for each month.
The European version includes a special white leather casing with the logo and two stickers of a Cosmos and a Chaos stigma.
- IGN Best of E3: Fighting Game Award.
- IGN Top 25 PSP Games of All Time: #5
Dissidia is the plural form of discidium, alternatively spelled dissidium, meaning "discord, disagreement". It is related to the verb dissidere, "to disagree"; this and related terms have given rise to words in various languages with similarly intended meaning (e.g. English dissident, Italian dissidio, Portuguese dissidente).
- The game's release date in Japan, December 18th, is the same date that the original Final Fantasy was released.
- The design of each character's ability names correspond to the battle menu design of the game he/she originated from.
- There are more magic users in the side of Chaos than the side of Cosmos, which in turn has more fighters than the side of Chaos.
- The line "What will you fight for?" has been uttered before in Final Fantasy IV, when Cecil turns into a Paladin.
- Kain Highwind, Gilgamesh, Locke Cole, Seifer Almasy, Yuna, Seymour Guado, Prishe, Vaan, Balthier and Lightning were all considered as candidates for Dissidia but were ultimately left out in favor of other characters for a variety of different reasons. The developers initially planned to have five bonus characters in the game—besides Shantotto and Gabranth, Kain was considered as well. It is not known who the other two characters may have been. Eventually only Shantotto and Gabranth were left in.