Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings is a game in the Ivalice Alliance subseries, and an adventure based on Final Fantasy XII for the Nintendo DS. It chronicles a period of time in which Vaan and Penelo, two of the main characters from Final Fantasy XII, are sky pirates.
As stated in the Ultimania guide, the game was originally planned as a title unrelated to Final Fantasy XII, but Square Enix executives decided to make it a Final Fantasy XII sequel during development. Although inheriting the Final Fantasy XII title, Yokoyama downplayed its link to its PlayStation 2 predecessor, saying—"It is not accurate to call this a sequel. We want people to view it as the latest FF game. This is not FFXII-2".
Revenant Wings features gameplay similar to its predecessor. It has a simpler gambit system, with only one gambit per character, possibly to accommodate the Nintendo DS, but also to make it easier to play. Each playable character excels in an area: Vaan can steal stats from enemies, Penelo can heal and buff the party, Filo can set traps for opponents, Kytes casts black magick, Llyud uses Dragoon skills, Fran inflicts status ailments, Balthier can disable enemies from afar and boost his own ranged attack power, Ashe knows time magick, and Basch protects the party. Each player character forms a party with of Espers.
Revenant Wings is played using mainly the stylus, with the optional exception of using to combine all active characters and Espers into one group, and to select and move the camera to one of the nearest Summoning Gates. Area effect spells work by targeting an enemy, while any other enemy surrounding that target within a reasonable distance will receive the effect of the used spell.
Drawing a box around two or more allies makes them a party. After setting up a party by tapping a character or drawing a box around a group, the player taps their destination to move them. Dragging the stylus does not make the units move continually. Tapping an enemy makes the party attack that enemy and the D-Pad moves the camera. Holding swaps the two screens, allowing the player to move the camera with the stylus, and cover more distance more quickly than with the D-Pad. This makes it impossible to control a party during the screen swap, however. The screens revert to normal as soon as is released. After ordering a party to do anything (move, attack, etc.), they are unselected.
The characters portrays can be dragged up and down to display the unit list on the tactile screen which allow the player to select them more easily.
There are 51 summons, from the Espers, to the Yarhi of Lemurés, composed primarily of enemies from Final Fantasy XII, and including some classic summons like Shiva and Ifrit. They incorporate six elements: Fire, Water, Thunder, Earth, Holy, and None. The summons are unlocked in the Ring of Pacts, but some of the more powerful ones need to be defeated as bosses first.
From the six elements, summons are further categorized into three groups: Flying, Melee, and Ranged. Each group comes in three ranks, with higher ranks being more powerful, but being more expensive to summon as well as third (highest) rank being limited to only one summon at a time.
Affinity determines the type and number of allied Yarhi that can be on the battlefield at one time. The blue area of Affinity bar at the top of the screen shows the amount of Affinity currently in control of the party, while the full length of the bar represents the potential Affinity that the player party can gain. Yarhi are summoned into the battle via Summoning Gates that glow with a different color depending on who controls the gate; parties can capture the enemy's Gates for their own use.
Only Vaan and Balthier keep their original Quickenings. Quickenings are obtained by defeating a given Esper and each character has one Quickening. Some damage enemies, while some can prevent them from summoning Espers or harming the player party, or even heal.
The Quickenings have a gauge similar to the Limit Break gauge in other games, and once full, the character can unleash their Quickening. Inflicting, receiving and healing damage all fill the gauge and it applies to the tied Espers.
The category of the character affects the damage: those who fly can increase the level of every Esper or the attack speed of the whole army with an extra instant reload of the special attacks. They never inflict damage directly.
Though the journey starts on the Glabados Ruins, most of it is set on the Sky Continent of Lemurés. The floating continent was only recently discovered, and thus its areas are new to Vaan and his sky pirating friend. The team returns to mainland Ivalice to investigate both new and familiar locations.
A year after their adventure to protect Dalmasca from the Archadian Empire, Vaan and Penelo are treasure-hunting in unknown ruins on the Sky Continent of Lemurés. They find the Cache of Glabados, which includes an airship, and a piece of auracite, a powerful magickal crystal. Upon boarding the derelict with the auracite, it takes them to the sky continent, where they meet the aegyl, Llyud. Aegyl resemble humes, but have large feathered wings. The aegyl having lived isolated on the sky continent from the rest of Ivalice, Vaan and Penelo have never met one before. Defying his race's traditions, Llyud accepts their help, and requests their assistance in stopping the Ivalician sky pirates from defiling Lemurés, as after the sky continent was discovered, sky pirates from all walks of life have ventured there in search of previously unknown riches.
Thousands of years ago, Feolthanos was the chief of the aegyl when they still lived in Ivalice. Feolthanos took a viera wife and started a family, their descendants eventually being called "feol viera". He revolted against the Occuria, the self-appointed gods of Ivalice, and took the aegyl to Lemurés. Feolthanos used the colossal auralith crystals to create a barrier around Lemurés to keep the Occuria out while trapping the aegyl within. The barrier was maintained until about a year prior when a massive amount of Mist from the Sun-Cryst was released upon Ivalice.
Feolthanos left the Cache of Glabados, along with a book, as a gift for his family (who did not have wings), in the hopes that one day they would use them to come to him in Lemurés. The cache is three shards of auracite, which each serve as a beacon to call the Galbana, an airship built by Feolthanos, which picks up the one who finds the cache and brings them to Lemurés.
Vaan and his friends take command of the Galbana and use it to explore Lemurés, where Llyud tells them of the mass of sky pirates invading the Purvama in search of treasure. At the site of a beautiful auralith at the Fane of Tehp Qul, Vaan's party comes face-to-face with the Judge of Wings, a woman completely clad in armor in the same manner as the Archadian Judges, who seeks to destroy the auraliths. The auraliths are the force that sustains Lemurés, and destroying them would cause the sky continent to fall apart. Though the Judge is temporarily defeated, she shatters the great Skystone and absconds with its power, and Vaan and his friends set out to stop her.
After fruitless leads from the sky pirate Rikken, Vaan's profiteering friend Tomaj locates the Judge at the Yapih Caverns. She has begun a ritual at the caves' fiery Skystone. Vaan's party encounters Ba'Gamnan's henchmen in the caverns—a group of bangaa headhunters—but a berserked Ba'Gamnan knocks them out, and the party defeats him. Ba'Gamnan kidnaps Vaan's friend Filo, but with the help of Rikken, they defeat Ba'Gamnan and free his captive. They confront the Judge, only to flee when she summons Bahamut, who breaks the Muruc Cahuac Skysea into pieces.
Bahamut's wrath sends the Galbana into a crash-landing at Tswarra, Isle of the Lost. Stranded, the group finds a wounded man by the name of Velis. After nursing him back to health, Penelo discovers Velis is the dead lover of Mydia, the feol viera behind the Judge of Wings's faceless helm. The Judge herself appears on the deserted island, changes Velis into a terrible Yarhi, and orders him to attack Vaan's party. Though Penelo refuses to hurt her friend, the rest of the crew fight. Though the Judge again escapes, Llyud deals the finishing blow to "Velis", revealed to be but his anima taken form as a Yarhi, ending his warped life.
The Galbana repaired, Vaan and company meet up with their old friend Fran at Arda, Heaven's Pillar, after rescuing her from the tireless Ba'Gamnan. She leads them to the Ymir Qul Underground, where Balthier and the Judge of Wings await next to the second auralith. The Judge and her cohort, the Esper Mateus, are defeated and leave the area, but Balthier intends to destroy the auralith. Despite Vaan's efforts, Balthier and Fran succeed, and the release of energy from the Skystone sends Vaan, Penelo, Llyud, Filo, and Kytes to Lesrekta, Isle of Illusions.
Lesrekta serves as a test for Vaan's true feelings towards his friends. After being separated from one another throughout the misty island, the five reunite after Penelo expresses her wish for Vaan to return. A voice calls them to Illusion's Home, where Velis's spirit lingers. He begs them to send him onto the next life properly, and explains Mydia's true existence as Feolthanos's puppet. Mydia is a normally kind feol viera who has been corrupted by her ancestor's spirit. After his defeat, Velis pleads with Vaan to save Mydia from Feolthanos's clutches, and turns himself into the godblade Anastasia. Velis's passing prompts Vaan and his friends' return to the real world, upon the Galbana.
After Balthier explains he destroyed the auralith to protect the aegyl souls within from Feolthanos, he and Fran join the party. Feolthanos uses the auraliths to drain the aegyls' anima reducing them to cold and emotionless beings who feel neither hatred nor happiness. The stolen anima is locked in the auraliths and can manifest as Yarhi. The auraliths sustain an alternate dimension where the Yarhi live, and pieces of auracite can be used to summon the Yarhi to the world of living, but doing so gradually drains the summoner's anima. After Feolthanos stole Mydia's anima, he turned her into the Judge of Wings and ordered her to drain the auraliths' power and use the power to destroy Ivalice.
The party meets up with Queen Ashe and Basch on the new Dreadnought Leviathan. Descending to Ivalice, Vaan and company follow several leads on the Judge, until they meet her at the Feol Warren, the secluded home of the feol viera. Mydia kills the penultimate members of her own race, with the intent to give them, in death, escape from Feolthanos's will. Vaan's party defeats Mydia for the final time, and as she dies, she tells them of her loss of Velis and the attempt to bring him back to life, which led only to the giving of herself to Feolthanos in the false hope he would resurrect her fallen love.
Mydia's spirit leads the Galbana to Eternity's March, the gateway to the Feolthanos's fortress, the Keep of Forgotten Time. Here, the party learns the history of the aegyl and their unending struggle against the Yarhi, who were created from their ancestors' departed souls to fuel Feolthanos's need for anima. The aegyl god is the final auralith, a leech that drained his people's souls and continues the perpetual cycle of aegyl suffering. Feolthanos had been forced to commit this act by the Occuria, in vengeance for leading his people to the skies of Lemurés.
After Feolthanos's defeat, he is freed and dies, and the auraliths' power dies with him. The Purvama of Lemurés, no longer supported by the anima of its countless aegyl inhabitants, falls from the sky, and Llyud bids farewell to his friends to lead his race to a new home. The Galbana flies off of its own accord above the disintegrating islands of Lemurés, as its former commanders return to Ivalice aboard the Strahl, Balthier's airship.
Revenant Wings was first conceived as a title unrelated to Final Fantasy XII. Director Motomu Toriyama had noticed the success of the Nintendo DS with casual gamers and wanted to create a "My First Final Fantasy" experience for the console that could be enjoyed by anyone.
The developers chose to make it a real-time strategy game as they felt the genre would suit the console's touch screen. Think & Feel Inc. were chosen to assist with development because of their work on Monster Summoner, an RTS for the Game Boy Advance. Producer Eisuke Yokoyama was inspired by his love of titles such as Warcraft and Age of Empires and wanted to introduce the genre to Japan. Due to the country's inexperience with RTS games, the game was made to be simple and forgiving. However, since western gamers are more familiar with the genre, the difficulty was rebalanced during localisation to make the game more challenging. A new bonus dungeon, Midlight's Deep, was also added.
The team wanted to include voice acting, but the limited size of DS cartridges made this impossible. A multiplayer mode was also planned and tested, but was ultimately dropped due to scheduling constraints.
Square Enix released a limited edition sky pirates edition package that comes with the game and a limited edition DS Lite. The special edition was only released in Japan. It comes with the Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings logo and a few of the main characters emblazoned on the front.
Revenants are animated corpses or ghosts in Western folklore that are said to return from the dead to terrorize the living. The word "revenant" is French (Fr. revenir, "to return") and means "one who returns".
The name Revenant Wings may refer to the plight of the winged aegyl race, whose emotions have been removed, making them emotionally "undead". The game's final mission against Feolthanos Exultant is called "Revenant Wings". In it, multiple ghostly beings called Wing Wraiths are summoned, and the final boss is an immortal being who bears black, undying wings.
- In Final Fantasy XIV there is a FATE battle against several Revenants. The FATE is titled "Revenant Things".
- Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings Ultimania, Scenario Team Interview, p. 382.
- TGS 2006: Final Fantasy XII Update (Accessed: July 15, 2020) at IGN
- Interview: Final Fantasy XII Revenant Wings (Accessed: July 15, 2020) at IGN
- E3 2007: Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings Interview (Accessed: July 15, 2020) at IGN