Ivalice in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance is a dream world and country populated by five races. Situated in a peninsula that stretches southwards, its geography varies from deserts to snowy mountains to lush green plains. The kingdom is governed by a set of laws created using magic by its ancient king and enforced by a rank of Judges.
The geography of Ivalice revolves around plains, mountains, deserts, forests, and swamps, and introduces areas called jagds; lawless slums where no Judges dare to tread. Jagds are the only places where a character can die; everywhere else, they are protected from death by the Judges and are simply knocked out.
The placement of location symbols on the world map after each story-related mission and certain other missions is controlled completely by the player, and there are potentially thousands of world map configurations varying by player. The "Treasure Hunting" system is deeply linked to location placement, and can sometimes result in items that cannot be found any other way (note: Four locations in the game always have default placement - Giza Plains, Cyril, Bervenia Palace, and Ambervale).
There is a calendar system that advances one day for every step taken on the World Map. There are 5 months, and each month has 20 days in it. Each month is also representative of one of the races of Ivalice. If the number of units in the Clan decreases to 5 or less, a mission will become available in the Pub that allows one to recruit a new unit, whose race depends on the current month.
The months are, in order:
- Kingmoon - Month of the Humans.
- Madmoon - Month of the Bangaa.
- Sagemoon - Month of the nu mou.
- Huntmoon - Month of the Viera.
- Bardmoon - Month of the Moogles.
Laws were first created in ancient times by an Ivalice king hundreds of years ago. The king used powerful magics to create these laws, he then established the judicial system to enforce these laws. Only the king's royal lineage knew the means to control these laws.
The laws of Ivalice is governed by a group of Judges who enforce them on behalf of the palace who decide the sequence of laws. Whenever a citizen of Ivalice declares an engagement, the Judges will appear out of nowhere and supervise the battle. Usually, these laws have been set and are not changed easily, and even so they are not difficult to follow. But under Queen Remedi, the laws are frequently changed and have become much tougher, leading to rumors that this is only done to please Prince Mewt. Although they are the object of intense enmity, the citizens of Ivalice nonetheless obey the Judges out of fear of persecution or imprisonment.
There are rumors, however, of a growing underground resistance movement which is reportedly spearheading a rebellion. When Clan wars have become much more frequent, the laws were made tougher. The situation becomes much worse with Ezel Berbier, a Hermetic who created Anti-Law cards to declare his resentment to the laws. While the use of Anti-Law cards were at first outlawed, they became so popular that the Judges could not hope to detain Ezel.
Finally, under agreement with the palace, the Judges, under Judgemaster Cid, have announced its decision to operate as an independent, neutral entity. After this announcement was made, rumors surfaced that about corrupt Judges and Blank Law cards for sale. Some of the laws were so ridiculous (such as the "kissing law") that Judgemaster Cid began to contemplate resignation. The JudgeWatch, an investigative body of the Judges, sent undercover agents to investigate the matter and was finally revealed that the Judge operating the Sprohm prison was the source of the corruption. Judgemaster Cid and Clan Nutsy apprehended him along with his lackeys.
- Bervenia Palace - Capital of Ivalice. The palace lies at its center.
- Cyril - Busy town. The monster bank is on its outskirts.
- Sprohm - Bangaa mountain town. Home to the prison.
- Muscadet - Mainly Viera town hidden deep in the woods.
- Cadoan - Nu Mou town. The seat of knowledge and alchemy.
- Baguba Port - Moogle town with a large mercantile airship port.
- Nubswood - Deep, dark forest. Popular hideout for thieves.
- Giza Plains - Rolling grassy plains. Muscmaloi grows here.
- Kudik Peaks - Towering peaks. Home to an endangered tiger.
- Uladon Bog - Deep and dangerous bog dotted with islands.
- Jeraw Sands - Hot sands blow in this largest desert in Ivalice.
- Lutia Pass - Much-traveled pass, with the occasional roadshop.
- Koringwood - Refreshing wood filled with ambient pure magic.
- Ulei River - Largest river in Ivalice. Winds through swampland.
- Aisenfield - Plains where the thirteen knights of legend fought.
- Roda Volcano - Volcano asleep for 300 years. Recently active.
- Eluut Sands - Dangerous desert; home of many fiends and treasures.
- Nargai Cave - A cool wind blows from inside this cave. An ancient city is said to sleep in its depths.
- Salikawood - The chirping of birds can always be heard here. An abandoned keep stands in the middle of the woods.
- Delia Dunes - Desert area famous for its barking sands. Said to be formed from a celestial beast's bones.
- Gotor Sands - Desert famous for its mirages and red chocobos.
- Ozmonfield - Gently rolling plains with occasional insect plagues.
- Deti Plains - Flatlands of yellow sand and red earth. Amber can often be found here among the rocks.
- Siena Gorge - Deep valley. A source of amber, like Deti Plains.
- Materiwood - Lush green forest famous for its materite ore.
- Tubola Cave - These caves were once mined for their mythril.
- Jagd Dorsa - Lawless jagd. A deserted town.
- Jagd Helje - Lawless jagd where ghostly voices are heard.
- Jagd Ahli - Lawless jagd destroyed by its own wild magic.
- Ambervale - Beautiful valley where the rocks glow amber. The kings of Ivalice had a summer palace here.
There are several icons used for different locations:
Connection to other versions of Ivalice
Unlike the other Final Fantasy games set in Ivalice, the Ivalice of Final Fantasy Tactics Advance does not seem to fit within the world's history. It is unclear how Ivalice in this game is related to the Ivalice seen in the other games in the series, but regardless of the explanation, the answer to what the nature of this incarnation of Ivalice is simple: It is the product of the Gran Grimoire. The Gran Grimoire is said to have the power to "shape the fabric of the world", a power that is exercised to its fullest when Mewt Randell uses it to change the town of St. Ivalice into the fantasy world of Ivalice.
The world of Ivalice that was brought about by Mewt's actions greatly differs from the one seen in other games, the most notable of which is that Ivalice is merely a kingdom rather than an entire continent, and that the various locations within Ivalice do not have predetermined locations on the map. The player is allowed to place new areas on blank places on the map as the main story progresses and many of these locations are places in other games that clearly have fixed locations on the map (aside from in Final Fantasy Tactics, where Ivalice's landscape has been ravaged by a great cataclysm).
The explanation for all of this, one which is explicitly stated within the game several times, is that this Ivalice is not real, it is a fantasy world created by Mewt and the Gran Grimoire.