Final Fantasy Tactics Hero’s Journey

The Ordinary World

RAMZA (hero) is the son of BALBANES BEOULVE a hero of the Fifty Years War, he is respected and has many expectations placed upon him by those surrounding, as other aristocrats feel that he is favored. He has a loyal friend DELITA who has served with him at the academy at Balbanes request.  Ramza lives in a time

“(When) Many soldiers who returned from the war,

(have) no jobs, little money,

and even less loyalty to the crown.

Many (become) thieves and

rebels plotting rebellion

against the royal family.

At (this) time robbery and

murder (are) commonplace in Ivalice.

Many heroes and

wizards came out of (Ivalice).

And Gariland was no exception either.”

Last Words of the Prologue Final Fantasy Tatics

 


Thus he is cadet in training looking forward to a successful military career. At this point of the game he take orders from his brothers ZALBAAG and DYCEDARG (Dycedarg serves the function of shadow through the game and works behind the scenes without his brothers knowledge).

The Call

On his death bed Balbanes tells Ramza that the Beoulves blood has the soul of a knight and to tolerate no injustice. He also singles out Ramza by asking him “to show (his) brothers … what it is to be a knight…” Giving an indication that Ramza is special or in a sense marking him. In that scene he swears to his father but he doesn’t yet realize what those words mean.

*(I feel there are a few quests the Ramza undertakes throughout the game but I feel this is the central theme of those quests he undertakes. For a more direct quest I would say his search for the Auracite.)

The Refusal

There are many other calls in which Ramza refuses or cannot follow from both Delita and ARGATH who say that basically the world is injustice and commoners are just pawns for the nobility. Argath has a more pro view of this saying that it is the natural order of things. While Delita says that he is constantly pushing against a current, because he is surrounded by nobility and has to constantly prove himself as well as the general state of things for the common man. Ramza in both these cases hasn’t really made a choice and just in a sense goes with the flow and follows orders.

Meeting with Mentors, Crossing the Threshold and Testing, Allies and Enemies.

It is hard for me to directly point to a character and says this is “THE” mentor in this game. Many characters act as mentors each generally adding to the characters party and giving new insight into the happenings of the world.  I do want to point out that Delita and his sister TIETRA in one of the more powerful scenes in which Argath shoots and kills Tietra. This scene shows that the common person in this game doesn’t have any value to the nobility. Which is an injustice and now Ramza is being faced with and thus is now completely aware of the injustice that exists.

Here is the scene http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJMoqi0g1RE&NR=1

*(this entire next session all bleeds together I will try and separate it as much as possible)

Crossing the first threshold

While it is completely valid to see this as crossing the First Threshold, I feel that this happens later when Ramza decides to protect princess OVELIA, even though his commanding officers order him to. This is the crossing when Ramza decides to not allow Ovelia to become another Tietra.  There are also many Threshold guardians during this crossing GAFFAGARION his mercenary commander who takes him in after the above scene and COUNT DELACROIX. (The Dycedarg shadow is at work here and is revealed by Gaffagarion in death)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_gg7Gq-BPks&feature=related

(identifies Delita as a Shapeshifter)

Tests, Allies and Enemies.

Due to his actions of protecting Ovelia princess he now has huge backlash from many factions, he has now enter a game of kings and queens and royal succession thus many forces are against him while many forces are with him. Many tests come in the form of various battles like that of his conflict with Delacroix in which Delacroix betrays him and the princess thus being transformed by the power of Auracite into a demon.

He gains a few allies, MUSTADIO and AGRIAS both accompany him in his mission to save the princess and search for the Auracite. * It is also around this point the game where Ramza begins to approach the innermost cave.

(more cutscenes http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGo8NvTmFRY&feature=related)

*(The gaining of allies continues through the game unit the last chapters.  I am not going to mention most of these characters because of the three page limit. )

Approaching the innermost cave.

Also typical of the hero’s journey is someone warning him to go back.  Delita warns him of the dangers ahead and his inability to change what is going to unfold.
Delita’s warning http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0kHjBhUmFg&feature=related

Thus, Ramza ignoring the warning goes forth to tackle the innermost cave with his new allies and being warned.

Ramza defeats Delacroix and now enters a higher level. He is now dealing with kings and Queens as well as magic stones.  He will shortly be branded a Heretic as the church is aware that Ramza knows that the story of the Zodiac Braves one of the fundamental thoughts of the church to be about demons; rather than saints.

 

The Ordeal

I feel that the Ordeal consumes most of the game from the midpoint onward. Ramza is now taking on the church which has the aim of taking control of all IVALICE( the world in which they exist) they intend to do this by political manipulation of the major powers to fight one another then assassinating the command structure and ushering peace with the church at the head of power. This does not agree with Ramza’s sense of justice as they are fanning the flames of war causing massive death and ruin across the land.  I realize I am talking in very general terms but there are several encounters but I will mention one in particular which I feel embodies the Ordeal.
This particular encounter happens in the Orbonne monastery after which Ramza has acquired a few Auracite, which is to say stones that contain the power of the Zodiac braves which is essential to the legend the church is trying to use to sway the masses. They are also magical stones which can be used to summon demons.  Before entering the catacombs Ramza entrusts Alma with his pieces of Auracite.

Rewards

He enters the catacombs and find the Auracite only to have Alma taken hostage in which he surrenders the Auracite he just acquired as well his sister is now taken hostage. However he is given a reward in a sense of the “Scriptures of Germonique” which are documents that tell the true story of the Zodiac Braves.
Thus he is now armed with the truth of the Zodiac Braves. Just to drive home the point of what his reward he says
“Auracite is the work of demons, not gods – the Zodiac Braves, their
Unholy knights. Heroes of a false legend!”

(So his reward is knowledge of the true story of the Auracite which he already knew and proof that can clear his name.)

Road Back

The road back is also paved in this scene, as know his sister has been taken and he has lost all the Auracite which is now in the church’s hands thus the churches retaliation.

The resurrections

Ramza has a new determination (resurrection) as he searches for his sister Alma, which keeps leading him against the church and other various forces until he has a showdown with the head of the church transformed by the power of the Auracite.

I feel the resurrection could also come from the Auracite themselves as in a scene Ramza realizes that the power they contain is based on who is using it and uses it to revive MAKAK, an assassin sent to kill Ramza but see’s that he has been fighting on the wrong side the whole time. Thus the resurrection could be the absorbing of this power and using it in the final confrontation with the shadow (Auracite demons). *

*( there is reference at the very beginning of the game that links to this scene in a positive sense, as up until this point in the game Auracite appears to just change people into demons.
Link= http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Im6eT9dQB8&feature=related)

**(Lots of different actions happen surmising to a final showdown by the demons that have been created thru the Auracite)

The return with the elixir.

The final battle happens Ramza fights VORMAV who summons ULTIMA using Alma’s body, for some reason they separate. After this point when Ramza kills Ultima, the player is left to wonder if they ever escape the story does allude to Ramza and Alma escape as they are seen on the back of chocobos at Alma’s funeral but it is not written in absolute. However, the return of the elixir in the sense that the plot lines get tied up, is that Ramza’s potential sacrifice brings peace to the kingdom. Delita marries princess Ovelia and restore peace and justice to the land. The story goes on further to say the Ramza is actually the unsung hero of the story and forgotten.

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmoZheCV5DA&feature=related)

I feel this is a thematic return to the beginning of the game when theme of injustice is rampant. This is the ending Ramza wants it is peace for the people of Ivalice but to him, it is un just as his name now disappears into obscurity. However this is juxtaposition to the beginning in which Delita is the commoner and Ramza is the noble. Thus the story comes full circle (at least thematically) However in the end Ramza is freed from the burden and is able to live free, at least that is what I am lead to believe.

Thus the world is changed by Ramza noble deeds that change being the elixir itself.

Characters
Ramza: is a group oriented hero. He starts as a part of the nobility and becomes a heretic based upon the fact he doesn’t return I would say he stay’s in the magic world at the end of the game.

Delita: is a hero in his own right. However for the first portion of the game he would be classified as a sidekick and possible mentor as I he does advice the player and point out the path(the thematically  journey) out in the future. As well he is a shape shifter based on the fact that he switches sides many times through the entire game for his own ends.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPyRgkWnemw&feature=related
I feel this shows Delita’s shape shifting nature.

Argath: Shape shifter and Herald, originally on your side he later shows his true colors in killing Tietra and is a herald as his action cause Ramza to lose his ordinary world.

Tietra: Is a herald in the fact that her death is one of the main motivations for Ramza to cross over into the magic world.

Zalbaag: While for the most part of the game he is an ally to Ramza although he does very little for him, you eventual fight him as when he is about to die he enters contract with the Auracite and Ramza is forces to kill his brother. Thus he is shadow.

Ovelia: She is the crown princess, however in the game it is found that she is not actually the princess but that she was swapped at birth when  the original princess died. Thus in a sense she is a shape shifter in terms of her own identity but I would view her as an ally as she is fighting for similar causes of Ramza.

Gaffagarion: Black knight and mercenary that takes Ramza in after the events that lead him from the ordinary world. He could fulfill the need of mentor as he does take Ramza in but I see him more as a shape shifter and threshold guardian. Ramza must defeat him in order to protect the princess. There are several fights until a final encounter in which Ramza kills him in a one on one fight. Thus he is a shapeshifter and shadow, as well as potential a mentor for Ramza. He also has Herald properties of his own in Ramza’s advancement towards the inner cave.

Count Delacroix: Shape shifter, when you initial meet him he claims to be an ally. He betray’s Ramza and Ovelia for one of the Auracite, He is obvious shadow as he transforms in a demon in which is the final threshold guardian before the Inner most Cave.  He is also in league with Dycedarg from the start.

Dycedarg: Brother to Ramza he is pulling strings throughout the game until he is dispatched by Ramza during the ordeal of this game. Obvious Shadow and Shape shifter as Ramza original takes order from his brother in the beginning of the game.

Allies: Alma, Mustadio, Agrais, Makak + many other characters. These characters all assist Ramza in some way some are only temporary (Alma), while the mass majority are permanent and go to the end of the game with Ramza.

Link to the entire script for the game
Here -> http://www.gamefaqs.com/psp/937312-final-fantasy-tactics-the-war-of-the-lions/faqs/50913

Please just glance at it to see the scope of what I have gone thru. I realize this isn’t do the game justice but this is be trying to boil it down to it essence.

 

 

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