In an early interview with Famitsu Magazine, producer Tomoya Asano stated the game's design has been based on feedback from gamers stating games of the genre were more fun in the days of 8-bit and 16-bit gaming. The story will progress through conversation with NPCs. The interview also stated that a great deal of the plot will be left to the imagination of the player. The story is very reminiscent of the 8-bit era. The player will control Brandt, a kid sent out to rescue a kidnapped princess.
The battle system has also been designed around the roots of the genre, with the game adapting a turn-based system of gameplay instead of the more common active battle system. A full class system and special abilities will exist to define all party members as well.
Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light was released in Japan in Fall 2009 and in North America on October 5, 2010.
Brandt, upon just turning fourteen years old, must present himself to the king as a custom of entering manhood to become men. Unfortunately, when Brandt arrives, he finds the king terribly upset. Princess Aire, the king's daughter, has been kidnapped by Louhi, the Witch of the North. Brandt sets out to rescue her and is joined by his friend Jusqua and the princess's personal bodyguard Yunita. After slaying the witch and returning to Horne, they discover that everyone has been turned to stone. The four heroes head off in different directions to see if they can solve this mystery and hopefully prevent any other towns from falling victim to the curse.
The Four Heroes
- Brandt, a teenager who lives in the Kingdom of Horne with his mother Kuore. He prefers justice over injustice.
- Jusqua is a mysterious boy with silver hair who often runs away when problems become too hard.
- Yunita is a soldier in the Kingdom of Horne, sworn to protect and serve Princess Aire. She is a stoic and serious girl, but is nervous of her role.
- Aire is the second daughter of King Horne, as well as the younger sister of Princess Carino. Due to ignorance of the outside world, she's the most spirited hero of the group.
All four main heroes can be renamed when they join your party.
The job system in Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light revoles around characters wearing crowns. There are 28 crowns in total to wear, including the freelance job where the character actually doesn't wear a crown. These crowns may be enhanced using a specific number of crystals, which are often dropped by killed monsters. Each crown can be upgraded a maximum of three times, each one giving a new skill. character may switch between different jobs at any time simply by switching the hat they are wearing. Each crown bestows a particular skillset which is wildly different to their respective counterparts. The crowns are as follows:
The freelancer crown has no benefits outside of the fact that you will lose no gems or items upon your death. It has no skills to be gained from levelling, but the ability to lose nothing on death makes it a keen favorite to farm specific items, especially "Ribbons" from the "Bug Bear" enemy.
The wayfarer crown has the unique ability of being able to escape from battle, and the passive bonus to give recovery items a more effective use. The skills are:
- Runaway: For 1 AP, there is a chance to escape from battle, but it can fail.
- Escape: For 2 AP, there is a guaranteed chance to escape from battle. It will not work on boss fights.
- Recover: For 3 AP, the wayfarer recovers HP every turn. It's effectively the same as casting regen on yourself
- Friend in Need: For 3 AP, you "Summon your travelling companion to attack the foe". It does a large amount of physical damage to the enemy.
The wayfarer crown is a brown hat with a feather sticking out of it.
The white mage is the main crown for healing. It reduces the AP of white magic by one, so cura which originally costs 2, would cost 1 under a white mage crown. The skills are:
- Healthgiver: For 1 AP, the next white mage spell effects every ally at once.
- Lifegiver: For 2 AP, the next white mage spell effects every ally at once, for an increased healing bonus
- Hide: For 3 AP, the white mage becomes less of a threat to the enemy, making it less likely to be attacked by an enemy
- Miracle: For 5 ap, allys are healed all of their hit points, and every negative status effect.
The white mage crown is a white hood.
The black mage is the main crown for elemental based magic damage. It reduces the AP of black magic by one, similar to the white mage crown. The skills are:
- Magic Mojo: For 1 AP, the next magic spell does increased damage
- Spell Focus: For 2 AP, the next magic spell does a large amount of increased damage
- Mirror: For 3 AP, the black mage casts a reflective shield on their allies, reflecting ALL magic for the next 3 turns (Healing spells and damaging spells)
- Magic Might: For 4 AP, the black mage casts a mighty attack spell, which does incredible damage to all enemies. Similar to the "Ultima" spell from previous Final Fantasy games
The black mage crown is a black top hat. Classy!
The bandit class is the only one that can steal items from enemies, which is crucial for a perfect game completion. While this crown is equipped, enemies drop rarer items. Skills are:
- Steal: For 1 AP, the thief attempts to steal an item from a random enemy. It can fail
- Plunder: For 2 AP, the thief will attempt to steal from every enemy at once. It can fail.
- Deadly Blow: For 3 AP, the character will attempt to deal a death blow, killing an enemy outright.
- Pillage: For 4 AP, the character will steal an item from a foe, and it is guaranteed it will be stolen.
The bandit crown is a black bandana, worn across the characters face.
The bard class is mainly a support class, used to increase an allies status and provide buffs. They handle musical instruments (Harps) better than other classes. Their skills are:
- Ditty: For 2 AP, the bard will increase all allys physical attack damage for 3 turns.
- Motet: For 2 AP, the bard will increase all allys defense for 3 turns
- Aria: For 2 AP, the bard will increase all allys status attributes for 3 turns
- Fugue: For 4 AP, every enemy will be stopped in place for one turn.
The bard crown is a wreath worn on the characters head.
The merchant crown is based upon the ability to gain more gems from an enemy per battle, and also gains more gems after a fight. Their damage output is minimal, and skills are:
- Finder: For 1 AP, the merchant will use a turn in trying to find a gem in combat. It can fail
- Keeper: For 2 AP, the merchant will attempt to find gems in the middle of combat. It has a higher success rate than keeper.
- Ransom: For 3 AP, the merchant will take no damage in battle, instead paying money instead of taking damage. Limited to money held by the player
- Money Talks: For 4 AP, the merchant will deal damage dependant on the amount of money the player owns. Each use costs 1000G, and does damage equal to 1% of total money owned.
The salve-maker class focuses on using recovery items in a variety of ways in battle. Their skills are:
- Dispensary: For 1 AP, the salve-maker will be able to use recovery items without consuming them from your inventory.
- Healthcare: For 2 AP, the salve-maker uses a recovery item on everyone in the party. Any recovery item will be applied to everyone in the group.
- Poison Pill: For 3 AP, the salve-maker will convert a recovery item into a poison and use it to damage an enemy.
- Level Serum: For 4 AP, the salve-maker will increase party's level by 1 for the length of the battle.
The salve-maker's crown looks like some kind of funny chef's hat, and includes a snazzy monocle!
The elementalist crown halves the amount of elemental damage the player takes. It is one of the most useful classes because it can keep player's characters alive longer against the many enemies that focus on using the different elements to deal damage. Their skills are:
- Augment: For 1 AP, the elementalist will enhance the elemental effects of your allies for 4 turns.
- Amplify: For 2 AP, the elementalist will greatly enhance the elemental effects of your allies for 4 turns.
- Mysterio: For 3 AP, the elementalist will enhance your party's resistance to elemental attacks.
- Elemental: For 4 AP, the elementalist will damage the enemy with a series of elemental attacks.
The elementalist crown is an indian headdress.
The ranger crown focuses on using ranged weapons such as bows and arrows in combat and allows you to deal extra damage with them. Their skills are:
- Target: For 1 AP, the ranger ensures that every attack of theirs will successfully strike the target.
- Snipe: For 2 AP, the ranger ensures that every attack of theirs will successfully strike their target and deal extra damage.
- Covering Fire: For 3 AP, the ranger deals heavy damage to all foes at the beginning of the next turn.
- Smashing Bow: For 4 AP, the ranger deals a single powerful blow to an enemy.
The ranger crown is a brown bomber hat.
The fighter crown specializes in bare handed combat and is given a bonus to damage when fighting with no weapons equipped. Their skills are:
- Combat: For 1 AP, the fighter increases their chance of dealing a critical blow for 4 turns.
- Jugular: For 2 AP, the fighter will deal a critical hit to an enemy.
- Chakra: For 3 AP, the fighter will double their HP for the rest of the battle.
- Frenzy-Fu: For 4 AP, the fighter will attack an enemy repeatedly, the higher your strength the longer the chain will be.
The fighter crown is a red and gold striped bandeezy.
The scholar crown makes use of equipped books and specializes in reducing the enemy's stats. This is good for if the enemy is hitting too hard or if you want to hit back harder. Their skills are:
- Quell: For 2 AP, the scholar reduces the attack of an enemy by half for 4 turns.
- Subdue: For 2 AP, the scholar reduces the defense of an enemy by half for 4 turns.
- Restrain: For2 AP, the scholar will slow all enemies movement for 4 turns.
- Tame: For 5 AP, the scholar reduces the attack and defense of an enemy to 1 for that turn only.
The scholar crown is a black and white cap and gown.
The party host crown works like a support class and is used for psyching up the party so that you can then deal powerful joint attacks. Their skills are:
- Charm: For 1 AP, the party host will psych up 1 of your allies.
- Rouse: For 2 AP, the party host will psych up everyone in the party.
- Pot Luck: For 3 AP, the party host will make something happen. This can include things like all enemies dying immediately, everyone in your party loses all AP, or all enemies now have full health.
- Go Team Go!: For 4 AP, the party host will psych everyone up in the party a lot.
The party host outfit is a shiny white tiara with crazy anime hair.
The hero crown is made to be an absolute bruiser and it can deal heavy damage in physical and magical ways. Heroes will also get psyched up more often than other crowns. Their skills are:
- Reckless: For 1 AP, the hero will deal an attack with massive damage but their defense will be weakened.
- Bladeblitz: For 2 AP, the hero will damage all enemies.
- Wrath: For 3 AP, the hero will deal massive magic damage to an enemy.
- Finale: For 4 AP, the hero will join with your allies to deal a combination attack to an enemy.
The hero crown looks like a gold and silver winged crown with a ruby jewel in the center.
The spell fencer crown mixes magic with weapons to more effectively use the elements against your enemies. Early in the game the main party briefly meets a character that is a spell fencer. Their skills are:
- Magic Sword: For 1 AP, the spell fencer changes their weapon's element and attacks.
- Mystic Sword: For 2 AP, the spell fencer changes their weapon's element and attacks dealing even more damage.
- Magic Thwart: For 3 AP, the spell fencer nullifies enemy attack spells for 4 turns.
- Magic Infuse: For 3 AP, the spell fencer casts an attack spell and attacks with their sword at the same time.
The spell fencer crown is a turban.
The monk crown gives characters the ability to use the dead in combat. As the monk dies and is resurrected some of their skills become stronger. Their skills are:
- Tool: For 1 AP, the monk gives a dead ally the ability to attack an enemy.
- Implement: For 2 AP, the monk gives a dead ally the ability to perform a randomly selected magic attack.
- Kamikaze: For 1 AP, the monk will attack an enemy as they themselves are killed. As the monk dies more, the damage they deal increases.
- Ghost Army: For 3 AP, the monk summons an army of ghosts which deal massive damage to all enemies.
The monk crown is a black hat with a cool skull sitting on top of it.
The dancer crown deals extra damage with short swords and speeds up the recovery of AP among the party. This crown is useful for if players want to use high AP consuming skills with other party members more often. Their skills are:
- Dance: For 1 AP, the dancer will recover more AP than usual for 3 turns.
- Perform: For 3 AP, the dancer will make allies recover more AP than usual for 3 turns.
- Applaud: For 1 AP, the dancer will increase an ally's AP by 3.
- Ovation: For 2 AP, the dancer will restore all of an ally's AP.
The dancer crown includes slicked back hair, or a black bandanna, as well as a rose in the character's mouth, and super classy clothes.