Final Fantasy IV: The After Years, Part One
Release Date: 03/06/2016
Final Fantasy IV: The After Years
By Kaleb Schweiss
Final Fantasy IV: The After Years was initially announced prior to the release of the DS Remake of Final Fantasy IV. Takashi Tokida, the game's executive producer, discussed there being talk of creating an after story, and a discussion began about working on mobile titles. Tokida may seem to be jumping in and changing things, but he had become quite attached to the characters, due to being a scenario writer for Final Fantasy IV. They decided that releasing the game in a mobile format would be beneficial, so it would allow players to play after completing the DS remake. This would effectively give you time to refresh your knowledge of FFIV before moving on to the After Years. The decision to have an episodic release came from a desire to have players anticipate the new chapters in the same way manga readers do. The Japanese mobile phones got the game on February 18th, 2008. The Prologue section Return of the Moon and Ceodore’s Tale were the initial releases, and the succeeding chapters came out in one month intervals. Just before the Lunarians Tale was released, Square Enix announced that the game had reached one million downloads, not including the free prologue chapter. As of March 2009, it has exceeded three million paid downloads. The game has a generally positive rate of review, with IGN giving it an 8/10.
The game takes place after the moon leaves the Blue Planets orbit. Peace ensues in the kingdoms, Mist is rebuilt. Civility reigns. Seventeen years later, the unimaginable happens. A second moon appears. FOR THE SECOND TIME!! We are then introduced to the product of Cecil’s powerful loins; Ceodore. Yes. His FUCKING GAME IS CEODORE!!! He is being initiated into the Red Wings, Baron’s famous air force fleet. He is introduced as a character who fears he’ll never step out of the shadow of his famous parents. He later finds out that he has what it takes, yada yada yada. We then head back to Baron, where we see Cecil, Rosa, and Cid fighting the endless onslaught of enemies, who seemingly appeared out of nowhere. We are then introduced to the Mysterious Girl. Cecil sees the imminent threat, and has Cid relocate with Rosa while he confronts this little bitch. The woman summons the legendary beast of ruin, Bahamut, and rips Cecil about a hundred new assholes. While these events take place, the airship carrying Ceodore is attacked. Everyone but Ceodore is killed, and he begins his journey home. While on the way, he gets ambushed by monsters, and is rescued by the Hooded Man. They head towards Mysidia, and we intercut to Mt. Ordeals, where Kain is heading towards Baron with a raging boner for Cecil’s sweet ass. On the way, Kain teams up with the aforementioned Mysterious Girl to steal the crystals. He also kidnaps Rosa, stating that he plans to kill Cecil and take Rosa for his own. Ceodore, the Hooded man, and everyone’s “favorite” Spoony Bard Edward, intercept Kain in front of Cecil’s throneroom. This is when the Hooded Man finally reveals himself as the real Kain. The Kain we had been seeing up to this point was in fact a manifestation of his dark half. Kain fights his dark half, much like Cecil did seventeen years prior, and wins. He then becomes a Holy Dragoon.
We then get some of that sweet, sweet Rydia. She, Luca, and Edge are on an airship in the underworld. Suddenly, or not so much if you played the Lunarians Tale, the Man in Black appears and takes over the airship, taking it towards Baron. Upon approach, the party sees meteors falling from the second moon. They get to Baron, and find it sealed by magic. They then travel the world looking for their lost friends. This part of the game really reminded me of the Planet of Ruin in Final Fantasy VI. You eventually run into Rydia, and proceed to hunt down each of her missing Eidolons. Once the control of the summons via the Mysterious Girl are broken, the party is finally able to enter Baron. Once the party frees Cecil from the Mysterious Girl, the Man in Black reveals himself as Golbez. Cecil, while freed from the girl's grasp, is a little off. The party realizes that the second moon is going to crash into their planet, reducing everything to a molten ball of pain, and try to come up with ways to stop it. Enter the Lunar Whale! Baawwwwooooooaaapppp!!!! The party takes the Lunar Whale to, you guessed it, the new moon. You descend the hours long dungeons, fighting your way through enemies from the original Final Fantasy IV, and then throws us a curveball. We fight bosses from Final Fantasy I through VI!! WTF!!!!!!! You eventually encounter Cecil’s evil side, fight it, and Cecil returns to the light.
Once you reach floor 1,000,000,000,000,000 of the dungeon, the party comes across a really freaky, FFIX esque room filled with multiple models of the Mysterious Girl being infused with what I can only assume is either Mako, or Mt. Dew. The Mysterious Girl comes from a race called the Maenads. They were each brought to be by the Creator, and their mission was to retrieve the crystals. The party descends deeper to discover this creator. He reveals that he comes from a race that died out due to failure to evolve, and he decided that he universe shouldn’t be overrun by inferior species. So, he did the only thing a logical Final Fantasy end boss could do. Create an intricate system of data gathering cameras in the form of crystals, and sent them around the universe to monitor life on the planets. He used these crystals to determine if the planet is evolving to its true potential. If it’s not up to par, he will destroy it. The Blue Planet did not reach the bar, as determined by James Cameron, and thus will be destroyed. Once this is revealed, he crushes the party. They are revived by the power of the crystals, and begin to wail on the Creators back door. Once they penetrate his pucker, we fight him. The moob form is fairly simple to destroy, but the ultimate form is another thing entirely. The party uses a crystal on him, and ultimately kills him, and flee the moon, rescuing the Maenad who explained their race to the party earlier. As the creator dies, he thanks the party for defeating him, and shows remorse for his actions. As he should, since the inhabitants of an inferior planet tore him to pieces. The party returns to their homes, Rydia adopts Maenad and names her Cuore, Edge’s ninjas continue to spy on everything, Cecil has Ceodore serve in the Red Wings under Kain, and also orders Baron’s airships disarmed and used to help rebuild the other kingdoms.