Final Fantasy XII
|Name:||Final Fantasy XII|
|Country of Origin:||Japan|
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Final Fantasy XII is the twelfth game in the Final Fantasy series, following the adventures of Vaan as he joins Princess Ashe and her band of allies to free the small kingdom of Dalmasca from the tyranny of the Archadian Empire.
A substantial FFXII community began on LiveJournal shortly after FFXII's North American release in October 2006. Shortly thereafter, the Strikethrough controversy caused portfolios of FFXII fandom to migrate to InsaneJournal and other locations. Fanfiction.net has hosted a growing repository of FFXII stories since 2006.
The original writers of Final Fantasy XII purposefully created a story that emphasized love of one's nation and family over love between two individuals. For this reason, romance plays a very minor role in the FFXII canon. Within the first ten minutes of FFXII, Princess Ashe appears joyful as she marries Prince Rasler, and then (a few months later in the game's story) she weeps at Rasler's funeral, thus putting an end to the one canon pairing within FFXII before actual gameplay begins. Various scenes throughout the game show Ashe interacting with what she believes to be Rasler's ghost. Despite being the one indisputable canon pairing, the number of Ashe/Rasler fan fiction stories is very small in comparison to all other pairings represented in FFXII fandom.
Within the canon, a few of the male characters appear to express interest in Ashe, namely Al-Cid and Balthier. In the earlier parts of the game, Vaan also appears to have some interest in Ashe but this is mostly before he learns that Ashe is a royal princess. The slow development of an Ashe/Balthier relationship is evident throughout the game, but it is a relation never comes to fruition.
As for other characters, an NPC in Rabanastre hints that someone in Vaan's life feels very fondly for him, lending support to the potential for a post-game Penelo/Vaan. Balthier/Fran are presented as pirating partners, but there is no clear evidence in FFXII that they are anything more than business partners and close friends.
Therefore, beyond Ashe/Rasler, all pairings in FFXII are purely speculation based on the story's subtext or are written entirely for fun.
The lack of romance in canon allows fandom writers to create a variety of different believable backstories, in-game stories, and post-game stories featuring a wide range of pairings, with het and slash pairings dominate FFXII fanfiction and fanart. Yuri pairings are currently underrepresented, possibly because there are only one female character who plays a central role (Ashe) and three others who play major supporting roles (Drace, Fran, Penelo). FFXII fandom is generally free of shipping wars, perhaps due to the lack of canon's emphasis on politics and family relationships over romance.
Popular pairings include:
- Blue Laguna Media Archive for FFXII - Stills, .avi files of in-game cutscenes, soundtrack, wallpapers, and images
- Final Fantasy Wikia FFXII Page - General information, links to characters, locations, races, enemies, etc.
- FFXII Sage Knowledge (on Final Fantasy Wikia) - Transcriptions of all 78 Sage Knowledge cards, plus Aletap Rumors and Research Notes