The website Polygon got in touch with Final Fantasy 12: The Zodiac Age producer Hiroaki Kato to discuss the various tune-ups his development team is making to the code. As Kato explains, Final Fantasy 12 HD will have a lot of improvements beyond a higher resolution.
REBALANCED GAMEPLAY: FFXII was the first non-MMO Final Fantasy to do away with random battles in favor of visible monsters you had to avoid onscreen. They were new at this sort of thing and the challenge was out of whack in many areas — some monsters were too weak and others could kill you easily. “We actually got help from Hiroyuki Ito, who worked on the game design for previous Final Fantasy titles,” Kato told Polygon. “We overhauled the game balance so that it would be easier for players — closer to the feel of a classic Final Fantasy title.”
SPEED RUNNING: One complaint Square heard from the original release of FFXII was that the world was so vast that it simply took too long to get from one area to another — and it was also easy to get lost even with a map. Kato says maps will be made clearer, an autosave between areas will let people backtrack, and they’ll also have the ability to move at a much faster speed by holding down a button (speed running was also part of the International release in Japan).
JOB SYSTEM: One other feature Japan alone got to enjoy until now was the addition of a job system. It’ll be added to all versions of Final Fantasy 12 HD. The original release used a plain system called the License Board that made every character level up in the same manner. The new system will allow you to customize your party and strengthen them in the areas you deem important.
TRIAL MODE: For FFXII veterans who feel they’ve seen it all, Kato is introducing a new mode to the game. Trial Mode is completely separate from the main game, but it uses the save data to import your team from your current playthrough. It’ll contain 100 battles, each more challenging and complex than the last, and Kato promises you won’t be able to use the same strategy for each.
There’s no specific release date for Final Fantasy 12: The Zodiac Age yet, but Square is projecting a 2017 release.