Final Fantasy IV Advance may seem like a weird name for a Final Fantasy entry, but it is not. The reason it is titled as such is because this is a port of the Bandai WonderSwan Color version of the game. Think of it as Square Enix and Nintendo pulling a WWE move by changing the name, slightly, to make it unique. The underlying game is quite like what you know and love, just with some improvements. One being portable on the Game Boy Advance now. Another is being in English – something the WonderSwan Color version needed.

A rose by any other name

Final Fantasy IV Advance is probably recognizable to many reading this as another title. Yep, in North America, we got Final Fantasy II on the Super Nintendo. Considering Square Enix were not able to bring over the rest of the Nintendo Entertainment System based sequels, they just skipped them when the SNES was released.

Seemed like a good idea when they did it.

What this caused was a bit of confusion for gamers later. Particularly when Square Enix announced Final Fantasy VII for the Sony PlayStation. They did try to alleviate this confusion by releasing the original Final Fantasy games, with slight improvements.

Final Fantasy IV has been ported to many platforms including the Sony PlayStation, GBA, Nintendo DS, etc.

Final Fantasy IV Advance pays homage to WonderSwan Color port

The WonderSwan Color was a Japan only portable that saw many titles released. Square Enix was one company that supported the portable. Considering there was a 16-bit version of Final Fantasy IV available on that platform Square Enix took the short path in porting it. They took the graphics and sound and expanded on both for the GBA port.

In Japan there was a special edition of Final Fantasy IV Advance that included a limited-edition Game Boy Micro. The face plate on this limited-edition unit featured Cecil and Kain from the game.

Further improvements were applied to the localization of the game script. Plot points that were missing from the original Final Fantasy IV release were fixed. Abilities that were removed for the first North American release were put back in as well. Spells were also renamed to follow the Japanese version spell names more closely.

Finally, Mt. Ordeals, a new cave, was added. Here you can challenge much tougher enemies. You can also find stronger armor and weapons for five new characters. Access to the Lunar Ruins was also made more accessible in Final Fantasy IV Advance.

Final Fantasy IV ports

As mentioned already, you can grab this game on many platforms. If you want to play with 3D graphics then you want the Nintendo DS port. This version was also ported to iPhone and Android. If you want more of the game world then check out Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection for the Sony PlayStation Portable. You can also enjoy the original PlayStation release as a PSOne Classic.

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This article was originally published on Retro Gaming Magazine.