The first title to come out of the Vana’diel Project launched earlier this week in Japan. Final Fantasy Grandmasters is a mobile game set in the world of Vana’diel. Unfortuneatly the game is only out in Japan with no news of a western release however… that doesn’t mean that you can’t get your hands on it!
I’ve spent a good amount of time playing with Grandmasters and I know that there are a lot of people out there interested in the future of Final Fantasy XI and Vana’diel so I decided to do a quick guide for those interested in checking the game out that have absolutely no knowledge of the Japanese language.
You can check out a quick video highlighting some of the important aspects of the game for new players. The information is then repeated in written form below.
Clicking the Tarutaru head in the main menu will bring you to a character screen. In this screen you can see the job traits you’ll unlock at each level, but more importantly, you can set up your equipment and even choose a set of glamour (visible) gear.
The equipment screen may seem fairly straight forward at first glance but there are a couple things to consider. First it might be a good idea to hit the button in the top right, this should optimize your gear. Secondly, and slightly strategic are the weapons that you equip to the slots on the left side. These are for abilities. Each weapon in Grandmasters comes with an ability or spell attached to it. You’ll have your main weapon (bottom, outside of the line of ability weapons) and then four ability slots. To see an ability on a weapon, select the weapon and scroll to the last section of its information in the box at the top of the screen. I like to make sure that all of my abilities are different.
The Shield/sword icon on the main menu will bring you face to face with a beloved Moogle. On this screen you can manage the items that you have. Most important here is the ability to upgrade your equipment by selecting an item and having it “consume” other items in your possession in order to level it up. If you’ve played Final Fantasy Record Keeper, it’s the exact same process.
Also similar to Record Keeper is the ability to draw for special items. By clicking the treasure chest on the main menu you’ll be taken to the menu where you can swipe left and right for each job currently in the game, and then using the button on the left you can do a single draw for an item using 500 of your blue, crystal looking currency. This currency is obtained (usually 100 at a time) by doing quests.
When you’re ready to start, click the airship icon on the main screen (use the first icon on the main menu to get there, the little house). From here you can select an area and it will show you a list of quests. If it has the speech bubble, that means it’s a cutscene. The other icons are for quests that will require you to kill a certain number of enemies in that area. Typically in each area you’ll do a number of “Kill X amount of mobs” quests, and then complete the area by killing a popular NM from that zone. Afterwards you’ll unlock a new area to move to.
At the top of the map screen you’ll see a couple icons I’ve highlighted in red. These are for other types of quests. The far right button being for job quests.
Did you know that Grandmasters is played alongside other players? I had no idea! While you’re out in the field you may see other players and some circles around the mobs. A red circle indicates that another person is already engaged with that enemy. It also means you can run into it and join them! By running into these red circled mobs, you’ll find enemies much easier to take down as you’ll be fighting alongside your fellow adventurers! If the circle is white however, that means that the fight already has the maximum number of adventurers and you won’t be able to partake in that battle.
Because you can play with other players, Grandmasters has ways to communicate with them. The easiest for those of us who don’t know Japanese will be the emoticons. These can be accessed on the field and in battle by hitting the third blue button at the bottom of the screen. That will open up the menu you see above.
Additionally, you can input text. By clicking the larger, white button at the bottom, you’ll open up a text input screen. I seem to see people using the emoticons more often however as its quicker and easier while still understandable with the language barrier.
And… that’s it! I have no knowledge of Japanese, but I fumbled around in the menus to see the things I’d probably need to be making use of in order to enjoy the game. Once you start playing, it gets pretty easy to navigate. The only downside is I have no idea what the story is!
Now comes to being able to actually play the game. In my case, I played it on the PC so I downloaded an Android emulator. I used BlueStacks but I know there are a few of them out there. Then I just used an .apk downloader website to grab the game off of Google Play and then installed it into the emulator. Additionally for those a little more tech savvy, you can simply just grab the .apk, get it onto your phone and install it from there.