In the most recent article on the upcoming HD Remake Final Fantasy XII: Zodiac Age, they mentioned it will contain the Zodiac Job System, which was released many years ago as a Japan exclusive update to the original game, but never made it to a western release.

The Zodiac job system was made available in an update to the game which came out in Japan years ago, but it never made it over to the West. Instead, enthusiastic players were forced to download, patch, and emulate that version of the game on their own. Hardcore players even got it to play on their original PS2s. Now you won't have to mess with any of that, and you'll get to play this politically charged masterpiece in HD

What is the Zodiac Job System?


Unlike the original release's License Board mechanic, which allowed players to purchase every ability in the game for all party members, the Zodiac Job system splits these abilities up into individual themed boards. At first, you may only assign one board to each character, although unlike the International Edition, you may purchase the license to assign a second board. This means that certain abilities will only be available on one character, or potentially unavailable if you decide to assign a particularly useful job to two different characters.

In addition, the boards are designed so that acquiring licenses for summons, which can only be purchased by one character, will make parts of the board inaccessible for other characters.

The actual mechanics of acquiring abilities are the same as with the License Board; you purchase abilities with points earned from combat, which makes abilities adjacent to it on the board available for purchase.

Note that this is closer to a class system than the job system commonly seen in JRPGs; the choice of which board to use is permanent, whereas jobs are typically swapped around, level independently, and share some synergy with other jobs.

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  • Can a job only be chosen once per character? – Kaizerwolf Feb 1 '17 at 14:22
  • Yes; you cannot use six of the twelve available boards in any one playthrough, although most abilities are shared between more than one job. You don't make this choice immediately, either. – Merus Feb 1 '17 at 23:37
  • Also worth noting that it's likely the Zodiac Job system will be refined or changed in the re-release, as Square Enix frequently make changes to re-releases of their games for new platforms. – Merus Feb 1 '17 at 23:48
  • Now that the game is nearing release (or releasing, in some territories!), we know that they've made changes to the job board system from the International Edition. – Merus Jul 7 '17 at 14:54
  • @Merus After discovering there have been updates to the job system since the initial release, your answer is more accurate – Wondercricket Jul 7 '17 at 16:56

While reading the article posted on Polygon's, the original release Final Fantasy XII did not have a Job System , it contained the License Board which was used for character growth. The Zodiac Job System takes on a completely different approach, which allows a character to a take on a unique role with their own abilities


If you didn’t guess it already from the name International Zodiac Job System, this version of the game incorporates a job system. A recurring feature in Final Fantasy games, the job system allows you to assign one of a dozen or so roles to a character, providing them with unique skills and stat growth opportunities depending on which job you chose.

The original Final Fantasy 12 used a system called the license board for character growth. As you leveled up, you unlocked abilities and stat boosts on a giant board. However, every character used the same board and, by the end of the game, every character ended up the same.

"When you progress through the original game enough, you notice that all the characters basically become supermen," said Kato. "The job system makes the game more interesting for the characters. Each job has different abilities, so you can really customize your party and enjoy character growth through those jobs.

The jobs in Final Fantasy 12: The Zodiac Age will include everything from Archer to Knight to series’ mainstay Red Mage.

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  • 1
    I am so used to the original localized version of the original game, getting used to the job system is going to be tough. Good explanation though, I had been wondering about the main differences but I wasn't sure I could post a question about it. – Kaizerwolf Jan 31 '17 at 20:05
  • @Kaizerwolf Agreed. I played XII back when it first game came out, and while I loved license board, the job system will take some getting used to. At first I didn't think I could get a question out of it either, until the article I linked mentioned it was an existing feature – Wondercricket Jan 31 '17 at 20:09

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