FFXII - Script - Ch 10: Ending

[FMV; as the war rages in the skies above Rabanastre, the group boards the Strahl. Balthier and Fran are in their pilot and co-pilot seats, respectively]

Balthier: Well? Can we fly?

Fran: No fuel goes to the glossair engines.

Balthier: Damn! Vaan, you're in charge. I'm checking the engine room. Fran, with me!

[They begin to head to the rear of the ship, but stop: outside and nearbye, an explosion]

Ashe: Look! Bahamut's glossair rings are stopping!

[We get an aerial view of the glossair rings slowing down, and coming to a standstill...]

Balthier: Vaan! As soon as the Strahl's rings move, you take off. Understood?

[Vaan sits in the pilot's seat]

Balthier: You can fly her, Vaan. Just do it like I told you.

Vaan: Don't worry.

[Fran approaches Penelo in the co-pilot's seat]

Fran: Penelo, watch for interference from Bahamut's skystone. The Strahl's a fickle girl. You keep her working for us.

Penelo: I'll see what I can do.

[As the duo heads to the rear of the ship, they pass by Basch and Larsa, both kneeling next to a bed-ridden Gabranth]

Gabranth: Basch. Look after Larsa, will you? If House Solidor should crumble, the Empire would fail, and civil war would take us all.

Basch: I understand.

Gabranth: Lord Larsa is our last hope.

[Larsa holds Gabranth's hand. Outside, an airship smashes into Rabanastre's paling, scattering debris everywhere. Back inside the cockpit...]

Penelo: Vaan, the power's back! We can go!

Vaan: Right! Let's go!

[The Strahl undocks from Bahamut]

Vaan: Grab onto something!

[It takes off. Onboard the Resistance flagship, Garland...]

Helmsman: Sir! It's the Strahl! She's left Bahamut. She's moving away!

Ondore: The Strahl! They made it! At last, the Bahamut has fallen! The final test is upon us. The Judges shall rule us no more! Main cannon on the Alexander!

[We see the Alexander in front of the flagship. Suddenly, blaring over the intercom...]

Gabranth: This is Judge Magister Gabranth. All quarters cease fire!

[Gabranth's voice sounds hale and hearty, not near-death as he was portrayed to be... the Strahl soars into view, and positions itself directly between the Garland and the Alexander]

Gabranth: I repeat: All units of the Archadian army, hold your fire!

[The firing appears to cease. Onboard the Strahl, we see Basch is on the mic, doing his best to impersonate his brother's voice. Larsa walks into view]

Basch: The battle is over! As of this moment, we have signed a cease-fire with Ashelia B'nargin Dalmasca... Her Royal Majesty.

[Basch hands the mic over to Larsa. As he speaks, we see glimpses of the (now peaceful) battlefield]

Larsa: Attention. This is Larsa Ferrinas Solidor. My brother Vayne has died with honor in battle. The Imperial Fleet is now under my command!

[Onboard the Garland's bridge...]

Helmsman: Sir! Your orders, sir?

[Ondore does a dual sigh/grumble]

Ashe: This is Ashelia Dalmasca.

Ondore: The Lady Ashe! Thank the gods you live!

Ashe: I confirm what Judge Magister Gabranth and Larsa Solidor have said here. Please stand down your attack. The war is over. Ivalice looks to the horizon.

[Back on board the Strahl]

Ashe: A new day has dawned. We are free!

[We see an explosion on the exterior of Bahamut. Ashe begins to sob... Basch places his hand on her shoulder]

Penelo: Look Vaan, the Bahamut!

[The tip of Bahamut's base is pressed hard against Rabanastre's paling... the screams of Rabanastrans can be heard. On the Garland...]

Helmsman: A message from the Alexander!

Ondore: Take it.

Zargabaath: This is Judge Zargabaath, captain of the Alexander, flagship of the 12th Dalmascan Fleet. I address all ships in Rabanastre's airspace. The Bahamut must not be allowed to fall on the city of Rabanastre! We are preparing to ram her! Do not interfere!

Ondore: Madness!

[Cut to the Strahl's bridge, as they listen to Zargabaath's plea]

Zargabaath: Should she fall, the paling will not hold, and all Rabanastre will be obliterated! Concentrate your fire on the Alexander's remains once Bahamut is clear of the city.

[Suddenly, another voice emerges on the intercom, clouded by static. It's Balthier!]

Balthier: Hasty, aren't they. I think it's a little early to be throwing away our lives just yet.

Vaan: Balthier? Wait, Balthier, where are you?

[Cut to inside the Bahamut... fires are raging and random debris is falling. Balthier is wrenching some component]

Balthier: Ah, Vaan! Sounds like you made it out okay! The Strahl's a fine airship, eh?

Ondore: What does he think he's doing? Balthier!

Balthier: Marquis! Stop that fool Judge on the Alexander for me, would you? Just getting somewhere with these glossair rings. Almost done! Don't want him ramming me before I fix them, do we?

[We see Fran near him, also working. A nearbye explosion blows a cloud of dust into his face, and he recoils]

Ashe: Balthier! Do you understand exactly what it is you're doing?

[Balthier is showing placing a syringe of neon green liquid into a small tube]

Balthier: Princess! No need to worry. I hope you haven't forgotten my role in this little story. I'm the leading man. You know what they say about the leading man? He never dies.

[He inserts the final tube, and the glossair rings spring back to life. Its base lifts itself above Rabanastre's paling and begins to drift to the side]

Balthier: Let's fly! Fran! Power to the glossair rings. Fran?

[He turns around... she's unconscious. He races to her side]

Balthier: Do I have to do everything around here?

Ashe: Listen to me, Balthier. Get out of Bahamut immediately! Please, Balthier! You mustn't die! Please, Balthier. Come back.

[She hangs her head in sorrow. Onboard the Bahamut, Balthier picks up Fran]

Fran: I'd say you're in more of a supporting role.

Balthier: Fran, please.

[The Bahamut is safely away from Rabanastre... the Strahl flies by it. Balthier is carrying Fran amidst the ongoing internal devastation]

Balthier: Vaan, the Strahl's in your hands! You'd better take care of her, you hear? If there's one scratch on her when I get back -

Vaan: Roger that. We'll be waiting for you.

[Ashe lifts her head]

Ashe: Balthier...

[The Strahl flies away, as the Bahamut crashes into the ground outside Rabanastre, though remaining perfectly vertical]

[The screen goes black.... and stays that way, eventually fading back in amidst clouds under a blue sky, as an airship flies by. In Rabanastre's marketplace, Penelo looks through a crystal. She puts it down and walks away... she's dressed differently, more casual clothes that the get-up she wore over the course of the game. In her hands is a bag of assorted goods. All that remains is a Penelo voice-over. To compensate for the random cuts, I'll do these line by line]

It's hard to believe a year has passed so quickly.
Rabanastre is finally back to the way it was. Like when my parents were still alive.

[She reaches the Southern Plaza, and looks up at the Royal Palace, where construction is underway]

But I think it's important to put the past behind us and keep our eyes on the road ahead.

[We see that, outside Rabanastre, Bahamut is a permanent fixture; almost like Ivalice's own leaning tower of Piza, it has a slight tilt. A pool of water surrounds it, and there's even a bridge leading from it to dry land. We next see Ashe walk onto the Palace balcony]

Ashe's coronation is next month. She grows farther and farther away from us... but I guess that's how it has to be. She is queen now, after all.

[Cut to Larsa's residence; he's sitting at a table, reading a letter, as Gabranth (in full Judge attire) strolls into view]

I am looking forward to seeing you at the ceremony.

Gabranth: You called, my lord?

[He takes off his helmet. Psych! It was Basch all along... though he's cut his hair to be identical to Gabranth's, Basch's distinct scar over his left eye is clearly visible. Larsa stands up and hands him the letter he had been reading. Basch looks at it]

How is Basch? I know he went with you to Archades "to further the cause of peace in Ivalice"... but still, I hope he comes to Rabanastre, and Ashe, soon.

[We see Ashe open her hand... the ring she had given to Balthier as payment so long ago is sitting in her palm]

She has to keep up appearances now, so she would never say it... but I think she misses him.

[Back to Archades; Larsa has walked to the edge of a nearbye pool to let Basch be alone with the letter. He finishes reading it and puts it down, then takes Gabranth's helmet in both hands and looks at it. We're treated to Gabranth's dying words again, as shown by Basch's perspective... the two of them are holding hands]

Gabranth: Lose Larsa and we lose the Empire. Protect him. I would entrust him to no other's care.
Basch: I will keep him from harm. I promise you. For the Empire, and for Dalmasca.
Gabranth: Your words put me at ease, Brother. Sorry to leave you.

[Back to the present; he places the helmet on the desk and walks beside Larsa. Back in Rabanastre, Penelo strolls into an airship hangar]

Oh, I haven't told you the most important part!

[Cut to the same airship hangar, but in the past - Vaan and Penelo run into the hangar]

Vaan and I had been taking care of the Strahl, but it was stolen! We had just finished having her tuned up, too.

[Floating in mid-air where the Strahl had formerly been is a crystal, with a pouch and letter attached to it. Vaan takes them both, and Penelo yanks the letter away from him to read for herself. It says "Something more valuable: the Cache of Glabados. I await in Bervenia." Vaan opens the pouch, and the contents drop into his hand... Ashe's ring. He smirks, but instantly steps back as Penelo is charging towards him]

Stolen might not be the right word. If her owner wants her back, there's not much we can do.

[Back to Ashe on the palace balcony. She places her ring on the table, and picks up the small note that came with it - it's the same one that Penelo read. She flips it around to see "Give this to our Queen for me, would you?" on the back. She smiles. Next, we see an airship in the sky... it's not the Strahl, but something new, and helmed by Vaan!]

There's still plenty of time before the coronation, so Vaan's going to pay the two of them a visit. You should see him! He can hardly wait.

[The hangar's roof begins to open. Penelo places her bag on the ground, and looks up]

I'll be going too, of course. Every good sky pirate needs a partner, right?

[She smiles; outside of Rabanastre, Vaan smiles too, and continues his final approach to Rabanastre...]

The credits begin to roll; while there aren't anymore cutscenes, we're treated to images of characters in the background, sharply drawn with FFT-style artistry on what has the appearance of parchment. They're certainly vague and open to interpretation.
The first image isn't identifiable... it appears to be a destroyed building of some sort, perhaps Nalbina Fortress after the battle which raged there during the opening cutscene.
Next, a large airship, possible the Dreadnought Leviathan, as part of a fleet.
Third is Rasler, from the chest up, in his armor with the vague outline of a city & airships behind him.
Lastly, an airship in the sky, with some dead trees off to the side. The perspective is a bit strange so you might not immediately see it, but that's what it most likely is

As the music changes to signal the next round of credits, so too does the image-style, this time focusing on single characters.
We see a younger Ashe, with her arm affectionately placed around a chocobo's neck, as if posing for a photo.
At the crate hang-out in Rabanastre's Lowtown, we see several young children (whose identities cannot be absolutely determined, but Vaan and Penelo are most likely among them, as well as Tomaj and Kytes, and perhaps even Reks.)

In Eruyt Village, Balthier is scratching his left cheese with his left hand, while his right hand & arm are around Fran, whose outfit appears to be silverish-grey rather than the black get-up she wore throughout the game - perhaps this is when they first met?
Next is Al-Cid, big pimpin' with four ladies in identical outfits, two on either side of him, his arms around the closest on either side.
Next, younger renditions of Basch and Gabranth, in knight gear - no scattered rags or Judge armor, perhaps it's representative of their time before the fall of Landis?
Vayne and Larsa are shown next, with some large object between the two of them - perhaps it's the symbol of House Solidor, I forget exactly what it looks like.
In Eruyt Village, three young Viera - Jote, Mjrn and Fran - are posed for a portrait.
In my personal favourite image, a younger Doctor Cid is holding a newborn baby, sucking on his thumb & wrapped in cloth - his son, Ffamran aka Balthier.

Finally, we're once again shown the 3 Viera, as they appear to be inside a hut, peering out the window. Why? Who knows... but I'd like to think they were hiding from a Hume stranger infiltrating their Wood, yet couldn't resist peeking out and seeing who it was. Balthier and Fran <3

The image fades to black, as the final credits roll, and we're treated to those two words that mark the end of every Final Fantasy.... "The End". No post-credits cutscene - that's a wrap!

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