Swords in cyril
A Final Fantasy Tactics Advance online battle simulator
I remember long hours in 2007 spent on the GameFAQs Final Fantasy Tactics Advance boards discussing the merits of the game's player-versus-player mode. These merits were of course speculative, as FFTA lacks any such mode — but having recently discovered the surprisingly deep rabbit hole of competitive Pokemon battling, teen Clayton was burning with excitement to imagine a similar competitive landscape for his favorite game. Together with the other forum-goers we would theorize at length about balance, what units would dominate and what rules would be needed to keep play varied and enjoyable. However, without some kind of Pokémon Netbattle-style battle simulator for FFTA, the discussion was moot, and the competitive FFTA metagame would remain nothing more than fantasy.
Nine years later, I realized it was very nearly in my power to make "NetBattle for FFTA" a reality, and saw a thrilling opportunity to develop some new skills and fulfill an old teenage dream. Following the model set by NetBattle and upheld by successors like Pokémon Showdown, Swords in Cyril faithfully reconstructs the combat and team-building mechanics of Tactics Advance, allowing the game's remaining fans to build their own clans and battle each other. The project includes both client and server written using Java's socket and concurrency libraries, and a Swing-based GUI for the client.
As of April 2017, Swords in Cyril is considered playable and most of FFTA's major features have been implemented. Beta clients have been distributed to a small Discord group for testing, and the server is online for public use. However, with several skills, maps, and mechanics as well as the Law system still forthcoming, much work remains to be done.
Special credit is due to Darthatron from FFHacktics for their FFTA All-In-One Editor, and to the legendary TFerguson for the Final Fantasy Tactics Advance Mechanics Guide, without which it would not have been possible to faithfully replicate the game's mechanics; and to the small but loving community of testers and players who have made all my efforts worthwhile.
You can download the Swords in Cyril client on itch.io.