Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy is the prequel to the crossover fighting game, Dissidia Final Fantasy. The game is playable only on the PlayStation Portable, the game was released for Japan on March 3, 2011, Australia, Canada and Europe on March 25, 2011 and sometime later in Spring 2011 for the rest of the world.
The "012" in the title drop refers to the 12th cycle of the war between Chaos and Cosmos, with the previous game being the 13th cycle of war, making this a prequel. Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy focus on the new characters.
The gameplay remains largely unchanged from its predecessor although the battles are a bit more fast-paced than usual. A new gauge located below the HP gauge represents a new gameplay element called the "Assist system", in which players can call out for allies for a single Brave or HP attack, similar to the assistance system found in the Marvel vs. Capcom series. Because of the new changes, some accessories have either been changed or removed. It is possible to transfer save data from the first game over to Dissidia 012, so that you may retain your progress on characters such as levels. A special accessory will also be available through this transfer.
All characters from the first game return in this prequel. In addition, nine new characters have been confirmed:
Lightning from Final Fantasy XIII
Kain Highwind from Final Fantasy IV
Tifa Lockhart from Final Fantasy VII (in her classic VII attire)
Vaan from Final Fantasy XII
Laguna Loire from Final Fantasy VIII
Yuna from Final Fantasy X
Prishe from Final Fantasy XI
Gilgamesh from Final Fantasy V
Feral Chaos, an alternate playable form of Chaos, from Dissidia Final Fantasy
It has been stated that Cosmos and Chaos won't have an equal amount of Warriors, nor will each series have equal representation, and some characters will also switch sides in this cycle of battle. Terra, Cloud, and Tidus now fight for Chaos, while Jecht now fights for Cosmos. Final Fantasy IV, Final Fantasy VIII, Final Fantasy X, and Final Fantasy XI now have two heroes representing those games (Kain and Cecil for IV, Laguna and Squall for VIII, Yuna and Jecht for X, and Prishe and Shantotto for XI, respectively. Also, if Aerith is counted, Final Fantasy VII would also have two heroines representing the game (Aerith and Tifa). Lastly, Final Fantasy VI and Final Fantasy VII has two villains each (Terra and Kefka for VI and Cloud and Sephiroth for VII). Final Fantasy V also introduces the first character not working for a god (Gilgamesh from Final Fantasy V). Cloud, Squall, Tifa, and Lightning also have bonus DLC alternate outfits; Cloud and Squall's DLC outfits are their attires from Kingdom Hearts, and Lightning's DLC outfit will cosplay Aya Brea from Parasite Eve: The 3rd Birthday, another Square Enix title (conversely, Aya Brea can also wear Lightning's Final Fantasy XIII attire as an alternate outfit in The 3rd Birthday); these outfits are obtained by transferring game data from Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep Final Mix and The 3rd Birthday, respectively.