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What's in a name?

When first mentions of Final Fantasy XII started circulaitng around Japan before its release, Balthier's name was written as "Balflear". Consequently, this was the spelling that was adopted for the Japanese release of the game. Several months later, during a press conference concerning the North American localization of the game, his name was changed to "Balthier". Other names were altered accordingly, such as "Valentia" to "Valendia".

"Balflear" is written as: バルフレア (romaji: Barufurea) Like almost all of the Final Fantasy characters, Balflear is written in katakana, which is most often used to signify words of foreign origin. The use of katakana by Final Fantasy creators is perhaps linked to many of the series' visual motif and aesthetics being influenced by non-Japanese origins (with the exception of the 10th installment).

Balthier's real name is Ffamran Mid Bunansa. In the game, only two people who refer him to that name are Jules and Doctor Cid. Ffamran Mid Bunansa is also written in katakana as ファムラン・ミド・ブナンザ (romaji: Famuran Mido Bunanza)

His middle name, "Mid" is shared with the first name of a character from Final Fantasy V, Mid Previa. Mid is the grandson of Cid Previa and also has a specialty in mechanics.

Within the Final Fantasy XII continuity, the origins of his middle name are unknown, nor is there a trend among Archadians. Ashe or Rasler, whose middle names of B'nargin and Heois respectively, are hailed from the first names of the 2nd son of King Raithwall, House of Dalmasca, and the 3rd son of King Raithwall, House of Nabradia. The Archadian aristocracy (Vayne Carudas Solidor, Larsa Ferrinas Solidor, Gramis Gana Solidor) do not share this same naming tradition as the Archadian empire was not originally formed under Raithwall.