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The Imperial City of Archades is the capital city of the Archadian Empire, which rules over most of Ivalice in Final Fantasy XII. The modern city of Archades is built on the poor, and the ruins of older cities. There are only two ways into the city of Archades.

The most common way is via airship. This method is patrolled for trouble by the Archadian Judges. The second way is up through the Sochen Cave Palace, into Old Archades and across the bridge into Archades proper.

Sage Knowledge[]

The capital of the Archadian Empire. Still small when it first formed as a city-state, it grew tremendously during the long peace fostered by the Galtean Alliance. When the Empire was formed, the city center was re-located, forming the Archades we know today. Though poor in both natural resources and land, Archades came to prominence as a city of innovation and learning. All information and technology gathers here, and the famed mages and artificers born within her walls are legion. Knowledge, then, is the true strength of the Archadian Empire. The city of Archades forms an octagon with the Imperial Palace at its center. Around the Palace sit the Senate Chambers and other administrative quarters, beyond which lies a booming mercantile district. The buildings in the city center are quite tall, with the lower floors being used mainly as residences. The difference in heights between the various buildings makes this a city of small airships, that being the most efficient means of accessing all levels of the metropolis. More than half the population of Archades is hume, and while at one time all lived near the ground, of late, those of power or particular wealth have taken to living in the higher apartments and traveling exclusively by private airship.

Sage Knowledge 55, Archades


The party passes by the modern city of Archades to head to Draklor Laboratories to confront Dr. Cid. Vaan and Penelo comment on the city while Balthier leaves since he has business to attend to. Balthier meets with his old friend Jules, who steals the chops Balthier gave him to give to the rest of the party. The party needs to earn Pine Chops to proceed and, after they have the right number of chops, they are allowed to proceed to Tsenoble. Arriving in Tsenoble, Balthier rejoins the party, and they head to Draklor Laboratories to confront Dr. Cid.



Archades's Imperial Palace.

The city is divided in two levels: one consisting of the districts of "Nilbasse", "Trant", "Molberry", and "Rienna" and the upper level of "Tsenoble". There are no poor within the city of Archades proper, all of the poor find themselves in Old Archades. Dr. Cid bases all of his research out of the Draklor Laboratory, found within the city in the Tsenoble area.

Archades residents tend to be rich and arrogant. Most people there are more interested in having a good reputation—usually of being well informed—than in money or riches. Well informed people in Archades can earn chops by giving information to other residents about a particular subject. The chops are then used as proof of status, granting access to Tsenoble via taxi. Certain areas in Tsenoble can only be accessed by those who possess a sandalwood chop. The Archades Aerodrome has skyferry flights to Balfonheim Port, Nalbina and Rabanastre for 200 gil and the player can dock the Strahl there.

Old Archades[]

Areas beneath Archades.

Old Archades is where all of the poor and destitute from Archades wind up. It is run down and barely patrolled by the Judges, who appear to be more interested in keeping the poor in their place. The only way into Archades is with money, so all of the citizens dream of finding a way to earn enough to see them safely into Archades.

Where chops are the most important trade item in Archades, gossip is the most important in Old Archades. If there's one way to get ahead it is by finding out as much information as possible to make the way up into Archades through gaining fortune.

Old Archades can be accessed via the ruins of the Sochen Palace.

Sochen Cave Palace[]

Gate within the Sochen Cave Palace.

Sochen Cave Palace is an ancient palace overrun with several undead creatures. The only royalty currently residing within the temple are a family of Mandragoras led by the Onion Queen. These Mandragoras have caused problems for hunters in the Archadian wilderness.

Several ancient and powerful creatures are locked away in the depths of the Sochen, including one of the game's superbosses, the Hell Wyrm.

An old lift device connects Sochen to Old Archades, whilst the entrance to the destitute palace lies within the Tchita Uplands.

Draklor Laboratory[]

Draklor's facade.

The Draklor Labs serve as a base to Doctor Cid, whose research concerning nethicite is integral to the Empire's developments. He uses these facilities to create more and more powerful airships for the Archadian fleets, such as the Sky Fortress Bahamut. He also uses these facilities to create manufacted nethicite.

The Laboratories are actually a series of rooms on multiple floors. Each floor has a garrison of Judges on it, as well as several smaller labs manned by Imperial scientists. The top floor houses Cid's personal open air lab.


In the original version, there is no treasure to be found in Archades.

In the Zodiac versions, a single chest has been added in Archades. It has a 5% spawn rate, and typically only holds junk Knots of Rust or small amounts of gil. However with the Diamond Armlet equipped, one can find the extremely rare item, Dark Energy.

Grand Arcade[]

Chest Spawns Holds Gil% Gil Normal Treasure Diamond Armlet Treasure
1 5% 80% ≤ 50 gil Knot of Rust Common Rare
Knot of Rust Dark Energy


Information exchange[]

Chop collecting.

To proceed in the storyline the player needs to play the information exchange minigame to earn Pine Chops. The story proceeds after either nine or three (Zodiac Age) chops, but if the player collects all, the chops can be traded in for a Sandalwood Chop on the second floor of any merchant shop by talking with the Chopmaster. The Sandalwood Chop grants entrance to Archades's Highgarden Terrace. Pine Chops are earned by connecting people with information in the various sections of Archades, by matching pairs of people.

Once the Tarot Reader and the Happy Novelist are matched in the Rienna area, the Tarot Reader will tell how many matches are left in each area.

In Final Fantasy XII The Zodiac Age, the player may proceed to ride the cab after having collected only three chops. The player can also speed the quest considerably by activating high-speed mode.


1st Person Tale 2nd Person
Reminiscing Lady The Mummer Family-minded Girl
Daughter-in-Law A Trinket from Giza Man from Giza
Avid Traveler The Traveler Traveling Gentleman
Ardent Woman The Eight & Twenty Chops Ardent Man
Talented Woman A Knack for Magick Akademician
Look-Alike The Master of Disguises Look-Alike
Proud Mother The Tutor Tutor
Poor Husband The Anniversary Poor Wife
Would-be Judge To Be a Judge Judge's Wife


1st Person Tale 2nd Person
Smitten Man The Client's Daughter Smitten Woman
Boutiquere The Boutique Moneyed Gentleman
Farce-Goer A Ticket to the Farce Girl on an Errand
Historian A History of Empire Perceptive Man
Music Appreciator The Lutenist Lutenist
Builder The Artisan Architect Artisan Architect


1st Person Tale 2nd Person
Determined Researcher Time to Leave Ex-Researcher
Senior Researcher Words of Encouragement Failed Researcher
Worried Husband Wages Halved Materialistic Woman
Aspiring Starlet The Path to Stardom Faded Star
Athletic Woman A Grand Line of Gamesmen Avid Reader
Gentleman Onlooker Working Up a Sweat Eager Crier


1st Person Tale 2nd Person
Tarot Reader The Misfortune Teller Happy Novelist
Lazy Profiteer A Gambit for the Market Researcher's Wife
Greenseller Out of Ears Vegetable Seller
Good Brother What She Wants Waiting Woman
Philosopher of Cuisine A Revolutionary Dish Dangerous Chef
Tour Leader The Aerial Gardens Bhujerban Lady
Lucky Man An Epistle to Love Romantic Lady


Hunt board in Archades.

The Darksteel is a Rank IV Mark whose hunt becomes available upon reaching Archades. The Darksteel can be found in the Temptation Eluded area of the Sochen Cave Palace and all of the other enemies will be cleared out when the player enters it. It is petitioned by the Homesick Man in Archades's armor shop.

The Overlord is a Rank VI Mark whose hunt can be undertaken after the events in the Draklor Laboratory. The Overlord can be found in the Doubt Abandoned area of the Sochen Cave Palace. The Insecure Seeq assists the party in battle, but he falls in one shot from Overlord's Pyromania. The seeq is the petitioner, found in the technick shop in Archades.

Hunt Club Owner[]

Hunt Club Owner from FFXII The Zodiac Age.png

The owner of the Hunt Club can be found on the Highgarden Terrace (can only be accessed with a Sandalwood Chop, see above). He will reward the player with zodiac gems for killing trophy monsters.

Trophies Reward
5 Aries Gem & Libra Gem
10 Taurus Gem & Scorpio Gem
15 Gemini Gem & Sagittarius Gem
20 Cancer Gem & Capricorn Gem
25 Leo Gem & Aquarius Gem
30 Virgo Gem & Pisces Gem

July the streetear[]


If the player helped July in Nalbina Fortress earlier in the game, she will reward them with a Salamand Halcyon at Charlotte's Magickery.

Nabudis medallion[]


After talking to a nu mou in Nabreus Deadlands the player is asked to find some medallions and bring them to the deadlands. In Archades the player can find Roh'Kenmu within the Magick Shop, looking for a medallion. In the Old Archades the player can find the Proper Gent sitting on a side wall in the eastern side of the Alley of Muted Sighs. He is Otto and will give the Moonsilver Medallion, which the player must pass on to Roh'Kenmu at the Magick Shop.

Great cockatrice escape sidequest[]


A cockatrice called Agytha is in the Grand Arcade area in the Central area of Archades, looking for a husband. The player must have a Sandalwood Chop to access the area, by earning all the available chops and trading them in a shop. The player must speak to a male Cockatrice in the Alley of Low Whispers area in Old Archades, then tell Agytha where to look to get a Tumulus.


The items available for purchase change throughout the game. These items may not all be available at the same time.

Vint's Armaments - Weapon Seller[]

Name Cost
Platinum Sword 9,000 gil
Power Rod 4,500 gil
Hammerhead 9,500 gil
Recurve Crossbow 9,500 gil
Traitor's Bow 10,000 gil
Halberd 10,000 gil
Aldebaran 10,000 gil
Gokuu Pole 9,000 gil
Kagenui 10,000 gil
Kiku-ichimonji 10,500 gil
Claymore 10,500 gil
Chaos Mace 8,800 gil
Bastard Sword 11,000 gil
Cross Scale 11,000 gil
Francisca 11,500 gil
Platinum Dagger 11,500 gil
Tumulus 12,000 gil
Judicer's Staff 5,700 gil
Name Cost
Rune Blade 12,100 gil
Yakei 9,300 gil
Zephyr Pole 11,850 gil
Burning Bow 11,850 gil
Orichalcum Dirk 11,700 gil
Doom Mace 9,700 gil
Penetrator Crossbow 12,600 gil
Diamond Sword 10,600 gil
Halberd 11,200 gil
Aldebaran 7,700 gil
Francisca 9,500 gil
Empyrean Rod 6,000 gil
Judicer's Staff 5,300 gil

Vint's Armaments - Armor Seller[]

Name Cost
Diamond Helm 7,000 gil
Diamond Armor 7,000 gil
Platinum Shield 5,300 gil
Officer's Hat 7,000 gil
Barrel Coat 7,000 gil
Gaia Hat 7,000 gil
Maduin Gear 7,000 gil
Steel Mask 8,100 gil
Mirror Mail 8,100 gil
Dragon Shield 6,000 gil
Chakra Band 8,100 gil
Power Vest 8,100 gil
Hypnocrown 8,100 gil
Jade Gown 8,100 gil
Platinum Helm 9,300 gil
Crystal Shield 7,200 gil
Name Cost
Officer's Hat 7,000 gil
Barrel Coat 7,000 gil
Gaia Hat 7,000 gil
Maduin Gear 7,000 gil
Platinum Helm 9,300 gil
Platinum Armor 9,300 gil
Adamant Hat 5,900 gil
Adamant Vest 5,900 gil
Astrakhan Hat 5,900 gil
Carmagnole 5,900 gil
Steel Mask 8,100 gil
Mirror Mail 7,500 gil
Crystal Shield 6,360 gil

Charlotte's Magickery[]

Name Cost
Aeroga 6,800 gil
Reflectga 6,800 gil
Silencega 6,800 gil
Blindga 6,800 gil
Graviga 6,800 gil
Name Cost
Thundaga 7,000 gil
Confuse 1,400 gil
Firaga 6,800 gil
Aeroga 6,800 gil
Vanishga 3,800 gil
Bio 4,000 gil
Curaga 2,400 gil
Blizzara 3,300 gil
Berserk 900 gil
Darkra 3,500 gil
Esuna 2,700 gil
Thundara 2,900 gil
Break 1,000 gil
Stona 800 gil
Fira 2,700 gil
Bleed 1,200 gil
Stop 900 gil
Cura 2,000 gil
Aero 1,200 gil
Gravity 2,300 gil
Raise 1,800 gil
Aqua 700 gil
Disable 700 gil
Shell 250 gil
Protect 250 gil
Blizzard 240 gil

Bulward's Technicks[]

Name Cost
Infuse 2,000 gil
Addle 3,500 gil
Bonecrusher 700 gil
Shades of Black 5,000 gil
Stamp 4,500 gil
Name Cost
Darkness 6,000 gil
Traveler 4,800 gil
Poach 5,000 gil
Horology 2,000 gil
Charge 1,500 gil
First Aid 600 gil
Libra 400 gil

Granch's Requisites[]

Name Cost
Potion 70 gil
Antidote 50 gil
Eye Drops 50 gil
Phoenix Down 250 gil
Echo Herbs 50 gil
Gold Needle 100 gil
Alarm Clock 50 gil
Handkerchief 50 gil
Hi-Potion 210 gil
Bacchus's Wine 120 gil
Smelling Salts 50 gil
Remedy 400 gil
Chronos Tear 50 gil
X-Potion 630 gil
Name Cost
X-Potion 520 gil
Bacchus's Wine 120 gil
Remedy 400 gil
Hi-Potion 180 gil
Nu Khai Sand 50 gil
Chronos Tear 60 gil
Gold Needle 80 gil
Prince's Kiss 50 gil
Handkerchief 50 gil
Phoenix Down 200 gil
Echo Herbs 50 gil
Antidote 50 gil
Eye Drops 50 gil
Potion 60 gil

Lebleu's Gambits[]

Name Cost
Ally: any 50 gil
Ally: party leader 50 gil
Ally: HP < 80% 50 gil
Ally: HP < 70% 50 gil
Ally: HP < 60% 50 gil
Ally: HP < 50% 50 gil
Ally: HP < 40% 50 gil
Ally: HP < 30% 50 gil
Ally: HP < 20% 50 gil
Ally: MP < 80% 50 gil
Ally: MP < 70% 50 gil
Ally: MP < 60% 50 gil
Ally: MP < 50% 50 gil
Ally: MP < 40% 50 gil
Ally: MP < 30% 50 gil
Ally: MP < 20% 50 gil
Ally: status = Sleep 50 gil
Ally: status = Confuse 50 gil
Ally: status = HP Critical 50 gil
Foe: any 50 gil
Foe: targeting leader 100 gil
Foe: targeting self 100 gil
Foe: targeting ally 100 gil
Foe: HP = 100% 50 gil
Foe: HP ≧ 70% 50 gil
Foe: HP ≧ 50% 50 gil
Foe: HP ≧ 30% 50 gil
Foe: status = Sleep 50 gil
Foe: status = Oil 50 gil
Foe: status = Disable 50 gil
Foe: status = Immobilize 50 gil
Foe: status = Reflect 50 gil
Foe: status = HP Critical 50 gil
Foe: flying 100 gil
Self 50 gil
After obtaining Dawn Shard
Ally: HP < 100% 50 gil
Ally: HP < 90% 50 gil
Ally: HP < 10% 50 gil
Ally: MP < 100% 50 gil
Ally: MP < 90% 50 gil
Ally: MP < 10% 50 gil
Ally: status = Stop 70 gil
Ally: status = Reverse 50 gil
Ally: status = Slow 50 gil
Ally: status = Lure 50 gil
Ally: status = Berserk 50 gil
Ally: item AMT ≧ 10 100 gil
Foe: furthest 50 gil
Foe: nearest 50 gil
Foe: HP ≧ 1,000 50 gil
Foe: HP ≧ 500 50 gil
Foe: HP < 1,000 50 gil
Foe: HP < 500 50 gil
Foe: status = Blind 50 gil
Foe: status = Silence 50 gil
Foe: status = Reverse 50 gil
Foe: undead 100 gil
Foe: character HP = 100% 100 gil
Foe: item AMT ≧ 10 300 gil
After defeating Judge Bergan
Ally: lowest HP 50 gil
Ally: strongest weapon 50 gil
Ally: lowest defense 50 gil
Ally: lowest magick resist 50 gil
Foe: highest HP 50 gil
Foe: lowest HP 50 gil
Foe: highest max HP 50 gil
Foe: lowest max HP 50 gil
Foe: highest MP 50 gil
Foe: lowest MP 50 gil
Foe: highest max MP 50 gil
Foe: lowest max MP 50 gil
Foe: highest level 50 gil
Foe: lowest level 50 gil
Foe: highest strength 50 gil
Foe: lowest strength 50 gil
Foe: highest magick power 50 gil
Foe: lowest magick power 50 gil
Foe: highest speed 50 gil
Foe: lowest speed 50 gil
Foe: highest defense 50 gil
Foe: highest magick resist 50 gil
Foe: HP ≧ 3,000 50 gil
Foe: HP ≧ 2,000 50 gil
Foe: HP < 3,000 50 gil
Foe: HP < 2,000 50 gil
Foe: status = Protect 50 gil
Foe: status = Shell 50 gil
Foe: status = Haste 50 gil
Foe: status = Bravery 50 gil
Foe: status = Faith 50 gil
Foe: character status = Blind 100 gil
Foe: character status = Silence 100 gil
Foe: character status = HP Critical 100 gil
Foe: character MP ≧ 90% 100 gil
Foe: character MP ≧ 70% 100 gil
Foe: character MP ≧ 50% 100 gil
Foe: character MP ≧ 30% 100 gil
Foe: character MP ≧ 10% 100 gil
Foe: character MP < 90% 100 gil
Foe: character MP < 70% 100 gil
Foe: character MP < 50% 100 gil
Foe: character MP < 30% 100 gil
Foe: character MP < 10% 100 gil
Foe: character HP ≧ 90% 100 gil
Foe: character HP ≧ 70% 100 gil
Foe: character HP ≧ 50% 100 gil
Name Cost
Foe: character HP ≧ 30% 100 gil
Foe: character HP ≧ 10% 100 gil
Foe: character HP < 90% 100 gil
Foe: character HP < 70% 100 gil
Foe: character HP < 50% 100 gil
Foe: character HP < 30% 100 gil
Foe: character HP < 10% 100 gil
After visiting Draklor Laboratory
Ally: status = KO 50 gil
Ally: status = Stone 50 gil
Ally: status = Petrify 50 gil
Ally: status = Doom 50 gil
Ally: status = Blind 50 gil
Ally: status = Poison 50 gil
Ally: status = Silence 50 gil
Ally: status = Sap 50 gil
Ally: status = Oil 50 gil
Ally: status = Disable 50 gil
Ally: status = Immobilize 50 gil
Ally: status = Disease 50 gil
Ally: status = Protect 50 gil
Ally: status = Shell 50 gil
Ally: status = Haste 50 gil
Ally: status = Bravery 50 gil
Ally: status = Faith 50 gil
Ally: status = Invisible 50 gil
Ally: status = Regen 50 gil
Ally: status = Float 50 gil
Ally: status = Bubble 50 gil
Foe: HP ≧ 10,000 50 gil
Foe: HP ≧ 5,000 50 gil
Foe: HP < 10,000 50 gil
Foe: HP < 5,000 50 gil
Foe: status = Petrify 50 gil
Foe: status = Stop 50 gil
Foe: status = Confuse 50 gil
Foe: status = Doom 50 gil
Foe: status = Poison 50 gil
Foe: status = Sap 50 gil
Foe: status = Slow 50 gil
Foe: status = Disease 50 gil
Foe: status = Regen 50 gil
Foe: status = Berserk 50 gil
Foe: character status = Bravery 100 gil
Self: HP < 100% 50 gil
Self: HP < 90% 50 gil
Self: HP < 80% 50 gil
Self: HP < 70% 50 gil
Self: HP < 60% 50 gil
Self: HP < 50% 50 gil
Self: HP < 40% 50 gil
Self: HP < 30% 50 gil
Self: HP < 20% 50 gil
Self: HP < 10% 50 gil
Self: MP < 100% 50 gil
Self: MP < 90% 50 gil
Self: MP < 80% 50 gil
Self: MP < 70% 50 gil
Self: MP < 60% 50 gil
Self: MP < 50% 50 gil
Self: MP < 40% 50 gil
Self: MP < 30% 50 gil
Self: MP < 20% 50 gil
Self: MP < 10% 50 gil
Self: status = Petrify 50 gil
Self: status = Doom 50 gil
Self: status = Blind 50 gil
Self: status = Poison 50 gil
Self: status = Silence 50 gil
Self: status = Sap 50 gil
Self: status = Oil 50 gil
Self: status = Reverse 50 gil
Self: status = Immobilize 50 gil
Self: status = Slow 50 gil
Self: status = Disease 50 gil
Self: status = Lure 50 gil
Self: status = Protect 50 gil
Self: status = Shell 50 gil
Self: status = Haste 50 gil
Self: status = Bravery 50 gil
Self: status = Faith 50 gil
Self: status = Reflect 50 gil
Self: status = Invisible 50 gil
Self: status = Regen 50 gil
Self: status = Float 50 gil
Self: status = Bubble 50 gil
Self: status = HP Critical 50 gil
After receiving Treaty-Blade
Foe: HP ≧ 100,000 50 gil
Foe: HP ≧ 50,000 50 gil
Foe: HP < 100,000 50 gil
Foe: HP < 50,000 50 gil
Foe: fire-weak 500 gil
Foe: lightning-weak 500 gil
Foe: ice-weak 500 gil
Foe: earth-weak 500 gil
Foe: water-weak 500 gil
Foe: wind-weak 500 gil
Foe: holy-weak 500 gil
Foe: dark-weak 500 gil
Foe: fire-vulnerable 250 gil
Foe: lightning-vulnerable 250 gil
Foe: ice-vulnerable 250 gil
Foe: earth-vulnerable 250 gil
Foe: water-vulnerable 250 gil
Foe: wind-vulnerable 250 gil
Foe: holy-vulnerable 250 gil
Foe: dark-vulnerable 250 gil


The map can be bought in the Technick shop in Molberry for 230 gil.

Map of the Imperial City of Archades.

Musical themes[]

"Theme of the Empire" (帝国のテーマ, Teikoku no teema?) plays as the background music to the Imperial City of Archades. A piano arrangement of the theme is included on the Piano Collections: Final Fantasy XII album.

Other appearances[]

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call[]

The Imperial City of Archades.

The Imperial City of Archades appears as the FMS for several Final Fantasy XII themes:

  • "The Royal City of Rabanastre"/"Town Ward Upper Stratum" (from Final Fantasy XII)
  • "Theme of the Empire" (from Final Fantasy XII)

Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade[]

FFAB Archades FFXII Special.png
Castle Cornelia PS.gifThis section about a location in Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade is empty or needs to be expanded. You can help the Final Fantasy Wiki by expanding it.

Behind the scenes[]

According to Isamu Kamikokuryo, the Imperial City of Archades is inspired by the Dream Zanarkand in Final Fantasy X.[1]

If the player arrives in Archades via the Gate Crystal, they can talk to the 'Prideful Boy' nearby, who complains about people using teleports.



  1. Final Fantasy X|X-2 HD Remaster Collector's Edition Artbook page 16.