Fishing is a minigame in Final Fantasy XII played in the South Bank Village of the Dalmasca Estersand. The loot item Lu Shang's Badge is obtained by doing the fishing sidequest, an item needed for the Wyrmhero Blade.
To begin the sidequest, the player must have completed the cactite family sidequest and the story at the Draklor Laboratory. After speaking with Ruksel at the South Bank village, the player must travel to the Balfonheim Port and speak to the Fishing Enthusiast outside of the Aerodrome.
The player must talk to him twice and ask about the fishing rod, then run to the Aerodrome's entrance and back to the same spot without leaving the area. The Muramata fishing rod will be near the wall where he was sitting. The player can now return to Ruksel at the Dalmasca Estersand to begin the minigame.
A line of four to eight button commands will appear on the screen, moving in a random direction horizontally or vertically. The goal is to input the commands correctly before the line reaches the edge of the screen. Doing so will catch a fish.
There will be a total of six commands during each game. Each time a command is entered successfully, either a fish or an empty bottle is rewarded. By achieving a perfect score of all six commands, a bonus command will appear, and correctly entering it will award the player with a bonus item. (See the tables below.)
The minigame begins with only one area available, but by completing certain conditions, additional four river sections can be unlocked. Each area has an increasing level of difficulty and a different variety of perfect fishing rewards. Every fishing spot will produce the occasional "Empty Bottle" instead of a fish.
|Name||How to unlock||Fish types||Perfect fishing rewards||Notes|
|Downstream||Available from the start.||Common fish||100 gil - 34%
Hi Potion - 33%
Water Stone - 33%
|Midstream||Achieve five Perfect Fishing scores at Downstream.||Common Fish, Delicious Fish||Fish Scale - 34%
100 Gil - 33%
Water Magicite - 33%
|Upstream||Achieve five Perfect Fishing scores at Midstream.||Common Fish, Delicious Fish||Fish Scale - 30%
Turtle Shell - 30%/40%
Frogspawn - 30%
Cactoid Compact - 10%*
|The Cactoid Compact can only be caught once, and only after acquiring the Matamune. After catching the Cactoid Compact, the extra 10% is added to the Turtle Shell.|
|Hidden Shoals||After acquiring the Matamune and receiving the Cactoid Compact from Upstream.||Delicious Fish, Nebra Succulent||Hi Potion - 45%
Adamantite - 45%/55%
Cactoid Commendation - 10%*
|The Cactoid Commendation can only be caught once, and only after acquiring the Matamune (see below). After catching the Cactoid Commendation, the extra 10% is added to the Adamantite.|
|Den of the River Lord||Receive the Cactoid Commendation at the Hidden Shoals.||Nebra Succulent, King Of Nebra||Adamantite - 50%
Scarletite - 50%
|Until the player captures King of Nebra nine times, the same command for the King Of Nebra will be the only one to appear. After capturing it nine times, the player will earn Lu Shang's Badge.|
A different fishing rod is required to gain access to the last two fishing spots and acquiring it is another sidequest in itself. The player must first vanquish Gilgamesh and collect the bounty.
Afterwards, when fishing, the occasional Empty Bottle caught will turn out to be one of five colored bottles. Each contains a cryptic message leading to a specific spot. After visiting every spot, the bottles will form a message leading to the location of the Matamune.
|Blue Bottle||Truth lies just beyond falsehood. CDZCKZMCRANZS||Nabreus Deadlands - Echoes of the Past, in overturned boat.||River...unde...o||X-Potion|
|Green Bottle||Skip on stones to far bank's shore, by skipping stones return once more. SSADLNIAKLADHAUE
|Salikawood - Piebald Path, in the hut.||Forest...rgro...w||Hastega Mote|
|Red Bottle||Foothills rise in mountains' shadow. nhliQsTUrEe||Mosphoran Highwaste - Babbling Vale. Inspect the northwest corner shrine.||Fire...undb...h.||Holy Mote|
|Yellow Bottle||Dragons stir among the eaters of the wind. 1 2 - - 5 - 7 - 9 -||Cerobi Steppe. Windmills 1, 2, 5, 7, and 9 must be turned on, all others must be turned off.||Ash...ridg...er.||Hi-Ether|
|Black Bottle||Easy as a, b, c, so count yourself lucky. 19-12-21-9-3-5-7-1-20
|Garamsythe Waterway. Look for and follow the rats on the ground in the Central Waterway Control to find the sparkling spot.||Darkness...eton.e.||Elixir|
After finding each location and deciphering the clues, the player will be led to Barheim Passage. The Matamune is found in a section of the Zeviah Span, but can only be reached via the West Annex. Gilgamesh appears and presents the player with the fishing rod.
The Lu Shang's badge alludes to the Lu Shang fishing rod from Final Fantasy XI, which is the second-best rod in the game and infamously difficult to get. Lu Shang was an ancient Chinese military strategist who helped King Wen and King Wu of Zhou overthrow the Shang dynasty. Lu Shang is a prominent character in the Chinese epic fantasy novel Fengshen Yanyi (封神演義), sometimes translated as Creation of the Gods, written during the Ming dynasty (1368–1644).