Nihopalaoa is an accessory in Final Fantasy XII that reverses the effect of restorative items used by the wearer, e.g. using a Potion damages the target's HP rather than restores it, and using an Eye Drops inflicts Blind rather then cures it. Nihopalaoa is one of the best accessories in the game for its ability to cripple enemies with status ailments without fail, or even kill them outright with Phoenix Downs.
In the original PlayStation 2 versions, Nihopalaoa is bought for 30,000 gil from Rabanastre's Clan Provisioner when the player reaches the rank of Headhunter within Clan Centurio. It is a treasure in Subterra's Umbra - North (30% chance to appear, but is always Nihopalaoa ), and it is made in the bazaar in the "Cursed Necklace" pack. To make it in the bazaar, the player needs to sell three Blood-stained Necklaces (obtain from Shambling Corpses), two Death's-Heads (obtain from Dark Skeletons), and three Leo Gems (obtain from numerous enemies).
In the updated Zodiac versions, Nihopalaoa is not sold in shops, but sells for 15,000 gil. It is found as a treasure in Henne Mines' Phase 2 Dig (hidden passage near the middle; 25% chance of appearing), and Subterra's Umbra - South (southwestern corner room and south to a large room with Dragon Liches, Nihopalaoa is in the treasure near the pillar in the south edge, but there is only a 5% chance of it appearing).
Nihopalaoa can be stolen from Carrot in Trial Mode Stage 70. It is still made in the bazaar in the "Cursed Necklace" package with the same requirements as before, and is now also a possible reward from the Hunt Club quest on the Phon Coast by giving Stok all 30 Rare Game trophies, and then buying it from the Shifty-Eyed Merchant's store nearby for 360,000 gil.
The earliest the player can procure the items to make Nihopalaoa at the bazaar is after completing the events at Eruyt Village in the story. Leo Gem is likely the hardest to come by, but is available from some of the dinosaur enemies, such as the Diresaur in southern Golmore Jungle or the Wild Saurians in Dalmasca Estersand, who have Leo Gems as a rare steal. The player can exploit the auto-saves in The Zodiac Age versions to repeatedly steal and then reset if the acquired item was not correct. Death's-Heads are a monograph drop from Dark Skeletons in Paramina Rift, and Blood-Stained Necklaces are a monograph drop from the Shambling Corpses that appear in large numbers in the Zertinan Caverns in the room where Adrammelech is fought.
There is not much of a benefit to having more than one Nihopalaoa, so after making it in the bazaar, the player does not need to hunt for the others.
Nihopalaoa reverses the effects of the following items: Potion, Hi-Potion, X-Potion, Ether, Hi-Ether, Elixir, Megalixir, Phoenix Down, Eye Drop, Gold Needle, Echo Herbs, Antidote, Prince's Kiss (Alarm Clock), Nu Khai Sand (Smelling Salts), Handkerchief, Chronos Tear, Serum (Vaccine) and Remedy.
Nihopalaoa does not affect offensive items like fangs, motes or Knots of Rust.
Nihopalaoa is an excellent accessory for its ability to cripple enemies with status ailments by using a Remedy on them. If the user has unlocked all Remedy Lores, the enemy gains every ailment it is not vulnerable to with this trick. Nihopalaoa is thus something best kept in the inventory to be swapped in when needed, rather than something to keep on a character at all times; the player should beware of any gambits for restorative items triggering with the Nihopalaoa equipped, or the character may end up killing themselves or their allies.
Possible ailments given by Remedy with Nihopalaoa:
- Sleep (Remedy Lore 1)
- Sap (Remedy Lore 1)
- Immobilize (Remedy Lore 1)
- Disable (Remedy Lore 1)
- Petrify (Remedy Lore 2)
- Confuse (Remedy Lore 2)
- Oil (Remedy Lore 2)
- Stop (Remedy Lore 3)
- Doom (Remedy Lore 3)
- Disease (Remedy Lore 3)
Nihopalaoa is notably useful in the Stage 100 battle in the Trial Mode in the Zodiac versions against all of the Archadian Judges. It is also useful against the tough marks. Another trick is to throw Phoenix Downs on enemies with the Nihopalaoa equipped, disposing of the enemies in one hit, though this depletes the player's item stock quickly. This can be a good trick to use against the Baknamies in the Nabreus Deadlands and Necrohol of Nabudis. Nihopalaoa can also be used to drain enemies of their MP with Ethers.
Gambits do not take into account whether the user has a Nihopalaoa equipped, meaning Remedy-use or Phoenix Down-use on enemies cannot be automated, as they usually have no effect.
A possible alternative would be the Indigo Pendant that makes magick spells always work unless the target is immune, however, the player can then inflict the statuses only one at a time.
It is worth procuring the Nihopalaoa at the earliest. In the PlayStation 2 versions this is done easily by simply advancing in the clan ranks as early as possible, but in the Zodiac versions, it is no longer sold in the clan shop. The earliest way to get it in the Zodiac versions is through the bazaar.
Lei niho palaoa is a a Hawaiian neck ornament traditionally worn by chieftains and leaders in Hawaiian culture. The necklace is said to be stringed from female human hair and is adorned with the tooth of a whale, who in Hawaiian folklore are revered as mighty and primordial creatures who helped oversee the creation of the world, and in turn bear great mana, which is why such necklaces are reserved for respected leaders of the community.