Known Resistance ships are Garland, the Resistance flagship under the command of Marquis Ondore; the carrier Galuf-Val, which was shot down during the battle against Archadian Empire; Queen Hilda for support and defense; and Xezat Surgate for the main force and carrier airships. Resistance airships are named after characters in previous Final Fantasy games, as opposed to Archadian airships that are named after summons.
The Resistance was made up by the remnants of the Order of the Knights of Dalmasca after Dalmasca's fall following the surrender at Nalbina Fortress and the death of King Raminas supposedly by the Dalmascan captain, Basch fon Ronsenburg. The Resistance was created on the eve Marquis Ondore falsely declared Ashelia B'nargin Dalmasca dead. Vossler Azelas took her underground and together they created the Resistance. It was small at first, and only operated in Rabanastre.
The Resistance stays underground until Vayne Carudas Solidor becomes the Consul of Rabanastre. An attack is staged for the banquet held for the occasion, and Vossler and Ashe have squads set up in the Garamsythe Waterway. They storm the Royal Palace during the fete when security is supposed to be light. Vayne knows of the attack and uses himself as bait to lure out the Resistance. In the Final Fantasy XII manga Vayne learns of the attack due to Imperial informants within the Resistance. The Ifrit patrols Dalmascan skies and when the Resistance makes their move, they are caught in a snare. Bombed by Ifrit, most are killed, but the leaders, Vossler and Ashe, survive. In the manga, Vossler has Ashe taken to safety via the Garamsythe Waterway, but the soldiers he sends with her turn out to be Archadian informants and turn against her.
Ashe is captured during her escape through the Waterway, and with her a group of thieves—Vaan, Balthier, and Fran—are arrested as well. In the game the group is accosted by Vayne, but in the manga version it is Judge Ghis who finds them and has his soldiers take Ashe captive. Vossler arrives and attacks Ghis when he realizes he is too late to save Ashe, and later awakens in a bed with bandaged wounds, wondering how he survived his fight with Ghis, when a shadowed figure approaches him.
The thieves are sent to the Nalbina Dungeons, but while they escape they discover Basch fon Ronsenburg, the disgraced captain of the Dalmascan army accused of killing King Raminas said to be dead himself. The party helps him escape after he reveals the king's death was an elaborate setup by Vayne and Basch's identical twin, Judge Gabranth, who impersonated Basch and killed King Raminas.
Upon returning to Rabanastre Basch meets with the surviving commanders and soldiers of the Resistance led by Vossler. Having learned Princess Ashe is still alive, yet held by the Empire, Basch, driven by his sense of duty as Dalmascan soldier, wants to save her. Vossler, cautious in making a move after the disastrous attack at the palace, refuses to let Basch join. Vaan delivers the Sword of the Old Order from Old Dalan to Vossler and overhears the conversation. Vossler hands the sword over to Basch and implies he should seek aid from Marquis Halim Ondore of the Skycity of Bhujerba, a Resistance sympathizer and Ashe's uncle. In the manga version Vossler confides in his aide that Ghis warned him of spies in the Resistance, and worries no one can be trusted. Vossler leaves the Resistance to rescue Ashe from the Dreadnought Leviathan himself, paranoid about spies and wondering if Basch or his lieutenants are secretly working for Vayne.
Basch joins Balthier, Fran and Vaan and seeks the Marquis's aid in Bhujerba, who has been rumored to fund another Resistance movement in the skycity. To gain the Marquis's attention, Vaan "reveals" himself as Captain Basch, prompting the Resistance forces in Bhujerba to capture them, leading them to Havharo, the Bhujerban Resistance leader, and to the Marquis himself.
At first the Marquis seems less than helpful. The Archadian Imperial Fleet is currently stationed at Bhujerba, and the Marquis appears to be collaborating with Vayne behind the Emperor Gramis Gana Solidor's back and providing the Draklor Laboratory with magicite from the Lhusu Mines. When he learns Princess Ashe is held captive by the Empire, he lends a hand, but rather than giving direct aid, the Marquis has the party arrested by his Archadian "allies" so they may have a chance to save the Princess. In the manga, Vossler arrives to speak to Ondore, telling he does not trust him after his announcements that favored the Empire two years ago. Ondore explains he allowed Basch to be captured so he will be taken to the Leviathan and encourages Vossler to trust them both.
Basch's party rescues Ashe with Vossler's aid and they defeat Judge Ghis. Vossler regains his trust in Basch and entrusts Ashe's care in his hands as the others return to Bhujerba. In the manga, Vossler meets with the Resistance leaders, but his failed attack on the palace and growing paranoia about who he can and cannot trust causes them to doubt his leadership. A Resistance leader, Amadeo, has been imprisoned for suspicion of treason, but Vossler has faith in him, telling him that in the Urutan-Yensa war Amadeo's father served for Dalmasca and tutored him and Basch. Vossler releases Amadeo and the other leaders confess they wish to surrender to Vayne, deeming him a politically competent leader who will listen to their desire for peace. Refusing to yield, Vossler is stabbed by one of the leaders, but he defeats them using the Time Magick Balance to return his wounds on his enemies.
Amadeo reveals he is a spy for Ghis and flees the room to the rest of the Resistance. He declares Vossler has gone mad and is betraying them, and Vossler is held at swordpoint by his own men. Vossler tends to his wounds as he flees his pursuers. Ghis traps Vossler with Archadian soldiers and offers him a deal: deliver the Dawn Shard and he will aid Vossler in restoring Dalmasca's monarchy. As the Resistance soldiers seek Vossler, Amadeo is overheard discussing what to do about Vossler and Ghis, and the Resistance turns on him, a bangaa officer finding Vossler as he leaves Ghis. Vossler has accepted Ghis's proposal and strikes down the bangaa to depart alone.
Ashe, determined to restore Dalmasca, is left without proof of her lineage. The Marquis wants Ashe to stay in hiding with him in Bhujerba, but Ashe is not content standing aside. With the party's aid she makes her way to Tomb of Raithwall where Ashe knows the Dawn Shard is hidden. With the Dawn Shard, she could prove her identity as the rightful heir to the throne of Dalmasca. On the way to the tomb the party meets up with Vossler.
Vossler aids the party to retrieve the Dawn Shard, but shows his true colors when the party is captured by the Archadian Empire's 8th fleet. It turns out that after being captured by the Empire he has switched sides, and agreed to help Ghis to the piece of deifacted nethicite, the Dawn Shard. Vossler's rationale is that Dalmasca's only future is with the Empire, and continued resistance would be pointless. The Empire has promised to restore Dalmasca, though only if Ashe agrees to hand over the Dawn Shard.
Opposing Vossler, the party defeats him in battle. Judge Ghis brings about his own destruction by experimenting with the nethicite recovered from the Tomb of Raithwall. The party escapes, but Ghis and Vossler are destroyed along with the entire 8th fleet, as the Dawn Shard's Mist is released in a violent explosion.
After the disaster, the first cracks in the Archadian armor begin to show and the Resistance moves quickly to exploit the situation. Ondore withdraws his position as Marquis of Bhujerba with the excuse of an illness. He travels across Ivalice to bring the scattered parts of the Resistance together, including the Resistance within the rival Empire of Rozarria.
With the threat of a massive conflict, the plan is that Archadia may be willing to make concessions. Larsa Solidor, the Emperor's fourth son and Vayne's brother, has his plans on saving Ivalice from the upcoming war by stopping Marquis Ondore's Resistance. Invited by Larsa, Al-Cid Margrace of Rozarria journeys to Mt Bur-Omisace for a peace negotiation. Larsa wants Ashe to claim the throne of Dalmasca, and propose peace with the Empire. All hope for a peaceful end to the crisis is lost when Emperor Gramis is assassinated and Vayne becomes the new Emperor of Archadia. Judge Bergan is sent to Bur-Omisace to retrieve Larsa and he slaughters the Gran Kiltias Anastasis and other pilgrims at the site.
Ondore hires the sky pirate Reddas of Balfonheim as a mercenary to infiltrate Draklor Laboratory and steal the Empire's deifacted nethicite, the Empire's most powerful weapon. The plan fails as Dr Cid escapes with the nethicite. Ondore begins to train the Resistance over the Dalmasca-Rozarria borders and the road to war is clearly mapped out.
The war begins unexpectedly for both sides. A group of Rozarrian mercenaries who were hired into the Resistance ignore orders and travel to Nabudis for a surprise attack. They retreat into Rabanastre airspace, and as they hoped, provoke a belligerent response from Archadia. The entire 12th fleet of the Archadian army, with the colossal Sky Fortress Bahamut as the flagship, charges after them.
Ondore, unable to leave his ships out to be destroyed, sends his fleet out to support them. The battle above Rabanastre begins and many ships and fighters are destroyed on both sides, but the battle is decided inside the Sky Fortress. Princess Ashe and her friends defeat Vayne Solidor, Larsa becomes the Emperor of Archadia, and calls for cease-fire. The Bahamut crashes into the deserts outside Rabanastre. The Resistance, their cause fulfilled, disbands with Ashe put in her rightful place as Queen of Dalmasca, and Ondore returns to Bhujerba.
- A running gag throughout the game is the proper name for the Resistance. Balthier, Judge Ghis and even Larsa call it the "Insurgence", prompting Ashe to correct them.