Greetings Space Monkies, and welcome to the final Walkthrough I, BlueHighwind will be doing for this wiki and probably ever. Have you ever heard of the Curse of the Ninth? Its a superstition the composers have to die after they complete nine symphonies. Well, this is my own little version of that Curse. After this walkthrough is over, my dear friend Blue is going away. He and I have had some good times together, but all things must eventually come to an end. This final walkthrough is essentially an extended goodbye to both you Space Monkies and this wiki.
But enough of all that, I'd rather not have a nasty shadow hang over what I hope will be the best walkthrough yet. Final Fantasy XII is the greatest game in the Final Fantasy series, a title I usually give to the older PS1 game, Final Fantasy VII. However, despite all that FFVII was, it really cannot compare to the much greater all that makes up FFXII. I'm still going call FFVII the "greatest" every so often, but that's only out of respect - I don't really mean it. This game was a true revolution in the way the game's looked, played, and felt, and honestly I hope they never look back. Say goodbye to my old nemeses random battles and static row combat. Instead, the game looks like real people fighting real monsters, instead of some kind of weird turn-based sport. More than any other game, the world of FFXII, Ivalice, seems truly alive with monsters roaming the world in real time. Its truly a magical experience, and shame on you if you haven't played it yet. Now would be the time to go out to your nearest game store and make a certain purchase. And who better to make this journey with then your ol' Walkthrough master, Blue?
This is only a walkthrough of the original North American release of FFXII, not that International Zodiac Job System thing that was never released outside of Japan. If Square one day does make a remake for the space computers of the future, this version will probably be out of date. But that's something I can't really help, now can I?
And of course, since this is a Walkthrough branded with a big Q?, expect a mountain load of random asides, bitter griping, and continuous questions about my audience's intelligence. There is guaranteed to be something in here that will offend you and you're just going to have to live with it. Generally I don't care.
Also featured on this Walkthrough: my epic space opera adventure, Unquantulatable Quest!! Enjoy.
How to Play Final Fantasy XII
As usual, the boring background stuff that I hate:
First off, buy the game, dummy. Then buy a PS2 to play it on. I don't know if PS3s can play it, and I'm not going to risk it. Either way you'd need a super-charged HighDef TV created from the silicone alien hive minds of Galaxy X in order to play the PS3, so just stick with the older model unless you have one of those. You're also going to need a controller and a power source. The standard rules of physics for this universe are optional, though my walkthrough is based upon the assumption of a continuous stream of cause and effect, so it would probably help.
The control scheme of this game is very different from that of all other Final Fantasy games, and that should obvious just from the gameplay. In most games, there are only two modes of gameplay - in and out of combat. In this one there is in a town, and out in the wilderness. You see, this is because the entire world is a combat zone.
In a town, there is only one character that is shown, and unfortunately its always the worst one and there is nothing you can do about it. You can walk around with the left joystick and move the camera with the right. Pressing down upon the right joystick will cause the camera to reset to the default position behind your character. can be used to talk to people or read stuff or whatever, and is used to cancel. That works the same way for menus, in case you didn't know. I assume you didn't. opens up the main menu. START pauses the game, and SELECT opens the Map screen.
Outside of town, there are three characters but you only control the Party Leader's movements directly. The other two follow you. You have the same controls as in a town, only things have gotten more complex. All actions are taken by hitting either or , which opens up the Combat Menu. With that, you can order any character to perform an action, not just the Party Leader. When you select an offensive action, the game assumes you'll target an enemy, but if you hit either L1 or R1 you can target your own party members with it. The same system works in reverse for healing, and you can even heal characters that are not currently in battle and are waiting in the menus. That's a good tip right there. While in the Combat Menu and selecting whatever, time is stopped and you can take your sweet time picking the command. You get a similar effect if you enter the Main Menu. If you do not do anything, your characters will act automatically depending upon the Gambits you have given them. These commands you can program into them - I'll get to more of that later. L2 turns off all Gambits and puts your characters into the "Running Away" mode, where you can have them move freely around in an attempt to avoid enemies.
One problem is that works to examine certain things that have nothing to do with combat, but you can only use it if enemies are nowhere in sight. If they appear, you can't examine that thing until the monsters are gone. This can get pretty frustrating at times. They should have made examining stuff a totally different button.
The poor arrow keys have no purpose other than to move through menus. You can also use them to switch the Party Leader, a very difficult task while in the midst of battle since you rarely get a chance to switch people out. That's a tip I really wish I found out MUCH earlier.
Gameplay in FFXII is based upon real-time combat without any break between battles and just running around. There are no random battles (YEAH!!!!!), but instead enemies wander around the screen. Most enemies attack whenever you come anywhere near them, but enemies with green HP bars tend to prefer to be let alone and will only fight if you attack first. An interesting phenomena in this game is that sometimes monsters will actually fight each other rather than you, though this is rare. You can see what is taking actions against what through these little colored arcs that go through the air. Blue arcs are attacks you're doing against an enemy, red arcs are attacks against you, and green arcs are healing done by anybody. You can freely switch in and out characters, even if they've died on you. You will not get a GAME OVER until every character in your party is dead. After you destroy every enemy in the area, they won't respawn. You are totally free to wander around and do anything. Going two screens away will cause the enemies to come back, or leaving that location all together. And its always two screens, I don't know why. Killing enemies of the same type will cause a "Chain". The more enemies you kill, the higher the Chain. If you get a very high Chain, you get more EXP and a higher chance of getting rare items. If you kill an enemy of a different type or Save or enter a town, you lose the Chain.
By the way, enemies do not drop Gil in this game. Instead they drop these special items called "Loot" which exist for no other purpose than to be sold. It works basically the same way, but I find that in FFXII's system, you seem to constantly be hurting for money somehow. Selling specific types of Loot unlocks "Bazaar" purchases in Shops. The game doesn't tell you what these purchases are, they just give a title and a price tag. Another important fact that the game neglects to tell you is that if you sell say "4 Dildos" and a certain Bazaar creation only needs two, the two Dildos you originally sold will disappear forever. So if you want something that needs two more Dildos, you'll have to find two more somehow. I'll warn you to save certain types of Loot.
Never sell Teleport Stones. I don't know why the game places them in the Loot section, but you don't want to sell those. They are used to Teleport, obviously.
The key point of combat is Gambits, which I mentioned earlier. Gambits are these programs you can find and buy like items which you can customize for every character. They are basically just targets like "Ally < 50%", which means any Ally whose current HP has dropped below 50% of their maximum. These targets can be grouped with an action of some kind. So you can group "Ally < 50%" with "Cura" and that will make that character use the "Cura" spell on any Ally in that status. For every character there are so many Gambits you can create. The higher up the Gambit is, the more pressing that action will become. Gambits can be endlessly customized, even during battle. You actually do not ever have to use them, but combat is so fast-paced in this game that have to manually make every single command in a battle that will probably include hundreds of them is so tedious that only a fool would attempt it.
Similar to other RPGs, you can buy equipment and weapons and other assorted what-nots like Gambits and Magic. (Yes, you have to buy Magic. There's no complicated system like Drawing or Materia or something, when you buy a Spell, its now permanently a part of your repertoire.) You can even change weapons and armor during battle (a very nice trick to use to avoid elemental attacks). However, when you find a piece of equipment or something, you can't use it just that very second. Instead you have to go and buy a License for it. Licenses are this giant chess board of spells, equipment, and special other moves. You can expend LP to buy squares on the board, permanently teaching that character whatever was on it. So if you have "Cura", go to the "Cura" space and buy it. Now that character can use the spell. LP is gained by killing monsters - and its exchanged between the entire party. So if a monster grants 1 LP, everybody gets one point. However, you can only buy Licenses that are adjacent to ones you've already acquired. Since every character's License Board is exactly the same, that essentially means that every character is exactly the same. You can have anybody do anything you want.
There are other special Licenses that boost your character's stats and give other bonuses. These are probably the ones you want to get first, especially the ones that restore MP faster. Yeah, we use MP in this game. By the way, MP is restored slowly with every step your character takes.
But we're not done yet, we still have much more to go through. There are special commands called "Technicks" which do not expend MP. They are found like items and have their own Licenses. These can do numerous things, most of which suck. However, you still want to use several, like "Libra" and "Steal". "Libra" gives you the power to see enemy stats and it also uncovers Traps. Yes, there are Traps in the game. These hidden spots in the game cause damage most of the time, but a few restore HP.
And yet there's more! There are special Licenses called "Quickenings" that unlock special attacks, similar to Limit Breaks. These attacks are pretty tricky to figure out and get working, so you'll probably need some practice first. They are not around from the beginning and will only be unlocked later on in the game. Each character can get three Quickening squares. No matter which Quickening Square you buy for each character, their attacks are not changed. Everybody has three set moves of different levels. And actually, between each character the Quickenings do not change in any important fashion. Basch's "Fulminating Darkness" is of equal power to Ashe's "Northswain's Glow" and Fran's "Feral Strike". Buying Quickenings boosts MP a lot, so that's one good thing. When you've bought more than one Quickening, you can use higher level Quickenings for your turn. The higher the Quickening, the more MP consumed. When a Quickening is bought, your MP is divided up into sections, when these sections are full, they will turn orange. Using a level one Quickening (you can tell the level by checking how many orange circles are next to the attack name) will just remove one section, but the level three Quickenings will remove all three of them - all your MP. If you don't have enough sections, you can't use that Quickening.
When a character uses a Quickening, the battle stops and you jump to a special screen. This is the start of a "Chain" (not to be confused with the other kind of Chains I mentioned above). During the Quickening, you are shown each of your current characters below, and each has a chance to use another Quickening in the Chain. The more Quickenings you use, the more powerful the attack, obviously. If certain characters never take part in the Chain, they keep their MP, but usually everybody will lose all their MP. I think that level threes boost damage more than level ones or twos, but I have no way of knowing for sure. You can tell who is ready to attack if you see a button next to their name. Hit that button fast enough, and you jump to the next part of the Chain. If you don't see anything, hit R2[-D2] which will reset the commands and hopefully give you another chance to attack again. The longer your Chain, the higher the chance of a "Concurrence": a special attack created by meeting certain conditions, like having three level one Quickenings or something. These usually deal a ton of damage. If you unlock a higher level Concurrence, its the one that will always appear, even if you also met the conditions for a lower level one. The advantage to Quickenings is that they give free damage without any threat of attack, all of which ignores defense but can be blocked under certain circumstances. However, after a certain period in the game, the MP cost becomes too great and these attacks are only really useful as a finishers to bosses.
And there's still more! Oh yeah! There are special bosses in the game called "Espers", like the Summons of FFVI. If you kill these guys, you can buy their Licenses on the board. However, only one character can own a License for an Esper. So if you give Mateus to Balthier, Ashe is never going to get that Summon. When you Summon an Esper, you lose some MP and these monsters replace the other two party members in battle. Espers act like party members but cannot be controlled, instead they run on their own personal Gambits. An Esper will stay in battle for 90 real-world seconds unless the game is paused by menus, unless that Esper is defeated or the Summoner is defeated. This is probably going to be fairly common occurrence, since Espers suck the fat one. Having an Esper in battle is always a weaker position than just having your three normal characters. In some extremely rare cases, Espers can use a final attack of some sort. These look really cool, if not downright apocalyptic, but I never managed to ever get one to work. Just never use Espers, they are worthless.
Usually you can only use three characters in battle, but there are times during the game when Guests will accompany you. These characters act like party members, but you cannot control them in any way. You can't buy equipment for them, or Licenses, or customize them in any fashion. These guys cannot use Espers or Quickenings are just ignored by those systems.
Am I missing anything? I don't think so... I hope I've covered everything. Now let that all sink in with the help of some booze and we can finally begin this game.
Table of Contents
- Part 1: The Quest for a Hero
- Part 2: Tomato Sauce
- Part 3: My Man, Balthier!
- Part 4: Sewer Shark
- Part 5: She's a Killer Queen
- Part 6: Another Betrayal in Another Cloud City
- Part 7: Ye Not Guilty
- Part 8: Dune (Start of Unquantulatable Quest)
- Part 9: Just Another Brick in the Wall
- Part 10: Cactus of the Dead
- Part 11: Rain, Rain, Go Away
- Part 12: Into the Woods
- Part 13: Holy Icebox
- Part 14: Ye Guilty
- Part 15: BlueHighwaste
- Part 16: A Fool's Errand
- Part 17: Surf's Up, Dude!
- Part 18: Metropolis
- Part 19: The Adventures of Chit, Rinn, Shurry, Sassan, Agytha, and Moomer
- Part 20: Dyce's Revenge
- Part 21: Fey Me
- Part 22: Crystal Chronicles
- Part 23: If Ultros Has No Arms, He Has No Lives
- Part 24: Mark Yourself
- Part 25: I Got Cataracts Here! (Conclusion of Unquantulatable Quest)
- Part 26: The Dark Tower I: Building Bridges
- Part 27: The Dark Tower II: Show Me Your Slyt
- Part 28: The Dark Tower III: Bahamut Rises
- Part 29: Vayne's War
- Part 30: Gazing Into Death
- Part 31: Ixion Tricks
- Part 32: Quake, Mortals! - Enter Gilgamesh
- Part 33: Sic Semper Tyrannis
- Part 34: From Hero to Zeromus
- Part 35: Falling Into Chaos
- Part 36: Beyond Good and Evil
- Part 37: Sunflower Seeds
- Part 38: Dragon Wars
- Part 39: The Show Must Go On!