Hello all, I am FlamesofRebirth
-- AKA Flame-- and this is my first walkthrough for the wiki. Actually, it is my first walkthrough ever, and I only created a user account so I would have a place to post it. This was also my first attempt at doing any kind of wiki editing whatsoever (besides the occasional fixing of a typo or a minor factual error), but I think I was able to figure it out pretty well. Feel free to let me know what you think on my user page, and any suggestions are welcome. Just don't go changing stuff without talking to me first, I did
waste put some time and effort into this.
FFXII contains a staggering number of side quests, optional bosses, and rare or otherwise hard to find items. There are many outstanding guides out there covering different aspects of the game, but I have never seen one that brings all the information together in one comprehensive guide showing how to complete all side quests and hunts, unlock all bazaar goods, and find all pieces of equipment at the earliest possible times. This is my attempt at what may be an impossible task. Whether you just want to finish every side quest, find great equipment at low levels, or power level and remove all challenge from the game, this guide should have you covered. About that rare equipment- I do have a save file with at least one of everything, and the Order of Ambrosia clan rank attained, which means I did pretty much everything there is to do in the game. So not worth it. If you must, I’ll tell you how to find everything and do everything, but I’ll warn you before hand when it is just a waste of time. Side quests are optional, after all. A personal goal for me, as I hate level grinding and item farming, was to complete the entire game, including all optional bosses, without doing either.
Many rare and unique items can be purchased at the bazaar, and when a new area is entered I will tell you what rare loot you should be trying to collect in order to unlock all the items at the earliest possible times. This is one of my main reasons for writing this guide, as I have only ever seen dedicated FAQs about the bazaar, never a walkthrough that includes this information so you don‘t have to go out of your way to find it.
Chests and Drops
There are two things about this game that frustrate me to no end- lack of instant death protection (damn you, Zodiark!) and the miniscule chances of getting rare items from random chests and drops. I‘ll let you know where equipment can be found in chests, and if it is rare or unbuyable, I‘ll give you the odds of finding it. If I don‘t give odds, don‘t worry about it, you‘ll be able to buy it later. If there is a 100% chance of finding the item it will be explicitly stated, otherwise assume that there is a chance you will get something else. And of course, there is always a chance that the chest won‘t even be there, so you have to reload your game or move three zones away to give it another chance to spawn. When opening the chests, don’t wear a Diamond Armlet unless I specifically tell you to, otherwise you might get something different. As for drops, I’ll let you know what to look for and hold on to for each area. One type of loot to always look for is any Zodiac Sign Gem (Aquarius, Leo, etc.). They are dropped by many enemies but very rarely, so if you sell them you’ll lose count of how many of each you have. If a monograph is needed for a loot drop I’ll let you know so you don’t waste your time trying for an impossible drop. With monograph drops, don’t chain the enemies as it will actually decrease your chance of getting the item.
I never understood why walkthrough writers waste their time giving plot information. If you’re reading a walkthrough I assume you’re playing the game concurrently, so I’ll let the game tell you the plot. That said, I won’t go out of my way to avoid spoilers, because if this is your first time playing you need to stop reading this right now and go figure out how to beat the game on your own. Using your own brain will be much more satisfying than mechanically following instructions step by step the whole way. Then, come back and read this to find out about all the side quests, hard to obtain items, and extras. Many of these things simply cannot be figured out without a guide, which is why I decided to write this.
Notes on my party
I alternated my party members for this walkthrough so that they all stayed within one level of each other at all times. By spreading the exp around, my party will probably always be at a lower level than yours if you stick to the three characters you like the most. Also, I didn’t do any level grinding, and I didn’t spend any time chaining enemies to find loot. I only used equipment available at shops or won from defeating marks, so if you went out of your way to get the more powerful items I mention from time to time- or got lucky finding something in a chest- your party will be better equipped than mine. Still, if you ever feel like an optional boss or hunt is too challenging feel free to leave it until later. I just think that being over-leveled takes away all the fun- no strategy is required, you can just hack and slash away. Having reserve characters near your main party’s levels is a huge help, they can be switched in if things go wrong and you won’t miss a beat. I highly recommend it.
This setting affects how quickly charge time fills up for both allies and enemies, so you might think that it doesn’t matter what speed you choose. However, most enemies have at least one attack with zero charge time, meaning it is executed instantly. While you can never equal this speed (except when using items), setting battle speed to the maximum will minimize the advantage by making all charge times as short as possible. It isn’t a huge difference, but to give one example, it takes a long time to whittle away Hell Wyrm’s 9 million HP, and he loves to use Rake, which is an extremely fast attack. If your battle speed is at slowest, your charge time for a regular attack will take almost as long as the animation for rake, meaning he is taking almost twice as many turns as one of your characters during the “rake phase” of the battle. And of course, when fighting some of the marks with insanely high HP, the faster your battle speed is the less time it will take to bring them down.
Be an "expert treasure hunter"
The only way you earn money in this game is by selling loot, and some rare loot needed for bazaar items can only be found by stealing. There is no reason not to have one character with a Foe: HP=100%: Steal gambit in the party at all times. You can only successfully steal once from any enemy, so this gambit should ensure that you only try one time on anyone, as your other two characters will hopefully be damaging the enemies while the thief plunders them. If you see your thief constantly going to the same enemy and getting the message “nothing to steal,” manually have him attack that enemy one time, then let the gambits take over again. Always remember the five P’s of thievery: Pilfer, Pillage, Plunder, Purloin, and… Pilfer.
In my opinion, the most important change in the battle system of this game is the effect of statuses. In previous FFs I never bothered with spells like Protect, Shell, Haste, etc., and if enemies ever used buffs I didn’t notice, and certainly never tried to Dispel them. Similarly, the only ailments worth healing or protecting against were Petrify, Instant Death, and Confuse. You simply cannot succeed in this game if you think about support spells in this way. Almost every boss has a plethora of enhancements that need to be removed ASAP, and having your party fully buffed can make the difference between victory and death.
Basic gambit setup
Some people like to customize their gambits for each different area and every boss battle, but I’ve found this to be a waste of time. You can go through 99% of the game with a simple but effective generic setup, and not have any problems at all. I’ll let you know when this needs to be changed, and as always, feel free to use any other setup you feel more comfortable with. With the Cure gambits, substitute the highest level spells available at the time, and if you think the percentage is too high or low, change it, these are the numbers that worked for me most of the time.
|Basic Gambit Setup|
|1.||Ally: Any: Arise||Use Raise or Phoenix down until Arise becomes available|
|2.||Ally: HP<30%: Curaja||If your magic is high enough this may be unnecessary, just use Cura and Curaga|
|3.||Ally: HP<50%: Curaga||Feel free to change the percentages as your magic strength and HP change, this is just what worked for me|
|4.||Ally: HP<70%: Cura||For Basch and Balthier, with their low magic, you can replace this with Self: Berserk or just turn it off|
|5.||Ally: Status=Disease: Cleanse||You can use Vaccine instead if you like using items|
|6a.||Foe: HP=100%: Steal||One active character should always have this to obtain maximum lootage|
|6.||Foe: Flying: Telekinesis||Obviously, ranged attackers don't need this. Before you get it just sub in another status curing gambit|
|7.||Foe: Party Leader's Target: Attack||Obviously your party leader should have Foe: Any: Attack instead|
|8.||Ally: Status=Stop: Cronos Tear||Dispel also works. If you're fighting a boss that uses Stop and aren't protected against it, move this above #6.|
|9.||Ally: Any: Esuna||Before you get this just make gambits to cure the statuses that annoy you the most|
|10.||Ally: Status=Slow: Haste||You could just set this to Ally: Any so you're always in Haste|
|11.||Self: MP<10%: Charge||I really wish this was available earlier than Balfonheim|
|12.||Self: Libra||Only one active member needs this, if for some reason you need another slot take this off of two characters|
I know these are outrageously expensive at the beginning of the game, and money always seems to be tight, but start saving for them immediately. They will eventually pay for themselves many times over. They unlock rare loot drops, which earn more money and unlock new bazaar items. Start with the Hunter and Warmage, as they correspond to beasts and undead, the most common enemy types in the game. You can hold off on the Sage, Scholar, and Dragoon till later since you won’t be killing elementals for a while, there aren’t many constructs, and you won’t be seeing many plants until Golmore Jungle. The monographs are all listed as “Forgotten Grimoire,” so buy the ones for 18,000 and 20,000 first, and then buy the rest in order from least to most expensive. They aren’t vital at the beginning of the game, so make sure your main party is well-equipped before spending all your money on these.
At the beginning of the game, Quickenings should be your top priority. Three characters with at least one Quickening can carry you through the beginning of the game. Get two for your mages for the boost in MP. Towards the middle, these become less useful as enemy HP rise, and conserving MP through longer battles becomes important. They can still be useful for finishing battles, though. After Quickenings, focus on augments, particularly HP boosters, MP restoring augs like Inquisitor and Martyr, and Channeling to lower MP cost. Only go for equipment and magick/technick licenses when you buy something new and want to use it.
Aggression > Attrition
Unless you’re very under-leveled, most boss battles are much easier if you go with an all out attack strategy to rip through those HP as quickly as possible. The longer you allow a battle to drag out the more likely you are to get hit with status effects or run out of MP. Put Haste, Bravery, and Berserk on your strongest character (or strongest two) and have your best mage focus on keeping him healed. Your party leader should be mainly attacking, but be ready to throw out a spell if necessary.
All right, with all that out of the way let's move on to the actual walkthrough.