Blitzball Mini-FAQ v1.5 by Jim Irwin email@example.com ******************************** |1. Intro and Table of Contents| ******************************** This is a guide designed to help guide you through the wonderful Final Fantasy X minigame that is Blitzball. I enjoy this game much more than Triple Triad or Tetra Master so far, and hopefully this guide can help you enjoy it too :) 7/25/01 - Version 0.5 - Draft that I wrote from memory 7/26/01 - Version 1.0 - First version with the game available. Fixed several errors throughout the guide and added the ability list 8/2/01 - Version 1.5 - Final version until either I buy a Japanese PS2 and FFX or it comes out in the US next February, since my friend with the game is going back to Japan :( Fortunately there's not much left to do, just a few abilities left to find ******************* |Table of Contents| ******************* 1. Intro and Table of Contents 2. Learning the Basics 2a. Player Parameters 2b. The Blitzball playing field 2c. Action menu - passing and shooting 2d. Encounters - offense and defense 2e. Status ailments 2f. Team menu - manual play and team formations 2g. Experience and levelling up 3. Managing your Team 3a. Blitzball main menus 3b. Pre-match setup screens 3c. Special Abilities - how to learn and use them 3d. Recruiting, scouting and misc. 4. General Team Strategies 4a. Making a winning team 4b. Manual play and formations 4c. Special Ability setup 4d. Tips for starting your team 5. List of Special Abilities 6. Closing and Copyright ************************ |2. Learning the Basics| ************************ This section basically covers the same stuff as the in-game tutorial, but in English for those of you who can't read Japanese. I suggest you use this in conjunction with playing the tutorial since it's easier to see things in action than just read about them. Even if you can't read Japanese, just press the buttons along with the things that appear on screen and you should be able to get through the tutorial just fine. 2a. Player Parameters --------------------- Each Blitzball player has his or her own set of stats which determine how well they pass, shoot, tackle, etc. When you play your first game in the storyline you won't be able to see these stats until halftime when you gain experience...more on that later. On the player status screen each stat is abbreviated with 3 letters, while in the match each is abbreviated with 2 letters (listed in parenthesis). General Parameters ------------------ Hit Points - HP (HP) - HP are best described as a player's endurance during a match. Every action a player takes with the ball consumes HP, including passing, shooting, and even just swimming around. Players regenerate HP automatically any time they don't have the ball. Should HP happen to fall to zero, a player becomes basically useless...but that happens VERY rarely (ie never happened for me). Speed - SPD (N/A) - Speed is how fast a player moves during the match. High speed is a HUGE advantage in Blitzball, since if your opponents can't catch you it can result in free shots on goal. So far this is the only stat I've seen which does not regularly go up when you raise a level. Salary - Salary is represented by a number followed by the katakana "giru" (gil) and represents the amount of money you must pay the player for each game he or she plays your team. See the Recruiting and Scouting section for more info. Level - LV (N/A) - The player's current experience level. Offensive Parameters -------------------- Physical - PHY (PH) - Physical represents the amount of damage a player can take from enemy defenders while he has the ball. A player with high Physical can break through several defenders to get a clear shot or pass if his Physical is high enough. Physical is compared to Attack during an Encounter. Passing - PAS (PS) - Passing determines how far a player can pass the ball. The higher a player's rating, the further and faster the ball can be thrown. Passing is compared to Cutoff during an Encounter. Shooting - SHT (ST) - Shooting is a measure of how fast and powerful a player's shot is. Having high Shooting is necessary if you want to stand a chance of scoring a goal. Shooting is compared to the defender's Cutoff and the Keeper's Catching during an Encounter. Defensive Parameters -------------------- Attack - ATK (AT) - Attack determines how likely a player is to successfuly steal the ball from an opponent by tackling him. High attack can stop an enemy player in his tracks and turn the tables for you quickly. Attack is compared to Physical in an Encounter. Cutoff - CUT - (CU) - Cutoff represents how likely a player is to intercept passes or shots from an opponent. High Cutoff is important for defenders to stop shots on goal or intercept passes. Cutoff is compared to Shooting or Passing in an Encounter. Catching - CAT (CA) - Catching is a stat only used by Keepers, and is the only stat Keepers use during a match. A Keeper with high enough Catching can stop incoming shots with ease even if an opponent breaks through the defense. Catching is compared to Shooting during a shot attempt. 2b. The Blitzball playing field ------------------------------- The Blitzball playing field is a huge spherical ball of water, but for all intents and purposes of the minigame it's a circular playing field; there are no 3D elements that I've found yet. While playing there will be a circular minimap on the right side of the screen showing positions of both your and your opponent's players. Each team has 6 members: Left forward, Right forward, Middle forward, Left defense, Right defense, and Keeper (note that Keepers are not indicated on the minimap). Your players are shown as green arrows while opposing players are shown as red arrows. The player who currently has the ball is indicated with an appropriately colored circle around him/her, and the screen follows that player around showing his/her offensive stats (HP, PH, PS) in the upper right hand corner of the screen. Other notable things on the play screen include the score, time elapsed in the current half, and commentary about the match (in Japanese of course). 2c. Action menu - passing and shooting -------------------------------------- Now that you know what the screen looks like, let's go into the action menu. When one of your players has the ball, pressing the Square button brings up the action menu in the upper left corner of the screen. If an enemy player is too close to you when you press Square an Encounter will occur, but more on that later. Assuming noone is near you, the menu presents 3 options from which to choose (from top to bottom): pass, shoot, or dribble. Choosing pass prompts you to pick one of your teammates to attempt to pass the ball to and shifts the stats in the upper right corner of the screen to focus on your player's PS parameter. The player you're attempting to pass to will have a circle around him on the minimap indicating his location. Press the Circle button to confirm target selection and the pass will begin. As the ball moves toward the target your player's PS will start dropping until the ball arrives. If the player's PS reaches zero before the ball reaches his teammate, the pass will fail and the ball will bounce away. Usually the opposing team will recover the ball in such a case, but if noone is nearby your team can recover also. The only real way to judge how far a player can pass is to just play the game and try passing around a few times. Passing consumes an amount of HP equal to your player's PS parameter. If you attempt to pass with less than that amount of HP, the player's PS will drop to the amount of HP he has left. Choosing shoot moves your player's ST parameter into view in the upper right and also brings up the opposing Keeper's stats underneath with CA highlighted. Once a shot starts your player's ST will decrease until the ball reaches the Keeper, at which point the remaining ST is compared to the Keeper's CA. The amount of ST a Keeper takes off varies from 50% to 150% of his CA. If any ST is left after subtracting the modified CA a goal is scored. If the ST is reduced to zero, two things may happen; the Keeper may catch the ball, in which case he will throw it to one of his teammates automatically, or the Keeper may block the ball, sending it flying away much like a failed pass. Again, the Keeper's team is more likely to recover the ball, but if noone is around your team may recover. ST reduces at the same amount per distance as PS, so use that as a gauge of where to shoot from. Try to get as close to the goal as possible to ensure a high chance of scoring. Shooting consumes an amount of HP equal to a player's ST parameter. If you attempt to shoot with less than that amount of HP, the player's ST will drop to the amount of HP he has left. Choosing dribble allows your player to continue moving without taking any actions or consuming HP. 2d. Encounters -------------- When an enemy player is close to yours when you open the action menu, or an enemy player makes contact with one of your players, an Encounter will happen. When that happens all enemy players within the circle surrounding your man with the ball will jump in front of him and the Encounter menu will appear in the upper left corner. In the upper right corner all opposing players' stats will apear below your player's stats with the stat currently being compared highlighted. The first part of the encounter menu will have at least 2 choices and as many as 6 depending how many opponents your player is facing. The top choice moves you directly to the Action menu (see above) while the lower choices attempt to break past each enemy in sequence. After choosing how many opponents to try to break past the action menu will appear prompting you to shoot, pass or dribble. If you did not attempt to break past all opponents dribble will not be selectable. After choosing your option all HP costs are paid and your player will attempt to break past the selected number of opponents. When you attempt to break through, your player's PH is compared to all enemy ATs one at a time up to the number of players you chose to break past. The amount of PH taken off by an enemy is 50% to 150% of that player's AT. If your player's PH is reduced to zero the opposing player takes possession of the ball and play continues. Also, no HP costs are refunded if the ball gets taken...ie if you chose to shoot or pass you still lose that HP even if your player doesn't get to perform that action. Note that when the opposing players are listed, the player with highest AT is listed first, then the next highest AT and so on. If you chose to pass and your player broke past the defenders successfully the pass menu works like normal. You need to choose who to pass to and your player's PS is compared to any remaining defenders' CU (see below). While passing or shooting without breaking through defenders, their CU is compared to your player's PS or ST depending on whether you choose pass or shoot respectively. The amount of PS or ST taken off by each defender is again 50% to 150% of their CU, although it IS possible for a defender to miss and take off no PS or ST at all. If your player's PS or ST is reduced to zero the opposing player takes possession of the ball and play continues. If there is any PS or ST left the ball continues and the pass or shot resolves normally with your player's remaining PS or ST. 2e. Status ailments ------------------- Sometimes during an Encounter your player may become affected by a status ailment because of an enemy ability. There are 3 status ailments in Blitzball; Venom, Nap, and Wiser When affected by Venom a player does not recover HP and cannot use any shooting abilities until the venom wears off or the half ends. Passes, tackles, and other automatic abilities still work however. A player affected by Venom will have a green blob around him and his HP will also be green instead of yellow. When affected by Wiser a player's stats will be reduced. Any lowered stats are colored blue instead of yellow, and the reduction lasts a certain duration of time or until the end of the half. A player affected by Wiser will have a yellow blob around him. When affected by Nap a player will stop moving and become unusable, and his marker on the minimap will turn black to indicate he's asleep. A player affected by Nap will have a blue blob around him, and cannot do anything until he wakes up. Players wake up after a certain amount of time, if any goal is scored, or after a pass is made to them. The pass will fail but the player will immediately wake up. Note that if a Keeper is put to sleep he will NOT apply his CA to any shots attempted even though his CA appears when you go to make a shot; ie shooting from just about anywhere on the playing field will score. I currently know of no way to wake up a sleeping Keeper other than scoring a goal or waiting the sleep out. 2f. Team Menu ------------- Pressing the Triangle button during a match brings up the team menu. If your team has the ball the menu will offer 3 options (from top to bottom): Auto, Manual A, and Manual B. Auto is the default setting and lets the computer completely control the movement of all your players. Choosing Manual A or B allows you to control the player with the ball. The difference between the 2 appears to be how the camera works with movement; in Manual A pushing left on the controller always moves you left from the perspective of the minimap, while in Manual B it seems that you move left from the perspective of what's on the game screen. I personally find Manual A much easier to use. After choosing that option (or if your team doesn't have the ball) the formation menu will appear. Your team starts with 4 formations and can earn more as your team level increases. The 4 standard formations are Normal (default), Mark mode, Right side and Left side. Normal is basically a zone defense where your players go after the man with the ball within a certain area. Note that your forwards will chase the ball just about anywhere while the defenders tend to stay on your half of the playing field. This formation works just fine most of the time. Mark mode has your players cover only the opponent you chose to have them Mark in the pre-match setup screen, regardless of whether that opponent has the ball or not See section 3b for details on setting up Marks. Mark mode can be very effective if you match your players with the enemy players carefully. Right or Left side has your players play a zone defense on that respective side of the playing area leaving the other side relatively undefended. You can also earn other formations by playing a lot of games and levelling your team up. The new ones I've learned so far are: Center Attack sends everyone towards the middle leaving the sides relatively unprotected. All Def sends everyone back on your half of the playing field for a solid defense. This makes scoring very hard for your team as well since your forwards will never have any support if they manage to steal the ball. Flatline sends everyone on a suicide offensive run leaving no defense at all. I would only recommend this if you are losing and desperately need a goal, or if your Keeper's CA is so high that the other team can't score. Counter is a type of zone defense that has your defenders and middle forward patrolling in front of your goal while the other forwards patrol on the enemy side. This seems to be a very effective formation if you're winning since it combines strong defense with an offense that can score if the opposing team makes a mistake. Double side has everyone but the middle forward move along their side of the arena leaving you open for a central charge, but making a pincer attack on the enemy goal very effective. Passing back and forth is required but you'll almost always have someone open. 2g. Experience -------------- Players gain experience by doing just about anything; passing, shooting, breaking past or tackling opponents, etc. After each half players receive experience points based on their performance and gain levels depending on how much experience they earned. Each level up will raise HP and may raise other skills as well. Try to keep your team members at similar levels or you may find it hard to earn experience with the weaker members of the team, especially defenders. *********************** |3. Managing your Team| *********************** After finishing with the story Blitzball match and exiting Ruka you will be able to choose a new option at save spheres letting you manage a Blitzball team. As manager you can enter the team in tournaments, leagues or exhibition matches and hire and fire new players. The better your team does the better items you can earn, so try to do your best! 3a. Blitzball main menus ------------------------ To access the Blitzball menus either choose the second option at a save crystal or talk to the attendant at the shop in the town where you played the Blitzball match. Note that at certain parts of the game you will not be able to choose Blitzball at save crystals :( Once you bring up the menu the following choices are available: League - start or continue a 10 game league season Tournament - (not always available) enter a 3 game tournament Exhibition - Play an exhibition match Tutorial - Look through the ingame tutorial Team Data - Look at your team members stats and special abilities Cancel Reset Data - resets the entire Blitzball minigame In league and tournament play you compete for prizes which are awarded to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place teams at the end of the season or tournament. There is also a special prize if someone on your team scores the most goals for that particular season or tournament. If 2 or more player on your team tie for most goals, you get one of those prizes for EACH player! These items are usually very good and unattainable otherwise. Tournaments are not always available, but if you play a few league games a new tournament should open. Note that sometimes in a tournament you can get a bye in the first round and end up playing only two games. Some of the good prizes you can win from leagues/tournaments include: One of the crystals required to upgrade Wakka's best weapon Wakka's 3 other Overdrives Various random Abilities (see Ability list) Continuous Abilities (only learnable as prizes) Several types of spheres for the sphere map Rare items for customizing weapons/armor Miscellaneous rare items like Elixirs, Megapotions, etc. Tournaments take a few league matches before a new one appears, but when a tournament is first available the prizes are randomly generated, so if you don't like the prizes when you see a tournament for the first time it's possible to generate new ones. Note that for this to work you must ALWAYS choose to continue after a match (top option) and THEN exit out of the main Blitzball menu. What will happen is that when you choose continue, the tournament will NOT be selectable on the main menu, but after exiting, saving your game, and returning to the Blitzball menu it will magically be available for some odd reason. At this point either save to keep the tournament prizes as they are, or reset and reload for new tournament prizes. Exhibition matches don't count towards your league record, but your players can't gain experience while playing. They can still learn abilities however, which makes exhibitions a good way to get skills without the other teams levelling up on you. When you choose Exhibition you will be prompted to pick your opponent before proceeding to the pre-match setup screens. You will also win a minor item as a prize for winning an Exhibition match. Tutorial allows you to see the ingame tutorial again to brush up on your Blitzball skills. Team Data brings up a list of your current team members and allows you to view their stats and what abilities they've learned, as well as their key abilities (more on that later). Reset Data basically clears everything from your current Blitzball world. The only time you should use this is if your team is SERIOUSLY underpowered and the other teams are so strong that you stand no chance of winning at all. Remember you can always hire new people or even other team's members...don't give up on your team easily. 3b. Pre-match setup screens --------------------------- Once you've chosen to play in a league, tournament, or exhibition match the game will go to the first of the pre-match setup screens, the Team setup screen. On the Team setup screen you choose what players play which position starting with Left forward, then Right forward, Middle forward, Left defender, Right defender, and Keeper. The game will ask for confirmation and then proceed to the Ability setup screen. On the Ability setup screen you can assign Special abilities to each of your players that are level 3 or above. As your levels go up you can assign more abilities per player up to a maximum of 5. To assign an ability choose a player and pick from his/her list of abilities. To remove an ability pick the 2nd choice from the bottom on the lower right of the ability subscreen. To access the second page of abilities choose the bottom right choice on the ability subscreen. Once you've set everyone up pick OK to continue to the Mark setup screen. On the Mark setup screen your players will be on the left and the opposing players will be on the right. Once you choose one of your players you can scroll up and down the list of opposing players looking at their stats and abilities. Any abilities listed in green are abilities your player can learn. If you hit Circle on an opposing player's name, your player will "mark" that player and can learn his/her abilities listed in green during the match. (See next section for details). Each of your players can mark one enemy player per half, and can switch their mark at halftime. If you don't want to mark an enemy player, or want to cancel a mark choose your player and then pick the option at the bottom to cancel the mark. Also note that when you choose "Mark mode" from the Team menu during the match, your players will follow the player they have marked whether or not that opposing player has the ball until you choose a different team formation. Once you've finished all your marks choose the bottom option to begin the game. The game will ask for confirmation and then the match will begin. If you choose cancel it will take you back to the Team setup screen so you can reset your team, abilities and marks. 3c. Special Abilities - how to learn and use them ------------------------------------------------- Now that you know how to setup your team and play a game I'll discuss Special abilities. First of all a player has to be level 3 to even use abilities, so you may need to play a few games to meet that requirement. After reaching level 3 a ---- will appear below that player's name on the Ability setup screen (see above) and indicate that they are ready to use an ability. Some players will already know abilities (like Tidus) and some will have to learn them all from scratch. To check a player's abilities go to the Team data screen from the main Blitzball menu. Once on the Team data screen choose one of your team members and press Circle, which will bring you to their stat screen. There will be a green line of text in the lower right with 3 abilities listed below it. These are that player's KEY ABILITIES. Key abilities are very important, becase each time a player learns one of his Key abilities it unlocks many more abilities for him to be able to learn. Key abilities must be learned in order, as the 2nd key ability will not be available to learn even if an opponent has it (ie it wont be green on the Mark setup screen) until the first Key ability is learned. If you press Circle again it will bring up the player's Ability subscreen. The subscreen has 2 pages which are accessed by pressing Circle. Any abilities currently known will be listed, along with several ---- which indicate abilities that can be learned. Learning Abilities ------------------ As mentioned above, if you mark players with abilities listed in green on the Mark setup screen your players can learn those abilities during a match. To learn an ability, first the opponent you marked must perform it. While he's executing the ability, the word "Capture!" will appear in the upper left corner of the screen. If you press the Circle button while "Capture!" is on the screen there is a chance for a player who marked that opponent to learn the ability. If there is a rising intonation sound you have successfully captured the ability and will be able to set it the next time you're on the ability setup screen. If the sound is a low monotone beep you have failed to learn the ability. Capturing it not always successful, and if your player is too far below the opponent in level it may be impossible to learn the ability at all. Please note that you do NOT have to be in the Mark mode formation to capture an ability. In fact, the player learning the ability doesn't even have to be remotely close to the player performing the ability to learn it. Tips for successful captures: First off, try to not set more than 2 of your players to mark an enemy as only one player can learn an ability per successful capture. Remember who you marked on the other team and try to go after them. If you marked a forward trying to learn his "xx shot" make sure to let him shoot once or twice or you'll never get a chance to learn it. In addition remember to take level into consideration...if you have a level 5 player trying to learn from a level 12 player, it's not going to ever work. Also don't forget that the 6th player on the opposing team is the Keeper; Keepers don't use any abilities other than Keeper abilites even if they have them equipped, so don't mark an opposing Keeper expecting to learn some new tackle or pass. And vice-versa, don't expect to learn Keeper abilities from a forward or defender. Finally, note that the timing when "Capture!" appears on the screen is different for each ability, so pay attention. At the end of each half any abilities your players have learned will be listed on the experience screen. Any Key Abilities your players learned will be listed in yellow. Using abilities --------------- Once you have abilities learned and assigned you'll be able to use them in the game. Different abilities do different things and are used in different situations. Some are automatic, some are continuous, and others are defensive or offensive in nature. To use offensive abilities like xx pass or xx shot simply choose the appropriate command from the action menu as usual, and an additional menu will appear with a varying number of options depending on your equipped abilities. Any abilities available to use will show up with an HP cost next to them on this new menu. If you want your player to just pass or shoot normally choose the uppermost option. To use defensive abilities (tackles) a new menu will appear when an opponent tries to break past your player if you have xx tackle. You can select to have your player use the tackle or not with the HP cost displayed. Automatic abilities trigger by themselves with a given % chance of activation and take HP away upon activating (if there is an HP cost). Finally, Continuous abilities are always active and cost HP to equip at the Ability screen but cost no HP during a match. Note that this also means they're impossible to capture since they do not activate during a match. For a list of special abilities and their effects see section 6. 3d. Recruiting, scouting and misc. ---------------------------------- Now that you know all about Blitzball it's time to make a team. There are several players you can recruit in the first city to add to your team (listed in section 4d) as well as many others scattered throughout the world. To recruit new players press the Square button instead of the Circle button when facing them. If you can recruit them a screen will show up listing their # of games still under contract (if 0 it will say "free agent") along with their name and salary. If the player is available you will be given the option to hire him or her and then asked how many matches you wish to hire them for if you choose yes. When the contract with a player runs out after a Blitzball match (league, tournament, or exhibition) you will be given the opportunity to rehire them on the spot. If you decline but decide to rehire them at a later date you will have to walk back to where they are and press Square again. Opposing teams also have to rehire players when the contracts run out, so pay attention if there's a good player you want with a few games left on his contract. Teams don't always resign players and you can pick up premium ones if you pay attention to free agents. Team Level ---------- After winning a 5 matches your team level will go up. Sometimes when your team level goes up you get a new formation for the Team menu (see section 2f) or your Scout level goes up. Each time your Scout level goes up the amount of information shown when you attempt to hire a player will become more detailed. At level 2 you can see the player's stats, and at level 3 you can see what abilities he has equipped. Level 4 is MAX, and you can see all the abilities he has learned and is capable of learning as well (as if you were looking at him on your own team data screen). **************************** |4. General Team Strategies| **************************** This section will hopefully help you to make an unbeatable team to win the Blitzball leagues and tournaments...and grab some great loot in the process :) 4a. Making a winning team ------------------------- The first thing to do when making a winning team is to know what it takes to win. You win by scoring goals. LOTS of goals. So, I suggest you get at least 2 forwards on your team with high SHT. Fortunately Tidus fills one of those roles, so you really only need to find one more high SHT forward. High PHY helps a great deal as well, because it's much easier to bash down defenders instead of trying to shoot through them. For Tidus this is not an issue, since his Jekt shot ability completely removes 2 defenders which usually results in a free shot on goal anyway. I suggest putting these 2 players at the left and right forward positions. For the 3rd forward I recommend someone with very high PAS. If you charge in with this player to draw off the defense and then pass right around them, your other forwards will be open for a free shot on goal. I suggest putting this player as middle forward so he can pass almost anywhere on the map. On defense ATK and CUT are the stats of choice, in that order. If your players can't take out an opponent with your ATK, CUT isn't going to do any good since your defenders will just get blown past. You'll always have the Keeper to back your defenders up, so CUT isn't anywhere near as important as ATK on defense. Make sure at least one of the 2 defenders has a decent PAS as well, since stealing the ball is all well and good but if you can't dish it out to the forwards the ball will just get taken right back. The 2 defenders won't ever be shooting the ball, but a decent PHY is nice if you need to beat down the opposing forwards to get a clear pass out of your end. I suggest one defender have high PAS and the other high PHY...in addition to high ATK and CUT of course. It also helps if your defenders have a higher than average speed to catch any forwards who might break through. Keeper is pretty much a no-brainer...find the guy with the highest CAT and get him on your team. The sooner you get Keeper skills for him the better, they can only help him do his job. If you have a good defense your Keeper shouldn't see much action after your first 5 games or so. Once you have a team set up make sure to spread the experience out. Your shooting forwards are going to get a lot with all the goals they score and defenders they blow past, so make sure to spend some time with the defenders passing around or let the other team get the ball and tackle them to death. Even let a few shots go here and there if you're sure the Keeper can stop 'em. If you only level up the shooters you'll be sorry when enemy teams with high level forwards come and beat up your low level defenders whom you've been neglecting. To get a lot of experience quickly try finding an enemy with low ATK and repeatedly try to pass/shoot by him when your player has the ball. Choose to break past him and then dribble every time...since breaking past takes no time off the clock, you can do it literally hundreds of times in a half and gain a TON of experience. This is extremely boring, but if you really need to level one of your guys up it's a good way to do so. Now other than these recommendations I have one more: Get fast guys! Speed is by far the biggest advantage you can have in this game. If the other team can't catch your players, your guys can pass and shoot around all day with no resistance at all. Do not under ANY circumstances play anyone under 60 speed (except Keeper of course). At least one of the teams in the league will have a fast shooter, and if you can't stop him you'll lose. For a lesson in how important speed is, watch how well your team does against the Ronzo guys (the race Kimari is) when you play against them. Now, I'm not saying this setup is the end all be all of teams, but mine is undefeated through 70+ games. My best game so far was 11-0 against the Ronzo team, so I do know a little of what I'm talking about :) 4b. Manual play and formations ------------------------------ Now, for playing the actual matches. Rule #1 is always use Manual. If you watch the computer play it does some dumb stuff...don't let auto ruin a game for you. I personally prefer Manual A because your control is based on the minimap (ie push left, you go always go left on the minimap no matter what the screen looks like), but if you're used to it Manual B can be just as effective I suppose. As for the formations, Normal is just fine 99% of the time. It's nothing special, but your guys cover their zones well and it works adequately. Some of the ones you earn from team levels seem kind of interesting but are mainly specific to a certain situation. But, for the 1% of the time that Normal won't work, you have to set up a Mark mode defense. This requires very specific setup but works GREAT against teams with only 1 good shooter (who usually has SHT much higher than your Keeper's CAT). Basically just find thier super shooter on the Mark setup screen and have 3 guys mark him. Make sure to leave your other 2 players unmarked so they will be open when you get the ball. In the match once you set your formation to Mark mode, that opposing player will become useless. With 3 people covering him at all times he won't ever get a clear shot or pass off, and the rest of his team cant score on you anyway. As long as one of your shooters isn't covering him you should still be able to score relatively easily and win. Another form of Mark mode worth using is if the opposing team doesn't have any abilities you want/need. Just match up your team one by one with theirs and you can shut down their team quite well. Stick one of your shooters on a defender with low ATK and you'll almost always get a free shot if you pass to him. Stick your guy with high PAS on a low CUT opponent and you'll be able to pass anywhere in the arena with no problems. But, don't do this at a sacrifice to learning new abilities...only if you don't need the ones the opposing players have. 4c. Special Ability setup ------------------------- Setting up and learning the right special abilities is just as important as having a team with good stats. If your shooters dont have any xx shots, or your defenders don't have any tackles...what's the point? Get the right skills for the right people and your team will be much more effective. One note, get everyone to level 3 ASAP. That should take about 1 game if you do it right, but remember people can't equip abilities until they're level 3. Then get everyone to level 7 ASAP to be able to equip 2 abilities. After that it's not such a big deal, as 2 abilities is usually enough under normal circumstances. Learning -------- First, write down all the Key abilities for every player on your team and keep that list next to you when you play a game. Always check on the Mark setup screen to see if you can get a Key ability. If so, only use the player who needs the ability to mark the opponent who has it and note the name. For most of the game go after that player to have him use the ability until you learn it. Key abilities open up SO many more good abilities to learn they're worth losing a game to get, if you have to go that far. Other than that, if there aren't any Key abilities to be stolen try to spread out your marks so many people can learn things. If it's tackles you need send your high PHY shooter and run over the target a few times back and forth until you learn it. Not only does this get you an ability but it gives experience to the shooter too. If you need a pass, find the opponent with it and let him steal from you a few times. Usually he'll try to pass away immediately and you can get it that way. For shots I usually say skip 'em. Unless it's an S or X level, or Sphere shot, I wouldn't let the other team shoot enough to learn it...work on getting other abilities instead. Nap --- Okay, Nap is the best thing ever. Get everyone you can Nap tackle, even your forwards, unless their ATK is pitiful (like Tidus). The next thing to do is get Nap pass on your high PAS player. To start the match get him the ball and take him into a crowd of opponents. Even if their CUT is huge you should be able to hit at least 2 of them with the pass, and if you're lucky it could even take 3 people out of play right off the bat. 3 people asleep = instant goal. Lastly is Nap shot...while not bad, the point of shooting is to score, not to put the Keeper to sleep. But, if the opposing Keeper has really high CAT that's the only thing you can do sometimes. Since a Keeper hit by Nap can't defend, any open shot is sure to go in. Shots ----- Obviously, the only people who need shots are your 2 shooting forwards, and Tidus already has 2 of the best shots in the game in Jekt shot and Sphere shot. Jekt shot is almost overpowered, removing 2 defenders AND adding 5 to SHT. Just charge to point blank range and blast away...easy goal. If you manage to get Tidus in the open, Sphere shot is even better since it can add an insane amount to your SHT and evens you out against Keeppower that almost all Keepers get very early. As I said before Nap shot is ok if you have to use it, but Wiser shot isn't that great unless you have S or X and Venom shot against a Keeper is totally useless except for the SHT bonus. Your forwards shouldn't need shots to disable Keepers, they should be using GOOD shots to score goals. Tackle ------ I suggest giving everyone on your team a tackle, no matter what one it is. Anything that makes the other team think twice about breaking past your players is a good thing, and all 3 status tackles are worth it. For Drain- type tackles, Drain tackle X is good, but the other 2 don't drain enough hp to be worth it since none of them add a bonus to ATK. The longer you play though, even Drain tackle X and its 500HP steal isn't worth it since players will have 1500HP or more. Half the players on my team have Wiser tackle S, and it's great to see enemy players swimming around with 5 SHT or 4 PAS when they had 20 or 30 just a second ago...and when you have over 1000HP a piece, spending 120 is nothing :) Pass ---- Like I said above, Nap pass of any kind with a high PAS guy is deadly. As for the rest of the team I suggest giving the defenders a decent pass if possible so they can get the ball to your forwards ASAP once they steal the ball. As for Tidus and the other forward I wouldn't waste a slot with a pass unless you have a free one, since guys with high SHT and PHY tend to have a very low PAS stat...and should be shooting instead of passing anyway. Keeper ------ Get your Keeper Keeppower as soon as humanly possible. It adds a lot to CAT and basically has unlimited uses since Keepers don't use HP for anything else. The other Keeper skills help too, but Keeppower is the top one I've seen so far by miles. I also suggest Antinap (X) if you can learn it; not falling asleep is always a good thing. Others ------ I really haven't found many of the other skills that useful, but there are a few. Anti-status skills are ok if you have extra room, especially Antivenom on your forwards, who need to use their xx shot Abilities. Tackle kaihi (avoid) is VERY useful, and annoying as hell when the other team uses it on you :P I have it equipped on every single team member (except the Keeper of course) and it absolutley ruins defenses. Even against 4 people with a little luck you can get through for a shot/pass/whatever. Most of the other skills aren't that useful but if you have extra slots feel free to mess around with them and find something that works for you. Especially once you get to 5 skill slots, defenders don't need much besides an S/X tackle and a pass. 4d. Tips for starting your team ------------------------------- Well, the very first thing is to make sure you got the Jekt shot in Tidus' dream sequence. If you didn't, reload or restart the game and get it...seriously. It is THAT good. If you're having trouble learning it, what you need to do is use the center of the screen as a reference point and push towards the words that appear and press Circle at the same time. You only need to get like 15 presses correct which is NOT hard, keep trying until you get it...but it is an excellent Ability which is one of, if not THE best shot. Now other than that, I've given tips on building a team and how to advance it, but who to use on it? Below is a list of the people available to recruit right when you can play Blitzball for the first time in the town. I don't know if their stats are different from game to game, but these were their starting stats in mine: I personally recommend getting Wedge (17 SHT!), Zarits, and Jumaru to replace 3 of your original team. Name HP PHY PAS SHT SPD ATK CUT CAT $$ LV ---- -- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- -- -- Nida 100 12 3 10 30 2 2 3 60 1 Zeb=Ronzo 230 12 7 11 52 7 7 1 150 1 Biggs 80 10 3 11 57 5 2 1 100 1 Shermie 100 11 5 10 58 4 2 2 100 1 Zarits 100 6 5 3 59 15 11 1 150 1 Jumaru 100 8 5 1 60 1 4 14 200 1 Shu 215 10 4 10 60 4 9 1 80 3 Wedge 80 9 3 17 65 6 5 2 160 1 These players are scattered throughout the town (and I don't remember where), but a short searching around should turn them all up with no problems. Even after you hire them they don't move so you can always come back to find them easily. There are also two of the opposing teams' players at two of the ports in town, but you can't recruit any of them for like 20 games or more. Also, your original team players are still in the room you prepared for the match in, if you ever need to rehire them. Now, obviously the team stats of Tidus' team will differ based on what you did in the story match, but here's what mine were: Tidus 166 11 4 11 60 3 2 1 1000 3 Letti 125 7 11 4 60 5 5 1 40 2 Josh 167 9 8 1 63 10 5 1 10 3 Kippa 173 4 2 1 54 2 4 7 60 3 Dat 90 12 4 8 60 2 2 1 30 1 Pots 203 3 6 1 10 6 1 3 50 3 I replaced Kippa, Dat, and Pots with Wedge, Zarits and Jumaru to start out and kept that team for quite a while. Wedge is an absolute monster as he levels up...starting with 17 SHT is good enough but on my team now he's at level 66 with 55 PHY and over 5000 HP. He's 20 levels above everyone else on my team and learned Tackle Kaihi S among other abilities. I can't count the times he's gone through all 5 players on the other team to score a goal. Oh did I mention he has 36 ATK and 26 CUT too so he can steal the ball to boot? Ok enough bragging...good luck with your team and keep your eyes out in new areas for Blitzball recruits. If you pay attention during league play you may be able to snag up another team's good player if they don't rehire him/her. ****************************** |5. List of Special Abilities| ****************************** Starting in the upper left of the first Ability subscreen page and continuing down the columns from left to right. All shots, tackles, and passes are activated in the corresponding menu during a match. Other Abilites with an HP cost activate automatically or have a fixed % chance to active; when they do so the HP cost is applied. Abilities with an "HP cost to equip" reduce the player's maximum HP by that amount but do not cost HP during the match to use and are always active. Page 1: ------- *Column 1* Jekt shot - 120HP cost, +5 SHT, shoots through up to 2 defenders Jekt shot 2 - 999HP cost, +10 SHT, shoots through up to 3 defenders and makes ball invisible Sphere shot - 90HP cost, +3 SHT, plus random SHT bonus Invisible - ? Venom shot - 20HP cost, +3 SHT, 40% chance of poison Venom shot S - 35HP cost, +5 SHT, 70% chance of poison Venom shot X - 100HP cost, +7 SHT, 100% chance of poison Nap shot - 45HP cost, +3 SHT, 40% chance of sleep Nap shot S - ? Nap shot X - 350HP cost, +7 SHT, 100% chance of sleep *Column 2* Wiser shot - 30HP cost, +3 SHT, 40% chance of CUT or CAT down Wiser shot S - ? Wiser shot X - ? Venom pass - 40HP cost, +3 PAS, 30% chance of poison Venom pass S - 120HP cost, +5 PAS, 60% chance of poison Venom pass X - 350HP cost, +7 PAS, 100% chance of poison Nap pass - 40HP cost, +3 PAS, 30% chance of sleep Nap pass S - 200HP cost, +5 PAS, 60% chance of sleep Nap pass X - 510HP cost, +7 PAS, 100% chance of sleep Wiser pass - 40HP cost, +3 PAS, 30% chance of PHY ATK or CUT down *Column 3* Wiser pass S - 180HP cost, +5 PAS, 60% chance of PHY ATK or CUT down Wiser pass X - ? Volley shot - 10HP cost, 50% chance of taking a free shot after a ball is deflected (blocked shot or failed pass) Volley shot S - 40HP cost, 75% chance of taking a free shot after a ball is deflected (blocked shot or failed pass) Volley shot X - ? Venom tackle - 30HP cost, +3 ATK, 40% chance of poison Venom tackle S - 70HP cost, +5 ATK, 70% chance of poison Venom tackle X - 160HP cost, +7 ATK, 100% chance of poison Nap tackle - 40HP cost, +3 ATK, 40% chance of sleep chance of sleep only if enemy PHY is reduced to 0 Nap tackle S - 90HP cost, +5 ATK, 70% chance of sleep chance of sleep only if enemy PHY is reduced to 0 Page 2 ------ *Column 1* Nap tackle X - 180HP cost, +7 ATK, 100% chance of sleep chance of sleep only if enemy PHY is reduced to 0 Wiser tackle - 8HP cost, +3 ATK, 40% chance of PHY PAS or SHT down Wiser tackle S - 80HP cost, +5 ATK, 70% chance of PHY PAS or SHT down Wiser tackle X - 250HP cost, +7 ATK, 100% chance of PHY PAS or SHT down Drain tackle - 40% chance of absorbing 30 HP player must have at least 30HP max to use Drain tackle S - 70% chance of absorbing 150 HP player must have at least 150HP max to use Drain tackle X - 100% chance of absorbing 500 HP player must have at least 500HP max to use Tackle kaihi - 40HP cost, automatic 40% chance of evading tackles Chance of losing balance after evading a tackle and losing one equipped Ability until end of half Tackle kaihi S - 170HP cost, automatic 70% chance of evading tackles chance of losing balance after evading a tackle and losing one equipped Ability until end of half Antivenom - 5HP cost, automatic 50% chance of preventing Venom *Column 2* Antivenom X - 50HP cost, automatic 100% chance of preventing Venom Antinap - 40HP cost, automatic 50% chance of preventing Nap Antinap X - 210HP cost, automatic 100% chance of preventing Nap Antiwiser - 30HP cost, automatic 50% chance of preventing Wiser Antiwiser X - 200HP cost, automatic 100% chance of preventing Wiser Antidrain - 10HP cost, automatic 50% chance of preventing drain Antidrain X - ? Spin Ball - 30HP cost, automatically increases chance enemy Keeper will deflect shot instead of catching it (if shot fails) Sticky glove - 30HP cost, Keeper ability, automatically raises the chance of catching a successfully defended shot Scout mode - 5HP cost to equip, increases sight range of cpu players allowing them to chase the ball more effectively *Column 3* More battle mode - 10HP cost, automatic 60% chance of increasing range the player can Encounter Vile Venom - 30HP cost to equip, increases power of Venom Vile Wiser - ? Regen - 50HP cost to equip, increases HP recovery Mezamesukkiri - 180HP cost, automatic 50% chance of parameter up when player wakes up High risk - 300HP cost to equip, lowers all stats by half, doubles experience gained Kyouken - 30HP cost to equip, lowers HP cost to pass and shoot Gamble - 300HP cost, auto 50% chance of all parameters up when player wakes up Keeppower - 30+(random)HP cost, Keeper skill, 60% activation Random CAT bonus, press Circle to stop the number ???? The only unknown Ability is the last one of the last column now. I know that it exists since some players have a ---- there but noone in my league has found it yet, even after 75+ games. Note that it's impossible to capture skills with an HP cost to equip since they never activate during a match; they're always active. The only way to learn those skills is to win them as prizes from a league or tournament. Also, you can only get Jekt shot 2 as a prize from a league or tournament, and only Tidus can learn it after he has learned all 3 of his Key abilities...so don't do what I did and win the tournament expecting to be able to equip it without the Key abilities. ************************** |6. Closing and Copyright| ************************** Well, that's it folks. I hope you found the guide helpful in playing this great minigame. I've put the a good amount of time into writing this so far, and I will probably spend at least that with all the updates to come and everything so please don't copy or steal the material in here...that would make me upset :( All material printed within is copyright James Irwin 2001. Unless I magically acquire a Japanese PS2 and FFX this will be the last update of the guide for quite some time since my buddy with the game is going back to Japan now :( So until then, hopefully this will be enough to lead you to a great Blitzball season and many championships with your team.