AP Trick FAQ by CronoRye

Version: 2.4 | Updated: 07/23/02 | Printable Version



By CronoRye (Ryan Charles)- Ryan@vortexonline.com


Ver 2.4

I am currently no longer accepting any emails about the AP Trick.
That includes any emails asking questions on where to get items,
how to use the trick because you can't get it to work, or new
methods that you have come up with. There could be some updates
on the trick soon so cross your fingers.

Please do not DISTRIBUTE or host this FAQ in any form without my 
written permission. Do not use this AP TRICK or obvious derivations
in any PRINT FORMS OF MEDIA. No consent will be given. For 
example, a magazine such as PSM or GamePro would have no right 
to imitate, paraprhase, or reprint the intellectual property
contained in this document.



I'm a college grad who has written for www.vortexonline.com for several
years. I'm an avid Square game player and I usually import the best 
Square has to offer. Thanks for reading this FAQ and be sure to check
out www.Vortexonline.com to see more of my work.


Version Updates

2.4 - (07-23-02) Minor Updates to email rules and other corrections
2.3 - (01-19-02) Added "run-away" option
2.2 - (01-16-02) Minor changes
2.1 - (01-14-02) Added results from testing other Overdrives
2.0 - (01-13-02) Clarified DT method
1.9 - (01-09-02) Minor changes
1.8 - (01-07-02) Minor changes, Updated Alternative 2
1.7B - (01-07-02) Earliest way to gain mass AP 
1.7A - (01-07-02) Minor changes
1.6 - (01-07-02) Clarified Alternative Method 2
1.5 - (01-04-02) Added new American Method, updated automated method
1.4 - (12-27-01) Minor changes
1.3 - (12-26-01) Added American AP trick info
1.2 - (08-29-01) Added other variations
1.1 - (08-17-01) Added method of acquiring "Alone" overdrive technique
1.0 - (08-09-01) First edition


-Note for US Players (Skip it if you want to just find out the Don
Tonberry Method for the American FFX)

-Don Tonberry Method (U.S. FFX Method, Earliest Possible mass AP method)

-Cactuar King Alternative

-Alternative 2 (U.S. FFX Method 2)

-Original Japanese AP Trick (Unaltered from August updates)


For American game players:

It is apparent that the Square/EA release of the American Final 
Fantasy X has an AP limit/cap that has been added. The cap in the 
Japanese version was so high that you reached the max S. Level of 99
way before you reached the max. I don't know why Squaresoft purposely
went and hunted this out when it is only available during the late
stages of the game and regardless is a legit use of the combination of 
processes programmed into the game. I never could have foreseen that 
the localization team would remove a little trick that I found while 
messing around in late July. Ultimately, we should be grateful that 
Square has provided us with another excellent Final Fantasy game 
rather than gripe about the removal of a leveling trick. Please 
remember that the Cap only limits certain overdrive methods. Because 

The short answer to the overall question is that the AP Trick as it
was once known does not work in the American Final Fantasy X. What I 
will provide are alternative methods. The first alternative is fast.
The second alternative is slower but is automated so you can sit and 
let it do the work for you similar to the way the Japanese AP Trick 

Apparently the cap on the AP Trick was only targeted by Squaresoft
for my particular AP Trick. The Loner (Solo/Alone) overdrive and the
Ally overdrive method are the ones that are capped (coincidence? I 
think not). Apparently Hero is capped as well. 

With my continued work on the new methods for gaining AP in the 
post-AP-Trick era, I have discovered that Defender is also capped.
It created gains of AP that were much lower than any other method anyway.
The Daredevil mode is also capped (thanks to E_Cubed99@Hotmail.com)

--------Don Tonberry Method (aka American Alternative 1)---------

*This method can be done the earliest in the game of any method
available. It also yields more AP consistently than the Cactaur King
method. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise, this has been thoroughly
tested by myself and contributors.*

Via this method it is possible to get 99 S. Levels via one battle.

Quick Summary


-Overdrive to AP ability 
-Monsters captured in Cave of the stolen Fayth
-Comrade overdrive method


-2x or 3x AP ability  
-Double/Triple Overdrive Ability
-Auto-Phoenix ability

(The easiest way to get the 3x AP Ability is as follows: capture 4 of each 
flying eye monsters. Omega Ruins, Mi'ihen, Thunder Plains, Gagazet, and 
Macalania are the 5 regions you should target. You'll unlock One-Eye at the 
monster arena, and fighting him over and over again should yield weapons 
already with Triple AP.)


Start obviously with the overdrive to AP ability. If you don't have 
it and need to know how to get it, you need to either

A) Bribe the "mech leader" enemy in the Gagazet mountains. The bribe 
should be 74,000 gil. Please note that the bribe is slightly randomized
in the American version, so sometimes you'll need to bribe with a second
time with a little more money. You should receive 2 Doorways to Tomorrow,
but on occasion you'll get 1. 10 are needed to activate the Overdrive to 
AP ability.

B) Capture at least one of every enemy from any 6 areas (The Monster 
arena guy will reward you with 99 Doorways to Tomorrow)

C) Steal them from the Ultima Weapon in the Omega Ruins (one-time event)

Supplemental abilities such as 2X/3X AP and Triple overdrive are recommended 
but not necessary. Capture all of the enemies using the capture equipped weapons
in the Cavern of the Stolen Fayth. By doing so you will unlock Don 
Tonberry in the Monster Arena. Don Tonberry is the key to leveling up.
His counterattack can take 99,999 against your weaker party characters.
Set your overdrive method to COMRADE.

Next, fight Don Tonberry in the Monster Arena. Make sure the character 
you are leveling up has the Overdrive to AP ability. Auto-Phoenix is also 
very helpful and is necessary if you want to reach 99 S. Levels in just 
one battle. Have the two characters who have killed THE MOST fiends in 
battle with the single character you want to level up (ex: Tidus is the one 
you want to level up, and most likely Auron and Wakka would be the 
sacrificial characters). If possible, try to make sure the two are 
semi-fast. His powerful counter Karma is based on your kills and damage 
inflicted. If possible, try to make sure the two g are semi-fast. Taking 
them on Tidus' path or giving them the Auto-Haste ability will help.

Essentially, those "weak" characters will attack and Don Tonberry will 
counter with up to 99,999 worth of damage. Keep bringing them back to 
life manually or better yet use auto-phoenix to maximize the amount of 
turns you'll get before Don Tonberry stops counterattacking. Once he 
stops counterattacking, just kill him. Enjoy all the AP you get. It 
is possible given that you are fast enough and have auto-phoenix to 
reach 99 S. Levels.

If you are at low levels, then just RUN AWAY after he gets close. Use 
Tidus' flee ability for best results. You will still get all the AP you 
earned for the target character with the overdrive-to-AP ability.

You WILL run out of certain spheres, especially Power Spheres. 
In the import, you could overkill Kottos in the Monster Arena to get
something like 40 of any sphere. I think this still works in the
American version but be advised that you'll need to be fairly
powerful to beat/overkill it. A sphere distiller (available at some
item shops), makes it so you can get any sphere type that you want.
Personally I embark on the capture quests and before you know it,
your spheres are back up to par.

I am working on more alternatives right now. Obviously something like 
Avenger, which gives you AP for every time someone dies, might work 
well in a similar Don Tonberry (any overpowered enemy) way.

****If you are playing FFX and you want to know what method of gaining 
a lot of AP can be done the EARLIEST IN THE GAME, it is the Don Tonberry 
method. The Don Tonberry method can be done as soon as you get to Mt. 
Gagazet for the first time! The Don Tonberry Method is great for people 
who can't get past Mt. Gagazet Seymour and Yunalesca!****

----------------------King Cactuar Trick----------------------------

*This method is good, but it is not better than the Don Tonberry method.
King Cactuar has a randomness factor that could result in you dying
before you even get to anything about 100,000 AP. It consistently yields
less average AP than the Don Tonberry method*

Obviously you'll need the Overdrive to AP ability. See the Don Tonberry 
section to find out how to obtain this. Also make sure you have
the overdrive method set to Stoic or Comrade. Unlike the Don Tonberry 
method, having the auto-phoenix ability is essentially a must. This will use
your phoenix down items so keep that in mind. 2x or 3x AP abilities
are optional but will help greatly.

Your objective is to capture King Cactaur. This can be done by capturing
the fiends on the Thunder Plains. Follow a method similar to Don Tonberry 
by fighting Cactuar King in the battle arena. Make sure you pay attention
to keeping people alive, especially keeping an eye on which characters
are alive and have the auto-phoenix. You'll want to attack and let people
be brought back to life. Be careful not to get yourself killed. You can
run away and still get AP thanks to the Overdrive to AP ability. 

When I was doing this, I found auto-haste to be useful on the "sacrificial"
characters. I've been told to use hastega but since you don't stay with the
haste attribute after dying, it's sort of a waste.

So to summarize:

Overdrive to AP
Auto-Phoenix on at least one character
Capture the fiends at the Thunder Plains (at least it's not avoiding the
200 lightning strikes!)
Comrade or Stoic overdrive

Thanks to some of the AP TRICK FAQ readers submitting this method and helping
with the FAQ (Chocobo91, Dantonel, etc) and ultimately the Internet users 
Orca782 and Gamepro2817 whom the King Cactuar method originated from, I'm 
adding the King Cactuar method (by popular demand). It is very similar
to the Don Tonberry method. Keep in mind that it can't be done very early
in the game. You'll definitely need to be late enough in the game to
travel freely and it doesn't yield as much AP on average.

--------------Automated AP Trick: American Alternative 2--------------

This automated trick is listed next for those who want to leave their 
PS2s to level up for them and get a snack, go out, or otherwise continue 
with their lives. The closest I can figure as of now to create mass AP 
generation automatically (like my first Japanese AP Trick) is via the 
following trick. You'll require a turbo controller and some 
tape. This works better at later stages of the game when your team 
is a relative powerhouse in comparison to many of the region's 
enemies. Simply find an area where you can face a wall and tape 
down your turbo controller in the direction of where you can 
continually walk but not actually go anywhere. Right seems to work
best. On a secondary menu the game will want to move in the direction 
you have taped down. So to use Yuna's Pray for example (which is 
semi-important since it gives you HP restoration at no cost to her), 
you'll want it to be the last skill in her Special menu. Once you 
get past a certain point on the Sphere Grid, it might not be. At that 
point, you should be powerful enough to get past these battles without 
Pray. Obviously, you'll need to tape down the x button so that you'll 
automatically select commands. If you are powerful enough, the Omega 
Ruins are ideal. Random battles will ensue simply because you are 
walking in place. 

Actually the real key is to find a spot on an angular portion of the
terrain. You're aiming for a place where the screen starts to shake 
left and right but you are really technically running in place. Try the 
Gagazet mountain cave for a couple of those if you are having real trouble
and want to see it working. Try using an up/right taped down combination 
for best results for those who can't do it.

Hopefully you can utilize characters with a strong attack or use a 
reduced MP ability on Lulu when you get around to using her. I warn you,
it's a tricky affair for using her since her attack is weak and you'll have
to use either her first or last magic in her menu list. I would suggest
using her with two really strong characters to back her weak attack. 
Ideally you would want a region that maximizes AP but enemies inflict 
little damage. Once you have reached a certain level of statistics, feel 
free to move on to the next hardest region that you can kill people rather 
quickly with the amount of AP you can get maximized. 

When you're doing this for a while, another problem that pops up is
that you will run out of inventory space if you do it for too
long of a time (thanks to ianmajor@hotmail.com for using Alternative 2 
for a long enough period of time). Keep that in mind and try to clear
up inventory space. The game will ask you which item you want to keep
or remove, thus messing up the trick.

The amount of time you will need to leave your PS2 on doing this to
reach S. Level 99 (max amount of S. Levels) depends on if you are 
using the APx2 or APx3 abilities and the Overdrive-to-AP and the region
you are fighting in. Essentially, the options are limitless for 
planning out methods using the Overdrive-to-AP in conjunction with 
this method. Obviously other overdrive methods will work better 
than Loner so please experiment. 

This is the end of the American portion of the AP Trick FAQ. Just in 
case you didn't know already, the Japanese version would have allowed 
you to get to S. Level 99 in less than 10 minutes with haste cast upon 
the intended character. Thankfully the alternative methods provide 
something very similar and in some cases just as fast (alternative 
method 1).

Thanks for reading my FAQ. If the trick works out well for you, please
feel free to email me.


This Mini-FAQ is about a method to building up your S. Level to its
maximum. There are ways to vary this technique so I've listed some of 
the wildcards within the trick. To help those playing the import
that do not understand much Japanese, this will be a step-by-step guide.

The overall purpose of this is to build yourself up to S. Level 99; the
maximum S. Level you can have at a given time. Final Fantasy X has
replaced the traditional experience and level system with the AP and S.
Level system. The S. Level trick will raise your level to 99 after only
10-20 mins of battle!

First and foremost you need the following item:

Doorway to Tomorrow (x10)

This can be acquired in two methods. The first is a one-time acquisition
by stealing from the Ultima Weapon boss in the Omega Ruins. You can
input the airship coordinates for Omega Ruins (X-74 Y-36 Z-doesn't
matter) through the third option on the airship map screen. The second
method would be to use the bribe command on Gagazett Mountain. Gagazett
is the snow-covered mountain just past the Nagi Plains. When you fight
the three robotic enemies while climbing in the snowy region, the smaller
one should be Auto Commander. You'll recognize him because he has 3700 HP.
Bribe him with 20 times that amount (74,000 gil). He'll run away and drop
Doorway to Tomorrow x2. Repeat as necessary.

Add Drive to AP:

With 10 Doorway to Tomorrows, enter the menu screen and find the
weapon-augmenting screen. Make sure you already have a pretty good weapon
on Tidus for example. You might want to have more than one slot open on
the weapon in order to add APx2 or APx3 if you have the items for it.
We'll use him as the test case. Now find the weapon he has equipped and
bring up the abilities menu. Near the bottom of that menu should be some
fairly recognizable abilities such as APx2 and APx3. You should also see
another one with "AP" clearly in the name. That one is Drive to AP ability.
It should cost 10 Doorway to Tomorrows. Obviously equip that ability. 

Change Overdrive Type:

After that you'll want to move to the overdrive menu from the main menu.
You'll want to change the method that leads to overdrive. One of these
methods is the alone method. The second option on the top of the overdrive
menu screen allows you to change the type. Alone should be near the
bottom. It is very easy to tell if you have it. The only way your overdrive
meter will build is when both of the other characters in a battle are
dead. Obviously the person with the alone overdrive must be alive.
Then it will build up with your commands.

Frequently Asked Question:

"Dear CronoRye, I've tried everything on that menu but I don't see
the Alone type for a certain character!"

There's a good chance that Yuna and Lulu won't have the Alone
overdrive. To teach them it, enter into a battle with a weak
enemy and kill off everyone else in your party. Obviously you can 
only do this with one character that needs the overdrive method at a time.
Then just sit there and keep hitting triangle over and over again.
Cast curative and defensive spells accordingly. It will take a 
few minutes of doing this so be patient. Eventually a message
will show up telling you that you've learned the overdrive 
technique 'alone.'

Choose your Battle:

I chose Bisaido Island as the destination because of the weak enemies. You
can take your airship there or if you are doing this in the middle of the
game, try to go back to an area with weaker enemies assuming that you can
acquire the necessary materials. You can compensate for stronger enemies
by casting shell or augmenting your defense against the type of enemies
you're most likely to encounter. To continue with Bisaido as the test
example, you'll need to head towards an area with encounters. Before
your first battle, make sure this new weapon with the Drive to AP ability
 is NOT equipped. Equip anything else you want. I know you can switch
weapons in battle but this is the easiest method for any importers with
little to no knowledge of Japanese. Walk into a battle and proceed to
kill off your two other allies. Then hit the triangle button to defend
a few times until your overdrive meter has filled up. Once it is full,
go ahead and kill the enemies. Next, go to your menu and switch to
your weapon with the Drive to AP ability. Walk around to encounter
another battle. Make sure you keep the same characters that died since
their 1-HP will make them easier to kill for the enemies and yourself.
Once again, kill your other two allies off. At this point, you'll
probably find it easiest to leave the Dingo (the orange wolf-like one)
as the lone enemy. Proceed to cast Haste on yourself and slow on the
Dingo or enemy of your choice. You should now have several turns in
a row.

The Method:

At this point, the AP trick is up to you. Every time you press triangle
(defend), you'll accrue a lot of AP. A weak enemy like Dingo won't
substantially hurt you the few times he'll have a chance to hit you,
so don't worry about your HP. Just keep hitting triangle to defend.
Personally I use my old PSOne turbo controller and tape down the
triangle button. Anyone who remembers the FF3 (6) waterfall leveling up
trick with Banon will remember doing something similar. If you don't
have a turbo controller for PS1 or PS2, then it is up to you to manually
hit triangle over and over again. Regardless, the amount of time you
leave your controller doing it or you yourself do it is arbitrary. I'd
say to do it for about 10 minutes at first and see where you end up
since APx2 or x3 can really speed this whole thing up. 

After you decide you've had enough, go ahead and kill the enemy. You'll
see your AP is a ridiculous amount and surely you'll get to S. Level 99.
Most likely it will take you a few times of doing this to get around the
entire Sphere Board. 

Clearly you can do this with every character so have fun. 

My AP Trick is an extremely effective way to gain AP. You can also mirror this
method by using the Ally mode against any enemy. It is much slower but the
benefit is that you can level up three at a time instead of one. Obviously
repeat the Alone methods set up with overdrive to AP and a turbo controller.
There are also some small variations with other overdrive but both of these
are enough to last.


The biggest problem you'll encounter is running out of regular sphere
board pieces. You'll be so powerful that you might as well fight several
random battles in any place you feel will yield the most. 

The second problem you'll run into is that you'll be at 9xxx HP and
you'll still have more than half the board left. I suggest consulting
DokiWaku's excellent Secrets guide. You'll find out how to exceed Max
HP (up to 99,999) and exceed Max Attack (up to 99,999), etc. Just a note
though, some of the ultimate weapons have these properties intrinsically.
For example, Tidus' ultimate weapon already has the exceed Max Attack

I hope this helps everyone who is playing. Honestly though, I suggest
not using this until after you've beaten the game and want to explore
since the regular FFX bosses are rather challenging all the way through
if you aren't doing every single monster quest, using this trick, or
using the Magu 3 Sisters. You'll still be no match for some of the
special monster trainer battles though!

Credits and Thanks:

Thanks to John-Luke who sold me his Japanese PS2. 
Thanks to DokiWaku for the solid tips in the secrets FAQ.
Thanks to Muni Shinobu for the Steal FAQ (the Ultima Weapon steal)
Thanks to Rocki for being an angel.
Thanks to Squaresoft creating another spectacular Final Fantasy.

This document Copyright 2001/2002 Ryan Charles. Do not reprint this in 
any form of print media. I will not grant permission for use of any
text contained in this guide, or the uploading of this guide to any
website other than gamefaqs.com or www.vortexonline.com. 
Please do not email me asking for permission. Sorry but if you've
read earlier versions of this FAQ you'll know what happened and
why I'm simply not even offering the chance of permission.

The term "AP Trick" was coined in July 2001 by Ryan Charles during the
creation of this guide.

Currently, only www.VortexOnline.Com and www.GAMEFAQS.com are allowed 
to host this file.