ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo F I N A L F A N T A S Y T W E L V E ~~ The political simulator --------------------------------------- zukalous(at)gameintestine(dot)com THIS FAQ CAN ONLY BE POSTED ON THE FOLLOWING SITES: www.gameintestine.com www.gamefaqs.com www.ign.com --------------------------------------- _____________________________________________ | Introduction | Well here we are again. Number 12. Same old same old: Androgynous brat fights to save the world by traveling deep into some dungeons, monsters approach only to stand around as we hack them to death, talking rabbits perform magic and giant chickens run around. It must be Final Fantasy because in what other franchise is that considered same old same old. This version is actually the first game to use gambits which has finally programming fun. This iteration should be pretty good. I was looking at the box and it is rated T for Teen because of the following "alcohol reference, partial nudity, and suggestive themes" which means we will probably get to see some pixilated boobs attached to someone who is drunk. Read this guide and I will be sure to point it out when it happens. Final Fantasy 12 is a bit of a departure from the other 11.5 (or however the frick you calculate FFX-2) in that it is actually a political revolution simulator. _____________________________________________ | About this guide | The audience for this guide is the casual Final Fantasy player. Maybe you like the games, been playing them since FFVII, curious about the cut scenes, when you beat the game you may try a few sub quests. But, you are not going to even try and hunt down all weapons, find every esper, and kill every boss. This is like the Wii of guides. I want to get you through the main storyline with as little hassle as possible. Before any big boss fights I will give you a shopping list of potions, armors, or spells you may need. Recommended character levels will also be listed throughout the game to make sure your party is strong enough to proceed. Final Fantasy games like to trick you into getting stuck in dungeons with only one HP potion left and then sending the hardest boss against you. I feel bad for people that get stuck like that. This guide will keep that from happening. I also want point out all the cool things in this game. The art direction is quite good and there are a number of details people may miss if they don't look closely enough. The architecture, most specifically, has some parallels to our real-life world and I will be sure to point them out. This guide is also for people who may have put the game down for a month and are just getting back into it. I have detailed the plot so that you can do a little back reading to catch yourself up with what is going on in the overall story. Finally, if you are one of those hard core types I will tell you what chests not to open so that you can get the zodiac spear. So, before we start here are some tips, background: - Do not use ethers, elixirs, or any other MP boost potion. In FFXII they are very scarce and will need to be saved for the final boss - Don't sell accessories - they have saved me a few times, bosses in future battles may tie you down with something you can use later. - I will use the following terms: + Tanks are your front line who rely on shields and swords + Casters/Healers are your magic users + Buffs are any effects that increase your character's performance _____________________________________________ | The Themes of Final Fantasy XII | Identity - Before the empire invaded, there was an entire ruling class hierarchy. However following the fall of Damalsca everyone who held power lost it. Look at key characters such as Basch and Ashe and see how they seek to reclaim/deal with their new identities. Human made solutions to problems - FFXII seems to emphasize the fact that "man-made" objects will not always be the best. Pay attention to what the various judges think about man-made objects vs natural or divinely created things. Also see how the people in old and new Archades live with the ultimate man-made object: money. Science Vs Nature - Magicite is a powerful element. However, there is a debate over what is manufactured and what is real. Is it good for Humes to create such a powerful device? Sound similar to today's politics? Mmmm Hmmm. The Outcast - each one of the characters is an outcast to some regard. Balthier - The judges Fran - Her village Ashce - Kingdom Vaan - From his home Basch - Trator Pinelo - Not sure Fate vs Free Will - The gods play an important role in this game. They often seem to influence the actions of the people in Ivalice. Watch out for terms such as "the fates", "string", "thread" or being "bound." Also, any time characters are brought together due to amazing odds, they were probably driven there by the gods. On the other side is Free Will, or humans having total control over their destiny. Key words are "history" and "hands of man." Revenge - Keep track of who is trying to level the score with whom. Also see who forgives and who maintains their grudge. _____________________________________________ | Hour by Hour review of FFXII | The following is a graph of how entertaining FFXII is on an hour by hour basis. The vertical line is the entertainment factor from 1-10. The number of hours is listed along the bottom. FFXII started strong but slows in the middle before resurrecting itself by the end. 10| 9| 8| * * ** * * 7| * * ** * * * * 6| * * ** * * ** * * * 5| **** **** * * ** * * * ** ** *** * 4| *********** * * *** ** * * * **** ** **** ** * 3|************** ** ********** *** *** ****** ***** * ********** * 2|********************************* * ********************** ************ 1|************************************************************************ 012345678911111111112222222222333333333344444444445555555555666666666677 01234567890123456789012345678901234567890123456789012345678901 For a description of what was done at each hour go to: www.gameintestine.com/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=178 _____________________________________________ | Contents | ACT I Title Screen ----------------- (x01) Red and Rotten in the desert - (x02) Giza Plains ------------------ (x03) Royal Palace of Rabanastre --- (x04) Garamsythe Waterway ---------- (x05) BOSS: Firemane ---------- (x05a) Nalbina Dungeons ------------- (x06) Barheim Passage -------------- (x07) BOSS: Mimic Queen ------- (x07a) Return to Rabanastre --------- (x08) Bhujerba --------------------- (x09) Lhusu Mines ------------------ (x10) Dreadnought Leviathan -------- (x11) BOSS: Judge Ghis -------- (x11a) On to Ondore ----------------- (x12) Ogir-Yensa Sandsea ----------- (x13) Nam-Yensa Sandsea ------------ (x14) The Tomb of Raithwall -------- (x15) BOSS: Garuda ------------ (x15a) BOSS: Demon Wall -------- (x15b) BOSS: Belias ------------ (x15c) BOSS-ler ---------------- (x15d) ACT II Giza Plains in the Rain ------ (x16) Ozmone Plane ----------------- (x17) Jahara - land of the Garif --- (x18) Ozmone Plane / Golmore Jungle (x19) Golmore Jungle --------------- (x20) Eruyt Village ---------------- (x21) Henne Mines ------------------ (x22) BOSS: Tiamat ------------ (x22a) Back to Golmore Jungle ------- (x23) BOSS: Elder Wyrm -------- (x23a) Paramina Rift (North) -------- (x24) Mt. Bur-Omisace -------------- (x25) Note to the Player ----------- (x26) Paramina Rift (South) -------- (x27) Stilshrine of Miriam --------- (x28) BOSS: Vinuskar ---------- (x28a) BOSS: Mateus ------------ (x28b) Mt Bur-Omisace --------------- (x29) BOSS: Judge Bergan ------ (x29a) ACT III The Mosphoran Highwaste ------ (x30) The Salikawood --------------- (x31) The Phon Coast --------------- (x32) Tchita Uplands --------------- (x33) Sochen Cave ------------------ (x34) BOSS: Mandragora -------- (x35a) BOSS: Ahriman ----------- (x35b) Old Archades ----------------- (x36) Archades --------------------- (x37) Draklor Laboratory ----------- (x38) BOSS: Dr. Cid ----------- (x38a) ACT IV Balfonheim Port -------------- (x39) Feywood ---------------------- (x40) BOSS: Rafflesia --------- (x40a) Ancient city of Giruvegan ---- (x41) BOSS: Daedalus ---------- (x41a) BOSS: Tyrant ------------ (x41b) The Great Crystal ------------ (x42) BOSS: Shemhazai --------- (x42a) Ridorana Cataract ------------ (x43) Pharos - First Ascent -------- (x44) BOSS: Hydro ------------- (x44a) BOSS: Pandaemonium ------ (x44b) BOSS: Slyt -------------- (x44c) Pharos - Second Ascent ------- (x45) Boss: Fenrir ------------ (x45a) Third Ascent: Mete of Dynasty (x46) BOSS: Hashmal ----------- (x46a) BOSS: Gabranth ---------- (x46b) BOSS: Cid --------------- (x46c) ACT V The Final Preparations ------- (x47) Sky Fortress Bahamut --------- (x48) BOSS: Gabranth ---------- (x48a) Boss: Vayne ------------- (x48b) BOSS: Vayne Novus ------- (x48c) BOSS: The Undying ------- (x48d) Denouement ------------------- (x49) APPENDIX _____________________________________________ | Title Screen (x01) | An airship descend through some clouds which part and the camera descends like it is the opening of "The Simpsons" but only if it was "Simpsons 3035 AD." Actually the text tells us that it is the year 604 in the Kingdom of Dalmasca. PUSH START! View of the market. It is just a typical busy day at the bazaar: Lizards talk with giant pigs and a pair of Tyra Banks clones hurry on their way to work at the Playboy mansion. A Disneyland-esq parade swings into full gear lead by an army of Teddy Ruxpen dolls. There is a chicken drawn carriage and there is a handsome couple riding on it. The couple is actually in the middle of their wedding. She is wearing a traditional white wedding gown while he is wearing an Apollo Moon Landing space suit (sans space helmet). This whole extravaganza (Teddy Ruxpins and all) was clearly her idea. Guys, if a girl ever tells you that she wants a fairytale wedding, you say no! You can kiss any freewill goodbye from that point on. Like most grooms he is just along for the ride, waving carefully, breaking a smile here and there, just trying to make the best of it and make her happy. He half smiles at her probably because he is half hung-over and half anticipating all the crap he is going to get from his buddies. The couple moves inside a huge cathedra and someone "Pronounces them man and wife." A hundred white birds signify the upcoming wedding night. But before that, quick cut to the wedding reception, which is being held in a war room. Instead of dancing, everyone plays some kind of Risk/Strategy game. An Albino comes running in proclaiming that the Nabudice has fallen. The guy who was just married volunteers to fight with the albino for the sake of the kingdom. A huge starwars-esq air ship descends as warriors prepare for battle. Atop the cathedral, the groom gets a new sword and looks over at his new wife then turns to the assembled crowd and performs a William-Wallace-style yell. The crowd eats it up like candy. A flying high-heeled shoe zooms off and then reappears in the heat of battle. The battle for middle earth rages below. I would tell you who is winning but it really looks a giant free-for-all. I can't even tell who is on what side. They really should play shirts VS skins. The groom, the albino, and a bunch of other soldiers ride in on chickens. Albino says that they should withdraw. The groom disagrees because there are still some guys chanting around a giant bon fire. The groom shouts that this is for his father and then he is quickly given an arrow tracheotomy. A huge spaceship falls on the battle below. The albino picks up the groom and on fowl-back they jump over the attackers. Well, the wedding probably lasted longer than the marriage because we are now at a funeral for the groom. His bride, I don't know if she had time to change out of here wedding dress, looks over his open casket. We started with a wedding and ended with a funeral. Open casket funeral, it looks like they laid him to rest in a lettuce wrap. Pan over a smoldering battle field, crows are everywhere. Well, way to start this game off on a high note. Makes me really want to continue. Final Fantasy: Ecks, eye, eye! Spotlight on a book. Ugh I hate words? I didn't play a video game so I can read. A man who sounds like a speak-n-spell says "The death of Rasler Hetos Nabradia was a tragedy for Dalmasca." He goes on to tell us how the Archadian Empire was advancing towards the other Empire of Rozarria. First step to Rozarria is through Nabradia (the grooms home). The next country in line for the Archadian march, Dalmasca (the bride's country) counter attacks the Empire and ends up loosing the fight. Dalmasca has no choice but to sign a surrender treaty. The treaty is said to be "Signed with steel and Writ in royal blood." I don't know why Writ is capitalized. All black: someone asks if you can hear me. Eyes slowly open. A man in front of us has awfuly crusty hat hair. I have never seen hair like that, actually I have but he worked the grease fryer at an Arby's. Greasy asks if "I" can stand. It turns out "my" name is Reks am "I" am in Nalbina Fortress. Reks is seventeen and is an orphan living in Rabanastre. Reks and the party he is with are attacked by sworded men. Do I get to fight? Nope! More cut scene. Greasy - name Basch - kills all of them. Reks is alarmed to see all this bloodshed. Enter the tutorial mode. Learn to look, walk, and talk. Try it out by talking to the guy by the gate. Run up to the gate to open it. Basch tells us to open the party menu, I used to open the party menu a lot more in college, but now that I am old, not as much anymore. <<frown>> Time for another cut scene. A spaceship attacks us and its name is Tornberry. Start attacking it - don't worry it is very unlikely that you will die. Basch Shoots green fire at him. Tornberry has a Scottish accent. Tonberry escapes - more like lameberry. The attacking party runs through a castle. Reks asks if Vossler has died. Basch tells Reks "men like him don't die places like this." It looks pretty nice - I wouldn't mind dieing there. Basch tells Reks that we need to find the king because the attackers may kill the king the moment he signs the surrender. Run around the halls and look at the minimap for the green flashing rectangles - those are the doors. Go up them and on the second floor is a save crystal. Go up and around to the next set of stairs. Someone says intruder and attack us. Reks says he will stay behind to fight. Let the battle run on auto pilot. Keep attacking the enemy with the lowest power. If you kill off one of them, press X again to attack another one. After defeating the three, don't go up the stairs, go through the passage door. Run around and see the cut scene of a bunch of dead guys. Reks gets all huffy-breathy and sees the king lying dead in his throne. The greasy captain gets right in Reks face and stabs Reks. Basch killed the king because his majesty was a traitor. Guards rush in and seize Basch and let Reks die. A Black Pants man enters and Basch says "we will never surrender to you." Then black pants says that the Empire owns Dalmasca now. As he dies, Reks yells out "Van!" A little strange that Reks' last though was of his ride. I mean even if it is a totally boss 1978 conversion van with the indirect black lights, built in keg-erator, and a mattress in the back, shouldn't he be thinking of his family. The narrator-n-spell describes how Dalmasca falls to the Archadian Empire, and Princess Ashe (the bride in the wedding) kills herself. Basch Fon Greasy was put to death for killing the king. A new scene of waterfalls. This may be the Hoover damn. Is that Meg Ryan? Oh, it's not, just a kid named Vaan. He is standing in exceptionally clean and architecturally impressive sewers that contain three rats. When you have control of him, kill all of them (look for the red spots on the map). After killing them, Vaan tells his friend Kytes that he has "work" to do real; suspicious like. We know it is not work that he will be doing. Vaan emerges from the sewer and the camera descends on the town. The town is Rabanastre and it is two years after fall of Dalmasca. Rabanastre is under the iron grip of the Empire. However, the town doesn't look that bad. In fact, the village would have a whole exotic, Morocco, Bedouin feel too it except that everyone is either Aryan or a giant lizard. Some guys in armor with English accents steal from a fruit vender. Probably trying to steal limes. Really, if this petty crime is the most oppressive thing the Empire does, I don't think the people of Rabanastre can complain. Vaan pickpockets from the Knights and is able to disappear into the crowd. For tyring to impress upon us the dread that is a marshal state, the music sure is upbeat. Vaan doesn't get far because he runs into Cindy Brady. Her name is Penelo and she accuses him of stealing. She tries to be all Robin Hood and return it for the Dalmascans. Vaan, even for a thief, is a real prick. He steals and doesn't share, steals bread, and doesn't work for their friend Migelo. They discuss how hard and poor they are even though they are both wearing immaculate and custom tailored clothing. A huge airship passes overhead as an excuse for a quick up-skirt shot of Penelo (keep in mind the instruction book lists here at 17 years old - yuck!) Vaan says he wants to be a Sky Pirate. However, that vest of his is saying more "Pirates of Penzance" than "Sky Pirate". Penelo smiles because, well, I don't know why. Penelo tells you to lend a hand to Migelo. I think "o" is added to anything to make it sound exotic. Lets see: check your mapo and head southo to the lowest branch of the towno. Ya it works. Using your map, head towards the southern pocket of the town. Everyone either talks about how Rabanastre is in lockdown because there is a new Council or about how horrible the Empire is. When you get into the generally southern quadrant of town, Migelo tells you that he lost some foodstuffs. He rambles and wants us to fetch Kytes (the other kid in the sewer) back from the bar. Vaan says it "sounds wild" and I can't tell if he said that sarcastically or fearfully. Press select to access your map and head towards the flashing red X. The destination is a tavern and there is Kytes. He explains that he was looking for a courier and discovered why the courier got lost. Vaan looks at a picture of a tomato-head monster that is tacked to the wall. Tomaj shows up and says "nastiness" is stopping the couriers. Vaan volunteers to kill off the monster. Tomaj explains bills and bounties. _____________________________________________ | Red and Rotten in the desert (x02) | Check your map and head for the red X. When you get to the gate, the guard stops Vaan. Vaan lies up the guard about how he is getting some food for the consul. The guards are scared about making the consul mad so they let him through the gates. On the other side, there is a group of people waiting to get in. Hit the save crystal. Venture off and into the desert. It is your typical desert where T-Rexes chase wild tiger-wolves. Walk straight ahead to the cliff. If you see that T-Rex, run, and do not fight it. The tomato is under the tree at the end of the cliff. Start attacking it. When it is low on Hit Points (HP) it will jump down. Follow it then finish it off. Cut Scene: Vaan sees some flowers and picks them. He says that these "Galbana Lilies" will make a nice souvenir. And that was it - anticlimactic end to fighting an animated tomato beast. Go back the way you came to Rabanastre Proper Talk to the Kytes to start a cut scene about getting back into Rabanastre. A white Chocobo comes up and the guards let it pass because the birds are parade grade. Vaan's flowers get smashed. Note the metaphor, at this point I am guessing they mean hope - which is smashed by the empire. Miguelo comes out of the gate and starts talking up the guards. He is one of those close talkers. The guards let everyone back in through the gates probably because they don't want to talk to Migelo any more. Cut Scene: Daniel day Lewis in full Mohican mode rides through Rabanastre atop a parade ship. He smugly looks down at the people - who all look like they just got back from their government forced workout at the gym. Penelo holds Vaan's arm, I hope she is not his sister because that would be real creepy. Side note though to the girls: hold a guys arm like that and he will be yourse. An armored guard introduces the new Councilor from Arcadia. His name is Lord Vayne - how Dickens. He jumps from the ship and goes down to mingle into the monochromatically well-tanned crowd. The Councilor asks why people hate him. The crowd says stuff like "spit on your Empire." Vayne references the slain King to show his sympathy. The camera switches to the sky cam. Lord Vayne says lets make peace just like your King would have wanted. He tells them that you can hate me all you want but that is fine as long as you welcome peace. Oh and he used the phrase "Slings and arrows" - what a bard. He shoots off typical political lies/promises that he "will defend Dalmasca." I guess the two years of oppressive Empirical rule were not so bad because after a two minute speech the crowd starts clapping. How naive are these citizens if they can be lulled into approval by a few sentences spoken in iambic pentameter? I think I heard someone yell out "CHURCH CHURCH." Satisfied with his speech, Vayne turns from the crowd. He says to one of his advisors that the cathedral there is magnificent. I would call it gaudy, but looking at his armor, I have a feeling there is very little that he finds overindulgent. Migelo comes up to kiss ass but Vayne is all "hey man we are on the level, just call me dude and lets go get some beers." The Councilor sounds like a decent guy but if you have played any Final Fantasy game before you will know that any guy with long hair always turns out to be evil. The camera then turns to Penelo and Joan Rivers sitting on the steps. Oh wow, my mistake that is Vaan. Vaan wants to try to get into the Fete. I looked it up, and a Fete is a "day of celebration; holiday" (www.dictionary.com). Vaan says that he will sneak into the palace and get all the treasure. With the loot he is sure to acquire, Vaan offers to buy everyone dinner and Penelo teases by saying that he would just buy an airship. She runs off. Did she just turned down dinner? Follow the map to the gate that leads to Lowtown. Lowtown is implied to be the slums of Rabanastre. However, it looks about as rough as the red-light district in Salt Lake City. It actually looks like what would happen if you took Rabanastre proper and titrated out everything that looks like it came from the Aladin Hotel and Casino. I like Lowtown much better. Pull up the map and head for the red X - which is Old Dalan's place. ZODIAC SPEAR WARNING: The Zodiac Spear is a special weapon that is not required AT ALL to beat this game. It is, however, super-secret and super- difficult to obtain because it spawns only 1 out of 1000 times. Furthermore, it will only spawn if you DON'T open certain chests. I will tell you which chests to avoid so that you can have a shot at this weapon. Here is the first chest to avoid. ZODIAC CHEST: Do not open the chest that is right near Dalan's place. Cut Scene: Dalan looks like the Maharishi. You know he is exotic too because there are rugs behind him. Vaan asks him how to get into the palace because he wants to steal all the treasures. Dalan smokes a hooka and his accent migrates from East Indian to Jamaican. He says there is a secret passage to the Palace that can only be accessed with a magic crescent stone. The camera focuses on a book - that looks like the one at the beginning of the story - does that mean he was the narrator? Or maybe it is just a script. Or maybe that is just the book from the Never Ending Story. Dalan tells Vaan that he need to charge the sunstone to make the crystal work. So to charge it, go to the Nomads of Giza Plains. Leave, and make a quick right outside of Dalan's and go to the gate to get out of Southgate. Get a map of Giza by going through the main gate and back into town. From the SOUTHERN PLAZA go to the Northwest to find a little Moogle that will sell you a map to Giza for 30 gil. Buy it, and then head back to the south gate and into Giza Plains. You should also activate the clan provisionar at this point so that you can earn extras as you defeat bosses. - Go to the bar that is located in EAST END of Rabanastre. That is the same spot where you read about fighting that tomato. - Go to the balcony to talk to Tomaj he will give you 300 Gil for killing the tomato and will tell you to see Bangaa, he is in Rabanastre's NORTH END. The face icon on your map indicates where it is. - Go inside and talk to the moogle at the top of the stairs: named Montblanc - After he gives you the proper papers, talk to him again. He will give you a prize for each big boss you defeated. - The clan shop in MUTHRU BAZAAR will now be open to you. The actual shop is indicated with the pot icon. - As you finish posted hunts you will be given marks. The more marks you get the more stuff will be available at the Clan Provisioner. Here are the levels of the items you need. - As you beat bosses in this game come back to Montblanc because he will give you additional rewards. _____________________________________________ | Giza Plains (x03) | Shopping List - Heal from the White Magic 1 on the License board - Heal spell from the magic shop in Rabanastre THRONE ROAD > NOMAD VILLAGE > GIZAS NORTH BANK > GIZAS SOUTH BANK > CRYSTAL GLADE THRONE ROAD In the Giza Deserts, head south to the Nomad Village. Talk to the nomad named Masyua to learn about the Sunstone. Vaan needs to find Jinn, who went exploring to the south. These nomads let a boy run around a monster filled desert? When I was a kid I wasn't even allowed to go trick or treating alone. Cut Scene: Penelo looks like she is on a Greenpeace mission to the Nomads of Giza. Vaan wonders why Penelo is there and she says she would be surprised too but assumes that he is up to "no good. She doesn't have to guess that he is up to no good, Vaan already told her that he was going to rob the palace - that is "no good" no matter how you look at it. Penelo still wants to tag along though. Do you think that is head lice causing their hair to move or just those Giza winds? Use the save crystal then listen to what she has to say about Gambits and parties. Follow the directions at the top of this section to navigate the Giza Planes. If you die and Penelo is still alive, use a phoenix down to revive him. CRYSTAL GLADE At the southern most field, find Jinn sitting under a black rock. He hurt his leg running from monsters. He gives us a shadestone to absorb the energy from the sunstone. Go to each golden, glowing Sunstone and press X by it to charge up your shadestone. Find the stones in several of the zones in Giza, you can see them from quite a distance. You need three to charge the shadestone. After every charge, Vaan holds his head like he is going to do a lap dance. When all stones are charged, a cut scene shows Vaan/Penelo returning to the nomad village. The nomads let Vaan keep the sun stone. Return to Rebanastre and venture down to the lowtown. Walk back to Dalan's. Penelo talks and says that its been a long time since we did anything together. Her crotch is right in camera. She hints that she would really hate to see me go... Vaan lies that he will not be going anywhere. Vaan then gives the stone to Dalan who tells him how to get into the palace. Don't worry what he has to say because I will tell you how to get through there. _____________________________________________ | Garamsythe Waterway (x04) | Shopping List: - 5 x Eyedrops - buy from the Traveling Merchant in Northwest lowtown. CENTRAL SPUR STAIRS > NORTHERN SLUICEWAY > NORTH SPUR SLUICEWAY Cut Scene: A man with a buzzy beetle on his head tells another guard to prepare for an invasion. A woman with a blue belt walks up and the scene fades away. That must belt must have some relevance. Go to the north east corner of Lowtown. The music has handclaps, I love that, if I wasn't holding a controller right now I would clap along. Kytes tries to get us in through a gate. Continue through the doors to the Garamsythe. CENTRAL SPUR STAIRS Use the blue crystal to save. Then continue through the tunnels east. Note: if there is a dead end on the map, it usually has a treasure chest at the end of it. NORTH SPUR SLUICEWAY Run up the stairs to reach the Royal Palace. Cut Scene: Fireworks over the castle. Two people are riding a hover motorcycle through the hallways. One of them doesn't seem to be a very good driver so the guy not driving jumps off then hmphs at the camera like "ya I know she is bad driver but look at how hot she is, you would tolerater her too." _____________________________________________ | Royal Palace of Rabanastre (x04) | CELLAR STORES > CELLARS > LOWER HALLS > SECRET PASSAGE > THE GARDEN STAIRS CELLAR STORES: When you regain control of Vaan, don't enter the gate yet. Turn around for a map in the Urn - they turned grandpa into a map? And a save. Now enter the doors. CELLARS ZODIAC CHEST: If you are thinking of going for the Zodiac Spear (I strongly recommend against going for it - it is a waste of time), do not open the chests that are located in the south east corner of this room. Everyone is talking about the Fete. A Guard tells the servants to stay in line. Talk to the guard watching the stairs. He tells you to go back to the room. Talk to the fat lizard servant. He will tell you how to get past the guards. LOWER HALLS It smell like a stealth game in here - which smells like a day old halibut. The object in this room is to sneak up to the Lion Signet and unlock the secret passage. To do so, run around to the easternmost hallway and call for the guard. Then, run around to where they were guarding. The Lion Signet is located in the east/west hallway that is second from the top. Stand on the signet (which is on the floor) and select "use crescent." It will tell you that the secret passage is lit. Call any guards in your way and head to the northwest corner of the room. Look for a faint green light. Select "approach" and the wall will open. Inside the next room, run to the small dead-end and press the switch to unlock the "Suspicious-looking Wall." Cut Scene: Treasure room. What is that sound? Whats with the moaning and grunting? Please don't show it, please don't show it... Oh good, its just Vaan rummaging. The face of a statue opens and there is a glowing thing in there. In walks the man and his totally hot rabbit ear girlfriend. In a Colin Farrell accent he says "Quite a performance and he said he is the leading man." He demands that Vaan give him the Magicite. When he looks away, Vaan escapes out the window. Hey! That ragamuffin just escaped with our Macguffin. When you regain control of Vaan, go up and around the stairs. Cut Scene: Guards are fighting people. Someone drops a bomb. Colin Farrell says they are the Ifrit and they have good timing. Vaan tries to escape but gets caught by Colin, his girlfriend and their bike. Cut Scene: They have crashed and rabit ear asks "What happened? Our hover didn't just drop - it disappeared. Ya just keep playing dumb, try telling that to the insurance company... "Ahh ya my brake pads disappeared just before I ran into that tree." After some introductions we hear that his name is Balthier and you would think his super-hot girl-friend would probably have a super exotic name but nope, it's Fran. I wonder what he uses her ears for... He says she is a Vierra and "Deign to partner with a hume." Which means she condescended to join him. The relationship between them remains ambiguous. Balthier is a sky pirate, just like Han Solo. Fran is his sexy-beast sidekick, just like Chewbacca. Balthier offers Vaan a position in piracy and Vaan is like "oh yes, yes, yes, they like me they like me. Ok man play it cool... play it cool." There is that constant wind again that causes their hair to pulsate. _____________________________________________ | Garamsythe Waterway (x05) | EAST SPUR STAIRS > EAST WATERWAY CONTROL > NO. 11 CHANNEL > EAST SLUICE CONTROL > SOUTHERN SLUICEWAY > WEST LUICE CONTROL > NO. 10 CHANNEL > CENTRAL WATERWAY CONTROL > OVERFLOW CLOACA EAST SPUR STAIRS Use the save crystal. Cut Scene: Balthier says that the people we saw attacking were the rebles trying to assasinate Vayne. However, he was smart enough to know they would attack and drew all the rebles into a trap. Balthier then complains that he soiled himself and needs a change of wardrobe. Follow the lesson on gambits. set up the gambits as follows: For Vaan: Buy the license for heal if you have not already Vaan: [Ally: HP < 70% > Cure] [Foe: Nearest Visible > Attack] Balthier - [Ally: HP < 70% > First Aid], [Foe: leader's target > attack] Fran [Foe: leader's target > fire] [Foe: leader's target > attack] //placing this second means Fran will automatically use physical attacks when she runs out of MP. EAST WATERWAY CONTROL Look along the east wall to pickup a map and eye drops. Work your way south through the sewers. NO. 11 CHANNEL Watch out for the toads as they pack a wallop. It is best to pick one off then flee, heal everyone, run around in circles to restore your MP and then go back to get the next one. EAST SLUICE CONTROL Use the save crystal here. Cut Scene: A woman is attacking a series of "bucket heads." Vaan tell her to jump down. She falls in his arms and they meet eyes, I bet she smells sweet like red/cherry Sanford Mr. Sketch scented markers. The woman joins our party. Fran complains that our party is growing too large - why should she care? Beat back the guards. Vaan introduces everyone, her name is Amalia, and the music swoons which means there is a crush forming. Amalia indicates that she was leading the group that Vayne trapped and killed. Is Vaan turned on? Because his crotch starts glowing. Oh wait, it is just the crystal he stole. Vaan invites the woman to come along despite the fact that she is super bitchy - I say leave her. Run back up to her. She complains that thieves are guiding her. All of sudden Balthier is all for Amalia joining our party as a "Guest." Quick mood change? SOUTHERN SLUICEWAY Run into the room and we see blobs on the roof and all around us. They are called Flan which is funny if you have ever had the Mexican dessert. Fight blobs (named flan): just attack the purple glowing one first because he casts magic to blind your team. If he does blind one of you, use the eye drops. After he is dead, attack the largest Flan. Then work down from there. Screen says CONGRATULATIONS. CENTRAL WATERWAY CONTROL The semicircle has a save crystal, use it. ----- BOSS: Firemane (x05a) ----- - Watch for status attacks like poison and use antidote to remove it. - Turn off any health gambits so that your party will spend more time fighting instead of healing. - Watch closely and use potions if a part member gets too low on health. - Keep Amelia in the attack party, and keep her alive, she will automatically revive someone who gets killed in battle. - Make sure that no one uses a fire based magic because it will refill Firemane's health. ----- END Firemane ----- Death sequence: it turns into a fireball again and flies off into the rest of the sewer. Guards with crossbows surround the party. Balthier tells Amelia to stand down. Vayne is there and he looks puzzled or probably just worried that the humid sewer air will cause kinks and split ends. The Dalmascan crowd around them whispers stuff like "what a bunch of thieves" and "they deserve whatever they get." Ashe is shocked to hear that people think she is a common thief - not in that dress sister. Penelo tries to fight for Vaan's freedom. Vaan looks over at her, shows her how his hands are stuck in a cinder block and then says "Sorry, that dinner will have to wait." Whoa! I think I just controlled this cut scene with my mind because that imperial guard just slapped Vaan in the back of the head real hard. Balthier calms Penelo by giving her a security blanket, scratch that, a security handkerchief to hold on to until they get back. Watching from around the corner, two lizards complain that they should be the ones who get to kill Balthier. Cut Scene: Cut to a light filled window. Vaan enters a small white room with a bed and medical equipment and all of a sudden we are playing E.R. XII. His brother Reks is sitting in a chair and then turns and says "Let's Rock" (in backwards talk). Vaan gives him Galbana Lilies, there is the symbolism. These were the flowers Vaan picked after the Red and Rotten in the Desert hunt. The flowers were smashed by the incoming Chocobos. My guess is the flowers represent Reks who (like the flowers) grew up in the desert and was trampled by the incoming empire. Reks says nothing. Vaan worries that Reks was part of the king's assassination. He then thinks that if it was Reks who killed, he was probably brainwashed by Basch Fon Greasy. Reks disintegrates out the window and Vaan holds the ring that was on his brother's finger. White light floods the screen and the scene ends. At least we didn't have to see a creepy Michael J. Anderson dance sequence. _____________________________________________ | Nalbina Dungeons (x06) | STOCKADE > ARENA > CONFISCATORY > THE BLACK WATCH Vaan awakens and we are looking up at Dormin?! He want's us to go kill a Colossus? Oh, no this is FFXII and we are back now with Vaan. He was knocked out by that emperial guard that I miraculously commanded into striking. Balthier tells him that they are in a dungeon which he surmises must be the bottom of the palace. Fran is looking for a way out. Vaan decides to go for a little walk. STOCKADE Run to the northern most part of the dungeon to the save. As far as dungeons are concerned, it doesn't look too bad, just very sandy. Everyone you talk to says how bad the empire is and how bad it is in the dungeon. Run around to the various chests and collect four "Knots of Rust." Go out the door. Vaan enters a large room with an oculus. Two pigs start beating one of those lizard men. Vaan begs the pigs to stop beating the skinny lizard. First rule of prison: never yell at the big guy everyone calls Tuff Susan. Here is an example why not: the pigs go after Vaan and knock him out. Gather round chillin'! Looks like we got ourselves a good ol' fashion backwater pig fight! Note: I can't believe I worked so hard for a college degree so that I could someday write about a lizard/pig/hume fight. Sometimes I wonder why I do this. Fight against the pigs: - Focus your attacks on one pig at a time. - Use heal and cure as needed to keep your party alive. - Throw the knots of rust you got from the treasure chests to inflict damage. Cut Scene: All the other lizards gather around to see what is happening when the guards arrive. Vaan and Balthier find a real crappy hiding place and then Fran appears to tell them that there is a way through the oubliette. A green lizard scolds the soldiers about their incompetence for loosing Balthier. The Judge shows up - he is the leader of the imperial commanders. The judge approaches the lizard and tells him off - is that a black jock strap on the lizard's nose? The lizards and guards strike out to find the prisoners. They should check the OTHER SIDE of the CAGE that Vaan and Balthier were LOCKED IN. CONFISCATORY ZODIAC CHESTS: If you are thinking of going for the Zodiac Spear, do not open the chests that are located in this room. I recommend opening them, the Zodiac spear is not that great and your chances of getting it are so slim. Don't waste your time. But, if you want to be a dumbass, skip these piles of goodness - I hope you enjoy your stupid spear. Use the save crystal and don't open the treasure chests here if you are going for the spear. Head into the next zone. The gates nearly close on the party, trapping them in a room swarming with soldiers. A guard looks over at the strange sound Balthier made. The guard's mask laid sideways looks like the following emoticon [>-<]. THE BLACK WATCH Head around the large room to the door in the center of it. Fight any of the guards you see to pick up some good loot and EXP. When you get close to the locked magick door you will see a cut scene of the soldiers using a magic spell to unlock it. I swear the magic words were "How are my roots Eliza Dushku?" Follow those knights. A cage is pulled up from the depths and Basch is in it (he was the one who allegedly killed the king and taught us how to talk to NPCs and open doors). His emaciated frame implies he has been there the whole two years since the assassination or spent a lot of time doing calisthenics. The judge removes his mask (he looks a lot like someone we know...) and asks Basch why he still clings to life. Basch says that he is covering for Ondore. The Judge tells the imprisoned Basch that Amalia was caught. As the Judge leaves, he blames Basch for killing the king and thus "throwing away our homeland." As the party walks by Basch pleads for his escape. When Basch tells the party to do it for the good of Dalmasca, Vaan jumps on his cage and blames him for the death of his brother. Hearing the approaching guards, Fran and Balthier join in the cage jumping and descend into the abyss. Basch is free and Vaan attacks him but is pulled away. Balthier calls Basch a "Sword Arm". Which would make me a "controller arm". Vaan seethes with all the teenage angst he can muster. It just makes him look like Julie Bowen from TV's Ed and TV's Lost (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0100866/) _____________________________________________ | Barheim Passage (x07) | The Barheim Passage appears to be a mine or a subway system. There are tracks and broken mine cars. The wires sit everywhere. The arches in this area are directly copied from a real-life building in Spain called the Great Mosque of Cordoba. Those alternating red and white stripes that make up the arches are one of the most copied elements in all of architecture. You will see it everywhere. I live by the University of Arizona and several buildings make use of it. Go to www.gameintestine.com/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=129 for pictures of the temple and of examples of other real building using it. Each stripe that makes up the arch is called a voussoir (pronounced voss-wa). Now go tell your mom that you learned about architecture from a video game and maybe she will buy you another one. Get her to pre-order of God of War II. Based on early screen shots, there is a lot of real world architecture in it. THE LIGHTWORKS > OP SECTOR 29 > GREAT EASTERN PASSAGE > OP SECTOR 36 > OP SECTOR 3 > OP SECTOR 37 > SPECIAL OP SECTOR 3 > NORTH-SOUTH JUNCTION > GREAT CENTRAL PASSAGE > THE ZEVIAH SUBTERRANE > TERMINUS NO. 4 ADJUNCT THE LIGHTWORKS Open the nearby treasure chests and use the save crystal || HOUR - 4:13 || From the second story, walk up to the large cylindrical thing in the middle of the room. Balthier says the fuse is blown so there is no power. Talk to the merchant at the bottom to get a Tube Fuse. Go back up to the cylinder and insert it. Then, go back to the bottom floor and sell all your loot except for teleport stones. You can sell anything in your "items" category that is not equipped. Now is also the time you need to pick who will be your casters and who will be your tanks. A caster will be the person is responsible for healing, applying status cures, enemy status ailments and shooting off magic attacks. Tanks are the front line of team and will need the best weapons and best armor. It really doesn't matter which character you pick for which role because none of the characters in FFXII are pre-disposed to one job or another. Furthermore, by the end of the game most of your characters will have so many licenses that their abilities will overlap. It is just in this early half of the game that you must assign roles and stick to them. I arbitrarily picked Fran and Balthier as my caster. I use Vaan and Balthier as my tank. When you pick your caster, buy just that person the Poisona square from the License Board. Note, to use the spell you must buy it from the License Board and have purchased the spell from the merchant. See Lloyd1337's License Grid map at GameFaqs (http://db.gamefaqs.com/console/ps2/file/final_fantasy_xii_license_grid_na.pn g) Shopping List - Blizzard for everyone - Thunder for caster - Slow caster - Blindna, Poisona (for your caster) - 2 x phoenix downs If you don't have enough to buy all of these things fight through the dungeon to gain loot. Then, come back to this merchant and sell what you have collected. Tanks: On the License board, head straight south to pick up Shield block, battle lore, +100 HP and that quickening. Path - send a second tank to the north east to pickup Accessories, 2, 4, 5, 9, then the quickening. Casters: Buy the Magick lores. The direction they will head on the board is north east. When done with your purchases, press the switch that is adjacent to the merchant and enter the opened door. Balthier explains that this whole area is basically a big mimic crack den where they lie around sucking down the juice. When you first see one, run right up to it and kill it to prevent it from further consuming the power. The fight is easier if you cast their weakness, blizzard. In order to find them all in the level, regularly check your map and look for the word bubble/exclamation point icon. OP SECTOR 29: Continue south through the dungeon and focus all attacks on any mimics that are feeding off of the power. Continue south through here. GREAT EASTERN PASSAGE When you get to the middle of this zone, head up the narrow hallway that leads north. There is a map urn at the end of it. Head south here and enter the door located along the northern wall to get to... OP SECTOR 36 Kill the mimic in here and return to GREAT EASTERN PASSAGE. Move south to... SPECIAL OP SECTOR 3 Kill all the mimics in the room then go to.. OP SECTOR 37 Head to the north end of the room to the switch. Press it to unlock the gate located back in OP SECTOR 3. Cut Scene: Fran says the "mist seethes." Basch, with a bad case of Kerri Russell hair, finds a sword. Balthier coos "Nice moves captain" - that sounded like a come-on to me. Vaan corrects him: "traitor." Whoa touche. They have a little back and forth and Vaan accuses Basch of killed his brother Reks. Bloobidy Bloobidy Bloobidy - Flashback: We hear a bunch of stuff that is real fast and blurry. Somehow Balthier was able to make sense of it realizing that Basch has a twin brother who actually did all the killing. Vaan does not believe it and I wouldn't either. Then Balthier ends the argument by giving the most half-assed resolution - "what is done is done". Now nothing is resolved and we can have another flashback and more confrontation later. Cut scene: A thick green viscous fluid pours over the mimics as they are dropped from the mimic boss. I know it is wrong, but I just got a hankerin for omlettes. Pan back of the beast and we find out her name is Mimic Queen... wait, isn't that the name of a Freddie Mercury cover band? ----- BOSS: Mimic Queen (x07a) ----- Levels: All party members: 9 Gambits: Caster [ally HP < 60% > cure] [Foe: any > blizzard] Tank [Foe: any > blizzard] - She and her babies are vulnerable to Blizzard - First clear out all the mini mimics that feed off the power. If the power reaches 0 you are in big trouble. - When all the mini mimics are dead, focus your attack on the queen. - If the queen sends out more mimics, kill them before they feed for too long - Use cure to keep your party healthy ----- End Mimic Queen ----- Cut scene: Everyone escapes from the collapsing underground and out into the desert. Basch says "Damalscan air tastes so sweet" - maybe he thinks this is a dessert not a desert. Balthier calls him captain again and says "lead the way." Basch says that it is time for his return. Not in those words though, he says it in a Yoda sort of way. _____________________________________________ | Return to Rabanastre (x08) | PASSAGE ENTRANCE > SAND-SWEPT NAZE > YARDANG LABYRINTH > OUTPOST > THE STEPPING PASSAGE ENTRANCE Save and then head to the next zone. SAND-SWEPT NAZE Check the map and proceed towards the red X that is located in the southern edge. OUTPOST You can find some glinting gil in the sand and chocobos to rent. Just continue south. When you reach the final field... THE STEPPING Go to the gate, it leads to Rabanastre. If you see a T-Rex named Saurian, do NOT attack it, it will still kill you. Cut scene: They arrive back in town and Balthier advices Basch to lie low because he is a traitor. Basch says that "The resistance will find me soon" - especially if you are running around wearing a cod piece like that. Basch tries to reassure Vaan that he did not kill his brother by awkwardly saying "I would pay my respects to your brother." Vaan asks Balthier if he still wants the stone - probably to remind Balthier that he is a good pirate. Balthier does not want it because it is "ill- favored." Ill-favored eh? Vaan decides to give it to Penelo instead. Save at the stone then proceed through the gate that leads to Lowtown. SOUTHGATE > SOUTHERN PLAZA > EAST END > SOUTH SPRAWL > NORTH SPRAWL SOUTHGATE Head back to Migelo's to see if Penelo is there to show her that you "got something." Kytes is there instead and tell you to see Dalan. Return to Lowtown to talk to Dalan. Cut scene: Vaan shows Dalan the stolen stone but Dalan seems to feign interest in it. He then asks Vaan to take a sword to Azelas. Vaan recognizes it as a sword of the old order - an elegant weapon for a more civilized age. Dalan whispers something about "reminding someone about what the order once meant." SOUTH SPRAWL Proceed to the marked X. NORTH SPRAWL Talk to the boy sitting on a crate. He is wearing Capri pants, a corset and his name is Balazac (sorry about the name dude, Jr. High must have been rough). The kid lets Vaan through. Cut Scene: A group of resistance fighters debate Basch's twin-brother-kill- king story. One of the men surmises that if it were true that a Judge killed the king, then Basch (the Captain) would be a brother to an Imperial stooge. Basch comes walking in having cleaned up a little. And I do mean a little. He looks like a homeless George Washington. I bet still smells like dungeon. And really, if all you can grow is that pathetic puberty beard just shave it all off. Basch asks the men if they will fight with him and against the Empire. They don't trust him. Someone mentions Reks and of course Vaan gets all butt-hurt about it. Basch defends Vaan's brother by explaining that Reks was killed because he was a witness to the king's killing. The Empire could not frame Basch if Reks knew the truth; so he was killed. The clan leader, Vossler, does not believe any of this and decides not to talk to Basch any more. Vossler can't trust anyone because he suspects there is a mole in the resistance. Basch says "you going to hold me here in chains?" Quick cut to the two of them staring at each other for a LONG time. It gets awkward so Vossler does the only thing he can think of: tossing a sword to Basch. Vossler lets him leave warning him that everyone in the resistance thinks he is a king-killing spy. God these Rabanastrians are gullible. First they bought Vayne's I'm-on-your- side speech and now Vaan trusts Basch after he says just one positive thing about Reks. Now Vaan has a total man-crush for Basch and agrees to take him to see Balthier. NORTH SPRAWL > EAST END NORTH SPRAWL Leave Lowtown through the Gate to Rabanastre. Balthier and Fran-bacca went out for dinner at The Sandsea. It is in the EAST END of Rabanastre and identified by the bottle and cup icon. Cut Scene: Vaan and Basch see some kids and Vaan talks about how he is an orphan and that he lived with Penelo's family. Vaan comes full circle and trusts Basch and blames the Empire for his brother's death. EAST END Enter the Sandsea and head up the stairs. Migelo is urging Balthier to rescue Penelo because a ransom note said "We have Penelo, send Balthier to rescue her." Vaan offers to save her but I have a feeling that he just wants to see Balthier's airship. Basch offers to join in the adventure and Balthier assumes that it is to see someone called the Marquis. Vaan offers the crystal as payment. Fran growls "god's are toying with us" - easy Chewie. Notice the mention of god's controlling their lives - think FATE. Levels: Most characters should be at 10. Head out into the eastersand if you need more experience. While you are leveling up you should also use this opportunity to earn Gil by picking up loot dropped by beasts. To get the best loot you should do something called "Chaining." Chaining is a bit like racial profiling in that you are only attacking creatures of a certain species. The more species you kill of one type the higher your chain will get. As the chain gets higher more valuable loot is dropped which will fetch a higher price when sold in the shops. If you kill another species while you are chaining your combo will drop back down to zero and you will not get the valuable stuff until you build it back up again. Stock up in the various shops, make sure have all the gambits that are available in town. _____________________________________________ | Bhujerba (x09) | To start the quest for Penelo, proceed to the Aerodrome. The door to it is marked with an X on the map. Enter and talk to Balthier who is standing at the top of a little sunken living room, looking out the window. Tell him you are ready. Cut scene: The clan enters Balthier's airship named "The Strahl." It looks like it has a colorful candy shell. Balthier notices Vaan's airship boner and asks him if he wants to look around. The adults plan the route to Bhujerba. Watch closely because Vaan looks down Fran's shirt and she turns around like don't even try it. Basch reminds that if anyone learns he is alive the Marquis will loose favor. Everyone was so happy when Basch was dead. The engines rev its wings lock into fly mode and it takes off into the sky. I guess that is the end of the game because the Strahl flew right back to the title screen. Tune in for Final Fantasy XIII to see if Penelo ever gets saved... Ah never mind. Cut Scene: Penelo is doing her best Anne Frank when the bounty hunting lizards arrive. They are using Penelo as bait to lure Balthier so they can claim a bounty. Penelo looks at the window and says "where are you." I feel bad for her because as those bounty hunters should know, a sky pirate wouldn't give two craps about saving a little girl. But then again, Balthier is driving off to get her. Maybe sky pirate doesn't mean what I think it does. Maybe in the world of Ivalice "sky pirate" is just another name for "high school guidance councilor." Cut Scene: The clan lands and some Imperial guards run by. Balthier turns to Basch and calls them "easy." Yup, Balthier just call a pack of the guards sluts. Basch must know what he means because he nods in agreement. Walk out the back door to enter Bhujerba. Cut Scene: The clan walks out into the city and Balthier says "The Lhusus mines are just up ahead so hurry so we can have time to visit the gift shop." A sprightly you lad stops the clan and asks them if he "can accompany them". Basch asks what errand the kid has in the mines and the kid retorts "well why do you want to go to the mines?" No! We asked first times infinity! Balthier offers to take the kid (who is named uh... ah... Lamont) as long as he can keep his eye on him. Vaan is all trusting of the kid - probably because he has not yet said anything about his brother. Vaan then blows Basch's airtight cover when he uses his real name. TRAVICA WAY > MINERS' END > LHUSU SQUARE > LHUSU MINES Buy a map from the moogle located at the first intersection of TRAVICA WAY. Upgrade your party in the shops as you proceed through twon. Shopping List: - A shield for Basch - just make sure that he has enough LP to buy the upgrade needed to equip the shield - Antidote x 5 (buy from the potion merchant in LHUSU SQUARE) - Add a gambit for [Self > Libra] LHUSU SQUARE: After buying the antidote from the merchant, run down the stairs to enter the Lhusu Mines. Cut Scene: Balthier, as always, knows all about this place and of course has to tell us all about it. The Bhujerbans mine magicite out of it. Lamont one-ups him by telling him that this is neutral territory and the Empire rarely gets involved. I bet Lamont has a collection first place geography bee ribbons at home. Cut Scene: A judge and his entourage are exploring the mines by Bhujerba's local authority the Marquis. These mines are quite the tourist trap. The judge is there to make sure the mines are supplying the empire with an adequate amount of Magicite. All the talk about saddles, bridals, and whips is just a weird/wrong way of describing Bhujerba's reluctant cooperation with the Empire. Think Bhujerba : magicite :: Middle East : oil. It is implied that the Marquis is helping the resistance fight the Empire. _____________________________________________ | Lhusu Mines (x10) | SHAFT ENTRY > OLTAM SPAN > TRANSITWAY 1 > SHUNIA TWINSPAN > SITE 2 The clan enters Lhusu mine. If your party only includes Vaan and Lamont, go to the party menu and select another two members to round out squad. For a mine it sure is shallow and quite detailed. The whole mine looks like Grand Central Station with its lights turned off. SHAFT ENTRY Battle the bats in this unfortunately named room. If the bats are giving you trouble, you may need to upgrade your party. Buy a few Battle Lore / Magick Lore square from the license board or go back to town and buy new swords/armor. SHUNIA TWINSPAN Watch out because there will be a steady stream of attacking skeletons. If you are having trouble beating the group of them I strongly suggest fleeing. If your can kill them with little problem, fight it out here to build up a pretty long chain of loot. SITE 2 Cut Scene: Our Rococo companion, Lamont, prances into the open site. I hope I never have to see a cos-player dressed like him. He pulls out a small, blue, glowing stone. The stone is Nethicite which is a man-made substance that can absorb Magickal energy. This mine, however, is filled with Magicite; the naturally occurring -cite. The Draklor Laboratory is using the Magicite in this mine for the production of Nethicite. I think this is research for Lamont's sure to be prize winning science fair project called "Science is Alright with Nethicite" Balthier gets suddenly Socratic and asks, you done? Where's my money? Where did you hear about Nethicite? Where did you get it? Draklor Labs? Who are you? The lizards who were looking for Balthier in the prison are back. One of them is carrying a huge spinning chainsaw that could make quick work of weeks and underbrush. The lizard is Ba'Gamnan and is glad to finally have Balthier. Listen closely because as the lizard talks he gains a Scottish accent. It hits its peak when he says Penelo ran off "crying like a babe." Lamont throws his nethicite at Ba'Gamnan and escapes. The rest of the party runs off too. Don't even try to fight the lizards. They are too strong for your party at this time. Run through the level to the exit following the same path you used to get into the mines. When you exit via the SHAFT ENTRY see the cut scene of the whole party hiding behind the columns. Lamont approaches the judge who scolds him for running unaccompanied and exposed to crazies such as Penelo. Lamont lies that he was alone - thus saving the party from discovery. Lamont asks if Penelo can spend the night. The Marquis agrees and the whole entourage leaves the mines. Vaan seems a bit too preoccupied with Lamont and his sudden interest in Penelo. Balthier knows that Lamont is really named Larsa and is the kid brother of Vayne. Fran reassures Vaan that she is in safe hands. Balthier says "Nobody knows men like Fran does" then everyone pauses for the laugh track... and then Basch continues with the narrative. Basch explains that the Marquis is indeed helping the rebels fight the Empire. The reason Basch is still present is because the Marquis publicly signed an execution paper but secretly kept Basch alive. Balthier thinks he is all literary by alluding to Mark Twain's famous quote "Rumors of your death were, in fact, greatly exaggerated." Balthier actually misquotes there - and many people make this mistake. You see Mark Twain actually said "the report of my death was an exaggeration." Samuel Clemens was responding to his premature newspaper obituary. I am not making this up. If you want to get a more complete background of this commonly misquoted line see: http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=191570 NOTE: In this next part you may want to make sure there is no one in the room you would be embarrassed by. Because this next part is super uncomfortable, I felt embarrassed and I was all alone playing it. Balthier gets the idea that if we spread rumors that Basch is alive the resistance will bring them right to the Marquis. The clan decides that when it comes to being annoying, no one does a better job than Vaan. They are right when Vaan belts out "I'm Captain Basch Fon Ronsenburg of Dalmasca!" I still hear that when I close my eyes at night. NOTE: Before you start going around yelling about how you are "THE Bashe" and "not listening to Ondore's Lies" you should hit the shops because this is your last chance to stock up before a boss fight. -- Shopping List --- - You MUST get Charge from the techniques shop. Don't get anything else from that shop though. - Quickenings for 2 of your tanks. The one in the accessories, the other at the bottom of the grid. - Visit the magic shop and get some de-enhancers to cast against your enemies. - Levels: 10s for most of your party. Run around the city and press the "Testify" button near anyone with a smiley face over their head. Al Sharpton also has a "Testify" button but his has turbo mode (which is always engaged). You get more Notoriety for annoying people named "City Parijanah." Do not yell anywhere near guards in full armor because you will loose a lot of the points you gained. When you fill the notoriety meter, Vaan gets picked up by guards and thrown into the resistance fighters' secret hideout. Cut Scene of Marquis palace: Penelo says she was glad to have seen Vaan. Larsa is busily working on an extra credit book report and says "You will join him soon"... in HELL. He actually tells her that his brother is Vayne the Counsel of Dalmasca. Larsa further apologizes for Vayne but is confident that as Counsel things will be ok in the end. Penelo tells him that she fears the empire; he is shocked that she is and promises that she will not be harmed. The clan and the resistance fighters gather around a table discussing a meeting with the Marquis. The man who is sitting at the table has an accent that sounds like an American imitating an Englishman mocking an Irishman. Talk to the lion-faced assistant to find out where to go (northern end of TRAVICA WAY - it is marked on your map too). When you get to the gate, talk to the guards and they will take you to the Marquis. Cut Scene: Basch begs the Marquis to release Amalia from the Empire's custody because she is an important leader in the resistance. Vaan asks about Penelo but Marquis said she has already left with the Judge's entourage for Rabanastre. Meanwhile, a huge craft hovers over Bhujerba and takes an airship-style dump on the Marquis' castle. Vaan gets hysterical. Basch pulls out his sword. Marquis calls the guards. Cut Scene: Vayne is talking to one of his own personal robo-teddy about the rising insurgency in Bhujerba. Oh wait it is Judge Gabranth and he thinks the Marquis is responsible for the insurgency's enduring success. Vayne mentions the news that the Marquis has turned Basch over to Judge Ghis. What a shame that the term "coked-up" has been so cliched that people use it to describe kids at a birthday party (well white-trash people anyway who would consider Parliaments a good substitute for candles). Because when Doctor Cid enters and starts talking to himself about "The Reigns of History back in the hands of man" I need to call him "coked-up" and really mean it. Dr. Cid reports that the Senate is just trying to stop Vayne's power. Vayne says bring it. Cut scene: The clan is taken via a small airship to a big white airship called the Dreadnought Leviathan. Ironic choice of name considering that we should dread it quite a bit. Someone yells out "The Prisoners my Lord" referring to the clan. They step out to see Amelia standing there with the Judge Ghis. Amelia recognizes Basch and slaps him and says "How dare you, I thought you were dead." The Judge introduces her as Princess Ashe, daughter of the now dead King of Dalmasca. I would expect her to react stronger than a "how dare you" considering she thinks Basch is her father's killer. But she has even bigger problems as she has no proof of her lineage. Furthermore, Vayne is asking all royalty of the previous monarchy to help put down the insurgency. So even if she can prove her royal blood, she will be executed for helping the Rebels. Vaan barges in and Ashe says shut up. Vaan looks legitimately surprised, like no one has ever told him "no" before. The stone he took from the palace starts glowing because it is the Dusk Shard and it is reacting to Princess Ashe's blood. I think my pan-European-commoner blood would turn that stone a light to medium brown. Vaan gives it to Ghis under the promise of no executions. Vaan really isn't showing that he is Sky Pirate material at this point. Judge Ghis mentions that this is deifacted nethicite. The root word being deity, and thus, coming from a god. So if a girl has a really heavenly body you could just say she has a deifacted figure. The clan is brought back in shackles. Basch remarks that the fates are toying with them by bringing the Dusk Shard into play (notice this second mention of the Fates - the other was back in the Sandsea bar). The party gives a Jackie-Chan style beat down to their captors. Vossler, last seen at the resistance meeting back at Dalmasca, had infiltrated the guards and will help free Ashe. _____________________________________________ | Dreadnought Leviathan (x11) | PORT LAUNCH > PORT SECTION > LARGE FREIGHT STORES > AIRSHIP BERTH ACCESS > CENTRAL BRIG ACCESS > BRIG NO. 1 PORT LAUNCH: Save here, but do so in another save slot, there is no way to transport back to the mainland until you beat this area. Tip: If you are running low on MP use the charge technique that you should have bought in Bhujerba. Otherwise, run around in circles. PORT SECTION Vossler warns not to trip the red lasers. You can find a route through this section without hitting any of them. But, if your party is strong enough to handle fighting four or five guards at the same time, I recommend tripping them to gain the EXP and loot. Tip: If you get in over your head run back to the last zone you were in and the guards will not follow you. You can heal up then go back with a fully ready party. Tip: If your party is looking real haggard, run back to the blue save crystal for a full refresh. AIRSHIP BERTH ACCESS You will be ambushed by several high powered enemies. Focus your attack on the Magnus to stop all the spells. Then, fight the weaker ones first so you can unleash your party's might on the Judges. BRIG NO. 1 Free Ashe. She is afraid of Basch like he is the good version of Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator 2 coming to get her out of the insane asylum. Ashe is Linda Hamilton, Vaan (naturally) would be John Connors. Use the save crystal and open the urn for an access key. Buy supplies at the moogle. Buy like you are going to a boss fight because, well, you are going to a boss fight. -- Shopping -- - 10 x Potions //find out if that moogle gives you potions. You are shopping for a boss fight here. - Protect - Shell - All the gambits the moogle has. The Escape Path: AIRSHIP BERTH ACCESS > LARGE FREIGHT STORES > PORT SECTION > PORT LAUNCH AIRSHIP BERTH ACCESS Cut scene: Vossler says that Ashe must confront the reality of our plight. I wouldn't consider it a plight for her; she is in the company of four bachelors. LARGE FREIGHT STORE Stop fleeing for a second and go to the "Security Stations" located on the east and west walls. Turning them off will give you 60 seconds of unmolested escape time. For the rest of the airship hold the R2 button to flee past all the guards. PORT SECTION The party runs into Penelo and Larsa who both get this look on their face like "uh... we weren't making out." Penelo is glad to see Vaan and hugs him. The boy tells the clan that Ghis is aware of their escape. Larsa then uses a weak analogy using thread to try to tie up the letting us escape plot hole. Larsa gives Penelo a clump of manufactured nethicite - Vaan pouts in the background by flexing his abs as hard as he can. Just as the party is about to escape, the judge stands in the way and uses his Fire Flower to pitch a Mario style fireball at Ashe. Penelo's manufactured Nethicite absorbs the magic just as Larsa said it would. The judge says Ashe will die easily just like the king did. Ashe retorts "you know nothing of my father" and thank god Judge Ghis doesn't say "No, I am your father." ----- BOSS: Judge Ghis (x11a) ----- GAMBITS: Caster: [Ally: Any > Phoenix Down] [Ally: HP < 40% > Cure, potion ] Tank: [Foe: Any > Attack] STRATEGY: - Send in one Tank and two Casters - Attack the judge's assistants, would those be his clerks? - Half way through the battle, use the quickenings I told you to get for your Tanks. ----- END GHIS ----- Cut scene: Judge Ghis' helmet is knocked off and he holds his hand up to his face like "<sigh> it's been a loooong day." Then he thinks to himself "I would have gotten away with it if it wasn't for you meddling kids!" Actually if this were indeed Scooby-Doo it would turn out that Judge Ghis' was just the local Gas Station Attendant trying to scare people away from his stolen Aztec Gold. Vossler enters to tell the party that he has secured a ship called an Atomos. Balthier complains that the ship is no good and then he refers to himself a "leading man." Kinda pushing on the "4th wall." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_wall) Fran is in the driver's seat as the clan tries to sneak out of the empire's airship. This is going to be chancy but it is a good thing Fran's foot is lucky. Penelo urges "can't we go faster?" "Keep your distance though, Chewie, but don't look like you're trying to keep your distance, I don't know. Fly casual" Fran-bacca pilots the ship past some Imperial Ice-cream cones and safely back to Bhujerba. The party files out into the Aerodome. Penelo gives the handkerchief that Balthier gave to her before he, Fran, and Vaan were taken into the dungeon. He says "I shall wear it close to my heart." She does this shoulder shrug and Balthier joins Larsa on Penelo's crush list. It is actually a cute little scene. Basch, Vossler and Ashe discuss what they will do next. They will consult Ondore - another name for the Marquis - because he actually does support the resistance. Vossler starts trusting Basch and tells Ashe to do the same. For being such an uncharismatic guy, Basch sure does get people to turn around on him quickly. Wasn't it just yesterday that Vossler told Basch that their "paths will remain separate." _____________________________________________ | On to Ondore (x12) | This is cool: if you talk to the people in the airport they refer to Vaan as Basch because of that yelling stunt he pulled the last time he was in Bhujerba. Leave the Aeordrome and head to the red X. Talk to the guards there. Cut Scene: Ashe recounts to the Marques what happened after the night the Dalmascan Emperor was killed. She says that Vossler hid her. Vayne played the Marquis against Ashe by having him provide a fishy suicide story. Ashe could not trust the Marquis if he was making up stories about suicide for the empire. She urges him to makeup so that they can stand together against Vayne. The Marquis is her uncle but he will not stand up to her because at this point she has no credibility. Look at the glossy-eyed Basch in the background - I think all of this is going right over his head. Balthier breaks in requesting food and a bath. I think he intends the bath for Basch - his hair is looking extra crusty since Lhusu mine. The Strahl: Vaan catches Ashe playing with the Strahl's buttons. She intends to use the ship to get the Dawn Shard to prove her royal lineage. She is frustrated by the Marquis' inaction and will do anything to get her kingdom back. Balthier finds them and demonstrates his magic microphone that can make voices sound like someone else's. Ashe begs Balthier to take her to where she wants to go. Eventually everyone is there and everyone has a reason to seek the dawn shard. Imperial City of Archades: Pan up of a long phallic spire. A Ship lands on a dock and Judge Gabranth exits then sashays down the bridge to the building. The emperor asks about Doctor Cid and his weapons research. Judge Gabranth tells him that Vayne is funding research and there is some strange stuff going on - The emperor does not like this. The Emperor starts coughing and says that the illness will claim him. The Emperor asks Gabranth about his advice as to who will succeed him as emperor: the psychopath Vayne or the little turd Larsa. Gabranth explains that he is loyal to the Empire and despite his home being raped and pillaged, he is a total Empire stooge - even enough to kill his own brother. The Emperor likes Gabranth's Ruthlessness. However, The Emperor does not want Larsa to be such a nutcase yes man. He tells Gabranth to be Larsa's protector even if it is Vayne who attacks. _____________________________________________ | Ogir-Yensa Sandsea (x13) | Cut Scene: The party is in the Dalmasca Westrsand. Balthier pushes a button and the Strahl disappears. The destination is King Raithwall's tomb to obtain the dust shard that will prove Ashe's lineage. Vaan tries to explain away the reason why we can't just fly the airship to the front steps of the tomb. Penelo says your dumb and for once you know something I don't. Vaan gets all bothered by this and then the rest of the party is all "oh puppy love <gleam> <ahh>." Everyone except that cold hearted imperial - Ashe she is annoyed by this whole exchange. Vaan, dressed in his futuristic Tevas, approaches the edge of the Sandsea. The sands churn like they are made of water and he reaches into the sand. It dribbles out like sand but floats water-like. It is impassable - the catwalks above it is how the party will get through. I have to say that the Ogir-Yesa Sandsea is my favorite area in all of FFXII. The endless expanse with its absolute desolateness contrasts so strongly with the complicated technology of the oil refinery platforms. For one, I am totally fascinated by complicated machinery. Secondly, the presentation reminds me of the great surrealist painters such as Dali, Magritte, and most importantly de Chirico. In fact, it actually feels like running around in de Chirico painting. www.gameintestine.com/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=135 Check the link and see the de Chirico's painting called The Red Tower and try to tell me it does not remind you of fighting in the sand sea. In the painting, look at how quiet emptiness of the field is contrasting with the striking red tower - same thing in this game. PALATFORM 1: EAST TANKS > PLATFORM 1: REFINERY (GET MAP) > PLATFORM 1: SOUTH TANKS > SOUTH TANK APPROACH > YENSA BORDER TUNNEL PLATFORM 1: EAST TANKS Before you head into the Sandsea, go east back into the Westersand. Use the orange crystal and then buy supplies from Lohen -- Shopping List - - LEVELS: 11 - Make sure you have Protect and Shell - 10 x Alarm Clocks This will be your first confrontation with a new set of beasts. Try to fight the little red Alraune and if you can not beat them use your accumulated LP to upgrade your MP and Battle skills. If you are still facing problems, go back to the Westersand to rape the earth some more by poaching animals so you can get some semi-precious resource like Loot, EXP, LP, or while you are at it, ivory. What I really mean to say is go level up in Westersand. Cut Scene: Vaan stares at the strange machinery. Basch approaches to give a bit of history. The Rozarrians built it to extract oil. Vossler arrives because he realized that Ashe had escaped. Just a lucky hunch that she would be wandering around in the Sandsea? I wonder if cel-phones will ever make it into a Final Fantasy game. Vossler could have just called her and said "hey, Ashe where are you? The Sandsea? Cool, I will be there in a Half Hour." By the way, is Vossler wearing two little fanny packs Justifying his reason for the trip, Basch is trying to improve his total royals protected percentage. His record took a big hit when Prince Rasler took that arrow to the throat. Protecting Princess Ashe my improve that average a bit. Vossler joins the party too. Fran's rabbity senses start tingling because some pretty bad beasts will be coming. Sand people riding on the back of tremors ride through the sand. The party runs and Vossler insists that we get the dawn shard. PLATFORM 1: REFINERY Get the map in this zone; it is actually located on a platform separated from the main one. You will need to get off the main catwalk and cross the sand to a square shaped structure. The map urn is located on it. YENSA BORDER TUNNEL Use the save stone and purchase goods from the merchant. _____________________________________________ | Nam-Yensa Sandsea (x14) | AUGUR HILL > WITHERING SHORES > THE URUTAN-YENSA SEA > THE SANDSCALE BANK AUGUR HILL Get the map by crossing the bridge at the middle-north part this zone. This is not the bridge that leads to the next zone, but the one just to the south of it. The urn sits on a small island. Return to the bridge at the north of AUGUR HILL to get to WITHERING SHORES. THE SANDSCALE BANK Use the blue save stone then talk to the Sandsea moogle. One of the sand people (a urutan-Yensa) asked him for help in killing a giant tortoise. WITHERING SHORES Go back to here to fight the turtle called Urutan Eater. Poor name choice because the turtle doesn't really eat the Urutan, he just stomps them to death. Well, perhaps he is just tenderizing them first, then eating them. Urutan Eater - Attack him with two casters and a tank. - Use wind and basic melee attacks. - Observe that super shinny shell, that is all I looked at during this fight - After his demise, think of secondary uses for that shell: I would suggest affordable public housing unit or using it as a roadster body. THE SANDSCALE BANK Return to this zone and talk to the moogle. He will tell you to go to THE OGIR-YENSA SANDSEA to talk find the Urutan that sought your aid. PLATFORM 2: REFINERY Climb up the ramp and the Urutan will run back to... THE SANDSCALE BANK Follow it to see a Urutan gathering. There group is lead by a queen who looks like a cross between bozo the clown and Susan Powter. She lectures her fellow Urutanians on the sins of outsourcing their problems to other species. The punishment for such interspecies collaboration, immediate and unconditional vaporization. The little Urutan is gone and his brethren flee. All that remains is a small flower - just like in "Where the Red Fern Grows". Run up to the flower and press "X" and you will get Eksir Berries which will be useful against the coming boss. I don't mean to get picky here but berries don't come from flowers. Flowers become berries after they are fertilized. The designers should have named them after flower parts - maybe "Eksir Pistils", "Eksir Carpels" or "Eksir Stigmas." THE URUTAN-YENSA SEA > WITHERING SHORES > DEMESNE OF THE SANDQUEEN > TRAIL OF FADING WARMTH THE TRAIL OF FADING WARMTH Isn't the name of this zone what they should call marriage? Talk to the merchant and stock up before your next boss fight. Listed are some things to buy. Shopping List: - Raise - Esuna - Cura - 10 x Alarm Clocks - The boss is flying so he will be invulnerable to melee attacks. So, make sure a couple of your fighters have ranged attack weapons such as guns or bows. Magick attacks also hurt flyers. - Instead of buying your tanks bows, I suggest buying them the water spell, it will hit flying enemies. When you go to the next zone, you will be asked to save. Do so, but use a new slot instead of overwriting your current one. Just in case the boss is too difficult for your current setup. _____________________________________________ | The Tomb of Raithwall (x15) | Cut Scene: Arial shot of a mausoleum cut out of the stone cliffs - wait, how did this camera get a flyover? I thought the sand caused problems to all fliers. The temple looks a bit like the Cambodian temple Angkor Wat. This is the Tomb of Raithwall and the location of the stone that will prove Ashe's blood is good. Walk down the central colonnade and you are confronted by a large flying bird. ----- BOSS: Garuda (x15a) ----- - Start by throwing the Eksir Berries you picked from the vaporized Urutan - Put in all your range fighters and attack with arrows or water spells - Basic Melee weapons will not work on the boss. ----- End Garuda ----- Cut Scene: A candle holder starts moving and if you have ever played a video game before you know that inanimate objects don't get their own cut scene unless they are magic or evil or both. Ashe uses this opportunity to give a bit of history. She drops names and territories and ruling classes like she is giving a freshman survey course on the world of final fantasy. Here are the basics: - The gods gave Raithwall some magical crystals and a mighty beard. - He was dubbed the Dynast-King - He ruled a vast territory and brought stability/peace to many of the factions in Ivalice - There were three shards that Raithwall had that gave him his power: + Midlight Shard-given to House Nabradia (Ashe's husband was Nabradian) + Dawn Shard-hidden in Raithwall's Tomb for emergency use only + Dusk Shard-given to Dalmasca (Ashe's family) In the background, Balthier gets bored and turns around. Basch pretends that he is interested but I know he lost track shortly after Ashe said "The gods granted their favors to King Raithwall..." Balthier doubts this quest and says no deal, it is too dangerous. Really? Balthier? A sky pirate? The IT guy at work is more sky pirate than him. Ashe reminds him there is treasure inside and he changes his mind. Save at the orange crystal and use it to transport to other areas if you need to buy supplies or level up. Otherwise go down to the stairs in front of the temple. Shopping List: - 10 x Alarm Clocks - 10 x handkerchiefs - 4 x Bacchus's Wine - 10 x Phoenix Downs - 20 x Hi-Potions - 10 x eye drops - Every gambit from the Rabanastre Gambit shop - Cura - Oil - Berserk Levels: 15 - Get your grind on if your party is not to the recommended levels. Transport to YENSA BORDER TUNNEL and chain the beasts in the Ogir-Yensa Sandsea. Focus on the Urutan-Yensas and look for treasures hidden among the various catwalks. - Buy more Quickenings for party members. Each tank should have at least two at this point. - When your party is to the right levels and has the right supplies, go to the way stone at Raithwall's tomb. Cut scene: The Cambodian architectural influence changes to a more Middle Eastern style on the inside of the temple. It is very Egyptian and uses some more elements from the Spanish Mosque of Cordoba. All the doorways have horse-shoe arches on them. That is the really what they are called - not very creative are they. Go to the following link to see some of those horseshoe arches: www.gameintestine.com/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=137 Also, the game refers to the burning torches that line the walkways as braziers. This makes me think of those bra-burning's in the 1970's. The entire temple gives me an ancient, scary, magical feeling. HALL OF THE DESTROYER > HALL OF THE SENTINEL > ROYAL PASSAGE HALL OF THE DESTROYER While on the upper platform, cast protect on your entire front line melee fighters - it will be important in the coming boss fights. Descended down the central staircase. The wall comes alive and pursues the clan. Run from him, you will not be able to beat him at your current levels. Much later in the game you will be strong enough to beat him though. Hold R2 and run to the back door. HALL OF THE SENTINEL Cut Scene: The entire room is black and Vaan wanders around. Another demon wall emerges and as he does, all the torches light. Fran yells out at the party that "we must be quick! Together we can bring it down!" Wow! I just realized that Fran has a slurry, South African/English/Finland-esque accent. I looked up who did the voice work of Fran and her name is Nicole Fantl. She is an English actress and I have to say she is hotter than Fran. Her only real world acting credit was a bit part in Star Wars Episode II as Senator Lexi Dio (that name actually sounds like it would have been a character from the erotica version of Ep. II.) ----- BOSS Demon Wall (x15b) ----- Note: Don't get too discouraged by this boss. Defeating him is really dependent on a number of random factors all going your way. Several times I would have him down to 10% HP and then the next time not even getting him down to 75%. However, if you are consistently not even close to defeating him, I recommend going back to the Sandsea and leveling up, buying enhancements from the LP board, and/or upgrading your armor/weapons. See the shopping list at the top of this section for more information as to what to get and where to level up. GAMBITS: Caster: Don't use them for this boss Tanks: [Ally: Any > Phoenix Down] [Ally: HP < 20% > Hi-potion] [Ally: Sleep > Alarm Clock] [Ally: Blind > Eye Drops] [Foe: Any > Attack] Part I: - Quickness is the most important thing in this battle. - All status ailments should be fixed with potions rather than spells. - Attack with three of your tanks. You don't have time for casters to be using spells - Before attacking, run straight for the wall and touch the torch right next to him. - If the "brazier" flame turns blue, the demon wall will speed up, if it turns orange, the wall will be slowed greatly. If the flame does go blue, run to the very next torch and touch it to cancel the speed increase. - Once you successfully start an orange flame, unleash a quickening (you should have many party members with quickenings so you can chain them) - Burning Bras: When the slowdown effect of the brazier fades, have your party leader run to another one and touch it. Pray for another orange flame but if it turns blue, quickly go to another torch. - Switch out any fighters that are sent to the X-Zone (isn't that what they call raves?) The banished character will be out until you go to the next room. ----- End Demon Wall ----- Cut scene: The hallway is now clear giving you access to the door behind the Demon wall. The sweeping shot of the central room to the temple is quite impressive. It reminds me of the Luxor Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Vossler looks over at Fran and Balthier and condemns them because they are intent on stealing the treasure from this sacred temple. Ashe says we need their help to get through this temple. Ashe says she can feel the dawn shard the same way a pregnant woman says she knows what gender the baby is ROYAL PASSAGE Get the map - it is hidden behind the way stone. The only save stone in this tomb is the one at the main entrance. In case you accidentally die and thus have to fight that demon wall again go save now. Use the middle way stone that is colored white to take you back to the HALL OF THE DESTROYER. Once transported, use the way stone there to transport you to the Tomb entrance. After you have saved, use the way stones to get back to the ROYAL PASSAGE. The temple is split into a northern and southern half; each of which you will need to access to get to the Dawn Shard. The red and the green way stones here don't work at this time so you have to walk all the way down to the north and south passages to activate them. I suggest tackling the Northfall passage first, and then go for the Southfall passage. NORTHFALL PASSAGE From the ROAYL PASSAGE, descend down the northern staircases. Once you reach the bottom, wind your way through the various rooms to the very center. You should be strong enough to fight all the beasts here - my favorite the Lesser Chimeras because it looks like a giant turkey. There are several undead monsters here so set your castors with the gambit [Foe:undead > Cura]. Note that Cura will affect all the monsters in range, so try and round up a bunch of them before casting the spell. When you reach the center, make sure your team is fully healed and ready for an ambush. Touch the glowing red stone lodged in the "Northfall Pedestal." The party stands there for a second and it looks like they are waiting for an elevator. The pedestal lowers and then out come the zombies. After clearing the room, transport back to the ROYAL PASSAGE by touching the red way stone. It would be a good idea to go back to the orange save crystal again to save. SOUTHFALL PASSAGE Like in the Northfall passage, work your way room-to-room to the center. When you get there, prepare for another ambush before touching the green Southfall Pedestal. The party is ambushed again but this time by ghosts called Liches. They attack your party by spraying them with oil and then shooting them with fire. The oil will greatly increase the potency of the fire attack so you should set up a gambit [Ally: Oil > Handkerchief]. Another good idea is to send in all your female protagonists so that they all end up oiled. Just imagine the three of them all slick, shinny, pushing off each other as they swing theirs swords around and probably grunting a lot too. Ya, that's hot. I guess you could send in just guys if you like it that way. But, I can't imagine Basch getting any oilier than he already is. After the fight, teleport back to the ROYAL PASSAGE using the newly activated way stone. Go back again to the orange save crystal. There is another boss fight coming and this is your last time to upgrade. Refer to the following shopping list. -- Shopping List -- Levels: 15 - protect spell - Shell - 10 x handkerchiefs - 20 x Hi-potions - 10 x Phoenix downs HALL OF THE DESTROYER > ROYAL PASSAGE > SOUTHFALL PASSAGE > CLOISTER OF FLAME > CHAMBER OF FIRST LIGHT SOUTHFALL PASSAGE / NORTHFALL PASSAGE At the very center of both the SOUTHFALL PASSAGE and NORTHFALL PASSAGE is a secret room that was unlocked when you pushed both of the Pedestals. To get there use either of the way stones that transport you down there. Enter the secret room by going through the opening on the west side of the Way Stone room. The hallway will lead you around to a door that leads to CLOISTER OF FLAME CLOISTER OF FLAME Cut scene: The clan descends into the central room and the air is brown. Penelo wonders about the fog. Fran says "Not fog - mist." Thanks for the big distinction Fran but we didn't ask you. And of course she goes on - the Mist is dangerous but it lets magick happen. Penelo says "I will keep that in mind" with the same phrase and tone I use when responding to bums who yell strange advice at me like "keep your nose clean and all your dreams can come true." Penelo then looks over at Vaan who is talking to Vossler. You can't hear him, but Vaan goes "Hey Vossler, do my abs look more like a plate of buffalo wings or popping-fresh rolls?" Descend around the stairs and into the center of the room. Along the middle ring of hallways there are a number of chests. Two of them contain Elixers which are VERY helpful in this game's very, very, final boss fight. So DON'T use them until then. Before you get to the very bottom of this room make sure everyone in your party has protect and shell cast on them. Doing so will save time in this boss battle. When you get to the bottom of the room, a large beast with a thick red beard awakens and then approaches the party. Belias has a parasitic twin who keeps his arms crossed most of the battle. But, when needed, the little guy will start pointing and casting Firaja. The pair also has a sword with a cute, ornate heart on the end of it. ----- BOSS: Belias (x15c)----- Levels: 16 on all party GAMBITS: Casters: [Ally: any > Phoenix Down] [Ally: any > shell] [Ally: any > protect] [Ally: HP < 40% > Hi-Potion] [Any: foe > water] Tanks: [Status: oil > handkerchief] [Any: foe > attack] Part I: - Don't use ethers - save them for later in the game. - Hit him with a quickening at the start - Keep Vossler alive because he can not be swapped out. - Belias is immune to ice and lighting but he hates water. - Fire spells will give him health. - If someone is covered in oil, clean it up. It increases fire damage. - Use potions to heal instead of your magic. Your casters need to save their MP for water attacks. ----- End Belias ----- Cut scene: Belias falls. The little one puts his hands on its knees - cute in a freakish way. It growls and then explodes. A Rorschach test appears. I see an owl wearing a kimono. Everyone stands around and it feels post-coital. Some of them even start with little pillow-talk stories. Fran goes first with a poem that describes espers as challengers to the gods who are trapped in the Mist. Ashe, never to let someone one-up her, tells a story that uses the word "thralldom." I looked it up, thralldom means slavery. Ashe's story is that the boss we just beat served King Raithwall and he is really the treasure of the legend. Basch sits quietly deciding whether he should go next and tell everyone about the time he got a free 32-oz steak at Rusty Pete's Chuck Wagon because he ate it in half an hour and then got to wear a cowboy hat for the picture that was pinned on the wall of fame. He opts to wait for the next boss fight to tell it. Go back to the temple entrance and save. This is the only time to actually buy power-ups for your next boss battle. -- Shopping List -- - Levels: 15 - 10 x Hi-potion - 10 x Phoenix downs - Upgrade your Armor - Have one of your tanks purchase the Esper from the LP board. Way Stone your way back to the room where you fought the Gigas Boss and proceed through the door that was behind him. Go down one set of stairs and up the other. CHAMBER OF FIRST LIGHT Get it? The room is called First Light... it holds the Dawn Shard... very clever. Cut scene: There is a stone floating in a pedestal. Vossler gets a strange look on his face and tells Ashe that we need to get out of here. Ashe ascends the stairs and just before she reaches the stone she sees her late husband, Rasler, in ghost form. It seems as if Vaan can see him too. Ashe toys with her wedding ring and then says "you will be avenged." Funny, because in her hand appears the item that will help her with that vengeance: the Dawn Shard. I have to say that this is some pretty good emotion that the artists are able to get out of a cluster of polygons. Go back to either the SOUTHFALL or NORTHFALL PASSAGES and teleport your way back to the Tomb's entrance. Cut scene: Vaan runs out of the tomb and the shadows of airships pass over him. The whole armada is there overhead - they seem to have no problem flying over the Sandsea. Vaan is all this is soooooo cool until a pack of attack ships come down and arrest him and the rest of the clan. Judge Ghis fondles his gold helmet then addresses the clan. He has grey umpa-lumpa hair. Ghis wants the nethicite - the good stuff, not that manufactured crud. King Raithwall's Dawn Shard is pure, deifacted nethicite. So wait, how did the judge know we got the good stuff? Vossler betrayed Ashe and ratted her out. He justifies his actions by telling her that this is a pragmatic approach that would give the Empire what they wanted (nethicite) in order to get her back in power and thus Dalmasca's sovereignty back. Ashe reluctantly gives up the Dawn Shard. Ghis says that Dr. Cid will love to analyze this sample - he is the coked up weapons expert we saw earlier. Ghis gives the stone to a lab tech for testing just to make sure that it isn't fake. The clan is flown to a secondary airship for transport back to Rabanastre. Vossler discusses his future plans and Ashe is quite mad at him for betraying them. Remember when we first met Vossler back in Damalsca, he was looking for a mole - it turns out it was him all along. One of the lab techs places the stone in Michael Jackson's hypobaric oxygen tank. Note: Nine times out of ten I prefer Ashe over Fran. However, this next scene could be one of the hottest in all of video-game-dom. It starts when Ghis and his crew begin heating up the Dusk Shard. Fran starts to feel some the Mist-related side affects. As the heat is turned up further, she has some slight herbal-essence style quivering but quickly transitions into all out finger curling, in heat, orgasmic, fervor. A guard notices her strange reaction and tries to control her but she jump kicks his face. Exactly! Kicks his fat Imperial face! The controller even shocked me. Fran goes on a total tear jumping and kicking and Balthier says "I always knew Fran didn't like to be tied up" - oh I bet you don't. Guards are thrown around and it sounds like she is beating the crap out of bag full of Bud Light cans. Vossler thinks this has all gone far enough and tries to stop the party by force. Cut Scene: Vossler looks at Basch and asks him if he realizes that he is going up against the whole Empire. Basch says "I do know, All too well" and then his brow furrows and he stands there with an empty look on his face. I have a feeling he doesn't know, and that he doesn't understand what is going on. ----- BOSS: Vossler (x15d) ----- GAMBITS: [ally:any > raise] [ally: HP < 40% > cura] - Send in 2 healers and keep Fran in. - Keep Fran in her berserk state and keep her healed. You can't control her during this battle. - Defeat the Vossler's helpers before attacking him. - Cast the new Esper to attack Vossler and it should kill him. It is listed under the Mist ability on the Tank that you purchased it from. Note your character that purchased the Esper must have full MP to summon him. ----- End: VOSSLER ----- Vossler falls and says "gasp, gasp, guttural sounds." Cut to the main deck of the Dreadnaught Leviathan an all the sirens are going off. The nethicite is draining all of its power. Vossler says that he was always trying to do the best for Dalmasca. Vossler turns Ashe-sitting duty over to Basch. Basch doesn't know what to say so he just runs away with Vossler crouching there like he is ready to run the 100 meter dash. Vossler looks bad but not on his deathbed; Basch may have been able to carry him back to an escape pod. Ghis' ship, the Dreadnaught Leviathan, makes this sound like the DC metro pulling into the station and then implodes on itself sending out a layer of gooey, buttery fire. All the other ships in the fleet are taken out by the resulting fireball. Balthier and party escape via a stolen imperial craft. Penelo, looking like a gelfling, asks "what's that?" It is the dawn shard trying to sneak away from all the carnage that it wrought. Balthier turns the ship around to pick it up. Use the save crystal. ----------------------------------- ACT II ---------------------------------- Fade in to the candle and the "Special Edition Brady Games Ivalice History and Plot Guide." I have narrowed it down, it is the Marquis who is narrating all of this. All of the Empire's 8th fleet was lost by that nethicite explosion. In light of that blow to the Empire, the Marquis readies the resistance. Meanwhile, Ashe returns to Rabanastre to play super secret, super hiding princess so she can further build up the resistance. They will need to be strong because we know that if Fleet No. 8 blew up, there has to be at least 7 more just as strong. Did you just see that math I did? Crane shot of the Arcadian Capitol's buildings and cars. It actually looks like one of those 1950s educational films about how transportation will look in the year 1988. The Imperial Senate discusses the aftermath of the Leviathan explosion. The Empire was actually hard hit by this explosion. Furthermore, it was Vayne's ambitious deployment of that fleet that is putting the Empire in a precarious position now. The Senate urges the Emperor to punish him. Furthermore, the Senate suggests that Larsa be the next Emperor. They say that Larsa's efforts to undo the problems Vayne causes prove that he would make a good Emperor. That and he is a really good speller. The Emperor agrees to remove Vayne from Dalmasca and put him back in Arcadia for time-out. Ashe stands looking out among some cloudy cliffs. Stop right there because that is an almost copy and paste of a famous painting by 19th centry German painter named Caspar David Friedrich. It is shocking how similar the two are. The painting is called "Wanderer Above a Sea of Fog" and depicts a lone figure escaping the craziness of urban life in order to contemplate on the raw, scary, awesome power of nature. It seems like Ashe would be trying to do the same thing at this point in the story and I think that is why the designers used this artwork as their model. To see a side by side comparison of the game and the 200 year old painting go to: www.gameintestine.com/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=177 Ashe turns around and is startled to see her husband's ghost. He gives her the Dawn Shard back then disappears. Vayne comes walking up and is all "hey, ah... would you like to get a bite of coffee; I mean a coffee cup meal, the cup of coffee some time?" Back at the party's super secret hideout, Ashe is staring forlornly at her wedding ring. Wow, is a side effect of Deifacted Nethicite and increase in suppleness and fullness because Ashe looks like she just leveled up with a +2 breast size. Basch finally puts all the complicated pieces together to realize that it was "the Dawn Shard that brought down the Imperial Fleet." Balthier condescendingly mocks him by saying "You know your stuff." Basch recants a similar explosion. The Nabrudians (Ashe's husband's homeland) used the Midlight Shard to stop the invading Imperial Army. It killed everyone - and been a solemn subject ever since. The Imperials were invading to get that Midlight Shard. It seems as if all the past invasions by the empire were to get the various shards. They surmise that Vayne is trying to collect them in order to harness their destructive power. Currently, he has the Midlight Shard. Vaan gave the Empire the Dusk Shard when he handed it over to Judge Ghis in the Dreadnaught Leviathan (which he stole from the palace). Ashe holds the only one left - the Dawn Shard. To further build suspense, Balthier reminds that the Empire has the technology to manufacture this stuff. Ashe gets this really bad idea to use the Dawn Shard against the Empire. She recites a poem that seems to justify Dalmasca's right to use weaponized nethicite. I think it was by Machiavelli. Long pause as the clan thinks of a way to tell Ashe she is wrong without using the word "fascist." Changing the subject, Fran suggests that they all go see the Garif people who may know how to use it. Balthier will escort Ashe to these people but asks for her wedding ring as payment. Balthier will give it back when he "finds something more valuable." -- Shopping List -- - Levels: 16 - Visit the Clan Provisioner moogle named Montblanc to receive the rewards owed to you. - Stop by the Gambit shop and get everything they have - you never know when you are going to need a special gambit and they are only 50 gil each. - Upgrade your armor and weapons - Be sure to have Aero black magick. - If you need gil, go back to Ogir Yensa Sandsea and chain those sand people When you are ready to proceed go out the southern exit of Rabanastre. _____________________________________________ | Giza Plains in the Rain (x16) | THRONE ROAD > NOMAD VILLAGE > TOAM HILLS > STARFALL FIELD So the rain really does fall mainly on the plain. In fact this area used to be the dried sandy area we charged the Sunstones. However, the rainy season has made this land come to life. THRONE ROAD Watch out because a powerful Elemental floats around mad as hell and if it sees you, it will approach and probably kill your party instantly. If you happen to see one, just pick up and run - even if you are in the middle of a fight. NOMAD VILLAGE Use the save crystal here. Talk to the only nomad left in the village, his name is Sadeen and he will tell you that he is looking for his lost ring. The ring was taken by a Croakadile. He offers you a reward if you can retrieve it. TOAM HILLS At an important crossing sits a monster that must be the result of a late night game-developer drink fest: part frog, part crocodile: Croakadile. He can be brutal to fight but here are some tips: - Set your casters to Blind and slow him - When he is both blind and slow, use the Esper against the Croakadile - Then use every quickening you have. - Attack with 2 brawlers and 1 caster to keep him slow. After defeating it, return to the nomad village to save and talk to Sadeen to get a goody bag with 1200 gil. Head south to Ozmone Plane. _____________________________________________ | Ozmone Plane (x17) | Pan shot of the entire plane and the title card comes up "Ozmone Plane." The music sounds ALMOST like it was done by Aaron Copeland. Cross through as follows: FIELD OF FALLEN WINGS > THE SWITCHBACK > HAULO GREEN I suggest just running through this area as the monsters are super hard and like to gang up on the clan. _____________________________________________ | Jahara - land of the Garif (x18) | BANKS OF THE SOGOHT > LULL OF THE LAND > THE ELDERKNOLL BANKS OF THE SOGOHT Go to the moogles located to the left of the bridge and buy a Jahara map. That Ozmone Plane map is quite pricy so I skipped it and was never disappointed by my non-purchase. The Garif at the bridge says "No place for Hume-children to play at games." Eesh, check out that Engrish. Time to hire a new localization writer. Hey Square-Enix, I freelance write. Call me, no Engrish will get past my watchful eye - at least the non funny ones won't. The Garif War Chief vouches for the party's warrior cred. His name is Supinelu. Vaan talks but no words come out. I guess Supinelu assumes that we are here to research nethicite. He walks off. Notice that although he is a powerful warrior he still has some rather curvaceous birthing hips. LULL OF THE LAND The Garif village has a very mad-max, post-apocalyptic motif going. All the Garif talk about how noble they are and how some other kid was poking around asking about nethicite. Hmm, poking around that sounds like something our little prince may be up to Stop by the Merchant here and stock up if necessary. THE ELDERKNOLL Go to the far edge of the village and talk to Supinelu again to get the Great-chief. Supinelu can see the party's true intentions and gives us over to the Great Chief. Cut scene: It looks hot in Jahara but it seems the Great Chief still needs a huge bon fire next to him. With nasty elephant man hands, the Chief looks at the nethicite and determines that it has been used. Ashe gets defensive and says "it wasn't me." Ashe then presses further by asking how to use it, just in case. The Chief drifts off into story mode and tells how the gods gave his people the nethicite first. The gods, in their infinite wisdom and infinite Indian-giver ways, took it back from the Garif. The gods gave it to King Raithwall and as we know he used it to make peace among the various kingdoms. Notice how King Raithwall points his sword right at Ashe, signifying her relation to him. I think the chief revels in the irony that even though Ashe is related to Raithwall she does know how to use it. Maybe the gods need to come down and take it from her. He then goes on to tell her that the nethicite is a one shot pistol. All the mist that was in it was used up when it blew up the Dreadnaught Leviathan. Ashe is all "like no way, I totally didn't get use it even through my grandpa said I could have it." It takes a long time for it to suck up all the mist required to make it useful for tyrants. It looks like Ashe is holding a mini watermelon. All of a sudden it is a first person shooter as someone approaches the Chief's tent. Larsa swishes his way up to the Chief's tent and he is all "Hello Bitches!" Damn those home schooled kids get it easy. Larsa tells Ashe that the Marquis is readying the resistance for a fight against the Empire. As a preventive measure, Ashe should go to see the Grand Kiltias (the spiritual leader of Ivalice) so that he can crown Ashe queen. As queen, she will have the power to tell the Dalmascans not to attack the Empire. Larsa seems pretty reasonable here, considering he is from the Empire and wants to stop an invasion. Ashe doesn't take to all this talk of peace and treaties and she kind of wants a big showdown with the Empire. Larsa warns her that if there is a war, Vayne will use the stolen Dusk Shard to nuke Rabanastre. Larsa says "take me as you hostage." This would make Larsa prisoner to Ashe who is currently being kidnapped by Balthier. It is night now and Ashe leaves the Great Chief's tent. As she is walking back to her tent she sees Rosler's ghost again. As she nears, she realizes that it is just Vaan (whose hair is looking extra feathery tonight). Now you may think because Ashe sees someone she loves juxtaposed over Vaan that this may be the start of some sort of crush, romance, or some high school level chemistry, but get over it. That chance at romance is killed by Vaan bringing up his dead brother again. This talk illustrates the many parallels between Ashe and Vaan's lives. Except Ashe would never use the phrase "I want to be a sky pirate." Vaan says he has moved on from Empire hating. Maybe it is time Ashe did the same. I mean, it will prevent nethicital warfare. The next morning, Ashe tells Larsa that she will follow him to Mt. Bur- Omisace to see the Kiltias. The rest of their discussion is so stiff and forced it sounds like two automated telephone operators having a conversation. This is supposed to be a big change for Ashe's character but is it really that hard of a choice knowing that when you get there she will be anointed queen. Cripes, I would walk half way to Montana just to be nominated for Mayor of Flagstaff. Larsa says that he has someone he wants her to meet waiting at Bur-Omisace. Let me tell you, as soon as it is know that you are single everyone and I mean everyone tries to set you up. Vaan wonders about the kid's secrets. You better watch yourself Larsa, we killed the last guest who disagreed with us. Balthier has another excuse why we can't use his airship. Basch accuses Balthier of helping Ashe just to get a hold of the nethicite. Balthier promises him that he has no intention to. Then, as he walks away, Balthier pushes against the fourth wall again when he refers to this as a story and himself as a leading man. _____________________________________________ | Ozmone Plane to Golmore Jungle (x19) | -- Shopping List -- Levels: 17 Go talk to the moogle with the red balloon and he will give the party a free chocobo ride, use it to get you quickly to Golmore jungle. HAULO GREEN > THE SWITCHBACK > THE GREENSNAKE (greensnake is east of THE SWITCHBACK) > FIELD OF LIGHT WINDS (NE of GREENSNAKE) > SUNLIT PATH (Southeast of FIELD OF LIGHT WINDS) SUNLIT PATH Cut scene: Basch and Ashe talk about the alliance between Dalmasca and the Empire. If Ashe signs a peace treaty, she is worried she will appear as a flip-flopper and weak on terrorism, I mean weak on the Empire. Basch says he does not worry about the shame, it would mean that he is saving lives. Basch says that there is hope of peace between the Empire and Dalmasca. Then pan over to Vaan, Penelo, and Larsa playing, singing Kumbaya and saying things such as "we are such good friends despite the nations in which we were raised and the economic castes we were born into" and then they end it with "BFF!" Dear Final Fantasy XII cut scene director: If you have a scene about political infighting among the judiciary branch (which is already boring) don't make it even less interesting by hiding all the actors behind masks. I am just going to cover this scene in bullet points because this one is super dull. - Judge Bergan (The one with the peacock frill helmet and labia collar) gets a military hard-on for Vayne's impressive troop deployment. - Judge Drace (the female with chrome Princess Leia buns) says not so fast the last judge (Zecht) to have a man-crush on Vayne disappeared in a Nethicite explosion during the battle of Nabudis. - Judge Zargabaath (the one with the razor sharp pig tails) says stop gossiping Bergan. - Judge Gabranth (the other one in curls) arrives and says "staff meeting in 10 minutes." - Judge Bergan gossips (again) that Larsa's mission to influence Ashe into a ceasefire may buy the Empire time to build up their defenses. Who is Larsa working for? I am sure that the designers were trying to use the armor to signify the secrecy and hidden agendas of the judges but this looks downright goofy. In reality all the judges should be standing around saying "What? I can't hear you, take your helmet off.", "did you just say I have beer on my face?", "oh you mean Larsa is in Bur-Omisace." _____________________________________________ | Golmore Jungle (x20) | PICTURE OF WELCOME TO THE JUMGLE Status ailments will come aplenty in the Golmore Jungle, make sure all of your casters have the [ally: any > ensuna] gambit setup near the top. PATHS OF CHAINED LIGHT > THE NEEDLEBRAKE PATHS OF CHAINED LIGHT First, get the map urn by following the path that leads east from the entrance. Turn down the first right (it leads south). Run down the stairs and the urn will be just west of the last step. From the urn, travel east until you reach the eastern most part of PATHS OF CHAINED LIGHT. Proceed down this path into... THE NEEDLEBRAKE Traveling south, continue past the opening on your left. However, the next left will have the force field. There are other force fields in the Golmore Jungle but only this one will trigger the cut scene. Cut Scene: Fran says "The jungle denies us our passage." Ashe says "what have we done?" - guilty conscience Ashe? Fran storms off and all bitchy like. She tells Balthier that he has been caring too much about the nethicite - I think this is code for "you hang out with your friends more than you have been with me." She waves her finger around like she is in a rave and a grass field expands in front of her. She tells the party to talk to the Vierra (Fran's people, or Fran's rabbits, or whatever) so that they can get past that force field. Yup, we are going into babe city. Now, judging by all the forum posts about what they want to do to her thong and what they want to stick in her ears, Fran has a pretty big nerd following. However, I have a hard time getting it up for a character that I know was designed by a bunch of otaku game artists during a late night character design meeting. Every time I catch myself staring at her digital rack I get these pictures in my mind of fat Japanese guys with pork ramen stains down their shirt drawing pictures of her in their Hello Kitty notebooks. That is the reason I am an Ashe guy: I have a feeling she was just modeled after the cute secretary at the front office. Fran will not be going with the clan, she is an outcast. It is probably because of her relationship with Balthier. Proceed down the path to continue to Eruyt Village. I don't want to get anyone's hopes up but I think visiting Fran's home world is probably our best bet to see some partial nudity that the ESRB promised us. _____________________________________________ | Eruyt Village (x21) | ROAD OF VERDANT PRAISE > THE SPIRITWOOD > THE FANE OF THE PATH Vaan leads the party through the secret passage and into Eruyt Village. Their mission is to bring Mjrn (which sounds nothing like it is spelled) back to the entrance so Fran can talk to her. A couple OF moogle merchants enter Eruyt village. Nestled in a deep forest, the Eruyt Village is just a timeshare that is co-owned by the Ewoks, Wookies, and Donkey Kong. www.gameintestine.com/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=143 ROAD OF VERDANT PRAISE Get the following Spells from the Moogles - Berserk - Float - curaga Now if you have heard the urban legend that women who live together sync their cycles, you can rest assured that it is true after visiting Eruyt Village. Don't expect more than a raised white eyebrow when you try to talk to them. Travel north along the catwalks to locate the Vierra town hall. THE FANE OF THE PATH Cut scene: When the clan arrives in the town hall they all gawk like tourists saying to themselves things like "wow look at this bridge", "ah look at that tree," and "so this is what Switzerland is like." Vaan asks for Mjrn. A woman comes out of one of the nearby huts and tells the party to leave. Vaan gets real stern with the woman telling her they are not leaving until they see Mjrn. Now you may be thinking to yourself "boy Vaan's character arc is coming around and he is actually taking a leadership role" - but it is more of his sexual frustration speaking. I would be in the same mood if I found out that the fabled home of a super-sexy super-race was actually just full of xenophobic lesbians. Vaan then says "Fine we will find her ourselves" - starting with a thorough search of the bathhouses. Fran arrives to tell the party that Mjrn is not in the village but demands to know where she went. Jote doesn't tell her but instead lays a big guilt trip on Fran for leaving the wood. Jote then raises her arms, kicks up a small whirl wind, and tells the clan that she went west. Fran says something really convoluted but it boils down to "you can take the Viera out of the Eruyt but you can't take the Eruyt out of the Viera." Balthier compliments Vaan on his pirate-like negotiation skills. Larsa thinks that Jote's cryptic message was referring to the Henne Mines and recommends we go investigate. On their way out, Vaan asks Fran now old she is. Set eyeballs to roll mode... ok... now roll them. Dumb Vaan doesn't know you don't ask a girl her age. Ha Ha <slap knee> Lets go. _____________________________________________ | Henne Mines (x22) | LEVELS Recommended for the Henne Mines: 17 for all characters Return to the Golmore Jungle. If you encounter a Treant, use Aero spell to really damage it. This is a good area to level up. Target the Panthers and Malboros. When you are ready, proceed north through NEEDLEBREAK > PATHS OF CHAINED LIGHT. Use the save crystal in SUNLIT PATH and talk to the two soldiers. Offer up the potion and get a chocobo in return. You need it to access the hidden path to the mines. Take the Chocobo through SUNLIT PATH > FIELD OF LIGHT WINDS > THE SHRED FIELD OF LIGHT WINDS To get to THE SHRED run along the southern wall of FIELD OF LIGHT WINDS. Turn left at the white flowers, there is a chocobo standing there. Continue south from there. NORTH ENTRANCE Cut scene: Along the grassy entrance to the cave lie dead soldiers and civilians. Larsa asks "what were researchers doing here?" Balthier replies "Research" and I can't figure out if it was sarcastic or mournful. Dismount the Chocobo and enter the mines. NORTH ENTRANCE > PITHEAD JUNCTION A > PHASE 1 SHAFT > PITHEAD JUNCTION A > PHASE 1 DIG > CROSSOVER A > CROSSOVER B > PITHEAD JUNCTION B > CROSSOVER A > CROSSOVER B > STAGING SHAFT NORTH ENTRANCE Henne Mines has a bit of an Art Nouveau style to it. If you have ever seen those Metropolitain subway signs in Paris you will know what Art Nouveau looks like. See the following link for an images of this. www.gameintestine.com/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=144 Proceed south and stop at the switch, the map indicates it with gears. Press it. Continue down the right path and read the notice posted on the wall. The switch will toggle between blue and red doors. PITHEAD JUNCTION A Talk to the guard then look for a second switch located in the junction. Before you hit it ensure that your party is ready for an ambush by casting protect on everyone. Set the following gambits: Caster: [enemy: any > oil] [enemy: oil > fire] Tank: [enemy: oil > fire] Hit the switch and jellys fall from the sky and will continue to come in multiple but finite waves. If your party is looking ragged, run out of the zone and get your party healthy again before returning to the fight. PHASE 1 SHAFT After defeating the jellys, heal your party and then head south to get the map. You will be ambushed again but this time by bats. You can fight them or just dash in, get the map, and then escape. PHASE 1 SHAFT Go back to the pithead junction A, press the switch and go west and then south through PHASE 1 SHAFT PHASE 1 DIG Work your way through the winding shafts towards the exit on the east. As you proceed, keep a lookout for the many treasure chests scattered throughout this zone. CROSSOVER A Follow the tunnel north. In the hallway is a powerful T-rex. Why, you may ask, is a dinosaur down here? Because, dinosaurs love mines. That's why archeologists have to dig so deep to uncover them. To defeat him get all the spell casters to shoot Aero at him. Don't worry about the bats, just work on him. When defeated, continue to the north end of the tunnel and turn east to... CROSSOVER B Fight any baddies in this room. Then, get everyone all healed, protected and charged up before heading into the next room. When ready, move south down the last hallway to... PITHEAD JUNCTION B Position yourself so you can make a quick escape out the western red gate. Hit the switch and it is jellys all over again. Just run, it is not worth fighting all of them especially since there has not been a save for a while. Once you are out of PITHEAD JUNCTION B stop, don't run too far. Recharge after the slime humanity. CROSSOVER A Slowly proceed west and take care of the next two T-rexes one at a time. When done, continue west, then north. Go east to CROSSOVER B and west to STAGING SHAFT where there is a save. STAGING SHAFT Cut scene: The party enters the mines and Larsa admires all of the magicite. He surmises that the weapons research facility called Draklor is heading this operation as a source for their development of manufactured nethicite. The Empire is focusing on the Henne mines specifically because it will still be in their hands if they go to war with Dalmasca. The first mines we visited in Bhujerba were located in Dalmascan territory and would be cutoff at the first sign of conflict. Something growls and then runs off. Fran thinks it may be Mjrn. It is! She saunters in and is totally blotto. She boozes philosophically about the party: "the stench of humes", "the stench of power." Yup! That would be Basch and Ashe and in that order. Ashe asks what's wrong with her and she whips her head around and points the bitch-finger right at Ashe. "Power- Needy Hume!" Ashe is all "Oh my god nuh-uh." Then, Mjrn drunkenly runs into the next room. This is just like Prom! The boss in the next room is a doozy. You will need to go back to town in order to prepare for this battle. -- Shopping List - - Levels: 17 - Upgrade the Shields and Armor for your front line - aka tanks. - Make sure they have Shield Block abilities purchased from the LP board. - Buy 20 x Phoenix down, 20 x Hi-Potion - Make sure healers have: revive, ensuna, charge - Several Quickenings across multiple characters When you are ready enter the next room to fight the next boss. Mjrn tiptoes around and darts right under a T-rex with wings. Ahwwwww it looks like the little terror got his head stuck in that metal ring that goes around the garbage disposal. Which I think is called the shiny-grindy-ring. ----- BOSS: Tiamat (x22a) ----- GAMBITS Casters: [Ally: Any > Phoenix Down] [Ally: any > Ensuna] [Ally: HP < 40% > Hi-Potion] Tanks [foe: any > Attack] PARTY: 1 healers, 2 tanks, Larsa - Start off using your Quickenings, and Summon the Esper - But before you start your quickening, take out your casters so that it does not drain their MP. - Always ensure that Larsa is alive, healthy, and non-disabled because he is your major healer with his unlimited supply of Hi-Potions - keep reviving fallen comrades instead of swapping them out with other teammates. - Keep an eye on you MP because this fight is long enough that your tanks should fill up their MP enough to cast a second quickening. - Save the second quickenings for the end because as Tiamat's health is low, his defense goes up. - It will take many tries to beat this one, so just be patient. Go back and level up some more if you are still having problems. 0000 Cut Scene: Whatever Migr was on finally catches up with her as she falls into a pile of ears and platinum hair and then teeters on consciousness. As she wobbles, she drops a nethicite crystal. It shatters and a ghost without arms appears behind her. When she falls Vaan asks "That thing insider her? What was it?" Migr comes to, recognizes Fran and then describes how she got into the state she was in. Some soldiers entered the wood. And like her sister Fran, Migr got a bit curious about human men. She followed them into the mine and then they gave her some nethicite - perhaps they were expecting to have a rohipinol-like effect. Then she went bonkers just like Fran did on the Leviathan. This makes Larsa realize that manufactured nethicite has more potent than he thought. He snatches it from Penelo because girls just can't handle the stuff. Ashe says "There is a place for all things, even dangers like this." Yes, Yucca Mountain. Cut Scene: The clan returns to Eruyt village. All of the girls are standing together in a line, god they look like someone ran the negative filter on them. Jote says the wood told her about the clan's deeds. Because they have a noble goal, she decides to give them Lente's Tear. With it, the clan can pass the barricades and deeper into Golmore jungle. When she was out man hunting, Mjrn got a taste of the real world and pleads Jote to do something to stop the decay of Ivalice. But really, what would the Viera do to save this world? Touring Negligee shows? Hair grooming clinics? Mjrn tells Jote that she wants to leave the wood - once you go Hume you never go back. Fran tells her to stay in the wood and forget she even has a sister. Fran can no longer identify with the wood, can't hear it, and for that reason, she doesn't want her sister to go through the same transformation. Fran asks Jote to ask the forest if she hates her. Jote tells her "the wood longs for you" (use whatever penis joke you have now) _____________________________________________ | Back to Golmore Jungle (x23) | Leave Eruyt Village and unlock the force fields using Lente's Tear. THE NEEDLEBRAKE > WHISPERLEAF WAY > THE PARTING GLADE > DELL OF THE DREAMER > THE BRANCHWAY > THE GREENSWATHE THE PARTING GLADE Save and transport to Bhujerba. Go on some hunts and level up because you will need the following for the coming boss battle. Shopping list - Average party level = 19 - Number of Quickenings = 6 - 10 x Handkerchiefs, 10 x Gold Needles, 10 x Alarm Clocks, 10 x phoenix downs, 10 x echo herbs, 10 x antidote - If you need money and LP I suggest going to Lhusu Mines. Chain the skeletons, especially in SHUNIA TWINSPAN. DELL OF THE DREAMER Cut scene: This next boss looks just like the last one, Tiamet, except it is covered in moss. It is the Chia Tiamat. I would totally buy a Chia-pet shapped like FFXII bosses. ----- BOSS: Elder Wyrm (x23a)----- GAMBITS: Healers: [Ally: Any > Phoenix Down] [Ally: Any > Esuna] [Foe: Any > silence] [Foe: Party Leader's Target > Aero] Part I: - Rush in with both healers firing off silence spells at just the Wyrm until he is properly silenced. - Disable the healer's silence gambits and switch them to shoot aero at the leader's target. - Focus all attacks against the two other monsters that are not Wyrm. - When the secondary monsters are dead, remove the aero gambits. Part II: - Use any and all Mist Quickenings against Wyrm to get a good start. - THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU CAN DO AGAINST THIS BOOSS: Select whomever you ranged fighter is (usually the healer/caster) as your party leader. Do this by pressing down on the control pad and selecting that person. During the entire battle, move them around as far away as you can from the rest of your party. Doing this prevents the Wyrn from affecting more than one fighter when he fires off his Chia moss. You will only have to cast ensuna on one character rather than your whole party. - Make sure you cast Ensuna on that affected fighter. Use the other non- affected fighter to toss a handkerchief to stop the oil. - Continue fighting, healing, and using Ensuna as the tank and Larsa slowly chop away at Wyrm's health. - Use phoenix-downs instead of raise because they are faster and your healers will not have to use MP. Save that MP for Ensuna. - Make sure Larsa is always healthy so he can keep supplying you with Hi- potions. After the battle return to the save crystal. Proceed through the jungle as follows THE PARTING GLADE > DELL OF THE DREAMER > THE BRANCHWAY > THE GREENSWATHE _____________________________________________ | Paramina Rift (North) (x24) | I hope Vaan and his exposed midriff are ready for this chilly, chilly mountain pass. The music, the lighting, and the posture of the non-player characters all suggest a place of desperation. This does not seem like a place where one would want to be despite the excellent powder and choice ski trails. The entire mood that is evoked at this part of the game is very well done. Progress: FADING VALE > HEAD OF THE SILVERFLOW > FREEZING GORGE. FADING VALE: Talk to the pig refuge, he is so desperate that he resorts to Engrish: "When Newcomers WHAT can't walk on their own arrive..." - come on Square Enix, that's SNES quality talk. The goal for now is to head up to Mt. Bur-Omisace. So take every northern path to get to your destination. HEAD OF THE SILVERFLOW: Cut scene: A group of refuges slowly trudge up the snowy mountain path. Balthier makes a little speech criticizing the Empire who is indulgent and won't pay for shoes for the refugees. Larsa whines that he is working for peace and trying to solve this. To prove his point, Larsa says his dad will choose peace. Balthier counters that "you can never know another, not even your father." Daddy issues Balthier? (see Oedipus). Larsa reacts the best way a little Emperor could - by pouting. I have a feeling Larsa won't be sending Hi-Potions to Balthier any more. Cut Scene: Flash to the Emperor's corner office - it looks like a level from Mortal Kombat 3. Vayne is talking to his father, the Emperor, and is discussing his plans to dissolve the senate. The Emperor criticizes Vayne's jump to violence. Vayne looks up at the Solidor-crest hanging behind the Emperor's desk and mentions the sword in it as proof that sometimes Solidor must use the violence to its benefit. The Emperor kind of changes the subject by asking Vayne if this is his attempt to get back at the Senate for pulling him out of command in Dalmasca. Vayne counters that it is not vengeance but necessity. Sometimes there is no other choice but remove an entire branch of government. Vayne says that they need to do this so that Larsa can have an easier time when he is Emperor. The Emperor realizes that sometimes to keep the empire running there needs to be someone to do the dirty work. Featured prominently behind the Emperor's desk is the seal of House Solidor. Notice how it has a large sword running down the center of two intertwined snakes. As Vayne mentioned, this sword symbolizes the violence that the family must use sometimes to preserve its own. Larsa wears the same Solidor seal around his neck. Except for one thing. The sword down the middle is missing. This is an important omission and it symbolizes the peaceful approach that Larsa takes instead of the violent methods Vayne is so fond of. If you want to see a close up of both I have added a comparison picture in www.gameintestine.com/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=146 _____________________________________________ | Mt. Bur-Omisace (x25) | Cut Scene: A beautiful flying shot of some surreal stone towers piercing the low-hanging clouds. Other chunks of rock float magically. It looks like the cover of a "Yes" album. SAND-STREWN PASS > TEMPLE APPROACH > TEMPLE GROUNDS > HALL OF THE LIGHT SAND-STREWN PASS Save at the orange crystal. IMPORTANT: From the merchant pig buy six Gold Amulets. They are expensive, but this is one of the most important accessories in the entire game. When equipped all License Points earned will be doubled. This one tool will make leveling up a breeze and an absolute must to speed your game along. If you do not have enough, go hunting for loot now so that each character is always wearing one. In fact, don't proceed to the next dungeon until you have all six members equipped with Gold Amulets. Remember, even characters that are not in the active party will earn this LP. Also buy haste from the magic merchant. The map for Paramina Rift is a bit expensive - don't buy it. I will guide you through the hard bits. IMPORTANT: Now is a very, very good time to go level up. You need to get a lot of gold to buy all six of those golden amulets and the boss fights from here on out get pretty tough. But the most important reason to level up now is Larsa. I won't spoil anything but he will be leaving your party soon. I won't tell you why but it is nothing big like we kill him or he turns into a demon. He just leaves. So this is your last time to fight with him and use his endless Hi-potions. He will make leveling up go much faster. Here are my recommendations: - LEVELS: Get all of your fighters to level 24 - LOCATIONS TO LEVEL: the snowy PARAMINA RIFTS - if the monsters are too hard, go to GOLMORE JUNGLE and chain the Malboro or Panthers. - REQUIRED ITEM: The gold amulet - must have it when leveling up to increase your rate of LP earned. - You may also want to practice your quickenings. TEMPLE APPROACH The Mt. Pass is home to a makeshift refuge shanty town. The Empire's armies don't dare attack it because of its proximity to the holy ground of Bur- Omisace. The refuges find peace but also a desolate life style. North of here is the Temple grounds. Everyone figures you for a pilgrim because you want to see the Temple. Cut Scene: Arial shots of the castle. Notice the Large Egg, the many minarets and the grand door. If I were a refuge I would hang out here on the temple grounds. TEMPLE GROUNDS The clothing and scenery here is trying to evoke a Shangri-La much like Tibet. The art direction here is quite impressive. I can't believe the PS2 can render all of this. Cut Scene: The party arrives in the main hallway of Grand Kiltia's temple. Everyone goes up and just stares at him because he seems to be asleep. Vaan asks the obvious question and telepathically or using some sort of ventriloquism gimmick he says that he lives in-between the dream and real world - much like Timothy Leary did. He tells Ashe that he has "Dreamt your dream." He tells her that she is a good person to carry on the Dalmascan lineage and it is good that she wants to restore Dalmasca. Just before Kiltias endorses Ashe as successor to the Dalmascan lineage, my second favorite character in all of FFXII comes in. Al-Cid Margrace. He is a quasi-Spanish, quasi-ruler, total-lothario who emits Don Juan vibes like others emit stink. I think he actually is how the Japanese picture American Rock Stars: flowing hair, frilly clothes, surrounded by women. But Al-Cid actually comes off as the quirky jack like Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park or Howard Stern. He is so cheesy and cliched that you have to love the FFXII designers for thinking this would pass. He comes in and gives Larsa a playful semi-noogie and calls him his little Emperor-in-waiting. I love that and I love this guy! Larsa introduces him as being from the Rozarrian Empire - they were the ones that built the Sandsea oil tankers - just another reason to love him! He approached Larsa to work out a peace deal with the Empire. Foppishly, he gives his assistant his sun glasses - I hope that is her only job because that would be awesome! He then kisses Ashe's hand, Penelo in the back gets another crush. Kiltia's tries to ignore what is going on probably because he has seen Al- Cid's dreams and they are a bit twisted. He brings everything back on subject by summing up the gravity of this meeting: three ambassadors from three nations all on the brink of war. He says that if they were to find peace together this would be a new age in Ivalice (maybe something like the Dynast-King's time). Ashe and Al-Cid counter what Kiltias is saying because he is being too idealistic: they just want a practical solution. All of this talk of compromise is petty, says Cid, because the Emperor was killed. This was the first Larsa heard of this news. Cut Scene: Emperor's office in Archadia: Gabranth rushes past a flurry of guards and voiceovers by Senators reacting to the news. All the judges are gathered in the Emperor's chambers. Unmasked, they are all arguing with Vayne over the implications of this latest tragedy. Vayne blames his death on a poisoning by the Chairman of the Senate. Sighting national security, Vayne dissolves the Senate and places himself as head of the Empire. I like to picture the following scene as how the US Supreme Court really decides cases behind closed doors. The honorable Judge Clarence Thomas will be played by Judge Bergan. Judge Drace accuses Vayne of regicide (Vocab word: a mummer is a jester). Zargabaath thinks it's a good idea to have a dictator in order to react quickly in times of war. Drace places Vayne under arrest. Bergan places Drace under arrest. Drace then denounces Bergan (Vocab 2: a motley is jester's clothing/hat). Bergan then grabs her by the face. Yes the face. Then he throws her across the room BY HER F'ING FACE. She calls him inhuman. Then he makes a face that looks like Nick Nolte's and growls. I rewound that part like four times; someone needs to make a YTMND for it. If you do, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org Video at: www.gameintestine.com/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=147 Vayne sends Zargabaath and Bergan off to go pickup Larsa. Gabranth protests because if you remember back a few scenes, the Emperor assigned Gabranth as bodyguard for Larsa. Vayne says "oh really why were you tattling on me to my dad?" Vayne then calls him a hound and asks him to execute Drace because she violated the law. Now this gets a little intense for a video game. Gabranth slowly runs Drace through with his sword. Forget the "Partial Nudity" warning by the ESRB, this game should have a "Slow, Painful, Blunt Object Execution" tag. A piece of side boob warrants a "T" rating but showing a slow death is fine? Back at the Bur-Omisace, Al-Cid brainstorms ways the two empires can handle the new Emperor Vayne. Watch Larsa, you can see in his face that all hope for a logical, peaceful solution have just been destroyed because of Vayne. Al-Cid reports on the advancing Emperial Army. As he talks note the darting camera: Al-Cid even gets his own camera technique! Addressing the Kiltias, Ashe asks a super loaded question as to whether she should use nethicite against Vayne. She wants to wield the nethicite. It is so shocking Kiltias wakes up and talks. He tells her she needs to get the Sword of Kings, the only thing that can destroy nethicite. Larsa leaves the party to go help his father be less dead. If Larsa is going to leave our party, I want it to be something huge. Like what if he gets bitten by a zombie and then becomes a little emperor zombie (with yellow eyes) but is still our ally and actually eats the brains of other beasts until his arms fall off from decay and then he has to leave to seek the help from the witch princess to restore him. Return back to the Refuge camp and then south through the Paramina Rift. The clan has a new objective to get the Sword that can counter the power of Vayne's Nethecite. LEVELING UP TO LVL 24 HERE _____________________________________________ | NOTE TO THE PLAYER (x26) | Well here were are, half way through the game. You have already seen some of the best this game has to offer. You fought some cool bosses, got to meet one of my favorite characters (Al-Cid), got a good handle on the Gambits system. But, if you are on the fence about whether or not you like this game and if you are wondering if you really want to sink another 30 or so hours into it, quit now. I am not saying that the rest of the game sucks - my favorite character still hasn't fully come into the story yet. But, it is more of the same from this point on. So, if you like what you have played so far continue on soldier. Otherwise, for those of you who dragged through the last few dungeons thinking "when is this going to end?" or "is this going to pick up?" I would stop now. If you really want to know the rest of the plot I have posted the actual cut scenes and plot descriptions for the entire game at www.gameintestine.com. If you will be staying with us, please continue on. Otherwise, thanks for playing (and reading). Chris of Gameintestine.com _____________________________________________ | Paramina Rift (South) (x27) | Head back to the snowy plains, however, this time you must proceed south through them to get to Stilshrine. Progress: FREEZING GORGE > FROZEN BROOK > PATH OF THE FIRSTFALL > SPINE OF THE ICEWYRM > SILVERFLOW'S END If you are dying a lot run right through these fights. They are harder than the temple that you will be entering. PATH OF THE FIRSTFALL Use the save crystal here. SPINE OF THE ICEWYRM Ensure that you party has Libra cast when you pass through because of the numerous traps. _____________________________________________ | Stilshrine of Miriam (x28) | Shopping List for Boss 1: - Levels intended: 24 - Number of Quickenings 6 Shopping List for Boss 2: - 15 x Alarm Clock, 15 x Phoenix Downs, 15 x golden needles - Ice shield for your tanks Progress: WALK OF SKY > WALK OF MIND > WARD OF VELITATION > WALK OF REVELATIONS > WARD OF THE SWORD KING > WARD OF MEASURE > COLD DISTANCE > WARD OF STEEL > VALUT OF THE CHAMPION WALK OF SKY This is just a straight walk with no purpose other than to impress us with the massiveness and majesty of the temple. It works. By the way where is all the snow? Notice all of the arches have those red and white voussoirs. Once again referencing the Spanish Temple in Cordoba. Overall this game joins the movie Dune in a Middle Eastern / Mediterranean art style. And because airships are involved I bet I could turn this style into some sort of "punk" term. Spicepunk? Dunepunk? Berberpunk? Whatever. But if people start using the term Crescentpunk to describe stories that focus on high technology in the mideval Persian Gulf, you know that I made up the term first, right here in this guide. WARD OF MEASURE At the center of the room is a platform - indicated as gears on the map. Equip your non-caster leader with the Dawn Shard and touch the pedestal. Then the pharos's eyes glow purple like someone just touched his pedestal. The Dawn Shard saps all your MP as long as you have it equipped. If one of your party member's MP is always 0 you forgot to unequip the Dawn Shard. Now you won't have to ask the forums why Ashe's MP is 0 and unleash all the wrath of flaming forum trolls. God I hate forum nerds. WARD OF VELITATION The definition of velitation is "a test." This area will test your health. I recommend just running; these dragon beasts are so nasty you will loose if you try to fight them. WALK OF TORN ILLUSIONS Fight off any Egyptian style heads. The mumbled voice makes me laugh. In this room is another pedestal that requires you to equip the dawn shard. After activating the pedestal you will unlock the stairs in... WALK OF REVELATIONS This room contains a monster that is a master of evolution. It disguises itself as a save crystal, when you defeat it, you can use it to save. The easiest way to kill it is to setup a three person quickening. Don't worry about your MP because when it is defeated it becomes a save crystal which will restore your MP and HP to 100%. Take the central staircase to... WARD OF THE SWORD KING There are a lot of other baddies in here so when you get low on health run back to WALK OF REVELATIONS and heal (but not save). All the monsters will not respawn so you can pick up where you left off. Take the southern path to the giant "sword of judgment." Touch it and the door to the north will open revealing a way stone. WARD OF MEASURE Back to the central room, move along the west wall to see the unlocked pathway in the northwest corner. Touch the door, the inscription is just superfluous. COLD DISTANCE Proceed down the hall and go through the first door on your right. WALK OF PRESCIENCE Take the northern most hallway around. Fight off the zombies first by casting cura on them. If needed, run down the stairs to the south to heal. Then, take care of the Facers. When they are all dead touch the statue called "Stone Brave." Hit "X" next too him, examine him, then rotate clockwise. He should face the room called COLD DISTANCE - check your map if needed, the arrow you see indicates the direction he is facing. WALK OF REASON Kill all the undead, it would be good to set up a gambit here for [Foe: Undead > Cura]. Cura will hit multiple monsters that are in range so it is actually beneficial to be fighting a large group of them. If you need to level up or need some more Gil, this is a good room because you can chain the undead. Continue through the winding room until you reach the statue. Point it north to COLD DISTANCE. COLD DISTANCE The boss is in the next path so go north to save in WARD OF MEASURE. WARD OF STEEL The room is fiery and it looks like nothing could survive. However, two hands grip the top ledge of the platform and pull up the rest of the body. It is a large, floating creature that has huge feathers like a peacock and hands are made of heads. ----- BOSS: Vinuskar (28a)----- GAMBITS: Caster: [various heals, raises] [ally: TANK > haste] //replace TANK with the character who is your tank [ally: TANK > protect] [foe: any > aero] Tank: [self > Decoy] [self > Berserk] [foe: any > attack] Part I: - A status effect will slow anyone with heavy armor. The fight is not that difficult so don't worry about making any changes to your party's equipment. - Start off casting every single one of your quickenings. I have read that some people are able to beat him at the first shot. I was not so lucky - I got him down to half. - Don't bother using the summons because Vinuskar will make short work of them Part II: - After the Quickenings, re-charge your magic castors. - Cast aero on him to take down a lot of his health. - Keep one Tank in to absorb his hits. Cast decoy on him/her. ----- End: Vinuskar ----- He falls and his head-hands start writhing around. If I had heads for hands I would never leave the house. Proceed to the door behind Vinuskar. Rotate the last statue to face west. Access the map urn in the same room. Return to WARD OF MEASURE. The cut scene shows the colossus slowly lifting his huge papyrus shaped sword. Continue along and then go back outside to save. WARD OF MEASURE Proceed to the back of the room and use the way stone. Ensure that you have the dawn shard equipped and then touch the way stone. WARD OF THE SWORD-KING Cut scene: Icy. This may be the Stilshrine's meat locker. As you may know from my other guides you can make things scary by combining three totally incongruous things. This is one such scary boss. In this case: Mermaids + blindfolds + crucifixes = totally freaky Mateus. ----- BOSS: Mateus (x28b) ----- GAMBITS: Caster: [ally: any > haste] [ally: any > protect] [foe: any > thunder] Tank: [Ally: any > phoenix downs] [Ally: Sleep > Alarm Clock] Part I: - This boss is a classic melee brawl so send 2 Tanks, 1 healer - Focus all attacks on the ice balls using lightening and melee attacks. Part II: - When all the ice balls are gone, attack Mateus. - Disable all of you magic attacks gambits on her because she can reflect them right back. - The boss attacks with status attacks of sleeps, petrify - Have the healer character use ranged weapons to stay out of the close combat - You will get this boss as an Esper upon defeating her. ----- End: Mateus ----- Cut Scene: That woman on the cross screams as the beast dies and ring of white ice balls float in the air like it is that power-on animation for the PS2. The crystal appears only to shatter and we have as a new Esper. Apparently that Esper was corrupt. I would call it masochistic but six-of- one, half-dozen of the other. VALUT OF THE CHAMPION This room is really pretty. The only other time I saw a room like this was at the MGM Grand in Vegas. Cut Scene: Ashe approaches the huge glowing clockwork wall and her gourd stats glowing. The machine stops rotating and the sword in the middle floats out and chooses the princes. Vaan suggest trying to use the sword on the Dawn Shard to see if it can destroy it. Ya! Sledge-O-Matic! I saw Gallegar do this same bit at the Hollywood Bowl back in '81. Fran remarks how "The stone bleeds mist", "It is aroused and it fears the sword". I don't think the stone is the only thing aroused; Fran had quite a reaction the last time someone did something to that shard. When watching this scene, keep in mind that the Dawn Shard represents Ashe's vengeance against the Empire who took her husband. If she destroys it, she will have no trump card to play against Vayne. Rasler appears to stop the destruction of the shard because he wants revenge as much as Ashe does. With a quick swing, she purposely misses the shard signifying that she is not ready to give up the past and forgive the Empire. Ashe asks if Vaan saw here ghost husband. Vaan didn't even see his brother. Perhaps Rasler's appearance this time was all in Ashe's head. Perhaps she is the one convincing herself that the shard is the only path to reconciliation with the empire. Leave The Stilshrine by taking the same path used to get here. Don't equip the Sword of Kings, it is more of a prop than a weapon. Cut scene: A whole armada of airships flies away from Mt Bur-Omisace. The lead one looks like a catcher's mask. Fran notices smoke in the distance and she "wonders what it could mean?" My guess... Fire. Save at the orange crystal. _____________________________________________ | Mt Bur-Omisace (x29) | Proceed north through the Paramina Rift towards Mt. Bur-Omisace. Just before you enter, make sure all party members have haste and protect cast on them - this is the last time before a boss battle. Cut Scene: The camera pans over the black smoke that is rising from Mt. Bur- Omisace. The entire refuge camp is smoldering and everyone is limping around. The imperial judges (sent by Vayne to pickup Larsa) came in and ransacked the village. The guards of the Temple attempted to fight them, but lost. The refuge tents were burnt in retaliation. Sad, I know, but a tent village really doesn't take that long to re-build. Two sticks, a piece of cloth, and maybe an oil drum to burn wood in and then instant refuge camp. Proceed through the camp and enter the temple. The interior is destroyed and Judge Bergan (the one that grabbed Drace by her face) stands at the end of the hall. The judge knew that the clan went out to get the Sword of Kings for purposes of revenge. The Grand Kiltias is lying on the ground. No worries he is probably just sleeping; that is his day job. Bergan wants the sword to ensure that no one can destroy the Empire's Nathicite. Vaan sees a ghost appear behind the judge just like the one that was behind Fran's sister, Mjrn. Fran says that he is using nethicite. The judge then gives a speech the likes of which I have not heard since my junior year in high school when intermediate drama had their monologue competition. I can only assume that a side effect of manufactured nethicite is over-acting. Try to keep a straight face and if you can get past all that shouting he basically says that Vayne is now in total control and that Dalmasca will be wiped clean. Note his instance on man-made tools and his emphasis on control away from the gods. This is a bit of the theme of fate vs free will. ----- BOSS: Judge Bergan (x29a) ----- GAMBITS: Caster: [heal, phoenix down gambits] [foe: target > slow] //Cast slow only on Judge Bergan [ally: any > protect] [ally:any > haste] Tank [self > decoy] [self > berserk] - Party: 2 tanks, 1 healer, 1 Larsa - Start the battle by running backwards and gathering all the secondary judges into a tight group. - When they are in the same area use all your quickenings, targeting one of the secondary judges. As long as you chain 3 of your quickenings, the splash damage should hurt the other ones too. - Kill off the judges that survive the quickening. - Setup your gambits so that the healer does not attack with magic and does not perform raise. Use phoenix downs instead. - Make sure Bergan is always slowed - Make sure your party is always hasted - Let the bruisers hack away at him. ----- End: Judge Bergan ----- Cut Scene: Bergan dies swinging his swords wildly. He explodes and his is filled with a cool minty core with retsin. Balthier looks over him and discovers that Bergan's bones were filled with nethicite. The Grand Kiltias was indeed dead - he should have watched Bergan's dreams instead of Ashe's. Larsa is gone. Al-Cid comes in injured and calls Larsa a "young lordling" - I like. Gabranth was able to whisk Larsa away before Judge Bergan and Judge Zargabaath could. According to a scouting report, Vayne is pulling together an attack and Al- Cid wants Ashe to prevent the war. To make the coming war easier, Ashe will use the Sword of Kings to destroy Vayne's nethicite - the Dusk Shard. Balthier thinks it can be found in the weapons research facility called Draklor Laboratory. As Al-Cid leaves, he tells Ashe that Larsa left a message that "the differences between the two lands will fade." Larsa always maintains his peaceful hopes for the future. Balthier suggests that the clan proceeds to Draklor Laboratory on foot to avoid Imperial patrols. Methinks he is tired of driving the clan around like some sort of Dalmascan soccer mom. Note that this is the first time the clan will actually be venturing onto the Empire's lands. This could be considered a pre-emptive strike. Talk to Acolyte at the base of the temple stairs. He will give you the "Stone of the Condemner." This will allow you to access a secret room in Stilshrine containing a special esper. This is just a sidequest and don't do it now; the beast is much too powerful for you. You should go back and save at Mt. Bur-Omisace. There are a ton of new things available in the shops. Shopping List - Dispel - The next level of black magick elemental spells (they end in -aga) - Make sure everyone (even Tanks) can cast firaga, haste and oil. - Buy major armor upgrades for your Tanks. The Casters wont need as much armor as your front line. The next stop is Nalbina fortress. Teleport to RABANASTRE. When you get there, head out the east gate proceeding as follows: THE STEPPING > OUTPOST > YARDANG LABYRINTH. On your way through the easterlands, you may be interested to know that you are now strong enough to kill the T-Rex. NALBINA FORTRESS A large air-ship is dropping a supply crate down to one of the towers. The place is full of water pools, huge waterfalls and lush trees. Much like Bhujerba and Rabanastre, Nalibna has that Arabian feel to it. ----------------------------------- ACT III --------------------------------- _____________________________________________ | The Mosphoran Highwaste (x30) | Levels: 26 across everyone. WEST BARBICAN From the orange save crystal in this Nalbina zone, head west down the path to the Mosphoran Highwaste. The name, which describes my bathroom at times, is appropriate considering this is an ascending marshy path. The path is fairly direct: SOUTHERN SKIRTS > SUMMIT PATH > BABBLING VALE > TRAIL OF SKY-FLUNG STONE > NORTHERN SKIRTS > HALNY CROSSING. BABBLING VALE Save at the teleport stone and buy a map from the merchant here. _____________________________________________ | The Salikawood (x31) | The Salikawood is much like the Feywood in that it is a walkway suspended among the trees. The following path will guide you through the Salikawood and on to the next zone. At this point, many guides and forum nerdlings will tell you to go fight the Bomb King. I DON'T. Instead, just continue through the main path and waiting on the bomb king for now. He is quite difficult at your current level and would waste your time. Furthermore, the area behind him is even more difficult and there is nothing that important to you at this time. This walkthrough will eventually give you the strategies for defeating the Bomb King (so don't worry). I just think it is better to fight him when we are prepping for the final battles. Path: THE OMEN-SPUR > PATH OF HOURS > TRUNKWALL ROAD > DIVERGING WAY > LIVING CHASM PATH OF HOURS The path of hours is home to a travel who tells the clan about the hunter's camp. He is lost. TRUNKWALL ROAD Pickup the the Map urn here. You can find it at the end of a path that dead ends on the south western side of the zone. LIVING CHASM Run to the gate and talk to the Moogle Boss. He explains that the gate's gear is rusted and when repaired, everyone can pass to the Phon Coast. However, to fix it he will need his nine helpers. They are all in the bungalows scattered around the Salikawood. Guess whose job it is to find them? You know what would have no problem making it over a gate? An airship. Pull up the map - the bungalows are indicated with the exclamation points. Proceed to each indicated spot and talk to them. At each stop you tell them that they will get fired if they don't return to work. They must be union. Seems like a bit of padding if you ask me. Cut Scene: The party stands in front of the gate and the too-cute-for-words moogles all work on it. What if all labor crews were run by these guys. I would quit my job, grab a hard hat and work construction with them. We would frame houses in the morning, dine on whatever the heck a moogle eats and then end the day getting drunk together outside the circle K. The head moogle asks us to witness the true power of the moogles. The gate opens onto the next area thanks to their combined effort. Pleased with their work, they all line up like it is a wedding and they are going to throw rice. Each one talks about where their next assignment is. If you talk to the leader he will give you some boots. _____________________________________________ | The Phon Coast (x32) | The Phon Coast looks like "The Silent Cartographer" level from Halo 1. Imperial Ice-cream-cone ships whoozle by. Balthier compliment himself in not using his ship - dude that was like seven ships, a real sky pirate could take care of that in no time. We will even chip in for gas. Balthier then tells us not "to get sluuupy." KAUKULA PASS > RESETA STAND > POR-PORA SANDS > CAPE UAHUK > HUNTERS' CAMP > CAIMA HILLS > LIMATRA HILLS > RAVA'S PASS HUNTERS CAMP: Cut Scene: The clan gets to a small hamlet along the beach and I swear to god that if I see Jimmy Buffet I am going to unleash a quickening on him faster than he can down a Screwdriver. The kids get all excited and run to the water. That's cool. Even through Vaan and Penelo have seen some horrific things as they slaughter monsters, animals, imperial guards, and judges, it all just peals away and they are just two kids who want to play at the beach (see: lost boys of Sudan) Ashe, not used to this sand despite living in a desert, trips and Balthier catches her. Balthier asks her why they are headed to the capitol, even though it was he who suggested that Draklor Laboritories was where we could find the Dusk Shard. Anyhow, Balthier accuses her of intending to steal the nethicite for the benefit of her own kingdom. Balthier tells the story of someone he knew who loved nethicite real bad. Fat-kid-loves-cake bad. He got so hooked on the crack, I mean, nethicite that he would talk about someone named Venat. This guy did everything to get to nethicite, even made Balthier a Judge. It didn't fit him and Balthier left after a few years. This man Balthier was describing ... It was Doctor Cid and he is Balthier's father. I knew Oedipus was around here somewhere. Balthier warns Ashe not to become a Neth-whore like his father. Side Note: the instruction book lists Balthier at age 22. That is a quick career path considering it would be undergrad, law school, clerk, judgship, being disbarred. Was Balthier a Doogie Howser of the law world? The ironic thing is when raiding the Dalmascan capitol on the night of the fete, Balthier was coming face to face again with nethicite in the form of the Dusk Shard. Balthier realizes that rather than running, he needs to confront it and just stop nethicite for good. That is the third party member who makes the decision to make amends with their past. - Vaan (accepting it was the Empire that killed his brother and no revenge) - Fran (confronted her homeland, choosing to leave for good) - Balthier (decides to confront his father) Flash back time for Ashe: Standing on a tower, dressed in their wedding bests, Rasler and Ashe overlook the city below. Rasler says "A marriage of convenience - a symbol of the alliance between Nabradia and Dalmasca." Whoa, wrong voice for that guy. They gave Rasler the voice of a smooth lounge crooner not so fitting for a 20-something prince. I would suggest for him... Neil Patrick Harris or Johnathan Taylor Thomas or Haley Joel Osment. Wait, aren't they all gay? Ya, that would totally fit. He reassures her that he didn't marry her for her HUGE..... tracks of Dalmascan land. She agrees and then they pork. THE HUNTERS' CAMP So explore club med, use the save crystal, buy a map, stock up at the merchant. Level Check: 27 CAIMA HILLS and LIMATRA HILLS The two of these zones have paths to THE VADDU STRAND which is an area that has 16 treasure chests. However a couple of those chests are... ZODIAC CHESTS. If you are going to be going for the zodiac spear do not touch any of these chests. But in my opinion, the Zodiac Spear is a fool's errand and you will beat the game much easier if you just reap all of the goods that are hidden in the chests. This was the last of the forbidden Zodiac treasure chests. I will not tell you have to get it because you will waste hours and hours replaying the same spot just have a 0.1% chance it will appear. Seriously, here are some better uses of your time instead of going for the Zodiac Spear: - build a tree fort - download an emulator and beat FFIII/IV. - Watch the entire first season of Lost - Work up your courage and tell a girl you love her. RAVA'S PASS Look over and see the two vierra sisters. Eruyt represent! They are there because they found the wood too restrictive so they are just lounging by the coast. _____________________________________________ | Tchita Uplands (x33) | Tchita Uplands is yet another grassland bringing our total to three. The others being Giza Plains and Dalmasca Estersand. REALM OF THE ELDER DREAM > THE SKYTRAIL > CHOSEN PATH > SOCHEN CAVE PALACE > THE HIGHLANDS > FIELDS OF ETERNITY CHOSEN PATH A very important save crystal, so use it. A small kid is standing over one of those Bangaa lizard men. The kid says that the Bangaa is useless and that he needs real hunters who will kill something in the Sochen Cave Palace. It is kinda cute because the mark the kid gives you is his own scribbled drawing of the monsters. I bet it was done by one of the designer's kids and they worked it into the game. Accept the hunt. When you accept the hunt you will get the Soul Ward Key from the kid. From the CHOSEN PATH head north to the entrance of the Palace. This is your last time to upgrade for a boss battle. Shopping List: - Get at least one, preferably more, characters up to level 30. The Tchita Uplands are a good location if you are strong enough. If not, the next best location is back at the icy PARAMINA RIFT (steal and chain the skeletons for loot and target Emperor Aevis for lots of EP.) - When your leveling be sure that everyone has Golden Amulets equipped. - Go back to the hunter's camp or the Bur-Omisace shop. - Upgrade the weapons for your casters if they have not gotten anything in a while. - This would also be a good time to go on some hunts. By the end of the game you should have a minimum of 12 hunts completed. It may be time to knock off a few to get closer to that goal. - If you have not talked to Montblanc in a while, go claim some prizes from the moogle in the Clan Hall. The Hall is located in the NORTH END of Rabanastre. - Dispel - 10 x Alarm clock, 10 x antidote FIELDS OF ETERNITY Go through the very thin cave entrance at the northernmost part of the zone. Cut scene: A Misty scary cave. Vaan looks around says "You sure this rabbit hole's really the way into Archades?" Hey, don't talk about Fran that way. Balthier says we should enter the Capitol through the sneaky way because he is the Odysseus, Robin Hood, Indiana Jones archetype. Ashe suggests the party blend in when they get to the capitol. Like she could blend in anywhere with that skirt. Vaan thinks we can lay low and adds that he did not recognize that Ashe was a princess. I think the party needs to set the gambit [Ally: Vaan > Ignore]. _____________________________________________ | Sochen Cave (x34) | Path: DOUBT ABANDONED > HALL OF LAMBENT DARKNESS (BOSS FIGHT) > THE ACOLYTE'S BURDEN > MIRROR OF THE SOUL > FALLS OF TIME > DESTINY'S MARCH > HALL OF SHADOWLIGHT > TEMPTATION ELUDED > CHAMBER OF THE CHOSEN > SKYBENT CHAMBER DOUBT ABANDONED Head North and just run through these caves to keep the clan healthy for the coming boss fight. Use the "Soul Ward Key" on the door. If you don't have it, return back to the CHOSEN PATH of the Tchita Uplands and talk to the kid to get the key. HALL OF LAMBENT DARKNESS A large baroque room is the setting for the next boss fight. This next part is a actually kinda dumb and not that funny. But what makes it better and just about everything is the Benny Hill Chase theme. I have attached a link below, play it during the cut scene to make it much better: http://calwestray.tripod.com/images/benny_hill1.mid Five strange looking creatures come in and we are treated to a little slapstick act involving a disembodied head. ----- BOSS: Mandragora (x35a) ----- GAMBITS: Disable all gambits that will use MP, you must save it for Quickenings at the start of the battle. Casters: [ally: status = sleep > alarm clock] Tank: - This boss requires you to be very particular as to which foe you fight so do the following: - No Berserk Gambits //A berserker tank will attack whatever it he/she wants - All gambits should be start with Foe: party Leader's Target //don't use Foe:Any because you will loose control over that tank. The same applies to your casters. Part I - Attack with 2 tanks, 1 healer - When the fight starts make sure all MP gambits are off - The little guys will first scatter so have your party focus on just one of the Mandragora. - Start beating him - but still don't use magic. - When they start to gather, wait for them to form up in a tight pack. Then, pick whatever Mandragora is in the middle of the bunch and focus your Quickenings on him. If you get a chain of 3 or higher you create splash damage for all guys in range. - The Mandoragoras may still be in a pack after the quickening so stay as far away from them as possible. They are most deadly in packs. Part II - Swap in caster that has MP left and set the gambit: [Foe: status = Haste > Dispel] - Remember the easiest way to swap out a character is to press X and turn off the gambits of the person you don't want. Just don't forget to turn their gambits back on. - When they scatter again, chase the one with the lowest health and attack him. - Cast slow on that target too. - You must act fast on killing that target because they heal themselves very quickly. Part III - When they re-group again, use another quickening. - Chase them down one by one and avoid them when they are in a group. ----- End: Mandragora ----- Cut Scene: A bell starts tolling and each Mandragora rises like ghosts, then they fade into the white light. The Benny Hill theme still works here. Heal your party because you will need to run all the way back to the save crystal in Tchita Uplands. The Mandragora's were too difficult to leave another fight up to chance. When you get back to the CHOSEN PATH save, then talk to the kid to get a reward. The kid says "if you train hard you may be good enough for a house guard." Shut up kid. We recently defeated a monster that was so evil it had a naked chick crucified to it - let's see one of your house guards do that. There is another boss fight ahead. As long as you are at a transportation crystal it would be wise to stock up on the following. Shopping List - 10 x Remedies - to cure Doom (available in Rabanastre) - 15 x alarm clocks, 15 x Smelling Salts, 15 x eye drops - Your healers should have the Remedy Lore 3 so they can cure Doom with a Remedy. - Character Levels: average is 31 Run back to the HALL OF THE LAMBENT DARKNESS. Notice it also has red, white voussoirs - I told you that they would show up everywhere. Exit through the left or right doorways. Follow the hallway around, run down the stairs and fight the crystal bug that is in the northern most part of the room. Use quickenings to easily defeat it. MIRROR OF THE SOUL The imps that swarm you are quite powerful. I just fled through this room to avoid their attacks. Follow the easternmost tunnels to locate the Map Urn. From the Urn, move northeast to the next halls. The boss is located in DESTINY'S MARCH. Make sure you have plenty of health. ----- BOSS: Ahriman (x35b) ----- Strangely enough, the Benny Hill theme does not work on him - just not funny. But, if you were to ask me what a tickle monster looks like I would show you a picture of Ahriman. Those hands look like they could make someone giggle so hard they pee their pants. GAMBITS: Healers: - [foe: undead > curaga] - Do NOT have a [ally: doom > Remedy] gambit. You can be strategic about the Doom ailment if you just manually send an ally the remedies. Tanks: - [self > decoy, berserk] Part I - Attack with 2 tanks and 1 healer - If the boss casts doom, use remedy but not until the doom count is 3. If you manually send out remedies you will use fewer of them. - Have your tanks just slowly beat away at him. - Save your quickenings until he is down to the 25% range of health. ----- End: Ahriman ----- TEMPTATION ELUDED Hold the flee button to run through the long hallway - there is a save crystal in the next room. Make sure someone has libra cast because there are traps all over the place. It may be worth it to pull two characters out so no one accidentally hits the traps. Also, watch out for the imps that are strangely difficult. When you get to the atrium, turn north. CHAMBER OF THE CHOSEN Activate the lift by using the small pedestal to the right of the elevator and climbing aboard. At the top of the lift, save. _____________________________________________ | Old Archades (x36) | Path: ALLEY OF LOW WHISPERS > ALLEY OF MUTED SIGHS Cut Scene: Emerging from the backdoor caverns the air, as expected, smells like crap. Vaan, sitting on a balcony like some sort of wily little wood sprite, complains that for a capital, it sure smells bad. Balthier lectures him that it is ok for stuff to smell bad. He goes on to explain that people who don't have a permit to live in the city live here. ALLEY OF LOW WHISPERS From the merchant sitting in the corner, buy the Embroidered Tippet. What is a Tippet you may ask, well it is like a long scarf that hangs down to your knees. This accessory is just as important as the Golden Amulet because equipping it will double the Experience Points earned. Only buy three because EP is only earned by active party members (unlike LP which everyone gets). Have your three active members wearing the Tippets and inactive members the Golden Amulet. I wore this combination throughout the rest of the game. Talking to everyone in the city you find that they are sad, have big dreams, and have the same speech patterns as Eliza Doolittle. ALLEY OF MUTED SIGHS At the bottom of the stairs talk to someone called "Lucky Man." Proceed to the end of the south of the city and talk to the imperials. Respond "I have not." A man approaches Balthier and says to him that "he didn't think he'd be seeing you again." Balthier knows him as Streatear. Streatear (his Christian name is Jules) is very poor and dirty. So poor in fact that he can only afford half of a shirt. Pay him what he is asking for - 1500 Gil. If you need the money, go back into the caves to fight more monsters. With the money, Jules will create a diversion for the clan. You must talk to a man named Beasley to set things in motion. He is sitting on the ground in ALLEY OF MUTED SIGHS, just east of the bridge. When you walk up to him he will be labeled "Archadian Vulger." After talking to him, go back to Jules, who is now sitting on a crate. By talking to Beasley, Jules was able to get the guards to bite the hook. With the guards handling a petty dispute, the gate is now unguarded. See with all the border security it still just comes down to people. Jules parts with Balthier but not before touching on the sore subject: his father. _____________________________________________ | Archades (x37) | Moving on up from the old section of Archades, the party enters the Empire's center. The city is gleaming and is bustling with activity. All the stepped buildings and geometric, metal embellishments exude Art Deco panache. It looks like the city from 1927's Metropolis. Vaan goes running up to the edge of a walkway gawking at some George Jetson cars. Penelo tells him that he has changed. But then she says he has always been impatient to get out of Rabanastre. Vaan changes the subject by reminding her that Larsa is there. Then both of them are all "I can't believe we are so cool!" Basch interrupts and talks his Cro-Magnon talk: "Good Vaan - me work for princess." There are a lot of new items in Archades and it is good to buy them now. Just be careful making your purchases, you must have at least 2500 Gil left over for the next area. This is also the last chance you have to get some items for a very difficult boss fight. - Level: 32 - Don't upgrade your black magick yet, they are useless against the next boss as he will just reflect them back. - Upgrade your tanks' equipment - focus most of your upgrades on defense and armor. - Also make sure everyone in your party has Dispel, haste and protect - 30 x Hi-Potions, 30 x Phoenix Downs //Yes you need a lot Venture into the city and Balthier will leave saying he has stuff to do. When you talk to the citizens of the capitol everyone says they are quite well off. However, they usually follow that by saying they still are not that happy. Notice how in Old Archades everyone wants to get to the main city to make their life better. But, talking to people in Archades, they are still unfulfilled. This is an example of the Man Made Does not bring happiness theme. NIBASSE At the very south end of this zone is a cab. The driver says he will take you but you must pay a price. You can pay in Gil or Chops. The Gill rate is too high so the only other method is to use chops. Jules appears and says that he will start you with your first one for 2500. Pay it and he tells you how to get more - strange that he is so helpful. He says a friend of Balthier is a friend of mine. Fran stares at him which means he is not a friend of either. To get chops you will have earn them from the generous citizenry. They reward them for kind deeds so you will have to go around talking to people and telling them good news to get them to give up the chops. Do this by first talking to a person and listening to their story. When prompted, commit the story to memory. Then, talk to more Archadians until you find someone who would be helped by the story you memorized. Select retell story if you think it is appropriate (there is no penalty for telling the wrong story to the wrong person). If the story you tell is helpful to the person, they will give you a chop. Repeat these steps to get a total of Nine chops. You can match up conversations in all four zones of Archades. The pair of conversations will always be in the same zone. To check how many chops you have, open your inventory and find them in the loot category. TSENOBLE: When you have the nine chops, go back to the cabbie. The ride will take us to the next part of the city. Balthier arrives to tell us that he found an ride to the research labs. Continue through town and you will see that most of the guards are leaving the city. Run around this part to find the guards have blocked the entrance. Run around further to see a cut scene where we learn that Jules took the chops Balthier intended to give to us and sold us just one for 2500. All that money and he still can buy a decent shirt or shave off that Jr. High beard. Jules goes on to explain that the lab is in lockdown ever since Vayne became dictator. The camera zooms in and it looks like it is Jule's exposed mid drift is talking. Go back to the cab and talk to the guide. Select the option "You know where to go" - nudge nudge, know whatahmean, say no more. Confirm and you will be taken to the super secret lab, by a cabbie. The cab lands in a huge, awesome looking lab with a giant spinning thing in it. _____________________________________________ | Draklor Laboratory (x38) | Note: There are no orange transport crystals here so you should save in a secondary save. That way, if you need to buy more armor or potions you can always go back to your last save in Archades to buy more. The laboratory is empty and Basch stops just short of saying "its quiet, a little too quiet." Probably because he can't remember how the quote goes. Balthier was expecting guards, but isn't it more strange that are no scientists in a laboratory? The game play in the Draklor Laboratory is much like my first day in high school. I spent the day running around breathlessly trying to find my next class all the while trying to avoid people. Path FLOOR 66 > FLOOR 67 > FLOOR 68 FLOOR 66 Move north to the lift. It is located in the top-center of the floor. There are some dead soldiers and those that are alive don't say much. Go to the elevator and select 67F. FLOOR 67 From the elevator, head east then north to the end of the hall. Cut Scene: Open the door and Fran notes how someone else was tearing apart an office looking for something. Balthier explores the bad doctor's office and he starts doing that growl-y talk to his non-present father thing that detectives do when they are investigating crime scenes. Guards start yelling things in Scottish-talk and Fran thinks they are looking for the people who made this room a mess. She says lie low. Where? You are hiding in the one place they will look first. Balthier says NO lets go kill my dad. The clan gets the Lab Access Card and a map. Proceed south to the first room on the right - room 6704 East - there is a save crystal in there. Remember, do not overwrite your last save - just in case things get too tricky. Enter room 6703 and hit the switch. Go back to the elevator and up to floor 68F. FLOOR 68F: Switch the following bulkheads to get to the southern lift. - head north and east to [6803 east] - Switch Red to blue. - head north and west to [6804 West] - Switch Blue to red. - head south to [6811 West] - Switch Red to blue. Prepare your party in room 6811. Run around to charge up party members to get quickenings fully charged. Make sure everyone's HP is full because you will be ambushed at the elevator. Aim a quickening at the judges. Pick off the hoplites first, then attack the judges. Another option, if you are having trouble with them is to flee from the judges at first sight and run back to the doorway of one of the rooms. Start the fight there and if your HP is running low, escape to that room, heal, then go back for more fighting. - Go north to the elevator. Go to floor 70 because floor 69 is just dirty. FLOOR 70: Cut Scene: The elevator opens and they all walk out. A man comes running at Basch swings his sword at him. Basch then blocks him with his arm. They slowly push back on each other. We see the attackers face and it looks like Gamespot's Greg Kasavin with Fran's hair taped to his cheeks. Greg here could teach Basch a thing or two about growing a beard. He stops his attack because the clan is not one of Dr. Cid's guards. Basch puts all the pieces together to realize that this guy was the one who was tearing up the office and killing all those guards. Dr Cid's voice is coming from the next room. Use the save (again, use another slot) cast haste and protect on your party then run up the stairs to fight Dr. Cid. Dr. Cid is by far my favorite character in this game. He is voiced by a guy named John Rafter Lee. Past acting credits are almost non existent, most notable is "Additional Voices" in Princess Mononoke. Too bad, because I love the crazy actor role. The good thing is that you get to see this great cut scene a lot because Dr. Cid is very difficult. Cut Scene: Greg Kasavin yells at Dr. Cid for working with Deifacted Nethicite even though he knows how dangerous it is (it blew up that huge airship). Cid doesn't even answer the question, he just says "Try and stop me." Balthier arrives and says "you are too old for this." And then my favorite line in the whole game comes: "Pirate scum of the skies. What brings you here?" The inflection is crazy, perfect, and then the animators gave him the perfect sneer at the end. Balthier says he wants the Dusk Shard. If you notice, Cid and Balthier are never in the same shot - it is like that episode of Full House when Uncle Jesse's cousin Starbros visited and both characters were played by John Stamos and they used quick editing so the two characters could talk to each other. Then, Dr. Cid talks to his imaginary friend. He tells Cid that the princess is there and Cid says "she is not entirely without merit" all dirty. The guy with huge chops says "he means to use you" - yuck. Cid is glowing orange and he laughs. Fran knows it that it is manufactured nethicite. Balthier is disappointed in his father. ----- BOSS: Dr. Cid (x38a) ----- So Cid must have gotten his doctorate in laying-down-the-smack because this is one hard battle. If you try all of these techniques and you still can not beat him go back to you last save and level up against all the guards. Stand by one of the elevators as they come out in an endless supply. LEVELS: 33 across the team GAMBITS: Casters: [ally: any > protect, haste] Tanks: [Ally: Any > Phoenix Downs] [Ally: HP < 40% > Hi-Potion] [foe: leader's target > attack] Part I: Rooks: - Go in with 3 Tanks and have their gambits do all the healing with Hi- Potions and Phoenix downs. - Unleash your Quickenings, target one of the rooks - not Dr. Cid! - Focus all of your tanks' attacks on one rook until it is destroyed. Then, I moved on to the next one. Attack them alphabetically so it is easier to track which ones you defeated. - Don't Target Dr. Cid until they are all gone. Dr Cid: - Swap in one of your healers - Cancel Dr. Cid's Haste spell with Dispel (he is immune to Slow) - Cast silence on him. - Make sure your two tanks have protect, and haste - Bash away at him - If you are having trouble beating him use, the one or two Ethers to refill your healer. This is one time when it is worth it. ----- End: Dr. Cid ----- When Cid is down to very low health, Sideburns Kasavin does his best Susano (from Okami) impression and casts the final blow after we did all the work. What was he doing during this whole fight? Dr. deflects the attack with a Smash Brothers style block bubble and stands up to confront the clan. Cid's imaginary friend appears (which would make him no longer imaginary). It is Venat and it is that ghost that we have seen with Mjrn and Judge Bergan. I searched Venat on Wikipedia for any historical/mythological significance and found nothing. There wasn't even an entry in Tobin's Spirit Guide. The bad Dr. turns it all around and blames Ashe for being a power hungry fool and wanting the nethicite for her own gain. Great. Now we are the assholes. Cid holds out the Dawn Shard and then drops some obvious hints that he is heading to Giruvegan. One of those ice-cream-cone ships picks him up and takes him off. Before he leaves though he mentions "The reigns of history back in the hands of man." See the Freewill vs Fate theme. Balthier says "I hate it when he does that." What? Try to kill you and then run off while accusing you of being power hungry fools? Ignoring the obvious Oedipal issues between Balthier and Dr. Cid, I have a feeling their strife has a more to do with Balthier going to law school and becoming a judge instead of pursuing a medical degree like his old man. Sideburns rises and goes over to introduce himself. He is Reddas and he is joining the clan. ----------------------------------- ACT IV ---------------------------------- Marquis/narrator: The Senate is dissolved and Vayne is the new emperor. The military loved the fact that they had a dictatorship. The resistance retreats to Hoth, I mean the Brder-Skies to prepare for the "Task Ahead." Task should not be capitalized by the way. Cut Scene: Turn your sound up right here because airships scenes are always good. A ton of resistance aircrafts run training maneuvers over a snowcapped mountain range - I could watch animations of airship armada's all day long. The Marquis is captain of one of the lead resistance ship. Marquis is ready to attack the Empire even if Ashe could not get the nethicite. Ashe is standing in a little seaside cabanna which is Reddas' office. Don't touch anything because Reddas' white hair is all over everything in here. She complains that the pirates sell to the resistance but will not help fight for them. Reddas says that they have no country, they are pirates. Speaking of which, check out Reddas' pants - what kind of pirate wears pink. Ashe asks if the Marquis will push ahead with war. Flashback to a conversation between Reddas and the Marquis. The Marquis plans to train and buildup his forces to scare Vayne into peace. To prevent Vayne from using a nethicite bomb against the resistance, Marquis sends Reddas into the Draklor Laboratories to steal it. That is why we found Reddas in the Labs killing soldiers and attacking Cid. Back to the present: Basch thinks Vayne is luring everyone into one battle so that Vayne can blow them all up with one shot. Balthier is not too when he tells Basch that he is wrong again: Cid has the stone, not Vayne. His plan is to get it from Cid and destroy it with the Sword of Kings. Reddas won't be joining us because he has something else to do - which is probably just getting drunk on the beach. Reddas is all drunk again and starts talking at anyone who comes within earshot. Here is the rundown. - Vaan: Go talk to my guys about some background info - Balthier: That kid is going to make a good pirate - Ashe: (watch as she tries to sneak out before he could talk to her - no dice though) - There is more Nethicite in Giruvegan. She wants the stone just to protect Dalmasca. Reddas reminds her of Nabudis: the last time nethicite was used in battle. _____________________________________________ | Balfonheim Port (x39) | Since this is a new Act in the game, a whole slew of items and gambits are available in the shops. You will also be facing a boss soon so get all the items on the Boss list too. This is a long and expensive list but I recommend some choice places to earn money. Shopping list: - Gambits: Buy all the [Ally = status] - Buy [Self: MP < X] and you can finally have an automated Charge Gambit. This should have been available at the beginning of the game. - Skip all the [Foe HP = X] gambits - Buy all the [Foe:Status = X] gambits - Upgrade weapons and armor buy from the Pirate infested Balfonheim Port - notice that none of the shops sell ninja swords. Coincidence? I don't think so. - Get most characters to level 35 (see note below for where to do this) - Every character (even tanks) should get the -aga (blizzaga, firaga...) elemental attacks. For BOSS fight - 20 x phoenix downs, 20 x X-potions. - 10 x alarm clock, 10 x eye drops, 10 x antidote, 10 x smelling salts, 10 x remedy For Boss fight 2: - 2 x Rose Corsage - get it from the Dalmasca Westersand merchant - 10 x echo herbs NOTE ON LEVELING UP: The fastest way to do this is to transport back to THE TCHITA UPLANDS. For everyone fighting, equip the embroidered tippet and everyone in reserve equip the golden amulet. Start fighting your way through each zone leading to SKYBENT CHAMBER. This is the same path taken a while ago when you had the boss fight with all the little Mandragoras. I was able to level three of my characters up 3 levels, 20,000 gil in about 2 hours. Also, go to GOLMORE JUNGLE and chain skeletons in the southern most zone called THE RUSTLING CHAPEL. When enough characters are to 35, transport to the GOLMORE JUNGLE. _____________________________________________ | Feywood (x40) | In the GOLMORE JUNGLE walk south through WHISPERLEAF WAY > THE NEEDLEBRAKE > THE RUSTLING CHAPEL > FEYWOOD GOLMORE JUNGLE The jungle is filled with Hellhounds so you will need your party to be at level 35 to get past them easily. THE RUSTLING CHAPEL Chain the skeletons here, they are great for experience and loot. Exiting south, the clan arrives in the Feywood. It is a boggy, sloppy forest - think Never Ending story where Artax sank into the Swamps of Sadness. Brilliantly gold Mist fills the air - watch for the cool effect in which your party will be reflected in it. The Mist is so bad I think it is responsive for the jumbled minimap. Set gambits for [foe: undead > cura] [foe: haste > slow] FEYWOOD: WALK OF FLITTING RIFTS > WALK OF STOLEN TRUTHS > ANTIQUITY'S END > REDOLENT GLADE > WHITE MAGICK'S EMBRACE > ICE FIELD OF CLEARSIGHT > THE EDGE OF REASON WALK OF FLITTING RIFTS As soon as you enter the FEYWOOD you are ambushed by a half dozen Deadly Night Shades. Even at level 35 they can be pretty difficult to defeat. If you are consistently having problems, run past them. There is no need to waste your time on them. WALK OF STOLEN TRUTHS The map urn is located in the north eastern most cul-de-sac. Check the full screen map. ANTIQUITY'S END Use the save crystal. Proceed through the southern gate. Cut Scene: The clan is stopped because the mist is too thick to pass. Everyone just stands around thinking of way to get through. Except for Basch of course, he has is arms crossed and is staring right at Fran's ass. Then, Ashe's dead husband appears and clears out the mist. In the next room is a boss battle so have haste and protect cast on everyone. Proceed through the newly opened wall of mist. Cut Scene: Panning shot of a Feywood clearing and a giant Georgia O'Keeffe painting attacks. ----- BOSS: Rafflesia (x41) ----- Levels: 35 GAMBITS Casters: [foe:any > disable] //at the start, make sure this is the first gambit Tanks: [foe: leader's target > attack] - The Boss will quickly drain all MP, so all magic attacks will need to be cast right at the beginning of the fight. Subsequently, all the remaining attacks on it will be done via physical attacks. - Start the battle with your two casters with the only gambits to cast disable. This will remove all of the positive effects the boss has. - Swap in anyone who has MP to spare and cast a quickening. - Set all gambits to fix ailments with potions rather than magic. These are the affects it will cast - sleep (alarm clock), blind (eye drops), poison (antidote), confuse (smelling salts), sap(remedy) - Heal with X-Potions - After his power is lowered significantly, Rafflesia will spawn underlings. Kill them then get back to Rafflesia. - Continue to bash away at the enemy. ----- End: Rafflesia ----- When the boss is defeated, return back to ANTIQUITY'S END to save. WHITE MAGICK'S EMBRACE Find a second map urn in the east of the zone. ICE FIELD OF CLEARSIGHT There is no exit to this zone until you solve the puzzle. How to beat the puzzle: - Run to any of the star shaped shrines (this puzzle is random and so you will have to try each one) - Stand in the very center of the temple and if an exclamation point appear, press "X" and read the message. (If no exclamation point, go to another shrine) - Use the right control stick to rotate the camera and notice which one of the openings flashes a green grassy area instead of the snowy one. - Run through the opening that flashed that green scene and head in a straight line from there. - Walk straight until you reach the next temple. - Repeat the "X" press, camera rotate, and green door exit for another two shrines. - The final shrine will have two huge and very difficult lizard beasts in them. To fight them, have everyone cast Blizaga on them. - The final shrine will point you towards the newly opened gate to THE EDGE OF REASON THE EDGE OF REASON There is another shrine puzzle that follows the same rules as the one in the ICE FIELD OF CLEARSIGHT. When arriving at the gate, summon the esper Belia and with him behind you, select "touch the gate." Note: Before you can summon him, he must be purchased on the LP board - see the GameFaqs map of it. Also, the character who purchase it must have full MP. Cut Scene: The parasitic twin moves his hands around before finishing it all off with a hyduken gesture and then the gate slides open. A land that looks like Invalice's version of Waterwold sits on the other side. It is called the Ancient city of Giruvegan. _____________________________________________ | Ancient city of Giruvegan (x41) | Ashe starts reciting poetry. Fran, unable to one up her this time decides to draw attention to her self in another way: complain about the mist. Balthier says we should wait for Cid because he is not here yet. Balthier is afraid to enter the city because it may make everyone go Dr. Cid Crazy. Ashe looks ahead and sees Rasler again - Vaan says we should follow her. GATE OF EARTH > GATE OF WATER > THE TRIMAHLA WATER-STEPS > THE AADHA WATER- STEPS > THE HAALAMIKAH WATER-STEPS > GATE OF FIRE > GATE OF WIND GATE OF EARTH: proceed down the raised path and use the save stone to left. Teleport to town to pickup the following if you need them Shopping List - 10 x Phoenix downs - Most of your party should be at level 36 - Curaja for Tanks and Healers GATE OF WATER Hearbeat. A man with no head and very large shoulders whips his sword around. Ha! Look at those crappy wings. Daedalus attacks us and we are in for another boss fight: ----- BOSS: Daedalus (x41a) ----- Gambits: - Healer [Any > Phoenix Down] [Any > Protect] [foe: Haste > Dispel] [Foe: Undead > Curaja] Tanks: [self > Haste] Part I: - Attack with two tanks and one healer. - Make sure he is dispelled. - Bash away at him using your two tanks and healer casting Curaja. Part II: 1/3 energy left - As Daedalus' health gets lower, his attack speed increases - When he is at 1/3 energy, use as many quickening as you have available. - If he is still alive after the quickenings, turn off all tank gambits except for the tank's [Foe > Curaja]. After the defeat of the boss, return to the save stone back in GATE OF EARTH. The area of Giruvegan is one big love note to Greek mythology. For one thing, Giruvegan parallels the Greek legend of Atlantis: lost, covered in water, technologically stunning. Secondly, the boss you just fought, Daedalus, was the inventor of the great labyrinth and placed the Minotaur in the middle of it. He also crafted the wax wings for his son Icarus (represented by Daedalus' crappy wings). And just like the Daedalus myth, the next few zones in Giruvegan are mazes. But, before you enter the maze, you should prepare because this is the last place to get supplies before two very difficult bosses. Shopping List: Most of the following can be found in Balfonheim Port. Boss #1 - 10 x X-Potion - 20 x Phoenix Down Boss #2 - 10 x Echo herbs - 10 x Vaccine - 10 x Chronos tear - Regen - Immune - Blizzaga - Oil - BUBBLE Note: I suggest being at the 35 to 36 level for the start of Giruvegan. Then use the enemies in the THE TRIMAHLA WATER-STEPS and THE AADHA WATER- STEPS to level up to 40. Be sure to equip your embroidered tippets and grind away in preparation for boss 1. THE TRIMAHLA WATER-STEPS The entire area is a giant dark room that is lined with those tiny lights that they use on the walls of movie theaters. This zone is a maze of green shields and switches that unlock them. Press the switches in the following order: - From the entrance, head south - Touch Avrio Gate Stone - Continue south to the southern most corridors - Chthes Gate Stone - Then head north to the next left, pull a u-turn so you will be heading south. - Wind your way west by zigzagging through the next hallways. When the clan reaches the bottom, walk across the clear green lily pads. THE AADHA WATER-STEPS Continue through the switches much like the last zone. - Touch Paron Gate Stone (This gate switch is not necessary but it will unlock a treasure later) - Then Wind down the path heading north. - Touch Parelthon Gate Stone (The corresponding gate is back at the start of this zone. It is not necessary to go back so continue along the path which leads west from the stone) - Zigzag south to... - Tychi Gate Stone: Turn around and head back the way you just came. Journey North West to exit the THE AADHA WATER-STEPS. When you get to the most north western platform, step off the western side of it - even though there is nothing below you. A green path will appear. Don't worry, that annoying grinding sound is coming from your party walking on the energy field. Stop and the sound stops. I thought it was my heater making that sounds and actually stopped my game and went over to the air intake to see if anything was loose. Cut Scene: The clan walks along the platform and there is a giant glowing beehive to the right. At least I think it is a beehive - it may just be a giant dog turd if that dog had eaten Tinkerbell. Penelo says "I can't shake the feeling were somewhere were not meant to be". Then Basch gets real close to her, able-to-smell-him close. You can even see Penelo back up a bit. Vaan shows off his abs again and Basch says "you're sounding more the sky pirate every day." Continue across the green path and open the green scissor-like gate. Save at the blue crystal. Open the gate and head to the west end of the zone. Climb to the top of the long set of stairs. When you get to the top walk off the edge of it. The green will extend again. This next boss is one of the hardest yet. The biggest challenge from this boss is that all techniques are useless. That means charge is off the table. I beat this one on pure luck and with Balthier standing alone on the corpses of his fellow team-mates with 25% of his health left. All I can say is try the following technique and hope for the best. Cut Scene: Tyrant comes running at you and it seems like he can't stop. He looks like a dragon and I have lost count as to how many bosses we have fought that have wings. ----- BOSS: Tyrant (x41b) ----- LEVELS: - Healers: 40, 36, 38 - Tanks: 40, 41, 36 GAMBITS: Healers: [Ally: any > phoenix down] [TANK > decoy] //replace TANK with the character that is your tank [TANK > haste] [Ally HP = 30% > X-Potion] (Use Cura when out of X-Potion) [Foe: Status = Shell > Dispel] [Foe: Any > Blizzaga] Tanks: [Foe: Any > Blizzaga] [Foe: Any > Attack] - Go in with one tank and two healers. - When your healers are out of MP swap them out. I even used a few of my tanks as healers for this match. - Be sure to cast dispel right at the start of the battle. - Have your tank attack with the blizzaga attack until his/her MP is gone, then attack. - Don't cast quickenings until he is down to his last 10%. You need the MP for the fight. - I confess that I used two ethers on this one. Again, this one is tough and it will take many tries to defeat him. When defeated, turn around and save at the blue crystal that was before the boss. ----- End: TYRANT ----- Touch the way stone that is left after the boss has been defeated and you will be transport to the center of that beehive/turd/cream of wheat pile. _____________________________________________ | The Great Crystal (x42) | There is no map and no arrow to tell you which way to go through this area. I will give you as much of a description of each zone as I can. Inside the Great Crystal: it feels very embryonic. Platforms float above what looks like the layered center of a Butterfinger bar. The music here sounds like the climactic character discovers the spaceship or dinosaur scene in any Spielberg film. A PRAMA VIKAARI From the way stone, head along the green ramp that descends. KABONII JILAAM PRATII'VAA Fight off the two cougars here. They can be tricky so dispel their shell, cast slow, attack with oil then firaga. When defeated, obtain the treasure - it has a trap on it. Then proceed on the next descending ramp. KABONI JILAAM AVAA Defeat the next two cougars DHA VIKAARI BHRUM Touch the Way Stone A VIKAARI KABONII There are three paths from here. One in the middle leads up and then two on either side of it lead down. Take the path that is on your left. STAHAANA CANCER There will be two Golems here defending a gate stone. Hit them with oil and firaga. Then touch the stone. Proceed through the path that you have not yet taken - it leads up. BHRUM PIS AVAA Get the treasure. Then, go down the path that you have not yet taken. It leads back to the way stone that brought you here in A VIKAARI KABONII. VIKAARI KABONII Of the three paths here, take the one on the far right (it descends and is the only one you have not yet taken) BHRUM PS PRATII Kill the cougars then continue moving down the path. DHA VIKAARI TRAHK Don't fear the reaper, Oil and Firaga it instead. Touch the Way Stone V. A VIKAARI BHRUM Your goal here is to deactivate that Pisces Gate, the switch is two rooms away. Take the path that descends. TRAHK PIS PRAA Kill the three cougars. The next path will descend. STHAANA PISCES Defeat the two Golems and touch the stone to bring down the Pisces gate. Backtrack through TRAHK PIS PRAA and A VIKAARI BHRUM. A VIKAARI BHRUM You can be sure you are in the right spot because this room has way stone IV in the center. There used to be the Pisces gate until you deactivated it. Go down the path that was behind the gate - it is the one that descends. DA VIKAARI JULA This room has Way Stone III in the center. Touch it. CRYSTAL CORE: Cut Scene: The party transports to the inside of the great crystal. Penelo sees all the swirling Mist and asks Fran if she is ok. Fran is fine. You know, I am starting to think that Fran's whole Mist affliction is made up. I think she is using it like those kids who say they have asthma any time they don't want to do something or when they want attention. Ashe sees this huge piece of Nethicite and her mind starts pondering the possibilities. Fran realizes her intentions and says "You could destroy all of Ivalice if you wished it." Ashe looks at her and then downward; I swear I heard Ashe say redrum under her breath. Use the blue save crystal. ----- BOSS: Shemhazai (x42a)----- Shemhazai looks like the aftermath of a woman and three legged horse collision. Oh and the woman was wearing a poncho. LEVELS: - Tanks: 41, 40, 37 - Healers: 40, 38, 36 GAMBITS: Healer: - Turn off all elemental black magics such as firaga, water, blizzaga - [Ally: any > Raise] [Ally: HP < 40% > Cura] [Ally: Disease > Vaccine] [Self: MP < 40% > Charge] [Self > Protect] [Ally: Any > Haste] [Ally: Any > Protect] [Foe: Haste > Dispel] Tank: - [Foe:any > Attack] PHASE I - Send in all of your tanks (no healers) and start off with a quickening. PHASE II - Dispel first to eliminate Shemhazai's haste - Have a party of 2 healers and 1 tank - Let your Tank do all of the attacking and the healers keep that tank healthy. - Keeping everyone protected will stop one hit kills from Shemhazai - Have both healers equip Rose Corsage to keep them silence free. - If your Tank is hit with silence ignore it. They should not be casting spells anyway - Use echo herbs to keep MP available for cures/raises - Be aware that as Shemhazai's health decreases she increases in strength - When Shembhazai's health is down to the 2% to 5% range, use a quickening ----- End Shemhazai ----- When defeated, continue out the back door to a sunken living room containing the Empyrean Way Stone. Cut Scene: A beam of light hits a floating platform and then it is Ashe in the sky with Demons. Before she can figure out where she is, the Prophet's talk to her and they still sound a little pissed off that Master Chief blew up their Halo. They hit her with a wave of Vick's Vapor Rub. They are the Occuria, the gods of Ivalice, and they tell Ashe that they chose her to make more Nethicite by cutting it from the source of it all, the Sun- Cryst. Cutting the Sun-Cryst was the same way King Raithwall got his Nethicite. They want her to make new cuts of it because the old ones either fell into the wrong hands or were all used up. They give her the Treaty- Blade which is the only thing that can shave off new nethicite from the Sun- Cryst. Occurians rule humans by dealing out nethicite like crack. We humans need it so bad and respond to it so well that we will do anything the Occurians want. And that is why Ashe is listening so carefully when the Occurians tell her to kill Venat (Dr. Cid's imaginary friend) because Venat left the Occurian clique and told humans (Vayne and Cid) how to make Nethicite. Venat, Ivalice's version of Prometheus, made the humans self-sufficient. If humans no longer rely on the Occurians for Nethicite, the Occurians are obsolete. Kind of like how your parents feel when you move away to college. To fix this rogue Occurian and the threat of manufactured nethicite, they want Ashe to "administer Judgment" and "destroy them all." Ashe is suspicious, understandably because the Occurians seem like total fascist douche bags. They go on to tell her that they know best because they live forever while we dumb humans don't live long enough to know anything. Every so often though, they need a human to serve as their "fist" and steer the human race in the right direction. Ashe will be this "Jesus Cryst." They chose Ashe because they know as well as you or I that it is easiest to pickup a girl when she is on the rebound. The Occurians then bring out Rasler and use some pretty heavy peer pressure to say "come on kill the Empire, you know you want to, take revenge, what? are you going to cry? Rasler wants you to kill. Why don't you just do it?" Ashe's lip quivers and it looks the developers equipped it with a modified version of the Dead or Alive Xtream VBall breast physics engine. Ashe caves and grabs the sword so that she can make more nethicite and make more nuclear explosions. Ashe is beamed back down to the rest of the clan. They all heard what the Occuria were saying and they are all against the Occuria's plan to make more nethicite. Then, Balthier realizes that Cid had tricked the clan into going here so that the Occuria could use Ashe for their own good. Balthier surmises that Cid just wants to see Vayne and Ashe blow each other up with nethicite. Ashe looks into the camera and says "I will seek out the Sun- Cryst." WRONG. ANSWER. Cut Scene: Hey! It's the Lordling, we haven't seen that fop since Bur-Omisace. He is there asking Vayne to make peace with Ashe. Vayne counters that it is Ashe who is the one who is ready to fight, the Empire is just reacting to her. Larsa is all "No she's not." Then Vayne says "Yah Hu." To settle their spat, Vayne sends Judge Gabranth to spy on Ashe. Larsa prances off. Dr. Cid approaches Vayne and asks how they are related. Venat gives Cid an update: Ashe will be going to make more nethicite. Vayne then says that Ashe is their scribe, she is the one who will make things the way that they want it. Notice how the Occuria call her their fist where as Vayne calls her their scribe. Vayne is a little concerned that she will have fresh nethicite. But Cid says "bah, nethicite is overrated." Vayne reveals that they invaded Dalmasca and Nabudice all for the nethicite. However, Cid says that the nethicite was useful to study but now that the Empire makes manufactured nethicite, Ashe's Sun-Cryst stuff is not that great. Venat appears, he actually looks like a Jawa wearing an oversized Mexican Poncho. It was Venat who instructed Cid on how to make nethicite. Making Venat a true Prometheus. It turns out that Vayne's motive is not to conquer all of Ivalice, rather, it is really to stop the Occurians from controlling us. Vayne and Cid refer to having control over their lives as "history." This is where I sympathize with Vayne just a bit. All Vayne wants is freewill. Although, when I think of freewill, I think of being able to choose who I marry or what I will do as a profession. For Vayne, free will probably means he gets to choose which race to decimate. Back in the Giruvegan, Vaan wonders aloud if Reddas could help us find the Sun-Cryst. Balthier says he is not to be trusted and shut up. Vaan answers his challenge by once again flashing his abs. Go back to Way Stone in CRYSTAL CORE. Then make the long trek back through and the CITY OF GIRUVEGAN. Use the orange transport crystal in GATE OF EARTH to transport back to BALFONHEIM PORT. Save in the Water Steps: 59:28 The Water Steps are a good place to level up. Spend some time chaining the monster of your choice and bring your party up a couple of levels to the 40 to 42 range. Save in GATE OF EARTH. When your clan emerges from the depths of the WATER STEPS and reaches THE EARTH GATE (where you fought Daedalus) save at the Orange Stone. Then transport back to Balfonheim Port. Check your map when in Balfonheim Port and proceed to the red "X". Talk to the guard to be let into Reddas' Green Zone. Quick cut to Reddas who is back in his pirate cabana. He is yelling at his swarthy crew to prepare for an escape. I think they are going to use his busty red crewmate as a floatation device. Reddas tells the teleporting clan that his fleet got stuck on some Mist at a place called the Ridorana Cataract. The clan tells Reddas what happened in Giruvegan and about the Sun-Cryst. They tell him that they have two plans to counter Vayne's Dusk Shard. Either they use the Sword of Kings against the Sun-Cryst and nullify Vayne's nethicite. Or, they fight fire with fire by using the Treaty Blade to make their own piece of nethicite. Reddas gives us his own plan which is "throw it away." Reddas, did you listen to a single thing we just said? Even Vaan ignores Reddas' inane plan and says lets just go find the Sun-Cryst. It is in a lighthouse that is across the sea. Balthier asks "how do we get there?" and Reddas tells him to "try putting this one in your ship." Balthier extends his middle finger and says "why not try sticking this one up your ass." The stone in questions will let the Strahl fly in Jagd territory. Reddas joins your party. You are free to do some shopping in preparation for the next section. Shopping List for the next levels - 10 x Remedy - 20 x Vaccine - 10 x Antidote - Remedy Lore 3 for Healers/Casters - Ensunaga - Everyone (even Tanks) should have Firaga and Aeraga - Party Level range: 40 to 42 When you are ready to move on with the story, go to the Aerodome in the eastern part of the city. Talk to the woman standing behind the counter with the name "Private Airships." At the map screen, select the destination Ridorana Cataract. Cut scene: Flying over the sea and there is a huge castle right next to and on top of a giant waterfall. That is cool, the castle is at the edge of the world. _____________________________________________ | Ridorana Cataract (x43) | The party arrives on the beaches of the island and Fran reminds us that this is the "tower on distant shore." She also mentions a "Piercing Mist" at the top. She looks a little nervous, would someone get her a the cardboard center to a toilet paper roll to chew on. Ashe worries about making the right choice when she gets reaches the Mordoor-like top of the tower. Balthier tells Vaan that if he has to die or sacrifice himself that he can have the Strahl. Balthier seems to be confused about the "leading man" figure and the "Christ" figure. The Cataract is like that scene in Jason and The Argonauts in which he fought all those stop-animation skeletons. However, instead of skeletons you are fighting the bugs from Starship Troopers. It really is quite a cross breading of genres. Be sure to have Libra cast at all times because this place is full of traps. FOOTFALLS OF THE PAST > ECHOES FROM TIME'S GARDEN > COLOSSEUM > CITY OF OTHER DAYS > PATH OF HIDDEN BLESSING. FOOTFALLS OF THE PAST COLOSSEUM Go through the hall at the north of the zone and circle around to the northwest corner of the zone to get the map urn. Look around because there are lots of treasures in these hallways. When ready, continue north to... CITY OF OTHER DAYS There some good treasures located in a small alcove at the northern end of the zone. PATH OF HIDDEN BLESSING: Save, but watch out for the line of traps. _____________________________________________ | Pharos - First Ascent (x44) | THEY WHO THIRST NOT > THE WELLSPRING > BLACKROCK VAULT THEY WHO THIRST NOT A dragon gets up and sounds all crunchy and sloppy. It descends the stairs towards the party. When it reaches the bottom, it rears back to roar. Of course it has wings. ----- BOSS: Hydro (x44a) ----- GAMBITS Healers: [Ally:Disable > Ensuna] [Ally: Doom > Remedy] [Ally: Sap > Ensuna] [Ally: Disease > Vaccine] - Start with Dispel to remove Haste - Cast oil on him - Set everyone's gambits to [FOE: Oil > Firaga] ----- End Hydro ----- Cut Scene: Hydro's knees get wobbly and I guess the camera man looses focus and falls back looking at the sun. Lens flare back to Hydro just in time to see him fall right on his face. I kind of feel bad for him. Cut Scene: A huge gate blocks the entry into the tower. Vaan goes up to look at the plaque but can't read and asks Fran to do it. She translates that the Dynast King was here before and wrote the message to warn anyone who enters. He wrote it for his descendant he knew would come one day: Ashe. Then Fran repeats the following words rhetorically "Rend illusion, cut the true Path. Words of much mystery. Yet his blood runs in your veins. Perhaps it Whispers to you the truth?" Ahhh... ya, thanks Fran we asked for a translation, not a sermon. Why don't you shut your rabbit hole and get back in line. The door rotates open and the party enters. THE WELLSPRING The central room has been split into three separate parts by a cave-in. The two rear rooms can only be accessed from the LABYRINTHS that are to the north and south of this central room. Save at the orange crystal. Follow the path that circles around the large central atrium until you see the "Altar of Night" which will be on your left. Read the inscription. The text instructs you bring Orbs back to the Altar. You get Black Orbs by fighting monsters. Randomly, the defeated monster may drop a small blue thing which will float over their body, it looks like a firefly. Run up to it and press X when you have the exclamation point over your head. You will be prompted to touch it, do so and they will pop. I bet they taste minty. GO to the southern door to reach... WELLSPRING LABYRINTH Proceed east through the narrow hallway until the last right. Then, fight room-to-room heading south and eventually east. Your destination is a long room flanked by columns. At the end of this room is the map urn. Continue to fight beasts in the LABYRINTH until you obtain at least 3 black orbs. When you have them, head to the far east end of the narrow hallway. The door leads to one of the two back rooms of the WEELSPRING. In this room is an altar that also requires a black orb. Touch it to place it. You will "Break the Seal." I guess you better find a bathroom - all that water probably doesn't help either. Exit the way you came and return to the central room of the WELLSPRING. THE WELLSPRING Walk southeast to the altar and activate with the second of your black orbs. Walk back towards the center of the WELLSPRING but enter the northern door to access the northern section of the WELLSPRING LABYRINTH. WELLSPRING LABYRINTH In this northern part, head east through the hallway to gain access to the other obstructed room of THE WELLSPRING. Place the last orb on that Altar. When all orbs have been placed, return to the orange save crystal. Go to the eastern most point in the WELLSPRING LABYRINTH. The door here was unlocked when you broke the dark seals. This place is also indicated on your map. Open the door and you are in Sedona, Arizona. No wait, on second thought I think saw Dave Mathews play here back '97. Follow the path around until you get to a giant rock that looks like an Outback Bloomin' Onion. ----- BOSS: Pandaemonium (x44b) ----- Levels Tanks: 43, 41, 41 Healers: 43, 43, 42 GAMBITS: [Ally:Petrify > Ensunaga] - Send in 2 Tanks, 1 Healer. - Start by dispelling the Boss. - Do not use quickenings, they don't do that much damage and it will drain all of your MP. - Instead, just beat him with physical attacks. - He is immune to Firaga so the oil and Firaga trick will not work. - About half way through Pandaemonium will cast "perfect shield" and will be totally immune to attack for one minute. So turn off all attack gambits and switch everyone to cast heal, haste, and protect on each other until his spell stops. Keep watching Reddas' attacks and start your attack when his hits no longer say IMMUNE. - Continue with the same 2 Tank, 1 Healer attack method. ----- End: Pandaemonium ----- When you finally whittle him down to nothing, he runs right into a rock wall. I feel sorry for him. I mean he was just sitting in this nice desert until we came along. The clan reappears in the LABYRINTH and we are told that the way stone is open for business. Use it to be transported to the next section. You know how I can tell that this area is magical - the architecture floats. Any time you see a platform that should be very heavy being held up by nothing, there is a good chance all of it or at least most of it is magic. Either that or the designers thought it looked too cluttered to put in the necessary pillars and buttresses that would make all the platforms functional in the real world. WELLSPRING RAVEL - 1ST FLIGHT Head east and up the stairs. Kill the two brainpans at the top to activate a bridge. From there, continue up the stairs. At 14F there is another bridge that needs to be constructed by killing the following brainpans: - Kill the brainpan at the bridge - Run up the stairs north of you and kill the one hiding in a small alcove at the top - The third one is sitting in a room all by himself. Those brain pans remind me of something from Return to OZ. WELLSPRING RAVEL - 2ND FLIGHT I have to laugh because a Chimera rolls down the long staircase right in front of you. I bet they do that all day. Run up the stairs and observe the quite impressive water torrent - the humidity in there must be killer. Extend the bridge on 25F by killing the following 20F - 2 Brainpans 21F - 1 Brainpan 25F - 3 Brainpans If the flying Aeronite comes near you, hit him with Oil and Firaga. Extend the bridge on 31F by killing the following 29F - 2 Brainpans 30F - 1 Brainpan (behind the "Ancient" Door) 31F - do NOT kill the Deidar at the gate, run past it to the next 2 Brainpans. If you do kill Deidar, a bridge block will be subtracted. If you did kill Deidar, go back to 30F and kill the respawned Brainpan. Its funny that the designers picked red and green as the two colors of the flames for Brainpan and Deidar. 20% of all males are red/green color blind. If you do have problems with the colors, check the names, you want to kill Brainpans, not the Deidars. Extend the bridge on 35F by killing 10 Brainpans. In this section the Brainpans will respawn so you should just make a loop killing them until you have 10. Here is the breakdown of floors and numbers of each. 32F - 1 Brainpan, don't kill the Deidar 34F - 2 Brainpans 35F - 2 Brainpans WELLSPRING RAVEL - 4TH FLIGHT Extend the bridge at 47F: You only need to kill 4 Brainpans but they give you a ton of them. 36F - 2 Brainpans 38F - 1 Brainpan 40F - 2 Brainpans 42F - 1 Brainpan 46F - 1 Brainpan HORIZON'S BREAK Use the save crystal here. Travel counter-clockwise around the ring to find the door in the southwest corner. Enter and head left and up the stairs to the door. HORIZON'S CUSP Circle around to the Ancient door. Make sure everyone has haste before entering. This leads to the room of the second watcher (the first was the giant stone turtle named Pandaemonium). Notice how instead of desert this one is based in a marsh. ----- BOSS: Slyt (x44c) ----- Slyt, as its name would have you believe, is not a female. Instead, it is a giant flying fish. This boss is quite possibly the easiest boss in all of FFXII. - Send 2 casters and 1 Tank - Oil him - Set everyone to cast Firaga. - I disable healing spells on one of my casters so they could focus on being a blowtorch. ----- End Slyt ----- After the battle, proceed through the hall and touch the Way Stone. _____________________________________________ | Pharos - Second Ascent (x45) | The Second Ascent is about sacrifice. The Pharos levels are intended to be a tower that cleanses travelers by subjecting them to trials. It is almost like the Stations of the Cross in Christian Imagery. THE REACH Travel around the circle and use the save crystal located at 9 o'clock. In the next part there are four doors and each will lead you to the end but you will have to sacrifice one thing. Here is the list of sacrifices and their location around the circle. - Threshold of Wealth - no items - (2 o'clock) - Threshold of Knowledge - no minimap - (4 o'clock) - Threshold of Magicks - no magick - (7 o'clock) - Threshold of Steal - no weapons - (10 o'clock) I can't stress enough to go into the knowledge door and give up the mini map. You are reading the guide anyway, I will tell you where to go. Plus, you can just push select and get a map anyway. If you are dumb and want to go in another door you are on your own. I will see you on the other side sucker - being dumb does not make you 133t. So, having picked Knowledge as your path, go over to the altar and touch it. Open the door behind it. From the door turn left and run up the stairs. STATION OF BANISHMENT 60F Using the map head. Move room to room towards the very south western edge of this floor. Proceed up the two flights of stairs. You know with all the small chained rooms like this and the central column, this building could be converted into a pretty nice hotel. STATION OF SUFFERING There is a map urn in the northwest corner of this floor. However, to get to the next floor you need to proceed to the far south east corner. The easiest path is the one heading from room to room east and a little south. Head up the stairs to the next floor... STATION OF ASCENTION From the far southeast corner of this floor, head to the staircase which is in the northwest corner. The easiest way there is by going to the center ring and then running around it to the doorway at 2 o'clock. Then head west from there. Before you enter the long room, make sure your party is healed as you will be attacked by three really tough guys. REACH OF THE DAMNED Proceed to the central ring and save at the crystal. Run to the southwest corner of the ring and proceed through that doorway. BOUNDS OF TRUTH Run down the hallway and enjoy the icy environment. The final of the three watchers, Fanrir, looks like one of Siegfried and Roy's wet dreams. Be glad Fenrir doesn't exist (or that S&R couldn't inbreed their tigers enough to create this monstrosity) because their show's final act would have involved them each sitting on the backs of their own personal Fenrir as they swing stainless steal and ribbon covered battle axes at each other. Majesty and illusion would roam free in the background. Did I mention that the tiger striped loin cloth would be part of the show. ----- Boss: Fenrir (x45a) ----- Levels: Tank: 44, 43, 45 Caster: 44, 43, 44 - Send in 2 tanks and 1 Healer - Dispel his positive effects - Turn off all elemental attacks - including Firaga - he is immune - Keep everyone enhanced with protect and haste - Slash away at him. ----- End Fenrir ----- Proceed through the hall and the doors with the pink fallopian tubes on it. In the rotunda, touch the altar that corresponds to the ability you sacrificed before. Go to the 9 o'clock position of the rotunda and climb aboard the elevator. Your destination is 67F. REACH OF THE OCCULT Exit the elevator and use the save crystal. Then touch the way stone that is near it. _____________________________________________ | Third Ascent: Mete of Dynasty (x46) | On this floor, you will be using a complex network of way stones to move through this level, if you touch two incorrect way stones you get sent to a room full of zombies. So don't do it. SPIRE RAVEL - 1ST FLIGHT: Kill the bombs then run up and touch the Black Sigil Stone (located in the north west corner of the platform). Run down the hallway which will end at a large stone room (it looks like the Ara Pacis) with a dragon inside it. I suggest skipping the dragon to save health. Turn south from the stone room entrance head down what looks like a dead end. At the very end of the eastern wall there is a segment that looks like a garage door. Go up to it and it will say "Fool's Facade" press the "X" button. The wall crumbles so proceed through it. Get the treasure and press the green sigil. SPIRE RAVEL - 2ND FLIGHT: The first trap you see in front of you will heal you. The rest of them do not. Run down the right hallway until you get to another fool's facade. Bust through it and then the second one. Head up the stairs, defeat the aeronite with oil and firaga and then touch the Red Sigil of Sacrifice. Fight the two lag-inducing aeronites, grab the treasure, and then touch the stone that corresponds to the ability you gave up in the 2nd ascent. I listed them with their cardinal direction in parenthesis. Pink = Knowledge (SW) Yellow = Items (NW) White = Weapons (NE) Purple = Magick. (SE) Yes pink and purple look the same so pick the one in the Southwest corner if you gave up the minimap. You got to the right place if there is a Carven Pillar at the end of the hall. Don't worry about fighting the monsters on the platform because those way stones are all fake. Head north through that long dead end hallway. Along the west wall is another one of those garage door-esque "fool's facades". Break it and touch the way stone in the room. In the new room, there may be a giant golem called Tower. Dispel his shell. He is immune to fire so just beat on him. Have 2 healers and 1 tank. When Tower is dead, heal up your party because your next stop is a fight with another boss. Enter the elevator and go to 90F. This boss looks like Squenix took a bald eagle and infused it with kick-ass nethicite. I mean check out its guns, they are bigger than its thorax. Forget the bald eagle, I think America has found its next national mascot: Hashmal. I actually downloaded the US National Anthem and played it during the fight. http://www.geocities.com/eugenef_86303/MIDI/usa.mid ----- BOSS: Hashmal (x46a) ----- GAMBITS: Tanks [Ally: Disease > Vaccine] [Foe: any > attack] Healers - [ally: any > arise] //towards the end of the fight use Phoenix Down to speed up your healing. [ally: any > protect] [ally: any > haste] [HP < 30 cura], Use araise, save phx downs till the end - Send in 2 healers and 1 tank. - Hack away. As long as you are in a good groove don't use quickenings. They don't work that well against him and you will drain everyone's MP - Swap out you healers when then run out of MP. ----- END: Hashmal ----- You defeat Hashmal and it starts snowing and then explodes. You get an apple jolly rancher as your prize. Cut Scene: Fran can hear the mist because the Sun-cryst is near. Shot# 12 of that water tube. Panelo wonders aloud if Ashe is really going to take revenge on the Empire and cut out more nethicite. Now buckle up because here comes the moral of the whole story: Penelo concludes that "we can't change the past" and we have to remember who we lost but once they are gone we have to move on. That was it. Wait a minute... that is the same moral from the Lion King. Reddas comes by and tells Penello to forget everyone you used to know. They are just baggage. Wow that is harsh but I can smell that pirate beer under his breath so he is probably just drunk again. The next scene is quite interesting when you look at how the symbolism is used. Just keep in mind that the blue Treaty Blade represents revenge and the bronze Sword of Kings represents forgiveness and and peace. See how these elements are interwoven in the scene's drama. The Party arrives on the top floor with the Sun-cryst which looks like the background to one of those black light paintings of Bob Marley. Ashe holds in her hands two swords, one to end nethicite the other to propagate the madness. Vaan says you are going to kill the stone right? She says shut up Vaan. The make-more-nethicite sword starts glowing and she raises it causing fireballs to circle around the tower. The seas rise and clouds collect around the point of the tower. Rasler appears and this time everyone can see him. Rasler's vote in the revenge vs peace is revenge - he wants there to be more nethicite. Doesn't seem like prince charming anymore. Judge Gabranth comes in from the windowsill. With all that armor he should be careful around all that lightning. Gabranth immediately starts over-acting and preparing his Darth Maul-esque double sword. He urges Ashe to take revenge by reminding her that he was the one that killed her father. You can see how she feels by what sword she caries. Reddas stops all this excitement by barging in with his own sub-plot. It turns out that Reddas was a judge too (who wasn't a judge in this whole fable). Working in the name of the Empire, Reddas, stole the Midlight Shard from the Nabrudians and used it in the battle of Nabudis. Back then it was Cid who ordered the attack as a proof of firepower experiment. Reddas was so upset by his actions that he left his judgeship - he was named Judge Zecht. Reddas says lets fight and lets cut stone, just be sure to think long term. Oh, and did you hear Reddas use the word History? In order to make the jump on Gabranth, Reddas attacks. However, just as in his battle against Cid, Reddas gets pushed aside quite easily. Vaan picks up Reddas' sword to continue the fight. He readies his attack against Gabranth, and Vaan is now the one seeking revenge for his brother. Watching this, Ashe realizes how out of control and worthless all of this has become. Ashe realizes that the insistence on revenge does not match the person he really was. She slashes at him. So, I think this is essentially Ashe separating from her husband. Poor girl. Really, how many people do you know that have been widowed and divorced to the same person and in that order? With that, ghost Rasler speaks and it turns out his is just an Occurian disguised as Rassler. She speaks, realizing that even though Dalmasca was founded under the Dynast-King's Dusk Shard nethicite, it was never used so was not as important as she thought it was. Taking in all of these latest revelations, Ashe decides to destroy the Sun-Cryst. Vaan fully accepts his brothers death but not without Gabranth totally rips on his brother, saying he is a failure and such. ----- BOSS: Gabranth (x46b) ----- Levels: 44s and a few 45s - Cast dispel on Gabranth - Send in 2 Tanks 1 healer - Keep your tanks protected and hasted - Berserk one of your Tanks ----- End: Gabranth ----- Gabranth starts panting and breathing real hard. I can't imagine what kind of phlegm is collecting inside of that helmet. As he huffs and puffs, Cid comes in to stop the fight. Cid scolds Gabranth for forsaking his duty in protecting Larsa. Having nothing else to swing at, Gabranth swings at Cid, only to have him flash his Venat who teleports beside him. The Occurian sends Gabranth flying across the room and almost smashes him against a Voussoir but instead, Gabranth hits the arch just a little too low. Ashe accuses Cid of being a puppet to Venat. He does not deny it but he does say that because Ashe decided not to cut more nethicite she is turning from the Occurians just as Cid is. Ashe says the "Sun-Cryst be damned" and Cid says "Be sure that it is!" like he is the Joker. God I love Cid. He alley- oops the Nethicite to Venat who uses it to demonstrate how Earth and Mars revolve around the sun. Explosions start and Cid floats above the party and starts looking like Christ, or rather Cryst. It occurs to Balthier that Cid wants to be a God and is, of course, against this (even though if he would just let this all play out he would automatically become the son of god.) Cid calls out for his own esper named "Ffamfrit" (Notice: Cid typo-ed his own esper). ----- BOSS: Cid (x46c) ----- - 2 Healers, 1 tank - Dispel him - Hack away at Cid rather than his helper - Watch out for Cid's huge gatlin gun - man I wish this game where like mega man where we get his power after he is dead. Cut scene: He shows a piece of manufactured nethicite and throws it out which creates the star of Bethlehem. He summons a new beast called Famfirt who has a keg on his shoulder and is all "hey where the party at?" Part 2: - Dispel the new foe - Focus all of you attacks at Famfrit - Cast oil on him - Cast firaga - Watch out for the silence attacks Part 3: - Attack Cid ----- End: Cid ----- Cut scene: Cid tries to raise his guns one last time but falls. As he dies he looks like Stephen Baldwin. We get Fanfrit but I would rather have that gatlin gun. Balthier runs up to help his father. Venat has this look on his face like "will you be my master if Cid dies?" Cid say good bye to eachother before Cid dies. His final words were "Fool of a Pirate." He must have been a Jedi or something because when he finally passes Cid turns into mist. With everyone standing so close, they are probably inhaling Balthier's Dad. Fran says the mist burns. Balthier tries to help her. She tells the clan to run as fast as they can. Then in a touching moment, Fran looks into Balthier's eyes and says "you fly don't you?" - well not for most of this game. Meanwhile, Ashe and Vaan run toward the activated Sun-Cryst and try to destroy it. Each caries one of the two swords; one is like the Truman doctrine of escalating weapons production to serve as a deterrent to further usage of atomic weapons. The other sword is like Reagan Era SALT, in which a de-escalation of weapons would serve a better purpose. However, they can't get up there. Reddas says you guys can't do anything right and attacks with the Sword of Kings (the one that will destroy all nethicite). Everyone in all of Ivalice stops like someone forgot to enter in 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42. I figured it out, the Strahl looks like one of those tools to break lobster shells. Well anyway, the party escapes from the explosive crystal and fly off. Vaan sulks in the cockpit because he is sad for Reddas. I would be feel sorry for him but I just can't keep my eyes off his new hair cut - it looks like he went to Ashe's stylist? Everyone else is sad too but why don't they just use a Phoenix Down on him? Maybe they just choose not to because all he did for them was get drunk and then hand out awkward advice. Oh yah and his sideburn hair got everywhere. The clan pulls into the pirate port and it is empty. His two captain buddies use a lot of words to say "don't forget him and he would have like it this way." For pirates they sure do talk a lot. Then they call us Vaan's crew - the kid doesn't even know how fly an airship. Who died and made him pirate? Cut Scene: Al Cid is sitting at Reddas' pirate desk. He barged in because he had to report urgent news and it required "haste." I love how he says haste. He tells us that the war is starting. A few rogue Rozarrian generals got too excited for war, ventured into Imperial territory and so the Marquis used it as an opportunity to attack the Empire. See Dr. Strangelove. Balthier concludes that this will pull Rozarria, Dalmasca, and Arcadia into the fight and will be a war "between empires" - actually Balthier with three or more parties it would be a "war AMONG empires." Al-Cid predicts that Vayne will crush the other kingdoms and the resistance not with his Nethicite but with the Bahamut. This secret weapon is fueled by Mist and when Dr. Cid opened up the Sun Cryst the resulting tidal wave of Mist super charged the Bahamut. Dr. Cid was planning this from the beginning and I guess because Balthier is his son he says "and So it comes to me - to put an end to the thing." Oh shut up Balthier, for the last time, you are not a Christ figure. Ashe and the party will attack the Bahamut while Al Cid tries to slow the rebellion's attack against the Empire. With the plan set, Al-Cid takes some time to work it with the ladies - primarily Ashe. He wants to show her his Rozarria and Balthier fumes in the background because Cid didn't ask him to see the Ambervale. Fran looks over and is all "don't worry mama-Fran's still loves your skinny sky pirate ass." ----------------------------------- ACT V ----------------------------------- _____________________________________________ | The Final Preparations (x47) | -- THE SHOPPING LIST -- NOTE: This mega shopping list is arranged in the order you should get them. NOTE: Most of the following items will only be available after you have defeated the Pharos. If you are not there yet, I suggest waiting before venturing off to see if they are there. Level and earning money (getting to the levels first will make the rest of your shopping easier): - Tanks: 45, 45, 48 (at least this level - it is easier if they are at 50) - Casters: 43, 46, 47 (at least this level - it is easier if they are at 50) - Lots of Gil to purchase all the equipment needed - see "Get Money" below for best spot to earn Money - Protectga - Merchant in Balfonheim port - Shellga - Merchant in Balfonheim port - Flare - Merchant in Balfonheim port //Every Character must have it - Holy - Merchant in Balfonheim port //Every Character must have it - Curaja - Merchant in Balfonheim port - Arise - Merchant in Balfonheim port //Every Character must have it - 3 x White Mask - Weapons/Armor Merchant in Balfonheim port - 3 x Rubber Suit - Weapons/Armor Merchant in Balfonheim port - 3 Quickenings for each party member - LP Grid - Hastega - Merchant in Eastersand - See notes below - Scourge - Merchant in Eastersand - See notes below - Bravery - Clan Provisioner in Rabanastre - See notes below - Bubble - Clan Provisioner in Rabanastre - See notes below - 3 x Bubble Belt - Clan Provisioner in Rabanastre - See notes below - Scathe - hidden merchant in Nechrol - See notes below - 30 x Ether - hidden merchant in Nechrol - See notes below - 30 x Phoenix Downs - Any merchant -- Level Up -- Good areas to level up if you are in the 40s range are: - FEYWOOD (see "Get Money" for more information) - THE CEROBI STEPPE - The wilds located to the north of Balfonheim Port -- Get Money -- The following was first proposed in the GameFaqs forums by Kairi and LionHeart11. The following procedure will describe how to chain a certain beast that yields some very profitable loot. By the time you chain about 25 of the Mirrornights, they will start dropping multiple Windslicer Pinions. You can re-use these steps to increase the amount of money you earn. - Use an orange crystal to transport to Golmore Jungle - Head to the Feywood through THE PARTING GLADE > WHISPERLEAF WAY > THE NEEDLE BRAKE > THE RUSTLING CHAPEL - From the Feywood go through WALK OF FLITTING RIFTS > WALK OF DANCING SHADOW > ANTIQUITY'S END - Head to the very southern half of ANTIQUITY'S END and look for the mirrornights - they are the giant birds. - As you kill them, make loops around the southern part of ANTIQUITY'S END to find more. - Also setup a gambit for Foe: HP = 100% > Steal to get some extra goodies. - Use dispel on Mirronights who have reflect cast on them. -- Merchant in EASTERSAND -- - To get the very important spells of Hastega and Scourge, start in Rabanastre and head out the eastern gate. - Cross through the deserts via THE STEPPING > OUTPOST > YARDANG LABYRINTH > SAND-SWEPT NAZE > BANKS OF THE NEBRA > SOUTH BANK VILLAGE. - The merchant is sitting on the ground near the water's edge. - Buy the spells -- Clan Provisioner -- - Do the following to find Montblanc and the Clan Provisioner - Go to the bar that is located in EAST END of Rabanastre. That is the same spot where you read your first hunt posting for fighting that tomato. - Go to the balcony to talk to Tomaj. He will tell you to see Bangaa, he is in Rabanastre's NORTH END. The face icon on your map indicates where it is. - Go inside and talk to the moogle at the top of the stairs: named Montblanc - After he gives you the proper papers, talk to him again. He will give you a prize for each big boss you defeated. - The clan shop in MUTHRU BAZAAR will now be open to you. The actual shop is indicated with the pot icon. - As you finish posted hunts you will be given marks. The more marks you get the more stuff will be available at the Clan Provisioner. Here are the levels of the items you need. - Bubble - need 12 marks - Bravery - need 12 marks -- Secret Merchant that sells Ethers -- NOTE: Before starting this journey out to this merchant have about 80,000 Gil. The items he sells are expensive and you don't want to have to go back a second time. - Use the airship to go to MOSPHORAN HIGHWASTE - Run north through it to the SALIKAWOOD. - Proceed through the SALIKAWOOD using the following path THE OMEN-SPUR > PATH OF HOURS > TRUNKWALL ROAD > SUN-DAPPLED PATH > GARDEN OF DECAY > QUIETENED TRACE > GRAND BOWER > CORRRIDOR OF AGES - At GRAND BOWER you will fight the Bomb king. It is easiest to beat him if your levels are at 45-48 range. Ignore the secondary bombs and focus all attacks on the Bomb King. Do not cast fire, it will just heal him. When the king gets down to 25% HP start casting your quickenings. If you let him get too low on power he will re-generate and you will have to start over. Some forum posts say that he will only regenerate 2 or 3 times then stop, but have never had such luck - they seem endless. If you are having continued troubles, buy fire shields to lessen his attacks. - After defeating the bomb king, continue to CORRIDOR OR AGES to the NECROHOL OF NABUDIS. - Avoid the monsters of the NECROHOL OF NABUDIS because even in and around level 45 they are very tough. I held R2 and "fled" through all of them to get to the hidden room. See the following steps to get to the hidden room: - The secret merchant is in the first room of the Necrohol called HALL OF EFFULGENT LIGHT. - From the entrance of HALL OF EFFULGENT LIGHT, run west to the last right. - That last right is a very long hallway that leads north - At the very end of this hallway there is a small room on the east side - Enter the room and then head south, the southern walls are open and are not indicated on the minimap. - When you go as far south as you can there is a small column on the eastern wall. - Run up to it and you will be notified with a "???". - Press X and a merchant will come out and talk to you. - Buy as many Ethers as you can (I got 30). Buy Scathe, and buy the armors called Maxmillian and the male. Both are good. - When finished, return to the SALIKAWOOD and find the orange teleport crystal. _____________________________________________ | Sky Fortress Bahamut (x48) | When you are ready for the last battle, save. There are no save crystals once you start the final attack on the Bahamut. Proceed to any Aerodome (Rabanastre, Balphonheim Port, and Bujerba all have them) and go to the private airship desk. Select your destination the world map screen, in this case the icon that is just east of Rabanastre. Cut scene: Wind and shadows kick up around Rabanastre and it looks like another Arizona monsoon. Actually it is an enormous dark tornado that is headed for Rabanastre. The townspeople are scared and run around. The twister is actually a huge airship (the Bahamut) that must operate on some sort of Tasmanian Devil principle. Vayne and Larsa are in this giant command ship en route for the resistances' heavy cruiser. Vayne reflects on the loss of Dr. Cid at the son and muses how it parallels his own recent patricide. Larsa pleads for Vayne to stop this attack because the rebels "have already surrendered." If the resistance is really surrendering, why do they have all those airships ready for an attack? Vayne says "lets use my huge tornado ship as the peace offering." He looks over his shoulder and says "What say you Venat?" Venat just silently floats which makes Vayne look like he is just crazy and talking to himself. I know Vayne is inherently evil and a tyrant, and I am aware that Larsa is sympathetic to the concerns of the people of Dalmasca. But, why do I feel like I would say yes if Vayne invited me to a party, and why do I want to see Larsa pushed into the mud. NOTE: This would be a good time to turn up your speakers. The Bahamut fires its primary weapon over to the resistance's "surrendering" ships. The energy ball destroys one of them instantly and the explosion looks like the one that killed the Dreadnaught Leviathan. Larsa doubts Vayne's totalitarian attack plan and tells him that the people will just rise up against him if it succeeds. Vayne responds in the way only an older sibling would "you think I am wrong? Then just try to kick my ass." Vayne makes a speech to his crew and mentions "history" once again. Check out that purple stock crawler behind Vayne - Magicite futures are up. Now really turn up the speakers for this part. Fighter crafts launch from the Rebel carriers and fighters launch from the Archadian carriers. God I love these aerial fights scenes - I could watch them with bamboo under my fingernails. Hey! The rebels shot down an Archadian ship - good for them. The Marquis fires his main canons at the Archadian ship that looks like a giant bat. The rebel guns are kinda lame. The Bahamut responds by charging its primary weapon again. Marquis says "by the gods" and the energy beam strafes their ship destroying the one behind them. Compare how Marquis calls out for the gods while Vayne denies their existence with his "history" speech. Blathier's ship arrives in the way he likes it - from behind. Ashe talks into an electric razor to tell the rebel forces that she is going into the Bahamut. The Marquis is like "ahhh no you don't." Larsa then comes on the radio saying that he supports the princess' plans. Marquis is like "ahhh ok." You know the resistance forces are doomed when their general (Marquis) concedes to two people who are both under the age of 19. That, and it turns out the Marquis was duped by Vaan using Balthier's magic microphone to impersonate Larsa. They may as well form a circular shooting squad at this point. More aerial attacks on the Bahamut. Balthier starts his approach and it looks like he has gained some weight. He makes some jokes about his flying being like a dance - I hate when movie pilots use metaphor to describe their superior skills. The Strahl docs to the Bahamut and Vaan stands in the gate directing his clan to "come on." See how much his character has grown, he is now giving orders and directing the clan. Balthier surmises that Vayne is in the control tower. By going after Vayne the clan can decapitate the command structure and stop the war quickly. Ya, that worked real well in Iraq. When you regain control, proceed through the following to get to the first of three boss fights. I suggest holding R2 and fleeing through all of this. There is no reason to waste your resources when you have the final boss fights ahead. - Venture through the south door. - In the next room, continue down the stairs and follow around the bend. - Make a right and up the stairs that lead northwest. Cut scene: the party descends the stairs and the battleship rumbles. A trio of rebel crafts attack with the sun behind them and are able to make something explode on the Bahamut. It looks like the rebels are doing ok. Back in the Bahamut, the clan discusses what will happen when Ashe becomes queen. All of them start kissing up to her because they know if she does claim the crown she will nominate them for some pretty cushy cabinet positions. Notice how no one is mentioning free elections though. And shouldn't the talk about a new government be done in a more public forum than a battle cruiser's cargo hold? My advice to Ashe, ditch these guys they are either dumb (Basch), criminals (Balthier), totally inexperienced (Vaan, Penelo), or just weird (Fran). When you regain control, circle around the perimeter of the inner ring. - Turn down the first spoke you see to get to the hub. - From the hub, circle around and exit using the hallway that leads due west. - The next zone is an elevator. - Heal your party, charge your MP, and cast all the protects, shells, hastes needed to start the boss fights. - When ready, engage the lift by running up to one of the consoles along the western wall. Cut scene: Judge Gabranth enters and is ready for another fight with Basch and the party. This battle is quite sad if you think of it in context of the rest of the story. At this point Gabranth no long fights for the Empire. He doesn't even care if Vayne conquers the world or the Occurians. This fight is all about him and Basch. Gabranth thought that he was doing the right thing by assimilating with the Empire when they invaded. However, Basch was the truly honorable brother because he was loyal to his homeland and did not sell out to the Empire. Gabranth realizes that at this point everything he has done was wrong. He is mad at Basch for his own failures. ----- BOSS: Gabranth (x48a) ----- GAMBITS: Casters: [Ally: Any > Arise] [Ally: MP < 40% > Curaga] [Foe: Any > Dispel] [Ally: Any > Hastega, Protectga] [Foe: Any > Flare] Tank: [Self > Decoy] [Self > Berserk] [Foe: Any > Attack] Part I: - Attack with 2 healers 1 tank - He is immune to oil but flare works well. Part II: Gabranth at half MP - He will regen. - He says "Your life ends at my blade" Then hits the butts of his swords together the way Monica and Ross Geller hit their hands to signal a bad word. - You will need to ware him down again, but this is a one time regen. PART III: Gabranth at last 5% MP - He goes crazy with the slashes - Swap out arise with phoenix downs and Curaga with x-potions. - Switch to 2 tanks 1 healer. - If he is knocking each member of your party out before you have a chance to raise the next one, swap out your entire first party and send in your second party and cast a quickening on him. ----- End Gabranth ----- Cut Scene: Gabranth falls and still considers Basch and himself a disgrace. Basch says you can reclaim your honor if you just fight with us. Basch uses Gabranth's given name - Noah - in order to remind him of his past before he defected to the Empire. Heal your party, raise everyone, get full protects, shields, hastes then use ethers to get MP to the max for everyone. When ready, go back to the lift controls and "Engage it". Cut Scene: The clan runs up to Larsa and Vayne who are talking. Vayne welcomes us to the Bahamut and asks if we come in "Vengance" or in "Salvation." Note the use of Vengance again. But he still holds out that the clan may be surrendering - the "Salvation part." Ashe response that she comes as herself. Which is a good answer because I don't fully understand Vayne's question. Gabranth comes struggling up the stairs and sounds awful. Dude, take off the mask. ----- Boss: Vayne (x48b) ----- GAMBITS: Casters: [Ally: any > Arise] [Foe: Any > Dispelga, Slowga] [Ally: HP < 40% > Cura] [Ally: any > Esuna] [Ally: any > Protectga, Hastega] [Self: MP < 30% > charge or ether] //use ethers if you have a lot left [Foe: any > flare, attack] // attack comes if he puts up magic shiedl Tank: [Self > Berserk] [Foe: Any > Attack] - Dispel then slow vayne - Fight with 2 Casters, 1 Tank - Healers do protaga and hastaga. - flare him too. -----End Vayne----- Cut Scene: Vayne falls. Larsa runs over to him and gets shocked and falls almost comically. Mist comes creeping out of the two of them. Vayne starts standing and yells. Manufactured nethicite seems to be an Ivalice equivalent of the cream and the clear because Vayne becomes McGuire huge. Zoom in on his face. Ick. Nethicite makes his lips all chapped and kind of stretched out like they are filled with botox. Gabranth arrives and he decides to fight against Vayne because he must honor his commitment to protect Larsa. Do we really want him, he is looking pretty crappy. ----- BOSS: Vayne Novus (x48c) ----- GAMBITS: Casters: [Ally: any > Arise] [Foe: Shell > Dispel] [Ally: HP < 40% > Cura] [Foe: any > Slowaga] // this will slow the swords too [Ally: Any > ensuna] // this will remove Immobilize [Ally: any > Protectga, Hastega, Shellga] [Self: MP < 30% > charge or ether] // If you are getting low on ethers switch to charge to save them for the final boss. And don't use elixirs yet. Tanks: [Self > Berserk] [Foe: Any > Attack] Part I: - Let your berserked tank and Gabranth do what they want. They will usually go after the flying swords - which is fine. - Meanwhile have the 2 casters occasionally can cast flare on Vayne Novus - The battle will progress slowly at first because the tank and Gabranth are attacking the swords. But once the swords are gone, everyone will focus on Vayne. - Sometimes Vayen Novus will cast a protective shield where he is immune to magic. If that happens, switch to healing and physical attacks to conserve MP. You will know this is happening because the word IMMUNE will appear every time you cast a magic attack on him. ----- End Vayne Novus ----- Cut Scene: When his health is done, vayne falls panting. Gabranth comes running at him and cuts a hole right through him. Gabranth says "Even a stray has pride" - more dog references. Vayne shoots all his swords at Larsa. Larsa holds up some nethicite and they are absorbed into it. Is there anything nethicite cant do?! Vaan runs at Vayne, sword in hand. Why do they always yell when they run at them? Venat appears to confront Vaan who is running after Vayne. Gabranth asks if he is a good master - I think referring to Larsa. "Aye" says Bash. Gabranth dies and making him the third (out of four) party guest to die after joining us - I don't even think Donner Party had that bad of a track record. That last battle was a bit ridiculous - even by Final Fantasy Standards. It was like I was in a boss fight with a cast member from Thunder Down Under Vayne starts slowly struggling down the outer portion of the battle station. He yells out a Stanly-Kowalski-style "Steeeelaaaa" except instead of Stella it is "Veeeeenaaaat." He limps like he totally ripped out a super set of front squats then backed off on the weight to do a giant set of power cleans. Vayne says I am no dynast king. Venat corrects him and says that his requests "are filled beyond your knowing." That sun-cryst was the one thing made this the Age of Stones. Vayne says "history begins anew" and starts walking better. The Age of Stones Venat talks about started when the Occurians gave King Raithwall the three stones it ended when Reddas destroyed the Sun-Cryst and nullified all nethicite. Venat says "You shall not tread this path alone" and joins with Vayne. At this point Vayne is like a mystical cocktail first infused with Nethicite, then mixed with Venat. As Venat enters his being Vayne starts catching on fire and shooting lasers at all the passing ships, destroying them instantly. He explodes in a ball flames. All bunch of random scrap metal sears to his flesh. I think I see an old license plate in there. He gets a sword, wing attachments (of course), and oh look, a Samus arm cannon! ----- BOSS: The Undying (x48d) ----- GAMBITS: Casters: [Ally: any > Arise] [Foe: Bravery > Dispel] [Ally: HP < 40% > X-Potion] [Self: MP < 30% > charge or ether] // Use charge if you are low on ethers. Save all your Elixers for Part II of his attack. Tanks: [Foe: Any > Attack] [Foe: Any > Flare] //Do not use Berserk, you need more control over your party and may have to switch that tank to use magick Part I: - Send 2 casters, 1 tank - The Undying is Immune to slow - Watch the top left corner of the screen to see what spell he is preparing. - If he starts to casts holy, go to the party menu and equip all of your fighters with White Masks. They will be immune to his attack. - If he starts to cast Thundega, equips all your fighters with Rubber Suits - The Undying has no health bar but when he gets to 50% he will put up either a magic shield or a physical shield. - Save your quickenings for later in this fight Part II: 50% Health Left - If he puts up his physical shield, have everyone cast Flare or Holy - If he puts up his magic shield, cast berserk on the tank, and turn off all magic attacks by your casters - keep everyone healthy, - Make sure that your [Foe: Bravery > Dispel] gambit active - Make sure that your status buffing gambits are in order, he will cast dispel to remove them - Continue to save your quickenings for later in this fight Part III: 25% Health Left - At the end he will start castings Gigaflare Sword and Ascension almost sequentially - To stop his endless attacks start your quickenings. - As soon as you are done with the quickening, give everyone an elixir and cast another round. - Continue this endless quickening until he is dead _____________________________________________ | Denouement (x49) | The Undying Vayne/Venat combo starts falling apart. He growls like the Yeti in Disneyland's Matterhorn and then explodes. The clouds part and the clan is standing on the top of the Bahamut. Fran and Basch do an NBA style fist bump - LAME! Larsa is sitting alone. Then, everyone looks up at the clear blue sky. Something goes flying by and the music get ominous to make you think there is another boss fight...... but there is not. The air battle continues as the clan gets back into the Strah. The Bahamut starts shutting down. Vaan is trusted with flying as Balthier and Fran go to fix the engines. Gabranth is still alive - damn I think he has almost died three times in this game. He tells Basch to look after Larsa to prevent a civil war. Van flies the Strahl away from the Bahamut. The Marquis sees them escape. Larsa Solidor and Ashe call for a cease fire. Ashe then confirms this and then says "A new day has dawned. We are free." She seems pleased that they are free from the Occurians. The Bahumut starts falling into Rabanastre. The remaining Judge Zargabaath devises a plan to divert the Bahamut by ramming into it. However, Balthier is still on the Bahamut frantically trying to bring it back online. He leans on the fourth wall a third time describing himself as the leading man and how he will not die. As he brings the Bahamut online some general ship machinery falls on Fran. As he caries her away, sh says that he is more of a supporting role. As he walks away, Balthier gives Vaan full command of the ship. The Bahamut starts crashing outside of Rabanastre. Cut Scene: Blue Sky. Cue the J-sentimental-music. If there is anyone else in the room or in the room next-door, turn down the sound. This music will emasculate you faster than just about anything else in this game. You know what? I think the song Heartbeats by Jose Gonzales would fit better. Go download it from iTunes now and play it over the ending with the sound muted. If you want to watch it again go to www.gameintestine.com/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=175 Now here is the nerd challenge for you out there: Use your video editing skills to do a mashup like "Mad World/Gears of War" but with "Heartbeats/FFXII ending." Now get to work, post it to You Tube and email me when you get it done. I promise I will post it on GameIntestine and give you credit... So it is hammer time for Penelo as she goes out shopping for crystals and curly baguettes. She looks a lot more mature and so a lot more like a Gelfling. She starts narrating the Denouement and I will give you the quick bulletpoints: - It is a year later and things in Rabanastre are coming back together. - The Bahamut is still on cinder blocks in Dalmasca but it looks like it is being converted into a sweet water park. - Ashe is queen and like in high school she becomes too cool for her old friends. I guess those "friends" wont be getting any of those cushy promotions. - Basche is the new judge protecting Larsa. He has finally decided to shower and cut his hair. He should consult a dermatologist about that scar though. He fulfilled his promise to his brother and is the new Judge. Notice that he took his helmet design too. - Larsa is Emperor and spends his day sitting next to elaborate water features and reading fan letters. Note: Penelo's narration is the letter that Larsa is reading. - Penelo enters the set of Ico. Vaan and Penelo were tending to the Strahl when it was stolen. According to piecemealcranky's Game Script FAQ, the letter is from Balthier and reads "Something more valuable: the Cache of Glabados. I await in Bervenia." Look for this letter to be the springboard into the Nintendo DS sequel. - That ring that was in the letter was the one Balthier took from Ashe as payment for taking her to see the Garif People. Balthier is returning it just as he said "when I find something better." - Vaan gets his own airship - it looks like a phallus with wings. Penelo will join him on his plundering. That was the ending. I thought it was a bit weak because it just let everything fall in the way you were already expeting. I want an ending where Vaan gets up the courage to ask out Fran and then she totally goes for it just to further piss off her Vierra Sisterhood. Ashe comes in and starts a jpop team with Balthier. The two of them tour around like Ivalice's version of Captain and Tennille only to have Balthier get hooked on pain killers and he is caught at airport security with a roll of Gil strapped to his inner thigh. -------CREDITS--------- Concept art during the credits - I like that. Notice that Al-Cid was going to have 4 girls in his harem. It was pared down to just one in the final game. Venat was voiced by a woman - Anita Carey. I looked her up on IMDB and she stars in a bunch of British TV shows. Wow. Is that a picture of Balthier with a baby? Wait, the baby does'nt have Fran's bunny ears. Oh wait, maybe that is Cid with a baby Balthier. Now that is concept art that is going way back. Three Vierra look thorugh a window. It has an Alice in Wonderland feel but ironically, instead of chasing the white rabbit, Alice is the white rabbit. Ah translation and localization - here are all the Aglo names now. Neal Black - Legal. Can't get a much more European than that. THX sound, Dolby - makes it feel cinematic. ----- FIN ----- ----- Bibliography ------- - Bradygames Signature Series Guide for Final Fantasy XII - The GameFaqs Boards: too many posts and helpful people to list - Wikipedia - A History of Western Art by Laurie Schneider Adams ----- Lessons Learned ---- - Partial nudity to ERSB means cleavage - not an exposed breast. - If something floats it is magical. - If you live in a Final Fantasy world, have long hair, and are in a position of authority you are more than likely evil. - Voussoirs are the individual bricks that make up an arch. ----- Legal -------------- Copyright 2007 Zukowski This may be not be reproduced under any circumstances except for personal, private use. It may not be placed on any web site or otherwise distributed publicly without advance written permission. Use of this guide on any other web site or as a part of any public display is strictly prohibited, and a violation of copyright.