Final Fantasy 12 Zodiac Age - Beginners Guide

 

Zodiac Age: Beginners Guide

Welcome to this guide to assist you with getting started with FF12 Zodiac Age — whether you’re playing on Xbox, PS4, PC, or Switch I will detail some of the starting information to help you on your way to enjoying this wonderful game within the Final Fantasy franchise.

Below, in the index, you’ll find links to various topics so you can pick and choose which subjects you want to learn about. It would be best to read through all the content but if you just need certain segments this will help. Each section will have basic information about the topic as well as any tips/tricks that I have to help you out.

Gambits

Gambits are a wonderful little system that allows you to customize how your party interacts and makes decisions during different scenarios without you having to intervene each time. Additionally, you can even set it up for Auto-Farm areas and go AFK yourself.

In this section we’ll talk about some of the gambits I’d recommend setting up as early as possible as well as which ones to buy to assist you later on in the game.

General Tips

  • Be mindful of where you list your Gambits — it runs the gambits from the top down, so if you have Cure on the bottom then it’s possible you’ll never see it used and it could cause death to your party members.

  • Turn them on - you don’t have to use them on the character control unless you want but make sure you at least have them active on your other two party members, otherwise they’ll just stand around and watch you die.

    • This can be done through the battle menu.

    • I personally use active gambits on everyone and only put in manual combat commands as needed.

  • Make sure you purchase gambits from the stores in the game, you don’t have to wait for certain ones to unlock like the previous version so you can purchase them all up front.

  • Few Gambits to buy:

    • Ally: Any (can be used with Raise, Phoenix down, and many other abilities)

    • Foe: Flying

    • Foe: Undead

    • Target: Self (for Libra)

    • Foe: 2+ ( and above, great for crowd control situations)

    • Ally: HP %

    • Self: MP % (for Charge)

Steal Gambit

There are several different options, I’ll provide you with a few and you can pick the one that works best for you. I would always have 1 person in your party that has Steal ready to go as this is an amazing way to collect loot early in the game and start building up your Gil.

Best Option:

  • Foe < 90% -> Attack

  • Foe = 100% HP -> Steal (could also be replaced with >= 90% HP)

What’s nice about this is that you’ll focus down a single target instead of running off to steal from other enemies so long as there is a target nearby with 90% health or less. 100% HP works but consider 90% HP so that it steals from enemies that may have been already damaged (especially when you have groups of enemies), you don’t want to miss out on opportunities to steal.

Alternative:

  • Foe = 100% HP -> Steal

  • Foe: Targeting Self > Attack

I like this one because if you have multiple enemies around you, then this character will run off to steal from them instead of working on focusing down an enemy. Typically this character ends up being the first to attack that enemy which then makes it refocus who to attack and then that triggers this gambit to attack that enemy instead of stealing. You could end up in a steal loop during this setup.

Another thing you could do is have another character that attacks enemies at 100% HP and then moves back to the party leader, doing this can break the potential steal loop of the alternative build above but it’s more hassle.

Libra Gambit

Libra allows you to see traps in the environment, this could save your party a lot of problems later in the game. It also allows you to see Enemy HP, Enemy Weaknesses and Status/Ailments. It’s worth getting early and having up all the time. The good news is that it is a Technik, so it doesn’t consume MP.

  • Target: Self -> Libra

This is what I would recommend and just put it at the bottom of your gambits so it doesn’t interfere with anything else you have going on. This way (typically out of combat), this character will cast Libra on themselves.

Shades of Black Gambit

This is a miss-able ability! You can always go back and get it but try to remember to pick it up the first time because it’s such a good ability to have. You can find it in the same area you fight Belias at — there are two chests there and it will be in one of them.

This ability casts a random Black Magick spell for zero MP and it ignores silence! I love using this ability where ever possible, it can make potential enemies or large groups much easier to maintain.

  • Foe >= 90% HP -> Shades of Black

This is the Gambit I typically use for this ability but you can obviously adjust the HP % if you want. At times you’ll have guests in your party that have Shades of Black (Larsa), so I do the following with them:

  • Foe: Any -> Shades of Black

Give it a shot, I bet you’ll love it! This also works great when you start dealing with Flying enemies as not all weapons are able to hit flying enemies.

Charge Gambit

Charge is an ability that has a chance to give you back MP but if the skill fails it will reduce your MP to 0. If it works then you get the (Users Level x 1.5) - 1. Probability of missing is Remaining MP + 1%.

I basically have this set up so they use it when their MP is 10-20%. At that point they aren’t casting much anyway so I’d rather risk the chance of getting a 0.

  • Self: MP > 10% -> Charge

back to top

Loot

Loot is an important part of Final Fantasy 12 — You’ll get a lot of loot throughout this game (especially if you’re setting up the steal gambits) and much of it can be sold to vendors to get access to items in the Bazaar. There are a few things to note about the Bazaar shop before we continue here.

  • When you sell loot, the game tracks what you sold and how many. When you sell enough items to complete a “recipe” that is attached to an item in the bazaar then that item will then unlock for purchase. Most items disappear from the bazaar when purchased but some are repeatable.

  • Item counts reset when you purchase an item from the bazaar. For example: If you sell 4x Chocobo Feathers then the Bazaar will unlock “Eye Openers” for you to purchase, if you purchase that item then it resets your Chocobo Feathers back to 0, no matter how many you had sold previously. With that in mind, if you’re working towards a specific item then you don’t want to purchase Bazaar items that will reset the count of specific items. Personally, I pay no attention to this but just a warning for you.

  • If you do want to pay attention to what you sell etc and be efficient with your materials then you can check sites like this one that list everything required for each recipe and what you’ll receive. Something to really consider if you want to get the ultimate weapons/gear in the game. You can find those items here as well as what you’ll need from the bazaar.

  • Nothing in the bazaar is miss-able.

What can you sell and not sell, and what do we do with the items we don’t sell? As you’ve already read — selling to the bazaar resets the count of the items, so these items are either common but needed across a lot of recipes or they’re rare materials and will save you from having to farm more for them.

A rule a lot of people follow is: “If I have more than 10 then I can sell whatever is left over”, as you wont have that many of the main items you shouldn’t be selling. Here is a list of what not to sell.

  • Arcana

  • High Arcana

  • Bat Wing

  • Damascus Steel

  • Dark Crystal

  • Demon's Sigh

  • Eye of the Hawk

  • Feystone

  • Grimoire Aidhed

  • Grimoire Togail

  • Hell-Gate's Flame

  • Rainbow Egg

  • Scarletite

  • Serpent Eye

  • Snake Skin

  • Soul Powder

  • Soul of Thamasa

  • Wargod's Band

  • Quest items like the Dewdrop Pebble, Great Serpentskin, Jaya Stick, Semclam Shell, Small Package, Nebralim and Valeblossom Dew - use these for their intended quest purposes, which will give you greater rewards.

Additionally, I wouldn’t sell Teleport Stone as they’re useful but you can always buy more if you accidentally do. Once you get access to Mt Bur-Omisace, you can buy them in the shops on the airships. Enemies drop them and you can steal them as well but by time you get to Mt Bur-Omisace you could have plenty of money to buy them.

back to top

Jobs

You could spend a good bit of time researching who should get what job or deciding if you want to use 1 of each job or double up on some. I personally think it’s a waste of time — all content within the game with beatable without having to go too meta on this information and micro-manage all the decisions. Truthfully your time is better spent.

Here is a job planning spreadsheet here that you can copy and use for yourself. It will tell you all the skills that they learn and even what skills each person would gain depending on the Esper you give them (which is pretty important).

Here is how I laid out my jobs on my 3rd play-through of the game after learning a few lessons about what I wanted to do.

  • Vaan: Shikari / Red Battlemage

  • Baltheir: Foebreaker / Bushi

  • Fran: Archer / Uhlan

  • Basch: Knight / Machinist

  • Ashe: Black Mage / Time Battlemage

  • Penelo: White Mage / Monk

Here are some thoughts behind it. Firstly, I wanted to use all of the jobs available.

I know that Ashe and Penelo are best kept to mage jobs. I’ve learned not to give Black & White Mage to the same person because I ended up with so many White Mage Gambits that I could almost never do any Black Mage damage, which was really annoying.

I tried to pair everyone up to get Heavy Armor at some point through the game, the only one that wont have that access is Penelo but she’ll be so busy with Healing and everything else that I felt it was better to keep her Monk (for a little range) and White Mage instead of giving her the Red Battlemage… because I wont have the gambit slots to use those abilities, most likely.

Even if I did do this (which I have before with B/W Mage combo on Penelo), you can still clear all the content in the game — you just don’t have space to utilize those abilities which can kind of suck at times.

The order I listed them above is the order I gave them the job. You might be upset to find that after you make Penelo a white mage she is removed from your party for a bit (not really a spoiler) but you’ll have Fran who gets Cure by default which should be enough to carry you until Penelo joins back up.

Follow whatever path you want but my main advice is not to get too hung up on who is best served where or which classes to consider or not — it’s all do-able.

back to top

Hunts

Hunts are an optional part of the game where you can go to hunt boards and get “Marks” to go kill for rewards. There are several hunt board locations that give you different Marks for the area. Once you collect it off the board you need to talk to the person that posted it to actually start the hunt entirely. These people are marked in Clan Primer, when you look at the hunt — in case you can’t find them.

Hunt Board Locations:

  • Rabanastre - the Sandsea tavern.

  • Nalbina Fortress - Jajim Bazaar.

  • Bhujerba - the Cloudborne Bar.

  • Phon Coast - Hunters' Camp.

  • Archades - Granch's Requisites.

  • Balfonheim Port - the Whitecap tavern.

Untitled.jpg

These are fun but the more important part of this the Elite Marks and Clan Centurio. Location is shown in the photo above — talk to the lizard fella out front on the left side and then you can go in. At the top of the stairs you’ll meet Montblanc.

Each time you kill a boss in the game he’ll reward you but additionally he will give you Elite Marks, which as you can imagine are much harder Marked targets to go hunt down.

Lastly, as you finish hunts your rank in the Clan Centurio goes up — You can see your rank by going to your Clan Primer and it is located at the bottom right of the screen. As this rank goes up, there is a special store in Rabanastre that you can buy gear from… good gear, that you’ll certainly want!

store.jpg

Above you can see a photo of where he is located, it’s the “clay pot” icon on the map on the left, down from where you were at for the Clan Centurio. Talk to him as you rank up to get those items… things like Bubble Belt are fantastic to have.

back to top

Espers

These are the “summons” of this Final Fantasy game and there is really one 1 thing that matters about them, in my opinion.

Who you give them to on the license board. That’s it. You can check the job planner link in the job section if you don’t already have the spreadsheet that details this information out but that’s honestly the best part about them is giving skills across to other characters that wouldn’t have them otherwise.

You have to fight and defeat each Esper to unlock it and there are several hidden and more difficult Espers throughout the game that you can fight. You can also Summon the Espers to fight with you but they basically suck — you do need to summon an Esper once in the game to progress through a certain area though.

They’re fun to fight and defeat, the license rewards are great but using them otherwise is just… stupid. Here is a list of them all:

  • Belias

  • Chaos

  • Zalera

  • Zeromus

  • Hashmal

  • Ultima

  • Exodus

  • Cuchulainn

  • Shemhazai

  • Adrammelech

  • Famfrit

  • Mateus

  • Zodiark

back to top

Quickening

These are special abilities that you can do by using the Mist function in the combat menu. Each character can have 3 Quickening abilities — your goal when casting this is to use as many as possible or try to get a specific Concurrence ability.

You have a time limit which makes the whole event a bit more stressful.

The bold abilities below are the Concurrences and what you need to unlock them.

  • Inferno - 3x Level 1 Quickenings

  • Cataclysm - 6x Level 1 Quickenings

  • Torrent - 2x Level 1 Quickenings & 2x Level 2 Quickenings

  • Windburst - 4x Level 2 Quickenings

  • Ark Blast - 2x Level 1 Quickenings, 2x Level 2 Quickenings, 2x Level 3 Quickenings

  • Whiteout - 4x Level 3 Quickenings

  • Luminescence - 3x Level 1 Quickenings, 3x Level 2 Quickenings, 3x Level 3 Quickenings

  • Black Hole - 4x Level 1 Quickenings, 4x Level 2 Quickenings, 4x Level 3 Quickenings

At times you may have to “re-shuffle” your options as nothing could show up and sometimes you’ll see Mist Charge, which you should prioritize — in most cases as it allows you to use more Quickenings and further your combo.

The timer continues to get shorter with each round, so you need to be mindful of that.

This is the basic information for this system, there are more in-depth guides out there but I’m not the source for that as I don’t take this too seriously. I do the best I can and then I get back to the fight.

back to top

General Tips

  • Speed x2 by pressing Left Bumper (PS4/Xbox/Switch)

    • You can hold Left Bumper and go up to x4 or back to x2 by using Left/Right on the D Pad.

  • Press L3 on your controller if you want to increase the size of the map and put it in the middle of the screen.

  • Level all characters up together — meaning, rotate your party to keep them all roughly the same level. If your main party gets wiped, you can pull 3 new party members. By having them leveled up together it can save you from a game over during a big boss fight.

  • Use Float — this ability is fantastic for avoiding traps… which some places are loaded with and can instantly down most, if not all, of your party.

  • Use Bubble or get Bubble Belts, this is how you get to 9999 HP as you wont get there otherwise.

  • Don’t forget about the Trial Mode! You get rewards for this mode, including LP to put towards your licenses board… and, keep an eye out on the stages because there are treasure chests around that you can get items from as well.

  • Sage’s Ring, you’ll find your first one at Stilshrine of Miriam and you can get them by stealing from Arioch later in the game — this is a great accessory to have as it absorbs holy damage and halves MP costs which is a real pain earlier in the game.

  • Golden Amulet’s are another great accessory to have as you’ll get Double LP while equipped. Can be found in Ogir-Yensa, Feywood, and bought from the Bazaar.

  • Enjoy the game - you may be tempted to run around at x2 or x4 speed all the time but I encourage you to turn it off from time to time and enjoy the game as it was originally designed.

back to top