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Author Topic: For certain values of "Advanced"... Let's Play Final Fantasy Tactics Advance!  (Read 6996 times)

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R^2

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Lots of good suggestions but no consensus, so I rolled a die.






WE SHALL BE AS GDS WE SHALL BE AS GDS WE SHALL BE AS GDS







And, scene. Maybe I should do a Suikoden LP or something.
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We're taken to the map where, in a directly-inspired-by-Legend-of-Mana sort of way, we get to place a destination we just heard of.






Depending on where we place things -- what kind of area it is and what it borders -- we get free stuff doing treasure hunts there.

Sprohm is the Bangaa hometown, offering discounts on weapons that Bangaa use. It is also, as the judge pointed out last battle, where people who are sent to prison go. Judging from the name I'm assuming everyone there has crippling self-esteem problems and can never get laid, but that's conjecture.

Anyway, off to the pub.


Rumors offers some unnecessary overexplanation of game elements, like laws and clan wars. Missions are missions. The second one is what we're after.




GEE HOSS I GUESS THIS ONE HERE LOOKS PRETTY GOOD




He actually turns around and says "No, you don't, and since you don't just hit OK." Mission items can sometimes give bonuses to the fighting units in the form of boosts to attack power or defense or whatever, or affect the AP or rewards you get after the mission ends.




Yeah, going on missions costs money. I thought the plural of "gil" was "gil", though.




It's called "YOUR MOM" lol







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R^2

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Quick Race Breakdown:

Humans are well-rounded -- if you train one to be a fighter, he'll be a fine fighter. If you train one to be a wizard, he'll make a fine spellcaster. Between Steal:Ability and Double Sword, Humans are by far the quickest learners in the game -- which is good, because there are more Human jobs and abilities than in any other race.
Base Human jobs are Soldier, Thief, Archer, Black Mage, and White Mage.
Advanced Human jobs are Fighter, Paladin, Ninja, Hunter, Blue Mage, and Illusionist.

We've run into Bangaa before, they're the reptilian brawlers we fought in the first battle. I don't like Bangaa. It's not that they're bad -- they're super-strong, so they can do massive amounts of damage with a physical hit -- but they're so darn SLOW! Very few classes have good Move scores or good ranged attacks, so the enemy often stays just outside of their combat grasp.
Late in the game, Laws that forbid Techniques leave the Bangaa in a tight spot, only able to use Defend and Prayer abilities.
Base Bangaa jobs are Warrior and White Monk. Advanced Bangaa jobs are Dragoon, Defender, Gladiator, Bishop, and Templar.

Nu Mou are magicians through and through. The Beastmaster and Morpher are as close as they get to a melee-based job, and even those are tricky and use plenty of magic and special techniques. The observant will notice that Nu Mou jobs and Bangaa jobs suffer equally from a lack of Speed growth, but Nu Mou jobs have better reach (like, say, the Illusionist). The most powerful Nu Mou jobs -- Sage, Alchemist, and Illusionist -- all teach Skills, so Nu Mou are at something of a disadvantage if the current Laws prohibit the use of those.
Base Nu Mou jobs are Beastmaster, Black Mage, and White Mage. Advanced Nu Mou jobs are Morpher, Sage, Illusionist, Time Mage, and Alchemist.

Viera are totally awesome. While they often lack physical brawn, they're great at causing status ailments and make super-powerful magicians. And in a game where Speed is king, Viera are often the speediest characters in your clan. It takes a dedicated Ninja to overcome the Speed bonuses available to nearly every Viera job.
Base Viera jobs are Fencer, White Mage, and Archer. Advanced Viera jobs are Red Mage, Elementalist, Sniper, Summoner, and Assassin. That's right, Assassin -- the special job used by Celia and Lettie in the previous Final Fantasy game made it over to this one as a playable job, skillset intact.

Moogles are kind of odd. Most of their classes are status-based, rather than raw physical might or magical power. Since status attacks are pass-or-fail and don't depend on Weapon Attack or Magic Power, most Moogle jobs grow the defensive stats best.
Base Moogle jobs are Animist, Thief, and Black Mage. Advanced Moogle jobs are Gunner, Mog Knight, Juggler, Gadgeteer, and Time Mage.
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R^2

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Instead of being instantly swept away into our encounter here, we're allowed to choose our mission from a list. This means that if we've accepted more than one mission at a given location, we can choose which one to do.




The goblins gather!


duuuuude





Quote






First up, we check the laws in place for today. "Protect" status is forbidden, and will get a unit cited. "Poison" status is recommended, awarding additional JP if used. Since we have neither, that doesn't matter much.


And here's our clan to start. Marche and Montblanc as Soldier and White Mage as before, a Viera Archer, another Human Soldier, a Bangaa White Monk, and a Nu Mou White Mage.








The faerie here has a monster skill allowing her to heal HP for her goblin allies, although in retrospect I doubt she has enough MP to use it. Anyway, it made her our first target.








After that, it's just a slaughter.






























We're prompted to place Lutia Pass on the map now, so we do.
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Not a damn thing.






Mountain area adjacent to towns leads to...


An equippable accessory that slightly boosts Evade, Physical Defense, and Magic Defense. I'd rather have the +1 Move and boost to Magic Power they gave in FFT, but eh.


On to business.










Or maybe it's a thesis on how to bandit? Or maybe one of them is branching out into Bandit school? Or maybe they're mercenaries who are hired to do jobs for money no questions asked, you morons.





















:hurr:


Great, I bet if you climb quietly you can sneak in close enough to get the drop on the--



:hurr:  :derp: :wrong: :loser: :painful:













Sigh.


Since we have a Black Mage in the party, today's law is actually important. Fire spells will get Montblanc penalties, while anytime a Blizzard spell hits Montblanc will get one JP.








Our archer steps forward and fires off an arrow, but whiffs. This happens a lot in this battle and this game, really -- accuracy for attacks is somewhat lessened from what we're used to seeing in the first game. This fight is actually kind of a grind, simply because we're missing so damn much.


It doesn't help that they have a white mage on their side, too.






That's Aim:Legs, which causes Immobilize. Thankfully -- as Soldiers have no long-range attack ability -- it missed.


At long (long, long) last, we KO one enemy.


A Cure spell dropped on one enemy cures all allies around it. The enemy Soldier here hadn't taken any damage anyway, and Marche, Montblanc, and my white mage were all thoroughly worn down by now.


Montblanc could have finished this battle with the 10 JP maximum just by casting Blizzard over and over, but, well...




Pow.


Pow.


Po-- oh wait that was one of ours. Guess it was only a matter of time, really, that Soldier still hasn't been hurt.


But he's definitely running out of allies.


Quick! Hide near the judge and use your crappy healing ability while I chase you all the way up this goddamn mountain!




Fallen units don't crystalize in this game; they just stay around until the end of the fight. So it's possible for a unit to literally fortify himself behind a wall of corpses and take potshots at enemies who can't reach him. To prevent this, sometimes judges will teleport bodies around the battlefield.


Gotcha.



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R^2

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Which is of some minor importance now!




omg nubswod bcuz u is nubs

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R^2

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We're now a part of the Clan Wars, as the pubmaster is quick to point out next time we go in for a new mission.














What he's trying to say is that random encounters are now a thing. Sometimes red soldier icons will appear from map locations and start wandering around, disappearing whenever they feel like it. If you're ever in the same location as one, they engage you. Each area has a specific party it spawns; for example, Cyril deploys the well-rounded Clan Marble, while Sprohm deploys the physically-powerful Sprohmknights.




The Clan menu gives us a list of the missions we're on, the missions we've completed, the mission items we've collected, how big our turf is, and other things like that. The icons to the right are our clan levels in eight areas: Combat, Smithing, Investigation, Negotiation, Magic, Pliers, Bug Net, and Footwork. I forget what some of the icons are.


Oh.

Anyway, some missions require you to have one of these skills at a certain level before you can take it. And you get some pretty neat stuff from powering them up, as we'll see shortly.

But first...









:getout:


Random encounter spawns in Cyril.


And another in Lutia Pass. It's the archer-heavy Clan Dip.

Back to the pub, we've got work to do.

If you ever have fewer than 5 members in your clan, these missions will start appearing in the pub once a month.






As the pubmaster says, dispatch missions need only one unit to complete them -- but the unit will be unavailable for any Battle missions in the meantime. Thankfully, the "____ Wanted" missions are only five days long, so as soon as five in-game days pass we get our unit back. I'll send Undine on this one.


As with the first game, moving one spot on the map advances one day. So moving five spots completes our first dispatch mission.


There's no gil reward, but Undine here gets 20 AP toward her job skills. More on that in a bit.


But we want to complete a lot of these, so we can't accept anyone we recruit.


Next month, the missions reappear, for new races depending on what month it is.


R2 and Montblanc can't go on dispatch missions, so it's entirely in the realm of Undine and Gallahan.




Ah, and here's why we're doing it. Each time you complete one of these missions, you get a little experience in Negotiate.


You also get 20 AP, so characters learn skills. Like in Final Fantasy 9, skills in this game are learned through equipment. Equipping an item makes the skills it teaches immediately available, although they are lost if the equipment is removed, stolen, or broken. Accruing AP will teach a character the skill permanently, allowing equipment to be switched out and new skills to be learned.

A Longbow teaches an archer the skill Boost for 100 AP. After a few recruitment missions, Undine learns Boost and needs a new bow to learn something else. I buy her a Thorn Bow to learn Aim: Legs instead.

Most of the equipment that teaches skills are weapons. Shields teach Shieldbearer (the ability to equip shields regardless of job). Armor tends to teach reaction abilities.

Recruitment jobs cost 300 gil each, and equipment becomes obsolete as my units learn the skills available. While I grind up Negotiation, I sometimes have to stop for random encounters to fight for money.






During the clan wars, missions sometimes appear to claim an area of the map as clan turf. Having more clan turf means shops offer better items.

See those "To Clear" conditions? It's Enemies: 3. Rather than letting days go by on the map, I have to KO three enemies in a battle engagment to finish this mission. Of course, Undine is dispatched to do the actual job, so she won't be available for the fight...


We run into the Rangers, out of Nubswood. Since Undine and Gallahan are busy doing other things, it's just R2 and Montblanc for this fight.


It's rough, but we manage to get our three KOs.


...before losing.


But three KOs is three KOs.




So we claim Giza Plains as our own, awarding Undine 50 AP and a monetary reward.

I didn't screencap it, but eventually your claimed territory will come under attack by other clans. You have to go there and defend it, or it will be lost. But that's okay, the mission to claim it will reappear in the pub after a while, and you can just dispatch someone again. It's worth experience in Negotiation, so I do this several times.


Sometimes you get items for free after completing a mission, saving you some money on equipment. One such example is this Judge Staff -- it teaches Shell to white mages, Aero to Bishops, and Ramuh to summoners.


Helping out during Chocobo-breeding season nets us some money and AP, a dagger, and a Chocobo Egg -- our first mission item. Since it's a repeatable mission, we end up with several.

After a loooong time...


...we reach level 30 in Negotiation. Level 25 netted us Colichemarde, a rapier that teaches Red Mages Magic Power+. But level 30 is what we were shooting for...


As it gives us the Cinquedea. Cinquedea teaches Thieves Steal:Ability, which does exactly what it says. You rob an enemy of the ability to perform a skill and permanently learn it yourself. It gives Humans and Moogles -- the races that can switch into the Thief job -- a huge edge on learning abilities.




So we run a couple more recruitment missions to fill our ranks. Bangaa are slow and dumb and I hate them, so I recruit a human and a moogle instead.

So after all that grinding, what do we get? R2 and Montblanc have only accrued AP through fighting, while Gallahan and Undine have been learning skills left and right by dispatch missions. Ramses and Johanes, as new recruits, have no skills learned. But battles give experience points that dispatch missions don't, so R2 and Montblanc have an edge over Gallahan and Undine in levels.

Here's a breakdown of the progress we've made so far:
R2, Human:
Current job: Thief
Learning: Steal:Ability
Soldier abilities learned: First Aid, Speedbreak, Shieldbearer, Combat Combo
White Mage learned: Cure

Montblanc, Moogle:
Currently: Black Mage (knows Fire, Thunder, Blizzard)
Learning: Thundara
Animist abilities learned: Sheep Count, Catnip

Gallahan, Nu Mou:
Currently: Beastmaster (knows Goblin, Flan, Lamia, Panther)
Learning: Rockbeast
White Mage abilities learned: Cure, Shell, Protect, Esuna
Black Mage abilities learned: Fire, Thunder, Blizzard

Undine, Viera:
Currently: Elementalist (knows Fire Whip)
Learning: Earth Heal
Fencer abilities learned: Swarmstrike
Archer abilities learned: Boost, Aim: Legs
Red Mage abilities learned: Fire, Thunder, Cure, Catch, Magic Power+

Ramses, Human
Currently: Fighter
Learning: Beatdown

Johanes, Moogle
Currently: Animist
Learning: Sheep Count
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R^2

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Let's talk about jobs!

Soldier is a base human job. They're a bit like Squires from the first game, with more-or-less well-rounded stat growth and support skills. They get more HP on level up than any other human job.
Soldiers attack with swords and greatswords. Sometimes laws will forbid use of "swords", but that specifically means the weapons used by soldiers (and Bangaa warriors), not katanas, rapiers, blades, or even greatswords.
Battle Tech abilities aren't bad, they're just unremarkable. The "break" abilities don't really do enough to severely change the outcome of a battle, Provoke and Mug are nothing to write home about, and there are better Support Abilities than Monkey Grip or Shieldbearer.

Thief is a base job for Humans and Moogles. They have good speed growth, but are lacking in magic resistance.
Thieves attack with daggers.
Steal takes things from opponents. It lacks any abilities that do HP damage or debilitate opponents, but there are some pieces of equipment more easily stolen than earned otherwise -- typical of Final Fantasy, really. Steal:Ability is the best of them, allowing you to save tons of AP learning skills.

Black Mage is a base job for Humans, Nu Mou, and Moogles. They have good growth in MP, magic, and magic resistance, but aren't so hot in HP and physical abilities.
Black mages equip rods.
Black magic strikes enemies with spells of fire, ice, and lightning. Same as always.

White Mage is a base job for Humans and Viera. They have slightly slower growth than black mages in magic abilities but slightly better growth in physical skills.
White mages equip staves.
White magic heals and protects allies. Cure, Esuna, Protect, Shell, and Raise. Also same as always.

Archer is a base job for Humans and Viera. Their stat growth is a little sluggish but more or less rounded.
Archers, of course, equip bows.
Aim abilities don't do a lot of HP damage, but cause all sorts of status effects. Aiming for the arms or legs can disable or immobilize opponents, Blackout can blind them, and Cupid shoots an arrow through a target's adorable little heart to Charm them. They can also use Faster to ignore reaction abilities, although that's not really as useful as it sounds.
Archers are able to learn the support skill Concentrate, vastly increasing the accuracy of the user's attacks.

Fencer is a base job for Viera, a sort of Soldier variation that plays more to the Viera's natural speed and agility. They have good HP growth but lack in magical development.
Fencers fight with rapiers.
Lunge Techs aren't bad -- Poison attacks, Doom attacks, accurate attacks, and so on -- but they just aren't as good as other Viera ability sets out there. Nighthawk, the only long-range ability, comes in rather later than other classes get Air Render, making things difficult for Viera melee fighters. Every Viera should learn the counter skill Reflex, though -- it negates all incoming Fight commands.

Beastmaster is a base Nu Mou job. With their high Weapon Attack and Weapon Defense growth and good HP, are the closest thing the Nu Mou have to a fighter class. MP and Magic Power growth are the Beastmaster's weak spot, but those are still better than half the Bangaa and Human classes.
Beastmasters use musical instruments to control animals.
Control abilities have a very narrow use: monsters and only monsters. First the Beastmaster must learn the ability to control a particular kind of beast, then use that ability on the monster to take control of it for one turn. Useless against nonmonsters and generally outclassed by other abilities available, it does have some specialized uses -- like learning Blue Magic or getting enemy monsters arrested for breaking the law.

Red Mage are an advanced Viera class, requiring training in White Mage to unlock. They can do a little bit of everything. Their physical stats grow better than other spellcasting classes, but don't quite match the physical brawn of Fencers and Snipers. Their magical progression is better than physical classes without quite meeting the par set by Elementalists and Summoners. Red Mage is a steady but not exceptional way to raise a clanner.
Red Magic lacks power -- only the lowest-level Fire, Thunder, Blizzard, and Cure spells are available. But Red Mages get the one ability that every Viera magician truly needs: Doublecast. Doublecast works with any "Magic" skill, be it Red, White, Spirit, or Summon. Therefore, while Red Magic makes an excellent secondary ability for any class (Doublecast Sleep/Sleep makes Red Magic useful in and of itself), it makes Viera magicians truly terrifying.

Animist is a base job for Moogles, as close as they get to a physical line. And that means the same thing it did for Soldiers, Warriors, Beastmasters, and Fencers: good growth in HP and physical stats, with slower but not unimpressive growth in magical stats.
Animists use musical instruments like Beastmasters, but summon their wards instead of controlling critters already on the battlefield.
For being one of the first jobs available to you, Animists rock. Sheep Count is probably the first ability your little furry dude will learn, and Sleep status is nothing to sneeze at. Chocobo Rush is helpful for closing the distance to a foe, while Cuisine and 100% Wool will keep your Moogle safe and healthy. You won't get the Aona Flute that teaches Frogsong until pretty late in the game, but anything that turns foes into toads is nice. Call makes a great secondary ability to any other job.

Fighters are an advanced job for Humans, requiring some soldier training. Fighters fight. They're good at it. Their HP growth is good, and their Weapon Attack growth is unmatched. They suffer horribly in the realm of magic, though, with Magic Power and Magic Resistance growth nigh stagnant.
Fighters use blades, which again don't count as swords as far as the law is concerned.
Fighter Tech makes an excellent secondary ability. Blitz is high-accuracy and low damage, making it useful for finishing off weak foes. Beatdown is low-accuracy and high-damage, so it's great for foes that are asleep, stopped, or otherwise helpless. Air Render and Far Fist give the somewhat-slow Fighter a chance to deal damage without being face-to-face with his target, and Bonecrusher (does extra damage on counter) and Strikeback (automatically dodges, then counters) are both excellent Reaction abilities.

Elementalist is an advanced job for Viera, requiring abilities learned from both Fencers and White Mages. They shed some of the physical growth granted to White Mages, while still being better than Summoners in that respect. On the other hand, they have better magical progression than White or Red mages. Not a bad choice, considering Elementalist abilities are required to get both of the highest-tier Viera jobs.
Elementalists attack with rapiers.
Spirit Magic attacks with elemental abilities at range, and sometimes adds status ailments. It's a lot like Geomancy from the first game, except you get to pick which spell to cast no matter where you're standing. Unlike Geomancy, Spirit Magic adds Earth Heal and White Flame, allowing them to heal some HP for their allies.
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R^2

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After adding two new clanners and buying them equipment, we're broke! So I hunt down a random encounter.


Man, look at all those allies on the field.


Being a random encounter you don't really need a play-by-play, but check this out.


200 AP I don't have to grind.




I... actually didn't get a screencap of which skill I stole here, but hey. Three skills from one fight is a lot, and R2 still gets all the AP from this fight when it ends.

Turns out Sleep status makes Steal skills 100% accurate. I have two Moogles with Sheep Count, which causes Sleep status.


Suddenly I can be a Hunter! If I want to. I don't, since I haven't yet learned Steal:Ability.






As someone who works in the restaurant industry I wholly approve of sending a team of heavily-armed bounty hunters after a dine-and-dash.






Air Render is a White Monk skill for Bangaa and a Fighter skill for Humans, but it transfers anyway.


The basic Black Mage rod teaches Fire, Thunder, and Blizzard. This guy only knew how to cast Fire. Not really sure how that happens.


So profitable.


That's what she said.

I don't know why, but that's what she said.




yay.jpg


Having stolen a black magic spell from Dolce, I can now be a Blue Mage if I want to. So once I'm done with Thief I'll do that.


Dispatch.


Hur hur you handled a Skypole if you know what I mean hur hur hur

Huh, I didn't screencap the setup for the next mission I go on. It's called "Fowl Thief", because someone is stealing chickens in Cyril.


There's only the one thief, so we're limited to three clanners in the fight. I mean, we could beat him up even faster with six, but eh.




Oh my god! He's poaching chicken!







Then I beat him up.






:shrug:


Our clan level goes up after some more balanced development of our clan skills. Fuckall if I can remember what that does, though.
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I always earn my Cinquedea before this fight, and for this reason. Normally you don't get the dagger that teaches you this skill until kind of late in the game.

Diaghilev casts a poison spell, breaking the law!



Yellow cards are minor penalties for the first time a unit breaks the law in a fight. The cards are permanent until you intentionally throw a unit in prison for a pardon, and the penalties become more severe as more cards are accrued. Early on you lose out on AP or are charged monetary fines, but later on the judge will confiscate your equipment if you break the law too often.

If you get two yellow cards in the same battle, you're automatically issued a red card and teleported to the prison in Sprohm to serve your sentence.


But look there, beside Diaghilev's HP and MP. There's a little blue and white medal! That means he is immune to prison, allowing him to break the law as often as he wishes with no penalty. Enemies with this ribbon are known to use lawbreaking actions every turn, just to rub it in. Assholes.


We could win this fight even with R2 disabled, but if we're not going to steal any more stuff, we might as well leave.


The mission will reappear at the pub before too long.


Someone let a bunch of bombs loose in Cyril.






I control one of the bombs just for the novelty of it. R2 jabs a dagger into its brain -- or whatever bombs have -- next turn.






I re-liberate Giza Plains while I'm at it.




The Ancient Medal we earned from The Skypole mission is required for this one.








This one demands a Soldier to do the dispatch. R2 can't do it, so I change Ramses into a Soldier for the occasion.






This time when my clan turf is threatened, I go to save it! It's being eaten by bugs I guess.


So we kill the bugs.


Every random encounter is like a buffet.
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So is this game more breakable than the original FFT?
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R^2

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In which R2 learns that this emulator will gleefully overwrite its own screencaps.

So uh, Undine became a Sniper.

Snipers are an advanced Viera job, requiring training in Archer to unlock. Like Archers, they specialize in ranged attacks, but do more HP damage. They are the best Viera class for weapon attack growth, although their defenses are a bit lackluster.
Snipers use greatbows, which are bigger and stronger than the regular bows used by Archers.
Sharpshoot skills are okay, but are outclassed by other Viera skillsets. Beso Toxico (cause poison status) and Doubleshot (attack twice) are their go-to abilities -- they can break equipment and cause Doom status, but it's usually better to steal equipment or just do HP damage to kill a target. Auto-Regen is an okay support skill.

And with a couple Sniper and Elementalist skills, we promote her into an Assassin!

Assassins are pulled directly from Celia and Lettie in the first Final Fantasy Tactics game. They require training in Sniper and Elementalist to unlock. They have the best overall stat growth for Viera, with the best Speed growth in the game.
Assassins attack with katanas and greatbows.
Want an enemy dead? Stop Breath. Immune to KO? Rockseal. Immune to KO and Petrify? Shadowbind them and pummel them senseless. Immune to KO, Petrify, and Stop? Shear them to pieces with Ultima Masher. Assassins don't have much flexibility or range, but can end battles in a snap.

We also go bother Diaghilev Godeye again, and Johanes manages to swipe Steal:Armor and Steal:Weapon from the thief here.

Right about now is when my screencaps started overwriting, so I have shots for the rest.




Energy Mace is nothing to write home about. It teaches Sages Rasp and... something else not very useful. Astra, I think -- prevents the next status ailment that would hit the target.


But here's the thing. The "Item" command comes with "Reequip", a nominal support skill from the first game.


Godeye here whips out his backup Morning Star, which is normally a midgame item.


The Morning Star teaches Nu Mou the Magic Power+ skill. Considering that almost every Nu Mou job is magic-based, that's a hell of an ability to have. So we take that too.


With two clanners capable of stealing weapons and a nice weapon for Gallahan once he unlocks the Alchemist job, we complete our mission.








That's the stuff. Now we just need to get Gallahan to learn some more black magic abilities, which is what unlocks Alchemist for him.








These guys will never prosper.
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Careful, she throws a mean snowball.
























The fight's pretty straightforward, with Ritz (a Fencer, counts as a Viera on account of being a girl) and Shara (a Sniper) acting as computer-controlled guest units.














Johanes is still lacking in Thief abilities, but I can't steal from this enemy: his Maintenance support skill prevents theft and breaking of equipment.


Doesn't prevent asskicking though.




Not that it's particularly useful -- it doesn't teach any skills -- but my mages have been wearing the game-starting Hempen Robe up to this point and I figure a free upgrade is a free upgrade.


After Johanes stole his Fire spell, this enemy Nu Mou black mage cast nothing else for the rest of the fight. I considered stealing his Rod just to keep him from casting it.


Topical: I KOed Ritz and Shara to give me ample time to steal stuff.





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Ow, my fourth wall. Particularly baffling is that this game isn't much like other Final Fantasies in the series, except for the job system. No one had seen Nu Mou, Viera, or Bangaa until Final Fantasy Tactics Advance came out. The mission-based structure was a minor sidequest in Final Fantasy Tactics; it didn't become a thing until Final Fantasy 12 and its hunt mechanics.








































Because in the real world she used games as an escape fantasy, and now she's actually escaped into her fantasy? Just guessin', here.


The Cheetahs was a plot mission, advancing the game storyline a little bit. They're easy to spot: they're the top o the Missions list at the pub, and always take place at the last location that appeared on the map. Each time you complete one, the next opens up -- they're the most linear part of the game. The other missions are sidequests that give you equipment and AP, but are technically optional. Maybe one day I'll do a minimalist run.








Suddenly, deserts. Hundreds of them.
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Back in Cyril...






























































That's a big help.
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"Bodyguard my children when you take them into the monster-infested mountains to play, would you?"




We helped a kid with his homework before on "The Last Day", and got a copy of it. Apparently this person is taking the same class.








It's two red panthers and a goblin.











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Th... those names...!

Quote

Hmm. Looks like more people from St. Ivalice made it into the game, but not in always in a good way.

Anyway, the fight here is against three zombie bullies (zombullies?) and two ice flans. As is typical of Final Fantasy flans, these guys have an obvious elemental weakness but stupid-high physical defense. They're low on HP, so even a basic spell of the right element can do more than twice the damage needed to kill them.


And like in the first game, undead monsters get a counter when they die, indicating when they'll get back up and attack again.


Mopping up is no big deal, though.








Having learned two Soldier skills, Ramses is ready to become a Fighter again. Yes, units who join you in an advanced job do not have the skills necessary to unlock that job in the first place -- if you switch out, you have to earn your way back in.




There's a job available that requires the clan skill Combat at level 5.


But we don't have that yet.


Ice? In the mountains?! How dare he! We'll put a stop to this immediately.


We also get a mission to free Sprohm.


Free Sprohm takes one battle to complete, Watching You two. Thankfully there's random encounter waiting at Lutia Pass, where I need to go for Frosty Mage anyway.






Hey, Mythril Saber.

Mythril weapons are vanishingly rare. There's a kind of mythril weapon for each type of weapon in the game: mythril swords, mythril blades, mythril rapiers, mythril instruments, mythril knuckles, mythril guns, mythril souls, all of 'em. Each Mythril weapon teaches a "Combo" skill to the jobs that can equip it. Sabers are equipped by Blue Mages, so the Mythril Saber teaches Blue Combo. One of the overwritten images I forgot about is that I got a Mythril Brand earlier too. As a knightsword, it teaches Knight Combo to Paladins, Defend Combo to Defenders, and Sacred Combo to Templars. Since one of those is for one of the worst human jobs and the other two are for Bangaa, I honestly forgot I had it.


Speaking of Blue Mages, R2 is done learning Counter and Maintenance from his thief gear, so I swap him into one.

Blue Mage is an advanced job for Humans, requiring training in both white and black magic to unlock. They have good-but-not-exceptional growth in all areas except perhaps HP. They grow slightly slower than a White Mage in Magic Power and Magic Resistance, while outclassing all other spellcasting jobs in HP, Weapon Attack, and Weapon Defense. Their  MP growth is better than melee jobs, but not as good as other mage jobs.
As I said before, Blue Mages use Sabers.
Blue Magic will give you back what you put into it. It's tough to learn, as it demands the traditional "Get hit by a particular monster spell and survive" tactic from previous games in the series. But if you take some time and make good friends with your Nu Mou Beastmaster, you'll find one of the best skillsets available to Humans. Matra Magic swaps HP and MP values, so it's great against Fighters, Warriors, and other low-MP jobs. Magic Hammer halves MP, so it's is equally great against spellcasters (and if followed up by Matra Magic...). Bad Breath, Acid, Stare and Night provide status effects, while Twister and Drain Touch knock off HP. Angel Whisper, White Wind, and Dragon Force provide healing and support to your allies -- all in all, there's nothing Blue Magic can't do. It doesn't even rely on Magic Power much, making it an excellent Secondary ability to give a melee job.


We also swap Gallahan into an Alchemist so he can learn Magic Power+ from our new stolen mace.

Alchemist is an advanced job for Nu Mou. It requires several white magic and black magic spells to be memorized to unlock. Alchemists have great MP, Magic Power, and Magic Resistance growth, at the expense of physical stats, HP and Speed. Where have we heard that before?
Alchemists whack things around with maces.
Alchemy Skill is one of the best available to Nu Mou. Once you get the proper maces to learn them, there's Death and Meteor and Frog and Flare and Magic Power+. What's not to like?


Furthermore, as highlighted here, Alchemists always have access to the item command, in addition to their equipped secondary skill (in this case, black magic). With good attack spells and access to healing items, Alchemists are fantastically well-rounded.


Johanes gets a chance to swipe a few Thief skills from the moogle thief in this random encounter, too.

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At which point he says "Oh, I'm finished actually" and we avoid fighting, right?


Eh. The nomenclature here is "Destroy all Targets", not "Defeat all Enemies". Those two crystal orbs are what ends the battle, whether or not we beat the black mage, the panthers, or the floating eye.


We do anyway, though.


As someone with Item equipped, this guy can also reequip himself. We didn't have a Sleet Rod (teaches Blizzara to black mages, Slow to time mages, and Freezeblink to illusionists) anyway.


Now we have two.


It's a little tight, but the price was right.


Why not?


Yeah, that's the stuff.




These magical doodads absorb elemental attacks, and Ramses here has a Flametongue sword. I have to wait for Undine to get another turn to bust it up.








Aw yeah. Blizzaga normally doesn't come this early in the game.
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