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Final Fantasy Tactics Advance Game Basics

If you have never played a Strategy RPG then I seriously suggest reading this to understand what goes on during this style of game. If you have played a Strategy RPG then I still would like you to read this because there are a few things that warp the rules of a basic Strategy RPG.

The Judgment System

The queen of Ivalice sees to it that the royal judges enforce any laws the prince wishes upon the kingdom. Anyone who disobeys the laws during a battle suffers swift judgment with a steep fine or immediate imprisonment. Be sure to check the laws before you enter a battle so that you do not have this happen to you. Some illegal activities have more harsh penalties than others do.

Judges issue out Yellow and Red Cards to lawbreakers during battle. Yellow Cards are equal to one fine each at the end of the battle, while the Red Cards are for immediate jail time. When receiving your Yellow Card at the end of the battle you will have to pay a fine. Fines can be levied in Gil or cards, stat penalties for individual characters, or a loss of the AP or treasures that you would have acquired at the end of the battle.

Tactical Battles and Strategies

Every battle in Ivalice is built upon a strategic turn-based system. The selection and placement of party members is key to success because placing someone in the wrong position once can cost the battle. When unites deal the final blow and KO an opponent, they receive Judge Points (JP) that they can use to perform combos and special moves. Any strong unit can just plow through low-level opponents on a battlefield but when bosses roll around you need everyone that you got to take them out so you need to keep them all relatively the same level.

At the beginning of the battle you will have a small space to place your units down in to start the battle. Be strategic and place weaker enemies or magic users in the back behind your heavy hitters and units with high HP. The attack order list displays the order that units will get to attack; pressing L will bring it up. When summoning or casting magic you can hit right to see when they will use it prior to casting it to see if you will get the results that you desire. Use the available cover that you have to your advantage.

Place your units with their backs to walls to avoid back attacks and such, placing them back to back also works. When you start the battle scout for the healers and take them out because they can make the battle linger and when it does it is not usually in your favor. Keep yourself well stocked when entering a battle so that the items you have will be enough to last the battle. Use some ranged attacks from archers because they can attack from a high spot and not within reach of the enemy. Watch your colored magic because you might accidentally heal the opponent than hurt them if you are un-careful. Go for the back and side attacks they produce higher chances of success.

In all RPGs there are certain attributes that the characters have and are increased by increasing the characters level, using stat increasing items, or by equipping armor, accessories and such. This game is a Strategy RPG that involves the following attributes:

Level – The unit’s current level.
Experience – Current experience gained. For every 100 experience (EXP) gained, 1 level is gained.
Move – How far the character can move in one turn in terms of panels.
Jump – How high and far the character can jump.
Evade% – The rate at which the character can dodge.
Weapon Attack – Strength of physical attacks.
Weapon Defense – Defense against physical attacks.
Magic Attack – Strength of magic Attacks.
Magic Resistance – Defense against magic
Attacks Speed – How often the character’s turn bar is filled. Obviously the higher these stats are the better off you are against enemies.

Magic and the Totema

Most job types have exclusive magic that they learn by equipping special armor or weapons. If you’ve ever played Final Fantasy IX than you will know the AP system there hones the skills and magic in the weapons and armor and to use the skill without the use of that specific weapon you had to master it, the same applies here. The magic system here is elemental-based where each spell has a elemental type to it and attacking someone weak against that type will strike for more damage, but attacking with the same type will heal the opponent.

The Totema are sacred beasts that protect the mysterious crystals throughout the kingdom of Ivalice. If you just so happen to destroy one of these crystals the Totema guarding it will join you and your party. Each Totema is tied to one of the five races in Ivalice and only characters of the same race as the Totema can summon it. It costs 10 JP to summon a Totema so the best thing to do is to save it for bosses.

Character Customization for Jobs

Each characters growth is limited only by their race. By changing jobs a character can become more diverse and more deadly. Try to let your members learn a wide variety of abilities and master them since they will retain those abilities. Each unit can use two full sets of abilities so figure out which works best for you and your party. The difference between the leveling here of that in Final Fantasy Tactics (PSX) is that getting new jobs is caused by mastering abilities for the previous classes and not by the level of the class.

The Races and Jobs

Bangaa – Lizard like race known throughout Ivalice for their battle spirit. The strength and defense of the Bangaa make them formidable hand-to-hand combatants and should always be on your frontline.
Humans – If you are reading this you are human, if not then congratulations. The most common race in Ivalice is also the most diverse and has the most possible job classes. Good all around so use them where you need them.
Moogles – A fun-loving mischievous race that specializes in using tools and magic. They are great for tricking or messing with your opponents to add that little boost to win the battle.
Nu Mou – A quiet and peaceful race that is amazingly adept at using magic. These creatures shine in battle by casting magic in the field for either aiding their allies or destroying their opponents.
Viera – A beautiful female race that specializes in agility, spirituality, and finesse. Their jobs combine speed with stealth and summon magic making them extremely deadly in the field of battle and a must for any clan.

Jobs and Races

Below is a chart of the Races and the Jobs they can have. Jobs that are placed inside of the angle brackets are advanced classes that require mastered abilities to be accessible; all other jobs have no pre-requisites.

Bangaa Humans Moogles Nu Mou Viera
Warrior Archer Animist Black Mage Archer
White Monk Black Mage Black Mage Beastmaster Fencer
Bishop Soldier Thief White Mage White Mage
Dragoon White Mage Gadgeteer Alchemist Assasin
Gladiator Blue Mage Gunner Illusionist Elementalist
Defender Fighter Juggler Morpherv Red Mage
Templar Hunter Mog Knight Sage Sniper
Illusionist Time Mage Time Mage Summoner

Trading Items and Multiplayer Missions

Trading is a simple link up in which you can trade with your friends to get some items that you might need or want. You can also trade units to get the perfect one to add to your party. Sounds pretty nice except for the 5,000 Gil that the pub charges for EVERY trade. Multiplayer is pretty cool to since you can link up with friends to experience the secrets of Ivalice together. Cooperate to defeat an enemy boss, or see who can defeat the most monsters in a competitive mission. Some treasures can only be found in multiplayer missions so make your friends get this game.

Equipping Characters and Learning Abilities

Each character has five equipment slots in which they can put weapons, armor, and other such things for battle. In most cases, each character can equip only 1 weapon, 1 piece of armor, and 1 helm. The other 2 slots are reserved for accessories, shields and two-handed weapons. Try to remember that when equipping the items have abilities for you to learn. Although most weapons have abilities the armor does not in most cases. AP (Ability Points) is earned in battle and enables the unit to learn new abilities. Each character can equip up to five abilities: two Action abilities, one Reaction ability, one Support ability, and one Combo ability.

The World of Ivalice

The world map shows everywhere that you can go and is the primary screen for moving around. You can check your current where abouts and see where you have to go and pressing L will allow you to see the Laws. The party menu shows your units and their stats, the clan menu shows the details on your clan including its current stats and title, any current missions, your turf, mission items, supporting clans and more. The link menu should only be used during the time when you wish to link up with one of your friends. The area list displays ever area you’ve placed on the map, and the system menu displays important game options including the ability to load and save.

Some events occur on the world map and you will spend a lot of time on it so every choice matters as you shape the world of Ivalice to your whim. After certain missions, you’ll receive a location symbol that you can place on any empty terrain space on the Ivalice world map. Where you place towns and terrain can trigger treasure hunts. The shaking of a symbol can identify treasure hunts. Story line events and engagements with other clans on the world map will often result in random battles. All random battles offer treasure, Gil and AP – A great way to build up your clan.

Important Locations in Ivalice

The pubs in Ivalice have missions and rumors they can share with you. Listen to some rumors and missions can be unlocked so that you can undertake the mission to earn some Gil or some items. Most missions are Non-Battle missions meaning that you send off your units and they don’t fight to accomplish the task. To determine how well a unit will do when sending him off check his position, if he is kneeling he is very unlikely to accomplish it, standing is about a 50% chance of completion, and if the unit is jumping he is likely to succeed. Regular missions are different, the citizens of Ivalice will post requests for aid at the local pubs and you can accept them for a small fee. You will need a special quest item to sign up for some regular missions. Although these are only two types there are still two more called Encounter in which you go to kill some enemies, and free-area where you simply roam; all missions have a symbol type. Cyril’s shop is the first one that is available to you and is the one that you will use most frequently. Checking the shops often will ensure that you are up-to-date on the latest items and equipment. The more turf your clan has will lower the prices and widen the variety in items. The Card Keeper (Ezel Berbier) will tell you about his secret card shop in Cadoan after you save him. The monster bank is where any monster you catch with the Hunter’s Capture ability will go. Visit the Monster Bank to spend time with your monsters and help raise them by giving them items.

The Clans of Ivalice

Clans travel the lands of Ivalice competing for turf notoriety and treasure. Managing your own clan is essential to its success. After naming your clan you will receive a title that tells you how well known your clan is according to the citizens. The missions you accept and the turf you control can also change the clan title. The Mission List shows all the missions you have taken up but have not finished yet. The Clan Report displays all of the missions you have accepted and completed. The Clan Turf obviously displays your clans turf; Gray symbols indicate unclaimed areas, red symbols are areas under attack by a rival clan, and normal symbols are your turf. The Mission Item option displays all mission items you currently own.

Your clan can have up to 20 Anti-law cards at any time; the law cards option is where you will find these. Support Clan option is available if you have a friends clan in and it will display the clans’ names, levels, joined mission info and more. The Clan Status screen allows you to view your clan’s points, number of freed areas (turf), and number of missions completed in the Clan Status section.

For every 100 Clan Points your clan earns, it will gain a clan level. The Clan Skills screen shows all of your clan’s current skills; Clan Skills rise when your clan completes a mission. Some of them require that your clan has acquired a certain level before it can be undertaken. Clan Skills only affect your ability to accept certain missions from the pubs. There are a total of 8 clan skills; Combat, Negotiate, Appraise, Gather, Smithing, Magic, Craft, and Track.

Combat Skill Level – How strong your clan is in combat situations.
Negotiate Skill Level – How well your clan negotiates with other clans.
Appraise Skill Level – Your clan’s ability to appraise items. Gather Skill Level – How well your clan can gather what it needs from the wild.
Smithing Skill Level – How adept your clan is at working with metals and ores.
Magic Skill Level – The strength of your clan in the ways of magic.
Craft Skill Level – How adept your clan is at turning raw materials into useful items such as armor.
Track Skill Level – Your clan’s aptitude at tracking down people and monsters.

Status Ailments and Enhancements

Some attacks can cause your units to suffer status ailments. While some ailments go away after a few turns, others must be cured with items or abilities.

Ailments and Enhancements Effects Cure
Addle Disables all A-Abilities Dispel
Advice Raises Critical Hit rate
Astra Status Affliction Protection
Attack – Lowers Weapon Attack
Attack + Raises Weapon Attack
Auto-Life Auto-Revives a KO’d Unit
Berserker Raises Weapon Attack, No Control Esuna
Boost Raises Weapon Attack for next turn
Charm Enemy becomes ally Dispel or Damage
Conceal Makes unit invisible
Confuse Uncontrollable, may attack allies Cureall
Darkness Lowers Hit and Evade rates Eyedrops, Esuna
Defense Raises Weapon and Magic Defense
Defense + Raises Weapon Defense
Defense – Lowers Weapon Defense
Disable Disables A-abilities for 3 rounds Bandage or Esuna
Doom Death when counter reaches zero Dispel
Expert Guard Nullifies all damage for one turn
Haste Increases Speed
Immobilize Stops movement for 3 rounds Bandage or Esuna
KO Knock Out, Unable to participate Life or Pheonix
Magic – Lowers Magic Attack
Magic + Raises Magic Attack
Petrification Disables all actions and movement Soft or Esuna
Poison Inflicts HP damage every round Antidote
Protect Raises Weapon Defense
Reflect Reflects all magic
Regen Heals minimal HP every round
Shell Raises Magic Resistance
Silence Disables all magic use Echo Screen
Sleep Disables all action and movement Esuna or Cureall
Slow Decreases Speed Dispel
Stop Disables all action and movement Dispel
Toad Turn into frog, lowers all stats Maiden Kiss
Zombification Turn into Zombie, holy damages Holy Water