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Ivalice Illusion: Let's Play Final Fantasy Tactics Advance!
Awe Striker

[table of contents]
[3] Monsters and Medicine
Before we go any further with this, I'd like to rearrange the party, which will give me a reason to explain stuff.

Your Clan starts out with six units:

There are a couple things wrong with this setup as is.

First off, one of your generics has the exact same job and race as your hero. This is generally a bad idea, since you can only field at most 6 units at a time (sometimes less).

The second thing is that Montblanc's stats don't really make him a good Black Mage.

The third thing is that except the White Monk and White Mage, none of those classes are very fast. Speed is a very important statistic in this game - sure, one or two points doesn't seem like a big deal, but 30 levels down the line you may well have 20 other turns in between one of your units'. My Archer actually came out with a surprisingly high amount of speed, though (116, making her my second fastest character).

The first step in fixing all this requires a certain amount of familiarity with the people of Ivalice, divided into five Races: Human, Nu-Mou, Bangaa, Viera, and Moogle.

Humans are... well... average. They have access to a wide variety of jobs, starting with Black Mage (BLK), White Mage (WHT), Archer (ARC), Thief (THF), and Soldier (SLD).

Nu-Mou are the expert magic users. Almost all of their jobs are magically-oriented, and none of them is very well suited to "smack enemies over head with weapon". They start with Black Mage, White Mage, and Beastmaster (BST) unlocked.

Bangaa are tough, but slow. Some consider them to be not worth using, because none of their jobs get Speed growth that's that great. They start with only two jobs: Warrior (WAR) and White Monk (MNK).

Viera are fast, and hit okay well, but aren't that durable. Not super-fragile, but you do need to expend extra effort to keep them alive. They start with White Mage, Archer, and Fencer (FEN) unlocked.

Moogles are... hard to define with one phrase that isn't rather long-winded like this one - many Moogle jobs are rather gimmicky, and tend to have a lot of status effect abilities. They start with Black Mage, Thief, and Animist (ANM) unlocked.

In an effort to not screw myself over, I pay 300 gil to accept the plot-advancement mission (and only one available) from the pub: "Herb Picking". Basically, someone wants us to go out and gather herbs for use in making medicines and such. If you read the title of the installment, you know what's probably going to happen when we go to do that.

Because there isn't really that much of a way to change half the team's jobs without buying new equipment, and I need money to buy new equipment, it would have been possible (but highly, highly unlikely) to go completely overboard and run out before I could pay the 300 Gil mission fee.

Once that's done, complete with uninteresting cutscene, I change Amiah's job to Thief and Elma's to Fencer. This completely ranged-screws Clan Euphoria, but for now that's okay; Archers aren't very useful in either of the first two plot missions. They're okay in the first one, but in the second they're at a huge disadvantage.

The jobs we have unlocked are as follows:

With that, time to head off to Giza Plains.

- Mission 001: Herb Picking -

Oh look there are monsters here. Let's kill them all so we can pick herbs in peace.

This is a straightforward battle - the monsters here don't have any abilities, so all they can do is punch you (monsters don't equip weapons).

One note about the laws, though: In the fight with the two Bangaa, Montblanc stated that the laws forbid certain actions. However, for every action type that is forbidden, another one is encouraged, or, as the game puts it, Recommended. Doing Recommended Actions awards 1 JP per action, provided it did something. The game's law calendar puts the Forbidden side in blue and the Recommended side in red, which is what would I have done above if the color code worked in liveblogs. [Forbidden / Recommended] is the way I will specify laws for combat. However, killing a unit with a Recommended Action will not award additional JP - JP is always dispensed one point at a time.

The [R1] next to the law is its Rank. A law's Rank affects what kinds of punishment units can receive for breaking it. Not all laws will be Rank 1, obviously; they get up to Rank 6 (although R6 laws are very rare.)

Battle Notes:

After a quick, easy battle, the herbs are picked and the mission is clear.

Mission Rewards:

AP is awarded at the end of every battle and goes towards your units' abilities. Your units learn abilities from equipment (for example, the Jackknife teaches Thieves Steal:Gil). While you are learning an ability, you can still use it. All abilities being learned receive the AP at the end of every battle, so if your unit is learning multiple abilities (almost essential, as armor and accessories grant abilities too), they will both receive 40 AP if you complete a battle that awards 40 AP. And it just happened twice, as both the Soldier and Fencer are learning Shieldbearer in addition to their weapon's ability.

Abilities are also divided into four types.

That's about it for now; next time, what awaits us in the mountains?
1st Sep '11 9:52:07 PM flag for mods
Wonderful job so far, if I do say so myself. Personally, I never considered myself good at this game; while I excelled in "War Of The Lions" and "Tactics Ogre", in which the actions of an individual determined its growth, I felt that I always had to grind for AP just to make a decent party.

By the way, if I may be permitted to ask, do you have any grand plans for how you make the map of Ivalice? I think I remember good things happening if you make certain patterns, but that can be tricky without some kind of guide to reference.
EndarkCuli 2nd Sep 11
I don't have much of a plan for that, but I think I at least want the Mindu Gem and Zeus Mace.
AweStriker 10th Sep 11
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