Why the hell does the party keep being attacked by giant monsters every time they enter a new area? It's that moss covered dragon in Golmore Jungle that really bugs me...
It's the Random Boss Syndrome. It's mandatory for every dungeon in the game to have at least one boss, even if they have little to no relation to the dungeon itself. Firemane being the worst offender. As for the Elder Wyrm, the bestiary indicates it shares "body and soul" with the jungle and suffers "no intruders within its boundaries", so the wyrm attacked Vaan and Co. to make it clear they're intruders and thus unwelcome. But the Elder Wyrm is actually a optional boss, as you can skip the battle if you took a detour throught the Feywood to arrive in Paramina Rift.
But hell, that would involve so much grinding that it really wouldn't make sense to take said detour, so you might as well kill the thing.
That's right. At that point of the game, the hideous inhabitants of the Feywood will tear your party apart. That wasn't a problem for me though, as I'm one hell of a level grinder extraordinaire.
You could as well just use a chocobo to avoid these monsters.
Or you could hold down R2 and run like hell. That's how this troper made it through (barely) without grinding.
Actually, the Viera leader does kind of warn about the Elder Dragon: she says that the Wood longs for Fran and wanted to take revenge on the humes for taking her away.
As for Revenent wings, how does Kytes start the game able to cast "Firaga" and Filo has a hoverboard, when they are 10 year old orphans? I mean, Vann and Penelo have some experience out in the world, and are nearly twice as old, and yet they only start the game being scarcely able to cast anything more than "Cure". And where did Filo get her hoverboard?
This is a case of unavoidable Gameplay and Story Segregation a level 99 Vaan/Penelo team would have been able to hack their way to the last boss effortlessly, which would have killed any challenge
Seriously, what was up with Vayne's second form? I mean, we've seen many, many people with manufacted nethicite enhancements, and none of them were so...physically... affected.
Do you think the company that gave the One-Winged Angel trope its name would have a final boss that didn't go One-Winged Angel? Also, I don't think Vayne was just freaking out on manufacted nethicite. I think he was also borrowing power directly from the rogue Occuria, Venat.
In a meta explanation, the three-stage final battle was an obvious homage to Vagrant Story's almost identical final battle. Vayne had to go One-Winged Angel in the second round and turn into a giant flying insectoid darkness-thing in the third round, because that's what Guildenstern did.
This is your body. This is your body on Nethicite. Any questions?
Does the mist that occurs before the use of manufacted nethicite manifest itself differently for different people? For example, Bergan, Dr. Cid and Vayne all have different manifestation colors—though there really is no apparent reason for this.
Nobody seems to really know how Mist works. It's just one of those things.
The reason that you have to walk from the Westersand to the Tomb of Raithwall is that beyond the Westersand is "Jagd", which airships cannot fly over. How then was the Empire able to send a massive fleet of airships to ambush the party as they exited the Tomb?
This is explained later in the story, where the party has to get the Strahl fitted with a special sky stone that stops nethicite from absorbing the ship's energy (this allows you to fly anywhere), all of the empire's ships already have these.
What did the Occuria want? It's repeatedly mentioned that they control human history and manipulate events blah blah blah. Why? What are they trying to do? What good does it do them?
They're the closest thing Ivalice has to gods during the events of Final Fantasy XII. Their motives don't have to make sense.
I thought that the point of the Occuria were that they were vain Jerkasses who just wanted to maintain the little control they had over the world because they thought they were superior, Venat thought that the people of Ivalice should have free will and turned on 'em(and if Dissidia can be considered any sort of canon then we all know that every Final Fantasy world ever was really created by Chaos and Cosmos).
Consider the fact they appoint themselves "history's stewards" because of their immortality, but the only thing they ever do to shape history is give weapons of mass destruction to chosen pawns to destroy whatever they don't like. If that's not Jerkass behavior, then nothing is.
From a certain point of view, the Occuria can be seen as benevolent gods who only wanted to keep the world in order. It's thanks to their intervention that Raithwall managed to bring peace by unifying all the land under his rule. Too bad Ashe wasn't of the Light-Law alignment. Uh... feeling the MegaTen vibe here guys?
Remember, though, that they explicitly wanted Ashe to wipe out Archadia. Not just beat their armies and free Rabanastre, but wipe out the whole empire. After Ashe has met some fundamentally decent people (like Larsa) from the empire.
You also might as well ask why some segments of humanity took control of 'lesser' humans and tried to 'civilize' them; because they honestly thought that they were helping them. After all, if you are superior, why wouldn't you want those lesser people to become more like you?
This, essentially. The Occuria seem to be under the impression that humans can't be left deciding their own fate, because we'll fuck up and just destroy ourselves (whether or not that's true is irrelevant, it's simply their pov on us). So instead they give chosen people the Nethicite from time to time so that they can guide history in a way the Occuria think is best for us. Think of them like an overbearing parent who thinks that if they don't control what their kids will do, then they'll become drug addicts. They think it's for our own good.
The pronunciation "mahr-KWISS". It's French, people.
Is it? I was unaware that Bhujerba was a province of France. Of course, i probably should concur with your assessment when i know for a fact that the pronunciation of 'Ashelia B'nargin Dalmasca' was utterly butchered. Let alone Bhujerba itself. You'd think if they were going to make up names and words, they'd learn how to pronounce them correctly...
That's the point though - Marquis isn't a made-up word, it's an actual title, and thus, should have been pronounced correctly.
Fair enough. But be aware that there is a word called Marquess (pronounced "Mar-Kwiss"), meaning the exact same thing in the English language. Perhaps they didn't mispronounce it, but misspelled it? Which would seem to be more likely, as Marquis is a more recognized word in the rest of the world.
Dictionary.com lists "mahr-kwis" as an acceptable pronunciation, but I'll agree that it sounds ridiculous. Another more heinous pronunciation mistake was when Ashe pronounced coup de grâce as "coup de grah" — the 'c' is not silent! As she pronounced it, she was really saying coup de gras, which literally means "blow of fat." I'm frankly astonished they let that one slip through.
Now that the previous troper brings it up, this one would seriously like to know the proper pronunciation of Ashe's full name, as well as Bhujerba.
Ondore pronounces "Ashelia B'nargin Dalmasca" during the narration, and "Bhujerba" is spoken aloud in numerous occasions after Penelo has been kidnapped. There's no "trick" or unusual pronunciation to either name: "ah-she-lia" and "b-nargen," and "boo yer bah."
Several times when nethicite explodes, there are numerous vaguely-human flaming shapes that are seen flying headfirst out of the blast of Mist, with one of them passing righy by the camera each time. It happens when the Leviathan blows, when Ashe cuts away the Sun-Cryst's coccoon, and when Vayne is defeated. So... just what the hell are those? Apparently they're important/significant enough for them to be shown repeatedly, but at no time are they ever mentioned. Are they maybe in some really obscure bestiary entry?
No, he's not referring to the thing that's seen floating behind Vayne and Cid. He's talking about the numerous ghostly looking things that show up when the Leviathan blows.
Coherent souls in the Mist, probably. Not sure why they're treated as being so significant (other than being something to look at in the explosion). Otherwise they look to be a Shout-Out of sorts to the Lucavi transformation effect from FFT.
On the Leviathan, the Goddess Magicite starts to glow in Vaan's cuffed hands. Why is he holding it? I don't think he could have taken it out of his pocket after he was cuffed, and surely they would have noticed it in his hands while they were cuffing him.
It seems like it teleported into his hands, or was teleported there by the Jerkass Gods who were more than likely 'helping' the party along right from square one.
Actually, it starts glowing inside his pocket, and he takes it out. Seeing how the cuffs are, he could have done it with only a little difficulty.
The Lhusu Mines just bug me. Just who exactly determined that a mine should be constructed in the middle of a floating continent? I'm relatively certain that there are better - or at least, safer ways of getting the magicite out of there. For that matter, how come the worst thing and biggest gossip source in these mines are the fiends? You would think that there'd be at least one Scare Tactics story of a careless miner drilling right through the bottom and falling to his death, especially given the giant hole in the bottom of the mines you can find when you get deep enough in...
People fall off of Bujerba all the time. Sometimes they wash up on the Phon Coast.
Actually, the information in the Clan Primer say that people fall of very rarely, to the point that it almost never happens.
Some of the lore in the logbook seemed to imply that Magicite naturally forms over time, so what they're doing is more like farming.
One moogle actually expresses concern over the mines running out of magicite and the island falling.
Presumably, if the massive fuckoff floating island city started to sink, it would do so very gradually. Given the sheer volume of Magicite it must take to keep the thing afloat, shaving it off bit by bit would keep them from mining too much at one time. If it did start to sink, they would either replace it (assuming that's possible), stop mining (assuming that the aforementioned Magicite farming is both accurate and fast enough to make a difference) or use magic to direct the fall towards a wide enough expanse of air or water to keep them from getting themselves killed.
The Skysea. The Skysea. How in the name of Final Fantasy, does that work? There are several points where the water appears to be continually flowing off the edge of the island, so why hasn't the thing drained, or at least reached a level where it would no longer be able to flow off? Not to mention the small fact that this is a large island, floating in the middle of the air, mostly taken up by water and therefore not having the mass to draw up a significant amount of water from the ground to continually fill such a thing. At least until the whole thing goes kaboom......
You are looking at universe full of magic, and are wondering how physics don't apply?
Most likely, at some point shortly after the invention of teleport crystals, somebody looked at what was then a drought-stricken region and said, "Heck, I'll just hook one of those tele-ma-bobbers to a sea floor somewhere." Obviously this attempt at irrigation got a little out of control.
Do the Gria not inhabit this part of Ivalice, like the Nu Mou?
Presumably the Gria would prefer to hang out in the same areas that dragons do, them not being discovered by the other races yet would kind of make sense since every dragon in Ivalice likes to hang out in the most dangerous of places.
Though one correction: Nu Mou are in the part of Ivalice covered in FFXII. The NPCs that are central to the sidequest to face Chaos are Nu Mou, and several of the priests on Mount Bur-Omisace were Nu Mou as well (including the one tha gives you access to face Zeromus).
Why in the hell didn't the Occuria do anything about Ashe betraying them? Venat merged with Vayne, so they can obviously affect the normal world, and they knew what she was trying to do when they 'spoke' through Rasler's image. So why didn't they come down there and stop her themselves? Even if they need a human 'host', they could probably just could have used someone there like Gabranth (he's Ax-Crazy enough at this point) or their own friggin' esper Famfrit. And if they couldn't stop her then, you'd think they'd still try to go after her in revenge, considering what they did to others who defied them (the espers, the aegyl, etc).
If the only way they can manipulate humans is through use of stones and merging with them (which is apparently lethal), do you really think they have enough power to do significantly more than that?
Considering that these guys created and then punished the nearly god-like espers, created various cities and structures filled with powerful magic, and sealed away the Aegyl just for ticking them off, yeah. It seems to me that they only chose a more subtle interaction with humes because they're easier to manipulate that way (using Rasler's image did a much better job than the Occuria ordering Ashe outright). Besides, I'm not sure why you say merging is lethal - it's not lethal for the Occuria (being 'Undying' and all) and it only killed Vayne after you defeated him.
It's implied at the end of the game that merging does kill the Occuria involved. Right before the last stage of the final boss, Venat talks about "walking the path of death together" with Vayne, so they probably do die. Also, it's possible that a lot of the Occuria's power was used up making and subsequently fighting all the espers, or that they put a lot of their power into the Sun-Cryst, which is why they aren't strong any longer.
It's not the merging that's lethal. Vayne, right before the final battle, asks Venat if he wouldn't rather leave and save himself, but Venat elects to stay. Venat dies not because merging is inherently fatal, but because he decided to stick with Vayne, fighting to the death.
Wasn't Mjrn "possessed" by Venat at one point (heavily implying that it was her who slaughtered the Imperial troops and miners in the Henne Mine.) It may have been the Viera sensitivity to Mist that allowed Venat to take over, granted, and Viera are so isolationist it would be pointless to possess their leaders anyway.
Venat doesn't completely fuse with her, he possesses her with the nethicite she is holding. Further implying that nethicite is their true means of controlling Ivalice.
That wasn't Venat at all. The people possessed!Mjrn killed were Venat's allies. The logical conclusion is that it was a different Occuria doing its bit to undermine the Archadians.
Whose to say they won't? Or maybe her betrayal was part of their plan, or not fatal to whatever plan they had.For that matter,how do we really know Vena't was a rebel? If their actual goal was peace,while they might prefer a peace where humes don't have nukes,they might be willing to settle for pretty much the condition at the end of the game, with the hume empires NOT about to have a World War.
In this troper's modest opinion, there's always the feeling that Princess Ashe's refusal to do what the Occuria ask her is actually ok with the Occuria, so I would subscribe the idea that she does exactly what they want her to do; though I wouldn't go as far as to state that Venat acts as part of the plan. Nonetheless, the whole plot in FFXII talks about wether if the inhabitants of Ivalice are the owners of their fates or if they are not. So, as for Ashe's, you could also think that though she thinks she's doing her own, she's just doing what it was stated for her to do.
The actual truth is that the Occuria are just waiting around and planning their revenge, all of which will be shown in FFXII-2. Square Enix, please!!
What exactly is stopping the Occuria from making a new Sun-Cryst? It's kinda pointless to crush one Sun-Cryst when they can just make another and choose a new 'Chosen One'.
They may not have the power to make more of it. If they do, it's still going to take awhile.
Maybe the Occuria were "born" from the suncryst, and not the other way around; they probably wouldn't be able to make another one if they didn't know how the first one was made, after all.
Where did the Bahamut come from? Did no one in the Archadian Empire's ruling class ever notice Vayne building a miles-high fortress somewhere in the wilderness? Or is it Lost Technology that he and Cid somehow happened upon?
It's either a piece of Lost Technology, or otherwise a machine that Archadia had built previously and locked away. Before it shows up, characters are referenced as finding it, and as bringing it back from...somewhere. The Final Fantasy wiki only says it was designed by Dr. Cid to be Archadia's ultimate airship, and it only shows up at the end because they didn't have anything to power the damn thing until then.
Is there any mention of what precipitated Venat's rebellion? According to ancient history, the Dynast-King distributed the Shards to Dalmasca and Nabradia, and kept one for himself. Those two nations had been on friendly terms for hundreds of years, even going as far as joining their respective Royal heirs in marriage. There was peace all around with no one ever using the Nethicite (Dalmasca's Shard was already a mere trinket stored away in a cellar) and there's no stated evidence that the Occuria were influencing anyone during those centuries. It was only because Archades invaded and took the stones, probably upon Venat's counsel, that the Occuria began their active manipulation of Ashe & Co. So, while it can be inferred that Venat manipulated Vayne, Cid, and the Occuria themselves —first, to blind Archades with the power of manufacted Nethicite; second, to have the Empire drain, destroy, or otherwise dispose of all the Shards, man- or god-made; third, to set the Occuria's puppet on a path that would destroy the Sun-Cryst itself— the Occuria never would have entered the picture in the first place, and the four nations would have continued making their own (Shard-less) history, if he hadn't come out of nowhere to initiate his plans.
The Occuria were the one who gave the Dynast-King the shards in the first place, and they indicate that they do this every few hundred years. The only reason Raithwall's peace happened in the first place is because he rained death and destruction on everyone else until they accepted it. Venat was sick of the Occuria deciding who should rule the human world and who should be destroyed.
Fair enough. I merely thought that there must have been something to spur him into action, after centuries of Occuria-manipulated peace between the kingdoms. Of course, maybe he did try earlier, but all his contacts went insane (or were believed to be such, or were quietly and successfully thwarted by Gerun)? Maybe Dr. Cid was the first contact with the genius necessary to (ahem) manufact Nethicite? Maybe Vayne was the first one with the political savvy to weave his way into absolute power? (Or a combination of the above.) For all we know, Venat might have tried to rebel against the Occuria since Raithwall's time, but it never actually worked until now. The way he steered the Empire into conquering Dalmasca, in turn creating Ashe's rebellion, hinged on so many factors that it could have all gone horribly wrong for everyone involved.
Dalmasca was a small country placed between two powerfull empires, one at least being expansionist: The evasion might have taken place even without Venat's influence, and maybe, this was what the Occuria wanted: let Archadia being invaded, give its royals new magical nukes, set history straight again, Profit! Venat did not cause the conflict, but made contact with people involved in it and told them what to expect. So when Archadia invaded, it went full force, immediatly went after the nethicites and took extra care of monitering/getting rid of the dynast's descendants.
Why did Raithwall make magical nukes the proof of lineage for his descendants? Sure, they could only be used every once in a few centuries, but if Ashe's speech at the lighthouse is taken at face value, at least House Dalmasca knew the power of the shards. And they had it tucked away in the treasury, next to the pottery, instead of under heavily guarded security somewhere FAR, FAR away from the capital city.
Actually, this may be Fridge Brilliance. If they held it inside a heavily guarded fortress away from the city, they might as well erect a giant sign saying 'EXTREMELY IMPORTANT RAITHWALL TREASURE HERE'. Keeping it in a inconspicuous treasury surrounded by other heirlooms and treasure practically hides it in plain sight. Vaan only chose to steal it and not the other priceless things just because it looked shiny. Besides, since the palace would be the last line of defense if Rabanastre was being invaded, the nethicite would be in immediate reach for a last attempt to drive away the enemy and the army could more easily protect both it and the royal family at the same time. Basically you'd want your nuke to be in your own pocket, not in the wall safe.
And it was usefull: Archadians have been sleeping in the Royal Castle for two years, and never found it
To be fair, it was hidden inside a statue, Vaan only found it because it opened up while he was there.
On the subject of Revenant Wings (since it doesn't have it's own It Just Bugs Me! page), how exactly is Llyud's name pronounced? It is supposed to sound like 'Lloyd'? Is it supposed to rhyme with 'Mud'? I honestly have no idea.
If the Japanese pronunciation "ryu-do" is any indication, then the first L is silent and the name rhymes with "mute". We all know the Japanese "do" don't mean snuff, as with "to", for example "white" being pronounced "Ho-wai-to".
Try saying "lewd" and then stick half of a "y-as-in-you" after the l. That's as close as I can figure it, anyway.
A few things that bother me about the post-Final Battle end cutscene: All right, so Larsa said that his brother had fallen in battle, and we don't know whether anyone at all saw the monumental lightshow going on atop the Bahamut. But for some reason, the fortress collapses —fair enough, maybe Vayne damaged it beyond repair with his attacks. But where did all the Imperial soldiers go? The place was crawling with troopers, and there were many operators, cannonneers, and controllers in the main deck where Vayne gave his speech. As far as any Imperial knows, the infamous Balthier (easily recognizable because of the Strahl) and a small band of rebels infiltrated the Bahamut, broke through its security, and encountered Judge Magister Gabranth. Then Vayne and Larsa went out to confront them... and now Vayne's dead. Didn't anyone in the Empire, such as Zargabaath or any officials, ever wonder what happened to Vayne? Did all the staff stationed on board the Bahamut vanish into thin air, missing not only Vayne's fate but also said rebels' escape (and them taking Gabranth and Larsa to their ship)? Maybe Zargabaath is the type to keep quiet after discovering the truth, but it still looks like a pretty big mystery to any ordinary citizen of the Empire.
They're present when Vayne makes his speech, yes, but they seem to be absent by the time the fighting starts. Probably they hightailed it out of there when he started tearing the ship apart to turn into the final boss (Or they figured, Okay, our fearless leader is talking to himself again, maybe it's time to bail). Or, alternatively, they didn't survive when the thing crashed, and/or they were too occupied with the massive battle going on outside to worry about what those loud noises were on the top floor.
The Imperials probably evacuated when the fortress started collapsing, and they were too busy saving their own lives to worry about finding the rebels. We just didn't see them because we skipped from the party's celebration at the summit, to them boarding the Strahl. By the time Balthier and Fran went back, they had all probably left.
What did Reks die of? I thought he'd been stabbed to death in the beginning, but he evidently survived long enough to finger Basch, and spend time sitting in a wheelchair in a little room. So what finally did him in?
Infections from stab wounds?
I always figured that the conspirators let him live long enough to give an account of the fall of Nalbina, and, to wrap up loose ends, poisoned him while he recovered at a clinic or hospice (the "White Room" from Vaan's memories does look like a hospital of sorts.)
The blade Reks was stabbed with itself might have been what was treated with a special kind of poison that killed him, but not right away.
Reks would have been fine, but too much time spent with Vaan sapped his will to live.
It's explained in the manga that he was captured by the Empire and tortured into confessing that Basch was the King's killer, and he died from a combination of being stabbed through the gut and the torture.
Most likely died from having his intestines punctured. Not a a quick death.
Related to the above JBM, why did the Empire bother stabbing Reks to death anyway? It's established by Basch that they kept him alive as a Dalmascan witness, so why did the empire botehr capturing and torturing him when he'd already seen Gabranth (playing Basch) kill the king? It would have been better to let him escape alive to testify to his allies, rather than capturing him and putting his testimony in doubt (since loyal Dalmascans would doubt a testimony extracted under torture by the guys they've been at war with).
I dunno if the manga (which only a limited number of Japanese fans has access to) can be considered canon, but regardless: it's a regicide plot. You don't leave loose ends lying around, you eliminate them. Reks being stabbed by "Basch" also gives him a resolute drive to testify against him. True, testimony given under torture would be questionable, but if Dalmascans see Reks seething with anger at Basch while he gives that testimony, it wins the Empire a LOT of credibility.
Is it ever explained how Vaan could see Rasler's ghost, but the rest of the party couldn't? Ashe could see it because the Occuria were using Rasler's image to manipulate her, but no reason is given why Vaan and only Vaan could see it too. Also, why is it that when Ashe sees his ghost outside of any fo the temples/tombs/towers you see him in, there's always Vaan in his place when he fades away? Is that the inkling of some romance or just some plot thread that was dropped?
I always thought the Ocuria allowed Vaan to see it so Ashe would take it more seriously. I mean, if you're the only person who sees a ghostly image of your late husband, then you're probably going to dismiss it as all in your head. However, if someone else in your party sees it, you're likely to take it much more seriously as something that actually occurred. You'll notice that the second time she sees it she asks Vaan if he had and when he says he had not, she seems disappointed. It's sort of a seeing is believing, especially if you have someone else there to validate you aren't going crazy.
The Occuria had originally planned to use both Ashe and Vaan. It should be noted that Vaan didn't see Rasler, he saw Reks. The Occuria where using the images of Rasler and Reks to remind Vaan and Ashe what the Empire had taken from them. But Vaan decides to let go of his brothers murder in Jahra, and sure enough, when Ashe sees Rasler again, Vaan sees nothing
It might just be this troper, but a lot about the Feol Viera in Revenant Wings have been bugging me: First, why settle in a volcano, of all places? It could erupt at any moment with little or no time for escape, not to mention it doesn't support much in terms of food or clean water. Second, if they fled to the volcano, what were they being chased by? The Viera in general almost never leave the Wood, so they weren't likely to pursue them. Also, once their "pursuers" left, did they ever think to leave the volcano for a forest or some other place to live?
Weren't they waiting there for Feolthanos to come and bring them to Lemures?
What if it wasn't the Viera themselves who called them outcasts, but the Green Word/the Wood? It's stated the Wood knows "all that happens beyond Her boundaries", if I got the quote right, and that the Wood is basically the Viera's own version of Mognet. If any area where Viera can hear the Green Word is either part of the Wood or at least A Wood, and considers the Feol Viera as intruders, odds are they'd be chased out by beasties like the Elder Wyrm that are one with the wood and "suffer no intruders". Adding to that, it's acknowledged that the Feol Warren does have trees growing there in a description (something about how "the dwellings built with this warped wood eagerly await death's release") so it's probably not IN the volcano but CLOSE to it, so it could be that the place is a warped Wood and possibly the only place of refuge where the Feol are able to hear the Green Word? Yes, last line was an asspull, but it would sort of make sense.
I highly doubt that the "Wood" would be capable of that much, since it doesn't really move or do anything to keep the Viera withing its trees. Unless the games actually show this, I'd say the "Wood" is just something the Viera made up.
The whole state of affairs between King Raminas' death and Rabanastre being occupied just bugs me. It's established in the manga that Vayne set up the whole Basch-murdering-Raminas thing so he'd have an excuse to continue his invasion of Dalmasca, since the Senate and Emperor Gramis wanted the war over quickly. This neglects one particular factor- Ashe. She would have ascended the throne upon her father's death, so why didn't the Emperor just contact her to complete the treaty-signing. Hell, during the game Vayne himself pursues using Ashe as a puppet, so why didn't he do it after getting rid of Raminas? And why would Ashe go into hiding instead of trying to lead her people? The fact that the exact series of events during those few months aren't explained doesn't help either.
Given that Judge Ghis wanted Ashe to sign an armistice and take over Dalmasca as a puppet queen, it's entirely possible His Excellency and the Senate sought her out immediately after Raminas' murder (and with the same intentions, too.) However, she probably realized that she was going to be made into a figurehead, and put in a position where her every move would be under the Empire's supervision. Therefore, she chose to disappear and start a resistance movement with like-minded allies. That's the only way she could have retained enough freedom to try to win back her kingdom. Oh, and most important of all: Ashe starts the game rash, hot-headed, impulsive, reckless, short-sighted, narrow-minded, her mind fixed on vengeance and her heart filled with hate towards the Empire. So it stands to reason that, upon hearing of her father's death, she immediately escaped Rabanastre and put together a group to start her rebellion, thinking only of taking revenge (she tried to take advantage of the commotion during Vayne's gala, after all, but she was routed by Imperial guardsmen.) Then, whether she faked her own death, or whether the Empire itself spread news of her suicide to keep people from learning of said rebellion, the result is the same: there was a vacuum of power in Dalmasca that Vayne gladly filled.
Not to mention that for all she thought that Basch had killed her father, the Archadians had clearly taken immediate advantage of this to move their forces towards the city. Ashe - or Vossler - may have reasonably assumed that the empire might rather kill her than let her rule as a puppet.
Ondore spreads new of Ashe's suicide on Vayne's suggestion, since Vayne wants Ashe to believe that Ondore is on his side. The whole thing with Ashe begs the question of why she didn't take the Dusk Shard with her when she fled, but I guess there wouldn't be a plot if that happened.
Did Ashe even know about the Dusk Shard, what it was, and what it did? I thought she was as surprised as anyone when it was revealed to be kingdom-destroying Nethicite.
It's established that she doesn't know about it's kingdom-destroying properties, but she most probably knows about it's role as the proff of her birthright. When she meets Basch he says that he knows where it is, implying that she doesn't know where it was, but when she sees Vaan with it in the Garamsythe Waterway and on the Leviathan she understands the significance of it immediatly. Also, she know what the Dawn Shard does and where it is, so it would be strange if she didn't know that about the Dusk Shard as well. Methinks that she meant to take it with her when she escaped, but in the chaos of the invasion she either didn't have the time or the oppurtunity to do so, and during her two years in hiding the security on the palace was too high for her to mount an attempt, and/or she didn't trust any of the other Resistance members (bar Vossler, since he would have known about it since he knew about the Dawn Shard) to help her.
Balthier tells you you can't risk using the Strahl to get to Archades when you plan on infiltrating the Draklor Laboratory because it would attract too much attention. So why can you go to and from Archades without worry after getting the universal skystone? And on the subject of unnecessary quest-lengthening, why do they have to take the back route through the Sochen Cave Palace when getting into Archades? Why not just go through the front gate? Basch said it himself that their faces were not known, so why the trouble?
Re: Strahl. They're infiltrating. Since Balthier stole the thing from the labs, it would attract undue attention. After the events at Draklor, Cid and Vayne are no longer in Archades (and in fact Cid wants to give Ashe's party the freedom to roam as they will, since he wants them at Giruvegan and the Pharos.) So there's no reason to lay low anymore, at least as far as the Strahl is concerned. In regards to the backdoor entrance: the front gates are very likely manned with Imperial guards, possibly low-ranking Judges, inquiring travelers about their purpose in the city (such as when Rabanastre was locked down and people had to stand in line to get in.) Even if the party's faces aren't known (well, Ashe's certainly is, to the military at least) they'd still have to come up with a story that would get them inside the gates. Also, Balthier and Fran might be able to stroll around incognito without anyone recognizing them personally... but "sky pirate with Viera sidekick" is still a pretty distinctive trait; notice how Balthier goes off to do his own thing shortly before leaving Old Archades, and only rejoins the party when you're ready to go into the labs. But for the rest of the group, once they're past the entrance they are total strangers, even to the nobility, and they're free to go wherever they want in the city.
I know she was leading a rebellion against the gods and everything, but why did the Holy-elemental Esper Ultima, a woman, seem to tolerate Mateus and Zalera's blatant cases of misogyny by strapping women to themselves as hostages?! Was she that desperate for help?
Well, it could be for three reasons: a) Zalera and Mateus didn't capture them for being women, but for being a powerful shaman and an Ice Goddess, respectively; ergo, Ultima doesn't see it as misogyny but practicality —if you're going to fuse with someone, or take someone hostage, at least make it worth your while. Or b) Ultima is rebelling against the Gods, so Mateus doesn't bother her at all; also, she doesn't particularly care about lowly humans in the first place, so Zalera taking a female shaman hostage offends her just as much as him taking a male Baknamy would have (that is, not at all.) Or c) an addendum to (b) is that Ultima simply doesn't care about Zalera and Mateus' victims, period. Jerkass gods notwithstanding, we just don't know whether Ultima is Good or Evil. If it's the former, she would've objected to those two taking hostages in the first place regardless of gender; if it's the latter, why would she care about gender? Even the Bestiary Lore says as much: "Since her fall, her heart is without light, and impossible to know."
"After the fall" implies after her rebellion failed. Then again, she might have always been a little nutty and didn't notice it. Still, let me know when you see an Esper strap a man to themselves and then we'll talk more on whether it's misogyny or not. Ultima being too preoccupied or prideful to care makes sense, though.
Okay, quoting directly from the Primer: "Yet it was on wings of deepest black that the tainted angel Ultima rose against the gods." The Primer isn't implying her fall was after the rebellion, but that she fell because she rebelled, what with her wings turning black. So she was heartless when the rebellion happened, and really, I'd think it's more important that one of the other rebels caught an ice goddess and has her magic now than the fact he somehow decided bondage gear was acceptable clothes (as if what Shiva's species is generally modest). As for Zalera's shamaness, what if only the women had the banshee death wail of soul-calling amongst the Occuria's servants, or only this particular shamaness had it?
OK, so you trek to the Tomb of Raithwall to retrieve the Dawn Shard so Ashe will have proof of her bloodline. However, then you go to Jahara and when the Garif ask her for proof that she's the Princess, she says she has none. But when she turns up at Bur-Omisace, the Grand Kiltias accepts the Dawn Shard as proof. Then, she destroys the Dawn Shard, along with the Dusk and Midlight Shard at the top of the Pharos, but when she intervenes in the battle against Bahamut the Resistance stop on her word, and she ascends to the throne of Dalmasca, despite the fact that now she has no proof if her lineage. How?!
The Garif certainly confuse me (Though it might have something to do with the exploratory nature of the game and the possibility of the timing being off), but for the second half, don't forget that she beat=up Bahamut. If someone who accomplished that claimed the throne, personally I'd let them have it.
She was able to take the Throne because she had the Marquis and his giant fleet of Airships on her side. Who was going to argue with the last major military presence in the area?
More seriously, by that point she has the political backing of, yes, the Marquis, but also Rozarria as well as the Archadian Empire itself (and let's not forget, the Kiltian priesthood, who witnessed the Gran Kiltias' acceptance of her lineage before the massacre.) She needed proof of her lineage to gather political clout, but since she acquired it almost incidentally during her travels (such as Al-Cid and Larsa) she doesn't need it anymore and she can reclaim her throne without further incident.
Is it just me or does Ashe look like she should be a brunette? There's just something about her blonde hair that doesn't seem right.
Nope. Bothers me too.
Looks like a light brunette to me. This sort of thing happens a lot with her character design - her skirt in particular triggers the occasional hot pink vs. light red debate. (Totally light red.)
Seconded. This troper's reaction to the question was Which blonde hair?
Why was Basch kept alive, and why did the empire order Ondore to say he died.
It was meant to be Vayne's bargaining chip over Ondore. If he did something out of turn, the Empire would reveal that Basch was alive, making it seem like Ondore was defending the life of a traitor, effectively discrediting him.
Why on Ivalice does heavy armor boost your Strength, and Light Armor boost your HP? Shouldn't it be the other way around?
The heavy armor can make sense because when you're training with weights your body becomes stronger to compensate, or something like that. Also, if you bash into someone, it'll hurt more if you're wearing plate armor than if you're wearing a normal shirt. But by those lines it should also boost HP, and it doesn't...so...my explanation is that it's easier to weave Bubble-type magick into light cloth or they just really needed a niche for the stuff. Yeah.
Why does Vaan of all people get such high stats? He is suppose to be some uneducated street kid that earned experience by fighting off rats. So how come he is the best or second best in everthing. I mean compared to people with actual combat experience his stats don't make sense.
Because he's the main player character.
Keep in mind that he soon becomes a legend, apparently overshadowing Balthier and every other sky-pirate by Tactics Advanced 2. There are organizations with flee on sight orders for him. He's no less formidable than the judges, pirates, or princesses he's met in his travels, he's just also not very important. Think of him as an Almighty Janitor, or as the group's muscle.
He's a street kid, allright. A street kid that crosses the whole world on foot while fending off monsters and marks with his party. Even a novice can have a higher potential than a experienced soldier.
But that makes character tiers unbalanced. Although this game gives you a lot of customization options in the end if you want to make the most out of someone you have to restrict your character to a certain job in battle. For example you would never make Basach a mage because he sucks as a mage. If you make him a mage it would take more time to finish the battle compared to Penola,Asche or Vaan. But Vaan could do anything. He's basically a Jack of All Stats on steriods. That destroys the balance the game has.
FFXII has "tiers"? News to me. Didn't know it was a competitive character battler like Smash Bros. But in a more serious response, yeah, so Vaan is good at everything. So? On the flipside, Fran is mediocre at everything. Whatever "imbalance" [[YMMV you perceive]] in Vaan is nullified by Fran. And even then, unless you specifically set out to solo Vaan (which only extremely hardcore players do) then he still needs a full party to get through the game. He may be the Jack of All Stats, but he's not "on steroids" and he doesn't destroy the balance of the game (now THAT would be someone like TGCid.) In truth, the vast majority of players won't notice any "imbalance" at all —only people who go into Status screens and compare baseline stats among the characters at the same level (the same sort of people who decide that Balthier and Fran suck at guns and bows because they have an absolutely negligible delay of a tenth of a second in their animation) will notice the difference, and, in combat, this only amounts to a few extra HP worth of damage/healing. When armor, weapons, and accessories mean a LOT more in FFXII than baseline stats, the difference between Vaan's numbers and anyone else's becomes negligible. It's not like he's going to have an easier time against, say, Yiazmat than Ashe, Basch, or even Penelo would.
Why does Archadia honor Bhujerba's neutrality in any way? Why don't they just take it the fuck over like they do everywhere else?
Probably because of the Marquis, since he's such an influential figure that he made everyone believe that both Ashe and Basch had died and he also managed to gather a huge fleet against the Empire near the end. On the other hand, it could be that they honor Bhujerba's neutrality the same way they'd honor Dalmasca as an independent nation with Ashe as queen. They may not be an oficial part of the empire but they're still pulling the strings (since they were the ones that told Ondore to report the deaths). However, I haven't played the game in a while so I may be getting a few details off.
Might also be the local industry is too valuable to mess with invasion causing fluctuating market prices or the possibility they blow up their mine.
Well, why did the US and the Soviet Union both respect Saudi Arabia's neutrality during the Cold War?
Bhujerba is "neutral" in name only. It's an open secret that it's unofficially under the thumb of the Empire. By "observing its neutrality" though, the Empire doesn't need to spend the resources required for a full occupation.
Why do our heroes never get to visit Rozarria? It's one of the most important places in Ivalice, and yet...
Probably saving it for a possible sequel that never came to light.