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Gameplay Guide by Crono09

Version: 1.03 | Updated: 10/05/12


                         Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
                                 Gameplay FAQ

                                By Chad S. Wrye
                                 (aka Crono09)

                                 Version 1.03
                         Last Updated October 5, 2012



This FAQ is a response to the many complicated issues involved in Final Fantasy
Tactics Advance (FFTA) for the Game Boy Advance.  The instruction book doesn't
even mention most of these issues, and it can be hard to piece them together
from strategy guides and FAQs that get posted around the internet.  While this
guide is by no means an exhaustive explanation of every technical detail of the
game, it does provide a reference to many of the more practical aspects of
playing FFTA.  This way, you can get an idea of what to do next without having
to sort through lots of statistics that, while useful, aren't always practical
to work with.

Although this guide covers many of the basics of the game, it does assume that
you already have some familiarity with it, so I recommend reading the
instruction book and completing the first two or three storyline missions
before using this guide.  The guide does not have to be read in order (I didn't
write it in order), so you can skip straight to the section you need help with.
I tried to avoid spoilers, but it is difficult to cover the major aspects of
the game without introducing at least a few, so read at your own risk.  This
guide is not a walkthrough and does not discuss how to complete specific
missions, but it does cover many, many general strategies to complete the game
with the best possible clan, characters, and equipment.

I will admit that this guide predominantly follows my own playing style, which
may be different from that of many other players.  That's fine; just take what
you want from it and leave the rest.  I believe that my playing style is in
line with what many other experts of the game do, but even I often deviate from
their recommendations, so it won't bother me if you do so as well.

Table of Contents

Clan Building.........................[CBD]
Beginning Game Strategy...............[BGS]
Job System............................[JBS]
Leveling Up...........................[LVU]
Ability System........................[ABY]
Handling Equipment....................[HEQ]
Mission System........................[MSS]
Dispatch Missions.....................[DPM]
Mission Items.........................[MSI]
Random Engagements....................[RDG]
Unnumbered Missions...................[UNM]
Laws and Law Cards....................[LLC]
Clan Level and Clan Skills............[CLN]
Area Placement and Treasure Hunts.....[APL]
Freeing Areas.........................[FRA]
Learning Blue Magic...................[LBM]
Monsters and Morphing.................[MMR]
Reserve Missions......................[RSM]
Secret and Semi-Secret Characters.....[SSC]
Tourneys and Growth Equipment.........[TGE]
Perfectionist Guide...................[PFG]

Clan Building [CBD]

One of the first decisions you will want to make in the game is what your clan
will look like.  This will affect some of your other decisions early in the
game.  Different people will have different recommendations.  For example, some
people swear by Humans and Viera, and others disregard Bangaa completely.  I
like having a variety, so I try to have a clan with a mix of all five races.
Other issues to think about are getting the secret and semi-secret characters
in your party.

First of all, decide on a core group.  Your clan can hold up to twenty-four
characters, but let's be honest--you don't need that many.  You start out with
six characters, including Marche and Montblanc, and you'll probably be using
just six characters for most of the game.  That makes the most sense, and this
small party is what I call your "core group".  Those six characters will be
your strongest, and if you only boost the levels of these six characters, your
average clan level will remain low.  Marche should definitely be part of the
core group since he is required on all storyline missions and many other
missions.  Montblanc has lower stats than other Moogles you can recruit.  He
also cannot be sent on dispatch missions, and several later dispatch missions
require a high-level Moogle.  For this reason, I prefer to use a generic Moogle
and leave Montblanc on the side except for the few missions where he is
required.  I also like to have a second human to use for dispatch missions and
to complement Marche, and for variety, I like having one character from each
race.  The core group I used is as follows: Marche, 1 generic Nu Mou, 1 generic
Viera, 1 generic Bangaa, 1 generic Human, and 1 generic Moogle.

Now that you have a core group, what should the rest of your clan look like?
If you're a perfectionist, you will probably want to get the six semi-secret
characters (Eldena, Lini, Cheney, Pallanza, Quinn, and Littlevilli) and the
five secret characters (Ezel, Babus, Ritz, Shara, and Cid).  This is more than
enough characters for the game, but true perfectionists will want to fill up
the entire clan.  My clan, including the core group, is as follows:

   * Marche (Human)
   * Montblanc (Moogle)
   * 3 generic Humans
   * 2 generic Moogles
   * 2 generic Nu Mou
   * 2 generic Viera
   * 2 generic Bangaa
   * Eldena (Viera)
   * Lini (Moogle)
   * Cheney (Human)
   * Pallanza (Bangaa)
   * Quinn (Nu Mou)
   * Littlevilli (Viera)
   * Ritz (Human with Viera abilities)
   * Shara (Viera)
   * Ezel (Nu Mou with special abilities)
   * Babus (Nu Mou with special abilities)
   * Cid (Human with special abilities)

That's a total of 5 Humans, 4 Moogles, 3 Nu Mou, 6 Viera, 3 Bangaa, and 3
special characters.  I think that clan mix has sufficient variety, but of
course, you are free to use whatever characters you want.

Beginning Game Strategy [BGS]

Even though you may be eager to jump right into the storyline missions, you may
consider going for the Cinquedea instead.  Why?  Well, the Cinquedea lets
Thieves learn Steal: Ability, which can make it faster to get abilities for
your Humans and Moogles.  Getting it early will also let you get Steal: Weapon
early in the game, which will make the game much easier and will let you get
some rare equipment that you would not be able to obtain otherwise.  However,
because of the penalty for raising levels, you want to try to do this without
getting into many battles.  Here is a step-by-step strategy for doing this.

1. Complete the introductory missions "Snowball Fight" and "Lizard Men?!"

2. Complete the first two storyline missions "Herb Picking" (#001) and "Thesis
Hunt" (#002), but do not complete any other engagement missions or random clan
battles.  During these missions, try to get as little experience as possible.
Ideally, no characters should gain levels, but it is particularly important
that Marche and Montblanc do not gain levels.

3. Remove the equipment from the highest-level member of your clan and order
him to leave, but try to hold on to the Viera.  I recommend dismissing the

4. Sign up for several repeatable dispatch missions, and wander around the
world to complete them.  Since it is possible to run out of Gil on these
missions, save your game before signing up for them and reset if you fail one
of them.  These missions will increase your Negotiation skill.  The missions to
complete are as follows:
   * "Human Wanted"
   * "Bangaa Wanted"
   * "Nu Mou Wanted"
   * "Viera Wanted"
   * "Moogle Wanted"
   * "Chocobo Help!" (#200)
   * "Giza Plains" (#240)
   * "Swords In Cyril" (#264) - Flee a random clan battle to complete this

5. If Giza Plains gets attacked, do not defend it.  Let it be captured so that
you can repeat the mission "Giza Plains" (#240).

6. Continue to avoid random clan battles (or immediately flee them), and do not
accept any missions other than the ones above.  Also, do not bother with buying
any equipment.  Go ahead and learn skills with the equipment you already have,
but you'll need money for missions, not equipment, and you may be dismissing
some of your current clan members anyway.  If you run low on Gil, sell some of
the excess equipment you get from "Chocobo Help!" (#200) and "Swords In Cyril"

7. Do not accept any members into your party unless you want to replace one of
the ones you have.  If you find a Nu Mou, Viera, or Bangaa with high statistics
(especially Speed), go ahead and accept them, but dismiss one of your current
members so that you will still get the "[Race] Wanted" missions.

8. This is optional, but a true perfectionist will want to get the
"!Imprisoned" rumor at some point in the game.  Now is the best time to do
that.  Get into a random encounter, and have a character other than Marche KO
someone by breaking a law.  Remember to try not to gain any levels, and get as
little experience as possible.  The character will be imprisoned.  Now flee the
battle.  Reset the game if you get a bad penalty, such as a stat reduction.
The "!Imprisoned" rumor will now be at the Pub.

9. After a few hours of completing the dispatch missions, you should get the
Cinquedea as a reward when your Negotiation skill reaches 30.

10. Now is a good time to go ahead and build your clan.  Complete the "[Race]
Wanted" missions until you get the members you want in your core team.
Remember to look out for characters with high statistics.  You especially want
characters with high Speed, HP, and MP.  Their jobs are not important, although
characters with expert jobs like the Ninja or Assassin are more likely to have
high statistics.  Save your game on the day before you complete the mission,
and if you don't get the character you want, reload and try again until you do.
Once you have six characters, the "[Race] Wanted" missions will no longer
appear, so keep completing the other dispatch missions to get the characters
you want.  I also like to try to get characters in the order that I want
(Human, Moogle, Nu Mou, Viera, Bangaa) to make things easier since you cannot
manually reorder your party.  All of the characters you get should be no higher
than level 2.  If they are higher, you probably raised too many levels on the
first few missions.  Once you get all the characters that you intend to keep
permanently, just accept any character that offers to join until you fill up
your clan with 24 characters.  Having all these level-2 characters in your clan
will keep your clan's average character level very low.

11. Sign up for the Diaghilev Godeye mission "Wanted!" (#027), but do not
complete it.  Have a Human or Moogle become a Thief and equip the Cinquedea.
In the mission, use Steal: Ability on the Thief that appears near the beginning
until the character steals Steal: Weapon and Steal: Armor.  Immediately flee
the mission, but sign up for it again and have another character steal those
abilities.  At the very least, do this for every Human and Moogle in your core
group, but it may be helpful to do it for every Human and Moogle in your clan
that you intend to keep.

12. You're now ready to start completing missions and clan encounters as
normal.  I recommend fighting Cyril Band a few times and having the Humans and
Moogles in your core party get Steal: Shield from a Thief in that mission.

There are a few other things that you do not need to do immediately, but they
are priorities that you shouldn't wait too long to do.  First, buy a Kard and a
Jambiya so your Thieves can learn Steal: Helm and Steal: Access.  Your next
priorities are to have your core Nu Mou learn all of the Beastmaster Control
abilities and to have all of your Humans (even the non-core ones) learn the
Blue Mage's Learning ability.  Next, have at least one of your core Humans (I
recommend Marche) learn the Hunter's Capture ability.  This will give you
everything you need to steal the rare equipment, learn all of the Blue Magic,
and capture all of the Monsters in the game.

Job System [JBS]

The job system is one of my favorite things about the Final Fantasy series.
Jobs were hinted at in the very first Final Fantasy, but an actual job system
was not introduced until Final Fantasy III and mastered in Final Fantasy V.  It
remained absent from the numbered series until it was recycled as the Dress
Sphere system in Final Fantasy X-2 and modified for use in an MMORPG in Final
Fantasy XI.  During that gap, the system found new life in the spin-off Final
Fantasy Tactics and was brought forward in a simplified form in Final Fantasy
Tactics Advance.

There are five races in FFTA.  Each race has its own set of jobs, although a
few jobs can be used by multiple races.  Each race begins with access to at
least two jobs, called Basic Jobs.  By learning A-Abilities in these jobs, they
will unlock more advanced jobs called Expert Jobs.  Only 1 to 8 abilities are
needed to unlock an Expert Job, so a character can gain access to his or her
full set of jobs in very little time.  Jobs can be changed at any time on the
Party screen, and there is no penalty for changing jobs.  A list of each race
and its jobs is as follows:

   * Human
     - Basic Jobs: Soldier, Thief, White Mage, Black Mage, Archer
     - Expert Jobs: Paladin, Fighter, Ninja, Illusionist, Blue Mage, Hunter
   * Moogle
     - Basic Jobs: Thief, Black Mage, Animist
     - Expert Jobs: Time Mage, Mog Knight, Gunner, Juggler, Gadgeteer
   * Nu Mou
     - Basic Jobs: White Mage, Black Mage, Beastmaster
     - Expert Jobs: Illusionist, Time Mage, Alchemist, Morpher, Sage
   * Viera
     - Basic Jobs: White Mage, Archer, Fencer
     - Level 1 Expert Jobs: Elementalist, Red Mage, Summoner
     - Level 2 Expert Jobs: Assassin, Sniper
   * Bangaa
     - Basic Jobs: Warrior, White Monk
     - Expert Jobs: Dragoon, Defender, Gladiator, Bishop, Templar

Some jobs are particularly useful on certain missions, and some dispatch
missions require certain jobs, so I recommend unlocking all of the jobs for a
character before trying to master any one job.  Note that you will not be able
to see an Expert Job until at least one character has unlocked it, but once
that happens, all characters will be able to see it on their job screen.  You
can see what abilities you need to unlock a job by pressing "Select" when you
highlight a job on the Change Job screen.  Remember that R-Abilities, S-
Abilities, and C-Abilities do not count towards unlocking a job, but all A-
Abilities will work equally well to unlock them.  The Viera race is unique in
that it has two jobs, the Sniper and the Assassin, that require the character
to master A-Abilities in other Expert Jobs to unlock them.  The Bangaa race is
unique in that all of its jobs are exclusive to its race, although the Bangaa
Warrior is very similar to the Human Soldier.  Humans and Viera tend to be the
most well-rounded races.  Nu Mou focus primarily on magic jobs, Bangaa focus
more on fighting jobs, and Moogles focus more on support jobs.

When a job can be used by multiple races, they are identical in terms of the
abilities needed to unlock them, the abilities they are able to learn, and the
equipment they can use (with a few minor exceptions for the Viera, who can use
some female-only equipment that is not available to other races).  However,
they are not identical in terms of the stat growth they get on a level-up.  For
example, the Thief has one of the worst stat growths for a Human but one of the
best for a Moogle.  The White Mage is the most versatile job in the game, being
available to three races.

Note that when you first recruit a character, they do not have any abilities
learned, even if they have an Expert Job (the exceptions to this are Marche,
Montblanc, and the secret and semi-secret characters).  If you change their
job, they will not be able to return to their Expert Job until they learn the
right A-Abilities, just like any other character (this applies to the secret
and semi-secret characters as well).

There are four special storyline characters that have unique graphics for their
races: the beginning characters Marche and Montblanc and the secret characters
Ritz and Shara.  For each of these characters, their graphic will not change
when they change jobs.  They also each have a default job that will show their
character graphic rather than the normal job graphic on the Change Job screen.
Otherwise, they are identical to your generic characters.  Marche, a Human, is
a Soldier by default.  Montblanc, a Moogle, is a Black Mage.  Although Ritz is
a Human, she uses the Viera job set and is treated as a Viera in almost every
way, and her default job is a Fencer.  Shara is a Viera Archer by default, even
though she is recruited as a Sniper.

There are also three other secret characters who have special jobs and cannot
change jobs.  Ezel, a Nu Mou, is a Hermetic; Babus, another Nu Mou, is a
Runeseeker; and Cid, a Human, is a Judgemaster.  These three characters cannot
change jobs, not even in their respective races, and they cannot learn any new
abilities.  The abilities they start with are the only ones they can use.

Leveling Up [LVU]

The level-up system in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance is not as straightforward
as it may seem.  Unfortunately, this is one of the Final Fantasy games that
penalizes you for leveling up.  While not as bad as, say, Final Fantasy VIII,
where the best strategy is to keep your characters' levels under 10, you should
still avoid raising levels intentionally until the end of the game.

First things first: how does leveling-up work?  Well, every time your character
performs a successful action in battle, that character will get experience.
This applies to any kind of action, whether it is fighting, casting a healing
spell, summoning a Totema, using an item on yourself, and so on (excluding
moving and waiting, of course).  As long the ability successfully connects
(i.e., does not miss), the character will get experience.  This applies even if
the action had a negative effect, such as doing 0 damage, damaging an ally, or
healing the enemy.  The R-Abilities that damage the enemy, such as Counter,
Return Fire, or Return Magic, can also gain experience if they successfully
connect, but other R-Abilities will not boost experience.

The amount of experience you get depends on the difference between the level of
the character and the level of the target.  There is an algorithm for this, but
I will simplify it for you.  If the target is the same level as the character,
the character will get 10 experience points.  For every level that the target
is higher than the character, the character will get an extra 2 experience
points, up to a maximum of 100.  For every level that the target is lower than
the character, the character will get 2 fewer experience points, down to a
minimum of 1 point.  Basically, stronger targets will give you more experience,
weaker targets will give you less experience, and targets at equal strength
(including yourself) will always give you 10 experience.  It is irrelevant
whether the target is a clan member, enemy, ally, or oneself; the same rules
apply.  If an action hits multiple targets, the amount of experience is based
on the highest-level target.  You do NOT get bonus experience for hitting
multiple targets or for getting a KO on a target.

When a character earns 100 experience points, that character will level-up.
This applies no matter how high the character's level is, so going from level 2
to level 3 takes just as much experience as going from level 44 to level 45.
The maximum level is 50.  Experience does not "roll over" to the next level, so
if you have 95 experience and get 10 experience points, you will still start
the next level with 0 experience.  The advantage of leveling-up is that it
boosts your character's statistics, although the boost will vary depending on
what job the character currently has.  Only the character's job at the time of
the level-up matters, so if you get 99 experience as one job, then switch jobs
and level-up, your stat boost will be based on the new job.  Note that enemies
can raise levels in battle as well, which can be used strategically in some

Now for the problems with this system.  The first problem with the level-up
system is that you have to watch your job when you level up.  Since the stat
boosts on a level-up are based on the job, you should only level-up while using
a job with the best stat boosts.  While no job's stat boosts are completely
useless, some jobs have much better stat boosts than others have.  This is very
important because frequently leveling-up in a job that has poor stat boosts can
result in a weak character.  All characters will start at level 2 or higher, so
you have at most only 48 chances to boost the right stats, and the secret and
semi-secret characters will have fewer than that.  Therefore, it is important
to only level-up if you are currently in the job that you want.

This brings me to the next level-up problem.  When you recruit a new character
into your clan, the character's level will be based on the average of the
levels of all of your current clan members.  The higher your clan members'
levels, the higher the new recruit's level.  Since you will want to control how
your characters level-up so that they have the best statistics possible, you
should try to recruit new characters at the lowest level possible.  This means
that you should avoid leveling-up until you get all of your clan members.
Since the secret characters Shara and Ritz are not available until the end of
the game, this means that you should be avoiding level-ups until you get them.

So how do you avoid leveling-up?  Well, the first strategy is to keep your
clan's average character level very low.  In my beginning game strategy, I
recommend recruiting a clan full of level 2 characters after the second
storyline mission.  If you never level them up, the eighteen level 2 characters
will leave your clan's average character level so low that your six core clan
members can level-up almost as much as they want and still keep a low average
character level.  This also means that enemies in random engagements will have
low levels, making your core members even less likely to level-up.  Note that
when you do recruit the secret and semi-secret characters, their levels will be
a little higher, which will boost your clan's average character level a bit.
If you have any generic clan members with levels higher than 2, I recommend
replacing the highest-level non-core clan member with the new character.  By
the time you recruit Shara and Ritz, their levels should ideally be no higher
than level 15.

The first time I played the game, I rushed through the storyline missions as
fast as possible so that my characters would be at a low level when I recruited
Ritz and Shara.  However, because of the way the level-up system works, I do
not recommend this strategy.  Stronger enemies will give you more experience,
so I ended up leveling up about as much as I would have if I completed every
mission along the way.  Most of the missions are designed so that the enemies'
levels increase gradually as you progress, so completing all of the combat
missions as they become available will boost your levels about as much as
rushing through the game, and it will make the game easier and more enjoyable
overall.  Just don't spend any extra time level grinding your six core members,
and try not to let any other clan members level-up at all unless they are
needed for a dispatch mission, but don't get worried if your core members
level-up unless they are more than 2 or 3 levels above the enemies in the
storyline missions.

The statistics that can increase on a level-up are Hit Points (HP), Magic
Points (MP), Weapon Atk, Weapon Def, Magic Pow, Magic Res, and Speed.  Speed is
arguably the most important statistic, followed by HP and MP.  The other four
statistics, while useful, are not enough of a priority to waste one of your few
level-ups on.  My recommendation is to level-up for Speed until it reaches 150.
After that, level-up for HP and MP until you get 300 HP and 200 MP.  Next, go
back to Speed until it reaches 200.  I have never had a character reach 200
Speed, but if one did, I would start working on other statistics depending on
the need of the character.

So, which jobs should you level-up as?  Since each race has its own set of
jobs, each one has a different strategy for leveling up.  It is beyond the
scope of this FAQ to provide a detailed list of the stat boosts for every race
and job combination (for that, I recommend Terence Fergusson's "The Final
Fantasy Tactics Advance Mechanics Guide"), but I can provide some brief
recommendations.  For each race, I chose two jobs, one that provides the best
Speed boost, and the other that provides the best combined HP/MP boost.  Here
they are:

   * Human - Ninja for Speed, Blue Mage for HP/MP
   * Moogle - Thief for Speed, Mog Knight for HP/MP
   * Nu Mou - Morpher for Speed, Sage for HP/MP
   * Viera - Assassin for Speed, Elementalist for HP/MP
   * Bangaa - Gladiator for HP/MP

You will notice that the Bangaa is the exception to this rule.  The Bangaa job
with the best Speed boost is the White Monk, but it has extremely poor boosts
in all other stats.  The Gladiator has the best HP/MP boost for the Bangaa and
only slightly lower Speed, so I recommend it instead of the White Monk.  A
Bangaa will never become a fast character anyway since none of its available
jobs has good Speed.

There is a random element to stat boosts for every job, so don't be afraid to
vary this system if the situation demands it.  For example, I had a Human with
plenty of Speed and over 300 HP but only about 80 MP.  I switched him to a
White Mage to boost his MP, even though I normally would not recommend
leveling-up in that class.  Although the White Mage generally has poor stat
boosts for a Human, the situation was such that the extra MP boost I got from
it was more valuable than the loss of Speed and HP.

There are three secret characters that are exceptions to my level-up
recommendations.  Ezel, Babus, and Cid have special jobs and cannot change
jobs, so you have no choice in how they level-up.  In fact, it is best to
recruit them at as high of a level as possible so that you do not have to spend
time leveling them up.  What you can do is recruit them when they become
available, then when your clan's average character level is much higher,
dismiss them and recruit them again.  When you recruit them the second time,
their level will reflect the new average character level of your clan.

This is an optional strategy for any of the generic characters as well.  Once
all of your main characters are at level 50, you can dismiss all of the generic
characters from your clan and recruit new ones in the jobs you want at level
50.  This ensures that they have the best possible stats for that job without
having to spend time to level them up.  The problem with this is that you will
lose any of the abilities learned for these characters, which can be
particularly bad for Humans who learned Blue Mage abilities that can no longer
be obtained.  In addition, this poses a problem if you wanted to balance your
stats by leveling-up in two or more different jobs, so it's not generally
recommended to do this.

Once you get all of the secret and semi-secret characters, there is no longer
any point to keeping your clan levels low, so you are ready to boost your
levels.  You can do this on missions with high-level enemies, but you will
eventually run out of these missions.  At this point, random battles will most
likely only give you 1 experience point per action.  How do you boost levels
like that?  There's actually a trick to doing it.  Any action a character
performs on himself will net 10 experience points.  Just give your characters
some self-use abilities that do not use MP like First Aid or Boost (if you
don't have these abilities, give the character Item and buy 99 Potions) and get
into a random battle.  Defeat all of the enemies except one, and then have your
characters use the abilities on themselves for 10 experience points each time.
You'll raise a level after every 10 actions, boosting levels very quickly.

Ability System [ABY]

As much as I dislike the level-up system in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, I'm
quite fond of the ability system.  It is very similar to the one used in Final
Fantasy IX in that abilities are learned from equipment.  Much of the equipment
in the game (especially weapons) presents certain jobs with abilities.  When a
character with that job equips the weapon or armor, that character will be able
to use the ability.  After completing a mission or random encounter, all of the
characters who participated in it will get a set amount of Ability Points (AP).
These points will be applied to the abilities that the character has equipped.
Once the ability gets a certain amount of AP, the character will learn the
ability permanently.

Most battle missions give 40 AP, although some of the more difficult ones
provide more.  AP learned from dispatch missions varies significantly with
harder missions providing more AP, although all of the AP can only go to one
character.  Random clan battles provide 50 AP to all six characters who
participate, and turf defense missions provide 80 AP to the four participating
characters.  Abilities require different amounts of AP to learn.  A-Abilities
require 100, 200, or 300 AP, although a few more powerful ones require 999 AP.
All R-Abilities and S-Abilities require 300 AP, and all C-Abilities require 100

Speaking of the types of abilities, they are each employed differently,
although they are learned in essentially the same way.  A-Abilities are attack
abilities and make up the bulk of the abilities in the game.  They are actually
arranged into command sets with each job having one set of A-Abilities, and
when you equip that command set, you can access all of the A-Abilities in that
set.  For example, the Soldier has the command set Battle Tech, which contains
the A-Abilities First Aid, Powerbreak, and Provoke.  Each job has a default
command set that they cannot change, but an extra slot is allowed to add
another command set if the character has learned A-Abilities from a command set
of another job.  A-Abilities are learned from weapons, and you will spend most
of the time in the game learning them.  The exception to this is Blue Mage A-
Abilities, which must be learned from Monsters.

R-Abilities are reaction abilities.  Each character can equip only one R-
Ability.  R- Abilities take effect when a character is attacked by an enemy.
Some R-Abilities work against any kind of attack (Auto-Regen) while others work
against only certain kinds of attacks (Return Fire).  All R-Abilities are
learned from body armor with the exception of Block Arrows, which is learned
from the Green Beret (a Hat).

S-Abilities are support abilities.  They are passive abilities that enhance the
character in some way just by having them equipped and are never used directly.
You can only equip one S-Ability.  Most S-Abilities are learned from weapons or
body armor, although Shieldbearer is learned from Shields.

C-Abilities are combo abilities.  Combos are an alternative to a normal attack.
They require 1 Job Point (JP) to use, and they will do more damage than a
normal attack.  Moreover, if you have allies nearby with C-Abilities equipped,
they will join in on the combo and do even more damage.  Every job can learn
one C-Ability, and only one can be equipped at a time.  Although not all C-
Abilities are alike, they are not so different as to make any combo that much
better than another.  That's a good thing because C-Abilities can only be
learned from Mythril weapons, which are hard to get.

There is a special A-Ability command set called Item that every character can
use without having to learn.  Instead of using abilities, using Item in battle
will let the character use any of the items in your clan's inventory.  The Item
command set also lets the character change weapons and is the only way that a
character can equip a weapon if it is stolen or destroyed in battle.  The
Alchemist always has access to Item, even if it is not put in his second A-
Ability slot.  This makes the Alchemist unique in that he is the only character
that can have three A-Ability command sets at once (Alchemy Skill, Item, and
one more command set).

Humans are capable of learning abilities faster with the Double Sword S-
Ability.  Double Sword lets you equip two weapons at the same time.  If you
equip two of the same weapon that teaches an ability, you will gain twice the
amount of AP from each engagement for that ability.  Alternatively, you can
equip two different weapons to learn two different abilities at the same time.
Either way, you will effectively double the speed that you learn abilities from

Humans and Moogles have a unique method of learning A-Abilities.  By using the
Thief ability Steal: Ability, they can steal abilities from enemies without
having to gain AP for them at all.  They can only steal abilities that the
enemy knows, and most enemies only know a few of the abilities of the class
that they are in.  Obviously, it is only possible to steal abilities in classes
that the Human or Moogle can use, so they would not be able to steal Summon
abilities or Dragon Tech abilities.  However, they can steal abilities from
other races if they are capable of learning those abilities.  For example, they
can steal Black Magic abilities from a Nu Mou, and the Human can steal Oblivion
from an Assassin even though a Human cannot become an Assassin (Oblivion is
also a Ninja ability).  You also cannot steal abilities from an enemy that has
the S-Ability Maintenance equipped.  Only A-Abilities can be stolen, not R-
Abilities, S-Abilities, or C-Abilities.  Finally, Blue Magic abilities cannot
be stolen from either Monsters or from other Humans who know Blue Magic.  There
are some very strong abilities that no enemy will know (such as the Ultima
abilities) or that won't appear until very late in the game, and it may be
worthwhile to learn these abilities the normal way.

The equipment to learn many of the more powerful abilities will not be
available until very late in the game, so don't worry if you can't learn a
certain ability that you want just yet.  With a few exceptions, it is
impossible to miss most of the ability-teaching equipment in the game if you
complete all of the missions.  Mythril equipment, however, is more difficult to
get.  It can only be obtained as a random reward from a clan battle or from
Nono's Shop.  If you have a trading partner, Nono is best way to get these
weapons.  If not, you'll have to endure many clan battles if you want to learn
all of the C-Abilities.  As I mentioned before, C-Abilities aren't that
important, and as long as every character knows at least one, you're probably

The only bonus you get for learning all of a job's abilities is a gold star
over that job's head on the Change Job screen.  There are no bonus stats or
other enhancements, so mastering a job is not much of a priority.  In fact,
most of the abilities in the game are virtually useless, so the only reason to
learn them is to provide a sense of completion.  For this reason, don't fret
over "wasted" AP, which can happen if you complete an 80-AP mission when you
only need 20 AP, or if you forget to equip a character with the weapon they
need to learn an ability.  Unlike character statistics, where you are limited
to only 50 levels, AP is plentiful in the game, and you will never run out of
time to learn abilities.

Handling Equipment [HEQ]

There are quite a few types of equipment that your characters can equip.  On
the Party screen, the equipment is arranged into six categories as follows:
headwear, armor, weapons, shields, accessories, and items.  Several of these
categories can contain multiple types of equipment, each type having their own
set of differences.  The types of equipment are as follows:

   * Headwear - Helmets, Ribbons, and Hats
   * Armor - Armor, Clothing, and Robes
   * Weapons - Swords, Blades, Sabers, Knightswords, Greatswords, Broadswords,
     Knives, Rapiers, Katanas, Staves, Rods, Maces, Bows, Greatbows, Spears,
     Instruments, Knuckles, Souls, and Guns
   * Shields - Shields
   * Accessories - Shoes, Armlets, and Accessories
   * Items - Items

For the most part, each character can equip one item from each category,
although there are exceptions for weapons, shields, and accessories.  A Human
with the S-Ability Double Sword can equip two weapons as long as neither of
them are two-handed weapons.  Most jobs cannot equip shields by default, but
the S-Ability Shieldbearer will allow any job to equip a shield.  However, a
character that has equipped a two-handed weapon cannot equip a shield even if
they are normally able to do so, but the S-Ability Monkey Grip will nullify
this limitation and let the character equip both a two-handed weapon and a
shield.  Finally, each type of accessory is treated as a separate category, and
multiple equipment slots can be used to equip Accessories.  Therefore,
characters can equip one set of Shoes, one set of Armlets, and as many
Accessories as they have room for.  Characters with limited armor should equip
as many accessories as they possibly can.

The selection of equipment is based on the character's job.  For the most part,
if a character can equip a certain type of equipment, that character can equip
anything that falls into that type.  For example, a character than can equip
Robes can equip any Robe.  The only exception to this is some of the Viera-only
equipment.  All Viera can equip Ribbons regardless of their job, and no other
race can equip Ribbons.  Also, there are two pieces of Clothing, the Minerva
Plate and the Rubber Suit, that all Viera can equip, but no other race can
equip, even if they can normally equip Clothing.

The different types of swords can be confusing.  Swords, Blades, Sabers,
Knightswords, Greatswords, Broadswords, Knives, Rapiers, and Katanas are all
treated as different types of equipment, even though they are all essentially
swords.  A Sword is just as different from a Knightsword as an Instrument.  A
character who can equip Broadswords many not necessarily be able to equip

There are many ways to obtain equipment.  Your initial party will begin with
some weak equipment, but new recruits normally come with no equipment at all.
(The exception is the five secret characters, who come with very good
equipment.  If you dismiss them and later re-recruit them, you will get a new
set of their equipment too.)  You can buy new equipment from shops, but that is
probably unnecessary after you complete a few missions.  The best way to get
equipment is to steal it from enemies or to win it from missions.  All enemies
other than monsters will have at least two pieces of equipment to steal.  Most
missions will have a random piece of equipment as a reward with more powerful
equipment becoming available on higher-ranked missions.  Some missions will
have a weapon or armor as a standard reward; this is often some of the rarest
and most powerful equipment in the game.  As a last resort, you can also get
equipment through the Catch R-Ability.

How much do you need of each item?  Keep in mind that some types of equipment
are used more often than others.  For example, every job can equip Accessories,
but only a few can equip Armor, so you will probably need more of each
Accessory than of each Armor.  Weapons in particular are highly job-specific,
but Double Sword can increase the number you will need.  Also, since you can
only send a maximum of six characters into an engagement, you can never really
need more than six of each item, although it is often helpful to have more than
that so that you can keep some of your other clan members equipped for dispatch
missions.  Here is my general rule: I try to get at least three of each Shield,
Armor, Ribbon, and Helmet; six of each weapon and Robe; and nine of each
Clothing, Hat, and accessory.  For Items, you should try for ninety-nine, but
wait until they are highly discounted before buying that many.  I see no reason
to sell equipment since money is so plentiful in this game, so if you get more,
that's fine.

Shops [SHP]

Since it is so easy to get equipment in this game through other means, shops
are not as important in FFTA as they are in many other role-playing games.  You
may need to buy some equipment at the beginning of the game to get started and
at the end to finish your collection, but shops can generally be ignored
throughout most of the game.  However, if you do have a need for a piece of
equipment, each of the five towns has a shop where you can pick up a thing or

Most equipment will be available through shops, but shops generally will not
sell the most powerful items.  You also will not have full access to the shops'
inventories at the beginning of the game.  Shops go through several upgrades
depending on your clan's accomplishments.  First, they will upgrade and add a
large number of inventory items after you complete ten battles, including
"Snowball Fight" and "Lizard Men?!"  They will get a second upgrade after you
complete twenty battles.  Failed missions count towards this goal, and the
battles can be either missions or random encounters.  All shops have the same
inventory throughout these two upgrades.

The future shop upgrades will be based on the number of areas freed.  These
upgrades are also unique in that the items will only appear in certain shops
rather than being available in all shops.  However, these items are far
stronger than the ones you normally get from the shop, and some of them are
rare steals as well.  Once the item becomes available, the shop owner will tell
you that they have new items, and the new items will have a "New" tag beside
them on your first visit.  If some areas get retaken, you can lose access to
the items if your number of areas freed drops below the required number.  The
upgrade items are as follows:

| Areas Freed | Item           | Type       | Shop        | Price  |
| 10          | Cureall        | Item       | Baguba Port | 350    |
| 15          | Star Armlet    | Accessory  | Cadoan      | 15,000 |
| 20          | Bracers        | Armlet     | Sprohm      | 15,000 |
| 21          | Hunt Bow       | Greatbow   | Muscadet    | 40,000 |
| 22          | Estreledge     | Broadsword | Cyril       | 25,000 |
| 23          | Temple Cloth   | Clothing   | Cyril       | 30,000 |
| 24          | Masamune       | Katana     | Muscadet    | 25,000 |
| 25          | Princess Rod   | Rod        | Baguba Port | 20,000 |
| 26          | Tiptaptwo      | Knife      | Cadoan      | 27,000 |
| 28          | Seventh Heaven | Greatbow   | Baguba Port | 23,000 |
| 30          | Elixir         | Item       | Cyril       | 20,000 |

Shops may also give you a discount depending on your clan level.  The shop
owner will let you know when you earn a larger discount, but in general, the
discount will improve by 5% for every 10 clan levels you attain.  The maximum
discount of 50% is reached at clan level 96.  In addition to this discount,
each shop will discount weapons that are used by that town's race by 10%.  For
example, Cyril, a Human town, discounts Human equipment; Sprohm, a Bangaa town,
discounts Bangaa equipment, and so on.  Note that neither discount applies to
the items that appear as a result of freeing areas.  They also do not apply to
two Accessories: Scarab and Star Armlet.  A list of weapon types discounted by
each town is as follows:

   * Cyril (Human) - Swords, Blades, Sabers, Knightswords, Greatswords, Knives,
     Katanas, Staves, Rods, Bows, and Greatbows
   * Sprohm (Bangaa) - Swords, Blades, Knightswords, Broadswords, Staves,
     Spears, and Knuckles
   * Cadoan (Nu Mou) - Staves, Rods, Maces, and Instruments
   * Baguba Port (Moogle) - Blades, Knives, Rods, Instruments, Knuckles, and
   * Muscadet (Viera) - Rapiers, Katanas, Staves, Bows, and Greatbows

In addition to the five main shops, there is also Nono's Shop.  This shop can
be accessed from any of the other five shops through the "Trade Goods" option
and is identical in each one.  In Nono's Shop, you don't actually get to see
what you are buying.  You can only see the type of equipment, and when you
choose to purchase something, you will randomly get an item of that type.  All
purchases cost 1,000 Gil, which is extremely cheap, so there's not really much
of a gamble here.  Nono stocks many ultra-rare items that cannot be bought or
stolen, and this is the only way to get Mythril weapons without fighting lots
of random encounters.

The downside to Nono's Shop is that it is primarily a multi-player feature.
When Nono first starts his shop as part of the main storyline, it will be
stocked with a few items.  You can purchase these items without a linking
partner, but after that, the shop will not be restocked.  If you do not have a
linking partner for this game, you will never be able to purchase anything from
Nono again.  If you do have a trading partner, the shop can be abused to get
lots of powerful equipment early in the game.

As I mentioned earlier, it's not that important to buy weapons in FFTA.  Early
in the game, you may need to buy some weapons for your clan members to learn
abilities.  After about twenty or so battles, you will probably have enough
equipment to keep you going for a while so that there is no need to buy more.
After that, I only recommend buying equipment if a character has already
learned all of the abilities available with your current equipment.  The last
time that I played through the game, I only needed to buy two items for that
purpose.  Once you come close to the end of the game (and by that, I mean the
end of the Corrupt Judge missions, not the end of the main storyline), you may
consider buying some equipment with your extra funds just so you can complete
your equipment collection.  In spite of its random nature, Nono's Shop is a
much better way to buy goods than the main shops because of the potential to
get extremely rare items.

Mission System [MSS]

The game's many missions are the heart and soul of Final Fantasy Tactics
Advance.  So why did I wait this long to discuss them?  Well, compared to most
of the rest of the game, the mission system isn't all that hard to figure out.

There are 300 numbered missions in the game.  These missions will make up the
bulk of your gaming experience.  In addition to these missions, there are quite
a few unnumbered missions.  Missions #001 through #024 are part of the main
storyline, and they are the only ones you have to complete to finish the game.
Each time you complete a storyline mission, a number of optional missions will
be unlocked.  You do not have to complete these missions at all, but it is
generally best to complete missions as they become available (with a few
exceptions) so that you can build up your characters' levels and abilities and
follow the subplots in the game.

With the exception of a few storyline missions, all missions are accepted from
a pub.  The bartender will show you a list of up to 16 missions.  You can
accept as many of them as you want, and you can take up to two mission items on
each mission.  I generally recommend signing up for no more than one engagement
mission at a time so that you can use the mission items for multiple missions,
but feel free to send as many characters on dispatch missions as you want.
Some missions (including all storyline missions) will remain available
permanently after you accept them, but most missions will time out if you wait
too long.  You can also choose to cancel missions at the pub if you want.

Every mission in the game (except for the first one) has an appearance
requirement.  The mission will not show up at the pub until that requirement is
met.  In most cases, the requirement is one of the storyline missions, but some
missions also require some of the optional missions to be completed.  Other
missions will only appear in certain months, and a few will only appear in
certain towns.  In addition, some missions require certain mission items, clan
skills, or jobs.  The mission will still appear at the pub even if you do not
meet those requirements, but you will not be able to accept them until you do.

The cost of the mission will depend on the number of areas you have freed.
Each mission has a base price.  If you have not freed the town in which you are
accepting the mission, the price of the mission will be 50% more than its base
price.  For this reason, you should only accept missions in towns that you have
freed unless the mission only appears in another town.  If you have freed the
town, you will only be charged the base price, and you may get an additional
discount depending on how many other areas your have freed.  In general, you
get a bigger discount for every five areas freed, and when all thirty areas are
freed, you will only be charged 50% of the base price for missions.  I wouldn't
worry too much about the discount, but it will benefit you to free areas as
soon as you can.

Some missions are repeatable.  After a certain amount of time or a certain game
event, the mission will reappear at the pub.  They will be marked "Cleared" so
that you know you have already finished them.  You only need to complete a
mission once for it to count towards the target of finishing all 300 missions.
However, some dispatch missions must be completed multiple times to get all of
the mission items you need to finish all other missions.  Some repeatable
missions do not need to be completed more than once, but you still get the Gil,
clan points, mission rewards, and other bonuses for completing them again.

As mentioned earlier, only 16 missions will appear at the pub at a time, even
if you have met the requirements for more than that.  This can cause a problem
because sometimes, repeatable missions that you do not want to repeat or
dispatch missions that you cannot yet complete take up many of those 16 slots,
preventing you from accepting other missions.  There is a way around this.
Just accept as many missions as you can, then cancel them immediately.  This
will free up space for other missions.  There is no penalty for cancelling a
mission except that you lose the small fee you paid to accept it.  If a mission
is failed or cancelled, it will reappear at the pub after a certain amount of
time, and you will get another chance at it.

I have a few other notes regarding mission appearances.  Some missions will
only appear after you have read certain rumors, so it is essential that you
check the rumor mill every now and then.  Also, a few missions in the Hero Gaol
subplot will only appear if you read the description for the mission item The
Hero Gaol.  This is the only item in the game that you are required to read its
description to have any effect.

There are four different icons to represent the four different types of
missions.  The four mission types are as follows:

   * Regular Missions - Indicated by a sword, this is the most basic type of
     mission.  It requires going to a certain area and completing an
   * Non-battle Missions - Indicated by a scroll, this is the most numerous
     type of mission.  One clan member will leave you for a specified amount of
     time.  After that time passes, the clan member will return and report the
   * Encounter Missions - Indicated by a blue clan symbol, this is a variation
     of the Regular Missions.  A roaming clan will appear on the map.  When you
     run into it, you will be given the option to negotiate or engage.
   * Free-Area Missions - Indicated by a white flag, this mission will result
     in freeing an area.  Some of these are dispatch missions and some are
     engagement missions.

I really only consider there to be two types of missions: engagement missions
and dispatch missions.  All missions will fall into one of these two
categories.  Regular Missions, Encounter Missions, and some Free-Area Missions
are engagement missions, and Non-battle Missions and some Free-Area Missions
count as dispatch missions.

Engagement missions are all completed by a normal engagement.  In most cases,
the objective is simply "Defeat all enemies", but there are a few missions
where the objective is "Defeat the boss".  In the latter case, the mission will
end immediately once the boss is KO'd.  This is important to keep in mind if
you are trying to steal the equipment from the other enemies in the engagement.
There is one storyline mission where the objective is simply "Survive" for a
certain number of rounds, and on a few missions, you must prevent an ally from
being KO'd to win.  If the mission is a Regular Mission or Free-Area Mission,
the map and the locations of the enemies are pre-determined.  If it is an
Encounter Mission, the map will depend on the area where you encounter the
enemy, and the locations of the enemies will be random.

For most Encounter Missions, you will be given the option to negotiate.  (The
only exception to this is "The Bounty" (#013), which is the only storyline
mission that is roaming.)  The enemy will present you with a situation, and you
will have two options.  The first option is always the negotiate option, and
the second one is always the fight option.  The effect of negotiating varies,
but you will usually get something in exchange for failing the mission, forcing
you to try the mission again later.  Because of this, negotiating is usually a
bad idea since fighting will get you Gil, AP, and mission items.  However,
there are a few exceptions where I do recommend negotiating:

* "Retrieve Mail!" (#111) - Negotiating in this case will give you an extra
line of dialogue, but you will still have to fight, so it really doesn't matter
what you choose.  I go for the extra dialogue, and in this case, negotiating
seems like the morally right thing to do.

* "Snow Fairy" (#109) - If you have the mission item Cyril Ice, negotiating
will cause you to successfully complete the mission and get the Iceprism, a
type of Greatsword.  This is the only way in the game to get the Iceprism, and
there isn't anything of value in fighting this mission that you couldn't get
just as easily in other missions.  If you do not have a Cyril Ice, the effect
will be the same as choosing to fight.

* "Old Friends" (#107) - If you have the mission item Blue Rose, negotiating
will get you an Allmighty Law Card.  Either way, you will still have to engage.
Since this is a very rare item, I strongly recommend negotiating.  If you do
not have the Blue Rose, you will not get the Allmighty Law Card even if you

* "Mythril Rush" (#103) - I actually do not recommend negotiating here, but
since this is a repeatable mission, you will get another chance to complete the
mission through an engagement later on if you do negotiate.  Negotiating will
cost you 10,000 Gil, but you will complete the mission successfully and get the
mission item Silvril.  Choosing not to negotiate will put you in a rather
simple engagement, but you will win Gil instead of losing it, still get the
Silvril, and get AP for completing the mission.  If you need Silvril but aren't
desperate for Gil or AP, it can be a timesaver to just negotiate.

There is no penalty for either cancelling or failing a mission.  This is true
whether the mission is failed by cancelling at the pub, waiting too long to
complete it, losing the engagement, fleeing the engagement, or failing the
dispatch mission.  You will have to wait for the mission to reappear at the pub
and pay the fee to accept it again, but you will still be able to complete the

It really does not matter who you take on missions.  If a character is needed
on a mission, he or she will be selected for it automatically.  Marche will
often have extra dialogue at the beginning and end of a mission if you take him
along, but you otherwise do not get any extra bonuses for putting him on
missions.  I like to take him on most engagement missions anyway just to see
the extra dialogue, but there is no extra dialogue for random encounters.  No
other character, not even the secret characters, will have any dialogue on a
mission unless the character is placed in it automatically.

With a few exceptions (and there are always exceptions), I recommend completing
every optional mission before moving on to the next storyline mission.  This
will actually make things much easier for most of the game, and it will clear
off your mission list so that you can see what is available and go after the
repeatable missions that you want to complete.  The only reason to wait before
completing a mission (aside from following my beginning game strategy) is to
hold off on the missions with Goblins and Thundrakes so that you learn the
appropriate Blue Magic from them for your Humans and build them up to high
levels when you capture them.

Dispatch Missions [DPM]

Dispatch missions involve sending one clan member away for a certain amount of
time.  The time can be based on either a certain number of days, battles, or
enemies defeated.  Missions based on days can range from five days to forty
days, and you can simply wander around the map until the time passes.  If it is
based on battles, you must get into the battles, but you do not have to
complete them successfully, so even running from the battles immediately will
count.  You will need to get into one to four battles.  If it is based on
enemies, you must KO that many enemies for it to count (petrification does not
count, but if the enemy revives through a Life spell or Auto-Life, it will
still count).  This can range from three to fifteen enemies, which usually
takes one to four battles.

Successfully completing a dispatch mission is not random.  Some characters will
be more likely to succeed than others will.  There is an algorithm for it, but
I will spare it for you and simply say that it is based on the character's
level, statistics, type of job (either basic or expert), and the clan's level
and skills.  The character's level is the biggest modifier, so higher-level
characters are more likely to succeed than lower-level characters.  You can see
how likely a character is to succeed by looking at their graphic when choosing
a character to send on the mission.  If they kneel, they probably will not
succeed, but they will get a big bonus in Gil and AP if they do.  If they keep
walking, they have a moderate chance of success and will get a small Gil and AP
bonus if they succeed.  If they are jumping up and down, they have a very high
chance of success but will not get a bonus.  The bonus is not worth the time
and Gil you would lose from failing missions, so try not to send a character on
a dispatch mission if he or she is not jumping.  However, the chance of success
is never 100%, so even jumping characters may occasionally lose missions.

Note that any stat bonuses that you get from equipment will count towards the
mission's chance of success.  This can be used strategically, and you can equip
weak characters with powerful equipment to increase their chances of success.

You do not get any experience for completing dispatch missions.  This is
actually a good thing.  It means that you can send your non-core clan members
on dispatch missions, freeing up your core members for engagement missions
without having to worry about your other characters inadvertently raising
levels.  I generally recommend doing this, but you will eventually reach a
point where none of your non-core clan members will be strong enough for some
of the dispatch missions.

Some dispatch missions have a forbidden job or a recommended job.  A forbidden
job is one that will always fail the mission, no matter what that character's
level and stats are.  A recommended job is one that will have a higher chance
than normal of completing the mission, although there may still be a chance of
failure.  Some missions also get higher chances of completion if a certain clan
skill is high enough.  Unfortunately, there is no way within the game to tell
what the forbidden and recommended jobs are, but this information can be found

The success of the dispatch mission is determined immediately after accepting
it.  Knowing this, there is a trick to ensuring a mission's success.  Save the
game first, then accept the mission, and then meet the requirements to complete
the mission (wandering around for a certain number of days or completing a
certain number of battles).  If the requirement is battles, I recommend running
from random engagements.  After the requirement is met, save the game if the
unit succeeds or reset if it does not.  That way, you can be guaranteed to win
a mission even if the unit is kneeling.  This will often take so long that it
is not worth it, but if you can't seem to get any units to get into the jumping
status, you can do this as a last resort.

Mission Items [MSI]

After completing some missions, you will get a special item called a mission
item.  These items are required before you can accept certain missions.  Most
dispatch missions either require a mission item or will reward you with one, or
both.  For the most part, these items have very little use other than granting
you access to another dispatch mission.  In this way, you will end up with a
chain of dispatch missions, each one rewarding you with a mission item that is
needed on the next one, with a major reward for winning the final one in the

Where you run into problems is that you only have room for 64 mission items.
This wouldn't be a problem if you could use them as soon as you got them, but
many mission items are won long before you gain access to the mission where you
will use them.  Because of this, you will probably have to get rid of some
mission items to make room for new ones, and if you dispose of certain ones,
you will no longer be able to complete their mission, preventing you from
completing all 300 missions without starting over from the beginning.  The key
is to only dispose of mission items that you get from repeatable missions.
Adamantite is the best one since it comes from "Metal Hunt" (#207), which can
be repeated almost immediately after it is completed.  Here is a full list of
items that are obtained through repeatable missions, making them safe to get
rid of:

   * Adamantite             * Fight Trophy           * Mind Ceffyl
   * Ancient Medal          * Fire Sigil             * Moonwood
   * Badge                  * Gyshal Greens          * Panther Hide
   * Body Ceffyl            * Helje Key              * Rabbit Tail
   * Choco Bread            * Jerky                  * Silvril
   * Chocobo Egg            * Leestone               * Spiritstone
   * Chocobo Skin           * Magic Cloth            * Telaq Flower
   * Cyril Ice              * Magic Cotton           * Water Sigil
   * Danbukwood             * Magic Trophy           * Wind Sigil
   * Earth Sigil            * Magic Vellum           * Zodiac Ore
   * Encyclopedia           * Materite

Some mission items are used especially frequently, and you may end up having to
repeat missions many times to get enough.  Adamantite is the most frequently
used mission item; you will eventually need six to complete all missions.
Zodiac Ore and Magic Cotton are next in importance, and you will need five of
each.  Magic Cloth is noteworthy.  Even though you only need two, you must get
Magic Cotton to make Magic Cloth, making these missions take longer to

Two items are used in negotiations rather than being required for missions.
Cyril Ice can be used to negotiate on "Snow Fairy" (#109) to get an Iceprism
Greatsword, and Blue Rose can be used on "Old Friends" (#107) to get an
Allmighty Antilaw Card.  While I normally do not recommend negotiating, I
strongly recommend doing so in these two cases.

Besides being used on missions, most mission items have other effects.  Select
a mission item and press the Select button to see what it can do.  Many items
will boost the statistics for all of your clan members if it is taken on an
engagement mission.  A triangle means that statistic will be boosted by 3% or
6%.  A circle means that the stat will be boosted by 9%.  A double circle means
that the stat will be boosted by 12%.  The best stat-boosting items are the
Master Brave and the Esteroth.  The Master Brave boosts Weapon Atk and Weapon
Def by 12% and Magic Pow and Magic Res by 9%.  The Esteroth boosts Weapon Atk
and Weapon Def by 9% and Magic Pow and Magic Res by 12%.  Taking both of these
on a mission will boost all of your characters' stats by 21%.

Some mission items have other effects.  Many of them can enhance the
effectiveness of certain elemental actions.  For example, the Edaroya Tome
enhances the power of Holy and Dark abilities.  Other mission items increase
your chances of recruiting a character or alter the types of characters you can
recruit.  The best items in this regard are the Ally Finder2 and Ogma's Seal.
Both will let you recruit Expert Jobs and will increase your chance of
recruitment by 20%.  One mission item, called The Hero Gaol, will unlock an
additional mission if you read its description.  It is also important to
remember that four mission items (Elda's Cup, The Hero Gaol, Snake Shield, and
Wyrmstone) are needed to recruit four of the semi-secret characters.

Probably the most valuable mission items are the Feature Badge and Insignia.
The former increases the amount of AP you receive from missions by 50%; the
latter doubles your AP.  Once you get one of these items, I strongly recommend
taking them on every engagement mission that you can.  Do not waste them on
dispatch missions where the bonus will only apply to one character unless you
do not intend to complete any other missions until the dispatched unit returns.

If a mission item is required for a mission, it will usually be used and lost
for good.  The only exceptions to this are the Ahriman Eye on "Staring Eyes"
(#050), the Wyrmstone on "A Dragon's Aid" (#066), the Spiritstone on "Nubswood
Base" (#071), the Stuffed Bear on "Memories", and the items used on all of the
Reserve Missions.  This generally is not a problem because used items are never
needed to complete any other missions.  However, this can be an issue when
trying to recruit Eldena.  Elda's Cup is used on "Caravan Guard" (#168), and if
you do not recruit Eldena before then, you will not be able to recruit her at

Random Engagements [RDG]

What would a Final Fantasy game be without random encounters?  Fortunately, the
random encounters in FFTA are visible on the map, making it possible to plan
for them.  These random engagements are completely optional in most
circumstances, but chances are good that you will end up spending a lot of time
on them anyway.  In fact, depending on your playing style, you may spend more
time in random engagements than you do on missions.

There are actually two types of random engagements in the game.  The first type
is random clan encounters, or clan wars.  These become available once Montblanc
informs Marche of the clan wars, which occurs after the second storyline
mission "Thesis Hunt" (#002).  The second type is turf defense missions.  These
become available once you free an area that can be attacked.  The earliest that
this can happen is after you complete "Giza Plains" (#240), which also becomes
available after "Thesis Hunt" (#002).  The turf defense missions also count as
unnumbered missions and will get a "Cleared" tag after you complete them once.

The clan encounters will probably happen most often simply because they are so
common.  Each area in the game has one clan that can appear from it.  At random
times while you are on the world map, the clan might appear in that area.
Every other day for the next six days, the clan will randomly move around the
map (except for the Rangers from Nubswood and the Roaming Naiads from Uladon
Bog, which both stay put for six days).  From what I can tell, their movement
is completely random, and they will neither follow you nor flee you.  Once
their six days are up, they will disappear.  Although I have not confirmed
this, I think that there is a limit of three roaming clans on the map at once.
Contrary to some reports, no clan will ever completely stop appearing.  It does
seem like stronger clans appear more often later in the game, but even the
lowly Cyril Band and Clan Marble have a chance of appearing when all 30 areas
are revealed.

If you run into a roaming clan, you will engage them on the map for the area
that you encounter them.  Their placement on the map will always be random.
Every clan consists of five enemies and can consist of people, Monsters, or a
mix of both.  You can take up to six clan members into battle.  Winning will
net you 50 AP, a few thousand Gil, and a random item.  There is a limit to the
strength of the items you can win from these encounters, so don't expect to get
super-rare items like you can from Nono's Shop, but it is possible to get
Mythril equipment.  In fact, this is the only way to get Mythril equipment if
you do not have a trading partner.

Here is a list of each area and the clan that comes from it:

   * Cyril - Cyril Band              * Kudik Peaks - Kudik Beasts
   * Giza Plains - Clan Marble       * Jeraw Sands - Clan Catz
   * Sprohm - Sprohm Knights         * Muscadet - Clan Belmia
   * Lutia Pass - Clan Dip           * Uladon Bog - Roaming Naiads
   * Nubswood - Rangers              * Gotor Sands - Wild Monsters
   * Eluut Sands - Antlions          * Jagd Ahli - Bloodthirsters
   * Ulei River - Clan Shalo         * Delia Dunes - Brass Dragoons
   * Cadoan - Clan Bansia            * Ozmonfield - Gertai Band
   * Aisenfield - Aisen Ghosts       * Materiwood - Lost Monsters
   * Roda Volcano - Roda Dragons     * Bervenia Palace - Guard Patrol
   * Koringwood - Koring Band        * Tubola Cave - Tubola Bandits
   * Salikawood - Tricky Spirits     * Jagd Helje - Jagd Emissaries
   * Nargai Cave - Tribites          * Deti Plains - Ramble Band
   * Baguba Port - Gaja Band         * Siena Gorge - Zoara Sect
   * Jagd Dorsa - Clan Hounds        * Ambervale - Doned Faction

Turf defense missions also occur randomly as you move about the map.  An area
that you have freed might shake, and you will get a message saying that it is
under attack.  Obviously, any area that you have not freed cannot be attacked.
You will then have thirty to forty days to move to the area and complete the
engagement.  I have not confirmed this, but I think that there can be no more
than three of these going on at once.  Because of this, freeing more areas does
not make these missions more likely to occur; it just increases the variety of
these missions.  Also, I believe that turf defense missions that you have not
cleared yet are more likely to occur than ones you have already cleared.  Note
that the six towns (Cyril, Sprohm, Cadoan, Baguba Port, Muscadet, and Bervenia
Palace) and Ambervale will never be attacked.

These missions consist of only four enemies that are usually (but not always)
identical to the ones from the area's corresponding clan.  Since these are
missions, the placement of the enemies is not random; they will appear in the
same place every time.  You can take up to four clan members into battle.
Winning will get you 80 AP, 4,000 Gil, and 20 CP, but you will not get any
items.  Failing the mission or letting it time out will cause you to lose the
area, but you can free it again by repeating the Free-Area Mission that will
reappear in the pub shortly.

For both types of random engagements, the levels of the enemies will be based
on your clan's average character level.  This means that they will be poor for
boosting the levels of your six core members since they will probably only get
1 experience point for each attack.  This is ideal for teaching them abilities
without inadvertently raising levels, especially since these engagements give
more AP than most missions.  The random engagements are also great for meeting
the battle or enemy requirements for dispatch missions.  I usually avoid random
engagements unless I need to do them to complete dispatch missions or prevent
an area from being taken, but they are excellent for learning those last
abilities for your characters near the end of the game.

Unnumbered Missions [UNM]

There are actually more than 300 missions in the game.  You can complete quite
a few special missions as well.  Some of these are required to complete the
numbered missions, but others are completely optional and do not need to be
completed at all.  Most of these missions come with special bonuses, and any
perfectionist will want to complete them all anyway.  Here is a list of the
types of unnumbered missions and their names.

* Introductory missions: "Snowball Fight" and "Lizard Men?!" - These are
essentially tutorial engagement missions that occur before you even start the
game proper.  Note that the effects of "Snowball Fight" are not saved, so it
does not matter what you do on that mission.

* Multiple-part storyline missions: "Exodus", "Mateus", "Llednar", "Queen
Remedi", and "Li-grim" - Some of the storyline missions have multiple parts.
The second or third parts of these missions have different names and feature
the same icon as Encounter Missions, although you will get rewards as if it was
all one mission.  "Exodus" is the second part of "Scouring Time" (#015).
"Mateus" is the second part of "Quiet Sands" (#018).  "Llednar" is the second
part of "Present Day" (#020).  "Queen Remedi" and "Li-grim" are the second and
third parts, respectively, of "Royal Valley" (#024).

* Recruitment missions: "Human Wanted", "Bangaa Wanted", "Nu Mou Wanted",
"Viera Wanted", "Moogle Wanted", "Human Help?", "Bangaa Help?", "Nu Mou Help?",
"Viera Help?", and "Moogle Help?" - These dispatch missions will only appear if
you have fewer than six characters in your clan.  The first five will appear if
you have Montblanc; the latter five appear only if he has been lost.  When you
succeed in these missions, you will be given an option to recruit a character
of the race that you searched for.  Note that if you do not let Montblanc die,
you will never be able to clear the latter five missions.  If you are a
perfectionist, it's probably more important to keep Montblanc than to complete
these missions.  Letting him get imprisoned will still not allow these missions
to show up.

* Turf defense missions: "Help Nubs!", "Help Giza!", "Help Kudik!", "Help
Uladon!", "Help Jeraw!", "Help Lutia!", "Help Koring!", "Help Ulei!", "Help
Aisen!", "Help Roda!", "Help Eluut!", "Help Nargai!", "Help Salika!", "Help
Delia!", "Help Gotor!", "Help Ozmon!", "Help Deti!", "Help Siena!", "Help
M'wood", "Help Tubola!", "Help Dorsa!", "Help Helje!", and "Help Ahli!" - These
engagement missions, which occur randomly rather than being accepted in a pub,
will prevent a freed area from being retaken.  They will occur while you are
wandering around on the map.  Obviously, they can only occur on areas that you
have already freed.  Failing these missions or letting them time out will cause
you to lose the area.  The enemies on these missions will have a level based on
your clan's average character level.

* Reserve missions: "Shining Lake", "Sauce Recipe", "Hero Of Yore", "My
Mission", and "Jade Dream" - These dispatch missions are designed to encourage
linking.  Only three of them will appear in the game, and which three you get
will be determined when you begin the game.  Depending on which three you get,
you may not be able to complete them all without linking.  You can get huge
amounts of AP and Gil from these missions, but only if you are able to complete
all of them.

* Clan League missions: "Yellow Powerz", "Blue Geniuses", "Brown Rabbits", and
"White Kupos" - These are all Encounter Missions.  You will first have to
complete the mission "Yellow Powerz" for "Blue Geniuses" to become available.
Complete that one to unlock "Brown Rabbits", which in turn unlocks "White
Kupos".  When all four are completed, "Clan League" (#043), a numbered mission,
will be unlocked.  These missions are repeatable.  After you complete "Clan
League" (#043), "Yellow Powerz" will reappear at the pub, and you can begin the
cycle again.

* Secret character missions: "Reconciliation", "Left Behind", "With Babus", "A
Maiden's Cry", "Mortal Snow", "Bored!", "Doned Here!", "A Maiden's Cry",
"Ritz's Offer", and "Cid's Mission" - These missions are used to recruit the
five secret characters.  The first five are used to initially recruit the
characters and are not repeatable.  The second five are repeatable and can be
used to recruit the characters a second time if you chose not to recruit them,
did not have enough room in your clan to recruit them, or asked them to leave
after recruiting them.  Note that there are two missions titled "A Maiden's
Cry", one to recruit Shara, and the other to re-recruit her.  The latter will
never be marked "Cleared" for some reason, no matter how many times it is

* Game ending mission: "Memories" - This mission lets you repeat the ending of
the game after you have already cleared it.  To accept it, you must have the
mission item Stuffed Bear and no secret characters currently in your clan (you
can ask them to leave).  Accepting this mission will cause the final storyline
mission "Royal Valley" (#024) to be marked uncompleted, and you will have to
complete it again.  The effects of the mission will not be saved, so this
mission will never get a "Cleared" status.

* Corrupt Judge missions: "Cleanup Time", "No Arms Rule", "Kissing Rule",
"Immunity Pass", "No Full HP", "No Literacy", "Favoritism", "No Answers", "No
Jumping", and "Decision Time" - These 10 engagement missions will be unlocked
when you complete all 300 numbered missions.  They make up a second storyline,
and you will get a bonus ending for completing them.  Note that the levels of
the enemies on these missions will be based on your clan's average character
level.  The effects of completing "Decision Time" will not be saved, so this
mission can never actually be cleared.

Laws and Law Cards [LLC]

Laws are a noteworthy feature of Final Fantasy Tactics Advance since they play
such a major role in the storyline.  Depending on whom you ask, they are either
an imaginative facet of the game or a frustrating annoyance.  I'm in the latter
group, and it bothers me that a game would let you learn so many cool abilities
then punish you for using them.  Regardless, you will have to learn how to work
around the law system to get through this game successfully.

Each law has a level ranging from R1 to R6.  Generally, higher-level laws are
stricter and have harsher consequences.  The level of the law also influences
some of the Antilaw Cards.  Each law prohibits a certain action with a penalty
if you perform that action in an engagement.  However, each law also has a
recommended action (usually related to the prohibited action), and you will get
a Judge Point (JP) for performing that action.  Laws and Law Cards are named
after the action that is prohibited.  Laws will change every day, and you can
see what the laws will be over the next several days, so it is easy to predict
what laws you will have to deal with in most engagements.  On the world map,
move the cursor to an area and press the R button to see what the laws will be
on that day.

When you start the game, you will only have to deal with one law, and it will
be fairly lenient.  However, each time you defeat a Totema and destroy a
crystal (events that occur in the storyline), the laws will increase.  You will
get either higher-level laws or additional laws.  When all five Totema are
defeated, you will have to deal with three laws, mostly with levels R4 to R6.

There are many laws, but they basically fall into a few groups.  I have every
group listed here along with the laws that fall into them:

* Weapon Laws: Blades, Broadswords, Greatswords, Instruments, Katanas, Knives,
Knightswords, Knuckles, Maces, Missile, Rapiers, Rods, Sabers, Soul, Spears,
and Swords - These laws prohibit the use of the specified weapon.  The Missile
Law prohibits the use of Bows, Greatbows, and Guns.  The penalty applies if you
either Fight with the weapon or use a A-Ability that uses the weapon.  Many A-
Abilities do not use your equipped weapon, so they are safe to use.

* A-Ability Laws: Aim, Call, Charge, Chivalry, Color Magic, Control, Corner,
Defend, Elementals, Gunmanship, Hunt, Morph, Prayer, Sharpshoot, Skills, Steal,
Summon, Techniques, and Time Magic - These laws prohibit using an A-Ability
from the specified command set.  The Color Magic Law prohibits White Magic,
Black Magic, Red Magic, and Blue Magic.  The Elementals Law prohibits Spirit
Magic.  The Skills Law prohibits any command set with "Skill" in the title,
such as Ninja Skill, Phantasm Skill, Alchemy Skill, and Sagacity Skill.  The
Techniques Law prohibits any command set with "Tech" in the title, such as
Battle Tech, Fighter Tech, Monk Tech, Sacred Tech, Dragon Tech, Spellblade
Tech, and Lunge Tech.

* Status Laws: Addle, Berserk, Bind, Charm, Confuse, Frog, Petrify, Poison,
Silence, Slow, Status, and Stop - These laws prohibit you from inflicting the
specified status on any character.  Bind prohibits the status effects Disable
and Immobilize.  Status will prohibit any status effect.  The law will apply
whether the status is inflicted directly or through a spell that also damages
the enemy, such as the Ninja Skills or Spirit Magic.  The Status law does not
prohibit positive statuses such as Protect, Shell, Haste, or Astra.

* Elemental Laws: Dark, Fire, Holy, Ice, Lightning, and Wind - These laws
prohibit you from using an A-Ability that uses the specified element.  Weapons
that are infused with the element are not affected.  Keep in mind that Cure,
Cura, and Curaga count as Holy commands, and many instant-KO attacks like Last
Breath count as Dark commands.

* Defensive Laws: Haste, Healing, Protect, and Shell - These laws prohibit you
from using a command that causes the specified effect.  Note that the Healing
law prohibits any form of healing, even if it is unintended, such as using an
elemental ability that heals an enemy.

* Damage Laws: Dmg2: Human, Dmg2: Moogle, Dmg2: Nu Mou, Dmg2: Viera, Dmg2:
Bangaa, and Dmg2: Animal - These laws prohibit doing any damage to an enemy of
the specified race.  The Dmg2: Animal law applies to Monsters.  Note that Ritz
counts as a Human for this group of laws, not as a Viera.  These laws apply to
damage of any kind, whether through Fight, Totema, or A-Abilities.

* Tourney Laws: NoClr Magic and Law Cards - These are special laws that only
appear in the tournaments.  The NoClr Magic law applies to "Mage Tourney"
(#041) and prohibits any actions except for White Magic, Black Magic, Blue
Magic, and Red Magic.  The Law Cards law prohibits the use of Law Cards or
Antilaw Cards.  This law actually cannot be violated; you will just not be able
to use any law cards on the mission.  All four tournaments have the Law Cards

* Miscellaneous Laws: Copycat, Fight, Ganging Up, Items, Target Area, Target
All - The Fight and Items laws prohibit a character from using the indicated
command.  The Ganging Up law prohibits the Combo command, but only the
character initiating the combo is penalized.  The Copycat law prohibits a
character from performing the exact same command as the previous character,
regardless of whether the character is a clan member, enemy, or ally.  The
command must be exactly the same, so it generally causes little harm unless the
character chose Fight or if you have two characters with the same A-Ability
command set.  Moving or waiting do not apply to Copycat, so the next character
is free to perform any command.  The Target Area law prohibits any action that
targets more than one square, even if there is only one valid target in the
area.  This applies to weapons and A-Abilities that target only two squares,
such at the Piercethrough Lunge Tech.  The Target All law applies to abilities
that affect all characters on the screen, all allies, all enemies, or all
characters but the caster.  This includes all of the Illusionist's Phantasm
Skill abilities, all of the Gadgeteer's Pandora abilities, several Blue Magic
abilities, and all Totemas.

There are ways around many laws.  None of the laws applies to R-Abilities, so
even if you get the Dmg2: Animal law, you can still defeat monsters through R-
Abilities like Counter, Bonecrusher, and Strikeback.  Also, Doublecast counts
as a Red Magic command, so you can use it to cast Summon abilities and Spirit
Magic on days that have the Summon law or the Elementals law (but not on days
that have the Color Magic law).

You can manipulate laws through Law Cards and Antilaw Cards, which become
available after a certain point in the story.  You will win them from almost
any battle, and you can trade for them at Ezel's Card Shop.  Law Cards are
white and can add new laws up to a maximum of five laws.  Antilaw Cards are
black and remove laws.  Most of these cards are named after the specific laws
that they create or remove.  There are some special Antilaw Cards called R1
Antilaw, R2 Antilaw, etc., that will remove one law of the indicated level (but
not higher or lower levels).  There is one special Antilaw Card called
Allmighty that will remove all laws.  The effects of law cards only apply to
one engagement.

You will win law cards from just about every mission and random clan encounter,
but you can only hold a maximum of 20.  Because of this limit, you can feel
free to use these cards as often as you want.  However, the strongest cards are
the R6 Antilaw cards and the Allmighty cards.  There are only three of the
latter in the game.  R6 Antilaw cards rarely appear on missions, so you may
want to save your stronger cards to trade for them at the Card Shop.

The effects of breaking a law vary by the type of law.  Breaking most laws will
result in a Yellow Card.  When a character accumulates enough Yellow Cards, the
character will get a Red Card instead and be sent to Prison immediately.  If an
enemy is KO'd by violating a law, a Red Card will be given immediately.  At the
end of an engagement, any character who received a Yellow or Red Card will be
penalized.  Penalties can range from permanent statistic decreases to
forfeiture of mission rewards.  If you receive a particularly bad penalty,
especially a stat decrease, I recommend resetting the game.  The least serious
penalties are Gil fines and loss of law cards.  If Marche is sent to Prison,
the game ends immediately.

Characters will be able to leave prison after your clan completes a certain
number of battles, but you can pay the prison to release them early.  However,
Yellow Cards and Red Cards remain on the character's record.  These cards will
cause the character to lose all JP and prevent the character from earning more,
but cards can be removed through a pardon.  A pardon requires the clan to pay a
fee and for the character to remain in prison for a certain number of battles.
Once released, it will be as if the character had never broken the law at all
(except that the stat penalties received will still apply).  Marche is an
exception--if you pardon him, the clan cannot do anything but wait until he is
released from Prison.

Laws apply to enemies as well, but enemies will not normally break the law
unless they have Red Card Immunity.  Instead, they simply will not perform any
action that would break the law.  You can use this to your advantage to
prohibit enemies from performing actions that are particularly harmful to your
clan.  If the Control command is used on a monster, it can be ordered to break
the law and will receive Yellow and Red cards accordingly.  Charm and Confuse
can also cause a character to break the law.  Some enemies, usually bosses,
will have Red Card Immunity, which is indicated by a small medal on the
character's profile.  These enemies cannot get Red Cards, so they will break
the law gratuitously.  They can still get Yellow Cards, but this does not seem
to affect them.

There are no laws for any mission or random encounter in a Jagd, but this comes
with the disadvantage in that any character KO'd in a Jagd and not revived by
the end of the engagement will be lost forever.  The four tournament missions
"Battle Tourney" (#040), "Mage Tourney" (#041), "Swimming Meet" (#042), and
"Clan League" (#043) all have special laws in effect that will be different
(generally much more lenient) than the normal laws of the day.  Three of the
Corrupt Judge missions, "Immunity Pass", "Favoritism", and "Decision Time",
also have no laws, but there is no penalty for being KO'd.  The enemy Judges on
these missions can give your characters a Yellow Card for no reason, but Cid
can use his Yellow Clip ability to remove the card as long as it is done by the
end of the battle.

Clan Level and Clan Skills [CLN]

Clan level and clan skills are two of the things that are explained very poorly
in the instructions to the game.  I noticed that I was getting Clan Points (CP)
and raising clan levels every now and then, but I had no idea what all that was
for.  Here is an explanation of clan levels and the reasons why you should pay
attention to them.

At the end of most missions, your clan will earn CP.  They can be earned on
turf defense missions as well, but not on random clan encounters.  When you
earn 100 CP, your clan will gain a level.  Your clan starts at level 1, and the
maximum level is 99.  Unlike character levels, CP will "roll over" to the next
level, so if you have 80 CP and earn 60 CP, you will start the next clan level
with 40 CP.  All of the storyline missions give you 100 CP, so they will cause
you to instantly raise a level.

Clan skills work in much the same way.  On any mission that gives you CP, you
will also get skill points towards one or more of the eight clan skills.
Generally, you will either get lots of points in a few skills or a few points
in every skill.  Once you get 100 points in a certain skill, that skill will
raise a level, and any extra points will "roll over" to the next level.  The
clan skills are Combat, Smithing, Appraise, Negotiate, Magic, Craft, Gather,
and Track.

You actually don't get that much for raising clan levels and skills.  There are
a number of bonus items that you can get when clan skills reach a certain
level, and some of these items are quite rare (such as the Nosada and
Cinquedea).  Prices of most items in shops will decrease with a higher clan
level, and your clan title can change based on your clan level and skill
levels.  Many missions require a minimum level in a certain skill before you
can accept them, but for the most part, your level will be far past the
requirement by the time you get to it.  Because of this, there is no real need
to invest time into raising clan levels or skill levels (except to get the
Cinquedea near the beginning of the game).  By the time you complete all of the
missions, your clan level should be around 70 to 75 and several of your clan
skills should be maxed out at level 99.

Area Placement and Treasure Hunts [APL]

The ability to "build" the world by placing icons on the world map (a process
borrowed from Legend of Mana) is something else that simply was not discussed
well in the instructions to the game.  What makes this so bad is that this has
a permanent effect on the game that can influence your ability to get certain
items.  I will try to discuss as much of it as I can here.

There are thirty areas in game.  Four of them already have pre-determined
locations on the map: Cyril, Giza Plains, Bervenia Palace, and Ambervale.
Cyril and Giza Plains are placed in their locations when the game begins;
Bervenia Palace and Ambervale will appear in their designated locations at
certain points in the storyline.  Most other areas will appear after certain
storyline events.  You can place them on any of the empty areas on the map,
indicated by a blue dot.  There are three areas (Jagd Ahli, Ozmonfield, and
Jagd Helje) that appear after completing optional missions rather than
storyline missions, so it is possible to complete the game without finding
these areas.

When you place an area, it will shake if it is touching at least two other
areas.  Likewise, each area touched by the one that was placed will shake if it
is now touching at least two other areas (including the new one).  This means
that there is now a treasure hunt in that area.  By moving to the area and
choosing "Treasure Hunt", you will get an item.  The item you get will depend
on the number and type of areas the area was touching at the time that it
shook.  Generally, the more areas that it is touching, the better the item.
Also, touching areas of the same type (the type of the area of the treasure
hunt is irrelevant) will yield a better item, although the best items come from
touching four areas of two different types.

Each of the thirty areas is listed below along with the type of area that it
is.  They are listed in the order that they are revealed.  The areas in pre-
determined locations are listed in {braces}.  The areas that are attained
through optional missions are listed in [brackets] at the earliest point in the
storyline that it is possible to get them.

   1. {Cyril} (Town)               16. Kudik Peaks (Mountain)
   2. {Giza Plains} (Field)        17. Jeraw Sands (Sand)
   3. Sprohm (Town)                18. Muscadet (Town)
   4. Lutia Pass (Mountain)        19. Uladon Bog (Bog)
   5. Nubswood (Wood)              20. Gotor Sands (Sand)
   6. Eluut Sands (Sand)           21. [Jagd Ahli] (Jagd)
   7. Ulei River (Bog)             22. Delia Dunes (Sand)
   8. Cadoan (Town)                23. [Ozmonfield] (Field)
   9. Aisenfield (Field)           24. Materiwood (Wood)
   10. Roda Volcano (Mountain)     25. {Bervenia Palace} (Town)
   11. Koringwood (Wood)           26. Tubola Cave (Cave)
   12. Salikawood (Wood)           27. [Jagd Helje] (Jagd)
   13. Nargai Cave (Cave)          28. Deti Plains (Field)
   14. Baguba Port (Town)          29. Siena Gorge (Mountain)
   15. Jagd Dorsa (Jagd)           30. {Ambervale} (Mountain)

That's a total of six Towns, four Fields, five Mountains, four Woods, four
Sands, two Bogs, two Caves, and three Jagds.  Note that you can significantly
change the types of items you get by getting the optional areas in a different
order, but it is generally best to get them at their earliest appearance.

Most of the items you get from a treasure hunt are virtually worthless.
However, there are 6 items to look out for the most: Galmia Shoes, Gastra Bow,
Materia Blade, Mindu Gem, Tulwar, and Zeus Mace.  The Galmia Shoes are
particularly important because they cannot be obtained through any other way
other than the treasure hunts.  The other items are extremely rare, but you can
get at least one elsewhere in the game.  You can always get the Materia Blade,
Galmia Shoes, and Mindu Gem on a map, but you can only get up to two of the
other three items (Zeus Mace, Tulwar, and Gastra Bow).

It is beyond the scope of this FAQ to list every possible combination in the
treasure hunt, but I will indicate the combinations needed for the 6 important

   * Galmia Shoes - 3 Sands
   * Gastra Bow - 3 Fields
   * Materia Blade - 2 Towns and 2 Woods
   * Mindu Gem - 4 Sands or 2 Bogs and 2 Caves
   * Tulwar - 2 Towns and 2 Fields
   * Zeus Mace - 2 Fields and 2 Mountains

You can get up to 5 of these 6 items, and I recommend using a layout that will
get you as many as possible.  Take a look at AstroBlue's "Final Fantasy Tactics
Advance Region Create Setups" for a list of good layouts to choose from.  The
one I recommend the most is the "Perfect Ivalice" layout, which will get you
five of these items (all except for the Tulwar) plus a few other good items,
and its layout is realistic and aesthetically pleasing.

Freeing Areas [FRA]

Although the instructions say that you can free areas, they don't say why, and
they give a poor explanation of how you can free them and how they are retaken.
While freeing areas isn't absolutely necessary, it can take up a good bit of
your time if you choose to free them, and it is a good idea to do so.

You will occasionally see a Free-Area Mission in a pub, marked with a white
flag.  They will usually appear at the top of the list, just under the
storyline missions.  Most of these missions are dispatch missions, although a
few of them are engagement missions.  When the mission is cleared, that area
will now be part of your turf.  The only areas that require an engagement to
clear are five of the towns (all except Cyril): "Free Sprohm!" (#069), "Free
Cadoan!" (#075), "Free Baguba!" (#077), "Free Muscadet!" (#082), and "Free
Bervenia!" (#087).  There are rumors that if you fail "Free Bervenia!" (#087),
you will never get a chance to repeat it, but these rumors have been confirmed
to be false

Obviously, you will not be able to free a turf until it has been placed on the
map.  However, the mission to free a turf may not necessarily appear
immediately after the area is placed.  For many areas, the corresponding Free-
Area Mission will not appear until after the next storyline mission has been
completed.  The missions to free the three optional areas as well as Bervenia
Palace and Ambervale will not appear until after the main storyline has been

Every so often, one of your turfs will be attacked.  When this happens, you
will have 30 to 40 days to go to the turf and complete the mission to defend
it.  This occurs randomly, although it seems that turfs that have not yet been
attacked are more likely to be attacked.  These engagements are repeatable
unnumbered missions and will get a "Cleared" tag when they are completed.  Note
that the six towns (Cyril, Sprohm, Cadoan, Baguba Port, Muscadet, and Bervenia
Palace) as well as Ambervale will never be attacked, so once you free them,
they are freed permanently.  Defending the turf will require you to send four
clan members to engage four enemies whose levels are based on the average level
of all of your clan members.  You will get 80 AP, 20 CP, and 4,000 Gil, but you
will not get any items.

If you fail a turf defense mission or if you let it time out, the turf will be
retaken.  This really isn't all that bad, and it can be good in some
situations.  The mission to free the turf is repeatable, and it will reappear
in the pub shortly.  This can be useful if you are trying to get some mission
rewards or clan skill points from these missions that are not available in the
turf defense missions.

Early in the game, turfs seem to get attacked frequently, about every 10 days
or so.  However, freeing more turfs does not seem to increase the number of
attacks you get, so it is not useful to hold off on freeing turfs just so you
don't have to deal with turf defense missions.  I never had more than three get
attacked at a time, and in most cases, there were never more than two attacks
at once.  I suspect that getting into engagements (either missions or random
engagements) makes turfs less likely to be attacked.  Also, I noticed that turf
attacks occurred very rarely late in the game.  I could wander around for two
or three months without an attack.  I think that there are certain variables,
either clan level, number of areas freed, number of missions completed, or
something else, that make turfs less likely to be attacked as you progress.
However, I do not think that there will ever be a point that they will never be
attacked at all.

If you are ever unsure about what areas are under attack, you can check out
your turf on the "Clan" menu under "Clan Turf".  Areas in color are freed;
areas that are still grey are not freed, and areas that are red are under

So what does all this turf freeing do?  The main reason to free turfs is to
reduce the cost of missions.  Towns that have not been freed will overcharge
you for missions by 50%.  Once you free the town, the town's pub will reduce
its fees to the normal price.  In addition, it may give you a discount based on
the number of areas you have freed with a maximum discount of 50% once all 30
areas are freed.  In addition, shops can increase their inventory based on the
number of freed areas.  Some powerful items can be purchased only after freeing
more than twenty areas.

Stealing [STL]

Stealing is a major part of just about every Final Fantasy game.  It seems like
every game has some powerful equipment that can only be obtained through
stealing, forcing you to take a Thief with you on most major battles.  This is
even truer in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance.  Since most missions cannot be
repeated once completed, you may need to take someone with the Steal command
set into almost every engagement if you want to collect all the equipment in
the game.  Although this can be annoying, there is much less of a random
element to stealing compared to most other Final Fantasy games, and the game
offers you some ways to make stealing easier.  A full list of everything you
can steal is beyond the scope of this FAQ.  For that, I recommend jmirk's
"Thieves' Guild Guide to Final Fantasy Tactics Advance".  However, I will try
to cover the highlights here.

The main thing to focus on in regards to stealing is equipment.  Experience,
Gil, and JP are easy enough to obtain, so Steal: Gil, Steal: EXP, and Steal: JP
are mostly useless.  Steal: Ability is excellent, but it's not absolutely
necessary since you cannot steal an ability you already have, and even if you
miss an ability, you will always be able to learn it from equipment the
traditional way.  However, equipment can be missed completely, so make sure you
do not miss anything important.  I strongly suggest having every Human and
Moogle in your core group learn Steal: Armor, Steal: Shield, Steal Access.,
Steal: Helm, and Steal: Weapon as soon as possible.  See my beginning game
strategy to find out how to get Steal: Weapon early in the game.  If you do not
get it in the Diaghilev Godeye mission "Wanted!" (#027) early in the game, you
will not be able to learn Steal: Weapon until much later and will miss out on a
lot of important equipment.

There are some strategies to increase your chances of stealing.  First of all,
try to steal from behind, or at least from the side.  Stealing from the front
is rarely successful.  Next, equip the Thief Armlets if you have them.  They
increase your stealing rate by 20%.  This makes stealing from the front
possible.  Finally, equip the Concentrate S-Ability.  This significantly
increases the success rate of most actions.  Human Archers can learn
Concentrate from the Target Bow, and Moogle Gunners can learn it from the
Longbarrel.  In most cases, you only need one or the other, not both (I
recommend Concentrate over the Thief Armlets), but if you do equip both, your
steal rate for equipment will usually be 100%, even for attempts from the
front.  Note that the Thief Armlets will increase the success of Steal:
Ability, but Concentrate will not.

There is a lot of equipment that can be bought in shops.  It is always better
to steal it, but there is no concern about missing something that can be
bought.  A lot of other equipment is so plentiful throughout the game that even
if you miss it, you will have many other opportunities to steal it.  In
addition, some equipment can be stolen on random encounters and repeatable
missions, so you will always have an opportunity to steal it later.  This
section will focus on the rare equipment that can be easily missed in the game
or equipment that can be very helpful to steal early on.

The first thing I will point out is fleeing.  When you flee a mission, you will
fail it, but you will retain any equipment you stole on it.  This is noteworthy
because it lets you repeat missions that normally cannot be repeated.  Just
attempt the mission, steal what you want, flee, and then try it again when the
mission reappears.  There is some super rare equipment that you can get this
way to equip multiple characters.  However, you cannot flee some missions,
including all storyline missions and missions that take place in a Jagd.  In
addition, there is no need to flee a mission that is repeatable.

Another secret of the game is that of hidden weapons.  Any character that has
the Item command set can change weapons.  Enemies with this command set will be
able to switch weapons indefinitely if you steal or destroy their weapon.  Most
of the time, they will re-equip themselves with the same weapon they had, but
there is a chance that they will equip themselves with a different weapon.
This different weapon is usually much more powerful and rare.  They will only
equip this new weapon once; after you steal it, they will only re-equip
themselves with their original weapon, which you can steal an infinite number
of times.  Note that all Alchemists have the Item command set.  You can detect
a hidden weapon with a Soldier's Sensor ability or a Mog Knight's Mog Peek
ability, but you do not need to do so to steal it.  I will list all of the
hidden weapons here.

| Mission (Number)      | Enemy (Name)     | Original Weapon | Hidden Weapon |
| Help Giza!            | Animist          | Fairy Harp      | Demon Bell    |
| Wanted! (#027)        | Alchemist        | Energy Mace     | Morning Star  |
|                       |    (Diaghilev)   |                 |               |
| Frosty Mage (#045)    | Black Mage       | Sleet Rod       | Chill Rod     |
|                       |    (Gelato)      |                 |               |
| Clan Bansia           | White Monk       | Dream Claws     | Survivor      |
| Antilaws (#006)       | Defender         | Predator        | Arch Sword    |
| Aisen Ghosts          | Gunner           | Chaos Rifle     | Aiot Gun      |
| Koring Band           | Animist          | Glass Bell      | Blood Strings |
| Help Koring!          | Animist          | Glass Bell      | Blood Strings |
| Magic Wood (#009)     | Thief            | Zorlin Shape    | Cinquedea     |
| Emerald Keep (#010)   | Alchemist        | Mandagora       | Cactus Stick  |
| Clan Hounds           | Blue Mage        | Aqua Saber      | Manganese     |
| Help Dorsa!           | Blue Mage        | Aqua Saber      | Manganese     |
| Jagd Hunt (#012)      | Blue Mage        | Harpe           | Tulwar        |
| The Bounty (#013)     | Red Mage         | Djinn Flyssa    | Gupti Aga     |
| Wanted! (#026)        | Mog Knight       | Air Blade       | Ogun Blade    |
|                       |    (Big Gabbama) |                 |               |
| Help Jeraw!           | Time Mage        | Terre Rod       | Force Rod     |
| Golden Clock (#014)   | Alchemist        | Morning Star    | Zeus Mace     |
| Clan Belmia           | Sniper           | Twin Bow        | Master Bow    |
| The Big Find (#016)   | Fighter          | Ogun Blade      | Adaman Blade  |
| Help Gotor!           | White Monk       | Dream Claws     | Survivor      |
| Stolen Scoop (#104)   | Thief            | Zorlin Shape    |               |
| Stolen Scoop (#104)   | Thief            | Jack Knife      |               |
| Flesh & Bones (#053)  | Gunner           | Outsider        | Calling Gun   |
| Bloodthirsters        | Juggler          | Rondell Dagger  | Tonberrian    |
| Desert Patrol (#017)  | Bishop           | Spring Staff    | Cheer Staff   |
| Desert Patrol (#017)  | Defender         | Ragnarok        | Arch Sword    |
| Gertai Band           | Ninja            | Kotetsu         | Nosada        |
| Help Ozmon!           | Ninja            | Kotetsu         | Nosada        |
| Showdown! (#060)      | Alchemist        | Sage Crosier    | Battle Mace   |
| Showdown! (#060)      | Paladin          | Vigilante       | SavetheQueen  |
| Guard Patrol          | Templar          | Gae Bolg        | Beastspear    |
| Present Day (#020)    | Alchemist        | Life Crosier    | Scorpion Tail |
| Present Day (#020)    | Mog Knight       | Pearl Blade     | Materia Blade |
| Battle Tourney (#040) | Sage             | Druid Mace      |               |
| Wanted! (#029)        | Sniper           | Hades Bow       |               |
| Wanted! (#029)        | Gunner           | Peace Maker     | Bindsnipe     |
| Hidden Vein (#021)    | Animist          | Black Quena     | Heal Chime    |
| Ramble Band           | Alchemist        | Mandragora      |               |
| Help Deti!            | Alchemist        | Mandragora      |               |
| Blue Geniuses         | Alchemist        | Mandragora      |               |
| White Kupos           | Thief            | Kard            |               |
| Cleanup Time          | Sage             | Life Crosier    | Zeus Mace     |
| No Arms Rule          |                  | Thor Rod        | Princess Rod  |

Here is the full list of equipment that is recommended to steal.  The missions
are listed in approximately the order in which they are expected to be

   * "Wanted!" (#027) (Diaghilev Godeye) - Steal the ability Steal: Weapon from
     a Thief.  (Note: It is strongly recommended to do this for all of the
     Humans and Moogles in your core group.)
   * "Frosty Mage" (#045) - Steal the hidden weapon Chill Rod from a Black
   * "Nubswood Base" (#071) - Steal the weapon Madu from a Red Mage.
   * "Lutia Mop-up" (#072) - Steal the accessory Angel Ring from a Black Mage.
     (Note: It is strongly recommended to do this multiple times to get enough
     for your core group.)
   * "Magic Wood" (#009) - Steal the hidden weapon Cinqueda from a Thief.
   * "Emerald Keep" (#010) - Steal the weapon Lotus Mace, the armor Mirage
     Vest, and the shield Aegis Shield from a Runeseeker (Babus); steal the
     weapon Mandragora and the hidden weapon Cactus Stick from an Alchemist;
     steal the ability Stopshot from a Gunner.
   * "Fire Sigil" (#076) - Steal the ability Steal: Weapon from a Mog Knight.
   * "Jagd Hunt" (#012) - Steal the hidden weapon Tulwar and the armor Mirage
     Vest from a Blue Mage; steal the armor Dark Gear, the accessory Genji
     Armlets, and the ability Petal Chaser from a Ninja.
   * "The Bounty" (#013) - Steal the hidden weapon Gupti Aga from a Red Mage
     and the weapon Vigilante from a Paladin.
   * "Wanted!" (#026) (Gabbama Brothers) - Steal the weapon Sword Breaker from
     a Thief.
   * "Hit Again" (#061) - Steal the weapon Longbarrel from a Gunner.
   * "Golden Clock" (#014) - Steal the hidden weapon Zeus Mace from an
   * "Scouring Time" (#015) - Steal the armor Genji Armor from a Templar.
   * "Exodus" (Part 2 of "Scouring Time" [#015]) - Steal the weapon Lotus Mace
     and the armor Lordly Robe from a Runeseeker (Babus).
   * "Free Muscadet!" (#082) - Steal the weapon Master Bow, the armor Dark
     Gear, and the helm Cachusa from an Assassin (Celia); steal the weapon
     Masamune, the armor Dark Gear, the shield Genji Shield, and the accessory
     Genji Armlets from an Assassin (Redy).
   * "The Big Find" (#016) - Steal the ability Steal: Weapon from a Thief and
     the hidden weapon Adaman Blade from a Fighter.
   * "Stolen Scoop" (#104) - Steal the weapon White Fangs from a White Monk;
     steal the accessory Genji Armlets from a Thief; steal the shield Aegis
     Shield from a Soldier.
   * "Smuggle Bust" (#105) - Steal the weapon Aona Flute from a Beastmaster and
     the weapon Master Bow from a Hunter.
   * "Flesh & Bones" (#053) - Steal the weapon Outsider and the hidden weapon
     Calling Gun from a Gunner; steal the helm Cachusha from an Archer.
   * "Desert Patrol" (#017) - Steal the armor Mirror Mail from a Soldier; steal
     the weapon Venus Blade from a Gladiator; steal the weapon Spring Staff and
     the hidden weapon Cheer Staff from a Bishop; steal the hidden weapon Arch
     Sword from a Defender.
   * "A Dragon's Aid" (#066) - Steal the armor Genji Armor and the shield Genji
     Shield from a Dragoon.
   * "Quiet Sands" (#018) - Steal the weapon SaveTheQueen, the armor
     Maximillian, and the helm Bangaa Helm from a Biskmatar (Llednar).  (Note:
     this is a timed mission, so stealing all this equipment may not be
   * "Showdown!" (#060) - Steal the shield Genji Shield from an Assassin; steal
     the hidden weapon SaveTheQueen and the shield Aegis Shield from a Paladin.
   * "Materite Now!" (#019) - Steal the weapon Masamune and the accessory Genji
     Armlets from an Assassin; steal the helm Ribbon from an Elementalist;
     steal the weapon Nike Bow and armor Bone Plate from a Sniper; steal the
     armor Mirage Vest and ability Full-Life from a White Mage; steal the
     weapon Cheer Staff from a Summoner; steal the weapon Madu and armor Brint
     Set from a Red Mage.
   * "Present Day" (#020) - Steal the hidden weapon Materia Blade from a Mog
     Knight; steal the weapon Life Crosier and the hidden weapon Scorpion Tail
     from an Alchemist.
   * "Llednar" (Part 2 of "Present Day" [#020]) - Steal the weapon
     SaveTheQueen, the armor Maximillian, and the helm Bangaa Helm from a
     Biskmatar (Llednar).
   * "Den of Evil" (#064) - Steal the weapon Silver Rapier from an Elementalist
     and the weapon Snake Staff from a White Mage.
   * "Hidden Vein" (#021) - Steal the armor Mirage Vest from a Blue Mage; steal
     the weapon Orichalcum and the armor Bone Plate from a Juggler; steal the
     weapon Scorpion Tail from a Sage.
   * "Over the Hill" (#023) - Steal the weapon Femme Fatale, the armor Brint
     Set, and the helm Ribbon from a Red Mage (Ritz); steal the weapon Seventh
     Heaven, the armor Galmia Set, and the helm Ribbon from a Sniper (Shara);
     steal the weapon Max's Oathbow from an Assassin; steal the weapon Nirvana
     Staff and the armor Silver Coat from a Summoner; steal the weapon Madu
     from a Fencer; steal the weapon Madu from an Elementalist.
   * "Clan Law" (#090) - Steal the weapon Cat Claws from a White Monk.
   * "The Hero Blade" (#098) - Steal the helm Genji Helm and the armor Genji
     Armor from a Templar.
   * "Cleanup Time" - Steal the weapon Blood Sword from a Warrior and the
     hidden weapon Zeus Mace from a Sage.
   * "Kissing Rule" - Steal the armor Rubber Suit.
   * "No Literacy" - Steal the accessory Mindu Gem.
   * "Favoritism" - Steal the helm Genji Helm.
   * "No Answers" - Steal the armor Judge Coat, the armor Onlyone, and the
     accessory Bone Armlets.
   * "No Jumping" - Steal the weapon Vitanova, the armor Sage Robe, and the
     armor Lordly Robe.

There is one other way to steal that is worth mentioning.  The Moogle Juggler
and the Viera Red Mage can both learn an R-Ability called Catch.  This ability
is a defense against the Ninja's Throw ability and the Juggler's Hurl ability.
Throw and Hurl both involve throwing a weapon at an enemy for damage, and
enemies have an infinite inventory to use for these abilities.  When they use
it, the weapon they Throw or Hurl is random, but it will come from a group of
possible weapons based on the character's level.  With Catch, your character
will catch the thrown weapon and add it to your inventory.  This can be used to
get some very rare weapons that are not widely available elsewhere, such as the
Excalibur2.  However, Catch is very hard to use effectively.  First, you cannot
force an enemy to use Throw or Hurl.  Second, you cannot force them to target a
character with Catch.  Third, you cannot control which weapon they use.
Because of this, it is extremely difficult to get a certain weapon that you
might be trying to catch.  Although it can be worthwhile to take characters
with Catch on missions with enemy Ninjas and Jugglers, I would not depend on it
to get any good weapons.

Learning Blue Magic [LBM]

Final Fantasy Tactics Advance retains the Final Fantasy tradition of having you
learn Blue Magic from Monsters.  The Blue Mage was introduced in Final Fantasy
V and has been retained in some way or another in many other Final Fantasy
games.  The effectiveness of the Blue Mage has varied across games.
Fortunately, the Blue Mage of FFTA is actually quite good, being one of the
best classes in the game.

To learn Blue Magic, a character must have the S-Ability Learning equipped.
This ability is learned from the Blue Saber, which can be bought in shops after
the first upgrade.  You do not have to be a Blue Mage to learn Blue Magic A-
Abilities, but you do have to have Learning equipped as your S-Ability.  If the
character is hit by the Monster's ability and survives, he will learn the
ability immediately.  You do not have to complete the mission, so you can run
if you need to so that another Blue Mage can try the mission and learn the

Not every Monster ability can be learned, but each type of Monster (except the
Blade Biter, Tonberry, and Masterberry) has one ability that the Blue Mage can
learn.  If the ability is one that would KO the character (such as Roulette),
the character must have the Auto-Life status so that he will be brought back to
life.  You cannot learn Blue Magic from fellow clan members or allies--that
would be too easy--nor can you steal Blue Magic from enemies using Steal:
Ability.  However, you can learn Blue Magic from Controlled or Charmed enemies.

In fact, the Beastmaster's Control abilities are the best way to learn most
Blue Magic.  Enemies are often unpredictable in regards to the type of attacks
they use and their targets, but if they are under your control, you can have
them target exactly the character you want them to hit.  This is the only way
to learn certain abilities, such as the healing abilities, because Monsters
will not heal you on their own.

To Control a Monster, you must first learn the corresponding Control abilities
for that Monster.  Learning the ability lets you control all Monsters of that
race.  For example, the Flan ability will let you control Jellies, Ice Flans,
and Creams.  The character will then be able to control the Monster until his
next turn.  If you have a fast Beastmaster, it can be frustrating if he gets
his turn before the Monster gets its turn.  To handle this, make sure your
Beastmaster also moves in the turn that he takes control of the Monster.  Doing
so will make his turn come more slowly.

Here is a list of all of the Blue Magic and the Monsters that can teach them.

   * Goblin Punch - Goblin
   * Magic Hammer - Red Cap
   * Acid - Jelly, Ice Flan, or Cream
   * Blowup - Bomb or Grenade
   * Mighty Guard - Icedrake
   * Guard-Off - Firewyrm
   * Dragon Force - Thundrake
   * Night - Lilith
   * Twister - Lamia
   * LV3 Def-less - Antlion or Jawbreaker
   * Matra Magic - Toughskin
   * Poison Claw - Red Panther
   * Hastebreak - Coeurl
   * Bad Breath - Malboro or Big Malboro
   * Stare - Floateye
   * Roulette - Ahriman
   * Drain Touch - Zombie
   * LV? S-Flare - Vampire
   * White Wind - Sprite
   * Angel Whisper - Titania

Note that not all monsters of a certain type will automatically have the Blue
Magic you need.  For example, not all Liliths can use Night.  If there are
multiple Monsters of a certain type in an engagement, make sure that you know
which one has the Blue Magic before killing them off.

Blue Magic can also be learned from enemy Blue Mages or other Humans who know
Blue Magic.  However, this is extremely difficult since Humans cannot be
controlled.  I do not recommend learning Blue Magic this way unless you find it

Finding all of these abilities isn't that difficult.  You will encounter many
enemies that know them.  The problem is that only the character hit by the
ability will learn it.  Therefore, if you have five Humans, all five of them
will have to be hit by the ability at some point in the game to learn it.  This
can be time-consuming, especially if you are trying not to let some of them
raise levels to keep your average character level low.  I often find it easiest
to take as many Humans as possible on a mission and have all of them learn the
spell at once.

Further complicating the issue is the fact that two Monsters--the Goblin and
the Thundrake--do not appear on repeatable missions or random encounters.
Because of this, it is possible to miss their Blue Magic completely if you
clear all of the missions that they appear on without learning it.  Keep in
mind that Cheney cannot be recruited until after the last Goblin mission
becomes available.  I recommend holding off on missions with Goblins and
Thundrakes until you get all of the Humans you want in your party (including
Cheney) and enable them to learn Blue Magic.  Run from missions if you have to
so that you can get all of your characters to learn the Blue Magic.  Here is a
list of missions where you can learn Goblin Punch or Dragon Force from a Goblin
or Thundrake:

   * Goblin Punch - "Snow in Lutia" (#044), "Village Hunt" (#037), "A Lost
     Ring" (#049), and "Tower Ruins" (#032)
   * Dragon Force - "Wind Sigil" (#079), "Magewyrm" (#034), "A Dragon's Aid"
     (#066), "Wyrms Awaken" (#102), "Ruby Red" (#031), and "The Worldwyrm"

It is also possible to learn Goblin Punch from an enemy Paladin who knows Blue
Magic in "The Dark Blade" (#097), but this is extremely difficult, so I would
not rely on it.

Two abilities, LV3 Def-less and LV? S-Flare, can only target enemies of a
certain level.  This can make learning them more complicated.  To learn LV3
Def-less, your level must be a multiple of 3.  If the character is over level
48, he will no longer be able to learn the spell since levels 49 and 50 are not
multiples of 3.  To learn LV? S-Flare, your level must have the same last digit
as the enemy who casts it.  This makes LV? S-Flare particularly difficult to
learn, so watch out for enemy Vampires with the same level as your Humans.  By
the way, remember that LV? S-Flare will hit your Blue Mage too whenever he
casts it, so do not use it unless he is wearing equipment to make him immune to
Dark or can heal quickly.

The only way to learn Mighty Guard, Dragon Force, White Wind, and Angel Whisper
is to Control or Charm the enemy.  The enemy will not use these defensive
abilities on their own.  To learn Stare, your character must be facing the
Floateye, not have his back turned to it.  To learn Blowup, the enemy Bomb or
Grenade must have its HP reduced low enough to be in a critical state.  You
cannot use Control to command a Bomb or Grenade to use Blowup, so you will have
to wait for it to do it on its own.

Blue Magic is very worthwhile in this game.  The Blue Magic command set has
access to more abilities than any other command set with the exception of
Morph, and while Blue Magic has few abilities that damage the enemy directly,
it can be used creatively.  For example, you can use Magic Hammer to reduce the
enemy's MP to 0 and then use Matra Magic to switch the enemy's HP and MP and KO
them.  You can also give your characters equipment that makes them immune to
Sleep and then use Night to put all enemies to sleep.  Although Blowup will KO
your Blue Mage, they will revive immediately if they have the Auto-Life status.
As you can see, there is a lot you can do with Blue Magic to make the game

Monsters and Morphing [MMR]

The ability to capture Monsters represents an interesting, though not
particularly useful, feature to the game.  Though not quite the same as raising
pets, an element of some other RPGs, it can be fun to have a Monster Bank full
of powerful creatures.  While capturing Monsters and morphing into them can be
one of the most powerful attacks in the game, the effort needed to create
strong Monsters prevents this from being realistic until it is far too late in
the game to be useful.

Capturing Monsters requires the Capture ability, which is part of the Hunter's
Hunt command set, learned from a Ranger Bow.  A Monster cannot be captured
until it is in the critical stages of its HP.  Success in hunting is very low
and can never be higher than 24%.  The only thing that can increase your
chances of success is lowering the Monster's HP.  Abilities like Concentrate
will have no effect.  There are a few other rules about capturing Monsters as

   1. You cannot capture a Monster that is the last enemy on the field.
   2. You cannot capture a Monster with Red Card Immunity (i.e., a small medal
      on its profile).
   3. You cannot capture Rockbeasts, Fairies, Undead, or Tonberries.
   4. You cannot capture a Monster if you already have a Monster of that type
      in the Monster Bank.

Capturing a Monster will get you a Soul for that Monster and immediately place
the Monster in the Monster Bank in Cyril.  The only things that matter about
the Monster you capture are its level and its statistics.  It does not matter
whether or not the Monster you capture has all of the abilities available to
that type of Monster.  When you morph into a Monster later on, you will have
full access to all of the abilities of that type of monster regardless of
whether or not the one you captured had of its abilities.  You can release
Monsters later so that you can capture a stronger one, so I recommend capturing
Monsters at the first available opportunity so that you can get their Souls and
have something in the Monster Bank.  You can release them later and capture a
new one when stronger ones become available.

The Monster's level will appear on the Monster in the Monster Bank.  In
reality, the Monster's level doesn't mean anything since you can feed Monsters
in the Monster Bank to increase their stats, but higher-level Monsters will
require less feeding to reach high stats.  There is a strategy to increasing a
Monster's level during an engagement.  Just let it keep attacking your
characters and gaining experience until it levels up.  Capture it once it
reaches the level you want.  The maximum level is 50.  Keep in mind that the
levels of Monsters in random encounters will be the average of the characters
in your clan, so you can get the strongest monsters from random encounters late
in the game.

Most Monsters appear in random encounters, so you will always have a chance to
capture them.  However, the Goblin and Thundrake only appear in regular
missions, and if you do not capture them before completing those missions, you
might miss out on them completely.  Here is a list of missions where it is
possible to capture a Goblin or Thundrake as well as their levels:

   * Goblin - "Snow in Lutia" (#044) L4, "Village Hunt" (#037) L6, "White
     Flowers" (#055) L6, "A Lost Ring" (#049) L7, and "Tower Ruins" (#032) L12
   * Thundrake - "Pale Company" (#011) L13, "A Dragon's Aid" (#066) L21,
     "Wyrms Awaken" (#102) L20 & L21, "Ruby Red" (#031) L21, and "To
     Ambervale" (#022) L27

The last Goblin is a level 12 Goblin on "Tower Ruins" (#032), and the last
Thundrake is a level 27 Thundrake on "To Ambervale" (#022).  It will be very
difficult to build these two Monsters up to level 50, but you may want to boost
their levels a little.  I try to get the Goblin up to level 20 and the
Thundrake to level 30.  Note that "Tower Ruins" (#032) is an optional mission,
so you can hold off on it until you get higher levels, but "To Ambervale"
(#022) is a storyline mission, so you cannot put it off.  If you want to wait
to get a Thundrake when you have much higher levels, you will have to hold off
on one of the other missions.  It is easy to accidentally miss these Monsters,
so I recommend capturing a lower-level version of them at the first opportunity
and then releasing them just before tackling these missions.

When a Monster is in the Monster Bank, you can boost its statistics (but not
its level) by feeding it.  A Monster's maximum statistics are 999 for each
stat.  That's a very powerful Monster, but it will take a while to get that
far.  First, you have to get the Monster to like you.  There is a system to
this, but instead of explaining it, I will just tell you the most efficient way
to do this for each Monster:

   * Goblins and Red Caps - 15 Maiden Kisses and 5 Curealls
   * Ice Flans, Jellies, and Creams - 15 Antidotes and 5 Curealls
   * Bombs and Grenades - 25 Maiden Kisses and 5 Curealls
   * Thundrakes, Firewyrms, and Icedrakes - 25 Maiden Kisses and 5 Curealls
   * Lamias and Liliths - 14 Echo Screens and 3 Curealls
   * Antlions and Jawbreakers - 25 Maiden Kisses and 5 Curealls
   * Red Panthers and Coeurls - 25 Maiden Kisses and 5 Curealls
   * Malboros and Big Malboros - 24 Maiden Kisses and 3 Elixirs
   * Floateyes and Ahrimans - 15 Eye Drops and 5 Curealls

You'll know that a Monster likes you when a heart appears in its thought bubble
and it says "I love you, Marche.  No, really, I love you!"  From now on,
anything you feed it will boost its stats.  For all Monsters except for
Malboros and Big Malboros, this is best done by feeding them a group of 98
Curealls at a time.  Malboros and Big Malboros don't like Curealls, so they are
much more difficult.  You can only boost their stats by feeding them Elixirs
(which are expensive) or groups of 5 Ethers (which can't be bought).

The reason you're doing all this is to make the Monsters available to your
Morpher.  The Morpher learns his abilities from the Souls of Monsters.  If he
is able to use the Monster's corresponding Morph ability and a version of the
Monster is in the Monster Bank, the Morpher will be able to Morph into it.  It
takes one round for the Morpher to Morph into a Monster.  After that, the
Morpher will be able to use all of that Monster's abilities.  While morphed,
the Morpher cannot Fight, use Combos or Totemas, or use R-Abilities, but its
equipment still applies.  The Morpher technically does not morph until it uses
one of the Monster's actions.  At that point, it changes into the Monster,
including the Monster's stats, to perform the command, then he turns back into
the Morpher.  Note that since the Morpher does not stay in that Monster's
state, it does not matter what the Monster's HP, MP, or Speed are.  The only
Monster stats that really matter are Weapon Atk and Magic Pow.

Since every Monster's stats can be increased to 999, the Morpher is potentially
the strongest job in the game.  However, in practice, this is rarely the case.
It takes a lot of time and Gil to boost a Monster's stats to a high level, and
it's not really worth doing so until the end of the game.  At that point, most
of your characters are already so much stronger than the enemies that the
Morpher's high statistics do not matter much.  Therefore, the Morpher is really
a job for perfectionists but not for your average gamer.

Reserve Missions [RSM]

When I first saw a mission marked "Reserve Mission", I wondered what it was all
about.  What made it different from the other missions?  Unfortunately, there
is no indication of what the Reserve Missions are for, either in the
instruction manual or the game itself.  Unless you had looked somewhere else,
you would have just had to guess about the purpose of these missions.  The
Reserve Missions are designed to encourage linking, but in my opinion, they add
too little to the game to make them anything more than an annoyance.

There are five possible Reserve Missions: "Shining Lake", "Sauce Recipe", "Hero
Of Yore", "My Mission", and "Jade Dream".  All five of these are dispatch
missions.  Only three of these missions will appear in a game, and which three
you get is randomly determined when the game begins.  The first of these
missions will not appear until after the storyline missions "Magic Wood" (#009)
or "Emerald Keep" (#010), so you will not know which missions you got until
then.  There are four possible sets of missions that you can get:

   * Set A - "Shining Lake", "My Mission", and "Jade Dream"
   * Set B - "Sauce Recipe", "My Mission", and "Jade Dream"
   * Set C - "Hero Of Yore", "My Mission", and "Jade Dream"
   * Set D - "Shining Lake", "Sauce Recipe", and "Hero Of Yore"

Here's how it works.  The missions "Shining Lake", "Sauce Recipe", and "Hero Of
Yore" will each reward you with a mission item, the Gold Vessel, Eldagusto, and
Vermillion, respectively.  "My Mission" will require two of these mission
items, but the two that it requires will always be the two from the missions
that do not appear on your game.  The only way to complete "My Mission" is to
link with friends and trade them for the required items.  Note that the mission
items are unused, so once you are done with them, you can trade them to someone
else.  Once you complete "My Mission", you will unlock "Jade Dream" and be able
to complete it.

Note that "My Mission" and "Jade Dream" do not appear in set D.  This is the
only set that can be completed without linking.  You will get all three mission
items, but they serve no purpose except to trade them to someone else.  If you
don't have a trading partner for the game, you will be hoping for this set.
With any of the other sets, "My Mission" will hang out on your mission list as
uncompleted for the rest of the game.  This will not prevent you from
completing all 300 numbered missions because all of the Reserve Missions are

The rewards from the Reserve Missions are decent but not extraordinary.  If you
get set A, B, or C, you do not get any great items for completing the first
mission or "My Mission", just small amounts of Gil, AP, CP, and clan skill
points; random law cards; and random mid-strength items.  On the other hand,
"Jade Dream" will give you a nice reward of 50,000 Gil, 70 AP, 20 CP, 40 clan
skill points in every skill, and two law cards.  If you get set D, the rewards
from all three missions will be enhanced to make up for the absence of "Jade
Dream" and will add up to be about as good as the reward for "Jade Dream".

Secret and Semi-Secret Characters [SSC]

The secret and semi-secret characters add a little variety to your clan.  With
them, you don't have a clan full of identical generic characters.  They are not
necessary for the game, but getting them adds another goal to attain in your
quest to create the perfect clan.

There are six semi-secret characters in the game: Lini (Moogle Mog Knight),
Eldena (Viera Red Mage), Cheney (Human Hunter), Pallanza (Bangaa Gladiator),
Quinn (Nu Mou Sage), and Littlevilli (Viera Sniper).  These characters are
actually harder to find than the secret characters, but they can be found much
earlier.  They are essentially identical to the generic characters in your
party except that they start five levels above your clan's average character
level (generic characters start at the average) and they already have two
abilities learned.  In most cases, the two known abilities are the strongest
ones for their starting job.  Other than this, the semi-secret characters can
still change jobs, learn abilities, and gain levels just like any other
character in your clan.

All of the semi-secret characters will look just like generic characters when
you get the option to recruit them, so unless you pay attention to their names
or ability lists, you might not notice the difference.  Make sure you have room
in your party if you are trying to recruit them.  They will not even offer to
join if your party is full.  Here is a list of each of the semi-secret
characters in order of when you can recruit them:

* To get Lini, a Moogle, you must have the mission item The Hero Gaol.  This
item is won from the engagement mission "Oasis Frogs" (#062), which appears
after the storyline mission "Twisted Flow" (#005).  After this, whenever you
take The Hero Gaol on a mission of any kind (engagement or dispatch), you have
a chance of recruiting Lini when the mission is completed.  You can try this
for as long as you want, so it's not necessary to reset the game if you don't
get Lini after a mission (although you can do so if you want).  The Hero Gaol
is not used in the game, so you will never lose it unless you deliberately
dispose of it.  Lini is a Mog Knight with the Charge abilities Mog Guard and
Ultima Charge.

* To get Eldena, a Viera, you must have the mission item Elda's Cup.  This item
is won from the dispatch mission "Hungry Ghost" (#123), which appears after the
storyline mission "Antilaws" (#006).  After this, whenever you take Elda's Cup
on a mission of any kind (engagement or dispatch), you have a chance of
recruiting Eldena when the mission is completed.  You can try this for as long
as you want, so it's not necessary to reset the game if you don't get Eldena
after a mission (although you can do so if you want).  Elda's Cup is used on
"Caravan Guard" (#168), so if you do not get Eldena before this mission or if
you dispose of Elda's Cup yourself, you will no longer be able to recruit
Eldena.  Eldena is a Red Mage with the Red Magic abilities Barrier and

* To get Cheney, a Human, you must have the mission item Snake Shield.  This
item is won from the dispatch mission "Hundred-Eye" (#165), which appears after
the storyline mission "Scouring Time" (#015).  After this, whenever you take
the Snake Shield on a mission of any kind (engagement or dispatch), you have a
chance of recruiting Cheney when the mission is completed.  You can try this
for as long as you want, so it's not necessary to reset the game if you don't
get Cheney after a mission (although you can do so if you want).  The Snake
Shield is not used in the game, so you will never lose it unless you
deliberately dispose of it.  Cheney is a Hunter with the Hunt abilities Capture
and Ultima Shot.

* To get Pallanza, a Bangaa, you must have the mission item Wyrmstone.  This
item is won from the engagement mission Ruby Red (#031), which appears after
the storyline mission "Desert Patrol" (#017) and optional engagement mission
"Wyrms Awaken" (#102).  After this, whenever you take the Wyrmstone on a
mission of any kind (engagement or dispatch), you have a chance of recruiting
Pallanza when the mission is completed.  You can try this for as long as you
want, so it's not necessary to reset the game if you don't get Pallanza after a
mission (although you can do so if you want).  The Wyrmstone is required for "A
Dragon's Aid" (#066), but it is not used in that mission, so you will never
lose it unless you deliberately dispose of it.  Pallanza is a Gladiator with
the Spellblade Tech abilities Blitz and Ultima Sword.

* To get Quinn, a Nu Mou, you must complete the engagement mission "Missing
Professor" (#063), which appears after the storyline mission "Present Day"
(#020) and the optional engagement mission "Prof In Trouble" (#046).  There is
a chance that Quinn can be recruited after completing the mission.  This
mission is not repeatable, so if Quinn does not offer to join your clan, you
will never get another opportunity to recruit him.  Because of this, I
recommend resetting the game and trying again if Quinn does not offer to join.
Quinn is a Sage with the Sagacity Skill abilities Giga Flare and Ultima Blow.

* To get Littlevilli, a Viera, you must complete the engagement mission "Clan
League" (#043), which appears after the storyline mission "To Ambervale" (#022)
and the unnumbered engagement missions "Yellow Powerz", "Blue Geniuses", "Brown
Rabbits", and "White Kupos".  There is a chance that Littlevilli can be
recruited after completing the mission.  This mission is infinitely repeatable,
so if Littlevilli does not offer to join your clan, you will still be able to
recruit her.  However, it can take a long time to repeat the Clan League
missions, so you may still want to reset the game if you don't get her.
Littlevilli is a Sniper with the Sharpshoot abilities Doubleshot and Doom

Note that you can refuse to let a semi-secret character join your clan, or you
can force them to leave your clan after they are recruited.  If this happens,
you are still able to recruit them again (with the exception of Quinn) as long
as you still have the mission items needed to recruit them.  If you do so, they
will be treated as completely new characters and will lose any of the abilities
or statistics that they had gained before you let them go.

Keep in mind that the levels of the semi-secret characters are based on your
clan's average character level.  For this reason, it is a good idea to recruit
them as early as possible so that you will have control over how they boost
their stats.  Since they are recruited at five levels above your clan's
average, they will likely raise your average after you recruit them.  It is
still worthwhile to recruit them early.

The secret characters are actually easier to find since they are always
recruited after specific missions that relate to the story.  However, they
cannot be recruited until after the main storyline is completed, with the
exception of Ezel who can be recruited just before the final storyline mission.
Like the semi-secret characters, their levels will be five levels above your
clan's average character level.  However, the secret characters have unique
graphics and more learned abilities, and they already have some equipment.
They all have cut scenes to accompany their recruitment, and three of them have
unique jobs.

Here is the information for each secret character in roughly the order that
they can be recruited:


* Ezel, a Nu Mou, can be recruited after the storyline mission "To Ambervale"
(#022).  You must have already completed the optional engagement missions
"Resistance" (#106) and "New Antilaw" (#056).  Go to the Card Shop in Cadoan
and choose Gossip.  You will see a cut scene involving Ezel.  There will now be
a mission at the pub called "Reconciliation".  This is an unnumbered engagement
mission.  After you complete this mission, you will see another cut scene where
Ezel will offer to join you.

* If you turn down Ezel's offer or ask him to leave your clan, you will have
another opportunity to recruit him.  A dispatch mission called "Bored!" will
appear in the pub during Sagemoon.  When you complete this mission, Ezel will
offer to join your clan again.  This mission is infinitely repeatable, so you
will always get a chance to re-recruit him.

* Ezel is a Nu Mou, but he does not have a normal Nu Mou job set.  Instead, he
has a unique job called Hermetic, and he cannot change jobs or learn abilities.
He automatically has the Hermetics A-Abilities Azoth and Astra, the R-Ability
Block Arrows, and the S-Ability Weapon Atk+.  He also comes equipped with a
Druid Mace, Gaia Gear, and Black Hat.  The only other command set he can use is


* Babus, a Nu Mou, can be recruited after completing the main storyline.  There
will be a dispatch mission called "Left Behind" at the pub.  When you accept
this mission, a cut scene will play.  Once the mission is completed,
immediately go to a pub and accept an engagement mission called "With Babus".
When you complete this mission, there will be a cut scene where Babus will
offer to join your clan.  There are rumors that "With Babus" will not appear at
the pub if you wander around on the map for too long or if "A Maiden's Cry" is
completed at the same time as "Left Behind".  I doubt this is true, but you may
not want to risk it anyway.

* If you turn down Babus's offer or ask him to leave your clan, you will have
another opportunity to recruit him.  A dispatch mission called "Doned Here!"
will appear in the pub during Bardmoon.  When you complete this mission, Babus
will offer to join your clan again.  This mission is infinitely repeatable, so
you will always get a chance to re-recruit him.

* Babus is a Nu Mou, but he does not have a normal Nu Mou job set.  Instead, he
has a unique job called Runeseeker, and he cannot change jobs or learn
abilities.  He automatically has the Rune A-Abilities Explode, Stillness,
Quarter, and Demi and the R-Ability Counter.  He also comes equipped with a
Lotus Mace, Aegis Shield, and Mirage Vest.  The only other command set he can
use is Item.


* Shara, a Viera, can be recruited after completing the main storyline.  There
will be a dispatch mission called "A Maiden's Cry" at the pub during Huntmoon.
After completing this mission, there will be a cut scene the next time you go
to any town.  Shara will offer to join your clan during this cut scene.  There
are rumors that "With Babus" will not appear at the pub if "A Maiden's Cry" is
completed at the same time as "Left Behind".  I doubt this is true, but you may
not want to risk it anyway.

* If you turn down Shara's offer or ask her to leave your clan, you will have
another opportunity to recruit her.  Another mission called "A Maiden's Cry"
will reappear in the pub during Huntmoon.  When you complete this mission, a
different cut scene will appear the next time you enter a town.  Shara will
offer to join your clan during this cut scene.  This mission is infinitely
repeatable, so you will always get a chance to re-recruit her.

* Shara is a Viera and has full access to the Viera job set.  Her default job
is an Archer, although she will be a Sniper when you recruit her.  She
automatically has the Sharpshoot abilities Death Sickle, Doom Archer, Aim:
Armor, and Aim: Weapon.  She also comes equipped with a Seventh Heaven, Galmia
Set, and Ribbon.  She can switch to any of the Viera jobs and learn abilities
just like any other Viera.


* Ritz, a Human, can be recruited after completing the main storyline.  There
will be an engagement mission called "Mortal Snow" at the pub if you have
already completed the mission "Old Friends" (#107).  There will be a cut scene
when you accept the mission and another when you complete it.  Ritz will offer
to join your clan during the second cut scene.

* If you turn down Ritz's offer or ask her to leave your clan, you will have
another opportunity to recruit her.  A dispatch mission called "Ritz's Offer"
will appear in the pub during Kingmoon.  When you complete this mission, Ritz
will offer to join your clan again.  This mission is infinitely repeatable, so
you will always get a chance to re-recruit her.

* Although Ritz is a Human, she has a Viera job set and is treated as a Viera
in every way, even using the Viera Totema.  The only exception is that the Law
Dmg2: Human applies to her instead of Dmg2: Viera.  Her default job is a
Fencer.  She automatically has the Lunge Tech A-Abilities Swarmstrike,
Shadowstick, Featherblow, Manastrike, and Piercethrough and the R-Ability Block
Arrows.  She also comes equipped with a Femme Fatale, Brint Set, and Ribbon.
She can switch to any of the Viera jobs and learn abilities just like any other


* Cid, a Human, can be recruited after completing all 300 numbered missions.
After completing the last mission, go to Bervenia Palace to see a cut scene.
There will then be a mission at the pub called "Cleanup Time", the first of the
bonus Corrupt Judge missions.  After you complete this mission, you will see a
cut scene where Cid will offer to join your clan.

* If you turn down Cid's offer or ask him to leave your clan, you will have
another opportunity to recruit him.  A dispatch mission called "Cid's Mission"
will appear in the pub during Madmoon.  When you complete this mission, Cid
will offer to join your clan again.  This mission is infinitely repeatable, so
you will always get a chance to re-recruit him.

* Cid is a Human, but he does not have a normal Human job set.  Instead, he has
a unique job called Judgemaster, and he cannot change jobs or learn abilities.
He automatically has the Advanced Law abilities Abate, Judge Sword, Bind, JP
Gift, and Yellow Clip.  He also comes equipped with a Lohengrin, Diamond Armor,
Diamond Helm, Opal Shield, and Bracers.  The only other command set he can use
is Item.

Keep in mind that the secret characters also take up a slot in your clan, and
you must have room for them or you will not be able to recruit them.  All of
the secret characters can be re-recruited if you turn them down or ask them to
leave, and they all come with equipment.  You can recruit them, strip them of
their equipment, and then recruit them again to get another set of it.  You can
do this as many times as you want to get as much of their equipment as you
want.  This is a good way to get a few items.

The five re-recruitment missions ("Bored!", "Doned Here!", "A Maiden's Cry",
"Ritz's Offer", and "Cid's Mission") are repeatable and will get a "Cleared"
tag if you clear them.  If you are a perfectionist who wants to complete every
mission, you may want to dismiss the secret characters just so that you can
clear these recruitment missions.  However, "A Maiden's Cry" will never be
marked "Cleared" for some reason, no matter how many times you complete it.

Like the semi-secret characters, the secret characters will be recruited at
five levels above your clan's average character level.  This is important for
Shara and Ritz because you will want to customize their statistics just like
any other Viera.  Therefore, try to recruit them at as low of a level as
possible.  As a target, try to make sure that they are not higher than level
15.  This does not apply to Ezel, Babus, or Cid.  They cannot change jobs, so
their stats will be the same whether you recruit them at a low level and level
them up or recruit them at a high level.  In fact, there is no need to level
them up at all.  Instead, wait for your average clan level to get high, dismiss
the three of them from your clan, and then recruit them again at a higher

In case you are wondering, you do not get any extra storyline information for
taking secret or semi-secret characters on a mission.  After you recruit both
Ritz and Shara, you will get an extra cut scene the next time you go to a town.
Also, Cid will have a couple of cut scenes during the Corrupt Judge missions,
and he will automatically join you on four of them.  However, there is no extra
dialogue or scenes that involve these characters, so don't feel obligated to
take them on any other missions.

None of the secret or semi-secret characters is that spectacular.  In fact,
they may be weaker than generic characters since you cannot fully customize
their stat growths.  Ezel, Babus, and Cid are particularly useless since they
have such a small selection of abilities and little growth potential.  However,
once I have sufficiently grown my core group of characters, I like to start
focusing on Ritz, Shara, and the semi-secret characters next.  If nothing else,
they add a little variety to the look of your clan.

Tourneys and Growth Equipment [TGE]

Four numbered missions serve as annual tournaments (or "tourneys" as the game
calls them) and can be completed for special prizes.  The four missions are
"Battle Tourney" (#040), "Mage Tourney" (#041), "Swimming Meet" (#042), and
"Clan League" (#043).  These make up four of the only five numbered engagement
missions that are repeatable.  (The other one is "Prison Break" [#057], which
is repeatable for no apparent reason.)  Besides getting a prize for each
tournament, you will also get a bonus for repeating them.

The tourneys do not become available until late in the game.  "Battle Tourney"
(#040), "Mage Tourney" (#041), and "Swimming Meet" (#042) become available
after the storyline mission "Present Day" (#020).  "Clan League" (#043) becomes
available after "To Ambervale" (#022), but before it will appear, you must also
complete the four unnumbered missions "Yellow Powerz", "Blue Geniuses", "Brown
Rabbits", and "White Kupos".  If you want to repeat "Clan League" (#043), you
must also repeat the four preceding missions as well.  In addition, each
tourney only appears in a certain month.  "Battle Tourney" (#040) appears in
Kingmoon, "Mage Tourney" (#041) appears in Sagemoon, "Swimming Meet" (#042)
appears in Huntmoon, and "Yellow Powerz" (which initiates the missions leading
to "Clan League" [#043]) appears in Kingmoon.  In case you were wondering,
"Prison Break" (#057) appears during Kingmoon and only in Sprohm.

All four tourneys also have special laws, so the normal laws on the day of the
tournament are irrelevant.  All four of them have the Law Cards law, which
prohibits the use of Law Cards or Antilaw Cards.  For "Battle Tourney" (#040)
and "Clan League" (#043), this is the only law, so you are pretty much allowed
to do anything.  "Mage Tourney" (#041) also has the NoClr Magic law, which
prohibits the use of any actions other than White, Black, Blue, or Red Magic.
"Swimming Meet" (#042) has the Target All law, which prohibits any ability that
targets all allies, all enemies, or all characters in the engagement.

The enemies in all four tourneys have levels ranging from 24 to 29, so they're
not really all that strong for the point in the game where you get them.  The
requirement for most of them is to defeat all enemies, but "Clan League" (#043)
only requires you to defeat the boss, making it especially easy.  You will have
a huge advantage in "Swimming Meet" (#042) if you equip the Feather Boots on
your characters.

Each tourney has a special item, called growth equipment, as a reward.  "Battle
Tourney" (#040) will win you the Sequence, a Knightsword.  "Mage Tourney"
(#041) will win you the Sapere Aude, a Rod.  "Swimming Meet" (#042) will win
you the Acacia Hat, a Hat.  "Clan League" (#043) will win you the Peytral, an
Armor.  All four of these items start out very weak, but it is worth noting
that all of them increase your Move by 1 point.  However, when you repeat the
tourneys, you will not get another copy of the equipment.  Instead, the
equipment will increase in a certain statistic by 1 point (which is why they
are called growth equipment).  Sequence will increase in Weapon Atk, Sapere
Aude in Magic Pow, Acacia Hat in Magic Res, and Peytral in Weapon Def.  They
can be boosted up to 999, although getting an item that high would take
forever.  There are also some linking missions that can boost the stats of
three of the growth equipment, but since I have never linked, I cannot provide
any information on that.

Perfectionist Guide [PFG]

So you're one of those video game perfectionists, right?  You know, someone who
isn't content to just finish the game, but also needs to find every possible
secret and create the best possible characters?  Well, Final Fantasy Tactics
Advance is a very hard game to do that in.  There are a lot of features in this
game, and maxing out all of them will take a long time.  It doesn't help that
there are a lot of things that are permanently missable, so one wrong move will
have you restarting the game from the beginning.  This endeavor will take 100
hours at a minimum, and it may very well require 200 to 300 hours depending on
how "perfect" you want to be.

I make a distinction between "realistic perfection" and "insane perfection".
Realistic perfection is getting everything that has a practical benefit in
terms of gameplay.  Insane perfection is the perfect game in terms of getting
absolutely everything regardless of how irrelevant it is.  Getting every weapon
in the game is realistic perfection; getting 99 of every weapon in the game is
insane perfection.

This section of the guide will focus on what goals you need to keep track of if
you want to have a realistically perfect game.  I will include some notes about
making it insanely perfect, but to attain that level of perfection in this game
will require a lot of luck and possibly a need to dedicate your life to playing
it.  Here is the checklist of things to do for a perfect game.

   * You must follow the beginning game strategy outlined in this guide.  If
     you do not, you will miss out on some things that cannot be otherwise
   * Complete the main storyline.
   * Complete all 300 numbered missions.
   * Complete the Corrupt Judge missions.
   * Complete all of the other unnumbered missions.  Note that the five
     recruitment missions that require Montblanc to be dead cannot be
     completed.  If you do not have a linking partner, you also may not be able
     to complete the Reserve Missions.
   * Find and read all of the rumors in the pub.  The "!Imprisoned" rumor is
     easy to miss.
   * Do not let Montblanc die.
   * Find all six semi-secret characters.
   * Find all five secret characters.
   * Insane perfectionists will want to get the semi-secret characters as well
     as Shara and Ritz at as low of a level as possible so that they can
     maximize their stats.
   * Get a full clan of 24 characters.  The makeup of your clan is up to you.
   * Get all of your clan members up to level 50.  Insane perfectionists will
     want to maximize stats as much as possible through the job system.  Even
     realistic perfectionists will want to boost stats as much as they
     reasonably can.
   * Have all clan members master all jobs available to them.
   * Make sure that all Humans in the clan learn all of the Blue Magic.
   * Capture all of the Monsters for your Monster Bank.  Insane perfectionists
     will want to get all of them at level 50.
   * Get all of your Monsters to like you and boost some of their stats.
     Insane perfectionists will want to boost all of their stats to 999.
   * Get your Clan Level and all of your Clan Skills up to level 99.
   * Free all of the areas in the game and make sure that none of them is under
   * Use area placement to get the Galmia Shoes and as many other rare Treasure
     Hunt items as possible.  Out of the six rare Treasure Hunt items, it is
     only possible to get five of them in one game.
   * Collect all of the important mission items.  As long as you do not throw
     out any mission items from repeatable missions, you should be fine.
   * Collect all three Allmighty Law Cards.
   * Fill your remaining Law Card inventory with any Law Cards of your choice.
     I prefer R6 Antilaw Cards.
   * Do not have any Yellow or Red Cards on any of your characters.  Use Yellow
     Clip or a pardon to remove any of them.
   * If you get penalized for breaking the law, be sure that the penalty is not
     a permanent one, such as a stat decrease or the forfeit of rare equipment.
     You must break the law at least once to get the "!Imprisoned" rumor, but
     otherwise, there is never a good reason to break the law.
   * Complete all of the Tourneys multiple times to boost the stats of the
     growth equipment.  Insane perfectionists will want to get the stats of all
     four items up to 999.
   * Get at least one of every weapon, armor, headwear, shield, accessory, and
     item in the game.  Insane perfectionists will want to get the maximum
     number possible of each one.  If you have a linking partner, getting rare
     equipment will be much easier through Nono's Shop.
   * Do not let any rare equipment be broken or stolen.
   * If you are absolutely insane, try stealing every single piece of equipment
     possible from every enemy on every mission.  This will ensure that you
     will not miss any important equipment, and it will make sure that you
     always have enough to equip your clan.  However, most of what you steal
     will be redundant.
   * Also only for the insane, use the Catch R-Ability to get multiple copies
     of some rare equipment.  This is unpredictable and difficult to pull off.

Version History

1.00   08/23/2007   * Original version of the FAQ.

1.01   05/16/2011   * Made minor corrections to spelling, grammar, and wording.

1.02   08/16/2011   * Changed name from "Complicated Issues FAQ" to "Gameplay
                    * Added paragraph to Leveling Up section on recruitment.
                    * Added list of mission items safe to get rid of.
                    * Made minor corrections to spelling, grammar, and wording.

1.03   10/05/2012   * Added the Perfectionist Guide section.
                    * Made minor changes to spelling, grammar, and formatting.

Copyright and Contact Information

This FAQ is copyright of Chad S. Wrye (aka Crono09), 2007-2012.  It is intended
for personal use only and may not be sold or used for financial gain by anyone
other than the author.  All content from this FAQ is protected under
international copyright law.  This FAQ may be freely distributed as long as no
changes are made to it and proper credit is given to the author.

Final Fantasy and all related video games, characters, and other properties are
trademarks of Square Enix.  All other trademarks or copyrights mentioned in
this FAQ are owned by their respective holders.

The author of this FAQ can be reached at crono@inorbit.com.  Please contact the
author for permission to post this FAQ, to ask questions related to Final
Fantasy, or to provide any corrections or suggestions to the document.

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