The Zodiac Age

Of all the changes that come with The Zodiac Age version of Final Fantasy XII, none affect gameplay more than the job system. Originally introduced to the game via the International Zodiac Job System version of the game (released only in Japan back on the PS2), this new system replaced the universal License Board system in the game’s vanilla version with twelve separate License Boards that have different licenses based on what job/class you assigned to each character. This, in effect, forced characters to adopt roles and specialize, instead of allowing every character access to every license. The system was changed again for The Zodiac Age version, where every character can now pick two jobs/classes instead of just one, allowing them to be more diverse, and for the different License Boards to interplay with each other.

While most combinations of characters and jobs are workable, there are definitely some combinations that are more powerful than others, and some characters who are just better (however slightly) at certain roles. The purpose of this section of the guide, then, is to inform you of the characters, their aptitudes, what licenses each job offers, what jobs pair well with each other, and generally help you make informed decisions about what jobs to assign to what characters. If that’s too much bother for you, a sample party will be provided based off the information and advice in this section, which you can emulate as you please.

Note: Most of this info will be provided in the walkthrough, albeit with less detail.

Licenses and License Boards

Two terms you’ll need to immediately become familiar with are “licenses” and “License Boards”. In The Zodiac Age, each job/class is essentially just a License Board, which itself is merely a collection of licenses arranged irregularly on a grid. As you defeat monsters you’ll earn License Points (LP), which can then be spent to purchase licenses, all of which have a different LP cost. Typically, the more advanced the license, the more LP it costs.

What do licenses do? Nearly everything. The most common are licenses for weapons, armor, magicks and technicks - even if you possess the object in question, a character cannot use it without having the appropriate license. In practice, the only difference between the classes are what licenses they have access to, and hence, what gear they can equip and what abilities they can use. You also have licenses that increase your HP, your damage in melee or your effectiveness with magick, your chance of blocking attacks with a shield, how much Potions heal for, what status effects Remedies cure, how much damage you deal while unarmed, how quickly your ATB bar fills… so yeah, basically everything.

Island Hopping

All characters start out with a few licenses unlocked, which represent their basic aptitudes prior to assigning them a job. Vaan, Balthier and Fran can all use the Steal technick, Penelo, Fran and Ashe all come with the Cure magick (being a healer must just be an innate benefit of being female in Ivalice?) and so on. From these humble beginnings, each character can buy progressively superior licenses after assigning them a job/class, being able to buy any license adjacent to an already-owned licenses.

This brings up an interesting bit of synergy unique to The Zodiac Age: “island hopping”. When you look at a License Board, you’ll notice that some licenses aren’t connected to the main grid. Some of these can only be accessed by purchasing the Quickenings in front of them (more on this later), while others can only be acquired by gaining new Espers and assigning them to that character (more on this later, as well). But it’s worth noting that licenses purchased on one License Board also end up purchased on the second License Board that character has.


Quickenings are Final Fantasy XII version of a long-standing series staple, the Limit Break. While their gameplay mechanic isn’t the subject of this section of the guide, they do play a minor part role when it comes to License Boards. On every License Board each character has four Quickening licenses, behind which other licenses may lurk. The conundrum is that each character can only purchase three licenses on a single board, after which the fourth Quickening license will vanish and any licenses behind that “Quickening Gate” will become inaccessible.

There are only a few cases in which this becomes an issue, but you should keep in mind that a Quickening License purchased on one board will be purchased on any other License Boards that character gains access to. For example, if your Monk/Black Mage picks the 50 LP, 75 LP and 100 LP Quickening licenses on their Monk License Board, those same Quickening licenses will automatically be purchased on the Black Mage board. The licenses that lie behind each Quickening Gate on each License Board are found below:

Classes 50 LP75 LP100 LP125 LP
Archer White Magick 4
Black Mage HP 2 (70 HP) HP 10 (390 HP)
Bushi HP 9 (350 HP), Battle Lore HP 10 (390 HP), Battle Lore HP 11 (435 HP)
Knight Excalipur, HP 10 (390 HP), Revive
Machinist Magick Lore x3
Monk Phoenix Lore White Magick 9
Red Battlemage White Magick 2 HP 6 (230 HP) HP 11 (435 HP)
Shikari Ninja Swords 1 Ninja Swords 2 Ninja Swords 3 Yagyu Darkblade & Mesa
Uhlan HP 4 (150 HP)
White Mage HP 4 (150 HP) HP 5 (190 HP) Battle Lore

As you may have noticed, only one class - the Shikari - actually has licenses behind all four Quickening Gates, and that’s not a terribly difficult choice to make. You can easily make do without any of the Ninja Sword licenses save Yagyu Darkblade & Mesa. Also keep in mind that many of the HP licenses, Battle Lore licenses and Magick Lore licenses behind Quickening Gates can be gained on your second License Board. For this reason, you may wish to wait until you have access to your second job before buying any Quickening Licenses, just so you can switch between the two of them and make sure you are missing out on anything.

Guide Information

  • Publisher
    Square Enix
  • Platforms
    PC, Switch, PS4, Steam, XB1
  • Genre
  • Guide Release
    30 August 2017
  • Last Updated
    28 October 2020
    Version History
  • Guide Author
    Nathan Garvin, Jarrod Garripoli

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Enter an era of war within the world of Ivalice. The small kingdom of Dalmasca, conquered by the Archadian Empire, is left in ruin and uncertainty. Princess Ashe, the one and only heir to the throne, devotes herself to the resistance to liberate her country. Vaan, a young man who lost his family in the war, dreams of flying freely in the skies. In a fight for freedom and fallen royalty, join these unlikely allies and their companions as they embark on a heroic adventure to free their homeland.

This guide contains the following:

  • A walkthrough that’ll guide you through the story, help you obtain all the best weapons and armor, and defeat every monster.
  • An interactive map of the Giruvegan Great Crystal; featuring all weapons, armors, save crystals, gate stones, way stones, bosses and rare enemies.
  • Tips for getting the best equipment from the Bazaar and from enemies.
  • A detailed Job Guide featuring all twelve job classes in the game, and the best ways to combine them and characters to form the ultimate party.
  • How to find and defeat all Hunt Marks and Rare Game.
  • Citations of the differences between this version of the game and the original.
  • A thorough explanation of all of the game’s mechanics.
  • All sidequests, including Trial Mode.
  • A trophy guide that will get you that shiny Platinum Trophy.

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