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Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age
Strategy Guide

Author(s): Nathan Garvin, Jarrod Garripoli
First Published: 30-08-2017 / 00:00 GMT
Last Updated: 26-11-2018 / 07:24 GMT
Version: 1.12 (????) 14-12-2018 / 03:55 GMT

Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age Guide Guide Info

Chapter 3 - Legacy of the Dynast-King

Tomb of Raithwall (Part 2)

Bestiary
Belias (Esper) • Cultsworn Lich (Rare Game) • Lich • Lost Soul • Skull Warrior
Items In This Area
Blazer Gloves (Steal from Lost Soul) • Blood Sword • Golden Shield (Drop from Skull Warrior) • Heavy Coat • Ice Shield • Lambent Hat • Loxley Bow (Steal from Cultsworn Lich) • Paramina Crossbow • Shades of Black

Southfall Passage

Having taken path #4 you’ll start out in the northernmost hallway of the Southfall Passage. There’s nothing at the end of the hallway to the east save a Ragoh, so head west instead. Turn south and enter the first large room of this area, where you’ll meet foes both old and new, the latter including a Ragoh and some Lesser Chimera, with the former consisting of Lost Souls and perhaps a Skull Warrior and a Lich.

Lost Soul:

Lost Souls may look similar to Skeletons, but they are different, not only in terms of drops and steals, but also in the skills they use. Considering they are undead, they are weak to Holy (and curatives) and absorb Dark. They have access to some protective magicks, namely Protect and Shell, as well as one offensive one, Dark. In addition to this, they can toss Water Motes at you and blind you with Flash. You can steal a Dark Stone, 60 gil, or Blazer Gloves from them, as well as get a Bone Fragment, Dark Stone, Antidote, or Teleport Stone as a drop.

Skull Warrior:

Skull Warriors are undead enemies that are obviously weak to Holy, but absorb Dark. They have access to both physical skills, as well as magicka. You might see them cast Dark or Blind, but you can also see them use Bone Toss (physical attack) or Water Spout. You can steal a Dark Stone, Bone Fragment or 200 gil from them, as well as receive a Bone Fragment, Dark Stone, Prince’s Kiss or a Golden Shield as a drop.

Lich :

Much like the Ghosts in Garamsythe Waterway, the Lich can phase in and out to teleport around the room, during which your attacks may not actually connect with the creature (when the health bar appears is when you can hit it). Their physical attacks can inflict Slow on characters, plus they have access to Fire, Dark, Oil and Blind magicks. You might also catch it restoring some health with Boon, but its biggest nuisance is Divide, which it seems to do often enough at low health. This will bring another Lich (or worse, the Cultsworn Lich) into battle, which will always come in at full health. Note that a Lich seems to only use Divide once and the Lich that spawns from its Divide will not use Divide itself. Liches can drop a Dark Stone, Glass Jewel, Aero Mote or Phoenix Down, plus you can steal a Dark Stone, Glass Jewel, or Nu Khai Sand from them.

Cultsworn Lich

This Rare Game can only spawn from a Lich when it uses Divide, which it seems to have a 20% or so chance of doing. You can think of this as a stronger version of the Lich, as its normal attack can inflict Slow, although there are some differences. Cultsworn Lich have access to Fire, Oil and Dark just like the Lich, but it can also use Fira, which is an area-of-effect version and more powerful than Fire. It cannot Divide, so there is no worry about that. You can steal a Loxley Bow from it, although it is rare and can take a bit to finally nab it. Other than that, you can get a Glass Jewel or Sky Jewel from it as a drop. As with the Lich, it absorbs Dark and is weak to Holy.

The Cultsworn Lich may take some doing to get to spawn. If you’re killing Liches too fast, simply unequip some of your characters, turn off the Gambits of those you leave armed (Vossler at a minimum) and go hunting Liches. Kill any other foes with your armed characters by directly commanding them to attack, and against Liches let your unarmed characters pummel away at them until their health is low enough to prompt them to Divide. If they don’t Divide into a Cultsworn Lich, kill both the spawned Lich and the original and search for another victim. This could take a while, obviously, but Speed Mode will expedite matters considerably.

You need to force the Liches to use Divide (left) in order to get the Cultsworn Lich to spawn (right).

Now that the new monsters are discussed, let’s explore this area and grab what loot there is to find. The first bit of loot can be found in this room, in fact, just search the southeastern corner of the room to find a chest, inside of which you might find a Heavy Coat . Leave this rectangular room and make your way west and south through two smaller square rooms and finally east into another rectangular room, where you might find a chest in the northwest corner. Plunder it to get a shot at Lambent Hat .

Once you’re finished here, continue south into a smaller square room, then east into another, slightly larger square room, then south once more into another chamber. Turn and head down a hallway, in the midst of which you’ll spot another row of three treasures lined up and similar to the ones in Northfall Passage. Unfortunately their arrangement isn’t the only similarity they share, as they contain nothing but curatives. Follow the hallway east, north, west, then south until you finally turn west into a large, L-shaped room, inside of which you may find a chest that could yield a Paramina Crossbow .

Make your way through the L-shaped room and head north up some stairs to reach this area’s Waystone room. As in the last one, this room is in the center of the area, there’s a Waystone in the middle, and you can activate it by touching the "Southfall Pedestal", this time on the wall to the north. Do so, kill some rude Liches that don’t know how to mind their own business, use the Waystone to return to the Royal Passage via the now-active green Waystone, then return and turn west to note that an altar has depressed fully into the ground, allowing you to access some stairs.

The path unveiled by the lowered altar is hidden from the map, but before you dive down into the unknown, let’s finish up this area. Head east from the Waystone room to reach a small chamber, and continue through it to the east to reach a second, slighly smaller room. In the southeastern corner of the room you might find a chest, which can rarely contain an Ice Shield (Shields 3), which halves Ice damage. Its spawn rate is lower than most chests in this area, and most of the time it spawns it holds Gil, meaning you have a rather low chance of getting your hands on an Ice Shield, much less farming a number of them.

After trying for the shield, continue north and west, until you come to the door leading back into the Royal Passage. Keep heading west from this area transition to find a chest at the end of the hallway, where you’ll find a chest that contains a Hastega Mote . Be wary of the trap in front of this chest and note that this chest will not respawn after looted.

With that, you’re done with this area and are ready to head deeper into the tomb. To do so, return to the central Waystone room in either the Southfall Passage or Northfall Passage (you can return to the three Waystones in the Royal Passage and use either the green or red Waystones to effect this, if you’d rather not backtrack through those areas) and head down the stairs beyond the lowered altar. Whichever way you go, it’s a short, linear, uneventful run to a door leading to the Cloister of Flame.

Important : Now might be a good time to go outside of Raithwall and purchase some Handkerchiefs from the merchant there, as you will want them for the upcoming boss fight.

Cloister of Flame

When you arrive, Fran will explain the mist to you, as the area is thick with it. There are no normal enemies here, but you will find some chests that are guaranteed to spawn. However, they only spawn once, so there will be no going back and forth to keep grabbing their contents. Depending on the route you took to get here you might be on the northern end of the area (Northfall Passage) or the southern end (Southfall Passage).

Either way, you’re going to want to make your way to the western end of the room, where you’ll find two flights of stairs going down to the east. Descend the northern-most flight of stairs and turn southwest to find a chest containing a Phoenix Down, then head back upstairs and descend the southern flight of stairs and turn northwest to find a chest holding a Blood Sword , a weapon that can inflict Sap when it hits. After you’ve obtained those items, continue east and go down another two more flights of stairs to reach an open area at the bottom of the tomb, where you’ll spot a menacing figure waiting for you.

Status Effect - Sap: Sap, like Poison, depletes the HP of the afflicted over time. Unlike Poison, however, Sap drains HP continuously, instead of inflicting lump sums of damage at regular intervals. It can be countered by casting Regen or Esuna magicks, or by consuming a Remedy if the user has the Remedy Lore 1 license.

Boss - Belias, the Gigas

Belias can be a challenging boss, simply because he can put out a lot of damage, especially once he applies Oil on you with his ultimate move. At the beginning of the battle, Belias tends to stick with physical attacks, Fire and Saber. The last one will basically double his attack, at the expense of depleting some of his own health. As you can guess, he absorbs Fire and is weak to Water, as well as taking less damage from all other elements. He is also immune to every single ailment, except for Sap and Slow, and funnily enough, you just happened to find a sword that can inflict Sap (although you might not have a class that can equip it).

So, it looks pretty easy so far? Well, Belias gets a little mean once you get his health down to like 50% or so, as he’ll break out Firaja, his ultimate move. Not only does this move do some major damage, but it has a chance to inflict Oil on your party. Naturally, Oil and Fire are going to be a great combination, so you better hope you have some Handkerchiefs handy to wipe it away. Knowing this, Shell is a great protective magick to have on your characters, as it can reduce the damage a little bit. That’s pretty much Belias’s entire moveset, although he also has Fira and Greater Barrier in his pocket. The latter will give him Protect and Shell, as well as reduce some of the damage he takes.

Unfortunately, other than Shell, there’s no other way to reduce the damage taken from Belias’s fire skills. He can use Firaja more than once and if you’re oiled when it happens again, you might find your party suffering a rather crispy wipe. If you have a character with access to Aqua, use that against Belias to take advantage of his weakness and deal extra damage. He gains a few augments, such as Ignore Evade and no MP cost, once his current HP falls below 50% and 20% of his maximum HP, respectively. Be wary of this, and as you see his HP bar depleting, be ready to withstand his desperation onslaught. Belias doesn’t drop anything, but you can steal an Aries Gem, Ether or High Arcana from him. While the last item is very valuable, it might not be worth the time to try and get the steal off of him.

Belias is guarding the Dawn Shard (left). His ultimate skill, Firaja, can be dangerous (right).

After the battle is finally over there are a few things you will want to do before heading into the inner room and grabbing the Dawn Shard. There are two chests in the area where you fought Belias, one containing an Elixir and the other being the Shades of Black technick. This technick causes the user to cast a random Black Magick spell, which, while no substitute for a true Black Mage, does provide an extra bit of versatility that’s appreciated. Also, for defeating Belias, you will finally gain access to your second job license board. In order to open this up, you will have to purchase the Second Board license on the first board, which will cost 30 LP. As soon as you purchase it, you will be committed to choosing the second class for that character.

Speaking of these second classes, throughout the guide some tips were given about what jobs each character might excel at. While covered in more detail elsewhere, and while most combos will work, it would be remiss not to continue giving advice on this matter once started. Vaan can excel at nearly every role, Basch is a born warrior, Ashe and Penelo are natural mages and Fran and Balthier are kind of, well, hit and miss, stat-wise though Balthier (along with Vaan and Basch) has a high combo rate making him suited to warrior-type roles. It was suggested (although by no means concrete) that Vaan and Balthier might compete over the Shiraki job, and whichever got it, the other could just as well pick Uhlan. Continuing with that, a great combo with Shiraki is the Foebreaker class, while Uhlan works well with the Machinist or Time Battlemage.

Basch, as the prime Knight candidate, might as well continue his warrior ways by picking up the Bushi class. That leaves Penelo, Ashe and Fran, the first two of which are your chief mages. That said, all will do fine in mage roles - White Mage, Black Mage and Red Battlemage. Whomever you decided should be your Black Mage can now add that class to the Monk job they started with, while your Red Battlemage can pick up the Archer class, as the two work well together. That leaves precious little left for your White Mage, which combines well with both Time Mage and Machinist, depending on what you assigned to your Uhlan. At the end, you can’t go wrong with the following setups:

Ashe → Black Mage/Monk, White Mage/Time Battlemage, White Mage/Machinist

Basch → Knight/Bushi

Balthier → Shiraki/Foebreaker, Uhlan/Time Battlemage, Uhlan/Machinist

Fran → Red Battlemage/Archer

Penelo → Black Mage/Monk, White Mage/Time Battlemage, White Mage/Machinist

Vaan → Shiraki/Foebreaker, Uhlan/Time Battlemage, Uhlan/Machinist

Note : Although you can pick any combinations of jobs for your characters, this guide will assume that you have access to every job available for the purposes of strategic flexibility.

Tutorial - Summoning Espers

Now that you’ve defeated Belias, you will gain him as a summon, but you can’t just call for his aid any time you want. First and foremost, as with everything else in the game, you need to purchase the corresponding license for it on the board. For Belias, his license costs 20 LP and just like with Quickenings, there will sometimes be some licenses behind it. Luckily, there’s only two license boards that have anything behind Belias, which are Knight (Potion Lore) and Foebreaker (Horology technick). You should compare your other classes with those two, for the characters that have them, before assigning Belias, as it will remove the license from all other boards once you do.

Once you have assigned Belias, you will gain a Mist Charge, assuming you haven’t already purchased a Quickening for that character. Belias is considered a level one Esper and only takes a single Mist Charge upon summoning. When you summon an Esper during battle, it will replace the other two party members. Espers have their own sets of Gambits and will remain on the battlefield until either the summoner/Esper dies, the Esper uses its ultimate move, or the hidden timer depletes (around four minutes). Espers are the same level as the summoner, don’t trigger traps, can use their respective magicks without spending MP and are mostly immune to all status ailments.

Unlike the original game, though, where Espers were controlled by the AI, you can actually switch to Espers in The Zodiac Age and control them yourself. This includes the ability to fire off their ultimate move (Hellfire in Belias’ case) whenever you want, so you don’t have to depend on the specific conditions outlined in the Gambits that otherwise determine their use. For example, if you leave Belias to his own devices, he will only use Hellfire whenever there is less than ten seconds remaining on his summoning timer. Mirroring the battle, Belias is weak to water, absorbs fire and takes half damage from all other elements.

Espers can only be assigned to a single character (left). Defeating Belias unlocks the ability to choose a second job class (right).

Tutorial - Quickenings

Speaking of Quickenings, licenses hidden behind other licenses, Mist charges and whatnot, it’s time to finally discuss those Quickening licenses you were instructed to avoid earlier. Now that you have your second job available and can assign them, you should be ready to start grabbing those Quickening licenses, as you’ll be able to see what they can do.

As stated earlier, you’ll often find licenses hidden behind the Quickening licenses, and since you can only get three Quickening per character (and there are often four per board), you may have to choose which of those Quickening-isolated licenses you want. Once you pick your three Quickenings, the rest will vanish from the board, perhaps creating inaccessible islands out of the previously accessible licenses adjacent to the Quickenings. That said, the licenses on each board that share the same LP costs will be filled on both boards, so if, say, a 50 LP Quickening has loot behind it on two License Boards possessed by the same character, buying it on one board will buy it on the other, only counting as one Quickening gained. Looking at the LP costs of these Quickenings and comparing between boards (press [Triangle] when looking at the License Board for a job to switch to the License Board for the character’s other job, if applicable).

For the most part, these choices are pretty simple. Let’s take the popular Knight/Bushi combo as an example. The Knight has four Quickening licenses - 50 LP, 75 LP, 100 LP and 125 LP. There’s nothing behind any of the Quickening licenses save the 125 LP one, where you’ll find the following licenses: +390 HP, Revive (technick), and Excalipur. On the Bushi board you’ll have the same four Quickenings (50 LP - 125 LP), but the licenses behind them are, of course, different.

Behind the 125 LP Quickening license you’ll find the license +435 HP, making the purchase a no-brainer. If you buy this 125 LP Quickening on one board, it’ll unlock on the other, giving you access to the other licenses behind the 125 LP Quickening license on both boards. Since the Bushi’s 75 LP and 100 LP Quickening licenses also have other licenses behind them (+350 HP and Battle Lore, and +390 HP and Battle Lore, respectively), these are also obvious choices. You miss out on nothing by letting the 50 LP Quickening license vanish from your board. Also note that purchasing some of the Battle Lore licenses on the Knight board gave you access to them on the Bushi board, and since you can purchase any adjacent licenses to one you already own, this allowed you to get the +350 HP and +390 HP licenses without buying the Quickening licenses in front of them. This overlap between boards sometimes allows you to "island hop" licenses. It’s another reason you’ll want to locate all the Quickening licenses on each License Board, and swap between the boards to see if you can subvert the Quickening licenses by purchasing another license on another board.

Another popular combination is the Shiraki/Foebreaker, which provides a more constructive lesson. Behind the Shiraki’s four Quickening licenses are several other licenses, as follows:

50 LP - Ninja Swords 1

75 LP - Ninja Swords 2

100 LP - Ninja Swords 3

125 LP - Yagyu Darkblade & Mesa

You’re not going to be able to get them all, so you’ll need to inform yourself by looking at the other board - in this case, Foebreaker. There’s nothing behind the 50 LP and 75 LP Quickening licenses, but behind the 100 LP Quickening license there’s the +390 HP license, and behind the 125 LP Quickening license is a Battle Lore license. Look at how they compare to the Shiraki’s board and you’ll note that if you get the 100 LP Quickening license you’ll gain access to both Ninja Swords 3 on the Shiraki board, and +390 HP on the Foebreaker board. If you grab the 125 LP Quickening license you’ll get Yagyu Darkblade & Mesa and Battle Lore. No doubt, then, you should get those, leaving only the 50 LP and 75 LP Quickening licenses up to choice. Going through the boards and making value judgements like this will ensure you gain access to the best licenses.

Once Quickenings are unlocked you’ll be able to use them in battle. Quickenings are similar to Limit Breaks from past games, in that they are powerful attacks that characters can perform during combat. As mentioned earlier, you’ll need to purchase Quickenings from a License Board in order to use one. Every character can buy up to three Quickenings, with each one giving a Mist Charge. There will be four Quickening licenses on a board, costing 50, 75, 100 and 125 LP each and there are three levels of Quickenings. They are bought in order, so the first Quickening purchased will always be the level 1 one, no matter how many LP you use to buy it. These levels correspond to the number of Mist Charges they use, which are also shared with Summons.

So, you have bought a Quickening and want to use it in battle, right? Bring up your Battle Menu and select the Mist command, then Quickening to start the little mini-game associated with it, stopping normal gameplay. A timer/blue bar will appear in the bottom right corner, along with button prompts for all characters that have learned Quickenings in your active party. Pressing the corresponding button while the previous Quickening is being performed will queue up another for the respective character, starting a Quickening Chain. While the prompts in the bottom right are shown, you can press [R2] to shuffle the prompts, making random commands appear. This shuffling is important when you have no more Mist Charges left, as a Mist Charge option can become available during it. Use this option and the charges will be filled back to the max available, allowing you to use more Quickenings.

Let’s take a look at a quick scenario for Quickenings. You have three Quickenings available for all three active party members and use Fran’s level 3 to start. Since she doesn’t have any charges left, you will need to shuffle to try and get a Mist Charge option. However, the other two characters have all charges still and you might receive a prompt to use them, such as Basch’s level 2 Quickening. Hit the corresponding button to start a Quickening Chain and keep going until you have no more Mist Charges left. Try to shuffle through with [R2] to try and get more charges, so you can use more Quickenings. The quicker you choose the next Quickening, the more time you will have to perform more. Despite their appearances, all Quickenings are non-elemental.

The Traitor Awakens

You have finished off Belias, so head into the inner chamber to finally lay your hands on the Dawn Shard. Once this trinket is in your possession, you’ll be finished with Raithwall, so take the Waystone you passed on the way to the Dawn Shard to return to the beginning, where you can use another Waystone to get back outside. Make sure you save your game (notice the teleport function can’t be used right now at the Gate Crystal), then walk down the stairs to initiate a cutscene. There will be a few scenes here, betrayal, meeting an old friend, political rivalries within the Empire laid bare, and a great miscalculation on the part of a Judge, the immediate effects of which are to drive Fran into a frenzy and pit you against the well-meaning traitor.

Boss - Vossler

Just like with Judge Ghis on the Leviathan, Vossler comes with three Imperial Swordsmen, who should be dealt with first because of their Tri-Attack skill. If you’ve been using Fran so far, then she will be afflicted with Berserk during this battle, with no way to cure it. That means she will not be under your control amd will completely ignore her Gambits. If she was your healer prior to this battle, then you will need someone else to take over that job. Of course, you can always switch her out for another character if you need to.

Fran is berserked in this battle and does not follow commands (left). Near death, Vossler will attack quickly and with vigor (right).

As for Vossler himself, he can hit a little hard, but he doesn’t have much going for him. He will start the battle with both Shell and Haste on, so use Dispel if you can to get rid of those. He is susceptible to both Sleep and Slow, the former of which will allow you to peg him with magicks without stirring him from his slumber. However, if he’s awake and he sees you using a lot of magicks, he will likely put Reflect on himself. Around 50% HP or so, Vossler will use Enrage, which will allow all of his physical attacks to activate instantly, without the burden of filling his ATB bar. This is very dangerous, especially if he happens to start comboing. Note that if you bring Basch into this battle, Vossler will focus his attacks on him.

After the battle is over, a lot of events will happen, mostly the result of Ghis’s stupidity in placing the Deifacted Nethicite into a ship’s engine. Your party will safely make their way back to Rabanastre, where they discuss their next move, which is to visit the Garif in Jahara. To get there, you’ll need to make your way across the Giza Plains again, which is now in the rainy season, as well as Ozmone Plain. Before you go running there, however, there are a few choice bits of gear you can pick up to make your life easier, some Rare Game and Marks to dispose of, and side quests to complete. If you can’t be bothered and want to continue the story, skip ahead to "Rains in the Giza Plains", otherwise continue on with "Odds and Ends After Raithwall".

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Guide Information

  • Publisher
    Square Enix
  • Platforms
    PlayStation 4
  • Genre
    Role-playing
  • Guide Release
    30 August 2017
  • Last Updated
    26 November 2018
  • Guide Author
    Nathan Garvin, Jarrod Garripoli

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