Final Fantasy 12 can be a great game, but these things can really sour your experience.
By Rhenn Taguiam
Published Mar 06, 2021
Despite its 2006 release,?Final Fantasy 12?captured the interest of?Final Fantasy?fans with its unique setting and dynamic gameplay systems. After all, this?Square Enix?title (minus?FF11) boasts the first time almost everything appears to scale – no more caricatures, even in the overworld. Additionally, the game’s new Active Dimension Battle now lets battles unravel in real time. Moreover, thanks to the game’s “programmable” Gambit System, players have a ton of flexibility to control their party throughout the game.
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Unfortunately, some aspects of?FF12?do seem overwhelming to some players. For instance, the new License Board?gives players more than enough freedom to customize their builds. Likewise, the semi-open nature of the world makes leveling and grinding a bit confusing to players. Sadly,?FF12?does have some instances where seemingly tiny mistakes can ruin the game experience. However, how should player avoid these setbacks?
Granted, the original?FF12?can sometimes feel like a clunky experience – and the?Zodiac?release does flesh out a lot of things in terms of graphics, gameplay, and mechanics. With more modernized games such as?FF15?and even the middling?FF13,?a rigid interface might make?FF12?feel dated. Interestingly, fans can easily resolve this with a few tweaks in the settings.
For instance, players can actually increase the speed of menu navigation by using the D-Pad’s left or right button while holding the L1 button. Meanwhile, players can actually organize the entire Inventory into their ideal format in order to avoid wasting time looking for that one item. These small changes in accessibility can help players focus more on optimizing their gameplay and avoid ruining their flow.
Unlike other?FF?games, the License Board in?FF12?serves as a more free-flowing progression system for characters. Thanks to this, players can unlock stat boosts, permissions for items, and Quickenings (Limit Breaks) for their characters. Sadly, players who don’t plan their License Board carefully can end up with a poorly-optimized build that won’t last long in challenging situations.
To counteract this, players should take their time to plot what they need from their respective boards. Ideally, characters should accompany weapon licenses with useful stat boosts (Lores). At the same time, their chosen Quickenings should at least expand their boards for more choices.
Aside from poorly-planned License Boards, spending all LP easily becomes a fatal flaw in?FF12. Due to poor LP optimization, players might find themselves facing unwinnable fights that can ruin their entire playthrough. As a result, players should only spend LP to acquire specific aspects of a build or to grab a much-needed Quickening or Item/Weapon.
Additionally, players should always keep LPs in spare to use for emergency Augments in battle. Players might be surprised what stat boosts could do to give characters that extra punch or healing.
In the game’s?Zodiac?release,?FF12?now comes with primary and secondary Job options. These give characters more specific License Board iterations that could help players tinker their builds to more precise situations. While there’s no right or wrong Job combination, a poorly-optimized set of Jobs for parties might not maximize their abilities to the fullest.
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Instead, players should remember that Job License Boards can intersect with one another. In turn, players may plan Job combinations according to what playstyles and abilities their characters need. Ideally, Tanks and DPS characters should get swiftness and some basic healing abilities. Likewise, it won’t hurt for glass cannon Spellcasters to get the extra HP.
Thanks to?FF12’s Gambit system, players can set “if-then” commands for party members to follow in specific situations. Unfortunately, players who feel overwhelmed with Gambits may simply ignore them. Doing this can cause nightmares, as party members don’t always think on their feet -?they might simply attack an opponent instead of healing a low-HP party member.
To avoid these mishaps, players should optimize their Gambits. For instance, Attack: Party Leader’s Target ensures the party focuses on attacking the objective. Likewise, support characters could be set to heal only when other party members are at certain health (e.g., HP<80% or HP<50%). Additionally, players should try optimizing Gambits to help characters maximize their abilities as certain roles.
Monsters of the same type appear and respawn in the same area not just to pester players into random battles. In actuality, these monsters form?a crucial part of the leveling ecosystem called monster chaining. Ignoring this concept might explain why a party might become underequipped or underqualified to fight a boss in their current part of the story.
In?FF12, players make a monster chain whenever they kill monsters of the same type. These chains can go up to 999, and certain chain numbers “levels up” the overall chain. In turn, each “chain level” increases the quantity and quality of the loot these monsters drop. Additionally, killing a certain number of certain monsters can spawn rare versions of these monsters with rare loot.
Despite the rather “large” cast of?FF12, some characters may join the party as Guests or start as one before joining full-time. Of course, as Guests, players could always just “let them be” until they leave and focus on leveling their mains. However, players should remember that they may easily win frustrating battles if they optimized their Guests during their presence in the party.
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For instance, Guests usually appear stronger than the party and specialize in areas that can greatly complement battle strategies. Moreover, Guests also carry over to Trials, so players should maximize their presence to clear a ton of them. For instance, Vossler’s strength can make him a great companion for Trials and hunts. Likewise, Basch and Larsa become invaluable assets in the early game.
As with other?Final Fantasy?titles,?FF12?has a huge bestiary of monsters?players can face in Ivalice. Moreover,?thanks to Active Dimension Battle, players who get sick of fighting the same monsters can easily end combat by running away. However, players might actually miss out on rare encounters and rare items if they opt to zoom past enemies they already encountered.
As an example, the unimposing Dalmasca Westersands have rare monsters with rare loot. For instance, the area will spawn a rare Lindbur Wolf after killing 20 regular Wolves. Stealing from the Lindbur Wolf will give players the wind dagger Gladius. Likewise, the rare Dustia only appears to players in the Westersands at 10-percent health. Players can easily kill it with a Phoenix Down, and it can even yield a ton of loot and EXP if chained.
Thanks to the?Zodiac?release’s Trial Mode, players can load their Save Game state to partake in?100 Stages of different challenges. Despite being an optional mode,?skipping Trials can make getting LP and some rare items a bit more tiresome. In fact, Trial Mode specifically exists to make power-leveling easier for strategic players.
Essentially, finishing the first 10 Trials alone can give players around 150 LP to play with. Moreover, players should steal from certain monsters in certain stages for useful items. For instance, players can steal the legendary Karkata sword from the Flowering Cactoid?in Stage 3. Likewise, players can steal a Sword of Kings or even a Goddess’s Magicite from Belias in Stage 10.
Players might haphazardly ignore repeated warnings from the game in certain areas. However, players might be surprised to find themselves facing extremely challenging monsters or not being able to leave the area right afterwards. This situation can get frustrating for players and may even ruin a few saves’ worth of progress.
In turn, players should heed warnings throughout the game. For instance, an area’s Save Crystal will usually tell players they might find it harder “to leave” if enemies there are much more challenging than normal. Likewise, a gateway to a special area will usually give players two warnings upon entry. These aren’t just ordinary warnings, though, as these special areas will lock players inside until after they do a quest or clear its monsters.
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About The Author
(577 Articles Published)
Rhenn is a Manila-based content writer with a love for all things geek and pop culture, and science and technology. He has a BA Journalism degree, and has since then pursued making content about geek culture. Rhenn used to write for a couple of geek and gaming publications, and also served as editor-in-chief for Philippines-based What’s A Geek!. He constantly plays video games but also takes the time to try out older titles. If he’s not playing video games, he’s probably playing TTRPGs.
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