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Final Fantasy XII

Espers / Summons Guide

by aldoteng

Choose a section: Acquiring Espers Belias Mateus Adrammelech Zalera Shemhazai Cuchulainn Exodus Hashmal Zeromus Famfrit Chaos Ultima Zodiark Esper Battle Strategies About Espers Introduction Obtaining and Summoning Espers General Esper features Belias Mateus Adrammelech Zalera Shemhazai Cuchulainn Exodus Hashmal Zeromus Famfrit Chaos Ultima Zodiark Outroduction Using Espers Pure deathblow Battle starting Mass-damage prevention MP Syphoning Status immunity Elemental affinities Instant kill Lucky distraction Solo battling Tactics by Esper Tactics by enemy Miscellaneous Frequently-asked Questions Calculations Allocating Espers Various Trivia =============================================================================== ABOUT ESPERS [ Page Top ^ ] =============================================================================== ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Introduction [ Page Top ^ ] ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Many players think Espers are entirely worthless in this game, which is not true. On the other hand, it is foolish to think that Espers are all-powerful. Not that it is representative of the general gaming population, but a small poll conducted on the GameFAQs Boards showed that the majority of players thought of Espers as somewhat useful at times, useless at others. Let's look into it. There are thirteen Espers in the game, each corresponding to a zodiac sign, and in this guide I will always arrange them in order of 'increasing strength', which can be debatable. 01) Belias, Aries, Esper of fire 02) Mateus, Pisces, Esper of ice 03) Adrammelech, Capricorn, Esper of thunder 04) Zalera, Gemini, Esper of death 05) Shemhazai, Sagittarius, Esper of soul 06) Cuchulainn, Scorpio, Esper of poison 07) Exodus, Libra, Esper of non-element 08) Hashmal, Leo, Esper of earth 09) Zeromus, Cancer, Esper of gravity 10) Famfrit, Aquarius, Esper of water 11) Chaos, Taurus, Esper of wind 12) Ultima, Virgo, Esper of holy 13) Zodiark, Ophiuchus, Esper of dark Five of them are automatically obtained in the storyline: Belias, Mateus, Shemhazai, Hashmal and Famfrit. Everyone else is optional. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Obtaining and summoning Espers [ Page Top ^ ] ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- To summon an Esper, you must obtain him/her on the License Board. Espers only show up on the Board after you defeat them; Esper battles are some of the most challenging fights in the game. Once a character obtains the license for an Esper, that same Esper cannot be learned by other characters. Meaning that an Esper can only be summoned by one character and one character only. However, a character can learn as many Espers as he wants. You can even dump all thirteen Espers on the same guy, though that wouldn't be wise. There are three tiers of Espers: Lvl 1 Espers require only 1 Mist Cartridge: Belias, Mateus, Adrammelech and Zalera. Lvl 2 Espers require 2 Mist Cartridges: Shemhazai, Cuchulainn, Exodus, Hashmal and Zeromus. Lvl 3 Espers require 3 Mist Cartridges: Famfrit, Chaos, Ultima and Zodiark. The number of Mist Cartridges an Esper requires can significantly affect time management and MP management. To summon Espers, go to the main battle menu and choose Mist -> Summon. The list of Espers the character has licensed would show up. Once selected, the character summons the Esper immediately. Summoning, like Mist Quickenings, have NO CHARGE TIME, and can be performed even when the summoner is Silenced. The summoned Esper will replace the other two characters in battle. The original summoner will stay in battle still, and his/her role is crucial in maximizing the Espers' usefulness. Espers have their own gambits and cannot be controlled by you. Meanwhile, the Esper is treated as a normal party member, so the summoner may automatically cast buff spells on the Esper according to his/her gambit setup. Finally, Espers are not affected by traps. A big part of Esper summoning is trying to trigger their final attacks (eg. Hellfire, Judgement Bolt, Tsunami). Final attacks are way more powerful than normal attacks, and affect a large area, but some final attacks are ridiculously difficult to trigger. Espers will last in the battlefield for a maximum of 90 seconds; time's up, and the Esper Dismisses itself. Notice the five orbs on your battle screen that fade one by one; each orb represents 18 seconds. The 90 seconds is regardless of Battle Speed; slowest or fastest, your Esper survives for only 90 seconds. Therefore, FOR MAXIMUM UTILITY OF YOUR ESPERS, SET YOUR BATTLE SPEED TO THE HIGHEST. Besides expiration of the 90 seconds, your Esper will disappear if i) the summoner is defeated, ii) the Esper is defeated, iii) you select Dismiss from the menu, iv) you Teleport using a Crystal, v) you board an airship/Strahl and vi) you ride a Chocobo. The Brady guide stated that Espers disappear if you enter a city/town; that's not correct. Boos to Square-Enix for not giving us the option to shorten the summoning or final attack sequences. In battle, Espers do not gain experience. All experience goes to the summoner. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- General Esper features [ Page Top ^ ] ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Whilst Espers do not level up themselves, their level follows that of the summoner. So if my Vaan is lvl 40, any Esper he summons would be lvl 40. All Espers have the following stat progression by level (taken from Ultimania/Brady): Lvl Max MP Spd. 01 23-25 26 10 50-70 28 20 90-140 30 30 131-212 33 40 181-302 35 50 224-378 37 60 264-448 40 70 294-498 42 80 324-548 44 90 344-578 47 99 353-587 49 All Espers have the same MP and Speed values at any level, but their Max HP, Strength, Magick Power and Vitality differ from Esper to Esper. Espers' HP can exceed 9999 if Bubbled, though it won't show on the main battle menu. Note how the Vitality values for Mateus, Adrammelech and Zalera seem to deviate from those of the other Espers according to both Ultimania and Brady, but my testing has verified that both guides are indeed correct. Notice the randomness of the listed MP values. This indeed means that every time you summon an Esper, his MP value is a randomly generated number within the given range. Let's say you summon an Esper (any one) at lvl 40. That Esper may appear with MP 181, or MP 302, or somewhere in between. This also holds true for HP values, which you will see from the individual Esper tables. Unfortunately, Espers have a damage cap of 9999, except for certain attacks by Shemhazai, Exodus, Zeromus and Zodiark. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Belias, the Gigas (Aries) [ Page Top ^ ] ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Previous incarnation: As the Aries Lucavi demon Velius in Final Fantasy Tactics. Velius was probably a mistranslation of Belias that was used in the Japanese version. The fire-based Belias has the distinction of being the first Esper you will get, the weakest Esper you have, the hardest Esper to appear on your Skypirate's Den page, and the only Esper you MUST summon in the game to complete it. The gods created Belias but deemed this two-headed, four-armed beast a monstrosity, so they kicked him away. Angered at the abandonment, Belias rebelled against the gods with the other Espers, but failed and instead found another purpose in life: to guard the Tomb of King-Dynast Raithwall. Cost: 10 LP. Mist Charge level: 1 Defense: 20. Magick Defense: 15 Absorbs fire. Weak to water. Halves damage received from the other six elements. Permanent buffs: Libra Passive abilities: None ____________________________________________ Lvl Max HP Str. Mag. Vit. 01 890-891 45 46 26 10 1025-1048 50 51 28 20 1270-1336 56 57 30 30 1585-1708 62 63 33 40 1883-2060 68 69 35 50 2359-2625 74 75 37 60 2779-3123 80 81 40 70 3017-3403 86 87 42 80 3292-3727 91 92 44 90 3667-4171 97 98 47 99 4090-4673 99 99 49 _______________________________________________________________________ Range Effect ChargeTime Type Element Power Attack 3 Single 30 Phys. -- 61 Painflare 12 Single 16 Magic Fire 60 Hellfire 12 8 35 Magic Fire 100 Belias' Gambits: 01) Summon time remaining < 10s Hellfire 02) Self: HP < 30% Hellfire 03) Foe: absorbs fire Attack 04) Foe: fire-weak Painflare 05) Foe: any Painflare *Hellfire will be used on the enemy with the highest current HP. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Mateus, the Corrupt (Pisces) [ Page Top ^ ] ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Previous incarnation: As the Hume Totema Mateus in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance (in that version, the lady -is- Mateus). Also refers to Emperor Palamecia, the big villain from Final Fantasy II. The ice-based Esper Mateus is a guy, believe it or not. Mateus is not the blue chick; he's the black fish-like thing behind the blue chick. Mateus was created to rule the underworld, but he eventually became filled with greed and decided to challenge the gods, not before binding an ice goddess onto him as a living shield. Of course he went straight to hell, but why did the ice goddess go along with him?? Couldn't the gods have saved her first or something? How inconsiderate. Cost: 25 LP. Mist Charge level: 1 Defense: 39. Magick Defense: 25 Absorbs ice. Weak to thunder. Halves damage received from the other six elements. Permanent buffs: Libra Passive abilities: Penetrate Reflect ____________________________________________ Lvl Max HP Str. Mag. Vit. 01 1001-1001 55 46 34 10 1135-1158 55 51 36 20 1380-1446 61 57 38 30 1695-1818 67 63 41 40 1993-2170 73 69 43 50 2469-2735 79 75 45 60 2889-3233 85 81 48 70 3127-3513 91 87 50 80 3402-3837 96 92 52 90 3777-4281 99 98 55 99 4200-4783 99 99 57 _______________________________________________________________________ Range Effect ChargeTime Type Element Power Attack 3 Single 30 Phys. -- 65 Cura 10 10 30 Magic -- 45 Flash-Freeze 12 Single 16 Magic Ice 66 Frostwave 12 8 35 Magic Ice 110 Mateus' Gambits: 01) Summon time remaining < 10s Frostwave 02) Self: HP < 30% Frostwave 03) Summoner: HP < 50% Cura 04) Foe: absorbs ice Attack 05) Foe: ice-weak Flash-Freeze 06) Foe: any Flash-Freeze *Frostwave will be used on the enemy with the highest current HP. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Adrammelech, the Wroth (Capricorn) [ Page Top ^ ] ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Previous incarnation: As the Bangaa Totema in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. Also as the Capricorn Lucavi demon Adramelk in Final Fantasy Tactics. Adramelk was probably a mistranslation of Adrammelech that was used in the Japanese version. This thunder-based Esper is the closest to the dragon-like Bahamut FF fans are so proud of, but this time his mouth looks like it's made of cardboard. Adrammelech was created by the gods to control the monsters in the "Otherworld", but his ferocious appearance and strength instead made him -their- king, and this led him to rebel against the gods. He was defeated, of course. On a sidenote, Adrammelech's 'Esper symbol' is in my opinion one of the best designed. Cost: 25 LP. Mist Charge level: 1 Defense: 29. Magick Defense: 25 Absorbs thunder. Weak to ice. Immune to damage received from the other six elements. Permanent buffs: Libra, Faith Passive abilities: Penetrate Reflect ____________________________________________ Lvl Max HP Str. Mag. Vit. 01 1110-1111 I 46 32 10 1245-1268 R 51 34 20 1490-1556 R 57 36 30 1805-1928 E 63 39 40 2103-2280 L 69 41 50 2579-2845 E 75 43 60 2999-3343 V 81 46 70 3237-3623 A 87 48 80 3512-3947 N 92 50 90 3887-4391 T 98 53 99 4310-4893 ! 99 55 _______________________________________________________________________ Range Effect ChargeTime Type Element Power Curaga 10 Single 30 Magic -- 85 Thundara 10 6 30 Magic Thunder 70 Bio 10 6 30 Magic -- 88 Flash Arc 12 Single 16 Magic Thunder 72 Judgement Bolt 12 8 35 Magic Thunder 120 Adrammelech's Gambits: 01) Summon time remaining < 10s Judgement Bolt 02) Self: HP < 30% Judgement Bolt 03) Summoner: HP < 50% Curaga 04) Foe: absorbs thunder Bio 05) Foe: more than one foe present Thundara 05) Foe: thunder-weak Flash Arc 06) Foe: any Flash Arc *Judgement Bolt will be used on the enemy with the highest current HP. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Zalera, the Death Seraph (Gemini) [ Page Top ^ ] ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Previous incarnation: As the Gemini Lucavi demon Zalera in Final Fantasy Tactics. The older Zalera never had that woman on his wing! Zalera is a death-based Esper with a woman on his right wing. No, she's not half-naked! The golden lines on her breasts are NOT nipples; look for detailed Zalera images on the net and you'd agree with me. Sorry for ruining your fantasies! Zalera was created to pass judgement on humans who died, but he became influenced by the anger of the dead and instead rebelled against the gods. Similar to Mateus, he grabbed a shamaness and held her hostage, who very weirdly went down to hell along with him even though she was innocent. What were the gods thinking? The fates of both this shamaness and Mateus' ice goddess just leave me bewildered. Cost: 25 LP. Mist Charge level: 1 Defense: 39. Magick Defense: 25 Absorbs holy. Immune to damage received from the other seven elements. Permanent buffs: Libra Passive abilities: Ignore target's VIT when inflicting status effects, MP consumption halved (huh, so what?), Penetrate Reflect ____________________________________________ Lvl Max HP Str. Mag. Vit. 01 1220-1221 I 46 34 10 1355-1378 R 51 36 20 1600-1666 R 57 38 30 1915-2038 E 63 41 40 2213-2390 L 69 43 50 2689-2955 E 75 45 60 3109-3453 V 81 48 70 3347-3733 A 87 50 80 3622-4057 N 92 52 90 3997-4501 T 98 55 99 4420-5003 ! 99 57 _______________________________________________________________________ Range Effect ChargeTime Type Element Power Holy 10 Single 30 Magic Holy 157 Shock 10 Single 30 Magic -- 133 Kill 12 Single 16 Magic -- -- Condemnation 12 Single 35 Magic -- -- *Kill is an instant-kill spell. It does not work against foes with the Safety passive ability, and these include all elementals, bosses, Espers, Marks, rare game and most undead. An enemy defeated by Kill will not give you the Exp, LP, Clan Points and Items it normally gives, but it participates in a chain normally. *Condemnation damage is simply Target's Max HP, upper limit of 9999. Zalera's Gambits: 01) Foe: HP < 30% Condemnation 02) Self: HP > 80% Kill 03) Foe: any Shock 04) Self: HP < 100% Holy *Condemnation will be used on the enemy with the highest current HP. *Kill's Gambit does not discriminate against monsters immune to instant kill. *Holy is cast on himself for healing. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Shemhazai, the Whisperer (Sagittarius) [ Page Top ^ ] ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Previous incarnation: None. She's new. Her Japanese name of Shumihaza is way cooler. Well Shemhazai is a soul-based -female- Esper who looks very much like a carriage with all the curtains. Shemhazai controlled the souls in the underworld and was previously a guardian of the gods, before she decided to rebel and betray her creators by whispering the gods' secrets to Ultima. She then created more havoc by teaching man evil and destruction before being defeated by the gods and imprisoned. Cost: 50 LP. Mist Charge level: 2 Defense: 47. Magick Defense: 31 Weak to fire (I wonder why, but it's true). Normal resistance against the other seven elements. Permanent buffs: Haste, Libra Passive abilities: Ignore weather and terrain effects ____________________________________________ Lvl Max HP Str. Mag. Vit. 01 2430-2431 I 46 26 10 2565-2588 R 51 28 20 2810-2876 R 57 30 30 3125-3248 E 63 33 40 3423-3600 L 69 35 50 3899-4165 E 75 37 60 4319-4663 V 81 40 70 4557-4943 A 87 42 80 4832-5267 N 92 44 90 5207-5711 T 98 47 99 5630-6213 ! 99 49 _______________________________________________________________________ Range Effect ChargeTime Type Element Power Devour Soul 12 Single 16 Magic -- -- Soul Purge 12 8 35 Magic -- -- *Devour Soul works exactly like the item Knot of Rust. The damage is Shemhazai's Max HP / (Random number 1-10), upper limit of 9999. *Soul Purge works exactly like the item Dark Matter. The damage is: (Sum of all Knot of Rust damage + Sum of all Devour Soul damage) / 3, upper limit of 60,000. Soul Purge damage is reset to 0 with each use. ALL prior Knot of Rust damage, used regardless of whether Shemhazai is summoned or not, will be added. If Shemhazai is Dismissed or defeated before Soul Purge is triggered, the current Devour Soul total will be carried over to the next round of summoning. Shemhazai's Gambits: 01) Summon time remaining < 10s Soul Purge 02) Self: HP < 30% Soul Purge 03) Foe: any Devour Soul *Soul Purge will be used on the enemy with the highest current HP. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Cuchulainn, the Impure (Scorpio) [ Page Top ^ ] ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Previous incarnation: As the Scorpio Lucavi demon Queklain in Final Fantasy Tactics. How the hell did Cuchulainn become Queklain?? No idea. Pronounced "Koo-kuh-linn", according to Wikipedia, though I'm not sure how they got that in the first place. This poison-based Esper is just the cutest among all. See how he laughs all the time? What a cute big fat blobby thing. Cuchulainn was created by the gods to swallow all the filth in the world, but they underestimated the amount of crap that could exist. So Cuchulainn ended up swallowing too much rubbish and transformed into this "hideous thing". Hey, who're you calling hideous?! Cost: 50 LP. Mist Charge level: 2 Defense: 47 Magick Defense: 31 Halves damage received from all eight elements. Permanent buffs: Reflect, Protect, Shell, Bravery, Libra Passive abilities: Penetrate Reflect, HP Full Attack Up, Counter (sometimes strikes back after being attacked), Counter Rate Up, Ignore weather and terrain effects ____________________________________________ Lvl Max HP Str. Mag. Vit. 01 2320-2321 51 46 26 10 2455-2478 56 51 28 20 2700-2766 62 57 30 30 3015-3138 68 63 33 40 3313-3490 74 69 35 50 3789-4055 80 75 37 60 4209-4553 86 81 40 70 4447-4833 92 87 42 80 4722-5157 97 92 44 90 5097-5601 99 98 47 99 5520-6103 99 99 49 _______________________________________________________________________ Range Effect ChargeTime Type Element Power Attack 2 Single 30 Phys. -- 83 Curaja 10 10 30 Magic -- 145 Malaise 12 Single 16 Magic -- 90 Blight 12 8 35 Magic -- 150 *Malaise absorbs HP and heals Cuchulainn. Cuchulainn's Gambits: 01) Summon time remaining < 10s and Self: HP = 100% Blight 02) Undead Attack 03) Self: HP < 100% (and engaging foe) Malaise 04) Foe: any Attack 05) Self: HP < 100% (no foe engaged) Curaja *Blight will be used on the enemy with the highest current HP. *Blight and Malaise; the Brady guide entries are wrong/incomplete; I have tested them. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Exodus, the Judge-Sal (Libra) [ Page Top ^ ] ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Previous incarnation: As the Viera Totema in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. Also refers to Exdeath, the tree-like final boss of Final Fantasy V. It is debatable if Exodus is merely an anglicized version of the creepy-sounding Exdeath. Exodus, non-elemental Esper, is one weird old geezer standing on an equally weird platform. Oldest of the Espers, he was supposed to watch over the world and pass ultimate judgement on anything, but he probably got so bored his attachment to the world eventually disappared and he deemed to reduce it to nothingness. Waging war against the gods, he failed and was imprisoned. Cost: 50 LP. Mist Charge level: 2 Defense: 53 Magick Defense: 35 Halves damage received from all eight elements. Permanent buffs: Haste, Faith, Libra Passive abilities: Ignore weather and terrain effects ____________________________________________ Lvl Max HP Str. Mag. Vit. 01 2820-2821 I 46 26 10 2955-2978 R 51 28 20 3200-3266 R 57 30 30 3515-3638 E 63 33 40 3813-3990 L 69 35 50 4289-4555 E 75 37 60 4709-5053 V 81 40 70 4947-5333 A 87 42 80 5222-5657 N 92 44 90 5597-6101 T 98 47 99 6020-6603 ! 99 49 _______________________________________________________________________ Range Effect ChargeTime Type Element Power Comet 12 Single 16 Magic -- -- Meteor 12 8 35 Magic -- -- *Comet does damage of a random number from 0 to Exodus' Max HP. *Meteor does damage of a random number from 0 to 9999, or if lucky, 30,000. Exodus' Gambits: 01) Summon time remaining < 10s and Self: Immobilized Meteor 02) Foe: any Comet *Meteor will be used on the enemy with the highest current HP. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Hashmal, Bringer of Order (Leo) [ Page Top ^ ] ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Previous incarnation: As the Leo Lucavi demon Hashmalim in Final Fantasy Tactics. Hashmalim should be the correct name; the NA FFXII team probably just shortened it to Hashmal. The earth-based Esper Hashmal is actually quite a handsome Esper; his arms however are just plain bizarre! Hashmal was tasked with bringing the world to lawful order. Seeing that Ultima's rebellion was the ultimate way of achieving order in the world, he joined her in her fight against the gods, but was eventually defeated. One of Hashmal's attacks is called Roxxor, which we'd expect the NA translators to have inserted in tribute to the famed internet jargon, but quite surprisingly the Japanese name for this skill was, in katakana, something like rokushoo. Cost: 50 LP. Mist Charge level: 2 Defense: 50 Magick Defense: 33 Absorbs earth. Weak to wind. Immune to damage received from the other six elements. Permanent buffs: Libra Passive abilities: None ____________________________________________ Lvl Max HP Str. Mag. Vit. 01 2360-2361 52 48 26 10 2495-2518 57 53 28 20 2740-2806 63 59 30 30 3055-3178 69 65 33 40 3353-3530 75 71 35 50 3829-4095 81 77 37 60 4249-4593 87 83 40 70 4487-4873 93 89 42 80 4762-5197 98 94 44 90 5137-5641 99 99 47 99 5660-6143 99 99 49 _______________________________________________________________________ Range Effect ChargeTime Type Element Power Attack 3 Single 20 Phys. -- 80 Roxxor 12 Single 16 Magic Earth 90 Gaia's Wrath 12 8 35 Magic Earth 150 Hashmal's Gambits: 01) Summoner's HP < 10% Gaia's Wrath 02) Foe: absorbs earth Attack 03) Foe: earth-weak Roxxor 04) Foe: any Roxxor *Gaia's Wrath will be used on the enemy with the highest current HP. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Zeromus, the Condemner (Cancer) [ Page Top ^ ] ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Previous incarnation: As the final boss Zeromus in Final Fantasy IV. Zeromus is one fugly gravity-based Esper whose design ranks to me as the worst among all thirteen. His task was to execute wrongdoers and upholding the law, but over time he got so caught up in hatred, he instead sought to condemn the gods and fought against them. Ironically after his defeat he himself was the one being condemned for good. Cost: 50 LP. Mist Charge level: 2 Defense: 53 Magick Defense: 35 Halves damage received from all eight elements. Permanent buffs: Libra Passive abilities: Ignore target's VIT when inflicting status effects, Ignore weather and terrain effects ____________________________________________ Lvl Max HP Str. Mag. Vit. 01 2710-2711 I 46 26 10 2845-2868 R 51 28 20 3090-3156 R 57 30 30 3405-3528 E 63 33 40 3703-3880 L 69 35 50 4179-4445 E 75 37 60 4599-4943 V 81 40 70 4837-5223 A 87 42 80 5112-5547 N 92 44 90 5487-5991 T 98 47 99 5910-6493 ! 99 49 _______________________________________________________________________ Range Effect ChargeTime Type Element Power Gravity Well 12 Single 16 Magic -- -- Big Bang 12 8 35 Magic -- -- *Gravity Well does damage of (Zeromus' Max HP - Zeromus' current HP) x 2. *Big Bang does damage of (Zeromus' Max HP - Zeromus' current HP) x 5. It does not have a damage cap. Zeromus' Gambits: 01) Summon time remaining < 10s Big Bang 02) Foe: any Gravity Well *Big Bang will be used on the enemy with the highest current HP. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Famfrit, the Darkening Cloud (Aquarius) [ Page Top ^ ] ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Previous incarnation: As the Moogle Totema in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. Also refers to the Dark Cloud, the final boss of Final Fantasy III. Famfrit is the water-based Esper. Well I'm Aquarius, and I like him a lot. Famfrit was actually a terrible-looking cloudlike creature who, after his defeat by the gods, was sealed in armour covered with wards. So apparently we will never get to see his real self. Famfrit seemed to be able to plague humankind with heavy rains that would originate from his water jug. Cost: 90 LP. Mist Charge level: 3 Defense: 56 Magick Defense: 37 Absorbs water. Weak to fire. Immune to damage received from the other six elements. Permanent buffs: Protect, Shell, Libra Passive abilities: None ____________________________________________ Lvl Max HP Str. Mag. Vit. 01 3860-3861 54 53 26 10 3995-4018 59 58 28 20 4240-4306 65 64 30 30 4555-4678 71 70 33 40 4853-5030 77 76 35 50 5329-5595 83 82 37 60 5749-6093 89 88 40 70 5987-6373 95 94 42 80 6262-6697 99 99 44 90 6637-7141 99 99 47 99 7060-7643 99 99 49 _______________________________________________________________________ Range Effect ChargeTime Type Element Power Attack 2 Single 30 Phys. -- 145 Briny Cannonade 12 Single 16 Magic Water 140 Tsunami 12 8 35 Magic Water 200 Famfrit's Gambits: 01) Summon time remaining < 10s Tsunami 02) Self: HP < 30% Tsunami 03) Foe: absorbs water Attack 04) Foe: water-weak Briny Cannonade 05) Foe: any Briny Cannonade *Tsunami will be used on the enemy with the highest current HP. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Chaos, Walker of the Wheel (Taurus) [ Page Top ^ ] ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Previous incarnation: As the last boss of the original Final Fantasy. This wind-based Esper is a cool dude, because he sits on a pedestal and has four elemental swords swirling about him. As a matter of fact, the four elemental swords or Chaosjets (which you will have to fight along with Chaos to get him) are thought to be tributes to the Final Fantasy elemental fiends Kraken, Tiamat, Malarith, and Lich. Chaos was destined by the gods to enter an endless samsara of death and reincarnation, and angered at his fate he waged war against them. He sits on the Uneh Pedestal under constant meditation. Cost: 90 LP. Mist Charge level: 3 Defense: 56 Magick Defense: 37 Absorbs wind. Weak to earth. Immune to damage received from the other six elements. Permanent buffs: Reflect, Haste, Faith, Libra Passive abilities: Ignore target's VIT when inflicting status effects, Penetrate Reflect ____________________________________________ Lvl Max HP Str. Mag. Vit. 01 4135-4136 I 53 26 10 4270-4293 R 58 28 20 4515-4581 R 64 30 30 4830-4953 E 70 33 40 5128-5305 L 76 35 50 5604-5870 E 82 37 60 6024-6368 V 88 40 70 6262-6648 A 94 42 80 6537-6972 N 99 44 90 6912-7416 T 99 47 99 7335-7918 ! 99 49 _______________________________________________________________________ Range Effect ChargeTime Type Element Power Holy 10 Single 30 Magic Holy 157 Aeroga 10 6 30 Magic Wind 103 Firaga 10 6 30 Magic Fire 124 Thundaga 10 6 30 Magic Thunder 124 Blizzaga 10 6 30 Magic Ice 124 Scourge 10 6 30 Magic -- 142 Darkga 10 6 30 Magic Dark 130 Whirlwind 10 Single 16 Magic Wind -- Tornado 10 8 35 Magic Wind -- *Whirlwind deals damage of Target's Max HP X 0.5, and cannot work on enemies with the Safety feature (similar to Zalera's Kill). Damage is capped at 9999. *Tornado deals damage of Target's Max HP X 0.9. Damage is capped at 9999. Chaos' Gambits: 01) Summon time remaining < 10s Tornado 02) Self: HP < 30% Tornado 03) Foe: holy-weak Holy 04) Foe: dark-weak Darkga 05) Foe: fire-weak Firaga 06) Foe: thunder-weak Thundaga 07) Foe: ice-weak Blizzaga 08) Foe: absorbs wind Scourge 09) Foe: wind-weak Aeroga 10) Foe: highest HP Whirlwind *Tornado will be used on the enemy with the highest current HP. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Ultima, the High Seraph (Virgo) [ Page Top ^ ] ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Previous incarnation: As the Nu Mou Totema in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. Also as the last boss/Virgo Lucavi demon Altima in Final Fantasy Tactics. Altima is probably a mistranslation of Ultima. First of all, why does holy-based Ultima keep holding her skirt up? It's not like it's long enough to get in the cannon's way. Ultima was tasked with leading human souls to heaven and helping them reincarnate. She was the brightest and greatest of the Espers, and ambition led her to lead a rebellion against the gods with the other Espers. After her defeat, her light vanished forever. Cost: 90 LP. Mist Charge level: 3 Defense: 61 Magick Defense: 40 Absorbs holy. Weak to dark. Immune to damage received from the other six elements. Permanent buffs: Reflect, Protect, Shell, Haste, Libra Passive abilities: Penetrate Reflect, Magic charge time 0 ____________________________________________ Lvl Max HP Str. Mag. Vit. 01 4410-4411 I 46 26 10 4545-4568 R 52 28 20 4790-4856 R 58 30 30 5105-5228 E 64 33 40 5403-5580 L 70 35 50 5879-6145 E 76 37 60 6299-6643 V 82 40 70 6537-6923 A 88 42 80 6812-7247 N 94 44 90 7187-7691 T 99 47 99 7610-8193 ! 99 49 _______________________________________________________________________ Range Effect ChargeTime Type Element Power Flare 10 Single 30 (0) Magic -- 163 Redemption 12 Single 16 (0) Magic Holy 180 Eschaton 12 6 35 (0) Magic Holy 250 Ultima's Gambits: 01) Summoner and Self: HP < 30% Eschaton 02) Foe: absorbs holy Flare 03) Foe: holy-weak Redemption 04) Foe: any Redemption *Eschaton will be used on the enemy with the highest current HP. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Zodiark, Keeper of Precepts (Ophiuchus) [ Page Top ^ ] ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Previous incarnation: As the ultimate Summon, Zodiac, in Final Fantasy Tactics. The dark-based Esper Zodiark is a completely bizarre-looking flying serpent. He was the strongest Esper created, even stronger than Ultima, but the gods feared his strength so they kept him as a child. Zodiark is the only Esper never to have participated in the rebellion against the gods (maybe the Espers would have won if he did?). It is said that Zodiark has the capacity to replace the gods in creating laws and passing punishment. Note: Ophiuchus is not really a zodiac constellation. It is the only constellation the sun passes through every year that does not belong to the zodiac twelve. Cost: 200 LP. Mist Charge level: 3 Defense: 61 Magick Defense: 40 Absorbs dark. Weak to holy. Normal resistance against the other six elements (Brady guide got it wrong once again). Permanent buffs: Protect, Shell, Haste, Faith, Libra Passive abilities: Penetrate Reflect, Magic charge time 0, Ignore weather and terrain effects ____________________________________________ Lvl Max HP Str. Mag. Vit. 01 3090-3091 I 45 26 10 3225-3248 R 51 28 20 3470-3536 R 57 30 30 3785-3908 E 63 33 40 4083-4260 L 69 35 50 4559-4825 E 75 37 60 4979-5323 V 81 40 70 5217-5603 A 87 42 80 5492-5927 N 93 44 90 5867-6371 T 99 47 99 6290-6873 ! 99 49 _______________________________________________________________________ Range Effect ChargeTime Type Element Power Flare 10 Single 30 (0) Magic -- 163 Scathe 10 6 30 (0) Magic -- 190 Banish Ray 12 Single 16 (0) Magic Dark 240 Final Eclipse 12 8 35 (0) Magic -- -- *Final Eclipse simply deals damage of 50,000! Just like that. Zodiark's Gambits: 01) Summoner: status = Petrify (Break) Final Eclipse 02) Foe: more than one present Scathe 03) Foe: absorbs dark Flare 04) Foe: dark-weak Banish Ray 05) Foe: any Banish Ray *Final Eclipse will be used on the enemy with the highest current HP. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Outroduction [ Page Top ^ ] ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Let's rank the Espers based on their survival stats. _______________________________________________________________________________ Max HP: Defense: Magick Defense: 01) Ultima Zodiark = Ultima Zodiark = Ultima 02) Chaos -- -- 03) Famfrit Chaos = Famfrit Chaos = Famfrit 04) Zodiark -- -- 05) Exodus Exodus = Zeromus Exodus = Zeromus 06) Zeromus -- -- 07) Shemhazai Hashmal Hashmal 08) Hashmal Cuchulainn = Shemhazai Cuchulainn = Shemhazai 09) Cuchulainn -- -- 10) Zalera Zalera = Mateus Zalera = Adrammelech = Mateus 11) Adrammelech -- -- 12) Mateus Adrammelech -- 13) Belias Belias Belias _______________________________________________________________________________ Players have been complaining about Zodiark's reduced survivability in relation to his status as the strongest Esper. Makes sense, as his HP isn't even near Famfrit's. The hardiest Esper is definitely Ultima, though Cuchulainn is overall the best tanking Esper as he has Curaja and Malaise. It is very difficult to compare the Espers based on their attack power because so many Espers have damage that depends on factors such as own HP, own remaining HP, no. of items used, enemy immunity, etc. =============================================================================== USING ESPERS [ Page Top ^ ] =============================================================================== First off, why do people deem Espers weak? Indeed it is true; in general situations, it is better to hold on to your three characters than summoning one. Many reasons: - One Esper replaces two of your characters. - The time limit for each summon is 90 seconds. - Espers generally have lower defense than your characters. - Espers generally have lower attack than them. - Espers generally have slower charge times for their actions, too. - The stronger Espers take two or three Mist Carts. That's a lot of MP. - The summoning animation takes about 23 seconds, and the final attack animations vary, but they last even longer. Esper usage is situational and requires strategy; that's what this guide is for. I think Square-Enix has indeed made a good decision in nerfing summons from the powerhouses they once were (FFX, FFT, FFVII come to mind). In this game (like in FFXI), players are supposed to figure out and develop tactics to maximize the utility of each Esper in specific situations. Espers are no longer cheaply useful in every single fight in the game. In general, enemies become stronger more quickly than Espers. Earlier in the game, Belias is able easily to hold off bosses by himself and one-shot many monsters even without fire weakness. End game, even Ultima and Zodiark have problems surviving tough boss battles without help. Esper usage evolves with the game; Espers become more powerful, but their usage gets more tactical and situational. Stuff you need before entering the world of Espers: - Cure/Curaga/Renew (White Magick) - But of course. - Haste (Time Magick) - But of course. - Protect (Green Magick) - But of course. - Shell (Green Magick) - But of course. - Bravery (Green Magick) - Useful mostly for Cuchulainn but who has it already. - Faith (Green Magick) - Useful for all except Shemhazai, Exodus and Zeromus. - Bubble (Arcane Magick) - AWESOME, awesome stuff. Literally doubles the defense of your Espers (and yourself). It also literally doubles the offense of Espers Shemhazai, Exodus and Zeromus. In addition, having double the max HP makes it so much safer to trigger the final attacks that require the summoner and/or the Esper to be under critical HP. -Please- get this spell; as a matter of fact I only started actively using Espers after I got the Bubble spell. - Break (Time Magick) - Used to trigger Zodiark's final attack. - Immobilize (Time Magick) - Used to trigger Exodus' final attack. - Syphon (Arcane Magick) - Syphon back the MP from your Espers! They do not need MP for their spells. - Opal Ring (Accessory) - You want to buff your Espers, so you must equip this to penetrate the Reflect status belonging to Cuchulainn, Chaos and Ultima. Bravery, Faith and Bubble are all available at the Clan Shop once you have completed 16 Marks and collected 200,000 Clan Points. Earliest time to get Opal Ring is by selling 2 Frogspawns, obtained from Iguion in Phon Coast, to the Bazaar. Before we go off strategizing together, you'd wanna know that: i) If you went all your way to acquire weapons like Deathbringer and Zodiac Spear prematurely in the game, you don't need Espers. Sure Zeromus can hit 10,000 damage per regular attack at level 45. But at that same level, a Berserked, Braved and Hasted Zodiac Spear wielder can hit that kind of damage at an even faster rate. Strip the Zodiac Spear, and you will acknowledge the beauty of Zeromus and your other Espers. ii) If you are overlevelled for your fight, you don't need Espers once again. Why bother summoning Belias to absorb Fire spells when you can easily survive them? I hope most of you already know that you can summon an Esper and immediately touch a Crystal to refill your MP without any penalty. Very useful when facing bosses or Marks located near Crystals. I am listing the Esper tactics based on how often I use them, from the most often to the least. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Pure deathblow [ Page Top ^ ] ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Earlier in the game, final attacks are at best bonuses, not valuable additions to your damage output. The damage of a final attack is usually only about twice that of the same Esper's regular attack; for the superfluously long animation it takes, it certainly isn't that remarkable. Its only significant merit is its area effect, which can dispatch boss minions easily. Later on, when you finally start hitting the 9999 damage cap, final attacks become significant in that some of them can exceed 9999. The final attacks are: i) Shemhazai's Soul Purge, damage based on total Devour Soul / Knot of Rust used. Capped damage of 60,000. ii) Exodus' Meteor, damage a random number from 0 to 9999, but with a chance of scoring 30,000. iii) Zeromus' Big Bang, damage being five times the difference between his Max HP and his current HP. No capped damage. iv) Zodiark's Final Eclipse, damage fixed at 50,000. Between the first three, Meteor is the safest and least troublesome but the weakest and least consistent. Big Bang is definitely stronger but has a risky factor; to hit high damage Zeromus has to have little HP remaining, and he could get defeated before he pulls it off (final attacks have cast times). Soul Purge is the most troublesome of the lot, but triggering it is safe and its damage is awesome at 60,000, beating even Final Eclipse. Of course, Final Eclipse is the best among all, being very powerful at 50,000, requiring very little to trigger, and having no charge time. Players often gripe at how their Espers die before they can dish out their final attacks. That's why it's the summoner's absolute job to keep them alive during the 90 seconds. Doesn't that reduce the overall efficiency of the fight? Sometimes it does. But perhaps the best time to use final attacks is the start of the fight. All you need to do is just to summon, buff, touch a crystal if there's one nearby, and enter the boss room / engage the enemy only when time remaining is less than 10 seconds. Zeromus would have a much higher chance of surviving if he gets to use Big Bang before he gets hit (alternatively the summoner could Decoy himself, but this doesn't work if the boss starts with an area spell). Shemhazai would also happily engage with Soul Purge. Exodus' situation is trickier, because you also need to cast Immobilize on him, though thankfully it always sticks. Besides the crazy >9999 final attacks above, there are two final attacks that can be triggered as soon as you summon the Esper, and they deal good damage when 9999 is still significant. i) Zalera's Condemnation can be triggered instantly when the target is under critical HP. This makes him a great Esper to summon against bosses and Marks as long as you know the enemy's remaining HP. ii) Hashmal's Gaia's Wrath can also be triggered instantly when the summoner's HP is below 10% (thus Hashmal is good for a high HP tank). ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Battle starting [ Page Top ^ ] ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A big difference between Espers and Quickenings/Magicks is that you use up the MP -before- the Espers deal the damage. You can use this to your advantage by summoning, buffing, Syphoning MP from the Esper (or even better, touch a Crystal) BEFORE even entering the fight. This effectively gives you free Esper damage and Esper tanking for the first one minute of the battle, and if you support your Esper well enough (with Bubble and the other buffs, Espers generally can survive boss battles), you would have managed to shave off quite a nice chunk of the boss' HP and even soak some of its damaging attacks before your main party takes over. This tactic can go hand-in-hand with the previous one. You can either start the battle with an Esper final attack (pure deathblow) or with a fighting Esper (battle starting), or combine both, letting the Esper fight and hoping he/she can survive to perform the final attack. In general, the "strongest" Esper you have is the best person for the job (Zodiark > Ultima > Chaos > Famfrit, etc.). ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Mass-damage prevention [ Page Top ^ ] ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Enemies use two types of Magicks/Technicks: those you also have, and enemy- exclusive skills only. The first category includes your familiar spells Fira, Blizzaga, Curaja, Graviga etc.; these have charge times, so their damage can be reduced. How? When the enemy starts to use the skill, the action appears on the battle screen. Between now and the moment of unleashing, you can summon an Esper in time to soak up its damage or status effects (to which Espers are immune to). Summoning an Esper is instantaneous so you are very likely to be able to get your Esper to appear before that skill is unleashed. This is very useful against powerful mass-damage spells like Scathe because once your characters are targeted, you cannot swap them out of battle to avoid being hit. Summoning an Esper however can force two characters out, allowing them to escape from harm. The second category refers to skills you will never obtain, like Esper -ja attacks and Fearga. These skills have extremely short charge times so it is very unlikely that you can bust your Esper out just in time to receive the damage. The only way to make your Esper soak the damage is to anticipate the attacks and summon them at the right time. Despite the inefficiency, it could be worth it when fighting terribly challenging bosses to study their attack pattern. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- MP Syphoning [ Page Top ^ ] ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Syphoning monsters is not easy, because it is affected by Magick Power and Magick Defense. Also, bosses and undead are absolutely immune against Syphoning. But summoners can Syphon MP from Espers! Espers have natural MP which they DO NOT use up at all. This becomes quite a necessity when summoning the MP-exhaustive lvl 3 Espers, especially because you'd want to buff them up first. Just 1 MP (which can be recovered by Charge or running) is enough to Syphon, but hopefully it works of course. This also makes the otherwise-useless lvl 1 Espers very useful late in the game. At any level, an Esper will have more MP than the MP used to fill one Mist Cart of your characters in general. By using this method, you will have more MP than you started with! This is an absolutely free way to regain MP without walking or crystals in a long dungeon. If you are stingy about Ethers, you might want to use this in the middle of boss fights. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Status immunity [ Page Top ^ ] ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Espers are immune to all negative status effects, which includes instant-kill, but unfortunately also Berserk. Remember Elder Wyrm, the terrifying story boss which likes to inflict a horde of various status ailments on all your party members? Or those horrible Malboros in Giruvegan? Espers are great in such situations. Later in the guide I will single out the monsters, bosses, Marks and rare game which are professional status disrupters. Later in the game the Ribbon accessory solves the status issues for one character, but it doesn't help in the mass-effect status ailment attack situations like Elder Wyrm's. When the enemy is shown to start casting a mass status spell, immediately whip out an Esper (preferably with a summoner who has a Ribbon). ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Elemental affinities [ Page Top ^ ] ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- First off, there are eight elements in the game. Fire is strong against Water. Water is strong against Fire. Ice is strong against Thunder. Thunder is strong against Ice. Wind is strong against Earth. Earth is strong against Wind. Holy is strong against Dark. Dark is strong against Holy. i) Targeting the enemies' elemental weakness: Belias against fire-weak enemies, Mateus against ice-weak enemies. Honestly, this shouldn't be the main reason why you should summon Espers. Why? Using your own Fira/Firaja, Blizzara/ Blizzaga, Thundara/Thundaga, Aeroga, Holy and Darkga spells is so much better, safer and faster. The exceptions to this are Hashmal's Earth attacks and Famfrit's Water attacks, since there just aren't any good Earth or Water spells at your disposal. You do have Earth and Water ammunition for your Bows, Guns and Handy Bombs, so it's a choice between your Espers or your ammunition. ii) Halving elemental damage by enemies: Belias, Mateus, Cuchulainn, Exodus and Zeromus take halved damage from most or all elements. A good feature, though you'd rather pay attention to... iii) Immunity from elemental damage by enemies: Adrammelech, Zalera, Hashmal, Famfrit, Chaos, Ultima and Zodiark are immune to most elements. They are very useful against enemies which spend much of their time using elemental attacks, be they physical or magical. iv) Absorbing elemental damage by enemies. Imagine fighting a tough monster whose most powerful attacks only serve to heal you; that makes your Esper self-sustaining and you need to spend less time and attention on his/her HP bar. Nine of your Espers are able to absorb the different elements (both Zalera and Ultima absorb Holy). Many enemies employ a mixture of both non-elemental and elemental attacks, so the best time to summon in such a situation is when the enemy is casting its elemental spell, so the Esper appears just in time to absorb the blow. Of note are Wyrms, whose breath attacks are usually fire-based. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Instant Kill [ Page Top ^ ] ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The Black Magick Death has a success chance rate formula, but Kill ALWAYS works against enemies not immune to instant kill. To check if a foe is susceptible to instant kill, check a database to see if it has the Safety feature. According to Game Mechanics FAQ, all elementals, Marks, bosses, Espers, rare game and most undead have the Safety feature. Another way to test is by using Kill just once. If the foe dies, it is susceptible; otherwise, it isn't. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Lucky distraction [ Page Top ^ ] ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- If you are the only character left standing, bust out that Esper and hope things go your way, ie. the enemy targets your Esper, not you. While they duke it out, quickly heal yourself and Bubble/Haste/Protect/Shell/Syphon MP from the Esper, so when he is defeated you are in good shape to revive your comrades. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Solo battling [ Page Top ^ ] ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- There will always be various reasons why one would go solo. It could be a specific solo challenge, or it could be a restricted class challenge, or everyone else is pretty much dead/stoned/warped. The best general-purpose solo Esper is probably Cuchulainn. He is cute, costs an affordable 2 Mist Carts, has decent HP, good attack and defense values, starts with some good buffs, and has the so-good-it-hurts Curaja which heals both the summoner and himself. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Tactics by Espers [ Page Top ^ ] ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The 9999 damage cap is a huge pain in the arse. Because of this, late game, the lvl 3s Famfrit-Chaos-Ultima are useful only for their regular attacks, damage soaking and the like. The devastating final attacks come from the lvl 2s: Shemhazai, Exodus and Zeromus. Zodiark is, thankfully, useful for both. ______ Belias You will spend a lot of game time with Belias as your only summon, and that's a great time for you to practise the various techniques discussed above. Early game he is very useful, able to hold off on his own against many bosses. A prime example is the Elder Wyrm, who uses an area status effect spell that becomes almost ineffective when Belias is summoned. Belias is also crucial when fighting King Bomb for players who wish to get the Zodiac Spear earlier in the game (other FAQs cover this). Also, in the Henne Mines, where you haven't obtained Fira, Hellfire is the only area-effect fire spell to blast through all those jellies at one go. Many enemies like to use fire, including Wyrms' breath attacks, and Pyromania is used by several Munts. Of course, Belias late game is so weak, he is only useful for MP Syphoning. ______ Mateus Mateus is most likely the second Esper you'll get, because you probably are not strong enough to handle Adrammelech, Zalera or Cuchulainn before the Stilshrine of Miriam. Despite this, Mateus' defense and magick defense are significant improvements over Belias', so it is good to replace him for general-purpose uses that do not depend on elemental affinities (like mass-damage prevention). On the other hand, offense-wise, Mateus would probably pale in comparison to your characters by the time you get him. ___________ Adrammelech By the time you obtain Adrammelech, you would probably already be ready to obtain Zalera and Cuchulainn, both generally superior Espers. In the mean time, Adrammelech does have some use as being the first to be immune to damage from six elements, making him an even better mass-damage soaker. His Curaga is quite potent enough to ensure the summoner's survival, though curing should actually be the summoner's job in the first place. Several Marks use powerful Thunder spells, though Adrammelech may be too weak for them by then to be summoned. ______ Zalera Zalera is a whole new ballgame after the previous three lvl 1 Espers. He is probably one of the very few Espers you will ever use on normal monsters. Kill is great to use to plough through a map, but keep in mind it does not drop Exp, LP, Clan Points and loot! Perfect to get out of very difficult monster situations though, where survival is more important than spoils. Zalera's gambit for Kill, unfortunately, does not discriminate against foes immune to instant kill. Hence, there is absolutely no use to summon him to try to damage elementals, bosses, Espers, Marks, rare game and most undead, unless: i) you are sure the target has < 30% HP so he can use Condemnation. Quite incidentally, Zalera's final attack's unique property makes him a suitable Esper to summon against earlier targets whose HP starts getting critical. ii) you maintain Zalera's HP below 80%, so he will use Shock instead. Shock's 133 attack power is very good for a lvl 1 Esper, even beating Adrammelech's final attack in raw damage. Also, Zalera has the unique distinction of absorbing one element, being immune to the rest, and not being weak to any. Note that our Esper ally Zalera is not 'undead', and Cures still work on him. _________ Shemhazai Shemhazai is -supposed- to be the weakest lvl 2 Esper, but had you explored the game and finished many sidequests, she'd be the last lvl 2 Esper you'd obtain. The lvl 2 Espers really start to make you consider MP management really carefully, and you may want to start Syphoning MP to recover the ones you've lost summoning the Esper. Shemhazai has the dubious distinction of being the Esper with the weakest elemental affinity list, being weak to fire and receiving normal damage from everything else. Having said that, Shemhazai belongs to the trinity of SEZ (Shemhazai, Exodus and Zeromus) with less-than-desirable normal attacks, but amazing final attacks. Let's visit both the formulae for Devour Soul and Soul Purge: Devour Soul damage is Shemhazai's Max HP / (Random number 1-10), limit of 9999. Soul Purge damage is (Sum of all Knot of Rust damage + Sum of all Devour Soul damage) / 3, limit of 60,000. Soul Purge damage is reset to 0 with each use. 60,000 damage! That's even better than Zodiark's final attack, although you do have to spend some time using Knots of Rust and Devour Soul on other enemies to build up eventual Soul Purge damage. Make sure when you build up using Devour Soul, you Dismiss Shemhazai before she uses Soul Purge, because once she does it, she resets Soul Purge damage to 0! Note: Knots of Rust can be obtained from most chests in the game with Diamond Armlet equipped. Alternatively, you could buy each from the Clan Shop for 6 gil a piece, but you must have already reached a high Clan Rank (32 Marks completed). __________ Cuchulainn Cuchulainn is probably the least strategic Esper to use and hence the easiest, but that also makes him suitably effective in many situations. Remember Opal Ring when you start buffing! Not that you need to buff too much though; Cuchulainn is the first of the Espers who appear already with a plethora of good buffs. Otherwise Cuchulainn is very self-sufficient because he can use Curaja or Malaise, a HP-absorbing damage spell. Cuchulainn does not have spectacular damage output like the SEZ, but he has consistency and no elemental affinity, making his attacks very reliable and unaffected by enemy elements. Also, Cuchulainn is the only Esper who uses -physical- attacks most of the time. He can counter attacks sometimes, and notice how he tries all the time to keep his HP full - that's because he has HP Full Attack Up, which allows him to enjoy a x1.2 multiplier to his existing attack power (of 83) if his HP is at 100%. ______ Exodus Like Shemhazai, Exodus' normal attacks are crappily random (any number from 0 to his Max HP), but his final attack Meteor just plain rocks if you are lucky, and only if you are lucky. Problem is how difficult it is to trigger. Personally I stand a distance from my target, summon Exodus, Immobilize him, wait till time is almost up, and pull a Mark/rare game to him to trigger his final attack. This obviously doesn't work for bosses. In these cases I'd summon Exodus before the fight and wait till the time's almost up before entering, and then immediately cast Immobilize when Exodus is in range within the boss. Thankfully, Immobilize always sticks on Exodus (or so has my testing shown - ten out of ten times, Immobilize sticks). Among the SEZ (Shemhazai, Exodus and Zeromus) tripartite, Exodus' Meteor is my least favourite, because it does the least damage at 30,000, and though it is the safest and least troublesome to get, it also depends on luck. Other than Meteor, I don't really see any other use for summoning specific to Exodus. _______ Hashmal Hashmal is the first of the two Espers that deal with the coveted elements; in this case he wields control over earth. You now finally have a way to target earth-weak enemies. Note however that Hashmal isn't particularly the most efficient way to fight monsters using Earth magick - the Float spell is! Nevertheless Hashmal still absorbs Earth-based attacks that penetrates Float. Overall however, Hashmal isn't a very valuable Esper because he is obtained so late in the game, where the other non lvl 1 Espers easily surpass him in usefulness. Hashmal's final attack is triggered when the summoner's HP < 10% (note: HP must be below 10%, being critical isn't enough) - just bust him out whenever your character reaches really low HP, and Hashmal will use Gaia's Wrath straightaway. It is not a skill you -plan- to use, but a skill that may save your life when you actually use it. _______ Zeromus Zeromus is the last of the SEZ (Shemhazai, Exodus and Zeromus) tripartite with devastating final attacks. Out of the three, Big Bang's damage is in the middle, and while it is the riskiest to pull off, it is also easy and convenient. Let's revisit the formulae for Zeromus' two attacks: Gravity Well does damage of (Zeromus' Max HP - Zeromus' current HP) x 2. Big Bang does damage of (Zeromus' Max HP - Zeromus' current HP) x 5. It does not have a damage cap. Bubble is probably the biggest your strongest asset here. Bubble practically doubles the offensive power (in addition to its defensive capacity) of your Esper. Gravity Well can easily hit 15,000 per hit at lvl 50+. The biggest problem with Gravity Well is that Zeromus needs to be under constantly low HP in order to consistently deal high damage. That puts him AND your strategy at risk, because once Zeromus KOs, byebye time and MP spent. In tight boss battles, the summoner cannot simply leave Zeromus hanging on low HP, because Espers generally do not survive long against bosses and tough enemies by themselves. Personally I pay all my attention to Big Bang. I use Zeromus mostly as a boss/Mark/rare game battle starter (though I use Shemhazai instead if the battle is -really- going to be nasty). I simply summon Zeromus, buff and Bubble him, hit him till his HP drops into sufficiently low levels, then enter the boss fight when the summon time is about to expire. Zeromus would then open the fight with a grandiose Big Bang... That's if the boss does not start the fight with a god-damn mega area effect spell that can fell Zeromus in one hit! Some bosses (like Chaos) like to do that; be careful if you face such opponents. In such cases I usually opt to use Shemhazai or Zodiark to open the fight instead. _______ Famfrit Finally eh, the lvl 3 Espers? Famfrit is a big jump in both power and price - he uses 3 Mist Cartridges. It is already very troublesome to completely fill your summoner's MP (I often resort to Syphoning MP from my allies); it is also bad that the summoner starts off with 0 MP, because the lvl 3 Esper has to start the first few seconds of the fight unbuffed. The summoner has to Charge and then Syphon MP from the Esper before he finally is able to unleash his buffs. Costs aside, Famfrit is a sturdy Esper especially effective against enemies weak to water. The only other water-elemental attacks at your disposal are the Gun + Aqua Shot combo, whose use is very situational, and the Handy Bomb + Water Bombs combo, whose damage is random as hell. Noteable bosses weak to water are Fury and the Bangaa gang. Besides his power over water and water- absorbing features, there is no other special use for Famfrit because the other three lvl 3 Espers are generally more powerful. Also note that water- elemental magic spells suffer damage reductions during certain weather conditions like snow, sandstorms and windy (refer to Calculations section for specifics). _____ Chaos Chaos is an extremely versatile Esper because he can target weaknesses to SIX elements - everything besides Earth (that's for Hashmal) and Water (that's for Famfrit). That however isn't a very big deal seeing that your own characters already have the spells he has - Chaos' main strength is his overall resilience and constant high damage attacks, just like Famfrit but stronger and wind- elemental. Remember Opal Ring when buffing Chaos. When the enemy does not have an elemental weakness, or is weak to water and/or earth, Chaos actually becomes terrible - he uses Whirlwind, which damages an enemy based on half its Max HP, capped at 9999. Probably one of the most annoying Esper skills you have, Whirlwind does not work on enemies with the Safety feature (just like Kill, so it doesn't work on all bosses, undead, Marks, rare game, so NEVER summon Chaos during these fights as he'd just spam Whirlwind to no effect), and when you summon an Esper to fight normal enemies, one-shot kills are what you should aim for. ______ Ultima Ultima shares the strengths and weaknesses of the Famfrit-Chaos-Ultima trimurti. Her stats are excellent and her HP is the highest among all the Espers. At the same time, she cannot exceed 9999 in damage, but despite this Ultima is in a class on her own because her magic attacks have no charge times! Remember Opal Ring when buffing Ultima; another of her strengths is that she starts off already with very good buffs, reducing the time you waste to buff her. However, she has probably the worst final attack in the game because it is -that- difficult to trigger (both the summoner and herself must be under critical condition) and it does not even exceed 9999. Ultima's true strength lies in her regular battling. _______ Zodiark After the many individual shortcomings of the lvl 3 Espers, it is nice to receive Zodiark, the ultimate Esper because unlike the Famfrit-Chaos-Ultima group, his final attack actually exceeds 9999 and deals a constant 50,000 damage, on top of having no charge time. Compare this damage to Quickenings (which use up all three characters' MP), and combine with how easy Final Eclipse is triggered with a Break spell; once you obtain Zodiark, you almost have no reason to use Quickenings (unless the Zodiark summoner is dead of course). Note: Zodiark uses Final Eclipse the moment you get the "countdown" Break status. In other words, you do not need for the counter to reach 0 for Final Eclipse to appear. Final Eclipse is really that cheap and easy to get. Besides Final Eclipse, Zodiark (like Ultima) is a great regular fighter because his magic attacks have no charge times! This certainly offsets the shortcoming that his regular attacks cannot exceed 9999 damage. On another note, Zodiark uses dark-elemental attacks, and unfortunately many end-game enemies are strong against dark. Also, Zodiark is not immune to six elements, unlike many of the other Espers. _____________ Esper Ranking I am ranking the Espers based on their overall usefulness, a combination of utility and cost, DURING END GAME. This list is purely subjective and it would be great to receive alternative opinions from you. From most useful to least useful: 01) Zodiark (excellent fighter, easy and strong final attack) 02) Zeromus (final attack is easy and strong in controlled fights) 03) Shemhazai (final attack is very troublesome but easy and strong) 04) Zalera (best to Syphon MP, susceptible to all elements, good final attack) 05) Ultima (excellent fighter with holy-element, weakness of many enemies) 06) Chaos (strong and versatile fighter against element-weak enemies only) 07) Famfrit (strong fighter with water; there are no other good water attacks) 08) Cuchulainn (strong fighter with the best survivability solo) 09) Hashmal (good fighter with earth; there are no other good earth attacks) 10) Exodus (final attack is easy and strong but needs luck) 11) Adrammelech (too weak end game to do anything) 12) Mateus (too weak end game to do anything) 13) Belias (too weak end game to do anything) Let me remind you this ranking is based on end game use, because Espers like Belias are very useful earlier on. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Tactics by enemy [ Page Top ^ ] ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I am striving to describe as many boss/Mark/rare game battles as possible where using Espers is a great alternative. Note that I am only writing stuff tested and verified by either myself or other players, so this is certainly not complete and will be updated again and again in time to come. Also, some of the above tactics are great to use at -any- battle regardless of whether they are listed here: pure deathblow, mass-damage prevention, MP Syphoning, lucky distraction and solo battling. ______ Bosses Vossler: I got this one from various GameFAQs Boards members; Belias is effective against Vossler. I've never tried it though, and will do so on my next playthrough. Elder Wyrm: This infamous story boss uses a mass-effect status afflicting skill which is instant-cast (need to verify). Belias, probably your only Esper at this point, has been proven again and again to be an excellent choice because he is immune to status effects and his damage + survivability is good against the boss. King Bomb: King Bomb is the famous boss in Salikawood that needs to be beaten in order to enter the Necrohol of Nabudis. A well-known "cheat" in the game is to obtain the Zodiac Spear much earlier than before (it is obtainable after Tomb of Raithwall), but you'd need to pass through King Bomb. Courtesy of Berserker's FAQ/Walkthrough: At lower levels, Belias is very effective against him and his minions, because they use fire-based attacks to which Belias absorbs HP from, while Belias himself simply uses normal attacks. Of course, Belias' final attack is fire-based, so make sure he does not get to cast it in the fight. Rafflesia: The Rafflesia fight is an awesome battle to use Espers with. It has a highly annoying MP sap effect which leaves little room for curing, and very dangerously, it spends its time using all sorts of horrible status effects to which Espers are immune to. Rafflesia is weak to wind, and if you have Chaos (players usually don't have Chaos at this point in the game, but maybe you do), be sure to summon him. Since Chaos automatically uses Aeroga, he'd immediately decimate any Malboro minions that spawn (Malboros are weak to wind too). Hydro: Hydro is a standard brawler monster whose status effect spells are at best annoying, but it uses Fearga, a mass-effect spell that depletes all of your characters MP. Because Fearga is almost instantaneous, you'd have to depend on some luck to summon an Esper to absorb the skill before Hydro casts it. _____ Marks White Mousse: Courtesy of Berserker's FAQ/Walkthrough. At lower HP, White Mousse spams Waterga, Waterga and Waterga, which may inundate your party. Any Esper immune to water would do the trick. Ring Wyrm: Courtesy of Berserker's FAQ/Walkthrough. Ring Wyrm often uses Immobilizega. Also, he is weak to fire BUT likes to use fire-elemental breath attacks. Belias! Vyraal: Decently powerful and likes to use the single-hit fire-elemental Fireball which can be quite significant. Espers are quite useful here. Wild Malboro: VeryHighPenguin recommends Espers here. I have not tried it myself, but judging from its name, I'd most probably agree with him (Malboros - kings of status effects). _________ Rare game Tower: Tower spams area elemental spells like Fira and Thundaga so often, so a suitable Esper easily spends the fight immune to most of his damage. Tower is weak to dark, but because Zodiark is not immune to elements, Chaos is your next safest bet. Glaring Eye: Glaring Eye is the PERFECT Esper enemy. He casts all sorts of potent status spells on you most of the time; summon your Esper and let him/her whack this Necrophobe to oblivion while you suffer the debilitating effects of his Sleep and Doom touches. Your Esper is immune to any of the status spells. More likely than not your Esper would have defeated him before your Doom count finishes. =============================================================================== ACQUIRING ESPERS [ Page Top ^ ] =============================================================================== ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Quest walkthroughs [ Page Top ^ ] ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ______ Belias [ Page Top ^ ] Obtained during main playthrough. ______ Mateus [ Page Top ^ ] Obtained during main playthrough. ___________ Adrammelech [ Page Top ^ ] Obtainable after the completion of all Tomb of Raithwall events. Probably the fastest way is Rabanastre west exit to Dalmasca Westersand Galtea Downs, west exit to The Midfault, south exit to Shimmering Horizons, south-west exit to Zertinan Caverns Invitation to Heresy, south-west exit to Sandfalls, south exit to Hourglass Basin, and west exit to Athroza Quicksands, where Adrammelech resides. Note: the nearest Save Crystal is in The Undershore map, south of the Hourglass Basin map. ______ Zalera [ Page Top ^ ] Obtainable after the completion of all Tomb of Raithwall events. Hunts to have completed: - Dalmasca's Desert Bloom (Petitioner: Dantro, Dalmasca Estersand, Outpost. Mark: Flowering Cactoid, Dalmasca Estersand, northern Yardang Labyrinth.) - Marauder in the Mines (Petitioner: Aekom, Bhujerba, Lhusu Square. Mark: Nidhogg, fork in Transitway 1.) OPTIONAL. Returning the ferry to operation: Speak to Dantro after the Dalmasca's Desert Bloom Hunt to obtain the Cactus Flower. Bring this to Dantro's Wife in Dalmasca Estersand, South Bank Village. Speak to Tchigri in South Bank Village, ride the boat to the North Bank Village and speak to Ruksel. The party automatically returns to South Bank Village. Speak to Dantro's Wife and then check the ground behind her marked "Dran?". Finally, return to Tchigri. Unlocking Barheim Passage: Speak to Dantro's wife again. Look for Mysterious Glints on the coastline to pick up Semclam Shells; two are found along the river in the South Bank Village map, three are found along the river in the Banks of the Nebra map. Return to Dantro's Wife, then return to Dantro in the Outpost map. Look for two Small Phials hidden among the supplies in the map. Return to his wife. Cross the river with the ferry and travel northwards into the Broken Sands map to check three flowering trees for Drops of Valeblossom Dew. Return to Dantro's Wife, who asks for a Great Serpentskin, a reward from the Marauder of the Mines Hunt. Note: If you sold the Great Serpentskin away, you can still complete the sidequest; you would merely receive an inferior reward later. Finally, speak to Dantro's Wife, and speak to the Recovering Traveler behind the house, who rewards the party with the Barheim Key and other gifts. Finding Zalera: The entrance is located at Murmuring Defile, a map south-east of the Banks of the Nebra map. Step into Barheim Passage, The Zeviah Subterrane and travel north into Great Central Passage, and north again into the North- South Junction to find a new Teleport Crystal. Return to the Great Central Passageway, north-east exit to East-West Bypass, west exit to The Zeviah Span, south exit to West Annex, west exit to Terminus No. 7 Adjunct to find a Save Crystal, and finally west exit to Terminus No. 7 where Zalera resides. The journey is plagued by difficult lvl 40+ undeads. Note: Defeating Zalera allows you to pass through the west exit of the map, leading you to the Garamsythe Waterway. _________ Shemhazai [ Page Top ^ ] Obtained during main playthrough. __________ Cuchulainn [ Page Top ^ ] Obtainable after the completion of all Tomb of Raithwall events. Hunts to have completed: - Waterway Haunting (Petitioner: Milha, Rabanstre Lowtown, North Sprawl. Mark: Wraith, Garamsythe Waterway, Overflow Cloaca.) - Lost in the Pudding (Petitioner: Sorbet, Rabanastre, Westgate. Mark: White Mousse, Garamsythe Waterway, West Sluice Control.) Completing the second Hunt nets you the Sluice Gate Key. From Lowtown, enter Garamsythe Waterway, Overflow Cloaca and south exit to Central Waterway Control. Close the No. 3 and No. 10 controls. South-west exit to No. 3 Cloaca Spur and activate the No. 1 South Waterway Control south-west of the map. Return to the Central Waterway Control and open No. 3 and No. 10 before closing the No. 4 and No. 11 controls. South-east exit to No. 4 Cloaca Spur and activate the No. 1 North Waterway Control south-east of the map. Return to the Central Waterway Control and close No. 3 before opening No. 11. South exit to No. 1 Cloaca and find Cuchulainn south of the map. ______ Exodus [ Page Top ^ ] Obtainable after the Salikawood Gate is fixed. In the south portion of Babbling Vale, Mosphoran Highwaste, activate the Shrine of the South Wind. North-east exit to Rays of Ashen Light and feed the stray Chocobo a Gysahl Green. Ride the chocobo and exit south to the Empyrean Way, riding west over a floating weed near the map entrance. Ride past the Empyrean Way over a grassy stretch only Chocobos can pass through, west exit to Skyreach Ridge. Alight from Chocobo and west exit to Babbling Vale, activate the Shrine of the West Wind, hit the Weathered Rock to gain access to the main Babbling Vale area, and activate the Shrine of the Northwest Wind. Return to Skyreach Ridge and north-east exit to find Exodus in Empyrean Seat. _______ Hashmal [ Page Top ^ ] Obtained during main playthrough. _______ Zeromus [ Page Top ^ ] Obtainable after the defeat of the Judge in Mt. Bur-Omisace. Talk to the Nu Mou Acolyte in Mt. Bur-Omisace, Temple Grounds (at the base of the stairs leading to the Hall of the Light) to obtain the Stone of the Condemner. Return to the Stilshrine of Miriam; at the end of the Ward of Measure, use the Stone of the Condemner with the Way Stone to get transported into the Throne of Veiled Gods. _______ Famfrit [ Page Top ^ ] Obtained during main playthrough. _____ Chaos [ Page Top ^ ] Obtainable after visiting Archades. Hunts to have completed: - Waterway Haunting (Petitioner: Milha, Rabanstre Lowtown, North Sprawl. Mark: Wraith, Garamsythe Waterway, Overflow Cloaca.) - Lost in the Pudding (Petitioner: Sorbet, Rabanastre, Westgate. Mark: White Mousse, Garamsythe Waterway, West Sluice Control.) - Crime and Punishment (Petitioner: Contrite Thief, Rabanastre Lowtown, North Sprawl. Mark: Orthros, Garamsythe Waterway, Southern Sluiceway, party must consist specifically of Fran, Ashe and Penelo, guests are fine.) Speak to Roh'kenmou in Old Dalan's house in Rabanastre Lowtown. Enter the residence in Lowtown, North Sprawl (involved in the Waterway Haunting Hunt) to speak to Deeg. Read the Dusty Letter on the table. Speak to Deeg again and head to Central Waterway Control in Garamsythe Waterway. Open all the controls to turn off all the lights. With the Sluice Gate Key reward from the Lost in the Pudding Hunt, close No. 11 control, then close No. 4 control, then open No. 11 control, then close No. 3 control, then open No. 4 control. Circle the map to find a Shiny Object on the ground and pick up a Dull Fragment. Return to Roh'kenmou and pass him the Dull Fragment. Also pass him the Blackened Fragment, one of the rewards of the Crime and Punishment Hunt. Speak to Roh'kenmou, and find Filo in the south-east portion of Rabanastre Lowtown, South Sprawl. Find the Curious Woman by the fountain in Rabanastre, Southern Plaza. Speak to a "Merchant" in Muthru Bazaar. (Note: There are many NPCs named "Merchant" there, speak with them all until you get the one that tells you about the Imperial). Now find the Sotted Imperial inside Yugri's Magicks, East End. He demands you to speak to the Curious Woman but she is no longer by the fountain, so find Kytes in northern Lowtown, North Sprawl. Return to Filo in south-east Lowtown, South Sprawl to find the Curious Woman. Return to the Sotted Imperial in Yugri's Magicks to obtain the Grimy Fragment. Hand the Grimy Fragment to Roh'kenmou. Speak to Roh'kenmu in Charlotte's Magickery, Archades, Molberry. Then find Otto in the northern portion of Old Archades, Alley of Muted Sighs, to obtain the Moonsilver Medallion. Hand the Moonsilver Medallion to Roh'kenmu. To continue you must have access to Nabreus Deadlands and the Necrohol of Nabudis by defeating the King Bomb. The path from here on is littered by powerful monsters; you'd have a hard time beating Chaos if you are unable to survive these monsters at this point. From the Salikawood, enter the Nabreus Deadlands, Greencrag and north exit to The Muted Scarp to find Ma'kleou just north of the save crystal. East exit to Vale of Lingering Sorrow, north exit to Hope's Reach, east exit to The Slumbermead. There is a hidden path north-west of this map which leads to The Fog Mutters, and west exit to Overlooking Eternity. Reach the shrine and talk to the Nu Mou to obtainthe Medallion of Bravery, Medallion of Love and the Lusterless Medallion. To reach the Necrohol of Nabudis, north-east exit from The Slumbermead to Succor Midst Sorrow, north exit to Lifeless Strand, east exit to Field of the Fallen Lord to Necrohol of Nabudis. From Hall of Slumbering Might south-east exit to Hall of the Ivory Covenant. Use the Medallion of Love on the Door of Loathing to enter Cloister of Reason and face Fury, a water-weak boss with 69710 HP. Fury is a powerful melee-attacker that keeps on getting itself Berserked. South exit from the Hall of the Ivory Covenant to Cloister of the Highborn. South-west exit to Cloister of Distant Song and use the Medallion of Bravery on the Door of Horrors to enter Cloister of Solace and face Humbaba Mistant, a holy-weak boss with 314086 HP. Humbaba is also a powerful melee-attacker with mass Immobilize and Disable skills. You would obtain a map of the Necrohol and the Lusterless Medallion transforms into the Medallion of Might. Save if you wish to (recommended!) and return to the Cloister of the Highborn. Use the Medallion of Might on the Door of Despair to enter The Crucible to face Chaos. ______ Ultima [ Page Top ^ ] Obtainable after the completion of all Giruvegan events. You will be travelling through a deeper portion of The Great Crystal, where lvl 60+ enemies abound. You should start at Way Stone VIII, the portal you reach after defeating Tyrant in the storyline. Find the Scorpio Gate Stone and activate it, then return to Way Stone VIII, turn right and use Way Stone IX. From Way Stone X, travel to Way Stone XX and pass through it. Take either left or right paths, both of which lead to the Sagittarius Gate Stone. Activate it and return to Way Stone XX. Open Sagittarius Gate I and travel to Way Stone XI, which transports you to Way Stone XIII. Take the ascending path and activate the Gemini Gate Stone. Take the next ascending path. Ignore Gemini Gate I and take the available path to Gemini Gate II. Open it and take either available paths to eventually reach and use Way Stone XV, which transports you to Way Stone XVI. Take the center path to reach the Libra Gate Stone. Activate it and return to Way Stone XVI; turn right and reach the next area to open Libra Gate I. The next area has three exits; take the left path reach and use the Capricorn Gate Stone. Return to the previous map, turn right and continue on to Way Stone XVI. Travel straight ahead down the descending path to open Capricon Gate I and activate the Virgo Gate Stone. Return to Way Stone XVI, turn right and pass the Libra Gate Stone, take the left path, and in the next map unlock Virgo Gate I to your right. Head to the next map and take the left path to reach and use Way Stone XVII, which transports you to Way Stone XVIII. Head to the next map and use the save crystal (recommended!). Take the center path to reach Ultima. _______ Zodiark [ Page Top ^ ] Obtainable after the completion of all Giruvegan events. You must have obtained at least 10 Espers. Speak to Geomancer Yugelu at the north portion of Jahara, Lull of the Land. Teleport to the Henne Crystal, north exit to Ore Seperation, and east exit to a whole new area where enemies are in their high 60s and many players are known to have been wiped before even reaching Zodiark. You'd find yourself in Phase 2 Dig. Find the Henne Candle in the north-east portion of the map. South-east exit to Crossover C, south exit to Phase 2 Shaft, east exit to Special Charter Shaft and finally north-west exit to Special Charter Dig to find your last and ultimate Esper, Zodiark. Many posters claim that the journey to Zodiark is harder than the Zodiark battle itself. Seeing how I got wiped twice by Etems and Necrophobes deep in the Henne Mines to find him, I'm not surprised. There is no crystal near the boss, so be careful on your way back after your fight! Good luck! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Boss battles [ Page Top ^ ] ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ______ Belias Tomb of Raithwall, Cloister of Flame Absorbs fire. Weak to water. Halves damage received from the other six elements. Drops: None Steal (often,medium,rare): Aries Gem, Ether, High Arcana Lvl 20, HP: 15943, LP awarded: 15 Actions: Attack - As usual. Fira - Standard mass-damage fire-elemental spell. Firaja - Mass-damage fire-elemental spell with 35% to inflict Oil. Greater Barrier - Places both Protect and Shell on himself. Also, his subsequent damage received is reduced. ????? name - Used on himself so his attacks gain in strength but take away his own HP. Notable passives: Increases Magick Power when HP Critical. Boss' HP < 50% --- Belias can penetrate all evasion. Boss' HP < 50% --- Belias' normal attack power strengthens. Boss' HP < 20% --- Belias' magic attacks no longer have charge times. Protect/Shell everyone. Bring Handkerchieves; having Oil on you -triples- any subsequent fire damage done on you. Your guest character is probably a major offensive power, so keep him alive. It's quite a standard fight; take it as practice. ______ Mateus Stilshrine of Miriam, Hall of Worth Absorbs ice. Weak to thunder. Halves damage received from the other six elements. Drops: None Steal (often,medium,rare): Pisces Gem, Ether, High Arcana Lvl 30, HP: 34259, LP awarded: 27 Actions: Attack - As usual. Reflect - Places Reflect. Slow - Inflicts Slow. Flash-Freeze - Standard single-damage ice-elemental spell. Blizzaja - Mass-damage ice-elemental spell with 35% to inflict Sap. Chain Magick - Used on self, so magic attacks no longer have charge times. Notable passives: Increases Magick Power when HP Critical. Evasion +25. Boss' HP < 50% --- Mateus' normal attack power strengthens. Boss' HP < 20% --- Mateus' normal attacks no longer have charge times. Mateus starts off the fight with Ice Azer minions. Thundara is risky because Mateus has Reflect! Either Thundara the Azers when Mateus is far away, or just don't risk it at all. Concentrate on one Azer at a time; they won't respawn. Ice Shields work well against Flash-Freeze and Blizzaja. As usual, Mateus becomes stronger towards the end when both her physical and magical attacks get their charge times removed. ___________ Adrammelech Zertinan Caverns, Athroza Quicksands Absorbs thunder. Weak to ice. Immune to damage received from the other six elements. Drops: None Steal (often,medium,rare): Pebble, Capricorn Gem, High Arcana Lvl 39, HP: 39630, LP awarded: 42 Actions: Attack - 4% to inflict Sap. Bleed - Inflicts Sap. Flash Arc - Standard single-damage thunder-elemental spell. Thundara - Standard mass-damage thunder-elemental spell. Thundaja - Mass-damage thunder-elemental spell with 35% to inflict Stop. Perfect Defense - Used on self to become immune to all damage. Notable passives: Increases Attack Power when HP Critical. Increases Magick Power when HP Critical. Boss' HP < 50% --- Adrammelech's normal attack power strengthens. Boss' HP < 50% --- Adrammelech's damage received is reduced. Boss' HP < 10% --- Adrammelech's magical attacks no longer have charge times. The fights really get weirder. Adrammelech flies so melee weapons are almost useless. Shambling Corpses CONSTANTLY respawn, that's tough! I'd prioritize Shell over Protect because both boss AND minions love using magick attacks. The best bet is Blizzara, since it both hits the flying Adrammelech's weakness and the dumb zombies. In fact, my party had two offensive Blizzara casters and one tank/healer. An Esper could be useful here if you have a gut feeling that Adrammelech is about to use Thundaja, because its Stop affliction is terrible! Note that the various Esper -ja spells have near-instantaneous cast times, so the -summon- Esper-as-boss-is-casting tactic doesn't work. Towards the end Adrammelech uses Perfect Defense, a good time for you to heal up your characters and destroy the annoying zombies. This also happens to be the famous High Arcana battle. If you Steal something off Adrammelech and flee from the room, returning into it allows you to steal another item off him again. Although High Arcana is a rare steal, with the nearby Save Crystal in The Undershore you won't take too long to steal four High Arcana (six are needed for the Tournesol weapon but two are given to you by Montblanc). Melanie Godfrey reminds that the Shambling Corpses continue spawning even after the Esper's defeat, so if you were running low on health, run away as quickly as possible! ______ Zalera Barheim Passage, Terminus No. 7 Immune to damage received from all eight elements. Drops: None Steal (often,medium,rare): Pebble, Gemini Gem, High Arcana Lvl 40, HP: 72248, LP awarded: 40 Actions: Attack - 4% to inflict Confuse. Stop - Inflicts Stop. Sleepga - Inflicts Sleep to an area. Death - Instantly kills a character, 35% rate (according to Ultimania). Lvl 2 Sleep - Inflicts Sleep on all characters with levels divisible by 2. Lvl 3 Disable - Inflicts Disable on all characters with levels divisible by 3. Lvl 4 Break - Inflicts Break on all characters with levels divisible by 4. Lvl 5 Reverse - Inflicts Reverse on all characters with levels divisible by 5. Prime Lvl Death - Instantly kills all characters with prime number levels. Kill - Instantly kills a character, 100% rate. Enrage - Used on self, so normal attacks no longer have charge times. Purify - Used on self to dispel negative status effects. Notable passives: Increases Magick Power when HP Critical. Increases Defense when HP Critical. Item effects reversed. Zalera can penetrate all evasion at one point, but it is unclear right now how. Zalera can eliminate charge times for magical attacks, but is also unclear how. This is translated entirely from Battle Ultimania and my Japanese isn't the best, so I am not 100% certain of the translation accuracy: Zalera enters the fight with Defense Mode, granting him Defense and Magick Defense +80. However Mist Quickenings and Cure/Cura/Curaga/Curaja can damage Zalera normally. Defense Mode disappears only if ALL his Dead Bones minions are defeated. Zalera will also enter Level Mode, which makes him use the various Level spells. Finally, Zalera has Kill Mode, where he spams Kill. Zalera's HP < 20%, he stops all Modes. The fight has a 5 minute limit, which upon expiration forces your party out and you'd have to fight from scratch. Zalera is undead, so Curas and Curagas damage him. Curas and Curagas are actually excellent alternatives because Zalera is immune to elemental Black Magick, and more importantly, whenever a (respawning) Dead Bone is in the battlefield (during Defense Mode), Zalera gets Defense +80, which makes physical damage on him peanuts. Incidentally Zalera is the most harmless during Defense Mode. When all Dead Bones are gone Zalera's Defense Mode disappears uses Enrage, and here he may also use Stop, Sleepga and Death. When he activates Level Mode the fight becomes predictable but deadly because he casts ALL the Lvl spells. Know how to heal from Sleep, Disable, Break, Reverse and have Phoenix Downs or Raise ready. The only reasonable level that will not be affected by any of the attacks above is 49. Once Level Mode disappears Zalera uses Alive, which purges himself of negative status effects. Finally, during Kill Mode, Zalera unleashes a barrage of Kill spells, sure- death attacks you cannot avoid. You might think Zalera is finally harmless when HP < 20% because all his Modes are off, but he still persists with Stops, Sleepgas, Deaths, Lvl spells and Kills. _________ Shemhazai Giruvegan, Gate of Wind Elemental affinities switch during the fight. Drops: None Steal (often,medium,rare): Sagittarius Gem, Hi-Ether, High Arcana Lvl 45, HP: 91136, LP awarded: 47 Actions: Attack - 5% to inflict Virus, 20% Critical Hit. Silencega - Inflicts Silence to an area. Syphon - Absorbs MP. Shock - Standard single-damage non-elemental spell. Scourge - Mass-damage non-elemental spell which damages and inflicts Sap. Flare - Stronger single-damage non-elemental spell. Enrage - Used on self, so normal attacks no longer have charge times. Mana Spring - Used on self, so spells no longer cost MP. Chain Magick - Used on self, so magic attacks no longer have charge times. Notable passives: Increases Attack Power when HP Critical. Increases Defense when HP Critical. Elemental weakness switches when hit with the element. Boss' HP < 60% --- Shemhazai's damage received is reduced. Chances are your level would have been high enough to make this fight a walk in the park, but anyways Dispel her Haste. Shemhazai switches elemental affinities, so elemental magic and Espers are risky to use. When her HP is low she uses Chain Magick, which allows her to cast spells without a charge time. That's painful if the fight isn't going that well in the first place. If your characters aren't Bubbled or Shelled, her Flare and Shock spells may just one- shot you, so be careful. Silencega is bad if it's cast with Chain Magick because you cannot summon an Esper to absorb it. Disease is deadly and must be Cleansed/Vaccined as soon as possible, and anyone near or far can be hit with the affliction because Shemhazai's normal attacks are ranged. __________ Cuchulainn Garamsythe Waterway, No. 1 Cloaca Halves damage received from all eight elements. Drops: None Steal (often,medium,rare): Scorpio Gem, Elixir, High Arcana Lvl 45, HP: 126165, LP awarded: 50 Actions: Attack - 4% to inflict Poison. Slowga - Inflicts Slow to an area. Immobilize - Inflicts Immobilize to an area. Disable - Inflicts Disable to an area. Toxic - Inflicts Poison to an area. Invert - Target's HP and MP values switch. Bio - Deals damage over an area and inflicts Sap. Malaise - Absorbs HP. Mana Spring - Used on self, so spells no longer cost MP. Notable passives: Increases Attack Power when HP Critical. Increases Magick Power when HP Critical. Increases Defense when HP Critical. Gun and Measure damage is reduced to 1/8. Boss' HP < 50% --- Cuchulainn's damage received is reduced. Boss' HP < 50% --- Cuchulainn's normal attack power strengthens. Cuchulainn starts with a lot of buffs, so Dispel them. The HP Sap effect in this battle is actually significant and undispellable, so leaving one character to spam Cura is a safe bet. Despite the deluge of status effect spells, Espers are not a good choice here because there are respawning Foobars (easily dispatched with Fira). Invert is deadly because of the HP Sap effect. The worst status effect above is Disable, which thankfully can be prevented by Black Belts. Besides the HP Sap (Cura), Foobars (Fira) and status effects (Esuna/ Haste), the fight is straightforward BUT one of the most difficult Esper battles if done within levels. ______ Exodus Mosphoran Highwaste, Empyrean Seat Halves damage received from all eight elements. Drops: None Steal (often,medium,rare): Libra Gem, Elixir, High Arcana Lvl 46, HP: 119060, LP awarded: 52 Actions: Attack - 4% to inflict Stop. Reflect - Places Reflect. Flare - Strong single-damage non-elemental spell. Scathe - Strong area non-elemental spell. Unleash - Used on self, so magic attacks no longer have cast times or cost MP. Notable passives: Increases Defense when HP Critical. Boss' HP < 20% --- Exodus' normal attacks no longer have charge times. Boss' HP < 20% --- Exodus becomes immune to physical damage. A straightforward boss but instead of using melee attacks, Exodus Reflects himself and spams terrible non-elemental spells Flare and Scathe. Both are big-hitters and must be paid much attention to! Dispelling him makes him recast Reflect on himself, distracting him from his usual Flare/Scathe formula. Because Exodus casts the spells on -himself-, Reflecting your own characters does not work. Physical attacks are your best bet here, or if you have some powerful spells, use them with Opal Ring. Reflecting your characters and casting spells on them isn't the best idea because you can't use Cures. Why not items then?... Because items are sealed in this fight. Many of you probably don't care, but fans of the Pheasant Netsuke + Phoenix Down combo have to turn to Curas and Curagas. Unfortunately Exodus becomes immune to physical damage when his HP is low, so either Opal Ring + spells, or just wait for the Paling to disappear while rebuffing everybody. _______ Hashmal Pharos at Ridorana, Third Ascent / Heaven's Challenge Absorbs earth. Weak to wind. Immune to damage from the other six elements. Drops: None Steal (often,medium,rare): Leo Gem, Hi-Ether, High Arcana Lvl 50, HP: 209060, LP awarded: 52 Actions: Attack - 4% to inflict Disease. Haste - Places Haste. Protect - Places Protect. Roxxor - Standard single-damage earth-elemental spell. Quakeja - Mass-damage earth-elemental spell with 35% to inflict Slow Perfect Defense - Used on self to become immune to all damage. Notable passives: Increases Attack Power when HP Critical. Increases Magick Power when HP Critical. Counters attacks with increased counter rate. Boss' HP < 50% --- Hashmal's normal attack power strengthens. Boss' HP < 50% --- Hashmal's spells no longer cost MP. Dispel Hashmal's buffs and Float all of your characters so Hashmal's earth- elemental spells become useless on you. Once again you have a powerful guest character to help you out. Hashmal is straightforward (though reasonably powerful) so take it easy. When Hashmal becomes immune to any damage for a while, take the chance to heal and rebuff everyone (or even prepare for an Esper final attack, like Exodus'). _______ Zeromus Stilshrine of Miriam, Throne of Veiled Gods Halves damage received from all eight elements. Drops: None Steal (often,medium,rare): Cancer Gem, Elixir, High Arcana Lvl 51, HP: 166888, LP awarded: 55 Actions: Attack - 4% to inflict Stop. Hastega - Places Haste to an area. Slowga - Inflicts Slow to an area. Stop - Inflicts Stop to an area. Gravity - Deals to an area damage of a quarter the target's Max HP, 70% rate. Piercing Graviga - Deals to an area damage of half the target's Max HP. Greater Barrier - Places both Protect and Shell on himself. Also, his subsequent damage received is reduced. Notable passives: Increases Magick Power when HP Critical. Evasion +25. Boss' HP < 20% --- Zeromus' normal attacks no longer have charge times. Boss' HP < 20% --- Zeromus' magical attacks no longer have charge times. A very difficult fight. Magicks are sealed, so goodbye to healing magick and Dispel - Zeromus has Reflect, Protect, Shell and may have Regen. Everyone knows how pathetic Hi-Potions and even X-Potions are, but if you didn't know this by now, know it: If a character has all Phoenix Down Lores licensed and equips a Pheasant Netsuke, his/her Phoenix Downs revive your allies to FULL life. Thus instead of using X-Potions or even Elixirs, it'd be better to wait for your characters to die before reviving them. The downside to this tactic is the continual loss of your favourite buffs on your characters. An Exodus/Shemhazai final attack is a great way to start the battle. Piercing Graviga is the big nightmare, as unlike Gravity spells from previous Final Fantasies, it deals damage based on 1/2 of your -Max- HP to an area and is capable of killing you. Zeromus' fist itself is powerful, with 10% chance of comboing up to three times. To make matters worse the respawning Dark Lords join the fray. Because your MP is of no use, Quickenings are the way to go, especially in dealing with the minions (make sure to defeat any Dark Lord which spawns, because their damages can add up). If you get hit by Slowga this is probably a good time to use that Hastega Mote rotting in your inventory. Due to Zeromus' elemental halving properties the best fight-starter would be Exodus' 30,000 Meteor or Shemhazai's Soul Purge (I am not 100% certain about whether Esper magick attack commands are available here). Good luck for the fight; this in my opinion is the second-hardest Esper fight after Zodiark's. _______ Famfrit Pharos at Ridorana, Womb of the Sun-Cryst Absorbs water. Weak to fire. Immune to damage from the other six elements. Drops: None Steal (often,medium,rare): Aquarius Gem, Elixir, High Arcana Lvl 52, HP: 149060, LP awarded: 52 Actions: Attack - 4% to inflict Silence. Briny Cannonade - Standard single-damage water-elemental spell. Waterja - Mass-damage water-elemental spell with 35% to inflict Silence. Notable passives: Increases Attack Power when HP Critical. Counters attacks with increased counter rate. Boss' HP < 50% --- Famfrit can penetrate all evasion. Boss' HP < 50% --- Famfrit's spells no longer cost MP. Boss' HP < 50% --- Famfrit's damage received is reduced. A unique Esper battle because Famfrit is accompanied by his summoner. The enemy summoner is immune to any damage as long as Famfrit is alive, yet that cheater still gets to perform actions! It's time to modify your gambits, because your characters may keep on attacking that enemy summoner, and unfortunately Berserk works against you here for the same reason. A combination of Famfrit + his summoner makes this fight significantly harder than the previous Esper. The worst scenario is when the both of them unleash their mega attacks (Waterja + something cyclotron) one after the other; it happened to me and I almost wiped. Due to the battle nature you cannot start the fight with a Zeromus/Shemhazai final attack. Famfrit himself only does offensive attacks and nothing else, though that's not necessarily a good thing - he has a 10% chance of comboing up to three times. Your guest character helps as a powerful melee attacker though. The battle can be made reasonably IF you know what to do; Oil + Firaga works very very well against Famfrit, and to distract the enemy summoner, have one character constantly Dispelling Famfrit so the enemy summoner keeps on rebuffing his Esper, wasting his own turns. _____ Chaos Necrohol of Nabudis, The Crucible Absorbs wind. Weak to earth. Immune to damage from the other six elements. Drops: None Steal (often,medium,rare): Taurus Gem, Elixir, High Arcana Lvl 57, HP: 208966, LP awarded: 50 Actions: Attack - 4% to inflict Disable. Fearga - Reduces the MP of targets in an area by 95% of the targets' Max MP. Whirlwind - Single-damage spell that deals damage of target's Max HP X 0.5. Aeroga - Standard mass-damage wind-elemental spell. Aeroja - Mass-damage wind-elemental spell with 35% to inflict Confuse. Enrage - Used on self, so normal attacks no longer have charge times. Notable passives: Increases Defense when HP Critical. Boss' HP < 50% --- Chaos can penetrate all evasion. Boss' HP < 50% --- Chaos' normal attack power strengthens. The Attack command is sealed in this fight; Zodiac Spear, Masamune, Tournesol; whatever you have do not work! Of course, you could use Telekinesis if you have it, though you no longer can Berserk a character and wait for him/her to do wonders. Chaos starts the battle with Aeroga, so a low-HP Zeromus dies quickly; instead, use Shemhazai's final attack to start the fight. The Chaosjets do not respawn, so quicky finish them off. Chaos is immune to most elements so non-elemental spells work best - Bio, Shock, Flare and Scathe, depending on whether you have the spells in the first place (I fought Chaos early so I had hell of a time spamming the not-so-strong Bio). Though he is weak to earth, Hashmal easily crumbles under his Aeroga and Aeroja. Aeroja by the way may inflict Confuse, the biggest threat in the fight; treat it immediately with Smelling Salts (items have no charge times). ______ Ultima The Great Crystal, Crystal Peak Absorbs holy. Weak to dark. Immune to damage from the other six elements. Drops: None Steal (often,medium,rare): Virgo Gem, High Arcana, Megalixir Lvl 63, HP: 258001, LP awarded: 60 Actions: Attack - 4% to inflict Sleep. Curaja - Restores HP of targets in an area. Renew - Restores full HP of targets in an area. Blindna - Cures Blind. (I wonder why she has this spell?) Reflectga - Places Reflect on targets in an area. Redemption - Standard single-damage holy-elemental spell. Holyja - Mass-damage holy-elemental spell with 50% to inflict Reverse. Greater Barrier - Places both Protect and Shell on herself. Also, her subsequent damage received is reduced. Notable passives: Increases Attack Power when HP Critical. Increases Magick Power when HP Critical. Increases Defense when HP Critical. Returns 5% of damage to the attacker. Magick charge time 0. After Holyja --- Ultima's normal attacks no longer have charge times. A crystal is just nearby, so feel free to use Chaos to start the battle or just use pure deathblow (Zeromus' or Shemhazai's would be nice), and of course Dispel her buffs. White Masks absorb Holyja damage, so its only threat is the Reverse status, which must be healed immediately because Curaja and Renew are used on your characters when they have Reverse! Renew immediately drops Reversed characters' HP to 1 - instant death when HP Sap is on. Curaja strength is based on Magick Power, and yes it may kill your characters if their HP is low. Also, Reflectga is also used on your characters (though not when they have Reverse on). Ultima does not have charge times for her magick spells, so be careful. Some stuff from this paragraph is referenced from sephirosuy's FFXII FAQ: Redemption is holy-elemental and Ultima will not use them on characters with White Masks (but she'll still use it on holy-immune Espers :P). Ultima will still use Holyja though, after 12 attacks. When her HP drops below 70%, the field effects will start to appear. In order: HP Sap (maintain with Curajas), then MP Sap (use Quickenings or your best Espers), then Attack command sealed (Telekinesis), then Magick command sealed (Pheasant Netsuke and items to heal), then Technick command sealed (use Syphon from lvl 1/2 Espers to regain MP), then Item command sealed, and finally Magnetic field (characters with heavy/ metallic equipment are slowed down considerably). The list then repeats with HP Sap. Also, once Ultima's HP drops below 50% she uses Holyja after 7 attacks instead of 12. _______ Zodiark Henne Mines, Special Charter Dig Absorbs dark Weak to holy. Normal resistance against the other six elements. Drops: None Steal (often,medium,rare): Serpentarius, High Arcana, Megalixir Lvl 66, HP: 336847, LP awarded: 70 Actions: Attack - 4% to inflict Disease. Reflect - Places Reflect. Bravery - Places Bravery. Faith - Places Faith. Lvl 2 Sleep - Inflicts Sleep on all characters with levels divisible by 2. Lvl 3 Disable - Inflicts Disable on all characters with levels divisible by 3. Lvl 4 Break - Inflicts Break on all characters with levels divisible by 4. Piercing Graviga - Deals to an area damage of half the target's Max HP. Banish Ray - Standard single-damage dark-elemental spell. Scathe - Strong area non-elemental spell. Darkja - 50% to inflict Instant Kill + Blind, yeowch!! Battle Cry - Used on self, so normal attacks are stronger. Limit Break - Used on self, so attacks and magicks have no charge time. Mana Spring - Used on self, so spells no longer cost MP. Barrier Change - Used on self, so elemental weakness switches when hit with the element. Greater Barrier - Places both Protect and Shell on himself. Also, his subsequent damage received is reduced. Notable passives: Penetrate Reflect. Increases Attack Power when HP Critical. Increases Magick Power when HP Critical. Gun and Measure damage is reduced to 1/8. Returns 5% of damage to the attacker. Boss' HP < 50% --- Zodiark's Evasion +25. Boss' HP < 20% --- Zodiark becomes immune to physical damage. Boss gets Dispelled --- Zodiark becomes immune to magickal damage. Ouch, what a huge pain in the ass. Zodiark seems to combine the more difficult elements of previous Esper battles (Zalera, Shemhazai, Exodus, Zeromus). Zodiark starts the fight with Darkja, the infamous spell that has a chance to instant kill AND inflict Blind (Blind does not disappear when revived). Black Masks and Demon Shields absorb dark damage but are unable to prevent instant kill or Blind. Summon Shemhazai and prepare for her Soul Purge; take no chances here. You must creep slowly towards Zodiark and let Shemhazai unleash Soul Purge before Zodiark uses Darkja, because Darkja could possibly kill you. Soul Purge shaves 20% of the boss' life. Zodiark will use Darkja again throughout the battle, so be very prepared to use Pheasant Netsuke + Phoenix Down to revive fallen members. Always wear Black Masks or Demon Shields, too. Zodiark's Banish Rays, Piercing Gravigas and Level spells are no joke! Keep your party in top condition all the time. The next biggest problem after Darkja is immunity. Zodiark becomes immune to physical damage at low HP, and once this paling disappears he puts it up again, making physical attacks almost ineffective now. He also becomes immune to magickal damage, but unlike the paling this doesn't stay on all the time, so switch your weapon-users to magick-users and spam Flares and Scathes. BEWARE OF REFLECT. If Zodiark puts on Reflect, equip Opal Rings on your magicians! Dispelling Zodiark induces him to become immune to magickal damage again. Let me wish you a premature congratulation on obtaining the final Esper, Zodiark! Zodiark is an awesome summon in almost any situation in the game. You deserve it! =============================================================================== MISCELLANEOUS [ Page Top ^ ] =============================================================================== ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Frequently-asked Questions [ Page Top ^ ] ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1) Are any of the Espers missable? No. Once an Esper is available, he/she will forever stay available. 2) Why are the Espers so weak? / Are Espers worth it? For general-purpose use, it is better to stick to your three-character party than summoning an Esper. However there are many situations in the game where summoning Espers becomes very viable and achieves better performance than not summoning one. For more details, look up the Using Espers section. 3) Who should I allocate the Espers to? Refer to the Allocating Espers section below. Yes it does matter who you give what to. Ignore those who say "it doesn't matter, Espers suck." ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Calculations [ Page Top ^ ] ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- This entire section would not be possible without Maltzsan's Game Mechanics FAQ. I have taken the equations or formulae that might be of use to Esper fighting and summoning. Power (PWR) is the damage potential unique to every skill/spell, listed in the tables in the Using Espers section. Defense (DEF) and Magick Defense (MDEF) are numbers assigned to all Espers, and every Esper has only one Defense and Magick Defense value whatever level they are. Strength (STR), Magick Power (MAG), Vitality (VIT) and Speed (SPD) are values that rise with the Esper's level. They are also listed in the Using Espers section. ____________ Charge times Almost every action in the game requires a charge time, the time it takes for the action bar on the menu to charge from left to right. Charge times reduce with the Esper's SPD value, and every skill/spell also has a unique charge time (the smaller, the faster). In general final attacks have longer charge times of 35, while the standard damage spell unique to each Esper is relatively faster with charge times of 16. ___________________________ Physical damage calculation I am unsure of the exact formula for Esper damage calculation, but damage generally increases with the level of the attacker, his STR, and the PWR of the skill, while generally reduced by the DEF value of the target. Physical damage is also modified by the following multipliers: Attack is a critical hit X 2 Attacker has Berserk X 1.5 Attacker has Bravery X 1.3 Attacker has Petrify X 0.1 X time left Target has Petrify X 0.1 X time left Target has Oil X 3 if damage is fire-elemental Target has Sleep X 1.5 Target has Protect X 0.75 Attacker has Full HP ATK Up X 1.2 Attacker has Critical ATK Up X 2 Target has Critical DEF Up X 0.5 (for allies only) Target has Critical DEF Up X 1/3 (for enemies only) Target is weak to the element X 2 Target halves damage from element X 0.5 Target is immune to element X 0 Target absorbs element heals the target ____________________________________ Magickal damage/healing calculations Magickal damage = [PWR x RANDOM(1~1.125) - MDEF] x [2 + MAG x (level+MAG)/256)] Magickal healing = PWR x RANDOM(1~1.125) x [2 + MAG x (level+MAG)/256)] In other words, the power of the skill, the Magick Power of the caster and the level of the caster affect both damage and healing, while Magick Defense only play a part in damage. Syphoning uses the second formula, meaning it makes no difference which Esper you choose to Syphon MP from. Magickal damage/healing is also modified by the following multipliers: Caster has Faith X 1.3 (damage) Caster has Faith X 1.5 (healing) Target has Oil X 3 if damage is fire-elemental Target has Sleep X 1.5 Target has Shell X 0.75 Caster has Full HP MAG Up X 1.2 Target has Critical MAG Up X 2 Target is weak to the element X 2 Target halves damage from element X 0.5 Target is immune to element X 0 Target absorbs element heals the target Weather/Terrain Fire Ice Thunder Water Wind Earth Sunny or cloudy Sunny/cloudy + windy x1.2 x0.5 x1.2 Rain x0.5 x1.2 Heavy rain + windy x0.6 x1.2 x0.5 x1.2 Heavy fog x1.2 Heavy snow x1.2 x1.2 x0.5 x1.2 Sandstorm x1.2 x0.5 x1.2 x1.2 On sand x1.2 On water x1.2 x1.2 x0.5 On snow x1.2 __________________________ Status effect calculations Status effects last longer with a higher VIT value of the Esper. Below lists the status effects that can apply to Espers: Effect Duration Haste 40 + (VIT X 0.4) s Bravery 40 + (VIT X 0.4) s Faith 50 + (VIT X 0.5) s Reflect 60 + (VIT X 0.6) s Protect 60 + (VIT X 0.6) s Shell 60 + (VIT X 0.6) s Bubble 60 + (VIT X 0.6) s Regen 90 + (VIT X 0.9) s On a final note, once again a big thanks to Maltzsan for all this information found in his Game Mechanics FAQ. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Allocating Espers [ Page Top ^ ] ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Ah. A very popular question. Which Esper goes to which character? Most of the answers are either nonsense or "doesn't matter". Well, since you now do know much more about Espers, there is indeed a general guide to allocating them among your six characters. Espers should not be bunched together with one single summoner, so more characters can use them. Belias, Mateus, Adrammelech and Zalera should be distributed so that no character has more than one each, so more characters can reap the benefits of Syphoning MP from these lvl 1 Espers during end game. Priority goes to Magick- oriented characters, naturally. Shemhazai, Exodus and Zeromus are most useful for their final attacks only, so they do not necessarily need much curing from the summoner, hence it does not matter if the characters is oriented to Magick or otherwise. Note: Zeromus should NOT be hit at all. Therefore he should be paired up with a tanker with Decoy up. Cuchulainn is such a self-sufficient Esper, so I'd pair him up with an offensive character to decimate the battlefield together. Hashmal and Ultima have final attacks that require the summoner to be have low HP, so I suggest a summoner with high Max HP. At the same time I highly discourage even bothering to try to trigger Ultima's final attack. The Espers Famfrit, Chaos, Ultima and Zodiark are most useful during regular fighting, so they should be supported with lots of curing from a Magick- oriented character. Zodiark is, after all factors, really the -best- Esper among the thirteen, so he should be summoned by the character you expect to use the most. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Various Trivia [ Page Top ^ ] ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- If you check your Esper entries in the Bestiary, you would realize that every Esper has an "Ascendant" (eg. Belias - Mesha Ascendant). These exotic names are actually the Sanskrit equivalents of the individual zodiac signs we are familiar with today. These Sanskrit names are used in Jyotish (Hindu) astrology, but they more or less refer to the same constellations. _______________________________________________________________________________ Esper: Zodiac: Sanskrit name (Ascendants): 01) Belias Aries Mesha 02) Chaos Taurus Vrishabha 03) Zalera Gemini Mithuna 04) Zeromus Cancer Karka 05) Hashmal Leo Simha 06) Ultima Virgo Kanya 07) Exodus Libra Tula 08) Cuchulainn Scorpio Vrishchika 09) Shemhazai Sagittarius Dhanus 10) Adrammelech Capricorn Makara 11) Famfrit Aquarius Kumbha 12) Mateus Pisces Meena 13) Zodiark Ophiuchus Ashlesha _______________________________________________________________________________ The same Bestiary entries also state that each Esper was created by the gods as a "scion of darkness" in opposition to a "scion of light". These scions of light do not appear in the game. _______________________________________________________________________________ Scion of darkness: Scion of light: 01) Belias, the Gigas Loghrif, the Transcendent 02) Chaos, Walker of the Wheel Mitron, the Chastiser 03) Zalera, the Death Seraph Emet-Selch, Angel of Truth 04) Zeromus, the Condemner Pashtarot, Knight-Star 05) Hashmal, Bringer of Order Fandaniel, the Protector 06) Ultima, the High Seraph Ultima, the High Seraph* 07) Exodus, the Judge-Sal Halmarut, the Arbiter 08) Cuchulainn, the Impure Nabriales, the Majestic 09) Shemhazai, the Whisperer Igeyorhm, the Martyr 10) Adrammelech, the Wroth Deudalephon, the Benevolent 11) Famfrit, the Darkening Cloud Emmerololth, Holy Queen 12) Mateus, the Corrupt Lahabrea, Abyssal Celebrant 13) Zodiark, Keeper of Precepts Zodiark, Keeper of Precepts* _______________________________________________________________________________ *It is unknown if Ultima and Zodiark were created as scions of darkness, light, or whether it is irrelevant so. =============================================================================== POSTFACE =============================================================================== This aims to be a comprehensive guide covering everything that needs to be covered on Espers in Final Fantasy XII. This guide is a work in progress. Not everything I write here has been tested by myself, which I actually plan to do so on my next playthrough (which would be my third). I would indicate what I have NOT tested yet. Expect this guide to be updated with time. For this guide I have referred to many sources, but namely FFXII Battle Ultimania, FFXII Brady's guide, GameFAQs Boards, Game Mechanics FAQ by Maltzsan, my own theoretical analysis and most importantly my own playing experience. I strive to my best not to plagiarize. Sections copied wholly (but with lots of testing, still) from the guides are the Esper/boss/Mark stats, Esper skills and Esper gambits. I take no credit for them. This guide tends to go into detail as it does mean to be as comprehensive as possible. It's geared at readers who are at minimum comfortable with the game basics, like LPs, Gambits, Mist Cartridges, and popular Magicks and Technicks. A bit of the guide does cover game mechanics that most of you are probably not aware of. The guide is divided into three thirds: the first third is full of information on Espers you can obtain from the game, the two guides, my personal testing, and other gamers on the Boards. The second third covers strategies and uses of Espers against suitable targets, and this half is the one undergoing constant updating. The final third simply explains how to obtain the Espers and the battle tactics. Spoiler note: There are no story spoilers in the guide, though there are battle spoilers everywhere of course. _____ To Do - Find an actual Japanese-speaking person to check Ultimania translations. - Try Espers on more bosses, Marks and rare game. _______________ Version History - v1.0, 28 Dec 2006, first version of the guide. - v1.1, 10 Jan 2007, added Elder Wyrm, Vossler, King Bomb, White Mousse, Ring Wyrm, Vyraal, expanded on Adrammelech, Exodus, Hashmal, Famfrit, Chaos and Zodiark tactics, corrected that Zeromus uses Bio when he actually uses Greater Barrier, translated Aggressor -> Enrage, Magic Release -> Unleash, and Alive -> Purify, altered terminology (Hunt -> Mark), added FAQs section. - v1.2, 11 Jan 2007, expanded on Zodiark tactics and Zodiark battle tactics. _______ Credits - Square Enix for the wonderful game. - CJayC and GameFAQs for hosting the guide. - Final Fantasy XII Battle Ultimania for much information. - Final Fantasy XII BradyGames Guide for much information. - Game Mechanics FAQ by Maltzsan, for tons of useful formulae. - http://ff12.ffsky.cn, for some Ultimania stuff I couldn't understand. - http://www.wikipedia.org for many, many random bits of stuff. - Final Fantasy XII FAQ & Walkthrough Guide by sephirosuy, for some Esper tips. - Final Fantasy XII FAQ/Walkthrough by Berserker, also for some Esper tips. - GameFAQs Boards posters, for much discussion and information. - VeryHighPenguin, for his invaluable contribution on many ideas. - Sandman (sp?), I didn't take down your exact username but I first read about mass-damage soaking from you. - Melanie Godfrey, for her tip on Adrammelech's Shambling Corpses. - Finally, you, for reading! This guide is meant for the public. You can post it anywhere or quote any information, but do credit me OR the person I credited in my guide. Do NOT use the information for any profit-generating activities. Do NOT alter/edit the guide in any way should you decide to reproduce this guide for public viewing (unless translated into another language). Contact me at abinobi@hotmail.com; I'd be happy to receive constructive feedback, suggestions, criticisms and corrections. =============================================================================== _______________________________________________________________________________ =============================================================================== .~FIN~. _______________________________________________________________________________



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