Final Fantasy XII : The Zodiac Age

I think XII was the game that broke me of my desire to do any min maxing whatsoever in jrpgs because it’s just not really worth it in XII.

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So FF3 is coming on the SNES mini and I really wanna dig into that, FFXV is sitting on the shelf ready for a road trip, FFXIV looks to be one of the best MMO’s around, and now FFXII looks like the kind of story I’d totally love… man, this series is just so huge. One day I’ll be able to say I’ve played more than just the very first one xD

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What do you mean by that? Is the process way too tedious? It’s unnecessary in the game?

You can marginally min/max stat gains by using different weapons on different characters but it’s not paramount.

Have been having trouble finding this information elsewhere so I am curious if there are optimal classes/sub-classes for each character and then cannon classes for them as well. Is the game going to try and guide to make character X a red mage, etc or are you really free to do what you want?

First, they’re called “jobs” in FFXII which might be an issue that you’re finding. Since The Zodiac Age isn’t out yet, you’re not going to find details on the best pair of jobs to give each character (i.e combinations of Job+Sub-Job) but searching for “Final Fantasy XII Zodiac best job” does bring up threads on the best individual jobs to give each character from the original Japanese Zodiac version. But also since it was (until now) exclusive to Japan, the info on it is much more limited than the normal License board system.

Final Fantasy XII (the original) is built significantly for any character to be anything. Unlike the Sphere Grid in X, the original License board system doesn’t really have a path-preferring structure to guide the player. Each character just starts on the grid with a couple different skills learned and can branch from there. The Zodiac version is similar but starts with each character as a job set for their current weapon, however I don’t think it has a focus on “this character is suited for this job”. Furthermore, all of the rare one-of-a-kind best weapons can be wielded by any character (there aren’t character-specific equipment to incentivise job choices).

[details=Character Differences (Hiding if you don’t want to know minor character details that might affect your play)]There are minor differences though but any small changes in this version (like the two-job inclusion) could change recommendations for this version. However, currently at max stats:

  • Panelo has the highest magic stat and is thus the best mage
  • Basch and Balthier are strength focused.
  • Vaan and Ashe are Balanced
  • Fran’s stats are all inferior to someone (if you want to play optimally, don’t use her in the late game)

Due to differing animations, some characters are less suited to reloading weapons due to animation time:

  • Panelo is slow with Guns and Crossbows
  • Fran is slow with Bows (despite them being her default weapon and appearing in all the artwork with them - plus they’re the signature weapon of her race)
  • Balthier is slow with Guns, Crossbows and Bows (despite defaulting to a gun and appearing in most artwork with it).[/details]

Mostly though, do what you want with the characters. Reminder to read tutorial info: I remember I spent a while in XII with sub-optimal weapon choices because I didn’t realise weapons used different stats for damage (e.g. maces are based on the magic stat).

Yup… changing the wording helped a great deal. I feel like a fool, but thank you!

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close, but it was actually that they thought Basch was too old for audiences to want to play as. I feel vindicated to see so many people coming out for ff12, after feeling like the only person i knew who liked it.

Also I’m a huge Vaan & Penelo apologist. Sure they’re a little underdeveloped but I think they’re kind of a necessary audience cipher for a lot of people. I think it helps ground the plot when there’s a character in the actual game going “all of this is way beyond me” In star wars/hero’s journey comparisons people compare Vaan to Luke a lot, but in terms of a lot of his narrative function he & Penelo are a bit more r2d2 & c3po. They represent showing the story through the eyes of the two lowest characters (which I can’t give Lucas credit for as even he admits he nicked that from Hidden Fortress)

That said, I’m excited to see if any of what I just said holds up, as I haven’t played the game in years and never managed to finish it, but having the story from Vaan’s perspective certainly helped me gel with the game as a kid back in 2006.


that makes sense, i guess i just really didn’t like vaan lol. i like pretty anime boys in my final fantasy games as much as the next person, but his design just always felt so uninspired and forgettable.

yay i also loved and played 100+ hours of XIII! the battle system really is fantastic, and the linearity for most of the game didn’t really bother me that much bc it felt like the whole thing was built with that in mind. the story was pretty standard FF nonsense, but i enjoyed it bc i overall really liked the characters and their interactions/development (most of them at least, fuck snow and hope). also lightning is one of my favorite FF protagonists and no one can convince me that her and fang aren’t in love.

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Can I say it warms my heart to see good reviews of the remaster? It does!

There hasn’t been a better time to enjoy FF12, it was too different back then, now it is at the right time and the right place. You’d be surprised to see how fresh a 10yo game can be.

It even has a higher metacritic score then XV! But as we all know * goes on an 8 hour rant * and that’s why I think fudge is better then even the dankest of brownies!

First impressions: wow the environments look better than I expected. There’s a vibrancy that was muddied in the PS2 version. I’m enjoying the reorchestrated music even if it doesn’t seem like they took any risks with it like FFX HD soundtrack.
Also… x4 speed is dizzyingly fast.

Edit: I didn’t realise that the original Zodiac version stopped you from changing job. Adding an eventual second job does help, but I do wish the Zodiac Age version didn’t keep this same restriction. Being prompted to pick a permanent job a mere hour of so in when I haven’t got a strong idea of what I’m doing with my characters is a little overwhelming.

It’s a pretty big decision up front. I spent like a half hour looking through each job to see what they offer, then digging out my strategy guide from when the game originally came out and looking up stat distribution and which stats affect which weapons. I kind of want to use weapon classes I didn’t use when I played the game originally, so I spent a good 10 minutes just looking for which classes use measures and ninja swords. With the measures being in the same job as guns that seems like a super useless job and the best character for it is Penello, which is real sad because I like Penello being useful.

I like how they used the part where the city gates are closed off by the imperials as the gate for you haven’t downloaded the whole game yet, come back in (insert download time remaining) for the city gates to be opened.


I’m about 16 hours in so far and I’m having a blast, much more so than the last time I tried to play it (I was about 11 at the time).

My current party setup (not including second-job possibilities):

Vaan: Samurai
Fran: Red Mage
Balthier: Uhlan

Basche: Knight
Ashe: Black Mage
Penelo: White Mage

So far so good!

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Yep, picking classes was pretty jarring for me too. But I think I actually really like it. It’s making me plan a little harder, and I’m someone who likes making specific character types, somehow adding something to my headcanon by customizing their role. For example, making Balthier an a glass canon, super badass sky pirate Black Mage/Machinist, Vann a sort of mystical Samurai/Time Mage who supports everyone, and Ashe a holy warrior Knight/White Mage makes them all more interesting to me, and (I think) I like that the choices have a little more heft behind it.

That said, horses for courses, not everyone’s gonna like this change, but I do think there are pluses to go along with any minuses.

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Just a heads up, Balthier has the lowest magick attack power. Black mage is maybe not the best choice for him.

Thanks for the heads up! But I’m too worried about it. Not here for getting the perfect party comp, just one I like.

I always have to pick Haan because he has the coolest battle animation

Also I wished he had his Dissidia alternate costume because he looks :heart_eyes: the difference a shirt makes


Dang, I like this way more. I like Rabanastre architecture but their outfit choices are sorely lacking, heh.

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