The Let's Play Archive

Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift

by Solumin

Part 4: Found a Job

Update 4: Found a Job

In This Update:
- The Road to Blue Mage
- Friendly beasts and Scottish bangaa
- A bunch of sidequests


Last time, we met (and were swindled by) Adelle, a gregarious, greedy thief. Instead of doing anything related to this plot, we're going to do some sidequests!

At the thread's request, Samuel is going to be a Blue Mage. For those of you who have never heard of a Blue Mage before, it's a unique job that learns abilities used by monsters by getting hit by those abilities. In FFTA2, this requires having the "Learning" P-Ability equipped.
It's extremely gimmicky but really good fun, and some of the abilities are quite strong.

One good thing about FFTA2: It's impossible to miss any Blue Mage abilities. Every monster that teaches a Blue Mage abilities can be found in repeatable battles. This is a massive improvement over FFTA, where some abilities could be missed.

However, Blue Mage is locked until you learn 1 Black Mage ability.

And Black Mage is locked until you learn 1 White Mage ability!

So Samuel's a White Mage now.


Our first quest for today:

"Satisfy Petitioner" means we have to do some specific task. It's the catch-all category.

In this case, we have to defend these bridges. On the one side are our enemies: two wolves and two baknamies.

We don't have any R-Abilities yet, so this is fine.
Note that this means we can't use any R-Abilities. Having one equipped won't break the law.

Our starting layout.

We're defending Ceva the Beastmaster, who is trying to rescue his pet dreamhare, Cappy.

Cappy doesn't have any lines, just speech bubbles.

: Be not afraid, little one. We will protect you.

: *growl*

: I don't like the way those monsters are eyeing that dreamhare.

: They mean her no good, to be sure. Hold them back while I tend to her wounds.

: *slaver*

: Right. We'll keep you safe while you take care of Cappy. Those monsters won't make it across if I have anything to say about it!

Right, this mission is really straightforward: Stand on the bridges and don't let them get through you.

It basically looks like this for a couple dozen turns.

These clocks are listed in the turn order, and they indicate the end of each round.
I guess internally they're basically characters with really low speed. Once the last one has its "turn", the battle is over.

Also, there's an infinite number of enemies. Every time you kill one, another will spawn after a couple turns. There will only ever be at most four enemies, fortunately.

Here's Swarmstrike, it's pretty cool. Poison is useful when used early in the battle. It does 10% of the victim's total HP per turn.

Samuel is a pretty bad healer right now.

Healing scales off of M.POW, which Samuel obviously doesn't have much of.

Anyway, we hold the bridges. We end up killing four or five enemies total.

: ?!?

: See? That wasn't so bad, was it?
That should do it! I think Cappy can walk again!

: Great! Now let's get out of here!
One thing's been bugging me, though. How come you can understand what she says? I mean, you can't really talk to her... can you?

: All beastmasters speak the language of the beasts. It's not a language as you might know it, but it is there to be heard if you've ears to listen.

: !?!

: She wants me to tell you "thank you".
Oh? I think she has something else to say.

: !!!

: What a splendid idea! She thinks I should teach you the secrets of the beastmaster.

: !!!

: After all you've done for us, it's the least I can do. But know this... The bond between beast and master lasts only till battle's end. You must always be mindful of growing too attached. Of course, I've been fortunate enough to win this wee one's heart. So I'm going to find a nice quiet place for the two of us to call home. Come, Cappy!

Multiple MVPs, nice!

Energy Mace is a good weapon. It teaches Silence to Green Mages, and Aero, a rare Air-element spell, to Sages.


I usually visit the shop between each quest. At this point in the game, I want as many weapons as possible as soon as possible.

Demon Bell and Lamia Harp are great weapons for the Beastmaster, because they teach the abilities for controlling a lot of enemies we're seeing right now.
They'll also be useful once Samuel is a Blue Mage, since these monsters all teach Blue Magick abilities.

We also pick up a Pearl Blade. Moogle Shield gives the target the Astra buff, protecting them from the next debuff they're hit by.

And since Imino mastered 100% Wool, he can become a Moogle Knight!

Talf also becomes a Beastmaster. Not only is Beastmaster great for Blue Mages, it also locks one of my favorite nu mou jobs, Sage.
Beastmaster is all about controlling monsters. With the right spell, they can make a monster move and use any attack or ability the monster knows. Since some monsters know really great abilities, this can be really useful! But, it's really more of a gimmick, in my opinion.


Our next quest is in Targ Woods:

"Escort" means we need to protect the target while accomplishing another goal, usually defeating all enemies.
Escort missions in FFTA2 really aren't too bad, usually.

Three White Monks and two Warriors against one Dragoon. Good thing we're here!

Oh, now that's a painful, awkward law. Any attack or ability that can hit more than one square will break the law.
That means no white, black or green magick!

: Quite a spear you have there. You think to spit your enemies on it? Hra hra hra!
Small wonder you hide beneath a helm. I'd be ashamed to wield that pig-sticker meself!

: That must be the bangaa who's in trouble.

: Spear and helm are part and parcel of the dragoon - a prouder group of warriors ye'll nae find! Yammer on about me as ye like, but I'll not have ye drag the name of dragoon through yer filth!

: Hear that, lads? A dragoon, he says. Hra! Let's show him what we think of him and his dragoons!

: We have to help him!

This map is nice enough to put the good treasure chest nearby.

Unsurprisingly, the AI will target the person you're escorting above all else.
Fortunately, dragoons have pretty good armor, so he'll be ok for a couple turns.

Dragoons are spear-wielding warriors who are famous for their Jump attack, launching themselves into the air and inflicting heavy damage on their target.
It's pretty inaccurate but also really awesome.

And it hits like a truck.

Spears can hit 2 squares in a row, instead of one square like every other weapon type. This gives dragoons a lot of flexibility, but it also counts are targeting multiple squares. I believe Kyrra uses Jump every turn to avoid breaking the law.

Mark this day: I'm actually using a healing item in battle. I pretty much never do that.

We also see Air Render for the first time. It's a staple White Monk ability that lets them hit at range. It's one of the reasons they're significantly better than Warrior.

This is a big old furball of a battle. Really wish I could use Thunder here!


AI, what are you doing?

At this point, I noticed the White Monk has Critical: Berserk. That's an R-Ability that activates when the character reaches critical HP. It gives the character the Berserk debuff, significantly boosting their damage output. That's a little scary, though if you're at Critical HP, you aren't going to be around for long.

However, I have a plan to negate that ability.

First, Imino moves closer.

On his next turn, he can use Moogle Shield. As I said earlier, this gives the Astra buff.

Nothing stops you from buffing enemies.

Then, a few turns later, Samuel brings the bangaa into Critical HP range.

But Astra protects against the Berserk!
He dies next turn anyway. Still an interesting exercise in how to apply your skills in new and interesting ways.

We're down to the last enemy. Will Samuel do enough damage to knock him out?


Hey, remember that Knot of Rust we got a while ago?

Finally, a new bow for Nyno!


Samuel is finally ready to learn Black Magick.

Henri mastered Rend Magick. I want him back on White Monk so he can learn Exorcise, the ability taught by the Rising Sun knuckles. It banishes undead, which will be very useful later in the game.

And Nyno gets the Char Bow, finally making him a little more useful.


Back at the shop:

We don't order these. We already have a pair, and this would use up our only Zinconium.

And now we have the starting weapon for Dragoons. What use would a Dragoon without Jump be, anyway?


On to the next quest.

Another "Satisfy Petitioner." What will it be this time?

Or, "Investigate the glowy spots on the ground until you find the right one."

This update is like an introduction to annoying laws.
Sure, we have no abilities that can cause knockback right now.
However: Critical hits knock back the target. And yes, that counts towards the law. So yes, you can be screwed over by random chance.

Fortunately, this mission is entirely doable without any combat at all.
Seriously, just walk past the monsters.

Most of the glowing spots are red herrings.

This is the one you want. As a general rule of thumb, the one you're looking for is the farthest, most inconvenient one.

Other characters get lines for completing the quest, not just Samuel. It's a nice touch!

No one did anything, so no bonus XP for us.

Oh, now that is a reward. Kaiser Knuckles have the Air Render ability that we saw earlier. Great!


Lenolia mastered Swarmstrike, so she's going to learn some Red Mage skills now. Red Magick is a good blend of White and Black Magick, with some twists of its own.

Back at the pub, Reagent Run now shows up in the "Other" tab. This means it's a repeatable quest, though we'll have to wait 223 days (about one in-game year) before we can take it again.

Hammers are a new weapon type for Green Mages and the as-yet-unseen Viking job.

No one can actually use this yet, but we might as well grab it.

We also pick up a nice knife.


We can finally take this quest now that we have Cactus Fruit.

: You have brought the cactus fruit? I will exchange it for this book of medical knowledge.

: That looks like a really nice book... Are you sure you want to trade it for this? I'd think you'd be able to find another cactus fruit in the market or somewhere...?

: No. I have committed to memory everything contained within this book, you see. But the cactus fruit I require to treat a boy who lies seriously ill as we speak. Please, the fruit.

: Thank you. I could not stray far from my clinic for long. With this, I will be able to concoct a salve for the boy.

And that's that.

It wasn't a battle, so there was no need for a Judge. No Judge means no clan privilege. No privilege means no bonus AP!

Mack does leave a nice note for us in the pub.

Medicinal Marvel posted:

Thanks so much for the cactus fruit the other day.

The medicine worked, and the boy was brought back from death's doorstep and restored to full health.

Much to my surprise, the boy hailed from a wealthy family, and they were quite generous in showing me their gratitude. Though this was truly unexpected, I've resolved to make the most of it by traveling to Moorabella, there to refine my skills in magickal medicine.

-Mack Ocktor


Alright, we need a little more AP so Samuel can master the level 1 Black Magick spells and move on to Blue Mage.

How about we try dispatching a quest?

No "recommended for dispatch" means any job can succeed at this one.

Selecting "Dispatch" opens this new window, where we can select who will go on the mission. The selected units will be unavailable until the mission ends, usually 4 to 6 days.

Some units are more likely to succeed than others. This is based on the quest itself, the quest's rank, the level and job of the units, and one more factor:

MVP status. As a unit earns MVP in various battles, its "MVP Statue" fills in. The higher it is, the better a leader they will be for dispatch missions.

Imino will be our leader since he has the largest MVP statue. Lenolia and Henri seem pumped up to join him, while Talf and Nyno look unhappy.

I send just these three. Perhaps sending the other two will raise their chances, but it's possible their negative reaction means they would have made it worse.

The mission is 4 days long, so we have to walk around the map for a while. Completing quests also makes time pass, but since half our clan is gone, we're better off exploring.

Baptiste Hill unlocked after we completed the last story mission. It's empty now, but leads further into Loar.

Heading back to Targ Woods, the mission returns!


And that's one of my problems with dispatch: It's hard to tell if you'll really succeed. It's great for handling low-level missions and cleaning out your backlog, and there are a few missions that are almost physically impossible to complete without it. But I mostly avoid it.


Well, we still need another quest so Samuel can finish learning Black Magick.

A lot of players complain about this mission, because they are incapable of reading and following directions.

It's quite simple: The cooking guild is looking for ingredients. And by ingredients they mean monsters.

The monsters needed for the recipe are fluffy and white. They need enough for 2 servings. Each monster is enough for 1 serving. So kill two of the white dreamhares and you're done.

This is an annoying law! Dreamhares are weak to fire. This mission could go twice as fast if it wasn't for this.
Also, Henri still has the Rising Sun equipped, which deals fire damage. I switch him over the Kaiser Knuckles instead.

: Those things all look kind of the same! Hmm... What was the request again? "Must have fluffy white fur," "enough to feed two," and "one makes one serving." So... are you from the Iron Stomach?

: ...Yes, I suppose. No, really I'm only an apprentice. I've not been formally inducted. This here's simple though: you tell me when you think you've bagged what you need. As an apprentice, I have to supervise procurement, and then take the fresh ingredients straight to the kitchen.

So, once we kill two of the white dreamhares, talk to the Bishop.

Dreamhares are annoying to fight. They deal alright damage and love to buff each other. They have incredibly high speed, and Haste just makes it worse.

I switched everyone who has it back to Black Magick after the Dragoon fight. Talf's Thunder nets us the first ingredient.

You stop that!

Oh come on.
I have no idea what happens if you try to talk to the quest giver when they're asleep.

Imino nabs the second ingredient.

One of the enemies is kind enough to wake up the Bishop.


Another bow! Excellent. And the Magus Robe is pretty nice armor for mages.

And that's that.


Samuel is finally a Blue Mage. He immediately gets the Light Saber from the beginning of the update, and he equips the Learning skill. That's the Blue Mage P-Ability that allows him to learn from enemy attacks. You must equip the ability to actually gain the abilities!
But you don't have to currently be a Blue Mage. Having "Learning" equipped is all you need.

One last shop visit to round out the update:

Some items have categories all their own. These are usually the rarest, most valuable weapons in the game. They're also sometimes available through other sources. In this case, we got the Samson Sword as a law reward a couple updates ago. It's not worth spending our only Chocobo Hide and Nepenthis on it.


Thank you for reading! Our man Samuel is ready to begin his journey of getting hit by monsters on purpose.