The Let's Play Archive

Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift

by Solumin

Part 5: Trials and Tribulations

Update 5: Trials and Tribulations

In This Update:
- Catching the Cat Thief
- The Trials of Clan Sawyer
- Cid Heads Out Alone


Welcome back!

Last time, we avoided the story for a bit and handled some side quests. Samuel is now a Blue Mage, though it'll be a bit before he learns any abilities.

After Adelle swindled them, Cid and Samuel were determined to get back at her. But how? The first step: take a mark they know she's interested in.

But first, let's do a Clan Trial!


Clan Trials serve two purposes: they grant new Clan Titles and unlock new Clan Privileges.

Titles boost your clan's stats. Each trial boosts certain ones and lowers others. For example, Negotiation I raises Negotiation but lowers Aptitude. These bonuses are permanent. Titles also give a discount to shop prices and quest fees.

Trials are the only way to unlock new privileges and power up the ones you have. Privileges like Power I can be upgraded to Power II all the way up to Power V. This is the real reason to do trials!

We'll be doing General Training. Our stats so low that the penalty from a more specialized trial will block us from some quests!

Clan Trials are one of the two uses of Clan Points. The other we'll see much later.

The red exclamation point is reserved for special events on the map.

Clan Trials are run by the Judge itself.

We can choose from 5 ranks. The chosen rank becomes our title if we successfully complete the trial. Obviously, higher ranks = better rewards.
Journeymen gives a solid boost to our stats, gives a nice 3% discount to prices and quest fees, and unlocks the "Regen" clan privilege.

Our mission: Slay these six faeries. There's no time limit, which makes this much easier.

Here's the kicker: Missing breaks the law. Clan Trials pull out all the stops; expect to see wacky and painful laws.
In many trials, breaking the law is an instant loss. Thankfully, this is not one of those trials.

Also, trials don't give an AP and barely any XP. Let's boost our agility a little to reduce our chance of breaking the law.

The enemy is at our level, so this won't be too awful. Too bad our elemental selection is limited right now, Dark-element attacks would be very helpful.

And here's the second twist: All of the faeries know Slow, and they're already much faster than us. Sure, they can't hit as hard as, say, a Wolf would, but it's still making this painful!

Samuel's dodged every Slow thrown at him, though the rest of the clan isn't as lucky.

Every tough battle in FFTA2 can be approached the same way: focus on single enemies at a time, disable any enemies you can, and keep your own team alive.

6v5. Some pressure eases off, but it's early yet.

Samuel finally gets Slowed.

Another twist: Meteorite. 57 damage from a single spell is incredible right now.
Awesome animation though.

Even slowed, we're doing pretty well. It's almost a 6v4 already!

Well. Good job, Lenolia. That was a 97% chance to hit!

OK, this isn't terrible. We've lost the law bonus, which is a shame. The clan privilege wasn't helping us much anyway. As long as no one dies, we'll be fi--

Oh dear.

When a character is knocked out, they appear in one of the six slots on the top screen. They'll stay there until revived, which lets you place them anywhere you want. This is a small change over FFTA, where characters were revived where they died.
But when the law is broken, those slots become cells. We can't revive Nyno now.

Still, things move apace. We quickly bring it down to a 5v2, though the faeries aren't going to go quietly.

It's been long enough that the Slow debuff wears off. Not only will we get our turns faster now, but the enemy will waste turns trying to reapply it.

Talf also falls. Character death is not permanent, he'll just sit out the rest of the fight.

And that's that.

Dead characters don't even miss out on XP.

The judge reappears, congratulates us and confers the title of Journeymen.


Back at the pub, let's pick up a story mission.
Up top, you can see our greatly improved stats. The cap for clan stats is 99.

Should be pretty straightforward.

Ugohr is a new enemy type: Great Tortoise. They're mean, green killing machines, with absolute buckets of HP and defense and more than enough attack to back it up.
Blue Mages can learn a really powerful but very risky ability from Great Tortoises, but Ugohr doesn't know it. And it would probably end up killing Samuel, so we wouldn't really be able to actually learn it.
You have survive the attack to learn from it, you see.

They're kind enough to let us take the full 6 plus Cid as a Guest.
We're also seeing a Cockatrice for the first time since fighting Klesta.

Unlike the last headhunt, we actually could ignore all the enemies and just focus Ugohr. But that's no fun, so my plan is to save Ugohr for last.

Both Cockatrices have a new R-Ability, called Critical: Quicken. When they reach Critical HP, they automatically get the "Quicken" buff, which lets them take a turn immediately. It can be really annoying if a strong enemy has it, but it won't end up being a problem for us.

We're already making a good dent in the enemies' numbers.

Samuel finally gets a turn. He made really bad Speed rolls -- he's even slower than Talf! A nu mou Black Mage! Samuel is significantly slower than anyone else in the clan at this point.
It's still early days yet, and while he'll never really regain those speed points, a few levels of Thief will make a big difference.

Ugohr can easily bring the hurt to us, so a few turns of Sleep will make this so much easier.
One of my goals this playthrough is to use conditions and crowd control. The best kind of crowd control either deals damage in addition to effects or hits multiple targets. Green Mage is great for the second kind.

Two more down. This is going very quickly, and both Cockatrices died without activating Critical: Quicken. it's already time to wake Ugohr!

Ugohr can give as good as gets thanks to Counter. Nyno lands a useful Blind that might save us some HP.

Counter activates when you're attacked, not when you take damage. It can be a form of soft crowd control by discouraging melee attacks against units that have it. Except I don't think the AI ever cares about that.

Great Tortoises absorb Earth-type damage, giving Ugohr the best kind of heal -- the kind that also hurts your enemies.

Fortunately, it misses him. Henri and Imino still get hit.

Imino finishes it.

Samuel doesn't care about the fight, only getting back at Adelle.

Breaking the law at the Clan Trial reset our law bonus streak, I think, so we only get one reward.

: Well, the hunt is done. Want to head back?

: Aye. Though I wish we'd found something of more substantial worth.

: And our friend never showed up, did she.

Samuel and Cid walk off. They don't get to teleport back to town like the NPCs do.

: Ha ha! The real treasure was right under their noses all along!

She walks over to Ugohr's corpse, keeping an eye out for anyone watching her.

: Urk!?

: Might even serve against monsters.

: I dunno. I think I'd rather save it for rats. I mean, we have living proof it can catch them, right?

: Just what is the meaning of this!?

: It means I didn't want you stealing off with what's ours again.

: Speaking of which... We'll be taking that alraune drill back now!

: Ha! That old thing? Long since pawned for gil, my friend.

: Not a problem. We'll just take the gil and pretend we never met.

: Nothing would make me happier. But I'm afraid I've already spent the gil.

: You spent it!? All of it!?

: What's that? Already? How could you spend so much so quickly!?

: It's policy. Why save for tomorrow what I can spend today? You're free to have a look at my purse if you like!

: ...

: Now that we all understand each other, mind removing this... this -thing- from my boots?

: We leave, Samuel. I cannot begin to fathom this woman's prattling.

: Yeah, me neither.

Samuel and Cid walk off. Cold, man, ice cold.

: H-Hey! I'm still stuck in this- Hey!!! Great. What am I supposed to do now? Come back, please!!!

Samuel's mastered Learn already, so that's the last we'll see of Blue Mage. He really needs speed, so he's going to train as a Thief.


Back in Camoa, Samuel and Cid head to the pub to discuss their next move.

: Hey Cid, you mind if we rest up a bit before getting back to our wild mage hunt?

: It makes no difference to me. But... I suspect we'll hear little more of value from the streetears in this burg. Even Ribs was offering me chocobo feed.

: So, what now? We quest until we find someone who knows more?

: That's one possibility. Unless...

: You have an idea?

: There's someone in Graszton - an old friend. She might know something others do not. Maybe.

: You... don't sound all that confident, Cid.

: Confidence's got nothing to do with it.

Didn't think we were rid of her, did you?

: You! What are you doing here!?

: Awh, Samuel! Don't look so sad. I'm here because we're friends! Isn't it obvious?

: Did you just call me Samuel?

: Since when have we been "friends" and how soon can we stop?

: Cid, please. You know, in my own way, I'm much more valuable than that silly drill.

: Maybe she's planning on working to pay us back for the drill?

: Barman! One fresh Starfruit Surprise, if you'd be so kind. Oh, and put it on their tab.

: ... I guess not.

: Come to see what else she can wring out of us, more like.

: You know, Graszton has the best confectionary... the cakes there are simply divine! I'm so glad I'll be joining you!

Cid and Samuel just shake their heads wearily.

Adelle is our first recruit. Recruitment is how we grow the clan, but much like in Pokémon, you'll probably end up with the 6 overpowered characters you're comfortable with and never use anything that comes later.
Some advantages of a large clan is being able to do lots of dispatch missions, being able to specialize characters more, and spreading out XP so no one gets too overleveled. We'll be hiring a few people of our own in a couple updates.

Adelle is a great recruit for two reasons:
She comes with 3 Thief abilities, a rare knife, and Chainmail. The last item teaches the Counter R-Ability to Thieves and White Monks. With one more Thief ability, Adelle will be ready to advance to Ninja.
Secondly, she has a monstrous 68 speed, faster than anyone else in the clan by a good margin. We're talking 10 points higher than Samuel right now!

We don't have any choice in hiring Adelle, and we can't dismiss her later. It's nice the game makes her worth it!
Though, of course, we don't have to use her if we don't want to. In my opinion, she is very much worth the investment.


Shop update:

We didn't get too much loot today.

We already have a Glass Bell. This is just a waste of a skull.

The Sun Blade teaches a couple OK abilities. Not worth sing up our own Soul Ceffyl and Bomb Shell though.
Soul Ceffyls were an important plot item in FFTA. It's funny to see them return here as low-level loot.

The Venus Blade teaches Monkey Grip, letting Warriors hold 2-handed weapons with one hand. It's also fire element. Still not worth the loot.

The Atomos Blade is definitely worth it! It teaches Air Render to Fighters and Moogle Lance to Moogle Knights. Ranged attacks are great, especially for melee fighters.
Imino equips it immediately.


Our next stop is in Graszton.

View this is motion!

It's night in the seaport.

The person at the door mutters something in reply.

: Ha ha. Worry not. I sleep with one eye open... And thanks again. I know the danger I put you in by being here.

The door shuts as Cid turns to go back to the pub.

He's interrupted by a ninja clad all in black.

: Ah... So soon? Glad I left the little ones behind on this trip.

A harsh rain starts to fall.