The Let's Play Archive

Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift

by Solumin

Part 42: Obligatory Tournament Arc, Part 3

Update 42: Obligatory Tournament Arc, Part 3

In This Update:
- Ordallia Cup: It's like the Loar Cup, but in Ordallia.
- Jylland Cup: It's like the other cups, but longer and worse.
- Honestly we just kind of trounce people, it's great.


Welcome back!

Our next tournament is the 5-bout Ordallia Cup. It takes place in Fluorgis.

Why do the aerodromes have battle arenas?

Like the Loar Cup, the law will change every time. We'll be seeing a couple familiar faces among our opposition, too.

Samuel's actually fallen behind in XP, so he's finally showing up again. Same with Tsing, who is practicing his Viking cosplay.

Unsurprisingly, a clan named "Fyrebird" focuses on Fire damage.

Alright, let's do this.

Right, I don't really have a plan here, besides trying to disable a few of them with Penelo's Sleep and Jalia's Sleep Blade. As you can see, she got two of them.

This Ninja will be a constant thorn in our side thanks to his high evasion.

The advantage of Sleep is conditions become 100% accurate. The Summoner will never get a turn, unless someone wakes her up.

We can't be too complacent. These enemies have plenty of damage to throw around, especially when we're grouped up like this.

That's two out of the fight now.

Poor Penelo is getting beaten up, but she has enough HP to survive another turn or two.

And of course she can just heal herself.

Tsing's Blink Counter acts just like regular Counter, but also knocks the attacker back. This breaks the law, despite the fact that it stipulates "actions which inflict knockback are forbidden." There's been other laws where R-Abilities didn't violate the law!

I think this actually doesn't count as a broken law though -- I mean, we still lose the ability to resurrect our KO'd units, but we'll get the full law bonus still.

Doom runs out and Samuel finally lands a blow on the Ninja. The Fighter is still Stopped, so really there's only 3 left.

Cid cleans up the heavily injured Chocobo Knight with Aurablast.

Since I've been going into more depth with the Scions, might as well summon Ultima again.

Ultima (from FFXII) posted:

Masterpiece among the scions created by the gods, and the mastermind of the plot to rise against them. Prior to her betrayal, she was tasked with guiding souls to heaven and aiding in their reincarnation. Called the High Seraph for her angelic wings of glimmering gold, yet it was on wings of deepest black that the tainted angel Ultima rose against the gods. Since her fall, her heart is without light, and impossible to know.

Remember that Ultima hurts enemies and fully heals all your allies. It's very useful in this tournament, actually. You'll almost always have it charged by the end of the round, which means you can start every round fully healed.

Well now I'm kind of glad we broke the law already.

Stop doesn't count as a KO like Stone or Toad does, so we still have to kill the poor Fighter.


Thankfully, we aren't dependent on buffs at all.

I'm actually kind of annoyed at how laws and boss design force you into builds that maximize damage.

Wait, some interesting stuff is about to happen, I'll rant in a minute.

Oof, that hurts.

Full Assault deals heavier damage and puts the user to sleep. It's not really that great? I've never noticed the damage being particularly strong.

Samuel consistently rolls low on his damage. It's frustrating.

Remember how Sleep makes status effects 100% accurate? That includes Instant KO effects.

That's two down already, nice.
(I took the screenshot too early, so the character cards hadn't finished scrolling in.)

This foolish Fighter charged forward and attacked Imino at the beginning of the battle. Imino is educating him as to why that was a bad idea.

This Templar is weakened because he was in range for a few of the AoE attacks that have been thrown around.

Sorry, I cut a lot out of this bout. There wasn't much going on besides Jalia's assassination attempt.

So might as well summon another Scion, right?

Adrammelech (from FFXII) posted:

Emperor among the scions, able to reduce to nothing aught he strikes with a single vengeful blow of his fist, created in opposition to Deudalephon the Benevolent, scion of light. Though he was made by the gods to quell the fiends that raged in the Otherworld, his immense strength and fearsome visage drew the fiends to his side, and turned him against his creators. Adrammelech rose to prominence in the Otherworld, whence he led a fiendish horde against the gods, but in the end, he was defeated.



Oh, here's a fun law. I tend to play close anyway, so won't be too hard.

Sleep: it's what's for dinner.

So is Stop, apparently.

Oh right, I was going to rant about condition builds.

The main issue with debuffs is every boss is immune to them, as are a lot of normal enemies. We've seen a lot of Ribbons recently, for example.

Add to that laws that ban buffs and status effects and suddenly that character is useless half the time.

I'm exaggerating a little, and obviously you can always switch to a damage-oriented job. But I like conditions! I played a condition damage engineer in Guild Wars 2! It's a fun archetype!

Now, you may be arguing that damage-focused jobs also have a lot of restrictions.

Chaos (from FFXII) posted:

Tutelary deity of the sacred crystals fashioned by the gods at the time of the Great Making. Created in opposition to Mitron the Chastiser, scion of light. Upon entering the world of Man, he was enveloped in the turmoil rampant there. Lost, he died and was reborn countless times, a walker of life's wheel, eventually to rage against the gods that had so fated him. By sitting in meditation upon the Uneh Pedestal does he clear heart and mind until all that has order and reason and thought is made as nothing.

Those gray bars on the side are swords. Chaos is pretty metal.

Some laws prevent characters of a certain race from using actions -- but they can still attack. Others prevent certain weapons from being used, but the unit can still use abilities. Yet others prevent damage of certain elements, but no job is locked into one element. (Except maybe Viking, which is Lightning themed.) With only one law active at a time, damage dealers are never fully locked down.

Status effects are useful, in the right circumstances, as Jalia will continue to show throughout the tournaments. But you can't rely on them.


Prima Donna again? At least the law is easy.

The nice thing about Prima Donna is only one of them has a Ribbon.

Jalia is more than happy to take advantage of that.

I've really been enjoying Penelo. White Mages can be really useful!

Jalia gets another notch on her blade. Sleep + Last Breath is kind of great. Jalia is relying on the MP Channeling Privilege though, otherwise she wouldn't be able to afford the 18 MP per turn for Last Breath.

I know I've complained about it before, but this game is really bad at generic character design. The two Spellblades are identical! One of them is Jalia. I hope you're paying attention when you're choosing your targets.

Two down already.

You can guess where this is going.

Quick interlude for Samuel to pick off one more.


The laws have actually been really easy this time. Which is good, since The Eastwatch is scary enough as it is.

: That we might meet it on the field of battle!

I love this combo so much.

This, I do not love. The Assassin really likes inflicting Slow on us. Penelo can cure it, of course.

Wait hold on since when have enemies been allowed to use items?!

Oops. You did well, Jalia, but once again I was too risky.

But Penelo has you covered.

I'm glad he got the kill, but look at the estimated damage versus actual damage. 61 whole points!

Penelo gets another good Sleep off, and Jalia is in the perfect spot to take advantage of it.

Not again!

Fine! Then take that!

At least Jalia was able to take out the second Parivir.

There! Trying cleansing your way out of that one!

That's three enemies out of commission now. Conditions are still really strong, ok, even though I ranted about how bad they are overall.

And that's what you get for being in my way. (He's wearing the Wygar, which blocks Instant KO attacks.)

Two stopped, one stoned, we're almost done here.

Which means we have time for another Scion.

Famfrit (from FFXII) posted:

The hideous, darkly clouded form of Famfrit, scion in opposition to Holy Queen Emmerololth, scion of light, was anathema even to his creators. Thus, after a great battle, was he broken and sealed within armor laced with wards. The confines of his armor are void of light, so is he called the Darkening Cloud. Men fear the rain that falls from the black clouds that ooze from that giant ewer as a herald of chaos and waste.

And back to your regularly schedule slaying.

The Ordallia Cup is ours!


The Tained Cufflink is not worn by anyone, unfortunately.

Poison's not too bad? Neutral damage is useful in some situations, too.


We're only doing two cups today.

Because the second cup has 7 bouts.

And we start off with a law we'll break right away!

Samuel still needs XP. We have Lian, Lenolia and Leed as our heavy hitters, with Imino and Penelo to support them.

You'll remember that we fought the Arbiters of Death in previous tournaments, of course.

Silence makes this Sage pretty useless.

Which makes breaking the law worth it. Don't worry, we'll still get the full law rewards despite this.

Might as well make him more useless, right? The is Shadow of Doubt, one of the Trickster abilities. I was thinking of bogging down this Sage with status effects, since the main Trickster gimmick is punishing enemies that have a lot of conditions.

But that's not really worth the time it would take to set up. Instead, Leed gets punished.

Well ok then!

Since we broke the law, we can't revive him. Instead, Penelo casts Protect on the team. Coincidentally, the enemy Sniper does the same.

Fortunately, we have Lenolia.

I promise not every battle will be a steamroll like this, as fun as it is.

Two dead and two in critical health in only two turns. Would have had a higher kill count, but a couple of the summons missed.

Samuel takes care of it.

The Sage uses an X-Potion on himself, and Lian tries out Traumatize. It's the Trickster ability that deals more damage for each condition on the target. Obviously we need more conditions before it'll be worth it.

That's better.

The Hunter then tries to heal the Sage, but it's a bit late. The Hunter's bow deals earth damage, which the Sage absorbs.

Penelo lands the Sleep on both enemies. Imino Stops the Sniper.

Samuel immediately wakes up the Hunter, because I'm really good at this game, ok. Parivirs have an ability called Iai Blow, which has a chance to instantly kill the target. As far as I can tell, it's a fixed chance instead of a normal status effect, so Sleep doesn't make it more accurate.

At least I remembered to do that. It's faster than killing her.

Samuel did enough damage that Imino and Lenolia will finish off the Hunter before her turn starts.

The Hunter actually resists Holy damage, so Lenolia needs to use Thunder to guarantee the KO.

Oddly, the matches get a little easier from here.


A much, much easier law. Lian is the only one affected by it, and he has better things to do than throw cards at people.

: Witness our power, come from the northern seas like a wild rime-storm of vengeance!

Vikings, Samuel. Vikings.

Good news, Leed is back! With 1 HP, of course, but that's what Cura is for.

I was really worried the Trickster would try to kill Leed, and I'm honestly not sure why he didn't.

Suggestion is another Trickster ability. It inflicts Toad. This is the only way to make a Flintlock more useless than he already is.

The enemies seem to know Lenolia is the biggest threat! Penelo can help Lenolia handle the damage, thankfully.

Well now, this is interesting. As far as I know, this Geomancer is the only unit in the game with the Elusion P-Ability. Is it more cut content, like Blood Price for nu mou? Or maybe just the usual AI cheats? No idea.

It's easy enough to bypass, if you can stand next to her.

Why yes, the Summoner can cover half the battlefield with one attack.

She only gets a single KO for it though. See? I told you not every battle would be Lenolia killing everyone.

Samuel wasn't able to kill the Parivir and was attacked by the Seer for his troubles. Leed shows them how it's done.

Just the Seer and the Trickster left now. The poor Flintlock can't even attack, he's just flopping around.

Leed finishes off the Trickster with Ultima for the free healing. The Toad counts as a KO'd unit, so we're victorious!


Prima Donna again? Jeez, it's not like they're going to be any more interesting than last time. At least the law is easy, Regen basically guarantees we'll be fine.

Seriously, there's only four of them. Leed almost killed the Hunter on his first turn.

The Spellblade and Raptor charge right into us, which is nice of them I guess.

Oh look they're actually doing damage.

Lenolia throws us a heal. We don't need the double Summon damage right now, we have this in hand.

I don't understand how so many of Samuel's attacks are underperforming. It's rather frustrating.

Lian cleans up after him.

Magick Frenzy would be a great choice normally, but see how "Reflex" is in white on the opponent's card? That means the R-Ability will activate -- the spell will hit, but the melee attacks will miss.

Fortunately, Seer comes equipped with some powerful spells he can use instead.

That's actually some really impressive damage. I'd almost feel threatened, if there was more than just her.

And Imino goes ahead and trivializes the fight anyway.

All of these condition attacks have been 40% - 65% chances, by the way. We're getting pretty lucky, though I'm not bothering to show you the misses.

I wish I could solve more problems by turning them to stone.


Why does this longest tournament have the easiest laws? Are these middle matches supposed to be filler? (It is a tournament arc, after all.)

Then again, the Eastwatch has never been the easiest enemy.

: Wow... If looks could kill...

Unsurprisingly, the clan full of Ninjas and Assassins is faster than us.

More annoyingly, they actually like using the good conditions.

But we can teach them a thing or two about that, can't we.

And of course Penelo can just cleanse those conditions away.

Looks like Penelo is going to be very busy this match.

Lenolia is in a good position to hit three enemies, but she'll also hit Leed. What to do...

Protect him with Shell first, of course! It, uh, it didn't work. Maybe I should have shelled him with Protect...?

Instead of healing him, we'll just bless him with Reraise. Penelo can only cure him for about 100 HP, and we've seen the enemy burn through that much HP easily. Reraise is, in a way, more healing than Curaga would be.

It helps that the enemy is very, very bad at this.

I'll admit, I was expecting Samuel to do 180 damage or something.

On one side, a witch who sacrifices her own blood to sunder her enemies. On the other, a lizard who turns his enemies to stone.

And in the middle, a wizard who can freeze time. Clan Sawyer is kind of terrifying.

Only the Assassin and the Ninja left now.

And we finally get Leed out of the danger zone.

He pays it forward by killing the Ninja. The Assassin dodged a few more attacks, but we only needed to get lucky once.

Literally half the enemy team was turned to stone. That's awesome, we're terrible.


Hmm, this law shouldn't be too bad. It kind of cuts down on our damage though.

But on the other hand, there's only 3 enemies.

: You've done well to make it this far, but this is where it ends.

Interestingly enough, they're all wearing Mirror Mail, which reflects magick. Additionally, only this Assassin is wearing a Ribbon. The Tank P-Ability lets them wear heavy armor, in case you were wondering how a White Mage was wearing mail.

As I always say: target the healers! I was hoping Leed would inflict Silence here, which would really shut down the mage. No such luck.

Hey, that's the build Jalia is supposed to have! Spellblade is nice and all, but it's even better when you can use its abilities from across the battlefield, as this Assassin is showing us.

On the other side, Lian attempts to curtail the Summoner with Berserk, which forces her to use only melee attacks.

Reflect doesn't block Summons, because viera are just too awesome.

The Summoner doesn't have Blood Price, but I still prefer this to any magick she might cast.

Maybe Slow would have been more useful, but I wanted to keep the Berserk around if possible.

Now here's a puzzle. We know both enemies have Reflect, so Leed's spells will just hurt him. Using a single-target Ninja Veil would be fine, as we saw earlier with the White Mage. But attacking both targets with an AoE spell will be more useful in terms of economy of action, because then Leed will hit both of them with powerful melee attacks.

So instead, we'll use Cure!


The Assassin falls soon after.

If by "feared" you mean "expected" and by "tough" you mean "weak" then I agree.


That's an odd law. We'll be fine.

Them's fighting words, Bowen. "Gifted you the title"? Please.

As usual, Veis gets the first turn.

I don't want Twiminy to fire off too many Illusions. The easiest way to prevent that is to take away his power source: his HP.

Ah, there we go. I was a little surprised Veis didn't vanish during the first turn.
Also, we've had one turn and two of them are almost dead already.

House Bowen is supposedly one of the premier clans. And yet here we are.

I really think they're just filler for this tournament, which is a little sad.

It doesn't help that we're really strong, of course.

Has anyone seen Veis? She has to be around here somewhere...
(Yes, she didn't get a single turn in the middle of all that slaughter.)

It really wasn't!

: Okay, on to the final bout of the clan tourney!


I've complained about this law before, but it's honestly not too bad this far into the game. You'll likely be using abilities every turn, so few characters will have any overlap.

We've been using Regen or MP Channeling in every bout so far. Time for that sweet, sweet Bonus AP.

: That's a weird thing to say before the final bout.... No doubt they've done their share of bruising, though. Let's try to avoid that if we can!

That's a kill on the first turn. Is that a new record?!

There's some ineffectual faffing about, and then the White Mage pulls this out and the Raptor attacks Leed.

Can't have that, can we?

OK, so maybe I'm showing off a bit. It's the final bout, let me enjoy this.

Imino doesn't quite secure a kill there, unfortunately.

Hey wait, that's my plan! Except I don't waste the extra turns.

Lian does know spells besides Break, in case you forgot.

It was hard to refrain from using Lightning spells earlier, so I'm trying to make up for it.

Leed gets a double kill off it, too.

Vitals Shot inflicts a random condition. She got lucky and inflicted one of the few the Orb of Minwu doesn't block.

Imino snaps him out of it.

Frustratingly, this Raptor has an insane 32 Evasion. She can't do much to us, but this fight is dragging out because we just can't hit her.

But then again, we only need to get lucky once.

: I didn't think we'd make it this far, but we did!


We're approaching the end of this Obligatory Tournament Arc, thankfully. It's fun, but hard to commentate.

We didn't get to see our new jewelry in this last tournament, so we'll have two Scions to look forward to next time. The Gift of the Judge-Sal is worn by Lezaford, which makes sense considering he created the Judges. It's hanging from his staff.


Thanks for reading!

Before we part once more, take a look at how many levels we gained this update:

The first Ordallia Cup bout vs. the last Jylland Cup bout.

Yeah, these have been really good for our XP. But honestly, we have such a quest backlog that levels don't matter. I'd rather be getting AP!