The Let's Play Archive

Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift

by Solumin

Part 58: Feathers and Foozles

Update 58: Feathers and Foozles

In This Update:
- Chocobos!
- Chocobos!!


Welcome back! Today we're handling the chocobo Rancher quests, a whole series of missions that focuses on the moogle's Chocobo Knight job.

First, we need someone to be our knight. We have only three moogles in the clan, of course. If you need a refresher on Chocobo Knights, check out the Bad Job Roundup, where I complain about just how bad the job is.

Hurdy and Montblanc can't do it. I think it's because they have special sprites that don't change with their current job, which conflicts with how chocobo Knight works.

Excuse me while we go grind up some Animist skills on Imino.

There are going to be a lot of monster battles this update. You'll see why in a bit.

Don't worry, we won't be going into detail on most of them.

It only takes a couple battles to get Imino ready to ride giant birds for a living, and so we're ready to take on the first Rancher's Request. The aspiring rancher Yew can't afford to buy chocobos, so he wants us to capture a wild one instead. You can see in the second screenshot that we really aren't getting much for this one -- 4 Gil, once you take into account the fee.

Now, the easiest way to find chocobos is from monster battles. Since these battles are infinitely repeatable, you'll always be able to find a chocobo to ride -- possibly the one thing saving Chocobo Knight from being completely useless. This battle in Targ Woods always has a yellow chocobo.

Of course, you can find the birds in other missions, but good luck figuring out which ones!

The thing about monster battle is they just aren't that interesting. I mean, when I'm playing the game, sure, they're pretty fun. The enemies have lots of abilities and are actually at your level! (For now.)

But in the context of an LP? There's not much going on. There's no overarching context, no singularly dangerous boss enemy to focus on, no high stakes. Just pure battle.

I'll show anything interesting that may happen. For example, Samuel can learn Magick Hammer from the Baknamy in this battle, but I forgot to give Talf the instrument that lets him control Baknamy.

Talf brings the chocobo down to critical HP -- which lets Imino capture it -- but it immediately heals itself up.

So Al-Cid shoots it in the back.

Standing next to the weakened chocobo lets Imino choose the "mount" command.

And presto, you've captured your very own chocobo!

Now that he's riding a chocobo, Imino can use Chococraft to harness his companion's abilities! With such stupendous options as... these three...

Well it's not completely useless I suppose.

To top it all off, Samuel learned Magick Hammer without any help from Talf.

A successful mission, all told.

Now that we have a yellow chocobo, we can take the Rancher's Request mission. It's right here in Targ Woods, thankfully. I recommend always catching the bird before taking the request, so you don't have to worry about the 20-day time limit when searching.

This is just a delivery mission, so there's no law. (And therefore no chance for Bonus AP, sadly.)

The quest is easy: plonk down your Chocobo Knight with the correct bird and... that's it.

This is Yew. He's alright, I guess.

: Nevertheless, here I am, kupo! And it wasn't easy, let me tell you! I had to endure quite the pecking on my way!

: Well, you found a fine chocobo, no doubt about it. A healthy one, and spirited, too! I wasn't sure what to expect from a feral chocobo, but I'm not disappointed!

: She's a little skittish, so be sure to talk real gentle to her, kupo.

And that's that.

Imino reverts back to being a plain, umounted Knight after that quest. So that's just great. I imagine this is even more frustrating if you're actually trying to use Chocobo Knight, but at least you can go back and capture another in the same battle.


Our next quarry is a black chocobo, renowned for their ability to fly and spit fireballs.

They can be found in the Galerria Deep monster battle.

A battle which promises to be a fun time for all!

Chocobo are a bit odd in battle. They won't hesitate to grant buffs to your team, even though you're enemies.

Cid is the first person to have some serious fun, as he is randomly turned to stone.

And then this Plague uses Roulette to randomly kill...

One of its allies! Good times are being had, indeed.

A few turns later, it lands on Imino for real, but he's immune to instant Death attacks.

A few turns later, most of the enemies are dead, and we've finally weakened the chocobo so Imino can mount it.

Choco Flame is cool, but it's a bit weak. I think it scales off Magick Power, and Imino has been largely focused on physical traits. Or it's just a weak attack, who knows.

And that's another battle done.


Back in Targ Woods, we pick up the request and head over to Yew's ranch.

When mounted, the Chocobo Knight becomes "<Color> Rider," which is pretty cool I guess. Note that Imino now shares his chocobo's weaknesses to Water, Lightning and Holy damage.

: Nevertheless, I've brought the black chocobo you wanted, kupo! He's a spirited one. Tried to buck me off several times, kupo.

: Black chocobos don't take well to being ridden. It's all they can do to fly as it is. Having someone on their back doesn't help! How would you feel if you had someone weighing you down, keeping you from moving? Even so, this must be an especially mischievous fellow to try and buck you off. I'll be sure to take my time breaking him in.

: Take good care of him, kupo! I'm starting to get attached, and I think he was, too. He even gave me some pepio nuts he found. They were a bit sticky and smelled funny, so I only pretended to eat them... but don't tell him, kupo!

Nice, two chocobos down. I'll admit, I don't particularly enjoy these quests, because they're a bit tedious. But this is going alright.


Up next: green chocobo. You can find them in Zedlei Forest. In addition to the three abilities every chocobo has, they pack Choco Esuna, which cures some status effects.

By the way, if you're wondering how I get these quests to show up, I just walk back and forth until they appear. Nothing fancy.

Advanced warning: nothing interesting happens in this battle.

Also there are two chocobos here! Exciting!

We weaken the chocobo pretty quickly, but again with the healing!

And the elevation is just a bit too much for Imino to mount it. On his second try, an inopportune Opportunity Command prevents him from being able to use Mount!

It takes a while for Imino to chase down the chocobo while it's weak enough to catch. In the meantime, all the other enemies are dead.

Also, there's an "unmount" option. It makes sense that you can dismiss your mount, but it sure would suck to hit this option in the heat of battle.

With that done, let's pick up the quest.

Same as before, just pick your Green Rider.

: Green chocobos are fast, but I'm faster, kupo! Once I caught her, she calmed right down. She's a good girl, kupo!

: Green chocobos take well to people. They run if you chase them, but I think they do it more as a game than anything else. If they really wanted to get away, they could. You should see how fast they run from predators. Maybe the one that ran from me mistook me for someone out to do it harm... But we won't have any mix ups like that, will we, girl!

: She's the sweetest chocobo I've known, kupo. You be sure to take extra good care of her!

Three down, three to go!


Next is the brown chocobo, also called the "chocolate" chocobo by absolutely no one. They can be found in the mountains of the Aldanna Range.

I'm pretty sure we've fought these guys before? All the Werewolf battle blend together after a while.

This law is actually kind of helpful: it stops you from accidentally killing the chocobo if it attacks you.

Brown chocobos have Choco Guard, which grants Regen and buffs to Defense and Magick Resistance. Stack that with Choco Barrier (Protect + Shell) for some serious defense!

Not enough to stop us from killing all of its allies, of course. (Don't worry, Hurdy is immune to Ice damage! He'll be fine.)

A Scion also helps clean things up quickly.

And then Lennart to catch the last Headless that survived the other attacks.

With the chocobo weakened by Adelle's attack, Montblanc quickens Imino so he can immediately capture it.

With that, the battle is over.

Back at the pub, the next Rancher's Request is... not available yet. Excuse me while I go wander the continent for 13 days.

There we go.

My favorite part of these quests is how the pen starts to fill up.

: Well, kupo, this one put up a real fight, I must admit!

: Brown chocobos are the most aggressive breed. Feed them minett greens helps to keep their dander down. Feed them a little each day and soon enough they'll be as calm as kittens.

: Really, kupo? Who'd have thought that eating your greens could do so much good? Well, I'm all for it if it keeps the chocobos happy, kupo!

Excellent. I'll try not to worry about them drugging the chocobo to keep it docile.


White chocobos can be found in the Rupie Mountains. Like the brown and green varieties, they're more support focused with the MP-restoring Choco Recharge ability.

I actually have no recollection of ever doing this battle before, and I've beaten this game multiple times.

And look, a law we'll break immediately!

I wasn't kidding.

Bad laws should be broken!

By the way, our target chocobo is down here. Since it can't fly, it's pretty much stuck down here.

Here's Avalanche, a Geomancer spell we rarely see. It makes more snow and can put enemies to sleep.

To make sure the chocobo doesn't accidentally die, Imino is facing it alone. (This is my second attempt at this battle. I've learned my lesson about ganging up on the poor bird.)

Al-Cid does help weaken it.

And just like that, we've captured another chocobo!

Sorry we aren't getting to see them in action, but the enemies keep dying before I can capture the target.

Back in Targ Woods, we pick up the request. (After having to wander around for nearly a month for it to become available, of course.)

You know how this goes by now.

: This one's the same color as me, kupo! And smart, too. It wasn't easy catching him, kupo.

: Are you really... really going to give him to me? Having a white chocobo to call my own is like a dream come true! They're so shy of people, I'll have to be careful he doesn't try to run away. Let's see, what to feed him...

: Sylkis greens. Yes, he's sure to like that.

: He's quite timid, so treat him with extra care, kupo. If you're really, really nice to him, I bet he won't care what you feed him!

Yew is building up quite the stable. Just one more variety to go!


Red chocobos are the second "offensive" variety, coming equipped with the powerful Choco Meteor attack. They can be found in the desert, cavorting with a bunch of Bombs and Antlions.

This is also a battle where Samuel can pick up a few more Blue Mage abilities.

Straightforward enough: don't use Ultima or any Illusions, unless you have Half MP.

Be aware that there are many, many traps here, especially ones right outside our starting area.

This shouldn't be too much trouble. At most, it'll trigger a single reaction ability from its allies and not take too much damage.

One of the abilities Samuel can learn is Self Destruct, which only the red Bombs know. It can only be cast when the user is at Critical HP, making it a bit tricky to get.

But luck is on our side!

I imagine this could be quite hilarious with an Angel Ring and Critical: Quicken.

The other ability he needs to learn is Sandstorm, which neither Antlion wants to cast on him.

The chocobo attacked one of its allies, and the counterattack snapped it out its Charmed status. So it decides to attack Henri instead.

Choco Meteor is pretty awesome! At 18 MP per cast, it's a bit expensive, but its 4-tile AoE and high damage make it worth it.

Samuel finds himself surrounded by Antlions, so this is the perfect chance to show off Beastmastery!

The Beast Lore menu shows the name of every species the Beastmaster knows how to control, though only the species that are present on the battlefield can be selected. In this case, we want Antlion.

The spells can only target enemies that are up to 2 tiles away from the Beastmaster, and you can only make the monster attack with one of its abilities. You can't move them or anything else.

Using an ability is the same as always. Once you've used an attack, the Beastmaster stops controlling the monster. And that's really it.

Anyway, we kill the Antlions and the chocobo nearly kills itself on Tsing.

Fortunately, that's exactly what Imino needs, and he quickly captures the bird.

We head down to Goug to see if the Rancher's Request - Red mission is available, since the last two have been unavailable by the time I got to Targ Woods. The monster battle here is called "Of A Feather," and it's a great location for catching yellow and red chocobos! We'll be seeing it another time.

With the mission in hand, we head off to Targ Woods.

Say goodbye to our last feathered friend!

I'm pretty sure this is a sign that the "I never imagined you'd catch me a chocobo this fast!" text we saw previously is just an Easter egg for completing the quest immediately after accepting it. A good touch.

: They're a dangerous breed, the red ones. I've been looking forward to observing one more closely.

: Kupo-po... I don't know how, but I managed to get it here, kupo. It sure rocked and rolled, kupo! I nearly got saddle-sick.

: Aye, the red chocobo is a wild beast. Its whole body ripples when it gallops along.

I don't see a golden chocobo in your collection, mister.

: How long have I dreamed of this day! Chocobos, chocobos, and more chocobos!

: I'm sure they'll have a happy home, kupo.

And with that, our final chocobo delivery is complete. You can see our rewards have increased quite handsomely since the first mission! I guess Yew's ranch is really taking off.


Thanks for reading!

After all these battles, we've capped our Clan Points. (We started the update with approximately 9450.) Even if I did every auction and bought a ton of tokens, I don't think I'll ever run out.

We've seen some personal growth, too! Look how many levels we've gained over the course of the update. Since the monster battles are close to our level, we're guaranteed to get at least 60 XP per battle. I think the Bonus XP clan privilege would give you a level per battle!

I mentioned earlier that I'm not really a big fan of these missions. Having replayed them, I actually like them a bit more. There's a clear character arc as we see Yew become a competent and skilled chocobo wrangler: he starts off unsure and ignorant, and he quickly becomes more knowledgable about his charges and how best to raise them. By the end of the quest line, he's confident in his ability to raise the most timid and most dangerous chocobos!

Obviously, grinding through the six quests in order like this is tedious. But I'm still not happy that we have to give up a hard-earned bird just for a small cash reward, though I admit the quests would be very weird if we didn't hand over the chocobo.

Well, that's enough words for now. Let's talk about voting!

Please vote for up to 2 of the following:

1. The Komodo Potions company seems to need help!
2. There's been some trouble down the mines!
3. The Five Kings are demanding a rematch!
4. Or, of course, we fill our time with other fun missions.