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Final Fantasy XII International Zodiac Job System

by BrainWeasel

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Original Thread: HIS 299L - Historical Revisionism and the Monomyth (FFXII-IZJS)

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HIS 299L - Historical Revisionism and the Monomyth - New Assignments Posted

Module 0 - Review

Ondore p. 85-89: "Of the Fall of Kingdoms" (Plot)
Durai p. 8-13: "Betrayal at Nalbina" (Gameplay)

Module 1 - The Call To Adventure
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, something that shakes the foundations of the status quo and sets the hero off on his quest. The hero may act out of curiosity or boredom, or be pushed to action by external agents or simply the arrival of an appointed time. The incendiary event may be large and dramatic or a mere last straw. Whatever the reason, the epic story begins by establishing normalcy and then shattering it.

Ondore p. 99-103: "Background on Occupied Dalmasca" (Plot)
Von Muir p. 3-12: "The History of Archetypes" (Development)
Recitation Notes 1: Text Errata (Mechanics)
Clemens p. 78-89: "Archadia, Dalmasca, and Manifest Destiny" (Exploration)
Recitation Notes 2: Making Effective Use of Library Resources (Mechanics)
Ondore p. 105-107: "The Impatient" (Plot)
Von Muir p. 13-14: "The Power of Archetypes" (Development)

Module 2 - Refusal Of The Call
The hero walks to the edge of the known and looks out over it. The unfamiliar looms large, and the hero hesitates. Perhaps the danger of the quest, previously unknown, is brought into stark relief, and perhaps worldly concerns and the trappings of mundane life hold him back. Doubt enters his mind, and he tries to turn away from the quest, hoping to return to normalcy. When he fails to do so, for whatever reason, the quest begins in earnest.

Durai p. 20-26: "The Underground Resistance" (Gameplay)
Ondore p. 108-113: "The Fate of Traitors" (Plot)
Durai p. 27-31: "Dead Men" (Gameplay)
Von Muir p.16-22: "From Archetype to Character" (Development)

Module 3 - Rescue From Without
The hero in an epic quest often receives some sort of divine guidance or assistance, driving him on through the realm of the fantastic, but often also requires the help of his mortal peers to guide his return to the mundane realm. In the classical formulation, this phase is part of the return cycle, and occurs late in the story when the object of the quest has already been obtained. However, modern three-act structures will sometimes use this phase early to rescue the hero from the quest's unforseen consequences, often by other aspiring heroes, which returns him to a stable position from which he can reorient himself on his own quest, potentially with new allies at his side.

Ondore p. 116-117: "Organization of the Resistance" (Plot)
Recitation Notes 3: Working Ahead (Superweapons)
Clemens p. 25-29: "Vengeance and the Afterlife" (Sidequests)
Durai p. 34-36: "Imperial Oversight" (Gameplay)
Ondore p. 118-122: "Fragile Alliance" (Plot)
Clemens p. 37-40: "Dominion Over Beasts" (Sidequests)
Durai p. 40-42: "At the Feet of a Cold Throne" (Gameplay)
Recitation Notes 4: How To Study In Groups (Mechanics)

Module 4 - Crossing the First Threshold
These are the first conscious steps forward by the hero, leaving behind the familiar and stepping into another world. The hero has a clear objective, a path to that objective, and the will to walk that path, and moves without hesitation. This is an important transformative stage, wherein the hero becomes an active agent in his own fate. That independent will is what separates a true hero from a simple tool of the gods.

Ondore p. 129-130: "Dalmascan Royal Succession" (Plot)
Clemens p. 40-44: "The Rise of Humes" (Exploration)
Recitation Notes 5: Modifying Study Habits To Match Your Learning Style (Mechanics)

Module 5 - Meeting With The Goddess
Now fully immersed in the realm of the unfamiliar, the hero risks being disoriented and lost. He must be held to his quest by a glimpse of what he wants most, a greater purpose that can overwhelm worldly concerns, something to strive toward that is beyond any confusion or hesitation. Often this is represented or symbolized by a divine, unconditional love, but any lofty romantic ideal can serve the same purpose -- love of duty, love of country, and so on. This promise of divine fulfillment must sustain the hero through the struggles and temptations of the quest.

Durai p. 47-50: "The True Measure of Power" (Gameplay)
Von Muir p. 46-52: "Chapter 4: Edward Meets the Spurned Dark Warrior" (Development)
Ondore p. 131-134: "Biding Time" (Plot)
Recitation Notes 6: Time Management (Mechanics)

Module 6 - The Road Of Trials
The key to the scale of the epic story is that the journey of the hero has no easy solutions. The hero must walk a long and winding road, solving one riddle, passing one test of skill, or fleeing one deadly fight only to be confronted with two more. Many of these trials the hero will fail, or turn out to be dead ends. Each successive trial prepares the hero for the next, whether because he must defeat each guardian of the immortal realm in turn to prove his worth, or because each success (or failure) merely peels away another layer from the overall aim of the quest to reveal the new complication underneath. However, this is also a hopeful stage, as the indomitable forces arrayed against the hero are broken down into manageable pieces, and the hero begins to discover that, though it may take him more steps to reach the same ends, he is not powerless in the face of the gods.

Ondore p. 135-136: "Distribution of Power" (Plot)
Clemens p. 12-17: "Shaping Earth" (Sidequests)
Clemens p. 17-21: "And Tearing Sky" (Exploration)
Ondore p. 137-143: "Stones of War and Peace" (Plot)

Module 7 - Woman as Temptress
Similar to the Refusal of the Call, this unfortunately patriarchally-named stage is the last attempt to turn the hero from his quest with the promise of earthly things. The world appeals to the hero's basest desires, tempting him with wealth, fame, carnal pleasures, comfortable familiarity, unchallenging safety, and blissful ignorance. Unlike the Refusal, the hero has the strength and the agency to turn from the quest at this point, but has evolved beyond such temptations. Having tasted the ambrosia offered in the Meeting with the Goddess, his tongue is dead to earthly bread. He may take a moment to mourn what he has left behind, no longer able to be satisfied with the simpler things of mortal life, but he then moves forward, confident that the reward at the end of the quest will be worth the struggle.

Ondore p. 147-150: "The Isolated" (Plot)
Durai p. 52-54: "The Cruelty of Science" (Gameplay)
Clemens p. 67-72: "Ghost Hunters, Dragon Slayers" (Sidequests)
Von Muir p. 70-75: "Chapter 8: Edward and the Monstrous Hordes" (Development)
Recitation Notes 7: Formatting And Presentation Workshop (Mechanics)

Module 8 - Supernatural Aid
The Hero's Journey is often a heavenly war by proxy, and not all gods choose to align against the hero. Those who see the hero's potential or are aligned with his goals will grant him protection and favor, usually in the form of an enchanted object. The exact nature of this blessed item can vary, and it may grant the hero great power or merely unlock the final door at the end of the journey. Either way, it symbolizes a hand reached out to assist the hero from the realm of mortals into the realm of the fantastic, a gesture of trust and cooperation. Whether that trust is misplaced is left up to the hero's actions.

Ondore p. 152-155: "Last Hope" (Plot)
Durai p. 56-62: "Raithwall's Secret Legacy" (Gameplay)
Von Muir p. 30-38: "Chapter 2: Edward and the Maiden's Sacrifice" (Development)
Recitation Notes 8: Midterm Review (Mechanics)
Ondore p. 157-160: "Enduring Faith" (Plot)

Module 9 - Apotheosis
When the hero gains true power, it is a transformative event. He dies and is reborn, sometimes metaphorically, sometimes spiritually, and sometimes physically. As with all beings, the newborn hero is faced with questions of self-realization -- now that he has surpassed his mundane existence, what is he, and what does he wish to be? The hero pauses to reflect on the profound changes he has undergone, and to consider his path forward.

Clemens p. 29-33: "Dead Heroes and Reborn Messiahs" (Sidequests)
Von Muir p. 92-95: "Chapter 12: Edward and the Trial of the Unsent Dead" (Development)
Ondore p. 160-161: "The Slow March to War" (Plot)
Durai p. 64-67: "The Archadian Underclass" (Gameplay)
Recitation Notes 9: Studying For The Final (Superweapons)

Module 10 - Atonement with the Father
Coming from the mortal realm, the hero has some guiding force that has driven the course of his life up to this point. This could be the hero's literal father, but it could also be a father figure, the ideals of his fatherland, or a godly all-father. The hero cannot be said to have truly been transformed by his journey while he fears the repercussions of acting without the father's will. It is up to him to confront that force and find atonement for breaking from the path of the father, as all children must when they come of age.

Clemens p. 33-36: "Marks of a Hero" (Exploration)
Ondore p. 165: "Archadian Social Hierarchy" (Plot)
Durai p. 69-73: "Pillars of Science" (Gameplay)

Module 11 - Belly of The Whale
This is the point of the quest at which the hero becomes completely cut off from his mundane life. The realm he enters bears no resemblance to anything he has ever seen before, and he disappears from the sight of the common man. The hero must come to this isolated place, away from the eyes and demands of the world, to be transformed, to face their inner crucible without distractions and be forged anew.

Ondore p. 166-171: "Through Midlight to Dawn" (Plot)
Clemens p. 8-12: "Consumption, Corruption, and Sin" (Sidequests)
Von Muir p. 75-78: "Chapter 9: Edward and the All-Swallowing Serpent" (Development)
Clemens p. 73-78: "Divinity of Uncharted Lands" (Exploration)
Von Muir p. 39-45: "Chapter 3: Edward and the Sage's Judgement" (Development)
Durai p. 79-86: "Titans' Footfalls" (Gameplay)
Von Muir p. 24-29: "Chapter 1: Edward and the Aspect of the Vagabond" (Development)

Module 12 - The Ultimate Boon
The object of the quest may take many forms -- phenomenal power, hidden knowledge, the wisdom and peace of true enlightenment -- but, once obtained, it marks the axis of reflection in the hero's path. The hero has been transformed by the boon, and equally by the journey itself, and now begins to walk his path of trials in reverse. The forces that once pushed him back will now pull him in, and he will see the obstacles in his path from the side of the fantastic, rather than that of the mundane.

Ondore p. 170-178: "Tempered Blades" (Plot)

Module 13 - The Magic Flight
This stage is a vital demonstration of the transformed hero's newfound agency. Having attained the power or knowledge he sought, the hero now uses that boon to travel freely through the realm of the gods. If the hero stole his enlightenment from jealous gods, this flight may be him dodging the consequences of his actions -- or, at least, facing them on his own terms. Otherwise, it is a simple victory lap, showing the hero at home in the fantastic.

Clemens p. 58-66: "Divine Weapons" (Sidequests)
Von Muir p. 95-102: "Chapter 13: Edward and the Avatar of Hatred" (Development)
Clemens p. 89-94: "Burying the Dead" (Exploration)
Von Muir p. 63-69: "Chapter 7: Edward Meets the Mighty Meditator" (Development)
Recitation Notes 10: Strategies for Multiple-Choice Questions (Mechanics)

Module 14 - Crossing of the Return Threshold
The hero has been a mortal in the mortal realm, a mortal in a fantastic realm, and then an enlightened being in a fantastic realm. To close the circle, the final step is to learn to be an enlightened being in the mortal realm again. The power or knowledge he carries, like the fire of Prometheus, has the potential to change the world forever. It is now the hero's responsibility to decide how to use that power -- or, indeed, if the rest of humanity is even worthy of it.

Durai p. 91-99: "Ascending to Godhood" (Gameplay)
Von Muir p. 53-59: "Chapter 5: Edward and the Lion of Earth" (Development)
Ondore p. 180-185: "The Beacon Shone" (Plot)
Von Muir p. 59-63: "Chapter 6: Edward and the Trial of the Dark Water" (Development)
Recitation Notes 11: Resources for International Students (Mechanics)

Module 15 - Freedom to Live
Assuming that the hero does return to the mortal realm, he becomes an elemental force of change. The fears that chip away at most other men's lives -- fear of uncertainty, of failure, of death -- do not hold him back. Having already undergone a sort of death and rebirth, he has shaken off those fears, and in that freedom can be said to be truly alive. He acts without hesitation, leads from the front of the army, signs his true name beneath his writings, and inspires greatness in his fellow man.

Ondore p. 187-189: "The First Shots" (Plot)
Durai p. 102-114: "Descending to Earth" (Gameplay)

Module 16 - Master of Two Worlds
The hero's final reward is to find home and peace as a fantastic being in the mortal realm. The humanity of his birth and the divinity of his enlightenment are reconciled, and he will spend the remainder of his days as a citizen of two worlds, finding solid footing wherever he may choose to go.

Ondore Appendix A1-A7: "The Dalmascan Restoration" (Plot)

Module 17 - Refusal of the Return
The other possible outcome is that the hero chooses not to return to the mortal realm, deeming either his fellow man unworthy or unprepared for enlightenment or himself too much changed to live beside them. Through his ascention, he finds an unending adventure, forever conquering new and greater challenges in the fantastic realm, both above and beyond the petty squabbles of the world.

Clemens p. 21-25: "Separating Light and Dark" (Exploration)
Clemens p. 5-8: "The Inscrutable Nature of Angels" (Exploration)
Von Muir p. 85-92: "Chapter 11: Edward and the Heaven-Reaching Tower" (Development)
Clemens p. 51-57: "The Thirteenth Sign" (Exploration)
Von Muir p. 78-84: "Chapter 10: Edward and the Song of Power" (Development)
Recitation Notes 12: Final Exam Checklist (Superweapons)
Clemens p. 47-51: "Those Damned to Hell" (Sidequests)
Clemens p. 2-5: "The Creator and the Destroyer" (Sidequests)
Unabridged Lecture Notes

External Links

Nohte Cliffs Publishing Guides, History Series: The Dalmascan Occupation
Module 0 Summary
Module 1 Summary
Module 2 Summary
Module 3 Summary
Module 4 Summary
Module 5 Summary
Module 6 Summary
Module 7 Summary
Module 8 Summary
Module 9 Summary
Module 10 Summary
Module 11 & 12 Summary
Module 13 Summary
Module 14 Summary
Module 15 & 16 Summary
Module 17 Summary

Suggested Further Reading (New Game + Modes)
Bridges, L. "WHALES FROM THE MOON and 299 Other Dumb Myths"
Rev. Black, W. L. "Gilded Cross: Why Good Men Fight For Bad Lies"
Unne, C. "A History of History"


Homework Solutions

hawk16zz posted:

You can always pick them out of a hat...

Fister Roboto posted:



Shoot! Did I miss the deadline for the extra credit assignment (Clemens pp. 72, Exercise 3: 'Foes As They Are')? Please excuse my late submission:


I was gonna write an essay in favor of Penelo because I wanted her to have Wither, but it was "24-Hour Taco Festival" day at the dining hall. I need the points to keep up my 2.1 GPA, though, so here's my extra credit assignment:



1. I'm sorry
2. Belias image credit goes to

Daigerus posted:

I wish to submit some extra credit for this wonderful class.

You see, I conducted some research, and it turns out that some obscure scholars have had alternative views on certain particular events. Namely, how Monid's fists should have counted as superweapons and this was how the Belito "Hunt" would have gone had our party members not timely intervened:

Yes, pugilism did exist in Ivalice as indicated in that one Bestiary entry.

But enough of that, I've uncovered even more controversial material - we've taken for granted that our adventuring parties were humes (and one viera) out of both societal and narrative necessity, that by default, humes were the mainstay due to their huge population and political savvy. But was there anyone in the party of six whose role wouldn't be necessitated by species?

I say, there is one, and it would be none other than...

I mean, who else could it be? Vaan and Penelo needed to be humes for the sake of the audience identifying with them; Ashe and Basch had to be human, because there's no evidence of other species adopting similar roles in their current socio-political environment, and Fran was Fran because we needed an outsider's perspective. But Balthier need not be human, and most of the other species had been given some narrative merit, save for moogles. Rather convenient, no?

And if we follow that thread of logic, then yes, this is the only other logical conclusion, given how the Empire overlooked species-based prejudice as long as the job was done competently (as is the case for Ba'Gamnan for a brief period) and really, who wouldn't object to this happening in the narrative?

But then again, it's very clear that this is all just propaganda skewed by some unrelated moogle scholar who wanted to leave an impression that his species played a major role in one of history's most grandiose events. At least it makes for very good reading.

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