Monday, April 4, 2016

Final Fantasy Tactics, Part 7 - Sigil of the Moribund

Today on Final Fantasy Tactics: As the bounty on Ramza's head continues to grow like a Powerball jackpot, will Cloud achieve any level of usefulness any time soon? The good news: It's okay if he's useless, because now that I have Orlandu, I'll cut through the rest of the game like a hot knife through butter.

WHOA. After a game full of crystal-absorbs with anemic ability inheritance like Antidote, I finally grab a crystal with a decent amount of abilities on it.

When I was a kid, I used to pretend this was like Highlander and if someone grabbed a crystal, it meant they'd killed that enemy and taken their powers.

I make a bit of an effort to level Cloud up, as he unleashes Braver on Ramza's buttpants.

He gets a level every two or so times he attacks one of my other characters, but even at this rate we're looking at over a hundred turns before he catches up. And he's sloooow.

Ya know what? Yeah, I'm not going to bother. I don't know why they couldn't just start him at a normal level like everyone else.



Orlandu wins lol

Time to recruit the next new character...and the biggest deal of all. A quick trip to the tavern gives us the rundown on some bandit attacks that have been hounding Dorter.

Zaland Fort City's awesome music plays again as we get a sweet new cutscene with Ramza fighting...monks with swords? What the heck?

Wait a minute...that sounds like...Spike from Buffy! Could it be?

...NO, WAIT, IT'S...

....OH! MY! GOD! Balthier, the greatest character in Final Fantasy XII!

::"HOLY SHIT" chants from the audience::

A battle follows where our heroes mustPRRRRABADOOOO


Balthier is willing to work with us to win the battle. This is Dorter 2.0, but it's much easier than the Dorter fight from the early-game.

Balthier, for his part, is like a much more formidable Mustadio. He attacks with guns and hits about 3x harder with his base attacks, plus he gets the Barrage ability that lets him attack four times in a row with no charge time. Balthier, quite simply, whoops ass. MUCH better than Cloud and better than Luso, the other two cameo optional characters.

Yeah, I know if you put in work with Cloud, he can get pretty formidable, but that's just it, it takes a lot of work and setup. Balthier is ready to range-blitz enemies right out of the box. He's definitely going to be a big help when it comes to winning this-



Well, four Attitude Adjustments later and the battle is over, so we didn't have to do much. Balthier, who prides himself on being "The Leading Man" in Final Fantasy XII, admits to that not being the case this time with a sly wink to the audience.

A pirate without a sky. Pretty unsettling scenery.

You will fly again, Balthier. Just be careful about that piracy. The government takes a dim view.

My army is now fully-realized, with some very good characters (and some not-so-good characters) ready to rock. The only character I'm missing at this point is Meliadoul, and I'll get her soon enough.

Interestingly, Reis is still able to use dragon breath attacks in human form.

Balthier's ability lineup. I already talked about the important one, Barrage. He also has Mustadio's gun skills and your traditional Thief skills. Regardless, the important thing is to get Barrage as soon as possible. After that, Plunder Heart can be useful for charming female enemies. For the most part, though, Barrage is a nearly guaranteed kill against most foes, and the one thing he really needs to be doing.

Next up is another of these weird, semi-pointless ghost battles in a swamp that just serve to eat up time. A lot of these pop up in the second half of the game. The good news is that we can just-


A member of the NWO meets with Dycedarg at this point and finds House Beoulve unwilling to work with them. Luckily, they have a plan for that, and it's-

PRRRRRRR!, a Zodiac Stone. Leaving one of these for someone is like when the Body Snatchers leave a pod in your room for you.

Ramza arrives at Limberry Castle, home of Marquis Elmdore. The air is chill, and menacing tidings are afoot.

Elmdore's assassins show up. Celia and Lettie are deadly assassins...and probably the only sexy people in this game.

They also have a pack of Archaeodaemons at their beck and call, so I summon forth the wrath of-


Balthier proves his worth here as he's able to fire at Celia from his starting position on the map and do significant damage with one shot. A Barrage could end the fight right here and now, but I don't have it yet.

That one shot softens her up enough that Ramza is able to one-two punch her with his Ninja swords and win the fight. That was a quick one.

Elmdore meets with Vormav, and they aren't pleased with this turn of events. They're both Lucavi, and while Queklain was the weakest among them, Velius is regarded as perhaps the strongest. If Ramza could defeat HIM, neither of them are safe.

There's also a fifth Lucavi, but he hasn't been borne into the world yet. Could he be in the stone Dycedarg is now sleeping soundly next to?

Either way, Ramza is going to have to defeat three more of these guys before it's all said and done. The good news is that none of them are anywhere near as bad as Velius.

The bad news? Even without transforming, Elmdore is a complete monster. He's easily the toughest non-Lucavi boss in the game, surpassing Wiegraf...but at least you don't have to fight him alone. He can run over your characters with his high speed and hit their weak points with impunity due to teleportation. Not sure why he has Brawler (increases bare-handed power) but other than that he's quite well-equipped for destruction.

Here he is unleashing Samurai power. I've never played much with the Samurai class, but it seems interesting. They're better defensively than Knights and have some strong offensive powers as well, with the ability to let loose with AoE attacks around their position when they aren't slashing away.

Also, a 17% chance of actually hitting the guy...from the side no less...doesn't make for an easily-won fight. My usual standbys aren't working, since he can easily block Ramza's attacks. Even Orlandu can't do very much damage to him compared to most other foes thusfar.

After our heroes whittle him down the best they can, Construct 8 proves his worth as he takes out Elmdore with his distance-laser attack. 100% hit rate, great range, great damage. He's almost as good as Balthier. Too bad about his low speed.

Here we go. This is the best party I can muster at this point. Luso has taken the bench, and Beowulf will join him once I get Meliadoul.

But wait! It's Argath! He has returned from the dead as Red Argath. This is going to be a difficult fi-




Slow down, Hitler!

Argath has Dark Knight powers, so he's essentially a more powerful version of Gaffgarion. With his HP-stealing sword attack, he can basically restore his health to full every round, so it's necessary to do his full HP in damage between his turns.

Construct 8 proves his worth as a closer, finishing off Argath the same way he finished off Elmdore. His ranged laser attack is potent and great for getting that last strong hit in.

Our heroes confront Elmdore in the crypt. Battered and beaten, does he have anything left?

"I WISH I'd held Alma. That flowing hair. Those supple breasts. Those red, quivering lips."

Elmdore uses the Zodiac Stone. Time for Lucavi fight #3.

Zalera is the creepiest one yet. Yikes. And I thought Queklain was eerie.

Meliadoul walks in to see the Death Seraph in action. Everything she believed was a lie! Time to cast off the assassin garb and abandon the NWO.

Zalera is flanked by a bunch of ghost enemies that pale in comparison to the Archaeodaemons in the Velius fight, and Zalera itself is weaker than Velius overall. Weird. Orlandu easily mops up the henchmen while my other characters focus in on Zalera, and the fight ends quickly.

It can best be described as Queklain 2.0. Zalera's attacks were mostly status effects and it didn't have time to do any real damage. Compare this to Velius immediately annihilating the party with Cyclops.

At least Queklain is able to put up a challenging fight due to the point where you fight him. With all the new characters and abilities flying around now, Zalera is a joke.

Zalera wishes for Hashmalum (Vormav) to finish the job. The leader of the Lucavi, Hashmalum is the only one left...

...or was, until that business with Dycedarg getting a stone, and Adrammalech being trapped in the rift, and...

It's like in Metroid 2 when you're down to one remaining Metroid and because it spawns a bunch of new ones, suddenly your counter goes up by a few.

Ramza explains the situation to Meliadoul. It's true, Vormav and Wiegraf were a two-man power trip. Only Elmdore could challenge their heat.

...a sexual one. Get to work, Ramza.

Meliadoul is a Divine Knight, which seems to be a step above Holy Knight in power. All of her attacks destroy equipment as well as doing huge damage. They're single-target, though, so she doesn't have anything with the utility of a Lightning Stab / Hallowed Bolt.

Delita is now acting like a king, wearing regal robes and barking orders at people. He's basically a jackass, as it turns out. Moving on.

Meanwhile, Zalbaag does some investigating and learns that their father was poisoned.

A quick battle follows with another NWO guy. I win, moving on quickly. Not a whole lot to report at this stage of the game...

Zalbaag confronts Dycedarg about the poisoning. It's funny, now that Dycedarg is presumably a Lucavi, he's got more of a human personality than he ever did before.

Zalbaag is cornered by Dycedarg's goons as our heroes arrive. He then gets warped away to parts unknown, leaving Ramza and company to deal with their evil older brother.

After a very quick fight, Dycedarg is defeated... or is he? The Lucavi were so close to taking over, and yet so far away.

Dycedarg brandishes the Capricorn stone, and Lucavi fight #4 begins.

Adramelk (as per the PSX version) is very interesting. "Wroth" can mean several things; it's another word for ancient or archaic, and it's also an old way of describing rage. Most likely, this is the former meaning.

He/she/it attacks with Holy, which is also an interesting development. In some ways the Lucavi seem more like "holy crusaders" than underworld demons, maybe because they follow St. Ajora.

This is another easy Lucavi fight, but it's more difficult than Zalera at least. The Wroth hits hard and has the high ground to start, meaning you can lose several characters while getting everyone into position to actually fight.

One Lucavi left, and Ramza is closer than ever to finding his sister. As the boy tries hard to be a man...he will find her.

And now, please welcome U2 from 1980!


I will follow!


  1. Heh, I like how the Thief is blocking in the gif, like that would save him.

    Isn't it nice to be fighting in Dorter again? You've put so much more time into your army by this point.

    There's the Ras Algethi, the new gun.

    Yep, that's one of the nice things about Reis.


    Nice trick using Construct 8 of Elmdore. The assassins turn into Ultima Demons if you kill them, something else that can make this fight rough.

    I'd have to rewatch this part, but I think Dycedarg may not be a Lucavi until he's mortally wounded, not unlike Wiegraf. Zalbag is still there for the first fight, he doesn't get warped away until Adramelk is on the scene.

    What a great game.

  2. I'm very happy Balthier got the introduction and the strength he deserves!

    Elmdore and Vormav's table is notably empty.

    I never used the robot this much. Interesting to see the game with a different player who's into bum-rushing.

    Must be extremely heavy for Ramza to have to fight and kill his own brother. But at that point he had to protect himself.

    Thanks to Brayn's comment I eyed Elmdore's equipment greedily.

    Ramza's dad being pulled back into the plot at this point is a great touch.

    I used T.G. Cid all the time too.