------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Final Fantasy IV - The After Years Character Guide Version 4 Maintained by: ExaltedBen (email's the same, at hotmail) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- SPOILER NOTE: In order to provide a complete guide, some plot information may be revealed in this FAQ. This includes the Table of Contents. Please do not read any further if you are spoiler-sensitive. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Table of Contents (S.01) Section 1: Update Log (S.02) Section 2: Notes and Q&A (S.03) Section 3: Permanent Characters (P.01) : Ceodore (P.02) : Cecil (P.03) : Rosa (P.04) : Cid (P.05) : Kain (Hooded Man)* (P.06) : Rydia (P.07) : Luca (P.08) : Yang (P.09) : Ursula (P.10) : Palom (P.11) : Leonora (P.12) : Edge (S.04) Section 4: Optional Characters (O.01) : Calca* (O.02) : Brina* (O.03) : Gekkou (O.04) : Izayoi (O.05) : Tsukinowa (O.06) : Zangetsu (S.05) Section 5: Temporary Characters (T.01) : Biggs (T.02) : Wedge (T.03) : White Mage (T.04) : Black Mage (T.05) : Kain (evil copy) (T.06) : Monk A ("Anderson") (T.07) : Monk B ("Brown") (T.08) : Monk C ("Coleman") (S.06) Section 6: Chapter Strategies (C.01) : Ceodore's Chapter (C.02) : Kain's Chapter (C.03) : Rydia's Chapter (C.04) : Yang's Chapter* (C.05) : Palom's Chapter* (C.06) : Edge's Chapter (S.07) Section 7: Grouped Character Comparisons (G.01) : Holy War Cecil, Kain, Ceodore* (G.02) : Hammertime Cid, Luca* (G.03) : Fight It Out Yang, Ursula* (G.04) : More Pew Pew Rydia, Palom, Leonora* (G.05) : Heal Plz Rosa, Ceodore, Leonora* (G.06) : Deadly Vipers Edge, Gekkou, Izayoi, Zangetsu, Tsukinowa* (S.08) Section 8: End-Game Party Ideas & Challenges (E.01) : The Original Cecil, Rosa, Kain, Rydia, Edge* (E.02) : All Grown Up Ceodore, Porom, Ursula, Palom, Leonora* (E.03) : Robe Squad Rosa, Rydia, Palom, Porom, Leonora* (E.04) : The Crusade Cecil, Kain, Ceodore, Rosa, Porom* (E.05) : El Carnival Cid, Luca, Calca, Brina, Edward* (S.09) Section 9: Legal, Copyright, Etc. * These sections have not yet been completed. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- (S.01) Section 1: Update Log July 24, 2009 - Version 4 Completed Edge, Gekkou, Izayoi, Tsukinowa, Zangetsu, and evil Kain. Finished the chapter strategies for Ceodore's, Kain's, and Rydia's chapters. Updated some hosting authorizations for this guide. July 22, 2009 - Version 3 Finished spell levels for Cecil and Rosa, finished level 30 capped stats for Cecil, Rosa, and Cid, plus Cecil's calculated stats. Updated notes for White Mage and Black Mage. Recorded the starting stats for evil Kain, and started info for Edge, Gekkou, Izayoi, Zangetsu, and Tsukinowa. Recorded some interesting information about leveling differences between the Hooded Man and Holy Dragoon Kain. Currently, King_Tetiro is working on leveling the Hooded Man to 50 for me to get his full range of stats before Holy Dragoon status. Updated Section 2 regarding HP and MP gains. Added a note to each ability of each character to indicate how it is treated with regards to moon phases (this is in progress, not finished). Added a section for chapter strategies, wrote the strategy for Edge's chapter. July 17, 2009 - Version 2 Updated ending stats with info provided by King_Tetiro, and levels for magic spells for a few characters with info provided by dark_deity9. Updated level 70 estimate calculations based on the new ending stats. Completed the information for Palom and Leonora. Fixed some of Yang's review, and info for a couple Bands. July 15, 2009 - Version 1 Finally got this into a good state to submit. More updates to come as I revisit Ceodore/Kain's chapter and Rydia's chapter to get a bit more info there, and as I finish playing through Palom's and Edge's chapters. I'll have that all done before the next set is released, so I can focus on the new ones when they come out. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- (S.02) Section 2: Notes and Q&A What is this FAQ? Basically, detailed information about the abilities and stats for the characters in this game. The purpose is to provide some fun comparison and contrast between characters who can serve similar roles in an end-game group, and provide some exploration of possible combinations. Each character will include stats from the initial level, their max level, level 40 (a common chapter-end level cap), and an estimate of level 70 based on the character's apparent growth rate in their stats from start to cap (listed as "Avg. Gain"). In the original Final Fantasy IV, stats were gained at random from level 71-99, so I am running with the assumption that it will be the same in this game. Thus, you do not see an estimate of level 99 stats, since it would be impossible to estimate random gains. HP and MP information is provided without the use of items which increase a character's maximum HP or MP (Silver Apple, Golden Apple, Soma Drop). The "Avg. Gain" in the case of HP and MP is a bit misleading, since for reasons unknown, a character's HP and MP increases are lower at lower levels, and higher at higher levels. As a result, the estimated level 70 values for HP and MP may be significantly less than the character will actually have, but the overall proportions character to character should be similar to the estimates. "Moon-Proof Attack" - What is it? This is a situation which occurs when a character has a special ability which deals physical damage using their equipped weapon (like Attack), but counts as a special ability regarding the moon phase. Such characters can therefore fight without being hindered by the moon phase! During Full Moon, when Attack is penalized, or during New Moon, when special abilities get a bonus, use the special ability. During Waning Moon when Attack gets a bonus, use Attack. During Waxing Moon, use either. Basically, you can avoid ever having a penalty to attack, and half the time you'll get a bonus. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- (S.03) Section 3: Permanent Characters All characters in this section will be available for possible use in your end-game party. Most of these characters are from Final Fantasy IV, but often have somewhat different stats or abilities compared to the original game. All statistical data presented below is from Final Fantasy IV: The After Years, not taken from the original game. The "Avg. Gain" is the character's growth rate in a stat, based on growths from the character's initial level through their chapter's level cap. This average can then be calculated outward to estimate the character's stats at level 70 (noted as "Level 70?"). In the case of Cecil, I have also estimated his level 40 stats, for the sake of comparability with everyone else. (P.01) : Ceodore (P.02) : Cecil (P.03) : Rosa (P.04) : Cid (P.05) : Kain (Hooded Man)* (P.06) : Rydia (P.07) : Luca (P.08) : Yang (P.09) : Ursula (P.10) : Palom (P.11) : Leonora (P.12) : Edge * These sections have not yet been completed. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- (P.01) Ceodore Equipment Weapons : Swords, Spears, Bows, Staves, Shields Body : Heavy, Light, Mage Head : Heavy, Light, Mage Hands : Gauntlets Statistics HP MP Str. Spd. Sta. Int. Spi. Level 1 80 | 10 | 6 | 6 | 5 | 2 | 7 Level 40 1624 | 215 | 31 | 29 | 28 | 17 | 31 Level 50 (cap) 2799 | 282 | 48 | 38 | 38 | 22 | 38 Avg. Gain 55.49 | 5.55 | 0.86 | 0.65 | 0.67 | 0.41 | 0.63 Level 70? 3909 | 393 | 65 | 51 | 51 | 30 | 50 Abilities White Magic : Restorative and beneficial magic. Cure L.1 One/All, minor HP recovery Libra L.5 One, reveals HP & weaknesses Protect L.12 One/All, physical defense up Raise L.14 One, revives with low HP Cura L.15 One/All, moderate HP recovery Esuna L.20 One, removes status ailments Float L.25 One/All, adds Float Shell L.34 One/All, magic defense up Blink L.40 One, avoid next two physical attacks Reflect L.45 One, adds Reflect Haste L.47 One/All, speed up Curaga L.49 One/All, superior HP recovery Awaken : Fully heals Ceodore and doubles all stats for three combat turns or until the end of combat. When Awaken ends, Ceodore's HP are reduced to less than 10. Bands Cross Slash (7 MP each, one enemy) Ceodore (Event) Physical damage which is a little higher than Hooded Man (Event) the combined normal attacks of both. This Band cannot be used if Ceodore uses a bow. Notes: Very useful against tougher enemies, but considering the charge time and MP cost to Ceodore (the Hooded Man doesn't use his MP for anything else), attack-spamming is probably more efficient. This Band is lost once the Hooded Man becomes Kain. Cross Slash Prime (20 MP each, one enemy) Ceodore (Attack) Physical damage which is much higher than Kain (Attack) the combined normal attacks of both. This Band cannot be used if Ceodore uses a bow. Notes: Very useful against tougher enemies, but not really any more damaging than having Ceodore attack and Kain use Jump. The MP cost is also a bit high. Avoid. Divine Heal (28 MP each, all allies) Ceodore (White Magic) Extreme HP recovery, similar to Curaja but Rosa (Blessing) available much sooner. Notes: This is a great Band before Rosa gains Curaja. Even then, it seems to have a lower charge time than Curaja, and uses less MP from Rosa (at the cost of Ceodore's MP and his turn, though). Rocket Launcher (12 MP each, one enemy) Ceodore (Attack) Deals superior fire damage based on Ceodore's Cid (Analyze) attack damage, but a bit higher. Notes: Would be useful against a boss weak against fire, such as the Curse Dragon at the end of Kain's Challenge Dungeon. Strategy & Notes Ceodore is the star of his chapter and is always present, except during a brief segment when the player controls Cecil. His chapter is the "main story" and ends after completing the Mist Cave. In the original version of Final Fantasy IV: The After Years, there was a Challenge Dungeon for Ceodore and the Hooded Man at this point. In the Wii version of the game, Ceodore's chapter flows seamlessly into Kain's chapter, and the items from Ceodore's Challenge Dungeon are included in Kain's Challenge Dungeon instead. Ceodore is neither a white mage, nor a warrior, and thus excels at neither. For a "hybrid" character, however, he is quite effective, and with stat-boosting gear can become more focused on fighting or magic, if the player wishes. His selection of spells is sufficient for providing the party with a variety of buffs, and for very efficient spot healing. The primary advantage of Ceodore compared to other healers is his high speed, meaning that in some situations he may be able to fill gaps in healing due to the main healer's slowness. As a main healer himself, Ceodore would need to be with an armored group which will take low damage. In such a group, his moderate healing abilities would be sufficient, and his fighting skills would add to the prowess of the team. Some of his effectiveness as a main healer will depend on the spells he gains after level 50, which at this point, nobody knows. If he eventually learns Curaja and Arise, he would be a very good choice. His ability Awaken, while possibly useful during boss battles, is hindered by the dramatic self-inflicted damage when it expires. The best tactical use of the ability is to use it when Ceodore is about to die, since it fully restores his HP and can buy the player a few turns of improved healing (due to the stat boost) to get the party back onto their feet and prepared to heal Ceodore when Awaken expires. If he were paired with Cecil, and the party were fighting mainly enemies who use physical attacks, Awaken could be used liberally. Cecil would simply intercept the attacks aimed at Ceodore. Magic attack would kill Ceodore quickly in this case, though. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- (P.02) Cecil Equipment Weapons : Swords, Staves, Shields Body : Heavy, Mage Head : Heavy, Mage Hands : Gauntlets Statistics HP MP Str. Spd. Sta. Int. Spi. Level 15 750 | 80 | 16 | 15 | 16 | 10 | 15 Level 30 (cap) 1404 | 125 | 32 | 21 | 30 | 17 | 21 Avg. Gain 43.60 | 3.00 | 1.07 | 0.40 | 0.93 | 0.47 | 0.40 Level 40? 1840 | 155 | 43 | 25 | 39 | 22 | 25 Level 70? 3148 | 245 | 75 | 37 | 67 | 36 | 37 Abilities White Magic : Restorative and beneficial magic. Cure L.15 One/All, minor HP recovery Sight L.15 Zooms out world map view Libra L.15 One, reveals HP & weaknesses Cura L.15 One/All, moderate HP recovery Teleport L.19 Exit a battle or dungeon Esuna L.24 One, removes status ailments Cover : Select an ally to cover (other than Cecil himself). If the ally is the target of a physical attack, Cecil will jump in the way, taking the hit himself. Very useful during boss fights. Cover Critical: This passive ability is not on his command list. When an ally is in Critical status, Cecil will automatically take hits for them, using his Cover ability. This does not interrupt his normal use of Cover, if you have used it to select someone else. Bands Holy Blade (20 MP each, one enemy) Cecil (Attack) Deals superior holy damage based on Cecil's Rosa (White Magic) attack damage, but a bit higher. Notes: Would be useful against a boss weak against holy, but there are none in Cecil's segment. You'll need Rosa to be healing, anyway. Machine Break (7 MP each, one enemy) Cecil (Attack) Physical damage a bit higher than the normal Cid (Analyze) attacks of both. Notes: Supposedly does additional damage against machine enemies, but as far as I can tell there aren't any available for Cecil to fight, so I can't test this. Just have Cecil and Cid attack, Cecil doesn't need to be slowed down waiting for Cid to charge up for this. Avoid this Band. Strategy & Notes Cecil is present during a segment of Ceodore's chapter in which the player controls Cecil, and eventually Rosa and Cid. This segment is short, and when it finishes the player resumes control of Ceodore. Cecil is an effective warrior, and a poor healer. His healing will be mainly useful in recovery after a fight. If his segment is played through quickly, his healing will be almost necessary to defeat the battle sequence he faces at the end of his segment. If his group has reached or surpassed level 20, though, the battle sequence will be easier and his healing will probably not be needed. Cecil's armor makes a great upgrade for Ceodore, but the player may want to equip Cecil with some old armor from Ceodore's inventory. The inventory list is shared between them, so all you need to do is make sure to have a set of armor (perhaps from Biggs and Wedge) in the bag to swap out. Cecil's sword can be used by only Cecil (and Kain during a very brief moment in his fight against his evil form, but it's pointless), so leave it on him. Currently, it's unknown whether leveling Cecil to 30 will have any impact on future chapters. If Cecil is to return as a playable character (which I am assuming, given his inclusion as a permanent character on my list) in the final chapters, it would be fair to assume he will return at a higher, preset level (as Rosa and Cid do when you acquire them at the end of Kain's chapter). NOTE: Due to his level cap being only 30, Cecil's "Avg. Gain" for HP and MP are less than they should be, compared to other characters who cap at level 40. Since HP and MP gains increase as level increases, Cecil's average does not benefit from the higher gains of levels 31 through 40. Thus, his estimated level 40 and level 70 HP and MP are likely substantially lower than they should be. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- (P.03) Rosa Equipment Weapons : Bows, Staves Body : Light, Mage Head : Light, Mage Hands : Armlets Statistics HP MP Str. Spd. Sta. Int. Spi. Level 15 320 | 180 | 12 | 11 | 9 | 11 | 22 Level 30 (cap) 984 | 309 | 24 | 17 | 18 | 14 | 37 Level 30* 930 | 250 | 24 | 17 | 18 | 14 | 37 Level 40 1571 | 333 | 30 | 23 | 24 | 16 | 48 Level 50 (cap) 2415 | 415 | 36 | 28 | 30 | 18 | 58 Avg. Gain 59.86 | 6.71 | 0.69 | 0.49 | 0.60 | 0.20 | 1.03 Level 70? 3612 | 549 | 50 | 38 | 42 | 22 | 79 * This set of level 30 stats are what Rosa has when she rejoins Ceodore at the end of Kain's chapter. Abilities White Magic : Restorative and beneficial magic. Hold L.15 One, adds Paralyze Libra L.15 One, reveals HP & weaknesses Sight L.15 Zooms out world map view Protect L.15 One/All, physical defense up Slow L.15 One/All, decreases speed Cure L.15 One/All, minor HP recovery Raise L.15 One, revives with low HP Cura L.15 One/All, moderate HP recovery Esuna L.18 One, removes status ailments Berserk L.20 One, adds Berserk Teleport L.21 Exit a battle or dungeon Blink L.23 One, avoid next two attacks Confuse L.24 One, adds Confuse Shell L.29 One/All, magic defense up Curaga L.30 One/All, superior HP recovery Mini L.30 One, adds/removes Mini Silence ** One/All, adds Mute Dispel L.33 One, removes all status effects Haste L.36 One/All, speed up Float L.38 One/All, adds Float Reflect L.40 One, adds Reflect Curaja L.45 One/All, extreme HP recovery ** Silence is not learned by Rosa as of level 30 if she is leveled during Cecil's segment of Ceodore's chapter. When she rejoins Ceodore at the end of Kain's chapter, however, she knows it. Strange? Yes. Blessing : Recovers HP and MP for the entire party. The amount recovered seems to be based on Rosa's Spirit. The HP portion is somewhere in between Cure and Cura, and the MP portion seems to be about 10% of the HP cured. This ability doesn't always work, though considering the MP recovery, one can refresh a party easily with a little patience (see strategy below). Aim : Requires a bow to be equipped. After a charge time, Rosa attacks an enemy with 100% accuracy. Since this is a bow ability, it can be used from the back row without penalty. Bands Divine Heal (28 MP each, all allies) Ceodore (White Magic) Extreme HP recovery, similar to Curaja but Rosa (Blessing) available much sooner. Notes: This is a great Band before Rosa gains Curaja. Even then, it seems to have a lower charge time than Curaja, and uses less MP from Rosa (at the cost of Ceodore's MP and his turn, though). Holy Blade (20 MP each, one enemy) Cecil (Attack) Deals superior holy damage based on Cecil's Rosa (White Magic) attack damage, but a bit higher. Notes: Would be useful against a boss weak against holy, but there are none in Cecil's segment. You'll need Rosa to be healing, anyway. X-Chaser (12 MP each, one enemy) Rosa (Aim) Strong physical damage, may cause instant Cid (Analyze) death to the enemy. Requires Rosa to be using a bow. Notes: Cid and Rosa are both pretty slow, so if you don't need Rosa to heal, and she has a bow, why not let them work together to do a strong attack? This Band's a good choice, but likely only during Kain's Challenge Dungeon, since most people probably will not use Cid in the later chapters. Saint Dive (30 MP each, all enemies) Rosa (White Magic) Hits all enemies with Kain's Jump attack. May Kain (Jump) be doing Holy damage, will need to check. Damage is similar to Kain's normal Jump. Notes: Very useful for clearing out large enemy groups, but the MP cost is very high. If you're loaded up with Tents or Cottages, use this to help grind up to the level cap, but it's MP cost makes it a poor choice for most situations, unfortunately. Strategy & Notes Rosa joins Cecil during his segment in Ceodore's chapter, and then joins Ceodore during Kain's chapter at the end of the chapter. She is present during Kain's Challenge Dungeon, also. Rosa's level cap during Cecil's segment is 30, and during that time any levels gained by Rosa are only for the purpose of making the end battles of Cecil's segment easier. Her levels and equipment do not carry forward into Kain's chapter when she rejoins. When Rosa rejoins, she is automatically level 30, with a new set of equipment. As you can see on the stats table above, her MP is much lower than it would have been at level 30 during Cecil's segment, and her HP is slightly lower also. The HP difference is small enough to blame on the random nature of HP gains, but the MP difference is rather unfortunate, since she clearly deserves more. Rosa generally has two strategies: Focus her as a healer, or make her capable of healing and some battle offense. The main difference is in the items you equip. If she uses a bow, and armors that improve her speed and strength, she can be a competant attacker. If she uses a staff, and armors that improve her spirit, she will be a better main healer. For someone who wishes to micro-manage, carry two sets of equipment for Rosa, and use the bow and strength armors during random fights, and before a boss switch to the staff and spirit armors. Blessing is a great skill, in my opinion. Although it doesn't always work, one can quickly replenish an entire party's HP and MP with a bit of patience. The idea is to find a random battle with a large number of weak enemies (as opposed to a small number of strong ones). Kill all the enemies but one, then hit it with Slow, Hold, or Stop. Use Haste on Rosa, and then just sit and use Blessing repeatedly as much as you like. She's like having a tent with legs! Aim is less useful for random battles than in the original Final Fantasy IV, since in The After Years, you cannot set the game to remember your cursor position, so you have to select it manually each time (instead of just button mashing your way through random battles). However, because it is a special ability, it gives Rosa "Moon-Proof Attack" (see Section 2: Notes and Q&A (S.02)). That's a big benefit for a healer. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- (P.04) Cid Equipment Weapons : Hammers, Axes, Bows, Shields Body : Heavy Head : Heavy Hands : Gauntlets Statistics HP MP Str. Spd. Sta. Int. Spi. Level 15 680 | 15 | 18 | 7 | 21 | 5 | 5 Level 30 (cap) 1520 | 15 | 27 | 13 | 32 | 5 | 5 Level 30* 1650 | 55 | 27 | 13 | 32 | 5 | 5 Level 40 2417 | 78 | 47 | 16 | 44 | 9 | 8 Level 50 (cap) 3196 | 102 | 65 | 21 | 52 | 12 | 10 Avg. Gain 71.89 | 2.49 | 1.34 | 0.40 | 0.89 | 0.20 | 0.14 Level 70? 4634 | 152 | 92 | 29 | 70 | 16 | 13 Abilities Analyze : Displays the enemy's current and maximum HP, and any elemental weaknesses. It's just like the spell Libra, except with no MP cost. Risk Strike : A low-accuracy attack, but if it hits, it's an automatic critical hit. Bands Rocket Launcher (12 MP each, one enemy) Ceodore (Attack) Deals superior fire damage based on Ceodore's Cid (Analyze) attack damage, but a bit higher. Notes: Would be useful against a boss weak against fire, such as the Curse Dragon at the end of Kain's Challenge Dungeon. Machine Break (7 MP each, one enemy) Cecil (Attack) Physical damage a bit higher than the normal Cid (Analyze) attacks of both. Notes: Supposedly does additional damage against machine enemies, but as far as I can tell there aren't any available for Cecil to fight, so I can't test this. Just have Cecil and Cid attack, Cecil doesn't need to be slowed down waiting for Cid to charge up for this. Avoid this Band. X-Chaser (12 MP each, one enemy) Rosa (Aim) Strong physical damage, may cause instant Cid (Analyze) death to the enemy. Requires Rosa to be using a bow. Notes: Cid and Rosa are both pretty slow, so if you don't need Rosa to heal, and she has a bow, why not let them work together to do a strong attack? This Band's a good choice, but likely only during Kain's Challenge Dungeon, since most people probably will not use Cid in the later chapters. Aiming Trust (12 MP each, one enemy) Cid (Analyze) A physical attack which seems to be roughly Kain (Attack) equal to Kain's Jump attack in damage. May cause instant-death to the enemy. Notes: Why wouldn't you just have Kain Jump for no MP cost, and have Cid attack? The instant-death chance doesn't seem worth it, since most enemies would die from one or two regular attacks anyway. This might be more useful in later chapters, though. Strategy & Notes Cid joins Cecil during his segment in Ceodore's chapter, and then joins Ceodore during Kain's chapter at the end of the chapter. He is present during Kain's Challenge Dungeon, also. Cid's level cap during Cecil's segment is 30, and during that time any levels gained by Cid are only for the purpose of making the end battles of Cecil's segment easier. His levels and equipment do not carry forward into Kain's chapter when he rejoins. Interestingly, during this time Cid gains no MP, and has no improvements in his Intellect or Spirit. When Cid rejoins, he is automatically level 30, with a new set of equipment. As you can see on the stats table above, his MP is much higher than it would have been at level 30 during Cecil's segment, and his HP is slightly higher, enough so that it cannot be blamed on the random nature of HP gains. Cid hits hard and can take a lot of damage, but his speed is so poor that Ceodore and Kain get two attacks for every one of Cid's, meaning that Cid is doing half as much damage as either of them. His low speed also hinders his attack and defense. Most of the time, random battles can be finished entirely before Cid even has an opportunity to act. Yikes. Analyze is useless here, because Ceodore, Cecil, and Rosa all have Libra. It's too bad they didn't give him the ability he had in the Nintendo DS version of Final Fantasy IV, which made him able to use elemental-damage items to make his physical attacks do elemental damage... at least then he'd be able to be a boss-killer. Risk Strike is, as it says, risky. Most of the time it just misses, but when it hits, it hits hard. Over time, the bonus damage and the times when it misses more or less balance out to making Risk Strike roughly equal to just attacking. The key point of Risk Strike is that it's a special ability, which means it gives Cid "Moon-Proof Attack" (see Section 2: Notes and Q&A (S.02)). However, considering Cid's terrible speed, wasting his turn missing with Risk Strike is painful. You're probably better off just attacking even if you have a moon penalty on Attack. My only hope for Cid is that in the later chapters, he has a useful Band with Luca that can make up for his poor performance otherwise. If he doesn't, his main use in the game will be warming the bench. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- (P.05) Kain (Hooded Man) Equipment Weapons : Swords, Spears, Axes, Shields Body : Heavy, Light Head : Heavy, Light Hands : Gauntlets Statistics Hooded Man HP MP Str. Spd. Sta. Int. Spi. Level 15 600 | 20 | 19 | 18 | 18 | 7 | 16 Level 40 | | | | | | Level 50 (max) | | | | | | Avg. Gain | | | | | | Holy Dragoon HP MP Str. Spd. Sta. Int. Spi. Level 15 600 | 20 | 21 | 18 | 18 | 14 | 16 Level 40 2948 | 151 | 46 | 32 | 38 | 25 | 32 Level 50 (cap) 4036 | 206 | 57 | 40 | 47 | 28 | 37 Avg. Gain 98.17 | 5.31 | 1.09 | 0.63 | 0.83 | 0.60 | 0.60 Level 70? 5999 | 312 | 79 | 53 | 64 | 40 | 49 Abilities White Magic : Restorative and beneficial magic. Cure L.15 One/All, minor HP recovery Cura L.15 One/All, moderate HP recovery Esuna L.15 One, removes status ailments Teleport L.15 Exit a battle or dungeon Haste L.15 One/All, speed up Blink L.15 One, avoid next two attacks Hold L.15 One, adds Paralyze Jump : Leap into the air and land on an enemy for greater- than-normal physical damage. The bonus damage is much greater if a spear is equipped, so one should always use a spear with Kain, even if a better sword or axe is available. Bands Cross Slash (7 MP each, one enemy) Ceodore (Event) Physical damage which is a little higher than Hooded Man (Event) the combined normal attacks of both. This Band cannot be used if Ceodore uses a bow. Notes: Very useful against tougher enemies, but considering the charge time and MP cost to Ceodore (the Hooded Man doesn't use his MP for anything else), attack-spamming is probably more efficient. This Band is lost once the Hooded Man becomes Kain. Cross Slash Prime (20 MP each, one enemy) Ceodore (Attack) Physical damage which is much higher than Kain (Attack) the combined normal attacks of both. This Band cannot be used if Ceodore uses a bow. Notes: Very useful against tougher enemies, but not really any more damaging than having Ceodore attack and Kain use Jump. The MP cost is also a bit high. Avoid. Saint Dive (30 MP each, all enemies) Rosa (White Magic) Hits all enemies with Kain's Jump attack. May Kain (Jump) be doing Holy damage, will need to check. Damage is similar to Kain's normal Jump. Notes: Very useful for clearing out large enemy groups, but the MP cost is very high. If you're loaded up with Tents or Cottages, use this to help grind up to the level cap, but it's MP cost makes it a poor choice for most situations, unfortunately. Aiming Trust (12 MP each, one enemy) Cid (Analyze) A physical attack which seems to be roughly Kain (Attack) equal to Kain's Jump attack in damage. May cause instant-death to the enemy. Notes: Why wouldn't you just have Kain Jump for no MP cost, and have Cid attack? The instant-death chance doesn't seem worth it, since most enemies would die from one or two regular attacks anyway. This might be more useful in later chapters, though. Strategy & Notes Kain joins Ceodore as the Hooded Man after Ceodore's airship crash- lands, and remains with Ceodore for the rest of his chapter, and is the main character of his own chapter which immediately follows Ceodore's in the "main story". Until the end of Kain's chapter, he is under the guise of the Hooded Man, and does not have access to his White Magic or Jump. During a story event at the end of Kain's Chapter, he gains access to Jump, and after the story event is over he has access to White Magic. When he becomes a Holy Dragoon, Kain gains a permanent base stat increase of +2 Strength and +7 Intellect. During an experiment, I completed the chapter using only Ceodore, and kept the Hooded Man in KO status at all times. During the brief part of the Mist Cliff wherein he is alone, I ran from the two battles I encountered. This enabled me to complete the chapter with the Hooded Man at his starting level of 15, and converted into a level 15 Holy Dragoon. My hope was to determine what level he acquires his spells, and to my surprise, he began with all of them even at level 15. Interestingly, the Holy Dragoon has much higher HP and MP gains when compared to the Hooded Man. Since items exist in the game which can provide permanent boosts to HP and MP, however, this is not anything worth restarting the chapter over, unless you just want to have Kain with the highest "natural" HP and MP possible. Level 40 and 50 stats for the Hooded Man will be available soon, to provide comparison versus the Holy Dragoon. Generally, Kain's White Magic is weak for healing, but importantly, he has Haste and Blink, two very excellent buffs for your party. This makes his White Magic notably better than Cecil's, since he can help the main healer with buffs at the beginning of a tough boss fight. Jump is, as one might expect, a powerful special ability. In addition to making Kain have "Moon-Proof Attack" (see Section 2: Notes and Q&A (S.02)), while in the air he cannot be affected by enemies (though he will also miss out on any effects from allies), and the attack deals additional damage if he is using a spear. Kain proves that in the world of Final Fantasy IV, white men CAN Jump. Ha-ha. Lame joke. Sadly, his two useful Bands both suck up his MP quickly, limiting their potential. Even so, Kain has high stats, and is fast, so he can kill enemies rapidly even if just attacking. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- (P.06) Rydia Equipment Weapons : Whips, Rods, Daggers Body : Light, Mage Head : Light, Mage Hands : Armlets Statistics HP MP Str. Spd. Sta. Int. Spi. Level 15 330 | 175 | 8 | 11 | 7 | 19 | 14 Level 40 (cap) 1277 | 406 | 21 | 21 | 20 | 39 | 36 Avg. Gain 37.88 | 9.24 | 0.52 | 0.40 | 0.52 | 0.80 | 0.88 Level 70? 2413 | 683 | 37 | 33 | 36 | 63 | 62 Abilities Black Magic : Damaging and debilitating magic. Fire L.15 One/All, minor fire damage Blizzard L.15 One/All, minor ice damage Thunder L.15 One/All, minor thunder damage Sleep L.15 One/All, adds Sleep Poison L.15 One/All, adds Poison Stop L.15 One, adds Paralyze Toad L.15 One/All, adds/removes Toad Warp L.15 Escape battle, or move up one floor Fira L.15 One/All, moderate fire damage Blizzara L.15 One/All, moderate ice damage Thundara L.15 One/All, moderate thunder damage Pig L.20 One/All, adds/removes Pig Osmose L.26 One, reduces MP and restores caster's Bio L.32 One/All, non-elemental damage, Sap Drain L.36 One, reduces HP and restores caster's Summon : Calls an Eidolon to create an effect. Goblin From "Goblin" rare dropped item One enemy, weak physical attack Cockatrice From "Cockatrice" rare dropped item One enemy, physical attack, adds Petrify (partial) Mindflayer From "Mindflayer" rare dropped item One enemy, physical attack, adds Paralyze, Sap Bomb From "Bomb" rare dropped item One enemy, superior fire damage Bands Lightning Brain Buster (7 MP each, one enemy) Rydia (Black Magic) Deals superior thunder damage based on Luca's Luca (Attack) attack damage, but a bit higher. Notes: Would be useful against a boss weak against lightning, but there are none in Rydia's chapter. Generally better to have Luca attack or Big Throw while Rydia uses magic. Strategy & Notes Rydia is the star of her chapter and is always present. In the original Final Fantasy IV, Rydia was both a summoner and a black mage. However, due to the events of The After Years, her usual summoning abilities have been blocked, so she can only use black magic. There are four summon spells she can obtain from items dropped by enemies, however, but this requires a substantial time commitment since the drop rates of the items are very low. She is perfectly capable of completing her chapter without them, so it's up to the player's discretion whether or not they wish to hunt for them. In my opinion, it's not worth it, her black magic is fine and she will likely regain her other (read: much more useful) summons in later chapters, rendering the time spent on the dropped summons wasted. In her chapter, Rydia has three interesting combat options. The best is probably to equip rods and focus on improving her Intellect for more potent Black Magic. The player might also choose to use a whip for better random battle attack-spamming (whips can be used without penalty from the back row, and can paralyze the enemy), or use a Dancing Dagger (available from Kokkol's forge), which can cause good damage when used as an item in battle. Once she obtains the Osmose spell, life becomes easier. Particularly, enemies of the Lamia type are vulnerable to Stop, and have a nice pool of MP which Rydia can Osmose out of them. Battles with a Lamia quickly become like a visit to the gas station, you just take a moment and fill up, then move on. When Rydia gains Bio, the chapter becomes quite easy. Unlike most of her spells, Bio has an extremely short casting time, and does very good damage. Rydia's primary weakness is that she has poor defense and HP, and since the only healer in her chapter (Brina) is unreliable and can't heal outside of combat, stock up on lots of potions. One should also take full advantage of healing pots in Rydia's chapter, for easy leveling (free maximum HP and MP). There is a healing pot located in the back entrance of the Dwarven Castle, and a healing pot in the Agart Mines on the surface. I recommend hanging out at the dwarven castle healing pot until the entire party is at least level 20 and you have bought 99 Potions and 99 Hi-Potions, just for safety. The healing pot in the Agart Mines is a great place to get Rydia and Luca up to level 30, or beyond with some patience. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- (P.07) Luca Equipment Weapons : Hammers, Axes, Bows, Shields Body : Heavy, Light Head : Heavy, Light Hands : Armlets Statistics HP MP Str. Spd. Sta. Int. Spi. Level 10 400 | 25 | 15 | 8 | 16 | 4 | 4 Level 40 (cap) 2208 | 88 | 48 | 23 | 44 | 4 | 4 Avg. Gain 60.27 | 2.10 | 1.10 | 0.50 | 0.93 | 0.00 | 0.00 Level 70? 4016 | 151 | 81 | 38 | 72 | 4 | 4 Abilities Analyze : Displays the enemy's current and maximum HP, and any elemental weaknesses. It's just like the spell Libra, except with no MP cost. Big Throw : A regular physical attack that can be used from the front or back row without penalty. The game claims it does higher-than-usual damage, but it doesn't. Bands Lightning Brain Buster (7 MP each, one enemy) Rydia (Black Magic) Deals superior thunder damage based on Luca's Luca (Attack) attack damage, but a bit higher. Notes: Would be useful against a boss weak against lightning, but there are none in Rydia's chapter. Generally better to have Luca attack or Big Throw while Rydia uses magic. Go! Calcabrina! (10 MP each, all enemies) Calca (Jive) Deals moderate physical, fire, and thunder Brina (Dance) damage (three separate attacks). Luca (Analyze) Notes: Very effective, if the party doesn't need Brina to be healing. Slow charge time reduces it's efficiency, though. Strategy & Notes Luca joins shortly after the start of Rydia's chapter, and remains with Rydia for the rest of her chapter. A powerful physical attacker, Luca can choose to remain in the front row to benefit her Attack, or can fight from the back row using her Big Throw ability. If she remains in the front row, she benefits from "Moon-Proof Attack" (see Section 2: Notes and Q&A (S.02)). If the player acquires a Tomahawk for her from Kokkol while still in the underworld, she can also Attack from the back row without penalty, meaning she also has back-row "Moon-Proof Attack". While Calca and Brina are present, their defense is much lower than Luca, so it's generally best to put both of them (and Rydia) in the back row and use Luca in the front row. Once the group has left the underworld and it's just Luca and Rydia, stick Luca in the back row with the Tomahawk. For an easy Tomahawk, just collect 4 Kokkol Ores (there are 12 in the underworld, so this should be easy) and loot the Battle Axe from a chest in the Sealed Cave. You can exit the Sealed Cave and get the Tomahawk right away, or, just wait until after you finish the Sealed Cave, you don't need to leave the underworld immediately. In Rydia's chapter, Analyze is actually a decent ability, since there are no characters with White Magic around to use Libra. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- (P.08) Yang Equipment Weapons : Claws Body : Light Head : Light Hands : Armlets Statistics HP MP Str. Spd. Sta. Int. Spi. Level 15 600 | 20 | 17 | 11 | 20 | 4 | 5 Level 40 (cap) 2854 | 83 | 50 | 24 | 48 | 8 | 15 Avg. Gain 90.16 | 2.52 | 1.32 | 0.52 | 1.12 | 0.16 | 0.40 Level 70? 5559 | 159 | 90 | 40 | 82 | 13 | 27 Abilities Focus : At the cost of some charge time, Yang deals (n/a) additional damage to a single enemy. NOTE: The game does not indicate that Focus is affected by moon phases, but since it is just an augmented "attack", it seems logical that it inherits the benefits or penalties applied to "attack" during moon phases. Kick : After a charge time, Yang attacks all enemies. This (Attack) attack does less damage than his normal attack, but is very useful for clearing out weak enemies. Cover Counter : Select an ally to cover (other than Yang himself). (n/a) If the ally is the target of a physical attack, Yang will jump in the way, taking the hit himself, and countering with a normal attack of his own. Very useful during boss fights. NOTE: The game does not indicate that Cover Counter is affected by moon phases, but it seems logical that the damage of the counter-attack, since it is just a basic "attack", inherits the benefits or penalties applied to "attack" during moon phases. Bands Five Star Crimson Palm (9 MP each, one enemy) Yang (Attack) A very strong physical attack, Basically as Ursula (Tenketsu) potent as the two abilities used to cause it, but seems slightly stronger. Reduces the enemy's speed. May cause instant-death to the enemy. Notes: Possibly good, but only if the timing is such that Ursula is not stuck waiting for Yang to charge up. The main benefit is the debuff to the enemy's speed, which in Yang's chapter, cannot be accomplished by Yang or Ursula any other way aside from using a Spider Silk. Twin Wing Frenzy (6 MP each, one enemy) Yang (Event) A strong physical attack, slightly more Ursula (Event) potent than two separate attacks. Notes: Possibly good, but only if the timing is such that Ursula is not stuck waiting for Yang to charge up. Strategy & Notes Yang is the star of his chapter and is always present, except during the Adamant Isle Forest when he and Ursula operate separately. Although somewhat slow, Yang hits hard, and can take a beating. His combat mechanic is unique in that by switching out his claws in the middle of a fight, the player can change what elemental damage or status effect will be added to his attacks, including Focus and Kick. This provides a great deal of flexibility and enables Yang to easily strike his enemy's weak point if the player knows what it is. Focus is a powerful skill, but due to the charge time, it may work out that Yang would do more damage over time just attacking. Even if that were the case, Focus is still very useful against enemies who counter- attack, since Yang can get a larger hit per enemy counter. According to one report, this ability is not counter-attacked by enemies who are able to do so. I'll need to test it. Cover Counter, however, is an excellent ability, since it enables Yang to get in a few extra hits on the enemy, at the cost of his HP, which are high enough to endure the extra hits. During Yang's chapter this should be used on Ursula to help her stay alive, and she can use Chakra if needed to heal Yang. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- (P.09) Ursula Equipment Weapons : Claws Body : Light Head : Light Hands : Armlets Statistics HP MP Str. Spd. Sta. Int. Spi. Level 12 360 | 21 | 13 | 14 | 12 | 4 | 7 Level 40 (cap) 1955 | 94 | 41 | 32 | 34 | 12 | 26 Avg. Gain 56.96 | 2.61 | 1.00 | 0.64 | 0.79 | 0.29 | 0.68 Level 70? 3664 | 172 | 71 | 51 | 58 | 21 | 46 Abilities Kick : After a charge time, Ursula attacks all enemies. This (Attack) attack does less damage than her normal attack, but is very useful for clearing out weak enemies. Tenketsu : At the cost of some charge time, Ursula attacks a single enemy. This attack might deal normal damage, might deal improved damage, might be changed to the enemy's elemental weakness, or might have an instant- death effect. The benefit of this ability seems to be random, but generally useful. Chakra : Ursula quickly unleashes a moderate heal to a single ally (or herself), which also removes some status ailments. The amount healed seems similar to Cura. Bands Five Star Crimson Palm (9 MP each, one enemy) Yang (Attack) A very strong physical attack, Basically as Ursula (Tenketsu) potent as the two abilities used to cause it, but seems slightly stronger. Reduces the enemy's speed. May cause instant-death to the enemy. Notes: Possibly good, but only if the timing is such that Ursula is not stuck waiting for Yang to charge up. The main benefit is the debuff to the enemy's speed, which in Yang's chapter, cannot be accomplished by Yang or Ursula any other way aside from using a Spider Silk. Twin Wing Frenzy (6 MP each, one enemy) Yang (Event) A strong physical attack, slightly more Ursula (Event) potent than two separate attacks. Notes: Possibly good, but only if the timing is such that Ursula is not stuck waiting for Yang to charge up. Strategy & Notes Ursula joins early in Yang's chapter, and remains available for most of the rest of the chapter, except during the invasion of Fabul, and the Adamant Isle Forest when she and Yang operate separately. Ursula is tough, strong, and fast, able to hit hard and quick. Her combat mechanic is unique in that by switching out her claws in the middle of a fight, the player can change what elemental damage or status effect will be added to her attacks, including Kick and Tenketsu (though Tenketsu's effect may over-ride the element, but this would always be in the player's favor if it does). This provides a great deal of flexibility and enables Ursula to easily strike her enemy's weak point if the player knows what it is. Chakra would also be an excellent pinch-heal in a full party, and Ursula has the Spirit to make it potent. Presumably, there may be equipment available to her later which will improve her Spirit, in addition to improvements to her physical stats. Tenketsu is a very good ability, although somewhat random in effect. The overall damage potential of the ability is superior to a normal attack (if you average the "normal damage" instances with the higher damage occurrences), though of course it has a charge time. The most important benefit is that it gives Ursula "Moon-Proof Attack" (see Section 2: Notes and Q&A (S.02)). Sadly, she doesn't learn it until the end of Yang's chapter, but she can use it during the Challenge Dungeon, and presumably the later chapters of the game. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- (P.10) Palom Equipment Weapons : Rods, Bows, Daggers Body : Light, Mage Head : Light, Mage Hands : Armlets Statistics HP MP Str. Spd. Sta. Int. Spi. Level 13 300 | 170 | 10 | 9 | 7 | 20 | 10 Level 40 (cap) 1460 | 409 | 22 | 17 | 23 | 47 | 16 Avg. Gain 42.96 | 8.85 | 0.44 | 0.30 | 0.59 | 1.00 | 0.22 Level 70? 2749 | 674 | 35 | 26 | 41 | 77 | 23 Abilities Black Magic : Damaging and debilitating magic. (Black) Fire L.13 One/All, minor fire damage Blizzard L.13 One/All, minor ice damage Thunder L.13 One/All, minor thunder damage Sleep L.13 One/All, adds Sleep Poison L.13 One/All, adds Poison Pig L.13 One/All, adds/removes Pig Blizzara L.13 One/All, moderate ice damage Fira L.13 One/All, moderate fire damage Thundara L.13 One/All, moderate thunder damage Break L.13 One/All, adds Petrify (instant death) Warp L.19 Escape battle, or move up one floor Toad L.22 One/All, adds/removes Toad Osmose L.25 One, reduces MP and restores caster's Drain L.29 One, reduces HP and restores caster's Bio L.30 One/All, non-elemental damage, Sap Stop L.32 One, adds Paralyze Bluff : Reduces the stats of all enemies a bit, and increases Palom's Intellect. Both effects are temporary. The benefit of this ability is to make Palom's Black Magic more powerful due to the Intellect buff. Bands A Little Black Magic (10 MP each, all enemies) Palom (Bluff) Casts a random elemental magic spell, from Leonora (Black Magic) Fire, Blizzard, or Thunder, ranging from the most basic spell to -ra or -ga spells. Sometimes it will cast Leonora's initial training version of the elemental spells, for very weak damage. Notes: Not bad in random battles, the MP cost is reasonable for -ra spells and good for -ga spells, but poor if it uses a lower spell. Palom can keep up with the MP cost of this better than Leonora can, however. Particle Bomb (20 MP each, one enemy) Palom (Event) Superior non-elemental damage, looks like Leonora (Event) Palom casts Fira and Leonora casts Blizzara but none of the damage is elemental. Notes: Very good against bosses, and seems to do very good damage. Useful since it's non- elemental. Strategy & Notes Palom is the star of his chapter and is always present. Although he can be leveled before entering Troia Castle, the overworld enemies don't give very high experience compared to those in the Tower of Trials. It's best to just pick up Leonora and head to the tower. The tower contains healing pots on several floors which restore all HP and MP for free. Particularly, hang out on the bottom floor for awhile, since every enemy encountered there is vulnerable to fire. This makes the random battles a snap - just use Fire, over and over, for both characters, and you can get to level 20 rapidly. Bluff is not a particularly useful ability. The debuff to enemy stats is minor, and Palom does great damage with his spells without it, but it stacks up to three times, so it might be useful against bosses. The trick will be considering whether or not the improved damage over the remainder of the battle totals higher than the damage lost using three turns to use Bluff repeatedly. In a short boss battle, this is probably not a good ability to use, but in a long battle, go for it. Sadly, Palom doesn't learn any new magic beyond level 32, but like Rydia in her chapter, Palom's Bio pretty much shreds enemies. A Little Black Magic seems to be unpredictable, but Particle Bomb is very powerful. It may be useful in the later chapters, though it's not so good to use against the boss of Palom's Challenge Dungeon. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- (P.11) Leonora Equipment Weapons : Staves, Rods, Bows Body : Light, Mage Head : Light, Mage Hands : Armlets Statistics HP MP Str. Spd. Sta. Int. Spi. Level 3 110 | 30 | 5 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 8 Level 40 (cap) 1329 | 296 | 31 | 18 | 21 | 24 | 42 Avg. Gain 32.95 | 7.19 | 0.70 | 0.41 | 0.46 | 0.51 | 0.92 Level 70? 2318 | 512 | 52 | 30 | 35 | 39 | 70 Abilities White Magic : Restorative and beneficial magic. (White) Cure L.3 One/All, minor HP recovery Raise L.3 One, revives with low HP Teleport L.3 Exit a battle or dungeon Esuna L.3 One, removes status ailments Libra L.5 One, reveals HP & weaknesses Sight L.8 Zooms out world map view Hold L.11 One, adds Paralyze Cura L.12 One/All, moderate HP recovery Slow L.13 One/All, decreases speed Protect L.17 One/All, physical defense up Silence L.19 One/All, adds Mute Berserk L.23 One/All, adds Berserk Shell L.25 One/All, magic defense up Mini L.32 One, adds/removes Mini Confuse L.35 One, adds Confuse Blink L.38 One, avoid next two attacks Float L.40 One/All, adds Float Black Magic : Damaging and debilitating magic. (Black) Fire Event One/All, minor fire damage Blizzard Event One/All, minor ice damage Thunder Event One/All, minor thunder damage Poison L.15 One/All, adds Poison Sleep L.22 One/All, adds Sleep Stop L.30 One, adds Paralyze Drain L.36 One, reduces HP and restores caster's Osmose L.39 One, reduces MP and restores caster's Bands A Little Black Magic (10 MP each, all enemies) Palom (Bluff) Casts a random elemental magic spell, from Leonora (Black Magic) Fire, Blizzard, or Thunder, ranging from the most basic spell to -ra or -ga spells. Notes: Not bad in random battles, the MP cost is reasonable for -ra spells and good for -ga spells, but poor if it uses a basic spell. Palom can keep up with the MP cost of this better than Leonora can, however. Particle Bomb (20 MP each, one enemy) Palom (Event) Superior non-elemental damage, looks like Leonora (Event) Palom casts Fira and Leonora casts Blizzara but none of the damage is elemental. Notes: Very good against bosses, and seems to do very good damage. Useful since it's non- elemental. Strategy & Notes Leonora joins early in Palom's chapter, and remains available for the rest of the chapter. She begins weak but gains levels quickly, especially if the healing pots in the Tower of Trials are used effectively. Out of curiousity, I will be leveling her to 15 before entering the Tower of Trials, to see if she learns Poison even though she hasn't gone through the story events in the chapter to begin her Black Magic training. Her White Magic is potent, but I was surprised that she didn't learn Curaga. This causes significant concern about her potential as a main healer in later chapters, but for all we know she learns Curaga at level 41, so that wouldn't be so bad. One very important point for Leonora is that she learns Osmose, which provides her with the ability to recover her MP and keep healing. No other user of White Magic has this ability. Functionally, Leonora is something like a Red Mage, with stronger White Magic, but weaker armor and attack. It'll be interesting to see how much further her Black Magic develops in later chapters. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- (P.12) Edge Equipment Weapons : Katanas, Boomerangs, Knives Body : Light Head : Light Hands : Armlets Statistics HP MP Str. Spd. Sta. Int. Spi. Level 15 550 | 72 | 15 | 19 | 13 | 10 | 9 Level 40 (cap) 2166 | 172 | 35 | 34 | 27 | 25 | 22 Avg. Gain 64.64 | 4.00 | 0.80 | 0.60 | 0.56 | 0.60 | 0.52 Level 70? 4105 | 292 | 59 | 52 | 44 | 43 | 38 Abilities Ninjutsu : Secret ninja techniques for offense and defense. (Skill) Flame L.15 One/All, moderate fire damage Flood L.15 All, moderate water damage Shock L.15 One/All, moderate thunder damage Gale L.15 One/All, moderate wind damage Smoke L.15 Escape from battle Heal Pill L.17 One, minor HP recovery Shadowbind L.25 One, adds Paralyze Mirage L.32 Self, avoid next two attacks Throw : Throw an unequipped weapon at an enemy for physical (n/a) damage. There are also throwing-only weapons which cannot be equipped, but can be thrown. This ability can be used without penalty from the back row. Smash & Grab : A normal physical attack against one enemy, plus a (n/a) chance to steal an item. The item stolen is usually a common "tool" type item (Potion, Echo Herb, etc.) but can sometimes be a rare "tool", weapon, or armor. Unlike "Steal", this ability does not provoke a counter-attack from the enemy if the steal fails. Bands Blazing Moon Ring (7 MP each, one enemy) Edge (Ninjutsu) Superior fire damage, seems to be based on Gekkou (Shuriken) the physical damage of the characters. Notes: Very good against bosses or strong enemies who are weak against fire. Low enough MP cost for general use, also. Frozen Moon Dance (8 MP each, one enemy) Edge (Attack) Superior ice damage, seems to be based on Izayoi (Ninjutsu) the physical damage of the characters. Notes: Very good against bosses or strong enemies who are weak against ice. Low enough MP cost for general use, also. Wild Moon (12 MP each, all enemies) Edge (Attack) Physical attack, seems to be based on the Tsukinowa (Attack) physical damage of the characters. Notes: This Band is very useful against large groups of enemies, especially since both characters have very high speed, so you can probably use this at the start of the fight and soften up the enemies so that the other characters can finish them off. Gale Twin Break (14 MP each, all enemies) Edge (Ninjutsu) Moderate fire and thunder damage, seems to be Zangetsu (Human Kite) based on the physical damage of the characters. Notes: Not as useful as Wild Moon, since Zangetsu has lower speed and this attack does elemental damage. Against enemies weak to these elements (such as undead and fire) this can be an excellent opening move. Ultimate Art: Advent of Phoenix (20 MP each, all enemies) Edge (Smash & Grab) Variable non-elemental damage, based on the Gekkou (Shuriken) total current HP of the party versus the Izayoi (Illusions) total maximum HP of the party. The lower Tsukinowa (Steal) the party's HP, the more damage this does. Zangetsu (Human Kite) Supposedly can break the damage limit. Notes: This Band could be very useful, but the various speed differences in the party would mean that faster ninjas would be waiting around for the charge-up of the slower ninjas, thus wasting potential for damage from normal attacks. Plus, if the group has low enough HP to make this Band do extreme damage, maybe you should think about healing them before they die. Strategy & Notes Edge is the star of his chapter and is always present, once the sub- chapters for Gekkou, Izayoi, Tsukinowa, and Zangetsu are finished. Fast and strong, Edge is a very useful warrior with some unique skills. In the original Final Fantasy IV, he seemed a little fragile, but in this game he seems to have been given an improvement in his HP and defense. His elemental Ninjutsu techniques are not particularly damaging, but Shadowbind is very useful for disabling a tough enemy, allowing the group to defeat the enemy without opposition. Mirage is also useful, but Edge has enough HP to withstand a few hits. Throw is a very useful skill that seems to be based on Edge's Strength, plus the attack power of the weapon thrown. In his chapter, Shuriken can be bought for very little gold, easily able to be bought in a full stack of 99 by the time the ninjas cap. The main advantage of Throw is that it ignores the enemy's rows, regarding damage, so it can be used to full effect against enemies who are in the back row. Smash & Grab seems to have limited usefulness, since it seems like most enemies are carrying only ordinary "tool" type items. Even so, it could be useful to get a few extra items. Both Throw and Smash & Grab are not affected by moon phases, giving Edge "Moon-Proof Attack" (see Section 2: Notes and Q&A (S.02)). He can also equip boomerangs, which deal full damage from the back row. Reportedly, equipping only one Boomerang applies this to the whole attack, even if the other weapon is not also a boomerang, but I haven't tested this. Edge's main downside is that the attack power of his weapons is low, since he equips two of them at once. Even in this case, his typical damage seems to be less than other warriors with similar stats and total attack power. Given a decent pool of items to Throw, or with Strength and Speed boosting equipment, Edge would be an excellent character overall. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- (S.04) Section 4: Optional Characters All characters in this section may or may not be available for use in your end-game party, depending on specific conditions for each character. If the conditions are met, then the character is a permanent character, just like any other permanent character. If the conditions are not met, then the character is gone forever after their time in their own chapter. The "Avg. Gain" is the character's growth rate in a stat, based on growths from the character's initial level through their chapter's level cap. This average can then be calculated outward to estimate the character's stats at level 70 (noted as "Level 70?"). (O.01) : Calca* (O.02) : Brina* (O.03) : Gekkou (O.04) : Izayoi (O.05) : Tsukinowa (O.06) : Zangetsu * These sections have not yet been completed. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- (O.01) Calca Equipment Weapons : Knives Body : Light, Mage Head : Clothes Hands : Armlets Statistics HP MP Str. Spd. Sta. Int. Spi. Level 1 100 | 10 | 4 | 4 | 4 | 4 | 4 Level 40 (cap) | | | | | | Avg. Gain | | | | | | Level 70? | | | | | | Abilities Jive : Causes a random "Blue Magic" effect on enemies. (Skill) Thermal Rays All, non-elemental damage Flamethrower All, fire damage Frost Blast All, ice damage Lightning All, thunder damage Earthquake All, earth damage Pollen All, minor damage, adds Sap Bloodfeast One, damage, adds Sap Sleeping Gas One/all, adds Sleep Poison Gas One/all, adds Poison Curse One/all, adds Curse Bad Breath One, adds many status ailments Slap One, adds Paralyze or Curse Blaster One, adds Paralyze or kills Constrict One, adds Paralyze Petrify Glare One, adds Petrify (partial) Stone Touch One, adds Petrify (partial) Hex One, adds Pig Glare One, adds Confuse Tongue ? Gaze ? Bile ? Bands Calca and Brina (10 MP each, all enemies (except as noted)) Calca (Jive) Creates a random effect: Brina (Dance) Fire-Punch: Moderate fire damage Ice-Kick: Moderate ice damage Thunder-Beam: Moderate thunder damage Self-Destruct: Kills Calca and Brina, but causes superior non-elemental damage Recover: Moderate HP recovery, all allies Limb Dance: Physical attack to one enemy Notes: Not very useful considering the chance of instant death to both. Just use Jive and Dance separately. Go! Calcabrina! (10 MP each, all enemies) Calca (Jive) Deals moderate physical, fire, and thunder Brina (Dance) damage (three separate attacks). Luca (Analyze) Notes: Very effective, if the party doesn't need Brina to be healing. Slow charge time reduces it's efficiency, though. Strategy & Notes Calca joins the party early in Rydia's chapter, and leaves at the end of the Sealed Cave for the rest of the chapter. Calca will be destroyed via a story event, and if not repaired, will be unavailable in the later chapters. To repair Calca, the player must find the Mithril Spring, Mithril Bolt, and Mithril Nut in the Agart Mines. If all three items are in the inventory when the chapter is finished, Calca and Brina will be saved. This can be done even if the chapter has already been completed, the player will simply need to repeat the ending sequence. The Mithril Spring is found in a chest. The Mithril Bolt and Mithril Nut are random drops from Quarto Doll which can be found in a rock-filled room on B4 of the Agart Mines during Waxing Moon. The Mithril Nut is the most rare, and may take many battles to acquire. As a character, Calca has some interesting strengths and weaknesses. Like Brina, Calca equips "Clothes" type armor, which give major stat adjustments. Strategically, Calca will get the best use out of the Warrior Clothes or Mage's Clothes. If using the Warrior Clothes, the potency of Calca's Jive ability will be decreased due to lower Intellect, but his attack and defense will be substantially improved. However, his HP will never be high, and his attack and defense will be less than most other characters. Even so, in Rydia's chapter this can be a decent strategy. If using the Mage's Clothes, the potency of Calca's Jive ability will be increased due to higher Intellect. This mainly applies to Jive abilities which cause damage, although it may have some affect on the chance of success using status effects. Since the benefits of Jive are so unpredictable, this may be less useful in Rydia's chapter than the Warrior Clothes, but if you like Jive, then go for it. Some may argue that the Clown Clothes would be a good outfit for Calca, but the speed improvement essentially just means being able to attack or use Jive more often. For Jive, this is not so useful, since again, it is very unpredictable anyway. For attacking, the big decrease to Strength by not using the Warrior Clothes makes the net benefit of fast attacks balance out with slower, but stronger hits. Generally, the band "Calca and Brina" is not useful, due to the random chance of getting the Self-Destruct effect. While it may seem like a good way to damage groups of enemies, consider just using Jive and Dance separately, to enjoy both an offensive and defensive effect instead of just one with a risk of Calca and Brina's death. However, the band "Go! Calcabrina!" is much more useful against bosses, assuming the party has enough HP to not need Brina to use Dance. It's not bad in random encounters, either, but since bands take time to activate, it may not be efficient. Generally, Calca seems less useful than Brina, since many of his Jive abilities cause status effects which may not be useful in speedy plowing through random battles, and may not affect bosses at all. He will probably not be very useful end-game, for these reasons. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- (O.02) Brina Equipment Weapons : Knives Body : Light, Mage Head : Clothes Hands : Armlets Statistics HP MP Str. Spd. Sta. Int. Spi. Level 1 100 | 10 | 4 | 4 | 4 | 4 | 4 Level 40 (cap) | | | | | | Avg. Gain | | | | | | Level 70? | | | | | | Abilities Dance : Causes a random White Magic effect on allies. (Skill) Cure Dance All, minor HP recovery Heal Dance All, HP recovery between Cure & Cura Cura Dance All, moderate HP recovery Curaga Dance All, superior HP recovery Curaja Dance All, extreme HP recovery Raise Dance All, revives with low HP Esuna Dance All, removes status ailments Protect Dance All, physical defense up Shell Dance All, magic defense up Blink Dance All, avoid next two attacks Haste Dance All, speed up Bands Calca and Brina (10 MP each, all enemies (except as noted)) Calca (Jive) Creates a random effect: Brina (Dance) Fire-Punch: Moderate fire damage Ice-Kick: Moderate ice damage Thunder-Beam: Moderate thunder damage Self-Destruct: Kills Calca and Brina, but causes superior non-elemental damage Recover: Moderate HP recovery, all allies Limb Dance: Physical attack to one enemy Notes: Not very useful considering the chance of instant death to both. Just use Jive and Dance separately. Go! Calcabrina! (10 MP each, all enemies) Calca (Jive) Deals moderate physical, fire, and thunder Brina (Dance) damage (three separate attacks). Luca (Analyze) Notes: Very effective, if the party doesn't need Brina to be healing. Slow charge time reduces it's efficiency, though. Strategy & Notes Brina joins the party early in Rydia's chapter, and leaves at the end of the Sealed Cave for the rest of the chapter. Brina will be destroyed via a story event, and if not repaired, will be unavailable in the later chapters. To repair Brina, the player must find the Mithril Spring, Mithril Bolt, and Mithril Nut in the Agart Mines. If all three items are in the inventory when the chapter is finished, Calca and Brina will be saved. This can be done even if the chapter has already been completed, the player will simply need to repeat the ending sequence. The Mithril Spring is found in a chest. The Mithril Bolt and Mithril Nut are random drops from Quarto Doll which can be found in a rock-filled room on B4 of the Agart Mines during Waxing Moon. The Mithril Nut is the most rare, and may take many battles to acquire. As a character, Brina has some interesting strengths and weaknesses. Like Calca, Brina equips "Clothes" type armor, which give major stat adjustments. Strategically, Brina will get the best use out of the Angel Clothes or Clown Clothes. If using the Angel Clothes, the potency of Brina's Dance ability will be increased due to higher Spirit. Since the benefits of the Dance ability are generally very useful, this is a good choice for keeping the party mended. In Rydia's chapter, Brina is the only source of these White Magic type abilities, so it's important to keep Brina in her healing role. If using the Clown Clothes, the potency of Brina's Dance ability will be decreased due to lower Spirit, but her speed will be substantially improved. This means that Dance can be used more often, providing more beneficial effects or healing to the party. In general this seems to be more useful than the increased potency of Dance abilities granted by Angel Clothes. Higher speed also makes it easier to fully heal the party for free by using Stop or Hold on an enemy, then sitting in battle and using Dance repeatedly until healed. Some may argue that the Warrior Clothes would be a good outfit for Brina, but since she is the only source of healing for Rydia's party, it's more strategically beneficial to focus her in the healing role and let Calca use the Warrior Clothes. Brina's level does not appear to impact the frequency of various "Cure" dances appearing. The result of Dance is simply random. Generally, Brina seems more useful than Calca. In Rydia's chapter she's the only healer, but thinking about the end-game, she might be useful for easy and free party healing. The unpredictability makes her likely a poor choice for a main party, but she'd make a great assistant when working on leveling up under-leveled characters. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- (O.03) Gekkou Equipment Weapons : Hammers, Axes, Katanas, Boomerangs, Knives Body : Light Head : Light Hands : Armlets Statistics HP MP Str. Spd. Sta. Int. Spi. Level 10 380 | 32 | 11 | 9 | 12 | 5 | 5 Level 40 (cap) 2491 | 123 | 45 | 24 | 40 | 18 | 15 Avg. Gain 70.37 | 3.03 | 1.13 | 0.50 | 0.93 | 0.43 | 0.33 Level 70? 4602 | 214 | 79 | 39 | 68 | 31 | 25 Abilities Ninjutsu : Secret ninja techniques for offense and defense. (Skill) Flame L.10 One/All, moderate fire damage Flash L.15 One/All, adds Blind Payback Wave L.24 One, HP-based non-elemental dmg. Shuriken : Throw an shuriken at the enemy. Requires a shuriken (n/a) (or other throwing-only weapon) to be in your inventory. Unlike Edge's Throw ability, this ability cannot be used to throw normal, unequipped weapons. This ability can be used without penalty from the back row. Bands Blazing Moon Ring (7 MP each, one enemy) Edge (Ninjutsu) Superior fire damage, seems to be based on Gekkou (Shuriken) the physical damage of the characters. Notes: Very good against bosses or strong enemies who are weak against fire. Low enough MP cost for general use, also. Phantom Lightflies (9 MP each, all allies) Gekkou (Ninjutsu) Moderate to superior HP recovery, seems to be Izayoi (Illusions) similar to the Heal Salve ninjutsu skill. Notes: Very useful, since there are no other multi-target healing abilities during Edge's chapter. The healing potential of this Band is sufficient to keep the entire group with high HP. Wheel of Elements (15 MP each, all enemies) Gekkou (Shuriken) Moderate fire, ice, thunder, and wind damage, Izayoi (Illusions) seems to be based on the Ninjutsu damage of Tsukinowa (Steal) the characters, but improved. Zangetsu (Human Kite) Notes: Not as useful as it sounds, because of the relatively poor effectiveness of the damaging Ninjutsu skills. The damage of this Band didn't seem to be superior to just attacking with each character. Ultimate Art: Advent of Phoenix (20 MP each, all enemies) Edge (Smash & Grab) Variable non-elemental damage, based on the Gekkou (Shuriken) total current HP of the party versus the Izayoi (Illusions) total maximum HP of the party. The lower Tsukinowa (Steal) the party's HP, the more damage this does. Zangetsu (Human Kite) Supposedly can break the damage limit. Notes: This Band could be very useful, but the various speed differences in the party would mean that faster ninjas would be waiting around for the charge-up of the slower ninjas, thus wasting potential for damage from normal attacks. Plus, if the group has low enough HP to make this Band do extreme damage, maybe you should think about healing them before they die. Strategy & Notes Gekkou joins during his sub-chapter during Edge's chapter, and can rejoin Edge in the Tower of Babil if he survives his sub-chapter. If you want to be able to use Gekkou during the main portion of Edge's chapter, and in the end-game, he must survive his sub-chapter. If he dies during his sub-chapter, he is permanently gone. Overall, Gekkou has great Strength, Stamina, and HP, but he's quite slow compared to the other ninjas. He can equip any of the typical ninja equipment which improves Speed, however, to compensate for this flaw. I call him "Gecko", because of the irony that geckos are fast, and he is not. He also wants to sell you auto insurance, but don't do it, Progressive has better rates. His Flame Ninjutsu technique is not particularly damaging, but Flash is excellent for a quick attempt at blinding all enemies, and Payback Wave can do excellent damage if Gekkou's HP are low. Since he has such high HP to begin with, that gives him many opportunities to do great damage with Payback Wave. Shuriken is a very useful skill that seems to be based on Gekkou's Strength, plus the attack power of the weapon thrown. In Edge's chapter, Shuriken can be bought for very little gold, easily able to be bought in a full stack of 99 by the time the ninjas cap. The main advantage of Throw is that it ignores the enemy's rows, regarding damage, so it can be used to full effect against enemies who are in the back row. Unlike Edge's Throw, however, this skill can only be used with weapons specifically designed to be thrown. Throw is also not affected by moon phases, giving Gekkou "Moon-Proof Attack" (see Section 2: Notes and Q&A (S.02)). He can also equip boomerangs, which deal full damage from the back row. However, since he can only equip one weapon (unlike Edge and Tsukinowa who can equip two), and the attack power of katanas and boomerangs is low since they're meant to be dual-wielded, it's best to keep Gekkou equipped with an axe or hammer. All things considered, Gekkou isn't a bad character at all, and does very respectable damage with reasonable defensive ability. The main drawback of Gekkou, his speed, is very noticeable in Edge's chapter, but may not be much of a hindrance in the end-game, especially if he equips items that boost his Speed. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- (O.04) Izayoi Equipment Weapons : Bows, Whips, Katanas, Boomerangs, Knives Body : Light Head : Light Hands : Armlets Statistics HP MP Str. Spd. Sta. Int. Spi. Level 7 230 | 40 | 6 | 13 | 6 | 5 | 6 Level 40 (cap) 1806 | 197 | 30 | 32 | 22 | 19 | 23 Avg. Gain 47.76 | 4.76 | 0.73 | 0.58 | 0.48 | 0.42 | 0.52 Level 70? 3239 | 340 | 52 | 50 | 36 | 31 | 39 Abilities Ninjutsu : Secret ninja techniques for offense and defense. (Skill) Flood L.7 One/All, moderate water damage Heal Pill L.7 One, minor HP recovery Heal Salve L.15 One, moderate HP recovery Smelling Salts L.25 One, moderate HP recovery Stealth Kill L.40 One, instant death (may fail) Illusions : Single target, attempts to add Confuse. Seems to work (Skill) fairly regularly, with a modest charge time. Bands Phantom Lightflies (9 MP each, all allies) Gekkou (Ninjutsu) Moderate to superior HP recovery, seems to be Izayoi (Illusions) similar to the Heal Salve ninjutsu skill. Notes: Very useful, since there are no other multi-target healing abilities during Edge's chapter. The healing potential of this Band is sufficient to keep the entire group with high HP. Frozen Moon Dance (8 MP each, one enemy) Edge (Attack) Superior ice damage, seems to be based on Izayoi (Ninjutsu) the physical damage of the characters. Notes: Very good against bosses or strong enemies who are weak against ice. Low enough MP cost for general use, also. Wheel of Elements (15 MP each, all enemies) Gekkou (Shuriken) Moderate fire, ice, thunder, and wind damage, Izayoi (Illusions) seems to be based on the Ninjutsu damage of Tsukinowa (Steal) the characters, but improved. Zangetsu (Human Kite) Notes: Not as useful as it sounds, because of the relatively poor effectiveness of the damaging Ninjutsu skills. The damage of this Band didn't seem to be superior to just attacking with each character. Ultimate Art: Advent of Phoenix (20 MP each, all enemies) Edge (Smash & Grab) Variable non-elemental damage, based on the Gekkou (Shuriken) total current HP of the party versus the Izayoi (Illusions) total maximum HP of the party. The lower Tsukinowa (Steal) the party's HP, the more damage this does. Zangetsu (Human Kite) Supposedly can break the damage limit. Notes: This Band could be very useful, but the various speed differences in the party would mean that faster ninjas would be waiting around for the charge-up of the slower ninjas, thus wasting potential for damage from normal attacks. Plus, if the group has low enough HP to make this Band do extreme damage, maybe you should think about healing them before they die. Strategy & Notes Izayoi joins during her sub-chapter during Edge's chapter, and can rejoin Edge in the Tower of Babil if she survives her sub-chapter. If you want to be able to use Izayoi during the main portion of Edge's chapter, and in the end-game, she must survive her sub- chapter. If she dies during her sub-chapter, she is permanently gone. Izayoi has decent Strength and good Speed, but her attack potential is not particularly potent. Her main strength is her healing Ninjutsu techniques, but this benefit is only potent because there are no White Mages in Edge's chapter. Check out her stat growths, and you can see that the only one over 0.60 is Strength, and not by much, and her weapon selection is limited, so she's not likely to make much use of high Strength anyway. Her Flood Ninjutsu technique is not particularly damaging, and her Stealth Kill technique seems to only work very rarely. Her healing techniques are useful and potent, but she doesn't seem to have the MP to use them constantly. Illusion, on the other hand, is a very potent ability that seems to have a high chance of afflicting an enemy with Confuse. Against tough enemies, this can help turn the tide of a fight in Edge's chapter, especially since Illusion requires no MP to use. She can also equip boomerangs, which deal full damage from the back row. However, since she can only equip one weapon (unlike Edge and Tsukinowa who can equip two), and the attack power of katanas and boomerangs is low since they're meant to be dual-wielded, it's best to keep Izayoi equipped with a bow or whip. This is particularly true since she has low HP and poor defense, so it's good to keep her in the back row. Overall, Izayoi seems to be of limited use even during Edge's chapter, so, unless she learns some additional Ninjutsu techniques that are particularly potent, I don't think she's a good choice for an end-game character. Lastly, like all the ninjas, I have a fun nickname for her. Izaboi. Why? Well. "Boi" is a stupid way to spell "boy" (yet, despite it being stupid, people do it), so, Izaboi is her way of saying she's actually a boy. Which makes sense, since in-character she doesn't want to be called a woman. Also, it's just funny to imagine she's a cross-dressing male Geisha. You know you love it. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- (O.05) Tsukinowa Equipment Weapons : Katanas, Boomerangs, Knives Body : Light Head : Light Hands : Armlets Statistics HP MP Str. Spd. Sta. Int. Spi. Level 5 200 | 20 | 4 | 16 | 3 | 2 | 2 Level 40 (cap) 1660 | 141 | 25 | 40 | 23 | 18 | 15 Avg. Gain 41.71 | 3.46 | 0.60 | 0.69 | 0.57 | 0.46 | 0.37 Level 70? 2911 | 245 | 43 | 61 | 40 | 32 | 26 Abilities Ninjutsu : Secret ninja techniques for offense and defense. (Skill) Gale L.5 One/All, moderate wind damage Mirage L.5 Self, avoid next two attacks Heal Pill L.9 One, minor HP recovery Restore Weed L.21 One, removes status ailments Smoke L.33 Escape from battle Steal : Attempts to steal an item from an enemy. The item (n/a) stolen is usually a common "tool" type item (Potion, Echo Herb, etc.) but can sometimes be a rare "tool", weapon, or armor. If the steal attempt fails, the enemy counters with a physical attack. Bands Wild Moon (12 MP each, all enemies) Edge (Attack) Physical attack, seems to be based on the Tsukinowa (Attack) physical damage of the characters. Notes: This Band is very useful against large groups of enemies, especially since both characters have very high speed, so you can probably use this at the start of the fight and soften up the enemies so that the other characters can finish them off. Gale Rush (12 MP each, all allies) Tsukinowa (Ninjutsu) Increases the group's speed, similar to the Zangetsu (Ninjutsu) Haste spell, except on all allies. Notes: An excellent Band. The only reason to not use this is if the enemies could be killed just as quickly by having Tsukinowa and Zangetsu attack. Wheel of Elements (15 MP each, all enemies) Gekkou (Shuriken) Moderate fire, ice, thunder, and wind damage, Izayoi (Illusions) seems to be based on the Ninjutsu damage of Tsukinowa (Steal) the characters, but improved. Zangetsu (Human Kite) Notes: Not as useful as it sounds, because of the relatively poor effectiveness of the damaging Ninjutsu skills. The damage of this Band didn't seem to be superior to just attacking with each character. Ultimate Art: Advent of Phoenix (20 MP each, all enemies) Edge (Smash & Grab) Variable non-elemental damage, based on the Gekkou (Shuriken) total current HP of the party versus the Izayoi (Illusions) total maximum HP of the party. The lower Tsukinowa (Steal) the party's HP, the more damage this does. Zangetsu (Human Kite) Supposedly can break the damage limit. Notes: This Band could be very useful, but the various speed differences in the party would mean that faster ninjas would be waiting around for the charge-up of the slower ninjas, thus wasting potential for damage from normal attacks. Plus, if the group has low enough HP to make this Band do extreme damage, maybe you should think about healing them before they die. Strategy & Notes Tsukinowa joins during his sub-chapter during Edge's chapter, and can rejoin Edge in the Tower of Babil if he survives his sub-chapter. If you want to be able to use Tsukinowa during the main portion of Edge's chapter, and in the end-game, he must survive his sub-chapter. If he dies during his sub-chapter, he is permanently gone. The main strength of Tsukinowa is his very high Speed, which can be raised further by equipping items that add more Speed. It should be possible to raise his speed to nearly, or higher than, 50 during Edge's chapter - this would give him two actions to Gekkou's one. Be sure to note that his Strength is just higher than the Black Mages and actually lower than the White Mages. Owch, lil' guy. Owch. His Gale Ninjutsu technique is not particularly damaging, but Mirage is good as a defensive move, since Tsukinowa has poor HP and defense. While it may seem that his healing techniques are useful, Restore Weed seems to cure very few status ailments for the MP cost, and Heal Pill doesn't heal very much. Steal seems to have limited usefulness, since it seems like most enemies are carrying only ordinary "tool" type items. Even so, it could be useful to get a few extra items. However, if it fails to steal an item, the enemy might get an extra attack against Tsukinowa, and with his low HP and defense, that hurts. I recommend equipping Tsukinowa with boomerangs (at least one, the second weapon can be whatever gives him the best overall attack or stats) and keeping him in the back row. His HP simply do not permit him to take many hits. Since his boomerangs look a lot like bananas, I like to call him "Monkey-nowa". Go ahead. Have him attack with boomerangs and try to deny that he looks like an angry monkey. As an overall character, I would discourage the use of Tsukinowa in an end-game group. While his supernatural speed gives him the ability to do potentially very high damage over time, he has very few other benefits. We'll see, though - maybe he'll get some useful Ninjutsu skills at later levels. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- (O.06) Zangetsu Equipment Weapons : Spears, Katanas, Boomerangs, Knives Body : Light Head : Light Hands : Armlets Statistics HP MP Str. Spd. Sta. Int. Spi. Level 9 260 | 52 | 8 | 11 | 9 | 8 | 4 Level 40 (cap) 1851 | 223 | 32 | 28 | 26 | 24 | 16 Avg. Gain 51.32 | 5.52 | 0.77 | 0.55 | 0.55 | 0.52 | 0.39 Level 70? 3391 | 389 | 55 | 45 | 43 | 40 | 28 Abilities Ninjutsu : Secret ninja techniques for offense and defense. (Skill) Shock L.9 One/All, moderate thunder damage Flash L.11 One/All, adds Blind Shadowbind L.20 One, adds Paralyze Human Kite : Leap into the air and land on an enemy for greater- (Skill) than-normal physical damage. The bonus damage is much greater if a spear is equipped, so one should always use a spear with Zangetsu, even if a better katana, boomerang, or knife is available. Bands Gale Rush (12 MP each, all allies) Tsukinowa (Ninjutsu) Increases the group's speed, similar to the Zangetsu (Ninjutsu) Haste spell, except on all allies. Notes: An excellent Band. The only reason to not use this is if the enemies could be killed just as quickly by having Tsukinowa and Zangetsu attack. Gale Twin Break (14 MP each, all enemies) Edge (Ninjutsu) Moderate fire and thunder damage, seems to be Zangetsu (Human Kite) based on the physical damage of the characters. Notes: Not as useful as Wild Moon, since Zangetsu has lower speed and this attack does elemental damage. Against enemies weak to these elements (such as undead and fire) this can be an excellent opening move. Wheel of Elements (15 MP each, all enemies) Gekkou (Shuriken) Moderate fire, ice, thunder, and wind damage, Izayoi (Illusions) seems to be based on the Ninjutsu damage of Tsukinowa (Steal) the characters, but improved. Zangetsu (Human Kite) Notes: Not as useful as it sounds, because of the relatively poor effectiveness of the damaging Ninjutsu skills. The damage of this Band didn't seem to be superior to just attacking with each character. Ultimate Art: Advent of Phoenix (20 MP each, all enemies) Edge (Smash & Grab) Variable non-elemental damage, based on the Gekkou (Shuriken) total current HP of the party versus the Izayoi (Illusions) total maximum HP of the party. The lower Tsukinowa (Steal) the party's HP, the more damage this does. Zangetsu (Human Kite) Supposedly can break the damage limit. Notes: This Band could be very useful, but the various speed differences in the party would mean that faster ninjas would be waiting around for the charge-up of the slower ninjas, thus wasting potential for damage from normal attacks. Plus, if the group has low enough HP to make this Band do extreme damage, maybe you should think about healing them before they die. Strategy & Notes Zangetsu joins during his sub-chapter during Edge's chapter, and can rejoin Edge in the Tower of Babil if he survives his sub-chapter. If you want to be able to use Zangetsu during the main portion of Edge's chapter, and in the end-game, he must survive his sub-chapter. If he dies during his sub-chapter, he is permanently gone. Oh, Fail-getsu, where do I begin. If you can't guess from my happy little nickname for him, he's quite awful. But, let's have a go at finding a bright side to the old buggar. Zangetsu has respectably average stats, which means with various equipment loadouts he could be specialized toward strength or speed, or possibly even intellect to make his Ninjutsu arts a bit better. His poor stat growths guarantee that he will be a mediocre character, with his only reasonably decent growth in Strength. If he had a very good weapon, he might do alright attacking, but... His Shock Ninjutsu technique is not particularly damaging, but Flash is excellent for a quick attempt at blinding all enemies, and Shadowbind is very useful for disabling a tough enemy, allowing the group to defeat the enemy without opposition. Human Kite seems to be identical to Kain's Jump skill, just with a different name and a rather silly visual effect - an object that looks like a pillow drifts down to Zangetsu, who leaps backwards onto it, and is carried upward off the screen, only to dive-bomb the enemy a few moments later. Amusing once or twice, but ultimately not a very useful skill. However, unlike Kain, Zangetsu can't take much punishment from enemies, so keeping him off-screen for awhile with this skill can save him from some damage. It can also be used from the back row, so if you make constant use of it (instead of attack), you could save him from even more damage by putting him in the back. Further, Human Kite gives Zangetsu "Moon-Proof Attack" (see Section 2: Notes and Q&A (S.02)). He can also equip boomerangs, which deal full damage from the back row. However, since he can only equip one weapon (unlike Edge and Tsukinowa who can equip two), and the attack power of katanas and boomerangs is low since they're meant to be dual-wielded, it's best to keep Zangetsu equipped with a spear, especially since his Human Kite skill benefits from a spear. Frankly, Zangetsu just doesn't deliver in any way. He doesn't have a particularly high stat, he doesn't have great HP or defense, his main special ability isn't very good, and he shares the use of Spears with Kain, which means you'd have to choose between the two when you find a great new spear. His only positive side would be his two very useful Ninjutsu skills (and the high MP to use them often), so, maybe if he learns some more, he'll be viable. Otherwise, Fail-getsu fails. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- (S.05) Section 5: Temporary Characters All characters in this section will not be available for use in your end-game party, they are incidental characters who exist solely to assist the player with areas of the game which may be challenging without them. Their presence can make the game a little easier if they are used effectively. Temporary characters are factored into the game's calculations for experience gains in battle, even if the temporary character cannot gain levels or has reached their level cap. NOTE: In every case, temporary characters are absolutely not necessary! The player may opt to "kill them off" and continue play with only permanent characters. This will result in increased experience gains for the permanent characters, but the game may be somewhat more challenging. However, the increased experience gains for the permanent characters will ultimately mean increased levels, so this option ends up being no more difficult than normal. (T.01) : Biggs (T.02) : Wedge (T.03) : White Mage (T.04) : Black Mage (T.05) : Kain (evil copy) (T.06) : Monk A ("Anderson") (T.07) : Monk B ("Brown") (T.08) : Monk C ("Coleman") * These sections have not yet been completed. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- (T.01) Biggs Equipment Weapons : Swords Body : Heavy Head : Heavy Hands : Gauntlets Statistics HP MP Str. Spd. Sta. Int. Spi. Level 12 (max) 350 | 100 | 18 | 17 | 18 | 18 | 12 Abilities Black Magic : Damaging and debilitating magic. (Black) Fire L.12 One/All, minor fire damage Blizzard L.12 One/All, minor ice damage Thunder L.12 One/All, minor thunder damage Sleep L.12 One/All, adds Sleep Poison L.12 One/All, adds Poison Toad L.12 One/All, adds/removes Toad Stop L.12 One, adds Paralyze Pig L.12 One/All, adds/removes Pig Fira L.12 One/All, moderate fire damage Bands Vibra Edge (10 MP each, all enemies) Biggs (Attack) Physical damage to all enemies, seems to be Wedge (Attack) roughly equal to their normal attack. Notes: Use this constantly for easy battles. Strategy & Notes Joins at the start of the game, but leaves after the first floor of Ceodore's trial. Rejoins after Ceodore finishes his trial, but leaves permanently when Ceodore exits the Adamant Isle Grotto. Biggs provides some useful damage support for Ceodore during his early levels. If you use starting money to buy some tents (since the inn at the starting town will not be useable until you finish Ceodore's trial), you can use Biggs (and Wedge) to help gain a few levels for Ceodore with safety. When facing enemies aboard the airship after Ceodore's trial, Biggs can use Fira for big damage compared to the physical attacks any of the characters can achieve. The player can also pilfer equipment from Biggs to give to Ceodore. This can be done with Wedge instead, but, Biggs has a higher level and better stats, so he can more easily afford the loss of equipment. Players wishing to try to acquire the Cockatrice and/or Goblin summons during Ceodore's chapter (to give to Rydia at the end of the game) can work on this during the time when they have Biggs and Wedge in the team, and speed up the battles significantly versus having only Ceodore. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- (T.02) Wedge Equipment Weapons : Swords Body : Heavy Head : Heavy Hands : Gauntlets Statistics HP MP Str. Spd. Sta. Int. Spi. Level 10 (max) 300 | 90 | 15 | 18 | 16 | 15 | 19 Abilities White Magic : Restorative and beneficial magic. (White) Cure L.10 One/All, minor HP recovery Cura L.10 One/All, moderate HP recovery Bands Vibra Edge (10 MP each, all enemies) Biggs (Attack) Physical damage to all enemies, seems to be Wedge (Attack) roughly equal to their normal attack. Notes: Use this constantly for easy battles. Strategy & Notes Joins at the start of the game, but leaves after the first floor of Ceodore's trial. Rejoins after Ceodore finishes his trial, but leaves permanently when Ceodore boards the airship to leave Adamant Isle. Wedge provides some useful healing support for Ceodore during his early levels. If you use starting money to buy some tents (since the inn at the starting town will not be useable until you finish Ceodore's trial), you can use Wedge (and Biggs) to help gain a few levels for Ceodore with safety. Wedge's usefulness is much less than Biggs, since Ceodore can also use White Magic, and is quickly superior with it. The player can also pilfer equipment from Wedge to give to Ceodore. This can be done with Biggs instead, and, Biggs has a higher level and better stats, so he can more easily afford the loss of equipment. Players wishing to try to acquire the Cockatrice and/or Goblin summons during Ceodore's chapter (to give to Rydia at the end of the game) can work on this during the time when they have Biggs and Wedge in the team, and speed up the battles significantly versus having only Ceodore. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- (T.03) White Mage Equipment Weapons : Staves, Bows Body : Mage Head : Mage Hands : Armlets Statistics HP MP Str. Spd. Sta. Int. Spi. Level 10 (max) 270 | 140 | 10 | 11 | 14 | 14 | 24 Abilities White Magic : Restorative and beneficial magic. (White) Hold L.10 One, adds Paralyze Libra L.10 One, reveals HP & weaknesses Protect L.10 One/All, physical defense up Silence L.10 One/All, adds Mute Esuna L.10 One, removes status ailments Slow L.10 One/All, decreases speed Cure L.10 One/All, minor HP recovery Cura L.10 One/All, moderate HP recovery Raise L.10 One, revives with low HP Bands None. Strategy & Notes Joins Ceodore after speaking to Porom in Mysidia, and leaves permanently after entering Baron Castle from the tunnels. Useful to heal Ceodore and the Hooded Man, but Ceodore can also heal, so this usefulness is limited. It does free up Ceodore to focus on attacking, however, so it's not useless. Generally, only Cura and Raise will be of much use, and those could be replaced by Potions and Phoenix Downs. Equipping the White Mage with a bow is a decent choice to get a bit of added attack damage. This is particularly useful once the party reaches Baron and Holy Arrows can be purchased. The player can then re-enter the Devil's Road and spam Attack to great effect against the undead, for a few easy levels for Ceodore and the Hooded Man. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- (T.04) Black Mage Equipment Weapons : Rods, Bows Body : Mage Head : Mage Hands : Armlets Statistics HP MP Str. Spd. Sta. Int. Spi. Level 10 (max) 230 | 150 | 9 | 12 | 13 | 24 | 14 Abilities Black Magic : Damaging and debilitating magic. (Black) Fire L.10 One/All, minor fire damage Blizzard L.10 One/All, minor ice damage Thunder L.10 One/All, minor thunder damage Sleep L.10 One/All, adds Sleep Poison L.10 One/All, adds Poison Stop L.10 One, adds Paralyze Fira L.10 One/All, moderate fire damage Blizzara L.10 One/All, moderate ice damage Thundara L.10 One/All, moderate thunder damage Bands None. Strategy & Notes Joins Ceodore after speaking to Porom in Mysidia, and leaves permanently after entering Baron Castle from the tunnels. The Black Mage is very beneficial for multi-target death during his time with Ceodore, just as Biggs once was. Unfortunately, many of the enemy groups encountered during his time with the party will consist of enemies with opposing weaknesses, such as zombies and ghosts (one of which is weak to fire, and the other absorbs it). So this usefulness is limited, and further limited by a lack of Osmose to easily recover MP. Equipping the White Mage with a bow is a decent choice to get a bit of added attack damage. This is particularly useful once the party reaches Baron and Holy Arrows can be purchased. The player can then re-enter the Devil's Road and spam Attack to great effect against the undead, for a few easy levels for Ceodore and the Hooded Man. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- (T.05) Kain (evil copy) Equipment Weapons : Swords, Spears, Axes, Shields Body : Heavy, Light Head : Heavy, Light Hands : Gauntlets Statistics HP MP Str. Spd. Sta. Int. Spi. Level 30 1500 | 65 | 33 | 26 | 29 | 15 | 15 Level 40 2467 | 89 | 42 | 31 | 34 | 18 | 18 Level 50 (max) 3521 | 113 | 52 | 40 | 43 | 23 | 23 Abilities Jump : Leap into the air and land on an enemy for greater- (Skill) than-normal physical damage. The bonus damage is much greater if a spear is equipped, so one should always use a spear with Kain, even if a better sword or axe is available (see strategy and notes below, however). Bands None. Strategy & Notes Joins during Kain's chapter during a few short sequences in which the player controls Kain, rather than controlling Ceodore and the Hooded Man. Leaves permanently after encountering Edward at Damcyan Castle. Just look at his beastly stats. He's like Ursula with heavy armor and a bad attitude. Thankfully, his stats are outclassed by the Hooded Man and Holy Dragoon versions of himself, so there should be no reason for people to miss him, other than his rad armor. Evil Kain's regular attack kills any enemy he encounters with ease. Somehow, evil Kain has the same inventory items as Ceodore and the Hooded Man. Since Ceodore can also use spears, one can improve Ceodore's attack significantly by taking evil Kain's Wind Spear away and replacing it with one of Ceodore's old swords. Even if this is done, evil Kain will still easily defeat any enemy he fights. Any levels gained as evil Kain do not matter in any way when he merges with the Hooded Man, so feel free to run from his battles if desired. The only reason to fight battles as evil Kain is for the gil or possible dropped items, since his experience gains and level gains do not matter. Changes in evil Kain's equipment or levels do not affect the fight between evil Kain and the Hooded Man in Baron Castle. For that fight, evil Kain will have a spear even if it had been taken away, and will have far greater HP than his playable version had. It's somewhat amusing, actually. A big thanks to Biifcake (GameFAQs) for helping me out by leveling Kain up to 50 and sending me the stats. I appreciate it! --------------------------------------------------------------------------- (T.06) Monk A ("Anderson") Equipment Weapons : Claws Body : Light Head : Light Hands : Armlets Statistics HP MP Str. Spd. Sta. Int. Spi. Level 10 400 | 0 | 15 | 8 | 17 | 3 | 3 Level 20 (max) 862 | 0 | 21 | 12 | 23 | 3 | 3 Abilities Kick : After a charge time, Monk A attacks all enemies. This (Attack) attack does less damage than his normal attack, but is very useful for clearing out weak enemies. Bands None. Strategy & Notes Joins at the start of Yang's chapter, and can be used for most of the chapter. Monk A is not available for Yang's Challenge Dungeon. Useful to absorb hits and deal some extra damage, and having so many characters able to use Kick is quite entertaining, even if most fights could be completed more quickly by just attacking. An interesting challenge is to try to beat Yang's Chapter without using Yang or Ursula (whenever possible). In this challenge, the player could only use Monk A, Monk B, and Monk C, except during some sections of the Adamant Isle Forest. NOTE: "Anderson" is a name used for this monk by the forum members at GameFAQs. The joke is that "Monk" is the character's first name, and the appended A, B, and C are abbreviations of their surnames. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- (T.07) Monk B ("Brown") Equipment Weapons : Claws Body : Light Head : Light Hands : Armlets Statistics HP MP Str. Spd. Sta. Int. Spi. Level 10 350 | 0 | 11 | 10 | 13 | 6 | 6 Level 20 (max) 723 | 0 | 17 | 15 | 19 | 6 | 6 Abilities Kick : After a charge time, Monk B attacks all enemies. This (Attack) attack does less damage than his normal attack, but is very useful for clearing out weak enemies. Bands None. Strategy & Notes Joins at the start of Yang's chapter, and can be used for most of the chapter. Monk B is not available for Yang's Challenge Dungeon. Useful to absorb hits and deal some extra damage, and having so many characters able to use Kick is quite entertaining, even if most fights could be completed more quickly by just attacking. An interesting challenge is to try to beat Yang's Chapter without using Yang or Ursula (whenever possible). In this challenge, the player could only use Monk A, Monk B, and Monk C, except during some sections of the Adamant Isle Forest. NOTE: "Brown" is a name used for this monk by the forum members at GameFAQs. The joke is that "Monk" is the character's first name, and the appended A, B, and C are abbreviations of their surnames. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- (T.08) Monk C ("Coleman") Equipment Weapons : Claws Body : Light Head : Light Hands : Armlets Statistics HP MP Str. Spd. Sta. Int. Spi. Level 15 600 | 0 | 15 | 11 | 17 | 5 | 5 Level 20 (max) 840 | 0 | 19 | 13 | 21 | 5 | 5 Abilities Kick : After a charge time, Monk C attacks all enemies. This (Attack) attack does less damage than his normal attack, but is very useful for clearing out weak enemies. Bands None. Strategy & Notes Joins midway through Yang's chapter, and can be used for the rest of the chapter. Monk C is not available for Yang's Challenge Dungeon. Useful to absorb hits and deal some extra damage, and having so many characters able to use Kick is quite entertaining, even if most fights could be completed more quickly by just attacking. An interesting challenge is to try to beat Yang's Chapter without using Yang or Ursula (whenever possible). In this challenge, the player could only use Monk A, Monk B, and Monk C, except during some sections of the Adamant Isle Forest. NOTE: "Coleman" is a name used for this monk by the forum members at GameFAQs. The joke is that "Monk" is the character's first name, and the appended A, B, and C are abbreviations of their surnames. Further, the forum members have determined that Monk Coleman is a warrior and gentleman of renown, and beyond compare, similar to the common internet jokes about Chuck Norris. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- (S.06) Section 6: Chapter Strategies This section discusses general strategies to use during each of the game's chapters. I have not provided a detailed walkthrough for the chapter, though I may include general strategies for defeating boss enemies. The purpose of this section is to give the player some ideas for using their team effectively. (C.01) : Ceodore's Chapter (C.02) : Kain's Chapter (C.03) : Rydia's Chapter (C.04) : Yang's Chapter* (C.05) : Palom's Chapter* (C.06) : Edge's Chapter * These sections have not yet been completed. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- (C.01) Ceodore's Chapter Since the prologue rolls directly into Ceodore's chapter, even in the original Mobile version of the game, I'm going to just consider it to be part of Ceodore's chapter. In case anyone wondered. Ceodore begins as a complete wimp, but he's faster than the enemies on Adamant Isle, and can kill any of them in one hit. Roam around outside town until he's level 10, then do his trial. On the way in, take equipment from Biggs and give it to Ceodore. On the way out, use Biggs and Wedge to help Ceodore plow rapidly through fights until Ceodore hits level 15, and then unequip Biggs and Wedge so you can sell their stuff later. The "boss" fight on the airship is easy, have Biggs use Fira for a quick win (should take 2-4 turns depending on Ceodore's level, if you also use Awaken). In Cecil's segment, grab treasure, of course, but don't bother trying to gain levels. Equip Cecil with armor you took from Wedge, so that later, Ceodore can use Cecil's armor. Yes, despite the groups being in different places, they share an inventory bag. Nice! Cecil's three-battle "boss" fight isn't so bad. The first fight, just attack and heal. The second fight, Cecil and Cid attack, and Rosa should wait until the floating eye uses Doom, then Haste, and then Rosa should use Slow on the ally who has Doom and Haste. After that, she and Cecil can use their Band, along with Cid's attacks, to drop the floating eye before their Doom'ed ally dies. The third fight, attack the birds and Slow the large bird, then just keep healed while attacking. Win. The rest of Ceodore's chapter is a peice of cake. Equip Ceodore with the armor from Cecil for a nice defense and Spirit boost (which makes his White Magic a bit better). The White Mage and Black Mage make the Devil's Road and Baron waterway easier, but if you want, KO them and you'll get better experience for Ceodore and the Hooded Man. Be sure to buy Eye Drops in Mysidia, they won't be available in Baron and some of the later enemies can use Blind attacks. It'll suck to have to waste MP to use Esuna just to cure Blind. The main tactic is just to attack and attack and attack, neither character can do much else. Ceodore can use Cura if you want, or just use potions. It doesn't really matter. Consider equipping Ceodore with the Power Armlet from the Hooded Man if you want to even out their attacks a bit, but the Hooded Man is still going to be superior until you start finding swords, in which case, you can potentially make Ceodore a little better than the Hooded Man if you use the best available sword on him, and the hand-me-down on the Hooded Man. Make sure to buy a bunch of Spider Silk in Baron. At least 10, just in case you need them sometime. Skip the elemental attack items, but don't sell the ones you find as loot, you'll want them later. You should be level 25 before you fight the boss of the Mist Cave, because this will allow Ceodore to use Float (use it before you even start the battle, to save a turn). He should use Spider Silk on the boss, and then you can just Cross Slash it to death, or attack as the Hooded Man and heal with Ceodore. That's it. In the Mobile version, I've heard that Ceodore had his own Challenge Dungeon, but in the Wii version the game just rolls right into Kain's chapter without stopping. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- (C.02) Kain's Chapter Basically, attack, attack, and then attack some more. Enemies go down easily enough that you shouldn't need to use Cross Slash, or use White Magic during battles. During the sequences where you play Kain, just attack. Everything dies in one hit anyway. Some people say to unequip Kain's Wind Spear and give it to Ceodore (and give Kain an old sword), but you'll find a Mithril Sword and then Sleep Sword soon enough, so don't bother, it's a very short-lived improvement. The enemies on the Mist Cliffs give very good experience, especially the Goblin Captains, so stick around and gain a few levels if you wish, but it's not really necessary. When you reach the end of the Underground Waterway, you'll fight Octo Mammoth. You should have one or two White Fang and Red Fang, have both characters use one each of these right away to wipe out the tentacles instantly, then Spider Silk the main boss and Cross Slash it to death. If a tentacle comes back to life, just ignore it. The main boss will go down soon enough. Worst case, if three tentacles are back, use fangs again (or lesser elemental items if necessary) and resume killing the boss. The Challenge Dungeon isn't so challenging. First, stop by Baron to see if you want any of the items at the weapon and armor shop, they're new. You can also loot the items behind the counters now. Explore the ruins area of the Challenge Dungeon and clear it of loot, while working on getting Rosa to level 36 so she leans Haste. One chest in the ruins resets whenever you enter, but it has just "tool" items, so don't be concerned with it. Once your group, or at least Rosa, have reached level 36 you should proceed into the cave portion of the Challenge Dungeon. The enemies will be tougher but you should be fine. Collect the loot, and at the save point before the boss, use Tents until it's New Moon, then save. The key to the Curse Dragon is that Kain's Dragoon Lance does Holy damage, which the Curse Dragon happens to be weak against. He has two forms, one of which requires about 10,000 HP, and the other about 20,000 HP. At the start of the fight, Kain will probably act first, but switch to Ceodore when he comes up, and use a Spider Silk. Then, wait for Rosa, and have her use Haste on Kain. Finally, have Kain Jump, for very effective damage, especially considering the moon phase. Use Cid to heal or revive with items (or Ceodore/Rosa with items or magic, if they're available). When Kain's ready, Jump again. Basically, repeat this until it changes form. Then, have Ceodore use a Spider Silk again (good thing you can buy those in Baron). Repeat the Jump cycle, and heal and revive as needed. If Kain dies, be sure to hit him with Haste from Rosa (or Ceodore if you're high enough in level). The boss will die easily enough. At this point, you can just run the Challenge Dungeon repeatedly to gain levels if you fight every battle on the way to the boss, or, to gain loot quickly if you flee from every battle on the way to the boss. If you opt to flee, use magic to heal, since you can use a Cottage just before the boss anyway. Either way, you should get all the good items and become level 50 pretty smoothly. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- (C.03) Rydia's Chapter Oh Rydia. Without your summons, you are so screwed. It's easy to get through the Eidolon cave, though, and meet up with Luca, Calca, and Brina. Calca and Brina are a mixed bag. Calca's abilities are very unpredictable, but Brina's are almost always useful since they tend to heal a lot of the time. There are two general strategies here: Option 1: Use the dolls for Jive and Dance. In this case, stick them in the back row, and equip them with the Angel's Clothes and Mage's Clothes, when those items become available. You could also opt to use the Clown Clothes instead, and whichever doll has those will just get to Jive or Dance more often, but a bit less effectively. Collect all eight Kokkol Ores which are available without going into any dungeons and use them to make a Battle Axe, followed by a Tomahawk, and Luca is set for the rest of the chapter. Hooray! You can use the final four Kokkol Ores to make a Dancing Dagger for Rydia later, or a Mithril Hammer for Luca if you want (though in my opinion the Tomahawk is far superior). This setup also permits Luca to be in the back row, but, don't do that until after the Sealed Cave, since the other three characters are much more frail than she is. Option 2: Use the dolls for attack! In this case, put them in the front row with the Warrior's Clothes and Clown Clothes. Use the Clown Clothes on Brina so that if you need a heal, you can try for it more often. Use the eight easy-to-get Kokkol Ores to make two Dancing Daggers so your dolls can kick some ass (or, at least as best as they can manage, anyway). If you want, you could put them in the back row, since Dancing Daggers can do a nice "Big Throw" style attack if used as an item in combat, but if you ask me, that's a pain to have to select that every time you want to attack. The final four Kokkol Ores should be used alongside the Battle Axe from the Sealed Cave to make Luca a Tomahawk. Luca will need to be in the front row until you get the Tomahawk, and then she can go in the back. Either way, use the dolls for their purpose as you choose from the ones above, and Luca also. Luca's main thing is attacking, if you didn't guess. Or Big Throw, if the moon phase favors it over attack. Rydia should try to support with magic, if you can guess the enemy's elemental weakness. Or use Stop. If you power-level her up to 32 while still underground, her Bio spell will kill any enemy group in just one shot, except for the doors and boss of the Sealed Cave. If Rydia needs MP, use Osmose on Lamias, once she learns it at level 26. Lamias have around 150 MP and are eager for Rydia to take it away! Use Stop to make them sit there helplessly, and then turn them into giant Ethers. Once they're drained, Luca can finish them off. The back entrance to the Dwarf Castle has a healing pot. Consider grinding some levels on the overworld near here, until all of your characters are over level 20. This will be time-consuming, but will make the rest of the chapter much easier. Against the door enemies in the Sealed Cave and Challenge Dungeon, just use Stop, and it's an easy fight. If you reach a high enough level you can kill them with Bio plus one attack from Luca. It's faster, but costs a bit more MP. The Demon Walls are a bit more annoying. If you're under level 32, use a Spider Silk, and have Luca use attack or Big Throw (whichever is favored by the moon), and Rydia use any -ara spell. If you're level 32 or higher, forget the Spider Silk, just use Bio and Luca's moves stay the same. If you want to get Calca and Brina to level 40, you'll need to do so before you defeat the Demon Wall in the Sealed Cave. Or, to be more precise, you can defeat the Demon Wall if you wish, but then you have to grind out any remaining levels without leaving the Sealed Cave. So it's best to just do it before killing the Demon Wall. While in the Agart Mines, you can find a very convenient healing pot, which makes it an excellent spot to grind out some levels. If you want to repair Calca and Brina, do so at the Agart Mines. See their sections above for details. The Challenge Dungeon is a peice of cake. There are guides for how to get through it, so I won't detail that here. The boss is super weak. Have Luca kill two of the Minion Gobby's, and then use Bio on the Boss Gobby and have Luca use Hi Potions to heal. When it dies, finish the last Minion Gobby. If you accidentally kill all the Minion Gobby's while the Boss Gobby is alive, he'll use magic to improve his attack and defense. Defeat him the same way, it just takes more time. So, be careful and do it the easy way. Run the Challenge Dungeon a few times for the loot and you'll easily reach level 40 in the process. Since the enemies in the Challenge Dungeon are tough, you might consider waiting until level 40 to advance to the end. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- (C.04) Yang's Chapter --------------------------------------------------------------------------- (C.05) Palom's Chapter --------------------------------------------------------------------------- (C.06) Edge's Chapter Be sure to unequip Edge before starting the sub-chapters for his pupils, as Edge's equipment will greatly benefit them. Likewise, before finishing a section for each pupil, unequip the pupil, except for their individualized weapons which other pupils could not use. If you want to be able to use the pupils in the rest of the chapter, and at the end of the game, do not allow them to die during their sub-chapter, as this results in the permanent death of the pupil. Fight your way to level 20 as each pupil before completing their sub-chapter, so that they will be on-par with Edge when they return. Strategic info for each pupil can be found in their information in the Optional Characters section, above. Once the chapter has returned to Edge, equip him with the best gear obtained from the sub-chapters of all the pupils, and make sure one of his weapons is the Metal Boomerang acquired during Tsukinowa's sub-chapter. You can thus put Edge in the back row and he will deal full damage (this is true even if his other weapon is a katana). Put Edge's Flame spell to good use against the undead in the Eblan Cave, and try to reach level 20 before advancing into the Tower of Babil. Once the group re-unites, put Edge, Gekkou, and Zangetsu in the front row, and Izayoi and Tsukinowa in the back row. Gekkou should be equipped with an axe, Zangetsu with a spear, Izayoi with a bow or whip, Tsukinowa with boomerangs, and Edge with katanas. You could put Edge in the back row with a boomerang, but his high HP make him able to take a hit or two. If you have trouble, equip Zangetsu with a boomerang for awhile and stick him in the back row, since his HP are generally lower than Gekkou or Edge. This will make his attack much weaker, though, so it's not advised except if he is behind in levels. The enemies of the Tower of Babil shouldn't be any trouble if your team is level 20 or higher. Basic attacks should win most fights. Try to reach at least level 25 before fighting the Mysterious Girl, you can teleport back to the entrance of the Eblan Cave from within the Tower of Babil (at the entrance of the tower from the cave, and, at the save room just before the Mysterious Girl), and return to Eblan for supplies if needed. After beating the chapter, check out the Challenge Dungeon. You'll need to be fast to get the best gear at the end, so don't worry about that for now. Each floor has two equippable items that can randomly appear in the treasure chests, as well as normal "tool" items and shuriken. Play through each floor until you have collected all the equipment, and use an Emergency Exit (you can buy them in Eblan) to escape and heal. Once you have collected the equipment for a given floor, then advance to the next floor and do the same. Getting killed in the Challenge Dungeon? Remember, you're playing a group of ninjas, not a group of fighters. Use their abilities to even the odds with tough enemies! Izayoi's Illusions works pretty well to confuse an enemy - try using this on a Coeurl and watch it use it's Blaster skill to paralyze or kill other enemies. Shadowbind is a good spell to use against Mad Ogres and other tough foes. Flash also works well, since you can target the full group. Mirage is nice to help avoid a few hits. Once the enemies are properly paralyzed, confused, and blinded from the first round of battle, you're ready to attack. Also, remember that Izayoi's bows and Tsukinowa's boomerangs do extra damage against flying enemies. By the time you have collected all the equipment from all floors, you should be in your late 20's or early 30's in level. Run your way to the fourth floor of the Challenge Dungeon, and on the right side you can find a tile that restores all HP and MP. This is the spot where you want to stay until you reach level 40. Once you're level 40, you're ready to make speedy runs through the Challenge Dungeon to try and get the best treasure from the final chest. Run or use the Smoke spell to achieve the best results. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- (S.07) Section 7: Grouped Character Comparisons (incomplete) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- (S.08) Section 8: End-Game Party Ideas & Challenges (incomplete) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- (S.09) Section 9: Legal, Copyright, Etc. This guide may be printed only for personal use. The games, Final Fantasy IV and Final Fantasy IV: The After Years, are Copyright Square Enix Corp, and I make no claim to any trademarks or copyrights held by them which may be included in this guide. The contents of this guide are Copyright 2009 ExaltedBen (specifically, the real-world person who has the account ExaltedBen at GameFAQs) and may not under any circumstances be reproduced by any individual or group, or hosted on any website, without his permission as noted below. Individuals or groups authorized to reproduce or host this guide: GameFAQs www.gamefaqs.com Super Cheats www.supercheats.com Games Radar www.gamesradar.com Cheat Planet www.cheatplanet.com Neoseeker www.neoseeker.com Special thanks to contributors: King_Tetiro (GameFAQs) dark_deity9 (GameFAQs) Zxela404 (GameFAQs) Biifcake (GameFAQs) Please email me if there are any questions. [End]