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Final Fantasy 12 The Zodiac Age walkthrough, guide, tips, and PS4 version differences

Expert tips and tricks for traversing the Final Fantasy 12 PS4 remaster.

Following what seems to now be a bit of a tradition for the franchise, Final Fantasy 12 is finally coming to PlayStation 4, in the revised form of Final Fantasy 12 The Zodiac Age.

As with just about any other Final Fantasy game, The Zodiac Age isn't short, or particularly simple for that matter, and then there's the fact that this PlayStation 4 remaster isn't even of the same version we first saw in the west - it's a reworking of the 2007 International Zodiac Job System version that was released in Japan, about a year and a half after the initial launch.

Here on this page, we'll be taking you through the PS4 Zodiac Age version differences from those prior versions, plus providing you with a contents of our various Final Fantasy 12 guide pages, and multiple parts of our Final Fantasy 12 The Zodiac Age walkthrough.

Final Fantasy 12 The Zodiac Age walkthrough

Progressing through Final Fantasy 12 often boils down to your traversal of its semi-open world. You'll often be popping back to previously visited places to stock up on items and sell your loot, or likewise to report back that you've successfully slain a foe or recovered something lost.

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We've covered the story as it unfolds lineraly, in the fashion we found best, and noted where you'll want to take a break to do a spot of grinding or sidequesting. But as always with RPGs, feel free to tackle it as you wish!

The game unfolds in roughly eight acts, but they're untitled, loosely defined, and often pretty long. For the sake of clarity, we've broken the game up into parts which make sense (and which avoid you having to deal with too many overlong pages of guides!), so your best way to navigate is to think in terms of locations, bosses, characters and significant moments.

Final Fantasy 12 The Zodiac Age walkthrough:

Other Final Fantasy 12 The Zodiac Age guides

Final Fantasy 12 tips

As well as the walkthrough and our specific guides, there are plenty of general tips and tricks to bear in mind. Here's our pick:

  • Save when you can - The PS4 version has added a much-needed quicksave function, but don't rely on it - if you die in the middle of a dungeon low on supplies and hanging on by a thread restarting in that awful position isn't going to be much help, but if your last manual save was three hours ago you're going to lose a lot of hard work.
  • If you're coming across enemies that are ripping you to shreds easily, backtrack and do some grinding rather than struggling against the odds - The difference between "impossible" and "manageable" may only be a level or two.
  • Explore everywhere, loot everything, and visit every shop and vendor whenever you're passing - having the right gear is the key to success, and it may be that that boss fight you're struggling with would go much more smoothly if only you had a different pair of boots…
  • Watch your Combat Log, particularly in boss fights - It will let you know when they're charging up for something special allowing you to take the appropriate action.
  • Practice Quickening Chains - These can be make or break towards the end of boss fights, and being able to get a 5 or 6 hit chain makes a world of difference. Ignore the fancy visuals and keep your eyes firmly fixed on the bottom right of the screen - those amongst us whose reactions have slowed with age are at a disadvantage, but practice makes perfect.
  • Open up those gambit slots, buy all the gambits, and use them! - Without pretty specific instructions the members of your party that you're not directly controlling are, frankly, dumb, and will stand there and get beaten into a pulp if left to their own devices. Experiment with different combinations and different orders, and be sure to make adjustments whenever you get a new slot or a new ability.
  • Sell Loot, keep everything else! - With the exception of Teleport Stones and Gysahl Greens (and you'll only need a handful of them), everything that accumulates in your Loot inventory is junk. Selling it not only brings in money, it will also unlock new items in the Bazaar. Old weapons and armour, though, may still come in handy at unexpected times, and as there's no limit to how many different kinds you can carry it's worth holding on to.
  • Switch up your party members from time to time - You'll probably have a core team of tank, DPS, and healer that you favour - heck, we played half the game with Vaan, Balthier, and Fran - but make sure they don't get too far ahead of the other three in terms of levels. You may need to fall back on your reserves from time to time even if it's just to swap one in and throw out a Phoenix Down in an emergency, so it's no good if enemies can swat them like flies.
  • Make use of guest members when you have them - They don't stay around for ever so you shouldn't get too reliant on them, but on the other hand they can come in handy if you're struggling taking down a Mark or grabbing an optional Esper.
  • Above all, have fun - There are points in the game when it can turn into an unavoidable grind, but don't let that distract you from all the weird and wonderful things that are going on - rent a Chocobo and go for a ride, go back to Giza Plains and kill hordes of those wolves that were such a threat to start with, and don't get discouraged if a battle seems insurmountable!

Final Fantasy 12 The Zodiac Age and International Zodiac Job System version differences

So, we know that Final Fantasy 12 isn't just a straight remaster of the Final Fantasy 12 version we received here in the west, but if that's the case then what exactly has changed - and on top of that, what's different between The Zodiac Age and the International Zodiac Job System version released in Japan?

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We'll start by talking about what's changed since the distant 2006 original, before going on to note what's changed again with this PlayStation 4 remaster.

Final Fantasy 12 The Zodiac Age changes from original version:

  • Zodiac Job System - this is the big obvious change. The Zodiac Job System is a collection of twelve different "Jobs", corresponding to twelve signs of the Zodiac. The Jobs which are essentially classes, and each Job has it's own License Board, which contains dozens of various unlockable upgrades. Those are obtained by earning LP, or License Points, from playing the game, usually by killing enemies.
  • Trial Mode - a new 100-stage mode which pits you against waves of enemies, designed to test your skill and ability to get the most out of Final Fantasy 12's famous Gambit system.
  • New Game+ Strong Mode and Weak Mode - Strong Mode sees all characters start at level 90 and level up normally, but only configuration settings are carried over. Weak Mode is meant to be the ultimate challenge, with all characters starting at level 1 again, and never levelling up as you play the game! Again, nothing but your settings are carried over.
  • The ability to speed up gameplay by holding L1 -a massive help for grinding!
  • Various UI improvements.

More technically speaking, The Zodiac Age has also received a range of graphical and audio performance upgrades from the original. To the extent that Digital Foundry, in fact, proclaimed "Final Fantasy 12's PS4 remaster is a great upgrade for 1080p gaming."

Final Fantasy 12 The Zodiac Age changes from International Job System version:

  • Visual upgrades - HD upgrades for backgrounds, character models, fonts, and cutscenes, improved facial expressions, and a map that overlays gameplay without needing to pause the game.
  • Audio upgrades - 7.1 surround sound, higher-quality voices, the ability to switch between English and Japanese dubs.
  • Auto-saving.
  • Reduced load times.
  • Even faster speed for the fast-forward mode - gameplay now moves at 5x speed rather than 2x.

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