Welcome to Final Fantasy 12! This section of our Final Fantasy 12 The Zodiac Age walkthrough deals with the game's opening sections, including the Prologue in Nalbina Fortress, your first visit to Rabanastre, Dalmasca Estersand, your first boss battle with the Rogue Tomato, and a couple of trips to Lowtown.
If you're looking for more guides and tips meanwhile, then head to our Final Fantasy 12 The Zodiac Age guide and walkthrough hub, where you'll also find this walkthrough's contents for all the other sections, too.
Final Fantasy 12 Prologue - Nalbina Fortress
The Prologue, set in Nalbina Fortress, serves as the game's tutorial, so for the most part just do as the game directs, learning the basics for the game's various systems like combat targeting and movement, and you can't go wrong.
There are a few items to loot along the way, but anything you gather here will be lost once the brief introduction is over, so don't worry too much about going out of your way to collect everything, and just use the time to get accustomed to the controls. You'll also encounter your first save crystal here - remember when all games handled saving like that? - so with that well-placed before the main bit of combat, things should be pretty plain sailing.
Garamsythe Waterway, Rabanastre, and the Rogue Tomato
No RPG would be complete without a sewer full of giant rats, but other than their tendency to run away at speed they shouldn't prove too much of a problem. As they don't put up much resistance try using your Steal ability on each of them to get a bit of extra loot before wiping them out, and then make your way up the stairs to the exit.
You'll be spending a fair amount of time here so for now ignore any distractions and head straight to Migelo's shop, then head to the Sandsea and speak to Kytes - he's usually standing to the left of the bar. He'll introduce you to the Marks system; the first one is compulsory to progress the plot, and completing it will make further targets available to you which we will cover in detail elsewhere in our guide soon.
The game will now introduce the License system, which we'll also cover in detail eslwhere in the guide soon, but in essence it's similar to classes in other RPGs and allows you to unlock additional abilities and perks for party members. Make your choice, then follow the on-screen instructions for obtaining the Accessories 1 ability.
Once the tutorialising is over be sure to equip the Orrachea Armlet, then leave the Sandsea and head south, then through the east gate in the large cross-shaped area and use the save crystal before entering the desert. Save crystals are the only locations that allow you to save your progress, and they will also fully restore all your party remembers, resurrecting the dead, and removing any status effects.
Dalmasca Estersand and Rogue Tomato
Head directly forwards as you enter the area to locate the Rogue Tomato and beat him down - at this point you don't really have any options in combat other than whacking him, so the fight should be fairly simple - when he reaches 50% health he'll run away and heal himself but as long as you don't stray too close to the wolves in the area he will go down without much of a struggle.
While you're here it's also worth using your Steal ability on the sleeping Cactites to get some loot, and killing a handful to get some EXP. You can probably also deal with a wolf or two but don't get too greedy, and under no circumstances should you attempt to deal with the Saurian as he will just one-shot you.
Head back to the city and speak to Kytes near the gate, which triggers a long cutscene, then return to the Sandsea and speak to Tomaj again to complete the mark.
Leave the Sandsea and turn right, head all the way round North End, and speak to the Conspicuous Bangaa to gain entry to the Clan Centurio building. Then speak to the Moogle at the top of the steps, and speak to him again to get a couple of potions. Every time you reach a new clan rank, defeat a mark, or reach particular plot milestones he'll have more rewards for you, and he can also offer access to a tougher set of Marks - so it's worth coming back from time to time.
For more on Final Fantasy 12 be sure to check out our main Final Fantasy 12 The Zodiac Age guide and walkthrough hub, our hidden Espers strategy and locations and Elite Hunts and Marks guides, our guide to the best Zodiac Jobs for each character, a guide to farming LP from Jellies, and even how to get the Zodiac Spear with Hunt Club.
Lowtown, Giza Plains, Crystal Glade and Penelo
Now all that's out of the way, head to Lowtown to speak to Dalan. Once your conversation is over leave Dalan's house and exit through the large circular door to the right and you'll find youself ouside the south gate of the city. Use the save crystal (this one is orange; orange crystals can be used to teleport to others you've found, although doing so will cost you a Teleport Stone, a rare commodity, so use them sparingly.)
Giza Plains: Throne Road, Nomad Village, and Penelo
Head due south until you reach the village, and talk to the Nomad Elder, then Penelo will join your party. You're free to choose a license for her now, but she wont be with you for long and won't rejoin you for quite some time so you may be better off leaving her unassigned for now and making a decision on her class later.
Buy a map of the plains from the Moogle, then leave the village; as you exit, Gambits will be added to your party menu - these are lists of commands you can assign to party members which you'll need to rely on heavily later; for now you can't do anything with them, but check our upcoming Gambits guide for more information there, soon.
Ignore the glowing sunstones as you make your way through the plains. Jinn will be next to the shadestone in the area with the save crystal, so talk to him then save your game, then visit the sunstones marked on your map and interact with them to charge your shadestone. Once it's done return to Jinn and you'll be whisked back to the village. Collect your reward, then return to Dalan, back at Lowtown.
Speak to Dalan, then say farewell to Penelo for now. Head to the north west part of Lowtown - it's worth stopping at the merchant on the way to stock up on potions (or getting the Cure license and buying the spell if your class and LP score permits) on the way as you won't have another opportunity for a while. Kytes will give you a couple of potions when you reach your destination, then head through the door on the left.