Welcome to my Final Fantasy Tactics Advance guide. Here you will find comprehensive information about how to play through FFTA, how to do engagements, and how to master the tactical approach to battle.
Main Storyline Missions
- Herb Picking
- Thesis Hunt
- The Cheetahs
- Desert Peril
- Twisted Flow
- Diamond Rain
- Hot Awakening
- Magic Wood
- Emerald Keep
- Pale Company
- Jagd Hunt
- The Bounty
- Golden Clock
- Scouring Time
- The Big Find
- Desert Patrol
- Quiet Sands
- Materite Now!
- Present Day
- Hidden Vein
- To Ambervale
- Over The Hill
- Royal Valley
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance is a game for Nintendo's Game Boy Advance. It was released in 2003. It was developed and published by Square, credited to SquareEnix. It is not a direct sequel to Final Fantasy Tactics for the PlayStation. Final Fantasy Tactics Advance has a sequel on the Nintendo DS called Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift.
At the start of a new game, you see the main character that you will play: default name is Marche. He's new to the snowy town of St. Ivalice and he is participating in a snowball fight with his classmates. On his team are Ritz and Mewt. Ritz is the outspoken class leader, and Mewt is a shy boy, the class librarian. After Mr. Leslaie helps you learn the basics of snowball fighting, try out the different features of the game.
When it's your turn in the fight, you are given the option to move to any of the blue squares. You can also choose to throw a snowball at someone within the range of green squares. You are told that you have a better chance of hitting someone if you are behind or to the side of that person.
The order in which you take turns is based on your character's speed. You can see the current Turn Order by cancelling out of all of a character's menus, and then pressing the Start button.
If you choose to Wait, either before or after moving, it might make your next turn come around sooner.
No matter what you do in this snowball fight, it will end when an argument breaks out between Ritz and the members of the other team, all of whom are only throwing snowballs at Mewt. One of them throws a snowball at Mewt that conceals a rock. The other members of the team make fun of Ritz, saying that she secretly has white hair that she dyes red. After that, Mr. Leslaie intervenes and tells the members of the other team to go to his office. Ritz, Mewt, and Marche are sent home.
During the walk home, Mewt mentions to Ritz and Marche that he is going to buy an interesting-looking used book that he found. The three decide to meet up at Marche's house to read the book together with Marche's brother Doned, who has a chronic illness and just got out of the hospital.
Before they part ways, Ritz, Mewt, and Marche see a guy apologizing to a couple of other guys. Ritz makes some criticisms of the guy, but it turns out that the guy is Mewt's dad. Mewt explains that his father has lost direction in his life ever since Mewt's mom died. Marche doesn't have a dad, and mentions that to Mewt to help him feel better.
Later, Marche enters his room, where his brother Doned is in a wheelchair, looking outside. Mewt and Ritz come in, and Mewt shows everyone the book that he bought. Inside are some strange symbols, and drawings of strange creatures. The kids don't know what to make of the book, but they discuss the possibility that it's a book of magic. Ritz says that she likes games much more than books, and says it would be cool if she could enter the worlds of games. Mewt agrees, saying he would like to be in the world of Final Fantasy, which is his favorite game.
Later that night, Mewt's book opens by itself, and the people of St. Ivalice transform into strange creatures. Doned floats out of bed and disappears. The town of St. Ivalice is transformed into a desert.
Marche finds himself dressed in strange clothing, standing in an unfamiliar town square. He walks around, and ends up bumping into a lizard-like creature. Marche, in confusion, calls the creature a lizard, and the creature is very offended, saying that he is not a lizard but a Bangaa. He and his friend look ready to beat Marche up.
Fortunately for Marche, a fuzzy creature comes up and explains Marche's confusion to the Bangaa, claiming that Marche is from out of town. This creature is a moogle named Montblanc. But Montblanc's explanation isn't enough for the Bangaa, who engage Marche, meaning they choose to do battle with him. A judge appears nearby to oversee the battle. Montblanc explains that there are laws that affect battle, and it's forbidden to use Items in battles today.
In this battle, you don't have much to worry about. Marche is a soldier, armed with a shortsword. You should attack the Bangaa from the side or behind to increase the probability that you will successfully hit the enemy. Montblanc is a Black Mage and can use offensive magic against the Bangaa.
During the battle, Montblanc will explain Judge Points. These are special points bestowed by Judges for KOing enemies and doing other types of things, like doing the recommended action that corresponds to the things forbidden in the laws. Judge Points can be used to do combos and other special attacks and moves.
After the battle, one of the KOed Bangaa will try to use a potion, which, as Montblanc explained, is against the law today. So, that Bangaa gets sent to prison.
Montblanc asks Marche some more questions, and Montblanc trusts that Marche really doesn't know how he got to this place, and that the world that he came from is very different from this one. Montblanc takes Marche to the pub, where Montblanc's clan hangs out. Montblanc lets Marche join the clan and name it. The clan includes some characters of various races who have various jobs. You can tell any of these characters to leave, but you might want to just keep your current characters. You will want to have many characters in your party and train them up to have different job skills. As you do more missions, you will randomly get characters who want to join your clan. You can say yes or no to them. There's a limit to the number of people you can have in your clan, though.
Once all that's done with, you will appear on the world map and will be able to place the Sprohm symbol. Symbols are locations, and you can choose where to place them on the world map. Some placements result in special items, depending on what other symbols are nearby. More about that later. You should save your game now.
At this point, you can shop in the shops of Cyril and Sprohm and get some better armor and items for your clan. When characters in your clan equip certain types of weapons and armor, they will learn skills using the ability points that they win in missions. Once a skill is learned, you can unequip the armor or weapon that bestowed that skill, and you'll permanently be able to use that skill in battle if you are using that job's abilities.
You should go into the Party view and choose abilities for your clan members. You can choose two A-abilities for each clan member, although usually you have to start out with choosing Item as the second A-ability. But if your characters learn a skill, and then change jobs and learn a skill for that different job, then you can choose the A-ability of the original job to be able to use skills from two job classes. Just be careful, because some types of abilities require certain types of weapons, so it might be impossible to use some of the abilities of a different job class if your current job has a different type of weapon.
Go to a pub and read the rumors. These rumors are just some bits of information that can help you understand what's going on in the world of St. Ivalice.
You should then look at the list of Missions in the pub. Missions are like tasks that people will hire your clan to do. But you have to pay some Gil to accept the mission. The missions list is where most of the important parts of the game come from.
So your next step is to accept the mission that's in the list (there's only one at this point). There is a series of mandatory missions that you must do to progress through the game. I will go through these in this walkthorugh, and then have a separate section devoted to the optional missions.
The next mandatory mission is Herb Picking.
Once you've completed Herb Picking, you can check out the missions list in either pub and there will be more missions that have opened up.
The next obligatory mission is Thesis Hunt.
When you're ready, do The Cheetahs mission. It's in Nubswood.
Desert Peril is the next required mission.
Now you can place the Ulei River symbol on the map.
The next mandatory mission is Twisted Flow.
Now you can place Cadoan (a city) on the map. Go there to start the next mandatory mission: Antilaws.
Diamond Rain is the next mandatory mission.
Now you can place Roda Volcano.
The next mandatory mission is Hot Awakening.
Koringwood can now be placed on the map.
The next mandatory mission is Magic Wood.
After this battle, place the Salikawood symbol.
The next mandatory mission is Emerald Keep.
Now place Nargai Cave. The next mandatory mission is Pale Company.
Place the Baguba Port symbol and go to it. Montblanc's brother Nono is there, and says that he lost his airship to some bandits who are hiding in Jagd Dorsa. Marche is eager to help, but Montblanc warns that the Jagds are zones where the Judges can't enter and enforce laws. This seems good, not having to worry about laws during a battle, but the problem is that the Judges are not only there to enforce laws, but also to protect all combatants from death. Those who fight will only get KOed in other parts of the world, but in a Jagd, permanent death is the consequence of losing all of your HP and not being revived before the end of the battle.
Place Jagd Dorsa on the map. Don't go there until you are ready for a fight, because Jagd Hunt begins as soon as you walk onto the symbol.
The next mandatory mission is The Bounty.
Once that battle is over, you can place the Jeraw Sands symbol.
The Golden Clock mission is the next mandatory one.
Now you can place Muscadet on the map. Go to it and there will be a scene in the pub where Ezel reveals that the judgemaster is now interrogating every clan in the effort to find Marche, to the point that they haven't even bothered looking for Ezel anymore. Ezel vows to stay on Marche's side, never turning him in.
The next time you go to Muscadet, there will be a series of difficult battles. Make sure Marche is at a high level.
This automatic engagement is called Scouring Time.
After this scene, you will be on the world map, on Sprohm. When you try to move to a different location, you will see a scene in the pub where various clanners are discussing Cid's departure from the palace. Marche overhears the conversation. Then we see Cid saying his goodbyes to Mewt, Babus, and Remedi. Cid is civil towards Mewt, but Mewt dismisses Cid, saying that he doesn't need a father; especially not one like Cid. Remedi brings in Cid's replacement, a mysterious boy dressed in red named Llednar Twem. What a strange name.... Now you can place the Uladon Bog symbol.
The next big mission is The Big Find.
Put Gotor Sands on the map. Once you do the Exploration mission, add Jagd Ahli to the map. The next big mission is Desert Patrol, in Gotor Sands.
Once that mission is over with, put Delia Dunes on the map. Now you can do the next big mission: the Quiet Sands mission.
The Materite Now mission is the next storyline mission.
Hidden Vein is the next required mission.
At this point in the game, the Tourneys at Bervenia Palace become available as missions. These Tourneys are for specific types of battles. You are not permitted to use Law Cards, and for certain types of Tourneys, sometimes you are only allowed to do a certain type of move, like with the Mage Tourney, where only Color Magic is allowed, and if you try anything else, like Fight, Item, or skills or techniques that aren't Color Magic, then you get a yellow card.
For the Mage tourney, the White Mage you fight against has the Life spell, so focus on taking him down as soon as possible, and don't waste time attacking the others until that White Mage is gone. Don't have any of your units use the Damage > MP ability. That ability is better suited to a battle against enemies that use weapons and not magic. If you can, have your units use the Return Magic or Absorb MP abilities. The enemy units use these abilities, too, so watch out. Put as much magic-blocking armor on your units as you can.
The Tourneys are great opportunites to get really good item rewards, so I strongly recommend trying them.
Once you're done with Hidden Vein, you can do the To Ambervale mission.
After that, head to Siena Gorge to do the Over the Hill mission.
Finally, the way is clear for you to do the final mission: Royal Valley.