Final Fantasy Tactics A2

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Fully called Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift, it is yet another escapist fantasy in the eye-gougingly popular Final Fantasy RPG series.

The Kid Hero Luso was transported to Another Dimension called Ivalice. It follows the plot of Final Fantasy Tactics Advance loosely, though some reviewers are upset that it doesn't explore characterization or ramifications of plot. For example, the game is also possibly a sequel to Final Fantasy XII, and the main character cameos in PSP remake Final Fantasy Tactics: War Of The Lions. The implications of this are staggering, but the plot seems to be having too much fun to care (luckily, this is one instance where "A Wizard Did It" is a perfectly plausible explanation).

Nonetheless, the game features a host of gameplay enhancements over its predecessor. The incredibly debilitating Law system still exists, but it's a lot less restrictive. The Judge no longer takes his own turn, so he never has to interrupt the action. Moreover, the punishment for breaking the law isn't so much a negative as it is a loss of benefits: you lose your bonus "Clan Privilege" (anything from boosted combat stats to the ability to see traps on the field), the right to revive your own fallen units and a few bonus items that you receive after the match. In other words, not quite as big a deal... usually.

The game also fixed several Game Breakers that existed in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. Accuracy is no longer the main tool used to balance abilities, standard attack accuracy is 99%, and the direction that you attack from instead affects the damage that you deal. Clan abilities no longer dispense items that can break the power curve of the game. Thieves can no longer strip an enemy character naked. Status effects have been toned down: for example, while the Blind status in the original game would render it impossible for a character to hit anything, in Final Fantasy Tactics A2, it reduces accuracy by 30% of the basic accuracy of the skill.

Final Fantasy Tactics A2 introduces at least two new classes for each of the five races. In addition, it brings in two brand new races, each with four Jobs of its own: the piglike warrior Seeq, imported from Final Fantasy XII, and the tough, fast dragon-girl Gria, invented just for the game. Vaan, Penelo and Al-Cid all make appearances... as recruitable semi-secret characters, no less.

In addition, missions are largely revamped. Final Fantasy Tactics A2 introduces a variety of new win conditions, such as finding a certain item on the ground or in a container, protecting AI units, weakening one unit while taking out all the others, and even interviewing NPCs around the map. It also introduces trap tiles (or re-introduces, if this is a sequel to the original Final Fantasy Tactics), with a variety of ways around them, and one class that can set them. Unlike Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, Final Fantasy Tactics A2 has pretty much the same amount of action throughout the game, and isn't nearly as tedious (roaming gangs are done away with in favor of every quest being playable, with no plain dispatch missions[1]), and a revamped experience system that makes balancing the clan much easier.

If you enjoyed Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, you'll like Final Fantasy Tactics A2. It's basically the same but better: better graphics, more features, more interesting enemies and classes, less of the really annoying stuff, and a marginally better (and certainly less controversial) story.

Note that the name is not Final Fantasy Tactics Advance 2. Since, unlike its predecessor (which stuck on to Super Title 64 Advance), it isn't on the Game Boy Advance, the full name is indeed "A2".


Tropes used in Final Fantasy Tactics A2 include:
  • Adventurer Archaeologist: Subverted when Montblanc says "Please, kupo, let's be realistic here. My life is more than bauble-hunting!".
  • An Adventurer Is You: In particular, the Mezzer: inflicting Standard Status Effects and casting buffs is the reason to live by Green Mages, Spellblades, Archers and Fusiliers. Tinkers too, but nobody uses those.
  • Anti-Villain:
    • The Clan Duelhorn members you meet, except for Snakeheart.
    • Florah takes the Poison Ivy route of protecting exotic sentient plant life from poachers and hunters, but unfortunately, you have to take her down. Both parties acknowledge that it's bad either way. Later, you have to put down one of the plants she was protecting.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: You are still restricted to have 24 members of your clan, but only 6 can be placed in battle.
    • At most. Some fights restrict to you even more, down to just one. Sometimes it's because you have Guest characters helping you, sometimes not. Overall, there are never more than 13 combatants, usually 12.
    • Especially annoying is that you don't even get to choose all 24 members of the clan. Luso, Adelle, Cid and Hurdy are all made permanent fixtures of the clan as you progress through the story, and to get One Hundred Percent Completion, you'll have to recruit Vaan, Penelo, Al-Cid, Montblanc and Frimelda, none of whom can be booted from the clan. They range in usefulness from an awesome warrior who comes with Dual Wield already, to a guy who can't even change class and revolves around having women on the team. The upshot of all this is that you only get to freely choose 15 generics, and that's not counting the guys who are in your clan to begin with.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Hurdy towards Luso's case.
  • Artifact Title: Averted. The "Advance" in the title is simply changed to an "A".
  • Artificial Stupidity:
    • Rockbeasts can use their instant 999 Limit Glove attack as soon as they reach Critical HP, and if they can, it will often be the only move they use. It only actually works if they're in single digit HP though; otherwise, it has 0 chance of hitting.
    • The Chocobos are just as stupid. They will use Choco Cure when they or their allies are low on HP. The ability is used on the Chocobo and all units that are next to it. You will see them cure themselves and their allies while healing your party at the same time if you just happen to be in range.
      • Or maybe they're just extremely benevolent. Not only do all non-Chocobos in the entire game sort-of avoid healing the other team, Chocobos have a habit of explicitly moving near enemies before healing themselves so that there's more love all around.
    • Duel Boss: Ghi Yelghi, unlike the rest of the AI (who will even heal you this way when allied) will use his elementally based attacks if you if you set your equipment to absorb that type of magic. This is nice because the character he duels is a pain in the ass to level.
    • Alys The Ensorceled, one of the Four Bosses of Duelhorn, is a special brand of ineffective in combat when (and only when) she's on your side. She's a Summoner, a potentially powerful unit, but she starts every battle with several Standard Status Effects on her, claiming that they increase her power (they don't), one of which is often Blind. In addition to that, she has powerful attack summons, including Maduin, but prefers to spend every action summoning Kirin (gives Regen), using an Ether on your party members (even if that party member has Blood Price and can't use their MP), or using a basic attack on the enemy... even though she's equipped with a Healing Rod.
    • The Bonga Bugle head editor and owner tend to fit this when they try to participate in combat. It's especially bad in the Plumfrost mission. One of them has 10 HP left? He attacks a grenade, does 2 damage, and gets killed by its Bonecrusher ability. The fact that they're levels 10 and 1 respectively just makes it worse. Somewhat justified in context by both of them being show-offs, but that doesn't make keeping them alive any easier.
  • Awesome but Impractical: The Scion Zodiark causes max damage, seeming to disregard stats. But it's near useless due to the fact that it hits everything on the field, both enemy and ally, with only a 50% chance of hitting in the first place (unless the enemy is in Sleep, Stop or Stone status). You're much better off using Ultima (which damages all foes and heals your entire party) or Shemhazai (which only targets one enemy but usually has a 100% chance to hit and its damage is supposedly based off of how many enemies the user has killed).
    • Without MP restoration (or half MP) methods, the "Ultima" skills (all of which have a cost of 32 MP) take at least four turns to be ready, bringing them close to this trope.
    • On the lower end of the power scale, Dragoons have the Jump attack. In addition to being the Dragoons' signature attack, it deals something like double their physcal damage, and from a distance that Dragoons (and indeed, most Bangaa classes) cannot match with any of their other attacks. Plus, it looks awesome, with the Dragoon leaping clear off the screen and then smashing into the target. However, it's only half as accurate as a regular attack, and the unit must have a spear equipped to have access to it.
    • Gravity removes 1/4 of the target's HP and Graviga removes 1/2, but the same class can cast Death with the same amount of MP as the first and 10 less than the second.
  • Blessed with Suck: Adelle is a "Gifted One", a person who exhibits extraordinary powers such as instant mastery of any (mundane) skill and near-immortality. Problem is that most Gifted Ones cannot fully control their powers, and often are driven insane or turned into monsters as a result of the mental breakdown. Adelle hates being a Gifted at first, but through a series of quests, she can realize that her power is pretty cool.
  • Badass Bookworm: Scholars can do surprising amounts of physical damage with their books, and are in fact one of the physically stronger Nu Mou classes. Due to the indiscriminatory nature of their skills, they're somewhat of a useless class though.
    • Unless you equip your team with armor which absorbs whatever element, the scholar spams with his abilities. Also, "Natural Selection" can work wonders on stages where all enemies share the same race.
    • Seers also use books as weapons and even have a spell that damages enemies with magic and then teleports the user to each target to whack it. Obscenely powerful when combined with Dual Wield and a pair of strong weapons (e.g. Paladin knightswords).
      • Also, try using Magick Frenzy with Illusionist spells. You'll strike every enemy that gets hit with the spell, and is good for missions where there are many enemies with similar elemental weaknesses. The Seer also has the Recharge skill, removing the need to wait several turns until you have enough MP. This also means Halve MP isn't absolutely necessary, which means you can replace it with Dual Wield to give you three hits on every enemy.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The ending as a whole is pretty upbeat, but there is one point that is a little bittersweet. Khamja, the main antagonist group, is still around. Illua's defeat weakens Khamja but the loss of one of their generals isn't enough to break them up. Cid and Luso even have a long discussion where they conclude that Khamja is so deeply ingrained in Ivalice's underworld that it is practically impossible to destroy.
  • Blind Idiot Translation: Several ability description in the English version are fairly or entirely inaccurate:
    • Immunity's description says it prevents Buffs or Debuffs from being removed, but what it actually does is protect the user form certain debuffs (namely Silence, Sleep, Blindness and Poison).
    • Bonecrusher's description says it counters standard attacks and always does more damage than that taken by the user, but the actual effect is simply a counter with 50% more power than the standard counter.
    • Strike Back's and Reflex's descriptions claims to let you avoid all standard attacks, but they only avoids those made from an adjacent tile.
    • Also apparent in some of the Judge Rulings: the wording of some of the rules can easily be misunderstood and cause instant loss of benefits for the rest of the battle.
  • Bonus Dungeon: Brightmoon Tor.
  • Bonus Feature Failure: Al-Cid, who can't even change classes and whose abilities revolve solely around having females on the party. Some people may see Adelle's Heritor class as this, with only decent Growths and abilities that don't make up for the growth.
  • Boring but Practical: One of the best units in the game is the Ranger, one of the Seeq's starter jobs. Besides having the best Speed growth (meaning more turns) among the Seeq jobs, the "Mirror Item" and "Item Lore" abilities in combination with X-potions puts it in Game Breaker territory. Which is probably why they don't need an Ultima skill at all!
    • Despite other abilities, the most efficient thing a Time Mage can do is Haste someone every turn, unless he happens to get enough MP to use Hastega. The same goes for the Arcanist, with using Drain and maybe Death.
    • Knots of Rust are near-worthless little chunks of scrap metal that you can sometimes get as rewards from jobs or from the judge for obeying the law. Their sole purpose is as a throwing item that inflicts a few points of damage. However, some of the Standard Status Effects are cured when you take damage, and if you need someone cured of their confusion or infatuation now before they do something stupid and don't have any other way to do so (such as healing spells, other items), then these are nice to have around.
    • Step one: get a fuisler with stop shot, or any other class with the ability to inflict "stop" or maybe even "stone". Step two: get a thief. Step three: stop a non-immune enemy until the status effect takes hold. Step four: use thief to rob said enemy blind of items and gil. It tends to get boring rather fast, but with skills like loot level 3 or 4, you will get a significant payout.
    • Got a Viera? Make her a green mage and teach her Tranq, which buffs accuracy. That skill is most likely second only to haste in terms of practicality, but considering how unique it is, and the fact that its effects apply to a good majority of the skills means it's very useful for classes like assassins or a team is fighting against enemies with high evasion.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: The "Moon Maiden" accessory, only gained by completing Brightmoon Tor.
  • Broken Pedestal: This is what led to Frimelda's demise. She can get better.
  • Cast From HP: The passive ability "Blood Price" allows a unit to use magicks at the cost of using hit points. The catch is that the HP cost is double the normal MP cost and you can't use your normal MP anymore with it active... It is pitifully easy to set up your equipment so you get healed for more than the cost while casting blood price spells.
    • Hell, the ability keeps getting better the more you level up because the amount of HP you have keeps increasing while the rate at which you gain MP each turn remains perpetually the same.
  • Chaos Architecture: A few places share names with Final Fantasy Tactics Advance places, but are on a landmass that in no way resembles the one from that game. Other than that, the landmass the town of Goug is on appearing exactly like the Goug desert's landmass does in Final Fantasy Tactics. The implications are quite interesting.
    • The reason it doesn't resemble Final Fantasy Tactics Advances landmass is that they're not the same place. Final Fantasy Tactics Advances Ivalice was the real world warped into a new form resembling Ivalice. The Ivalice in this game (and Final Fantasy Tactics and Final Fantasy XII) is a different dimension that Luso's been transported to.
  • Chest Monster: The Mimic monster type. Also counts as an embodiment of the White Gloves trope.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Enemy units, no matter how low their level, exhibit far better speed and evasion than your own party, as well as a sickeningly high rate of slamming you with bad status.
    • In order to add more challenge to some of the really late-game battles, the computer characters get several free rounds to attack you before you get a chance to do anything.
    • Also, it seems like percentage rates don't matter to the computer much. While they do miss, they'll hit with their 50% accuracy move much more often than not while you'll almost never hit with it, and 95% accuracy moves done by the player can miss (astonishingly often) while the computer will never miss with a 95% chance. It's incredibly frustrating to see a move like Moogle Rush or Beat Down miss 9 out of 10 times with a 50% chance to hit, while it'll connect most of the time when a computer uses it.
  • Continuity Cameo: Mr. Randell, the librarian at Luso's school, is Mewt from the previous game, which is why the book was in the library in the first place. His teddy bear is even on his desk.
    • Ritz shows up in the background of the multiple-choice question you take at the beginning of the game, as well.
    • In addition, all the Totema/Espers from Final Fantasy Tactics Advance and Final Fantasy XII return here as "Scions", with the typical enemy-demolishing effect expected from their former incarnations.
    • There are other character connections as well, for instance mention of Gaol, a hero mentioned in multiple missions in the original, and whose right-hand... uh... moogle, Lini, you can recruit as a secret character in the first game..
    • Ezel Berbier also makes an appearance, though he suddenly has an accent. So does Montblanc, Marche's Moogle sidekick.
    • Speaking of Marche, Luso's official art depicts him with the exact same sword Marche had in his. The translucent pizza cutter thing.
  • Continuity Nod: Halfway through the game, Luso bumps into a pair of Bangaa. The White Monk accuses Luso of stealing his gem, which causes Luso to almost call him a "big fat lizard". Montblanc comes in and manages to clear up the mess, then tells Luso to never call the Bangaa a lizard. This is almost the same exact scene with Marche and his run in with the Bangaa in the beginning of Final Fantasy Tactics Advance.
    • The tourney battle against Clan Centurio is Montblanc's former clan from Final Fantasy XII and all the members were NPC allies in Final Fantasy XII that helped you in a few missions (they are also the default party members in the Japanese version of Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, but the English version gave them random names instead).
      • There's even a monster in this game that made an appearance from Final Fantasy XII. When you fight a gang of yellow chocobos and one red chocobo near the town of Goug, there is a chance that the red chocobo will be level 99, which is a Shout-Out to 12's rare level 99 chocobo. Beating the monster nets you a rare item that lets you summon a powerful scion.
    • Many pieces of loot are items from previous Final Fantasy titles.
      • As well as famous Characters' exclusive weapons, such as Cloud's Buster Sword, and Squall's Lionheart, Terra's ultimate weapon "Apocalypse" and a weapon called "Kain's Lance" (which outright says belonged to a Dragoon of Legend).
  • Crutch Character: The Seeq Ranger job can do 400 damage all the time very early and easy with mirror item/item lore. Late game, you get (and need) the strength to far outdamage it, while the ranger stays at 400.
  • Cute Bruiser: The Gria are all female dragon humanoids who specialize in pure power devastation attacks, as shown with half of the available job classes.
  • Cute Monster Girl: An entire One-Gender Race of female dragon humanoids called the Gria.
    • And the Viera, depending on where one draws the line.
    • Subverted with Frimelda who is turned into a monster (namely a zombie), but doesn't look noticeably "cuter". In fact, the only difference between her and a regular one appearance-wise is that her shirt and skin color are different.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: In the mission where you save Ghi Yelghi from a Viking that is an "undefeated" duelist the Viking has his Templar and Dragoon Immobilize and Disable him with chants, then when the Viking loses he petrifies himself. None of those spells exist for any class, nor are they used in the battle, and the only two of those three status effects can be caused by units of that race: immobilize if one of the Bangaa has Sleight of Hand set and used Shadow of Doubt and Stone if the Seeq had Survalism set and used Mirror Gold Needle (neither of which they had).
  • Crap Saccharine World: Much more apparent this time than last (and for the right reasons as well). Most visble in the Duelhorn plot and stories that involve zombie powder/Lethean Draught the two cross at one point, cue a tear jerker.
  • Da Editor: Editor of the Bonga Bugle, with a different quest for every month. Also a Miles Gloriosus.
  • Destroyable Items: Some enemies can break your armor and weapons.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: If you fight against a Magick Pot/Vase, just give it an Elixir and be done with it. It then disappears while giving you loot.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: The Lang Brothers, four members of the Arbiters of Death, beat the everloving tar out of the other twenty-eight members of their clan and then fled the city. Why? Because one of the latter spilled his drink on one of the former, and the rest simply tried to break up the resulting fight!
  • Duel Boss: Adelle fights against one of The Gifted by herself as a test of strength. If she passes, she'll be able to gain abilities as a Gifted for herself. At the end of Frimelda's story line, Ghi Yelghi challengers her to a duel.
  • Dumb Muscle: The leader of the Bangaa Brotherhood is alleged to be this by the leader of the Nu Mou Nobles. "If muscles were brains, he'd be a rare genius, that one!" The Viking Lord Greyrl also seems to be significantly lacking in intellectual faculties while possessing a like overabundance of physical might.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: It's hard to spot, but Montblanc shows up in the background in the scene where you name your clan.
    • And a few other times at the pub, which makes this an Easter Egg.
  • Early Bird Boss: Lord of the Flowsand. You are at the mercy of Random Drops for abilities and equipment so very much at this point. When he shows up latter in an optional mission, much buffed up, but is fairly easy with access to actual attacks and gear.
  • Emotionless Girl: One of the personalities for generic Viera clan members.
  • Enemy Mine: Occasionally, you have to work with groups that are normally antagonistic: this is most apparent when the leader of the Camoa Braves specifically points out how odd it is to fight alongside your clan rather than against it.
  • Escort Mission: There's a wide range of them, with AI that ranges from wise (running away and using Vanish to avoid being targeted, or simply getting behind your considerably more resilient party members to draw fire to them) to downright suicidal (a mage with just one non-offensive spell physically attacking an enemy 20+ levels higher than her or using a skill as likely to affect the enemies as it is your party).
  • Everything Fades: Unlike the previous games, corpses immediately disappear from the battle field. Downed characters can be revived anywhere on the field. Chests also fade away when opened.
  • Expy: Snakeheart of Duelhorn seems very similar to Kefka in personality and also has similar eye markings.
  • Fake Difficulty: Complaints are rampant about the new law system, the weird hit % system, as well as the glut of Escort Mission requests that get thrown at you.
    • The laws aren't as severe anymore, but they're also now tied directly to missions, so there will be situations where they're only in the way to make things harder for you. Battle against a team of mostly thieves? Having things stolen from you will be illegal. Battle against one guy and 5 girls where the objective is to defeat the one guy? Hurting the girls will be illegal. All the enemies weak to fire? Using Fire will be illegal. You get the picture.
    • Put that law where you can't be robbed into a mission where you must uphold the law or you lose the entire mission. 40% chance to steal? Right.
    • There are a few laws that are just needlessly difficult to uphold in general gameplay, such as "harming the weak" (don't hurt a lower level unit) or "Actions by X" ("X" being the name of a race, and any unit of that race can't use abilities, just basic attacks) can be impossible or needlessly difficult to uphold. Fortunately, on the other side of the coin, there are a number of laws that are of reasonable difficulty, such as "no ice" when only 1/3rd of the enemies are weak to it, or "no back attacks".
    • Worst of all, laws are no longer applicable to both you and the enemy, making the fake difficulty absolutely blatant: they can impose as many stupid rules as possible, because it only affects the player.
  • Fake Ultimate Mook
  • The Fashionista: Adelle mostly spends her money to buy designer outfits.
  • Fetch Quest: Toned down from the first game; however, the Escort Mission frequency has been ramped up instead.
    • In addition, many of those can be done via Dispatch, letting one of your clan members take care of it in a couple of days.
  • Five-Man Band:
  • Five Races: Was the case in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, but Final Fantasy Tactics A2 bumps it up to seven:
    • Hume: the all around race with various personalities and appearances.
    • Bangaa: big and burly lizard men with a gruff attitude. Physically powerful, but slow and stinks with magic. Also hate to be called a lizard.
    • Viera: a One-Gender Race. Called "people of the wood" due to their spiritual link with spirits from the wood and have sensitive Bunny Ears, but lack expressive emotions. A mixture of Glass Cannon and Fragile Speedster. Also possibly the most overpowered race in the game, thanks to a long, complex chain of equipment
    • Nu Mou: a short canine looking race with big droopy ears and an equally big floppy tail. Very calm and very wise. They excel at magic, but cannot take a beating.
    • Moogle: a race smaller than the Nu Mou. Known for their bat-like wings, their pom poms and saying kupo a lot. Sometimes known for playing pranks, but they are a very skilled mechanist. They are almost classified as the Jack of All Trades, but their battle strength mostly comes from inflicting status ailments and casting buffs on the party.
    • Gria: the Cute Bruiser. Being dragon-like, their wings let them fly anywhere, and they have strength that can match a Bangaa.
    • Seeq: a fat pig-like race that are classified as somewhat dim witted and steal things to adorn their bodies with. Similar to the Bangaa in their strengths and weaknesses. Are also Stripperific, which may cause Squick and Nightmare Fuel to some people.
  • Five Timer Date: Al-Cid and Margot.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: One of the weirder examples is that, story-wise, Cid and Penelo are a Revgaji (a sub-species of a rarely seen race called the Rev which includes Lezaford and the auction house manager) and a hume respectively, but, gameplay-wise, are the same as a Bangaa and a Viera. The former is at least commented on in the manual though given no explanation, and the latter isn't given any sort of mention.
    • Also, when Hurdy asks to join Cid says "We've never been a clan to turn people away" regardless of how many people the player has turned away before.
  • Geo Effects: Geomancer magick depends on the weather and the kind of terrain she's standing on. Luckily, there are so many you'll always be able to use at least one.
    • Also, the Viking skill Tsunami, which can only be used if the user is standing in water.
    • The shape of the terrain also affects area-targeting spells. Too much height difference between two tiles, and they can't be affected by a spell like fire (higher tier spells can generally cover more height). In addition, too much height makes it impossible for melee attacks to connect, while bows and guns might hit the ground or an ally in the line of fire.
  • The Gift: Adelle and Lennart. Both of them agonize over it because, for starters, Who Wants to Live Forever??
  • Guest Star Party Member: Adelle and Cid join your party as guest units for a while until they can be recruited as full clan members. There are also numerous missions that give you guest characters that range from extremely helpful to extremely useless. Some missions also have monsters and recurring boss characters join your battles as guests.
  • Guide Dang It: The game never seems to clue you in about having to repeat certain missions in order to open new quest chains. Also, the method for obtaining the Scion Shemhazai is rather obscure. Not to mention a series of quests asking for a very specific class without giving any clear hints on what it is. It's possible to figure it out once you get the unique brand of logic used, but most players just Guide Dang It. And there's also the MVP system, which even the most skilled have only a general understanding of. It's mostly unimportant... unless you want One Hundred Percent Completion.
  • Healing Shiv: In addition to bringing back the Cure Staff, the game also lets Moogles and Bangaa shoot Potions and Ethers from their cannons for HP or MP recovery. Also, there are enough armors that allow you to absorb elements that you can turn nearly any elemental weapon/skill into this. For a more hilarious version, have a Ranger use Mirror Item, and then a Knot of Rust on someone. Knot of Rust is just chunks of rock. Now imagine throwing rocks at someone to heal them.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight
  • Improbable Weapon User: It's a Final Fantasy game, after all. Beat people up with instruments, books playing cards with sharpened edges...
  • Incurable Cough of Death: Mauri, the Nu Mou who gives the "Stone with No Name" line of quests, gets - and inevitably dies - of this.
  • Induced Hypochondria: The Trickster's trade: his poisoning skill is even called Hypochondria.
  • Inexplicable Treasure Chests: Both played straight and lampshaded.
  • Inexplicably Identical Individuals:
    • The pub owner who hands out your missions is pretty much the same sprite no matter what town you're in. Ditto for the shopkeeper lady. And the auctioneer. Which is made even funnier by the fact that the pub owner is the same one as in the previous game, and while his dialogue portrait has been updated, his sprite has not (the shopkeeper was also the human shopkeeper from Final Fantasy Tactics Advance).
    • The Aerodrome ladies: the second one is a Palette Swap of the first.
    • And of course all characters of the same race and class, minus Palette Swap for enemies v. allies and guests. However, this is often averted for "team leaders" for the opposing side who may get unique speaking sprites.
  • Infinity+1 Sword: The "Sequencer" sword and "Peytral" make their glorious return, and are now even easier to power up. Use "Opportunity" attacks. It doesn't even have to be the unit that equips them: if anyone uses an "Opportunity" command, they'll be powered up. And it's a retroactive bonus as well.
  • Instrument of Murder
  • Item Crafting: Killing enemies gives you loot, and loot is used to make new equipment at the shop's bazaar. It's basically the only way to get new items (although law bonuses sometimes include low-tier equipment), and availability dictates what classes you'll be using for most of the game.
  • It's Not You, It's My Enemies: Adelle leaves the party for this reason.
  • Killer Rabbit: The aforementioned Dreamhares and their cousins of course. Moogles can be surprisingly effective as well, except for Tinkers. Story wise, the Mooglebane rabbit enemies terrify Moogles. Why? Because they eat the Moogles' pom poms.
    • In the "Five Kings of Cinquleur" quest line, you face five highly dangerous masters of the five "colors" of magic. Of them, White King Blanch and Green King Verre sound... decidedly less than threatening on their own; White mages are healers who shouldn't be much trouble in a one-on-six situation, and Green Mages are Mezzers for crying out loud, Verre shouldn't be able to do much more than putting some of your guys to sleep, right? Well, it turns out that, like the other Kings, Blanch and Verre have subjobs. Very effective ones. Turns out that Squishy Wizard White Mage is also a Sage, and packs some deadly crap like Scathe and Gigaflare, and he has Blood Price. And that Mezzer? Turns out that the Accuracy-boosting Tranq is quite effective when paired with the Assassin's Last Breath attack.
  • Legacy Character: Adelle, sort of. All of her Heritor abilities are named after other Gifted, most of whom are dead, and learned from their weapons. Including her own skill Adelaide.
  • Lethal Joke Character: Moogles are quite gimmicky, but in the right hands are incredibly dangerous. Fusiliers, for example, when combined with Moogle Knight abilities as a secondary, can fire off Ultimas from 8 tiles away, which is the longest range in the game. They also possess the only means of doing damage while Stopping an opponent, and can Charm similarly. The endless loop of two Smile-Tossing Jugglers from the first game is also just as viable in this one.
  • Level Scaling: Uses Final Fantasy Tactics Advance's system of basing the level of random encounters on the average level of your clan members.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Gria. They have some of the better speed growths, great attack and can fly (ignore height and obstacles when moving) for free. Their main flaw is their lack of unique abilities and shortage of really useful ones. The few they do get (Sneak Attack, Sneak Attack and Sneak Attack) are pretty helpful though.
  • Lost Forever: Notably averted, although you can miss out on a very useful ability for Hurdy early on with the only alternative being repeating a quest that only comes once a year 4 times.
    • It is possible for unique weapons to be destroyed by enemies, including the ones you need for Hurdy to learn all Bard abilities and for Adelle to master Heritor abilities, halting progression of the Heritor sidequest.
  • Luck-Based Mission:
    • Several Clan Trials: Aptitude-Teamwork depends entirely on where the jar spawns. General Training I's law "No Missing" speaks for itself. Aptitude I is a shell game.
      • It is possible to fail a Clan Trial barring ranged attacks by scoring a critical hit in melee, which moves the target four squares before dying. Result? Instant fail. There are many laws for regular battles that punish critical hits, like "No knockbacks", "No dealing over X pts of damage" and "No targeting distant units" (yes, it decides on whether or not a unit targeted it "distant" based on where it is after the attack is done). Thankfully, there is a trick to avoiding the first and third ones of those, at least when it comes to critical hits: just keep the enemy unit backed up against something immovable (walls, chests, other units...). Alternately, just use magic or use physical skills that can't knockback or crit, like Air Render.
    • Many Escort Missions depend entirely on how stupid the NPCs you're supposed to be protecting are.
    • Any mission in which time constraints are tight and in which some monsters have instant-kill abilities, like Roulette.
  • Magick: And "tecknologies" and "fantastickal" creatures...
  • Magic Knight: A lot of them. Red Mages, Spellblades, Templars, Seers... even Sages might be counted, since while they're much more "magic" than "knight", they still deal and soak noticeable damage for being theoretical squishies (plus they can use shields).
    • Vikings use shields and wear heavy armor, and also have access to the "Thunder" spells and the (unique to the class) Tsunami spell. They're more "knight" than "magic" though, as Seeq tend to have very low Magick scores.
    • Green and Blue mages are the most physically powerful mage classes though.
    • Not to mention that the job system allows you to make up your own, albeit with varying degrees of effectiveness.
  • Magikarp Power: Blue Magicks eventually gives you some of the most powerful and versatile units in the game after learning abilities such as White Wind, Mighty Guard and Matra Magic. However, this only applies to the ability Blue Magick because once you master the passive ability "Learn" (and maybe the Counter ability MP Shield), there's really no reason to stay in the class because you don't need to stay in the class to learn anything, and its stats (besides resistance to status change) aren't very good.
  • Match Maker Quest
  • Mega Manning: Blue Magi. As always.
  • Mighty Glacier: The Tonberry monsters can only move two panels at a time, and their turns are few and far between, but they resist everything, and their damage is based on the number of kills made by the target character. By the time you fight them, most of their attacks hit for 999 unblockable damage.
  • Mini-Mecha: The "Moogletron" used in the Goug mines. It shows up in a Tinker ability too.
  • Missed Him by That Much: In the "I'm Back, Kupo!" encounter, Hurdy meets Luso right after Montblanc left the scene. It should be noted that Hurdy would be surprised to see his own brother in Jylland.
  • My Rules Are Not Your Rules: It's not uncommon for enemy units to have Support abilities they just simply shouldn't be able to learn, such as Blood Price on non-Viera, or un-learnable passive skills on otherwise plain generic units.
  • Nakama: The various clans in the game, including Luso's.
    • The mission to recruit Montblanc is Nakamaboshuukupo! in Japanese.
  • Nerf:
    • The Thief class. Once feared for their ability to strip an enemy of all of their equipment, now they are only good for two things: stealing loot, and character min-maxing (as they have the highest Speed growth of all the jobs, and Speed is generally considered the One Stat to Rule Them All in high-level gameplay).
    • The Assassin class. In Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, it was the hardest job to acquire for the Viera race but (fittingly) their best job, turning the character into a Lightning Bruiser. In Final Fantasy Tactics A2, their power has been greatly decreased but the pre-requisites are still just as demanding.
    • Beastmaster was Nerfed to hell and back and are now only useful for helping Blue Mages learn their abilities.
    • The passive ability Concentrate had it's accuracy boost considerably reduced from 50% for physical attacks and 20% for status effects to a flat 5% rate for everything.
    • On a smaller note, the accuracy boost from the Thief Armlets/Brigand's Gloves was reduced from 20% to 5%.
      • The last bit is justified due to accuracy going from the dynamic stat in battle to damage, so attacks are much, much more accurate in this game than they were before.
    • "Damage > MP" was turned into "MP Shield". Not only is it less useful because MP starts at 0 for every battle now, as long as a unit had a single MP, it could take 999 damage without its HP being affected. Now the overflow goes into HP.
  • Non-Lethal KO: When hit by an instant death effect, the Grim Reaper shows up and takes your soul from your body... and you pass out. Handwaved as a perk of being in a clan with a judge: you can't die. Even if the judge leaves you after breaking the law. Even more ridiculous is the stiff you can do to some recurring characters who don't appear to be Adjudged. You could, say, reduce an important, recurring character to Critical HP, and then have an Alchemist use Transmute to turn him into a consumable item, like a Potion, drink the potion, and then they're alive and well in the next mission that involves the character.
  • Not the Fall That Kills You: Get knocked off a high (which is defined as a height greater than the unit could jump down itself) cliff by a critical or other knockback skill, and you take damage. A considerable amount of damage too. And not even Soft Water will save you. Unless you have Super Drowning Skills, then the game won't allow you to be hit off the edge.
  • Numerical Hard: Hard mode simply boosts the enemies' stats. Most of the time, you still win regardless, but battles take an eternity.
  • Old Save Bonus: If you have a copy of the original Final Fantasy Tactics Advance in the DS' GBA slot when you start a new game, you are given the "Libra" ability, which reveals the stage's traps. Genre Savvy gamers don't need to be told this, as DS sequels to GBA games tend to have extra features unlocked in this way. Oddly, while DS games are region-free, this bonus doesn't work if the two games are from different regions, such as a US Final Fantasy Tactics Advance and a European Final Fantasy Tactics A2.
  • One-Gender Race: Gria. Viera might appear this way, but consider how you've never encountered a female Bangaa and don't assume all of them to be male. Especially considering how Final Fantasy XII revealed (or Handwaved, take your pick) Viera males to Stay in the Kitchen...
  • Optional Party Member: Practically everyone, strictly speaking, but secret characters Frimelda, Vaan, Penelo, Al-Cid and Montblanc can all be attained through certain questlines. After that, however, you can't dismiss them from your party, and you're stuck with them forever.
  • Overrated and Underleveled: Adelle after you get her back can be up to four levels behind the rest of the clan, and you probably won't be able to get her caught up ever unless you do all the Heritor weapon quests and use her in every battle for a while... or unless you do the quest to get her back immediately after she leaves. Frimelda can also be a little behind the curve, and is a pain to level as she can't be dispatched, depending on when you get her. The other secret characters you can recruit such as Vaan, Penelo, Al-cid and Montblanc also suffer from this trope.
  • The Power of the Sun: The Geomancer Class's Shining Flare attack. Only usable during bright sunlight.
  • Prank Date: "A Bride For Montblanc" This mission seems to be the Shout-Out of Final Fantasy Tactics Advance's "Moogle Bride" since their Japanese name is the same.
  • Professional Butt-Kisser: The Bonga Bugle Head Editor never misses the chance to praise the Owner as highly as it is possible in hopes that someday his boss will name him the next Owner.
  • Punny Name/Theme Naming: The Five Kings of Cinquleur. "Cinquleur" is an anagram of the French cinq couleurs (five colours). Likewise, the mages' first names are all anagrams of the French word for the colour of magic they use. Hilarious messed up though because enemies always use the opposite color scheme for sprites, so Blue Mage Bliu the Blue King is red, Red Mage Rouge the Red King(queen?) is blue despite equipping all gear that is explicitly red.
  • Random Drop: And thanks to it, you'll suffer when you can't buy the items needed to upgrade your party.
    • Rare Random Drop: Corollary: the more you need a drop, the lower the chances to get it.
  • Random Events Plot: Taken to its most extreme here. It's flat-out stated that Luso's best chance of going home is if he does enough random quests to fill up his Grimoire. Though most of these events end up leading back to Khamja, Ivalice's underworld kingpins.
  • The Red Mage
  • Reluctant Monster: During her time as a Zombie, Frimelda is surprisingly eloquent and well meaning, though she does have a bit of a slur.
  • Resignations Not Accepted: Khamja.
  • Revive Kills Zombie: Undead enemies are reduced to tombstones instead of death and raise again a few turns later. Phoenix Downs can remove the tombstones, as can a few specialized abilities like the Archer skill Burial. The same skills can also be used to instantly kill undeads, but the success chance is much lower when they still have hitpoints... unless they are put to sleep first.
  • Sequence Breaking: Using the above mentioned mirror item/item lore/x potion combo can clear missions that are otherwise above your level like the Cinquleur duels, getting you powerful items as rewards.
  • Shout-Out: As to be expected from a game sharing Final Fantasy XII's characters and mechanics. For example, one mission is entitled "It's a Secret to Everybody".
    • Speaking of Zelda shout outs, the second most powerful Greatsword is the Master Sword, which grants the user immunity to instant KO. Also appeared in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance.
    • The Bangaa Trickster class may very well be a subtle shout out to Kingdom Hearts II. Their outfit bears the Nobody Emblem on the pant legs, and bears a vague similarity to the Gambler Nobodies [dead link]. In addition to that, they use cards and have a thing for inflicting bad status, much like Luxord.
    • Vaan and Penelo's impostors are joined by characters named Baltie, Rosenbach, Pulam and Arshes, corruptions of the names of the other four Final Fantasy XII characters.
    • Montblanc will shout Marche's name if he is knocked out in battle.
    • There is a mission named "It's A Trap!" where you are hired to destroy several traps that were accidentally placed with the assurance that "Deactivating them would be hazardous at this point, so I just need someone to destroy them. It's the only way to be sure."
    • If your party leader is a moogle for the mission "Wanted: Moogle Ranger", after the Moogle Rangers introduce themselves, he'll asks them if he can "form the pom-pom".
    • In the Clan Primer, there's an rumor named "This is the way!". Fittingly, it talks about dispatch missions.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: The Bonga Bugle editor, who happens to have a high-ranking news job just like the original Ted Baxter. He's level 10 throughout the game, but sometimes tries to take on enemies over 25 levels higher than him. He also talks up his boss, the Owner, as a fearsome and powerful individual. The owner is level one (obtaining the Lanista job involves giving a sound thrashing to these two).
  • Spiteful AI: In some of the escort missions, the character who you need to protect will actively dive into the thick of battle. This can make otherwise easy missions very difficult, but can be overcome with the paladin's Cover ability.
  • Spoony Bard: Once again, gimmick classes are the Moogle specialty.
    • The Chocobo Knight is a strange case of spoony. He has absolutely no abilities on his own until he mounts a wild chocobo. Once he does, he can use his mount's skills depending on the color, but can't use any subjobs or situational commands (like opening chests) because he always has the Dismount command. They can equip any non-ranged weapon, and use various buffs depending their steed. Even without the chocobos, they have the beast speed stat in the entire game.
  • Strange Bedfellows: Luso and Vaan start out as adversaries. They join up once they have a mutual enemy of their own.
  • Summon Magic: Summoner class can call familiar espers such as Shiva and Ramuh, and party members, regardless of job, can equip special accessories that summon scions, the summons from Final Fantasy XII.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Moogles and Nu Mou acquired this so that the Feather Boots would still have a purpose. The Galmia Shoes also grant this in exchange for Super Jumping Skills. Although instead of dying if you fall in water, those units are simply unable to be put in a water tile, even if they're pushed into by an attack that moves you over.
  • Super Title 64 Advance: It's not Final Fantasy Tactics DS, it's Final Fantasy Tactics A2. The reason it's called A2 rather than Advance 2 is because it's not on the Game Boy Advance anymore.
  • Take Your Time: Cid encourages Luso to go to the mainland to prepare for the final battle, and the Big Bad can wait as long as they take to prepare. This is despite the fact that the said Big Bad is going to release an apocalypse on the world at any moment. Naturally, the Big Bad will say that you're late when you do go to the final battle, but it becomes hilarious when you go straight to the final battle from the previous scene, and the boss still says you're late.
    • Makes sense, if you think about it. Ilua, copying Luso, is writing a journal starring her as the "hero" of the story. And you can't have a proper ending without an exciting battle against the villians, now can you? She just has to wait for you guys, else her grimoire won't have enough power to do what she wants.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: This happens a lot.
  • Those Two Guys: Devotee and Devotee Jr. A Seeq Lanista and a Moogle Time Mage that are always trying to get the latest news about Prima Donna.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Even the most staunch Vaan hater admits that his Sky Lord incarnation is Badass incarnate. He's gotten to the point that imposters will simply claim to be him, knowing that no one is stupid enough to pick a fight with the Sky Lord. Vaan spends most of his time hunting the imposters down though.
  • Travel Montage: When using the Aerodome from Moorabella to Fluorgis, and back.
  • True Art Is Incomprehensible: The in-universe Skyfrost Edition of the Bonga Bugle:

--Head Editor Takes 1,000 Photographs On Assignment
Head Editor Contemplating Career as Photographer?
Head Editor Leaves Lens Cap On
"Night: A Study In 1,000 Images" Rocks Art World

  • Tsundere: The Witch of the Fens. It's hard not to get the impression that she likes Luso. For one thing, while she usually charges exorbitant prices for her services, it's on the house whenever Luso needs something.
    • Adelle is a bit mean to Luso at the end, but while Luso and Cid went off, Adelle cries while Hurdy comforts her (they were teleported at the final stage, at which you can go back to the mainland and prepare for the final fight).
    • There was also their argument they had once. She slapped him hard. He slapped her back, where she roared at him for hitting a girl, and he tells her not to be dumb.
  • Useless Useful Spell: Sadly, skills that cause bad status are no longer the game-breakers they were in the first Final Fantasy Tactics Advance.
    • They're still useful though. Green Mages (the first-tier Mezzers of choice) make it much easier to get through the early parts of the game. Not that they aren't useful afterwards...
    • Fortunately, this goes both ways. Bad status effects on your party members aren't as bad anymore.
    • Sleep and Stop still make the victims so easy to hit that most effects have a 100% hit chance. Yes, even Instant Death.
    • Plus Green Mages learn a spell Tranq that makes status effects more likely to hit. Including Death, again.
  • Upgrade Artifact: Most spells and abilities are learned from various pieces of equipment, although like in the prequel and Final Fantasy IX, learning takes some effort.
  • Villainous Crossdresser: "The Night Dancer": the "Laws" for that mission seem to be in place only to trip people up on it. Appropriately, his class is "Trickster". This may be slightly subverted, as the clan "The Night Dancer" is in pulls a Heel Face Turn, turning him, perhaps, into a Wholesome Crossdresser instead.
  • "Wake-Up Call" Boss: The Flowsand Lord on Hard mode. As a boss, he's immune to status effects. His placement makes him a bit tricky to attack. Did we mention that out of his two most-used attacks, one hits the entire board hard enough to half-kill the Squishy Wizards, and the other deals a huge amount of damage and heals him? On normal, his attack damage is manageable, but on Hard, you had better have a game plan and some free time.
    • It gets worse. In case you somehow manage to survive his attacks, an infinite number of Antlions spawn as the battle progresses.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer: Gria don't have many unique abilities outside of the inconsistent at best Geomancer ones, but they get the unique Sneak Attack (deal more damage when attacking from the side, deal massive damage when attacking from the back, and they fly over your head to reach your back), an Ultima variant, Sonic Boom, and the decent enough Advice (boosts critical rate of an ally, useful when foes are far away and they have nothing else to do), which, while their only really viable setup, is all they need.
  • White Mage
  • A Winner Is You: The bonus 301st mission is a tournament against five squads of insta-death spamming maniacs who automatically get 50 turns before you can even blink. The reward for surviving this onslaught is... the credits. And a picture of a book.
  1. Well, there are a few, but now you have to bring the party member to the location, and one mission can be attempted but not be completed without using dispatching