Esper Guide by aldoteng
Final Fantasy XII on SuperCheats.com
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Esper Guide for Final Fantasy XII
v1.3
By aldoteng
21 Apr 2007

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This guide is meant for the public. You can post it anywhere or quote any
information, but do credit me OR the person I credited in my guide. Do NOT use
the information for any profit-generating activities. Do NOT alter/edit the
guide in any way should you decide to reproduce this guide for public viewing
(unless translated into another language).

Email me at abinobi@hotmail.com for constructive feedback, suggestions,
criticisms and corrections. Unfortunately, keeping it real, I wouldn't be too
excited to be added on MSN Messenger lists for the sole reason of FFXII.

Also, progress on this guide will be slow considering I am no longer playing
the game, but yes I am still in the midst of responding to your emails. ^^
Sorry for the mad delay.


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PREFACE
===============================================================================

This aims to be a comprehensive guide covering everything that needs to be
covered on Espers in Final Fantasy XII.

This guide is a work in progress. Not everything I write here has been tested
by myself. I would indicate what I have NOT tested yet. Expect this guide to
be updated with time.

For this guide I have referred to many sources, but namely FFXII Battle
Ultimania, FFXII Brady's guide, GameFAQs Boards, Game Mechanics FAQ by
Maltzsan, my own theoretical analysis and most importantly my own playing
experience. I strive to my best not to plagiarize. Sections copied wholly (but
with lots of testing, still) from the guides are the Esper/boss/Mark stats,
Esper skills and Esper gambits. I take no credit for them.

This guide tends to go into detail as it does mean to be as comprehensive as
possible. It's geared at readers who are at minimum comfortable with the game
basics, like LPs, Gambits, Mist Cartridges, and popular Magicks and Technicks.
A bit of the guide does cover game mechanics that most of you are probably not
aware of.

The guide is divided into three thirds: the first third is full of information
on Espers you can obtain from the game, the two guides, my personal testing,
and other gamers on the Boards. The second third covers strategies and uses of
Espers against suitable targets, and this third is the one undergoing constant
updating. The final third simply explains how to obtain the Espers and the
battle tactics. Spoiler note: There are no story spoilers in the guide, though
there are battle spoilers everywhere of course.

Contents at a glance:

    Preface
   
    About Espers...............................................ABESP
        Introduction...........................................INTRD
        Obtaining and summoning Espers.........................OBSME
        General Esper features.................................GNEFT
        Belias.................................................BELIS
        Mateus.................................................MATES
        Adrammelech............................................ADREM
        Zalera.................................................ZALRA
        Shemhazai..............................................SHEMY
        Cuchulainn.............................................QUCHY
        Exodus.................................................EXDUS
        Hashmal................................................HASHY
        Zeromus................................................ZEMUS
        Famfrit................................................FAMMY
        Chaos..................................................CHAOZ
        Ultima.................................................ULTMA
        Zodiark................................................ZODAK
        Outroduction...........................................OUTRD

    Using Espers...............................................USESP
        Pure deathblow.........................................DEBLO
        Battle starting........................................BATST
        Mass-damage prevention.................................MASDP
        MP Syphoning...........................................MPSYP
        Status immunity........................................STIMT
        Elemental affinities...................................ELAFT
        Instant kill...........................................INSKL
        Lucky distraction......................................LUKDS
        Solo battling..........................................SOLOB
        Tactics by Esper.......................................TTESP
        Tactics by enemy.......................................TTENM

    Acquiring Espers...........................................ACESP
        Quest walkthroughs.....................................QSTWT
        Boss battles...........................................BOSBT

    Miscellaneous..............................................MISCL
        Frequently-asked Questions.............................FAQSS
        Calculations...........................................CALCS
        Allocating Espers......................................ALLOS
        Various Trivia.........................................VRTRV

    Postface


===============================================================================
ABOUT ESPERS                                                            [ABESP]
===============================================================================

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Introduction                                                            [INTRD]
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Many players think Espers are entirely worthless in this game, which is not
true. On the other hand, it is foolish to think that Espers are all-powerful.
Not that it is representative of the general gaming population, but a small
poll conducted on the GameFAQs Boards showed that the majority of players
thought of Espers as somewhat useful at times, useless at others. Let's look
into it.

There are thirteen Espers in the game, each corresponding to a zodiac sign, and 
in this guide I will always arrange them in order of 'increasing strength',
which can be debatable.

01) Belias, Aries, Esper of fire
02) Mateus, Pisces, Esper of ice
03) Adrammelech, Capricorn, Esper of thunder
04) Zalera, Gemini, Esper of death
05) Shemhazai, Sagittarius, Esper of soul
06) Cuchulainn, Scorpio, Esper of poison
07) Exodus, Libra, Esper of non-element
08) Hashmal, Leo, Esper of earth
09) Zeromus, Cancer, Esper of gravity
10) Famfrit, Aquarius, Esper of water
11) Chaos, Taurus, Esper of wind
12) Ultima, Virgo, Esper of holy
13) Zodiark, Ophiuchus, Esper of dark

Five of them are automatically obtained in the storyline: Belias, Mateus, 
Shemhazai, Hashmal and Famfrit. Everyone else is optional.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Obtaining and summoning Espers                                          [OBSME]
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

To summon an Esper, you must obtain him/her on the License Board. Espers only 
show up on the Board after you defeat them; Esper battles are some of the most 
challenging fights in the game. Once a character obtains the license for an 
Esper, that same Esper cannot be learned by other characters. Meaning that an 
Esper can only be summoned by one character and one character only. However, a 
character can learn as many Espers as he wants. You can even dump all thirteen
Espers on the same guy, though that wouldn't be wise.

There are three tiers of Espers:
Lvl 1 Espers require only 1 Mist Cartridge: Belias, Mateus, Adrammelech and
   Zalera.
Lvl 2 Espers require 2 Mist Cartridges: Shemhazai, Cuchulainn, Exodus, Hashmal
   and Zeromus.
Lvl 3 Espers require 3 Mist Cartridges: Famfrit, Chaos, Ultima and Zodiark.
The number of Mist Cartridges an Esper requires can significantly affect time 
management and MP management.

To summon Espers, go to the main battle menu and choose Mist -> Summon. The 
list of Espers the character has licensed would show up. Once selected, the 
character summons the Esper immediately. Summoning, like Mist Quickenings,
have NO CHARGE TIME, and can be performed even when the summoner is Silenced.

The summoned Esper will replace the other two characters in battle. The 
original summoner will stay in battle still, and his/her role is crucial in 
maximizing the Espers' usefulness. Espers have their own gambits and cannot be 
controlled by you. Meanwhile, the Esper is treated as a normal party member,
so the summoner may automatically cast buff spells on the Esper according to 
his/her gambit setup. Finally, Espers are not affected by traps.

A big part of Esper summoning is trying to trigger their final attacks (eg. 
Hellfire, Judgement Bolt, Tsunami). Final attacks are way more powerful than 
normal attacks, and affect a large area, but some final attacks are 
ridiculously difficult to trigger.

Espers will last in the battlefield for a maximum of 90 seconds; time's up,
and the Esper Dismisses itself. Notice the five orbs on your battle screen
that fade one by one; each orb represents 18 seconds. The 90 seconds is
regardless of Battle Speed; slowest or fastest, your Esper survives for only
90 seconds. Therefore, FOR MAXIMUM UTILITY OF YOUR ESPERS, SET YOUR BATTLE
SPEED TO THE HIGHEST.

Besides expiration of the 90 seconds, your Esper will disappear if i) the 
summoner is defeated, ii) the Esper is defeated, iii) you select Dismiss from 
the menu, iv) you Teleport using a Crystal, v) you board an airship/Strahl and
vi) you ride a Chocobo. The Brady guide stated that Espers disappear if you 
enter a city/town; that's not correct.

Boos to Square-Enix for not giving us the option to shorten the summoning or 
final attack sequences.

In battle, Espers do not gain experience. All experience goes to the summoner.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
General Esper features                                                  [GNEFT]
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Whilst Espers do not level up themselves, their level follows that of the 
summoner. So if my Vaan is lvl 40, any Esper he summons would be lvl 40.

All Espers have the following stat progression by level (taken from 
Ultimania/Brady):

Lvl   Max MP	Spd.
01    23-25     26
10    50-70     28
20    90-140    30
30    131-212   33
40    181-302   35
50    224-378   37
60    264-448   40
70    294-498   42
80    324-548   44
90    344-578   47
99    353-587   49

All Espers have the same MP and Speed values at any level, but their Max HP, 
Strength, Magick Power and Vitality differ from Esper to Esper. Espers' HP can 
exceed 9999 if Bubbled, though it won't show on the main battle menu. Note how 
the Vitality values for Mateus, Adrammelech and Zalera seem to deviate from 
those of the other Espers according to both Ultimania and Brady, but my testing
has verified that both guides are indeed correct.

Notice the randomness of the listed MP values. This indeed means that every 
time you summon an Esper, his MP value is a randomly generated number within 
the given range. Let's say you summon an Esper (any one) at lvl 40. That Esper 
may appear with MP 181, or MP 302, or somewhere in between. This also holds 
true for HP values, which you will see from the individual Esper tables.

Unfortunately, Espers have a damage cap of 9999, except for certain attacks by 
Shemhazai, Exodus, Zeromus and Zodiark.


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Belias, the Gigas (Aries)                                               [BELIS]
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Previous incarnation: As the Aries Lucavi demon Velius in Final Fantasy 
Tactics. Velius was probably a mistranslation of Belias that was used in the 
Japanese version.

The fire-based Belias has the distinction of being the first Esper you will 
get, the weakest Esper you have, the hardest Esper to appear on your 
Skypirate's Den page, and the only Esper you MUST summon in the game to 
complete it. The gods created Belias but deemed this two-headed, four-armed 
beast a monstrosity, so they kicked him away. Angered at the abandonment, 
Belias rebelled against the gods with the other Espers, but failed and instead 
found another purpose in life: to guard the Tomb of King-Dynast Raithwall.

Cost: 10 LP. Mist Charge level: 1
Defense: 20. Magick Defense: 15

Absorbs fire.
Weak to water.
Halves damage received from the other six elements.

Permanent buffs: Libra

Passive abilities: None

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Lvl   Max HP            Str.	Mag.    Vit.
01    890-891           45      46      26
10    1025-1048         50      51      28
20    1270-1336         56      57      30
30    1585-1708         62      63      33
40    1883-2060         68	69      35
50    2359-2625         74      75      37
60    2779-3123         80      81      40
70    3017-3403         86      87      42
80    3292-3727         91      92      44
90    3667-4171         97      98      47
99    4090-4673         99      99      49

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		Range	 Effect	  ChargeTime   Type    Element    Power
Attack          3        Single	  30           Phys.   --         61
Painflare       12       Single	  16           Magic   Fire       60
Hellfire        12       8        35           Magic   Fire       100


Belias' Gambits:
01) Summon time remaining < 10s	        Hellfire
02) Self: HP < 30%                      Hellfire
03) Foe: absorbs fire                   Attack
04) Foe: fire-weak                      Painflare
05) Foe: any                            Painflare

*Hellfire will be used on the enemy with the highest current HP.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mateus, the Corrupt (Pisces)                                            [MATES]
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Previous incarnation: As the Hume Totema Mateus in Final Fantasy Tactics 
Advance (in that version, the lady -is- Mateus). Also refers to Emperor 
Palamecia, the big villain from Final Fantasy II.

The ice-based Esper Mateus is a guy, believe it or not. Mateus is not the blue 
chick; he's the black fish-like thing behind the blue chick. Mateus was created 
to rule the underworld, but he eventually became filled with greed and decided 
to challenge the gods, not before binding an ice goddess onto him as a living 
shield. Of course he went straight to hell, but why did the ice goddess go 
along with him?? Couldn't the gods have saved her first or something? How 
inconsiderate.

Cost: 25 LP. Mist Charge level: 1
Defense: 39. Magick Defense: 25

Absorbs ice.
Weak to thunder.
Halves damage received from the other six elements.

Permanent buffs: Libra

Passive abilities: Penetrate Reflect

____________________________________________
Lvl   Max HP		Str.	Mag.	Vit.
01    1001-1001         55      46      34
10    1135-1158         55      51      36
20    1380-1446         61      57      38
30    1695-1818         67      63      41
40    1993-2170         73      69      43
50    2469-2735         79      75      45
60    2889-3233         85      81      48
70    3127-3513         91      87      50
80    3402-3837         96      92      52
90    3777-4281         99      98      55
99    4200-4783         99      99      57

_______________________________________________________________________
		Range	 Effect	  ChargeTime   Type    Element    Power
Attack          3        Single	  30           Phys.   --         65
Cura            10       10       30           Magic   --         45
Flash-Freeze    12       Single	  16           Magic   Ice        66
Frostwave       12       8        35           Magic   Ice        110


Mateus' Gambits:
01) Summon time remaining < 10s         Frostwave
02) Self: HP < 30%                      Frostwave
03) Summoner: HP < 50%                  Cura
04) Foe: absorbs ice                    Attack
05) Foe: ice-weak                       Flash-Freeze
06) Foe: any                            Flash-Freeze

*Frostwave will be used on the enemy with the highest current HP. 


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Adrammelech, the Wroth (Capricorn)                                      [ADREM]
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Previous incarnation: As the Bangaa Totema in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. 
Also as the Capricorn Lucavi demon Adramelk in Final Fantasy Tactics. Adramelk 
was probably a mistranslation of Adrammelech that was used in the Japanese 
version.

This thunder-based Esper is the closest to the dragon-like Bahamut FF fans are 
so proud of, but this time his mouth looks like it's made of cardboard. 
Adrammelech was created by the gods to control the monsters in the 
"Otherworld", but his ferocious appearance and strength instead made him
-their- king, and this led him to rebel against the gods. He was defeated, of
course. On a sidenote, Adrammelech's 'Esper symbol' is in my opinion one of the 
best designed.

Cost: 25 LP. Mist Charge level: 1
Defense: 29. Magick Defense: 25

Absorbs thunder.
Weak to ice.
Immune to damage received from the other six elements.

Permanent buffs: Libra, Faith

Passive abilities: Penetrate Reflect

____________________________________________
Lvl   Max HP		Str.	Mag.	Vit.
01    1110-1111	        I       46      32
10    1245-1268	        R       51      34
20    1490-1556	        R       57      36
30    1805-1928	        E       63      39
40    2103-2280	        L       69      41
50    2579-2845	        E       75      43
60    2999-3343	        V       81      46
70    3237-3623	        A       87      48
80    3512-3947	        N       92      50
90    3887-4391	        T       98      53
99    4310-4893	        !       99      55

_______________________________________________________________________
		Range	 Effect	  ChargeTime   Type    Element    Power
Curaga          10       Single	  30           Magic   --         85
Thundara        10       6        30           Magic   Thunder    70
Bio             10       6        30           Magic   --         88
Flash Arc       12       Single	  16           Magic   Thunder    72
Judgement Bolt  12       8        35           Magic   Thunder    120

Adrammelech's Gambits:
01) Summon time remaining < 10s         Judgement Bolt
02) Self: HP < 30%                      Judgement Bolt
03) Summoner: HP < 50%                  Curaga
04) Foe: absorbs thunder                Bio
05) Foe: more than one foe present      Thundara
05) Foe: thunder-weak                   Flash Arc
06) Foe: any                            Flash Arc

*Judgement Bolt will be used on the enemy with the highest current HP. 


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Zalera, the Death Seraph (Gemini)                                       [ZALRA]
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Previous incarnation: As the Gemini Lucavi demon Zalera in Final Fantasy
Tactics. The older Zalera never had that woman on his wing!

Zalera is a death-based Esper with a woman on his right wing. No, she's not 
half-naked! The golden lines on her breasts are NOT nipples; look for detailed 
Zalera images on the net and you'd agree with me. Sorry for ruining your 
fantasies! Zalera was created to pass judgement on humans who died, but he 
became influenced by the anger of the dead and instead rebelled against the 
gods. Similar to Mateus, he grabbed a shamaness and held her hostage, who very 
weirdly went down to hell along with him even though she was innocent. What
were the gods thinking? The fates of both this shamaness and Mateus' ice 
goddess just leave me bewildered.

Cost: 25 LP. Mist Charge level: 1
Defense: 39. Magick Defense: 25

Absorbs holy.
Immune to damage received from the other seven elements.

Permanent buffs: Libra

Passive abilities: Ignore target's VIT when inflicting status effects, MP
consumption halved (huh, so what?), Penetrate Reflect

____________________________________________
Lvl   Max HP		Str.	Mag.	Vit.
01    1220-1221         I       46      34
10    1355-1378         R       51      36
20    1600-1666         R       57      38
30    1915-2038         E       63      41
40    2213-2390         L       69      43
50    2689-2955         E       75      45
60    3109-3453         V       81      48
70    3347-3733         A       87      50
80    3622-4057         N       92      52
90    3997-4501         T       98      55
99    4420-5003         !       99      57

_______________________________________________________________________
		Range	 Effect	  ChargeTime   Type    Element    Power
Holy            10       Single	  30           Magic   Holy       157
Shock           10       Single	  30           Magic   --         133
Kill            12       Single   16           Magic   --         --
Condemnation    12       Single	  35           Magic   --    	  --

*Kill is an instant-kill spell. It does not work against foes with the Safety 
passive ability, and these include all elementals, bosses, Espers, Marks, rare 
game and most undead. An enemy defeated by Kill will not give you the Exp, LP, 
Clan Points and Items it normally gives, but it participates in a chain 
normally.
*Condemnation damage is simply Target's Max HP, upper limit of 9999.


Zalera's Gambits:
01) Foe: HP < 30%                       Condemnation
02) Self: HP > 80%                      Kill
03) Foe: any                            Shock
04) Self: HP < 100%                     Holy

*Condemnation will be used on the enemy with the highest current HP. 
*Kill's Gambit does not discriminate against monsters immune to instant kill.
*Holy is cast on himself for healing.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Shemhazai, the Whisperer (Sagittarius)                                  [SHEMY]
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Previous incarnation: None. She's new. Her Japanese name of Shumihaza is way
cooler.

Well Shemhazai is a soul-based -female- Esper who looks very much like a 
carriage with all the curtains. Shemhazai controlled the souls in the 
underworld and was previously a guardian of the gods, before she decided to 
rebel and betray her creators by whispering the gods' secrets to Ultima. She 
then created more havoc by teaching man evil and destruction before being 
defeated by the gods and imprisoned.

Cost: 50 LP. Mist Charge level: 2
Defense: 47. Magick Defense: 31

Weak to fire (I wonder why, but it's true).
Normal resistance against the other seven elements.

Permanent buffs: Haste, Libra

Passive abilities: Ignore weather and terrain effects

____________________________________________
Lvl   Max HP		Str.	Mag.	Vit.
01    2430-2431         I       46      26
10    2565-2588         R       51      28
20    2810-2876         R       57      30
30    3125-3248         E       63      33
40    3423-3600         L       69      35
50    3899-4165         E       75      37
60    4319-4663         V       81      40
70    4557-4943         A       87      42
80    4832-5267         N       92      44
90    5207-5711         T       98      47
99    5630-6213         !       99      49

_______________________________________________________________________
		Range	 Effect	  ChargeTime   Type    Element    Power
Devour Soul     12       Single	  16           Magic   --         --
Soul Purge      12       8        35           Magic   --         --

*Devour Soul works exactly like the item Knot of Rust. The damage is 
Shemhazai's Max HP / (Random number 1-10), upper limit of 9999.
*Soul Purge works exactly like the item Dark Matter. The damage is:
(Sum of all Knot of Rust damage + Sum of all Devour Soul damage) / 3, upper
limit of 60,000. Soul Purge damage is reset to 0 with each use. ALL prior Knot
of Rust damage, used regardless of whether Shemhazai is summoned or not, will
be added. If Shemhazai is Dismissed or defeated before Soul Purge is triggered, 
the current Devour Soul total will be carried over to the next round of
summoning.


Shemhazai's Gambits:
01) Summon time remaining < 10s         Soul Purge
02) Self: HP < 30%                      Soul Purge
03) Foe: any                            Devour Soul

*Soul Purge will be used on the enemy with the highest current HP. 


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cuchulainn, the Impure (Scorpio)                                        [QUCHY]
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Previous incarnation: As the Scorpio Lucavi demon Queklain in Final Fantasy 
Tactics. How the hell did Cuchulainn become Queklain?? No idea. Pronounced 
"Koo-kuh-linn", according to Wikipedia, though I'm not sure how they got that 
in the first place.

This poison-based Esper is just the cutest among all. See how he laughs all the 
time? What a cute big fat blobby thing. Cuchulainn was created by the gods to
swallow all the filth in the world, but they underestimated the amount of crap 
that could exist. So Cuchulainn ended up swallowing too much rubbish and 
transformed into this "hideous thing". Hey, who're you calling hideous?!

Cost: 50 LP. Mist Charge level: 2
Defense: 47
Magick Defense: 31

Halves damage received from all eight elements.

Permanent buffs: Reflect, Protect, Shell, Bravery, Libra

Passive abilities: Penetrate Reflect, HP Full Attack Up, Counter (sometimes 
strikes back after being attacked), Counter Rate Up, Ignore weather and terrain 
effects

____________________________________________
Lvl   Max HP		Str.	Mag.	Vit.
01    2320-2321         51      46      26
10    2455-2478         56      51      28
20    2700-2766         62      57      30
30    3015-3138         68      63      33
40    3313-3490         74      69      35
50    3789-4055         80      75      37
60    4209-4553         86      81      40
70    4447-4833         92      87      42
80    4722-5157         97      92      44
90    5097-5601         99      98      47
99    5520-6103         99      99      49

_______________________________________________________________________
		Range	 Effect	  ChargeTime   Type    Element    Power
Attack          2        Single	  30           Phys.   --         83
Curaja          10       10       30           Magic   --         145
Malaise         12       Single	  16           Magic   --         90
Blight          12       8        35           Magic   --         150

*Malaise absorbs HP and heals Cuchulainn.


Cuchulainn's Gambits:
01) Summon time remaining < 10s	and Self: HP = 100%      Blight
02) Undead                              Attack
03) Self: HP < 100% (and engaging foe)  Malaise
04) Foe: any                            Attack
05) Self: HP < 100% (no foe engaged)    Curaja 

*Blight will be used on the enemy with the highest current HP.
*Blight and Malaise; the Brady guide entries are wrong/incomplete; I have
tested them.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Exodus, the Judge-Sal (Libra)                                           [EXDUS]
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Previous incarnation: As the Viera Totema in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. 
Also refers to Exdeath, the tree-like final boss of Final Fantasy V. It is 
debatable if Exodus is merely an anglicized version of the creepy-sounding 
Exdeath.

Exodus, non-elemental Esper, is one weird old geezer standing on an equally 
weird platform. Oldest of the Espers, he was supposed to watch over the world 
and pass ultimate judgement on anything, but he probably got so bored his 
attachment to the world eventually disappared and he deemed to reduce it to
nothingness. Waging war against the gods, he failed and was imprisoned.

Cost: 50 LP. Mist Charge level: 2
Defense: 53
Magick Defense: 35

Halves damage received from all eight elements.

Permanent buffs: Haste, Faith, Libra

Passive abilities: Ignore weather and terrain effects

____________________________________________
Lvl   Max HP		Str.	Mag.	Vit.
01    2820-2821         I       46      26
10    2955-2978         R       51      28
20    3200-3266         R       57      30
30    3515-3638         E       63      33
40    3813-3990         L       69      35
50    4289-4555         E       75      37
60    4709-5053         V       81      40
70    4947-5333         A       87      42
80    5222-5657         N       92      44
90    5597-6101         T       98      47
99    6020-6603         !       99      49

_______________________________________________________________________
		Range	 Effect	  ChargeTime   Type    Element    Power
Comet           12       Single	  16           Magic   --         --
Meteor          12       8        35           Magic   --         --

*Comet does damage of a random number from 0 to Exodus' Max HP.
*Meteor does damage of a random number from 0 to 9999, or if lucky, 30,000.


Exodus' Gambits:
01) Summon time remaining < 10s	and Self: Immobilized    Meteor
02) Foe: any                            Comet

*Meteor will be used on the enemy with the highest current HP.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hashmal, Bringer of Order (Leo)                                         [HASHY]
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Previous incarnation: As the Leo Lucavi demon Hashmalim in Final Fantasy 
Tactics. Hashmalim should be the correct name; the NA FFXII team probably just 
shortened it to Hashmal.

The earth-based Esper Hashmal is actually quite a handsome Esper; his arms 
however are just plain bizarre! Hashmal was tasked with bringing the world to 
lawful order. Seeing that Ultima's rebellion was the ultimate way of achieving 
order in the world, he joined her in her fight against the gods, but was 
eventually defeated. One of Hashmal's attacks is called Roxxor, which we'd 
expect the NA translators to have inserted in tribute to the famed internet 
jargon, but quite surprisingly the Japanese name for this skill was, in 
katakana, something like rokushoo.

Cost: 50 LP. Mist Charge level: 2
Defense: 50
Magick Defense: 33

Absorbs earth.
Weak to wind.
Immune to damage received from the other six elements.

Permanent buffs: Libra

Passive abilities: None

____________________________________________
Lvl   Max HP		Str.	Mag.	Vit.
01    2360-2361         52      48      26
10    2495-2518         57      53      28
20    2740-2806         63      59      30
30    3055-3178         69      65      33
40    3353-3530         75      71      35
50    3829-4095         81      77      37
60    4249-4593         87      83      40
70    4487-4873         93      89      42
80    4762-5197         98      94      44
90    5137-5641         99      99      47
99    5660-6143         99      99      49

_______________________________________________________________________
		Range	 Effect	  ChargeTime   Type    Element    Power
Attack          3        Single	  20           Phys.   --         80
Roxxor          12       Single	  16           Magic   Earth      90
Gaia's Wrath    12       8        35           Magic   Earth      150


Hashmal's Gambits:
01) Summoner's HP < 10%                 Gaia's Wrath
02) Foe: absorbs earth                  Attack
03) Foe: earth-weak                     Roxxor
04) Foe: any                            Roxxor

*Gaia's Wrath will be used on the enemy with the highest current HP.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Zeromus, the Condemner (Cancer)                                         [ZEMUS]
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Previous incarnation: As the final boss Zeromus in Final Fantasy IV.

Zeromus is one fugly gravity-based Esper whose design ranks to me as the worst 
among all thirteen. His task was to execute wrongdoers and upholding the law, 
but over time he got so caught up in hatred, he instead sought to condemn the 
gods and fought against them. Ironically after his defeat he himself was the 
one being condemned for good.

Cost: 50 LP. Mist Charge level: 2
Defense: 53
Magick Defense: 35

Halves damage received from all eight elements.

Permanent buffs: Libra

Passive abilities: Ignore target's VIT when inflicting status effects, Ignore 
weather and terrain effects

____________________________________________
Lvl   Max HP		Str.	Mag.	Vit.
01    2710-2711         I       46      26
10    2845-2868         R       51      28
20    3090-3156         R       57      30
30    3405-3528         E       63      33
40    3703-3880         L       69      35
50    4179-4445         E       75      37
60    4599-4943         V       81      40
70    4837-5223         A       87      42
80    5112-5547         N       92      44
90    5487-5991         T       98      47
99    5910-6493         !       99      49

_______________________________________________________________________
		Range	 Effect	  ChargeTime   Type    Element    Power
Gravity Well    12       Single	  16           Magic   --         --
Big Bang        12       8        35           Magic   --         --

*Gravity Well does damage of (Zeromus' Max HP - Zeromus' current HP) x 2.
*Big Bang does damage of (Zeromus' Max HP - Zeromus' current HP) x 5. It does 
not have a damage cap.


Zeromus' Gambits:
01) Summon time remaining < 10s         Big Bang
02) Foe: any                            Gravity Well

*Big Bang will be used on the enemy with the highest current HP.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Famfrit, the Darkening Cloud (Aquarius)                                 [FAMMY]
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Previous incarnation: As the Moogle Totema in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. 
Also refers to the Dark Cloud, the final boss of Final Fantasy III.

Famfrit is the water-based Esper. Well I'm Aquarius, and I like him a lot. 
Famfrit was actually a terrible-looking cloudlike creature who, after his 
defeat by the gods, was sealed in armour covered with wards. So apparently we 
will never get to see his real self. Famfrit seemed to be able to plague 
humankind with heavy rains that would originate from his water jug.

Cost: 90 LP. Mist Charge level: 3
Defense: 56
Magick Defense: 37

Absorbs water.
Weak to fire.
Immune to damage received from the other six elements.

Permanent buffs: Protect, Shell, Libra

Passive abilities: None

____________________________________________
Lvl   Max HP		Str.	Mag.	Vit.
01    3860-3861         54      53      26
10    3995-4018         59      58      28
20    4240-4306         65      64      30
30    4555-4678         71      70      33
40    4853-5030         77      76      35
50    5329-5595         83      82      37
60    5749-6093         89      88      40
70    5987-6373         95      94      42
80    6262-6697         99      99      44
90    6637-7141         99      99      47
99    7060-7643         99      99      49

_______________________________________________________________________
		Range	 Effect	  ChargeTime   Type    Element    Power
Attack          2        Single	  30           Phys.   --         145
Briny Cannonade	12       Single	  16           Magic   Water      140
Tsunami         12       8        35           Magic   Water      200


Famfrit's Gambits:
01) Summon time remaining < 10s         Tsunami
02) Self: HP < 30%                      Tsunami
03) Foe: absorbs water                  Attack
04) Foe: water-weak                     Briny Cannonade
05) Foe: any                            Briny Cannonade

*Tsunami will be used on the enemy with the highest current HP.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Chaos, Walker of the Wheel (Taurus)                                     [CHAOZ]
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Previous incarnation: As the last boss of the original Final Fantasy.

This wind-based Esper is a cool dude, because he sits on a pedestal and has 
four elemental swords swirling about him. As a matter of fact, the four 
elemental swords or Chaosjets (which you will have to fight along with Chaos to 
get him) are thought to be tributes to the Final Fantasy elemental fiends 
Kraken, Tiamat, Malarith, and Lich. Chaos was destined by the gods to enter an 
endless samsara of death and reincarnation, and angered at his fate he waged 
war against them. He sits on the Uneh Pedestal under constant meditation.

Cost: 90 LP. Mist Charge level: 3
Defense: 56
Magick Defense: 37

Absorbs wind.
Weak to earth.
Immune to damage received from the other six elements.

Permanent buffs: Reflect, Haste, Faith, Libra

Passive abilities: Ignore target's VIT when inflicting status effects,
Penetrate Reflect

____________________________________________
Lvl   Max HP		Str.	Mag.	Vit.
01    4135-4136         I       53      26
10    4270-4293         R       58      28
20    4515-4581         R       64      30
30    4830-4953         E       70      33
40    5128-5305         L       76      35
50    5604-5870         E       82      37
60    6024-6368         V       88      40
70    6262-6648         A       94      42
80    6537-6972         N       99      44
90    6912-7416         T       99      47
99    7335-7918         !       99      49

_______________________________________________________________________
		Range	 Effect	  ChargeTime   Type    Element    Power
Holy            10       Single	  30           Magic   Holy       157
Aeroga          10       6        30           Magic   Wind       103
Firaga          10       6        30           Magic   Fire       124
Thundaga        10       6        30           Magic   Thunder    124
Blizzaga        10       6        30           Magic   Ice        124
Scourge         10       6        30           Magic   --         142
Darkga          10       6        30           Magic   Dark       130
Whirlwind       10       Single	  16           Magic   Wind       --
Tornado         10       8        35           Magic   Wind       --

*Whirlwind deals damage of Target's Max HP X 0.5, and cannot work on enemies 
with the Safety feature (similar to Zalera's Kill). Damage is capped at 9999.
*Tornado deals damage of Target's Max HP X 0.9. Damage is capped at 9999.


Chaos' Gambits:
01) Summon time remaining < 10s         Tornado
02) Self: HP < 30%                      Tornado
03) Foe: holy-weak                      Holy
04) Foe: dark-weak                      Darkga
05) Foe: fire-weak                      Firaga
06) Foe: thunder-weak                   Thundaga
07) Foe: ice-weak                       Blizzaga
08) Foe: absorbs wind                   Scourge
09) Foe: wind-weak                      Aeroga
10) Foe: highest HP                     Whirlwind

*Tornado will be used on the enemy with the highest current HP.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ultima, the High Seraph (Virgo)                                         [ULTMA]
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Previous incarnation: As the Nu Mou Totema in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. 
Also as the last boss/Virgo Lucavi demon Altima in Final Fantasy Tactics. 
Altima is probably a mistranslation of Ultima.

First of all, why does holy-based Ultima keep holding her skirt up? It's not 
like it's long enough to get in the cannon's way. Ultima was tasked with 
leading human souls to heaven and helping them reincarnate. She was the 
brightest and greatest of the Espers, and ambition led her to lead a rebellion 
against the gods with the other Espers. After her defeat, her light vanished 
forever.

Cost: 90 LP. Mist Charge level: 3
Defense: 61
Magick Defense: 40

Absorbs holy.
Weak to dark.
Immune to damage received from the other six elements.

Permanent buffs: Reflect, Protect, Shell, Haste, Libra

Passive abilities: Penetrate Reflect, Magic charge time 0

____________________________________________
Lvl   Max HP		Str.	Mag.	Vit.
01    4410-4411         I       46      26
10    4545-4568         R       52      28
20    4790-4856         R       58      30
30    5105-5228         E       64      33
40    5403-5580         L       70      35
50    5879-6145         E       76      37
60    6299-6643         V       82      40
70    6537-6923         A       88      42
80    6812-7247         N       94      44
90    7187-7691         T       99      47
99    7610-8193         !       99      49

_______________________________________________________________________
		Range	 Effect	  ChargeTime   Type    Element    Power
Flare           10       Single	  30 (0)       Magic   --         163
Redemption      12       Single   16 (0)       Magic   Holy       180
Eschaton        12       6        35 (0)       Magic   Holy       250


Ultima's Gambits:
01) Summoner and Self: HP < 30%         Eschaton
02) Foe: absorbs holy                   Flare
03) Foe: holy-weak			Redemption
04) Foe: any                            Redemption

*Eschaton will be used on the enemy with the highest current HP.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Zodiark, Keeper of Precepts (Ophiuchus/Serpentarius)                    [ZODAK]
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Previous incarnation: As the ultimate Summon, Zodiac, in Final Fantasy Tactics.

The dark-based Esper Zodiark is a completely bizarre-looking flying serpent. He 
was the strongest Esper created, even stronger than Ultima, but the gods feared 
his strength so they kept him as a child. Zodiark is the only Esper never to 
have participated in the rebellion against the gods (maybe the Espers would 
have won if he did?). It is said that Zodiark has the capacity to replace the 
gods in creating laws and passing punishment. Note: Ophiuchus/Serpentarius is
not really a zodiac constellation. It is the only constellation the sun passes
through every year that does not belong to the zodiac twelve.

Cost: 200 LP. Mist Charge level: 3
Defense: 61
Magick Defense: 40

Absorbs dark.
Weak to holy.
Normal resistance against the other six elements (Brady guide got it wrong
once again).

Permanent buffs: Protect, Shell, Haste, Faith, Libra

Passive abilities: Penetrate Reflect, Magic charge time 0, Ignore weather and
terrain effects

____________________________________________
Lvl   Max HP		Str.	Mag.	Vit.
01    3090-3091         I       45      26
10    3225-3248         R       51      28
20    3470-3536         R       57      30
30    3785-3908         E       63      33
40    4083-4260         L       69      35
50    4559-4825         E       75      37
60    4979-5323         V       81      40
70    5217-5603         A       87      42
80    5492-5927         N       93      44
90    5867-6371         T       99      47
99    6290-6873         !       99      49

_______________________________________________________________________
		Range	 Effect	  ChargeTime   Type    Element    Power
Flare           10       Single	  30 (0)       Magic   --         163
Scathe          10       6        30 (0)       Magic   --         190
Banish Ray      12       Single   16 (0)       Magic   Dark       240
Final Eclipse   12       8        35 (0)       Magic   --         --

*Final Eclipse simply deals damage of 50,000! Just like that.


Zodiark's Gambits:
01) Summoner: status = Petrify (Break)  Final Eclipse
02) Foe: more than one present          Scathe
03) Foe: absorbs dark                   Flare
04) Foe: dark-weak			Banish Ray
05) Foe: any                            Banish Ray

*Final Eclipse will be used on the enemy with the highest current HP.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Outroduction                                                            [OUTRD]
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Let's rank the Espers based on their survival stats.
_______________________________________________________________________________
     Max HP:            Defense:                  Magick Defense:
01)  Ultima             Zodiark = Ultima          Zodiark = Ultima
02)  Chaos              --                        --
03)  Famfrit            Chaos = Famfrit           Chaos = Famfrit
04)  Zodiark            --                        --
05)  Exodus             Exodus = Zeromus          Exodus = Zeromus
06)  Zeromus            --                        --
07)  Shemhazai          Hashmal                   Hashmal
08)  Hashmal            Cuchulainn = Shemhazai    Cuchulainn = Shemhazai
09)  Cuchulainn         --                        --
10)  Zalera             Zalera = Mateus           Zalera = Adrammelech = Mateus
11)  Adrammelech        --                        --
12)  Mateus             Adrammelech               --
13)  Belias             Belias                    Belias
_______________________________________________________________________________

Players have been complaining about Zodiark's reduced survivability in relation 
to his status as the strongest Esper. Makes sense, as his HP isn't even near 
Famfrit's. The hardiest Esper is definitely Ultima, though Cuchulainn is 
overall the best tanking Esper as he has Curaja and Malaise.

It is very difficult to compare the Espers based on their attack power because 
so many Espers have damage that depends on factors such as own HP, own 
remaining HP, no. of items used, enemy immunity, etc.


===============================================================================
USING ESPERS                                                            [USESP]
===============================================================================


First off, why do people deem Espers weak? Indeed it is true; in general 
situations, it is better to hold on to your three characters than summoning
one. Many reasons:

- One Esper replaces two of your characters.
- The time limit for each summon is 90 seconds.
- Espers generally have lower defense than your characters.
- Espers generally have lower attack than them.
- Espers generally have slower charge times for their actions, too.
- The stronger Espers take two or three Mist Carts. That's a lot of MP.
- The summoning animation takes about 23 seconds, and the final attack 
animations vary, but they last even longer.

Esper usage is situational and requires strategy; that's what this guide is
for. I think Square-Enix has indeed made a good decision in nerfing summons
from the powerhouses they once were (FFX, FFT, FFVII come to mind). In this
game (like in FFXI), players are supposed to figure out and develop tactics to
maximize the utility of each Esper in specific situations. Espers are no longer
cheaply useful in every single fight in the game.

In general, enemies become stronger more quickly than Espers. Earlier in the 
game, Belias is able easily to hold off bosses by himself and one-shot many 
monsters even without fire weakness. End game, even Ultima and Zodiark have 
problems surviving tough boss battles without help. Esper usage evolves with 
the game; Espers become more powerful, but their usage gets more tactical and 
situational.

Stuff you need before entering the world of Espers:

- Cure/Curaga/Renew (White Magick) - But of course.
- Haste (Time Magick) - But of course.
- Protect (Green Magick) - But of course.
- Shell (Green Magick) - But of course.
- Bravery (Green Magick) - Useful mostly for Cuchulainn but who has it already.
- Faith (Green Magick) - Useful for all except Shemhazai, Exodus and Zeromus.
- Bubble (Arcane Magick) - AWESOME, awesome stuff. Literally doubles the 
defense of your Espers (and yourself). It also literally doubles the offense of 
Espers Shemhazai, Exodus and Zeromus. In addition, having double the max HP 
makes it so much safer to trigger the final attacks that require the summoner 
and/or the Esper to be under critical HP. -Please- get this spell; as a matter
of fact I only started actively using Espers after I got the Bubble spell.

- Break (Time Magick) - Used to trigger Zodiark's final attack.
- Immobilize (Time Magick) - Used to trigger Exodus' final attack.

- Syphon (Arcane Magick) - Syphon back the MP from your Espers! They do not 
need MP for their spells.

- Opal Ring (Accessory) - You want to buff your Espers, so you must equip this 
to penetrate the Reflect status belonging to Cuchulainn, Chaos and Ultima.

Bravery, Faith and Bubble are all available at the Clan Shop once you have
completed 16 Marks and collected 200,000 Clan Points. Earliest time to get
Opal Ring is by selling 2 Frogspawns, obtained from Iguion in Phon Coast, to
the Bazaar.

Before we go off strategizing together, you'd wanna know that:
i) If you went all your way to acquire weapons like Deathbringer and Zodiac 
Spear prematurely in the game, you don't need Espers. Sure Zeromus can hit 
10,000 damage per regular attack at level 45. But at that same level, a 
Berserked, Braved and Hasted Zodiac Spear wielder can hit that kind of damage 
at an even faster rate. Strip the Zodiac Spear, and you will acknowledge the 
beauty of Zeromus and your other Espers.
ii) If you are overlevelled for your fight, you don't need Espers once again. 
Why bother summoning Belias to absorb Fire spells when you can easily survive 
them?

I hope most of you already know that you can summon an Esper and immediately 
touch a Crystal to refill your MP without any penalty. Very useful when facing 
bosses or Marks located near Crystals.

I am listing the Esper tactics based on how often I use them, from the most 
often to the least.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pure deathblow                                                          [DEBLO]
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Earlier in the game, final attacks are at best bonuses, not valuable additions
to your damage output. The damage of a final attack is usually only about twice
that of the same Esper's regular attack; for the superfluously long animation 
it takes, it certainly isn't that remarkable. Its only significant merit is its 
area effect, which can dispatch boss minions easily.

Later on, when you finally start hitting the 9999 damage cap, final attacks 
become significant in that some of them can exceed 9999. The final attacks are:

i) Shemhazai's Soul Purge, damage based on total Devour Soul / Knot of Rust 
used. Capped damage of 60,000.
ii) Exodus' Meteor, damage a random number from 0 to 9999, but with a chance of 
scoring 30,000.
iii) Zeromus' Big Bang, damage being five times the difference between his Max 
HP and his current HP. No capped damage.
iv) Zodiark's Final Eclipse, damage fixed at 50,000.

Between the first three, Meteor is the safest and least troublesome but the 
weakest and least consistent. Big Bang is definitely stronger but has a risky 
factor; to hit high damage Zeromus has to have little HP remaining, and he 
could get defeated before he pulls it off (final attacks have cast times). Soul 
Purge is the most troublesome of the lot, but triggering it is safe and its 
damage is awesome at 60,000, beating even Final Eclipse. Of course, Final 
Eclipse is the best among all, being very powerful at 50,000, requiring very
little to trigger, and having no charge time.

Players often gripe at how their Espers die before they can dish out their 
final attacks. That's why it's the summoner's absolute job to keep them alive 
during the 90 seconds. Doesn't that reduce the overall efficiency of the fight? 
Sometimes it does. But perhaps the best time to use final attacks is the start 
of the fight. All you need to do is just to summon, buff, touch a crystal if 
there's one nearby, and enter the boss room / engage the enemy only when time 
remaining is less than 10 seconds. Zeromus would have a much higher chance of 
surviving if he gets to use Big Bang before he gets hit (alternatively the 
summoner could Decoy himself, but this doesn't work if the boss starts with an 
area spell). Shemhazai would also happily engage with Soul Purge. Exodus' 
situation is trickier, because you also need to cast Immobilize on him, though 
thankfully it always sticks.

Besides the crazy >9999 final attacks above, there are two final attacks that 
can be triggered as soon as you summon the Esper, and they deal good damage 
when 9999 is still significant.

i) Zalera's Condemnation can be triggered instantly when the target is under 
critical HP. This makes him a great Esper to summon against bosses and Marks as
long as you know the enemy's remaining HP.
ii) Hashmal's Gaia's Wrath can also be triggered instantly when the summoner's
HP is below 10% (thus Hashmal is good for a high HP tank).


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Battle starting                                                         [BATST]
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A big difference between Espers and Quickenings/Magicks is that you use up the 
MP -before- the Espers deal the damage. You can use this to your advantage by 
summoning, buffing, Syphoning MP from the Esper (or even better, touch a 
Crystal) BEFORE even entering the fight. This effectively gives you free Esper 
damage and Esper tanking for the first one minute of the battle, and if you 
support your Esper well enough (with Bubble and the other buffs, Espers 
generally can survive boss battles), you would have managed to shave off quite 
a nice chunk of the boss' HP and even soak some of its damaging attacks before 
your main party takes over.

This tactic can go hand-in-hand with the previous one. You can either start the 
battle with an Esper final attack (pure deathblow) or with a fighting Esper 
(battle starting), or combine both, letting the Esper fight and hoping he/she 
can survive to perform the final attack. In general, the "strongest" Esper you 
have is the best person for the job (Zodiark > Ultima > Chaos > Famfrit, etc.).


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mass-damage prevention                                                  [MASDP]
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Enemies use two types of Magicks/Technicks: those you also have, and enemy-
exclusive skills only.

The first category includes your familiar spells Fira, Blizzaga, Curaja,
Graviga etc.; these have charge times, so their damage can be reduced. How?
When the enemy starts to use the skill, the action appears on the battle
screen. Between now and the moment of unleashing, you can summon an Esper in
time to soak up its damage or status effects (to which Espers are immune to).
Summoning an Esper is instantaneous so you are very likely to be able to get
your Esper to appear before that skill is unleashed. This is very useful
against powerful mass-damage spells like Scathe because once your characters
are targeted, you cannot swap them out of battle to avoid being hit. Summoning
an Esper however can force two characters out, allowing them to escape from
harm.

The second category refers to skills you will never obtain, like Esper -ja
attacks and Fearga. These skills have extremely short charge times so it is
very unlikely that you can bust your Esper out just in time to receive the
damage. The only way to make your Esper soak the damage is to anticipate the
attacks and summon them at the right time. Despite the inefficiency, it could
be worth it when fighting terribly challenging bosses to study their attack
pattern.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
MP Syphoning                                                            [MPSYP]
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Syphoning monsters is not easy, because it is affected by Magick Power and 
Magick Defense. Also, bosses and undead are absolutely immune against 
Syphoning. But summoners can Syphon MP from Espers! Espers have natural MP 
which they DO NOT use up at all.

This becomes quite a necessity when summoning the MP-exhaustive lvl 3 Espers, 
especially because you'd want to buff them up first. Just 1 MP (which can be 
recovered by Charge or running) is enough to Syphon, but hopefully it works of 
course.

This also makes the otherwise-useless lvl 1 Espers very useful late in the 
game. At any level, an Esper will have more MP than the MP used to fill one 
Mist Cart of your characters in general. By using this method, you will have 
more MP than you started with! This is an absolutely free way to regain MP 
without walking or crystals in a long dungeon. If you are stingy about Ethers, 
you might want to use this in the middle of boss fights.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Status immunity                                                         [STIMT]
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Espers are immune to all negative status effects, which includes instant-kill, 
but unfortunately also Berserk. Remember Elder Wyrm, the terrifying story boss 
which likes to inflict a horde of various status ailments on all your party 
members? Or those horrible Malboros in Giruvegan? Espers are great in such 
situations. Later in the guide I will single out the monsters, bosses, Marks 
and rare game which are professional status disrupters.

Later in the game the Ribbon accessory solves the status issues for one 
character, but it doesn't help in the mass-effect status ailment attack 
situations like Elder Wyrm's. When the enemy is shown to start casting a mass 
status spell, immediately whip out an Esper (preferably with a summoner who has
a Ribbon).


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Elemental affinities                                                    [ELAFT]
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

First off, there are eight elements in the game.
Fire is strong against Water. Water is strong against Fire.
Ice is strong against Thunder. Thunder is strong against Ice.
Wind is strong against Earth. Earth is strong against Wind.
Holy is strong against Dark. Dark is strong against Holy.

i) Targeting the enemies' elemental weakness: Belias against fire-weak enemies, 
Mateus against ice-weak enemies. Honestly, this shouldn't be the main reason 
why you should summon Espers. Why? Using your own Fira/Firaja, Blizzara/
Blizzaga, Thundara/Thundaga, Aeroga, Holy and Darkga spells is so much better,
safer and faster. The exceptions to this are Hashmal's Earth attacks and
Famfrit's Water attacks, since there just aren't any good Earth or Water spells
at your disposal. You do have Earth and Water ammunition for your Bows, Guns
and Handy Bombs, so it's a choice between your Espers or your ammunition.

ii) Halving elemental damage by enemies: Belias, Mateus, Cuchulainn, Exodus and 
Zeromus take halved damage from most or all elements. A good feature, though 
you'd rather pay attention to...

iii) Immunity from elemental damage by enemies: Adrammelech, Zalera, Hashmal, 
Famfrit, Chaos, Ultima and Zodiark are immune to most elements. They are very 
useful against enemies which spend much of their time using elemental attacks, 
be they physical or magical.

iv) Absorbing elemental damage by enemies.
Imagine fighting a tough monster whose most powerful attacks only serve to heal 
you; that makes your Esper self-sustaining and you need to spend less time and 
attention on his/her HP bar. Nine of your Espers are able to absorb the 
different elements (both Zalera and Ultima absorb Holy). Many enemies employ a 
mixture of both non-elemental and elemental attacks, so the best time to summon 
in such a situation is when the enemy is casting its elemental spell, so the 
Esper appears just in time to absorb the blow. Of note are Wyrms, whose breath 
attacks are usually fire-based.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Instant Kill                                                            [INSKL]
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Black Magick Death has a success chance rate formula, but Kill ALWAYS works
against enemies not immune to instant kill. To check if a foe is susceptible to
instant kill, check a database to see if it has the Safety feature. According
to Game Mechanics FAQ, all elementals, Marks, bosses, Espers, rare game and
most undead have the Safety feature. Another way to test is by using Kill just
once. If the foe dies, it is susceptible; otherwise, it isn't.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lucky distraction                                                       [LUKDS]
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If you are the only character left standing, bust out that Esper and hope 
things go your way, ie. the enemy targets your Esper, not you. While they duke 
it out, quickly heal yourself and Bubble/Haste/Protect/Shell/Syphon MP from the 
Esper, so when he is defeated you are in good shape to revive your comrades.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Solo battling                                                           [SOLOB]
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

There will always be various reasons why one would go solo. It could be a
specific solo challenge, or it could be a restricted class challenge, or 
everyone else is pretty much dead/stoned/warped.

The best general-purpose solo Esper is probably Cuchulainn. He is cute, costs 
an affordable 2 Mist Carts, has decent HP, good attack and defense values, 
starts with some good buffs, and has the so-good-it-hurts Curaja which heals 
both the summoner and himself.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tactics by Espers                                                       [TTESP]
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The 9999 damage cap is a huge pain in the arse. Because of this, late game, the 
lvl 3s Famfrit-Chaos-Ultima are useful only for their regular attacks, damage 
soaking and the like. The devastating final attacks come from the lvl 2s: 
Shemhazai, Exodus and Zeromus. Zodiark is, thankfully, useful for both.

______
Belias

You will spend a lot of game time with Belias as your only summon, and that's a
great time for you to practise the various techniques discussed above. Early 
game he is very useful, able to hold off on his own against many bosses.

A prime example is the Elder Wyrm, who uses an area status effect spell that 
becomes almost ineffective when Belias is summoned. Belias is also crucial when 
fighting King Bomb for players who wish to get the Zodiac Spear earlier in the 
game (other FAQs cover this). Also, in the Henne Mines, where you haven't 
obtained Fira, Hellfire is the only area-effect fire spell to blast through all 
those jellies at one go. Many enemies like to use fire, including Wyrms' breath 
attacks, and Pyromania is used by several Munts. Of course, Belias late game is 
so weak, he is only useful for MP Syphoning. 

______
Mateus

Mateus is most likely the second Esper you'll get, because you probably are not 
strong enough to handle Adrammelech, Zalera or Cuchulainn before the Stilshrine 
of Miriam. Despite this, Mateus' defense and magick defense are significant 
improvements over Belias', so it is good to replace him for general-purpose 
uses that do not depend on elemental affinities (like mass-damage prevention). 
On the other hand, offense-wise, Mateus would probably pale in comparison to 
your characters by the time you get him.

___________
Adrammelech

By the time you obtain Adrammelech, you would probably already be ready to 
obtain Zalera and Cuchulainn, both generally superior Espers. In the mean time, 
Adrammelech does have some use as being the first to be immune to damage from 
six elements, making him an even better mass-damage soaker. His Curaga is quite 
potent enough to ensure the summoner's survival, though curing should actually 
be the summoner's job in the first place. Several Marks use powerful Thunder 
spells, though Adrammelech may be too weak for them by then to be summoned.

______
Zalera

Zalera is a whole new ballgame after the previous three lvl 1 Espers. He is 
probably one of the very few Espers you will ever use on normal monsters. Kill 
is great to use to plough through a map, but keep in mind it does not drop Exp, 
LP, Clan Points and loot! Perfect to get out of very difficult monster 
situations though, where survival is more important than spoils.

Zalera's gambit for Kill, unfortunately, does not discriminate against foes 
immune to instant kill. Hence, there is absolutely no use to summon him to try 
to damage elementals, bosses, Espers, Marks, rare game and most undead, unless: 
i) you are sure the target has < 30% HP so he can use Condemnation. Quite 
incidentally, Zalera's final attack's unique property makes him a suitable 
Esper to summon against earlier targets whose HP starts getting critical. ii) 
you maintain Zalera's HP below 80%, so he will use Shock instead. Shock's 133 
attack power is very good for a lvl 1 Esper, even beating Adrammelech's final
attack in raw damage.

Also, Zalera has the unique distinction of absorbing one element, being immune 
to the rest, and not being weak to any. Note that our Esper ally Zalera is not 
'undead', and Cures still work on him.

_________
Shemhazai

Shemhazai is -supposed- to be the weakest lvl 2 Esper, but had you explored the 
game and finished many sidequests, she'd be the last lvl 2 Esper you'd obtain. 
The lvl 2 Espers really start to make you consider MP management really 
carefully, and you may want to start Syphoning MP to recover the ones you've 
lost summoning the Esper.

Shemhazai has the dubious distinction of being the Esper with the weakest 
elemental affinity list, being weak to fire and receiving normal damage from 
everything else. Having said that, Shemhazai belongs to the trinity of SEZ 
(Shemhazai, Exodus and Zeromus) with less-than-desirable normal attacks, but 
amazing final attacks. Let's visit both the formulae for Devour Soul and Soul 
Purge:

Devour Soul damage is Shemhazai's Max HP / (Random number 1-10), limit of 9999.

Soul Purge damage is (Sum of all Knot of Rust damage + Sum of all Devour Soul 
damage) / 3, limit of 60,000. Soul Purge damage is reset to 0 with each use.

60,000 damage! That's even better than Zodiark's final attack, although you do 
have to spend some time using Knots of Rust and Devour Soul on other enemies to 
build up eventual Soul Purge damage. Make sure when you build up using Devour 
Soul, you Dismiss Shemhazai before she uses Soul Purge, because once she does 
it, she resets Soul Purge damage to 0!

Note: Knots of Rust can be obtained from most chests in the game with Diamond 
Armlet equipped. Alternatively, you could buy each from the Clan Shop for 6 gil 
a piece, but you must have already reached a high Clan Rank (32 Marks
completed).

__________
Cuchulainn

Cuchulainn is probably the least strategic Esper to use and hence the easiest, 
but that also makes him suitably effective in many situations.

Remember Opal Ring when you start buffing! Not that you need to buff too much 
though; Cuchulainn is the first of the Espers who appear already with a 
plethora of good buffs. Otherwise Cuchulainn is very self-sufficient because he 
can use Curaja or Malaise, a HP-absorbing damage spell.

Cuchulainn does not have spectacular damage output like the SEZ, but he has 
consistency and no elemental affinity, making his attacks very reliable and 
unaffected by enemy elements. Also, Cuchulainn is the only Esper who uses 
-physical- attacks most of the time. He can counter attacks sometimes, and
notice how he tries all the time to keep his HP full - that's because he has HP 
Full Attack Up, which allows him to enjoy a x1.2 multiplier to his existing 
attack power (of 83) if his HP is at 100%.

______
Exodus

Like Shemhazai, Exodus' normal attacks are crappily random (any number from 0 
to his Max HP), but his final attack Meteor just plain rocks if you are lucky, 
and only if you are lucky. Problem is how difficult it is to trigger. 
Personally I stand a distance from my target, summon Exodus, Immobilize him, 
wait till time is almost up, and pull a Mark/rare game to him to trigger his 
final attack. This obviously doesn't work for bosses. In these cases I'd summon 
Exodus before the fight and wait till the time's almost up before entering, and 
then immediately cast Immobilize when Exodus is in range within the boss. 
Thankfully, Immobilize always sticks on Exodus (or so has my testing shown - 
ten out of ten times, Immobilize sticks). Among the SEZ (Shemhazai, Exodus and 
Zeromus) tripartite, Exodus' Meteor is my least favourite, because it does the 
least damage at 30,000, and though it is the safest and least troublesome to 
get, it also depends on luck.

Other than Meteor, I don't really see any other use for summoning specific to 
Exodus.

_______
Hashmal

Hashmal is the first of the two Espers that deal with the coveted elements; in 
this case he wields control over earth. You now finally have a way to target 
earth-weak enemies. Note however that Hashmal isn't particularly the most 
efficient way to fight monsters using Earth magick - the Float spell is! 
Nevertheless Hashmal still absorbs Earth-based attacks that penetrates Float.
Overall however, Hashmal isn't a very valuable Esper because he is obtained so
late in the game, where the other non lvl 1 Espers easily surpass him in
usefulness.

Hashmal's final attack is triggered when the summoner's HP < 10% (note: HP must
be below 10%, being critical isn't enough) - just bust him out whenever your
character reaches really low HP, and Hashmal will use Gaia's Wrath
straightaway. It is not a skill you -plan- to use, but a skill that may save
your life when you actually use it.

_______
Zeromus

Zeromus is the last of the SEZ (Shemhazai, Exodus and Zeromus) tripartite with 
devastating final attacks. Out of the three, Big Bang's damage is in the 
middle, and while it is the riskiest to pull off, it is also easy and 
convenient.

Let's revisit the formulae for Zeromus' two attacks:

Gravity Well does damage of (Zeromus' Max HP - Zeromus' current HP) x 2. 
Big Bang does damage of (Zeromus' Max HP - Zeromus' current HP) x 5. It does 
not have a damage cap.

Bubble is probably the biggest your strongest asset here. Bubble practically 
doubles the offensive power (in addition to its defensive capacity) of your 
Esper. Gravity Well can easily hit 15,000 per hit at lvl 50+.

The biggest problem with Gravity Well is that Zeromus needs to be under 
constantly low HP in order to consistently deal high damage. That puts him AND 
your strategy at risk, because once Zeromus KOs, byebye time and MP spent. In 
tight boss battles, the summoner cannot simply leave Zeromus hanging on low HP, 
because Espers generally do not survive long against bosses and tough enemies 
by themselves.

Personally I pay all my attention to Big Bang. I use Zeromus mostly as a 
boss/Mark/rare game battle starter (though I use Shemhazai instead if the 
battle is -really- going to be nasty). I simply summon Zeromus, buff and Bubble 
him, hit him till his HP drops into sufficiently low levels, then enter the 
boss fight when the summon time is about to expire. Zeromus would then open the
fight with a grandiose Big Bang...

That's if the boss does not start the fight with a god-damn mega area effect 
spell that can fell Zeromus in one hit! Some bosses (like Chaos) like to do 
that; be careful if you face such opponents. In such cases I usually opt to use 
Shemhazai or Zodiark to open the fight instead.

_______
Famfrit

Finally eh, the lvl 3 Espers? Famfrit is a big jump in both power and price - 
he uses 3 Mist Cartridges. It is already very troublesome to completely fill 
your summoner's MP (I often resort to Syphoning MP from my allies); it is also 
bad that the summoner starts off with 0 MP, because the lvl 3 Esper has to 
start the first few seconds of the fight unbuffed. The summoner has to Charge 
and then Syphon MP from the Esper before he finally is able to unleash his 
buffs.

Costs aside, Famfrit is a sturdy Esper especially effective against enemies 
weak to water. The only other water-elemental attacks at your disposal are the 
Gun + Aqua Shot combo, whose use is very situational, and the Handy Bomb + 
Water Bombs combo, whose damage is random as hell. Noteable bosses weak to 
water are Fury and the Bangaa gang. Besides his power over water and water-
absorbing features, there is no other special use for Famfrit because the
other three lvl 3 Espers are generally more powerful. Also note that water-
elemental magic spells suffer damage reductions during certain weather
conditions like snow, sandstorms and windy (refer to Calculations section for
specifics).

_____
Chaos

Chaos is an extremely versatile Esper because he can target weaknesses to SIX
elements - everything besides Earth (that's for Hashmal) and Water (that's for
Famfrit). That however isn't a very big deal seeing that your own characters
already have the spells he has - Chaos' main strength is his overall resilience
and constant high damage attacks, just like Famfrit but stronger and wind-
elemental.

Remember Opal Ring when buffing Chaos. When the enemy does not have an
elemental weakness, or is weak to water and/or earth, Chaos actually becomes
terrible - he uses Whirlwind, which damages an enemy based on half its Max HP,
capped at 9999. Probably one of the most annoying Esper skills you have,
Whirlwind does not work on enemies with the Safety feature (just like Kill, so
it doesn't work on all bosses, undead, Marks, rare game, so NEVER summon Chaos
during these fights as he'd just spam Whirlwind to no effect), and when you
summon an Esper to fight normal enemies, one-shot kills are what you should aim 
for.

______
Ultima

Ultima shares the strengths and weaknesses of the Famfrit-Chaos-Ultima
trimurti. Her stats are excellent and her HP is the highest among all the
Espers. At the same time, she cannot exceed 9999 in damage, but despite this 
Ultima is in a class on her own because her magic attacks have no charge
times!

Remember Opal Ring when buffing Ultima; another of her strengths is that she
starts off already with very good buffs, reducing the time you waste to buff
her. However, she has probably the worst final attack in the game because it is
-that- difficult to trigger (both the summoner and herself must be under
critical condition) and it does not even exceed 9999. Ultima's true strength
lies in her regular battling.

_______
Zodiark

After the many individual shortcomings of the lvl 3 Espers, it is nice to
receive Zodiark, the ultimate Esper because unlike the Famfrit-Chaos-Ultima
group, his final attack actually exceeds 9999 and deals a constant 50,000
damage, on top of having no charge time. Compare this damage to Quickenings
(which use up all three characters' MP), and combine with how easy Final
Eclipse is triggered with a Break spell; once you obtain Zodiark, you almost
have no reason to use Quickenings (unless the Zodiark summoner is dead of
course). Note: Zodiark uses Final Eclipse the moment you get the "countdown"
Break status. In other words, you do not need for the counter to reach 0 for
Final Eclipse to appear. Final Eclipse is really that cheap and easy to get.

Besides Final Eclipse, Zodiark (like Ultima) is a great regular fighter because
his magic attacks have no charge times! This certainly offsets the shortcoming
that his regular attacks cannot exceed 9999 damage. On another note, Zodiark
uses dark-elemental attacks, and unfortunately many end-game enemies are
strong against dark. Also, Zodiark is not immune to six elements, unlike many
of the other Espers.

_____________
Esper Ranking

I am ranking the Espers based on their overall usefulness, a combination of
utility and cost, DURING END GAME. This list is purely subjective and it would
be great to receive alternative opinions from you. From most useful to least
useful:

01) Zodiark (excellent fighter, easy and strong final attack)
02) Zeromus (final attack is easy and strong in controlled fights)
03) Shemhazai (final attack is very troublesome but easy and strong)
04) Zalera (best to Syphon MP, susceptible to all elements, good final attack)
05) Ultima (excellent fighter with holy-element, weakness of many enemies)
06) Chaos (strong and versatile fighter against element-weak enemies only)
07) Famfrit (strong fighter with water; there are no other good water attacks)
08) Cuchulainn (strong fighter with the best survivability solo)
09) Hashmal (good fighter with earth; there are no other good earth attacks)
10) Exodus (final attack is easy and strong but needs luck)
11) Adrammelech (too weak end game to do anything)
12) Mateus (too weak end game to do anything)
13) Belias (too weak end game to do anything)

Let me remind you this ranking is based on end game use, because Espers like
Belias are very useful earlier on. Note that the three Espers that start with Z
are the top-ranked among their respective Espers lvls.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tactics by enemy                                                        [TTENM]
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I am striving to describe as many boss/Mark/rare game battles as possible where
using Espers is a great alternative. Note that I am only writing stuff tested
and verified by either myself or other players, so this is certainly not
complete and will be updated again and again in time to come. Also, some of the
above tactics are great to use at -any- battle regardless of whether they are
listed here: pure deathblow, mass-damage prevention, MP Syphoning, lucky
distraction and solo battling.

______
Bosses

Vossler:
I got this one from various GameFAQs Boards members; Belias is effective
against Vossler. I've never tried it though, and will do so on my next
playthrough.

Elder Wyrm:
This infamous story boss uses a mass-effect status afflicting skill which is
instant-cast (need to verify). Belias, probably your only Esper at this point,
has been proven again and again to be an excellent choice because he is immune
to status effects and his damage + survivability is good against the boss.

King Bomb:
King Bomb is the famous boss in Salikawood that needs to be beaten in order to
enter the Necrohol of Nabudis. A well-known "cheat" in the game is to obtain
the Zodiac Spear much earlier than before (it is obtainable after Tomb of
Raithwall), but you'd need to pass through King Bomb. Courtesy of Berserker's
FAQ/Walkthrough: At lower levels, Belias is very effective against him and his
minions, because they use fire-based attacks to which Belias absorbs HP from,
while Belias himself simply uses normal attacks. Of course, Belias' final
attack is fire-based, so make sure he does not get to cast it in the fight.

Rafflesia:
The Rafflesia fight is an awesome battle to use Espers with. It has a highly
annoying MP sap effect which leaves little room for curing, and very
dangerously, it spends its time using all sorts of horrible status effects to
which Espers are immune to. Rafflesia is weak to wind, and if you have Chaos
(players usually don't have Chaos at this point in the game, but maybe you do),
be sure to summon him. Since Chaos automatically uses Aeroga, he'd immediately
decimate any Malboro minions that spawn (Malboros are weak to wind too).

Hydro:
Hydro is a standard brawler monster whose status effect spells are at best
annoying, but it uses Fearga, a mass-effect spell that depletes all of your
characters MP. Because Fearga is almost instantaneous, you'd have to depend on
some luck to summon an Esper to absorb the skill before Hydro casts it.

_____
Marks

White Mousse:
Courtesy of Berserker's FAQ/Walkthrough. At lower HP, White Mousse spams
Waterga, Waterga and Waterga, which may inundate your party. Any Esper immune
to water would do the trick.

Ring Wyrm:
Courtesy of Berserker's FAQ/Walkthrough. Ring Wyrm often uses Immobilizega.
Also, he is weak to fire BUT likes to use fire-elemental breath attacks.
Belias!

Vyraal:
Decently powerful and likes to use the single-hit fire-elemental Fireball which
can be quite significant. Espers are quite useful here.

Ba'Gamnan + Bangaa gang:
Ba'Gamnan and his cronies love to use all sorts of elemental magick attacks to
which Espers are immune to. Because they are weak to the elusive water, Famfrit
is a great choice here as his attacks reach 9999 easily even at low levels.

Wild Malboro:
VeryHighPenguin recommends Espers here, and so do I. For a non-overpowered
party the Mark's normal attacks themselves pose a real danger, plus his various
status-inflicting Breath attacks only serve to excarbate the situation. My
low-leveled party was unable to tackle him themselves, but with Chaos and
Shemhazai's Soul Purge the Mark fell quickly.

_________
Rare game

Tower:
Tower spams area elemental spells like Fira and Thundaga so often, so a
suitable Esper easily spends the fight immune to most of his damage. Tower is
weak to dark, but because Zodiark is not immune to elements, Chaos is your next
safest bet.

Glaring Eye:
Glaring Eye is the PERFECT Esper enemy. He casts all sorts of potent status
spells on you most of the time; summon your Esper and let him/her whack this
Necrophobe to oblivion while you suffer the debilitating effects of his Sleep
and Doom touches. Your Esper is immune to any of the status spells. More likely
than not your Esper would have defeated him before your Doom count finishes.


===============================================================================
ACQUIRING ESPERS                                                        [ACESP]
===============================================================================

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Quest walkthroughs                                                      [QSTWT]
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

______
Belias

Obtained during main playthrough.

______
Mateus

Obtained during main playthrough.

___________
Adrammelech

Obtainable after the completion of all Tomb of Raithwall events. Probably the
fastest way is Rabanastre west exit to Dalmasca Westersand Galtea Downs, west
exit to The Midfault, south exit to Shimmering Horizons, south-west exit to
Zertinan Caverns Invitation to Heresy, south-west exit to Sandfalls, south exit
to Hourglass Basin, and west exit to Athroza Quicksands, where Adrammelech
resides. Note: the nearest Save Crystal is in The Undershore map, south of the
Hourglass Basin map.

______
Zalera

Obtainable after the completion of all Tomb of Raithwall events. Hunts to have
completed:

- Dalmasca's Desert Bloom (Petitioner: Dantro, Dalmasca Estersand, Outpost.
   Mark: Flowering Cactoid, Dalmasca Estersand, northern Yardang Labyrinth.)
- Marauder in the Mines (Petitioner: Aekom, Bhujerba, Lhusu Square. Mark:
   Nidhogg, fork in Transitway 1.) OPTIONAL.

Returning the ferry to operation: Speak to Dantro after the Dalmasca's Desert
Bloom Hunt to obtain the Cactus Flower. Bring this to Dantro's Wife in Dalmasca
Estersand, South Bank Village. Speak to Tchigri in South Bank Village, ride the
boat to the North Bank Village and speak to Ruksel. The party automatically
returns to South Bank Village. Speak to Dantro's Wife and then check the ground
behind her marked "Dran?". Finally, return to Tchigri.

Unlocking Barheim Passage: Speak to Dantro's wife again. Look for Mysterious
Glints on the coastline to pick up Semclam Shells; two are found along the
river in the South Bank Village map, three are found along the river in the
Banks of the Nebra map. Return to Dantro's Wife, then return to Dantro in the
Outpost map. Look for two Small Phials hidden among the supplies in the map.
Return to his wife. Cross the river with the ferry and travel northwards into
the Broken Sands map to check three flowering trees for Drops of Valeblossom
Dew. Return to Dantro's Wife, who asks for a Great Serpentskin, a reward from
the Marauder of the Mines Hunt. Note: If you sold the Great Serpentskin away,
you can still complete the sidequest; you would merely receive an inferior
reward later. Finally, speak to Dantro's Wife, and speak to the Recovering
Traveler behind the house, who rewards the party with the Barheim Key and
other gifts.

Finding Zalera: The entrance is located at Murmuring Defile, a map south-east
of the Banks of the Nebra map. Step into Barheim Passage, The Zeviah Subterrane
and travel north into Great Central Passage, and north again into the North-
South Junction to find a new Teleport Crystal. Return to the Great Central
Passageway, north-east exit to East-West Bypass, west exit to The Zeviah Span,
south exit to West Annex, west exit to Terminus No. 7 Adjunct to find a Save
Crystal, and finally west exit to Terminus No. 7 where Zalera resides. The
journey is plagued by difficult lvl 40+ undeads. Note: Defeating Zalera allows
you to pass through the west exit of the map, leading you to the Garamsythe
Waterway.

_________
Shemhazai

Obtained during main playthrough.

__________
Cuchulainn

Obtainable after the completion of all Tomb of Raithwall events. Hunts to have
completed:

- Waterway Haunting (Petitioner: Milha, Rabanstre Lowtown, North Sprawl. Mark:
   Wraith, Garamsythe Waterway, Overflow Cloaca.)
- Lost in the Pudding (Petitioner: Sorbet, Rabanastre, Westgate. Mark: White
   Mousse, Garamsythe Waterway, West Sluice Control.)

Completing the second Hunt nets you the Sluice Gate Key. From Lowtown, enter
Garamsythe Waterway, Overflow Cloaca and south exit to Central Waterway
Control. Close the No. 3 and No. 10 controls. South-west exit to No. 3 Cloaca
Spur and activate the No. 1 South Waterway Control south-west of the map.
Return to the Central Waterway Control and open No. 3 and No. 10 before closing
the No. 4 and No. 11 controls. South-east exit to No. 4 Cloaca Spur and
activate the No. 1 North Waterway Control south-east of the map. Return to the
Central Waterway Control and close No. 3 before opening No. 11. South exit to
No. 1 Cloaca and find Cuchulainn south of the map.

______
Exodus

Obtainable after the Salikawood Gate is fixed. In the south portion of Babbling
Vale, Mosphoran Highwaste, activate the Shrine of the South Wind. North-east
exit to Rays of Ashen Light and feed the stray Chocobo a Gysahl Green. Ride the
chocobo and exit south to the Empyrean Way, riding west over a floating weed
near the map entrance. Ride past the Empyrean Way over a grassy stretch only
Chocobos can pass through, west exit to Skyreach Ridge. Alight from Chocobo and
west exit to Babbling Vale, activate the Shrine of the West Wind, hit the
Weathered Rock to gain access to the main Babbling Vale area, and activate the
Shrine of the Northwest Wind. Return to Skyreach Ridge and north-east exit to
find Exodus in Empyrean Seat.

_______
Hashmal

Obtained during main playthrough.

_______
Zeromus

Obtainable after the defeat of the Judge in Mt. Bur-Omisace. Talk to the Nu Mou
Acolyte in Mt. Bur-Omisace, Temple Grounds (at the base of the stairs leading
to the Hall of the Light) to obtain the Stone of the Condemner. Return to the
Stilshrine of Miriam; at the end of the Ward of Measure, use the Stone of the
Condemner with the Way Stone to get transported into the Throne of Veiled Gods.

_______
Famfrit

Obtained during main playthrough.

_____
Chaos

Obtainable after visiting Archades. Hunts to have completed:

- Waterway Haunting (Petitioner: Milha, Rabanstre Lowtown, North Sprawl. Mark:
   Wraith, Garamsythe Waterway, Overflow Cloaca.)
- Lost in the Pudding (Petitioner: Sorbet, Rabanastre, Westgate. Mark: White
   Mousse, Garamsythe Waterway, West Sluice Control.)
- Crime and Punishment (Petitioner: Contrite Thief, Rabanastre Lowtown, North
   Sprawl. Mark: Orthros, Garamsythe Waterway, Southern Sluiceway, party must
   consist specifically of Fran, Ashe and Penelo, guests are fine.)

Speak to Roh'kenmou in Old Dalan's house in Rabanastre Lowtown. Enter the
residence in Lowtown, North Sprawl (involved in the Waterway Haunting Hunt) to
speak to Deeg. Read the Dusty Letter on the table. Speak to Deeg again and head
to Central Waterway Control in Garamsythe Waterway. Open all the controls to
turn off all the lights. With the Sluice Gate Key reward from the Lost in the
Pudding Hunt, close No. 11 control, then close No. 4 control, then open No. 11
control, then close No. 3 control, then open No. 4 control. Circle the map to
find a Shiny Object on the ground and pick up a Dull Fragment.

Return to Roh'kenmou and pass him the Dull Fragment. Also pass him the
Blackened Fragment, one of the rewards of the Crime and Punishment Hunt.

Speak to Roh'kenmou, and find Filo in the south-east portion of Rabanastre
Lowtown, South Sprawl. Find the Curious Woman by the fountain in Rabanastre,
Southern Plaza. Speak to a "Merchant" in Muthru Bazaar, then find the Sotted
Imperial inside Yugri's Magicks, East End. He demands you to speak to the
Curious Woman but she is no longer by the fountain, so find Kytes in northern
Lowtown, North Sprawl. Return to Filo in south-east Lowtown, South Sprawl to
find the Curious Woman. Return to the Sotted Imperial in Yugri's Magicks to
obtain the Grimy Fragment. Hand the Grimy Fragment to Roh'kenmou.

Speak to Roh'kenmu in Charlotte's Magickery, Archades, Molberry. Then find Otto
in the northern portion of Old Archades, Alley of Muted Sighs, to obtain the
Moonsilver Medallion. Hand the Moonsilver Medallion to Roh'kenmu.

To continue you must have access to Nabreus Deadlands and the Necrohol of
Nabudis by defeating the King Bomb. The path from here on is littered by
powerful monsters; you'd have a hard time beating Chaos if you are unable to
survive these monsters at this point. From the Salikawood, enter the Nabreus
Deadlands, Greencrag and north exit to The Muted Scarp to find Ma'kleou just
north of the save crystal. East exit to Vale of Lingering Sorrow, north exit to
Hope's Reach, east exit to The Slumbermead. There is a hidden path north-west
of this map which leads to The Fog Mutters, and west exit to Overlooking
Eternity. Reach the shrine and talk to the Nu Mou to obtain the Medallion of
Bravery, Medallion of Love and the Lusterless Medallion.

To reach the Necrohol of Nabudis, north-east exit from The Slumbermead to Succor
Midst Sorrow, north exit to Lifeless Strand, east exit to Field of the Fallen
Lord to Necrohol of Nabudis. From Hall of Slumbering Might south-east exit to
Hall of the Ivory Covenant. Use the Medallion of Love on the Door of Loathing
to enter Cloister of Reason and face Fury, a water-weak boss with 69710 HP. Fury
is a powerful melee-attacker that keeps on getting itself Berserked.

South exit from the Hall of the Ivory Covenant to Cloister of the Highborn.
South-west exit to Cloister of Distant Song and use the Medallion of Bravery
on the Door of Horrors to enter Cloister of Solace and face Humbaba Mistant, a
holy-weak boss with 314086 HP. Humbaba is also a powerful melee-attacker with
mass Immobilize and Disable skills.

You would obtain a map of the Necrohol and the Lusterless Medallion transforms
into the Medallion of Might. Save if you wish to (recommended!) and return to
the Cloister of the Highborn. Use the Medallion of Might on the Door of Despair
to enter The Crucible to face Chaos.

______
Ultima

Obtainable after the completion of all Giruvegan events. You will be travelling
through a deeper portion of The Great Crystal, where lvl 60+ enemies abound.

You should start at Way Stone VIII, the portal you reach after defeating Tyrant
in the storyline. Find the Scorpio Gate Stone and activate it, then return to
Way Stone VIII, turn right and use Way Stone IX.

From Way Stone X, travel to Way Stone XX and pass through it. Take either left
or right paths, both of which lead to the Sagittarius Gate Stone. Activate it
and return to Way Stone XX. Open Sagittarius Gate I and travel to Way Stone XI,
which transports you to Way Stone XIII.

Take the ascending path and activate the Gemini Gate Stone. Take the next
ascending path. Ignore Gemini Gate I and take the available path to Gemini Gate
II. Open it and take either available paths to eventually reach and use Way
Stone XV, which transports you to Way Stone XVI.

Take the center path to reach the Libra Gate Stone. Activate it and return to
Way Stone XVI; turn right and reach the next area to open Libra Gate I. The
next area has three exits; take the left path reach and use the Capricorn Gate
Stone. Return to the previous map, turn right and continue on to Way Stone XVI.
Travel straight ahead down the descending path to open Capricon Gate I and
activate the Virgo Gate Stone. Return to Way Stone XVI, turn right and pass the
Libra Gate Stone, take the left path, and in the next map unlock Virgo Gate I
to your right. Head to the next map and take the left path to reach and use
Way Stone XVII, which transports you to Way Stone XVIII.

Head to the next map and use the save crystal (recommended!). Take the center
path to reach Ultima.

_______
Zodiark

Obtainable after the completion of all Giruvegan events. You must have obtained
at least 10 Espers. Hunts to have completed:

- The Mine Flayer (Petitioner: Geomancer Yugelu, Jahara, Lull of the Land.
   Mark: Mindflayer, Henne Mines, Phase 1 Dig.)

Return to Geomancer Yugelu at the north portion of Jahara, Lull of the Land.
Teleport to the Henne Crystal, north exit to Ore Seperation, and east exit to a
whole new area where enemies are in their high 60s and many players are known
to have been wiped before even reaching Zodiark.

You'd find yourself in Phase 2 Dig. Find the Henne Candle in the north-east
portion of the map. South-east exit to Crossover C, south exit to Phase 2
Shaft, east exit to Special Charter Shaft and finally north-west exit to
Special Charter Dig to find your last and ultimate Esper, Zodiark.

Many posters claim that the journey to Zodiark is harder than the Zodiark
battle itself. Seeing how I got wiped twice by Etems and Necrophobes deep in
the Henne Mines to find him, I'm not surprised. There is no crystal near the
boss, so be careful on your way back after your fight!

Good luck!


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Boss battles                                                            [BOSBT]
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

______
Belias

Tomb of Raithwall, Cloister of Flame

Absorbs fire.
Weak to water.
Halves damage received from the other six elements.

Drops: None
Steal (often,medium,rare): Aries Gem, Ether, High Arcana

Lvl 20, HP: 15943, LP awarded: 15

Actions:
Attack - As usual.
Fira - Standard mass-damage fire-elemental spell.
Firaja - Mass-damage fire-elemental spell with 35% to inflict Oil.
Greater Barrier - Places both Protect and Shell on himself. Also, his 
   subsequent damage received is reduced.
????? name - Used on himself so his attacks gain in strength but take away his
   own HP.

Notable passives:
Increases Magick Power when HP Critical.

Boss' HP < 50% --- Belias can penetrate all evasion.
Boss' HP < 50% --- Belias' normal attack power strengthens.
Boss' HP < 20% --- Belias' magic attacks no longer have charge times.

Protect/Shell everyone. Bring Handkerchieves; having Oil on you -triples- any
subsequent fire damage done on you. Your guest character is probably a major
offensive power, so keep him alive. It's quite a standard fight; take it as
practice.


______
Mateus

Stilshrine of Miriam, Hall of Worth

Absorbs ice.
Weak to thunder.
Halves damage received from the other six elements.

Drops: None
Steal (often,medium,rare): Pisces Gem, Ether, High Arcana

Lvl 30, HP: 34259, LP awarded: 27

Actions:
Attack - As usual.
Reflect - Places Reflect.
Slow - Inflicts Slow.
Flash-Freeze - Standard single-damage ice-elemental spell.
Blizzaja - Mass-damage ice-elemental spell with 35% to inflict Sap.
Chain Magick - Used on self, so magic attacks no longer have charge times.

Notable passives:
Increases Magick Power when HP Critical.
Evasion +25.

Boss' HP < 50% --- Mateus' normal attack power strengthens.
Boss' HP < 20% --- Mateus' normal attacks no longer have charge times.

Mateus starts off the fight with Ice Azer minions. Thundara is risky because
Mateus has Reflect! Either Thundara the Azers when Mateus is far away, or just
don't risk it at all. Concentrate on one Azer at a time; they won't respawn.
Ice Shields work well against Flash-Freeze and Blizzaja. As usual, Mateus
becomes stronger towards the end when both her physical and magical attacks get
their charge times removed.


___________
Adrammelech

Zertinan Caverns, Athroza Quicksands

Absorbs thunder.
Weak to ice.
Immune to damage received from the other six elements.

Drops: None
Steal (often,medium,rare): Pebble, Capricorn Gem, High Arcana

Lvl 39, HP: 39630, LP awarded: 42

Actions:
Attack - 4% to inflict Sap.
Bleed - Inflicts Sap.
Flash Arc - Standard single-damage thunder-elemental spell.
Thundara - Standard mass-damage thunder-elemental spell.
Thundaja - Mass-damage thunder-elemental spell with 35% to inflict Stop.
Perfect Defense - Used on self to become immune to all damage.

Notable passives:
Increases Attack Power when HP Critical.
Increases Magick Power when HP Critical.

Boss' HP < 50% --- Adrammelech's normal attack power strengthens.
Boss' HP < 50% --- Adrammelech's damage received is reduced.
Boss' HP < 10% --- Adrammelech's magical attacks no longer have charge times.

The fights really get weirder. Adrammelech flies so melee weapons are almost
useless. Shambling Corpses CONSTANTLY respawn, that's tough! I'd prioritize
Shell over Protect because both boss AND minions love using magick attacks. The
best bet is Blizzara, since it both hits the flying Adrammelech's weakness and
the dumb zombies. In fact, my party had two offensive Blizzara casters and one
tank/healer.

An Esper could be useful here if you have a gut feeling that Adrammelech is
about to use Thundaja, because its Stop affliction is terrible! Note that the
various Esper -ja spells have near-instantaneous cast times, so the -summon-
Esper-as-boss-is-casting tactic doesn't work. Towards the end Adrammelech uses
Perfect Defense, a good time for you to heal up your characters and destroy the
annoying zombies.

This also happens to be the famous High Arcana battle. If you Steal something
off Adrammelech and flee from the room, returning into it allows you to steal
another item off him again. Although High Arcana is a rare steal, with the
nearby Save Crystal in The Undershore you won't take too long to steal four
High Arcana (six are needed for the Tournesol weapon but two are given to you
by Montblanc).

Heamaxwell reminds that the Shambling Corpses continue spawning even after the
Esper's defeat, so if you were running low on health, run away as quickly as
possible!

Connan also mentions that Stop and Disable work on Shambling Corpses.


______
Zalera

Barheim Passage, Terminus No. 7

Immune to damage received from all eight elements.

Drops: None
Steal (often,medium,rare): Pebble, Gemini Gem, High Arcana

Lvl 40, HP: 72248, LP awarded: 40

Actions:
Attack - 4% to inflict Confuse.
Stop - Inflicts Stop.
Sleepga - Inflicts Sleep to an area.
Death - Instantly kills a character, 35% rate (according to Ultimania).
Lvl 2 Sleep - Inflicts Sleep on all characters with levels divisible by 2.
Lvl 3 Disable - Inflicts Disable on all characters with levels divisible by 3.
Lvl 4 Break - Inflicts Break on all characters with levels divisible by 4.
Lvl 5 Reverse - Inflicts Reverse on all characters with levels divisible by 5.
Prime Lvl Death - Instantly kills all characters with prime number levels.
Kill - Instantly kills a character, 100% rate.
Enrage - Used on self, so normal attacks no longer have charge times.
Purify - Used on self to dispel negative status effects.

Notable passives:
Increases Magick Power when HP Critical.
Increases Defense when HP Critical.
Item effects reversed.

Zalera can penetrate all evasion at one point, but it is unclear right now how.
Zalera can eliminate charge times for magical attacks, but is also unclear how.

This is translated entirely from Battle Ultimania and my Japanese isn't the
best, so I am not 100% certain of the translation accuracy: Zalera enters the
fight with Defense Mode, granting him Defense and Magick Defense +80. However
Mist Quickenings and Cure/Cura/Curaga/Curaja can damage Zalera normally.
Defense Mode disappears only if ALL his Dead Bones minions are defeated. Zalera
will also enter Level Mode, which makes him use the various Level spells.
Finally, Zalera has Kill Mode, where he spams Kill. Zalera's HP < 20%, he stops
all Modes.

The fight has a 5 minute limit, which upon expiration forces your party out and
you'd have to fight from scratch. Zalera is undead, so Curas and Curagas damage
him. Curas and Curagas are actually excellent alternatives because Zalera is
immune to elemental Black Magick, and more importantly, whenever a (respawning)
Dead Bone is in the battlefield (during Defense Mode), Zalera gets Defense +80,
which makes physical damage on him peanuts. Incidentally Zalera is the most
harmless during Defense Mode.

When all Dead Bones are gone Zalera's Defense Mode disappears uses Enrage,
and here he may also use Stop, Sleepga and Death. When he activates Level Mode
the fight becomes predictable but deadly because he casts ALL the Lvl spells.
Know how to heal from Sleep, Disable, Break, Reverse and have Phoenix Downs or
Raise ready. The only reasonable level that will not be affected by any of the
attacks above is 49. Once Level Mode disappears Zalera uses Purify, which
purges himself of negative status effects.

Finally, during Kill Mode, Zalera unleashes a barrage of Kill spells, sure-
death attacks you cannot avoid. You might think Zalera is finally harmless when
HP < 20% because all his Modes are off, but he still persists with Stops,
Sleepgas, Deaths, Lvl spells and Kills.

Aditya Saputra has suggested using Axes or a similar mad-random damage weapon
to handle Zalera during Defense Mode. When the damage is high, it is able to
break Zalera's insane Defense, whilst when the damage is low, it is unable to
do so. I think it's quite a useful idea indeed if your available characters are
better melee attackers than magick users. Note: I have yet to test this idea
myself.


_________
Shemhazai

Giruvegan, Gate of Wind

Elemental affinities switch during the fight.

Drops: None
Steal (often,medium,rare): Sagittarius Gem, Hi-Ether, High Arcana

Lvl 45, HP: 91136, LP awarded: 47

Actions:
Attack - 5% to inflict Virus, 20% Critical Hit.
Silencega - Inflicts Silence to an area.
Syphon - Absorbs MP.
Shock - Standard single-damage non-elemental spell.
Scourge - Mass-damage non-elemental spell which damages and inflicts Sap.
Flare - Stronger single-damage non-elemental spell.
Enrage - Used on self, so normal attacks no longer have charge times.
Mana Spring - Used on self, so spells no longer cost MP.
Chain Magick - Used on self, so magic attacks no longer have charge times.

Notable passives:
Increases Attack Power when HP Critical.
Increases Defense when HP Critical.
Elemental weakness switches when hit with the element.

Boss' HP < 60% --- Shemhazai's damage received is reduced.

Chances are your level would have been high enough to make this fight a walk in
the park, but anyways Dispel her Haste. Shemhazai switches elemental
affinities, so elemental magic and Espers are risky to use. When her HP is low
she uses Chain Magick, which allows her to cast spells without a charge time.
That's painful if the fight isn't going that well in the first place. If your
characters aren't Bubbled or Shelled, her Flare and Shock spells may just one-
shot you, so be careful. Silencega is bad if it's cast with Chain Magick
because you cannot summon an Esper to absorb it. Disease is deadly and must be
Cleansed/Vaccined as soon as possible, and anyone near or far can be hit with
the affliction because Shemhazai's normal attacks are ranged.


__________
Cuchulainn

Garamsythe Waterway, No. 1 Cloaca

Halves damage received from all eight elements.

Drops: None
Steal (often,medium,rare): Scorpio Gem, Elixir, High Arcana

Lvl 45, HP: 126165, LP awarded: 50

Actions:
Attack - 4% to inflict Poison.
Slowga - Inflicts Slow to an area.
Immobilize - Inflicts Immobilize to an area.
Disable - Inflicts Disable to an area.
Toxic - Inflicts Poison to an area.
Invert - Target's HP and MP values switch.
Bio - Deals damage over an area and inflicts Sap.
Malaise - Absorbs HP.
Mana Spring - Used on self, so spells no longer cost MP.

Notable passives:
Increases Attack Power when HP Critical.
Increases Magick Power when HP Critical.
Increases Defense when HP Critical.
Gun and Measure damage is reduced to 1/8.

Boss' HP < 50% --- Cuchulainn's damage received is reduced.
Boss' HP < 50% --- Cuchulainn's normal attack power strengthens.

Cuchulainn starts with a lot of buffs, so Dispel them. The HP Sap effect in
this battle is actually significant and undispellable, so leaving one character
to spam Cura is a safe bet. Despite the deluge of status effect spells, Espers
are not a good choice here because there are respawning Foobars (easily
dispatched with Fira). Invert is deadly because of the HP Sap effect. The worst
status effect above is Disable, which thankfully can be prevented by Black
Belts. Besides the HP Sap (Cura), Foobars (Fira) and status effects (Esuna/
Haste), the fight is straightforward BUT one of the most difficult Esper
battles if done within levels.


______
Exodus

Mosphoran Highwaste, Empyrean Seat

Halves damage received from all eight elements.

Drops: None
Steal (often,medium,rare): Libra Gem, Elixir, High Arcana

Lvl 46, HP: 119060, LP awarded: 52

Actions:
Attack - 4% to inflict Stop.
Reflect - Places Reflect.
Flare - Strong single-damage non-elemental spell.
Scathe - Strong area non-elemental spell.
Unleash - Used on self, so magic attacks no longer have cast times or cost MP.

Notable passives:
Increases Defense when HP Critical.

Boss' HP < 20% --- Exodus' normal attacks no longer have charge times.
Boss' HP < 20% --- Exodus becomes immune to physical damage.

A straightforward boss but instead of using melee attacks, Exodus Reflects
himself and spams terrible non-elemental spells Flare and Scathe. Both are
big-hitters and must be paid much attention to! Dispelling him makes him recast
Reflect on himself, distracting him from his usual Flare/Scathe formula.
Because Exodus casts the spells on -himself-, Reflecting your own characters
does not work. Physical attacks are your best bet here, or if you have some
powerful spells, use them with Opal Ring. Reflecting your characters and
casting spells on them isn't the best idea because you can't use Cures. Why not
items then?...

Because items are sealed in this fight. Many of you probably don't care, but
fans of the Pheasant Netsuke + Phoenix Down combo have to turn to Curas and
Curagas. Unfortunately Exodus becomes immune to physical damage when his HP is
low, so either Opal Ring + spells, or just wait for the Paling to disappear
while rebuffing everybody.


_______
Hashmal

Pharos at Ridorana, Third Ascent / Heaven's Challenge

Absorbs earth.
Weak to wind.
Immune to damage from the other six elements.

Drops: None
Steal (often,medium,rare): Leo Gem, Hi-Ether, High Arcana

Lvl 50, HP: 209060, LP awarded: 52

Actions:
Attack - 4% to inflict Disease.
Haste - Places Haste.
Protect - Places Protect.
Roxxor - Standard single-damage earth-elemental spell.
Quakeja - Mass-damage earth-elemental spell with 35% to inflict Slow
Perfect Defense - Used on self to become immune to all damage.

Notable passives:
Increases Attack Power when HP Critical.
Increases Magick Power when HP Critical.
Counters attacks with increased counter rate.

Boss' HP < 50% --- Hashmal's normal attack power strengthens.
Boss' HP < 50% --- Hashmal's spells no longer cost MP.

Dispel Hashmal's buffs and Float all of your characters so Hashmal's earth-
elemental spells become useless on you. Once again you have a powerful guest
character to help you out. Hashmal is straightforward (though reasonably
powerful) so take it easy. When Hashmal becomes immune to any damage for a
while, take the chance to heal and rebuff everyone (or even prepare for an
Esper final attack, like Exodus').


_______
Zeromus

Stilshrine of Miriam, Throne of Veiled Gods

Halves damage received from all eight elements.

Drops: None
Steal (often,medium,rare): Cancer Gem, Elixir, High Arcana

Lvl 51, HP: 166888, LP awarded: 55

Actions:
Attack - 4% to inflict Stop.
Hastega - Places Haste to an area.
Slowga - Inflicts Slow to an area.
Stop - Inflicts Stop to an area.
Gravity - Deals to an area damage of a quarter the target's Max HP, 70% rate.
Piercing Graviga - Deals to an area damage of half the target's Max HP.
Greater Barrier - Places both Protect and Shell on himself. Also, his
   subsequent damage received is reduced.

Notable passives:
Increases Magick Power when HP Critical.
Evasion +25.

Boss' HP < 20% --- Zeromus' normal attacks no longer have charge times.
Boss' HP < 20% --- Zeromus' magical attacks no longer have charge times.

A very difficult fight. Magicks are sealed, so goodbye to healing magick and
Dispel - Zeromus has Reflect, Protect, Shell and may have Regen. Everyone knows
how pathetic Hi-Potions and even X-Potions are, but if you didn't know this by
now, know it: If a character has all Phoenix Down Lores licensed and equips a
Pheasant Netsuke, his/her Phoenix Downs revive your allies to FULL life. Thus
instead of using X-Potions or even Elixirs, it'd be better to wait for your
characters to die before reviving them. The downside to this tactic is the
continual loss of your favourite buffs on your characters.

An Exodus/Shemhazai final attack is a great way to start the battle. Piercing
Graviga is the big nightmare, as unlike Gravity spells from previous Final
Fantasies, it deals damage based on 1/2 of your -Max- HP to an area and is
capable of killing you. Zeromus' fist itself is powerful, with 10% chance of
comboing up to three times. To make matters worse the respawning Dark Lords
join the fray. Because your MP is of no use, Quickenings are the way to go,
especially in dealing with the minions (make sure to defeat any Dark Lord which
spawns, because their damages can add up). If you get hit by Slowga this is
probably a good time to use that Hastega Mote rotting in your inventory. Due to
Zeromus' elemental halving properties the best fight-starter would be Exodus'
30,000 Meteor or Shemhazai's Soul Purge (I am not 100% certain about whether
Esper magick attack commands are available here). Good luck for the fight; this
in my opinion is the second-hardest Esper fight after Zodiark's.

RexRagnell pointed out that it is possible to use Measures to buff your party
up. Thanks for the tip; I can't believe I actually didn't realize this.


_______
Famfrit

Pharos at Ridorana, Womb of the Sun-Cryst

Absorbs water.
Weak to fire.
Immune to damage from the other six elements.

Drops: None
Steal (often,medium,rare): Aquarius Gem, Elixir, High Arcana

Lvl 52, HP: 149060, LP awarded: 52

Actions:
Attack - 4% to inflict Silence.
Briny Cannonade - Standard single-damage water-elemental spell.
Waterja - Mass-damage water-elemental spell with 35% to inflict Silence.

Notable passives:
Increases Attack Power when HP Critical.
Counters attacks with increased counter rate.

Boss' HP < 50% --- Famfrit can penetrate all evasion. 
Boss' HP < 50% --- Famfrit's spells no longer cost MP.
Boss' HP < 50% --- Famfrit's damage received is reduced.

A unique Esper battle because Famfrit is accompanied by his summoner. The enemy
summoner is immune to any damage as long as Famfrit is alive, yet that cheater
still gets to perform actions! It's time to modify your gambits, because your
characters may keep on attacking that enemy summoner, and unfortunately Berserk
works against you here for the same reason. 

A combination of Famfrit + his summoner makes this fight significantly harder
than the previous Esper. The worst scenario is when the both of them unleash
their mega attacks (Waterja + something cyclotron) one after the other; it
happened to me and I almost wiped. Due to the battle nature you cannot start
the fight with a Zeromus/Shemhazai final attack. Famfrit himself only does
offensive attacks and nothing else, though that's not necessarily a good thing
- he has a 10% chance of comboing up to three times. Your guest character helps
as a powerful melee attacker though. The battle can be made reasonably IF you
know what to do; Oil + Firaga works very very well against Famfrit, and to
distract the enemy summoner, have one character constantly Dispelling Famfrit
so the enemy summoner keeps on rebuffing his Esper, wasting his own turns.


_____
Chaos

Necrohol of Nabudis, The Crucible

Absorbs wind.
Weak to earth.
Immune to damage from the other six elements.

Drops: None
Steal (often,medium,rare): Taurus Gem, Elixir, High Arcana

Lvl 57, HP: 208966, LP awarded: 50

Actions:
Attack - 4% to inflict Disable.
Fearga - Reduces the MP of targets in an area by 95% of the targets' Max MP.
Whirlwind - Single-damage spell that deals damage of target's Max HP X 0.5.
Aeroga - Standard mass-damage wind-elemental spell.
Aeroja - Mass-damage wind-elemental spell with 35% to inflict Confuse.
Enrage - Used on self, so normal attacks no longer have charge times.

Notable passives:
Increases Defense when HP Critical.

Boss' HP < 50% --- Chaos can penetrate all evasion. 
Boss' HP < 50% --- Chaos' normal attack power strengthens.

The Attack command is sealed in this fight; Zodiac Spear, Masamune, Tournesol;
whatever you have do not work! Of course, you could use Telekinesis if you have
it, though you no longer can Berserk a character and wait for him/her to do
wonders. Chaos starts the battle with Aeroga, so a low-HP Zeromus dies quickly;
instead, use Shemhazai's final attack to start the fight.

The Chaosjets do not respawn, so quicky finish them off. Chaos is immune to
most elements so non-elemental spells work best - Bio, Shock, Flare and Scathe,
depending on whether you have the spells in the first place (I fought Chaos
early so I had hell of a time spamming the not-so-strong Bio). Though he is
weak to earth, Hashmal easily crumbles under his Aeroga and Aeroja. Aeroja by
the way may inflict Confuse, the biggest threat in the fight; treat it
immediately with Smelling Salts (items have no charge times).


______
Ultima

The Great Crystal, Crystal Peak

Absorbs holy.
Weak to dark.
Immune to damage from the other six elements.

Drops: None
Steal (often,medium,rare): Virgo Gem, High Arcana, Megalixir

Lvl 63, HP: 258001, LP awarded: 60

Actions:
Attack - 4% to inflict Sleep.
Curaja - Restores HP of targets in an area.
Renew - Restores full HP of targets in an area.
Blindna - Cures Blind. (I wonder why she has this spell?)
Reflectga - Places Reflect on targets in an area.
Redemption - Standard single-damage holy-elemental spell.
Holyja - Mass-damage holy-elemental spell with 50% to inflict Reverse.
Greater Barrier - Places both Protect and Shell on herself. Also, her 
   subsequent damage received is reduced.

Notable passives:
Increases Attack Power when HP Critical.
Increases Magick Power when HP Critical.
Increases Defense when HP Critical.
Returns 5% of damage to the attacker.
Magick charge time 0.

After Holyja --- Ultima's normal attacks no longer have charge times.

A crystal is just nearby, so feel free to use Chaos to start the battle or just
use pure deathblow (Zeromus' or Shemhazai's would be nice), and of course
Dispel her buffs. White Masks absorb Holyja damage, so its only threat is the
Reverse status, which must be healed immediately because Curaja and Renew are
used on your characters when they have Reverse! Renew immediately drops
Reversed characters' HP to 1 - instant death when HP Sap is on. Curaja strength
is based on Magick Power, and yes it may kill your characters if their HP is
low. Also, Reflectga is also used on your characters (though not when they have
Reverse on). Ultima does not have charge times for her magick spells, so be
careful.

Some stuff from this paragraph is referenced from sephirosuy's FFXII FAQ:
Redemption is holy-elemental and Ultima will not use them on characters with
White Masks (but she'll still use it on holy-immune Espers :P). Ultima will
still use Holyja though, after 12 attacks. When her HP drops below 70%, the
field effects will start to appear. In order: HP Sap (maintain with Curajas),
then MP Sap (use Quickenings or your best Espers), then Attack command sealed
(Telekinesis), then Magick command sealed (Pheasant Netsuke and items to heal),
then Technick command sealed (use Syphon from lvl 1/2 Espers to regain MP),
then Item command sealed, and finally Magnetic field (characters with heavy/
metallic equipment are slowed down considerably). The list then repeats with HP
Sap. Also, once Ultima's HP drops below 50% she uses Holyja after 7 attacks
instead of 12.


_______
Zodiark

Henne Mines, Special Charter Dig

Absorbs dark
Weak to holy.
Normal resistance against the other six elements.

Drops: None
Steal (often,medium,rare): Serpentarius, High Arcana, Megalixir

Lvl 66, HP: 336847, LP awarded: 70

Actions:
Attack - 4% to inflict Disease.
Reflect - Places Reflect.
Bravery - Places Bravery.
Faith - Places Faith.
Lvl 2 Sleep - Inflicts Sleep on all characters with levels divisible by 2.
Lvl 3 Disable - Inflicts Disable on all characters with levels divisible by 3.
Lvl 4 Break - Inflicts Break on all characters with levels divisible by 4.
Piercing Graviga - Deals to an area damage of half the target's Max HP.
Banish Ray - Standard single-damage dark-elemental spell.
Scathe - Strong area non-elemental spell.
Darkja - 50% to inflict Instant Kill + Blind, yeowch!!
Battle Cry - Used on self, so normal attacks are stronger.
Limit Break - Used on self, so attacks and magicks have no charge time.
Mana Spring - Used on self, so spells no longer cost MP.
Shift - Used on self, so elemental weakness switches when hit with the element.
Greater Barrier - Places both Protect and Shell on himself. Also, his
   subsequent damage received is reduced.

Notable passives:
Penetrate Reflect.
Increases Attack Power when HP Critical.
Increases Magick Power when HP Critical.
Gun and Measure damage is reduced to 1/8.
Returns 5% of damage to the attacker.

Boss' HP < 50% --- Zodiark's Evasion +25.
Boss' HP < 20% --- Zodiark becomes immune to physical damage.
Boss gets Dispelled --- Zodiark becomes immune to magickal damage.

Ouch, what a huge pain in the ass. Zodiark seems to combine the more difficult
elements of previous Esper battles (Zalera, Shemhazai, Exodus, Zeromus).
Zodiark starts the fight with Darkja, the infamous spell that has a chance to
instant kill AND inflict Blind (Blind does not disappear when revived). Black
Masks and Demon Shields absorb dark damage but are unable to prevent instant
kill or Blind. Summon Shemhazai and prepare for her Soul Purge; take no chances
here. You must creep slowly towards Zodiark and let Shemhazai unleash Soul
Purge before Zodiark uses Darkja, because Darkja could possibly kill you.
Soul Purge shaves 20% off the boss' life.

Zodiark will use Darkja again throughout the battle, so be very prepared to use
Pheasant Netsuke + Phoenix Down to revive fallen members. Always wear Black
Masks or Demon Shields, too. Zodiark's Banish Rays, Piercing Gravigas and Level
spells are no joke! Keep your party in top condition all the time.

The next biggest problem after Darkja is immunity. Zodiark becomes immune to
physical damage at low HP, and once this paling disappears he puts it up again,
making physical attacks almost ineffective now. He also becomes immune to
magickal damage, but unlike the paling this doesn't stay on all the time, so
switch your weapon-users to magick-users and spam Flares and Scathes. BEWARE
OF REFLECT. If Zodiark puts on Reflect, equip Opal Rings on your magicians!
Dispelling Zodiark induces him to become immune to magickal damage again.

Kevin Chan says: Just get 3 Mirror Mails (or Reflectga, but Mirror Mails are
easier to use as it gets pretty annoying him killing you over and over) and
have the Scrouge magick. Set the gambit: Ally any/Self: Status = Reflect. That
way, you'll be able to deal damage w/o getting hit by Reflect or making him
immune to magick... Doing 9-hits is pretty nice too xD. But tweak your gambits
when doing this so you don't use healing spells (especially Renew and Curaja)
and instead just use Phoenix Downs (w/ or w/o Pheasant Netsuke) on whoever is
dead.

Let me wish you a premature congratulation on obtaining the final Esper,
Zodiark! Zodiark is an awesome summon in almost any situation in the game. You
deserve it!


===============================================================================
MISCELLANEOUS                                                           [MISCL]
===============================================================================

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Frequently-asked Questions                                              [FAQSS]
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1) Are any of the Espers missable?

No. Once an Esper is available, he/she will forever stay available.


2) Why are the Espers so weak? / Are Espers worth it?

For general-purpose use, it is better to stick to your three-character party
than summoning an Esper. However there are many situations in the game where
summoning Espers becomes very viable and achieves better performance than not
summoning one. For more details, look up the Using Espers section.


3) Who should I allocate the Espers to?

Refer to the Allocating Espers section below. Yes it does matter who you give
what to. Ignore those who say "it doesn't matter, Espers suck."


4) Will Espers return in FFXII: Revenant Wings?

Yes they will. Details are sketchy but I have indeed watched videos of the game
containing almost all the 13 Espers in FFXII. Unfortunately, the usual Bahamut/
Ifrit/Shiva/Ramuh/Leviathan would also appear, which to me kinda loses the
whole Zodiac appeal.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Calculations                                                            [CALCS]
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This entire section would not be possible without Maltzsan's Game Mechanics
FAQ. I have taken the equations or formulae that might be of use to Esper
fighting and summoning.

Power (PWR) is the damage potential unique to every skill/spell, listed in the
tables in the Using Espers section.

Defense (DEF) and Magick Defense (MDEF) are numbers assigned to all Espers, and
every Esper has only one Defense and Magick Defense value whatever level they
are.

Strength (STR), Magick Power (MAG), Vitality (VIT) and Speed (SPD) are values
that rise with the Esper's level. They are also listed in the Using Espers
section.

____________
Charge times

Almost every action in the game requires a charge time, the time it takes for
the action bar on the menu to charge from left to right. Charge times reduce
with the Esper's SPD value, and every skill/spell also has a unique charge time
(the smaller, the faster). In general final attacks have longer charge times of
35, while the standard damage spell unique to each Esper is relatively faster
with charge times of 16.

___________________________
Physical damage calculation

I am unsure of the exact formula for Esper damage calculation, but damage
generally increases with the level of the attacker, his STR, and the PWR of the
skill, while generally reduced by the DEF value of the target.

Physical damage is also modified by the following multipliers:

Attack is a critical hit           X 2

Attacker has Berserk               X 1.5
Attacker has Bravery               X 1.3
Attacker has Petrify               X 0.1 X time left

Target has Petrify                 X 0.1 X time left
Target has Oil                     X 3 if damage is fire-elemental
Target has Sleep                   X 1.5
Target has Protect                 X 0.75

Attacker has Full HP ATK Up        X 1.2
Attacker has Critical ATK Up       X 2
Target has Critical DEF Up         X 0.5 (for allies only)
Target has Critical DEF Up         X 1/3 (for enemies only)

Target is weak to the element      X 2
Target halves damage from element  X 0.5
Target is immune to element        X 0
Target absorbs element             heals the target

____________________________________
Magickal damage/healing calculations

Magickal damage = [PWR x RANDOM(1~1.125) - MDEF] x [2 + MAG x (level+MAG)/256)]
Magickal healing = PWR x RANDOM(1~1.125) x [2 + MAG x (level+MAG)/256)]

In other words, the power of the skill, the Magick Power of the caster and the
level of the caster affect both damage and healing, while Magick Defense only
play a part in damage. Syphoning uses the second formula, meaning it makes no
difference which Esper you choose to Syphon MP from.

Magickal damage/healing is also modified by the following multipliers:

Caster has Faith                   X 1.3 (damage)
Caster has Faith                   X 1.5 (healing)

Target has Oil                     X 3 if damage is fire-elemental
Target has Sleep                   X 1.5
Target has Shell                   X 0.75

Caster has Full HP MAG Up          X 1.2
Target has Critical MAG Up         X 2

Target is weak to the element      X 2
Target halves damage from element  X 0.5
Target is immune to element        X 0
Target absorbs element             heals the target

Weather/Terrain          Fire    Ice     Thunder  Water   Wind   Earth
Sunny or cloudy
Sunny/cloudy + windy     x1.2                     x0.5    x1.2
Rain                     x0.5            x1.2
Heavy rain + windy       x0.6            x1.2     x0.5    x1.2
Heavy fog                                         x1.2
Heavy snow               x1.2    x1.2             x0.5    x1.2
Sandstorm                x1.2                     x0.5    x1.2   x1.2
On sand                                                          x1.2
On water                                 x1.2     x1.2           x0.5
On snow                          x1.2

__________________________
Status effect calculations

Status effects last longer with a higher VIT value of the Esper. Below lists
the status effects that can apply to Espers:

Effect              Duration
Haste               40 + (VIT X 0.4) s
Bravery             40 + (VIT X 0.4) s
Faith               50 + (VIT X 0.5) s
Reflect             60 + (VIT X 0.6) s
Protect             60 + (VIT X 0.6) s
Shell               60 + (VIT X 0.6) s
Bubble              60 + (VIT X 0.6) s
Regen               90 + (VIT X 0.9) s


On a final note, once again a big thanks to Maltzsan for all this information
found in his Game Mechanics FAQ.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Allocating Espers                                                       [ALLOS]
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ah. A very popular question in the GameFAQS Boards. Which Esper goes to which
character? Most of the answers are either nonsense or "doesn't matter". Well,
since you now do know much more about Espers, there is indeed a general guide
to allocating them among your six characters.

Espers should not be bunched together with one single summoner, so more
characters can use them.

Belias, Mateus, Adrammelech and Zalera should be distributed so that no
character has more than one each, so more characters can reap the benefits of
Syphoning MP from these lvl 1 Espers during end game. Priority goes to Magick-
oriented characters, naturally.

Shemhazai, Exodus and Zeromus are most useful for their final attacks only, so
they do not necessarily need much curing from the summoner, hence it does not
matter if the characters is oriented to Magick or otherwise. Note: Zeromus
should NOT be hit at all. Therefore he should be paired up with a tanker with
Decoy up.

Cuchulainn is such a self-sufficient Esper, so I'd pair him up with an
offensive character to decimate the battlefield together.

Hashmal and Ultima have final attacks that require the summoner to be have low
HP, so I suggest a summoner with high Max HP. At the same time I highly
discourage even bothering to try to trigger Ultima's final attack.

The Espers Famfrit, Chaos, Ultima and Zodiark are most useful during regular
fighting, so they should be supported with lots of curing from a Magick-
oriented character.

Zodiark is, after all factors, really the -best- Esper among the thirteen, so
he should be summoned by the character you expect to use the most.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Various Trivia                                                          [VRTRV]
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If you check your Esper entries in the Bestiary, you would realize that every
Esper has an "Ascendant" (eg. Belias - Mesha Ascendant). These exotic names are
actually the Sanskrit equivalents of the individual zodiac signs we are
familiar with today. These Sanskrit names are used in Jyotish (Hindu)
astrology, but they more or less refer to the same constellations.

_______________________________________________________________________________
     Esper:           Zodiac:                Sanskrit name (Ascendants):
01)  Belias           Aries                  Mesha
02)  Chaos            Taurus                 Vrishabha
03)  Zalera           Gemini                 Mithuna
04)  Zeromus          Cancer                 Karka
05)  Hashmal          Leo                    Simha
06)  Ultima           Virgo                  Kanya
07)  Exodus           Libra                  Tula
08)  Cuchulainn       Scorpio                Vrishchika
09)  Shemhazai        Sagittarius            Dhanus
10)  Adrammelech      Capricorn              Makara
11)  Famfrit          Aquarius               Kumbha
12)  Mateus           Pisces                 Meena
13)  Zodiark          Ophiuchus              Ashlesha
_______________________________________________________________________________


The same Bestiary entries also state that each Esper was created by the gods as
a "scion of darkness" in opposition to a "scion of light". These scions of
light do not appear in the game.

_______________________________________________________________________________
     Scion of darkness:                   Scion of light:
01)  Belias, the Gigas                    Loghrif, the Transcendent
02)  Chaos, Walker of the Wheel           Mitron, the Chastiser
03)  Zalera, the Death Seraph             Emet-Selch, Angel of Truth
04)  Zeromus, the Condemner               Pashtarot, Knight-Star
05)  Hashmal, Bringer of Order            Fandaniel, the Protector
06)  Ultima, the High Seraph              Ultima, the High Seraph*
07)  Exodus, the Judge-Sal                Halmarut, the Arbiter
08)  Cuchulainn, the Impure               Nabriales, the Majestic
09)  Shemhazai, the Whisperer             Igeyorhm, the Martyr
10)  Adrammelech, the Wroth               Deudalephon, the Benevolent
11)  Famfrit, the Darkening Cloud         Emmerololth, Holy Queen
12)  Mateus, the Corrupt                  Lahabrea, Abyssal Celebrant
13)  Zodiark, Keeper of Precepts          Zodiark, Keeper of Precepts*
_______________________________________________________________________________

*It is unknown if Ultima and Zodiark were created as scions of darkness, light,
or whether it is irrelevant so.


===============================================================================
POSTFACE
===============================================================================

_____
To Do

- Find an actual Japanese-speaking person to check Ultimania translations.
- Try Espers on more bosses, Marks and rare game.

_______________
Version History

- v1.0, 28 Dec 2006, first version of the guide.

- v1.1, 10 Jan 2007, added Elder Wyrm, Vossler, King Bomb, White Mousse, Ring
   Wyrm, Vyraal, expanded on Adrammelech, Exodus, Hashmal, Famfrit, Chaos and
   Zodiark tactics, corrected that Zeromus uses Bio when he actually uses
   Greater Barrier, translated Aggressor -> Enrage, Magic Release -> Unleash,
   and Alive -> Purify, altered terminology (Hunt -> Mark), added FAQs section.

- v1.2, 11 Jan 2007, expanded on Zodiark tactics and Zodiark battle tactics.

- v1.3, 21 Apr 2007, edited Preface, expanded on Wild Malboro, expanded on
   Zodiark Tactics, expanded on Zalera and Zeromus battle tactics, added Bangaa
   gang, renamed a contributor to Heamaxwell as requested, translated Barrier
   Change -> Shift, added that Serpentarius = Ophiuchus, added that The Mine
   Flayer Hunt must be completed before acquiring Zodiark, expanded on FAQs
   section.

_______
Credits

- Square Enix for the wonderful game.
- CJayC and GameFAQs for hosting the guide.
- Final Fantasy XII Battle Ultimania for much information.
- Final Fantasy XII BradyGames Guide for much information.
- Game Mechanics FAQ by Maltzsan, for tons of useful formulae.
- http://ff12.ffsky.cn, for some Ultimania stuff I couldn't understand.
- http://www.wikipedia.org for many, many random bits of stuff.
- Final Fantasy XII FAQ & Walkthrough Guide by sephirosuy, for some Esper tips.
- Final Fantasy XII FAQ/Walkthrough by Berserker, also for some Esper tips.
- GameFAQs Boards posters, for much discussion and information.
- VeryHighPenguin, for his invaluable contribution on many ideas.
- Sandman (sp?), I didn't take down your exact username but I first read about 
   mass-damage soaking from you.
- Heamaxwell, for her tip on Adrammelech's Shambling Corpses.
- Connan, also for his tip on the Shambling Corpses.
- Socran, for pointing out Serpentarius.
- Kevin Chan, for the Mirror Mail tactic on the Zodiark fight.
- Rpguy, for pointing out that The Mine Flayer Hunt must be completed before
   Zodiark.
- RexRagnell, for pointing out that you could use Measures to buff yourselves
   up when fighting Zeromus.
- Aditya Saputra, for suggesting the use of Axes when fighting Zalera.
- Many other emailers, who've emailed me lots of invaluable stuff but which
   unfortunately I am unable to include into the guide.
- Finally, you, for reading!


_______________________________________________________________________________
===============================================================================
                                     .~FIN~.
_______________________________________________________________________________