Final Fantasy 12: The Zodiac Age is an important remaster for several reasons. Final Fantasy 12 is an important history lesson in the way that Square Enix has navigated the series’ progression, demonstrating some of the earliest ideas for combat that breaks out of traditional turn-based JRPG mechanics alongside a plot that is full of political intrigue and complex characters. Final Fantasy 12 is also set in the world of Ivalice, one of the most popular environments Square Enix has ever created and home to another series classic in Final Fantasy Tactics. Although the game’s initial release was hindered by its scheduled release toward the end of the PS2’s lifespan, there’s a lot to love about Final Fantasy 12 that gets improved in The Zodiac Age‘s remastering.
One of the most appealing elements of the title from a player perspective has to be its focus on job systems, however. Final Fantasy 12: The Zodiac Age allows players to choose from 12 different jobs – essentially, classes – that are applicable to each character in the game, giving Final Fantasy 12 a huge amount of flexibility in the way players assemble their party. That variation has been dramatically improved in The Zodiac Age, too – now players can assign each character two different jobs simultaneously, allowing for some truly innovative and exciting decisions even for veterans of the original’s gameplay.
With all those choices, though, it might be a good idea for players to know what they’re getting into when they sit down with Final Fantasy 12: The Zodiac Age for the first time. Jobs are a lengthy investment of time, and choosing one only to regret it mid-way through acquiring its best skills on the license board can be brutal – with the help of our guide, hopefully that can be avoided.
White Mage (Aries)
We’re starting things off with a staple of the Final Fantasy series in the White Mage, who functions as a traditional healer role in Final Fantasy 12: The Zodiac Age. The White Mage class gets access to rods, mystic armor, all White Magicks, and some Green Magicks as well. White Magick is primarily focused on healing allies, which makes this job an obvious choice for a support character – but keep in mind that White Magick can also be a juggernaut against undead enemies. Here are a few skills that the White Mage will have access to:
- White Magick 1-13: The entirety of the White Magick skill tree, including the powerful Renewal spell
- Green Magick 1-3: These are some key early Green Magick skills that benefit support roles greatly
- Technicks like Achilles (the ability to add an elemental weakness to an enemy) and Libra (scan enemies for weaknesses and resistances)
The Machinist is essentially an Engineer-style class, with access to weapons like guns, ranged bomb weapons, and more. They’re a solid support DPS class that can also offer up some technical support as well, with skills in the Time Magick tree especially making combat tricky for enemies. Here’s a few of the Machinist’s key skills:
- Time Magick 8-10: crucial spells like Slowga and Hastga, which can make tricky fights a breeze when implemented well
- Green Magick 1: contains Decoy, which can help manage squishy characters in fights
- Technicks like Libra (scanning enemies), Steal (a Final Fantasy classic that can take rare items and weapons from enemies), and Horology (deals damage to enemies based on Final Fantasy 12‘s game timer)
Black Mage (Capricorn)
The Black Mage is the iconic ranged damage dealer in Final Fantasy, and that role continues in Final Fantasy 12: The Zodiac Age. Rolling with the Black Mage job is always a blast, and at least one character should probably take on this job full-time.
- Staff of the Magi: being a Black Mage will grant characters the license to wield the Staff of the Magi weapon, a very powerful staff that greatly enhances DPS potential
- Black Magick 1-13: gives the Black Mage eventual access to spells like Scourge and Scathe
- Technicks like Charm (confusing an enemy mid-battle) and Charge (restoring a user’s MP, although it has a fail rate – be careful!)
The Shikari is Final Fantasy 12‘s Hunter-class, with an agile playstyle that uses ninja swords, daggers, and guns.
- Nagasa : equip the Shikari’s Nagasa and Mina, with the latter offering a staggering 15% combo potential and a 70% chance to inflict KO status
- Shields 2-7: gives the Shikari some defensive capabilities, allowing for more customization of the class
- Technicks like Telekinesis (deal ranged damage with melee weapons) and Bonecrusher (consume Shikari’s HP to instantly kill an enemy)
For those who haven’t gotten enough of samurai-style Final Fantasy combat out of the new Final Fantasy 14 expansion, Final Fantasy 12: The Zodiac Age has that covered. The Bushi is a heavy-hitting class that balances strength and magic, and use katana as their weapon of choice.
- Masamune: license to equip an iconic Final Fantasy weapon
- Genji Equipment: allows the license-holder to equip one of the best Gear sets in Final Fantasy 12: The Zodiac Age
- Technicks like Souleater (consume some of the Bushi’s HP to damage an enemy) and Sight Unseeing (damage enemy HP while the Bushi is blinded)
The Foebreaker is another heavy-hitting that is mostly a one-trick pony – smash the enemy into pieces or wait until another class makes them vulnerable. That being said, the Foebreaker also has a few technical skills that can produce openings, so it isn’t as linear as it could be.
- Hand-bombs: good ranged weapon back-up
- Shell Shield, Ensanguined Shield, Zodiac Esutcheon: lets Foebreakers equip some very strong gear
- Technicks like Wither (reduce a foe’s physical attack damge) and Expose (reduce a target’s defense stats)
The Archer is, of course, a ranged class that mostly relies on bows and its incredibly wide range of technicks. They also reward players who can stay on top of their item use in combat.
- Sagittarius: allows the Archer to equip the ultimate weapons Sagittarius and Dhanusha
- White Magick 4: allows the cast of Cura and Raise for some support-style play
- Technicks like 1000 Needles (1000 damage to a single enemy) and Addle (reduce a target’s magic power)
Red Battlemage (Cancer)
The Red Battlemage is a jack of all trades-style spellcaster, with access to Arcane, Black, White, and Time Magicks to varying degrees. They can also equip Maces and Greatswords, making them a solid party member choice regardless of the rest of the team’s composition.
- Arcane Magick 1-3: license to cast skills like Darkga, Death, and Ardor
- Black Magick 3-10: allows for a wide range of low to high levels of Black Magick to be cast
- Technicks like Steal and Souleater
The Uhlan is a warrior class that functions a little like the Dragoon, mostly because it is the premier spear-wielder of Final Fantasy 12: The Zodiac Age. They also get access to some dark magic and a lot of Technicks.
- Dragon Whisker: allows the Uhlan to equip the incredibly powerful Dragon Whisker and Vrsahba
- Strongest Halberd: allows the Uhlan to equip the Zodiac Spear, which has a staggering 150 attack and is available relatively early
- Technicks like Poach (capture a low-HP enemy to acquire more loot) and Wither
The Knight is a sword user who has heavy armor, big damage, and shields. They’re a classic JRPG class and not much changes in Final Fantasy 12: The Zodiac Age.
- Excalibur, Excalipoor, Tournesoul: grants access to three iconic swords in Final Fantasy lore
- White Magick 6-9: gives the Knight a bit of flexibility with support spells
- Technicks like Telekinesis and Revive (consume all of the user’s HP to revive a KO’d party member at full health)
Monks are fist-fighters in Final Fantasy 12: The Zodiac Age, but also have a lot of White Magick to back them up.
- Whale Whisker: grants access to the Whale Whisker and Kanya weapons
- White Magick 10-13: grants access to high-end White spells like Holy, Shellga, and Protectga
- Technicks like Wither and Numerology (increased damage with successive hits)
Time Battlemage (Libra)
The Time Battlemage is a very strong support class, with access to lots of buff and debuff skills that can swing combat drastically.
- Bowguns 1-4: grants access to a variety of different bowgun weapons
- Time Magick 1-10: complete access to the entire suite of Time Magick’s buff and debuff spells, including Graviga and Hastega
- Technicks like Addle (reduce foe’s magic power) and Stamp (move an active status effect from one target to another)
That’s a brief look at each of the jobs available in Final Fantasy 12: The Zodiac Age that should, at the very least, give prospective players a decent idea of what each class entails. There’s a myriad number of customization options, party configurations, and more to compliment The Zodiac Age‘s unique style of combat, too, so gamers really should give the second iteration of Final Fantasy 12 a shot – there’s a lot to like, and something for everyone, in the game’s combat and job systems.
Final Fantasy 12: The Zodiac Age is available now for PS4.