[top] Final Fantasy IV - Game Plus Tips

Version 1.4 2008, 2009, 2010 Bill Pringle, all rights reserved.

[toc] Table of Contents

The purpose of this FAQ is to help you take full advantage of the Game Plus feature for the DS remake of Final Fantasy IV. This includes tips, suggestions, etc. on how to make the second and third time through the game much easier than the first time, allowing you to sit back and enjoy the game more.

The very first time you play the game, you start the same as in previous versions of this game. However, once you have completed the game, some of the stats and items from your previous game(s) are retained when you start another game. You may restart the game twice, which means you can play the game a maximum of three times on a given game save. The section What Carries Over gives a complete description of what is retained for what I am referring to as "Game Plus". This term has been used for various games, and each time it means something slightly different, which has caused some confusion. For example, for Chrono Trigger, game plus means that your HP, MP, (most) items, and money are retained. For Radiata Stories, certain skills are retained, and former friends are remembered. Radiata Stories game plus also allows you to continue the game, enter a bonus area, or start a new game. For this game, however, Game Plus starts pretty much the same each time with the exception of certain skills and items which are listed in the section mentioned.

There are lots of good FAQs on this game that can help you get through the first time (including the Official Strategy Guide from Brady). (You can even use an original SNES guide!) What I haven't found, however, is one that tells you how the second and third time through the game is different than the first time. Although the actual game is the same, you will find the subsequent times through the game are much easier, and so your strategy is less important. However, your goal during the second and third time is to create a final party during the third time through the game that is powerful enough to take on the optional bosses. That is why I wrote this FAQ.

For example, the strategy for boss fights changes, depends on what abilities your characters have equipped. Each time you play the game, your party can get more abilities, so you can equip them on different party members. By the third time through the game, you will find you can beat many of the bosses using Auto-Battle, provided you have set your party up correctly.

The Introduction provides a description of the various sections of this FAQ. This will help you determine what sections of this document are of most interest to you. The original intent of this FAQ is as a supplement to a good walkthrough (and there are plenty of those.) It points out some things that your walkthrough might not mention (like the Critical Points in the Game) for the first time through the game, but also gives hints on how to modify your approach during the second and third time through the game. As I said, it did not start out to be a comprehensive FAQ, but then again my "Radiata Stories Recruiting Guide" started out as a supplement, and eventually evolved into a complete FAQ. This may happen here as well. Stay tuned.

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[intro] Introduction

Final Fantasy IV was the first real Final Fantasy game I played when it was released for the Super Nintendo system as Final Fantasy II, and got me hooked on the Final Fantasy series. The game has been released on several platforms relatively unchanged until the DS remake. The fact that a game this old can be brought out again with only minor tweaks and be quite popular is credit to a great series.

This document can be found in two forms: an HTML (web) page at http://BillPringle.com/games/ffiv_gameplus.html, and as a text file on http://www.gamefaqs.com/. The HTML page will probably be updated more often, and tend to be the latest version. The HTML web page will include hyperlinks, so you can click on a link to find the appropriate section. The text file was created by the FireFox browser, which inserts hyper-links inside angle brackets (<like-this>). To find that location with a text editor, use the search feature to find the target name in square brackets ([like-this]). The link inside angle brackets will always start with a pound sign (#), indicating that the target is on the current page. The square brackets won't have that pound sign. For example, to find the target of link <#intro>, search for [intro]. If you are going to have an electronic copy of this FAQ, I recommend that you get the HTML version instead of the text file. If you have any questions, comments, etc. you can send me an e-mail to wrp103@gmail.com. I get a lot of spam, so make sure you include "FFIV" or "Final Fantasy IV" in the subject line, or it might get deleted without being read.

This document is organized as follows:

Differences from Original Game
If you are familiar with the original game, this section can help you understand the differences in the remake. If you aren't familiar with the original, you can skip this section.
What Carries Over
This section explains what sections of the game are preserved during subsequent times through the game.
When you end the first game, you will have a chance to save again. This save can be used to start a new game with some of your items and accomplishments from the first game preserved. Your characters start off at their initial levels, and your money and most of your items are gone. When you finish the second time, you can save again, and use that for your third and final run through of the game.
Abilities Overview
This section describes the abilities, how you get them, and how they can be used.
During the game, you may obtain a number of items which have the power to grant abilities to members of your party. You can choose who to give them to, but once they are learned, you can't change it (or unlearn it.) For most of these items, you can get them each time you play the game, which means that you can have up to three characters gain that ability.
Critical Points in the Game
This section identifies where decisions must be made and/or preparations made before proceeding. Failure to do this can result in you not being able to get the augments you want.
For example, just before a character leaves your party, you will want to take off any equipment they have, especially if they have some of the bonus equipment, or you might end up losing some rare items.
Obtaining Rare Items
This section suggests ways to get the rare items that are carried over - apples, drops, and tails. Apples allow you to increase the HP of a character; drops increase MP; and tails can be exchanged for special armor and equipment that carry over between games. By obtaining these special items during the first time through the game, you will make the second and third time through much more fun (and easier.)
First Time Through the Game
General suggestions about your first pass through the game. It is not intended to be a complete walkthrough, but rather what you should keep in mind during your first time.
Second Time Through the Game
Guidelines for the second play through. Again, not a walk through as much as the big picture.
Third Time Through the Game
The differences between the second and third time through the game.
Maximizing Stats
How you can maximize your party. This is needed if you plan to take on the optional bosses.
Optional Bosses
This section discusses the optional bosses created for the remake: how to find them and how to fight them.
Thanks and Credits
Those who provided help with this guide.
Version History
The change history for this document.

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[diffs] Differences from the Original Game

Graphics
The first obvious difference from the original game is the graphics, which are much better. I don't care for the fact that Rosa and Rydia look more like sluts than they did in the original game, but I guess that is to be expected. The voice overs is another addition. I normally play games with the sound turned all the way down, so that wasn't as big a thing for me. (Although I noticed that they pronounced many of the names different than I had thought they were pronounced.)
The game has several new cut scenes that provide additional back-story information. You see events with Cecil's father and mother, as well as what caused Golbez to turn towards the dark side.
Auto Battle
This is a handy feature that eliminates a lot of the button mashing you would otherwise need to perform. The Abilities menu allows you to customize the battle menu, which are the commands that you can issue during a fight. You can also specify an Auto Battle action, which can be any ability that the character has: an attack, an item, or a magic spell (including summon).
Pressing the X button during a fight toggles Auto-Battle. When the next fight starts, the Auto-Battle mode is the same as when the previous fight ended. You won't use Auto-Battle a lot during the first time through the game, but can use it extensively during the second and third times.
Ability Augment Items
Characters can gain additional abilities by using special items. Some items are automatically obtained at certain points in the game, while other items can only be obtained by giving ability items to a specific character. Each character can equip up to five abilities, one of which must be "Items". Some abilities are passive, while others must be activated by selecting the ability from the battle menu.
This topic is covered in more detail in the Abilities section.
Tails and Armor
Instead of a single rat tail, several dragons drop tails which can be traded in for special armor which can carry over through to the next game.
This topic is covered in more details in the Rare Items section.
Map Completion
Maps are filled in as your party travels about. As the maps of dungeon floors are completed, you gain items. When you complete all the maps, you gain the Treasure Hunter ability.
Namingway Quest
In the remake, Namingway has a bigger role. Rather than him allowing you to change the names of your characters like he did in the original version, He keeps changing his own name in different situations. He will ask you to find an item or to do a favor for him. As you complete each side quest, you earn a prize, and he will show up later under a different name. You can only complete each Namingway side quest once.
Wht
Wht is a special Eidolon that Rydia can summon to fight in her stead. Unlike other eidolons that perform a single attack, Why keeps on fighting during the battle.
There are several mini-games you can play using the fat chocobo to increase Wht's statistics. Also, there is a special ability you can get from Namingway that is affected by how many times Wht is summoned.
Fat Chocobo
During the original game, the fat chocobo stored your items. For the remake, you aren't limited to how many items, so instead the fat chocobo keeps track of the Wht minigames and game statistics (like the Bestiary). The Fat Chocobo can be talked to at certain locations and can be summoned using gysahl greens in chocobo forests.
There is no whistle in the remake.
Optional Killer Bosses
Like some other Final Fantasy games, there are near-impossible optional bosses for those of you who are in need of a severe challenge. I recommend that if you want to try these bosses, you wait for the last time through the game.
Game Plus
The other big difference is the purpose of this FAQ - the Game Plus system. At the end of your first play through, you have the option of saving your game. You can then load that saved game to start the game over with certain things carried over. You can play a total of three times through the game. Your characters start over with their stats, but they keep certain special abilities they accumulated in previous games. These abilities allow you to gain additional abilities during subsequent times through the game, as well as allow your characters to increase their stats much quicker than the first time through.

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[carry] What Carries Over

The following carries over to the next game:

Map completion statistics
When you first enter an area, the only part of the map you can see is the area near you. As you move around, you can see more and more of the map. Once you have exposed part of a map, it will be available each time you enter the area. This includes the locations of chests, so during subsequent times through the game, as soon as you enter an area, you will see what chests are available, and which ones have been opened during this time through the game.
This implies that the items you get for completing a map can only be collected once. This should only happen during your first time through the game, but if you somehow mess up and not complete a map, you can do so during the next time through the game, collecting the item.
Extra Abilities learned from items, along with any unused items
Once you give a character an item to learn an ability, they retain that ability through all future playings of the game. This affects what ability items you gain from a character during subsequent run throughs. For example, you need to give Edward two augments in order to get his two - Salve and Hide. You should give him two abilities during your second time through the game (not the first time). During the third time through the game, you will get another copy of his abilities even if you don't give Edward any abilities durng that run through, since Edward already has two abilities.
Rare Items - Tails and their Armor, Apples and Drops
I recommend that you get a complete set of equipment from tails during your first play through, so you can take advantage of the superior armor during subsequent times through the game.
I also recommend that you don't use any apples or drops until the last time through the game. Of course, if you are close to maxing out on drops then you should use them so they don't go to waste.
If you are using the onion and adamant equipment, you will probably have no trouble taking out enemies. You can probably use auto-battle during all but the hardest boss battles. Where you want to beef up your characters will be if you try to take on the optional bosses, which I would recommend you do during your third time through the game.
Fat Chocobo statistics
Any scores from the fat chocobo mini-game are retained. Also, the bestiary is kept. This is helpful because there are some bosses take on several forms during a battle. You have to make sure you don't defeat them too fast so that you can include their new form in the bestiary. If you are careful during the first time, then you can just blow them away during subsequent run throughs, since the other forms are already in the bestary.
Dark Matter
Edge can steal Dark Matter from Zeromus. This can then be used during a later play through to summon one of the optional bosses.
If you take out Zeromus before Edge steals the dark matter during the first time through the game, make sure you equip onion gear and have everyone defend while Edge steals during the second time through the game so that are sure to get to fight the optional bosses during the third time through the game. Once you have the dark matter, you can finish Zeromus.

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[abilities] Augment Abilities Overview

Augment abilities serve several puposes: (1) they provide abilities to the characters who learn them, (2) they affect what abilities you get from other characters, and (3) they affect what statistics increase when a character levels up from level 70 and 99. (Their stats increase by a fixed amount up to level 70, regardless of what abilities they have.)

Some abilities are earned if you gave a certain character one or more abilities. Since abilities carry over, so if you give a character an ability during the first time through the game, you will get the resulting abilities three times - one for each time through the game (since the character already has the required number of abilities during the second and third time through the game.) If, however, you don't give abilities to a character until the second time through the game, you will only get two copies - during the second and third time through the game. You can't get all abilities the first time through the game, so you might want to think about which abilities best suit your fighting style.

I used Auto-Battle through most of the game, especially the second and third time through. I was often able to beat bosses using auto-battle during the second and third time rather than whatever strategy I needed during the first pass of the game. Normally, I had the following abilities equipped. Since Items is required, I don't list it in the battle menus.

Cecil
Auto-battle: Attack, and then Kick when available
Battle menu during the first game: Kick, White Magic, Counter, and Draw Attacks
Battle menu during the second and third times: Kick, Counter, Level Lust, and Gil Farmer
Rosa
Auto-battle: Pray
Battle Menu: Pray, Dualcast, Omnicasting, and Fast Talker. (Piercing Magic equipped when needed.)
Rydia
Auto-Battle: When young: Defend until stronger, then Item->Equipped Rod (or Summon->Wht while leveling up)
Battle menu when grown: Attack, Summon, Fast Talking, and Limit Break (last time)
Kain
Auto-battle: Attack, then Kick during the last time
Battle Menu: Attack / Kick, Jump, Darkness, Phoenix
Edge
Auto-battle: Steal
Battle menu: Attack, then Kick second and third time, Steal, Reach, Counter

The above list reflects my personal battle style. If you used items or magic more, you might want to set them up differently. You notice that only Cecil, Kain, and Rydia are attacking during Auto-Battle. Once Edge steals an item, you can turn off auto-battle and let him fight, or you can do like I usually did and just let him continue to try stealing (he doesn't do that much damage anyway.) One of the reasons I kept auto-battle on is because it gave Rosa a few more times at Pray. My party was almost always at 100%HP, with maybe Cecil down a few MP points.

Each ability will increase certain character stats by a fixed amount every time a character levels up between 70 and 99. In order for a character to take advantage of this bonus, the ability has to be equipped at the time of level up. This means that when a character is between levels 70 and 99, you should equip them with abilities that will give them status boosts rather than your normal preferences. If you are having problems defeating enemies, you can equip optimal abilities most of the time, but then switch to the bonus abilities just before they level up. Once a character reaches level 99, you can equip them however you like. You might want to rearrange abilities as each character maxes out some of their stats. See the Maximizing Your Stats section for more details.

Here are the augment abilities, what they do, and what you should do with them:

????'s Love
You can only get this ability once in the game. Namingway will give it to you as Lovingway. (Remember that the Namingway side quests can only be done once because it carries over between games.)
This ability boosts the strength of the party by the number of times that Rydia has summoned Wht. Lovingway will ask you for the name of somebody special (whose name is not more than four characters), and the ability will be given that name.
The level up boost for this ability is 10 HP, 5MP, and then 1 for every other stat. This is the best boost you can get (along with Limit Break), so use it wisely. You probably want to put it on somebody who won't be getting Limit Break. Since I gave Limit Break to Kain and then Rydia, I gave this one to Cecil.
Adrenaline
You get this ability from Cid, provided you gave him at least two augments before entering the Dwarf Castle underground (probably during the first time through the game).
This ability doubles attack power whenever the HP of the character is critical.
The level up bonus increases strength by 1.
Aim
Rosa comes with this ability, and is the only person who can use it. It increases her accuracy with a bow. Since I normally have her Pray, I don't tend to equip her with a bow, and so I don't use this ability.
The level up bonus is 1 speed.
Analyze
Cid comes with this ability, which lets you examine the stats of the enemy. You can get a copy from Cid after the Falcon has been modified.
The level up bonus is 1 intelligence.
Attack
Everyone comes with this ability, although I usually replace it with Kick when possible.
The level up bonus is 10 HP and 1 strength.
Auto-Potion
You get this from Rosa when she is sick in Kaipo.
This ability causes the character to use potions when damage is taken.
It is pretty much a useless ability, which means you want to give it to characters in order to get their abilities. This first time through, give it to Palom or Porum so you can get their augments. The second pass, give it to Edward so you can get Salve and Hide.
The level up bonus is 10 HP and 1 stamina.
Bard Song
This ability allows you to sing various songs that can affect your party or the enemy party. You get it from Edward even if you didn't give him any abilities. Tellah is a good candidate for this ability during your first play through so that you can get his abilities, plus it has some decent effects, but Tellah will run out of magic if you use it too much. Give it to whoever you want during subsequent games.
The level up bonus is 1 speed.
Black Magic
Several mages possess this ability. There is no item to let another character learn it.
The level up bonus is 5 MP and 1 intelligence.
Bless
You get this from Fusoya when heading for the final battle. Once you have cast it, the party gradually recovers MP during the battle.
The level up bonus is 1 spirit.
Bluff
You get this from Palom if you give him at least one augment. This ability greatly increases black magic damage.
The level up bonus is 1 intelligence.
Brace
This ability greatly increase defense. You get it from Yang if you gave him at least two augments before he stops the cannons in the Tower of Babil.
The level up bonus is 10 HP and 1 stamina.
Counter
If a character with this ability equipped is attacked physically, they will counter-attack using the first battle command (usually Attack).
If you have Kick, then make it the top ability in the battle menu. This will cause the character to attack all enemies any time they are hit. If you also add Draw Attacks, you can cause serious damage to enemies.
Make sure you get this each time through the game. Equip it on Cecil, Edge, and Kain (in that order). During your last playthrough, have all three equipped with Kick and Counter, and you will probably finish most enemy parties in a single turn (taking little damage in the process). This doesn't help against magic attacks.
The level up bonus is 1 strength and 1 stamina.
Cover
Cecil is the only character to have this ability. He will protect any character who would otherwise get a near-fatal attack.
The level up bonus is 1 stamina.
Cry
This ability will reduce the defense of the enemy when used from the battle menu. You get this ability from Porom if you gave her at least one augment before she gets stoned (or broken).
The level up bonus is 1 spirit.
Curse
This ability will reduce all the stats of all enemies when used from the battle menu. You can get it on the Mount Ordeals Crossing after fighting Scarmiglione.
The level up bonus is 5 HP, 1 strength, 1 stamina, and 1 spirit.
Darkness
This ability will cause more damage at the cost of some HP. Cecil comes with it, and Edge can steal it from Odin. Put this on Kain to greatly increase the damage when paired with Jump.
The level up bonus is 10 HP, 1 strength, and 1 stamina.
Draw Attacks
This ability causes all enemies to focus physical attacks on this character. Use it with Counter, and especially Kick to cause serious damage. The other time you want to use this is if you have weak characters in your party, such as when Rydia and Edward first join your party.
You are given this ability by King Giott.
The level up bonus is 1 stamina.
Dualcast
This ability allows a character to cast two magic spells (including summons) during one turn. You can get this ability if you give at least one ability to Palom or Porom, and at least two abilities to the other.
If you use this ability often, you probably want to use Prayer or Bless often, or be near some free healing source.
The level up bonus is 5 MP, 1 intelligence, and 1 spirit.
Eye Gouge
This ability inflicts Blind on enemies. You can get one augment from Namingway when he is in the Lali-ho Pub after he has become Puddingway.
The level up bonus is 1 speed.
Fast Talker
This ability reduces the time it takes to cast magic spells. You get it from Tellah if you have given him at least two augments.
Give this to Rydia first, and then Rosa. If you like to use Edge's magic, you can give the last copy to him.
The level up bonus is 5 MP and 1 intelligence.
Focus
When you use this ability during a battle, it will build up attack power for a future attack. Each time you focus, your next attack will cause more damage. You can focus up to three times, dealing about 2, 3, and 4 times the normal damage of an attack.
This ability is very handy when fighting a boss who counters physical attacks. By reducing the number of attacks, but increasing the damage of each attack, you can avoid the effects of the counter attacks. The other approach is to combine Darkness and Jump with Kain.
The level up bonus is 10 HP and 1 strength.
Gil Farmer
This ability causes you to gain more money after each fight. You can get this ability from the membership-only club in Troia. The membership card to get in is very expensive (100,000 gil), so get this during your first time through the game so that the other two times are free.
The level up bonus is 1 speed.
Hide
This ability removes the character from the battle, preventing them from encountering any damage after they are removed. They can receive damage before the ability is executed, however.
You can get this ability from Edward after the Dark Elf fight if you have given Edward at least two augments before boarding the boat at Fabul.
The level up bonus is 1 speed.
HP +50%
This ability increases the HP of a character by 50%, but not more than 999.
You get this ability from a soldier on the Castle Baron roof after finishing the Tower of Babil.
This ability only makes sense during the first time through the game, and maybe at the very start of subsequent times. If you have Level Lust equipped and the Adamant/Onion equipment on, you won't really need this ability.
The level up bonus is 10 HP.
Inferno
This ability allows a character to inflict serious fire damage. If you previously cast Whirlwind, you will do extra damage because that ability leaves the enemies weak against fire attacks.
You get this ability from the Eblan Cave after fighting Rubicante.
The level up bonus is 5 MP, 1 strength, 1 speed, and 1 stamina.
Item Lore
This ability increases the effects of using an item, including using an equipped weapon, such as a elemental rod or a healing staff.
You can get this ability in Kaipo after defeating the Antlion. You probably want to wait until you get Porom and Palom in your party, and give it to one of them so you can get their abilities. They are so weak at the start, they will do more damage with an item instead of an attack.
The level up bonus is 1 intelligence.
Items
Everyone has this ability, and they are required to have it in their battle menu. It allows you to use items during battles. I personally almost never use this, but there are others who like to use it. The choice is yours.
The level up bonus is 10 HP.
Jump
Kain comes with this ability, and he is the only character who can use it. Kain spends a lot of time in the air, and then comes down with a very strong attack. If you combine this with Darkness, you can get even more damage.
The fact that Kain is in the air has advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is that he is hit less often. The disadvantage is that group cures seldom help him, and even if you target him specifically, there is a chance that he will be in the air, and your spell will be performed on somebody else.
The level up bonus is 10 HP, 1 strength, and 1 stamina.
Kick
This causes the character to attack all enemies, rather than one enemy. The more enemies, the lesser the damage, but the total damage is more than what you would do to a single enemy. This is one of my favorite abilities, and I highly recommend it. I recommend that you replace the Attack command with this command whenever it is available.
You can get this ability from Yang in the Syph Cave, provided you gave him at least one augment before entering the cannon room in the Tower of Babil. Give this ability to Cecil, Edge, and Kain (in that order.)
The only time you want to replace this ability with Attack is for certain boss fights where you need to take out enemies in a certain order. During my third time through the game, I had this ability on Cecil, Edge, and Kain. I also had Counter equipped. I routinely took out enemy parties using Auto-Battle, and even some of the boss fights, such as the Delta Sisters. By the second or third time through the game, you can ignore most of the strategies for boss fights, and just pound them into the ground. This is especially true if you are using the onion equipment.
The level up bonus is 1 strength.
Last Stand
This ability will increase the defense of a character when their HP is low. Although that sounds good, in reality I never really used it. By using Draw Attacks you can prevent weak characters from taking damage. In that case, it only makes sense to give it to Cecil (or whoever you have Draw Attacks equipped on. Since you only have five slots (four, really, since you are stuck with Item), why waste a battle menu slot for something that you will seldom use? In other words, this is a great ability to give to someone else so that you can get their abilities.
You get this ability from Tellah if you gave him at least one augment.
The level up bonus is 10 HP, 1 strength, and 1 stamina.
Level Lust
This is another great augment for the second and third time through the game. It causes the entire party to gain additional experience for battles. Obviously, you want to put this on Cecil during the first time through theh game and keep it until you have everyone at level 99. Equip it during subsequent run throughs, and your characters will level up quickly, which will reduce the amount of time you spend leveling up.
You can get three copies of this ability, but you only need the first one, since the entire party benefits when only one person has it equipped. So the second and third copies are good candidates for giving to characters in order to get their abillities.
You get this ability in the Hummingway Cave on the moon.
The level up bonus is 1 strength.
Limit Break
This ability allows a character to exceed the damage limit of 9999. Give this ability to Kain first, and then to Rydia. Kain's Jump command often hits 9999 during the later parts of the game, and Rydia's Summon commands can easily go over that limit.
You get this ability by completing the game, which means you can only get two copies (at the end of the first and second time.)
In addition to being very useful, it has a great level-up boost (10 HP, 5 MP, plus 1 for all other stats.) Take advantage of this by equipping it when you are between levels 70 and 99, even if your attacks are not doing that much damage because you are using kick instead of attack.
The level up bonus is 10 HP, 5 MP, and 1 for all other stats.
MP +50%
This allows a character's MP to be 150% of its normal value, up to a limit of 999. As with the corresponding HP ability, this is only useful during the fist time through the game. If you have Level Lust equipped, their MP will go up significantly, and you will have less of a need for magic, since more of the fighters will be using Kick. I used this ability on Rydia so that she could summon Wht more often while I was leveling her up.
You can get this ability in Mist after you have been in the Underworld.
The level up bonus is 10 MP.
Ninjustu
Edge is the only person who has this ability, which gives him access to Ninja magic. When playing the original game, I used this ability more often, but almost never used it for the remake version. It depends on your own personal fighting style. Since Pray recovers HP and MP, you can actually use it more often during the remake. I'm not sure why I don't use it; maybe because it isn't needed that much.
The level up bonus is 5 MP and 1 intelligence.
Omnicasting
This ability allows you to target all characters for spells that would normally target one. This is a great ability, since it allows Rosa to cast haste on the entire party with a single spell.
You can get this ability from Fusoya, if you gave him at least one augment before finishing the Tower of Babil. Give your first copy to Rosa.
The level up bonus is 5 MP, 1 intelligence, and 1 spirit.
Phoenix
This is an interesting ability. If a character with this ability equipped dies in a battle, then any party members who have been killed off are resurrected, with their HP restored to the percentage of this character's MP. Give this to Kain. Since he is often in the air, he is frequently the last character to be killed off. And, since he can't use magic, he is pretty much guarenteed to have 100% of his MP, which means your entire party is revived to 100% of their HP. When this happens, revive Kain, restore his MP, and you are all set to continue. You could give the second copy to Edge.
You get this ability if you gave Fusoya at least two augments before defeating the CPU in the Tower of Babil.
The level up bonus is 2 spirit.
Pray
Rosa is the only person who has this ability. In the original game, it would restore some HP. In the remake, it also restores some MP. It doesn't always work, but it usually does, and it doesn't take any MP.
I make this ability Rosa's Auto-Battle command. It helps keep the party at full health and full MP. After a battle, I might have Cecil heal the party, and Rosa will usually fill up his MP during the next battle.
The level up bonus is 1 spirit.
Reach
This ability allows the character to do as much damage from the back row as from the front row. (Typically, attacking from the back row causes less damage.) This ability is useful for weak characters who use physical attacks, but you want to have them in the back row to lessen their damage. (Typically people in the front row take more damage than in the back row.) This ability is great for Edge, especially when he first joins the party.
You can get this ability in the Developer's Office behind the Lai-lo Pub.
The level up bonus is 1 speed.
Recall
Using this ability might allow the character to use a random spell they have "forgotten." It doesn't work that often. The main use for this augment is to give it to a character so that you will get their augments.
You get this ability from Tellah.
The level up bonus is 5 MP and 1 intelligence.
Safe Travel
Equipping this ability disables random battles. This can be very handy under numerous circumstances:
You get this ability from Namingway after you got ????'s Love from him on the moon.
The level up bonus is 1 speed.
Salve
This ability causes items to target your entire party with an item rather than a single character. It is the item equivalent of Omnicasting.
Since I don't tend to use items, I usually give this to somebody so I can get their augments later. If you use items, consider pairing it with Item Lore and/or Auto-Potion.
You can get this from Edward if you gave him at least one augment before boarding the boat in Fabul.
The level up bonus is 1 speed.
Steal
Only Edge has this ability. He might be able to steal an item from an enemy. He can steal at most one item. Some enemies can have one of several items stolen. If you also have Treasure Hunter equipped by someone in the party, the chances of getting the rare items increases.
I often have this set as Edge's Auto-Battle command. Partly because you can sometimes get good items, but also because he seems to get better over time. I will often turn off auto-battle and have the other party members defend during the fight when I'm trying to steal something from a boss. Once the item is stolen, I can resume the normal battle strategy.
The level up bonus is 1 speed.
Summon
Rydia is the only character with this ability. At the start of each game she has the same minimal summons. She will learn additional summons by defeating eidolons with your party. There are a few exceptions - some spells can be learned from dropped items. Those abilities carry over between games.
Summon magic is some of the most powerful spells in the game. Consider equipping Rydia with Fast Talker, and Limit Break as well. If you are doing a lot of summons, you should also be doing Bless and/or Pray.
The level up bonus is 5 MP, 1 intelligence, and 1 spirit.
Throw
Edge is the only character that has this ability. It allows him to throw certain weapons, causing significant damage. The items thrown cannot be recovered. You mainly want to use this during the end of the game.
The level up bonus is 1 speed.
Treasure Hunter
Having this ability equipped increases the probability of getting a rare item stolen or dropped. Actually, it increases the probably of any item being dropped, but it is most useful when trying for rare items.
You get this ability when you complete 100% of the maps. As soon as you get this, you should start trying for rare items, especially the adamant/onion equipment from rare tails.
The level up bonus is 1 speed.
Tsunami
This ability allows the character to perform a high-damage water spell. Depending on your fighting style, use this for offense or to obtain additional augments.
You can get this ability from the Ancient Waterway after defeating Cagnazzo.
The level up bonus is 5 MP, 1 strength, 1 stamina, and 1 intelligence.
Twincast
You get this ability from Palom and Porom. You actually get it from the Elder, but it was their spell. It takes two characters to cast this spell, and they both must have enough MP. Typically this takes a long time, so it isn't always that useful.
The level up bonus is 1 intelligence.
Upgrade
This ability allows the character to use an item to cause elemental damage.
You can get this augment if you gave Cid at least one augment before entering the dwarven castle.
The level up bonus is 1 speed.
Whirlwind
This ability allows the character to inflict a powerful wind-based attack on all enemies. It also leaves the enemies vulnerable to a fire-based attack. Whirlwind followed by Inferno makes a good one-two attack.
You can find this augment in the crystal room of the lodestone cavern after defeating Barbariccia.
The level up bonus is 5 MP, 1 speed, 1 intelligence, and 1 spirit.
White Magic
Rosa comes with this ability. Cecil learns this after he becomes a Paladin. Rydia has it as a young girl, but loses it when she grows up. Tellah and Fusoya can use it as well. It allows the character to cast healing spells. Rosa can also cast Holy, which is a powerful offensive white spell.
The level up bonus is 5MP and 1 spirit.

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[critical] Critical Points in the Game

Have you have ever been following a walkthrough, when something like this happens: "Enter the next room", and so you enter the next room. "But before you enter, ..." Oops! Now you tell me! Well, this section is designed to eliminate those problems.

There are several places where you need to do something or you will miss out on resources. These are usually just before a character leaves your party for the final time. Before they leave, you want to unequip them (especially if you have the adamant / onion equipment on them), and you might want to make sure they are given however many augment abilities they need for you to receive their augments. (You probably don't want Edward's abilities the first time, but only the second and third times.)

As mentioned earlier, this document is not intended to be a complete walk through. There are plenty of those out there, and the one I recommend is by SBAllen on GameFAQS. That particular walkthrough is pretty good at warning you about what is coming up (like when to unequip characters when they will be leaving the party) but there are some places where you still might mess up. This section covers each of these critical points in the game, suggesting what you want to do at each point.

Start of the Game
As soon as you leave Baron Castle, you should save your game. (You don't really want to go through the beginning again, do you?) What you do at this point depends on which pass through the game.
The first time through the game, spend some time leveling up your characters. You will be losing Kain shortly, so concentrate on Cecil. How long you spend doing this is a matter of taste. I tend to see how much experience I am getting, and then see how far before somebody levels up. I then calculate about how many battles that will take, and decide if I want to wait that long. You can use potions or stay at the Inn, whichever you prefer.
The second and third time through the game, put Adamant Armor and Onion equipment on Kain. Cecil can't wear any of that equipment until he becomes a Paladin, so you are stuck with what he has. Equip Cecil with Kick as the default attack and as Auto-Battle. Also equip Counter, Level Lust, and Gil Farmer. It won't take long to get Cecil up to a decent level. You don't need to worry about Kain, his armor will protect him. The use of Gil Farmer isn't necessary, since you probably won't be buying as much equipment as during the first time, so when you have enough money, equip Draw Attacks instead.
Before You Enter Mist
Unequip Kain before you enter the town, especially if he has the Adamanite and Onion equipment.
When You Get Rydia
Rydia is very weak when you first get her, so set her Auto-Battle command to Defend (or Brace if she has it). If this is the first time through the game, save after each battle. Remember that you can't use the inn at Kaipo, so use potions or tents.
If this is not your first time, equip Draw Attacks on Cecil to prevent Rydia from getting hit.
Before Entering Kaipo
You are going to get into a boss fight as soon as you enter, so make sure Cecil is at a good level. Save before you enter the town. If you lose the fight, reset the game, level up some more, and try again. This will only be an issue the first time through the game.
When Rydia Joins
Don't forget to find Rosa in the NE part of town.
If this is your first time, be careful of Rydia since she is very weak. Spend some time leveling her up. Equip her with HP +50% if she has it. Save often, and run if you encounter a sand worm.
If this is not the first time, equip Rydia with adamant and onion armor. Don't bother leveling up until you get Tellah. Equip Tella with adamant armor and spend a little time leveling up. (Remember you are going to get Edward soon, and he is weaker yet. That is where you will do serious leveling up.)
Damcyan Castle
Unequip Tellah before entering the castle. You don't have to give him any augments just yet; he will join the party again later.
This is a great place to level up after you get Edward, since you can restore HP and MP for free in the castle. You can take the hover craft to either the Antlion cave or the entrance to Mount Hobs to level up faster, and then return to the castle and heal.
Fabul
Save before entering. If you lose the boss battle, reset the game and level up some more before trying it again.
Before you board the boat, unequip everyone except Cecil.
If this is your second or third time, consider giving Edward two augments so you can get Salve and Hide. They aren't worth wasting any augments during your first run-through. (I recommend that you give Edward augments during the second pass, but you can wait until the third if you want.)
Mysidia
The first time through the game, make sure you buy the Paladin equipment. For the second and third times, you will be able to use the adamant and onion equipment.
Spend some time leveling up Palom and Porom before starting up Mount Ordeals. There is a Chocobo forest south of the entrance that has a white chocobo there. Let Porom heal the party when needed, and when she runs low on magic, talk to the white chocobo to refresh her MP.
Once Cecil becomes a Paladin, save your game and stay in the area until he gains several levels. When you think he can make it down the mountain, consider spending some time near the chocobo forest to level up some more. If you have Safe Travel, you can use that to come down the mountain safely, and then level up near the chocobo forest, but I would still recommend you fight a few times on the mountain before doing that.
Baron Castle
After you fight Baigan, go back and save. Before you enter the throne room, unequip Palom and Porom, even though you have a boss fight coming up. Also make sure you have given them a total of three augments - one augment to one of them and two augments to the other. (It doesn't matter who got one or two augments.)
Go back to the Ancient Waterway and get Tsunami
Troia
Make sure you talk to Edward before you leave to fight the Dark Elf. If you don't, you will die. Also make sure you take off metalic armor. If you are on your second or third time, the onion equipment is not made of metal, so it works perfectly fine. (I think that adamant armor is metal, so equip the onion armor. If you don't have onion armor, you might try adamant armor.)
Tower of Zot
Remember that you can only go through this dungeon once per game. Make sure that you complete all the maps during your first play through of the game. If you care about the Beastiary, make sure you fight all available enemies.
Before entering the locked room, unequip Tellah and make sure you have given him at least two augments so you can get his later.
Agart
Once you enter the underground, you will be there for a while. Make sure you finish any business you might have before going in.
Dwarven Castle
Make sure you unequip Cid before entering the castle. If this is your second time through, you should give him at least two augments. Also make sure that Cecil and/or Rosa can cast Libra (white magic) before entering. This will be important when fighting Golbez.
Find the pot near the western entrance to the castle, where you can get free HP/MP restoration. As you can guess, this is a great place for leveling up.
Rydia's whip not only does reasonable damage, there is a decent chance the enemy will be stopped, which makes the rest of the fight trivial.
Tower of Babil
Another dungeon you can only go through once per game. The first time through the game, make sure you map out everything before you enter the cannon room. If you care about the bestiary, keep track of who you have fought.
Unequip Yang before you enter the canon room. Also make sure you have given him at least one augment during your first time through the game. This will allow you to get Kick, which is an augment you don't want to miss.
Underground Side Quests
Don't miss out on side quests, which will let Rydia gain some really good summons, and allow you to get some additional augments.
Sylph Cave – make sure you visit Yang.
Passage of the Eidolons – visit Wht's home, and fight Asura and Leviathan.
Sealed Cave
Make sure you save your game before entering the crystal room during your first time through the game. The Demon Wall can be tricky, and might take you several tries. During the second and third times through, it is much easier.
On the way out, unequip Kain when you are near the entrance.
Overworld Side Quests
There are a number of side quests you can do at this point, some of which require a follow-up underground.
Talk to Yang's wife in Fabul, then visit Yang again in the Sylph Cave, then tell his wife what happened.
Get Inferno from the Eblan Cave.
Give the rat tail to the collector and get adamantite, then take it down to Kokol so you can get the Excalibar.
Visit Troia, buy the membership card in the pub, and get the Gil Farmer augment.
Go to the Lodestone Cavern and get Whirlwind from the crystal room.
Visit the king in his chambers at Baron Castle after you have visited the Passage of the Eidolons so Rydia can learn Odin and Edge can steal Darkness.
Mysidia
Make sure you finish any outstanding business before you go to the moon. You will not be able to do anything on the earth until you finish the Giant of Babil.
Moon
There are a number of things to do on the moon:
HummingwayAbode – get Level Lust.
Crystal Palace – pick up Fusoya before you try to beat Bahamut.
Lair of the Father – this dungeon and Bahamut are tough. Get in the habit of teleporting out of the dungeon, healing in the Lunar Whale, saving your game, and go back in the dungeon. You might consider using Safe Travel to cut down on fights. If you get killed off by the Behemoth or Bahamut, level up some more.
Giant of Babil
If you examine the crystal in the Lunar Whale, a series of cut scenes will end you up in the Giant of Babil. This is another one-time dungeon: if you miss anything, you can't go back and do it once you beat the boss.
After you finish the four elementals, go back and save your game. Before you proceed beyond where that battle took place, unequip Fusoya.
Once you get your final party assembled, take time to set up abilities, equipment, etc.
Finish up the Earth Side Quests
Lunar Subterrane
If this is your first time, when you get to the bottom of this dungeon, you should have completed all the maps and get Treasure Hunter. When this happens, start working on your tails and rainbow pudding. You might consider using Safe Travel to map out the dungeon without having to worry about the more difficult enemies at this time. Once you have adamant armor and onion equipment, they will be much easier to take on.
You can start at the bottom save area of the Lunear Subterrain to get the red and pink tails. Then move to other locations and collect all of the items.
I strongly recommend that during your first time through the game, you take the time to get a complete set of Adamant and Onion equipment by stealing complete sets of all the tails. Yes, I know it is a pain, but it will make life so much easier not only at the end of the first game, but all through the second and third times through the game. See the Items section for suggestions on how to do this easier.
Make sure you have Edge steal Dark Matter from Zeromus.

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[items] Obtaining Rare Items

There are several rare items that will carry over to the next game. Most of them are gotten by fighting dragons (the pink tail you get by fighting the flan princess.) The easiest / quickest way to do this is to use Sirens, which will immediately start a fight with some monster, depending on where you use it. Make sure you equip Treasure Hunter to double your chances of getting rare items. (Unfortunately this is still very rare - about 4%).

Gold and Silver Apples
These items increase the maximum HP of a character. Gold apples increase it by 100, while silver apples increase it by 50. Gold apples are very rare, but you will probably find quite a few silver apples while trying to get rare tails.
Gold apples are hard to come by. There is a slight chance that the gold dragon might drop one, but there is no sure way of getting them. Silver apples, on the other hand, are much easier. While trying for tails, the dragons dropped silver apples more often than tails. I ended up with 90 silver apples, and then didn't worry about getting any after that.
Soma Drops
These items will increase the maximum MP of a character by 10. Fortunately, several augment abilities will increase MP while leveling up between levels 70 and 99. I had no problems maxing out MP on most characters without using soma drops.
Dark Sages have a slim chance of dropping a soma drop.
Rare Tails
As with the original game, you can exchange a rat's tail for adamant ore. With the remake, you can exchange other tails for special equipment that carries over to the next game. Since the tail drops are so rare, and the dragon encounters are also rare, the best way is to use a siren to initiate a fight in a place where you will probably end up fighting a dragon. Since sirens are expensive, you probably want to reset the game if you don't find a tail within some number of battles. How many is up to you, but I typically reset the game after 10-15 battles (5-10 when I started running out of money).
Red Tail
Dropped by Red Dragons
From the bottom save in the Lundar Subterrane, go down one floor and use a siren. Reset your game if you don't get a tail by some number of fights.
Exchange for an Onion Sword. You only need two of these (Cecil and Kain)
Pink Tail
Dropped by the Flan Princesses
From the bottom save in the Lunar Subterrane, go up two levels, and enter the room right next to the stairs. Make sure that Cecil has the crystal mail equipped, since it will prevent him becoming beserk. Cecil should have white magic equipped. When the rainbow flans cast beserk, have Cecil use esuna on Rosa. Have Cecil kick and Rosa pray until the fight is over.
Exchange for Adamant Armor
This is the best armor in the game, and the hardest to get. All five party members can wear this, and many of the temporary party members can wear this as well. (In fact, some of the temporary characters can only wear adamant armor, not the onion equipment.) You can take time to collect these now, or spend the next couple games levelling up charactes when they join.
Blue Tail
Dropped by Thunder Dragons
Enter Passage of the Eidolons and go down one floor, then use a siren. Reset your game if you don't get a tail after some number of fights.
Exchange for an Onion Shield. You only need two of these (Cecil and Kain).
Green Tail
Dropped by Green Dragons
Stand outside the entrance for the Sealed Cave and use a siren. Reset your game if you don't get a tail after some number of fights.
Exchange for an Onion Helm. Collect all five of these.
Yellow Tail
Dropped by Yellow Dragons
Take a step inside the Path of the Eidolons and use a siren. Reset your game if you don't get a tail after some number of fights.
Exchanged for Onion Gloves. Collect all five of these.
Black Tail
Dropped by Armored Fiends
Enter Lair of the Father and go down one level, then use a siren. Reset your game if you don't get a tail after some number of fights.
Exchange for Onion Armor. Collect all five of these, even if you have the adamant armor. They are a life saver in the lodestone cavern when you are after the Dark Elf.
Summoning Items
These items allow Rydia to learn new summoning spells. You only need to get these items once, and it isn't worth using sirens. Just wander around getting into random encounters until the item is dropped.
Bomb
Dropped by Balloons and Dark Grenades
Cockatrice
Dropped by Cockatrices, Helldivers, and Fledgling Ruks
Goblin
Dropped by Goblins and Lil Murders
Mindflayer
Dropped by Mindflayers
Dark Matter
You can steal this from Zeromus during the final battle.
It allows you to summon one of the optional bosses.

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[first] First Time Through the Game

The first time through the game will be the hardest, and take the longest. Like many Final Fantasy titles, if you take your time and don't rush through the game, taking all the side quests, you should have no problems getting through the game. By collecting items that will carry over, you can make the remaining times through the game much easier.

There are plenty of walkthroughs available that will help you get through the game the first time. This FAQ concentrates on subsequent times through the game. Having said that, here are some suggestions on things to do during your first pass that will help you during subsequent times through the game.

Use Augment Abilities
The augment abilities provide some great features, so take advantage of them. The walkthrough by SBAllen makes suggestions on what items to give to what characters and when. During subsequent walkthoughs, you can use a second and third copy of the item to other characters.
You can make fights easier by equipping Cecil with the Kick as the top ability, along with Draw Attacks and Counter abilities. What this does is cause all physical attacks to be made against Cecil. Since he has Counter equipped, he will perform the default (first) attack, which is Kick. This means that every time any enemy performs a single attack, Cecil will attack all enemies in return. (This doesn't work with magic attacks.)
Have Rosa Pray for Auto-Battle, and have it available on her battle menu as well. For the remake, Pray not only gives HP to all party members, but it also gives them MP as well.
Complete all maps
Make sure you complete all of the maps so that you can get the Treasure Hunter ability during the first time through the game. This will make it easier to collect rare items. Once you have completed all the maps, you can work on collecting tails to get a complete set of onion/adamant equipment.
Be especially careful while in one-time dungeons because once you have leave the dungeon, you will not be able to go back and finish anything you might have missed.
Collect complete sets of Onion/Adamant Armor
Get enough tails so that you can trade them in for a complete set of armor for your final party. Make sure you get five sets of Adamant Armor, since most (if not all) of the people who will be in your party during the course of the game will be able to wear Adamant Armor.
Don't use apples and drops
Don't use any of the gold or silver apples, or any of the soma drops during the first time through the game. The only exception would be if you got over 90 silver apples while trying for rare tails. Rather than losing them, use any that you gain over 90 to beef up your weakest characters.

Once you have the Treasure Hunter ability, you want to collect tails so that you can build your armor collection for not only the end of the game, but for the next two times through the game. The easiest way to do this is to buy as many sirens as you can afford. What you are going to do is use sirens to fight the enemy that drops whatever tail you are looking for. Decide how many sirens you are willing to lose while looking for the tail. (I usually picked 5-15 sirens, depending on how rich I felt or frustrated I was.) If you don't get a tail after too many attempts, then reset the game and start over. Sirens are too expensive to just burn through them. If you run low on funds, wander around the moon getting into random battles to make money, probably under the lunar surface. Many of the dragons actually drop silver apples more often than they do tails. What I would often do was save after a silver apple as well as a tail. I eventually stopped this when I had over 90 silver apples. If you want detailed steps, here they are:

This will take a long time, and I can understand how some of you might not want to spend all this time. Just remember that the more of the final equipment you have, the easier the next time through the game will be. What I often did was play the game while I was doing something else. I would use a siren with auto-battle turned on, and then put the game down. While doing whatever else I was doing, I would check the game every so often. If it was over, I would either save if I got a tail, use another siren, or reset the game if I had used too many sirens.

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[second] Second Time Through the Game

This should be the easiest time through the game, requiring almost no extra time leveling up. Assuming you got the adamant / onion equipment during your first pass, you can equip all of your characters with this equipment (at least the adamant armor can be worn by virtually all characters.) The big exception is Cecil when he is a dark knight at the very start of the game. There will be only two times when you will need to level up will be for Cecil - at the very beginning of the game, and when he becomes a paladin. In both cases, if you have Level Lust equipped, it will go much faster than it did during the first game.

From the start, equip Cecil with Kick instead of Attack, and also equip Counter, Level Lust and Gill Farmer. Set his Auto-Battle command to Kick. This will cause your party to gain levels and earn cash quickly. It will also cause Cecil to attack everyone any time he gets hit. If you don't take everybody out after one kick, you will probably take them out during the second one.

While Cecil is a dark knight, he can't wear onion or adamant armor; you will have to wait until he becomes a palidan. However, all of the other party members will be able to at least wear the adamant armor, and sometimes other things. Obviously, anyone who will be in the final party can wear them, but many (if not all) of the other characters can take advantage of them as well. Just make sure you unequip them before they leave the party.

At the very start of the game, equip Kain with Adamant Armor, and the Onion equipment, including the Onion Sword. (Make sure you unequip him before you enter Mist.) You are stuck with Cecil's default equipment since he can't wear any of the onion or adamant equipment, but by Cecil kicking instead of attacking, you should be able to have short battles.

When you get Rydia, spend a little time leveling her up. Set her auto-battle to defend. With Level Lust on Cecil, it shouldn't take too long. You should also equip Draw Attacks on Cecil so that Rydia doesn't get attacked. (Use this same trick whenever you get a new character with low levels.) Get Tellah and spend some more time leveling him up. Equip Tellah with the healing staff and set Tellah's auto-battle to the item "Healing Staff". This will perform a heal similar to Prayer during these battles (without restoring MP). Don't spend a lot of time on these two characters, since you are going to get Edward soon. As soon as you can get through the battles, get to Damcyan to get Edward. Once you have Edward, take more time to level your party up. Since you can get free healing at the Damcyan castle, this is your best chance to level up.

Once you get Yang, you now have some serious attack power. With both Cecil and Yang performing Kick attacks, and adamant/onion equipment on everyone, you should make short work of most enemies. If you are having some problems on Mount Hobbs, go back to near Damcyan and level up some more. Of course, make sure you remove all their equipment before boarding the ship.

Palom and Polom can use the onion equipment, so they will fair pretty well. Don't bother buying the Paladin equipment, since Cecil will be able to wear the adamant and onion equipment once he is a Paladin. Equip them with the fire rod and healing staff, and set their auto-battle command to those items. Since you need to give them each one augment, and one of them a second one, consider giving one of them the Item Lore ability, which will increase the attack or heal. Spend time near the chocobo forest leveling up. You can use magic to heal your party after battles. When you run low on magic, talk to the white chocobo.

Once Cecil becomes a Paladin, equip the adamant armor and other onion equipment. It will only take a few battles to gain a fair number of levels, so stay near the save area until you think you can get down the mountain. Again, with the good equipment, you shouldn't have too much trouble. When you get down off the mountain, spend some time near the chocobo forest leveling Cecil up. (As you can tell, I like to level up for free. ;^) By the time you have Cecil levelled up, you should have no problems with the rest of the game.

There is no need to try to max out your stats during this time through the game. Save that for the third time.

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[third] Third Time Through the Game

This is your last chance through the game. This is when you want to max out your statistics, use up the apples and drops you have been accumulating, and try out those optional bosses.

You will start the game the same was as you started the second time, except that you will be able to distribute more abilities to your party, which will make it even easier. Imagine having Cecil, Edge, and Kain all using Kick and Counter. The battles will be incredibly short!

Once you get your final party for the last time, you can concentrate on maxing our your stats. When they get to level 70, equip abilities on them so that their stats will max out by the time they reach level 99. Put on the final equipment to see how much they need to level up. Once every character has been maxed out, it is time to put on their real abilities and go after the optional bosses. These bosses are what will make the third time different than the second.

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[max] Maximizing Stats

Between levels 1 and 70, each character increases according to a predefined pattern. Nothing can be done to affect the stats for an individual other than using apples and drops to increase HP/MP, using the HP/MP + 50% ability, or using equipment to temporarily increase stats.

Between levels 70 and 99, however, each character increases their stats according to what abilities they have equipped. Each ability has a predefined set of stats bonuses, which are cummulative. If two abilities each increase a given stat by 1, and both are equipped by a character, that stat will increase by 2. The walkthrough by SBAllen provides a detailed method of maximizing the stats of your final party, although there is an easier way to do the same thing.

Remember that your final party will be equipped with Adamant armor and Onion equipment. These items increase the stats of your characters. Since all stats max out at 99, you don't need to have all stats at 99, but rather at the difference between their stats with the armor on and 99. Check the stats at level 70 to determine what needs to be increased to max out their stats by level 99. For example, if a stat is 70 with their armor on at level 70, then they only need to increase that stat by 1 each time to reach 99. If, however, another stat is 45, then that stat needs to be increased by 2 each time the character levels up.

You can rearrange your abilities as a character maxes out some of their stats. For example, once a character has a strength of 99, then there is no reason to keep any ability that increases strength, unless it also increases another stat that still needs increasing. Once the character is all maxed out, then you should equip whatever abilities match your fighting style.

The stats bonuses for abilities can be found at http://ff4.wikidot.com/stats-increase, which is available under the Creative Commons License. The table below is adapted from that web site:

Augment HP MP Str Spd Sta Int Spi
????'s Love
Increase strength based on Wht summons
10 5 1 1 1 1 1
Adrenaline
Double attack when HP is low
    1        
Aim
Seldom miss with bow (Rosa only)
      1      
Analyze
Learn stats of enemy
          1  
Attack
Normal fight command
10   1        
Auto-Potion
Automatically use potions when damaged
10       1    
Bardsong
Sing songs that affect party or enemies
      1      
Black Magic
Attack magic (no augment)
  5       1  
Bless
Gradually replenish MP of party
            1
Bluff
Doubles intelligence
          1  
Brace
Stronger form of defense
10       1    
Augment HP MP Str Spd Sta Int Spi
Counter
Counter-attack when physically attacked
    1   1    
Cover
Protect weak party members
        1    
Cry
Decrease defense of enemy
            1
Curse
Reduce stats of all enemies
  5 1   1   1
Darkness
Lose HP to increase damage
10   1   1    
Draw Attacks
Takes all physical attacks
        1    
Dualcast
Cast twice in one turn
  5       1 1
Eye Gouge
Blinds all enemies
      1      
Fast Talker
Reduce time to cast spells (including summons)
  5       1  
Focus
Increase attack power (up to three times before attack)
10   2        
Gil Farmer
Increase money earned
      1      
Augment HP MP Str Spd Sta Int Spi
Hide
Removes character from battle
      1      
HP +50%
Increase HP of character by 50% (but not more than 999)
10            
Inferno
Attack all enemies with strong fire attack.
  5 1 1 1    
Item Lore
Increase the effect of items in battle.
          1  
Items
Use items (required battle command)
10            
Jump
Attack from air with higher damage (but slower)
10   1   1    
Kick
Attack all enemies
    1        
Last Stand
Defense of character increases when HP is low.
10   1   1    
Level Lust
Increase amount of experience gained.
    1        
Limit Break
Remove 9999 damage limit.
10 5 1 1 1 1 1
MP +50%
Increase MP of character by 50% (but not more than 999)
  10          
Augment HP MP Str Spd Sta Int Spi
Ninjustu
Ability to use ninja magic (Edge only)
  5       1  
Omnicasting
Ability to target all with spells that normally only target one.
  5       1 1
Phoenix
When this character dies, any characters already dead are revived.
            2
Pray
Usually replenishes HP and MP (Rosa only)
            1
Reach
Same damage from rear row than front row.
      1      
Recall
Possibly remember forgotten spell.
  5       1  
Safe Travel
Eliminate random encounters.
      1      
Salve
Use items on entire party.
      1      
Steal
Sometimes steals item from enemy.
      1      
Augment HP MP Str Spd Sta Int Spi
Summon
Call eidolons during battle.
  5       1 1
Throw
Ability to throw items at enemy. (Edge only)
      1      
Treasure Hunter
Increases chance to obtain rare items.
      1      
Tsunami
Attack all enemies with strong water damage.
  5 1   1 1  
Twincast
Perform powerful combined attack with another character.
          1  
Upgrade
Use items to change elemental damage of weapons.
      1      
Whirlwind
Inflict wind-based damage on all enemies.
Leaves enemies weak against fire
  5   1   1 1
White Magic
Perform cure-based magic (no augment)
  5         1
Augment HP MP Str Spd Sta Int Spi

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[boss] Optional Bosses

I suggest that you take these folks on the third time through the game. You can only fight one of them if you have stolen dark matter from Zeromus, so you can't do it the first time through the game. These bosses become available for the second and third time through the game. If you beat them during the second time, I'm not sure why you would want to play it a third time. Remember, you will have additional augments available during the third time, which would make it easier to win.

Max out all your characters and stock up on your favorite items. Make sure you have the best armor on, and take time to think about what abilities you want equipped. You probably want one or two characters to have Phoenix equipped.

Here are the optional bosses and how you can fight them:

Geryon
You have two choices for fighting this boss: either on Mount Ordeals, or where you fought the four elementals in the Giant of Babil. Hit the A button at either locations to start the fight.
If you have complete sets of the adamant / onion equipment for all characters, most of his attacks will do little if anything. (I told you it was worth getting those items, didn't I? ;^)
Geryon will use gas attacks, so having ribbons and/or onion equipment will help somewhat. You might also think about using cursed rings to nullify parts of the attack. Elemental attacks heal him, so be careful what you equip, and what spells you use. I suggest you fight this boss on Mount Ordeals, since you can save the game, walk a few steps and try to beat him. If you fail, reload the game, adjust your equipment and/or strategy, and try again.
This is the easier of the two optional bosses. As long as you have adamant / onion equipment, you should be able to beat him without maxing out your characters. In fact, since you get about 100K gil and 160K experience, this is a great way to level up and make money at the same time. You can fight this boss as often as you want.
Cast Cry and Bless at the start. Haste the party and slow Geryon. Once that is done, have Cecil and Edge hit, Kain jump, Rydia summon Bahamut, and Rosa pray. Between Bless and Pray, Rydia will only lose a few MP each time she summons. I actually had her hit with her whip and she did about the same damage as Edge, so if she gets low on MP, just have her hit and have Rosa pray to recover MP. If their HP gets low (like after Maelstrom), I had Rosa cast Curaja on all, and then Holy on Geryon (I had Dualcast on, which is why I needed the second cast.) I could beat him consistently with their stats maxed out, but with HP less than 5000. I suspect you could beat him without being maxed out, so if you need to level up and/or make lots of money, give it a try. The most it will cost you is a trip up Mount Ordeals.
Proto-Babil
You might have noticed something different about the moon than previous versions of the game: there is a face on the surface. It is near the upper central section of the moon. Hit the A button when you are looking at the man on the moon, then select Dark Matter.
Save your game before you start the fight, and expect to reset the game a few times. Unlike Geryon, Proto-Babil will kill off characters with a single hit for 9999, so make sure you have Phoenix equipped and hope for the best. I'm not sure if the secret is strategy or luck.

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[thanks] Thanks and Credits

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Thanks to the following people

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[version] Version History

16 Oct 2010 - Version 1.4
Fixed typos
22 Dec 2009 - Version 1.3
Clarified what "Game Plus" means for this game.
General clean up and copy edit.
19 Sep 2010 - Version 1.3
Mentioned that adamite might not be metalic.
5 May 2009 - Version 1.2
Added contact information
26 Oct 2008 - Version 1.1
Added bonus stats to abilities section.
Added more detail.
17 Oct 2008 - Version 1.0
Added reasonable content for all sections.
Oct 2008 - Version 0.1
Initial version

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