Friday, January 11, 2013

Final Fantasy Tactics: Treasure Hunter

Final Fantasy Tactics has 4 different types of abilities you can learn from each job. You have active actions you use in battle, passive reaction abilities, generic passive abilties, and passive movement abilities. Each character can equip two jobs worth of active abilities (their current job and one other one) and one of the other three types of abilities. Most of the movement abilities are pretty straightforward but there's one that I've always found frustrating. Known in the original game as move-find item it was rebranded for the PSP release as treasure hunter. The basic idea behind it is when you move around on the map you have a chance of finding hidden items. Are these items worth searching for? I'm not really sure, so I'm hoping the internet will tell me.

First off, how does it work? It turns out you don't really have a chance to find items when you move around. Instead some squares on each map have been tagged as containing items and if you move specifically onto those squares you get an item. Each square has two different options (one rare, one common) and the chance of getting the rare one is higher if you have a low brave stat. Apparently this is the only reason in the game to want a low brave stat so right out of the gate trying to make treasure hunter good is going to make you worse at actual combat. (You won't have a real movement ability and you'll do less physical damage and your reaction abilities will proc less often.) Once you get either item from a square you're done and can't get the other one. So if you want a specific item, you'll need to reload if you get the wrong one.

I hate moving in general (it delays your next action), I hate walking to every square in the hopes it's an item square, and I don't have access to item maps while playing on the bus. So, treasure hunter seems like the sort of thing I should pretend doesn't exist and move on with my life. But the idea of leaving stuff behind makes me sad, especially if it isn't replaceable stuff. So I figure it's probably a reasonable idea to go searching for info on what can be found to see if I really want any of it or not.

Looking through the info in the only PSP FAQ on gamefaqs makes it clear that for the vast majority of maps the common item is a consumable you can buy in the store and the rare item is a piece of gear you can buy in the store. So rather than worry about picking those up I can just go buy them. And if I needed more money I think I'd run around using steal gil or running errands instead of picking up store bought gear in fights. It does, however, list some exceptions:

Invisibility cloak, healing staff, blood sword, materia blade, javelin II, escutcheon II, sasuke's blade, nagnarok, 15 elixirs, and loot in the challenge dungeon that I don't think I ever did. None of this stuff happens until late in chapter IV. I only just started chapter III so it's still nothing I really need to worry about. But is it something I ever want to worry about?

Invisibility cloak is the only one in the game, but you can get it by repeating fights on the map and while it is unique it doesn't seem like anything I'd miss if I didn't get it.

Healing staff can be obtained in other ways and lets you attack your friends for health. They'll still dodge/counter attack though. And as I discovered when trying to cure doom with an auto-attack today, the first strike counter-attack actually prevents the initial attack from going through when procced. So I don't know that I'd even use one of these. Nevermind that you get one for free before you can treasure hunter it. I really doubt I want two of them!

Blood sword can apparently be poached, whatever that is, and could have been stolen earlier if I'd cared. It isn't very strong so I can't see why I need to search this thing up either.

Materia blade is apparently used if you recruit Cloud to unlock his abilities. Sounds good, but you can steal it while recruiting him apparently. And you only need the one.

The next four items are all found on the same map. This seems like a good place for treasure hunter, assuming I remember, but they aren't unique. The map is Nelveska Temple somewhere in chapter IV.

Elixirs I really don't care about.

Challenge dungeon stuff I'll look into if I feel like doing it near the end of the game.

So, the bottom line is I can pretty safely ignore the treasure hunter ability. If I remember I'll try to give it to someone with low bravery before I do Nelveska Temple but even then I won't be too sad if I forget.

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