Final Fantasy XII The Zodiac Age: Finding and Defeating/Obtaining the Zodiark Esper

ZODIARK:
Zodiark is the last and most Powerful Esper in the Game and this fight is one of the hardest Battles in the Game so don’t expect it to be easy!! This Guide will cover how to get to ZodiarkIn order to face Zodiark, good/best Character Set Ups and a viable Strategy to defeat him. You must first have Obtained at least 10 of the other Espers and have complete the Mind Flayer Hunt before Zodiark will appear. Zodiark has 350,000 HP. Zodiark can be found in  the Special Charter Dig in Henne Mines.

RECOMMENDATIONS:
I would recommend that all your Characters be AT LEAST Level 65 for the Battle. As always, make sure you are fully stocked on Items before the Battle. Phoenix Downs, all manner of Potions (especially X-Potions,) and Ethers are needed. Eye Drops for BLIND Status and also Zodiark can cause DISEASE Status, so you’ll want a full supply of Serums as well. Weapons you may want include Holy Rod, Excalibur (Wyrmhero Blade IF you can mange it, but probably not,) and/or Holy Lance. If your using one of those Holy Elemental Weapons you’ll want White Robes, optimally 3 of them if your using a three person Team using Excalibur (or Wyrmhero Blade,) Holy Lance and Holy Rod. However, near the end of the Battle he starts Absorbing Elemental Damage, so you’ll want the best Non-Elemental Weapons Available to you as well. Masamune or Khumba would be really good if your using a Bushi.  Other than that you’ll want the best kinds of Armors available to you. I DEFINITELY recommend using a White Mage in this fight. A RIBBON would be good for your Healer (White Mage) and Genji Gloves for your best Damage Dealer (if you can mange two for two Damage Dealers would be even better.) As for Magicks, you’ll need Raise/Arise, Curaga/Curaja, Dispel/Dispelga, Blinda (or Esuna/Esunaga) and CLEANSE is definitely needed. Other good Spells to have are Haste/Hastega, Bubble, Shellga and Bravery, but those are not really, “NEEDED,” but they would make the Battle easier. The Holy Spell would be good for your White Mage to deal a lot of Damage against Zodiark but its costly on MP which you probably want to save for Healing and also Zodiark puts up Barriers which make him impervious to Magicks and also starts Absorbing Elemental Damage. Non-Elemental Spells like Bio, Scathe, Scourge, Flare, Shock will be good, but also Zodiark gives himself Reflect Status so I don’t recommend them, Physical Damage is the best bet (though you could cast Reflect on your Party and bounce them off of you to hit him, but then you can’t Heal yourself with Magicks. You could also Opal Rings to get through his Reflect, but there are better options for your Accessories like RIBBON and Genji Gloves.) I don’t suggest using Berzerk in this fight because your Damage Dealers will have to heal with Potions and Phoenix Downs sometimes and Decoy will be pretty much useless because Zodiark’s Darkja targets your entire Party regardless.

SET UP:
Zodiark is a Dark Elemental Enemy, so Dark Elemental Weapons (like Yagu Darkblade) and the Dark/Darka/Darkga Spells will be useless in this fight and will actually HEAL him. However, Holy Elemental Weapons will be SUPER EFFECTIVE against him, so Equip your White Mage with the Holy Rod and White Robes (Boosts Holy Elemental Damage by 50%.) Also a Knight paired with either White Mage, Black Mage, Red Batllemage or Bushi with Excalibur and White Robes Equipped would be your BEST Damage dealer in this fight (Wyrmhero Blade would actually be even better but you probably don’t have it at this stage of the Game.) You can even Equip the Genji Gloves on your Knight to Boost his Combo Rate which will help you do even more DPS. Also, a Uhlan paired with one of the Mystic Armor Jobs I mentioned for Knight with the Holy Lance and White Robes Equipped would also be a good Damage Dealer. Same with the Knight, you can Equip Genji Gloves for the same effect of Boosting the Combo Rate. And as always a Bushi paired with a Heavy Armor Job like Knight or Uhlan (for Strength Boosting Battle Lores and Heavy Armor) with Masamune or Khumba (if Bushi/Knight you can use a Shield with Khumba,) Grand Helm (or your best Heavy Helm,) Lordly Robes (or your best Mystic Armor) and Genji Glove Equipped will also be a really good Damage Dealer. Equipping your Characters with Dark Absorbing Equipment like the DEmon Shiled or Black Masks SOUNDS like a good idea on paper, however Zodiark’s Darkja CAN bypass it, also it can still cause INSTANT DEATH, so I don’t recommend that. I’d recommend have two Healers for this fight, one main one (probably your White Mage) to use through most of the Battle and another one (who can cast Rise/Arise and Curaga/Curaja or use Items) to revive your main Healer when they are KILLED. A RIBBON on your Healer (White Mage) would be best to protect them from DISEASE and BLIND Status.

HOW TO GET TO ZODIARK:
Go to Jahara and speak to the Geomancer sat on the small hill to the right as you cross the bridge into the village. He will open up a Gate in the Henne Mines that will allow you to get the Zodiark. Teleport to the Crystal in the Mine and head for the room where you fought Tiamat. The Areas will spawn some tough Enemies, but they are mostly Undead so you can use your Holy Elemental Weapons or even Curaga/Curaja on them. The further you go and the more Enemies you deafeat the more likely a NECROFIEND will spawn, also beware of Abysteels, so be careful. Take the exit to the right, to the Phase 2 Dig. Head all the way east to find an Urn containing the Henne Mines Candle, which will give you the Map for these Areas. Head south through the Tunnel and Corridor. Once you’re back in the rocky tunnel heading west take the exit about half way along to the south – there’s a hidden tunnel not marked on your map that will lead to the south side of the Area. Head east and exit to Crossover C. Follow to the south then all the way to the west to Pithead Junction C. DO NOT PULL THE SWAITCH!! It will block your path and spawn Abysteel Enemies. Just head south to Phase 2 Shaft. Head east through the narrow corridors, and when you get to the the tunnel head north, east at the junction, and then south and through some more narrow Corridors to the east to Special Charter Shaft. Here you should definitely SAVE because the next Area is difficult with lots of Necrofiends and Etéms and if Zodiark defeats you, which is entirely possible, you’ll have you go through here again because there is NO Save Crystal beyond this point. Make your way through the Corridors and the Tunnel, there is a LOT of LOOT you can get here, but if you get it now and Zodiark defeats you you’ll have to go around and collect it all again, so its best to beat Zodiark first. In the small cavern about half way along the west-east passage there’s a path to the north not marked on your map. Follow it round and it will lead to the L-shaped passage to the north. Follow that, and you’ll eventually reach your destination.

STRATEGY:
Zodiark begins the Battle using a ONE TIME MASSIVE Darkja Attack which can hit for 8,000 Damage and can inflict INSTANT DEATH and/or BLIND. There is an 80% chance that this opening move will KILL your entire Party so I would recommend walking in there with only one of your Characters, your most useless one, to, “TAKE ONE FOR THE TEAM,” kind of thing. And Zodiark uses his Darkja Spell a LOT during this fight, so like I said before, two Healers is best. However his regular Darkja Spell (besides the one he uses in the beginning) does around 200-3,000 Damage and has a high chance of causes DISEASE Status which is a NIGHTMARE, so use Cleanse or a Serum when that happens. Probably best to use your Quickening or Summons early in this fight because later Zodiark will be putting up his Barriers and will become impervious to Attacks. Set Up your Buffs on your main Damage Dealers if you’re using them. Try to Dispel him of his Buffs when you can but when he puts up his Magick Shield that will be useless, so disable your Dispel Gambits when he does to conserve your MP for Healing. For most of this fight staying alive should be your main focus and Non-White Magick inclined Characters should have a, “Self:HP less than x% – X-Potion,” Gambit Set Up above all their Attacking Gambits. Rushing this fight will most likely lead to defeat and if you start losing too many Characters it can be difficult to recover. When Zodiark reaches 25% HP he will start to use Shift, Great Barrier, Faith, Bravery, and Mana Spring and will become increasingly more difficult. At times you will NOT even be able to Damage him at all. He will start ABSORBING Elemental Damage, so now you’ll needs to swap out those Holy Elemental Weapons for your best Non-Elemental Weapons and you can also replace your White Robes with better Armors, if you have them. It would be best to remove your Healer and one of your other Characters from the Battle. He will continue using Darkja so when your only Party Member dies you can quickly bring in your Healer and resurrect them, them swap them out again. When he gets down to about 10% HP he gets much more difficult. I recommend turning the Speed down to the lowest setting because as you will only have narrow windows of opportunity to get an Attack in before he becomes impervious to Attacks again. Keep an eye on the Combat Log, when one of his Barriers drops you only have a few seconds to Attack before he replaces it. Use Physical Attacks when you can, use Magickal Attacks when you can, however sometimes you won’t be able to Damage him at all. You’ll just have to keep this up and its entirely possible he will DEFEAT you, even MULTIPLE TIMES, but this Strategy will eventually work out in your favor you will can/will emerge Victorious eventually.

GETTING OUT: 
Getting back out is much easier than getting in. Just take the west exit back to Crossover C, then just use your Map to back track out of there. And thats it, you’re done!!

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