By Jeriaska . July 8, 2008 . 11:54am
Having since decided that joining your clan will prove more profitable than occasionally swindling the party of its loot, Adelle joins Luso in a trip to the Moorabella pub to check in on rumors of drifting sky pirates. As in Final Fantasy XII, air travel can be booked at an aerodrome location. Visiting the the skyferry near the snowcapped cottages of Moorabella, you will discover that the airships are currently out of order. Rumors have it that an arsonist was involved in sabotaging the machinery, but mechanics have been called in to look in on the problem.
Aboard the stranded airship your party will discover the source of the malfunction. It turns out that the Nu Mou responsible for the sabotage is one of the marks on the list of the sky pirates Vaan and Penelo, who soon arrive on the scene. A long way from their Rabanastre origins, the treasure-seeking outlaws more closely resemble their appearance in the previous Ivalice Alliance title Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings. With the mystery behind the grounded airships solved, the clan can head off to the continent of Fluorgis with Cid finally joining you as a playable character. The sky pirates meanwhile head elsewhere on their airborne adventures.
In Grimoire of the Rift there are a slew of interconnecting pathways to boosting the statistics of your party members beyond the traditional mode of leveling up by gaining experience on the battlefield. Among the paths to shifting the odds in your favor includes choosing the bazaar option in the shops found in every town. The game has done away with the conventional approach of having the most valuable armaments on sale in far flung corners of the game world. You will find the same inventory in stock in every location on the map. New items become ready to purchase by collecting a set of three objects gathered from quests and sending them to the bazaar.
Over the course of the missions you will gather handfuls of miscellaneous and seemingly meaningless loot like gems, flowers, blocks of wood, powders, even cooking utensils. Each belong to one of the categories of magicite, metals and flora. In the bazaar you will be alerted to whether you have three of a kind. Match a fire stone with a zirconium and whisperweed… and a staff icon will appear on the screen. Send the items to the bazaar and the driud mace will become a weapon purchasable at any shop from that time on in the game.
Checking out the druid mace's unique characteristics, you can find that the staff confers special abilities when equipped by different job classes. If you give it to an alchemist, they can cast poison. Use it in battle long enough to accrue 150 ability points, and the alchemist will add poison to their black magic spells even while the mage is unequipped. Give the mace to a green mage and they can learn blind. This offers you an incentive to hold on to many of your weapons rather than selling them, as they can be swapped between characters to learn abilities. It can even be necessary to carry your less impressive weapons and armor into battles in order to gain the skills required for new jobs. Simply gaining ability points for your favorite job without having donned the right outfit will not get you far.
Learning jobs to tackle the greater challenge of the new continent opened up by the aerodrome requires some preliminary planning. Certain classes are race-specific, like the dragoon job for Bangaas. Others require multiple abilities to be learned before becoming available. To pick up the assassin job class, you must first master one action ability as a sniper and two as an elementalist. By taking loot to the bazaar, you can eventually pick up the Hunting bow, along with the Djinn Flyssa and Estoc rapiers. The bow will allow your sniper to master the wallet shot ability. Equipping the rapiers to your elementalist in turn, you can master the shining air and boulder crush attacks. The assassin job only then becomes available, endowing you with a new set of long-range weapon attacks.
Upon arriving in Fluorgis, you will have the opportunity to meet a moogle in the pub who is a wandering bard. Not only can the winged creature play a song that captures the attention of all the bar dwellers, Hurdy turns out to have earned a reputation for being a skilled fighter. Though his only recourse in hand-to-hand combat is to batter his opponents with his stringed instrument, at a distance he can perform songs that boost the defense of allies and lower the stats of foes. Asking your assistance in procuring a rare variety of wood in a haunted forest for the purpose of creating a stellar new instrument, Luso and Adelle set out to gain the support of this powerful new recruit, your third with a unique identity and backstory.
Images courtesy of Square Enix.