Best Trial Mode Steals in Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age

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The Trial Mode is one of the biggest new additions to the Zodiac Age version of Final Fantasy XII.

Trial Mode consists of 100 stages, each with a different challenge of monsters.

These monsters are from the main game but are different in a few ways. The most notable difference is that they carry different items on them, and often these new goods are much better.

All the stuff you steal from Trial Mode (and remember, you have to clear the stage for it to save) carries over to the main game.

This means you can get clever and roll through Trial Mode to make the campaign a no-effort ordeal.

So what are the best steals to help you do such a thing? Let’s take a look.


10. Stage 17: Mindflayers and Maduin Gear

Mindflayers in Stage 17 of Trial Mode / FFXII TZA

So you’ve fought your way through the woods and wilds of Ivalice, and are now in the Golmore Jungle.

It would be about now when you realize that the mages aren’t quite as protected as you’d like. It’s also around this point that you can safely proceed up to stage 17 of Trial Mode and get yourself some Maduin Gear.

Set about swiping from the three Mindflayers here, and soon you should have at least one set of Maduin Gear.

The Mindflayers themselves aren’t a big challenge, and defeating them after getting what you want is trivial.

Back in the main game, this mystical armor should easily last you through the Archadian Empire – and maybe even up to the last dungeon.


9. Stage 12: Melt and Golden Armor

Melt Hidden Trial Steal in Stage 12 / FFXII TZA

Stage Twelve of Trial Mode is all about the Flan.

To beat this stage, you’ll have to defeat the eight Jellies present. But we’re not here to do that.

We’re here for treasure.

More than a few Trial stages have monsters that can be lured out that are completely optional.

You don’t have to fight them to clear the stage, such as the case with our friend Melt.

Melt appears after you defeat five of the Jellies (so cull carefully) and then stands near the gate switch.

After it makes its debut, Melt will set about attacking you. And he’s easy to defeat – but not before robbing him.

Melt’s common steal is Golden Armor, which is a very respectable bit of heavy armor.

You can easily get to stage twelve before you reach the Tomb of Raithwall in the main game, meaning you can have Golden Armor for everybody in your team (that can wear it) hours before you normally would.


8. Stage 8: Bagoly and Viking Coats

Bagoly in Trial Stage 8 / FFXII TZA

Another wonderful early-game acquisition is the Viking Coat.

This light armor has decent stats, and the uncommon trail of making the wearer immune to water.

Not too many pieces of armor have elemental immunities on them. And having one gives them a much larger lifespan.

Viking Coats are super helpful in a lot of hunts, especially the White Mousse.

Getting a Viking Coat early is as easy as chopping your way to Stage 8 and stealing from the Bagolys.

These bird boys aren’t very threatening. And since there are three of them, your odds of getting what you want are pretty good.

And it’s easy to simply quit and retry if you don’t steal what you want.


7. Stage 34: Marilith and Platinum Equipment

Marilith in Stage 34 Trial / FFXII Screenshot

Platinum Shields, Helmets, and Armor are high-end bits of gear that offer great defense and strength boosts.

They’re normally only available after traveling to the Archadian Empire.

However, with a little prudent thinking and liberal use of Trial Mode, you can get as much of the stuff as you want as early as you can swing it.

Get yourself to stage thirty-four (which is not too hard a feat) and you’ll face off against the giant snake, Marilith.

On its scaly person you can steal one of the platinum trio.

This armor is worth the journey – and that journey will also net you plenty of goods along the way.


6. Stage 62: Binding Mantis and the Zodiac Spear

Binding Mantis in Trial Stage 62 / FFXII Screenshot

In the original PlayStation 2 release of Final Fantasy XII, the Zodiac Spear was very difficult to obtain.

It took a lot of planning and actual knowledge of chests and mechanics. And even then it still required a fair amount of luck.

Eleven years later, the Zodiac Age releases with Zodiac Spears everywhere.

You have choices – and one of the easiest sources is Stage 62 of Trial Mode.

You’ll need to be high level and late in the main game to make it to stage 62, but that’s expected.

Once there, just run to the center of the stage to make the Binding Mantis appear. Then it’s time to steal.

The Zodiac Spear is one of the best weapons in the game. And it’s pretty amazing to have a reliable & safe (albeit time-consuming) unlimited source of them.


5. Stage 19: Earth Tyrant and Main Gauche

Earth Tyrant Stage 19 Trial Screenshot

The nineteenth stage of Trial Mode contains just one enemy: the Earth Tyrant.

This big old T-Rex stomps around and isn’t nearly as tough as his appearance makes him out to be.

He also has a Main Gauche somewhere in his dinosaur pockets.

The Main Gauche is a dagger that has so-so attack power, but makes up for that with an extraordinary +50 to evasion.

With this weapon, a good shield, and a Jade Collar, you’ll be able to parry or evade most physical attacks – which is very helpful when trying not to die in this game.


4. Stage 30: Gil Snapper and Thief’s Cuffs

Gil Snapper Steals in FFXII TZA

Thief’s Cuffs are a vital piece of kit when it comes to theft.

They increase the rate of successful steals of all rarity levels.

You can find one pair in the main game, but you need more.

If everybody has Thief’s Cuffs, you can get what you want that much quicker.

Many hands make light work, after all.

In Stage 30 your main foe will be the Gil Snapper.

This very round turtle has a pair of cuffs on him as a rare steal. So, yes, it would behoove you to use Thief’s Cuffs to steal Thief’s Cuffs.

Having these accessories will help you in all parts of the game, not just further adventures in Trial Mode.


3. Stage 3: Flowering Cactoid and the Karkata

Stage 3 Cactoids in FFXII TZA

Are you looking to break the game?

I mean like really bust it open?

Then head on over to Stage 3 of Trial Mode. Here you’ll fight a handful of Cactoids and a single Flowering Cactoid among them.

This Flowering variety has a Karkata sword as a rare steal, and it is a stupidly powerful sword.

It has a 97 attack power and 100% confuses on-hit.

It’s super easy to get to Stage 3, and honestly, super easy to steal as many Karkatas as you want.

A team of six Knights with six Karkatas can blow through the whole game like it’s nothing. The game will truly be broken.


2. Stage 50: Famfrit and the Wyrmhero Blade

Famfrit Trial State 50 in FFXII TZA

The Wyrmhero Blade is a very slow yet powerful greatsword.

It has 131 attack power, requires no license to wield, and automatically applies Bravery and Faith to the wielder.

It is, by any standard, a pretty good weapon.

Unfortunately, to obtain it in the main game you’ll have to essentially do everything there is to do – including defeating the game’s two biggest superbosses, Yiazmat and Omega Mark XII.

By the time you earn the blade, you might have nothing left to do with it.

So if you want to use the blade through all the endgame content, it’s time to head to Trial Mode.

On stage fifty you’ll fight the Esper Famfrit – and from him you can steal a Wyrmhero Blade.

Or six of them, if you want!

Sure it’s a rare steal. But with patience and Thief’s Cuffs you’ll have it before you know it.


1. Stage 49: Hashmal and Ribbons

Hashmal in Stage 49 Trial Mode / FFXII Screenshot

Right before stage fifty comes, understandably, stage forty-nine.

Here you’ll go up against the Esper Hashmal.

This dude is out to smack you with his strange horns, and you’ll probably want to defeat him before he can do that.

But if you slow your roll and steal from him, you might get a great reward: a Ribbon.

The Ribbon is an accessory that grants immunity to all negative status effects (except for X-Zone).

It also applies both Libra and Regen to the wearer.

No matter how you look at it, the Ribbon is an amazing thing to wear in your hair… but this is also equally hard to come by.

In the main game you can get two of them on your travels, but that requires a lot of hunting rare game and grinding levels in order to do so.

But in Trial Mode, Hashmal has one to steal.

This means you can essentially get as many as you want!

By the time you get to the Pharos in the main game you could have a team with six Wyrmhero Blades and six Ribbons, making you just about invincible.

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Brian Conley

Brian knows more about RPGs than he does world history. Combine with his love of writing and you get somebody who can, and will, go on forever about every nuance of every game he's played.