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Esper (Final Fantasy XII)

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FFXII-International PromoArt

Promotional artwork for the International version of Final Fantasy XII.

Beings of strange form and appearance made by the gods in ancient times. Favored with great strength and intellect, the Espers knew power far beyond that of men, but their power made them proud, and at length they sought to challenge the gods. Seeing this, the gods were angered and struck down their blessed children, and binding their souls and flesh with the Glyph of the Beast, they stole their freedom for all eternity. Now they are bound to live only when summoned by their Glyph, to serve whosoever called them forth.
—Espers, Sage Knowledge
See also: Summoned Monsters

The Espers (召喚獣, Shōkanjū?, lit. Summoned Beasts) in Final Fantasy XII are powerful beings created by the Occuria. The Espers that join the player's side are those spurned by their creators; twelve for having rebelled, and a thirteenth for being too powerful. Most of the Espers are based on the Lucavi in Final Fantasy Tactics or other past bosses of previous Final Fantasy games.

Five Espers first appeared as Totema in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, and all but two reappear in Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings as Yarhi. Lastly, all Espers return in Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift as Scions. Recruiting every Esper in Final Fantasy XII adds Belias's sprite on the Sky Pirate's Den and awards the player with the rank of High Summoner.

StoryEdit

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow. (Skip section)
Esper1
In vainglory they arose, shouting challenges at the Gods. But prevail they did not. Their doom it was to walk the Mist until time's end. A legend of the Nu Mou.
Fran

The scions that would become the Espers were created by the Occuria. While the exact number is never revealed, there are at least 24 scions, with each zodiac sign having a light and dark representative.

Proud of her power and status and believing herself superior to her creators, the highest ranking Esper, Ultima, rose up against the gods. Rallying the scions of darkness, they attacked their creators, but even with the combined force of twelve Espers were defeated and banished to the darkest reaches of Ivalice. Sealed in the Mist, they could only walk among mortals if called by a summoner via their glyphs.

A thirteenth scion, Zodiark, was bound by the gods for fear of his power. Unlike the rest of his brethren he is not known to have harbored rebellious desire. It is unknown how long the Espers have been sealed away, but since Dynast-King Raithwall possessed the glyph of Belias it is thought they have been sealed away at least since the era of the Dynast King.

Ashe's party comes to the Tomb of Raithwall seeking the Dawn Shard to prove Ashe's royal lineage. She enlists the help of sky pirate Balthier with promises of the Dynast-King's treasure. Before the party reaches Dawn Shard's chamber they enter an area thick in Mist and Belias attacks the party. Defeated, the Esper yields and lends its power to the party, but Balthier is disappointed in learning Raithwall's treasure was an Esper rather than something of monetary value.

The party finds more Espers in places thick in Mist, such as the Zertinan Caverns, Garamsythe Waterway and Necrohol of Nabudis. Many Espers guard locations associated with the Occuria, such as Mateus in Stilshrine of Miriam where the Occurian-forged Sword of Kings is hidden away, Shemhazai guarding the area within the Great Crystal where a waystone to the Occurian realm lies, and Hashmal in the Pharos at Ridorana, built by the Occuria to house the Sun-Cryst. On the party's way to the Ancient City of Giruvegan the party must summon Belias to open the gate to the Occurian city.

Obtaining EspersEdit

You-Obtained-An-Esper

Obtaining an Esper.

Espers must be defeated in battle to obtain them. Espers attack as soon as the party arrives in the area they reside in, and often players cannot leave until they defeat the Esper. Once an Esper has been defeated, it appears on the License Board and any character can purchase its license. Espers are assigned to a specific character and once one has bought the Esper's license it disappears from everybody else's boards. In Final Fantasy XII International Zodiac Job System Esper licenses can be used to reach locked abilities on jobs' License Boards, thus giving more of an element of strategy whom to assign the Esper.

Espers are some of the toughest bosses in the game, and some of the battles have handicaps that seal some of the party's abilities. As all Espers in the game are of the Dark scion, some are flanked by undead.

List of EspersEdit

There are thirteen available Espers. Five are obtained in the main story; the other eight, represented in italics, are found through sidequests. Espers require Mist Charges equal to their level to summon.

Scions of Light and DarknessEdit

The following is a list of scions, their associated zodiac signs, and element. It is never stated if Ultima and Zodiark are the Scions of Darkness or Light, but we never see the mentioned Scions of Light regardless.

Scion of Darkness Scion of Light Zodiac sign Element
Belias, the Gigas Loghrif, the Transcendent Aries, the Ram Fire
Chaos, Walker of the Wheel Mitron, the Chastiser Taurus, the Bull Wind
Zalera, the Death Seraph Emet-Selch, Angel of Truth Gemini, the Twins Death
Zeromus, the Condemner Pashtarot, Knight-Star Cancer, the Crab Gravity
Hashmal, Bringer of Order Fandaniel, the Protector Leo, the Lion Earth
Ultima, the High Seraph Virgo, the Virgin Holy
Exodus, the Judge-Sal Halmarut, the Arbiter Libra, the Scales Aether
Cúchulainn, the Impure Nabriales, the Majestic Scorpio, the Scorpion Poison
Shemhazai, the Whisperer Igeyorhm, the Martyr Sagittarius, the Archer Soul
Adrammelech, the Wroth Deudalaphon, the Benevolent Capricorn, the Goat Thunder
Famfrit, the Darkening Cloud Emmerololth, Holy Queen Aquarius, the Water Bearer Water
Mateus, the Corrupt Lahabrea, Abyssal Celebrant Pisces, the Fish Ice
Zodiark, Keeper of Precepts Ophiuchus, the Snake Bearer Darkness

Level One EspersEdit

Level 1 Espers take a single Mist Gauge to summon.

Belias, the GigasEdit

Belias-FFXII
Main article: Belias#Final Fantasy XII

Belias is a bestial Fire Esper who guards the Dawn Shard in the Tomb of Raithwall, and is likely the party's first Esper. He fries enemies with Painflare unless the foes absorb Fire. His ultimate attack is Hellfire, perishing enemies in a devastating fire. In Final Fantasy XII International Painflare's power was boosted and Belias can also cast Fira and Cura and has the Piercing Magic augment. Belias is the only Esper that must be summoned during the main storyline, to open the gate to the Ancient City of Giruvegan.

Mateus, the CorruptEdit

Mateus
Main article: Mateus (Ivalice)#Final Fantasy XII

Mateus is found in the Stilshrine of Miriam, guarding the Sword of Kings. Mateus is an aquatic creature with multiple limbs wielding a trident with a goddess chained to his chest he uses as a living shield. He freezes enemies with Flash-Freeze unless they absorb ice. His ultimate attack is Frostwave, charging his trident to his enemies and into a crystallized ice before it shatters. He heals his summoner when they are low on health. In the Final Fantasy XII International Flash-Freeze's power has been boosted, Mateus can cast Blizzara and has gained the Null Vitality augment.

Adrammelech, the WrothEdit

Adrammelech
Main article: Adrammelech#Final Fantasy XII

Adrammelech is an optional Esper found in the depths of Zertinan Caverns, in Athroza Quicksands, closest from Ozmone Plain. He is a winged Lightning Esper that resembles a goat with hooves and a goat's head. Adrammelech shocks his foes with Flash Arc unless they absorb Lightning. His ultimate attack is Judgment Bolt, where he releases bolts of electricity. He uses Bio against foes that absorb Lightning and heals his summoner when they are low on health. In Final Fantasy XII International Flash Arc's power has been boosted, Adrammelech casts Cura instead of Curaga, and has gained the Null Vitality augment.

Zalera, the Death SeraphEdit

Zalera
Main article: Zalera#Final Fantasy XII

Zalera is an optional Esper that resides in the deepest reaches of the Barheim Passage. He is a winged skeleton, imbued with the power of death, with a shamaness on his right arm to command impure souls under his doing. The party must obtain the Barheim Key in the Dalmasca Estersand to find him. Zalera destroys foes with the Kill ability, and casts Holy and Shock. His ultimate attack is Condemnation, whereupon the shamaness's cries summon dead souls with Zalera hurling them at the enemy. It instantly kills all enemies with fewer than 9,999 max HP (6,999 HP for those with the Damage Resist augment), and those with more are hit with non-elemental damage that can break the damage limit. In Final Fantasy XII International Zalera no longer casts Holy or Shock. Instead he has Cura, Warp, and Death. He no longer absorbs Holy-elemental attacks and Condemnation's damage is randomly generated.

Level Two EspersEdit

Level 2 Espers take two Mist Gauges to summon.

Shemhazai, the WhispererEdit

Shemhazai
Main article: Shemhazai#Final Fantasy XII

Shemhazai is found in the depths of the Ancient City of Giruvegan in the Gate of Fire area. She is described as a half-woman, half-horse that utilizes soul energy. She attacks foes with Devour Soul, a non-elemental attack whose damage is calculated the same as the item Knot of Rust. Shemhazai's ultimate attack is the Soul Purge, where she shoots soul energy from her guns, creating an explosion. It deals damage by the same calculation as the item Dark Matter, meaning its damage cap is 60,000, making it the second most powerful single attack in Final Fantasy XII, only bested by Zeromus's Big Bang. In Final Fantasy XII International, Shemhazai can cast Shock and Curaja and has gained the Null Vitality and Piercing Magick augments.

Hashmal, Bringer of OrderEdit

Hashmal
Main article: Hashmal#Final Fantasy XII

Hashmal is a leonine Earth Esper found in Pharos at Ridorana. He shakes his enemies up with Roxxor unless they absorb Earth damage, and his ultimate attack is Gaia's Wrath where Hashmal sends enemies into the depths of the earth before erupting like a volcano to deal massive damage. In Final Fantasy XII International Hashmal can cast Curaja and Graviga, and has gained the Null Vitality and Piercing Magick augments.

Cúchulainn, the ImpureEdit

Cuch
Main article: Cúchulainn#Final Fantasy XIII

Cúchulainn is an optional Esper residing in the central area of Garamsythe Waterway. He is a venomous and grotesque monster with an engorged body, draining life energy with his poison. Cúchulainn drains the HP of his enemies with Malaise unless they are undead, and his ultimate attack is Blight, using vines emerging from his spine to absorb life into a desert of poison. If there are no enemies around when he is summoned, Cúchulainn uses Curaja that ignores the party's Reflect status. When attacked Cúchulainn counterattacks. In Final Fantasy XII International Cúchulainn gains Bio and the Null Vitality augment.

Zeromus, the CondemnerEdit

Zeromus
Main article: Zeromus (Ivalice)#Final Fantasy XII

Zeromus is an optional Esper hiding away in a secret area of the Stilshrine of Miriam. He has the appearance of a crab due to his massive "claw", and wields the power over gravity. He is the second largest Esper in Final Fantasy XII after a winged Zodiark, as his length is measured by his long tail. Zeromus attacks his foes with Gravity Well and his ultimate attack is Big Bang where he uses his claw to charge up gravity power destroying his enemies. Both attacks' damage depends on Zeromus's HP, Big Bang having the potential to deal tens of thousands of damage. In Final Fantasy XII International, Zeromus can cast Scourge and Curaja and has gained the Piercing Magick augment.

Exodus, the Judge-SalEdit

Exodus
Main article: Exodus#Final Fantasy XII

Exodus is an optional Esper making his abode at the highest reaches of the Mosphoran Highwaste. Exodus commands celestial bodies, attacking his foes with Comet and his ultimate attack Meteor, whereupon Exodus sends two comets from the ends of his scales to the sky summoning a giant meteor. Both deal random non-elemental damage. In Final Fantasy XII International Exodus can cast Curaja and Ardor, and has gained Null Vitality and Piercing Magick augments.

Level Three EspersEdit

Level 3 Espers take all three Mist Gauges to summon.

Famfrit, the Darkening CloudEdit

Ffxii espers famfrit
Main article: Famfrit#Final Fantasy XII

Famfrit is a Water Esper summoned by Dr. Cid at the summit of Pharos at Ridorana. Famfrit carries an ewer of water with which he creates giant waves. Famfrit splashes his enemies with Briny Cannonade unless they absorb Water. His ultimate attack is Tsunami where he uses the ewer to douse his enemies. In Final Fantasy XII International Famfrit can cast Renew and has Null Vitality and Piercing Magick augments.

Chaos, Walker of the WheelEdit

Chaos
Main article: Chaos (Ivalice)#Final Fantasy XII

Chaos is an optional Wind Esper sealed in the center of Necrohol of Nabudis, in the Cloister of the Highborn. He has the appearance of a bull and sits atop a pedestal commanding four swords to do his bidding. Chaos halves the highest HP enemy's HP with Whirlwind and attacks foes with elemental weaknesses with elemental magick that ignore enemies' Reflect status. His ultimate attack is Tornado where Chaos utilizes his swords to send his foes into a whirlwind. The attack damages his foes 90% of their max HP. Both attacks are capped at 9,999 damage. In Final Fantasy XII International, Chaos only retains Aeroga from his previous abilities, but can now cast Renew; Whirlwind and Tornado no longer do percentage damage.

Ultima, the High SeraphEdit

Ffxii espers ultima
Main article: Ultima (Ivalice)#Final Fantasy XII

Ultima is an optional Holy Esper who makes her abode at the bottom of the Great Crystal. She is the one who rallied the other twelve Espers to rise against their creators. She is adorned in gold and white robes with six wings. Her dress hides an all-powerful cannon that renders holy light. Her basic attack is Redemption, a powerful Holy-elemental attack. If a foe absorbs Holy, she will use Flare that ignores enemies' Reflect status. Her ultimate attack is Eschaton that blasts all enemies with a ray of Holy-elemental light. In Final Fantasy XII International, Ultima can cast Holy and Renew and gains Null Vitality and Null Weather & Terrain Effects. Her damage is also no longer capped at 9,999.

Zodiark, Keeper of PreceptsEdit

Zodiark
Main article: Zodiark#Final Fantasy XII

Zodiark is an optional Dark Esper sealed in the deepest reaches of the Henne Mines. He is the strongest of Espers and a serpentine monster able to sprout wings. He is the only Esper not part of the rebellion against the gods. Zodiark punishes his foes with the Dark-elemental Banish Ray, and if his enemies absorb Dark he uses Flare, and if there are multiple enemies he uses Scathe. His spells ignore enemies' Reflect status and take no charge time to execute. His ultimate attack is Final Eclipse that ends in an explosion that deals fixed 50,000 damage, and unlike most other Esper attacks, Final Eclipse is unaffected by Reverse. In Final Fantasy XII International Zodiark can no longer cast Flare, but can cast Renew and Hastega. Final Eclipse's damage has been boosted to 60,000 and he gains the Null Vitality augment.

Summoning EspersEdit

Esper-license

Belias's license appears on the License Board.

The party member who has an Esper's license can summon it by expending a number of Mist Gauges. Summoning an Esper is similar to using a Quickening; the Lv1 Espers take one gauge to summon, whereas the Lv3 Espers take all three.

Summoning an Esper is instantaneous and when an Esper is summoned the two other party members disappear. The normal music is replaced by the Esper's battle music as long as the Esper is present. An Esper's level is identical to its summoner's, yet Espers have fixed Attack, Defense and Magic Defense (as if wearing the same "equipment"). Espers cannot trigger traps even if they are ground-based, like Belias, Cúchulainn, Shemhazai and Hashmal.

Each summon lasts maximum of one minute and thirty seconds and ends when either the summoner or the Esper dies, or the Esper uses its ultimate move. The ultimate attacks are area-effect attacks and target the enemy with the highest max HP. In the original Final Fantasy XII the Esper follows its own gambits, which the player can't set. In this sense, Espers work much like guests. In Final Fantasy XII International the player can set the Espers' gambits.

Summoning

Vaan summoning.

Espers' attacks never deal hit combos or critical hits. Espers can cast magicks even without MP, meaning the player can Syphon their MP freely. Espers are immune to almost all status ailments, which can give a strategic advantage against enemies like Carrot, because whenever an Esper is on the battlefield the enemies tend to focus their attacks on it.

The Dead Character Glitch can be triggered if a character dies during an Esper's dismiss animation.

StatsEdit

The Espers level up along with their summoner and thus their stats grow.

Base + (Level x Modifier)/128[1]
  • Base = Base value. Different Esper has different values.
  • Level = The current level
  • Modifier = Different Espers have different modifiers (growth rate)

The stat growth is fixed, as there are no random elements involved.

Esper HP MP STR MAG VIT SPD
BA MO BA MO BA MO BA MO BA MO BA MO
Belias 880 1 20 1 45 75 46 75 26 30 26 30
Mateus 990 1 20 1 50 75 46 75 34 30 26 30
Adrammelech 1100 1 20 1 48 75 46 75 32 30 26 30
Zalera 1210 1 20 1 50 75 46 75 34 30 26 30
Cúchulainn 2310 1 20 1 51 75 46 75 26 30 26 3
Shemhazai 2420 1 20 1 51 75 46 75 26 30 26 30
Hashmal 2350 1 20 1 52 75 48 75 26 30 26 30
Zeromus 2700 1 20 1 53 75 46 75 26 30 26 30
Exodus 2810 1 20 1 53 75 46 75 26 30 26 30
Famfrit 3850 1 20 1 54 76 53 76 26 30 26 30
Chaos 4125 1 20 1 54 76 53 76 26 30 26 30
Ultima 4400 1 20 1 60 77 46 77 26 30 26 30
Zodiark 3080 1 20 1 60 78 45 78 26 30 26 30

Musical ThemesEdit

{{{image}}}
"Esper Battle" in Final Fantasy XII
Music-harp
FFXII Esper Battle
Trouble with the audio sample?

Battles against Espers are accompanied with "Esper Battle" (召喚獣戦, Shōkan jūsen?), composed by Hitoshi Sakimoto. It is the second track in Disc 3 of the original soundtrack. It plays immediately after the Esper begins its move towards the party. The intro starts with a series of militaristic beats, accompanied by wind instruments, and later joined with a female choir. Intermittently, the choir goes louder, joined with voices of the male choir. The choir is switched occasionally with loud brass and strings, and reaches climax with all instruments beating together to the martial tune.

{{{image}}}
"Esper" in Final Fantasy XII
Music-harp
Esper
Trouble with the audio sample?

When summoning an Esper into battle, the track "Esper" (召喚, Shōkan?) plays. Composed by Hitoshi Sakimoto, it is the second track in Disc 4 of the original soundtrack. It is a variation of the "Esper Battle", with a higher tempo making it fast-paced and a bit chaotic. The choir also joins in with a higher note.

DevelopmentEdit

Final Fantasy X was the first game where the summons are more like playable party members than plain special attacks. The freely traversed environment set its own challenges for recreating that in Final Fantasy XII, and in the end the developers did not have enough time to perfect the system until the International version where Espers become fully controllable rather than following an AI.

There were two reasons why we couldn't implement that in the original. One was that we were afraid the graphics would suffer — imagine the Esper occupying the same space as the background or a character, or the Esper getting in the way so that you couldn't see around you. We didn't have enough time when making the original game to adjust the camera work to fix that. The other problem was that for the Espers to be controllable, we had to actually walk them around every map for debugging.
—Hiroyuki Itō, the director of Final Fantasy XII International Zodiac Job System[2]

Other AppearancesEdit

Final Fantasy XII MangaEdit

FF12 Manga Belias

Belias in the manga.

In the manga version of Final Fantasy XII the Esper's glyph marks itself on the summoner's body as a sign of its servitude to him/her. Ashe's group enters the Tomb of Raithwall and to Belias's chamber and Basch, Vossler, Fran and Balthier battle Belias while Ashe, Vaan and Penelo try to enter the door the Esper was guarding to get the Dawn Shard.

Vaan wishes to assist in fighting Belias, but Ashe tells him their mission to retrieve the Dawn Shard takes priority. Vaan is displeased with Ashe's attitude towards power and her friends, and leaves her to retrieve the nethicite herself. Ashe returns to protect Vaan before Belias can strike him down, and the group defeats it, Belias's glyph marking the back of Ashe's hand.

Final Fantasy XII: Revenant WingsEdit

Mateus RW
Main article: Esper (Revenant Wings)

Most of the Espers from Final Fantasy XII return in Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings, and the party must unlock them on the Ring of Pacts to summon them; most must be defeated as bosses before they appear on the ring, and grant Quickenings to the party members upon being defeated. The only Espers not to return are Adrammelech and Zeromus. The returning Espers are level 3 Espers, meaning only one can be summoned at a time, apart from the sole level 2 Cúchulainn.

No series' trademark summons appeared in Final Fantasy XII, but in Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings the Espers appear alongside series staple summons like Bahamut and Odin.

Dissidia 012 Final FantasyEdit

D012FF Zalera

Zalera in Dissidia 012.

Among the new summons added to Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy are Ultima and Zalera from Final Fantasy XII. Ultima's Eschaton grants Stage Bravery to the player after being struck by a EX Break or Assist Break for a short period of time, and she can be purchased at the special Moogle Shop at Cornelia for 150 KP as a limited offer after earning 1,800 KP total. Zalera is bought from a Moogle Shop in the northwestern continent for 120 KP. When equipped, his Condemnation will activate once the enemy has 9999 BRV and instantly inflicts Break status on them.

Final Fantasy Trading Card GameEdit

The Espers from Final Fantasy XII appear in this Japanese trading card game.

GalleryEdit

EtymologyEdit

[view  · edit  · purge]Esper is a recurring term in science fiction, used to describe an individual with paranormal abilities. It was original coined by Alfred Bester in his 1950 short story "Oddy and Id", deriving the word from the abbreviation "ESP" (Extrasensory perception).

Most of the names of the scions have something to do with angels, in both Judaism and Christianity. For the Etymology of the Scions of Darkness, see their corresponding articles.

  • A name with a hidden meaning is Emet-Selch, the scion of light. His title is "The Angel of Truth". "Emet-Selch" in Hebrew means "Your Truth".
  • Nabriales, another Scion of Light, is a name of an angel in Jewish mythology. It is pronounced in Hebrew as "Nabriel".
  • Fandaniel matches the basic template of angel names in Judaism, as the "-el" suffix in hebrew means "god" and is usually at the end of many angel names, to mark their superior connection to God.

Some of the Espers take their name after a main antagonist from the first five games in the series:

TriviaEdit

  • Mateus and Shemhazai battles are the only Esper fights where it's impossible to fight with a guest.
  • Zeromus and Adrammelech are the only Espers that don't return in Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings.
  • Members of the Ascians in Final Fantasy XIV, who worship Zodiark, are named after the Scions of Light mentioned in the Espers' profiles.

ReferencesEdit

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