Treasures are randomly spawning objects that contain items or gil in Final Fantasy XII. Sometimes what appears to be a treasure, is a Mimic type monster, which attacks the player when they attempt to claim the treasure. When a player approaches a treasure two exclamation marks and the word "Treasure" appear on the screen. Game time is paused when picking a treasure and treasures can be claimed even in the middle of battle.
The treasure chests' appearance varies depending on the area. In Rabanastre Lowtown the treasures appear as grey pots covered with cloth. In the deserts surrounding the treasures are brown pots with patterns. Most commonly treasures are the greenish-hued metallic containers found in dungeon areas. These are the chests Mimics imitate; Mimics can take on various colorful appearances to set them apart from the normal treasures.
In Tomb of Raithwall and Stilshrine of Miriam the treasures are traditional treasure chests, and in Ancient City of Giruvegan and in Great Crystals treasures are represented by large colored gemstones.
Mimics are a genus of monsters that take the appearance of treasures. They attack only when inspected. Two bosses in the game are also Mimics, the Mimic Queen and the superboss Omega Mark XII; if the player ventures to Omega's lair before activating the Hunt for Yiazmat, Omega appears as a gigantic object that resembles a treasure chest that cannot be roused. The Rare Game Ithuno is a notable mimic, for the Deathbringer sword that can be stolen from it.
The treasures randomly spawn with random content. Once a treasure has been collected, it can be re-spawned by going three areas away and returning (only one zone in the International Zodiac Job System version). Certain treasures, however, contain specific items and do not respawn once opened.
There are many random elements in place. First, a treasure has a certain chance to spawn (to even appear). If the treasure spawns, it has a certain chance to give a variable amount of gil. If the treasure does not contain gil, it will contain items. When a treasure contains an item, it can be two possible items; if the Diamond Armlet (see below) is not equipped the player has an equal chance of receiving either item. With the Diamond Armlet equipped one item is common (90% chance) and one item is rare. While some of the best items are hidden in respawning treasures the chance to get them can be brutally low, with as low as 0.1% chance.
- Main article: Zodiac Spear
In order to obtain the Zodiac Spear, the player must not claim certain treasure chests. If a "forbidden" chest is opened, Zodiac Spear can't be claimed at Necrohol of Nabudis. This feature is removed in the International Zodiac Job System version.
The accessory Diamond Armlet affects the item content when the treasure (1) spawns (2) is not gil. Two items are available, usually splitting the chance in a 90-10 fashion, with the 90% chance usually being a Knot of Rust. The two items can also be the same item. Cerobi Steppe is a notable area in the game, because all its treasures can have a rare item when the Diamond Armlet is equipped.
Urns are not like the other treasures. They are always on the same spot on the field and stay on the field after being opened, the top lid hovering mid-air. Urns are green and easy to spot. Usually they contain maps, or "candles" that reveal more of the area's map than what was available previously. The urn in the Tracks of the Beast area in the Giza Plains during the Rains contains the Feather of the Flock that lets the player speak to cockatrices. The only urn that can be missed permanently is in the Royal Palace of Rabanastre.
Random Number Generator MethodEdit
There is a way to retrieve the rare Diamond Armlet item from a treasure 100% of the time when playing on the PlayStation 2, which involves the game's pseudo-random number generator (RNG). The RNG is not truly random, but a system known as the Mersenne Twister: a sequential list of numbers with a huge period (0, 2^32-1) that the game uses to determine almost every random action. After the game is turned on, the RNG is set at the start, and each time the game wants to use random numbers it uses them in order. This system will also work when playing on PlayStation 3, but the PS3 has a slightly different random number generator with more sequences.
A way to recognize the RNG pattern is by hitting oneself while unarmed and looking for a pattern in which the character performs hit combos (no Genji Glove equipped). Whether or not a character performs a hit combo is determined by the RNG, such as any other "random" process during gameplay, and there are ten possible RNG patterns. By noting when the hit combos occur one can determine what pattern of numbers are being used. Eventually, after around 80 random numbers have been used up, the player gets a 5 hit combo, and if a treasure is opened with the Diamond Armlet equipped immediately after getting the 5 hit combo, the treasure always yields the rare item.
Getting just any 5 hit combo doesn't yet yield the rare item: the random number following the one that gives a 5 hit combo around the 80 hit mark is the one that gives the rare item. Hitting the correct number is difficult, because there are ten patterns the game can choose from and the game will shift from one pattern to another when certain actions are taken. The player needs to identify the pattern they are in and shift it if necessary in order to produce the required 5 hit combo.
The trick can be performed at any point though it is best the character does not deal damage when they hit themselves, as the character will need to do a lot of hitting in order to get the correct combo, so even while doing tiny damage their HP will be eaten away. To prevent damage one should avoid purchasing Brawler augments on the License Board and equip a good armor.
If Brawler augments have already been purchased the character can equip a shield because that will negate the Brawler, but then the player needs to equip the Cameo Belt so not to block any attacks (and then remember to equip Diamond Armlet before opening the treasure).
The console needs to be turned off before setting off for a treasure. Soft Reset does not suffice. With a fresh game the player needs to make their way to a treasure that can contain a rare item and they are ready to start hitting. In order to keep the RNG as "fresh" as possible the player is best not dealing damage or using magick, but enemies can be dispatched either with the Nihopalaoa + Phoenix Down combo, or the Immobilize Glitch. Casting Cure or Curaga makes the pattern shift to the next one. Here are the four pointers and the required action to achieve the required 5 hit combo.
- First Pointer
2 hit combo appears from 17-28 hits. The player must then cast Cure once, which leads to the 4 hit and then the 5 hit combo, or it will lead to one of the other three pointers.
- Second Pointer
3 hit combo appears from 30-36 hits. Player must then cast Cure four times, which leads to one of two possibilities:
- The action is shortly followed by a 4 hit combo, which will be followed by the 5 hit combo 28 hits later.
- The action is shortly followed by a 2 hit combo, after which the player must cast Cure twice, which is again followed by another 2 hit combo, after which the player must cast Cure once. The 5 hit combo follows shortly after.
- Third Pointer
2 hit combo appears from 40-64 hits at which point the player must cast Cure five times, which will be followed by the 5 hit combo, usually after another 19 hits, though, if the 2 hit combo came in 40-45 hits, it is likely the 4 hit combo will come first, followed 28 hits later by the 5 hit combo.
- Fourth Pointer
3 hit combo appears from 50-64 hits, at which point the player must cast Cure three times, which is followed by the 5 hit combo.
There are three other possibilities that may happen that don't require any action:
- 3 hit combo after 23 hits followed by a 4 hit combo 29 hits later followed by the 5 hit combo 28 hits after that.
- 4 hit combo around 56 hits followed by the 5 hit combo 28 hits later.
- 5 hit combo after 82-86 hits
Apart from the four pointers and the three other possibilities that require no player action, any other combo can be ignored. By this method it is possible to get the rare item from any treasure with a few exceptions: Places like Lowtown and Balfonheim are excluded because one can't do hit combos in towns.
Things that affect the RNG:
- Taking Damage
- Dealing Damage
- Using Magicks
- Inflicting status effects using the Nihopalaoa
- Setting off a trap
- Crossing a zone line
- Claiming a treasure
- Soft Reset
Things that don't affect the RNG:
- Using Nihopalaoa and Phoenix Down
- Healing with Potions
- Collecting loot
- Curing status effects with an item
- Touching a Save Crystal
- Saving/pausing the game
- Switching characters/equipment
RNG Method and SpreadsheetsEdit
A new method was developed that lays bare secrets of the RNG and allows players to not only accurately know their location in the RNG, but to use this information to precisely affect game outcomes. By using the Cure spell, which advances the RNG by one number each use, players can find their place in the RNG with startling accuracy. Spreadsheets are needed to help players determine their location within the RNG, detailing the first 60,000 numbers the PS2 uses for random number calculations.
The spreadsheets contain lots of information and can apply the results of the RNG to stealing, poaching, using Sight Unseeing and spawning enemies in addition to opening chests.
The Information above is from Final Fantasy XII Treasure Manipulation FAQ/Guide by FF12GrandMaster.
Final Fantasy XII is the first offline main series Final Fantasy game where the outcome of treasures is random. This was done deliberately as the developers wanted to install the kind of feeling of destiny, that the players will either find good treasure or not, and they will just have to keep going regardless, bringing a different kind of element to the gameplay. Hiroyuki Itō, who was appointed as the game's director along with Hiroshi Minagawa after Yasumi Matsuno left the project, has reflected that the idea ended up not working perfectly.
- “There are treasures that sometimes have gil and sometimes items, and if you only got a few gil, I wanted the player to value that small amount of money and keep making progress. But in fact, [some people] just reset until they get the item they want, don't they? It's difficult to make it so that the player has to accept the finality that the item [that they desired] wasn't there.”
- —Hiroyuki Itō
The Final Fantasy XII International Zodiac Job System version has around 1.5x the treasures as the original. The reason given for this is that the player is stuck with fixed jobs with no way to utilize all jobs in a single playthrough, leading to a situation where the player will undoubtedly acquire treasures that are useless for them. To alleviate player frustration a greater number of treasures was added into the game.
The concept of forbidden chests was removed in the Zodiac Job System version as well, but there is a treasure on the float deck of an airship that appears 1% of the time, and is a Seitengrat (a new ultimate bow added to the game) 0.01% of the time. The treasure is actually invisible, so the player will only find it if they bump into it. If the player acquires the Seitengrat an arrow will appear in the sky in the Cerobi Steppe suspended a few feet in the air.
In the Zodiac Job System versions half the game's magick and technicks are found in treasure chests, and these were mainly guaranteed to appear. Because the Cerobi Steppe is an optional location some low-probability treasure, and chests that only contain good items with the Diamond Armlet equipped, were placed there. Some of the Cerobi Steppe treasures are guaranteed to be gil, and in those cases, the numbers are from the multiplication table, i.e. 6636 gil because 6 x 6 = 36.