The Yan is the name of two enemies in Final Fantasy IX. The normal Yan is a strong and hard to defeat enemy that often appears in groups. There is also the friendly Yan, but it will run away unless the party has given an offering to all the other friendly monsters. They can both be found on Vile Island, southwest of Iifa Tree.
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Yans are sheep that appear all around Vile Island. They have small bodies and large heads and can appear alone or in groups of up to three at a time. Yans are strong and hard to defeat, especially in groups, and are considered the hardest normal enemies in the game aside from the friendly Yan.
Virus Powder is a nuisance, because Virus prevents the party member from earning EXP from the battle. If a party member cannot receive EXP due to Virus, their EXP share is given to the surviving Virus-free party members. Eiko becomes immune to the effects of Virus if she equips Guardian Mog.
Yans are weak against Sleep.
Quina's Blue Magic spell Night will work most times, and will send the Yans sleeping, but the party must equip Insomniac to prevent from falling asleep as well. The Sleep only lasts one turn, but the Yans won't wake up to magical attacks, and Quina can keep reusing Night during his/her turn. This strategy can be combined with the Instant Death strategy, as sleeping Yans won't counterattack if the Instant Death misses.
Because Yans are so tough and counterattack a lot, strategies that manage to one-shot them tend to work out the best.
- Zidane: Can inflict a Yan with Doom by equipping the Masamune and using the skill Soul Blade. With Soul Blade, the Doom will hit every time. The downside is that the Yan has time to counterattack if it is not sleeping.
- Amarant: Countdown will kill off a Yan in 10 seconds. It has 50% accuracy. Equipping the Avenger and the support ability Add Status also will produce Instant Death.
- Dagger: Odin's Instant Death has 50% chance of working if the party has 99 Ore in the inventory. It also hits multiple targets.
- Vivi: Has Death that has 35% accuracy.
- Quina: Mustard Bomb will instantly kill a Yan before it can counterattack. Frost can also be used in the same manner, allowing the player to kill a Yan instantly with a physical attack. Both spells have 30% accuracy. Quina can also cast Doom to kill off a Yan in 10 seconds. It has 25% accuracy. His/her Night ability can put the Yans to sleep.
- Steiner: Iai Strike can inflict instant death with a 30% accuracy.
If the results from Instant Death strategies prove too random (Yans will counterattack if those attacks miss), one can also try the traditional damage dealing tactics. Yans—with their 19,465 HP—die with two 9999 hits. Steiner's Shock or Darkside abilities are good for that, and Climhazzard hits all targets for around 8000 HP damage, but is best used only against low health Yans. In general, it is best to concentrate on one Yan at a time, because if multiple Yans are hit by the same attack they will all counterattack. Another good strategy is to use Annoy on one Yan when fighting Yans in groups, and then attack that Yan with physical attacks boosted by MP Attack. The Yan will die in 2-3 hits, and the other Yans will lose half of their health without countering, allowing them to be killed in one shot with a strong attack without fear of counterattack.
Zidane's powered up Thievery (deals fixed damage depending on the number of successful steals and his speed stat), Freya's powered up Dragon's Crest (party must kill 100 dragons to power up Dragon's Crest to 9999 damage) and Quina's Frog Drop (deals fixed damage depending on the number of frogs caught and his/her level) can be of great help.
Dagger can also deal the full 9999 damage against all targets with Atomos if she's on a decent level and has enough (70-80) Amethysts in the party's inventory. Summoning Atomos as first move will leave the Yans open for the next 9999 hit, but Dagger will probably be killed or snorted in the counterattacks.
Vivi can also use a similar strategy as mentioned above, with Doomsday, to inflict full 9999 damage against all targets (since they're weak against Shadow), but will also hit the allies. The player should equip any nullify/absorb equipment (such as Pumice Pieces, Ninja Gear or Demon Mail).
The friendly version of the Yan can also be found on Vile Island. Unless the player has already given an offering to all the other friendly monsters, the Friendly Yan will flee. Giving the Yan a Diamond rewards them with 50 AP, completes the "friendly enemies" sidequest, and renders Ozma vulnerable to physical attacks and weak to Shadow-elemental attacks. If Ozma is beaten before meeting with Friendly Yan, it will comment the feat when the player finds it.
The Yan asks for a Diamond and giving it will complete the friendly enemies quest. Alternatively, the player can choose to defeat the Yan, as it is the only friendly enemy that does not run away when being attacked. If the player chooses to defeat the Yan they can claim its spoils of 50 AP and a Rosetta Ring. This can be done repeatedly for the Yan will reappear until it is given the Diamond it asks for. This leaves the possibility of farming Friendly Yans for the AP drop to learn abilities at incredible speed.
The friendly Yan will attack the player if the Diamond is not given in a specific time frame. After asking for the Diamond multiple times, it will say "You're not giving me any?" followed by its special BAAAHHH!!! move. If attacked first, the friendly Yan will counter any attack that hits it with its signature BAAAHHH!!! move, the strongest physical attack in Final Fantasy IX in terms of base Attack power, 158, that also inflicts the Silence status on the party.
The player should keep the party alive with full HP because the friendly Yan will retaliate and fight. Due to their extremely high HP and defensive stats, one should use attacks that ignore the enemy's defense, such as Zidane's Thievery, Freya's Dragon's Crest, and Quina's Frog Drop or Limit Glove. Because of the Yan's high evasion most normal attacks miss, and even when they hit they deal little damage.
The silencing effect of the friendly Yan's attack can be protected against with Loudmouth. Equipping Avenger, Auto-Haste and HP+ abilities makes the battle easier. Auto-Regen can safeguard the party if they accumulate HP faster than the Yan can dish out damage. Even if friendly Yan's attack is physical, Vanish will not help, because "BAAAHHH!!!" is a special attack.
Friendly Yan will counter every time it receives damage, meaning the player should pace their attacks and never attack when they are on low health, using their turn to heal instead (or wait for Auto-Regen to heal the party).
It is considered impossible to defeat the friendly Yan on a Lv1 challenge playthrough.