FFIX - Tetra Master

Tetra Master is the second card game in FF, after the highly successful card game,Triple Triad, in FFVIII. However, sad to say that Tetra Master is not as rewarding as Triple Triad. But still, there are a few new features to this card game which can be very captivating and absorbing. This card game can keep you hooked for hours (well,for me that is), and so, below are the mechanisms which I discovered about this card game.

Basic Mechanisms

There are only 100 different types of cards in this game and you can only hold 100 cards at any time, meaning that you have to discard any excess cards. Cards can be gained in the following ways:

  1. Won from Non-Participating Characters(NPCs)
  2. Dropped by enemies.
  3. As random items found around the cities,towns and dungeons, as characterisised by a ? or !
  4. Found as Chocograph treasures.

The card game starts with each player choosing 5 cards,with no Random Rule as in FFVIII. The game board is a 4 x 4 square grid, with 16 boxes. Randomly, 0 to 6 boxes may be covered at the start of each card game. This results in the player employing different strategies each time. I will not go into those strategies as they are too varied and not a sure-win method. I will continue to explain the mechanisms of the game itself.

You can win cards in 2 ways:

  1. Every card can have 0 to 8 arrows pointing in all directions, and the same type of card may have different arrow patterns, (i.e. if you have two flan cards, one may have 3 arrows, and the other 4, and they may point in different directions). When a card is placed with its arrow pointing towards an opponents card which does not have an arrow pointing back to your card, your card will automatically flip the opponents card.
  2. When your card arrow points to one with its own arrow pointing back at your card, a card battle will take place. The card which wins the battle (as explained later on), will take over the losers sides card. This means that it's possible to have multiple card battle at one time and you can choose the order of the card battle you want.

A card is basically represented in the manner: STUV, where:

  1. S represents the attack power of the card, in hexadecimal form.
  2. T represents the type of attack the card will take when it’s placed on the board and it results in a card battle. There are 4 symbols involved: P, M ,X and A.
  3. U represents the physical defence of the card, also in hexadecimal form.
  4. V represents the magical defence of the card, also in hexadeciaml form.

Hexadecimal form means that the cards number is represented in the order: 0123456789ABCDEF where 0 is the lowest number of the card and F is the highest of the card. Theoretically, the best card will be FAFF, but according to the mechanism and programming of the game, this is not possible. The type of card in the order will generally determine the numbers of the cards, meaning a weak enemys card will be low in numbers as compared to a boss card.

The second symbol on the card (T) represents the type of attack the card will be making. The meanings are as follows:

  1. P: The card will use its attack power (S) to attack the physical defence of the opponents card (U).
  2. M: The card will use its (S) to attack the magical defence of the opponents card (V).
    When a card battle is won, there is a chance of 4/256 or 1. 5625% that the P card or the M card will be upgraded to an X card where:
  3. X: The card will use its (S) to attack either (U) or (V), whichever is lower in power.
    You can find X cards along the course of the game, although the chances are lower as compared to both P and M cards. Once there is an X card and it's placed on the grid board, causing a card battle and wins, there is a chance of 2/256 or 0. 78125% that it can get upgraded to the A status card, where:
  4. A: The card will use the highest power in its card, can be (S), (U) or (V), to attack the lowest of the (S) ,(U) ,(V) in the opponents card.

Cards cannot be found or dropped or won from NPCs. The only way is to get them through upgrading X cards.

Advanced mechanisms

Each number of the hexadecimal form has its own number range (HP) and they are as follows:

0: 0HP 15HP
1: 16HP 31HP
2: 32HP 47HP
3: 48HP 63HP
4: 64HP 79HP
5: 80HP 95HP
6: 96HP 111HP
7: 112HP 127HP
8: 128HP 143HP
9: 144HP 159HP
A: 160HP 175HP
B: 176HP 191HP
C: 192HP 207HP
D: 208HP 223HP
E: 224HP 239HP
F: 240HP 255HP

The HP of the cards in (S), (U) and (V) can be seen when its symbol is involved in a card battle. There is a chance that a cards HP can rise by 1 HP after winning a card battle, but every card has its limit.

In a card battle, the cards are involved in a battle of HPs. The card which has a higher HP at the end of a battle wins. Its starting HP is any number between the range possible. Example, a card of 3M21 facing against 2P11. Your cards (S) is 3, meaning that its HP shown can be from 48 - 63 whereas the opponent’ card (V) can be from 16 - 31. An imaginary dice (cannot be seen) is thrown for each card. The cards number will subtract the result shown by the result of the imaginary dice, similarly it's thrown again for the opponents card. Note that the highest number the dice can show is the highest HP for the card possible, meaning the card will not have a negative HP at the end of a card battle. Note also that the results by both throws of the imaginary dice is not necessarily the same. Hence, although in this case, your card has a higher chance of winning, there's still a slight chance your card can lose and be taken over.

Card highest stats possible

I myself have reached the highest collectors rank and I am fairly sure that some of the cards have reached their limits. Here are the stats that I got:

1) Goblin 0A00
2) Fang 0A00
3) Skeleton 0A00
4) Flan 0A00
5) Zagnhol 0A00
6) Lizard Man 1A00
7) Zombie 1A10
8) Bomb 1A01
9) Ironite 1A10
10) Sahagin 1A10
11) Yeti 1A01
12) Mimic 1A11
13) Wyerd 1A01
14) Mandragora 2A02
15) Crawler 2A20
16) Sand Scorpion 2A21
17) Nymoh 2A02
18) Sand Golem 2A21
19) Zuu 2A02
20) Dragonfly 2A21
21) Carrion Worm 2A11
22) Cerberus 3A20
23) Antlion 3A31
24) Cactuar 3AC0
25) Gimme Cat 2A11
26) Ragtimer 3A21
27) Hedgehog Pie 3A12
28) Ralvuimahgo 3A40
29) Ochu 3A21
30) Troll 4A32
31) Blazer Beetle 4A51
32) Abomination 4A33
33) Zemzelett 4A26
34) Stroper 3A40
35) Tantarian 4A22
36) Grand Dragon 4A44
37) Feather Circle 4A22
38) Hecteyes 5A04
39) Ogre 5A51
40) Armstrong 4A24
41) Ash 3A33
42) Wraith 5A51
43) Gargoyle 5A32
44) Vepal 5A33
45) Grimlock 5A23
46) Tonberry 2A33
47) Veteran 5A19
48) Garuda 6A41
49) Malboro 5A36
50) Mover 6AD0
51) Abadon 7A62
52) Behemoth BA46
53) Iron Man CA60
54) Nova Dragon EA7C
55) Ozma DA0B
56) Hades FAC1
57) Holy 8A23
58) Meteor BAA0
59) Flare DA11
60) Shiva 5A05
61) Ifrit 6A91
62) Ramuh 4A16
63) Atomos 4A66
64) Odin 9A84
65) Leviathan BA61
66) Bahamut CA95
67) Ark EA65
68) Fenrir 8A21
69) Madeen AA16
70) Alexander EAB5
71) Excalibur FAB0
72) Ultima Weapon FA16
73) Masamune AAB3
74) Elixir 6A66
75) Dark Matter CA3C
76) Ribbon 0ACF
77) Tiger Racket 0A01
78) Save the Queen 7A30
79) Genji 0A6A
80) Mythril Sword 2A00
81) Blue Narciss 8A91
82) Hilda Garde 3 6A31
83) Invincible BA88
84) Cargo Ship 2A60
85) Hilda Garde 1 6A40
86) Red Rose 8A17
87) Theatre Ship 2A51
88) Viltgance EA92
89) Chocobo 0A00
90) Fat Chocobo 1A11
91) Mog 0A00
92) Frog 0A00
93) Oglop 2A20
94) Alexandria 0AB6
95) Lindblum 0A6B
96) Two Moons 7A55
97) Gargant 2A13
98) Namingway 7A77
99) Boco 8A77
100) Airship 8A77

What are the rewards of this game?

The rewards of this game, although not as important as in FFVIII, are interesting enough:

  1. Winning the card tournament in Treno, winning 3 consecutive games will gain you a Rebirth Ring. This is part of the games course and you cannot escape it.
  2. Having the Namingway card (#98) will allow you to change the name of your usable characters if you talk to a guy at the left hand side of the library in Daguerreo.
  3. Having lots of different types of cards will raise your treasure hunters rank, another side-quest in its own right, plus you can see your own card collectors points in the card menu. The points and ranks are as follows:
0 - 299 Beginner
300 - 399 Novice
400 - 499 Player
500 - 599 Senior
600 - 699 Fan
700 - 799 Leader
800 - 899 Coach
900 - 999 Advisor
1000 - 1099 Director
1100 - 1199 Dealer
1200 - 1249 Trader
1250 - 1299 Commander
1300 - 1319 Doctor
1320 - 1329 Professor
1330 - 1339 Veteran
1340 - 1349 Freak
1350 - 1359 Champion
1360 - 1369 Analyst
1370 - 1379 General
1380 - 1389 Expert
1390 - 1399 Shark
1400 - 1449 Specialist
1450 - 1474 Elder
1475 - 1499 Dominator
1500 - 1549 Maestro
1550 - 1599 King
1600 - 1649 Wizard
1650 - 1679 Authority
1680 - 1689 Emperor
1690 - 1697 Pro
1698 - 1699 Master

The points are awarded as follows:

1) 1 Unique card
2) Unique card, non-unique arrows
3) Extra cards
4) Extra cards, non-unique arrows
5) X cards
6) A cards

To get the highest possible collector points, which is 1700 points, you need to collect all 100 types of cards, plus all of them must have unique arrows and all must be at A status. The highest rank at 1700 points, incidentally, is "Wouldl you like to discard this card?" superimposed on the column where the rank is seen.