A common mechanic in tactical role playing games is the ability to recruit monsters to your party. Final Fantasy Tactics is no exception to this rule. Ghouls are the first monster you can acquire in the game that uses a ranged attack as its basic attack. This means you can use the Ghoul as a substitute Archer, rather than a substitute warrior. This is particularly important, because as undead, Ghouls are quite fragile. The following guide to Ghouls in Final Fantasy Tactics will help you optimally use this monster in your party.
How to Acquire – You can acquire Ghouls at Zigolis Swamp.
Innate Ability: Counter (All) – All monsters have the ability to counterattack. Because the Ghoul has a ranged attack, it can even potentially counter at range.
Innate Ability: Weak to Fire, Holy (All) – All Ghouls take increased damage from fire and holy attacks. Holy attacks are generally uncommon, though some key bosses use this damage type. On the other hand, fire is one of the most common elemental types in the game. This means Ghouls will generally take increased damage against spell casters and being a ranged character will not provide much safety from most fire attacks.
Innate Ability: Undead (All) – Like all undead, Ghouls have a chance to recover some or even all hit points upon death. The chance of recovery is entirely random as are the hit points recovered. This is one of the main reasons to use a Ghoul. If you are facing a battle where it is almost impossible to prevent characters from dying and you don’t have a lot of ability to resurrect allies, this ability could give you a fighting chance. Unfortunately, this advantage comes with a drawback, too. The same ability that can resurrect the Ghoul also prevents it from benefiting from any normal healing.
Innate Ability: Absorb Dark (All) – Undead can’t heal normally, but are healed by any damage with the darkness type. Unfortunately, this damage type is incredibly rare in the game and almost impossible to apply to your own party members. You should basically pretend this ability doesn’t exist and just be pleasantly surprised in the rare battle where it does come up.
Innate Ability: Can’t Enter Water (All) – Ghouls can never enter a square with water. This is particularly limiting on many of the outdoor maps in the game. Generally, Ghouls are best used in city maps.
Innate Ability: Float (All) – A Ghoul ignores any movement penalties from ground type and can move onto lava spaces. This ability does not allow the Ghoul to move on water though due to its drawback. In general, because a Ghoul can Teleport, this ability is mostly worthless, except for the fact that it makes the Ghoul immune to earth attacks.
Innate Ability: Teleport (All) – Teleport allows a Ghoul to move potentially any distance and completely ignore all terrain and enemies during that move. The Ghoul can also cross water with this ability, but can’t end the Teleport in water. Teleport has an increased chance to just fail the further you try to Teleport a character, so be careful about especially long Teleports unless the Ghoul is sure to die otherwise.
Special Ability: Throw Spirit (All) – The basic attack of the Ghoul attacks at a range of three squares. The damage is moderate, but the ability to attack at range means the Ghoul makes a great second row warrior.
Special Ability: Sleep Touch (Basic Ghoul) – This ability has a high failure chance, but when it works, the enemy falls asleep. Because Sleep is broken by damage, this just isn’t a good enough ability to justify a Ghoul given the failure chance.
Special Ability: Grease Touch (Basic Ghoul w/ Monster Skill, Gust) – It is almost impossible for a human character to apply Oil, which makes this a moderately useful ability. It is a little too hard to use on a Basic Ghoul, but a Gust uses it without difficulty. Unfortunately, it does have a failure chance, which mostly makes it not worth using unless your entire team is dealing fire damage.
Special Ability: Drain Touch (Gust w/ Monster Skill, Revnant) – If Drain Touch functions it damages the target for 1/3 of its hit points and heals the Ghoul an equal amount. Unfortunately, it has a moderate fail chance. Still, the ability is worth using because it is the only easy way to heal a Ghoul.
Special Ability: Zombie Touch (Revnant w/ Monster Skill) – Zombie Touch is not worth the effort it takes to use. The main benefit of this ability is that an enemy affected by it can’t be healed by normal methods. This may sound powerful, but it is almost always more effective to just kill any healers than to try to prevent healing, especially since the ability has a moderate failure chance. This especially isn’t worth using because of the effort it takes to set position characters to make this work.
Strategy – The absolute best use for a Revnant is to apply Oil to a key enemy and then rain fire damage on them. For lesser Ghouls, the primary reason to use them is the Teleport ability. This ability allows the Ghoul to move to some locations that are otherwise cut off on some maps. Human characters can gain this ability as well, but it takes considerably more effort than simply acquiring a Ghoul and the character that acquires it is not likely to have as strong offensive abilities or the ability to resurrect randomly. Overall, Ghouls are not great party members, but they do have a few niche uses, especially in some story battles.