Mirages and Mirage Abilities
The main part of this game is collecting monsters - aka Mirages. The game doesn't explain particularly well what it means to master a Mirage Board, even though there are two achievements related to them. Every Mirage belongs to a family, and this family can consist of one or more lines. Each line has one or more forms. Forms in a line share most, but not all, of the skills and stat bonuses in that form. Each form in a Mirage family has a different set of skills and stat bonuses. In order to master a board, you need to complete the Mirage board for every form in 1 line. Doing this will reward you with a Silver Star. If you master every line in a family, you'll get a Gold Star (and a 100% Stat Bonus).
As an example, take the Moogle Family. This has two lines and 3 forms. You can transform the Moogle into a Kupirate or Kipicaroon. If you unlock all of the nodes on the Moogle -> Kupirate, you will have mastered that line - and get a Silver Star. Then transfigure it to a Kupicaroon. You'll lose the skill and bonuses earnt, but keep the mastery count. You can then respend the points to unlock nodes on the Kupicaroon board. When you've mastered that board, you'll receive a Gold Star. This will count as 2/100 for the Legendary Caretaker achievement.
Mastering one Mirage Board will unlock:
For mastering 100 Mirage Boards, you'll unlock:
It's worth waiting until the post-script portion of the game to grind out the Mirage masteries. This is because there is a place in one of the bonus dungeons, next to a save point, where you can grind out a lot of XP. Apart from the Ramuh, Ifrit and Shiva Families, most lines can be mastered when the Mirage is around level 65. Expect the grind for the Legendary Caretaker achievement to take between 12 and 20 hours.
There are achievements for recording Mirages in the Mirage Manual (either through capturing or transforming/transfiguring):
For obtaining your first Mirage by imprisming, you'll unlock:
Recording 25% of the Mirage Manual will unlock:
Recording 50% of the Mirage Manual will unlock:
Recording 75% of the Mirage Manual will unlock:
Recorded an inconceivable number of Mirages in the Mirage Manual.
Recording 100% of the Mirage Manual will unlock:
The table below (in spoilers) provides you with the information you need to know about all of the Mirages in the game.
There are some Mirages that require a special item - known as a memento - to unlock. You'll get these mementos from one-off battles. There are cases where you can capture the mirage in the same battle that the memento unlocks, but some times this is quite difficult to do.
There are situations where some Mirages have a Generic and a Unique form. For example, capturing Shiva in the Colosseum (after hitting her with Ice attacks), you'll be rewarded with the Unique Shiva. She drops the memento required for the Shiva transfiguration of the Bablizz line. There are Mirages that are indicated by a ★. These are SUI GENERIS Mirages, and they're a unique Mirage from the main story. You'll find that if there is a Mirage with a ★, there is also a Mirage without one, and you'll need to imprism both. Any Sui Generis and Unique Mirages are at the end of the table.
The Maduin Mirage (of the Titan family) has a special unlock requirement - you need to complete the Intervention Quest quest Five Cogna Lords: Figaro. This requires you to play the minigame Sandstalkers and then beat the minigame in ten turns without casualties. This needs a lot of luck. (Though I managed to get the memento on 12 turns with no casualties. Two of those turns were moves, which may make a difference.)
On a Mirage board, when you get to a node where you can transform a Mirage, it will give you a level requirement. This requirement is for the level of the Mirage.
I originally was going to write up an entire table of all of the abilities available in the game, but in all honesty, the Final Fantasy Wiki Guide gives all the information you would need.
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