View Full Version : The Millstone

Wolf Kanno
05-12-2016, 06:38 AM
For those wondering what I'm talking about, the millstone is an old term for "dead weight". So the question goes, who have been the biggest pieces of dead weight to your world saving, role-playing needs?

05-12-2016, 08:05 AM
Honestly, Fran in FFXII was my dead weight. While the game doesn't place massive emphasis on stats like other games did, Fran still has the overall lowest stats in the game. I was reading the Piggyback guide earlier for the game, and it has literally nothing positive to say about her character in combat. I think the only positive they could muster is that her MP or magic catches up to Vaan's at higher levels.

Well, you could probably lump Basch and Vaan in as well. They formed my B-team, and my A-team barely ever fell in combat. I think I had to use them once against that bitch Zodiark.

Other games? Teddie in Persona 4 cannot match up to Yukiko as team healer/magic caster. He was only occasionally brought along. By necessity, Lulu became the dead weight at the endgame as physical attacks become the order of the day. In Mass Effect 2, Tali wasn't terribly useful against anything other than Geth. Going back to FFXIII, Sazh becomes redundant thanks to poor overall stats after everyone starts learning haste. Outside of a few specialist missions where his massive health pool is required, Snow warms the bench plenty as well.

These people aren't bad. Their just either hampered by poor specialisation or the presence of others who are better at what they do.

Wolf Kanno
05-17-2016, 07:50 PM
Honestly, I find FF tends to do a decent job of keeping most of their characters relevant. My usual millstones in the series tend to be characters I just don't like personality-wise. I think Kimarhi is the only example I can really think of since he's just a second tier version of everyone else and his Blue Magic sucks, he's more of a millstone for me because of that damn boss fight he has to do solo near the end, forcing me to have to actually use him throughout the game so I don't have a repeat of my first playthrough.

The only other one I can think of is Thief in the original game until he becomes a Ninja.

Also a few characters from the FFTactics franchise bu usually being a some odd combination of arriving way too late or having a weird job class with limited potential.

In other games:
Jean from Breath of Fire 2 comes to mind. His only decent attributes is getting a few decent support spells earlier than everyone else. Other than that, he's a pretty weak and useless entity until you get the Water and Holy Shamans and can make his advanced form, even then they are better served on other party members.

Naoto and Chie from P4 are also too situational with Naoto only being good for dungeon crawls and useless in a boss fight and Chie being her direct opposite. Doesn't help that Teddie and the MC are better at both of their jobs. I pretty much never used either of them unless I had to.

Lilka from WA2 is another problem child though I blame the designers for screwing her over. The Crest Mage in the first game is bad ass but making one of her force abilities into the ability to allow her her only means of hitting groups drastically reduces her usability. What makes it worse is that there is another characters whose spells hit groups based on the spell and not reduced to an ability. The fact he also has to be present in the party to use summons means that Lilka is reduced to permanent bench warmer for most of the game. Shame too, she's more likable than Tim.

Kongo, Meru, and Miranda from The Legend of Dragoon tend to be Millstones. while I tend to stick to one particular party for most of the game, these three are consistently on the bench for me due to both not liking them as characters and not liking their fighting styles/abilities.

Bowman, Earnst, and Noel from Star Ocean 2 also come to mind, none of them have any exceptional skills or magic and they are not exactly riveting characters either with the exception of Bowman. Bowmen does have the issues of being a choice between himself and the gadgetry chick. Earnst is more obnoxious cause you get screwed out of both one character and have to bend over backwards to get him and he's not even good.

In Suikoden 1, the Blacksmiths and elderly characters like Liuken or the engineers. Suikoden 1 plays roles straight most of the time, so characters who are not professional fighters tend to be terrible in battle by design.

Both Suikoden, Chrono Cross, and .hack have a few more millstones for me but they tend to be the "I don't like this character and they play almost identical to this other character I do like so yeah..." category.

In Suikoden Tactics it's any character who can be perma-killed which is 90% of the playable characters. Really bad design decision there...

Ziggy from the Xenosaga games and chaos after the first game. I just don't think the designers ever knew what to do with Ziggy but he's always way more limited than his other party members, and ridiculously slow. He's not bad, but most people never use him unless forced to. chaos is another story, he's badass in the first game but got seriously nerfed in the sequels making him less useful over Jr. Shion, Jin, and KOS-MOS.

Rico, Maria, and Chu-Chu tend to get this in Xenogears. Two of them are absolutely useless on foot with no deathblows and Rico and Maria's gears are incredibly slow in a game where speed is more important than defense. Chu-Chu can actually be pretty awesome if you put the time into building her up[, but most people despise her and will never bother, not to mention it's time consuming as hell in a game that isn't particularly difficult.

Kaiden in ME1, mostly because Bioware hadn't really figured out the rules of the classes and Kaiden lands in the awkward area of being able to do a bit of everything but not particularly well. Also, whatever character shares the same class as Shephard, you almost never need to use them if Shephard is doing there role.

I'll think of more when I have time.

05-18-2016, 10:52 AM
The biggest dead weight in gaming wasn't even in an RPG it was that one girl in Goldeneye 007

05-23-2016, 06:18 AM
Hexyz Force - Ignus. He doesn't even get the same type of weapon as everyone else for a little bit, meaning you need to constantly use perishable items with him. And then when you finally do get a standard weapon it's not his "special one" and he can't use what is essentially this game's version of a limit break. Come on now.

Trails of Cold Steel - Jusis or Rean. Neither are bad but they're just kind of repetitive. Most others are unique in some way but there are 3 sword users and Laura packs a bigger punch. So these two just fill the same shoes so there's never really a need for both in your party. Emma to a smaller extent because what she can do, Eliot can do better.

Like WK said, many of the Suikoden characters get pretty repetitive, so basically just pick your favourites out of x group.

Persona 4 - Naoto. Just too late for me to really care or want to invest anymore.

Dark Cloud 2 - Monster transformations. It takes an insane amount of time and effort to get them somewhat useful, but everyone else is just better anyway. It is cool talking to monsters though

Dark Cloud - Gorooooooooooo is the slowest being in the universe. Sure he hits things hard but in the time it takes him to swing, the enemies have already clocked out for the day and eaten dinner with their families and are now watching the evening news.

Those are the ones I can think of right now!