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Thread: WK does an FFV Let's Play?

  1. #61
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    • Former Cid's Knight

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    Update time!

    Since I didn't get any takers on what to do for classes, I opted to make Butz and Faris deal with the new classes. I only have two available Bard songs but Charm and a group Regen ability are not bad starts. I have a better selection of Bows so Hunter wasn't a big deal to get started on. I did head back to the library top pick up the Moon Flute Blue magic, but that won't be useful until later.

    Before I tackle the desert, I need to get a few things out of the way that slipped my mind. I head back to the Jachol Region to visit the town for one of the piano's and to pick up an upgrade sword for any Knights on my team. The rest of the gear in town is mostly what I found in Crescent so I'm good on that front. There is a hilarious fourth wall breaking dance sequence by the piano, and I'm sad the dancer tradition ended in FFV. Most of the town folks talk about the ruins and mention the connection the town, ruins, and Crescent island have with each other. Man, you've got to love the ancient civilizations the permeate this series. I mean seriously, I don't think there is a single entry in the series that doesn't have a minor or major subplot deal with an ancient civilization who is magically more advanced than modern society. FFII might come the closest if you want to ignore the Ultima spell quest.

    Anyway, I dive back into my farming cave to pick up a few things. If you spoke with the townspeople or simply grinded long enough to notice, you'll find there is a simple trick to the switch puzzle in here. If you simply wait long enough, the fake switches all disappear temporarily to reveal the one true switch. There is not a whole lot going on in this dungeon which is likely why I ignored it my first time through. The area has the early makings of what will become the Phoenix Cave in VI with all the switch puzzles and the empty treasure boxes. There are three treasures to be found in the deepest part of the cave, assuming you didn't let Lone Wolf the Pickpocket out of his prison cell. One is a minor item, another is a free shuriken which is nice since they are not cheap in this game, and the last is the Blitz Whip which is a pretty snazzy weapon for the Trainer/Beastmaster class. Once this is all done, it's time to flee before I get a party wipe from a Skull Eater Now it's time to progress the story and tackle the Desert of Shifting Sands. If I'm going to be honest here, I hate this place. Largely because its filler. There are no treasures, all of the enemies only carry basic consumable items, no blue magics, and there is a gimmicky sliding floor puzzle which you can largely ignore until you have to come back here in the third act. Not to mention you can still have random encounters while the sand has you uncontrollably shifting to your destination.

    When you enter you can't make head way thanks to the shifting sands. Mid and Cid arrive to explain that the solution is a simple matter of summoning the infamous Sandworm in the region and murdering it to use it's corpse as a bridge. Have we discussed how metal Cid and Mid are in this game? Course that's easy for them to say, the Sandworm is generally the first boss in the game that gives players a tough time assuming they didn't try to tackle Shiva as soon as she's available. The Sandworm is the first battle that will teach you how much of a bad idea putting the ATB speed to its highest setting is. As I mentioned before, the battle speed only affects how often enemies get their turns, not how fast your own battle bar moves like in VII and VIII. Sandworm has a ton of health and appears with three holes. He'll pop his head out and only then can you actually damage him. So this is basically virtual whack-a-mole, but with the speed cranked up, he will start switching holes really quickly which will likely mean you'll miss him quite a lot. If you fail to hit him, or heaven help you, you try to cheese him with black magic/summons, he'll counter with Demi. His other attack is Quicksand which inflicts Sap. Not a good combo for party health. He hits pretty hard as well so trying to play this as an endurance match like it's meant to be is a fool's errand. There are two really easy ways to deal with him. If you bothered to pick up some Water Scrolls on your journey and happen to have a Ninja on the team, two of these should be enough to finish this boss off. The other easy win is to simply remember how I made it a point to learn Aqua Rake earlier in the game? Well this attack will OHKO this guy. This is because Aqua Rake has a funny algorithm where it gets to do additional damage to any enemy that falls into the Desert classification, which this guy does as well as everything else in this area. Sadly this boss only gives us a measly 5 ABP and has no items to drop or steal. Kind of a rip off for a boss that usually gives newbies their first ass whooping. If you head straight south, you'll find the exit to reach the lost city of Gohn. If you bother to head west/left like I did, you'll wander over to the Pyramid, which is a dungeon in the third act and is locked currently. The enemies in this area are annoying, give little in the way of XP/Gil, and ABP so it's not worth spending any more time here than you really need to.In my next playthrough, we'll explore Gohn and see if we can't find a missing daddy and maybe rediscover some ancient lost tech that might be useful like say an airship... Any suggestions on which classes I should pick next should be?

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  2. #62
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    • Former Cid's Knight

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    Get ready, this will be a bigger update than before.

    ***************************************************************************************************When we last left off, the party had cleared the awful and boring desert to finally reach the Ronkan Ruins. Here they encountered a ghostly figure that resembled King Tycoon. Chasing him around the ruins, the party falls into an underground industrial area that doesn't feel far off from Metal Man's stage in MM2; and one of my favorite tracks playing Musica Machina. The party finds a teleporter that sends them back to Crescent Island where they find the Fire Ship, and Cid and Mid who also clumsily stumbled upon the place. In addition to all of this, the team discover an airship docked here as well, so I finally have full access to the world map. I should be heading back to the Ronkan Ruins, but we need to make a few stops first. With the airship I can finally reach Istory, the town next to Istory Falls. Here, I can acquire a few really neat things. If you talk to the little girl near the inn, she mentions running around the flower bed to receive something good. Doing so wakes up a sleeping frog who leaves behind the Toad spell for my Black Mages. In the area with the sheep, one sheep turns out to be a girl playing pretend, but another sheep gives Butz some attitude and kicks him over the fence to speak with a Bard who teaches Romeo's Ballad, which is a song that casts Stop on all enemies. The other thing to do hear is talking to an old woman by the river gives you the information about a strange old man wandering the woods to the east that likes to fling lightning at everyone. Changing Butz into a Summoner with Blue magic as a sub-ability, I head into the woods. After a few encounters, I finally encounter Ramuh. He's not terribly difficult compared to his brethren but he also doesn't have any particular weaknesses either to any element available to me. It's also not wise to let this battle drag on because he can weakne your party pretty badly and there is one enemy in this area you need to watch, so some bad RNG can make this a quick trip to the title screen. The easiest way to take out Ramuh is to use Death Claw (told you it was useful) to knock him down to single digits. Afterwards, summon Ifrit to finish him off and Ramuh and Ifirt will engage in a bit of friendly banter which is poorly translated in this fan version I'm playing. Afterwards, Ramuh drops his summon item which you'll need to use from the item menu screen to learn his summon. I now only have one summon left to learn in Butz's world. The other two things for those who like to power level is to point out two specific enemies. In these same woods as Ramuh, there is an enemy called the Mini Dragon that appears in groups of five to attack you. These guys are a pain in the ass to kill because they have ridiculously high evasion and defense, but hitting them with Ice, Water, and Lightning damage like summons, black magic, or blue magic will allow you to kill them in three rounds or so. These guys drop the highest amount of EXP in the first world, so they are worth fighting for that, even if they are one of the most dangerous creatures in the world. As a note, I also flew back to Walse Castle and explored the basement to acquire both the Drag/Speed spell and a second Elven Cape accessory. The basement is filled with an enemy called Jackernapes that have high stats, always back attack, and outside of the Moonflute Blue spell, nothing else worth fighting them for because their EXP/Gil/ABP drops are insultingly bad for the amount of effort it takes to kill them. If you fly to the islands southwest from Crescent Island, you'll encounter an Omega looking enemy called Prototype. He has ridiculously high stats that make it nearly impossible to hurt him without power-leveling or using the Dark Spark blue spell to halve his level a few times. Or... you can just use Control to make him use Exploder/Self-Destruct on himself. This guy also teaches two other Blue Mage spells: Emissions, which is a single target fire spell; and Missile/Rocket Punch, which does gravity style percentile damage and occasionally causes the enemy to be confused. This guy also drops a pretty decent amount of Gil, EXP, and ABP so he's not a bad farming target, but more importantly, he always drops Dark Matter with 100% success. Dark Matter is an incredibly useful and powerful Chemist item that is not easy to come by, so farm a couple from him because it's one of the most important ingredients for the class. With the sideshow over, we head to the Ronkan Ruins where we witness a pretty cool sequence where the Mana Fort...er the Ronkan Capital rises from the desert and moves high enough in the atmosphere that the airship can't reach it. With nowhere else to go, the team heads back to see Cid and Mid, who discover through the Catapult Ruins a bunch of convenient information about the Ronkan Empire and their technology. We need Adamantium to give the airship a power boost, but they have no idea where to get some. Conveniently, Galuf remembers he had some on his Meteor. So the team heads back to Tycoon Castle to check out Galuf's meteor and sure enough, the Adamantium is there, so is an Adamantoise boss. This guy is a push over that's weak to ice elemental damage. Course, if you're feeling particularly lazy like I am, you can also just cast Lv. 5 Death and be done with it. With the Adamantium in hand, Cid and Mid make adjustments to the airship. Now if we press the A button, we have the option to fly higher and reach the ruins, in additon, if you press down, the airship converts to a boat. Cid and Mid warn we have to be careful about the Ronkan Ruins cannons, but the party assures them it won't be a problem. These sequence is pretty cool looking and you actually get to control your airship to guide the party to attack the guns. I would also like to point out how stellar the background animations in the fight screens are. If you look in the background, you can see that the fortress has monorails on the outside as well as seeing the party's airship docked on the fortress in the background. Pretty neat details. You're going to want to make use of that new Ramuh spell here and equip a summoner with a Thunder Rod to pull off 1500 damage on the gun parts. Be careful as these guys are pretty fast with a high battle speed set and the Missile/Rocket Punch move also casts Old on the party which will make them practically useless after a few rounds with the status effect. Once all four guns are taken out, the fortress pulls out the big Soul Cannon to take out the airship. This is the first boss fight I actually died to, and the one that teaches the player how Battle Speed actually works. There is three parts to this boss, with two Launcher enemies attached that like to use Missile to make your party have a bad day. Using Lv. Death will get rid of both of them, and thankfully the boss doesn't revive them. The actual Soul Cannon works like Bahamut in FFIV. He does a type of countdown that's presented as arming preparations, so it rakes it a few rounds before it launches it's powerful Pulse Laser attack that hits the whole party for high damage. At battle speed 1, which I'll remind you only effects how often enemies get there turns, he can fire this cannon sometime between your party's second set of turns. So it was a pretty nasty wipe when it took me out around round four. Now, understanding how this guy is just moving too fast, I could easily just adjust the battle speed in the menu to make this fight manageable, but the point of this Let's Play is to show off the brilliance of the battle system. Instead, I go back to my last save, beat up the four cannons and before engaging the Soul Cannon, I give Lenna Time Magic. Earlier in the game, I acquired the Speed/Drag spell. It's description is pretty awful, and if you didn't bother adjusting the Battle speed to a higher setting, it's completely useless. What this spell does is pretty neat, it will change the battle speed to 5 (slow) for the duration of the battle. Not useful for casual players, but if you're playing on higher difficulty settings or doing a challenge run, this spell is invaluable for bosses like Soul Cannon and Atmos, or against enemies that Slow won't work on. As expected, the spell slows the enemy turns to a crawl and lets me wallop him pretty badly. With that we enter the Ronkan Fortress. This is honestly one of the coolest looking dungeons with some cool Mode 7 layer effects and the moving gears, not to mention Musica Machina is still the theme music of the place. I switch my party around to get Learning back on as a sub-ability, control for Blue spells., and I turn Lenna into a Bard because they are actually quite useful in this dungeon. There are quite a few enemies in this area you'll want to keep an eye on. The Enchanted Fan can be both Controlled or Charmed and he teaches both Aera and more importantly, the White Wind blue mage spells. He's pretty common too, and if you're lucky like I was, one of them may drop a Dark Bow for your Hunter. Ronkan Knights are brutes that carry Hi-Potions and Power Potions that can be stolen. They also occasionally drop Mythril Shields. Lamia is an enemy that you need to control, she has two really important things. First, she has a really good helmet called Lamia's Tiara that is a rare steal from her. Secondly, she has the Blowfish/1000 Needles Blue spell. It is imperative to learn this from her cause it's going to make the next boss less of a headache. Ra Mages have Bard's Coats to steal for easy money. Finally there are two hydra looking dragon enemies to watch out for. The actual Hydra (misspelled in this translation) can easily be charmed by the Bard's song, which is incredibly useful because this guy has some incredibly powerful attack you don't want to deal with including Quake and Poison Breath. Ethers can be stolen from him, and if you're incredibly lucky, he has Dragon Fangs as a rare drop which is the other super useful alchemy item you'll want to farm for. The other enemy is called Ghildra, which is an undead palette swap of Hydra (which is mistranslated as Hydra in this version). This guy is an asshole and if you don't care about a perfect run or power leveling, then I would advise you to avoid fighting him because he's designed to drain your resources. He can't be controlled or charmed, so get ready to be hit by a lot of the spells his living counterpart has. He has really high health as well. The easiest way to kill him is to use a Phoenix Down to instant kill him but since they are actually both expensive and hard to come by in this entry, you may not want to. The other strategy is to use Death Claw on him, but it has low accuracy against this boss. Missile will also land most of the time, but since it's percentile damage, you'll probably have to outlast him at that point. When he dies, he casts Lv. 4 Graviga on your party, which is a pretty useful Blue Mage spell, so you'll want whoever is on your team that's divisible by 4 in levels to have Learning as their sub-ability. Finally, for the completionists out there, this guy also has the excellent Killer Bow as a rare steal. Thankfully, it doesn't carry any other items, so you're guaranteed to get it if the steal is successful, but the probability without the Bandit's Glove is something like 3.9% success rate. After getting thumped a few too many times by this guy, I broke down and used saved states to finally get both this item and keep my party levels down since this guy is also the best enemy to fight for levels in this dungeon. With all that out o the way, I grab all the loot, including a very useful Power Armband, the Ancient Sword, and Gold Armor and Shield. I then approach the last floor where King Tycoon is battling the guardian of the fortress, Archeoaevis. This guy is easily going to be the first boss battle that is going to test the patience of the player, and much like Soul Cannon, you'll need to really know what skills you have to make this obnoxious fight into a cakewalk. So a few interesting tidbits about this boss, he's actually five bosses in one that just all have the same sprite and only the final one has an onscreen transition. He has four normal forms, and then a final undead form just to screw with you. All four living forms have 1600hp a piece, and their stats are all slightly different, with each form having different elemental strengths and weaknesses. The rule of thumb with this fight, if you fight him fairly, is that his early forms have really high physical defense, but low magical defense; and then these stats are inversely changed as you go through the fight. So basically his first form is weak only to magic but strong against physical, while his fourth form is weak to physical but strong against magic. Course this goes out the window as it uses Wall Change to alter it's elemental weakness. This boss also gets some powerful group hitting attacks like Air Wind and Lightning so this is not a fight you'll want to drag out. His final form has 2500hp, is undead, and gets contractual boss immunity to phoenix downs. He also has access to the powerful Maelstrom attack that will instantly knock your whole party to critical health, so yeah, he's and asshole overall and the first boss that really gives players a hard time. So what to do? As usual, the Blue Mage comes to the rescue here. 1000 Needles does unblockable damage and ignores all of those pesky stats, and with a competent fighter and mage on the team, you can potentially knock out a form every round with this strategy. When he finally reaches his undead form and casts maelstrom on your team, counter him your own "flashing the bird" move by taking advantage of his zombie form being level 25 and use Lv. 5 Death to instantly kill him. If you really want to be saucy, bring a few monk into your team with counter equipped and use 1000 Needles to knock its first form to 500hp. Then just wait for it to use a physical attack and get countered. If you're lucky, the Monk will do enough damage to kill him and the game bugs out for some reason the boss won't transition to any later forms and you can call it good. Even more interesting is that each form does actually drop it's own alchemy item. With the boss defeated, the King of Tycoon rushes ahead to the crystal chamber. The party follows and realizes the king is being controlled by ExDeath. Butz and Galuf prepare to knock some sense into him but the daughters won't have any of it. Instead it takes the untimely arrival of Krile er I mean Cara to crash her meteor into the ruins and casting Thunder on the King to snap him back to his senses. Talk about a dramatic entrance. The girls have a tearful reunion with their father, Galuf hilariously regains his lost memories thanks to Cara and smacking his question mark bubble off screen, and Butz sits there all teary eyed by all these emotional family reunions until it hits him that he's an orphan and will never experience anything like this. Of course with all these teary eyed reunions, no bothers to check on the Earth Crystal which is powering up this whole fortress and before anyone knows it, it shatters and the thing we've spent all of the first third of the game trying to do has been for naught. ExDeath makes his grand entrance, corrupts the shards of the earth crystal to keep the party trapped there while he uses his magic to return to Galuf's world to wreck havoc on everything. King Tycoon then makes a heroic sacrifice to purify the crystals at the cost his own life. The party obtains the last four non-game breaking jobs, and with the crystal gone, the fortress decides to go back to being an earth bound city instead. The party escapes and we watch the fortress crash back to the planet. The sisters mourn their father's passing and Galuf tells Butz a very short version of why ExDeath was sealed on their world to begin with. With his own world in danger, Galuf and Cara choose to return home, but don't wish to drag Butz, Lenna, and Faris into their drama anymore, you know despite the fact that their world is totally screwed now without the four crystals, and most of the major world governments are in shambles. After the duo leave, the other three converse and decide to follow after Galuf even if it means leaving behind their smurfed up dying world forever. We'll do the quest to reach Galuf's world and I'll probably play up until they escape ExDeath's castle for the next segment. I now have the last four classes of Samurai, Dragoon, Dancer, and Chemist so I'll likely do the second to last Job Class write up for the next entry. I'll take suggestions for the next classes to play as, though I'm down to three people at the moment.

    Last edited by Wolf Kanno; 05-27-2019 at 05:48 AM.
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  3. #63
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    • Former Cid's Knight

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    It's time to review the Earth Crystal Job Classes. I must say, next to the fire Crystal, this might be my favorite set of new classes in the game. Let's start with the oldest standby...
    **************************************************************************************************** ********

    Dragoons

    The sneaky Dragon Knight returns

    Stats
    Strength: +18
    Agility: +5
    Stamina: +15
    Magic: -12
    Ability: Jump
    Innate: None
    Class Type: Take*
    Weapons: Spears and Knives
    Armor: Shields, Heavy armor and Helmets, Gauntlets, and Clothes.

    Short Version: Dragoons are boring but really practical jobs to use.

    Okay, here's the long version. Overall, the class is really solid, it has a pretty strong stat spread with a small but decent boost to agility over some other melee focused classes on this list. Jump is a really awesome move. It removes a character for a round in order to do unblockable damage that ignores row. If the character is equipped with a Spear, Man-Eater dagger, Twin Lance, Judgement Staff, or Staff of Light, they will do double damage instead. Rod weapons will still miss, and any weapon that doesn't do normal physical damage... like harps and the healing wand will always miss. Jump also ignores the sub-ability of a weapon so magic effects and such will never activate except for the Lilith Rod for some reason. Of course the big thing to point out here is that only Dragoons and the Freelancer class have the ability to use spears naturally. So Jump loses a bit of it's oomph from FFIV. It also lost it's "throw damage" status from FFIV so the weapon type doesn't get to do extra damage to enemies with the Flying status like Kain could. So in some ways, the class is a bit inferior to it's FFIV incarnation but still gets some benefits like not activating counters. Spears scale with strength so obviously you'll want use strength boosting gear and sub abilities. Dragoons are one of the rare melee focus classes where Rapidfire isn't really worth using with. Spears are pretty nifty weapons but their strength really comes with being used with Jump. And there my friend is the rub, like Monk and Ranger, Dragoons are a bit of an insular class.

    The overall build is pretty perfect, and so they don't get as much from the sub-job system like other melee classes, likewise, their build really only works best when used together, so other jobs don't get as much of a benefit from their skills like other classes can. Lance is the exception, it's a pretty snazzy ability to give to a dedicated mage character you don't wish to sub a secondary mage job to. Great for long term dungeons so White Mages get some serious mileage from it. Sadly, Equip Spears is not really worth it without Jump, and while Jump has several advantages, its less optimal in most situations without spears. The best skills to give a Dragoon are either skills to maximize their damage potential or ones that take advantage of the classes survival skills. Doublehand and Dual-Wield are pretty good skills to give the class for better damage output. Though the class take a hit to magic, a high enough White Magic level can offset this issue and they make good healers. Time Magic and Blue Magic is also a nice choice since both don't bother with the magic stat much and skills like White Wind and Return can save a battle that's gone south. Another option is to give them the Chemist's Revive skill which makes the dragoon's habit of being the last man standing super useful. The class has options but you'll likely spend most of your time using the base class and not much else. So to reiterate the short version: Boring but practical.

    **************************************************************************************************** *****

    Dancer
    1d1d1e49.jpg
    Defeat enemies with the mysterious powers of THE DANCE!


    Stats
    Strength: +5
    Agility: +5
    Stamina: -10
    Magic: -5
    Ability: Dance
    Innate: Equip Ribbon*
    Class Type: Give
    Weapons: Knives
    Armor: Clothes, armlets, robes, Ribbon*

    I may have spoken too soon when I said the Ninja was the melee classes glass cannon, in truth, Dancers kind of have them beat. Yes, this is a melee class at heart, though their low magic penalty and access to certain elemental boosting gear can make them pretty decent mages if you want. Still the heart of their skill and equipment set is based around doing physical damage to enemies. Like Bard's before, this class has several weaknesses compared to other melee classes. They equip light cloth armor instead of any real defensive gear, they are the only melee class to have a penalty to their stamina, and even worse, said penalty is the biggest of all the available classes, so Dancers tend to have lower hp and defense than even some mage classes. Even their strength boost is pretty pathetic for a melee job. So you might be wondering why this class can even be worth using if I told you earlier that Bard's were a class you level up until you learn Sing and then never look back. Well truth be told, Dancers are the same way, this is a class whose skill sets are better served with other classes. But much like Dragoons and Rangers, there are certain perks to using the class by itself since many of their skills really work best with their build. It's imperative if you plan on using this class to give them gear and accessories that increase evasion. You don't want them taking hits so the Main Gauche and Elven Cloak are the best friend for this class.

    Flirt is the vendor trash skill this class first teaches. It has a 50% chance of inflicting Charm but unlike the Bard song that does the same thing, it only affects one target and it can't work on any enemy with the Heavy status, which is basically the thing you want to charm in battle. On the flip side, most of the dancer exclusive equipment do increase the skills success rate, which is a perk, but something only a Dancer can utilize best and you would still have to waste their secondary slot on Flirt. It's final skill is Equip Ribbon which is a misnomer. Yes, this skill let's you equip Ribbons, which only Dancers and Freelancers can equip, and its one of the most useful helmets in the game; but what it doesn't tell you is that it also let's you equip any of the Dancer exclusive items such as the Rainbow Dress, Man-Eater, and Red Slippers. Ribbons are far more useful, but the Dancer exclusive gear are actually some of the best items statistically of their classes. The Rainbow Dress is the best cloth armor in the game that's not cursed, and the Man-Eater is the second best knife weapon in the game only behind the Chicken Knife and does double damage with the Jump command. Not to mention their stat boosts are nothing to scoff at.

    Course the real reason to bother with this class is their main skill, Dance. Dance activates one of four skills when used. Tempting Tango casts Charm/Confusion on one opponent and doesn't have the restrictions that Flirt does. Mystery Waltz will drain one opponent of their MP. Jitterbug drains a percentage of HP from an opponent. And finally, Sword Dance causes 4x physical damage against an opponent. Yes, you read that right, 4x the classes normal damage. Dancers are average fighters but in the hands of something like a monk or knight... yeah you get the picture. Granted, there are some issues here. Tempting Tango doesn't always work and if you're up against undead, the drain/osmose skills do damage to the Dance user instead; and FFV has a lot of dungeons with undead in them. Another big issue is that Dance does not ignore Row, so if you want to really see the hurt this skill can do, you're going to need to put the user in the front row or suffer a penalty to all their moves by playing it safe in the back row. On the other hand, if you equip the Rainbow Dress, Red Slippers, and Lamia Tiara on a Dancer, the Dance skill drops Tempting Tango for a second Sword Dance, effectively doubling your chance to perform their best move. If you give the class Barehanded or Equip Sword with a strong weapon, you'll see why this is classified as a melee class. Dance is a pretty snazzy skill. The drain skill can be useful for mages though I would stick to the better Lance skill. Yet a class like Mystic Knight or Red Mage can really get some mileage from this skill set as they have pretty good strength boosts, can equip better weapons, and can always benefit from having some extra HP/MP. Overall, master the class for the skills, but if you like funky builds and don't mind living a little dangerously this class is the one for you. Fun fact, this is Sakaguchi's favorite class.

    **************************************************************************************************** *****

    Samurai

    Eastern warriors who try to end conflict with a single blow.

    Strength: +19
    Agility: +2
    Stamina: +19
    Magic: -12
    Ability: Zeninage (Gil Toss)
    Innate: Shirahadori (Blade Grasp)
    Class Type: Give and Take
    Weapons: Katanas and Knives
    Armor: Shields, Heavy Armor, Heavy Helmets, Clothes, and Gauntlets.

    Meet one of my other favorite classes in this game. I often feel like Samurai get overlooked too often by the fans in this game. I get it that knights, dragoons, and Ninja are kind of idiot proof, but honestly the samurai is a deceptively good class with several advantages over their melee contemporaries. Their stats are slightly higher than most other melee classes, but they do fall short to Monks and Knights, but make up for it with either slightly better agility and a lower magic penalty. This is despite the fact they get to wear all the same stuff as knights. Still, their average at best among melee classes. What really sets this class apart from the others are three factors:

    First, they can use katanas. Katanas are on par statistically with most sword and knight swords with certain exceptions, but they lose out on being incompatible with spellblade abilities which is why they don't get as much love in the end game. Instead, katanas are the only set of weapons in the game besides unarmed to be able to perform critical hits. Even better, they have the highest crit rate factor over unarmed and only specialty weapons like the Rune Axe or Rune Bell have abetter rate and they need mp to work. So even though samurai have lower strength and katanas can't utilize spellblade magic for better damage, katanas are on par thanks to their higher output of critical hits. There are also a few really cool katanas like the Wind Slash katana that trades it critical hit rate for randomly casting a group hitting Wind Slash skill and the Masemune which gives the bearer first strike as an innate ability and casts haste when used as an item.

    Second, the class has the shirahadori skill as an innate ability, this skill gives the class an extra 25% chance to evade all physical attacks that come there way, this is in addition to being able to wear heavy armor, meaning this class has a pretty good survival rate. This skill is also a learn-able ability and transfers to freelance and Mime when learned, which alone makes this class worth using for a little while.

    Third, and finally, the class's main skill in Zeninage or Gil Toss to people familiar with the older translations. This skill allows Samurai to be the only melee class besides Ninja to have a group hitting attack without relying on specific weapons (which this class also has) and this version is pretty much the most bulltrout version of it in the series. Gil Toss does damage based on the character level, which also raises the amount of gil used. Getting money in this game is actually not terribly difficult but even better, there is a fun cheat if you want to abuse this skill in a low level run. See the damage formula is a bit weird and calculates the gil used by the current level of the user, the damage formula on the other hand is based on the current level. If you use either the Hero Rime Bard song or the Chemist's Drink command to consume Hero Drink's to artificially and temporarily raise the user's level, the skill will consume a lower level characters amount of gil, but do damage based on a character of a much higher level.

    The rest of the class skills are not so great. Mineuchi is bugged and doesn't actually do what it's suppose to do which was paralyze an opponent they hit. Oddly enough though, the attack doesn't count as an actual hit so it won;t remove the charm or confused status when used on someone afflicted with either status. Ianuki is a good skill on paper. It has an 85% chance of killing all opponents on the field, but there are some minor details you need to know first. First, it calculates magic levels in its hit formula instead of physical so sometimes it misses when it feels like it shouldn't. It also will not work on enemies with the Heavy status such as bosses and a large portion of end game enemies making this skill only useful for trash mobs at best. Considering it's the final skill of the class and the absurd amount of ABP needed to master the class, it just doesn't feel like it's worth the effort.

    Gil Toss and Shirahadori are great skills to pass onto other classes and even the equip katana isn't a bad skill to hand out if you want to take advantage of those crit rates. As for skills to give to them, the standard melee three are not bad choices so Double Hand for when you first get the class, duel wield once that's gained, but more than other melee classes except maybe Mystic Knight, Samurai get the best advantage with Rapidfire since it will raise the probability of critical hits. Their survival skills also makes them useful for healing magic and the Revive skill. It's a shame this class always gets changed around between entries, but FFV might have one of my favorite incarnations of the class.

    **************************************************************************************************** ******

    Chemist

    Proving that science is the best weapon.

    Strength: +2
    Agility: +3
    Stamina: +6
    Magic: -3
    Ability: Drink
    Innate: Pharmacology
    Class Type: Give
    Weapons: Knives and Staffs
    Armor: Hats, clothes, armlets, and robes

    Next to Blue Mage, this is the other class that separates the casuals players with the really bored and calculating ones. How you view this class and its worth really tells what kind of a player you are. On the other hand, unlike Blue Mage, this class actually has something for every player despite skill level. To get the bad out of the way, this class has ho-hum stat upgrades so they don't really excel in any direction like other classes. Their equipment pool is mostly bad though they do get access to a few elemental enhancing items for magic builds and they have exclusive access to the Angel Robes which are not nearly as cool in this entry as they are in other FFs, but still neat. Yet their gear is on the light weight side, so don't expect this class to do or take much physical damage without some sub job to take up the slack. Drink is also not their best move, and it kind of sucks that its the classes default move. On the other hand, this skill actually can change a lot of what I just said about the negatives above if used right. There is one other negative, but we'll ouch on that one later...

    So onto the positives, this class may be the only non-mage class where every skill learned is actually a really good skill when used properly. Pharmacology is the simplest to understand, it doubles the effects of healing items and this class gets it as an innate skill as well so double bonus. This skill will also become an innate skill for Mimes and Freelancers once the class is mastered as well.

    Drink is a bit of an odd skill. as many players will notice, lots of monsters drop special items like Strength or Speed potions that show up in your inventory but can never be used. Drink is the command that lets you use them, and as you can gather by the item titles, these items raise stats for the duration of the battle they are used in. With a few potions popped, a Chemist can actually do some reasonable damage despite their stats. Yet the skill is even better when used by a specialist class to raise their damage output. So this skill has some good potential uses. The issue with the Chemist having it as a default id that the class doesn't excel anywhere so it may take a few rounds before you see some serviceable results.

    Recover, for those who remember this skill in FFVIII works about the same. Its a group hitting Esuna spell that costs no MP to use. Yes, you read that right, it affects the whole team and costs nothing to use but a sub slot. Pretty useful when dealing with certain status flinging bosses or if you don;t want to deal with acquiring the Ribbons for the whole team.

    Revive, again like FFVIII, is a group hitting, no mp cost Raise spell. I don;t feel I need to explain why this one is cool, and why I kept mentioning it for Dragoon and Samurai builds.

    Finally, we have Mix, which is the classes best and most frustrating skill that is at the heart of why some players hate this class and others praise it. As seen in future installments, Mix allows a chemist to take two consumable items or alchemical items from the party inventory and combine them to get a specific result. Mixing normal healing status removal items can net you effects that do both healing and status removal. Hell, using an Ether and a Hi-Potion together will actually restore a characters full MP so you can really see how this ability can strethc your healing items. Some combinations can also raise a character's level temporarily by a dramatic amount, others can significantly raise magic power to game breaking levels. Three alchemical items are very noteworthy and the key to some of the game's best moves. Turtle Shells, Dragon Fangs, and Dsrk Matter. Dark Matter is especially important because most of the classes offensive abilities like Shadowflare and Dragon Breath are linked to this item, so acquiring it is important. there are roughly 57 different item effects and even more combinations for some of them. This now brings me to the other issue and why this class is kind of controversial. In additon to being a resource heavy class, you will verly likely need to use a guide for all the recipes to get the most out of this class. This class is easily one of the most time intensive classes in the game, maybe even more so than the Blue Mage in order to really get out their full potential. Most causal players will not want to put in that effort and while some of their recipes are truly interesting and game breaking, they really only get their full milage from challenge runs as the game have enough options that optimal focused players can largely ignore this class. If want some real fun, a Job locked or low level challenge will allow you to really appreciate what this class has to offer. In amny ways, this class was a precursor to a similar issue with Gau in FFVI. It's not a surprise this class doesn't show up much, especially since they tend to be game breakers when they do.

    **************************************************************************************************** *****
    Not counting the GBA exclusive classes, I only have two more classes to review, but I'll wait until we acquire Mime to discuss both of them. So what classes shall I use for the next section of the game?
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    Witch of Theatergoing Karifean's Avatar
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    I'm all for a full team of Earth Crystal jobs.

    Nice writeup. For me the Dance skill was ultimately my choice of offense in the final parts of the game as it does consistent max damage (well as consistent as a 50% chance is) without having to fool around with Spellblade or other buffs or even particularly good weapons. Correct me if I'm wrong but I'm pretty sure its targeting is not random, but entirely up to you to choose. Maybe that's a GBA exclusive feature. Also, Sword Dance never misses which is a great boon against enemies with high dodge chances.

    Samurai was a pretty rocking class as well and mastering it for the free 25% dodge on your Freelancer is a pretty good lategame investment.

    Something I'm wondering about regarding Jump now is if it works with the Excalipoor. I know Goblin Punch supposedly does, but your post made me wonder if Jump does as well given its habit of ignoring weapon sub-abilities.

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    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karifean View Post
    I'm all for a full team of Earth Crystal jobs.

    Nice writeup. For me the Dance skill was ultimately my choice of offense in the final parts of the game as it does consistent max damage (well as consistent as a 50% chance is) without having to fool around with Spellblade or other buffs or even particularly good weapons. Correct me if I'm wrong but I'm pretty sure its targeting is not random, but entirely up to you to choose. Maybe that's a GBA exclusive feature. Also, Sword Dance never misses which is a great boon against enemies with high dodge chances.

    Samurai was a pretty rocking class as well and mastering it for the free 25% dodge on your Freelancer is a pretty good late game investment.

    Something I'm wondering about regarding Jump now is if it works with the Excalipoor. I know Goblin Punch supposedly does, but your post made me wonder if Jump does as well given its habit of ignoring weapon sub-abilities.
    I think you are correct about Dance not being random targeting. I didn't actually switch over to verify but that sounds correct. I'll fix that in the write up.

    As for Excalipoor and Jump, I'm afraid it doesn't work. For the most part, sub abilities refers to weapons that cast spells randomly when used like the Apollo Harp, Gaia Hammer, or Wind Slash katana. So it would still use the algorithm for the 1hp. Jump's damage formula still puts in account the Weapon damage formula as well, whereas Goblin Punch uses its own formula but inputs the base damage of the equipped weapon for the formula. Rapidfire also puts in account the weapon formula but ignores special abilities. So it won't randomly have the character cast additional spells when used, but it would also mean that Excalipoor would still do four hits of 1hp, while katanas would still have critical hit chances because neither of those properties count as sub abilities. I'll experiment a bit when I obtain the weapon just to confirm though.

    I feel I'll definitely play with the Earth Jobs for the next playthrough.
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    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    So when we last left off, Galuf returned to his home-world with his granddaughter Krile, and Butz and the girls decided to follow him, but unfortunately, they don't know how. We head over to see Cid and Mid who figure they can tune the remaining power of the meteors to open a path for the team, so the two groups head off to revisit the meteors starting with the one in Walse. Of course, if we remembered the last time we checked out these meteors it was inhabited by monsters and well... its boss rush mode folks. Before we begin, I switch up my team's jobs. I give Butz the Dancer class because why not and have him sub Bard Song. Lenna gets to be a Chemist so I can try to get access to all those useful abilities and I sub white mage for the boss rush. Faris gets Samurai with double hand for better damage.

    The first boss in the queue is Poruborus, which are an obnoxious group of Bomb type enemies who love to cast Arise/Life 2 on each other when they are killed and try to outlast the team. This fight sounds tougher than it really is as there are quite a few methods to beat these guys. The simplest strategy is to simply find a means to kill them all at once so none of them can cast Arise. A team of Black Mages or Summoners using Blizzard and Shiva can do this nicely. I could also spam Aqualung from a Blue Mage as well. Ninja's can also use Water Scrolls to end this quickly if I had the spare cash to buy more.
    You can also simply have a white mage systematically cast silence on each of them or use a Mage Masher and hope the status effect lands to prevent them from using magic. Another trick which I use for my strategy is to use the Bard Song Romeo's Ballad to cast stop on the group and keep them from having turns. Funny enough, they are susceptible to Control as well and can use Self-Destruct on each other which somehow screws with their A.I. as they are less likely to revive an ally who uses this move. I opt to just use Gil Toss which pretty much crushes the group of them, though it does take a huge hit to me Gil.
    With that out of the way we head to the Karnak Meteor. This time the monster is inside the Meteor and scares off Cid and Mid who need us to go in and fight it. This boss is Titan and he can be a real handful for an unprepared party. One major trick you can use that I learned after the fact is that there is an enemy on the North Mountain called Galicat that when Controlled or Captured, uses Float as their move which is the only way to get the Float status in Butz's world since the spell is available in Galuf's. Titan hits really hard and will use a move called Earth Shaker that does a lot of damage. You'll want high health throughout the fight because he uses this move as his HP dwindles and as a final attack. I switch my team around. Butz is changed to a berserker and given the Death Scythe with doublehand as a move. This gives me more than enough attack power to cleave anywhere from a third to a half of his health per hit. Lenna stays the same and I make a very risky gamble by changing Faris into a Dancer for Sword Dance despite the hit to her HP. In truth, I probably should have made her another Berserker or kept her class the same but she needs the ABP so whatever. Titan goes down pretty easily though I did make this fight a bit harder on myself than I needed to. I am also a annoyed because I forgot until a I was rechecking things on the Wiki that Titan actually has the second best Hammer weapon in the game as a rare steal. You won;t be able to get this weapon until the third world and it has the sub ability of occasionally casting Quake when used which would make a Berserker a truly fearsome mob killing machine. I missed out on it, but I would have very likely needed to use save states to get it as he actually has a potion as a common steal. The nice thing about beating Titan is that you gain him as a summon afterwards.
    Finally we move to the Gohn Meteor that Krile/Cara left. This time Cid and Mid start to take a little too long getting the meteor set up, so Butz and the group go in to investigate only to discover the two have been captured by the resident boss monster. Manticore/Chimera Brain is basically a boss version of the Chimera enemy that we gain Aqualung from, and this boss happens to use it as well. Manticore is the final boss of Butz's world and is frankly one of the tougher bosses in this boss rush. He has high HP, no elemental weaknesses, and his two main moves are devastating group attacks like Blaze and Aqualung so you'll need a dedicated healer for this fight if you're going to brute force it. Titan is a great summon to use for this fight if you want to build a team of summoners, but their low HP will also mean that if they are not strong enough to kill him quickly, he can end this fight in about two rounds. Luckily, lime many bosses that feel a bit cheap and are designed to make brute forcing it a challenge, Manticore has a serious weaksause weakness to exploit. I change my team again. Butz is a Dancer with steal, Lenna is a chemist with Time Magic, and Faris is back to being a samurai with doublehand. Manticore is surprisingly susceptible to the Stop spell, which completely trivializes this fight as Butz and Faris shave its health off with Sword Dance and Critical hits. This boss also carries Dragon Fangs but I actually get extremely lucky and net the rare steal instead which is a Wind Spear. Granted, it's not as cool as the Earth Hammer and will be available in the first two in Galuf's world, but I'm not going to turn down a free weapon.
    With the meteors set up, a strange portal opens up on the world map and the team has one final discussion about how this is a one way trip. After everyone resolves themselves to go, we get a neat graphical effect as the team dives into the swirling vortex and get launched to Galuf's world. At this point, I'm still trying to make sense of where Galuf's world is, and how all of these people are traveling there by meteors and vortexes.
    Of course, following the fact this team never thinks things completely through, the party winds up on a a solitary island on Galuf's world with no means to leave. The enemies on this island don't really offer much in the way of APB, gil, or items but they do all drop Tents, which is the game's subtle way of telling you to use one. If that doesn't get the message clear, after a few battles, you''ll get a cutscene where Lenna says the group should camp for the night. Once you camp, you get a scene where Faris asks Lenna about why she risked her life to save the Wind Drake on North Mountain. Lenna talks about their mother and how she thinks of her when she sees the Wind Drake but before she can explain further, the camp is attacked by monsters. Butz finally wakes up only to see Faris and Lenna taken before he has to face an Abductor.
    This guy is not terribly tough when you have a full team but as a single character this can be a real challenge since he uses Hurricane which will drop your health into single digits. The ideal set up here is a Dragoon whose Jump command will avoid most of this bosses attacks. I on the other hand prefer Butz in his Dancer job which is a terrible class for this fight as winning turns into a matter of luck. I last pretty long thanks to getting Jitterbug a few rounds but I keep getting Mystery Waltz and never did Sword Dance. This is not a big deal, this is one of the few boss battles you can lose and frankly you're suppose to. Beating this guy nets you 1 ABP and an ether which is frankly not worth the effort. You do get a hilarious scene where the boss drops a treasure after defeat and Butz opens it only to be struck with knockout gas though.
    When the team awakens, they learn they are the prisoners of ExDaeth and we meet Gilgamesh for the first time. Butz and company have terrible timing as Galuf and his forces were trying to lay siege to the Big Bridge that leads to ExDeath's castle. Revealing through a magical hologram his prisoners, Galuf is forced to end the siege and instead try to sneak into the castle alone to save his friends.
    This dungeon is pretty straightforward as you don't have access to much but it does thankfully have a save point and HP/MP restore pools and the only treasure chest you'll find simply contains all of groups gear. You'll definitely want to switch Galuf into a class with either high defense or speed, but focus mostly on attack power. I normally go monk, but Galuf was a Ninja before he left and I figured this would be a pretty decent class to got through the dungeon with. I kept Steal as his sub ability and kept his gear intact which is built for dodging. There are only two enemy types in the dungeon sections of the game, Tarantulas and the Shell Bears. Both are pretty weak and easy to deal with though neither has much to offer in the long run. Tarantulas always drop potions when defeated, so it's really easy to amass a lot of them here. The Shell Bear is a bit more interesting. They will rarely drop Hi-Potions which are always appreciated but they have a very unique item for a rare steal. If you are a completionist this is important, but if you don;t care about getting at least one of every item, then just skip to the next paragraph. Shell Bears possess the Spear weapon as a rare steal. Why this is important is because this is the only time you'll really have a chance to get one as they are never sold and no other enemy has them. Why you can skip over this if you don't care about a completionist run is that the Spear is the weakest spear in the game and it's only decent property is it adds a +1 to speed which is hardly worth it.
    Once Galuf amkes it to the basement floor he has to deal with everyone's favorite bumbling blowhard, Gilgamesh. Fun fact here, Gilgamesh has more health in this fight than his first two real encounters later. Around 11,500 health which gives him more health than anything faced before this point. Thankfully, his A.I. script has him run away after he loses a tenth of hsi health, so despite the huge health pool, he really only has 1500hp for this battle. This fight is a gimme for the most part and you can technically beat him with any cast given enough time as he only uses weak physical attack. Unlike later encounters, he doesn't have anything to steal though, but beating him nets you an elixir so that's neat. With the blowhard out of the way, the team is rescued and we can finally try to make a break for it.
    Nothing really changes with the dungeon so its a pretty straight shot out of the place. I didn't notice this the first time through but there is a floor where some monsters look like they are behind bars, but it turns out they are guards and if you try to walk out in the open where they can spot you, Butz will dive to the floor and mention they can't be seen at which point you can control their faced down sprite to move slowly out of sight and back to run normally. Its not terribly important but its a neat feature I'm sure some players forget about.
    Once outside, our party needs to head to the bridge. The enemies outside of the castle are not terribly worth to bother with. The lizard looking devilfish use Pep Up/Transfusion which is one of the divisive blue mage skills. It works like a megalixier for the party at the cost of the user being permanently removed for the rest of the battle. So its usefulness is questionable. The other two enemies use Dark Spark/Dischord, and Death Claw, so if you haven't acquired these skills yet, then now is you chance. The Treant enemy also has Hi-Potions to steal and we're definitely reaching the point where regular potions are no longer going to cut it, so steal a couple before leaving. I keep everyone in their previous classes though in hindsight, I probably should have done a few change ups...
    Now its time for the moment you've all been waiting for. The Battle on the Big Bridge. This whole sequence involves scripted battles with various enemies. Thankfully, the devs didn't complicate this with anyone with good items or Blue Spells, so I quickly just decimate my way through the enemies. When you reach the second tower, you'll run into Gilgamesh for the infamous battle we all remember.
    The second battle with Gilgamesh is significantly more difficult than the first battle. He comes packing a few Blue Mage spells like Goblin Punch and Aera. He also has use of Shock and Wind Slash which makes group healing really useful. Sadly, I forgot to give anyone White Magic so this went brutal pretty quickly. Gilgamesh still doesn't have any of the legendary Genji gear on him yet, but you can steal a Hero Drink from him or in rare cases, a Trident. Once his health drops below 2500hp (his maximum is around 6500hp) he feigns defeat before coming back and casting Protect, Shell, and Haste on himself and will start using Jump to avoid damage. If you were lucky, which I wasn't, a character with a Mage Masher could have silenced him before this point and avoided it. He's a real pain at this point to deal with and thankfully the Giant Potions I gave Lenna raised her defense so drastically she was tanking serious damage from him. Another strategy I could have used was have a character become a Knight with the Ancient Sword equipped. Gilgamesh is susceptible to Old status and that would have completely neutralized this fight for me. I get banged up but still get a good victory out of it. Afterwards the party cross the second half of the bridge with a few more scripted battles against useless enemies.
    Just before we reach the end, ExDeath activates a magic barrier to protect his domain from further invasions and the force of the shield sends the party flying off the map to Cara's surprise. When the group regains consciousness they find themselves in the Gloceana region which according to Galuf is kind of a wild west frontier like region of the world. I've always found it interesting how subtle the differences are between Galuf and Butz's worlds are, with Butz's world being more technologically advanced with machines and the ancient ruins of the Ronka empire, whereas Galuf's world feels more devoted to magic with more of the mystical forbidden regions and untamed lands. Just a thought I noticed in this playthrough.
    Most the enemies in the area can be dangerous if you're unprepared so keep HP up. The most damning enemy is the silly Flying Pig enemies. These guys are fairly weak, but if a character dies, they can revive them as a zombie, which introduces us to this obnoxious status effect. On the flipside, the enemy actually has Holy Waters as an easy time to steal from then, and if you cast cure on them, they counter by casting Cure3/Curaga on the party. We battle our way to the frontier town of Regole and I'll stop here for now.

    Which classes should I pick for the next outing?

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  7. #67
    Witch of Theatergoing Karifean's Avatar
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    Phew finally caught up. I did the Puroboros with a bunch of dancers using Mystery Waltz to reduce all their MP to 0 (it doesn't regenerate when they cast Arise).

    Gilgamesh <3 he's such a goofy dork in this game you can't help but smile every time he shows up. Could hardly ask for a better recurring series joke character. His first two fights are pretty cool already and I love how he (maybe even unintentionally) makes a direct commentary on the ridiculousness of some boss encounters when he so proudly proclaims how he's been hiding behind the door all this time.

    I remember burning out a little on the exploration around this point, somehow going from airship-flying over an entire map to walking across a whole new world just didn't do it from me. Worked better in FFVI at least. Though the third world later in this cool gets by on its awesome gimmick alone.

    For jobs, how about returning to the basics a bit and using some of the older jobs, like the Black/White/Red Mage, the Knight, the Monk, the Thief, stuff like that? Also always nice to see a Mystic Knight if you prefer that ^^

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