On the Four Job Fiesta

I mentioned this in my post last week, but the Final Fantasy 5 Four Job Fiesta is coming up in a few weeks. This has been a somewhat major social event for me for the past few years, so I want to share a bit more about it.

Background

Final Fantasy V was originally released in Japan in 1992, and did not receive an official English translation until Final Fantasy Anthology for the PlayStation in 1999. (It didn’t receive a good English translation until it released for the Game Boy Advance in 2006.) Like FF3 before it and FF Tactics after it, FF5 allows characters to acquire and switch between several different jobs with unique abilities. These include classics like Black Mage, Thief, and Knight, but also new ones like Blue Mage and Samurai. The incredibly varied nature of the class system means that playthroughs can be very different each time, but certain combinations are almost game-breakingly powerful. Seeking to make the game a bit more challenging, the idea for the Job Fiesta was born.FJF

The Beginning

The Final Fantasy V Four Job Fiesta got its public start on NeoGAF, in 2009. According to RevenantKioku (RK), it grew out of a small group drafting classes, and expanded into random selections when more people expressed interest. The basic rules are that you can only use the jobs assigned to you, and you must use all of the jobs assigned to you (in any combination, before you are required to have one of each about 1/3 of the way through the game). The first year, 48 people participated and 15 finished. It continued for a year (the first year I participated), and participation went up significantly. This time, there were 125 players and 24 victors.

Breaking Out

In 2011, things got a bit bigger. Registration was done via Twitter rather than the forum (allowing for some automation and wider participation), and the event became a fundraiser for Child’s Play. 484 people registered, and 122 of them finished, raising a total of $2000. The fiesta expanded again in 2012 and 2013, raising $7455 for Child’s Play last year, expanding the options available to players each time. I don’t know what the new options are for 2014, the only hint so far is this image:2014-hint

Luck of the Draw

The fun part of playing through this way is that you don’t know what you’re going to get. Obviously some combinations are easier than others. Some single classes are capable of carrying the game on their own, like Black Mage or Samurai. Others really rely on a combination, like Red Mage (needs another caster) or Blue Mage (needs Confuse/Control from another class). It can also point out some classes that are traditionally ignored, but can be extremely powerful, like Bard and Dancer.

jobs

Almost any combination of classes can finish the game, and the community is supportive if you get stuck. I strongly encourage joining this event if you like old-school Final Fantasy, even if you haven’t played FF5 before.

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