This week I’ll be going over the various jobs in FF5, and some things that might be helpful to know if you get them. I’ll be starting with the more physical classes available at the start. The fiesta starts roughly a week from today (sign up right here), and I’ll be going over all 20 jobs, so hopefully someone finds this helpful. If you do, go thank Kodra for the idea. I’ll be following one of the game’s conventions here: Abilities preceded by an exclamation point are command abilities, the others mentioned are passives.
Master of hitting things with swords, the Knight also has good defense. This is the only fiesta class that can equip Knightswords, which are the strongest weapons near the end of the game. Their innate command, !Guard reduces all physical damage the Knight takes to 0 for a turn. They also have the innate passive Cover, which causes them to take single-target physical attacks directed at low-health teammates. Their most notable other ability is Two-Handed, which allows you to hold a variety of weapons (swords, katanas, axes, and hammers) in two hands, which means you can’t use a shield but attack for roughly double damage. They also have the Equip abilities for shields, armor, and swords, which can be a nice boost for other classes.
- If you never run from battle, Knights are the only class in the fiesta that can use the Brave Blade, the numerically strongest weapon outside of the bonus dungeon. It’s a long road, but the payoff can be very worth it.
- !Guard makes knights immune to physical attacks. Cover causes them to take physical attacks for low-health party members. A knight and a trio of low-health allies can therefore be completely immune to physical attacks. Anything that’s berserked will just use physical attacks. Use your imagination here.
- Two-handed is nice, but don’t forget you can use a shield when defense is more useful. The Aegis Shield grants immunity to petrification and has a 1/3 chance to block most magic attacks, and the (very late game) Genji Shield has 50% evasion by itself. Even if your knight has no use for these, other classes can benefit from Equip Shields.
In the fiesta, Monk is most notable for tearing the early game to shreds, but falling behind as you get awesome weapons late in the game (unless you level a lot more than is usually necessary). Their innate command, !Kick, is the only one in the game that can’t be given to other jobs. It makes a physical attack on all enemies (ignoring row if you’re playing the mobile version). They have the innate passive of Counter, which causes them to sometimes attack enemies that hit them with physical attacks. Monks can also learn other commands: !Chakra gives a small heal that also cures poison and blind, and !Focus causes the character to charge for a turn before striking for double damage. Finishing off the class gives you a set of HP+ abilities, finishing with HP +30%. Monks already have a lot of HP, but this can be a big help to classes that have unfortunate HP situations, like Bard, Dancer, and Red Mage.
- Don’t forget that !Chakra cures poison and blind. It’s nice to be able to clear blind and restore a bit of health in the same turn, since blind in FF5 pretty much makes physical classes entirely useless.
- Monks hit twice, which means that enemies that counter will counter twice. Alternate solutions may be required for enemies that deal most of their damage via counters, like Garula. (Don’t forget that monks can Counter too!)
- Late in the game, Monks can use the Kaiser Knuckles accessory, which brings their endgame damage up to respectable levels. You can get one of these in the Undersea Trench, and more as a drop from the Steel Fist enemies.
- The monk passive Barehanded grants the unarmed damage of a monk, and it’s particularly useful on mage classes, to give them an early source of damage output. It doesn’t make them any less squishy, so keep an eye on their HP if you put them in the front row.
Thief isn’t the strongest class in the game, but it does have a lot going for it. Their most notable feature is their innate command, !Steal, which does what you’d expect. It’s useful for healing items, money-making, and access to a variety of equipment that’s difficult or impossible to get otherwise. They have multiple innate passives: Sprint speeds up movement, Vigilance entirely prevents back attacks, and Find Passages shows hidden passages. Their other learned commands are !Mug, which steals along with an attack, and !Flee, which will instantly run from any battle where you could run normally. Sadly there’s not much here for other classes, as you get the full benefits of all of the thief’s passives with a single thief in the party. The only exception is Artful Dodger, which can grant the thief’s agility (which is the highest in the game) to whoever you equip it on.
- Poltergeists in the Fire-powered ship have Hi-Potions, well before you can buy them. this is conveniently right before a boss that’s extremely difficult for thieves. Stock up!
- Elixirs are a rare steal from the Zu enemy, near Karnak. These are kind of annoying to stock up on, but it’s easier than most other methods of getting them.
- Gilgamesh has 4 pieces of Genji Armor to steal (gloves on the boat, helm in the castle, shield and armor in the final dungeon). This is mostly only useful if you have a job that can wear heavy armor, but Blue Mages can use the shield.
- The enemy Objet d’Art (found in the basement of Castle Bal) has the Twin Lance as a rare steal, and this is an absurdly powerful weapon for a Thief or Ninja at the point you can get it. It’s reasonably good through the rest of the game, but suffers versus enemies with high defense.
Blue Magic is one of the best all-around toolboxes in the game, with the obvious downside of having to learn your abilities from enemies. Their innate command is !Blue, which allows casting any blue magic learned by the party. Their innate passive is Learning. As long as a character with Learning is affected by a Blue Magic spell, it will be learned when you win the battle (the character in question does not need to be alive). The other blue magic abilities are !Check, which shows enemy HP, and !Scan, which also shows level, weaknesses, and any status effects. Notable Blue magic spells include the Aero series (damage spells), Vampire (hp absorb based on caster’s missing health), White Wind (party heal based on caster’s current health), Death Claw (reduces an enemy to single-digit HP and causes paralysis), and Level 5 Death (kills all enemies with a level divisible by 5). This is one of my favorite classes in the game.
- Before you advance the plot near the start, there are 3 Blue magic spells available immediately: Moldwynds in the Wind Shrine have Aero, Black Goblins (also in the Wind Shrine) have Goblin Punch, and Steel Bats in the pirate cave have Vampire.
- Goblin Punch is similar to attacking normally, except that it never misses and does full damage regardless of position. This mostly means that Blue Mages can still hit things while being back-row casters. As an added bonus, Goblin punch can be used with the Excalipoor to do damage based on its listed attack rating.
- Learning defensive Blue Magics (most notably White Wind and Mighty Guard) requires some way to charm or confuse the enemies into casting them on you. The jobs that can do this reliably are are Bard, White Mage, Red Mage, and Beastmaster. Dancers have a 25% chance to use confusion when they use !Dance, and any class can do similarly with the Dancing Dagger.
- Level 5 Death ignores immunity to death and can kill any non-undead enemy with a level divisible by 5. Notable bosses that fall into this category are Adamantoise, the launchers in the Soul Cannon fight, and the revived form of Archeoaevis. It’s also useful for gaining AP from the Objet d’Art enemies in the basement of Castle Bal.
Tomorrow I’ll be covering the squishy mages. As a reminder, more victories means more money for Child’s Play, so I hope this helps!