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Final Fantasy

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Final Fantasy Wiki

An element common to most Job System games is the ability for a character to switch between different jobs. Displayed is Ingus from the Nintendo DS remake of Final Fantasy III as the Thief, Red Mage, Monk and White Mage jobs.

While each game in the Final Fantasy series features their own systems, such as the Materia or the Junction system, one that has reoccurred most often in the series has been the Job System, also known as the Class System or the Job Class System. The basic concept of the Job System is that each player character starts as a blank slate on which to choose character classes, much like computer RPGs, and has development directly controlled by the player's decisions.

While this system was a fundamental element of Final Fantasy initially, today it finds much more use in the Final Fantasy Tactics sub-series, as the Job System puts heavy focus on complex statistical decisions, which suits a Tactical game, over the plot-related character development that modern Final Fantasy games have become more involved in.

Each game that has featured the Job System has expanded on it and changed it in their own ways.

Contents

Appearances

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Final Fantasy

Main article: List of Final Fantasy Jobs
Choosing Jobs after selecting 'New Game' in the first Final Fantasy (NES Version shown)

The Job System in the original Final Fantasy, much like the rest of the game, is some what simple in comparison to its incarnations today. At the start of a new game the player picked one of six available classes for four different characters, much similar to the popular computer RPGs of that time such as Ultima (whose influence on the series has been noted often, most especially in the older games). Each class featured their own unique ability the player could use, such as the Thief's ability to Flee or the Black Mage to use a Black Magic spell. Upon reaching a certain point of progress in the game, the four classes the player chose for his characters would all upgrade into a masterful version related to their basic starting class (e.g. a Thief becomes a Ninja). While basic, this was the starting point for the Job System to gradually progress from.

Final Fantasy III

Main article: List of Final Fantasy III Jobs
Job screen of Final Fantasy III in the NES version.

In Final Fantasy III the system was somewhat similar in progression compared to the first Final Fantasy, but had a good deal of changes and improvements to it. One major change in particular is instead of picking a class at the start of a new game and being locked into it, all the characters started as a basic "beginning" class (The Onion Knight/Onion Kid in the NES version, Freelancer in the Nintendo DS remake). Eventually after making some progress basic Jobs such as the Thief and White Mage would make themselves available for the player to select, but in addition the player was allowed to freely change between Jobs whenever they wished and make accumulating progress in each. Also expanded where the individual Job abilities, with advanced ones such as the 'Scan' for the Scholar and 'Steal' for the Thief.

Like the first Final Fantasy, reaching a point in the plot will bestow the player with new "advanced" or "master" versions of classes - except in Final Fantasy III this will occur up to 4 times (including the first encounter yielding the basic Jobs) and you do not need to make progress in a "basic" class to use the "master" one (the master classes make themselves available depending on their power - i.e. the most powerful classes will be available last).

Despite that, having your characters undergo progression through drastically different branches of Jobs can be both a blessing and a curse as statistics gained during a class accumulate into the permanent abilities of the character - a Thief will not make as powerful of a Knight as a Warrior would, yet that Knight will be quicker than one that developed from a Warrior. The capability to freely manipulate the development of your characters as the player wishes became one of the integral parts of the Job System in Final Fantasy III.

Final Fantasy V

Main article: List of Final Fantasy V Jobs
Selection of jobs in the Spanish version of Final Fantasy V.

Final Fantasy V retained the concepts of having a basic starting Job which to make progress with and the ability to freely switch between classes while retaining progress in each. New to the Job system, though, was the concept of Ability Points and multiple skills per Job to be purchased by them. After a successful battle, AP would be earned along with XP and the player could use this AP to gain one of many skills available to the Job chosen in a way similar to gaining levels for a specific character, as jobs now use multiple abilities instead of just one. This became another major part of the Job System and contributed to more flexibility and diversity available to the player.

In addition, the concept of having a "basic" class, such a Warrior, and an "Advanced" class such as a Knight became less prominent. Instead the game offered a variety of very different classes to the player, which bore little relation to each other. The classes present in Final Fantasy V included past staples such as the White Mage and Thief, but also included new ones such as the Blue Mage and Samurai which became staples within their own right in the series.

Final Fantasy X-2

Main article: List of Final Fantasy X-2 Jobs

As the Tactics series was now in existence to facilitate the Job System and the primary Final Fantasy games began to gravitate towards intricate plots over intricate statistics, Final Fantasy X-2's system was a compromise between these two polarities. More acute details of the Job System were shred in favor of putting production values to other things important for this release, but it still manifested in its own way. Referred to as Dresspheres, the Job System in Final Fantasy X-2 operates more or less like Final Fantasy V, with new Jobs making themselves available as you make progress through the game. The major change of the job system in this game was that Yuna and her companions could now change jobs in battle.

Only a few of the "classic" jobs were present in Final Fantasy X-2, which featured fewer classes in general, as it tried to establish entirely new types which had been yet unseen (and are still currently unique to the game) while still being accessible.

Final Fantasy XI

Main article: List of Final Fantasy XI Jobs

Final Fantasy XI's presentation of the Job System included many classic Job types, as well as a few that unique to the 11th instalment. Some mechanics of the system were changed to be more in line with computer MMORPGs, which in a way is a modern version of what occurred with the first Final Fantasy. Most jobs retain their archetypal expertise and many abilities commonly associated with the jobs from previous instalments. Other aspects of the system do remain such as the player picking from one of 6 basic jobs to start with, the same 6 original jobs from the original Final Fantasy. Players have the option to change job it at will, similar to Final Fantasy V or Final Fantasy Tactics. This is unique to Final Fantasy XI among MMORPGs. Once progress has been made on a character to level 30, more advanced jobs types make themselves available to be pursued via specific quests made available at that point.

The unique aspect of Final Fantasy XIs job system is the "Support Job". This system allows a player to augment their character with Abilities, Traits and Spells from another chosen job at half the level of their current job. For instance a level 20 Warrior could set Ninja as their support job. This allows them to use all Ninja Abilities, Traits and Spells up to that of a level 10 Ninja while still primarily being a level 20 Warrior. The support job system allows for job merges never before seen in the Final Fantasy series.

Final Fantasy XII International Zodiac Job System

Main article: Zodiac Job System
Selection of work in Final Fantasy XII: International Zodiac Job System, where you can choose the job for your character depending on his/her zodiacal sign.

The original version of Final Fantasy XII had no clearly defined Job System. The Final Fantasy XII International version (only released in Japan) now gives a new version of the Job System, called the Zodiac Job System. Characters are given twelve special License Boards to choose from, each one corresponding to one of twelve Jobs and a Zodiac Sign. Each board has special Licenses which give each Job its special equipment and abilities. Once a character chooses a Job, they can never be switch out. Characters who do not choose a Job cannot receive LP.

Though most of the Classes represented in the Zodiac Job System are purely traditional such as Black Mage, White Mage, and Knight, several were renamed just for this game. For example, the Class usually called "Dragoon" has now been named "Uhlan".

Final Fantasy Tactics

Main article: List of Final Fantasy Tactics Jobs
Final Fantasy Tactics added structure to the Job System. Pictured are the branched requirements for each Job.
Master job screen in FFT.

Being in a game genre which focuses heavily on number crunching and player decisions, the Job System expanded intensely in Final Fantasy Tactics. In this game, the ability to freely change Jobs at will was more heavily structured. Instead of swapping in and out, the character had to make a planned progression of their character abilities to reach the destination they wished, such as to be a Ninja a character must have the prowess of an Archer, the agile skill of a Thief and the knowledge of a Geomancer - all of which find a distant root in the basic Squire class.

Starting off the player would again be given a 'base' Job as a starting point, but instead there were now two: the Squire (combat focused) and the Chemist (support focused). After choosing which their characters will be, progress is made much similar to Final Fantasy V's method of accumulating AP and spending it on skills - which have further increased in number per Job and have multiple categories such as 'Movement Skills' and 'Reactive Skills'. As the character develops in their Job further, new Jobs make themselves available and as you change between them skills will now be able to be transported over to the next (unlike Final Fantasy V, where skills were restricted to their individual Jobs). This addition of mixing skills (along with the jobs themselves) and the statistics gained from them further developed the Job System and also became integral parts of the Tactics series.

Final Fantasy Tactics Advance

Main article: List of Final Fantasy Tactics Advance Jobs
A major addition to the Job System in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance was races. Pictured are a Viera Sniper, a Bangaa Templar, a Moogle Gadgeteer, and a Nu Mou Morpher.
Marche with all the jobs available for the hume race.

Final Fantasy Tactics Advance resumes the progress of the Job System where the original Final Fantasy Tactics left off, again providing the same structured character progression and blending of skills. Changed, though, is how the skills are obtained and how to access particular Jobs. While Final Fantasy Tactics used Final Fantasy V's system of accumulating AP and spending it on a list of possibile skills, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance has the character learn their skills from the equipment they are wearing (much like Final Fantasy IX, which in turn was much similar to Final Fantasy VI's Esper system).

While worn, the skill present on the specific item is ready to be used, but once unequipped it is no longer available. To make the skill a permanent part of the character, the player must build up a specific amount of AP while it is equipped in battle. As the availability of equipment is limited to the progression of the player, this makes the development process somewhat more linear in regards to skills.

Despite that, the character options available to the player were expanded further by introducing character races such as Moogles and Nu Mou, who all had different varieties of Jobs and progression paths available to them. With that, many new classes were able to be introduced in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance and many long unused classes found a revival, without seeming out of place (as the classes fit the personalities of the races) or overwhelming (as each race has their own limited and mostly unique sets of Jobs). This allowed players to add in more decisions on how they will structure their parties.

Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift

Main article: List of Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift Jobs
Job screen in FFTA2 for the hume race.

Final Fantasy Tactics A2, being a direct sequel to Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, is for the most part the same in regards to the Job System. Many smaller mechanics were heavily tweaked to the wishes of players and it is sort of a 'refined' version of what was present in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. New races and many new Jobs were added to the game, furthering complexity in regards to those aspects. It features the most Jobs of a Job System game, with a large majority of them being new creations.

Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King

Main article: List of Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King Jobs

Like in the Final Fantasy Tactics Advance games, the Job System is based upon tribes, with certain tribes being limited to certain classes. The Clavats, however, can use all four Jobs. There are only four basic classes: Black Mage, White Mage, Thief, and Warrior.

Hikari no 4 Senshi: Final Fantasy Gaiden

The Job Screen of Hikari no 4 Senshi: Final Fantasy Gaiden.

The Job System returns in Hikari no 4 Senshi: Final Fantasy Gaiden for the four Warriors of Light to use to once again save the Crystals. In its newest incarnation, the Job System is known as the "Crown System", as characters use hats to switch between jobs. According to the Job Screen, there appears to be 28 Jobs available, counting a "Bare" head in the top left corner.

References

Several Final Fantasy games that do not feature the Job System often apply specific job archetypes to some characters. Though they cannot change Jobs, their roles are often direct references to Classes from the Job System.

Final Fantasy IV

Playable characters in Final Fantasy IV are all listed as having a particular job, but with the exception of Cecil, none of the characters may change their job assignments during the game. Each character has several static abilities that are usually the same the Job they represent. In the world of Final Fantasy IV, many NPCs can be seen to hold certain Classes. Classes are usually cultural groups; the kingdom of Eblan is ruled by Ninjas, Mysidia is home to White and Black Mages, Fabul is ruled by Monks, and Baron's army consists of Dragoons, Dark Knights, and Black and White mages.

Final Fantasy IV: The After Years

Final Fantasy IV: The After Years uses similar styled menus to Final Fantasy IV. Each character is assigned a job class displayed beside their name. A few characters change jobs (Ceodore goes from Prince to Red Wings, and Ursula goes from Princess to Monk), but unlike Cecil's change in the previous game, the change in their "Job" has no effect on game play, with the exception of Kain, when he becomes a Holy Dragoon.

Final Fantasy VI

The game Menu of Final Fantasy VI lists every playable character as having a Job, though usually not the same as the traditional Final Fantasy ones. Every character has set abilities similar to Final Fantasy IV. For example, Locke Cole, who is similar to the Thief Class, is not listed as such; rather, he is called an "Adventurer".

Final Fantasy VII

The characters of Final Fantasy VII were to have job classes. However, this was taken out of the final production. It is unknown if this would have actually affected gameplay. Cloud was a Mystic Knight, Barret was a Gunner, Tifa was a "Shooter", or Monk, Aerith was a Geomancer, Red XIII was a "Beast", Cid was a "Pilot", or Dragoon, Vincent was a "Horror Teller", and Yuffie was to be Ninja or Assassin. As said, this was removed from the final product, although some characters still retain traits of their intended classes.

Final Fantasy VIII

In Final Fantasy VIII the characters do not have an apparent job but it's referenced via their limits, (for some). For example, Selphie is a Gambler, Irvine is a Gunner, Zell is a Monk, Rinoa starts off as a Beastmaster then a sorceress Sage, Quistis is a Blue Mage and Squall is a Blademaster.

Final Fantasy IX

Artwork of Various NPCs in Final Fantasy Jobs by Toshiyuki Itahana

Most playable characters in Final Fantasy IX are references to past Jobs in the series. Characters often dress in manners similar to the Classes they represent: Vivi looks exactly like a traditional Black Mage, Princess Garnet is seen in a White Mage's garb towards the beginning of the game. Only Amarant Coral seems to break this pattern, as he does not have a clear Job Class, though he has traits of the Monk and Ninja classes. Like in Final Fantasy IV, NPCs also have Jobs. The Black Mages are a race of manufactured weapons. Some Jobs seen, like Red Mages, cannot even be used by the player.

Final Fantasy X

While all of the characters can eventually acquire all of the abilities and maximize their stats, for a significant portion of the game, they all have very different abilities. Each characters' individual starting section of the Sphere Grid contains different nodes corresponding with the character's predetermined strengths and weaknesses: Tidus is a cross between a Warrior and a Time Mage, Auron is something akin to a Spellblade or a Samurai, Yuna is a White Mage (and the only playable character who can summon), Kimahri is a Blue Mage who can lean towards any of these (although he is aesthetically reminiscent of Dragoon and even can use the Jump command), Lulu is a Black Mage (and referred to as such early on, by Wakka), Rikku is a Thief, and Wakka's accuracy and long-range weapon lend him best as a Ranger. Seymour Guado, playable for a single battle, is often said to be a Sage, because of his variety of spells in his arsenal and average attack power.

Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings

Unlike the original Final Fantasy XII or the Zodiac Job Class version, the playable characters in Revenant Wings all have set Job Classes. For example, Penelo is a Dancer. The Classes cannot be changed during the game in any way. Also, Sky Pirate enemies in the game have Job Classes, often ones that the player does not have access to. These enemies all have special skills similar to those that the playable characters learn during the course of the game.

Crystal Defenders

Main article: List of Crystal Defenders Jobs

Units can be purchased and sent into battle like in the Tactics games, but their jobs cannot be changed after being placed on the field. Available jobs include Soldiers, Archers, Black Mages, White Monks, Time Mages, and Thieves, though only the first three are available in the demo. More jobs become available in later rounds. Units can be upgraded multiple times to increase their range and power, but their classes and abilities remain the same.

Crystal Defenders: Vanguard Storm

Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates

Some armor characters can equip are named for certain job classes, with some abilities based on that class. For example Magic type armor, like the Black Mage armor can give AI characters the Black Mage's Eye which automatically make them cast magic during battle. These abilities depended on the armor crafted and what bonus material is used when making them.

Dissidia Final Fantasy

Some recurring and iconical jobs in the series appear as job cards in the "Duel Colosseum", each having their own effect.

Furthermore, although they aren't the traditional job classes, each character has a unique fighting style that is described by a "class" of sorts. Kefka uses "Mad Mage", Sephiroth uses "Focused Blade", Firion uses "Weapons Specialist", etc., etc.


This article uses material from the "Job System" article on the Final Fantasy wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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