Title: Final Fantasy 3 characters ranked!
Posted: June 15, 2006 (08:22 PM)
(note: this is based solely on their usefulness in the game, not on their coolness factor or their theme song or whatever)
1) Terra - No question about it. She has the second highest natural magic power in the game. She's tied with Celes for the best equipment in the game. She has sufficient strength. All that's well and good, of course. But then there's her morph ability, which turns her into a frickin beast. Give her the Gem Box and morph. Osmose - Quick - Flare - Flare - Flare - Flare. That's at least 30k damage. Her natural cure and fire magic make her a decent character before she ditches you, and she'll be powerful enough to hold her own afterwards. And then morph. Heck, she can reach 9999 damage in the World of Balance! Oh yeah, and she's almost as quick to the magic 128% MBlock as Celes (she can reach 127% as easily as Celes can hit 129%, which is good enough for the most part). This was an easy choice to make.
2) Edgar - A tough choice, but Edgar's versatile, well-rounded, and consistently deadly power gives him a well-deserved runner up spot. First, the obvious. Tools are awesome in the WoB, outranking Sabin's Blitz and Cyan's Dispatch without any problems. Edgar will almost certainly be your strongest character in most situations. His equipment is second only to the girls, as he loses the Minerva and Mystery Veil. On the flip side, he gains spears, which is where he shines in the WoR. Give him the Dragoon Boots and the Dragon Horn, and he can easily get up to 10k damage. Or give him the Illumina, as he's stronger than Celes or Terra. Plus he's got the Force Armor as well, meaning he can hit the 128% MBlock mark. The only point where he MIGHT not be a huge contender is early WoR, but since you'll have him anyway what difference does it make? Edgar rocks.
3) Shadow - Very, very impressive. Shurikens are cheap, and are also probably the fastest way (save for Drill) to reach 1000 damage. Buy 99 of them in the WoB and you're set for life. Buy 99 Tack Stars in the WoR and you're set yet again. His stats are decent, and he can get some fairly decent equipment. Stunner in particular is a very nice weapon, thanks to it's built in ability to cast Stop. Plus he has Interceptor, the trusty dog who will block attacks for you and then go slaughter the enemy on your behalf. How nice! Sadly though, Shadow is hurt in two areas. One, he's used in a whopping two places in the WoB (normally), which limits the time you can teach him important spells like Cure 2. And two, he just can't get past the 10k damage barrier that easily. Thus, as strong as he may be for most of the game, he probably won't end up in the final battle. Too bad.
4) Setzer - Wondering what he's doing up here? He can wear the Force Armor, which is a nice bonus. Joker Doom (automatic instant death on anyone, including bosses) can be abused, but that's cheating. Even besides that, Slots can be fairly nice, and are at least comparable to Blitzes minus the Bum Rush. But Setzer's biggest contribution comes from the Fixed Dice. Able to be stolen from Kefka's Tower early, they have a very good chance of doing strong damage. So what, you say, Bum Rush always does damage. Yes, but couple it with the Offering. Normally, Offering allows you to attack 4 times at half strength. The Fixed Dice have no fixed strength associated with it, so you attack 4 times at full strength. You're almost guaranteed to be over 10k every single time, and you can hit multiple people too. That's just awesome. Sure, you sacrifice the Offering, but who else would actually use it? Besides, this doesn't require any time with Espers, so he can be quite deadly at the end of the game without ever bothering to build him up.
5) Relm - Undoubtedly the most underrated character in the game. Yes, Sketch is all but useless (besides it's required use with Ultros, the only other place where it might be useful is killing Cactrots). Yes, she has no physical attacks worth mentioning. Yes, a sneeze could kill her. Yes, she arrives late with no magic, making her nothing more than deadweight. But her magic power is HUGE. She'll easily outclass everyone when it comes to magic, even Terra. In other words, she's naturally one of the most potent offensive characters in the game. Couple that with equipment that no one else can use (save Strago and Gogo, but you'll never have two of them in the same team except for the Hidon fight) that vastly increases magic power AND MBlock, and she'll be nigh invincible while still packing a massive punch (she's the only character that can hit 128% without the Force Armor). She's easily a contender for the final battle, and quite useful throughout the WoR. Think about what she could have become if you could have obtained her earlier in the game...
6) Celes - To be blunt, Celes is Terra lite. Slightly worse magic power, slightly better strength. But the magic power's more important. Runic is worse than useless in most situations, although extremely useful for 3 battles. The fact that she can hit 128% before Terra is quite nice, but really only rears its head when you battle for the Illumina. She provides a nice substitute in the WoB for all the scenes where Terra's unavailable, and the fact that she's the first character in the WoR means you'll have a lot of time to build her up. Enough to increase her magic power beyond Terra's? Possibly. She'd certainly be ranked higher on her own (probably top 3), but her biggest downfall is that she is just a clone. You can only have one Gem Box, and that's going to Terra. Or one Illumina (Terra's!). Or one Minerva. Ouch. But she'll definitely be the front man on one of your three teams at Kefka's Tower, and is at least worth considering as a backup mage for the final battle.
7) Sabin - At a casual glance, one would expect him at #1. I mean, Bum Rush! But a deeper look shows that Sabin is not as good as he initially seems. For one, his equipment is terrible. He has absolutely no weapons or armor to speak of. His stats aren't much better. Bum Rush relies on magic power, which is a pathetic 28. Meaning, chances are you'll only be hitting for 5-6k by the end of the game while several people can get past 10k. He's #1 on physical strength, but his lack of weapons will easily make him fall behind Cyan and Edgar. On the flip side, there is no denying his use in the early sections of both the WoB and WoR. Aura Bolt will be one of your stronger attacks early on and will get you out of most situations. Bum Rush will one hit KO most normal enemies. And because you'll be using him so much, you have time to build up your stats. I probably rank him higher than most FF players based on his strength in certain parts of the game, but there's no denying that by the end of the game he's a midcarder at best, and he doesn't end up making my final team against Kefka.
8) Mog - Oddly enough, the best thing about him has nothing to do with battle. He can equip the almighty Moogle Charm, which translates to looting the Fanatics Tower and Kefka's Tower early. Woo, free Force Armors and Shields! Fixed Dice! Awesome. In battle though, he's a bit of a different story. Dance is quite powerful in the WoB, and if it wasn't for the low chance of it working, would be your best bet in almost all situations (yes, even above Edgar). But it's effect fades in the WoR, and there's nothing to back it up. Like Sabin, his stats are useless for his actions. He starts at high levels, making it difficult for him to build up his stats. He's a decent mage, but nothing special. He's a decent fighter, but nothing special. Your best bet is to turn him into a Dragoon, but with Edgar around that may be pointless. But still, that Moogle Charm is awesome.
9) Locke - Locke has the dubious honor of being the only character to be below average from the very beginning of the game to the very end. Yeah, his physical stats aren't bad, which would mean he's pretty much a fighter. But special skills trump that early on, and magic trumps it later. He has great speed, but that's not worth much in this game. He has back row weapons, but they're fairly weak with one exception. Steal is nice, but only nets you cheap items unless you want to try forever to get the Economizer (no thanks). He has strong equipment, including the Illumina, but chances are those will be reserved for Terra or Celes. His only shining moment is the Hawkeye, an awesome backrow weapon that has the possibility of dealing massive damage to flying enemies. But that only lasts for the Thamasa sequences (since you almost certainly won't be taking him onto the Floating Continent). At best, he can be the Illumina user in one of your three parties in Kefka's Tower, but that's about it.
10) Gau - If you want to get down to it, Gau is technically the best character in the game. There are a couple rages (ok, just Nightshade) out there that, if properly used, make you completely undefeatable. But personally, I don't put much stock in it. Why? Getting these rages is a pain in the neck. It seems to me that the purpose of learning the intricacies of the various stats and attacks is to decrease the amount of time it takes to beat the game. Battles are boring, after all. So why would you want to waste time getting them? Besides, Nightshade means battles are extremely slow, and the Wind God setup requires the Merit Award. The game's easy enough to go through all this trouble. So while Gau could be the best, he's not worth it. Which actually makes him the worst, but I figured I could toss him up here a bit to point out his possible advantages.
11) Gogo - As strong as Mime usually is, Gogo's not all that great. First of all, his stats are atrocious, and you can't actually build them up unlike everyone else (save Umaro). His equipment ain't exactly anything to write home about either. In fact, he has the worst armor in the game, despite already being the second weakest character! In the end, Gogo becomes a jack of all trades, master of none type of character. At best, you can fill a slot with Blitz, and end up with a weaker Bum Rush. His Mime skill is a bit better though. But really, about the only thing worth miming is a Gem Box-Quick attack. Besides which, his existence means there's one slot where a character isn't learning magic or beefing up his stats. So get rid of him.
12) Strago - Talk about getting shortchanged. His stats are among the worst in almost all categories (yes, even below Relm). The obvious exception is magic power, but even there he's significantly behind the three girls. Equipment-wise, he's slightly worse than Relm. Which means the only thing that could possibly save him is his Lore ability. Sadly, besides Aqua Rake against the flames or the IAF early on, they're not much to talk about. Big Guard is nice, but useless to the characters who are already invincible. Grand Train can do some strong damage, but only about 6-7k max. And the rest are too random to worry about. You definitely don't want him when Relm's around, and at best he'll make a secondary mage to Terra or Celes in Kefka's Tower. Oh joy.
13) Umaro - Pathetic. Completely. Yes, he has high stats, and his Rage Ring is fun, but he's perpetually beserked. And you can't actually build him up, much like Gogo. On the flip side, he is a lazy person's character, so you can always use him if you don't feel like tweaking stuff. And that's the only reason I'm putting him above Cyan. In fact, he actually makes my #12 slot in Kefka's Tower sometimes for that reason alone (remember, Gau ranks dead last for me because I'm lazy).
14) Cyan - It's painful to say it, but Cyan is absolutely, positively worthless. First of all, he has no magical skill, so don't ever think of using any spells with him other than Cure. Secondly, SwdTch is wrthless, as no one wants to wait forever for that gauge to build up. All you'll use is Dispatch, which is decent early on but quickly falls behind. And early on, he has to compete against a much improved Sabin and the always impressive Edgar. No thanks. The Tempest and the Scimitar are decent blades, but are not enough to counteract the general trend of Sabin's total uselessness. At best, he may make the fourth member of the defense against the Empire at Narshe for your main team (not me, I prefer Terra). Other than that, he's doomed to perpetually be stuck on the airship, trotted out only to get his dreams eaten by the Stooges.
Looking this over, I think I biased it a bit towards end game decisions (particularly with both Relm and Setzer over Celes and Sabin, although Setzer over Sabin is true in all cases but early WoR), but whatever. If you disagree, just remember I played this game far more than all of you combined. =)
Posted: June 15, 2006 (08:36 PM)
I think you gave Cyan a bum rap. I used him extensively the few times I played through the game, and he's always part of the party I use against Kefka. Yeah, it takes awhile to build up his sword technique, but if you've leveled him up a bit and strike with it, you get tons of high-power hits in rapid succession. Wowza.
I do agree with you about Edgar, though. I know people who won't use him because they don't like his personality, but I say "get over it!" His attacks are brutal, especially in the World of Balance. I like Gau too, but only because it's fun using his different attacks. Ultimately, he's a wuss.
Posted: June 15, 2006 (08:39 PM)
I think Bannon's the best. He just didn't show his true power since he was gone as soon as he was introduced.
Posted: June 15, 2006 (11:13 PM)
Bannon was indeed the man, but I think Leo would whoop his ass in a fight.
Posted: June 16, 2006 (09:19 AM)
Just a few points from my personal playstyle.
1. I gave Cyan the accessory that allows someone to use two weapons at once......that beefed him up a bit. He was probably in my second group of four; definitely ahead of Gogo, Umaro, Strago, Relm, Gau and Locke.
2. Never liked Celes that much because (with the exception of those couple of fights) Runic is worthless and, like you said, she is basically a lesser version of Terra. I used her a good deal, but she barely missed my top group.
3. My top group tended to be Terra, Edwin and any of a cluster of others, depending on what I was fighting. I really didn't get all that into using certain characters in many places, as instant death attacks (like certain Setzer/Shadow weapons) had a kill/resurrect effect on any undead-class creature.
Posted: June 16, 2006 (10:27 AM)
His attacks in the WoB are, at best, on par with Edgar's drill or Sabin's Aura Bolt. So there's really no advantage to bringing him along compared to these two, especially since both have a multiple target attack and Cyan doesn't. That changes when you get the Tempest, but even then I don't think it's any superior to Edgar's Flash, Sabin's Fire Dance, or Setzer's 7-Flush. In other words, Cyan is just walking dead weight, as everything he can do someone else can do as well. In the WoR, he ends up getting severely outclassed by the Mages and Sabin's Bum Rush. The Scimitar's automatic KO is nice, but it's found in the Ancient Castle (probably one of the last places you'll go to). He doesn't deserve the Offering, because Setzer's Fixed Dice will severely outclass any damage he can dish out. Besides, by that point even Locke outclasses him physically thanks to the Illumina. And the Genji Glove? Cyan's magic defense is too poor to give up a shield, sorry. And since he's forced to be in the frnt row while virtually everyone else is ini the back, he'll be taking the most damage anyway. Quite frankly, he's not worth it.
It doesn't help that I tend to go through the game at lower levels (about 30 or so by the time I enter Kefka's Tower). Levels affect physical damage much more than magical damage. Yet another strike against him.
Celes is still useful, even if sh is just a Terra clone. It doesn't hurt to set her up as an invincible character for the final battle and have her act as a utility person. It saves Terra and Relm from wasting their precious magic time, and Celes is more likely to know the big spells than anyone else. And if you don't need to cast any utility spells, she can still hit for heavy damage.
As for General Leo, I imagine he'd be similar to Sabin/Shadow: excellent at first but waning as the game goes on. Shock is going to max out at 9999 damage, and so will not be useful at the end of the game (unless it hits multiple targets, that is). Although I imagine he'd be an Illumina user, and might actually have the strength to make it's physical attacks useful. At best he'd end up at #2, at worst at #7. I don't see any way to consider him worse than Sabin, and he certainly can't beat Terra.
Posted: June 19, 2006 (10:53 PM)
I always just took whoever I thought was cool because FF6 felt pretty easy after the awesomely balanced FF4.