FINAL FANTASY VI ESPER CONFIGAROATION

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Craze
i bet she's a diva with a potion popping problem
14360
Help, I'm nerding out. No, seriously, I need a break from a tremendous amount of homework this weekend, and this morning I wrapped up the Magitek Research Facility in FFVIa. As such, I decided to make this run a bit more interesting - I decided to assign specific Espers to each character. I technically broke my rules already, switching Ramuh/Cait Sith/Siren/Kirin out between Celes/Locke/Cyan/Gau throughout the preliminary sequence, but I'll survive. Still, I want to try a more focused version of FFVI.

In this post, I'm going to list which Espers I assigned to whom, along with any notes or tough decisions that had to be made because of it. One thing that annoyed me was that only one of the original Espers grants a Speed boost... seriously, why can't some of the Stamina-granting Espers give Speed instead? Grrrr. Unfortunately, I wound up giving Speed to Locke and Setzer only. Maybe in another run-through I'll try out a rebalanced patch for the SNES version or letting an Esper be shared between multiple folks. We'll see. Cyan doesn't get any stat-ups, but he does get some sweet summon spells, and he's a personal favorite so I'll use him anyway.

Because two of the best Espers tie into Terra specifically (Maduin, Valigarmanda), she is very powerful. Giving her Ragnarok was probably overkill. On that note, I tried to give folks Espers that appear in their place or origin or that deal with their story arc; for example, Locke gets Phoenix. Any deviations from this rule will likely be explained below.

One interesting "issue" that I think will make the game more fun/interesting is that only Locke and Relm ever gain access to Curaga. Locke, in fact, becomes the best healer in the game and Relm follows close behind, even without Raise. Terra, due to her ridiculous Magic gains with Maduin and then Valigarmanda as well as proper equipment, might be able to use Cura effectively. If done right, Edgar's combination of Quick and Cura might be able to sustain a party. The final dungeon is going to require some item use or lots of Protect/Shell instead of just Curaga spam! As an alternative healer, Strago with his Osmose (from Zona Seeker) and the White Wind Lore could work, but this can be tricky.

I will also most likely force specific Relics to be equipped on certain characters in future playthroughs, or at most a pool of 2-4 (so that late-game Relics can be traded in eventually). If anybody has any ideas about Espers or Relics, feel free to suggest them!

I got most of my information from this page: http://finalfantasy.wikia.com/wiki/Esper_(Final_Fantasy_VI)

Terra
Elemental Mage/Healer
Maduin (MGC+1) for the elemental spells... and because he's her daddy
Valigarmanda (MGC+2) because Terra and good ol' Tritoch Valigmanda interact quite a bit in the beginning of the game, and also for the third-tier elemental spells
Ragnarok for the overkill. Also, Terra normally learns Ultima at level 99 - so it fits

Terra is excellent at shoving enemies full of fire, ice and lightning. In the early game she can also play healer fairly effectively, but that dies off around the time she gets to Morphin'. Once her levels cause her to naturally learn Cura, she's good again for a while, but not likely in the endgame without severe Magic boosts.


Locke
Thief/Healing Master
Phoenix due to the Rachael storyline. As a side-effect, Locke becomes a powerful healer - which makes sense in a way, because it means that he can protect those fragile women (that will be dwarfing him in damage output)
Cactuar (SPD+2) for the Speed

Locke doesn't get magic for a very long time, but when he does he'll become a very powerful part of your anti-Kefka force. Thankfully, he's still useful beforehand thanks to his ability to Steal/Mug.


Shadow
Arcanist
Diabolos (HP+100%) because I needed somewhere to put it, and Shadow seems dark enough. I will probably never get Diabolos
Catoblepas (HP+10%) for the dark, arcane magicks it knows. Bio will be a good offense for quite a bit of the game, provided Shadow's Magic can get a little help (can it...?)
Phantom (MP+10%) due to the MP+ (more castings of Death) and, well, figure it out. Vanish/the summon effect will also be good for protecting weaklings against physical bosses

Shadow is taken out of his traditional physical/ninja outfit and put into a more subversive and magical role. He can actually do very well without high Magic, even though Bio won't be at its potential peak. When the going gets rough, he can toss out a scroll or shuriken. Death has a decent hit rate in this game, but is expensive - helllllo, Phantom's MP+!


Edgar
Dragoon/Tank
Raiden (STR+2) allows Edgar to unleash some late-game pummelization, even though Auto-Crossbow is spectacular for a long time. Also, Raiden is the final Esper of the Ancient Castle, which requires Figaro Castle to get to - Edgar makes sense, then
Seraph is bought in Tzen, where you get Sabin early on in the World of Ruin. I almost gave her to Sabin, but I wanted my Sabin to be a blitzer fire and foremost, and Edgar is his brother, so it all worked out. It also helps Edgar heal during his early tenure in the WoR party, and revive later on
Carbuncle allows Edgar to protect the party very well

Edgar will spend most of his time jumping up and down, but there's nothing saying that he can't revive or touch up an ally's HP between jumps. Raiden's Quick will eventually let Edgar burst-heal when his lack of Curaga means he can't heal effectively normally.


Sabin
Pummeler
Leviathan (STA+2) was tricky; I had no idea what to do with him. Since I'll probably try to increase Sabin's MGC with equipment anyway (for some of his blitzes), I figure that giving him the new Flood spell might make Sabin a bit more versatile
Ifrit (STR+1) is Sabin's bread and butter. For the mid-game, Fira can help Sabin out against specific enemies, and keeping Ifrit constantly equipped will allow him to pump up his Strength significantly. The Drain spell is good for Sabin in low-healing parties

Sabin is really a blitzer who pummels foes into oblivion. Some fire magic will let Sabin clear out swathes of enemies for a little while, but the most important thing is that since Ifrit is a forced and early Esper, his Strength is going to steadily increase. Leviathan is really a throw-away Esper designed to add more Water spells to the game; meh. Stamina... raises OHKO resistance and poison damage taken. Yay?


Celes
Mage/Healtank
Ramuh (STA+1), being the very first Esper you get, allows Celes to build up her usefulness immediately. Thundaga and Ramuh's summon effect are terrific in the Magitek Research Facility (in which she is forced)
Unicorn can cast Esuna on the entire party with Healing Horn, making it great as an equipped Esper for some battles. In general (heh), the protective spells and Cura allow Celes to use her Magic and MP to paladin up the party
Bahamut (HP+50%) is the best Esper for building up HP behind the why-bother Diabolos. Celes can use Bahamut offensively as well, since Mega Flare and Flare allow Celes's mage-build and magical equips to truly shine.

Celes gets Bahamut because she normally learns Flare at the very high level of 81; Celes's Esper list may seem very defense, but you have to remember that she also learns Blizzaga, Holy and Hastega. Celes is a terrific unit, even if her healing dies out in the end-game without Curaga.


Setzer
Gambling Mage
Cait Sith (MGC+1) lets Setzer power up his Magic, and thus Shiva. We'll pretend that Cait Sith's spells are useful
Shiva provides no stats, but does provide Setzer's bread-and-butter spells. Blizzara/Diamond Dust is good for elemental magic, and Osmose means Setzer can just keep on casting them
Midgardsormr (HP+30%) grants access to the powerful Quake, which Setzer can either gamble the party's life with, or synergize with a Float-caster to use. Tornado is even riskier, lowering every combatant's HP greatly. Setzer's a gambler!
Odin (SPD+1) allows Setzer to become quick, making his lack of Blizzaga more tolerable. Oh, and Meteor and Zentetsuken are probably worth mentioning; Setzer might not rock at boss battles (not at all, really), but he's terrific with Meteor and Osmose at obliteraing groups of enemies

Setzer is kind of an odd duck. He'll spend most of the game throwing around Blizzaga endlessly, then turn to Meteor to wipe out groups of foes. He is kind of low-power seemingly, but Cait Sith's Magic and Odin's Speed will turn him into a murder machine... if you let him. Or, if you're sadistic, you can use Midgardsormr to destroy foes and the party at the same time. Your choice!


Cyan
Samurai, I guess
Kirin allows Cyan some potent healing in the Magitek Research Facility and for a while beyond then. Until you get Alexander, Holy Aura's mass Regen effect allows Cyan to make the party happy at the beginning of boss battles
Alexander is found in Doma, thus it belongs to Cyan. Protect, Shell and Dispell let Cyan protect the party much like Celes and Edgar. Holy and Divine Judgment might be useful, but I'll likely just use Kirin for Holy Aura

Cyan is a tank who can heal for a while, ableit fairly weakly. I like to give him a katana, a Gauntlet and a Black Belt. Owie.


Strago
Blue Mage/Alternative Healer
Siren (HP+10%) grants Strago the mediocre Sleep, Silence, Slow and Fire. Meh. Strago has his Lore to attack with, anyway - so the draw of Siren is the HP
Zona Seeker (MGC+2) is what makes Strago incredible. The stat boost lets Strago deal more damage with his Lores, Magic Shield lets Strago protect the party, and most importantly, Osmose lets Strago constantly blow up enemies with his Lores

Strago is tough to use particularily well, but think about him as a healer: series staple White Mind combined with Siren's HP+ and Osmose means that he can be quite the effective alternative healer if used properly. Let Terra or Edgar pop some Cura onto Strago if need be, then White Wind the party to full health. (Let's not bother talking about Cyan's magic.)


Mog
Dragoon/Dancer
Bismarck's (STR+2) Fire/Blizzard/Thunder are moot by the time you get Mog, but Raise is useful. The primary use of Bismarck is to allow Mog to use Breach Blast and to rapidly raise Strength
Quetzalli lets Mog cast Sonic Dive to cause the entire party to Jump - great to dodge a particularly nasty boss attack. In addition, Mog's learning of Hastega and Slowga can turn the party's actions into a graceful and deadly dance

Mog is, should you learn his dances, a very useful support character. Only Mog and Locke learn Hastega, and Slowga is unique to Mog (although Slow can be found on Strago as well). As a Dragoon character, Bismarck's powerful Strength boosts will only help Mog decimiate his enemies from above.


Gau
Berserker
Golem (STA+2) allows Gau to quickly throw up Earth Wall at the start of battle. The Stamina works well for me because I almost always put Regen on Gau - set and forget! (Regen is based on the target's Stamina, by the way.) Cura is great for out-of-battle healing, since Gau will tend to have a lot of extra MP. Protect is okay, but maybe not really worth using
Gilgamesh (STR+2) is handy for Valor to start a battle off (3x damage next attack) and for the Strength. See notes at the bottom for non-Advance players

Gau is built to be set and ignored. Thus, so are his Espers! The spell Valor and Golen's Earth Wall let Gau do something generous on his first turn before hacking apart the enemy with your favorite Rage.


Relm
Elemental Mage/End-game Healer
Maduin (MGC+1) - yeah, you read correctly. Relm is allowed to share Maduin with Terra, until a certain condition: Relm must use Maduin if she is in the party, until she masters Fira/Blizzara/Thundara, at which point she can ever use him again. Terra "loans" her father to Relm, seeing her potential but not wanting to be separated for long
Valigarmanda (MGC+2) is a very similar situation: Terra will allow Relm to access the top-tier elemental magicks, but only if Terra has already mastered them. Relm then MUST have Valigarmanda equipped in battle until the -aga spells are learned, at which point Relm may never equip Valigarmanda again
Fenrir (MP+30%) is an extension of Terra's appreciation of Relm. Although you would think that Fenrir would be given to Terra, Terra knows strong magic innately - she gifts it to the prodigal Relm. (Also, Fenrir is a little bit like Interceptor....) Fenrir is primarily useful for the large MP boost and Howling Moon, which causes allies to be temporarily immune to physical attacks
Lakshmi (STA+2) is granted to Relm after she is released from Owzer's mansion. Alluring Embrace, as well as Cure/Cura/Curaga/Regen/Esuna, turn Relm into the second-best healer in this version of the game
Crusader (MP+50%), should you obtain it, lets Relm cast Meteor all day long, but is hard to earn for new players especially

Relm is a terrific healer in the World of Ruin; in fact, she is very simple until you access the second half of the game. Relm needs time to come into her own, it seems; train her with Maduin when you can, to prepare for some truly powerful healing and damage in the end-game.

***

Variations:
-Don't let Relm "borrow" Maduin/Valigarmanda. Relm will be quite weak in the World of Balance, and naught but a support caster in the World of Ruin until you get Crusader
-If you aren't playing the Advance version, let Sabin and Gau share Ifrit. They became kind of close during Sabin's Wacky Adventure, so why not? This doesn't really require the same strict rules as Relm's borrowing
-Allow Celes to also equip Phoenix. Locke and Celes become good friends, and it fits Celes's born-again personality as well
-Swap Mog and Gau's Espers. They're both fairly similar set-ups, even if Gau isn't a Dragoon
author=Jericho
go to a doctor.


I'm kind of worried bub.
tardis
is it too late for ironhide facepalm
308
this is excessive and dumb but hey, whatever floats your boat.

if you want variance and improvements, play eviltype
A truly hardcore FF6 junkie wouldn't rely on espers. *Crosses arms*
Smash head on controller.

Beat game.
TFT
WHOA wow wow. two tails? that is a sexy idea...
357
is that you ghostcrawler???????????????
One esper per character is an interesting middle ground between none at all and letting the dog beat the game. I'd stick with a hard limit, none of this swapping stuff (probably at the expense of the native magic users, they're already the best barring the hilarious over powered shit, see Gau, Cyan).
Yellow Magic
Could I BE any more Chandler Bing from Friends (TM)?
3154
And people thought competitive Pokemon was OTT
Magi
Resident Terrapin
1028
After reading this analysis, I think it will finally be safe for the die-hard FF6 community to bump down Terra into OU, but Locke will remain in UB, partially because of his broken curaga. This should satisfy the 12 year olds still playing in the uber tier and keep the die-hards happy. Beware though, equipping an esper like Maduin dangerously offsets Terra's STAB with ice and with the right UVs (I had to restart FF6 about 16 times to get it) she might actually be nudged into the top tier.

Shadow is still NU, don't even fucking try to reason that throw will make him useful. If you manage to get him to join with bloodthirsty/nurturing nature, it might be shy of UU. Still has weakness to vanish + doom OHKOs though. Good luck in season 12!
Magi
Resident Terrapin
1028
I'd also like to note that sometimes shadow joins carrying {INTERCEPTOR EGG}, which when hatched gives Relm a new paintbrush.
FF6 is a pretty easy game. Why is this needed?
InfectionFiles
the world ends in whatever my makerscore currently is
4690
author=tardis
this is excessive and dumb
LEECH
who am i and how did i get in here
2599
author=InfectionFiles
author=tardis
this is excessive and dumb


This is Craze.
tardis
is it too late for ironhide facepalm
308
author=Fallen-Griever
FF6 is a pretty easy game. Why is this needed?

"Mysticality"
kentona
Your mom is a hero
20844
Well, I enjoyed reading it >:[
author=kentona
Well, I enjoyed reading it >:[
This.
Though...
It did waste 30 minutes I could have spent cleaning. =w='
Yeah I enjoyed reading this, and Magi's lolpokemon reference, but I don't think this is necessary or interesting, really.

If you want a challenge, you should try an Natural Magic Only game, or a CES Completion. If you want to get crazy, you could even try a Natural Magic + CES. I don't think that has ever been done, nor is it likely possible.
author=kentona
Well, I enjoyed reading it >:[
I too enjoyed reading it - it's been so long since I last played FF6 and liked the revisit to one of my favourite games, if only via mention. I gotta say, you've put a bit of thought into this... you nerd, you. ^.^

I think it's kinda cool to think about these type of things every now and then. Like, what if I used only story-relevant things for this game, or what if I focussed on making the characters for another different types than they are. There aren't many RPGs where you can do this, messing about with the stat growth and spell learning, combined with story elements. I found it interesting.

You keep nerding out, Craze. XD
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