Final Fantasy III Jobs: A Half-Assed Guide

I’ve played through Final Fantasy III three times now, so here’s my take on the different job classes with random tips and observations. Mostly, this is just an excuse to share iOS screencaps of all the FFIII jobs. (And while I’m at it, I’m going to plant my party in as many different locations as possible so you can enjoy the scenery. Aren’t I obsessive nice?)

For more thorough info on jobs, I recommend Seferaga’s FFIII FAQ and the nitty-gritty stats info hidden in the job section of Arkfullofsorrow’s FFIII walkthrough.

Freelancer

FFIII: Freelancer Job Class

Don’t you wish we could just leave ’em in these adorbs costumes the whole game? Wait, no, that’s what happens in nearly every game after FFV, so that people complain about “dress up” in X-2 and XIII-2.

Freelancer can use: Level 1 Black Magic/White Magic, most equipment.

Insane stats at high levels make it almost worth leveling up. Almost.

Warrior

Warrior Job - Final Fantasy 3

Here’s our starter tank, the “fighter” class of FFI. Somehow I would’ve expected more armor, and I’m not sure why Luneth’s wearing a hula hoop with his.

Warrior can use: beginning weapons and armor, but nothing more powerful than “Royal Sword.”
“Advance” skill boosts attack at the expense of defense.
Attack does insane damage at high levels.

I tended to change out of Warrior as soon as possible, due to the benefits or cuter costumes of other jobs.

(Luneth is seen wearing this job in the opening FMV).

Black Mage

Black Mage Job ~ Final Fantasy 3

Here’s our favorite elemental magic casting bazooka, with a very adorable outfit.

Black Mage can use: Staves, (weaker) rods, (weaker) bows; black magic up through level 7 (Excludes Meteor, Flare, Death, but includes Drain. NO Osmose.)

Insane amounts of MP at high levels means you won’t miss the Ethers that FFIII lacks.

I used Black Mage because I like bow/spell versatility, but I came to use it less and less as the game progressed, switching to characters with better armor who could lay down almost as much damage.

(Arc is wearing Black Mage in the opening FMV)

White Mage

White Mage Job - Final Fantasy 3

Here’s the job that saves our asses, although we grumble about its weakness. A WM can at least cast black magic spells using the Item command with equipped staves and rods.

White Mage can use: Staves, weaker rods, white magic up to level 7 (excludes Arise, Holy, Tornado, but includes Aeroga).

Insane amounts of white magic at higher levels means you’ll never need to buy potions and curatives.

I find myself moving away from White Mage too early, then having to give in and level up so as to have a healer for the hard dungeons.

(Refia is wearing White Mage in the opening FMV).

Red Mage

Red Mage Job  Final Fantasy 3

Spiffy hat, spiffy cape, but alas, the Red Mage is a Jack of None.
Red Mage can use: A little of everything, equipment-wise (weaker swords, knives, bows, staves) black & white magic up through level 5.
Quite good stats if you level them up greatly, but probably not worth it.

I used Red Mage in all those early dungeons requiring Mini or Toad, so that the character could still do damage once MP was gone.

Monk

Monk Job Final Fantasy 3

Barehanded badass wearing purple PJs. (It’s purple on this screen, bluer on my iPad, go figure.)

Can use: claws and knuckles, minimal armor, but often does more damage barehanded.

I use a monk often in the early parts of the game: it’s fast, and it gives a permanent boost to one’s attack stats at levelup.

Thief

Thief Job Final Fantasy 3

Fast and handy, the thief’s motto (or at least mine) is: Steal whatever loot you can use, sell whatever you can’t.

The thief can use: Knives and a few late-game throwing weapons, which suddenly makes it handy again.

Thieves can steal rarer or better items as they level up. And they’re fast.

On my first playthrough, I kept a thief going through most of the game, and found it handy (especially in stealing Phoenix Downs from Rust Birds on Dragon’s Peak). Spark Daggers also come early, and since the thief is blazingly fast, it can do a surprising amount of damage. On my most recent playthrough, I found myself buying more, stealing less.

The problem is that most monsters don’t give anything but potions and hi-potions or simple restoratives like antidote that can also be bought in shops.

The secret is that if you know which monsters to steal from  — use this FAQ and search for {STL} — you can collect powerful magic casting items, then give them to the Scholar who makes all of them do double damage or double healing. Suddenly you’ll have a really kickass mage who never runs out of MP fairly early in the game!

Knight

Knight Job Final Fantasy 3

Here’s the first of the Fire Crystal jobs. If you look closely, each of them has a heraldic device on their right shoulder (or at least a tiny little shield).

Knight is what Warrior wishes it were.  It can use most weapons or armor plus level one magic. (It’s a D&D paladin, who cures poison).

Knight will often leap to defend a critically wounded ally, and if you’ve been prescient enough to activate its Defend ability, the Knight takes just 1HP damage.

I don’t use Knight that much because I’m obsessed with archery, but Knight does scary damage, and can max out stats if he gets his paws on the Ultima Weapon (certain weapons, jobs and armor help boost the stat-improvements when a character levels up).

Ranger

Ranger Job Final Fantasy 3

I just love this job: the little Robin Hood outfit, the Barrage skill, the lethal projectiles. Yes, I’m an archery nut. And no, I have no idea how bows and arrows work under water.

Ranger can use: All bows, boomerang, chakram.

So here’s a character class with some armor that you can stick in the back for defense, but who does damage. LOTS of damage, depending on the bow and arrows used.

The one drawback is that, of course, you keep having to restock arrows. However, if you’re doing any kind of level grinding, this shouldn’t use up too much gil.

As you can tell from my playthroughs, I drop Refia into Ranger as soon as possible and switch her to other jobs with great reluctance for a good chunk of the game.

Geomancer

Geomancer Job Final Fantasy 3

Awww, it’s like one of Santa’s Elves is taking a break from the north Pole.

Geomancer can use: Bells. (What?) They do damage, but forget that; you just sit in the back row and try random Terrain magic.

Geomancer is a fun if unpredictable job, with quite powerful magic that costs zero MP. At high levels, scary amounts of damage. The one drawback is unpredictability and its stupid habit of casting Whirlpool on water-dungeon bosses immune to the spell.

I use Geomancers quite a bit, as the random spells (almost always useful) keeps battles interesting.

Scholar

Scholar Job Final Fantasy 3

Here’s Dr. Cidolphus Mid Bunansa, the insane head of — whoops, wrong game. But it does look like the concept art for young FFXII Cid (which would’ve been in development about the same time as this FFIII remake, I think). Love the outfit. Love the glasses. A frustratingly underutilized job.

Scholars can use books and light armor, but frustratingly, this job’s only damage potential comes from its power to double the potency of all items. Items that would normally do Thundara get pushed up to Thundaga. And Chocobo’s Rush becomes double Flare.  Cast your eyes over this Magical Item list, then look for these items using the Steal Guide {STL} in this FAQ, and go to town.

Scholar’s Scan ability is mostly useful only in the Hein boss battle.

If I were playing a nice leisurely game with enough time to explore and steal, I would definitely consider leveling up a Scholar. There is a problem, however: Scholar’s base Vitality is lower than most job classes, and Vitality is the stat that determines how much HP increases on each level-up.

So alas, apart from brief glimpses, I seldom use this job.

Viking

Viking Job Final Fantasy 3

Great googly mooglies, those hats! If it’s not pirates, it’s Vikings. SILLY Vikings.

However, Viking can use any weapon Knight can use and has the defense of a tank, so it’s not quite so silly.

As Viking levels up, its Provoke command becomes more reliable, drawing all attacks to the Viking while lowering the enemy’s defense. It even works on bosses! So one strategy is to put a Provoking Viking in the back row with two shields, use a Bard to keep healing him or her, and let the other two chip the boss down to size.

Some people swear by Vikings because they are strong meat shields. I am going to be over here playing with my Ranger and Geomancer instead, sorry.

This is the one of the Water Crystal jobs, as are those that follow:

Bard

Bard Job Final Fantasy 3

Behold, the dapper and dashing Bard! So many feels.

Bard can use: Harps. And somewhat decent armor.

Like most players, I totally ignored the Bard on my first couple of playthroughs. Then, while screencapping for my Let’s Play FFIII, I settled on Bard as a good-looking yet useful job class that didn’t have a bigass hat hiding characters’ faces.

I was pleasantly surprised, and came to love this job class so much that I used it for a large part of the game. Here’s why:

  • Bard always, ALWAYS goes first.
  • Bard can swap equipment (change harps) at the beginning of each turn, then use the new harp immediately.
  • Each harp has one spell: attack (Lamia), healing (Dream), or party boosters like Aura (Loki).
  • Each spell is multi-cast, affecting the whole party or all monsters.
  • The Lamia Harp works a little like demi: It shaves off a percentage of the foe’s current HP. (10% at level 1, 15% at level 50, 19% at level 99). It also works on bosses. This means you can chop off several thousand HP from tough bosses at the beginning of battle, and by observing how many HP damage Bard is doing, you get a sense of how many HP a foe has left.
  • The Dream Harp works the same way, except that it’s healing your party members: 10% of each character’s maximum HP when the Bard is level 1, up to 19% of their max HP by level 99.
  • Other Harps have Aura (boost party’s attack by 100-130%), Protect (boost defense by 100-130%), or Barrier (reduce all damage by 20-30%).
  • Striking a foe with Dream Harp has a chance of putting it to sleep, and this chance also increases with the Bard’s level. At high levels, you can put Ancient Maze monsters to sleep for a couple turns, paralyzing them one round, healing friends the next, without the monster ever getting in a blow.
  • Bard makes Dark Knight a practical job. Dark Knight does scads of damage with “Soul Eater” but also takes some damage. No problem; Bard can heal your DKs next turn.
  • Most of all, the Bard uses NO MP. Nada. So it’s healing magic (basically a multi-curaga) for free!

It takes a little while to level the Bard up, but I soon found myself absolutely dependent on that multi-healing to keep my party in tip-top shape without potions or MP, while unleashing the full power of the Dark Knight and/or shaving enough HP off the monsters with Lamia every other turn to make every battle easier.

However, once you hit monsters who are doing 1000 HP a pop, you need two Bards, or else it’s time to give in and switch jobs.

Evoker

Evoker Job Final Fantasy 3

Black…dunce caps? I don’t entirely understand this outfit, although I like Refia’s lace sleeves.

Evoker can use most rods and staves, which means you can have someone else in back popping off the occasional Thundara or Blizzara with the Item command. However, Evoker is the first of our Summoner jobs (and in fact the first appearance of summoning magic in Final Fantasy).

Evoker has a bit of a problem with summons, unfortunately. When you first get this job, you have no summons until you go to the village Replito to buy them.

Also, summons in this game behave oddly. They each have three levels of magic: a white magic effect, a single-target elemental attack, or a powerful multi-target elemental attack. Evokers never get the last. Instead, they randomly get the white magic effect or  the attack.

Some white magic effects are great: Ifrit is my BFF in this game, because he either casts Curaga on the whole party or fireball on a foe. Others, alas, are useless: Ramuh (Spark) pulls out paralyze which doesn’t work on many monsters, while Shiva (Icen) tries to put them to sleep.

I pretty much use Evoker just for the usefulness of Ifrit: I’m comfortable with random magic, as long as ALL the spells are useful. I then switch to Sage as soon as possible, because Sage does the exact same thing, except that Sage can also cast white and black magic.

Dragoon

Dragoon Job Final Fantasy 3

Dragoons were introduced in the last game, and now we get to be one! They have an amazing ability not to poke out each other’s eyes with their silly hats.

You know the drill: Dragoons use spears, and they Jump out of harm’s way for a turn then come down with a devastating EL KABONG. Useful for pesky Garudas, not so fun for any non Dragoons left behind for a turn to fend for themselves. Dragoons really work best as a matched set.

They’re cute, but I’m not patient enough for Dragoons, especially since the character left behind keeps getting clobbered in their absense. Their spears do nifty damage, however, and the Blood Lance is great as a weapon that heals the wielder.

Dark Knight

Dark Knight Job Final Fantasy 3

Refia’s little pigtails sticking out the back is what makes this job cute. Also, great swords.

Dark Knights can use swords, knives, and katanas, making them handy damage dealers.

Their “Soul Eater” ability shaves off 20% of the Dark Knight’s current HP to unleash a can of whupass on enemies. Used in tandem with Bard, which can usually heal all those HP back at the beginning of the next turn, a DK becomes a very dangerous character, and multiple DKs with a Bard or two as backup is a lethal wall of doom.

Unfortunately, I don’t think the “Soul Eater” ability works to stop multiplying enemies from dividing (what)? For that, you need to attack them directly with a katana.

I used this character class much more once I discovered the Bard/DK tandem.

Black Belt

Black Belt Job Final Fantasy 3

We just look awesome. That’s all. (Not so much from the front, but from behind, it’s all about the black cape.)

Decisions, decisions. Beat up the monsters with the awesome Claws and Knuckles you get in late stages of the game? Or pummel them bare-handed? Use Boost once or twice (but NOT three times) to cause double or triple damage? Once Black Belt has leveled up a bit, there are so many ways to use it to inflict pain.

Black Belt also gives an extra boost to one’s base Attack and HP, causing those two stats to increase more quickly at each level-up, and it gooses Agility a bit as well.

I throw this Job on whoever is lagging behind in HP or strength or both. Critical Hits come fast and hard with my Black Belts, and late in the game they’re doing 9999 HP damage.

Devout

Devout Job Final Fantasy 3

Oh lor. I never seem to use Devout because I like my jack-of-all-trades Sage, but the cat-eared hood is terrifyingly cute.

Devout can use Staves and Rods, with the usual watered-down ability to toss -ara spells using certain elemental staves. This late in the game, I’m not sure that helps much.

Devout is a White Mage with more powerful spells (and fewer weak spells), with access to level 8 spells like Holy and Arise (a full-HP Revive).

Magus

Magus Job Final Fantasy 3

Again, slain by cute, with the coup de grace delivered by Vivi Poofy Pantaloons. (By the way, early concept art for Final Fantasy X’s Black Mage looks a lot like this… can you imagine this instead of Lulu?!)

Magus can use Staves and Rods, NOT bows (unlike its weaker Black Mage counterpart). It can use all black magic, including Level 8 Flare (yes!), Meteor (yes!) and Death (no).

Again, I tend to go with jack-of-all-trades Sage instead of the slightly more powerful Magus.

Summoner

Summoner Job Final Fantasy 3

Aww, their hats mimic the summoner horns seen in several different FF games. I usually have mixed feelings about floor-length skirts on female characters — in combat? — but I’ll make an exception here, because Refia’s outfit looks better than the poofy pants.

Fed up with summoned beasties doing their own thing, trying to stun or mesmerize when you want them to attack? Tired of the randomness of Evoker and Sage summons?

Forget all that. Here’s a Final Fantasy X style summoner, which calls the summons beasties, and they are pissed. The Summoner always gets a multi-target, mean-ass elemental attack out of all its summoned allies. I.e. an overdrive.

And that’s it. Sorry, no gratuitous healing from Ifrit for you.

I never use this class, preferring sage.

Sage

Sage Job Final Fantasy 3

Silly hats (Shelinda is that you?) disguise a versatile mage who can do All The Things.

ALL spells. ALL summons. Not quite as many as the job classes dedicated to one particular type of magic, but I never seem to run out of things to do with this job.

Yes, Sage’s summons have the same problem as Evoker — white magic effect OR black magic effect — but that’s why you use Sage to summon Ifrit (heals whole party or casts fireball), Hyper (attack or attack more), or Bahamur (Aura or devastating attack), then fill out the rest of the Sage’s Magic dossier with useful white and black magic.

Ninja

Ninja Job Final Fantasy 3

Oh, look, it’s Auron! Sort of. Not really. Alcohol-free.

Ninjas are fast. FAST fast. They use katanas, knives like Dark Knight and do lots of damage, or they can use boomerangs and other thrown weapons from the back row. Or they can THROW something as a special attack, but then it’s gone.

Ninjas level up pretty quick. Their defense isn’t all that great, and I find that if I leave a character as a Ninja too long, the other fighting classes start building up HP at a faster clip (it depends on Vitality; I have never entirely sorted out the stats leveling system).

So I tend to swap characters between Ninja and Dark Knight for my endgame fighters.

Onion Knight

Onion Knight Job Final Fantasy 3

Awww. Color coordinated. Cute. Fun. And it takes forever to level up.

Onion Knight is a bonus job you can get from a sidequest, and it’s mostly for nostalgia purposes: in the original NES version of FFIII, released only in Japan, the four heroes started out as four anonymous “Onion Kids” or “Onion Knights.”  (I really want to know the source of this motif, as there’s a “Prince Onion” legend in Utena.)

Onion Knights can use almost any weapon, armor, white or black magic.

The problem is that their stats take much longer to rise than other jobs. This means lower vitality, so HP doesn’t grow as much at each regular level-up; ditto attack and everything else.

The patient cultivator of Onion Knights is rewarded by a character that eventually will have godlike stats and the use of nearly every weapon and spell. Good luck getting there. I would not start on this task too soon, however, as it’s harder to max out HP with a lower-vitality character.

 

Toad

FFIII: Toad Spell

This isn’t a job class, of course; it’s a status effect caused by the “Toad” spell. Refia hates being a toad. Using the color coding from the Onion Knight armor above, we can tell that blue = Refia, purple = Luneth, green = Arc, and red = Ingus. So now you know.

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3 thoughts on “Final Fantasy III Jobs: A Half-Assed Guide

  1. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Satan-kun

    June 6, 2014 at 5:29pm

    Thanks for the guide. I’m using it every time I unlock new classes, mainly to check how my characters will look.

  2. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Luiz

    September 5, 2014 at 5:53pm

    Hi, I have all summons and the Summoner’s Job, and I turned Refia’s job to this, but, the magic points, at level’s job 15, still 0, for all kinds of summon. I dunno why this is happening!!! I’m playing on android, can be an error!?

    Thanks for any help and sry for bad English!!

    • admin
      Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      admin

      January 7, 2015 at 7:01am

      Sorry, I’m sure you found the solution long ago, but when you change jobs, you may find the magic points are at zero until you rest or recharge them in some other way. It’s been so long since I played this game that I can’t remember now, but I seem to remember that may have been an issue.

      The other problem is that I think you’ll have to buy or find the proper summons magic; they don’t come automatically.

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