I find it's damage is pretty consistent and high compared to weapons (which is very curious)! There must be a downside to using your fists as weapons no? I would think that you would have to keep both hands empty for optimum damage (ergo no shield or you would do less damage), so that could be a flaw. Anyone else raise unarmed levels? So far very powerul it seems.
Bare handed Fists are very powerful to begin with, this is because it uses the skill-level to add extra attack-power on top of the usual extra hits. However later in the game it becomes much more easier to increase attack-power by finding a better weapon, than getting a similar increase from gaining another Fist skill-level.
Note: Level 16 Fists is as good as most end of game weapons, but you wouldn't normally need to raise any skill to 16.
Otherwise a Shield will halve the attack-power (forcing a choice between damage or evasion & agility) and you miss out on the bonuses that special weapons have.
I guess it can be a decent choice for a playthrough, but I wouldn't want to make it the only weapon for every single party member. ---
Divona posted... I forgot about the bonus with special weapons, don't they just apply to a specific character though?
I didn't actually mean the characters Ultimate weapons, although that is a good reason for at least training a second weapon-skill.
I was just referring to the weapons which have a special property, so do something else on top of the normal weapon damage. E.g. The Winged Sword being strong against flying enemies, the Ripper doing a second amount of extra. damage, Dark Bow causing Blind status, etc, etc. ---
I was just going to post a message to this effect, basically. I have all three main characters at 7-8 for all weapon proficiencies, with 30-40 strength each, all in the front row (better hp gain, who needs the back row defensive boost!?)
I am in the desert on the way to Palamecia. I always equip the best weapons available (I have sold nothing, literally, on this playthrough,) and have found the following is true, so far:
1) Weapon damage is wildly variable. I know that some of this is due to the #attacks vs. #defense, accuracy vs. evade of the early Final Fantasies, but I have seen variances of over 100 damage on the same foes attacked by the same character between rounds.
2) Bows suck, without question. At the same proficiency level as every other weapon, bows miss or deal small damage with every attack.
3) Bosses have ridiculous defense. Most attacks, (and I have spent extra time raising stats and gaining proficiency) do 0, or small single or double-digit damage.
4) Unarmed attacks, about one third of the way through the game and beyond, consistently out-do weapon attacks by up to 5 times. When my weapon-using characters deal 100-225 damage, I am seeing double-unarmed damage of 400-550.
Based on this data so far, I have to say, if you're looking for high melee damage, completely unarmed is far and away the best way to go. --- Funny how GameFaqs tags the word "faqs" as mispelled.