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    Max Stats FAQ by Cleteromagos

    Version: 1.00 | Updated: 07/22/07 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    F I N A L   F A N T A S Y   I V   A D V A N C E
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                  L E V E L - U P   F A Q   F O R   M A X I M U M   S T A S T I C S
    
    Written by Cleteromagos for GameFAQs.
    Version 1.00
    22 July 2007
    
    *******************************************************************************
    *~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~CONTENTS~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*
    *******************************************************************************
    [VerHi]...VERSION HISTORY
              --See how the FAQ's progressed!
    
    [Intr0]...INTRODUCTION
       [Intr1]--How levelling-up really works
       [Intr2]--Square's old blunder: version differences
       [Intr3]--Experience points, and the sharing thereof
       [Intr4]--HP and MP: a pain in the neck
       [Intr5]--What the base stats do
       [Intr6]--How to best take advantage of the system
       [Intr7]--Japanese and English Glossary
    
    [LvE00]...OPTIMUM LEVELLING-UP and BEST EQUIPMENT SETUPS
       [LvE01]--Cecil (Dark Knight)
       [LvE02]--Cain
       [LvE03]--Rydia
       [LvE04]--Tella (Tellah)
       [LvE05]--Gilbert (Edward)
       [LvE06]--Rosa
       [LvE07]--Yang
       [LvE08]--Palom
       [LvE09]--Porom
       [LvE10]--Cecil (Paladin)
       [LvE11]--Cid
       [LvE12]--Edge
       [LvE13]--FuSoYa
    
    [Tab00]...TABLES OF STATISTICAL VALUES
    
    [Finish]...CLOSING REMARKS AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
    
    *******************************************************************************
    [VerHi]~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~VERSION HISTORY~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*
    *******************************************************************************
    v1.00 -- July 22, 2007: the first version of my first FAQ. All the characters
             have been covered, but some more equipment setups, statistical tables,
             and more definite info on the GBA 1.1 release is still to come.
    
    *******************************************************************************
    [Intr0]~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~INTRODUCTION~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*
    *******************************************************************************
    Final Fantasy IV has landed itself with the reputation that it's one of the 
    more simplistic FF games of its time. After all: the first, third, and fifth 
    instalments in the series let you choose your party, while the second and sixth 
    had odd ways of increasing stats. In this fourth game, there's nothing 
    complicated to get your head around ... right?
    
    Wrong.
    
    This guide will outline how this is so, and give examples about how you can 
    manipulate the system. Before I go on, though, I should probably point out that 
    I'm not claiming to have discovered this; the game's worked this way since its 
    SFC days. However, I'm putting the information into a new format, with more 
    extra content and examples than ever before. 
    
    *******************************************
    ***How levelling-up really works [Intr1]***
    *******************************************
    
    Let's say young Rydia has just joined the party. When she levels up, we find 
    that her stats change like so:
    
      Lv01 --> Lv02:
      ------------------------
      |Strength....... 3--> 3| Now, if the game is reset and that level is gained
      |Agility........ 4--> 5| again, exactly the same changes will take place.
      |Stamina........ 2--> 2|
      |Intelligence... 8--> 9| In other words, the changes for the five basic
      |Spirit......... 5--> 5| statistics are predetermined. (HP and MP will be
      ------------------------ dealt with later.)
    
    This holds true for every character, upon every level up ... until Level 70. 
    After this point, changes to the five base stats are no longer set in stone, 
    beginning with a level-up to 71.
    
    Let's use Rydia as an example again:
    
      Lv70 --> Lv71:        1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8
      ---------------------------------------------  
      |Strength.......36-->35|35|35|36|36|37|38|36|  
      |Agility........33-->33|32|33|34|34|33|36|33|  Each column shows a
      |Stamina........34-->34|34|33|35|35|36|34|34|  different possibility.
      |Intelligence...63-->62|63|63|64|64|65|66|66| 
      |Spirit.........54-->53|53|53|55|55|56|57|57|
      ---------------------------------------------
    
    Hence! From the level-up to 71, until the final level-up to 99, changes to 
    statistics are picked from a list of eight (8) character-specific sets.
    
    Rydia's possibilities are the following:
    
      -----------------------  
      | \Str|Agi|Sta|Int|Spi|
      |1/ -1|  0|  0| -1| -1|
      |2\ -1| -1|  0|  0| -1|
      |3/ -1|  0| -1|  0| -1|
      |4\ +1| +1| +1| +1| +1|
      |5/ +1| +1| +1| +1| +1|     ----------------
      |6\ +2|  0| +2| +2| +2|<---/ These two are /
      |7/ +3| +3|  0| +3| +3|<---\   the best.   \
      |8\  0|  0|  0| +3| +3|     ----------------
      -----------------------
    
    It seems we have twenty-nine (29) random level-ups. If we just let nature take 
    her course on our characters (so to speak), their stats will usually make an 
    overall increase. But what if we exploited the system? What if we determined 
    which level-ups are best, and reset until a character levels up that way?
    
    We'd have godly characters, of course. And what kind of RPG fan could pass that 
    up?
    
    True, the game (and the Lunar Ruins) can be beaten without ever reaching Level 
    71. For most, this random element is of no concern.
    
    However, for those players who like to feel they've played a game to 
    completion, it's very important. And that is the purpose of this guide: to 
    outline the best levels up to take, considering the bonuses that equipment 
    gives.
    
    *******************************************************
    ***Square's old blunder: version differences [Intr2]***
    *******************************************************
    
    The GBA release of FFIV is the first to allow party swapping before the final 
    dungeon, but many things point to a possibility that this functionality had 
    been intended all along.
    
    It is generally accepted that the concept had to be dropped due to space 
    restraints (1 MB isn't that much, after all), but not before stat data was 
    implemented for all the characters.
    
    What's unusual is that while the post-70 possibilities for the final five 
    characters are all very good, some other characters got a raw deal. Consider 
    Yang -- he's a very solid character up until Level 60, but then his HP stops 
    growing (were they too lazy to implement it? Perhaps they needed some cartridge 
    space freed up for more programming?), and his post-70 gains are among the 
    worst in the game. On the other hand, Gilbert's (Edward) are so good compared 
    to his stat growth up until 70 that it's laughable, a joke.
    
    And perhaps a joke is what it was.
    
    It seems that all this character data was worked out fairly early on, but then 
    later in development, it became apparent that only five characters would be 
    with you at the end. So when the development team went back over the stat gains 
    and polished everything up to give these characters some nicer choices, they 
    ignored the rest, and they were left with a bad set of gains. Except for the 
    infamously spoony bard, for some obscure reason.
    
    This is supported by the PSX release of FFIV: while Yang's HP was unfixed (that 
    wouldn't happen until GBA version 1.1), he and some other characters had 
    tweaked gains. These gains were much better options, and I'll be mentioning 
    them later on.
    
    Sadly, those tweaks didn't make it into the GBA version, which was based 
    entirely on the WonderSwan port.
    
    However, it does demonstrate that it's safe to assume that for some characters, 
    the post-70 gains weren't given much thought. And now that they can finally 
    rejoin the party in the GBA release, some are hurt badly by this fact.
    
    I still haven't researched this matter fully, but it does seem as though in GBA 
    version 1.1, the negative level-up possibilities for some characters were 
    removed. More information is forthcoming.
    
    
    ********************************************************
    ***Experience points, and the sharing thereof [Intr3]***
    ********************************************************
    
    Before I go any further, an explanation on experience points is probably in 
    order.
    
    The basics:
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    *  Once a battle has finished in your favour, the experience points that each
       enemy had to its name are added together. Let's call this value "Battle 
       Exp.", or just "B.E."
    
    *  The B.E. is divided by the number of party members who AREN'T unconscious 
       (at zero HP) or petrified. This number, the "Party Exp.", is then added to 
       the exp. value of those selfsame party members (those who aren't dead or
       petrified).
    
    *  You can see a character's exp. value in the Status screen.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    This process of division means that having less people alive means more 
    experience -- this is why doing a solo run will result in a very high-levelled 
    character.
    
    FFIV was essentially the first Final Fantasy game to have a story that required 
    its many heroes and heroines to leave and rejoin the party, sometimes more than 
    once. As a result, a system had to be put into place so that when they did 
    rejoin, their levels would have progressed in the meantime.
    
    In short:
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    *  Whenever a character joins the party for the VERY FIRST TIME, he or she will
       do so on a predetermined level.
    
    *  Once a character leaves the party, he or she will continue to be assigned 
       P.E., even though he or she will not included in P.E. calculation.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    However, there is a downside. And it's a huge downside for those with the GBA 
    version of FFIV.
    
    Once your party hits the high levels -- 71 and over, that is -- their stats 
    need close attention if you're to ensure that they get the best level-ups. 
    While this can be managed in a party of five by killing all but one or two 
    characters, this still leaves five people back at Mysidia who are gaining 
    levels.
    
    It's unfortunate, but the most sensible thing to do is to pick your five 
    favourite characters, carefully watch over their levelling-up, and forget about 
    the rest.
    
    They'll probably turn out okay, after all.
    
    Of course, the alternative is to continuously check back at Mysidia to ensure 
    that the others are gaining perfect levels too. It's far more time-consuming, 
    but it can be done. 
    
    *******************************************
    ***HP and MP: a pain in the neck [Intr4]***
    *******************************************
    
    You really have to appreciate the beauty of the system as far as the base stats 
    go -- you can play through the game without worrying about stats until the 
    final dungeon. At that point, you have a party of five who are your sole 
    concern, and you can level them up to perfection.
    
    However, HP and MP are quirky from the very beginning. For every level-up, 
    there's a window in which they can increase. For example, when Cecil gets his 
    first level-up as a Paladin, his HP increases by 16 to 18 points. There's not 
    much difference there, right? Well, yes. But that difference increases and adds 
    up over the levels: by Level 99, Cecil could have as little as 8888 HP, or as 
    much as 9924. That's over a thousand points of difference!
    
    But that is, of course, an extreme case. As for MP, as we're dealing with 
    smaller numbers, it's also less exciting. And since there's never any chance of 
    HP not increasing at all (except for Yang after Level 60, in most versions), a 
    character's HP and MP gains probably aren't worth paying attention to, 
    especially considering the relative ease at which HP- and MP-increasing items 
    can be found in the GBA bonus dungeon, the Lunar Ruins.
    
    If you're doing a solo run, it might be worth your while to try and get the 
    best gains -- hey, it might even be fun, because being that manipulative has a 
    certain amount of elitism associated with it.
    
    In a later version of this guide, I'll include HP gain lists for the various 
    characters. For now, though, you'll just have to wait!
    
    ************************************
    ***What the base stats do [Intr5]***
    ************************************
    
    The base statistics all affect the secondary statistics. Following is a rundown 
    of each of these, and how they're affected.
    
    Final Fantasy IV works similarly to the way its predecessors did when it comes 
    to damage calculation: each attack is (usually) a small battle in itself, with 
    multiple hits being attempted by the attacker, and the battler on the receiving 
    end defending some of the hits, and evading others.
    
    This is why there is so much variation in damage when compared to Final Fantasy 
    V; there are a lot of ways in which things can change each time you select the 
    "Fight" command.
    
    All non-integer results are always rounded down.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ATTACK: BASE VALUE
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    * Represents a character's attacking strength in its most basic form.
    
    * Affected by the equipped weapon or weapons' strength ("WpAtk") and base
      stats.
    
    * Given by (where, if two weapons are equipped, the first term is doubled and
      "WpAtk" becomes the sum of both):
                            ------------------------
                             ( [Lv+Str]/4 ) + WpAtk
                            ------------------------
    
    * Bows are an exception (where WpAtk is the sum of the bow and arrows,
      multiplied by 0.8 if the bow is held in the dominant hand instead of the
      arrows):
                            -----------------------
                               WpAtk + ( Str/4 )
                            -----------------------
    
    * Yang is an exception:
                            -----------------------
                             2( Lv+1 ) + ( Str/4 )
                            -----------------------
    
    * Before the GBA releases, the only character that could have 255 for this stat
      was Cecil, the only character to receive truly "broken" equipment then.
      Second best was Yang, with 224; now, however, many other characters can reach
      the cap.
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ATTACK: MULTIPLIER
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    * Determines how many hits are attempted.
    
    * Affected only by the base stats:
                         ----------------------------
                           1 + ( [2Str + Agi]/16 )
                         ----------------------------
    
    * The most any character can have is 19.
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ATTACK: ACCURACY or PRECISION
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    * Determines how many attempted hits are successful. When all fail, the result 
      is a "MISS!!".
    
    * Affected by weapon accuracy ("WpAcc") and level.
    
    * Given by (where WpAcc is the mean accuracy of all weapons equipped):
    
                         ---------------------------
                          ( 50 + [Lv/4] + WpAcc ) %
                         ---------------------------
    
    * There are nine weapons in the game with less-than-zero WpAcc.
    
    * Accuracy is capped at 99% in Final Fantasy IV.
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    DEFENCE: BASE VALUE
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    * Represents a character's ability to defend against an attack.
    
    * Determined by Vitality / Stamina and the defensive properties of equipment
      ("EqDef").
    
    * Given by:
                         --------------------------
                             ( Sta/2 ) + EqDef
                         --------------------------
    
    * Even weapons can increase Defence if they give bonuses to Stamina.
    
    * The maximum amount possible is 239, though most setups won't come anywhere
      near this much. However, it can still be raised to 255 in battle with the
      Protes spell (+5 each time).
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    DEFENCE: MULTIPLIER
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    * Represents how many hits of an attack can be defended against.
    
    * Affected solely by the base stats, and the presence (or lack thereof) of a
      shield.
    
    * Given by (where the second term is ignored if a shield is not equipped):
                          -------------------------
                             ( Agi/8 ) + ( Lv/16 )
                          -------------------------
    
    * Even if your opponent attempts more hits than you can defend against, they
      can still all miss.
    
    * The maximum is 18.
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    DEFENCE: EVASION
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    * Represents a character's ability to dodge a hit entirely.
    
    * Affected solely by the total evasive bonuses (or penalties!) given by
      equipment ("EqEva"):
                          --------------------------
                                ( 30 + EqEva ) %
                          --------------------------
    
    * Just like accuracy, the maximum is 99%.
    
    * Since heavy armour reduces this value, usually to zero, the only way for a
      character wearing it to have any evasion to speak of is to equip a shield.
      This is why Edge (without certain equipment) and Cid are poor at defence.
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    MAGIC DEFENCE: BASE VALUE
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    * Represents a character's ability to take less damage from a magical attack.
    
    * Affected only by the sum of equipment's resistance to magic ("EqRes"):
                          --------------------------
                                     EqRes
                          --------------------------
    
    * The maximum seems to be Porom's 88 (with 87, Yang's a close second). However,
      even they won't have than much in most cases. Of course, this value can be
      temporarily increased to as much as 255 points with Shell (+3 per casting).
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    MAGIC DEFENCE: MULTIPLIER
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    * Affected only by base stats, as follows:
                          -------------------------
                            ( Int + Spi + Agi )/32
                          -------------------------
    
    * This is why mages tend to take less damage from magic attacks throughout the
      game.
    
    * The maximum is 9.
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    MAGIC DEFENCE: EVASION
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    * A character's ability to avoid magical damage, it's an especially important
      statistic in being unaffected by status ailment-inducing spells.
    
    * It's affected by the magical base stats, and the magical evasion bonuses
      given by equipment ("EqMEv"):
                          --------------------------
                          ( [Int + Spi]/8 ) + EqMEv
                          --------------------------
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    SPECIALISED USES
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    * The amount of HP a wounded character is revived with when using Phoenix Down
      or the Raise / Life spell is calculated as follows:
                          --------------------------
                                    Sta * 5
                          --------------------------
    
    * Agility is used in determining how long it takes for a character's turn to
      come up.
    
    * Intelligence and Spirit are used in determining how effective a spell is;
      they need not exceed 96 in this regard. While Palom's Boast command raises
      his Intelligence, it doesn't seem to affect his Magic Defences in any way.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    As you can see, because of the way they work, there's no actual statistical 
    need to get all the base stats to 99 (though it does look more impressive).
    
    Strength        96
    Agility         96
    Stamina         98     --------------------------
    Intelligence    9x <--/ Sum need not exceed 192 /
    Spirit          9x <--\ (e.g., 99 and 93).      \
                           --------------------------
    
    There would be no increase in a character's performance if their stats were 
    raised above these values.
    
    But we'll try to do it anyway.
    
    *******************************************************
    *** How to best take advantage of the system [Intr6]***
    *******************************************************
    
    Being exploitative is fairly straightforward, really. Assuming that you only 
    care about your five party members, you kill them all off but one, and gain 
    levels in the final dungeon (or anywhere else with strong enemies and an 
    accessible save point).
    
    Save right before a character levels up. If the change is what you wanted, 
    great! If not, reset and try again.
    
    In some cases, you might find that a pair of characters has sufficient 
    difference between the amount of exp. they need for their next level that you 
    can keep them both alive. In fact, it's very helpful when you're levelling up a 
    mage to pair him or her with a frontliner, to take out enemies faster.
    
    My favourite spot for this power-levelling is the final dungeon, because 
    there's a central save point (at B7F) and you can fight some Pink Princesses 
    while you grind.
    
    Now, if you also want to get perfect stats for those at Mysidia (if you're 
    playing the GBA version), you'll still be fighting with one or two people. The 
    difference is that you'll periodically need to check back at Mysidia to make 
    sure that their stats have gone up correctly. Obviously, it becomes far, far 
    harder this way, but it has been done.
    
    Let's examine the experience points we need to level up. As you can see, 
    there's a certain amount of variation -- this can work in our favour.
    
    The individual amount needed to gain each level after Level 70 is what concerns 
    us here, but the total number of experience points that a character needs to 
    reach Level 99 (all the experience they've ever earned) is also included to 
    demonstrate how the variation adds up.
    
    ___________
    |         /---------------------------------------------------
    |Character\ Exp. Needed |Difference ||Total Exp. |Difference |
    |   Name  / for Lv 71-99|from Median|| for Lv 99 |from Median|
    |---------\-------------------------||-----------------------|
    |Edge     /   161,280   |  -  6,300 ||    7641892|- 256351.5 |
    |Palom    \   161,910   |  -  5,670 ||    7618044|- 280199.5 |
    |Porom    /   161,910   |  -  5,670 ||    7622575|- 275668.5 |
    |Cecil (P)\   164,654   |  -  2,926 ||    7751530|- 146713.5 |
    |Cain     /   165,690   |  -  1,890 ||    7806349|-  91894.5 |
    |Gilbert  \   169,470   |     1,890 ||    7990138|   91894.5 |
    |Rosa     /   182,490   |    14,910 ||    8589887|  691643.5 |
    |Yang     \   185,780   |    18,200 ||    8742083|  843839.5 |
    |Cid      /   189,490   |    21,910 ||    8921359| 1023115.5 |
    |Rydia    \   207,200   |    39,620 ||    9763587| 1865343.5 |
    |_________/---------------------------------------------------
    
    If we assume that the top five characters (those who grow the fastest) are in 
    the party, and the rest are at Mysidia, we can manage the level-ups of the late 
    bloomers.
    
    There is an endless cycle (but who cares, we can express it linearly):
    
    ========================== 0 Exp.
    |      +169,470 Exp.     | 
    |   Gilbert levels up    | 
    |------------------------| ---    ---    ---    ---
    |      + 13,020 Exp.     |  |13020 |      |      |
    |     Rosa levels up     | \|/Exp. |      |      |
    |------------------------| ---     |16310 |      |     ---
    |      +  3,290 Exp.     |         | Exp. |      |      |
    |     Yang levels up     |        \|/     |20020 |      |
    |------------------------| ---    ---     | Exp. |      |
    |      +  3,710 Exp.     |  |             |      |37730 |
    |     Cid levels up      |  |            \|/     | Exp. |
    |------------------------|  |     ---    ---     |      |156450
    |      + 17,710 Exp.     |  |      |             |      |  Exp.
    |     Rydia levels up    |  |179200|            \|/     |
    |========================|  | Exp. |     ---    ---     |
    |      +131,740 Exp.     |  |      |182070|             |
    |   Gilbert levels up    |  |      | Exp. |171780      \|/
    |------------------------|  |      |      | Exp.---    ---
    |      + 26,040 Exp.     |  |      |      |      |
    |    Rosa levels up      | \|/     |      |      |
    |------------------------| ---     |      |      |
    |      +  6,580 Exp.     |         |      |      |
    |    Yang levels up      |        \|/     |      |75460
    |------------------------|        ---     |      | Exp.
    |      +  7,420 Exp.     |                |      |
    |     Cid levels up      |               \|/     |
    |------------------------|               ---     |
    |      + 35,420 Exp.     |                       |
    |     Rydia levels up    |                      \|/
    \========================/                      ---
      \    + 94,010 Exp.   /    
        \ilbert levels up/      
          \------------/       
            \        /
              \    /
                \/
    
    It can become confusing, so keep track of how much exp. you've earned with a 
    piece of scrap paper, and save before anyone levels up! (One method might be to 
    keep a tally for each character, increasing the count by one for every thousand 
    points of experience.)
    
    Remember, you can always head to the underworld for enemies that'll give less 
    experience per battle.
    
    As the game assigns exp. to those at Mysidia as soon as it is earned, choosing 
    one of the possible level-ups in the process, it's important to save before 
    getting the experience that'll push someone up a level.
    
    I'd suggest levelling up Palom, Porom, and Cecil together, and then switching 
    to Edge and Cain once they reach Level 99.
    
    Remember that even a character at Level 99 (in the party) is factored into exp. 
    calculations, even if it doesn't do them any good. You can use this to your 
    advantage, reducing the amount of exp. gained per battle if needed.
    
    ************************
    ***A Glossary [Intr7]***
    ************************
    Back Row Glitch         In Final Fantasy IV, there are some weapons which can
                            be wielded from the back row without penalty (such as
                            harps, whips, and arrows). However, in the first GBA
                            release, they were penalised anyway. A very serious
                            issue, this was rectified in version 1.1.
    
    
    Battle Exp. (B.E.)      The sum of the number of experience points that enemies
                            defeated in battle are worth.
    
    
    GameBoy Advance (GBA)   A handheld console, for which a successful port of FFIV
                            was released. Based solely on the WSC version, it was
                            released prematurely in time for Christmas in Japan and
                            the U.S. Plagued by bugs, it was loved by many
                            regardless.
    
    GBA Version 1.1         Used to refer to the European and second Japanese
                            releases of FFIV Advance. Has bug fixes and post-60 HP 
                            growth for Yang. See "GameBoy Advance".
    
    Gilbert                 Edward's original (and true) name, unused in all
                            official localisations because it's one letter too
                            long.
    
    Party Exp. (P.E.)       The amount of experience awarded to all party members
                            eligible to receive it. Also given to characters who
                            have left the party.
    
    PlayStation (PSX)       A 32-bit home console. Technically inferior to its
                            competitors, it was still hugely successful thanks to
                            the capacity and cheapness of CDs. A mediocre FFIV port
                            was released for it in 1997 with a better translation
                            than the SNES release, and some welcome statistical
                            tweaks.
    
    Super Famicon (SFC)     The Japanese version of the SNES. FFIV's true console
                            of origin as of 1991.
    
    Super Nintendo          The console that FFIV was first released on, as the
    Entertainment System    watered-down "Final Fantasy II (US)". See Super Famicon
    (SNES)                  entry.
    
    The final five          Paladin Cecil, Cain (Kain), Rydia, Rosa, and Edge.
    (and variants)
    
    WonderSwan Color (WSC)  Japan-only handheld console. A graphically-updated port
                            of FFIV was released for it in 2002, though without the
                            tweaks of the PSX release.
                            
    ENGLISH-JAPANESE TERMS
    
                            Level                   Reberu
                            Experience Point(s)     Keiken-chi
    
                            Strength                Chikara
                            Agility                 Subayasa
                            Stamina / Vitality      Tairyoku
                            Intelligence            Chisei
                            Spirit                  Seishin
    
                            Attack                  Kougeki
                            Precision / Accuraccy   Nuichyuuritsu
                            Defence                 Bougyo
                            Evasion                 Kaihiritsu
                            Magical Defence         Mahoubougyo  
                            Magic Evasion           Mahoukaihiritsu
    
                            Level-Up                Reberu-ga Agaru
    
    
    *******************************************************************************
    [LvE00]~~~~~~~~~~OPTIMUM LEVELLING-UP and BEST EQUIPMENT SETUPS~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*
    *******************************************************************************
    I'll follow a basic formula of giving some general information on a character, 
    their list of level-ups, and which to get based on equipment.
    
    Equipment aside, there's generally only one "best" combination of level-ups. 
    However, equipment does make an impact on the base stats more often then not, 
    which allows us to focus on the characters' weak areas.
    
    As a result, in some cases I've provided a few options per character (and if I 
    haven't, it probably means there'll be more setups in a future version). Take a 
    look, and ponder them!
    
    While PSX level-ups are given when they differ from other versions, so far I've 
    not dealt with them in-depth, as they do not apply to the most significant 
    editions of the game (SFC and GBA). I might do so in a future update.
    
    *********************************
    ***Cecil (Dark Knight) [LvE01]***
    *********************************
    
    Dark Knight Cecil is very much a classic example of a tragic hero, from the 
    tainting of his soul by the Dark Sword, to his catharsis on Mt Ordeals.
    
    If you get him to Level 71 ... you're either some sort of ultimate power-
    leveller (you bored person, you), or you used a cheating device to hack him 
    back in.
    
    I hope for your sake it's the latter.
    
    Anyway, his stats are all rather mediocre ... and his equips are rather awful 
    ... and even his post-70 level-ups aren't that great either. In fact, he can't 
    even equip the Adamant Armour, the Protect Ring, or the Ribbon, which every 
    other character (bar NONE) can.
    
    On the plus side, his battle sprite is undeniably awesome. And if you change 
    the name of one of the Cecils, the other's name will change too! Obviously it 
    makes sense from a programmer's perspective to use that same address in memory 
    for the names of both characters, but it's fun to see it in action.
    
    
        LEVEL   70   STATS
        -------------------
        |Strength.......61| 
        |Agility........41| 
        |Stamina........41|
        |Intelligence...24| 
        |Spirit......... 1| 
        -------------------
    
    THE   POSSIBLE   GAINS
        all versions:
        -----------------------
        | \Str|Agi|Sta|Int|Spi|
        |1/  0|  0| -1|  0|  0|
        |2\ -1|  0| -1| -1|  0|
        |3/  0| -1| -1| -1|  0|
     -->|4\ +1| +1| +1| +1|  0|<--
        |5/ +1| +1| +1| +1|  0|
        |6\ +1| +1| +1|  0|  0|
     -->|7/ +2| +2| +2|  0|  0|<--
        |8\ +3|  0|  0|  0|  0|
        -----------------------
    
    ONLY POSSIBLE SETUP: DEMON'S SUNDAY BEST
    -----------------------------------------
    Deathbringer (Str,Agi,Sta,Int +5; Spi -5)
    Demon Shield
    Demon Helm
    Demon Armour
    Demon Gloves
    -----------------------------------------
    Sadly, it's the best available to this knight with a tainted heart.
    
    I suggest 27 * option 4
               2 * option 7
    
    This will give (with equipment):
    
        -------------------
        |Strength.......99| 
        |Agility........99| 
        |Stamina........99|
        |Intelligence...31| 
        |Spirit......... 1| 
        -------------------
    
    It gets 99 in the three physical stats, and a sum of 32 for the magical stats 
    will get a much-needed magical defence multiplier.
    
    Increasing Intelligence further is possible, but the next point at which you'll 
    see a benefit is when it reaches 39, which would compromise the first three 
    base stats.
    
    Cecil's going to be susceptible to every status effect the game has to throw at 
    him, and is going to have a rather weak attack. On the plus side, he can heal 
    Gilbert for free ...
    
    *************************
    ***Cain (Kain) [LvE02]***
    *************************
    
    Cain is the traitorous figure of the game, whose special attack combines the 
    power of Yang's with the invulnerability of Gilbert's. A little known fact 
    about him is that the game has sprites of him casting magic, though they are 
    never used.
    
    Cain has average experience growth and statistics, and some very nice level-up 
    options after Level 70. He also benefits greatly from his entirely broken Lunar 
    Ruins equipment.
    
    LEVEL   70   STATS
        -------------------
        |Strength.......73| 
        |Agility........48| 
        |Stamina........63|
        |Intelligence...12| 
        |Spirit.........39| 
        -------------------
    
    THE   POSSIBLE   GAINS
        all versions:
        -----------------------
        | \Str|Agi|Sta|Int|Spi|
        |1/ -1| -1| -1| -1| -1|
        |2\  0| -1|  0|  0| -1|
        |3/ +1| +1| +1|  0|  0|
        |4\ +1|  0| +1|  0| +1|
        |5/ +1|  0| +1| +1|  0|
     -->|6\ +2|  0| +2| +2| +2|<--
        |7/  0| +2| +2|  0|  0|
     -->|8\ +3| +3|  0|  0| +3|<--
        -----------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    SETUP I: ATONEMENT
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Hero's Shield          (All +15)
    Abel's Lance (Str, Agi, Spi +15)
    Ribbon
    Dragoon Plate          (Sta +10)
    Protect Ring           (Sta +15)
    --------------------------------
    This setup consists of equipment that is all easily procured, but offers poor 
    evasion (72%). Fire, ice, and lightning damage is absorbed.
    
    If the Dragoon Gloves are equipped instead, evasion is brought down further (to 
    57%), and said elements are no longer absorbed. Hence, I would not recommend 
    doing so.
    
    I suggest 22 * option 6
               7 * option 8
    
    This will give (with equipment):
    
        -------------------
        |Strength.......99| 
        |Agility........99| 
        |Stamina........99|
        |Intelligence...71| 
        |Spirit.........99| 
        -------------------
    
    It's rather impressive -- but can we do better?
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    SETUP II: CAIN the CAUTIOUS CAVALIER
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Hero's Shield (All +15)
    Abel's Lance (Str, Agi, Spi +15)
    Ribbon
    Black Belt (Str, Sta +5)
    Protect Ring (Sta +15)
    --------------------------------
    This setup is similar to the first, but gives 99% evasion at the cost of 
    defence, magic defence, and magic evasion. The same level-up choices as Setup I 
    apply here, too.
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    SETUP III: ON ADAMANTINE WINGS
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Hero's Shield          (All +15)
    Abel's Lance (Str, Agi, Spi +15)
    Ribbon
    Adamant Armour         (All +15)
    Crystal Ring           (Agi + 5)
    --------------------------------
    Again, all the elements are absorbed, but Cain has godly defences and 92% 
    evasion.
    
    I suggest 28 * option 6
               1 * option 8
    
    This will give (with equipment):
    
        -------------------
        |Strength.......99| 
        |Agility........99| 
        |Stamina........99|
        |Intelligence...98| 
        |Spirit.........99| 
        -------------------
    
    So close to a perfect set of 99, isn't it! Regardless, Cain has reached the 
    game's statistical pinnacle.
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    SETUP IV: PATROCLINOUS PANOPLY
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Dragon Shield
    Holy Lance
    Dragon Helm
    Dragon Mail
    Dragon Gloves
    --------------
    What, no bonuses? And only 38% evasion (50% with a Ribbon)? This is the best 
    Cain would have access to if you're playing an older version, without the GBA's 
    extras (or the Adamant Armour).
    
    Considering the name of this equipment, you might consider it Cain's true 
    ultimate equipment, especially because it isn't as broken as his newer setups.
    
    I suggest 18 * option 6
              11 * option 8
    
    This will give (with equipment):
    
        -------------------
        |Strength.......99| 
        |Agility........81| 
        |Stamina........99|
        |Intelligence...48| 
        |Spirit.........99| 
        -------------------
    
    These stats are actually relatively good. Enjoy the nostalgia ...
    
    *******************
    ***Rydia [LvE03]***
    *******************
    Rydia first joins the party as an appealing and gifted child who's recently 
    been orphaned. She later returns as a young adult, and her ability to summon 
    soon becomes invaluable.
    
    LEVEL   70   STATS
        -------------------
        |Strength.......36| 
        |Agility........33| 
        |Stamina........34|
        |Intelligence...63| 
        |Spirit.........54| 
        -------------------
    
    THE   POSSIBLE   GAINS
        all versions:
        -----------------------
        | \Str|Agi|Sta|Int|Spi|
        |1/ -1|  0|  0| -1| -1|
        |2\ -1| -1|  0|  0| -1|
        |3/ -1|  0| -1|  0| -1|
        |4\ +1| +1| +1| +1| +1|
        |5/ +1| +1| +1| +1| +1|
     -->|6\ +2|  0| +2| +2| +2|<--
     -->|7/ +3| +3|  0| +3| +3|<--
        |8\  0|  0|  0| +3| +3|
        -----------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    SETUP I: RAINBOW IN THE MIST
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Assassin's Dagger (Agi +15)
    Hero's Shield     (All +15)
    Ribbon
    Rainbow Robe      (Int +10)
    Mist Ring         (Sta +15)
    --------------------------------
    Rydia is one character who, with her new equipment, would not benefit from the 
    Adamant Armour; thanks to her Rainbow Robe, she can absorb fire-, ice-, 
    lightning-, and holy-elemental damage when it's paired with a Hero's Shield.
    
    Her evasion is a perfect 99%, and she can make use of her trial equipment.
    
    I suggest 17 * option 6
              12 * option 7
    
    This will give (with equipment):
    
        -------------------
        |Strength.......99| 
        |Agility........99| 
        |Stamina........98|
        |Intelligence...99| 
        |Spirit.........99| 
        -------------------
    
    Almost perfect. Besides, another point of Stamina wouldn't make any difference 
    anyway, and she has broken equipment to boot.
    
    ****************************
    ***Tella (Tellah) [LvE04]***
    ****************************
    Tella the Sage is a legendary figure in the world of Final Fantasy IV, having 
    unsealed the magic long forbidden to humanity when he was young.
    
    He has since forgotten and recalled these, but will never know Holy, Flare, and 
    Quake. Moreover, he is a testimony to the ravages of time: his HP growth is the 
    second-worst in the game (the award goes to FuSoYa for the worst, but he has a 
    better base anyway and ends up with more), and his Strength and Vitality 
    quickly drop to 1 while his other stats make little headway.
    
    Did I mention he has no MP growth to speak of?
    
    If you hack him back into the party, you'll likely be disappointed, for FuSoYa 
    is better in just about every way.
    
    LEVEL   70   STATS
        -------------------
        |Strength....... 1| 
        |Agility........26| 
        |Stamina........ 1|
        |Intelligence...24| 
        |Spirit.........24| 
        -------------------
    
    THE   POSSIBLE   GAINS
        most versions:
        -----------------------
        | \Str|Agi|Sta|Int|Spi|
        |1/ -1| -1| -1| -1| -1|
        |2\  0|  0|  0|  0|  0|
        |3/  0|  0|  0|  0|  0|
        |4\  0|  0|  0|  0|  0|
        |5/ +1| +1|  0|  0|  0|
     -->|6\  0| +1| +1| +1| +1|<--
        |7/  0| +1|  0| +1|  0|
        |8\  0| +1|  0|  0| +1|
        -----------------------
    
        PSX version:
        -----------------------
        | /Str|Agi|Sta|Int|Spi|
        |1\  0| -1|  0| -1| -1|
        |2/  0|  0|  0|  0|  0|
        |3\ +1|  0|  0|  0|  0|
        |4/  0| +1|  0| +1|  0|
        |5\  0| +1|  0| +1|  0|
     -->|6/  0| +1| +1| +1| +1|<--
        |7\  0| +2|  0| +1|  0|
        -----------------------
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    GENERAL SETUP: STAVING OFF DEATH
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Regardless of the equipment you give him (and I would strongly suggest an 
    Adamant Armour), his stats are so low that there's only really one course of 
    action to take.
    
    His Intelligence and Spirit need to be as high as possible for him to be an 
    effective mage. This would be his sole purpose, after all.
    
    I suggest 29 * option 6
    
    This will give (without equipment):
    
        -------------------
        |Strength....... 1| 
        |Agility........55| 
        |Stamina........30|
        |Intelligence...53| 
        |Spirit.........53| 
        -------------------
    
    It's an improvement, but not much of one. Still, Tella will live on in our 
    memories as the angry sage who beat a hapless bard into submission, shouting 
    out an infamous line in the process.
    
    ******************************
    ***Gilbert (Edward) [LvE05]***
    ******************************
    This cowardly prince is what has given Final Fantasy IV its fame as the source 
    of the "You spoony bard!" line. And while he begins spoonily, he ends 
    splendidly: his character develops, he gets broken equipment in the GBA 
    version, and best of all, has the best post-70 level-ups by far.
    
    His HP growth is still average -- but he doesn't need HP anyway, as he is able 
    to absorb every form of elemental damage the game can throw at him. Little else 
    can hurt him.
    
    He's definitely an amusing and useful character to have in your party.
    
    LEVEL   70   STATS
        -------------------
        |Strength.......42| 
        |Agility........41| 
        |Stamina........26|
        |Intelligence...28| 
        |Spirit.........28| 
        -------------------
    
    THE   POSSIBLE   GAINS
        all versions:
        -----------------------
        | \Str|Agi|Sta|Int|Spi|
        |1/ -1| -1| -1| -1| -1|
        |2\ -1| -1| -1| -1| -1|
        |3/ -1|  0| -1| -1| -1|
        |4\ -1|  0| -1| -1| -1|
        |5/ +1| +1|  0| +1| +1|
        |6\  0| +2| +2| +2|  0|
     -->|7/ +3| +3|  0|  0| +3|<--
     -->|8\ +4|  0| +4| +4| +4|<--
        -----------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    SETUP I: HARPING HAPPILY
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Loki's Lute / Apollo's Harp (Str, Agi, Sta/Spi +15)
    Ribbon
    Vishnu Vest                     (Str, Agi, Sta +10)
    Harmonious Ring
    ---------------------------------------------------
    This is a setup for when you want Gilbert to equip a harp, and have access to 
    the useful Chant command. It gives 82% evasion, and halves damage from all five 
    of the game's elements: fire, ice, lightning, holy, and darkness.
    
    The Protect Ring could be used instead, allowing for absorption of elements, 
    but otherwise a defensive decrease occurs.
    
    If you are playing on GBA version 1.1, Gilbert can attack from the back row 
    with this setup.
    
    I suggest 11 * option 7
              18 * option 8
    
    This will give (with equipment):
    
        -------------------
        |Strength.......99| 
        |Agility........99| 
        |Stamina........99|
        |Intelligence...99| 
        |Spirit.........99| 
        -------------------
    
    From what he was to what he is now ... such a miraculous change is surely the 
    stuff of minstrels' songs.
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    SETUP II: EMBITTERED BARD
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Assassin Dagger       (Agi +15)
    Hero's Shield         (All +15)
    Ribbon
    Vishnu Vest (Str, Agi, Sta +10)
    Crystal Ring          (Agi + 5)
    -------------------------------
    Here's the 99% evasion and all-encompassing elemental absorption we all want! 
    Of course, all Gilbert can do now is attack, and knives are just plain less fun 
    than harps.
    
    Note that the Harmonious Ring can be equipped instead, for an increase in Magic 
    Defence and Evasion. This might be a better idea if you haven't the time to win 
    a Crystal Ring.
    
    Optimum level-ups are as in Setup I.
    
    ******************
    ***Rosa [LvE06]***
    ******************
    Rosa is viewed by many to be Final Fantasy IV's "damsel in distress". However, 
    throughout the game she often demonstrates her true strength of character, and 
    in doing so has established something of a "healer archetype" present in other 
    RPGs.
    
    She is the character best suited to use a bow in the game, thanks to her Aim 
    command, but it prohibits her from equipping a Hero's Shield. Moreover, as 
    there is no lack of dedicated mle fighters, perhaps a staff is the best way 
    to go.
    
    She has the worst options after Level 70 of the original final five party 
    members -- but even a mere +1 to all is still better than what some other 
    characters have.
    
    LEVEL   70   STATS
        -------------------
        |Strength.......48| 
        |Agility........32| 
        |Stamina........42|
        |Intelligence...22| 
        |Spirit.........71| 
        -------------------
    
    THE   POSSIBLE   GAINS
        all versions:
        -----------------------
        | \Str|Agi|Sta|Int|Spi|
        |1/ -1|  0| -1|  0|  0|
        |2\  0|  0| -1| -1|  0|
        |3/ +1|  0| +1|  0| +1|
        |4\ +1| +1| +1|  0| +1|
        |5/  0| +1| +1| +1| +1|
        |6\  0| +1| +1| +1| +1|
     -->|7/ +1| +1| +1| +1| +1|<--
        |8\ +2|  0|  0|  0| +2|
        -----------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    SETUP I: HEROIC MARKSWOMAN
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Perseus Arrows
    Perseus's Bow (Spi +15)
    Ribbon
    White Dress   (Spi +10)
    Protect Ring  (Sta +15)
    ---------------------------------------------------
    For the fan of archery. The three main elements are resisted, and Rosa has to 
    be in the front row if you're playing the first GBA version, thanks to the back 
    row glitch. That she only has 60% evasion serves to make matters worse.
    
    I suggest 29 * option 7
    
    This will give (with equipment):
    
        -------------------
        |Strength.......77| 
        |Agility........61| 
        |Stamina........86|
        |Intelligence...51| 
        |Spirit.........99| 
        -------------------
    
    Some level-ups could be allocated to option 6 for better Strength, but I don't 
    think the increase in Attack is worth it, considering Rosa's other stats are 
    poor enough as it is.
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    SETUP II: SAGELY PARAGON
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sage's Staff
    Hero's Shield (All +15)
    Ribbon
    White Dress   (Spi +10)
    Protect Ring  (Sta +15)
    ---------------------------------------------------
    This is probably the most sensible setup for Rosa. The three main elements are 
    absorbed, and she has solid defences.
    
    Same level-ups as above.
    
    This will give (with equipment):
    
        -------------------
        |Strength.......92| 
        |Agility........76| 
        |Stamina........99|
        |Intelligence...66| 
        |Spirit.........99| 
        -------------------
    
    This is an improvement on Setup I, I think.
    
    More setups for Rosa are forthcoming, experimenting with the Adamant Armour and 
    White Ring.
    
    
    ******************
    ***Yang [LvE07]***
    ******************
    Yang very much epitomises the early Final Fantasy series martial artist: his 
    Strength, Stamina, and HP are all very high, but his Agility is below average, 
    and his magical base stats are nonexistent.
    
    This was, perhaps, an ostensible move on the programmers' part; poor magic 
    defence would be far better by far than no magic defence at all (from base 
    stats, anyway). However, as Yang was not initially part of the final party, his 
    statistics were simply not given as much thought, and so his "best" level-up 
    after 70 isn't even a +1 to all his stats.
    
    Regardless, he gets some reasonable equipment (though his base attack cannot 
    exceed 224), and can even equip two Hero's Shields simultaneously, at the cost 
    of accuracy and elemental damage. As a result, he is a good candidate once 
    party-switching is available in the GBA versions. This applies especially if 
    you're playing on version 1.1, when the programmers remembered to allocate him 
    some HP growth after Level 60; You can expect a healthy 9999 HP by Level 94 or 
    so.
    
    LEVEL   70   STATS
        -------------------
        |Strength.......90| 
        |Agility........37| 
        |Stamina........76|
        |Intelligence... 2| 
        |Spirit......... 3| 
        -------------------
    
    THE   POSSIBLE   GAINS
        most versions:
        -----------------------
        | \Str|Agi|Sta|Int|Spi|
        |1/ -1| -1|  0| -1| -1|
     -->|2\ +1| +1| +1| +1|  0|<--
        |3/ +1| +1| +1|  0|  0|
        |4\ +1| +1| +1|  0|  0|
        |5/ +1|  0| +1|  0| +1|
        |6\ +2| +2| +2|  0|  0|
        |7/ +2|  0| +2|  0|  0|
        |8\ +2|  0| +2|  0|  0|
        -----------------------
    
        PSX version:
        -----------------------
        | /Str|Agi|Sta|Int|Spi|
        |1\ -1| -1|  0| -1| -1|
        |2/ +1|  0| +1|  0| +1|
        |3\ +1| +1| +1|  0| +1|
        |4/ +2| +1| +2|  0| +1|
        |5\ +2|  0| +2|  0| +2|
     -->|6/ +2| +1| +2| +1| +1|<--
        |7\ +3|  0| +3|  0| +1|
        -----------------------
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    SETUP I: HOLY MONK'S JUDGEMENT
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Hand of the Gods (Str, Agi, Sta +15)
    Hero's Shield              (All +15)
    Ribbon
    Battle Gear           (Str, Sta +10)
    Protect Ring               (Sta +15)
    ------------------------------------
    Standard Lunar Ruins fare for Yang. 99% Evasion and 42% Magic Evasion, and 
    absorption of the three basic elements, isn't too shabby. You'll probably be 
    substituting the claw for others as necessary, most likely the Dragon Claw 
    (which gives a +10 boost to Spirit and Strength).
    
    I suggest 29 * option 6
    
    This will give (with equipment):
    
        -------------------
        |Strength.......99| 
        |Agility........96| 
        |Stamina........99|
        |Intelligence...46| 
        |Spirit.........18| 
        -------------------
    
    the sum of Intelligence and Spirit is 64, which just gets another much-needed 
    Magic Defence Multiplier. Shame about the agility.
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    SETUP II: HONOURABLY HEROIC HOPLITE
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Hero's Shield  (All +15)
    Hero's Shield  (All +15)
    Ribbon
    Adamant Armour (All +15)
    Discipline Armlet
    ------------------------
    I doubt that anything of significance can get through this setup. You might 
    think that the Ribbon is made redundant by the Adamant Armour, but the Glass 
    Mask gives no Magic Defence bonuses.
    
    Yang's accuracy is only going to be 74%, however, the higher base damage 
    provided by Deadly should rectify this (672 is more than enough to eat through 
    any enemy defences).
    
    Levelling-up should be done as above, in Setup I.
    
    This will give (with equipment):
    
        -------------------
        |Strength.......99| 
        |Agility........99| 
        |Stamina........99|
        |Intelligence...76| 
        |Spirit.........48| 
        -------------------
    
    *******************
    ***Palom [LvE08]***
    *******************
    Palom is a precocious child who never fails to remind everyone around him of 
    his above-average ability.
    
    He and his sister make a humorous duo, but that is reason enough to consider 
    him over Rydia, who can summon, has more HP and MP, and better stats to boot? 
    If you're a fan of black magic, you might like to include both mages in the 
    party. Otherwise, there isn't much in his favour.
    
    His Boast command boosts his Intelligence by 16 each time, but unfortunately it 
    seems as though it cannot exceed 99 in this way, making it worthless by the 
    time he's maxed-out.
    
    LEVEL   70   STATS
        -------------------
        |Strength.......33| 
        |Agility........30| 
        |Stamina........40|
        |Intelligence...75| 
        |Spirit.........23| 
        -------------------
    
    THE   POSSIBLE   GAINS
        all versions:
        -----------------------
        | \Str|Agi|Sta|Int|Spi|
        |1/ -1|  0|  0|  0| -1|
        |2\ -1|  0| -1|  0| -1|
        |3/ +1| +1|  0| +1|  0|
     -->|4\ +1| +1| +1| +1| +1|<--
        |5/  0| +1|  0| +1| +1|
        |6\  0|  0| +1| +1|  0|
     -->|7/  0|  0| +2| +2| +2|<--
        |8\ +3|  0|  0| +3|  0|
        -----------------------
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    SETUP I: ASURA'S AURA
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Hero's Shield              (All +15)
    Asura's Rod           (Int, Spi +15)
    Ribbon
    Chocobo Suit               (Agi +15)
    Protect Ring               (Sta +15)
    ------------------------------------
    Lunar Ruins goodness. He'll absorb the three basic elements, and has 99% 
    Evasion. 
    
    I suggest 20 * option 4
               9 * option 7
    
    This will give (with equipment):
    
        -------------------
        |Strength.......68| 
        |Agility........80| 
        |Stamina........99|
        |Intelligence...93| 
        |Spirit.........99| 
        -------------------
    
    Asura's Rod isn't terribly strong, so Strength hasn't been focused on. The only 
    problematic stat here is Agility, but nothing more be done; Palom doesn't have 
    more than a +1 in it.
    
    *******************
    ***Porom [LvE09]***
    *******************
    her brother's foil, Porom is an endearing child who, just like him, is outdone 
    by another character.
    
    Porom has less HP and MP than Rosa, and her special abilities are of less 
    usefulness unless she's paired with her brother (especially once Rosa has the 
    White Ring) 
    
    LEVEL   70   STATS
        -------------------
        |Strength.......23| 
        |Agility........33| 
        |Stamina........28|
        |Intelligence...22| 
        |Spirit.........75| 
        -------------------
    
    THE   POSSIBLE   GAINS
        all versions:
        -----------------------
        | \Str|Agi|Sta|Int|Spi|
        |1/ -1|  0|  0| -1|  0|
        |2\ -1|  0| -1| -1|  0|
        |3/ +1| +1|  0|  0| +1|
     -->|4\ +1| +1| +1| +1| +1|<--
        |5/  0| +1| +1| +1| +1|
        |6\  0| +1| +1|  0| +1|
     -->|7/ +2|  0|  0| +2| +2|<--
        |8\  0|  0|  0|  0| +3|
        -----------------------
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    SETUP I: LADYLIKE ASSASSIN
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Assassin Dagger  (Agi +15)
    Hero's Shield    (All +15)
    Ribbon
    Lord's Robe (Sta, Spi +10)
    Twin Stars
    --------------------------
    Thanks to her Lord's Robe (shouldn't that be Lady's Robe?), she doesn't need a 
    Protect Ring to get elemental absorption.
    
    I suggest 17 * option 4
              12 * option 7
    
    This will give (with equipment):
    
        -------------------
        |Strength.......72| 
        |Agility........80| 
        |Stamina........70|
        |Intelligence...78| 
        |Spirit.........99| 
        -------------------
    
    Surprisingly, she's better set up to attack than her brother, who cannot use 
    the Assassin Dagger. She is a solid character, though overshadowed by Rosa.
    
    *****************************
    ***Cecil (Paladin) [LvE10]***
    *****************************
    Cecil is a holy knight of legend, whose ability to defend other characters is 
    invaluable. His knowledge of White Magic, while limited, can prove to be 
    equally useful.
    
    As the protagonist, he is always in the party, so it's a good thing that he's 
    very good at what he does.
    
    LEVEL   70   STATS
        -------------------
        |Strength.......85| 
        |Agility........41| 
        |Stamina........70|
        |Intelligence...36| 
        |Spirit.........41| 
        -------------------
    
    THE   POSSIBLE   GAINS
        all versions:
        -----------------------
        | \Str|Agi|Sta|Int|Spi|
        |1/ -1| -1|  0| -1| -1|
     -->|2\  0| +1| +1| +1| +1|<--
        |3/ +1| +1| +1| +1|  0|
        |4\ +1| +1| +1|  0| +1|
        |5/  0|  0| +1| +1|  0|
        |6\ +1|  0| +1|  0| +1|
     -->|7/ +2| +2| +2|  0| +2|<--
        |8\ +3|  0|  0|  0|  0|
        -----------------------
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    SETUP I: GENERAL'S BLESSING
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Lightbringer (Str, Agi, Sta +15)
    Hero's Shield          (All +15)
    Ribbon
    Caesar's Plate         (Spi +10)
    Protect Ring           (Sta +10)
    --------------------------------
    Broken Lunar Ruins equipment here. While his evasion is a bit lacking at 72%, 
    Cecil can absorb four elements: fire, lightning, ice, and holy.
    
    I suggest 28 * option 2
               1 * option 7
    
    This will give (with equipment):
    
        -------------------
        |Strength.......99| 
        |Agility........99| 
        |Stamina........99|
        |Intelligence...79| 
        |Spirit.........96| 
        -------------------
    
    We could get Spirit to 99, but the highest it has to be for the best Cura is 
    96, allowing us to get a few more points in Intelligence (not that they do 
    much).
    
    *****************
    ***Cid [LvE10]***
    *****************
    Cid is an interesting character who's appeared in one form or another 
    throughout the Final Fantasy series (well, except the original Final Fantasy 
    I). However, it isn't that common that he's a playable character.
    
    He can consistently reach 9999 HP, and has exceedingly poor evasion; his forte 
    is attacking, and so statistically, he could be considered a weaker version of 
    Yang.
    
    As all his weapons require a firm double grip, the Hero's Shield is 
    inaccessible to him. He is probably the best candidate for the Adamant Armour 
    in the game -- but then again, some Cure spells can be just as effective and 
    considerably less time-consuming to achieve.
    
    LEVEL   70   STATS
        -------------------
        |Strength.......77| 
        |Agility........29| 
        |Stamina........75|
        |Intelligence... 5| 
        |Spirit......... 5| 
        -------------------
    
    THE   POSSIBLE   GAINS
        all versions:
        -----------------------
        | \Str|Agi|Sta|Int|Spi|
        |1/ -1| -1|  0|  0| -1|
        |2\ -1|  0|  0|  0| -1|
        |3/  0| -1|  0| -1|  0|
     -->|4\ +1| +1| +1| +1|  0|<--
        |5/ +2| +2| +2|  0|  0|
     -->|6\ +2| +2|  0|  0| +2|<--
        |7/ +2|  0| +2|  0|  0|
        |8\ +3|  0| +3|  0|  0|
        -----------------------
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    SETUP I: FLAMING METTLE
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Fiery Hammer (Str, Sta, Int, Spi +15)
    Ribbon
    Maximilian        (Sta, Int, Spi +10)
    Protect Ring                (Sta +10)
    -------------------------------------
    32% normal Evasion and 34% Magical. This setup is not the best, but at least 
    fire-, ice-, and lighting-elemental attacks will only deal half damage.
    
    I suggest 29 * option 6
    
    This will give (with equipment):
    
        -------------------
        |Strength.......99| 
        |Agility........87| 
        |Stamina........99|
        |Intelligence...30| 
        |Spirit.........88|
        -------------------
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    SETUP II: ADAMANTLY STUBBORN
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Fiery Hammer (Str, Sta, Int, Spi +15)
    Grand Helm             (Agi, Spi + 5)
    Adamant Armour              (All +15)
    Protect Ring                (Sta +15)
    -------------------------------------
    There's 25% Evasion and 40% Magic Evasion, but this setup shines in that Cid 
    will now only take 1 damage from fire, ice, and lightning. The Ribbon can also 
    be replaced with the Grand Helm, another plus.
    
    The Cursed Ring could be used instead, to allow Cid to absorb said elements, 
    but it subtracts 15 from every base stat -- not something we want to do. If 
    you've stuck by Cid long enough to get him the elusive Adamant Armour, you'll 
    probably enjoy seeing his stat screen without such a penalty. Behold ...!
    
    I suggest  5 * option 4
              24 * option 6
    
    This will give (with equipment):
    
        -------------------
        |Strength.......99| 
        |Agility........99| 
        |Stamina........99|
        |Intelligence...40| 
        |Spirit.........88| 
        -------------------
    
    Why don't I suggest you increase Spirit further? As it is, the sum of it and 
    Intelligence is 128, and the next point at which a difference would occur is at 
    136, which is impossible to reach. Plus, 40 simply looks much better than 35.
    
    ******************
    ***Edge [LvE11]***
    ******************
    Edge is the foulmouthed and extremely self-important prince of Eblana, who is 
    not without his share of redeeming qualities. In general, players tend to find 
    him either amusing enough or somewhat distasteful, depending on their tastes.
    
    To be an effective physical attacker, he needs to equip two weapons. He can 
    also throw certain items for a large amount of damage; however, shuriken don't 
    come cheap. As a result, for greater damage output overall, other characters 
    are generally considered superior, especially as none of Edge's weapons have 
    any elemental affiliation. In Edge's favour, however, he can steal items from 
    enemies (which can be quite useful), has some utility spells, and his new 
    weapons allow him to reach 255 attack.
    
    Unlike Cid, forgoing a shield isn't a severe disadvantage, because he is 
    eventually given equipment that boosts evasion by a great amount.
    
    Just like Cid, he is a candidate for the Adamant Armour, if you manage to get 
    one and like him enough ...
    
    
    LEVEL   70   STATS
        -------------------
        |Strength.......59| 
        |Agility........54| 
        |Stamina........47|
        |Intelligence...34| 
        |Spirit.........25| 
        -------------------
    
    THE   POSSIBLE   GAINS
        all versions:
        -----------------------
        | \Str|Agi|Sta|Int|Spi|
        |1/ -1| -1|  0| -1|  0|
        |2\ +1|  0| +1|  0|  0|
        |3/ +1|  0|  0|  0|  0|
        |4\  0| +1|  0|  0|  0|
        |5/ +1| +1|  0| +1|  0|
        |6\ +1| +1|  0| +1|  0|
     -->|7/ +2|  0| +2|  0|  0|<--
     -->|8\  0| +3|  0| +3|  0|<--
        -----------------------
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    SETUP I: HEROIC HOTHEAD
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Mutsunokami   (Str, Spi +10)
    Hero's Shield      (All +15)
    Ribbon
    Assassin Vest (Str, Agi + 5)
    Protect Ring       (Sta +10)
    -------------------------------------
    99% evasion, but a low (almost pathetic) 149 attack. The three basic elements 
    are absorbed.
    
    I suggest 14 * option 7
              15 * option 8
    
    
        -------------------
        |Strength.......99| 
        |Agility........99| 
        |Stamina........99|
        |Intelligence...94| 
        |Spirit.........50| 
        -------------------
    
    A sum of 144 for Intelligence and Spirit gives one final point of magic 
    evasion.
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    SETUP II: DICE AND SLICE
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Mutsunokami     (Str, Spi +10)
    Sasuke's Katana (Agi, Sta +10)
    Ribbon
    Assassin Vest   (Str, Agi + 5)
    Protect Ring         (Sta +10)
    -------------------------------------
    Edge still has 99% evasion, and his attack is at the maximum. He'll take halved 
    damage from the three main elements.
    
    I suggest 15 * option 7
              14 * option 8
    
        -------------------
        |Strength.......94| 
        |Agility........99| 
        |Stamina........97|
        |Intelligence...76| 
        |Spirit.........35| 
        -------------------
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    SETUP III: ADAMANTLY ASININE AND ACCURSED ATTACKER
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Mutsunokami     (Str, Spi +10)
    Sasuke's Katana (Agi, Sta +10)
    Black Cowl (Str, Agi, Sta + 3)
    Adamant Armour       (All +15)
    Cursed Ring          (All -15)
    -------------------------------------
    Edge has a mere 24% evasion, the highest attack possible, and will absorb the 
    three main elements.
    
    After all, if you're going to go to all the trouble of getting Edge an Adamant 
    Armour, you might as well go all the way and absorb some spells with the Cursed 
    Ring, right?
    
    I suggest 16 * option 7
              13 * option 8
    
        -------------------
        |Strength.......99| 
        |Agility........99| 
        |Stamina........92|
        |Intelligence...73| 
        |Spirit.........25| 
        -------------------
    
    To be honest, you could've achieved this and more (well, except for the strong 
    attack) with Setup I. But if you're a fan of Edge, act as you wish! Don't let 
    my nay-saying ruin the experience.
    
    ********************
    ***FuSoYa [LvE11]***
    ********************
    An important Lunarian who outdoes Tella in just about every way, despite his 
    rather useless special ability.
    
    He leaves the party quickly, and suddenly, but if you're the hacking type, he 
    makes a nice inclusion as a magical jack-of-all-trades.
    
    In a way, however, he and Tella are in the same boat: despite their versatility 
    in magic, their jobs can be performed far better individually by other 
    characters.
    
    LEVEL   70   STATS
        -------------------
        |Strength.......10| 
        |Agility........20| 
        |Stamina........10|
        |Intelligence...40| 
        |Spirit.........40| 
        -------------------
    
    THE   POSSIBLE   GAINS
        all versions:
        -----------------------
        | \Str|Agi|Sta|Int|Spi|
        |1/ -1|  0| -1|  0|  0|
        |2\  0|  0|  0| -1|  0|
        |3/  0|  0|  0|  0| -1|
        |4\  0|  0|  0|  0|  0|
     -->|5/  0| +1|  0| +1| +1|<--
        |6\  0| +1|  0| +1|  0|
        |7/  0| +1|  0|  0| +1|
     -->|8\ +1|  0| +1|  0|  0|<--
        -----------------------
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    GENERAL SETUP: GAIA'S GUARDIAN
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    As you want him to be as effective a sage as possible, there is little choice.
    
    I suggest 29 * option 5
    
    This will give (without equipment):
        -------------------
        |Strength.......10| 
        |Agility........49| 
        |Stamina........10|
        |Intelligence...69| 
        |Spirit.........69| 
        -------------------
    
    He may just be a candidate for the Adamant Armour as well. When this guide is 
    updated, I'll have some more concrete suggestions.
    
    
    *******************************************************************************
    [Tab00]~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~TABLES OF VALUES~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*
    *******************************************************************************
    Coming soon.
    
    *******************************************************************************
    [Finish]~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~CLOSING REMARKS AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*
    *******************************************************************************
    
    This guide has been a long time in the making, and I owe thanks to many people 
    and sources! Let's see ...
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    * <http://www.yk.rim.or.jp/~s-endo/>, full of information if you speak
      Japanese.
    
    * <http://www.parabox.or.jp/~takashin/ff-04.htm>, another Japanese treasure
      trove.
    
    * CronoLV99's old guide on the same subject, available on GameFAQs too.
    
    * BSiron's FAQ on statistics for "Final Fantasy II US".
    
    * Lourde Incarnadine, for some very useful insights into different equipment
      setups.
    
    * All the FFIV Advance board regulars. Some of you have encouraged me, others
      have given me help or food for thought. You all know who you are!
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    Believe me, there's still a lot to be added, so expect plenty of updates in 
    the future. Esteemed reader, I hope that this proved to be of use to you!
    
    Questions? Comments? Corrections? E-mail me at: [jonnot "at" exemail "dot" 
    com "dot" au]. Alternatively, drop by the FFIV Advance message board at 
    GameFAQs for a likely faster response. I and the other regulars will be 
    happy to help!
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    Heed the following:
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    distributed publicly without advance written permission. Use of this guide 
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    prohibited, and a violation of copyright."
    
    Moreover, only GameFAQs is allowed to host this document. If other sites 
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    Feel free to print it out or save it to your hard disk, as long as you 
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    regarding it.
    
    Cleteromagos signing off.
    

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