Final Fantasy XII

The Enforced Class System Challenge 

Created by Nick Doyle, Gamefaqs username atma6
-email at oh_mega@hotmail.com

Version 2.1


This guide is not to be reproduced or copied except for personal use. 
It may not be used on other websites without permission by me. 

All Official classes are originally conceived by me, but mimic the 
classes found in Final Fantasy V, XI, Tactics, Tactics Advance, and X-
2. All of these original classes are the property of Square-Enix and 
not me.


-----Change Log-----
 
12, November 2006 - Character classes completed
13, November 2006 - Accessories and Rules completed
14, November 2006 - Tips for healing added under Strategy and Tips.
18, November 2006 - Beginning to Balfonheim added
22, November 2006 - Expanded the Universal Laws, tweaked the Paladin, 
White Mage, and Calculator classes.
23, November 2006 - Corrected errors in Black Mage class, added section 
On Item Restriction, added new contribution information, renamed 
section 3 Official Classes, pushed Accessories to section 5, as well as 
Beginning to Balfonheim to section 6, added Contributed Classes as 
section 4.
24, November 2006 - Complete restructuring of the guide  
7, December 2006 - Added new classes, Jester, Juggler, Geomancer, 
Necromancer, Fencer, Gladiator, tweaked the Knight, Monk, and Berserker

-------Table of Contents-------
Section 1: Purpose
Section 1.5: Contributions
Section 2: Rules
Section 2.5: On Item Restriction
Section 3: Official Classes
Section 4: Contributed Classes
Section 5: Beginning to Balfonheim


Purpose----------------------------------------------------------------

The purpose of this guide is to provide a unique and challenging way to 
play Final Fantasy XII. If you want an easy way through the game then 
you should probably stop reading. Looking through certain message 
boards it became apparent to me that a lot of people wanted to match 
their characters to certain old established Final Fantasy classes. This 
guide will outline many of these classes. In this challenge you will 
pick one class for each character and will follow the guidelines 
within, thus it is the enforced class system challenge. This guide is 
written in the spirit of the Straight Character Challenge popular in 
Final Fantasy Tactics. It is meant to be an interesting challenge far 
different from the current one in the game. By following this guide you 
will not have a full party of superheroes, but you will have to depend 
on each and every one of them to help you make it through in one piece.

Restructuring of 2.0----------------------------------------------------

With version 2.0 of the guide comes many changes. Most notably the fact 
that all of the class restriction formatting is different, this along with 
other minor changes in the original classes, and 3 new classes are due to 
Alex McGlynn, who has been a major contributor. Now along with my comments 
he has comments for every official class.


Contributions----------------------------------------------------------

There are 23 official character classes and some strategies to use 
them. If anyone disagrees about these choices, or have noticed an error in 
the guide please email either Alex or myself.

If you would like to add your own classes (even if they are alternate 
ones) please email either Alex or myself your classes what their 
restrictions are, 
what accessories they can equip and a basic overview of the class and I 
will post it in the guide giving you full credit.

If you wish to suggest a class please make sure it is balanced and will 
not render any of the current classes useless. In other words no 
overpowered characters are allowed. Classes should be submitted with 
comments, and accessories that are allowed Also we will need to know who 
to give credit to. I will be putting my own comment on the class whether 
or not it is fit to be part of the challenge or if it is just a fun class 
to play.

Also if you do the challenge and want to add any insight or strategies 
you can also email me or Alex and will be given full credit for your work.

My email address in oh_mega@hotmail.com
Alex's email address is alex.mcglynn@gmail.com



Rules------------------------------------------------------------------

Universal Laws-------------------Basic rules

When a character is received in the game a class must be chosen for 
them. The classes can be picked out of my class list in section 3. 
These classes have certain restrictions on them that must be followed. 
No quickenings may ever be used. Mage classes are allowed them for mp 
use only. Aside from that there are universal laws that are discussed 
below that must be followed. There is no limit to level and loot. So 
you can level in the desert as much as you want with Vaan, and you can 
try to get the deathbringer early if you desire, but the lack of 
quickenings will make it much harder and the limitations on classes 
might make it more difficult to steal. 

Due to the nature of the license board you may have to take other 
spells and skills that would otherwise be prohibited. It is up to you 
to not use them. 

As far as augments are concerned you are allowed to take all useless 
augments to open up the ones you are allowed. For example Thieves are 
allowed to take magic lores as that will not help them in any way. If 
absolutely necessary, useful augments may be obtained in order to open 
up paths to the ones you are allowed, but this is a last resort.


On Item Restriction-----------

Unless otherwise stated in the class comments, Items have been universally 
restricted in the challenge. This may cause some hostilities from those of 
you who believe that all classes should have the ability to use items. The 
fact of the matter is, if all classes could use items then there would be 
an abuse of 
them. For example Calculators would have all magic and infinite mp 
because of ethers. Restricting items is one of the first decisions I 
made when creating this guide. This makes each class more unique as 
they have to rely on their own abilities and the abilities of others to 
survive.

On Quickenings------------

Quickenings have been universally banned. The classes allowed to use 
quickenings are only allowed to use them for mp purposes and may only 
activate the quickenings on the license board when they have achieved a 
certain level

-Level 1, first quickening can be learned
-Level 15 second quickening can be learned
-Level 30 last quickening can be learned

Remember quickenings cannot be used and they are only for classes that 
allow them.


Official Classes-------------------------------------------------------

In this section I will list the different classes that both Alex and 
myself have created that are considered the official classes of the 
challenge. These classes are built the way they are in order to achieve a 
balance and not to be over or underpowered.



Knight-----------------
 
Battle Lores: 2 
Magick Lores: 0 
Shield Block: 2 
Swiftness : 0 
HP+ Augments: All 
MP+ Augments: NONE 
Quickenings : 0 
Other Augments: NONE 
Techniques : None 
Magicks : Level 1 White Magick 
Weapons : All Swords, All Greatswords except Excalibur 
Armor : All Heavy Armor 
Shields : All Shields 
Accessories : Orrachea Armlet, Steel Gorget, Armguard, Blazer Gloves, 
Bubble Belt

My comments: Knights are a powerful melee class. They can choose to either 
specialize in offense with a greatsword or defense with a sword and 
shield. They have no natural healing ability, which leaves them at a 
disadvantage, but they should be able to keep up with the other melee 
classes in either damage or defense. A Knight is best used with a 
supporting class such as a Chemist or White Mage to ensure that it can 
be healed later in the game. Early on it has no problem with its basic 
white magic abilities. It is probably the most straightforward class as 
its only 
purpose is to close the gap and slam the enemy with a sword. Its 
biggest disadvantage lies in its inability to attack flying foes, for 
which it must rely on ranged fighters or mages to deal with.

Alex's comments: Knights are the balanced fighters of the game and can 
deal out large amounts of damage as well as take it with relative ease.  
Since they do not specialize in offense or defense their Battle Lores and 
Shield Block augments are kept at 2 apiece.  However they have all HP 
augments at their command, making them quite formidable.


Thief-----------------

Battle Lores: 0 
Magick Lores: 0 
Shield Block: 0 
Swiftness : ALL 
HP+ Augments: NONE 
MP+ Augments: NONE 
Quickenings : 0 
Other Augment: NONE 
Techniques : Steal, Libra 
Magicks : NONE 
Weapons : All Daggers 
Armor : All Light Armors except the Brave Suit 
Shields : Levels 1-4 Shields 
Accessories : Bangle, Jade Collar, Thief's Cuffs, Steel Poleyrns, 
Diamond Armlet, Cat-Ear Hood

My comments: Thieves are in essence the weakest up-close fighting class. 
They do 
however have one advantage. They are the only class allowed to use 
Steal. With steal you can earn a lot of money as well as gain access to 
bazaar wares that would otherwise be unavailable. Like the Knight they 
cannot heal themselves, but this is more of a concern due to their 
inability to use larger shields or heavy armour. Having protect or 
shell cast on them is highly recommended as they have a tendency of 
falling fast without support.

Alex's comments: Thieves are rather weak by themselves and are best suited 
to, well, thievery.  With a Thief on your team the best possible items 
become available to you while either exploring dungeons or fighting rare 
monsters.  They come into their own once you can get a Cat-Ear Hood on 
them, making them the fastest non-Hasted character in your party.



Archer-----------------

Battle Lores: 3 
Magick Lores: 0 
Shield Block: 0 
Swiftness : 2 
HP+ Augments: +50, +100 
MP+ Augments: NONE 
Quickenings : 0 
Other Augment: NONE 
Techniques : Poach 
Magicks : NONE 
Weapons : All Bows, All Arrows 
Armor : All Light Armor 
Shields : NONE 
Accessories : Argyle Armlet, Ruby Ring, Steel Poleyns, Cameo Belt
 

My comments: Archers are the most basic of all ranged attackers. They are 
useful in all situations, although they can be on the fragile side. Lack 
of  
healing is less of a disadvantage for them as they should be keeping 
their distance from the enemy at all times. The poach ability allows 
them to earn extra money from hunting weakened creatures. 

Alex's comments: Archers are best kept to the back of the battles as their 
excellent damage output comes at the price of being a bit on the slow side 
and a bit inflexible.  However, they are quite good at getting the team 
some much needed Gil with their Poach technique, making them a good choice 
for when you need to make some quick Gil.



White Mage-----------

Battle Lores: 0 
Magick Lores: ALL 
Shield Block: 0 
Swiftness : 1 
HP+ Augments: NONE 
MP+ Augments: Spellbound, Martyr, Serenity, All Channeling 
Quickenings : 3 (for MP) 
Other Augment: NONE 
Techniques : Charge 
Magicks : All White Magick, All Positive Effect Green Magick 
Weapons : All Staves, Iron Hammer 
Armor : Level 1 Light Armor, All Mystic Armor 
Shields : NONE 
Accessories : Leather Gorget, Magic Gloves, Opal Ring, Ring of Renewal, 
Indigo Pendant, Sage's Ring
 

My comments: White Mages are the perfect support class. I have decided to 
reunite green magic with white magic. This does give the White Mage the 
ability 
to cast some very effective debuffs on the enemy when he/she is not 
franticly healing. The White Mage suffers from lack of offensive 
capabilities until holy is learned, but White Mages are rarely used in 
this capacity. Charge ensures that the mage can keep a constant supply 
of mp, while serenity allows for buffs to last longer and be generally 
more useful.

Alex's comments: The excellent support mage.  They are quite fragile, but 
with that comes natural abilities to greatly support the team with White 
Magick and Positive Green Magick.  It is usually best to have someone who 
can attract attention away from this class to lessen the amount of 
exposure they experience.



Black Mage-----------------

Battle Lores: 0 
Magick Lores: ALL 
Shield Block: 0 
Swiftness : 1 
HP+ Augments: NONE 
MP+ Augments: Headsman, Warmage, Inquisitor, Serenity, all Channeling 
Quickenings : 3 (for MP) 
Other Augment: NONE 
Techniques : Charge 
Magicks : All Black Magic, All Negative Effect Green Magick, 
All Arcane Magick 
Weapons : All Rods, All Maces, Levels 1-4 Bows, Onion Arrows 
Armor : Level 1 Light Armor, All Mystic Armor 
Shields : NONE 
Accessories : Leather Gorget, Magic Gloves, Opal Ring, Ring of Renewal, 
Indigo Pendant, Sage's Ring

My comments: Black Mages are capable of dealing mass damage with elemental 
magicks, as well as capable of subtlety destroying them or buffing allies 
with 
the use of arcane magic. I chose to unite arcane and black as I 
believed that many of the spells would mash in well with the Black Mage 
and many of the spells were traditionally black magic. The Black Mage 
is best paired with a Thief to take advantage of the enemy's elemental 
weakness. Charge and the damage dealing mp augments ensure that the 
Black Mage will have a constant supply of mp

Alex's comments: Your staple damage-dealing mage.  They best work at a 
distance, and they can equip low-level Bows to keep at that distance, and 
they truly have the magic oomph to fell enemies quickly and decisively.  
Don't let one of these attract the attention of your enemies, though, as 
Arcane Armor doesn't hold up too well later in the game.



Red Mage-----------------

Battle Lores: 2 
Magick Lores: 2 
Shield Block: 1 
Swiftness : 1 
HP+ Augments: +50, +100 
MP+ Augments: 2x Channeling, Headsman, Inquisitor, Warmage, Serenity, 
Spellbound, Martyr 
Quickenings : 2 (for MP) 
Other Augment: NONE 
Techniques : Charge 
Magicks : Level 1-5 White Magick, Level 1-5 Black Magick, 
Level 1-4 Time Magick, Level 1-3 Green Magick, 
Level 1-5 Arcane Magick 
Weapons : All Swords, All Daggers, All Staves, All Rods, Excalibur 
Armor : Heavy Armor for body, Mystic Armor for head 
Shields : Shields Level 1-4 
Accessories : Ruby Ring, Indigo Pendant, Sage's Ring
 

My comments: Red Mages have the potential to be the most versatile 
characters in the game. They can cast all low to mid level magic. This 
means that they can keep protect and shell up, heal, throw a mid level 
spell to take out flying enemies and berserk allies or enemies alike. 
Added with this versatility is a host of mp boosting augments that allow 
them to keep levels of mp comparable to Black Mages and White Mages. These 
mages are superior to these two classes in 
the early part of the game, but get passed up as superior magic becomes 
available. Their ability to melee effectively allows them to keep up as 
far as usefulness comes in, and are one of the only classes that can 
effectively solo areas with there variety of spells.

Alex's comments: A very flexible mage who, while having the useful Curaga 
and -aga elemental spells, lacks the expertise to get the truly great 
spells of each magic school.  Despite this they are still quite useful 
since they can attack decently and even equip the Excalibur.  They quite 
obviously have a lower MP pool than the more dedicated classes.



Monk--------------

Battle Lores: ALL 
Magick Lores: 0 
Shield Block: 0 
Swiftness : 2 
HP+ Augments: ALL 
MP+ Augments: NONE 
Quickenings : NONE 
Other Augment: Brawler 
Techniques : Expose, Sight Unseen, Revive 
Magicks : NONE 
Weapons : NONE 
Armor : All Light Armor 
Shields : NONE 
Accessories : Steel Gorget, Battle Harness, Amber Armlet, Blazer Gloves,  
Black Belt, Cameo Belt, Bubble Belt, Ribbon, Genji Gloves
 

My comments: The Monk can be a very powerful physical fighter. A Monk is 
capable of piercing an enemy's defenses with expose and continue to deal 
damage 
when blinded with sight unseen. The Monk suffers from lack of healing 
power, but can be an asset to the party with his/her revive ability. 
The most dangerous part of being a Monk is the paper thin armor, as a 
top of the line damage dealer the monk will suffer the attacks of many 
enemies thus they are in need of a White Mage, preferably with protect 
and shell.

Alex's comments: he Monk has a massive capacity for HP.  Although he only 
uses his bare hands in combat with the Amber Armlet he can still dish out 
the damage.  His rather unique ability to equip the Ribbon makes him a 
valuable asset to the team, but it is indeed a tough choice still.  Monks 
equip light armor which would make the Bubble Belt extremely useful.  Your 
choice.


Dragoon-----------------
 
Battle Lores: 3 
Magick Lores: 0 
Shield Block: 0 
Swiftness : 2 
HP+ Augments: +50, +150, +200 
MP+ Augments: NONE 
Quickenings : 0 
Other Augment: NONE 
Techniques : Telekinesis 
Magicks : NONE 
Weapons : Level 1 Swords, All Spears 
Armor : All Heavy Armor (excluding Genji) 
Shields : NONE 
Accessories : Steel Gorget, Armguard, Blazer Gloves, Jackboots, Power 
Armlet
 

My comments: Dragoons are basically Knights with different weapons able to 
attack flying enemies. As jump was not an option I opted to uses 
telekinesis 
to imitate their famed ability. With it flying creatures fall to the 
Dragoon as easy as all others. They are allowed level 1 swords until 
spears become available then they must switch. Dragoons are weaker 
defensively then shield Knights, but have a distinct advantage to be 
able to deal with flyers. They wear heavy armour, but still will need 
the support of a healer, although considerably less than a Monk.

Alex's comments: Dragoons have the capacity to become the strongest melee 
fighters in the game on a hit-by-hit basis, but they are rather inflexible 
when it comes to the accessories that they can equip.  To maximize damage 
output you need the Zodiac Spear with this class, so be sure to not mess 
it up by opening those forbidden chests!



Samurai-----------------

Battle Lores: ALL 
Magick Lores: 0 
Shield Block: 0 
Swiftness : 2 
HP+ Augments: +50, +100, +150 
MP+ Augments: NONE 
Quickenings : NONE 
Other Augment: NONE 
Techniques : Gil Toss 
Magicks : NONE 
Weapons : Level 1 Swords, All Katana (excluding Ninja Katana) 
Armor : All Heavy Armor, including Genji Armor 
Shields : NONE 
Accessories : Orrachea Armlet, Steel Gorget, Battle Harness, Sash, Black 
Belt, 
Ring of Renewal, Genji Gloves
 

My comments: Samurai are an interesting class. At first glance they are 
similar to Dragoons and greatsword Knights. The major difference 
equipment-wise is 
the chaining ability of the katana with the genji glove equipped. Out 
side of equipment they have the ability to toss their spare change at 
an enemy for extra damage. They of course suffer like all two handed 
heavy fighters in that they don't have a shield to block extra damage 
and they cannot heal themselves, thus like many classes require a 
healer to back them up.

Alex's comments: Samurai are one of only a few classes that can use the 
Genji Gloves, and the only class that can use the Genji Gloves with the 
best Katana available.  They will be very slow to grow until you can 
obtain Katana, so it may be wise to keep them out of the party until they 
become available one way or another.


Chemist-----------------

Battle Lores: 0 
Magick Lores: 0 
Shield Block: 0 
Swiftness : 1 
HP+ Augments: +50 
MP+ Augments: NONE 
Quickenings : 0 
Other Augment: NONE 
Techniques : NONE 
Magicks : NONE 
Weapons : Levels 1-3 Daggers, All Guns, Onion Shot 
Armor : All Light Armor 
Shields : NONE 
Accessories : Orrachea Armlet, Tourmaline Ring, Sash, Argyle Armlet, 
Jackboots, 
Nishijin Belt, Gillie Boots, Quasimodo Boots, Fuzzy Miter, 
Bowline Sash, Pheasant Netsuke, Power Armlet, Ring of Renewal 
Gameplay Notes: ALL ITEMS USABLE
 

My comments: Chemists are the only class allowed to use healing items in 
this 
challenge, thus making them a major asset at times. With the potion 
upgrades and the pheasant netsuke they can heal quite a bit of damage 
far faster than White Mages. They cannot however, heal in an area of 
effect. They can deal far more damage than a White Mage with their 
armour piercing guns and use motes to cast powerful spells such as 
hastega. The Chemist is, however, fragile and will fall quickly. It is 
best to keep these healers in the backlines at all times and when not 
healing they should be pelting the enemy with their gun or sitting on 
the bench.

Alex's comments: My, my, that's a lot of accessories, isn't it?  Chemists 
are quite fragile, but are allowed to use items, making them the most 
flexible spellcasters in the game with access to all of the motes.  They 
are very fragile, however, but they have every negative-status-blocking 
accessory except the Ribbon available to them, along with the Ring of 
Renewal.  The key to being effective with them is to know where the motes 
appear in chests so you can get them without too much trouble.



Summoner-----------------

Battle Lores: 0 
Magick Lores: 0 
Shield Block: 0 
Swiftness : 1 
HP+ Augments: NONE 
MP+ Augments: NONE 
Quickenings : 3 (for MP) 
Other Augment: NONE 
Techniques : Charge 
Magicks : Protect, Shell, Bubble, Haste, Faith 
Weapons : All Rods, All Staves, All Maces 
Armor : All Mystic Armor 
Shields : NONE 
Accessories : Orrachea Armlet, Ring of Renewal, Sage ring 
Gameplay Notes: Magicks can only be cast on summons
 

My comments: Summoners are far more capable than people give them credit 
for. Their biggest problem aside from obtaining summons comes with the 
short 
duration that summons last for and that summons can be hard to maintain 
in very difficult fights. To combat this Summoners have been given the 
ability to buff their summons, which greatly increases their power. 
Charge is used to maintain enough mp to both summon and to buff them. 
It is important to note the enemies weakness, thus a Thief or Blue Mage 
are welcome party members with their libra skill. Summoners should take 
the back row and only be present in a battle to summon, they are 
otherwise useless.

Alex's comments: Summoners are really the only characters allowed to use 
Summons, and they are rather handicapped because of it.  With Summons, 
though, they can deal out a lot of damage.  Buffing their own summons is 
really the only point of their magicks, and they are quite difficult to 
maintain otherwise.


Time Mage---------------

Battle Lores: 0 
Magick Lores: ALL 
Shield Block: 0 
Swiftness : ALL 
HP+ Augments: NONE 
MP+ Augments: All Channeling 
Quickenings : 3 (for MP) 
Other Augment: NONE 
Techniques : Charge 
Magicks : All Time Magicks 
Weapons : All Rods 
Armor : All Mystic Armor 
Shields : NONE 
Accessories : Sash, Jackboots, Ruby Ring, Power Armlet, Ring of Renewal, 
Indigo Pendant, Hermes Sandals, Sage's Ring
 

My comments: Time Mages have the advantage of being the only class to be 
able to 
cast haste without a mote. On top of this they can also petrify enemies 
killing them over time. Their slow and reflect skills are also useful. 
Reflect finally comes into its own in this challenge, as if you don't 
have a White Mage you don't need to worry about healing bouncing back 
on the enemy. As always the major weakness in the mage classes is their 
low endurance, which could lead to a quick kill. Never the less keeping 
the party hasted and supporting it with their other spells is 
invaluable.

Alex's comments:  Time Mages are the only class that can equip the Hermes 
Sandals which increases their effectiveness considerably. However you need 
to choose between them and the Sage Ring, which would be a very good 
choice given the fact that Time Mages have no means to regain their MP 
save Charge, which is risky in of itself.  Their main asset is the ability 
to Haste and Hastega, two near-vital spells throughout the game.  Unless 
you plan on nursing a Chemist through the game and collecting all of the 
motes for him it would be a great choice to use a Time Mage.


Berserker------------ 

Battle Lores: ALL 
Magick Lores: 0 
Shield Block: 0 
Swiftness : ALL 
HP+ Augments: +500 
MP+ Augments: Serenity, Inquisitor 
Quickenings : 0 
Other Augment: Adrenaline 
Techniques : NONE 
Magicks : Berserk 
Weapons : All Breakers 
Armor : All Light Armor 
Shields : NONE 
Accessories : Steel Gorget, Blazer Gloves 
Gameplay Notes: You must have a Gambit of Self: Berserk set.
 

My comments: Berserkers are not versatile fighters. They have one purpose, 
to go 
berserk and rip into the enemy. They can regain mp for casting berserk 
with their inquisitor augment. Historically berserkers worked 
themselves up into frenzy and did not wear any (or very little) armour. 
Therefore they are limited to light armour and they are not allowed the 
use of shields. Berserkers can be extremely powerful fighters, but they 
are anything but flexible. 

Alex's comments: The Krugs of the FF world.  Not much to say, really.  
They Berserk themselves then go in and smash some skulls.

Dark Knight------------
 
Battle Lores: 3 
Magick Lores: 1 
Shield Block: 1 
Swiftness: 1 
HP+ Augments: +50, +200 
MP+ Augments: Inquisitor 
Quickenings: 0 
Other Augment: Adrenaline 
Techniques: Souleater 
Magicks: All Arcane Magicks except Berserk 
Weapons: Level 1-6 Swords, All Greatswords except Excalibur 
Armor: All Heavy Armor, save for Genji armour 
Shields: Level 1-4 Shields 
Accessories: Steel Gorget
 

My comments: Dark Knights are more versatile offensive orientated Knights. 
They 
can't take a hit like them, but they can toss a couple of darks at a 
group, before slogging through them with souleater. Many swords are 
available, but no shield as Dark Knights are not defensive in nature, 
and no holy sword for them either. They are prohibited from using 
berserk as that would undermine the usefulness of the Berserker class, 
if you really want to cut their magic off and let them go wild team 
them up with a Black Mage. Their weakness is their low health, which 
will be major with their use of souleater and their lack of light 
armour (Shock, having heavy over light can be a disadvantage!).

Alex's comments: Dark warriors who specialize in dealing out large amounts 
of group damage.  They rely on the power of darkness, though, so the 
undead give them trouble.


Paladin------------

Battle Lores: 2 
Magick Lores: 1 
Shield Block: ALL 
Swiftness : 2 
HP+ Augments: ALL 
MP+ Augments: NONE 
Quickenings : 0 
Other Augment: Last Stand 
Techniques : NONE 
Magicks : Level 1-5 White Magick, Level 1-2 Green Magick, Decoy 
Weapons : All Swords except Deathbringer and the Blood Sword 
Armor : All Heavy Armor, save for Genji armour 
Shields : All Shields 
Accessories : Armguard, Gauntlets 
Gameplay Notes: Must have the Gambit Self: Decoy at the top of the list
 

My comments: Paladins are the most defensive class that I will outline. 
They can 
cast protect and shell, as well as up to curaga. Along with this comes 
the ability to defend ones self with a shield. With this and heavy 
armour the Paladin will be hard to take down. Their biggest weakness is 
lack of damage output as they will likely be casting cura a lot, and 
their lack of mp to continuously keep protect and shell up as well as 
curing everybody.


Alex's comments: Paladins are extremely defensive, and it shows with their 
amazing ability to absorb damage.  Without the use of the Bubble Belt, 
though, they will need more than their own magic abilities to keep 
themselves afloat.



Ninja------------
 

Battle Lores: 2 
Magick Lores: 0 
Shield Block: 0 
Swiftness : ALL 
HP+ Augments: +50, +100 
MP+ Augments: NONE 
Quickenings : 0 
Other Augment: NONE 
Techniques : NONE 
Magicks : NONE 
Weapons : All Ninja Swords, Levels 1-3 Daggers 
Armor : All Light Armor 
Shields : NONE 
Accessories : Jade Collar, Black Belt, Cat-Ear Hood 
Gameplay Notes: Can use motes and attack items
 

My comments: Ninjas are a quick class that is surprisingly versatile. The 
use of 
motes and attack items allows Ninjas to buff the party and damage large 
groups of enemies. This allows Ninjas to fit into situations better 
then less versatile fighters like the Knight or Berserker. Ninjas do 
however fall easily, but no easier than a lot of classes. Their biggest 
weakness is the undead as they cannot effectively damage them without 
wasting attack items.

Alex's comments: Ninjas can't effectively deal with undead with their 
Ninja Swords but can still go on the offensive with motes.  They are 
flexible, but not so much that they can be relied upon at all times.  They 
are ineffective as tanks.



Blue Mage----------

Battle Lores: 0 
Magick Lores: ALL 
Shield Block: 0 
Swiftness : 2 
HP+ Augments: +50, +100 OR +150 
MP+ Augments: NONE 
Quickenings : 0 
Other Augment: NONE 
Techniques : All but Steal, Libra, Charge, Telekinesis, Poach, Sight 
Unseen, 
Souleater, and First Aid 
Magicks : NONE 
Weapons : All Swords 
Armor : All Mystic Armor 
Shields : NONE 
Accessories : NONE
 

My comments: Blue Mages have it rough they have to rely almost exclusively 
on 
techniques, but this just means that people using them will have to 
discover how good some techniques really are. When received 1000 
needles gives solid consistent damage against enemies. Shades of black 
is random, but is potentially dangerous. Shear and expose can put the 
party in a much better situation damage wise. Infuse is finally useful 
as the Blue Mage has nothing better to use his/her mp on. Gil toss, if 
you use a Blue Mage late in the game you will grow to love gil toss. 
With this ability you can score consistently huge amounts of damage. 
The only downside is you have to work harder to maintain your pocket 
book. Blue mages are very fragile, but their biggest weakness is the 
learning curve required to use them. Using a Blue Mage you will make 
gambits that no other class will see such as Ally hp less then 30%-
infuse. Or creative ways of using gil toss, expose, 1000 needles, or 
any of the other techniques that were not mentioned.

Alex's comments: Blue Mages have a slow growth curve with poor offensive 
and defensive abilities.  They rely entirely on Technicks to deal out 
damage and to do much of anything worthwhile.  They are good to have, 
though, because of their excellent ability to expose weaknesses in enemies 
with Achilles and moves like Expose.


Gunner-----------
 

Battle Lores: 3 
Magick Lores: 0 
Shield Block: 0 
Swiftness : 1 
HP+ Augments: +50 
MP+ Augments: NONE 
Quickenings : 0 
Other Augment: NONE 
Techniques : Expose 
Magicks : NONE 
Weapons : All Guns, All Ammunition 
Armor : All Light Armors 
Shields : NONE 
Accessories : NONE
 

My comments: Gunners are another seemingly straight forward class. They 
shoot 
enemies die. Their versatility comes from being a class that can deal 
with aerial enemies, ground enemies, and being able to expose the 
weaknesses of enemies with the use of elemental bullets. Bad armour 
should not be that much of a concern as the Gunner should be in the 
back at all times. The main weakness are flans, the only effective 
thing gunners can to about them is to spam expose.

Alex's comments: Very simple, very straight forward.  They attack, things 
die.  Expose is quite useful, and should be considered when choosing your 
classes.



Squire----------
 

Battle Lores: 1 
Magick Lores: 0 
Shield Block: 0 
Swiftness : 2 
HP+ Augments: +50, +100, +150 
MP+ Augments: NONE 
Quickenings : 0 
Other Augment: NONE 
Techniques : First Aid, Bone Crush 
Magicks : NONE 
Weapons : Level 1-5 Swords, Level 1-5 Breakers 
Armor : Level 1-7 Heavy Armor, Level 1-7 Light Armor 
Shields : NONE 
Accessories : NONE
 

My comments: Squires are my first of two FFT tribute classes. They are 
very weak. This class is a true challenge. Early on they will be useful 
and just 
as strong as many other members of your team, but latter their lack of 
equipment will seriously hold them back. You can't really blame them 
though they are squires, too bad there is no accumulate this time. 

Alex's comments: Extremely hard to use, they are both inflexible and 
incapable of dealing lots of damage.  The main bonus is First Aid, 
providing an MP and mage-free way of healing critical HP allies.



Calculator----------

Battle Lores: 0 
Magick Lores: 0 
Shield Block: 0 
Swiftness : 0 
HP+ Augments: NONE 
MP+ Augments: NONE 
Quickenings : 0 
Other Augment: NONE 
Techniques : Numerology, Horology, Achilles, Expose, Shear 
Magicks : All Magicks save Syphon 
Weapons : All Measures 
Armor : All Light Armor 
Shields : NONE 
Accessories : Turtleshell Choker
 

My comments: Calculators were a broken class in FFT. I have attempted to 
balance 
them, while still giving them powerful magical capabilities. They can 
use all spells in the game, but they lack magic boosting arcane armour. 
They can't use staves or rods for their boosts, and they can't use 
charge to recoup their mp. To make this even worse they don't have the 
extra mp from quickenings that other mages do, and they are far slower 
than other mages without swiftness. Despite this Calculators are 
powerful mages. After their mp is gone they can fall back on supportive 
techniques and do small bits of damage with numerology and horology. 
With the Turtleshell Choker the mp problem is solved then the Calculator 
can be a terror, but low magic and a small pocket book will still be 
hindering them.

Alex's comments: They can use all of the magicks in the game.  They can 
also die twice as fast as most other classes.  No HP+ augments no MP+ 
augments, no lores, no shield, and only Light Armor.  They rely on having 
a good Measure in-hand to combat all of the negatives they have going for 
them.



Soldier-------------------

Battle Lores: 2 
Magick Lores: 0 
Shield Block: 1 
Swiftness : 1 
HP+ Augments: +50, +150 OR +200 
MP+ Augments: NONE 
Quickenings : 0 
Other Augment: NONE 
Magicks : NONE 
Techniques : Power Break, Armor Break, Magick Break, Mental Break, First 
Aid 
Weapons : All Swords 
Armor : Light Equipment Levels 1-4, Heavy Equipment Levels 5-10, No Genji 
Shields : All Shields except Bloody Shield and Genji Shield 
Accessories : Orrachea Armlet

Alex's comments: Soldiers can be used as a front-line warrior, yes, but 
really their main abilities are in screwing up the opponents.  All of 
the stat-lowering technique along with First Aid makes them a versatile 
character all-around.

My comments: Soldiers seem to be rather balanced they have useful 
techniques, but are slow and are lacking battle lores and shield 
blocks. 

Viking------------------

Battle Lores: ALL 
Magick Lores: 0 
Shield Block: 0 
Swiftness : 0 
HP+ Augments: ALL 
MP+ Augments: NONE 
Quickenings : 0 
Other Augment: Adrenaline 
Techniques : NONE 
Magicks : Decoy exclusively 
Weapons : Breakers exclusively 
Armor : All Heavy Armor 
Shields : NONE 
Accessories : Bubble Belt 
Gameplay Notes: Can only cast Decoy on themselves 

Alex's comments: Ah, Vikings.  Giving them Decoy simulates their 
Provoke command in FFIII. Combined with Heavy Armor and allowing all HP 
augments these guys can take a LOT of hits.

My comments: Vikings are a mix of Paladins and Berserkers. They can 
take hits and deal a lot of damage, but they don't have the same 
aptitude the other two have for these roles. 


Scholar----------------

Battle Lores: 0 
Magick Lores: ALL 
Shield Block: 0 
Swiftness : 0 
HP+ Augments: NONE 
MP+ Augments: NONE 
Quickenings : 0 
Other Augment: All Item Effectiveness Augments 
Magicks : All Level 1 Magicks 
Techniques : Libra 
Weapons : Staves 
Armor : Light Armor 
Shields : NONE 
Accessories : Pheasant Netsuke, Nihopalaoa 
Gameplay Notes: Can use all healing items and offensive motes 


Alex's comments: Ah, the Scholar, staple of FFIII item usage.  They 
have the ability to use items most effectively, and thusly they can use 
spell tomes for offense. Since there are no book weapons in FFXII, I 
have them using staves which can simulate the increase in effectiveness 
of certain spell tomes.

My comments: Scholars are a perfect foil to the Chemist class. The 
Chemist can use items, but derives its versatility from its offensive 
capabilities with the gun. Scholars are the only class at this point 
that can use fangs effectively. These fangs can be doubled in power by 
equipping the corresponding elemental staff. At the same time they are 
slower and weaker then Chemists, but make up for it with early 
versatility with level 1 magic.
 

Juggler-------------------------
 
Battle Lores: 2 
Magick Lores: 0 
Shield Block: 0 
Swiftness: 2 
HP+ Augments: +50, +100 OR +150 
MP+ Augments: NONE 
Quickenings: 0 
Technicks: Paste, Traveler 
Magicks: NONE 
Weapons: Poles, Level 1-3 Daggers 
Armor: Level 1-4 Heavy Armor, all Light Armor 
Shields: NONE 
Accessories: Jade Collar, Steel Poleyrns 
Gameplay notes: Can use all potion types and Phoenix Downs on enemies 
 
Alex's comments: Jugglers are a mixed bunch that do well against the 
undead by throwing all manner of potions and Phoenix Downs at them, but 
their real strength comes from their ability to do heavy damage against 
enemies with low magic resistance using the highly-combo-able Poles.  Get 
a pole as early as possible (Barheim Passage) to maximize the usefulness 
of this class.

My comments: Jugglers will have better early game then Thieves as they 
have access to heavy armour. At the same time when they gain access to 
poles they can exploit enemies with low magic resistance, which few 
classes can do. They are effective against the undead because of their 
ability to use healing items on them so they are prime candidates for 
dealing with large groups of undead.


Contributed Classes----------------------------------------------------

Here are the classes contributed by others. They are not officially in 
the challenge, but after their comments I will have my comments whether 
or not they are balanced enough to be part of the official challenge. 
Even those that are not part of the challenge can be fun classes to 
play as so don't overlook them.


Necromancer--------------Contributed by Tom 
 
Battle Lores: 0  
Magick Lores: ALL 
Shield Block: 0 
Swiftness : 0 
HP+ Augments: NONE 
MP+ Augments: Headsman, Inquisitor 
Quickenings : 3 (for MP) 
Other Augment: NONE  
Techniques : Souleater, Bonecrusher 
Magicks : Bleed, Countdown, Posion, Toxin, Dark, Gravity, Drain, 
Syphon, Darkra, Death, Reverse, Graviga, Darkga 
Weapons : Levels 1-2 Daggers, All Rods (except Healing Rod, Holy Rod,  
Rod of Faith) 
Armor : All Mystic Armor (except White Mask, White Robes) 
Shields : NONE 
Accessories : Tourmaline Ring, Quasimodo Boots, Opal Ring, Indigo 
Pendent, Nihopalaoa 
 
Tom's comments: Necromancers are highly specialized magic users dealing 
only in "death" magic.  Highly fragile Necromancers work best paired with 
classes that can protect them.  While other classes keep enemies 
distracted, the Necromancer is in the back using his magic to crush the 
opposition. Because of being a specialized class Necromancers are almost 
powerless against certain monsters, mainly the undead.  Despite this 
limitation and a small spell pool, Necromancers are still a powerful 
class.

My comments: Necromancers will have more mp than most mage classes due to 
their ability to use syphon. They are very useful against powerful normal 
enemies, but fall short on bosses, due to relative immunity to statuses. 
They still contribute though, as the Dark spells and Reverse are almost 
universally useful.

Alex's comments: If you want something dead (not damaged, but DEAD) then 
the Necromancer is for you.  They have a striking weakness to the undead 
which can be bad in the long run, but they do have access to the always-
useful Reverse magick along with a compliment of AOE spells (albeit Dark 
in nature).

Jester----------------Contributed by Tom 
 
Battle Lores: 1 
Magick Lores: 0 
Shield Block: 0 
Swiftness : All  
HP+ Augments: +50, +100 
MP+ Augments: NONE 
Quickenings : NONE 
Other Augment: NONE 
Techniques : Achilles, Gil Toss, Stamp 
Magicks : All Negative Effect Green Magick, Arcane Magick (Confuse,  
Decoy, Vanish, and Vanishga only) 
Weapons : All Hand Bombs, All Bombs, Levels 1-4 Maces 
Armor : All Light Armor 
Shields : Levels 1-4 Shields 
Accessories : Jade Collar, Steel Poleyns, Opal Ring, Indigo Pendent,  
Agate Ring, Cat-ear Hood, Ribbon 
Gameplay Notes: Can use attack items 
 
Tom's comments: Jesters like to keep their distance as they attack and 
"prank" their enemies.  With the ability to weaken enemies with several 
status effects they are decent support characters.  They have several ways 
to attack, either with weapons, items, or just by throwing money around. 
And if things get rough they can always pull a vanishing act.  Although 
very weak Jesters are excellent support, if they can stay alive.

My comments: The Jester is an extremely powerful class, almost overly so. 
They are very quick and have access to powerful techniques such as Gil 
Toss and Achilles. Along with that they have many negative status attacks 
they can use. Their main strength lies in their ability to attack at range 
and deal, but they also suffer from hand bomb's unpredictability so they 
will often be dealing next to no damage. They can use attack items, but 
not as well as a Scholar, and they can't use motes like a Ninja.

Alex's comments: With the ability to equip the Cat-Ear Hood this class 
could become one of the fastest characters on your team, barring the 
inclusion of a Ninja or Thief.  Ranged in nature they are somewhat fragile 
but can be relied upon in a pinch with Achilles for aiding offense and Gil 
Toss for their own rather expensive way to deal mass damage to groups of 
enemies.
 
Geomancer----------------- Contributed by Michael Gelshion

Battle Lores: ALL 
Magick Lores: 0   
Shield Block: 0   
Swiftness:  2   
HP+ Augments: +50, +150 
MP+ Augments: NONE 
Quickening: 0 
Other Augments: Inquisitor, Focus, Adrenaline
Techniques: Stomp 
Magicks*: Immobilize, Stop, Disable, Sleep, Doom, Blind, Silence, Slow**, 
Level 1-3 Black Magick, Level 4-5 Black Magick
Weapons: All Axes NOT Hammers, Level 1-3 Swords
Armor: All Light Armor
Shields: Level 1-2 Shields
Accessories: Winged Boots, Agate Ring 
  
The following spells may only be used in the following climate appropriate 
areas:

 Firaga   - Desert or Arid areas 
 Blizzaga - Cold areas      
 Thundaga - Rainy areas  
 Aeroga - Any windy area, doesn't matter the terrain  
 Bio     - Swampy, bog-type areas
 
Michael's comments: The Geomancer is an offensive melee/caster who is 
capable of chopping foes down with axes and some swords, while also 
afflicting them with a wide array of status affects alongside mid-level 
black magick. Though as a bonus, the Geomancer is a master of manipulating 
the environment, so he is capable of enhancing these black magicks in the 
appropriate climate/weather/terrain.  However, due to a lack of magick 
enhancements such as lores, these spells will lack the oomph that a Black  
Mage brings to the table.  Also, since a Geomancer has no quickenings, and 
no magick restoration besides inquisitor, his spellcasting will be better 
utilized for his status anomalies, using black magick only when an enemy 
is weak to it, or as a last resort. Even though a Geomancer is primarily a 
frontline character, his light armor and only access to low-level shields 
increase his survivability only slightly more than a Thief's. Another risk 
is that due to the nature of axes, you're never quite sure what damage 
output to expect. However, this unpredictability can work in your favor as 
it will allow your Geomancer's melee damage to exceed even your best 
warriors from time to time. Ultimately, the Geomancer is a pretty 
challenging class to manage.  His magick capabilities, while respectable 
for a melee fighter, are never as reliable as a Mage's simply because a 
Geomancer will lack the magick power bonuses that mystic armor provides, 
which usually will hit through most enemy defenses.  As such, expect a 
fair amount of misses for such spells.  On the plus side, the Geomancer 
provides you with a character that can deal impressive damage while also 
capable of locking down opponents with spells, with occasional black 
magick if needed.

My comments: This is a class that is totally dependant on the good will of 
the user. It is unique and effective in all environments, but it can run 
into difficulties if particular enemies resist their spells. At the same 
time their physical might allows them to bash through the enemy. The 
largest problem with the class is the temptation to throw the rules aside 
and use the spells whenever you want. If a person can overcome this then 
they will enjoy this class.

Alex's comments: They certainly have access to a lot of magicks and 
abilities but with their limitations to what areas the magicks are 
available they can seldom crush opponents with their hated elements.  
Despite this with their useful compliment of battle lores and a decent 
defensive game they can be relied upon in a tough spot.

Gladiator------------Contributed by Darkyojimbo7777 
 
Battle Lores: ALL 
Magick Lores: 0 
Shield Block: 1 
Swiftness : 0 
HP+ Augments: +150 
MP+  Augments: 0  
Quickenings : 0 
Other Augment: Adrenaline 
Techniques : Achilles 
Magicks :  NONE 
Weapons : All Breakers, Flametongue and Icebrand 
Armor : Heavy Armor up to lvl 6, Heavy Armor up to lvl 8 helmet only  
Shields : Shields lvl 4 
Accessories : Gauntlet,  Battle Harness 
 
Darkyojimbo7777's comments: The main advantage of the Gladiator class is 
it can be used for tanking. The shield coupled with the fact that it uses 
breakers helps to destroy pesky normal monsters.  The downside, however, 
is that magic will often bring pain to your Gladiator.  This is 
problematic as he has no way to cure himself. Achilles allows the 
Gladiator to inflict and elemental weakness upon an opponent.  Keep in 
mind that if this weakness is Fire or Ice you can switch to the 
Flametongue and Icebrand respectively and exploit this.  This may not help 
later in the game however, when those weapons are simply too weak to be 
effective enough.  Using the Battle Harness you can give your Gladiator a 
limited counter ability and using the Gauntlet will improve your blocking 
with the shield, which may prove better for use of the Gladiator as a 
tanking character.

My comments: This class is the heavy hitting physical class for you if you 
like strategy instead of the blunt force of a Berserker. With this class 
huge amounts off damage can be done with its use of elemental weapons and 
its ability to use Achilles. Later in the game they suffer from lack of 
armour and no new elemental weaponry, but they still can force a new 
weakness on enemies allowing Black Mages and the sort to exploit this.

Alex's comments: They are hard-hitting, decently defensive to be a mid-
level tank, and they have the ability to do the heavy damage that I love 
in my classes.  As one of the few classes with access to both the 
elemental blades and breakers they have added flexibility in their 
application of Achilles.


Fencer--------------Contributed by Kevin Baker

Battle Lore: All
Magick Lore: 0
Shield Block: 0
Swiftness: 2
HP+ Augments: +50, +100, +150, +200
MP+ Augments: None
Quickening: 0
Other Augments: Focus
Techniques: Shear, Addle, Expose, Achilles, Wither
Weapons: All one-handed swords
Armor: All Light Armor
Shields: NONE
Accessories: Battle Harness, Jade Collar, Steel Poleyns, Cameo Belt, Hermes 
Sandals

Kevin Baker's comments: I based this class more or less off the job of the same 
name in Final Fantasy Tactics. In my mind, whenever I think of someone who 
fences, it always involves some kind of Olympic sport or swashbuckling. So 
though the Fencer class in FFT sports a shield, I decided to have this Fencer go
without. Instead, he relies greatly on speed (augmented by light armor and
accessories) to boost his defense. An expert swordsman, the Fencer, while
able to hold its own in a fight for time, is not primarily designed for the
front line. Instead, the Fencer should stay back, using the techniques to
weaken the attacking foes' defenses before coming in to help out the tank
pick off the rest.

My comments: This class is a fast fighter that lacks the ability to deal huge 
damage. It has the advantage of opening weaknesses in enemies. They don't pack 
much damage, but they do have excellent damage over time.

Alex's comments: The Fencer can dance circles around the enemies with great 
accuracy and speed, but due to the nature of the armors they equip there is a 
lack in defense, keeping this character from being a true tank.  If you want a 
strong damage dealer with support capabilities in destroying the opponent's 
defenses and offenses and exposing weaknesses then this is your best bet.




Strategy and Tips------------------------------------------------------ 

-----------How to deal with healing concerns-----------
 
Healing is an issue in this challenge. You will no longer be able to 
bite off as much as before. I have minor tips to help through this 
transition.

1.) Have at least one White Mage
White Mages are very useful and they are the most reliable healer you 
have. Unlike the regular game you will no longer be able to wait until 
you get to low health before healing. I would recommend having your 
gambit heal using cura once the party's hp has dropped below 70%, and 
using curaja when it is below 50%. True this will be a waste of mp 
sometimes, but you don't want to get caught unaware.

2.) Use your Chemist well
Chemists may be overlooked because they can't heal whole groups at once 
(barring megalixers), but their healing can be just as effective as a 
White Mage's. Firstly with all of the potion upgrades and the Pheasant 
Netsuke they can heal quite a bit with high potions. Get them, like the 
White Mages, to heal early so you don't end up throwing potions at KO'd 
members. Secondly with the upgrades and the Netsuke phoenix downs will 
restore a party member to full hp. This is actually superior to raise 
since it is instant. Chemists will have the hardest time keeping up 
with healing in the midgame, when your hp is growing larger then high 
potions can cure, but when you get the Netsuke it might actually be 
better in some cases to let your allies die so you can fully heal them 
with phoenix downs.

3.) Utilize your support healers
Paladins, Calculators, and Red Mages all have the ability to use white 
magic, so USE THEM! I would put their gambits to heal at a lower hp 
then say the White Mage, so when the White Mage is out of mp and is 
charging these support healers can take over.

4.) Protect and Shell
In the normal game you can ignore these spells for the most part, but 
in this challenge they will seriously cut back on the healing you will 
have to do. Get these up and running ASAP preferably cast by one of 
your support healers to conserve the mp of the main ones.

5.) Use Decoy
Decoy is a spell with a short duration and its rather tricky to stick, 
but it can be beyond useful. Have a Black Mage cast this on a Paladin 
and suddenly your Chemist doesn't need to spread out the X-potions or 
high potions.

6.) Debuff your foes
Support casters such as Red Mages should be always trying to debuff 
challenging enemies. If you find yourself taking to much damage them 
you should blind, or slow, or silence the enemy. Most enemies including 
hard marks can be debuffed and they should be so your White Mage 
doesn't need to work overtime.

7.) Run from AoE spells
If you see that an Area of Effect spell is going to be cast on a 
certain character, take control of them and run (not flee) from the 
battle so when it hits him it is out of range of everyone else. Yes 
this will stop your character from damaging the enemy when he is away, 
but it will save precious mp.

8.) Don't slack off the armour
Yes I know things are expensive, especially if you don't have a Thief, 
but keeping up to date with armour will seriously cut back your healing 
needs, especially with shields as they will increase the chance to 
block, oh, and don't use the shell shield.


---------------More Coming Soon---------------



Walkthrough------------------------------------------------------------

This is not a comprehensive guide on every aspect of the game. I am 
assuming before beginning this challenge that you have previously 
beaten the game. This walkthrough is designed to give general advice on 
how to complete the challenge. 

*Note, this is just a guideline the challenge itself will not fall as 
neatly as this walkthrough suggests, and these are just my suggestions, 
do your own thing and see how you do.

---------Rabanastre---------

After you slug through Reks's little side bit you are now in control of 
your first permanent character Vaan. Choosing what class to make him 
can be very difficult so let's look at some options.

-----------Vaan--------------

You can make him a fighter class such as a Knight, or Thief. The 
advantages of using these classes are the use of the sword you start 
with and the use of early shields. Some fighters will not have access 
to a shield though and Berserkers and Monks (will be remedied with 
gaining brawler) won't even have access to a weapon, which can be a 
serious disadvantage early. The biggest weakness with choosing a pure 
fighter for Vaan is that you will have a large segment of the early 
game with just him, and their lack of healing skills will mean that you 
will have to level up more and stick by the save crystal more. Still 
they are viable choices.

Another option is to set him on the path of the mage. White and Black 
Mages will have a good time in the dunes especially White for their 
healing ability. Time Mages and Summoners on the other hand are 
seriously not recommended as Vaan would be rather helpless. Black Mages 
will have the same problem as pure fighters, but will fair better 
because of the ranged nature of their attacks. At this point the added 
armour of the fighters is not so pronounced so the Black Mage does not 
have that much a weakness.

Finally you could make Vaan a supporting character. These classes 
include in the mage variety: the Red Mage, Calculator, and Blue Mage; 
in the fighter variety: the Paladin, Dark Knight, etc. These 
particularly those with white magic give the best of both worlds and in 
the early game are superior to a specialist from either the fighter or 
mage field.

For the easiest time I would recommend making him a Red Mage as these 
mages can start the battle with a ranged attack, use a sword, and heal 
when injured. This class will give Vaan the best options early game. Other 
than that the Knight offers the same advantages, but can't attack at 
range.

For the hardest time (AKA for the sadists) I would recommend the 
Summoner as Vaan will have no real option other than whacking the enemy 
in futility with no prospect of gaining significant power until 
Raithwall.

Choose what you want to make Vaan and move on to dealing with those 
pesky wolves in the dunes.

----------End Vaan---------- 
  
---------Dalmasca Estersand---------

Officially you are here to kill the Rogue Tomato, but you are really 
here to gain some levels. Remember if you want to go back to town just 
wait in line and you can get access again. Fight as many wolves and 
Cactites as you want. This should be more difficult than normal as you 
can't (unless you are a Chemist, if so you'll have an easy time) use 
items. Stick close to the save crystal and don't bite off more than you 
can chew. Try to attack the wolves when they aren't in groups to avoid 
a possible early death and only fight if you know you will win.

Ok when you can deal with the wolves and Cactites no problem go on and 
kill that Tomato. He will be your first challenge. If you find yourself 
getting low on health, run and heal at the save crystal then kill more 
wolves. *Note enemies respawn after going two screens away so just go 
into Rabanastre Southern Plaza and back and the wolves will have 
returned. Alternatively you can explore around the dunes a bit. 

Ok you killed the Tomato. Join Clan Centurio and shop a bit if you 
haven't already. After you do that deal with Dalan and head to the Giza 
Plains. If you want the Zodiac Spear don't touch the treasure outside 
of Dalan's place   

----------Giza Plains--------

Ok this is the best place the level up in the early game (even without 
quickenings). You have a save crystal tucked away in the Nomad's camp 
and lots of roaming hyenas. If you can heal yourself then by all means 
run circles around Giza chaining hyenas for a serious rise in money. 
You may be able to do this with a none healing class if your level is 
good, but not as indefinitely as a healer (Chemists with daggers and 
Red Mages/Paladins with swords rule this area) 

Depending on your class I would level up to level 5-7. Really once you 
can kill many creatures without running to the save crystal you will be 
good. Oh, and it should be obvious but don't attack the werewolves if 
you want to live.

Now you are going to get your second character (not permanent, but you 
still have to pick your class).

----------Penelo-----------

You can't go wrong with Penelo. Although she is joining briefly now she 
is the last permanent member of your party and at that point all of the 
essentials should be in place. So for Penelo is pretty much free for 
whatever you fancy.

I will mention that she is the best Summoner. This is due to the fact 
that once you get her permanently your party should be rather balanced. 
If you made say Balthier a Summoner you would be at a disadvantage 
because he is an early member of your team and you will have to suffer 
because he will not have any beneficial strengths until Raithwall. Your 
party does not rely on Penelo nearly as much as the other characters so 
you can afford to have her unbalancing for a small segment.

Ok so my recommendation for an easy time is that you make her your 
favorite class. You can't really go wrong with Penelo.

My recommendation for a hard time is to turn off her gambits and never 
let her do anything, as that's they only way you can screw her up.

----------End Penelo------------

If you plan on taking out the mark Thextera it is best to do it while 
Penelo is in your party. Only take it on if you have one of them as a 
healer. If you still can't do it then either level up or wait until 
Balthier and Fran join later. You only get a headguard, a teleport 
stone, and 500 gil for it anyway.

Ok now finish up the sunstone quest. You shouldn't worry about leveling 
Penelo so just move on. If you still want to level Vaan then continue. 
It may be ideal if you have a non healing Vaan to level with Penelo as 
she would act as in a supporting role allowing far faster kills.

After doing the sunstone quest say goodbye to Penelo, hurry along to 
Dalan, and head to the Garamsythe Waterway.

----------Garamsythe Waterway------------

This is the last area where your choice with Vaan will have a huge 
impact. You are going to be soloing this bit. If you have a healing 
class you should have no problem. If your level is high enough fighters 
and non-healing mages should be able to get through easily to. Just run 
back to the save crystal if things get to tough.

----------Royal Palace of Rabanastre------------

No advice here, just go through it as you would normally. If you want 
the Zodiac Spear then don't touch the treasures.

----------Garamsythe Waterway------------

You're now back in the waterway, but now you have a team with you lets 
take this time to look at the finer points of choosing their classes.

----------Fran and Balthier--------------

Ok now you want to choose their classes wisely. Factor in what class 
you chose for Vaan before you do. Did you make him a White Mage or a 
Chemist? If you did then you don't have to worry about making Fran or 
Balthier one. The choices are the same as with Vaan, and just as 
important.

I would balance your three classes. I would have one healer (Chemist, 
White Mage), one fighter (Knight, Monk), and one ranger (Gunner, 
Archer). Of course some classes are a mix between several such as the 
Red Mage. If you chose Vaan to be a Red Mage I would still recommend 
making one of them a primary healing and focus your Red Mage on 
support. 

No matter what you choose remember balance is the key and you can never 
have too many healers. 

I would not recommend making a party at this point composed entirely of 
fighters, as the inability to heal will become very difficult to 
overcome when you reach Firemane. If you don't want a healer at this 
point the best solution is to overlevel.

-----------End Fran and Balthier-------------

You now have access to gambits. If you aren't controlling your healing 
make sure to make a healing gambit for them. If you have a Black Mage 
make sure to abuse weaknesses. For example Gigantoads in the waterway 
are weak against fire.

Continue along the path and you'll pick up your first guest, 
Amalia/Ashe. 

Further in the waterway you will be ambushed by Flans. This can be a 
very difficult if you aren't prepared and your team isn't balanced. 
They like the Gigantoads are weak against fire so let them have it with 
your Red Mage, Calculator, and Black Mage. Chemists will be invaluable 
for removing blind status quickly and fighters should be able to whack 
them down pretty easy. Just remember to keep healing its easy to not 
notice someone is next to death. Gunners are next to useless in this 
fight, but even so if you are alert you should be able to prevail.

Move on until Firemane decides to welcome you.

******Firemane******

Here it is your first boss and a perfect place to test your abilities. 
Firemane has rather damaging attacks, but it is his ultimate ability 
that you have to watch out for. Bushfire hits an over an area and can 
inflict poison. Ok, so don't worry too much you have a major advantage, 
Amalia/Ashe. She will throw potions and phoenix downs around, so you 
don't have to be so worried if someone dies. Still your healer should 
be away from the action throwing potions or cures at all times. 

*******End Firemane*******

------------Nalbina Dungeons-----------

Now you are trapped in a dungeon with no action aside from a fist fight 
with some Bangaas which should be pretty easy. When you get your 
equipment back don't touch the treasure chests in the Confiscatory if 
you want the Zodiac Spear (I don't, but you might). Ok you are going to 
be up against a lot of Imperials, as long as you don't take on too many 
at once they should pose no threat whatsoever as long as you have a 
primary healer. These Imperials are a Chemist's dream as they will drop 
a large variety of healing items for him/her to use.

Save Basche and welcome him as your newest guest.

-----------Barheim Passage-----------

You have the opportunity to shop now. For White Mages Blindna and 
Poisona are really useful, more so if you don't have a Chemist, as for 
Black Mages if you haven't already, buy blizzard. The Battery Mimics 
are weak against blizzard magic so it is in your best interest to hit 
them with it. 

Early on save crystals are plentiful, but midway through you won't see 
any for awhile, so keep you're healing in mp/potions. If energy is 
getting low make sure to focus on the Battery Mimics instead of lesser 
enemies. For Thieves and other dagger users a Mage Masher can be found 
in a chest in OP Sector 37.

******Mimic Queen*******

Ok the Queen is damaging but her greatest strength is spawning other 
Mimics. I would recommend that you ignore them and focus entirely on 
the Queen. Blizzard spells and brute force will get you everywhere. 
Don't be afraid to turn a support healer such as a Red Mage into a full 
healer as Basche will be doing extra damage. Eventually it will fall 
and you will get out to the Eastersands

Move it to Rabanastre

*******End Mimic Queen*******

------------Rabanastre---------------
 
You will lose your entire party, but they will be back very soon. So 
now its time to shop, there are many now items available for you. Don't 
just buy for Vaan buy for Balthier, Fran, and Basche. You can go out 
and level with Vaan again, but that's really not necessary. When you've 
finished with shopping and events head to the Aerodome and head to 
Bujerba, but first an overview of potential choices for Basche's class.

----------Basche------------

As usual you have many different choices, and like with Fran and 
Balthier you have to consider a balance to your party.

My personal recommendation depends on what classes you have at your 
disposal already. If your only healer is your primary than I would 
recommend a secondary healer such as a Paladin or Red Mage, although, 
if you have a secondary healer already then I would make him a fighter 
or Black Mage to increase the damage output of your party.

I would recommend against making him anything that would throw off the 
balance of your party. For example you shouldn't need two White Mages, 
and you really can't afford all fighters with no healers.

In the end due to the fact that you have three characters already 
unless you are having a huge problem healing or dealing enough damage 
it isn't too important where you fit Basche in.

-----------End Basche----------

--------------Bujerba-----------------

After choosing Basche's profession you'll head off to Bujerba where you 
will get your next guest Larsa. Larsa is going to be very useful 
because he will freely throw items including hi-potions around. 

------------Lhusu Mines---------------

In the Lhusu Mines you'll be able to use Libra to avoid traps if you 
have a Thief. Other than the Shunia Twinspan this dungeon is 
straightforward. The Shunia Twinspan is a bridge where the undead rise 
from the ground in large numbers. If you can clear it no problem it is 
a great place to build levels and money by chaining the Skull Defenders 
and Skeletons and collecting bone fragments.

At the end of the Mines you will get chased by the Bangaa hunters. 
After escaping, and going through a quest and several events you will 
end up on the Leviathan.

------------The Leviathan-------------

Now you are granted the always welcome guest Vossler. With his help 
getting to Ashe should be no problem if your team is well balanced and 
leveled. On your way you are going to fight a mini boss battle of 2 
Judges, 3 Swordsmen, and one Magus. The Magus will cast poison, which 
will reduce the efficiency of your healer, he needs to go ASAP. Next I 
recommend taking out the Swordsmen then the Judges. The Judges can dish 
out a lot of damage. If you have a support healer then you should be 
ok, if you don't it will be harder, but manageable. Once they are 
defeated you will get control of Ashe.

-------------Ashe---------------

You should decide what class Ashe is going to be based on several 
factors. Firstly, did you have problems keeping your health up in the 
last battle? If you did then you should invest in a healing capable 
class. On the other hand if your healing was adequate, but the battle 
was long because of lack of damage then a damage dealer is useful. The 
second factor is range. You have previously picked a class for every 
character aside from Ashe. You will be facing flying enemies, most 
notoriously the Garuda. If you don't have an effective ranged attacker 
then it would be wise to have Ashe take up the gun or bow or black 
magic.

As long as you aren't devoid of a ranged attacker you should be fine.

--------------End Ashe--------------

Here is the problem. You've rescued Ashe, but now have the whole ship 
on your tail. In a normal game I would recommend fighting them for 
experience, but with limited healing and abilities I would run to your 
destination skipping battles. You can get more experience later. Before 
you get to the boss you'll get Penelo back, with a piece of Nethicite. 

********Judge Ghis*********

In the normal game a single quickening would kill him. Miss that? Oh 
well. Take out the three Swordsmen that accompany him. Then focus your 
attacks on Ghis himself. If your healing is adequate he shouldn't take 
too much. Make sure to rotate party members if the front line is 
getting weaker than the healer can heal.

*******End Judge Ghis********

-----------The Sandsea--------------

Early in your trip you'll get Vossler as a guest again. 

When traveling along the Ogir Yensa Sandsea you have three options. The 
first is to travel to the north exit on the tanks and build up a huge 
chain fighting the Urutans there gaining lots of experience. The second 
is to travel to the south exit where a convenient teleport crystal lies 
as well as a merchant. Or you can fight at the tanks and run back to 
the crystal in the south. It is recommended that anyone using white 
magic visit that merchant as he has the cura spell and the raise spell, 
which are going to make your life a lot easier. 

Past the north exit you'll run into a moogle that will basically send 
you to kill an Emeralditan terrorizing that Urutans. You can kill this 
guy easily because for the first part of the fight it will be killing 
Urutans instead of you, so take your healer out and go full offensive 
until they are dead and you need to heal. After killing it return to 
the moogle and them back to the Ogir Sandsea and pick the Eksir 
Berries.   

Moving through to Raithwall you shouldn't have any problems with the 
inhabitants, if you do run back to a save crystal and level up some 
more. If you have an Archer buy a killer bow from Dyce near the 
entrance of Raithwall.

------------Tomb of Raithwall----------

*******Garuda********

Not much strategy for Garuda. Use the Eksir Berries and pummel him with 
ranged attacks and magic while staying healed. Black Mages, Archers, 
and Gunners work very well here. Also make sure your healer keeps 
Vossler alive as he knows telekinesis and will contribute a lot of 
damage to the enemy.

*******End Garuda******

You can fight the first Demon Wall if you desire, but without 
quickenings and with the other restrictions placed upon you in the 
challenge it would be very very difficult to win. I recommend skipping 
it.

******Demon Wall Encounter #2*******

Put your healer away and hit it with everything you have. If any of 
your characters get put to sleep immediately hit them with another 
character. If you are offensively strong enough you should be able to 
down him with minor problems.

******End Demon Wall Encounter #2********

Now you are going to navigate through the north and south sides of the 
tomb. After each side is cleared out you can return to the beginning to 
heal at a save crystal. The undead are everywhere. Red Mages and 
Calculators can use this to their advantage by throwing out cura. I 
would recommend against using White Mages in this capacity as they 
should save their mp for healing.

*******Belias*******

Belias can do so serious damage with Firaja especially after the oil 
effect is in place. A Chemist will be able to heal this effect with a 
handkerchief, but without one you'll have to grin and bear it. Shell 
works wonders keeping the damage down, so starting the fight with it 
active would help quite a bit. Keep healing and eventually he'll go 
down. Finally a Summoner will be useful!

*******End Belias******

Now you have the Dawn Shard. Usually useless as it puts your mp at 0, 
but in this challenge where a great many classes can't use magic it is 
a life saver. 

*******Vossler*******

If you have a Summoner, summon Belias and the battle is practically 
over. If not take out his lackeys first. If Fran was your primary 
healer you are going to be in trouble. She starts with berserk status. 
If she was use your support healers in this battle and keep the 
pressure on with your fighters. Since Vossler is particularly fond of 
physical attacks, characters with shields like a Knight, Thief, or 
Paladin, would make excellent tanks.

********End Vossler********

Back to Rabanastre, some classes can now come into their own. Samurai 
and Berserkers get weapon upgrades in the shop, as do Dragoons, and 
most other classes. Prioritize armour over weapons and if you need more 
money farm bone fragments in the Lhusu mines. This is now a great time 
to do some hunts if you haven't already. Take on anything you think you 
can do, then head to the Giza Plains

----------Giza Plains (the rains) ---------


 The enemies have changed, but if you took out Vossler you shouldn't 
have any problem. You should level up here and the Ozmone Plains until 
you are between level 18-25 depending on your classes and the relative 
ease you are having with the enemies. Move south to the Ozmone Plains.

-------------Ozmone Plain-------------

Level up here if you desire and make sure to loot the enemies 
(especially if you have a Thief in your party), as they have superior 
loot to enemies you are used to fighting (magicite vs. stones). 
Zaghnals often travel in groups. If you aren't confident in your 
healing abilities it might be best to avoid them.

--------------Jahara----------------

 In Jahara you'll be able to upgrade your weapons and armour again. 
Also after several events Larsa will join you as a guest again. With 
him throwing Hi-potions it is now that hunting marks is safest until 
much later in the game.

--------------Golmore Jungle-------------

In Golmore Jungle you have both a problem and an opportunity. Panthers 
are an excellent source of income due to their lucrative drops and 
their abundance, but they can also inflict rather serious statuses. If 
you are use your support healer for taking care of the statuses and 
your main one for healing while your third character beats them away. 
If things get bad a save crystal is just back a zone. Statuses will 
also be a problem with Malboros who are abundant in the woods as well, 
so make use of esuna or status restoring items.

-------------Eryut Village------------------

Nothing here relevant to the challenge, save for an equipment upgrade.

-------------Henne Mines--------------------

For the most part the Henne Mines are no problem getting through with 
almost any class configuration. The only hitch is in Pithead Junction 
B, where flipping the gate will cause many jellies to fall. This is a 
great place later in the game for Black Mages, Red Mages, and 
Calculators as they can wipe this room out very quickly, but for now 
just run from them. 

***********Tiamat***********

The Tiamat has a lot of hps. This means you are in for a drawn out 
fight. Using status magic you can try to stick certain statuses on him 
such as blind and slow. Paladins and Knights have an advantage of 
having a shield and he mainly uses physical attacks. Your healer should 
be able to keep up no problem with the damage as the Tiamat is more 
defensive than offensive.

*********End Tiamat**********

Back at the Eryut Village new useful spells have become available. The 
most important of these is Haste. With this spell your Time Mage will 
finally be pulling their weight around. 

**********Elder Wyrm**********

You need a Chemist or white magic for this fight. The Elder Wyrm will 
use an abundance of statuses, which will greatly hurt your frontline 
fighters. Chemists are preferable because they can get rid of oil 
status that will make its fireball deadly. Kill its Treant minions 
immediately. With nearly double the hp of the Tiamat this is a long 
battle, but with good healing and a haste thrown here and there you'll 
prevail. If not Malboros are worth a lot of experience as are Panthers.

**********End Elder Wyrm********

--------------------Paramina Rift------------------

Nothing to see here move on to Mt Bur-Omisace


-------------------Mt Bur-Omisace------------------

New gear here! Ninjas will be happy to get their hands on their first 
ninja sword. Just don't attack the undead with them and you'll be fine. 
You've now lost Larsa and will be guestless for a bit so let's hope you 
weren't too reliant.

-------------------Stilting of Miriam--------------

There are lots of undead here so if you have a Ninja it might be best 
to stick him back with a dagger or take him out of battle. A Time Mage 
works wonders against the Dragon Aevis who is susceptible to most time 
magic. When you get to the Crystal Bug throw everything you have at it 
as it will turn into a save crystal and heal you completely.

*********Vinuskar**********

Anyone with heavy armour will be a burden in this fight. If you've been 
itching to get your Ninja out on the field now is the time. It will 
cast slow so Time Mages are useful for countering that. Aside from that 
its hps are pitiful and it should be easy with a balanced party.

**********End Vinuskar**********

**********Mateus**********

Get rid of your Black Mages for this fight as Mateus will have reflect 
up. Kill the 6 Ice Azers first then focus on the boss itself. Knights 
and Paladins can dominate this battle by equipping an Ice Shield. 
Basically keep curaing and you'll come out on top, as long as you take 
the Ice Azers out ASAP.

**********End Mateus**********

Back at Mt Bur-Omisace you'll have to face your second Judge.

**********Judge Bergan***********

As usual take out the supporting soldiers first before focusing on the  

Judge himself. He'll use his fair share of physical attacks, but he'll 
also sling some area of effect spells such as Aero and Dark. This can 
be dangerous if you have been relying on a Chemist to do all your 
healing. Cura solves this problem and with the minions dispatched you 
shouldn't get overwhelmed.

**********End Judge Bergan********

-----------Nalbina Fortress------------

Here at Nalbina you have your first opportunity to pick up Dispel this 
will significantly cut down the powers of your foes when they are 
buffed. If you have anyone who can use this level of white magic, buy 
it. Aside from that there are new weapon and armour upgrades.

------------Mosphoran Highwaste------------

Enemies are standard here. Vultures will require you to bring out your 
ranged attackers, but aside from that there is little strategy 
involved. In the camp in the middle of the Highwaste Blue Mages get a 
much needed boost with the availability of 1000 needles.

-----------------Salikawood------------------

Nothing relevant to the challenge here only a lot of passive monsters

-----------------Phon Coast-------------------

More equipment upgrades, but a generally uneventful spot for now...

-----------------Tchita Uplands---------------

Make sure to get the Soul Ward Key from the boy at the entrance to the 
Uplands. This area is a great place for levels. If you have a Thief you 
are in luck. You can steal an Embroidered Tippet from the Coeurls here. 
With these doubling your experience you can start tearing the enemies 
apart reaching a much needed high level. I recommend taking a break 
here and doing some level grinding. On another note, Coeurls are weak 
against blizzard magic. Using Mateus with a Summoner makes quick work 
of them, which allows you to really pump your Summoner's level up, as 
the power of your esper is dependant on the level of your Summoner it 
would be wise to take this opportunity.

-----------------Sochen Cave Palace-------------

One of the chests here potentially holds the gambit "Foe: fire weak". 
This gambit is a potential boon for Black Mages. 

********The Mandragoras********

With 9000 hp a piece and hasted these guys can be a pain, but if you 
are at a respectable level you should have no problem. Just remember to 
take them out one at a time to reduce damage you will sustain.

********End The Mandragoras**********

An Iga or Koga Blade can be found in the secret room after you solve 
the waterfall puzzle in the main section in Sochen Cave Palace. This 
will provide some extra oomph to your Ninja's power. If you need help 
solving this puzzle refer to an FAQ. For unbalanced teams or those that 
aren't good at mp management there is a problem in the cave. Save 
crystals are not abundant and you may have to hoof it back to your last 
one. I would recommend running around to regain mp for your healers or 
abuse charge, unless you are using a Chemist as your primary healer, 
which, in that case you should have no problems.

*********Ahriman**********

Ahriman can be a serious threat to the party at this stage. With no 
nearby save crystal it is likely that your team is suffering from 
fatigue. Statuses are the greatest threat in this battle as a whole 
plethora of them will be cast on your team. Use the standard removal 
means and try to keep health up with a secondary healer. If you have a 
Chemist don't heal the statuses let your characters die then heal them 
fully with a phoenix down with the Pheasant Netsuke, as that is easier 
then throwing several restorative items. Remember that Ahriman is weak 
against cure magic so a cura will damage him and the clones that he 
creates. For Black Mages and Red Mages bio might be a better choice.  
In the end if you can balance healing status problems you should be ok.

**********End Ahriman**********

----------------Archades------------------

If you didn't get Embroidered Tippets from the Coeurls then buy them in 
Old Archades. When you reach the main area of Archades you will finally 
gain access to the greatsword class weapon. Now your Dark Knights and 
regular Knights can abandon their swords and start using these 
monsters. For mages curaja and aeroga are available. Do your chop 
errands and continue to the Draklor Laboratory.

----------------The Draklor Laboratory----------------

This is a rather basic dungeon; the only enemies that you'll find are 
Imperials, so no special conditions apply. Black magic will be 
especially useful here as enemies tend to be in groups.

**********Dr. Cid**********

Take out the Helm Rooks ASAP! They will continuously buff Cid which 
makes the battle much harder. Black Mages will have problems as they 
will cast reflect on Cid; if you intend to use black magic make sure 
that Cid is not currently under the effects of reflect. After the Helm 
Rooks are defeated Cid should be rather easy. White Mages should 
definitely throw dispel out to get rid of lingering buffs, while the 
fighter classes should simply hack away at him. He only has a little 
more hp then the Ahriman, but because he won't cause status effects, he 
should go down a lot easier.

*********End Dr. Cid**********

-------------------Balfonheim------------------

This is where the guide ends. The reason for this is because at this 
point in the game all of your classes will have access to most of their 
abilities, and the strategies you will use for the rest of the game 
will be very similar. Therefore it is unnecessary to write out a 
dungeon by dungeon account of the game. Rather I will give general 
advice for each class on how to handle the end game.

-------------------End Game Strategies-------------

Knight-----------

For the Knight you now have the option of using either greatswords or a 
sword shield combo. Either is acceptable and you might consider having 
both and switching depending on whether you need extra defense of 
offence. 

Thief------------

Thieves will keep their usefulness of being able to use Libra to detect 
traps, and enemy weaknesses in the end game areas. They are however far 
less effective as fighters at this point, which is made obvious by 
their lack of shield upgrades. It is not recommended using a thief 
unless you have to in a tough engagement.

Archer------------

Archers remain one of the most reliable ranged damage dealers. Their 
strategy remains the same as earlier in the game save one point. Now 
they have access to elemental arrows that, if used properly, can 
greatly increase their damage yield. Of course you need to know the 
enemy's weakness, which requires: a Thief, trial and error, or an 
internet bestiary.

White Mage------------

White Mages now have access to curaja which allows for maximum healing 
potential. Their healing abilities now surpass Chemists as they can 
keep the party alive better with their group healing. They will also 
have access to protectga and shellga, which will allow for easier 
buffing allowing the party to take on larger challenges.

Black Mage------------

The Black Mage finally rises above the Red Mage at Balfonheim gaining 
the -ga level spells that Red Mages cannot learn. For this point on all 
black magic spell are exclusive to the Black Mage (barring the 
Calculator). Black Mages should work in tandem with a Thief to ensure 
that they hit the enemy weakness.

Red Mage-----------

In the end game the Red Mage suffers. They can no longer cast all of 
the spells that everyone else can cast. They are stuck with cura, bio, 
and aeroga as their main spells. Despite this they still are 
exceptional at debuffing as the other mages will be more concerned with 
healing/damage dealing to effectively debuff, and cura can provide so 
good support to your primary healer.

Monk-------------

The Monk can really excel in the end game. They have access to powerful 
accessories such as the Bubble Belt and the Amber Armlet. The biggest 
concern with the Monk is which accessory to use. Extra damage is always 
welcome, but so is the longevity that the Bubble Belt would provide. As 
far as abilities go, sight unseen is very powerful if you can keep the 
Monk blinded, but remember his regular physical attacks will suffer.

Dragoon------------

Dragoons have a problem distinguishing themselves aside from using 
spears. Late in the game they are finally capable of learning 
telekinesis, which gives them the versatility that they sorely lack. If 
you gain the Zodiac Spear they also become monster damage dealers 
surpassing many of the other classes.

Samurai-------------

It is recommended for the Samurai that you do the Gilgamesh hunts. The 
Samurai is the main class that benefits if you have a Thief as only 
then will you be able to steal the Genji equipment for Gilgamesh. With 
the Genji equipment the Samurai becomes just as dangerous, perhaps more 
dangerous, as the Dragoon. The Genji Gantlet allows the Samurai in the 
end game to consistently combo allowing huge amounts of damage. Before 
the Genji equipment is gotten it is wise to use gil toss to inflict 
large damage, as at this point in the game money is less and less 
important.

Chemist-------------

Mid game Chemists receive the Pheasant Netsuke, which allows their 
phoenix downs to revive an ally at full hp. Now in the end game 
Chemists suffer as they no longer have such a sweeping advantage over 
the White Mage. It is best to keep they updated with guns so they can 
hunt effectively, and with X-potions available in stores they no longer 
have to wait until the party has received casualties, but their lack of 
consistent group heals does put them at a disadvantage, so it is best 
to be more cautious with them then a White Mage.

Summoner------------

Summoners are hard to use with the challenge, but really start coming 
into their own when new summons start coming into play. The rest of the 
story summons allows the Summoner to take advantage of two weaknesses 
that Black Mages can't; earth and water. Many of the optional espers 
will be far harder to get with the restrictions of the challenge in 
place and therefore must be dealt with at a higher level. Exodus in 
particular is rather simple to get, as long as you aren't relying on 
items too much, and Exodus is a very powerful esper. Some espers will 
not be as easily available. For example if you don't have a Chemist 
then Zeromus will be extremely difficult to get.

Time Mage------------

Time Mages are best not put into battle for long in the end game. Their 
most useful abilities are hastega and break. hastega should be cast on 
the group at most times, while break is good for exploiting the fact 
that it doesn't end chains. Aside from these abilities slowga is useful 
in groups, and if you don't have a Thief keep float on at all times.    

Berserker------------

No strategy, you keep berserk on at all times and the Berserker will do 
the rest.

Dark Knight-----------

After Archades the Dark Knight finally gains access to greatswords. 
With these weapons the Dark Knight can out damage many classes. They 
can use bubble late in the game, which pairs well with souleater. Their 
lack of powerful armour becomes more pronounced at this point and they 
can seriously get injured. Fortunately the light armour the do have 
boost their hp and allows bubble to further crank their health up. 

Paladin--------------

Paladins have gain no real advantage in the late game. Their use of 
shell and protect becomes less important as the White Mage will learn 
the -ga versions of these spells. Cura and curaga can still be 
effectively used, but they will soon not have enough magic power to 
heal consistently enough. On the other hand they still are the most 
defensive class allowing primary healers more time to heal.

Ninja------------

Ninjas finally gain some separation from Thieves when ninja swords 
become available. Unfortunately the last ninja sword can be a bother to 
get and they are next to useless against the undead. The offensive and 
mote items they receive get better late game, allowing they to cast 
hastega without the need of a time mage or throwing out holy against a 
group of enemies. The disadvantage is that these items are not easily 
renewable and therefore the Ninja cannot abuse them. In the end they 
are a sup par attacking class except with the acquisition of the Cat-
ear Hood, which lets them move extremely fast allowing them to out 
power more defensive fighters.

Blue Mage----------

Blue Mages take a hit as soon as 1000 needles stops doing significant 
damage. In the late game they rely on gil toss as their primary means 
of doing acceptable damage. Still like the Red Mage they can melee, but 
they are better used in a supporting role cranking down the now 
powerful enemy's defense and magic resistance.

Gunner--------------

Gunners like Archers do not have a hugely different strategy late game. 
If paired with a Black or Red Mage they can attain the Formalhaut 
rather easily in the Antlion hunt. Aside from their easy acquisition of 
their strongest weapon they also have an array of elemental ammunition, 
which covers elements that the Archer does not have.

Squire--------------    

Squires, though passable in the early to mid game, really suffer in the 
end game. They no longer have access to powerful equipment and their 
abilities are sub par. It will be a difficult road using one of them, 
as they have no late game prospects.

Calculator----------

As all of the other mage classes were getting quickenings it became 
obvious that the Calculator was going to suffer. Their lack of mp is 
more of a concern than at any other point in the game. They can 
alleviate this problem slightly, by using the Turtleshell Choker, but 
if you have a Blue Mage and a Samurai as well it might get to 
expensive. Still even without their mp deficiency, end game their lack 
of magic power becomes apparent and they become far less effective than 
the specialist mages. Still they are very useful for throwing buffs 
such as hastega on the party.

With those outlines you should have no problem with the end game areas, 
as long as you are at a sufficient level.

Credits----------------------------------------------------------------

-Thanks to Alex McGlynn for majorly contributing for 2.0
-Thanks to Square-Enix for making this game and creating the class 
based system we all love in other final fantasies. 
-Thanks to Gamefaqs for allowing me to post my guide