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    Team Formation Guide by APolaris82

    Version: 1.2 | Updated: 02/18/07 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    |*****************Seiken Densetsu 3**********************|
    |*****************Team Formation FAQ*******************|
    |*****************By APolaris82*************************|
    Contact info:
    AIM: Anfernee82
    MSN/email: Anfernee82@hotmail.com
    Yahoo: the_final_task82
    Webpage: http://ic.sunysb.edu/Stu/ajperez
    Legal stuff:
    Don't really care. Publish this anywhere, more power to you if 
    you can
    actually profit from the use of an FAQ anyone could find online 
    for free for a game that only about 500 people in the English-
    speaking world are aware exists. Any risks involving Squaresoft 
    on the other hand are your own to face. As for me, anything 
    pertaining to the game is copyright Squaresoft/Square-Enix.
    Please read the earlier segments of the FAQ before going on to 
    the explanations of teams and classes. The information in section 
    3 is particularly vital to understanding the FAQ, and contains 
    some info not found in section 4.
    If you want to jump to a certain section of the file, use Ctrl + 
    F keys to use the find function, then type in any keywords.
    *********************Table of Contents*************************
    1. Introduction - what this FAQ is about, and no, you probably 
    don't know
    2. My philosophy on team formation, and why you should care
    3. Factors worth considering, or miscellaneous crap
    4. Analysis of classes in context, or, why the Sage doesn't suck
    5. And now for something entirely different: a fun team for every 
    class! ^_^
    6. Ranking your team - how your team should be fighting
    7. The dispelling of popular myths, or, stuff you probably don't 
    think about unless you post on the boards
    1. Introduction - what this FAQ is about, and no, you probably
    don't know
    I'm going to begin with a frank assessment: this is not like any 
    other FAQ you
    have ever read on this game. If you are reading this FAQ to find 
    out what the
    best class or best team is, go read someone else's. If you like 
    "flame warz" on why "ur clas totali ownzorz!!!111" then don't 
    even contact me, please, for the love of God; your typing is 
    painful to read. If, on the other hand, you want to read about 
    how each class should be used and for what teams each is optimal, 
    then by all means continue on!
    I am assuming you have at least a basic knowledge of how Seiken 
    3 is played and who the characters are. If not, consult a 
    walkthrough, there are
    plenty on GameFAQs.
    2. My philosophy on team formation, and why you should care
    My philosophy can be summed up as thus: team formation is an art, 
    and there is no best class for any character, or best character, 
    because a class's usefulness depends entirely on a within-team 
    context. To wit: there is no individual "great" class that can 
    work at full potential on its own merits. That said, there are 
    definitely teams that go well together and teams that don't. In 
    my opinion, the ideal SD3 team can be described as follows: all 
    three characters have abilities that are in and of themselves 
    useful, but the team furthermore acts to strengthen the offensive 
    and defensive abilities of one another as well as themselves. 
    Three characters each simply doing their own thing doesn't 
    constitute a team. You begin to see now why I say there is no 
    "best class." No class is worth using of its own virtue without 
    considering what it will do for the others, but each team should 
    also have characters who, after helping each other out, are all 
    still efficient in some way. Consider: a team of Death Hand, 
    Lord, and Rogue. These are all wonderful and useful classes. in 
    the right team. But each is acting only on his own defensive and 
    offensive virtues, and nothing is strengthened. As a result each 
    class is performing at its minimal efficiency. Or consider 
    Wanderer, Dragon Master, and Bishop. Again, all useful classes 
    with two good support characters. But after the counter magic, 
    transhape, stat downs, and sabers are cast, what's anybody 
    actually doing? Contrast this with a team of Star Lancer, Ninja 
    Master and Grand Divina. All three characters already have 
    powerful MT magic, but after MT stat ups and MT stat downs all 
    three are essentially doubling their damage and taking half 
    damage from enemy attacks, and each can still contribute strongly 
    in terms of damage-dealing. An analysis of the game essentially 
    reveals three "focus characters" (Duran, Kevin, and Angela) whose 
    primary purpose is to deal damage, and three characters (Hawk, 
    Carlie, Lise) whose primary purpose is to help the others perform 
    their jobs better, then do fairly well themselves. For the above 
    reasons I generally feel that one - and preferably only one - of 
    the focus characters should be on nearly all teams, and at least 
    two of Carlie, Lise and Hawk form the most efficient. However, 
    there are plenty of fun exceptions.
    I believe the following essential rules should be followed when 
    forming an original party:
    1.	Never, or very rarely, repeat the same support skills 
    twice. Examples include combining dark Lise with dark Hawk 
    or combining the Lord or Warrior Monk with Carlie. 
    Exception: if you have sabers or healing on your party, 
    it's perfectly tolerable and even a good idea to repeat 
    this if they are single target.
    2.	Avoid selecting a party without any form of stat magic, 
    unless you want a challenge. Whether it's Lise, dark Hawk, 
    or dark Carlie, stat magi are the key to unlocking any 
    class's full potential. Your Duelist or Grand Divina will 
    never deal as much damage as they are capable on their own 
    merits, and likewise their defensive weaknesses are fully 
    exposed without help. Ensure likewise that the stat magic 
    you get is useful for your party: Evil Shaman's Demon 
    Breath, which lowers enemy magic attack and defense, is 
    less than idyllic on a physical team like Duelist and Death 
    3.	Select one purpose to be the focus of your party and build 
    support abilities around enhancing that purpose. I cannot 
    emphasize how poor taste it is to take a dark class of 
    Duran's for elemental sabers, only to place Evil Shaman and 
    Grand Divina to deal out the same elemental magic damage. A 
    much better setup would have the Star Lancer in Duran's 
    place, as this would enhance Carlie's and Angela's magic 
    damage, while bringing in a third decent magic user and 
    providing a party in which MT mind up almost instantly 
    brings all three characters to full potential. Or if you 
    prefer to use sabers, form a team around their use, a team 
    of fighters: God Hand and Fenrir Knight would work ideally 
    in this case.
    4.	Take quest into account. Two classes in particular to focus 
    on this are the Bishop, who can deal 999 damage for 1 MP 
    against her own final boss, and the Wanderer, who can make 
    your party virtually invincible for some of the tougher 
    battles of Duran's or Angela's quest. If you plan to fight 
    the black rabite, make sure you have a team with which you 
    can win that battle.
    5.	Do not feel tempted to make up for one character's weakness 
    with another character that fills that weakness, especially 
    with focus characters. For instance, do not under any 
    conditions throw Kevin onto a team with Angela and Carlie 
    because you feel you need to make up for the lack of 
    physical attack power. Likewise, do not throw Angela onto a 
    team with Kevin and Duran. It sounds nice making up for 
    what a party lacks, but frankly it distracts from the flow 
    of teamwork and forces you to lack particular focus on any 
    tactical use. Instead, form a team with a common goal in 
    mind and use them entirely in pursuit of that goal. Take 
    quest into account: a team focused entirely on using magic 
    will perform pretty sadly against Duran's or Angela's final 
    And finally.
    6.	Make sure your support abilities are helping anything. You 
    can take the supreme support team of Wanderer, Star Lancer, 
    and Bishop. All those abilities they have aren't going to 
    mean jack if the team has nothing to boost. Just as a 
    physical team is only as good as its power ups and sabers, 
    a saber or power up spell is only as good as the character 
    it's being cast on. Make sure your team has at least one 
    focus class.
    3. Factors worth considering, or miscellaneous crap
    Here is my method for analyzing the classes and in which teams 
    they belong:
    1.	List of skills and final stats
    2.	Analyzing strengths: this is a listing of the abilities in 
    which each class is most noticeably useful. In essence, why 
    you should choose this class. For most classes this will 
    include their abilities individually as well as good stats.
    3.	Analyzing weaknesses: trouble you can expect with the use 
    of this class. Why you should avoid putting it on certain 
    teams. This will often include limited abilities as well as 
    weak points in the stats.
    4.	Affiliates: with whom should you group this character? This 
    will explain.
    These will all be based on a class's unique individual abilities, 
    how these interact with other characters, and the character's own 
    stats. For purposes of simplicity I will only be listing the 
    final classes.
    There is one issue I will include up here rather than repeating 
    it six times within the FAQ: the Light-Dark classes, post-class 
    change, can obtain the dark class change items from ??? seeds, 
    giving them an additional purpose. The classes that can do this, 
    and what they can use the items for, are as follows: Archmage 
    brings in DeathSpell and MT Dark Force, Sage brings in Black 
    Curse and Anti-Magic, Lord brings in MT Diamond Saber and MT Dark 
    Saber, Rogue brings in MT Fire Jutsu and MT Thunder Jutsu, 
    Warrior Monk brings in Energy Ball and Moon Saber, and Star 
    Lancer brings in MT Protect Down and MT Mind Down.
    I will also give a small meter under the name of each class. I 
    call it my compatibility analysis graph. Basically, the graphs 
    will show support to the left and focus to the right. As I 
    believe there are no "better" classes, but just classes that 
    perform differently, this will be used to sum up whether the 
    class performs primarily as a support or focus character. Those 
    near the center aren't necessarily bad at one or the other; 
    rather, these generally can use skills to support themselves and 
    the other characters, then jump into the fray themselves and 
    continue to contribute throughout a battle. A second meter will 
    do the same with the character's physical vs. magical potential, 
    but - read this part - this second meter is meant to reflect 
    whether the class fits best on a physical or magical team, not 
    necessarily what the class itself is best at. Again, being near 
    the middle means the class does equally well with both. Finally, 
    a third meter will indicate whether (for focus characters) the 
    class performs best against single enemies (including bosses) or 
    groups of enemies. For support characters this will represent a 
    mix of the above plus whether the class boosts a party quickly 
    (such as Star Lancer) or one at a time (such as Wanderer). A 
    class leaning towards groups isn't necessarily bad at fighting 
    bosses (Grand Divina is an excellent example of a class good at 
    both), it's just that their skill at fighting groups is much 
    better. My advice is to try to form a team with at least one 
    character on the focus side, at least one on the support side, 
    and try to keep the team all towards the same end magically or 
    physically for best results and focus on their gifts. I also 
    recommend you have at least one class leaning towards groups of 
    enemies or the center.
    Attack power is given in terms of both single and double hit 
    attacks. I have a reason for this; see my closing section on 
    popular myths for details.
    You will notice I place more emphasis on HP and MDF than on DEF. 
    This is because there is not really a significant difference 
    between characters in DEF. The characters with the weakest 
    Vitality scores also have the strongest armor, such that Angela 
    with a CON of 8 might have the same DEF as Kevin with a CON of 
    12. Furthermore, all characters and all classes are capable of 
    eventually reaching 300 DEF, and without significant difficulty 
    or even maxing out CON in all cases. On the other hand, 
    differences in INT are not made up by armor, and there is no 
    maximum score to be reached. Hence, Kevin's MDF will never match 
    Angela's in the way her DEF will match his. This is where HP 
    comes in as a factor, since HP and MDF follow a nearly inverse 
    distribution in this game.
    The stats' usefulness is rated as follows:
    STR: used for dishing out physical damage on a per-hit basis.
    DEX: in theory, helps you hit more often and be hit less often. However,
    it doesn't work because of a bug. It also determines how quickly or 
    slowly the trap wheel moves when opening chests, and determines the
    damage for many of Hawk's skills.
    CON: determines your physical defense and plays a less 
    significant role in max HP.
    INT: most spell damage is affected by this, including most 
    elemental magics. It also determines your magic defense for all 
    PIE: this determines how well you cast holy elemental magic, how 
    well you cast healing magic, and how quickly you cast spells.
    LUCK: this is used in four areas: 1. the number of traps on the 
    wheel when opening chests, 2. how frequently you get better items 
    from chests (including seeds!), and 3. how often you 
    survive an attack that might have killed you with 1 HP remaining. 
    (This does happen sometimes and it is in fact based on luck!)
    4. Analysis of classes in context, or, why the Sage doesn't suck
    Notes: STR = strength, DEX = agility, CON = vitality (contrary to 
    unpopular belief, it is not Hawk's smooth thiefly charms), INT = 
    intelligence, PIE = spirit (or banana creme ^_^), LUCK = luck, * 
    after a spell name denotes MT or after a tech denotes FST, MT = 
    multitarget, ST = single target, FST = full screen tech.
    How to use her:
    Angela is one of a few characters in this game who has but one 
    purpose, and for her that is to cause massive damage with the use 
    of (mostly elemental) magic. Her classes are designed to perform 
    this task with varying degrees of efficiency in various teams. 
    From the Rune Master's ability to massively damage individual 
    targets without stat magic to the Grand Divina's ability to rock 
    the entire screen, Angela has a class designed to fit nearly any 
    offensive team. Just give her a try sometime. You will not regret 
    Angela's high scores for Intelligence, Spirit, and Luck make her 
    an ideal magical combatant, as she can dish out the most magic 
    damage of any character in the game, especially when MTing spells 
    against normal enemies. Her magic defense is the best of any 
    character, which makes up for her low HP. However, her attack 
    power is pretty sad even in her best attacking class, the Grand 
    Divina. This is hardly a fault in boss battles, but it does 
    affect the tactics you should be using. And it forces her to use 
    MP-conserving spells in most dungeons, lest she run out and 
    become useless.
    Leveling up Angela:
    As a mage, Angela's first and foremost priority should be raising 
    Intelligence and Spirit, but this depends on just how weak she is 
    in other areas. Because Angela has the lowest HP of any 
    character, she may have some difficulty surviving dungeon battles 
    if her Vitality is not raised frequently. As her primary purpose 
    is multitargeting magic to wipe out rooms of monsters, she will 
    not be physically attacking frequently, so her Strength should be 
    raised as a last resort only. Agility and Luck, while useful, are 
    somewhat overshadowed by Angela's uses for the mental stats and 
    her desperate need to raise Vitality.
    Angela's final classes:
    Light-Light: Grand Divina
    Support  --------------x- Focus
    Physical --------------x- Magical
    Single    ----------x----- Groups
    1.	List of skills: Holy Ball*, Diamond Missile*, Air Blast*, 
    Evil Gate*, Ice Smash*, Fireball*, Saint Beam*, 
    Earthquake*, Thunderstorm*, Mega Splash*, Explode*, Double 
    Starting and final stats: STR 14/17, DEX 14/17, CON 14/18, 
    INT 17/21, PIE 17/19, LUCK 14/16
    2.	Strengths: The Grand Divina has Angela's best overall stat 
    total, and is her only class with no significant weakness, 
    statistically at least. She can hold her own in a fight 
    should it come to that; her physical attack power is the 
    highest of Angela's classes. Her ability to multitarget 
    elemental spells combined with the (tied) second highest 
    INT in the game makes for the ultimate screen-clearing 
    spellcaster, and she can dish out multitarget damage in any 
    element, with dark being the only one below level 2! It 
    just so happens the GD is also a capable boss fighter - in 
    the right team. On a team with both Mind Up and Mind Down 
    skills she can easily surpass 800 damage with one spell 
    casting for 4 MP! Assuming you can figure out the right 
    spell to cast. If you can't. well, you probably shouldn't 
    be playing this game.
    3.	Weaknesses: The Grand Divina is an excellent class, but 
    like most classes, her efficiency relies on that of her 
    teammates. Without at least one form of stat magic, the 
    GD's ability to dish out damage, particularly to bosses, 
    noticeably diminishes. She does fall behind in terms of 
    dishing out dark-elemental damage, and since Shade spells 
    bypass the Magic Counter barriers cast by some enemies, 
    this can be an issue. She is also not a character for the 
    lazy; her Double Spell is her only non-elemental magic, and 
    it costs 9 MP per casting. Hardly the kind of cost-
    efficiency you seek with Angela, unless you've got a 
    character with Tree Saber.
    4.	Affiliates: I recommend putting the Grand Divina on teams 
    with stat magic and preferably healing, to make up for 
    Angela's generally lacking HP (ditto for all of her 
    classes). Lise's light classes, Hawk's dark classes, and 
    Carlie's dark classes are all good teammates for the Grand 
    Divina. I highly recommend against putting her on a team 
    with both Duran and Kevin (especially at the same time), as 
    you'll find her contributions minimal and no character will 
    be able to support her magic, so you'll more or less be 
    using her on her own merits.
    Light-Dark: Arch Mage
    Support  --------------x- Focus
    Physical --------------x- Magical
    Single    ----------x----- Groups
    1. List of skills: List of skills: Holy Ball*, Diamond 
    Missile*, Air Blast*, Evil Gate*, Ice Smash*, Fireball*, Saint 
    Beam*, Earthquake*, Thunderstorm*, Mega Splash*, Explode*, 
    Starting and final stats: STR 14/16, DEX 14/16, CON 14/18, INT 
    17/20, PIE 17/20, LUCK 14/17
    2. Strengths: The Arch Mage's use of abilities is virtually 
    similar to those of the Grand Divina; however, they are not 
    the same class. You'll notice they have differing stats; this 
    does in fact affect how she is used. Because of her higher 
    spirit, the Arch Mage is ideally suited to quests in which you 
    plan to use Saint Beam and Holy Ball frequently, and because 
    there are so many dark elemental enemies near the end, this 
    may well be the case, especially if Carlie or Kevin is your 
    main character. Her highest spirit also makes her the ideal 
    Poto Oil thrower, should you lack another method of using Heal 
    Light. She also has Angela's highest luck score, making her 
    the best treasure hunter.
    3. Weaknesses: She has many of the same weaknesses as the 
    Grand Divina, with a few extra. She cannot fight physically 
    like the GD can, as that 1 point of STR and DEX do make a 
    difference. Her lower INT than the other characters results in 
    less magic defense and less cost-effectiveness than the other 
    classes (when using the same spells anyway), and since Saint 
    Beam is the costliest of level 2 spells, that's a slight 
    issue. She is also less capable of dishing out damage with a 
    variety of elements outside of holy. Her ultimate spell, 
    Rainbow, is quite expensive, so the Arch Mage is likewise not 
    ideally suited to a team without stat magic.
    4. Affiliates: I recommend putting the Arch Mage on any team 
    in which the Grand Divina would fit, with the contention that 
    you'll be using her holy magic more often than her other 
    elements, or teams that lack a healer.
    Dark-Light: Rune Master
    Support  -------------x-Focus
    Physical -----------x---- Magical
    Single    -x-------------- Groups
    1. List of skills: List of skills: Holy Ball*, Diamond 
    Missile*, Air Blast*, Evil Gate*, Ice Smash*, Fireball*, Dark 
    Force*, Stun Wind, Stone Cloud, Cold Blaze, Blaze Wall, 
    Starting and final stats: STR 13/15, DEX 13/15, CON 14/18, INT 
    18/21, PIE 16/19, LUCK 13/16
    2. Strengths: You may have noticed how few stars exist in her 
    list of spells. That is because the Rune Master excels in a 
    unique form of combat for Angela: single-target massively 
    damaging magic. The Rune Master is Angela's fastest damage-
    dealer under the right conditions. Her DeathSpell will deal 
    999 damage against anything at a lower level than her, making 
    the Rune Master the ideal class for a team without stat magic, 
    provided you know enough about RPGs to level up enough. Her ST 
    level 3 spells cast status effects such as silence, 
    petrification, and snowman in addition to dealing slightly 
    more damage than level 2 spells. This comes in handy if you 
    plan to fight the Black Rabite, as the level 99 great demons 
    it summons are vulnerable to petrification.
    3. Weaknesses: If you care about having the statistically 
    ideal character, the Rune Master is the one class you should 
    avoid. This is because its stats are identical to the Grand 
    Divina's - with 2 points lower in STR and DEX! Granted, these 
    are two less than significant stats for the class, but 2 
    points is a lot in this game, and she has nothing to make up 
    for it. On a team with stat magic, level 2 spells deal out 
    nearly as much damage as level 3 spells, and with most classes 
    are also MT. Her cost-efficiency is perhaps the worst of any 
    class; unless you have her on a team with a Tree Saber user, 
    she will run out of MP in the final battles before taking off 
    a fifth of the boss's HP no matter which spells you try to hit 
    it with. Since her only spells that aren't level 3 or 
    DeathSpell are level 1 spells and Dark Force, this is bad. She 
    also suffers through long dungeons in which the Magus's 
    ability to dish out strong damage with level 1 spells is more 
    4. Affiliates: Because DeathSpell deals 999 damage without 
    stat magic, the Rune Master's ideal team has none (on a team 
    with stat magic, her other classes approach this figure using 
    half the MP or less), but does have Tree Saber, and plans to 
    level up a lot. For this reason, the Warrior Monk is her ideal 
    counterpart. This is the one class that fits on teams with 
    physical characters, the likes of Duran or Kevin, which 
    explains my choice on the 2nd meter. It should also be your 
    choice if you plan to fight the Black Rabite, for reasons 
    outlined above.
    Dark-Dark: Magus
    Support  --------------x- Focus
    Physical ---------------x Magical
    Single    --------x------- Groups
    1. List of skills: Holy Ball*, Diamond Missile*, Air Blast*, 
    Evil Gate*, Ice Smash*, Fireball*, Dark Force*, Earthquake, 
    Thunderstorm, Mega Splash, Explode, Ancient*
    Starting and final stats: STR 13/16, DEX 13/16, CON 14/18, INT 
    18/22, PIE 16/18, LUCK 13/15
    2. Strengths: This class is often derided as a class for 
    people who want a challenge. This is only true if one has no 
    clue how to use the Magus, as it's actually useful in many 
    parties. As Angela's most cost-effective magic user, the Magus 
    has the best magic defense in the game, and since bosses 
    generally use magic over physical attacks, this is good. She 
    also gets the same level 2 spell set as the light classes, but 
    replacing Saint Beam with Dark Force, and her spells are only 
    single target. This makes her superior for fighting bosses and 
    less skilled at fighting common enemies with these spells. 
    However, since Dark Force bypasses Counter Magic, this 
    somewhat makes up for it. The Magus also has a very easy time 
    getting through dungeons without wasting her MP down too 
    quickly, as she is the most effective MT level 1 spellcaster 
    in the game. Since these spells are the most cost-effective, 
    this makes her strong. Ancient is also a fun spell, even if it 
    is way too expensive, and it does approach the damage barrier 
    even without stat ups or downs, and it makes leveling up near 
    a gold statue very easy.
    3. Weaknesses: Unfortunately, the Magus' superiority lies with 
    her weaker spells. Ancient, though fun, is too expensive to 
    use as your primary attack in protracted boss battles or long 
    dungeons, leaving her to choose only level 1 or 2 spells. This 
    is not a problem in boss battles if you have stat magic; she's 
    actually the best boss fighter in these parties of Angela's 
    classes. Her level 2 spells approach the damage of the Rune 
    Master's level 3 spells in such parties, for half the MP cost. 
    However, if you're not in such a party, you'll likely find the 
    Magus resorting to Ancient in order to pass even the 500 
    damage mark, as her other spells are too weak to do so. In 
    real-time, this is an issue. The Magus also as a tradeoff has 
    her lowest luck and spirit scores, meaning slower spell 
    casting, but since you should be casting mostly weak, quickly-
    cast spells at a strong damage rate with the Magus, this isn't 
    as much of an issue as you might think.
    4. Affiliates: I recommend the Magus as a boss fighter on the 
    same teams as the light classes. However, if you do not plan 
    to use her level 1 spells constantly, I strongly recommend you 
    put a strong stat magic-using fighter, such as Nightblade or 
    Vanadies, on her teams. Otherwise, you may not find yourself 
    reaching the bosses. A good tactic may be to quickly cast an 
    MT level 1 spell in a screen to weaken the enemies, knocking 
    the enemies back quickly, then having your fighters rush in.
    Carlie (or Charlotte)
    How to use her:
    In terms of primary purpose, Carlie has a tendency during her 
    first two classes to be essentially "ahead" of the others in some 
    ways. Before anyone can heal without using an item, Carlie can 
    use Heal Light and Tinkle Rain. Before anyone else can 
    multitarget anything (except Angela's level 1 spells) Carlie can 
    already multitarget her heal light and is well on the way to 
    developing her later abilities. Her final classes however tend to 
    rely on specific purposes that vary given class and team, 
    rendering Carlie one of the more diverse characters in SD3. Along 
    with Hawk she's the character for an advanced player who wants to 
    use neat tricks a less skilled tactician wouldn't look at. Bottom 
    line: no matter what your team is, there's a Carlie class for it, 
    if you know how to use it.
    Carlie's attack power is as low as Angela's, and her DEX and HP 
    are nearly as low. But she has the game's strongest total mental 
    stats, with the second highest INT (for magic defense) and LUCK 
    and the highest PIE (her final classes all instantly cast Heal 
    Light and the Sage has the game's strongest holy magic). All of 
    her classes are useful, but each really depends on who's on your 
    Leveling up Carlie:
    Carlie is like Angela in that she needs to raise Vitality 
    frequently to stay alive. However, she doesn't have as desperate 
    a need for Intelligence, as her spells are based on Spirit. So 
    Intelligence provides only magic defense, and Carlie's base MDF 
    for her final classes is higher than the best MDF some other 
    characters can obtain. I recommend raising her Spirit whenever 
    the chance arises, and raise Vitality whenever it doesn't. If her 
    magic defense begins to lag then raise Intelligence. It's 
    possible that she may be your luckiest character; if so, raise 
    that sporadically too.
    Carlie's final classes:
    Light-Light: Bishop
    Support  ---x------------ Focus
    Physical ------x--------- Magical
    Single    ------x--------- Groups
    1.	List of skills: Heal Light*, Tinkle Rain*, Flame Saber, Ice 
    Saber, Thunder Saber, Diamond Saber, Saint Saber, Holy 
    Ball, Magic Shield, Turn Undead
    Starting and final stats: STR 13/16, DEX 14/16, CON 14/18, 
    INT 16/18, PIE 18/22, LUCK 16/18
    2.	Strengths: The highest spirit score in the game coupled 
    with instant-cast MT Heal Light makes this class a prodigal 
    healer. Coupled with the possession of every elemental 
    saber except Dark Saber, this makes her an ideal support 
    character for fighting parties. Other perks include Magic 
    Shield, which helps to cut down the damage to characters 
    with sad magic defense (read: Kevin and Duran) and Turn 
    Undead. The latter has the game's best damage:MP ratio 
    (999:1), with the condition that you be at a higher level 
    than the target and the target is specifically undead. 
    Fortunately, Carlie/Kevin's final boss, the Dark Lich, is. 
    Combining this with Saint Saber sees her finest hour set on 
    her own quest with a strong party of fighters. Add in Holy 
    Ball for dishing out damage after her support skills are 
    finished, and you have a well-rounded holy character useful 
    throughout an entire protracted battle.
    3.	Weaknesses: Like her other classes, the Bishop cannot 
    attack physically and expect to deal damage. Since she 
    lacks multitarget attack spells, this puts her at somewhat 
    of a boring role while dungeon crawling, as her only 
    purpose is to cast ST sabers and heal the others. This is 
    not a bad role. but it IS somewhat limiting. She also has 
    Carlie's lowest Luck and Intelligence scores, which 
    somewhat contrasts her status as a primarily mental 
    4.	Affiliates: This class should typically have Duran or Kevin 
    as a teammate to take maximum advantage of her sabers, 
    especially Saint Saber. Any of Lise's or Hawk's classes 
    also make a good teammate, as stat magic + Magic Shield can 
    create a defensive powerhouse of a team. I recommend the 
    Bishop more strongly on her own quest than on the others.
    Light-Dark: Sage
    Support  ----x----------- Focus
    Physical -----x---------- Magical
    Single    -----------x---- Groups
    1.	List of skills: Heal Light*, Tinkle Rain*, Flame Saber*, 
    Ice Saber*, Thunder Saber*, Diamond Saber*, Holy Ball, 
    Saint Beam
    Starting and final stats: STR 13/15, DEX 14/17, CON 14/18, 
    INT 16/19, PIE 18/21, LUCK 16/19
    2.	Strengths: Like the Bishop, the Sage has great healing 
    skills, but she replaces some of the Bishop's skills with 
    others. For starters, she gets the game's strongest Saint 
    Beam, one of the game's most useful attack spells, instead 
    of Saint Saber, one of the game's most useful power up 
    spells. While limiting her support, this allows her to 
    become a better damage dealer herself. She also replaces 
    Turn Undead and Magic Shield with MT sabers. This makes her 
    a slightly more efficient character against the God-Beasts 
    in a party with strong fighters than the Bishop, as it 
    allows fighters to get into the action more quickly and 
    conserves valuable MP. Her magic defense is also quite 
    good, and despite being derided as the game's worst class 
    in many an FAQ, the Sage is actually a useful combination 
    of support and self-sufficiency when used -properly-. 
    3.	Weaknesses: The Sage has the dubious distinction of being 
    the game's weakest physical attacker when maxed out. This 
    sounds like it shouldn't be an issue for a healer. but it 
    does somewhat cost her ability to help out when not 
    healing. Saint Beam, while it does have a purpose, is only 
    ST, and while it can propel your party's total damage rate 
    higher than Saint Saber can, it does cause counterattacks 
    from some bosses, particularly the Black Rabite. (Ditto for 
    Angela.) The worst thing about the Sage is that she has to 
    be in the same party she's supporting, so her MT sabers are 
    only helping two characters attack anyway. This somewhat 
    causes her to suffer in a party without Mind Up or Mind 
    Down, which helps her Saint Beam gain value.
    4.	Affiliates: I recommend putting her in a party with Lise, 
    particularly the Fenrir Knight or Star Lancer, and another 
    strong attacker such as Nightblade or Dervish. This will 
    maximize the benefits her sabers confer while assisting her 
    in dealing damage as well. Cast Mind Up on her at the 
    beginning of boss battles and cast whatever sabers are 
    necessary at the same time. Like the Arch Mage, this class 
    also makes for a good "Holy Focus" party if teamed with the 
    Paladin, so Saint Saber is not lost. I recommend strongly 
    against teaming this class with dark Duran, even the 
    Duelist, since if he can already cast one saber you only 
    need ST sabers to cast one more (Carlie herself should 
    rarely be on the receiving end of sabers).
    Dark-Light: Necromancer
    Support  ----x----------- Focus
    Physical --------x------- Magical
    Single    ---x------------ Groups
    1.	List of skills: Heal Light*, Tinkle Rain*, Dark Saber, 
    Black Curse, Unicorn Head, Machine Golem, Ghoul, Ghost
    Starting and final stats: STR 13/16, DEX 14/15, CON 13/18, 
    INT 17/19, PIE 17/21, LUCK 17/20
    2.	Strengths: The Necromancer is first and foremost a profound 
    support character with one of the hardest spells in the 
    game to duplicate: Black Curse. This neat ST spell 
    simultaneously casts Mind Down, Power Down and Protect Down 
    on the target for 6 MP, saving time and counterattacks. 
    This sees a fine role against the Black Rabite, since the 
    best tactics for fighting it consist of casting as few 
    spells on it as possible. The only other access to this 
    spell is through the game's rarest non-unique item, the 
    Shadowzero's Eye. Her healing ability also approaches that 
    of the light classes, and her summons enable her to deal 
    adequate damage should her role come to that. It seems 
    shallow to base praise for an entire class on one spell. 
    but Black Curse just sees enough use on various teams to 
    warrant selection of this class. She also carries a 
    profound luck score combined with mostly good stats 
    otherwise, and does get Dark Saber, which in all fairness 
    is useful against Heath (Carlie's toughest boss).
    3.	Weaknesses: The Necromancer unfortunately sees little use 
    beyond Black Curse. While her summons see adequate use in 
    battle, they just don't really compete with the other 
    classes' attack magic. It's probably her weakest class if 
    what you're looking for is to deal damage after she's done 
    supporting, but it's her best for helping the other 
    characters' damage and survival. Dark Saber is also a less 
    than useful spell, unless you happen to be fighting Heath 
    or Lightgazer with fighters in your party.
    4.	Affiliates: The Necromancer is a good addition to virtually 
    any team. Combining her with Lise's light classes creates a 
    team of complete ownage no matter who the third character 
    is. I recommend however that you put her on a team with 
    damage dealers such as Angela or Kevin, as she herself 
    doesn't do so well at that.
    Dark-Dark: Evil Shaman
    Support  ------x--------- Focus
    Physical ------------x--- Magical
    Single    ---------x------ Groups
    1.	List of skills: Heal Light*, Tinkle Rain*, Antimagic, Demon 
    Breath, Unicorn Head, Machine Golem, Gremlin, Great Demon
    Starting and final stats: STR 13/17, DEX 14/16, CON 13/18, 
    INT 17/20, PIE 17/20, LUCK 17/19
    2.	Strengths: The Evil Shaman is a class of abilities, most of 
    which are poor on their own, that happen to combine in ways 
    that make each other excel. Demon Breath is a multitarget 
    dark or fire magic (see note below) that also comes with MT 
    mind down status. This sounds bad because of the dark 
    element, which most later enemies absorb. However, she also 
    comes with Antimagic, which cancels elemental properties as 
    well as powerups. This spell is perhaps the game's best 
    against the Black Rabite, since it likes to heal itself 
    with Dark Force. Cast this spell, and it's suddenly 
    damaging itself instead. Cast antimagic at the beginning of 
    a boss battle, follow it with demon breath, and what do you 
    have? The same spell but essentially non-elemental! This 
    makes her the ultimate companion to a magic party, since 
    demon breath is itself actually a fairly powerful MT spell. 
    Her Great Demon summon likewise is useful after these are 
    cast, and she has Carlie's best attack power, and every 
    little bit helps in the parties to which the Evil Shaman 
    should belong. Finally, she paradoxically has Carlie's best 
    magic defense, but her weakest healing powers.
    3.	Weaknesses: The Evil Shaman is Carlie's weakest healer, and 
    while it doesn't make her a weak healer, it does make her 
    somewhat less preferable - in the healing role at least - 
    to other classes. However, in the hands of a skilled 
    player, her other roles are fully realized. Her best spells 
    are also quite costly in MP, particularly those meant to 
    deal damage. Finally, she is confusing for beginners to use 
    without experience, and her role is limited to certain 
    parties, however ideal she may be in those.
    4.	Affiliates: The Evil Shaman belongs on a team of magic 
    users. Demon Breath can help lower an enemy's magic damage 
    to a fighting party, but why limit its role to that when 
    you can have a team that takes advantage of the enemy's 
    decreased magic defense as well? In my opinion her ideal 
    team is all-female with an advanced player at the helm.
    Note: Apparently, some members of a board have performed trials 
    with Demon Breath and have found it to contain fire element. 
    However, I have also seen dark enemies absorb it. This leads me 
    to believe either one of us has a foggy memory, or the spell can 
    be both dark and fire elemental simultaneously, much like Final 
    Fantasy 7's Magic Breath is fire/ice/lightning.
    How to use him:
    Of the three focus characters, this mercenary of Forcena is the 
    one who sees the most use as a party member rather than as an 
    individual powerhouse. His specialty is in dealing massive 
    physical damage, and he's so good at it that even the strongest 
    non-Duran class (the Vanadies) doesn't compete with his weakest 
    class (the Paladin) in terms of attack power. This makes him the 
    strongest single-hit attacker (see my section on popular myths 
    for a dispelling of the two most popular myths that cause people 
    to dislike Duran). He also has the widest swing, which means that 
    if enemies are approaching him from north, south, and west, he 
    can hit all three with one swing if a skilled player is 
    controlling him, while other characters lack this potential. But 
    as strong as he is, Duran also sees use in helping the other 
    party members, either through healing, sabers, or both. Between 
    the two fighters who can learn to heal (Duran and Kevin) if they 
    become a light class, Duran is the one who sacrifices less 
    strength by choosing his. This, plus his sabers, makes him a good 
    addition to a physical focus team like Fenrir Knight + Dervish.
    Duran is the opposite of Carlie: highest STR, second highest HP 
    and CON, but low magic defense, casting speed, luck, and healing 
    power. As a result, he performs ideally on a team that can help 
    magic defense and attack power, as well as one with sabers (which 
    most of his own classes have).
    Leveling up Duran:
    As a physical fighter with the lowest luck in the game, you most 
    likely won't be using Duran for his luck or magical capabilities. 
    Raise his Strength whenver possible to maximize his advantage in 
    attacking. I advise staying away from Luck and Spirit, unless 
    he's your Heal Light user in which event you may occasionally 
    wish to raise Spirit. However, his magic defense does need 
    desperate help, so whenever you can't raise Strength, raise 
    either Vitality or Intelligence.
    Duran's final classes:
    Light-Light: Paladin
    Support  -----------x---- Focus
    Physical ----x----------- Magical
    Single    -------x-------- Groups
    1.	List of skills: Heal Light, Saint Saber
    Starting and final stats: STR 17/21, DEX 15/17, CON 17/21, 
    INT 13/15, PIE 14/17, LUCK 14/16
    2.	Strengths: The Paladin is Duran's only class to learn Saint 
    Saber. This makes him a uniquely useful character in 
    parties focused on holy damage as well as battling the 
    Black Rabite. It can also heal, even though the healing is 
    single target, and learns an FST. His sacred shield is also 
    meant to protect against all magic; unfortunately, due to a 
    glitch in the game, it doesn't work. Since Duran's purpose 
    is mass damage, this class allows you to fulfill that 
    purpose without sacrificing a healer. He's a balanced class 
    that allows you to have a party with both three strong 
    classes and three good supporters.
    3.	Weaknesses: He has the game's weakest magic defense, tied 
    with the God Hand. He sees little use beyond the healing 
    power and the occasional use of Saint Saber that any other 
    class of Duran's can't fulfill more efficiently. A common 
    myth claims that he has weak attack power; in fact, his 
    attack power is within 4 points of any other class save the 
    Duelist, and he has the same strength as the other two. 
    However, his shield is broken, so its magic properties 
    don't take hold. Because he's a balanced class, he doesn't 
    really excel in anything specific (except Black Rabite 
    4.	Affiliates: The Paladin fits well on most teams that the 
    Bishop fits on, but he's better balanced for all three 
    quests. He provides a good counterpart to the Sage, since 
    he is himself a good physical attacker and he has the one 
    (important) elemental saber the Sage lacks. He also makes a 
    good teammate for the Ninja Master or Fenrir Knight; just 
    try using his FST after an MT protect down or Thunder Jutsu 
    and you'll see what I mean. If you plan to fight the Black 
    Rabite on his own quest, he is part of perhaps the ultimate 
    team designed expressly for this purpose (Paladin, 
    Necromancer, Star Lancer).
    Dark-Light: Lord (or Warlord)
    Support  ---------x------ Focus
    Physical -----x---------- Magical
    Single    -----x---------- Groups
    1.	List of skills: Heal Light*, Tinkle Rain
    Starting and final stats: STR 17/21, DEX 15/18, CON 17/21, 
    INT 13/16, PIE 13/16, LUCK 14/17
    2.	Strengths: The Lord is Duran's healing class, but this 
    doesn't mean he's incapable of fighting. His strength is 
    every bit as high as the other classes (except Duelist), 
    which (as with Paladin) many seem to forget. The ability to 
    MT Heal Light is good not only for faster healing, but MP 
    conservation. This makes him ideal for taking the role of 
    party healer, leaving other characters to seek newly 
    unrestricted classes. The Oath Shield empowers the Lord 
    with immunity to most status changes!
    3.	Weaknesses: The Lord is the only class of Duran's that does 
    not have any FSTs. While this is not reason enough to shy 
    from selecting him, it does somewhat limit his fighting 
    credentials on the wrong team. Although his healing is 
    multitargetable, his point less in spirit than Paladin 
    means he'll be healing somewhat less per casting, although 
    this is easily offset by the benefits of MT. He is the only 
    class of Duran's which gets no sabers, which means that if 
    you don't like using Stardust Herbs, you have to hope 
    someone else has sabers or that the boss you're fighting 
    doesn't use a saber on your party.
    4.	Affiliates: As a character whose main role is to provide MT 
    healing without sacrificing fighting ability, the Lord fits 
    on virtually any team. However, some teams are better set 
    to help his performance than others. I recommend against 
    selecting the Lord on any team with Carlie or light-classed 
    Kevin, as these only repeat his skills and limit your team 
    to little more than healing abilities. You might want to 
    put him on a team with someone who has a strong FST 
    (Vanadies, Nightblade, dark Kevin) or powerful multitarget 
    magic (light Angela, Ninja Master, any Lise). Otherwise you 
    may find yourself killing enemies just one at a time.
    Dark-Light: Swordmaster
    Support  ----------x----- Focus
    Physical x--------------- Magical
    Single     -----------x---- Groups
    1.	List of skills: Fire Saber*, Ice Saber*, Thunder Saber*, 
    Diamond Saber*, Moon Saber, Tree Saber
    Starting and final stats: STR 18/21, DEX 16/18, CON 17/21, 
    INT 14/16, PIE 13/16, LUCK 13/16
    2.	Strengths: The Swordmaster combines power with the ability 
    to support a good fighting party. On top of having the 
    game's second highest attack power per strike, the 
    Swordmaster can also multitarget every elemental saber, 
    much like the Sage. However, while he cannot heal, he can 
    use Moon Saber and Tree Saber, which restore HP and MP 
    respectively per hit, and is the only class in the game to 
    combine these spells into the same class, and the only one 
    to have either in addition to elemental sabers. His FST is 
    more than adequate for battling, and his ability to MT 
    sabers means the Swordmaster will get into battle action 
    quicker than the Duelist will and conserve MP through long 
    3.	Weaknesses: The Swordmaster has Duran's most useless stats, 
    making him a less efficient character than the Duelist 
    individually, particularly for a single character 
    challenge. He sacrifices points in Strength, Dexterity, and 
    Intelligence for Spirit and Luck, neither of which he uses 
    much. If you plan to make Duran the focus of your party, 
    the Duelist outshines him. It is when finding a balance 
    that allows Duran to fight well while also helping the 
    other party members that makes the Swordmaster worth 
    4.	Affiliates: Since his main benefits are multitargetting 
    sabers and using Tree Saber, the Duelist ideally belongs on 
    a team that can fight and also use magic, but needs MP 
    restoration frequently. For this reason he makes an 
    excellent teammate for Hawk's dark classes, particularly 
    the Nightblade, as well as Lise (particularly Star Lancer) 
    or light Kevin. I recommend on the other hand against 
    putting him on a team with Angela, because while Tree Saber 
    would help her, it comes at the expense of the efficiency 
    his MT sabers grant. Give her the Warrior Monk instead.
    Dark-Dark: Duelist
    Support  -------------x-Focus
    Physical -x-------------- Magical
    Single     ---------x------ Groups
    1.	List of skills: Fire Saber, Ice Saber, Thunder Saber, 
    Diamond Saber, Dark Saber
    Starting and final stats: STR 18/22, DEX 16/19, CON 17/21, 
    INT 14/17, PIE 13/15, LUCK 13/15
    2.	Strengths: Many people look at the Duelist and see Eruption 
    Sword. This is a completely valid perspective, but there is 
    much MUCH more to the Duelist than the game's strongest 
    FST. He also has the game's highest single-hit attack power 
    (to give you an idea of where he stands, if an enemy 
    somehow had 340 Defense he'd be the only class capable of 
    dealing damage in the double digits), and he still has the 
    capability of lending saber support to himself and other 
    fighters in his party. He does learn Dark Saber, which, 
    while useless in most dungeons, is strong against 
    Lightgazer (one of the tougher God-Beasts) and Heath (the 
    toughest boss on Kevin/Carlie's quest). He also has Duran's 
    highest magic defense, which for Duran is big, because this 
    means his best damage-dealing class is also the one best 
    capable of surviving enemy spells. At heart the Duelist is 
    a quintessential "focus character."
    3.	Weaknesses: The Duelist does fall short of being a fully 
    contributing member of a flowing team. His casting of ST 
    sabers is fairly stagnant, and on a team of fighters, 
    somewhat slows down how quickly he can get into the action. 
    Outside of mass strength and the battles in which he has 
    the appropriate elemental saber, the Duelist has literally 
    no purpose, so he relies on a team of characters with 
    purpose to make up for that. If you want any form of 
    healing for your team, this class forces you to take Carlie 
    or light classed Kevin as a teammate. Oh well, you could 
    always take the God Hand and spam Aura Wave..
    4.	Affiliates: The Duelist should have good support characters 
    by his side. Good companions include Lise, Hawk (the 
    Wanderer proves a great ally, particularly for Duran's own 
    quest), or Carlie. Aura Wave is a good companion ability to 
    the Duelist, so try pairing him with God Hand (if you don't 
    have the Wanderer) and a stat mage (Lise, dark Hawk). 
    Speaking of which, MT stat downs are great for the Duelist 
    (Ninja Master anyone?), as is Power Up. Likewise, he makes 
    a very poor teammate for dark classed Kevin, as it forces 
    your third character to be Carlie if you want a healer and 
    you must sacrifice that possibility. Saber users, 
    especially the Sage, are also somewhat redundant, as 
    Duelist himself can cast most sabers anyway.
    Hawk (or Hawkeye)
    How to use him:
    Hawk, venerate of the Navarre Thieves' Guild, is, along with 
    Carlie, the character least suited to being a "focus character." 
    Every character that does less damage than him physically is 
    capable of learning some kind of spell that does more damage than 
    his do. However, Hawk is the game's most diverse character in 
    terms of support abilities, making him the best contributor to 
    good parties. Depending on his selection of class, Hawk can do 
    anything except heal. From the essential combination of Fenrir 
    Knight and Sorceress that forms the Ninja Master to the jack-of-
    all-trades Wanderer, Hawk is capable of filling nearly any hole 
    your other two party members might have left open.
    Along with Lise, Hawk has the game's best overall stats. Unlike 
    Lise, however, he has defined strengths and weaknesses. Hawk 
    tends to have the highest Luck and Agility in a party (he is the 
    only character to begin with two stats set to 6; on the flip 
    side, he's also the only one to start with four scores of 3 or 
    less). Depending on the selected class, Hawk can also make up for 
    disadvantages in magic defense or physical strength. Keep your 
    team's abilities well in mind when selecting a class for Hawk.
    Leveling up Hawk:
    Paradoxically, having the best stats, Hawk needs to raise the 
    most as well. To learn many abilities, and to raise his trap 
    damage, Hawk will need to raise his Agility often. As his HP, 
    magic defense, and physical defense are on the weak side, he will 
    also need to raise Vitality and Intelligence (the latter is also 
    required for some classes' skills). The Wanderer requires a raise 
    in Spirit to learn some skills, and as Hawk is most likely going 
    to be your chest opener, you'll need to raise Luck too. As much 
    as he could use it, therefore, his Strength tends to be best 
    neglected until other stats are raised, unless you want him to 
    double as a fighter (i.e. as Nightblade).
    Hawk's final classes:
    Light-Light: Wanderer
    Support  x--------------- Focus
    Physical  -------x-------- Magical
    Single     ---x------------ Groups
    1.	List of skills: Change Form*, Sleep Flower*, Arrow, Spike, 
    Aura Wave, Transhape, Counter Magic, Energy Ball, Lunatic, 
    Half Vanish, Life Booster, Poison Bubble
    Starting and final stats: STR 14/16, DEX 17/20, CON 15/19, 
    INT 14/16, PIE 15/18, LUCK 18/21
    2.	Strengths: The Wanderer is the most diverse character in 
    the game in terms of abilities, and hence uses. He can put 
    all enemies to sleep with MT sleep flower, use Aura Wave to 
    help your fighters unleash FSTs, use attack magic and 
    replenish his own MP with Poison Bubble, cut an enemy's 
    remaining HP in half, and even raise a party member's max 
    HP by 1/5 with Life Booster or lower a boss's by 1/5 with 
    Lunatic. (That means 10,000 instant non-restorable damage 
    to the final bosses!) But his most significant use in most 
    teams is also his most overlooked: he can make the party 
    nearly invincible against 80% of the game's attacks, by 
    using Transhape (a spell that makes the target clear; he 
    cannot be hit by physical attacks unless they are techs of 
    at least level 2) and Counter Magic (the character reflects 
    any non-Shade attack spell that can be single-targeted back 
    at the caster; think Reflect from the Final Fantasy series 
    minus the reflection of beneficial magics). These two 
    spells see particular use respectively when battling the 
    Darkshine Knight and Koren, as they actually DO make you 
    invincible during these fights (unless Koren casts Ancient, 
    and provided you don't use magic or techs on the DSK.)
    3.	Weaknesses: Remember how I said Duelist is almost entirely 
    a focus character? Well, Wanderer IS entirely a support 
    character. He literally has no capacity to do anything that 
    doesn't involve disabling the enemies or helping other 
    members and himself to perform better. His attack power is 
    weaker per hit than most of Angela's and Carlie's classes, 
    and his only tenable attack spell (Poison Bubble), while 
    useful for MP restoration, doesn't remotely compete with 
    the attack spells of Angela or the Rogue in terms of damage 
    or elemental uses. Arrow and Spike barely count as attacks, 
    since by the end of the game you'll be doing more with 
    physical hits than these spells. He also has poor stats for 
    a Hawk class, leaving him with many weaknesses that must be 
    helped by another support character. The Rogue is equal or 
    better in every single stat except for Spirit, the least 
    useful for Hawk.
    4.	Affiliates: The Wanderer can fit on any team. I'm not even 
    kidding. But I do advise putting him on a team with at 
    least one heavily focus character such as Death Hand or 
    Magus, and the multiple stat mage/healer combination that 
    is Carlie as a Necromancer would round out such a party 
    quite well. Aura Wave places him slightly better on a 
    physical than magical team. Because of the abovementioned 
    advantages against Duran's and Angela's bosses, the 
    Wanderer performs exceptionally well during the later 
    phases of their quest.
    Light-Dark: Rogue
    Support  -------------x-Focus
    Physical -----------x---- Magical
    Single    -x-------------- Groups
    1.	List of skills: Change Shape*, Sleep Flower*, Rock Fall, 
    Cutter Missile, Land Mine, Crescent, Rocket Launcher, Land 
    Mine, Axe Bomber, Silver Dart, Grenade Bomb
    Starting and final stats: STR 14/17, DEX 17/21, CON 15/19, 
    INT 14/17, PIE 15/17, LUCK 18/22
    2.	Strengths: The Rogue defies convention by making Hawk into 
    a focus character - and quite the focus character he is, 
    too. The most balanced focus class, the Rogue can serve 
    multiple purposes simultaneously. Its primary use is with 
    magic, but don't make any mistakes. the Rogue is *not* 
    Angela with better stats, as many make him out to be. For 
    starters, where Angela's focus is on the ability to take 
    advantage of elemental weaknesses, the Rogue focuses on a 
    more general type of damage-dealing: he specializes in 
    single-target magic use with mostly non-elemental magic 
    spells. At first, this sounds bad because he can't take 
    advantage of elemental weaknesses, but consider: many 
    bosses, such as Koren or Dark Lich, like to change their 
    weaknesses around. This means any given elemental spell you 
    cast may heal them, while a non-elemental spell is 
    guaranteed to deal damage. The Rogue's Grenade Bomb enables 
    him virtually infinite MP, given that you have more than 7 
    remaining to cast it. And he gets the game's most useful 
    Holy elemental spell, Silver Dart, which is essentially ST 
    Saint Beam for 2 MP and a shorter casting time. He also 
    gets spells in fire, dark, and tree elements. He has the 
    highest luck in the game, and can fight better than any of 
    Angela's classes, due to his double-hit. Finally, he can 
    multitarget Sleep Flower and Change Shape like the 
    Wanderer. While the Rogue will never reach the mass damage-
    dealing of Angela, he does sacrifice only a little in 
    exchange for being the most multi-dimensional of focus 
    3.	Weaknesses: The biggest problem with a multi-dimensional 
    character is that they are rarely exceptional in any field. 
    The Rogue is the textbook example of this. He can fight, 
    put enemies to sleep, deal non-elemental damage, and deal 
    some elemental damage, but doesn't really stand out in any 
    one area. His attack spells are only single-target, which 
    somewhat restricts his activity to bosses or single 
    enemies. Finally, you also have to be careful using Grenade 
    Bomb (ditto for Wanderer's Poison Bubble): if you use it on 
    the wrong enemy. well, let's just say you won't like the 
    4.	Affiliates: The Rogue will fit in on most parties. When 
    forming the party, try to keep a particular goal in mind. I 
    recommend using him as the basis for a strong magic party, 
    joining with one of Angela's light classes (for MT magic 
    capabilities) and the Evil Shaman or Necromancer. This does 
    somewhat abandon the party's capacity to fight physically, 
    but it doesn't much matter when this isn't what your team 
    is meant to do. If you want to attack physically all game, 
    why are you selecting a magic-using class for your team?
    Dark-Light: Ninja Master
    Support  -------x-------- Focus
    Physical --------x------- Magical
    Single    ----------x----- Groups
    1.	List of skills: Shuriken*, Water Jutsu*, Thunder Jutsu*, 
    Fire Jutsu*, Earth Jutsu*
    Starting and final stats: STR 15/17, AGI 18/22, CON 15/19, 
    INT 15/18, PIE 14/16, LUCK 17/21
    2.	Strengths: The Ninja Master is the game's finest example of 
    what happens when you combine party support with individual 
    power, and what's more, he does it without sacrificing 
    anything significant. Imagine taking the Fenrir Knight 
    (Lise's dark-dark class) and adding Sorceress-level 
    elemental damage to her spells, and you begin to have an 
    idea of how this works. The Ninja Master's jutsus cover not 
    only every major stat down spell, but also the four 
    "common" elements, and since they can be multitargeted, 
    this noticeably decimates the class's need for an FST. His 
    physical and magical capabilities are somewhat balanced, 
    although his skills tend to overshadow his power. People 
    often complain about the lacking FST, but his double hit 
    enables him to reach his level 1 tech after just two 
    swings, like Hawk's other classes, and the level 1 tech is 
    stronger than any of his others anyway. It also enables him 
    to take advantage of any sabers cast on him, which is big. 
    I cannot overstate the ability to reduce every enemy on the 
    screen's physical and magical damage and defense to nearly 
    nil; this is one of the few classes that performs equally 
    well on a physical or magical team. His magic defense is 
    the highest, and his strengthened jutsus dish out the 
    second highest base magical damage (after Rogue), of Hawk's 
    classes. Finally, if you put Lise on the same team (as I 
    highly recommend), this class will enable you to select her 
    light classes and have both MT stat ups and downs on the 
    same team, doubling every character's damage from all 
    sources while cutting damage to your team to 1 in most 
    cases! Finally, he also has one of the game's more cost-
    efficient spells: MT Shuriken. For 1 MP, this spell will 
    dish out damage in the 200s without stat modifications and 
    lower the enemy's hit rate. Because of its extremely fast 
    casting time, a good tactic is to use this immediately upon 
    entering a room and while enemies are being knocked back, 
    follow it with a jutsu that would be useful in the fight.
    3.	Weaknesses: Despite the fact that the lack of an FST is 
    more than made up for by the presence of MT magic and MT 
    stat downs, it's still there. Also, while MT jutsus are 
    practically all he needs, he doesn't learn any new skills. 
    As a result, he is the least diverse (and most focused) of 
    Hawk's classes. His skills pretty much extend only to MT 
    damage and MT stat downs, as useful as those are. On a team 
    that already has stat downs (such as Fenrir Knight) he's 
    forced to act as team mage, a field in which Angela easily 
    takes him. Finally, being elemental attacks, his jutsus are 
    absorbed by some foes (such as Darkshine Knight), which 
    forces him to use a specter's eye before casting it or risk 
    facing some dangerous situations (Darkshine Knight without 
    power down), and they are countered by others (Black 
    Rabite), making them barely worth using.
    4.	Affiliates: The Ninja Master belongs on any team unless it 
    already has stat down spells. He can help Duran or Kevin 
    with their FST damage, help Angela with her MT and ST magic 
    damage, or help light-classed Carlie to beef up another 
    fighter's damage. Perhaps the best teammate for the Ninja 
    Master is Lise as a Star Lancer, because this gives you MT 
    stat ups, MT stat downs, two characters with multitarget 
    magic, two decent fighters, and MT silence - all with the 
    third character yet to be determined. You literally can't 
    go wrong with this class unless you're a complete imbecile.
    Dark-Dark: Nightblade
    Support  --------x------- Focus
    Physical ------x--------- Magical
    Single    ---x------------ Groups
    1.	List of skills: Shuriken, Water Jutsu, Thunder Jutsu, Fire 
    Jutsu, Earth Jutsu, Fire Breath, Poison Breath, Black Rain, 
    Deadly Weapon, Blow Needles
    Starting and final stats: STR 15/18, AGI 18/21, CON 15/19, 
    INT 15/17, PIE 14/17, LUCK 17/20
    2.	Strengths: Like the Ninja Master, the Nightblade is a 
    combination of support and focus, but used differently. For 
    starters, his physical strength and FST enables him to act 
    as Hawk's best fighter, as well as having the strongest 
    double hit level 1 tech of Hawk's. His jutsus provide ample 
    support for himself and other party members, as well as 
    magical attack power. He has no noticeably weak stats (his 
    lowest are 17s), which means there's not much he can't do. 
    On top of this, he has several new spells you can't access 
    anywhere else in the game. Blow Needles makes him one of 
    three characters in the game capable of inflicting silence 
    (generally accepted as the most universally useful status) 
    on enemies, while Deadly Weapon is like Lunatic (see 
    Wanderer, above) with the added plus of dealing damage. 
    Combined with the jutsus and his raw power, these skills 
    make the Nightblade an ideal character, both as a teammate 
    and an attacker, for any boss battle.
    3.	Weaknesses: The Nightblade is useful almost entirely in 
    boss battles. In terms of attacking groups of monsters, his 
    FST mostly loses out to the Ninja Master's MT jutsus unless 
    you have Aura Wave in your party, his ST jutsus aren't the 
    best support for MT magicians or FST fighters, and his 
    unique skills aren't much better. The ones you'll ever use 
    pretty much extend only to Deadly Weapon and Blow Needles. 
    Fire Breath isn't even fire elemental (and Shuriken is more 
    effective in every way), Poison Breath is pretty much the 
    same plus poison status, Black Rain is a dark spell that 
    can't even be single-targeted optionally, and while Deadly 
    Weapon is useful, the damage it does is more or less wiped 
    out by the decrease in max HP anyway. His ST jutsus can 
    create MP problems if used frequently, so while going 
    through dungeons he is more or less forced to be a physical 
    fighter, and is less than helpful for the other characters. 
    Finally, he is the victim of a nasty bug that occasionally 
    reduces his physical damage to 1, somewhat negating even 
    his power advantage.
    4.	Affiliates: The Nightblade belongs in the same parties as 
    the Ninja Master but with a focus on fighting bosses. Good 
    teammates include the Magus, Lord, and Vanadies. Teaming 
    him up with light-classed Lise or a character with 
    elemental sabers (light Carlie or dark Duran) isn't a bad 
    idea either. Avoid putting him on the same team as dark 
    Lise or dark Carlie.
    How to use him:
    Kevin, half-beastman, prince of the Beast Kingdom, is the game's 
    quintessential focus character, and being a pure physical focus 
    character, he is the antithesis to Angela. No matter which class 
    of his you choose, his primary purpose individually remains the 
    same: to turn into a wolf and beat the crap out of whatever comes 
    your way, hitting twice per attack, and ideally dishing out 
    extreme damage with the assistance of the other two characters' 
    abilities. That said, what he does for your team can vary greatly 
    depending on class and context. Because he almost entirely lacks 
    support abilities, no class of Kevin's really stands out from the 
    others, although the light classes are worlds apart from one 
    another. It really shouldn't be a factor in determining his 
    efficiency, but because it exists and cannot be reversed, it must 
    be taken into account: On most teams, Kevin is a "broken" 
    character (in more ways than one) because of many glitches. Most 
    significantly, in wolf form, anything that hits Kevin physically 
    automatically affects him as if he'd been hit with a power up or 
    pressure point spell. This means that in addition to the 1/7 of 
    his attack power he gets upon transformation, he's boosted by an 
    additional 1/3, in many cases making him every bit as strong as 
    Duran (without stat magic) on the individual hit! He also has the 
    most HP of any character, often matching Duran's while two or 
    three levels lower.
    Unfortunately, Kevin also has to deal with the worst overall 
    stats in the game: if one considers that the average level 1 stat 
    (rounded off) is 4, Kevin has only one above-average stat: 
    Vitality, which doesn't in any way benefit him because of weak 
    armor. His magic defense, healing capabilities, and luck are 
    overall the saddest in the game, and his untransformed attack 
    power isn't much better. But his sheer damage-dealing potential 
    makes up for all of that, and on the right team, these weaknesses 
    can be filled in.
    Leveling up Kevin:
    As his uses are so few but focused, Kevin is the easiest 
    character to level up. You can spend 10 levels in a row leveling 
    up only STR (to help his sole constant purpose, attack power) and 
    INT (so that he doesn't take 300-400 damage from a spell that 
    should be dealing 200 by the end) and he would in no way fall 
    behind in terms of what he does need. Nonetheless, his light 
    classes should raise PIE occasionally, especially the Warrior 
    Monk, and CON should be raised occasionally as well with all 
    classes so that his physical defense doesn't fall too far behind. 
    With his HP though it's not as much of an issue as it is for, 
    say, Angela.
    Light-Light: God Hand
    Support  ----------x----- Focus 
    Physical ---x------------ Magical 
    Single    ---------x------ Groups
    1.	List of skills: Heal Light, Aura Wave, Pressure Point
    Starting and final stats: STR 15/18, AGI 14/17, CON 18/22, 
    INT 13/15, PIE 14/17, LUCK 14/16
    2.	Strengths: The God Hand is a strong fighter that doesn't 
    sacrifice contributions to the other party members. His 
    fighting power is only a few points below the Death Hand or 
    Dervish, and he has an FST like them (two, in fact). In 
    addition, he can use Pressure Point on himself to increase 
    his power if Lise didn't already cast Power Up. He also has 
    two more useful spells: Heal Light and Aura Wave. Like the 
    Paladin vs. the Lord, he has a stronger Heal Light than the 
    Warrior Monk, but it's only single-targeted. Aura Wave is 
    great in a fighter party with an FST, as it allows you to 
    fill anyone's gauge to maximum level instantly. (If all 
    else fails, have him use it on himself.) And again, he gets 
    all of this without sacrificing significant amounts of 
    3.	Weaknesses: The God Hand has the dubious honor of the 
    game's most pitiful magic defense. His maximum is maybe 
    half of Angela's, and since magic defense can't be 
    compensated like physical defense can, this is a very real 
    issue. His ST heal light is not enough to serve as sole 
    healer for a newbie's party, and he loses in nearly all 
    ways to the Warrior Monk on a team of mages.
    4.	Affiliates: The God Hand is good on a fighting party. His 
    ideal teammate is the Paladin, who provides a second ST 
    Heal Light and has an FST. Other good teammates include 
    Vanadies, Nightblade, Swordmaster, and Duelist. Avoid 
    putting him on a team with mages; it diminishes the uses of 
    Aura Wave and he in no way benefits them with his presence.
    Light-Dark: Warrior Monk 
    Support ------x--------- Focus 
    Physical ----------x----- Magical 
    Single ---x------------ Groups 
    1. 	 List of skills: Heal Light*, Tree Saber, Pressure 
    Starting and final stats: STR 15/17, DEX 14/16, CON 18/22, 
    INT 13/16, PIE 14/16, LUCK 14/17
    2. 	Strengths: Many lovers of Kevin have a tendency to 
    hate this class. Judging by the reasons given in many FAQs 
    and on the boards, this is because they don't know how to 
    use it properly. The Warrior Monk is something of a black 
    sheep among the final classes, in that it's more focused on 
    helping its party than on being the main focus of it, and 
    is a weak contribution to a physical team while nearly the 
    supreme contribution to a magical team. He is one of those 
    rare cases in which a class can fill in a team's weakness 
    while still contributing to said team's skills. He fills 
    the role of healer with MT Heal Light, and - more 
    importantly - MP healer with Tree Saber. You can't afford 
    to underestimate this spell. It enables Lise to actually 
    serve as a summoner in boss battles, Hawk to use attack 
    spells constantly, and Carlie to use hers as well. Even the 
    Rune Master is an extremely good teammate for him because 
    of just this spell. Even as he provides these backups to a 
    magically attacking party, he also provides some physical 
    power, thanks to his Pressure Point spell, double attack, 
    and oft-overlooked Level 2 FST.
    3. 	Weaknesses: The Warrior Monk is an extremely limited 
    class in terms of team diversity. Its performance is in 
    nearly all ways inferior to the other classes on any non-
    magically focused team. It has Kevin's weakest attack 
    power, which means that if you chose a team meaning to 
    boost him up and then have him dish out mass damage, you 
    can prepare to be disappointed. One of my early teams was 
    Star Lancer-Warrior Monk-Nightblade, and I was using Star 
    Lancer to do physical damage more often than I was using 
    the Warrior Monk. It also holds the dubious distinction of 
    having the game's worst overall stats of any class.
    4.	Affiliates: As stated above, this class should be teamed 
    with Angela, Carlie, Lise, or Hawk and the team should 
    focus on its magical attacking capabilities. Avoid teaming 
    this class with Duran, as well as weaker magi like the 
    Wanderer and Vanadies, at all costs.
    Dark-Light: Death Hand
    Support  ---------------x Focus 
    Physical ---x------------ Magical 
    Single    -------x-------- Groups
    1. 	List of skills: Energy Ball
    Starting and final stats: STR 16/19, DEX 15/18, CON 18/22, 
    INT 14/16, PIE 13/15, LUCK 13/15
    2.	Strengths: Because of a glitch, this is the game's purest 
    focus class. There is absolutely nothing this class can do 
    that helps other party members perform better, and there is 
    no better class at being helped by other party members. 
    It's the game's most one-dimensional class, capable only of 
    fighting physically, but it's paradoxically capable of 
    dishing out more damage than any other class when used this 
    way! With Power Up, Protect Down, wolf form with a correct 
    saber thrown on him, this class can approach 1000 damage 
    per double-hit, and can dish out nearly 2000 with his level 
    1 tech, which he builds quite fast I might add. That's all 
    without using any MP. He was intended originally to have 
    one support spell: Energy Ball, familiar to Secret of Mana 
    players as the supremely useful spell that drives your 
    critical hit rate to outrageous levels. Unfortunately, 
    critical hits barely exist in this game because of a glitch 
    - I've never seen one in over 250 hours of gameplay - so 
    even this measure is denied.
    3.	Weaknesses: Being a fighter and only a fighter, the Death 
    Hand has absolutely no variety whatsoever. It's attack or 
    do nothing. This means the rest of your party virtually 
    needs to be characters who are good at supporting a 
    fighter, because otherwise his attack power will never 
    reach its potential. His mental stats are on the weak side 
    as well, making it tough for him to survive spells 
    unsupported. However, his other stats balance out fairly 
    well, as the two stats for which he's the game's worst 
    (spirit and luck) are nearly useless to him.
    4.	Affiliates: This class belongs on a strong fighting team 
    with support magic, and preferably including sabers. The 
    Swordmaster makes a good teammate, as do the Duelist, 
    Paladin, and any of Carlie's classes. Lise is also a good 
    teammate. Avoid throwing him in on any team with Angela, 
    especially light-classed, unless you want a challenge; the 
    lack of compatibility is frankly terrifying and neither 
    will perform well as a result.
    Dark-Dark: Dervish 
    Support -----------x---- Focus 
    Physical ----x----------- Magical 
    Single -------x-------- Groups
    1. 	List of skills: Moon Saber
    Starting and final stats: STR 16/18, DEX 15/17, CON 18/22, 
    INT 14/17, PIE 13/16, LUCK 13/16
    2. 	Strengths: Next to the Archmage, the Dervish is 
    unquestionably the most overlooked focus character in the 
    game. Contrary to popular belief, he is not significantly 
    weaker than the Death Hand; he is lower in strength by one 
    point, and a stronger final weapon makes up for 2 of those 
    attack points. The end result is that that the base damage 
    difference between the two is in the single digits. On top 
    of this, Dervish has Kevin's strongest magic defense, and 
    since this is a supremely important area for Kevin, this 
    never-mentioned fact is easily the most misunderstood on 
    this entire site. Finally, with Moon Saber, the Dervish can 
    act as a limited sort of healer-as-you-go, preventing the 
    need to heal. well, as frequently as usual.
    3. 	Weaknesses: Like his cousin the Death Hand, the 
    Dervish relies on boosts like sabers, Aura Wave, and stat 
    magic to help his attack power reach its full potential. 
    Some enemies absorb Moon Saber, so you have to be careful 
    around these. He also makes a poor contribution to a 
    magically focused team, but if you've chosen dark Kevin I'm 
    assuming you don't plan on forming one. His is nothing to 
    scream about either.
    4.	Affiliates: As cousin to the Death Hand, the Dervish is 
    what you choose for the same teams as Death Hand if you 
    want to sacrifice some attack power for magic defense and 
    Moon Saber. In other words, if you want to survive longer, 
    pick Dervish and a team with sabers and other support 
    magic, and preferably at least one of these belonging to 
    some kind of strong physical fighter. I like the thought of 
    a Bishop-Dervish-Nightblade team on Kevin's quest.
    How to use her:
    Princess Lise of Rolante is the game's most balanced character. 
    This is reflected by the fact that, in addition to having the 
    highest base stat total, she also is the only character to begin 
    with only one below-average stat (Luck, and it's a 3), as well as 
    the only one to begin with no stats at 6. She has all of the 
    basic stat magics for support, can inflict status effects on 
    multiple foes, and can use summons and brute strength to continue 
    dealing damage after these have worn out their uses. As long as 
    it doesn't involve healing, Lise can do it.
    Lise is the one character in the game to have literally no 
    weakness, as her physical and magical attack and virtually 
    equally powerful. She is also the only character in the game to 
    be above average in HP, Vitality, and Intelligence, making her 
    the ultimate defensive character. It's hard to say much more 
    about a character with stats as consistently good as Lise.
    Leveling up Lise:
    Lise is a well balanced character even from the start with no 
    inherent weaknesses. What's more, her abilities are learned by 
    reaching a certain Spirit score, and she happens to automatically 
    reach that score after each class change. Therefore, Lise is 
    always available to raise however you wish. Her main use is in 
    support, but stats are pretty irrelevant to her support skills, 
    and she needs to be able to contribute after buffing/debuffing. 
    So I recommend raising STR (if you want a fighter, particularly 
    recommended for Vanadies) or PIE (if you want a summoner, 
    particularly recommended for Dragon Master), CON and INT 
    periodically. DEX and LUCK are always useful, they just don't 
    have many specific applications to Lise.
    Light-Light: Vanadies 
    Support  -------x-------- Focus 
    Physical -----x---------- Magical 
    Single    --------x------- Groups 
    1. 	List of skills: Mind Up, Power Up, Protect Up, Speed 
    Up, Freya
    Starting and final stats: STR 17/20, DEX 16/19, CON 16/20, 
    INT 15/17, PIE 16/19, LUCK 14/16
    2. 	Strengths: Often derided by foolish FAQ writers that 
    for some reason view Lise's role as first and foremost a 
    summoner, then building an analysis of the classes around 
    how useful the summons are, the Vanadies is actually the 
    class that, particularly statwise, best befits Lise, and is 
    meant to be used entirely differently. The role of the 
    Vanadies is to take some time beefing up the party members, 
    then charge in doing massive physical damage. She is the 
    only class in the game to approach Duran in terms of single 
    hit power (not counting Kevin after transforming), and with 
    two FSTs no less. Take the Paladin, remove saint saber and 
    heal light, add stat magic and a summon, and subtract 
    miniscule amounts of attack power while adding a lot to 
    every other important stat, and you have an idea of just 
    what this class can actually be like. The single targeted 
    stat ups are ample support, particularly for a team in 
    which you want to cast the stat ups one by one anyway (such 
    as a team with single-targeted sabers). Finally, two oft-
    overlooked facts: firstly, she has Lise's highest spirit, 
    which means she casts the fastest spells, and her summon 
    has the best base damage-to-MP ratio. Secondly, like her 
    dark-light cousin the Dragon Master, the Vanadies learns 
    her summon immediately upon gaining her first level after 
    class changing, four levels before the Star Lancer or 
    Fenrir Knight learn theirs.
    3. 	Weaknesses: The Vanadies' biggest weakness is that it 
    takes her a while to get into the action on faster moving 
    teams; as a result, she makes a poor teammate for MT stat 
    down or MT saber types like the Swordmaster or Ninja Master 
    that are quicker to jump in. Not that she's a bad teammate 
    for these. it's just that she's better paired with someone 
    who uses those skills single-targeted. She also has Lise's 
    poorest magic defense (although it's still quite good), and 
    her summon costs you any experience you would gain if you 
    use it on normal enemies. Throw it all over bosses though, 
    or to get out of situations where you may die.
    4.	Affiliates: Since the Vanadies wants to beef up the other 
    characters and then get into the fray, preferably 
    physically attacking, team her with other physical team 
    members like the Bishop or Duelist. She makes a good 
    teammate for the Nightblade as well. Avoid teaming her with 
    the Sage or Swordmaster, as these classes are designed 
    around getting into the action quickly; team her instead 
    with Bishop or Duelist, respectively.
    Light-Dark: Star Lancer 
    Support ----x----------- Focus 
    Physical --------x------- Magical 
    Single ---------x------ Groups 
    1.	List of skills: Mind Up*, Power Up*, Protect Up*, Speed 
    Up*, Marduke
    Starting and final stats: STR 17/19, DEX 16/18, CON 16/20, 
    INT 15/18, PIE 16/18, LUCK 14/17
    2.	Strengths: The Star Lancer is almost universally the most 
    loved class in the game, and for good reason. It is the one 
    class in the game with the most irreplaceable skills, and 
    the one that fits on literally any team. (Yes, I'm well 
    aware that the Rogue's skills among others cannot be 
    duplicated either. But I'm also aware that there are plenty 
    of other items and/or abilities that duplicate the role of 
    dealing damage, while no other class or item in the game 
    multitargets stat ups or silence.) You literally cannot go 
    wrong with her no matter what team you form. The Star 
    Lancer can multitarget stat up spells, which has more uses 
    than you can possibly imagine. You can beef up your entire 
    party's physical attack power, physical defense power, and 
    magical attack and defense power in 3 spell castings for a 
    mere 6 MP! In addition, the Star Lancer is a more balanced 
    attacker than the Vanadies, lacking 13 of the Vanadies' 
    points of physical strength (which does actually matter 
    against stronger defenses) but having a useful summon: 
    Marduke, which multitargets both high damage and silence, 
    widely accepted as the most useful status a summon can dish 
    out. It disables foes from using any magic (including 
    healing), level 2 techs, and level 3 techs! She keeps her 
    level 2 FST, as do all of Lise's classes, and deals out 
    strong damage (800s-900s) with her ST level 3 tech. 
    Finally, her stats are well balanced in that none of her 
    stats is the lowest of her classes (except Agility), and 
    all but luck are 18 or higher.
    3.	Weaknesses: There really aren't any that will cause 
    problems you'll run into with this class on any given team. 
    That said, there are teams on which she is not the best 
    choice - not so much due to shortcomings as because another 
    class is better at something than she is. She also has 
    Lise's lowest stat total, and because of her balanced 
    stats, she has Lise's highest score in absolutely none of 
    them. This means if you're (for some reason that's probably 
    beyond me) using her as a focus character, there is always 
    another class that can do the same thing better: Vanadies 
    for fighting, Dragon Master for summoning, Fenrir Knight 
    for agility and magic defense. As a result, the Star Lancer 
    is the ultimate in providing a great party setup, but 
    weaker than the others in performing -after- this is done. 
    Still, she is a neutrally well-balanced attacker (rather 
    than a focused one) as well as a great support class, and 
    shouldn't be discounted for that reason.
    4.	Affiliates: Literally anybody. The Star Lancer can make any 
    team efficient. There is no team you can form, even if you 
    try, on which it would be a useless class. To form a 
    legendary team and experience a Paradise on Earth, pair her 
    with the Ninja Master. This gives you MT stat ups, MT stat 
    downs together, essentially doubling all damage while 
    decreasing virtually all damage to you to 1, and keeping 
    two good fighters, each of whom can basically use MT level 
    2 magic, one elemental and one non-elemental. This is all 
    with the third character yet to be chosen, around which you 
    can build a great fighting team (Duran/Kevin/light Carlie) 
    or the game's best magic teams (dark Carlie/Angela). Other 
    good teams include an all-female team, ideally Star Lancer, 
    Evil Shaman, Magus for an advanced player, and Star Lancer, 
    Sage, Death Hand/Dervish.
    Dark-Light: Dragon Master 
    Support ---------x------ Focus 
    Physical --------x------- Magical 
    Single ---x------------ Groups 
    1.	List of skills: Mind Down, Power Down, Protect Down, Speed 
    Down, Iormungand
    Starting and final stats: STR 16/18, DEX 17/19, CON 16/20, 
    INT 16/18, PIE 15/18, LUCK 15/18
    2.	Strengths: Ah, yes, the infamous Dragon Master. Long 
    derided as one of the game's "useless" classes, the Dragon 
    Master actually plays a uniquely balancing role, depicted 
    allegorically by having the game's most balanced stats. Her 
    lowest stat is an 18 (highest in the game) and in fact four 
    of her stats match that. The only ones that don't are 
    Agility (19) and Vitality (20, and in case you've failed to 
    notice, each character's classes all share the same final 
    Vitality anyway). She also does the most damage as a magic-
    user with her summon, which in addition to dealing the most 
    base damage, deals additional damage through poison. Since 
    summons are better for clearing areas of minor foes than at 
    boss battles, this is a good thing. She also learns her 
    summon at level 39, whereas Fenrir Knight and Star Lancer 
    have to wait until level 43. She is Lise's weakest class 
    physically, but still quite strong, and does still have a 
    level 2 FST. She can use all the basic stat down spells 
    (single-targeted), and unlike Hawk's jutsus these can get 
    through a counter magic barrier. The single-targeting seems 
    inferior at first glance, but multitargeting for stat downs 
    isn't nearly as desperately needed as it is for stat ups, 
    since most bosses and tough enemies appear only in one 
    part. Also consider that in most dungeons, physical 
    attackers are paired with magical attackers. Which makes, 
    say, MT Mind Down or MT Power Down less than useful in 
    these scenarios anyway.
    3.	Weaknesses: Being balanced, the Dragon Master unfortunately 
    fails to really excel in any area beyond summoning. She is 
    Lise's weakest physical attacker, her other stats, while 
    well balanced, aren't really exceptional in any areas, and 
    her abilities (ST stat downs) don't necessarily make up for 
    this. They're not much less useful than MT stat downs. but 
    it is still a matter of balancing benefits. Finally, beyond 
    Iormungand she's almost entirely replaceable by dark Carlie 
    or dark Hawk, but Iormungand shouldn't be underestimated.
    4.	Affiliates: The Dragon Master should not be on any teams 
    with dark Hawk and rarely with dark Carlie. She does work 
    quite well with Kevin and with saber users, but unless you 
    make a fighter team like DM, God Hand, and Duelist I 
    recommend continuing the magic focus with the likes of 
    Rogue, Wanderer, or Archmage.
    Dark-Dark: Fenrir Knight
    Support -------x-------- Focus 
    Physical ------x--------- Magical 
    Single ---------x------ Groups 
    1.	List of skills: Mind Down*, Power Down*, Protect Down*, 
    Speed Down*, Lamia Naga
    Starting and final stats: STR 16/19, DEX 17/20, CON 16/20, 
    INT 16/19, PIE 15/17, LUCK 15/17
    2.	Strengths: The Fenrir Knight is the physically stronger of 
    Lise's dark classes, which is helped greatly by having the 
    strongest of weapons. Her attack power approaches that of 
    the Vanadies, and she maintains a level 2 FST as well as 
    Lise's strongest magic magic defense. She is also slightly 
    more useful for her main role (downing stats) than the 
    Dragon Master is, since in the rare situation that you 
    actually do need MT stat downs (for instance, you're about 
    to unleash an FST or MT spell) they're there to use. As 
    before, the stat downs still get through counter magic 
    barriers. Her summon, Lamia Naga, is supposed to be the 
    strongest on the official cart, adding about half the 
    original power instead of a status effect, but in the ROM 
    it just does normal damage.
    3.	Weaknesses: The FK has Lise's weakest Spirit score. If you 
    want to use her as a summoner, this isn't good, because 
    Spirit determines the strength of a summoned spell. There 
    isn't much else in the way of weaknesses for the FK. but 
    she is almost entirely replaceable by a plethora of other 
    classes that do her job with additional benefits (Ninja 
    Master, Evil Shaman, Necromancer, Nightblade), and unlike 
    the DM (above), she doesn't really have anything to offer 
    that these classes don't. DM at least has the benefit of 
    Poison. Still, the FK is a good mix of summon, stat down, 
    and attack power.
    4.	Affiliates: Again, avoid teaming this class with dark Hawk 
    or dark Carlie. This team works better for fighting teams 
    than the Dragon Master does, though like Lise's other 
    classes it's quite balanced for all forms of power. I like 
    to pair this class with the Swordmaster (sabers provide a 
    small power up on their own so stat downs are less 
    redundant than stat ups on such teams). FST users and MT 
    magic users make good teammates after MT Protect Down and 
    MT Mind Down, respectively.
    5.	And now for something entirely different: a fun team for 
    every class! ^_^
    This section will consist of a fun team for every class. I will 
    disclaim that this does not necessarily mean the "best" team for 
    every class, or the most efficient. but in general, one that is 
    fun to use and takes advantage fairly well of the class's 
    strengths. As much of an art as team formation is, there is more 
    to this fabulous game than simply having an efficient team and 
    trouncing everything.
    Ninja Master, Star Lancer, Grand Divina
    You know what that means? No healer - and the ultimate in magical 
    abilities! The Grand Divina as it is can dish out well over 500 
    MT damage with her spells, against a target with the right weakness.
    Add in Star Lancer's virtually instant MT Mind Up, and Ninja
    Master's virtually instant MT Fire Jutsu, and that goes up to the
    800s - against everything on the screen. This also makes her into a boss
    fighter on at least the level of Rune Master. The NM can complement
    this with jutsus dealing in the 500-600 range and ditto for the SL
    with Marduke. Dishing out about 2000 damage magically at a time,
    most with elements attached... you get the picture. You also have
    MT silencing, three bearable fighters should it come to that, Double
    Spell, and MT Shuriken. No healer, but if I could deal with that
    when I was inexperienced (this having been my first party) then you can too.
    Arch Mage, Wanderer, Evil Shaman
    This team has Angela with MT every element except dark, Carlie 
    with MT dark/fire, Antimagic and MT Mind Down, and Hawk with 
    Transhape, Counter Magic, and Poison Bubble. All in all you have 
    3 magic attackers, the ultimate in defensive techniques, MT 
    healing, and infinite MP for Hawk. The biggest trip on this team 
    is that should you for some reason ever use physical attacks (for 
    instance, against DSK) after the final class change, you'll see 
    the girls doing more damage than Hawk!
    Warrior Monk, Rune Master, Bishop
    The Rune Master takes full advantage of Warrior Monk's Tree Saber 
    in this party, which enables both Angela and Carlie to deal 999 
    damage repeatedly with DeathSpell and Turn Undead against Dark 
    Lich. All without casting one stat up/down spell! You also have 
    two MT Heal Lights and sabers to cast on Kevin, meaning you 
    virtually can't die. You might want to bring along some drake's 
    scales to increase Angela and Carlie's damage, so that they can 
    restore more MP per hit.
    Star Lancer, Necromancer, Magus
    You have Marduke, Ancient, MT Heal Light, and the game's 
    strongest MT level 1 spells, making this team ideal for getting 
    through tough dungeons. For boss battles, MT Mind Up and Black 
    Curse means your Magus is practically reaching 999 with level 2 
    spells against a cripple that can barely deal damage anymore. The 
    Star Lance's ample power and MT Power Up make this team capable 
    of handling itself in physical combat situations, even though 
    with Marduke and Magus this need should be virtually nonexistent.
    Bishop, Death Hand, Swordmaster
    Two of the three strongest attackers in the game with MT healing 
    and every saber except for dark, many of them MT. Turn Undead is 
    a powerful ally on Carlie's quest, and having both Death Hand and 
    Swordmaster powered up with sabers makes up for the lack of 
    powerups or downs. Most importantly, Magic Shield will help the 
    two fighters' magic defense, dealing with the only real 
    disadvantage this party has to begin with.
    Vanadies, Paladin, Sage
    I came up with this team as a variant on the classic "Holy Focus" 
    party. You get ST Saint Saber and four MT sabers for two very 
    strong fighters, stat ups, and on top of that the game's 
    strongest Saint Beam. Ideal for dishing out holy elemental 
    damage, and also quite versatile for physically fighting 
    opponents of various elements.
    Paladin, Necromancer, Star Lancer
    The team for fighting the Black Rabite. Duran contributes ST Heal 
    Light, Saint Saber for when it casts Dark Saber on your team, and 
    strong fighting. Star Lancer contributes MT Power Up, MT Mind Up 
    and an additional fighter that gets into the fray immediately 
    after casting those. Carlie contributes MT Heal Light and more 
    importantly Black Curse, the only tenable method of lowering the 
    Black Rabite's attack and defense powers.
    Nightblade, Evil Shaman, Duelist
    One of those rare teams you can put dark Carlie and dark Hawk on 
    and have a use for both. Nightblade provides Deadly Weapon to 
    lower boss HP, then jutsus and physical attack power for a 
    perfectly balanced damage dealer. Evil Shaman's antimagic enables 
    the Nightblade's jutsus to work on anything. And the Duelist is 
    very strong and can provide sabers for himself and the other two. 
    Well balanced team that fits just right.
    Arch Mage, Vanadies, Paladin
    The much-flaunted Holy Focus party of the board, for good reason. 
    I initially didn't expect this team to work when challenged with 
    it. Hoo boy, was I wrong. Vanadies can boost Arch Mage's magic 
    damage plus her own and Duran's physical damage to obscene 
    levels, while Duran can cast Saint Saber on himself and Lise and 
    Angela can cast her strongest Saint Beam, as well as many other 
    spells. Very good for fighting God-Beasts and Dragon Emperor 
    alike, but sees its finest hour against Zable-Fahr. So if you 
    hate that fight, try this party and laugh at it.
    Lord, Wanderer, Dervish
    Nothing affects you. You have Kevin with his 2nd highest attack 
    power and highest magic defense, Duran with immunity to all 
    status effects, MT Heal Light, and Tinkle Rain to help the other 
    party members once they get hit with one, and Wanderer providing 
    immunity to everything except level 2 or 3 techs and Shade 
    spells. This team can even deal damage, with Poison Bubble 
    restoring Wanderer's MP and Aura Wave for the Dervish or Lord.
    Swordmaster, Star Lancer, Ninja Master
    Contributed by: Duath
    Everyone here helps everyone do everything. The Swordmaster 
    provides MT sabers so he, Lise, and Hawk all do more damage to 
    almost any foe, as well as Moon and Tree Sabers to enable Lise 
    and Hawk to act as mages. Star Lancer ups everyone's attack power 
    and her own and Hawk's magic damage. Ninja Master helps Duran's 
    FST, his own damage and Lise's. well, everything. The only thing 
    this team lacks is a healer, and you really shouldn't need one 
    with them.
    Duelist, Nightblade, God Hand
    The ultimate in physical combat. Sabers, stat downs, Deadly 
    Weapon, three of the most powerful fighters (two with double 
    hit!), a healer, Aura Wave, and the strongest FST in the game. 
    Did somebody say WMDs?
    Wanderer, Star Lancer, Necromancer
    Contributed by TheDarkshineKnight
    "For boss battles, all you essentially do is Black Curse, MTSUs, 
    and Counter Magic and then just bash away, since you're not 
    likely to die during the fight. Against enemies, well, you hit 
    stuff and have Carlie heal. In all honesty, that's all I've ever 
    needed to do against enemies with ANY party."
    My input: Agreed. One of the few teams without a focus character 
    that can do anything. It doesn't quite suffer damage-wise either, 
    as Poison Bubble, Marduke, and Ghost are moderately powerful 
    magics, and Star Lancer can physically attack if necessary. With 
    Power Up the Wanderer's double hit should also be decent. MT 
    Sleep Flower, Transhape, Life Booster, and Lunatic should also 
    not be underestimated.
    Rogue, Magus, Evil Shaman
    Just try it sometime. Don't attack physically at all after your 
    final CC. Instead, use your MT Sleep Flower, Demon Breath and MT 
    level 1's to decimate any foes, then Antimagic/Demon Breath 
    bosses. Follow this with the Rogue's spells and the Magus's level 
    2 spells with INT 22. I dare you to say these are their 
    characters' "worst classes."
    Ninja Master, Star Lancer, God Hand
    In succession, you can use Aura Wave, Thunder Jutsu, Byakko 
    Shockwave = 1500 or so fullscreen damage virtually instantly for 
    only a few MP. Against bosses, do this after Mind Up then Power 
    Up. You also have MT Mind Up and Marduke to protect the less than 
    optimal magic defense of this team.
    Nightblade, Sage, Death Hand
    Sage again contributes MT sabers to two ultra-powerful double-
    hitters. In turn, Nightblade lowers bosses' max HP, then uses 
    jutsus to lower defense (and attack) which boosts Carlie's Saint 
    Beam, and Kevin hits hard helped by both of them. You even have a 
    powerful MT healer. What's missing? Nothing really.
    God Hand, Duelist, Bishop
    All of the important sabers. Two healers, one with the game's 
    strongest instant-cast MTHL. Turn Undead for Dark Lich. Aura 
    Wave. Two of the strongest FSTs in the game. Magic Shield for the 
    fighters. What's not to like?
    Dragon Master, Rune Master, Warrior Monk
    An ideal party for the Warrior Monk's Tree Saber. It enables Rune 
    Master to actually last boss battles without running out of MP, 
    Dragon Master to behave as a summoner, and grants Warrior Monk 
    essentially limitless healing. Lise's debuffs should be enough to 
    help Iormungand reach high damage figures, and DeathSpell doesn't 
    need stat magic to deal the damage cap. You also have a character 
    with high MDF, a character with high HP, and one above average in 
    both. Coupled with debuffs you should never die.
    Death Hand, Fenrir Knight, Swordmaster
    Darn near the ultimate in physical teams. Get some Drake's Scales 
    and Poto Oils, and you're set. Three strong physical attackers, 
    with MT debuffs, MT sabers, and two FSTs. In this party with 
    Protect Down, Drake's Scale and the right saber you might see 
    Kevin passing 900 damage per strike when using his level 1 tech.
    Dervish, Wanderer, Lord
    A decent all-male party. Your magic defense shouldn't be bad 
    enough to die in one casting of Ancient, especially with Life 
    Booster + MTHL, and the Wanderer's Counter Magic can take care of 
    any lesser spells. Lunatic and two strong attackers provide ample 
    firepower against bosses, and between Moon Saber and MTHL you 
    should be hard to kill. Lord is even immune to status effects and 
    can use Tinkle Rain should the others be affected by one.
    Vanadies, Death Hand, Duelist
    A supremely physical team without a healer. All three of these 
    are the best attackers for their characters, Vanadies' buffs help 
    them deal damage and take a hit, and Duelist's sabers help 
    against some bosses. If played right you shouldn't really need to 
    heal all that much.
    Star Lancer, Ninja Master, God Hand
    A classic and one of my personally favorite teams. There is 
    literally nothing this team can't do. It has MT stat ups + MT 
    stat downs so casting just two spells can tip battles so far in 
    your favor it's scary. Marduke and powerful Jutsus are good MT 
    magic use when boosted, and MT Thunder Jutsu is God's gift to 
    Kevin's FST as well. Kevin can heal and even use Aura Wave, and 
    his attack power should be really high after buffs and debuffs. 
    You've even got two characters with double-hitting level 1 techs. 
    What else? Elemental damage? Jutsus. No matter how you play the 
    game, you cannot get bored with this team.
    Dragon Master, Evil Shaman, Rogue
    Probably the game's most powerful magic team that doesn't have 
    Angela. Iormungand is Lise's strongest summon, Demon Breath and 
    Great Demon deal the most damage of Carlie's classes (excepting 
    Turn Undead), and Rogue has a lot of useful and powerful magics. 
    ST debuffs are enough support to help them, especially since the 
    most important one for this team, Mind Down, is covered by Demon 
    Breath, which is MT. MT Sleep Flower shouldn't be overlooked 
    Swordmaster, Fenrir Knight, Warrior Monk
    Sabers and stat downs make a better combination that sabers and 
    stat ups, since sabers provide a mini-power up themselves. All 
    three of these character can deal very good damage with that 
    combination, even Warrior Monk. If you need magic damage, Fenrir 
    Knight can deal it. Warrior Monk also takes care of healing. Best 
    of all, all of these abilities are MT!
    6. Ranking your team - how your team should be fighting
    If you decide to create your own team, I've created here a rubric 
    for roughly analyzing what your team should be focused on, 
    magical or physical attacks. This rubric does not claim to show 
    how efficient your team is, just which way it should focus. Lower 
    scores indicate a team that should focus on physical combat, 
    while higher scores indicate a team more fit for magical combat. 
    Pattern not only your attack forms around this but also your use 
    of support spells (tree saber vs. diamond saber, or power up vs. 
    mind up, for instance).
    Disclaimer: You will probably notice a disparity between the 
    numbers for each class and my ranking in the above sections. This 
    is because the number for each class represents what they can do 
    individually and how they're helped by other members within a 
    party, while the above sections rank how well they contribute to 
    each type of party (including helping others' skills). The bottom 
    segment of this section will correct for classes in certain 
    parties (Sage with Duran & Kevin, for instance). Please no spam 
    about how, for instance, Rogue leans more magical than Wanderer. 
    I'm well aware he's stronger, I'm also well aware though that 
    he's got a lot more attack spells suited for a team with magical 
    support, while Wanderer has support spells roughly balanced 
    between both types of team.
    For this class			Base value
    Magus				50
    Grand Divina			45
    Arch Mage			45
    Evil Shaman			40
    Ninja Master			40
    Rogue				40
    Wanderer			35
    Rune Master			35
    Dragon Master		35
    Sage				35
    Bishop				30
    Necromancer			30
    Star Lancer			30
    Nightblade			25
    Fenrir Knight			25
    Warrior Monk			20
    Vanadies			15
    God Hand			10
    Paladin				10
    Lord				10
    Swordmaster			5
    Duelist				5
    Dervish			5
    Death Hand			0
    Add up your totals for the 3 classes in your party first.
    Next, modify this base score as follows:
    If the class's score is over 25, make the following modifications 
    if your team has any of the following:
    *Stat Ups: Multiply your score by 1.25
    *Stat Downs or Jutsus or Demon Breath: Multiply your score by 1.2
    *Tree Saber: add 10 (add 20 if this is going to Rogue or Rune 
    *Any saber other than moon or tree: Take 3/4 of your score
    *Finally: if you have Evil Shaman in the same party with Ninja 
    Master, Nightblade, or Angela, add another 10.
    If your total is below 25:
    *Stat Ups: Take 3/4 of your score
    *Stat Downs or Jutsus: Take 3/4 of your score
    *ST elemental sabers and/or ST saint saber: Take 2/3 of your 
    OR MT elemental sabers: Take 1/2 of your score
    *Aura Wave: Subtract 10 (5 for Hawk or Kevin).
    6. The Dispelling of Popular Myths, or, stuff you probably don't 
    think about unless you post on the boards
    This is merely a section I compiled of popular myths about this 
    game that I felt compelled to dispel, mostly because many are 
    popular and actually believed by many who read the game's boards 
    or other FAQs.
    Myth: Agility raises hit and evade rates, as do Duran's shields.
    On paper, it does, and in my opinion any debate about who is 
    theoretically the "best" character for a scenario should take 
    this into account. However, in practice, the game contains a bug 
    much like that of Final Fantasy VI that prevents hit and evade 
    rates from working properly. Agility does have some uses, but as 
    a result of this bug it doesn't help your hit or evade rates. 
    Ditto for Duran's shields.
    Myth: Duran's shields protect against elemental attacks.
    Another victim of glitches once again, Duran's light classes' 
    elemental shields and the paladin's sacred shield do not in fact 
    reduce magic damage by 1/3 like they were meant to. The game was 
    originally meant to work this way, along with some accessories, 
    but elemental protection doesn't work right because of a bug. The 
    only accessories or shields that do anything are those which are 
    meant to defend against status effects.
    Myth: Kevin and even Hawk are better fighters than Duran because 
    of their double-hit, with every class.
    I felt particularly compelled to address this myth, as it seems 
    to be the most popular. The reasoning generally used here is that 
    Kevin or even Hawk, because they hit twice, have an effective 
    attack power double that in their screens, and as a result deal 
    damage more quickly than Duran or Lise. I believed this until I 
    played a game with Swordmaster, Fenrir Knight, and God Hand. As 
    their second classes, I saw Lise dealing more damage with one hit 
    against some demons than Kevin was dealing with his double hit 
    (while not transformed). Damage on a per hit basis in this game 
    is calculated by subtracting the enemy's defense from your attack 
    power, and adding a random insignificant number; thus, whether 
    double or single hit fighters are better depends entirely on one 
    factor: the opponent's defense.
    For instance, suppose the Ninja Master (ATK 277) and Duelist (ATK 
    351) are both attacking the same opponent with a DEF of 140. The 
    NM will deal 137 per hit for a total of 274; Duelist will deal 
    211. However, throw the same two theoretically against an enemy 
    with DEF 280, and NM only deals 1 damage per shot while Duelist 
    is dealing 71! And I'm well aware already that enemies generally 
    don't have 280 defense, but then you're not dealing with maximum 
    attack power for 95% of the game either.
    Okay, but what if Kevin transforms? That adds 1/7 to his attack 
    power. Significant. but not enough to make up for the difference 
    in power from Duran against the toughest foes, unless you're 
    comparing, say, Paladin to Death Hand. And although abusing 
    glitches is hardly something to be used cleanly in a civilized 
    debate, I'll consider that too: the much vaunted "Kevin glitch" 
    is made up for by a simple Drake's scale or Power Up spell that 
    Kevin post-glitch can no longer take advantage of, and if you're 
    planning to use sabers on him? I hope you do it before 
    transforming. Conclusion: against the enemies with strong 
    physical defense, Kevin will not have more damage potential than 
    Duran, simply a more convenient method of reaching it.
    Myth: (insert class name here) is like totally the best/worst 
    If you're even contemplating contacting me with a statement along 
    these lines, forget it. You'll only be demonstrating your lack of 
    basic reading skills. I addressed this already in the first 
    paragraphs of the entire FAQ. There is no "best" class, because 
    every class serves a different purpose, and teams exist on which 
    any class can provide the best accompaniment. Think Bishop is 
    always "better" than Sage? Try putting each on a team with Fenrir 
    Knight and Death Hand and think again. Grand Divina is always 
    better than Rune Master? Even though GD is my personal preference 
    over RM, even I will concede that the RM is much better on a team 
    without proper support (mind up/down or demon breath).
    Of course, there ARE some classes that fit various teams more 
    universally than others. For instance, I used the Star Lancer on 
    9 of my first 12 SD3 files, with teammates ranging from Angela to 
    Kevin to an all-female team, and it never failed to work well. 
    But that doesn't mean it's the "best" class, because there are 
    teams on which it doesn't belong as well as other classes do. 
    (Can you picture taking Star Lancer over Vanadies on a physically 
    focused team with every saber in the game? I didn't think so.)
    Myth: HURR HURR I beat the game without leveling up to level 
    x/playing through x challenge, I'm better than you at SD3!!!111 
    or if you're the same level as your enemies, you're leveling up 
    too much.
    This one pisses me off to no end. This is a common statement 
    made, like in so many other RPGs (see FF7 FAQs) by people who 
    seem somehow deluded into thinking SD3 (among other Squaresoft 
    titles) is some kind of action game from the Mario series, or a 
    fighting game like Tekken. The idea is that it somehow takes more 
    skill at playing SD3 to reach and beat the Dragon Emperor with a 
    level 30 party than a level 50 party. Being a twelve-year veteran 
    of pencil & paper RPGs (not to mention video game console RPGs), 
    I happen to take extreme offense on behalf of the name of RPGs 
    everywhere whenever someone behaves like this. Of course, it does 
    take quicker fingers and better strategizing (not to mention a 
    well chosen team), and a strong penchant for dodging every single 
    non-boss fight in the game, or the ability to keep your other two 
    characters dead. Not to mention a hell of a lot of patience doing 
    these exceedingly boring activities. (Speaking as someone who's 
    played through a large part of this game with the no class change 
    challenge, I know what I'm talking about. And I'm not 
    particularly impressed that you have too.) No, this game is not 
    an action game, and "skill" at this game isn't measured by how 
    quickly you can beat the Black Rabite with one character with 
    initial equipment or at what level. This game is an RPG, and I 
    happen to know what one is. It stands for ROLE-PLAYING-GAME, not 
    beat-em-up-game. Since you obviously can't actually take on the 
    persona of a character in a video game, however, you have to 
    approximate: to use a character appropriate to his or her own 
    skills, in a manner that would constitute how they'd conduct 
    themselves in reality, and forming a team that works together 
    with a certain flow, is how you comprise skill at playing an RPG. 
    And if it means leveling up enough to use your character at 
    optimal efficiency with all skills learned. well, I'd say that's 
    doing much better role-playing than any "challenge." And for the 
    record, the same goes for other RPGs like Final Fantasy 7. So you 
    can beat Emerald Weapon with Tifa at level 7? Big deal. With 
    Final Attack, Knights of the Round, Revive/Phoenix, HP <->MP, 
    Magic Plus and Mime in the right combinations, WHO COULDN'T?!
    Then why this FAQ, you ask? Isn't it about who can best be used 
    together to beat up bosses or enemies? Yes and no. To me, forming 
    a team is about a lot more than the bottom line, and how 
    efficiently they can win. To me, team formation is an art. A team 
    that truly works together efficiently, with a certain flow that 
    can only be found by pairing certain members, all of whom will 
    contribute in some way to form a beautiful concerted effort 
    beyond simply being 3 characters doing their own thing. well, 
    there's a lot more to that than simply increasing numbers. It's 
    the one thing that's really great about this entire game.
    Myth: A diversified team should be better than one focused around 
    one goal!
    To flip around my argument from above, this is true in most RPGs, 
    but in SD3, a "diversified" team often loses its aesthetic flow. 
    SD3 does not in any way require any particular skill - you don't 
    need a thief, or a fighter, or a mage, to get past certain areas 
    of the game, or even to get certain stuff for your team; they're 
    just nice to have. However, putting together a team with a 
    fighter and a mage together (unless they have a special flow, 
    like the Holy Focus team, or WM + RM) is practically resigning 
    your team to being just three individuals and that's it. Most 
    sabers become useless as soon as you decide your party's going to 
    be using magic a lot, and by taking an otherwise physical team 
    without any magic support you're practically resigning Angela to 
    be at minimal efficiency.
    Suppose you want a diversified team anyway, because you're an 
    old-school-RPG purist? Or say you want to pair Angela with Duran 
    for storyline purposes? Then here's my recommendation: take Lise, 
    preferably as either Star Lancer or Fenrir Knight. Her skills can 
    equally help both physical and magical combatants, and all of her 
    classes are very much capable of continuing to assist later in a 
    battle, whether magically or physically. Vanadies and Dragon 
    Master will work just fine, but you'll probably get tired of 
    having to cast so many spells, as a diversified team needs more 
    than a focused team does.
    Myth: Kevin has the best defense because he has the highest 
    Again, incorrect. Defense is patterned around a graduated scale 
    based on armor that differs between characters. As a result, 
    something of an anomaly happens with Defense that doesn't happen 
    with Attack or Magic Defense: no character has a real advantage 
    in it. Immediately after the first and second class changes, this 
    will become evident even if you haven't been raising Angela's or 
    Carlie's Vitality (and why not?). Angela or Carlie, the two weak 
    characters in terms of CON, will have an equal or higher DEF than 
    Kevin, the highest CON. Furthermore, every character can top out 
    at 300 DEF. In the end, if you want to select a character for 
    survival rather than attack, choose based on HP and Magic 
    Defense. Lise has by far the best combination of both, which is 
    why I consider her the best character defensively.
    Myth: All stat spells are created equal.
    This is not to say any are better than others, but rather that 
    they are not necessarily interchangeable. As is the general rule 
    with video RPGs, SD3 characters generally have significantly 
    better stats than their enemies, while the enemies have higher 
    HP. This is more evident towards the end than the beginning, when 
    you can actually use stat magic. Since the bonus or penalty given 
    to a character/enemy is based on the original score, it logically 
    follows that a character will gain more points than a monster 
    will lose. Stat up spells also stay around the entire battle, 
    until "Victory!" flashes across the screen, whereas stat down 
    spells, even MT, are only around as long as the enemy you cast 
    them on. Stat down spells can also be found in a variety of 
    classes, including dark Carlie, Hawk or Lise, while comprehensive 
    stat up spells can only be found with light Lise. (In particular, 
    MT stat ups are completely irreplaceable.)
    So what are some benefits of stat downs? For one, they can be 
    paired with stat ups. For another, they can't be bought from 
    Byzel, although they're much easier to find throughout the game 
    than stat up items are. They pair with sabers (which provide a 
    small power up) better than stat ups do. And finally, during the 
    second classes, an ST stat down spell is nicer to have around, to 
    cast on a boss, than three times as many to cast on characters 
    would be.
    What are the differences then, between stat down spells? I'll 
    explain the benefits in brief:
    - Dark Hawk's stat down spells also double as elemental damage 
    spells, but likewise can be absorbed by certain enemies (notably 
    Darkshine Knight) unless you've paired him with Antimagic or 
    Specter's Eyes. They also can't get through Counter Magic 
    - Dark Lise's stat down spells can get through Counter Magic 
    barriers, but deal no damage and hence serve no purpose after the 
    first casting.
    - Necromancer's Black Curse spell lowers stats more quickly with 
    less MP than the others, but can never be MTed. It is also the 
    only feasible method of lowering the Black Rabite's stats, as, 
    only having to cast it once, you only have to face one counter.

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