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One of my faults in playing RPGs is that I get obsessed with missables and character optimization.
So that in my second or third major playthrough many years ago, I stopped just as I was reaching the endgame because I realized I had permanently missed Shelly.
Have I ever reached that point in the game again? Nooooo. Because I realized there were three equally compelling paths and I wanted to play all of them. Because I realized there was a Chaos Frame and I wanted to max it out for all three tribes. And especially because I was obsessed with party composition and build. I don't even necessarily need to do all of Hell's Gate, but I find the omission of Shelly (just from not doing her event on time) jarring.
Well I *think* I'm in Chapter 4 of my Chaotic Path game again. But you know it's very tempting to just go back to my L30 save and finish it, because I know how slow I'll go with my other saves. ---
Speaking of builds
I find it very hard to find a male agile warrior build that I'm satisfied with--outside of L-path Denim or other NPCs, of course. I know this is not an uncommon complaint.
The men have three tank classes, knock yourself out. Magic warrior builds, the female one gets handed to you and you can work with Warlocks vs. Sword Masters. Magician builds are a dime a dozen, take your pick. Someone who's both fast and a good fighter? Archer, that's it. Soldier wastes too much stats in Int/Men, Sword Master is maybe the right class to fight as but gains too little natural defense in level-up, Ninja has too little modified Defense, Knight is too slow, so it's basically some combination of Knight/Ninja. The balance is tough to find.
Because I realized there was a Chaos Frame and I wanted to max it out for all three tribes.
Good luck with that... it's incredibly tedious to do so.
Also, if you have access to a cheat device, you can always insert Shelly in place of a generic character; they'll trigger all the special events without fail. You might need to "update" their stats to match Shelly's growth (over that of the generic you replaced).
Someone who's both fast and a good fighter? Archer, that's it. [...] Sword Master is maybe the right class to fight as but gains too little natural defense in level-up, Ninja has too little modified Defense.
Ninja, then maybe Sword Master. You don't even bother with defense (you can use custom armor combinations to offset that if you must) because their speed is so high, they dodge everything.