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Party Creation Guide by Schaleh
=============================================================================== Final Fantasy Anniversary Edition Party Selection Walkthrough By: Schaleh (michael gorlitsky on youtube) =============================================================================== ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Table Of Contents ----------------------------------------------------------------------- - Some things to note before we begin - Class level up - Shinryu, Omega, and Chronodia - Stats and their role - Let's start with your healing options - Now for your dps output calculation - And the winners are.. - Concluding thoughts _______________________________________________________________________  =Some things to note before we begin= This game is pretty easy. You may not have to min/max it that hard. There are only 3 difficult bosses: Shinryu, Omega, and Chronodia, so the best we can do is min/max based on what is the fastest, most reliable, and most independent way to beat them. There may be a wide matrix of correct answers, or a single answer that satisfies all the variables the best, depending on what you consider to be a normal gameplay experience. Is using hermes' shoes OK for you? For me it isn't, even though I'm usually lugging 99 of them around. What about grinding to 99 early by using the fastest grinding spot in the game (evil eye that guards the levistone)? Do you want to stop playing after you beat Chronodia only once, or do you just want to beat Chaos? This can drastically affect things. Things that wildly affect party selection such as abusing savestates to guarantee +1 agility on level up and abusing a glitch to equip any item anywhere at any time are omitted from this discussion. ________________________________________________________________________  =Class level up= Monks can become masters. Warriors can be become knights; thiefs ninjas; mages wizards. If I use the word "monk" instead of "master", don't assume that you shouldn't opt for early class change. Unless you have a party of 4 red mages, you're better off getting this out of the way immediately after killing Lich, preferrably by level 24 or lower. Also, immediately after you class change, it's recommended you go back to fight the evil eye until you're level 99. Otherwise, you may prefer a party optimized for lower level play. Or perhaps not, as Shinryu can be beaten fairly easily with a level 54 party of [ninja, ninja, master, white wizard]. Also, you should be thinking about getting your hands on 3-4 ribbons now that you've class changed. If you really don't care about fast class changing, then I would advise not picking monk. It's the only character that becomes significantly more vulnerable from not changing, due to being the only class that doesn't max out its magic defense at level 99. Even with class changing at level 24, the master will take 50% more magic damage than the rest of your party. It's one of the easiest to recognize weaknesses in party design, and class changing late will make you regret ever having taken one. _______________________________________________________________________  =Shinryu, Omega, and Chronodia= You need to know specific things about these bosses in order to min/max for them properly. Shinryu- he casts flare, and then will often immediately follow it up by slashing someone. You can get in a heal spell before he can complete that slash to your flare damaged party, but even with 99 agility it's not guaranteed. That's basically his whole gimmick. It can be effective for wiping a party of 4 level 99 monks, or a low level party. The flare will consistently do like exactly 500 damage to a Master that class changed at level 26. Non-monks can expect about 333 damage. His slash attack is nothing like Omega. With 50+ defense and 140+ evasion you're looking at less than 400 damage guaranteed. A maxed evasion ninja can take half that easily. It doesn't take much invisra to completely nullify it, but he doesn't use it too often. Omega- he has wave cannon, but also a pretty nasty regular attack. In fact, against a ninja with 255 evasion and 70 armor, his attack can do 500+ damage, even if you've casted invisra on it. However, if you cast like 4 invisras, or better yet, 6 invisras, then his attack *might* not pose a threat. A level 99 white wizard with 4 invisras cast on her might take 300 damage from one of his regular attacks. It's actually really unpredictable. I had a level 99 monk with 140 evasion and 3 invisras on him get hit for over 700 damage from one of his attacks. His wave cannon does 230 damage to all level 99 characters, with any monks taking 334 damage. It's just weird trying to predict how evasion will affect the number of attacks he gets in a single laser zap. No matter what your evasion is, sometimes it's 750, sometimes 300. Oddly enough I've had my level 99 white mage with 143 evasion and 55 defense in the last slot dodging it completely several times in a row, only to later get hit by 750 damage. The last thing you should know is that this boss has an idiotic turn waster move, where he casts earthquake and basically apologizes for having a weird attack. I'm assuming you have 4 ribbons at this point. Anyways, he casts that useless earthquake quite frequently. He'll always cast it on turn 1. Casting 6 invisra on turns 1 and 2 can make this fight a cakewalk, but it isn't the fastest way to beat him. Chronodia- she has a nasty attack that she can unload instantly to snipe whatever party member she pleases. Usually though, if you have 999 hp and over 130+ evasion and 50+ defense, it's probably not going kill you. It seems pretty random whether or not it does though. Sometimes 800 dmg, sometimes 500.. and then out of nowhere you'll get really unlucky and 1000+ dmg. Fortunately for you, her attacks respond very well to invisra. Even a single invisra can take you out of the instant kill range. Ninjas are also immune to a 1 shot Chronodia turn 1 kill if they have 200+ evasion. Ninjas actually tank her attacks surprisingly well compared to Omega. 6 invisra casts does make this a cakewalk though. (Death Gaze)- is a joke. Assuming you picked up 4 white robes on floor 26 or so, it's like impossible to lose to him. All he does is regular attacks that are dodged pretty easily by casting invsira. There's a lot of easy bosses like this. Did I mention this game is easy? The hard part of course is *perfection*. Or.. maybe you're a speed runner. So, we do find a pattern here: getting 4 white robes from the whisperwind cove mage town does offer pretty much guaranteed boss wins against all the hardest bosses. The exception is probably Shinryu, but 3 invisra + healaga for turns 1 and 2 is also going to be easy mode. So, bare that in mind: any party can take the easy mode route and waste 1-2 turns. Even doing this does have its liabilities though. For instance, 3 monks in a party could have an unacceptably high risk of losing one of them by turn 2. Two monks.. maybe. That's kinda how this min/max perfection goes. You have to figure out how many monks you're ok with. Is 2 too much? How about 1? I'd hope you're at least comfortable with one, but maybe you're taking more of a speed runner approach and are lower level, so one monk might not be a satisfactory liability. Anyways, we'll get to all that soon. _______________________________________________________________________  =Stats and their role= We'll need to know about this mostly because you can have stat plus items that add to these. Some types of stat plus items are easier to farm than others, and in general it can be annoying to have to farm these out just to make your party work. On the other hand, it might make your party more effective than another party to invest the time to farm them out for a more demanding party. With emulator savestates you can not only make this easier, but also ensure that each stat plus item gives you 3 points instead of just 1 or 2. Usually people who do this should be humble about selecting parties that demand too much of it. Let's take a fast look at what each one does: Agility- makes you tend to move first. Don't use speed plus on a ninja though, because it's likely that only using even just one can prevent a ninja from maxing out their evasion at 255. Agility will usually give 2 points of evasion, but when it comes from speed plus, you'll only get one point. Agility is great for buffing up immediately before your attacks, fleeing from a fight before monsters can hit you, and casting a heal before an enemy boss can follow up an attack that does 500+ damage with a killing blow. It's the most difficult to max stat in the game. Strength- this boosts your attack damage. You can farm them from hyenadon in the earth cave, in a room filled with chests that you access by descending below the floor with the vampire. Stamina- this boosts the monk's damage and defense when it starts unequipping things. It also affects how quickly you'll max out your health, but nobody ever cares about or uses it for that. You can farm stamina plus if you do a lot of Earthgift runs, preferrably exiting after only 5 rooms. Intelligence- this boosts the healing amount from spells, as well as the damage from spells like flare. It does not affect spells like invisra and protera and blink and temper and saber. Mind plus is fairly time consuming to farm, but it's still a lot easier than speed plus to find. Putting this on a monk is fairly useless. It won't help his magic defense, and you'll just want to use the monk for punching each turn anyways. It's pretty good on a ninja because you might need him to cast a quick healara using the rune staff, and 99 int vs 30 int can heal a lot more hp. 99 int healara is like 250 hp, vs 110-150 hp from a dumber party member. High intelligence also does not boost the received healing. I have a hard time seeing this stat being that great outside of a luxury, unless you don't have a white mage. (Luck- makes you flee more successfully. bla bla thief uses it best.) _______________________________________________________________________  =Let's start with your healing options= |White mage|- This character has access to healaga, which will use only 1 turn to mitigate the damage a Shinryu/Chronodia flare attack can cause to a level 99 Monk (500 damage). Keep in mind that's with a level 99 Master being hit by flare and taking 500 damage and then having a level 99 white mage with 99 intelligence casting healaga for 450 health back. It's like casting two healara spells at the same time, from a character that is much easier to max out the intelligence on (don't even need to use any mind plus on her). What's great about this character is that it's a solid insurance policy, because it can also revive a character with full hp, at the expense of any buffs previously cast on it. Is your party already at 999 hp? Well, she can wait around for something to do with things like white robe/invisra and judgment staff/holy. Just don't use her for any of the nullification spells (like nulblaze or dispel), they do nothing to a party member that already has a ribbon or heroic shield. |Red mage/ any alternative to white mage|- This is sort of where the theorycrafting begins. On turn one, you're probably going to be more interested in things like haste and temper than healing. This can synergize well with double monk parties. Triple monk is really pushing it though. Not using at least a red mage as a healing alternative can be really wonky, but at least black mage can max out intelligence easier than a warrior or thief. At this point you're getting into the grey area where yeah you could do this and that and that but it takes a lot of stat plus item grinding. I at least have enough shame to design a party that doesn't rely on this to the extent that it insults the developer's intentions for class design. But, it's your call. You need to know though that Red mage will not cut it all by himself. Red mage's best reaction to flare is only a measly healara for at best 250 hp to all party members. You *could* use curaga for about 600 or so hp to a single party member I suppose. That's not really gonna cut it. Then again, is it really that hard to muster up a backup healara helper? How about double red mage? Or.. Red mage with a potential backup support healer/buffer like a ninja? Ninja can cast healara too as long as you do the whisperwind cove and grab a rune staff for him. It's the kind of party design I would only start to think about when considering double monk parties, because you have the option of turn 1 double haste on each monk. Most people should lean more toward having white mage in their party though. _______________________________________________________________________  =Now for your dps output calculation= |Monk|- This thing gets absolutely nuts when you max out his stamina and strength. In case you didn't already know, you should never equip a weapon to a monk/master. I also recommend removing his gloves as well. Anyways, one of my favorite parties is single monk being buffed by double ninja while white mage does all the healing and invisra. Each turn you're tacking on another 500 damage to the monk's damage (more than you can expect from a warrior). By turn 4 I can kill Shinryu easily. Here's the problem though- monk doesn't really meet the requirement for immunity to death that you'd expect from a ninja or warrior. I guess taking two of them is ok though, but don't come crying to me if one of them gets really unlucky and dies at some point when you thought you had maxed everything out. Monk also takes a little effort to max out. You'll have to farm some hyenadon or do whisperwind cove a few extra times. It's not the most stat optimizing way to build a party to take more than one, but it probably can handle Shinryu in 3 turns to have [ninja, master, master, white wizard] instead of [ninja, ninja, master white wizard] which is 4 turns. Also keep in mind that when you have two monks, you'll feel really stupid whenever you want to not attack with one. So, that's why double monk tends to go better without the white mage, such as a red wizard/ninja healing support setup. It allows for turn one haste on each of them, and if the characters casting the haste are high enough agility, it'll occur right before the first punches happen. White mage can also cast haste with hermes' shoes, and you can buy 99 of them fairly easily. So, maybe [ninja, master, master, white wizard] is terrific for you if you don't mind using a consumable item here and there. |Warrior/ any alternative to monk|- The only appeal to this is that you can tell the monk and his terrible magic defense to go take a hike. For instance, a party like [warrior, thief, monk, white mage] only has the appeal of being a bit more speed run friendly than [thief, thief, monk, white mage]. I must admit there are characters in this game like the warrior and black mage that just don't make sense unless you're a noobie player or a speed runner. I feel like anyone who takes an alternative to monk is just accepting mediocrity. You can take at least one monk. It'll be ok, I promise. However, if you're 12 years old or a speed runner, feel free to opt for something like [warrior, thief, red mage, white mage]. Honestly, what's the point of min/maxing if you're not using at least one monk? I won't hate you if you like to have warrior AND monk in same party though. It's just dumb in my opinion, because the way you'd ration stat plus items doesn't really pay off that well. Agility and evasion are so difficult to max, and ninja fulfills the same tank role; and you can pump up his damage and give him ultima weapon and it's practically the same damage output. _______________________________________________________________________  =And the winners are..= For the expert level parties.. 1. [Ninja, Ninja, Master, White Wizard] 2. [Ninja, Master, Master, White Wizard] or 2. [Ninja, Master, Master, Red Wizard] Honorable Mention: [Knight, Ninja, Master, White Wizard] It's extremely close between single and double monk. Try them; love them; hate them, but don't come crying to me if you're level 99 and fully maxed out and somehow one of them dies. Yes, that is extremely embarassing, but I told you to only take one of them. On the other hand, feel free to laugh at people who can only beat Shinryu in 4 turns instead of like 3 or something. But then again, the double ninja user had a much easier time reaching full maturity on his stat plus item usage. Maybe beat the game first with party 1, and then try party 2 with a clear+ file. For the noobie or speed runner parties.. 1. [Knight, Ninja, Red Wizard, White Wizard] 2. [anything with white mage and warrior in it] Lulsy Garbage: [4 white mage and a good emulator] I guess the advantage here is that you can pretend that you have amnesia and don't know how to play this game. Or, if you've got kids and they're like: "daddy wtf do i pick?", you can't go wrong with the good 'ole no-monk/no-black mage variety bag. Actually, if you put black mage in your party I have to seriously ask you wtf were you thinking? I guess maybe it's like a thief with bad agility and an easier time getting maxed out int with mind plus.. but still it's a dumb character. I'm not really the best to offer advice for speed runner parties, but there's forums specifically for that which are sure to give you better leads. My only bone to pick with speed runners is their eagerness to exploit obvious glitches and luck manipulation. It's also bad because the PSP version has such good endgame content that offers a chance to go back and wander through big dungeons grabbing little stat plus goodies here and there. But, whatever. _______________________________________________________________________  =Concluding thoughts= So that concludes the guide. I hope you have fun pumping up your monk and watching insane damage ensue, and don't make the mistake of thinking it's cool to have black mage in your party. Have fun! This PSP version of FF1 is pretty great after all. Thank you.