The world of FFX can be succinctly described as fantasy with plenty of magical creatures, some of which are used as beasts of burden. While technology is at a pretty high level it is largely forbidden and shunned by the general populace as the teachings of Yevon, the predominant religion, have deemed it heretical.
The exception would be the Al Bhed who thoroughly embrace technology. Mechs and super computers as well as some very advanced airships and high teach weapons are used by the Al Bhed. The technology generally comes off as somewhat steampunk in flavor.
The only exception of machines is for the use of Blitz Ball, the only major sport and practically the only form of entertainment. Blitz Ball can be most thoroughly described as underwater soccer.
A brief history
The world of FFX was once a highly advanced paradise with the city of Zanarkand being the crown jewel of it all. Technology was highly advanced and the general populace seemed to have a pretty high standard of living from what little was seen of the world. Blitz Ball was a massively popular sport and the star player was Jecht – essentially the Michael Jordan of the sport.
One day while out at he sea training he mysteriously disappeared. A few years later his son Tidus, the main character of the game, became a massively popular Blitz Ball player, but still lived in despised father’s shadow.
Jecht was an abusive alcoholic who never missed a chance to berate his son. Tidus grew up hating him, but vowed that he would surpass his father one day and no longer live in his shadow.
One day the paradise of the world was brought to a screeching halt though. SIN, a massive monster of unknown origin showed up and started rending Zanarkand asunder during a Blitz Ball game.
Auron, a childhood friend of Tidus’s father, mysteriously appeared and helped Tidus fight off the SIN spawn that the creature was spewing. After a bit of success Tidus was sucked into a portal of sorts and woke up in a strange land that he didn’t recognize.
Little did he know he had been transported 1,000 years into the future. After briefly teaming up with some Al Bhed Tidus was separated from them and made his way to the tiny island of Besaid.
There he befriended Waka and eventually joined Yuna and her Guardians in their quest to go from temple to temple collect all the Summons, mystical creatures powered by the Faith of Yevon, to eliminate SIN and bring peace to the land once and for all.
Magic is largely very DnD like with some very clear analogues. Summons are powered by the Faith of Yevon. They are essentially mythical creatures and by far and away the best chance of smiting SIN and its spawn.
The rather tragic downside to the world is that the deceased need to be sent by a Summoner or they basically hang around and turn into malicious spirits that hate the living. Souls that are sent are basically reabsorbed into the Faith of Yevon.
Characters advance by going through the sphere grid. Each character has specific area of the grid that allows them to advance on a generally linear path.
Characters can “multi class” by deviating from their path and crossing over to another character’s path and thus start learning abilities specific to another character/class.
This is very different from multi classing in DnD whereas older versions had characters simply splitting XP between two classes and newer versions simply allowed a character to start taking levels in another class.
The clearest cut example is Kimari’s blue mage class (basically the jack of all trades class) starts off in the dead center only offering up to level 5 or so before allowing the player to continue to advance in level 1 of any other class. Note there aren’t “levels” per se, but I’m trying to stream line this in DnD terms to make it more easily understood.
Each character gains sphere points and when they have enough they can advance one step forward (which generally allows them to notch a stat or sometimes gains a new ability) or 4 steps backward in case the character wants to back track and possible take a path further back.
Since there is one giant interconnected grid it is entirely possible for the lower tier of one class to connect to the higher tier of another class. To prevent the obvious abuse of lower level characters multiclassing with the high tiers of other classes there are locks placed on these bridges.
Locks are level one to four and gradually through the course of playing characters can gain keys to open these paths.
Final Fantasy X Classes
Below are some quick explanations of various classes of FFX. Note that this is primarily based on FFX and doesn’t include some of the more rare classes, but makes notes and references to many of the other games in the series for basis of comparison.
There are also some comparative notes to the DnD equivalents when appropriate to help them be more easily understood to a broader base of people.
All classes are listed in alphabetical order:
Black mages are focus almost exclusively on offensive magic. They are analogues of sorcerers/wizards from DnD. Note that they are a bit closer to sorcerers as they get a spell selection list and magic points. Casting is pretty spontaneous and costs magic points.
Black mages have some of the weakest physical stats and are really only strong in the magic department. They have a wide selection of the best offensive spells in the game and their damage output is usually pretty good compared to other classes.
Note that they have low HP and low physical defenses and are restricted to mostly robes and other low defense protective armor. Magic defense and dodging are usually pretty good.
Generally speaking their offensive magic capabilities and low defense means that they’re the type of class that is valuable in a fight, but one where you need to keep a watchful eye on their HP. In earlier games they had the hindrance of taking time to cast more powerful spells, but in later versions this limitation was removed.
Later games also gave them double cast as their ultimate ability. This is an extremely potent ability that allows them to cast two spells per turn. While this can be extremely draining on their MP this ability gives them the potential for some of the highest damage output in the game.
Blue Mages across the board have pretty balanced stats and are mostly (particularly in this game) a jack of all trades class. Their special ability is to gain the abilities of certain monsters throughout the course of the game.
Exactly how you do this varies somewhat from game to game. In some games the character merely need be present in battle to learn a new spell and in other game the ability needed to be used directly on them to learn it. (This was particularly troublesome for defensive abilities as most enemies aren’t in the habit of helping their opponents meaning that they usually needed to be controlled to do so.)
In later games they had some sort of ability that needed to be used on the enemy to learn it. Quina from FF9 straight up ate her enemies and Kimahri from this game had very weak ability that drained a nominal amount of HP and MP, but on the plus side if he learned a new ability it would automatically fill his limit break gauge.
Due to the need to fight certain monsters to gain all their abilities makes them one of the most finicky and time consuming classes as certain enemies with special abilities can be rare and hard to find. There is a certain appeal to the classes as they are one of the few that gets both offensive and defensive magic.
Most abilities gained vary quite a bit in terms of effectiveness. Generally speaking most of them aren’t all that impressive, and there are almost always some that are practically useless and a few a good, but not great.
Note that in certain circumstances against certain enemies they can be an absolute God send in exploiting weaknesses sudden defensive capabilities and even one shotting opponents although if you can one shot an opponent with a Blue Mage’s ability then generally speaking at least one or more of your characters could also do so in another way.
The equipment they can use varies from game to game, but generally they can use light and medium armor, certain heavy armors, all staffs and rods, knives and most of the swords, so pretty much everything. There are usually a few very class specific weapons they can’t use in each game though.
Their effectiveness is wildly inconsistent from game to game. In earlier games they were a somewhat effective, but still never a great class to pick. Notably Strago from FF6 was one of the weakest characters in the game with poor physical stats and HP and only moderate magic abilities.
It didn’t help that a lot of these abilities were gained from one time only boss fights meaning that you mandatorily have one of the weakest characters from your pool to choose from in battle all the time against some tough bosses. Quina from FF9, on the other hand, was pretty brutally effective with good tanky stats, decent magical stats, and the ability to one shot moderately powerful opponents.
Chemists are basically support character found almost exclusively in the tactics series. Their stats across the board aren’t great and their main ability is the ability to use and make healing items far more effectively than all other classes. They can also make items with minor effects that are mainly status ailment attacks or that give allies a minor edge in combat.
Not a terribly exciting class and their main use is to stand behind a knight or other heavy hitter character and support them by healing the damage they take.
Gamblers are a fairly rare class and are quite unique in a lot of ways. They can use most of the knives and light swords that a rogue can as well as class exclusive weapons that are various sort of gaming/gambling type weapons, such as darts, dice and cards.
They have a special class ability called coin toss that is fairly effective and damages all enemies, but also costs GP due to the fact that they are literally hurling coins at enemies to damage them. They generally stick to medium armor, but can use some heavy armor. Over all their physical damage output is above a thief’s, but below any of the other heavy hitters such as knights.
They also have an ability called slots that grants a wide variety of effects. These effects vary drastically from game to game, but can be anything from next to useless to extremely potent. This brings up a slots reel that allows a character a chance to try and align different symbols.
This is more of a mini game and not of random chance. A player with practice can get the timing down and often dictate what effect they get. Lining up all 3 symbols usually grants pretty good results. Some of these effects are extremely potent and can do a ton of damage or in extreme cases an auto win (or an auto loss if the player makes a grave error).
Setzar and Cait Sith of FF6 and FF7 respectively are the most notable characters from this class and with their ultimate weapon the loaded dice have the highest damage output in the game if the player can get the most favorable result from the slots mini game. Gamblers are overall a very solid class.
Since Waka is basically multiclassed and his slots abilities aren’t as pronounced, but he can inflict status attacks or elemental damage depending or other more potent attacks depending on what reel the player has found in game and selected.
Green mages are a fairly rare mage class almost exclusive to the Tactics series. They specialize at inflicting status ailments on an opponent. Their physical stats are fairly good for a being in the mage class, but their magic isn’t quite as potent.
Their effectiveness depends largely on how potent status attacks are in the game. They may not be the most fearsome character, but they can have certain strategic uses and can be fairly effective if properly put into play.
Knights are your basic generic fighter types. They have great physical attack and defensive stats are able to use heavy armor and weapons and not so great with magic. They generally stick to swords or shields.
There are also paladins and dark knights. Paladins are largely similar to DnD paladins. They can use holy weapons and have some defensive healing magic and can also use a few additional magic weapons. They have a class feature that allows them to protect weakened allies by jumping in front of them and taking the damage for them.
They also have black knights which use the dark powers to aid them in combat. Black knights have a unique attack called dark wave. This is an extremely damaging attack that deals a lot of damage to all enemies on the field, but also damages the dark knight as well.
Curiously to be a paladin a character must be extremely heroic and courageous and have no self doubt (your basic Lawful Good), but there are no alignment/morality restrictions for the black knights. Cecil, the main character of FF4, starts off as a black knight and later becomes a paladin halfway through the game.
Rangers somewhat similar to their DnD analogue and yet they have their own unique qualities. In FF they don’t dual wield or track and they almost exclusively use bows that are quite often equipped with a sort of elemental attack.
They also have a class ability to use a sort of nature magic that uses elements of whatever environment their in (i.e. in a volcano they tend to use fire based attacks and in a tundra ice based attacks).
Rangers require a bit of basic knowledge to use effectively. Namely characters need to be equipped with the appropriate elemental bow to use effectively against enemies in the current environment.
Likewise their nature magic ability can be very useful or totally useless. In most sword and sorcery type games it’s generally not a good idea to use fire magic against enemies that dwell in a volcano or ice magic against beasts of the tundra, but certain environmental spells can be extremely effective.
Of note are the cave and desert abilities. Cave magic has a sort of sinkhole attack capable of one shotting an enemy and desert magic has some strong decay spells that can automatically reduce an enemy to almost no HP. Other abilities in these environments are basically just generic damage attacks.
The real downside to using their environment spells is that the player can’t choose which attack they character uses they simply choose to use the environmental nature magic and the computer randomly selects one from the set and attacks a random enemy. The upside being that this doesn’t actually cost any MP they just select it as a regular ability.
Samurai can generally be thought of as a prestige class for knights. They function generally the same as being good all around physical attackers, but have a few additional abilities. Namely a wider array of attacks that can stun or inflict status damage or in extreme cases even one shot an enemy. They exclusively wield katanas and use heavy armor.
It’s noteworthy that this is one of the more inconsistent classes from game to game. In FF5 they functioned like a prestige class of the knight with the ability to stun enemies and Cyan from FF6 had an extremely potent ability that allowed him to charge up his attacks and unless various really potent damage effects.
Auron from FFX, as noted above, is an extreme tank with tons of HP and the highest melee damage output and HPs by a long shot, but is also the by far the slowest character in game. Samurai have always been extremely effective compared in pretty much all FF games. (Go figure, a bunch of Japanese game developers wanted to make the samurai class consistently bad ass.)
In FF5 they can reduce the amount of random encounters (by intimidating monsters) or Auron from FFX can intimidate enemies in combat effectively paralyzing them with fear.
Dragoons a heavy hitter variation of the knight fighter class. They don heavy armor and shields, but their favored weapon is a spear of some sort. They are occasionally allowed to wield certain swords though.
Like the other knight/fighter classes they are extremely powerfully physically and have high HP totals, but the real draw of a Dragoon is their Jump ability. Dragoons use this ability to jump high into the air and come down on their opponent with a spear. There is a delay between issuing the command, having the knight jump, and them coming down on the enemy and dealing actual damage (it’s usually a couple of rounds).
The attack is absolutely devastating though and has some of the highest, if not the highest, damage output of any single ability. Careful timing and use of the jump ability can allow a Dragoon to single handedly defeat vastly superior foes as they cannot take damage while in the air and certain enemies tend to telegraph their most powerful attacks somewhat meaning that with the right timing the Dragoon could be in the air and not on the receiving end of such an attack.
Kain from FF4 is probably the most iconic Dragoon, but Freija from FF9 is also notable.
Originally called callers in earlier games. A summoner’s main draw is that they can summon monsters to attack their enemies. This class has gone through several revisions throughout the series.
Rydia was one of the first summoners in FF4 and even her abilities aren’t entirely consistent. Her child self had limited summoning abilities, but could also cast both black magic and white magic (offensive and defensive magic respectively), but her later adult self could only summon and cast black magic.
Overall she was pretty effective particularly if one took the time for a few optional side quests to grant her more powerful summons, but again some of her more powerful spells and summons had a bit of time delay for casting.
From FF9 on they seem to have combined both the white mage and summoner class, which is ridiculously unbalanced. This gives them some of the best offensive and defensive magic good magic stats and decent physical stats with almost no drawbacks.
The easiest way to break FFX is to take Yuna, the summoner/white mage down one of the physically stronger paths early in the game. All her summons are based off her stats, so if she gets physically tougher so do her summoners and its pretty much easy victory for most battles.
Pretty much a rogue although there are a few noteworthy variations from the DnD template, namely that they don’t have a backstab ability. (Combat is generally simplified and streamlined in FF and things such as flanking an opponent or sneak attacking them don’t happen).
If characters are surprised or surprise a group of monsters in random encounters then they generally get a huge initiative bonus and thus a couple of free attacks and in some games in may put characters in a slightly disadvantageous position.
Rogues can steal in combat and in later levels gain an ability called mug which allows them to attack and steal at the same time. The FF5 rogue class allowed them the ability to see secret passages and possible avoid traps, but that’s an exception not a rule.
Various cut scenes do imply that they have some acrobatic abilities as well as general lock picking, but this generally isn’t a factor in the FF series as most locked doors/treasure chests are almost always storyline and/or character or item specific.
Generally speaking they usually aren’t all that great a class. They are quick, but have low damage output and low HPs and usually are restricted to medium armor and knives and a few of the lighter swords. Knives aren’t nearly as damaging as sword, but they usually do have some sort of bonus whether it’s a stat buff or some sort of special status attack.
The thief’s main draw is their ability to acquire items from enemies and this usually isn’t much of an issue as most games tend to be balanced pretty appropriately giving the players reasonable opportunity to get what they need to advance throughout the game.
It is notable that if the player has in depth knowledge of the game that thieves are often able to steal highly valuable items from a select few creatures making the ideal for getting your hands on hard to find equipment and occasionally able to steal much better weapons and armor than are generally available at that point in the game.
This means that they do add some value to the party, but generally not enough to make up for their mostly subpar performance.
Time mages can be thought of as a prestige class. They specialize in spells that alter the speed of both enemies and allies — namely haste, slow, and stop spells. Their physical and magical attributes are generally below average.
There aren’t really a lot of notable PC characters in the FF series and they are mostly found in the Tactics and Crystal Defenders games. They can be thought of as more of a prestige class for mages as they generally aren’t available at the beginning of the game. Later the Crystal Defenders game gave them an attack spell that both damaged their enemies as well as slowed them down.
They generally tend to function as more of a strategically placed support class than anything else.
White mages are a bit more like clerics from DnD. They wield mostly defensive magic and have good magical stats and decent physical stats.
Besides the normal curative magic and the ability to remove negative status ailments they also have a wide array of buff spells and on later levels they gain the holy spell which’s one of the most powerful attack spells in the game. Its description is something along the lines of slams enemies with mystical holy purity or goodness.
White mages are generally thought of as a bit of a boring class, but one that is crucial for their healing role. FF games are usually pretty good about providing a white mage at nearly all points in most of the games.
Curiously enough in the very first FF game, FF1, a party of 4 white mages is generally agreed upon to be the absolute worst party to choose and the most difficult to complete the game with.
These dossiers are primers for the main characters in the story, to facilitate reading our FFX entries. They follow this format:
Name: Character’s name (duh). Characters are listed in order of appearance.
History: A very brief history for the character.
Stats: A very general explanation of each character’s general stats and abiltities.
Primary Class: The character’s primary class. Note that a few characters are dual classed. Most classes are either almost exactly the same or at least have clear DnD analogues.
Secondary Class: Most characters have a secondary class to give each character a bit of flavor and make them more interesting/fun to play. i.e. the character is generally in one class or the other, but they have generally exclusive abilities from other (usually less common) classes to add a bit of versatility.
Play Style: FFX has a general system where each character specializes in fighting a specific type of enemy. Characters also have specific abilities that make them more useful (or useless) in certain situations. His/Her Limit Break attacks are pretty generic and tend to deal pretty good damage to all enemies.
History: The main character. Tidus was a star blitz ball player in his time who lived in the shadow of his father. SIN attacked his city and he woke up displaced in the future.
Stats: Tidus has all around pretty good, but not great physical stats. His magic abilities are relatively weak.
Primary Class: Knight
Secondary Class: Time Mage
Play Style: Tidus specializes in taking out the small quick ground animals. On later levels once he starts learning time magic (haste and slow and the like) he is particularly useful at dictating the pace of the battle and these allow a lot more turns for PC characters early on and throughout the fight.
History: Auron was friends with both Tidus and his father in their time and a legendary guardian in the present FFX timeline. He was responsible for helping protect Braska while he vanquished SIN.
Stats: Auron is a complete and utter tank. His HPs are more than double some of the lower level characters and he has by far the strongest damage output for physical attacks. Conversely he is also the slowest character and is one of the worst in melee accuracy.
Primary Class: Samurai
Secondary Class: None
Play Style: In earlier levels Auron is basically only good for dealing with slow armored enemies (his katana almost always have armor piercing) and he’s generally pretty good against heavy hitter bosses. In later levels he gains a bit more diversity and with certain status attacks can freeze or demoralize enemies and one particularly useful Limit Break attack that completes knocks medium and small enemies out of battle.
History: Riku is an Al Bhed, a race of people largely shunned by most others due to their use of forbidden machine (machines). She originally joins the group to help protect her cousin Yuna.
Stats: Riku is bar far the quickest character in the game and has great dodging ability. On the other hand she has by far the lowest HPs in the game and easily gets one shotted by moderately powerful enemies early on. Her melee damage output isn’t all that great, but her accuracy is fairly good. Also her magical stats are decent.
Primary Class: Thief
Secondary Class: Chemist
Play Style: Riku’s somewhat fairly limited early on. She can one shot any mechanical enemies (stealing from them causes them to fall apart) and she’s the only one who can open random treasure chests in combat. Also as a thief she can steal from enemies. She’s best quickly swapped in and out only when she’s needed. On later levels she still has low HP, but she her initiative is high enough that she can easily start downing potions when she gets low on HP. Her Limit Break can totally turn the tide if you have the items and knowledge. Her later ability to negotiate and/or bribe monsters can also be quite useful.
History: Waka grew up on the isle of Besaid along with his brother Chapu and Lulu. He’s a rather simple guy and a firm believer in the teachings of Yevon and hates both Albed and machine (machines) due to his brother dying while operating one.
Stats: Waka’s overall physical stats are pretty good and he can easily become a powerhouse if leveled properly. His MP and magical stats aren’t that great, but that basically balances since most of magic attacks don’t cost too much MP and it’s relatively easy to inflict status damage in this game.
Primary Class: Ranger and Green Mage and Gambler
Secondary Class: None
Play Style: Waka’s overall pretty useful to have in a fight. He has by the highest melee accuracy in the game insuring that he’ll practically never miss and he deals pretty good damage. He’s particularly useful against agile flying enemies, but he can often one shot anything quick with low HPs. His negative status inflicting attacks as well as his elemental attacks make him quite useful against bosses or almost any fight really. His Limit Break’s usefulness depends on how good a character is the slots minigame.
History: Lulu grew up with Waka and Chapu, but was stricken with grief when her fiancé Chapu was killed fighting SIN. She has been a guardian twice before and has a tragic past.
Stats: Lulu is a typical Black Mage and has great magical everything including the highest MP of any character and is also extremely weak in the physical department and has the lowest defense and accuracy and attack. Her HP are pretty low, too, but not the lowest. She does have a pretty high dodging ability though. Her weapons primarily exist to give her magical stats buffs and not function as attacks.
Primary Class: Black Mage
Secondary Class: None
Play Style: Lulu excels at fighting magically strong elementals. Most elementals have some sort weakness; fire and ice are polar opposites as are lightning and water, and since most of them have an affinity for one element or another hitting them with the opposite element tends to take them out quickly. She can be useful in fighting other types of enemies as well. For example machines are weak against lightning and plants are generally weak against fire. On later levels she gains a lot of powerful attack spells that don’t have any elemental alignment and are just all around damaging. Also double cast is particularly useful since it allows her to cast two spells per turn.
History: Yuna is the daughter of High Summoner Braska, the last person to defeat SIN, and has chosen to follow in his footsteps and defeat SIN herself regardless of the cost.
Stats: Yuna’s physical stats are fairly OK, but a bit on the weak side and her magical stats are second only to Lulu’s.
Primary Class: White Mage and Summoner
Secondary Class: None
Play Style: Yuna’s by far the most powerful character in the game period. As a White Mage she has the best defensive magic and her Summons have the best offensive magic. She’s best at fighting… well pretty much anything, but particularly larger enemies and most bosses. Her Limit Breaks allow her Summons to automatically use their Limit Break (most powerful attack). The surest and easiest way to break the game is to take her down on of the more physical heavy hitter paths early on. Sure you lose out on defensive magic and curative spells, but her Summoned monsters stats are based on hers and if she’s tough they’re tough enough to smack almost anything down.
Name: Kimahri Ronso
History: Kimahri was always small for his race of Ronso and later disgraced when his horn was broken by bullies. He later found purpose in life after he became Yuna’s protector.
Stats: Kimahri has fairly good slightly above average stats in all departments across the board.
Primary Class: Blue Mage
Secondary Class: Dragoon
Play Style: Early on in the game Kimari is about average to below average against most enemies with his one semi-specialty slow armored enemies (his speaks usually have the piercing advantage). His Blue Magic isn’t great by any means, but can be useful in certain situations (of course it can also be time consuming to learn a lot of his abilities). Unlike the rest of characters Kimahri has a very limited past on the sphere grid and after that the player is free to take him down whatever road they feel. Naturally there is some debate over what is most useful.
Some argue that Riku’s thief path is the best to gain her steal abilities earlier in the game since she’s the last character to permanently join the party. Others argue to take her down Yuna’s White Mage path to gain greater defense against elemental and status attacks as well as better healing capabilities. Personally myself and most of friends argue that Lulu’s Black Mage path is the best alternative since it gives you someone capable of casting offensive magic who is not quite as powerful as Lulu, but has far better defense and can absorb a lot more damage in fights.
Helper(s): Sébastien Andrivet, Chris Cottingham