Each year I find myself drawn to the challenge of the Final Fantasy V Four Job Fiesta. The name alone is a mouthful, but the event offers up a new way to play for veterans of the game. I entered this year in hopes of making it to the end, but the jobs issued to me haven’t exactly offered a smooth ride. I’ve defeated Final Fantasy V a single time, where a couple years ago I worked through it on my own volition. Regularly switching jobs and building a team of characters that resembled tiny gods was the end result. Due to the limitations of the Four Job Fiesta, my characters aren’t fit to be called gods– maybe not even demigods by the way things are going.
I started this year’s attempt at the Four Job Fiesta with four white mages. Right out the door I was offered somewhat of a challenge, having hardly any attack capabilities to defend myself with. Every battle was finished with the same strategy: four white mages in the back row, chipping away at the health of the enemy. With any luck, the enemy would run out of MP before I did, and eventually I would emerge victorious. It wasn’t the best way, but I had to make do with what I was issued. After a pair of early boss battles, the trip through the haunted ship graveyard came as somewhat of a relief. The legion of undead enemies made it easy to fight back, as I was relying on heal magic to harm my opponents and push forward.
Upon reaching the second crystal, I was a mix of relieved and disappointed to learn that the second job issued to me was the mystic knight. While this afforded higher attack capability, it was a let down compared to what I could’ve ended up with. My party of two white mages and two mystic knights has been adequate for most situations, but I worry about how my luck will fare as I continue on. I’m nearing the third crystal, and the corresponding job allotted to me is… the bard?
I went ahead and queued up the fourth job from the twitter bot. I needed to know how my final party was going to end up immediately so I could start preparing for whatever was to come. My final job will be the samurai. Some of the weight was lifted off of my shoulders as I breathed a sigh of relief. Having access to a powerful swordsman that can throw money at the enemy is all I can ask for. From a narrative perspective, it at least provides a character that looks like they know what they’re doing. Having a party comprised of a white mage, a mystic knight, a bard, and a samurai makes for a more interesting story than what the game itself offers.
Final Fantasy V stands as one of the most important chapters in the series, one that was unfortunately passed over for American release until its return on the Game Boy Advance in 2006. It’s Hironobu Sakaguchi’s masterpiece in regards to gameplay, offering almost unlimited customization to the player. More people should experience this game, and while I don’t recommend it for a first timer, the Four Job Fiesta always delivers a unique take on an already unique entry in the Final Fantasy saga.