FF3 was the first game (that I know of) was the first to use that jobs system. Now I spoke of the jobs a bit in the walkthrough, but this is a more descriptive effort.
Well, what can I say. 'OnionKid' is not exactly the most flattering name for a class. These kids are just running around without much of a purpose or anything else like that. They can FIGHT, DEFEND, RUN, and ITEM, but they do none of those things particularly well. Let's give them something to do.
1) Jobs of the Wind Crystal
Fighter, what do you think these guys do? Cast powerful magic spells? Of course not. Just as all of us FF1 vets well remember, these guys are pretty awesome. Although they may not be to bright or spiritual, they can hit pretty well. They can equip some really strong armor and most of the swords in the game. They FIGHT, DEFEND, RUN, and ITEM. They have excellent HP progression and can equip shields. You should definitely have one of these guys.
Monks never talk and spend all day copying religious books in some secluded area. They wear one-piece robes and always walk with their heads down and hands folded. But not in Final Fantasy, however. These guys, much like the black belt in FF1, practice martial arts. At first, they are better off holding a nunchuck in each hand, but when they reach level 9, they will somehow be able to hit harder with their hands and feet than with any weapon. They have the best HP progression out of all the classes you'll first get to chose. One of the virtues of the monk is that he is an inexpensive character because you need not
buy weapons for him except a nunchuck or two. They, much like the fighter, can't think or pray all that well, but they can hit pretty well. The monk can also FIGHT, DEFEND, RUN and ITEM. His one drawback, however is that his defensive abilities are not like your typical average heavy fighter and thus they'll take more damage.
These guys are good to have, especially at the beginning of the game. Their main function is to protect/heal the party. He can also use some wind elemental magic. His staff/wand-powered attack sucks as does most of the armor he wears. Their Cure magic hurts undead monsters, and thanks to the cure spell, you'll barely need to buy many potions at the beginning of the game. FIGHT, MAGIC, RUN and ITEM are the commands you'll see for these guys in battle. They've average HP progression, maybe a little bit below average. The white wizard is good for a while.
These evil magicians practice, uh, black magic. They can't hit very well with their knives or wands and their HP progression is humiliating. They can't defend themselves all that well either. They can, however, cause damage to several enemies at once with the proper magic. Black wizards can FIGHT, MAGIC, RUN, and ITEM. This job is nifty when you first make use of them, but they'll become less useful as your journey progresses.
Anybody who has really played FF1 inside and out (like yours truly, heh) knows how good the red mage/wizard character was (you may disagree, however). Their role in FF3 is somewhat disappointing compared to the first adventure. At the
beginning, they are super useful. They can fight alright with swords, knives, staves, and bow/arrows. They're armor capabilities are also far superior to that of their black and white counterparts, which includes some shields. They can use both beginner types of magic- black and white. Their HP progression is very un-mage-like. But, as time progresses, their physical attacks just don't cut it as their MP would stop growing. They, and to a certain extent the black and white wiz, begin to become rather futile by the time you get around to leaving the Floating Continent. But still not a bad class to have early on.
They can FIGHT, MAGIC, RUN and ITEM.
2) Jobs of the Fire Crystal
Hunters are alright. Some use them as an alternative to a white wizard for a while for he can use all level 1-3 white magic except Aero. They are quick to bust out and attack in battle. Their elemental arrows are sort of like casting its respective spell. They are a great force of defense for you can give them FlameMail or Ice Armor and stick 'em in the back row. They can FIGHT, MAGIC, RUN and ITEM. They use bows and arrows- all kinds. They are, however, a rather expensive class to supply. Their usefulness becomes a bit lessened as the game goes on. They won't be able to upgrade from that FlameMail or those arrows he'll have for quite a while, and he'll become a third wheel. They are useful for quite a while.
Oh yeah, knights. Are they good? Uh, this is Final Fantasy, of course the best party is usually going to have one of these guys. The instant you can ditch that fighter distinction, do it, and never change his job from knight until very late in the game. Now it is agreed by FF1 beginners and experts that the knight is the best character (if not the best, then they're #2). They can't use magic in this game, and actually, the knight is just an improved version of the fighter. But this dude can equip most of the best armor and swords in the game. Their HP progression is excellent, and they can use shields (duh). You really shouldn't have to buy anything for the knight except potions- most of their stuff's in chests. They still lack the ability to think or pray straight, but
they sure can hit. Command in battle them by selecting FIGHT, DEFEND, RUN, or ITEM.
Oh man do we all (FF1 vets) have our fair share of horror stories to tell you about the thief. Well, I never thought I'd ever say this, but the thief is actually pretty useful. He can pick locks if he's in the lead so you won't have to use any magic keys. If you give him two Boomerangs and stick him in the back row, he becomes a formidable agility machine with alright offense. He can steal stuff in battle, but you'll never steal anything interesting. The most interesting thing about him in my opinion is that his soul is at the robust rating of one. What are you expecting, some lockpicker with morals? He can escape easily from virtually every battle, and he has normal, maybe a bit below normal, and he equips knives. His commands include FIGHT, SEAL,
ESCAPE, and ITEM.
This nerdy fella will is well, uh, not completely useless. A rookie scholar will hit you for about as much damage as a rookie knight with the swords he has when you can first get these jobs. And you know what, that's really realistic. Who would have known that some ponytailed punk with is books would hurt someone about as much as some strong guy in armor with two sharp swords? This class, for the most part, sucks because you can never get a stronger set of books for this guy until it's too late. He is really useful for ONE fight. The scholar can see an enemy's weakness and HP with his abilities. FIGHT, SCAN,
PEEP and ITEM are your choices for the scholar. Oh, they also have sucky HP progression.
3) Jobs of the Water Crystal
This is a very original job. This dude somehow controls the area's terrain during battle to hurt one or more enemies. The terrain function is sort of like black magic that won't run out. But controlling terrain is difficult, as you may imagine, and the attack can often backfire thus hurting the geomancer. The rule is that the more unusual the setting, the more useful the geomancer will be. Marshes, underwater stages, and air are examples of where he may thrive. It's like casting magic that'll never run out, kind of. They can take the land and control it, but they only have average HP progression. They aren't
strong at all; they attack with bells. Yeah, that's right, bells. FRIGGIN' BELLS. A ring of a bell or two is somehow supposed to produce spectacular results as far as hurting enemies are concerned. Well, the bells realistically do minimal damage against the vast majority of all the monsters in the game. These guys look pretty cool and they are a useful addition to your party for a
while. They can FIGHT, TERRAIN, RUN, ITEM. The ringing of bells is supposed to HURT? Okay...
These guys have an entire kingdom dedicated to them, so they have to be at least pretty good. Though defense is really not their thing, they can leap so high that they would miss all action from a fight for about a full round thus avoiding the enemies' attacks and spells. When equipped with two javelins, they could do impressive damage on the enemy (they can also miss the enemy entirely). Giving these guys shields is pretty useless for this reason. They have bad HP progression for a heavy fighter. They have good agility and their regular attack is respectable. These guys are alright. I alternated my second position character to/from dragoon/karateka. When defense was needed, I employed the services of the dragoon because he can jump over attacks. What can dragoons do in battle? FIGHT, JUMP, DEFEND, ITEM.
Generally inferior to the other heavy fighters, although not a bad character to have in your party. The first thing that you should know is that these guys are tough. They can take a punch better than any other class we have at this point in the game. You give him an Aegis Shield and enemies will rarely be able attack him for more than 10 damage. And for some reason, my viking in the third slot got attacked ALOT more than any of the other three. These guys lack offense. The carry around heavy axes and hammers causing them to simply attack less times. So that Aegised viking won't hit for too much more than 300 damage whereas a knight at the same level would be doing nearly 1000 when holding two swords. Another thing you should know is that these guys have the best HP progression in the game at this point. They FIGHT, DEFEND, RUN, ITEM. I could see using them more often of they had some unique command. HAS THIS EVER HAPPENED TO YOU: I was sailing underwater and was attacked from behind. I tried running three times but was unsuccessful. My caller was even bashed to death. At round four, from the BACK ROW while equipped with a Triton Hammer and Tomahawk Axe at exp level 30 and skill level 24, well, uh, something happened. I had him fight a Charbidiyilis or something like that. My viking stepped forward and attack ONCE (ONE TIME) for 9999 damage. It wasn't even a critical hit either. ONCE. I don't know which weapon it was. You may not believe it, but this surprise blast of orgasmic power did happen.
A refined monk. Or put it this way- Knight:Fighter::Karateka:Monk. These guys will hit you with claws until for some reason he will attack more effectively without the assistance of fist enhancement. They have excellent HP progression but a sucky defensive system. At a high skill level, these guys produce the best results when Hasted (much like the master in FF1 produced the best results when FASTed if he was at level 20 or more). They can well up all their power for a couple rounds, but making use of this command reduces his defense dramatically. In battle, they can FIGHT, BUILDUP, DEFEND and ITEM. One of the main advantages to the monk was that he barely required and money to be an effective force of fighting. Well, you're gonna haveta spend some money on these guys when you first get 'em. Near the end of the game, you may find their usefulness tailing off a bit, and that's why I had one of these guys but I changed him to a dragoon at times. There's really not much else to say about the karateka job.
The paladin job is completely worthless when you first obtain it. But when you get to the 'splitting cave,' you're gonna wanna have one of these dudes with you. Their dark swords are powerful, and as mentioned before are the only type of weapon to keep an enemy from splitting if they're not stuck or dead. Their defensive capabilities are limited when you first use the mknight, but they'll eventually be able to have a great armor line up with Genji and what not. They gain skill levels in a hurry, they can use all level 1-3 white magic except Aero and their HP progression is great, third best out of the bunch only slightly behind the karateka and viking. For the most part, this class is superior to the knight class, but what really makes up for that is your knight will have a very high skill level by the time you first get to put these guys to good use. I didn't want to can my knight or karateka, but I really really wanted to keep the mknight after that cave. So I just decided to have three heavy fighters instead of the traditional two. Oh, you won't have to pay for ANY of the mknight's equipment if you collect all the stuff before you do that cave. They can be commanded with FIGHT, DEFEND, MAGIC and ITEM.
Think of conjurers as pre-summoners. They're still trying to master their domain. Conjurers are a good class. Their effects are usually better than that of the black wizard and they also have better HP progression than the black wizard. There are only two things the conjurer has working against him. The first is that he lacks MP. The second is that the magic is unpredictable. If
your party runs into a fight with two Zombie Dragons at near max HP, you'll just want Ifrit to just throw his happy fireball of death at the undead creature for optimum damage. But he'll probably just give you your 50 HP you were missing when you first entered the battle. They can't hit very hard with their sissiness rods as you might expect from a magic user. FIGHT, MAGIC, RUN and ITEM with one of these guys in battle.
Bards rock. They can do it all- sing, dance, scare enemies away, make your guys more effective, charm you off your feet, perform soothing lullabies to put enemies to sleep... Aw, who the hell am I kidding. For many of us, our first introduction of the bard in the FF games was Edward/Gilbert (FF4). He remains to be one of the most hated video game characters to this date due to his worthlessness. And you know, they're not that much better here. They fight, err, sing, with harps. I really don't know how some dude plucking an instrument that usually soothes the listener is supposed to hurt a monster. The bard is weeeek. He's one of those sissy choir boys who know or may have known before who couldn't do a push-up in their life depended on it. Hell, these guys can't even FIGHT. They can SING, CHEER, SCARE and ITEM in battle. Do you really want somebody so weak they can't fight slowing your party down? Scare, uh, well, there's nothing scary about the bard except his alarming inability to hurt enemies himself. Scare? Have you ever in your life been intimidated by some choir priss walking the hallways of your school? Now, traditionally with musicians, their music is supposed to be more bearable as
they sharpen their skills. So shouldn't this mean that as he gains skill levels, he should be doing less and less damage since his music is becoming better and more enjoyable? They're also way to expensive compared to other classes. That's the bad side of the bard, and it's considerably larger than the good things I have to say about him. First, because I mention it everywhere,
I'll acknowledge the fact that his HP progression is decent (white wizardish), suprisingly good for someone who's more destructive with his vocal chords than his physical body. Second of all, these guys are pretty agile and they are quick to act in battle. Third, their cheering actually works. It effectively rouses your party. No, really, I actually got it to work. When you first are able to use these guys properly, their cheer command will not be too much more than a complete waste of a turn. But at a higher level, he really 'rouses the party.' My fighters' got more than 25% stronger when my skill level 1 exp level 42 bard cheered my party. Although I have not yet tried this, you MAY want to carry this sissy around the 'splitting cave' so he can pump up your party so they can kill the monsters in one hit so they are unable to split. However, if one of these scrawny princes was trying to rouse the crowd at a school's pep rallies, I doubt he'd really not do a great job IMHO.
4) Jobs of the Earth Crystal
His deeper divulgence into the study of black magic makes his black magic obviously stronger than the black wizards. But they are still only alright. The only advantages these guys have over summoners are a better HP progression and more MP. Other than that, they still can't really hurt bad guys with their wands of wussiness, and their magic's still just a bit too weak. These smart guys might only be really advantageous at one part of the game: at Sylx Tower when your party gets attacked from behind, they can use a fairly reliable Kill spell to get your party out of the jam, but other than that, well, unless you
MUST go with a more traditional party... Use the warlock to FIGHT, MAGIC, RUN and ITEM.
Ultimate healers/protects, basically. These guys have been profusely praying and atoning and what not, and my has it paid off. Actually, this guy's but an improvement of the white wizard that came before him. His stalves won't really hurt monsters too badly, his armor is not the greatest in the world, and his HP progression is nothing to write home about. This is, in all likeliness, the most useful of the Earth Crystal jobs. The shaman can FIGHT, MAGIC, RUN & ITEM.
Alright, now THIS is how magic should be! No more of this effect nonsense; the summoner is skilled enough to bring out the best (well, usually it's the best) of what the creatures have to offer. Summoning magic is bone-stoopidly strong, really I think you'll be surprised. But, these guys aren't as useful as advertised. Summoning magic is meant to destroy several monsters at once. Only problem is that at the end last stages of the game, you won't really bump into many monsters who travel in packs of more than four, so at the end I just changed him into a shaman. His rods and armor are just what you would expect
from a magic user, and his HP progression is one of the other drawback of this class and they have less MP than warlocks and shamen, just like black and white wizes had more MP than conjurers. Command them by way of FIGHT, MAGIC, RUN, and ITEM.
5) Jobs found in the Forbidden Land Eureka
'You get the jobs of ninja who can equip all weapons and armor...' says the Scylla who guards a staff and the last two jobs. The ninja can equip ALMOST every weapon and armor in the game. They're the ideal fighters. Shurikens rock, too! They're really strong and really fast and they have the best HP progression. Ya gotta have two of these guys when you're approaching the game's end. Good offense with all the weapons the can use and good defense with the armor and agility they possess (Crystal Shields are also alright!). Really, what else is there to say? Oh yeah, ninjas can FIGHT, DEFEND, RUN and ITEM as far as battles are concerned.
'You get the jobs...sage who can use every magic spell!' Scyalla's statement to you as you approach looks kind of like the opening sentence in the ninja paragraph combined with the quote above. Sages are the magical equivalent to the ninja- they are able to use ALL the game's spells. It's like having a warlock, shaman and summoner wrapped together. Although I've heard talk about their magic being of less strength than warlocks, summoners or shamen or something, but I haven't ever noticed a difference. If their magic IS weaker, it's by such an infindecimal amount that it's really hard to notice. Sages have
no reason not to summon Shiva or Ifrit in every battle (don't use up Cure magic) in every turn. They hit pretty well with staves, rods, or books and they're adequate defensively. But they are by no means warriors of exasperating physical strength, and they belong in the back row to FIGHT, MAGIC, RUN, ITEM. Very high MP, best HP progression, what more can you ask for?
6) Job that's Technically not a Job, but I've Gotta Throw it Into the Mix
FULLY-EQUIPPED ONION KID (NOTE: The follow is a tad exaggerated)
Fully-Equipped Onion Kids are psychopathic killing machines. An FEOK has two Onion Swords, Onion Armor, Onion Gloves and an Onion Helmet. They have Adamantie-like armor, they don't NEED no stinkin' shields, and swords so forbidden the only one who dares pick them up is the FEOK. Just imagine that kid who got picked on all throughout his high school days. This dude unleashes the inner power of anger and builds up his body to the point of no return. He exercises too much for his own good, and now he's back for revenge. He can eliminate the entire football team who used to have hours of fun at his expense with his eyes closed. If one were to cast Haste on him, not even the most intense mental institutions (or any single armed force) could hold him down. He is the single greatest fighter to ever live. The ninja pales in comparison to the FEOK, so forget this drivel I was speaking about the ninja being the perfect fighters (okay, maybe a skill level 70 ninja is better than one of these guys at skill level 3, but still). If you happen to come upon all that equipment dropped by those dragons in Sylx, well, the game'll be a bit easier. If you do find all that equipment without much trouble, especially those swords, you're pretty damn lucky, and I will also really hate you if you do happen to accomplish that great stroke of luck (j/k). I think the moral of the story is simple: Don't mess with fully equipped onion kids!!