So it was the night before I thought of the job change system. I went to work and called a meeting right away and said, 'This is the way we're gonna do it.' So the reaction was like, when I said it, everyone's like, 'Oh great, Sakaguchi-san's at it again.' So the team members didn't think it was a big deal, but once they started building it, they knew.
While each game in the Final Fantasy series features their own ability systems, such as the Materia or the Junction system, one that has recurred most often has been the job system, also known as the class system or the job class system. The basic concept is that each player character starts as a blank slate on which to choose character classes, much like in computer RPGs, and has development directly controlled by the player's decisions.
The system is a fundamental element of Final Fantasy initially, especially in the games that take place in Ivalice, as the system focuses on complex statistical decisions suiting a tactical game. Each game that has featured the job system has expanded on it and changed it in their own ways.
The job system is quite simple in comparison to its more recent iterations. When beginning a new game, the player assigns each of the four Warriors of Light a job from a pool of six classes, similar to the popular computer RPGs of the time, such as Ultima, the influence of which upon the series has been noted, most prominently in the older games.
Each class features a unique set of attributes, such as the Thief's enhanced ability to successfully Flee, the Black and White Mages' abilities to use the strongest spells of their respective schools, or the Red Mage's capability of learning and casting both Black and White Magic.
While the player cannot change their party's classes once they have been assigned, there is an optional story event that can be completed in order to upgrade the party into stronger, more versatile forms of their starting classes; for example, a Thief becomes a Ninja. While basic, this was the starting point from which the job system would gradually progress.
The system is similar in progression compared to the first Final Fantasy, but has changes and improvements. One major change is instead of picking a class at the start of a new game and being locked into it, party members start as a basic "beginning" class (the Onion Knight/Onion Kid in the Famicom version, Freelancer in the 3D remakes).
After making some progress, basic jobs, such as the Thief and White Mage, become available, and the player is allowed to freely change between jobs and accumulate progress in each. The individual job abilities are expanded, with advanced ones, such as the Scan for the Scholar and Steal for the Thief.
Like the first Final Fantasy, reaching a point in the plot bestows the player with new "advanced" or "master" versions of classes, but in Final Fantasy III this occurs up to four times (including the first encounter yielding the basic jobs) and the player does not need to make progress in a "basic" class to use the "master" one (the master classes become available depending on their power—i.e. the most powerful classes will be available last).
Having characters progress through drastically different job branches can be both a blessing and a curse, as HP increases gained through leveling up accumulate into the permanent abilities of the character—a Black Mage will not gain HP as fast as a Knight or a Warrior would, so a Knight who had been previously trained as a Black Mage will have lower HP than a Knight trained as a Warrior. HP is the only affected stat, but a similar system was used with all major stats in Final Fantasy Tactics.
Lower level jobs, such as Monks and Thieves, grow faster than high level jobs.
Final Fantasy V retains the concept of having a starting job which to make progress with and the ability to freely switch between classes while retaining progress in each. New is the concept of Ability Points and multiple skills per job.
After a successful battle, AP is earned along with EXP and the player can use the AP to learn new skills to the chosen job in a way similar to gaining levels for a specific character, as jobs now use multiple abilities. This became another major part of the job system and contributed to more flexibility and diversity available to the player.
The concept of having a "basic" class, such a Warrior, and an "advanced" class, such as a Knight, became less prominent. Instead, the game offers a variety of different classes which bear little relation to each other. The classes present include past staples such as the White Mage and Thief, but also include new ones such as the Blue Mage and Samurai, which went on to become staples in the series.
Referred to as dresspheres, the system operates more or less like Final Fantasy V with new jobs becoming available as the player progresses. The major change is that Yuna and her companions can change jobs during battle, referred to as a "spherechange." Changing jobs during battle can grant access to certain bonuses, such as stat boosts or the chance to use certain abilities, which are in some cases only made available via this method. Each character also has a special dressphere that becomes available after spherechanging between all the other dresspheres in the character's Garment Grid. Uniquely, the party members have distinctive skillsets for certain dresspheres, such as the Trainer and the Mascot.
Dresspheres return and up to five dresspheres may be equipped on a character, with additional dresspheres providing support abilities, while certain combat abilities are only available based on the primary dressphere. Certain combinations of dresspheres are required to access powerful support abilities. Players can also fuse dresspheres of the same kind together to create a stronger version of it. Whenever a character takes damage, the primary dressphere takes damage instead of the character. If a dressphere's HP reaches 0, the dressphere breaks, and the next one on the list takes its place. If the character has no equipped dresspheres left when the last one breaks, the players is reduced to the Freelancer class. If the character is then reduced to 0 HP in this state, she is sent out of the tower and will be forced to climb the entire way up again.
The presentation of the job system includes many classic job types, as well as a few unique ones. Some mechanics were changed to be more in line with computer MMORPGs, which in a way is a modern version of what occurred with the first Final Fantasy. Most jobs retain their archetypal expertise and many abilities commonly associated with the jobs from previous installments.
Other aspects of the system remain, such as the player picking from one of six basic jobs to start with, the same six original jobs from the original Final Fantasy. Players can change job at will, similar to Final Fantasy V or Final Fantasy Tactics. This was unique to Final Fantasy XI among MMORPGs. Once progress has been made on a character to level 30, more advanced job types become available to be pursued via specific quests made available at that point.
The unique aspect of the system is the "support job" that allows a player to augment their character with abilities, traits and spells from another chosen job at half the level of their current job. For instance, a level 20 Warrior could set Ninja as their support job allowing them to use all Ninja abilities, traits and spells up to that of a level 10 Ninja while still primarily being a level 20 Warrior.
The original version has no defined job system, but the Zodiac versions feature the Zodiac Job System. Characters are given twelve License Boards to choose from, each one corresponding to one of twelve jobs and a Zodiac sign each board giving each job its equipment and abilities. Once a character chooses a job, they can never be switched out. Characters who do not choose a job cannot receive LP.
Though most of the classes represented in the Zodiac versions are traditional—such as Black Mage, White Mage, and Knight—several were renamed. For example, the class usually called "Dragoon" is called "Uhlan".
In Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age, the high-definition remaster which utilizes the Zodiac Job System mechanic, each playable character are now allowed two jobs. The license to gain a second license board is granted upon defeating Belias at the Tomb of Raithwall.
There are six job classes, called roles, through a system called Paradigm Shift. Each of the six party members starts out with a limited access to different roles, but gradually gains access to all of them. Since roles are heavily focused on a few tasks the battle system focuses greatly on switching the roles on the fly. The character's role determines their abilities in battle, but not their equipment or stats. Therefore, the roles are different than the traditional Final Fantasy roles. For example, Ravager is associated with using elemental attacks to boost an enemy's chain gauge both magic and physical attacks being equal in the boost power, while Commandos slow down the rate the enemy's chain gauge meter depletes and deal the most damage, but do not boost the chain much.
Unlike other games with job systems, in Final Fantasy XIII all six characters have personalized skillsets, and even if all characters can eventually learn all the roles, not everyone will learn the same abilities.
The paradigm system returns but includes new features and limitations. Noel Kreiss and Serah Farron can learn all roles, but learn different abilities from each other. Noel's skills are weighted towards strength and physical attacks, while Serah's are weighted towards magic. Certain abilities, such as Bravery, can only be used by certain recruitable monsters, each of which can use one specific role and no other.
A new feature called Paradigm Tuning is introduced that allows to customize whether actions target a single opponent, multiple opponents, or the choice is made by the computer. Rather than new roles being granted automatically as the story progresses, roles can be chosen as a bonus at times when leveling in the Crystarium.
Lightning has access to a myriad of outfits with different properties called garbs. While many garbs are unique, some are based on classic job classes, like Red Mage, Dragoon, and Dark Knight, some are based on playable characters from previous mainline games, for example Splendid Admiral based on Faris Scherwiz from Final Fantasy V and Heartstealer based on Locke Cole from Final Fantasy VI. Most garbs have locked command and auto-abilities, making them similar to job classes, although most garbs are also customizable. By setting up equipment with garbs, the player can create schemata akin to the paradigm system from the previous games in the saga. Lightning can enter a battle with a maximum of three schemata set active and can freely switch between them.
In the Armory System classes, referred to as Disciplines, are tied to the weapons and tools the player character equips, and changing jobs is as simple as changing equipment. Disciplines and their disciples are divided into four categories: War, Magic, Hand and Land. They each have one of five different roles: DPS, tank, healer, gatherer and crafter. The former three are used for quests which involve combat and duties, while the latter two are for Gathering and Synthesis respectively.
Aside from the simplicity of switching jobs, disciples can equip several mastered cross-class abilities between disciplines, though there are several restricted abilities.
In Patch 1.21, the job system was released, and introduced traditional Final Fantasy jobs as specializations for disciples of War and Magic. These jobs, unlocked through Soul Crystals, have access to several powerful abilities, but greatly reduces access to abilities from only two other disciplines (i.e. when upgrading Marauder into Warrior, the character loses access to all abilities from other disciplines but Gladiator and Pugilist). Thus, the choice of a job will trade the versatility of a character for a certain focus in battle.
The job system was expanded, with the ability to freely change jobs being more structured. Instead of swapping in and out, the character should make a planned progression of their abilities to reach the destination they wish. For example, to be a Ninja, a character must have the prowess of an Archer, the agility of a Thief and the knowledge of a Geomancer—all of which find a distant root in the basic Squire job.
Starting off the player is given two base jobs: the Squire (combat focused) and the Chemist (support focused). After choosing, progress is made by accumulating JP and spending it on skills—which have further increased in number per job and have multiple categories, such as movement abilities and reaction abilities.
As the character develops in their job further, new jobs become available, and as the player changes between jobs, skills can be transported. The mixing of skills (along with the jobs themselves) and the statistics gained from them, further developed the system and became integral parts of the Tactics series.
Certain storyline characters have unique jobs and start with their unique job rather than with Squire. The War of the Lions remake adds new jobs and secret characters with their own jobs to the roster as well.
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance resumes the progress of the job system where the original Final Fantasy Tactics left off providing the structured character progression and blending of skills. Changed, though, is how the skills are obtained and how to access particular jobs.
While worn, the skill present on the specific item is ready to be used, but once unequipped, it is no longer available. To make the skill a permanent part of the character, the player must build up a specific amount of AP while the item is equipped in battle. As the availability of equipment is limited to the player's progression, this makes the development process somewhat more linear in regards to skills.
Despite that, the character options available are expanded further by the introduction character races, such as moogles and nu mou, who have different varieties of jobs and progression paths available. Many new classes are introduced in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance and many long unused classes find a revival, without seeming out of place (as the classes fit the racial personalities) or overwhelming (as each race has their own limited and mostly unique sets of jobs). This allows players to add in more decisions on how to structure their parties.
Many small mechanics are tweaked to the players' wishes and it is a refined version of what was present in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. New races and many new jobs are added furthering complexity. It features the most jobs in a Final Fantasy game that uses the system.
The transformation system allows the four main characters to change into four classes; beast, monster, cyborg, and robot. The basic starting class is human and mutant. To trigger a transformation, a character must eat Meat or installing Parts left from a defeated enemy.
Units can be purchased and sent into battle, but their jobs cannot be changed after being placed on the field. Available jobs include Soldiers, Archers, Black Mages, White Monks, Time Mages, and Thieves, though only the first three are available in the demo. More jobs become available in later rounds. Units can be upgraded multiple times to increase their range and power, but their classes and abilities remain the same.
There are eight different job classes: Soldier, Paladin, Archer, Dragoon, Black Mage, Bishop, Flintlock, and White Mage.
The system is based upon tribes, with certain tribes being limited to certain classes. The Clavats can use all four jobs. There are only four basic classes: Black Mage, White Mage, Thief, and Warrior.
Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light retains the beginning class to start out with. A new feature the Crown system introduces is the concept of adorning crowns with gems to upgrade the job. After defeating all enemies in battles, enemies drop gems the player can place in the shaped slots to make the crown learn new abilities.
Crowns can learn many different abilities to deal damage to the enemies or support the party in battle. When changing into a certain crown only the character's headgear changes. The crowns are not restricted to equipped with a certain type of weapon and magic, although certain jobs have a higher proficiency with certain of types of weapon and jobs with higher magic type stats are better suited for magic based abilities.
There are twenty-eight crowns, including the Freelancer. Though most of the classes include traditional jobs—such as Black Mage, White Mage, and Ranger—some of the jobs were renamed. For example, the class usually called "Thief" was renamed "Bandit." New jobs are included, such as the Wayfarer, the Seamstress, and the Party Host.
The job system features 24 jobs to choose from, including several popular jobs from the Final Fantasy series, as well as new additions, such as the Valkyrie, Swordmaster and the Pirate. Each job has a unique set of abilities and equipment proficiencies ranked from E up to S. Higher rankings grant additional statistical benefits on top of a piece of equipment's normal boost. For example, if a job has a D ranking in shields, equipped shields will receive a 20% to its Physical Defense stat; an S ranking would double the defensive ability of a shield.
The default job is the Freelancer. Other jobs are granted via objects known as asterisks. Asterisks are held by certain enemies, and can be obtained by defeating the holder. The heroes can switch jobs at any time, so long as the appropriate asterisk is obtained. Jobs start out with a job level of 1 and can be increased to a maximum of 14. However, job levels do not carry over between jobs, although the Abilink ability allows a player to take advantage of the job levels of players on their friends list. Utilizing the abilink of a friend allows a person to use job abilities that may not be accessible at the player's current level. For example, a Freelancer at level 10 learns the ability JP Up. If a person that uses the abilink feature has not reached level 10 as the Freelancer job, a friend who has level 10 as the Freelancer can allow the user to use the skill JP Up as well as any future skills that can be learned by this job.
Increasing job levels requires Job Points (JP), which function similarly to Experience Points (exp). JP are granted after defeating enemies, and the currently active job will level up once the necessary points are obtained. As the hero gains job levels, they will gain new active abilities, which can be used in battle, or passive abilities, which can be placed in passive slots. All job levels increase with the same exp excluding the Freelancer, which requires 9999 JP to access level 14.
In battle, the heroes can use abilities from their primary job, which determines their stats and equipment. Each hero can also use the abilities of another job as a secondary job, up to the level they have mastered that job. For example, a White Mage who has three levels in the Black Mage job could use the abilities of a level 3 Black Mage alongside their White Mage abilities. In this way, abilities can be mixed and matched to increase battle capability. These settings cannot be changed during battle.
The job system returns and functions the same as Bravely Default. There are 30 jobs with many returning alongside a few new additions, such as Patissier, Catmancer, and Exorcist. Job levels now go up to 10, but after unlocking the Yōkai job and gaining the Awakening ability, the heroes will be able to access job level 11.
The episodic game for mobile devices includes a job system similar to that of Final Fantasy V. It includes a set of common or shared jobs plus two sub sets exclusive to either the Light Warriors or the Dark Warriors.
Initially, available jobs start out with a maximum level of 3, and can be increased up to a maximum of 20 by use of Job Points obtained throughout the game and with Moogle Coins. Job points increase the maximum level of a single job level and can be applied to any job except Jobless.
The player can change jobs at any time, but must unlock classes through exploration and leveling other classes.
The game distinguishes all jobs in three ways:
- Basic: these include all the classes available from the start. These are comprised of the six original classes from the first Final Fantasy: Warrior, Thief, Monk, White Mage, Black Mage and Red Mage.
- Advanced: these jobs require the player to complete certain regions to access them, although the Geomancer is acquired simply through successive logins. More advanced jobs appear as new regions are unlocked. Some of these advanced jobs are Ranger, Mystic Knight, Berserker and Machinist.
- Special: these jobs require gaining levels in two classes. For example: the Paladin is acquired by getting 5 levels in the Monk class and 10 levels in the White Mage class. Some special jobs require mastering basic and advanced jobs, and some require leveling other special jobs. So far, only the Geomancer does not unlock a special job. Other special jobs are the Dancer, the Samurai and the Ninja.
The choice of job influences the power of the character when using certain weapons and abilities. For example, a Warrior is proficient with greatswords and STR-based abilities: whenever the Warrior is equipped with one of these weapons or abilities, the character gains an increase to their ATK and DEF values. These bonuses start at level 1, and increase at every five levels (level 2 at 5th level, level 3 at 10th job level, up to level 5 at 20th level). Some classes have multiple affinities: for example, the Paladin is proficient with both STR and INT abilities. Since mostly special jobs contain these properties, it's often desirable to change into one of them.
A job is considered "mastered" at level 20. Mastered jobs appear on the Collections section of the menu, and grant the player bonuses such as platinum chests, which grant new weapons of higher rarity.
Some recurring and iconic jobs in the series appear as job cards in the Duel Colosseum, each having their own effect. Furthermore, although they aren't the traditional job classes, each character has a unique fighting style that is described by a "class." Kefka uses "Mad Mage," Sephiroth uses "Focused Blade," Firion uses "Weapons Specialist," etc.
Bartz is a direct reference to the job system of Final Fantasy V, his fighting style based on the traditional Mime, and his EX Mode consists of Job Mastery where three golden stars hover over his head.
When playing as Cecil, the player can shift from a Dark Knight into a Paladin by using certain HP attacks. When Cecil uses an aerial HP attack it causes him to job shift into a Paladin, whereas using a Ground HP Attack will cause him to job shift into a Dark Knight. Each class has different Bravery Attacks and appearances.
Lightning's gameplay revolves around the changing of paradigm roles.
The job system also plays a part in party battles for Quick Battle, Friend Cards, or wireless matches. When forming a party, the player can assign each member a job that grants them certain innate abilities, such as the Warrior granting +3 ATK.
When a party member with a job wins a battle, once they lose their job is passed to the next party member. If that party member then wins their battle, the passed power of their job and the prior party member's job can combine to unlock an advanced job for the current party member. For example, if a Monk wins a battle and then loses, and a party member with the Dark Knight job fights next and wins, the Monk and Dark Knight powers will create the Berserker, giving the party member a new effect. Only certain combinations of jobs combined this way produce advanced jobs.
Players select classes that provide ATK and DEF points to their character, as well as extra class bonuses. Knights of the Crystals fashions a slightly different job system than other Final Fantasy games, named as Ultimate job system that uses cards as jobs, and there are five types: normal, bronze, silver, gold, and ultimate, name signifying the quality of the cards. The jobs can be changed at any time for any number as the player decides, and the player can receive a free normal ticket (ticket to getting a chance for normal, bronze, or silver cards) once a day.
Completing quests may give free cards or tickets. The cards gain levels by merging with other cards, consuming them, the second card disappearing and the original card gaining experience depending on the quality of the card consumed. Better cards need more cards to gain level. Higher level results in more stat bonuses and better abilities to use at arena challenges.
A job system is present in this game, and tightly woven into the gameplay as follows:
The player may choose a job from any of the available job cards that he comes to possess via the game's gacha draws, and must select a job card to begin attaching ability cards to any given deck. The default jobs are Trainee Monk, Apprentice Mage, Neophyte Ranger, and Onion Knight. Any further job cards may be acquired once per game, in that once a job is drawn successfully, it is permanently available to the player so that a future draw may yield a different job.
Every job card has base stat values and assigned weapons per its job type (monk, ranger, warrior, or mage), as well as access to a set of three base elements from the six offered. Two of these elements will always oppose one another for purposes of attack and defense (light vs. dark, fire vs. water, or wind vs. earth), while the third element is quasi-random. Building a deck requires that any ability cards in the player's possession be attributed to any of the three active elements, or that the cards are Life cards; the latter can be assigned to any deck regardless of the three active elements in the job. Up to four cards may be added to a job's deck. The player's level is then determined by the sum of all ability card levels, and their combined stats add into the job's base stats as well. Cards of the same job type as the job itself are also given a stat boost during battle.
As the player enters battle, he will earn a set number of skillseeds from each ability card in his deck according to the attributes printed on the "reverse" of the card, as well as from any area bonuses in play. These skillseeds may then be spent on the various attributes of any job card; or they can upgrade any weapon that supports upgrading.
On each job card are eight skill panels, divided into sixteen attribute panels per level. Investing skillseeds or Openers into an attribute panel will add the stat or property to the job's base attributes. Once this has been done for the first 15 attributes within the skill panel, the last panel will unlock. However, it can only be activated by an amount of Crystals in the player's possession. So long as the player possesses the needed Crystals, activating the final panel will advance the job's level. Often, the equipment and the elements usable will change if advancing the job card grants access to another job within the same class (e.g. Apprentice Mage → Mage) All stat bonuses active on the job card are cumulative, and will carry forward to any promotion the player receives.
Several Final Fantasy games that do not feature the job system apply specific job archetypes to some characters. Though they cannot change jobs, their roles are often direct references to classes from the job system.
Playable characters are listed as having a particular job, but with the exception of Cecil, none may change their job assignments. Each character has several static abilities usually from the job they represent. In the world of Final Fantasy IV, many NPCs hold certain classes.
Classes are usually cultural groups; the kingdom of Eblan is ruled by Ninjas, Mysidia is home to White and Black Mages, Fabul is ruled by Monks, and the army of Baron consists of Dragoons, Dark Knights, and Black and White Mages.
Many job classes from the previous game return in the sequel to the original Final Fantasy IV, and they function the same way as they did in its predecessor.
Final Fantasy IV: The After Years uses menus styled similarly to Final Fantasy IV. Each character is assigned a job class displayed beside their name. A few characters change jobs: Ceodore goes from Prince to Red Wings, Ursula goes from Princess to Monk, and Kain becomes a Holy Dragoon. Upon doing so Ceodore gains the ability Awaken, Ursula gains the Tenketsu ability and Kain gains the ability to use White Magic. Kain is the only character whose sprite or menu portrait changes upon his class change.
The game menu lists every playable character as having a job, though usually not the same as the traditional Final Fantasy ones. Every character has also set abilities similar to Final Fantasy IV.
- Terra: Magitek Elite - Terra is a natural magic user and has been trained by the Empire as a Magitek specialist.
- Locke: Adventurer - He is similar to the Thief Class.
- Cyan: Samurai - Uses samurai swords and knows Bushido.
- Shadow: Assassin - He has typical Ninja characteristics such as Throw ability and unique ninja equipment.
- Edgar: Machinist
- Sabin: Monk
- Celes: Rune Knight - She uses magic by having been infused with its powers by the Empire.
- Strago: Blue Mage - He has typical blue mage characteristics and learns Lores from monsters.
- Relm: Pictomancer - She draws portraits of the monsters and can use Control ability.
- Setzer: Gambler - Has Slot command and relies on luck.
- Moogles: Moogle - This isn't exactly a job title, but a description of certain playable entities in the game.
- Gau: Feral Youth - He learns monster skills.
- Gogo: Mime - A copycat character.
- Umaro: Yeti - He has traits from Berserker job class by being uncontrollable.
- Banon: Oracle - He acts more like a White Mage by his healing abilities.
- Leo: General - He is an officer of high military rank.
- Ghosts: Ghost - Also not really a job, but a description of an entity.
- Biggs and Wedge: Soldier - Biggs and Wedge have typical Attack and Items commands.
The original Super Famicom release also had some dummied job titles.
The characters were originally envisioned to have job classes, but the idea was dropped during development. It is unknown if this would have actually affected gameplay. Cloud was intended as a Mystic Knight, Barret a Gunner, Tifa was a "Shooter" (a Monk based on Shootfighting), Aerith was a Geomancer, Red XIII was a "Beast," Cid was a "Pilot" or Dragoon, Vincent was a "Horror-Terror (Horror Researcher)," Yuffie was to be Ninja or Assassin, and Cait Sith was a "Toysaurus," a type of Beastmaster. Even if the jobs were removed from the final product, some of the characters still retain traits of their intended classes.
Party members do not have an apparent job, but their Limit Breaks, weapons of choice and attributes make them resemble some job classes from the series. Selphie could be a mix of a White Mage and a Gambler: Her Limit Break is Slot uses Gambler mechanics, and her unique spells—Full-Cure, Wall and Rapture—are all ultimate versions of traditional White Magic spells Cure, Protect, Shell and Float. The End is similar to other Gambler's abilities to kill the enemy immediately. Zell could be likened to a Monk similar to Sabin from Final Fantasy VI, using command inputs and his fists to deal heavy damage to his opponent with his Limit Break, Duel. Quistis has Blue Magic for a Limit Break, effectively identifying her as a Blue Mage. Irvine uses shotguns and could be called a Gunner.
Most playable characters refer to past jobs in the series. Characters often dress in manners similar to the classes they represent: Vivi looks like a traditional Black Mage, Princess Garnet is seen in a White Mage's garb towards the beginning of the game, and the summoners' tribe have the traditional summoner's horn.
Like in Final Fantasy IV, some NPCs have jobs. The black mages are a race of manufactured weapons. Most of members of the primary cast exhibit the characteristics of at least two jobs, with one taking precedence over the other(s) (akin to the "main" and "support" jobs present in Final Fantasy XI):
- Zidane: Thief – Zidane is presented as a typical Thief: His primary weapon is the dagger, and possesses many Thief abilities such as Flee and Steal, access to Thief-specific techniques such as Master Thief and Bandit. He also holds Ninja traits, such as his dual wield of daggers and the resemblance of his Dyne abilities to Ninjutsu.
- Garnet: Summoner / White Mage – Summoner takes precedence since her spell catalog favors eidolons over White Magic spells, and her Trance caters to the summons.
- Steiner: Knight – Capabilities include the wielding of two-handed greatswords, access to defensive abilities such as Cover and the best heavy armor. Steiner also alludes the Mystic Knight class from Final Fantasy V with his Sword Magic skillset, and can use the typical Dark Knight skill, Darkness.
- Vivi: Black Mage – Vivi is a traditional Black Mage, using elemental and damaging magic, enfeebling spells such as Sleep or Poison, and the famous Drain and Osmose.
- Freya: Dragoon – Deadly with spears and polearms, possesses a number of character-specific abilities involving dragons, as well as the signature Jump present in all practitioners of the Dragoon arts.
- Quina: Blue Mage – Ever the enigma, Quina has characteristics and weapons specific to him/her in the entirety of Final Fantasy. Quina is a Blue Mage through and through, gaining access to enemy skills by devouring them alive.
- Eiko: White Mage / Summoner – The inverse of Garnet, Eiko's White Magic spell list exceeds that of her paltry four eidolons, and takes precedence in her Trance which caters to White Magic. As a White Mage, Eiko trumps Garnet, with access to unique and powerful spells such as Might, Haste, Holy, and Full-Life.
- Amarant: Monk / Samurai / Ninja – Uses knuckle weaponry for hand-to-hand combat like other Final Fantasy Monks, and has access to other unique Monk abilities such as Chakra, and his weapons carry the Counter ability. He also possesses Throw, the Ninja's trademark ability. Not only does he scour the land as a wanted, ronin "sword-for-hire," but he can use Spare Change and learn Flee-Gil, signatures of the Samurai job.
- Beatrix: Paladin – While possessing access to heavy armor and sharing many Sword Arts with Steiner, Beatrix excels in the healing arts, and even has access to the Holy spell.
- Marcus and Blank: Warrior / Thief – One-handed swords and scimitars are their primary weapons but also have the ability to steal from targets.
- Cinna: Machinist / Thief – Uses an infamous Hammer, possesses almost zero fighting capabilities, and is more accustomed to tinkering the Mist engine of the Prima Vista than a battlefield. He can steal like the others in Tantalus.
Early concept artworks show the game going in a different direction, with characters able to change jobs like older games in the series.
In the Japanese and American versions, while all of the characters can eventually acquire all of the abilities and maximize their stats, for a significant portion of the game, they have different abilities.
Each character's individual starting section of the Sphere Grid contains different nodes corresponding with the character's predetermined strengths and weaknesses: Tidus is a cross between a Warrior and a Time Mage, Auron is something akin to a Spellblade or a Samurai, Yuna is a White Mage and a Summoner (as the only playable character who can summon), Kimahri is a Blue Mage who can lean towards any of these (although he is aesthetically reminiscent of Dragoon and even can use the Jump command), Lulu is a Black Mage (and referred to as such early on, by Wakka), Rikku is a Thief, with shades of Monk, Ninja, Machinist, and Chemist, and Wakka's accuracy and long-range weapon lend him best as a Ranger (with a hint of Gambler in his Overdrives). Seymour Guado, playable for a single battle, is often said to be a Sage, because of his variety of spells in his arsenal and average attack power.
In the European, Final Fantasy X International and HD Remaster versions, the characters can have access to all the abilities throughout and are not constrained to predetermined nodes on the Sphere Grid through the Expert Sphere Grid.
Sky pirate enemies have job classes, often ones the player does not have access to. These enemies have special skills similar to those that the playable characters learn during the course of the game.
The classes are:
- Class First - Knight class, considered elites, but somewhat paling in comparison with Class Zero. They wear light blue mantles.
- Class Second - Dragoon class, specializing on frontline defense and summoning Bahamut. They wear blue mantles.
- Class Third - Black Mage class, specializing on the use of black magic. They wear purple mantles.
- Class Fourth - Devout class, specializing in recovery magic and frontline medics. They wear orange mantles.
- Class Fifth - Monk class, specializing in offensive and defensive aspects for martial adaptability. They wear olive mantles.
- Class Sixth - Time Mage class, specializing in black magic for support from the sidelines. They wear green mantles.
- Class Seventh - White Mage class, specializing in white magic for support from the sidelines. They wear pink mantles.
- Class Eighth - Thief class, specializing in the procurement of Knowing Tags. They wear yellow mantles.
- Class Ninth - Ninja class, considered a class with the most luck and special reservation, but is a front for intelligence gathering and espionage. They wear brown mantles.
- Class Tenth - Scholar class, focusing on offensive and defensive aspects. They wear black mantles.
- Class Eleventh - Professor class, specializing in research, and particularly in the research of magic. They wear white mantles.
- Class Twelfth - Blue Mage class, with students considered eccentric who don't fit with other classes' criteria. They wear turquoise mantles.
Some armor characters can equip are named for certain job classes, with some abilities based on that class. For example, magic type armor, like the Black Mage armor, can give AI characters the Black Mage's Eye which automatically makes them cast magic during battle. These abilities depend on the armor crafted and what bonus material is used when making them.
The menu lists the guest characters as having a job, but not like the usually traditional job system of the Final Fantasy series.
Characters with specific jobs from previous games in the series make up the party, with abilities similar to the classic jobs.
There are no explicit job classes, however, each character is given an occupation description that may or may not be their actual job and, as of the third wave, a role identifier such as "Offensive Magic" or "Physical Defense", roughly indicating how each will fit into a party. In terms of gameplay, each character's stats, available equipment and ability set will determine his/her strongest job roles. For instance, Tyro can equip all items and use all skills from all disciplines as a Keeper, but he is neither particularly strong nor weak in any of them; Vivi is a stock Black Mage as is Lulu; as another example, Josef, Refia, Galuf, Sabin, Zell, Tifa, and Snow are all Monks despite vastly differing occupations; they can all wear fists, gloves, or claws and use abilities representative of the class.
Job classes are referred to through the Ranking and Titles system.
- ↑ http://kotaku.com/things-are-much-different-for-the-creator-of-final-fant-1629514442 Things Are Very Different For The Creator Of Final Fantasy — Kotaku.com