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MP, which can stand for Magic Points, Mana Points, or Mist Points, is a stat in many games of the Final Fantasy series. MP is the measure of how many spells a character can cast. Every time a character casts a spell, an MP cost is deducted from their Maximum MP value. When a character runs out of MP, they will not be able to cast any more spells, and will have to resort to their weapon or some other form of attack. Various items and resting with a Tent or at an Inn usually restore MP. Naturally, stronger spells tend to have higher MP costs. Some games have summon magic which uses MP, but not always.
Not every game has MP though. Final Fantasy (the original version for the NES, WonderSwan remake, and Origins releases only) and Final Fantasy III feature a "Charge" system, in which characters equip spells purchased at a shop. There are eight "levels" of spells, and each level can be used only a certain number of times. Each character can only equip a certain amount of spells per level. Final Fantasy VIII utilizes a draw system, in which spells must be stocked. Casting a spell uses up one stock of that spell. A few games, including Final Fantasy XIII and Dissidia Final Fantasy, have no MP system, and as such magic spells can be cast at no cost.
Various abilities and equipment can alter how MP is consumed. The Gold Hairpin, for example, often halves the MP cost of spells. In Final Fantasy VII, the MP Turbo Support Materia increases the MP cost of a spell or Summon, and in return the spell or Summon increases in strength. Abilities can be used to increase maximum MP by certain percentages as well. The One MP Cost ability cuts MP cost down to one, and the No MP Cost ability eradicates the need of MP altogether.
The traditional cap for MP is 999, but in some games it can be boosted to 9,999 with the Break MP Limit ability. MP is traditionally replenished with Ethers, of which stronger variants may exist depending on each game.
Magic costs also apply to magically-inclined enemies. When an enemy's magic reserves are depleted, they can no longer cast spells or use enemy abilities that require MP. Some enemies will automatically be defeated when they run out of MP or when the part depleted the enemy's MP by using magic-damaging skills. Magic Hammer, Rasp, and Osmose are spells that traditionally attack only the unit's MP.
In the Dawn of Souls and 20th Anniversary versions, the original "spell level"-based magic system was dropped in favor of the Magic Point-based system used in more recent Final Fantasy games. Although spells are still classified at certain levels for some purposes (characters can still only be equipped with three of the four available spells of any given level, for instance), as a new feature, every spell is assigned a point value. When cast, that value is subtracted from a total number of MP that applies to all spells known by a character.
How much MP a character has depends on their level and job. The mage-type jobs have the most MP.
Final Fantasy II is the first installment in the series to include MP. Spells now requires a specific number of MP to be cast that is equal to the spell level. It is unique due to the fact that the actions in battle craft the characters' skills.
MP is increased based on the decrease of MP from the start of the battle to the end. This allows the player to lower their MP on purpose to increase the stat, either by using Faze on the character whose stat is desired to be increased, or by using Swap with the character whose stat is desired to be increased on a target with little or no MP. MP is capped at 999.
Final Fantasy III returns to using the Charge system of the original Final Fantasy: this time, however, it is called MP.
Every character has a predetermined job and every character has a unique stat growth. Mage type characters have more MP than physical attackers. Tellah's MP never increases above 90 to prevent him from casting Meteor, which costs 99 MP, for storyline purposes (although it is possible to overcome this in the recent remakes by using a Soma Drop on him).
MP returns in the sequel to Final Fantasy IV, and works the same way as it did in that game.
Final Fantasy IV: The After Years uses the exact same magic system as the original Final Fantasy IV, with the exception of Bands. Bands are attacks that combine 2 or more characters' powers into one powerful attack, using up a specific amount of MP on all characters involved.
The unit's MP depends on the job they are using and the character's level. Because the character's Magic Power affects their overall MP, mage type jobs have much more MP than melee type jobs. Upon mastering the jobs, however, the job's MP boost is added to the Freelancer job. The White Mage and Black Mage can learn MP Plus % abilities to further boost the unit's max MP. Oracle (GBA version only) has the best MP of all the jobs, and the Summoner has the best MP of all the original jobs. Monk and Berserker have the least MP.
Bonuses to Magic Power due to equipment are not added to the MP formula.
Characters' HP and MP stats are the only ones to increase by leveling up; in order to increase the other stats, the player must equip an Esper that gives a stat growth bonus. There are Espers that boost a character's MP on level up as well, them being Phantom (MP + 10%), Fenrir (MP +30%) and Crusader (MP +50%).
The characters' base MP growth is similar and there are no significant differences between characters, although Relm Arrowny has statistically the highest base MP and Sabin has the lowest base MP. Umaro has no MP as he cannot cast magic. The base MP growth increases until it peaks at around level 50, characters earning +17 MP per level up, and from there the base MP growth declines earning only +6 MP per level up on level 90, from where it picks up again for the last 9 levels, gaining +13 MP when leveling up from 98 to 99. However, it is easy to max MP out quickly with the Esper abilities, which are especially potent on higher levels.
Characters gain more MP upon leveling up. The amount of MP gained per level up depends on the character. Aeris has the highest MP gain, and Barret has the lowest. MP is one of the few stats Vincent excels in, being surpassed only by Aeris. The exact amount of MP gain via leveling up is randomized at each gained level, but the game is programmed in a manner the characters never stray too far from the intended average.
List of characters' possible minimum and maximum MP on Level 99 from Final Fantasy VII FAQ/Walkthrough by Absolute Steve.
|Character||Minimum MP||Maximum MP|
The game is programmed in such a manner it is impossible to attain both, the absolutely highest natural HP and absolutely highest natural MP on the same character simultaneously. For a guide on how to max out the characters' MP read Final Fantasy VII FAQ/Walkthrough by Absolute Steve.
MP can't be boosted by Sources like most other stats. Max MP can be boosted by equipping Magic and Summon Materia; depending on the Materia in question, the boost is either MP +2%, +5%, +10%, +15% and the Knights of the Round boosts max MP by +25%. The MP Plus Materia can increase max MP to to +100% when stacked. There is also the "HP<->MP" Materia which switches the character's HP and MP, setting the max HP to 999 and MP to 9999. The most MP a spell can use is 255, a cap that is reached by pairing certain Materia with MP Turbo.
MP is recovered by MP recovery items like Ether, Turbo Ether, Elixir and Megalixir, and Red XIII can accumulate MP by some of his Limit Breaks. The player can also absorb MP from enemies with Magic Hammer or by the Ghost Hand item.
Zack has a base MP he can increase by leveling up. Zack's base stats are fixed by his level.
The below values are from Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- FAQ/Walkthrough by Absolute Steve.
|Level||Max MP||Level||Max MP|
What is unique in Crisis Core, is that Zack can break his MP limit even without equipping the Break MP Limit ability to twice his maximum MP if he gets a power surge from the Digital Mind Wave during Modulating Phase. With Feathered Cap he can set the natural break limit to triple his maximum MP. The break is nullified and Zack's MP set back to the base maximum if he drinks the promotional Potion at the Shinra Headquarters lobby.
Zack can increase his base MP by equipping accessories that grant MP boosts. However, Materia is the game's primary means of stat enhancement, especially through the Materia Fusion system. By adding certain items into the Fusion process, the player can boost the Materia's stats to their liking, although it takes a lot of SP for the highest stat boosts. MP+999% is the highest MP stat boost a Materia can have.
Zack can set his MP limit to 9,999 with certain equipment. 9,999 is the absolute maximum, and the DMW power surges can't bring it above that point either.
MP is rendered obsolete by the game's end as Zack gains the ability to permanently equip the No MP Cost effect.
The characters' max MP is calculated by the following formula:
The MPMod used in the formula depends on the character's level. Characters with high Magic Power like Vivi have the best MP.
The only way for a character to improve their MP is to level up, or equip the MP +20% ability, which is not available for every character. Every character has abilities that use MP, and melee fighters can also equip the MP Attack skill to expend MP on physical attacks to deal increased damage. The Half MP ability halves MP cost. Interestingly, in the beginning of the game Garnet/Dagger is unable to summon her Eidolons due to not having enough MP for it.
MP is restored via Ethers. Vivi can drain MP from opponents with Osmose. Quina can attack an opponent's MP with Magic Hammer and also absorb MP when s/he is targeted by opponents' spells.
MP is gained by activating the MP nodes on the Sphere Grid. Characters like Yuna and Lulu have the fastest MP growth on their grid paths, although eventually every character can traverse any path on the grid. MP can be boosted further by winning MP Spheres at the Monster Arena, and the MP limit can be boosted up to 9,999 with the Break MP Limit ability.
But by the game's end MP is made into a rather unimportant stat as weapons with One MP Cost become available and characters can use items to get the No MP Cost effect. The player can restore MP by touching a Save Sphere or via MP recovery items, the Osmose spell and via Rikku's mixes. The No MP Cost effect can be achieved via items or Rikku's mixes.
In Final Fantasy X-2 every Dressphere has its own stats, and the stats are fixed on the girl's level. Mascot has the best MP of all normal Dresspheres, followed by Black Mage. The Alchemist has the lowest MP.
The player can boost the girls' MP by equipping accessories. The best accessories boost MP as much as +100%. The Golden Hairpin accessory and Font of Power Garment Grid grant the wearer Half MP Cost. One MP Cost is only available on the Font of Power Garment Grid after going through all the gates. No MP Cost is achieved via the Three Stars item or Ragnarok accessory.
MP is recovered via items and jobs have some abilities that can replenish MP. The MP Stroll ability recovers MP as the party walk around the field.
The color for the MP gauge in the menu is green.
The MP base value goes up as the character levels up, but upon learning new Quickenings the MP pool is first doubled, then tripled, of the base value, giving a character three MP "bars" after having learned all three of their Quickenings. The characters have a permanent Manafont ability in which they continually gain MP as they walk on the field, and in places thick in mist, the MP recovery rate is boosted. Using Quickenings and Espers expends MP bars rather than individual points.
In the International Zodiac Job System version, Quickenings and Espers no longer drain the user's MP, but have their own bar instead.
The characters' MP growth on leveling up is randomized. The Max MP is determined by the following formula:
- MAX MP = (Base MP + Sum of MP Bonus up to this level) x MP Modifier
- Base = Base value. Different characters have different Base values.
- Bonus = Each level comes with its own Min and Max Bonus. The game randomly picks a Bonus within the Min and Max range when the character levels up. All characters share the same bonus table.
- Modifier = Different characters have different modifiers. The modifier represents the "growth rate".
The sum of characters' MP bonus on leveling up is randomized. On levels 1-10 the characters receive between 3-5 MP when they advance a level. Between levels 11-29 the MP gain is between 4-7, between levels 30-43 the MP gain is between 5-9, which is the peak. After level 43 the MP gain begins to dwindle, gaining 4-7 MP on level up between levels 44-60, 3-5 between levels 61-80, 2-3 MP between levels 81-90, and only 1 MP on level up above the level 90. The MP bonuses have equal chances to be picked at random within its pool when the character levels up.
The MP bonus growth can be described with the following equation:
- MP Bonus Growth = Min MP Bonus + Random[0 ~ (Min MP Bonus-1)]
All Espers have 20 MP, but they have a permanent No MP Cost ability, so the player is free to siphon their MP to their own use.
The game has an invisible Break MP Limit, as MP is not capped at 999, despite 999 being the highest number displayed on screen. This has little advantages, however, as the means to push the MP much past the limit are limited, and when using Quickenings or summoning Espers, the player uses MP bars rather than individual points.
During a Quickening Chain the player can activate a Mist Charge that restores MP to full, but only for the duration of the chain - MP is reduced to 0 at the end of the Quickening. The MP recharge while walking is boosted in areas with a lot of mist. The Martyr, Inquisitor and Warmage augments also restore MP when the user deals or receives damage, and the Headman restores MP when the user kills an enemy.
Equipping the Dawn Shard as an accessory drops the character's MP to zero, and in the International Zodiac Job System version, prevents the player's Mist Gauge from rising.
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Final Fantasy Type-0 uses an MP stat to cast magic.
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A character's MP depends on which job they are currently using and which jobs they have used in the past, as the stat growth depends on the jobs in use at the time of the level up. As usual, mage type jobs have a much greater MP gain than melee jobs.
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At the start of battle, the MP of every unit is zero. Each turn, a unit gains 10 MP, which can be boosted to 20 by using "MP Channeling". Viera units (as well as some enemies) can use their HP instead of MP with the passive ability "Blood Price", gained from the Spellblade job.
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MP maxes out at 99 and even if Sumo is under the maximum level and still continues to increase Wisdom, it will never increase beyond 99. Note that MP does not increase by a static amount, it's influence by Wisdom. Never raising Wisdom means the player will be stuck with 6 MP throughout the entire game.
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