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In role-playing games, a unit is a term for a character that can be created, recruited, and/or customized by the player. The use of the term to refer to a playable character is common among titles with an emphasis on strategy and/or collection, but may also be used to represent a player character without a concrete story. Several titles in the Final Fantasy franchise make extensive use of the term.
Implied units Edit
Technically speaking, the player party is selected from among six unit classes that each have their own strengths, weaknesses and skills. At no point is the player given dialogue, but the party remains involved throughout the story.
As in the original Final Fantasy, the player party in the Nintendo Entertainment System version is also nondescript, being four children without names or individual stories. As the story unfolds, they can be granted jobs with specific abilities. Although the party is more actively involved in the story, no single member among them stands out. The dialogue between them and the guests they encounter is uniform; there are no alterations for specific jobs. Thus, by definition, the four are units.
This is changed in recent remakes, where characters and backstories were inserted, and the dialogue given to specific characters.
The lead character and any members recruited from Guilds are nondescript units that appear to play a role in their adventure. However, their dialogue is determined by position in the party. There are but three unit types available: Humans, Mutants, and Monsters.
The concept of units is retained for the second title in the Legend trilogy, adding robots as possible units.
Expressed units Edit
Though the concept of units was not introduced to the series with Revenant Wings, the game uses a unit system.
Gameplay with units is based on a power triangle similar to Fire Emblem titles: melee beats magic, magic beats ranged, and ranged beats melee. Therefore, the player must take the triangle into account when positioning units for battle.
Each player character, whether part of the main story or recruited through a local pub, is a tactical unit and is played as such. Once recruited, units can be customized upon meeting the specific leveling requirements for each job. Many story units do not change appearance with customization, but auxilliary units will change appearance according to the jobs selected for them.
In battle, the player must select a number of units to deploy in each mission, as well as their initial formation. Units and their skills may be controlled freely once battle begins.
Occasionally, each unit may recite an invocation of a spell or ability before use. For auxiliary units, this is the extent of their social interaction on the battlefield, as they play no role in the story apart from the actions they take in battle.
Units in this game, officially called Heroes, fall into any of eight distinct combat roles, although this was never stated in any tutorial prior to year-end 2015. With over 100 characters and a party limit of five units, any number of combinations becomes possible.
Combat roles identify how a unit will best fit into a party, but this is not always indicative of the skills and equipment a unit may use. Rather, the combat role can be taken as an indicator of a unit's strongest skill(s) in battle.
To encourage a degree of conformity among parties, the game employs a Record Synergy system, whereupon units receive a 10-level boost when battling in their native Realms, or when special conditions are met during events.
Each playable character is known as a vision, defined as the essence of a warrior from the past, present, or a faraway universe in crystal form. While defined this way, they are in fact units that can be drawn, customized, leveled, and even collected and sold. To this end, each vision is assigned a rarity rating from one to six stars and an inventory number that changes according to its rarity rank and position within the game. Exclusive units are more likely to receive higher inventory numbers that are out of sequence with more common units. Each individual vision has a distinct set of abilities and augments according to its assigned rank. If leveled up, however, a vision will retain its prior abilities and increase its level cap, but must start again from level 1.
There are more than a dozen characters obtainable via story progression or lottery draw. These units are rated according to rarity from one to five stars, with four stars being the rarest drawable units. Each rarity rank also corresponds to a maximum range of stat values for that rank. Units of rarity 3 or better also receive individual gaiden quests, and can be promoted one rank when his/her ability tree allows it.
Units are further divided into five job classes, each with its own equipment, shot range, and innate skills:
- Warrior: Medium range, mid-speed shot. Can equip swords. When charged, stores energy for an arc swing that can clear foes and obstacles immediately before him/her.
- Monk: Extremely short shots, but fast. Can equip claws. Shots from monks can increase in power with each successful strike. The effect is negated when struck by an enemy.
- Thief: Long-range, fast shots. Can equip sets of knives. Can dodge incoming shots if timed properly.
- Gigant: Fires slow, medium-range shots that sometimes split and spread out over a given area. Can equip orbs. When charging, can generate an absorption shield to block most attacks.
- Wizard: Fires very slow, long-range shots that can be accompanied by a three-way wide-area beam. Can equip staves. When charging, can heal small amounts of HP via an aura around him/her that other units may enter and recover their HP as well.
Any combination of up to four units may form a party, but only one unit and a friend unit can be active in the field at a time in single-player mode. In multiplayer, up to four players with their own units may take the field.