Part 107: Dramatis Personae: Freya/QuinaDramatis Personae #2: Freya and Quina
Role: Physical Attacker, Secondary Utility
Skillset: Jump, Dragon
Trance: High Jump
Freya's Starting Stats:
"A Burmecian knight with a spirit stronger than any steel."
So, let's talk about Freya. The series first female Dragon Knight (debatably followed by Fang in XIII), Freya has a troubled past and is familiar with Zidane's special brand of "charm," though how exactly they previously know one another isn't ever fully spelled out. Freya used to be a distinguished member of the Burmecian army, but in recent years she has spent her time traveling the world, for what purpose she will not say...at least to the party. As an omniscient player though, we know that Freya is seeking the whereabouts of her lost love, Sir Fratley. Freya is loyal and fierce, but not terribly talkative or warm for the most part.
Insofar as actual gameplay goes, Freya hits things relatively hard, but outside of certain edge cases, she won't be doing the kind of damage that Steiner can output. Freya does, however come with a variety of utility abilities under her Dragon skillset, though like the Red Mage her outfit makes her resemble, the things these abilities do can generally be done better by other characters who are more specialized in the relevant area. Her Jump command should be immediately familiar to anyone who has played a Final Fantasy game. While it's damage output can be nice, I find the most useful part is simply taking her out of combat when a big ability is about to go off.
Character Trivia: In the Japanese, Freya speaks in an archaic Edo-era dialect. Coupled with her general demeanor, her sojourn from Burmecia, and her prominent splash art depicting her with her lance resting on her shoulder in the kneeling position, Freya's design evokes the image of a ronin, or lordless samurai. A similar aesthetic was chosen for Auron in FFX (which I personally quite enjoyed).
Role: Primary Utility, Mixed Magic/Physical (You will use Quina's physical attacks a lot though until you get more MP)
Skillset: Eat, Blu Mag
Quina's Starting Stats:
"A Qu with a voracious appetite for everything the world has to offer."
A member of the mysterious Qu race and a student of the Gourmet, Quale, Quina is friendly and simple, and its thought processes can be described as such:
1) Does creature have yummy yummies and/or is creature itself a yummy yummy?
- 1a. If YES: Eat.
- 1b. If THING YOU CAN NO EAT: Hmm..not delicious?
- 1b(i): Try eat anyway.
- 2a. If YES: Explore and find more fine cuisine.
- 2b. If NO/STILL HUNGRY: If person/creature was inedible and you NO eat it, make friends and ask where is food.
- 3a. If YES: Go find and eat.
- 3b. If NO: Ask again. If this fails, see 2.
Of all the characters, Quina is the most naive, and that is saying something in a game with Vivi. Quina wants one thing out of life: a bite. All else is secondary. Quina and Quale's student-master relationship is particularly interesting in that it isn't really clear how old Quina is in Qu terms. Quale's age is, insofar as I know, never given even outside the game, and for a world that is otherwise extremely diverse, little appears to be known about the Qu or why they are so few.
In battle, Quina is the most balanced magic-physical member of the party, but suffers from a truly abysmal Spirit stat and poor Speed. That said, I recommend a physical focus as very few of Quina's abilities make use of the Magic stat. Quina also has access to Blue Magic, which is not only the most diverse skillset available to any character in the game, but also offers abilities that can't be replicated in any other way. In short, Quina is good even if Blue Magic isn't as insanely powerful as it was in a game like 5 or Gau's rages were in 6.
Character Trivia: Quina Quen is a pun in Japanese and translates to "Eat" + "Cannot Eat" respectively. As posters have noted, the game itself is also very dedicated to not shedding light on Quina's gender: "Protect Girls" ability won't activate and have Zidane protect Quina, and Quina has a very odd set of equipment options that doesn't follow the game's gender divide (and in some cases, heavy/light/mage divide).