Part 16: Job Analysis: Red Mage
The original hybrid Class, the Red Mage is the classic "Jack of all Trades, Master of None." It can do a little bit of everything, but not as well as specialists.
Small boosts in Strength, Agility, and Magic. This lets the Red Mage do whatever little role is needed. The main problem is low Stamina, and thus low HP and Defense.
Red Magic: Allows the Red Mage to cast Level 1 to Level 3 Black and White Magic.
Red Magic 1: Allows any class to cast Fire, Blizzard, Thunder, Cure, Libra, and Poisona.
AP Required: 20
Red Magic 2: Allows any class to cast Poison, Sleep, Toad, Silence, Protect, and Mini.
AP Required: 40
Red Magic 3: Allows any class to cast Fira, Blizzara, Thundara, Cura, Raise, and Confuse.
AP Required: 100
Dualcast: Allows the casting of two any two spells the caster knows at the same time in one turn.
AP Required: 999
Total AP to Master: 1159
Normal Play Analysis
Red Mage is quite useful for the "first act" of the game. It's versatility comes in handy, you can attack, heal, and do pretty much anything. With Swords, Staves, and Rods, you're not lacking offensive options. However, once the Level 4 spells become available, the Red Mage declines in usefulness. You basically shelve the class until you can afford to earn the 999 AP cost at endgame to learn Dualcast because it's an amazing ability.
Low Level Play Analysis
When you're level 5, generalists aren't going to be that useful. Heck, Black and White Magic haven't been that useful, and basic attacking only works when you have some method of locking down the boss, in which case why not use the Knight or some other hard hitter? However, the same thing applies to endgame. Dualcast is amazing, and so you bring it out once you can get it.