Part 32: Job Analysis: Bard
The Support class from the Fire Crystal, the Bard focuses on gradually increasing the party's power.
The Bard has the stats of a mage, it's rarely going to be attacking though without some undead around. If there are it can put that magic stat to good use.
Sing: Allows the Bard to use any of the abilities listed under the Songs menu.
Hide: The Bard will leave the battle, enemies and allies will be unable to target the Bard unless you select Reveal. If all conscious allies are Hidden and the fight can be escaped from, you will escape from the fight.
AP Required: 25
Equip Harp: Gives any class the ability to equip harps.
Sing: Allows any class to use the Sing command.
AP Required: 100
Total AP to Master: 175
Several songs are continuous. Their effects will continue until the Bard is struck physically or KOed. (The Healing staff counts as striking it, so you can use that to stop your own Bard) While the Song is being Sung, the Bard will do nothing but that.
Sinewy Etude: A continuous song that gradually increases all party member's Strength stat.
Swift Song: A continuous song that gradually increases all party member's Agility stat.
Mighty March: Grants the Regen status to all party members.
Mana's Paean: A continuous song that gradually increases all party member's Magic stat.
Hero's Rime: A continuous song that gradually increases all party member's Level.
Requiem: Does heavy non-elemental damage to undead enemies.
Romeo's Ballad: Inflicts the Stop status on all enemies
Alluring Air: Inflicts the Confuse status on all enemies.
Normal Play Analysis
While not as powerful as the Chemist, the Bard is still a good support class. It's notably the only class that can increase stats directly. Romeo's Ballad is the most reliably way of inflicting Stop. While Requiem makes any area with lots of undead trivial. One advantage it does have over the Chemist is that you don't need to select complex mixes and farm rare items. Just pick the song and play.
Low Level Play Analysis
Bard is largely the same. You bring it out whenever a boss can be hit with Stop, and if you want to boost stats feel free. Of note is Swift Song, it's powerful for the same reason Haste is. The faster you are, the more actions you can perform before the enemy can. As far as I can tell, the Bard's buffs stay even if the party member is KO'd, so it's especially worthwhile when you're dying in one hit.