The Let's Play Archive

Final Fantasy XII International Zodiac Job System

by BrainWeasel

Part 10: Von Muir p.13-14: "The Power of Archetypes"

Von Muir p.13-14: "The Power of Archetypes"

Balthier's Archetype is the Scoundrel, the classic mercenary with a heart of gold. The presence of the Scoundrel in the party implicitly argues for the inherent good of all people, however outwardly self-serving, and demonstrates the righteousness of the heroes' cause, that even such people will rally behind it. The Scoundrel also allows the audience to transgress social norms safely, to step into the shoes of the "bad boy" without having to wrestle with overtly evil acts.

Examples: Jayne Cobb (Serenity), James Bolivar diGriz (The Stainless Steel Rat), Harry Dresden (The Dresden Files)

Balthier has the highest Speed, but never by more than one point, and good Strength and HP. Archer and Hunter would be obvious choices, but Balthier has unusually slow animations with every ranged weapon except Hand-Bombs, so Archer is kind of out. Any Strength-based class can work for Balthier too. While Mystic Armor can compensate for Balthier’s last-place Magick, his small MP pool will put him at an early disadvantage in the Mage jobs, but having a White Mage with the highest possible speed is a reasonable strategy.

Fran's Archetype is the Other, a member of some culture foreign to the rest of the party. Through curiosity, duty, or simple mutual self-interest, the Other pledges themselves to the party's cause. As they work together, the Other becomes a trusted companion, a simple metaphor for multiculturalism and the essential oneness of all peoples. The Other is also a convenient place to put all of the extrahuman skills and powers the party will need to achieve their goals, as long as those skills do not completely define the Other's personality.

Examples: Commander Data / Lieutenant Worf (Star Trek: The Next Generation), Legolas (Lord of the Rings), Enkidu (The Epic of Gilgamesh)

Fran has the highest Vitality of the group, for all that's worth, but the remainder of her stats are between middling and poor. Her least-bad useful stats are MP and Magic, and she always starts with the first License of both White and Black Magick, so she makes a natural Red Mage, as those innate Licenses fill some gaps in Red Mage’s spell lists. Making her a Knight with an eye toward the optional White Magick Licenses is also an option, and Breaker isn't a bad choice either. Despite starting with one, Fran is extra slow with Bows, which is a disincentive for using Archer.

Together, Balthier and Fran represent Chaos, the X-factor that makes everyone's best-laid plans go awry and kicks the rest of the world out of their comforting routines. They are responsible for turning the rest of the heroes away from paths that will lead to their own destruction and finding the cracks in the foundation of the seemingly impenetrable empire.

Writing Assignment 2

Choose a Job for Balthier or Fran, and, in 100 words or less each, explain why that Job is appropriate for that character. You may submit an essay for both characters if you wish. Now that we've gotten to the main characters that actually have interesting and mysterious backstories, I'll reiterate; feel free to use future knowledge of the characters in your essays, but tag it in spoilers if you do.

As a reminder, the remaining Jobs are: Archer, Black Mage, Breaker, Hunter, Knight, Machinist, Monk, Red Mage, Time Mage, and White Mage.

Writing Assignment 2 due!

There were an awful lot of wardrobe-based arguments for Balthier's Job, which I'm not sure if he'd take as a compliment or not. But while these arguments variably advocated for Balthier to keep his hands clean by being a Machinist or any of the various Mages, I had to give it to Big Nothing for correctly identifying that Red Mage would allow Balthier to be prepared for anything and wear a totally sweet hat. Honorable mention to Kaboom Dragoon, who made a similar argument and also correctly quoted the entirety of one of my favorite sayings.

And you know what's great about making one of these two guys a Red Mage? I didn't buy a shield before going into the palace, and I won't have the chance to get one until about three boss fights from now! Fun!

Big Nothing posted:

As of the writing of this message, Balthier emits the aura of a Man that knows exactly what he needs and wants, Therefore with this short summary i plan to submit the claim that Balthier should be a Red Mage, due to the nature of a red mage providing the title-bearer with enough magic to sustain a meaningful life. The red mage also has often been seen as the role with the best garments, and this fact fits non-other than the leading man.

Judging Fran's essays was really tough, and there were too many close seconds to give shout-outs to. But I simply couldn't argue with Monocled Falcon's rationale for making her a Machinist. The argument was elegant in its simplicity and gained points for referencing last round's essays (although you're going to need to brush up on your MLA citation style, buddy). And hey, Fran was the one actually driving the hoverbike, while Balthier just sat back in his captain's chair enjoying the show. At least one of them needs to know how to fix their crap, right?

Balthier starts with a gun and ammo, so the first thing I'll be working on when I start developing these two is getting him a new weapon so I can give his to her.

Monocled Falcon posted:

The Other is an archetype that is foreign to the party, yet one that is often more of an outsider to the culture they left. The job of Machinist is most suitable as it represents skills and powers that are envied and respected by Vaan and Penelo but beyond them as lower class Dalmascans, even more so than magic. For Fran, the Machinist is outside the norms of her society and in order to become one, she must distance herself from her own society.