Part 19: Character analysis 4The Shining Force: Part 4
"Bowie, adventuring with you is more exciting than I expected!"
Pros: Highest defense out of the centaurs
Cons: Lowest attack of the centaurs
Standing in for: Mae
Thoughts: Rick is one of the best characters in the original game, since he comes in early, and his low attack power doesn't show too much given how fragile enemies are. He's even good in Super mode where he can still tank and enemies are no more durable. Right now, though, he's suffering from a lack of ability to do damage. He gets to stick around for a while but there are probably better choices for his spot on the team.
"Wow...it sure is nice to rest after a hard battle."
Pros: Highest end stats of the archers, loses his doofy hat after promotion
Cons: Terrible base stats, terrible early growths
Standing in for: Hans
Thoughts: Based on the worst archer in Shining Force 1, Elric remains the worst archer in Shining Force 2. Using him is an absolute chore, and if I didn't throw the power ring on him, he'd be beyond useless. If I didn't hate myself, I'd just bench him and fork over the ring to May for a single useful archer, but I'm not that nice. The only upside is that Elric is so bad, the opportunity cost for him using the power ring to cast Attack on Gerhalt is pretty low. That's really not much of an upside.
"There are many centaurs in this force, but I think I'm the most valuable one!"
Pros: Beats every centaur in every stat except for Rick's defense
Cons: Knights really do suck in Challenge Mode, comes with an exceptionally high opportunity cost
Standing in for: Earnest
Thoughts: Yes, Eric is the best knight by a mile. He beats the tar out of Chester, and leaves his other competition in the dust. The problem? He's still a knight. The flexibility of lances/spears for knights loses to the archer bonus damage to flying enemies. The long movement range gets hamstrung on a regular basis. On top of that, Eric comes at the cost of choosing any of the other three characters at Creed's. Eric is easily the worst choice out of the four because all he does is hit things, and we already have a lot of characters to do that.
"Jaha sure if cute, even if he is kinda short."
Pros: Healer, learns Boost and Aura, a viable character if not immediately picked from Creed's
Cons: Never learns Heal 4
Standing in for: Khris
Thoughts: Karna is always the obvious choice out of the Creed's characters. If you skip over her, you don't get another healer until you're about 2/3rds done with the game, and that's a long time to go depending solely on Sarah. She also learns (a now nerfed) Boost and Aura. Granted, she only gains Aura 3 and 4 very late in the game, but even Aura 1 alone is a god send. That said, because her spells are so good, she fares much better as a vicar than a master monk. Monk Karna's attack is actually pretty bad and only appears good because healers tend to be at least five levels ahead of everyone else. But if that's the case, why not make her a vicar and give her an endless supply of MP instead?
"Hey, are you crazy?! Put me in battle!"
Pros: All around better than Jaha, learns Attack
Cons: Opportunity cost of being picked at Creed's
Standing in for: Gort
Thoughts: In the original game, Randolf actually sucked really badly because all of his stats were worse than Jaha's. Now he's better than Jaha and learns Attack on top of that. Those two put together, along with being tanky, makes him a good pick at Creed's, though I still think Karna and Tyrin are overall better. There's really not much else to say about him he hits hard, can take a few hits, and helps other characters hit harder. There's absolutely no reason to pick Eric over Randolf.
"Young men nowadays are so difficult to understand. Am I get old...?"
Pros: Best mage, learns sorcerer spells faster than Kazin
Cons: Not Karna
Standing in for: Anri
Thoughts: Okay, so Sleep sucks but the rest of Tyrin's spells are awesome. He learns Freeze faster than anything else, but picks up Bolt 2 at a reasonable point. Additionally, if you choose to make him a sorcerer (which I will if he gets picked), he learns new spells a level or two earlier than Kazin would. His only real downside is that Karna has more utility, but a sorcerer Tyrin does bring the factor of packing an insane punch to a single target. Much like Kiwi's flame breath, except it has range and Tyrin is ironically more durable. But seriously, is Tyrin supposed to be an elf or a dwarf? That question still haunts me to this day.