Part 30: Character analysis 6The Shining Force: Part 6
"I like this! Free food!"
Pros: Flies, good attack growth
Cons: Flies, terrible defense
Standing in for: Kokichi
Thoughts: Jaro is probably the character Chester should have been. Good HP with crappy defense that's exacerbated by lack of terrain effect, he still hits considerably harder. He gets cool points for being the "turncoat" character, and also that chin and that scar. In the normal game, he's easy to overlook. I still think he's not a great choice in Challenge Mode, but he's proven usable.
"Blast! This is so exciting!"
Pros: Learns Aura the fastest, second healer if you skipped Karna, learns Attack
Cons: HP/MP growth aren't as strong as Karna's, takes forever to learn Heal
Standing in for: Torasu
Thoughts: Nearly everyone passes over Frayja, and I can't blame them. As easy as the regular game is, he only comes in with Heal 2 and Detox 2, which is absolutely pathetic. However, within two levels of recruiting him, he learns Aura, which is a godsend if you're stuck with Sarah. He's also the only character who learns Attack in the normal game (Randolf now learns it in Challenge Mode). Normally optional, Frayja is required in Challenge Mode if you didn't pick Karna at Creed's.
"Travel is my hobby! See this souvenir? It's for my wife, and..."
Pros: Learns Boost, very tanky
Cons: Sub-par starting stats, no chance to become a baron
Standing in for: N/A (Shining Force 1 only had two warriors)
Thoughts: In case you haven't noticed, most characters recruited by this point get kicked to the caravan, never to see the light of day. Gyan easily falls into this category. He does have the advantage of learning Boost, which will always be a useful spell. Otherwise, he's very much a mediocre character who can't really outshine Jaha or Randolf.
"Let me fight! C'mon! No one is a match for a master monk!"
Pros: Only monk if you miss both vigor balls
Cons: Bad stat growths, bad spell set
Standing in for: Gong
Thoughts: Considering she's a secret character to stand in for missed special promotions, Sheela is particularly bad. While Jaro, Rhode, and Taya are all usable in the absence of their competitors, Sheela just doesn't hold any water. She shares Sarah's bad MP growth with Karna's bad attack growth. Her spells are lackluster too, especially when you realize she still has Muddle of all thing. In the original game, you could at least abuse Boost 2 to overlevel her along with Karna, but you don't even get that option in Challenge Mode. Pass over Sheela, she's not worth the trouble.