When I learned that Stranger of Paradise Final Fantasy Origin would have 27 different playable jobs I was concerned about being overwhelmed. As a gamer with choice paralysis and a fear of missing out, I was determined to, at least, give each job a try. So naturally, I ended up losing track of time and maxing all of them in the process! Turns out Stranger of Paradise has a job system that is extremely addictive, rewarding and immediate to pick up, no matter your playstyle and your preferences.
If you’ve ever played any of the Nintendo-era Final Fantasy games — especially 1, 3 and 5 — you will find yourself in familiar waters. The way in which all jobs translate from strategically choosing commands to split-second decisions during frantic combat is nothing short of a loving homage to Final Fantasy’s origins (Hey, I get it now!) and a smooth transition into the realm of character action games.
Jobs are divided into three categories: Basic, Advanced and Expert jobs. Basic jobs are your introduction to certain mechanics and weapons, and you will soon outgrow them into more interesting and fleshed out combinations. To unlock Advanced and Expert jobs, you will need to fill the trees in several different jobs and combine their strengths.
In my adventures as a stranger in this particular paradise (editor eyeroll) I naturally gravitated towards certain jobs, while others felt circumstantially useful at best. Nevertheless, these jobs proved pivotal for conquering the more challenging bosses, in the form of combos, commands and tools that combine well with others.
Here’s a list of some of the best jobs to kill Chaos with in Stranger of Paradise, and some of the essential tools they offer:
Turns out one of the most useful abilities in the game is part of a Basic job! Reinforce is an ability that reduces the time needed for charge attacks, and it’s useful from the beginning and up until the end of the game. The best feature of this ability is that it works on both heavy hitting melee attacks and for casting magic, making it a fantastic option for any playstyle.
Being the only caster job to allow you to use swords, Red Mage is a hybrid approach between caster and melee fighter. You will be getting in and out of the vanguard to dish out combos and multicasting several spells in a row. Knight’s Gambit is a fantastic Fire, Electric and Ice move for swords that works extremely well once you unlock Soul Burst for said ability. As a fun note, Red Mage pays homage to the history of magic in Final Fantasy by distinguishing the names of the spells. Instead of the usual naming convention of Fire, Fira and Firaga, Red Mages cast Fire I, Fire II and Fire III.
Master of parries, MP battery and absolute juggernaut, the Samurai has one of the most interesting job trees in the entire game. Boasting a signature ability that boosts your parrying abilities and your MP recovery per attack, it also learns Zanshin, which reduces the MP cost of combos. A great tree that pairs extremely well with katanas and makes Senshin Stance more than devastating than usual.
Seal of Blood is an amazing command ability. And because it is a command, that means its usable by other jobs. You can pop a Seal of Blood before landing a killing blow or a combo ability that will break your enemy’s guard and there you go, free MP! Especially useful after losing MP gauges due to having your guard broken, dying or at the start of missions. It can also affect more than one enemy if your attack hits multiple foes.
With the proper patience and setup, Liberator is essentially immortal. Mighty Guard allows you to heal and buff allies’ defenses. Once mastered, it will make it so that you can’t go bellow 1 HP while Mighty Guard is active. But beware, MP will gradually go down. On the upside, Liberator is a weapon generalist that can use any and all weapon types, which means that without weapon limitation, Liberator becomes an MP battery.
A proper hybrid between Red Mage and Monk, Tyrants can easily exploit any elemental weaknesses by imbuing their weapons with any possible element, including the rare Holy and Dark elements. They deliver extremely fast paced strings of combos and are a fantastic mage alternative for those that prefer to get in the middle of the fray, rather than casting from the rear.
After grinding levels on the three mage classes prior, Sage gives you the entire arsenal of all magic casters and is my second favorite job. While the skill tree doesn’t give any new moves to maces or any fancy combos, the main strength of the job is extremely high magic damage stats. casting speed and it unlocks the strongest spell in the game: Ultima. Which unlike Flare or Meteor, doesn’t use MP slots. It only uses three black and white sigils, meanings that you will be comboing protective and damaging spells while your party covers for you. A very fun and different approach to the game.
My absolute favorite job in this game. The name really says it all. Breaker has a powerful arsenal of heavy hitting weapons and moves that will empty your enemies’ break gauge. Zantetsuken, the signature skill, has a built-in Soul Burst finisher. Some combo effects also have Soul Burst, which means that Seal of Blood can be reserved for other jobs that might need it more. It pairs extremely well with axes and Reinforce making it the most flexible heavy weapons user.