As shown on the status screen:
|まりょく||まほうかいひりつ||Magic Power||Magic Evade Rate|
None of these values directly affect any of the others, though more than one may affect the same thing. All values in the left column are basic character parameters and may be raised using Genjuu level-up bonuses or enhanced by equipment, but do not increase otherwise. All values in the right column vary somewhat from character to character, but are primarily determined by equipment. The following information on what they do is summarized from Terii Senshi's Algorithms FAQ.
Strength (str) contributes to physical damage.
The value is doubled (but capped at 255) and added to attack power to use as a multiplier. Because of the cap, raising total strength beyond 128 is meaningless. Monsters use a strength value randomly chosen from 56 to 63 when combat begins. Note that since strength is only one factor in the multiplier, attack damage is not proportional to it, and double strength means less than double attack damage. However, strength does affect physical special attacks, unlike attack power, which is usually ignored or overridden.
Agility (agi) determines the fill rate of the time gauge.
The value (agi + 20) is used as a speed multiplier. Due to the added constant, it takes more than double the agility to make double the speed (for instance, 84 agi is twice as fast as 32 agi). Note that this affects only the delay between turns and does not affect other time-based effects such as duration of status changes or frequency of poison damage, which are controlled by the system timer. Agility also has no effect on Steal success rate, regardless of the agi bonus the Thief's Bracelet provides. Thanks to the use of a byte value, any agility over 235 will cause an overflow, but this is unreachable under normal circumstances anyway.
Stamina (stm) is something of the black sheep of the status screen. Higher stamina increases the amount 'regenerate' status and the Tama's Bell accessory heal, but also increases the amount of damage that 'poison' and 'slip' status inflict. However, its primary purpose is to provide resistance to many instant-death attacks (such as Death) and percent-damage attacks (such as Gravity).
Attacks that stamina can block will fail approximately (stamina / 128)% of the time, after the usual chance to miss. Stamina for monsters is set to 16 + (max HP / 512), rounded down and capped at 40, which occurs at 12,288 or greater max HP. This gives monsters about a 1/8 minimum to 5/16 maximum, or roughly 13% to 32%, chance to avoid stamina-blockable attacks.
Magic power (mag) acts as a simple multiplier for magic damage or healing.
Note that because magic power is a multiplier on its own, rather than being factored into a multiplier like strength is, magic effectiveness is directly proportional to magic power. In other words, double the magic power means spells with numeric results are twice as effective.
Attack power (atk) contributes to normal attack damage.
The value is added to (str x 2) or 255, whichever is smaller, for use as a multiplier. However, attack power is typically ignored or overridden when using physical skills. For instance, Edgar's Drill always uses attack power = 191, regardless of his equipped weapon. Also note that the displayed value is sometimes misleading, such as when using a Genji's Glove and two weapons, which will show attack power as (base + weapon 1 attack + weapon 2 attack) even though what you really get are two indepenent hits, each of which only uses the weapon associated with that strike.
Defense (def) reduces physical damage taken, except for undefendable damage.
The reduction is roughly (defense / 256). Maximum (255) defense cuts all defendable physical damage to 1, and other modifiers can further reduce it to 0.
Evade rate (evd) ought to reduce the hit chance of blockable physical attacks, but thanks to a bug does nothing at all other than display in the menu.
Magic defense (MDef) reduces magic damage taken, except for undefendable damage.
The reduction is roughly (MDef / 256). Maximum (255) magic defense cuts all defendable magic damage to 1, and certain uncommon modifiers ('transform' status or players attacking players) can further reduce it to 0.
Magic evade rate (MEvd) reduces the hit chance for avoidable magic attacks, and also for blockable physical attacks thanks to a bug.
Chance to hit is approximately [ (hit rate) * (1 - [MEvd/128]) ]%, unless hit rate is 255, which is considered a perfect hit rate and ignores evasion. In other words, start with base hit rate, then (if less than 255) remove 1/128 of that for every point of opposing MEvd. This means that an MEvd of 128 or higher guarantees evasion of any avoidable attack. When MEvd is 0, as is the case for most monsters, chance to hit = hit rate, so anything with a hit rate of at least 100 will always hit unless other factors interfere (such as status immunity or stamina blocking).
To put it another way, let's take a common hit rate value as an example. Most weapons and the mainstay offensive spells have a hit rate of 150. To reduce the chance to hit below 100%, the target's MEvd must be at least 43, high enough to cancel out a third of this. If it's any lower, the attack will always hit. At 60 MEvd, the chance is reduced to about 80%. Against 100 MEvd, it drops to under 33%. 120 MEvd reduces the chance to under 10%.
Level is the single most influential statistic, affecting damage for nearly everything and success rate for quite a few things.
There are eight types of elemental damage, called 属性 (zokusei, traits) in the game and typically referred to as "elements" in English discussion:
|炎 = Flame||氷 = Ice||雷 = Thunder||水 = Water|
|風 = Wind||地 = Earth||毒 = Poison||聖 = Holy|
In-game descriptions often refer to the ice trait as 冷気属性 (reiki zokusei, cold trait). Similarly, holy damage commonly appears as 聖なる属性 (sei naru zokusei), which means the same thing as 聖属性 but looks better stylistically.
If the target of an elemental attack is immune to (negates) the element, the damage is zero. If resistant to the element, the damage is halved. If weak against the element, damage is doubled. If the target absorbs the element, the amount is unchanged, but becomes healing rather than damage. These adjustments take place at the end of damage calculation and therefore affect the final damage after all other modifiers.
Whenever an attack has more than one trait and the target absorbs at least one of them, then the target absorbs the entire attack, regardless of the other attack traits. Otherwise, if any is negated, the whole attack is negated, otherwise it's halved if any are halved. However, if the target does not absorb, negate, or halve any of the traits, but is weak to at least one, even if not all, the attack will inflict double damage.
Similarly, if a character wears multiple pieces of equipment that have different effects on any single trait, absorption overrides immunity, which overrides halving, which overrides weakness.
As an example of both, let's say that a character is wearing something that is weak against Flame and halves Wind, and something else that negates Flame (and never mind that no such equipment exists). Anyway, Flame immunity overrides Flame weakness, so this character takes no damage from Flame and half damage from Wind. If hit with Melton (a Flame / Wind attack), Flame immunity takes precedence over wind resistance, so the character takes no damage.
Because damage from 'poison' has the Poison trait, it is affected accordingly by weakness, resistance, or absorption of the same. Immunity to the Poison trait additionally confers immunity to 'poison' status, rather than simply negating the damage, with two minor caveats. First, equipping an item with direct status immunity when out of combat will cure the corresponding status, but equipping something with Poison trait immunity won't immediately cure 'poison' status (entering combat in this situation, however, will remove the status). Second, equipping a Poison trait immunity item (the Hero's Shield) during combat while afflicted with 'poison' status won't remove the status, but will cause it to inflict zero damage.
And now, for some summary information to give some idea of how they tend to affect a randomly chosen enemy. Though this doesn't take into account how common the enemies are, of course. The game data contains 384 total monsters, including a few that you never actually fight. The second set of totals below only counts the first 256 monsters in the list (the ones with Rages), which ends up excluding most bosses and other one-time enemies.
|Total useless against||33||30||30||44||20||22||77||19||224||3|
|Total weak against *||121||59||69||65||16||5||53||64||83||2|
|Total with only this weakness||56||34||17||8||4||2||42||14||n/a||n/a|
|Useless - First 256 only||17||7||9||21||7||9||53||6||168||2|
|Weakness - First 256 only *||90||46||44||46||12||1||34||50||37||1|
|Only weakness - First 256 only||44||28||9||5||2||0||28||12||n/a||n/a|
* One monster is technically weak against all traits, but also absorbs them, and since absorption overrides weakness, the weakness counts exclude it. Similarly, the totals for Thunder weakness excludes a different creature that has the trait flagged as both a weakness and an absorption.
Flame: A moderate number of enemies have defenses against it, but more are weak to it than to any other attack type by a sizable margin, and close to half of these have no other weakness. Luckily, this is one of the easiest types of damage to use, thanks to the Flametongue, Flame Rod, and Burning Knuckle, not to mention standard attack magic and a number of skills. Defensively, Flame Shields absorb it, making it easy to counter once they become available, and that's not even getting into the wide variety of other equipment with resistance, immunity, or absorption.
Ice: A fairly frequent weakness, and few common enemies have protection against it. The Icebrand and Ice Rod along with standard magic take care of offense, while the ready availability of Ice Shields to absorb it makes defense trivial in the later portion of the game.
Thunder: Another fairly frequent weakness, though most that are weak against it also have another weakness. Still, few common enemies have any defense against it, and it's easy to come by. The Thunder Blade, Thunder Rod, and standard attack magic cover offense, while the absorption on the Thundergod's Shield will be your main source of defense, especially given its lack of any vulnerabilities, unlike the Flame and Ice Shields.
Water: Though a fairly common weakness for enemies to have, few with this weakness don't also have another one, and a larger than usual number of foes have defenses against it. Offensive choices are limited to the Trident and some more esoteric skills like Aqua Breath, El Niño, and the Bismark summon. Defensive options are similarly limited. The Carapace Shield, Dish, and Armor Kappa are the only sources of absorption, and they give bare minimum physical defense unless the wearer has 'kappa' status. The few remaining choices are either unique (Hero's Shield) or provide just partial resistance (Force Shield, Minerva's Bustier).
Wind: An uncommon weakness, but it's also uncommon for opponents to have any protection. This causes the Kazekiri Blade in particular to avoid being a liability except on rare occasions, which allows its random Wind Scythe to shine, especially in Gau's hands. Other offensive options include the Air Knife and Sakura Fubuki, along with a few skills like Aeroga and Shinkuu Ha. Defensively, the readily-available Thundergod's Shield provides immunity, as do the less convenient Hero's Shield (of which only one exists) and Minerva Bustier (which only two characters can use). No equipment absorbs it.
Earth: The low number of enemies guarded against this is deceptive, since most attacks of this type will miss anything with 'levitate' status, and that includes quite a few monsters—beyond those that have explicit defenses, that adds another 78, with 57 of those in the first 256 monsters. The only attacks I know of in this type that bypass this limitation are Lifeshaver and the Gravity Rod, which is also the only weapon with this damage type. Additionally, very few enemies are weak against it, with three of the five (Hidden and two of its minions) appearing in the same battle, and two of the five (coliseum Siegfried and one of the minions already mentioned) being weak against every other element as well (the fifth enemy is the target internally called Magic in the second tier of the final battle, which also happens to be floating, rendering most attacks of this type useless regardless). The redeeming factor is that the attacks you get tend to be quite powerful, especially the one anyone can learn: Quake. For defense, many characters can use the Earth Garb, available unusually early, for absorption. Other options are the Hero's Shield for immunity; the Force Shield, Cat-Ear Hood, Force Armor, or Minerva's Bustier to halve the damage; and, of course, you can avoid most of these attacks just by floating.
Poison: There are a lot of enemies that can laugh it off, but on the other hand, a surprising number that are weak against it have no other weaknesses. There aren't any particularly strong attacks of this type, but there are readily available options in the Poison Rod, Dark Claw, and two common spells. Defensively, the only options are the Hero's Shield, Sleepy Cat Suit, Chocobo Suit, and Moogle Suit for immunity, or the Minerva's Bustier to halve the damage. No equipment absorbs it.
Holy: A comparatively large number of enemies have this as a weakness, and of the handful that are protected from it, the majority shrug off pretty much everything else, too. Available early on in Mash's Aura Cannon skill, then later taking a place in the magic list with the Holy spell, this is also found on many weapons, namely the Gladius, Excalibur, Holy Lance, Holy Rod, Kaiser Knuckle, and Dragon Claw, with the Lightbringer additionally having a random chance to cast the spell on attack. Defensive options are virtually nonexistent, though, with only the Hero's Shield providing absorption, and the Cat-Ear Hood and Minerva's Bustier halving the damage.
Also remember that Gau and Gogo can use appropriate Rages to alter their elemental defenses as needed... assuming you know what to pick, of course. Magic Pot deserves special mention for sheer resilience, using Curega on top of absorbing all eight traits and preventing all preventable status ailments. Just don't expect much in the way of offense.
When is it better to use a less powerful but defense-ignoring spell, instead of a stronger but defendable one? The answer, of course, is "it depends", but let's go into a little more depth here. I'll be using Flare and Figa for the comparisons, since they're fairly analogous powerful late-game spells with similar cost and difficulty to obtain, and because alliteration. We'll assume there's a single target since bosses generally work that way.
Figa has roughly double the raw power of Flare, so clearly it's the superior option when the enemy has no magic defense, but this is rarely the case. Other factors to consider are whether the spell is striking a weakness ( Flare obviously can't, since it has no element), whether the target has 'shell' status ( Flare ignores this as well as defense), and whether the caster has 'transform' status (this doubles the damage of most spells, but has no effect on defense-ignoring ones).
|Target weak against element?||no||YES||no||YES||no||YES||no||YES|
|Target has 'shell' status?||no||no||YES||YES||no||no||YES||YES|
|Caster has 'transform' status?||no||no||no||no||YES||YES||YES||YES|
|MDef for roughly equal damage:||128||192||64||160||192||224||160||208|
When the enemy's magic defense is close to the crossover point in the table above, both spells will inflict similar amounts of damage. Use Figa when target magic defense is lower (less reduction means more damage), and Flare when it's higher (ignoring magic defense means damage stays constant).
Most bosses have magic defense somewhere between 120 and 160, and some also have 'shell' status, so Flare works as least as well in most cases. However, if there's a weakness available to exploit, it's virtually always more worthwhile to do so, and Tina when Transformed is better off using Figa in nearly any situation, not just in boss battles—hardly anything has enough in the way of magic defense for piercing it to justify sacrificing the damage bonus. Conversely, whenever you're going to be using defense-ignoring magic, there's little reason to Transform in the first place.
Character values for each stat, sorted from highest to lowest. All values assume no Genjuu level-up bonuses and, except where otherwise specified, no equipment.
Evade is documented for completeness despite serving no purpose in an unmodified copy of the game.
Starting level when joining the party, or rejoining after being leaving it, is determined by averaging the levels of the current party members and applying a modifier. As an example, Lock will start with a level two above the party average, which at the beginning of the game simply means Tina's level plus two.
Fleeing skill is an internal value that affects how easily a character can flee from combat. Higher is better.
HP and MP follow the same fixed growth pattern for all characters (though Genjuu HP and MP level-up bonuses will affect the gains for individual levels when the appropriate bonuses are equipped). To give the impression of more variation, each character has a fixed additional amount of HP and MP. For example, the base HP value at level 10 is 173. Tina gets 40 extra, so will have an actual HP of 213, while Edgar's bonus of 49 makes his HP 222 at level 10. At higher levels, the difference hardly matters (base HP at level 60 is 5050, for example), but it at least adds some variety to the values.
MP growth has an interesting oddity, though, in that the JP and NA versions use entirely different growth curves. To summarize, the JP version has rapid gains in the earlier levels which then fall off later on, while the NA version has sluggish early gains that increase somewhat in the middle levels before dropping off again. The JP version growth curve results in higher MP totals at nearly all levels (it's only behind during levels 54 to 61, and even then by at most 7 points), especially the lower ones. From level 14 to level 45, the JP version leads by at least 50 points, and from 24 to 35, the difference exceeds 100. Put another way, a character with an average extra MP value (about 10) has at least 25% more MP from level 5 to level 37 in the Japanese version, and at least 50% more from level 14 to level 23. That makes a considerable difference. Final base MP totals at level 99 reach 989 in the JP version and 961 in the NA version.
If you're looking to maximize gains from Genjuu bonuses, the JP version's greatest MP increases come upon reaching levels 14 to 17 (+17), while in the NA version they come on reaching levels 48 to 50 (also +17). The fact that 14 to 17 are likely to come and go before you have the ability to boost the gains is a possible reason for the modified growth curve in the NA version, but not a very good one. The largest HP gain (+162) occurs when reaching level 70, with a steeper dropoff at higher levels than lower (gains of at least +150 occur at levels from 63 to 73).
Note that Umaro's high stats are rather misleading due to his inability to change equipment or benefit from Genjuu level-up bonuses. Gogo's low stats are presumably meant as a tradeoff for flexibility, but a similar inability to equip Genjuu for level-up bonuses compounds the problem.
|Strength||Agility||Stamina||Magic||Initial Level||Fleeing Skill|
|Defense||MDef||Evade||MEvd||Extra HP||Extra MP|
Total offense = Strength x2 (capped at 255) + Attack power. The top weapon selections are based on raw attack power, and use the following weapons: Lightbringer for Tina, Lock, Edgar, and Celes; Mutsunokami for Cayenne; Kagenui for Shadow; Tiger Fangs for Mash; Gladius for Stragus, Relm, Setzer, and Gogo; Glow Lance for Mog; no weapon for Gau since he can't naturally use any; and Bone Club for Umaro since he's stuck with it regardless. The total offense values for these include strength bonuses from the weapons where applicable. Different weapons are often preferable in practice thanks to useful effects or bonuses other than raw attack power (for instance, the Wizard Rod's +7 magic and +30 MEvd typically outweigh the Gladius's higher attack for Stragus, Relm, and Gogo).
Only ally characters who actually fight appear in these lists. I have excluded non-combatants such as Madin and the temporary Mog used only for scenario selection, as well as uncontrollable characters such as Cefca who function as party members only during cutscenes.
Guest characters have fixed equipment, so the concept of a top weapon doesn't apply. Instead, I list their actual (with equipment) attack values and what they would be with no equipment. I'm also listing total values for defensive stats since invariable equipment makes it feasible to do so. Finally, two guest characters have equipment bonuses to magic, which are noted in the table below and factored into the sorting.
|Strength||Agility||Stamina||Magic||Initial Level||Fleeing Skill|
|Leo||52||Leo||38||Wedge||46||Bannan||32+6||Leo||avg +5||(ghost 1)||5|
|Biggs||41||Biggs||36||Biggs||45||Leo||36||(ghost 1)||avg +2||Biggs||4|
|Mogool||20||(ghost 1)||15||Mogpuu||12||Mogpuu||33||Mogshin||avg +2||(ghost 2)||3|
|Mogtan||16||Mugmug||14||Zumomog||12||(ghost 1)||30||(ghost 2)||avg -3||Mogshin||2|
|(ghost 1)||14||Zumomog||14||Bannan||11||Wedge||29||Moruru||avg -3||Mogpon||2|
|Bannan||10||Moglin||11||(ghost 1)||10||Biggs||28||Biggs||avg -3||Mugmug||2|
|(ghost 2)||4||(ghost 2)||8||(ghost 2)||2||(ghost 2)||15||Wedge||avg -3||Zumomog||2|
|Defense||MDef||Evade||MEvd||Extra HP||Extra MP|
|Zumomog||40||Moglin||27||Mugmug||7||(ghost 1)||0||Mogucci||48||(ghost 1)||1|
|Mogpuu||38||Mogpuu||26||Zumomog||7||(ghost 2)||0||Bannan||46||(ghost 2)||1|
|Mugmug||27||Mugmug||19||(ghost 1)||0||Biggs||0||(ghost 1)||26||Biggs||0|
|(ghost 2)||17||(ghost 2)||11||(ghost 2)||0||Wedge||0||(ghost 2)||20||Wedge||0|
|(ghost 1)||66||(ghost 1)||52||Moglin||17||Mogucci||5|
|(ghost 2)||17||(ghost 2)||11||(ghost 2)||0||Wedge||0|
|Mogpuu||11||(ghost 1)||32||Bannan||36||(ghost 1)||60|
|Mogucci||11||(ghost 2)||20||(ghost 2)||28||(ghost 2)||28|
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