Game Spotlight — Final Fantasy V

Despite the fact that the Final Fantasy series has fifteen main titles to its name, I’d never played one of them until 2017. Viewing YouTube videos from ProtonJon depicting a blind playthrough of Final Fantasy V during an annual Four Job Fiesta event—more on that later—sparked my interest. I purchased the game myself not long after.

Like many other entries in the franchise, Final Fantasy V sees individual fighters band together to combat a potential world-ending evil/villain. The plot of this particular title is however a bit ridiculous; the main antagonist is a sentient, humanoid tree. But what sets the fifth game apart from many other titles in the series is that the roster is limited to five playable characters, though you only ever have four at a time.

Final Fantasy V consists of exploring the landscape of three separate worlds, battling a wide variety of monsters and acquiring items or achieving goals to advance the story. I love the game for its simplicity but also because it offers variety with each playthrough.

You’re able to assign each character a specific role/job in combat, such as knight, ninja, mage, etc. Each job comes with its own unique perk but also its own drawback. For instance, a berserker has a massive amount of health but cannot be directed to self-heal while in combat; they must rely on teammates to keep them alive if necessary. Also, you can mix and match job abilities such as having a ninja capable of casting spells, assuming that the character in question was a magic-user at some point. You can switch a character’s job and abilities at any time during the game.

However, the Four Job Fiesta, an online charity event that takes place during the summer, can make Final Fantasy V a challenge to get through. Participants pay a small fee to determine what jobs they have to work with and are strictly limited to those specific jobs. Though you can switch up the roles among the four playable characters, you must have the assigned jobs represented through pretty much the whole game. To cite one example—thief, thief, ninja, chemist.

I haven’t yet tried the Four Job Fiesta, but I might actually give it a shot when it rolls around this year. In the meantime, I have been playing the game normally and experimenting with all the different jobs. I have yet to beat the final boss though—that may require more leveling up to increase the amount of health my characters have.

I have also been re-watching the YouTube videos from ProtonJon, which has clued me in on some aspects of the game I’ve missed. There are also a couple uber-bosses present in the game who are extra tough to defeat and who can wipe out all four combatants in one blow.

And when the Fiesta event does start, my only prayer is that I don’t get stuck with four berserkers.

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