Square Enix finally unleashed Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age in North America for gamers to experience. The upgraded remastered version of the decade-old JRPG from the PS2 made available for the PS4 comes with a brand new feature known as the Zodiac Jobs. You have 12 different jobs to choose from for each of the characters, and if you need a bit of help getting a grasp on the feature, hopefully this guide will help.
Whenever you encounter a new playable character who joins the team in Final Fantasy XII, you’ll be able to assign them a permanent job. You’ll need to choose wisely because you won’t be able to change this job throughout the game. The 12 jobs include:
- White Mage
- Red Battlemage,
- Time Battlemage
- Black Mage
After you reach the L Board Plus for your character during the course of the game, you’ll be able ot then unlock a second job class.
Youtuber Final Fantasy Union put together a 14 minute video covering each of the jobs and how they work, but they also note that the job assignments aren’t going to make or break your ability to succeed in the game. You’ll still need to rely on leveling up, equipment, and in-battle tactics to make the most of your team’s abilities.
They start with the White Mage Job Class, which focuses on healing and buffing magic. They note in the video that the White Mage also has access to Green Mage skills as well, including buffs and debuffs such as Faith, Drain, Siphon, and Holy.
White Mages focus on using staffs and rods, but they can also use great swords in rare conditions as well. They’re still purely a support class.
Uhlan Job Class: The Uhlan is a new class, based on the Polish polearm cavalry from many years ago. The Uhlan is the only class in the game that can use the Zodiac spears; and since they are mostly damage oriented, they lack the ability to wield shields. They also mention that the Uhlan class combos with the Archer and Time Battlemage on the field if you’re looking to compliment them during combat.
Machinist Job Class: The class centers around firearm support, dealing damage at a distance and has access to limited time magic such as haste, and some other buffs to help dish out damage quickly. Keep in mind that Balthier may have been made to be a Machinist, but he also has fairly slow firing rates, so keep that in mind when assigning characters to classes.
Red Battlemage: The Red Battlemage mixes melee combat with long range magic attacks. Their primary weapon are maces, and their secondary weapon is a greatsword. Red Battlemages can also utilize Arcane Magic, Green Magic, Time Magic, Black Magic and White Magic, mostly being able to cast debuffs, magic attacks, and some light dispersion magic. The Red Battlemage is the only class that can use Arcane magic. It’s suggested that the two best characters to become Red Battlemages are Ashe and Penelo.
Knight Class: Knights have access to a wide variety of swords, and rely mostly on melee and physical attacks. Knights also have some slight access to White Magic abilities, similar to a Paladin class, including cleanse, confuse, faith, regen, curaja and esuna. Knight works well with the Time Battlemage along with Bushi.
Monk Class: The Monk job is reliant on physical attacks, just as the name implies. They also have access to White Magic when it comes to buffs and heals, including the ability to cast protect spells and some holy magic. Monk’s have the highest strength attributes, so it’s mentioned in the video that they pair well with the Bushi class, and the Black Mage.
Time Battlemage: If you’re in the mood to do a little bit of time manipulation, you can’t go wrong here. The Time Battlemage in Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age has access to some light Green and White Magic, such as cura, decoy, drain, and bubble, but its main focus is on time distortion and debuffs, such as stop and bleed, float and berserk, reflect, gravity, haste, vanish, balance, disable, slow and immobilize. If you’re in the mood to halt your enemies right there in their tracks, it’s not a bad class to go with. Due to their lack of offensive magic and focus on status effects, you will need to rely on some physical attacks from weapons such as crossbows and single-handed swords.
Foebreaker Class: This is a brand new character class in the world of Final Fantasy. It’s a class without any magical affinities, but it has a high amount of physical damage output. Foebreakers can utilize axes, hammers, maces and one of the most powerful weapons in the game, the Scorpion Tail. According to the video guide, the Foebreaker Class works quite well attached to a character like Vaan.
Archer Class: The Archers have the most techniques out of all of the other classes in The Zodiac Age. They get a number of different techniques and abilities that buff, debuff, damage and heal throughout the combat phase. They can revive teammates, steal enemy items, convert MP to HP, and even enable status effects to confuse enemies for crowd control. They don’t do as much damage as the Monk or Uhlan, but it’s a tactical class for those who know how to use distance and team tactics to their advantage. The video suggests Fran as the perfect culprit to adopt the Archer class moniker.
Black Mage: The Black Mage is another good character class for crowd control and multi-target magic attacks. The Black Mage is not good with melee weapons, and they also take a hit on HP. So basically you’ll need to focus heavily on keeping your distance and lobbing attacks at foes that dish out high damage. It’s suggested to pair the Black Mage with either a Red Battlemage or a Monk to help either compliment the status effects of the Red Battlemage, or offer magical status damage in addition to the Monk’s physical damage. Penelo is suggested as the perfect candidate to don the Black Mage’s abilities.
Bushi Class: The Bushi class is another physical-based class, utilizing mostly samurai themed weaponry. However, the Bushi class embodies the ability to utilize mysticism, such as mystical armor. The gear enables the class to help bolster the damage output of the Bushi class. It’s suggested to team up the Bushi class with a Monk or the Shikari.
Shikari Class: This is the last class on the list, and it’s a hunter class. The Shikari class focuses on daggers, shintos and other short piercing weapons. As a secondary weapon the Shikari can also equip guns, making them a decent alternative for long-range combat if the situation calls for it. They have access to basic White Magic protection spells, and it’s suggested to lob the class off on Vaan given that it’s more about speedy attacks and dealing quick damage.
If you need further help with assigning character classes to characters and crunching the numbers on the best abilities and magic to use, there’s a Google Spreadsheet that Reddit users put together to help you plan out the best possible combinations for the character job classes.
Additionally some people were asking about canon jobs; it’s a question on the minds of those who want to play through in a purest form. For the main characters most consider the following to be Canon Classes for the first and second jobs:
Balthier: Machinist/Red Battlemage
Fran: Archer/Black Mage
Penelo: White Mage/Monk
Ashe: Time Battlemage/Knight