At the character selection screen, the player is faced with three important decisions: race, nation of allegiance, and initial job. While some races excel in some roles and struggle in others, it should be noted that it by no means completely cripples a player’s ability completely. Gear and skill can aid a player in overcoming some of these shortcomings, although it still can definitely be a challenge. A player can also switch nation allegiances throughout their time in the game; in fact, many players have done just this in order to take part of all the missions each nation has to offer.
The first decision a player must make is which of the five races they will play in Vana’diel: Hume, Galka, Elvaan, Tarutaru, or Mithra. Each race has its own unique statistical strengths, appearance and personalities attached to them (although the personalities tend to most often come through via the Non-Player Characters, or NPCs, in the game). While certain races can excel
The Hume race is the Human race of the game and serves as the balanced race of the game. While having no particular strengths, they also have no glaring weaknesses, allowing them to perform any job with little difficulty.
The Galka race is a male only race of large muscular beasts. Their HP rating is the highest of all races; however, their MP pool is by far the lowest, causing any Galka to struggle in mage jobs. Formidable in strength and tops in vitality, the Galka make for a very powerful and physical fighting force.
The Elvaan race would be the race of elves that come along with any fantasy game. They excel in physical strength and are the strongest race in the game; however, it comes at the cost of having the second lowest MP pool of all the races. Their HP rating is only second to the Galka race, and despite their poor MP pool, they excel in Mind making them quite potent in White Magic (however, the same cannot be said of their Intelligence, forcing them to struggle in Black Magic).
The Tarutaru are a diminutive race and serve as the best race for mage jobs in the game. Not only is their MP pool easily the largest of all the races, but they also excel in stats vital to mage jobs. Like many mages throughout the Final Fantasy series, they have awful defense, and to compound matters, they have the lowest HP pool in the entire game.
The Mithra are a female cat-like race. They excel in Agility and Dexterity, allowing them to excel in roles such as Thief and Ranger. Their HP is nothing to write home about; however, their MP is second only to the Tarutaru.
After the player selects their race, it is then time to choose which nation they will initially call home. Save for being able to be close to certain areas, certain crafting guilds, and being able to have access to nation specific items, choosing a nation most definitely becomes a matter of preference as it can later be changed.
The Republic of Bastok is home to the Humes and Galka. The ingenuity of the Humes has allowed Bastok to be the most technologically advanced of all the nations. The Galka are the working class of the city, as they initially immigrated from their homeland in the desert after the Beastmen laid waste to it. Bastok soon became a city of the haves and have nots and racial tensions are rampant throughout the city and is a constant concern of the nation’s president. The city is home to the Blacksmithing, Alchemy, and Goldsmithing guilds.
The Kingdom of San d’oria is home to the Elvaan. Very rigid and religious in nature, little has changed since their time of power. Still ruled by their King, the Kingdom very much holds the attitude that they are superior to the other nations, despite the fact their time of rule has passed. The city is home to the Tanning, Woodworking, and Blacksmithing guilds.
The Federation of Windurst is home to the Tarutaru. The Mithra also claim this nation as their second home and have a friendly alliance with the Tarutaru. Windurst is lead by a woman known as the Star Sybil, whom can see into the future. The city is home to the Fishing, Cooking, Weaving, and Boneworking guilds.
Next, the player must then select the first job their character will start as. This selection will determine which weapons and/or spells the player will start off with. In a nod to Final Fantasy, the six jobs available for selection are the same six jobs that were available for that game: Warrior, Thief, Monk, Red Mage, White Mage, and Black Mage. In a nod to Final Fantasy III, the initial weapon giving to your character is Onion equipment.
Next Page: The Job System