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Before choosing a party, it is important to understand what each class can and cannot do. You must assign one of six classes to each party member at the start of the game, and you can never change classes. You can have multiple characters with the same class, though in most cases this isn't recommended.

Picking a party[edit]

There is no "best configuration" (though there are plenty tied for "worst configuration"). There are some good setups, plenty of bad setups, and the rest are simply okay. You want to have a good balance of fighting ability, offensive magic, and curative magic.

A good party consists of:

Note that while the Thief should not fill the black magic user role, it does qualify for the "other physically strong class" slot, and is, in fact, recommended for beginners. You will also want to put the characters in a specific order (though you can change this at any time during the game).

Also, while the Monk class is an offensively strong class, they have poor defense and is only recommended to be paired up with a powerful white magic user.

The order, from front to back should be:

  1. Warrior
  2. Thief
  3. Red Mage
  4. Monk
  5. White Mage
  6. Black Mage

This is based on how many hits a character can take before getting killed (so factoring defensive power as well as HP). Always keep your White Mage/Wizard in the third or fourth position, even though a Thief/Ninja may have less HP, since you do not want your Life caster to die.

Using the above formula, we have reduced the number of possibilities from 1,296 to six.

  • Warrior, Warrior, White Mage, Black Mage
  • Warrior, Thief, White Mage, Black Mage
  • Warrior, Red Mage, White Mage, Black Mage
  • Warrior, Warrior, Red Mage, White Mage
  • Warrior, Thief, Red Mage, White Mage
  • Warrior, Red Mage, Red Mage, White Mage

See the next section for more on the differences between these six.

  • Great parties: These are the most balanced parties, with characters that not only excels in at least one of the three areas (fighting ability, offensive magic, and curative magic) but properly balance out the other three's weaknesses.
  • Good parties: These are the setups that, while not balanced very well, are still good parties. While not recommended for the novice, they are good to use if you want a bit more of a challenge. Their weakness (or flat out lack of ability) in one of the three areas (fighting ability, offensive magic, and curative magic) will not make the game next to impossible, but will require you to rethink your strategies.

Balanced parties[edit]

Warrior, Thief, White Mage, Black Mage[edit]

FFI warrior.gifFFI thief.gifFFI white mage.gifFFI black mage.gif

  • Combat - 8/10
  • Black Magic - 8/10
  • White Magic - 8/10
  • Speed - 10/10
  • Defense - 6/10
  • Magic Defense - 8/10
  • Overall - 8/10
  • Pros: two strong physical fighters, access to all magic, all characters can use magic, the ability to flee from most battles.
  • Cons: three characters have moderate to low defense, the strongest black and white magics are limited to one character each.

This is the classic Final Fantasy I party, and it became the default setups for Origins and Dawn of Souls. You have a very balanced party and access to all magics, as well as the high speed of the Thief. The biggest problem with this setup is that you only have one character that can brush off damage. You will have to keep a close eye on your second character's (probably the Thief) HP at all times, and heal up immediately if it drops too low. Despite this, it is still one of the best parties. As an added bonus, when you want to rush through a dungeon, the speed of the Thief will allow you to run from most battles(except mandatory fights, of course).

Warrior, Thief, Red Mage, White Mage[edit]

FFI warrior.gifFFI thief.gifFFI red mage.gifFFI white mage.gif

  • Combat - 9/10
  • Black Magic - 8/10
  • White Magic - 9/10
  • Speed - 10/10
  • Defense - 7/10
  • Magic Defense - 8/10
  • Overall - 8/10
  • Pros: three strong physical fighters, access to all magic, all characters can use magic, the ability to flee from most battles, redundant mid/high level healing spells.
  • Cons: one character with low magic defense, two with moderately low physical defense, can't learn strongest black magic.

Basically all you're doing for this party (compared to the first) is trading a few high level black spells for a lot of healing spells. You will still have Red Mage and his decent defense. You will want to get the class change quickly so the Red Mage can start using the better spells.

Warrior, Monk, White Mage, Black Mage[edit]

FFI warrior.gifFFI monk.gifFFI white mage.gifFFI black mage.gif

  • Combat - 10/10
  • Black Magic - 8/10
  • White Magic - 8/10
  • Speed - 7/10
  • Defense - 7/10
  • Magic Defense - 10/10
  • Overall - 8/10
  • Pros - Each person is specialized; one person absorbs damage, one person heals damage, one person deals physical damage, one person deals magic damage.
  • Cons - Boring party. Because the party is so specialized, the overall performance of the party suffers greatly if anyone dies.

Nintendo Power's suggested party gives you a little bit of everything. Fairly well balanced with two physical fighters and two magicians. The Knight is the most important character in the party, being able to use white magic, deal significant fighting damage, and his unique role in the party is to absorb plenty of damage. The party's fighting style is monotnous though; the magic users boost the physical attackers against bosses, and once the monk gains enough HP, he and the fighter can absorb damage from regular fights while the mages sling spells.

Warrior, Warrior, White Mage, Black Mage[edit]

FFI warrior.gifFFI warrior.gifFFI white mage.gifFFI black mage.gif

  • Combat - 9/10
  • Black Magic - 8/10
  • White Magic - 9/10
  • Speed - 8/10
  • Defense - 9/10
  • Magic Defense - 8/10
  • Overall - 9/10
  • Pros - Two very strong physical fighters, access to all magic, three characters capable of healing to some degree
  • Cons - The strongest black and white magics are limited to one character each, only one character can cast black magic, have to distribute one-of-a-kind weapons & armor among several characters

This certainly solves the problem of having a vulnerable second position character: with warriors now taking most of the hits, and three characters capable of healing, you won't really have to worry about staying alive. The biggest problem is that a lot of the better equipment in the game is found in one place only. Of course, even with weapon that isn't the best, a Knight can do more damage than a Ninja or Red Wizard.

Warrior, Red Mage, Red Mage, White Mage[edit]

FFI warrior.gifFFI red mage.gifFFI red mage.gifFFI white mage.gif

  • Combat - 9/10
  • Black Magic - 7/10
  • White Magic - 10/10
  • Speed - 9/10
  • Defense - 8/10
  • Magic Defense - 9/10
  • Overall - 9/10
  • Pros - Three strong fighters, three with good defense, high magic defense across the board, four white magic users, two with most black magic spells.
  • Cons - The Red Mages can be a little weak at times, especially right before the class change.

You may have problems going after the first crystal and getting through the two dungeons needed to get the class change. However, once the Red Mages become Red Wizards you will become very powerful, very quickly.

Warrior, Warrior, Red Mage, Red Mage[edit]

FFI warrior.gifFFI warrior.gifFFI red mage.gifFFI red mage.gif

  • Combat - 10/10
  • Black Magic - 7/10
  • White Magic - 7/10
  • Speed - 8/10
  • Defense - 8/10
  • Magic Defense - 8/10
  • Overall - 10/10
  • Pros: Great physical damage output, and reliable sources of both black and white magic, even if you lose a character. Proven by Feasel, the current speedrun world record holder, to be the most reliable fast party in the game. While theoretically swapping one of the RMs for a Black or White Mage could be faster, such a run has yet to beat the best time of this party.
  • Cons: This party is suited to fast-paced, low level play. For a more casual run, you may find your endgame options limited. It is also designed specifically for the NES version of Final Fantasy. In versions with the Thief bugs fixed, or the Black Mage's durability buffed, you may find these two characters useful to exchange for a Warrior and Red Mage, respectively.

Physical-oriented parties[edit]

Warrior, Monk, Thief, Red Mage[edit]

FFI warrior.gifFFI monk.gifFFI thief.gifFFI red mage.gif

  • Combat - 10/10
  • Black Magic - 7/10
  • White Magic - 7/10
  • Speed - 10/10
  • Defense - 5/10
  • Magic Defense - 7/10
  • Overall - 6/10
  • Pros - Two strong fighters, two average fighters. Two can use Black magic, two can use white magic.
  • Cons - Limited magic variety. Two characters have very low defense.

This is the default party for the NES version, and it isn't for beginners. Your Monk and Thief will take a lot of damage throughout the game, but especially when enemies start using spells that hit the entire party at once. Your Red Mage may not be able to keep up with healing the Monk and Thief. The party will also lack access to a lot of spells in the beginning that White and Black Mages could use. That said, this is a very strong party, physically, especially after the class change.

Warrior, Red Mage, Monk, White Mage[edit]

FFI warrior.gifFFI red mage.gifFFI monk.gifFFI white mage.gif

  • Combat - 10/10
  • Black Magic - 6/10
  • White Magic - 10/10
  • Speed - 7/10
  • Defense - 7/10
  • Magic Defense - 8/10
  • Overall - 7/10
  • Pros - Lots of power: two very strong physical fighters and one average one. Three characters that can use white magic. Not as expensive to equip as similarly strong parties.
  • Cons - Only the Red Wizard can use black magic. Having a Monk will require more healing. Requires item juggling and position-swapping to be run well.

A slight variation from the original NES party, this offers slightly better defense. With the addition of a White Mage, the party has a full time healer to fix those wounds. Placing the Black Belt in the last two slots also prevents them from accumulating such wounds. The team is both strong and speedy that slaying hordes of enemies with only a Red Mage's lexicon should hardly be a problem. With the spell-casting items found in the game, the entire party can keep itself healthy with Heal1 and Bolt2. Equipment should be easier to buy with a Monk tagging along; they bring good power and cost almost no upkeep. After the class change, the HP-heavy Master may have to go to the 2nd slot when the Red Wizard's defenses start to lull. The only question is when to class change: do you hold off to power up your Monk or do you jump in so your Red Mage grows?

Warrior, Warrior, Red Mage, White Mage[edit]

FFI warrior.gifFFI warrior.gifFFI red mage.gifFFI white mage.gif

  • Combat - 10/10
  • Black Magic - 6/10
  • White Magic - 9/10
  • Speed - 8/10
  • Defense - 10/10
  • Magic Defense - 9/10
  • Overall - 10/10
  • Pros - Three strong fighters, two with excellent defense, all have healing abilities, access to most black magic spells.
  • Cons - Not many, besides a somewhat limited selection of black magic before the class change.

The hardest part will from when you go after the Earth Crystal to when you get your class change. There are quite a few low level spells that the Red Mage cannot equip. However, most of the enemies will be either undead or ice-based, so you will be able to use your fire magic. Two Warriors will be able to hit anything hard enough that a lack of offensive black magic won't hurt much. After the class change you can utterly decimate anything you come across.

Warrior, Warrior, Warrior, White Mage[edit]

FFI warrior.gifFFI warrior.gifFFI warrior.gifFFI white mage.gif

  • Combat - 10/10
  • Black Magic - 0/10
  • White Magic - 9/10
  • Speed - 8/10
  • Defense - 9/10
  • Magic Defense - 10/10
  • Overall - 9/10
  • Pros - Three have high strength, defense, speed, and magic resistance. All can use white magic.
  • Cons - Extremely monotonous gameplay, only three can do any worthwhile damage

With this party you have all White magic spells, plus three characters that will absorb most hits and suffer very little damage. The White Mage is your weakest link in terms of defense, however the character in the rear gets hit rarely enough that it isn't a problem. As with the party above, you have no redundancy of most spells, including Life and Stona. If the White Mage is incapacitated, you will have to resort to items for restoration.

Warrior, Warrior, Warrior, Red Mage[edit]

FFI warrior.gifFFI warrior.gifFFI warrior.gifFFI red mage.gif

  • Combat - 10/10
  • Black Magic - 6/10
  • White Magic - 8/10
  • Speed - 8/10
  • Defense - 10/10
  • Magic Defense - 10/10
  • Overall - 9/10
  • Pros - All four have average to high strength, defense, speed, and magic resistance. All can use white magic.
  • Cons - Extremely monotonous gameplay. A slight lack of white magic. Incredibly expensive to equip at the beginning.

The biggest problem with not having a White Mage in your party is you can't use Cure4 or Life2. Your three Warriors will take single digit damage from the vast majority of enemies. However, there are a few that can do 100+ damage to even a Knight, and even Cure3 usually restores under 100HP. You will also only have one character that can do any kind of significant healing during a battle. The lack of Life2 also means that if someone should happen to die you will only be able to revive them with 1HP. That said you will be able to win any battle with ease, assuming the enemies don't get lucky and you aren't under-leveled.

Warrior, Warrior, Warrior, Warrior[edit]

FFI warrior.gifFFI warrior.gifFFI warrior.gifFFI warrior.gif

  • Combat - 10/10
  • Black Magic - 0/10
  • White Magic - 3/10
  • Speed - 9/10
  • Defense - 10/10
  • Magic Defense - 10/10
  • Overall - 9/10
  • Pros - You can pound the crap out of anything.
  • Cons - Extremely monotonous gameplay. Healing will be a major issue late in the game and during boss fights. Affording equipment at the start will be a pain. Later in the game, equipment for the last Knight will be scarce.

This party is surprisingly good despite the fact that it is so unbalanced. The Warrior will be able to destroy anything quickly and take almost no damage from most enemies. However, there are plenty of enemies, especially later in the game, that can do massive damage against even a Knight. You will basically have no healing abilities during battle, and very limited MP for healing afterwards. Bosses can also be problematic as the fights tend to last several rounds and they are all very strong.

Magic-oriented parties[edit]

Warrior, Red Mage, White Mage, Black Mage[edit]

FFI warrior.gifFFI red mage.gifFFI white mage.gifFFI black mage.gif

  • Combat - 8/10
  • Black Magic - 10/10
  • White Magic - 10/10
  • Speed - 8/10
  • Defense - 7/10
  • Magic Defense - 9/10
  • Overall - 8/10
  • Pros - Two strong physical fighters, access to all magic, most black and white spells can be used by two characters
  • Cons - Three characters with limited armor selection

An excellent setup. The fact that you are doubling the number of characters that can cast mid and high level spells makes you a nearly invincible. You have all three areas covered twice: two strong fighters, two healers, two magic users. In terms of surviving, combat, the Black Mage is still your weakest link, but you have three characters that can heal. The Red Mage will generally take as much damage as a Thief, though it has much better magic resistance. The Red Wizard's best weapon is weaker than the Ninja's, but at that point you can handle anything anyway.

Red Mage, Monk, White Mage, Black Mage[edit]

FFI red mage.gifFFI monk.gifFFI white mage.gifFFI black mage.gif

  • Combat - 8/10
  • Black Magic - 10/10
  • White Magic - 10/10
  • Speed - 8/10
  • Defense - 5/10
  • Magic Defense - 9/10
  • Overall - 8/10
  • Pros - Access to all magic at any point in the video game.
  • Cons - All characters have limited armor selection.

Good for players who get bored by repeatedly using the "Fight" command; great for players that prefer "sorcery" to "swords". This party has limited equipment, but unlimited access to magic: 62 out of 64 different spells can be owned at the same time. Let the White Mage protect (and heal) the characters, the Black Mage debuff the enemies, the Monk taking them down one by one, and you'll never get bored using this team.

Red Mage, Red Mage, White Mage, Black Mage[edit]

FFI red mage.gifFFI red mage.gifFFI white mage.gifFFI black mage.gif

  • Combat - 7/10
  • Black Magic - 10/10
  • White Magic - 10/10
  • Speed - 7/10
  • Defense - 6/10
  • Magic Defense - 10/10
  • Overall - 7/10
  • Pros - Lots and lots of magic. Three with white magic, three with black magic.
  • Cons - Low defense, low strength. This is also one of the most expensive parties since you will have to buy so many spells.

This is a good challenge party if you want to try something different. The Red Mages will be able to deal a decent amount of damage, though you will probably have to fight twice as many rounds as you would if you had a Warrior. The Red Mages will also take a lot of damage. Not only are they weaker than Warriors, but they will be in the front now, getting hit the vast majority of the time. The fact that you have three healers will help this, however you will have to keep a close eye on your magic reserves and save most of the Red Mage's MP for healing.

All white/black mages[edit]

FFI white mage.gifFFI white mage.gifFFI black mage.gifFFI black mage.gif

The challenge comes because you have no physical fighters and someone is going to have to be put in the front row to take most of the hits; be prepared to restore hundred of HP after every fight. It isn't as suicidal as some of the Four of a Kind setups, but it is still pretty hard. With 1-2 white mages and 2-3 black mages, it should make for a hard but entertaining game.

Challenge parties[edit]

If you are looking to make the game even harder, or just mix things up a bit, try one of these parties.

Four of a Kind[edit]

FFI monk.gifFFI monk.gifFFI monk.gifFFI monk.gif

All Warriors, all Red Mages, etc. Depending on the class chosen the challenge level will vary wildly, of course. The imbalance of these parties will lead to bottlenecks where certain parts of the game are extremely easy while others will become very slow and/or challenging. Listed in estimated order of difficulty.

  • Four Warriors: A surprisingly good party, the only drawback is no strong healing; this party is not actually challenging at all.
  • Four Red Mages: Very similar to Four Warriors in the beginning, but after the class change things will slow down a bit. Your defense is somewhat low, but you'll have plenty of White magic.
  • Four Thieves: Very hard since you have no healing and low defense. The Thieves are physically strong and can run from many battles though, but running away does not add to your gold nor your experience pool.
  • Four Monks: Near-suicidal. The near nonexistent defense will mean you will take massive amounts of damage from every enemy. You will also have to rely completely on items for healing. That said, this party is unmatched in terms of strength, even without Haste. Just remember to avoid the class-upgrade. This surely makes for the strongest level-50 party, as the monk/master will have far exceeded all other classes by then.
  • Four White Mages: While healing won't be a problem, the Mages are so weak that even normal fights can take 5 - 10 rounds (this is including spell-casting items like Bane). Bosses are insanely time consuming and can usually hold out long enough for you to run out of MP.
  • Four Black Mages: You'll run of MP very quickly, and the Mages can't fight worth a damn. If you accumulate enough money for spells, the world is your shooting gallery. If you do manage to make it past the class change, you can equip four cat claws and do decent damage against most enemies. You will have to grind a lot, because otherwise it only takes a couple of hits to kill a Black Mage.

Solo[edit]

Final Fantasy I warrior (hurt).gifFinal Fantasy I warrior (dead).gifFinal Fantasy I warrior (dead).gifFinal Fantasy I warrior (dead).gif

Considered the ultimate challenge by most Final Fantasy players, you have to play the entire game with three of your players dead: get them killed in the first battle and never revive them. You'll have to power grind levels, however you do gain four times the normal rate of experience, so it isn't as bad as it seems. These challenges tend to rely more on luck than skill. Obviously the class of your single character makes a huge difference in the difficulty.

  • Warrior - The second easiest solo run, thanks to high attack and defenses. Magic is all but useless, but at least regular fights can be taken care of without too much trouble.
  • Red Mage - Probably the easiest solo run. Capable of doing just about everything a normal party can do, only less so.
  • Thief - Very difficult. You'll have to grind a lot, and even your eventual black magic will be of limited use. The only saving grace is the ability to use a wide variety of weapons in the late game, if you get that far.
  • Monk - Can deal the most damage, but lacks defenses and both curative and offensive magic. This is probably the hardest solo run except for one thing; bosses become relative pushovers.
  • White Mage - Fighting against all but undead foes is a long, grueling affair. Expect to run out of MP when you need it most. However, healing spells and anti-undead spells can make things easier.
  • Black Mage - Most fights will have to be settled without using MP, and Black Mage is the worst fighter of the six. Expect to have to grind a lot.