Final Fantasy V Four Job Fiesta


  • 1 Executive Summary
  • 2 What is this?
  • 3 How does this work?
    • 3.1 Generic rules
  • 4 Run types, modifiers and options
    • 4.1 Moddable runs
      • 4.1.1 Regular run
      • 4.1.2 Random run
      • 4.1.3 Chaos run
      • 4.1.4 Modifiers
    • 4.2 Special runs
      • 4.2.1 Classic
      • 4.2.2 Pure Chaos
      • 4.2.3 Popular
      • 4.2.4 Advanced
    • 4.3 The possible runs in the Fiesta, abridged for people on the go
    • 4.4 Run options
      • 4.4.1 Natural
      • 4.4.2 Upgrade
      • 4.4.3 Fifth Job
      • 4.4.4 Forbidden
  • 5 What do you think, Andy?

1 Executive Summary

Final Fantasy V Four Job Fiesta
Also known as: FFVFJF
A randomized way of playing Final Fantasy V
A fundraising event centered around the idea of finishing Final Fantasy V in the aforementioned random fashion

2 What is this?

Final Fantasy V is memorable for its job system, along with a well established cast of characters.1 Even though its plot is nothing to write home about and rather silly at times, FFV still follows in the tradition of JRPGs with enough complexity to offer varied gameplay and interesting challenges.

A natural challenge that may come to mind (ever since the original Final Fantasy) is to play with restrictions on which job classes one is allowed to use.

Pair that with the recent(-ish?) love for inserting random elements in old2 games and you get the Final Fantasy Four Job Fiesta: A low-level randomizer challenge for playing Final Fantasy V.

Attached to this idea there’s a series of fundraising events, led by twitter user RevenantKioku. This essay will not cover it, only the video game aspect of the Fiesta.

Also note: This essay contains unmarked spoilers for the game. Be warned now, for all spoilers and discussion of the plot of Final Fantasy V are unmarked.

3 How does this work?

The golden principle is simple:

You will be assigned four jobs from the available pool. You must use those jobs and only those jobs for the whole game.

Of course, this idea has many variants. Let’s start with the simplest one.

3.1 Generic rules

As the game starts, everybody in your party is a Freelancer, which means the most basic “job” available. When you reach the Wind Crystal, you will roll the dice3 and get one of the Wind Crystal jobs, say Knight. At this point, all of your party members will switch jobs to Knight.

When you reach the Water Crystal, you roll the dice and get another job from the Water Crystal pool, say Summoner. From this point onward, You must have one Knight and one Summoner in your party at all times, and the other two members in your party may be either Knight or Summoner.

When you reach the Fire Crystal, roll the dice and get, say Ninja. As before, your party must now contain one Knight, one Summoner and one Ninja, while the fourth member may be either of these three classes.

When you reach the Earth Crystal, roll the dice and get, say Dancer. From this point onward, your party must contain exactly one Knight, one Summoner, one Ninja and one Dancer at all times.

Your party members may equip abilities from other jobs if and only if they are part of the unlocked jobs. In the above example your Dancer can have as a secondary ability either !Guard, !Summon Magic or !Throw, but only those.

4 Run types, modifiers and options

If the above makes sense to you, there’s really no need to read this part. However, if you’re interested in taking part in the Fiesta—or if you’re curious about how ridiculous(-ly fun) it can get—here’s the details on nonstandard rules and runs.

Generally speaking, there are runs that admit modifiers and runs that don’t. I find it easier to think of these mods as filters, BTW.

4.1 Moddable runs

4.1.1 Regular run

A regular run is pretty much what is described in section Generic Rules. Any time you unlock a new job, it will choose only from the pool of newly available jobs. This means that you will get exactly one job unlocked from the Wind set, one from the Water set, one from the Fire set and one from the Earth set.

4.1.2 Random run

A random run is very much like a regular job, but at every crystal it may give you any of the previously rolled jobs. For example, upon reaching the Water Crystal, you roll for any job in the {Wind + Water} set of jobs.

4.1.3 Chaos run

In a chaos run, at every Crystal your roll table includes almost all jobs, excluding Freelancer and Mime.4

4.1.4 Modifiers

The above runs (Regular, Random, Chaos) can all be modified in one of two ways—three if you count no modifiers at all:

  1. Team750 filters so that only jobs that can break rods can be assigned; and
  2. TeamNo750 filters so that no jobs that can break rods can be assigned.

4.2 Special runs

4.2.1 Classic

This run will only give you the jobs that were available in the original Final Fantasy, allowing for repeats.

4.2.2 Pure Chaos

This run can assign you any job including Mime and Freelancer. If you don’t have the job when it’s assigned, bad luck, you’re stuck with what you had before

4.2.3 Popular

This run assigns the same jobs as Chaos, but weighed by popularity. A voting session happens before the event itself to work these numbers.

4.2.4 Advanced

This run takes all the Regular jobs present in latter editions of FFV and distributes them so that they can appear in the Wind, Water and Fire slots. The Earth slot is guaranteed to be a “new” job. This run takes its name from the Game Boy Advance, the first release that included these extra jobs.

4.3 The possible runs in the Fiesta, abridged for people on the go

Run Wind Crystal Water Crystal Fire Crystal Earth Crystal
Regular {Wind} {Water} {Fire} {Earth}
Random {Wind} {Wind + Water} {Wind + Water + Fire} {All crystals}
Chaos {All crystals} {idem} {idem} {idem}
Classic {FF1} {idem} {idem} {idem}
Pure Chaos {All cystals + Mime + Freelancer} {idem} {idem} {idem}
Popular {Pure chaos, biased by popularity} {idem} {idem} {idem}
Advance {All crystals + GBA jobs} {idem} {idem} {GBA Jobs}

The above table lists a few job sets from which the different runs pull to determine the 4 jobs that may be used in any one run. The specific sets are listed below (a dagger denotes a job that can break rods and thus is eligible for Team750 runs):

Wind Crystal Jobs
Black Mage
Blue Mage
White Mage
Water Crystal Jobs
Mystic Knight
Red Mage
Time Mage
Fire Crystal Jobs
Earth Crystal Jobs
Red Mage
Black Mage
White Mage

4.4 Run options

The above runs may add zero or one of the following options. They all add stricter restrictions to the regular Fiesta rules:

4.4.1 Natural

In a nutshell: this option maps the four jobs to the four (five) characters exclusively. Per the FF5FJF site:

  1. Bartz must use the Wind crystal job exclusively. Lenna the Water, Faris the Fire and Galuf/Krile the Earth.
  2. If you are playing a mode other than Normal you simply assign the job listed in that slot on the players page for your job.
  3. Characters must remain Freelancer until their job is unlocked. Team No 750 players must not break rods.
  4. Characters may not use skills from other jobs. This means no giving Black Magic to Bards and the like. Only skills learned naturally from the one assigned job may be used.

4.4.2 Upgrade

In a nuthsell: this option restricts your party to one and only one job at any time, changing (“upgrading”) jobs at every Crystal. Per the FF5FJF site:

You will only use your Wind Job until you unlock your Water Job. Water until you unlock Fire, and then Fire until you unlock Earth. Then once you unlock your Earth job will be the job you use until the end of the game. Any abilities learned from the previous jobs may be used.

4.4.3 Fifth Job

In a nutshell: this option treats Krile as a bona fide character and not merely a continuation character for Galuf. Per the FF5FJF site:

Krile is her own character, so why does she not get her own job? With Fifth Job, Galuf’s job (your Earth Crystal job) will be overwritten by a new job. You lose access to the old Earth job and its abilities. You will get another job depending on your run type.

4.4.4 Forbidden

In a nutshell: you must “pay” (read: “lose”) a job to The Void when you enter it. Per the FF5FJF site:

The Void consumes all! When you enter the Void in world three, (…) one of your jobs will be lost! You can no longer use this job or any abilities. A fun little way to add some extra challenge to the end of your run.

5 What do you think, Andy?

I love the Four Job Fiesta.

One of the greatest things to come out in the roguelike era has been the idea of applying randomness to games traditionally seen as more or less deterministic.5 New romhacks and old school challenges in videogames are a very interesting (and accessible) way of injecting new life to an old game. Why, even a game with a so-so story like FFV becomes playable and re-playable.

Of course, like any game with heavy random elements, there’s a significant possibility of the game being either very hard or very easy.6 This may either add or detract from the fun, but that’s up to every individual player. I personally find it fun to strategize around limitations: what if there’s no good dedicated healer in a party? What if all I get are support classes? Can I run with a glass cannon of a party?

In the end, the real imperative of the FF5FJF is thus: have fun. The fundraising event even has a dedicated way of changing the assigned jobs for a small donation, but in the end all players run with the ultimate goal of having fun rather than worrying about the specific rules.

Yet another example of how useful restrictions can lead to increased creativity.

  1. In the original FF III release, the “Onion Kids” had pretty much no personality.

  2. 8-bit and 16 bit era.

  3. Metaphorically, of course.

  4. From comments on the subreddit, the exact mechanics of Chaos runs seem to be a little more intricate than the rest. In past years, it seems that it was biased to reduce the time one would spend with an all-Freelancer party, but this seems to not be the case anymore. Also, comments on the subreddit mention that at the time of writing, Chaos runs are biased to give runs that are not possible in Regular and Random, but I see no confirmation of this.

  5. Note that it has come in the roguelike era and not from or because of the roguelike explosion. Modding is an ancient and noble tradition in games; romhacking has only grown alongside with the idea of altering the overall experience of games and this kind of tinkering goes back decades, even before Rogue was a thing.

  6. And it can be both things. If you get White Mage as your first job, you’ll have a very hard time killing things until the second crystal, but the White Mage is almost broken when fully leveled, so it’s considered blursed to draw it.


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