SaGa Frontier/Races

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Races



In Saga Frontier, there are four different races in the world (there is a fifth one, but only one character of that race). You will eventually have to use all of them, if you plan on playing all 7 scenarios. All of them have unique ways of using equipment, leveling up and gaining abilities. Following this paragraph are some explanations on how each race functions, along with my personal opinions on their effectiveness. Note that I am always talking about a race in general, not specific cases (for example, under the abilities section for Humans, I won't mention that Blue can master Time, Space, and Life magic, because every other human can not).

Lastly, it's important to remember that in SaGa Frontier, you get what you put into it; in other words, if you don't play around and experiment, the game can become stale! Don't always take my word for everything - have fun trying things out!

Without further ado:

Contents

Humans

Level Up Method

Humans raise individual statistics at the end of battle. Exactly what stats go up (and the rate of their increase) depends on the method of attack; for example, a Sword or Fists user will not gain Intelligence, just as a Magic user won't gain Strength. Thus, to make a perfectly balanced character, one must use at least two different forms of attack. A lot of SaGa Frontier afficionados do this; however, I prefer to focus on one method of attack, since the stats you don't raise are probably unnecesary (Magic users don't need STR, for example; why bother raising it?).


Abilities

Humans are the only race of the common four that learn weapon techniques (techs), which includes Fist techs. Humans are also the only race that can learn Dodge Techs, a special type of technique that evades certain attack types with 100% accuracy. In addition, Humans can learn magic, and get the gift for all the conventional types (Arcane, Rune, Light, Shadow, Mind). Blue and Rouge can master Realm magic, and Blue is the only human that can master Time, Space, and Life Magic.


Humans have eight spaces to equip all abilities. If six weapon techs are equipped at once with no magic techniques, or vice versa, then all costs for those abilities are lowered by one. So, if you have six spells equipped with no weapon techs equipped, any 1 JP spells will cost 0 JP, etc. This is called "Mastery." Humans can also 'Seal' (unequip) their abilities.


Equipment

Humans have eight spaces for equipment. The top four spaces are reserved for weapons, shields, and items. The bottom four spaces are reserved for armor and accessories (which grant defense anyways). Humans can not equip two of any similar type of armor (i.e, they can only equip one suit or armor, helmet, shirt, shoes, etc), but can equip as many accessories as they like. When equipped with a suit, humans can not equip armor, helmets, or shoes.


Skankin' Garbage's analysis

Some people might find them boring, but I find humans to be the most useful and versatile race in SaGa Frontier. Having several different methods of attack gives them many different ways to specialize, and each one is useful. It can be difficult to use magic or guns, since HP doesn't raise as quickly, but each attack method has several strengths which make none better than the other. Overall, I enjoy them.



Mecs

Level Up Method

All mecs have a specific body type with base stats. Beyond that, all raises in stats are based on what equipment you put on a Mec. Each piece of equipment has a specific value in which it will raise a stat. There is no piece of equipment which will lower a stat; stats will only be lowered if you unequip something, or replace a piece of equipment with something that is weaker. WP is predetermined by a Mec's body type. Mecs do not gain JP. Mec defense is not altered in any special way by their level up method (i.e if you only have 10 defense worth of armor equipped, your defense will be 10).


Abilities

At the end of a battle against any Mec enemy, a Mec in your party has a chance to 'download' the enemy's data. The pecking order is determined by battle order: For example, if T260 is in the 1st spot and EngineerCar is in the second spot, T260 will get first dibs on downloading the enemy data. Enemy data can only be downloaded once after a battle. When downloading enemy data, a Mec has a certain chance of learning a skill from that enemy. Each Mec enemy has a specific set of skills you can learn from them. Skills and chances to learn vary from enemy to enemy; some enemies have many skills, while a few have none. Some enemies will give you a 100% chance to learn their skill, while for some, the chances of learning anything are scarce.


On top of that, each Mec type has about 5-8 skills that they have a chance to learn simply by downloading data from a certain tier (strength) of enemy. These are called Self-Development Skills, and are generally the more useful Mec Skills. This is your incentive to download data from enemies which have no skills to teach you.


Mecs have a variable number of skills to equip, from two to four, based on your current equipment. Mecs can Seal their abilities.


Equipment

Mecs have eight slots for any piece of equipment, be it weapons, shields, items, armor, or accessories. Each Mec Type has one or more pieces of unremovable equipment, but beyond that, it's up to you to equip them however you want. No equipment restrictions for armor apply; a Mec can have on several pieces of any armor type, including body suits. Mecs are also the only characters that can equip Circuit Boards.


Skankin' Garbage's analysis

Broken. I'll be the first to admit that you can have a lot of fun customizing your Mecs and doing neat things with them; however, there is one universally easy way to build any Mec: 2 Powered Suits, the rest of the slots are for Lethal Guns. This will net you 999 HP, 99 Vitality, and 99 Defense for just about any Mec Type. From that point, give them the Shooting Mastery ability and watch them inevitably kill everything like a horde of zombies in a B-Horror movie. Sure, the damage they do will be below average, but they will never_die. The bottom line is that you can have a lot of fun customizing a Mec to your preferences, but it's easy to break the game with them, so I don't use them often.



Monsters

Level Up Method

Monsters level up entirely by absorbing other enemies after battle. At the end of combat, Monsters have the chance to absorb any non-Mec enemy that was fought. Like Mecs, there is a pecking order for absorbing monsters, and you can only attempt to absorb an enemy once after battle. Upon attempting to absorb an enemy, your Monster has the potential to transform into a different monster (probability is very high). This will alter every single statistic, including HP, LP, WP, and JP. The only big difference you can make in a Monster's statistic is in their HP: Monsters gain an additional 4 HP for each skill they absorb (this is different from turning into another monster; you can potentially absorb a skill and not change forms). Thus, it is beneficial to absorb as many skills as you can before deciding on a Monster form that you like. A Monster’s "Prime HP" is the total HP gained from this method, at four times the number of different skills absorbed. Most Monsters you recruit come with a number of pre-absorbed skills that already factor into their PRIME HP. Absorbing a skill already on that Monster’s list will not increase its HP score.


A big part of using Monsters is choosing a form that has good stats. This works in conjunction with Abilities; the abilities you put at the top of your Monster's list determine the Monster they might turn into. As such, it's important to know which abilities you need to learn for a preferred form, and take ample time off from your main quest to try and learn the abilities you need. If you have the correct set of abilities for a specific Monster type at the top of your skills list, transformation into that specific monster is inevitable.

The most notable exception to this rule is that some (generally stronger) Monster forms require a certain amount of HP from a character before they can be morphed into. Conversely, some (generally weaker) Monster forms have an HP limit before they are no longer available to be morphed into. This game mechanic helps a Monster character progress into stronger forms by continuing to raise its Prime HP.

Abilities

Each Monster comes with a certain set of pre-absorbed skills. However, Monsters also learn abilities from absorbing enemies (probability is very high). When absorbing an enemy, a Monster has a specific chance of learning a skill. Depending on what skills you have, and what skills you put at the top of your skill list, you might change into a different monster.

A “key skill” is a monster ability (skill) that is necessary for it to have somewhere in its inventory, so that it may transform (morph) into a certain monster form. Some monster forms require more than one key skill, while other forms may be had from a selection of key skill or skills. Key skills are more likely to initiate a morph if placed at the top of the skill list.


Monsters have eight skill slots. The bottom skill slot is the 'recorded' slot, meaning that any skill you absorb from an enemy is placed into that slot. As you might have guessed, if you have a skill in that slot when you absorb a new one, the current one is erased. Monsters are the only race that can NOT Seal their abilities, so you have to think carefully about which ones you want. It's best to have a plan from the outset.

Equipment

Monsters have four equipment spaces only. They can only equip accessories. This is important, as it is their only way of raising their stats.


Skankin' Garbage's analysis

Tough to use. In the older SaGa games, Monsters required the least effort to make into killing machines. Now, I feel they've become perhaps the most difficult race to use. You have no real indication of what skills you need for a good Monster transformation unless you use a guide, and even then, you have to search around for the skills you want at all different times in the game, since the enemies you fight change over time (you might not be able to get the necessary skills from the last tier of enemies). If you can make a Monster powerful, that's wonderful; however, I find myself hard-pressed to reccomend using more than one at once, and I rarely ever use them myself.



Mystics

Level Up Method

Mystics gain Charm, HP, WP, and JP like Humans; that is, those particular stats go up after battle. All other stats raise in a way much similar to Monsters. Mystics have three special abilities (Mystic Weapons): Mystic Sword, Mystic Glove, and Mystic Boots which can never be removed (it's important to note that Mystic Weapons are NOT pieces of equipment, but rather, they're abilities). When attacking with any of these abilities, there is a chance that a non-Mec enemy will be absorbed into them immediately, removing the enemy from battle. Absorbing an enemy into a Mystic Weapon does not alter the form of a Mystic; however, the enemy absorbed will alter their stats accordingly. Also unlike Monsters, absorbing a new enemy skill will not have any effect on their HP.


Abilities

Mystics are capable of learning all conventional Magic, and they all come with the gift of Mystic Magic; unlike Humans, though, they are incapable of learning Weapon techs or Dodge techs. Beyond that, when a Mystic absorbs an enemy, they also get a Monster skill to go with their stat boosts. Unlike Monsters, there is a set skill which you will get from an enemy when you absorb it, as opposed to there being the possibility of two or more skills to be absorbed. Each weapon can only hold one skill at once; if you absorb a new enemy into a Mystic Weapon, the current skill will be replaced with a new one. Lastly, you get different skills from an enemy depending on what Mystic Weapon you absorb them with. for example, absorbing a Kraken with the Gloves will grant the skill TigerRampage to the Gloves; however, absorbing a Kraken with the Boot will grant the skill Crystalizer to the Boots.


Mystics have four open skill slots, which are used for Magic only. They also have the Mystic Weapon abilities equipped permanently. Mystics can seal Magic, but not Mystic Weapons.


Equipment

Mystics have eight equipment spaces. Four are available for any weapons, shields, and items. The other four spaces are for armor and accessories; however, one space is permamently occupied by a 'Mystic Armor' which is unequippable. The actual piece of equipment varies depending on the Mystic. This can drastically affect your intended equipment setup; for example, if a Mystic in your party has Mystic Mail (a normal body armor), you will never be able to equip them with a Full-Body Suit. It's important to note that Mystic Armor IS equipment, and not a special skill, like the Mystic Weapons; you can not absorb an enemy into your piece of Mystic Armor.


Skankin' Garbage's analysis

Nice. I try to have one in my party in almost every scenario you can get them. They are easy to build up due to being able to instantly absorb enemies for all their stats, and they're excellent in both physical and magic attacks. They can be a little strange to work with at first, but it's definitely worth taking the time to master them.



Half-Mystic

Level Up Method

Half-Mystics gain stats exactly like Humans; however, they can also use Mystic Weapon Skills, too. When doing so, this immediately incurs a 'Mystical Change', where the nature of their stats works exactly like Mystics; that is, their stats raise depending on the enemies they've absorbed, and they will only gain Charm, HP, WP, and JP at the end of a battle.


Abilities

Half-Mystics can learn Weapon and Dodge Techs as well as Magic; however, they can also use the Mystic Weapon skills. Like Mystics, they can absorb enemy skills into them; however, the skills can only be used during Mystical Change.


Half-Mystics have eight skill slots that can be used for any type of skill they prefer. Half-Mystics can achieve Mastery, and can seal any skills they have, including Mystic Weapons. This allows for incomparable customization.


Equipment

Exactly like Humans: Four Spaces for weapons/shields/items, and four spaces for armor/accessories. All the same equipment rules apply. Half-Mystics do NOT have an unequippable piece of armor.


Skankin' Garbage's analysis

...Well, there's only one Half-Mystic in the game, and that's Asellus. You can only recruit her permanently in one scenario besides her own, so you won't be using her much; this section is here merely for the sake of completion. That doesn't mean, however, that I don't reccomend using her; the sheer amount of options make her perhaps the most useful character in the game. Do it.