So far my little Four Job Fiesta party has monk and red mage as the available classes. As I was saying yesterday both are pretty strong early on but are either uninteresting or bad as the game progresses. I was thinking I might need to grind a bunch of levels to get the monks up to a point where they could win the game for me since the red mage sure wasn't going to. Red mages have a great ability but it doesn't do anything good on its own and needs to combo with something else. Something else that I wasn't going to have, since I'd already missed my chances for (I think) all the spell casting jobs. Red mages have terrible stats and I was going to be stuck with one regardless of what else I rolled up. So I either need a good stat transfer ability (I already have max strength from monk if I want it, to be fair) or I need a good ability that doesn't care about stats.
I cleared out all the Karnak stuff and got the next slate of jobs. What was Gilgabot going to hand me? Something to enhance my already awesome early game? Or something to pull me through to the end of the game? The answer? Bard.
In my conclusion post for my Final Fantasy V playthrough in my marathon I actually called out bard as a job I hadn't used but that I wanted to play again right away in order to try it out. So I don't have bard experience, but I wanted to play with a bard, so right off the bat this is an awesome selection. Thank you, Gilgabot! But what do bards do? I did some reading and it turns out bards are weak early but transition into late game monsters. Just what I want! They eventually have access to 8 songs they can sing which vary in uses from stopping all the enemies to charming an enemy to continuously buffing one of your stats. Agility so you get all the turns, or strength so you do more damage, or magic power so you do more damage... Or level! One of the options is level! I wanted to grind levels to turn my monk into a killing machine? Well, I can just sing this song to level them up in fights that matter!
But wait! There's more! When you max out the bard class you get the ability to transfer the sing command to any other job. Almost all of the songs completely ignore the stats of the caster... So that's something my red mage can do with her life. Heal up out of combat, sing up a storm in combat. I can imagine setting up my bard and red mage to singing up my agility and level and watching my monk destroy things. I won't learn those songs until near the end of the game, but it's something to look forward to!
Bards are also awesome for random encounters it turns out. I'm actually running into enemies that take a few rounds to kill because monks have started falling off. (Enemies are gaining armour faster than I'm gaining levels so I'm actually doing less damage as I progress!) But the bard can just sing a song that hits all enemies for a 99% chance to stop them. Then I can just punch away to my heart's content. I even set brawl up as the bard's secondary ability to get the max strength transfer from the monk. So my bard does more damage than the monks do! (He's allowed to use a weapon.)
On the downside he has garbage vitality so he has a lot fewer hitpoints than the monks do. Oh well!
Now the question remains... What will I get from the last crystal? There's only 4 options possible... Samurai, dragoon, dancer, or chemist. Two beaters and two more weird jobs I've never used before... If I don't get a beater I'm really going to be all in on buffing up a monk to win all the fights. Could be fun!