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up till now I've played only FF Tactics Advance and FFI (also on GBA). Now I started playing newly bought FFVI for android devices. I've made a few steps, fought a few battles, then thought that maybe I should read about how should I raise my heroes ... and gamefaqs.com killed me with the info, that on my first battle I should kill Terra. Further reading of other guides/walkthroughs made me think that I really should do it and always try to keep my level as low as possible because of some level averaging. I understand that at some point levels of my "heroes" is going to be "averaged" ... ok, whatever, but why should I keep my levels low? usually in RPG games it's better to be on as high level as possible, so WTF?

Can anybody tell my how should I play this game (i ask only about this leveling stuff) and why? should I really run away from most of my battles? that's really unusual style for me so it would mean to me that I must play with the guide all the time :| this takes away all the fun

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The only reason to keep your heroes low level until the end of the game would be espers: specific espers grant stat bonuses on level up, and the best ones are late game. This is by no means necessary and I don't recommend doing it unless you're really trying to min-max.

You should, however, attempt to have most characters at a decent level by the end of the game (40ish), as you'll need to use 12 characters for the final dungeon.

Note that characters do not gain stats on their own, they only game them from espers at level up.

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  • thanks for the answer, that will make playing a lot more fun ;) i like reading guides for some bonus info, "secrets", but not to follow them completely line by line Aug 16 '15 at 18:17
  • Note that if you do follow this program (waiting to level until you have good espers) you can get 8x 9999 damage fighting and 2x 9999 damage merton that also cures all your party members from 1hp to full. :-) Aug 16 '15 at 18:55
  • Note that even if you don't follow this program you can do that anyway because magic damage is easy to stack, the game gives you several powerful mages, and it doesn't matter because you get other barrier piercing abilities.
    – two bugs
    Aug 16 '15 at 19:01
  • 3
    @R.. now the game just needs some content which actually requires to powergame that much... When you are at that point where you are that powerful, you went over the point where anything in the game is a threat to you days ago.
    – Philipp
    Aug 16 '15 at 21:30
  • @Philipp: No, the Brachiosaur can still kill you pretty easily. Aug 17 '15 at 1:52
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For a fair chunk of the FF games (VIII, IX and IV), leveling up doesn't do much on its own. The only way to grow your characters stats in those games was via Espers (VI), Junctions (VIII) and Equipment (IX) that were equipped when the character levels. (The remake of IV also had characters gain stats based on what abilities they had equipped between levels 70 and 99, but to get "ideal" stats you needed to beat the game twice before, so that's clearly optional)

That means, for a certain subset of players, gaining a level without having the optimum Esper/junctions/equipment is a waste. If you wish to play optimally (in the case of 6, you can beat the last boss is one round before it has a chance to do anything), keep your levels as low as possible. It's by no means a requirement, the game is perfectly beatable without playing optimally. There are no extra scenes or achievements for playing the games "perfectly," it's personal preference.

(There are two other ways to get stats in FFVIII (other than junctioning) that have nothing to do with levels; the Devour ability and consumables that increase your stats)

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  • 1
    This is not entirely accurate - in FF6 your characters gain plenty of stats leveling up on their own. Espers are just bonus stats. It's nice to screw around with but something you can ignore in a normal playthrough given the low difficulty of the game (rather, the numerous broken combos the game hands you).
    – two bugs
    Aug 16 '15 at 17:18
  • Hm, it appears I was wrong. You're correct. However, I still contend it's not a big deal, if you keep track of character EXP and swap before leveling up.
    – two bugs
    Aug 16 '15 at 17:56
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    Characters do gain stats from leveling in FF8. The reason you avoid leveling up in that game is because enemies gain stats faster than you do, and almost every enemy's level scales with your own. You do ultimately choose to level your characters, you just do it late enough in the game that the enemies' minimum level passes your own already. Aug 16 '15 at 20:35
  • As I forgot to say in my last comment: the stats gained are not related to what you have junctioned at the time. Aug 16 '15 at 20:42
  • You're right, sorry. I somehow read your post as saying the magic you had junctioned was what was important, but I see I misread it. It is still misleading to say there's no other way to increase stats, since leveling on its own does increase your stats, and abilities like STR Bonus are not ridiculously large compared to that (though yes, they are optimal). Aug 17 '15 at 8:55

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