Japanese Role Playing Games (JRPGs) are an all-time favorite genre of mine. I didn’t discover my love of the series until my teenage days. My love for reading and storytelling captured my interest in the genre and has kept me satisfied to this day. The most prominent games that come to my mind are Tales of Symphonia, Final Fantasy VI, and Trails of Cold Steel. While I could go one about each individual game, this post is focused on the characters from this genre. 

The dynamic duo of Pix1001 and Winst0lf has asked the community on who are our top 5 favorite characters from any JRPG. To take a look at their choices, you can find Pix1001’s here and Winst0lf’s here. If you would like to participate as well, feel free to write a post about it, or let Pix1001 and Winst0If know via social media or in the comments.

With that out of the way, let us get to the difficult part; selecting characters. Choosing from all of the JRPG games that I have played, I had to ask myself why did I like this character to begin with. It became more difficult to define my reason why I liked them based on their character, personality, and significance to the story. There is a good chance that I missed someone while thinking things over, but I am satisfied with my choices. So without further delay, here we go (by the way, none of these are ranked in any particular order).

  1. Elliot Craig

At first glance, there is nothing really special about Elliot. It is strange that this fragile good boy is enrolled in a military academy, but has no intention to harm anyone. Being the son of a famous lieutenant-general also doesn’t help his awkward predicament. So why do I like him among his fellow classmates? Two reasons.

One, he is the best white mage that I have ever played as. The Master Quartz that he is given at the beginning sets him up for greatness as his healing arts have greater potency and cost less. If his quart is leveled up all the way, he can easily fully heal someone with a single Tear (beginning healing art). His crafts can also heal and buff characters and normally cover a good area to include everyone in one go. Finally, in the heat of the moment, his S-Craft ability, Remedy Oratorium, lets you not only revive everyone, but fully restore them, replenish CP, and gives them regan for 2 turns.

Second reason, he is a man of music. As a fellow musician myself, I appreciate his philosophy of healing the world through song. Not everyone his stature can find the strength and courage to meet danger head-on, but Elliot doesn’t let his weakness bother him in order to protect his friends. His mission in life is to heal the world through music and I greatly appreciate that.

  1. Magilou

Mazhigigika Miludin do Din Nolurun Dou (or Magilou for short) is a funny and annoying character. While her character can be seen as a comic relief to balance the team out, she also carries a dark, unfortunate side to her. She’s not afraid to stare death or Velvet in the face, because she is that confident/cocky in her abilities. What made her really stand out for me was her gameplay in battle.

At first I was hesitant to use her because she felt slow. That was until I learned how to play her and discovered that she is a bane to all spellcasters. Magilou has the ability to siphon her opponents’ magic while they are casting, and then use it to unleash powerful spells of her own. I immediately jumped on the Magilou train afterwards and would immediately switch to her if I noticed any pesky spellcasters out there. Plus, she has a belt made out of books. How badass is that!

  1. Dhaos

Dhaos was one of the first antagonists to make me feel two things at the same time; fear and sympathy. He is introduced in the very first scene of Tales of Phantasia dominating over his opponents. He is only defeated when he is sent back in time and imprisoned on arrival. About two hours in, he is freed from his tomb and proceeds to one shot everyone around him; including his lackeys and your best friend. You are then left to wonder how you will defeat someone who can just travel through time when defeated, can only be harmed by magic (in a world with no magic), and can kamehameha his way through people.

Then you learn about him. Originally from the planet Derris-Kharlan, Dhaos is a benevolent prince that goes on a mission to save his planet after a war destroys their Mana Tree. Using their life to teleport Dhaos to the planet Aselia, Dhaos tries to plead with the king of Midgards to cease their development of magitechnology to prevent what happened on his planet. Used as a martyr by the king’s closest advisor, Dhaos is seen as a demon who will destroy Midgards. With little choice and power, he makes a contract with the demons of Daemonium to force Midgards to stop their research and the firing of the Mana Canon. His efforts are in vain however, as the canon is fired and kills Aselia’s Mana Tree in the process. With no way to germinate a new Mana Seed, Dhaos loses his mind as he feels he failed both worlds. He then starts killing humans so that no further catastrophe can happen. This is just an abridged version, as the full story makes his story more tragic.

Dhaos’ character shows that anyone can reach a breaking point. Everything that he sacrificed seemed pointless at the end when he gave up trying to resolve things peacefully. It makes the opening statement of the game even more haunting; reminding that if there is evil in this world, it lurks in the hearts of man.

  1. Zidane

The last entry was dark, so let’s try to lighten things up! Zidane is a lovable playboy thief with a monkey tail. His charisma and willingness to help anyone makes him more of a burden than helpful. Nevertheless, he is seen as trustworthy on a number of occasions and will go out of his way to see his promises through. His character never cracks until he discovers his origins. He goes from friendly and optimistic to harsh and distant. He loses himself for a while, but his friends get him out of it and he goes back to being the protector he is. Without the help from his friends, he could have forgotten who he was and find the resolve to stay true to himself. I admire that and hope that I have his strength when/if the time comes.

  1. Towa Herschel

Towa is best girl and must be protected at all time! No scratch that. This confident and capable women don’t need no knight in shining armor to get what she needs done. The amount of work that she juggles while attending Thors Military Academy would make anyone exhausted. Due to how badass she is, she casually lead an airship full of military students during a civil war like it was f***ing nothing. Towa shows that strength can come in many different sizes and it is one’s commitment that can accomplish anything. She is a normal human being with no special powers, but has one of the biggest hearts I know.

So those are my choices. Who are your favorite JRPG characters? Feel free to share your favorites with Pix1001 and Winst0If!