Final Fantasy XIV’s unveiled its latest expansion, Endwalker, the other day, and with it, one of the two new jobs that are planned: Sage. Depending on how up you are on Final Fantasy history, Sage should ring some bells. It’s a job that does have a history in the franchise, it’s not a new job, but the FFXIV version does appear to be a departure from how the job has been depicted in the past.
Let’s look at the history of the Sage job in Final Fantasy, focusing on numbered games and ones that have a clearly defined job system, and see if it can give us any guidance on what to expect in FFXIV.
Final Fantasy III
In Final Fantasy III, we see what would end up being the blueprint for the Sage job for most of its appearances. The Sage is able to wield all magic and is an ultimate mage of sorts, but it has a key flaw that holds it back from just completely overshadowing other mages.
It can cast White, Black, and Summon Magic, but it has a smaller MP pool, which means it has to be selective and cautious about what spells it chooses to use in a long battle.
Unlike Red Mage, which has a similar role of being able to cast both White and Black Magic, the Sage has very limited physical capabilities.
Final Fantasy XI fans may be thinking that the Sage seems similar to the Scholar in that game, and you’d be correct. The Sage and Scholar, outside of Final Fantasy XIV, which we’ll see, are often depicted quite similarly.
Final Fantasy IV
Final Fantasy IV doesn’t have a strict and defined job class system like Final Fantasy III ,but the playable character, Tellah, is generally considered to be a Sage.
Like Final Fantasy III, Tellah is eventually able to learn high-level White and Black Magic but is held back by a smaller MP pool.
Final Fantasy Tactics Advanced & A2: Grimoire of the Rift
While the Sage was not present in the original Final Fantasy Tactics, it did appear in its two spin-off sequels of sorts, Final Fantasy Tactics Advanced & A2: Grimoire of the Rift.
Like in Final Fantasy III, the Sage in both these games feature a mage that has power in both White and Black Magic, but has a critical flaw. However, in this game it’s not MP that’s as major a problem but, instead, it’s its speed that is an issue. It will take a while for Sage to be able to act, so it needs to be very aware of upcoming actions.
Final Fantasy Explorers
Finally, just to hammer the point one last time, Final Fantasy Explorers’ Sage once again is more or less the same that we have seen in previous games.
It, you guessed it, had the ability to cast both White and Black Magic, but is physically extremely frail. It’s slow, its defenses are terrible, and it has no physical prowess whatsoever.
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