Weakest playable character in an RPG that isn't a joke character?

SolVanderlyn

Thanos acquires the fully powered Infinity Gauntlet in The Avengers: Infinity War, but loses when all the superheroes team up together to stop him.
#1
Either story-wise or gameplay wise.

I'll go for a somewhat controversial pick from Final Fantasy VII:



Aerith is the "white mage" archetype. As such, her physical attacks are extraordinarily weak, and she's more well suited to magic and healing. Her physical ineptitude leaves her severely lacking compared to the other characters because of the materia system. You can just load her up with summons and magic materia, and you'll be fine - but her weakness stands out in a game where anyone can do anything. If anyone can be anything, why would you take this severely crippled character with you when you can just put Cure materia on someone who can also do good damage?

"But her limit breaks are amazing!" You might say.

Sure, maybe. If you can ever get them all! She leaves the party after the first disc, making her availability, and the likelihood she'll even ever get her entire set of limit breaks, very low. She is, battle-wise, the most useless character in the game. Don't get me wrong, I think she's a great character, and I even use her often for as long as I can, but she is not as good as the others from a gameplay standpoint, especially in random battles when you haven't built her limit up yet.

Even though he's there for a lot longer, Cait Sith comes very close.

What's your choice? Please defend your answer and post something of substance.
 
#9
Does Hope count as a joke character?
Hope is generally considered one of the best characters in ffxiii.



Suikoden, Chrono Cross, and other jrpgs with a large amount of playable characters usually have a few duds who aren't very good. Can't think of any specific examples off the top of my head though.

For a more pointed example Rico and Chu-Chu in Xenogears are easily the worst party members on foot or in a gear. Rico is way too slow for his own good and he doesn't do enough damage or have an excess of health/str/def to justify his slow ass being around if you can avoid it. Chu chu has a few odd gimmicks that only it can do, but none of those really justify including it over almost any other character ground or gear.
 
#10
Hope is generally considered one of the best characters in ffxiii.



Suikoden, Chrono Cross, and other jrpgs with a large amount of playable characters usually have a few duds who aren't very good. Can't think of any specific examples off the top of my head though.

For a more pointed example Rico and Chu-Chu in Xenogears are easily the worst party members on foot or in a gear. Rico is way too slow for his own good and he doesn't do enough damage or have an excess of health/str/def to justify his slow ass being around if you can avoid it. Chu chu has a few odd gimmicks that only it can do, but none of those really justify including it over almost any other character ground or gear.
In terms of what?
 
#14
I always chose Aeris to join my party in Final Fantasy 7, purely because I like the character within the story.

For gameplay reasons, I quickly learn to regret it.
 
#15

Cath from Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade comes to mind
Really low attack and defense stats. High speed level up rates, but that's about it. You can train her up to be decent, but there's two other thief units that you can get earlier that are better overall.
 
#18
"that isn't a joke character".
He isn't. Not entirely. Evolves into a dragon type, and the theme of dragon Pokemon is "incredibly hard to tame and train, incredibly rewarding when you do." That almost always means slower levelling, underpowered un-evolved Pokemon, with Magikarp probably being the most extreme example.
 
#19
Well Damn OP! Aeris is a damn good choice, I've tired to use here a few times but she is weak for a reason, so you don't build a team round a temporary character

If I had to choose another I'd go with Pam from Gradia or Tita from Trails in the Sky, the common theme being child characters, they are annoyingly weak and forced upon you r quite a while and later become optional, but you'd not choose them because they are too weak
 
#23

Cath from Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade comes to mind
Really low attack and defense stats. High speed level up rates, but that's about it. You can train her up to be decent, but there's two other thief units that you can get earlier that are better overall.
Maybe in raw combat terms, sure, but the utility of a thief puts her ahead of a ton of units. Your team is better off fielding a non-fighter with utility over the twelfth kinda-good-fighter any day of the week.

FE has plenty of useless combat units you could list instead, though. Like Clive in Echoes, for a recent example, or to stick with FE6, Wendy.
 
#26
FF1 Thief? Although that's in part because a lot of the mechanics they're meant to exploit don't actually work. They're weak, don't have a lot of offensive options, and are basically carried through the game. Don't know if we should count the upgrade to a (much, much better) Ninja as a different character, though
 
#28
Okay first of all, OP said to defend your choices, not that you alone are ignoring that part.

Second of all, is this a story related joke or you serious? Cuz Morgana is definitely very useful in battle. I'll admit I rarely used him after more characters joined, but it doesn't make him useless. Best healer, strong magic attacks, abilities that get easy crits, and high evade.
 
#29


The egg characters in Shining Force 3 can be strong if you train them but they come at level 1 extremely late in the game so it's extremely hard.
Since there's already a good amount of characters in the game, it's easy to decide not to keep them.
I trained them but only because I wanted to see the result and because I was strong enough to do it without TOO....... much trouble.

edit :I just noticed they might be seen as joke characters. I just never thought about SF3 without being serious so for me nothing is a joke in this game(s) ha ha.

Damn... now I want to play the game again.
 
#30
Tolten from Lost Odyssey. Completely awful stats, but amazing skills and equipment that your other party members learn from him. He only exists to improve the other characters in the group.
 
#31
He isn't. Not entirely. Evolves into a dragon type, and the theme of dragon Pokemon is "incredibly hard to tame and train, incredibly rewarding when you do." That almost always means slower levelling, underpowered un-evolved Pokemon, with Magikarp probably being the most extreme example.
Magikarp is indeed a "joke" Pokemon. If you're saying that evolving into Gyarados negates the fact that he's a joke, then it also negates the fact that he's weak.

Sunkern has lower base stats than Magikarp (the lowest in the game), and it doesn't even evolve into anything decent.
 

SolVanderlyn

Thanos acquires the fully powered Infinity Gauntlet in The Avengers: Infinity War, but loses when all the superheroes team up together to stop him.
#35
Tolten from Lost Odyssey. Completely awful stats, but amazing skills and equipment that your other party members learn from him. He only exists to improve the other characters in the group.
I actually loved Tolten for this reason. His weakness and pampered upbringing is a part of his character arc and what eventually ends up making him endearing, so I was glad to see it play a part in gameplay as well. Much more interesting than the age-old trope of gradually becoming competent - he was useful in other ways.

Suikoden 3 Thomas he and the rest of his party at the point you play as them are all garbage except for two of them. Still liked his story part tho
This is a good one too, although Thomas is bordering on a "joke" character since he's meant to be a normal guy who doesn't usually fight.
 
#36
FF1 Thief? Although that's in part because a lot of the mechanics they're meant to exploit don't actually work. They're weak, don't have a lot of offensive options, and are basically carried through the game. Don't know if we should count the upgrade to a (much, much better) Ninja as a different character, though
Came in here to say FF1 Thief.

There is no reason to use him unless you're deliberately challenging yourself.
 
#38
Oh, another one springs to mind, although one that is much better after patches:

Retribution Paladins circa Vanilla WoW.

This was before Blizzard got the hang of PvE balance, and they'd internally had the idea that since Paladins could fulfil multiple roles, they should do each weaker than a specialist in that role - but fights never really called for that adaptability, so you could either bring a poor-performing character, or a specialist, and the fights were designed around the assumption that you'd brought a specialist.

And of the poor-performing characters, Retribution Paladins - ostensibly the damage-dealing role - were arguably the weakest. Had to be in melee, were slow attackers, whose single notable attacking move (Seal of Command) was entirely RNG-based. Their itemisation was massively confused, with a mish-mash of stats of varying levels of benefit with nothing that really stood out.
 
#39
Kind of a spoiler since they join so last (which is part of the problem)

Trails in the Sky SC:

Josette

Completely out classed in every way. No S Craft for the duration where you have to use them (they are pretty crappy anyway, though I guess one of them works well situationally against an endgame boss). Terrible stats which doesn't really fit any role. Also you get
two other much better characters right after her who are actually good
, though that may have been added in later versions of the game as I understand it. And in the sequel, their best use is being kept outside the main party.
 
#40
Okay first of all, OP said to defend your choices, not that you alone are ignoring that part.

Second of all, is this a story related joke or you serious? Cuz Morgana is definitely very useful in battle. I'll admit I rarely used him after more characters joined, but it doesn't make him useless. Best healer, strong magic attacks, abilities that get easy crits, and high evade.
Morgana is a useless cat, Ryuji were right because there's nothing Makoto can't do better.

Let's compare:

1. Salvation vs Mediarahan, at this point, almost all negative ailments will be cured by your teammates free due to Social Link. Salvation also costs more MP than Mediarahan hence there's no point in choosing Salvation to Mediarahan.
2. Samarecarm, revive skill is almost always a waste in SMT, you better save that skill slot and use item instead.
3. Makoto has Marakukaja.
4. Makoto has better damage spell.
5. Makoto hit harder than Morgana.
6. Makoto strongest gun has +10 stats which is the best in the game, even Joker strongest gun cannot compare.
7. Morgana equip sucks ass because he's a cat, hence his armor option is limited.
8. Morgana has Miracle punch which is pretty useless late game, you are better off with Joker special gun abilities.

That good enough for you?
 
#41
Malak in Final Fantasy Tactics.

Both Rafa and Malak are terrible in their own classes -the low damage-random hitting special attacks they have are basically useless since they hit 4 random squares out of 9 for low damage. They're also both slow and fragile.

However, Rafa has one saving grace, she has a high Faith score which makes her a pretty decent white magic user.

Malak, however, has no saving grace like this. He's worse then anyone at everything and it's even more laughable that he shares a game with final fantasy's most broken character, Cidofas Orlandu
 
#45
He isn't. Not entirely. Evolves into a dragon type, and the theme of dragon Pokemon is "incredibly hard to tame and train, incredibly rewarding when you do." That almost always means slower levelling, underpowered un-evolved Pokemon, with Magikarp probably being the most extreme example.
Okay first, Gyarados isn't a Dragon type, it's Water/Flying, Water/Dark when in Mega Form.

Secondly, you're thinking of Pseudo-Legendaries which, while they do mostly consist of Dragon types, they are not all dragon types nor do they set the rule since there are now several Dragons that battle perfectly fine in their first stage.

Third, Magikarp is definitely a joke or, at the very least, a gimmick Pokemon. GameFreak has literally repeated this gimmick twice now with Feebas/Milotic being a Special mirror to Gyarados' Physical prowess and Wishiwashi using it's ability to essentially be risk/reward version that can go back and forth between it's very weak and very powerful forms.

Anyway the true weakest Pokemon, which is even weaker than Magikarp and used to have the lowest BST of all Pokemon until Wishiwashi's weak form edged it out is
Sunkern, a lousy Pokemon with terrible stats that evolves into a mediocre Pokemon with okay-ish stats.
 
#48
Pretty much here to agree with OP. Aeris (yes I still call her that) was so weak in battle that when they force her to be in the party, she was nothing more than a liability. Yes, her magic stats are higher than everyone else, so magic tend to have a stronger impact for her, but her defense, speed, and attack just make her not worth bringing into battle.
 
#49
Hope is generally considered one of the best characters in ffxiii.
Oh my god, for a split-second there I thought you meant character as in written, portrayed, etc, and nearly burst a blood-vessel.

You could argue that the MCs of the PS3/4 Atelier games are technically weak.
No way. Item-usage is just too good, and even then, they typically have some pretty decent turn-pushback move to fall back on.