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

Polka from Eternal Sonata.

She's one of the worst at building echoes, her attack speed is poor, she has terrible defence, HP, attack and speed and she doesn't get any useful attacking skills until near the end of the game. I think the developers wanted her to be a healer since she has the most healing skills, but they are all outclassed by other characters who even get their respective heal skill way before she does.
 
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
I think even if you count the Ninja as the same character (and I think you should) the Thief is still pretty terrible. The most challenging dungeons in the game come largely before the class change and while the Ninja is a big upgrade, I still find the Knight and Master more useful as fighters by that point in the game. Another person who can cast Fast is nice though, but I don't find that a compelling enough reason to put up with deadweight in your party for half the game. The Thief just gets hit so hard by the game's bugs (as does the Black Mage, at least relative to the Red Mage).

Came in here to say FF1 Thief.

There is no reason to use him unless you're deliberately challenging yourself.
If you haven't spent much time leveling or exploited the Peninsula of Power, the Thief's ability to run is somewhat useful in the Marsh Cave since it has a fair number of battles that aren't worth fighting and it isn't until you gain a few more levels that other characters can really run reliably. Aside from that, I've got nothing.
 
What are you talking about, Morgana is one of the best party members. Media/Mediarama are lifesavers.

IMO the most useless party member in Persona 5 is Yusuke. I almost never use him whereas I swap between the rest pretty regularly.
Chaining Baton Passes to Yusuke is too good tho. He also outdamages Ryuji before Charge.

The P5 cast is pretty well balanced, outside of Makoto being good at everything.
 
Isn't Roy apparently really crappy in his starring Fire Emblem game?
Roy isn't actually that bad, the problem is that he promotes so late into the game that once you hit midgame he becomes useless. When he does finally promote he gets a super OP weapon to make up for it but at that point so little of the game is left that you barely get to use it, and even then he's so low level that he's still not good, just manageable.
 
Didn't realize op torpedoed his own thread with "story or gameplay" since half the post in the thread are people answering "x is bad (at gameplay/story)" and the other half going "what x is great (at story/gameplay)"
 
Edward in IV is the correct answer.
He's actually quite good Post game.

Does Hope count as a joke character?
From FFXIII ??? How does he suck ?

Malak in Final Fantasy Tactics.
Came here to say this :p

Cloud from FFT I've always heard is more trouble than he's worth.
With the ability Quick Cast you can use Finishing Touch each turn... That's pretty much it. He's decent, but not terrible like rafa and Malak.

Hope is THE mage to use in end game parties. Besides, who's your other option, Vanille?
Actually, Snow with an Upgraded Feymarch is IMO better because of his animation speed.
 
She's bad, but there are so little available thieves before you get Imoen back that I'd say she's the best pick of the lot as your temp thief (BG2:EE has an incredible thief available though)
As such, her existence is validated.

This guy though:


There's nothing at all you can do with him.

Shit stats (worst stats of all companions):
Strength 13
Dexterity 9
Constitution 13
Intelligence 12
Wisdom 18
Charisma 15

Shit class: Shapeshifter

He's a worst mage and fighter than the other much better druid you get 1 minute into the game.

He cannot do anything unless shapeshifted into a werewolf.

Later in the game, enemies have good enough weapons that his werewolf form magical protections won't help him and he goes down really quickly.

If that wasn't bad enough, there were plenty of bugs with him in the original version that made him even worst than how he should have been (which even then would still be the worst of the bunch)

Even in BG2:EE and mods to fix him, he's still the worst companion of them all.
I was doubting whether to put Cernd or Nalia tbh. But yeah, he's useless having Jaheira since the very beginning of the game, since she's not only better at combat but also from a story point of view.

But I disagree about Nalia being a good pick for a thief when you have this glorious bastard available regardless of your alignment:



I'd say she's only decent as a mage. But I'd rather just use Imoen.

Actually, Snow with an Upgraded Feymarch is IMO better because of his animation speed.
Thank God, every time someone says Snow is bad in XIII I just roll my eyes. He moves so fast he's actually one of the better characters in combat. His only problem as a ravager is he only has water and ice magic from what I remember.
 
The Bard class in the Famicom version of FF3, as far as I could tell, was terrible. It had the ability to buff your party attacks and lower enemy levels but it barely did anything and there were better ways of applying statuses to enemies. I am pretty sure Edward was made with this version of the Bard character class in mind, too.
 


In the original version at least.

Supposed to be a 'mage/fighter hybrid' but

His strength is too low for his physical attacks to matter. Even with his strongest weapon equipped, his attack power is significantly lower than the main character's unarmed strength stat.

Despite being a hybrid, his HP isn't actually any higher than the mage character(but his MP is quite a bit lower)

His only attack spell for a good 60% of the game is a single-target spell that does about 18 damage. When he finally gets a second attack spell that hits all enemies, it only does about 26 damage which isn't that much different from the one the mage gets almost as soon as she joins. The mage also gets a spell that hits all enemies for nearly ~65 damage not that long after the hybrid gets his all-hitting spell.

He also shares his defense options with the mage and since the mage tends to be more useful and the best equipment is unique, the mage tends to get favored there which further drives the hybrid's usefulness down.

His most useful function is basically just using his mp as a heal battery(though I guess that's at least something) Though in an ironic twist, he's also the only one that learns the revive spell, despite being the character that dies the fastest(though its usefulness is limited anyway considering it can't be used in battle)
 
The Bard class in the Famicom version of FF3, as far as I could tell, was terrible. It had the ability to buff your party attacks and lower enemy levels but it barely did anything and there were better ways of applying statuses to enemies. I am pretty sure Edward was made with this version of the Bard character class in mind, too.
The Bard is weird because it's a support character which requires a very specific party to really do any good. You need your other three characters to all be physical attackers, since the Cheer command is useless for mages. Even then, the value of Cheer is the way it stacks, and most battles are too short for it to really make a difference. Where the Bard can be somewhat useful is if you give your fighters shields because then you'll have a defense oriented party which gains offensive power as the battle goes on. In that sense the Bard isn't useless per se, but it's so narrowly focused even as a support job that if you're using it, it's probably because you wanted to find a way to make it useful.
 
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
Yea he is _serious_ shit and orlandeau might be the most broken character ever. Having them in the same game is a bit of an odd contrast.
 
Ungaga in Dark Cloud
Monster Transform in Dark Cloud 2
Both of these. Ungaga in particular is garbo, his weapons break waaaayyyyyy too fast even with maxed endurance and do rubbish damage. At least Monica has her sword to fall back on and is plenty good at killing stuff without monster form.

Yea he is _serious_ shit and orlandeau might be the most broken character ever. Having them in the same game is a bit of an odd contrast.
Calculators, Samurai (in the PSX version with sword dupe) and (especially) War of the Lions Dark Knights all would work Orlandeau.
 
Even with all the duds in Fire Emblem and Chrono Cross and Final Fantasy, I'll go with a controversial pick, too - Marle from Chrono Trigger.



Edit: Her design is great even if her spritework isn't, and she's outpaced by everyone else in terms of damage. Couple that with her dedicated role as healer being stepped on by heals from people with actual combat utility like Frog and Ayla, and she's only really useful for Techs and battles of attrition.
Wow, some of you must be bad at CT, even if it is an easy game.

Marle is arguably the second best character in the game after Crono. Crono, Marle, Ayla is my "ends worlds" team. You never attack with Marle (except with Venus bow on DS). She is utility and haste alone makes her a better option than the rest of the cast. Unless your objective is to win "slow." Magus with a gold stud and dark matter can also solo the game.

Robo is the worst character due to his speed. Despite his high potential you should not tabs him cause it won't make up the difference. Frog is outclassed easily by Ayla and Luca is an average replacement for Ayla. But still less effective.

I've played CT at least once a year till almost release. Don't hate on what you don't understand. :)
 
My top 3 choices

FF9 - Amorant
- I really just have no idea how to make this guy do good damage, he always fell short compared to Zidane or even Steiner. He was slow, had low damage, and his abilities never seemed particularly strong and I he didn't seem useful as a support over Dagger or Aiko.

FFT - Agrias
- Great for a first time play through, she has Holy Blade and can deal lots of damage, however she has an incredibly low movement range, super slow, and squires or ninjas can do more DPS more quickly than her.

FFX - Auron
- He deals a lot of damage and is super tanky, but later in the game he just can't get enough speed to deal enough DPS to outweigh is slow speed.
 
Considering thieves can't promote in FE6 there's no reason to care about their combat skills. Speed is all that matters so that they can actually do their job and steal things (especially in FE6 where there's little money available outside of stealing), and Cath does that best.
This isn't even true

Cath:



Astolfo:



And if you factor Hard Mode bonuses, she's still worse



Cath is made 100% redundant by Astolfo . She's just awful and her recruitment method makes getting her a pain in the ass.
 
Raine had a pretty permanent slot in my active party during almost the entirety of ToS, I only took her out when it was easy enough that I could afford to and wanted to put the other members in for thematic reasons. Sure she's not a good damage dealer but she wasn't really meant to be, she's the embodiment of white Mage.

If you wanted to use a Tales example, then Leia from Xillia and its sequel is significantly worse than all the other members; I "mained" her for all of X1 and played her a bit in X2 and she was so underwhelming on all fronts
Don't come for Leia! Jk, poor thing had nothing going for her over anyone else, but I still found her in my party more often than Alvin.

Also LMAO at anyone mentioning Raine, the best healer (in T-type) in the Tales series. You can't justify that choice no matter how you tried it.

Edit: someone mentioned Articuno, it's sad cuz it's my favorite from the birds but by far the worst. Sad.
 
My top 3 choices

FF9 - Amorant
- I really just have no idea how to make this guy do good damage, he always fell short compared to Zidane or even Steiner. He was slow, had low damage, and his abilities never seemed particularly strong and I he didn't seem useful as a support over Dagger or Aiko.
IIRC I bought some throwing items that made him do considerable damage with them, but that was all of his utility for me lol.
 
Depends on your MCs build really. Morgana with high luck and Miracle Punch is a crit machine. I would say he gets worse as the game progresses, but I'd still rank him above Yusuke and Haru (which are both power houses too).

Best party members in this game are Ryuji and Ann, well best damage dealers that is.

Polka from Eternal Sonata is the one who always springs to mind when it comes to weak RPG characters. She is below average at everything, she builds echoes very slowly, she has shit attack, her healing is high but not a reason to ever use her. You can get decent healing from other characters or the healing items you can buy.

Claves is also terrible, but she pulls an "Aeris" and is only a full party member in NG+
 
Chaining Baton Passes to Yusuke is too good tho. He also outdamages Ryuji before Charge.
I think Ryuji using Swift Strike still outdamages a Baton Passed Yosuke. Swift Strike is the strongest attack in the game besides Hassou Tobi (which is OP as fuck and pretty much breaks the game).

Ryuji is easily the best pure damage dealer out of all the teammates.
 
Adray from Star Ocean 3 is pretty shit in combat honestly. Which sucks since his design is really cool.

Kimahri is mentioned plenty, but Kimahri from FFX. It actually makes more sense NOT to use him for most of the game to make a later boss fight far easier. Weird character.
 
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 choice. You're forced to use him a lot. He's one of the weakest fighters in the game, and if I remember correctly he's no good with magic either. His team attack with Cecile is his only redeeming value.
 
Wow, some of you must be bad at CT, even if it is an easy game.

Marle is arguably the second best character in the game after Crono. Crono, Marle, Ayla is my "ends worlds" team. You never attack with Marle (except with Venus bow on DS). She is utility and haste alone makes her a better option than the rest of the cast. Unless your objective is to win "slow." Magus with a gold stud and dark matter can also solo the game.
I love you. As soon as Marle becomes a permanent member of the party, she never leaves her place. She is quite useful. And that combo of Crono, Marle and Ayla is also my team.

Just remembered another character that has serious problems catching up.



Rosch from Radiant Historia.

To his defense though, he is available, mostly, on one of the two timelines. So while your party members are leveling up on the other timeline, poor Rosch is falling behind. And when Stocke and others return to the alternate story, he will be mostly on the bench.
 
She's useless, but Roy is worse. He's a Lord who can't evolve that gets temporarily op with the binding blade and if you happen to use all of its uses (30 I think) he becomes useless again.

Speaking of FE, all the jeigans bar Seth and Titania are usually very, very bad. But well, there's a lot of bad chars in general in those games, too many to count. I remember the duo Micaiah Sothe was a mess, specially in a game with Ike and his troupe and all the op animal chars of that saga...
Marcus would like words with you, also Frederick. Depending on your pov Jakob and Felicia are you Jeigans in the fates games and they are damn good.

Roy gets carted around to seize thrones and otherwise stays out of the way once he hits exp cap. The late lord promotions in the GBA games are so frustrating. I agree that fire emblem has a lot of units that range from non optimal to "why do you exist".
 
He was already brought up, but he's so bad he deserves to be mentioned again. Korcha from Chrono Cross.



I can't remember seeing such a perfect combo of terrible combat ability, personality, and outfit anywhere else. His mother can join the party and she's amazing in battle, what happened?
Chrono Cross has all sorts of playable characters, several of them bad and/or questionable, but this bastard is by far the worst one. He really is the "perfect" combination of garbage combat ability, awful personality, and horrible outfit. You have to make a certain decision in the first half of the game, and saying yes to it results in this chucklefuck joining you. Saying no means you can get one of the best party members in the game (Glenn, the rad swordsman), but even if that weren't the case, I could still see people saying no just to avoid being around Korcha any longer. Truly one of the worst characters in any RPG.
 
Chrono Cross has all sorts of playable characters, several of them bad and/or questionable, but this bastard is by far the worst one. He really is the "perfect" combination of garbage combat ability, awful personality, and horrible outfit. You have to make a certain decision in the first half of the game, and saying yes to it results in this chucklefuck joining you. Saying no means you can get one of the best party members in the game (Glenn, the rad swordsman), but some may say no to just to avoid being around Korcha any longer. Truly one of the worst characters in any RPG.
Saying no means you get TWO of the best characters in the game in Glenn and Macha. I consider Doc pretty good, too actually.

I just can't leave Razzly to die a horrible death by Pentapus though. :(

Adray from Star Ocean 3 is pretty shit in combat honestly. Which sucks since his design is really cool.
Albel and Mirage are kind of crappy, too. That poster that said half the cast of Star Ocean games are usually bad was pretty on point.
 
Considering thieves can't promote in FE6 there's no reason to care about their combat skills. Speed is all that matters so that they can actually do their job and steal things (especially in FE6 where there's little money available outside of stealing), and Cath does that best.
I must've had real shitty RNG because I mostly remember her from having to reload states because she kept croaking on me, while the other thieves could steal just as well and not be such a burden.
 
Playing through The Magic of Scheherazade right now, and half of the party is flat out useless(coronya especially). Meanwhile, some party members like the genie are very strong and hit twice a turn. Game is poorly balanced.
 
Marle can't be the worst because she fills a good role for a lot of the game - in absolute terms by the end she's pretty bad, but only because by the end Robo can just top your entire team up for 1 mp while ALSO being a badass, but that's not how most of the game works.

If it doesn't count as a joke character (I don't think it does) I might go with Kiwi from Shining Force 2. He's not literally a joke like Jogurt, but he's bad, and then you're like "Oh shit I promote himi and he turns into a giant turtle that can randomly shoot fire!" but the problem is his growth makes him suck UNLESS he breathes fire at first, and then eventually even the fire breath stops doing as much damage as almost any other attack in the game (quickly, I might add). And then he's just worthless again. Literally is useful for like an hour stretch in the middle of the game, tops.
 
She's been mentioned, but I think Gwendolyn (until recently known as Wendy) from Fire Emblem 6 deserves elaboration.

She's an armor unit (which means 4 movement) in a game where you want a bunch of 7-8 move cavalry and Pegasi on huge maps. She comes at level 1 when you're about to enter the mid-game. She's lance-locked when you're about to fight a ton of axes, which lances are weak against. Her promotion item is hotly contested with a ton of other units, armor and cavalry.

Her base stats? 19 HP, 4 Strength, 3 Skill, 3 Speed, 6 Luck, 8 Defense, 1 Resistance. She comes right with another armor unit with 25/10/6/5/2/14/1 stats and is vaguely usable if you really want an armor unit for some reason. She has slightly better growths than that unit, but they're still pretty low overall.

She can't reliably tank in her starting chapter even though she's supposed to be a tank. The best way for her to gain experience is for her to throw inaccurate javelins, which is both unreliable and slow. On hard mode she gets one-rounded by archers, and those are some of the weakest enemies. To add insult to injury she's necessary for the armor triangle attack, where if you somehow surround an enemy with your 3 knights, you can get a guaranteed hit and crit on them. For some enemies she still tinks them even with that. The most she can do is break a wall so some slightly more useful characters can get to your main army faster. Worst FE6 character and arguably the worst in the entire series.
 
I don't remember if he's useless or not, but I remember be a little pissed when this guy joined my group in Star Ocean:

Pretty bold move by Enix to have French Stewart As Portrayed by Jimmy Fallon in the game, though:



but yeah, Noel is totally useless. Not sure why they even made him a party member. He helps your party tame a Synard but serves literally no purpose after that. Bad magic, terrible attack, dumb design.
 


Kimahri. He sucks and the butterfly hunt was evil...that is all.
Yeah... If his Blue Magic wasn't accessible ONLY during Overdrive, we'd be writing vastly different things, IMO.
No point, everyone else already specializes better.



Lymle from Star Ocean: The Last Hope. Aside from her awful, awful dialogue, she's the slowest character on the battlefield. Her physical attacks are slow and weak, her attack magic is very quickly outclassed by Myuria, and her healing magic is outclassed by Sarah. Even Edge can use basic healing techs, so she's pretty useless once the party expands.
To be fair, in this ARPG series basically all the attack mages were crap (bigger "way to suck" award goes to SO2's Noel). Lymle gets bonus point for being an annoying character though, so you're right there.
Sarah would win if she wasn't actually pretty helpful.... goddammit. I hate it, she's easily one of the most annoying PCs otherwise.

I forgot how much everyone hates Kimahri. :( He's good y'all!

He was already brought up, but he's so bad he deserves to be mentioned again. Korcha from Chrono Cross.



I can't remember seeing such a perfect combo of terrible combat ability, personality, and outfit anywhere else. His mother can join the party and she's amazing in battle, what happened?
I agree, but one thing I hate with these games with >30 playables is a good fucking portion are completely forgettable. Even sadder that this one is the cream of the crap amongst such a dogpile.


Raine from Tales of Symphonia, at least in the NA GC version
Only 3 offensive attacks, Photon, Holy Lance and Ray (you could only have 2, photon and holy lance or ray)

Several unison attacks and offensive attacks cut, no mystic arte (hi ougi) and melee attacks weak unless you killed a lot of enemies with the devil's arms
Powerful as a healer, but offensive lacked a lot
She's great if you don't wanna be saddled on item duty, which on harder modes will be quite often. Her combo-attack specials are pretty up there too, even if not with Lloyd then IIRC her and Genis have the best one in the game.

I usually used her too, it meant less of a headache.

Going against the topic's true intention for a second, I'd rather put Regal for simply being 'too little too late'. Or getting into other Tales games, the two late-game joiners in Tales of Eternia for being what felt like after-thoughts.

Polka from Eternal Sonata.



She's one of the worst at building echoes, her attack speed is poor, she has terrible defence, HP, attack and speed and she doesn't get any useful attacking skills until near the end of the game. I think the developers wanted her to be a healer since she has the most healing skills, but they are all outclassed by other characters who even get their respective heal skill way before she does.
Agreed and snowballing in Jazz (which hurts, because I love jazz music) for being super super slow in its time-based battle system.


My answers:


Sharla - Xenoblade Chronicles

I should say she's still pretty useful in very specific times. But what really works to her detriment is her "talent art" is a fucking cool down. :/

For those who don't know Xenoblade: All attack 'skills' that aren't your basic auto-attack will follow-up with a cool down. Sharla has a ""special"" rifle that lets her heal... Essentially you have to cool down the rifle on TOP of the other attack cool downs... It's crap. Given that a lot of other parties and proper prep can usually mean you don't need a dedicated healer; I honestly think her slot was to help players who weren't willing to put in the time to character building.

Also


Savyna - Baten Kaitos

She wasn't bad, but fared worse because her main elements opposed each other (fire/water) which made setting up for attacking weaknesses a little annoying and her quick attacks made time-sensitive combat annoying to deal with. I don't think she's a 'weak' character, but poorly structured and flawed.
 
My top 3 choices

FFT - Agrias
- Great for a first time play through, she has Holy Blade and can deal lots of damage, however she has an incredibly low movement range, super slow, and squires or ninjas can do more DPS more quickly than her.
Wut? Agrias is not only pretty good (even if way outclassed by the ridiculously broken Orlandeau later), but she's far from the weakest of her respective game, when you can pick between Cloud and friggin' Malak...
 
This isn't even true

Cath:



Astolfo:



And if you factor Hard Mode bonuses, she's still worse



Cath is made 100% redundant by Astolfo . She's just awful and her recruitment method makes getting her a pain in the ass.
You're judging units solely by their base stats? Cath has an 85% speed growth compared to Astore's 50%. It should only take a few chapters for her to surpass him.