I finished FF9 three times, and two times I used Zidane, Dagger, Steiner and Vivi.
Zidane because I loved building up thievery, you just have to steal from every single random battle you come across, maybe a bit excessively, but I managed to get 9999 pretty quickly. Not to mention he's the main character and when I first played FFIX, which was my first FF, I found him cool and stuff. You're not Alone ftw.
Vivi because he's Vivi, Flare is an awesome spell and visual candy, Doomsday can act as a heal for your team and, well, that's all.
Steiner because of Flare Sword. I didn't like using his actual sword tech.
Dagger 'cause I think she's cute. Reason enough, she acts decently as a white mage.
The last time was a Zidane solo challenge. Mm, that was fun.
By the way, Heaven's Lament, towards the end of the game you can use low mana cost skills in Dyne like Free Energy and they do 9999 damage. It's just whether you want to use the flashy skills or not.
There's no real need for tiers in this game, because everyone plays differently. The only exception is Eiko, who vastly outclasses Garnet.
I don't really have a "team" when I play IX. The only character that I use least is Eiko, I just can't stand her lol. I have mostly used her in my "level 1 challenge".
But when I played my "level 1 challenge", I used Zidane, Steiner, Amarant and Eiko to kill the last boss and all of the bosses in Memoria. When I killed Ozma with a level 1 party, I used Zidane, Freya, Quinna and Eiko.
okay, there really isn't a need for tiers, but how can Eiko outclass Dagger?
Eiko = White Mage w/summons
Dagger = Summoner w/white magic
Double White, allowing Eiko to cast two consecutive White Magic spells in one turn, providing she has MP for both of them. Like Vivi's Double Black, both spells will deplete the Trance gauge individually. Holy2x is good damage for ONE turn, in fact (haven't played in a while) she can do that about 10 times? (2 each turn)
Eidolon, eappears randomly after she casts it, as well as acting as a counter attack. As long as Dagger has some trance bar remaining, the counter attack can potentially last until the end of the battle. There is also a higher chance of a full-animated summon, which inflicts more damage. All she has to do is summon once and stay alive.
seeing as we soon might start repeating ourselves: we just have different preferences on the characters we choose .
DFF 012 Mains:
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Actually its good for four turns. I'm sorry, but Eiko completely outclasses Garnet, you can make arguments for other characters but not for her.
Zidane. Well that was pretty obvious.
Vivi. A Black Mage is always handy, and also he have access to powerful magics like Flare and Doomsday.
Steiner. He has a strong attack stat and can even combo with Vivi.
Eiko. She can access a lot of useful white magic that sadly Garnet can't learn. (Even tough I used Garnet on my first playtrough)
NO HEALINZ FOR ME.
Zidane, Dagger, Vivi, Steiner
Reflect and x2 relfect plus falre, omg look at the damage
and Shock for the 9999 o_o
Theivery was great as well. always 9999
Though I sometimes used Quin for leveling my party(grand dragons)
and Freya was helpful with dragon emblem or whatever it's called
Zidane- "I AM the new angel of death! YOURS!!!"