Final Fantasy Tactic’s narrative centers on social inequality between class, especially in the first chapter of the game. Many of the conflicts we encounter are between knows who became rogues after the Fifty Year’s War:
Arazlam: The loss of the Fifty Years’ War saw knights returning from the front stripped of livelihood, their fealty to the Crown and nobility abandoned. Many became rogues and traitors, men donning the thief’s cloak and plotting treason against the Crown. It was a time of great unrest for Ivalice – murder and theft were commonplace.
Even worst, members of the lower class
Alma: Tietra puts on a brave face, but the truth is not as honeyed as her words.
Ramza: What do you mean?
Alma: She has a hard time of it at school. The others tease her for being low-born.
And sycophants such as Argath have strong words for the “low-born”:
Argath: I said he would be a fool to hold back an army for fear of spilling a few drops of your common blood!
Delita: As I thought.
Ramza: Stop this, Delita!
Delita: Release me! Damn you, Ramza, release me!
Argath: Hmph. It’s as I’ve always said: Common blood, common man. You’ll never be more than you were born, Delita! You don’t belong in our world. You ought be licking our boots with the rest of you ilk, churl!
Delita: That does it-!
Ramza: Enough, Delita! And you as well, Argath!
Argath: Open your eyes, Ramza! Delita is not one of us! It isn’t proper that you should mix with such as he. Surely you see that?
Ramza: Delita is my friend, and a dear one. We’ve been as brothers all our lives!
Argath: And that blinds you from the truth! You’re a man grown, Ramza. It’s time you left the playthings of your boyhood behind. You are a son of House Beoulve, a birth high even among the highborn. Such company ill suits you. Your brothers see this, I am sure. Even if you choose not to.
All of Ivalice seems under this social caste system. So then where would Job Classes rank in the hierarchy? Final Fantasy Tactics seems to take place in a mostly Anglo-Saxon Medival Feudal time period. So, let’s use Feudal Europe as a model. This model has four main categories:
- Peasants, the low-born
The two “lions” (Prince Goltana and Prince Larg) fit in the first category. The BeoulvesHouse are barons, to whom the kings lease their land. In return, the Beoulves provide the King with soldiers (i.e. Order of the Northern Sky). The knight class is we find the Job Classes.
So then, do Job Classes have a social hierarchy between them? It doesn’t seem so. They certainly have a military hierarchy. Squires and Chemists are the lowest ranks. From there, they can upgrade to Knights, Mages, Monks, Dragoons, etc. Even a Thief, which we would think as “low-born” is a higher military rank than a Squire. Otherwise, no social rank exists. All jobs perform a different role, yet none of them are necessarily better than the other. They have a common goal and work together to fulfill it.
Ramza was born into an upper class but has commoner blood. He works as a soldier but then abandons the House of Beoulve to become a mercenary. Ramza is an outsider. Because of this, he cares very little for the class system, only doing the right thing. His team consists of people who were probably from both the Peasant and Baron classes. Yet, here their ranks don’t matter as much as how they contribute to the team. Final Fantasy Tactics disproved it’s pointing it by having Delita, a low-born with common-blood, devious and corruptible. However, the Job Classes illustrate the main message perfectly, as summed in Ramza’s quote:
Ramza: House Beoulve is no more. But what does it matter? We are the sum of our deeds, not our names.