Everyone loves a good team up, and JRPGs are the best place to go for a party of characters with diverse and distinct abilities. However, every party has its weakest link, like a crack in the chain. These characters aren’t necessarily the least likable or even the weakest, but there’s really no way any of them would survive more than a few minutes in their respective overworlds or dungeons.
10. Hero (Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age)
Even if you’re not a fan of the long-running Dragon Quest franchise, you may have spotted Hero as a DLC Fighter for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. The character, sometimes known as the Luminary, doesn’t have a given name, so by default he’s usually referred to as either Hero or Eleven (not to be confused with Matt Smith’s incomparably excellent Doctor Who). Despite being the protagonist of a gigantic 100 hour JRPG, he doesn’t actually bring a lot to the team. Hero had a sheltered and somewhat coddled upbringing that didn’t prepare him one bit for his great destiny. For the first 50 hours of Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age, Hero is nearly useless, propped up by his superior party members. Look, we’re not here to hate on the Luminary – we just have to acknowledge that he would never make it out of Cobblestone Village alive without his friends.
9. Wakka (Final Fantasy X)
Wakka is yet another entry in the aforementioned “spiky yellow hair, disparaging quips, comic relief and best friend” archetype. Besides just being generally annoying, he’s actually a flat out racist. He’s very socially conservative and highly religious, and refuses to partake in anything that his religion forbids. By the end of the story he changes his tune a bit, but the insecurities he’s plagued with just make him less useful than the rest of the party. During Final Fantasy X, he does eventually come to trust himself and his abilities, but for the most part it’s evident that Wakka isn’t confident, trusting or open-minded enough to survive long outside of his bubble.
8. Cyril (Fire Emblem: Three Houses)
Cyril is an orphan taken in by the Church of Seiros in Fire Emblem: Three Houses. He is sweet, kind and respectful, but unfortunately those factors don’t balance out just how bad he is at fighting. Cyril starts out with some of the lowest stats of anyone in game, relying on his Aptitude ability to level up quicker than others once he joins the team. Despite that, if the player chooses a specific route, Cyril will be automatically added to the party for the late game and be woefully unequipped to do anything at all. Since he relies on being part of the party from the get-go to become eventually useful, there’s a definite cutoff on recruiting Cyril that turns him into a liability. Yes, yes, he’s your sweet hardworking boy – but do you really think he would make it through two turns while surrounded by cultists?
7. Riki (Xenoblade Chronicles)
Riki joins Shulk and friends in Xenoblade Chronicles when they reach the humble Frontier Village. Riki may look young, but he’s actually 40 years old and has 11 children. This fact really only stands to exacerbate his incompetence, though. Riki believes that he is the Legendary Heropon of which the prophecy speaks. Dunga, Chief of Frontier Village, actually made up this lie to convince Riki to do hero work for the town, since he owes them a huge debt for how much and his children have devastated their food stores. Riki is constantly boasting to the party about his great feats of strength in battles in which he usually didn’t even participate, essentially suffering from delusion of grandeur. He refers to the rest of the party as “sidekicks” despite the fact that he often hides during combat, and generally just doesn’t know how to fight. The party sees all this incompetence as endearing, but I sure as Hell don’t. Riki reveals that he’s never strayed far from his hometown and despite knowing a lot about others who have gone adventuring, he has no experience to call his own. When you see him in Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition later this month, be sure to give him a good kick from me.
6. Ryuji (Persona 5)
Look, Ryuji is trying his best – it just isn’t good enough. Ryuji Sakamoto plays the part of the “best friend” character in Persona 5, fitting nicely into the cornucopia of anime best friends with spiky yellow hair, comic relief moments, disrespectful quips and a generally whiny attitude. While he does play an important part in the story, he is definitely the weight dragging the team down. He would never have made it through the tutorial dungeon without Joker literally carrying him, and with his generally defeatist attitude it’s hard to believe he’d last very long in the metaverse alone. Ryuji doesn’t lack the necessary skills to stay alive in Persona 5, but he does lack something much more important: general competency.
5. Goofy (Kingdom Hearts)
I love Goofy. I love his dumb laugh, I love “The Goofy Movie,” and I even love his cover of Evanescence’s Bring Me to Life. Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy are one of the most iconic trios out there, but every trio has a weakest link. In Kingdom Hearts, Donald and Goofy act as companions to Sora as he traverses the various Disney and Final Fantasy worlds in search of Xenahort’s fourth heartless self to stop Mickey from being trapped in Roxas’s shadow self, or whatever. As insane is it may sound, if you’ve never played the game, Sora is the damage character while Donald Duck is a healer and Goofy acts as the tank. Similar to other games with this class system, Goofy is in charge of shields and crowd control maneuvers. As is expected, he just isn’t very good at it. Players are much better off focusing on keeping Donald in the fight and assisting the various other companions that join the party, such as Hercules or Rapunzel. Try to imagine setting Goofy loose on his own in a space ship that can take you to an infinite number of worlds if you just believe hard enough; absolute chaos surely awaits.
4. Cait Sith (Final Fantasy VII)
The all-time classic Final Fantasy VII features some of the most memorable characters in video game history: Cloud, Tifa, Aerith, Barrett and of course Cait Sith, a robotic cat wearing a cape and crown driving an animated Moogle doll. If you’re asking, “What does this creature have to do with taking down the Shinra Corporation and saving the planet?”, the unfortunate answer is “nothing.” Cait Sith joins the party a bit later on in the game, so he’s only made a cameo appearance in Final Fantasy VII Remake as of yet. His abilities are rolling a bunch of dice and playing slot machines, making him one of the most RNG-based characters in RPG history. And no one likes relying on the RNG. Do you think a robotic cat dressed as a king that commands a doll with a megaphone could take down Sephiroth on his own? I guess we’ll have to let Lady Luck decide. Let it ride, baby!
3. Yosuke (Persona 4)
Yosuke Hanamura rounds out our reps from the anime best friend pantheon, topping them all. Yosuke is clumsy, incompetent, annoying, depressed and so exceedingly physically weak he is constantly made fun of for it. He has no filter and no tact, even at one point ridiculing a fellow student for being gay. He fancies himself something of a ladies’ man despite being incredibly unpopular with women. In battle, Yosuke is the fastest character and is able to assist the protagonist with some crazy acrobatics. Yosuke is, like his successor Ryuji, a character with some degree of fighting ability but a severe lack of general competence. I cannot express how much I do not want to hang out with him.
2. Magikarp (Pokemon)
Pokemon is now the largest media franchise in the world and has only grown in popularity due to Pokemon Go and Sword and Shield, but all the way back at the conception of the series Magikarp was established as the most useless Pokemon available. Nearly 1,000 mons later, it still holds that prestigious title. Magikarp and its evolution, Gyarados, are based on an ancient Japanese legend about the humble koi that could swim up a waterfall to transform into a mighty dragon. The metal band Trivium even made a surprisingly catch song about the legend. Gyarados is of course one of the most powerful Pokemon in the game, but until the time it evolves Magikarp can learn only one move – Splash. For those unfamiliar with the Pokemon series, Splash does no damage and has no alternative effects. Magikarp is perhaps the very definition of dead weight, and the only reason to have one in your party is to ride that sweet experience share all the way to a Gyarados.
1. Jogurt (Shining Force)
Don’t feel bad if you don’t know Jogurt; you’re a better person for it. Jogurt (pronounced like Yogurt) is perhaps the most useless character in RPG history. This is a bold claim, I know, but hear me out. Jogurt joins the party with all of his stats at 1 point. He is unable to gain levels or increase any of his stats, and none of his abilities are able to help the party in battle, even indirectly. The best thing Jogurt can do is to act as a decoy and hold items for the rest of the party to use. When defeating an enemy Jogurt will create a Yogurt Ring, which is already a pretty gross idea. The only effect the Yogurt Ring has is to make the wearer look like Jogurt. I cannot fathom what SEGA was thinking when they created this truly despicable creature, but I believe that it’s safe to say Jogurt wouldn’t even be able to put on his stupid hat in the morning without the help of the rest of the party.
Did we miss your most incompetent party member? Any honorable mentions to make? Sound off in the comments below!