Rune Factory 4 Special: Ranking The Bachelors In Battle
Rune Factory 4 has a neat feature whereby you can ask any NPC in the game to tag along on your adventures. They will accompany you outside town, fight alongside you in battles, and even react to events in some cases.
Taking out the bachelor of your choice is a great way to get to know them, develop your relationship with them, and take advantage of their combat prowess. They all have distinct specialties, advantages, and disadvantages, though, so it's best to know what you're in for when you recruit them.
Despite being a fantastic character story-wise, Doug doesn't really scratch the surface of what a great partner can be in Rune Factory 4's combat. His specialty is Short Swords, and while he's pretty okay at using them, he has a sore lack of skills that makes him unattractive to take along with you. Thanks to that, his damage output is purely dependent on the swords you can give him.
He does have the Fireball spell and will use that with aplomb, but his dismal INT will make you wonder why he even bothers. At the end of the day, Doug's lack of versatility and over-reliance on what equipment you can provide him make him the least useful bachelor to take into battle.
Arthur is, predictably, a mage. He uses Staves and learns a good few spells, including the immensely useful Cure All, which will come in clutch many times against challenging encounters. There is a problem, though – he has a lot of aggression programmed into him, and he will waste precious time running up to enemies and ineffectually whacking them with his staff.
This isn't the end of the world, however. Arthur can still make for a great support unit with Cure All and can dish out some excellent damage with his offensive spells – when he deigns to use them. At level 50, he will even learn Dark Snake, which is a fantastic spell for him.
Leon makes for a great room-clearer with his mastery over Spears, if not a boss killer. He has some excellent offensive skills that, when he uses them correctly, will devastate entire groups of monsters and make you wonder why you ever bothered with any of the other bachelors at all.
That said, he would benefit from being a bit more aggressive – as it stands, Leon may take a few moments before showing off his spear skills. His STR is on the low side compared to the other physical powerhouses (Doug and Dylas), but he more than makes up for that by being the bachelor with the most HP.
Kiel is a support character through and through. While he starts with a Short Sword, you should absolutely hand him a good Staff and watch him put his gigantic INT stat to use with Fireball and Water Laser. As he levels up, he'll learn more elemental spells and a whole bevy of healing spells, which appear to be his specialty.
He learns the valuable Cure All spell in addition to some status-healing spells, and he's programmed to use them with priority – you can rest assured that you'll survive much longer if you keep Kiel around than if you didn't.
Another great boon of Kiel's is that, like his sister, he will throw food at you. He will only do this if you haven't eaten that day, but it's a very nice bonus to taking him along. The food he throws is randomized, and if you manage to weave out of the way, it will fall on the floor where you can pick it up and potentially sell it for a significant profit if it's one of the ultra-high value endgame dishes.
Dylas is one of the best combatants in the game, let alone amongst the bachelors. He is uber-aggressive and will go after monsters relentlessly using either his physical attacks or his unique skills – some of which evoke the boss battle with Thunderbolt.
What's really nice about Dylas is that he can use both Gloves and Spears and has unique skills for both weapon types. Give him your best weapon and watch him rip your foes to shreds in seconds. And in addition to all that, Dylas even has the Cure All spell! While it won't be healing tons with his low INT stat, it's still nice that he has it.
Specializing in Dual Blades means that Vishnal has the capability to really dish out the damage, and quickly at that. They're fantastic weapons, and Vishnal has some great skills to show off in that department.
While he could be a better attacker with more aggression, Vishnal also makes for a fantastic support character. He gets the Cure All Spell in addition to the same status healing spells that Kiel learns, and as a faithful butler (in-training), he is more than willing to use them. His INT isn't as great as Kiel's, but it's decent enough and as a result, Vishnal is likely the best all-rounder in the cast – you will not regret taking him out.
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