At the end of the solo White Mage report, I mused on how I finally saw the light of playing solo single job variants. That's about what you need to get any amount of novelty and challenge out of the game once you know all the jobs and bosses. But I did promise not to steal any more of Sullla's uncompleted solos, and I'm also not going to rehash any that he's already done.
But I've got a perfect niche, a place into which Sullla has resisted all my attempts to push him. The Gameboy Advance version of the game with its four bonus character classes: Oracle, Gladiator, Cannoneer, Necromancer. Of them, the Gladiator is by far the most straightforward and best place to start.
The Gladiator basically plays like a mashup of the Knight and Bare jobs. No Double Grip, but he gets a great selection of equipment: Knight-only swords (Brave Blade), heavy armor, shields (Aegis), and a wide variety of other weapons (axes, bows, spears) to replicate a good deal of the Bare job's tricks. He has the best Strength in the game (50, better than Knight, equal to Monk), great Agility (38, equal to the Thief, behind only Ninja), but only middling Vitality (27) and low Magic Power. This makes Bartz the right character to use, with the highest vitality (after Galuf-Cara switch) to compensate for the low stat.
The famous gladiator of history is Spartacus, but that doesn't fit into the 6 letter limit. There wasn't anything to draw on from the Final Fantasy mythos; apparently the job exists in FF Tactics Advance and FF 14 but I've never played those. So I named him Lucius just as an iconic Roman name with no subtext at all.
Let's also go over the Gladiator's list of abilities.
Lure (30 ABP) - Increases random encounter rate. Ha, shaves a few seconds off grinding.
Long Range (250 ABP) - Deal full damage from the back row with any weapon. This could be quite useful indeed. It also makes the character deal full damage against the monster back row which would come in helpful on occasion.
Bladeblitz (700 ABP) - "Attacks all enemies", the mechanic being a normal attack on all enemies at 75% of normal damage and ignoring any special spell or command effects of the weapon. Another pretty useful ability. Not so much against most bosses, but a convenience for random encounters along the lines of Kick or Conjure or Slash.
Finisher (100 ABP) - According to KiaLobeli's FAQ on Gamefaqs, "The ability !Finisher has a chance of three outcomes, it can miss, hit for critical damage or do an elemental attack for 9999 damage.
job lvl 1 = miss (6/16), crit (6/16), elemental (4/16) ...
job lvl 5 = miss (4/16), crit (4/16), elemental (8/16)"
Uh oh. 9999 damage regardless of level and weapon? That might be okay once the Gladiator job is unlocked in normal sequence late in the game, but would instagib everything in worlds one and two. So I resolved to ban the ability until then. (Normal sequence for the GBA bonus jobs is when you collect and redeem all four tablets in the third world.)
By the way, get a load of those sprites. I think that is KISS.