After the epic White Mage and very easy Gladiator games, I went for the Red Mage as the next of Sullla's missing solos. I love the class in FF1 and did a solo there (years ago, before the Internet), and Sullla said it wouldn't be all that interesting for him in FF5. But it's good for me as a new solo player. Like the Gladiator combining several weapon-using jobs, the Red Mage will give a taste of white and black magic and weapon-limited melee fighting. I think the Red Mage will be medium difficulty for an FF5 solo, easy for the first part of the game but then harder when the RM doesn't ramp up to the top level black and white spells.
It took a little while to name him. I didn't want to go with Fusoya having never played FF4, and I'm not familiar with any Red Mages in the later FF games either. But the Red Mage class is pretty unique to the FF universe and there isn't much else to draw from either in gaming or traditional fantasy mythology. Finally it hit me that there IS another video game quite famous for having a Red Wizard.
Red Wizard needs food badly!
Merlin is the name of the wizard in Gauntlet, and 6 perfect letters, so here he is. Of course Merlin is also the name of the legendary Arthurian wizard. That works too, but try not to think of the Merlin in this report as the old bearded warlock. This Merlin is the dungeon-crawling food-shooting ally-blocking treasure-swiping guy.
As we know, the Red Mage does everything adequately but nothing well. Halfway decent Strength, which makes him a somewhat capable melee attacker, which he'll need in the late game after the mid-level black elemental spells are no longer effective. Halfway decent Agility* and Magic Power too, though not up there with the thief or dedicated mage jobs. And very bad Stamina/Vitality, worse than even the black mage. Bartz is the right character same as for the Gladiator, to make up a little bit for the deficient Vitality stat.
(*Actually isn't Agility decent for every class? Only one character, Berserker, goes any more than one point lower than the default Bare job. There isn't any class who's characterized as "slow". Just an observation.)
Here begins the tale of the Red Mage.