Every now and then, you come across an RPG party member who is so ridiculously impossible to beat/ridiculously powerful, he/she/it seems to just plain be a living cheat code. Today, we look at the ones I think are the most over-powered of all.
5. Georg (Suikoden 5)
You could make an argument that Suikoden 5's truly broken character is Zerase, but honestly, she doesn't have the staying power that Georg does, and her magic doesn't deal out the kind of monstrous damage that his sword does (heck, you can more or less equal or surpass her with Viki in her own field of expertise). Georg can and usually does deal out immense damage with his attack, and he can often do a critical attack that either instantly kills a regular enemy (like being hit for over 1000 damage from him normally wouldn't anyway), or deal 4 times his regular attack to a boss. And along with having great defense and HP, making him already hard to take down with magic and nearly impossible to take down with physical attacks, he often--heck, not often, USUALLY--blocks enemies' attacks and counters them. Georg is a one-man team; you practically have to TRY to have him killed for him to be taken down in battle.
4. Chisato (Star Ocean 2)
Chisato is awesome in battle. I can't see why the Star Ocean 2 community as a whole hasn't quite caught on to this yet. Her regular attack does damage twice each time, which is nice since her attack stat is very high, and doesn't take so long to perform and have such a limited range that enemies often manage to move/attack before it can actually hit, like the attacks of the unfathomably more popular Dias. Her running speed around the battlefield is practically twice that of other characters, which means that she has a better chance of retreating for a moment to heal without the enemy effectively pursuing her. Her best attack, Tear Gas, is nearly inescapable, hits at least 10 times for good damage each hit, and has a chance, I believe, of poisoning its target. It's also easy to link with another of her more effective skills, Flamethrower, adding several more hits to the mix. Finally, Chisato is one of only 2 characters in SO2 (and, since the other character is the brainless, exasperating Final Fantasy 10 Rikku prototype, Precis, Chisato is the only 1 of the 2 that you would actually WANT to have around) that can equip the all-mighty Algol Shield. This shield basically can randomly Petrify any enemy that attacks its wearer--and with SO2, Petrify is synonymous with Instant Kill with enemies. The best part of this is, though, that almost no enemy in the game is immune to Petrify--this includes bosses, insanely powerful secret bosses, and even a boss that you are scripted to lose against. Frankly, if it weren't for SO2 having such a poorly-executed battle system that works with a high difficulty level to frustrate the player, Chisato would be number 2 on this list, easy. However, since the game is difficult both by design and by design incompetence, Chisato is not as crazily over-powered for her game as the others below, so she remains in 4th position on this list.
3. Juan (Suikoden 3)
The Suikoden series has more than its fair share of over-powered characters--if I did a longer list, I would not only have Georg and Juan, but would also most likely include Zerase and Suikoden 3's Nei, too. I'd probably consider Lazlo in Suikoden Tactics, too.
Juan is a beast. He SEEMS useless at first, because he's a lazy oaf who starts off every battle asleep. But all you need to do is equip him with Sleep-blocking accessory or armor to remedy that. And once he's awake, he's just devastating. His innate combat skills allow you to make his attacks extremely powerful, AND they have him hit multiple times each round of combat--it's been a little while since I played, but I think he was getting 5 - 7 attacks each round. Think about that. In your average RPG, just giving your weak HEALING MAGE character 5 attacks a round would put them in the same physical damage class as your top attackers--and Juan's the latter. The icing on the cake is that another of his skills allows him to retarget new opponents once the one he's attacking is dead, so if he kills an enemy on, say, his 3rd punch in a turn, you won't lose the rest of the strikes he would have delivered to them normally--he'll just find the next baddie and pummel them with the extra. He doesn't have the tank-like staying power that Georg did, but he obliterates everything so fast that it doesn't make a difference in regular battles, and he doesn't require any more healing aid in prolonged boss battles than anyone else normally would.
2. Orlandu (Final Fantasy Tactics)
Ah, Orlandu. Patron saint of the Over-Powered Characters. His attack stats are crazily high, he can normally equip most of the best armor and weapons in the game, he has decent movement, and his skills are a combination of the most immediately powerful decently-ranged Job Class in the game (Holy Knight, with its powerful semi-magical physical attacks that not only have range and easy-to-work-with area affect, but also can cause status effects on enemies that they don't just instantly destroy), one of the more tactically useful Job Classes in the game (Divine Knight, which, while lacking very slightly the Holy Knight's power and range, can destroy enemies' equipment with each strong attack), and one of the most self-sustaining Job Classes in the game (Dark Knight, which has a ranged attack that not only deals strong damage, but heals the user at the same time). Not only that, but he automatically comes with an extremely powerful sword that automatically casts Haste on him, giving him the speed to rain destruction down on his enemies one turn after another before they can even react. Using Orlandu can make you feel dirty, he's that over-powered.
1. Sailor Pluto (Sailor Moon: Another Story)
Sailor Pluto has lousy staying power. Her defense is bad, her HP ain't great, she more or less can be pretty easily put down for the count by one relatively powerful boss-level attack. Her attack power is even worse. Unless you specifically devote the best attack items to her, her regular attacks and special abilities will quite often be dealing 1 damage to enemies--and even with the attack items, she's mediocre at best.
So why is she the most over-powered RPG character ever? Because she can stop time. Or, more specifically, freeze your opponent in time for 3 turns. Your opponent will sit there, doing nothing, for multiple turns while you dish out damage, heal allies, and point and laugh. And this isn't just some typically lame RPG status ailment that works against all the weak enemies you don't need it for but not on the strong ones. Pluto does this for EVERY bad guy in the game, up to and including the final boss. And unlike a few similar abilities in other RPGs, there are no strings attached to this one--you don't have to recharge it over a period of time like with that group ability in Tales of Legendia, it doesn't so much battling to learn that it's probably useless when you get it like Feena's Time Gate in Grandia 1 (and on the note of Time Gate, Feena's the only one still active when she uses that move; Sailor Pluto's whole team can do as they like when she uses Time Stop). All you need to do is make sure that Sailor Pluto's MP is restored during one of the turns that your enemy's frozen, and she's ready to cast it again immediately. This means that, so long as the enemy doesn't manage to kill her between spell casts, Sailor Pluto basically makes it impossible to lose.
Honorable Mention: Mewtwo (Pokemon Blue/Red/Yellow)
Back in the good old days of Pokemon, Psychic was where it was at. Their only weaknesses were Ghost Pokemon, which was no weakness at all because there weren't any real Ghost Type attacks and all the Ghost Pokemon were part Poison, which made them weak to Psychic anyway, and Bug Pokemon which was also not a weakness since Bug Type attacks all sucked and the Bug Pokemon were all also part Poison like the Ghost ones were. And at the top of the Psychic ranks was Mewtwo. He had the best stats, learned or could learn most of the best moves, and was more or less invulnerable to everything. He was about as over-powered as it got; Orlandu looks like a sissy by comparison.
Sadly, the creations of proper Ghost Type attacks, Ghost Pokemon who weren't naturally weak to Psychic ones, lame other super powerful Pokemon like Deoxys and that idiotic flying chicken Ho-oh, and the disgracefully stupid, unnecessary, and random Dark Type, have all evened the playing field, and Mewtwo is no longer the unequaled master of power that he was always meant to be. Still great, of course, just not distinctively so. But if not a place on the actual list, he certainly deserves mention for what he was.