Healer Signs On Early

Games can be hard, especially early on. You don't have any of the awesome skills or mighty gear you'll have by the final boss, and you may well be outclassed by a rat.

Game designers know this, and so they lift some of the work off of your shoulders.

Nine times out of ten, one of the first people in your party will have a healing ability. This means that you don't have to rely exclusively on items or Trauma Inn healing to survive, and thus you can get further into any given area without having to run back and restock.

The character with the healing ability doesn't have to be The Medic or a White Magician Girl - quite frequently, in fact, they'll be outclassed by a more proper healer later on. What matters for this trope is that they join you quickly and have some form of healing available.

Sometimes the game will cut out the middleman and give the main character a healing technique. Compare/contrast Healing Magic Is the Hardest.


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    RPG — Eastern 
  • In the Final Fantasy series:
    • In Final Fantasy II, Minwu is the first Guest-Star Party Member that joins you, who starts off with an assortment of white magic spells at respectable levels.
    • In Final Fantasy III, the White Mage class is one of the first the player gets.
    • Immediately after the second boss fight in Final Fantasy IV, Rydia joins you, bringing a Cure spell. Tellingly that this is done purely for the player's benefit, she loses access to white magic when she rejoins the party much later in the story - once you have the game's primary healer.
    • In Final Fantasy V, after you defeat the first boss in the Wind Temple, you unlock jobs for your characters. Among them is the White Mage.
    • In Final Fantasy VI, Terra is the main character and remains a constant part of your party (other than the scenario where Locke and the moogles have to protect her) until the Lethe River. She has a healing spell. And when Locke goes on his own solo mission, he meets Celes before he has to do much fighting - she comes with one too.
    • In Final Fantasy VII, the very first materia shop you come across will sell the Restore materia so you can start using Cure and eventually learn stronger versions of it.
    • In Final Fantasy VIII, one of the first spells you can draw is the Cure spell.
    • In Final Fantasy IX, turns out the princess you are supposed to kidnap (and who, incidentally, actually wants to be kidnapped), Garnet, is a White Magician Girl, who is also able to summon Eidolons, powerful creatures.
    • In Final Fantasy X, the main character gets recruited as Yuna's guardian who, along with being able to summon aeons, is a White Magician Girl, and who will provide all the healing for most of the game.
    • In Final Fantasy XII, Penelo joins your party early and already know the Cure spell (she doesn't need to learn the licence for it). When you get separated from her, luckily your new party members, Fran and Balthier, know the Cure spell and First Aid skill respectively. Finally, when Ashe joins your party quickly afterwards as a guest, she also knows the Cure spell. Also, Larsa as a guest will provide an infinite supply of Potions and Hi-Potion in the American and European release of the game (in the Updated Re-release, "International Job System", he instead joins with very powerful healing spells).
    • In Final Fantasy XIII, early-on after unlocking their powers, your characters are separated in two different groups, one with Lightning and Hope, and the other being composed of Sazh and Vanille. Hope and Vanille join with the Healer role, and Lightning also unlocks it quickly on her path (though she is outclassed by far by the other two).
    • In Final Fantasy Tactics, the player is immediately given two chemists, who specialize in using healing items and can develop into true mages (White, Black, and other).
    • In Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, one of the characters who is already a part of your clan when you join is a White Mage Nu Mou.
    • In Final Fantasy Tactics A2, one of the initial clan members is a Viera White Mage.
    • In Bravely Default, the Spiritual Successor of Final Fantasy V, you can unlock the "White mage" job rather quickly, but there is a twist: you get the Job by defeating a White Mage boss. Bravely Default also grants a basic healing move as the second one learned by the default Freelancer Job and can be learned even before fighting the White Mage.
    • In Final Fantasy Record Keeper, one of the very first character who join your crew is White mage, who comes with an useful Limit Break which heals your whole party. However, her stats are very low, so it is recommended to swap her as soon as possible for a named character with a better Mind stat.
  • In the World of Mana series:
    • Final Fantasy Adventure, aka Seiken Densetsu (which got a remake known as Sword of Mana), the girl who joins early as your companion will restore your health if you ask her help.
    • In Secret of Mana, the first spirit you recruit, Undine, unlocks the invaluable Cure Water spells for the Girl, a cheap and multitargetable spell which is a godsend after having to rely on your limited and expensive item stock until now.
    • In Seiken Densetsu 3, in a similar fashion to Secret of Mana, the first spirit you unlock, Wisp, allows Carlie, assuming she was chosen for the party, to cast healing spells. Carlie is also the default cleric of the game, though depending on who you chose for your party at the start of the game, she may be the last member to join (though still early in the game), or even never join you at all. In fact, it's entirely possible to build a party with no healers whatsoever (usually consisting of Angela, Lise, and Hawk).
  • Even before the party learns magic in Chrono Trigger, Marle, the first person in the party other than Crono, has her Aura Tech. Though she's unavailable for the first true dungeon, you get Frog for that one, who learns the healing Slurp Tech.
  • Early-on, in SaGa Frontier 2, during Will's story, his aunt, Nina, will join your party. She joins with the Life Water spell, an healing spell, and her role, Medic, amplifies the healing power of said spell.
  • In Vandal Hearts, after your third mission you will recruit Huxley Hobbes, a Bishop who will provide much needed healing spells.
  • In Wild ARMs 1, Cecilia is the magician of the trio, and already knows a healing spell.
  • Atlus is notorious - and justly so - for making games that make players weep blood. But even they follow this trope:
    • In both Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne and Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey, the first demon to join the hero is a Pixie with Dia.
    • Your first battle partner in Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse is Asahi, who learns healing skills.
    • In both Devil Survivor and Devil Survivor 2, Pixie is again one of the first demons to join your party. The stat growths of Yuzu and Io also allows them to equip Dia, which becomes available very early on. If the MC is magic-oriented, they too can equip Dia at the start of the game.
    • From the very beginning of Persona 3, the player has access to Yukari, The Medic.
    • In Persona 4, as part of his role as a Red Mage, Yosuke learns some of the early healing spells. Yukiko, the main healer joins right after the first dungeon and you can pick up the skill yourself as you gain Personas.
    • Regardless of which path you pick in Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth, you'll always have some healers handy from the start of the game. The P3 path gives you Yukari, and the P4 path gives you Yukiko, both coincidentally being the main healers of their respective games. Rei also joins you very early on, and she comes with healing spells of her own.
    • Persona 5 meanwhile pulls a double whammy. Not only the first party member to join is Morgana, one of the team's main healers, the first new Persona you acquire as part of a tutorial is once again Pixie.
  • The Hero in Dragon Quest VIII knows Heal.
    • In fact, in most Dragon Quest games, the hero naturally learns a healing spell early on. Dragon Quest II is the only exception, as the Prince of Midenhall never learns any magic; however, both of his cousins have healing magic, and one of your first tasks is tracking down the Prince of Cannock.
  • While the first party member that joins Ryu in the original Breath of Fire I is a healer, she doesn't join until after Camlon castle and the dungeon of Nanai.
    • Breath of Fire II also has your second teammate as a healer: Bow. Though he does temporarily drop out of the party for plot reasons after the first act. Fortunately, one of your next party members can also heal.
    • Played straight by the third game - Ryu is actually a reasonably good healer, making a "No Dragon Forms" Self-Imposed Challenge relatively easy.
    • In Breath of Fire IV, your first playable characters are Ryu and Nina. Nina joins with healing spells, and remain the best healer in the game.
  • Castlevania: Curse of Darkness has Hector receive a Fairy familiar early on. This familiar starts out with a healing power.
  • In the Tales of... series:
    • In Tales of Phantasia, Mint Adenade, the first permanent party member, is the Trope Codifier for the White Magician Girl.
    • In Tales of Destiny, Rutee Katrea, the series' original Combat Medic, joins after a couple of easy dungeons.
    • Tales of Eternia gives the first party member, Farah, a healing spell almost immediately.
    • Tales of Destiny 2 gives the first party member, Loni Dunamis, the basic Heal spell just for the sake of this trope.
    • Tales of Symphonia double subverts this. Your Black Mage companion uses the party's lack of a healer at the very outset as an introduction to Cooking as a backup healing source, yet it has Kratos join you before the first dungeon and even though he acts like the strongest warrior in the party, every player knows his actual role is to cast First Aid. At least until the White Magician Girl joins.
    • Tales of Legendia makes the first party member, Will, a single target healing specialist.
    • Tales of the Abyss has Tear who joins right at the beginning.
    • Tales of Vesperia goes all the way and just has the White Magician Girl be the first party member to join you.
    • Tales of Graces does this in both the tutorial prologue and the game proper with Sophie and Cheria respectively.
    • In Tales of Xillia, this happens if the player chooses Milla's side of the story, as Jude is still the first party member recruited.
      • It's taken even further if the player chooses to play as Jude since he already knows a healing arte.
    • Tales of Xillia 2 repeats Milla's situation with Ludger since Jude is the first party member to join and already knows a healing arte.
    • In Tales of Zestiria, the game follows Vesperia's example by having Mikleo who is the best healer in the game join right in the opening.
  • In Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, the very first badges you get (literally right before the warmup boss in the first dungeon) come with a nice built in healing effect, that the game actually shows you how to use mid-battle (basically acting like a free healing spell). Then the very second set of badges you get block damage for a set of turns.
  • In the game's distant predecessor, Super Mario RPG, the first addition to Mario's party is Mallow, who has a healing rain spell. He's not a dedicated healer, though, he's The Red Mage. The job of dedicated healer belongs to Princess Toadstool, who is the last party member to join about mid-way through the game.
  • The MOTHER/Earthbound series has a tradition of making the protagonist the party's main healer, which is rare for the genre. Ness, Ninten, and Lucas all qualify, having most of the advanced healing PSI and relying on physical attacks (and one or two late-game PSI attacks, like PK Rockin' for Ness and PK Love for Lucas) for offense, leaving most of the combat PSI to their female counterparts, Ana, Paula, and Kumatora.
    • This tradition is probably why Ness and Lucas had to borrow some of their party members' PSI abilities when they became fighters in Super Smash Bros.; letting them use healing PSI like in their home games would make them instant Game Breakers (since no other fighter can heal on command), though they can both still heal by absorbing projectiles with PK Magnet.
  • While the three leads in the Golden Sun series have access to the Cure class of spells from the get go, Dark Dawn also qualifies for the main Trope in that Karis has access to a wind-version of the game's stock-standard healing spells usually reserved for the water-adepts, thus avoiding the need to cut your offense in half when someone needs some HP. Subverted with Jenna: while she is available from the beginning of the game and can learn a series of multi-target healing spells in her base class line, she requires four Mars Djinn to do so, which will not happen until after the fourth party member joins.
  • In Grandia II, the White Magician Girl is in the party from the very start—in fact, the entire plot is kicked off when the sword-wielding hero is hired to escort her to the capital city.
  • Star Ocean
  • In Xenoblade, Shulk starts with the Light Heal ability. He's later on outclassed by Sharla, whose entire purpose is being The Medic, but him having a minor healing art helps avoid frustration until she's recruited (which could be a while given the game's Wide Open Sandbox nature).
  • While the Glyph system of Lunarosse means there's no one designated healer, Noel's first Glyph is Water, which has healing spells to it.
  • In Chapter 2 of Rakenzarn Tales, healing-focused character Nina joins the party, and two other healers - Donald Duck and Edd - can be recruited in the next chapter.
  • Parasite Eve has Heal as the very first ability you unlock when Aya's Parasite Energy powers awaken at the start of the game. Parasite Eve 2 subverts this by having a fireball ability unlocked from the start and it's up to the player on whether or not they want to unlock the healing ability right away or wait much later.
  • In Suikoden II, the protagonist, Riou, will acquire the Bright Shield rune early on, granting him access to very potent healing spells, which will come in handy against boss battles, and a decent light attack spell. As Riou is also a very powerful fighter on his own, this makes him the best Combat Medic of the game, bar none. His rune also comes in handy during war battles, allowing him to heal every army in the range of two squares from him.
  • Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book: There are no Healer characters, but Player Character Sophie uses Item Crafting to make healing items, and making a low level potion is one of the first side quests. She can also equip them, which is not possible for some of the other party members.
  • Played with in the RPG Maker game "Echoes Of Aetheria". Halfway through the prologue you rescue Princess Soha who has some healing magic, but it's Blood Magic and therefore all of her healing is either Cast from Hit Points or some sort of Life Drain effect. Master Kesh has a fair number of healing and status removal effects, but he's the last party member to join. Neither of these are particularly troublesome though because After-Combat Recovery is in full force.
  • Rakenzarn Frontier Story gives Makoto a healing move with his first level up after the first fight in the game. Later in Chapter 2, once the class change feature is activated, the first shareable class is the aptly-named Healer class.

    RPG — MMO 
  • In Star Wars: The Old Republic, the first companion for the Bounty Hunter character is Mako, a healer. The second companion for all characters is a ship protocol droid who, while having very questionable usefulness as a companion, does have a healing ability if you do decide to use him.
    • In a similar manner every class that can be built as a healer will get a tank as their first companion, with the exception of the trooper, who gets a tank as their second companion. As a healer you will want a tank to solo certain missions!
      • Though realistically the limitation of the tanks' AI combined with attacks that should be avoided may find healers choosing to tank anyways.
      • Later updates play this straight in another way. Every companion can play the role of tank, damage or healer, switching at your behest.
  • In both Guild Wars campaigns that have heroes (NPCs you can customize and add to your party), one of the first heroes gained is a Monk who comes with a Healing Magic build (Dunkoro in Nightfall and Ogden in Eye of the North). In all campaigns, Healing Magic henchmen (like heroes, except not customizable) are available everywhere henchmen are (i.e., everywhere except the Prophecies tutorial area).
  • Final Fantasy XIV has several story missions early in the game that has a Guest-Star Party Member with the ability to heal and will heal you when needed since not every player will have started a new character as a healer. Likewise, some class and job quests will have an NPC acting as a healer for you since the majority of said classes and jobs don't have healing abilities for the player. For players taking up the role of healer at the start of the game, one of the very first spells they learn at the first level up is the Cure spell.

    RPG — Strategy 
  • In Disgaea: Hour of Darkness, you can add a healer to your party literally right after the tutorial. This is before Flonne, a plot-relevant healer, joins the party.
    • Later Disgaea installments give you three free Generics the first time you play. One of these is always a Healer. The exception is Disgaea 5, which gives you two Prinnies and a Maid, but even then you can recruit a Healer early, and you get Christo in the second chapter.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • This is generally known as the Lena archetype, though the Lena occasionally joins a bit later than another healer:
    • In Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon, Wrys joins in the first chapter after the prologue while the original Lena joins two chapters later. In Mystery Of The Emblem, Malliesia joins in Chapter 1.
    • In Fire Emblem Gaiden, Alm can recruit a healer named Silque very early in the game after fighting some bandits in a cave. Celica, meanwhile, starts with not one but two healers available to her party; both the priestess Genny and Celica herself have healing spells. Oddly, both Silque and Genny are completely optional, as the cave one meets Silque in can be ignored entirely and talking to Genny isn't required to exit the temple at the start of Celica's chapters.
    • In Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War, Ethlin joins in the prologue of the first generation while Adean, the resident Lena, joins in the first chapter. In the second generation, Adean's daughter, Lana (or her replacement Muirne) joins right at the beginning. In Thracia 776, the resident Lena, Safy, is the first staff user to join.
    • In Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade, Serra, an insufferable White Magician Girl, joins Lyn's party quite early and provides healing for the entirety of her chapters. In Eliwood/Hector's story, she re-joins as early as the second chapter, which is the same one where the Troubadour Priscilla also joins in (as long as the players visit the village she's stuck in). In The Binding Blade, Ellen joins automatically in the second chapter.
    • In Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones, Moulder automatically joins at the end of Chapter 1. Unlike other games, it takes another four chapters for the Lena (the cleric Natasha) to join.
    • In Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, the priest Rhys joins on chapter 2. Radiant Dawn has it to an even greater extent: Laura joins on chapter 2, but Micaiah who has a technical healing power with significant drawbacks (Namely, she can heal, but by way of Equivalent Exchange Cast From Hitpoints, and she's a Squishy Wizard) is available from the prologue.
    • In Fire Emblem Awakening, Lissa the cleric joins the party right after the premonition battle at the beginning of the game.
    • In Fire Emblem Fates, depending on the Avatar's gender, either Jakob or Felicia join for the first real battle in Chapter 2, and both are Combat Medics. Later, depending on which path the player chose in Chapter 6, Jakob or Felicia will rejoin the party and either the Shrine Maiden Sakura (for Hoshido) or the Troubadour Elise (for Nohr) will follow almost immediately afterwards. In the Golden Path it's almost the same, only Sakura joins two stages later and Elise takes a little longer.
  • La Pucelle has Alouette as one of your initial party members, a devout cleric with healing abilities.
  • In Phantom Brave, not only does the protagonist Marona start with a healing spell and learn more later on, one of the first Phantoms you're given is a Healer.
  • In Stella Glow, Lisette is the first Witch the player has control over and is also the game's most powerful healer. Before she reaches her full potential, though, they are also joined by Klaus, the Jack-of-All-Trades who can also serve as a backup healer.
  • Super Robot Wars games typically have a mech with healing abilities join within the first few stages. Aphrodite A and the Methuss are especially common examples.
  • Sonny: In both games, you are quickly joined by a Combat Medic.
  • Warcraft III: In the human and undead campaigns of the first game, your hero starts with a powerful healing spell (that deals damage to undead/living respectively).

    RPG — Western 
  • In the Baldur's Gate games, the main character will learn healing spells if he's Good-aligned. If he's Evil-aligned, he will instead learn life absorption spells (same purpose, but not as useful). Also, in both games, you have Jaheira, a Warrior/Druid, who can join your party very early and who will provide the very necessary healing spells you will need to get through the game (on top of that, in the first Baldur's Gate game, she and her husband Khalid join very close to level-up).
  • In Mass Effect, your very first squadmate (well, not counting Jenkins) is Kaidan Alenko, who is incidentally the only squaddie with the Medicine skill.
  • A Dance with Rogues actually inverts this: you don't even meet the module's only cleric before Part Two and he is unceremoniously killed off after a couple of dungeons. In fact, he is the second-to-last possible companion the Princess encounters (the last one is Rizzen). Luckily, the game throws enough Healing Potions at you to survive without a healer most of the time.
  • Inverted in Neverwinter Nights 2. Zhjaeve, the cleric, is the second to last party member to join, almost exactly halfway through the game. Fortunately, the game has a lot of healing options that don't depend on having a dedicated healer in the party.
  • Dragon Age:
    • The first party member you encounter in Dragon Age: Origins Awakening (besides Mhairi, who starts off the game with you) is Anders, a Spirit Healer.
    • The main games don't quite fit this, because their respective dedicated healers (Wynne in Dragon Age: Origins and Anders again in Dragon Age II) can be obtained pretty much whenever you feel like it—most people recommend recruiting them firstnote , but it's not required and you can leave them for last if you really want. Dragon Age II potentially plays this straight if the player is a Warrior or a Rogue, as Hawke's younger sister Bethany can learn the Heal spell. She dies if you're a mage, however, since YOU can learn heal yourself. Dragon Age: Inquisition averts this by removing magical healing from gameplay altogether.
  • In Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura, the very first NPCnote  the player encounters after surviving an airship crash is Virgil, a sorta religious fellow with a basic healing spell who declares you the Chosen One and joins your party. Another easily-available ally uses technological healing.
  • In Pillars of Eternity, the priest Durance is the third possible recruit, and pretty impossible to miss. Found on the road to Caed Nua, the second major location the player visits, he begins ranting the instant he sees you, declaring that it is the will of his god that he join you to both aid you and put you to the test.
  • While Dark Souls I doesn't have party members (the closest you get is co-op), it does give your the ability to heal early on, with both the reusable Estus flask Oscar gives you in the Undead Asylum, and the healing miracles you can buy from Petrus as soon as you get to Firelink Shrine.
  • In Darkest Dungeon, after the tutorial level, you will always get the same two recruits from the Stage Coach: a Vestal, the game's most reliable healer, and a Plague Doctor, who can nullify blight and bleed Damage Over Time and provide small amounts of spot healing.

  • Jagged Alliance 2: The first squad member you can recruit for free is Ira, whose highest starting skill is Medical.
  • While it's a Bequeathed Power rather than a party member, Mipha's Grace can potentially act as this in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It's played with in that the radically non-linear nature of the game means that completing the Vah Ruta arc to get this healing spell can be done after doing all the other Divine Beast arcs first. But the way Zora's Domain is positioned (it's the closest Divine Beast-related region to Kakariko Village, which is itself the first place the player is advised to go after the Great Plateau tutorial) means that the player is subtly nudged into doing that arc first.
  • Similarly to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Dark Souls I, the healing power in Jotun (which even functions similarly to an Estus flask) is the first one you find.

    Non-Game Examples 
  • Looking for Group: Healer Benny is the third introduced character (if you don't count the Red Shirts casually killed by Richard).
  • In the Discworld Igors and Igorinas simply know when their medical and healing skills will be needed and turn up to where they will be effective. Monstrous Regiment sees Igorina as one of the first recruits to the Section. elsewhere, the Discworld continuation fictions of A.A. Pessimal see another Igorina recruited as Matron to the Assassins' Guild School. She finds working for assassins to be job satisfaction in spadeloads and finds plenty of excuses for going out as medical support to Assassin missions.

Alternative Title(s): Medic Joins First