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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 I, it's up to the player to choose whether any of the four party members are White Mages and/or Red Mages.
- 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.
- 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 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 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 are 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.
- 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 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.
- 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:
- 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 is a healer, she doesn't join until after Camlon castle and the dungeon of Nanai.
- 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.
- 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.
- Way before it, Super Mario RPG has the first addition to Mario's party be Mallow, who has a healing rain spell.
- In Earthbound, Ness, the main character, is a Combat Medic who learns his first healing spell as soon as he reaches level 2.
- 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.
- 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
- Star Ocean: The Second Story if the player chooses Claude's side of the story. The other potential viewpoint character, Rena, is the first to join.
- Star Ocean Till The End Of Time added this in the director's cutnote by giving Nel the Healing spell.
- In Blue Sphere, the gaiden sequel to the second game, Noel Chandler is available from the very beginning.
- In Star Ocean The Last Hope, the player is given Lymle almost immediately after the tutorial region, though she does need to be leveled up a bit.
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 has very questionable usefulness as a companion, does have a healing ability if you do decide to use him.
- 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).
RPG — Strategy
- In the Fire Emblem series, 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.
- Fire Emblem Gaiden has you rescuing Sister Sarah from bandits as the third chapter.
- In Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War, Ethlin joins in the prologue of the first generation while Aedean, the resident Lena, joins in the first chapter. In the second generation, Aedean's daughter, Lana, or her replacement, Mana, joins right at the beginning. In Thracia 776, the resident Lena, Safy, is the first staff user to join.
- In Fire Emblem: Rekka No Ken, 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. In Sword of Seals, 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 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 is available from the prologue.
- In Fire Emblem Awakening, Lissa the cleric joins your party right after the premonition battle.
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 1, your very first squadmate (well, not counting Jenkins) is Kaidan Alenko, who is incidentally the only squaddie with the Medicine skill.
- 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.
- 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.