A martial artist refined both in body and mind, the Monk specializes in barehanded fighting techniques.
The Monk, also known as the Black Belt (空手家, Karateka?), is a skilled martial artist who prefers his fists over weapons and magic in the original Final Fantasy. This is the only class that never gets to use magic; this, coupled with his general lack of equipment, make him the least expensive class (though his defense is thus relatively low as a result). In the NES version Black Belts have a blue headband and clothing. In the PlayStation version the headband is red, but was changed back to blue for the PlayStation portable sprites. His hair has also become shorter in every remake.
The Black Belt gets damage bonuses for fighting barehanded, and also a defense bonus based on Stamina. Barehanded damage surpasses claws and, with enough Stamina, equipment (except for status/elemental protection) is also unneeded. Like the Thief, he is another "investment" character, though his investment comes from grinding rather than class change; he starts weak, but his potential shows in that he can eventually catch up to the Warrior in a fight. At high enough levels, he (and the Master Monk) will even have the highest damage output.
In the Final Fantasy manga, the Black Belt's name is Fritz (フリッツ, Furittsu?). An original character that does not appear in the game, he is the youngest member of the Warriors of Light and helps Puffy, Matoya and Bahamut to restore the power of the Crystals.
After completing the Citadel of Trials, Bahamut, the Dragon King, upgrades Monk to the rank of Master (スーパー モンク, Sūpā Monku?). Originally, the Master Monk's attack speed and power was increased but at the expense of his Magic Defense which went from 4 to 1 per level up, but was otherwise similar (equipping a Ribbon ignores this). As a result in the NES version, the Master Monk with Fast cast on him could do an 8 hit combo on Chaos killing him in one attack while a level 50 Black Belt with Fast could not do so. In Dawn of Souls and following versions, the stat growth formula for promoted classes is altered, so the Master instead gains higher multiplier for his bonuses and gets more Magic Defense (2 instead of 1) at level up than the Black Belt, but he could no longer kill Chaos after a single round of attacks.
In the Dawn of Souls version and subsequent versions, there are ten optional auto-names for the different character classes. Each name refers to another character or location's name in the Final Fantasy series.
The ten names for the Monk class are:
- Arvis - Character in Final Fantasy VI.
- Cinna - Character in Final Fantasy IX.
- Drogan - Character in Final Fantasy V.
- Duncan - Character in Final Fantasy VI.
- Gorn - Character in Final Fantasy III.
- Maduin - Character in Final Fantasy VI.
- Marcus - Character in Final Fantasy IX.
- Owain - Character in Final Fantasy VI.
- Owzer - Character in Final Fantasy VI.
- Walz - Character in Final Fantasy V.
Monk appears on a Triple Triad card in the version playable via Final Fantasy Portal App.