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Quick question about level averaging

#1
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To a lesser extent, where these moments occur beyond their initial joining but to the main question:
Does Banon's level matter when new party members join your party afterwards in determining their level?

I thought I'd "easy route" a low level game by having Banon gain some solo XP a few times and get his level up (and score some nice GP too!) from a mockingly low Level 2 to roughly 10. I'm wondering if I left him at level 2 if Shadow, Cyan, Gau and Celes would join at a lower level? Cover

Also, I think Shadow's joining level is +1 of average so could I potentially 'save levels' by neglecting to bring Shadow along with me???
I'm not against just testing for myself via ZSNES but I'm currently playing on the SNES Classic so it would take longer.
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#2
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Minor test;
Level 2 Banon vs Banon level 10, Cyan was level 7 either way. I'm thinking it's fine.
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The function that calculates the starting level of a party member is at C0/9F78. The initial level is the average level of all recruited members at the moment of the actor/party member creation. It doesn't include guests, like Banon and Leo.

After the starting level is calculated, in another routine, a variable called 'level factor', at the actor startup data, is used to alter the calculated level. It adds or subtracts a constant value for the calculated level: [0, 2, 5, or -3]. The code is from C0/A11A to C0/A137.
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