Final Fantasy II/Gameplay
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 Main characters
He is adopted by Leon's parents as a child and grows up with Leon and Maria as part of their family. They lose their parents when the imperial army of Palamecia attacks the kingdom of Fynn. Firion decides to avenge their deaths by joining the rebel movement against the empire.
Firion starts the game equipped with a sword and a shield. The final sword in Final Fantasy 2 can cast a black spell, but Maria is better suited for black magic: it's better to teach Firion a limited number of spells (four white and four black), and leave the rest to Maria and Guy, as outlined below here.
She worries constantly about her brother Leon when he disappears. Even so, she remains steadfast in her fight against the empire.
Maria starts the game with the highest intelligence, the attribute that rules Black Magic proficiency; moreover, she starts equipped with a slingshot, and the final slingshot in the video game can cast a black spell. Therefore, she's suited to learn as many black spells as possible.
He possesses enormous discipline and physical strength. Despite appearances, he is very gentle and occasionally naive. He is also capable of communicating with animals.
Guy starts the game equipped with an axe, and the final axe in Final Fantasy 2 can cast a white spell, therefore he should be taught as much White Magic as possible.
 Temporary characters
A powerful white mage.
He starts the game with 16 white spells and equipped with a staff. His great curative and protective abilities make for an easy game.
A villager from the northern town of Salamand.
He starts the game with no weapons and with some proficiency in karate (Japanese for "bare hands"), and it's goot not to have to worry about buying equipment for one of your characters.
The exiled prince of Kashuan.
He starts the game with low attributes and equipped with spear and shield. He will soon become very strong and fast.
A female pirate.
She starts the game equipped with a Thunder spell, a sword and a dagger. Her spell is effective against sea enemies. Leave the swords to Firion and equip her with daggers only, because she's the only character proficient in that weapon type.
The last of the Dragoons.
He starts the game with a spear and a shield, like Gordon, but with better attributes. Although his wisdom suggest he could use white magic, teaching him some black magic will allow him to get the best from his final weapon, the Thunder Spear.
He is Maria's brother, and Firion's adopted brother and best friend. Leon loses his parents when the empire attacks Fynn. He escapes with Firion, Maria, and Guy, but imperial soldiers soon catch up to them and attack. He has been missing ever since.
He's proficient with axes and swords, but at this point of the game you'll have some unused staves with magic properties, and you'll soon find a Holy Spear, too, so train him with these.
 Character class triangle diagram
This diagram summarizes the abilities of the characters, based on their starting attributes.
- Top: characters with limited magic abilities;
- Bottom: characters with great magic abilities;
- Left: characters with healing (white) magic;
- Right: characters with offensive (black) magic.
 Leveling basics
Leveling in this game isn't as straightforward as in the more mainstream Final Fantasy video games. There are no experience points in this video game, but when you fight enemies and satisfy any of the conditions below, you will gain points in that attribute.
- Physical attributes:
- Strength and accuracy are raised by attacking with weapons
- Endurance and max HP are raised by losing HP by taking damage in combat
- Agility and evasion are raised by being a target of a physical attack
- Magic attributes:
- Magic and max MP are raised by casting spells, or losing MP
- Spirit is raised by using white magic
- Intelligence is raised by using black magic
- Magic Defense is raised by being the target of spells and special abilities
- When Spirit increases, Strength decreases
- When Strength increases, Intelligence decreases
- When Intelligence increases, Endurance decreases
 Abusing the leveling system (NES/Famicom only)
If you played the NES version of the video game for a while, you probably concluded that it's pretty tough to raise your attributes quick enough to not get bored. There are ways to raise your attributes quicker, a few of them unintentional, I would think, and others that are legitimate. If you're a straight-laced by-the-book type of person you'll probably want to ignore this part.
- Swap spell
- Here's a great spell and it's available early in the game. Use it on a weak enemy and defeat it and you'll gain quite a bit.
- Attacking party members
- An unintentional but quick and dirty way to raise certain stats. This will raise the beaten up character's HP. Simply attack your other party members until they are in critical status. You can do this with magic as well to raise attributes associated with this as well, but there's an easier way. This was fixed in later versions of the video game.
- Another unintentional cheat but excellent for raising your weapon level. Select a target, confirm, and then cancel when the next character's turn comes around. You can also do this for magic. This was fixed in later versions of the video game.
 Magic basics
- Learning magic
- You can purchase spell scrolls from magic shops or find them in treasure chests. Use them in the "Items" menu to learn magic spells. Every character can learn up to sixteen spells at a time. If their spells slots are full and they want to learn another spell, they must first drop a spell via the "Discard" command.
- Use to select a caster, a spell, and a target if applicable. Press to confirm each selection. Note that not all spells can be used via the Magic menu.
- Spells that cannot be discarded are darkened in the menu.
- If you want to drop a spell, select it with and press , then select the "Discard" command and press to confirm.