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Character stats[edit]

Base stats[edit]

Stat Description How to increase
Hit Points (HP) Your hit points reflect the quantity of damage a character can receive before dying. Having a greater number of hit points will allow you to survive longer in battle before you are in need of healing. Losing more than half of your maximum hit points will cause a character's maximum hit points to rise. The more hit points you lose in a single battle, the greater the chance that your maximum hit points will increase.
Magic Points (MP) The number of magic points a character possesses determines how many spells they may cast before they require rest or a drink of Ether to restore magic power. More powerful spells often require more magic points to cast. Using up over half of your total magic points in battle will increase the chance that a character's maximum magic points will increase. Using magic points outside of battle does not count.
Strength (STR) Strength measures a character's physical power. Higher strength ratings allow a hero to do more with each hit. Weapons can be equipped to supplement natural strength (see ATK), or a character can fight barehanded. Choosing to fight enemies with a hand-to-hand weapon, or with your fists, will slowly increase the likelihood that your strength will increase.
Agility (AGL) Agility is the level of physical dexterity that character has. High agility pushes a character higher up in the attacking order and makes it easier for them to evade an attack, or successfully escape a fight. There is a chance that a character's agility will increase every time he or she successfully evades an attack. Equipping shields increases the likelihood of evading attacks.
Intelligence (INT) Intelligence determines the power of Black magic spells. The higher the intelligence of the caster, the more potent and effective the black magic spells will be. Casting black magic will increase the chances that a caster's intelligence will increase. Those chances are determined more by the power of the targets than the spell cast.
Spirit (SOUL) Spirit (or Soul) determines the effectiveness of White magic spells. The more spirit a caster has, the greater the effect of healing spells will be, or the greater chance of success a status curing spell will have. Casting white magic will increase the chances that a caster's spirit will increase. This must be done in battle; casting white magic outside of battle will have no effect on spirit.
Stamina or Vitality (VIT) The more stamina, or vitality, that a character possesses, the greater amount their maximum hit points will increase, whenever the opportunity arises. Getting struck in battle will increase the chance that a character's stamina will increase. As with Hit Points, the amount of damage they take will determines this chance.
Magic or Magic Power (M.PWR) Similar in essence to stamina, but with respect to magic points as opposed to hit points. The higher this stat is, the more magic a character will gain on increase. Increasing magic power is accomplished the same way as increasing MP: you must reduce your MP by frequently cast spells in battle in order to improve this stat.
Attack Attack is a character's strength modified by whatever weapon they have equipped, as well as by the character's level of proficiency with a weapon. Attack determines the amount of damage a character can inflict on enemies with a particular weapon. Increasing your strength stat, equipping more powerful weapons, and increasing your proficiency in the given weapon class equipped in a character's dominant arm all increase your attack power.
Accuracy (Hit%) Accuracy determines how often an attack will successfully hit as well as the maximum number of hits per round that a character can get in. It is given in the form of xx-yy where xx is the number of attempted strikes you will make in a single turn, and yy is the chance that you have of hitting an enemy with each strike. That chance does not take into account an enemy's own ability to evade attacks. Having higher strength and agility will increase accuracy, as well as improving your proficiency with the class of weapon you are wielding.
Defense (DEF) The higher one's defense, the less damage they will take from physical attacks. This stat does not apply to damage received from magical attacks. It is determined solely by what body armor, shields, headgear, and gloves are equipped. Defense is primarily increased by equipping better quality pieces of armor.
Evasion (EVAD) Evade reduces the chance of an enemy physical attack successfully hitting the character. It is given in the form of xx-yy where xx is the number of attempted strikes you can potentially evade in a single turn, and yy is the chance that you have of evading those attacks. The actual probability of a hit connecting is determined by attacker's accuracy - target's evasion. All armor reduces evasion, with heavier equipment further reducing it. The more frequently a character is targeted for attack by an enemy, the more likely this stat is to rise. However, equipping shields is particularly helpful in improving your chance to evade attacks.
Magic Defense (MDEF) Like evasion, magic defense is a measurement of how successful a character will be at avoiding the effects of spells that are cast at them. Once again, it is listed in the form of xx-yy where xx is the number of magic spells you can potentially avoid in a single turn, and yy is the chance that you have of avoiding the effects of those spells. Getting targeted in battle by magic spells is the only way to increase magic power. Of all the stats, this can be the most difficult to improve intentionally.

Character improvement[edit]

Improving the strength and abilities of the characters in this game isn't as straightforward as in the more mainstream Final Fantasy video games. There are no experience points in this 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

In the NES and PS1 versions, when an attribute increases several times, another one will decrease.

  • When Spirit increases, Strength decreases
  • When Strength increases, Intelligence decreases
  • When Intelligence increases, Endurance decreases

Abusing the leveling system (Famicom/PSX only)[edit]

In Final Fantasy II, there are legitimate ways of increasing the level of your stats. However, in the Famicom and PlayStation versions of the game, there are also a few bugs which can be exploited to increase the likelihood that a stat increase will occur. The following are a list of actions that you can take to increase stats which may be unintuitive or unintentional.

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.


Unlike the first Final Fantasy, you can't reorder the way in which each of your playable characters is lined up. However, you do have the ability to instruct different characters to remain close to the front-line of battle, or take a step back to the rear. This has a couple of effects on battles. Characters that are close to the front are able to strike enemies with melee weapons, while characters who are set to attack from the back must use ranged weapons or spells. However, characters in the front are eligible for every attack from enemies, whether they are hand-to-hand or ranged, while characters in the back are only vulnerable to ranged attacks and spells. Do note that if the entire front-line falls, any character who is assigned to the back will be moved to the front-line.


NES combat screen
PlayStation combat screen

In combat, you are presented with your party on the right side and your enemies on the left. Before each round of combat, your characters step forth one by one and awaits your orders. After the warriors receive their orders, they carry them out while the enemy counter attacks. Combat continues until all of your enemies, or all of your party has been defeated, or until one of your party members successfully flees from battle. If either side is completely incapacitated by status ailments, the other side gets free rounds of attacks until at least one member recovers. If all of your party members are defeated, the game is over.

During battles, each character will have several options to choose from on their turn.

  • Attack: When chosen, a character will attack enemies with the weapon they have equipped. Characters without weapons will attack with their bare hands. Characters assigned to the back can't attack with melee weapons (see Formation above.)
  • Magic: Characters can use spells that have been purchased from a magic shop, or found in treasure chests. Select a spell and a target (if applicable) for the spell.
  • Items: Uses items in battle. Some items can't be used unless you have the Battle Support option enabled in the System Menu. Spells that can be cast from equipment can be cast by using the equipment like a normal item. At the top of the item menu, press up to select an equipped item.
  • Flee: The character that chooses this command will attempt to run away. If he succeeds, the whole party will escape. If he fails they cannot attack during that round.

Status ailments[edit]

In Final Fantasy II, some status ailments automatically end when a battle concludes (a temporary duration) and some status ailments last beyond a battle (a permanent duration). The White magic spells Basuna and Esuna can be used to cure these ailments; the Basuna spell is used to cure temporary ailments, while the Esuna spell is used to cure permanent ones. Additionally, Basuna and Esuna cannot be used to cure every ailment right away. You must use them to increase their level in order to tap into the ability to cure more dangerous ailments. Esuna can even be used to cure death at a high enough level.

  • AKA: Poison (NES)
  • Effect: Gradually reduces the affected character's HP until cured.
  • Duration: Temporary
  • Recovery: The spell Basuna (Level 1+) or an Antidote item.
  • Note: This status should not be confused with the similar permanent status Poison.
  • Effect: Affected character falls asleep and can no longer act.
  • Duration: Temporary
  • Recovery: The spell Basuna (Level 2+). Physical attacks also have a chance of waking a player.
  • AKA: Mute
  • Effect: Affected character can no longer use magic.
  • Duration: Permanent
  • Recovery: Using echo grass or casting the spell Esuna (Level 3+)
  • Effect: The character is shrunk, which reduces attack and defense considerably.
  • Duration: Temporary
  • Recovery: The spells Basuna (Level 4+)
  • Effect: Affected character can no longer act.
  • Duration: Temporary
  • Recovery: The spell Basuna (Level 5+)
  • Effect: The character is confused and no longer under your control. During their turn, they will attack allies or themselves.
  • Duration: Temporary
  • Recovery: The spell Basuna (Level 6+)
  • AKA: Dark, Blind
  • Duration: Permanent
  • Effect: Affected character's Accuracy is reduced.
  • Recovery: The spell Esuna (Level 1+) or an Eyedrop item.
  • Effect: Gradually reduces the affected character's HP until cured.
  • Duration: Permanent
  • Recovery: The spell Esuna (Level 1+) or an Antidote item.
  • Note: This status should not be confused with the similar temporary status Venom.
  • Effect: Character's attack and defense is reduced considerably.
  • Duration: Permanent
  • Recovery: The spell Esuna (Level 2+) or a Cross item.
  • AKA: Forget, Dumb
  • Effect: Affected character can no longer use magic.
  • Duration: Permanent
  • Recovery: The spell Esuna (Level 3+) or a Mallet item.
  • Effect: The character is turned into a toad, rendering them unable to use items and magic, and considerably reducing their attack and defense.
  • Duration: Permanent
  • Recovery: The spell Esuna (Level 4+) or a Maiden's Kiss item.
  • AKA: Stone
  • Effect: Character is turned to stone and cannot act or be attacked until cured.
  • Duration: Permanent
  • Recovery: The spell Esuna (Level 5+) or a Gold Needle.
  • Note: The game will be over if every (or any surviving) member of the party is petrified.
  • AKA: Dead
  • Effect: Character is dead and cannot act until cured.
  • Duration: Permanent
  • Recovery: The spells Raise or Esuna (Level 6+) or a Pheonix Down, or by visiting a sanctuary in town.