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Final Fantasy II: Power Leveling
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Copyright (c) 2012, Shian Kiri (Fessy D Knight)
Email: shiankiri (at) gmail (dot) com
Version: 1.0

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Copyright Information
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Feel free to use this guide where you want as long as credit is given where
credit belongs. 

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Preface
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I'm a long time Final Fantasy fan. I've played every single version of the game
and while I didn't play Final Fantasy II (NES) until the 2001 Remake on PSone...
The game left a lasting impression on me and nearly 11 years after I had
originally played the game, I finally got the opportunity to play to the end. 

Unfortunately, Final Fantasy II is also one of the more difficult games to play
through given that the game is full of minor inconveniences as well as one of
the most difficult and time consuming methods of leveling up.

Incidentally, this method was also used in Final Fantasy XIV, which proved to be
one of the worst decisions in MMO history. I have fond memories of this system
as well as not so fond ones (I was one of the very first Rank 50 Archers in the
world in Final Fantasy XIV). So when it came to Final Fantasy II, I was no
stranger to the difficulties of this system, thus I decided that I'd give others
the opportunity to experience the game for it's story and by taking out much of
the work as possible for those who may find the game extremely difficult to get
into and trust me, it can be pretty rough.

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Notes
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This guide is not meant to be extremely in depth, but I'll do my best to give
you a quick general overview where I can.

First and foremost, some things to keep in mind about Power Leveling in that it
can be extremely time consuming (the nature of the game honestly) and costly.
It takes a lot of Gil to restore your characters, so naturally, this guide is
most effective from the mid to late game. Particularly after the Dreadnaught or
after Mysidia Tower. However, you can use this guide anywhere. 

There are a couple of tricks to set you up on your way to make this entire
thing easier and you can actually accomplish a lot once you have access to the
Snowcraft which is prior to obtaining the "Goddess Bell", a requirement to
enter Kashun Castle right before blowing up the Dreadnaught.

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Stats
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Every action in Final Fantasy II causes a stat to go up over time. Whether it 
happens right away or not is really left up to the game and the programming. 
But there are sure fire ways to Stat Boost with more consistent results. 

HP: Gained through taking damage, amount based on "Stamina"
MP: Gained through using magic, amount based on "Magic"
Stamina: Gained through taking damage
Magic: Gained through using casting spells
Intelligence: Gained through using "White" spells
Spirit: Gained through using "Black" spells
Agility: Gained through dodging
Strength: Gained through attacking
Evasion: Determined by your equipment and "Agility"
Magic Evasion: Gained through being targeted by a magic attack

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White Magic
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Barrier, Basuna, Blink, Cure, Dispel, Esuna, Fear, Fog, Holy, Life, Mini
Protect, Sap, Shell, Silence, Slow, Swap, Teleport, Ultima, Wall

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Black Magic
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Aura, Berserk, Blizzard, Break, Confuse, Curse, Death, Drain, Fire, Flare, Haste
Osmose, Scourge, Sleep, Stop, Stun, Thunder, Toad, Warp

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Power Leveling - Requirements
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Gil: It will take a lot of Gil. I mean... a ton of it. Inn's are based on how
messed up you are. Thus it'll cost more the higher your stats become (HP, MP). 

Four Characters: Final Fantasy II primarily focuses on Three Characters. 
Firion, Maria and Guy. You'll get a fourth character here and there, namely...
Minwu, Gordon, Joseph, Leila and Ricard. You don't keep your fourth character
for very long, thus you can use them as fodder... basically, your healer. 

Memory: Open up your Menu, go to Config, set your game to "Memory". What this
does is it causes the game to remember your actions for that particular battle.
You will basically set your party to do certain actions and hold down the "A"
button until your are 
A) Satisfied
B) Run out of resources (MP)
C) Some how have killed yourself or killed all of the enemies
Note: Always, always avoid killing the enemy and yourself. A and B is good. 
Don't do C. 

Physical Object (Optional): It takes approximately 1500 MP to Level a spell
from 15 to 16. It is suggested that you have to use a spell 100 times in 
order for it to go up a level and since the cost of a spell is based on it's
level... 15 x 100 = 1500 MP. This is where a "physical" object will help you.
When you hold down the "A" button on Memory mode, it'll automatically select
all the options you previously entered. Use a physical object to hold down
the A button and walk away from the game. Otherwise, if you're completely
baller and much rather witness hours upon hours of your characters doing
the same thing, go right ahead and hold down the A button until you're done. 

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Party Setup and Raising Particular Stats
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Each headline will have a particular "target" stat that method was initially 
designed for. However, there are "bonus" yields. In order to setup for the
methods described below, you would need particular actions, spells and other
things and of course, it causes certain stats to go up simply because of the
setup alone. 

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Note
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If you didn't take note of the requirements above, I'll mention it again. You
NEED a fourth character for the most efficient Power Leveling possible. Your 
fourth character is generally unneeded, thus you use them to do things you're
not willing to use on another of your main characters (Firion, Guy, Maria). To
put it simply, once you max Cure on Firion, Guy, Maria, do you honestly want
to continue to use Level 16 Cure on a character that doesn't need to anymore?

You'll be using your fourth character to cast Cure, and Cure alone. If not Cure,
then possibly any of the Helpful Spells mentioned below. 

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Battling - Choosing your Enemy
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I highly recommend a higher end enemy that doesn't run away and can't cast
any kind of status effect. Goblins in the early game will tend to run away which
makes power leveling difficult. Just find an enemy that won't run away too fast
and you can make this entire process easy. 

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Helpful Spells
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Cure: This spell is needed to prevent your characters from killing each other.
Shell: Reduces the damage from Black Magic. 
Protect: Reduces the damage from basic attacks. 
Wall: Reduces the damage from Black Magic. 
Blink: Reduces if not prevents damage completely. 
Toad: Prevents damage completely from attacking character.

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Increasing Stamina, HP
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------------ Method 1:
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Bonus: Spell Proficiency, Intelligence, Spirit, MP, Magic
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This one is fairly easy to do. Set your characters to cast an
offensive magic spell on the entire party and have another character simply
cast cure on the entire party, thus negating the damage as much as you can. Your
goal is to cause damage without killing your party.
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------------ Method 2:
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Bonus: Agility, Weapon Proficiency, Spell Proficiency, Spirit, Strength
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Use one of your characters to attack another without killing them. 
Heal the character that is receiving damage.

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Increasing Magic, MP
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Bonus: Magic Evasion, Spell Proficiency, Intelligence, Spirit
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Again, very simple and you can do this while increasing your
spell's proficiency (it's level) as well as causing damage to your party to
increase your HP. Just use up all your MP, then heal up at an inn. Rinse and
repeat as long as you wish. Once you start breaking 100 MP, it'll go up
exponentially. In addition to this, it'll cause your Intelligence or Spirit to
go up too. Leveling up magic is the most time consuming task in the game, but
it also causes you to cap out on several stats very quickly. 

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Increasing Strength
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This one is a bit more difficult and you'll find that you
will hit the upper limits of what you can do at certain points of the game. In
fact, after Mysidia Tower, I have only been able to get to Level 11 on any
weapon. The type of enemy matters in the equation of leveling up your weapon
proficiency. I also suspect that the type of weapon and matters as well. You'll
find that you'll hit Level 5 on your Sword skill and it won't go up. Upgrading
to a higher end weapon will suddenly yield points again. Rule of thumb for 
weapon proficiency is that the difficulty of the monster and the type of weapon
you have will yield points. 
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------------ Method 1:
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Bonus: Stamina, HP, Weapon Proficiency, Spirit, Spell Proficiency
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Simply set one of your characters to attack another character.
Have another character specifically heal the character taking damage. 
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------------ Method 2:
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Bonus: Spell Proficiency, Weapon Profiency, Spirit
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Set one of your characters to cast Protect. For some reason, over time, Protect
stacts and eventually reduces damage to 0.
Set another one of your characters to attack another character. 
Set another character to heal the character taking damage.
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------------ Method 3:
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Bonus: Spell Proficiency, Weapon Proficiency
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Have on of your characters cast Toad on the attacking character.
That character who has been turned into a Toad will forever miss it's target.
However, it will still yield points for weapon proficiency. This is the
safest method, but the least efficient if you want to increase HP. This
method also does not appear to contribute to "Agility" since you automatically
miss, and the receiving character is technically not dodging for some reason.

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Increasing Agility
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Bonus: Spell Proficiency, Spirit, Strength, Weapon Proficiency, HP, Stamina
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Set a character to cast "Blink"
Set another character to attack any character
Set another character to heal characters taking damage.
This one takes the longest to do and it's not always guaranteed. Ideally, you
want to cause a character to miss because the target character is dodging. Which
is why Blink comes into handy, because it raises Evasion and doesn't cause the
attacking character's Accuracy to drop (which is what Toad does). 

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Tips
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As mentioned, I highly suggest Power Leveling once you have access to the 
Snowcraft given to you by Joseph. 

The reason is, you can play the Memory Challenge Game to gain Gil fast without
having to spend hours fighting monsters for it. 

One other thing you can do, which will take quite a bit of time is increasing
your character's HP and Strength to a point where you can fight Captains in
Fynn. These Captains drop "Toad Tomes", which will teach you Toad. If you reach
Level 16 Toad, you can play the Toad version of the Memory Challenge Game and
gain access to Masamune and Genji armor, some if not the best equipment, 
in the game. If you had this before you even reached the Goddess
Bell, you would make the entire game a complete joke and at that point, you're
just left with finishing the game.