Final Fantasy 2 manual-type thingy 11/1/1999. Ver. 1.2 (This is not a help guide for Final Fantasy 4 for Snes that was released in America as Final Fantasy 2. This is for Final Fantasy 2 for the Nes.) Written by El Nino (ElNino42@yahoo.com) Version History Ver 1.2 (11/1/99) Another update was required thanks to my stupidity. Diagram of the "row" system didn't make sense when converted from .doc to .txt. So that's fixed now. Also put the wrong date on Ver 1.1 release, fixed that too. Ver 1.1 (10/30/99) Almost immediately after submitting Ver 1.0 to the net I learned something new that made me feel so dense I'm surprised I don't have my own gravity. Changes made to Attributes Section and almost completely redone Adjusted Stats Section. Ver 1.0 (10/29/99) Initial release. Yay What this is: This is a guide designed to explain the basic mechanics of Final Fantasy 2. What this isn't: A walkthrough that will tell you what to do every step of the way (if people beg enough, I'll write one of those too) NOTE: This is an explanation of how I think Final Fantasy 2 works. I have played and beaten the game and so even if my observations are not 100% accurate, you will still be able to get through the game by following them. If you do find out something I missed or flat-out lied about, feel free to email me at ElNino42@yahoo.com. Put "Final Fantasy 2" as the subject or I will assume the letter to be spam and delete it. If you have never played through a single Final Fantasy game, or any role-playing game for that matter, don't start with this one. This is one of the more difficult console RPGs I've played. If the only reason you play RPGs is for story you might wanna skip this one, the story is crap. This is an RPG for people who play video games for gameplay (what a concept). Expect to spend about 50% as much time wondering around getting levels up as you do following the story. There are three sections to this manual-type thingy: Advancement System, Stuff That Ain't the Advancement System, Tips and such. ADVANCEMENT SYSTEM Ok, This is pretty much the reason I wrote this manual-type thingy. The Advancement System in FF2 is Square's attempt at a more realistic Advancement System. The unrealistic aspect of most RPGs is it is illogical for, say, a White Mage to cast spells better because he stood there and watched the fighter kill someone. Or the White Mage could use his Hammer of Wussiness to pound a goblin's head in and that makes him better able to heal somehow. Basically, the experience that goes into a level up does not fit the abilities received upon level up. Square's solution, do away with grand overall experience and make each skill and attribute build up separately. For example: if you fight a lot, your ability to fight increases. If you use magic, your ability to cast spells increases. There are four areas of advancement: Attributes, Weapon Skills, Magic Skills, and Adjusted Stats. If you get confused, don't worry. Between reading this and playing the game, you'll learn the system in about 10 minutes. Rule Number 1: If you are getting stats up, don't try to run from combat. If you flee, you will lose anything that may have gone up. You will also lose all your hard work if you leave combat with a status ailment that doesn't go away at the end of combat (dark, poison, etc.) A * next to a stat means that I think what I have is correct, but don't be surprised if its not Attributes Attributes generally refer to the player's raw, unfocused energy. There are five of them. Power- Pwr. - Power is your raw strength. Building it will increase the damage done by your attacks. There are two ways to build it. 1)FIGHT!!!! Beating people up makes are stronger. 2)Equip powerful Armor. Carrying around all that metal has a tendency of making you bigger, go fig. *Agility- Agl. - Agility is how quick you are. It affects who goes when in combat and how successful you are at running. To build it up you have to try to run and fail. Then complete the fight. Vitality- Vit. - Vitality is how well your body gets hurt. When you get more HP (see HP below) you will receive X more total HP. X = Characters vitality. To build, lose HP in combat. Intelligence- Int. - Intelligence is how well you can cast Black Magic. Affects how many MP gained on MP up (works with Soul). Build by casting Black Magic Soul- How well you cast White Magic. Affects how many MP gained on MP up (works with Int.) Build by casting White Magic. HP- Hit Points- how much pain a character can take before dying. To build, get beat up and lose half (give or take) of your total HP. This must be done in a single combat. The game compares your HP at the end of the combat to your HP at the beginning of the combat. So if you get hurt, don't heal yourself or you won't get more HP MP- Magic Points- how many spells you can cast. Building this is just like building HP. IMPORTANT NOTE: Pwr and Vit conflict with Int. When Pwr. or Vit. go up Int. goes down, and Vice Versa. This is done to prevent Ultra-powerful Fighter/Black Wizards. This also means that your magic users will have to have crappy armor to prevent Pwr increases. Adjusted Stats These are the stats that are not built by your actions. They go up when the stat that affects them goes up. These are like interpretations for your skills, it tells you what having a skill up does to your performance in the game. Defense- Def. - How well you can absorb damage. Obviously, this is adjusted by the Armor you are wearing. Attack- How much damage you do. Affected by Pwr. and the weapon you have equipped Hit %- How many times you can hit and your chances of hitting. There are two numbers listed next to this stat. The first is how many hits you can do. The second is your chances of hitting. This stat is affected by the character's skill in the weapon they are using. (See Weapon Skills) *Evade -Evad -How well you can use a shield to deflect attacks. Two listed numbers, first is how many attacks you can evade. The second is your chances of successfully evading them. Affected by Shield Skill (also in weapon skills) and type of shield equipped. Magic Power- M. Pwr.- How potent the spells you cast are. Your Int. and Soul affect this stat ***Magic Defense - Mdef- How well you can resist Black Magic. There are two numbers listed, like with evade and hit%, but I have no idea what the two numbers mean. Not sure what affects it. Weapon Skills Since all of the Weapon Skills are similar, I'll explain them all at once. There are many different types of weapons (swords, axes, lances, etc.). Your characters will become more skilled with the weapons as they use them. Increasing the level of skill with a weapon will increase the number of hits you can do. This is handy because a weapon that does 60 points of damage could do 3 hits and do 180 points of damage. There are two numbers listed. The first the skill level of the weapon. The second is the amount of experience you have built. 100 points of experience gets a level up. Shield is also in with this bunch. It advances the same way, but instead of number of times it hits, it has the number of hits it can deflect. Build the skills up by attacking with that type of weapon. Build your shield stat by having a shield equipped while attacking. Magic Skills Like with weapons, Magic Skills have two numbers. The first is the level of that spell. The second is the experience of that spell. To build up the level of the spell, cast it. When a spell goes up a level, it will improve its effects in one of two ways. If the spell is a HP or MP altering spell, the spell will affect the HP or MP more (we've all played some FF game before, get BOLT a level up to become BOLT2. Get CURE a level up to get CURE2). If it is a spell intended to fix a status ailment (Poison, stone, dead, etc.) The spell will have a better chance of being successful. When you get Heal and Life, they will rarely work in combat and require some levels up to become useful. STUFF THAT AIN'T THE ADVANCEMENT SYSTEM Thank god we are past that section. Man, I had no idea writing this was going to be so annoying. Thanks to everyone who has ever written a Walkthrough/FAQ/Manual-Type Thingy. Back to FF2. Ok, you have the biggest thing that separates this from other RPGs, now on to little stuff. These are the smallest tidbits from the game that I can remember off the top of my head that are either unique to this game or are just rarely used. First is the conversation helper "learn". When someone talks to you they will sometimes have a word in parenthesis. This is a word that can be learned. Move the pointer to learn and select the word. Now you can a new word that you can say to certain people. So when you are looking for Cid to ask him about Airships, you have to talk to him, select the "say" option, and then select the word you want to talk to him about. This is done to give the player the illusion that they have some degree of control in social actions. It's kind of cheesy the way it's implemented, but the idea is good. Like most FF games, This game has the "row" system. You can put weaker characters in the back to protect them from damage. If a character is in the back row, they can only be attacked by bow weapons and magic. Any character in the back row can only attack and hit with a bow weapon so it's not all fine and dandy. The monsters have a row system of their own. Look at the following pattern, X's are monsters and O's are characters: O X X X X O X X X X O O The monsters on the two rows closest to the characters are the only ones who can be attacked. Even Bows can't attack the ones in the back. Magic can be cast on any monster though. Like In FF1, you characters will swing at enemies even when the target is dead. If you attack and the message says ineffective, you know why TIPS AND SUCH To get the most out of your team, as early as possible put each of them into one of two categories: Fighter or Black Mage. There are no character classes defined by the game, but I'm sure you know what I mean. All characters should know and be skilled with the following spells: CURE, LIFE, HEAL. The player has the option of equipping two weapons at once. Although you only do the damage of the more powerful of the two, you will get levels up with both weapons. This is a good way to learn a new weapon while still doing damage with your preferred weapon. Your defense will suffer without a shield though. I strongly recommend you take one character at the start of the game, give him a sword, and never give him any other weapon besides a sword. Whatever sword you have at a given time is usually better than any other weapon available. Don't have all your fighters as swordsmen. There are many other fine weapons and there is the possibility you won't explore enough to find a kick booty sword and you will need to rely on someone else's skills with the other weapons until you retrace your steps or finally find the next great blade. <- RUN-ON SENTENCE When you are trying to get your weapons skills up you may notice that you are killing your enemies quickly. This creates the problem of walking around looking for more enemies to kill in one hit (your experience in a weapon goes up in each swing). My solution: put your fighters in the back row. As previously stated, attacks from melee weapons from the back row don't hit so you can swing the night away and build stats up. To build your HP up you have to get hit a lot but not neccesarly by monsters. Beat up your buddies. It's fun and helpful (but be careful, you can kill them). As I said before, HEAL and LIFE start out rarely working in combat (which I will add pisses me off!!!!!). But you can practice on people that are alive or on people with not status ailments. Normally casting a spell increases your experience by 2, but if you cast heal on an ok person or life on a living person, it only gives you one point. It's worth it though, inasmuch as there is no other practical way. And as I said before and will restate now, running away from combat and leaving with a status ailment wipes the slate clean from everything you did in combat. Be careful, don't spend 30 minutes casting heal and attacking from the back row just to get screwed because you are blind, get some freaking eyedrops!! Legal Stuff This Document is Copyright 1999 Joseph McCain (El Nino). This Document may not be sold or used for any profitable/promotional purposes whatsoever. This Document may be posted on any web site provided that 1) there is no cost to access to this file and 2) the document is completely intact. This file may not be reproduced by any means other than electronically.