Note: For specific information pertaining to strengths and weaknesses, see the Characters page.
The Well-Balanced Party
Shining Force II makes choosing a weak party difficult. Your party will always contain Bowie who, by himself, is a force to be reckoned with towards the difficult parts of the game. During specific battles against enemies weak against certain strategies (such as attacks, magic, etc.), you'll want to stray from the balanced party slightly, but ultimately, the well-balanced and "best" party consists of an even distribution of the following:
When formulating your party, you will also want to consider special attributes for characters. For example, Kiwi can cross any terrain without loss of movement, many characters can fly, and Peter as a Phoenix has increased fire resistance.
- Offensive Units: Classes that ordinarily deal high amounts of damage with attacks. These include Knight/Paladin/Pegasus Knight, Thief/Ninja, Phoenik/Phoenix, Wolfman/Wolf Baron, Birdman/Bird Battler, and Robot.
- Defensive Units: Classes that can deal significant damage but specialize in defense. These include Warrior/Gladiator/Baron, Tortoise/Monster, and Golem
- Magic Units: Classes that deal damage with magic with frequent disregard for defense. This makes them able to compensate in situations where the first two class types fail. This includes Mage/Wizard/Sorcerer, possibly Thief, and possibly Priest/Vicar/Master Monk
- Healing Units: Classes that can restore lost HP or cure status ailments. This includes Priest/Vicar/Master Monk
- Long-Ranged Units: Classes that can attack from a distance and that shouldn't be attacked. This includes Ranger/Bow Knight and Archer/Sniper/Brass Gunner.
Using Special Items
Note: For more information on locating items that help promote, see the Item Location page.
- Vigor Ball (Elven Town, Sheela's Dojo) - Master Monk (Sarah and Karna): Because it is possible to find two Vigor Balls in the game, you should promote both of your priests, Sarah and Karna, to Master Monks. In addition to their healing powers, they will become somewhat capable of more offensive and defensive roles in battles which, in effect, makes them better able to assist your other party members. Not using the Vigor Ball will allow Sarah or Karna to make use of certain staves or the White Ring, but by the time such items even become available to you, the Master Monks will have become strong enough to make them unnecessary. Besides, Frayja can use these items instead.
Secret Book (Elven Town) - Sorcerer (Kazin): With only one Spell Book, you must decide whether or not to have Kazin or Tyrin (or neither) become a Sorcerer as opposed to a Wizard. To determine this, you should consider whether or not up to this point in the game you have needed any of Kazin's auxillary spells (everything but Blaze) or Tyrin's offensive spells (everything but sleep). The contrast between both characters and your preference for either in particular should help finalize this decision, but, more often than not, Kazin is the wiser choice for the Sorcerer promotion.
- Warrior's Pride (New Granseal Castle) - Baron (Jaha): A Baron has the advantage of one extra MOV point and the ability to equip swords, something that should be taken into consideration when deciding whether or not to use this item on Jaha or Randolf. Ultimately, you want to use this either way due to there being no disadvantages to this promotion. On average, Jaha has a higher defense than Randolf, who has a higher offense, but promoting Jaha tends to be more useful since the ability to equip swords will compensate for his weakened offense and make him a better overall character.
- Pegasus Wing (Palcalon Castle) - Pegasus Knight (Anyone): The only change in becoming a Pegasus Knight as opposed to a Paladin is the ability to fly, an asset if you have a preference for the offensive power of knights (especially if equipped with a spear). It doesn't make a big difference whether or not you use this on Chester or Rick, but the best option would be to give it to the strongest of the two; the ability to fly gives the Pegasus Knight the ability to escape from situations easily, and this makes defense less of an issue than offense.
- Silver Tank (Cavern of Darkness) - Brass Gunner (Nobody): Although this class gives an increase in attack and defense, it decreases the ability of the unit to move quickly. Brass Gunners tend to fall behind and will attack after everyone else has already beaten the nearby enemies; you'll want to keep Elric and Janet as Snipers so that they can begin the offensive and be protected by your more defense-oriented characters. Of the two, though, Elric is usually weaker and will need an offensive and defensive boost, so if you're going to use it, use it on him.
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