Part 2: Character analysis 1The Shining Force: Part 1
Pros: High attack, gains the best attack spell in the game
Cons: Weak defense for a hero, vulnerable to being ganged up
Standing in for: Max
Thoughts: Of all the Shining Force heroes, Bowie is one of the most offensively oriented. His attack growth is in the top five of all the characters of the game. The trade-off to this is his defense is only above-average. I say only because previous ShF heroes (most notably Nick of ShFCD but also Max of ShF1) are total brick shithouses. Combined with the higher attack values of enemies, Bowie feels very vulnerable in this game, but that's probably the point.
"Have you ever noticed how short Jaha is?"
Pros: Incredible offense, only healer for over half the game, learns Slow
Cons: Weak MP growth
Standing in for: Lowe
Thoughts: Sarah is often thought of the weakest healer in ShF2, but she's been indirectly buffed into the best one in Challenge Mode. The reason is because she learns Slow, a spell that lowers the defense of enemies. Normally, this spell is superfluous because you're killing everything in two hits anyway, but with boosted enemy defense and HP, Slow is actually a godsend. Combine that with the fact that Sarah has attack growth that exceeds many front-line fighters, she is among one of the best characters in the game. Keep Sarah and treat her well, because she'll pull us out of many hairy situations.
"I'm a lot taller than Jaha. He, he...(whinny)!"
Pros: Takes a while for his replacement to show up, serviceable until that happens
Cons: Terrible stats growths on absolutely everything
Standing in for: Ken
Thoughts: Remember how much Ken sucked in Shining Force 1? It's so much worse in this game. It's easy to gloss over how bad Chester is in ShF2, but the heightened difficulty of Challenge Mode really exposes how terrible he is. Although it looks like he has high attack and HP, in the long run every single one of his stats gets beaten by every other knight with a single exception. I will probably be benching him as soon as I possibly can.
"Ouch...Sarah just told me how short I was..."
Pros: High attack and defense
Cons: Low movement and agility
Standing in for: Luke
Thoughts: Jaha is good if boring. There's really not much to say about him. His HP is a bit low, but his defense makes him really buff, and if you can leash enemies onto him while he's sitting on a 30% tile, you've pretty much got it made. The annoying thing is that since he's the designated tank, your party is pretty much limited to his movement.