Part 5: Character analysis 2^^^ I will be posting occasional "Things you didn't know about Shining Force mechanics" updates to shine more light on the game. For now though, knowing how to occupy heavy terrain gets you through the early game. When Sarah finally learns Slow, abuse the hell out of it.
The Shining Force: Part 2
"Using magic tires me out. I need to rest a lot"
Pros: Upgraded spell list, area effects, ignores defense
Standing in for: Tao
Thoughts: You read that right, Kazin no longer has Muddle and now learns Freeze in its place. Although he learns it much more slowly than Blaze, it's still a very helpful upgrade. That said, I still have to deal with bad defense, MP management, and manipulating the AI into standing in areas that a single spell can cover. One of my friends swears up and down that Desoul is much more powerful in this version not because of an increased success rate, but because the payoff is much higher due to increased enemy durability. I'll give it a shot this go, but the RNG has never been my friend.
"I'm thinking of a way to steal more treasure after the battle."
Pros: Extremely high attack, better critical/double attack/counter chances than other characters
Cons: Embarrassingly weak early, all stat growths are late
Standing in for: Arthur
Thoughts: Slade is known as the weak early, strong late character in Shining Force 2. While it's annoying to level him up in the original, doing so in this hack is downright dangerous. In face of all the enemy buffs, Slade didn't receive a single change, meaning his weak starting stats are even worse in comparison. In a game without grinding and where everyone needs to be constantly pulling their weight, using Slade is a pretty serious risk. I did manage to get him leveled up before, so I know I can do it again, but be warned about trying to use him.
"I'm practicing... dodge... dodge... (Whew)...I'm tired!."
Pros: Extreme defense, great mobility and utility after promotion, just look at him
Cons: Vulnerable to magic, mediocre attack
Spells: Dispel/Flame Breath
Standing in for: Jogurt
Thoughts: Kiwi has received massive buffs in this patch, which is great. He now has the highest defense on the force, attack that isn't great but passable, the ability to disable mages, and can use his flame breath on command. He also gains the float move type on promotion, which allows him to ignore movement penalties but still gain the defense bonuses of terrain. All around, Kiwi is actually a very viable character now, and probably surpasses Claude and Zynk in usefulness.