Breath of Fire II centres around Ryu Bateson, a young member of the Dragon Clan who is mysteriously separated from his adoptive father and sister at a young age. Orphaned and soon on the run with fellow orphan Bow, Ryu and his friend grow up to be Rangers, an organized form of mercenaries for hire. A job sets them on a path that will ultimately unravel the mystery of the Church of St. Eva, see them fighting against an imminent demonic invasion, and discover the hidden power locked within each of the game's characters.
The hero of the game. He is a member of he Dragon Clan. Unfortunately, takes the role of the silent protagonist, so has no personality. Over the course of the game, both Katt and Nina fall in love with him, though unlike the other Breath of Fire games, in which the hero always falls in love with a girl named Nina, the ending leaves it ambiguous which girl he chooses. Wields a broadsword in combat and can transform into a dragon for incredibly powerful attacks. His special combat ability is called Guts, and it restores Ryu's lost HP; the less he has, the more it heals, although it fails frequently. His special field ability allows him to participate in the fishing minigame.
A young boy of the Windrunner Clan who becomes Ryu's best friend. A very talented thief who eventually gets caught up in unfortunate circumstances. Uses a crossbow in combat, and learns a little healing magic. His special combat ability, Shot, is just like his regular attack except that it will either deal a devastating blow to the enemy or only do 1 damage. His special field ability lets him participate in the hunting minigame, where he must try to shoot wild game (or monsters) with his crossbow, though he isn't very good at it since almost all creatures take more than one shot and will try to run away after the first one.
A member of the rare Woren Clan who joins the party. A warrior through and through, she develops feelings for Ryu after he becomes the first person to ever defeat her in combat, and she quickly becomes one of the two love interests. Wields a bo staff in combat, and has the highest agility of all the party members, though her defence is very low, which makes it unfortunate that her special combat ability, Dare, has her daring all present enemies to attack her, making it far more likely that they'll target Katt, even if other party members are on the brink of death. If hit in this way, Katt is guaranteed to counter-attack. Her field ability is the same as Bow's, letting her participate in the hunting minigame. Unlike Bow, who shoots game from a distance, Katt swings her staff directly in front of her, and while her reach is therefore limited, she kills targets in a single swing. Katt can also smash boulders that are blocking the party's path in the world map, a handy way for the developers to force the player to have Katt in the party at certain times.
A member of the Shell Clan who helps the party out. He is a bit of a lazy goof from a farming village who left home to wander the world for no better reason than the fact that running a farm was difficult. He can't hit as hard or as fast as Katt, but his thick skin gives him the highest defence in the group. Wears brass knuckles as his weapon. His special combat ability, Wake, has him attacking a party member with a fraction of his usual strength. This damages them, but can also dispel status ailments like Sleep. Wake also has a chance, albeit a rather slim one, to resuscitate a KOed party member. His special field ability allows him to curl up into a ball and roll across the world map at a much faster speed than the party makes on foot. While random battles cannot occur during the roll itself, Rand cannot stop on his own, and must keep rolling until he runs into something, be it a wall, coast, or town, at which point it is likely the party will get into a battle.
An exiled Windian Princess from the Wing Clan. Her wings are black (although they're clearly purple in-game and in most concept art), and a member of the royal family of Windia having black wings is such a bad omen that tradition demanded that the baby be put to death. Instead her mother the Queen arranged for Nina to be smuggled out of the country, though while she lives, the royal family refuses to officially acknowledge her as a princess. Nina develops feelings for Ryu after he saves her from the Joker gang, and becomes the other love interest. Her weapon is a magic ring that shoots bolts of energy, though as an offensive magic specialist, she almost never has to use it. Her special combat ability is Will, which functions much the same as Ryu's Guts, except that instead of restoring Nina's HP, it restores her AP (ability points). Her special field ability makes the party impervious to pit traps; if Nina is at the front of the party, and they fall into a hole, Nina will immediately fly the party back up using her wings. Later in the game, Nina also gains the ability to summon the Great Bird of Windia, which can fly the party around the world.
A once proud Highland warrior, he left his home voluntarily after a great war, now he performs magic tricks on the street to stay alive. Uses a dagger in combat and relies more on speed than strength or defence to make his mark. However, since he isn't as strong as Ryu, fast as Katt, or tough as Rand, Sten gets sidelined by most players. His special combat ability, RIP, allows him to play dead, which means he cannot be targeted by enemies, although he still makes a regular attack against an enemy of the player's choice. However, if Sten is the last member left standing and he tries to use RIP, the enemy will target him anyway and he'll take more damage than usual. His field ability lets the party cross certain narrow cliff faces by having Sten reach across with his long Highlander arms. This is only story-necessary a few times, but several areas have optional shortcuts that Sten can access in this way.
Full name "Ekaru Hoppe de pe Jean". He is the Prince of Simafort, the home of the froglike Creeping Clan. Jean is fairly happy-go-lucky, and his foppish, devil-may-care attitude makes him seem rather stupid, but he has a good heart, and does his best to help his friends and family. Wields a rapier, though some swords can be used by both Jean and Ryu. While Jean's noble spirit sees him through in the storyline, his stats are all garbage except for luck, so he is rarely used in battle. His special combat ability, Jab, has him attack all enemies at once, but he does much less damage per enemy than he would with a regular attack, which isn't that much anyway. His field ability lets him transform into a giant (non-anthropomorphic) frog, and carry the group around the map. This is partially useful because he moves two spaces with every hop, so the chance of random battles is halved, but mainly because he can swim like this, and get the party across land-locked bodies of water (the ocean being too rough for a mere frog).
A Grass Man who is held captive in a circus cage. Uncomfortably androgynous and mostly without emotion, Spar can speak to trees and plants to gain information, and wields a vine whip in battle, though he's better at defensive magic than at combat. His special combat ability, Nature (rendered as "Ntre" due to the game's absurd four-character limit), allows him to call upon the strength of a mysterious nature spirit named Green. If Green responds (and he often doesn't), it will have a magical effect on the battle that depends on the background; if the party is in the desert, nearby cacti will suddenly explode and damage the enemy, or if the party is in an open field, flowers may bloom and release pollen that lowers the enemies' defence, etc. It cannot work in areas without plantlife such as caves or manmade areas. His field ability allows him to "walk through" dense forests, representing his innate knowledge of the layout of the trees.
Bleu (Secret Character)
It's Bleu from the original Breath of Fire. She can be re-recruited if her secret home in the desert is found, and if the player speaks to her spirit guardians. She is in fact disguised as a human at the Magic School in Hometown, and if spoken to after the player meets her guardians, she will drop her disguise and forcefully join the party. Her weapon, just as it was in the original game, is a magical rod, though she should rely on her powerful offensive magic instead, which is slightly stronger than even Nina's. While characters in the original Breath of Fire didn't have special combat abilities, here she's gained one called Shed, in which she sheds her skin, which restores her HP to maximum and dispels negative status ailments, although it lowers her defence. As per her status as a secret character, unlike Ryu's Guts or Nina's Will, Shed works perfectly 100% of the time. Bleu, like Bow and Katt, can participate in the hunting minigame through her special field ability, though hers is literally a joke; she lifts her rod, casts a fire spell, and instantly incinerates all creatures on screen. This would seem to be handy except that instead of leaving behind useful meat, all creatures killed in this manner drop useless charcoal.
People who you meet along the way who do not join the party.
Ryu and Yua's father. He serves as a Priest of the Church of St. Eva in Gate until his mysterious disappearance.
Ryu's little sister. She disappears along with her father shortly after the game begins.
Patty the Phantom Thief
A mysterious girl who frames Bow for a robbery in the beginning of the game. Heavily implied to be Ryu's sister Yua, all grown up.
Ryu and Yua's absent mother, and a member of the Dragon Clan. She was believed to have died protecting the village from an attack, but eventually Ryu finds out the truth.
Nina's younger sister, and the only member of her family that still acknowledges Nina's existence. She is also the current Crown Princess of Windia.
An exceptionally devoted member of the St. Eva's church, whose strong faith gives him superhuman abilities. An occasional ally to the group.
Shamans and Fusion
During the course of the game the player will be able to seek out Shamans. These (mostly) lovely women will be able to fuse with the party characters and improve their stats. It can also drastically change the characters' appearance as well. Ryu cannot form any Fusions at all, because as a member of the Dragon Clan, he is incompatible with their magic. However, the first time they attempt to fuse with him, they unlock his inherited ability to transform into a dragon. Bleu is also immune to Fusion, but this is likely just because she is a secret character.
The Shamans from left to right are:
Solo (Shaman of Earth), Seny (Holy Shaman), Shin (Devil Shaman), Seso (Shaman Of Water), Sana (Shaman of Fire), Spoo (Shaman of Wind),
When mixing certain Shamans with the party characters, sometimes they will drastically change:
- Nina x Seny x Spoo = Angelic Nina
- Jean x Seny = Dark Prince Jean
- Katt x Shin = Dark Martial Artist Katt
- Sten x Sana x Spoo = Sten Jinni
- Rand x Solo x Sana = Small and Cute Rand
- Bow x Seny x Shin = Robo-Bow
- Spar x Seso = Girly Spar
- Spar x Sana x Shin = Snapdragon Spar
- Spar x Solo = Spar Sprout