From the Abyss emphasizes customized game-play over everything else. The player starts with the option of choosing one of four separate hero characters (each of which sporting their own palette swaps for visual variety). Next, as a slight customization method, you're asked a handful of questions to determine the chosen hero's starting statistics. At each level up, you can tailor your stats to meet your characters needs at each level up; each successive gained level offers even more stat points to distribute as you see fit. Any hero character can use any of the following weapons to meet the player's play-style: the sword, the axe, the spear, the staff, and the bow & arrow.
The player character's objective is simple : wipe out the monsters threatening town. To do so the player repeatedly dives into a dungeon called the Abyss, which acts as a spawning ground for the monsters that rampage the town. Each level of the Abyss consists of 3 procedurally generated stages followed by a boss level. Once the boss is defeated, the player is awarded a sum of Lufia (the in game currency in From the Abyss) by the town's queen and she grants the player access to a lower level into the Abyss. There are 8 levels of the Abyss in total.
Each abyss is home to standard monsters that happily await their death by the hero's weapon of choice (usually through a swift attack combo), but others require a more tactical approach. This is where skills come into play, and, more specifically, how these abilities are acquired. Similar to the Final Fantasy Blue Mage job class; the hero learns their abilities by copying one from a weakened foe. The difference is that the character captures the enemy in question to absorb a skill (which is accessible from then-on out). He/she first damages the enemy as much as possible (the lower the remaining energy, the higher the success rate). Then a Soul Capture is then performed to harness the skills of your opponent (this applies only to the first time capturing a particular critter; HP is gained any other time).