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In Final Fantasy II, your characters have no restrictions with what they can attack with, wear as armour or cast as spells. Each character just gets better at whatever it is you make them do.

However, as per most role playing games, there are penalties for wielding specific weapons or wearing specific armour and casting spells. The Final Fantasy Wiki helpfully provides a number of tables that give the penalty to Intelligence and Soul/Spirit for each weapon or armour piece. The wiki also adds an enigmatic comment - "later versions of Final Fantasy II removed the int/spr penalty" - without providing any details regarding what is meant by "later".

So, what specific version of Final Fantasy II removed the magic penalty for wielding weapons and wearing armour?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

In the original version, almost all equipment would give a penalty on your magic spell power stats, Intelligence and Spirit/Soul. Unlike other stat changes from equipment, this penalty would not appear on the status screen but would take effect in battle.

In general, this penalty was high for heavier armor and for all weapons/shields besides staves and knives. In other words, equipping a character like a mage would keep their magic power up.

From the PSX version onward, they removed the penalty for weapons and shields, but not for other armor. So, you're free to use any type of weapon or shield on spellcasters, but putting heavier armor, helmets, or accessories will still bring down their spell strength.

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Where John talks about the PSX version, this also includes the PSP and GBA versions as well. – leety Mar 7 '13 at 18:36

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