Final Fantasy II
In the Kingdom of Fynn, war has erupted.
The neighbouring Empire of Palamecia has declared war and uses monsters from another world to bolster its forces. Although the Fynn soldiers attempted to drive back Palamecia, it wasn't enough and they were forced to abandon their castle. The remnants of the army and its citizens flee towards the town of Althea to recover their wounds, including four young orphans whose parents died during the attack on the castle.
As the game begins, the four orphans (Firion, Guy, Maria and Leon) are attacked by a group of mounted assailants and are seemingly killed. Firion then wakes up in a room, where he is being tended to by a white mage named Minwu and another woman named Hilda. Firion then discovers that Maria and Guy are also alive, that Leon (Maria's brother) is nowhere to be found, and that the mage has resurrected them. The three orphans ask to become part of a resistance movement fighting against Palamecia, but Hilda refuses and asks them to stay in the town of Althea to recoup their wounds. They also discover that Hilda is the daughter of the King of Fynn, who is sick, as well as other members of the resistance.
The three kids go out to search for an antidote to the king's sickness, but come up empty after finding a mortally wounded man who gives Firion a ring. They report back to a disheartened Hilda. She tells the trio that the only thing that can stand up to Palamecia is the magical metal Mythrill, which has been mentioned constantly in a nearby city called Poft. She also tells the trio to watch out for a massive battleship being built by the empire.
The trio sets out along with Minwu for the town of Paloom. From there, they take a boat to Poft and meet a man named Cid, who builds airships for a living. Although Cid offers to take them to several nearby towns for more information, they realize that they would be better served if they walked to the next town and fought enemies along the way. After many battles, the group arrives in the city of Salamand, where they discover that local men have been captured and forced to mine for Mythril. They hear from a local man named Josef that his daughter has been captured by the empire and is being held in a nearby cave, and the group goes in to rescue her.
Eventually, the group frees the prisoners and retrieve a supply of Mythril before leaving. They return to Salamand, now freed of the empire's influence, and then head back to Althea.
Once there, the weaponmaker Tobul is so impressed by the Mythril that he makes several weapons from the group. Afterwards, the resistance discovers that the empire's battleship is being built, and the quartet rushes to the town of Bafsk to see if they can stop it. They find that the town is now under the iron rule of the "Dark Knight", but the team manages to sneak in to a cave that leads to the battleship's build site. The team is discovered and attacked by the Dark Knight, but the latter escapes in the just-completed battleship after realizing he's outmatched. The team looks on in horror as the ship sails towards Poft, and chase after it.
They arrive too late, and discover that Poft has been nearly decimated by the battleship. Cid has survived, and tells them that the only hope to stop the ship is to find a holy item called the "Sunfire", which will stop its advance for good. The team continues on and discovers that Paloom has been reduced to ashes, before heading back to Althea and seeing evidence of an attack as well. However, the resistance members are safe underground along with the village's residents. Minwu stays behind to tend to the wounded while the trio goes to speak with the King of Fynn.
The King tells them that the Sunfire can only be obtained through a series of items that must be obtained, and head out to retrieve an item called the Goddess Bell. The trio heads back to Salamand, where Hilda expresses sorrow over Josef's death and tells the group to go to Kashuan to find the Bell.
The trio arrives in Kashuan and discovers a man named Gordon, who attempted to get the Sunfire himself but was impeded by monsters. He teams up with the group and together, they obtain the Bell, climb up the Castle of Kashuan, obtain the Torch of Egil and harness the Sun Flame for themselves.
As they head back to Althea, they see Cid and Hilda coming along in his airship to pick them up. However, the empire's battleship attacks and captures Cid and Hilda, along with their ship. When the group arrives back in Althea, they discover that the battleship has been damaged and is docked for repairs north of Fynn. The four party members decide to destroy the ship and rescue Hilda.
The group finds and infiltrates the battleship, then rescues Hilda and destroys the ship with the Sunfire. They flee as the ship burns down and Dark Knight swears revenge.
Afterwards, the party returns to Althea, where the King is dying. He asks Min'u to break the seal on the ultimate seal, Ultima, as well as tell Firion, Maria and Guy to go to the city of Dragoons, Deist, to find the surviving members and enlist their help. On their way to Dist, the trio meets a pirate named Leila who (after trying to rob them) agrees to help them in their quest.
The group arrives in Deist and are informed that there is only one Wyvern left, and that it has been poisoned and left in a cave. The group finds the dragon, who reveals to them that it has laid an egg that will hatch. They dunk the egg in the Pool of Life before returning to Althea, where Hilda asks to speak with Firion privately.
When they're alone, Hilda reveals that she is an impostor who was switched with the real Hilda on the battleship, who is being held as the prize in a arena competition. Firion destroys the impostor and, together with Maria, Guy and Gordon, goes to rescue her. The team eventually finds Hilda after winning the competition and being found out by the Emperor, and with the help of the master thief Paul, the group of six returns to Althea.
Several weeks pass, and the Resistance grows in size and strength. Gordon becomes the commander of the town's armed forces, and he and Hilda ask Firion, Maria and Guy to kill the empire's commander in Fynn. Together with Leila, the quartet heads out and defeats the master, with the resistance moving in afterwards to mop up the enemy resistance.
Hilda and Gordon then ask the group to go to the town of Mysidia to obtain Ultima, as they haven't heard back from Minwu yet. Using a magical crystal rod, the team gains access to Mysidia but are swallowed on the way by the massive sea creature Leviathan, who is guarding Ultima. The team wakes up inside the creature sans Leila, and they set out to find her. On the way through the creature, the group finds a town populated with people who were swallowed by the creature, including Ricard, a Dragoon who set out from Deist and is the last of his kind. Ricard joins the team and defeats a creature guarding a boat, which they use to sail out of Leviathan.
The group eventually reaches the Mysidia Tower and encounter many powerful magicians and enemies. They make their way to the top and find Minwu, who is attempting to break the seal on the door guarding Ultima. Minwu succeeds in destroying the seal with his magic, but at the cost of his life energy. He tells the team to get Ultima before he passes away. Inside the room, the team discovers Ultima and several crystals that give them strength and intelligence.
They return to Althea, only to find out that it has been ravaged by a Cyclone summoned by the empire, which is attacking other cities in the kingdom. The team heads to Fynn, where they find Leila has arrived unhurt and the Cyclone is getting closer to the city. Hilda and Gordon orders the trio to enter the Cyclone, which has the Emperor at its center, and defeat him for good. The dragon egg hatches and a Wyvern emerges and unites with Richard. Newly inspired, the team flies into the whirlwind on the dragon and fights several enemies.
The team discovers the Emperor at the eye of the storm, and discover that he is a coward. They execute him and the whirlwind dissipates. When they arrive back in Fynn, Hilda wants to throw a party, but the mood is ruined when an injured soldier arrives and reveals the unthinkable - the Dark Knight (who was once known as "Leon") has taken over the empire and is attempting to rebuild it. The team is aghast at their former friend's treachery, and Hilda asks them to infiltrate Palamecia and convince Dark Knight to abandon his plans.
Together with Cid, who was mortally wounded and brought to Fynn, the team uses his airship. Cid asks them to take care of the ship before he passes away, and the group uses the ship to infiltrate Palamecia.
The group fights through the central castle and eventually enters the throne room, where Leon is. Despite Maria's pleas, her brother has no interest in listening to her and tells the group that the world is built on power. Suddenly, the conversation is interrupted by the Emperor, who returns from the grave through the power of black magic. He states that he will kill everyone who betrayed him and goes to attack the group. Ricard jumps in between the group/Leon and the Emperor to protect them from the magic blast, and is incinerated in the process. The Wyvern arrives and rescues the group and Leon before flying away, and they watch in sadness and anger as Palamecia transforms into a demonic wasteland.
Back at Fynn, Hilda is horrified to hear what happened, while Leon comes to his senses and officially joins the group after Maria laments the death and destruction. Newly reunited, the four former orphans go back to assault the transformed Palamecia Castle via a transport link near Mysidia.
Once they arrive in the Castle, they fight many beasts and mutated creatures while dealing with mazes and transporters. Eventually, they find the mythical sword Masamune and take it with them. They fight their way back to the throne room and encounter the Emperor and unload on him with every attack and spell they have, finally destroying him once and for all. The castle changes back to normal, and the victorious party returns to Fyn.
As the townspeople and the resistance celebrate, Maria asks Firion, Guy and Leon if they can live together again like old times, but Leon refuses and leaves. Firion says that it's just the way Leon is, and the trio walk out together, remembering the sacrifices that were made to bring down the empire and their newfound sense of hope...