Defeated, Tanzra lies on the ground in front of you. As he tries to breathe, the air seems to escape his body in shallow, short gasps. His demons, themselves defeated, can only watch as their fallen lord struggles for life. Finally, the chest of their leader rises no more. From underneath the mist rises large, dark, hooded figures. These are the demons which even you have only heard about: the Chosen 13, Tanzra's mightiest demons. With great care, these demons transport their king back to the underworld from which they came.
Because of your victory in this great battle, people have been able to live in peace for several thousand years. Now, something has happened. Through their combined power, the Chosen 13 have raised the Evil Lord. Tanzra, now alive, has vowed revenge on you and your people. He has sent forth the Chosen to destroy everything!
Gameplay for ActRaiser 2 consists primarily of side-scrolling platform action, similar to the "Professional!"/"Action" mode from the original game, while completely removing the city building simulation. The player, assuming the role of the "Master", controls a floating palace to inspect the people of the world below. After hearing their plight, the Master descends to the world below to fight the monsters and rid the land of evil. Like the original, each area contains two "acts"; the first act of an area consists of monsters spawned from a lesser demon named after an unfavorable condition, while the second act consists of monsters spawned from the primary evil, named after one of the seven deadly sins, with heightened challenge and peril.
The side-scrolling action for ActRaiser 2 is more advanced than its predecessor. Controlling the Master, who now has a full set of functional wings, the player must navigate through dungeons and avoid certain perils by jumping, flying, falling, and floating to platforms. Armed only with a sword, and a shield which can deflect some attacks, the Master becomes heavily dependent upon magic. Magic is executed by holding down the designated button to "charge up" and is then released, consuming a magic scroll which is limited when the Master enters an area. When released, the magic may take various forms depending on the position of the Master. This is different from the first ActRaiser in which the player had to select a particular magic before descending down to the world to fight monsters and was limited to only that magic for the duration of battle. In ActRaiser 2, each magic is designed for particular situations and some magic is more powerful than others. By increasing the difficulty level at the options screen, the time it takes to "charge up" magic is increased, adding more difficulty to the game. The game's difficulty is also increased in that monsters require much more damage to be destroyed. Death Heim cannot be accessed through easy mode.
There are three difficulty levels that can selected. Enemies are worth more points in harder difficulties, but score isn't used for any in-game purpose.
- Easy: The Master begins an Act with 5 lives and 5 MP. Enemies will have less HP.
- Normal: The Master begins an Act with 3 lives and 3 MP.
- Hard: The Master begins an Act with 2 lives and 3 MP. Enemies will have more HP.
The Master can visit any location at any time, as long as the plot permits. Most areas contained in smaller groups of two to three locations, and the Master usually has to clear one before he can access the other, similar to the Act>Sim>Act format of the first ActRaiser, just without the "Sim" part. There are no level or power requirements, but there is a loose progression in terms of difficulty. The Master's Angels will generally point him to the next location that requires his direct intervention.
Arriving at the town of Diligence, the Detector Angel will guide the Master to Industen. Clearing Industen opens up Benefic.
Tortoise Island reveals Altheria. The Master then stops at Devote to learn about the history of Altheria.
After visiting Temponia, the Master is guided to investigate Modero, which will then open up the Demon's Cave.
Justania and Favorian
Visiting Justania, the Master will be directed to Death Field. Then, proceeding to Favorian, the Master will learn about the demon in Almetha.
Lovaous takes place entirely in the Palace.
The Master will be guided to the prison of Gratis, and then to Stormrook.
The Tower of Souls will only be revealed after the Master has cleared all other areas.
It is the base area of Tanzra, this time also the final area. It cannot be accessed in Easy mode.
Items are found in Light Orbs that must be slashed apart. Slain enemies may drop small HP and MP Orbs. While the Master cannot go over his maximum HP (20), He can obtain more MP than he started an Act with, but no more than 10. MP over the maximum alloted by the difficulty will disappear at the end of an Act.
Each casting of a magic ability consumes 1 MP.
- Earth Force
- Fire Ball
- Flame Tongue
- Force Bolt
- Frost Burst
- Lightning Bolt
- ActRaiser 2 is notable for featuring minor nudity in a Super Nintendo game including the naked angel icon by the text. Also in the final level Death Heim, there are dead fighters that can be seen with their buttocks exposed. It's unknown how nudity slipped in past the Nintendo censorship.