Also, you never get to choose who you attack; the weapons you choose to use do that for you, e.g. bows attack the enemy furthest from you, swords go for the nearest, scythes sweep one row, etc. You have to constantly reshift positions and reequip weapons. Lazy players who rush into battle without thinking about what weapons and items to use can stumble through a portion of the game, though will eventually get screwed over in the future.
Speak, See, Remember
At the end of each battle, you're graded on how fancy your finishing move was and how long you took, a number significantly reduced when useing the as-appropriate-as-possible weapons. Again, the risk versus payoff factor: should you finish the battle or prolong it so that the character with the best move can end the battle, and risk taking too long and even death?
Your reward for a battle well done is TP, which is used when exploring. Movement is handled like an old Tandy adventure: rather than manually walking, each screen requires you to press a direction on the D-pad and the character leaves the screen in such fashion. Pressing A will put you in Look Mode, and all of the environment pieces available for inspection are listed. Many of these are listed in red, which requires 1 TP, and while some are some red herrings (no pun intended), others open up side situations and conversations that bring you closer to the girls in your party, or push them even further away. Secret areas can be discovered, along with powerful weapons. This means that you have to do well in battles from the very beginning, otherwise a snowball effect can be put into motion: you need to do well in battle to gain TP, but you need good weapons to do well, and to find good weapons, you need TP, and so on.
How much life is left in the Japanese RPG? Every so often there's revitalization in one area that needs work, but a total teardown and rebuild from the foundations like this is rare. At first, it seems rather simple, and it is a simple game if you think about it. But think about it more and see that it's also strict and tactical, very chess-like. It is the great minimalist design: the more something limits you, the more it demands your ingenuity and creativity to conquer it.