The plot focuses on a group of millennia-old Immortals- Kaim, Seth, Ming and Sarah- who have lost their memories - and, in some cases, their loved ones. Sent on a mission to investigate the Grand Staff (a big building that causes meteors to fall on things), Kaim and Seth begin to regain their memories and suspect foul play on the part of the man they’re working for. But before they can confront the fiend or even remember everything they’ve forgotten, they’re captured by the warring nation of Numara, and abruptly find themselves at the center of more political schemes and plot twists than you can shake a stick at.
While much of Lost Odyssey is nothing a seasoned Final Fantasy veteran hasn't seen before (even if the names are different; cure = heal, Moogles = little rabbits in pots, etc.), a few twists in mechanics make the game more than a fancy copycat. The combat system is different, for one thing. Many of your party members are Immortals - characters who cannot (technically) die, but who also cannot learn skills naturally. So while our hero Kaim and his supporting cast of female casters are very powerful, they need constant maintenance. Without a mortal in their party, they cannot "skill link" to learn new talents. Mortals also serve as meat shield for Immortals if one gets knocked out during combat- if you can’t keep at least one party member alive long enough for an Immortal to revive, it’s game over.
For a second difference, the ring system that enhances the effectiveness of your physical attacks (as well as providing some cool status effects) is a completely new experience even for the most jaded FF fan. Without a ring equipped, you might as well be fighting naked; and with the wrong ring equipped, you might as well be fighting in your jammies. Ring components are picked up throughout the game - in chests, dropped by enemies, bought in shops (remember to check every shelf, desk, poster and pot you see; it’ll pay off) - and you assemble the rings from the menu. The game is also nice enough to let you change rings during combat without losing a turn, which speaks to just how much Lost Odyssey is asking in terms of strategic thinking over button mashing.