Gameplay in Beyond the Beyond is, for the most part, standard for a role-playing video game. However, the turn-based battle system does contain one feature that was not standard in role-playing games at the time. Dubbed the "Active Playing System", this feature allows the player to increase the chances of either landing an improved attack on an enemy or defending from an enemy attack by pressing the X button at the correct time during battle. It is similar to the timing-based attacks in the later role-playing game Final Fantasy VIII (1999).
Beyond the Beyond has a total gameplay time averaging between 20 and 25 hours. It has been argued that the gameplay time is extended due mostly to long and complex dungeons, frequent random encounters, and the steep difficulty of bosses.
- Finn - the 14-year-old main character, in training to become a knight after his mother's death. Revealed by prophecy to be the savior of the world from the "Vicious Ones", a group of four mysterious and evil magicians from the Underworld.
- Steiner - a baby dragon that Finn keeps and has the potential to assist in battle.
- Annie - a 13-year-old friend of Finn's and daughter of Galahad, she fills the healing role during the game as a Cleric. It is implied that she has a crush on Finn.
- Percy - a 20-year-old knight at Marion Castle. Returns home to Isla village, critically wounded from a fight from Bandore troops, but is saved by Annie. He is Galahad's son and Annie's older brother.
- Samson - revered for his bravery, the 32-year-old soldier is cursed and loses much of his strength shortly after appearing. Has the lowest LP in the game, and is the slowest of all characters, but also has the highest strength. He has no magic.
- Edward - a 13-year-old magician and the prince of Marion. Has the highest MP of all the magic users specializes in mostly elemental (Fire, Ice, thunder, etc.) spells. He is pretty slow at first but after being upgraded he becomes the fastest in speed. Has the lowest defense of anyone in the game.
- Domino - a 28-year-old pirate collecting treasure throughout the world who joins the party in order to pay his debt to Finn, who saved his life. He also seeks revenge against the "Vicious Ones". His weapon(s) of choice are throwing knives. Has the highest Luck in the game.
- Tont - another young magician who hails from the ancient village of Simone. He was accidentally transformed into an anthropomorphic blob by a potion. He is a caster of offensive spells like Edward; but unlike him, Tont's magic revolves around summoning creatures.
- Lorele - a monk and the Princess of the kingdom of Barbaros.
- Galahad - the semi-retired 50-year-old former leader of Marion's knights. Finn's guardian and father of Percy and Annie.
- Kevins - at age 39, he is leader of the Marion Knights and as such was forced to entrust his son Finn to Galahad's care, he supposedly sacrificed himself by staying in Hell to prevent Akkadias's forces from invading the surface, but was rescued and brought back to the surface world by Finn.
- Shutat - a mysterious man serving directly under the emperor of Bandore, he was taken over by an evil being named Akkadias.
- Ramue - a cold-hearted witch reporting directly to Shutat, she has strong magical abilities. She places a curse on Samson in Marion to render him weak, in order to make the heroes appear as frauds to Zalagoon's king.
- Dagoot - another of Shutat's three generals, he is a master archer.
- Yeon - a strange goblin-like being, he is the last of Shutat's generals and has magic rivaling that of Ramue. He is a minion of Akkadias sent to monitor Shutat.
- Zeon - the village chief of Simone as well as the strongest magician in the world.
- Glade - adviser to the king of Zalagoon, he planned to betray Zalagoon with the Bandore forces by using Samson's curse against the party, but once his scheme is exposed, he went insane with fear and turned himself into a monster with Shutat's pill.
- Akkadias - an evil being that fills the "Devil" role and is the ringleader behind the "Vicious Ones" and is the final boss of the game.
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