I am playing Epic Battle Fantasy 2 and it seems that the characters are maxed out from Epic Battle Fantasy 1 (which I have played but I remember very little of it) because they have 9999 hit points and 999 magic points and tons of magic and special attacks and alternate weapons. At the end of the first level, you get to level up and increase an attribute and gain a special bonus of your choice.
I stopped there because I had an idea. I assume that we will somehow be knocked back to low-level standards since there really is no place for our hp, mp, spells, or items to go. I am probably wrong.
The idea was akin to any of the later Metroid games where you start out with all the special gear from the previous game but something conspires to set you back to square one (specifically, I recall the opening of Metroid Prime).
My idea was for a fantasy or sci-fi game that defies the "start at level 1 with crap gear" convention and gives you everything at the beginning. Then, after you get into the game's plot and mechanics, you lose everything. The game then allows you to choose which pieces of your equipment to recover first. In this way it differs from Metroid; if I really like the Morph Ball and Morph Bombs, then I should be able to go after them before the High Jump Boots.
The game should be open-ended so the player is truly free to pursue the items in any order. Some may make it easier to gain others but none should be required. Also, the game should be difficult but not impossible to beat without any items, just for the hell of it.