Update 1, 2010/09/20: Added info on Training, and on equipping acolytes in the General Tips.
Some hints to people who want to play the game, but can’t quite understand all the kanji (not that I understood them *all*, but at least you don’t need to go through the trial-and-error I did…). Also note that I’m playing the version on PSP, and not the one on PS2… I don’t think the game system changed though.
Before I start though, let me say this: it’s a fun game to play. As in, FUN. Made me wish I can play them at home instead of just during commute to and from work…
No clue how to take a screenshot on the PSP, so sadly no screenshot in this post.
- When you start the game you can choose between doing the White route or the Black route. Some characters can only be gotten in a particular route, and I think there’s one character who has different endings depending on whether you played the White or Black route.
- You can jump over/avoid fighting the ordinary monsters, but I suggest not… how else are you going to get XP and money to afford those expensive weapons/armours? And even when your level’s high enough, the boss fights’ still difficult…
- One thing I love about this game? Shortcuts to Save, Load, Quick Save and Quick Load. Press the R button to access the shortcuts for these. L button to shortcuts to the skip and log backtrack function.
- Choose the characters you want to use and stick with them. There’s no need to increase the level of the other characters, as you won’t need to swap characters etc.
- Once you’ve finished the game, you’ll be offered to save your clear data. Do so. Afterwards you can choose to continue from this save data, which gives you a new game and keeps your characters’ levels from the finished game. Items/weapons/money etc doesn’t carry over though.
- It’s when you’re on this New Game+ with your old level etc intact that you can afford to skip monster fights since you no longer need the EXP. Still need the money though…
- On your first playthrough, you do need to buy the weapons/armours in the shop. On your New Game+ where you get to keep your previous levels… probably just buy the weapon/armour at the last town or something. In my New Game+, my Nina was a killing machine with high attack stats which made fighting the bosses a lot faster. …cute killing machine, but deadly nevertheless.
- Speaking about equipment, apart from weapon and armour, each character can equip 3 Acolytes. It’s basically accessories which either boosts your stats or gives a good effect. You can buy Acolytes from the shop or find them in treasure chests.
- When equipping acolytes… you can see on the bottom-right, what status boost it gives you. Acolytes you get from treasure chests usually gives you status boosts, while some Acolytes will look as if they do nothing (mostly Acolytes you get from the boss fights). These Acolytes that look like they don’t do anything… are actually awesome. One actually protects you from status ailments, another protects you from status decrease (useful against the last boss), and another guarantees that you’d have the first turn of attack in every battle. Sadly these Acolytes are from the boss fights, so you only get 1 of each.
- You use the directional pad to walk around in the dungeon. That’s easy to understand. Use O to open treasure chests or to fight monsters, and use X to jump over monsters (effectively avoiding fighting them… although not all can be avoided). Hold O with the directional pad to run on the map.
- Sometimes you’ll see treasure chests on the map that looks unreachable. All of the treasure chests are actually reachable, they just need a leap of faith. There are invisible platforms which will only show up when you land on them. Basically, use X to jump towards where the treasure chest is. If you’re jumping from the right spot, the invisible platform will materialise and you’ll land on it. If you’re jumping from the wrong spot, nothing will happen and you’ll just stay where you are. No such thing as falling to your death here.
- Once you reach the end of dungeon and finished the boss fight, a gigantic crystal will materialise. If you touch this with O, you’ll be asked whether you’d want to exit the dungeon. Choosing yes will immediately teleport you out of the dungeon. If you keep on walking instead, usually the next exit will ask you the same thing, ie., if you want to exit the dungeon. Since usually the crystal and the dungeon exit are next to each other, just choose the crystal to get out.
- However, it’s worth checking the exit next to the crystal… there’s one dungeon I can remember where the floor exit next to the crystal didn’t ask me about exiting the dungeon; it actually led to another room (with treasure chests) instead of being the dungeon exit. So… check the exit, if the exit asks about exiting the dungeon, choose no and use the crystal instead.
- One of the skills available to Nina from the start is heal, which you’ll use a lot at the beginning of the game. However in the later part of the game this skill heals too little to be of use, and you’re better off using another character’s healing spell (like Rukia’s) or items.
- It pays to familiarise yourself with the characters’ special skills. So that at least you know which spell is to attack, which one to heal, which one to cure status, which one to revive etc.
- If you encounter an enemy you couldn’t really damage, as in, you can only deal 1-5 points of damage per hit, try using special skill and vice versa. In the early stages of the game it doesn’t matter, but in the latter stages of the game it’d matter as it’d mean having a quick battle or a prolonged one.
- After each battle, your LP & SP are completely healed, no item usage needed. So you can just spam every battle using your best special skill.
- All characters have their special skills unlocked from the start. It’s just a matter of having enough SP to use them… so you still need to level up to increase the SP to have enough to use the special skills.
- This is one game where stats increase/decrease actually matters. The last boss has a skill which will decrease a certain character’s stats… all of the stats. It’s worthwhile trying to figure out a way to counter this to win the battle. While playing the White route, I had Raclot in my team which worked awesome, as he had a skill which prevented stats decrease for a number of turns. Not sure what I’d do for the Black route…
- The town is where you can train to increase your stats or increase your guy’s affections. To train just pick the first option, select the guy to train with and select the stat to train. You can only train during weekdays; on weekends this option will be disabled.
- You can buy items too. Be warned that when you visit the item shop the day will be used up… but only if you actually buy/sell something.
- On weekends you can visit the guys’ rooms. See the dating section.
- You can also choose to do nothing and rest for the day.
- You can select a guy then select a category to train in. Each guy excels in different category (red circle is better than yellow circle), and will increase your stats accordingly.
- On the bottom right you can see which stats it’d increase, and by how much. The bigger the size of the UP arrow is, the more stats increase you’ll gain.
- The day after you trained with a certain character, if you select the character again, they’ll have a crescent moon symbol on them instead of the usual sun symbol. If you choose to train with them again, the stats increase you gain will be less. I think of it as the character needing to rest the next day after he trained you…
…which led me to another thought. So here we have a female heroine who can do the training non-stop everyday, while the male characters needed to rest after every training. Either the men are weak, or the heroine has an enduring stamina…
- The more often you train with a particular character, the faster you’ll unlock the next level of training. Training level 2 will give you more stats increase compared to level 1 and so on. 3 levels of training max.
- On that note, there’s no need to train with characters who’s not in your party. Pick the 3 characters to bring in your party, and only train with them. This way you’ll unlock the higher level training faster.
- The higher level of training will mean the character will need to rest for longer. Level 2 training means they’ll need to rest for 2 days, etc.
- When you choose to visit a guy during the weekends, you’ll be shown a visual representation of rooms with each guy in the room. If the guy’s picture is NOT shown, that means he won’t be there if you try to visit him.
- When he’s not in his room… cancel out until you get to the main menu again, and choose to rest in your room. This will net you an event with the guy.
- If you ask the guy to go out and visit a place, he’ll ask you a question. If you select the right answer, you’ll hear a faint sound and his affection will increase (the sound was very faint for me, not sure how to make it louder). Just use Quick Save and Quick Load to try the answers. Some questions make no difference to the affection level though. So no matter which answer you choose you won’t hear that faint sound.
- A better alternative to increase affection is probably to just give the guy a gift… again, Quick Save and Quick Load to try out the gifts. You can immediately tell from the guy’s reaction whether or not he likes it.
That’s all I have for now, I think. I’ve started playing the Black route a few days ago, and will add to this entry when necessary.