Version 6.1 Beta © 2006-2012 by Bill Pringle, all rights reserved.
In addition to being a FAQ/Walkthrough, the purpose of this document is to help you determine how best to recruit people for the RPG video game Radiata Stories by Square-Enix. If you aren't familiar with the game, it is a combination of Final Fantasy, Zelda, Suikoden, and a few other games. What makes this game so much fun is the large number and variety of characters that can be recruited. Unlike many other games, where the same sprite is used multiple times (e.g, all the merchants look the same), each character has a unique appearance, schedule, and abilities, and they are recruited in a variety of ways.
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|Before the Split||Human Path||Non-Human Path||Post-Game||Groups||Misc|
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This page can be found in two forms: an HTML (web) page at http://BillPringle.com/games/radiata_checklist.html, and as a text file on http://www.gamefaqs.com/. The HTML page will probably be updated more often, and will always be the latest version. The HTML web page will include hyperlinks, so you can click on a link to find the appropriate section. The text file was created by the FireFox browser, which inserts hyper-links inside angle brackets (<#like-this>). To find that location with a text editor, use the search feature to find the target name in square brackets ([like-this]). The link inside the angle brackets will always start with a pound sign (#), indicating that the target is on the current page. The square brackets won't have that pound sign. For example, to find the target of link <#intro>, search for [intro].
If you are going to have an electronic copy of this FAQ, I recommend that you get the HTML version from my web site instead of the text file. It will allow you to take advantage of the hyperlinks, so that you can quickly move from one section to another. It also saves you from printing lots of pages.
Not all details of recruitment are included, but enough to help you plan who to recruit and when. If you feel that my walkthrough is missing some crucial information, please let me know. There are a number of additional resources available. I have listed what I think are the best ones. You can also find some maps on gamefaqs, which might help you the first time through the game.
If you find any problems and/or have any questions, you can e-mail me at email@example.com. Make sure you have "Radiata Stories" in the subject. I get a lot of spam, and will delete things without looking at them if I don't recognize the sender and the subject line doesn't stand out as legit (for example, a message with a subject of "a question" will probably get deleted without me looking at it.)
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Although you can use this document as a walk through, that isn't its main purpose. The game is pretty good at telling you what you can/should do next, so a traditional walk through is less important. If you are ever in doubt, press R1 to bring up the map. You will see a green swirl where you should be headed. There are several places in the game where if you try to go into an area you shouldn't, Jack will make a comment and retreat.
The hard (and most enjoyable) part of the game is recruiting characters. There are a number of resources that will tell you how to recruit a given character, but not so many that will tell you when and why you should recruit them.
I also recommend that you buy the Official Strategy Guide (if you can find it), since they have some good maps, plus complete character and bestiary statistics. There are, however, a number of errors in that guide, and I will point out the ones I've noticed.
I have tried to keep spoilers to a minimum, but there are times that you need to know something else will be happening later. I don't explain the content of cut scenes, which should reduce spoilers a bit. Actually, the game is relatively easy to follow. If you ever get stuck, hold down R1 to see the map. Your current destination will be shown with a swirl. If there aren't any swirls, then you probably need to sleep or enter your house to progress the game. If you are in the non-human path after the split, try sleeping or talking to everyone in the conference room.
For each phase of the game, I will tell you what missions you will have, with a comment on what you will get from each mission. I will not give you step by step instructions because, frankly, you probably don't need them. The game is pretty good at making sure you are doing what you should be doing. For example, when you are on your first few missions, if you try to turn away from the path to your destination, the leader of the group will stop you and tell you that is not the way. If there are some optional side quests, I will mention them and give you enough information to let you succeed with those quests.
One of the things I enjoy about this game is the sense of discovery as I wander around the world. Even though I had the official strategy guide, I didn't use it to find all the items that could be found; instead I kicked things all the time. Take time to explore each area of the world. Talk to everyone you see. Kick everything available, looking for items. Try every door and see what's behind it. An RPG is like a fine meal: the goal should be to enjoy the game, not see how fast you can finish it.
I do give you detailed step by step instructions for the final dungeon of the game, since the map in the official strategy guide is confusing and has errors, and I haven't seen an accurate map of that area that was generally available.
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A word of warning: avoid button mashing. If you are the kind of person that keeps mashing the "X" button (or the "O" button for this game) during a battle, get out of that habit. The problem is that each time you click the button, it queues an attack. If you kill an enemy and there are still attacks queued, you will either be swinging at empty air, or the target of the remaining attacks will be the next one in the list of monsters. That might be the one right next to you, or it could be the one clear across the battle field. If you think you are close to killing an enemy, click the "O" button and wait to see what happens. If it drops, approach the next closest enemy and press "O" again. That way, you can concentrate on the enemies you want to defeat next, and avoid running clear across the field, past a bunch of enemies, to get somebody over in a corner that you hadn't even noticed, let alone were interested in. ;^)
You will sometimes see one of the enemies with what looks like lightning bolts over them. This indicates that they are calling for more help. If they succeed, another enemy will appear and join in the fight. Since each enemy you defeat gets you a certain amount of experience and money, you might want to give them time to call somebody before you take them out.
The game has its own internal time system, which is roughly one hour of game time for every minute of real time. This means that a new day starts every 24 minutes, or about once every half hour. A 24-hour day is divided into day and night, with day running from 6AM to 6PM, and night from 6PM to 6AM of the following day. The clock has a sun in the center during the day, and a moon during the night. If the clock has a sun in the center, then the time is between 6AM and 6PM, but if the clock has a moon, then the time is between 6PM and 6AM. This can get confusing if you aren't careful. If you see a moon and the clock points to 7, then it is 7PM (which you would expect), but if you see a moon and the clock points to 5, then it is 5AM, not 5PM.
You need to pay attention to the time of day for a number of reasons. Each character has their own schedule which doesn't vary from day to day, until they are in your current party, or if they are involved in a current mission. Some character recruitment can only occur during specific time periods (such as when they are in their room, or at some other location). Some characters behave differently or have different abilities, depending on the time of day. For example, those who have either the King of Day or King of Night skills. One of the more interesting characters is Cornelia / Rachel, who transforms between a little girl and a young woman. If she is in your party, she will change appearances and fighting styles, depending on the time of day or night. Her name on the friends list is always where Cornelia should appear, but is listed as Rachel during her transformation.
There are also times when, if you enter your house during a certain time period, it will cause an event to trigger, which will progress the game. By avoiding your house except late at night / early in the morning, you can avoid triggering these events, allowing you to do things like level up and recruit people until you are ready for the next stage of the game. (And, when you are in your house, don't sleep, or that might also trigger an event.)
Monsters regenerate at midnight. Other things reset at midnight as well, such as who you have dueled, and some recruitments require things happening on different days. You can use this to your advantage sometimes. For example, if you need to talk to or duel someone on two different days, you can do it just before midnight, wait a minute or two until after midnight, and then do it again. If you clear out an area just before midnight, you can wait until the monsters are reset, and then clear it out again. Of course, that means you will have to wait until the following day if you need to do it a third time.
There are certain times in the game when the next phase happens when you enter your house during a certain time period (usually during the day). At other times, you need to sleep in your house to trigger the event. I generally tell you when you want to avoid your house if you don't want the game to progress. You can take your time to level up, earn money for items, etc. as long as you avoid your house during the day. What I usually do is enter my house late at night (after 10pm), save the game, and then leave to do whatever I want. A good rule of thumb is that you don't want to enter your house if Flau isn't sitting on the wall of the steps. (Of course, if you have Flau in your party, check the time instead.)
You will find a record player in your house, as well as in Fort Helencia if you choose the non-human path. You can insert records into the player, and then play whatever songs you want. Records carry over between games, so you only have to buy them once. If you need them in a later game, go to your house (or fort) and take them out to place them in your inventory. For example, to recruit Donkey (who has a very useful skill for you to learn), you have to buy all his records. The first time you play the game, you should buy all his records from him. The next time through the game, you can simply go to your house, add his records to your inventory, and talk to him to recruit him. After you recruit him, put the records back into the player to free up your inventory. You should only need to buy a record once.
Take time to explore the world. You can have a fun time just following certain characters around all day and seeing where they go, what they do, etc. Take time to admire the attention to detail that is throughout the game. See the section Easter Eggs and Silly Things for some suggestions on things to do and things to look for.
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Like many role playing games, leveling up can make the fights easier. If you equip a Training Device, you will gain more experience and level up faster. If you want more money, then equip Pluto's Trophy. You can equip two of either accessory to gain even more experience or money.
One of the unique things about this game is the ability to duel characters. You don't have to go out into the world or a dungeon to find a fight. Just kick somebody. If you kick somebody twice, they should fight you one-on-one. Some characters won't duel, so if they keep saying the same thing, try somebody else. You can only duel someone once per day. Fortunately, they don't seem to remember that you kicked them, other than a brief comment immediately after the fight. If you lose a duel, don't worry, the game isn't over, but you will have an HP of 1, so don't forget to heal (or talk to Miranda) before you get into a real fight.
When fighting in dungeons and in the world, you will notice that if you see more than one monster before a fight, some of the other monsters may not be there after the fight is over. If you leave the area and come back, they may re-appear. In general, stronger monsters will be less likely to disappear than weaker ones, but it isn't always that way.
If you do a lot of leveling up (like I do), then you can pretty much ignore all the strategy hints you read about for the boss fights. Just plow in and start hacking, telling your healer to concentrate on you if you take damage, and it will be over in no time. For really big boss fights, start with your volty attack and repeat that attack each time your volty guage is full.
If you don't level up, then links will be more important once you have learned them after your promotion. Using a link allows all members of your party to share the combined skills of everyone in your party. I only tend to use links when I need to learn a new skill or early in later games when my party members are still weak: I will equip Auto Cure or Absorb HP and link to keep my party members healthy. But that's me; you might like to experiment with links. There's no "one right way" to play this game; if you're having fun, then you're doing it the right way.
I like the Septem Cave the best for leveling up before the split. In the very early stages of the game it might be a challenge, but as long as you have a good spear, you should be able to get through that area just fine, especially if you have the "Prevent Freeze" or "Status Cure" skill equipped. The biggest irritant about the cave is that some smaller critters will sometimes attach to you. They don't deal any real damage, but you can't hit them while they are attached. Use the "X" and "O" buttons to jump back and swing your weapon, and eventually it will come off so you can hit it. So, if you think the battle is over, but they are all standing around doing nothing, try hitting "X" a few times and swinging your weapon. When you are in the second part of the cave, just before the exit, you will run into a large iceburg. Once in a while, after it is defeated, there will be another larva-like monster. This is the rare Killer Queen, who will give you a lot of experience, gold, and berries if you defeat it. Be careful, though, because she is tough, and you could lose a lot of experience and money if you get a "Game Over". Don't be afraid to use your volty on it. Sometimes, you might see her before the fight, but after the fight with the iceburg, she doesn't show up. If that happens, exit the cave and come back in to fight her.
If you are at a low level and keep getting killed in Septem Cave, then you should start off in the sewers below Theater Vancoor. That is a good place to kill a few minutes, and pick up some gold and experience at the same time. (If your party members keep getting killed off in the sewers, then clear out the bugs along the roads until they have gained some levels.) Once you are strong enough, you can do whatever you need to do during the day, and then clear out Septem Cave, and get home before daybreak to save your game.
After the split, your best experience comes from battling members of the other group. If you pick the human path, use the journey pig to the Dark Elves location (Mikey won't fight you, but won't let you in, either.) Travel east, then southwest around the lake, and then head towards Fort Helencia. You can then use the pig to get to the Goblin village and wander around there. Towards the very end of the game, the Blood Orc homeland becomes available. You can get some great experience there.
What I often do during the non-human path is use the journey pig to Lupus Gate, and then walk from there to Earth Valley, taking all the side roads. I usually walk toward Septem and Ocho until the bridge, and take the path up to the Hellforde gate at Radiata City, including the side path near Mook's house (Lily is at the top). Be careful when you run into Godwin and Fernando on the way to the gate (Fernando is actually on the bridge); their volty blast can take out one of your characters. As long as it isn't Jack, that's not a problem, so if you see one of them flashing, have Jack defend until the character is beaten or has used his volty. When you get to Earth Valley, take the journey pig to the Tria Region and fight the troops around there, then take the Pig to the Green Goblin village, check for the Dagol Turtle, and then take the road back towards Radiata that you didn't cover earlier.
I find the human guards quite funny. They seem to be enjoying the beautiful view rather than looking for enemies. Often you can walk right up to them and stand there for a while before they notice you (Lily is the major exception). But be careful, and don't get over confident. If you run up to them, you risk running past them, and then the game might claim that you were ambushed, so you start out confused. It is safer to walk up behind them, and either kick them or wait for them to notice you.
You will be able to recognize many of the characters you fight. If you are curious, position yourself so that the character you are wondering about is within the yellow target circle, then press the triangle button / select Items / Herbal Extract / Use You normally select a member of your party, but at the bottom you will see the name of the opponent, or if it doesn't have a name, then the type (e.g., you might see "Nina" or "Female Knight"). Remember to click "O" to cancel giving them the item (unless you really want to prolong the fight ;^)
If you run out of enemies, then go up to Wind Mountain and kick transporters and fight the few monsters there. The transporters will give you between 2,000 and 3,000 experience. You will probably want to avoid the animals on the roads getting there, since the experience is so low, and it isn't really worth the time to fight them.
That should get you a lot of experience and money. I can usually level the entire party up a couple of levels each day. Experiment until you find a route that you like, and then stick with it or mix it up every so often. Again, there is no one right way to play this game (which is what makes it so much fun, IMHO).
After you have won the game, the bonus dungeon is a great place to gain tons of money and experience. Use that time to prepare yourself for the Etheral Queen, and at the same time build up money so that you will start your next game in good shape.
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One of the reasons you want to recruit characters is so that you can learn their skills. If you link with a character that has a skill that you don't currently have, then after some number of links you will learn that skill. When you scroll through possible friends to include in your party, if the name of their skill is in red, that means you don't have it yet. You can go down to the sewers under Theater Vancoor to get into a lot of easy fights. If you defeat all the enemies under Theater Vancoor, you can go to the Void sewers from their torture room (where Interlude and Eon spend their time), or from the abandoned building you entered when you lost the princess. Easy fights are useful since the character you are trying to learn the skill from is probably a low level character. Since the monsters in that area stay fairly weak, if you equip auto-cure on yourself, which will continuously heal your party members, the low level characters have a better chance to survive a fight. Links use up your volty charge if you are fighting low-level enemies, but if they are stronger, your volty level can remain at max.
Once you have learned the skill, you need to fight with it equipped some number of times in order to level up the skill. Leveling up doesn't require links, any fights will do.
You can fill your party with characters having skills that you don't know yet, then equip yourself with Auto Cure and link your party together for each fight until you have learned the skills. Some skills are learned faster than others, so if you are in the sewers under Theater Vancoor, you can go to the first floor and swap out the character with the skill you just learned for someone who has another skill you need. If you run out of monsters in the basement, the enemies on the roads near Radiata are also very weak. You can keep this up until you learn all the available skills.
Remember that there are times when you don't want to go back to your house to sleep to force a new day. You only need to do this the first time you play the game, since skills carry over from one game to the next.
The skills that I like the best are:
There are lots of other skills, and you might prefer some others, depending on your fighting style. As I keep saying, there is no "one true way" to play this game. If you are having fun and not getting killed off, then you are playing it just fine.
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Like many RPGs, you have a selection of weapons you can use. You can also learn various attacks for each weapon. Once you have learned an attack, you always have it across all the games you play. You learn the various attacks by using the weapon in battle or by hitting a training dummy. When hitting a dummy, you can learn additional skills and sometimes items. Kick the dummy while you are holding the weapon you want to work on and you will be given a challenge (e.g., defeat enemy). If you succeed, you will be given a new challenge.
Note: If the challenge is "Receive no damage", all you have to do is run around avoiding the enemies so that you don't take any damage. (You don't have to defeat the enemies without taking damage, just avoid getting hit.)
There are two training dummies in the training room of the castle, two in Theater Vancoor, and one just outside Fort Helencia. If you haven't built up skills by the time you first get to Fort Helencia (the Crocogator mission), take some time there, since you have a healing spot and a save flag available. There are accessories that will allow you to learn skills for a specific type of weapon in less time. Once you have learned a skill, you have it for all future games.
Each weapon has a CP value, and each type of attack also has a CP value. You can select a series of up to 5 (combo) attacks as long as the total CP value of the attacks is less than or equal to the value of the weapon. Each time you press the circle button the next attack is performed. Unlike similar games, button mashing can cause problems. If you queue up four hits on an enemy, and kill it after two hits, Jack will still perform the remaining hits, swinging at thin air. In the meantime, another enemy can be attacking you.
You can change the weapon as well as the attacks at any time during the battle. At the beginning of a battle with a number of enemies, you can select a spear and wide circle attacks that will hit a number of enemies at once. When there is only one enemy left, you can change the attacks, or you can switch to a sword or axe, and use strong attacks. Available weapons are swords, two-handed swords, axes, and spears.
If you plan on using a weapon type, you should fight until you have learned all the attacks, and then continue to fight until you learn the volty attack. You only have to do this once. Your weapon attacks are carried over from one game to the next. Since your volty attack is affected by the attack value of the weapon, always equip your strongest weapon before you use your volty attack.
You can sometimes get items during training fights. The one you should know about is the "Defeat a Blood Orc" during the Axe training. Sometimes the enemy will drop a Blood Orc Horn, which is a key item you need to recruit a couple of characters. Since it doesn't carry over from one game to the next, and since you don't get to fight Blood Orcs in the field until later in the game, if you want to recruit those characters early in the game, you need to use this training mission to get that item and recruit the characters. You can repeat the same challenge as often as you want until you get the horn.
You can switch weapons, armor, and accessories at any time - even during a fight. When you equip a new weapon, whatever set of weapon skills you had set up for that type of weapon will be restored. This means you can switch between weapons without having to set up each new weapon. If you equip a new weapon that has a higher CP value than your previous weapon of the same type, you probably want to think about changing the order of attacks to take advantage of the increased possibilities.
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You actually spend very little time controlling Jack as a Radiata Knight, but with all the cut scenes it may seem to take forever. Don't get discouraged with the cut scenes; they are much less frequent after the game gets started. The first time through the game, use this time to learn the back story, and to practice the controls. The second time through, you will recognize people you have gotten to know during the previous game. You can't skip cut scenes, but if you mash the "X" button, you can cut short the dialogue time. If you are really tired of seeing the cut scenes, go read a book for a while and come back to see if the real game has started.
Most of this document deals with the game after you have been fired from the knights and join Theater Vancoor, when you are able to start recruiting characters. The beginning of the game pretty much leads you through whatever you need to do, so you won't need much help. There are some things you can do once you have arrived at some location for a mission, as well as some things you can do in the castle.
The important thing to remember is that whenever you have a chance, you want to level up your character as much as possible. This can be done by kicking characters to get them into a duel, as well as defeating various monsters in the field (or basement of the castle). Since the monsters regenerate at midnight, you can clear out an area, then wait until midnight, and clear it again. Most missions have a time limit, but it only kicks in once you have arrived and reported to whoever you were to visit. If you delay that meeting, you can prolong the time you have to level up. The higher your level, the better you will do when you start your own missions, and the easier it will be to recruit certain characters.
Kicking isn't limited to people. You can find items by kicking objects. Get in the habit of kicking everything and everyone in sight. You can find money or items when you kick things, but only once per game.
Part of the replay value of Radiata Stories is that the game has such a rich world with a diverse collection of characters. By selecting different characters in your party, the fights will take on different flavors. There is a lot of detail throughout the game, and a lot of fun things you can do in addition to the basic game. Look at the section on Easter Eggs and Silly Things
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The basic flow of this part of the game is that you have some missions with your squad that you must take (there are only a few of these at the start of the game), and you can take a number of solo missions. In general, once you receive orders for a mission, you are expected to travel to some location, complete the mission task, and then report back to Theater Vancoor and speak to Thanos. If the client is known, then you would usually speak to them before and after the mission task to get instructions and report the results to the client. Once this is done, you can speak to Thanos to get your pay and see if there are any more missions you can take on at this time.
I will list the missions in the order I think they should be performed, although you can accept them in any order if you prefer. You need to be a little careful if you change the order of the missions, because some missions are only available during certain stages of the game, and some missions will trigger events that might make the rest of the missions unavailable. I will usually tell you if there are any reasons you might want to perform any missions in a certain order. If there are no more missions, then you probably have to sleep to progress the game.
If you want to recruit Thanos (which is needed if you want to recruit Elwen and/or Nyx), then you must accept all missions and report back to Thanos at the completion of the mission. To prevent missing any missions, avoid going into your house during the day, and only save when you get there; don't sleep. Wait until 9pm (sometimes 10pm) before you go in and save. If Flau isn't sitting on the wall, don't go in. If you were waiting for her, wait a few minutes after she gets there before you go in, since she gets there a few minutes before 9pm. Don't sleep unless you want to progress the game. Once Thanos tells you there aren't any more jobs, then you probably need to sleep to make the game progress. You can do that right away, or you can take time to go out and level up your party, recruit more people, earn some more money, etc.
If you recruit every possible character (which takes at least two times through the game), you will be able to view a picture of the main characters. If you will be taking the human path, you probably want to recruit the guild leaders, which means you want to recruit all the members of the different guilds. The only reasons to recruit any of the farmers are to be complete, or possibly for a specific skill. After the first time you play the game, you probably won't want/need to recruit any of them again.
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There are actually two different "Friends List": one you can access from the options menu, and another located either next to Thanos in Theater Vancoor, or on a desk in Fort Helencia. The one in your menu is the total number of friends that you have ever recruited, including all previous games. The one on the desk is the list of people you can use for your party in this game. So, if you want to use a given character at some point in the current game, you will have to recruit them during this game, even if they appear in the friends list in your menu.
It is a good idea to check out who you have already recruited every so often, especially before the game progresses. Go to the Friends List on the desk and click on L1 to sort the list alphabetically. Then look over the list of people who you wanted to recruit, and make sure they are all on the list. If you are trying to recruit several people at the same time, it is very easy to forget something, especially if you remember doing that in a previous game.
There are a number of requirements that can affect your ability to recruit a specific character. In every case, you will at least have to talk to them. You should continue to talk to them until either they join or they start to repeat themselves. If they repeat, then something isn't right and you can't recruit them at that time. Check all the requirements for recruiting them and make sure they have been done. Also, if the character is involved in a mission, they may not be available for the rest of the day. For example, after training the monks, you will have to wait until the following day before you can find any of them to talk to.
In most cases, once a character becomes available, they remain available for the rest of the game (or up to the split). If you try to recruit someone, but you find out that you are missing something, do whatever you need to do, then go back and try to recruit them again. There are a few characters, though, that are only available for a certain period of time, and if you don't recruit them by then, you will not be able to recruit them during that game. I will warn you (several times) of these situations.
A number of characters are recruited by beating them in a fight. In most of these cases, if you lose, you can try again the following day. You can continue trying until you win a fight.
The criteria for a specific character can be any combination of the following conditions:
Sometimes recruiting will happen in several steps, possibly spread over a fairly long period of time. For example, a character will ask you for something, but you can't get it yet. You will just have to wait until the item(s) become available, and then finish the recruiting. In some cases, you can wait to talk to them after you have obtained the item they want, and then give it to them when they ask.
Some recruiting has to be done over multiple days, like Alba, and others you want to take more than one day, like Joaquel. Since midnight is when the days switch, you can use this to your advantage. For example, Alba hangs out in the Void Community area all night. Speak to him just before midnight, fight him, and then just stand there for a few minutes until midnight passes. Then speak to him again, fight him, and you can recruit him. For Joaquel, when he asks you to guard the storeroom, do that just before midnight. As soon as he leaves, enter the room and take all the treasure. When he comes back, he will yell at you. Wait a few minutes until midnight passes, then talk to him again, but this time stay put and you will recruit him.
You can recruit one character at a time if you want, but you will find yourself doing a lot of running back and forth. I get a lot of enjoyment out of planning how I can recruit several characters in a group. For example, your initial human party could be Flora or Edgar as the healer, and Cosmo as the fighter. All of these are from the Olacion order. So, during the morning, go there and look for Flora. Talk to her and find out about her father, then look for Edgar cleaning windows. If he isn't there, remember you have to talk to him later. Go find Cosmo and talk to him to recruit him. Run down to the clinic and get the picture, stop in Fernando's room to kick the waste basket and get the belt. Give the items to Flora and Edgar. You have just recruited three characters with basically one trip to the Olacion Order shrine.
Make a list of what characters you want to recruit next. Add any times of day and locations. Then plan your trip to get the most number of characters recruited with the least amount of running around. This is great practice for having to multi-task in real life.
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In general, you should recruit characters based on which path you will choose. If you will be selecting the human path, then your early party should be all humans (with possible exceptions like Donkey based on skills the first time through the game.) If you are going to select the non-human path, then recruit and include non-humans in your parties as early as possible.
You can keep the same characters in your party as much as possible (until a stronger character becomes available), or you can select characters for specific tasks based on their capabilities (e.g., skills or types of attack.) I tend to keep the same people in my party because I have leveled them up so much, and so they tend to outperform any other character that might have more appropriate skills, attacks, etc. In general, you always want to have a healer in your party. The other two can be another fighter and a mage.
I don't find too much ailments in most of the stats ailments. If you are blind, you can still hit; if you are poisoned, you don't seem to lose HP. Other ailments, such as freeze and blaze, will do significant damage. In the beginning of the game, it is probably a good idea to have a healer in your party all the time. As your party becomes stronger, you might swap out your healer for another fighter. If you are using Romaria as your healer, she doubles as a fighter as well. When you get to the Ethereal Queen, if you on the human path, Kain is a good healer to use. For the non-human path, if you aren't using Romaria, you might consider using items and having all fighters in your party.
If you are choosing the human path, then Flora is your best starting healer. You will automatically have Clive, but he isn't very good. If you will be choosing the non-human path, then recruit Romaria as your healer. Not only is she the best non-human healer (IMHO), but she is a decent fighter. What sets her apart from other healers is that she will heal status ailments and low HP characters on her own; you usually don't need to tell her what to do. I put Romaria in my party at the start of the game, and she was able to hold her own up through defeating Gabriel Celesta, without me needing to issue commands very often. For really tough fights, like the battle with the Ethereal Queen, you will need to pay more attention and issue her commands.
If you find Romaria's voice grating, you can substitute Rika, but you will need to pay more attention to the health of your party, and tell her to heal rather than rely on her doing it automatically. You will also need to use more items, since Rika doesn't correct status problems.
A good starting party for the humans path is:
The first time through the game, you should pick Alba for your initial party until Lily is available. The reason is that Alba will steal items for you, and the first time through the game, free items is a good thing. Subsequent times through the game, you will have enough money to buy whatever you need.
For the non-human path, a good starting party is:
You probably want to "trade up" as stronger characters become available. At first glance, it might look like your current characters are the best available because you have leveled them up so much. However, you should consider the strength and defense of the characters, and the type and strength of any spells, rather than just HP.
Once Aidan reaches level 32, you can swap him out for his father, Cecil. I kept Lily in as the fighter up until I had Elwen and Nyx, and she held her own. You might want to replace the mage with Gerald when you recruit him (if you can stand him saying "What's wrong?" over and over).
Certainly when you get the heads of the guilds, you want to replace most of your party with them. If you are going to take the human path, you should at least recruit Elwen and Kain, who are the best fighter and healer available within the first part of the game. This means you want to recruit all of Theater Vancoor and all of the Olacion Order. Nyx is a nice addition, but not essential; you could probably keep your best fighter to round off the party. The reason for this is that in the post-game dungeon you will get Valkyrie; you probably want to replace that character with her. If you want Nyx, however, you need to recruit all members of all the guilds, since you need to have recruited the entire Void community, and speak to Nyx with Elwen, Kain, and Curtis in your party to get him to join. This means that you not only have to recruit all of Vancoor and Olacion in order to get Elwen and Kain, but all four guilds if you also want to get Nyx.
For the non-human path, put can Gil in your party as soon as you recruit him (which is after the split). He is already at a pretty good level, and he has an attack that hits multiple enemies. Frankly, Martinez is as good a fighter, and at level 99, Martinez has a higher HP, Strength, and Defense than Gil, who is only better in Evade and Luck. When you recruit JJ, you might want to include him as well (although I prefer to keep Gil or Martinez). Ganz has to be in your final party, but he isn't available until later in the game. You can either take time to level him up when you get the chance, or you can just ignore him and basically fight with three characters.
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This section deals with the initial part of the game. You will do the following tasks, regardless of which path you will be taking after the split.
At the very beginning of the game, it is mostly cut scenes, with some minimal ability to control Jack. Sit back and enjoy the movie; it will explain the back story. The next time you play this game, you will recognize most of the characters in the selection tournament.
You can't win the fight with Ridley, so don't bother trying. If you put up enough of a fight, you will see her use her volty command. You will eventually get accepted by the Knights and placed in the Rose Cochon (French for Pink Pig) Squad with Ganz and Ridley.
Later in the game, if you select the non-human path, Ganz and Ridley will at times be able to appear in your party (actually, be required to be in your party), but Ridley won't be in the final battle, so don't bother spending a lot of time leveling her up, or get too attached to how she fights.
When you finally get control again, you will be in your room. Save your game. You don't want to go through all those cut scenes again if something goes wrong.
Your first task is to go to a meeting on the third floor. But it is best to take a detour before you get there. When you leave your room, head east. When you get to the stairs, keep going. When you get to a guard, take the door just to the east of him. This is towards the training room. Just before the training room is a storage room. Kick things in the room until you find the Knights Edge in the locker at the rear of the room, which is a much better sword than you have now. You won't be able to buy any weapons until you get part way through your first mission to Earth Valley. If you try to wander too much, Jack will remind you. (This is typical throughout the game, when there is a specific task to be done.) You can press the R1 button to see the map if you get lost.
A good habit to get into is to press R1 to look at the map. It will show you where you are (sort of), where any save points might be, as well as a swirl to indicate your destination. If you are in a building or dungeon, you can use the up and down buttons on the D-pad (directional pad) to see the other floors. The map is very handy, but it seems to be a bit off. If you compare your location on the map with your location in the world, there seems to be some differences.
When you get to the meeting room, another set of cut scenes will take over. There is no way to cancel a cut scene, but if you click "X" during a dialog, it will cancel the rest of the dialog. So, if you keep mashing the "X" button, you will reduce the total time a bit.
When all the cut scenes are over, you will get some training from Ganz (if this is the first time you played the game.) followed by some more cut scenes. (The number of cut scenes gets much less further into the game. Don't get too discouraged at this point.) Eventually you will be starting off on your first mission. You won't be able to explore the castle much until you get back.
You will be given some missions to accomplish:
Once you get back from your first missions, you can explore the castle kicking things to find items, but the most important ones are the Knight Edge in the locker near the training area (if you didn't get it earlier), and the strength berry at the end of "The Path of the Spider" in the sub-basement of the castle. Don't forget to kick everyone in sight so you can level up by dueling people. Even characters you think won't be much of a challenge can be a surprise. If you kick one of the little kids in the castle, they will call some guards to fight you. (See if you can find the ghost.) When you start to get bored, you can do a few things before progressing the game.
When you get strong or bored enough, sleep in your room to progress the game. This is a normal way to progress this game. If it doesn't work, try sleeping again. Some things take several days before they trigger.
The game will progress by Ganz visiting you in your room. Just watch a series of cut scenes and save if you ever see a small blue flag. (This is another good general rule to follow.) The blue flags are temporary ones that appear at special points in the game. The first fight with Jarvis will be very easy (he only has a small percentage of his HP remaining). The fight with Gerald you can't win, so don't worry.
After another series of cut scenes, you will end back at Theater Vancoor and get assigned to a squad led by (you guessed it?) Jarvis. You will have to fight Daniel. He isn't very strong, and his HP is only around 300, so you shouldn't have any trouble, assuming you did at least some leveling up. I tried to not fight back, and it took close to a half hour for Daniel to finally beat Jack, which resulted in "Game Over".
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The beginning of the recruitment period starts when Clive shows up and writes his name on your Friends List. You can then recruit a number of humans in Radiata City, as well as farmers and some non-humans (e.g., dark elves). The complete list of characters you can recruit at this time are listed below. The earlier you recruit a character and put them in your party, the higher level they will be later in the game. For example, when you first recruit Aidan, he isn't very useful, but as he gains levels, he becomes a decent mage.
You can't start recruiting characters until Clive turns up and writes his name in your Friends List. Clive is recruited automatically, and signals the start of the recruitment process. Work on getting your starting party first. Once you are happy with your party, you can work on recruiting the other characters. Most of the characters in this group can be recruited at any time, even towards the end of the game, so it isn't imperative that you recruit them now, but it is best to get them out of the way before you forget about them.
Once Clive has joined, you can continue to recruit people for about a day and a half, at which time you will be sucked into the Crocogator mission automatically. However, once you start on that mission, you can still take some time to recruit people, and wander around and level up. You will only have Jack and Jarvis in your party, however.
You won't be able to use any of the people you recruit until you get some solo jobs, which will be after you return from the Crocogator mission.
If you are going to take the non-human path, I suggest you buy weapons and armor and then sleep to force the Crocogator mission. This is because when you finish that mission, you will be able to use the journey pigs to move around quickly. You will still need to walk to the Dark Elf village, (I suggest you do that with Jarvis on your way to the Crocogator mission) but then you can warp back using the pig.
You might want to start out by buying better armor and weapons, buy and read some books so you can give commands to your party, and probably get some cure items if this is your first time. At a minimum, I would recommend Cure Friend (Book of Energy) and Use Volty (Book of Power) for the final battle. If you will be adding weaker members to your party, then you also want the Back Away (Book of Desertion) command. The first time through the game, you might consider non-magic healing actions such as Circle Song (Book of Recovery or Book of Restoration) which will allow Jack to heal the party using some of his volty guage.
The Dead End Armory in the Void Community has the Wind Garb, which is the best armor until you get the Recruitment Suit. Buy that and the best weapon you can afford. I usually get the Brionac spear from Dead End.
I find a spear to be very good when fighting groups of monsters, since you can use a wide sweep and hit multiple enemies with one swing. For boss fights, I tend to use the sword, but you might want to experiment with other weapons to see which ones best fit your fighting style.
When choosing weapons, don't concentrate strictly on the attack value, but look at the side effects as well. A weapon that causes some status affliction can, in the long run, do more damage than a weapon that has a higher attack value but no side effect. This is especially true for afflictions such as petrify, which takes the enemy completely out of the battle for a while as you continue to hit them, and poison, which will continue to drain HP from the enemy. In fact, once you have poisoned an enemy, you might want to go and attack a different one, and let that one die a slow and painful death. I have used the Rune Sword (which isn't very powerful) to beat Gerald and Elwen because they never got to use the volty attack since they were petrified.
Another factor to weapons is the types of attacks that you use. Some attacks will affect all enemies within a certain area. This makes it easy to get rid of a bunch of enemies in short time. You can switch weapons and/or attacks several times in the middle of a battle, so if one approach isn't working, try either a different set of attacks, or a different weapon. For example, you can start with a lance and wide swing (like wild spin) at the beginning of a battle. Then, once you have a single strong enemy left, you can switch to more powerful attacks, or knockdown type attacks. I usually keep the lance / spear set up for attacks that affect multiple enemies, and then switch to a sword once there are a few enemies.
The first time through the game, as soon as you have a few people recruited, wander around the basement of Vancoor until you find the feathered earring. The basement can be very confusing, since the names of the passage ways are pretty much all the same, and many of them look like others. It is important to understand that there are two large square rooms with paths along the walls. Once you find the altar that is off the first square walkway (follow Elwen or Alicia to find it), walk east from that entrance and through the door (it is the only one that doesn't go back to the exit.) Follow the path and open the chest. Equip this item and you can move very fast. This will let you get to and from places in far less time. If you played the game before, it should still be in your inventory, so you can just equip it.
At some point in the game, you will have to decide on the human or non-human path. Once this choice is made, no characters in the other group can be recruited, and none of the other type that you recruited in this game will be available. Remember this before you spend a lot of time to build up a character that you will later lose.
Once the game is over, there is a bonus dungeon where you can recruit an additional character. She will only be available during post-game events, but she is a great fighter and will join at a high level.
Even though a character may be unavailable later in the game, there are still times when you might want to recruit them. This is especially true the first time you play the game and are trying to learn skills. (Once you learn a skill, it will be available for all subsequent games.) For example, Donkey is the only character available at the start of the game that has the "Absorb HP" skill. This is a very useful skill to have, especially since Auto-Cure isn't available until much later, so you should think about recruiting him and using him long enough to learn that skill.
While you are recruiting people, you will be required to go on a few missions with your squad. Normally, you will have some time between missions when you can recruit characters, but you can often do some recruting while you are on the mission as well. For example, during the Crocogator Mission, you will be able to travel anywhere and recruit characters before you encounter a Crocogator. If you get into any fights, you will only have yourself and Jarvis in your party, so if you didn't level up Jack earlier in the game, you might want to put off any of the more difficult areas.
About a day and a half after Clive shows up, Jack will wonder what is going on at Vancoor and you will be sent immediately to the squad room. You can speed this up by sleeping at Jack's house. Here is the next squad mission you will take part in:
Once you are done with this mission, you can work on solo missions with your party. Check with Thanos each time to see what is available. Just remember to not sleep at Jack's house until there are no more missions available, or you might miss some. (Later in the game, you should also not enter Jack's house except late at night to prevent events from triggering.)
Even if you are going to take the non-human path, these missions are a good way to get experience and money. You can have all non-humans in your party, which means you can be building up your party before the split.
Here are the characters you can recruit at the beginning of the game, grouped by categories.If this is your first time through the game, and you plan to take the human path (which is what I recommend), then you want to recruit all the humans that are now available, and at least Donkey from the Green Goblins for his Absorb HP skill.
If you plan to take the non-human path, then concentrate on the non-human characters you can get now. However, I recommend that you wait until you are in the middle of your next mission to find a Crocogator. The reason for this is that you will learn how to use the journey pigs, which makes getting to and from places much faster and easier. Get Romaria as soon as you can. When you are at the Dark Elf village during one of your early missions, try to recruit all the available characters. Your initial party should be Jack, Martinez, Sanchos, and Romaria. You will probaby keep this party until after the split, when you can recruit some of the more powerful non-humans.
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If you are going to choose the human path, then concentrate on recruiting humans. If you are going to choose the non-human path, then concentrate on recruiting non-humans. If you want to recruit Elwen (the best fighter in the game), you have to recruit the rest of Vancoor. (Make sure you take Nocturne's letter to Gerald). See the section on Your Initial Party for more detail.
Initial Friends List
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If you want to recruit Kain (the best healer in the game), you will need to recruit everyone from the Olacion Order.
Initial Friends List
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If you want to recruit Nyx, you will need to recruit the heads of all the other guilds, which means all of their members. You can't recruit Curtis (the head) until all the other characters have joined. If you don't care about getting Nyx, then you may not care about recruiting Curtis, either.
Initial Friends List
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If you want to recruit Nyx, you need to recruit everyone in the Void Community (as well as all the other guild leaders)
Initial Friends List
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The only reasons to recruit these characters are either for a skill or because you want to recruit all possible characters (which will let you see a "special" picture on the Friends List.)
In some ways, these are the hardest characters to recruit. This is because of the small window of opportunity to contact them. In some cases, you can only talk to them for the brief time they walk from their house to their fields, and then when they come home for dinner. These periods can be as short as a few seconds that you have to talk to the character. Get there early and don't get distracted while you wait.
Initial Friends List
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If you are going to choose the non-human path, you want to recruit these characters as soon as possible so you can create a party of non-humans and level them up. If you don't, then when the split occurs, you will have a lot of weak characters to work with. You can use them on any mission before the split, so there is no real reason to go out of your way to recruit a human character unless you need one of their skills.
The reverse is true if you will be choosing the human path. You will want to recruit some of these characters for their skills your first time through the game, but if you are going to choose the human path, there is no other reason to recruit them. Wait until you play it again for the non-human path.
If you are taking the non-human path, I suggest that during the Crocogator mission, you take a detour and go to the Dark Elf village to recruit Romaria. After that mission, use the journey pig to return to the Dark Elf village and recruit Rika (because you can) and talk to Martinez, giving him a duplicate record or one that you can buy (since you won't get it back.) Spend the rest of the day leveling up Jack and Romaria, and go back the next day to get Martinez and Santos.
After you have your initial non-human team (Romaria, Martinez, Santos, and Romaria), take them through the Septem Cave to level up. Next, clear out the rest of the Septem area, talking to Garcia if you see him in front of his house. You can go back into Septem Cave to recruit Bran and Wal, and find that the cave has been repopulated with monsters.
Initial Friends List
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Once you get back from the Crocogator mission, you will have some free time on your hands. At various points during these missions, you will see some cut scenes about Ganz. During this time, Flau and Rynka may not be keeping their normal schedule, since they are part of the cut scenes.
You can take any (or all) of three missions. If you are going to choose the human path and want to recruit Elwen, you need to do all of the missions, and make sure you report back to Thanos after each of them. If you are going to choose the non-human path, I still suggest you choose all the missions since they give you good experience and money.
You probably want to do these missions in the above order, since the first one doesn't involve any fighting, and the third is probably harder than the second. Avoid going to your house during the day to prevent the game from progressing before you are ready. Enter your house after 9pm and leave before 8am to save your game. Remember not to sleep until you are ready.
If you go to the top floor of the Morfin Clinic, you will see a sick kid on a bed. Talk to him, and he asks you to come back again and tell him stories. The stories he wants to hear are the Crocogator mission, the Smilodon Fang mission, and the Rats in the Vareth Institute mission (which won't happen for a bit.) These stories are a critical part of recruiting his sisters Adina and Elena, who are from the Olacion Order (which means you must recruit them to get Kain). I suspect they are also needed to recruit Mikey if you choose the non-human path.
Having gone on your own mission opens up a few more recruits, or at least you can start recruiting them.
To progress the game, enter your room during the day. Yuri will wake Jack up from a nap and take him to Vancoor Square.
When the above mission is complete, a new mission will be available. Before going to the Vareth Institute, remove someone from your party so that you only have three members. The empty slot will be filled by Daniel when you get there.
When you return to Theater Vancoor, you will be given a new mission with Jarvis and Daniel. This will be your last mission with the Hecton Squad. It is pretty straight forward: you are to escort the princess, who will be kidnapped, and you have to find them. Look in the abandoned house between the two gates near the Vareth Magic Institute and the Olacion Order. You will see a healing spot and a blue save flag, so use them both. There is a switch upstairs that will open a secret door on the ground floor. When you are in the sewers, take time to explore and collect the treasures that are available. Any time you have a healing spot, it is an excellent time to level up. If you don't want to do that now, you can come back later when you are stronger so it will be easier to collect items.
When you get to the second large square room, continue straight ahead to the next exit (exit 03), which contains a chest with a Knight Saber, which has a strength of 17 and CP 5. (This is different than the Knight Edge, which you got in the locker room of the castle.)
When you are ready to progress the game, look for a large hole in the wall, which is a sewer pipe, that will take you to the Void Community. You get there by taking the "01" exit from the second square room. When the mission is finally completed (sort of), you will be made sergeant and have your own squad (i.e., your own party).
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Once you are promoted, you will no longer be dragged into any missions with Jarvis and Daniel. This is much like the free-time missions your took earlier, but it opens up a number of new recruits, since you are more famous (and respected) now.
You should avoid Vancoor Square for a while, since that will trigger a new event. If you talk to Thanos, he will mention a strange man there, but ignore it for now. Also, stay away from your house during the day; don't enter until after 9pm, and don't sleep there. (The only reason you should ever sleep is when you want to force the game to progress.)
Here is who you can now recruit (do Gareth first - see below):
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Before you proceed, double check your friends list.
Look back over the FAQ and make sure that your friends list has the people should have recruited by now. If you have already decided which path to take, then you might want to not bother to recruit members of the other side. Strangely, the first few times you play the game this is less of a problem, but I have found that after you play it a bunch of times, you can miss someone thinking you have already recruited them. I remember recruiting them, but it wasn't during this time through the game. ;^)
If you have missed anyone, now is an excellent time to do it. Later in the game, you might have limited time to recruit them. In particular, make sure you visit Club Vampire and do the "Chains of Fate" task, which is described below.
When you want the game to progress, enter Vancoor Square, where you will find a large man wandering about. The game will walk you through most of this.
Once you have met this large man, you have a couple days before the next part of the game will kick in. You can postpone this by not going into your house during the day. Wait until at least 9pm before you enter the house, and you can postpone the game from progressing. You can use this trick to make sure you complete all the missions before the game moves on.
Be very careful about avoiding Jack's house during the day. If you mess up, you could lose the opportunity to recruit Gerald, which in turn means you won't be able to recruit Elwen and Nyx.
*** MAKE SURE YOU VISIT CLUB VAMPIRE and get the Chains of Fate cut scene *** If it doesn't trigger, come back later. If you want to recruit Gerald, don't forget!
You will now have these missions available:
You can now (or soon be able to) recruit the following people:
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When you are ready to progress the game, enter your house during the daytime. You will get a visit from Leonard, who will give you an invitation to Ridley's birthday party.
You will have a little bit of time before you will automatically go to the castle. Hopefully, you have already done everything you could have before this event.
After the party, you will be able to recruit two characters from the Void Community: I was able to recruit them before the birthday party invitation, so you might want to try earlier.
You will also have some new missions available, once you get another cut scene with Genius and Ridley and Zane. (Remember to keep away from your house during the day.)
After the training mission, you can start to recruit more people:
If you are planning to choose the non-human path, this is your last chance to buy items in Radiata. At a minimum, you should buy all the strength and defense berries that you want to have available for the next game. You should also buy any weapons and armor that you might need. You will be able to buy normal items on the non-human path, so don't worry about those. If you will be taking the human path, you can do this even after you beat the Ethereal Queen.
Once you are done doing everything you want, you can enter Jack's house during the day to progress the game.
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If you enter Jack's house during the day, the game will progress. This will be the set-up for a major decision: which path will you take in the game. You will get an invitation to go to the castle that evening. You have until around 7pm before things kick in automatically. You will be back in your room, deciding to leave for the castle. Before you leave, Ridley will show up and tell you she is going to the City of Flowers.
This is where you decide whether you will take the Human Path (Go to the Castle), or the Non-Human Path (Follow Ridley). I recommend taking the Human Path the first time through the game, and then the Non-Human path the second time.
If you are thinking of saving the game someplace else, and then reloading it to take the other path, don't. The only way you get credit for recruiting all characters will be to start a new game using an already completed game. For the second game, you will start out with all your money, all your skills, and some of your items. This will make it much easier to get through the game the second time around.
In this walk through, the Human Path is presented first, followed by the Non-Human Path.
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This part of the game is only available after the split, and only if you chose to go to the castle rather than follow Ridley.
Any non-human characters that you previously recruited in this game will no longer become available for missions. They will still remain in your friends list in the menu section, but not on the list next to Thanos in Theater Vancoor.
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If you chose to go to the castle, you will show up for a strategy meeting. After a series of cut scenes, you will gain control outside of the castle. Make sure you don't sleep at Jack's house until you are ready to progress to the next part of the game.
You are now free to recruit some more characters, buy new weapons, etc. If you are short of money, just buy the weapons instead of the armor. You will be getting two sets of new armor for free shortly.
Once you are done recruiting who is available, you might consider leveling up some of the new characters. On the other hand, if you have been leveling up a lot, it will take a long time to raise the new characters to the current level of your party. Since will you probably be replacing them with the guild leaders eventually, you might want to keep that in mind.
Thanos will tell you about a guy in Carl's Pub who turns out to be Jasne crying into his beer about Ridley leaving. You should visit Kain, Ortoroz, and Ray C. Ross (who is the owl in the president's office of the Vareth Institute). Each of them will assign two members to work with you. You should recruit them at this time, along with some additional characters that are now available:
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NOTE: Before you leave, read the note on recruiting Dynas in the next section.
When you are ready to progress the game, sleep at Jack's house. You will not be able to leave Radiata City by any other gate than the Echinda Gate until you return from Wind Valley, so make sure you've done everything you need before this. You will see some cut scenes with Ganz, Flau, and Rynka, and then Al will wake you up and tell you about Wind Valley.
When you wake up, some new missions will be available. You can do them either before or after your trip to Wind Valley. I like to do them before since both missions give me some nice armor that can come in handy.
Here are the missions that are available to you:
Here is how to recruit those characters:
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You can fight the fake transporters for experience, collect the various treasures, or go directly to the Wind Dragon. Since I like to level up, I spend some time fighting before seeing the dragon.
The Strategy Guide has a map that can show you which are real and which are monsters. There might also be a map available from gamefaqs, but you really don't need any maps to tell the difference. If you approach a real transporter, the camera will turn to show you where you will be blown across to. If you approach a fake transporter, this doesn't happen. Kicking a real transporter will send you to another spot (after you move into the wind stream); kicking a fake transporter will start a battle.
Read the notes about recruiting Dynas before you approach the back area with the Wind Dragon. I never had any problems with the Wind Dragon, even with only three in my party. Remember, however, that I tend to level up a lot, so if you don't do that, you might want to be more careful. Keep an eye on Miranda, since she doesn't tend to heal herself unless you tell her.
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After the Wind Dragon has been defeated, you will get some cut scenes and end up near Fort Helencia, where you will encounter Sir Gawain. You won't be able to win this battle, so don't worry about it.
Next will be some more cut scenes where Jack is in the Castle Infirmary. After this will be a touching cut scene with Ganz and Cody. When its all over, you will gain control of Jack outside of the castle.
When you get back from Wind Valley, you can do the previous missions if you decided not to do them before. You will also have some new missions available:
At this point, the Blood Orc homeworld should be available (I was able to get to it after recruiting Rocky but before going after the Alien Monster. You might want to try before recruiting Rocky.) Go to Ocho, where you got the Smilodon Fang, and follow the path to where Jack decided to go back when you were first here. This is a great place to level up, especially since there is a journey pig at the entrance. (Make sure you kick the pig so you can get back there easily.) If you haven't recruited Claudia yet, now is your chance to get a Blood Orc's Horn. Put Nocturne in your party, and he will probably steal some for you. I had him in my party the first time I got there, and he stole four just from the critters on the outside.
Here are the characters you can recruit at this time:
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When you are ready to progress the game, sleep at Jack's house. You will be invited to meet with Dynas. Then you will meet the large man from Vancoor Square again, who wants you to help him get into the castle. (Great timing, huh?) Go to the castle for the meeting, watch the movies, and you will gain control outside of the castle when the meeting is over.
At this point, you will be allowed to enter the castle. This means you can recruit some new characters, and finish recruiting Walter. Remember that you need Walter if you want to get Elwen; the rest of these characters are optional, and you only need them if you want to recruit all available characters. If you have already done that in a previous game, you probably don't want to bother with any of them except for talking to Sheila in the prison. You should probably go right back inside the castle and recruit the following.
If you ever leave the castle but Jack thinks he can't get back in, walk left a bit to another door. This is the public entrance, and you can get into the castle from there.
If you sleep twice at Jack's place, you will be ready to leave for Fire Mountain. There will be some cut scenes, of course, so sit back and take note. If you look at the face of the fire dragon when he takes off, you might notice a resemblence to a previous character. You will have to travel through the Goblin town, so either avoid the goblins or fight them for experience. (You will have to fight some, but there are others you can avoid.) The map in the strategy guide doesn't show it, but there is a recovery circle at the north east section of the first area of Fire Mountain.
There are two areas to Fire Mountain. In the first area, rocks will rise and fall periodically. This means that you can't move forward or back for a certain period of time. If you get to a ledge, wait a few seconds to see if a passage opens up. If you are on a section that goes up and down, it won't go down as long as you are standing on it.
If you didn't get the Blood Orc's Horn earlier using the training method, or at the Orc's homeworld, here is where you can find one. You will see a Blood Orc on a side path as you first enter, and there is another one on top of a vine/branch at the west end of the first area. Once you enter into the second area (climb down a vine at the north west corner of the first area and walk through the opening), you will find some more.
You can go right when you emerge in the second area for some more experience, but the Fire Dragon is to the left.
When you get close to the Fire Dragon's home, a cut scene will take over. Also, after you beat the Fire Dragon, you will automatically be taken back to the castle. This means you want to come back later and open a couple of chests that you couldn't get on your first trip. You might as well do it right after you get back, since you probably remember how to get in and out of there by now.
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A new mission will be available concerning the sewers again. Be very careful before you take on this mission. It will trigger two events: Ganz's Letter, and the Fireworks Date. If you don't want either of them to kick in, you should avoid finishing the mission.
When the cut scenes are done, you will be outside of the place where Genius is staying. Go back inside and talk to him to recruit him.
Once the mission is complete, you can recruit the following:
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According to othe Official Strategy Guide, the Blood Orc homeworld is now accessible. It actually has been available since after you recruited Rocky, possibly after your duel with Gawain. That is a great place to level up if you need to. That is in the Desneuf Region, the area next to the Ocho region where you got the Smilodon Fang. If you tried to go there earlier in the game, Jack would stop and say something about coming back later. This is later. None of the other new areas that you visit from the non-human path are available.
If you haven't done the non-human path, near the journey pig is a rock with a rope hanging down. Use it to descend to the Orc Caves. One of the things you can get there is a Kings Toadstool, which isn't of use (except you can sell it), but it is used to recruit some black goblins on the non-human path. If you have trouble finding it, look at my section Finding the King's Toadstool. It doesn't carry over between games, but you can sell it to the first store in the Void Community (Faid General Store). If you enter the store, the shop keeper will notice that you have the Kings Toadstool, and offer 100 for it. I have had people tell me it will then be available for subsequent games, but that has not been my experience.
If you sleep at Jack's house, you will receive a letter from Ganz, followed by some other cut scenes. The following new characters will then be available:
At some point around this time, when pass your mailbox you will notice a letter inviting you to the fireworks. This is a cut scene type event. The person you will be watching the fireworks with depends on which female has been in your party the most. (For this date, Charlie counts as a female.) Obviously, this only includes the characters you could have recruited by this point in the game (so, for example, Natalie isn't available). Not all females are listed in the strategy guide (Elwen isn't, for example.) See the separate section on the Fireworks Date.
Someone suggest a way to postpone the Fireworks Date, but I haven't had time to test it yet. Since the Fireworks start in the evening, go into your house during the day and then sleep. That way, you will be asleep when the time for the Fireworks arrives. I'm not sure if that will work, but if it does, it might be possible to postpone the Fireworks Date until after Lupus Gate, which is how you could get Natalie for a date. If anyone tries this, let me know how it works.
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If you sleep, you will set in motion a number of cut scenes, ending in a battle at Lupus Gate. You are going to have to do two battles in a row, so you might want to save your volty for the second fight (or equip "Save Volty" so you don't use it all up on the first attack.)
When all the cut scenes are over, you are standing outside of Lupus Gate. You probably want to go back and save before you start the end of the game.
At this point you can recruit two more characters:
Notice you will have to recruit Natalie, run down to Vancoor and put her in your party, and then run back up to the castle to recruit Leonard. Consider using the feathered earring. Don't forget to take Natalie out of your party before you get into any tough fights. It is highly unlikely you will ever actually use these characters, so if you have recruited them in a past game, you can ignore them this time.
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If you haven't bought and read the Book of Power (Use Volty), now is a good time to do it. You will have tough fights, and Elwen's volty does much more damage than yours.
Leave the Lupus Gate and make your way through the Septem Region. Take the turn that goes to the Algandars Castle, but then take the road that branches off to the south. If you tried this before, a soldier blocked the bridge. He is gone now. There will be very strong enemies guarding that area, so it is a good place to level up. Follow the main path to the end of the area, and you will be in the Desneuf Region. The really nice thing is that there is a journey pig there, so coming back will be much easier. Continue onward until you reach the actual final area, and then go back if you want to recruit Adele.
The City of White Nights is a series of ladders and sand falls, something like chutes and ladders. Down ladders are always safe to use. Some up ladders will take you to the next level, while others will break and drop you down to some level below. Likewise, if you walk into a sand spill, you will get knocked down a level or two. Walk slow to avoid them (try equiping Leprechaun). The sand falls only flow for a short time, and then you can move past them. As you saw when you first entered, the path is actually circular, so if you move off the right side of any map you are using, will you be located somewhere on the left side.
The Strategy Guide has a map with one glaring omission (well, several, but one that will seriously impact you if you are using it.) Around the first blue arrow indicating falling from a broken ladder above you is a sand spill that isn't indicated in the map. The first couple times I kept forgetting and kept getting knocked off. I then had to figure out where I was and continue from there.
Actually, you want to get knocked off at a certain place so that you can move to the next area. The only way to get from the entrance area to the final boss is to drop down to a different level at some point. The gamefaqs website has a map that has some stuff missing, but will show you some things that aren't on the map in the Strategy Guide. I will provide instructions on how to get all the treasures, since there really isn't any good map that I know of for this area. Walk slowly so you can see the sand falls, otherwise you will fall off and probably have trouble figuring out where you are and how to get back. I will tell you which ladders to use, but be careful that you don't lose count when you get into some fights.
When you enter the actual area, walk up the only ladder, and head right. Ignore the first ladder and then walk slowly (avoiding the sand fall, which is just past the down ladder) so you can go up the second ladder. Work your way to the top to find a Tsuchinoko Dumpling, by going left, up, right, up, left, up, and left (don't go one step past the up ladder or you will get hit with a sandfall), and then up for the dumpling. The dumpling is at the left end of the top level, even though the Strategy Guide claims otherwise. (Remember that they will carry over between games, so even if you don't think you need it, you can save it for a later game.)
Backtrack down four levels, then travel to the far right and go up the last ladder. To the left of you should be a healing spot that isn't in the Strategy Guide map. At this point, you want to fall down to a lower level: the first up ladder to your right will collapse. Climb it and you will fall down a few levels, or walk a few more steps and let the sand fall take you to the same place. (If you load a completed game with Continue, and try to beat the boss again, the up ladder will still be collapsed, so you will need to use the sandfall.)
The Falvern is at the far right of the current level. Walk slowly, but if you get knocked down to the next level, you can take either ladder back up. There is a sandfall just before the third up ladder, but be careful because if you encounter any fights, it is easy to lose count. You will have a small fight when you open the trunk, but you get experience and gold when it is over, followed by the sword. Equip the sword, since it has a higher attack power (127) than what you probably have, plus a side effect of death, and a CP of 15, which is very handy.
The remaining sections have lots of sand falls, so make sure you walk slowly to avoid them. If you mess up, then hunt around until you find the healing point or the empty chest for the Falvern to get your bearings.
From the Falvern chest, head back to your left, ignoring the first two up ladders, and avoiding the sand fall (which is just after the second up ladder), then go up the third (or fourth) ladder. Go right (watch for a sand fall just before the up ladder), then go up, right (watch for the sandfall just after the up ladder), up, left (again, don't go too far), up, left, up, right, up. It isn't as confusing as it sounds, since in many cases there is only one ladder going up.
You will be standing on a platform where you can go either left or right. If you don't want the Monk Bangle (Defense +10), skip to the next paragraph. There is only one Monk Bangle per game, so if you did a Continue from a completed game, the chest will be empty. Also, the Monk Bangle doesn't carry over between games, so you have to get it during each game. If you want the Monk Bangle, go right and take the second ladder up (avoid the sand fall between the two up loadders), and to the far right (watch for a sand fall when you start) for the chest. After you get the bangle, head left (again, watch for the sand fall), down, and then left until you get to the first down ladder (watching for a sand fall), which will bring you back to where you started. (Don't go down the ladder).
Move left (avoiding the sand fall between the down and up ladders) and up the first ladder. You can see the stairs, but read the next few sentences before you move. By this time, you might have developed a bad habit of standing close to a sand fall, then running across the area when it stops. Don't do that here. There are two sand falls right in a row. Walk left, wait until the first one stops, then walk through the area and stand just to the left of the first sand fall. Wait until the second one finishes before you move on. The first one is right when you get to the top of the ladder. You will be standing between two sand falls if you do it right. When the left one finishes, go left and up the stairs.
Step in the healing spot and save at the flag. At this point, you might want to put the controller down, get up and walk around a bit, patting yourself on the back for getting to the end of the game. All that's left is the final boss. Keep an eye on the health meters, commanding Kain to heal as soon as someone takes any significant damage. Whenever the volty meter fills up, instruct Elwen to use her volty, which is much stronger than Jack's.
Watch the ending and the credits, and then confirm that you want to save your game. This will allow you to visit the post-game bonus dungeon, and/or start a new game, keeping some of the stats from this one. See the Post-Game section for what to do next.
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These parts of the story are only available after the split, and only if you chose the follow Ridley instead of going to the castle. Obviously, all the characters you can recruit from this point forward are non-human (except for a few like Gawain, Ganz, and Ridley). Any human characters you might have recruited will be removed from your Friends List, which is now located in Fort Helencia. All the humans will still be in the Friends List from your menu.
Instead of getting missions from Thanos, you will now be getting them from the council room. If you aren't sure what to do next, go in there and talk to everyone.
You and Ridley want to head towards the City of Flowers. You can't take the journey pig, which means that you will be fighting with just you and Ridley. If you have been leveling up, that won't be a problem; otherwise, fight agressively so that Ridley can't get into too much trouble. You can use the "Back Away" command if you need to. You probably want to save your game in a different slot before you leave town. If you didn't recruit that many non-humans, you might run into problems with too weak of a party. If so, then you will want to level up a bit.
You will see a number of cut scenes on your way there. The healing spot outside Fort Helencia is gone, but the save flag is still there.
When you arrive, you will see a cut scene. When you get control, travel to Fort Helencia. You will be fighting any critters along the way on your own, or you can take the travel pig instead. The healing spot will be back, and you probably want to use it and save before you approach the fort.
More cut scenes, some fights, rinse, repeat. When it all ends, you will wake up inside Fort Helencia, and Ridley will tell you to come to the strategy meeting. This is your new room, with all the comforts of home: a save point, a bed, and a record player.
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There will be a cut scene of a strategy meeting, where you will learn the background story from the fairy creatures' point of view. If you took my advice and have already chosen the Human Path in a previous game, you might notice that many of the major story events in the game still happen, but you get the see the other side of the story. In both paths, Cross is obnoxious.
Before you take off on your first mission, you should talk to everyone. This is one of those "get to know everyone and where they are" type recruiting sessions that forces you to talk to everyone. You will get a chance to recruit some more characters, and to set up two shops. To start the recruiting process, visit the shop in the south-east corner of the fort. There you will find two shop owners arguing over who should be able to set up a shop. This will start you on one of those lengthy quests to help you get oriented to your new surroundings. You will have to keep visiting different people until the decision is made that each of them can open their own shop. Once that happens, you can start the actual recruiting.
Once the two shops are set up, you can buy items and also recruit the shop owners. If you have already played the human path and the bonus dungeon, you should have a lot of money which you can use to recruit the two shop owners. If you are short of money, after you recruit one shop owner, you can sell back all the items you bought (at a loss, of course) to get some of your money back.
You will be stuck with Ridley and Coco, so you can pick one other character to be in your party. You will notice the Friends List in the Courtyard of the fort. I recommend Romaria, your healer, as the fourth member of your party, since she is also a good fighter and you will probably be taking her to the end. But you could use Gil after you recruit him. Since Gil attacks all enemies at once, and if you have been leveling up, you might not need healing that much.
Here is who you can recruit at this point:
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After you have recruited everyone possible, you can set off for Goblin Haven. The journey pig isn't working, so you will have to walk. Stop off at Wind Valley if you want some experience and money.
When you get to the Goblin Haven area (across the bridge), take some time to wander around and get used to the area. There are a lot of dead-ends, and a few loops as well. Kick the mushrooms to go up and down. Coco will leave your party once you arrive at the actual place.
If you run across Ricky before you arrive, you can recruit him if you go back to the bridge and find his wolf.
Once you arrive at Goblin Haven, use the Save Point. you will be able to start recruiting some more characters:
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You can't beat Gawain the first time, but you can then fight him as often as you want. He doesn't recover HP between fights, so eventually you should be able to beat him. Take advantage of the healing circle between fights.
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After you defeat Gawain, more folks are available for recruiting:
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After you have recruited as many characters as you want, you can head back to Fort Helencia for some cut scenes. If you don't already have the skill "King of the Night", do enough link fights to learn it from Gawain. When you get back, take everyone out of your party, then talk to Coco, so you can recruit him. (Make sure you don't talk to Mikey before this; otherwise, he will be stuck in your party until you get back from Algandars Castle.
At this point, the following characters should be available now or shortly:
Once you recruit Clarence, you should consider swapping out Martinez for him. You are about to recruit JJ, who is a massive Green Orc and a heavy hitter that you might consider for your final party. If you look at Clarence, his stats are better than Martinez. On the other hand, if you have been leveling up, Martinez may have much higher HP than Clarence. You might not have time to build up Clarence before you recruit JJ, so the choice is yours. Either Martinez or Clarence should be fine in your party.
Here are the missions you will have available. You will have to do them sequentially in this order: (i.e. you have to start and finish the first mission, then start and finish the second one, etc.)
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When you are ready to progress the game, sleep in Jack's room and watch some cut scenes. When it is over, you should head towards Fire Mountain. Before you go, though, you can revisit Goblin Haven to recruit Marco. (You can use the journey pigs, which makes this easy.)
When you start across the bridge after the Green Goblin Village, you will run into Elwen. You don't have to beat her, but if you want to try, it won't be easy. For starters, you want to fight her at night, since she has King of the Day. What makes this easier is that your whole party will be fighting her, not just you. If she starts to flash, then defend and let your party fight her until she has used her volty. (Sometimes she uses her volty to cure herself.)
If you aren't at around 1,500-2,000 HP, and you want to beat Elwen (which isn't actally necessary), then consider leveling up before you try. If you have a lot of money, you can buy some Life Berries from Danny at Goblin Haven. Take the journey pig to Lupus Gate, then walk to Earth Valley, taking all the side roads. (See the discussion on leveling up in the intro.) Use the money to buy more Life Berries. Keep this up until you are either 1,500-2,000 HP or too bored to continue.
If you beat her, you can proceed to Fire Mountain. If she beats you, she will let you proceed to Fire Mountain. After the fight, the following should be available. (Actually, they are available before now, but the official strategy guide claim they are only available now.)
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If you didn't get a Blood Orc Horn for Zida yet, here is where you can get one fairly easily. This area is basically the same as when you are on the Human Path, so read that section if you haven't done that yet.
You can't beat Cross, so don't worry about the fight. As with the Human Path, there are two chests that you won't be able to get to this time through the area (because after the cut scenes, you are returned to the fort). Don't forget to come back later and get them.
At the end of the fight, sit back and watch a bunch of cut scenes. You won't get Parsec's match for the Non-Human Path.
Ganz and Ridley are available for your party for a while. Ganz will be in your final party, so you might want to keep him in your party to level him up as much as possible. The other option is to ignore Ganz and basically fight with just three members, ignoring Ganz. I have usually ignored Ganz, but when playing the game while editing version 5.0 of the FAQ, I kept him with me. He will probably never be a good fighter, but I was able to handle the fights when he was in the party pretty well, and after about level 60 he was less of an embarassment. ;^)
When you want the game to progress, speak to Gawain. When you next get control, you probably want to equip your new sword. Speak to Zane to get your next assignment.
At this point, the following are available for recruiting:
Now that JJ is available, you might want to add him to your party, which would then be: Jack, JJ, Ganz, and Romaria. Galvados has better looking stats, but I found that he missed more than he hit, while JJ was pretty good. Having said that, Gil might be better choice than JJ at this point (if you have been leveling up a lot). I found that Gil attacked more, but was more likely to get killed off since he gets in close when fighting. So if you decide to use Gil, you might need to pay more attention to the health of your party. I have used both and won, so either is possible. If you have Martinez built up to a pretty high level, you can probably use him instead. When Gil and Martinez are both at level 99, Martinez has more HP, Strength, and Defense, while Gil has more Evasion and Luck. Another character I didn't experiment for a long time is Gruel, the leader of the black goblins. I tried dueling him for his Magic Mirror accessory, and found out that he was very hard to beat, so I put him in my party in the Dragon Lair Cave and he did very well. His volty is very powerful. As always, it depends on your fighting style; the choice is yours. This is one reason why the game has so much replay value; you can keep trying different combinations in your party.
When you are ready to progress the game, sleep in your room. You might want to save your game, just in case. You will have two fights and a bunch of cut scenes. When you get control again, talk to everyone, ending with Zane. Don't miss Naom along the west wall of Marsha's shop.
You will get a letter from Ridley. You will automatically be sent to the meeting place when the time comes, so you can spend time leveling up, recruiting, or whatever. When the cut scenes end, you will probably be attacked by Paul, who is normally stationed at the Ressan Tree.
After the cut scenes, sleep to progress the game. You will have to include Ganz in your final party. If you have been fighting with him already, then fine, but if the rest of your party is a lot above Ganz, you might want to level him up a bit. You will run into Gerald, but again, it will be your entire party fighting, not just you.
Except for the cut scenes, this is basically the same ending as the human path. And, except for Ganz, I think it is a better ending than the human side, which is one of the reasons I recommend that you save this ending for last.
Read the section from the human path for instructions on how to get through the City of White Nights. As I mentioned before, I haven't found any good walk-throughs for this area, and the Official Strategy Guide has a number of mistakes, so I provide you detailed instructions there.
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Once you have finished the game, wait until the end of the credits. You will be asked if you want to save the game. Say "yes", and save the game.
When you go to load your saved game, it will have a red mark on the save slot. You will have the following choices:
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You have two goals for the post game bonus dungeon: (1) You want to level up so that you can beat the Etheral Queen, and (2) Gain money so that you can buy berries for the next game. When you are ready to start a new game, buy as many berries as you can so that you can start the new game with higher stats and lots of money. Remember that you aren't able to buy berries until you get to Theater Vancoor, so just having lots of money at the start of a new game doesn't really help that much. Better to beef up your starting stats using berries, and still have lots of money to buy stuff once they become available. After you have what you think are enough berries, sell all the armor and weapons except what you are currently using (in case you decide to fight some more), and sell all your accessories except the two that carry over: The Feathered Earring and the Training Device. (Supposedly you can equip two training devices and get even more experience.)
When you go into the bonus dungeon, you will be in the center of a pillar that is inside a circular room with four doors around the outside of the room. If you walk back into the center column, you will be given the opportunity to leave. If you leave, you can come back and continue with the dungeon. It is probably a good idea to go back and save your game after each dragon (certainly before the ultimate dragon.)
The bonus dungeon has two parts. The second area isn't available until you have cleared out the first area. The first area has four branches, one for each element. At the end of each path is the corresponding dragon. There are a number of side paths, and some nice items. If you travel clockwise from the entrance, you will encounter paths to the Earth Dragon, Wind Dragon, Water Dragon, and Fire Dragon. Once all four dragons have been defeated, a fifth path will open up to a new dragon directly across from the entrance to the area. This last dragon looks silly, but it is pretty tough. Save your game before you try it, and equip something to prevent or shorten status ailments.
After you have defeated the fifth dragon, the second area opens up. If you walk into the center column, an additional option appears that will allow you to proceed to the second area.
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The second area will take some getting used to. It is basically a set of dungeons connected together. Just like the outside world, all the monsters are regenerated at midnight. This means that if you run back and save the game, you can return to where you left off with little or no fighting. Of course, you might also want to spend time fighting here so you can level up more. At this point in the game, you can sleep at Jack's room if you want to reset all the monsters in the dungeon.
The first area is a series of screens with stairs that look pretty much the same. You enter from the south east corner, and can exit through either the north or west sides. If you pick the wrong exit, you will be returned to the starting screen, which you can easily recognize because of the red switch in the southeast corner. Stepping on the switch will return you to the previous area. (If you have the Official Strategy Guide, the west exit of area 1 connects to area 3.)
The first time in this area, take the north, north, then west exits, and you will find a Tsuchinoko Dumpling. Either back track, or take a wrong exit to return to the starting location.
After getting the dumpling and returning to the starting point, take the west, north, and north exits. From this location, there is a strength berry through the north exit.
Going west then north will take you to a new area that looks similar, but slightly different. The screen will be enclosed within a dark margin, and the exits are different. From this new area, take the northwest exit (go left down the stairs and then up towards the west side), and you will find yourself reappearing in a new set of steps in the southeast corner. Follow the steps up and then to the right, and you will appear walking across the screen about 1/4 from the top. Keep walking (don't go up the stairs to the north) and you will appear a bit below where you started across the screen, and eventually end up in a different looking area.
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This new area starts with a long corridor. Take the western exit and you will end up riding across a chasm on a moving platform. While riding the platform, you will see a series of symbols. Make a note of them, since they are the key to getting through this area. You will go up some stairs and enter a series of rooms with four exits, each marked with a different symbol. Choose the symbols in the same order as you saw earler. If you mess up, you be returned to the starting area and see the symbols again. When you get to the last room, before you go out the last exit, take a detour through the south door to find the Valiant Mail.
If you have trouble remembering, the correct doors are north (green), east (blue), north (red), east (pink), east (black), south (yellow), south (yellow) again and open the chest, then north (yellow) and east (gold).
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Once you get through the maze of rooms, you will find a healing spot. When you exit to the southeast you will encounter Valkyrie. If you beat her, she will join you. She will also give you some really powerful weapons that you probably want to equip.
This is a great time to go back and save, and put Valkyrie in the party in place of Nyx, or whoever your weakest fighter is. Your final party should be Jack, Valkyrie, Elwen, and Kain. To get out of this part of the dungeon quickly, make all the wrong moves to get sent back to the "start" (which when going out is the end). For example, when you go into the first square room in the Distortion Corridor, walk straight across and exit through the west door, which will take you out to the part with all the stairs in that last part that was different than the rest. Backtrack to get out of that square, go down the steps and up the other one, which should take you back to where the red square is. Step on the red square and you are back to the start, where you can exit.
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When you get back to where you beat Valkyrie, step on the transporter to get into yet another area. In this area, there are hidden doors. If you walk near the spot on the wall where a hidden door is located, you will see a swirling pattern. Kick the wall and the door will appear. The maps for this area in the Official Strategy Guide are all messed up, so don't blindly believe them. You want to make your way west when possible until you find the Boundary Crest, which is the seal for the exit from this area. (The exit is towards the east).
You will find two special doors that are only open during either day or night. If you can't get through one, come back after the time of day changes. Just before the actual exit you will encounter a character called Lezard who you will have to beat.
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You will exit to an area with a long corridor. At the end of the corridor is a boss. Once you beat that boss, the same area will look messed up, and a second boss will be encountered.
The first boss is Gabriel Celesta. The hard part of this battle is you start out confused. You probably want to equip the "Status Cure" skill before you enter the area, which will allow you to start fighting sooner. These last two bosses are much harder than the ones you've encountered before. When your volty guage is full, you probably want to command Valkyrie to use her volty, which does much more damage than Jack's or Elwen's.
After you beat Gabriel Celesta, you should return to Jack's house and save. The Etheral Queen is much harder. The way I finally managed to beat her on the human path was to keep Jack far away from the Queen and not fight at all. Keep an eye on everyone's status. As soon as the volty guage is full, command Valkyrie to use it. If anyone's health gets down a bit, have Kain cure them. Keep this up, and eventually she will be defeated. She will occassionally move over to where Jack is, so simply move away to the farthest section of the area. A number of the queen's attacks will cause formations to appear on the floor. Avoid those patterns and you should be fine.
I didn't work out this approach until my third time through the game, taking the human path. I had Jack, Elwen, Kain, and Valkyrie all at level 99, and it took three Volty attacks to finish the battle.
This battle is much harder for the non-human path: keep Jack out of the way, and keep directing Romaria to heal whoever is the lowest character in your party. This means the other two party members (probably Valkyrie and somebody like JJ or Gil), will be doing all the fighting. There is no time limit, so just be patient and play conservative. Have lots of cure items. She inflicts status ailments like blaze, bind, petrify. You want to have lots of items to cure your entire party as well as celestial nectar to raise characters after they have died.
If you don't have any luck with the above approach, there is a second, but it is expensive: use tscuchinoko dumplings, which fill your volty guage. At the start of the battle, command Valkyrie to use her volty. Then take a dumpling, which refills your volty guage, and tell her again. Keep this up until you win. You should have at least 3 dumplings by the end of the game: (1) at City of White Nights, (2) on the path to the Water Dragon, and (3) from the stair maze in the Distortion Corridor. If you chose the human path first, then by the time you get here on the non-human side, you should have at least 6 dumplings (3 from the first game and 3 from this game). That should be more than enough to win. If not, then you can always spend some time finding more dumplings. Even if you run out of dumplings, your volty guage will gradually increase just from all the fighting. I was able to win this battle using 6 dumplings plus 2 volty attacks that didn't require dumplings. You can use an analysis ball to see your progress if you aren't sure.
If you first choose the human path, you will have a much better chance of winning this battle. This will give you the Tri-Emblem skill. Since it carries over between games, you don't get anything from the second battle (Jack wakes up in his room saying it was all just a dream). There is no real reason to fight this battle more than once. So, if you are having too much trouble, then simply continue to raise money for the next game.
Once the Ethereal Queen has been beaten, the bonus dungeon is reset. The first area has only four paths, and the dragons are back. You can go through the bonus dungeon again. The only difference is that instead of Valkyrie, you will be fighting the golden dragon. Many of the chests contain one-of-a-kind items (e.e., Ancient Axe); these will be empty. Those that contain more common items (e.g., dumplings and recovery stones) will be filled again.
Since money is carried over between games, you can spend time fighting and earning money. If you buy the Pluto's Trophy from San Patty accessories or Keane's shop in the fort, you will win about 20% more gold than otherwise. The bonus dungeon lets you earn a lot of money, which you can then carry over to your next game. If you start off the next game with a lot of money, it makes the game easier since you can afford the most expensive weapons and armor. Another good use for money is to buy berries from the Alkaico General Store in the Void Community. I generally like to buy the Strength and Defense Berries. Unfortunately, there is no shop in the non-human path that sells all those berries, (Danny sells Life and Mystery berries when he isn't spaced out) so you should buy whatever you need before the split. Remember that you won't be able to buy berries at the start of the game; you will have to wait until you get to Theater Vancoor. This means you should have enough berries at the start of the game to beef up Jack's stats. If you then equip the Training Device, which increases how much experience you get, you should be able to get through the start of the game without any problems.
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The major portions of this walkthrough are aimed at the first two times you play the game. If you follow my suggestion, you will play it first using the human path, followed by the second time using the non-human path. During these two games, you can recruit all of the available characters, learned and maxed out all of the status skills, learned all the weapon skills (including the volty attacks), and learned all the links. You have probably also accumulated considerable money and items by this time.
When you start a subsequent game, your goals are probably different than the first two games. You don't need to recruit all available characters, and you already know all the skills you need. During subsequent times through the game, you can spend time enjoying the details and experimenting using different characters in your party. During one of my play throughs of the game while writing version 6.0 of this document, I tried adding Lufa, since I could add her early because I had Polpo's soup from a previous game. She did surprisingly well, and had the additional benefit of having a Pluto's Trophy equipped, so I was able to earn additional money. If you haven't read the section on Easter Eggs and Silly Things this would be a great time to do that.
You probably want to equip the Training Device so that you and the characters in your party will gain additional experience. I usually leave it equipped the entire game, switching to Pluto's Trophy for more money when they have leveled up enough. I also usually leave Tri-Emblem equipped the entire game, unless I need some protection from status ailments. Don't forget to buy and read the books you want (I often go to issue a battle command, only to find out that I didn't do that.)
During these times through the game, you are more likely to add weak characters during later stages of the game. If your party starts taking a lot of damage after you have been promoted, remember to use links and have Auto Cure equipped to help keep your early party members alive.
A major change during these times through the game is that you only need to recruit the characters you want to recurit: either because you want them in your party, or because they are required to recruit someone else that you do want. For example, if you are using the human path, then you probably want to use Kain, which means you need to recruit everyone from the Olacian Order. The same is true of Vancour, assuming you want Elwen. It is unlikely, however, that you want Curtis and Nyxx, so you only need to recruit the people you want from Void or Vareth. The only ones I use from those groups is Lilly and Cecil. For the non-human path, once you recruit Martinez, Santos, and Romaria, you don't really need to recruit anyone else until you swap out Santos for Gil. You can later recruit Gruel, JJ, or whoever you want in your final party. JJ is certainly easy to recruit, but I think that Gruel is worth the extra effort. The Strategy Guide shows a final party of Jack in Demon Mail, Gruel, Galvados, and (of course) Ganz.
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This section can help you if you aren't sure that you got everyone is a given group, or if you can't find how to recruit a particular character. For example, if I said you should be able to recruit Curtis now, and you talk to him but nothing happens, then you probably missed somebody in Vareth Institute. You should then look at your friends list (not from the main menu, but from the book at either the Theater Vancoor or Fort Helencia) and compare the list of members in this section to your friends list. You should be able to identify who is missing, and then try to recruit them.
If you find someone that you need to recruit, but don't remember how to recruit them, find them in the following list, and click on the character's name to be taken to the section in the game when you can recruit that character. If you are using the text version of this FAQ instead of the HTML version, you will see a link next to the name of the character. Compare that link with the table of contents at the top of the FAQ to find out when then can be recruited. (I strongly suggest that you use the HTML version on my web site if you are doing this; it is much easier to click on the link than search for the tag.)
There are some people who you can only recruit at a certain time, or that have other requirements such that you might not be able to recruit them. (For example, to recruit Thanos, you had to have reported back to him after each mission, and finished all the missions.) There are others where you will have to perform several steps before you can recruit them. For these characters, there are links to each step of their recruitment.
You need to recruit everyone else in Theater Vancoor in order to recruit Elwen.
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The Olacion Order is divided into two factions headed by Fernando and Anastasia. You need to recruit all the other members of a faction before you can recruit the leader. You need to recruit both leaders in order to recruit Kain.
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You need to recruit everyone else in the Vareth Institute in order to recruit Curtis.
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In order to recruit Nyx, you need to have Curtis, Kain, and Elwen in your party, which means you have to recruit everyone from the other groups before getting Void the leader.
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There is no requirement to get all these, but there are some you probably want to recruit for the skills they possess. Also, if you recruit everyone you get to see some artwork in your friends list.
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If you choose the non-humans path, you have the chance to recruit all of these folks. They are not divided like the humans groups (except by race), although there are certain characters you can't recruit until you recruit specific others, and in a few cases, all the other members of their race.
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This section is a catch-all for things that I think are worth mentioning, but don't really fit anywhere else.
There is no end to the urban rumors about what is carried over in this game. Hopefully, this section will eliminate (or at least reduce) the number of rumors people send me. The following items carry over from one game to the next:
If you are interested about a specific item, see the Detailed List of What Items Carry Over.
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This section provides a detailed list of the items that carry over from one game to the next. A brief summary of these items can be found in the Post Game section.
These items will carry over from one game to the next:
In addition to items, all of your money, all weapons skills (e.g. left slash) and all status skills (e.g. auto cure) will be retained.
No Weapons, Articles, or Accessories (except the Feathered Earring and Training Device) will be carried over from one game to the next. The following items will *not* carry over from one game to the next:
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Both Tria Milk and Polpo's Soup are items that carry over between games. They are also available to you when you recruit them, and are needed to recruit one other member. You can get more of both items by talking to Tarkin or Polpo. Talk to them during the same time frame they can be recruited. You can only get one per day, but you can build up a large supply. Getting Polpo's soup is trivial - take the Journey Pig to Goblin Haven, walk in and up the ramp to the second floor, talk to Polpo to get the soup, and take the Journey Pig to whereever you were originally going to go. Getting Tria Milk requires a bit more walking, but with the Feather Earring, it doesn't take that long.
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In the programming world, the term "Easter Egg" is used for silly little things that can happen unexpectedly under certain conditions. In the very early games, and even some other electronic devices (like Palm Pilot), programmers added little cute things that you could cause to happen if you did certain things.
As a programmer myself, I am very impressed with the programming staff for this game. I'm a long time Final Fantasy fan, so I wasn't surprised with the quality of the game, but I was very pleased with the attention to detail. (Of course, many of the games by Square have similar things, but I think this game has far more than any other.)
In addition to "Easter Eggs", there are a number of silly things you can do while in the game if you start to get bored. For one thing, you can try to follow a character around and see what they do throughout the day. I am amazed at the complexity of this world, and all the little things that are there. I keep finding new things, and expect to find more. You will probably find a few surprises, and have some fun at the same time. Here are some of the things I have found:
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This section provides the hours for the various stores in the game and what I usually buy there. Some items won't be available until near the end of the game (e.g., a Weapons Shop sells cheap and weak weapons at the start, but then more expensive and better weapons toward the end.) The quality (and price) of weapons and armor goes up as the game progresses.
These stores are available once you leave the Knights and if you choose the Human Path.
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You probably noticed how the background music changes when you move from one location to another. These are the theme songs for those regions. Certain characters also have theme songs, as well as certain plot elements / cut scenes (e.g., Ridley's Sorrow). You can play any of these songs on your record player, provided you have obtained the record. Records are carried over between games (they will be in your record player, even if they had been in your items at the end of the previous game.)
The following is a list of all the available records and where to find them. Possible record stores are Chic (in the Void Community), Donkey (from him after his concert), and Pitt (in the City of Flowers if you choose the non-human path). If another name is listed, that means you can get it when fighting that character, either by dueling them or on the battlefield. If a location is listed, then you need to kick things in that area to find it.
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I get enough questions on where to find this, that it is worth a special section. It isn't obvious when you first see it, which is why so many people miss it. During your trip to the bottom of the Blood Orc home world, try all the side passage ways. At one point, you will come in from the left and there will be a rope you can climb down (but don't do that yet). The path will also lead to the left, curve around to the right, and dead-end. Along the front of the path are some dark things sticking up that you might assume to be rock formations. When you get to this area, face south (towards you) and keep clicking "O" while you walk along the path. Once you do this, you will probably remember where to click and it will be easy from then on.
If you still can't find it, then go to the bottom of the cave. Now, take the rope back up one level, and then walk left, around the curve, fight the orc and get the toadstool. It will be to the left of a series of formations sticking up. (If you have a large Hi-Def TV it will probably be obvious, but on a small or older TV it is harder to see.)
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The Tsuchinoko Dumpling is a handy item. It can be used to recruit several characters, and it can also be used to restore 100% HP and VP.
The Tsuchinoko is a snake kind of creature that appears at one of eight locations each day. There is no pattern that I know of for where it will appear each day. If you have the feathered earring and journey pigs, you can check most (if not all) of the locations in a single day. Once you find one, you can stop looking; there is only one of them per day. If you take Curtis or equip the Magic Mirror you can get from fighting Gruel, the tsuchinoko is more likely to appear. (I'm not sure I believe that, but that is what the description of the Magic Mirror says).
To obtain a dumpling, enter into a fight with a Tsuchinoko, but don't kill it. It will be poisoned, so use a cure drop to cure it. It will escape, leaving behind a dumpling. The game won't say anything, but if you check your count of dumplings it will have been incremented. The hard part of this is preventing the rest of your party from killing the Tsuchinoko. If you are strong enough, consider going yourself.
Once you have "defeated" a Tsuchinoko, it won't reappear for up to ten days. According to the Official Strategy Guide, it will next appear when the day is a multiple of 10 from the start of the game. Since you don't have any way to determine what day it is, just figure it will be up to 10 days before it shows up again. If sleeping doesn't mess up the story (like during the post-game period), you can sleep, put on the feathered earring, and visit most (if not all) of the possible locations looking for the Tsuchinoko. If you don't find it, sleep and try again.
Here is a cute trick you can use to get a large number of dumplings. The original comment can be found at http://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/924323-radiata-stories/56142498 What I did to try this was that I only had Curtis in my party. As soon as I found a Tsuchinoko, I ordered Curtis to back away. I then approached the Tsuchinoko and fed it a cure drop. You will see an animated sparkle go from Jack to the Tsuchinoko, followed by a return sparkle from the Tsuchinoko back to Jack. The first is Jack giving the cure drop, and the second is the Tsuchinoko dropping the dumpling. As soon as the sparkling trail starts back towards Jack, use a Flee Ball. Jack will run away, but if you look in your inventory, you should find one more dumpling. Now, leave the area and come right back to find the Tsuchinoko is there again. You can keep this up until you run out of cure drops or flee balls, or you get 99 dumplings. If you use the flee ball too soon, and you didn't get a dumpling, then go back and the Tsuchinoko should be there again. If you use the flee ball too late, you will see the victory screen, and it will be up to 10 days before it appears again.
Note:Sometimes you might see the Tsuchinoko after you escape. Don't try to fight it; exit the screen and come back. The one you see doesn't have a dumpling, and You will most likely get a victory screen if you fight it.
My favorite place to use this trick is on Fire Mountain. Once you have used the flee ball, simply walk out the south entrance (not the big doors), and then come back in to find the Tsuchinoko. If it doesn't appear, try going out and coming back in a few times. If you somehow mess up, make sure you sleep for 10 days before you try it again (or reset the game if you saved before you started).
During Post-Game is a great time to win back the dumplings you used during the previous game. You will be strong enough to fight any battle you might get into. Pick the easiest Tsuchinoko locations you can get to. For example, when I was on the non-human path, I picked the Elf Region, the Nowem Region, and the Dorse Region. I would sleep and then set out using the Journey Pig to travel to each location. If no Tsuchinoko was found, I would sleep and try again the next day. Once I find a Tsuchinoko, I keep collecting dumplings until midnight. Then I sleep 10 times and start over again. Remember to keep your supplies of Cure Drops and Flee Balls. At the end of the day collecting them, I buy enough so that I have 99 of each in my inventory.
You can find the Tsuchinoko in one of the following locations:
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This section lists some rare items that you can obtain from fights. None of them are essential, but it is nice to know about them.
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One of the interesting features of this game is the Fireworks Date, which is only available during the Human Path. At some point after you meet Genius in the sewers, you may find a letter in your mailbox. It will be an invitation to see the fireworks at the castle. The person that shows up to watch them with you is the female that has been in your party the longest time. (Charlie is a possible fireworks date.) You won't see any X-rated stuff. For the most part, you see the two characters who are watching the fireworks, and at some point, the female looks at Jack and usually smiles. Jack, however, never looks at the date; he keeps staring at the fireworks.
The other place where this matters is at the very end of the game. There is a cut scene with Jack leaving Radiata, and you can see the "fireworks date" run up to the gate, and then stand there, watching him go. One person claimed that somebody other than your fireworks date can appear here, if you have increased the affection level of a different character. I haven't seen any evidence of this, however.
A word of warning: it is possible for this event to not happen. Once through the game, I had no females in the party up until just before the fireworks date. I had planned on putting the different women in my party, avoid my house for a while, and then trigger the event. This way, I could keep reloading the game and picking a different woman, so I could report on all the dates without having to keep playing the game over and over again. Well, it backfired on me, because when I did that, I couldn't get the fireworks date to trigger. Somebody else had the same problem for the same reason. Apparently, there is some minimum amount of time you need to have females in your party in order to trigger the invitation.
The second time I tried it worked much better. Whenever I got several women added to my friends list, I took them out long enough to raise their skills a couple of levels. During fights, I kept giving them commands. If I had more than one woman in the party, I made sure their commands were balanced. Then, just before accepting the "Secret of the Sewers" mission, I saved the game in a special location. Then I loaded that game, added the woman I wanted for the Fireworks Date, and spent a day or so with her giving her commands and letting her level up. For lower level women, I started out with the small bugs on the way to the Septem Cave, and then took her through the cave. As long as you are careful not to trigger the cut scenes in the sewer, you can level them up there as well. Depending on who it was and how well they handled themselves, I either had them back away or attack the enemy. I also commanded Kain to heal the woman, which caused him to continue casting healing spells on her. When I thought she was ready, I saved the game (just in case), went into the sewers, and went to Jack's house. This kicked off Ganz's letter. I walked outside, checked the mailbox for the Fireworks Date, and then slept to kick off the fireworks.
If you try this yourself (and I have to wonder about you if you do. ;^), then I suggest you don't try to recruit Godwin until after the Fireworks Date. The reason for this is that you need Miranda in your party for a long time to get her to level 35, which means you will have to keep the other women in your party for even longer. This meant that I wasn't able to actually get Flau or Rynka on the date because (I think) the affection level happens after the sewer rather than when you trigger the invitation.
There is no shortage of theories and claims about this event. There was a site that claimed to have some details behind how your date is chosen. Supposedly, there are a number of things you can do to increase the affection level for each girl. Others who e-mailed me about this issue seemed to think who the fireworks date was depended on a number of things, including issuing commands during battles, the number of times they leveled up, and the total amount of time in the party.
From my experiments, it seems that the amount of time in the party is the biggest factor, although some minimal amount of levels (and/or possibly HP) is also necessary. Giving the person commands during battle sometimes seems to help, but at other times doesn't seem to matter. I had Miranda in my party so that she could level up 10 levels. I never gave her any commands, so she was simply in the party. Since Miranda was levelled up during an early part of the game, it would have taken longer than when fighting orcs, goblins, and dark elves. When I was trying to get Charlie, I had him level up 12 levels, but got Miranda. I then had Charlie go up 20 levels, and still got Miranda. I then loaded the game and left Jack in his room with Charlie in the party, and let the game run for several hours before trying again. This time I got Charlie.
But time alone isn't enough. When getting Elena, I got her up about 7 levels and tried, but got Miranda. I then let the game run over night, with Jack in his room. When I tried in the morning, I still got Miranda, so time alone isn't enough. I had to get Elena up a few more levels before I got her on the date.
The Strategy Guide has a list of possible dates. Most are fairly straight forward, but a few of them are tricky, namely: Flau, Rynka, and Natalie. While Flau would be possible if you hadn't left Miranda in the party long enough to recruit Godwin, Rynka takes three days, and Natalie can't be recruited until after the battle at Lupus Gate, which is long after the Fireworks Date normally happens. Somebody claimed that Valkyrie was a possible fireworks date, but I have my doubts. I don't think you can get the fireworks date after Lupus Gate.
The trick to getting Flau, Rynka, (and maybe Natalie) lies in the fact that the fireworks happen at 10pm, and when Jack gets the letter, he comments that the fireworks are "tonight". So, only go past your mailbox between 10pm and midnight, and you can postpone the invitation to the fireworks past the day after Ganz's letter. Wait outside until 10pm, go in and save, and get back out before midnight. (You can actually go in as early as 9pm, When you are finally ready to trigger the invitation, you can go past your mailbox another time. I suggest that you go in between 10pm and midnight, save your game, and then sleep or leave after midnight to trigger the invitation. That way, if you mess up, you can reload the game and try again.
If you had Miranda in your party enough to recruit Godwin, you probably won't be able to get Flau or Rynka for the date. I had Flau and Rynka up tons of levels with huge HP increases, but I still got Miranda. I then played it another time where I didn't recruit Godwin, and was able to get them for the fireworks date. The other problem is that who invites Jack to the fireworks is calculated at the end of the Sewers mission, not when you get the invitation.
This means that for Flau, Rynka, and possibly Natalie, you need to get their affection level up quite a bit before you start the "Secret of the Sewers" mission. The only way you can do this is by talking to them a lot throughout the game. You will help if you ignore all the other women in the game.
I'm not sure that you can have Natalie at the fireworks. I postponed getting the invitation until after Lupus Gate, but then couldn't trigger the letter. Unless somebody has a bright idea, I'm guessing that she can't be recruited.
Here is the date list from the Strategy Guide, along with my comments about the actual date. The programmers seem to like cloaks, large collars, lace, and long gloves. There are some clips on YouTube of some dates.
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In order to recruit Synellia, you have to answer three questions from the Radiata Quiz correctly. Which questions she asks are random. If you answer one wrong, you will have to wait until another day to take the quiz again.
Here is a list of the questions and answers that I know of. If you find any others, let me know.
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This section is a collection of things to look out for when playing the game. There are a few things that, if you mess up, you can't fix. Hopefully this section will help you avoid the pain and agony of having to go through the entire game again to fix one mistake (like I did. ;^)
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The following web sites might be of use:
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