Version 1.3 © 2012 by Bill Pringle, all rights reserved.
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Blue Dragon is an RPG game written by the same person who created the original Final Fantasy game, Hironobu Sakaguchi. The game is cartoon based rather than realistic, and is somewhat like many Final Fantasy games. Characters have normal types of stats (attack, defence, agility, etc.) that are increased as the characters gain experience. Besides the normal character level based on experienced, a character gains Skill Points (SP) which allows them to advance in their current skill role.
Each character has a unique dragon, which has the ability to perform magic. Each dragon can assume one of several roles (sword master, white magic, black magic, etc.) that affects their stats (e.g., Monk has more defense than mages, Ninja has more speed and stealth.) As a character fights, they gain Skill Points (SP), which advances the current dragon role. Each role has a series of skills that the character can learn when they reach a certain rank (level) in that role.
What makes Blue Dragon interesting is that each character can mix and match skills regardless of their roles. For example, one of the skills for the Ninja role is Ninja Swiftness. If a Monk equips that skill, they will have the same speed and agility as a Ninja, while still posessing the basic stats of the Monk role. If done correctly, towards the end of the game, each character can be a formidal fighter, able to perform physical and magical actions as desired.
There are other FAQs for Blue Dragon, including some that will list all the skills for each role. However, I was not able to find one that explained which skills were more useful than others, suggested the order you might want to take when leveling up, etc. That is why I created this FAQ. I hope you find it useful. If you have any questions, comments, praises etc. feel free to contact me.
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While each role has a number of useful skills, I find that I tend to equip certain skills more than others. Here is a breakdown of my favorite skills and why, grouped by shawdow class.
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Your first impulse is probably to have your mages max out their magic class and the fighters max out their default class. Actually, that is not a good idea, since you end up spending a lot of time gaining skills that you can't really use yet. Better to be leveling up other shadow classes and gaining useful skills that you can use now.
For example, magic spells are gained only at certain points in the game, so it makes no sense to have Level 6 White or Black magic if you don't have the corresponding spells. Another great example is the Generalist class, which everyone should max out, but not at the start of the game. It makes no sense to have 8 skill slots available if you don't have 8 skills that you want to equip. And if you still aren't convinced, consider this: you can't generate enough SP points early in the game to max out your shadow classes in a resonable amount of time.
The strategy that I suggest is that you identify which skills you want to have, and arrange them by priority. Then work towards those skills so that you get the optimum number of skills as early as practical. You should have a different set of skills for each character, arranged so that your party has the optimal skills available at any one time. This is especially important at the beginning of the game. Towards the end of the game, my characters have mastered most (if not all) classes, although the actual skills that are equipped might be slightly different.
A good rule of thumb is that when you find yourself trying to decide which skill to equip, it is probably time to switch to Generalist and gain some more skill slots. Don't try to gain too many slots too fast; better to gain the skills and then get the slots than the other way around.
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For mages, you want to concentrate mostly on magic based skills, although you will want some physical skills as well. This will help raise their HP and defense so that they will survive battles.
Jiro starts with White Magic, while Kluke starts with Black Magic. The skills you want both of them to have is Black Magic rank 8, which gives you Regenerate MP, and White Magic 9, which gives you Zephyr. So after Jiro gets Zephtr, change his shadow class to Black Magic until he gets Regenerate MP. The opposite with Kluke: when she gets Regeneate MP, have her level up White Magic until she gets Zephyr.
You don't want to get too far ahead in your White/Black magic rank. Whatever level of spells you have, that is the level your shadow should be. I suggest that you keep Jiro and Kluke at about the same levels for both Black and White Magic. That way they become interchangeable, and you can attack or cure as needed on either of their turns.
Once Jiro and Kluke have reached the level you want for Black and White Magic, start beefing up their physical stats. Assign them to Sword Master until they reach Absorb HP. Then assign them to Assassin at least until they reach Ninja Swiftness, and then Loot. Another good physical class for your mages is Guardian, which has an HP Boost skill starting at rank 9.
If you have the time, let them learn Long-Range Attack, which will allow them to steal from the back row. As soon as they learn Steal, equip it for both of them. When battling weak enemies, have them steal rather than waste MP, provided your physical fighters can handle the enemies.
Once you are no longer worried about your mages being killed off because of their poor HP, start them on Support Magic. I don't tend to use support magic myself, but the class has some very useful skills, especially Double Cast once you master it. The Magic Essence skill can help you with your magic attack power, and Spell Duration could be handy if you used status, buff or debuff type spells.
After your mages have mastered the Magic classes, start them back on the fighting classes. You will find that Jiro packs quite a punch later in the game, and Kluke is no slouch, either.
A typical skill set for a mage might be:
Towards the end of the game, I will also equip Battle Essence, since they can deal considerable damage by then, especially if you also have Double-Strike equipped. Why waste MP when you can take an enemy out with a physical attack? And towards the end of the game, there aren't many enemies that can survive a double-strike physical attack from any of your characters.
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For fighters, you want to concentrate on fighting based skills, although you will also want some magic skills as well. At a minimum, each character should be able to heal the party; optimally, they should be able to resurrect a KO'd character as well. For really tough boss fights, the strong fighters might be the only ones to survive a brutal attack, so you want them to be able to raise and heal the party.
Each fighter starts with their own starting shadow character. You will want all three of them to master all three of these classes, as well as some other classes later on.
All your fighters should be skilled in Sword Master, since that gives them the ability to perform magic attacks. The other great fighting skill for Sword Master is Mow Down, which can keep your fights short. Once a character learns Mow Down 2, you should switch them out to another fighting class, since the remaining skills for Sword Master are mainly for Magic Sword levels, and you don't know those spells yet. Once a character has learned Absorb HP, equip it until you are no longer worried about them getting killed off.
When first learning the Monk class, try to get at least to stage 19 so that you can equip Battle Essence, which will give a higher attack power when you have other shadow classes assigned. You want to eventually master this class so that you can get Absolute Counterattack.
When starting on Assassin, try to get to rank 14 for Ninja Swiftness. Your next goal would be rank 26 for Long-Range Attack, and finally rank 35 for Double-Strike.
Guardian is a good shadow class for fighters, although I don't tend to start on it until I have mastered the other fighter classes.
The goal for your fighters should be a Guardian with the following skills:
That leaves you some additional slots of your choice. If you equip Total Guard, that person will protect anyone about to be killed off, and if they have Absolute Counterattack equipped, will do damage to the attacker.
I tend to have one of my fighters equipped with Field Barrier whenever I want to use it, since they don't tend to use MP otherwise. If you have Field Barrier equipped, try to also equip Regenerate MP, and you will probably not run out of MP.
If you have leveled up Black Magic to a good level, you might consider equipping that rather than Magic Sword.
There are two kinds of leveling up: (1) by Experience and (2) by Skill Points (SP). While Experience will help the overall stats of a character, the set of skills that are available often have a greater impact on the capabilities of the character.
I prefer to level up both experience and SP at the same time, so I usually prefer to fight rather than use a Field Barrier. There are times when the Field Barrier is better.
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One of the things I look for when leveling up is a free place to recover HP/MP that is near a source of enemy fights. For Blue Dragon, it is even better if the source is near a warp point.You can spend time fighting just outside of camps and towns. When you run out of enemies, or you start to have trouble, or even if you have just gained enough that you don't want to do it over again, warp back into the town / camp, heal and save. The enemies will be back when you go out again, so you can start over.
What I usually do is to check to see how many points we get from the fights, and how many points before the next character gains. You can then estimate how many fights it will take for the next level. If it isn't too many fights, then I check the time and fight until the character gains. That will tell me about how long it will take for the next level. The more a character gains, the longer it will take to the next level. When I don't want to wait for the next level up, then I progress the game.
Here are some good places to level up your characters:
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When you are revisiting areas you first visited early in the game (for example, when you are removing barriers from chests), the amount of experience you get from the monsters is very low, and not worth the time for even a quick fight. In cases like this, turn on your field barrier and you can simply charge through the enemies. I usually take some extra time to run into nearby enemies, especially if there are a lot of enemies in a small area. Even if you only get 1 or 2 SP per enemy, you can rack up quite a number of points in a fairly short time.
Here are some of my favorite places to level up with Field Barriers:
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The cost of healing in Blue Dragon isn't very much, but I tend to be a cheap-skate and look for free places. The best healing places for me are where I can get to them quickly and get free healing.
Here is a list of my favorite healing places:
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This is a "catch-all" section for anything I want to say that doesn't fit anywhere else.
There are several times when a turbo controller can be really handy. There are several button mashing scenes where you have to hit a button at a ridiculous rate. I don't mind trying button mashing once or twice, but if I can't do it after a few attempts, I just want to move on.
While some may think using a turbo controller in a fight is cheating, there is another less controversial use for one. There are a gazillion things in the game that you can examine for prizes: gold, medals, items, and Nothings (which are something). I find it much easier to wander around the edges of areas with the turbo set to mash the "A" button. There are times when you have to be at the right angle for the click to count, so having it continually clicking means you are less likely to miss anything. Even with a turbo controller, I have revisited areas and unexpectedly found something that hadn't been checked during my previous visit(s).
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While you need an activated warp device to warp to someplace, you can warp from most anywhere. I didn't figure that out until my most recent time through the game. When I looked at the main menu, I noticed that the warp option was available, so I tried it and was pleased to find that it worked. Before that, I would always run to the nearest warp point so that I could warp someplace.
This opens up some interesting possibilities. For example, when in the Sea Cube, there is a warp device and a save point at the very start of the area. Each time I completed a floor, I would warp back to the entrance, save the game (and possibly go someplace to heal), and then walk back up to where I was. If you are having problems getting through an area, this might be a good approach to take so that you don't have to replay large amounts of fighting and gaining levels more than once.
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At the beginning of the game, be very careful about how you set up the formation. Each character can be in the front or back row. The front row tends to get hit more than the back row, so put your weaker characters in the back. However, unless you have Long Range Attack equipped, characters in the back row have very weak physical attacks. Magic attacks are unaffected by what row you are in.
I tend to keep my fighters in the front row and my mages in the back row. Another possible formation is to have all the characters with Absolute Counterattack equipped in the front row, so that each time the enemy attacks, they get damaged as well.
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Keep track of the turn order during a fight. A good general rule is to attack the enemy that will attack first. Ideally you want to defeat each enemy before they get a chance to attack.
Attack order can also be handy when casting magic. You want to make sure you heal before a tough enemy attacks, and perform an attack spell before they attack rather than after.
Sometimes when you change dragon shadows, the accessories for the character are left unchanged. Other times all their accessories are removed. After you switch a shadow, double-check to make sure they still have their accessories.
There are two optional bosses that are very tough: King Poo and Gold Mecha Robo. They are very tough, but can be beat, although sometimes you have to be lucky. There are many FAQ articles suggesting how to win; some of the suggestions are helpful.
It is important to realize that you can steal from the Golden Robo Mecha as early and possible, but not bother to fight it until you are leveled up more. As soon as you have found all six mystery parts and exchanged them with the head researcher at Jibral Castle, you can (and should) take some time to steal from the Gold Robo Mecha. This will allow you to raise the agility for your party so that often you will never get any hits scored against them; you will take out the enemy before they get a first turn. Towards the end of the game, I had all my characters equipped with Ninja Swiftness, Battle Essense, Long Range Attack, and Double Strike. I used physical attacks, and every character was usually able to take out an enemy with one attack (two hits), or at most two attacks for regular enemies. For boss fights, I was usually able to defeat the boss before it was able to get in any hits.
One suggestion you will see is to try to attack the boss and an easy enemy in the same fight. This will let you spend time buffing up your party while you fight the weak enemy, so that you start off the boss fight ready and able to fight well and deal out considerable damage. This sounds good, but I tried for a long time to get a poo snake near King Poo without success. Eventually, I gave up and took him on solo.
I fought King Poo before Gold Mecha Robo, but if I had to do it again, I would do the Gold Mecha Robo first. Not necessarily to defeat him, but to steal Golden Eternal Engines, which will permanently increase a character's agility by 3. Probability the most important ability you will need to defeat these two monsters is speed - high agility.
Stealing from the Gold Mecha Robo is simple, and you can quickly raise your agility so that you should have no problems beating them. The trick is that you fight, steal, then flee, then fight again. But you have to leave the area so that the Golden Eternal Engine will respawn. I developed a pattern that made this very easy:
To get started, warp to the Ancient Factory and save at the save point right next to the warp device. From this point, I steal five times from the Gold Mecha Robo, and then save the game. (I'm paranoid of losing progress, so I save often.) After several of these cycles, I distribute them to each party member. I start out with Shu as the party leader. Here is the pattern:
The reason I like this is because this whole process will get very boring, and I will lose track of how many times I have stolen. This way, I can do other things while going through the motions. Every so often I will distribute the Golden Eternal Engines to the party. Since you should have a multiple of 5, you will be able to give the same number to each character. For example, if you have 20 of them, then give each character 4 of them.
You should be able to max out their agility, but I doubt that is really necessary. I had them all around 300, which seemed to be fine. If you are less bored, by all means keep going. You can also go something else, and come back and steal when you want to do something mindless for a while.
As I mentioned earlier, some suggest trying to use the encounter circle to enclose the boss and a minor enemy. I wasn't able to do that. If you can do it, fine, but here is how you can do it using a back attack.
In some ways, King Poo is unpredictable. Every so often, he will keep fighting several attacks at the same time. Now, I fought him before stealing lots of Golden Eternal Engines, so my speed wasn't as fast as it could have been. I selected equipment to increase their speed as much as I could. Here are the skills that I had equipped for everyone:
Regular physical attacks are pretty much useless, even with Double-Strike, so I concentrated on magic attacks. There have been various suggestions, usually Flarus, Waterus, or Shadowus. I found Shadowus to do the most damage. The real damage happens when your Corporeal attack is available. It probably will take you between 3 to 5 corporeal attacks to finish off King Poo.
When you start with a back attack, you get a head start on the fight. What I noticed is if I didn't attack physically at the start, I was able to do more before the king attacked.
At the start of the fight, I have each character cast Quickus on themselves. If a character is killed off, they will get resurrected (they start off with Ressurection equipped, which will resurrect them once). Whenever that happens, have the character cast Previve on themself, and Quickus during their next turn. From then on, keep casting Shadowus until their Corporeal attack is available. Don't worry about healing; a physical attack will take out your character regardless of their HP.
This page can be found in two forms: an HTML (web) page at http://BillPringle.com/games/bluedragon_skills.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.
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