Submitted by: David K.
Tips and Tricks:
Things to Know Before Playing
Its supposed to be hard. It was designed to be one of the most difficult
RPGs ever made.
No, you dont get to keep your skills if you get an upgrade. Thats one
of the games many “suck it up” points.
As you can see, you have two gauges, HP (Hit Points) and LP (Life Points).
HP is easily lost and regained. LP cant be recoveRed until after a mission
is over. If you lose HP, no big deal. If you lose all your LP, your
character dies for the duration of the mission. HP loss is in white and LP
loss is in Red. The more HP you lose, the more likely you are to lose LP.
If your HP hits zero, you can count on losing LP if you get hit.
You can get HP back by pressing R3 on the overworld. Even in a battle,
having a character sit a turn or two out will give them HP.
Every fucking item in this game breaks if you overuse it. Even if you use
magic, it probably comes from an armlet, which will break if you overuse it.
Weapons and armor will also break if you overuse them. To restore a weapon,
all you really have to do is find just about any raw material and fuse it
on. Visit a blacksmith each time you roll into town; your weapons have a
way of snapping when you dont want them to.
The game doesnt care if youre at the right level to be fighting an enemy
or not, and its often hard to tell anyway because HP isnt directly
meaningful in the game. This is a multiple-concurrent-save-files kind of
First off, the reason this game isnt popular is because in order to play
it “right,” youre going to have to learn the battle mechanics. After you
play it for the very first time, give the manual a bit of a once-over.
Most of the mechanics are simpler than they look; you just have to know
what it is theyre trying to tell you first. (Also, this guide can be a
big help too.)
Especially make sure you understand the GUI. The menus are extremely
inefficient (and the only part I still dislike about the game even now),
but once you get the hang of it all its a bit easier.
As with Chrono Cross, you get your advancements after completing each
area. Unlike Chrono Cross, you dont get piddly stat increases after
each battle. This means that theres virtually no point in grinding,
so dont bother.
Your hexagonal Growth Panel is the mechanism for advancement in this
game. Actually understanding the advancement is a bit of a tall order,
so just understand this… After each mission, youll get a new Growth
Panel insert. Make sure to watch what youre inserting, what youre
replacing, and how the stats change as a result. Even if you go on a
lot of missions, theres still a lot of time between each advancement,
so every little choice you make in their advancement counts.
As with other SaGa games, your items break after a certain number of
uses, and you have to go to a blacksmith in town between missions to
repair them, so dont go nuts with them right off the bat. In fact,
getting some punch/kick/throw skills on your characters can save you a lot
of heartache for this reason.
The best starting scenario, as the game recommends, is Lauras. Youll get
a lot of those skills I mentioned with her very soon, and since Laura herself
is strong and powerful with magic, you have a lot of breathing room.
Get Magic Tablets on every mage character you have; they need them and need
them bad. Thats the only way mages learn new spells, and even then they have
to have equipment with “[element] Arts” on it. Never, ever overwrite a Magic
Tablet on the Growth Panel until youve masteRed it.
The slots only come up in situations that would have a probability in other
RPGs anyway. Its just glorified D&D dice rolling; the only difference is
that it shows you that its doing it and you get to time the button press to
increase the probability.
But most importantly, be patient with the game and take time to learn its
mechanics. If you can see past the extremely counter-intuitive menus the rest
of the game can get very fun and rewarding.
The following skills will get you out of more jams than you can count, so get
them as soon as you can. Each of these is only necessary to put on one character.
Remember, you equip them by placing them on the hexagonal Growth Panel after
Defuse: Allows you to defuse traps, both on the map and in treasure chests.
Almost every treasure chest is trapped, so youre going to need this and
need it soon.
Locksmith: Allows you to unlock doors and chests. A damn large number of
chests are locked as well, so look into it. This wont do dick about magic
locks, but those are so rare it wont matter.
Quick-Fix: Repairs items on the field, so you can keep using them and stop
worrying about “using them up.”
Eavesdrop: Gives you an approximate idea of where monsters are on the map
relative to you. Not technically necessary as such, just because the monsters
move just like you do, but if youre in a bad way and just trying to find
your way back to the entrance this can save your ass.
Diplomacy: Talks stock enemies out of attacking you. Very useful on missions
where youre “on the ropes.” As with Quick-Fix, though, its slot-based
probability, so dont expect it to cure all of your problems.
Swimming: Lets just say youll be glad you have it when you need it.
Monger: Haggles with shops. Its not of life-shattering importance because
youll end up having enough money to cover expenses in the late game anyway,
but it has a 100% success rate and any money saved can come in handy later.