Neophyte’s Guide to Disgaea: Hour of Darkness. V. 0.2 -Frozen Atari [Greetings] Greetings! I’m here to tell you about how to start off in Disgaea: Hour of Darkness the best way you can, well, at least in my experience. This is my second Guide, and hopefully this one will be just as or more helpful then my other one. You also won’t have to worry about spoilers; I don’t put them in my guides. [Updates] Version: .02: Fixed a few spelling/grammar errors and changed “Amplitude” to “Aptitude”. I also added a few things here and there. Now read it some more!! 02-24-05, Version: .03: Just added a few things and re-worked some stuff. Did I honestly cover every thing? If you think I did not, please contact me! [Table of contents] I. [Starting Out]- Tells you a little about Disgaea right when you start out. II. [Making Demons]- Tells you about how demons should be made when you start out. III. [Beginning Classes]-Tells you about the classes you are given in the beginning and what each one can do. IV. [Later Classes]-Explains about classes you will gain shortly after starting. V. [Monsters]- Tells you about every thing that roars, wriggles, and vomits in the Netherworld, and how they can helpful to your quest. VI. [Storyline Characters]-Tells you about the usefulness and downfalls of storyline characters VII. [Weapons]-A list of weapons and how each one works, and how well they work. VIII. [Advance Battle Tactics]-Tells you how to survive better in hostile Netherworld battles. IX. [Before the Battle]-Explains how you should approach each battle, and if you are over your head. X. [Quick Tips During Battle]-Tells you how to get the most out of your turn. XI. [How to handle Item world]-This tells you a few pointers when heading into the land of items. XII. [How to handle Netherworld Bureaucracy]-Tells you about the Dark Assembly XIII. [Assembly Tips]- Tells you a few hints and tips while you are in the Dark Assembly. XIV. [Raising and Saving Hell]-Tells you how to be a frugal demon. XV. [Raising Demons]- This section gives you a few pointers on how to get your demons big and beefy as quickly as possible. XVI. [Stealing]-Explains about the little known skill called “Stealing” XVII. [Contact]-Need something else? Just ask, for I will not eat your heart like other people. XVIII. [Legal Mumbo Jumbo]- You know, it’s not what it seems. This section tells you about how to make a mouth watering Dagwood sandwich. I [Starting Out] When you start out, you will only have a handful of characters at your command. Both Laharl and Etna are quite strong, and should be used through out the main game. The prinnies on the other hand are just fillers, sooner or later you will want to replace them with stronger demons. As a general rule, Read the instruction manual and fallow the introduction to the game, as it will teach you the basics. (Hey, it saves me time!) Also talk to all the demons in Laharl’s Keep; they too will have some helpful info, despite being demons and all. If you’re not familiar to grid based combat, make sure you pay attention to what all demons have to say. II [Making Demons] Well, unless you want to tromp through the game with only a fist full of devils, you are certainly going to want to make some buddies. I’m not going through how to create a demon, since it is explained at the Dark Assembly. What I will tell is what kind of demons you should make. The best idea is to make humanoids; they are strong, can throw, and can learn weapon skills. Monsters are Ok, but it’s better to capture them than to make them. You should always make all your demons “incompetent” at the least. The bonus +1 stat is better then -5, its a little more mana to use, but it’s well worth it. Another thing you should keep in mind is to make most or your entire demons force female at the start. Now it’s not that they are weaker or stronger then their male counterparts, it’s just that they simply open more classes. With having mostly males, you’ll get the Rouge, Scout, and Ninja humanoid classes opened up. With females you’ll get Rouges, Scouts, Samurais, Mage Knights, and possibility Angels near the end of the game. Every humanoid class is good in one way or another, but make sure they fit your personal battle plan. It is also up to you on how many you wish to make. Making a few will save you some Hell, and perhaps even time. Yet, this will leave you vulnerable, for if one demon falls, the rest may fallow. It also does not allow you to really cover the battle field, which is crucial in some missions. Yet leading an elite squad does have its strong points. For one, raising demon levels is a lot easier since you have fewer demons to worry about. You also will not have to worry about the ones who lag behind, or if you have enough Hell to give equipment for every one. Elite squads typically number 1 to 5 demons. A large squad is any thing over 6, and a full squad is 10. I find that raising 10 demons (not all humanoids though) right from the get go is one of the best ways to go. Yet, it can be time consuming as you watch over 10 devils running from here to there. On the other hand, shear numbers will surely get you though every mission you come across. You also do not have to worry about losing 1 or 4 demons, and not only that, but you can rack up huge Combos and destroy bosses this way in a few turns. More importantly, you can split your squad up into 2 or 3 smaller ones to take on several threats at once, which can make clearing a map much quicker. III [Beginning Classes] These are the classes that you get in the beginning of the game: Warriors, Brawlers, Mages, Skulls, and Clerics. Each class is essential to any battle plan, and are all quite flexible. Warriors: Warriors are your basic shock troop. They have good HP, Def and Str. Not only that, but they are good with weapons. This means the class is very flexible, and can be customized to thwart any threat. Yet they can be knocked down easily by magic, so keep that in mind when see an enemy mages prowling the field. Brawlers: Brawlers are like warriors, but they have a little less Def, Res and are only good with fists. Yet they have good Str, HP, counter, and movement. This means they can be where you want them right when you need them. Their great proficiency with the fist and long stride makes them invaluable in Item World. As with Warriors, keep an eye out for mages. Mages/Skulls: Mages are like… mages! Like any typical mage, they are clumsy, have low stats, and have a hard time using most weapons. But they have good SP, Int, Res and can naturally learn magic. (Of course) They are a little hard to use in the beginning, but after a while they become invaluable when you Level up their spells. Skulls are almost exactly like Mages, they just look a lot cooler, have a slight change in aptitude, but they don’t open any new classes later on. Clerics: Clerics can be one of the hardest classes to level up. They have stats that are a little better then a Mage or Skull, but that’s not saying much. Yet, you will need at least one in your adventure. They can heal, remove status effects, and boost stats like Def and Res. A good idea is to have them equipped with a sword or bow, and switch to a staff when you use magic. Over all, you should keep them in the back with your mages, or better yet, hidden in the base panel. Yet, they must get into combat every once in a while to gain EXP, other wise they will just will die in one puny hit and lag in Int. IV [Later classes] Other classes that you might shortly get are: Rouges, Scouts, Archers, and Mage Knights. Rouges: Rouges are like your generic thief but worse. They have the crappiest stats, aptitude, and weapon learning curve in the game Yet, they makes this up with good movement, jump, throw, and the ability to steal items at a high percentage as well as steal stats. They also fill the bonus gauge quicker; which means you’ll get more stuff at the end of a battle after a Rouge polishes off an enemy. Yet, unless you really like stealing stuff (don’t we all, it’s the demon way after all) you’re not going to want one. A good idea to keep in mind with the rouge is to steal a lot of stats early on. That way your rouge becomes better equipped naturally to survive in harsher battles. You can unlock Rouges by getting a few levels with a Brawler and Warrior of any gender. Scouts: Scouts are your main gun guy. They have good all around stats, Aptitude, Movement, Jump, and have two unique spells: Geo change and Dark Cannon. Both are very useful and can come in handy. Both skills are explained under their skill description, so I’m not going into detail. Oh, and a tip about Dark Cannon: as you are it shooting off, you can just hold down the button and mow demons down. You gain the Scout when you get the rouge. Archers: Archers have good aptitude, and are obviously good with bows (They have class S in the weapon after all). Yet the down side is that they do not have good movement and jump, and are not very flexible weapon wise. Yet, they are pretty good, and I recently found that Archers gain additional power when using bows. All you need is a little practice with the bow with any character and you’ll get this class. Mage Knights: Mages Knights are quite interesting. They are both good with magic and weapons, the only down side is that they have lowish amplitude and crappy movement. Yet they can do that no other class can: caste a spell right after attacking! This is quite nice, and makes them a good addition to any team; yet are not for every one. If you just want stair out warriors or strait out Mages than the Mage Knight is not for you. You can gain this class after your female warrior and mage gain a few more levels. There are other classes you can gain like the Samurai, Ninja, Angel and others, but I’m not going to talk about them since you won’t get them right in the beginning of the game. V [Monsters] Ah, monsters. Some people do not like using them for their lack of diversity in a single character and not being able to chuck people around. Despite these hindering attributes found in all monster-demons, they can be useful. They all have 100+% Aptitude, so they always grow at a steady rate. They all can do well with out equipment. And they all learn techs at a steady rate as well. Not only that, but you can capture them by simply chucking the monster in the base panel. The demons still inside will have to try and simmer the monster’s hissy fit. But be warned, if you don’t have tough demons inside the base panel, the panel will get destroyed! This is something you cannot do with enemy humanoid demons. If you choose to have a few monsters, you may find that one type does not fit all situations, so pick carefully! Remember, monster can learn spells too! VI [Story line characters] As you progress through the game you will stumble upon characters that the game gives you for free. They are typically stronger then the basic demon classes, they also have skills that are quite different then any monster or weapon skill. While many people like to fill their ranks with nothing more then story line characters, I prefer to only use the main two; Etna and Laharl. Both are good with most weapons, both have good techs, and both, more importantly, are given in the beginning of the game. Besides the special techs a storyline character learns, you also cannot rename them, delete them, transmigrate them into new classes, and there is even one that cannot even transmigrate at all! If you choose to use additional storyline characters, go right ahead. Although later in the game, you’ll find that greater forms of the demon classes are certainly a better choice. VII [Weapons] Hey, unless you plan on going through the game with only your demon’s bare hands, you should buy some good old fashion killa-ma-jigs. Swords: Swords are quite strong, and are perhaps the weapon you are going to have the most of. Not only that, but the sword has some of the best techs out of all the weapons for taking on many demons or just one. Warriors can level up this weapon quickly, but it’s good for any class to have. Spears: Spears are my favorite weapon. You can attack right out of counter attack reach, and they have special attacks that can help you jump away from the enemy. They are fairly strong and are favored by female warriors. Spears are another weapon that is good with any class, regardless of learning ability. Axes: Axes are the only weapon that decreases a stat instead of increasing. While a demon’s hit may go down, the attack will rocket. They also lower an enemy’s defense when attacking, and have some very powerful one on one special attacks. Male warriors tend to tote these massive weapons around. Bows: Bows uses both a demon’s Attack and Hit to calculate damage. This can make it a yo-yo like weapon, but a bow makes it up with range and the special attacks. All of the special attacks do some sort of status effect, which can really help you in battle, and all have a good range. The bow is also a useful tool when using Combos, as attacking from a distance can help in crowded areas. Both Archers and Clerics are good with the bow, but few other classes are. Fist: The Fist has ok attack, and always boosts hit. This makes those shifty tricky little demons easier to hit. The fist’s special attacks pack quite a wallup, and some move an enemy a few spaces or so. This makes the fist very useful, and you should always have as least one demon with a fist equipped for Item world adventures. Brawlers of both genders enjoy pummeling, and are really only good with this weapon. Guns: Guns have the longest reaching weapon in the game. They also have good techs, and use a demon’s Hit to calculate damage. This means you can create some powerful attacks with this weapon if you combine it with one or more pairs of glasses. Like the bow, these weapons are great for using in combos because of their range advantage. Scouts are kings when it comes to this weapon, and despite the low learning curve for this weapon for Rouges, it’s still the best weapon to give them. Staves: If you don’t know, staves are best when in the hands of a magic user. The staff either has little or no attack, but raises a demon’s intellect. A staff also helps increase range, area coverage, and power of a spell, regardless of what it does. Staves are loved by Mages, Skulls, and Clerics. Yet they are quite useless in the hands of any other class. Monster: Monster weapons come in a variety of shapes in sizes, from the simple Paw Glove, to the erotic Tentacle. Yet, each one functions basically the same way: to improve attack. Many also come fitted with status effects, which can be quite helpful in battle. Also, if you don’t already know, only monsters can use Monster weapons. Humanoids, just can’t figure these weapons out. IIX [Advance Battle Tactics] Now, while the tutorials tell you How to do things, I’ll tell how to use them properly. Combos and Team attacks can be really helpful, for they allow more damage to be dealt to an enemy. Now, since you already know the difference, you should know how each one should be used. Team Attacks are good if you can’t perform a good solid combo, and should be abu---er used often. But what you can do after a team attack is just push “O” (cancel) and the demons that did not lead the attack will go back to the starting point and you can use them to perform another team attack or something else you have in mind. Also, Team attacks are good for disturbing a small amount of EXP. As long as you kill the demon (no matter if a demon missed or did 0) and all the demons that participated gain EXP. Yet, you should keep in mind that the EXP gained is fairly small to those who do not start off the team attack, nor do the participants gain any weapon EXP from attacking, only the person who started the team attack will. Combos are a great way to deal with tough demons like bosses. Since you know how to perform Combos, I won’t go into detail in how to use them. A good combo is at least 4 attacks long, and you can link normal, special, team attacks, and magic attacks together to form one chain of attacks. The more devils who perform a combo, the more an enemy demon’s defense drops, so you’re going to want as many demons performing the combo as possible. The best ways to start out a combo is with weak attacks and finish it with ether a multi-hit special attack, or a demon with lots of STR. Alternatively you can use this to help Level up demons that are lagging behind a bit in levels. Just simply use the weakest character in the last part of the combo and all the EXP will go to him/her/it. Combos are a much needed technique against all boss fights, they will make the boss fight go by with a lot less dead demons on your hands. IX [Before the Battle] Every battle in Disgaea is different. Perhaps it’s the Geo panels used, or the number of monsters, but either way you should always think ahead. Be sure to look at all the Geo stones and unfamiliar monsters before you charge into the thick of combat. Also, if you find that the monster levels grossly out weight yours, reset the game. In Disgaea, the demons will show no mercy and will eviscerate you. If you are in item world, simply use a Mr.Gency’s Exit. (Or reset, it’s up to you.) X [Quick Tips During Battle] 1.Check an enemy’s movement. This will give you an idea on how many monsters you will be facing at once. (since monster will only attack of you are in their movement square, unless they have a powerful range attack to use) Not only that, but taking out demons one by one is the best way to go. Using Dummy troops, (those who are ahead of the pack used to soak up hits) you will be able to draw one demon out at a time. Oh yeah, dummy troops should always defend at first, and if you can, chuck a few “Shield” spells on them to help out 2.Always have ranged troops just out of reach. This means Mages, Clerics, Rouges, Scouts, and Archers. If they get into combat they will mostly likely get trashed. Always use their maximum range, and keep them away from enemy demons. 3.Be prepared. Always carry a few healing items, they might save your life if your Cleric’s life is no more. 4.Check the bosses. Bosses tend to be tough because they carry big nasty items. If you simply steal one or more of these items, you have less to worry about. (remember, non-rouges can steal too, they just can only get up to a 50% chance max.) 5. Use geo stones to your advantage. Typically, this mean smash all of them in sight. Geo stones might be useful in some battles, like in item world, but in normal battles they typically are made to hinder your cause. 6.Use O cancel. Abuse this as much as you can. If you have a demon that has not preformed an action, you can bring him/her close to a cleric to heal/get beefed up and O cancel it back to his/her/it original spot and proceed to kick ass. 7.Welcome to New Jersey, where the weak are killed and eaten! If you have a low-leveled tasty little demon running around the field, chances are all the enemies will gang up on it and promptly devour it. Some times, the enemy demons will even ignore all other distractions and go strait for the low leveled demon! So having a little snot around is not all that bad. (As you can tell, this can turn into some amusing battle plans.) XI [How to Handle Item World] Item world can be a tricky place. It’s full of unreachable platforms, exponentially more difficult demons, and butt loads of geo stones. Now, there are two ways to go through item world: Kill all demons on the floor to pass, or take the lazy way. Killing all the demons can be harder then it sounds. Like all battles, check the floor to see if any demons are unreachable. If you can’t reach them, I would suggest the lazy way. The lazy way is my way of doing things. Just doing ten floors can take up a lot of time, and some times I just do not want to deal with that. So what you do is make a demon tower (you can pick up a demon that is already holding up another.) and throw your way to the exit panel. Another thing you might need is a demon with a fist, and with the skill “triple strike”. Many demons in item world like to steak out on exit panels, so you need this skill to beat them off of panel, since you cannot lift them. So simply use triple strike on the gate keeper demon and dive down into the next level. XII [How to handle Netherworld Bureaucracy] The Netherworld residents are a democratic bunch (more or less) and the Dark Assembly is there to keep the checks and balances of the Overlord stabilized. Most bills you wish to pass when you start out will be light ones, and the senate will have no problems passing them. Yet some bills are quite difficult to pass. Weather it’s because the money is coming out of their own pockets, or is something simply to great to release upon the Netherworld, you will get some bills where all the Senators will say “NAY!”. Now, you can either let their word be law (but you can always try again) or do it the demon way: Fight for it. Now, I would not tackle on the Senate in the beginning, for they will wipe the floor with you. They are all quite strong and have spent tens of thousands of years in their chairs, and they are not going to let a snot nosed brat and his rag tag demons tell them what to do. So don’t fight them until later in the game. XIII [Senate Tips] Many of these are already explained in the booklet and tutorials, but here are some they do not tell you: 1.Ratings. You can change your rating by exiting and entering a character’s screen at the Dark Assembly. The higher the rating, the more Congressdemons will show. 2.The old switcheroo. You can change the direction of a Senator just like you change the direction of your own troops. Hold Triangle over a demon and turn him/her/it any which way. This, really does not do much for the bill out come, but it is kind of fun. 3.Toss’em. If you are fighting the Senate, you can still chuck enemies into other ones. So, if you can find a demon that is not fighting you, you can chuck lower level demons into him/her/it. The demon will still love you, and the lesser one is counted as dead! 4.Dead vassals. Sometimes one of your Vassals will “Proxy” for a Senator. If you kill that vassal, a tomb stone will appear where they stood in the castle. To make them return, simple reset or turn off the game. (you can still save after you killed them, for they will always return.) XIV [Raising and Saving Hell] Every one runs into this problem: not enough Hell to go around. If you NEED Hell, you have several options opened to you. First is to sell off old crap. Always sell off crusty old stuff when you get shiny new stuff. This just might give you enough money to buy something else. Also, if you just need a little more Hell to get, lets say a new gun, sell off the old one that is still equipped, it’s faster then going back into a battle when only need a few hell. The next option is to obviously replay maps. Use maps that are easy to complete and have many enemies to kill. The more enemy demons, the more hell you gain. Item world is also a good place to gain more Hell, 10+ levels of demons, geo stones, and free items will surely rake in bunch of hell. Not only that, but a leveled up weapon has more shelf life. Since it has more attack/hit/Int power, you will not need to worry about buying a new weapon until you pass additional “More Expensive Items Bills”. Using Item world is a smarter, fresher, yet tad longer and more difficult way then just replaying older fields over and over again. XV [Raising Demons] Power. You want it, I can tell. The best way to do this is to revisit Boss maps and Maps with EXP bonuses. In Disgaea, raising a demon’s level can be hard work, and an inexperienced demon may just die right at the start of a level. So you have to take some time out and raise a low leveled demon individually. A good way to do this is have the little guy wipe out demons that are much higher level then him or her self. Using Combos is the best way to do this, but keep in mind how much damage each demon can deal so you have your low leveled demon attack right when the enemy demon is at its lowest HP. Also, Item world may come in handy here as well. Look for items with residents called “Statisticians”, they help boast the EXP gained from defeating a monster. You can also pass a bill called “Triple EXP” at the Dark Assembly. (Although it only works once per battle, so you have to go back and pass the bill again for the demon if you want more.) XVI [Stealing] Stealing is something that many tyros to Disgaea do not know how to do. Simply win or buy an item with a symbol of a hand doing a peace sign and use it in battle like you use an item. You can buy them at the armory and they have names like “Stealing Hand” or “Awesome Hand”. The more expensive a “Hand” is the greater area it has to steal from. Also, if you miss with a “Hand”, you can still re-use the “Hand”, it only disappears after you successfully stolen something. And remember: Any class can steal! Even Monsters! Yet the maximum Percent you can get with a non-rouge is 50%. XVII [Contact] If you have any question, comments, free muffins, or errors to point out, contact me at JosephStalen@Hotmail.com. XVIII [Legal Mumbo Jumbo] Disgaea: Hour of Darkness is © 2003 Nippion Ichi Software.