Hints and Tips for Spectral Force 2 for the Sony Playstation by Zhou Tai An (kain@pacific.net.sg) Version 1.1 Notice of use : Please notify me if you're using the document for any sites etc, and please not for non-profit uses. Disclaimer : As with my Epica Stella guide, this one's yet more tips for a TERRIFIC Japanese RPG with no press coverage and consequently, no players. Sometimes you really have to hate Square for the way they control the market - I mean, if it's not a Square game no one knows about it...anyway, enough with the bitching. ^_^ The same principal applies - minimal amounts will be written unless I see some kind of interest in this game. ****** First off, battle tips : 1. The very basics. Block beats Split, Split beats Wedge, Wedge beats Block. What are all these? Why, the formations of course. These are the very foundations of attack and defense in Spectral Force. Choosing Break Through for formations allows your attack to do more damage but lowers your defense; Defense formations do the opposite. (Pick Break Through if you're totally confident that your formation is the correct one to do lots of damage, Defense if you want to conserve losses.) For the totally Japanese illiterate, Break Through is the first option and Defense the second on the battle screen. Special Attack is third and Retreat fourth. 2. Lots of other factors influence combat, though - weather (certain troops fight better in different kinds of weather - check the troop status screen for more info), morale (higher morale is always good (the pink bar at the top of the screen) and be careful; you will retreat automatically if your morale falls below zero) and the Attack Rating of the commanding general. 3. More on weather - certain kinds prevent magic from being used. So, be very careful in sending out magic-using generals to fight in windy or rainy terrain, for example. Sword attacks seem to be unaffected by this, so take that into consideration - a good strategy is actually to summon wind or rain (using magic) to prevent the other side from blasting you to smithereens. This works VERY WELL against Dragons. 4. Speaking of Dragons, always, always, ALWAYS use Defensive Wedge to attack them as it will sometimes stop them from regaining magical energy and give you a bonus to boot. However, use Split to avoid their nasty magical attacks. If you want to kill each and every Dragon, here are some hints to remember when fighting them : a) Use Wind Summon. Their magic will KILL YOU. b) Try to get Special Attacks which will hit them straight on. Most magic tends to swerve to the side or something, so choose your attacks with care. c). Dragons tend to appear in 1-2 year cycles, and not always during the Attack phase, either, so if you're aiming for one, always keep fresh generals in reserve, ready to fight, at all times. They will also only appear once you're winning the game - i.e, when you control at least half the countries. d) Byouma no Noromon (Summon Sickness) also works very well on Dragons, as the spell hits the middle field and sticks there long enough to cause damage. However, Jadou's MaKaiKyoKetsuSho (Demon Freezing Forest) and Hiro's RetsuKaShiMaKaiZan (Burning Death Field Slash) are the BEST attacks. e). Oh yes - Split is the best formation to avoid magical attacks in general as well. 6. Now to move on to castles. Don't bother with Convincing when attacking - the enemy will VERY rarely surrender. More on this later. Note that each wall you take down means a 100-200 loss of men on your side, so be careful. (Walls represent thirds of the castle's forces, so you WILL get at least three walls per battle.) As for the actual strength of the walls...Fortification Strength (accessible from the main info screen) X 600 will give you the number. When defending, be sure that your morale doesn't fall too low (or you'll surrender immediately) and defend a lot. Not much else to say - mostly, things depend on how strong your castle defenses are. Okay, now about convincing\surrending. If your enemy is requesting you yield, check your morale - if it can withstand another convincing, block, if not, recover. As for the offensive side, you only need to convince once - you'll then be able to see how much you've taken off your enemy's morale bar and their corresponding recovery. If two more can't change his\her mind, you're better off attacking instead. 7. Be wary. If your country isn't too strong, wait things out and only attack when 1. A country has been attacked already and is weak or 2. a country attacks you (or another one and gets repulsed) and is weak. Reason? Simple - when defending, you get to SEE THE ENEMY FORMATION. It's MUCH harder to attack than it is to defend (remember, you also need to punch through the castle walls) so keep this in mind, especially in the early game. 8. Try to keep an even balance of soldiers among your generals. Avoid giving any one, even a really strong one (like your ruler) too many troops, because one wrong move in battle could spell doom for your attack\defense. Spread them out. The only exception to this is when you're SURE your next attack will down a country and you need that extra power to take down their defenses - and even then, be damn careful and save. 9. Because you can only give new troops and shuffle existing ones around during your Main phase, think about who gets how many very carefully indeed. Also, keep a bunch of reserve generals around and shift them to the front line if you've lost a whole bunch of men recently. You can only move three or so (until your next Personnel phase) but it should be enough. 10. Know your magics (and your enemy's). Spells like Hakken Meteor and MaShoKai - Goen can turn the tide of battle more effectively than a dozen good formations, so know what you and your opponent can dish out. 11. Occasionally, due to low morale, soldiers will go into Haphazard formation which will lose against ANY normal formation. Sometimes (usually with high Intelligence generals) forces will array themselves in Flowing Water, Three Sides Undefeatable, or Wave formations, special formations which - you guessed it, make mincemeat out of normal formations. You can't do anything about the occurence of these two things, so I'm just letting you know. 12. The "magic formation" (you know, the formation soldiers go into when magic is being cast) works the same against all normal formations, so it's actually better to go ahead and use some lousy spell to get into this formation when you don't know what formation your enemy's going to use - it assures you an even chance of success, after all. 13. Although I've said above that you need to exercise a good deal of caution in this game, sometimes it's best to throw that to the winds and attack like crazy, especially in the early game - the reason being that each kingdom you fell nets you a choice of generals and a special item. Now, if you DON'T expand ferociously, what will happen is that several powerful kingdoms (the Demon Empire and Old Kingdom in particular) will being taking virtually every country to next to them, which will cause SERIOUS problems in the end and middle game. (This is extremely important to remember if you're playing non-main kingdoms like the Cat, Magical Alliance, Sacred Fist etc...you will KILLED, and I mean absolutely, totally devastated by Hiro and her forces later on - if someone else doesn't do you in first.) So, the trick is to give all your troops to your most powerful general and start attacking - you'll need quite a number to breach the castle walls. Alternatively, when you have enough soldiers, designate one of your generals the "castle-breacher" and have the rest fight. Save often when you do this, though; you run the risk of another country cottoning on to your strategy and pummeling you when your forces are low. However, trust me - this makes a great difference later on, and a few resets don't hurt anybody. 14. When attacking, always use the Split formation. The computer almost never uses the Block and often uses the Wedge, so it's the most logical choice. You will win the battle 90% of the time with this info. ^_^ 15. About skill points: The bar maximum is 90, L1 requires 30, L2 requires 60, L3 requires the full 90. Any charge attack has a maximum potential of 60, any defensive formation a maximum potential of 25 skill points. As a general rule, you'll get the full 60 only if you completely wipe out your opponent's forces, or are wiped out by them. (Not that you'll really be able to do anything *with* those points in the latter case.) Any of the three special formations will generate roughly 45 points for whoever formed it but the opponent will only gain points as if they had a defensive formation. You will also gain more morale and skill points for killing enemy troops with YOUR troops (no magic) - the more you kill the more you gain. 16. Troop stats : Neko: 5/4 (Cat) used by Starina, Pinky, all cat generals Kaeru: 4/5 (Frog) used by Silky, all frog generals Murabito (Villagers): 5/5 used by Chik, Medina, lots of crap generals Light Infantry: 5/7 (I think... I kind of forgot) used by (I forgot... I fired her...) Kenhoutsukai (Pugilists): 6/8 used by Lucky, a whole bunch of others... Ninja: 7/5 used by (can't be bothered to check his 4-kanji name), Torimaru Mahouikimono: (Summoned Beasts) 8/6 used by Prominent, Glaus Soldiers: 7/7 used by Myura, and a whole friggin' bunch of others Knights: 8/8 (but their lousy speed and lousy terrain effects make them suck...) used by Elysion, etc... Elves: 6/6 used by Azalea, Iceburg (dumb name), Regal Lily, Blue Moon, etc... Wing Knights : 6/6 used by Jedah, etc... Skeletons: 7/7 used by Hiro, Jadou and most undead\demon generals Goblins: 6/8 (I think) used by Gerah Dragon Knights : 10/10 see miscellaneous ****** Government, alliances and basically anything that not's fighting section : 1. Know everything. Basically, do what Sun Tzu said to - before fighting or even committing to any sort of action, try to find out as much as you can. General strength, troop capabilities, number of enemy forces; there are menus which can give you info on each and every one of them. The Triangle button brings up the main info screen on countries (press it again or Square for more info) and cancelling while at the decision menus brings up another range of options. Use both to your advantage. 2. Use basic economics. Buy low, sell high. When shopping, wait for when the price of a given commodity is really low (0.4, for instance) then buy a LOT. Sell when the price goes up to something like 2.5 or 2.7. You'll make a killing. The only exception to this is when you really need the cash to make last-minute defense against attacks. 3. Scout around for new talent, and don't be afraid to ditch lousy generals. During the Personnel phase, use your most Charismatic general to search for new ones, and just before you destroy a country, make sure you have 3-4 open spaces to accept new recruits. Also, don't kill generals if you want them to join you later - you have a random chance to get them back through searching. 4. Make alliances with 1. powerful kingdoms and 2. surrounding kingdoms. Both have good chances of kicking your ass. You can always break them later. Of course, they might not agree in the first place, but it's worth a try. 5. When thinking of how\what to conquer, keep two things in mind. One, you will get items for every kingdom (that's KINGDOM, not country) you take over, so be aggressive. (Without being careless...safety first in this game.) Two, avoid expanding in a way that leaves you open to attack on both sides - don't do things like, for instance, occupy a nation which is the only way two damn BIG kingdoms can get from one side of the continent to another. A big no-no. 6. Always use generals with high Foreign Affairs ratings to fortify walls, raise morale etc. They do a lot better than normal ones. If you can, make them Internal Minister or something so they do even better. 7. After destroying a country, it's sometimes better to release fallen generals rather than kill them, because searching can get them to join you later. However, by doing so you run the risk that another country might get them first, and by killing them you quite obviously eliminate this possibility. It's your call. ****** Now for the thing that really makes this game shine - the STORY. I swear, this one has the best plot and characters I've seen in a LONG time. Hopefully, with this you can understand some of the inner workings of this game and why certain characters talk to each other before combat. ^_^ The story begins with the death of the Demon King, Janes, killed by a young hero named Chiffon (yes, I know, stupid name. He's powerful, though, and can be gotten by quite a few kingdoms in the game, though he starts with Ladui) who leaves behind his human wife, Maria and their two children, the half-demon siblings Hiro and Jadou. Maria, though, is later killed by one of the kingdom rulers (forgot who...more info later) (I'm not sure, but I think this epic battle at the Spectral Tower is what happened in Spectral Force 1.) Hiro, swearing to avenge her father's death, ressurects the once-fallen Demon Empire - this, not surprisingly, plunges the continent into chaos. The Gods of Light, led by Koria, act to do something about it (namely, by setting into action all the kingdoms under their control) as war envelops Never Land. Jadou, meanwhile, has been busy with plans of his own. (BTW, the word "Jadou" means "evil force" in Japanese...) He summons a spirit from another world (Earth...Tokyo, to be exact) as the power from whoever comes across the barrier will help him to rule this one. His choice happens to be Ritol Snow, once a typical Japanese schoolgirl, but 9 months later, the ruler of the Runeju Kingdom and possessing the power to read souls. Chiffon and his lord and mentor, Ladui, have not been idle either. They, too mobilize their forces to do battle with the offspring of their old foe... And that sets the stage for the war that is...SPECTRAl FORCE 2! (fanfare and applause) Naaaaaaah. ^_^ Well, that was actually the background. I've decided that it's going to be a lot easier to write semi-biographies of all the main characters in the game, so that's what I'm going to do. If someone isn't included it either means he\she isn't a major player or that he\she is mentioned somewhere else. A note before I go onto that, though - most of the kingdoms in SF 2 aren't out for any grand quest or whatever (only the major characters - Hiro, Chiffon, Ladui etc are) and are fighting solely because war will get them if they don't...like the Cat and Frog kingdoms, most of the Bandit ones. Again, just a mention to clear things up. 1. Hiro. Daughter of the Demon King Janes but extremely powerful in her own regard. Leads the Demon Empire Neugard against...well, the rest of the world. Though strong-willed, she is still inexperienced and naive in some ways, especially as concerning her mother and any close ties she has. 2. Jadou. Son of Janes. Even more powerful than Hiro (I think...after all, he brought someone here from another WORLD) and I don't think she knows of her older brother's existence. Cold to the point of being downright freezing. Unlike Hiro, has definite plans as to what he wants to do with his power... 3. Chiffon. The young hero of the first war. Quite strong, determined but unfortunately still young and therefore naive. Fights with his mentor Ladui to defeat the Demon Empire once again. 4. Ladui. A man who has dedicated his life to ending all war, for eternal peace...and has had to sacrifice a lot for that goal, including his wife, Roy and many old comrades-in-arms. Fixated on this, he will tolerate no opposition though truly gentle at heart, as evinced by his loyalty to his young daughter, Sofaran, and student, Chiffon. (Pick Ladui just once to see his intro movie - FANTASTIC.) 5. Grizer. The "White Lion" of the Gods of Light. Had two other comrades, Rigain, who choose the path of freedom, and Zakiphon, who defected to the former Demon Empire because of a girl, Sharon (also a country ruler) - Grizer accused him of serving her more than the gods. A rigid thinker, especially with regards to religion, but a good, upright man. 6. Vaib. Guardian of the Spectral Tower. Powerful demon who, strangely enough, has no plans of his own. Included here because many characters have dialogue with him. 7. Aira. Actually Hiro's mother, Maria, reincarnated as an angel in the service of the Gods of Light. A compassionate though forceful woman, she wonders why war must even exist...doesn't seem to remember much of her previous life though. (Get her to battle Hiro for a scene that's not to be missed.) 8. Grey. A knight who accompanied Chiffon and Ladui to the Spectral Tower for the final duel. Saddened by the wars, he fights in full faith that one day it will all come to a peaceful end. Now, a listing of some of the generals in this game compiled by my friend Wilfred How...he spent a lot of time on this, so thank him. ^_^ (v.low = 1-3, low = 4/5, high = 6/7, v.high = 8-10) Azalea War Ability: low Knowledge: v.high Charm: v.high Political A.: high Troops: Elves L1 -- Souju no Noromon (I think...) low damage to entire formation L2 -- Green Noa (Movie) heals 700 (extremely cheap...) L3 -- Tripheed Whip (Movie) med. damage to entire formation Ruler of Priesta and the forest elves, prime force on the island shared with the dark elves and the Old Kingdom. Goes to war in order to preserve nature. Rather fixed in her viewpoint; accuses Hiro and Jadou when she meets either one. (special CG for Azalea vs Hiro) If she wins, is empowered by those idiotic gods up there who keep chatting. Some kind of background with Prominent. Iceburg W: high K: v.high C: high P: v.high Troops: Elves L1 -- Souju no Noromon low damage to entire formation L2 -- Fuujinhan'i magic reflection (med. chance) L3 -- Tenmajingouken morale boost (high) Azalea's brother, and a cool customer. Seems to have been involved with Prominent's deceased sister, Lily. Will usually join whichever country spares his life. Prominent W: low K: high C: high P: low Troops: Mahouikimono L1 -- (forgot) L2 -- (forgot) L3 -- Kokuenshohei v. high damage to whole formation Goes to war to preserve his race, the dark elves. Seems to blame Azalea and Iceburg for his sister's death. On (reasonably) friendly terms with Starina, though, which won't stop him from crushing her troops. Used to serve Janes; Hiro will ask him to remember his allegiance, but he will say something about needing to preserve his own race, and that he will fight for that cause and that cause alone. Gerah W: low K: v.high C: v.low P: high Troops: Goblins L1 -- ??en no Noromon med. damage to three lines down formation L2 -- Bakufuu no Noromon med. damage to two zig-zag lines down formation L3 -- Ryuugoe Corbelias ??? A mazoku, recognized as such when met on the battlefield by Azalea or Hiro. Has his own agenda. Always has low Loyalty, so although Prominent starts with him, don't count on keeping him. Then again, you could always convince him back, it's sinfully easy... Elysion W: v.high K: low C: high P: low Troops: Knights L1 -- Ryuugazan straight line damage down enemy formation (narrow) L2 -- Kenmarenzan Y-shape damage lines down enemy formation (narrow) L3 -- Uraougi Fuujinsen Three-fork damage lines down enemy formation (narrow) Doesn't seem to have any background, uses generic fighter sprite... useful enough, though... Medina W: v.low K: v.high C: v.high P: low/high Troops: Murabito L1 -- Han'ikekkai (I think) Magic reflection (low chance) L2 -- Kaifuku no Inori Heals 600 (normally, it's a L3) L3 -- Tenmahyokijin 4/5 spots of intense ice damage Don't know if she has a background, I picked her up halfway... surprisingly useful, with her L2 and L3... Jedah W: high K: low C: low P: low Troops: Flying men L1 -- Byouma no Noromon Med. damage to small spot near front of enemy formation L2 -- Shibyou no Noromon Med. damage to five small spots near front of enemy formation L3 -- Tenmashippu High damage right down middle of enemy formation (very very broad) Again, don't know his background, actually quite useful, esp. against dragons with his Byouma no Noromon. Glaus W: high K: v.high C: high P: low Troops: Mahouikimono L1 -- Satsuki no Noroi med. morale damage L2 -- Shibyou no Noromon Med. damage to five small spots near front of enemy formation L3 -- Tenmagenmujin High damage to wide square in back centre of enemy formation, 2 rounds with enemy unable to create formation or even run away Think he's a vampire... starts with Chenbar, in any case. Another past servant of Janes, he'll receive the same request from Hiro that she makes to Prominent, which he'll refuse apologetically, saying something about how this isn't what Hiro should be doing.. (think he's another one of those who regret the way Hiro's turned out..) Meimi W: v.low K: low/high C: v.high P: high Troops: Soldiers L1 -- (forgot) L2 -- (forgot) L3 -- (forgot.. I never actually used her to *fight*...) Is she a vampire as well?... Knows Hiro from the past, when she was ye typicale young happie noblewoman and Hiro was her shiny-eyed friend (the CG you get for putting the two against each other on the battlefield is ...worthy)... not terribly useful on the battlefield, but high Charm enables her to talk castles down fairly well... nowhere near as well as Azalea or Pinky, though... Queen Myura W: v.low K: v.high C: v.high P: high Troops: Soldiers L1 -- (forgot.. think it's Naoshi no Inori) L2 -- (forgot... think it's Sei??bouhei) L3 -- Megami Kourin (Movie, I think..) think it heals the full 1000... Her sprite looks constipated... oh well. Actually very useful. Ruler of Silvesta. Don't know her story yet, since the only way I used her is when I got her to join me using Prominent... Pinky W: v.low K: v.high C: v.high P: low Troops: Neko L1 -- Ryuusei no Noromon med. damage to back of formation L2 -- Fuujinhan'i (I think) magic reflection (med. success) L3 -- Stardust Serenade (Movie) High damage in three broad lines to back of formation Magical girl. (shudder) Ruler of Marianrouge and leader of the Mahouheitai Milky. Goes to war to get rid of the "bad guys". Not really that good on the battlefield, though. Silky W: v.low K: high C: v.high P: low Troops: Kaeru L1 -- Naoshi no Inori Heals 150 L2 -- whatever the L2 Souju no Noromon is called self-explanatory L3 -- Tenmasouju????? basically similar to Tripheed Whip... Her sprite demonstrates her character. Very much less than useful on the battlefield. One of Pinky's starting generals.. Lucky W: high/v.high K: high C: low/high P: low/high Troops: Kenhoutsukai L1 -- Kikoudan med. damage straight down enemy formation (narrow) L2 -- Fuujinhan'i (I think) magic reflection (med. success) L3 -- the L3 version of Kikoudan med. damage straight down three lines (narrow) Pinky's last starting general, and the only one that starts decent. Will be key to Marianrouge's survivability near the start of the game. More coming... ****** Miscellaneous : Did you know that there's a Dan in this game? Yes, Dan from the other SF. ^_^ His name's Inoeme and he SUCKS despite his self-proclaimed title of "Ultimate Warrior." Commands VILLAGERS, has lousy stats and ONE Special Attack at Level 3 which does NOTHING. (Though it's hilarious. ^_^) Another general with no magic and Villagers also appears...okay stats though. Any relation? On a side note, you can also press L1 and R1 during battle to scroll left and right faster for a better view of the action. Beat the last dragon (the gold one, Embaia) for the chance to get an item that will give one of your generals the ability to command Dragon Knights - 10/10 rating! You won't get this ALL the time, though, so be warned. And now the ultimate...beating the game three times lets you pick all the kingdoms except one (no prizes for guessing which) - but, if you do it four times, as a reward for your hard work, you can choose the wickedly powerful Demon Empire! ****** Requests of my own : 1. I need some responses. ^_^ I love this game and I hope others do so. 2. Scene info. The pre-battle dialogue is really interesting and I need lists of who fights who etc... 3. Ending info. With 27 endings, I can't assemble this alone. PLEASE help me out here. It's okay if you don't know Japanese - just e-mail me with basic descriptions and I'll do the best I can. ***** Credits : 1. Wilfred How for general lists and useful info. Thanks, man! 2. William Budianto for Dragon Knight information.