|Second Game Bonuses|
New characters join at fixed points in the storyline, so don't worry about character recruitment.
Although recruitment is not something to worry about, characters do become temporarily unavailable at certain points in the story. You should have plenty of leeway to react to these events as they occur, but follow the guide if you need some help.
In addition to the core playable characters listed here, there are also a few characters who become temporary party members for short periods. These characters can also gain experience and levels, but will not gain new skills or have the opportunity to get new weapons.
List of Characters
Choosing a party
Because you're limited to 4 characters receiving EXP at the end of each battle, it makes sense to pick some favourites, particularly at the start of the game when you need to break through conditions to unlock new characters and dungeons.
Unless you're doing a challenge run, Kuma should always be one of your favourites, because of his passive to give Feeling to deployed characters after each battle, as well as his forced appearances in certain battles in the game.
Some things to keep in mind are:
- Antenna, Alice and Kikuchiyo who join you later on in the game all come at relatively higher starting levels. Consider using one or more of these, particularly if you're trying to finish the game with a low turn count
- There are a number of periods in the game when a character or another leaves the party temporarily or battles that require certain characters (Kuma+Toratarou only), or can only use female characters. So make sure you aren't so overspecialized that you can't overcome these segments.
- Joker can grow into an excellent character (he has the highest per level growth rates in the game), but takes a lot of babysitting to get to a point where he's useful. It's generally preferable to keep him as a back up if you're trying to do a low turn count.
Even if you pick favourites, make sure your second line is viable. After early game, it makes sense to load some EXP on your weaker characters, since they won't require much EXP in the higher ranked dungeons to get a number of levels quickly, rapidly raising your overall party strength.
Leveling up (growth rates)
Note that all characters have a unique set of growth rates that are not actually specified anywhere in the interface but can make a difference to levelling your characters. These are detailed in the wiki in the character profiles.
Don't pay too much attention to growth rates though. Starting stats are still more important. Most of your characters won't get past level 50 in a normal run (cap is 99) so Zappa, for example, will still be your go to tank, despite his low HP growth rate.
As stats grow as a % of their current (base) value, each subsequent level gets you more stats than the last.
For example, at Level 1->2, Kuma will gain +40 HP +15 POW +6 TEC
But even by level 2->3, he gains noticeably more +45 HP +16 POW +8 TEC
From level 98->99 (99 is the max level) he gains +1195872 HP +155303 POW +292439 TEC per level.
Equipped weapons act as a bonus stat, so are not taken into account for level growth.
Note that despite everything appearing in integers (rounded down), the game actually works with up to 6 decimal points. This only matters in terms of compounding differences like the gains per level
Weapons and Ranks
To get each rank of weapon, you will need to collect the relevant materials, and then go buy them at the shop.
Weapons generally have branching models. For instance, starting in Tier 3, Kuma can get a Type P gun with a higher POW modifier at the expense of TEC. At rank 4, in addition to the Type P, he can get a Type T version with higher TEC at the expense of POW.
Rank 6 weapons
Rank 6 weapons are not available in your first run. You will have to play a second game and unlock the Uruncel dungeon from the new game bonuses.