Dark Cloud - The Basics to Survival

Norune Village -

Items
Fruit Of Eden Increases Health by 10
Gourd Increases Water Storage by 1
Fluffy Doughnuts Increases Toan's Defense
Fish Candy Increases Xaio's Defense
Gold Bullion Consider this an investment. Purchase this and you can't lose it if you're forced out of the dungeon.
Throbbing Cherries Hit an enemy with these and they'll be frozen in place.
Pocket Will allow you to carry more items.
Revival Powder Put one of these in your active items and they'll automatically be used if you take a fatal attack.
Witch Parfait Increases Ruby's Defense
Scorpion Jerky Increases Ungaga's Defense
Carrot Cake Increases Osmond's Defense
Power-Up Powder Allows the upgrading of weapons no matter how many ABS points the weapon has.

When you start off in Dark Cloud, you'll realize that you only have one weapon and a handful of items. Trust me... this wont last for long. Before too long, you should have a couple weapons to switch between. Here are a few general hints to get you through the first area:

  • At the beginning of the game, before setting up the items shop, feel free to go to the mayor to get free items. In fact, if you don't have any water, repair powder, escape powder or antidote, he'll give you one. Use him as a resource to top yourself off before going back inside.
  • Once you find a pond and a fishing rod, Toan can start fishing. Once you get some fishing points, you can trade them in for gems, attachments or weapons.
  • Try not to get knocked out. It is to your benefit to use an Escape Powder, Revival Powder, or food to heal up. If Toan (or your party) gets knocked out and forced out of the dungeon, you lose half of you money as a penalty for returning outside. When you gain allies, start keeping a few Stand-In Powders to sub them in when Toan falls.
  • When you find Tram Oil, you can use it on the Rusty Trams to access hidden levels with harder monsters and better treasure. The first time you try this, you might want to do it on a easier level than where you are at.
  • To defeat Dran, you need to switch between characters, hitting him with Xaio's slingshot when he's in the air and hacking him with Toan's sword when he hits the ground.
Allies
Toan Main Character - Decent fighting damage. He gets better throughout the game
Xaio Cat-girl you get in the first dungeon. Decent fighting weaker or flying creatures. Can jump across wider ravines.
Goro Boy hunter found in Matataki. His attack is slow, but often knocks the enemy back. Keep after enemies when attacking with Goro.
Ruby Magical Genie who uses rings to attack. Magical attacks can be strong against elementally weak monsters. Great as a distance fighter.
Ungaga Famous warrior of his people who uses staffs and spears. Has better distance with his attacks but his weapons use up repair powders like they're going out of style.
Osmond One of the Moon People who uses guns and lasers and can fly. His weapons often need to be maintained with Repair Powders for him to be useful.

Matataki Village -

The main thing you need to focus on when you start building Matataki Village is that you need to connect the waterfall to the great tree by finding parts of the river and linking the two. Doing so will get you a new weapon (Serpent Sword) which you will need to get past a certain part of the dungeon. When you first arrive, visit Goro's house to duel it out with him. With that out of the way, visit the tree and pick up a few free items and then head into the Wise Owl Forest.

  • Like the Tram Oil for Nortune, a Sun Dew will allow you access to back levels. Find a pond with a leaf in it and use the Sun Dew to turn the leaf into a boat.
  • If a villager asks to be put up high, place them on top of one of the mounds of earth.
  • After defeating the White Snake in a duel, go back to Goro to get him to join your team. Only he will be able to trip the switch that will let you continue.
  • Keep one Sun Dew to access the final boss of this area.
  • Forest Guard Masterrutan - this oversized ape will take some time to wear down and a lot of your hits won't cause damage. One strategy, if you've built her weapon up, is to use magical items and Xaio's slingshot to wear him down. Occasionally, charge in and try to lay a few good hits with Goro or Toan. Dodge a lot. The other option is to have Goro smash Masterrutan's foot and then have Toan slash him.

Queens -

Georama
• When you place a new house, look for items laying around. Also, when you add new items to existing houses, etc., check to see if more new items have turned up.
• If you place people's houses where they ask, they'll often give you special items or good items will be laying around in their houses.
• If some one asks you to place their house facing the sunrise, step outside and use the R2 look button to gauge where the sun comes up.
• If a villager asks to be next to someone, you will need to place them side-by-side to that building to make them happy.

After making a plot-oriented stop in Brownboo Village, head onto Queens, where you'll have to find Atla pieces in the Shipwreck off of the wharf. While Queens may not look like much to start with, you'll definitely want to build this place. Just about everyone has a shop, most of which sell things you could only find in dungeons.

  • To get to the back floors, you're going to need Flapping Fish. You might not find Flapping Fish until you start facing Gyons, since they rarely drop these items. Gyons can be dangerous with their spear attacks, so be wary of them.
  • Once you complete Ruty's fish shop, you won't have to worry much about finding Flapping Fish - she sells them. Just remember to get a chunk of ice and place them side by side so the fish stays fresh.
  • Beware Mimics on the back floors. You're more likely to run into them then any other monsters.
  • Complete King's Hideout to get Ruby to join your group. She be necessary to get you through Layer 9.
  • To unlock doors that require Ruby's magic, make sure to change her weapon's elemental status to match that of the lock. For instance, if the crystal is red, use fire magic to open the door. It's easier to go into first person mode (R2) to aim at the crystal.
  • Ice Queen La Saia - The Ice Queen can be a bit of a challenge. Don't waste time equipping an Anti-Freeze Amulet - it won't work. Make sure to keep enough "Mighty Healing" or "Throbbing Cherries" around to unfreeze your characters. La Saia has the ability to switch her ice shield to defend against what type of attack she's receiveing. Make sure your weapons have the Fire Element. Either use Ruby's fire-based magic attacks or Toan or Goro's physical attacks until their attacks have no effect, then switch to the other attack style. Rinse. Repeat. Another possible attack method is to buy a lot of bombs and Fire Gems and just keep lobbing them at her.

Muska Lacka -

Monsters
• If you find yourself facing a lot of creatures of one type, equip attachments that are intended for that type, like Dragon Breakers or Stone Breakers.
• Holy Water can be lethal to skeleton soldiers.
• When faced with enemies who like to throw items or spit poison at you, dodge their attacks before charging them. Often, it will take them time to ready another distance attack.
• Certain characters have an easier time facing certain enemies. Feel free to rotate your allies around.
• If you see multiple treasure chests in one area, be wary of Mimics. One of the chests might be one.
• Enemies on back floors are much stronger than they are on regular levels.

The one thing you will have to keep in mind when building Muska Lacka is that in every home is a mini totem. You will build three three-headed large totems to place. Your job is to make sure the mini totems are placed facing the corresponding face on the larger totems. Inside the Sun and Moon Temple, you will find stronger evolutions of previously faced enemies.

  • Be careful of Mummies. Sometimes they won't stay dead.
  • Try to attack Bomber Heads from a distance with Ruby or Xaio. They have a nasty habit of blowing up when you finish them off.
  • Complete the "3 Sisters' House" to have Ungaga join your party.
  • To open doors barred with black smoke, switch to Ungaga and hold the X button to have him spin his weapon and dispel the smoke.
  • Secret Path Keys will get you into the back floors in the Sun and Moon Temple.
  • Finish Enga's House to receive the Sun Signet. Finish Zabo's House to receive the Moon Signet. Once you receive both of these, you can enter the final floor to face the boss.
  • King's Curse - The first thing you need to do is get a little distance and then use Ungaga's wind attack to suck the black smoke defending King's Curse. Then, land a hit, move away and start over. To make life easier, you should keep a watch on Ungaga's WHPs and use a Stamina potion on whomever's laying in the hits. Also, change the attacker's elemental attribute to Wind to increase the damage.
Weapons
• When the ABS gauge is full, UPGRADE. There is no benefit in waiting.
• When you get another weapon beside the character's default, start building it up. It really doesn't do any good to build up your default weapon except as an emergency.
• After building a weapon up past +5, you can convert it into a Synthsphere by using the Status Change command. This will allow it to be attached to other weapons, giving them an immediate boost equaling 60% of the previous weapon's levels.
• If you've built your default weapon to the point of being able to Status Change it, do so and use it as an attachment. You still have your default weapon, but now you'll have a Synthsphere to aid in building up another weapon.
• You can attach Synthspheres from different weapons. Example: Status Change Xaio's Bandit Slingshot and use it as an attachment to Ruby's Gold Ring.
• The weapon that delivers the final blow to a monster will receive the ABS points.

Yellow Drops -

Your goal in Yellow Drops is not to rebuild a town, but to find the pieces of the Sun Giant, a large robot, and piece it back together in the Moon Factory. To do this, you must visit the Moon Sea, a dungeon with a little bit of a twist. Instead of the standard dungeon with walls and pillars to hide behind, the Moon Sea is wide open. Enemies on craters nearby can still attack you with distance magic, so you're going to want to watch out to see who's nearby.

  • When constructing the Sun Giant, remember that parts marked with a L or R need to go on the Sun Giant's right or left, not yours.
  • Use the Bravery Launch item to get to the Back Floors of the Moon Sea.
  • Osmond will join your party when you come across him in the Moon Sea.
  • Be wary of Arthur's - they can do a good bit of damage to your characters, especially up close. The only benefit to defeating them is that they give a lucrative amount of ABS points.
  • When you finish building the head for the Sun Giant, an event will occur where you gain the Coliseum Ticket. Keep this for entry into the final level.
  • Minotaur Joe - To get prepared for Minotaur Joe, buy a couple Stamina Drinks from the water sales-girl in Queens. When you face him, use the drinks to power up and wait until he goes for one of the barrels that the fans throw at him. Rush in and attack him while he's trying to drink it. If you come in too late, he'll be powered up from the stamina drink. At that point, you'll have to play keep-away until the stamina drink wears off.
Etc.
• Watch out for Magic Circles. They randomly give you bonuses or weaknesses. You may have to test your luck when approaching them.
• Trapped Chests often contain new weapons. Either find a Treasure Key or guess the trap to open them.
• Very rarely, the Happy Clown will pop out of the Trapped Chest and give you a choice between a bigger or smaller box. Neither are a trap, so choose as you like.
• Use water pools to replenish all of you team by switching them out while at the pool.
• When you leave the dungeon, all status effects, like Poison and Freeze, wear off.

Dark Heaven Castle -

Your goal in the Dark Heaven Castle is to find segments of Seda's past and piece them together.

  • Since there is no town of place to build the items you gain in the Gallery of Time, you can only rebuild Seda's memories in the dungeon itself (unless you want to go to one of the other towns to do it).
  • Use the Flapping Duster to get to Back Floors in the Gallery of Time.
  • Be wary of Alexander and the Black Dragons - Not only do they have distance attacks, but they can wear down your allies quickly. The Black Dragon's breath attack can cause the Freeze status.
  • The last couple of floors will test out how well you've managed to build up all of your characters. You'll be limited to using only one character at a time.
  • Dark Genie - This fight will go in three sections:
    1. You won't be able to attack him at first. Just run around and avoid getting attacked by his hands as they come out of the ground. Once a hand comes up, turn back and attack it. You'll only be able to damage the hand with the element of the gem on the back of the hand. If the gem is blue, Ice weapons will cause damage. Once you destroy both hands, he'll switch tactics.
    2. At this time, use someone with a distance attack to aim at the demon's head. You'll need to avoid his laser attacks. Occasionally, he'll shoot out a wind attack that's unavoidable and will knock you to the floor. Fortunately, the attack is rarely fatal, unless you're not keeping up on your health.
    3. The final form can be a bit of a challenge. Ignore his minions, because they will come back to life after you drop them. Avoid the Dark Genie's laser attacks at all costs. To do any damage to him, you'll have to wait until he lowers his head and opens his mouth.

After defeating the Dark Genie, you be treated to the ending and end credits, after which, you'll be informed that the Demon Shaft has been unlocked. Save your game where prompted. When you want to give this 100 floor dungeon, load your saved game, which will place you wherever you saved before the final boss battle. The only difference will be that the Demon Shaft will be available for entry.

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Between weapon-upgrades, random dungeons and town building, this game has a lot to offer.