F I N A L  F A N T A S Y  C R Y S T A L  C H R O N I C L E S:
                                                      E C H O E S  O F  T I M E
Game Mechanics and Jewel Effects FAQ

     Version 1.0

by rhubarbot

best viewed in Courier New font or similar
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M A N D A T O R Y  " L E G A L "  S E C T I O N

The author personally compiled, tested, and verified the information contained 
within this guide. Much of it derives directly from the author's own way-too-
obsessive personal testing and experimentation. Much of it also derives, at 
least in part, from information, ideas, and opinions that the fine minds at the 
GameFAQs boards, and those behind the Japanese Wiki for this game. Considerable 
debt is owed to all such idea/opinion contributors, witting and unwitting, and 
is hereby graciously acknowledged. In particular, the author acknowledges the 
ideas, opinions, and efforts of the following GameFAQs posters: 
MarshallxBanana, Phantom_KnightX, digidevilwil, Lucidic, Pdaimaoh, and of 
course, Gigafreak, hutchyhutchy, soma2035, sephirosuy, and ShadowTaz. Sorry to 
any whom I may've forgot.

Copyright 2009 by rhubarbot of GameFAQs. Licensed for personal, private use 
only. This guide may not be reproduced in any physical or electronic form, nor 
redistributed on any website other than gamefaqs.com. The author does not 
intend to infringe upon any person's or entity's trademark, copyright, freedom, 
etc., in making this guide.

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T A B L E  O F  C O N T E N T S
                             [TOC]
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As usual, use your browser's find function to jump to whatever section.

I. Mandatory Version History Section [VH]

II. Scope of This Guide [GS]

III. Jewel Effects and Stacking [JE]

   A. Types of Jewels [JET]

   B. Stacking Stat-Boosting Gems [JSB]

   C. The Assorted Lore (Yellow) Gems [JLG]

       1. Draconium and Monkite

       2. Crimsonite

       3. Bushidore

       4. Wisdonium

       5. The Useless Jewels

   D. The Purple Ones [JPO]

       1. Gigas Eye and Snake Eye

       2. Might Malachite: L and Hard Garnet: L

       3. Fortune Fluorite: L

       4. Big Charjade

       5. Big Quickener

       6. The Useless Jewels

   E. The Dark Blue Ones [JDB]

       1. Gil Mania

       2. Stompee Stone

       3. Stunt Stone

       4. The Useless Jewels

   F. The Green Ones [JGO]

   G. Getting a Ryoko [JGR]

IV. Hidden Stats [HS]

   A. Luck [HSL]

   B. Body [HSB]

   C. Lifting Power [HLP]

   D. Swim Speed [HSS]

   E. Stun Proc [HSP]

   F. Attack Range and Animations [HAR]

V. Visible Stats and Abilities [VS]

   A. Attack, Defense, Magic Attack, and Magic Defense [VS4]

   B. Elemental Stats [VSE]

   D. "Soul" Abilities [V98]

   E. Charge Attacks and Smash Attacks [VCA]

       1. Charge Time

       2. Charge-Canceling

       3. Really Useful Attacks

       4. Somewhat Useless Attacks

       5. Smash Attacks

       6. Charge Attack Fun Facts

   F. Three- and Five-Way Shot [V5W]

   G. Straight Arrow [VSA]

   H. "More Critical Hits" Abilities [VSC]

VI. Stat-Maxing Mini-FAQ [SM]

   A. Getting the Gems [SMG]

       1. Getting Scrolls

       2. Getting Materials

       3. Grinding Weapons/Money

   B. Leveling the Character [SMC]

   C. Leveling the Elements [SME]

VII. Which Race is the Best? [WR]

VIII. Errata [ER]

   A. Money-Stacking [EMS]

   B. Difficulty Levels, Ring Lock, and Other Things Everyone Should Know [EDL]

   B. Cheating, Duping, and Such [ECD]

   C. My WiFi Characters [EHI!]

   D. Contact Info (Again) [ENF]


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I.  M A N D A T O R Y  V E R S I O N  H I S T O R Y  S E C T I O N  [VH]
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Every FAQ seems to have one. This one does too.

Later May 2009: Version 1.0. Did a quick proofread, fixed some glaring errors 
here and there (swim speed, for example), put in some more accurate 
measurements for things like charge times and knockdowns, clarified my 
preferred gem load-outs, and worked on the missing section about stat-maxing.

Some Point in May 2009: Version 0.8 Quasi-Alpha. I just slapped this thing 
together and decided to call it Version 0.8 Quasi-Alpha for no particular 
reason. Since it's clearly not done yet, having at least one missing section, 
probably several glaring errors, and many instances of grammatical horror, I'll 
surely update it at some point. I promise.

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II.  S C O P E  O F  T H I S  G U I D E  [GS]
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This guide details information about most of the deeper technical aspects of 
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time's gameplay. There's a ton of 
variety in this game's equipment, gems, stats (both visible and hidden), 
abilities, and the like, and I've spent way too much time researching and 
testing all of them. This guide attempts to organize the results of all of that 
testing and research in a way that will hopefully help answer some of those 
"which race/jewel loadout/weapon/armor/etc. is the best?" questions that 
frequently come up on the GameFAQs board for this game.

Although this guide discusses things like jewels, abilities, races, stat-
maxing, and the like, it's not meant to be any of the following: a list of all 
the jewels and how to get them, a list of all the 
weapons/helms/armor/accessories/scrolls/materials/etc. and how to get them, a 
guide for completing quests/levels/difficulties/etc., a level-by-level guide 
for stat-maxing your character, a list of racial abilities and when you get 
them, or anything else you don't already see in here. There are many other, 
better, more interesting guides that do one or more of those things I listed, 
most of which are helpfully located right here on GameFAQs.

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III.  J E W E L  E F F E C T S  A N D  S T A C K I N G  [JE]
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   A. Types of Jewels [JET]

There are five types of jewels, denoted by their color: Red, Yellow, Purple, 
Dark Blue, Green, and Light Blue. Each jewel gives you a different effect when 
you put it in your armor. The strength of the effect is denoted by the small 
number next to the effect's icon. This number can range from 1 to 6. Jewel 
effects stack not strictly based on the number of jewels you have equipped, but 
the total effect level. For example, if you equip four Rubies, each of which 
gives you Atk Grow 3, you will have a total Atk Grow effect level of 12. 
However, because Atk Grow only stacks up to 10, you get the same effects from 
equipping 3 Rubies and 1 Small Ruby as you do from equipping 4 Rubies.

Because each gem takes up one slot regardless of its effect level, and the 
maximum total number of slots is 12, there's obviously no downside to just 
using the most powerful gem you can in every slot. For this reason, when 
multiple gems give different levels of a given effect, this guide only 
discusses the effects of the most powerful version. It's quite possible that, 
in some cases, you could get the same effect from 3 of one powerful gem and one 
of its less-powerful cousin (like in the example above), but I haven't bothered 
testing all of that.

   B. Stacking Stat-Boosting Gems [JSB]

Red gems boost stats. It's pretty self-explanatory what stats they boost. They 
range in level from 1 to 6. And as with everything else that affects your 
stats, red gems cannot raise your stats past 999.

Stacking the level 6 version of these gems typically yields a substantial 
increase. For many stats, such as Attack and Defense, two level 6 gems will 
grant a bonus of around 200 points, but the bonus quickly diminishes as you 
stack more than one gem. Red gems' stacking limit is 3 level 6 gems; anything 
beyond that grants no additional bonus. Stacking 2 level 6 gems and 1 level 5 
gem gives a smaller bonus than 3 level 6 gems.

Stacking red gems can often be useful when you don't yet have a max-stat 
Character. Stacking 3 Attack 6 gems makes a very large difference in the damage 
your character does; this makes the game substantially easier. Personally, I 
didn't make much use of the other gems like Defense and HP, and found the 
elemental-boosting gems to be rather useless. Elemental stats are a bit funky 
and need to be increased to levels hundreds of points beyond what's possible 
with red gems to really make a difference.

   C. The Assorted Lore (Yellow) Gems [JLG]

All yellow gems are Rank 1, which is a pity, because a Rank 3 version of 
Crimsonite would be awesome. Oh well.....

       1. Draconium and Monkite

Draconium and Monkite increase the damage your character does using certain 
attacks. For Draconium, you get bonus damage any time you're jumping. This 
includes any arrows you shoot while jumping. For Monkite, you get the damage 
any time you're holding onto something from below, or any time you're standing 
on top of something and stomping on it. Because of how quickly you can stomp on 
things and how weak many bosses are to stomp attacks, Monkite is actually a 
pretty useful gem, especially if you're running one of the boss rush quests. 
Some people seem to really like Draconium, but I'm not one of them; jump 
attacks are just so much slower than other, better options (like charge 
attacks) and are much harder to aim.

Both Draconium and Monkite have the same stacking behavior. For the first five 
gems, you'll see a roughly 10% increase in damage per gem. For the next six 
gems, you'll see an increase of roughly 5% per gem. With 12 gems equipped, you 
get a total 100% increase in damage.

       2. Crimsonite

Crimsonite reduces the duration of negative status effects on your character by 
a percentage of their original duration. These negative effects include freeze, 
burn, paralyze, stun, poison, slow, blind, gravity, and weakness. Some are 
incredibly annoying (paralyze, poison, weakness), incredibly dangerous (freeze 
and especially stun), or incredibly disturbing (blind). Ergo, Crimsonite is a 
useful gem---if you don't have maxed elemental resistances.

Once you do have maxed resistances, the relative usefulness of Crimsonite gets 
much lower, because enemies will very rarely be able to land spells on you. The 
exceptions are stuns from certain, very rare abilities (such as the Meteorga 
spell or certain counterattacks). At higher difficulties (past Very Hard 1), 
you'll actually need to dodge spells, so Crimsonite makes less of a difference 
there as well. Arguably, Crimsonite is useful on higher difficulties as a 
measure of insurance: being stunned for .8 less seconds might well make all the 
difference between life and death.

Crimsonite stacks up to 3. One gem makes barely any difference at all, 2 gems 
seem to reduce the duration of status effects by about 1/3, and 3 gems seem to 
cut duration roughly in half.

       3. Bushidore

Bushidore increases the likelihood that you'll land a critical hit. That's all 
it does. In my opinion, Fortune Fluorite: L is better way of doing this, 
because it adds more crit percentage than Bushidore and gives you a few other 
bonus effects.

Bushidore stacks up to 12. For the first five gems, you will crit about 2% more 
often per gem. For the next six gems, you'll see about 1% more critical strikes 
per gem. Finally, with 12 gems equipped, you'll see an overall critical strike 
boost of about 20%.

       4. Wisdonium

This gem increases the duration of your status effects on enemies. This would 
be very cool, as you can freeze most anything you want once you have 999 ice 
attack, if not for the fact that it stacks much like Draconium/Monkite. That 
is, 5 gems add about 50% to your duration, and all 12 slots filled with 
Wisdonium adds 100%.

This lousy stacking behavior limits the utility of Wisdonium so much that I had 
it in the "useless" category in a previous version of this FAQ. However, after 
more testing, I've noticed that the 4-ring spells (such as Blizzaja) have 
enough of an effect duration that Wisdonium is indeed situationally viable. I 
now use two Wisdownium in my Yuke, just for variety's sake.

       5. The Useless Jewels

- Assassinite

Reduces the amount of damage you suffer from falling off a ledge/through the 
floor. Stacks just like Crimsonite (barely anything from 1, 1/3 from two, cuts 
in half with 3), but why even bother?

- Knowledgium

Increases the amount for which potions and ethers heal you (which is meager to 
begin with). Stacks up to 3, but even with 3 the effects are negligible (about 
15% or so). Pointless to begin with, made even more pointless by Gigas 
Eye/Snake Eye.

- Albinore/Ebonite

Each of these adds a small regeneration effect that goes off every 10 seconds 
or so, and seems to restore a percentage of your maximum HP or MP, 
respectively. 

Though they seem to stack up to 12, even stacking tons of them gives a much 
slower regeneration rate than a single Gigas/Snake Eye. Verdict: useless.

   D. The Purple Ones [JPO]

       1. Gigas Eye and Snake Eye
Both of these gems convert a percentage of the damage you do to hit points or 
magic points, respectively. They're probably the most useful gems in the game, 
especially Snake Eye, a single one of which is more than enough to make magic 
points irrelevant for any race. I personally like to stack four Gigas Eye for 
maximum healing, but in the lower difficulties (including Very Hard 1), you 
don't really need more than one.

Stacks up to 4. One Gigas/Snake Eye gives a damage-to-hp/mp conversion rate of 
about 5%. Two gives about 8%, 3 gives about 11%, and 4 or more gives 15%.

       2. Might Malachite: L and Hard Garnet: L

Basically, adding one Might Malachite: L lets you lift anything and everything 
a Lilty can. Adding one Hard Garnet: L basically gives you Clavat Soul, which 
is really good. Adding more than one of either of these gems (or adding one to 
a Lilty/Clavat, respectively) seems to do nothing at all.

       3. Fortune Fluorite: L

Fortune Fluorite: L is a really interesting gem. Basically, it adds to your 
hidden "Luck" stat in proportion to the level of "Lady Luck" it gives you. (See 
section [HSL] for an explanation of the Luck stat.) It also appears to stack up 
to 12, although at some point your damage range becomes so whacko that you'll 
likely pull back from the abyss of being too lucky.

       4. Big Charjade

Makes your charge and smash attacks charge up faster. Usefulness depends upon 
the weapon type; for Staves and Paddles, 4 of these gems gives you instant 
charge. For Swords, Spears, and Bows, 4 of these gems gives you a charge time 
of about 500 (Spears) to 700 (Swords and Bows) milliseconds depending on how 
quick you react and how laggy things are. For hammers, 4 of these gems reduce 
the unholy charge times down to about 2 seconds, which is still completely 
unacceptable. In each case, 4 gems will knock off roughly a second from your 
smash attack charge time.

Stacks up to 4. Stacking behavior is somewhat inconsistent but seems to just 
chop off a small amount of charge time with each gem, as opposed to decreasing 
charge time by a percentage. Hence the instant charge you can get with Staves 
and Paddles.

Effects diminish dramatically once you pass 2 gems, with the fourth gem giving 
only a very slight reduction. Personally, I like to use 4 gems if I can, 
because even that slight reduction seems to make a big difference if you're 
relying a lot on charge attacks. I typically use Big Charjade gems in my Selkie 
and Lilty characters, and skip it for my Clavat and Yuke, which have somewhat 
inferior charge attacks.

       5. Big Quickener

Makes your spell rings move faster. Does not make you cast faster, or make the 
spell rings last longer. Stacks up to 4. As with Big Charjade, you start seeing 
big diminishing returns after 2 gems.

Although casting at your character's feet is always the fastest way to get 
spells off, and spell rings can be challenging to aim if there's a lot of WiFi 
lag, Big Quickener is still an excellent gem to have equipped if your strategy 
relies on using magic a lot for damage or just freezing enemies. When I play my 
Clavat and Yuke characters, I tend to freeze enemies first from a distance and 
then move in to melee with charge-cancels or just combo attacks. As such, 2 of 
these gems makes quite a bit of difference. I don't tend to use Big Quickeners 
in my Selkie or Lilty characters, since they can rely on their superior charge 
attack abilities to cut through enemies.

       6. The Useless Jewels

What they are and why they're useless:

- Spirit Moonstone: L

Reduces the damage you sustain while casting spells, but not by nearly enough 
to make the gem worthwhile.
- Big Echolandum

Reduces the amount of MP your abilities/spells consume, by about 10% per gem. 
As always, a single Snake Eye gem renders this one completely obsolete.

- Planter

Once in a great while when fighting bosses, you will be casting a spell and 
screw up the timing such that the boss puts a ring on top of yours. However, 
instead of stealing your spell and throwing it back at you (a nearly-always-
deadly proposition if you have maxed Magic Attack), the boss will simply negate 
your spell, and you'll see a message above/below your character's health bar 
saying "[cute lil' monster icon] Breaks Ring!"

Do you care? I sure don't. But if you do, equip a Planter and it will prevent 
that---and ONLY that---from happening. Yay!

- Violence/Dragon Eye

Broadly speaking, these gems work exactly like Gigas/Snake eye (right down to 
the stacking and percentages), except in reverse, converting a percentage of 
the damage you receive into HP or MP, respectively. Problem is, whereas you can 
easily and quickly deal thousands of points of damage with your melee attacks, 
you can't readily take more than a few hundred points at a time before you get 
overwhelmed. A few hundred points---which might, just might, restore enough 
mana to let you cast a Cure spell to heal the damage you just took. No thank 
you.

   E. The Dark Blue Ones [JDB]

       1. Gil Mania

Increases the amount of gil you receive from the little coin thingies that drop 
from monsters, chests, and the like. Works only when you pick the gil up (not 
when it's generated), and doesn't work on gil that's been dropped from players. 
Stacks in much the same way as Draconium/Bushidore, with 10% per gem up to 5, 
5% per gem from 6-11, and a total of 100% increase from 12 gems.

       2. Stompee Stone
You know how when you're in a multiplayer game, another player can stomp on 
your head and make like 10 or 100 gil pop out of your character's wallet? Well, 
equipping one of these makes the opposite happen: a miniscule amount of gil 
will pop out of the stomper's wallet. Pointless, really, because the amounts 
involved are so tiny, but fun sometimes.

       3. Stunt Stone

Prevents your character from leveling up. Contrary to popular belief, you don't 
need to use this stone at all if you want to max out your character's elemental 
stats; see section [SME] for details. This stone is useful only if you want to 
participate in a Level 1 game, which can be a unique and rewarding challenge, I 
guess, if you're into that sort of thing.

       4. The Useless Jewels

What they are and why they're useless:

- Fruity Nugget/Vegetarium

Increase the amount that fruits and vegetables heal you for by about 10% per 
gem.... err, why am I even bothering to write this? So obviously useless.

- Stay Low Stone

Prevents the piece of equipment you've put this on from gaining any levels. I 
can't think of a single reason why anyone would want to do that, ever. But the 
gem's there, waiting, in case you think of one.

   F. The Green Ones [JGO]

Other guides quite competently explain what these gems do. Broadly, they 
improve the stat growths of your character each time you level up, or gain a 
level in an element (see section [SPE]). I'm not going to go into any more 
detail here, other than to say that these gems each stack up to 4, but the 
maximum total increase per level your character can have (above his or her 
natural increase) is 20 for HP/MP, and 10 for everything else.

   G. Getting a Ryoko [JGR]

The light blue gems all allow you to level your equipment past 3. As with green 
gems, other guides quite competently explain what these gems do. There are lots 
of light blue gems, but the one you really want is called Ryoko. Ryoko allows 
you to raise any piece of equipment to its absolute maximum level (30) using 
only a single gem slot. It's also the only gem that can raise an item with one 
slot up to level 20, the point at which breaking the item will yield its best 
gems. Since most of the good gems covered in this guide come from level 20 
versions of items that only have one open slot, getting a lot of Ryokos, and 
soon, is an excellent idea.

The soonest you can obtain a Ryoko in your own game is after you've beaten 
Normal mode, when you gain access to the scroll for the Impersonator's Mask 
item. Although it's generally outside the scope of this guide, the scroll is 
dropped by the last optional boss in the Library (Galdes) and the game's final 
boss. The rare materials you need to make the mask (Executioner's Mask and 
Secret Scroll) are also dropped from the optional bosses in the library; the 
giant lizard drops the mask and the red guy who splits himself into three drops 
the scroll. You will also need some Big One-Eyes; the best way to get these is 
to farm the first Ahirman that appears in Ice Mountain 2. Bring a Lilty, or a 
character with Might Malachite: L, and just keep re-entering the room and 
smashing the Ahriman against the wall to make it drop eyes. Picking up the 
Ahriman to smash it may be a bit tricky at first; just jump slightly and press 
Y when you're right alongside it to pick it up.

If you level an Impersonator's Mask to 20, it will produce one Ryoko. By the 
end of Normal mode, you should have gotten, as random drops from bosses, the 
needed light blue gems to level the mask to 20. Any combination of gems that 
results in Overboost Equipment level 10 will work. For example, two Ko gems and 
one Ki gem will allow the mask to reach level 20. For tips on leveling up your 
Impersonator's Mask, see section [SMG].

Several other items, none of which are available on Normal mode, can also turn 
into Ryokos. In addition, in Hard mode and above, the toughest enemies in the 
game (River Belle Crab, Galdes, and the final boss) have a small chance to drop 
Ryokos when you kill them.

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IV.  H I D D E N  S T A T S  [HS]
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These are stats that the game doesn't show you for whatever reason, and what 
those stats do.

   A. Luck [HSL]

Luck does a variety of things:

- Increases your critical strike rate by a percentage equal to itself;

- Increases the range of damage each of your character's physical attacks do; 
and

- Increases the chance that monsters will drop larger numbers of items (but not 
necessarily better items).

The effect of Luck on critical strike is pretty much self-explanatory, but a 
couple of things bear noting: (1) a Yuke staff's magic glob attack (not the 
physical attack from the staff itself) has a 1% chance to crit, even though a 
Yuke has 0 Luck, and therefore, should have 0% crit chance; and (2) crits do 
50% more damage than normal attacks.

The effect of Luck on damage range is a bit more complicated. Characters with 0 
Luck (Yukes) always do the exact same amount of damage with every swing, given 
the same attack power versus the same enemy. Characters with very high luck 
(Selkies) will do a much wider range of damage, hitting for both lower and 
higher numbers at random, but averaging out to the same amount of damage a 
character with 0 Luck would do. For example, a level 99 Selkie, which has 20 
Luck, with 999 Attack, will do the following damage to the Mus at the beginning 
of Ice Mountain 1 in Very Hard:

- Min. Damage:   714
- Max. Non-Crit: 1272
- Max. Crit:     2035

To those same enemies, a 29 Luck version of the same Selkie (3 Fortune 
Fluorite: L equipped) does a much wider range of damage:

- Min. Damage:   638
- Max. Non-Crit: 1388
- Max. Crit:     2204

By contrast, a 999 Attack (but 0 Luck) Yuke does 951 with every physical hit, 
and never crits.

The third effect of Luck is to increase the chance that an enemy will drop more 
items upon death. Most non-boss monsters seem to have the chance to drop 
between zero and five items when you kill them; this can be a combination of 
orbs, money, and materials depending on what monster it is. Luck seems to 
increase the chance of getting more items, but the vast majority of the time 
these are just going to be materials, and common ones at that.

Each race comes with a different amount of Luck, which can be raised using 
Fortune Fluorite and Fortune Fluorite: L. Clavats have 5, Yukes have 0, Selkies 
have 10 (20 with Selkie Soul, see section [H98]), and Lilties have 3. Luck is 
always the same regardless of level, except for Selkies, which get a big bonus 
at level 98 with Selkie Soul.

   B. Body [HSB]

Body determines how long you can hang onto things (like enemies, swings, and 
switches) and, much more importantly, the severity of your character's 
reactions to taking damage. How body actually works is very complicated, but 
the easy shorthand is that boosting the attribute to 3 or more (with Hard 
Garnet: L) gives you the maximum available bonus, as does having Clavat Soul 
(see section [H98]). With maximum body, you will find that a lot of the attacks 
that used to send your character flying (such as falling boulders and the 
missiles from Daedalus, those three-leged robots) no longer do so; instead, 
you'll just stand your ground. Although there are still many special attacks 
(like the Adamantoise's spin-attack) that still knock you down even when body 
is maxed out, having max body will make a big difference overall and mostly 
remove one of the most irritating effects in the game: getting knocked all over 
the place.

As for hang-time, the game certainly tells you it's there, but I've never had a 
situation where my character just let go and fell off of something without an 
enemy intervening in some way, or me pressing a button.

   C. Lifting Power [HLP]

Lifting power determines what kind of monsters you can lift. All races can lift 
most of the liftable monsters in the game, but there are certain large 
monsters, like Adamantoise, Chimera, and Mimic, that only Lilties can lift. 
Fortunately, you can give any character the strength of a Lilty by adding a 
single Might Malachite: L. As with body, adding more lifting power beyond the 3 
that Might Malachite: L (or being a Lilty) grants you appears to do nothing at 
all.

   D. Swim Speed [HSS]
Swim speed determines how fast a character can swim through the water. It's 
based on a character's race and can't be changed.

All races except Lilties swim at the same speed. Lilties swim roughly half as 
fast as the other races. (Congratulations!)

   E. Stun Proc [HSP]

Stun proc is not really a stat per se, although it is based off your 
character's stun attack stat versus the target's stun resistance. Basically, 
once your character's stun stat gets high enough, your character will begin 
automatically stunning normal enemies whenever he or she uses a physical 
attack. At first, the stun will go off only on the last hit of a combo (for 
Clavats, you'll start seeing it earlier than other characters will because you 
get two extra combo hits with swords). Progressively, the stun effect will move 
up the combo chain until your character stuns nearly all susceptible enemies 
with the first hit. Larger enemies may still take multiple hits or a charge 
attack to get stunned.

Other than making a pleasing sound and causing cute little yellow stars to 
appear above an enemy's head, stun also stops an enemy from attacking, 
guarding, or moving and makes the next attack against the enemy do double 
damage. Once that next attack lands, the enemy will come out of stun, 
triggering the effect immunity timer.

Some enemies either have super-high stun resistance or are simply immune to 
stun. This includes all the bosses, as well as a few large enemies like 
Adamantoise. For those enemies that are vulnerable to stun, you will find that 
having a maxed stun stat increases your kill rate dramatically. For example, 
Selkies' 5-way shot benefits a great deal from maxed stun, as a single volley 
fired point-blank will almost simultaneously initiate a stun and cause one or 
more arrows to hit for double damage.

   F. Attack Range and Animations [HAR]

Each race has its own set of attack animations with the various melee weapons, 
including those weapons for which all races get combo attacks: paddles and 
spears. In addition, the various weapons each have different ranges relative to 
one another: spears can hit enemies at an enormous distance, whereas the range 
of a staff's physical attack component is very, very short.

Depending on the animation (whether the swing is side-to-side, overhead, 
stabbing, or twirling around) and the weapon type, a character's attack could 
either hit a huge mob of enemies or just one single enemy in that mob. The best 
attack animations are those that sweep across a 180-degree arc in front of the 
character, because they are both fast and hit a wide area. There are some 360-
degree arc attacks, like the third hit of a Lilty's hammer combo, but they tend 
to be very slow and have a large wind-down animation after they go off, during 
which your character can do nothing. Less useful are overhead-slash or 
somersault type attacks or stabbing attacks, since they tend to only hit the 
row of enemies directly in front of the character. The best stabbing attack is 
probably the one Yukes get on the third hit of their spear combo, which, 
uniquely hits enemies twice in quick succession, resulting in a four-hit combo. 
But the straight-ahead nature of this attack limits its usefulness. The worst 
stabbing attack is, sadly, the third hit of the Lilty's otherwise excellent 
spear combo, because it causes your character to lunge forward, messing up your 
targeting.

Despite that, spear-wielding Lilties probably have the best combination between 
range and animation out of any race/weapon combo, because the first hit of 
their spear combo is a quick 180-degree frontal arc swipe that has almost twice 
the range of a sword or paddle attack, and nearly three times the range of a 
staff or hammer attack. In addition, this attack can be spammed quickly using 
charge-canceling.

_______________________________________________________________________________

V.  V I S I B L E  S T A T S  A N D  A B I L I T I E S  [VS]
_______________________________________________________________________________

These are the stats that the game does show you, and what those stats do. All 
stats hard-cap at 999, meaning that you cannot go past this number even when 
item boosts (and spell-related boosts, like Barrier), are taken into account.

   A. Attack, Defense, Magic Attack, and Magic Defense [VS4]

These stats have very straightforward functions: determining how much physical 
or magical damage you do to monsters, and how much physical or magical damage 
you take from monsters. The minimum damage you can deal or take is 1. 
Otherwise, these stats work in pretty much a linear fashion. They are 
determined by your character's race and level, with each race having different 
starting values and growth rates for these stats.

The only exceptions are spells that are based off a specified percentage of a 
character or monster's maximum hit points. These include the Cure and Raise 
lines of spells, as well as Gravity, falling damage, lava damage, and the 
poison mist effect. Whenever such a spell or effect hits, it always does the 
set percentage of damage regardless of magic attack or magic defense numbers.

Note that combining spells averages the magic attack of all characters casting 
the spell to determine final damage. This also works for spells that you cast 
that the enemies redirect onto you. This can lead to some amusing situations 
when you have 999 magic attack, because you'll do thousands of points of damage 
to yourself if an enemy reflects a big spell back onto you, even through maxed 
magic defense.

   B. Elemental Stats [VSE]

Your character has six elemental stats: Fire, Ice, Thunder, Stun, Spacetime, 
and Dark. Each of these stats has both an attack and defense component. Initial 
values and growth rates are determined by your character's race, but your 
character's level does not influence elemental stats. Instead, each element has 
its own level, ranging from 1 to 99. You must raise each element's level 
individually by picking up orbs that correspond to the element. These are the 
"Fire Orb," "Stun Orb" and "Dark Orb" type things you often get when you kill 
normal enemies. Gaining element levels requires progressively more and more 
orbs; you only need 3 to go from level 1 to 2, but you need dozens to go from 
level 80 to 81.

Elemental attack affects your ability to land spells of the corresponding 
element (or a stun proc, in the case of stun) on enemies. It does not affect 
the damage those spells do. If you fail to land a spell because an enemy's 
elemental resistance is too high, you'll see a "Resist" message pop up. With 
stun proc, you won't see a "Resist" message; instead, you'll just do damage as 
normal without stunning the enemy. If you build up your elemental attack levels 
very high, you can generally land useful spells (like Blizzard) on just about 
every enemy in the game, including bosses. Only very few enemies, like Galdes, 
will still resist a maxed-out elemental spell.

Elemental defense affects your ability to resist spells that enemies throw at 
you. As with enemies, the spell does not damage and "Resist" is displayed, 
except for stun attacks, which simply won't occur if your resistance is high 
enough. With 999 resistances, you will be resisting nearly every magical attack 
enemies throw at you, and you'll almost never get stunned from an enemy, even 
things that used to reliably stun you like a Daedalus' leg attack or the River 
Belle Crab boss' pincer swipe. However, there are certain attacks that will 
always get through max resists, such as the stun effect from a Meteorga spell 
and the damage from poison mist.

Holy (Cure+Raise) is an additional element that has no attack or resist stat. 
Fortunately, almost nothing in the game resists holy, and nothing casts it at 
you. This is excellent, because Holyga (Cure+Cure+Raise+Raise) is an easy spell 
for you to cast and does a ton of damage.

   C. "Soul" Abilities [V98]

At level 98, each race gets its own unique "soul" ability. They come with 
annoyingly vague descriptions. Here's some more specific ones:

- Clavat Soul: Provides you with the effects of a Hard Garnet: L, without you 
having to put one in your armor. (See sections [JPO] and [HSB] for details.)

- Yuke Soul: Seems to periodically reduce magic damage on you by about 50%. I 
have not rigorously tested the frequency of this effect, but it doesn't seem to 
go off very often, maybe about 5% of the time. If you test this and get 
different results, please contact me and I shall credit you in a future update.

Note: Clavats get an ability at level 73 called "One Step Ahead" that works 
pretty much identically to Yuke Soul, but applies to physical damage instead of 
magical damage.

- Selkie Soul: Doubles your base Luck stat from 10 to 20. (See section [HSL].)

- Lilty Soul: The knockdown effect from this is equal to what you get from a 
smash attack; that is, it will also work against large enemies.

   D. Charge Attacks and Smash Attacks [VCA]

TLDR Version: Charge attacks are really useful. Smash attacks generally aren't.

       1. Charge Time

The time it takes to charge up for a charge or smash attack varies by weapon. 
It's hard to measure precisely, but approximately, here's how long the charge 
times are with the various weapons:

Paddles and Staves: 850 milliseconds to charge attack, 2.5 seconds to smash 
Attack (3 seconds for Paddles)

Spears: 1.2 seconds to charge attack, 3 seconds to smash attack

Bows and Swords: 1.4 seconds to charge attack, 3.5 seconds to smash 
Attack

Hammers: 2 seconds to charge attack, 5 (!!!) seconds to smash attack

As you can see, the devs apparently really don't want you to use hammers.

Adding Big Charjades to the mix reduces these charge times by a set amount. The 
first and second gems you add each knock off about 250 milliseconds from the 
charge time. The third gem takes off an additional 150, and the fourth takes 
off slightly less, about 100. This means that it takes less than 1/20th of a 
second to charge up a charge attack on a paddle or staff if you have 4 Big 
Charjade equipped, effectively giving you instant charge.

It also means, unfortunately, that no matter what you do, hammers will always 
take forever to charge.

       2. Charge-Canceling

This is one of the most useful techniques you can learn in this game, and it's 
very easy. Once you get the ability to do a charge attack with any weapon 
(except bows), you also gain the ability to attack very quickly and 
continuously, faster than with combo attacks.

How to do it: Instead of mashing the attack button, press it in a steady 
rhythm, holding it down very slightly in between each press to just barely 
initiate the charging animation.

This technique is especially devastating with a max-stat Yuke, basically 
allowing you to deal nearly twice the melee damage of any other race.

       3. Really Useful Attacks

Bows, Paddles, and Spears all have very useful charge attacks. In general, 
charge attacks of all kinds deal double damage and cause knockback, so the only 
way to really differentiate them from one another is in how they deal their 
damage.

The usefulness of the Bow charge is pretty obvious; but the attack becomes even 
more deadly with a maxed-stun character. A single attack can stun an enemy and 
take advantage of that stun to give you one or more double-damage arrows. It's 
certainly fun to see individual arrows crit for over 4000 damage despite the 
big damage penalty you get from five-way shot.

Paddle charge fires a meteor in front of you. It can be difficult to get the 
hang of aiming this attack accurately, especially because so many things block 
it, including items on the ground, other characters, and even slight inclines. 
The benefit is that this attack charges so quickly (instantly with the right 
jewels), has a decently long range when aimed properly, and hits such a wide 
area. However, it's hard to hit small flying enemies with this attack.

Spear charge is very similar to Sword charge, in that both attacks hit enemies 
in a 360-degree arc around your character. However, Spear charge has slightly 
less charge time and markedly more range (both horizontally and vertically) 
than Sword charge. As such, it's very easy to hit every member of a large enemy 
group with a Spear charge, but a Sword charge in the same exact position might 
hit only one or two of those enemies. And because it hits all around your 
character, you can target enemies behind you; this is very helpful in boss 
fights.

       4. Somewhat Useless Attacks

Staff and Hammer charge are both somewhat useless. Staff charge isn't really 
all that bad, despite the fact that it has almost no range or area of effect. 
But Yukes can deal melee damage much faster by not using Staff charge. 
Additionally, although characters normally get enhanced movement speed while 
charging, Yukes get a movement penalty instead---quite a disincentive to using 
charge attacks, if ever there was one.

Hammer charge has a somewhat large area of effect, but it takes an absurdly 
long time to charge and has a small windup animation that can be interrupted.

Sword charge is not, strictly speaking, useless, because as mentioned above 
it's very similar to Spear charge in most respects. However, between taking 
longer to charge and having way too short of a range, it's not all that great.

       5. Smash Attacks

The Bow, Paddle, Spear and Staff all have excellent smash attacks. The Bow 
smash quickly fires three volleys of double-damage arrows. This does very high 
damage, especially to single large enemies at point-blank range. However, this 
attack's usefulness is somewhat limited by the fact that the last two volleys 
are easily interrupted and the attack requires you to stand in place while 
executing it.

Both the Paddle and the Spear have smash attacks that look cool but are slower 
(Paddle) or narrower (Spear) than their charge-attack counterparts. But the 
Paddle smash is great for its ability to hit a very wide area, while the Spear 
smash charges very quickly and can knock down large enemies.

The Staff smash is decent because it charges quickly, travels a fair distance, 
causes knockdown, and can hit one enemy multiple times.

Both the Hammer and Sword have mediocre smash attacks that only fire after a 
long wind-up animation in which the character is immobilized and any damage can 
interrupt the attack. The Hammer smash at least hits a very wide area. The 
Sword smash, on the other hand, has an even longer windup period than the 
Hammer smash, and it only hits a long narrow strip in front of your character.

       6. Charge Attack Fun Facts

All charge and smash attacks have a knockback component and a guard-penetrating 
component. The knockback component will send small enemies flying away from 
your character, immobilizing them momentarily on the ground some distance away 
from you. Successive combo hits can also sometimes cause this effect.

In addition to knocking back smaller enemies, all smash attacks except those 
from the Bow and Paddle can also knock down larger enemies, like Chimeras and 
Adamantoise.

While charging, all races get a slight movement bonus, similar to that which 
you get from the Haste spell. This helps with dodging, and can be very useful 
in boss fights. Yukes, unfortunately, don't get this bonus---instead, they 
suffer a movement speed penalty, similar to Slow, while charging.

All charge and smash attacks also give a substantial xp-boost effect when used 
to finish off an enemy. Special thanks to GameFAQs poster hutchyhutchy for 
discovering this effect and rigorously testing it.

   E. Three- and Five-Way Shot [V5W]

These abilities reduce the attack power of each arrow as follows: 35% reduction 
for three-way shot, and 45% reduction for five-way shot.

   F. Straight Arrow [VSA]

Straight Arrow halves the attack power of arrows each time they penetrate 
something, including enemies. With each penetration, attack power is halved 
again, until finally each arrow does only 1 point of damage.

   G. "More Critical Hits" Abilities [VSC]

Selkies and Lilties both get Critical Hit Boost abilities while leveling up. 
These abilities do not appear to provide much of a boost to either character; 
it's approximately the same as a single Bushidore gem (2%). Still, that's 
better than no bonus at all....

_______________________________________________________________________________

VII.  S T A T - M A X I N G  M I N I - F A Q [SM]
_______________________________________________________________________________

This section is not a stat-maxing guide. I'm not going to tell you which gems 
to equip when on what characters; there are other, better guides out there that 
will do that. Instead, this guide is here to share insights I've learned about 
efficient ways to farm for things like money, materials, scrolls, character 
levels, and equipment levels, all of which you will need lots of if you wish to 
work your way toward getting a max-stat character.

First, a bit about stat-maxing:

In this game, it is possible to max out all your character's stats, including 
HP, MP, Attack, Defense, Magic, and Magic Defense. It's also possible to max 
out your Attack and Defense values for each element: Fire, Ice, Thunder, Stun, 
Spacetime, and Dark. "Maxing out" means taking all relevant stats to their cap 
of 999. Because 999 is a hard cap, you could, if you desire, take your stats to 
something less than 999 and make up the difference through the bonuses from 
gems and equipment.

Maxing stats generally requires you to start out with a newly-created 
character, because stat-maxing is accomplished through equipping gems in your 
weapons and armor that increase the stat bonuses you get when you level up. For 
the main stats, there's not a whole lot of wiggle room, because the gap between 
where your character naturally is at level 99 and the stat cap is typically 
hundreds of points, and you only have 12 gem slots. Elemental stats are easier 
to raise to 999, because you can raise each stat individually if you desire. 
Thus, you can always equip the maximum number of gems for a given stat, which 
typically gives you about 21 levels' worth of wiggle-room. However, with 
elemental stats, it's also far, far better to start with a character that's 
level 1 in each element, because raising elemental levels takes progressively 
longer as the element levels get higher.

   A. Getting the Gems [SMG]

To max out a character, you're going to need lots of growth gems, as well as a 
3-slot weapon, helm, armor, and accessory. Other guides tell you how many and 
where to get any and all of the above. This section merely gives some tips on 
how to farm for these needed items quickly and efficiently.

       1. Getting Scrolls

It's possible to get the gems you need to max regular stats from scratch cards 
or from specific level 20 weapons, but all of your elemental gems are going to 
have to come from level 20 weapons. To make the required weapons, you'll first 
need the scrolls for them. Other guides tell you where you can get those 
scrolls. Here's some tips for making the getting process as painless as 
possible:

You can restart both game levels and quests without having to complete them 
first. Simply press start and navigate to the door icon at the bottom of the 
inventory screen. Once you find the location of chests or enemies within a 
level that have the capability of dropping scrolls, it's best to exit the level 
or quest immediately and restart it, as opposed to completing the quest/level 
first.

Several scrolls for weapons that make elemental stat-boosting jewels are 
located in chests found within the Tower level on Normal mode. Each and every 
one of those scrolls can drop just from the chests below the first elevator. 
It's relatively easy to get to the first elevator and get access to these 
chests (just cast Holy on the three spheres to activate the mini-elevator that 
leads down to the chests). You can then exit the tower and restart. Keep 
hitting these chests despite repeats of the same scrolls, and you WILL 
eventually get all of the weapon scrolls that can drop in the Tower (except 
those from the final boss).

Enemies from the quest Invisible Stalkers 2 on Normal mode drop several of the 
scrolls you'll need for elemental stat jewels. To get the Invisible Stalkers 2 
quest, you will first need to have a quest completion rate of at least 50%. 
Then, you need to go talk to the soldier who is standing about halfway through 
the Gate level. He will grant you the quest.

And don't forget that there are a few scrolls you can just buy from the store 
when you move on to Hard mode.

Other than scrolls for items that turn into jewels, you'll also need some 
scrolls for 3-slot equipment. Section [JGR] above explains how to get one 3-
slot helm, the Impersonator's Mask. Other 3-slot items are available as 
follows:

- Weapons: Scrolls for Seven-Prong Sword, Jingle Bell, Festival Fan, Karma Bow 
and Unicorn Horn can all be found on Normal mode from the game's end boss, from 
Galdes (the final optional Library boss), from the chests/mimics in River 
Belle, and from the Crab Boss at the end of River Belle. Each of these sources 
has a chance to drop one or more of these scrolls at random. In higher 
difficulties (Hard mode and above), these same sources will instead drop 
scrolls for Ragnarok, Bastet Staff, Tiamat Crunch, Robot Howitzer, Dragon Tusk, 
and Homerun Slugger.

- Helms: In addition to Impersonator's Mask, you can also get scrolls for Black 
Knight Helm (Lilties only) and Mythic Beast Helm from the two robots that 
appear just outside the boss room of the Gate level on Very Hard mode and 
above. You can farm them even before you've beaten the Gate; just save at the 
save stone and restart your game to respawn both robots without having to 
complete the annoying falling-platforms section of the room again. If you've 
already beaten the gate, just go into the boss room and come back out again to 
respawn the robots. You can also buy 3-slot helms (Layle's Goggles and Robot 
Head) from the Armory in Very Hard mode and above, for one million gil each. 
Just be sure to save before buying the Robot Head; it's quite an atrocious 
design.

- Armor: Unfortunately, there's no options for getting 3-slot armor until 
you're in Very Hard mode. At that point, you can either buy some (Layle's 
Jacket, Parallel World Garb and Robot Body) for one million gil apiece from the 
Armory, or get the scrolls for the Black Knight Armor (Lilties only) or Mythic 
Beast Plate from the same robots that give you the scrolls for the helms from 
these sets (see above). Just make sure to save before buying Parallel World 
Garb; it actually does look almost exactly like your character's starting 
armor.

- Accessory: Any of the game's non-optional bosses can drop a 3-slot accessory. 
They all have different names that are vaguely evocative of the boss that 
dropped the accessory ("Shelf Guard" for the bookshelf boss, etc.). Each 
differs from the other only in the tiny stat bonuses they give, which total to 
at most 10 points in something when you level the accessory to 30. You can also 
obtain the Crystal Earrings accessory from the Mimics in Library 2 or 3 on 
Normal mode, if you so desire.

       2. Getting Materials

Most of the materials you need to make the weapons that generate growth gems 
come from the game's bosses. Unfortunately, because of the way most of the 
levels are set up, the only really efficient way to farm the various bosses to 
get their materials is by continually running the quest "Biggest Baddest 
Bosses." For some items, such as the Mage's Gravepost that drops (in batches of 
0 to 3) from the Graveyard boss, you may need to run the quest tons of times, 
so it's probably a good idea to do this in Normal mode, where at least the 
bosses are very easy and the quest can be done quickly.

Other materials you're likely to need a lot of include Bones (for making 
Platinum), Grains of Light (for making other materials), Mimic Talons, and 
Yellow Feathers. To get Mimic Talons and Yellow Feathers, just pick up a Mimic 
or a Chimera, respectively, and smack the thing against the wall a bunch of 
times. (You'll need a Lilty or Might Malachite: L, of course.) Good places to 
farm these monsters are the first room of River Belle (Mimic) and the first 
room of the Tower (Chimera).

For Bones and Grains of Light, there are a couple of farming spots that are 
more or less equally good. In Library 1, there is a spawn of two Skeletons at 
the end of the first room, and a spawn of several Mini-Movers throughout the 
second. You can simply alternate between the two, smacking the Skeletons 
against the way and simply killing the Mini-Movers (smacking them against the 
wall typically won't yield a Grain of Light) to farm your materials. Another 
excellent place is the second room of Aqueducts 1, which has a Skeleton near a 
spawn of three Mini-Movers right next to the entrance to the third room.

       3. Grinding Weapons/Money

There are several options for where you can grind weapon XP. Popular spots 
include Galdes (the last optional boss in the library), the second room of the 
Gate (Mini-Movers), the first and second rooms of Library 1 on Very Hard and 
above (Bees, Skeletons, and Mini-Movers), the second room of Aqueducts 1 (Mini-
Movers and Skeleton), and the room right before the boss room of Ice Mountain 2 
(spawn of six Mini-Movers). Basically, when leveling up either weapons or your 
character, quantity of kills is what matters, so you want to grind in places 
that have very large quantities of easy enemies for you to kill. Galdes is 
probably tops in the quantity department thanks to his endlessly respawning 
crystals and spikes, but fighting him can get really boring really quickly, and 
his crystals take several hits to kill on Very Hard and above.

When grinding weapons and any other equipment, the quickest approach is to have 
3 AI-controlled characters in your party, and outfit them with all the weapons 
and other equipment you're trying to raise. In this way, you can level multiple 
items simultaneously, and there is no penalty whatsoever for doing so (each 
weapon gets the same experience as it would otherwise get if there was only one 
character in the party).

Note that if you have a weapon that just doesn't seem to be leveling up no 
matter what you do, one of two things is going on: one, you don't have a Ryoko 
in it (the only gem that, on its own, is capable of getting a weapon to level 
20), or two, your difficulty level is too low. Monsters on Normal and Hard 
modes sometimes won't grant experience to certain weapons, so you may need to 
move on to a harder difficulty if your weapons aren't gaining experience.

The fastest way to grind money to finance your expensive jewel-generation 
campaign (or buy one of the various 3-slot armors for your max-stat character) 
is to outfit a character with as many Gil Mania gems as possible and run the 
Monster Collector 3 quest in Very Hard mode or above. The Mimic in this quest 
drops up to four piles of gil, each of which is worth 1440 gil if you have 12 
Gil Mania equipped. It will also respawn a few seconds after you kill it, so 
you can farm it continuously, resetting the quest every time you run out of MP. 
Using my max-stat Selkie, I can kill this Mimic fast enough to earn well over 
20,000 gil per minute.

   B. Leveling the Character [SML]

Once you have the required gems and some idea of how to set up the gems so as 
to max your character's stats, all that is left is to level that character from 
1 to 99. As with weapon leveling, quantity is what is important when you're 
leveling up a character. However, you can boost your character's leveling rate 
substantially by attempting to finish off enemies with charge attacks whenever 
possible, as it gives you a substantial experience bonus.

Any of the locations mentioned above for leveling weapons are also good for 
leveling characters, except for Galdes, whose crystals and spikes give only 
weapon XP, not character XP. However, once your character reaches a high enough 
level (typically about level 20 on Very Hard mode), it becomes much faster to 
level that character using the Monster Mash 1 quest. The last several rooms in 
that quest contain multiple tightly-packed groups of 8+ Mini Movers, which is a 
higher kill density than you can find anywhere else in the game. Some people 
also like to use the second room of Fragile! 2, because it features a spawn of 
four bombs that quickly respawn when killed. Although these bombs can be killed 
continuously and don't fight back (unless you let one explode for some reason), 
this method of leveling is generally much slower than Monster Mash 1.

Whatever you do, when leveling up your max-stat character, do not pick up any 
elemental orbs. You gain elemental levels very quickly when first starting out, 
but if you want to max elemental stats, each early level you gain could mean 
10-15 more minutes farming orbs later on.

   C. Leveling the Elements [SME]

Maxing a character's elemental stats without cheating takes a long time no 
matter what you do. It takes forever to level all the necessary weapons to get 
the necessary jewels, and then leveling the elemental stat itself takes hours 
and hours of farming the elemental orbs that some enemies leave behind when 
they die. Moreover, depending on how many elemental stats you want to max out, 
you may have to grind only one or two elements at a time, meaning multiple 
instances of multi-hour grinding sessions are ahead of you.

Fortunately, there are many ways you can cut grinding time. One way is not 
raising the Attack stat for all six elements. Personally, I only chose to raise 
the Attack stat to maximum for three of the six elements on each of my 
characters: Ice, Stun, and Spacetime. Ice is worth raising because its special 
effect, freeze, is far better than that of Fire, Thunder, or Bio. Once Ice 
attack is maxed out, Ice spells will work flawlessly even on previously 
resistant enemies, making Fire, etc. redundant. And if you're casting a spell 
to do damage rather than for its special effect, Holyga is the best option 99% 
of the time, and doesn't have any elemental levels associated with it. This 
leaves Stun and Spacetime. Maxed Stun attack is extremely useful (see section 
[HSP]), and Spacetime is good to have maxed as well to be able to do big damage 
against certain bosses, and to be able to reliably ground certain flying boss 
enemies.

All the resistances are well worth raising. You'll still be susceptible to some 
effects even with maxed resistance, but these will be by far the exception, not 
the rule. Being able to walk around dominating enemies without worrying about 
annoying Thunder paralysis is as fun as it is useful.

Once you have decided what to raise, the task is now relatively simple: outfit 
your character with the gems that raise your chosen elements, find a room where 
there's lots of enemies that drop orbs for those elements, and continually 
clear and reset those enemies until your character's elemental levels reach the 
desired point. Some general tips for this process:

- Always make sure you start out with your elemental levels as low as possible. 
Because it takes progressively more and more orbs to gain each additional 
elemental level, the more growth you can pack into the lower levels, the 
better.

- Assuming you start at element level 1 and use three gems to get a bonus of +9 
additional points per level to that element's attack or defense, generally you 
can stop farming that element once your character reaches element level 78. 
This is the magic number that's pretty much guaranteed to work for every race 
and every element. That said, each race has one or more elements where they 
might be able to stop farming as early as level 61. Note that at the point 
where you can stop farming, your character's elemental stats won't yet be 
maxed, but will instead be in the high 800s to low 900s. This is okay; your 
character's natural growth progression can take you the rest of the way. Also, 
there is one exception to the level 78 magic number: Lilties must farm 
Spacetime all the way up to level 89 in order to max their resistance in it. 
Ugh.

- Other notable exceptions to the level 78 magic number are as follows: Clavats 
can max Stun attack at level 66, Stun defense at 54, and Spacetime attack at 
67; Yukes can max their Fire and Ice stats at level 66, and their Spacetime 
attack at level 66; Selkies can max their Ice attack at 67, stun defense at 65, 
and Dark stats at 67; and Lilties can max their Stun attack at 61 and defense 
at 54.

- With all of the above in mind, all that's left is to find the most efficient 
places to farm various elements. The best places are those that have a high 
density of easy monsters right near doors that only drop certain elements, so 
that you don't need to look before picking up (which speeds things up greatly 
and helps avoid very costly mistakes). The best places I've found are as 
follows (all are on Very Hard mode; orb drops may be different at lower 
difficulty levels):

  - Ice and Stun: First room of Ice Mountain 1; kill only the 3 Mus at the 
entrance then exit and repeat
  - Stun by itself: First room of Forest 2; all Golems drop only stun
  - Spacetime and Stun: First and second room of Library 3; kill only the spiky 
things next to the lower door between the first/second room and continually 
bounce between those two rooms for the fastest results
  - Fire, Ice, Thunder, and Dark: Main chamber of Library (after you've beaten 
its levels); kill the four poison elemental creatures and leave/re-enter 
Library 1 for the fastest results
  - Fire, Stun, and Spacetime: Boss room of Fire Mountain (after you've beaten 
it); kill only the bombs, bats, and plants
  - Fire, Stun, Spacetime, and Thunder: Boss room of Fire Mountain (after 
you've beaten it); kill all enemies in the room, including the Cockatrices

_______________________________________________________________________________

VII. W H I C H  R A C E  I S  T H E  B E S T  ?  [WR]
_______________________________________________________________________________

Clavat, Yuke, Selkie, or Lilty? There are many opinions on which one(s) of 
these races are the best, or the worst, or the most totally overpowered and 
unfair, or the most totally useless and how-dare-you-bring-that-THING-into-MY-
game awful, etc.

I have one statmaxed character of each race and have played with all of them 
extensively enough to pretty much know them inside and out. In my opinion, with 
maxed stats/elemental resistances, 12 jewel slots, and maxed stun/ice attack, 
all four races are pretty much completely overpowered and can tear through 
enemies' health quickly and safely.

In terms of relative power, Selkies sit quite comfortably at the top of the 
list with their obscenely high Luck, instant-charging paddle meteor attack, 
fast-charging bow charge attack and excellent bow smash, 2000+ per-arrow damage 
potential on five-way shot against nearly all normal enemies, and double-jump, 
which provides you with nice puzzle-skipping ability, superior defense, and 
easy access to most boss' weak points.

My current favorite gem load-out for a Selkie is as follows: 4 Gigas Eye, 1 
Snake Eye, 1 Might Malachite: L, 1 Hard Garnet: L, 4 Big Charjade, and 1 
Monkite (might as well).

Yukes are probably second-best overall, despite their nonexistent Luck stat and 
lack of combo attacks. Yukes can cast higher-level spells, including Holyga, 
which is easy to cast, one of the game's only reliable ways to do 9999 damage, 
and an excellent way to dispatch groups of monsters. The Yuke's staff attack is 
also uniquely good. As with any race, by charge-cancelling, you can attack 
extremely fast. But with a Yuke, if you're close enough and the enemy is large 
enough (most are, including all bosses), you'll attack twice with every swing. 
This double-attack ability is devastating to bosses, where charge attacks are 
typically a waste of time and quickly whacking bosses with fast charge-cancel 
attacks is the fastest way to do damage. Finally, Yukes are the only race that 
can solo-cast Ultima, Though useless against everything besides Galdes (the 
last optional Library boss), Galdes is highly vulnerable to Ultima but 
resistant to Holyga. This is good, because Ultima is pretty much impossible to 
cast by yourself unless you game is slowed down to a crawl by too many graphics 
on screen, which, conveniently, happens during the Galdes fight.

Since Yukes don't really benefit much from charge attacks and have decent 
charge time anyway, I usually load them with the following gems:

4 Gigas Eye, 1 Snake Eye, 1 Hard Garnet: L, 2 Fortune Fluorite: L, 2 Big 
Quickeners, and 2 Wisdonium (just for fun).

And that leaves Clavats and Lilties. Though almost everyone seems to think that 
Clavats are way better than Lilties, and that Lilties are therefore totally 
pointless, I think that's a rather narrow view that ignores some of the 
intangibles in the game. Basically, both Clavats and Lilties play very 
similarly, with many attack animations that hit enemies in a broad frontal arc 
and excellent charge attacks that hit enemies in a 360 degree arc around the 
character. Differences are as follows:

- Clavats get a 5-hit combo attack with swords. It looks cool and is useful. In 
many cases, it can be faster to use combo attacks than charge-canceling, even 
though the latter technically allows for faster hits. (Combo attacks tend to 
cope better with WiFi lag, for example.)

- Lilties get a 3-hit combo attack with spears, the third hit of which will 
knock down most enemies, even large ones.

- Clavats can cast Holyga. And like Yukes, they also get some modicum of 
puzzle-skipping ability thanks to the fact they can lock 3 rings. But Holyga 
generally isn't as safe and fast a way to dispatch enemies as other strategies, 
like just freezing enemies and whapping them with charge-cancel spam/charge 
attacks. And 3 ring lock doesn't save you all that much time overall; double 
jump is far better.

- Lilties' spear attacks, while very similar to a Clavat's sword attacks, do 
have a markedly longer range. This really does make a difference in many 
situations, letting you kill slightly faster and more safely. Lilties' spear 
charge and smash attacks also charge up faster than Clavats' sword 
charge/smash, making Lilties well-suited to playstyles that rely on charge 
attacks to manage and damage enemies, rather than freeze-melee combos.

- Clavats get the effects of Hard Garnet: L for free, saving them a gem slot.

- Lilties get charge and combo attacks with Hammers, which are useless but 
sometimes fun. Lilties get the effects of Might Malachite: L for free, saving 
them from having to switch out to an alternate piece of gear with that gem in 
it when they want to lift a heavy monster. And Lilties can wear the coolest-
looking armor in the game: the Black Knight set. (Clavat females reeeeeeeeally 
get screwed when it comes to cool-looking 3-slot armor.)

Based on the above, I tend to think of a Clavat as a hybrid between a Yuke and 
a Lilty, rather than a clearly superior character. I usually play my Clavat 
much like I would play my Yuke (relying more on spells+melee than charge 
attacks), whereas with my Lilty, I usually spam lots of charge attacks, as I do 
with my Selkie.

I typically play my Lilty with the following gems: 4 Gigas Eye, 1 Snake Eye, 1 
Hard Garnet: L, 3 Big Charjade, and 3 Crimsonite (a very practical gem to have 
equipped).

And for my Clavat, I usually use: 4 Gigas Eye, 1 Snake Eye, 2 Big Quickeners, 
and 5 Fortune Fluorite: L (less practical, but more fun).
_______________________________________________________________________________

VII. E R R A T A [ER]
_______________________________________________________________________________

Stuff that doesn't currently go anywhere else.

   A. Money Stacking [EMS]

Money stacking is the easiest, fastest, and most reliable way to reach high 
places when you're by yourself, or in a WiFi game with inexperienced people. 
Even Selkies can benefit from money stacking once in a while, such as to get to 
that really-high-up chest in Monster Collector 4.

Basically, you just go to your Item menu, select Money, and it will give you 
the option to drop whatever amount of money you desire. Helpfully, this starts 
out at "1." So just click "drop" to drop 1 gold on the ground, which, even more 
helpfully, takes the form of a big gold coin, just like any other gold pile. 
Keep spamming "drop" (which you can do quickly) and you'll see the coins start 
to pile up.

Building big piles is very easy; just periodically jump up to a higher tier of 
coins and start piling again. You can get quite high before coins start 
disappearing.

   B. Difficulty Levels, Ring Lock, and Other Things Everyone Should Know [EDL]

Because everyone always asks this despite it being in at least 3 easily visible 
FAQs: "Magic Stack" is not the same thing as "Ring Lock." "Magic Stack" refers 
to the maximum number of spell rings your character is able to stack with 
someone else. "Ring Lock" refers to the maximum number of spell rings your 
character is personally able to lock into position by pressing L.

Another thing everyone asks: when you do a New Game+ in this game to advance to 
another difficulty level, you keep all your current characters, stats, and 
items. You must choose a character from your stable to become the main 
character in the new game, which merely means you start out playing that 
character and it appears in all the cutscenes. But like usual, you can switch 
out that character for others any time you wish once you get access to the 
Town.

There are twelve total difficulty levels: Normal, Hard, and 10 iterations of 
Very Hard. Enemies' stats (except for Attack and Magic Attack), placement, and 
loot are the same in all variations of Very Hard. With the exception of coins 
and orbs (which vary between Normal, Hard, and Very Hard modes), all scrolls 
and other items that can be found on Hard mode can also be found in all the 
successive modes (Very Hard and beyond). This includes all quest reward items. 
Normal mode, on the other hand, contains its own unique set of loot from 
quests, monsters, chests, and the like. There are a large number of items 
(including nearly all the scrolls for the weapons that give you elemental gems) 
that are exclusive to Normal mode.

Other often-asked things:

That blue flame that appears above the enemies' heads? That's the immunity 
timer. It gets triggered whenever the enemy suffers any debilitating spell 
effect, such as burning, stun, freeze, etc. Once that effect wears off, the 
blue flame appears and the monster will resist ALL spells and effects until the 
blue flame goes away.

If you get knocked back by a monster, it's possible to land on your feet by 
quickly pressing attack or jump (either will work).

And yes, it is possible to do Over 9000 damage. Easiest way is with Holyga, 
which can reach all the way up to that wonderful standard-issue 9999 damage 
cap. 

Another fun way to do it is to outfit a max-stat Selkie with 4 or 5 Fortune 
Fluorite and go about throwing paddle-meteors at stunned enemies. You'll see a 
9000+ crit soon enough. :) Ultima and Ultiga can also hit 9000+ damage.

   C. Cheating, Duping, and Such [ECD]

I personally don't enjoy cheating (with AR codes or whatever) and/or duping in 
this game. For whatever reason, I actually enjoy the process of grinding 
endlessly to get all the scrolls, create and level all the armor, create all 
the gems and gain all the elemental levels needed to obtain four max-stat 
characters. Ergo, please don't ask me to give you anything (I won't), trade for 
anything (I don't need it), give you AR codes (I don't know any, nor do I wish 
to), or anything else of that nature. I don't care if you do it, of course; 
whatever works for you, it's only a game after all.

   D. My WiFi Characters [EHI!]

Lilty:  LYSC (sun)
Yuke:   LYSC (moon)
Selkie: LYSC (stars)
Clavat: LYSC (rain)

   E. Contact Info (Again) [ENF]

ffcceotgmfaq@gmail.com

[END]

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