ADVANCED STRATEGY GUIDE FOR FRONT MISSION 3: Platinum Edition
By Cancerst1ck
April  26, 2000
Updated May  8, 2000
Final Update May 26, 2000



INTRODUTION


I have written this FAQ to suppliment some of the details that I thought other 
FAQ's did not cover.  So if your looking for a battle skill list or walk-
through check out other FAQs.  I have written the FAQ with players that have 
either finished or almost finished the game in mind so I will assume the 
readers already know the basics and on the process of getting all platinum 
medals.


**Notes for the Gold Edition

With the Gold Edition, I decided to add a small section for the beginners and 
clarify somethings that I thought was a bit unclear.  All but the network 
section was expanded so if you have read this FAQ before you can skip that 
section all together.  If I get enough people requesting for clues on the 
network section I will expand it on the "Platinum Edition".  Also new sections 
"Bronze and Silver" for the beginners, and "Common Solutions to Penalties" and 
"Weapon Combinations" were added for advanced players.  To all you beginners 
out there, "DON'T E-MAIL ME ABOUT THINGS I'VE ALREADY COVERED!!".  I would 
also like to recommend people to finish the game first before going for all 
platinum medals.  Without proper set of battle skills things will be extra 
hard. 

***Platinum Edition notes

I am officially bored with the game and I will no longer answer any more E-
mails regarding this game.  After seeing so many basic questions(which I did 
mention in my faq not to E-mail them to me) I am surprised to find that so 
many people, with less than elementry reading level, have access to the 
internet.  I have promised to cover, in Platinum Edition, battle skills in 
detail but I've decided to generalize them instead because I have recieved 
numerous messages where people have asked about subjects I have covered 
already.  To me, it's a waste of time for me to cover subjects in detail just 
to have people ignore them.  So if you find this faq to be less than helpful 
don't blame me, blame should go directly to those people that sent me novice 
questions before completly reading the faq.



Copyright Notice!?

I thought of reserving this section for the copy right but I decided not to.  
My first reason being that the advertisement for FM3 Strategy Guide is in the 
manual of the game(I'm guessing that the guide is on the market) and the 
second is because I think the game has been around long enough where no 
videogame magazine company would pay for whatever some no talent lazy thief 
might steal from this FAQ.  Just to make sure, I waited until I finished the 
game with all platinums medals to delay further the release of this FAQ.  So 
if you find this FAQ to be helpful and if you know some plagiarizing no 
talents HUNT THEM DOWN LIKE THE DOGS THEY ARE because I would have released 
this faq two weeks sooner if it wasn't for those idiots.



BRONZE AND SILVER(The section for beginners)


Before you read the entire faq, if you are a beginner to Front Mission 3, you 
must realize that this FAQ was written for people who decided to go that extra 
mile and win the game with all platinum medals.  Trying to get all platinum 
makes the game strangely hard and quite frustrating so have fun with the game 
first.  The following tips will help you in building up levels only.  Having 
higher weapon levels will raise your base damage and help you blow through the 
game although you will be penalized at the end of battle report.  To conlude, 
you need to get to the last save point quick as possible so that you'll have 
easier time discovering battle skills and find out what parts are best suited 
for your battle strategy.  Once you've done that you are ready to read rest of 
the FAQ.  


TUTORIAL

The tutorial of Front Mission 3 is very well done.  I'm specifically refering 
to the battle tutorials of the game such as weapons tutorial.  This is a good 
way to level up at the very start of the game.  When you break wanzer parts 
and gain experiance in weapons tutorial the APs and experiance are for real.  
It may be time consuming but it will certainly come in handy until you have 
access to the battle simulation.


BATTLE SIMULATION
 you have access to the battle simulation you MUST download FUKUSHIMA battle 
grounds.  The battle ground for the battle simulation is from 
NTJ/GOVERNMENT/JAPAN. 
There are two battles grounds that can be downloaded but you need to download 
Koriyama with the password "SINTJ".  You won't live long in FUKUSHIMA but 
you're weapon level will increase a lot faster.  However, if don't have enough 
APs try the JDF test site instead.


For easier battles, select ALISA's scenario by refusing to go with RYOGO at 
the start.  Compared to EMMA's version, ALISA's scenario has less monster 
sized(4 squares wide) wanzers and vehicles.  

DO NOT READ FURTHER UNLESS YOU HAVE FINISHED THE GAME!!!



1)  THE NETWORK

The network is a section that I decided not to cover in detail since it was 
poorly done.  This part of the game is the worst feature of the game that I 
have ever seen.  I'm referring to the Internet part of the game.  While some 
may disagree I stand firmly by my opinion.  

While the Network provides large amount of data about 95% of it isn't worth a 
squat.  If you're playing the game for the first time I suppose the historical 
account found on all the newspaper sites add histroy to the game but if people 
at Squaresoft think putting large amount text reading will get people excited 
they should think again.  Instead they should have released the first two 
Front Mission games in the US.  

To make things even worse, the way you get passwords is just out right lame.  
Most of the time you are stuck while hacking into many sites because you have 
to wait until someone just hands you the passwords, this could have been 
justified if the data helped the gameplay by releasing cool items like a 
computer with 8 slots.  Only exception would be figuring out the password for 
Twin Tigers site.  If getting the passwords were like that for all the sites 
Front Mission 3 would have been a lot better.    

Just so this section won't be totally about my bitching and moaning I will 
tell you at least one password since finding this password was so annoying 
that I thought no one deserves to suffer like that.  The password is for the 
MIDAS CONTROLLER, at  INTSTU/OTHERS/USN which is "ALICIANA".  Strange enough, 
this password doesn't have much
of a clue and it's not handed out like most of the passwords and as usual the 
contents weren't that great.

**Gold Edition Note
I haven't confirmed it yet but entering passwords before you are given the 
passwords seems to hinder your progress in the network.  In the last two 
scenarios I've played I was forced to steal the secret wanzer because INFERNO 
DIALER never showed up.  This may have happened because I had all platinum 
medals but as I have stated before I have not confirmed this yet.  This 
further shows how crap-tastic the network part of the game is!!
 


2)  CUSTOMIZING WANZERS

No more whining, I promise!  This is the core of the FM3 that makes it a great 
game.
I will cover all categories of parts starting with weapons and their proper 
usage.  Key to building a good wanzer is dependant upon your combat strategy.  
Having finished the game with 36 platinum on my first play without the benefit 
of strategy guide or a faq, I believe it to be true.  I will not comment on 
which strategy is better because if you have fun playing all melee orianted 
wanzers you should go with it.  You will have some trouble here and there and 
never be able to get a platinum medals but you'll have fun and that's what 
it's all about.  Hopefully this faq will help you to create or improve your 
butt kicking wanzers.


WEAPONS

MELEE WEAPONS:  Offers most damage and the lowest AP cost.  It's a good weapon 
for a counter attack since opponent will usually go first when they are 
attacking anyway but try not to compensate it by using Initiative I and II, 
instead use Initiative III or better yet use Fast Attack which costs only two 
slots.  I can't stress enough the fact that melee weapon should be used mostly 
for counter attacks since trying to punch the nearest enemy in the first round 
will most likely result in getting shot first with a status effect or early 
gang bang.  Normally, this would be a small tradeoff factor for melee weapons 
but since you get points deducted for taking a lot of damage and taking extra 
turns for repairs you should think carefully before you try to start things 
off with Melee III. 
 
FLAMETHROWER:  Offers ability to control AP cost.  This weapon has a potential 
but lack of range makes it bit awkward to use and low hit rate makes it even 
harder to use.  You have to treat this weapon like a melee weapon to use it 
properly, needless to say you need a wanzer with a lot of HP to even think 
about using it.  Don't use it full force unless you are 100 percent sure that 
you can kill the opponent or break their weapon arm.  This weapon cannot be 
seriouly used without AP reduction skills or ROF's but the massive damage it 
can deal out is often greater than the Heavy-Particle gun. 

SHOTGUN:  Rather short ranged but very effective weapon.  Fact that it hits 
all parts makes it a choice weapon for finishing off a damaged part and at 
least one ally should equip one.  This weapon is a must for any ally that is 
in simulation for lack of AP's.  Another useful factor of the shotgun is how 
it distributes the damage quite evenly among all parts unlike machinegun which 
sometimes betrays you by avoid hitting the part that's about to fall off.  
Works very well with most battle skills but stick with ROF's for over all 
better performance.

MACHINEGUN:  Good all around and reliable weapon offering a decent range and 
average damage.  You should have at least 2 allies equipped with it.  Just 
like shotgun, ROF's are better suited skills for it.  While any "Aim" type 
battle skills offer interesting twist  they should not be used unless you have 
absolutely no other skills to choose from.  Concentrating all the damage to 
one part may sound good but it will likely result in shooting off a part that 
is practically hanging on by crazy glue and duct tape.   

RIFLE:  Difficult to handle but has very good range.  In the beginning it's 
almost useless since single shot it delivers misses often and towards the end 
it doesn't do enough damage.  Only reason people even use them is because of 
the fact that you can use <PART>SMASH skill with it.  However, the true 
strength of the rifle lies in it's range and mere 2 percentloss of accuracy 
per square which can be easily compensated by finding a high ground.  Rifle 
should be used to soften up a enemy wanzer part when missiles or grenades 
aren't available at the moment, or if you need to conserve AP or ammo.  In the 
early games stick with Zoom's instead of <PART>SMASH since watching the bullet 
with BODYSMASH written on it fly into the sunset is very heartbreaking.  

MISSILE:  Fact that this weapon does not cause counter(besides the fact that 
built in status effect is pilot ejection) makes it a best choice weapon  for 
your allies to equip.  Offering the best range it can dish out melee weapon 
sized damage practically from the comfort of your living room so the AP cost 
of 10 is well worth it.  It's weakness is limited ammo so don't use SALVO 
unless your wanzer has a gun or a lot of additional ammo since wanzers made to 
carry shoulder weapons have low HP and will be killed easily in upclose 
battles.  Skills used with rifles will work just as well with missiles. 

GRENADE:  The other weapon that does not cause counter attack.  While it's 
actual targeting range is 3-6, it covers wide area that increases the damage 
distance to the 9th square.  Often this weapon is shunned by many players 
since it has very poor accuracy and costs too much AP.  However, grenages is 
like a shotgun version of a missile with poor accuracy but grenade is the only 
weapon that cannot be blocked by a shield.  Once grenade level is up to par 
with your current average weapon level you will realize why grenades have even 
less ammo than the missiles.  It's additional use is that you can use the edge 
of the blast to make a flag waving foe to surrender completely while damaging 
a fresh one.  Also inspite, of low accuracy, grenade is good at damaging 
ground troops.
Before you start raining death from above you need to know the hidden downside 
of the grenade.  One attack with the grenade will count as a multiple attack 
if more than one enemy is caught in the blast radius.  Often this is not a 
problem but if you have too much deduction for number of attacks you need to 
tone down on how many enemies you target with the grenade.  Also it's major 
draw back is that absolutely no battle skill works with grenade but this 
should not stop you from using them because two grenade blasts in a row can 
reduce a group of wanzers into a lanky scarecrow.

HEAVY-P GUN:  This weapon combines the steady accuracy of the shoulder weapons 
with unlimited ammo of guns and delicious damgage of melee weapons in single 
package.  As the last weapon heavy particle gun delivers massive damage at a 
massive AP cost of 15.  Once leveled up, this weapon will destroy a wanzer 
part without having to worry about counter attacks.  That makes it hard to 
pass it up inspite of the AP cost.  This weapon is offered when your total AP 
drops back to 18 due to upgrades so you need skills like AP-0 and DOUBLE FIRE 
II" skills to lessen the AP usage.  Normally this weapon should only be used 
when there is no chance of enemy attack or counter attack while you recover 
from the AP drain.  If you keep this weapon on the wanzer it came in you can 
attack more aggresively since the leg of the Hoshun Mk112 offers the best 
dodge rate.  When it comes to picking skills for this weapon just follow the 
suggestion for the rifle.  However, it wouldn't be a bad idea to fill your 
computer with 1-slot battle skills like Pilot Damage I and Zoom I and hope for 
a combo since the damage is far greater than that of a rifle or a missile.

*Shield:  Not a weapon but it becomes necessary as the levels become tougher.  
Try to keep a shield with high durablity instead of using shield repair items.  
If you plan your battles for platinum medals shields will run out just as your 
missile and grenade ammos are gone when the battle is over.  Anytime that you 
feel that you are taking too much damage just equip a shield.  As long as you 
don't dash into a group of enemies you'll see the increased life span of a 
wanzer immediately.


General Tips on Weapons

*Make sure you cover all three damage types when choosing weapons.  Using 
correct type of attack doesn't matter until the enemy units start using Def-C 
upgrade level 2 or above but it helps.

*Know what and when to use shield.  If you expect a missile or big attack from 
special wanzer or pilot just save your shield or AP to cover that attack.  
Which would you rather block? A regular machine gun from a Changli soldier or 
ROF III from a special pilot with a flamethrower at 11 AP.  Wanzers with 
strong attacks tends to go last so think before you block.

*Always equip the best weapons available!  This will allow you to increase 
your damage without any deductions at the end of the battle.  Don't be afraid 
to equip parts with weaker HP.  A dead wanzer has no chance of hurting you so 
kill them faster with a stronger weapon!

*Equip at least 2 different damage type weapons.  As the enemy wanzer upgrade 
for Def-C becomes higher bypassing the Def-C becomes crucial for quicker 
kills.  This also frees up the slots used for battle skills that lowers enemy 
Def-C upgrade in your computer. 

*Enhance your weapons by equiping arms with the higest accuracy.  High 
accuracy will enable more rounds from the shotgun and machine gun hit their 
mark, and increase damage for even single shot weapons.


WEAPON COMBINATIONS

At first, I believed that most people would be happier experimenting with 
different weapon combinations.  Unfortunately, I have recieved some E-mails 
that proved to me otherwise.  So here are my commentary on various weapon 
combinations.  While some combination may be more effective just remember that 
the major factor here is "Fun".  Some weapon combination just looks too damn 
cool with the right battle skills so just mess around with different weapons 
until you find the one you like.


Four weapon combinations

It's the dream of wanzer pilots everywhere.  Being able to use just about all 
the arsenals in the game would be a fantastic, but unfortunatly the folks at 
Squaresoft decided to make this combination impossible.  It can be done but 
you will end up with lighter(and considerably weaker) weapons.  This wouldn't 
be that bad if there was a COM with activation rate of 100% but of course the 
folks at Squaresoft just couldn't have that.  In other words, "Don't even 
think about it!"
  

Three weapon combination

Next best thing to previous combination.  This can be achieved with a 
extremely fine tuned wanzer.  This combination should not be attempted with 
two shoulder weapons,  this will result in a wanzer that will be constantly 
running out of AP and unable to counter most of the time.  My recommendation 
would be to equip shield instead of the third weapon.  This will allow you to 
equip better weapons and keep the wanzers alive longer through toughest 
battles.


Two weapon combinaton

This is section will be quite lengthy so pick the combination you are 
interested in unless you have a lot of time on your hands.  This is the 
foundation of the addictive  wanzer construction.  Think carefully and make 
sure you select parts that will make the most of your weapons.

Melee Only

Having two melee weapon is somewhat redundant even with DOUBLE PUNCH I & II.  
The advantage is that you still have a weapon even if you lose an arm but 
that's as far as the advantages go.  The damage is very good but you will end 
up taking a lot of damage making it necessary for item packs.  Technically, 
using an energy pack will give you additional power which increases melee 
damage percentile but this is very dangerous because you can't help taking 
damage with this combination.  For this combination AVOID 80 would be 
recommended to lessen the damage and REVENGE I, II, and III to return the 
favor or AUTO-COUNTER if you don't have any good alternatives.  Don't use 
garbage battle skills like PREVENT LOSS, PILOT EJECT, ESCAPE, and GUARD-B 
since these skills aren't  effective against preventing damage.  Even if these 
skills kick in you're situation won't improve at all.  TOPPLEPUNCH, EJECT 
PUNCH, and <PART>SMASH are other good battle skills that works very well with 
all melee weapon setup but FAST ATTACK should have priority over any battle 
skills you may want to add in you COM.

Melee and Shield

This would be the combination I would use if I had to use melee weapons.  By 
their very nature, melee weapons forces you to charge into the frontlines 
where you are within attacking range of almost all of your enemies.  Shield 
will lessen the impacts of iminent barrage of attacks and give you chance to 
activate REVENGE battle skills while you are blocking.  With shields, you can 
use SHIELD ATTACK battle skills but you don't need them if you already have 
TACKLE or MELEE battle skills.  If you were using AVOID battle skills you can 
choose 20 or 40 instead of 80 to save slots for other battle skills, but with 
the Def-C upgrades and shield in conjuction with AVOID 80 can help you take 
"0" damage from a missile attack.  

Melee and Guns

This is the standard weapon setup when you first start the game.  This is a 
good setup up that offers good strategic choices and the biggest battle skill 
choices.  Now you have greater counter attack range, which is a key factor 
when you have to finish your battles quickly.  DOUBLE ASSUALT is a decent 
battle skill that can only be used with this setup but for best results try to 
pick battle skills for weapon that you use the most.  If you are like most 
people you'll end up picking mostly gun battle skills but if you insist on 
using melee as main form of attack you MUST add FAST ATTACK to your COM.  
Certain guns are bit more difficult to use in this combination, mainly 
Flamethrower and Heavy-parcticle gun will give you the most trouble.  AP drain 
from the these guns will usually leave you open against incoming attacks so 
try to avoid these guns in this type of setup.  With the flamethrower you 
should try to avoid using 11 AP if you can, while with the Heavy-P Gun you 
want to watch the distance between you and your enemy.  

Melee and Shoulder Weapons

In my opinion, this is one of the most difficult combination to pull off.  The 
obvious advantage is the damage you can inflict and access to <PART>SMASH 
skills.  The weakness is inability to counter attack effectively since you 
cannot counter with shoulder weapons and melee weapons have a laughable 
counter attack range.  In the beginning of the battles you won't have much of 
a problem since you can just sit back and nail enemy wanzers from distance 
unless the battle ground is small and flat.  Once you are out of ammo and have 
to fight upclose things tend to go down hill.  Contructing a wanzer for this 
setup is a headache because if you favor melee weapons you will drop the 
accuracy of the shoulder weapons, and of course, equipping shoulder weapons 
will lower the melee damage.  On the other hand, favoring shoulder weapons 
will give you low movement rate and very low HPs on most of your wanzer parts.  
I would strongly recommend adding a shield to this setup so that you can stay 
alive a little longer once you are out of ammo since some of the best melee 
skills cannot be used with shoulder weapons(like FAST ATTACK).

Guns only

Besides making your wanzer look like a poster boy for the NRA or something out 
of some action movie, this setup is powerful.  The strength of this setup is 
the flexiblity which must be backed up by a careful selection of battle 
skills.  Try not to use two weapons of the same type even if you have DOUBLE 
FIRE I because you need variety to  manage your APs and bypass Def-C upgrades.  
Guns are the only weapon category that covers all three damage type so don't 
have your pilots use exact same guns.  For example, having all your pilots 
equip shotgun and machine gun is a very bad idea because you only covered two 
of the three damage types and you have limited yourself from other good battle 
skills.  This setup requires good understanding of battle skills but you are 
compensated with easier part selection because guns are lighter compared to 
shoulder weapons.  One of the things you shouldn't do in this setup is equip 
Heavy-p gun and Flamethrower.  Only thing these weapons have in common is hugh 
AP drainage so you will be open for counter attacks.
There are so many good battle skills for all guns combination so it's really 
hard to choose.  FAST ATTACK, TOPPLESHOT, and <PART>SMASH are cream of the 
crop battle skills that will send melee wanzers crying home.  Just use your 
imagination and pick the ones that you want.  If you don't have access to good 
battle skills then use SKILL+ battle skills since they can be activated by all 
weapons.

Gun and Shield
     
This is a setup with "Safety First" as a motto.  Doesn't offer much fire power 
but you don't have to deal with undue stress from having to choose the right 
parts and battle skills.  This is a "Worry Free" combination that's better 
suited for beginners or early games when you have limited access to weapons 
and parts.  Because this combination lacks fire power you want to emphasize 
"Damage" by selecting battle skills that increase damage rather than effect, 
otherwise you should setup your COM for a big combo.  Just remember, you are 
not invincible becuase you have a shield so don't charge into the enemy unless 
you have to.

Gun and Shoulder Weapon

The best combination in the game in my opinion.  This setup focuses on AI's 
flaw of the "7th Square Blindness" which causes wanzers in the back to just 
sit and do nothing until you move in closer.  By using a gun and shoulder 
weapon you can attack with minimum counter attacks possible against you.  This 
combination requires deep understanding of wanzer contruction and battle skill 
selection with good sense of AP management to achieve maximum results.  To put 
it simply, just sit back and shoot before you can see the whites of their 
eyes.  
The battle skills you need to select will depend on what your shoulder weapon 
is.  For grenades this is very simple because absolutely no battle skills will 
work with it.  Just make sure you don't pick battle skills that won't be 
cancelled by grenade.  With missiles things are a bit complex depending on 
your equipped gun.  Rifles will work perfectly fine with battle skills picked 
for missiles(except for crap-tastic SALVO) but with other guns you have to 
pick a favorite weapon and select battle skills for that weapon.
An interesting combination would be a "Firemoth" type that uses flamethrower 
and a shoulder weapon.  This setup is very limited in terms of damage type and 
battle skills but delivers excellent damage if you use caution.  If you decide 
to go with Heavy-p gun instead then you must keep a long distance at all times 
to minimize your damage.

Shoulder Weapons only

Combination that's more of a headache.  The weight on shoulder weapons limits 
you from using better wanzer parts which is a very big problem once you run 
out of ammo, and you will because you won't be able to use item pack.  As you 
are forced to use lighter parts you will have less HP and lowered accuracy as 
the shoulder weapons become heavier and heavier.  You can do this with Hoshun 
Mk112 but why?  Don't even try this unless you just like watching SALVO and 
don't mind taking extra turns to reload.   
   

PARTS

Generally parts with high HP is desireable to create a good wanzer but it's 
important to keep in mind what you want the wanzer for.  As you begin to 
upgrade and mix match parts you need to pay attention to performance boost of 
different parts.  For example, if you are building a melee wanzer all you have 
to do is pick parts that has high melee percentage and you should end up with 
a powerful melee wanzer but the defense and dodge percentile may be too low.  
The difficult part of making your own wanzer is that weight allowance becomes 
a huge factor everytime there is a better weapon which is always heavier.  
Don't be afraid to use weaker but lighter parts as long as HP drop isn't too 
great.  It's better to equip best weapons available than keep on using weak 
weapons just to keep your HP high.  Just keep in mind that you want parts that 
have the highest upgrade percentile with a lots of HP.  


*Body:  This part affects how much weight allowance you will have.  Being the 
core part of the wanzer HP also cannot be ignored when comparing parts.  If 
you want a wanzer that uses melee weapons only then you can maintain high HP 
but if you want multiple weapons you need to stick with the body that gives 
you the maximum weight allowance.
If you use shield you can almost ignore Def-C percentile as long as you don't 
expect grenade attacks.  

*Backpack:  Sadly there are only power and item packs in the game.  I would 
recommend just using the power packs since it gives you a wider choice of 
parts and weapons you can equip.  For an upclose and personal wanzers you need 
item packs to keep away from losing parts.  For melee lovers, if your wanzer 
has less than 110 percent for melee damage equip energy pack to boost it 
higher.  If the melee damage prcentage reaches above 120 percent increasing 
the power output with a energy pack won't make much of a difference.

*Arms:  An essential part needed for openning the can-of-wupass on your 
enemies.  If you want to hold melee weapons or shields use melee type arms. 
This type of arms have very low accuracy rate but that's no problem for a 
melee weapon since they have extremely high accuracy rate.  As for the shield 
you need the high HP because what would be the point of having a shield if 
your arm breaks before the shield runs out.  If the shield breaks first the 
useless arm will soak up part of the damage that could have gone to the body 
or the weapon arm.  For the guns and shoulder weapon you want the highest 
accuracy possible to do more damage, like Rekson 4MF.  You will notice the 
diffrence with each upgrade as your accuracy out performes others by a mile.  
Remember that as the enemy begins to use wanzers with dodge upgrade you need 
accuracy far greater than 100% to hit them.
Key thing to remember about arms you should know is that you can increase 
accuracy as soon as fourth pilot joins you.  In both scenarios, fourth pilot 
will be a sniper type wanzer with arms with highest accuracy possible.  To 
help the accuracy of the missile using wanzer take the left arm off of the 
fourth wanzer and move the rifle to the right arm.  Now you have two wanzers 
with highest accuracy possible.  Later on, when you capture Shangdi 1 or 
Rekson 4MF all you need is to capture just one of them to install all four 
wanzers with arms with highest accuracy.

*Legs:  Being able to out manuver your opponet is always an advantage but once 
again weight allowance will screw you from using the legs you want.  For a 
melee wanzer high movement and boost rate is a must to reach that annoying 
sniper at the top of the hill.  For other types of wanzers it would help but 
not necessary at all so go with lightest legs with most HP.  If you're worried 
about low dodge rate just use a shield. As for hover legs, stay away from them 
since not many battlefields have water and the skill from it just reeks.  Even 
on the stage where the giant pistons move up and down impeding your movement 
all you need is 1 wanzer with high movement to hold the road open while the 2 
step wanzers catch up. 
The critical aspect of the leg you should keep in mind is the dodge rate.  If 
you like missiles missing your wanzers as much as I do HP and movement rate 
shouldn't matter as much as dodge rates.  However, weight should be more of a 
factor when you look at your wanzer as a whole.  

Here's a sample of one my hybrid wanzer to give you an idea of what I was 
talking about.  This setup was orignaly designed to be a kill-now-and-bleed-
later assult type of wanzer.

Body:       Mingtian 1  (Can be replaced with any parts that offer 344 output)
Right Arm:  Lenghe 1    (Replaceable with any arms that weight 15)
Left Arm:   Shangdi 1   (Has best accuracy, Rekson 4MF is the only 
replacement)
Legs:       Genie       (Light weight and good dodge rate)
Backpack:   Energy Pack (Increase weight allowance)

Idea begans as creating a wanzer that could use 4 weapons but as I began 
equiping more powerful weapons it became just impossible, even for the secret 
wanzer(without using some gameshark code to increase weight allowance).  If 
you really want to you can use 4 weapons with that set up but you'll have to 
use very weak weapons since shoulder weapons weight too much.  But I had good 
performance from this wanzer just using best missile and gun available.  
Shield became necessary as average damage from attacks increased to prevent 
the loss of HP.  Of course, using the light arms like Tiandong 3  and shield 
combined with energy pack helped me to equip better missile and gun as they 
became available usually leaving about 10 or less weight allowance points 
left.  


General Tips on Customizing

*Be sure to check the captured wanzers carefully for any usable parts.  For 
Example, when you capture Qibing 0's in the Futai Tunnel Qibing 0 piloted by 
Griffin has higher upgrade than others. 

*Upgrade stock parts for easier comparison if you can afford it.  If you 
haven't downloaded parts list already from somewhere that is.

*Browse the shop at the end of every battle to see what new parts(don't forget 
about computers)are accessible.

*Don't forget that you can mix different arms.  Accuracy bonus on the weapons 
are add from the arm it's currently on only.  Accuracy bonus will not drop 
because you have arm with lower accuracy on the other side.

*Check your enemy's backpack.  Sometime enemy wanzer will have better energy 
pack then you.  Capturing that wanzer will let you use better weapons and 
parts before you get to the next shop.



3)COMBAT 

Here is the meat of the game.  Instead of taking the fun out of it by covering 
strategy for each level I will just list strategies that can be used in most 
of levels.    

Before I start, I would like to cover the Battle Skills since it puts 
interesting flavor to the game. First of all, you should not plan on your 
battles based on any skill.  The chance of skill activition is random even if 
the conditions are met with proper computer equipped.  Although it is a 
significant factor of the game they're not dependable enough to kick in 
everytime you really need them.   


AQUIRING BATTLE SKILLS

First you need two things before you even think about seriously learning 
battle skills.  One is battle skills list and the other is last save file(No 
I'm not talking about Last Save Point.  You need a save file that was made 
right after very last battle).  The following tips are design to help you 
learn more battle skills in shortest amount of time which cannot be done 
without perviously metioned. 

Second thing you need is 2 sets of battle skills.  If you can, try to learn 6 
PREVENT LOSS(from Enyo Mk 109) and 6 AUTO COUNTER(from Genie) then fill COM10 
with either one of them.  For most battle skills you need PREVENT LOSS to stay 
in the battle until you learn your battle skills, but for battle skills that 
require you to lose a part use AUTO COUNTER to get a second chance at 
discovering the skill.  As long as you don't do anything stupid like mix AUTO 
COUNTER with PREVENT LOSS or try to substitute PREVENT LOSS with ESCAPE then 
you are ready.

The next step is to create Highlander style wanzer where there can be only one 
part from each wanzer model, to increase the number of battle skills you can 
learn in a battle.  Upgrade only HP(To save time from having to upgrade 
everything everytime you equip a new part) for most battle skills since 
staying longer in a battle helps but for skills that require part loss don't 
buy upgrades at all.


Following is the list of Battle skills that are useless and should be avoided.

AUTO I&II   :I just can't believe someone was actually PAID to come up with 
this                                                                  garbage.  
This is the worst and hardest battle skill to learn.    

ESCAPE      :This skill never combos with any other skills and also prevent 
your              counter attack if your enemy attacked first

PILOT EJECT :What can you possibly to without your wanzer besides getting 
killed

HARD KNOCKS :Knocking on death's door for TEMPORARY level up, why?

GUARD-B     :Hmm...  might as well give all your oppenents AIM-ARM

BLACKOUT    :Sounds nice but enemies rarely use battle skills, hence useless

HIT OR MISS :This battle skill would be good if you have a GameShark code that 
lowers              your accuracy below 50 percent 
             
***Discover battle skills that will actually do something in the battle.  A 
novice player once told me battle skills like AUTO and ESCAPE had their uses.  
Needless to say he is a fool.  Common sense should tell you those skills will 
not work if you are busy kicking everyone's butt.  This goes for any defensive 
battle skills in general.  Defensive skills have almost no chance of 
activating if you are winning.

General Tips on Battle Skills

*Try to learn as much skills as you can.  If this raises your weapon level too 
high use a weapon that you won't be using during actual combat.  Weapon levels 
are calculated only on the weapons you have actually used during the combat.

*Select skills that take up fewer slots.  Powerful skills like <PART>SMASH 
sounds awsome but it takes up most of your slots.  At best you will destroy 
that part but with a group of skills you may be able to achieve multiple 
attacks that can destroy more parts with additional effects of your choosing 
such as stun, pilot damage, and pilot ejection.  Reverse is true towrads the 
end since you end up facing monster class wanzers with monster size HP and 
random status effect almost never occurs, therefore one shot kill with a 
BODYSMASH will greatly improve your rating if it works twice in a battle on 
undamaged wanzers.  

*Try to use skills that prevent counter attacks.  Skills like Fast Attack and 
Toppleshot will keep you alive longer and healthier.  As a counter attack it 
stops melee attacks dead on it's track.  

*Toppleshot looks cool and it's power is almost as good as a <PART>SMASH 
skills.  This skill does not increase damage but it halves the AP usually 
leaving the enemy with barely enough AP for one counter attack which opens him 
up for free attacks with machine guns at upclose range.  So anyone that uses a 
gun should learn this skill.  Try not to enter more than one Toppleshot in the 
computer since you can't combo multiple Toppleshots.       

*If you use different types of weapon select skills that can be activated by 
all of them.  For exmaple, if you have a wanzer that has a missile, machine 
gun, and a hard blow PILOT DAMAGE and SKILL+2 can be activated by all of them.

*If you plan to hijack a wanzer with EJECT PUNCH, make sure one of your allies 
can enter empty wanzer or kill the ejected pilot.  Also keep in mind that if 
there is a vacant wanzer next to the enemy the pilot will eject into the empty 
wanzer.

*Avoid using defensive battle skills.  If you're going for platinum medals you 
need to make most of your attack/counter attack.  Skills like AUTO COUNTER, 
PREVENT LOSS, and ESCAPE will never occur in a battle with a platinum medal 
result.  



COMBAT STRATEGY

Not all battles have kill'em all as the victory condition so don't forget to 
check the victory condition.  The game becomes really frustrating as you try 
for the platinum medals not to mention all the deductions that seems to come 
out of nowhere.  The early battles will give you as much trouble as the last 
few battles, since you start with jack sh*t and jack just left town.  Here are 
some tips to help you along before you go trigger happy with platinum medals 
in your sight.


BASIC STRATEGY(ones you should already know)

*As you have seen in many faqs already always draw the enemies to you rather 
than go after them.  AI has an interesting flaw which gives enemy wanzers "7th 
square blindness".  As long as you keep more than 6 squares of distance from 
the enemy they will just sit there in most battles unless they are special 
wanzers or wanzers with certain task(like opening door or destroying 
obstacle).  This is okay since it's easier to take them out from the distance 
but make sure you activate them in time so they will close in saving you a 
precious turn to go after them.

*Focus your attacks on one opponent.  This also means that you should focus on 
the weakest wanzer even if you have to take some missile damage because even a 
ejected pilot can cause status effect.  Attack them until either they die, 
surrender(not waving flag), or lost both arms.

*Attack with your strongest weapons first.  As I have metioned earlier, any 
attack, no matter the damage, can cause status effect.  Even if there is a 
special wanzer don't be afraid to use missiles or grenades on weaker wanzers 
to finish them off.  Just don't go missile happy when you could have killed 
the wanzer with a shotgun.  Exception to this rule is when you are low on AP.  
You'll be fine as long as you have enough AP for at least one counter attack 
or shield.

*Keep your weapon levels just high enough to earn the platinum medals.  You 
may have some walk through that tells you what the required average weapon 
level for each battle is but becareful not to over pump yourself.  If a single 
pilots gets lucky and deals out a lot of death blows he/she may level up high 
enough to cost you a unnecessary deductions.  As a general rule, do not have 
your average weapon level higher than 5 percent deduction.  In any battle 
where you battle against a monster sized wanzers you will recieve a sudden 
surge of experiance so plan for these battles extra carefully.

*Try not to waste time repairing or looking for hidden items on battle field.  
If you have to repair make sure you move closer to the enemy.  When going for 
the platinum you need to make every attack and counter attack count.  You 
can't afford to lose any attacks just because your ally was out of range.

*If you are stuck on a stage try out different tactics before you decide to 
raise your weapon levels.  It takes several battles before your deduction from 
average weapon level will start going down again. 

*Always take the hill.  Height will improve both your offense and defense.


**LAST MINUTE NOTES FOR THE GOLD EDITION
I made a mistake of sending this faq before I checked for spelling and other 
mistakes so I decided to correct them but I thought I might as well add 
something while I was working on it.  Here is some helpful tidbit that should 
help you make effective battle plans

KNOWN AI FLAWS

<<7th Square Blindness>>
Basically, if an enemy wanzer cannot reach you by taking six steps they tend 
to ignore you completely.  This makes missiles and Heavy-P gun awfully 
powerful, as a matter of fact you can destroy all enemies with just one wanzer 
on Fukushima battle simulation if you equip Heavy-P gun.

<<Items>>
AI of FM3 will not use items.  This doesn't really help unless you want to use 
the items in enemy's backpack.  If AI did use items that would only make 
grenades more powerful since several wanzers would be busy repairing 
themselves and create sort of a technical stun. 

<<Upgrades>>
Enemy pilot that was ejected will not reactivate any of the upgrades upon 
reboarding the wanzer.  This is a double strike against that wanzer because 
with no Def-C and dodge upgrade equals sitting duck.  Apparently ejecting a 
computer pilot also causes their brains to eject at the same time.

<<Obstacles>>
In some battles, few wanzers are programmed to destroy obstacles.  For couple 
of stages this makes sense because obstacles are really blocking their path.  
A prime example would be the battle in Futai Tunnel from Emma's scenario where 
the "Elite" Imaginary Number squad attacks the guard rails in first few rounds 
of the battle.  

<<Empty Wanzers>>
For some unexplained reason, ejected pilots will only enter a empty wanzer 
only if there is one right next to them when they were ejected.  Like I said 
before, ejecting a computer pilot seems to eject their brains at the same 
time.

<<Preprogrammed Actions>>
This flaw is similar to that of wanzers destroying obstacles but slightly 
different and harder to recognize until you replay the same battle several 
times.  The best example would be, from Alisa's scenario, where everyone is 
trying to escape Japan by using hover legs on their wanzers.  
On this stage, the two melee wanzers are programmed to rush and block the path 
of your pilots.  So if you stay in your starting position you would be 
cornered.  However, if you decided to make a run for the water, two melee 
wanzers will run into the ally as if to close off your retreat.  This mistake 
allows you to reach the water where melee wanzers can only stare at you occurs 
everytime.  If you advance all your wanzers toward the water everytime the 
same wanzers will always take the same action where only one of the melee 
wanzers actually attack you on the first round.
Look for this type of flaws if you have trouble with a particular stage.  
Things like knowing where the enemy is goint to move can help you avoid them 
until you are ready. 

<<No Shoulder Weapon?>>
To activate battle skills you must meet the required condition.  However, for 
some odd reason you are able to "learn" battle skills with "No Shoulder 
Weapon" as part of the battle condition while using shoulder weapons.

EARLY BATTLES

The battles are strangely tough after the first few battles before you are 
able to purchase parts, upgrades, and use much needed simulation.  Be prepared 
to press the reset button!

*Battles are simplified into exchange of blows and there are no means to 
reduce the damage so focus on one unit and always attack from distance except 
to finish him off.

*Average weapon level is very low so make sure everyone gets a even share of 
death blows to slow down the level progression.  Also, do not use battle 
simulation too early since difference of 1 level can actually cost you 15 
percent deduction.

*Since damage cannot be reduced, heal everyone up before you deal the final 
death blow on the last wanzer to reduce average damage.  During the battle, 
try to hold off on using repair items until the last minute.


MID BATTLES

Once you're done with tutorials and have shops accessable in the network 
things are a breeze.  There shouldn't be too much problem as long as you are 
able to equip your wanzer with best parts and weapons money can buy.  As you 
start gaining additional characters make sure they have enough AP to activate 
the upgrades for the battles where you are forced to use them.

*Use Fukushima at the hardest setting on your simulation to save time on 
keeping the levels just high enough.

*Now that you have access to upgrades and shields try not to use any items 
during battles.  If the battle result shows deduction for number of attacks 
and turns only just level up.  

*If you see absolutely no deductions use the simulations to keep the average 
weapon level deduction at 1-3 percent if possible.  This will save time at the 
end when you need to spend hours in the simulation.


FINAL BATTLES

Now you should have your best wanzer setup and have the secrect wanzer.  If 
you somehow screwed up on the network or just forgot to dial for the secret 
wanzer parts don't worry.  In your first few battle in Japan(like the 
observation tower in Emma's version) after coming from DHZ, the secret will be 
piloted by one of the JDF pilots.  Stealing this wanzer will also give you the 
Heavy-particle Gun.  Towards the end, be careful about raising levels because 
you'll be facing multiple giant sized wanzers that can raise your average 
weapon level too high.

*Make sure the weapons levels of ALL your extra characters are up to par with 
your main characters.  Weak attack will definately screw things up when you 
are forced to use extra characters again.

*To make things easier, have the extra pilots assigned as a replacement for 
the each of your primary pilots if you haven't done so already.  For example, 
have Yun gain levels in Kazuki's wanzer to replace him when the group splits 
up, and so forth with other pilots.

*Try to have at least one <PART>SMASH skills learned by all of the pilots to 
save time and much frustration.  When wanzers start having parts with HP 
greater than 1K battles become longer causing number of turns deduction.    

*Before using missiles check the enemy status to see if they are using 
shields.  Blast these units with grenades and other weapons to weaken their 
shield arm then use guns or missiles to finish off the shield arm. 


Common Answers to Penalties

Penalties doesn't even seem to exist when you first play the game but its 
annoying presence will hound you on you way to platinum medals.  As you play 
for the platinum it seems like you get deductions for anything and everything 
and makes you wander why there was no penalties for buying the game.  Before 
you get more frustrated here are somethings you can do to get rid of those 
annoying penalties.

1.  Always check the victory condition.  When there is another way to win try 
to win with that condition such as reaching the target area or killing a 
certain target. 

2.  Choose which weapon you will use when you are trying to finish off a 
wanzer.  If a wanzer has 75 HP for the body with other parts still intact use 
a burst weapon rather than single shot weapon that can hit other body part 
instead.  This will cut down on unnecessary number of attacks and turns.

3.  If an enemy wanzer has a shield use a grenade but if you don't have one 
you must take drastic measures to damage the shield arm.  Attack that wanzer 
close enough so that the enemy will counter attack you.  This will drain that 
pilots' AP up and leave him/her open for rest of your pilots to kill or damage 
the shield arm.  Do this only if you are deducted for taking too many turns.

4.  Use all your weapons.  If you have deductions for average weapon level 
don't finish the battle just using your best weapons.  If you a weapon that is 
at a very low level use that weapon to drop the average weapon level.

5.  Increase your weapon levels to increase your damage.  This will lower the 
number of attacks and turns used.  However, don't increase your weapon level 
at all in the early battles because when allowed weapon level is "2" average 
weapon level at 3 will give you 15% deduction.

6.  Equip the best weapon available.  Forgetting to equip and udgrade will 
land you in a rock and a hard place where you will be penalized for having 
high average weapon level and attacking too many times.  This may happen if 
you forget to shop before the battles.

7.  In stages where you can lose by having your NPCs killed, protect them when 
there is only 1 NPC to protect.  If there are more than 1 NPC fight as normal.

8.  Consider using RANDOM or BODY SMASH if you are deducted for taking too 
many attacks and turns.  During the final battles, if you are faced with too 
many different kinds of deductions single attack kill will reduce deductions 
tremendously.  This tactic is needed when you are facing multiple monster 
sized wanzers and vehicles and you have deductions for average weapon level.

9.  If you have accidently raised the weapon levels too high try switching 
pilots to lower the average weapon level.

10. Keep at least two save files.  You need a separate save file for before 
and after you used battle simulation.  If you couldn't balance out the weapon 
levels or if it is just too high then simply reload. 

Happy hunting!!