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    Maximization Guide by EChang

    Version: 1.0 | Updated: 09/06/04 | Printable Version | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    STAR OCEAN 3: TILL THE END OF TIME
    MAXIMIZATION GUIDE
    (v1.0, 9-06-04)
    by Edward Chang (chang dot 459 at osu dot edu)
    
    Version History
    v1.0 (7-10-04)
       First version.
    
    
    TABLE OF CONTENTS
    1. Introduction
    2. Item Creation Effectiveness Maxing
    3. Fol Maxing
    4. Experience Maxing
    5. Character Attribute Maxing
    6. Battle Skill Maxing
    7. Heraldry Maxing
    8. Credits
    
    
    1. INTRODUCTION
    
    This is an FAQ for Star Ocean 3: Director's Cut, which will eventually be
    released in the US as probably just Star Ocean 3: Till the End of Time.
    Since the US version of the game is based off of the Director's Cut version
    of the Japanese, all the information in this guide should be applicable to
    both versions. 
    This guide deals with maximization of all aspects, whether maxing a
    character's level, maxing the levels of a battle skill, doing the fastest
    and cheapest item creation possible (i.e. maxing its effectiveness), and so
    on. This guide will provide both general information on what is required to
    max something as well as how to do it, with specific tricks I've developed
    to help you along should you need them.
    This is not a gameplay guide. For information on the game itself, or a
    walkthrough of the game, see my standard FAQ/walkthrough under the Star
    Ocean 3: Director's Cut section of GameFAQs.
    
    
    2. ITEM CREATION EFFECTIVENESS MAXING
    
    To begin:
    ---------
    Most of the other maxing strategies rely on making specific weapons,
    accessories, or items via the Item Creation system. Thus, this section will
    explain on how to maximize the effectiveness of IC by showing you how to
    make items in the cheapest and quickest ways possible.
    
    First let's take a look at a list of all of the creators, both player
    character and NPCs:
    
    Fate (No Modifiers)
    Cooking 16                Blacksmith 29
    Alchemy 14                Writing 34
    Craft 20                  Machinery 25
    Compounding 30            Synthesis 12
    
    Cliff (Time +5%)
    Cooking 9                 Blacksmith 31
    Alchemy 5                 Writing 7
    Craft 2                   Machinery 36
    Compounding 10            Synthesis 14
    
    Nel (Time -5%)
    Cooking 30                Blacksmith 25
    Alchemy 20                Writing 14
    Craft 15                  Machinery 5
    Compounding 10            Synthesis 10
    
    Roger (Time +5%)
    Cooking 2                 Blacksmith 23
    Alchemy 6                 Writing 4
    Craft 35                  Machinery 20
    Compounding 6             Synthesis 10
    
    Maria (Cost -10%)
    Cooking 19                Blacksmith 4
    Alchemy 22                Writing 22
    Craft 10                  Machinery 20
    Compounding 25            Synthesis 15
    
    Arbel (Cost +5%)
    Cooking 16                Blacksmith 30
    Alchemy 15                Writing 4
    Craft 12                  Machinery 16
    Compounding 16            Synthesis 15
    
    Sophia (Cost -5%)
    Cooking 43                Blacksmith 6
    Alchemy 36                Writing 15
    Craft 33                  Machinery 3
    Compounding 15            Synthesis 25
    
    Souffle (Time -10%, Cost +10%)
    Cooking 6                 Blacksmith 5
    Alchemy 12                Writing 6
    Craft 40                  Machinery 15
    Compounding 11            Synthesis 20
    
    Adlai (Time -25%, Cost +30%)
    Cooking 20                Blacksmith 27
    Alchemy 4                 Writing 11
    Craft 3                   Machinery 7
    Compounding 5             Synthesis 15
    
    Mirage (Time -5%, Cost -5%)
    Cooking 26                Blacksmith 17
    Alchemy 18                Writing 16
    Craft 30                  Machinery 31
    Compounding 27            Synthesis 22
    
    Damda Muda                Cooking 6         Costs +10% 
    Milenia                   Compounding 19    Costs -20%
    Mayu                      Cooking 20        Costs -30% 
    Eliza                     Alchemy 4         Time -30%
    Gratz                     Blacksmith 25
    Star Anise                Craft 20          Time -30%, Costs -20%
    Gossam                    Compounding 9     Costs +20%
    Macwell                   Alchemy 31        Time +40%
    Rigel                     Cooking 47        Time +40%
    Misty Lear                Alchemy 50 
    Raias                     Blacksmith 36     Costs +20%
    Invention King Dejison    Machinery 6       Time -20%, Costs +40%
    Killer Chef               Cooking 75        Time -30%
    Cornelius                 Writing 15        Time -40%
    Barbatos                  Craft 37          Time -40%, Costs +50%
    Michel                    Writing 35        Costs +10%
    Gusto                     Blacksmith 60     Time -20%
    Vanilla                   Machinery 32      Costs +30%
    Anthler                   Alchemy 99        Time -20%
    Puffy                     Compounding 57    Time -40%
    Aqua and Evia             Craft 49          Costs +10%
    Meryl                     Machinery 46      Time +30%
    Count Nopperin            Writing 44        Costs +40%
    Boyd                      Blacksmith 95     Time +50%
    Chiriko                   Craft 60          Time +60%, Costs -10%
    Sage Oseman               Writing 73        Time +40%
    Fortuneteller Ruid        Compounding 98    Time +30%
    Isaac                     Machinery 65      Costs -50%
    
    In general, the PCs at best have only average skills in any given area and
    minor modifiers at best. Thus the key to saving Time and Money on a given
    Item Creation run depends mostly on the recruited characters.
    
    There are two types of item creation, and optimization of each type requires
    slightly different strategies. For details on how to perform these two types
    of item creation, see my Item Creation FAQ on GameFAQs. 
    
    Original Items
    --------------
    First is creating an original item. The success rate of this is dependent on
    the rarity of the item as compared to the total talent level of your line.
    In order to have a chance of creating the item at all, the sum total of your
    creator line talents must be greater than the value of the item (the number
    given to the item when you try to patent it) - the more the better. Also, 
    having specific items in your inventory will add an additional 20% chance 
    to this total. The items and the locations that they can be found in are as 
    follows.
    
    Cooking: All-purpose Knife, bought in Gemity
    Alchemy: Alchemy Stone, Mosel Sand Hills
    Craft: Angel Bust, Palmira Plains
    Compounding: Multi Flask, Alias
    Blacksmith: Smithy Hammer, Flood's House in Recorder
    Writing: Magical Pen, Shrine of Canan (needs Vanish Ring)
    Machinery: NC Program Disk, Moonbase
    Synthesis: None (Synthesis never fails)
    
    Some items can only be created by certain creators. Thus, to create your line
    of three, you should have one creator who can actually create the given item,
    and two supporters who have beneficial time/cost modifiers. Let's look at 
    an example: say I wanted to create a pair of Battle Boots (you'll be doing
    this a lot...)
    
    Battle Boots are an accessory, so they are created by Craft. Having the Angel
    Bust should be our first requirement. Since you find the Angel Bust quite
    early in the game, in a treasure chest on Palmira Plains, this is not a big
    deal. Next is selecting a creator who can create the Battle Boots. As it
    turns out, the only creator in the game who can make this item is Chiriko
    (talent level 60). Thus, she must go onto the line. Now we select two
    supporting members. Battle Boots have a value of 99, so they are quite hard
    to make. However with Chiriko and the Angel Bust in hand, that's already
    a combined level of 80. Now we should look for creators with beneficial
    modifiers. Aqua and Evia have a great talent level at 49, but they come with
    a Cost +10% modifier. Battle Boots are quite expensive, so we want to try
    and avoid this if possible. Chiriko has a Cost -10% modifier, so these
    two balance out. Barbatos has the next highest talent level at 37. However,
    he comes with a whopping Cost +50% modifier - definitely not recommended.
    Star Anise, with a talent level of 20, isn't that great, but she has both
    a Time -30% and Cost -20% modifier, making her rather valuable. Thus, the
    team of Chiriko, Aqua and Evia, and Star Anise combined have a talent level
    of 129 (149 with the Angel Bust), and so should have quite a reasonable
    chance of creating Battle Boots. They also have a combined Time +30%
    (Chiriko has Time +60%, unfortunately) and Cost -20%. If you're really
    scrapped for cash, you can try replacing Aqua and Evia with Mirage, who
    happens to be quite good at Craft with a talent level of 30, as well as
    -5% to both Time and Cost. Thus this line would have a total talent of
    110 (130 with the Angel Bust) and a Time +25% and Cost -25% modifier.
    
    The next part of optimizing item creation is mechanical. Every time the
    time bar reaches full, you have a chance of creating the item, and
    then the bar resets, and the quality meter goes down. The quality meter
    also has a factor in item creation success; the higher the quality,
    the higher your chance of success. Since there is no detriment to trying
    to create items multiple times, you should try and keep the quality
    bar as high as possible. To do this, I recommend starting the IC line,
    letting item creation run for about 3-5 runs of the Time bar, and then
    stopping and restarting. In this way you keep your Quality near max at
    all times, thus maximizing your chances of creating an item and conserving
    money at the same time. If you REALLY need to conserve money, I would
    save before starting IC, run it 3-5 times, and then reload and try again
    if you fail to create anything.
    
    Refining Items
    --------------
    The other type of item creation is refining items to try and improve the
    item. There are a number of key differences between refining items and
    creating items. First, refining items has a set percentage chance of success,
    depending on how good the factor is (thus refining to clone an ATK +1000(1)
    factor has a much lower chance of success then refining to clone an
    ATK +10(1) factor). Talent level DOES NOT MATTER when you are refining.
    Second, every time you run a complete item creation process (i.e. the
    time you start the creation until the time quality runs out, or you
    press O and end the creation), you use up a type-specific Materials
    regardless of whether you succeed or fail.
    
    Thus, whereas in original item creation the theory was to keep the Quality
    bar as high as possible, this would waste Materials if you tried to do
    the same thing when refining. In the postgame (when you're attempting
    to do the secret dungeons) you can buy an infinite amount of Materials,
    so this isn't as much of a problem, but during the midgame you'll want
    to try and conserve Materials, meaning either save-and-reloading a lot,
    or letting the Quality Bar fall as low as necessary (though not so much
    that you're just wasting money).
    
    Since Talent level doesn't matter, you should choose creators solely based
    on their modifiers. Let's say we're trying to refine the Battle Boots we
    just created. Refining Battle Boots is quite difficult compared to other
    things, but since we can't affect the chance of success at all, we'll 
    choose creators to conserve time and money instead. Star Anise should be
    our first choice, with her Time -30% and Cost -20% modifiers. Chiriko
    might be good for her Cost -10%, but her Time +60% is somewhat of
    a liability, and believe me, after you've refined your 20th pair of Battle
    Boots, you'll definitely want to avoid increasing Time. Mirage is again
    a good choice with her -5% to both Cost and Time. For the final creator,
    I would choose Maria, who has Cost -10% like Chiriko, but no Time modifier.
    Alternatively, if you have tons of money but are quite impatient, you can
    choose Nel, who has a Time -5% but no Cost modifier. (If you're REALLY
    rolling in the Fol - see the section below on how to maximize Fol-earning -
    and you have a couple hundred million Fol to throw around, you might
    want to just cut Time down as much as possible without caring about Cost.
    In this case I would suggest a party of Star Anise, Barbatos, and Adlai.
    This will give you a whopping -95% Time factor, but a combined +60% Cost
    factor.)
    
    Usually as soon as you succeed in changing a Factor, refining ends
    automatically. Occasionally, your characters will display the "happy face"
    success icon and item creation will continue. This means you have a chance
    of changing two (or three, or more...) factors for the price of only one
    Materials. This is rare though, and uncontrollable, so just consider
    yourself lucky if it happens.
    
    Synthesis
    ---------
    Finally a word on Synthesis. Synthesis ALWAYS succeeds, so there is very
    little in terms of optimization that you can do. It's usually quite
    expensive, so cost modifiers are the key here: I suggest a party of
    Maria, Sophia, and Mirage for Synthesis at all times, as this gives you
    a combined -20% Cost modifier.
    
    Synthesizing, like refining, costs a Synthesis Materials every time you
    do it. Unlike the other Materials, you CANNOT buy Synthesis Materials
    at any point in the game. However, you should find more than enough
    in the treasure chests throughout the game and especially the Sphere
    211 dungeon. In a pinch, you can also get them by winning the D rank
    Team Battle in Gemity (up to 6) or the rank 4 and 10 Battle Chess
    challenges in Gemity (up to 3 apiece); the Shadow Savant enemies in 
    the Urza Cave Temple also have a small (2%) chance of dropping them,
    so you can theoretically get an infinite amount. However, chances are
    you won't have to resort to such a method.
    
    
    3. FOL MAXING
    
    Item creation takes a lot of money. Thus you'll have to watch out for ways
    to be able to make huge amounts of money for little effort. The key is
    of course, more Item Creation.
    Fate's and Maria's ultimate weapons, the Maken Levantine and the Dragoon
    Laser respectively, come with built-in 'Enemy ATK+30% (2)' factors. The
    (2) means that when you refine this factor it has two possible outcomes.
    One is that the factor simply disappears (this is what you'd want if
    you're going to shoot for getting the best possible weapon). However, the
    other possibility is that it turns into an 'Enemy ATK+30% Folx3 (1)'
    factor. Refining this again turns it into 'Enemy ATK+50% Folx5 (1)' factor,
    and finally one more time makes it an 'Enemy ATK+100% Folx10' factor.
    Maria's weapon actually starts with two Enemy ATK+30%s, meaning that if
    you can have a total of Enemy ATK +200% Fol x20 on it. (The factors don't
    stack beyond that, so even if you have both Fate's and Maria's weapon
    equipped, you'll only get the x20. However, the bonus battle x2 still
    applies, so you could make x40 Fol).
    The catch of course is that you're tripling the enemy's ATK power,
    so even weak enemies will suddenly become rather threatening to your party.
    You need to be able to fight enemies that won't get to hit you much, yet
    give a lot of Fol. The recommended fight is the "Night of Dragoon"
    Rank 1 battle in the Gemity Arena Ranking Battles, consisting of a Crystal
    Dragon and a Dragoon. This combo normally drops 173000 Fol. Have Maria's
    Dragoon Laser equipped, though, and you get 3,460,000 Fol! The nice part
    about the battle is that the Dragoon is susceptible to status attacks,
    including Freeze killing; thus, have a Bunny Trophy or some other item
    that allows Freezing equipped, and you can kill him almost right off the
    bat. The Crystal Dragon will be very strong, but luckily very slow; he's
    also weak against Wind-elemental, so just having Nel with Fuujin or Fuujin
    Seiraiha equipped will make very quick work of him.
    Finally, you may ask whether 'sacrificing' Fate's or Maria's weapons in 
    this manner is worth it. The answer is that you don't have to. If you
    have the Get Item skill equipped, you can actually force the Archdemon
    or Super Brea to drop multiple Dragoon Lasers or Maken Levantines,
    respectively. Thus, you can have one "real" weapon and one weapon for
    the purpose of making Fol.
    
    
    4. EXPERIENCE MAXING
    
    Experience maxing uses a similar strategy to Fol maxing, but it's
    easier to do. Experience maxing utilizes the accessory "Learning Ring",
    which can be created by Barbatos, Maria, or Sophia, with a base cost of 640
    +/- 5%. This accessory has a "Exp +10% (1)" factor on it that can be
    refined to "Exp +20%". Rather than equipping them as accessories, however,
    it's more effective to synthesize them to a weapon. For instance, if we
    take Maria's Dragoon Laser refined as described above, it'll have
    an ATK+1000 factor on it and 2 Enemy ATK+100% Folx10 factors, leaving
    5 spots blank. You can synthesize 5 refined Learning Rings to it, making
    a grand total of Exp +100% (which incidentally is the maximum this factor
    will stack). Combine this with a bonus battle Experience x3, and you
    can easily get 6x the normal amount of experience per battle.
    Undoubtedly the best place to gain experience in the game is the Sphere
    Corporation, floors 172-181. The enemies on these floors are all
    susceptible to Freeze killing, so you can massacre them relatively
    quickly, and they also drop tons of experience. Having 6x experience in
    those battles means that even towards high levels, your charaters might
    be able to gain one level every 2 battles or so. It gets tedious after
    awhile, but there's no better place to get experience.
    
    
    5. CHARACTER ATTRIBUTE MAXING
    
    Your characters' stats increase at every level up, somewhat randomly.
    Thus, if you were hugely anal, you could save before gaining each level,
    and then reset if you didn't feel your stats increased enough. However,
    the ultimate difference this makes is rather small.
    This section will focus on maximizing ATK, INT, and DEF, which are the
    most important factors to worry about. We'll start with DEF since that's
    relatively straightforward.
    
    DEF Maxing
    ----------
    The best armor in the game is the Valkyrie Garb, dropped by Lenneth on
    Floor 210 of the Sphere Corporation. This has a base DEF of 600. Nel,
    Maria, Mirage, and Souffle can all equip this armor, so maximizing
    DEF for those four characters is relatively straightforward.
    The best armor for Fate, Cliff, and Roger is the Valiant Mail, found in 
    a few chests throughout Sphere Corporation. This armor comes with a base
    DEF of 380 and a factor of DEF+20(1) on it. You can refine it to add
    up to 7 more DEF+20's, making the total possible DEF of this armor
    540. 
    The best armor for Arbel is the Dragon Leather which has a base DEF
    of 370 and also has DEF+20(1) factors on it. Refining to max will
    give you a total DEF of 530.
    The best armor for Sophia is the Seraphic Garb, again found in Sphere
    Corporation. This armor has a base DEF of 125 and built-in DEF+10(1),
    so max refinement gives you a total DEF of 205. 
    The best armor for Adlai is the puny Laser Shield, which has a base
    DEF of 160. It can simply be bought in Gemity. 
    The only other efficient way to pump up defense is by utilizing the
    ATK/DEF +30% factors that you can get from refined Battle Boots. If
    you went all out, putting 8 ATK/DEF+30%s on a weapon and equipping
    two refined Battle Boots as accessories, you could get ATK/DEF+300%,
    effectively quadrupling your DEF. However, this isn't that efficient,
    and while effective on Galaxy difficulty (Fate with this setup at
    high levels won't take any damage since his base DEF is just that high),
    this quickly loses effectiveness on Universe and FD difficulties. It's
    better to have just some ATK/DEF+30% factors and then save the rest for
    other beneficial factors.
    
    ATK Maxing
    ----------
    Fate, Cliff, Nel, Maria, Roger, Mirage, Arbel, and Souffle all rely on ATK
    for their damage-causing capabilities. Thus, you should try and get maxed
    out ATK (9999) to make the most out of these characters. While getting
    9999 ATK is easy enough with multiple ATK +1000 and ATK/DEF+30% factors,
    the trick is using the factors effectively so that you can get the 9999
    ATK in as few factors as possible (thereby saving spaces for other factors).
    ATK is surprisingly level, and at level 255 all of your characters will
    have base ATKs in the range of about 1000. If you assume everybody will
    have a tri-Emblem equipped (highly recommended; tri-Emblems have ATK+1000
    built-in as well) then everybody will have a base ATK of about 2000. Now
    it comes to a question of individual weapons. All of the "Ultimate
    Weapons", with the exception of Souffle's Angelic Cape, come built-in
    with an ATK+1000(1) factor, as well as a base ATK of around 2000. Thus,
    most characters with their basic Ultimate Weapons equipped will have
    a base ATK of about 5000. 
    Now when your ATK is 5000, an ATK/DEF+30% will add about 1500 ATK, whereas
    an ATK+1000(1) factor will of course only add 1000 ATK. Thus, for the
    Ultimate Weapons, despite the fact that they have ATK+1000(1) factors
    built-in, it is CRUCIAL that you do NOT clone these factors when refining
    the weapons lest you waste slots. Save before every refine attempt, and
    reload is the ATK+1000 factor clones. Rather, by simply adding ATK/DEF+30%
    x4 (from four refined Battle Boots), you can easily boost your character's
    ATK to 9999. Cliff, Mirage, and Roger actually have base ATKs so high
    that they only need 3 ATK/DEF+30% factors to max out; whether to put
    the fourth one on (for the added DEF, the ATK is redundant) is up to you.
    Thus, for most characters, their ultimate weapon will have 1 ATK +1000(1)
    factor, 4 ATK/DEF+30% factors, and three free slots for whatever you
    want. I'd recommend different things for different characters; Speed +30%
    (from Bunny Shoes) for Maria, since she's so slow, HP Damage reduced
    to 0, 30% Chance (from Blue Talisman) for in-close characters like Cliff
    and Mirage, and so on.
    
    INT Maxing
    ----------
    INT is how Sophia and Adlai cause their damage primarily, so ATK is not
    important for them. At max level with tri-Emblems equipped, Sophia
    will have a base ATK around 1500 and Adlai will have a base INT around
    1500. Since ATK is not important, it's actually best NOT to use the
    "Ultimate Weapons" for these characters, as those weapons have a slot
    "wasted" on ATK+1000 (1). Rather, the recommended weapons are the
    Adept Staff for Sophia (Base INT 150) and the Shisentou for Adlai (no
    base INT, but no factors either). Both can be purchased in Sealand during
    the late parts of the game. 
    The key to INT maxing is the use of Dark Crystals (created by Anthler,
    base cost around 3700), which have INT +500(1) factors on them. These
    can be refined to INT +1000. The other useful feature item is the
    Magic Bangle, creatable by Barbatos, Aqua & Evia, Maria, and Sophia,
    for a base cost of around 300. These have INT+10%(1) on them which
    can eventually be refined to INT +30%. Thus, you have to find out the
    combination of INT +1000 and INT +30% that will give you max INT
    for the least number of spaces.
    Sophia will have a total INT of about 1950 with the Adept Staff
    equipped. Let's take a look at what happens if we use six factors:
    2 INT+1000, 4 INT+30%: 8690 INT
    3 INT+1000, 3 INT+30%: 9405 INT
    4 INT+1000, 2 INT+30%: 9520 INT
    5 INT+1000, 1 INT+30%: 9035 INT
    It seems like that six factors isn't enough. If you had 4 INT+1000,
    2 INT+30%s, and another Magic Bangle equipped, you could easily get
    9999. But let's say you want flexibility in your accessory slots, so
    you decide to go ahead and use seven factors on your weapon:
    2 INT+1000, 5 INT+30%: 9875 INT
    3 INT+1000, 4 INT+30%: 10890 INT
    4 INT+1000, 3 INT+30%: 11305 INT
    5 INT+1000, 2 INT+30%: 11120 INT
    Basically any of the last three combinations would work; if you're
    trying to save on money, the 3 INT+1000, 4 INT+30% is the best, since
    the INT+30% is cheaper to create/refine than the INT+1000. Adlai,
    with his lower base INT, would need the 4 INT+1000/3 INT+30% combo.
    This gives you one free factor on your weapon. For Sophia and Adlai,
    since they usually stay out of the way of the main action (if they're
    smart), I'd recommend Regenerate 6% MP At Intervals, from a refined
    Mental Ring (Created by Chiriko, 220 Fol base cost). This way you
    can regenerate MP as you're using it in battle, and aside from your
    tri-Emblem you have another accessory slot to do whatever you want with.
    
    
    6. BATTLE SKILL MAXING
    
    As you probably know, battle skills get more effective with use, increasing
    in damage and sometimes duration/number of hits. There are ten levels,
    and therefore a level 10 Kokuyousen is much much more effective than a
    level 1 Kokuyousen. Most battle skills level up quite slowly; they require
    around 1700 uses before they get to level 10. Notable exceptions are
    Fate's sword enchantments, which only need about 879 uses, and Souffle's
    dances, which only need about 904 uses. Fate's Blade Reactor is unusually
    slow, requiring 1959 uses for max level (and it's not even that good). 
    "Accessory" battle skills, like Stun, Drain, HP Damage UP, and so on,
    and support skills like Guardless, Critical HP, First Aid, etc., level
    up at around the same rate, requiring around 1700 uses. The exception is
    Get Item which levels up extremely fast, requiring only 459 uses (this
    is because the chances of Get Item triggering are rather small).
    You gain a "use" for regular battle skills as soon as the name pops
    up on the screen. Thus, if you use Iserial Blast for Fate, you get 1
    towards your proficiency as soon as the words "Iserial Blast" appear at
    the top of the screen, even if Fate is hit out of the motion before
    the attack actually begins. Accessory and Support skills are trickier,
    as they only get credited if they actually succeed. Thus, if you have
    Stun set, you could hit the enemy 100 times, but you'd probably only
    gain 10 proficiency or less (since the chance of stun succeeding at level
    1 is only about 5%).
    You could just do lots of battles to level up your skills, but here I will
    introduce an easy trick so that you can level up your skills without
    even having to be at your PS2. (Thus, you could leave your PS2 on overnight).
    For regular battle skills, every use counts, even if an attack heals an
    opponent. Thus, the trick involves synthesizing for instance Fire Element
    (base cost 350) or Enchant Book: Fire Attack (also base cost 350) to a
    Laser Weapon, which anybody can equip, then going to the Rank D Team
    Battle in the Gemity arena, which is full of fire-elemental enemies. If you
    are reasonably high-level, these enemies will be so weak that they can't
    hurt you. However, if you give all of your character fire-elemental
    weapons, you won't be able to hurt them either, since all of your attacks
    will be fire-elemental. Thus, set whatever battle skills you want to level
    on your characters, start the battle, then just leave your PS2 alone for
    a couple of hours. By the time you come back (it usually takes no more than
    3-4 hours for any given battle skill), your character will probably have
    maxed it out. To increase the rate of usage of battle skills, set the
    desired battle skill to both Short Range Weak and Short Range Strong, if
    possible; most characters use Short range battle skills a lot more than Long.
    (The exception is Maria; set her gun skills to Long range if you want her
    to use those, though Crescent Locus and Trident Arts are best kept at
    Short).
    A few modifications are required for skills that already have elements,
    such as Nel's Touga or Souffle's Frozen Dagger (water-elemental), or
    Nel's Fuujin or Fuujin Seiraiha (wind-elemental). In this case the A rank
    Team battle is recommended, as the early enemies absorb water-element
    and nullify wind-element; have some water-element-synthesized weapons
    on hand for these guys. The A rank enemies are a lot harder than the D
    rank enemies, so you'll have to be pretty high level before you can get
    to the point where they can't hurt you anymore.
    The other modification is for skills like Stun and Get Item. These skills
    do NOT activate if you don't damage the opponent. Thus the above skill
    won't work. I suggest the following modifications: First, make a laser
    weapon with several "Emits Fire when Attacking" factors on it. These 
    come from the Fire Fairies, High Grade Fire Fairies, and Fire Homunculi
    (the first two coming from various treasure chests, the last being
    created at a base cost of around 2800). Now give the character whom
    you want to level up Stun this weapon, and set Stun on all four of their
    attacks. Now give the other two characters in your party the fire-elemental
    weapons from before, and pump up their ATK as much as possible. Now if
    you just use the D rank battle again, even though your one character
    will be damaging the enemies (and thus praticing Stun), the other two
    characters will be healing the enemy with their attacks, hopefully
    more than compensating for the amount of damage the Stun-using
    character is doing. Leaving the PS2 on for about 3-4 hours is good
    enough to level these skills up.
    
    
    7. HERALDRY MAXING 
    
    Finally a word on Heraldry maxing. Heraldry levels up just like battle
    skills, but the way you activate them and their intrinsic elements makes
    levelling them up harder than battle skills. You do not get a point
    towards proficiency until the name actually appears on the screen, so
    if you are hit and interrupted out of the casting animation, you get
    no credit.
    Support and healing type spells you can level up indefinitely in one
    battle just by casting them on your own party members over and over again.
    However, this gets really boring since you have to do the work yourself
    (pressing triangle, circle circle circle, rinse and repeating...). 
    Attack-type heraldry can be easy or hard to level. For spells with
    elements, like Explosion, you can use the tactic described above. If
    you go into the menu and press Square over a spell, the little staff
    icon will disappear or reappear on that spell, telling the AI to use
    or not to use that spell. Thus, if you wanted to level up Explosion,
    all you would have to do is turn off all other spells aside from Explosion,
    then get into a battle with fire-elemental opponents (such as the
    D rank Team Battle enemies).
    Spells without elements, like Ray, Southern Cross, and Meteor Swarm,
    cannot be levelled in an automatic fashion. Heraldry levels up much
    faster than battle skills - 904 uses is sufficient to get most attack
    heraldry to level 10 - but be prepared to see the animation for each
    one many many times. 
    
    
    8. CREDITS
    Thanks go to:
    tri-Ace and Enix for the best RPG I have ever played.
    
    This FAQ Copyright 2004 to Edward Chang. Redistribution in any form,
    including reprinting in electronic or print media, without express
    permission of the author is strictly forbidden.