Walkthrough for Suikoden III for the PS2, North American Release

Version 2.25 copyright dan crenshaw (dshaw999@bellsouth.net) 2002
Last update 1/28/2003


*************************   SPOILER WARNING    ********************************
*************************   SPOILER WARNING    ********************************

This walkthrough contains spoilers related to Suikoden III.  The spoilers have
been put in so that nothing that happens later in the story is mentioned in an
earlier section of the walkthrough.  However, later sections of the walkthrough
may mention key previous events as reference points.  If you'd rather not risk
having something related to the story ruined for you, stop reading now.

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Legal Junk:

Whatever you do with this Walkthrough in terms of private use is no concern of
mine.  Please do not alter it, distribute it, post it, or do anything related
to public use without permission.  If you intend to print it out, make sure
your printer/word processor's option for word wrap is off.

This Walkthrough should only be posted at gamefaqs.com.  If you see this
document posted anywhere else in part or in its entirety, it is without the
author's permission.

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Contact info:

I WILL NOT reply to any e-mails that ask questions already answered in this
document.  This applies especially to recruiting questions.

Comments, suggestions, corrections are welcome as long as they pertain to this
document. It's very helpful if you put "Suikoden" in the e-mail's subject
header so I'll know it's related to this document.  Any information you provide
to me will be properly credited via e-mail name (minus the domain name) unless
you prefer another way to be credited or do not wish to be credited at all.  I
will credit such information as from "anonymous".

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Update info:

The changes for this version:

-Added Chris level 99 trick in detail per e-mail requests.  Credit and many
 thanks to Blue Moon for permitting me to put the trick in this document

This document contains all the content I planned for it (and then some).  Any
further updates, beyond some minor clarifications/corrections, are not planned
unless a major secret is discovered.


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                  Part I:  Introduction and Walkthrough
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1.  Introduction (How do I find stuff in this document?)

2.  Top 10 e-Mail Questions
    2a.  What do I get for loading Suikoden II data?
    2b.  Should I play Suikoden I and II first?
    2c.  How long does this game take to complete?
    2d.  All about recruiting
    2e.  What skills should my characters learn?
    2f.  Why do you recommend doing...?
    2g.  Agh!  I can't get [Recruit/Item] and I'm going to smash my PS2!
    2h.  Why can't I go to chapter 4?
    2i.  Why aren't the lottery results switching like you said?
    2j.  Where can I get a Statue S?

3.  General Questions
    3a.  Introduction
    3b.  The Trinity Sight System
    3c.  Why this order of play?
    3d.  Skills/Stats
    3e.  Support Characters
    3f.  Runes and Magic
    3g.  Battle Formations/The Pair System
    3h.  Strategy Battles
    3i.  Duels
    3j.  Character Types
    3k.  Treasure bosses
    3l.  Recipes, Old Books, Medal Sets, Antiques, Bath Items, and Scripts
    3m.  What's the Chris Level 99 trick?  Should I do it?
    3n.  What is the stat stones trick?
    3o.  I need money and lots of it!
    3p.  I was just walking around minding my own business, then the screen
         turned yellow and this funny music played and this monster killed me!
    3q.  Looting corpses
    3r.  What's a Tank?
    3s.  What are the Armor Sets and what do they do?
    3t.  Where do I get the Blinking Mirror?
    3u.  No offense, but can you suggest another Walkthrough?

4.  Walkthrough
    4a.  Introduction
    4b.  Hugo Chapter 1
    4c.  Chris Chapter 1
    4d.  Geddoe Chapter 1
    4e.  Break--Time to Decide about Thomas
    4f.  Chris Chapter 2
    4g.  Hugo Chapter 2
    4h.  Geddoe Chapter 2
    4i.  Geddoe Chapter 3
    4j.  Hugo Chapter 3
    4k.  Chris Chapter 3
    4l.  Thomas Chapter 1 (Optional)
    4m.  Thomas Chapter 2 (Optional)
    4n.  Interlude--The Big Question (Spoilers)
    4o.  Chapter 4
    4p.  Chapter 5


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                   Part II:  Reference Guide (Spoilers)
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5.  108 Stars of Destiny Recruit List

6.  My Really Important Items List
    6a.  Introduction
    6b.  Runes
    6c.  Armor
    6d.  Hammers
    6e.  Medal Sets
    6f.  Accessories
    6g.  Scripts

7.  Duels

8.  Ernie's Quiz

9.  Boss/Battle Strategies


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                    Part III:  Secrets (HUGE SPOILERS)
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10.  108 Stars of Destiny Bonus

11.  Miscellaneous Q&A's

12.  So why did you choose this play and recruiting order?


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                   Part IV:  Thanks and Version History
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13.  Acknowledgements

14.  Version History


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                 ----------------------------------------
                  Part I:  Introduction and Walkthrough
                 ----------------------------------------


1.  Introduction (How do I find stuff in this document?)

This Walkthrough covers how to get through Suikoden III with detailed content
on how to make the story advance, battle and recruiting strategies, and lots of
other stuff.  What it does NOT include are comprehensive lists for the items
in the game such as recipes, old books, runes, etc.  I cover how to get most of
these items in the Walkthrough with a mini-list of important items, but for
comprehensive lists, I refer you to Ryvius' FAQ here at gamefaqs and to the
lists available at suikosource.com.

This document is broken up into four parts.  Part I has general questions along
with the actual Walkthrough.  *Please* check the questions in sections 2 and 3
before e-mailing me about something.

Part II is the Reference Guide.  I put this in mainly for people who have a
specific question about how to recruit someone, how to beat a certain boss, or
how to get an item without having to plow through the Walkthrough.  There are
spoilers here but only minor ones for sections 5-8.  Beyond some very minor
story points and the character names, nothing is revealed.  Because section 9
details the main boss/strategy battles in the game, key story events ARE
revealed in this section.  To reduce spoilers, an expanded content list for
Part II is not in the main Table of Contents but instead placed at the start of
Part II.

Part III covers the Secrets of the game.  Needless to say, the biggest spoilers
are in this section.  If you really want to know the reasons why I chose the
play and recruiting order of this Walkthrough, check section 12 in this part.

Part IV has the Acknowledgements and Version History sections.

If you want to zip to a part of this document quickly, open it up in WordPad or
NotePad+ and make use of the Find tool.  Activate both Match whole word and
Match case by checking them.  Type in the following keywords in the quote marks
then hit Find Next until you get to each topic.  You will have to hit Find Next
a few times before you get to the actual topic content:

"4.  Walkthrough"   --goes to the actual Walkthrough
"5.  108 Stars"     --goes to the Recruit List
"6.  My Really"     --goes to the mini-list of Items
"7.  Duels"         --goes to the Duels section
"9.  Boss/Battle"   --goes to boss/strategy battles section
"Part III:"         --goes to Secrets section

You can do this with any other keyword topic you want such as the name of a
particular rune, character, item, boss, etc.  If you'd like to go to a main
character's specific chapter, type in the phrase:

"[character name] [chapter] [chapter #]"

To get to Geddoe's chapter 2, for example, you'd type "Geddoe chapter 2" then
hit Find Next until you got to the actual content.  Using the Find Tool is a
lot better than scrolling with your mouse or using the Page Up/Down keys.


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2.  Top 10 e-Mail Questions

2a.  What do I get for loading Suikoden II data?

The only things you get for loading Suikoden II data into Suikoden III are two
extra scripts (with plays related to events in Suikoden I and II), boosted
levels for three characters, and references to the names you gave to the heroes
and armies of the previous games.  The Suikoden II data you load must be a save
game after defeating the final boss in that game.  To load Suikoden II data,
insert the PSOne memory card with the data into one of the slots in your PS2
with a PS2 memory card in the other slot.  Access the PS2 browser and copy the
Suikoden II data from the PSOne memory card to the PS2 memory card.  At the
start of Suikoden III you will be prompted to load Suikoden II data and can do
so at that time.  I have written this walkthrough to include the minor
differences if you did or did not load Suikoden II data.

Suikoden II data that meets the requirements for Suikoden III is available for
download via the DexDrive at gamefaqs.  Go to the PSOne/PSX section, then to
Suikoden II, then Game Saves.  The Game Save by CDexter will enable you to get
the Scripts, which is the biggest reason to load Suikoden II data, really.
Download this file to your hard drive, then copy it to a PSOne memory card via
the DexDrive.  AFAIK, the DexDrives for the PSOne and PS2 are NOT compatible.
If you have to spend more than $5 on this endeavor (in terms of getting a PSOne
Memory Card and PSOne DexDrive), it's not worth it, IMO.

Thanks to CDexter for providing the Suikoden II game save.

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2b.  Should I play Suikoden I and II first?

Suikoden III can be enjoyed as a standalone game-its story and characters have
only very minor ties to the previous two games.  I suggest you play Suikoden I
and II moreso because they are great games (better than Suikoden III, IMHO)
rather than as an issue of continuity.  Blue Moon's web site, suikosource.com,
has story summaries of the first two games if you're interested.

In terms of acquiring the old games, your best bet is the bargain bin/used
section of a local retailer.  A couple of friends of mine have been able to get
the old games by asking their local store to hold on to a copy if someone
trades it in.  Your other avenue is ebay or half.com, but I imagine because of
their scarcity you'll have to pay more than the original price.

nihon e-mailed me about a site called gametz.com where you may also be able to
get a copy of Suikoden I and II.  I don't know too much about this site nor
have I ever tried it, but I am including it for those who'd like to look into
it further.  In no way am I endorsing gametz.com or suggesting you go there-I'm
putting it in here mainly because 1/3 of the e-mails I get are related to how
someone can get a hold of the older games outside of ebay or half.com.  Use it
at your own risk.  Thanks to nihon for providing info. about gametz.com.

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2c.  How long does this game take to complete?

If you blew through the game with the sole intent of beating it, probably 40
hours or so.  If you take the time to do all the mini-games, level up, get all
the recruits, etc., it will take at least 60 hours I believe.  I wrote this
Walkthrough as I was playing the game and it took me 52 hours.  Keep in mind
that this was my fourth play through so I knew ahead of time where everything
was, how to get set up for battles, and so forth.

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2d.  All about recruiting

A major gameplay/story device for Suikoden III is the 108 Stars of Destiny.
These are the main figures of the story who determine the ultimate course of
history and the world's fate.  Over the course of the game, you will have the
chance to gather all 108 Stars with your main characters.  The 108 Stars can
be separated into two groups, Automatic Stars and Non-Automatic Stars.  As you
would guess, the Automatic Stars are the recruits who will join you for story
reasons so you won't have to do anything special to get them.  The Non-
Automatic Stars will need to be recruited with some effort and it's possible
you can miss out on getting them.

To start recruiting any of the non-automatic stars, you need to visit Lake
Castle first.  Therefore, Geddoe can start recruiting in his chapter 1, Chris
can start recruiting in her chapter 2, and Hugo can recruit starting in his
chapter 3.  Hugo can technically get 1 recruit in his chapter 2 but for all
intents and purposes, chapter 3 is when he can really start to recruit.
Thanks to SimUser for providing info. on when Hugo can start recruiting.

If you want to get all the Stars of Destiny without having to check this guide
further, recruit Kidd and make use of his Scout option.  Kidd will gather
detailed information for you on how to get all the possible Stars.  It's how I
was able to figure out how to recruit everyone on my own.

An important thing to keep in mind is that you can only use characters with the
person who recruited them until ch. 4.  That is, if you recruit someone in
Geddoe's chapter 1, only Geddoe can put that character into his party until
ch. 4.  Chris and Hugo will not have access to that recruit until then.  If
a recruit is someone who runs a shop, the other characters can still visit
them at their shop but they cannot put them in their party.

You can recruit all the way up until the very last boss battle in ch. 5.  There
is also no restriction on who can recruit who-I suggest a recruiting order in
the actual Walkthrough but there's no one that can't be recruited by Chris,
Hugo, or Geddoe.  If you can't recruit someone because they're either not there
or they're not giving you the option to recruit, just try again in a later
chapter.  Some non-automatic stars will not show up or join until you have
gathered a certain number of recruits (similar to Bob in Suikoden II).

The level of the non-automatic stars is either preset or it's dependent on the
level of the person recruiting them.  Mel, for example, will always be at
level 32 when you recruit her.  Sanae Y, on the other hand, will be 1 level
lower than whoever recruited her.  To avoid too many spoilers, I've put a
complete list of which category the non-automatic stars fall under in section
5e.

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2e.  What skills should my characters learn?

I'm reluctant to answer this since a lot of the fun from the game involves
customizing your roster the way you see fit through the skills system.  I will
go ahead and make a few comments on it, though.  A good "default" skill,
meaning if you don't have any real preference for anything, in the early
chapters is Accuracy.  This is because the SKL stat of your characters is low
at the start and they'll have a hard time hitting enemies with good Repel
rates, especially the Golem bosses.  Later on, this skill isn't real necessary
for characters with SKL stats topping 125.  For the later chapters, two good
default skills are Armor Protect and Magic Resistance.  This mainly applies for
strategy and boss battles.

The best advice I can give you is just to try everything.  You'll have a great
opportunity for this in chapters 4 and 5.  A good method for experimenting is
to gather skill points for your characters then saving before visiting the
Tutor or bujutsu teacher.  Add some skills you want to try out and if you like
them, keep them.  If not, just reload and try something else out.  The game
balances it out so you can never have uberwarriors like McDohl from the first
two Suikodens.  However, with the skills system there's no one in the game you
can't make strong enough to deserve a spot in your regular party.

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2f.  Why do you recommend doing...?

If I don't clearly state why I suggest you do something, it's for spoiler
reasons.  I say it a bunch of times in this Walkthrough but it's worth it-all
my suggestions are just that.  If you've found a better way or rather do it
a different way than I recommend, by all means, do so.  If you'd really like to
know the reason behind a recommendation and don't mind being spoiled about it,
feel free to e-mail me and please be as specific as possible.

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2g.  Agh!  I can't get [Recruit/Item] and I'm going to smash my PS2!

This game can certainly cause a lot of frustration in terms of a few recruits
and rare items you try to pick up.  I don't compare it on the level of some of
the extras in the Final Fantasy series (dodging 200 lightning bolts, anyone?)
but you may hit some rough patches to be sure.  Keep in mind that in MOST cases
you can come back to getting a recruit or an item in a later part of the game.

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2h.  Why can't I go to chapter 4?

In order to proceed to chapter 4, you must complete Geddoe, Chris, and Hugo's
chapter 3's first.  Thomas' chapters are completely optional and you do not
have to play his story to complete the game.  If you want to play Thomas'
story, you must do so before advancing to chapter 4.

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2i.  Why aren't the lottery results switching like you said?

The way I suggest to play the lottery is:

-Buy 10 tickets, 5 sequential and 5 random
-Kill 20-30 minutes of real time by doing random battles, story events, etc.
-Come back to the town with the lottery and SAVE your game
-Check the lottery board
-If the results aren't up yet, go back out and kill 5 minutes then come back,
 SAVE again, then check the results.  Keep repeating this until the results are
 posted
-If you did not get the results you wanted, soft reset by pressing the shoulder
 buttons plus Start & Select then check the results again.  Keep soft resetting
 until you get the desired results

The lottery results are totally random until:

-You check the board
-You talk to the lottery seller, who tells you "Current winning numbers are up"

The numbers will also be set if:

-You waited until the next chapter to check the results
-You waited TWO more lottery periods to check your tickets (i.e. you bought
 tickets for lottery period #1 but don't check until lottery #3 is already up)

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2j.  Where can I get a Statue S?

If you fight the treasure bosses in each character's chapter, eventually you
will get items that are marked ?Statue and ?Figurine.  These items need to be
appraised to find out what they actually are.  You can get items appraised by
visiting Appraisal Shops located at Vinay del Zexay, Duck Village, Chisha, and
Iksay.  Once you recruit the Appraiser you can visit him at Lake Castle to get
this done as well.

I've been able to confirm two guaranteed Statue S from treasure bosses:

-?Statue from first OR second battle with Mt. Path treasure boss, Hex Doll S
-?Statue from first OR second battle with Sindar Ruins treasure boss, usually
 the second time, Dragon Statue S

You can also get a Knight Statue S and a Goddess Statue S by fighting all the
possible treasure bosses at least once during each main characters' chapters.
In addition, you can get a Hex Doll S as a random prize for winning Kathy's
races.  The winning times for each of her races are:

No obstacles:  49-50 secs, default prize is Deer Antler (49.677)
Some obstacles: 49-51 secs, default prize is Mini-Cactus (49.853)
Lots of obstacles:  49-52 secs, default prize is Mini-Cactus (49.677)

These are just estimates based on my experience.  The times in parentheses are
my personal bests.  Start with the no obstacles course and work your way up.
The only strategy I can really give you is to stay to the inside of the track
and don't take really wide turns.  Lame advice, I know, but that's all there
really is to it.

Note that if you use Hugo to run these races and Fubar is in your party, Hugo
will race with Fubar instead of a horse.  The times and prizes I mention are
only with the horse, not Fubar.  To race Hugo without Fubar, just take Fubar
out of your active party.  If you keep getting the default prize more than
twice in a row, then you've exhausted the prizes for that course so try the
next one higher up.  You will eventually get a Hex Doll S in one of the three
races.


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3.  General Questions

3a.  Introduction

This section covers aspects of game play that include and go beyond what's in
the instruction manual as well as some general questions you may have.  If
information on a topic is readily available in the instruction manual, I will
not cover it.  If you're renting this game or borrowing it and don't have the
manual, you'll still be able to complete the game fine with this walkthrough.
The information below is really just supplementary content.  If you feel like
you already have a good grasp of the game mechanics, just skip ahead to the
walkthrough.

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3b.  The Trinity Sight System

Suikoden III employs a gameplay device called the Trinity Sight System.  This
simply means that the overall story is played through the perspective of
several different characters.  At the start of the game, you can elect to
choose the perspective of Hugo, Chris, or Geddoe.  After completing a chapter,
you can continue with that character or switch to somebody else.  That is, you
could choose to do Hugo's chapter 1-3 or alternate chapter 1's or go back and
forth.  This Walkthrough is written as a first play through and goes the route
of alternating characters from one chapter to the next.

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3c.  Why this order of play?

The order of play I have used for this walkthrough is meant for players who are
playing the game for the first time.  This order gives the player the chance to
see as much of the story as possible while being given options for duels and
dialogue choices.  Thomas' chapters are entirely optional and something of an
acquired taste.  I have put his chapters at the end in case the reader tries
out his scenario and doesn't care for it.  Parts of his story WILL be revealed
in the other main characters' stories so if you're the type that hates any
spoilers at all, you should play his chapter 1 after completing Geddoe's
chapter 1.  I have written the walkthrough with this option in mind.  I
actually think people will want to play his chapters more after going through
the suggested order because the events pique their curiosity.

I highly recommend that if you've already played through the game to play each
character's story in blocks (1-3 consecutively for each) the second time
around.  Doing it this way gives you a much better feel for each individual
character and you may be surprised how your opinion of them can change by doing
it this way.

The Trinity Sight System also lends itself to built-in difficulty levels.  In
this way, Chris is the "Easy" mode, Hugo "Medium", and Geddoe "Hard".  I've
used this order for the walkthrough with players who are either new to the
series or new to RPG's in general in mind.

If you want to know my personal opinion of the super-duper, all story, most
minimal spoilers order of play, it would be:

Hugo 1
Chris 1
Geddoe 1
Thomas 1
Chris 2
Hugo 2
Geddoe 2
Hugo 3
Thomas 2
Geddoe 3
Chris 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5

I gave it a lot of thought before deciding the Walkthrough's order and have
chosen the one in section 4.  If you're _really_ curious as to know why I
chose the play/recruiting order for the Walkthrough, go to section 12.  Be
warned that it does contain some spoilers, including a really big one.  The
explanation is meant for people who are at least on chapter 5 already.

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3d.  Skills/Stats

Skills and stats are essential to winning the game so I'm going to take some
time to discuss them in detail.  Skills are abilities that provide specific
benefits for each character.  No character has access to all the skills in the
game and some characters can acquire only a few of them.  Stats are the numeric
measure of the 8 general abilities every character possesses.  You can view a
character's skills and their stats by choosing the status option from the main
options menu.

You can raise a character's stats through two ways-by using Stones that boost
stats (usually by 1-3 points) or the more common way by winning battles to get
experience and raising your level.  Every time your characters go up a level
they will get an increase to their stats.  The amount of experience you gain
per encounter is based on a comparison between your level and the level of the
monster you are fighting, without taking the number of party members into
account.  An example:

You have a party of 4, 3 of them are at level 27 and the other is at level 60.
You face the monster Copper Sun, whose level is 54, and win.  The 3 characters
at level 27 get a few thousand experience points and gain 4 levels each to get
to level 31.  Your level 60 character, however, gets only a handful of
experience points.  Note that you can't see a monster's level (or any of their
other stats for that matter).  The way the AI computes how many experience
points you get _is_ based on this type of formula, though.  I have no idea if
the Copper Sun's level is really 54, but based on how much experience you get
for him, the above example is an accurate analogy.  The amount of experience
and how they're distributed is the same regardless of how many people you had
in your party.

Skills work a little differently.  Each skill that a character can acquire has
levels that tell you how good they are in that skill.  These levels are noted
by a simple grading scale that goes from "E" (practically no talent in that
skill) to "S" (godlike with that skill).  The only way to raise skill levels is
by acquiring skill points then visiting a bujutsu teacher or Tutor to raise the
levels.  A character's ability to activate the skill as well as how powerful
the skill is depends on their grade level.

For example, let's say you have a character with the skill Lightning Magic.  A
character whose rank is a "B" will take about a turn and a half to cast the
Soaring Bolt spell which will do about 900 points of damage.  A character with
similar stats but who has an "A+" in Lightning Magic casting the same spell
will only take a half a turn to get the spell off and will do about 1400 points
of damage.

Another example is if a character has the ability Adrenaline Power.  When a
character's Hit Points reach 0, this skill will bring them back to life, albeit
with only a few Hit Points.  If a character has a "C" in this skill, it will
activate maybe 5-10% of the time.  A character who has an "A+" with similar
stats will activate this skill closer to 30-50% of the time.

The examples I used are based on experience.  Because I don't know the exact
formula for calculating the differences in letter grades, the numbers I used
in the examples are meant only as a general guide.  I _have_ noticed very
dramatic differences between the higher level grades.  That is, there's a big
improvement between going from an "A" to an "A+" and going from an "A+" to an
"S".  Certain skills are also affected by the general stats, such as Swing
being influenced by a character's SPD.

There are two types of skills in the game:  physical and magical.  Physical
skills are learned and improved by visiting a bujutsu teacher.  Magical skills
are likewise the domain of tutors.  There are certain skills that every
character can learn.  Conversely, there are some skills that are available only
to specific characters.  In addition, each character has a natural terminal
grade they can achieve in each skill.  Lastly, each character has a speed
measuring how quickly they can move up in skill level.  Let's take an example
to make sense of this:

Hugo comes with the abilities Swing and Heavy Damage.  The Swing ability can be
learned by any of the characters in the game by going to a bujutsu teacher.  On
the other hand, the Heavy Damage skill cannot be learned by every one and is
activated when a character reaches a certain experience level.  Hugo comes with
it automatically but he has not yet reached the level necessary to activate
another skill, Continual Attack.  Hugo's Swing ability naturally tops out at an
"A".  Because this is a pretty good match for him, he will need to invest
around 750 skill points to reach that "A" level from his starting "E" level.

When you visit a bujutsu teacher or tutor, you can select the "Test" option.
This will give you a general idea of the terminal grade and speed of learning
for a character's skill level.  The comments and what they mean:

-Perfect Match! = S
-Fairly Good Match = A to A+
-Natural Ability Exists = B+
-Average = B
-It Will Take Time = C

I stress the words "general idea"-some characters who test at "Perfect Match!"
will only go up to a B+ and others who test at "It Will Take Time" can go up to
an A+.  The vast majority of the time, however, the test results coincide with
the guide above.

As far as acquiring skill points, each monster you encounter has a set amount
of skill points that they are worth.  After winning a battle, these skill
points are divided up among the surviving party members, regardless of your
experience level.  An example to illustrate:

You have a party of 4 and you face the Twin-Head Snake boss, who is worth 800
skill points.  You defeat it but 2 of your members got knocked out and are
unconscious when you win.  The 2 conscious party members each get 400 skill
points.  If you had been able to win with all 4 party members still conscious,
each member would've gotten 200 skill points.  The amount of skill points and
how they are distributed is the same no matter if you were at level 30 when you
won or if you were at level 60.

The instruction manual has a detailed list of the skills and what they do. For
the purpose of this walkthrough, I will suggest certain skills to learn as well
as point out some other character-specific comments but that's the extent of
it.  Because the general stats aren't described in the instruction manual, I
have listed them below and what they mean:

-PWR (Power):  Measures how much damage you give for a successful melee attack.

-SKL (Skill):  Measures a character's ability to get past an enemy's defenses
to land a successful attack.  Goes hand in hand with the Accuracy skill.

-MGC (Magic):  Primarily measures the number of spells per level and how high
a level of spell a character can cast.  For example, the character below on
the left has a MGC stat of 84 and the character on the right has a stat of
152, both are equipped with a Lightning Rune and neither has any skill in
Lightning Magic.  You can see the difference in the number of spells per level
each can cast and that the character with the higher MGC stat has access to the
4th level spell.

           Character A:           Character B:

Level 1        6                      9
Level 2        3                      6
Level 3        1                      3
Level 4        0                      1

The skills for specific magic, like Fire Magic and Water Magic skill, primarily
measure how fast a spell is cast and how much damage it will do.

-REP (Repel):  Measures a character's natural evade ability to avoid enemy
melee attacks.  Goes with the Repel skill.

-PDF (Physical Defense):  Determines how much damage a character will receive
when an enemy lands a successful melee attack.  Monster characters like Fubar
will have a natural PDF rating since they can't wear armor.  Everyone else's
PDF starts at 0 because this is determined by what armor and accessories they
are wearing.  The skills Armor Protect and Shield Protect will enhance PDF.
Note that some characters can get much more mileage out of armor than others.

-MDF (Magic Defense):  Determines how much damage a character will receive when
an enemy lands a successful magic attack.  The skills Magic Resistance and
Magic Repel can enhance MDF.

-SPD (Speed):  This influences how many physical actions a character can
perform during their turn, specifically running and attacking.  A character
with good speed can run up to an enemy far away and still get off their normal
number of attacks.  Others who are slow will have a hard time just getting into
position to attack or delivering their usual number of hits.  The skills Holy
Dash and Swing can augment speedy characters and aid slower ones.

-LUK (Luck):  Not too sure about this because it's a stat that I haven't paid
much attention to.  Piccolo mentions in the game that characters with low luck
tend to be targeted first by the enemy but I haven't seen enough evidence to
suggest this is definitely true.

You do not acquire skill points through strategy battles, only through the
regular field battles in boss fights and random encounters.  With the exception
of one unique strategy battle, this is also true for experience points.  In
terms of what's more important, skills or stats, my own experience clearly
points to skills.  Using the stat stones trick (described below in part 3n.),
I boosted Chris' REP stat up to 503, with her Repel skill at a "B".  In a
a series of battles, the enemy was still able to hit her a few times.  On the
other hand, Hugo had a REP stat of 169 with a Repel skill at "A+" and he didn't
get hit once in those same battles.  This is just one example, I know, but I'm
very confident that if you have a level 60 character with great stats and only
mediocre skill levels, they're likely to be on par with or below a level 45
character with outstanding skill levels.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
3e.  Support Characters

These are characters who are in your party but do not show up on screen when
you have a random encounter or run into a boss fight.  The instruction manual
provides detailed descriptions of the support skills and what they do so I'm
not going to cover them here.  Note that some characters that are active during
the regular battles, such as Juan and Ace, also have support skills.  While all
support skills provide some benefit, others can also be accessed directly to be
used just like their equivalents at a shop.

For example, Jeane has the Rune Sage support skill.  This benefits spell
casting during battles.  In addition to this, if you access this skill through
the skills option, you can remove and affix runes on your characters just like
you would at a Rune Shop.  Similarly, Juan has the Bujutsu Teacher support
skill.  By accessing this skill, you can test, forget, and get lessons anywhere
at any time as long as Juan is in your party.  There is no way to boost the
skill level of characters who are only support characters.  There's only one
instance I know of where you can boost the support skill of one of the regular
characters, which is Sanae Y's Healing support skill through one of Jefferson's
appointments.

The effects of support skills are not cumulative.  For example, Ace and Martha
both have the Discount support skills.  You can have both of them in your party
at the same time but only the person with the higher grade in the support skill
(in this case Martha) will have any effect.

For those characters who have either the Tutor or Bujutsu Teacher support
skill, the grades for these abilities only affect battle encounters.  That is,
regardless of the grade, if you access these skills to Learn, Forget, or Test
skills it's all the same.  For example, Ernie has a higher grade in Tutor than
Nadir.  If you have her in your party during random battles, she does a better
job of aiding your magic attacks than Nadir.  However, if you were to access
the Tutor skill from the main Skills option, their abilities in Lesson, Forget,
and Test are completely the same-you would not have to invest more skill points
to learn a skill from Nadir than you would from Ernie or anything else related
to skills.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
3f.  Runes and Magic

All magical ability in Suikoden III revolves around runes.  Basically, magical
power is stored in rune crystals.  Rune sages can unseal the crystals and
embed characters with the runes inside and the magical properties that come
with them.  A description of 12 of the major runes in the game is included in
the instruction manual.  I will note the relevant runes as they come up during
the course of the walkthrough.  As a general rule, I'm heavily biased against
using Fire and Earth Magic.  The first because it has a tendency to hit your
own party members and the latter because it's virtually useless until very late
in the game.

The only way to replenish your spells is by resting at an Inn and when story
elements dictate (usually when a chapter turns over).

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
3g.  Battle Formation/The Pairs System

When you access the formation screen from the main options menu, it shows 7
slots like this:

                       ------
                       ------
                      (Pair 1, bottom left on battle screen)
                       ------
                       ------
                      (Pair 2, middle on the battle screen)
                       ------
                       ------
                      (Pair 3, top right on battle screen)
------
(Support Character)

You can have up to six party members in your group plus one support person.
The pairs system means that during a random encounter or boss battle, you will
give only 3 commands for all six characters.  You never give commands during a
battle to support characters.  Item use is restricted to each individual pair.
That is, someone in Pair 1 can never use Medicine or a similar item on someone
who is in Pair 2 or 3.  This also dictates that it's a bad idea to pair 2
magic users together.  Since you can only give one command to both of them per
turn, you negate their ability to both cast spells during the same turn.

By pairing certain characters together, you can access combos.  These combos
range from the 2-person variety all the way to combos that involve up to 5
characters.  In addition, you can pair 3 characters with their mounts in order
to form a mounted unit.  To not spoil anything, I will mention these characters
in turn during the course of the walkthrough.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
3h.  Strategy Battles

These battles represent confrontations between entire armies rather than the
random/boss battles involving small groups.  Strategy battles are initiated
only by the story, meaning there are no "random" strategy battles in the game.
Each strategy battle has a specific goal given to you, such as staying alive
for [X] amount of turns or defeating a certain enemy unit.  Depending on how
well you did in accomplishing the given goal, you may receive loot afterwards.
You do not receive skill points for fighting these battles.  With the exception
of the first strategy battle in Chris' chapter 1 (which involves the level 99
trick), you do not gain experience or levels either.

The most important thing to note about these strategy battles is that certain
characters can die permanently in them.  The way you can tell if someone has
died forever is if they meet ALL the following criteria:

-They are not a unit leader
-Their HP are reduced to 0 _and_ the unit leader's HP were reduced to 0 in
 the same field battle
-They have a dialogue box after the battle and say something.  This comes after
 the unit leader's dialogue box which always pops up if a unit is defeated

If a character dies permanently in these strategy battles, you will not receive
the 108 Stars of Destiny bonus at the end of the game and you can't use them in
your party again.  One of the options for the formation setup screen, which I
discuss in detail later in this section, is Story VIPs.  To see if someone is
vulnerable to dying permanently in battle, select this option then Confirm.
The characters that get switched into the Reserve boxes are the ones that can
die forever in the strategy battles.  Note that the Story VIPs can change from
battle to battle.

The actual gameplay for these battles is highly simplified.  The battlefield is
represented by a group of circles connected together by dotted lines.  The
starting position of your Army units and the enemy's is preset before each
battle.  Actions are turn-based, meaning you will do everything you want with
your units then end your turn then the AI will do the same.  You can only give
1 command to each unit per turn.  When a unit is moved into a circle occupied
by an opposing unit, a field battle will commence.  The field battle screen is
the same as those for random/boss battles, except you only have commands to
Attack, Defend, and Retreat.  The field battle ends if 1 of the 3 occurs:

1.  A unit leader's HP is reduced to 0 or
2.  A unit chooses the retreat option or
3.  Three turns elapse and 1 or 2 did not occur

From the main battlefield screen, you will have the option to Move (the Boot
symbol), Defend (the Shield symbol), or use a Special Skill (the Lightning Bolt
symbol).  Moving is self-explanatory.  Choosing Defend will reduce a unit's
damage taken by 1/2 if they're attacked and get into a field battle.  Special
skills are various offensive and defensive abilities that affect entire units.
Certain characters on your roster possess these skills.  The most notable
Special Skills are:

-Lightning.  Reduces each member of a target unit's HP by 1/3.  Affects only
 one individual unit and has a range of two connected circles.
-Fire.  Reduces each member of a target unit's HP by 1/5.  Affects ALL units in
 the target circle and has a range of one connected circle.
-Water.  Heals all of a unit's HP and has a range of one connected circle.
-Heal.  Heals 1/2 of each member's HP in the target unit.  Can only be cast on
 a unit in the same circle.

Some battlefield circles also have effects.  To check what these effects may
be, move the pointer over a circle.  Some Plains circles, for examples, heal
the HP of an occupying unit.  You can view what comprises an enemy unit by
placing the pointer over them and hitting X.  If more than one enemy unit is
stacked together on the same circle, you can switch to the one you want to
target/view by hitting X then moving the D-Pad left or right.

If you're able to flank an enemy unit, you can put your teams into a Cover
position.  When you do this, you bolster the damage down by the attacking unit
who's being covered.  The more units covering from different circles, the more
damage.  Each cover unit bolsters damage done by about 50%.  Putting units into
a Cover position does not influence the Retreat success of the enemy nor does
it bolster your attacking units' defense.  In the strategy battles in chapters
4 and 5, moving your units into Cover positions can mean the difference between
Victories and Major Victories.

During the actual field battle, you have three available commands:  Attack,
Defend, and Retreat.  If you choose Attack, your unit will do just that.
However, you have no control over their actions after that, meaning you can't
choose who they attack, what type of attack they will use, or anything else.
Choosing Defend will boost your characters' defenses as they normally would in
a regular battle.  Unless your characters are stunned or unbalanced, there is
no reason to ever choose the Defend option.  Retreat will cause your unit to
leave the field.  Most of the time when you do this, the enemy will get a free
turn to attack you.  Note that you cannot Retreat if there is no open circle to
go to on the main strategy battle screen.

Before most, but not all, strategy battles you will talk to either Salome or
Caesar and they will ask you to organize your units.  This screen is different
from the main formation screen used for regular/boss battles.  You will be
given the options of Alter, Auto, Story VIPs, and AllReserve.  Alter allows you
to swap your characters around.  Auto allows the AI to organize your units for
you.  NEVER pick this option.  Story VIPs will put all characters who can die
permanently in the upcoming strategy battle into reserve to keep them safe.
AllReserve will empty all the units out except the unit commanders.  A very
important thing to remember about organizing your units is that after you tell
Salome or Caesar that you're ready to battle, you cannot go back to change the
formation again.  As long as you tell them to wait or you're not ready to
proceed, you can talk to them again to change the formation.

In terms of individual unit formation, it looks like this:

-------- (Slot 1)
-------- (Slot 2)
-------- (Slot 3)
-------- (Slot 4)
-------- (Support)

Like in regular/boss battles, the Support character does not show up on the
field battle screen but provides some benefit to the unit.  Slot 1 will be at
the front of the unit on the field battle screen and will be the first choice
of an enemy attack.  This changes if you have special runes or items that
affect the enemy's choice of target such as Blue Ribbons, Skunk Runes, and
Firefly Runes.  Slot 4 is usually occupied by the unit leader.  The unit
leader's position can never be changed.  Slots 1 & 2 and slots 3 & 4 are
considered pairs to a certain extent.  No unite attacks or mounted units will
be in effect but how each character reacts will still be dictated by the pairs
system.  That is, if you place a Berserker type character who always attacks
into Slot 3, they will drag up the person in Slot 4 with them, just like if
they're paired in a regular or boss battle.

This watered down version of the pairs system affects your formation choice in
a few ways.  First, the person in Slot 1 should have good defense and, if at
all possible, high attack skills as well.  This is because they're usually the
first person to attack as well as be attacked.  If the unit leader is in Slot
4, it's a bad idea to put a magic user or archer in Slot 3.  This is because
the enemy always starts far away from you in the field battle and only the
fastest unit leaders will be able to drag up the magic user/archer with them.
Slot 2 is the best for magic users and archers since it's close enough to the
enemy to allow the person in Slot 1 to still attack.

The best way to ensure your success in these strategy battles is to train up
and properly equip the characters who will participate in them.  It's really
not more complicated than that until the game's last strategy battle.
Strategies are provided for each of the battles in the Walkthrough itself and
in section 9.

The most useful items for strategy battles are Sacrificial Jizos, Firefly
Runes, Skunk Runes, and Haziness Runes.  Sacrificial Jizos need to be equipped
in a character's personal inventory.  They essentially add 1/3 of the wearer's
HP to their total HP.  For example, a character with 300 HP wearing a
Sacrificial Jizo would really have 400 HP.  When a character's HP are reduced
to 0, the Jizo will activate and restore that 1/3 of HP back.  However, if a
character receives a damage amount that exceeds what the Jizo can provide, they
will still get knocked out.  To take the above example further, let's say the
wearer is down to 100 HP.  They get hit for 400 HP of damage--200 HP more than
what the Jizo provides for.  They would then get knocked out.  However, if they
got hit for exactly 200 HP, they would get 100 HP back and not get knocked out.
This is not the exact formula for Jizos, but it is an accurate analogy.  Jizos
are active during strategy battles and you can equip up to three of them on one
person.

Firefly Runes make the wearer the first choice of an enemy attack.  This is
invaluable when placed on a Tank (characters who receive very little damage
from melee attacks).  Because most of the field battles involve melee attacks,
the enemy will go after the Tank first and ignore everyone else, even if the
rest of the Tank's unit is ripping them to shreds.  You can recruit someone who
has a removable Firefly Rune.  In Thomas' chapters 1 and 2, the Purple Creepers
in the North Cavern drop them.

Skunk Runes are the opposite of Firefly Runes.  The wearer is the last choice
of an enemy melee attack.  This is not a 100% guarantee, though.  I have found
that it's fairly effective but I highly recommend that you don't take the
approach of equipping everyone except a Tank with a Skunk Rune.  I just haven't
seen this work consistently enough.  It is a good choice for more vulnerable
characters, though.  Skunk Runes can be bought at the Duck Village Rune Shop
from chapter 3 onward.  Blue Ribbons are an accessory that function like Skunk
Runes but have a higher rate of success.  Only females can wear them.  They are
a Rarity at the Duck Village Item Shop from chapter 3 onward.

Haziness Runes improve the wearer's chances of evading an enemy melee attack.
I've probably fought around 50 strategy battles and these Runes activate quite
often, probably around 1/4 to 1/3 of the time.  Best used for characters with
low HP or bad defense but who are really good attackers.  It seems to activate
more often for characters with good Repel, Armor Protect, Shield Protect, and
Parry skills.  They are a Rarity at the Duck Village and Le Buque Item Stores
from chapter 3 onward.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
3i.  Duels

Duels are one-on-one contests where you are given 3 options:  Defend, Attack,
or Deathblow.  It's a rock-paper-scissors type battle with an advantage meter
thrown in.  Basically:

When your Enemy does:         You Should:

Attack                        Deathblow
Defend                        Attack
Deathblow                     Defend

You'll note a small green circle at the bottom near the duel gauge.  This
indicates a DISadvantage.  That means if the circle is under your character's
portrait, your enemy has the upper hand.  In this case, the usual rules above
will be bent somewhat in favor of the person with the advantage.  For example,
normally if you Deathblow when your enemy Attacks, you take no damage.  On the
other hand, if they have the advantage, they will still get in an Attack and
cause you damage.  Therefore, if the advantage is totally in your favor, you
have some leeway to make a mistake and not pay for it.  It works the other way
as well.

An important thing to remember about duels is that some Runes that affect your
status will be in effect when you duel.  This can be good in the case if you
have something like a Fury Rune or very bad if you forgot to remove that
Hunter Rune you were messing around with.  I've covered every winnable duel in
the game to let you know what your enemy's comments mean so you can counter
accordingly.  I probably have missed a few of the comments but have supplied
more than enough so you can win every duel.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
3j.  Character Types

Each character has a personality "type" that describes their tendency in
battle.  The manual describes these tendencies on page 24.  The vast majority
of your non-support characters are Offensive Fighters.  The two classes to note
are Berserkers and Magic Users.  Berserkers will always attack even if you give
them the Defend command.  Magic Users are the opposite--they almost never do a
melee attack even if you give them the Attack command.  This is especially true
for Magic Users if they're paired with someone else.  To avoid spoilers, I have
noted which characters are Berserkers and Magic Users in the 108 Stars of
Destiny section.  When I make suggestions for formations in the walkthrough, I
take the various character types into account.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
3k.  Treasure bosses

During the course of the game, you will run into monsters that are guarding
treasure chests.  Each of these treasure bosses are located in a specific area
and by the end of the game there are 6 of them in all.  When you defeat the
boss, there's usually around 2-24 items in the chest plus a nice cash reward.
If you loot the entire contents of a chest, that treasure boss will re-spawn
after about 30-45 minutes, with more loot in the chest and more cash.  If you
don't loot all the contents, it will take _much_ longer for the treasure boss
(and his treasure) to re-appear, usually at least a few hours.  There are
benefits to doing one or the other depending on whether or not you want to
keep fighting a certain boss.

The location of the treasure bosses and the earliest chapter they appear for
each character in parentheses:

1.  Mt. Hei-Tou, Geddoe (1), Chris (2), Hugo (3)
2.  North Cavern, Geddoe (2), Chris (2), Hugo (3), Thomas (1)
3.  Mt. Path, Geddoe (1), Chris (3), Hugo (3)
4.  Mt. Senai, Geddoe (2), Chris (4), Hugo (4)
5.  Hideaway, All (3)
6.  Cyndar Ruins, All (5)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
3l.  Recipes, Old Books, Medal Sets, Antiques, Bath Items, and Scripts

-Once you recruit the chef character in the game, you can give this person the
Recipes you find from corpses, treasure bosses, and lottery prizes.  With these
recipes and the right spices, you can put together usable food items that heal
Hit Points as well as put your character into various states.

-Once you get the librarian character, you can give them Old Books and read
them.  The Old Books contain various information such as a bestiary, listing
where to find rare items, histories on the Suikoden world, and so forth.

-Once you get the Appointer, you can give him Medal Sets.  These Sets contain
Titles (like "Top Commander") that give boosts to your characters' skills such
as Accuracy, Swing, etc.

-Antiques include Paintings, Statues (big and small), and Figurines such as
vases and urns.  You can place all these items for display at Lake Castle.  To
place a Painting, walk up to an empty picture frame and hit X.  To display
Statues, go up the stairs to the 2nd floor and go to the first room on the
left.  This is the statue room with several pedestals where you can place the
Statues.  For Figurines, walk up to any of the desks inside the Castle and hit
X to display them.  Most of the time when you first get an antique, it will
have a ? symbol next to it, meaning it needs to be identified first.  Take the
item to an appraiser shop and they will identify it for you.

-Once you get the bath character, you can take a soak in the bath house at Lake
Castle.  If you equip your character with a bath item, you will see different
effects while in the bath house.

-Once you get the theater director, you can put on plays at Lake Castle.  The
director comes with one script but you can find others to give him to perform
different plays.

As I stated earlier, this walkthrough isn't intended to grab all these items.
I haven't included it because Ryvius' FAQ here on gamefaqs covers it quite
comprehensively.  During the course of the walkthrough, you will get most of
the items but I don't make it a point to get _all_ of them.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
3m.  What's the Chris Level 99 trick?  Should I do it?

This trick was first posted by Blue Moon at his site, suikosource.com.  Many
thanks to him for graciously permitting me to include it in this Walkthrough
with some of my own additions.

As the question title suggests, this is a gameplay trick that allows the player
to get Chris up to level 99.  Like past Suikoden games, the ceiling experience
level is around 60 for Suikoden III.  That is, when you reach level 60 you'll
only gain a few experience points for even the toughest random battles.  As for
the trick itself, there's a battle that Chris can win in her chapter 1 that
gives her a boost of 2 experience levels every time she wins it.  This boost is
still given even at the highest levels so it overcomes the ceiling problem for
her.

In terms of should or should you not do it, here's some pros and cons:

Pros:
-----

1.  Allows you to get up to 16 characters at level 99 or very close to it
2.  Along with #1, this means you get to see these characters at their maxed
    out stat levels.  One big benefit of this is that Chris will be able to
    cast level 4 spells
3.  Makes most strategy battles ridiculously easy
4.  You can breeze through Chris' chapters in terms of random battles as well
    because she can win most of them outright or Let Go of them

Cons:
-----

1.  Removes a lot of the challenge out of the game
2.  Takes a good 12-20 hours to complete
3.  Is extremely tedious, as you'll be viewing the same cutscene and fighting
    the same battles ad nauseum
4.  It's difficult at the outset to do and the frustration level can be very
    high, especially watching the AI cost you the win over and over again by
    controlling your units in the stupidest ways possible

It's up to you if you want to try it.  I'm not one of those people who say that
it's cheating or you're taking advantage of a game loophole.  It's YOUR game
that you paid for so you should play it any way you darn well please.  I didn't
do it until my second playthrough and thought it was worth it because it
allowed me to try some things that would not have been possible otherwise.  I
will never do it again though because it's just too tedious and time consuming.
You absolutely do NOT need to do it to win any of the battles in the game.
Practically all of them are still relatively easy as long you prepare for them.

I cover the trick in-depth below and it does contain some minor story spoilers
for Chris' chapter 1 & 2 so be warned.  *Please* read through the whole section
on how to do the trick before e-mailing me about something.  The trick as it
was originally posted by Blue Moon can be found here:

http://suikosource.com/games/gs3/secrets/level.php

Before actually doing the trick in Chris' chapter 1, do these things:

-Get a radio, CD, or MP3 player.  You're going to need it later while doing the
 trick or there's a good chance you will die from boredom.  If you see this
 light and a dead relative beckoning to you, it's time to put down your
 controller and step slowly away from the console.

-When you get Borus, Salome, and Roland in your party, go to the Vinay del
 Zexay Guild Hall.  Upgrade all of your equipment possible, including Winged
 Boots, Fine Helms, and Fine Casques.  Sell any of the old gear you replaced.
 If they have better Chainmail for Roland, buy that for him, too.  Remove
 Roland's Great Hawk Rune.  Buy a Sacrificial Jizo for everyone but don't equip
 them.  Leave the Guild Hall and buy 3 Earth Runes at the regular Rune Shop but
 only affix one to Salome.

-Exit VdZ and go to Brass Castle.  Head east to get a cutscene.  After that,
 go to the east courtyard for another cutscene.  Go up to the knights' parlor
 and talk to Salome.  Put Roland and Borus in your party.
 
-Head back to the east courtyard and sharpen their weapons to level 8.  If they
 have Flame Amulets at the Item Stand, buy those for Roland and Chris and
 replace their Gauntlet/Power Gloves with it.  Go to the inn and SAVE.

-Go to Chris' room and tell Louis you want to rest.  An extended cutscene will
 follow and a strategy battle will commence.

This is it-winning this battle by eliminating all the enemy units will boost
Chris, Roland, Borus, and Salome's levels by 2 every time.  It is next to
impossible to actually win this battle the first time you play it--a reasonable
level for your characters at this point is level 23.  You'll need to be at
least level 32 to win it and I recommend being at level 34.  Therefore, the
first time you get into this battle, just go for the Safe Retreat with this
strategy:

-During the first turn, move Roland and the other Zexen unit into the same
 circle as Chris.  End your turn.  During the Grasslanders' turn, Lucia and
 Beecham will show up with some Karaya Units.  Salome will then suggest you
 break through.  Use Roland's unit to attack the Karayan Unit (Unit #12) that's
 blocking your exit.  If you didn't win, or somehow lost, send the mounted unit
 (Unit #4) after them.  This should take out the Karayan Unit.  Send Chris into
 the now empty circle that the Karayans were occupying.  Defend with the
 remaining Zexen units.  The Grasslanders will no doubt attack you in the next
 turn.  Just pick the retreat option.  You'll get attacked most of the time but
 should make it into Chris' circle without much problems.  When your turn comes
 up again, move any of the Zexen units into the exit circle (it doesn't have to
 be Chris' unit).  This will conclude the strategy battle.

You will end up at Plain Amur.  Do NOT save on this screen or exit north on the
mini-map.  Stay on this screen and fight the random battles until you get to
at least level 32.  As I stated earlier, I recommend level 34 at least or even
better 35 if you have the patience.  This will take you a good few hours
because after you reach level 30, the amount of experience points you get will
drop off dramatically.  Your best bets for experience are the Dark Hares and
the Troll Dragon rare encounter.

Once you reach the level you want, remove everyone's armor/accessories and
discard them.  Don't worry because you'll be getting it all back soon.  Die
from a random battle.  When you get to the Continue screen, choose No Way!
You will be back at the Brass Castle inn with your levels and skill points
intact from the random battles at Plain Amur.  Go talk to the Bujutsu Teacher
to bump up your skills.  The most important to get are Swing for all of them
and Armor Protect for Chris and Borus.  After that, Accuracy, Heavy Damage, and
Damage.  NEVER bump up their Repel or Parry skills.  Equip the Sacrificial
Jizos you got earlier on them.  Affix the Earth runes you got earlier on Chris
and Roland.

From here on out, you will repeat the following steps until you get to level 99
or however high you want to get Chris' level:

-Save at the Brass Castle inn.  Talk to Louis and pick Rest.

-When the strategy battle starts, your goal is now to win it.  An important
 thing to keep in mind is that only Chris has to survive to win.  You can lose
 everyone else, including Borus, and still get the victory.  Also, Chris' unit
 will get HP back (about 1/5) for each member of her unit at the start of her
 turn.  Dupa is the most dangerous because of his Fury rune.  Removing Lucia
 ASAP is the key to winning.  Without her, the enemy can only move 3 units a
 turn.  Because Chris is the most important unit, everyone else is just fodder.

-Here's a diagram for the areas of note:

                                A-----B
                               /  \    \
                              /    \    Exit
                             /      \
                            C ------ D

 During your first turn, move Chris and Unit #4 into circle D.  Move Roland and
 the other Zexen unit into circle A.  Use Chris' unit if you get attacked in
 circle D.  During the next turn, send Roland's unit to circle B to clear out
 the Karayan unit and send Chris' unit into circle D.  Almost always the AI
 will use Lucia to meet her.  If you were able to take down Lucia, congrats--
 this battle is now 100x easier.

-Whether or not Lucia went down, your strategy now is to maintain at least
 circles A & B so you'll have a safe place to retreat.  Note that you can move
 off circle B once you touch it and it will still count as an occupied circle.

-Once Lucia is gone, the enemy can only move 3 units a turn, making it a lot
 easier to shuffle your troops around so that Chris can attack and take attacks
 until her HP get low.  You can then use another unit to take an attack for her
 until she gets HP back at the start of your turn.  The first time I won this
 battle, I had to retreat my units all the way to circle B and only Chris was
 left standing at the end.

-Later on when your levels are higher, instead of retreating to circles A & B,
 take out all the enemy units SE of circle D.  By maintaining circles A & D,
 you put your teams in a Cover position to attack the enemy in circle C.

-If it looks like you definitely won't win, just go for the Safe Retreat again.
 At Plain Amur, get some more skill points and levels if you didn't already get
 to level 34.  With a Swing grade of B and in the low 30's level, Chris will
 get two attacks/turn.  Getting this is critical to winning the actual strategy
 battle.  Once you get the levels you want at Plain Amur, die again and repeat.

-If you were able to wipe out all the Grasslanders, move any of the surviving
 units to the Exit.  Your party will chat and you'll get the message that
 Chris, Borus, Roland, and Salome gained two levels.

-At Plain Amur, discard all their armor and gear.  Die in a random battle and
 repeat from the top, starting with saving at the inn.

Now for the dying part in detail.  Once all their armor is gone, you'll want to
find a random battle with a Wild Boar.  Anyone else will take you much longer
to die, especially once you get to the 50's level or so.  I recommend this
formation for your troops:

Chris
-----
Borus
-----
Roland
Salome

Have Chris and Roland cast the 3rd level Earth Magic spell and have Borus cast
the 2nd level Sword of Magic spell.  Casting these spells will make your party
totally vulnerable to attacks.  For every turn thereafter, choose to recast the
Earth spells with Chris and Roland so they start over again--doing this will
prevent them from ever getting off their spells and keep them vulnerable.  For
Borus, once he runs out of the 2nd level Sword of Magic spell, choose to grab
an item from the bag.  You can do this 3 times if you emptied out his item
slots and have some Medicine in the main inventory.  If he's still alive after
doing that, just have him defend.  Once Roland's gone, have Salome cast any
Earth Magic spell that takes more than 1 turn to complete.  Keep doing this
until everyone dies.

Once you reach higher levels, in the mid-40's or so, the strategy battle can be
won with just Chris.  In addition, Borus and Roland will be a big help once
they're leveled up and you can use Roland's unit to help out with the attacks.
Also, in the low 60's level, Roland will get 2 attacks a turn if his Swing is a
B.  At that time, put the Great Hawk Rune back on him.

To see which characters you should recruit with Chris so their levels are also
around 99, check section 5e.

There's an alternate way to doing a part of this trick that can save you a
couple of hours.  The only drawback to this method is that Salome will not go
up to level 99 like the others.  Instead, he'll be about 12-16 levels lower.
To do it this alternate way, the first time you get to Plain Amur (after the
Safe Retreat) go up to level 28, which shouldn't take too long by fighting the
Dark Hares.

Leave Plain Amur and go to Karaya to proceed with the story.  Keep progressing
with the story until you end it by going to Chris' house in VdZ.  When you get
to the Trinity Site, pick Chris' chapter 2.  DO NOT SAVE at any time--your last
save should still be the one at the Brass Castle inn.  Keep proceeding with
Chris' chapter 2 until after the knights have had dinner and Chris gives them
their new orders.  The next day, talk to Salome and choose organize formation.
Put Borus and Roland in your party.

Fight random battles at Yaza Plain.  In about 15-20 minutes, you'll be at level
34.  You can spend another 10 minutes out there and get to level 36.  Once you
reach the level you want, discard all their armor and die.  Make sure Borus and
Roland are in your party when you die.  Select No Way! at the Continue screen
and you'll be back at the Brass Castle inn in chapter 1 with your boosted
levels/skills.

Doing it this way will save you at least an hour or two from leveling all the
way up to the mid-30's level at Plain Amur.  With this method, from the time
you get to level 28 at Plain Amur until you die will not take more than an
hour and 15 minutes.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
3n.  What's the stat stones trick?

This trick takes advantage of the same gameplay mechanism that makes the Chris
level 99 trick work.  Save your game with some Stat Stones in your inventory.
Use the Stat Stones to boost some stats.  Die, then select No Way! when you're
asked if you want to give up.  When you continue from the save point, you will
still have the Stat Stones along with the boosted stats.  Keep repeating as
many times as you want.  As I mentioned in the Skills/Stats section, it appears
that Skills are much more important than Stats.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
3o.  I need money and lots of it!

The best way to earn money early in the game with Hugo, Geddoe, and Thomas is
through the lottery.  Later on, treasure boss monsters are the best way to go
for Geddoe and Hugo.  Chris starts with 200,000 potch so money isn't really an
issue for her.  Later on in the game (chapter 4) you'll have the opportunity to
acquire the Prosperity Set, a group of items that includes the Tunic of
Prosperity, the Prosperity Hat, and the Prosperity Ring.  I have described this
method in detail in the Walkthrough.  Full credit for the Prosperity Set method
goes to Abraxas from the gamefaqs message board who first posted about it.

As for the lottery, buy 5 Sequential tickets and 5 Random tickets.  The lottery
results turn over every 20-50 minutes of real time.  BEFORE checking the
results on the lottery board, save your game.  Check the board and if you did
not get the prize you wanted, soft reset by pressing all shoulder buttons along
with Start and Select.  Check the board and keep repeating until you get what
you want.  On average, it takes me 5-10 minutes before getting the 2nd prize
(100,000 potch).  I've hit the 500,000 prize a few times.  I have never hit the
grand prize so I don't know what it is.

sim st-pierre e-mailed me with this helpful tip to get money in chapters 4-5:

"hi, i checked a bit ur walkthrough. i just want to say that when it comes to 
money, there's something really really easy to do. with the trade centers. 
simply buy a lot of gold bars and pearls. lets say 15 gold bars and 30 
pearls. gold bars can be bought at caleria and vinay del zexay and pearls at 
budehuc and another place. anyway, get as much as u can and go to caleria.( 
for the pearls, if u can have the rumor about a town being a sea 
something,cant remember, u can get a lot of pearls for less than 10000)

sell all ur gold bar and buy all the pearls at caleria(do the oposite if 
gold bars are low, 25000 and below) well when u come back in, lets say, 10 
minutes, the ones u sold will be pretty low(gold bars are suposed to be 
15000 and pearls are 13333, depends which u sold) and the other should be 
high. anyway i was doing, one time i was selling my gold bar a around 60000 
and buying the pearls at 13333, and when i come back, i was selling my 
pearls at 30000 and buying my gold bars at 15000. so with not much time, u 
can get a lot of money. if u want u can do the same thing with deer antlers, 
then are sold a 2500 and bought at 7000-10000.

the trick is that the trade is having a lot of one item so they drop the 
price and when its very low u buy it, after it will rise greatly. takes not 
much time for the price to change. so u do something, u teleport to caleria, 
u buy/sell u come back. takes about 10 minutes for each set of cash. i was 
doing this at the same time i was forging everyone and equiping after. it 
works as long as u want, the game is too stupid. (at one point, i had 25 
gold bars and 40 pearls, i was selling like 23 goldbars and i had 1 million 
this include the rebuy of the pearls. same thing with pearls, selling 35 and 
had 1 million with the rebuy of the gold bars.)

this is the easiest and fastest way i think to make money, because the card 
games sucks.  u get the hang of it pretty fast(i had the pearls and gold bars
accumulated since the beginning of the game.)"

Thanks to sim st-pierre for this tip.

The method I have laid out in the Walkthrough is to play the lottery in the
early chapters then get money by way of treasure bosses from chapter 3 onward.
With this method, I _never_ had to play Mike at Kabu to get cash.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
3p.  I was just walking around minding my own business, then the screen
     turned yellow and this funny music played and this monster killed me!

Yes, you ran into a rare encounter.  On most of the areas where random battles
can occur, there is a monster that will show up about 5-10% of the time.  You
can tell because the screen will fade out in white and yellow before going to
the battle screen.  The bad news is that these monsters are usually super tough
and can wipe out your entire party pretty easily.  The good news is that
they're worth a ton of skill points and give a nice load of cash.  I will
mention these as they come up in the Walkthrough section.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
3q.  Looting corpses

It used to be you got random treasure by finding treasure chests in the
Suikoden world but I suppose Konami thought it was unrealistic that shiny metal
treasure boxes were just lying around everywhere.  Instead, they've replaced
the treasure chests with corpses you can loot.  Amazingly enough, after you
loot these corpses someone else will come around and die in the exact same
spot, leaving more loot!  I like to think they were philanthropists who just
continue to give from the great beyond.

Most of the time, the first item you can get for looting a corpse is a fixed
item.  After that, the item is random.  I'm quite sure although not 100% that
the items you can get rotate after 30-45 minutes.  That is, it doesn't work
like the lottery where you can save your game, check the corpse, then re-load
if you didn't get what you want.  Instead, the random items that are there just
naturally turn over after a period of time.

Some of the better runes and items you can get will be found as random items
on the corpses, but they're very rare.  I will note the good stuff in the
course of the Walkthrough section.  Hugo and Geddoe can loot any time all the
time.  Chris takes some time to get over her squeaky clean image and will loot
corpses from her chapter 3 onward.  Thomas will never loot corpses but I love
trying to get him to do it anyway because he says, "What? Oh, cruel world!"
which never fails to crack me up (it reminds me of an associate over in the
English department).

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
3r.  What's a Tank?

The term "Tank" was coined a while ago to describe characters who take very
little damage from physical attacks.  These characters were ideal for putting
on the front line to absorb enemy attacks.  In Suikoden III, the value of these
characters has been drastically increased because of certain skills and runes.
Specifically, the skills Armor Protect, Shield Protect, and Adrenaline Power.
The first two skills are self-explanatory and the third automatically revives
a character if their HP go down to 0.  Characters like Leo and Fred can go up
pretty far with Adrenaline Power and one of Jefferson's appointments will boost
this grade by two levels.

With regard to runes, Firefly and Double-Strike are of particular note.  The
Firefly Rune makes the wearer the first choice of enemy attacks.  In strategy
battles where most of the attackers do melee damage, a Tank with Firefly can
take all the hits while the rest of your party destroys the enemy.  It's the
same in boss battles where the enemy primarily deals melee damage.  The Double-
Strike Rune multiplies the damage given and received by 2 for the wearer.
Because Tank characters receive 0 or 1 damage from physical attacks, this Rune
only benefits them without the inherent penalty from melee damage.

The primary drawback to Tank characters is they generally have horrible magic
defense, and this is true for the most part in Suikoden III.  In addition,
they generally can't equip more than 1 Rune even at the highest levels (60+).
Finally, their speed is usually way below average or just plain average,
meaning they will never get more than 1 or 2 attacks per turn.  This speed
problem is made worse if your enemy is lined up far away and your characters
have to run a long way to attack them.

To avoid spoilers, I have denoted which characters are Tanks in section 5.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
3s.  What are the Armor Sets and what do they do?

There are five Armor Sets in Suikoden III.  When a complete set is equipped on
a character in the active party, it gives certain bonuses.  The sets and what
they do:

-Prosperity Set.  Includes Prosperity Hat, Tunic of Prosperity, and Prosperity
 Ring.  Money from battles is x7.  The Hat is a Rarity at Chisha's Armor Shop.
 Estella comes with it.  The Tunic is a random prize for the 5,000 bet in
 Billy's card game.  The Ring is a Rarity at Chisha's Item Shop.  Placing
 someone with the support skill Potch Finder into the party raises the amount
 of potch received further.

-Destiny Set.  Includes Crown of Destiny, Robe of Destiny, and Gloves of
 Destiny.  Money from battles is x3.  The Crown is a Rarity at the Great Hollow
 Armor Shop.  Estella comes with the Robe.  The Gloves are a Rarity at the
 Caleria Armor Shop.  Chris automatically gets them at the end of her chapter
 2.  Placing someone with the support skill Potch Finder into the party raises
 the amount of potch received further.

-Pale Moon Set.  Includes Pale Moon Casque, Pale Moon Leather, and Pale Moon
 Necklace.  Adds 25% of melee damage done back to HP.  For example, if you hit
 for 240 pts. of damage, you get 60 HP back.  The Casque is a Rarity at the Le
 Buque Armor Stand.  Landis also comes with it.  The Leather is a prize for
 Kathy's races.  The Necklace is a Rarity at the Le Buque Item Stand.  It can
 also be won as a random prize for Kathy's races.

-Guardian Set.  Includes the Guardian Casque, Guardian Chainmail, and Guardian
 Shield.  Boosts Counterattack rate.  Yumi and Yuiri come with the Casque.  The
 Chainmail is a Rarity at the Caleria Armor Shop.  The Shield is a Rarity at
 the Vinay del Zexay Guild Hall Armor Stand.  Mua also comes with it.

-Mole Set.  Includes the Mole Helm, Mole Armor, Mole Shield, and Mole Gloves.
 Makes squishy noises when you walk and may boost the occurrence of random
 battles (not sure).  The Helm is a random item for the Magician treasure boss
 in Thomas' chapters.  It is also a random treasure for the corpse closest to
 the Blue Mantrix at Mt. Hei-Tou.  The Armor can be bought for 40,000 potch
 from Dominic.  The Shield is a Rarity at the Le Buque Armor Stand.  Twaikin
 also comes with it.  Cecile comes with the Gloves.

Credit and thanks to TexasAndroid who provided most of the content for this
section.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
3t.  Where do I get the Blinking Mirror?

You can obtain it in chapter 4 after visiting Lake Castle.  To avoid spoilers,
check the recruit list in section 5c and entries 100 to 101 to find out.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
3u.  No offense, but can you suggest another Walkthrough?

No offense taken.  To the best of my knowledge, neither Prima nor Brady are
planning an official strategy guide for the US version.  The Japanese strategy
guide is the only one I know of.  In terms of other available resources, I've
heard good things about Ruse's Walkthrough/FAQ here at gamefaqs on the message
boards but I've never checked it out.  Ryvius' FAQ also here at gamefaqs is
great if you want to know where to get items and has a spoiler-free recruit
list.  The best internet resource for all things Suikoden is definitely Blue
Moon's web site, suikosource.com.  The site contains comprehensive lists,
story summaries for the games, secrets, links to other useful Suikoden sites,
and lots of other goodies.

If you have a quick question, the message boards at gamefaqs and suikosource
are both great resources.  Be warned that you may see spoilers in the topic
headers at both places and please avoid doing the same with any questions you
may ask there.


*******************************************************************************
*******************************************************************************
4.  Walkthrough

4a.  Introduction

The Walkthrough is intended mainly to get you through the story with some
helpful suggestions thrown in.  If you want to deviate from it to level up,
walk around and talk to the townspeople, watch some plays, and so on, by all
means, do so.  I have clearly noted what will make the story advance so if you
don't want to proceed at that time to do something else, go for it.  If you've
got a radio, CD, or MP3 player handy, it makes getting through some of the
leveling up/lottery sequences much easier.  This is especially true if you're
going for the Chris Level 99 trick.

In terms of skill selection, I have a tendency to go for physical skills then
healing magic.  I am severely biased against Fire and Earth Magic-the first one
because it generally will hit your own group and the second because it's only
useful in a fight at the very end.  I go for physical skills first because your
characters will either be too low of a level to effectively use most offensive
magic or you won't get better magic users until later in the game.  The skills
system is meant so you can customize your characters the way you see fit so the
ultimate decisions are up to you.  When I mention what skills to boost, they
are also just meant as recommendations. 

I have denoted when you recruit and how many stars with brackets [ ] at the end
of each chapter so as to avoid spoilers before they happen.  If a character is
marked with an asterisk (*) it means they are one of the NON-automatic stars.
In terms of when you should save, I will mention it at key times but other
times I leave it up to your common sense.  It goes without saying but it's the
angriest player who beats the Super-Mega Boss From Hell then the console resets
and 40 hours of game play time are lost forever.

It is always a good idea to fight all the possible treasure bosses in a chapter
at least once.  To make them re-spawn after 30-45 minutes, loot the entire
chest.  The only time you don't want them to do that is if you really don't
want to fight them again-leaving some items in the chest will make the bosses
re-spawn at a much slower rate (usually a few hours).  Fighting treasure boss
monsters is a great way to make a lot of money not to mention getting a nice
stash of skill points.  In my walkthrough I generally suggest fighting these
bosses at least more than once per chapter.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
4b.  Hugo Chapter 1

Pick Hugo's story from the Trinity Site.  After the cutscene, pick his story
again to start playing.  When the conversation's done between Hugo, Lulu, and
Sgt. Joe, I suggest you put and keep your team in this formation:

Hugo
Fubar
-----
-----
Lulu
Sgt. Joe
(No Support)

Walk to the right of the screen to talk to the man with his arms folded outside
of the hut.  This is the bujutsu teacher.  Talk to him and select Notes to get
a quick primer on how skills work.  Select lesson next and raise these skills
for your characters:

Hugo-Swing up to a D, Accuracy up to a C
Fubar-Accuracy up to a C
Lulu-Repel up to a C
Sgt. Joe-Accuracy up to a C

Hugo's Repel skill (which you'd have to add for him) can naturally go up to an
S but I don't give him this skill until chapter 3 at the earliest.  He is at
his best when paired with Fubar.  Lulu is similar to Hugo in that his best
asset is his speed.  Sgt. Joe is a serviceable healer and his melee attacks do
good damage but his speed, like all duck characters, is below average.

You can walk around and talk to all the villagers if you like.  Talk to the
little girl running around up the main street outside to get an Antitoxin.  You
can also talk to a duck clan member inside the inn to get a Medicine D.  Go to
the item hut and buy another Medicine D and also an Antitoxin.  To make the
story progress, go to the front of the village and talk to the man shining some
armor outside his hut.  This is Jimba and he will (not) tell you the story
about the armor.

Luce and Lucia come out at this time to tell Hugo to deliver a message.  Cycle
through the dialogue options from top to bottom to get filled in on the
mission.  When you're given the choice of whether or not to accept Lucia's
request, you can pick the top choice if you're confident ("I'm up to it") or
the second choice ("Um...") if you want some encouragement.  When Lulu says he
wants to go, too, you can say that you'll look out for him or that everyone
will be fine together.  After everyone's done talking, you'll receive the
!Letter to Zexen.  You can wander around the village some more if you like but
you can't exit.  When you're ready to make the story progress, enter the top
hut on your mini-map and choose "I suppose so."

The next morning everyone will gather to give your group a proper send off.
When Lucia gives Hugo a hug, you can pick the first choice ("Well then, I'm
off") to properly say goodbye or pick the second choice ("I'll be fine!") to
act snippy with Lucia.  When you exit the village, you'll run into Jimba, who
will ask you to do a favor for him.  Hugo will accept and you'll receive the
item !Pentacle.  After you leave the village the world map will open up.  Go
back to Karaya and save at the inn or at Lucia's house.  Exit Karaya again.

Here's the first lull in the game when I recommend taking some time to get some
money.  As I said before, the first chapters for each character except Chris
will be similar to this.  It really pays off to take the time to do this now
rather than later but again it's up to you.  Head to Plain of Amur-North.  If
you run into some spiders and get poisoned, wait until after the battle to
heal.  Access Sgt. Joe's Water Rune by going into the Rune options and heal
with the Kindness Drops.  If you run out of that spell then use the Antitoxin.
Cross the plains to get to Duck Village.

Time to play the lottery!  You have an option here.  I like to go to the Rune
Shop and remove the Sword of Cyclone Rune from Lulu and sell it at the item
shop.  All the Magic Sword runes have 2 spells-the first level one adds
elemental damage to your attacks and the other reduces elemental damage.  You
can tell what element each Magic Sword rune corresponds to by its name.  The
Magic Sword runes aren't that great until later in the game when your
characters can deal more damage so I feel it's pretty worthless early.  If you
_really_ want to hang on to it, then you can go back out to the Plains and
fight until you get 1,000 potch.

Either way, when you get the money, go to the lottery board and hit X.  A duck
in a boat will come up.  Buy 5 Sequential tickets and 5 Random tickets.  From
here on, when I say buy tickets for the lottery, this is what I mean.  You can
go around the village talking to the ducks if you want but I suggest you don't
pick up anything they offer you.  This is because Hugo has limited inventory
space compared to the other main characters and he'll need it later on.  If you
need to rest up to replenish spells, go to the inn and rest/save.

You need to kill about 20-30 minutes for the lottery to turn over.  I spend
this time going out and fighting random battles to get experience and skill
points.  I recommend you do so because they'll come in handy.  If you don't
care to do that, send Hugo out to Plain Amur North and let the console sit
while you talk on the phone or watch TV.  Your best bets for exp/skill points
is fighting the yellow spiders at Plain Amur North and the Purple Creepers at
just Plain Amur.  The Blade Bunnies drop Gale Runes, which boosts the SPD stat
of the wearer by 50%, but this is a very rare event.  The Purple Creepers will
sometimes drop an item called a !Screw.  If you get one of these, hang on to
it-you'll need it to recruit a character later.  You only need one !Screw so if
you get more just toss the extras.

The rare encounter for the Plains is the Wild Boar.  If you run into him, I
recommend that you be at least level 14 with all your characters.  Just defend
with Lulu and Sgt. Joe and attack with Hugo/Fubar.  When anyone gets hurt
pretty bad, use Sgt. Joe's water rune to cast Kindness Drops.  Use your healing
items once that spell runs out.  You can get up to level 15 by just fighting
the yellow spiders for a while.

After 20 minutes is up, go back to Duck Village and save at the Inn.  Check the
lottery board.  If the results aren't in yet, go back out and check back in
after every 5 minutes or so.  When the results are up, check through your
tickets.  If you didn't get at least 2nd prize (100,000 potch) soft reset by
holding down the shoulder buttons plus Start and Select.  You should then load
your most recent game which is the one at the inn.  Check the board again and
keep soft resetting until you get at least 2nd prize.  It usually takes me on
average 5-10 minutes to get the 2nd prize but it may take you longer some
times.  I've won the 1st prize (500,000 potch) a few times but it'll probably
take you considerably longer before hitting it.  There's no reason to keep
losing lottery tickets so just discard those.

The complimentary lottery prize for Duck Village is Recipe #3.  After you get
that, the complimentary prize will always be a Fish Badge, which you can buy at
item stores later on and isn't that great.  If you were lucky (or patient)
enough to get the 500,000 potch prize, congrats-you won't have to worry about
money for Hugo again until his chapter 3!  The 100,000 potch prize will do you
just fine for now, though.

After you get the money, save your game.  Go to the item shop and buy Sgt. Joe
a Silver Beak.  Buy a couple of Escape Scrolls as well.  Escape Scrolls are
very handy items.  Any time you're in a dungeon area, you can use an Escape
Scroll to immediately go back to the exit regardless of where you are.  Very
nice for leaving quickly after beating a tough boss all the way at the end of a
dungeon.  Try to always have one or two of these in your party inventory for
each of your characters.

Head out of Duck Village and go to Brass Castle.  At the first screen of Brass
Castle, there will be a man with a black turban standing around by the
easternmost bench.  Talk to him and buy any Ancient Texts and Salt he has.  The
Ancient Texts are a rare item so he usually won't have it.  Keep going west
another screen and you'll come to an area with a Blacksmith, an Armor Shop, and
an Item Store.  Go to the Blacksmith and sharpen Sgt. Joe, Lulu, and Hugo's
weapons up to level 7.  Go to the Armor Shop and check their Rarity section.
If they have Byakko Chainmail, get it for Sgt. Joe.  Buy Boots for Hugo and
Lulu each (replace their sandals).  Go to the Item Store and buy a Belt of
Strength for Hugo and Lulu each.

You can talk to all the people if you like.  Most of them don't say anything
interesting but some of it is kind of funny.  Head west one more screen and
you'll trigger a cutscene.  When Hugo's given the option to respond, pick the
first choice ("And who might YOU be?").  After everyone's done talking head
east to go back inside the castle.  In case you're wondering, there's nothing
you can do with the hungry knight outside the dining hall who likes Super
Pickles.  Just trust me on that and don't go out of your way to get Super
Pickles.  Head to the bottom of the screen and go into the last room on the
right.  Walk up to the man behind the desk-this is the bujutsu teacher.  These
are the skills I suggest you get:

Sgt. Joe-Accuracy and Damage up to C, Accuracy to a B after that
Lulu-Swing and Repel up to C, if possible get Repel up to B after that
Hugo-Accuracy up to a B, focus on Swing after that
Fubar-Accuracy up to a B, Damage up to a B, focus on Accuracy after that

There's a reason why I choose to focus on Accuracy and you'll find out why in
chapter 2.  Whatever you do, I highly recommend that you don't train up any
skill magic-related.  This includes Sgt. Joe's Water ability and Hugo's Wind
ability.  If you took time out to level up a lot in the Plains area you may
have more skill points left over even after getting the above.  Spend it on
whatever else you want except magic and don't bother to add new skills.

Head back out west and you'll be in the western courtyard.  In this area is a
Rune Shop and a Tutor, but there's nothing to do at either place so keep
heading west until you get to the blue save point.  Save then exit west to get
back to the world map.

Head to the Zexen Forest and you'll trigger another cutscene. You'll notice
herbs growing in certain areas of the forest.  I never bother to pick them.  In
the Zexen Forest, these herbs include Medicine and AsianHerbs.  Depending on
how far along they are, you can get these items at A, B, C, and D level.  You
can sell the AsianHerbs to the Trader at Brass Castle and later on at another
location in chapter 2.  The rare encounter for Zexen Forest is the Father
Holly, who is super dangerous.  If you run into him go for Escape ASAP.  He can
wipe out your characters at this point in a hurry.

At the first fork, take the bottom path.  The top path leads to the same spot
but I usually take the other out of habit.  Keep heading west another couple of
screens until you get to an area where there's three paths on your mini-map.
You will see a small sliver of yellow on the center bottom of the mini-map,
indicating a small pathway.  Head towards it and you'll trigger a cutscene
where you meet Fred and Rico.  When he asks if you know anything about evil
brewing, pick either choice, it doesn't really matter.  After that encounter,
head to the small pathway where you'll find your first corpse.  You can loot it
to get Recipe #2.  Head back and take the bottom exit this time.  Continue on
the path and you'll be back on the World Map.

Head to Vinay del Zexay (VdZ) to trigger yet another cutscene.  Head into town
and you'll trigger still another cutscene.  After this, you can walk around to
talk to the townspeople.  Again, if anyone offers you something, I recommend
you not take it yet.  From the entrance where you came in, go to the lower
left exit on the mini-map.  On this next screen, head to the small gate to the
left and hit X to enter.  This is Chris Lightfellow's house.  You will trigger
a cutscene where Hugo delivers Jimba's pentacle to Chris' butler.  When the
butler asks if you want anything, you can pick money and he'll give you potch.
Pick food and you'll get some food items.  I always refuse both since the
Karayans are an honorable people -_^  Plus, you don't need either reward.

After you're done with that, exit and head to the large red building in the
center of the mini-map (it's the building with steps leading up to it and the
big fountain outside).  This is the Guild Hall where you need to go to deliver
Lucia's letter.  Walk up to it to trigger a cutscene with the guard.  After
everyone's done talking, head to the middle bottom exit on the mini-map.  This
next screen is the area with all of the city's shops, including a Blacksmith,
an Item Shop, a Trade Shop, an Appraiser, an Armor Shop, a Rune Shop, and a
Lottery Stand.

If you didn't get the 500,000 potch prize in Duck Village, buy 10 more lottery
tickets here.  Head to the Trade Shop.  Go up to the counter and hit X to call
the Trader.  Sell any Ancient Text and Salt you bought before.  Buy any Deer
Antler and Crystal Balls they may have.  Head to the Armor Shop and check their
Rarity Section.  If they have Turtle Tunics or New Leather/Chainmail buy those
for Lulu and Hugo.  Exit this screen to the bottom right.

The next screen you see should have a red building in the lower right corner on
your mini-map.  This is the inn but you don't want to go there yet.  Head to
the middle area in the center of all the stands to see a cutscene between
Melville and Guillaume.  After this, exit the screen to the lower left on the
mini-map to get back to the area with all the shops.  Keep heading left and
you'll see a little girl in a red outfit outside the Rune Shop.  Get close to
her and you'll trigger a cutscene.  The little girl is Alanis and she meets
with her friend Elliot.

After they're done talking, follow them into the alley on the top right before
the exit at the very top on the mini-map.  Head into the alley until you come
to a dead end.  Walk up to the ladder at the center top of the screen and hit
X then up for Hugo to climb.  Climb up another ladder and make your way to the
window.  Hit X and choose "The Three Knights of Zexen".  After Melville shows
up and everything gets straightened out, just pick all three dialogue options
one at a time from top to bottom.

Exit the Saint Loa Knights' hideaway.  If you need to replenish your spells or
HP, go to the inn and rest.  Make your way back to the city entrance.  You'll
see the 3 kids standing next to the guard.  Walk up and talk to them.  After
the talking is over, set up your formation like this:

Hugo
Lulu
Sgt. Joe
-----
Melville
Alanis
Elliot (Support-this is automatic)

Leave the city and save at the blue crystal before going to the World Map.
When you get out to the World Map, a new area has opened up-The North Cavern.
Go there and you'll see some more conversation with your group.  After that's
over, head inside.  The Cavern is completely straightforward with no path
branches so just keep heading straight through.  During random battles, always
use Melville and Alanis' Child Combo attack.  Not only is it hilarious, but
it's quite useful once they get up some levels.  They'll have a hard time
surviving some of the early battles, but once they level up they'll be fine.
There are no rare encounters in the North Cavern.

Once you reach a clearing, your group will decide to make camp.  Head up the
very long circular pathway.  Go through the next tunnel.  At the screen after
you'll see some more dialogue.  When you're given the choice pick the top one
("We better go in, too").  Now head down this equally long circular pathway.
At the bottom you'll fight a battle with some of the bandits.  If you're at
level 18 or so you shouldn't have any problems.  Head into the tunnel.  Midway
through here you'll see a blue crystal save point.  Save your game then keep
going forward.

You'll see another cutscene where you find out the truth about Guillaume. After
that, Hugo, Lulu, and Sgt. Joe will fight 4 bandits.  You shouldn't have much
problems with them-concentrate on taking them down one at a time.  Once that
battle is over, Melville will duel Guillaume.  There's no way to win this duel
so pick whatever choices you like and it will end shortly.  After it's over,
you'll see another series of dialogue between your characters.

Once that's through, you'll be outside the North Cavern.  If you didn't level
up to at least 20 with Lulu, Sgt. Joe, and Hugo, go back inside and do it now.
It shouldn't take too long with the Banshee and Dark Wings.  Don't bother to
get Melville and Alanis up to that level, though.  Just keep heading as far as
you want inside the Cavern.  Once you're done leveling up, use one of your
Escape Scrolls to get back to the exit.  In case you're wondering, there's
usually a treasure boss at the very end of the Cavern (where you confronted
Guillaume) but there isn't one in this chapter.

After you're done leveling up, check your skill points for Hugo, Lulu, and Sgt.
Joe by going to the status menu option.  You should have enough points to
boost some of their physical skills.  If so, go back to VdZ first and save at
the blue crystal outside of the city.  Head to the Zexen Forest and go back to
Brass Castle to get to the bujutsu teacher.  These were the skills I had at
this point after visiting the teacher:

Hugo:                   Sgt. Joe:           Lulu:

Heavy Damage-D          Damage-C            Continual Attack-E
Counter Attack-D        Accuracy-B          Swing-B
Continual Attack-E      Water Magic-C       Repel-B
Swing-B
Accuracy-B
Wind Magic-E

If you want, you can continue fighting some more to level Sgt. Joe's Damage to
a B as well but that's only if you like leveling up.  It's not necessary to
level up anything for Alanis or Melville since they'll be leaving your party
shortly.  Leave Brass Castle and enter Zexen Forest.

Go through it again to get to VdZ.  Enter the city and you'll see some dialogue
with the kids.  After that's over, you'll be outside the inn.  Go inside, talk
to the man behind the counter and select Stay.  Head back outside and you'll
get more dialogue with your party.  Instead of going to the Guild Hall, go back
to the inn and just Save, don't pick Stay again.  Head to the lottery board and
keep soft resetting again until you get the 100,000 prize or better again.  The
complimentary prize for the VdZ lottery is one of the Old Books.  After you win
that, it's a regular Knight Statue.  After getting the potch, check the Armor
Shop again to see what Rarity items they may have.  If you can buy better armor
for your party, go ahead and do it.  Go back to the Trade Shop and buy any Deer
Antler or Crystal Balls they may have again.  Once you're done go back to the
Guild Hall.

Once inside, you'll see a conversation between a Zexen messenger and your
party.  When you get a dialogue option, just pick "Here it is".  If you keep
insisting on meeting with the Council in person, you'll just get more ticked
off and they're not worth the trouble.  Once you get control of Hugo, head to
the inn and you'll get another cutscene.

Head west to exit the screen.  Keep going straight and you'll run into a group
of 3 Zexen regulars.  The soldiers in orange will take damage for the armored
knight so take them out first.  After the battle, heal with Medicine if you
need to and head for the northwest exit on your mini-map.  Continue up the ramp
and you'll get into a fight with 4 Zexen regulars.  Use the same strategy as
before and you won't have a problem.  If you have a problem winning these
fights, you can cast Hugo's Wind of Sleep spell from his Wind Rune to soften
them up but you probably won't need to do that.  Continue toward the city gate
and you'll be confronted by Percival and Leo.  They'll fill you in on some
interesting developments and why they came to arrest you.

When you're given the dialogue option, I highly advise you to pick the bottom
choice ("There's no reason to believe you!").  After that, set up your original
formation:

Hugo
Fubar
-----
-----
Lulu
Sgt. Joe
(No support)

Go through Zexen Forest and back to Brass Castle.  Keep going east and your
party will stop to talk.  When they're done, keep heading east until you get to
the screen where the Super Pickles knight is standing.  Make a left and you'll
see a set of stairs.  To the left of that screen is the entrance to the inn.
Go there and save your game.  Afterward, go back out to the main hall and go
south on the screen toward the checkpoint, triggering another cutscene.  When
you can move Hugo again, just head north down the hallway until you get to the
end.  The rare encounter for this hallway is the Devil Eye with a couple of
Mega Watts.  They're not too tough.  When you get to the door, you'll get some
more talk from your party and you'll exit.

Talk to the Trader again and buy any Ancient Text he may have, don't bother
with the Salt this time.  If you picked any AsianHerbs in Zexen Forest, you can
sell them to him now.  Exit the screen to the east to get back to the World
Map.  Go to Plain Amur.  The enemies have changed to include Wolves, Dark
Bunnies, and Wild Boars.  None of them should give your party much of a hassle.
I believe the rare encounter for this area now is the Troll Dragon but I'm not
sure.  You can deal with him without too much fuss.  I know the Dark Bunnies
give you a lot of experience but don't spend time leveling up here-there's
really no point.

When you reach the second screen of Plain Amur, you'll see a quick conversation
with your party.  Save at the blue crystal.  Unequip all of Lulu's equipment.
Exit the screen north to get to the World Map.  You'll automatically go to
Karaya Village.  After everyone's done talking, head into the village.  After
another brief talk with Sgt. Joe, proceed into the village.

After Lulu's confrontation with Chris, you will have two options with Hugo.
Picking "Why?!" will result in an angry conversation with Chris.  Choosing the
other option pits Hugo in a duel with her.  You can choose whatever option you
feel like.  If you choose to duel, you'll get 3 rounds to do so.  Whether you
win, lose, or draw, the scene that follows is always the same.  After the
Zexen group leaves, you will immediately go to another cutscene and Hugo's
chapter 1 will come to an end and you'll be back at the Trinity Site.  Save
your game then pick Chris' chapter 1.

Hugo [1/108]
Sgt. Joe [2/108]
Fubar [3/108]
Jimba [4/108]
Lucia [5/108]
Luce [6/108]
Anne [7/108]

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
4c.  Chris Chapter 1

After the opening cutscene, pick Chris' story again to start playing.  You'll
see another extended cutscene with Louis and Chris meeting the Zexen Council.
When you are given the dialogue option, picking the first choice, "Certainly"
and Chris will agree without question.  Picking the second choice, "Certainly,
but..." will have Chris question the Council's decision.  I go for the second
choice but it really doesn't change anything.  After this meeting, Borus and
Salome will drop you off back at your house.  Go ahead and enter the gate.
Pick "I need some rest..." to make the story progress.  Save if you want but
it's not necessary.  You can't play the lottery with Chris until her Chapter 3
but you really don't need to until then (if at all) anyway.  Chris also won't
loot corpses until Chapter 3.

You will then see a scene where the Six Mighty Knights of Zexen are at the
front gate.  When you're given the dialogue option, pick the second choice, "I
don't mind..." to put Percival in his place.  Pick the first choice if you'd
rather demure.  After that scene, you will head out the front gate.  Instead
of going out, go back into the city.

If you talk to the townspeople, their reaction to you is quite different than
when you played as Hugo, huh?  From the screen with the city gate, head to the
southwest exit on your mini-map.  Along the way you will see a tubby Zexen man
in a dark green outfit.  Talk to him to get Recipe #12.  Exit down the ramp to
the southwest.  Enter the Guild Hall.  Inbetween the two stairways are three
doors.  Take the one on the left and talk to the bujutsu teacher (he's the one
in armor).  Raise whatever skills you like.  I tend to raise each skill so the
grades are equal for Chris' group (i.e. raise all skills to a D, then a C,
etc.).  I go for Accuracy and Damage first for the most part.  After you're
done there, take the far right door and you'll enter the shops area.

Here is a Rune Shop, an Armor Shop, and an Item Shop.  Go to the Armor Shop and
replace their Boots with Winged Boots.  Buy Power Gloves for Chris, Roland, and
Salome.  Buy a Fine Casque for Salome.  Buy Fine Helms for Chris, Roland, and
Borus.  If you want, you can remove Borus' Sword of Rage rune and sell it.  Buy
a Sacrificial Jizo at the Item Shop but don't equip it on anyone yet.

Exit the Guild Hall and go to the screen with the inn.  Go to where the
musicians are performing.  You should see an old tubby lady with a cane
standing with two kids.  Talk to her to get Herb Seeds.  Enter the inn.  You
should see a little girl going up and down the stairs.  Talk to her and you'll
get Script #2.  Exit the inn and go to the screen with all the shops.  Visit
the Blacksmith and sharpen everyone's weapon to level 7.  Go to the Item Shop
and buy a couple of Medicine D and Antitoxin.  Go to the Trade Shop and buy a
GrapeC.  They almost always have it, but if they don't just check back in a
later chapter.  Once you're done, head for the city gate and exit VdZ.  Save at
the blue crystal then go on to the World Map.  Head to Zexen Forest.

I recommend you set up your formation like this:

Chris
-----
-----
Roland
Borus
Salome
Louis (Support)

The Father Holly is the rare encounter again.  You have a decent shot to take
him down but I wouldn't go out of my way to try and run into him.  Just head
east through Zexen Forest to get to Brass Castle.  When you arrive, keep going
east until you reach the inside of the castle.  You will see the same scene
in Hugo's chapter 1 but from Chris' perspective this time.  After that scene
and when you're done talking to Louis, exit and head to the east courtyard.

You will see a cutscene with Chris and Dupa, a member of the Lizard Clan.  When
you're given a dialogue option, you can pick the first choice ("What is he
saying?") and Salome will explain it to you.  Pick the second choice and Chris
will agree; Salome will then explain to Borus what Dupa meant.  Head back
inside and up the stairs to the hallway where Chris' room was.  Instead of
going in there, go into the room with the double doors-this is the Knights'
Parlor/Tea Room.  Talk to Salome and put Borus and Roland in your party.

Head downstairs back out to the east courtyard.  Go to the Blacksmith there and
sharpen their weapons to level 8.  This should pretty much be it for your
spending-you'll want to keep your money around 50,000 potch or more for
something in Chris' chapter 2.  If you have enough skill points to upgrade your
skills, go ahead and do so with the bujutsu teacher.

In the same room as that teacher is a warehouse keeper-he's hard to see but
he's to the far right of where the bujutsu teacher is sitting.  You can store
up to 24 items in this mini-warehouse.  Later on when you have access to Lake
Castle's warehouse, they will function like the magic boxes in Resident Evil.
That is, any item you put in one area will be available in the other, although
the maximum capacity will stay at 24 until ch. 4.

When you're done walking around Brass Castle, save at the inn.  To make the
story progress, go back to Chris' room and talk to Louis.  Pick the first
option ("I think I will rest").  An extended cutscene follows.  When Chris
mentions the Zexen Rune, this is a mistranslation according to Blue Moon at
suikosource.com.  It's actually supposed to say Zexen Crest.

After everyone's done talking, you'll be thrown into your first strategy
battle.  During the first turn, move Roland and the other Zexen unit into the
same circle as Chris.  End your turn.  During the Grasslanders' turn, Lucia
and Beecham will show up with some Karaya Units.  Salome will then suggest you
break through.  Use Roland's unit to attack the Karayan Unit (Unit #12) that's
blocking your exit.  If you didn't win, or somehow lost, send the mounted Zexen
unit (Unit #4) after them.  This should take out the Karayan Unit.  Send Chris
into the now empty circle that the Karayans were occupying.  Defend with the
remaining Zexen units.  The Grasslanders will no doubt attack you in the next
turn.  Just pick the retreat option.  You'll get attacked most of the time but
should make it into Chris' circle without much problems.  When your turn comes
up again, move any of the Zexen units into the exit circle (it doesn't have to
be Chris' unit).  This will conclude the strategy battle.

You will then see a brief cutscene at Plain Amur.  You can spend some time out
here to level up if you like but it's not necessary (unless you're going for
the Chris level 99 trick).  Put the Sacrificial Jizo you bought earlier on
Salome to replace his Medicine A.  Save at the blue crystal and continue to
head north.  When you get to the World Map, head to Karaya Village.

After everyone leaves, head into the village.  There will be a cutscene and you
will see the confrontation in Hugo's chapter 1 from Chris' perspective.  When
that's over, just keep the computer's default formation.  Head to the back of
the village.  You'll have to fight 2 groups of Karayan fighters but they aren't
much trouble.  When you reach the back of the village there will be another
short cutscene and Chris will order the Zexens to pull out.  Another series of
cutscenes detailing the aftermath follows.

When you get control of Chris, head to the Knights' Parlor.  View the scene
there then head downstairs toward the west courtyard.  You'll run into Leo and
Percival and have a brief chat.  Go out to the west courtyard and meet up with
Borus.  Pick the second choice if you want the story to progress.  If you want
to do other things, pick the first choice instead.

Exit Brass Castle to the west and go through Zexen Forest.  You'll run into
Fred and Rico again (the face Louis makes when he thinks of what Borus was like
as a kid is priceless).  Continue to VdZ.  You'll see a brief conversation
between Chris and Borus outside the city.  Enter the city and head to the
Guild Hall.  You'll get more storyline here and another meeting with the Zexen
Council.  You probably now have to resist a conditioned response to hurl
something at your TV whenever someone from the Council opens their mouth.  When
the meeting's over, you'll talk to Borus and Louis.  To make the story move on,
simply go to Chris' house.  You will see a cutscene where her butler delivers
Jimba's pentacle to Chris.  Chris' chapter 1 will then end you'll be back at
the Trinity Site.  Pick Geddoe's chapter 1 next.

Chris [8/108]
Borus [9/108]
Percival [10/108]
Salome [11/108]
Leo [12/108]
Roland [13/108]
Louis [14/108]

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
4d.  Geddoe Chapter 1

After the cutscene, pick Geddoe's chapter 1 again to start playing.  When you
get the dialogue option for Geddoe, pick the first choice ("It's necessary,
right?").  Walk downstairs and your group will decide to head to the Lizard
Clan.  Once you leave the inn, set up your formation like this:

Queen
Geddoe
-----
Jacques
Ace
Joker
(No Support)

Unless you _really_ want to use Fire Magic, I suggest you go to the Rune Shop
and remove the Fire rune from Joker.  Buy a Water Rune and affix it to him.
Go to the lottery stand and buy 10 tickets.  Go to the item shop and buy a
Belt of Strength for Geddoe and Jacques.  Use what money you have left over to
buy an Antitoxin and Medicine.  Don't worry if you spend all your cash.  Exit
VdZ and save outside the city.  Go to the World Map and cross Zexen Forest.
When you encounter a clump of weak enemies like Holly Boys or Vermitors, use
Ace and Joker's Mercenary A combo-it will take them out or put them close to
death.  The rare encounter is the Father Holly again and he can wipe out your
team at this point so just Escape.

Go to Yaza Plains to fight random battles to kill time so the lottery will turn
over.  The VdZ lottery can really be annoying because it seems to take longer
to roll over during Geddoe's story.  I've had to wait 45-50 minutes some times
but I suggest you check in after 25 minutes or so.  Your best bets for skill
and experience points are the Wild Boars and Arachnivores.

The rare encounter for Yaza Plains is a gray boar called Peckles, along with 3
Blade Bunnies.  He's pretty tough but beatable.  Use the Mercenary A combo
to take out the Bunnies.  Have Geddoe cast Soaring Bolt and have Jacques
attack.  The Peckles will usually charge Jacques since he's in the middle.
At the start of your turn, take note of who the Peckles is facing-this is the
person he will attack when it's his turn.  If he's facing Jacques, have him
defend.  When Ace can act again, use his Double Tusk Rune.  Heal when you need
to with your food items or Joker's Kindness Drops if you took my advice to get
the Water Rune.  In the next rounds, use Geddoe's Berserk Blow.  Geddoe's
spells at this point will take 2 rounds to complete so just continue casting
them until he gets them off.  After about 5-6 turns, you'll kill him.  The nice
thing about the Peckles is he'll bump you up a few levels every time you kill
him until about level 28.  When Queen has 235 Skill points, head to Brass
Castle to boost your skills.

Go to the Tutor in the west courtyard first.  If you put the Water Rune on
Joker, choose to Forget Fire Magic and Learn Water Magic to add it.  After
visiting the Tutor and bujutsu teacher, this is what my skills looked like:

Queen          Geddoe          Jacques           Ace             Joker

Swing-D        Parry-C         Sharpshoot-C      Accuracy-C      Accuracy-E
Accuracy-C     Damage-D        Accuracy-C        Repel-C         Repel-D
Repel-B        Accuracy-E      Damage-C                          Water-B
               Lightning-B     Repel-E

After enough time has passed, head back to VdZ to check the lottery.  Once you
get the 100,000 potch prize, go to the Blacksmith and upgrade everyone's
weapon to level 7.  Go to the Trade Shop and buy a Deer Antler if they have it.
You can buy another 10 lottery tickets if you like but it's not essential.
Exit VdZ, go through Zexen Forest, past Yaza Plain to get to the Great Hollow.
When you arrive, you'll be greeted by Shiba and some Lizard fighters.  After
entering, just follow Shiba around until you get to the room of the Chief,
Zepon.

After some cutscenes/dialogue, you're given freedom to roam the Great Hollow.
The second floor has a Trade Shop (where you can sell any AsianHerbs you
picked in Zexen Forest), a bujutsu teacher, and the Chief's room which is
always guarded by two lizard fighters.  On the first floor is an Inn, an Item
Shop, an Armor Shop, and a Blacksmith.

Talk to the lizard fighter on the right guarding the Chief's room to get a
Sunbeam Rune.  Talk to the lizard outside the bujutsu teacher room to get Old
Book Vol. 3.  Talk to the lizard inside the Armor Shop/Blacksmith to get Grape
Seeds.  You can talk to the human inside the Trade Shop to get the Iron Hammer
but don't do this yet.  Visit the Blacksmith to sharpen everyone's weapon to
level 8.  At the Armor Shop, buy Geddoe Byakko Chainmail if they have it in the
Rarity Section.  Buy a Gauntlet for Queen to replace her Gloves.  Buy New
Leather for Joker.

To make the story advance, head to the southeast corner of the first floor on
your mini-map.  You'll overhear some lizard fighters talking.  Follow them
into the tunnel.  When you get midway through, you'll get into a fight with 3
lizards.  Just use your melee attacks and you should be fine.  Afterward, Shiba
will fill you in on what's happening.  I recommend setting up your formation
like this:

Jacques
Joker
Queen
Geddoe
Ace
Shiba
(No Support)

Head north on the mini-map and you'll exit the tunnel.  Head to the northwest
exit on your mini-map.  It will trigger a cutscene with another lizard fighter.

Here's a decision option for you.  The next fight you get into is probably the
hardest in the game because it's all a matter of luck whether you win or not.
If you're one of those players that likes to be able to win every battle, I
suggest you go back to the inn now and save.  Keep in mind that it doesn't
matter if you win or lose this next fight.  If it's not a big deal, proceed
to the northwest exit on the mini-map.  Either way, once you go through this
exit you'll end up in another tunnel.  This tunnel has random encounters that
give very nice boosts to your experience and skills.  You can run around a
little to level up if you like.  Follow this tunnel to its exit and you'll get
the fight I mentioned before.

After Chris and Shiba discuss their differences, you'll get into a battle with
Chris and 5 Zexen Regulars.  The reason I say this battle is all luck is
because it all depends on whether or not Chris casts the Breath of Ice spell.
If she does, your party is dead meat-it will knock out most of your party
outright and only Shiba and Geddoe will probably still be alive.  Not only does
this spell do tons of damage, Chris can get it off before anyone in your party
can act.  In order to win this battle, you just have to hope she attacks with
her sword or casts a healing spell first.  If so, you can use the following
strategy:

Have Geddoe cast Soaring Bolt.  Have Ace do his Double Tusk attack on Chris.
Have Jacques attack Chris as well.  After that, concentrate your attacks on
Chris-she can cast Kindness Rain which heals all of her troops.  Use only
Items and Joker's Kindness Drops spell to heal.  If you kept Joker's Fire Rune,
you can try to get off some spells but keep in mind that most of those spells
will hit your own troops.  It usually takes about 3-5 turns before you win.
The loot you get is a few thousand potch and a nice bit of skill points.  All
my guys were at level 24 when I won and I didn't get enough experience points
to go up any levels.  The best items I ever got were some Damaged Helms, New
Chainmail, and Mega Medicine D, so nothing all that great.

If you won the battle, Chris tells Geddoe he's tough and wants to know his
name.  If you lost, Chris simply sheathes her sword and says this was enough.
Either way, she and the Zexen Knights then walk away without further incident.
You're probably confused at this point about what's going on.  Don't worry,
everything will get explained in due time.  Make note of Jacques' comment about
how the Knights' tracks were too light.  After Geddoe and his group talk it
over, head back up to Zepon's room.  Your group will then decide to head to
Karaya Village.

Leave the Great Hollow and go to Plain Amur.  I recommend taking the time to
fight random battles to get up to level 26.  It shouldn't take long with the
Dark Bunnies in this area.  When you reach that point, head back to Brass
Castle to visit the Tutor and bujutsu teacher.  Here's how my skills looked
after this visit:

Queen          Geddoe          Jacques           Ace             Joker

Swing-C        Parry-C         Sharpshoot-B      Accuracy-B      Counter-E
Accuracy-B     Damage-D        Accuracy-B        Repel-C         Accuracy-C
Repel-B        Accuracy-D      Damage-C                          Repel-C
               Lightning-B+    Repel-E                           Water-B

If you bought 10 more lottery tickets earlier at VdZ, go back there to check
the results now.  While you're there, if you didn't get a Deer Antler from the
Trade Shop before, try to buy one while you're there.  After you're done with
this, head back to Plain Amur and save at the blue crystal right before you get
to the World Map.  If you haven't already, put your team back in the original
formation I suggested:

Queen
Geddoe
-----
Jacques
Ace
Joker
(No Support)

Make sure all your guys are healed up.  Head to Karaya Village.  As you enter,
you'll be greeted by Aila and 4 Karaya Fighters.  This battle is pretty
straightforward-use the Mercenary A combo, have Jacques attack Aila, and have
Geddoe use Soaring Bolt.  In the 2nd round, heal Queen and finish off Aila.

Once things get squared away, you'll have control of Geddoe again.  Avoid the
back of the village for right now-going back there will make the story
advance.  Go to the inn and Stay/Save.  Visit the Item Shop/Armor Shop hut.
Buy a Sacrificial Jizo for Queen and replace her Gauntlet with it.  Buy
another one for Geddoe and replace his Belt of Strength with it.  The Armor
Shop some times has Winged Boots in their Rarity section.  You can buy some of
those for your guys if you like.  Visit the bujutsu teacher (the guy with his
arms folded standing outside) if you want to level up some skills.  When you're
ready to advance the story, head to the back of the village.  Enter the hut to
the far northwest on your mini-map.

Your group will have a talk then you'll get control of Ace.  Head to the front
of the village to make the story progress.  You'll see Aila confronting a
visitor at the gate.  Run after her and head to Plain Amur.  When you can move
Ace again, go to the right where two stone pillars are leaning against each
other (you should see Aila next to them crouched on the ground).

You'll then see a bunch of cutscenes in a row.  When you get control of Ace,
head toward Karaya Village and save at the blue crystal.  Go to Karaya Village.
You will then pick a formation for Queen and Geddoe.  I suggest this one:

Queen
Geddoe
-----
-----
-----
-----
(No Support)

You'll see a scene in the village then be given two choices.  Picking the first
option ("I have an inkling...") will put you in a fight against Borus and 2
Zexen Knights.  Picking the second choice avoids this fight altogether.  I
suggest you go ahead and fight-the experience and skill points are quite good.

If you fight, I used the following strategy.  In the first round, cast Soaring
Bolt with Geddoe.  Thereafter, heal with Queen's Medicine items (Geddoe will
attack automatically).  If Borus misses or doesn't do too much damage, use
Geddoe to cast Berserk Blow during the next turn.  It usually takes me 5-6
turns to take him out.  At level 26, I go up to level 28-29 and get about 100
skill points.

After your confrontation with Borus, you'll see an extended cutscene with
Geddoe and his group.  When you're given the dialogue choice, pick the first
option ("Let's head back to Caleria").  Here's the formation I used:

Queen
Geddoe
Jacques
Aila
Ace
Joker
(No Support)

When the World Map opens again, four new places have opened:  Mt. Hei-Tou, Lake
Castle, Mt. Path, and Caleria.  To make the story advance, you would go to
Caleria.  There's a lot of other stuff I highly recommend you do before
this.  First, stop at Plain Amur and take the time to level up Aila so she's
close in level to the rest of your team.  Fighting the Dark Bunnies will make
this a fairly quick task.

Next, head to Mt. Hei-Tou.  Because of what happened with Borus at Karaya
Village, you cannot visit the middle of Brass Castle (the area with the bujutsu
teacher) for a while.  It doesn't matter if you chose to fight Borus or not.
You can still visit the eastern and western portions of the castle, though.  If
you didn't have to use the Sacrificial Jizos during the fight with Borus,
replace them in Geddoe and Queen's inventories with the Belt of Strength and
Gauntlet.  Before going to Mt. Hei-Tou, make sure you rest at the inn at Great
Hollow to replenish Geddoe's spells and to sharpen Aila's weapon up to level 8.
Sell off any non-special loot (like armor and whatnot) you got from your random
battles that you're not using.

At Mt. Hei-Tou, keep heading right until you reach a blue save crystal.  Take
the path up on this screen.  Follow the path up and you'll come to a corpse.
Loot it to get the Yellow Kennel.  Go back and save at the blue crystal.  Go
left one screen then head up.  At the fork, go left to find another corpse with
Recipe #14.  Go back and take the right path this time.  At the next screen,
head right (both paths go the same place).  Head up a little on this screen
to see yet another corpse.  Loot it to get Recipe #5.  Head to the exit path at
the top of the screen.  At the end of this path is your first treasure boss, a
giant blue crab called the Blue Mantrix.  Here's my strategy:

The Blue Mantrix has a couple of attacks of note.  The first is a beam attack
that hits a single person.  He usually goes for Aila or Jacques with this in
this battle.  The other is an attack where these multi-colored bubbles come out
from him and hits any one within hand-to-hand attack range.  It doesn't do much
damage but there's a slight chance it will paralyze your guys.  In the first
round, cast Soaring Bolt with Geddoe.  Have Aila cast Battle Oath from her
Shield Rune.  Send Ace and Joker in for a regular melee attack.  Heal when
necessary with items or Joker's Kindness Drops (which also heals Paralysis).
After the first round, use Geddoe's Berserk Blow spell and have everyone else
attack normally.  If it goes like it usually does for me, you'll take him out
in about 3-4 rounds and he'll usually target Aila with the beam attack.

The noteworthy loot I got from the chest was:

Melon Seeds
Old Book Vol. 12
Wall Rune
Blinking Rune

Plus a bunch of other regular armor like Chainmail, Tulip Hat, etc.  The loot
in these chests generally vary so if what you got is different, don't worry
about it.  The major items all eventually show up during one of the treasure
boss encounters.  I suggest you loot the entire chest, which likely means you
will have to drop some items from your inventory.  Unless you've been hoarding
everything from random battles, you should only have to discard medicine and
antitoxin that you haven't used.

As a general rule, sell any of the excess armor and equipment you get from the
treasure bosses that your group can't wear.  I will note the exceptions as they
come up but in the first chapters you won't be able to get any of the really
great gear yet.  Any time you come back to Mt. Hei-Tou, there's a rare chance
that the loot on the corpse closest to the Blue Mantrix will be a Fury Rune.
Credit suikosource.com for that info.  You can exit Mt. Hei-Tou with an Escape
Scroll just like any other dungeon.

If you come across a Statue with the letter "S" following it (and you should
eventually if you use Geddoe to fight all the possible treasure monsters) hold
on to it.  When you get the chance, place it in the Statue Room at Lake Castle.
You can get to this room by going to the main house and taking the stairs up to
the second floor.  Make a left and it's the door in the corner.  The Statue "S"
you usually get is a Hex Doll S.  Place it on the middle pedestal.  Leave the
room AND DON'T GO BACK TO THAT ROOM.  You'll want to wait until Hugo's chapter
3 to do that so he can recruit someone.

Any antiques you get as Hugo, Geddoe, and Chris, especially the pricey stuff
like Sunset Paintings and Plant Vases, you'll want to display at Lake Castle.
This isn't for decorative purposes but will give Thomas a financial advantage
if you elect to play through his chapters.

You're done with Mt. Hei-Tou, so let's cross Yaza Plain and go to Lake Castle.
When you arrive there, you'll meet the castle master, Thomas, and the castle
guard commander, Cecile.  They fill you in on what's happening with the castle
and how they've opened it up as a free trade zone.  You can now recruit
characters with Geddoe and that is exactly what I suggest you do now.

An important thing to know about Geddoe is that he can't switch out the six
party members he has now until chapter 4.  Well, he can but it's only in a few
spots and in that time it's only for a few seconds so his six primary members
are locked in.  This is why I recommend only getting support characters for the
most part with Geddoe.

Before recruiting, head back into the main house Geddoe is standing in front
of.  Head to the right of the main staircase inside of the house, there is a
stairway down.  Go downstairs and go left of the screen.  You'll see Muto,
the warehouse keeper.  Talk to him and leave all the stuff you won't be using
any time soon, this includes recipes, seeds, kennels, and any other stuff you
know you won't be using.  Keep any Old Books you have-you can deliver them to
the librarian in a second.  Just like Chris, Geddoe also has his own mini-
warehouse back in Caleria.

Go back the way you came and go up the main staircase.  Head to the right of
the screen through the door at the end of the hall.  Talk to Eike, the pale
faced gent with the brown outfit on.  You will automatically deliver any Old
Books you have to him.  He will then show you a list of the Old Book articles
you can read.  That's it for Lake Castle for now.  Exit the house the way you
came in then just keep exiting to the bottom of the mini-map.  At the exit to
the castle, you'll see a couple of cutscenes and your party will be back
together again.  After this, Thomas' flame at the Trinity Site will be lit.

The next place to go is VdZ.  When you enter through the city gate, you'll see
Guillaume running around chasing a little girl.  Just ignore him and don't go
near the front of the Guild Hall.  Instead, head to the area with all the
shops.  Go to the Armor Shop and talk to Dominic, the man at the counter.  When
he asks if you know art, pick the first choice to agree with him.  The buy
window will then pop up with one item, Mole Armor which costs 37,200 potch.
Select Buy and pay for it.  You have successfully recruited Dominic.  If you're
wondering what good the Mole Armor is, it's part of a set that when equipped on
a character you'll hear squishy noises when you walk.  Other than that, I have
no clue what other special properties it gives you.

Walk outside and talk to the guy with the black hat on.  This is Augustine and
he'll explain his situation to you but you're going to recruit him with someone
else.  If you're wondering what's the deal with Guillaume running by, I think
it's implying he's the one who stole Augustine's Rose Brooch.  If you didn't
get a Deer Antler yet, go to the Trade Shop and buy one now.  I've never had
a problem getting one in previous playthroughs during my two visits to VdZ,
but if you haven't got one yet you can come back and try again later.

Exit VdZ and head for the western side of Brass Castle.  Head east two screens.
Right before you get to the gate, you'll see a man with a red hat and a parrot.
Talk to him.  This is Scott and he's a Trader.  When he asks if you know about
trading, pick the first choice to agree with him.  When the parrot asks the
same thing, pick the first choice again.  If you have a Deer Antler on you,
talk to him again.  When he offers to buy the Deer Antler from you, pick the
second choice to accept his offer and you'll recruit him.  If you don't have a
Deer Antler handy, just come back some time later (in this chapter or someone
else's) and he'll still be there.

Head east one more screen to get to the courtyard area with the Rune Shop and
Tutor.  Enter the Rune Shop and talk to the Rune Sage, Jeane.  Pick the first
choice and you'll recruit her.

Head to the Tutor and go to the adjoining room.  You'll see a little girl
wearing a cap and gown.  This is Ernie.  Talk with her a little and you'll
find out she's a scholar/tutor.  When you're given the choice, pick the second
dialogue option ("Budehuc castle has rooms").  She'll ask you a series of five
random questions.  You have to get all of them correct and she'll join.  Note
that each question has about a 5 second time limit after you've viewed the
question.  You can take as long as you like to look at the question before
viewing the answer list, though.  The possible questions with their correct
answers are:

Which musical ensemble only uses wind instruments?  3. Brass Band
Which of the following cannot fly?  1. Duck
Which one of these fruits grows on a tree?  2. Pomegranates
Which statement is false?  2.  Rice cleaned with soap
Which of these has nothing to do with farming?  3.  Quiver
What is the pattern on Karayan horses?  1.  Zebra pattern
What is the Duck Clan Chief's special characteristic?  1. Amazing tail
Which is the correct spelling?  1.  Sea bream
Which of the following phrases is not possible?  3.  I ate cactus for dinner
Which of these sounds is threatening?  2.  Gggrrr
Which skill can make a magical spell bounce back at its caster?  2.  Reflect
What are the colors of the Kamaro Free Knights' uniform?  2.  Green/Yellow
Of the following, which does not exist in blood?  2.  Blue blood cells
What is paper made from?  3.  Wood
Which of these cannot be found at any defensive gear shop?  Bizarre Chainmail
Where is the decorative feather worn on the head of the Flame Champ?  3.  Left
Which cannot be part of a string ensemble?  2.  Bodhran
Which one of these is a lizard man?  2.  Shiba
Of the following which one is not an insect?  3.  Serpent
What do Lizard Men do when they're surprised?  3.  Nothing

There may be a few questions I missed but this should be enough for you to
recruit her.  If you miss a question you can take her quiz as many times as you
need until you recruit her.  Exit Brass Castle to the west.

Cross Yaza Plain to get to the Great Hollow.  Go to the Trade Shop there and
talk to the human customer in a blue outfit.  He will give you the Iron Hammer.
Take it and go down to the Blacksmith.  Talk to the smith, whose name is Peggi.
Pick the first choice ("Can you sharpen my weapon?") when he first talks to
you.  After that, pick the second choice ("This should be handy") to give him
the Iron Hammer.  You've successfully recruited him.  Now's a good time to head
back to Lake Castle to make use of their shops.

If you're like me and you've been ignoring leveling up your skills, now's a
good time to do it.  Ernie is the Tutor and she can be found in the 2nd floor
room where you gave the Old Books to Eike.  Juan is the bujutsu teacher.  From
the first screen where you enter Lake Castle's courtyard (where Cecile is
standing), head to the west exit on your mini-map to take some stairs down.  In
the middle of the next screen will be a blond man with a blade of grass
sticking out of his mouth.  This is Juan.

Juan and Ernie's comments are different from the standard Tutors and teachers.
What they say and what they mean:


      Standard                   Juan                       Ernie

Perfect Match!           The Results are Amazing!   Unbridled Potential!
Fairly good match        Competent                  There's no denying talent
Natural ability exists   It could be much worse     Your mother would be proud
Average                  Absolutely average         WOW! Just kidding-Average
It will take time        It won't be easy           It won't be easy


Farther to the top of the screen where Juan is will be Peggi, who can now
sharpen your weapons to level 9.  Do so.  Next to Peggi will be some stairs up
which lead to Dominic's Armor Shop.

A word about the Armor Shop, Rune Shop, and Item Shop (which you'll get in a
later chapter).  In order for these shops at Lake Castle to have any stock, you
have to visit the related shops in other towns on the World Map and view their
items for sale.  The shops at Lake Castle will never have any Rarity items,
but any regular items you've viewed at other stores will automatically be
available.  You have to do this with each of the main characters.  That is, if
Geddoe has visited the Great Hollow Armor Shop and viewed their inventory, all
these items will be available at Dominic's shop during Geddoe's scenario.  They
will not be available for Thomas, Chris, or Hugo until they've done the same in
their chapters.

From the screen where Peggi and Juan are standing, head to the left of the
screen.  Keep going and you'll see a Trade Shop which Scott has set up.  Go
inside and buy any Pearls he may have for sale.  From now on, I will leave it
up primarily to you to decide on when you want to upgrade Armor and Accessories
for your teams.  The best stuff is always in the Rarity section and I will note
some of the better gear in the chapters.  For the most part, though, I leave it
up to your own personal tastes from now on.

In terms of what skills I had after this visit, here's what it looked like:

Queen:                         Geddoe:                      Jacques:
Swing-B+                       Parry-C                      Sharpshoot-B+
Accuracy-B+                    Damage-C                     Accuracy-B
Repel-B                        Accuracy-B                   Damage-B
                               Lightning-A                  Repel-E

Aila:                          Ace:                         Joker:
Accuracy-B                     Thief-C                      Counter-Attack-E                      
Repel-C                        Accuracy-B+                  Accuracy-B
Shield Magic-B+                Repel-B                      Repel-C
                                                            Water-B+

As I said before, I'm biased against Earth Magic.  The best offensive spells
it has only hits enemies who are on the ground.  The best defensive spells
aren't worth the time it takes to cast them with the exception of a battle at
the very end of the game.  This is why I choose to forget it for Aila to pick
something else.  I also removed her Earth Rune by visiting Jeane's Rune Shop
(it's in the main courtyard).  It's up to you if you want to keep it.

In terms of support characters, keep in mind that if you take one of them with
you in your party, they may not be available to your other characters during
their chapters.  For example, if you took Jeane with you in this chapter for
support, she won't be in Thomas' chapter 1, Hugo's chapter 2, or Chris' chapter
2 depending on whose chapter you play next.  I keep this in mind when choosing
parties so you don't have to worry about it too much.  When you want to make
any changes to your roster, visit the Inn in the main courtyard.  Talk to
Sebastian, the man with the Hitler moustache at the counter, and pick the
second choice "Organize Party."  My formation leaving Lake Castle:

Queen
Geddoe
Jacques
Aila
Ace
Joker
(No Support)

The complimentary lottery prize at Lake Castle is one of the Old Books.  After
that it's a Mini-Cactus (an antique worth 5,500 potch).

After you're done with Lake Castle, head back to Mt. Hei-Tou.  On the first
screen where you can head north on the mini-map, do so.  Take a left at the
next screen.  This leads to one of the corpses you looted earlier.  To the
left of the corpse hiding in the tall grass will be an orange-colored dog,
Koroku.  Talk to him and pick the first choice ("Adopt") to recruit him.

Remember that Yellow Kennel you picked up?  Outside of Lake Castle's main
house, to the left of that screen, you will see Koroku sitting next to a dog
house.  If you have a Kennel in your inventory, you can go up to the dog house
and hit X to place a Kennel.  You can do that if you like on a future visit to
Lake Castle.

For now, head back the way you came and keep going north to fight the Blue
Mantrix treasure boss again.  You should have killed enough time for him to re-
spawn.  If he's not there, fight random battles for a few minutes and keep
checking back.  You don't have to leave Mt. Hei-Tou to make him re-spawn.  Use
the same strategy as before and you won't have any problems.  Loot the entire
chest again.  This time around, the notable treasure I got was:

Medal Set #3
? Painting

Again, your items may vary but all the good treasure boss loot will eventually
pop up.  To identify any antique with the ?, just visit an appraiser (there's
one in VdZ in this chapter).  Exit Mt. Hei-Tou.  If you bought more lottery
tickets at VdZ or Lake Castle, you should pass the time to check the results
now because we'll be heading to the end of the chapter.  Any lottery tickets
you buy and didn't check by the end of a chapter become automatic losers.

Stop by the Great Hollow to sell off anything you don't really need like excess
armor and items.  I'd advise you to have at least 6 Medicine (36 total) and 2
Antitoxin in your main inventory.  Cross Plain Amur to get to the Mt. Path.
When you first enter, you'll see a blue save crystal.  Save your game now.  The
enemies you'll be facing in random encounters here are pretty tough.  Here's
some strategies for taking down the enemy groups you may encounter:

NEVER use Geddoe's lightning magic.  You'll be needing it for a treasure boss
fight later.  Try to use only Medicine to heal instead of Joker's Water Rune or
Aila's Shield Rune.  If you encounter a group of butterflies or the Yellow
Sirven (serpents), use the Mercenary A combo with Jacques' Boronda Hawk Rune to
soften them up and then use everyone else to take them down.  If you encounter
Salamanders, concentrate on taking them down one at a time.  Use Ace's Double
Tusk Rune and have everyone else attack normally.  If you encounter a group of
Devil Eyes, it's better to use Geddoe and Queen against one of them, then
Aila/Jacques and Ace/Joker after one of the other ones.  For the most part,
it's just a matter of taking down these enemies one at a time during the random
encounters on the Mt. Path.  I've never run into a rare encounter on the Mt.
Path.  You can also use Escape Scrolls to take you back to where you entered on
the Mt. Path.

From the blue save crystal, head for the northwest exit on the mini-map.  The
northeast exit just dead ends if you're wondering.  From the next screen, take
the east exit on your mini-map.  The north exit from this screen leads to some
herbs.  From here on, just follow the path on the mini-map.  When you reach the
blue save crystal after crossing the waterfalls, definitely save it here.  Keep
following the path to exit this screen.  If you keep going right, you'll see
another treasure boss, the Twin Head Snake.  Before getting close to him to
activate the fight, heal up all your guys.  All my guys were level 30 (except
Aila, who was 28) with the skills I mentioned previously.  This is the strategy
I use:

This boss has four attacks.  The Left Head uses Wind Magic and casts healing
magic.  The Right Head casts Fire Magic.  The main head has a rather gross
looking tongue attack that hits those within hand-to-hand attack range.  Its
most dangerous attack is a combination magic attack that involves all three
heads.  My strategy is to focus on taking out the Left Head first so it can't
regenerate HP or use the combination magic attack.

I cast Berserk Blow on the Left Head with Geddoe and use the archers' regular
melee attacks on it, too.  I then use Ace's Double Tusk Rune on the Left Head.
After that, I use Great Blessing with Aila to heal if everyone's hurt or
Medicine/Joker's Kindness Drops to heal if only a certain pair are hurt.
Following the first round, I focus my attacks on the Left Head again, using
Berserk Blow with Geddoe and the archers' melee attacks.  Once the Left Head is
gone, I cast Soaring Bolt with Geddoe and focus on the Right Head.  When only
the main head is left, I cast Battle Oath with Aila and mop up with melee
attacks from there.  On occasion, I lose Queen or Aila because of their low HP
but as long as you keep everyone healed properly, that shouldn't be a problem.
This battle usually takes me 4-6 rounds to finish.

The notable loot I got after this fight was:

? Figurine
? Statue

The rest was just regular armor and medicine. If you want, you can loot the
entire chest and wander around until the treasure boss re-spawns.  The next
time around it will be a different creature, the Rock Golem.  There's no need
to do this and I suggest you just take what you want and move on.

Instead of heading to Caleria, take the northeast exit on the mini-map.  On the
next screen, check your mini-map to see that the road leads to a dead end to
the south and an exit to the north.  You want to follow the mini-map to get to
the dead end to the south.  You'll find a corpse there that has Recipe #7.
Make your way back to the clearing where you fought the Twin-Head Snake.  Take
the east path on your mini-map (where the Calerian man is standing).  On the
next screen, just follow the path to the exit.  You'll end up back on the World
Map.  Head to Caleria.

When you enter, you'll see a brief cutscene.  Ace will point out where the HQ
is.  To advance the story, this is where you should go.  I suggest you do some
other things first.  Head to the inn, which is located in the right middle of
the mini-map.  Stay and Save.  There's a man with a theater mask on the second
floor of the inn, Nadir, but you can't recruit him yet.  Exit the inn and head
to the Trade Shop, it's located in the upper left of the mini-map right before
you enter the open doorway.

Inside the Trade Shop, to the bottom left of the screen is a man named Mike.
He will join your party if you can beat him at a game of cards.  The name of
the game is Kabu, which is essentially Blackjack but with the number "9"
instead of "21".  You can listen to his explanation of the rules to get a grasp
of the game.

One facet of the game you may have a hard time understanding (like I did) is
what happens when you go over 9 and how the point total is scored.  Basically,
if any number you get is over 10, the count starts over at 0.  Let's say you
start with a 4 then get a 6.  This equals 10.  Your total then is 0.  Let's now
say that you start with a 4 then turn up a 10, giving you 14.  Your score is
then 4.  To calculate what your score is if you go over 10 simply subtract 10
from it.  To view what the special scores are (such as Shippin), just press
Square at any time.  The dealer's special score, Kuppin, which is an Ace and a
9, will beat pretty much any score, including Shippin.

Keep playing Mike until you get 20,000 potch.  It usually takes me a few tries
but I've heard of many people going crazy because he beats them every time.  I
recommend soft-resetting if you lose more than 10,000 potch and simply trying
again.  Most of the time when I win I go for Shippin.  That is, I go with the
9,000 bet and go for the 4 or Ace when it turns up.  If you get Shippin with
this bet your win is automatically 27,000 and you can recruit him.

Mike will now be located at Lake Castle and you can play Kabu with him to earn
money.  His room is on the first floor to the right as you come in through the
main entrance (next to the elevator).  One of the major things I took into
consideration when writing this Walkthrough was to have it so you never have to
play Mike for money.  It's just not worth the aggravation.  A decent average
you can expect is 100,000-200,000 potch after an hour of playing him with lots
of soft resetting.  Most of the time, though, you'll just lose money and waste
a lot of time you'll never get back.  Mike is quite useful as a support
character, though.

After you get Mike, sell any Pearls you may have bought at Lake Castle at this
Trade Shop.  Exit and head to the Item Stand.  Check the Rarity section and buy
a couple of Soaring Bolt if they have it.  Also buy 3 Escape Scrolls.  Buy 2
Sacrificial Jizos, one for Queen and the other for Aila.  Head to the Armor/
Blacksmith Shop located to the lower left of the mini-map.  Talk to the little
Calerian boy and he'll give you Tomato Seeds.  Unless you've been on a spending
frenzy and have been hoarding all your loot, you should have the money to
upgrade everyone's weapon to level 10 here.  Head left to the Armor Shop to
upgrade whatever you like.  When you're done there, exit and head to the top of
the mini-map and through the open doorway.

You'll trigger a cutscene and Ace will leave your party.  There's a bujutsu
teacher here if you want to upgrade your physical skills.  To the top left of
the screen by the training dummies is another man with his arms folded.  This
is the other warehouse keeper that only Geddoe can use.  Talk to him if you
want to adjust your inventory.  If you have a bunch of items with ?, you can
leave them at the warehouse or take them with you, keeping in mind that only
VdZ has an appraiser right now (you can visit VdZ in Geddoe's next chapter as
well so don't think you have to do it right this instant).

Head to the inn to advance the story and trigger another cutscene.  You'll meet
Duke and his team for the first time.  Pick whatever dialogue option you want
when the choices come up, it doesn't really affect anything.  The cutscene will
continue then Geddoe's chapter will come to an end.  At the Trinity Site, save
your game and do not overwrite this save game-it's critical if you decide to
play Thomas' chapter now and choose not to play through it.

Geddoe [15/108]
Ace [16/108]
Joker [17/108]
Queen [18/108]
Jacques [19/108]
Aila [20/108]
Dominic [21/108]*
Scott [22/108]*
Jeane [23/108]*
Ernie [24/108]*
Peggi [25/108]*
Koroku [26/108]*
Mike [27/108]*

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
4e.  Break--Time to Decide about Thomas

You can now decide whether or not you wish to try out Thomas' chapters now or
later.  Keep in mind that if you put off playing his chapters as I've suggested
you will see chunks of his story revealed in the other 3 main characters'
chapters.  Some of it is definitely spoilers.  I gave it a lot of thought and
still decided to put it at the end because I believe it'll actually make you
want to play his story after viewing bits of it to get an idea of what you're
in for.  However, I certainly understand if you'd rather not want to know about
anything that happens in his chapters ahead of time.  It's up to you and you've
been given fair warning.  His chapters are entirely optional and something of
an acquired taste.  There's a possibility you may _really_ dislike it and not
care to play through it.  You won't lose any Stars of Destiny if you skip it.

In the Walkthrough I've kept his chapters in mind in terms of recruiting and
whatnot.  One big advantage of putting off Thomas' chapters until later is you
can give him a nice financial advantage if you wait as I've recommended.  If
you want to do Thomas' chapters now, skip ahead to his section.  I've broken it
off farther away from Chris' chapter 3 so you don't inadvertently see something
from her chapter.  If you'd rather put it off until later, go ahead and
continue with Chris' Chapter 2.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
4f.  Chris Chapter 2

Select Chris' Chapter 2 from the Trinity Site.

A couple of friendly reminders.  Chris can't play the lottery until Chapter 3
and try to keep your money level at around 50,000 potch.  Also, don't bother
upgrading Leo, Borus, or Percival's armor-they'll automatically get really good
armor later in the game (not in this chapter though).  At the start of Chris'
chapter, you'll see a brief scene with her butler.  Once you get control of
her, head to the Guild Hall area where you would normally enter to go to the
area with the shops (the middle bottom exit on your mini-map).  You'll see an
extended cutscene where Alanis, Melville, and Elliot say goodbye to each other.
If you didn't get a GrapeC from the Trade Shop in the last chapter check back
there now for one.  To make the story advance, head to the front gate.  You'll
meet up with Borus and Louis.  Leave the city and save at the blue crystal.

Head past Zexen Forest and Yaza Plain to get to Lake Castle.  The rare
encounter for the Forest is still the Father Holly.  For the Yaza Plain, it's
a Gold Boar with two Dark Bunnies.  I recommend you run from both of those for
now.  Once you arrive at Lake Castle, you'll see another extended cutscene
where Thomas and Chris chat.  When that's over, you'll be back on the World Map
and Chris can now recruit.  If you go back to Lake Castle, you can make use of
the characters you recruited during Geddoe's Chapter 1.  Note that you can't
put anyone he recruited in your party, though.  This is how it will work until
Chapter 4-your main characters can only put the characters they recruited
themselves in their party.

Cross Yaza Plain and head to Brass Castle to make the story progress.  After
you're done talking with Borus, head to the Knights' Parlor.  After conferring
with Salome and Percival, go to Chris' room.  Talk to Louis and pick the first
choice.  You'll see another extended scene where Chris gives the other Knights
their new orders.

When you get control of Chris, head to the Knights' Parlor again.  Talk to
Salome and pick the 3rd option ("I need to plan our formation").  I use this
setup:

Chris
Leo
-----
Roland
Borus
Percival
Louis (Support)

You can advance the story now by talking to Salome again but I suggest you take
some time to level up your party first.  You can check with the Trader on the
far east side of Brass Castle to see if he has any Ancient Text, but again this
is a rare occurrence.

Exit Brass Castle and head to Yaza Plain to level up.  In about 10 minutes you
should be able to get everyone to level 32 by fighting the monsters out there.
If you run into the Gold Boar/Dark Bunnies rare encounter, use Roland's Great
Hawk to make sure you hit the Bunnies to prevent them from casting lightning
spells.  Go after the Bunnies first with the other 2 units then focus on the
Gold Boar with your melee attacks.  Heal with your items and Percival's
Kindness Drops from his Water rune.  You can get everyone up to level 34 with
about another 10-15 minutes of running around for random encounters if you
like.  When you're done, head to Lake Castle to level up your skills.  This is
how my party looked afterward:

Chris:                     Leo:                         Roland:
Parry-C                    Damage-B                     Sharpshoot-C
Swing-C                    Armor Protect-B+             Accuracy-C
Damage-C                                                Damage-C
Repel-C                                                 Repel-C
Armor Protect-C
Heavy Damage-C
Accuracy-C

Borus:                     Percival:
Accuracy-C                 Parry-C
Armor Protect-C            Swing-C
Heavy Damage-C             Repel-C
Damage-C                   Accuracy-B
Repel-C

Exit Lake Castle and head for the North Cavern.  Just make your way to the very
end.  The Bone Soldiers are a particular concern here because they can do a
good deal of damage while your guys can't do the same.  Do your best to
concentrate on them one at a time and you'll get through it okay.  Don't be shy
to heal if someone gets really banged up.  Before you reach the very end of the
cavern, save at the blue crystal.  There's a treasure boss here now and it's a
Chimera.  Nothing special, really-it has some damaging attacks but nothing you
can't handle.  Just use your melee attacks and heal when necessary.  The
notable loot I got this time was:

Mangosh
Herb Seeds
Mother Earth Rune
Script #3
Old Book Vol. 11
Medal Set #5
Blessed Helm

Loot everything if you want to fight the treasure boss again later (I recommend
that you do).  Exit the cavern and head to VdZ.  When you get past the City
Gate, you'll see Guillaume chasing after a little girl again just like in
Geddoe's Chapter 1.  Head to the screen with the inn.  At the top left portion
of this screen, talk to Nei and Toppo, who will tell you that the 3rd member of
their Busker Troupe, Shabon, is missing.  Head to the front of the Guild Hall
where you'll see Guillaume chasing after Shabon in circles.  You'll get into
your first winnable duel.

Duels are one-on-one contests where you are given 3 options:  Defend, Attack,
or Deathblow.  It's a rock-paper-scissors type battle with an advantage meter
thrown in.  Basically:

When your Enemy does:         You Should:

Attack                        Deathblow
Defend                        Attack
Deathblow                     Defend

You'll note a small green circle at the bottom near the duel gauge.  This
indicates a DISadvantage.  That means if the circle is under your character's
portrait, your enemy has the upper hand.  In this case, the usual rules above
will be bent somewhat in favor of the person with the advantage.  For example,
normally if you Deathblow when your enemy Attacks, you take no damage.  On the
other hand, if they have the advantage, they will still get in an Attack and
cause you damage.  Therefore, if the advantage is totally in your favor, you
have some leeway to make a mistake and not pay for it.  It works the other way
as well.

An important thing to remember about duels is that some Runes that affect your
status will be in effect when you duel.  This can be good in the case if you
have something like a Fury Rune or very bad if you forgot to remove that
Hunter Rune you were messing around with.  Some of Guillaume's comments and
what he'll do:

Attack:
-------
You've made your uncle very angry!
Ouch, you'll pay for that!
Ho, ho, ho.  Allow me to make my point.
Pesky opponent!  The next one won't miss!
Ho, ho, ho!  Your life is mine!
Coward!
All this staring at each other.  Like a prelude to marriage.  But I don't mind.
Snap out of it.  There's no turning back now.
Ho, ho, ho!  I am simply too strong!

Defend:
-------
Ho, ho, ho.  Did you think I would only defend?
Hmph.  Your turn.
Careful, careful.
I'll take a page from your book!
Ouch!  I better stop to catch my breath!
Ho, ho, ho.  I am truly at my best today.
Ah, this is really quite comfortable.

Deathblow:
----------
Deathblow Attack!  Furious Flame!
Deathblow Attack!  Ominous Oceans!
Deathblow Attack!  The most furious of flames!

There're others but you get the gist of it and can pretty much tell what he'll
do.  After the cutscene, pick the first dialogue choice ("How about Budehuc
Castle?") and you'll recruit Nei, Toppo, and Shabon.  If you picked up any
Ancient Text at Brass Castle, you can sell them to the Trader here.  Sell any
excess items you may have, too.  You can go shopping here (definitely check out
the Guild Hall items) and sharpen your weapons up to level 9 back at Lake
Castle.  One skill you should definitely invest in is Chris' Swing-try to get
it up to a B.  In the low to mid-30's level this will give her two attacks per
round, which will make the upcoming series of battles much easier.

Exit VdZ and head back to Brass Castle.  To advance the story, go to the
Knights' Parlor and talk with Salome.  Pick the second dialogue option twice
and you'll see a custscene where the Knights prepare to attack the Great
Hollow.  You will then be taken to a strategy battle.  The winning condition is
to take out 5 enemy units.  The losing condition is losing Chris' unit, so make
sure she doesn't go down.

You will likely get annoyed at the computer AI controlling your units during
battle but don't let it get to you-it'll get better later.  There's a few
things to keep in mind here.  Borus and Percival will show up at the start of
your 3rd turn.  The most dangerous units are Dupa's and Bazba's.  Dupa has a
Fury Rune which puts him in Berserk status-if he gets one lucky critical hit,
it's lights out for whoever he hit.  Bazba will occasionally cast a Cyclone
Magic spell that can cause "Combat Stifled", which is another automatic lights
out.  Unless Dupa's team is damaged pretty well, only use Leo to confront him.
As for Bazba, just don't let him engage Chris-anyone else is fine.

To get a Major Victory, avoid losing an entire unit.  The prize you get for
scoring a Major Victory is an Evasion Ring, which boosts the wearer's Repel
skill by 1 grade.  Lastly, if you put your units in place to "Cover" this gives
your attacking unit a boost to the damage they do.  The more units covering,
the more damage.

At the start of the battle, move Chris one circle to the southeast.  Move Leo
and Roland one circle to the east.  Don't move past these circles until Borus
and Percival show up.  The computer's strategy can vary pretty wildly but it
usually will send the Lizard Units with 3 fighters up to meet your guys.  Just
use Roland and Chris at that point to try to take them out.  Once Borus and
Percival show up, try to put your units in position to cover each other.  Leo,
Chris, and Borus' units are the best to use for attacking.  As long as you
don't put your units in a position where they're attacked a consecutive number
of times, you shouldn't lose an entire unit.  If one of the units that's just
made up of Zexen Regulars is attacked by a unit with full health, just have
them retreat.  You should be able to get a Major Victory out of this.

After the strategy battle, you'll be asked to set up your formation.  I use the
same one as before:

Chris
Leo
-----
Roland
Borus
Percival
Louis (Support)

Head toward the front entrance of the Great Hollow.  On the way you'll have to
beat 2 waves of 6 lizard fighters.  They're not too much trouble-just focus on
taking them down one at a time.  You can get some decent loot such as New
Chainmail, Damaged Helms, and Mega Medicine D when you win.  When you reach the
front, Borus will send out a challenge, to which Shiba and 5 lizard fighters
respond.  Same tactics as before and you'll win easily.  Do make sure that
Chris has all her HP at the end of this fight.  You'll then see the Grassland
leaders come out to talk with Chris.  When you're given the dialogue option,
you can pick the second choice, "...." to which Salome will stand up for Chris.
After that, if you pick "But..." Roland will speak up for Chris.  If you pick
the other choice regarding duty, Chris will speak up for Zexen.

For the first dialogue choice, if you picked "Stop these foolish accusations!",
Lucia will challenge Chris to a duel.  If you pick the first choice, "So be it"
this is exactly what Chris will do.  Picking the second choice, "I cannot" and
Chris will say it is beneath her to duel in the ways of barbarians.  If you
opted to duel, the odds are heavily in Chris' favor-she can take down Lucia
pretty quick whereas Lucia has to get in about 8 hits or more.  Lucia's
comments and what she does:

Attack:
-------
Saucy Knight!
Such a lack of passion.  I'll spice this up.
If that is how you wish to battle...
Ha!  There's no need for discretion here White Maiden.
Let's see what the White Maiden can withstand.
It's been an even match.  Until now.

Defend:
-------
I suppose you're good enough to be called White Maiden.
A battle of resistance...
That won't help us decide who wins.
So you are serious after all.  But how serious?
I'll withstand your worst.
Without caution attack is useless!
Where's the sport in this?  It's not a battle if you don't fight.
Hmmm.  Too tired to give me your best?

Deathblow:
----------
By the power of Karaya!
Very well, stay like that!
Let's make this the final blow.
My Karaya brethren lend me your strength!
That wasn't very exciting.  Try this!
Ah, just like a little girl.  What about this?

If you won, Beecham and some Karayan fighters come to Lucia's aid.  If you
lost, the Zexen Knights do likewise for Chris.  If you beat Lucia in a duel or
you didn't bother to duel her, a messenger comes up to tell Salome some news
and the Knights withdraw.  If you beat Lucia in a duel, she'll tell Chris that
she won't forget this.  If things ended peacefully, Chris simply walks away and
asks Lucia to stop calling her White Maiden.  If you lost the duel, Chris
orders the Knights to withdraw.  Personally, I prefer not to duel Lucia because
she's got a good point.

The aftermath is the same regardless of what happened.  You'll see a cutscene
with Salome and Chris.  To make the story advance, head out to the western
courtyard of Brass Castle.  You'll see Salome talking to a soldier by the gate.
When you're given the dialogue choice, pick whichever one you want (I usually
pick the first one).  Head out to Zexen Forest-don't worry about random
encounters because you won't get far.  Head west a few screens and you'll see
a couple of cutscenes.  If you've ever fantasized about waking up as a hot babe
with a bunch of dudes looking over you, well here ya go.  

When you can control Chris again, head to the bujutsu teacher and bump up your
skills.  I tend to go with Accuracy, Damage, Armor Protect, and Heavy Damage.
To make the story advance, head to the west courtyard and talk to Percival.
Pick the first choice and the two of you will head out.  Pick the second choice
then say you'd rather not go if you want to do other things first.  Exit Brass
Castle and Iksay Village will pop up on the World Map.

If you want, you can go to Mt. Hei-Tou to fight the Blue Mantrix.  You can win
with just Chris and Percival.  Put Percival in a separate slot and have him
defend.  If he gets hit have him heal with his items.  If Chris gets paralyzed
or hurt bad, have Percival heal her with Kindness Drops.  Use only Chris to
attack. It'll take a little while but you can take him down with just those
two.  There's a character in Iksay Village that you can recruit if you have
100,000 potch.  If you don't have that much you can opt to fight the Blue
Mantrix or just wait until a little later in the chapter.  I usually have the
cash and fight the Blue Mantrix just for the heck of it.  From that fight, I
got 70,000 potch plus a Double-Strike Rune.  It's a good idea to loot the whole
chest so you can come back to fight it later if you want.  You can't enter the
Great Hollow in this chapter, either, if you're wondering.

Heading to Iksay will advance the story.  You should know that once you enter
there you can't leave for a while due to story reasons.  There's an opportunity
while you're in Iksay to fight infinite battles, the only place in the game
that I know of.  If you want to get a bunch of skill points cheaply for Nei,
Toppo, and/or Shabon, stop at Lake Castle before going to Iksay and put them in
your party by talking to Sebastian at the Inn.  I recommend taking at least
Nei-she's quite good at higher levels.  You don't have to upgrade any of their
gear, weapons, or skills-they won't be doing the fighting.  You should go to
Lake Castle first just to replenish Percival's spells, to bump up skills, and
to sell any excess items/store anything you want.

Upon entering Iksay, you'll get a cutscene and learn a little more about
Percival.  When you get control of Chris, head to the right of the screen.
Between two houses is a ninja in black.  This is Watari.  If you have the
100,000 potch, go ahead and pay him to recruit him.  If not, later on you can
come back here once you have the cash.  Several people have e-mailed me saying
Watari isn't there.  I've never had this problem but if this happens to you,
just come back later after the story events in Iksay and try again.

Journeyman sent me this e-mail about getting Watari:

"In Iksay Village- If Watari does not show up instantly, go to the inn to save
then do a soft reset, After loading you should see Watari across from the inn
between the 2 houses."

Thanks to Journeyman for this tip.

If you've already played Thomas' chapter 1, skip to the next paragraph.  Go to
the Item Shop.  If you have a full party of 6 (not counting Support), you'll
trigger a cutscene with the owner, Gordon.  Tell him about Lake Castle and
he'll join.  If you don't have a full party right now, just come back later
after you can leave Iksay to get him.  Talk to the little girl in the shop and
she'll give you a Pale Gate Rune--don't sell this or get rid of it, it may be
the only one you get for the entire game.

The Item Shop in Iksay occasionally will have a Rose Brooch in the Rarity
section.  If you want to go ahead and recruit Augustine (the fellow with the
hat standing by the VdZ docks) with Chris buy it and give it to him later.  I
prefer to recruit Augustine with Thomas but it's up to you.

If you want to recruit someone with a strong rating in Healing support skill,
go to the 2nd floor of the inn.  You can leave this person for Thomas if you
like but it's up to you.  There's no one else in his chapter with this support
skill.  It's useful for both Chris and Thomas but not essential for either.
The person is Mio, a nurse.  When you go up to the second floor you'll see her
with a doctor, Tuta from Suikoden II.  Pick the first dialogue choice ("Excuse
me, are you doctors?") to recruit Mio.  You'll get Tuta later.

Although you can't play the Iksay Lottery with Chris right now, I'll go ahead
and tell you the prizes.  The first complimentary prize is a Recipe.  After
that, it's a SkyOwl Painting.  To make the story progress, head all the way to
the back where the windmills are and stand by the back fence.  You'll trigger
a conversation with Nash, the protagonist from the Suikogaiden games.  Pick
whatever dialogue you feel like-it doesn't impact anything.  You'll then be
interrupted and see a CG cutscene.

Head to the front of the village.  If you brought Nei, Toppo, and/or Shabon
with you, put them behind Chris and Nash in a formation like this:

Chris
Toppo
Nei
Shabon
Nash
-----
(No Support)

Only have Nash and Chris attack.  You'll run into a group of 4 lizard fighters
at the front of the village.  You shouldn't have too many problems-Chris can
take them out all by herself.  Percival will then join up with you.  If you
brought all the buskers I recommend this formation:

Chris
Toppo
Nei
Shabon
Percival
Nash
(No Support)

You'll then run into a group of 2 Karaya Fighters and 2 Lizard Fighters. Again,
nothing special.  Head to the back where the windmills are.  You'll next meet
up with Shiba and 5 lizard fighters.  Pick the first choice ("I'm ready to take
you on") to fight-you won't have much problems winning with Chris and Percival.

After this fight is the infinite battles I mentioned earlier.  If you want the
story to progress, head back to the windmills.  If you want to fight the
battles, head toward the front of the village.  The battles always have 2
Lizard fighters and 2 Karaya Fighters.  These guys aren't tough at all but they
are worth 300 skill points collectively plus 8,800 potch.  In about 10-12
minutes worth of work, you can get 4,200 skill points to be divided up among
however many people are in your party. If you just have Chris, Percival, and
Nash this means 1,400 skill points each; if you brought all 3 of the buskers,
this means about 700 skill points each.  You can also get 100,000+ potch in
that time as well.  The people to benefit most would be Percival and any of the
buskers you brought with you.  Chris and Nash will eventually get more skill
points than they'll ever need but you can give them an early advantage with
these battles.

When you're ready to head to the back to advance the story, make sure Chris'
health is full.  You'll run into Dupa and Jimba.  After some conversation,
you'll get into a duel with Jimba.  Again, this duel is in Chris' favor.  It's
pretty easy to tell what Jimba will do based on his comments so just counter
accordingly.  Some of his comments and what he'll do:

Attack:
-------
Now it's time for me to strike.
See how you like this.
You're playing it safe.  That's fine with me.
Strong enough.  Let's see how you handle this.
You're quite skilled.  How about this?
We'll lose our audience if we carry on like this.

Defend:
-------
Go on, take a swing at me!
Quite solid, but is it luck or skill?
Now it's your turn.
I've never had to play it this safe before.
Well, well...Having trouble?  Maybe next time.
Is this a staring match or a battle?
Damn!  I better take a breather.

Deathblow:
----------
Let's do this my way.
Milady, I will not hold back.
Sorry, but I've been doing this a lot longer than you have.
This has carried on long enough.  I'll finish it quickly.
I hope this isn't too much for you.

You'll then see another extended cutscene.  When that's over you'll have
control of Chris again.  If you fought some of the infinite battles, you likely
have a ton of Damaged Helms and New Chainmail.  You can sell those at the Item
Shop for a tidy profit.  Exit Iksay to see another scene.  If you don't want
to play Thomas' chapters, go back to Iksay.  Head to the back and on your way
you'll see a brunette girl with a hand puppet.  This is Mel.  If you intend to
play Thomas' chapters, I highly recommend you let him recruit her.  If not, go
ahead and talk to her now with Chris to recruit her.

Go to Lake Castle.  Upgrade any skills you want.  Head to the screen where
Scott's Trade Shop is located.  Move past it to the left of the screen and
you'll see a gray door.  Enter it.  In this hallway is Watari.  Talk to him and
you'll trigger a cutscene.  Go see Sebastian to put Watari in your party.
Upgrade Watari's skills however you like and sharpen his weapon to level 9.
It's not necessary to upgrade his armor.

Leave Lake Castle and go to the North Cavern next.  Head all the way to the end
again and save again at the blue crystal.  If your levels are pretty high
(my party was 34-36 at this point) you can just "Let Go" of those stupid Bone
Soldiers and not have to fight them at all.  When you reach the end of the
Cavern, you'll see the female ninja from Watari's flashback, Ayame.  Watari
will then duel her.  This is one of the tougher duels in the game so be
careful.  Her comments and what she'll do:

Attack:
-------
Let me show you how pleased I am to see you again.
Now I'll get you back.
If you only defend...
When are you going to stand up and fight?
Don't feel too good about that.
Enough messing around!
Here we go...

Defend:
-------
I believe this is how to properly defend oneself.
So, we think alike after all.
It's been a while, let's see if you've improved.
Are you getting enough to eat?  You're not very effective.
Sorry, no effect.
I wouldn't hold still like that.
That was good, but probably the best you can do.
At least you don't fight worse than before.
This is taking too long.

Deathblow:
----------
This will let you know how glad I am to see you again.
And now, the finishing stroke.
Good night, Watari.
I'll help you remember your past.

If you lose to her, Watari will say, "Sayonara, witch" and Ayame will leave.
It can take a while before Ayame shows up again so do your best to win the duel
the first time.  When you beat her, Ayame will join.  Heal up Watari and exit
the screen.  Go back and the Chimera treasure boss will be there again.  Just
use the same tactics as before.  The notable loot I got:

Castle Kennel
? Painting

If you want to fight this boss again later, go ahead and take everything.  Exit
the North Cavern.  Head to the VdZ Trade Shop and buy a GrapeC if you haven't
got one yet.  If you got a Rose Brooch earlier at Iksay you can get Augustine
now.  If you're planning on playing Thomas' chapters, I recommend you leave
him so Thomas can get him later.  You can also fight the Mt. Hei-Tou boss again
if you like (I opt not to since I've got 400,000 potch right now).  Buy a
Sacrificial Jizo from the Guild Hall Item Shop or Lake Castle Item Shop and put
it on Percival.  Make sure you've done everything you want with him in terms of
his skills.  To make the story progress, head back to the west side of Brass
Castle.

At Brass Castle go to the west courtyard to get a cutscene.  Head upstairs to
Chris' room and talk to Louis.  Pick the first choice to advance the story.
You'll then see a cutscene and a conversation with Salome.  When given the
choice, I pick the first option ("Salome...") but it doesn't really matter.  Go
to Chris' room and check the bookcase.  Nash'll pop out and ask you to go with
him.  If you pick the first choice, you'll agree and Chris' chapter 2 will be
effectively over.  If you'd rather do some other things like fight the treasure
bosses again or whatnot, pick the 2nd choice three times.  Nash will leave.  He
will then be in the eastern courtyard of Brass Castle to the left of the Item
Stand.  To advance the story, talk to him again and agree to go with him.  Then
go back to Chris' room and elect to rest and you'll leave with Nash.

Once you agree to go with Nash, Chris will change her outfit and you'll proceed
to the secret passageway.  You'll note that all of Chris' gear has changed-the
stuff you put on her previously is now stored at your warehouse.  Just follow
the passageway to the end-the random monsters won't be any trouble.  If you get
poisoned by the spiders, just use Kindness Drops from Nash's water rune to
heal.  When you reach the exit, there'll be another cutscene and Chris'
chapter 2 will end.

Nei [28/108]*
Toppo [29/108]*
Shabon [30/108]*
Watari [31/108]*
Gordon [32/108]*
Mio [33/108]*
Ayame [34/108]*
Nash [35/108]

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
4g. Hugo Chapter 2

Pick Hugo's story next.  You'll be on the World Map.  Head to Duck Village to
get a cutscene with Rhett and Wilder coming up asking for help.  To make the
story go, you can head to the left.  Before doing that, I suggest heading to
the right to go to the Item Shop to sell any loot you don't need.  Buy 2
Sacrificial Jizos and put them on Fubar.  Also put the best Medicine you have
in Fubar's remaining item slot.  If you got any Deer Antler or Crystal Balls
from VdZ, you can sell those at the Trade Shop here for a nice profit.  If
you're like me, you probably have about 150,000-200,000 potch right now.  I
recommend you go ahead and play the lottery one more time just to give yourself
a money cushion-Hugo won't be able to fight any treasure bosses until his next
chapter and you'll be able to kill some time quite soon.

When you're done with all that, head to the front of the Rune Shop/Tutor to
see a cutscene with Lilly, whose all grown up since Suikoden II and my personal
favorite character in the game.  When she asks for Hugo's identity, you can
pick whatever choice you like.  Afterward, everyone runs off.  Head to the inn
to get another scene.  When Lilly asks, pick the first choice ("Okay...") to
advance the story.  When you're given another dialogue option, you can pick the
first choice ("Who is the Flame Champion?") to get more background info. on the
Flame Champ or the second option to question Lilly's motives.  When Lilly asks
if you want to join up, you can say no by picking the third choice, asking
the Sgt.'s opinion with the second choice, or agreeing by picking the first
choice.  To make the story advance you'll need to go with Lilly so I just pick
the first choice.  I recommend this setup:

Lilly
Samus
Hugo
Fubar
Reed
Sgt. Joe
(No Support)

A couple of notes about what you can do now.  You have access to the eastern
courtyard of Brass Castle where you can sharpen weapons up to level 7 and visit
the Item Stand and Armor Stand.  There's a Tutor in Duck Village but you won't
have access to a bujutsu teacher for a while.  Although VdZ, the North Cavern,
and the west side of Brass Castle are on the World Map, I don't believe there's
any way to go to those places in this chapter.  You're not allowed to pass
through the middle of Brass Castle and trying the secret passageway by the
Trader at Brass Castle doesn't work.  It's like the Great Hollow showing up in
Chris' chapter 2 even though she can't go there.  Also, Sgt. Joe will likely
get one of the Magic Chant skills soon.  I have no clue why this is because he
can't use the Jongleur Rune that goes with Chanting magic.  You can't make him
forget it, either.  I don't know if it's a programming typo and it should be
Focus or what.

Exit Duck Village.  When you get to the World Map, a new area will open-the
Ancient Highway.  Before going there, I suggest you buy about 3 Antitoxin from
the Item Shop and head to Brass Castle to sharpen everyone's weapon/upgrade
armor.  The only skill I would upgrade is Sgt. Joe's Water Magic to a B at Duck
Village. Unless you're really attached to Hugo's Wind Rune, I suggest you
remove it from him and sell it.  If you do this, you should have him "Forget"
his Wind Magic skill.  The only reason to keep it this long would be to use
Wind of Sleep against the Zexens at the end of his chapter 1.

When you're done preparing your party, head to the Ancient Highway.  You'll see
a cutscene then gain entry inside.  The rare encounter for this area is the
Malifaux with 3 TerrorKnights.  Nothing special and the experience boost you
get from that fight is decent.  If you go west 3 screens, you'll see a screen
with a circular room in the middle with a path to the north on your mini-map.
DO NOT proceed toward that circular room-it will trigger a cutscene and an
optional fight you're not ready to do yet.  Instead, roam around the eastern
part of the Ancient Highway and level up to 32.  This should take you about
10-15 minutes.  When you're done, head back to Duck Village to save and check
the lottery results.

The optional fight in the Ancient Highway isn't tough if you've leveled up Hugo
and Fubar's physical skills in his chapter 1, particularly their Accuracy.  If
you want everyone to make it through that fight alive, put a Sacrificial Jizo
on them-to win the fight you're really only going to need to use Hugo/Fubar to
attack and Sgt. Joe's Water Rune to heal.  SAVE at Duck Village again and head
on over to the Ancient Highway.  Keep proceeding west this time until you get
to the circular room.  Make sure everyone's health is maximum and you have all
your magic spells.  You'll trigger a cutscene.  

When Sgt. Joe asks your opinion, pick whatever choice you want-it won't change
anything.  From here on, your dialogue choices will determine whether or not
you get into the optional fight.  When you're asked what to do, picking the
first choice ("Let's talk to them") means you WILL fight.  Picking the second
choice ("Hmm, what should we do?") will give you another dialogue option, to
which Lilly will suggest an attack. If you DISagree with her, you WILL get the
fight.  If you agree with Lilly, this is the only option that leads to avoiding
the fight (as well as a hilarious cutscene).  If you avoid the fight, you must
proceed west to make the story progress and won't be able to go back to the
rest of the World Map for a little while.  If you want to see the funny scene
as well as fight, just pick the choices to avoid it the first time, view the
scene, then soft reset to come back and do the fight.

The fight itself is against the Man in Black, who Aila, Ace, and Joker met in
Geddoe's chapter 1.  His best weapon is his Eight-Devil Rune, which will knock
out anyone in your party except Hugo/Fubar.  He can only use it once during the
battle though.  His other weapons are two strong melee attacks and a Thunder
Rune, which he'll usually use to cast Soaring Bolt although it won't do much
damage.  My strategy for beating him:

In the first round, use the Tinto combo and send the Hugo/Fubar pair in to
attack.  Rarely will the MIB move before Hugo/Fubar but if he does he'll
usually attack the middle where Hugo/Fubar are, which is what you want.  The
Tinto combo will do very little damage (most of the time only 1 point) but
that's not the point.  What you want to do is just attack with Hugo/Fubar and
have the MIB concentrate his attacks on them as well.  Heal Hugo/Fubar every
other round with Sgt. Joe's Kindness Drops unless the MIB got lucky and did
double damage.  You should be able to take him down before Sgt. Joe runs out of
Kindness Drops.  If not, use Samus' Wind Rune to heal them and if you run out
of _that_, use the Medicine you equipped on Fubar to heal (Hugo will still get
an attack).  Using this strategy, I'm able to win every time, although one of
the Tinto characters or Sgt. Joe may go down if they get hit with the
Eight-Devil Rune.  After you win, you'll get a Gold Emblem and some experience,
although usually only enough to bump a few people up 1 level if everyone's at
level 32.

After you win the battle, you'll learn the MIB's name and continue with your
journey.  If you got into the fight but lost, it'll just trigger another
cutscene but you won't have to start over.  The cutscene just shows the MIB
standing over your party's prone bodies then departing.  If you like, you can
head back to Duck Village afterwards to replenish spells or do whatever,
although you can just proceed west to advance the story.

Keep heading west until you come out of the passageway.  You'll see a cutscene
showing the Zexens' raid on Great Hollow from Chris' chapter 2.  When you're
given the choice, you can pick the first option ("Sgt. we must join!") to get
into some fights or pick the second option to just wait it out.  If you opt to
fight, you'll battle a group of 4 Zexen Regulars who aren't any trouble.  Head
to the front of Great Hollow and you'll get into another fight with the same
group.  They're not worth too much in terms of experience or anything else but
it's up to you if you want to fight them.

Regardless of what you chose, you'll then see a cutscene play out according to
whether or not you opted to duel Lucia with Chris.  Enter the Great Hollow and
you'll trigger a scene when you get to the main area.  You can pick whatever
dialogue option you wish when given the choice.  Another cutscene will follow.
When given the dialogue option, again you can choose whichever option you see
fit.  When you get control of Hugo again, head to the 2nd floor where the
Chief's room is to advance the story.  Dupa will give Lilly some background on
the Flame Champion and you'll get another flashback.

Head to the southeast exit on the first floor on your mini-map to get another
scene.  When Lilly asks you about the Flame Champion, you can pick the first
choice to lie and get called on it by Lilly.  Pick the second choice and Lilly
will fill you in.  When Lilly mentions she's been around someone with a True
Rune before, this is in reference to some events 15 years earlier that played
out in Suikoden II.  After this chat, head to the inn and talk to Anne.  Put
Fubar back in your party.  You can now upgrade your skills with the bujutsu
teacher on the 2nd floor, upgrade your gear, and sharpen your weapons up to
level 9.  I do recommend that you go ahead and "Forget" Samus' Wind Magic and
Lilly's Sword of Magic skills-you won't get much mileage out of them the rest
of the way.  To advance the story, exit the Great Hollow.

Head to the World Map exit and you'll run into a familiar face.  When you get a
dialogue choice you can again pick whatever option you want.  Head back into
the Great Hollow to talk with Lucia, who's standing outside the inn.  When you
get asked about delivering the pentacle, you can act goofy and pick the second
option or just tell the truth by picking the first choice.  After you talk some
more, you'll be given another dialogue choice.  Pick the first one to agree to
the mission or pick the second one if you feel uncertain.

After that's over, you can now close the chapter by leaving the Great Hollow
and exiting from there to the World Map.  If you like, you can go back through
the Ancient Highway to get to Duck Village and the other places available.  I
just opt to move ahead but it's up to you if you want to level up and so forth.

There's also one person you can recruit in this chapter, Twaikin the dwarf.  If
you intend to play Thomas' chapters, I highly recommend you let Thomas recruit
him.  If you want to get him now, head back to the Great Hollow.  At the main
area with the waterfalls, take the SE exit on your mini-map.  Follow this path
to the exit.  On the screen after, you'll hear digging noises.  Follow the path
to the left and you'll run into Twaikin.  Talk to him and when the lizard guard
shows up, pick the dialogue choice "Nothing".  When Twaikin asks, suggest to
him to join your group and you'll successfully recruit him.  You can put
Twaikin in your party now if you like by talking to Anne.  I don't because I'd
rather have Fubar.  Thanks to SimUser for providing info. on getting Twaikin in
this chapter.

[No new Recruits in this chapter]

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
4h.  Geddoe Chapter 2

Pick Geddoe from the Trinity Site.  Head to the tavern portion of the inn and
talk to Aila and Ace to put them back in your party.  Head outside and take
the stairs up that are to the right of the Rune Shop.  Go back to the outside
of the inn to view some cutscenes.  I guess Sasarai had a hat-ectomy since
Suikoden II.  After that's over, and if you have the money, you can buy Gold
Bars at the Trade Shop here to sell in VdZ for a profit of 20,000+ potch each.

You'll now have the choice of heading to Le Buque to advance the story but I
suggest you go around the rest of the World Map to fight the treasure bosses at
the North Cavern and Mt. Hei-Tou first.  You'll definitely want to check the
Rarity sections of all the Armor/Item Shops-they've got really good stuff like
Blessed Chainmail at Caleria and Brass Castle as well as Thunderbolt Leather at
Brass Castle.  I also recommend that you add Swing to Ace's skill set-he can
get it up to a B+ with just a small amount of skill points.  Unless there's a
special circumstance, I'm leaving the skill selection/leveling up from here on
mainly up to you.  Just do your best not to let your skill points pile up (more
than 500)-use them when you can.  I do recommend that you leave one empty skill
slot for Geddoe.

When you go to the Mt. Path and come to the area where you fought the Twin-Head
Snake boss, you'll notice a new boss-The Rock Golem.  You can safely walk past
him to take the Le Buque route if you want to advance the story.  If you want
to fight him (and I recommend you do to get to the other places on the Map),
here's the strategy I used:

He's got three noteworthy attacks.  The most dangerous is a Fire Rune spell
called Explosion, which will hit everyone in your party for about 150-200 pts.
of damage.  It's very difficult to stop him from getting this spell off by
damaging him.  His other attacks are punches, one that swings around to hit
everyone in the immediate area and a super punch that targets one person. In
the first round, cast Geddoe's Soaring Bolt and Aila's Battle Oath spells.  Use
Ace's Double Tusk attack.  After that, use Geddoe's Berserk Blow, Ace's Double
Tusk, and everyone else's physical attacks.  Heal with Aila's Great Blessing
spell (if everyone's hurt) and Joker's Kindness Drops (if only a pair is hurt).
It'll take a while (usually 6 rounds for me) but you'll wear him down.  If you
keep getting wiped out, consider using the Soaring Bolt items found as Rarity
at the Caleria Item shop and/or equipping everyone with a Sacrificial Jizo.  I
beat this battle with everyone at level 32 except Aila who was level 31.

The notable loot I got was:

Stone of Magic
Blood Armor
Premier Leather
Fine Chainmail
Beautiful Kennel
? Statue

The Blood Armor is a very nice piece of armor that boosts several of your
stats.  It's only problem is that it causes 15 pts. of damage at the end of
every round.  You can counter this by equipping the person wearing Blood Armor
with the Sunbeam Rune you picked up earlier.  Only Ace and Geddoe in this party
can wear this armor.  Remember that Caleria nearby has a warehouse and a Rune
Shop if you either stored your Sunbeam Rune or have it attached to someone
else.

Some things to keep in mind if you opt not to go to Le Buque right away.  Going
'round the world so to speak to fight the Mt. Hei-Tou and North Cavern treasure
bosses and coming back to this spot will take you a solid hour-which is good
because it'll give enough time for the Rock Golem to re-spawn.  If you bought
Gold Bars in Caleria you can sell them at VdZ as well as getting stuff
appraised there.  While you're in VdZ you can buy some Deer Antler to trade
back at Caleria.  When you cross Plain Amur, the Dark Bunnies there may drop
the item !Screw as loot.  You can pick it up if you like to recruit Belle-the
little girl pounding away on a barrel in the eastern courtyard of Brass Castle.
I prefer to recruit her with Hugo because their scene is different but it's up
to you.  The notable loot I got for fighting the treasure bosses:

Blue Mantrix (Mt. Hei-Tou)    Chimera (North Cavern)      Rock Golem (2nd time)
Counter Rune                  ? Painting                  Guardian Chainmail
Fine Armor                                                LightningMagic Ring
                                                          ? Statue

If you got the LightningMagic Ring as well, slap it on Geddoe.  Go back to
Caleria to rest up and replenish your spells.  Also buy everyone a Sacrificial
Jizo but don't equip them with it yet.  After doing all this stuff, everyone
was at level 37.  To make the story progress, take the path north from where
you beat the Rock Golem.  Take the path north on your mini-map on the next
screen.  After that, follow the path east to get back to the World Map.  Select
to go to Le Buque.  You'll have a brief conversation then immediately get into
a fight with three mantor trainers and their mantors.  These guys aren't all
that tough-I just use Jacques' Boronda Hawk to soften them up then knock them
out with Geddoe's Soaring Bolt.  Concentrate the others' attacks on Franz
because he can use Lightning Magic.

A familiar face will come out to break up the fight.  When you're given the 3
dialogue options, pick whichever one you like.  Head into town and you'll see
another cutscene.  Go to the right over by where the Shops are-you'll set off
another cutscene.  Follow Aila over to the Rune Shop.  You'll notice a kid
standing outside the shop and we'll deal with him later.  Run up to Aila and
you'll eavesdrop on the conversation inside the shop.  Head back to the middle
of town for, yep, another cutscene.  Next, go to the left of the inn at the
back of town to overhear a chat between Iku and Franz.  When you get inside
Iku's house you'll be given 2 choices.  If you go for the first ("I guess")
you'll head outside to do some spying.  If you go for the second ("Let's hear")
you'll hear Iku talk more about Le Buque's situation and Harmonia.  It's up to
you but Iku's talk is pretty redundant, IMHO, so I opt for the spying.

If you decided on the spy option, head to the right of the Armor Stand on the
right side of town.  Next to it is a ladder.  Just get close to the ladder and
you'll trigger a cutscene.  Go back to Iku's house.  Head to the middle of town
for yet another cutscene.  When that's over, you can finally roam around the
town freely without worrying about setting off another cutscene every other
step.  You can get an Arabian Kennel by talking to the villager at the back of
town outside the inn.  Inside the inn, you can get Script #4 from the little
kid talking to her grandma.  You can get Herb Seeds by talking to the little
girl sitting to the left of the Item Stand.  After you're done shopping and
exploring, go to the inn and Stay/Save.

Go to the Rune Shop and talk to the kid standing outside.  This is Edge and he
will challenge you to a duel. Accept.  He's at level 42 so he's likely at least
a few levels higher than you.  His comments and what he'll do:

Attack:
-------
Don't get cocky.
You're better than I thought.  Again!
What's this?  All defense?
Don't chicken out on me.
You won't win just by defending.
I suppose I could go easy on you.
You're no slouch, eh?

Defend:
-------
Come on and take a shot!
Nice work.
Why don't you show me what you've got?
Might as well play it safe.
I see we're both cautious.
Don't get shaken...

Deathblow:
----------
Nice work.  Now how about this?
I'll pay you back double.
Try defending against this!
This should finish it.
I'll end this right away.
Let's make this interesting.
This might just finish it...
Time to get serious.
Stand still!

If you lose to him you can just challenge him again until you win the duel.
Once you beat him you'll recruit Edge.  You won't be able to put him in your
active party but no one else has access to Le Buque until chapter 4 so I just
go ahead and recruit him here.  There's nothing special about getting him with
Chris or Hugo, either.  When you're ready to make the story advance exit the
village.  You'll chat with Iku then be on your way.  When you get to the World
Map, a new location will open-Mt. Senai.  Once you enter Mt. Senai and take
care of business in there, you won't be able to go anywhere else on the World
Map for the rest of the chapter-this includes fighting the Mt. Path treasure
boss again.  This is just to let you know in case you really enjoy doing that.
When you're ready for the story to advance, head to Mt. Senai.

Go up to the blue crystal and save.  There are no rare encounters I'm aware of
here and the enemies aren't that hard.  Head north on the mini-map for 2
screens.  Eventually you'll set off a cutscene.  Head north one more screen and
you'll come to an area with a couple of bridges.  Make sure everyone's at
maximum health before you cross and that you've equipped them with Sacrificial
Jizos from before.  Cross over and head north-you'll get another cutscene.
You get 3 dialogue choices.  Here's what they are and what they'll trigger:

A.  Sorry but we have to keep going (2 consecutive fights)
B.  We're both in the defense force (Leads to Choices A & C)
C.  That Bishop is up to something (No fighting at all)

I always opt for A.  The first fight pits you against Duke and his team, the
second one immediately follows without any break and it puts you up against
the Masked Bishop and Sarah.  My strategy for Duke's team:

Cast Berserk Blow with Geddoe on Duke, have Aila/Jacques attack Elaine, and use
Ace's Double Tusk on Elaine.  DO NOT use Geddoe's Soaring Bolt spell-you'll
need it for the next fight.  After that, target Duke and Gau using Geddoe's
Berserk Blow and everyone else's regular attacks.  Once their gone, mop up
Nicolas-he's tough to hit with melee attacks so use Geddoe's level 1 spell and
Ace's Double Tusk.  When you're close to winning, make sure you heal everyone
with Aila's Great Blessing spell since you'll get into another fight right
after.  My strategy for the next fight:

Sarah will either go for Breath of Ice or a Fire spell.  The Ice spell is very
quick and will usually happen before you act.  On occasion, you might get
lucky and Sarah will go for Kindness Rain for her first move or both of them
will opt for melee attacks.  This is pretty rare though. The Masked Bishop will
go for either a Pale Gate or Wind spell usually but it'll come after everyone
in your group has acted most of the time.  I use Soaring Bolt with Geddoe,
target Sarah with Aila and Jacques, and have Ace do Double Tusk on her.  Most
of your guys will probably be reduced to 0 HP after the first round but that's
what the Sacrificial Jizos are for.  Sarah should've gone down in the first
round.  Just repeat what you did before and you should take out the Masked
Bishop fine in the next round.  You get a nice bump in experience and skill
points for winning these battles (I went from level 37 to 39).

After you win, the Masked Bishop will knock you out with a spell and Joker will
note what rune he used.  When that's over, or if you went for the peaceful
choice, your group will gather outside the altar.  For some reason, you can't
just use an Escape Scroll to zap out to the exit so just walk back.  When you
reach the exit, your group will discuss their options.  Head back to Le Buque
and Stay/Save at the Inn.  Go back to Mt. Senai-there'll be a treasure boss
now at the very back where you fought Sarah and the Masked Bishop.  It'll be
a big guy called Nemesis but he's no tougher than anyone else you've already
faced.  Just use the normal attacks (Geddoe with Soaring Bolt, etc.) and you'll
take him down easy.  The notable loot I received:

Script #6 (only if you loaded Suikoden II data)
Stone of Skill
Hunter Rune
Custom Casque
Custom Leather
Custom Tunic
Mangosh
? Statue

When you're done here, use an Escape Scroll and exit.  Go back to Le Buque to
Stay/Save again.  To end the chapter, go back to the Mt. Path and keep going
back toward Caleria.  Before you get to the treasure boss, you'll see a chat
with your group and a flashback.  The chapter will then end.

Edge [36/108]*

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
4i.  Geddoe Chapter 3

Pick Geddoe at the Trinity Site.  Two things to keep in mind for all three
characters' chapter 3's-don't bother to try to hoard cash for use later.  Keep
it at a decent amount (a few hundred thousand) but don't go for having 999,999
potch at the end of the chapter.  Also, you should have primary armor (such as
the Chainmail, Leather, etc. not accessories) that's at least +60 or better for
them before their chapter 3's are over.  With all the treasure boss monsters
you'll be fighting this won't be much of a problem but it's something to
remember as you play through everyone's chapter 3.  Remember to save an empty
skill slot for Geddoe.

After the opening scene head west through the middle of Brass Castle.  You can
stop by at the bujutsu teacher to boost the team's physical skills if you like.
Head to the west courtyard and you'll see an interesting scene.  Keep heading
west until you come to the blue crystal.  Save and exit to the World Map.  You
have a little freedom to roam somewhat but I suggest you take care of the story
first-there'll be plenty of time to do other stuff later.

Head to Zexen Forest.  The most notable enemy here is the Do Re Mi elves, who
can be something of a pain.  Use Jacques' Boronda Hawk (hopefully he won't get
silenced) and have everyone else attack normally.  You'll also run into a big
orange crab enemy called the Mantikra.  If you get a Crab Rice Bowl as loot
from him, hold on to it.

When you exit Zexen Forest, you can opt to head straight to VdZ to advance the
story or go and fight the treasure boss at the North Cavern.  The new treasure
boss there will be a Stone Golem.  He's a bit tougher than the Rock Golem
because he has more HP and his attacks do a little more damage.  With all the
treasure gear you've gotten plus your skills, it should be more of a matter of
how long it'll take to win rather than if you win or lose.  Most of my party
was bumped up 2 levels after beating him and this was the notable loot:

Custom Leather
Robe of Mist
Herb Seeds
? Statue

If you want a real challenge, you can affix that Hunter Rune you got earlier
to one of your characters for this fight.  The Stone Golem drops Mother Earth
runes so if you're one of those players that really like rare runes, here's a
chance to get them.

Exit and go to VdZ to make the story advance.  When you arrive inside the gate
you'll see a conversation between your party.  Head to the inn to make the
story go if you like or check out the shops first.  At the Item Shop they'll
now have a Rarity called a Yellow Scarf.  This is one of the best accessories
in the game because it negates status ailments like poison, silent, asleep, and
paralysis.  I suggest you buy one for Joker, Geddoe, and Aila if they have it
and for anyone else in the future who uses magic a lot.  Starting in chapter 5
this item will be a regular item at this shop.  At the Armor Shop they'll now
have Wizard Hats.  I recommend you buy one for Geddoe-this will bump him up
another grade for Lightning Magic and will boost it to an A+ or S depending on
whether or not you got the LightningMagic Ring earlier.  Duck Village will be
open to Geddoe later in the chapter so you can pick up Deer Antler and Crystal
Balls at the Trade Shop to sell there later.

When you're done shopping, go to the inn.  Talk to the man at the counter and
pick Stay.  You'll then see a series of conversations with different members of
your team.  When you get control of Geddoe, head to the exit and save at the
blue crystal right outside VdZ.  To advance the story, go to the North Cavern.
After a brief scene just head to the end like you normally would.  Right before
you reach the hallway with the blue crystal, you'll run into an acquaintance.

When you get the dialogue options, pick the first choice if you want to duel
right away.  Pick the second if you want to heal up first or what have you.
Note that you can't get to the blue save crystal-the closest save is the one
right outside of VdZ.  If you lose this duel you'll go to the continue screen.
The odds are heavily in your favor, though.  Your opponent's comments and what
they mean:

Attack:
-------
Here we go!
I'll return that!
Now this is a fight!  Here it comes again!
Don't put me to sleep, Geddoe.
Well, well.  Aren't you cunning?
Come on now, are you really that meek?
What's wrong, Geddoe?  You wanted the real thing, right?
Not bad at all.  I'll go full speed as well.

Defend:
-------
Don't just stand there-Attack!
The next attack is yours.  Come on!
Nice try.  I'll take it as many times as you can bring it.
How long do I have to wait!
That luck will run out!
Hardly felt a thing.  Try a little harder.
So what do you want to do?  I'll give you a chance.

Deathblow:
----------
If that's your game, I've got a little gift for you.
Is that all it took?  This should finish it.
Better than I thought, Geddoe.  Now take this.
Looking me in the eye won't get you sympathy!
Hold still!

You'll see a cutscene after you win.  If Geddoe got banged up, don't forget to
heal him.  Head to the back where you'd normally fight the treasure boss-you
have to go all the way back toward the light.  This will trigger a meeting with
another familiar face and you'll get a new mission.  You'll then be outside the
North Cavern.  Oddly enough, even though I'd only beat the Stone Golem only
25 minutes or so previous, he was there again.  No notable loot this time but
he still gave 140,000 potch.  To advance the story, head to Lake Castle.

When you arrive, you'll see a cutscene of your party looking at a cutscene.
It's essentially pieces of a puzzle that you can see fit together if you play
through Thomas' chapters.  To advance the story, go to the library in the main
house where Ernie and Eike are.  Before that, you can visit the shops here as
well as the inn.  If you're out of Escape Scrolls, make sure to buy some here.

When you enter the library, it's another cutscene.  Exit and head down the
stairs.  If you want to look around some more, pick the second option when the
dialogue comes up.  If not, just pick the first choice.  If you opted to look
around some more, just come back to the front of these stairs to get the choice
to advance the story again.  When the story progresses, you'll see a very
interesting and revealing conversation between Geddoe and Joker.

When you have control of Geddoe, save at the blue crystal.  You'll want to keep
his regular Lightning Rune on him, BTW-it may come in handy later.  Exit the
main house and head to the front gate.  When you reach it, you'll see a little
more of Thomas' story.  Next up is a fight with 5 Zexen regulars.  Geddoe's
lightning magic will take care of them quickly.  Head to the main house to get
another fight with 5 Zexen regulars.  Continue to the house and you'll see some
more cutscenes before ending up inside.  One more battle with 5 more Zexen
regulars.  You'll get another scene to see how it all plays out.

When you exit Lake Castle, a new spot will open on the World Map, Flame 
Champion Hideaway.  You can head there now to make the story progress but I
suggest you do a bunch of other things first.

If you aren't going to be playing Thomas' chapters, head to the Great Hollow to
recruit a dwarf named Twaikin, if you didn't earlier with Hugo.  To find him,
enter the Great Hollow.  At the main area, take the southeast exit on your
mini-map.  Follow the tunnel to the end.  At the screen with the 3 exits on
your mini-map keep going to the left of the screen.  You'll hear some digging.
Talk to Twaikin and tell the lizard guard that nothing's going on.  Suggest
Budehuc Castle and you'll recruit him.  If you plan on playing Thomas'
scenario, I suggest you wait until then to get Twaikin.

You can fight the Blue Mantrix at Mt. Hei-Tou if you like but I never got any
decent loot for fighting him and I was already at 999,999 potch at this point.
Head now to the Mt. Path.  The good ol' Rock Golem will still be the treasure
boss here.  I got another LightningMagic Ring and a ?Statue.  Go to Le Buque to
rest up then head to Mt. Senai to fight Nemesis again.  Notable loot from that
was a Premier Tunic and ?Statue.

Go to Caleria next.  Talk to the man at the outside stand to the left of the
Blacksmith/Armor Shop.  He will give you the Copper Hammer.  Head _all_ the way
back to Lake Castle.  Give the Copper Hammer to Peggi and sharpen everyone's
weapon up to level 12.  Make sure to train up all your _physical_ skills that
you want.  We're heading to the other side of the map where the closest teacher
is only the Tutor at Duck Village.

If you haven't got a Yellow Scarf yet, you can try again at VdZ and fight the
North Cavern boss again if you want (he still gives very good experience/skill
points).  If you've had enough hiking around the World Map, head to Duck
Village.  At this point, if you really, really like Geddoe's character, then I
recommend you add Fire Magic to his open slot and train it up (it tops out at
a B+).  In case you're curious, when I left Lake Castle this is how my skills
looked:

Queen:                         Geddoe:                      Jacques:
Swing-B+                       Parry-A                      Sharpshoot-S
Accuracy-B+                    Damage-B+                    Accuracy-B+
Repel-B+                       Freeze-B+                    Damage-B+
Heavy Damage-A                 Magic Repel-B                Repel-B
Damage-B                       Accuracy-B+                  Magic Resistance-B+
Magic Resistance-B             Lightning-S                  Swing-C
                               Swing-B+


Aila:                          Ace:                         Joker:
Acccuracy-B+                   Thief-B+                     Counter-Attack-A                      
Repel-B+                       Accuracy-B+                  Continual Attack-E
Shield Magic-B+                Repel-B                      Focus-A
Freeze-A                       Swing-B+                     Accuracy-B
Swing-B+                       Magic Resistance-B           Repel-A
Damage-B+                                                   Water Magic-B+
                                                            Magic Resistance-B

On the way to Duck Village, when you get to Plain Amur North you'll see a bunch
of horses and a cowgirl with a pink hat. Just run by them-we'll get them in the
next chapter.  At Duck Village, go to the Item Shop/Appraiser.  A Rarity there
is Haziness Runes which are very nice "default" runes for your characters who
attack up close.  That is, if you have nothing else to put on them in an open
rune slot, this is a good choice.  They may also have Blue Ribbons, which work
just like Skunk Runes (prevent the wearer from being targeted by single
attacks) but they're an accessory.  Only females can use them.  Buy 1
Sacrificial Jizo but don't equip it on anyone.

If you got the Crab Rice Bowl item from the Mantikra earlier, you can talk to
the girl with a Chef's Hat on the second floor of the Item Shop.  This is
Mamie.  Give her the Bowl when she asks for it and you'll recruit her.  Don't
worry if you don't have it-you'll automatically get a Crab Rice Bowl in Hugo's
chapter 3.  Once you get Mamie, she will be located to the far left on the same
screen as Scott's Trade Shop.  You can give her the recipes you've picked up
once you get her.  To make a wider variety of foods, pick up all the spices
from the Trade Shops (Salt, Sugar, Mayo, Red Pepper, and Soy Sauce) and bring
1 of each to her.

Go to the inn next.  You'll notice there's no counter person.  Exit to the back
of the inn and talk to the fellow with the red hat.  This is Hortez VII.  Talk
to him and give him directions to Budehuc.  He's not recruited yet but you'll
get him in a later chapter.  Talk to the woman in the blue outfit to get Old
Book Vol. 5.  Go to the top hut to trigger a cutscene.  When Kidd asks if you
want to help, pick the 2nd choice ("I'd rather not").  You'll get him in Hugo's
chapter 3 for a very good reason.  Talk to the Duck next to him-this is the
innkeeper.  Go ahead and Stay/Save.  Head to the exit.  On your way out, talk
to the duck sitting by the walkway on the left outside of the Rune Shop/Tutor
to get a Toy Duck.

Go to Kuput Forest. Go right at the first screen.  At the next screen, the path
to the northwest on your mini-map leads to herbs.  If you want to pick them, go
ahead.  If not, head east.  At the next screen, the left path will be a dead
end so don't bother-you won't be able to take that path until Chris' chapter 3.
Take the right path instead.  At the next screen, take the northwest path and
follow it to find a corpse.  Loot it to get a random item.  The rare random
item for this corpse is a Cyclone rune but you'll get something else the vast
majority of the time.  Head back to the previous screen and take the northeast
route this time.  Head east on the next screen and you'll be back on the World
Map.  Go to the Flame Champion Hideaway.

When you arrive, a cutscene occurs.  We're heading to the end of the chapter
just to let you know.  The Bronze Sun monsters in the random encounters are
good for skill points in case you want to boost some of those.  Go north.  At
the next screen, take the northeast path.  Follow it to find a corpse who has
Old Book Vol. 9.  Head back to the previous screen and take the northwest path
this time.  At the next screen, you'll notice the northwest path dead ends with
a white dot marked on the mini-map.  This is your final destination for this
chapter but don't go there yet.  Instead, head northeast.

On the next screen, take the dead end path to the northeast to loot another
corpse who has Old Book Vol. 1.  When you come back to loot these corpses, the
first one closer to the entrance will rarely have a Pale Gate Rune.  The second
one you just looted rarely has a WaterMagic Ring.  Both items are great but
again, they're quite rare.  Take the northwest route now on your mini-map.
Continue forward and save at the blue crystal.  Make sure everyone's at maximum
health.  If you keep going north you'll see a treasure boss, the Azzodess.  My
preparation and strategy:

This boss is invulnerable to Geddoe's lightning magic so don't bother with
using that.  She has 3 primary attacks.  The first one shoots beams from her at
one person, doing some nasty magic damage.  The second one she'll summon
another winged creature to damage everyone in your party.  In addition, this
attack has a chance to hit everyone with silence status.  The third is a heavy
duty Lightning magic spell that hits everyone.  If you got a Yellow Scarf from
VdZ earlier, it's a good idea to equip them for this fight.  If you only have
one, put it on Aila so she can heal everyone with her Great Blessing spell.  If
you don't have any, equip everyone with medicine and heal that way.  In terms
of attack, cast Battle Oath with Aila from the start then just use everyone's
melee attacks.  It may take 6-8 turns but you'll eventually take her down.
Notable loot:

Fire Magic Ring
Custom Tunic
Stone of Power
Wind Hat

If you want to progress the story head to the white dot on the mini-map you
saw earlier.  If you want to level up and do some other stuff first, feel free.
I'm at level 45 with everyone in Geddoe's party but if you went around to fight
the treasure bosses at the North Cavern, Mt. Path, Mt. Senai, and Flame Champ
Hideaway again you can easily get it to level 47, not to mention a boatload
more skill points.  It's entirely up to you but level 45 is plenty good.

Before you advance the story by going to the white dot, make sure Geddoe has
all of his spells and that you equip him with the Sacrificial Jizo you bought
at Duck Village earlier (my accessories for him were Iron Boots, LightningMagic
Ring, and the Jizo).

When you reach the white dot, you'll see it's actually a circle etched in the
stone ground.  Walk up to it and you'll trigger a cutscene.  When you get
control of Geddoe, just head north and go through the door.  Keep going north
and the chapter will end.

[No Characters Recruited]

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
4j.  Hugo Chapter 3

Hey, whatever happened to that Karayan kid?  Pick Hugo's chapter 3 from the
Trinity Site.  At the start of this chapter, you still can't go to the middle
of Brass Castle yet.  If you want to play the lottery again go ahead and head
through the Ancient Highway and buy tickets at Duck Village.  It's really not
necessary, though.  Also, don't bother upgrading Reed and Samus' gear to the
really expensive stuff.  As with Geddoe, save an empty skill slot for Hugo
until later in the chapter.

At the start of this chapter, head to Mt. Hei-Tou to fight the Blue Mantrix.
Shouldn't be hard-just attack normally with Hugo/Fubar, use the Tinto combo and
use Sgt. Joe to heal.  If you were looting the corpses like there's no tomorrow
with Geddoe (like I did) there won't be any treasure on the corpses here.  Make
sure you empty the chest completely to make the Blue Mantrix re-spawn quickly.
Notable items:

Premier Armor
Blessed Leather
? Figurine

Hold on to that Premier Armor-you'll get someone soon who can use it.  Exit and
head to Lake Castle.  Upon arrival, you'll get a brief chat with your party.
To make the story advance, head to the screen where the main house is located.
You can sharpen weapons up to level 12 although I recommend you only do so for
Lilly, Hugo, and Sgt. Joe.  You also have access to Muto's warehouse now.
When you go up to the main house, you'll get another cutscene.  You can pick
whatever dialogue choice you want when given the option.  Head into the main
house and Sebastian will tell you to come back later.  Go to the front entrance
to advance the story.  Follow Cecile to the front of the main house-you'll see
her talking with Thomas to the right of the screen.  Walk up to them to get
some more chat.  It'll end with your party at the inn.

If you want to advance the story now, talk to Sebastian and elect to rest.  I
always pay him just to make the ol' penny pincher's day.  If not, you can
explore some more but not exit the castle.  When you elect to advance the
story, everyone turns in for the night and you'll get control of Hugo again the
next morning.  Go outside to the front gate to see another confrontation.
After your party talks the situation over, head to the front of the main house
for another cutscene.  When you get a dialogue choice, pick either one you
like.  Go back to the front gate and pick the first dialogue choice.  Now go
back to the front of the main house again to talk with Thomas' group.

Two new characters will arrive at this time, Apple and Caesar.  After that talk
is over, head to the main courtyard then come right back to the front of the
main house.  You'll talk with Apple and Caesar again.  Pick the dialogue
options from bottom to the top when you get the choices.  When you're done
talking, go back toward the main courtyard.  Hugo will very briefly stop to
talk to Thomas.  If you wish to continue the story, go to the inn, talk to
Sebastian, and pick the first choice.  Another couple of cutscenes follow
including the chat Hugo wanted to have with Thomas earlier.

When you get control of Hugo, go out toward the front gate.  When Caesar asks,
pick the first choice to move the story ahead.  A strategy battle will ensue
but you don't have to do anything-just wait it out.  When it's over, exit the
castle to the World Map.  Go to Yaza Plain.  The object is to cross to the
second screen of Yaza Plain.  On the way you'll go up against 3 groups of 4
Zexen fighters-no problems there.  Just heal up inbetween the fights.  When you
reach the second screen, Apple and Caesar will leave your party.  You can
finally recruit non-automatic stars with Hugo.  To advance the story, go to the
Great Hollow.  I recommend you go back to Mt. Hei-Tou to fight the Blue Mantrix
again first though to get some more cash and items.

Now that you've played through this part of Hugo's story and Geddoe's story in
chapter 2 when he was at Le Buque, you've got a good idea of what Thomas'
chapters are like.  The pace of them are slower and it involves a good deal of
cutscenes and storyline.  The stories and characters are totally different, of
course, but in terms of the overall presentation and what you can expect to be
doing, Hugo's time at Lake Castle and Geddoe's time at Le Buque in his chapter
2 are a fair representation of how Thomas' chapters are played out.

After fighting the Blue Mantrix, the notable treasure I got was:

Taikyoku Tunic
Chaos Shield
? Figurine

Exit and go to the Great Hollow next.  You'll see some cutscenes then the Tinto
team will leave your party.  To advance the story, you would go to Brass Castle
but I recommend you do some recruiting first.  Save at the inn at Great Hollow
then exit to take the Ancient Highway.  Keep going east and you'll find
Guillaume at the spot where you spotted the Masked Bishop and co. in Hugo's
chapter 2.  Walk up to him to set off another duel.  He's even easier than he
was the first time you dueled him so no worries.  You can refer to Chris'
chapter 2 if you need a refresher on his comments but it should be obvious what
his next move will be.  When the dialogue option pops up, pick the second
choice to recruit him.  Yes, you have to >_<

Continue east to get to Duck Village.  Go to the appraisal shop to ID the
figurines you've been piling up.  If you got any urns, vases, or plants hold on
to them for later.  Go to the area behind the inn and to the top hut where you
met Kidd in Geddoe's chapter 3.  He'll still be there.  Pick the first choice
to agree to help him this time.  When he's done filling you in on the case, 
check the body on the floor, the window to the left of the screen, and the
shelves to the right of the screen.  Talk to Kidd again and he'll ask you to
look for more clues.

Exit the hut and talk to the duck janitor right outside.  Go back out to the
main part of Duck Village and talk to the duck by the waterwheel on the right
side of the mini-map.  Go to the Trade Shop and talk to the only customer in
the store.  He'll give you the item !Letter Fragment.  You're done gathering
clues so go back and talk to Kidd again.  Pick whatever choice you like when he
asks who the killer is (for the heck of it I always say it's me).  When he
asks, pick the first choice to recruit him.

Kidd can do investigations for you now.  You can find him at Lake Castle's main
house.  He's in the second basement area where you talked to Watari previously
(the floor beneath Muto's warehouse).  He can scout any stars your haven't
recruited yet as well as do investigations into your current roster.  I have
compiled his investigations into a separate FAQ that's also here on gamefaqs.

More importantly to Hugo, Kidd's support ability is Treasure Hunt and his grade
is a C, the best in the game.  This ability increases the chances of the enemy
dropping items after you win a battle.  Later on in this chapter, a monster for
random encounters will appear in the Ancient Highway called the Bronze Sun.
These creatures' drop item is the Fury Rune, which automatically puts a person
into berserk.  It turns great fighters into godlike fighters and decent
fighters into very good ones.  It's definitely one of the better runes in the
game and Hugo's chapter 3 is your best chance to obtain them.  Credit to
suikosource.com's Rune List guide which I consulted to find out about the
Fury Runes.

If you want to know how many Fury Runes you should get, my answer would be as
many as you want.  I usually go for six so any time I take out a party each
member will have one but it's entirely up to you.  A reasonable average with
Kidd in as support is 1 every 10 minutes or so you're in the Ancient Highway.
I've restricted the amount of time spent on this while writing the Walkthrough
so Hugo's skills won't be skewed.  Do whatever else you want in Duck Village,
save your game, then exit to Plain Amur North.

If you skipped ahead to Thomas' Chapter 1 after playing Geddoe Chapter 1, just
go to the next paragraph because this covers someone you already recruited.
Talk to the cowgirl, Kathy.  She will ask you to count how many horses she has.
The number is random but always seems to be more than 15.  If you get the wrong
number, I believe Kathy will disappear for a while before showing up again so
try to get it right the first time or just soft reset and come back.  After you
get the count right, suggest Budehuc Castle and you'll recruit Kathy.

Go to Plain Amur.  The drop item for the dark bunnies out here is the !Screw
again.  If you didn't get Belle yet, try to get a !Screw some time in this
chapter since you'll need it to get her.  Most of the time I get the !Screw,
it's on the Plain Amur screen with the blue save crystal (the screen closer to
Karaya Village).  You can go to Great Hollow and talk to Anne at the inn to put
Kidd in as support to help with this.  You can also switch out party members by
going to Lake Castle and talking to Sebastian at the inn there.  You can
recruit Belle with anyone but she has a special scene if you use Hugo.

Cross Plain Amur and head to the eastern side of Brass Castle.  Save at the
blue crystal.  Keep heading west until you reach the east courtyard (Belle
isn't here right now but will be later).  When you get the dialogue choice,
pick either one.  Continue to the left of the screen and you'll meet Hallec
and Mua.  When Hallec talks to you, you can choose whichever option you want.
Roland and Leo will then come out.  Picking the first option will avoid a
fight.  Picking the second pits you against Leo, Roland, and some Zexen
regulars.  There's a turn limit on this fight so if you want to try to take
them down, do it within 3 rounds or so.  The experience and items you get for
winning aren't that great but it's up to you if you want to fight.  Credit Mr
KO from the gamefaqs message board-I previously thought this fight was not
winnable.

When Hallec and Mua get added, I use this formation:

Hugo
Fubar
Hallec
-----
Mua
Sgt. Joe
(No support)

If you check Hallec's inventory list, you'll see he comes with a Crab Rice
Bowl, the item you need to recruit Mamie the chef.  If for some odd reason you
sold it or discarded it, you can find another one later off of the Mantikra
enemies in Kuput Forest (have Kidd in support to boost your chances of getting
one).  In case you forgot, Mamie is on the second floor of the Item Shop at
Duck Village.  When you want to, go ahead and go there to recruit her.  I have
included her at the end of this chapter on Hugo's recruit list.

To advance the story, you would go to the Great Hollow but I suggest you take
care of some things first.  If you got the same loot I did, put the Premier
Armor and Chaos Shield on Mua.  Mua is a "tank" character-much like Leo and
some other characters you'll get later.  Those who've played Suikoden 2 likely
remember Humphrey and Miklotov.  These characters can take a ton of physical
punishment because they take very little damage.  Head to Lake Castle to
sharpen his and Hallec's weapons to level 12.  If you don't have the money yet,
go fight the Blue Mantrix again.  Just make sure you keep Sgt. Joe in the back
so he can heal.  You can also pick out skills for Mua and Hallec while you're
at Lake Castle as well as put in a Support person.

Now's a good time to recruit Billy.  If you got an "S" statue in one of
Geddoe's chapters and took my advice about leaving it there, then go to the
main house and save at the blue crystal to the left of the stairs.  If you
never got an "S" statue or accidentally sold it, talk to Sebastian and remove
Fubar from your party.  Head to the area where Juan and Peggi are standing.
Exit that screen to the north.  On the next screen, keep going right and you'll
come to where Kathy is standing.  Talk to her and you can race horses at the
Castle's track.  The rules are pretty straightforward so I'm not going to go
into details.  The times that are good enough for you to get prizes for each
track:

No obstacles:  49-50 secs, default prize is Deer Antler
Some obstacles: 49-51 secs, default prize is Mini-Cactus
Lots of obstacles:  49-52 secs, default prize is Mini-Cactus

These are just estimates based on my experience.  Start with the no obstacles
course and work your way up.  If you keep getting the default prize more than
twice in a row, then you've exhausted the prizes for that course so try the
next one higher up.  Once you get the Hex Doll S, stop racing if you intend to
play Thomas' chapters.  If you really want to give him an advantage when you
play his story, you shouldn't race at all because two of the prizes for the
races, Pale Moon Leather and LightningMagic Ring, are very helpful to him.

Some of the other prizes you can get in the races are Pale Moon Necklace,
Recipe #8, Haziness rune, Painting: Lady, and Prosperity Hat.  The mini-cactus
are nice because they're worth 5,500 potch each.  If Fubar is in your party and
you're playing as Hugo, you'll use Fubar instead of a horse (this is why I
stated earlier to remove him).  The prizes for that are different but all I
could ever get was Mega Medicine A.  Fubar is fast as heck and can jump a mile
but he's incredibly difficult to steer.  You can give it a whirl if you like.
Once you get the Hex Doll S, place it in the middle pedestal in the statue room
then exit and save your game.

When you enter the statue room again, you'll meet a cowboy, Billy.  He'll
challenge you to a card game called Guppo.  As far as strategy goes, I make it
a point to go for the really high cards (10 to King) since they can make up for
losing a bunch of the lower cards.  Someone's put up an entire FAQ devoted to
this game here on gamefaqs but I haven't checked it out.  You may want to
consult it if you're having some trouble winning.  Beat Billy at this game and
you'll recruit him.  You can now also recruit Melville and Elliot later.  If
you lost to Billy, just soft reset and try again.

Billy will be located in the library now along with Eike and Ernie.  When you
play him, you can put down a 5,000, 2,000, or 500 potch bet.  Before playing
him, make sure you save your game.  A random item you can win for the 5,000 bet
is a Tunic of Prosperity.  If you repeatedly get Potted Cactus then
unfortunately you didn't get it.  Soft reset and try again.  The Tunic is part
of the Prosperity Set.  You can find the other 2 pieces of the set later on in
this chapter.  When the entire set is equipped on a character, the money your
party receives for battles is multiplied by around 10.  Using this set means
you'll never have to worry about money ever again.  Full credit and kudos goes
to Abraxas who first posted about this on the gamefaqs message board.  Some of
the other notable prizes you can get for Guppo are Guardian Shield, Blue
Ribbon, and Blinking Rune.  There're others but I always stop after I get the
Tunic of Prosperity.

Like Belle, I recommend you get Billy with Hugo because his recruiting scenes
with Billy and the Saint Loa Knights is a lot different from the other main
characters.

Before you leave Lake Castle, make sure you place any figurines like urns and
vases.  To place them, just walk up to an empty desk on the first or second
floor, hit X, then choose to place an ornament.  Now that you've got Billy, you
can also place regular-sized statues in the statue room as well.  Time to go to
Great Hollow.  On your way there at Yaza Plain, you'll see a guy with a tanktop
stretching.

This is Kenji, the gymnastics teacher.  Most people don't like him because he's
well, a gymnastics teacher.  If you're going to play Thomas' scenario, I'd hold
off on recruiting him until then.  If you prefer to get him now, talk to him
and agree to exercise.  When he asks what's wrong, pick the second choice to
ask for water then recruit him.  Kenji's actually a decent fighter and magic
user.  If you played Thomas' chapters before Hugo's chapter 3 and never got
Kenji, go ahead and get him now.

Enter the Great Hollow and head to the northeast corner of the first floor,
near the waterfall fountain.  You'll see Apple with a group of lizard fighters.
Walk up and Apple will explain the situation.  Pick the first choice when she
asks if you can be counted on.  Head to the area by the entrance and talk to
Luce.  Exit the Great Hollow.  When you get to the World Map, you'll see 4 new
places have opened:  Kuput Forest, Chisha Village, Mt. Path, and Caleria. Now's
a good time to recruit Belle.  After you've gotten the !Screw, go to the east
courtyard of Brass Castle.  Talk to Belle and pick the first choice to agree to
help.  Talk to her again and you'll successfully recruit her and Gadget Z.  If
you loaded Suikoden II data Belle would come in at 5-15 levels higher than the
person who recruited her.

After getting Belle, I recommend that you head to Kuput Forest via the Ancient
Highway.  The Bronze Sun monsters that drop Fury Runes will appear there now.
Take Kidd with you, of course.  Take about 10 minutes to level up a little in
the Ancient Highway.  Fighting the Bronze Sun can easily bump you up a few
levels if you're like me and everyone's around level 35 or so.  After 10
minutes of fighting I was up to level 39 with 2 Fury Runes.  Note that you can
use Escape Scrolls in the Ancient Highway to zap you back to whichever entrance
you used.  I recommend you go back to the Great Hollow to bump up your skills
after leveling up.  You should also go back there to reconfigure your party
so that you have only 5 party members plus Kidd.  The open roster slot is so
you can recruit someone in Kuput Forest.  My skills in case you wanted to know:

Hugo:                        Fubar:                  Hallec:
Heavy Damage-B+              Freeze-B+               Heavy Damage-B+
Counter Attack-B+            Accuracy-B+             Damage-A
Continual Attack-B+          Damage-B+               Swing-B+
Swing-A                      Repel-B+
Accuracy-B+


Mua:                         Sgt. Joe:
Shield Protect-A             Damage-B+
Armor Protect-A              Chanting Volume-B+
Damage-B+                    Heavy Damage-B+
                             Accuracy-B
                             Water Magic-B+

Head through the Ancient Highway again to get to Duck Village.  If you got any
Fury Runes affix them to whoever you like.  I put mine on Fubar and Hugo.  Head
to Kuput Forest.  If you've got a radio or CD player handy, now's a good time
to turn it on.  The person you're trying to recruit is Landis, a Winghorde like
Sid and Chaco from Suikoden II.  He'll randomly join your party while you're in
Kuput Forest.  Most people think he joins only during a battle but this is
false.  One time while I was playing I checked my skill points from the
formation menu and he was already there even though he wasn't in the last
battle I'd fought.  I've never had a problem getting him and it's never taken
longer than 15 minutes for him to show up.  However, I've heard of people not
getting him even after hours of roaming around the forest.  I don't doubt that
they're telling the truth so fair warning to you.

Hitmancf sent me this e-mail regarding getting Landis:

"i remember you saying in your faq about people complaining about how to get
Landis.  Well finally, I figured it out, and I'm sure you already knew this,
and it's easy.  All you have to do is have your collective luck at a high
number.  My lowest was with Geddoe at around 120 something, the other 4 party
members had a luck of higher than 140 or so, after the first battle he already
shows up."

I couldn't confirm this because I don't have a save game handy but it makes
sense and is worth a shot.  Thanks to Hitmancf for this info.

wen sent me this e-mail with further information on recruiting Landis:

"as far as i can tell from one of my japanese sui3 guides which covers indepth
recruitments, luck isn't the deciding factor for getting landis. on the second
screen of the forest (entering from the duck village direction), there is a
VERY SPECIFIC area the player needs to run around in- the fork in the road.
Keep running around the fork in the road, and ONLY that area, and there's a 10%
chance that landis will join your party if there's an open slot. now, it's
possible that it might be higher than 10% if your characters have high luck,
but the guide doesn't mention anything about it. i got landis during chapter 5,
when my (main character) had high luck, and got him in under 10 minutes just by
running around where the fork in the road is and waiting until a monster
encounter occured. on the third one, landis joined my party."

Thanks to wen, falcon815, and crystalstar who all provided clarified content on
how to get Landis.

My formation after getting Landis:

Hugo
Fubar
Mua
Hallec
Landis
Sgt. Joe
Kidd (Support)

After you cross Kuput Forest, head to Chisha Village.  When you arrive, there's
a brief cutscene.  Head to the front where the Harmonian soldiers are standing.
You'll fight a group of 4 but they're no problem.  Head to the back of the
town.  On your way you'll meet a group of 5 Harmonian Soldiers and a Le Buque
unit with 2 Mantors and 2 Trainers.  Neither battle will challenge you.  Once
that's over, go to the back to activate a confrontation between Hugo and Chris.

If you pick the first choice, "Strike", Hugo will go for his dagger but Nash
and Sgt. Joe will put a stop to that quickly.  Picking the second choice will
result in Hugo angrily asking Chris what right she has to be here.  It's up to
you since whatever choice you pick won't affect anything.  Hugo and Sgt. Joe
will then have a chat.  To advance the story, talk to the woman to the right
outside of the Inn (the middle building), this is Chisha's leader, Sana.  I
advise you to do a few things before that.

Talk to Hortez VII, the fellow with the red hat you first met at Duck Village
in Geddoe's chapter 3.  Give him the directions to Budehuc and he'll wander off
again.  You'll get him later in this chapter.  Talk to the boy by the cow
standing behind Sana to get Medal Set #2.  Go to the Armor/Item Shop.  Two
Rarities at the Item Shop include Medal Set #4 and the Prosperity Ring.  Buy
both if they have it.  A Rarity for the Armor Shop is the Prosperity Hat.  If
you want to use the Prosperity Armor Set this chapter go ahead, but its real
usefulness won't be until chapter 4.  You'll also be getting a character in
Chris' chapter 3 that comes with the Prosperity Hat.

Take the stairs down in the Armor/Item Shop.  Ignore the tattooed guy on the
ground-you'll get him in Chris' next chapter.  The next screen is a tavern
area.  Talk to the redheaded young woman with her chin on the table.  This is
Emily and pick the first option to agree to an arm wrestling match.  After you
win, you'll recruit her.  Emily is the second best pure fighter in the entire
game, IMHO, behind only Juan.  Head up on the screen and exit through the
double doors.  Go left on the next screen and up the stairs.  You'll end up at
the inn counter.  Stay and save.  When you're done exploring and want to make
the story advance, go talk to Sana.

After she and Hugo have a talk, you can advance the story by going to the
front of the village.  You'll get another cutscene at that time and Hugo will
challenge Yuber to a duel.  This duel is rigged and you can't win so don't try
hard.  When Hugo wakes up, he'll have a very poignant talk with Sgt. Joe and
Sana about everything that's happened.  Exit and head to the middle of the
village to activate another cutscene.  Caesar will fill you in on the problem
at hand.  If you pick the first choice, "Hold on!" you can go and save first.
If you decide to move forward by taking the second choice, you'll go to the
front entrance where you'll be put in a duel.

At the front entrance, you'll see a highly entertaining exchange between Hugo
and the Harmonian forces.  This scene is my personal favorite in the game.  As
for the duel, you'll have about 10 rounds to duel before it's called a draw.
The result of a draw is the same as if you won since all you wanted to do was
stall for time.  The odds are heavily in your favor but if you get unlucky and
lose, you can just try again from the continue screen.  Your opponent's
comments and what they mean:

Attack:
-------
Our strategies are similar.  Let's see what you make of my next attack.
That's wise of you.  Keep defending.  I'll put you down for a long nap.
You've got some talent.  But I've also got a few tricks.
That was fine work.  I'll stop holding back as well.
Your skills still need honing.  Watch and learn.

Defend:
-------
Very well, then.  Come at me again!
You're far too submissive.  Try a little aggression.
Is that all?  I thought you had more in you.
I'll stand still.  Attack with all your might!
Playing it safe, eh?  Go on.  I'll take what you deliver.
What's wrong Flame Champion?  It's time to attack.
Not bad.  I'll take another shot.
Maybe I'm trying too hard...
A passive champion at best.  Come on now, have at me!

Deathblow:
----------
I won't hold back.  Defend yourself!
You're a quiet one.  Can you withstand this?
You're far too predictable.  And now...I strike.
You carry the name of Flame Champion?  I will prove your unworthiness.
I don't care to do this all day.  Let's finish it.

When it's over, you'll see a series of cutscenes of the aftermath.  At the end
of those you'll get a chance to put together a party-Sgt. Joe has to be in it
but that's the only restriction and you can change it later if you like.  I
go with this line-up:

Hugo
Fubar
Mua
Hallec
Emily
Sgt. Joe
Kidd (Support)

Along with Anne in the Great Hollow and Sebastian at Lake Castle, you can now
change parties with Luce here in Chisha-she'll be standing outside the inn.  To
advance the story, head to the World Map where a new location will open-the
Flame Champion Hideaway.  If you want a challenge you can go there and level up
then take on the Azzodess.  It's a little tough but certainly doable.  The
notable loot I got was a Stone of Evasion.  Everyone in my group was level 40
except Emily, who was level 38 when I won.

At this point in the game, if you really, really like Hugo then add Fire Magic
to that empty skill slot of his.  If on the other hand you've become very
attached to Geddoe and aren't letting go, add and train up Hugo's Lightning
Magic skill in that empty slot.  If you really, really like Chris then you're
probably a guy.  I was serious about everything except that last sentence.

Before advancing the story by going to the white dot in the Hideaway, there's
some other business I suggest you take care of.  First, anything unfinished
related to Belle, Mamie, or Billy.  After that, head to the Mt. Path to get to
Caleria.  The treasure boss there will be the Rock Golem again.  The notable
loot I got was a ?Statue.  Go to Caleria and upgrade any physical skills you
want.  On the same screen as the bujutsu teacher, you'll see Hortez VII again.
When he asks, give him directions to Budehuc again and he'll wander off yet
again.  If you're wondering about Nadir on the second floor of the inn, there's
no way to get him with Hugo at this point but you'll get him with Chris in her
next chapter.

Exit and go back to Brass Castle.  You now have access to the middle portion
again.  Go into the dining room where the Super Pickles knight is standing.  To
the bottom right of the screen is a young boy with glasses, Arthur.  Talk to
him and pick the second choice, "Tell him" to trigger a brief cutscene.  Follow
him to the exit and when he asks you what happened, tell the truth by picking
the first choice, "Tell him".  You've successfully recruited Arthur.

You can head to Mt. Hei-Tou to fight the Blue Mantrix if you want.  I don't
bother since the skill points boost isn't worth it anymore and I don't need the
cash.  Go next to the Great Hollow.  Talk to Anne at the inn and put in either
Arthur or Guillaume for your support member.  Head to Zexen Forest by way of
Brass Castle.  At the first fork in the Forest, take the top path.  Continue
left on the screen and you'll see a dark-haired man with shorts on.  This is
Goro.  Talk to him and pick the first choice, "I'll help you".  When you get
another dialogue option, pick the first choice again, "Okay" to recruit him.

Goro's support ability is Bath and his grade is an A+.  Bath is just like the
support ability Healing except it also will cure the Poison status ailment.  If
you ever put Goro in as support you'll never need to carry more than a couple
of medicine around in your main inventory if any at all.

Goro is located in the ship at Lake Castle.  When you first enter the ship,
take the stairs up to the main deck.  You'll notice one of the doors is white
and has a red handle.  Enter it and this is where Goro will be standing.  Talk
to him to take a soak in the bath.  If you bring certain party combinations
with you, you will trigger conversations between them.  Also, you can equip
your characters with bath items to change the look of the bath view.

Go next to the North Cavern to fight the treasure boss there.  It's just the
Chimera so you won't break a sweat.  The only thing of note I got was a
?Painting.  Exit and head to VdZ.  Go to the alley where you climbed up the
ladders to get to the Saint Loa Knights' hideout.  You'll see Melville and
Elliot running around playing.  Talk to them and you'll recruit them.  Buy a
Wizard Hat for Hugo if you really like him (or Geddoe) to boost his Fire and
Lightning Magic.  A friendly reminder that you can find the Yellow Scarf as a
rarity at the Item Shop.  Go to the Blacksmith and talk to the Zexen regular
in the orange outfit.  He'll give you Medal Set #1.  Exit VdZ and cross all the
way back to the Great Hollow.

Go to the inn to talk to Anne.  Put Melville and Elliot in your party (Elliot
is a support character in case you forgot).  Walk over to the fountain and
you'll see Alanis.  Talk to her to see a reunion.  When you get the choice,
pick the first option, "I'll try..." and you'll recruit Alanis.

Now that you have a healthy number of usable characters, you may be wondering
who you should level up.  The best time to level up is actually in chapters 4
and 5 so don't feel like you have to make sure everyone's trained up right now.
When you're done here, head to Lake Castle to sharpen up anyone's weapons you
want, upgrade skills, place antiques, etc.  Now that you have Arthur, his
bulletin will be posted on the wall on the second floor just to the right as
you come up the main stairs at the house.  The main story is usually something
related to the major recent event of the chapter.  If you press right on your
d-pad while viewing the bulletin, you'll see a serial novel called "Erk's
Adventures" written by "Hitman Bravo".

Leave Lake Castle and proceed to Duck Village.  Head to the inn and exit out
the back.  You'll see Hortez VII again.  Talk to him and this time, pick the
third choice, "Lie about location".  You have finally succeeded in recruiting
him.  In case you messed up, his pattern is always the same:

Duck Village --> Chisha --> Caleria --> Duck Village

When you get the third option to lie to him, pick it to get him.  Hortez' shop
is in the same spot as Jeane's-he'll be standing right next to her.  His job
is to make magic scrolls, which involves taking a Rune Crystal and making
Item Scrolls out of the spells.  Only certain Rune Crystals can be made into
scrolls, usually the elemental kind.  That is, if you took a Lightning Rune to
him he will make Item Scrolls out of the spells from the first three levels,
Thunder Runner, Berserk Blow, and Soaring Bolt.  It's definitely a bad idea to
do this with the higher order runes like Mother Earth, Thunder, etc. since
they're so rare.  I never used Hortez at all because Item Scrolls generally
take forever to get off in combat, although they guarantee a 100% casting rate
since you can't be interrupted.  Hortez' lack of direction is similar to the
Scroll Maker in Suikoden II, Raura.

Back at Duck Village, on the screen where you got Hortez, you'll notice to the
bottom of this screen a little girl talking with a duck clan member.  Ignore
them for now because Chris will take care of this.  Buy a Sacrificial Jizo
for Hugo but don't equip it on him yet.  Cross Kuput Forest and head to Chisha.
If you didn't get the Medal Set #4 or Prosperity Ring from the Rarity at the
Item Shop before, check it again.  Just try again later if they're not there.

Talk to Luce outside to set your party.  Keep in mind about putting support
characters in your party since we're coming to the end of the chapter.  That
is, if you want to make them available for Chris to use at their shops, don't
leave them in Hugo's party now.  If you put Guillaume in now, for example, he
won't be at his Appraisal Shop at Lake Castle when Chris goes there in her next
chapter.  When you're ready to advance the story, head to the Flame Champion
Hideaway.  My skills set and party:

Hugo:                        Fubar:                  Hallec:
Heavy Damage-A               Freeze-B+               Heavy Damage-B+
Counter Attack-B+            Accuracy-B+             Damage-A
Continual Attack-B+          Damage-B+               Swing-S
Parry-B+                     Repel-B+
Swing-A                      Magic Resistance-B
Accuracy-A
Magic Resistance-B


Mua:                         Sgt. Joe:               Emily:
Shield Protect-A             Damage-B+               Heavy Damage-B+
Armor Protect-A              Chanting Volume-B+      Swing-A+
Damage-B+                    Heavy Damage-B+         Repel-B+
Accuracy-B+                  Accuracy-B
Magic Resistance-B           Water Magic-B+
                             Magic Resistance-B+

You can fight the Azzodess again (or for the first time) if you like.  If you
got a Yellow Scarf in VdZ, put it on Sgt. Joe so he can use his healing spells.
If not, just use items to heal.  The notable loot I got was a Stone of Evasion
again.  When you're ready to advance the story, put the Sacrificial Jizo you
bought on Hugo and head to the white dot.  The same thing will happen as it did
with Geddoe.  Follow the path north, go through the door, and continue north.
Talk to Sana and the chapter will end.

Apple [37/108]
Caesar [38/108]
Guillaume [39/108]*
Kidd [40/108]*
Kathy [41/108]*
Hallec [42/108]
Mua [43/108]
Mamie [44/108]*
Billy [45/108]*
Belle [46/108]*
Gadget Z [47/108]*
Landis [48/108]*
Emily [49/108]*
Arthur [50/108]*
Goro [51/108]*
Melville [52/108]*
Elliot [53/108]*
Alanis [54/108]*
Hortez VII [55/108]*

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
4k.  Chris Chapter 3

Pick Chris from the Trinity Site.  Some things to keep in mind first.  Chris
can never go to the middle of Brass Castle in this chapter, but she can still
go to the west and east courtyards to visit the shops.  She also cannot enter
the Guild Hall in VdZ.  She _can_ go to Great Hollow.  When you talk to the
townspeople and other characters, most of them don't recognize Chris.  I guess
there's a bunch of other silver-haired babes wearing giant knight swords in the
Suikoden world.  For this chapter, she won't be able to wear Knight-type armor.

There are three rare encounters worth noting.  For Plain Amur North, it's three
green, bird-like creatures called Horohoro.  For the Yaza Plain areas it's two
Golden Boars with three Dark Bunnies.  For Kuput Forest, it's the Ghost Holly.
All of these rare encounters are worth a total of 600+ skill points divided up
among your party members and aren't very tough.  

After Nash and Chris get done talking you'll have control of her again.  You
now can opt to take the next part of this chapter in one of two ways.  One way
is my recommended approach but it means you'll have more legwork.  That is,
you're going to have to go to the Mt. Path twice in this chapter as well as
visit the VdZ area in addition to the other places on the map.  The second way
is shorter and means you'll only have to visit the Mt. Path once and can skip
the VdZ area (unless you still didn't get a GrapeC).

I can understand if you're tired of roaming around everywhere after doing Hugo
and Geddoe's chapters, especially going up and down the Mt. Path but hey, I did
warn you in the introduction -_^  If you opt for the shorter way, you'll be
missing out on a chunk of experience and skill points but you won't miss any
recruits.  The battles later in the chapter will still definitely be winnable
but more challenging.  It's up to you in terms of how you want to do it.

I've put the short way in brackets [ ] and the long way right after it.  Where
they meet back up I've marked with ++++ symbols.  Regardless of what path you
choose, I recommend you Forget Nash's Water skill and remove the Water Rune
from him.  You should also make it a point to visit the Armor Shops at Great
Hollow and east Brass Castle to upgrade your armor.

[Head into the village and you'll meet up with Fred and Rico again.  When Fred
asks, pick the first choice to tell him he's mistaken Chris for someone else.
After that, pick the third choice to say you're just sightseeing.  He and Rico
will then depart.  To advance the story, head to the left waterwheel and talk
to Rhett and Wilder.  Before that, let's do some recruiting.]

[Head to the inn and exit out to the back.  At the bottom of the screen, you'll
see a young girl with glasses talking with a duck.  Walk up to them and hit X
to chat.  Pick either the first or second choice to resolve the problem.  Ask
the girl to join your group and you'll recruit Sanae Y, the daughter of Freed Y
and Yoshino from Suikoden II.]

[Go back and talk to Rhett and Wilder now.  In order for them to go with you,
they'll ask you to talk to the village chief first.  Talk to the duck in the
green outfit outside of the Trade Shop-this is the chief.  Talk to Rhett and
Wilder again and they'll join.  I use this formation:]

Chris
Nash
Rhett
-----
Wilder
-----
(No support)

[Buy 3 Escape Scrolls and do whatever else you wish here.  Make sure that each
member of your party has healing items in their personal inventory and some in
your main inventory as well.  Exit the village.  Cross both Plain Amurs and
head to Mt. Hei-Tou to fight the Blue Mantrix.  Just use melee attacks and heal
when necessary.  It shouldn't take too long with Chris.  The notable loot I got
was ?Figurine.]

[Head to Iksay Village next.  Go all the way to the back with the windmill.  To
the right of the screen is a young man with a black bandana-this is Barts. Talk
to him and suggest Budehuc castle.  Talk to him again and you'll give him the
GrapeC.  Barts will now be at Lake Castle to the far left of where Juan is
standing.  Any seeds you pick up you can give to him.  I've never bothered to
pick up anything he grew.  Barts' support skills are Bath and Discount, both
with a grade of C.  He's one of the better support people in the game and he's
the person I always use for this chapter.]

[Go to Lake Castle.  Put Shabon in your party and either Ayame or Nei.  If you
leveled up Nei or Shabon during the Iksay raid in chapter 2, they probably have
a boatload of skill points and are at a decent level (30-ish).  Once you raise
Nei's magic chant abilities up, she's deadly with a group of fighters such as
Chris, Juan, Emily, and Hugo/Fubar.  One of the spells on her Jongleur Rune is
Song of Madness-which allows your party to do insane damage with melee attacks.
You'll know what I mean later in chapters 4 and 5 once your guys get more
leveled up.  Do whatever else you want at Lake Castle including placing any
antiques you may have.  Definitely sharpen up everyone's weapon to level 12 if
you can afford the price.  Put whoever you want in support, Mio or Barts are
good choices, and head out to the Mt. Path.  My formation:]

Chris
Nash
Rhett
Shabon
Nei/Ayame
Wilder
Barts (Support)

[The boss for the Mt. Path is again the Rock Golem.  If you brought Nei and
have leveled up her Magic Chant, cast Song of Madness and keep it casted.  If
you opted for Ayame, use her Shrike Rune.  Everyone else can attack normally.
Just heal up when you're hurt and you won't have much problems taking him out.
The notable item I got was a ?Statue.  Head to Caleria afterward.]

[Check the Caleria Armor Shop Rarity for Premier Helm-buy it if they have it
because you'll get someone later who can use it.  Go to the 2nd floor of the
inn and talk to Nadir, the gent with the theater mask.  You've got the right
match for what he's looking for.  Suggest Budehuc and you've successfully
recruited him.  Nadir will be in the tavern at Lake Castle, the same room as
where Nei, Toppo, and Shabon are.  It's the far left room on the first floor
of the castle.  You can give Nadir scripts to perform plays.  The theater plays
are my favorite gameplay aspect.  You can try it out it in this chapter but
it'll be a lot more fun once all the characters are recruited.]

[Bump up your physical skills here in Caleria if you want and do anything else
you like.  Cross over the Mt. Path and back to Duck Village.  Stay/Save and
replenish your Escape Scrolls.  Cross Kuput Forest and head to Chisha.  If
you've ever gone down the dead end path in Kuput that keeps teleporting you
back to the start, you'll be able to get there later in this chapter.  When you
reach Chisha, Fred and Rico will come out to greet you and join your party.  If
you brought Nei/Ayame and Shabon, they will be automatically removed.]

[If you got a Premier Helm in Caleria, put it on Fred.  Before heading into the
village, it's a good idea to level up Fred and Rico a little.  Take them out to
Kuput and get them to the low level 30's at the very least.  Fred is a tank and
Rico is a serviceable healer.  Rico's Swing skill tops at a C so I just choose
to forget it and add Accuracy instead.  I also Forget Fred's Sword of Magic
skill and remove his Sword of Thunder rune. It's a good idea to always put
Fred and Rico together so they can do their Maximillian Combo.  After leveling
them up, you can raise their skills via the Tutor at Duck Village (I recommend
getting Rico's Water skill up to its maximum) and the bujutsu teacher at Great
Hollow.  You can also sharpen their weapons there.  You can also do all this as
well as raise their weapons to level 12 by hiking to Lake Castle if you don't
mind the walk.  This ends the shorter path for this chapter.  Skip ahead to the
area with the ++++ symbols to continue.]


If you're reading this, you've opted for the longer, suggested approach.  Head
into Duck Village and you'll run into Fred and Rico again.  That's a nice
winged pendant Rico has on her left shoulder.  Anyway, when Fred asks, pick the
second choice, "Now that you mention it" then the first choice "Looking for
clues" and finally either choice to recruit Fred and Rico.  To advance the
story, you would talk to Rhett and Wilder standing by the left waterwheel.  But
first, some recruiting.

Head to the inn and exit out to the back.  At the bottom of the screen, you'll
see a young girl with glasses talking with a duck.  Walk up to them and hit X
to chat.  Pick either the first or second choice to resolve the problem.  Ask
the girl to join your group and you'll recruit Sanae Y, the daughter of Freed Y
and Yoshino from Suikoden II.

Buy 3 Escape Scrolls for your party and whatever else you like.  Rico's Swing
ability tops at a C so I usually choose to forget it and add Accuracy the next
time I visit a bujutsu teacher.  I also raised her Water Magic skill to its
maximum B+ level.  For Fred, I chose to Forget his Sword of Magic skill and
remove that Rune from him.  It's always a good idea to pair Fred with Rico so
they can do their Maximillian combo.  

Go back and talk to Rhett and Wilder now.  In order for them to go with you,
they'll ask you to talk to the village chief first.  Talk to the duck in the
green outfit outside of the Trade Shop-this is the chief.  Talk to Rhett and
Wilder again and they'll join.  The formation I used:

Chris
Nash
Rhett
Wilder
Fred
Rico
(No Support)

Head to Mt. Hei-Tou to fight the Blue Mantrix.  Just use your regular melee
attacks and heal with Rico's Water Rune and your items.  The notable loot I got
was a ?Figurine.

Head to Iksay Village next.  Go all the way to the back with the windmill.  To
the right of the screen is a young man with a black bandana-this is Barts. Talk
to him and suggest Budehuc castle.  Talk to him again and you'll give him the
GrapeC.  Barts will now be at Lake Castle to the far left of where Juan is
standing.  Any seeds you pick up you can give to him.  I've never bothered to
pick up anything he grew.  Barts' support skills are Bath and Discount, both
with a grade of C.  He's one of the better support people in the game and he's
the person I always use for this chapter.

Go to Lake Castle to sharpen everyone's weapon to level 12 if you can afford
it.  Upgrade whatever skills you want and place any antiques you have in the
main house.  Leave Lake Castle and head to the North Cavern to fight the
treasure boss there, the Stone Golem.  Not too tough but this fight can take a
little while.  Use the same tactics with the Blue Mantrix.  I don't recommend
doing the Fred/Rico combo just in case you need to use Rico's Water Rune.  It
will take time but eventually you'll take him out.  The notable item I got was
a ?Statue.

You can stop in at VdZ if you like. I recommend you do so to check for a Yellow
Scarf at the Item Shop (Rico is the best candidate for it) as well as the
Rarity in their Armor Shop.  The next stop will be all the way on the other
side of the map at the Mt. Path.  On the way, you can upgrade your skills at
the Great Hollow or elect to fight the Blue Mantrix again if enough time has
passed.  The treasure boss for the Mt. Path is again the Rock Golem.  Just use
the same tactics as with the Stone Golem and you should be fine.  The notable
loot this time was ?Statue.  You can now use an Escape Scroll to take you back
to the entrance or, if you have the patience, head to Caleria to check their
shops.  You'll be coming back to Caleria later to recruit someone so don't
think you have to do it now.

The next thing to do is to advance the story by heading to Chisha-so if you
want to do any more leveling up and shopping, now's the time.  When you're
ready to go, stop at Duck Village first to Stay/Save and buy some more Escape
Scrolls if you need them.  By taking this route you'll have leveled up your
party by at least a few levels more than using the shorter way as well as
picking up a lot more skill points.  My skills at this point:

Chris:                      Nash:                        Rhett:
Parry-A                     Heavy Damage-B+              Magic Repel-B
Swing-B                     Accuracy-B+                  Accuracy-B
Damage-A                    Repel-A                      Damage-A
Repel-B                     Swing-B+                     Repel-B
Armor Protect-B+            Damage-B+                    Armor Protect-B
Heavy Damage-A              Magic Resistance-B
Accuracy-B+                 Armor Protect-B
Magic Resistance-B


Wilder:                     Rico:                        Fred:
Magic Repel-B+              Damage-B+                    Shield Protect-B+
Damage-B+                   Shield Magic-E               Armor Protect-B+
Accuracy-B                  Fighting Spirit-C            Damage-B
Repel-B+                    Water Magic-B+               Repel-B
Swing-B+                    Accuracy-B

Cross Kuput Forest and head to Chisha now.  You remember that dead end in Kuput
I mentioned in Geddoe's chapter 3?  It's a path that keeps teleporting you back
to the start.  You'll finally be able to take that path later in this chapter.
When you get to Chisha, your party will talk it over for a little and you'll
get control of Chris again.  This concludes the long way.

                             ++++++++++++++++++++
                             ++++++++++++++++++++

Head to the middle of the village and you'll be greeted by a young girl, Yun.
When you get the dialogue choices, pick whichever one you like.  Suikoden vets
will no doubt appreciate the third choice.  To advance the story, talk to Sana.
Some visitors will then arrive.  You can check the shops here first and save
if you like.  To make the story go, head to the front of the village.  You'll
see Sana confronting the visitors.  When given the choice, pick the first
option, "Watch out!" to have Chris stand up for Sana.  If you go for the second
choice, Fred will do it.  Either way leads to a fight.  You'll then be given
the option to replace one of your party with Yumi.  If she's a higher level
than Rico, go ahead and swap them-the next fight's not very hard either way.

Afterward, Sana will talk with you.  When the talk's over, go to the Item Shop
and down the stairs.  Talk to the tattooed fellow lying on the ground, Wan Fu.
Pick the first dialogue choice to pay 3,000 potch and recruit him.  To make
the story progress, head to the exit of the village where Chris and Nash will
talk some more.  When that's over, go to the back of the village to talk with
Yun and Yumi.  When Yun asks, pick the first choice, "OK, I'll help you."
Picking the other choice just delays the story and you'll have to talk to them
again.  Sana will talk to you a little more then it's off to Duck Village. It's
a short trip so pick whatever formation you want.  Cross Kuput to get back to
Duck Village.

Head to the inn for a cutscene where you'll meet with Apple and Caesar.  Do
whatever else you wish then head for the exit, where Rhett and Wilder will
join you again.  Now's a good time to upgrade Yumi's skills if you want via the
Tutor at Duck Village and the bujutsu teacher at Great Hollow.  I always have
her Forget Earth Magic and Add Water Magic plus switching out the runes.  If
you're one of those players that absolutely _loves_ leveling up, you can go
back to Lake Castle, put someone in the empty roster spot, and go fight the
treasure bosses again if you want.  It's definitely not necessary (and I don't
do it) but I wanted to let you know just in case.

To advance the story go back to Chisha.  Upon arriving you'll see two
cutscenes, one at the entrance then another in the middle of the village.  I'm
glad Caesar was here because I could never come up with a strategy as brilliant
as his (rolls eyes).  He'll then ask you to put your troops in formation.  This
is what I picked:

Chris (alone)       Rhett         Wilder
-----               Rico          -----
-----               -----         Yumi
-----               Fred          Nash
Yun                 Sana          Caesar


When he asks if you're ready, pick the first choice to wait a minute.  I'm
almost certain there's no way anyone can die permanently in this strategy
battle.  If you want to give yourself some leeway, buy Sacrificial Jizos at
the Item Shop and put them on each person in the battle.  You can talk to Sana
at the inn to put Fred and Rico in your party to put the items on them.  When
you're ready, save then talk to Caesar again.

At the start of the battle, have your three units attack the enemy unit across
from them, including Chris. The Harmonians have an annoying habit of retreating
in this battle so it takes a few turns to finish them up.  The only unit of
concern is Dios' because he has four troops instead of three.  At the start of
your turn, some HP will be healed for each of your units.  If you've taken the
time to get good gear and skills for your team, these first four units should
not be a problem.  Do your best to move your units into position to cover each
others' attacks and use Chris' unit to heal anyone banged up.  If your party
is damaged pretty good, don't hesitate to try for a retreat.

The goal of this battle is just to stay alive, not eliminate the enemy units
but I take this approach because the characters match up very well.  If you're
having trouble with your units going down or losing characters, take a less
aggressive approach and only fight if you're attacked.  Don't hesitate to pull
back toward the village or retreat if you keep getting banged up because you'll
still satisfy the victory requirement for this battle.

At the start of the fourth round, Sasarai will show up.  His unit's plenty
tough so I wouldn't take him on with any unit except Nash's and only if he's
at full strength with a cover team backing him up.  Two turns after Sasarai
shows up, Hugo and co. will arrive just like in his chapter 3.  If you got a
Major Victory, meaning none of your units were removed from the field, then
you get Earth ChainMail as a prize.

After the battle, you'll see the same conversation between Hugo and Chris as in
his chapter 3 but from Chris' view.  Another cutscene will follow then you'll
be on your way to Alma Kinan.  Instead of going there right away, head to the
inn and make sure everyone's rested up with all their spells ready to go.
When you leave Chisha, you can advance the story by going to Alma Kinan or
again you can walk around the World Map to do what you wish.  You should know
that once you're in Alma Kinan you won't be able to exit and there's a big
fight there.  I don't level up any more and just head there but it's up to you.
Before going to Alma Kinan, definitely save your game at either Chisha or Duck
Village.  If you put Sacrificial Jizos on your characters, replace them with
healing items but leave one on Fred.

To get to Alma Kinan from Chisha, head into Kuput Forest.  Go west from the
first screen then south at the next.  At this screen, take the northwest path
on your mini-map.  There'll be a cutscene and you'll continue on.  Go west for
two screens.  After that, you'll notice on your mini-map that you've come to
a clearing.  Make sure everyone's health is at maximum before you continue west
because it will trigger a cutscene followed by a fight with a familiar face.
This was my formation for the fight:

Chris
Nash
Yumi
Yuiri
Fred
Rico
Barts (Support)

This fight is the definition of "straightforward".  Just use melee attacks and
the Maximillian combo.  Heal when necessary with Rico, Yumi (if you gave her a
Water Rune), and your items.  Your enemy has a high Repel rate but with Chris
and Nash's Heavy Damage abilities, you shouldn't have any trouble winning.
After the battle, continue west and you'll be back on the World Map.  Head to
Alma Kinan.

If you talk to the duck in the middle of town, he'll give you an Orange Kennel.
Talk to the girl in the Item Shop looking at the jars to get Melon Seeds.  Of
note here is that a Rarity in the Item Shop are Killer Runes, which increase
the chances of landing a Heavy Damage attack.  Alma Kinan is one of the few
towns in the game with both a Tutor and bujutsu teacher.  To advance the story,
head to the house to the left of the Rune Shop.  Your party will have a
conversation and Yun will leave.  Enter the house and Yun will fill you in on
what she knows.  Chris will then leave.

Head back to the house for a quick chat with Nash.  Next, go north on your
mini-map to the very back of the village.  On the next screen continue forward
to the back to get an extended cutscene.  Leave and SAVE YOUR GAME.  Go back
outside of Yun's house to talk with your group.  If you want to wander around
some more, pick the second choice.  If you want to advance the story now,
select the first choice ("I need some rest").

Once you have control of Chris again, exit the inn and head to the back of the
village.  Another extended cutscene follows with Chris and Yun.  Things will
then be interrupted by the Masked Bishop and friends.  I use this formation:

Fred
Rico
Yuiri
Yumi
Chris
Nash
(No Support)

Your priorities in order are Sarah, Masked Bishop, and Yuber.  In the first
round, send the Chris/Nash and Yuiri/Yumi pairs after Sarah-do NOT use the Alma
Kinan combo.  If you've trained up Yumi's Earth Magic, have her cast Earthquake
instead.  Have Rico cast Kindness Rain and center it on Yuiri.  The reason for
this is that this spell comes after Sarah's water attacks but before the Masked
Bishop's Pale Gate/Wind attacks.  If Sarah hits you with Breath of Ice, it can
really wallop your team but Rico should get her Kindness Rain spell off to heal
the damage.  You should take out Sarah in the first round with your attacks.
In the next round, heal your team with Rico's Kindness Drops or, if Yumi has
Water magic, Kindness Rain and cast it on whoever's at the very center of your
party.  It's hard to go after the Masked Bishop because Yuber will be blocking
you.  Try your best though-Fred and Yuiri will automatically attack him since
the Bishop should be the closest to them.  If you target him with Chris/Nash,
Nash should be able to hit him as well.  If Yuber has gotten in the way, then
take him out but this is dangerous because the Bishop's attacks are very
powerful.  Once it's down to the last person, just heal and mop up.

An alternative strategy is if you gave Yumi the Water Rune and trained up her
Water Magic skill.  If she's at level 38 or higher, she should have the Silent
Lake spell, which negates all spellcasting for 5 turns.  If you want to try
this strategy, do everything else the same (Rico cast Kindness Rain, Nash/Chris
go after Sarah) but cast Silent Lake with Yumi.  Rico should still get her
spell off but there's a good chance you'll stop the Masked Bishop's spell.
After that first round, heal everyone with your items and start hacking away in
the same order as above.

Whether you win or lose won't affect the story-the game will still continue
either way.  This fight is one of the tougher ones in the game and my personal
success rate is about 60%, unless you went crazy with leveling up that is.  I
beat it with everyone in the high 30's level and after the fight everyone is at
level 40 or close to it.  A cutscene follows the battle and the story moves to
the next day.  Once Rico joins you, head to the very back of the village where
the altar is.  Chris will talk with Nash and come to a life resolution.  Head
to the front of the village to talk with Yuiri and to gain the location of the
Flame Champion.  After the World Map pops up, go back to Alma Kinan.

Go to the area outside the inn and you'll see a young man named Rody on a
broomstick.  Talk to him and pick the first dialogue option.  Pick the first
choice again ("I am looking for men") after that.  Go inside the inn and talk
with the woman sitting at the table, Estella.  Next, go outside and to the back
where the altar is.  Talk to the little girl on that screen then head to the
inn to talk to Estella again.  You'll then recruit Estella and Rody, two of the
best magic users in the game.

A quick word about Estella-she's a pathological liar.  Have Kidd investigate
her or put her and Chris in the bath and you'll see what I mean.  While she and
Rody are great with magic, don't expect any help from them in melee combat.
That's the drawback with all the characters who are primarily magic users-
they'll rarely attack if you pair them with someone else.  Out of all the
characters with 3 open rune slots, Rody's tops in magic.

Rody also comes equipped with a couple of runes you'll want to take off of him
immediately, the Wall Rune and Firefly Rune.  The Wall Rune doubles the
wearer's defense rating but they can't do anything else at all-not even use
items.  The Firefly Rune makes the wearer the first choice of an enemy attack,
making it useful if you put it on a tank character so they take the punishment.
If you learn more about Rody and Estella's relationship, it makes sense why
he'd be wearing this rune combination.

When you remove the Firefly Rune from Rody, keep it in Chris' main inventory-
don't sell it, store it, or put it on anyone else.

We're now heading to the end of the chapter.  Just like Hugo and Geddoe, to
advance the chapter you would head to the Flame Champion Hideaway and go to
the teleportation circle.  It's up to you if you want to go around the world
again to level up-if you have the patience I do recommend taking on one of the
Golems at either the North Cavern or Mt. Path because they give very good
experience.

I also highly suggest you add Water Magic skill to Chris' skills list and train
it up to its maximum of a B+.  Attach a Water Rune to her as well.  You'll also
want to make sure that when she steps on the teleportation circle she's
equipped with a Sacrificial Jizo like Hugo and Geddoe.  If you were following
my skills guide previously, choose to forget Magic Resistance and just add
Water Magic.  Along with Sebastian at Lake Castle, Sana at Chisha can also
switch out your party members for you.

If you took the "long" way earlier in the chapter, go back to Chisha and put
Ayame and Watari in your party.  You don't have to get them new gear or level
them up.  The formation I used was:

Chris
Nash
Ayame
Watari
Fred
Rico
Barts (Support)

Go all the way to the Mt. Path and head to Caleria.  The Rock Golem will be
there again but shouldn't pose a problem.  Use Ayame's Shrike Rune and Rico's
Kindness Drops to heal Ayame and Watari.  The loot I got this time was another
?Statue.  When you arrive at Caleria, go to the second floor of the inn.
You'll see Nadir, the man with the theater mask.  Your party fulfills his
requirement for an acting troupe.  When he asks, suggest Budehuc Castle to
recruit him.  Nadir will be in the tavern at Lake Castle, the same room as
where Nei, Toppo, and Shabon are.  It's the far left room on the first floor
of the castle.  You can give Nadir scripts to perform plays.  The theater plays
are my favorite gameplay aspect.  You can try it out it in this chapter but
it'll be a lot more fun once all the characters are recruited.

After fighting all the treasure bosses again, the good loot I got was Chaos
Shield (Blue Mantrix), ?Statue and Iron Heel Shoes (Stone Golem), and Premier
Chainmail and another Stone of Evasion (Azzodess the second time).  Everyone
was at level 46 in my party.  When you're ready to close the chapter, head to
the familiar teleportation circle, head north, and talk to Sana.

!!!VERY IMPORTANT!!!-If you elected to play Thomas' Optional chapters already,
when you've concluded Chris' chapter 3, you'll be taken to the Trinity Site as
usual.  SAVE NOW AND DO NOT OVERWRITE THIS GAME.  Sorry for all the caps, but
I can't stress enough how important this is.  The biggest decision of the game
occurs at the start of chapter 4 and you'll definitely want to have a save game
before making this decision.  Do what you have to do to make sure this save
game is never overwritten-save it in the very first slot or some other spot
that's "safe".

Fred [56/108]
Rico [57/108]
Sanae Y [58/108]*
Wan Fu [59/108]*
Barts [60/108]*
Yun [61/108]
Estella [62/108]*
Rody [63/108]*
Nadir [64/108]*

There's going to be a big Spoiler gap here in case you jumped ahead to Thomas
Chapter 1 after Geddoe's Chapter 1.

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4l.  Thomas Chapter 1 (Optional)

Just to keep the Stars count at the end of the chapter straight, I have
numbered them as if you played these chapters in the suggested order.  If at
any time during Thomas' chapters you feel absolutely sure you don't want to
play through his chapters, just soft reset and go back to your last save before
picking his story.

Pick Thomas from the Trinity Site.  You'll see Thomas walking up to Lake
Castle.  Move him to the front and you'll see his first meeting with Cecile,
the castle guard commander.  After she joins, go to the main house and you'll
get an extended meet and greet cutscene.

When you get control of Thomas, exit his bedroom to the right of the screen.
Head down on the next screen and go down the stairs.  Sebastian will suggest
to you to meet everyone in the castle.  Go back up the stairs.  At the top,
go right and head through the door at the very end of the hall.  This is the
library.  Talk to Eike, the man in the brown outfit to the right of the screen.
Exit and head back down the stairs to the first floor.

To the right of the main stairs is another stairway down-take it.  On the next
screen head left to talk to the Kobold with the blue hat-Muto.  He's the
warehouse keeper and he can store up to 24 items for you.  Head back the way
you came but instead of taking the stairs back up, take the stairs down that
are further down the hall (closer to the broken elevator).  From this next
screen, head left and follow the hallway past all the jail cells until you
reach a gray door.  Walk through it and you'll be outside the house.

Head right to exit this screen.  On the next screen, keep going right-just past
the stone stairs going up you'll see a man lying on the ground-this is Juan,
the bujutsu teacher.  Talk to him to find out about recent events regarding the
ownership of the castle.  Head up the stone stairs then to the front entrance
to talk to Cecile.  When you're done, head to the big white tent next to her.
Inside is the fortune teller, Piccolo.  If you ever want some advice, tips, or
to know how to advance the story, pay him 100 potch for his ACME prediction.
After talking with him, talk to the woman with the white hair at the lottery
stand, Martha.  That's everybody, so head back to the main house.

When you enter, Sebastian will tell you that a letter needs to be delivered to
the Zexen Knights.  You'll volunteer to take the job and Cecile will accompany
you.  Instead of exiting to the World Map, go back to the main house.  To the
left of the main stairs is a blue crystal-save your game.  If you're playing
this chapter after playing Chris' chapter 3 then go ahead and read the next
paragraph.  If you're playing this chapter after Geddoe's chapter 1, skip past
the next paragraph.

You'll notice the house is already decorated with all the antiques you've piled
up.  To give Thomas a hefty financial advantage right from the start, take all
the paintings, urns, statues, and vases-you're going to sell them when you get
to Brass Castle.  Don't worry about replacing them because you're going to get
plenty of paintings and vases in chapters 4 and 5.  Still, if you'd rather not
part with any of this loot, you can wait until you get some more money then
play the lottery.  I suggest you play the lottery anyway even if you do sell
the antiques.  Just to let you know, the most common antiques you pick up in
the later chapters will be Sunset, SkyOwl, and Ruins Paintings, Calerian Urns,
Hex Dolls, and Knight Statues.  It's up to you but giving Thomas lots of money
early this way helps a lot in upgrading his gear and weapons, making his
chapters _much_ easier.

Exit the castle to the World Map.  The formation I use:

Cecile
Thomas
-----
-----
-----
-----
(No Support)

Thomas and Cecile both start at level 1 and, as you'd expect, aren't very
powerful.  Their combo, Best Effort, is quite powerful once they're leveled up.
Sometimes when they do this combo, you'll see Thomas has his sword stuck in
the ground and has problems getting it out-this is a good thing because it
means the combo has done double damage.  I've never figured out a way to make
this happen more often, unfortunately.  In terms of skills, both of them can
get very high ranks (A to A+) in several areas each but it takes them a long
while.  The enemies you're going to face will reflect your starting level with
Thomas so there's not much to worry about.  Just heal when you need to and use
your melee attacks in the random battles.

Cross Yaza Plain and enter Brass Castle.  Head right two screens until you come
to the west courtyard.  Thomas and Cecile will have a brief chat.  Go to the
right to get another cutscene with one of the Six Mighty Zexen Knights.
Proceed to the main part of the castle.  Head down on the next screen and to
your left is Roland.  Talk to him to get some more information.  Continue
down on the screen and take the last door on the right where two armored
knights are standing.  Head right toward the stairs to see a cutscene.

If you got a bunch of antiques by playing the suggested chapter order, continue
down on this screen to get to the east courtyard.  Sell your antiques at the
Item or Armor Stand.  I usually make 120,000-200,000 potch.  Sharpen your
weapons up to level 5 and buy the best gear you can.  If you want, you can
check to see if the Calerian trader on the far east side of the Castle has
Ancient Text to sell.  Either way, head back to the open doorway where you
talked with Roland.  Head left through the doorway and go up the stairs.  Go
down on the next screen to see another of the Zexen Knights.

Next, go down and to the right through the double wooden doors.  Head to the
right on the next screen to trigger a scene with Salome.  When that's done,
exit Brass Castle to the west.  After Cecile and Thomas have a talk, you'll be
back on the World Map.  Enter Brass Castle again so you can save at the blue
crystal outside.  Exit west and cross Yaza Plain to get back to Lake Castle.

After the cutscene and if you have 1,000 potch, go up to the lottery stand and
buy 10 tickets.  Head back to the main house.  When he enters, Thomas will
wonder where Sebastian is but decides to turn in.  Head up the stairs to his
bedroom and you'll go to sleep.  When Thomas wakes up, head down the stairs and
out to the front of the house.  A cutscene follows and you learn that a young
boy is missing, whose name is also Thomas.  Piccolo and Cecile will join your
party.  Head into the main house and go to the library.  Next, go downstairs
and look at the broken elevator to the right of the main stairs.  After the
cutscene, go downstairs toward Muto's warehouse.  Take the passageway right
before you come to Muto's counter.  Head toward the big opening where rays of
light are coming through.  That's it for the house search.

Go back outside and go talk to Juan in his usual spot.  He'll explain what
happened and join your party.  When you get control of Thomas, head back to
the main house and save at the blue crystal.  I use this formation:

Cecile
Thomas
-----
-----
Juan
Piccolo
(No Support)

Some words about Juan and Piccolo.  Juan is the best pure fighter in the game,
IMHO.  He comes with a Waking Rune that can't be removed.  The bad thing is,
he's asleep at the start of a battle.  The good thing is, once he wakes up he's
berserk.  Once he reaches a higher level, Juan can get an S ranking in both
Heavy Damage and Continual Attack.  In the later chapters you'll be able to
remedy the sleeping problem with a Yellow Scarf and attach a Rune like Fury or
Double Strike to him.  I've beaten the strongest random encounters using just
Juan but a lot of people don't like him because he's real irritating at first
with the Waking Rune.  With Juan in your party, you can also do all the actions
related to skills at any time, such as Lesson, Test, and Forget.  To do this,
go to the Skills option, pick Juan, then select Bujutsu Teacher.  Piccolo's
strong suit is Lightning Magic.  He can get an A in it but it takes a while.
For the purpose of Thomas' chapters, it's the only skill of his I train up.

Two of the non-automatic stars I suggest you recruit in this chapter, Mel and
Kenji, come equipped with the armor Turtle Tunic.  This Tunic negates the sleep
status that affects Juan.  If you want him awake at the start of battles, take
the Tunic from either Mel or Kenji when you get them later and put it on Juan.
The armor rating for the Tunic (around +20 DEF) is good enough for Thomas'
chapters.  If you want to use Juan in chapters 4 and 5, make sure you get him
better armor and cure his sleep status with the Yellow Scarf item.

Exit Lake Castle and you'll see Mt. Hei-Tou has opened on the World Map.  Cross
Yaza Plain to head there.  During random encounters, I attack with Thomas and
Cecile and just have Juan's pair defend until he gets waken up.  Don't use any
of Piccolo's Lightning Magic-you'll need it later.  When you get to Mt. Hei-Tou
your group will talk it over.  Thomas will never loot corpses.  He also can
never fight the Blue Mantrix-once you get close he'll simply run away from it.
If you run into a green monster called the Creeper, use Thomas and Cecile's
Best Effort combo on it.

Go right and keep going that way until you get to the blue crystal.  Save.  If
you go right one more screen you'll head into a fight-make sure Thomas and
Cecile are at least level 5 before going there.  When you're ready to proceed
head on over.  At the next screen, continue all the way to the right toward the
dead end on your mini-map.  You'll find the boy being cornered by a Wild Boar.
This fight isn't too hard-use the Best Effort combo and have Piccolo cast
Berserk Blow (if you've leveled him up a lot he may have Soaring Bolt-use that
instead).  Alternatively, you could have Piccolo use the Wind of Sleep scroll
in his inventory but this only helps a little.  Heal when necessary and repeat
until the Boar is dead-he has about 500 HP.

After you win, go back to Lake Castle.  Head into the main area and the kid
will reunite with his mom.  When the cutscene ends, a week will pass.  When you
get control of Thomas again, leave the main house and talk with Cecile,
Piccolo, and Martha in their usual places.  Then go back to the main house and
head toward the main stairs to trigger another cutscene.

Thomas and Cecile will come up with an idea to make the castle viable.  Martha
will then chip in with some more history of the area.  When the talking ends,
go back up to Thomas' bedroom.  Another extended cutscene will follow.  You can
now switch out party members by talking with Sebastian but you don't need to do
that yet.  Instead, exit the inn and talk with Piccolo and Martha, who're
standing outside of her lottery stand.  You'll see the same scene as in Geddoe
chapter 1 but from Thomas' POV.  Head back up to Thomas' bedroom, stand close
to his bed and elect to Rest.  If you played Chris' chapter 2 already, you'll
see another cutscene involving her.  If not, you may not get it but I'm not
sure.

The lottery's probably turned over by now so talk to Sebastian at the inn and
save your game.  Check the lottery results and soft reset until you get the
100,000 potch prize.  If you sold a bunch of antiques earlier and still have
around 200,000 potch after winning the lottery, it's up to you if you want to
play again.  It helps but it's not essential.  If you're playing this chapter
after Geddoe's chapter 1, then I highly recommend you go ahead and play the
lottery one more time.

Now's a good time to do some recruiting.  Talk to Sebastian and put Martha in
your party as support.  Any time you go shopping, it's a good idea to put
Martha in your party because her Discount skill is a B, the best in the game.
Exit to the World Map and you'll notice a bunch of places have opened up.  Head
to Iksay first.

If you like, you can recruit Mio now with Thomas.  She's a nurse on the 2nd
floor of the Iksay Inn.  Her Healing Support Skill is a B+, one of the best in
the game.  Only Chris or Thomas can get her until ch. 4.  She's useful to both
but not essential so it's entirely up to you who you want to use to get her.
I've listed her in the recruit list as acquired in Chris' ch. 2 for reference.

Stop by the Item Shop and check their Rarity and buy a Rose Brooch if they have
it.  Buy another one if you can afford it.  If they don't have it, keep
checking every 25 minutes or so-you'll need it to recruit someone in VdZ.  Talk
to the little girl in the Item Shop to get a Pale Gate Rune.  Don't sell this
thing-it may be the only one you get for the entire game.

Leave the shop.  Head to the back of this screen toward the windmill and talk
to the young girl with the blue outfit on.  This is Mel and her, uh, friend
Branky.  When you get a dialogue choice, pick the first one to recruit her.
If you _love_ playing the lottery you can go ahead and play the one here in
Iksay.

Go back to Lake Castle.  All the shops you acquired previously will now be
there.  Now's a good time to advance the story-head to the main house to
trigger a brief cutscene and Thomas will go get some sleep.  Another cutscene
ensues and you learn that Eike is missing.  Leave the library and head for the
front entrance outside where Cecile is standing.  Shizu will show up to fix
your elevator and you'll automatically recruit her.

It's going to take Shizu some time to complete her work so now's a great
opportunity to do more recruiting.  Talk to Sebastian and put together a party
like so:

Cecile
Thomas
Mel
-----
Juan
Piccolo
Martha (Support)

Sharpen everyone's weapon up to at least level 5 except Piccolo-you never need
to sharpen his weapon because all of his offense is magic.  If you got a ton of
money, sharpen all the weapons up as high as you can, up to 8 is plenty for
Thomas' chapters.  Just to let you know, Thomas and Mel's weapons get a big
attack boost at level 11, but it's not necessary to go up that far.  Mel will
be your best offensive character (she always comes in at level 32) for Thomas'
chapters and is really the only party character you need to recruit for battles
but we're going to get a few more anyway.  Mel's Lightning Magic skill also can
naturally go up to an S but I wait until chapter 4 to add that.

Save your game.  Exit to Yaza Plain.  If you're playing this chapter in the
suggested order, you should see Kenji still out there on the plains.  He's to
the far left of the screen toward the middle if you're coming from Lake Castle.
If you're playing this chapter after Geddoe's chapter 1 he may not be there
yet.  If he's there, DON'T recruit him yet.

If you're playing this chapter after Chris' chapter 3, skip ahead to the next
paragraph.  Head through Brass Castle to get to Plain Amur North.  You'll
notice a bunch of horses around here.  Ignore them for now and go to Duck
Village.  Head to the inn and exit to the back.  Go to the top hut to talk to
the little boy in the blue outfit.  When he asks if you want to help, decline
his offer-you'll want to save him for one of your other main characters.  Talk
to the duck standing next to him and save your game.  Head back out to Plain
Amur North.  Talk to the cowgirl, Kathy.  She will ask you to count how many
horses she has.  The number is random but always seems to be more than 15.  If
you get the wrong number, I believe Kathy will disappear for a while before
showing up again so try to get it right the first time or just soft reset and
come back.  After you get the count right, suggest Budehuc Castle and you'll
recruit Kathy.

Next, go to Zexen Forest.  The rare encounter here is two Holly elves and some
Holly boys-they can be dangerous because they cast sleep but with Mel you
shouldn't have too many problems.  It's definitely worth good experience for
everyone else in your party.  Head to VdZ and save at the blue crystal outside
the city.  Go to the North Cavern next.

Head to the very back of the cavern where you fought Guillaume in Hugo's
chapter 1.  The banshee and purple creepers are random encounters here and will
boost your party's level up to 14-15 in a hurry.  To beat them, just use Mel
and the Best Effort combo.  The purple creepers drop Firefly Runes, which are
useful when put on Tank characters.  Save at the blue crystal before you get to
the end of the cavern.  There will be a treasure boss there, Magician.  It's
not a big deal if everyone's around level 14.  Just use Mel and the Best Effort
combo and you can take it down in no more than a few turns.

You don't have to empty the chest unless you really want to fight the Magician
again-it's not necessary.  Do take as much of the armor as you can to sell the
stuff you don't want.  I didn't get much money for this fight, only 17,000
potch or so.  Nothing all that great in terms of loot except a Kite Shield for
Cecile.  Exit the North Cavern.

Stop in at VdZ to check out their shops.  If you see Guillaume running around
just ignore him and avoid the Guild Hall area (you only see him if you're
playing this right after Geddoe's chapter 1).  Do some shopping if you want but
the main reason to come here is to recruit Augustine.  If you got the Rose
Brooch, talk to him (if you've forgotten, he's standing outside the Armor
Shop).  You'll automatically give him the Rose Brooch.  Pick the second
dialogue choice to recruit him.

Augustine's notable skills are his Parry and Swing.  His Parry naturally tops
out at an S.  His Swing tops at a B but his brooches can bump this up to an S.
Starting in chapter 4 you'll be able to buy a Rarity item at the Caleria Item
Stand called WhiteRose Brooch, which only Augustine can wear and boosts his
Swing skill by two grades.  You can equip these in all 3 of his item slots.
For some odd reason, he won't have the Rose Brooch you gave him in his
inventory-this is why I suggested you buy 2 of them if you could before.

Go to the Great Hollow next.  Enter the main area and take the southeast tunnel
exit on your mini-map. Follow the path and exit.  At the next screen, you'll
hear some digging.  Head to the left to follow the path until you see a dwarf
with a yellow helmet, Twaikin.  When the lizard guard shows up, pick the first
choice, "Nothing".  Pick the first choice again for the next dialogue option to
recruit Twaikin.  He's a pretty good tank character.  Go back to the main area
of Great Hollow and upgrade as much of everyone's gear as you can.  Exit to the
World Map and head to Yaza Plain.

Check to see if Kenji is here yet.  If he is, talk to him and pick the second
choice to exercise with him.  Pick the second choice again to ask for water and
he will join your group.  Everyone in your party should now be at around level
17 or better except Kenji, who comes in at 2 levels lower than Thomas.  To win
the rest of the battles in this chapter, you really only need Thomas, Mel, Juan,
Piccolo, and Cecile with the experience levels you have now and with the better
gear/weapon levels available in this chapter.  I also recruit Augustine, Kenji,
and Twaikin to give you more party members to choose from for battles.  Don't
focus too much on leveling up unless you really like to do it-level 17 is just
fine.  The best time to level up will come in chapters 4 and 5.

If you're playing this chapter after Geddoe's chapter 1, there's a chance Kenji
won't be at Yaza Plain at all in this chapter.  If that's the case, it's not a
big deal because you have enough party members to win all the battles in
Thomas' chapters.  You'll also be able to recruit Kenji later so you're
definitely not going to miss out on recruiting him.

Hike back to Lake Castle.  If you're playing this chapter after Chris' chapter
3, skip this paragraph.  Once you have Augustine, remove everyone from your
party except Thomas and put Augustine in as the lone other member.  Head to
Iksay and go to the Item Shop.  Talk to Gordon and accept his offer to join
your group.  He will open an Item Shop at Budehuc Castle.  Go back to Lake
Castle.

The lottery should've turned over by now so go ahead and check the results. The
money you've made until now (200,000 potch via the lottery if you're playing
this right after Geddoe's chapter 1) is all you really need for both of Thomas'
chapters.  Do some shopping and bump up any skills you want.  If you're going
to see Ernie, make sure you avoid the elevator area on the first floor-going
there will advance the story.

Now that you have Kathy, you can opt to pick up a couple of very helpful items.
They're not necessary by any means, but they can be a big help.  From the
screen where Peggi and Juan are, exit north on the mini-map.  Head right on the
next screen and you'll see Kathy.  Talk to her to race in the Horse Race mini-
game.  If you get certain lap times for the track, you earn prizes.  The three
prizes that are of interest are the Hex Doll S, Pale Moon Leather, and
LightningMagic Ring.  These prizes always show up but I believe it's random in
terms of which course you can win them on.

The times that are good enough for you to get prizes for each track:

No obstacles:  49-50 secs, default prize is Deer Antler (49.677)
Some obstacles: 49-51 secs, default prize is Mini-Cactus (49.853)
Lots of obstacles:  49-52 secs, default prize is Mini-Cactus (49.677)

These are just estimates based on my experience.  The times in parentheses are
my personal bests.  Start with the no obstacles course and work your way up.
The only strategy I can really give you is to stay to the inside of the track
and don't take really wide turns.  Lame advice, I know, but that's all there
really is to it.

If you keep getting the default prize more than twice in a row, then you've
exhausted the prizes for that course so try the next one higher up.  The Pale
Moon Leather gives a whopping 60+ Defense boost and the LightningMagic Ring
raises the wearer's Lightning Magic skill by one grade.  The Pale Moon Leather
is a great item for Thomas and the Ring for Piccolo.  Other prizes you can get
include Haziness Rune, Recipe #8, and Painting: Lady antique as well as some
others.  The mini-cactus are nice because they're worth 5,500 potch each.

If you're playing Thomas' chapter 1 in the suggested play order, skip to the
next paragraph.  When you get the Hex Doll S, go and place it in the statue
room. This room is located on the second floor of the main house.  When you go
up the main stairs, make a left and it's the left door in the corner.  Place
the Hex Doll S in the large middle pedestal.  DO NOT COME BACK INTO THIS ROOM
UNTIL HUGO'S CHAPTER 3.  Sorry for the caps but doing this is necessary to
recruit a character and if you mess up, it can complicate getting this
character a lot.

When you're ready to advance the story, save at Sebastian's inn first.  Head to
the first floor elevator and Shizu should be done.  If for some reason she's
not, go to Thomas' bedroom and select Rest.  This will move the game time some
more.  Thanks to Fate who e-mailed me this tip.  You should've killed enough
time already, though.  Shizu will then give your party a grand tour with the
elevator.  When she's finished, you'll end up in a new sub-basement of the
castle.

There's no need to adjust your party-there's random encounters down here but
nothing you won't be able to handle.  Head to the right and follow the tunnel
until you get a cutscene.  When you get control of Thomas, head up and exit
the screen.  On the next screen, keep going up until you see a path to the
left-it can be hard to see sometimes.  Take that path left and follow it to
exit the screen.  You'll get another cutscene.  There's nothing of note if you
took the other pathways in case you were wondering.  Once your party regroups,
head left and take the path up.  After the brief talk with your party, continue
up on the screen.  An extended cutscene will occur and the chapter will be
over.

You have recruited all the characters you'll need for Thomas' chapters.  If
you're on the fence about playing through his chapter 2, I can tell you that
your levels and party should be good enough now to where you won't have to do
any more leveling up, fighting random battles, or playing the lottery in his
chapter 2.  For Mel, Thomas, Cecile, Juan, and Piccolo, everyone was at level
17 except Mel, who was at 32.  Everyone's weapon was level 8 except Piccolo's
which was still at 1.  The only notable skill is that Piccolo has a C in
Lightning Magic and I gave him the LightningMagic Ring from Kathy's races to
boost it to a B.  If you've played this far, I advise you to go ahead and
finish it out just to see the complete story but it's up to you.

If you played Thomas' Chapter 1 right after Geddoe's Chapter 1, then to avoid
spoilers I suggest you play Thomas' Chapter 2 after Geddoe's Chapter 2.  You'll
see a few things in Thomas' chapter that precedes the other characters' chapter
3's but it's nothing major.

Thomas [65/108]
Cecile [66/108]
Juan [67/108]
Piccolo [68/108]
Martha [69/108]
Sebastian [70/108]
Muto [71/108]
Eike [72/108]
Shizu [73/108]
Mel [74/108]*
Augustine [75/108]*
Twaikin [76/108]*
Kenji [77/108]*

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
4m.  Thomas Chapter 2 (Optional)

Pick Thomas from the Trinity Site.  If you like, you can go around shopping
and fighting the treasure boss at the North Cavern.  Again, you really don't
have to level up your party any more if they're at the levels I mentioned
earlier.  This is your best opportunity to wander around during this chapter so
make the most of it if you choose to do so.  You do want to make sure to have
each of your characters readied with a Medicine C (all 6) or a better healing
item in their personal item slot for the later battles in this chapter.  If you
still have a lot of money left over, make the most of it by buying the best
gear available at the various shops in this chapter (armor that's +20 or
better is fine).

When you want to advance the story, head to Iksay Village.  You'll get a
cutscene with a Zexen Councilor.  Pick the first choice to agree to take him to
Lake Castle.  You don't have to go there right away-you can still elect to just
wander around some more if you like.  To make the story move forward head back
home to Lake Castle and a cutscene will occur.

If you told the Zexen Councilor you don't know where Lake Castle is, you'll
have to kill some time before he shows up at Lake Castle.  Go back to Thomas'
bedroom, stand next to the bed, and pick Rest.  Do this twice.  Exit Lake
Castle, put together a serviceable party and head to the North Cavern to fight
the treasure boss or do whatever else you like to kill time (e.g. play the
mini-games, trade, etc.).  The Councilor will eventually show up.

Once you come back to Lake Castle, you'll have a meeting with the Councilor.
If you're one of those people that gets angry easily at obnoxious jerks, you
may want to brace yourself every time the Zexen Councilor speaks.  Everything
that comes out of his mouth is an airborne toxin.  When that's over, to make
the story progress head up to Thomas' bedroom to talk to Muto and pick the
first choice.

The next day, exit Thomas' bedroom and save at the blue crystal by the stairs.
Head out to the front entrance where Cecile stands to view a scene.  Go back
to the main house to see your group talk it over.  Head to the outside of the
inn to meet Apple and Caesar then go back to the front of the main house.  When
the conversation's over, go to the front of the castle to talk with Cecile.
Next, go inside the main house.  Head to the far left side of the house where
Nei, Toppo, and Shabon are.  Outside the tavern room at the end of the hall
are Piccolo, Muto, and Martha.  Walk up to get another chat with them.  Head
upstairs to the library from there to get another cutscene with Sebastian and
Eike (they're standing where Ernie usually is).  To advance the story, go to
Thomas' bedroom.  If not you can wander around some more.  When you go to
Thomas' bedroom, you'll get another talk with Sebastian.

The next day, exit Thomas' bedroom and save at the blue crystal by the main
stairs.  Head outside to the front of the main house.  Talk with Caesar and
pick the first choice if you want to proceed with the strategy battle.  Pick
the second choice if you want to go back and save first or wander around some
more.  The strategy battle itself isn't hard at all.  The vast majority of the
time only one Zexen unit will actually attack-just don't get aggressive and
attack and you'll be fine.  The goal of the battle is simply to stay alive and
then move Hugo/Lilly's units to the exit.

In the first turn, just defend with both Thomas and Cecile's units-don't move
them.  In the second turn, hit the Zexen unit that's moved up next to Thomas
with his Wind Magic skill.  Defend again with Cecile.  During your next turn
and every turn thereafter, move Hugo/Lilly's units to the exit circle.  If
you're _really_ hunkering to attack, attack with Thomas' unit when Hugo/Lilly's
units are in position to cover.  Again, I don't advise you do because it's an
unnecessary risk.  Once you move both Hugo and Lilly's units to the exit circle
the battle will be over.  With a Major Victory you'll get a Counter Ring for a
prize.  If you didn't get a Major Victory, just reload from your last save and
try again.

The next day, head out to the front entrance to talk with Cecile.  If you want
to do any more wandering here's another good chance.  To advance the story,
simply exit to the World Map then come right back to Lake Castle.  Go to the
front of the main house for a couple of extended cutscenes.  To make the story
go forward, go up to Thomas' bedroom and pick the first choice.

In the middle of the night, Thomas will have insomnia.  Head to the library to
chat with Eike who's standing near Ernie's spot.  Then go down the stairs to
talk with Sebastian.  Next, go to the end of the hall on the far left side of
the house, where you talked with Muto, Piccolo, and Martha before.  Muto will
be there again and you can pick either dialogue choice when you get the option.
Now head back to Thomas' bedroom to have a conversation with Cecile.  You can
pick whichever choice you feel like when the dialogue box opens.  

The next day, head out to the front of the main house to talk with the Zexen
Knights.  Go ahead and pick the first choice to move the story.  Another
extended cutscene will follow which personally shot my respect up for Cecile
and Juan by about a million times.  When it's over, you'll get the chance to
rename Budehuc Castle (which I will still refer to as Lake Castle for this
Walkthrough).  I just go with Cecile's choice since she's one of my favorite
characters.  For you Suikoden trivia buffs, this was also Jowy's suggestion for
the army name in Suikoden II.  When you can move Thomas again, head towards his
bed to move the story forward by picking the first choice.  You can still
wander around some more by picking the second choice.  When you advance the
story, Thomas will have one final talk before the battle the next morning.

After that, you'll see Thomas go up to the front entrance to talk with Juan.
When he asks, pick the second choice to tell him to wait.  Talk to Sebastian
and put together a party.  I used:

Cecile
Thomas
Juan
Piccolo
Mel
Augustine
(Mio--only if you recruited her with Thomas in this chapter)

This has no impact on the upcoming strategy battle-only for the battles after.
Talk to Sebastian again to save your game.  Talk to Muto then tell Juan you're
ready to commence the strategy battle.

I advise you to use the same tactics as in the last strategy battle-don't be
aggressive and fight only when you're attacked.  If you are going to attack,
the best spot is to the right of Thomas because you can put someone in a cover
position.  The best outcome for this battle is a Safe Retreat-you cannot get a
victory because Leo and Percival's HP will not drop below 1/2 in this battle.
In the first round, just defend with Thomas and swap Juan and Cecile's spots.
In the next round, if you love the fightin', move Cecile one circle to the
right and Juan one circle to the top right then attack with Thomas.  I advise
you don't and just use Thomas' Wind Magic to blast the Zexens and defend with
the other two.  You'll get attacked in the next few rounds so just use Thomas
unit primarily to take the attacks and retreat when you have to.  If Leo or
Percival's units attack you, retreat like crazy.  After 5-6 turns, the battle
will be over.  If you got a Safe Retreat, you'll get a Killer Rune as loot.  If
you didn't because someone got knocked out or an entire unit was lost, just
reload and try again.

After the battle, your group will fall back inside with the Zexen Councilor
charging after them.  Head toward the main house and you'll get into a fight
with 4 Zexen regulars.  They're not too tough-use the Best Effort Combo and Mel
will take them down.  Just defend with Juan's pair.  Make sure you're healed up
after the battle.  Once you get inside the main house, you'll see a brief
cutscene showing some Grade A guerilla tactics.

After this, another fight with 4 Zexen regulars except it's unwinnable.  I've
done over 5,000 damage to one of these guys and they don't go down.  You can
attack if you want but just keep healing until the battle ends and you get
some help.  The next and final battle is just against 2 Zexen regulars and this
time you can beat them.  Just mop them up with Best Effort and Mel and you
shouldn't have a problem.  When this battle is over, an extended cutscene will
play out and Thomas' chapter will come to an end.

!!!VERY IMPORTANT!!!-If you played Thomas' chapters in the suggested order,
meaning you've completed the chapter 3's of Geddoe, Hugo, and Chris, you'll be
taken to the Trinity Site as usual.  SAVE NOW AND DO NOT OVERWRITE THIS GAME.
Sorry for all the caps, but I can't stress enough how important this is.  The
biggest decision of the game occurs at the start of chapter 4 and you'll
definitely want to have a save game before making this decision.  Do what you
have to do to make sure this save game is never overwritten-save it in the very
first slot or some other spot that's "safe".

[No new recruits]

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
4n.  Interlude--The Big Question (Spoilers)

From the Trinity Site pick the chapter 4 of Hugo, Chris, or Geddoe-it doesn't
matter at all.  The scene will pick up where it left off at the end of each
character's chapter 3.  An extended cutscene will follow.  The next paragraph
is chock full of spoilers so watch the scene first then come back-I've put
some spoiler space so you don't see anything accidentally.

-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-

Now you know the truth and it's time to pick a new Flame Champion.  The big
question is, who should it be?  My advice is to pick your favorite character.
Trust me when I say there is no battle that can't be won with any number of
different party combinations regardless of who is Flame Champion.  When you
think of it like this, the only thing that matters is YOUR opinion of who it
should be.

In terms of Fire Magic stats, Geddoe's is the best at a B+, followed by Hugo at
a B, and Chris at a C.  My personal opinion is that unless a character can get
their offensive magic skill up to at least an A it's not very good, and it
really should be at least an A+ for the very end of the game.  I never used the
True Fire Rune when I picked Hugo or Chris.  I've played through with each
character as Flame Champion and still beat the game with relative ease no
matter who I picked.  I'm not saying that to brag, only to re-emphasize my
advice to make your choice of FC based on your own personal tastes rather than
worrying about magic skill grades.

You probably have guessed by now that since Geddoe has the True Lightning Rune
the True Runes will be redistributed based on who you pick for Flame Champion.
The way that goes is this:

Flame Champion:               True Lightning:                True Water:

Geddoe                        Hugo                           Chris
Chris                         Geddoe                         Hugo
Hugo                          Geddoe                         Chris

The True Water Rune will come later.  Note that Geddoe can never receive the
True Water Rune and Chris can never receive the True Lightning Rune.  Once
you've made your choice, you'll see a small cutscene play out.  The main
storyline of chapter 4-5 are the same regardless of who you pick for Flame
Champion.  Chris has one extended cutscene unique to her if you pick her.  Due
to the overlap in storyline, I have not separated chapters 4-5 by each of the
main characters.  As long as you keep that save at the Trinity Site right
before you picked the Flame Champion, you can always play through the game
starting at that point with a different Flame Champion to see the differences.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
4o.  Chapter 4

After talking with Sana, put your team in this formation no matter who is
Flame Champion:

Chris
Hugo
-----
-----
-----
Geddoe
(No Support)

When Sana asks, save your game if you want.  When she talks to you again, pick
the second choice to ask her to wait so you can adjust your equipment.  If
Geddoe is Flame Champion, take off his LightningMagic Rings and equip them on
Hugo.  Equip FireMagic Rings on Geddoe or Hugo if they're Flame Champion.
Don't bother with Chris because we'll only be using her Water magic.   Make
sure everyone still has a Sacrificial Jizo equipped.  When you're ready, talk
to Sana again and Save your game.  Talk to her again and ask her to take you to
the test twice.

The next battle's strategy is the same regardless of who's Flame Champion.
Send Hugo/Chris up with their melee attacks.  Cast the 4th level True Lightning
spell with Geddoe (Hammer of Raijin).  In the next round cast Kindness Drops to
heal Chris and Hugo even if Geddoe was hit in the last round.  Cast Furious
Blow from Geddoe's True Lightning Rune.  This should take out the True Fire
Dragon.  If you got unlucky and it didn't go down, heal everyone with Chris'
Kindness Rain and send Geddoe up for a melee attack-this should definitely take
it down or you haven't been properly leveling up.  There's a very slim chance
the Fire Dragon will reflect Geddoe's magic attacks.  If this happens, just
keep using Furious Blow with Geddoe and Chris/Hugo's melee attacks until he
goes down.

When the battle's over, you will receive the True Fire Rune.  Sana will lead
you out and some familiar faces will show up.  When given the dialogue choice
pick the first one if you're feeling heroic or the second if you want to
damage your reputation beyond belief.

If Geddoe is your Flame Champion, skip ahead to the next paragraph.  In the
first round, send up Chris/Hugo for melee attacks on Sarah.  If Hugo is Flame
Champ have Chris cast Kindness Drops on Geddoe if he's hurt.  Have Geddoe cast
Thunder Storm (3rd level spell).  This will wipe out all the Chimeras and
pretty much everyone else to boot.  Usually only Sarah and Yuber are left
standing.  You can take the Masked Bishop and Sarah's spells if they both get
them off with the Sacrificial Jizos equipped.  In the second round, cast
Soaring Bolt with Geddoe's True Lightning to finish off Sarah then take out
Yuber with Chris and Hugo.

If Geddoe is Flame Champion, have him cast Explosion and center it on Yuber.
Heal him with Chris' Kindness Drops if he was hurt in the last fight.  If not
send her/Hugo to attack Sarah.  All the Chimera should be gone in the next
round.  After that, go for Final Flame on Sarah if she's still alive or the
Masked Bishop if she's already down.  Heal with Kindness Drops/Rain from Chris
when necessary.  If Geddoe runs out of Final Flame, use Blazing Wall on the
enemy farthest away from him.

The battle with the Masked Bishop and co. does not need to be won-the story
will continue regardless if you won or lost.  When the battle's over, you'll
get a cutscene and wake up to have a conversation with one of your teammates.
Exit and stay/save at the inn.

Some changes to note before we continue with the story.

-The money of your main characters was pooled after chapter 3, meaning you very
 likely have 999,999 potch right now.

-The warehouses at Lake Castle, Brass Castle, and Caleria now have enough space
 to store 210 items.  Credit to Dazarath for this info.  All your items have
 also been pooled together and placed in the warehouse.  You can use all the
 storage areas now no matter who you picked for Flame Champion.

-Sebastian is no longer responsible for switching out party members at Lake
 Castle-it will now be Anne and she'll be at the tavern where Nadir and
 Nei/Shabon/Toppo are.

Exit the inn and head to the very front of the village.  The leaders of Zexen
and the Grasslands will be gathered there.  Walk up to them to trigger a
cutscene.  When that's over, head back into the village.  If you want to
advance the story now, talk to Salome (Chris), Caesar (Hugo), or Ace (Geddoe).
You can actually leave Chisha if you want but the only other places open on
the map will be Duck Village, Alma Kinan, and the Flame Champion Hideaway.

If Chris is not your Flame Champion, skip ahead to the next paragraph.  If
Chris is Flame Champion, talk to Sana and put Leo, Roland, Borus, Rico, and
Mio in your party.  If you got Mio with Thomas, take Barts instead.  You'll
notice that your Knights have gone up close to your level and they have better
equipment than when you last had them in chapter 2.  It's a good idea to get
enough skill points for Leo to raise his Armor Protect to at least an A+ (S
would be great but not necessary).  If you have the patience, level up Borus'
Swing to a B, you may have to forget the Repel skill to add it but it's worth
it to give him 2 hits/turn.  Take this party to the Flame Champ Hideaway to
fight the Azzodess and random encounters there.  Those battles will be tough,
but winnable.  If you run into a party with the purple ball monsters with lots
of eyes (I forget their name) just do your best to escape.  Visit Alma Kinan
when you're done to raise your skill levels.  While you're at Alma Kinan, put
the Firefly Rune you got from Rody on to Leo.  Remove Roland's Great Hawk Rune.
Head to Duck Village, buy 2 Skunk Runes, and put them on Roland and Borus.
Exit back to Chisha.  Buy a Sacrificial Jizo for Chris, Borus, Leo, and Roland
and equip them.

Talk to the person (Salome, Ace, or Caesar) you need to so you can advance the
story.  They'll ask if you're going to join the battle.  Agree to do so.  If
Chris is FC, just hit OK for the formation-the next strategy battle won't take
long.  After you agree to join, the strategy battle will begin.

This battle is unwinnable-after the third turn 2 Harmonian Units will continue
to appear each turn thereafter on any open circle.  You will have a maximum of
8 units and there are 11 circles, so there's no way to keep the Harmonians
from re-spawning.  In addition, at about the 10th turn Lucia will tell
everybody to retreat, even if you've wiped every Harmonian unit off the map.
Therefore, just get this battle over with as quickly as you can by sending the
first five Grassland units up against the Harmonians-they'll get defeated quite
badly.  I don't believe there's any way to lose your characters permanently
if they go down in this fight, either.

After the strategy battle, you'll go back to Duck Village for an extended
cutscene.  Go to the inn next to see a meeting between the Zexen and Grassland
leaders.  Exit to the front of the village where you'll learn the Harmonians
are on the move again.  Another cutscene follows between Chris and Dupa.

If Chris is not your Flame Champion skip to the next paragraph.  Caesar will
walk up to tell you he has a plan.  When you get to the dialogue option with
Salome, pick the 2nd choice to plan a formation.  I suggest you put Borus, Leo,
Roland, and Chris in one unit (Leo up front, Borus in the middle, Roland in
the back with Chris) and Percival and Salome in the other.  When Salome asks
again, pick the 3rd choice to ask him to wait.  Go save your game at the inn.
Come back and tell Salome you're ready to go with the 1st choice.  Skip the
next paragraph to continue.

Apple or Caesar will come up to you to tell you they have a plan.  Agree to
hear them out.  You'll find out that they believe half of the Harmonian Army
is just illusions.  When Caesar asks if you're ready tell him to wait.  If
Hugo is FC, talk to Apple and put in Hallec, Mua, and Fubar into your party.
Go to the inn and save.  Come back and tell Caesar you're ready now.

At the start of the next strategy battle, you just have to hold on for about
4-6 turns.  To get it over with as quickly as possible, move Units 1, 2, and
4 into the far northwestern circle and units 3 and 5 into the far southwestern
circle.  Only fight with the Duck Units if possible and heal with Dupa when
you can.  Franz and a Mantor unit will show up in turn 2 or 3.  Sarah will then
conjure more units and one turn thereafter Chris will show up to tell the
Grasslanders to fall back.

If Chris is not your FC, skip to the next paragraph.  You'll just have to stay
alive for 3 turns.  When it's your turn, move Chris' Unit into the far SW
circle.  Leave Salome/Percival where they are and have them defend.  When it's
the enemy's turn, just retreat Salome/Percival if they get attacked.  If Chris
gets attacked, go ahead and fight-her unit matches up very well because that
Firefly Rune you stuck on Leo means the Harmonians will idiotically try to
attack him first and do hardly any damage.  If they get lucky, you've got the
Sacrificial Jizos to give you some leeway.  Chris will also get HP back for
her unit at the start of her turn.  At the next turn, use Chris' Fire Rune to
hit the circle with the most enemy units on it that are adjacent to her.  Have
Salome/Percival only defend again and use Chris' unit to take the attacks.
Keep doing this until Sarah's unit retreats and you withdraw yourself for a
Safe Retreat.  No loot this time around.  In case you got Chris up to level 99
and were wiping out everyone, you still can't win this battle outright because
Sarah's HP won't drop below 1/2 so Safe Retreat is the best possible outcome.
Everyone will head back to Brass Castle afterward.  Skip the next paragraph to
continue.

You will advance to the back of the battlefield where you'll spot Sarah
conjuring the illusions.  You'll have to beat back 2 groups of Harmonian troops
who aren't much problem at all.  If Geddoe is your FC, just use Blazing Wall.
After dispatching them, you'll go up against Sarah.  To win this battle you
don't have to take out Sarah herself-just all of her Harmonian guards.  If
you're Hugo, use Aila's Shield Rune/Sgt. Joe's Water rune to heal and focus on
the guards-it shouldn't take you more than 2 turns to take them out.  If you're
Geddoe, just cast Blazing Wall and mop up.  When the battle's over, Yuber will
pop up again and your party will head back to Brass Castle.

To advance the story, head to the Knight's Parlor.  An extended cutscene will
follow.  If you're Chris, head back to your room to talk with Louis.  If you're
Hugo, go to the far eastern part of Brass Castle to talk with Sgt. Joe.  If
you're Geddoe, head to the west courtyard to talk with your group.

When you're given the dialogue options, pick whichever ones you feel like.
After your conversation, go to the east courtyard of Brass Castle to advance
the story.  Your FC will make a speech.  You'll then get the choice whether or
not you want to take the name of the previous FC.  If you prefer just to keep
your own name (i.e. Chris, Hugo, or Geddoe) pick the option "I will be Flame
Champion".  Caesar will then tell you it's time to organize your units for a
strategy battle.  This is the setup I used regardless of FC:


Leo           Borus         -----         Ace           Shiba
Queen         Fred          Dupa          Fubar         Sgt. Joe
Roland        Jacques       -----         Percival      Bazba
Chris         Geddoe        -----         Hugo          Lucia
(Caesar)      (Apple)       (Beecham)     (Salome)      (Joker)


About these units.  Your FC will have a Fire Skill attack and either Geddoe or
Hugo will have a Lightning Skill attack.  You'll need 3 good units that can
take down enemy units so I choose to shift the best groups into Chris, Hugo,
and Geddoe's command.  After you've picked your formation, pick the 3rd choice
to ask Caesar to wait.  Go to the inn and save then come back to tell him 
you're ready.

At the start of the strategy battle, your FC will have a conversation with the
Harmonian commander.  Some Harmonian units will leave and only 7 are left
against your 5.  During your first turn, move the unit with Lightning and Fire
Skills together into the circle one move right from the starting point.  Put
the other units together in the circle below them.  If you ever need to heal,
you can now move back just one circle to the starting point-this also prevents
the enemy from being able to attack with Cover help.  I'm quite sure you can't
lose anyone permanently in this battle, too.

The two main enemy units to be concerned with are Yuber's and Sasarai's.  You
won't have to take on Sasarai in the field (his unit is just made up of 4
Regular Harmonian troops) but he has two Lightning Skill attacks that knock out
1/4 of your unit's health every time he casts it.  The units commanded by Dios,
Albert, and Sasarai don't have a commander-to beat them you'll have to take out
all 4 Harmonians.  I use my Lightning and Fire Skill both on Yuber's unit-he's
the most dangerous when you actually get to the field battle.  Sasarai almost
always will cast his Lightning attacks on 2 different units but if he hits one
unit with both of them, pull them back immediately.  Chris' unit is the best
for attack because of Leo and his Firefly Rune, followed by Hugo and Geddoe.

You can beat their 7 units with just these 3 with mop-up help from Lucia's unit
to attack enemy units that have been already hurt.  You can still score a Major
Victory even if one of your units is wiped out (I just played it and lost
Lucia's team) if you're able to take out the enemy's units before your
reinforcements arrive.  After the 5-6th turn, units lead by Thomas, Hallec, and
Mua will show up.  I always beat the Harmonians before they arrive, though.  If
you get a Major Victory, you get a Silver Shield.

After this hard fought win, an extended cutscene plays out showing the new
alliance and your team.  The Tinto group will then show up and formally join.
Head up to the Knights' Parlor to see all the sides join up as the new Fire
Bringer under your FC's leadership.  A new headquarters will be chosen and
you'll be asked to pick a team for going there.  This is the last chance you
will get to put Hugo, Geddoe, and Chris in the same party until the very end
of the game-as soon as you go to Lake Castle they can't be in the same party
until then.  This also applies to putting Lucia into your party.

Once you leave Brass Castle every place you've visited so far will now be
available on your World Map.  The connecting road from Great Hollow to the east
side of Brass Castle isn't there though for some reason.  A new spot will also
open that's right outside of Iksay and Lake Castle-the Tablet of Stars.  You
can go there to view how many stars out of the 108 you have.  It's a good idea
to check it after each strategy battle to see if anyone's dead.  A character is
permanently dead if their name is in red on the Tablet of Stars.  Yun's name
will be red but that's okay because she's supposed to die for story reasons.
If you want to swap out party members before going to Lake Castle, talk to
Apple in the Knights' Parlor.

To advance the story, head to Lake Castle.  Another cutscene will follow as
soon as you enter.  If you opted not to play through Thomas' chapters, the new
FC will get to rename Budehuc Castle.  Some notes about changes to Lake Castle.
You can access the fifth flame at the Trinity Site now by going up to Koroku
and talking to him.  You will then have the option to control him and walk
around as the dog.  Nothing special, really, other than hearing some
interesting comments here and there and running Kathy's track.  There's a
suggestion box by Arthur's bulletin which periodically will have notes from
your group to you.  The other main characters are all out on the ship-they're
in the three rooms opposite where Belle and Gadget Z are, at the bottom of the
stairs.  Now that your roster has expanded, giving the plays a whirl by
talking to Nadir can eat up a lot of your time as you watch all the different
possible combinations.  Clara has put up a Theater FAQ here at gamefaqs with
all the dialogue from these plays if you want to read them.

When you're ready to move the story forward, put together a serviceable party
but include Sgt. Joe in it.  By serviceable I mean just a party that you know
won't have problems surviving random battles.  Talk to Anne at the tavern
(where Nadir is) to put together your group and head to the front entrance.
You'll get a funny scene involving a new recruit, Cecile, and Juan.  The new
recruit is Jefferson and he's the Appointer; you should give all the Medal Sets
you've found to him.  He's located in the same room as Mike, which is on the
first floor of Lake Castle to the right of the elevator.  Once you give him the
Medal Sets, talk to Jefferson and you can give all your regular party members
(those that aren't just for support) titles that boost certain skills.  When
major battles come up, it's a good idea to make sure you've used these
appointments.

According to an e-mail that Dallas Strimple sent me, Jefferson won't show up at
the front gate if Juan is in your party.  This would also probably apply to
having Cecile in your party as well.  Thanks to Dallas Strimple for this
information and Fate for confirming it.

Exit Lake Castle to the World Map and head to the Great Hollow.  You will see
Jimba enter the path to the Ancient Highway.  Follow him and when you get to
the center you'll get a cutscene.  Enter the door and your party will have a
brief chat.  Exit and leave the Ancient Highway to the eastern side toward Duck
Village.  When you get to the World Map, go to Duck Village.  Talk to Rhett and
Wilder at their usual spot by the left waterwheel.  You'll see a chat between
them and Sgt. Joe.  Rhett and Wilder will be recruited following this talk.  Go
to the Rune Shop and talk to the little girl playing with the dog to get a
Thunder Rune.  Talk to the Alma Kinan woman sitting to the left of the Tutor's
counter to get the Silver Hammer.

Exit Duck Village and head to the Mt. Path.  Go up the path as you normally
would.  Just as you get past the clearing, Viki will fall out of the sky.  Pick
the second dialogue choice to recruit her.  Accept her offer by picking the
first choice so you can go back to Lake Castle.  Viki will now be located to
the immediate right of the elevator (next to Mike/Jefferson's room) and you
can teleport anywhere you want with her-but you'll need an item to get back
to Lake Castle.  If you had loaded Suikoden II data, Viki would come at a level
closer to what you had left her in that game.  Talk to Anne and put Viki in
your party and Mio in as support.  Walk back to Viki's spot in front of the
mirror and she'll appear.  Ask her to teleport you to Mt. Path.  On occasion,
Viki will mess up and teleport you to the front entrance of Lake Castle.

Head up the Mt. Path just like you did before.  When you reach the same spot
past the clearing again, Small Viki will appear.  When you get a dialogue
choice, pick the first one to recruit Small Viki.  You'll also receive the
Blinking Mirror (BM).  This item can be accessed by going to your Item menu,
then to Event Items, and then picking BM.  The mirror will instantly take you
back to Lake Castle but you can only use it on the World Map.

Exit the Mt. Path to the left and use the BM.  You'll get a cutscene with
Cecile telling you to go to the meeting hall.  Go there to get filled in on
what's going on with Harmonia and Jimba.  Going back to the Cyndar Ruins will
advance the story but there's no need to rush-you can take as much time as you
like before going back there.  Instead, I suggest you go ahead and recruit the
last possible non-automatic stars.

Talk to big Viki and teleport to Caleria.  Exit Caleria and head to the eastern
side of the Mt. Path.  Walk up the path about 3/4 of the way and you'll see
Futch standing off to the side (it's opposite where the herbs usually grow).
When he asks, pick the first choice to tell him you know the area.  After a
quickie cutscene, you'll be back in Caleria.  Head into Caleria and you'll see
Sharon walking toward the back of town.  Follow her to get another quick scene.
Head to the far corner directly opposite from the Item Stand.  When Sharon
runs away again, go to the front entrance of town.  Futch, Sharon, and Bright
will then join.  If you loaded Suikoden II data, Futch's level would've been
determined just like big Viki's.  Futch and Bright form a mounted unit if you
pair them together in your formation.

Exit Caleria to the World Map then use the BM to go home.  Teleport to Chisha
next.  Head to the inn and go downstairs.  Go right on this screen and enter
the 2nd doorway up.  Talk to Tuta and he'll reunite with Mio.  Tuta will then
join your group.  That's it for all the non-automatic recruits.  If you check
the Tablet of Stars you should have 93/108 at this point.  If you played in
the suggested order and recruited based on my suggestions, then went to Thomas'
chapters and decided not to play through them, you're probably missing Kenji,
Twaikin, Augustine, and Mel.  If this happened to you, here's how to recruit
them so you don't have to dig back through the Walkthrough:

1.  Mel, Iksay Village.  Talk to her and suggest she go to Lake Castle.
2.  Augustine, VdZ outside the Armor Shop.  Buy a Rose Brooch, a Rarity at the
    Iksay Item Shop, and give it to him.
3.  Twaikin, Great Hollow.  At the main area on the first floor, take the SE
    exit on your mini-map. Go through the next screen to exit.  At the screen
    after, head to the far left and talk to Twaikin.  When the lizard guard
    asks, say "Nothing" then recruit him.
4.  Kenji, Yaza Plain.  If you're entering Yaza from Lake Castle's side, he's
    to the middle and far left of the screen.  Talk to him, exercise then ask
    for water and he'll join.

This is now what I call "roaming" time-when you can level up who you want, go
shopping where you want, fight whatever treasure boss you want, watch plays,
whatever you want to do pretty much.  You will want to deliver all the items
for Barts, Peggi (the Silver Hammer), Eike, Jefferson, Mamie, and Nadir.  For
Mamie, if you want to try out her recipes, also pick up 1 each of the spices
she'll need to make different foods.  These spices are Salt, Red Pepper, Soy
Sauce, Mayonnaise, and Sugar and can be found at the various Trade Shops.

VERY IMPORTANT-I highly suggest you train up the Pale Gate Magic skill on
either big or small Viki or Estella and give them the Pale Gate Rune.  It will
be a huge help in beating a boss later in chapter 4.  In case you missed it,
you can get a Pale Gate Rune by talking to the little girl in the Iksay Item
Shop.  You can also find one as a rare random treasure on the first corpse
(closer to the entrance) at the Flame Champ Hideaway.  You'll only need one.

You will definitely also want to get the Prosperity Set now.  The Tunic can be
won as a random item for the 5,000 bet for Billy's game, the Prosperity Ring
and Hat are Rarity at the Chisha Item Shop and Armor Shop, respectively.
Estella also comes with the Prosperity Hat.  Put all three items on one
character and put Elliot in as Support-his potch finder ability is the best at
a C.  Go to the Flame Champ Hideaway and fight the Copper Sun monsters.  In
about 10-15 minutes, you'll have 999,999 potch.  The Flame Champ Hideaway is
also your best bet for skill and experience points with random encounters in
chapter 4 so you kill 2 birds with one stone.  Thanks to Abraxas again for the
Prosperity Set method.

sim st-pierre e-mailed me with this helpful tip to get money in chapters 4-5:

"hi, i checked a bit ur walkthrough. i just want to say that when it comes to 
money, there's something really really easy to do. with the trade centers. 
simply buy a lot of gold bars and pearls. lets say 15 gold bars and 30 
pearls. gold bars can be bought at caleria and vinay del zexay and pearls at 
budehuc and another place. anyway, get as much as u can and go to caleria. 
{for the pearls, if u can have the rumor about a town being a sea 
something,cant remember, u can get a lot of pearls for less than 10000)

sell all ur gold bar and buy all the pearls at caleria(do the oposite if 
gold bars are low, 25000 and below) well when u come back in, lets say, 10 
minutes, the ones u sold will be pretty low(gold bars are suposed to be 
15000 and pearls are 13333, depends which u sold) and the other should be 
high. anyway i was doing, one time i was selling my gold bar a around 60000 
and buying the pearls at 13333, and when i come back, i was selling my 
pearls at 30000 and buying my gold bars at 15000. so with not much time, u 
can get a lot of money. if u want u can do the same thing with deer antlers, 
then are sold a 2500 and bought at 7000-10000.

the trick is that the trade is having a lot of one item so they drop the 
price and when its very low u buy it, after it will rise greatly. takes not 
much time for the price to change. so u do something, u teleport to caleria, 
u buy/sell u come back. takes about 10 minutes for each set of cash. i was 
doing this at the same time i was forging everyone and equiping after. it 
works as long as u want, the game is too stupid. (at one point, i had 25 
gold bars and 40 pearls, i was selling like 23 goldbars and i had 1 million 
this include the rebuy of the pearls. same thing with pearls, selling 35 and 
had 1 million with the rebuy of the gold bars.)

this is the easiest and fastest way i think to make money, because the card 
games sucks.  u get the hang of it pretty fast(i had the pearls and gold bars
accumulated since the beginning of the game.)"

Thanks to sim st-pierre for this tip.

In terms of other notable items you can pick up, in Iksay the man leaning on
the house to the left of the screen as you come to the main part of the village
will give you Tomato Seeds.  On the screen with the windmill, a man along the
path will give you Recipe #9.  A woman to the left of the screen up by the
windmill itself will give you Recipe #11.  In Caleria, the woman from Le Buque
by the bar will give you Recipe #15.  In Chisha, climb the ladder at the
Appraisal shop and talk to the woman there-she will give you a Cyclone Rune.
If Chris is FC, you'll have to wait until chapter 5 to get this since Chris
can't climb ladders while wearing Knight armor.  The Sirens in the Cyndar Ruins
area drop Thunder Runes.

You can now get the 4 non-star dogs.  You can start recruiting them after you
get Koroku and you don't have to have any of the dogs in your party to recruit
the others (unlike the squirrels from Suikoden II).  I believe you _do_ have to
get them in the order listed below because it's how Kidd scouts them:

-Koichi, North Cavern
 He's halfway up on the second screen from the entrance, to the right behind a
 barrel.

-Connie, Great Hollow
 Take the same SE exit you did when getting Twaikin.  Exit that path and take
 the middle exit on this screen on your mini- map.  Go up the pathway a little
 and she's lying right on the path.

-Kosanji, Mt. Senai
 From the entrance, keep going north a few screens until you can take the path
 that exits right on the mini-map.  Follow it out and you'll come to a cliff.
 Wander the edge of the cliff to the bottom of the screen and you'll see him
 struggling up the cliffside (just keep hitting X as you wander the edge if you
 can't see him).

-Kogoro, Cyndar Ruins
 From the main entrance to the Ruins where there's 3 pathways and a blue save
 crystal, take the left path.  On the next screen, take the first left on your
 mini-map.  When you get to the dead end square, look to the top right corner.
 You'll see a sliver of a black tail--this is the final non-star dog.  Talk to
 him after he's through dancing to adopt.  You'll be going to the Cyndar Ruins
 later so you can wait until then to get him if you like.

Here's a list of things to keep in mind about "roaming" time:

-Make it a point to visit all the Rune, Item, and Armor Shops so their regular
stock will be available at your shops in Lake Castle.  Do this in chapter 4 and
again at the beginning of chapter 5.  If Chris is FC, go to the Guild Hall in
VdZ and make sure to visit the Armor Shop-they have different Armor of the
Custom variety which is some of the best you can get.  If Chris is not FC,
you'll have to wait until chapter 5 before you can visit the Guild Hall.

-The notable Rarity armor includes TrueThunderbolt Leather (Caleria and Brass
Castle), Windspun Armor (Le Buque), Pale Moon Casque (Le Buque), Chaos Shield
(Brass Castle), Yellow Scarf (VdZ Item).  The TT Leather is the best non-Knight
armor in the game, IMHO.  The Windspun Armor is only for Knights and gives the
best defense boost at +120, but it's incredibly rare.  The Chaos Shield boosts
the Shield Protect skill by 1 grade as well as a +32 boost to defense.  The
Yellow Scarf will become a regular item in chapter 5 at VdZ.

-The notable Rarity items include Killer/Counter Runes (Alma Kinan), Hunter
Rune (VdZ Guild Hall Item), Hazy Rune (Duck Village/Alma Kinan), WhiteRose
Brooch (Caleria Item).  The Killer/Counter runes at Alma Kinan become regular
items in chapter 5.  The WhiteRose Brooch can only be worn by Augustine and
boosts his Swing by two grade levels.  He can equip up to 3 of these.  The
Rarity Item DragonTail Ornament found at Great Hollow is for the Lizard Clan
fighters.  The Rarity Item LionGod Ring at Chisha is for a character you'll
be getting later.

-The Gold Hammer, which allows Peggi to sharpen weapons to their highest level
at 16, is a Rarity at Iksay Village.  It's never shown up for me until late in
chapter 5, though.

-To save yourself time, do things in chunks.  That is, buy your characters
gear/sharpen their weapons until you run out of money, use the Prosperity Set
to get more money and level up characters, then come back to buy/sharpen again.
When you do this, make use of the O button.  At every shop including the Tutor
and bujutsu teacher, you can access your entire roster with the O button.  For
example, let's say you want to buy everyone a Premier Casque that can wear one.
Go to the Armor Shop to talk to Dominic, select Buy, press O, and voila, you
can now buy whatever item you want for anyone you want.  It works the same way
for leveling skills and sharpening weapons.  Talk to Juan, pick Lesson, press
O, and you can now teach your entire roster.  You can also do this with Muto
and all the items in your warehouse.   This is a huge time saver so you don't
have to swap people out 5 at a time through Anne to do what you want with them.

-On the same note as the last tip, every time you go on a spending spree, bring
Martha.  Her discount support skill is tops in the game at a B and this will
save you a ton of money in the long run.  She doesn't discount on sharpening
weapons, though.

-In terms of what's satisfactory gear and how high you should level up, you can
break your roster into two distinct groups.  One group will fight strategy
battles and the other group won't.  The characters that are directly involved
in strategy battles (meaning you see them on the battle screens):

Ace             Dupa           Hallec         Mua             Sergeant Joe
Augustine       Edge           Hugo           Percival        Sharon
Bazba           Emily          Jacques        Queen           Shiba
Borus           Fred           Landis         Reed            Thomas
Bright          Fubar          Leo            Roland          Twaikin
Cecile          Futch          Lilly          Samus           Viki (Big)
Chris           Geddoe         Lucia          Sanae Y         Wan Fu

You'll want to level up 20 of these characters to give you 5 really good attack
groups for the later strategy battles.  For the purpose of the strategy
battles, you only need Armor that's around level 60 (stuff like Blessed Leather
and Blessed Chainmail are fine).  In terms of level, 52 is very good and won't
take long to get to by fighting the Copper Suns at the Flame Champ Hideaway.
Keep in mind that all of these characters already come with a set number of
skill points that you can use up by visiting Ernie and Juan then making use of
the O button to train all of them at once.  You can also visit Peggi and hit O
to sharpen everyone's weapon as well.  Level 12 is good enough.  The Silver
Hammer you got allows you to level up to 15.

-Although only the characters above participate in strategy battles, the rest
of your roster are still quite useful because they can participate in the later
boss battles.  In this regard, level up and customize whoever you want.  You
will want 3-4 characters leveled up to be used as healers.  That is, characters
who are at least a B+ in Water or Shield Magic.  The game truly lends itself so
that you can beat the boss battles with practically any party combination so
have fun with it and try out whoever you want.

-The three people I always like to level up are Nei, Juan, and Emily.  As I've
stated before, I believe Juan and Emily are the two best fighters in the game.
Nei's Chant Magic is the best in the game and her Magic Resistance skill
naturally goes up to an S.  The final bosses are primarily magic users so she's
not as vulnerable as most other magic casters with this skill.  Juan's high
bujutsu skill (which aids group melee attacks) and Nei's Song of Madness will
allow you to do ungodly amounts of damage.  It's not unusual to have Juan and
Emily do 5,000-8,000 pts. of damage EACH in a single turn once you max out
their Swing, Heavy Damage, and Continual Attack skills.  The only drawback with
this is you have to invest a lot of skill points to raise them up properly.
You'll also want to put a Yellow Scarf on Juan so he's awake at the start of
battle and doesn't lose a turn.  You can counteract his lost berserk status
with a Fury Rune.

-A good default skill for the boss battles of chapter 4 and 5 is Magic
Resistance.  If you have an empty skill slot and don't really have a preference
for a skill, this is the most useful.  Some of your characters also can wear
the accessory Gold Emblem, which boosts this skill by 1 grade level.  It is a
Rarity at Brass Castle and the VdZ Guild Hall.

That's it for "roaming" time.  There's nothing special about the treasure boss
monsters in chapter 4 in terms of strategy.  If your party's around level 45
or better, you won't have much problem taking the bosses out as long as you
keep yourself healed.  The notable loot I got after doing 2 sweeps in chapter
4:

Mt. Hei-Tou:  ?Figurine
North Cavern:  Stone of Luck, ?Statue
Mt. Path:  Stone of Speed, Drain Rune, Resistance Ring, 2 ?Paintings
Mt. Senai:  2 ?Statues
Flame Champ Hideaway:  Nothing

Nothing too great, huh?  The best treasure boss gear pops up in chapter 5.  On
a very rare occasion, you can get a Balance Rune for the Mt. Path boss.  On 4
playthroughs I've only been able to get it once.  It prevents your character
from ever becoming unbalanced.  This is great for characters whose Runes make
them unbalanced (such as Ace's Double Tusk) or they become unbalanced after
doing a combo (such as Thomas).

When you want to make the story progress, put together a party with a healer,
whoever has the Pale Gate Rune, and three other characters that you feel
confident you can win with.  I personally took my FC, Juan, Nei, Emily, and
big Viki.  All of them were around level 53.  Before you head out, you can talk
with Jefferson to boost certain skills like Accuracy, Swing, Damage, etc. by
giving the characters in your party his titles.  Go back to the Ancient Highway
and head through the open doorway.  Save at the blue crystal.  As you make your
way through this dungeon, save at least 4 first level spells for whoever has
the Pale Gate Rune.  Remember that you can use an Escape Scroll to go back to
the exit if you want.

Take the left path first.  On the next screen, take the first left on your
mini-map.  When you get to the dead end square, look to the top right corner.
You'll see a sliver of a black tail-this is the final non-star dog.  Talk to it
and adopt it if you didn't get it earlier.  Go back and take the second left on
your mini-map.  Follow it to the end and you'll see a corpse.  Loot it for a
random item.  Go back and take the north exit on your mini-map.

On the next screen, take the first right on your mini-map.  Head to the dead
end area to the southeast.  There's another corpse in this square dead end.  If
you loaded Suikoden II data, you would get Script #5.  If not, it's another
random treasure.  Backtrack your way to the starting point where the blue save
crystal is.  Take the right path this time.  On the next screen, take the
second exit to the right.  Follow it then take a right (don't exit the screen
north).  Follow the path over the stairs to the dead end to the southeast on
your mini-map.  There's another corpse here that has Old Book Vol. 4.
Backtrack one screen.  Take the first exit to the right this time.  That is,
if you were just entering from the area with the blue crystal, it would be your
first right.

Follow this path around until it exits north.  Keep following it until you exit
the screen to the very top north (by taking a left diagonal route on the mini-
map).  On the next screen will be a blue save crystal.  Save your game.  Go
north and you'll run into Sarah again.  She will summon 2 Chimera and 2 Ghost
Armor to help her fight you.  This battle's not tough-you can win it just by
taking out the summoned monsters without laying a hand on Sarah.  As long as
you heal from her magic attacks you'll be fine.  You get an Armor of Rage when
you win.  A cutscene will follow and you'll end up in an area of mist, ice, and
horrible slowdown.

Make sure everyone's healed up.  When you get halfway past the screen you'll
trigger another boss fight-the True Water Rune Dragon.  This boss can be very
difficult because of its multiple attacks.  However, with the Pale Gate Rune's
1st level spell, Open Gate, you can take out all the icicles in one shot.  Once
they're gone, you can concentrate on the dragon itself.  If you lost the Pale
Gate Rune or didn't get one, this battle becomes very hard but still winnable.
You'll have to keep your party healed each turn and concentrate on taking out
the icicles one at a time.  The dragon can re-spawn them but when it does it
won't be able to do its primary magic attack.  Just keep hacking away and
it'll go down.  You get a Flowing Rune once you win.  The Flowing Rune's 4th
level spell is Mother Ocean-which will revive characters who've been knocked
out in battles.  There's an indepth strategy to beat this boss in section 9u
in case you have more trouble.

Keep going north to trigger a very extended cutscene involving the 3 main
characters, Lucia, and Jimba.  If Chris is FC, she has an extra scene inside
the giant True Water Rune Seal.  Hugo or Chris will then receive the True 
Water Rune and Caesar says it's time to go back to Lake Castle.  At the Trinity
Site save your game.  Select chapter 5 for any of the 3 main characters-it
doesn't matter who you pick.

Dupa [78/108]
Bazba [79/108]
Shiba [80/108]
Beecham [81/108]
Lilly [82/108]
Reed [83/108]
Samus [84/108]
Jefferson [85/108]*
Rhett [86/108]*
Wilder [87/108]*
Big Viki [88/108]*
Small Viki [89/108]*
Futch [90/108]*
Bright [91/108]*
Sharon [92/108]*
Tuta [93/108]*

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
4p.  Chapter 5

Sebastian will greet you in a short cutscene.  He will then ask if you want to
rest.  I strongly recommend you pick the 2nd choice so you can roam.  Picking
the first choice will advance the story.  Nash will be unavailable for a while
to your battle party.  Once again, take the time to go around to all the shops
to put new stock in your shops at Lake Castle.  The items of note:

-Alma Kinan's Item Shop now has Killer Runes as regular items.  Le Buque's Item
Stand has Counter Runes and their Rune Shop has Double Strike.  The VdZ Item
Shop has Yellow Scarf.

IMPORTANT:  If Geddoe is your Flame Champion, you'll want to get 5 Fire Sealing
Runes.  These runes negate all fire damage.  The Troll Dragons at Yaza Plain
drop them.  If you got the Hunter Rune, affix it to someone with lots of
attacks like Emily and get the runes.  Alternatively, just put Kidd in for
support and roam around fighting them.  It's not essential to do this, but it
can make Geddoe's battles in ch. 5 easier because it allows him to use all his
Fire attacks without worry of damaging his own party.

After fighting the treasure bosses twice, these were the notable items I got:

-Cyndar Ruins (head all the way to the ice area):  2 Champion's Runes, Earth
Shield, Recipe #17, ?Statue

-Mt. Senai:  Stone of MGC-DEF, Horned Helm, Chain Attack Ring, Recipe #18,
2 ?Figurines

-Mt. Path:  Flame Casque, Rage Rune, Dragon Scale, Earth Shield, ?Painting,
Dream Robe, Recipe #20

-North Cavern:  ?Statue

-Mt. Hei-Tou:  ?Painting

-Flame Champ Hideaway:  Nothing

When you affix the Champion's Rune to someone in your party, all the battles
where you have the option to "Let Go" will no longer appear.  This makes long
hikes through areas with weak enemies such as the North Cavern much quicker.
The Chain Attack Ring and Dragon Scale each boost the wearer's Continual Attack
skill by 1 level.  I generally give both to Hugo.  The Dream Robe can only be
worn by magic users and halves an enemy's ATK rating if the wearer is hit.  Its
defense boost of +83 is the best for all tunics/robes.

The strategy battles will be coming up soon so make sure you level up, equip,
and sharpen weapons for the characters you'll want to use in them.  If you want
to give yourself some leeway, talk to Gordon and buy a Sacrificial Jizo for
anyone on the strategy battle roster you may feel is vulnerable (remember to
use the O button to access your entire group).  Good default runes for your
characters are Killer, Counter, and Haziness.

When you're ready to advance the story, talk to Sebastian in your room and tell
him you are tired.  Everything from here on out happens the same no matter who
is FC.  A cutscene in Harmonia follows.  When you have control of your FC
again, head out to the front entrance where Cecile stands to advance the story.
When the cutscene ends, go back to the main house and you'll have a meeting
about what's happened.  Geddoe will volunteer to take the mission and takes his
original six group.

If Geddoe is FC, I highly recommend you take Jeane with you as support.  Her
Rune Sage ability aids in the speed of your group's spell casting and this will
help a lot, especially if Geddoe's grade in fire magic is only a B+ or A.  The
bad part about this is Jeane won't be at Lake Castle for a while since she's
with Geddoe.  The good part is, Jeane is a mobile rune shop so you can affix or
remove runes anywhere you want-meaning you don't have to affix any Fire Sealing
runes you got right this instant but can wait until later when the major
battles happen.

If Geddoe is not FC, take one of the support people with high healing skill
like Mio, Tuta, or Goro.

Viki will now be unavailable for teleportation so anything you want to do at
Lake Castle you should do now before heading out with Geddoe's team.  If you
like equipping your team with Sacrificial Jizos for major fights, I advise you
to buy them now at Lake Castle.  You'll also want to boost any skills with Juan
and Ernie since you won't get a convenient chance once you get far away from
Lake Castle.  You should also make use of Jefferson's appointments for Geddoe
and his team as well.  Don't take the Flowing Rune you got earlier with this
group-it'll come in handy for something later.

When you're ready to go with Geddoe, head to Plain Amur.  If Chris is your FC
and you want to get a Cyclone Rune, go to Chisha Village first.  Climb the
ladder at the Appraiser shop and talk to the woman up there to get the Rune.
To advance the story, head to the Mt. Path to get to Le Buque.  You'll have to
fight the Twin Head Snake Boss probably but he won't be any trouble.  If you
want to fight him again later in the chapter, loot the entire chest.  Once you
get close to Le Buque, you'll trigger another cutscene.  Keep heading there
until you exit to the World Map.

Go to Le Buque and a cutscene will play out.  Head to the middle of town for
another cutscene.  Go to Iku's house (the one by the inn) next.  Head inside
after Franz goes in there for another conversation.  When you have control of
Geddoe again, climb down the Mantor platform and Stay/Save at the inn.  Exit
Le Buque and go to Mt. Senai.

After the cutscene, save at the blue crystal.  Don't use Geddoe's higher level
spells and do your best to keep Aila/Joker's healing spells.  Make your way to
the very back of the cave where you normally fight the treasure boss.  Before
you exit out of the tunnel to get to that room, make sure all your equipment
is ready (Sacrificial Jizos/Fire Sealing runes) and your health is maximum.
The formation I used:

Queen
Geddoe
Jacques
Aila
Ace
Joker
(Jeane/Tuta for Support)

Once you reach the room, a cutscene will occur and you'll end up in a fight
with Sarah and Luc.  If Geddoe is your FC, skip to the next paragraph.  This
battle isn't hard with the TLR.  Just cast Thunder Storm twice and it'll be
over.  Use Aila/Jacques against Sarah and have Ace do his Double Tusk on Luc.
Heal when you need to and the battle will be over in short order.  Skip past
the next paragraph to continue.

The other monsters aren't really a problem-they're just there to get between
you and Luc/Sarah.  You'll want to take out at least Sarah in the first round.
You can either go for the 4th level spell which is quite slow unless Geddoe
has an A+ in Fire Magic or you can opt for the 3rd level spell, Final Flame,
and use it on Sarah.  Either way, you'll likely have to take at least one magic
attack.  In the first round, use Jacques/Aila against Sarah and have Ace do
Double Tusk on Luc.  Heal yourself in the next round then use Final Flame on
whoever's still standing with Luc/Sarah.  Mop up the rest for the victory.

After the victory you'll get a WindMagic Ring.  A cutscene will follow and
there's no way to stop Luc from what he does.  When you have control of Geddoe
again, heal up your party if they're banged up.  Head to the tunnel and exit
it.  A cutscene will ensue and you'll be plunged into a series of battles.
You can win these with just your melee attacks.  For the first battle, use the
familiar formula of Jacques' Boronda Hawk and the Mercenary A combo with Ace
and Joker then mop up.  Do the same with the second battle and keep your team
healed up if you have Jeane instead of Tuta for support.  A third battle will
ensue and again, the same formula works.

When the third battle's over, you'll be given a dialogue choice.  NEVER choose
the option to leave the townspeople behind-you will lose 7 Stars of Destiny
forever if you do so.  If you want to rest up, pick the second choice ("Return
to the room")-there's no penalty for doing this.  If you want to continue, go
ahead and pick the first choice.  The next fight is a little easier so I just
use Jacques' Boronda Hawk then regular melee attacks with everyone else.  After
this fight, pick the first choice again ("We can't just run away").  The next
fight is a little tougher but nothing you can't handle if you've made it this
far.  When this fight ends, pick the dialogue choice again to NOT leave the
townspeople behind.

A familiar face will then show up to offer help.  When you get a dialogue
choice, pick either one-it won't change anything although if you'd rather
Geddoe not swallow his pride, pick the first option.  A cutscene will follow
with your team.  Head back to Le Buque.  If you're wondering, there's nothing
left storywise to do in Mt. Senai-if you go back to where you fought Luc and
Sarah it's just the treasure boss like normal.

When you get to Le Buque, head into town to get another cutscene.  My only
comment for that scene is that Geddoe is THE MAN.  When it's over, you'll be
back at the Trinity Site and asked to pick Chris' flame next.  Go ahead and
elect to continue and you'll learn that Chris needs to go to Brass Castle.  
The same things that applied to Geddoe apply here-Viki can't teleport you and
you should take care of everything at Lake Castle you want before advancing the
story (including re-arranging Jefferson's appointments).  Take a serviceable
party with you when you leave.

If Chris is not your FC, go to VdZ first to visit the Guild Hall.  Check their
Armor, Rune, and Item Shops so the stock there will now be at Lake Castle.  The
Armor shop has Custom gear which is the best non-treasure boss/Rarity stuff you
can find.

When you're ready for the story to progress, go to Brass Castle.  Head to the
west courtyard and you'll get a cutscene.  Head to the east courtyard and Chris
will be greeted by Yumi, who has come to ask for help.  When asked to select
your party, put in someone who's really good at Water Magic and attach the
Flowing Rune to them (remember that you can access your warehouse and a Rune
Shop here at Brass Castle).  For the rest of your group, put in people who are
strong melee attackers.  I took Chris, Borus, Futch/Bright, big Viki, and
Sharon.  If you didn't take Jeane with you earlier with Geddoe, she's the best
choice as support followed by Mike.  You'll want to make sure that each pair
has healing items in their personal inventories.  If you want to switch out
party members after this, talk to Salome in the Knights' Parlor.

When you want to advance the story, head to Duck Village.  Stay/Save at the inn
there then continue to Kuput Forest.  Take the route you normally do to get to
Alma Kinan.  Once you're about halfway there, a cutscene will occur and you'll
get into a battle with Sarah with 3 Azzodess.  In the first round, have the
person with the Flowing Rune cast Silent Lake.  Send everyone else against the
Azzodess and concentrate on taking them out 1 at a time.  In the second round,
heal with your items if you have to and keep hacking away.  This battle should
not take more than 3 turns.  You get a Drain rune once you win.  Another
cutscene will follow and what happened to Geddoe previously will happen to
Chris.  Again there's no way to prevent this.

You will then switch to Hugo's flame at the Trinity Site.  Pick it to continue.
When you have control of him, go to the front to talk with Cecile.  Before
heading out, put the Dragon Scale and Chain Attack Ring items you got earlier
on Hugo.  You can't go further than Yaza Plain but you can level up out there
if Hugo's still around the mid-40's level (it's not necessary, though).  Once
you're ready to advance the story, just exit Lake Castle and come back.  A
cutscene with a Zexen Knight will occur who tells your group that Brass Castle
has been attacked.

Hugo will decide to form an advance team to help out the Zexens.  The group you
put together doesn't have to be great-just good enough to beat the random
encounters you've already been facing in this chapter.  Putting in one of the
healers for support is a good idea.  No other special preparations are needed.
I took Hugo/Fubar, Hallec, Sgt. Joe, Mua, and Edge with Mio as Support.

To move the story forward, head to the west end of Brass Castle.  After the
brief cutscene, head to the middle of the Castle and Stay/Save at the inn.
Continue to the eastern side of the Castle for 2 consecutive battles with some
Harmonian regulars.  These guys are worth a bunch of skill/exp points but
they're total wimps-you won't have any problems if you just select Auto.  A
cutscene will occur and Salome and Roland will note something odd about these
troops.  You'll take on one more group of these guys and this fight's just as
easy.  You get a Hunter rune as loot for this fight.

When the battles are over, Hugo will go through the same thing Geddoe and
Chris did earlier.  A cutscene will follow this and you'll gain some new
allies.  Caesar will then suggest you go ahead and attack Luc's army outside
of Brass Castle.  The main 5 units I use for attack in this battle are:


Sharon      Leo           Fred          Emily         Nicolas
Borus       Percival      Gau           Fubar         Dupa
Viki        Shiba         Sgt. Joe      Hallec        Mua
Chris       Lucia         Futch         Hugo          Elaine
(Caesar)    (Tuta)        (Yuiri)       (Salome)      (Mio)


Note that Duke's unit already comes in at really strong levels-each member of
his team is great without doing anything to them right now in terms of their
gear or skills (you'll want to do that later, though).  If you got the item,
LionGod Ring, Gau is the only one who can wear them.  It doesn't matter what
you do with the rest of the squad line-up.  Just keep really weak characters in
Reserve all together and don't get into any field battles with any groups
except your best five.  If you're wondering about Geddoe, he'll show up later.

Before picking the first choice to move ahead, ask Caesar to wait with the
third dialogue choice then go to the Brass Castle inn to save.  Come back and
tell him you're ready and the strategy battle will commence.

This strategy battle's not hard-you can afford to be aggressive because you
have plenty of healing available plus some very strong units.  You will also
have 2 Fire Skill and 2 Lightning Skill attacks.  The goal of the battle is to
eliminate Yuber's unit.  As before, soften him up with 2 Fire and 2 Lightning
attacks.  You can't take out his unit until Sasarai shows up-until then Yuber's
HP won't drop below 1/2.  If someone gets attacked by Yuber's unit before
Sasarai appears, just have them retreat.  The rest of the opposition should
not pose a problem.  You should be able to put your teams in very good Cover
positions to make this fight easier.  After Sasarai appears and the color of
his unit turns from black to red, you can finally take out Yuber.  You get a
Flowing Rune as loot for a Major Victory.

When the battle's over, you get a quick chat with Cecile who tells you that
everyone's in the meeting hall.  To advance the story, go there.  Sasarai will
explain Luc's plot and Nash will come in to give you his location.  When Caesar
asks, pick the third choice to ask him to wait.

This is now your last roaming time before the final strategy battle.  If you
still haven't recruited all the non-automatic stars or leveled up your guys,
now's the time to do it.  Viki is available for teleportation again.  If you
go to Iksay, they should have the Gold Hammer in the Item Shop Rarity now.
Give this to Peggi and you can sharpen weapons to their maximum level of 16.
You can also now put Sasarai and Yumi in your battle party-they're 2 of the
best magic users in the game and Sasarai can go up to an S for Earth Magic.
If you have extra Firefly runes, put them on your Tanks like Fred, Mua, Leo,
and Twaikin.

BEFORE you confirm to Caesar that you're ready to start the battle by picking
the first option from the dialogue box, save your game.  This is so if you lose
the battle and have to start over, you can still wander around to level up and
change the formation if you like.  You can have a maximum of 10 units.  To win
the last strategy battle that's next, you'll be using 4 strong attack teams,
your Lightning and Fire Skill characters, and the rest is fodder.  For me, this
is the formation and characters I picked:

Sharon        Emily         Borus          Ace
Viki          Mua           Jacques        Roland
Bright        Fubar         Hallec         Augustine
Chris         Hugo          Geddoe         Futch
(Caesar)      (Salome)      (Apple)        (Joker)

The Lightning Magic Skill units:

------        ------
------        Dupa
------        ------
Sasarai       ------
(Tuta)        (Jeane)

And the all-star fodder teams:

Nicolas       Fred          Leo            Twaikin
Gau           Samus         Ruby           Landis
Reed          Elaine        Franz          Percival
Duke          Thomas        Lilly          Lucia
(Estella)     (Mio)         (Beecham)      (Yuiri)

After you tell Caesar you're ready, Sasarai and Dios will automatically join.
When you head to the front courtyard of the main house, it will trigger a
cutscene and you'll immediately go to the strategy battle.

Now to the overall flow of the battle itself.  The goal of the battle is to
eliminate Yuber's unit.  You cannot do this until you've taken out Sarah's
unit.  You'll be going up against 12 enemy units total at the start.  Luc is
Unit 1 but he'll disappear at the start of the enemy's 3rd turn and is never a
factor.  Along with Sarah and Yuber, 5 enemy units will start on the left side
of the battlefield screen and 4 enemy units will be to the right.  Once you
remove 5 enemy units, Sarah will summon 4 more.  She will do this twice until
she gets exhausted then disappears.  You will be able to move 7 units per turn
and the enemy 6.

My strategy for this battle is to take out Sarah first with your Lightning
Skill attacks and not allowing her to summon more units.  The way to do this is
by not eliminating 5 units at the start.  Once Sarah is gone, I use the Fire
Skill to soften up Yuber then take him out as well.

As far as the enemy goes, units 6, 9, and 12 are of particular interest.  Unit
6 and 12 each have 1 Fire Magic skill attack.  Unit 9 is made up of a Siren
with three Chimeras.  The Siren is behind the Chimeras at the start so whoever
tries to take them out should be a very strong attack unit.  Sarah's unit is
set up just like this.  Yuber is accompanied by 3 Bone Soldiers but he's placed
conveniently at the front.  The enemy units to the right of the field are melee
attackers.  Those to the left rely on Magic except the Harmonian units (4 & 5).
If any of your units gets hit really bad, don't be shy about using your healing
skills.  I usually wait until the characters in a unit are down to 1/2 HP
before healing them.

Here's a diagram of the starting area:


              A       
                \   
                 \  
                  B-----C-----D
                         \
                          \
                         Start


Your first objective is to take circle A with 2 of your attack units.  You will
also want to take both Lightning Skill units and the fodder team with Yuiri in
support to circle A as well.  The reason circle A is important is because once
you take it, it will prompt Sarah to move down toward you if she doesn't do so
early.  You'll want to move your 3rd attack unit to circle B and keep the other
attack unit at the Start circle.  Your other 3 fodder teams should be moved to
circle C.  That's the overall strategy, so here's the detailed process, keeping
in mind the unit formation I mentioned above.

PT = Player Turn, ET = Enemy Turn

PT 1:  Move Chris, Hugo, Geddoe, Sasarai, Dupa, Lilly, and Thomas' units into
       circle C
ET 1:  Will usually move 1-3 units each into circles B and D

PT 2:  Take out the enemy units in circle B with Chris, Hugo, and/or Geddoe's
       units.  After taking out all the enemies in circle B, move as many
       fodder units into circle C as there are enemy units in circle D.  With
       your remaining moves, put Dupa and Sasarai's units into circle B along
       with a fodder team and the 2 attack teams you want to use against Sarah.
       NEVER move Dupa and Sasarai's units into a circle without at least some
       other unit with them
ET 2:  The enemy units in circle D will attack.  Select the fodder units to
       meet them and select Retreat when you get to the field battle.  The
       strategy for now is to keep as many fodder units in circle C as there
       are enemy units in circle D

PT 3:  Keep an attack unit in circle B.  Move any fodder units you need to into
       circle C to match the number of enemy units in circle D.  Futch's unit
       should still be at the Start circle.  Move 2 attack teams, for me this
       is Chris and Hugo, toward circle A, taking out any enemy units you need
       to.  Along with these 2 attack teams, move Dupa, Sasarai, and Lucia's
       units with them
ET 3:  Luc will disappear.  The enemy units in circle D will attack circle C
       again.  Again, just retreat with your fodder units.  If you've taken
       circle A, Sarah will likely be moving toward you by now

PT 4:  Sarah will head toward you either to the right of circle A or to the
       left.  Once you take circle A, move Dupa and Sasarai's units plus the 2
       attack teams toward her side.  There will be 2 Harmonian enemy units,
       numbers 4 and 5, up here as well.  Take out ONLY 1 of these units.  You
       can avoid at least one of them if you take the fodder unit with you (in
       my case Lucia) and retreat them if they're attacked.  Once you're two
       connected circles away from Sarah, hit her with your Lightning skill
       attacks.  If you can get her with 3 of these, it will take out her unit
       completely.  If you have big Viki like I do, you can send this unit
       against Sarah after hitting her with the 2 Lightning spells.  This is
       because Viki will almost always cast Set!, which automatically knocks
       out Sarah if she's been weakened by the Lightning spells.  On a rare
       occasion, Sarah will heal herself.  In that case, just blast her again
       in the next turn with Lightning skills.  If Sarah doesn't go down in
       this turn, remember to move your fodder teams into circle C
ET 4:  Once Sarah's unit is gone, only the monster units to the right of the
       field and Yuber will remain.  Retreat your fodder units one last time
       from circle C if they're attacked

PT 5:  Once Sarah is gone, you can now concentrate on Yuber and company.  If
       she's still there in this turn, just repeat the steps in PT 4 until you
       take her out.  If you've taken her out, withdraw any unit you have in
       circle C into circles B and D.  You should have 1 attack unit in circle
       B plus another at the Start circle.  Move the units that took out Sarah
       toward Yuber
ET 5:  If Sarah's gone, allow the enemy to move into circle C.  You'll notice
       those goobs have wandered into a circle that is now flanked by your 2
       attack units--automatically putting them into Cover position so you can
       smash the enemy in the next turn

PT 6:  Take out the enemy units in circle C with your attack teams.  Once
       they're down, head toward Yuber's team with your healthy attack teams,
       the Fire Skill team, Dupa or Sasarai if they still have a Lightning
       Skill, and a Healing skill team.  When you reach Yuber, soften him up
       with your magic attacks first, then send in the attack team that has
       the best Accuracy and Heavy Damage skills among the characters to finish
       him off

The overall strategy can vary depending on where Yuber moves.  Most of the
time, he'll either stay at the top of the screen or move to the right.  If he
moves with Sarah, this isn't a big deal as long as you brought your fodder
team with you.  Just use them to meet Yuber then Retreat.  Your Lightning and
attack units should be close to Sarah if Yuber gets close to you so you can
take her out before having to confront him directly.  If you're having problems
winning this battle, I provide a little more detail and preparation tips in
section 9y for it.

If one of your characters' HP is reduced to 0, they are NOT one of the unit
commanders, AND they say something after the battle, it means they're dead
permanently.  Unfortunately, they don't say something real useful like, "I just
died and cost you the 108 Stars of Destiny bonus".  Instead, it'll be something
generic.  If this happens, just soft reset and go back to your last save to
start the battle over.  This shouldn't be a problem if you're well-prepared,
though.  After you get a Major Victory, you'll get a Wind Hat for a prize.  To
ensure you'll get the 108 Stars bonus, check the Tablet of Stars after this
battle when you get the chance-it should say you have 108 out of 108 stars and
only Yun and Jimba's names should be in red.  If you meet these 2 requirements,
you'll get the bonus at the end of the game.

A cutscene will follow at the last battle area, the Ceremonial Site.  Your 3
main characters plus Sasarai will then go for a different True Rune.  To get
the True Lightning Rune, you'll face Yuber.  To get the True Water Rune, you'll
face Sarah.  Depending on the Flame Champion, this is how these battles are
fought:

Flame Champion          Will Fight Yuber         Will Fight Sarah
Hugo                    Geddoe                   Chris
Chris                   Geddoe                   Hugo
Geddoe                  Hugo                     Chris

Before you head out to retrieve the True Runes, you'll be asked to choose your
party.  If you take the "default" parties of each character, you will receive
a special scene as they head in to fight Yuber and Sarah.  These default
parties are:

1.  Chris, Borus, Percival, Roland, Salome, Leo, and Louis (Support)
2.  Geddoe, Queen, Jacques, Aila, Joker, and Ace (doesn't matter who's support)
3.  Hugo, Sgt. Joe, Fubar (doesn't matter who else is in party)

You can win all the fights in the Ceremonial Site with these default parties
but you don't _have_ to use them.  If Chris is not FC, you will also see a very
funny scene between her and Lucia before she goes to get the True Water Rune.
You can leave the Ceremonial Site at any time by just walking out or using an
Escape Scroll.  You can switch party members either by talking to Apple at the
Site or going back to Lake Castle to talk to Anne.  You are free to roam and do
anything you want, including fighting the treasure bosses again.  The best
place for experience and skill points is the Ceremonial Site itself with the
random encounters there.  For these last battles, levels around 54 will be
plenty.  General strategies for Yuber and Sarah:

Always save at the blue crystal before heading in-the random encounters can be
tough so be prepared.  Save your spells for the end battle.  Sacrificial Jizos
are good items but only essential for your characters with low HP (such as
Queen and Joker if you take them to face Yuber).  For the team going to fight
Sarah, make sure they have healing items in each pair.  Having a Yellow Scarf
for your magic users is also a very good idea for the fight against Sarah.
Remember to make use of Jefferson's appointments.

For Yuber, he will be accompanied by 3 Skeletons and a HellSteed.  I focus on
taking these guys out first before going after Yuber.  It helps a lot to give
somebody a Thunder Rune in your party with really good skill (Geddoe, Mel, or
Rody) and have them cast Thunder Storm in the first round.  Yuber is dangerous
because of his multiple attacks and high repel rate but he has a tendency to
focus on only one person-if you can keep this person alive with your healing
items/spells, you can win this battle fairly easily with everyone alive.  If
you bring a Tank character with a Firefly Rune, it'll make this fight even
easier.  You get a Reflection Ring and the True Lightning Rune for beating him.

For Sarah, she will be accompanied by 2 HorroBeasts and 2 Azzodess.  Casting
Silent Lake is the key.  Put a Flowing Rune on someone with good water skill,
Yumi, Salome, either Vikis, Rody, or Elaine all qualify, and have them cast
this in the first round.  After that, go for your melee attacks and concentrate
on taking down your enemies one at a time.  Heal with your items after that and
you should be able to hack them down.  You'll get a Flowing Rune plus the True
Water Rune back for winning.

After you win these two battles to reclaim the True Water and Lightning Runes,
you'll get a cutscene with Sasarai and Dios.  Thomas and Cecile will also be
with them if you didn't use them in the battles against Yuber and Sarah.  After
this, your FC will then be asked to go get the True Fire Rune.  Just put
together a serviceable party-you'll be able to switch out before the final
battle.  Head to the end and you'll see a cutscene between Caesar and an old
friend.  When that's over, head to the open door.  Another cutscene will follow
and you'll be asked to put together a party.  Just pick anyone again because
you'll be able to choose again soon.  Enter the final platform to get an
extended cutscene.

You'll be thrown into battle with 3 Guardians but they aren't much trouble.
Another battle with them follows but again it's not a big deal.  After your
conversation is over, your party will ask that you fall back to regroup.  Do
so because you won't be penalized for it.  You can now roam again as well as
put Geddoe, Chris, and Hugo in the same battle party.  To fight the last
battle in the game, you would go back to the platform and tell your party that
you are ready when the dialogue choice pops up.

If you take the default parties mentioned before to this last battle, you will
get a special scene as they exit the Site AFTER the battle.  Therefore, each
main character has 2 optional scenes at the Ceremonial Site depending on
whether or not they are FC.  In addition, if you take Futch or big Viki and
put them in the top slot on the formation screen, they'll say a few words
regarding their past relationships with Luc.  Credit Raikochan from the
gamefaqs message board for the info. on Futch/Viki.

The last battle itself is against a super-charged True Wind Rune bird with
magical orbs that've been powered up by the True Earth, Water, Fire, and
Lightning Runes.  You don't need to take out the orbs to beat it, just the
main body itself but taking out the orbs removes its ability to cast multiple
magic attacks.  The best way to ensure you survive is to build up the Magic
Resistance skill on the characters you take to meet it.  If they can't
naturally go up to a B, don't bother.  You can enhance this skill with Gold
Emblems and Resistance Rings.  Your first priority is to take out the Water
orb.  While the Lightning orb is still around, you can only hit the Water orb
with archer and magic attacks.  Once the Lightning orb is gone, you can have at
it with any attack you please.  If you see the Earth orb cast a spell where
these stone columns fly around and a bright yellow disc with symbols appears on
the ground, don't cast any OFFENSIVE magic-it will be reflected right back at
you.  It goes without saying, but make sure you have the best gear and best
weapons available.  Jeane and Ernie are great choices for Geddoe and Hugo
because they aid in magic casting speed and power, respectively.  Specific
strategies for each FC's "default" party:

Chris-This is the toughest out of the 3 main characters but still very doable.
I've changed a few things about this fight since last time because several
people e-mailed me with specific problems about it.  I recommend training up
Magic Resistance for everyone except Salome.  Equip Salome with any Reflection
Rings you have.  Equip Chris with any Resistance Rings you have (big Viki comes
with it) and Gold Emblems for everyone else that can wear them except Salome.
Put a Water, Shield, and Killer Rune on Salome.  Put a Flowing Rune on Percival
and train up his Holy Dash and Water Magic to their max.  Fury Runes for Borus
and Leo are good choices, as well as Killer.  For Roland, Fury + Great Hawk or
Killer are good.  You'll also want to give Roland Jefferson's appointment that
boosts the Swing skill by 1 grade.  At around level 52, Roland gets 2 attacks
per turn if his Swing is a B+.  The formation I recommend:

Percival
Roland
Borus
Salome
Chris
Leo
(Louis)

Sacrificial Jizos and healing items are a very good idea.  The key to winning
this is pure attrition-just outlast the enemy.  In the first turn, send
Percival and Borus' units up against the Lightning orb and send Chris' unit up
against the Fire orb.  Percival's Holy Dash skill will allow him to drag
Roland up with him.  You want to send everyone up so they'll all be in range
for the Kindness Rain spell.  Heal after each round with Great Blessing,
Kindness Rain, or Kindness Drops from Salome.  Use Percival's Flowing Rune only
if it's really necessary or to use Mother Ocean if someone got knocked out.
Once the Lightning orb gets knocked out, send everyone after the Water orb.
It'll take a few tries because the Water orb will continue to revive the
Lightning orb but eventually you'll take it out.  I had to take out the
Lightning orb 4 times before I could finally get at the Water orb.  If you run
low on healing spells, you'll have the Jizos and healing items to fall back on.
Once the Water orb is gone, it's smooth sailing-just take out the Fire orb then
focus on the True Wind Rune.

Geddoe-Make sure everyone has a Fire Sealing Rune if you intend to use the 4th
level True Fire spell.  I prefer not to so I can fit everyone else with a more
useful rune like Killer or Fury.  The familiar formation I use:

Queen
Geddoe
Jacques
Aila
Ace
Joker
(Jeane)

Have Geddoe cast Final Flame on the Water orb and have Jacques' pair attack it
in the first round.  Send Ace and Joker up to attack the Fire orb.  In the
second round, heal with Great Blessing and, if the Earth orb didn't cast its
protect spell, have Geddoe cast Final Flame again on the Water orb.  If it did
cast protect, send Queen and Geddoe up against the Lightning orb.  Once that
orb is down, focus on the Water orb.  If you get the chance, use Joker's
Kindness Rain to heal everyone and command the archers to hit the Water orb.
Once the Water orb is down, it's just a matter of mopping up.

Hugo-His is the easiest since you can pick 3 characters out of your entire
roster, including Geddoe with his True Lightning Rune.  Not much to advise,
really, since there's so much versatility in strategy.  The general strategy
serves as a good outline in terms of how you should approach this fight.  If
you want to use Sasarai and his True Earth Rune, here's the one fight where
Earth magic is actually pretty helpful.  Casting Canopy Defense (the 3rd level
spell) will protect your party from magic attacks once.  Doing this once per
turn will negate a ton of damage and makes the battle pretty easy if you have
strong melee attackers (Hugo/Fubar, Futch/Bright, Juan, Emily, etc.).  In
terms of default parties, Hugo's really gives you the opportunity to play
around with all different types of groups.

After you win the last battle, a series of cutscenes will ensue with your
characters.  These include Thomas and Cecile, Fred and Rico, and Dios and
Sasarai.  Note that if you took any of these characters to the final battle,
you won't see their specific cutscene.  When these scenes end, you will see
an ending scene with your FC.  The screen will go dark, then the 108 Stars of
Destiny summaries will roll, letting you know what happened in the aftermath to
all your recruits.  A final still picture for each FC will then be shown.

If you got the 108 Stars of Destiny bonus, hit X after the still picture.  The
screen will go dark for a little while then you'll be back at the Trinity Site.
The 6th and final flame will be lit.  I won't ruin what this is so you can
find out for yourself.

In terms of what to do now, you can opt to replay the game in a different order
and pick a different FC.  I have compiled all the differences with scene
transcripts depending on who is FC in a separate Story Scenes/Endings FAQ
that's also here at gamefaqs.  If you enjoyed the game a lot, I highly
encourage you to go through it again and try different things, especially
going in a different play and recruiting order.  That's it until Suikoden IV.

Franz [94/108]*
Iku [95/108]*
Ruby [96/108]*
Duke [97/108]*
Nicolas [98/108]*
Gau [99/108]*
Elaine [100/108]*
Yumi [101/108]
Yuiri [102/108]
Sasarai [103/108]
Dios [104/108]
105-108-Check 108 Stars of Destiny Bonus in section 10


*******************************************************************************
*******************************************************************************


                 ----------------------------------------
                   Part II:  Reference Guide (Spoilers)
                 ----------------------------------------


5.  108 Stars of Destiny Recruit List
    5a.  Introduction to The List
    5b.  Automatic Stars
    5c.  Non-Automatic Stars
    5d.  The 4 Non-Stars
    5e.  Recruits with Preset and Dependent Levels
    5f.  Tablet of Stars
    5g.  Attack Combos
    5h.  Bath Combos

6.  My Really Important Items List
    6a.  Introduction
    6b.  Runes
    6c.  Armor
    6d.  Hammers
    6e.  Medal Sets
    6f.  Accessories
    6g.  Scripts

7.  Duels
    7a.  Introduction
    7b.  Duels with Guillaume
    7c.  Duel with Lucia, Chris chapter 2
    7d.  Duel with Jimba, Chris chapter 2
    7e.  Duel with Ayame
    7f.  Duel with Edge
    7g.  Duel with Duke, Geddoe chapter 3
    7h.  First Duel with Sasarai, Hugo chapter 3
    7i.  Second Duel with Sasarai, 6th POV

8.  Ernie's Quiz

9.  Boss/Battle Strategies
    9a.  Introduction
    9b.  Strategy Battle 1, Chris chapter 1
    9c.  Geddoe v. Chris and the Zexen Knights, Geddoe chapter 1
    9d.  Geddoe v. Borus, Geddoe chapter 1
    9e.  The Blue Mantrix, Mt. Hei-Tou
    9f.  Twin-Head Snake, Mountain Path, Geddoe chapter 1
    9g.  Zexen Raid on Great Hollow, Strategy Battle, Chris chapter 2
    9h.  Hugo v. The Man in Black, Hugo chapter 2
    9i.  Rock Golem, Mountain Path, Geddoe chapter 2
    9j.  Geddoe v. Duke and the Masked Bishop, Geddoe chapter 2
    9k.  Azzodess, Flame Champion Hideaway Treasure Boss, chapter 3
    9l.  Chris v. Harmonia, Strategy Battle Chris chapter 3
    9m.  Chris v. the Masked Bishop, Chris chapter 3
    9n.  Thomas v. the Wild Boar, Thomas chapter 1
    9o.  Thomas v. the Zexen Army round 1, Thomas chapter 2
    9p.  Thomas v. the Zexen Army round 2, Thomas chapter 2
    9q.  The True Fire Rune Dragon, chapter 4
    9r.  The FC v. the Masked Bishop, chapter 4
    9s.  Chris v. Harmonia round 2, chapter 4
    9t.  The FC v. the MIB and the Harmonians, chapter 4
    9u.  The True Water Rune Dragon, chapter 4
    9v.  Geddoe v. the (Un)Masked Bishop and Sarah, chapter 5
    9w.  Chris v. Sarah, chapter 5
    9x.  The FC Army v. the MIB and Harmonia, chapter 5
    9y.  The Last Strategy Battle, chapter 5
    9z.  Final Battle with Yuber, chapter 5
    9A.  Final Battle with Sarah, chapter 5
    9B.  Final Boss Battle--The True Wind Rincar, chapter 5


*******************************************************************************
*******************************************************************************
5.  108 Stars of Destiny Recruit List

5a.  Introduction to The List

You cannot start recruiting characters until you have visited Lake Castle. This
means that Hugo cannot recruit until his chapter 3, Chris until her chapter 2,
and Geddoe until his chapter 1.  Hugo technically can start recruiting in his
chapter 2 but only 1 recruit (Twaikin).  I have put the automatic stars first
followed by the non-automatic stars sorted by alpha.  I have also indicated the
earliest they can be recruited by which main character and marked which
characters are Support.  Note that you can continue to recruit all the way
until the final boss battle in ch. 5.  As a quick reference, here's three other
character categories of interest--Berserkers, Magic Users, and Tanks:

The Berserkers are Bazba, Shiba, Hallec, Fred, Landis, and Wan Fu.

The Magic Users are both Vikis, Sasarai, Rody, Estella, and Piccolo.

The Tanks are Twaikin, Nicolas, Fred, Mua, Cecile, and Leo.  To a lesser
extent, this also includes Chris and Borus.

Berserkers will always attack even if you give them the Defend command.  Magic
Users are the opposite--they almost never do a melee attack even if you give
them the Attack command.  This is especially true for Magic Users if they're
paired with someone else.  Tanks are able to absorb a lot of physical damage
via their natural ability to use armor and their ability to get high grades in
Armor and Shield Protect.  For more information on Tanks, check out the related
topic in section 3.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
5b.  Automatic Stars

Key-

C = Chris
G = Geddoe
H = Hugo
T = Thomas

The number after the letter indicates the chapter they will join.  For example,
C1 means that the Automatic Star joins in Chris' chapter 1.  If there's a
slash /, it means the Star joins in either chapter depending on your order of
play.

Automatic Stars:

1.  Ace, G1
------------------------------------
2.  Aila, G1
------------------------------------
3.  Anne, H1, Support
------------------------------------
4.  Apple, C3/H3/T2, Support
------------------------------------
5.  Bazba, ch. 4
------------------------------------
6.  Beecham, ch. 4
------------------------------------
7.  Borus, C1
------------------------------------
8.  Caesar, C3/H3/T2, Support
------------------------------------
9.  Cecile, T1/ch. 4
------------------------------------
10.  Chris, C1
------------------------------------
11.  Dios, ch. 5, Support
------------------------------------
12.  Dupa, ch. 4
------------------------------------
13.  Eike, T1/ch. 4, Support
------------------------------------
14.  Fred, C3
------------------------------------
15.  Fubar, H1
------------------------------------
16.  Geddoe, G1
------------------------------------
17.  Hallec, H3
------------------------------------
18.  Hugo, H1
------------------------------------
19.  Jacques, G1
------------------------------------
20.  Jimba, H1
------------------------------------
21.  Joker, G1
------------------------------------
22.  Juan, T1/ch. 4
------------------------------------
23.  Leo, C1
------------------------------------
24.  Lilly, ch. 4
------------------------------------
25.  Louis, C1, Support
------------------------------------
26.  Luce, H1, Support
------------------------------------
27.  Lucia, H1
------------------------------------
28.  Martha, T1/ch. 4, Support
------------------------------------
29.  Mua, H3
------------------------------------
30.  Muto, T1/ch. 4, Support
------------------------------------
31.  Nash, C2
------------------------------------
32.  Percival, C1
------------------------------------
33.  Piccolo, T1/ch. 4
------------------------------------
34.  Queen, G1
------------------------------------
35.  Reed, ch. 4
------------------------------------
36.  Rico, C3
------------------------------------
37.  Roland, C1
------------------------------------
38.  Salome, C1
------------------------------------
39.  Samus, ch. 4
------------------------------------
40.  Sasarai, ch. 5
------------------------------------
41.  Sebastian, T1/ch. 4, Support
------------------------------------
42.  Sergeant Joe, H1
------------------------------------
43.  Shiba, ch. 4
------------------------------------
44.  Shizu, T1/ch. 4, Support
------------------------------------
45.  Thomas, T1/ch. 4
------------------------------------
46.  Yuiri, ch. 5
------------------------------------
47.  Yumi, ch. 5
------------------------------------
48.  Yun, C3

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
5c.  Non-Automatic Stars

Key-

C = Chris
G = Geddoe
H = Hugo
T = Thomas

The number after the letter indicates the EARLIEST chapter the Star can be
recruited, not when they _have_ to be recruited.  To the best of my knowledge,
the only Stars you can miss permanently are Franz, Iku, Ruby, and Duke and his
team by abandoning the villagers in ch. 5 with Geddoe.  The earliest chapter
notation can vary wildly depending on your play order.  Therefore, if you're
looking at this list and wondering why you can't get someone as noted, it's
probably because of the play order.  Keep in mind that you can continue to
recruit all the way until the final strategy battle in ch. 5.

------------------------------------
49.  Alanis, in front of fountain at Great Hollow, (T1, G1, C3, H3)
     Put Melville and Elliot in your party then talk to her.

------------------------------------
50.  Arthur, Brass Castle dining room, (T1, G3, H3, C4), Support

     Talk to him and tell him you believe there's a story to be found.  He's in
     the lower right corner of the dining room and can be hard to see.  Agree
     to help him then recruit him.  Once you have Arthur, his news bulletin
     covering various game events will be posted at Lake Castle.  Take the main
     stairs up and it's to your right on the wall where Arthur hangs out.

------------------------------------
51.  Augustine, VdZ outside the Armor Shop, (T1, G1, C2, H3)
     Buy a Rose Brooch, a Rarity at the Iksay Item Shop, and give it to him.

------------------------------------
52.  Ayame, North Cavern where treasure boss usually is, (T1, C2, G4, H4)

     Make sure Watari is not in your active party.  Talk to him at his spot in
     Lake Castle (the area with the jail cells underneath Muto's level).  A
     flashback will be triggered.  Put Watari in your active party and go to
     the North Cavern where Ayame is located.  Win a duel to recruit her.  Note
     that for chapters 1-3, you need to use the person who recruited Watari
     when talking to him to get the flashback.  You can use anyone in ch. 4-5.

------------------------------------
53.  Barts, Iksay Village to the right of the windmill, (C3, G4, H4), Support

     Give him a GrapeC, commonly found at the VdZ Trade Shop.  You can give
     Barts the various seeds you find and he will grow those crops for you.
     Barts is located to the left of Juan at Lake Castle.  That is, from the
     main entrance screen where Cecile stands, take a left on your mini-map
     down the stairs.

------------------------------------
54.  Belle, Brass Castle east courtyard, (T1, G1, C2, H3)

     Bring Belle a !Screw.  It's a drop item from the Purple Creepers and Dark
     Hares at Plain Amur.  Gadget Z joins with her.  Most of the time I get the
     !Screw, it's on the Plain Amur screen with the blue save crystal (the
     screen closer to Karaya).

------------------------------------
55.  Billy, Lake Castle statue room, (T1, G1, C2, H3), Support

     The statue room is located on the second floor of Lake Castle.  Take the
     main staircase up, make a left, and it's the room in the bottom corner.
     Place any "S" statue on the main pedestal.  Exit, come back, and Billy
     will be there.  Beat him at a game of Guppo to recruit.  You can get some
     very useful prizes by beating Billy at Guppo, most notably the Tunic of
     Prosperity (random item for the 5,000 bet).

     If you're having problems getting an S statue, check section 2j.

------------------------------------
56.  Bright, Mt. Path area closer to Caleria, (C4, G4, H4)
     Automatically joins with Futch and Sharon.  Check Futch entry in this list
     for specifics.

------------------------------------
57.  Dominic, VdZ Armor Shop, (T1, G1, C2, H3), Support

     Buy Mole Armor from him for 40,000 potch.  He opens the Armor Shop at
     Lake Castle.  This shop is located on the same screen as Juan.  That is,
     from the main entrance screen where Cecile stands, take a left on your
     mini-map down the stairs.  Dominic's shop is up the stairway at the top of
     this next screen.

------------------------------------
58.  Duke, Mt. Senai, (G5)
     Do NOT choose to abandon the villagers when given the option during the
     series of battles at Mt. Senai.

------------------------------------
59.  Edge, Le Buque Village outside of Rune Shop, (G2, C4, H4)
     Pay 1,000 potch to duel him and win the duel.

------------------------------------
60.  Elaine, Mt. Senai, (G5)
     Do NOT choose to abandon the villagers when given the option during the
     series of battles at Mt. Senai.

------------------------------------
61.  Elliot, alley in VdZ, (T1, G1, C2, H3), Support

     After Hugo's ch. 1 and after you have recruited Billy, talk to him.  Billy
     does not need to be in your party to get Elliot.  He joins with Melville.
     Elliot's Potch Finder is a C, the best in the game.  You definitely _have_
     to do Hugo's chaper 1 before you can get Elliot--this is so the AI will
     know what level to assign Melville when you get he and Elliot.

------------------------------------
62.  Emily, Chisha Village tavern, (C3, H3, G4)
     Beat her at an arm wrestling contest.  Your party's collective PWR score
     needs to be at a high level to get her.

------------------------------------
63.  Ernie, Brass Castle Tutor Shop, (T1, G1, C2, H3), Support

     Answer 5 questions from her quiz correctly in a row.  Check Section 8 or
     Geddoe's chapter 1 in the Walkthrough for the correct answers.  Ernie's
     Tutor grade is a B+, the best.  Ernie is located in the library on the
     second floor of Lake Castle.

------------------------------------
64.  Estella, Alma Kinan Inn, (C3, H4, G4)

     Talk to Rody first outside the Inn and ask him what he's up to.  Then tell
     him you're looking for party members.  Talk to Estella inside the Inn then
     to the little girl by the altar at the back of Alma Kinan.  Talk to
     Estella inside the Inn again and they'll join.

------------------------------------
65.  Franz, Le Buque, (G5)
     Do NOT choose to abandon the villagers when given the option during the
     series of battles at Mt. Senai.

------------------------------------
66.  Futch, Mt. Path area closer to Caleria, (C4, G4, H4)
     
     Futch will be standing 3/4 of the way up the first screen of the Mt. Path
     nearest to Caleria.  Talk to him and tell him you know the area.  Once
     you're in Caleria, head toward the Item Stand then just follow Sharon.
     Eventually, you'll end up at the entrance to Caleria and he, Bright, and
     Sharon will all join.

------------------------------------
67.  Gadget Z, Brass Castle east courtyard, (T1, G1, C2, H3)

     Bring Belle a !Screw.  It's a drop item from the Purple Creepers and Dark
     Hares at Plain Amur.  Belle joins with him.  Most of the time I get the
     !Screw, it's on the Plain Amur screen with the blue save crystal (the
     screen closer to Karaya).

------------------------------------
68.  Gau, Mt. Senai, (G5)
     Do NOT choose to abandon the villagers when given the option during the
     series of battles at Mt. Senai.

------------------------------------
69.  Gordon, Iksay Village Item Shop, (T1, C2, G4, H4), Support

     If you're Chris, talk to him with a full party of 6 (not counting support)
     and he'll join.  With Hugo, Geddoe, or Thomas, bring an all-male party or
     Augustine by himself and he'll join.  Gordon opens the Item Shop at Lake
     Castle.

------------------------------------
70.  Goro, Zexen Forest, (T1, C2, G3, H3), Support

     From the entrance closer to Brass Castle, take the top path at the first
     fork and continue left until you see him.  Bring anyone with the Appraisal
     ability to recruit him.  Those with Appraisal include Muto, Mio, Arthur,
     and Guillaume.  Goro's Bath ability is an A+, the best.  Goro's bath is
     located on the stranded ship at Lake Castle.  It's on the deck of the
     ship and is behind the white door with the red trim.

------------------------------------
71.  Guillaume, Ancient Highway's big door, (H3, C4, G4), Support

     Beat him in a duel and recruit him.  It's possible you have to recruit
     Nei, Shabon, and Toppo first before he pops up at the Ancient Highway but
     I'm not 100% sure.  You do not have to bring those 3 to get Guillaume.
     Guillaume opens the Appraisal Shop at Lake Castle.

------------------------------------
72.  Hortez VII, starts in Duck Village, (C3, G3, H3), Support

     His pattern is Duck Village, Chisha, Caleria, back to Duck Village.  The
     first three times you talk to him, tell him where Lake Castle is.  The
     second time he shows up in Duck Village, lie to him about the location.
     Note that the only way to get him with Geddoe in his ch. 3 is to play
     Hugo or Chris' ch. 3 first to talk to Hortez at Chisha.  Hortez opens the
     Magic Scroll Shop at Lake Castle.

------------------------------------
73.  Iku, Le Buque, (G5), Support
     Do NOT choose to abandon the villagers when given the option during the
     series of battles at Mt. Senai.

------------------------------------
74.  Jeane, Brass Castle Rune Shop, (T1, G1, C2, H3), Support

     Talk to her and she'll join.  Jeane's Rune Sage grade of A is the best.
     This ability helps quicken the speed of your spell casting.  Jeane opens
     the Rune Shop at Lake Castle.

------------------------------------
75.  Jefferson, Lake Castle where Cecile stands, (C4, G4, H4), Support

     Head to the front entrance once you have 70+ recruits and he'll join.

     According to an e-mail that Dallas Strimple sent me, Jefferson won't show
     up at the front gate if Juan is in your party.  I can't confirm this
     without a save game handy to check myself, but it's worth noting in case
     this has happened to you.  This would also probably apply to having Cecile
     in your party as well.  I received an e-mail from Fate who confirmed this
     wrinkle in getting Jefferson.  Thanks to Dallas Strimple and Fate for this
     information.

     Jefferson is located in the room to the right of the elevator on the first
     floor of Lake Castle (the same room as Mike).  He is the person you give
     all the Medal Sets to.

------------------------------------
76.  Kathy, Plain Amur North, (T1, C3, G3, H3), Support

     Count up how many horses she has.  The number is always random.  Once
     Kathy joins, you can get very good prizes by running her races.  These
     prizes include Hex Doll S, Pale Moon Leather, Pale Moon Necklace, and
     LightningMagic Ring.  If you use Hugo, he'll race with Fubar if he's in
     the active party or with a Karayan Horse if Fubar is not in his party.
     The prizes I referred to are obtained without using Fubar.

     To get to Kathy's ranch at Lake Castle, exit the screen where Juan, Peggi,
     and Barts are to the north.

------------------------------------
77.  Kenji, Yaza Plain, (T1, G1, C2, H3)

     You need to have recruited a certain number of characters (around 30 I
     believe) before he shows up.  If you're entering Yaza from Lake Castle's
     side, he's to the middle and far left of the screen.  Talk to him,
     exercise, then ask for water and he'll join.

------------------------------------
78.  Kidd, Duck Village--top hut behind the inn, (T1, C3, G3, H3), Support

     Talk to Kidd and agree to help.  Look at the shelf to the right of the
     screen, the small window to the left, and the body on the floor.  Exit the
     hut and talk to the janitor outside.  Go talk to the duck by the right
     waterwheel.  Talk to the only customer at the Trade Shop to get a letter
     fragment.  Return to talk with Kidd to recruit him.  Kidd's Treasure Hunt
     is a C, the best.

     Kidd is located in the second basement of Lake Castle where the jail cells
     and storehouse are.

------------------------------------
79.  Koroku, Mt. Hei-Tou, (T1, G1, C2, H3)

     To the left of the screen hiding in the grass by the first corpse at Mt.
     Hei-Tou.  Talk to him and adopt him.  His flame is the fifth at the
     Trinity Site.  To play as Koroku, talk to him at his spot outside of the
     Lake Castle Tavern (where Anne is) in chapter 4 or 5.  You can then walk
     around as the dog and talk to people and do Kathy's races.  His POV has
     no story or goals like the others.  To quit his POV, simply walk back to
     his area and talk to the main character.

------------------------------------
80.  Landis, Kuput Forest, (C3, G3, H3)

     Will randomly join while you're in Kuput Forest if you have 1 open party
     slot.  You do NOT need to get into battles for him to join.

     Hitmancf sent me this e-mail regarding getting Landis:

     "i remember you saying in your faq about people complaining about how to
      get Landis.  Well finally, I figured it out, and I'm sure you already
      knew this, and it's easy.  All you have to do is have your collective
      luck at a high number.  My lowest was with Geddoe at around 120
      something, the other 4 party members had a luck of higher than 140 or so,
      after the first battle he already shows up."

     I couldn't confirm this because I don't have a save game handy but it
     makes sense and is worth a shot.  Thanks to Hitmancf for this info.

     wen sent me this e-mail with further information on recruiting Landis:

     "as far as i can tell from one of my japanese sui3 guides which covers
      indepth recruitments, luck isn't the deciding factor for getting landis.
      on the second screen of the forest (entering from the duck village
      direction), there is a VERY SPECIFIC area the player needs to run around
      in- the fork in the road. Keep running around the fork in the road, and
      ONLY that area, and there's a 10% chance that landis will join your party
      if there's an open slot. now, it's possible that it might be higher than
      10% if your characters have high luck, but the guide doesn't mention
      anything about it. i got landis during chapter 5, when my main character
      had high luck, and got him in under 10 minutes just by running around
      where the fork in the road is and waiting until a monster encounter
      occured. on the third one, landis joined my party."

     Thanks to wen, falcon815, and crystalstar who all provided clarified
     content on how to get Landis.

------------------------------------
81.  Mamie, Duck Village Item Shop second floor, (C3, G3, H3), Support

     Give her a Crab Rice Bowl.  Hallec comes with it and the Mantikra in Kuput
     Forest, Mt. Hei-Tou, and Zexen Forest drop it.  Give Mamie the recipes and
     various spices from Trade Shops and she can make food items for you.
     Abraxas has a complete FAQ on all the recipes and how to make all the
     possible food items here at gamefaqs.

     To get to Mamie's food stand, exit the screen at Lake Castle where Juan,
     Barts, and Peggi are to the left/west.  Keep going left past Scott's Trade
     Shop and the stairs up and you'll see Mamie's area.

------------------------------------
82.  Mel, Iksay Village to the right outside the inn, (T1, C2, G4, H4)
     Talk to her.

------------------------------------
83.  Melville, alley in VdZ, (T1, G1, C2, H3)

     After Hugo's ch. 1 and after recruiting Billy, talk to Melville.  Billy
     doesn't need to be in your active party.  Elliot joins with him.  You
     definitely _have_ to do Hugo's chaper 1 before you can get Melville--this
     is so the AI will know what level to assign to him when you recruit him.

------------------------------------
84.  Mike, Caleria Trade Shop, (G1, C3, H3), Support
     Win 20,000 potch from him in Kabu.  Mike is located in the room to the
     right of the elevator on the first floor (same room as Jefferson).

------------------------------------
85.  Mio, Iksay Village Inn second floor, (T1, C2, G4, H4), Support
     Talk to her and she'll join.  Mio's Healing grade is a B+, the second best
     in the game (only Tuta's is better).

------------------------------------
86.  Nadir, Caleria Inn second floor, (C3, H4, G4), Support

     Bring three men, two women, and a child in your party to recruit him.
     Support characters do not count toward this total.  Note that most
     teenagers in the game, such as Hugo and Aila, count as children.  The Duck
     Clan characters count as men.  Augustine and the mounts (e.g. Fubar) do
     not fall into any category.

     Nadir is the person you give scripts to.  He is located in the tavern on
     the first floor of Lake Castle (where Anne, Nei, Toppo, and Shabon are).

------------------------------------
87.  Nei, VdZ, (T1, G1, C2, H3)

     Talk to Nei and Toppo at the screen with the inn.  Head to the front of
     the Guild Hall and beat Guillaume in a duel and she'll join with Shabon
     and Toppo.

------------------------------------
88.  Nicolas, Mt. Senai, (G5)
     Do NOT choose to abandon the villagers when given the option during the
     series of battles at Mt. Senai.

------------------------------------
89.  Peggi, Great Hollow Blacksmith, (T1, G1, C3, H3), Support

     Talk to the Chisha man in the Great Hollow Trade Shop to get an Iron
     Hammer.  Talk to Peggi and give him the hammer.  If you somehow lost the
     Iron Hammer, it's likely you can give him one of the other Hammers to
     recruit him.  Peggi is located to the right of Juan's spot at Lake Castle.
     That is, from the main entrance screen where Cecile stands, take a left on
     your mini-map down the stairs.

------------------------------------
90.  Rhett, Duck Village outside of the Rune Shop, (C4, G4, H4)
     Put Sgt. Joe in your party and talk to he and Wilder.  Both will join.

------------------------------------
91.  Rody, outside of Alma Kinan inn, (C3, G4, H4)
     Joins with Estella.  See her entry for details.

------------------------------------
92.  Ruby, Mt. Senai, (G5)
     Do NOT choose to abandon the villagers when given the option during the
     series of battles at Mt. Senai.

------------------------------------
93.  Sanae Y, Duck Village behind the inn, (T1, C3, G3, H3)

     Sanae Y will be available for recruiting once your total recruits, both
     automatic and non-automatic, total around 30.  When she's available,
     she'll be at the above location talking to a Duck Clan member.  Talk to
     them and pick the first or second choice to recruit her.

------------------------------------
94.  Scott, west side of Brass Castle, (T1, G1, C2, H3), Support

     Bring a Deer Antler to him.  You can get one from the Trade Shops at VdZ,
     Duck Village, or Caleria.  Scott opens the Trade Shop at Lake Castle.  To
     get to his shop, exit the screen where Juan, Barts, and Peggi stand to the
     left/west.  Go left a little on the next screen and you'll see his shop.

------------------------------------
95.  Shabon, VdZ in front of the Guild Hall, (T1, G1, C2, H3)

     Talk to Nei and Toppo at the screen with the inn.  Head to the front of
     the Guild Hall and beat Guillaume in a duel and she'll join with Nei and
     Toppo.

------------------------------------
96.  Sharon, Caleria, (C4, G4, H4)
     Joins with Futch and Bright.  Check Futch's entry for details.

------------------------------------
97.  Toppo, VdZ, (T1, G1, C2, H3)

     Talk to Nei and Toppo at the screen with the inn.  Head to the front of
     the Guild Hall and beat Guillaume in a duel and he'll join with Nei and
     Shabon.

------------------------------------
98.  Tuta, Chisha, (C4, G4, H4), Support

     Put Mio in your party.  Head through the double doors of the tavern in
     the basement.  Head left and take the first pathway up.  Tuta will join.
     Tuta's Healing grade of an A+ is the best.

------------------------------------
99.  Twaikin, Great Hollow, (T1, G1, H2, C3)

     At the main area on the first floor, take the SE exit on your mini-map.
     Go through the next screen to exit.  At the screen after, head to the far
     left and talk to Twaikin.  When the lizard guard asks, say "Nothing" then
     recruit him.

     Thanks to SimUser for correcting my previous info. that incorrectly
     stated Hugo could not get Twaikin until his chapter 3.

------------------------------------
100. Viki (Big), Mt. Path entrance nearest to Plain Amur, (C4, G4, H4)

     After visiting Lake Castle in ch. 4, head to the Mt. Path and go past the
     first screen where the blue save crystal is.  Viki will pop up as you're
     heading up the path.  Big Viki can teleport you anywhere on the World Map
     and is standing to the right of the elevator on the first floor of Lake
     Castle.

------------------------------------
101. Viki (Small), Mt. Path entrance nearest to Plain Amur, (C4, G4, H4)

     Put Big Viki in your party and teleport back to the Mt. Path.  Walk up the
     same way and Small Viki will appear.  Small Viki gives you the Blinking
     Mirror, which allows you to instantly go back to Lake Castle as long as
     you're on the World Map screen.

------------------------------------
102. Wan Fu, Chisha at the bottom of stairs from the Item Shop, (C3, H3, G4)
     Talk to him and pay 3,000 potch to pick up his food bill.

------------------------------------
103. Watari, Iksay Village, (T1, C2, G4, H4)

     Hiding between the two houses on the right as you enter Iksay.  Pay him
     100,000 potch to recruit.

     Journeyman sent me this e-mail about getting Watari:

     "In Iksay Village- If Watari does not show up instantly, go to the inn to
      save then do a soft reset, After loading you should see Watari across
      from the inn between the 2 houses."

     Thanks to Journeyman for this tip.

------------------------------------
104. Wilder, Duck Village outside of the Rune Shop, (C4, G4, H4)
     Put Sgt. Joe in your party and talk to he and Rhett.  Both will join.

------------------------------------
105.-108.  Check the 108 Stars of Destiny Bonus in section 10

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
5d.  The 4 Non-Stars

After you get Koroku, you can recruit 4 more dogs who do not count toward the
108 Stars of Destiny list.  You can start recruiting these other dogs in ch. 4
and you do not have to have any of the other dogs in your active party to get
them.  I believe you _do_ have to get them in the order listed below because
it's how Kidd scouts them.

-Koichi, North Cavern
 He's halfway up on the second screen from the entrance, to the right behind a
 barrel.

-Connie, Great Hollow
 Take the same SE exit you did when getting Twaikin.  Exit that path and take
 the middle exit on this screen on your mini- map.  Go up the pathway a little
 and she's lying right on the path.

-Kosanji, Mt. Senai
 From the entrance, keep going north a few screens until you can take the path
 that exits right on the mini-map.  Follow it out and you'll come to a cliff.
 Wander the edge of the cliff to the bottom of the screen and you'll see him
 struggling up the cliffside (just keep hitting X as you wander the edge if you
 can't see him).

-Kogoro, Cyndar Ruins
 From the main entrance to the Ruins where there's 3 pathways and a blue save
 crystal, take the left path.  On the next screen, take the first left on your
 mini-map.  When you get to the dead end square, look to the top right corner.
 You'll see a sliver of a black tail--this is the final non-star dog.  Talk to
 him after he's through dancing to adopt.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
5e.  Recruits with Preset and Dependent Levels

The level of the non-automatic stars is either preset or it is dependent on
the level of the person who recruited them.  Mel, for example, will always be
level 32 when you get her.  Sanae Y, on the other hand, is 1 level lower than
the person who recruited her.

The non-automatic stars with preset levels are:

Nei, Toppo, Shabon, Melville, Alanis, Mel, Landis, Emily, Edge, Koroku, small
Viki, Bright, Sharon, Rhett, and Wilder

The non-automatic stars with dependent levels are:

Augustine, Twaikin, Wan Fu, Rody, Estella, Watari, Ayame, Sanae Y, and Kenji

The 4 non-star dogs have preset levels.  For Futch, big Viki, Belle, and Gadget
Z, their levels also depend on if you loaded Suikoden II data.  If you did NOT
load Suikoden II data, then Futch's level is preset and the other three's are
dependent on the level of the recruiter.  If you DID load Suikoden II data,
whichever level is higher, the one compared to the Suikoden II data or the
level of the recruiter, is used.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
5f.  Tablet of Stars

The player will receive the Tablet of Stars automatically in chapter 4.  If
a space is marked simply as [X], this is for spoiler reasons.  If you want to
know who the [X] is, check the 108 Stars of Destiny Bonus in section 10.  I
have separated the Tablet into two parts, the first two pages are in the top
half of this section and the last two pages follow the +++++ symbols.  Full
credit and many thanks to Thanh who put together this entire section.


Tenkai      Tenki         Tenku         Tenhei       Chikai        Chibun
------      -----         -----         ------       ------        ------
Thomas      Salome        Fubar         Ace          [X]           Twaikin

Tengou      Tenfu         Tensoku       Tenzai       Chiretsu      Chisei
------      -----         -------       ------       --------      ------
Sasarai     Jimba         Nash          Alanis       Mua           Nadir

Tenki       Tenman        Teni          Tenson       Chiyu         Chikatsu
-----       ------        ----          ------       -----         --------
Caesar      Juan          Aila          Queen        Dominic       Duke

Tenkan      Tenko         Tensatu       Tenpai       Chiketsu      Chitou
------      -----         -------       ------       --------      ------
{X]         Sgt. Joe      Hallec        Elliot       Jeane         Barts

Tenyu       Tensyo        Tenbi         Tenrou       Chiyu         Chikyou
-----       ------        -----         ------       -----         -------
Dupa        Hugo          Chris         Franz        Shabon        Bright

Tenyu       Tenritsu      Tenkyu        Tensui       Chii          Chian
-----       --------      ------        ------       ----          -----
[X]         Bazba         Estella       Iku          Fred          Toppo

Tenmou      Tensyo        Tentai        Tenbou       Chiei         Chijku
------      ------        ------        ------       -----         ------
Shiba       Yun           Cecile        Scott        Rico          Beecham

Teni        Tenan         Tenjyu        Tenkoku      Chiki         Chikai
----        -----         ------        -------      -----         ------
Lucia       Edge          Geddoe        Ernie        Percival      Gau

Tenei       Tenyu         Tenken        Tenkou       Chimou        Chisa
-----       -----         ------        ------       ------        -----
Yuiri       Yumi          Melville      Dios         Borus         Reed


                          +++++++++++++++++++++++
                          +++++++++++++++++++++++


Chiyu         Chihi          Chiin         Chima        Chikaku      Chisu
-----         -----          -----         -----        -------      -----
Samus         Sebastian      Roland        Koroku       Rhett        Mike

Chirei        Chisou         Chii          Chiyou       Chisyu       Chiin
------        ------         ----          ------       ------       -----
Mio           Shizu          Sharon        Arthur       Louis        Luce

Chijyu        Chikou         Chiri         Chiyu        Chizu        Chikei
------        ------         -----         -----        -----        ------
Tuta          Hortez VII     Nicolas       Kidd         Mamie        Sanae Y

Chibi         Chimei         Chisyun       Chifuku      Chihei       Chisou
-----         ------         -------       -------      ------       ------
Futch         Elaine         Gadget Z      Apple        Ruby         Anne

Chikyu        Chisin         Chiroku       Chihi        Chison       Chiretsu
------        ------         -------       -----        ------       --------
Lilly         Jacques        Nei           Kenji        Muto         Goro

Chibou        Chitai         Chitatsu      Chiku        Chido        Chiken
------        ------         --------      -----        -----        ------
Jefferson     Joker          Viki          Mel          Landis       Piccolo

Chizen        Chiman         Chisoku       Chiko        Chisatsu     Chikou
------        ------         -------       -----        --------     ------
[X]           Wan Fu         Viki          Peggi        Kathy        Rody

Chikou        Chisui         Chichin       Chizen       Chiaku       Chizoku
------        ------         -------       ------       ------       -------
Watari        Eike           Augustine     Martha       Emily        Guillaume

Chikyou       Chisyu         Chikei        Chitan       Chisyu       Chikou
-------       ------         ------        ------       ------       ------
Ayame         Leo            Belle         Wilder       Billy        Gordon

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
5g.  Attack Combos

For the 2-person combos, put the characters in the same pair.  For combos with
more than two people, just put them all in the same party.  I've probably
missed some but this is most of them.

2 People:
---------

Ayame and Watari
Ayame and Landis
Emily and Juan
Belle and Gadget Z
Bright and Gadget Z
Borus and Percival
Ace and Joker
Duke and Elaine
Dupa and Lucia
Shabon and Sgt. Joe (mwahaha)
Alanis and Melville
Hallec and Fubar
Big and Small Viki
Yumi and Yuiri
Cecile and Thomas
Any 2 of Wan Fu, Mua, and Leo.  Leo must be on foot
Fred and Rico

3 People:
---------

Chris + any 2 of Leo, Borus, and Percival.  All must be on horseback
Emily, Sharon, and Sanae Y
Bright, Futch, and Sharon
Futch, Fred, and Franz
Bazba, Shiba, and Dupa
Juan, Joker, and Kenji
Mel, Belle, and Big Viki
Nei, Toppo, and Shabon
Lilly, Reed, and Samus

4 People:
---------

Duke, Elaine, Nicolas, and Gau

5 People:
---------

Ace, Joker, Queen, Jacques, and Geddoe
Koroku, Connie, Kosanji, Kogoro, and Koichi

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
5h.  Bath Combos

Put these characters into your active party then visit Goro on the ship.
Credit and thanks to Clara who provided all the content for this section.

One Person
----------

- Mua

Two People
----------

- Viki (Big), Viki (Little)
- Belle, Mel
- Kenji, Roland
- Chris, Estella
- Louis, Rody
- Bright, Futch
- Franz, Ruby
- Eike, Juan
- Cecile, Chris
- Jeane, Lilly
- Emily, Shabon
- Augustine, Gordon
- Billy, Melville
- Elliot, Landis
- Ayame, Chris
- Elaine, Queen
- Estella, Viki (Little) (After Chris/Estella)
- Hugo, Kenji

Three People
------------

- Ace, Jacques, Joker
- Franz, Fred, Futch
- Louis, Melville, Rody
- Hallec, Leo, Wan Fu
- Emily, Sanae Y., Sharon
- Lilly, Reed, Samus
- Rhett, Sgt. Joe, Wilder
- Beecham, Nicolas, Shiba
- Jacques, Toppo, Watari
- Aila, Anne, Lucia
- Bazba, Dupa, Shiba
- Bazba, Ruby, Sgt. Joe
- Duke, Edge, Thomas
- Ace, Borus, Nash
- Mio, Nei, Yumi
- Leo, Piccolo, Wan Fu (After Hallec/Leo/Wan Fu)

Five People
-----------

- Connie, Kogoro, Koichi, Koroku, Kosanji


*******************************************************************************
*******************************************************************************
6.  My Really Important Items List

6a.  Introduction

The various items below are what I consider the best in the game.  For lists
that are comprehensive, I recommend you check suikosource.com and Ryvius' FAQ
here on gamefaqs.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
6b.  Runes

-Balance.  Protects wearer from unbalanced status.  Random item for Mt. Path
 treasure boss in ch. 4.  Very rare.

-Champion.  Enemies that can be "Let Go" will no longer approach.  Rare
 encounters and treasure bosses will still appear.  Usually found as item for
 Cyndar Ruins treasure boss in ch. 5.

-Cyclone.  Higher level Wind rune.  Climb ladder at Chisha Appraiser shop; a
 woman there will give it to you in ch. 4 (if Chris is main character, will
 have to wait until ch. 5 to get it).  Random treasure on Kuput Forest corpse
 closer to Chisha side.  Bazba comes with it (can't be removed).

-Double Strike.  Damage given and received is multiplied by 2.  Random treasure
 item for Mt. Hei-Tou boss in ch. 2, a common item at the Le Buque Rune Shop in
 ch. 5.

-Firefly.  Wearer is the first choice of an enemy attack.  Very useful for
 Tank characters.  Drop item of Purple Creepers in North Cavern during Thomas'
 chapters.  Rody comes with it (removable).

-Fire Sealing.  Negates all damage from fire attacks.  Drop item for Troll
 Dragons on Yaza Plain in ch. 5.

-Flowing.  Higher level Water rune.  Treasure item for beating a boss in ch. 4,
 for gaining a Major Victory in the second to last strategy battle in ch. 5,
 and for defeating a boss in ch. 5.  Sasarai comes with it (can't be removed).

-Fury.  Wearer is always berserk.  Random treasure for Mt. Hei-Tou corpse
 closest to Blue Mantrix, drop item for Bronze Sun in the Ancient Highway in
 Hugo's ch. 3.  Thanks to suikosource.com for this info.

-Gale.  Raises SPD stat of the wearer by 50%.  Drop item of white Bladebunnies
 at Plain Amur North in Hugo's ch. 1, rare random treasure for North Cavern
 boss in ch. 4 and 5 (very rare in both cases).

-Haziness.  Allows wearer to better dodge melee attacks.  Rarity at Duck
 Village and Le Buque Item Shops.  Watari (removable) and Emily (can't be
 removed) come with it.

-Hunter.  Enemy will drop an item when the wearer successfully lands a melee
 attack.  Accuracy is 5%.  Attacks landed using a special rune such as Great
 Hawk and counterattacks do not count as a successful hit.  Found as random
 treasure item for Mt. Senai boss in Geddoe's ch. 2, a rare find at the VdZ
 Guild Hall Item store in ch. 4-5, and a prize for defeating the Harmonians in
 ch. 5.

-Killer.  Increases chance of landing heavy damage attack.  Common item at the
 Alma Kinan Item Shop in ch. 5, a rare item there in ch. 3 and 4.

-Mother Earth.  Higher level Earth rune.  Random item for North Cavern treasure
 boss (Chimera) in ch. 2.  Drop item for Stone Golem treasure boss in ch. 3,
 also located at the North Cavern (not a treasure chest item, the boss itself
 drops it).

-Pale Gate.  Various summon magic.  Little girl in Iksay Item Shop gives you
 one.  Random treasure on corpse closest to entrance in Flame Champ Hideaway.

-Rage.  Higher level Fire rune.  Random item for Mt. Path treasure boss in ch.
 5.  Estella comes with it (can't be removed).

-Thunder.  Higher level Lightning rune.  Little girl in Duck Village Rune Shop
 gives you one.  Drop item for Sirens in the Cyndar Ruins in ch. 4.

-Warrior.  1/2 of the wearer's REP stat is added to the PWR stat.  Rarity at
 VdZ Item Shop in ch. 4 and 5.

-Wizard.  1/2 of the wearer's MDF stat is added to the MGC stat.  Rarity at
 Chisha and Caleria Items Shops in ch. 4 and 5.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
6c.  Armor

-Dragon Scale.  +102 DEF, Continuous Attack +1.  Mt. Path treasure boss item in
 ch. 5.

-Dream Robe.  +83 DEF, ATK rating of enemy attacks is 1/2.  Mt. Path treasure
 boss item in ch. 5.

-Flame Casque.  +36 DEF, +15 PWR, Accuracy Skill +1, Fire Resist.  Mt. Path
 treasure boss item in ch. 5.

-Horned Helm.  +44 DEF, Damage Skill +1. Mt. Senai treasure boss item in ch. 5.

-Taikyoku Tunic.  +78 DEF, +10 SPD, Status Protect.  Random item for Mt.
 Hei-Tou treasure boss in ch. 2 and 3.  This Tunic offers the highest DEF for
 any armor that cures Juan's sleep status.

-TrueThunderbolt Leather.  +92 DEF, Accuracy +10%, Lightning Resist.  Rarity at
 Caleria and Brass Castle Armor shops in ch. 4 & 5.

-Windspun Armor.  +120 DEF, +15 SPD, Holy Dash +1, Wind Resist.  Rarity at
 Le Buque Armor Stand in ch. 4 and 5.  VERY rare.

-Wizard Hat.  Raises Lightning and Fire Magic skill levels by 1 grade.  Common
 item at VdZ Item Shop from ch. 3 onward.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
6d.  Hammers

Give these to Peggi.

-Iron.  The Chisha man in the Great Hollow Trade Shop gives it to you starting
 in everyone's chapter 1.  Allows Peggi to sharpen weapons up to level 9.

-Copper.  Acquire from the vendor outside of the Caleria Armor Shop in ch. 3.
 Allows Peggi to sharpen weapons up to level 12.

-Silver.  Talk to the Alma Kinan woman sitting at the table in the Duck Village
 Tutor/Rune Shop after you have visited Lake Castle in ch. 4.  Allows Peggi to
 sharpen weapons up to level 15.

-Gold.  Rarity at Iksay Item Shop, sells for 50,000 potch.  Always seems to pop
 up for me right before last strategy battle in ch. 5.  Allows Peggi to sharpen
 weapons up to their maximum level of 16.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
6e.  Medal Sets and Jefferson's Appointments

Give the Medal Sets to Jefferson once you recruit him.

Medal Sets:

#1-Zexen soldier in orange at the VdZ Blacksmith shop gives it to you in ch. 3
   or 4 (I usually get it with Hugo in his ch. 3, ch. 4 with anyone else).

#2-Boy by the cow at the back of Chisha village gives it to you from ch. 3 on.

#3-Mt. Hei-Tou treasure boss item in Geddoe ch. 1.  Possible it pops up
   elsewhere in another treasure boss fight.

#4-Rarity at Chisha Item Shop starting in ch. 3.

#5-North Cavern treasure boss item in Chris ch. 2 (Chimera).  Possible it pops
   up elsewhere in another treasure boss fight.

------------------------------------
Jefferson's Appointments:

Emperor-Accuracy and Damage Skills +1
Top Commander-Swing and Counter Attack Skills +1
Shadow Boss-Adrenaline Power Skill +2
Captain-Counter Attack Skill +1
General-Heavy Damage Skill +1
GrKing-Stun Skill +1 (Freeze)

PM-Healing Skill +1
Minister-Appraisal Skill +1
Marquis-Treasure Hunt Skill +1

Note that you cannot give any of these Appointments to Support characters.  If
you give one of the Support Appointments to a regular character, it's basically
giving them the skill with a grade of E even though the skill won't show up in
their skills list.  The only regular character I know of that actually comes
with one of the Support skills you can boost is Sanae Y, who has Healing.  A
character cannot hold more than 1 Appointment title at a time.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
6f.  Accessories

-Counter Ring.  Treasure item for getting a Major Victory in strategy battle in
 Thomas' chapter 2.  Raises CounterAttack skill by 1 grade.

-DragonTail Ornament.  +20 DEF, Fire Resist.  Rarity at Great Hollow Item Shop.
 Only the Lizard Clan characters can wear it.

-EarthMagic Ring.  Random item for Mt. Hei-Tou treasure boss in ch. 5.  Sasarai
 comes with it (removable).  Raises Earth Magic skill by 1 grade.

-Evasion Ring.  Treasure item for getting a Major Victory in strategy battle in
 Chris' chapter 2.  Raises Repel skill by 1 grade.

-FireMagic Ring.  Random treasure for Flame Champ Hideaway boss (Azzodess) in
 ch. 3.  Raises Fire Magic skill by 1 grade.

-Gold Beak.  +12 DEF, +15 to SPD stat.  Rarity at Duck Village Item Shop.  Only
 Duck Clan characters can wear it.

-Gold Emblem.  Treasure item from optional boss battle in Hugo ch. 2.  Rarity
 at Brass Castle and VdZ Guild Hall Item Shops from ch. 3 onward.  Only certain
 characters can equip (not sure of the exact restrictions).  Raises Magic
 Resistance skill by 1 grade.

-LightningMagic Ring.  Random treasure for Mt. Path boss (Rock Golem) in ch. 2
 and 3.  Random prize for Kathy's races.  Raises Lightning Magic skill by 1
 grade.

-LionGod Ring.  +17 DEF, +20 to SPD stat.  Rarity at Chisha Item Shop.  Only
 Gau can wear it.

-Reflection Ring.  Treasure item from boss battle in ch. 5.  Small Viki comes
 with it (removable).  Raises Magic Repel skill by 1 grade.

-Resistance Ring.  Random treasure for Mt. Path boss in ch. 4 (Ghost Knight).
 Big Viki comes with it (removable).  Raises Magic Resistance skill by 1 grade.

-Rose Brooch.  +12 DEF, +1 to Swing Skill.  Rarity at Iksay Item Shop.  Only
 Augustine can wear it.

-WaterMagic Ring.  Random treasure found on corpse closer to treasure boss at
 the Flame Champ Hideaway.  Raises Water Magic skill by 1 grade.

-WhiteRose Brooch.  +18 DEF, +2 to Swing Skill.  Rarity at Caleria Item Stand
 from ch. 4 onward.  Only Augustine can wear it.

-WindMagic Ring.  Treasure item from boss battle in ch. 5.  Raises Wind Magic
 skill by 1 grade.

-Yellow Scarf.  +10 DEF, negates Silence, Paralysis, Poison, Bulls-Eye, and
 Sleep status.  It does NOT negate effects of Unbalanced or the Silent Lake
 spell.  A Rarity at the VdZ Item Shop in ch. 3 and 4, a common item there in
 ch. 5.  Watari comes with it (removable).

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
6g.  Scripts

#1-Nadir has it.

#2-Little girl by the stairs in VdZ inn gives it to you.

#3-Random item for North Cavern treasure boss.

#4-Little girl talking to her grandma at Le Buque inn gives it to you.

#5-Only available if you loaded Suikoden II data.  First item on the corpse in
   Cyndar Ruins.  At the entrance to the Ruins where there's 3 paths and a blue
   save crystal, take the left path.  On this next screen, follow the path and
   exit the screen north.  On the next screen, take the first right on your
   mini-map.  Head to the dead end area to the southeast to find the corpse.

#6-Only available if you loaded Suikoden II data.  Random item for Mt. Senai
   treasure boss.


*******************************************************************************
*******************************************************************************
7.  Duels

7a.  Introduction

I have indicated what your opponent will do based on the given comments.  To
react accordingly, use the following table:

When your Enemy does:         You Should:

Attack                        Deathblow
Defend                        Attack
Deathblow                     Defend

I have listed the duels in the order they appear in the Walkthrough.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
7b.  Duels with Guillaume

You cannot win Melville's duel with Guillaume.  The other 2, in Vinay del Zexay
when he's chasing after Shabon and in the Ancient Highway, are both winnable.

Attack:
-------
You've made your uncle very angry!
Ouch, you'll pay for that!
Ho, ho, ho.  Allow me to make my point.
Pesky opponent!  The next one won't miss!
Ho, ho, ho!  Your life is mine!
Coward!
All this staring at each other.  Like a prelude to marriage.  But I don't mind.
Snap out of it.  There's no turning back now.
Ho, ho, ho!  I am simply too strong!

Defend:
-------
Ho, ho, ho.  Did you think I would only defend?
Hmph.  Your turn.
Careful, careful.
I'll take a page from your book!
Ouch!  I better stop to catch my breath!
Ho, ho, ho.  I am truly at my best today.
Ah, this is really quite comfortable.

Deathblow:
----------
Deathblow Attack!  Furious Flame!
Deathblow Attack!  Ominous Oceans!
Deathblow Attack!  The most furious of flames!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
7c.  Duel with Lucia, Chris chapter 2

Attack:
-------
Saucy Knight!
Such a lack of passion.  I'll spice this up.
If that is how you wish to battle...
Ha!  There's no need for discretion here White Maiden.
Let's see what the White Maiden can withstand.
It's been an even match.  Until now.

Defend:
-------
I suppose you're good enough to be called White Maiden.
A battle of resistance...
That won't help us decide who wins.
So you are serious after all.  But how serious?
I'll withstand your worst.
Without caution attack is useless!
Where's the sport in this?  It's not a battle if you don't fight.
Hmmm.  Too tired to give me your best?

Deathblow:
----------
By the power of Karaya!
Very well, stay like that!
Let's make this the final blow.
My Karaya brethren lend me your strength!
That wasn't very exciting.  Try this!
Ah, just like a little girl.  What about this?

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
7d.  Duel with Jimba, Chris chapter 2

Attack:
-------
Now it's time for me to strike.
See how you like this.
You're playing it safe.  That's fine with me.
Strong enough.  Let's see how you handle this.
You're quite skilled.  How about this?
We'll lose our audience if we carry on like this.

Defend:
-------
Go on, take a swing at me!
Quite solid, but is it luck or skill?
Now it's your turn.
I've never had to play it this safe before.
Well, well...Having trouble?  Maybe next time.
Is this a staring match or a battle?
Damn!  I better take a breather.

Deathblow:
----------
Let's do this my way.
Milady, I will not hold back.
Sorry, but I've been doing this a lot longer than you have.
This has carried on long enough.  I'll finish it quickly.
I hope this isn't too much for you.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
7e.  Duel with Ayame

Attack:
-------
Let me show you how pleased I am to see you again.
Now I'll get you back.
If you only defend...
When are you going to stand up and fight?
Don't feel too good about that.
Enough messing around!
Here we go...

Defend:
-------
I believe this is how to properly defend oneself.
So, we think alike after all.
It's been a while, let's see if you've improved.
Are you getting enough to eat?  You're not very effective.
Sorry, no effect.
I wouldn't hold still like that.
That was good, but probably the best you can do.
At least you don't fight worse than before.
This is taking too long.

Deathblow:
----------
This will let you know how glad I am to see you again.
And now, the finishing stroke.
Good night, Watari.
I'll help you remember your past.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
7f.  Duel with Edge

Attack:
-------
Don't get cocky.
You're better than I thought.  Again!
What's this?  All defense?
Don't chicken out on me.
You won't win just by defending.
I suppose I could go easy on you.
You're no slouch, eh?

Defend:
-------
Come on and take a shot!
Nice work.
Why don't you show me what you've got?
Might as well play it safe.
I see we're both cautious.
Don't get shaken...

Deathblow:
----------
Nice work.  Now how about this?
I'll pay you back double.
Try defending against this!
This should finish it.
I'll end this right away.
Let's make this interesting.
This might just finish it...
Time to get serious.
Stand still!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
7g.  Duel with Duke, Geddoe chapter 3

Attack:
-------
Here we go!
I'll return that!
Now this is a fight!  Here it comes again!
Don't put me to sleep, Geddoe.
Well, well.  Aren't you cunning?
Come on now, are you really that meek?
What's wrong, Geddoe?  You wanted the real thing, right?
Not bad at all.  I'll go full speed as well.

Defend:
-------
Don't just stand there-Attack!
The next attack is yours.  Come on!
Nice try.  I'll take it as many times as you can bring it.
How long do I have to wait!
That luck will run out!
Hardly felt a thing.  Try a little harder.
So what do you want to do?  I'll give you a chance.

Deathblow:
----------
If that's your game, I've got a little gift for you.
Is that all it took?  This should finish it.
Better than I thought, Geddoe.  Now take this.
Looking me in the eye won't get you sympathy!
Hold still!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
7h.  First Duel with Sasarai, Hugo chapter 3

Attack:
-------
Our strategies are similar.  Let's see what you make of my next attack.
That's wise of you.  Keep defending.  I'll put you down for a long nap.
You've got some talent.  But I've also got a few tricks.
That was fine work.  I'll stop holding back as well.
Your skills still need honing.  Watch and learn.

Defend:
-------
Very well, then.  Come at me again!
You're far too submissive.  Try a little aggression.
Is that all?  I thought you had more in you.
I'll stand still.  Attack with all your might!
Playing it safe, eh?  Go on.  I'll take what you deliver.
What's wrong Flame Champion?  It's time to attack.
Not bad.  I'll take another shot.
Maybe I'm trying too hard...
A passive champion at best.  Come on now, have at me!

Deathblow:
----------
I won't hold back.  Defend yourself!
You're a quiet one.  Can you withstand this?
You're far too predictable.  And now...I strike.
You carry the name of Flame Champion?  I will prove your unworthiness.
I don't care to do this all day.  Let's finish it.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
7i.  Second Duel with Sasarai, 6th POV

Attack:
-------
Here I go.
So you intend to win.  But can you handle this...
Now it's my turn.
Can you keep that up?
And now for my offensive.
You make a nice target.
Don't let it go to your head.

Defend:
-------
It seems we're both cautious.
Such dogged caution.
Hit me with everything you've got.  I'm ready.
Bring your worst.
I had better consider my options...

Deathblow:
----------
But can you handle this.
Rather heavy on defense.  Try defending this!
I've analyzed this enough.
See if you can figure this out.


*******************************************************************************
*******************************************************************************
8.  Ernie's Quiz

Which musical ensemble only uses wind instruments?  3. Brass Band
Which of the following cannot fly?  1. Duck
Which one of these fruits grows on a tree?  2. Pomegranates
Which statement is false?  2.  Rice cleaned with soap
Which of these has nothing to do with farming?  3.  Quiver
What is the pattern on Karayan horses?  1.  Zebra pattern
What is the Duck Clan Chief's special characteristic?  1. Amazing tail
Which is the correct spelling?  1.  Sea bream
Which of the following phrases is not possible?  3.  I ate cactus for dinner
Which of these sounds is threatening?  2.  Gggrrr
Which skill can make a magical spell bounce back at its caster?  2.  Reflect
What are the colors of the Kamaro Free Knights' uniform?  2.  Green/Yellow
Of the following, which does not exist in blood?  2.  Blue blood cells
What is paper made from?  3.  Wood
Which of these cannot be found at any defensive gear shop?  Bizarre Chainmail
Where is the decorative feather worn on the head of the Flame Champ?  3.  Left
Which cannot be part of a string ensemble?  2.  Bodhran
Which one of these is a lizard man?  2.  Shiba
Of the following which one is not an insect?  3.  Serpent
What do Lizard Men do when they're surprised?  3.  Nothing


*******************************************************************************
*******************************************************************************
9.  Boss/Battle Strategies

9a.  Introduction

I have included strategies for selected bosses and for all major battles in
this section.  The bosses I have left out, such as Nemesis, the Ghost Knights,
etc., are neither difficult nor do they require any special preparations.  The
bosses and battles are listed in the order they appear in the Walkthrough.
When I mention "Primary Armor", this means the main body armor for your
characters, not counting accessories.

The strategies for the boss battles are given with the goal for all party
characters to be alive at the end, not just win the battle itself.  For
strategy battles, the tips I give are intended to get the best possible
outcome, usually a Major Victory but in other instances a Safe Retreat.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
9b.  Strategy Battle 1, Chris chapter 1 (Plain Amur)

This is the battle where the Zexens are ambushed by the Lizard and Karaya Clans
at the truce meeting.  There are two ways to win this battle.  The first is the
conventional way which is to go for a safe retreat by making a beeline for the
exit circle.  The strategy below covers this first option.  The second is to
wipe out every Grassland unit.  The only reason to go for this is the Chris
Level 99 trick covered at suikosource.com in detail.

During the first turn, move Roland and the other Zexen unit into the same
circle as Chris.  End your turn.  During the Grasslanders' turn, Lucia and
Beecham will show up with some Karaya Units.  Salome will then suggest you
break through.  Use Roland's unit to attack the Karayan Unit (Unit #12) that's
blocking your exit.  If you didn't win, or somehow lost, send the mounted Zexen
unit (Unit #4) after them.  This should take out the Karayan Unit.  Send Chris
into the now empty circle that the Karayans were occupying.  Defend with the
remaining Zexen units.  The Grasslanders will no doubt attack you in the next
turn.  Just pick the retreat option.  You'll get attacked most of the time but
should make it into Chris' circle without much problems.  When your turn comes
up again, move any of the Zexen units into the exit circle (it doesn't have to
be Chris' unit).  This will conclude the strategy battle.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
9c.  Geddoe v. Chris and the Zexen Knights, Geddoe chapter 1 (Great Hollow)

This battle is all luck as far as I'm concerned.  Unless you went crazy with
leveling up and got your team's levels past 30, the outcome of the battle is
completely dependent on whether or not Chris casts Breath of Ice.  If she does,
it's all but over.  If she doesn't go for this spell, then the strategy below
has worked well for me.  All my characters were level 24 except Shiba.  Geddoe
had a Lightning Rune with a B grade and Joker had a Water Rune with a B grade
in the respective magic.  The formation I use:

Jacques
Joker
Queen
Geddoe
Ace
Shiba
(No Support)

Have Geddoe cast Soaring Bolt.  Have Ace do his Double Tusk attack on Chris.
Have Jacques attack Chris as well.  After that, concentrate your attacks on
Chris-she can cast Kindness Rain which heals all of her troops.  Use only
Items and Joker's Kindness Drops spell to heal.  If you kept Joker's Fire Rune,
you can try to get off some spells but keep in mind that most of those spells
will hit your own troops.  It usually takes about 3-5 turns before you win.
The loot you get is a few thousand potch and a nice bit of skill points.  The
best items I ever got were some Damaged Helms, New Chainmail, and Mega Medicine
D, so nothing all that great.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
9d.  Geddoe v. Borus, Geddoe chapter 1 (Karaya Village)

You get this fight if you select the first dialogue choice, "I have an
inkling."  Level 26 is plenty for Queen and Geddoe to win this battle.  If you
wanted to give yourself a little room for error, you could buy Sacrificial
Jizos from the Karaya Village Item Hut and equip them before the battle.
Equipping both with at least a full Medicine C each is also a good idea.  If
Geddoe's Lightning Magic skill is not at least a B, you'll have problems
winning this fight.  The formation I use:

Queen
Geddoe
-----
-----
-----
-----

I pair them together like this mainly so Queen can protect Geddoe while he
casts his spells.  If Queen's Repel Skill grade is decent (B or higher) she
has a great chance of evading at least 1 of the 3 attacks she'll face in the
first round.  In the first turn, cast Soaring Bolt with Geddoe.  Thereafter,
heal with Queen's Medicine items (Geddoe will attack automatically).  If Borus
misses or doesn't do too much damage, use Geddoe to cast Berserk Blow during
the next turn.  It usually takes me 5-6 turns to take him out.  At level 26, I
go up to level 28-29 and get about 100 skill points.

An alternative to the above strategy is if you fixed Queen with a Wind Rune
and trained up her Wind Magic skill to a decent level (B or higher).  If so,
you can cast Wind of Sleep.  If you use this strategy, flip flop Geddoe and
Queen in terms of the formation.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
9e.  The Blue Mantrix, Mt. Hei-Tou

The only times this treasure boss is a concern is in Geddoe's chapter 1 and
Chris' chapter 2.  The low to mid 20's level is plenty for beating this boss.
After chapter 2, he's ridiculously easy given the levels and skills of your
characters.  Note that Thomas can never fight the Blue Mantrix in his chapters.

The Blue Mantrix has a couple of attacks of note.  The first is a beam attack
that hits a single person.  He usually targets the person with the lowest DEF
rating in your party with this.  The other attack hits anyone within
hand-to-hand attack range with these multi-colored bubbles.  It doesn't do much
damage but there's a slight chance it will paralyze your guys.  The general
strategy to use is make sure someone has healing spells that can cure the
paralysis, meaning someone with either a Shield or Water Rune.  Send your
melee attackers up and keep your healer in the back.  Use your offensive magic
(e.g. Geddoe's Soaring Bolt) plus your melee attacks and you won't have much
problems taking it out.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
9f.  Twin-Head Snake, Mountain Path, Geddoe chapter 1

The only time this guy's really a problem is facing him in Geddoe's chapter 1.
Because of that, I am including a strategy only for Geddoe's team at that time.
Having your team in the upper 20's level to lower 30's levels is sufficient to
winning this battle.  Also make sure that Geddoe has at least a B+ in Lightning
Magic and Aila has at least a B in Shield Magic.  Having Joker with a Water
Rune helps but isn't essential.

This boss has four attacks.  The Left Head uses Wind Magic and casts healing
magic.  The Right Head casts Fire Magic.  The main head has a rather gross
looking tongue attack that hits those within hand-to-hand attack range.  Its
most dangerous attack is a combination magic attack that involves all three
heads.  This combo magic attack precedes almost all of your party's actions
except the fastest, such as tossing items or the spell Kindness Drops.

My strategy is to focus on taking out the Left Head first so it can't
regenerate HP or use the combination magic attack.  I cast Berserk Blow on the
Left Head with Geddoe and use the archers' regular melee attacks on it, too.
I then use Ace's Double Tusk Rune on the Left Head.  After that, I use Great
Blessing with Aila to heal if everyone's hurt or Medicine/Joker's Kindness
Drops to heal if only a certain pair are hurt.  Following the first round, I
focus my attacks on the Left Head again, using Berserk Blow with Geddoe and the
archers' melee attacks.  Once the Left Head is gone, I cast Soaring Bolt with
Geddoe and focus on the Right Head.  When only the main head is left, I cast
Battle Oath with Aila and mop up with melee attacks from there.  On occasion, I
lose Queen or Aila because of their low HP but as long as you keep everyone
healed properly, that shouldn't be a problem.  This battle usually takes me 4-6
turns with the aforementioned levels/skills.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
9g.  Zexen Raid on Great Hollow, Strategy Battle, Chris chapter 2

Make sure Chris, Percival, Borus, Leo, and Roland are level 34 or better for
this fight.  You can get them all to this level fairly quickly by fighting
random battles at Yaza Plain in this chapter.  Also max out Chris' Swing skill
grade to a B.  In the low to mid 30's level, this will give Chris two attacks
per turn, making this battle much easier.  I'd advise you to also raise Chris,
Borus, and Leo's Armor Protect skills to at least a B for each.  I also
recommend removing Roland's Great Hawk Rune, which is good advice for any
strategy battle Roland participates in unless you did the Chris level 99 trick.

The winning condition is to take out 5 enemy units.  The losing condition is
losing Chris' unit, so make sure she doesn't go down.  To get a Major Victory,
don't lose an entire unit while taking out the required number of enemies.  The
loot you get for a Major Victory is an Evasion Ring, which boosts the wearer's
Repel skill by 1 grade.

There's a few things to keep in mind here.  Borus and Percival will show up at
the start of your third turn.  The most dangerous units are Dupa's and Bazba's.
Dupa has a Fury Rune which puts him in Berserk status-if he gets one lucky
critical hit, it's lights out for whoever he hit.  Bazba will occasionally cast
a Cyclone Magic spell that can cause "Combat Stifled", which is another
automatic lights out.  Unless Dupa's team is damaged pretty well, only use Leo
to confront him.  As for Bazba, just don't let him engage Chris-anyone else is
fine.  Lastly, if you put your units in place to "Cover" this gives your
attacking unit a boost to the damage they do.  The more units covering, the
more damage.

At the start of the battle, move Chris one circle to the southeast.  Move Leo
and Roland one circle to the east.  Don't move past these circles until Borus
and Percival show up.  The computer's strategy can vary pretty wildly but it
usually will send the Lizard Units with 3 fighters up to meet your guys.  Just
use Roland and Chris at that point to try to take them out.  Once Borus and
Percival show up, try to put your units in position to cover each other.  Leo,
Chris, and Borus' units are the best to use for attacking.  As long as you
don't put your units in a position where they're attacked a consecutive number
of times, you shouldn't lose an entire unit.  If one of the units that's just
made up of Zexen Regulars is attacked by an enemy unit with full health, just
have them retreat.  This battle on average takes me two turns after Borus and
Percival show up to complete.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
9h.  Hugo v. The Man in Black (MIB), Hugo chapter 2 (Ancient Highway)

Note that you neither have to win this fight nor do you have to fight it at
all to proceed with the game.  To avoid the fight altogether, pick the dialogue
choice "Hmm, what's the best way" then agree with Lilly to attack.

The best preparations you can make for this fight are actually in Hugo's
chapter 1.  Specifically, how high you raised Hugo and Fubar's Accuracy skill
in chapter 1.  This is because the MIB has a high Repel rating and therefore is
very hard to hit.  In addition, you can't visit a Bujutsu Teacher in this
chapter until after you've gotten past the MIB.  If you have decent Accuracy
with Hugo and Fubar (B grade or higher), you can use the following strategy
starting with this formation:

Lilly
Samus
Hugo
Fubar
Reed
Sgt. Joe
(No Support)

Sharpen everyone's weapon up to level 7 via the Blacksmith in the eastern
courtyard of Brass Castle.  Armor that's around +24 DEF or better will be fine.
A level of 32 for everyone is plenty.  To give yourself some leeway, equip 2
Sacrificial Jizos and a Medicine B or higher on Fubar.  If you want to make
sure that Sgt. Joe and the Tinto team survive as well, put a Sacrificial Jizo
on each of them.

In the first round, use the Tinto combo and send the Hugo/Fubar pair in to
attack.  Rarely will the MIB move before Hugo/Fubar but if he does he'll
usually attack the middle where Hugo/Fubar are, which is what you want.  The
Tinto combo will do very little damage (most of the time only 1 point) but
that's not the point.  What you want to do is just attack with Hugo/Fubar and
have the MIB concentrate his attacks on them as well.  Heal Hugo/Fubar every
other round with Sgt. Joe's Kindness Drops unless the MIB got lucky and did
double damage.  You should be able to take him down before Sgt. Joe runs out of
Kindness Drops.  If not, use Samus' Wind Rune to heal them and if you run out
of _that_, use the Medicine you equipped on Fubar to heal (Hugo will still get
an attack).  Using this strategy, I'm able to win every time, although one of
the Tinto characters or Sgt. Joe may go down if they get hit with the
Eight-Devil Rune.  After you win, you'll get a Gold Emblem and some experience,
although usually only enough to bump a few people up 1 level if everyone's at
level 32.

The alternative is to focus on your Magic skills, which you can boost at Duck
Village via the Tutor.  This strategy focuses on raising Hugo's Wind Magic to
its maximum of B+.  All the same levels and other preparations apply,
especially equipping the Jizos.  The formation for this strategy:

Reed
Hugo
Fubar
Sgt. Joe
Lilly
Samus
(No Support)

Cast Wind of Sleep with Samus and Shredding with Hugo.  If you want to try your
luck, you could have Sgt. Joe cast Breath of Ice as well but there's a good
chance this will also hit your own troops.  If you got real lucky, Samus' spell
will put the MIB to sleep, lowering his ability to Repel/Counterattack.  Heal
when you need to with Sgt. Joe and your Medicine items and keep repeating with
the Wind Magic spells until the MIB goes down.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
9i.  Rock Golem, Mountain Path, Geddoe chapter 2

Recommendations for this boss battle include levels in the low 30's for all
your characters, B+ in Lightning Magic for Geddoe, and a B in Shield Magic for
Aila.  Weapons of level 10 are also highly recommended.  Primary Armor in the
+30 range or better will be fine.  The Rock Golem has a high Repel rate so
the Accuracy skill is helpful for melee attacks.

He's got three noteworthy attacks.  The most dangerous is a Fire Rune spell
called Explosion, which will hit everyone in your party for about 150-200 pts.
of damage.  It's very difficult to stop him from getting this spell off by
damaging him.  His other attacks are punches, one that swings around to hit
everyone in the immediate area and a super punch that targets one person. In
the first round, cast Geddoe's Soaring Bolt and Aila's Battle Oath spells.  Use
Ace's Double Tusk attack.  After that, use Geddoe's Berserk Blow, Ace's Double
Tusk, and everyone else's physical attacks.  Heal with Aila's Great Blessing
spell (if everyone's hurt) and Joker's Kindness Drops (if he has a Water rune).
It'll take a while (usually 6 rounds for me) but you'll wear him down.  If you
keep getting wiped out, consider using the Soaring Bolt items found as Rarity
at the Caleria Item shop and/or equipping everyone with a Sacrificial Jizo.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
9j.  Geddoe v. Duke and the Masked Bishop, Geddoe chapter 2 (Mt. Senai)

This fight's optional.  To avoid it, pick the third dialogue choice when you're
confronted by Duke, "That Bishop is up to something".  To get the fight, pick
the first dialogue choice, "Sorry but we have to keep going".  Picking the
second choice, BTW, just leads to the first and third choices.

If you opt to fight, I recommend that your team be at least level 36 with Aila
having a B+ in Shield Magic and Geddoe an A in Lightning Magic.  Primary armor
of at least +57 or better is also advisable (not too tough to get if you've
fought the treasure bosses in this chapter).  Equip each member of your team
with Sacrificial Jizos.  Wind, Water, and Flame Amulets are helpful but not
essential.  

My strategy for Duke's team:

Cast Berserk Blow with Geddoe on Duke, have Aila/Jacques attack Elaine, and use
Ace's Double Tusk on Elaine.  DO NOT use Geddoe's Soaring Bolt spell-you'll
need it for the next fight.  After that, target Duke and Gau using Geddoe's
Berserk Blow and everyone else's regular attacks.  Once their gone, mop up
Nicolas-he's tough to hit with melee attacks so use Geddoe's level 1 spell and
Ace's Double Tusk.  When you're close to winning, make sure you heal everyone
with Aila's Great Blessing spell since you'll get into another fight right
after.

My strategy for the Masked Bishop and Sarah:

Sarah will either go for Breath of Ice or a Fire spell.  The Ice spell is very
quick and will usually happen before you act.  On occasion, you might get
lucky and Sarah will go for Kindness Rain for her first move or both of them
will opt for melee attacks.  This is pretty rare though. The Masked Bishop will
go for either a Pale Gate or Wind spell usually but it'll come after everyone
in your group has acted.  I use Soaring Bolt with Geddoe, target Sarah with
Aila and Jacques, and have Ace do Double Tusk on her.  Most of your guys will
probably be reduced to 0 HP after the first round but that's what the
Sacrificial Jizos are for.  Sarah should've gone down in the first round.  Just
repeat what you did before and you should take out the Masked Bishop fine in
the next round.  You get a nice bump in experience and skill points for winning
these battles (2-3 experience levels if you're level 35-38).

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
9k.  Azzodess, Flame Champion Hideaway Treasure Boss, chapter 3 (All)

It's advisable that you're at least level 36 when you take this boss on.  If
you have someone you rely on for healing magic, equip them with an item or
armor that negates the Silence status, such as a Yellow Scarf or the Taikyoku
Tunic.  The Tunic is a random item for the Mt. Hei-Tou treasure boss in chapter
3 and the Yellow Scarf is a Rarity at the VdZ Item Shop.  Lightning Amulets
are very handy for this fight but not essential.  Make sure 1 person in each of
your 3 pairs has a full stock of Medicine items (like a Medicine B x6).  Having
a high grade for the Accuracy skill for your characters is also very helpful
because the Azzodess has a good Repel rate.

You'll be relying on your melee attackers to win this fight, so the characters
you pick up automatically for Chris, Hugo, and Geddoe will work just fine for
winning this battle.  This boss is invulnerable to lightning magic.  She has 3
primary attacks.  The first one shoots beams from her at one person, doing some
nasty magic damage.  The second one she'll summon another winged creature to
damage everyone in your party.  In addition, this attack has a chance to hit
everyone with silence status.  The third is a heavy duty Lightning magic spell
that hits everyone (Thunder Storm).  This fight is very straightforward-send
your melee attackers up, heal when you're hurt with magic/items, and keep
hacking away until the Azzodess is dead.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
9l.  Chris v. Harmonia, Strategy Battle Chris chapter 3 (Chisha Village)

This takes place after you've brought Caesar from Duck Village.  Levels in the
upper 30's for Rico, Fred, Chris, Yumi, and Nash are advisable.  Rhett and
Wilder should already be in the low 40's.  In terms of skills, maxing out Nash
and Chris' Heavy Damage, Fred's Armor Protect, and Yumi's Swing are good
choices.  Note that you can equip everyone with a Sacrificial Jizo if you like
by talking to Sana at the inn and switching out party members to equip them.
Primary armor that's +57 or better and weapons at level 12 are also highly
recommended.

The winning condition for this battle is simply to stay alive until Apple
arrives with some help, usually 5-6 turns.  To get a Major Victory, you have
to take out at least 1 Harmonian unit and not lose an entire unit yourself.
You get Earth Chainmail as loot for getting a Major Victory.

This is the formation I use:

Chris (alone)       Rhett         Wilder
-----               Rico          -----
-----               -----         Yumi
-----               Fred          Nash
Yun                 Sana          Caesar

At the start of the battle, have your three units attack the enemy unit across
from them, including Chris. The Harmonians have an annoying habit of retreating
in this battle so it takes a few turns to finish them up.  The only unit of
concern is Dios' because he has four troops instead of three.  At the start of
your turn, some HP will be healed for each of your units.  If you've taken the
time to get good gear and skills for your team, these first four units should
not be a problem.  Do your best to move your units into position to cover each
others' attacks and use Chris' unit to heal anyone banged up.  If your party
is damaged pretty good, don't hesitate to try for a retreat.

The goal of this battle is just to stay alive, not eliminate the enemy units
but I take this approach because the characters match up very well.  If you're
having trouble with your units going down or losing characters, take a less
aggressive approach and only fight if you're attacked.  Don't hesitate to pull
back toward the village or retreat if you keep getting banged up because you'll
still satisfy the victory requirement for this battle.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
9m.  Chris v. the Masked Bishop, Chris chapter 3 (Alma Kinan)

The outcome of this fight does not affect the overall story-you can lose and
still proceed with the game.  I suggest a minimum level of 35 but recommend
that you're at least level 38 for this fight.  Notable skills to bump up as
high as you can are Rico's Water Magic, Yumi's Earth/Water Magic, and Accuracy
and Heavy Damage for Chris and Nash.  Primary Armor of +57 or better and
weapons sharpened to level 12 is plenty.  Sacrificial Jizos are good but not
essential for anyone except Fred because of his horrible Magic Defense stat.
You can opt to keep Yumi's Earth Rune and train that up (for the Earthquake
spell) or Forget the Earth Magic and give her Water Magic instead (for healing
and the Silent Lake spell).  Having items for healing are essential if you
intend to go the route of using Silent Lake.

The formation I use:

Chris
Nash
Yumi
Yuiri
Fred
Rico
(No Support)

Your priorities in order are Sarah, Masked Bishop, and Yuber.  In the first
round, send the Chris/Nash and Yuiri/Yumi pairs after Sarah-do NOT use the Alma
Kinan combo.  If you've trained up Yumi's Earth Magic, have her cast Earthquake
instead.  Have Rico cast Kindness Rain and center it on Yuiri.  The reason for
this is that this spell comes after Sarah's water attacks but before the Masked
Bishop's Pale Gate/Wind attacks.  If Sarah hits you with Breath of Ice, it can
really wallop your team but Rico should get her Kindness Rain spell off to heal
the damage.  You should take out Sarah in the first round with your attacks.
In the next round, heal your team with Rico's Kindness Drops or, if Yumi has
Water magic, Kindness Rain and cast it on whoever's at the very center of your
party.  It's hard to go after the Masked Bishop because Yuber will be blocking
you.  Try your best though-Fred and Yuiri will automatically attack him since
the Bishop should be the closest to them.  If you target him with Chris/Nash,
Nash should be able to hit him as well.  If Yuber has gotten in the way, then
take him out but this is dangerous because the Bishop's attacks are very
powerful.  Once it's down to the last person, just heal and mop up.

An alternative strategy is if you gave Yumi the Water Rune and trained up her
Water Magic skill.  If she's at level 38 or higher, she should have the Silent
Lake spell, which negates all spellcasting for 5 turns.  If you want to try
this strategy, do everything else the same (Rico cast Kindness Rain, Nash/Chris
go after Sarah) but cast Silent Lake with Yumi.  Rico should still get her
spell off but there's a good chance you'll stop the Masked Bishop's spell.
After that first round, heal everyone with your items and start hacking away in
the same order as above.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
9n.  Thomas v. the Wild Boar, Thomas chapter 1 (Mt. Hei-Tou)

There's not much to this fight, really, but I've gotten a few e-mails about it
so I'll go ahead and cover it.  If you want to be able to use Thomas, Cecile,
and Juan for this fight, take the time to get some money and sharpen their
weapons up to level 5 via the Blacksmith in the east courtyard of Brass Castle.
You really don't need to because the easiest way to win this fight is using
Piccolo's Lightning Magic.  Make sure Thomas and Cecile are at least level 6
for this fight and Juan and Thomas has a healing item each.  The formation:

Cecile
Thomas
-----
-----
Juan
Piccolo
(No Support)

In the first round, if you've leveled up Thomas and Cecile's weapons, use the
Best Effort Combo.  If not, just have them Defend.  Have Piccolo cast Berserk
Blow-this will take him 2 rounds to complete so continue to cast this in the
next round.  If you've leveled him up high enough where he has Soaring Bolt,
use that instead.  Use a healing item on Cecile if she got charged by the Boar
in the first round.  In the next round, Piccolo will get his spell off.  Use
Best Effort if you didn't in the previous round and this should kill off the
Boar.  If not, just repeat from step 1.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
9o.  Thomas v. the Zexen Army round 1, Thomas chapter 2 (Lake Castle)

This strategy battle occurs after you agree with Caesar to help Hugo escape.
The goal is to hold out long enough until you can move Hugo and Lilly's units
to the exit circle.  The key to winning this battle is to not be aggressive-
the vast majority of the time only 1 Zexen unit will actually attack you.  As
long as you don't try to wipe out everyone and take a defensive approach, you
will win this battle easily.

In the first turn, just defend with both Thomas and Cecile's units-don't move
them.  In the second turn, hit the Zexen unit that's moved up next to Thomas
with his Wind Magic skill.  Defend again with Cecile.  During your next turn
and every turn thereafter, move Hugo/Lilly's units to the exit circle.  Once
you move both Hugo and Lilly's units to the exit circle the battle will be
over.  With a Major Victory you'll get a Counter Ring for a prize.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
9p.  Thomas v. the Zexen Army round 2, Thomas chapter 2 (Lake Castle)

Take the same non-aggressive approach as advised in section 9o and you'll be
fine.  The best outcome for this battle is a Safe Retreat-you cannot get a
victory because Leo and Percival's HP will not drop below 1/2 in this battle.

In the first round, just defend with Thomas and swap Juan and Cecile's spots.
You'll get attacked in the next few rounds so just use Thomas' unit primarily
to take the attacks and retreat when you have to.  If you didn't get any
recruits in Thomas' chapters and only have Thomas, Juan, and Cecile, use
Cecile's unit instead to take the attacks.  If Leo or Percival's units attack
you retreat like crazy.  After 5-6 turns, the battle will be over.  If you got
a Safe Retreat, you'll get a Killer Rune as loot.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
9q.  The True Fire Rune Dragon, chapter 4 (Flame Champion Hideaway)

This fight isn't hard if you've leveled up Geddoe's Lightning Magic skill.  If
your characters' levels are in the low 40's, that's more than good enough to
win.  It's recommended that Chris have a Water Rune with her skill in it maxed
out but it's not essential.  If she doesn't have this, just equip her and
Geddoe with healing items.  Regardless of who is FC, I suggest this formation:

Chris
Hugo
-----
-----
-----
Geddoe
(No Support)

Send Hugo/Chris up with their melee attacks.  Cast the 4th level True Lightning
spell with Geddoe (Hammer of Raijin).  In the next round, heal Chris' unit with
Kindness Drops or her healing item.  Don't worry about healing Geddoe for now.
Cast Furious Blow from Geddoe's True Lightning Rune.  This should take out the
True Fire Dragon.  If you got unlucky and it didn't go down, heal everyone with
Chris' Kindness Rain or their items and send Geddoe up for a melee attack-this
should definitely take it down or you're too low of a level/don't have the
sufficient skills.  There's a very slim chance the Fire Dragon will reflect
Geddoe's magic attacks.  If this happens, just keep using Furious Blow with
Geddoe and Chris/Hugo's melee attacks until he goes down.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
9r.  The FC v. the Masked Bishop, chapter 4 (Flame Champion Hideaway)

This fight takes place right after you receive the True Fire Rune.  You do not
have to win this fight to make the story proceed.  The best way to ensure your
success is to have trained up Geddoe's Lightning and Fire Magic skills,
depending on whether or not he's the new FC.  Equip him with a Wizard Hat (a
common item at the Vinay del Zexay Armor Shop) and any Lightning/Fire Magic
Rings you've picked up to boost his grade in those skills.

If Geddoe is your Flame Champion, skip ahead to the next paragraph.  In the
first round, send up Chris/Hugo for melee attacks on Sarah.  If Chris has a
Water Rune, cast Kindness Drops on Geddoe if he's hurt.  Have Geddoe cast
Thunder Storm (3rd level spell).  This will wipe out all the Chimeras and
pretty much everyone else to boot.  Usually only Sarah and Yuber are left
standing.  In the second round, heal Chris/Hugo's pair (Hugo usually buys it
in my game) and cast Soaring Bolt with Geddoe's True Lightning to finish off
Sarah.  Heal everyone still alive in the next round.  Cast Geddoe's Soaring
Bolt one more time to finish up Yuber.

If Geddoe is Flame Champion, have him cast Explosion and center it on Yuber.
Heal him with Chris' Kindness Drops if she has a Water Rune and he's hurt from
the last battle.  If not, send her/Hugo to attack Sarah.  All the Chimera
should be gone in the next round.  After that, go for Final Flame on Sarah if
she's still up or the Masked Bishop if she went down.  Continue to heal with
Chris when necessary.  When you run out of Final Flame, use the Fire Magic
spell Blazing Wall and center it on whoever's farthest from Geddoe.  Once Sarah
and the Masked Bishop go down, it's smooth sailing against Yuber.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
9s.  Chris v. Harmonia round 2, chapter 4 (Outside Duck Village)

This strategy battle occurs if Chris is FC after your forces have retreated to
Duck Village.  The levels for the Six Zexen Knights should be in the mid-40's
for this battle.  Maxed out Armor Protect skills for Chris, Borus, and Leo are
highly recommended.  If you recruited Rody with Chris, remove his Firefly Rune
and attach it to Leo.  Equipping Chris and Leo with Sacrificial Jizos is also
a really good idea.  The formation I use:

Percival         Leo
-----            Borus
-----            Roland
Salome           Chris

At the start of the strategy battle, you just have to hold on for about 4-6
turns.  To get it over with as quickly as possible, move Units 1, 2, and 4 into
the far northwestern circle and units 3 and 5 into the far southwestern circle.
Only attack with the Duck Units if possible and heal with Dupa when you can.
Sarah will eventually conjure more units and one turn thereafter Chris will
show up to tell the Grasslanders to fall back.

You'll now just have to stay alive for 3 turns.  When it's your turn, move
Chris' Unit into the far SW circle.  Leave Salome/Percival where they are and
have them defend.  When it's the enemy's turn, just retreat Salome/Percival if
they get attacked.  If Chris gets attacked, go ahead and fight-her unit matches
up very well, especially if you put the Firefly Rune on Leo.  If they get
lucky, Chris will get HP back for her unit at the start of her turn to give you
a little leeway.  At the next turn, use Chris' Fire Rune to hit the circle with
the most enemy units on it that are adjacent to her.  Have Salome/Percival only
defend again and use Chris' unit to take the attacks.  Keep doing this until
Sarah's unit retreats and you withdraw yourself for a Safe Retreat.  No loot
for this battle.

In case you got Chris up to level 99 and were wiping out everyone, you still
can't win this battle outright because Sarah's HP won't drop below 1/2 so Safe
Retreat is the best possible outcome.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
9t.  The FC v. the MIB and the Harmonians, chapter 4 (outside Brass Castle)

This strategy battle takes place after your FC makes their speech.  If you've
taken the time to level up your story characters, e.g. Geddoe's mercenary team
and the Six Zexen Knights, this battle shouldn't be too tough.  The given
victory goal is to stay alive until help arrives (usually 5-6 turns).  If most
of your story characters are in the low to mid 40's level with decent skills
and equipment (+57 or better primary armor), you can win by wiping out the
enemy before your reinforcements show up.  In fact, this is the way to get a
Major Victory.  The loot for a Major Victory is a Silver Shield.

This is the setup I used regardless of FC:


Leo           Borus         -----         Ace           Shiba
Queen         Fred          Dupa          Fubar         Sgt. Joe
Roland        Jacques       -----         Percival      Bazba
Chris         Geddoe        -----         Hugo          Lucia
(Caesar)      (Apple)       (Beecham)     (Salome)      (Joker)


About these units.  Your FC will have a Fire Skill attack and either Geddoe or
Hugo will have a Lightning Skill attack.  You'll need 3 good units that can
take down enemy units so I choose to shift the best groups into Chris, Hugo,
and Geddoe's command.  After you've picked your formation, pick the 3rd choice
to ask Caesar to wait.  Go to the inn and save then come back to tell him 
you're ready.

At the start of the strategy battle, your FC will have a conversation with the
Harmonian commander.  Some Harmonian units will leave and only 7 are left
against your 5.  During your first turn, move the unit with Lightning and Fire
Skills together into the circle one move to the right from the starting point.
Put the other units together in the circle below them.  If you ever need to
heal, you can now move back just one circle to the starting point-this also
prevents the enemy from being able to attack with Cover help.  I'm quite sure
you can't lose anyone permanently in this battle.

The two main enemy units to be concerned with are Yuber's and Sasarai's.  You
won't have to take on Sasarai in the field (his unit is just made up of 4
Regular Harmonian troops) but he has two Lightning Skill attacks that knock out
1/3 of your unit's health every time he casts it.  The units commanded by Dios,
Albert, and Sasarai don't have a commander-to beat them you'll have to take out
all 4 Harmonians.

Until the Harmonian units get close, I just Defend with everyone.  I use my
Lightning and Fire Skill both on Yuber's unit-he's the most dangerous when you
actually get to the field battle.  Sasarai almost always will cast his
Lightning attacks on two different units but if he hits one unit with both of
them, pull them back immediately.  You can beat the enemy's 7 units with just
Chris, Hugo, and Geddoe's units with mop-up help from Lucia's unit to attack
enemy units that have been already hurt.  You can still score a Major Victory
even if one of your units is wiped out (I played it and lost Lucia's team).

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
9u.  The True Water Rune Dragon, chapter 4 (Cyndar Ruins)

There's an easy way and a not-so-easy way to beat this boss.  First, make sure
everyone's at least level 52 for this battle.  Getting to this level shouldn't
take long fighting the Copper Suns in the Flame Champion Hideaway.  Take a
healer with you and affix a Water and Shield Rune to them (Rody, Salome, and
either Vikis are great choices for this).  Bring three strong melee attackers
with you and train up their Armor Protect and Magic Resistance as high as
possible.  For the melee attackers, their weapons should be at level 15 by now.
To get level 15 weapons requires the Silver Hammer.  At Duck Village's Tutor
Shop, talk to the Alma Kinan woman sitting at the table.  She'll give you this
hammer and you can then give it to Peggi.  Keep in mind that you can exit the
Cyndar Ruins at any time by using an Escape Scroll.

The easy way to win this fight is if you got a Pale Gate Rune.  A little girl
in the Iksay Item Shop gives you one and you can randomly find one on the first
corpse at the Flame Champion Hideaway (rare item).  You can affix this Rune to
either Viki, Estella, Piccolo, or Joker, who all have decent skill with Pale
Gate Magic.  The first level Pale Gate spell is Open Gate, which will instantly
knock out most to all of the Water Dragon's Icicles.  From there, you can just
mop up with the rest of your team.  The rest of the strategies below cover the
not-so-easy way with each character as FC.

The not-so-easy way is if you don't have a Pale Gate Rune.  It's tougher but
still very doable.  Along with a healer and three strong melee attackers, take
two other people who have very strong offensive magic skills.  This pool
includes Mel (S in Lightning), Estella (comes with a Rage rune), Alanis (Fire),
Joker (Fire), Rody (Lightning), and either Vikis (Lightning and Fire).  Giving
one of the characters who's tops with Lightning a Thunder Rune is highly
recommended.  A little girl in the Duck Village Rune Shop gives you one and
it's a drop item for the Sirens in the Cyndar Ruins.  You will also want to
equip anyone you'll use for Lightning/Fire Magic attacks with a Wizard Hat and
any Lightning/Fire Magic Rings you've gotten.  Jeane is the best choice for
support because her Rune Sage ability will quicken the speed of your spell
casting.

I recommend this party if your FC is Chris:

Chris
Mel (Thunder Rune)
Fubar
Salome (Water and Shield Runes)
Landis
Rody (Lightning Rune)
Jeane (Support)

In the first turn, cast Thunder Storm with Mel, Battle Oath with Salome, and
Furious Blow with Rody.  Landis and Fubar should attack and Chris will likely
stay in the back with Mel but that's not a big deal.  With any luck, you were
able to take out 1 or 2 icicles in the first round.  In the second round, heal
with Salome's Great Blessing spell if everyone still has around 100 HP left or
use Kindness Rain if everyone's near death.  Cast Furious Blow with Mel and
Soaring Bolt with Rody and attack with your melee fighters.  Repeat this with
the healing spells until the icicles all go down.  From here on out, it's just
a matter of mopping up.  If your characters keep getting KO'ed, equip a
Sacrificial Jizo on each.

If your FC is Geddoe, I suggest this formation:

Fubar
Geddoe (True Fire and Thunder Runes)
Mua
Salome (Water and Shield Runes)
Landis
Mel (Lightning Rune)
Jeane (Support)

Almost the exact same strategy as Chris as FC--cast Thunder Storm with Geddoe,
Battle Oath with Salome, and Furious Blow with Mel.  Heal in the next round,
repeat with your offensive magic, then mop up.

If Hugo is your FC, I suggest a much different approach.  This is the formation
and characters I recommend:

Hugo
Fubar
Emily
Nei (Jongleur Rune)
Juan
Salome (Water and Shield Runes)
Jeane (Support)

You'll want to max out Juan's Heavy Damage and Continual Attack, Emily's Swing,
and Nei's Chant Magic and Magic Resistance skills.  Unless you've been ignoring
Hugo, he and Fubar probably have thousands of leftover skill points by now.
For Juan, buy him a Yellow Scarf.  This is a Rarity at the VdZ Item Shop.  In
the first round, send Hugo/Fubar up to attack, have Nei cast Song of Madness,
and have Salome cast Battle Oath.  You'll probably take down 1-3 icicles in the
first round.  In the second round, continue to cast Song of Madness with Nei
and heal with Salome.  If you've leveled up Juan, Emily, and Hugo properly in
terms of their skills, they should do 1,000-4,000 HP of damage per hit (not
turn, but a single hit) in the second round.  If the Water Dragon survived this
turn, just repeat with continuing Song of Madness and healing with Salome and
it'll be over quick.

You get a Flowing Rune as loot after winning this battle.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
9v.  Geddoe v. the (Un)Masked Bishop and Sarah, chapter 5 (Mt. Senai)

Get everyone to at least level 52 for this fight--it shouldn't take long just
fighting the random encounters at Mt. Senai.  Your primary armor should be
+70 or better and your weapons at level 15.  The important skills for this
battle are Geddoe's Fire/Lightning Magic (depending on if he's FC or not) and
Aila's Shield Magic for healing.  If Geddoe is FC, Jeane is a great choice for
support.  If not, anyone with strong healing skills like Tuta, Mio, or Goro
are good choices.  The formation I suggest:

Queen
Geddoe
Jacques
Aila
Ace
Joker
(Jeane/Tuta for Support)

If Geddoe is your FC, skip to the next paragraph.  This battle isn't hard with
the TLR.  Just cast Thunder Storm twice and it'll be over.  Use Aila/Jacques
against Sarah and have Ace do his Double Tusk on Luc.  Heal when you need to
and the battle will be over in short order.

The other monsters aren't really a problem-they're just there to get between
you and Luc/Sarah.  You'll want to take out at least Sarah in the first round.
You can either go for the 4th level spell which is quite slow unless Geddoe
has an A+ in Fire Magic or you can opt for the 3rd level spell, Final Flame,
and use it on Sarah.  Either way, you'll likely have to take at least one magic
attack.  In the first round, use Jacques/Aila against Sarah and have Ace do
Double Tusk on Luc.  Heal yourself in the next round then use Final Flame on
whoever's still standing with Luc/Sarah.  Mop up the rest for the victory.

After the victory you'll get a WindMagic Ring.  

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
9w.  Chris v. Sarah, chapter 5 (Kuput Forest)

Make sure everyone you pick for this battle is around level 50.  Primary armor
that's at least +70 is recommended.  Flame and Water Amulets are helpful but
not essential.  Take someone with you who can get at least a B+ in Water Magic
and attach a Flowing Rune to them (you should've gotten one as loot for beating
the Water Dragon).  For the rest of your party, take three strong melee
attackers.  Give one person in each pair a full stock of some healing item
(Medicine B x6 for example).  For support, either Jeane or Mike is recommended.
My party and formation:

Chris
Sharon
Borus
Big Viki (Flowing Rune)
Futch
Bright
Mike (Support)

In the first round, have the person with the Flowing Rune cast Silent Lake.
Send everyone else against the Azzodess and concentrate on taking them out one
at a time.  In the second round, heal with your items if you have to and keep
hacking away.  You get a Drain rune once you win.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
9x.  The FC Army v. the MIB and Harmonia, chapter 5 (outside Brass Castle)

This takes strategy battle takes place after Hugo loses his True Rune.  This
battle isn't difficult if you've taken the time to level up the story
characters.  If you've taken the time to level them up past level 50, this
battle's a piece of cake.  Put together five really strong units from the
pool of available characters.  For me, these units were:

Sharon      Leo           Fred          Emily         Nicolas
Borus       Percival      Gau           Fubar         Dupa
Viki        Shiba         Sgt. Joe      Hallec        Mua
Chris       Lucia         Futch         Hugo          Elaine
(Caesar)    (Tuta)        (Yuiri)       (Salome)      (Mio)

Note that Duke's unit already comes in at really strong levels-each member of
his team is great without doing anything to them right now in terms of their
gear or skills.  It doesn't matter what you do with the rest of the squad
line-up.  Just keep really weak characters in Reserve all together and don't
get into any field battles with any groups except your best five.  If you're
wondering about Geddoe, he'll show up later.

Before picking the first choice to move ahead, ask Caesar to wait with the
third dialogue choice then go to the Brass Castle inn to save.  Come back and
tell him you're ready and the strategy battle will commence.

This strategy battle's not hard-you can afford to be aggressive because you
have plenty of healing available plus some very strong units.  You will also
have 2 Fire Skill and 2 Lightning Skill attacks.  The goal of the battle is to
eliminate Yuber's unit.  As before, soften him up with 2 Fire and 2 Lightning
attacks.  You can't take out his unit until Sasarai shows up-until then Yuber's
HP won't drop below 1/2.  If someone gets attacked by Yuber's unit before
Sasarai appears, just have them retreat.  The rest of the opposition should
not pose a problem.  You should be able to put your teams in very good Cover
positions to make this fight easier.  After Sasarai appears and the color of
his unit turns from black to red, you can finally take out Yuber.  You get a
Flowing Rune as loot for a Major Victory.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
9y.  The Last Strategy Battle, chapter 5 (outside Ceremonial Site)

Check the mini-Strategy Battles primer in section 3h if you've consistenly had
problems with strategy battles up to this point or would like to get a better
idea on them in general.  Before discussing anything about the battle itself,
you'll first need 16 really strong characters from your available roster.  By
"really strong", I mean characters whose skills you've maxed out well, have
weapons at least level 12, and who have primary armor that's +60 or better and
+80 armor overall with accessories.  To get the money to buy gear/level up
weapons, equip the Prosperity and Destiny Sets on two characters and fight the
Copper Suns in the Flame Champ Hideaway.  Literally after 5 battles, you'll
have 999,999 potch.  To get these armor sets, check section 3s.  These 16
characters should also be at least level 52.

In terms of who you should level up, it's entirely up to you.  Personally, I
think the following characters are best suited but that's just me:

Geddoe        Edge            Borus         Futch          Duke
Chris         Augustine       Mua           Leo            Roland
Hugo          Emily           Fubar         Viki           Lilly
Sharon        Jacques         Bright        Hallec         Ace

Besides training up 16 characters, you should have 2 Lightning Skill attacks,
1 Fire Skill attack, 1 Water Skill, and 2 Healing Skill units.  Sasarai and
Jeane provide the Lightning attacks.  Estella provides the Fire attack.  Yuiri
has the Water Skill.  Mio and Tuta have the Healing Skills.  Your top 16
characters will form 4 attack units.  The other 6 units are essentially just
fodder, meaning they're placeholders who you won't be using to win the actual
field battles.

Out of the 16, equip Double Strike Runes on your archers.  I recommend you
don't put Great Hawk on Roland if you choose him.  If you got really great
armor for the Knights (+100 or better), it's safe to equip Chris, Borus, and
Percival with Double Strike Runes as well.  If you use big Viki, train up her
Blinking Magic to an S and don't equip any other Runes on her.  Good default
Runes for your other characters are Killer, Haziness, and Fury.  If you have
some Firefly Runes, put them on your Tanks like Mua, Fred, Twaikin, and Leo.
For Sasarai, give him a Pale Gate Rune if you got it and train up his skill in
that magic to its maximum of an A.  To ensure you don't lose anyone forever,
equip Sacrificial Jizos on your unit leaders.

One interesting caveat to add is that Lilly is apparently the Team Leader of
Death.  I've played this battle probably 25 times and any time someone dies
permanently, it's always been when they're in Lilly's unit.  The stars who've
died on me include Twaikin, Emily, Landis, Edge, Augustine, and Wan Fu.  As is
mentioned in section 3h, if a character is not a Story VIP, they're at risk of
dying permanently.

BEFORE you confirm to Caesar that you're ready to start the battle by picking
the first option from the dialogue box, save your game.  This is so if you lose
the battle and have to start over, you can still wander around to level up and
change the formation if you like.  You can have a maximum of 10 units.  To win
the last strategy battle that's next, you'll be using 4 strong attack teams,
your Lightning and Fire Skill characters, and the rest is fodder.  For me, this
is the formation and characters I picked:

Sharon        Emily         Borus          Ace
Viki          Mua           Jacques        Roland
Bright        Fubar         Hallec         Augustine
Chris         Hugo          Geddoe         Futch
(Caesar)      (Salome)      (Apple)        (Joker)

The Lightning Magic Skill units:

------        ------
------        Dupa
------        ------
Sasarai       ------
(Tuta)        (Jeane)

And the all-star fodder teams:

Nicolas       Fred          Leo            Twaikin
Gau           Samus         Ruby           Landis
Reed          Elaine        Franz          Percival
Duke          Thomas        Lilly          Lucia
(Estella)     (Mio)         (Beecham)      (Yuiri)

Now to the overall flow of the battle itself.  The goal of the battle is to
eliminate Yuber's unit.  You cannot do this until you've taken out Sarah's
unit.  You'll be going up against 12 enemy units total at the start.  Luc is
Unit 1 but he'll disappear at the start of the enemy's 3rd turn and is never a
factor.  Along with Sarah and Yuber, 5 enemy units will start on the left side
of the battlefield screen and 4 enemy units will be to the right.  Once you
remove 5 enemy units, Sarah will summon 4 more.  She will do this twice until
she gets exhausted then disappears.  You will be able to move 7 units per turn
and the enemy 6.

My strategy for this battle is to take out Sarah first with your Lightning
Skill attacks and not allowing her to summon more units.  The way to do this is
by not eliminating 5 units at the start.  Once Sarah is gone, I use the Fire
Skill to soften up Yuber then take him out as well.

As far as the enemy goes, units 6, 9, and 12 are of particular interest.  Unit
6 and 12 each have 1 Fire Magic skill attack.  Unit 9 is made up of a Siren
with three Chimeras.  The Siren is behind the Chimeras at the start so whoever
tries to take them out should be a very strong attack unit.  Sarah's unit is
set up just like this.  Yuber is accompanied by 3 Bone Soldiers but he's placed
conveniently at the front.  The enemy units to the right of the field are melee
attackers.  Those to the left rely on Magic except the Harmonian units (4 & 5).
If any of your units gets hit really bad, don't be shy about using your healing
skills.  I usually wait until the characters in a unit are down to 1/2 HP
before healing them.

Here's a diagram of the starting area:


              A       
                \   
                 \  
                  B-----C-----D
                         \
                          \
                         Start


Your first objective is to take circle A with 2 of your attack units.  You will
also want to take both Lightning Skill units and the fodder team with Yuiri in
support to circle A as well.  The reason circle A is important is because once
you take it, it will prompt Sarah to move down toward you if she doesn't do so
early.  You'll want to move your 3rd attack unit to circle B and keep the other
attack unit at the Start circle.  Your other 3 fodder teams should be moved to
circle C.  That's the overall strategy, so here's the detailed process, keeping
in mind the unit formation I mentioned above.

PT = Player Turn, ET = Enemy Turn

PT 1:  Move Chris, Hugo, Geddoe, Sasarai, Dupa, Lilly, and Thomas' units into
       circle C
ET 1:  Will usually move 1-3 units each into circles B and D

PT 2:  Take out the enemy units in circle B with Chris, Hugo, and/or Geddoe's
       units.  After taking out all the enemies in circle B, move as many
       fodder units into circle C as there are enemy units in circle D.  With
       your remaining moves, put Dupa and Sasarai's units into circle B along
       with a fodder team and the 2 attack teams you want to use against Sarah.
       NEVER move Dupa and Sasarai's units into a circle without at least some
       other unit with them
ET 2:  The enemy units in circle D will attack.  Select the fodder units to
       meet them and select Retreat when you get to the field battle.  The
       strategy for now is to keep as many fodder units in circle C as there
       are enemy units in circle D

PT 3:  Keep an attack unit in circle B.  Move any fodder units you need to into
       circle C to match the number of enemy units in circle D.  Futch's unit
       should still be at the Start circle.  Move 2 attack teams, for me this
       is Chris and Hugo, toward circle A, taking out any enemy units you need
       to.  Along with these 2 attack teams, move Dupa, Sasarai, and Lucia's
       units with them
ET 3:  Luc will disappear.  The enemy units in circle D will attack circle C
       again.  Again, just retreat with your fodder units.  If you've taken
       circle A, Sarah will likely be moving toward you by now

PT 4:  Sarah will head toward you either to the right of circle A or to the
       left.  Once you take circle A, move Dupa and Sasarai's units plus the 2
       attack teams toward her side.  There will be 2 Harmonian enemy units,
       numbers 4 and 5, up here as well.  Take out ONLY 1 of these units.  You
       can avoid at least one of them if you take the fodder unit with you (in
       my case Lucia) and retreat them if they're attacked.  Once you're two
       connected circles away from Sarah, hit her with your Lightning skill
       attacks.  If you can get her with 3 of these, it will take out her unit
       completely.  If you have big Viki like I do, you can send this unit
       against Sarah after hitting her with the 2 Lightning spells.  This is
       because Viki will almost always cast Set!, which automatically knocks
       out Sarah if she's been weakened by the Lightning spells.  On a rare
       occasion, Sarah will heal herself.  In that case, just blast her again
       in the next turn with Lightning skills.  If Sarah doesn't go down in
       this turn, remember to move your fodder teams into circle C
ET 4:  Once Sarah's unit is gone, only the monster units to the right of the
       field and Yuber will remain.  Retreat your fodder units one last time
       from circle C if they're attacked

PT 5:  Once Sarah is gone, you can now concentrate on Yuber and company.  If
       she's still there in this turn, just repeat the steps in PT 4 until you
       take her out.  If you've taken her out, withdraw any unit you have in
       circle C into circles B and D.  You should have 1 attack unit in circle
       B plus another at the Start circle.  Move the units that took out Sarah
       toward Yuber
ET 5:  If Sarah's gone, allow the enemy to move into circle C.  You'll notice
       those goobs have wandered into a circle that is now flanked by your 2
       attack units--automatically putting them into Cover position so you can
       smash the enemy in the next turn

PT 6:  Take out the enemy units in circle C with your attack teams.  Once
       they're down, head toward Yuber's team with your healthy attack teams,
       the Fire Skill team, Dupa or Sasarai if they still have a Lightning
       Skill, and a Healing skill team.  When you reach Yuber, soften him up
       with your magic attacks first, then send in the attack team that has
       the best Accuracy and Heavy Damage skills among the characters to finish
       him off

The overall strategy can vary depending on where Yuber moves.  Most of the
time, he'll either stay at the top of the screen or move to the right.  If he
moves with Sarah, this isn't a big deal as long as you brought your fodder
team with you.  Just use them to meet Yuber then Retreat.  Your Lightning and
attack units should be close to Sarah if Yuber gets close to you so you can
take her out before having to confront him directly.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
9z.  Final Battle with Yuber, chapter 5 (Ceremonial Site)

Some general tips to keep in mind.  Level 54 for your party is plenty.  Primary
armor that's at least +70 and weapons sharpened to level 15 are highly
recommended.  The strategy for beating Yuber doesn't really vary whether you're
Geddoe or Hugo.  Take someone with you who's highly skilled with Lightning
Magic (Geddoe, Mel, or Rody are good choices) and give them a Thunder Rune.  A
little girl in the Duck Village Rune Shop gives you one of these and it's also
a drop item from the Sirens in the Cyndar Ruins.  Also bring a healer, someone
who's highly skilled with both Shield and/or Water Magic preferably (Aila,
Rody, Salome, either Viki, or Nei are good choices).  Bringing a Tank character
such as Mua, Fred, Leo, or Twaikin and giving them a Firefly Rune is very
helpful but not essential.  Rody comes with a Firefly Rune that's removable.
Jeane, Mike, or Ernie are strong choices for support.  Jeane and Mike will
quicken the rate of your spell casting and Ernie will increase the strength
of your spells.

Yuber will be accompanied by 3 Skeletons and a HellSteed.  I focus on taking
these guys out first before going after Yuber.  Cast Thunder Storm with whoever
has the Thunder Rune in the first round and have your melee attackers focus on
Yuber's party one at a time.  Yuber is dangerous because of his multiple
attacks and high repel rate but he has a tendency to focus on only one person--
if you can keep this person alive with your healing items/spells, you can win
this battle fairly easily with everyone alive.  If you brought a Tank character
with a Firefly Rune, it'll make this fight even easier.  Yuber will focus on
the Tank and hardly do any damage, even if he's berserk and goes for his
Eight-Devil Rune.  You get a Reflection Ring and the True Lightning Rune back
for beating him.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
9A.  Final Battle with Sarah, chapter 5 (Ceremonial Site)

Some general tips to keep in mind.  Level 54 for your party is plenty.  Primary
armor that's at least +70 and weapons sharpened to level 15 are highly
recommended.  The strategy for beating Sarah doesn't really vary whether you're
Chris or Hugo.  Bring someone along who's highly skilled in Water Magic (such
as Salome, Rody, either Viki, Yumi, or Joker) and attach a Flowing Rune to
them.  You received a Flowing Rune for beating the Water Dragon.  The rest of
your team should be comprised of your better melee attackers like Juan, Emily,
Futch/Bright, Franz/Ruby, Sharon, Augustine, etc.  Have 1 person in each pair
have a full stock of healing item, such as a Medicine B x6.  Jeane or Mike are
strong choices for support.  Jeane and Mike both quicken the rate of your spell
casting to reduce the chances of Sarah getting her spells off before you do.

Sarah will be accompanied by 2 HorroBeasts and 2 Azzodess.  Casting Silent Lake
is the key.  Cast Silent Lake in the first round to negate Sarah's spell
casting.  Go for your melee attacks with the rest of your party and concentrate
on taking down your enemies one at a time.  Heal with your items after that and
you should be able to win before Silent Lake wears off (its effects last for
five turns).  You get a Flowing Rune and the True Water Rune back for winning.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
9B.  Final Boss Battle--The True Wind Rincar, chapter 5 (Ceremonial Site)

Some general tips to keep in mind.  Level 54 for your party is plenty.  Primary
armor that's at least +70 and weapons sharpened to level 15 are highly
recommended.  I'll cover general strategies first, followed by specific
strategies for each main character's "default" party.  These default parties
are:

1.  Chris, Salome, Percival, Borus, Leo, Roland, and Louis (Support)
2.  Geddoe, Queen, Aila, Jacques, Ace, and Joker (Support doesn't matter)
3.  Hugo, Sgt. Joe, and Fubar (doesn't matter who else is in party)

Taking these default parties will give you a special scene with each FC after
this final battle.

The last battle itself is against a super-charged True Wind Rune bird with
magical orbs that've been powered up by the True Earth, Water, Fire, and
Lightning Runes.  You don't need to take out the orbs to beat it, just the
main body itself but taking out the orbs removes its ability to cast multiple
magic attacks.  The best way to ensure you survive is to build up the Magic
Resistance skill on the characters you take to meet it.  If they can't
naturally go up to a B, don't bother.  You can enhance this skill with Gold
Emblems and Resistance Rings.  Your first priority is to take out the Water
orb.  While the Lightning orb is still around, you can only hit the Water orb
with archer and magic attacks.  Once the Lightning orb is gone, you can have at
it with any attack you please.  If you see the Earth orb cast a spell where
these stone columns fly around and a bright yellow disc with symbols appears on
the ground, don't cast any OFFENSIVE magic-it will be reflected right back at
you.  It goes without saying, but make sure you have the best gear and best
weapons available.  Jeane and Ernie are great choices for Geddoe and Hugo
because they aid in magic casting speed and power, respectively.  Specific
strategies for each FC's "default" party:

Chris-This is the toughest out of the 3 main characters but still very doable.
I've changed a few things about this fight since last time because several
people e-mailed me with specific problems about it.  I recommend training up
Magic Resistance for everyone except Salome.  Equip Salome with any Reflection
Rings you have.  Equip Chris with any Resistance Rings you have (big Viki comes
with it) and Gold Emblems for everyone else that can wear them except Salome.
Put a Water, Shield, and Killer Rune on Salome.  Put a Flowing Rune on Percival
and train up his Holy Dash and Water Magic to their max.  Fury Runes for Borus
and Leo are good choices, as well as Killer.  For Roland, Fury + Great Hawk or
Killer are good.  You'll also want to give Roland Jefferson's appointment that
boosts the Swing skill by 1 grade.  At around level 52, Roland gets 2 attacks
per turn if his Swing is a B+.  The formation I recommend:

Percival
Roland
Borus
Salome
Chris
Leo
(Louis)

Sacrificial Jizos and healing items are a very good idea.  The key to winning
this is pure attrition-just outlast the enemy.  In the first turn, send
Percival and Borus' units up against the Lightning orb and send Chris' unit up
against the Fire orb.  Percival's Holy Dash skill will allow him to drag
Roland up with him.  You want to send everyone up so they'll all be in range
for the Kindness Rain spell.  Heal after each round with Great Blessing,
Kindness Rain, or Kindness Drops from Salome.  Use Percival's Flowing Rune only
if it's really necessary or to use Mother Ocean if someone got knocked out.
Once the Lightning orb gets knocked out, send everyone after the Water orb.
It'll take a few tries because the Water orb will continue to revive the
Lightning orb but eventually you'll take it out.  I had to take out the
Lightning orb 4 times before I could finally get at the Water orb.  If you run
low on healing spells, you'll have the Jizos and healing items to fall back on.
Once the Water orb is gone, it's smooth sailing-just take out the Fire orb then
focus on the True Wind Rune.

Geddoe-Make sure everyone has a Fire Sealing Rune if you intend to use the 4th
level True Fire spell.  Fire Sealing Runes are drop items from the Troll
Dragons at Yaza Plain and negate all fire damage.  I prefer not to use them so
I can fit everyone else with a more useful rune like Killer or Fury.  The
formation I use:

Queen
Geddoe
Jacques
Aila
Ace
Joker
(Jeane)

Have Geddoe cast Final Flame on the Water orb and have Jacques' pair attack it
in the first round.  Send Ace and Joker up to attack the Fire orb.  In the
second round, heal with Great Blessing and, if the Earth orb didn't cast its
protect spell, have Geddoe cast Final Flame again on the Water orb.  If it did
cast protect, send Queen and Geddoe up against the Lightning orb.  Once that
orb is down, focus on the Water orb.  If Joker has Water Magic, use Kindness
Rain to heal everyone so you can direct the archers to hit the Water Orb.  Once
the Water orb is down, it's just a matter of mopping up.

Hugo-His is the easiest since you can pick 3 characters out of your entire
roster, including Geddoe with his True Lightning Rune.  Not much to advise,
really, since there's so much versatility in strategy.  The general strategy
serves as a good outline in terms of how you should approach this fight.  Some
notable characters you can use are Sasarai and Yumi because of their high skill
level in Earth magic.  The Earth magic spell Canopy Defense is very useful for
this battle because it will negate all magic damage once.  Casting this spell
once every turn is a surefire way to keep everyone alive.


*******************************************************************************
*******************************************************************************


                 ----------------------------------------
                    Part III:  Secrets (HUGE SPOILERS)
                 ----------------------------------------


10.  108 Stars of Destiny Bonus

11.  Miscellaneous Q&A's
     11a.  How did Luc take Sasarai's True Earth Rune?
     11b.  How is it possible that Jimba is Chris' father?
     11c.  What can you tell me about the former Flame Champion?
     11d.  Who is Hikusaak?
     11e.  What are the other True Runes?
     11f.  Why did Luc want to start a war in the first place?
     11g.  Are Luc and Sarah dead?
     11h.  Were Chris and Lulu influenced by Sarah's spell?
     11i.  Who is Luc talking about when he says Hugo reminds him of someone?
     11j.  Who's the official new Flame Champion?
     11k.  How did Eike get down to that basement?
     11l.  What's the connection between the two Vikis?
     11m.  Who is Hugo's father?
     11n.  Can Viki teleport me to places I normally can't go?
     11o.  Who is Nash's "missus"?
     11p.  What's the story behind Mike?
     11q.  What are the unwinnable battles in the game?
     11r.  Anything in this game that's incomplete/unfinished?
     11s.  Looking ahead to Suikoden IV and Suikogaiden III

12.  So why did you choose this play and recruiting order?


*******************************************************************************
*******************************************************************************
10.  108 Stars of Destiny Bonus

Just like in the previous Suikoden games, you get a bonus if you were able to
recruit all possible 108 Stars of Destiny.  To get the bonus, you have to
fulfill the following requirements:

-Only Yun and Jimba die
-Recruit all possible 104 Stars before the final boss battle

Before the final boss battle in chapter 5, you can make sure you've met these
requirements by checking the Tablet of Stars.  If the count says 108/108 and
only Yun and Jimba's names are in red, then you'll get the bonus.  Luc, Sarah,
Yuber, and Albert are the final 4 stars and are added automatically if you had
the other 104 stars already.

After the 108 Stars of Destiny roll call and the final still picture of your
Flame Champion is shown, the screen will go dark for a little while then you'll
be taken back to the Trinity Site.  The sixth flame will be lit which is Luc's.
You will then be able to play through the major events of the game but from his
perspective.  This POV is very story heavy and short-it shouldn't take you much
more than an hour to complete it.  Because it's very straightforward about what
you need to do, I'll only add a few notes:

-Make use of Luc's Pale Gate spell, Open Gate, to get through the dungeon
areas.  With his high grade in that magic this spell causes instant death
almost all the time on your enemies.

-Sarah has an S in Pale Gate magic but has a Flowing Rune permanently attached
to her forehead.  Go figure.

-When you're given the option on how to deal with the villager in Karaya, I
haven't noticed any differences in the rest of the scenario depending on what
choice you make.

-During the Caleria section when you're waiting for Albert, just kill time by
talking to everyone, sharpening Yuber's weapon, and upgrading your skills.  He
seems to show up quicker at the room on the 2nd floor of the inn if you
actually walk around doing stuff rather than just idling.

-Make sure you save after the Brass Castle event involving Hugo losing his True
Rune.  You can consult the duel guide if you have problems with the duel at the
Site Ruins.

-Luc's ending takes place after the credits roll so you'll have to wait through
them to see it.  I believe his ending picture is a scene from the past and not
the present or future.


*******************************************************************************
*******************************************************************************
11.  Miscellaneous Q&A's

Like the rest of this document, most of the content in this section is strictly
my opinion.  In no way am I saying these opinions are the "final word" on the
topics discussed or that they should be taken as fact.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
11a.  How did Luc take Sasarai's True Earth Rune?

In the 6th POV, Sasarai practically goes into shock when Luc tells him they're
Hikusaak's clones.  It can be inferred that in this weakened state, Sasarai
was unable to resist the power of Luc's True Wind Rune and (unwillingly)
relinquished the True Earth Rune.  A similar situation occurs in chapter 4
right after you get the True Fire Rune.  Luc is supremely confident that he can
take it because its new owner cannot unlock its power yet.  The only thing that
prevents Luc from taking the True Fire Rune right then and there is the spirit
of the former Flame Champion.  These two episodes imply that as far as the
elemental True Runes go, having great command with one of them is enough to
take another from someone who is not in total command of theirs.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
11b.  How is it possible that Jimba is Chris' father?

In order to see as much of Jimba's story as possible, you'd have to pick Chris
to be the FC.  This is his story as I interpreted it:

It's unclear what Jimba's real name is.  Fifty years prior to the start of
Suikoden III, he fought with the Flame Champion and Geddoe on the Zexen side.
He possessed the True Water Rune at this time.  Some time after the truce
between Harmonia and the Grasslands is signed, he goes on the run from
assassins sent by Harmonia.  It is unclear why these assassins are after him.

About 25 years prior to the start of Suikoden III, he ends up in Vinay del
Zexay and marries Anna Lightfellow.  He assumes the name Wyatt Lightfellow.  He
and Anna have a daughter, Chris.  When Chris is still very young, he discovers
that the assassins are closing in on him.  In order to keep his family safe,
he flees to the Grasslands without telling Chris why.  She grows up never
knowing if her father died in the Grasslands or is just missing.

In the time between leaving Chris and the start of Suikoden III, Wyatt seals
the True Water Rune in the Cyndar Ruins, probably with the help of villagers
from Alma Kinan.  While still in possession of the True Water Rune and in the
Grasslands, the Rune somehow changes his appearance.  It's unclear exactly why
or how this occurred but explains why Chris doesn't recognize him during their
encounter in Iksay.  It's also possible that his appearance actually changed a
lot _after_ he lost the True Water Rune.  Suikoden is unfortunately also known
for its translation errors so his statement about his change in appearance,
seen in chapter 4 if Chris is FC, is hard to figure.

Also in this time, he has assumed a new identity, Jimba, with the help of
Lucia.  The way Hugo and Lulu treat him as always being a member of the tribe
implies that he's been with the Karayans for at least ten years before the
start of Suikoden III.  When Jimba gives Hugo the Pentacle to deliver to Chris,
I interpret this as Jimba deciding to finally close the Lightfellow chapter of
his life and he has decided never to see Chris again.

In no way is Jimba actually blood-related to Luce or Lulu.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
11c.  What can you tell me about the former Flame Champion?

Not much is known about him, not even his real name.  His official name will be
known when the novelization of Suikoden III comes out (some time in the Spring
or Summer in Japan, I guess).  In case you didn't know, yes, there are
authorized novels about the game.  In terms of what _is_ known, the former FC
was born near Chisha Village and was a Grasslander.  It is unclear how he
obtained the True Fire Rune.  He chooses a life with his love, Sana, instead of
being immortal.  To do this, he removes the True Fire Rune using a Cyndarian
technique.  Unfortunately, according to Geddoe, the former FC died a few years
after performing this process.  It's safe to infer, then, that he didn't live
very long after the truce was signed fifty years prior to Suikoden III.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
11d.  Who is Hikusaak?

Hikusaak is the ruler of Harmonia and possesses a True Rune, the Circle Rune.
This Rune is a force for Order, according to its description at suikosource.
Very little is known about him.  It is his mandate that Harmonia seek out and
control all 27 True Runes.  This is problematic because the True Runes "choose"
who their bearer is.  Hikusaak has found a way around this by making clones of
himself then embedding these clones with captured True Runes, preventing them
from naturally seeking out new bearers like the Soul Eater did in Suikoden I.
Hikusaak (and Harmonia for that matter) are barely mentioned at all in the
first two Suikodens.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
11e.  What are the other True Runes?

There are 27 True Runes in all but not all of them have been revealed yet.  You
can see a full list of the known True Runes and their past/present bearers at
suikosource.com.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
11f.  Why did Luc want to start a war in the first place?

This one's real iffy and open to a lot of debate.  From what I gathered, Luc's
ultimate goal of getting all five True Elemental Runes would take a massive
search (by force) of the Grasslands.  To do this, Luc needs the backing of the
Harmonian Army along with some personal muscle (Yuber & Sarah) plus strategy
(Albert).  Luc also knows, though, that his Harmonian support won't last long
once they find out he wants the True Runes for himself and not Harmonia.  To
this end, he still needs to maintain his advantage over the Grasslands and
Zexen.  To do this, he needs to make sure the Grasslands and Zexen are at war
with each other so they'll be too weak to oppose him.  Touching off this war
also ensures that Harmonia's forces in that area will also be occupied (Sasarai
especially) so he can continue his search for the True Runes without much
interference.  He therefore starts the war as it's laid out in the 6th POV.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
11g.  Are Luc and Sarah dead?

Yep.  The best evidence for this is the two lights at the end of Luc's POV and
his final end picture.  The picture is washed out and is only brown and white.
Since Suikoden II, these colors indicate scenes from the past.  You'll notice
all the flashback scenes in Suikoden III are all in this color.  The end
picture itself shows Leknaat, Luc, and Sarah probably when they first arrived
at Leknaat's island after escaping the Circle Palace.  This is why Sarah
appears as a small child in the picture.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
11h.  Were Chris and Lulu influenced by Sarah's spell?

This one's open to a lot of debate.  My personal opinion is yes but the only
way this theory works is that the spell wore off right after Lulu is killed,
which is a huge coincidence.  The main evidence for this opinion is how Borus
easily disarms Aila in Geddoe's chapter 3.  I have to think that Chris could
have done the same to a younger and (supposedly) less skilled fighter like
Lulu.  Instead, she goes right for her sword and slashes.  The object for
Chris' anger is her father's armor.  Her statement after seeing it, about how
things would be better with the village gone, is out of character for her.

LuBuCaoCao e-mailed me about this and pointed out that when Jimba even mentions
Chris' father to her in Iksay, she immediately draws her sword.  This would
imply that Chris' father is a real touchy subject to her and she's willing to
smack anyone who even hints at dishonoring him.  Thus, she was not under the
influence of the anger spell when she killed Lulu.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
11i.  Who is Luc talking about when he says Hugo reminds him of someone?

Probably McDohl from Suikoden I or Riou from Suikoden II.  Both of them were
teenaged boys with a link to True Runes who led armies, much like Hugo.  In
the 6th POV, if Hugo is the new FC, Luc also says about Hugo:

"but that boy's eyes...reminded me of the former..."

Who knows what the heck he means by that?  It might be another translation
error but it definitely leaves a lot open to interpretation.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
11j.  Who's the official new Flame Champion?

It won't be known until the official novelization of Suikoden III comes out
(probably in Spring or Summer in Japan).  If I had to bet money, I'd say it's
Hugo.  My personal choice would be Chris.  Geddoe is my favorite out of the
three but after playing through his chapters 1-3, in story terms his decision
to be Flame Champion is awfully weak.  It's practically an afterthought
considering there's no buildup to it at all, unlike Hugo and Chris.  It's
interesting to note that the Tenkai Star, the sign occupied by McDohl and Riou
from the previous Suikodens, is held by Thomas in Suikoden III.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
11k.  How did Eike get down to that basement?

The same reason there's only women in Alma Kinan.  IOW, I don't know.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
11l.  What's the connection between the two Vikis?

The game refers to the bigger Viki as Elder Viki.  Whether or not they're the
same person is unclear.  Their skill aptitudes are identical and they both use
a Cane for a weapon.  Big Viki's cane is called a Wow Wow Wand and Small Viki's
is called a D5.  In Suikoden I, the Blinking Mirror was owned by Hellion.  In
Suikoden II, Lepant gives it to you.  Small Viki was not in the previous
Suikodens.  How she got the Blinking Mirror is unknown.

It's odd that big Viki seems to pop up years later right after the events of 
the previous Suikoden.  That is, in Suikoden I, she teleports away from the
dinner celebration after the Toran Army's victory and doesn't appear until
three years later during Suikoden II's time frame.  In Suikoden III, she says
she was having dinner in the Jowston City-States, which implies she lost
fifteen years between Suikoden II and Suikoden III.  Seeing as how she never
ages, maybe she has a True Rune.

Credit and thanks to ptomasel71086 for providing corrections to who had the
blinking mirror in Suikoden II and a typo for this question.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
11m.  Who is Hugo's father?

In Hugo's chapter 2, after you talk to Luce and have a conversation with Lucia,
picking the second dialogue choice, "I understand mother", will cause Lucia to
mention that Hugo is a fine man like his father.  This is the only reference I
know of in the entire game where Hugo's father is mentioned at all.  According
to Kidd's investigations of Hugo and Lucia, Hugo was born pretty much right
after Lucia came back from the Dunan War 15 years prior to the start of
Suikoden III.

There aren't any clues other than Hugo's hair color as to who the father may
be.  You can reasonably rule out Luca Blight since Lucia didn't join the
Highland side until after his participation in the war was over.  Other than
that, it's anybody's guess.  It's not known if Hugo's father is even still
alive.  Although his father is only mentioned once, keep in mind that Luce's
husband/Lulu's father is also only mentioned one or two times and he's still
very much alive and well.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
11n.  Can Viki teleport me to places I normally can't go?

Not that I've found.  The two places of interest are the middle passage in the
Great Hollow tunnels (the area where you got Twaikin) and the Great Hollow Inn.
The middle passage is relevant to the 6th POV so maybe that's why it's sealed
up.  You can walk past the counter by the innkeeper at the Great Hollow Inn
but he stops you before you can go to the back.  I sat around for an hour or so
just teleporting with Viki but when she messed up, I just ended up at the
entrance of Lake Castle.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
11o.  Who is Nash's "missus"?

According to Blue Moon, he who knows all things Suikoden, it's highly likely
Nash's "missus" is Sierra from Suikoden II.  Nash was the main character of the
two Suikogaiden games released in Japan but never in the US.  The Suikogaiden
games are primarily text with still picture RPG's that told side stories
related to Suikoden II.  You can get full summaries with lots of screen
captures of the Suikogaiden games at suikosource.com.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
11p.  What's the story behind Mike?

This is Kidd's profile of Mike:

P.  A mysterious man with a free spirit.  Sometimes he smiles senselessly, but
    he's a nice guy.
1.  He seems to be connected with an organization.  Is it a good one?  I don't
    know.
2.  I saw him talking with some strange people.  Some scary guys were bowing to
    him.  Maybe he's important.
3.  Watari saw Mike and was surprised for a change.  He said, "That guy..."
    Are they friends?

Mike's summary at the end of the game is:

Departs Lake Castle in the middle of the night with several mystery men, and
never returns.

I've brought Watari along when recruiting Mike and never got anything special.
In the 6th POV, if you talk to Mike, he tells Luc he's an arms salesman named
"Leonard".  Also, a man at the Caleria tavern mentions he played cards with
a detective at the Trade Shop and got creamed.  Mike was not in the previous
two Suikoden games.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
11q.  What are the unwinnable battles in the game?

I'm aware of the following:

-Hugo Chapter 1, Melville v. Guillaume duel
-Thomas Chapter 2, strategy battle where Leo and Percival show up
-Thomas Chapter 2, fight with the 4 Zexen regulars inside Lake Castle
-Hugo Chapter 3, Hugo v. Yuber duel
-Chapter 4, first strategy battle outside Chisha
-Chapter 4, Chris is Flame Champion, strategy battle v. Sarah and Yuber

By unwinnable, I mean you cannot reduce the enemy's HP to 0 or score any type
of Victory or Major Victory.

Credit to MrKO and Emperor Magus from the gamefaqs message board for a
correction they provided about the unwinnable battles.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
11r.  Anything in this game that's incomplete/unfinished?

Suikoden III's lead developer and creator left the game midway through its
development.  How this affected the finished product is unknown.  The items in
the list below are some of the head scratchers for me personally:

-Why does Karaya Village still appear on the World Map after chapter 1?

-Why is Sana not one of the Stars of Destiny?  She's still in the Flame Champ
 Hideaway in chapters 4 and 5 and there's no purpose to that either.

-There's many "continuing dialogues"--stories told by continuing to talk to the
 same generic townspeople from chapter to chapter, such as the Super Pickles
 Knight--but were any of them supposed to be side quests?

-Is there a 108 battles bonus for the infinite battles in Iksay?  In Suikoden
 II, there's an opportunity for infinite battles at the very start of the game.
 If you did 108 of those battles, the color for the opening cinema changed from
 brown and white to color.  It's possible there might also be a bonus for
 Suikoden III.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
11s.  Looking ahead to Suikoden IV and Suikogaiden III

Not much speculation, just a quick recap of some character summaries that give
clues to what may lie ahead.  A full list of the character end summaries can
be found in my Story Scenes/Endings FAQ for those interested.

-If Hugo is FC, he becomes an intermediary between Karaya, Harmonia, and Zexen
-Lucia goes to Dunan to work for Karaya's future
-Lilly goes to Harmonia as a student
-Ernie and Rhett join the Archeology Association
-Augustine goes to Toran Castle
-Duke and company head south, the area of Dunan and Toran
-Apple opens a school in her hometown in Toran
-Albert serves Harmonia but also acts as a strategist for another continent
-Edge heads south to seek an enemy of the Star Dragon Sword
-Hortez VII heads to Harmonia to open a shop
-Mio, Tuta, and Hallec go to Hallec's village to help the sick and wounded
-Sharon receives a gold dragon, probably making her 9th class like Futch in SI


*******************************************************************************
*******************************************************************************
12.  So why did you choose this play and recruiting order?

Surprisingly, I've gotten a lot of e-mails about this.  As I've replied to each
person, the reasons aren't exactly riveting material, but here they are since
people asked.

The most important reason is that the play order lets you see as many of the
story scenes available in the game as possible.  This ties in, to a certain
extent, with the recruiting order as well.  I have compiled a list of these
story scenes in a separate FAQ that's also available at gamefaqs (check section
3 in that FAQ).  It also allows you to do all the optional duels.  In addition,
Geddoe's chapter 1 is more difficult in terms of the random/boss battles so I
put Chris and Hugo's chapter 1's before his to let the player get their feet
wet, so to speak.  The biggest decision as far as deviating from the "super
duper all story" order I mentioned in section 3c was putting Thomas' story at
the end and putting Geddoe's chapter 3 right after his chapter 2.

I chose to put Thomas's story at the end for several reasons.  First, his story
is entirely optional.  A lot of people will like it, but in the responses to my
other two FAQs on Suikoden III and reading the responses on the message board,
there's a chunk of people out there that _loathe_ Thomas' scenario.  A very
small sample, of course, but relevant enough to me to take this into
consideration.  Therefore, putting it at the end allows the player to get a
good idea of what they're in for.  Plus, there's a nice financial advantage
that can be given to Thomas, which makes his scenario a _lot_ easier in terms
of getting cash to upgrade gear/getting recruits.  Finally, you can recruit a
lot of people in the other three main characters' stories first to ensure that
story events occur less haphazardly.  Some of the key events in Thomas' story
don't seem to trigger unless a certain number of recruits have been acquired.
Doing his story later ensures that this won't be a problem.

As far as doing Geddoe chapter 3 in front of Hugo or Chris, this is mostly due
to getting the Copper Hammer, believe it or not.  The reason this Hammer is
particularly special is that most characters' weapons will get a huge ATK boost
at levels 10-12, which is what the Hammer allows you to do.  The boss battles
in everyone's chapter 3's are especially tough so getting weapons up to level
12 is close to essential.  The Hammer is in Caleria and to get to Caleria you
have to get past the Rock Golem boss.  Geddoe's team by far has the best
weapons, armor, and skills up to that point since they've been together as a
unit for chapters 1-2 plus they've had the opportunity to fight all those
treasure bosses.  Compare this to the possible parties available to Hugo and
Chris at the start of their chapter 3's and it's no contest.  I don't expect
players to go crazy with leveling up so the expectation of Hugo or Chris taking
on that Rock Golem with the parties available to them with level 9 weapons just
didn't strike me as a good idea.  Hence, Geddoe 3 before Chris or Hugo 3.  This
gives the added bonus to Chris and Hugo so that they can have weapons at level
12 at the very start of their chapter 3's when their parties are relatively
weak at first.

As for recruiting, Geddoe's suggested recruits are easy.  Only support
characters because he can't switch out his main party of six.  He actually can
at the start of his chapter 2 but that involves hiking all the way back to
Lake Castle with just a party of himself, Aila, and Ace.  It's also only for
that small time frame.  Edge is the exception since only Geddoe can go to Le
Buque until chapter 4.  With Aila and the great equipment they get from beating
treasure bosses, a support character with Healing isn't really necessary.  The
two support characters that help Geddoe the most are Jeane and Ernie since
Geddoe's team relies on magic a lot (Geddoe, Joker, Aila, and possibly Queen).

For Hugo's recruits, Billy, Belle/Gadget Z, Arthur, and the Saint Loa Knights
are for story reasons--their scenes are a lot different than if you used the
other main characters.  Kidd is not only for Fury Runes, but also so you can
get a !Screw for Belle and the Crab Rice Bowl for Mamie (in case you lost
Hallec's).  Goro is great for Healing which can be handy for Hugo.  Everyone
else is just a matter of convenience.  I imagine a lot of people like to take
out Landis, Emily, Sanae Y, and Wan Fu to "try them out".  Keep in mind that
Chris has 4 team members locked in and so does Hugo for the better part of
their chapter 3's.  Dividing these 4 characters up between Hugo and Chris
allows the player more freedom in trying out all these characters in chapter 3.

For Chris' recruits, Gordon is for laughs and also it's easier than anyone
else.  Watari/Ayame primarily because Chris has the most cash between her and
Thomas.  Nei, Toppo, and Shabon are mainly because of Chris' chance to fight
those infinite battles in Iksay.  Nei especially at higher levels is great as
a magic user/fighter so the opportunity to give her all the skill points she'll
ever need is too good to pass up.  Getting these 5 characters also ensures that
Chris will be able to get Nadir in her chapter 3 regardless of whether or not
you get Fred/Rico early or later.  Estella and Rody are mainly for Rody's
Firefly Rune, which is a huge help if Chris becomes Flame Champion because you
can put it on Leo.  This makes the first few strategy battles in chapter 4 a
lot easier.

And finally, Thomas' recruits.  Mel is flat out the only character you really
need to get for Thomas to win all of his battles.  Having Augustine and Twaikin
helps mostly for the strategy battles.  Kenji, like Mel, comes with a Turtle
Tunic which you can put on Juan to wake him up.  I don't get Watari/Ayame with
Thomas mainly because that 100,000 potch is a lot more useful for getting
Thomas' team better weapons/items.

So there you have it.  Hey, wake up!


******************************************************************************
*******************************************************************************


                 ----------------------------------------
                   Part IV:  Thanks and Version History
                 ----------------------------------------


13.  Acknowledgements

14.  Version History


*******************************************************************************
*******************************************************************************    
13.  Acknowledgements

-Huge thanks to Thanh and Deb for proofreading this document and correcting
 grammar/inconsistencies.  Thanks to Thanh also for the Tablet of Stars section

-Thanks to Blue Moon and suikosource.com for information regarding the Chris
 level 99 trick, where to find Fury runes, Nash's missus, the Circle Rune, the
 Zexen Crest mistranslation, and Suikogaiden

-Credit and thanks to everyone who has e-mailed me to make this Walkthrough
 more accurate/thorough and to share their thoughtful comments about the game

-Thanks to CJayC and gamefaqs for putting up this document

-Thanks to Kao Megura and JL Lee, whose FAQs for FFVII and Suikoden II,
 respectively, inspired me to write this Walkthrough

-Thanks to everyone on the gamefaqs message board for showing your patience in
 helping out others and for all the thoughtful discussion.  This goes out
 especially to (in no particular order) Tatooine Ozzel, Mi Heng, dabodufus,
 demon knight x, Raikochan, Skye Anchorz, Starvenus, Abraxas, Mochan, Emperor
 Magus, TexasAndroid, VermilionX, and everyone else who I may have not seen in
 a while and neglected to mention.  Hope to see you all for Suikoden IV

-Thanks to Konami for making another quality sequel to this series


*******************************************************************************
*******************************************************************************
14.  Version History

+Version .75 (12/22/02)
 -Added all relevant information for all Table of Contents sections except
  ch. 4 and ch. 5 for Walkthrough

+Version 1.0 (12/26/02)
 -Added all content related to ch. 4 and 5 of Walkthrough
 -Added content for Items section
 -Added credit to Raikochan for info. on Futch/Viki
 -Document was proofread for errors/inconsistencies by Thanh and Deb

+Version 1.05 (1/3/03)
 -Added new/clarified content about recruiting Watari, putting Water Rune on
  Chris, making a choice with the Zexen councilor in Thomas' ch. 2, level
  recommendations for the final battles, and using Chris' default team in the
  final battle
 -Added info. about gametz.com from nihon
 -Added info. related to recruiting, tank characters, and skills in section 2
  per e-mail requests

+Version 1.2 (1/8/03)
 -Added a section for the most often asked e-mail questions with updated/new
  content for related topics
 -Added info. on getting a recruit related to the LUK stat.  Credit to Hitmancf
  for this info.
 -Added locations of treasure bosses in the related section
 -Clarified a recruit option for Chris and Thomas
 -Put Recruit List section in an easier to read format
 -Corrected content related to the names of Fire spells
 -Added several new items in the Items mini-list
 -Added Jefferson's Appointments to Medal Sets section
 -Added alternate resources for Suikoden data, including Ruse & Ryvius' FAQs
  and Blue Moon's suikosource.com web site
 -Added some (belated) thanks to gamefaqs message board, CJayC, and others in
  the acknowledgements section

+Version 1.25 (1/9/03)
 -Added more content on getting Landis, credit and thanks to wen, falcon815,
  and crystalstar for this info.
 -Corrected chapter info. for fighting treasure bosses
 -Added caveat to getting Jefferson, credit Dallas Strimple for this info.
 -Other minor typo corrections

+Version 1.4 (1/11/03)
 -Totally revamped 108 Stars of Destiny section, putting in a new format with
  additional recruiting information and sorting characters by alpha
 -Clarified how to get Gordon with Chris
 -Added a tip to get Watari, credit to Journeyman for this info.
 -Added new information to Items mini-list, sorted it by alpha
 -Specified which characters are Berserkers and Magic Users, adding new info.
  related to this in section 3 and 6
 -Added a question to top e-Mails section asking how to get to chapter 4
 -Added info. on downloading Suikoden II data via DexDrive to section 2a,
  credit and thanks to CDexter who provided the game save

+Version 1.45 (1/13/03)
 -Added two new questions to section 2
 -Some more typo corrections

+Version 1.9 (1/17/03)
 -Changed overall format of document, separating it into four different parts
 -Made separate sections for Boss/Battle strategies, duels, and Ernie's Quiz
  and added the related content
 -Changed format for duels listings, added a new duel
 -Added Script locations for mini-list of items
 -Added Armor Sets info., credit to TexasAndroid for this content
 -Changed Introduction to make document navigation easier
 -Corrected when Hugo can start recruiting, credit to SimUser for this info.
 -Added clarification for Kathy's races in section 2j
 -Added Q&A's for Secrets section
 -Added why this play/recruiting order to Secrets section
 -Added tip for getting money in ch. 4-5, credit to sim st-pierre for this tip
 -More grammar and typo corrections

+Version 2.0 (1/18/03)
 -Added a confirmation on Jefferson and a tip for Thomas chapter 1 from Fate
 -Added clarification for recruiting Sanae Y and Melville
 -Corrected several redundancy errors I missed from re-formatting the document
 -Added a few more comments for a duel
 -Added question on incomplete/unfinished game aspects in Part IV

+Version 2.05 (1/19/03)
 -Final proofread by Deb to correct inconsistencies/grammar errors

+Version 2.08 (1/21/03)
 -Added section on unite attacks
 -Added section on bath combinations, credit to Clara for this info.
 -This new content was added to section 5, the 108 Stars Recruit List
 -Added Balance Rune to mini-list of items

 +Version 2.2 (1/24/03)
 -Added Tablet of Stars section to Recruit List as quick reference for missing
  characters, credit to Thanh
 -Added warehouse capacity info., credit to Dazarath
 -Corrected info. in Secrets section, credit to ptomasel71086
 -Added Looking Ahead query to Secrets section
 -Totally re-wrote guide for last strategy battle due to e-mail requests, put
  in more suggestions and a very detailed process for winning it
 -Re-wrote section 3h on Strategy Battles with more detailed content
 -Added content for Hazy Runes and EarthMagic Ring in mini-list of items
 -Clarified when you can recruit Arthur
 -Corrected the last point in the game when you can recruit
 -Added Blinking Mirror query to section 3 due to e-mails requests
 -Truncated the Acknowledgements section to conserve some space.  Proper credit
  is still given to outside contributors within the main sections and in the
  Version History

+Version 2.25 (1/28/03)
 -Added Chris level 99 trick in detail per e-mail requests.  Credit and many
  thanks to Blue Moon for permitting me to put the trick in this document