Co-op Mode Guide by twilitwolf267

Version 1.07, Last Updated 2013-01-15

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Guide for The Last Story's online Co-op mode.

All trademarks and copyrights contained in this document are owned by their respective trademark and copyright holders.

This may be not be reproduced under any circumstances except for personal, private use. It may not be placed on any web site other than www.gamefaqs.com and www.neoseeker.com or otherwise distributed publicly without advance written permission. Use of this guide on any other web site or as a part of any public display is strictly prohibited, and a violation of copyright.

Version History

Version 1.00 (9/16/12). Initial, completed version. I intend to continue adding more content if I find out or think of more.

Version 1.01 (9/19/12). Fixed some typos. Added some things, namely in the Credits, the Kraken-specific section, and the Last Cocoon-specific section.

Version 1.02 (9/21/12). Added a safe zone in the Muruk section. Added mention of too many Magic Circles causing lag. Added "Hosting A Room" in the Other Information section. Made small fixes throughout the guide.

Version 1.03 (9/27/12). Added more small safe zones in the Muruk section. Added use of Manual attacks to move foward slightly when inflicted with Slip. Added "Hybrid Mage" in the Other Information section. Made several other small additions.

Version 1.04 (10/2/12). Added use of Slash against Kraken. Added mention of the occasional failure of Break on Last Cocoon. Added how to draw Nebirous' attention. Made yet several more small additions.

Version 1.05 (10/6/12). Rewrote sentences involving Break and Guard Break. Added information on Kraken's and Nebirous' Warning states. And made yet more small additions.

Version 1.06 (10/24/12). Added mention of bosses giving 40 reputation points and how to get more copies of the weapons bosses drop. Also added use of Heal Circles to avoid being Paralyzed by Muruk's Spines.

Version 1.07 (1/15/13). Added "Avoiding Shortcut Messages (Nunchuk)", "Weapons for Co-op", and "Luring Nebirous" in the Other Information section. Added modified suggestions for a powerful party. Made some small detail changes in a few places.

Introduction

Hello, I go by MONADO (and REYNTIME) on the NTSC servers of The Last Story. This guide is meant to be a compilation of information to help players fight more effectively in The Last Story's online Co-op mode.

Note: I use the Normal attack setting. The vast majority of this guide applies to both attack settings but there may be a few small details, that I will note, that may be slightly different for the Manual attack setting.

Terms

Here are some terms that are used frequently below that may not be explicitly explained in-game or that I use to mean a specific thing.

Diffuse: By Diffuse (capital D), I mean the hold-A/a ability of Zael, Dagran, and Syrenne (which would be Gale for Zael).

Diffusers: By Diffusers, I mean Zael, Dagran, and Syrenne.

Break: I use this for both Armour Break and Guard Break. Break lowers defence and nullifies Guard. It is indicated by a red, downward-moving ring surrounding the character or enemy. A character suffering Break can still press the Guard button to do the Guarding animation but will take hits as if they were unGuarded.

Dodge: If a character is hit during a dive, the word "DODGE" appears over the damage, similar to the word "GUARD" appearing over Guarded damage. This reduces damage taken (by 50%), but not by as much as Guarding. This is what I mean by Dodge (capital D) in this guide, as opposed to dodge, which will mean evade in general. Dodge even works against attacks that Guard does not work against. Dodging also protects from knockback and knockdown in most cases.

Warning: I will use Warning to mean the period of time after a boss enters a more dangerous portion of the fight (indicated by "Warning" flashing across the screen in the Last Cocoon, Muruk, and Atar fights).

Zael/Dagran/Syrenne

If you only take away one thing from this section, take away this: DO diffuse Shining Circles; DON'T diffuse Heal Circles.

Avoid using Diffuse to move large distances. It leaves you open and you can get where you want to go just as quickly by repeatedly running/diving there.

One of the most important things for a Diffuser to learn is what Magic Circles to diffuse and what Magic Circles not to diffuse. Certain Magic Circles help more by boosting regular attacks (both in damage and in keeping Chains alive) than by being diffused.

Heal Circles

In general, DO NOT diffuse Heal Circles. The regen effect from stepping inside a Heal Circle is vastly superior to the one-time heal from diffusing a Heal Circle. Diffusing a Heal Circle removes the regen effect from allies who got it from that Circle. So you can get people (who expect to get continuously healed for a while after stepping inside a Heal Circle) Downed by diffusing Heal Circles without thinking. There may be a few specific situations where it may be a good idea to diffuse a Heal Circle. For example, if Atar/Mitra inflicts Poison/Silence on several allies, you're near a Heal Circle/Bomb, and nearby allies all have healthy HP, then it may be a good idea to diffuse a Heal Circle to remove the status. But, for the most part, just avoid diffusing Heal Circles, especially in the Last Cocoon and Muruk fights where there is only one Heal Bomb. Diffusing a newly created Heal Circle in those two fights is a terrible idea. Seriously, it is a very bad idea. Doing that can and will get people Downed who would otherwise have survived if the Heal Circle were left alone.

Shining Circles

Diffuse Shining Circles. Deflector greatly reduces damage and is a huge boon. However, don't immediately diffuse every Shining Circle you see if a Deflector is already up. Try to put up new Deflectors when the current one is about to wear off or shortly after it wears off. In between putting up Deflectors, use the Shining Circles to boost melee attacks. Diffusing a Shining Circle when Deflector is already up will renew the Deflector.

There's one caveat I should mention. If a Shining Circle is beneath a Paralyzed Nebirous, don't diffuse it. It is MUCH better to use the Shining Circle for melee attacks in that situation.

Prominence Circles

Definitely diffuse Prominence Circles against Last Cocoon to inflict Break. When Last Cocoon is under Break, diffusing another Prominence Circle will not renew the Break. So only diffuse Prominence Circles when Last Cocoon's Guard is active and use the Circles to boost melee attacks otherwise. Kraken can be inflicted with Break so you may want to diffuse a Promenence Circle once per Kraken appearance. Nebirous can also be inflicted with Break but don't go out of your way there; it is much more important to get a long Chain on a Paralyzed Nebirous. Muruk and Atar/Mitra are immune to Break so don't diffuse Prominence Circles against them. Well, unless Muruk is in Fire mode, in which case you should diffuse Prominence Circles to get rid of them. (If you see Yuricks continuing to use Prominence on Fire Muruk and you have the means in your message assignment, try to tell those Yuricks not to use their magic against Fire Muruk.)

Forest Circles

For the vast majority of situations, don't diffuse Forest Circles. There is only one enemy in Co-op that Long Silence is useful against and that is the Reptid Witch (Damage Circle) in the Last Cocoon fight. No enemy in Co-op resists or absorbs Nature damage so definitely use Forest Circles to boost your melee attacks.

Blizzard Circles

For the vast majority of situations, don't diffuse Blizzard Circles. There is only one enemy in Co-op that Slip Fall is useful against and that is the Reptid Berserker in the Last Cocoon fight. Do, however, diffuse Blizzard Circles that Lowells toss in the Kraken fight and when Muruk is in Ice mode to get rid of the Circles (and, if you have the means in your message assignment, try to tell those Lowells not to use their magic in those situations).


If a non-Heal Circle overlaps a Shining or Prominence Circle that you want to diffuse, don't go out of your way to avoid diffusing the extra Circle. It is perfectly okay to diffuse Forest and Blizzard Circles in the course of diffusing a Shining or Prominence Circle. You should, however, try to avoid diffusing Heal Circles by accident.

There is one additional exception I should mention. If there are very many Magic Circles on the field, physical attacks while standing in the mass of Circles may start to lag. So if physical attacks are lagging too much (from there being too many Magic Circles on the field and not for other reasons), then it may be good to diffuse a few to remove the lag (you should still avoid diffusing Heal Circles).

The key to defeating bosses quickly in Co-op is getting long Chains. Kraken and (Paralyzed) Nebirous can fall extremely quickly to a long Chain. So can Last Cocoon (under Break) and Muruk, but one has to be more careful about Guarding attacks from those two. It is harder to do on Atar/Mitra since they move around so much (and are awkward to hit from certain angles). So if many allies are attacking a boss and getting a long Chain going, it may be worth it to play a bit more offensively (for example, by ignoring Shining Circles temporarily) until the Chain is broken.

What if you're a Diffuser in a party that has characters with very powerful weapons? That calls for a slight change. Try to play a bit more aggressively to help build Chains. (This does not mean "be stupid and get yourself Downed unnecessarily".) If the party is going to defeat the boss very quickly anyway, then don't diffuse Shining Circles so that they can be used to boost attacks. Well, maybe continue to diffuse Shining Circles against Muruk and Atar if there are players in the party that have a hard time surviving without Deflector in those fights. For the most part, if there are characters with powerful weapons in the party and there are not many Magic Circles causing lag on physical attacks, leave those Circles alone (with the obvious exception of making sure to inflict Break on Last Cocoon).

Mages, in general

Mages seem to get a few frames of invincibility from Guardable attacks during the animation of tossing a spell. If you are a mage and see a Guardable attack coming while you are charging a spell, you may want to consider taking advantage of those invicibility frames rather than trying to quickly get the spell off so you can Guard or evade. UnGuardable attacks will not stagger a mage during that tossing animation but will do damage.

Only fully charged spells leave Magic Circles.

Only fully charged spells leave Magic Circles. You may be surprised at how many mages consistently don't fully charge their spells when there aren't any Magic Circles on the field. If there are already many Magic Circles on the field, it may actually be beneficial to not fully charge spells until a few of the Circles wear off or are diffused since the physical fighters are probably experiencing a pretty bad lag with so many Circles on the field at the same spot.

I find that aiming at the ground beneath most enemies is more accurate than aiming at the body. Against flying Atar/Mitra, aim for the section of their body between the hind legs, as that moves much less than the head.

There are situations where a mage, even with a weapon with low physical attack, can contribute more to offence by physically attacking a boss for a while instead of using spells (namely, by contributing to a Chain). If there is someone else reliable on healing duty against Kraken or if you think the party can defeat Kraken in one more appearance, try this: toss a fully charged (non-Blizzard, of course) spell at Kraken (for the Magic Circle) and then join the fighters hacking away at Kraken. Even if your physical attacks are weak, your contributions to the Chain will boost the damage of the physical characters by a good amount. This is good against a Paralyzed Nebirous as well. Just don't become a liability by getting yourself Downed or forget your duty of getting Magic Circles out, especially if you are a Calista.

Calista

Deflector is amazing. Seriously, Deflector reduces damage by so much. If you are controlling Calista, make sure you fully charge your spells (as long as it doesn't put you in great danger, of course) and leave Shining Circles for the Diffusers. This is especially helpful against Muruk.

Yurick

Yurick is extremely helpful against Last Cocoon. Not having Yurick against Last Cocoon dramatically bogs down the party's offence. Yes, Headshots on Last Cocoon do double damage, but if you are a Yurick against Last Cocoon, please aim your first Prominence at Last Cocoon's feet. It happens all too often that a Yurick's first Prominence on Last Cocoon misses and leaves a Prominence Circle too far from Last Cocoon for a Diffuse on that Circle to reach Last Cocoon.

Fire Muruk absorbs Fire so don't use Prominence, or even Flare (Yurick's basic crossbow arrow), against it. Yurick can contribute against Fire Muruk in other ways. Maybe toss the Heal Bomb. Maybe use the other two Bombs on the field, which do 1000 damage each. Maybe, if you are used to reading and predicting Muruk's attacks, attack Muruk physically (remember, even if your Yurick does crap physical damage, contributing to a Chain boosts damage of allies). Ice Muruk, on the other hand, does not like Prominence at all...

Mirania

Last Cocoon and Atar/Mitra are Star elemental so Mirania's Forest Circles help melee damage quite a bit against them. No enemy in Co-op resists or absorbs Nature damage so Mirania's Forest Circles will help against all enemies in Co-op.

Lowell

Kraken, Kraken Tentacles, and Sea Reptids absorb Ice so do not use Blizzard, or even Freeze (Lowell's basic crossbow arrow), in the Kraken fight. Ice Muruk absorbs Ice as well. Fire Muruk, on the other hand, is very weak to Ice so let 'em have it. Don't equip Lowell with an Ice weapon. Doing so makes him almost useless in the Kraken fight and against Ice Muruk.

What if you're a Mage in a party that has characters with very powerful weapons? If you're not a Hybrid Mage, then don't keep tossing many spells at the same spot. This is always applicable, but is especially so when there are characters with powerful weapons on the team. Doing so will probably hurt more than help by lagging physical attacks of characters who can do about the same damage as your spell in a single physical attack. It's generally okay to keep casting fully charged spells against Atar/Mitra since they move around so much so there usually isn't a large pile of Magic Circles in the same place. But against the other bosses, you'll probably help more by laying a Magic Circle and then running up and attacking until your Circle disappears (or is about to disappear) and then repeat. Just make sure you can stay alive while doing so. If you're worried about getting hurt or Downed by being close to a boss, there are other things you can do such as throwing a Heal Bomb or casting spells that are not fully charged. The important point to take away is that you should not lag allies who have powerful weapons by putting many Magic Circles in the same place. If you are a Hybrid Mage and there are non-Hybrid Mages in the party, leave the Magic Circle-making to the non-Hybrid Mages and just go attack. (Unless your specific Magic Circle is needed. For example, if you are the only Yurick against Last Cocoon.) If you are a Hybrid Mage and there are no non-Hybrid Mages in the party, it may be worth your time to lay a Magic Circle to boost physical attacks, as long as your Circles don't keep getting quickly diffused. If there are people in the party who quickly diffuse every Magic Circle that they see, it generally isn't worth your time to put out a Magic Circle for the sole purpose of boosting physical attacks.

Boss-Specific Tips

All bosses give 40 reputation points. To get additional copies of the weapons that the bosses drop, go upgrade your current copy that is below +5 to +5.

If you are new to Co-op or have relatively weak weapons and equipment, then, if in doubt, fight defensively, especially if there are some allies in the party with powerful gear. Characters with very powerful New Game+ weapons and equipment can take out bosses by themselves, if necessary. So if such a character or characters are in the party and you find yourself getting Downed often, then focus on staying alive.

If there is a long lag at the beginning of a match, the bosses' patterns may start a bit ahead of schedule.

Kraken

The enemies in this fight (main Kraken body, Kraken Tentacles, and Sea Reptids) absorb Ice. Kraken appears in four locations in a specific order and cycles back, so learn the locations and the order. Also learn what areas are and are not safe from the ceiling collapse. The main Kraken has two attacks. When it appears, it causes the ceiling to collapse, damaging characters in a large area in the middle of the field. Then it will keep attacking (until it disappears) with a Death Ring that appears under its target and explodes after a brief delay to deal damage and inflict Death. So keep an eye on your Death counter if you get hit by Death Ring. (Diffusers, don't unnecessarily diffuse Heal Circles to remove Death. Stepping inside a Heal Circle is enough).

When Kraken appears, someone in the party should toss a Heal Bomb next to Kraken. Then fighters can safely hack away at Kraken if they stand in the Heal Circle. A Heal Circle will not last the entire duration of Kraken's appearance so, if you are staying back near the Heal Bombs, be prepared to toss another Heal Bomb once the first one is gone. DO NOT diffuse Heal Circles that are next to Kraken (well, unless Kraken has disappeared and you want to remove Death from allies who are far from a Heal Circle). Kraken can be inflicted with Break, so you may want to diffuse a Prominence Circle once per Kraken appearance. Just be sure to avoid diffusing Heal Circles that are next to Kraken when you're at it.

Vertical Slice is very helpful against Kraken... in Story mode. It is not the case here. Vertical Slice does not get the special stab animation on Kraken in Co-op. In fact, it can be detrimental since it diffuses Magic Circles. Stick with basic attacks to build a Chain.

For the first, second, and third Kraken appearance locations, there are rubble near Kraken that can be used for Slashing. It is possible to go back and forth between Kraken and rubble very close to Kraken to get Slashes in very quickly. This can be quite effective if your Zael or Dagran is equipping a weapon that deals increased Slash damage. If your Zael or Dagran is not using a weapon that deals increased Slash damage and there are others attacking Kraken physically, I suggest sticking with regular attacks to help build up a Chain more quickly.

If you are a mainly-casting mage (as opposed to a Hybrid Mage) and there are several mainly-casting mages on the team, don't keep making Magic Circles next to Kraken. If there are many Magic Circles next to Kraken, then the characters physically attacking Kraken will most likely be experiencing a major lag on their physical attacks.

Kraken does have a Warning state where it is more dangerous, but the transition to that state is not indicated by "Warning" flashing across the screen. Like the other bosses, this state is triggered once Kraken's HP is low enough or enough time has passed. During Warning, the Kraken Tentacles and Sea Reptids have Nitro and Kraken also summons reinforcements when it appears.

If you are using Lowell, do not use Lowell's spell or basic crossbow arrow in this fight.

If there is a long lag at the beginning of the match, Kraken may appear very quickly for its first appearance.

What if you are facing Kraken with a party that has characters with very powerful weapons? Then it is usually better to skip throwing the Heal Bomb (but feel free to continue throwing the Heal Bomb if you really want to play it safe) and head straight to Kraken instead. If you are a Diffuser and there is a non-Hybrid Yurick in the party, then it may be safe to diffuse the first Prominence Circle (to inflict Break on Kraken to lower its defence) since that Yurick is likely to make more Prominence Circles (but if you notice that that Yurick runs up and attacks after putting out one Prominence Circle, then you should probably leave the Prominence Circle alone).

Last Cocoon

Last Cocoon has two forms, which I will call Standing and Running forms. It has several attacks in Standing form:

  • Claw Swipe: Close-range attack. Uses against a close target. Can be Guarded.
  • Shoulder Lunge: Mid-range attack. Uses against a relatively far target. Can be Guarded. Knocks down if unGuarded.
  • Swords Toss: Long-range attack. Uses occasionally (starts the fight with this). Can be Guarded.
  • Summon: Uses periodically, and uses after it transforms back to Standing form. Summons Reptids. At first, this summons four Reptid Berserkers. After a few Summons, it will also summon one Reptid Witch (Damage Circle) per Summon.

In Running form, it just keeps running at its target, which can be Guarded. There are two Daze Bombs on the field that are effective against Last Cocoon in Running form. DO NOT use the Daze Bombs on Standing form. It does nothing against Standing form and will piss off, and potentially Down, allies attacking Last Cocoon physically. If you pick up a Daze Bomb by accident, press b (on Classic Controller; I don't know if it is the case for the Wii Remote+Nunchuk) to drop it without rigging it. If you are used to it, toss the Daze Bomb far enough in front of where Last Cocoon is running so it will run right into it (look at the target line). Otherwise, you may want to toss a Daze Bomb onto the field and then try to lure Last Cocoon into it by constantly changing your position so that the Bomb is between you and Last Cocoon. That way, if Last Cocoon targets you, it will run right into the Bomb. Then you can attack away. But learn how long Last Cocoon stays Dazed so that you know when to stop attacking to prepare to Guard or evade. A Dazed Running form Last Cocoon temporarily loses its Guard, if it is not inflicted with Break.

Last Cocoon has a constant Guard when not Dazed so Yurick is extremely helpful in this fight. Headshots do double damage and ignore Guard against Last Cocoon. When Last Cocoon is down to about one-third of its max HP (or if enough time has passed), it will go into Warning status, greatly increasing its damage output. Many attacks from Warning Last Cocoon can one-hit characters if unGuarded and unDodged. The reason is not clear to me but, occasionally, diffusing a Prominence Circle (with Last Cocoon within range to be affected) will fail to inflict Break on Last Cocoon. I've mostly seen this happen when a Prominence Circle is diffused extremely quickly after being made. That usually occurs if someone has a Diffuse ready and waiting for a Prominence Circle. I can't say that that is the cause but, just in case, I suggest not readying a Diffuse in anticipation of a Prominence Circle and just wait for one to be made first.

The Reptid Berserkers have a Poison Spit attack that inflicts Poison and Break. Break is very dangerous. Warning Last Cocoon destroys characters suffering Break. If you are able to take out Reptid Berserkers in one physical strike, do your mage allies a favor and quickly take out the Reptid Berserkers. Standing Last Cocoon attacks and moves slowly, so if you are a Diffuser, I would still recommend taking out the Reptids first in most situations even if it takes you a couple of strikes (unless, for example, Last Cocoon is very close to death).

The lone Reptid Witch that Last Cocoon starts to summon after a few Summons casts a HUGE Damage Circle. It appears in one of two locations.

 __________________
|                  |     P: Pillar
|     W            |     H: Heal Bomb
|   PP        PP   |     D: Daze Bomb
|   PP        PP   |     W: Possible location of Reptid Witch
|                  |
|  D               |
|               D  |
|  W               |
|   PP       HPP   |
|   PP        PP   |
|                  |
|__________________|

If Last Cocoon starts summoning Reptid Witch, prioritize its defeat. If you go to one of the two possible spawn points as Last Cocoon is about to summon, you may be able to take the Witch out very quickly. If you need to find the Witch, follow the lone red target line.

If there is a long lag at the beginning of the match, Last Cocoon may do its first Summon very quickly.

If you are a mage, the beginning of this fight is an excellent time to take advantage of the invincibility frames when tossing a spell. Start charging a spell right as the fight begins. If Last Cocoon targets you with its initial Swords Toss, release your spell right as Last Cocoon's target line glows white. The swords should go right through you (safely, that is).

If you are a mainly-casting mage (as opposed to a Hybrid Mage) and there are several mainly-casting mages on the team, don't keep making Magic Circles next to Last Cocoon. If there are many Magic Circles next to Last Cocoon, then the characters physically attacking Last Cocoon will most likely be experiencing a major lag on their physical attacks.

If there is a chance that the party will face Last Cocoon, I highly recommend having a Yurick in the group. Break just makes such a huge difference against Last Cocoon. And if you pick Last Cocoon, please have the courtesy to choose Yurick if there isn't one in the group, especially if no one else seems willing to.

<Begin rant.>

SPOILER! Highlight to View

Even another user of a +99 weapon probably will make less of a difference than a Yurick (when there isn't one) against Last Cocoon. There are people who understand how big a difference Yurick makes against Last Cocoon and are willing to pick Yurick if necessary over a more preferred character, but don't force others' hands by picking Last Cocoon and then refusing to pick Yurick (when there isn't one). Sorry for this rant, but not having Yurick against Last Cocoon slows down the party's offence (and defence as well, since Guarded attacks leave the physical attacker open longer after the attack) in that fight dramatically. So picking Last Cocoon and not having a Yurick in the party is possibly condemning the group to a long and annoying fight.

<End rant.>

What if you are facing Last Cocoon with a party that has characters with very powerful weapons? There's not much specific to say here except get in a long Chain to try to kill Last Cocoon before it transforms for the first time. If you're a non-Hybrid Mage, lay down a Magic Circle after Last Cocoon has been inflicted with Break and then run up to attack (as long as you can stay alive).

Nebirous

When Nebirous' shield is up, it either lunges at its target or shoots a linear blast. When Nebirous' shield is down, it flees in a fixed route. Looking down on the map from above, shieldless Nebirous runs clockwise through the mansion. The moment Nebirous gets its shield back, it Dazes nearby allies and then, after a brief delay, hits nearby allies for heavy damage.

Three Silver Arrows break Nebirous' shield. Once Nebirous' shield is down, Silver Arrows Paralyze Nebirous (for roughly the time it takes to fully charge a spell without casting-speed-boosting gear). Hitting Nebirous with a Silver Arrow while it is Paralyzed will renew the Paralysis duration. Also, while Paralyzed, the timer for Nebirous to regain its shield is halted. The most efficient way to fight Nebirous is to have enough Silver Arrows among the party to keep Nebirous Paralyzed so it can be defeated in one shield break using a long Chain. How many Silver Arrows is "enough" depends on the strength of the party. If you are attacking physically, you should be able to safely get in four (Normal setting) attacks, or even five if you're feeling up for a bit of a risk, before you should shoot Nebirous with a Silver Arrow. (This is different is you are using Syrenne though.) Chasing a non-Paralyzed Nebirous around is very inefficient, not to mention dangerous if some allies keep chasing Nebirous when its shield is about to regenerate. If you have Silver Arrows and Nebirous is running, if there is still plenty of time before its shield returns, consider cutting in front of it rather than chasing directly after it. If you are planning to start shooting Nebirous and Nebirous is chasing you, consider leading it somewhere without Skeleton Archers first (the large entrance room, the two corridors, and the room to the left of the entrance room when starting).

Nebirous is the only enemy in this fight to have a red target line. If you wish to draw Nebirous' attention (to lead Nebirous away from Skeleton Archers before shooting Nebirous, for example), there are two ways. Either start casting a spell or shoot Nebirous with a Silver Arrow.

Nebirous also has a Warning state analogous to the other bosses'. I don't mean when "Warning" flashes across the screen when it gets its shield back. If Nebirous is low on health and has its shield up, it changes color to red. Red Nebirous deals quite a bit more damage than regular Nebirous. But hopefully this is useless information because your group is taking out Nebirous in one shield break.

See Luring Nebirous for an advanced tactic.

What if you are facing Nebirous with a party that has characters with very powerful weapons? Nothing fundamentally changes. This just means the party as a whole needs fewer Silver Arrows to defeat Nebirous in one shield break.

Muruk

Ah, Muruk, the boss most likely to KO new Co-op players. New Co-op players have a tendency to drop like flies against Muruk. If you are new to Co-op, I recommend playing defensively for your first few matches against Muruk so you can learn to read and predict Muruk's attacks.

Muruk has three forms: Normal, Fire, and Ice.

  • Attacks in all three forms:
    • Headbutt: Hits in front. Can be Guarded. Knocks down if unGuarded.
    • Body Slam: Hits on all sides. Can be Guarded. Knocks down if unGuarded. Deals very heavy damage very close to Muruk. Deals less damage a bit further from Muruk.
  • "Spinning attacks":
    • Spines: Hits much of the field for small damage. Inflicts Paralysis. Deflector completely blocks this attack. Typically uses twice in Normal form.
    • Spinning Attack: Spins around the field (roughly) twice. On uses in Fire form before Warning and in both Fire and Ice forms after Warning.
    • Fire Blast: Floats above the middle of the field and launches many blasts around the field. The blasts inflict Break. Also leaves a large Fire-elemental Magic Circle (that affects characters' weapons) in the middle of the field. Uses in Fire form after Warning.
    • Ice Blast: Floats above the middle of the field and launches many blasts around the field. The blasts inflict Slip. Also leaves a large Ice-elemental Magic Circle (that affects characters' weapons) in the middle of the field. Uses in Ice form.

Fire Muruk absorbs Fire and is very weak to Ice. Ice Muruk absorbs Ice and is very weak to Fire.

The vast majority of the times I've fought Muruk, it followed the pattern I have below. Just know that it is possible for it to deviate somewhat from the below pattern.

Muruk uses several Headbutts and Body Slams in between what I call its "spinning attacks". Muruk begins in Normal form and starts with a Body Slam. Body Slam is vicious if unGuarded but it is very, very obvious when Muruk is about to use it. It then uses Spines twice (with several Headbutts and Body Slams before and after the Spines). If there is a long lag at the beginning of the match, Muruk may do its first Spines earlier than usual. It may even go straight to its first Spines if there is a very long lag. It then switches to Fire or Ice form and alternates between Fire and Ice forms for the rest of the fight. From my experience, it seems to switch first to Fire form if it is not yet in Warning at that point (and stays in Fire form for three "spinning attacks" if it still isn't in Warning yet) but often switches first to Ice form if it is already in Warning at that point. Warning happens when Muruk goes down to roughly one-third of its max HP or when enough time has passed. Before Warning, Fire Muruk only uses Spinning Attack as its "spinning attack" (I apologize for my unfortunate choice in name for Spinning Attack) while Ice Muruk only uses Ice Blast as its "spinning attack". After Warning, Fire and Ice forms use Spinning Attack immediately followed by Fire/Ice Blast as its "spinning attack". Also after Warning, there is much less time in between "spinning attacks" (typically two non-"spinning attacks").

A mage should be able to safely get off two fully charged spells in between "spinning attacks" after Warning. Three fully charged spells is possible but risky. During Spinning Attack, Muruk makes roughly two laps around the field. The corners of the battlefield and the gate near the Heal Bomb are usually safe from the Fire/Ice Blasts. There are small regions between the pillars that also tend to be safe from the Fire/Ice Blasts.

 __________________
|SSSS          SSSS|     P: Pillar
|SSS            SSS|     H: Heal Bomb
|S  PP   SS   PP  S|     B: Bomb that deals 1000 (not Fire) damage
|   PP        PP   |     S: Regions that are (usually) safe from
|              B   |        Fire/Ice Blasts
|   S          S   |
|   S          S   |
|   B              |
|   PP       HPP   |
|S  PP   SS   PP  S|
|SSS     SS     SSS|
|SSSS___SSSS___SSSS|

If you are hit by Fire Blast, try to quickly get Break removed. If you are hit by Ice Blast, don't move until Slip wears off (look at your character's feet). You can still safely cast spells or use Diffuse, though. Otherwise, just Guard until the Slip wears off. If you are a Diffuser, quickly diffuse the Magic Circles that come from Fire/Ice Blast and wait about a second or two for the element that Muruk absorbs to fade from your weapon before attacking. If you are waiting in a safe spot during Fire/Ice Blast, you can get a Diffuse ready to diffuse the Circle as soon as the Blast ends.

If you are using the Manual attack setting, you can press attack to move forward slightly without slipping when inflicted with Slip.

Deflector is especially helpful against Muruk. If you are a Diffuser with a Calista in the party, try to time Diffuses so that you put up a Deflector right as Muruk starts Spinning Attack so that the Deflector will last through the entire attack and even through the Fire/Ice Blast if Muruk is in Warning.

If there isn't a Calista in the party (or even if there is a Calista in the party, since Deflectors may be put up too early or too late), Heal Circles are a good way to avoid being Paralyzed by Spines. Characters who are inside a Heal Circle do not get Paralyzed by Spines. Typically, Muruk uses two attacks, then a Spines, then two more attacks, and then the second Spines (this is what typically happens, but not always). As Muruk is using the second attack between Spines, toss a Heal Bomb. Then stand inside the Heal Circle as Muruk uses Spines.

I've mentioned this in the Zael/Dagran/Syrenne section, but this is a mistake that can easily cause unnecessary Downs so I will mention it again. DO NOT diffuse Heal Circles in this fight. Only in the most contrived of situations can diffusing a Heal Circle in this fight be better than leaving Heal Circles alone. Just. Don't. Do. It.

If you are a mainly-casting mage (as opposed to a Hybrid Mage) and there are several mainly-casting mages on the team, don't keep making Magic Circles next to Muruk. If there are many Magic Circles next to Muruk, then the characters physically attacking Muruk will most likely be experiencing a major lag on their physical attacks.

What if you are facing Muruk with a party that has characters with very powerful weapons? There's not much specific to say here except get in a long Chain to try to kill Muruk before it changes form for the first time. If you're a non-Hybrid Mage, lay down a Magic Circle and then run up to attack, as long as you can stay alive. Don't run up to Muruk to attack only to get promptly squished by Muruk's Body Slam.

Atar

Once Atar goes down to about 60% of its max HP, Warning happens and Mitra joins the fight. Atar and Mitra have very similar attacks and do/take the same amount of damage. Atar has higher max HP. I believe that Mitra's max HP is around the HP Atar has left when Atar goes into Warning. So don't think that Atar has significantly less HP than Mitra when Mitra appears.

In this section, I will use SB (Sentinel Beast) to mean either Atar or Mitra. Atar and Mitra have different attacks depending on whether they are on the ground or in the air. Most of the time after Warning, one SB will be grounded and one will be flying. So if Atar is grounded and Mitra swoops down, Atar will quickly start flying (and vice versa). If Atar is flying and Mitra starts flying, watch Atar because it will swoop down very soon (and vice versa).

  • Attacks while grounded:
    • Claw Swipe: Swipes twice in front against a close target. Can be Guarded. Knocks down if unGuarded.
    • Linear Shockwave: Creates a long-range shockwave towards a target that isn't right next to the SB. Cannot be Guarded.
  • Attacks while flying:
    • Poison/Silence Blast: Launches a homing blast at each character that inflicts a status (Atar's inflicts Poison and Mitra's inflicts Silence). May be Guard Countered by any character. Screeches when starting this attack.
    • Energy Blast: Launches many blasts at target. Can be Guarded. Often uses Swoop Down after this.
    • Ground Burst: After a brief delay, many white discs appear on the field for a short while. The discs erupt to damage characters above them after a brief delay. Cannot be Guarded. Deals a fixed 2240 damage (which can be reduced with Dodge), regardless of stats or Deflector. (However, the attribute on Dragon Armour and Calista's Dress does reduce this damage when Deflector is active.) Screeches when starting this attack. Mitra starts with this when it appears.
    • Swoop Down: Swoops down on target. Often uses after an Energy Blast. Can be Guarded. Knocks down if unGuarded.
  • Atar-only attack:
    • Damage Circle: Creates a Damage Circle that covers the field.

The flying SB attacks very infrequently and the grounded SB's attacks are easy to Guard or Dodge so the main thing for this fight is knowing how to deal with each attack in turn. Atar typically begins the match with a Swoop Down, so don't immediately start charging a spell as the match begins. Be prepared to Guard the inital Swoop Down. If you are attacking a grounded SB physically (who is targeting you with Claw Swipe), you should be able to get in two (Normal setting) attacks safely and be ready to guard. Three is possible but risky. (This is different is you are using Syrenne though.) The Linear Shockwave cannot be Guarded, so dive (perpendicular to the line of the shockwave if you want to evade it completely) instead to Dodge or evade it completely. Know that Swoop Down typically follows an Energy Blast so be prepared for it. When the Damage Circle is active, quickly step inside a Heal Circle. The regen from a Heal Circle prevents the effects of a Damage Circle. The Damage Circle lasts a bit longer than the regen effect from a Heal Circle so as long as you step into a Heal Circle at least once after the Damage Circle begins, you should be safe (from the Damage Circle, anyway) for most of the duration of the Damage Circle. DO NOT DIFFUSE HEAL CIRCLES DURING A DAMAGE CIRCLE. I repeat, DO NOT DIFFUSE HEAL CIRCLES DURING A DAMAGE CIRCLE. Doing that gets people Downed unnecessarily. Ground Burst may be the most dangerous attack here since it does fixed, relatively high damage. Get hit by three or four of those and you'll probably be Downed or close to being Downed. The Poison/Silence Blasts can be Guard Countered. Since Atar/Mitra screeches right before using Poison/Silence Blast, learn the timing well enough and you may be able to consistently Guard Counter them without even seeing them coming.

When a SB starts flying, it often screeches (without an accompanying attack) and then moves right afterwards. So if you are about to toss a spell at a SB that just flew into the air, wait a short moment to see if it moves.

Power/Magic Essences give a much bigger boost to damage in this fight than in other fights, so take advantage of them.

What if you are facing Atar/Mitra with a party that has characters with very powerful weapons? In this case, I don't suggest much of a modification of strategy. Atar and Mitra move around so much that my usual recommendation for non-Hybrid Mages to lay a Magic Circle and then attack physically doesn't really work that well. Just fight as you usually do.

Hosting A Room

If you are hosting the room and everyone else is locked into a character, don't switch characters (or boss selection) and then immediately start the match. Your switching may cause others to want to make a switch as well, so give them a bit of time just in case.

Ancient Barrier

Ancient Barrier creates a psuedo-Heal Circle effect. Allies who go into an Ancient Barrier dome get status ailments removed and gain a regen effect (but only while they are inside the dome). So if you are inflicted with Poison/Silence/Death/Break/Sticky and an ally with Ancient Barrier is nearby, just enter the dome to remove the status. Or if you have an Ancient Barrier and there is an ally nearby with a negative status, you can remove that status by getting close enough to that ally with your Ancient Barrier dome. Ancient Barrier also gives a Deflector-like effect. Allies who go into an Ancient Barrier dome get a buff (indicated by a purple ring surrounding the character) that increases defence and blocks small enemy projectiles. Unlike the regen from Ancient Barrier, this buff lasts for a short while after leaving the dome. Again, if an ally with Ancient Barrier is nearby, it may be helpful to quickly enter the dome for this buff. And if you have Ancient Barrier, you can help nearby allies by giving them the buff.

Picking Up Items With Arrows

Items can be picked up by shooting them. This is very helpful for Diffusers to pick up Annihilator Arrows in the fight against Atar. Well, this is helpful in any fight, but it is especially helpful in the Atar fight since the field is so large.

Hybrid Mage

The "best" mages in Co-op are functionally physical fighters who are able to make Magic Circles and who can't diffuse Magic Circles. That is, what I'm calling a hybrid mage is one with a weapon with high physical attack and who often joins Diffusers on the front line. I don't mean that hybrid mages don't use spells (they should, since Magic Circles boost physical attacks). I just mean that they make use of the fact that physical damage outperforms magical damage in this game. A mage (with a high physical attack weapon) using physical attacks easily outdamages a mage (with a powerful magic-oriented weapon) using magic (in most situations). To further compound things, hybrid mages contribute to Chains, further increasing the damage output of the party.

The weapons of choice for hybrid mages are typically the online-obtainable weapons (Claw Sword, Trident, Eclipse, Spirale, Dragoon, Prophet, Sunflower, Squeaky Hammer, Zero Sword, Coral, and Rose) and the North/South Wings. Of course, Lowell can use any good physical-oriented weapon (except the Traive) as well.

Just make sure, if you want to play a mage this way, that your mage's weapon is upgraded at least moderately. Don't equip a mage with a North Wing+5 and then expect to do well as a hybrid mage.

If you want a high physical attack weapon (that the mages can equip) that also boosts spell-casting ability, nothing can compare to the North Wing. And I'm not just saying that because the North Wing is a red sword that can emit blue light.

A note on the North/South Wings. Because the South Wing's speed-cast attribute requires Max Spirit, it does not work in Co-op. Thus, the North Wing is strictly superior to the South Wing in Co-op.

Avoiding Shortcut Messages (Nunchuk)

When using the Wii Remote+Nunchuk online, left and right on the D-Pad are used for both rotating the camera and for shortcut messages. This can lead to a player accidentally spamming messages when rotating the camera. If you use a Wii Remote+Nunchuk online, there is a very easy way to avoid this. Simply leave at least one page of your message assignments free of shortcut messages (or, at least, the left and right shortcut messages). Then stay on that page most of time. And if you change pages to purposely say a message, remember to go back to the page with no shortcut messages afterwards.

Weapons for Co-op

In general, try to avoid using weapons that have a Fire, Ice, or Darkness element.

The important thing to understand is that the best offence in Co-op, with powerful weapons, is the basic physical attack. So when upgrading weapons for Co-op, that is what to keep in mind. And if you don't have powerful weapons, it is probably better for you to stick with mages or weapons with attributes that boost your survivability.

If you don't plan on upgrading weapons much beyond a first playthrough, or you do plan to upgrade beyond a first playthrough but haven't made much progress yet: Your damage isn't going to vary very much between weapons if you aren't/haven't upgraded much beyond a first playthrough. It's the weapon attributes that matter in this case. For your mages, I suggest a weapon that boosts casting speed, such as the Memento/Affection Dagger, North Wing, Witchcraft, and Sorcerer. Note that the South Wing and Arganan Dagger do have attributes that boost casting speed, but those attributes require Max Spirit and so do not work in Co-op. If you want to occasionally see big numbers from your spells, you may want to give the Gurak Dagger a try. As for Zael and Dagran, I highly recommend a Traive of at least +3, if you have one (or two). The Traive's self-healing attribute gives an immense boost to survivability. Fight carefully with a Traive of +3 or better and you should rarely need a Heal Circle. Just don't let it become a crutch and grow careless. Otherwise, I don't have any very strong suggestions. The Movement Speed increase from the Stranger and Zero Sword are pretty nice. As for Syrenne... Syrenne is a beast in Co-op if she has powerful weapons. But if you don't have powerful weapons, I suggest you avoid using Syrenne. Syrenne's attacks leave her open quite a bit longer than Zael's or Dagran's. Without powerful weapons, I just don't find Syrenne to be worth using in Co-op.

If you plan on upgrading a good deal beyond a first playthrough: If you want pure power, the online reward weapons give the largest increase to physical attack thanks to their shared Physical/Magical Attack x1.3 attribute. The stat differences between the online weapons are pretty negligible, so just go with whichever ones you like. As for the attributes that differ among the online weapons, only two of them really have an impact in Co-op: the Squeaky Hammer's self-healing attribute and the Zero Sword's Movement Speed increase. The Squeaky Hammer's self-healing attribute has a low activation rate so I'd say the "best" online weapon for Co-op is the Zero Sword. But like I said before, all of the online weapons give a huge increase to physical attack and you really can't go wrong with any of them. For Hybrid Mages who rarely cast, the online weapons are hands-down the best weapons for Co-op. But if you want to use a Hybrid Mage but also want a weapon that boosts spell-casting ability, the North Wing is the way to go. Keep in mind that the online weapons outperform the North Wing in physical damage by quite a bit. So only choose the North Wing over an online weapon if you specifically want a Hybrid Mage with good spell-casting ability in addition to great physical damage output. As for Zael and Dagran, you can't go wrong with the online weapons for pure physical attack, so I'll talk about some non-online weapons. If you love Slashing Kraken, consider using the Stranger. Personally, I find the Traive to easily be the "best" overall Co-op weapon for Zael and Dagran. Some weapons do more damage per hit than the Traive, such as online weapons and Guardian Fangs (on average), but that's not looking at the full picture. A Traive user rarely, if ever, needs to go to a Heal Circle. In the time that a Zael/Dagran with a stronger-than-a-Traive-per-hit weapon goes to heal, even once, a Traive user can get in many extra hits, easily outdamaging other weapons in fights where non-Traive-using Zaels and Dagrans go to heal. As for Syrenne, in addition to the online weapons, I also recommend Guardian Fangs (for the increase in Critical Hit rate).

Note that weapons get smaller and smaller stat increases per upgrade at certain milestones. By the time most weapons reach +50 or +55, each further upgrade only gives 20 more total stat points (physical plus magical attack). A weapon at around +55 has most of the stats of the +99 version while only costing a very small amount compared to the cost of getting it to +99. Keep that in mind.

Luring Nebirous

Nebirous often switches targets to a mage that starts casting. A mage can use this to purposely keep Nebirous' attention on him/her. If a mage holds A/a very briefly and then releases, that mage will float in the air for a brief moment and then fall down without tossing a spell (I'll call this a "spell cancel"). But that counts as starting to cast a spell and thus draws Nebirous' attention. This can be used to consistently lure Nebirous in certain situations. A Nebirous lurer can spell cancel at the start of the fight, drawing Nebirous' attention. As long as others don't draw Nebirous' attention, the lurer can keep Nebirous off of all other allies, allowing everyone else to safely gather Silver Arrows. Even if someone else draws Nebirous' attention, the lurer can usually (but not always) get Nebirous' attention back with a spell cancel. If the lurer is a Hybrid Mage, he/she can run around the mansion and help with defeating archers, as long as others understand not to try to attack or shoot Nebirous prematurely, which would draw Nebirous' attention away from the lurer. Otherwise, I would suggest the lurer stay in the large entrance room. It is quite simple to avoid Nebirous' attacks altogether in that large room. And then when the party is ready to attack Nebirous, the lurer can lure Nebirous into a room with no archers (the entrance room and the room with a Heal Bomb and no archers) and lay down a Magic Circle (if time permits) so that Nebirous can be Paralyzed over a Magic Circle in a room with no annoying archers.

This definitely won't work well in every party. This works best in a party where no other mages cast while Nebirous has its shield up and the lurer can successfully communicate that he/she is trying to lure Nebirous (I like to use Zael's "Maybe I can draw its attention." line when I do this). This tactic is probably a waste of the lurer's time in a party where there's another mage who keeps casting to attack archers or a party with a person or persons who immediately shoot Nebirous as soon as they get Silver Arrows.

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