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I'm thinking of keeping a mage ryu dead until mygas, then do emitai when gotten, and then deis when you get her.
For rei I'm thinking of just doing Bunyan, and for mono I'm not really sure, but would it be a good idea to use Fahl for her and to make peco be a skill doll to get shadowwalk to pass it to momo? And also, would it be okay to just be using these three characters and to just pretty much ignore/not use anyone else?
I'm sure much more knowledgeable people will correct me, but in the meantime I'll give my two cents.
The master setup for Ryu looks solid I would say if you're going mage. On a personal note though, consider if you really want to keep Ryu dead till Mygas. Technically yes it's optimal, but it's the first master you encounter and it might be more of a hassle than those few extra points are worth, that's just my experience though, your call of course.
Bunyan is a very solid choice for Rei. There seem to be two schools of thought regarding Rei: go for power, or go for even more speed. The ones in the power camp seem to go with bunyan, I can confirm that this works well. I don't want to spoil anything, but later in the game Rei will have something that makes him pack quite a punch, and more attack power will just make it all the more glorious.
I Guess Momo could do with some Fahl levels given her low defence, I don't know if leaving her there would be overkill though... Also consider that her accuracy is really bad and D'lonzo boosts that, just something to keep in mind. She's very solid though, support healing and good weapons, if she can hit that is.
You could use Peco as skill doll, just remember, he's one of the most powerful characters in the game, but if you won't use him it doesn't matter, but anyone you're not using makes a good skill doll I guess, since you won't always be able to use your desired setup, other characters will level as well.
That also kinda answers your last question, yes for the most part you can ignore the rest, but sometimes you won't be able to use your preferred setup, but don't worry too much about that since that will mostly be during the first half of the game, so you don't need to actually pay attention to the other characters, you'll probably just have someone else that also gets used and will naturally level along, which will make them good skill dolls!
These are just my two cents though, so take them as that, I'm by no means an expert.
Mage Ryu is not a bad idea at all. For a first play through, keeping him dead *might* be a bit challenging. If you can stand it then go ahead. If not, the few levels you would gain otherwise is not a big deal.
Rei under Bunyan is very common. It gives him some core stats without hurting his best stat, agility.
I love putting Momo under Fahl. It fills in her core weaknesses and increases her power even more. Yes, putting shadowwalk on her is a great idea. It is has a 100% chance to hit anything in the game, even for her. Combined with the huge power she already has, the boost from fahl and her ultimate weapon, the Atomic Bomb, 198 attack power, the highest off all weapons in the game, even more than the GKS, makes shadowwalk a massive hit to anything she hits.
I would suggest one of the other characters as a skill doll. Peco, contrary to what it may look like, is actually a great character. My favorite in the game. You may want to give him a try. As a rule of thumb, most people just put him under Fahl starting at level one and just let him level up there the whole time. He gets insane HP gains (up to 19 in one level!) and becomes a massive tank. He also has a staggering 50% reprisal rating! Putting him in the lead position of attack formation can crush a lot of enemy packs off of reprisals without you ever having to attack much. His breath attack damage are also based on his health. Which do great damage and can sweep away an entire screen of enemies in a single casting. Don't sleep on my favorite little onion. He is a crusher of worlds when he needs to be.
You can stick to the same party for most of the game but there are some parts of the game that will require a certain character to pass by, or someone might be MIA from your party for storyline reasons. After those events have passed though, you can switch back. You are not stuck with anyone except Ryu, even in the endgame.
Stress: Not strangling the life out of someone when they desperately need it.