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Rafa/Malak FAQ by Orion
Version: 2.0 | Updated: 12/03/02
Rafa/Malak FAQ 2.0 ================== 2.0 update: added Summoner Malak setup, fixed a few typos, modified Wizard Malak and Wizard Rafa. Added general strategies. Still lack a few random scenario strategies. 1. Introduction. =================== This is the beta draft of the Rafa/Malak FAQ, a project of several individuals on the FFT board. I am Orion, the coordinator of the project. Where you see no other indication, assume it is me writing. My fellow contributors are OO0Sevenx0OO, AstrologistOlan19, Olan, SwordSeraph and MetalShadow, who I thank sincerely for the help. You will see their name above their work, and mine too generally. AOlan19 and 7x are contractions of AstrologistOlan19 and OO0Sevenex0OOO. This is still very rough. It is unpleasant to the eye. It lacks several setups and whole sections. Yet, it is the most complete analysis of Rafa and Malak as of today, I believe, and it is worth uploading. Updates will come soon. The FAQ is divided in sections: 2 Truth and Untruth Formulas 3 Statistical Data 4 Rafa and Malak Setups 5 Elementals 6 Effect Area Reduction 7 General Strategies 8 Battle strategies 2. TRUTH AND UNTRUTH FORMULAS ============================== (Orion) Truth ((MA+8)/2)*MA) Heaven Thunder ((MA+9)/2)*MA) Asura ((MA+10)/2)*MA) Diamond Sword ((MA+12)/2)*MA) Hydragon Pit ((MA+6)/2)*MA) Space Storage ((MA+20)/2)*MA) Sky Demon Un-truth [((MA+27)/2)*MA)*cFA%*tFA%] Heaven Bltback [((MA+30)/2)*MA)*cFA%*tFA%] Asura Back [((MA+34)/2)*MA)*cFA%*tFA%] Dia Swrd Back [((MA+40)/2)*MA)*cFA%*tFA%] Dragn Pit Back [((MA+20)/2)*MA)*cFA%*tFA%] Space Str Back [((MA+60)/2)*MA)*cFA%*tFA%] Sky Demon Back Thanks to Notti for the info. Note: in Untruth, consider cFA=100- effective cFA, and tFA=100-effective tFA These formulas are quadratic in MA. An unical case in this game, and quite noticeable for its power. As far as Rafa is concerned, you do not need to be concerned with Faith. Malak need to have low faith (3) to work at his best. They can both be made in magic resistant deadly mages, the only units in the whole game with this property, but for a couple of reasons I would suggest keeping Rafa's Faith around 70. The MA+K/2 part has to be truncated to get the exact value (thanks Olan). Anyway, with high MA Rafa will inflict extreme (generally fatal) damage in very little time without any MP cost. Malak won't get the equivalent of Rafa's power unless the enemy is faithed (in that case he is even better than her). ------------------------------------------------------------------- From now on, it's Math Jargon. You do not need to read all of this to improve your skills with Rafa and Malak, not directly at least. If you are not interested in the details, skip to the next bar. ------------------------------------------------------------------- A couple of approximations to understand Malak's skills now. We call common damage the damage a Faith 3 Untruth skill would inflict on an enemy with Faith 60 (the average case). Zodiac is excluded for now. It can be used as a very rough prediction of damage. We will examine the Faithed enemy case and the Normal case. The divisions return an integer (truncation, thanks Olan) Normal case Heaven BltBack (5 + [MA/5])*MA 7 MA if Malak's MA =13 for instance Asura Back (6+[MA/5])*MA 9 MA if Malak's MA = 15 Dia Sword Back (6+[MA/5]) *MA Dragon Pit Back (7+[MA/5])*MA Space Storage Back (3+[MA/5])*MA Sky Demon Back (11+[MA/5]) Same speed of elemental level 3 spells, but with MA>20 15MA instead of 13 MA (the common damage of a 94 Faith caster), delivered by a magic resistant mage. ------------------ End of Math Jargon ------------------ When Malak's MA gets over 20, you have the rough equivalent of a Faith 70 Faith Magic caster, but immune to magic and faster to boot, as long as the first three skills and space storage are concerned. Dragon Pit Back and Sky Demon are already much stronger. In the end: MA>15 good damage and fast charge time MA>20 mages are not necessary anymore MA>25 hell on two feet When hitting a faithed enemy, the damage will skyrocket. Space storage for instance will inflict more than 13MA when MA>8. I will not report the various numbers, let's just say it is a killing shot. As for Rafa, she is faster and stronger than the common case with MA>12, her power growing with a terrible speed. You can see very well MA is central to their gameplay. For low or medium MA setups, you should use Truth/Untruth only to poke quickly from afar (they will inflict good damage but not enough to be used as your main weapon). 3. STATISTICAL DATA =================== (Orion) The average number of strikes for a Truth/Untruth casting is random, going from one to six. The average is 3.5 (thanks to Johnsgs and Goryus). The number of strikes actually connecting is a binomial variable. Discussing its distribution is not the aim of this FAQ. We will simply present a couple of odds for the common cases. You will get better results reducing the target area using high cliffs, rocks and the like. One hit is generally enough to kill, with an high MA Rafa. Odds to hit (once): One enemy on five squares: 50% Two enemies on five squares: 76% Three enemies on five squares: 89% One enemy on 4 squares: 59% Two on four: 83% Three on four: 94% One on three: 69% Two on three: 91% Rafa and Malak Setups ====================== An introductory word: Remember the high MA setups are much better than the low MA setups, but all of these configurations have been studied to be good on the field, and each one of them may fit your playing style better than the others. There are just a few of them right now, more will come with time, but they should be a good base to start from. When you lack the equipment to complete one, remember to approximate for MA and Elemental boosting (i.e: if you lack a Wizard Robe, pick a Black Robe). I will insert a few personal opinions every now and then, sometimes disagreeing with the creator of the setup, reflecting the multiple views presented in this FAQ. Rafa (Orion) Heaven Knight Rafa Truth Draw Out Blade Grasp Short Charge Move +2 Whale Whisker Flash Hat Wizard Robe Magic Gauntlet She has good MA and MP, very good speed, but far from good PA or HP. She is a natural back line support, healing and attack unit. Draw Out can be used to dispatch weakened enemies who get too close if it's the case, but its main use should be Protect+Shell and healing. Notice this setup is Faith unrelated, you can have her with high or low faith as you please. Chances are you'll act first, land a reasonably powerful Truth, or boost your party, or kill with your Whale Wisker. A Mace of Zeus would give you better MA, but you'd lose a fierce, two-squares attack. Enjoy her. This is not her most powerful form, but easily one of the funniest. If your Faith is around 70 or so, you may want Summon as secondary, and Elemental can be substituted to Draw Out if you have other units with that. It's all a matter of gamestyle from this point. (7x) Geomancer Rafa (Brave 97, Faith 60) Elemental Truth Blade Grasp Magic Attack UP Teleport Rune Blade Aegis Shield Flash Hat Wizard Robe 10B Gems 7x's all-time favorite Rafa setup. The combination of elemental boost (All element damage boosted by 25%), a +6 magic boost and Magic Attack Up (all magic attacks boosted by 30%) means that Truth and Elemental are lethal. Blade Grasp/Aegis Shield/60 Faith means that Rafa can still be hit by helpful magic, but is extremely hard to hit with enemy magic and ranged monster magical type attacks and can't be hit with physical attacks/monster attacks/jumps/ranged monster and human physical attacks. A decent front-line fighter, but better at mid to long range. (7x) Mediator Rafa Mediator Truth Dragon Spirit Magic Attack Up Move+2 Blast Gun (empty) Flash Hat Wizard Robe 10B Gems The good thing about this setup is that Truth and the Elemental guns receive the same boosts, so that they are both powered up. The idea is to stay just out of melee range, picking off characters with the blast gun, putting enemies to sleep, berserking magic users, and using truth when two enemies are in truth range. (7x) Summoner Rafa Summon Truth Blade Grasp Short Charge Teleport Wizard Rod (empty) Flash Hat Wizard Robe 108 Gems Summon and Truth compliment each other well... use summon for healing, support, and one or two big spells, then rip 'em up with Truth (or use Truth first, then lower level summons to pick off the survivors). Either way, a good mage. (Orion's note: Summons also add Ice to the arsenal of elements) (AOlan) Ninja Rafa Throw Truth Weapon Guard or Counter Equip Sword Fly Rune Blade Rune Blade Flash Hat Secret Clothes 108 Gems Thanks to my ignorance before, I completely looked over the two Rune Blades (thanks sevenex for pointing this out!). This will boost her MA way up, so her Truth will be more effective than with the ninja swords. Since she is so fast and has the Secret Clothes equipped, have Rafa creep behind the enemy and chop away with the Rune Blades, while getting away quickly if need be. The elements are strengthened because of 108 Gems, which will also allow her to cause a lot of damage with Truth, so use it often. All in all, assassin-like Rafa is very effective here. (Orion's note: while MAUP would increase Truth damage more than two rune blades at high levels, the difference is still modest enough to take instead a very fierce physical attack, Brave unrelated). (AOlan) Oracle Rafa Yin-Yang Magic Truth MP Switch Magic Attack UP Move-MP UP Wizard Rod --- Flash Hat Robe of Lords Magic Gauntlets When things get out of hand, Life Absorb and Spell Absorb will be there to help you when you need it. The MP Switch/Move-MP UP combo will help you out big time because of the low HP matter with Oracle Rafa. If you chose to use the Faith Rod, take the time to cripple the enemy with Darkness, Silence, Confusion, Don't Act, and Sleep before charging for Truth. This technique will buy the time to charge up without being interrupted. (AOlan) Time Mage Rafa Time Magic Truth Blade Grasp Magic Attack UP Move +2 Mace of Zeus --- Flash Hat Robe of Lords Magic Gauntlets Truth should be very effective when in time mage form. Since Truth works better when MA is greater than 15, this should be easily done and so, you can cause some serious damage. Demi the enemy until they are weak enough for your party to attack, or you can just cast Meteor and end the whole battle right there. If you want, make sure you have Haste and Float on all party members to give them a greater chance at winning. (Orion's Note: I would suggest to have Rafa cast good statuses on your units when the enemies are still out of Truth range. After that, just blast with Truth) (AOlan) White Mage Rafa White Magic Truth MP Switch Magic Attack UP Move-MP UP Mace of Zeus --- Flash Hat Robe of Lords Magic Gauntlets Like last time, the advice I can give for this is quite self-explanatory, but I'll do it any way: cast Holy and use Truth, then get out of there and start healing. Pretty simple, huh? Follow this and you'll have a sure-fire victory. (AOlan) Samurai Rafa Draw Out Truth Blade Grasp Magic Attack UP Fly Chirijiraden --- Grand Helmet Robe of Lords Genji Gauntlets Rafa, because of the HP bonuses and Blade Grasp, has a fighting chance out in battle, and she can inflict massive damage with a single slice of her katana. Magic Attack UP will benefit Draw Out AND Truth, so expect to cause lots of damage with even Asura (Both skills)! That's all I can say about Samurai Rafa. (Orion's note: remember to raise her Brave) (Orion) Black Mage Rafa Black Magic Truth Blade Grasp Short Charge Fly Wizard Rod Flash Hat Robe of Lords 108 Gems A very strong form for Rafa. The summoner form has slightly lower MA, but Shiva works a bit better than Ice, and BM lacks protective and healing spells. This particular setup is maybe her second best. Pick speed over power here, you already have the first. Malak (Orion) Hell Knight Malak Un-Truth Draw Out MA Save Magic Attack UP Move +3 Whale Whisker Flash Hat Black Robe Magic Gauntlet Fun as Rafa, but with a few important differences. First of all, his MA is not as high, his PA and HP are definitely good, and his MP are not something you want to count on anyway (the only way of spending MPs is through faith magic). To get his MA in shape, you need MA UP badly. This will force you to plan ahead more than the usual, or to use the strategies in the rest of the FAQ. Luckily, MAUP will make your Draw Out much stronger. In the end, you have the usual high speed character, with enough HP this time and a less powerful magic attack. MA Save combined with his HPs and the possibility to heal with Draw Out will, over long, hard battles, allow your Untruth to pack quite a punch. It is also possible to "support" him by throwing stones at him and boosting your favourite unfaith mage to boot. Also note that "less powerful" does not mean weak ;) (AOlan) Geomancer Malak Elemental Un-Truth MA Save Two Swords Move +3 Rune Blade Rune Blade Thief Hat Rubber Costume (to absorb, or Black Robe) Genji Gauntlets One of the best jobs for Malak, the geomancer is on the fine line between magic and attacking jobs. Earth Mages gain bonuses from both PA and MA, meaning they have a way of using them effectively. Because of the two rune blades, Malak will get bonuses on MA and get to attack the enemy twice, which really helps out, because you can start to weaken the enemy from afar with Elemental, then come in and start chopping them up with your rune blades. All you need is a Japanese steak house and you'll have dinner ^_^ But really, Un-Truth will be extra effective in this job, because of the fact that both geomancers and Un- Truth use MA. (7x) Samurai Malak Samurai Untruth Blade Grasp Two Hands Move+3 Chiirijarden (both hands) Genjii Helm Wizard Robe 10B Gems Monster attacker, decent mage, he can heal, hit from long range, do whatever. Get him on the battlefield and do whatever you feel like. (7x) Ninja Malak Throw Un-Truth Dragon Spirit Equip Sword Move+3 Rune Blade Rune Blade Flash Hat Power Sleeve 10B Gems Speed, power, and magical ability, all in one. I've used this Malak setup before, and it works very well. You get someone to do some weak attack on you, then you can either bum rush the enemy or make them come to you, taking long range damage as they get nearer. Good at short range with his Rune Blades, midrange with his Untruth, and long range with throw. Not incredibly stealthy, but a hell of a fighter. (7x) Oracle Malak Yin-Yang Untruth Blade Grasp Short Charge Move+3 Faith Rod --- Flash Hat Earth Clothes Magic Gauntlet The only true magic Malak around is an Oracle. It's a toss-up between being a physical attacker or a status adder, and that's where this Malak is good. A boosted, short charged Sky Demon hurts, and Sleep and Paralyze can be very helpful, more so than a Whale Whisker attack. (7x) Archer Malak Charge Untruth Sunken State Short Charge Move+3 Perseus Bow (both hands) Flash Hat Earth Clothes Genjii Gauntlet Find the high ground... and once you do, pick off single enemies with bow attacks or groups with Untruth. When you find yourself at a terrain disadvantage or in close melee, Untruth should be very helpful. Sky Demon is your Untruth of choice here. Orion's note: notice the Earth Clothes and Genjii Gauntlet. Sky Demon will actually hurt despite the relatively low MA. (Orion) Black Mage Malak Black Magic Truth Mp-Switch Magic Attack Up Move Mp Up Wizard Rod Flash Hat Wizard Robe 108 Gems I used to believe this was his best setup. I radically changed my mind lately. While this is still the best for for Untruth (almost, ALMOST as good as Truth at level 99) a new setup rose to get the throne. Summoner Malak Summon Untruth Mp Switch Short Charge Move Mp Up Faith Rod Flash Hat Wizard Robe 108 gems. In this form, you get the best combination of element exploitation, power and casting speed. Also note that, because of the Unfaith glitch, the faith rod gives you maximum hitting power but against high faithed opponents (Summons) and low faithed ones (Untruth), adding to the usual (impressive) elements of Untruth the powerful Ice. 5 - ELEMENTALS ============== (OO0Sevenx0OO) Here is a list detailing the BEST spells to use against many of the monsters in this game or those you should NOT use. My sincere thanks to 7x. Heaven Thunder (Back): Strong against Pisco Demons, Squidlarkin, and Mindflares. Asura (Back): Strong against Ghouls, Gusts, Renvants, Skeletons, Bone Snatches, Living Bones, Woodmen, Trent, Taiju, and Blue Dragons. Absorbed by Bombs, Grenades, and Explosives. Diamond Sword (Back): Strong against Hydras, Hyduras, and Tiamats. Halved against Flotiballs, Ahriman, Plagues, Juravis, Steel Hawks, and Cocatoris. Hydragon Pit (Back): Strong against Bombs, Grenades, Explosives, Bull Demons, Minitaurus, and Sacreds. Absorbed by Pisco Demons, Squidlarkin, and Mindflares. Sky Demon (Back): Strong against Red Panthers, Cuars, Vampires, Juravis, Steel Hawk, Cocatoris, Flotiballs, Ahriman, Plagues. Absorbed by Woodmen, Trent, and Taiju. Can't hit floating enemies. 6 - Effect Area reduction ========================= A very good asset, and a partial downfall, of Truth/Untruth skills is their height tolerance. Since you will have better chances of hitting your enemy when the EA is reduced (or the enemies present on it are many) there is the need to exploit the land to reduce the EA. Keep in mind these basic directives: - Stay on the sides. If you target the siidee of the screen you'll reduce the EA by one. It is a very common advantage and your main weapon on flat and even maps when you cannot target more than one enemy. Anyway, remember you get better odds with two enemies on five squares than one on four. Also, exploit corners (EA=3) - Small trees, rocks, and other one squarre obstacles. When you find an high enough obstacle (generally a tree, a rock, a crate) the most obvious advantage of it is reducing the effect area of your casting. In most cases, you also get a less obvious advantage. You can target THE obstacle, and have a different EA, in no case bigger than 4, and quite often smaller. - Hills, castles, mountains. Treat these as artificial borders, and apply the sides strategy. - Narrow ways. Bridges, walls and narrow clliffs will provide a killing ground for your Truth/Untruth. Narrow and forced passageways (like those in Horror) will also be sweet. 7 - General Strategies ==================== This section describes two advanced strategies that work by forcing the game to give you the ideal conditions for your castings. Troy horse This is just an improvement of the common Troy horse strategy in FFT, made to suit Truth and Untruth. The common trick is casting a summon or a slow spell on a unit with good Move. The unit will wait until the spell is about to fire off, then move next to the enemies for massive damage and improved range. The unit itself should be, as mentioned above, very mobile, and also well defended. You can sacrifice mobility for better defense or improved MA if you lack Move +3 or such. Summons are the most common spells used this way, but with a little help here and there it can be done with Black Magic too, giving the unit armor that absorbs or nullifies the spell at hand. It gets extremely useful with Truth and Untruth because: - your Malak can wear Earth Clothes and cast a MAUP powered Sky Demon back on himself, wait and then move into the enemies, or just downright move into them if he has Blade Grasp. You get very good chances of either healing your Malak enormously or hitting for very good damage. - you can use Rafa in Wizard form and Mallakk in low-faith Geomancer form as a perfect destruction squad. Rafa should cast Sky Demon and stay back, while Malak will enter melee, use his own spells or elemental and waits for destruction to fall on enemies around him (the CPU does not recognize panels around Truth/Untruth focus as dangerous: its problem) or the best kind of healing to land on his head. Remember your low faithed warriors would be hard to heal with faith magic, very, very hard. Also, Draw Out healing is MA based, and giving Draw Out to a knight isn't doing much good anyway. You can substitute any unit for Malak, especially since he has poor compatibility (not that it matters much given Rafa's power) with his sister. - alternatively, MALAK can be the caster off Sky Demon Back on your low faithed warriors with Earth Clothes et similia. The power of such an healing is enormous, even at relatively low MA values (at MA 10: 97*97*10*(10+60/2)/10000 = 329) so you can choose to deploy your Geomancer, Ninja, Wizard, HK or other mage Malak. A broad number of choices making your game versatile and providing your warriors an incostant but powerful form of healing. A more reliable, less offensive form of this strategy is reported later. Also notice that you can make your odds of healing and damage skyrocket through the right use of the terrain, and as long as you keep Malak in a magical or half-magical form you'll also get high or moderate damage from blows around your fighters. As seen above Rafa can pretty much do the same, but she's LESS efficient than Malak, since this time you control Caster Faith and Target Faith as well granting you ideal conditions. Holding the line This strategy is still about absorbing Truth and Untruth, but it's mostly about defense. It's also about setting the conditions of the fight to maximize your chances. In many maps you will learn to recognize "critical" spots. These are the ones where the average character of enemy can't pass well, but may well have to if they want to reach you, or to attack efficiently. A classical example is the pillar next to your starting one on Horror, but you can easily find similar spots in 95% of the maps. The edges of the three levels of Fahoviam Plains, for instance, or the rocks in Mandalia plains. You can position your defenders around or on these critical points. I.E two heavily armed knights on the first two squares of the "critical" pillar, low faithed. You will just hold them there, and keep casting Sky demon or similar on the pillar. You'll have an EA of 3 squares, two friendly units and maybe an enemy unit. In the first case, you have 91% to heal completely one of your knights, and about 70% to heal both. In the second, you have 100% odds of either healing or killing. This is an extreme example, and hardly necessary given the structure of Horror, but you can easily adapt it to most critical spots. Just get your party near an EA reducer, castle around it and wait. It would be wise to have relatively long range attacker to be able to attack around while holding the line. My choice goes to Geomancers (ok, I'm a Geo fan boy) or Samurais, units with faith unrelated damage and decent MA. Battle Strategies This section contains the strategies for both Story Battles and Random Battles (Orion for the first part, Metal Shadow and Astrologist Olan 19 for the Ending, Sword Seraph for Cloud's battle) Doguola Pass Easy battle. You may as well keep them as HKs. It may get a bit hard if you play it Olrlandu-like. No diving in, those lancers and knights will destroy you. Instead, quickly take the upper level, and bring your Rafa and Malak on it. To do that you may use a quick character to destroy the Wizard, the Archer will be of little importance. Once you have Rafa and Malak there (if you kept them as HKs they should have good speed too) start targeting those lancers and knights with Truth/Untruth. The height difference between levels will reduce the area of effect, and they will generally cluster. They will also need several turns to reach you. Use one of your Archers to take care of the wizard, if you like, otherwise Truth works just fine. Anyway, keep in mind this pattern. It is probably the best way to employ those two. Bervenia Free City You can have those two either as wizards or hybrids (geomancers/hks). I'll detail a couple of possibilities. Case A) You have a thief and you want defender and the like. Case B) You just want Meliadoul down. - case b1: you have got an Oracle with Faaitth (common) - base b2: you have no Oracle or no Faithh ((that's me, mecum omne plangite) A) Hybrids works better in this case. Truth won't be TOO hard on Meliadoul (around 80 points of damage) and you'll have the time to steal her stuff, hopefully. Hide behind the houses and wait for her. Your Truth area of effect should be no more than 4 squares, and quite possibly 3. You should not use Untruth, it does pitiful damage on Meliadoul. Have Malak as a Geomancer or Knight, a bodyguard for Rafa. B) In this case, you need Wizards. You can hit her when she comes down, as in point A, or when she is still on that tall building (you'll get a 3 effect area generally). b2) just use Rafa. With MA boosting and Thunder Strengthening equipment her Heaven Thunder will make Meliadoul critical with one it, and kill her with two. With EA=3, you have great odds of closing the battle in two castings. b1) If you have got an Oracle, Faithing Meliadoul will result in more or less 18*MA Untruth Damage, depending on the spells and zodiac. The combination of Faith-Truth-Untruth on Meliadoul will produce 7 strikes on average, assuming you have EA=3 you'll get awesome odds to kill her on the spot. With EA=4, you'll still get above average chances. Finath River Not really a strategy here. Just deploy your Rafalack on the sides to get a 4 squares radius and blast those chocobos to hell and back. I'd suggest using them as HKs here. Zeltennia Castle (Church Outside The Town) Not really a strategy here either. Just target Zalmo with Truth/Untruth at the beginning. He is very resistant to their skills however, use Rafa as a Wizard and Malak only against the knights here. Your usual effect area will be 4. Bed Desert Equip cold protecting shields and something to prevent don't act/don't move. You will be vulnerable to lightning, so use Malak to take out the wizard first. I like him as a Geomancer here. The whole fort is very good for reducing your EA, and your enemies won't live long after being targeted. When closing the gap, put Wizard Rafa against the walls. Bethla Garrison South Wall of Bethla Garrison Good level, but you need to be QUICK. Use them as HKs, and blast the Ninja and thieves on the high walls first thing. You won't need long if you have MA boosting equipment. Average EA on the high walls is three, and there are other good spots too. As soon as you blast the Ninja get on the walls and wait for the enemies. North Wall of Bethla Garrison Harder and not so Truth friendly. Occupy the border wall as soon as you can, and start blasting at those lancers, but take the summoner out first. He can wreak some major havok on you, but you have an edge in speed. If you feel like playing safe, flee around the wall with the others and use Malak to take out the Summoner with his Untruth (handy having him immune to magic). You will have an edge in speed over lancers too. In Front of Bethla Garrison's Sluice Enjoy. You have got it all, height difference for your Truth/Untruth, reduced effect area. Those knights guarding the switches are dead meat already. No strategy at all, just burn them to the ground, but destroy the wizard first. Germinas Peak ... same as before. That high placed Ninja is a perfect victim for Truth/Untruth. I won't insult the reader proposing a strategy here. Poeskas Lake You can use Rafalacks here, but I'd prefer a bunch of chemists. In any case, for training purposes, bring them as HKs and start blasting at those ghosts with Asura. The fort in one half of the level is deadly trap made to enhance Truth/Untruth. When you start on it, during random battle, you won't ever need to get to melee. Limberry Castle At the Gates of Limberry Castle Ok, burn those Apandas using the reduced EA, but wait to learn ultima before using Truth on Celia or Lede. One hit from Wizard Rafa is all it take. The same goes for Untruth, it works nicely with apandas. Inside Limberry Castle Rafa and Malak have no real advantage here. Truth still stays powerful, but you will get the same effects using Agrias and Orlandu this time. If you want to bring them along, do it for style or training. Underground Cemetery of Limberry Castle Use them as HKs. Zalera won't take much damage from them anyway, but three of the skeletons start on a high tombstone (1 EA) giving you two easy kills if you are fast. Cover your character's back with Rafa and Malak, but use Truth on Zalera only when you have nobody else to destroy. Igros Castle Wizards all the way here. Stay far to avoid Dycedarg Lightning stab and target him with Truth Untruth as usual. Your general EA will be four, but Dycedarg is not Truth resistant as Zalmo. He will die at the second hit at most. Adramelk is a Summoner on steroids. He will start chanting and move away. Luckily, you have a lot of range, both orizzontal and vertical, to catch him. His magic is Faith based as well, so you may want to use Malak as an attacking decoy (thought Untruth won't hurt him much). You are faster than him, so chances are you will kill him soon after his second Summon or such. Murond Holy Place St. Murond Temple Place Orlandu in the back to take care of the Mediators, and Wizard Rafa and Malak in front of the church door. From there, they will be able to target the summoner, priest and geomancer. One hit=one kill. This way you'll destroy those high placed fools at the second turn with a little luck, while you would have had to work your way up normally. Hall of St. Murond Temple Vormav, Kletian, Rofel. This time, Rafa and Malak can come in handy. The fools will cluster around, generally, and they will take a lot of damage from your skills.. Target Rofel first, he takes more damage from Heaven Thunder than Lightning stab. Chapel of St. Murond Temple Send Orlandu in front of the tomb, standing one square away from the candles on Zalbag's side. Zalbag will take that square and bloodsuck Orlandu. Don't worry. now target the candle with Truth. Malak won't need to act this time. EA=3, you will kill him soon. My heaven thunder did 434 damage, for instance. Goland Coal City Colliery Underground Third Floor First battle in Goland, to get Dragon Rei. Easy one too. Get Rafa under the porch one of the chemists start in. She will have good cover this way, being able all the same to target most enemies all the same. The same goes for Malak, put him against a wall and start chanting. They will be able to reach the highest part of the level with their skills. Time I took to beat this level: 4 minutes (not joking). Colliery Underground Second Floor Big height difference here, but tough enemies. Take out that chemist with the elemental gun ASAP. Use both Truth and Untruth on him. You will reach him at the first turn and your odds of killing him will be very high. Have Orlandu take care of the Dark Behemot near your starting position as Rafa and Malak will destroy the remaining Thief and Behemot. There are small porches here too, and you should use them to your advantage. Colliery Underground First Floor Dragons. Blue Dragons. Anybody says Asura? By the way, big height difference here too. As usual, beware of Chemist's guns. Short Change will be a great help too, and you should have it by now. Undergroud Passage in Goland Beware of plague demons, and try to get a good Jump value, since you start in a low position. Yet, that's pretty much all. Reis can generally take care of herself and you'll just have to lend a hand. No particular Truth/Untruth advantage here, just their enormous power. Zarghidas Trade City Sword Seraph This battle is pretty easy, you must admit. Rafa and Malak could finish the enemies by themselves with just physicals. But that's not what we're here for... Targeting the crates on the right side of the screen reduces EA to 3. However, it's not likely that you will be able to lure enemies over here. Targeting the edge of a roof reduces EA to 3 or 4, depending on the edge. For the most part, you can just take your HKs up to a high roof and rain down Truth/Un-Truth on the enemies. Make sure someone has Item or White Magic in case the enemy decides to go after Cloud. All in all, not much of a challenge. Ending Orion's note: I had two strategies for every single level of the ending, one by Metal Shadow, the other by AstrologistOlan19. I thought long and hard on the version to choose for every single level, until a revelation came to me. They are both good. They are very different. WHY choose? Orbonne Monastery Underground Book Storage Fourth Floor MetalShadow This battle has a multitude of corners and ledges that reduce your EA to 3. The knights are protected against physical attacks, so keep Ramza and any other melee fighters you've got away from them and let Rafa/Malak pick away at them. If you can push the knights onto the ledge near the opposite side of the screen, you should be able to take them all out at once. AstrologistOlan19 This place is excellent for hiding. If you stay on the top levels (after defeating the Knights, of course), the enemies will have a hard time attacking you (except the Archer, so eliminate him first). Stay near the "bridge" in the far northwest, and you'll have an escape route and a place to charge for (Un)Truth safely. Pretty easy battle, but just watch out if the enemies get in a close range. NOTES 1) Stay away from the Archer at all costs. His bow can arc over the books and hurt you if you don't have some means of protection. 2) Kill the Knights from far away (a fast Malak with Jump works) and then run to the bridge level and target those Monks with (Un)Truth. 3) Math Skill can quickly boost up your party with various helpful status effects. The height equation should do fine. Underground Book Storage Fifth Floor MetalShadow Rofel much enjoys smashing your party members' hats and armour, so bring in Meliadoul or Orlandu and beat him at his own game. The casters here shouldn't be able to do much to Malak, so have him get closer in and pepper them with Untruth, while Rafa stays back and gives any necessary support fire. The terrain at Rofel's end of the map is extremely truth/untruth friendly. Rofel's mages like to run around and cast support spells like haste, so try to take them out quickly. AstrologistOlan19 Rofel can really mess up your good intentions. First off, Maintenance is very helpful here because he uses Mighty Sword often. Weapon Break or Steal Weapon helps here, because his skill requires the use of a sword to work. If you choose to steal, you can have a brand new Save the Queen. Be careful, because once you eliminate his weapon, you'll have to deal with All Magic. Some goods spots for Rafa and Malak to go are the far end of the battlefield, and on the top level of where you start. NOTES 1) Eliminate Rofel's weapon at all costs. If Malak is a Hell Knight, you can equip Battle Skill and use the two square range of the stick to your advantage. 2) The mage battalion can be a pain, so try to Silence everyone (that's EVERYONE if it's CT5, because Truth/Un-Truth are not affected by Silence). This will prevent All Magic and cripple Rofel's mages. 3) Without his sword, Rofel is not dangerous. Pick off the mages with a few hits of Heaven Thunder/Bolt Back then go in for the kill. Murond Death City MetalShadow The terrain is relatively flat, and only the corners will give you an EA of 3. At the start of the battle, fire a truth/untruth spell one panel behind Kletain. If you have both Rafa and Malak attack like this, you should be able to kill Kletain at the start of the fight. If your spells missed and killed the time mages, or worse yet, missed and hit air, get ready for a fairly tough battle. Kletain's all magic can be totally nullified if you cast innocent on him, but then only Rafa'a magic will be able to hurt him. The only units you might need to worry about are Kletain's ninjas, but you should be faster than them anyway. AstrologistOlan19 This battle is easier than it looks. First off, silence Kletian and steal his Mace of Zeus to make things go by easier (plus, the staff is a welcome addition in their arsenals ^_^). Stay away from the ninjas by ducking behind the house or hopping onto the land below the city, then start targeting enemies with (Un)Truth when you're close enough. You'll be safe if you stay alert, and evade the enemies. NOTES 1) The house and the end of the stone area are good places to stay until the enemies come close. You'll be safe if you stay near those places, but if things get tricky, target the enemy then run as fast as you can. 2) Malak, because he is most useful with 03 Faith, can face Kletian's magic without getting hurt. Kletian has 81 Faith, however, so unless you have Yin-Yang magic, you're not causing lots of damage with Un-Truth Lost Sacred Precincts MetalShadow Be sure all your party members are equipped with something that makes them resistant to Don't Move and Don't Act, or you'll find your team getting cut down by Balk's snipe skills and the Hydra's triple attacks. Put Rafa and Malak with Ramza, and have them pound the Hydras before they can move. The problem with this map is that it's very difficult to find an area that brings your EA down, except near the bridge, which is a deathtrap for anyone with low HP or defence. However, if you herd all the enemies together, you should be able to compensate for the flat terrain problem. AstrologistOlan19 Be prepared for a tough battle. Balk will most likely Arm Aim the first person he sees, and hopefully that will not be Rafa or Malak. The monsters are slower than you'd think, and the chemist really isn't powerful, so take advantage of this by walking to the tip of the piece of land you're on and charge (Un)Truth. If need be, Orlandu can help by killing the Hydras before they can get to you. All in all, if you miss Balk, get back and stay back. Several places in here reduce you EA sufficiently, so look for these places. NOTES 1) Once Balk shoots his gun, he'll probably walk up closer to you. If so, walk within range of Balk and use your (Un)Truth. 2) The Hydras WILL kill Rafa, and injure Malak. Do not let this happen. Run if you must. Don't stand in the middle of battle with your life depending on (Un)Truth. Even if you feel you could hit him, don't wait around to see. Once you target Balk, run. Graveyard of Airships (2 Battles) MetalShadow Hashmalum has a few powerful spells, but he's a slow charger, and likes to get into areas that greatly reduce truth's EA. More often that not, he'll rush forward and try to cast a meteor on your team. Cast innocent on whoever he targeted, then clear the rest of your team out of the blast radius, or, get your team away from Hasmalum and kamikaze with the person he targeted. If he stopped near a piece of debris (pole, broken fan etc.) pound him with truth/untruth before he casts. A few well placed blasts should knock him out of commission. AstrologistOlan19 The final battles are certainly the most difficult ones (when facing Hashmalum, that is). Hashmalum will opt to use "Spell" most of the time to stop everyone in their tracks. Move out of the way of the range of his attacks, and target him for, let's say, Sky Demon. Hopefully, it will hit more than once and end the battle right there. Either way, stay away from Hashmalum and only attack when you get a chance. NOTES 1) Hashmalum has both Meteor and Spell., and he will use them both to make a quick finish. Meteor is slow to cast, however, so hit him with whatever you've got. 2) Stay at the very tip of the airship and he'll have a hard time getting up to you.. Target him from afar. 3) Rafa with a Ribbon would work wonders here. MetalShadow Part 2 Altima is in a very disadvantageous position, so why not take full advantage of it? Fire off Truth/Untruth directly behind Altima for a good chance to hit her or kill the two ultima demons behind her. When she transforms into her second form, you'll have a little more trouble hitting her with truth, unless she goes into a corner or against the edge of the map, so you should use Rafa/Malak's secondary abilities in this half of the battle to avoid hitting air. AstrologistOlan19 Part 2 This isn't as tough as it looks. Altima, in both forms is very, very slow as well as her (?) Ultima Demons. Same map strategy as the first battle, but you should power forward and target her with anything but Sky Demon (Altima is floating). NOTES 1) Altima 1 is very easy to beat. Afflict it with "Don't Act" (yes, she is not immune to that) and fire away. 2) Altima 2 has Face Up, so Un-Truth becomes less useful here. That big freaky skeleton is just as vulnerable to Truth, though, so Malak will have to rely on physically attacking. Random Battles Zeklaus Desert Sword Seraph Some of the rock "ridges" around the edges (above the pit) reduce EA to 3, which is nice to know...targeting purely physical enemies down in the pit is great, as they probably wont be able to get to you before you nail them with a couple spells...just watch out for the Undead's damaging "Soul" attacks, they can be powerful. Lenalia Plateau Olan The best use of (un)truth is the two parallel ridges and the cliff over the water. The most useful place to use your abilities from is probably in the corner with the 4 panels of water. Remember that most monsters can't enter water, so keep that in mind while fighting battles that have bodies of water. Fovoham Plains (Windmill Shed) Olan Well, this map doesn't look very much like a plain, but it is good for Rafa and Malak. Using their magic anywhere on the hill surface will greatly reduce the EA. The huge height difference allows you multiple castings before most units can reach you. The flotiballs do have good movement (5) and fly, so make sure that if you target them, your spell goes off before they move. Any squid creatures will be easy targets for Heaven Thunder (Back). Araguay Woods AstrologistOlan19 Ninja Battle Be prepared for the battle of your life! In any case, you should boost the Brave levels of everyone and equip them with "Catch" before going into this area from the west. There might be ninjas throwing some good stuff (I got 2 Chaos Blades and a Javelin 2 from the same ninja. The girl throws the best stuff). The ninjas are very powerful, but have low HP, and can probably be taken out with one burst of Heaven Thunder/Bolt Back. Here's my strategies for the all-ninja battle: First off, keep Rafa away from all throwing. She could be mortally damaged, if Catch doesn't work. Have her creep around the ninjas, and target them with your strongest Truth. Since they tend to travel in clusters, you should have an easy time killing at least one of them. Secret Clothes on Rafa work wonders here. Malak, however, should have caution, too. Not the "stay-back" kind of caution (because the ninjas have an easier time throwing long range than facing you closely), but the "watching your HP so you don't die when you're hitting a ninja with your Whale Whisker" kind of caution. Stay back, but not TOO far back. Zirekile Falls Sword Seraph If you have worked properly, Heaven Thunder can do OUTRAGEOUS damage to the water-type enemies here...the bridge reduces EA substantially, as do many of the water covered rocks in the waterfall itself...there is a water covered rock at the bottom right that REDUCES THE EA TO 1 (hehehe)...so lure an enemy there and let loose! Also, you usually start with a height advantage...move your HKs over the Falls to above the monsters and rain down Truth/Un-Truth until they get within melee range...then retreat and repeat. Bariaus Hill AstrologistOlan19 This hill makes a great place for picking off enemies underneath you. Just travel as fast as you can to the very top portion then start casting away! Here's an interesting trick I picked up. If an enemy travels to the very end of the two areas on the side of the hill (they have 3 areas worth of space), target them with (Un)Truth and you'll narrow the hit range to two! You could Charm an enemy an make them run away from you to increase the chance of this happening, but that's what I learned. There are black chocobos here, so I suggest staying as far away from them as you can. Send a stronger character (physically, that is) to distract it for awhile. If you're playing Malak, then let him walk up there and kill it. I was more concerned with Rafa here, because at the cost of MP and MA increasing items, comes lack of HP. Orion You can target the top of the hill from the sides too. Excepting Chocobos, no enemy will be able to attack you from there, so the sides are pretty safe too. Zigolis Swamp AstrologistOlan19 This area has no areas that are geographically important for Rafa and Malak, so not much strategy is used for this one. Equip them with 108 Gems to cancel the poison caused by the swamp, and you'll be able to walk through it like normal ground (the not being poisoned part, that is. Water has some effects on your move rating) Normally, there are Morbols around there, so stay back unless you want to get Tentacled to death! The Ice 3 spell (if you use a Black Mage Rafa) should be enough to take them out, but if you don't have that, use Space Storage (Back) to cause some status abnormalities to bide your time. Bariaus Valley AstrologistOlan19 Okay, this is a good area to utilize the range and effects of (Un)Truth. First off, Squidlarkins are very common here, so plan on using Heaven Thunder/Bolt Back a lot, because they are weak against lightning. Fry that overgrown calimari. Try to climb up on once of the high hills on the left side (if Ramza was in the middle, his left) because it will take awhile for most enemies to get up there, and while you are waiting for them, start casting your (Un)Truth skills. However, if the ENEMY is up there, make good use of that; the shortened effect range will be in your benefit. Use this tactic if you come down from Goug (to the west) If you start in the middle, keep Rafa up there, so she can target enemies without getting hurt herself. Keep this in mind when the enemy is too powerful to overcome at close range. As for Malak, he has enough power to leap off and start fighting, but if the battle looks ugly, leave him up there and Un-Truth away. From this position, you can travel to the right and hop on that high hill. Keep the Galthana brother and sister back away from the battle, and strike only when the enemy gets close enough. However, there is sometime a Summoner or Black Mage waiting at the northern end of that strip of land, so travel forward only to dispatch of them. Keep in mind that you can always retreat back to the safety of your group. Grog Hill Sword Seraph No height advantages here, but again, some ridges reduce EA and, if you get an enemy against a corner, that reduces it even further... In my experience, this area is rather prone to thunderstorms, and is therefore great for Heaven Thunder. Yuguo Woods Olan Watch out for the many teleporting Ghouls. Try to stay far enough back to only let one Ghoul's (range 4) use throw spirit against you. If you get any closer than 5 panels away from them, they could use their sleeping/draining ability against you, which depends on what class of Ghoul they are. Also, if you are close, multiple enemies will be able to team up against your Rafa or Malak. Throw spirit isn't very powerful, but mages don't have that much life, so get close enough, then use hit/run tactics against them. Use the large tree in the middle to reduce EA. There is one place to the side of the tree that helps as well, where it goes from 5-1 height. Doguola Pass Olan Whether you start at the top or bottom, walk up to the edge of a ridge or a side of a hill, and try to place (un)truth by the hills. Using truth/untruth along any of these large inclines or sides of the map will decrease the effect area by one or two spaces. Also, a couple of restricted zones at the top can help lower the EA to 2 spaces (poor enemies). Try to make any chocobos/flying units a priority because of their movement. The sharp height differences in this map also serve as protection from the slow movement monsters/knights. You should be able to hit these units multiple times before they can ever get into your range, which they probably won't survive long enough to get to. Bervenia Volcano Olan This is another fairly flat map with the exception of the volcano itself. Using (un)truth around the volcano is the best place to lower your EA. It is also a good idea to use Rafa/Malak's abilities from the volcano because its difficult terrain keeps enemies from attacking from all sides and getting into range to attack you. As always, the sides of the map and the few restricted panels help reduce the effect area. While the lava itself doesn't reduce the EA, it does help keep melee attackers away if you consider their movement range, and use it to your advantage. By putting lava between you, their normal attacks are useless. In addition, watch out for the numerous skeletons that have 3 range attacks. Nelveska Temple AstrologistOlan19 With this, make both of them your item finders. Have Worker 8/Reis provide a boost to both front pillars (after you've killed the Hydras) and stay up there. You'll have enough leverage to keep away from attacks, and you'll be able to kill the poor animals on the ground with (Un)Truth. For this battle, Rafa would make a nice White Mage because she can heal any wounded allies. Malak with Jump is very interesting here, also; you can jump off and hit an enemy farther away than what you can reach with Un-Truth, then bounce straight back to your safe place! Keep this tactic in mind. Deep Dungeon Nogias Orion Do enjoy your trip. You start with enormous height difference between you and your enemy, so just place your (Un) Truth users at the borders of the highest part (the one you start on) and wait for the enemy. As for most of the DD, this map is uneven, reducing by itself the EA dimension. A no brainer in truth, but you may want to bring along one or two melee fighters, just in case a Cuar or similar Jumps up in two turns. I rarely had to resort to melee here, however. Do not bother with Short Change, get MAU instead. You will have plenty of time to get the enemy as they climb. Terminate Orion Get in the upper angle of the level, place Rafa on the highest pillar and Malak just below. This will grant a modicum of protection. Get a couple of Knights to guard them too, since you won't get too many turns before the enemies reach you. Pick Short Change over MAU here, since you will need to engage a (Un)Truth based semi-melee and speed is essential. You will often fight undeads here, so you should get your Asura (Back) ready to explode. Not as Truth friendly as Nogias, but a good example of angle-keeping and EA reducing with common means. Delta Orion This map is reasonably flat, but the enemies will need to navigate trough the many pits to reach you. In many ways, it is just like playing Nogias, but you do not have the height coverage, just the free attacking turns. Your EA will be pretty reduced because of the pits too. MAU and Short Change both work well here. Valkyries Orion Another level full of pits. It is easy to get EA of 1 or 2 here, as you can target points you cannot really hit (like Zalbag's candles). This has been first Noticed by Kantolin.... my thanks man. Also, you do have sufficient height difference (hd from now on). The Mediator Rafa or Heaven Knight with Equip Gun comes in handy here, since you can start wacking the enemy from 8 panels away before letting him perish by your spells (works nicely) Mlapan Orion This is just one of the many levels in DD where Truth/Untruth are life savers. You start on this huge cliff, and the enemy will need to reach you. The common strategy would be defending the cliff by a narrow passage, but using Rafa and Malak speed-power-range no enemy will reach your party alive. It is by far one of the easiest maps for those two. Pick MAU, elemental boosting and outrageously high MA setups. You won't need to use common attacks. It is very easy to get Woodmen here, so Asura will be a sweet friend once again. You may choose the common low level spells strategy or enjoy toying around with Space Storage (you do have the time and the safety). A no brainer, in Truth. Tiger Orion This level is flat, and the hd between you and your enemies is not so big. The "stripes" however are very helpful. They form 2-squares wide hallways in the level. You will never get more than EA 4. Most enemies will need to move around the stripses to attack you, needing several turns to reach you. Once again, Truth and Untruth have not such biases. Just stay where you start the level, wait and punish every ill-fated attempt at coming closer. If necessary, move along the stripe to follow the enemy and give the finishing blow. Never go beyond it however. Bridge Orion You start low here, something very unusual in the DD. The center of the level is occupied by the "bridge", and enemies do lurk there. You will need the semi-melee again, so pick hybrid forms of Rafa/Malak (Geomancers possibly). Blast with your spells the enemies on the "bridge", then occupy it and start blasting those on the other side. Jump +2/+3 comes in handy, just as Teleport. A couple of enemies will try to get close, either use the other units or explain them it is not a good idea to mess with two rune blades. Pick Short Change, by the way. Voyage Orion It will be pretty hard to hit the enemies on the lower levels, since the structure of the map reminds me of a spiral. There are however several isolated squares at the sides of the flat upper level. You can either target them to get good EAs or place Rafa and Malak there for shelter. If you manage to conquer the upper level completely, place them at the right end of it and start blasting at the remaining enemies as you know very well. Short Change and hybrids here too. Samurai Malak and HK Rafa, maybe. The stick attack would ensure a quick finish for a wounded enemy without being exposed to a counter, and the speed factor is primal. Horror Orion Got to love this level. You start on a pillar in the center of the level. Enemies are around, but generally on lower levels. To reach you, they can either use Throw (you will meet several Ninjas here) or get on your pillar. First good point, there is only one way in. Second good point, it is another pillar, and you can get EA=2 targeting it. Third good point, should any enemy get too near, your own pillar does offer several 3 EAs. Fourth, most enemies to reach you will need to pass between your pillar and the one near. You'll get 3 enemies on three squares pretty often. Fifth, the level is pretty small. You will be able to reach almost every part of it with your spells starting by your central pillar. Equip Blade Grasp as Reaction since you may get quick enemies with great range and fly, the only possible problem in this map (Cocatoris and their kin, Chocobos and so on) and Short Change (you do need to be fast to get the many great EAs of this level). End Orion Starting low again, this is the climb. This level has no particular Truth/Untruth catch, but the "stairs" to the flat upper platform provide good EAs, and nothing prevents you from staying at the base of the stairs waiting for the enemy to come. Hybrids work better in this case, since in my experience enemies are quick & nasty (this is the Tiamat Love Hill, it seems). CREDITS I want to thank Squaresoft for producing one of the best strategical RPGs ever. This FAQ revolves around their wonderful game, and I claim NO rights of any nature on the game, its characters, storyline or system. I do claim author rights however, on behalf of all the FAQ writers involved in this. If you want to quote what one of us wrote, feel free to do so, GIVING DUE CREDIT TO THE DOCUMENT AND THE AUTHOR. Many of us worked hard on this for long, plagiarism won't be tolerated.