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Geopanel FAQ by bend

Version: 1.0 | Updated: 09/25/03

Disgaea: Hour of Darkness Geo Panels Guide                   Version 1.0

<0> Table of Contents

<0> Table of Contents
<1> Introduction
<2> Contact Info/Legal
<3> Basics
<4> Colors
<5> Effects
<6> Color Change and Destruction
<7> Chains
<8> Chain Strategies
<9> Special Considerations for Chaining
<10> Geo Change
<11> Miscellany

<1> Introduction

This is a quick guide about Geo Panels within the game Disgaea: Hour of
Darkness.  I wrote it mostly on a whim, but I believe it to be fairly
complete.  Hopefully, I have explained what Geo Panels and Geo Symbols
are, what they do, how to create chains, and any miscellaneous topics

Note: anything marked VERIFY is something that I still need to check,
and will hopefully update in the future.

<2> Contact Info/Legal

I (Ben Olmstead) can be reached at gfq at 13ninjas dot com.  I won't
guarantee that I will respond to emails, especially ones that ask
questions that I've already answered, but I will try to read and answer
email, as time allows.

I am releasing this document into the public domain.  This document
comes with NO WARRANTEE whatsoever; I make no absolute claims about the
correctness of the information herein.  All trademarks and copyrights
contained in this document are owned by their respective trademark and
copyright holders.

Because this document is in the public domain, anyone may use it, modify
it, update it, repost it somewhere under their own name, whatever, with
no restrictions.  I ask that, if anyone updates it, I recieve some
credit, but I'm (obviously) not going to hold anyone to that.

<3> Basics

Geo Panels are special rules that apply to specific regions of the map.
There is an excellent introduction to Geo Panels in the third battle of
the game; I would urge you to use it, as it will be much easier to see
Geo Panels in action than to try to read about them.  (On that battle,
if you wish to set off a chain reaction to destroy all panels, move to
the slightly raised panel a few steps from the Base Panel, and attack
the Geo Symbol there.)

<4> Colors

There are six colors of Geo Panel:

1 Red
2 Green
3 Blue
4 Yellow
5 Purple
6 Cyan

And six colors of Geo Symbol:

1 Null
2 Red
3 Green
4 Blue
5 Yellow
6 Purple

Outside of story battles, these are always created in order, so if there
are, for example, 4 different colors of panel on the map, they will
always be red, green, blue, and yellow.

<5> Effects

The effects that a Geo Symbol can have:

Invincibility    -- Any unit affected is invulnerable to anything other
                    than damage from Damage 20% and Ally Damage 20%,
                    below, color change damage, and damage from holding
                    a unit past the end of a turn.  This includes Geo
                    Symbols, so you cannot attack and destroy a Geo
                    Symbol that is Invincible.  (See Color Change and
                    Destruction, below.)
No Lifting       -- No affected unit or Geo Symbol can be lifted.
                    (Units affected by No Lifting can still lift units
                    that are not.)
No Color Change  -- No *other* Geo Symbols on this color of Geo Panel
                    can cause a color change.
ATK +50%         -- Increases ATK (or INT or HIT, for attack spells,
                    guns, and bows)
ATK -50%         -- Decreases ATK
DEF +50%         -- Increases DEF
DEF -50%         -- Decreases DEF
Damage 20%       -- Reduces health of all units on this color Geo Panel
                    by 20% of their maximum health (rounded down) at the
                    end of every Enemy Turn.
Ally Damage 20%  -- Reduces health of all ally units on this color Geo
                    Panel by 20% of their maximum health (rounded down)
                    at the end of every Enemy Turn.
Recovery 20%     -- Increases health of all units on this color of Geo
                    Panel by 20% of their maximum health (rounded down)
                    at the end of every Enemy Turn.
EXP +50%         -- Increases EXP gained (VERIFY: while standing on panel
                    or from enemy units standing on panel?)
HL +50%          -- Increases HL gained (VEFIY: while standing on panel
                    or from enemy units standing on panel?)
Enemy Boost +50% -- Makes enemy units stronger
Enemy Boost x3   -- Makes enemy units stronger
Clone            -- Every turn, randomly chooses 1 unit on this color of
                    Geo Panel and creates an enemy unit with the same
                    statistics, items, and abilities.  *Very* dangerous.
                    Items cannot be stolen from clones.
Warp             -- At the end of every Enemy Turn, all units on this
                    color of Geo Panel are randomly moved to another Geo
                    Panel of the same color.
No Entry         -- Only found in story battles.  No unit may enter,
                    cross, or be thrown across this color of panel.
                    Units may attack across this panel, and special
                    attacks which move the attacker (Zombie Twister, for
                    example) can be used to cross these.

All of the Symbols whose names include numbers have their effects
stacked; for example, you can have Ally Damage 120% or EXP +150% or ATK
-100%.  Opposite effects (ATK +50%, ATK -50%) do not stack directly.

<6> Color Change and Destruction

There are a couple of good things that happen when Geo Panels are
destroyed or change colors.  First, all units standing on a Geo Panel
when it changes colors (or is destroyed) are damaged.  Second, the
bonus meter goes up (rapidly).  Third, when all Geo Panels are
destroyed, an explosion which damages all enemies occurs.

Geo Panels change color when a Geo Symbol of a different color is
destroyed on top of any panel of the same color.

Geo Panels are destroyed when the Null Geo Symbol is destroyed on top
of any panel of the same color.

Neither color change nor destruction is instantaneous; panels are
changed in a spiral outward from the place where the Geo Symbol was
destroyed, and if multiple Geo Symbols are destroyed by one color
change, their color changes occur in the order of their destruction.

Geo Symbols can be destroyed four different ways:

1. They can be attacked and destroyed (if they are not Invulnerable).
2. Damage from a color change will always destroy a Geo Panel.
3. An enemy unit can be thrown onto the Geo Symbol.
4. The Geo Symbol can be thrown onto an enemy unit.

<7> Chains

Chaining the destruction of Geo Symbols is a very good thing which
increases the damage dealt to units standing on the Panels and rapidly
increases the bonus meter.

When a color change occurs, each panel that changes increases a counter
in the upper left corner.  The amount that each panel adds is equal to
the number of times it has already changed color in the current chain,
so the counter will go up much faster if you chain color changes.
After the chain has completed, the bonus bar will fill according to how
high the counter goes; each 100 on the counter equates to approximately
one full bar, and destruction of all Geo Panels adds about one more full
bar.  (You do not have to destroy all Geo Symbols to get this bonus,
only all panels.)

There are two requirements to be able to destroy all Geo Panels on a
level.  First, there must be at least as many Geo Symbols as colors of
Geo Panel.  Second, you have to be able to reach all Geo Symbols, or
the ones you cannot reach must be placed so that you can destroy them
as part of a chain.

The best (though not the only) way to clear all the Geo Panels on a
level is to chain all the Geo Symbols.  This will give you the maximum
boost to the bonus meter, and usually makes it easy to get everything
on the meter.  If you want to do this, there can be no more than one
'No Color Change' symbol, and it cannot be the Null symbol.

<8> Chain Strategies

1. Put all Geo Symbols except for one on a single color.  If there is a
color of panel with no corresponding symbol, make sure that is the color
that all the Geo Symbols are on.  Choose one of the Geo Symbols that you
will destroy first, and place the Null symbol on that color.  Then
destroy the chosen symbol.

2. This is similar to the first, except that the Null symbol is placed
on the same color as all the other symbols.  Just make sure that the
Null symbol is the furthest symbol from the one that is destroyed first.

3. This one is slightly more complicated.  Start by placing two colored
Geo Symbols on a single color of Geo Panel (one without a corresponding
Geo Symbol, if possible).  Choose one of them to destroy first, and put
it at the start of your list, and put the other one next.  For example,
if you start with red and green on yellow, your list will start out like

1   Red on Yellow
2 Green on Yellow

From here on, always place Geo Symbols such that they are on a panel the
same colors as the Symbols two before them on the list.  For example,
the blue and Null Symbols might be placed like so:

1   Red on Yellow
2 Green on Yellow
3  Blue on Red
4  Null on Green

The Null symbol should always be last on the list.  If you have more
Symbols than colors of Panel, you can place the excess on any color of
panel whatsoever.  (The ideal case is to put them on the same color as
the second-to-last symbol on the list.)

Once you understand these three techniques, you can combine them fairly
easily to deal with impossible-to-reach Symbols.

<9> Special Considerations for Chaining

There are three types of Geo Symbol which require special attention when
setting up chains.  They are:

No Color Change
No Lifting

Invincibility is easily overcome: the only technique that does *not*
work to destroy Invincible Symbols is directly attacking them.  You can
throw them into enemies, throw enemies into them, or use technique 3,
above, and make sure that they are *not* on the first color of panel.

No Color Change can be tricky.  It must *always* be the first Symbol in
a chain.  You can destroy all of the panels on a level even if you have
two or more No Color Changes or the Null Symbol is No Color Change, but
you have to do it in multiple chains.

No Lifting is tricky because it essentially glues all symbols (and
enemies and allies) to whatever color it is sitting on.  Usually, this
just requires you to be careful about how you make your chain, but
sometimes it is impossible (for example, if you have a No Lifting
Symbol, all Symbols are on the same color of Panel, and the Null Symbol
is in the middle).  In this case, you can use certain special abilities
(such as Triple Strike, Tiger Punch, Delta Kick) which move the enemy
unit.  It is preferable to use a weak unit to do this, as a strong unit
may destroy the Symbol.

<10> Geo Change

The 'Geo Change' ability of Scouts re-panels an area; this is very
useful in the item world on occasion (example: a full level covered in
No Lifting and Invincibility, with a Gatekeeper on a Dimensional Gate
which is in the corner of a 2x2 island).  Geo Change works even after all
panels have been cleared, which is good when you don't quite get a high
enough bonus from destroying all of the original Geo Symbols, or you
screw up a long chain.

<11> Miscellany

When a character is holding a Geo Symbol, that symbol has its effect on
the color of Geo Panel the character is standing on.

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