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by Tran

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FAQ by Tran

Version: 1.00 | Updated: 02/29/16


1-0. Introduction: Captain's Commencement

Before loading the game, if you're on PC, you may want to give some consideration to visiting http://www.x360ce.com/ and downloading the controller files there. I do most of my gaming on PCs and with a mouse & keyboard, but this game is definitely easier to play on a controller.

As far as side quests and main storyline missions are concerned, they are all simple, with the majority of the maps coming down to removing all threats from the field; so I won't be elaborating in unneeded areas. The complex part comes from all the additional items you can gather and the "post-game content" available. For the most part, each story-based mission is very clear on what you need to do, but if you are having trouble with a specific mission, there might be some useful strategies under that section. Chances are, though, if you're having trouble, you may just need to level up your characters and items. With that in mind, be sure to instead look at the reference lists after the story walkthrough for actual help. A game like this, with a cast of cameo characters, tends to have particular fans for particular characters. This means me suggesting certain characters for every mission is an impracticality, and is highly subject to a player's personal preferences.

Finally, a complete video playthrough can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLcY2KgsrKK7L_h8ygg_KJ8iRs0sF91P-p

When beginning the game, you get to select from two nearly gameplay-identical characters. Luceus, the male in blue, strikes with stronger fire attacks. Aurora, the female in red, lashes with debilitating ice attacks. I personally recommend Aurora, as being able to immobilize your foe is a powerful asset. This FAQ will be written with that in mind, but if you pick Luceus, just mentally swap Aurora's ice attacks for Luceus's flame ones when I mention her moves in the beginning.

Luceus: Flaming Fencer
A talented tactician with a flair for fast-paced fire attacks. His
impressive speed and remarkable reach make him an asset in
any battle.

His Inferno Slash attack unleashes a searing cyclone that
swallows up whole swathes of foes. Aim it at large groups of

Aurora: The Elegant Ice Queen
A spirited soldier with a flair for fast-packed ice attacks. Her
impressive speed and remarkable reach make her an asset in
any battle.

Her Cold Fission attack unleashes a wintry whirlwind that
swallows up whole swathes of foes. Aim it at large groups of

1-1. Chapter I: Arban Arms

Save the King!
Quickly! To the throne room!

To begin with, Healix, serving as both your tutorial guide and the game's mascot, gives you some basic instructions. It's faster to follow the in-game instructions than to look through this FAQ for it, but for completeness's sake: open your action list, use one of your powers, and jump over some obstacles.

Blocking and dodging are also briefly explained, but in general, it's faster to dodge than to block an attack. Finally, to loot a chest, go up in front of it, and while remaining completely still, press your button to jump. Using the default icons displayed to me in the game (even on PC), the following are your starting moves:

X X X XSlash Combo: A simple sequence of slashes.
YCharging Slash: A shield-first charge, followed by a sweeping slash.
X YRising Slice: A swift, sweeping upward slash.
X X YSwiping Slice: Swings the sword up then swiftly down, sometimes stunning foes.
X X X YBlizzard Slash: A frigid sword slash that chills surrounding foes.
In Mid-Air: X XMid-Air Combo: Swings the sword from side to side while airborne, scattering enemies to the winds.
In Mid-Air: Y (Hold) Air Raid: Descends from above with a spinning downward slice.
RB (Hold) and XCold Fission: A swirling blizzard brought about by the swing of an ice-infused sword.

Combat-wise, you can consider ending a normal combination string with a strong attack to cap it off. If you use only a strong attack, your captain dives forward and swings a wide arc. A normal-strong launches an enemy in the air. Two normals and a strong generally stuns your target, just get used to how you move while your sword comes back down. Three normals and a strong can attack many enemies around you, but I find there are much better moves to do besides that one.

Your mid-air normal attacks are a quick pair of slashes, doing a little bit of extra damage. You can also strong attack instead, holding it down to act like a sawblade as you fall back to the floor. Finally, to activate your special powers, hold RB and select a skill from the pop-up menu. You will unlock more combat abilities when you allocate level-up points to them.

Once you reach the end of the first map, you'll find yourself in the throne room, joined by another ally.

Secure the Throne Room
Defeat all the monsters!

Simple enough, attack everything until the red dots leave you alone. Small tan pouches should be picked up for crafting, and to fill out your monster encyclopedia for the items dropped section. Take this moment to get used to your varying strong attack finishing moves, and don't forget about Cold Fission/Inferno Slash.

Big Trouble for Little Healix
Don't let Healix get hurt!

This is your first protection mission. They'll get more annoying later, but for right now, the monsters will fall easily to your swings. You can race past the monsters to get to Healix, and I advise you to get used to doing so, rather than attacking everything in your path. The health bar beneath the map is Healix's HP indicator. Try not to let it fully deplete!

A Powerful Enemy Appears!
Defeat the dragon!

The green dragon's first attack is always a flame breath. At your current level, stay back until he breathes, then go and attack the minions instead of the dragon. If you need it, you can find supplies in nearby vases. Healix will also periodically heal a critically-wounded controlled character in each battle.

Once all the minions are down, focus on the dragon's tail or head for bonus damage.

After the dragon is downed, you will be given the ability to activate your High Tension mode. Do so, and follow the on-screen prompts to continue! While you are invincible, faster, and can even double-jump while in this mode, you can manually activate a coup de grâce at any time which will both end your High Tension mode as well as doing a powerful area of effect attack. Your choices will tend to be to either stay in high tension mode as long as possible (but remember, when it runs out, you automatically coup de grâce in whatever direction you are facing), or to activate it far earlier for a quick and impressive strike. You'll play with this feature a lot more in later missions, as it is useful for cutting down massive groups of normal enemies or stunning powerful bosses. It can even attack enemies on other sides of walls, all abilities consume no MP in this mode; you run faster, jump higher, and everyone wants to be your friend.

1-2. Chapter II: Caliburghian Creativity

This marks your first visit in a non-combat situation. You can spend level-up points here; I strongly recommend unlocking Frost Slash when you can. I discourage you from exploring Rebuttal, given how delayed blocking is, and dodging is often easier and more practical. Here's what your other attributes do:

Maximum HP: Gives you more health. Not worth leveling up, not even in the beginning of the game.
Maximum MP: Boosts your number of magic points. Marginally worth more, but you're better off raising Attack/Wisdom.
Strength/Attack: Hit things harder. The best attribute in the game. Go with this!
Defence/Resilience: Take less damage. I'd get this if you have nowhere else to spend points.
Magical Might/Wisdom: Better boom. Useful only for certain attacks.
Deftness: More critical hits. Another great attribute to focus on.

Every skill point you spend can be returned to you at a cost of 100 gold per point at the church, but it's an all-or-nothing return. Meaning, if you pick up one skill you don't want, you have to pay to return all spent skill points and reallocate everything. You won't have enough points to get all skills, so pick wisely!

Across the Meadows
Defeat all the monsters!

The monsters attacking Arba have been
beaten back, but other towns and cities may
still be in danger. Make your way west to
Caliburgh, home of the Institute of Ingenuity,
and assess the situation there!

In this map, Evac is made available to you. There are no penalties for doing so; in fact, if you are instead defeated, you lose the items you pick up during the battle. So Evac instead! You can use this ability from the menu anytime you are able to use skills and spells, so not during a roll or an attack.

Mawkeepers come in different styles, but they all do the same thing; as long as they are around, the nightmaws (portals) they guard will unleash additional monsters. Remove them from the battlefield in order to keep monsters from spawning, but spawns are limited in number except during free roaming stages. This means a nightmaw will eventually be unable to summon more opponents.

Once you've defeated enough monsters, the remaining ones will begin to flee. You can still take them out for gold, XP, and items.

Guided by Genius
Defeat all the monsters!

Our heroes are harrassed by a marauding
mass of monsters as they make their way to
Caliburgh. It seems the sickness affecting their
former friends is more widespread than
feared! Onward to the town itself!

A new friend appears! This will happen repeatedly.

Three Nightmaws are immediately present, and your first objective is to remove all the mawkeepers. Once that happens, you are sent to man a turret called the Spellcaster, and eliminate opponents you cannot otherwise reach. This concept isn't effectively utilized for the remainder of the game, but if you are hooked on them, the friendly character introduced here will have a skill that powers up artillery.

As a reward for completing this mission, you can now control any deployed squad member.

Doric: The Royal Rumbler
A weighty warrior king who combines stunning strength,
stupendous speed and a spectacular selection of skills.

His Crushed Ice attack unleashes a stinging series of snowy
strikes perfect for finishing off fleeing foes.

Isla: The Long-Range Lassie
A feisty and inventive fighter who bashes baddies from a
distance with her boomerang. Press X or Y when she catches
it to trigger a special attack.

Use Woosh to whisk foes up into a swirling whirlwind, which
she can add other attacks to in order to make it even

An Irreplaceable Invention
Protect the generator!

Our heroes have been joined by none other
than Isla, esteemed head of the Institute of
Ingenuity! Their next mission is to make sure
Isla's latest invention makes it safely to its
destination. Guard that generator!

Be sure to allocate skill points to your party members! I like Isla's Power Throw out of her available attack options, and Doric's Deliverance is a decent crowd-clearing ability. The guard captain you didn't choose is primarily only an elemental difference.

The game gives you control over characters and Yggdrasil Leaves for your next battle. These leaves are replenished with each battlefield arrival, and can only be used to revive a fallen character. Characters who are knocked out do not get any XP from defeated monsters, nor does a lack of active party members give you a greater amount of experience points.

Like Healix from before, you need to protect the Generator. It is better to keep the fight away from the Generator, as it is likely to suffer collateral damage otherwise. To that effect, you are also handed Isla's monster compressor prototype, and can now use medals to deploy sentries and special monster powers.

A summoned monster type will always be either a sentry or a saviour. Sentries will try to focus on holding the area, and may even start with one ability. Saviours will only use one ability and quickly disappear.

The Irrepressible Horde
Protect the generator again!

Aurora has been presented with a prototype
that permits her to make use of monster
medals! The monsters they summon will help
to fend off foes. Use them to help keep the
generator from harm!

The generator is now caught in the middle of a three-way intersection. As the map description states, you can delay opposing progress by placing monsters in their path. Remember, you will get more mileage out of your monsters placing them a short distance away from where you want to protect, rather than right on top of it!

Going after mawkeepers is almost always a productive and efficient idea. Bear in mind, though, that sometimes these story-based missions get so flooded with monsters, that you might rake in a ton of experience, gold, and items just fighting all out, if you can remember to Evac before you are defeated. If you are defeated due to failing an objective, you lose the collected items, but retain the experience and gold.

On the Shoulders of Giants
Defeat all the monsters!

Our heroes' incredible efforts have beaten the
beasts back from Caliburgh's gates! Not long
now, and the town will be ripe or retaking!

One last push to reclaim Caliburgh! This mission starts out innocently enough. Go forth and lay waste to everyone in your path. Once you are done, we are introduced to two more allies and a boss monster. Here comes my favorite character! Alena is incredible in both personality and ability.

Once the battle begins anew, climb into turrets as often as possible and hit gigantes right in the eye. You can use the map to find where nearby spellcasters are. If you also picked up the Somersault Slice ability, you can manuever around gigantes or even use him to move to higher platforms. Alena and Kiryl will continue to engage gigantes even as you traverse the map.

You can stun the gigantes with regularity by hitting him with a single coup de grâce from any of your characters. This is an effective strategy you should employ against future battles, as well, and they can take turns dazing him.

The big blue behemoth will eventually call for some mawkeepers. Vanquish or ignore them as you see fit, just don't let gigantes near the generator!

At the end of this map, you get a flying fortress, a couple companions, alchemical accessories, and the open opportunity to originate operations! Go visit the people manning your fortress, and keep the alchemy pot in mind. I strongly encourage you to get a mugger's mask as soon as you can; the recipe or it's individual components can be purchased with mini medals. Earn mini medals by defeating certain milestones of monsters, earning achievements, or through random item drops.

Alena: The Queen of Combos
Stringing stinging attacks together is Tsarevna Alena's
stock in trade. Hold Y to make her Knucle Sandwiches hit
even harder!

Her mega-fast Multifists attack deals massive damage with a
blistering barrage of combo-boosting blows!

Kiryl: The Advanced Lancer
Kiryl is a skillful and surprisingly strong spear-swinger with a
far-reaching triple strike and some other impressive abilities to

This dependable defender can use Kabuff to boost his buddies'
defence -- an absolute Goddess-send in boss battles!

Between each chapter, the weapon and orbs shops get new equipment and there are new quests posted. You don't have to do them immediately, but anytime you find the last boss/chapter difficult, you may as well do a couple of the side quests. As a quick rule of thumb, the ones you should definitely do are any Trial Isle ones, Improving on Perfection, and Greedy for Ingredient questlines. Additionally, after each chapter's boss, you get a map allowing you to rechallenge that boss encounter. I won't be reminding you to look at the shop; without killing additional monsters, you aren't going to be able to buy every item for every character from the store as it unlocks, so you need to exercise your own judgement, here. I will, however, tell you when those relevant side quests pop up, though, in case you aren't the sort to tackle every quest on every chapter end.

1-3. Chapter III: Colissean Champions

Across the Shifting Sands
Defend the gates!

Our heroes have been joined by two new
friends: Alena and Kiryl! It's time to take
flight aboard Isla's greatest invention--an
airship called the Stonecloud--and soar
through the skies to the next destination!

A ludicrously simple "protection" mission. Walk out and leave a trail of defeated monsters in your wake. There are some areas of quicksand, and the only thing they do is slow travellers down. Fishnet Stockings can allow you to move at normal speed even while in quicksand, but they aren't that useful.

You want to have Zap available three missions from now. Both Luceus and Aurora can learn this.

Meeting the Mayor
Protect the Mayor!

Upon arriving at the gates of Colissea, the
party are perturbed to find monsters already
attacking! Fight your way inside before
the fiends can get their talons on the townspeople!

Two lanes flooded with monsters pour towards the water foutnain in which the mayor makes his stand. Ensure this is not his final stand and push the tides back!

To be more effective in your defense, aim your coup de grâce through the lanes to give yourself some breathing room, and use as many special abilities as your MP allows. Don't forget about taking down the mawkeepers once the mayor's immediate area is secured.

Once you successfully defend the mayor, he hands over some baubles, known as Healstones. Think of them are carry-able medicinal herbs, and it costs gold to restock.

Colissea's Leafy Lifeline
Defend the root!

Our heroes have met with the mayor of
Colissea, and worked together to make the
western district safe. But the eastern district
and the arena are still unsecured. Onward to
the east!

This is similar to the previous mission. The primary point of this place is to prepare players for the plot.

The Arena of Conflict
Defeat the killing machines!

Our heroes have successfully safeguarded the
World Tree root that suddenly appeared in the
city. But this is no time to be
celebrating--there may be even more brutal
battles ahead in the arena!

Chapter battle coming up, spend those skill points. Don't forget to pick up the Zap spell before this next battle; even if you don't like magic, it's ability to stun mechanical enemies cannot be understated. If your accompanying secondary knight captain has the spell and not your main character, bring him/her along, too.

Three metal monstrosities march on you. Use Zap to stun them and render them vulnerable for additional damage during their prone phase. Monsters typically have a grace period in which they cannot be stunned again, so it will pay off to daze them right when they are about to do something you don't like, such as glowing bright pink with increased attack power. Finally, don't forget to check out the various vases around the arena if you need a pick-me-up!

After the coliseum is clear, you can now talk to the Clerk of Works and Questmistress. This guide will point out noteworthy quests for you to consider running such as "Greedy for Ingredients 1," but if you want all the achievements, you'll need to do every quest. No quests are miss-able; if you have not unlocked certain areas to complete your quest, you will eventually.

Spend mini medals at King Flaminio to make yourself stronger or more productive. The mugger's mask will be of great use to you, and I recommend buying the recipe outright once you either find the 3x snakeskin and 2x slipweed, or are willing to pay the mini medals for those ingredients.

Greedy for Ingredients 1
You can increase the number of ingredients you carry if you can turn in three grubby bandages.

Improving on Perfection 1
You can increase the number of monster minion slots you have if you can turn in three lumps of iron ore.

1-4. Chapter IV: Saving Sylvea

You're Sure of a Big Surprise
Defeat all the monsters!

Our heroes have met a strange swordsman by
the name of Terry, and together defeated the
fiends summoned by the sinister man in black.
Colissea is safe...for now. Time to head for

Once you begin knocking down the monsters, a mawkeeper appears where you began the battle. Return and show him how futile such tricks are, then sweep up the rest.

Gruesome Gatecrashers
Defend the village gate!

Our heroes have arrived at the verdant village
of Sylvea, but a band of beasts has beaten
them to it! Hurry inside and make certain the
elves are safe!

Three mawkeepers appear, one after the other. Pursue and pummel.

Zoom to Manoeuvre
While not a story quest, this is definitely one you should do as it unlocks a battle teleportation ability. Talk to Doric in the Stonecloud to unlock the quest, talk to the Questmistress to collect the quest, and activate your world map to navigate to your destination. Find Trial Isle on the left side to begin.

Unattuned zoomstones emit a bright blue light, although the stone itself remains red. If you see an unattuned stone, fix it! As with other actions shared with your jump button (revival and opening chests), remain motionless as you hit the A button. Once the Zoom 2 message appears, zip around to each waypoint.

Once you've finished warming up, Gragwort deploys four mawkeepers, and suggests you Zoom around the battlefield to win. Go ahead and follow his suggestion, cutting down the mawkeepers before warding off the stragglers.

Now that you have Zoom, keep an eye out for unattuned zoomstones. Even if you should be fail or invoke Evac from a mission, the stones still belong to you and you can teleport around the next time!

Until We Meet Again
Defend the elven village!

The party have penetrated as far as the first
few elven houses, but a sense of foreboding
fills the air... The monsters are making another
assault! Drive them out and defend the village!

Pick a path, you will defend three elven houses, either way. The one on the left has two of the houses near each other. Either character you support will give Alena musings on how to become more powerful (though nothing results from this). Your choice in supporting either hero has no real effect on the game. Oh, and the description for this quest is typed exactly as seen in the game.

Uninvited Guests
Defeat the boss troll and the cosmic chimaera!

Thanks to the party's perseverance, the elves'
abodes are safe and sound! And it seems
Jessica and Yangus need to see the Elder too,
so let's press on!

This is the fight I appreciate the least. While the two boss monsters are active, the chimaera will regularly heal the boss troll. If the boss troll is defeated first (which is the most likely, since it is the most vulnerable), then the cosmic chimaera follows a set pattern. That pattern is: fly somewhere, aim at your controlled character, breathe a line of fire in that direction, become vulnerable, pause VERY briefly, and then become invulnerable again. Remember you can daze opponents with your coup de grâce, and that may come in handy here.

Jessica: The Whip-Wielding Wonder
Jessica's a whip-cracking warrior woman who can sweep whole
swathes of foes off their feet with her all-encompassing

The swirling storms she whips up with Whipcrackle lay into
enemies with lashing lightning bolts. Aim it at big groups for
best results.

Yangus: The Proper Chopper
Yangus is a hulking hardman who packs an enormous axe.
Hold X or Y when swinging it to dole out even more damage
than usual.

His Parallax skill unleashes powerful shockwaves as far as the
eye can see. Use it to disable distant stragglers!

The Questmistress has some new assignments at this point, but all of the rewards involved are small-time.

1-5. Chapter V: Grannet Gallantry

Fight at the End of the Tunnel
Defeat all the monsters!

Jessica and Yangus join the party as they set
off from Sylvea to seek out Grannet, and see
if the dwarven stronghold has suffered the
same fate as everywhere else.

A single road. Monsters in the path. Aside from three mawkeepers and possible metal slimes, there's nothing of note here.

Grannet's Leafy Lifeline
Defend the root!

Our heroes' fears are confirmed as a horde of
invading fiends falls upon them in the caves of
Grannet. There's not a second to spare--forge
a path to the town itself, and free the
dwarves from tyranny!

This is a very wide map where you have to protect a stationary entity. Focus on dealing with the mawkeepers!

The Chamber of Danger
Defend the Foreman's daughter!

Our heroes have succeeded in saving another
Yggdrasil root from ruin, but there's still
no sign of the missing dwarves. Delve deeper into
Grannet and seek them out!

You uncover two more potential allies, and a helpless NPC to protect. Simply carve your way through the grid-shaped room and keep Beryl safe.

Looking for Love
Defend the Foreman's daughter again!

The party discovers the dwarven foreman's
daughter fighting alongside two young women
who claim to have come from another world.
Help these unlikely allies find the Foreman and
his daughter's betrothed!

Beryl now is promoted to a lemming, and charges headlong into the Grannet tunnels right into monster packs, one after the other. Follow Beryl and take down everything in her way as you march through every inch of the explorable map.

Intensity Training

Gragwort has invited you to test your
strength in a taxing trial, with the promise of
improved mastery of tension should you
emerge victorious. Gird up your loins and head
to Trial Isle to face this arduous ordeal!

Don't wait for Gragwort to finish running his mouth. Start building your tension meter by holding the tension button or attacking monsters. Finish the first stage of this mission by activating a coup de grâce. The second stage introduces a rare type of monster which can only be injured by coup de grâce. Build that tension meter again and eliminate the Trialblazer -- no, that's not a misspelling; Dragon Quest has always loved its puns.

The Statuesque Sanctum
Defend the Foreman and his daughter's betrothed!

Our heroes have nosed in nearly every nook
and cranny searching for the missing dwarves,
beset by monsters at every turn. The only
place left to search is the sanctum--so what
are you waiting for?

Similar to the gigantes, you have a singular boss entity that sometimes ignores you to pursue it's target, and the boss routinely summons a mawkeeper to interfere. Consider using a coup de grâce to stagger him to extend the time he can receive damage. When the stone guardian summons allies, his defence skyrockets.

Regularly attacking the boss can sometimes get him to stop chasing the dwarves, and turn his attention to you. Just keep chiseling away until the stone guardian crumbles.

Bianca: The Artful Archer
Bianca is an ardent archer with remarkable marksmanship
skills. Holding X charges up her arrows for stronger strikes.

Her Plasma Dome skill envelopes enemies in a devastating dome
of electrical destruction--perfect for causing carnage from a

Nera: The Time-Delayed Lady
Nera's a dab hand at magic who blows big bubbles with Y that
burst on impact. She recoups MP with every X attack that

Her Miracle Moon skill deals continuous damage to foes over
an extensive area. Add other abilities to the mix for maximum

Improving on Perfection 2
You can increase the number of monster minion slots you have if you can turn in two warmalines from imps.

No Stone Unturned 1
You can increase the number of Healstones you have if you can turn in three vials of nectar from pink sanguinis.

Booted and Suited and Clobbering for Clobber
If you are interested in changing the guard captain's uniform colors, do these two quests. "Booted and Suited" for Luceus and/or "Clobbering for Clobber" for Aurora.

To Bag a Bigger Bag 1
You can increase the number of equipment items you carry if you protect Grannet's Yggdrasil root.

1-6. Chapter VI: World Tree's Woe

Tussle in the Treetops
Defeat all the monsters!

Yggdrasil is under attack! The monsters must
be making for the altar at the top! Bianca and
Nera have agreed to come along, so look
lively--it's tree-climbing time!

The purple area on your minimap indicates areas where characters can fall. If your squad falls, members will suffer a minor HP loss. If enemies fall (even flying ones can fall, if swatted), they are instantly eliminated. Enemies which are defeated in this way leave behind gold, loot, and monster medals back on the surface.

This isn't a feature you will see often, so deal with the mawkeepers as you see fit and the map will conclude.

Showdown in the Crown
Defeat all the monsters!

Our heroes are assailed by monsters more
organised than anything they've seen before.
It's almost as if someone's telling them what to
do... To the top of the World Tree, where the
answer awaits!

Clear out mawkeepers as usual. Once two killing machines show up, go towards one and a stranger will eviscerate the other. A final mawkeeper will appear, and a hell gladiator will follow him. The hell gladiator will be a common enough enemy later; watch out when they charge up! You have only one choice in how to deal with these new guests.

Running into a Brick Wall
Defeat the grim golem!

The party have made their way through the
waves of monsters and arrived at last at the
summit of the World Tree. Yggdrasil's Crown
is within reach--just one final push!

Two sides of the map are areas where you can fall. Keep this in mind while you maneuver to attack.

Once you've depleted brick face's health bar, you get to throw him out of the ring. Send him flying to the earth below and all of King Doric's men won't be able to put him back together again.

Greedy for Ingredients 2
You can increase the number of ingredients you carry if you can turn in three pieces of dragon hide from hacksauruses.

1-7. Chapter VII: Pinnacle of Power

The Ascent Begins
Reach the top floor!

Having discovered her true identity, Aurora
sets out for the Pinacle of Light, with Doric
the Guardian and the rest of the brave band
in tow! It's time to talk to the Goddess!

After you take a few steps forward, you find out about teleportals. Like a lot of other areas, this is a fairly limited gimmick; both in frequency and in depth. Just go through the teleportal to begin the next phase, where you need to defend a door from monsters. The tower is a lot more linear than the portals would have you believe, it's really just a way to simulate climbing spiral staircases. For the sake of giving you some semblance of directions, let's assume the floor you started on is the first floor. The door is on the second floor, and is now under siege by mawkeepers sending monsters through teleportals from the first and third floors. You can't do anything about the first floor mawkeeper right now, so keep moving.

When you get to the top, you will find two mawkeepers and a stone golem. Removing the stone golem will open up the top teleportal for you, which lets you reach a mawkeeper on the first floor which is sneaking monsters to attack your tower door. Once you've secured the tower, the tower door you protected will withdraw, allowing you to reach your destination.

An Elevating Experience
Reach the top floor!

The Pinnacle of Light has already been
infiltrated by Velasco's forces, and the party
must make their way to the top amid an
unending onslaught of enemies!

It quickly becomes apparent you need to defend the statue. This is simpler than other defense missions, as instead of a continual stream of monsters from spread out mawkeepers, a batch of them starts outside the map and proceeds inward every time the elevator stops; so you have a while between monster waves. Monsters outside the map borders cannot be harmed, so don't worry about it. If you aren't used to fighting hacksauruses by now, try blocking when they are about to roar.

In the little room to the south, you can find containers with attack boosters, instant tension items, and magic refilling potions.

A Furocious Trespusser
Defeat the Marquis de Leon!

Our heroes have reached the highest floors of
the Pinnacle. Not far now to the Oracle, and
an audience with the Goddess Herself!

There are a few containers at the corners of the map, and you should be able to find tension boosters among them.

The marquis de leon uses a few attacks, of which there are two you should notice: the first is his cold breath, signified by a blue aura under his feet as throws his head back to breathe in. The second is a flurry of stationary swings; but pretty much all of his attacks can be ignored if you keep manuevering behind him. Once he reaches half health, he stuns you with a bellow and simultaneously summons two mawkeepers. How kind of him to offer you pink sanguinis, who, in their monster medal form, can significantly boost your tension meter!

At twenty-five percent health, he stun-summons two more mawkeepers.

Improving on Perfection 3
You can increase the number of monster minion slots you have by knocking out a stone golem.

To Bag a Bigger Bag 2
You can increase the number of equipment items you carry by knocking out a hell gladiator, a king slime, and a troll.

1-8. Chapter VIII: Sparkling Shrine

Guarding the Gatekeeper
Protect the statue!

The Goddess tells Aurora that the true power
of the light can be earned in a place called the
Shrine of Scales, moments before a massive
monster pounds the Pinnacle to the ground.
Time to go and take that trial!

The gimmick for this chapter is the ability to open and close doors. Begin by flipping the lever and getting rid of the mawkeeper to the southeast and then race back to the statue. I would leave the doors this way for the remainder of the map, given the order in which mawkeepers arrive. It's really not all that complicated, but if you're having trouble, here's how to be ready for each mawkeeper as it arrives.

Deploy your Stone Golems towards the north before dealing with the upcoming mawkeeper to the central south lane. Once south is cleared, any remaining monster medals should face south of the statue before you race your way through to the northwest mawkeeper, as two more gates will appear to the south and southwest. Defeat these gates in the order they appear; soon enough, yet another northwestern gate will materialize. If the doors were only flipped once, then you will have plenty of time to intercept them.

Aurora players should work towards Blizzard Slash Strengthener before the end of this chapter.

Strangers in the Shrine
Protect the statue again!

The Shrine of Scales appears untouched--until
monsters spring an ambush and block the way!
The party must beat these beasts and be on
their way, or Aurora will never be able to take
her trial!

Eight mawkeepers appear in the following order: southwest, northeast, northwest, and southeast. Then it's northeast again (with a killing machine), southwest, and finally simultaneously northwest (archdemon) & southeast (another archdemon). Remember, a well-aimed coup de grâce can cut through the walls and take out the mawkeeper behind it; a well-planned coup de grâce will also clear approaching monsters. Play with the doors if you see fit.

Maya: The Flying Fan-Dancer
A soaring starlet whose aptitude for aerial attacks allows her
to hover when she racks up 100 hits or more.

Her ability to unleash spells and skills from above and below
means she can dance deftly across the battlefield, dealing
damage wherever she goes.

The Maze of Scales
Protect the statue yet again!

At the entrance to the Shrine, our heroes meet
Maya, a beautiful dancer from the same world
as Alena and Kiryl, who convince her to come
along. With the sultry starlet on board, it's
time to head for the Hall of scales!

There are a TON of monsters on this stage; it may even be worth considering deliberately failing the quest to get some easy gold, if you're behind on your equipment. This is something I only found out by accident after having lost the statue twice and realizing how much money I had in my pockets afterwards.

Having some resistances against being incapacitated (such as sleep) may help, but isn't something you should go out of your way for. However, specifically Freeze Resistance will might against some Mawkeepers, but you should go out of your way for that if you plan on tackling post-game content as it will come in handy later.

To win, relentlessly pursue mawkeepers and place monster minion medals at chokepoints rather than on top of the statue. This is pretty much what you need to do for any of these kinds of missions, but it's here this becomes very apparent. The other alternative is to hold your defensive position against every mawkeeper's summon until they simply exhaust their forces against you, but it's a less practical option.

If you play Aurora, get Blizzard Slash Strengthener before the next map. While you can certainly win without it, having an extra tool in your toolbag doesn't hurt.

The Trial
Defeat the Serpent of the Scales!

The party have finally reached the heart of
the Shrine, and the Hall of Scales is in sight.
Aurora steels herself to enter the Hall and
claim the power to save both Luceus and the
World Tree.

This fight is just your main character against two bosses, one after the other, with no recovery in between. Packing some way to heal up, such as Prayer Rings, Healstones, or certain equipment items, can be very handy.

There are medicinal herbs in the northwest and northeast vases, a magic potion in the southeast pot, and a tension booster in the southwest urn.

The Serpent of Scales has only a few attacks; since his moves aren't named in the game, I've given them some nicknames:

Lash: Tail whip.
Gnash: Two successive bites.
Rupture: Stomps on the ground with his forelegs, causing visible traces of energy lines to sprawl out from under the dragon. You simply need to be between these energy lines to avoid being hit.
Lightning Bolt: As one move, he will accumulate energy, stand upright, stun-roar, and summon three lightning bolts. You can roll through the stun-roar, and you can keep from being hit by bolts running in any direction until the storm passes.
Lightning Storm: After reaching 66% and 33% of his health, he will retreat to the podium and summon a stream of lightning bolts you can dodge simply by running normally. A larger, final bolt will then occur, which you should roll out of the way of. I've only managed to ever successfully coup de grâce him once when he retreats to the podium, I think it's a matter of timing rather than location.

Remember, a coup de grâce will daze him, allowing you to swing freely. He can also be frozen by Aurora -- try using Frost Slash and holding down its button until he freezes.

Here are the Darkling's moves:

Warp: The Darkling can sink into the floor to warp around. If you lock on him as the camera target, you will know where he'll appear, exactly!
Zam: At range, ribbons of gold will appear around your former ally, and three orbs of darkness will poorly home in on you. You should either roll around them or block them outright, but don't treat it like the dragon's lightning bolts. I find the most reliable dodge pattern is to dodge once in one direction, and a second time in the other direction.
Smash: Simply an overhead smash.
Swings: A triple sword swing.
Dark Wave: When the corrupted knight gets to half health, it gains a new move; summoning and shooting a dark wave. You can roll under it.

Being defeated by the Darkling will result in starting the challenge over at the Serpent of Scales. You can easily avoid all of the Darkling's attacks by constantly rolling behind him (like with most bosses).

No Stone Unturned 2
You can increase the number of Healstones you have if you can turn in two belle caps from shamans.

1-9. Chapter IX: Dawnsholm Dew

The Path to Dawnsholm
Make your way into Dawnsholm!

Our heroes have learned of a way to save the
World Tree, but it will involve a visit to Isla's
hometown-or so she seems to think. Only one
way to find out--Dawnsholm, here we come!

Boggy terrain makes its return. Also, Isla will be an uncontrollable NPC you need to safeguard. That being said, this is a pretty simple mission, as unlike the stationary missions where mawkeepers spawn and provoke you based on how long you've been present, Isla spawns the individual mawkeepers by making progress in the map; this means you don't have to cut through swarms and swarms of monsters having to balance between killing the mawkeeper or it's minions. Just follow Isla through the entire map, building up tension as you go.

When you get to the final room, seven nightmaws appear, with no mawkeepers attending them, just a single Tactical Wizard. Now unleash that rage you've been accumulating throughout the swamp, and when the wizard falls, so too do the portals.

The Siege of Dawnsholm
Defend the barricade!

Though Dawnsolm holds many a delight for
the curious, the arrival of a sizeable monster
force means there's no time for sightseeing.
Who knows what might happen if they make it

The hellcaster is the gimmick for this chapter. You can temporarily disable the artillery by knocking out the gunner, but he'll be back up in about two minutes. There isn't much to say about the mission you shouldn't already know by now; if something is threatening the barricade, take out the threat. There is a waypoint right next to the monstrous cannon so you can keep it inoperable.

Dawnsholmers in Distress
Protect the villagers!

Having secured the perimeter, the party must
now make their way into Dawnsholm, and save
any straggling citizens from harm!

A little more interesting variant of the protect-objective quests. Rescue the villagers and guard them as they huddle in the corner. If you've played Dragon Warrior I, a familiar tune will warn you of an approaching enemy. Oh, and Granny packs a frying pan. Go, Granny!

The Tree of Life
Defend the Tree of Life!

With the villagers and the monsters sent
packing, it's time for our heroes to head for
the Tree of Life...if they dare.

You now face a demon-at-arms and a uberkilling machine, who are also flanked by two hellcasters. When the demon-at-arms powers-up, back away until the power either fades or he tires out, then lash at him. Getting hit by a frost spell as he goes berserk on you is a good way to take needless damage. When the uberkilling machine powers-up, stun him with a lightning-based attack. You won't be able to consecutively stun it with lightning, so time your hits wisely.

Greedy for Ingredients 3
You can increase the number of ingredients you carry if you can turn in two bolts of evencloth from restless armours.

Fighting for Fabric
A costume color-swap for Isla is available if you clear the side-quest map of monsters.

1-10. Chapter X: The Troubled Tree

The Benighted Branches
Defeat all the monsters!

Isla's impassioned pleas have persuaded Grand
Mother Mediator to permit our heroes to take
some of the Tree of Life's sacred dew. Now it's
off to Yggdrasil to save the day!

Capture zoomstones at your leisure, but it won't matter for long. Flank lethal armours to dispatch them. Cureslimes should be stockpiled and used to heal the active character. Belabour each and every single foe until each gate opens.

Altar Beast
Defeat the barbatos!

The World Tree is in a woeful state, and as
our heroes work their way closer to the
Crown, an awful sense of foreboding falls
upon the party...

We scoffed at the last mission. But take this one a little more seriously, and heed these two rules, especially if you plan on moving on to veteran versions later:

Rule number one: defeat any cureslimes you see! Keep on the look out for them, they're going to spawn and heal while you're not paying attention. Not only will they keep healing all of your foes (such as mawkeepers, or even the boss himself), but you will be safer keeping them available for your own use.

Rule number two: aim each coup de grâce for the barbatos plus one additional objective of your choice; whether it's clearing out cureslimes or mawkeepers.

A Monstrous Apparition
This side-quest will be a true test of your ability or patience if you're doing this quest as soon as it's available. You can no longer stand and trade sword strikes against your opponent. To win, you must first learn your opponent.

Roseguardin companions teleport above it's target and land with a sword slam.
Hate: Psaro will follow you around. He hates you so much he can even do a 180 between attacks to take out more than one character at a time if he kills one character in mid-combo.

Spells: The easiest thing to learn to dodge, are Psaro's spells.

Disruptive Wave: Dispel your team's helpful effects. While you can't dodge this, you could get in a free strike during this time.
Zam: four spheres of dark energy spread out at the same time, and then curve towards you in a manner similar to the Darkling attack, except maybe a bit more erratically. Dodge them in a similar manner.
Kazam: a warning ribbon of red appears on the ground, drawing you towards the center. Get in a couple free hits, then dodge out of the ring; trying to run out won't help due to the suction, you can only escape right before the eldritch spell explodes.

Techniques: He can end his combo at any time, so it won't always be the full three-attacks. Still, you can dodge all of his "Perish!" and "Out of my sight!" attacks while still getting in some hits.

"Out of my sight!" - One to three mid-range slashes.
"Perish!" - A lunge, possibly followed by a mid-range spinning attack, and then possibly capped off by a sword slam which sends a distant wave of energy out.
"A cut above!" - A seven-swing strike which ends in a pulse of energy. Only available to Psaro once he becomes stronger.
Liberation (66% HP) - becomes stronger.
Liberation (33% HP) - becomes even stronger.

Chances are, you're reading this section because you already fought him and he ate you for breakfast with plenty of room for lunch. Seriously, you need to just spend a match observing his attacks, and then you can do a pretty good job avoiding his attacks once you've gotten used to his tell-tale signs. Try switching to Yangus and activating Defending Champion while watching Psaro, or just run around in circles and study his moves as he swings where you used to be. Primarily, know which move-set he's going to use between his battle-cries, so you know the timing of your dodges as well as where you should be dodging. If you aren't paying attention and he shouts, "Perish!" and you only dodge backwards, you're likely to get hit by the energy wave at the end of his attacks.

Rotate characters so they share the damage absorbed, if you have ways to practical ways to heal your characters such as Healix, worn items, or Jessica. This will also build up your available tension strike options, as a coup de grâce will daze him. High tension also makes you invincible, giving you plenty of free strikes in. I would advise waiting until he has gotten to his second power-up before breaking out your high tension mode, so that the time he spends attacking you with his strongest hits is minimized.

When I defeated him, the most helpful accessories were Tough Guy Tattoos and Prayer Rings. But the most helpful thing of all was getting used to his signature moves and countering them. Good luck!

Psaro: The Sword-Swinging Master of Monsterkind
Psaro is a serious swordsman who batters beasts both with his
boots and his blade. The long reach of his longsword helps him
keep enemies at bay.

His Liberation skills raises the range and the strength of his
strikes to another level. Turn up the power with perfect timing
to keep the combos coming.

Improving on Perfection 4
You can increase the number of monster minion slots you have if you can turn in two lumps of platinum ore from lethal armours.

To Bag a Bigger Bag 3
You can increase the number of equipment items you carry by knocking out a hellion, a boss troll, and a tyrantosaurus.

King's New Clothes
A costume color-swap for Doric is available if you knock down one tyrantosaurus.