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Rico’s Disgaea 4 Guide: Power Leveling

So you’ve ramped up your got your Evil Symbols, Gathered your Puppy Paw Stick, and Duped the heck out of some innocents and items. What else is there to do? Level to 9,999 of course!

To save you some time I’m going to say right up front that this is a “Big Bang at Mt. Ordeals 4.” Guide. So if you are already doing this then you are already on the right path. If you feel like things aren’t moving quickly enough feel free to read on. But honestly if 9,999 in like 3~5 battles is too much fighting I don’t know what to tell you :). I felt it was important to get this disclaimer out early before folks waste their time potentially. Also note there are some chapter name spoilers below, be careful if you didn’t heed my post story suggestion. Back to the guide.

There are some things to consider when going for 9,999. Chief among them is getting enough mana to maximize the returns on your characters newfound superiority. I personally suggest leveling up any stat reducing or buffing skill you like to +9. For all others you should probably limit them to whatever level makes them cost ~1K Mana. This makes it so that you can easily cast it after reincarnating and keeps power leveling at maximum speed.

Something to consider before we begin is that you should save from time to time. I’ve played a little over 110 hours and had about 6 crashes. That comes out to 1 crash every 18.3 Hours. I mean, that isn’t much, but if you get “into the zone” you could lose a lot of time. Now with that word of warning out of the way lets look at some screenshots for how I’ve set up my group.

I've prepared everyone I want to be leveling around my Training Ground.

I’ve prepared everyone I want to be leveling around my Training Ground.

You’ll also notice that I’ve got the Aura Pyramid touching nearly everyone that I can around the Training Grounds but that’s not as important. It’s crucial that you make sure to have your leading character touching both though. They’ll be the one generating the EXP and Mana and it would be silly if they weren’t in both groups. For us that person will be Valvatorez. The skill we’ll be using is Big Bang.

If you do not have Big Bang on a character you can learn it by taking a Bouncer and generating enough mana to purchase it. I don’t believe it is level limited but worst case scenario it’s going to be within a hundred or two hundred levels (something you should be able to reach almost instantly with statisticians and max enemy level on just about any map). Once you have a Bouncer with this skill just put them into the same Evil Symbol Party as the person you want to learn it.

Go into the character world of that person you want to Learn Big Bang and pick “Learn Evility” from the list. Once you get to the 9th floor of the character world an NPC will allow you to purchase Big Bang for 48,000 Mana. A relative pittance.

You may want to power level monsters at the same time. One of the two monsters you must use is a monster that turns into a fist. I recommend a Nekotama. The easiest way to prepare your monsters is by combining the fusion lab and the dual dojo. As I’ve shown below.

Time for Desco and Lizzycat to party hard!

Time for Desco and Lizzycat to party hard!

These characters will get 100% of the mana and XP of your main character when you use them to level. If you overlap these characters with Aura Pyramid and Training Ground spots it “appears” that the EXP stacks from both them and your main character. If this is not the case it certainly feels like it, I’ve been a bit too lazy to confirm.

Now that you’ve got your character with Big Bang, your leech characters, and your monsters all set up its time to get onto the big finale. The level you need to unlock is the Mountain of Ordeals 4.

Click on this bad boy. If you don't have it you'll need to unlock it via the bill available in your campaign map.

Click on this bad boy. If you don’t have it you’ll need to unlock it via the bill available in your campain map.

The first 3 are a bit of a pain in the ass but if you've already duped a bunch of innocents they are a pittance to overcome. If folks would like I can write a guide on how to beat each of them in a few turns (or at least with minimal frustration).

The first 3 are a bit of a pain in the ass but if you’ve already duped a bunch of innocents they are a pittance to overcome.
If folks would like I can write a guide on how to beat each of them in a few turns (or at least with minimal frustration).

Once you enter the map you should see this.

That's an unusual shape...

That’s an unusual shape…

When I first saw this I was confused. That was until I equipped a super big kitty fist onto my Valvatorez. Let’s go through the steps to do that.

First bring out your monsters and line them up to the right of your killer and back one square.

First bring out your monsters and line them up to the right of your killer and back one square.

The reason you put them a spot behind is that your giant Nekotama is going to take up 5 squares (in a cross shape) which will put Valvatorez right beside it. Tell Desco (or whoever is your second monster) to fuse with the Nekotama.

It is at this point I should mention if you have multiple monsters set to your fusion labs and dual dojos you could have 2 nekotamas fuse with 2 other monsters and power level 4 monsters at once! But I digress…

So comfy.

So comfy.

Once this is done you should be able to click on the Nekotama without even moving your cursor. At that point it should say “magicchange” instead of fusion. Do so and now your Valvatorez (or whoever) is wearing a kitty paw that (when swung) is larger than them.

Time to bring the hurt.

Time to bring the hurt.

When you select big bang now you’ll find that it actually targets 100% of the monsters in this level. Doing some quick math if we figure that you put 300 statisticians on all of your armor slots you’ve got 2400% exp. Then another 300% to 400% exp from your cheat shop (mine is at 800% at this point but your results will vary by game completion). Add to that the geosymbols in this level which adds another 100% exp and you are sitting on a cool ~3000% exp each time you do this level. It takes a matter of seconds to line up and do if you’ve got everything set to fast mode in your options.

You’ll be able to finish your entire catalog of monsters (leveling and unlocking) in about 20 to 30 minutes this way. Additionally you can reincarnate and return to level 9,999 lightning fast allowing you to store up levels quickly. This is about the point that Disgaea 4 becomes incredibly relaxing. It allows you to experiment and not fear resetting. Good stuff, it is at this point that I recommend you build up your dream team if you wish to grind out all the final stories of the game (via the Legendary Tree). Because its a long…looooong journey if you want it all on one save file without resetting.

Not even entirely sure I recommend it. I did it, not sure how I feel about it at this point.

This isn’t the best of guides but honestly it really comes down to “Super Big Bang on the 4th level of Ordeals” with a bunch of Statisticians. Once you know where to go you know what to do.

By | 2014-12-20T22:11:21+00:00 September 8th, 2014|Journal|Comments Off on Rico’s Disgaea 4 Guide: Power Leveling

Reviews: Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception

Well isn’t this a blast from the past! In an effort to clear out my old catalog I started and finished Uncharted 3 yesterday. This review will be somewhat light on the pictures seeing as there is basically nothing I could show that wouldn’t be a spoiler of epic proportions. However I managed to find two images that we can use, one is on the cover of the box and another is of some magic spiders that I’ll be discussing a bit. The spoilers I will be providing here are actually just to tell you what won’t be answered in the game. That is to say I’m helping you not get your hopes up. Otherwise the story will remain mostly an enigma for you after you finish reading the review.

This is a fairly old game at this point. It came out in November of 2011 and I’m sure most people have played it. But I hadn’t yet and now is better than never. The visuals of Uncharted 3 hold up today, the levels were gorgeous, the cut scenes were engaging, and I never found myself groaning at poor artistic decisions. Really this was the main reason that I played Uncharted 3 and probably the only reason I finished it. Every new locale was wonderful and I wanted to explore every little crevice of them, I wasn’t allowed to, but I wanted to.

Sully is a treat and the banter between him and Nathan is something that has yet to get old. These are characters that personally I find enjoyable and while they might not be the broken husks that we generally consider “interesting” I find their generic humor and quirks to be enough to keep me engaged. I’m also somewhat fond of “Cutter” even if he had some incredibly unbelievable scenes, not in the good way either.

The sound design is just as good as the visuals and I don’t know what to say about it beyond that. It’s not memorable but it is enjoyable. The action scenes, like the airplane scene that was revealed on all the box art was titillating and I enjoyed it a great deal. Even if it begins with one of my least favorite parts about this game: The QTE bad guy. In this game there is a lumbering bald oaf that you must fight what feels like thousands of times and each time it is exactly the same, a QTE event at the worst possible time that isn’t fun in any way. It was designed by someone who thought they knew what fun was but they missed it by a mile.

He’s terrible, always looks the same, and I hated every second he was in the game. They reskin him a couple times near the end but he’s just as terrible. Then you’ve got the “shotgun helmet” guys that are impervious to anything short of cannon fire unless you shoot them in the face with a high powered weapon or shove a couple grenades a foot up their asses. Liz watched as I unloaded an entire clip from a rifle into the face of one of these guys and they didn’t die. I get it…he’s wearing a helmet…I don’t care. That’s not how helmets work.

The normal villains aren’t as obnoxious but they run at the same speed that Drake turns his gun. This means that if you are aiming at them and they start running you’ll be reenacting that scene from every action movie ever…over…and over…and over. You shoot a trail behind them and they outrun it. I’m sure there are sensitivity options to fix this but the default shouldn’t be this, this is literally the only game I’ve ever played that does this.

The bosses are terrible. There is a scene on a boat where you fight a guy that is literally invulnerable to anything but a grenade launcher that gets dropped after a certain amount of time running from him. He’s wearing what looks like a hockey outfit and a welding mask, this doesn’t turn him into superman. If we put that outfit on literally anyone on the planet and I unloaded an AK-47 into their face they would die. Their head would be turned to dust. This was ridiculous and neither Liz nor I found it interesting. This seems to be the games idea of challenging, sponges everywhere. Instead of designing interesting or engaging villains they just took piss poor AI and strapped a million life points onto it.

I headshot my way through most of the game but it still wasn’t fun. Every new zone was less fun than the last because they’d up the sponge factor of all the enemies or add in some new even spongier villain.

Speaking of villains what the hell is up with the villains? There is a magical white guy in this game that acts like Baron Samedi from Live and Let Die. If not Samedi then certainly Scarecrow from Batman. He’s a god damn genie through the entire game and you think it’ll explain to you why by the end. But it doesn’t. You might think you have an answer to this and you might be saying it as you read this line but keep in mind that the “trick” he was using would only explain 1 out of the 4 people who witnessed him doing magic shit. It also doesn’t explain the end of the game either. When you get to the rock surfing you’ll probably see what I mean, presuming you ever finish this game.

The combat is so bad and the villains so poor that it really becomes a chore to finish the game. The game isn’t hard, not by any means, its just badly designed. There are sections where you will literally enter a checkpoint with about 2 seconds to hide before you instantly die. 2 seconds might be a bit of an understatement, at least once I was instantly grey the second the game finished loading. This is terrible and any game trying to tout itself as professionally made should not have this kind of bad presentation and balancing.

I’d also like to know why Nathan and Sully are apparently idiots. You kill dozens of people and know full well that an army of death is above you, yet you wander around laughing like fools and not checking your six? Really? Do any of the “aw shit, surprise” moments make sense? If either of these guys has seen a single movie they’d know that they were fucking up because they fall for the same cliches that have been in cinematography for a century. I found myself groaning over, and over, and over, as the characters acted entirely unbelievable. Why the hell is that guy taking that thing? Why is that dude walking with that guy? Sully you’d never do that!


Spiders! Why did it have to be spiders?!

Spiders! Why did it have to be spiders?!

I found myself shouting or saying things like that throughout the game. It’s like they designed the characters to act weird whenever it conveniences them. When the game starts I thought I was in for a treat with the writing but as it goes along it just becomes insufferably bad. There’s no weight to anything, nothing comes together and nothing is resolved. You know how people found out the answer to the spiders? By interviews with the team after the game was released. If you are introducing weird shit you should at least explain it in canon.

The treasure really seems to personify the writing. These weird vapid little things that seem to exist only because “they are supposed to”. They have no weight to them, nothing about them excites me as I collect them. I don’t see them up in some kind of imagined collection of the future nor do I hear Nathan quipping about how he’s about to be rich. Just little shimmering spots on the ground that are sometimes in inconvenient locations, exciting.

But with all this rambling that isn’t to say this game is bad. It’s not, its alright, it’s OK. I’d probably never play it again but I don’t hate it. It’s a good idea that is just handled poorly in the writing and the game design. Underneath there is some kind of gem just waiting to be discovered. Maybe Uncharted 4 will be that gem? All I know is that it’d have to try to play worse than this game does.

    What I liked.

  • Stunning visuals.
  • Lovely sound design.
  • Sully is still a treat to me.
  • Some memorable action scenes.
    What I disliked.

  • First half of the game is fun, last half is terribly balanced and not fun to play.
  • Treasure just doesn’t have any weight, I collect it for achievements but it is otherwise not really interesting.
  • The QTE baddie always looks the same and fighting him is about as fun as punching myself in the balls.
  • Shotgun helmet guy and various boss characters are all incredibly stupid.
  • The writing starts out good and devolves into terrible.


By | 2015-02-08T20:08:54+00:00 July 6th, 2014|Okay Things, Reviews|Comments Off on Reviews: Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception

Rico’s Bravely Default Guide: Holly & Barras Rematch

As usual I’ll try to keep things as spoiler light as possible. Some events transpire in Chapter 5 where you’ll find yourself fighting these characters again. Naturally I walked in thinking I knew what they were going to do and steam rolled them. That is until Barras got to 20% life and started exploding. Alright, I thought, I imagine I know what to do. I went back in and sure enough I took them down. Herein is the relatively easy explanation for how you do that. Sometime soon I should be finished with this game but for now it IS kind of fun to write little guides for these fights.

The Checklist

Secondary Ability set to Ninjutsu (for Utsusemi) on all 4 characters (recommended, 1 is enough)

Phoenix Flight & Blood Blade on 1 character

Salve-Maker on 1 character (recommended, makes this lazier)

Everything else is up to you [so many choices!]

  The fight will begin with Barras occasionally doing invigorate and punching you in the face for an admirable amount of damage. Things like angelic ward or evasion will help here but frankly Salve-Maker makes this a non issue. You want to direct all your DPS onto Holly first. She can heal and that makes her a problem. Use your Blood Blade and cast Phoenix Flight on her 3 times. The next time your character is up have it do it 4 times, repeat until your drain is gone. Once your drain is gone just use Blood Blade and repeat this pattern.

  Your Salve-Maker should be casting First Aid every turn. Occasionally you’ll get hit by an AOE from Holly but its rare and can be safely ignored. First Aid negates whatever the monk does each turn. Eventually you will have killed Holly. Following this is the interesting phase of this fight. Bring Baras down to 20% health through whatever means. At this point his invigorate causes him to explode and deal 5K to himself and an incredible amount of damage to you (I think about the same if it hits, it’ll wipe folks).

  Start casting Utsusemi at this point. You will not counter him with this but you don’t need to. He’s dealing high amounts of damage to himself and should die in 5 turns maximum.

  Congratulations! You’ve beaten Baras and Holly on hard! That wasn’t too bad! As I move along I’ll try to take pictures of the rest of these rematches and make guides for them too. Hope this helps anyone confused on how to drop this duo.


By | 2014-12-20T22:18:23+00:00 March 9th, 2014|Journal|Comments Off on Rico’s Bravely Default Guide: Holly & Barras Rematch

Rico’s Bravely Default Guide: Lord DeRosso

I have yet to decide what my final title format will be for guides. It’s a tough deal but whatever. This guide is not exaggerating either, after a few frustrating matches where I learned the AI for DeRosso I finally came to a conclusion that worked out great. I literally beat him while I was asleep.

Naturally I wasn’t sure if it would work but I am pleased that it did. You don’t need to be asleep, you could have this run while you are having dinner or whatever else. I don’t know how quickly it killed him but we could do the math real quick.

You’ll be dealing roughly 2.3K damage every 30 seconds? He has roughly 233K life. This means that it should take about 50 minutes? Let’s round it up to an hour. I’m sure there are faster strategies out there but this one is guaranteed and basically 0 effort so~.

The Checklist

Job Level 5 Ninja x 4

1 Character at extremely low health. [I killed off one and Phoenix Downed them.]

Abilities – Transcience & Comeback Kid

Edit: You might be able to add “Turn Tables” from the Red Mage abilities to speed up this fight. Assuming DeRosso drains people with extra BP.

  The strategy here is simple. You cast “Utsusemi” every turn on all 4 characters. Because one of your characters is at critical health the boss will never use “Gravija” which is his only non-physical attack. He will instead try to use either a single target attack or an AOE physical attack. Neither of these will hit you.

  When he does the single target attack your character will evade because of Utsusemi. The evasion will trigger Comeback Kid and Transcience. Comeback Kid gives you +25% to your P.Attack and M.Attack, the previous of those two things being the thing you want here.

  Transcience makes your character counterattack with this new buffed hit. So now you are taking 0 damage per turn (guaranteed) and hitting him every couple turns for 2.5K or more if you gear up properly (I just randomly slapped stuff on my characters for testing).

  Presumably you should be able to do other things than this but for some reason I kept getting half my team wiped out when I didn’t use Utsusemi on them all. I was tired and decided I wanted to get some sleep BUT I really wanted that darn Vampire job. Tried this and it worked!

  So there you go. If you are stuck on Lord DeRosso and getting frustrated by his BS Strategy then try out my BS Strategy and enjoy your brand new super cool looking Job Class!

By | 2014-12-20T22:17:16+00:00 March 6th, 2014|Journal|25 Comments

Rico’s Bravely Default Guide: Legendary Dragons

As with all my guides this will be as spoiler light as possible. If you are far enough to be googling for this you will know about everything I’m about to talk about. If you are someone who hasn’t played yet this guide shouldn’t hurt any part of the story at all.

In Bravely Default there is a Vampire that challenges you to find the 6 Keystones that open a door to his home. These keystones are each guarded by badass dragons that want to eat you. You must defeat these 6 dragons if you wish to go find this Vampire and drive a stake through his heart…or whatever…I’m not actually beyond killing the dragons yet.

I’ll write out my strategies in the order that I fought them but for the most part the strategy is the same for each and its very simple! I was roughly level 70 when I did this with all my characters at job level 9 in all classes (with the exception of one character needing a monk at 13 and another with Spiritmaster at 10). So let’s begin.

What you need

Support Abilites – [ Angelic Ward and BP Recovery. Status Immunity if Applicable. ]

Spell Fencer with Drain + Monk Secondary Job with Phoenix Flight

Spiritmaster with Greater Spirit Ward

Templar with Rampart

4th character with Blessed Shield (I just had a pirate here, anything works).

Accessories that give necessary Status Immunity when you don’t have a Support Ability that could do it.

IceFlame Shield (Makes 2 of these fights even easier)

  The first dragon that I fought was Ladon and boy did he surprise me. He’s the reason I wrote this guide in the first place. Each of these dragons have 3 things that they will do to you in combat. They’ll gaze at you lowering your defense against their element, they’ll breath on your team in that element, and they’ll bite you like na asshole. The latter of which does lots of damage to a single target. The breath could OHKO your entire team if you aren’t careful but we’ll go into more detail with that in a moment.

  The reason you want Angelic Ward and BP Recovery is to hedge your bets. These two things will fire most of the time when you take damage or they dragon gazes at you. The nice thing about the latter is that every time the dragon tries to lower your defense to his ability you get +2 BP! That’s so broken its not even funny, you’ll start burning through these jerks.

  The order of operations for this fight are as follows:

Is your Spell Fencer enchanted with Drain?

If Yes -> Phoenix Flight x 4.

If No -> Drain x 1 and Phoenix Flight x 3.

Is your Spell Fencer at full health?

If Yes -> Blessed Shield on full team.

If No -> Blessed Shield on Spell Fencer. [Use all excess BP from BP Recovery procs to cap the fencer.]

Is your current character a Spirit Master?

If Yes -> Cast Greater Fairy Ward.

Is your current character a Templar?

If Yes -> Cast Rampart.

Repeat until Dragon is Dead.

  Congratulations! You just beat every dragon. How does this work? Well your Spell Fencer will be hitting the dragon for roughly 4.8-5K 3 to 4 times each time it is its turn. Because of BP Recovery you’ll be doing this 4 times every couple of turns or so! It’s pretty crazy. You’ll kill them so fast you might not believe they have roughly 132K Life on Hard.

  Your Extra character is topping off any of your characters when RNG doesn’t favor you. If you make them a high int character that Blessed Shield is going to be putting away some serious heals. I used a Pirate though, so I mean…you can use anything really. That +300 health per use is more than enough off a Pirate.

  Your Spirit Master is repeatedly removing that gaze effect from the dragon with Greater Fairy Ward. It requires 2 BP to do but you gain 2 BP every time the dragon gazes so~.

  Additionally your Templar is making your entire team invulnerably to a single hit. The Templar moves slower than the dragon which means that the first time you do it will be after a breath more than likely. But every time after that you’ll be taking the breath to your Rampart and then putting it right back up at the end of the turn. This means that if you are like me you’ll fight 4 of these dragons and take about 2K damage total over the entire fight.


Ladon’s Keystone

  Ladon is the hardest of the fights in my experience. He does his “breath” attack two times in a row usually which means that some of them might get through. As long as you have Paralyze Immunity he’s still a cakewalk. Once he’s down the rest are just laughable.



Salamander’s Keystone

Salamander and Mizuchi were the next on my list. I include them together because this is where your IceFlame Shield makes it even easier. Make the offhand of your Spell Fencer that shield and you are guaranteed not to take any AOE damage on the first turn of your fight with either dragon (and only a 25% chance of being hit by a bite is not shabby). Keep in mind that Greater Fairy Ward actually breaks IceFlame Shield, but I like it for that guaranteed protection on turn 1.

Mizuchi's Keystone

Mizuchi’s Keystone

  For these two you want to repeat the same strategy above making sure that you have Stop Immunity for Mizuchi. Salamander has no status effect, he’s just kinda a dragon. Make sure you aren’t wielding the same elemental sword that your dragon is. A fire sword against a fire dragon heals them, same with ice to ice, holy to holy, and so forth. This mistake cost me one round of Phoenix Flights (luckily you can change equipment in combat).


Jabberwock’s Keystone

  After this we moved on to Jabberwock. This is our resident Dark Dragon and he casts Dread on breath. Make sure you have Dread Immunity and you are fine here. Update: I derped… There is no dread immunity. Just ignore it and attack once per turn on characters that have dread. It’s basically harmless and just prolongs the fight. Same strategy. Keep your Rampart up, keep casting your Greater Fairy Ward, and be sure to top off your Spell Fencer any time she (in my case Edea) or he is hurting. Also don’t be shy about doing Drain + 3 Phoenix Flights in a turn. You’ll be procing BP Recovery a lot and even if she gets hit and only does 2K Per that’s still a solid 6K of damage. It adds up fast on >>>> combat speed.


Shinryu’s Keystone

  Following Jabberwock was Shinryu. Shinryu casts Blind on breath. Make sure you have Blind Immunity for this fight. Otherwise there is nothing special about Shinryu. Just pound away with those Phoenix Flights and be amazed at how you took 0 damage during this entire fight (if you happen to get as lucky as I was). It’s all strongly RNG based, if they keep to a pattern you’ll notice it and be able to capitalize on it. Just don’t auto combat and you are fine. Though frankly I think I could have setup an autocombat and still won this fight. Rampart with BP Recovery is gorgeously broken against the dragons.


Wyvern’s Keystone

  The final dragon I fought was Wyvern. He’s just a storm dragon. No special status effect. I walked into him with the same equipment I wore for Shinryu and dropped him just before writing this guide. If you are playing on Easy I suspect these fights will go by in the blink of an eye. On Hard they aren’t much worse, just a little longer because of the added HP the targets have.

  I hadn’t even mentioned all my previous guides were for hard mode. I suppose that just means they work even better for easy mode. Regardless I hope you enjoyed this little (very simple) guide as the internet appears to think there is no strategy that everyone can apply to them. By now most folks should have the content mentioned above just by playing… Anyways if not just check out my leveling guide to quickly and easily gather it all. Reaching level 9 on various jobs only takes a few minutes if you do it in the Florem Gardens. Other areas are quicker but this place is faceroll so you don’t need to pay attention.

By | 2014-12-20T22:17:48+00:00 March 5th, 2014|Journal|4 Comments