Top tip for ANY game in the stealth strategy genre - Get used to quicksaving all the time! Whenever you're done planning, eliminated a guard, snuck past one, got into position... Hell, whenever you START a mission you should quicksave to avoid having to load the entire thing again. Having said that, though, don't IMMEDIATELY press quicksave when you did something like assassinate a guard - Another guard might see you a second later and then your quicksave will be useless. Always take around ten seconds to make sure you will not be noticed unless you're 100% sure.
Oh god, they saw me!
A second tip in most stealth strategy games, is that raising the alarm is not the end of the world. Yes, some extra patrols will come and search for you, and yes, there are achievements for not getting detected. However, if you are just trying to complete the game, setting off the alarm might be worth it if you can get rid of a troublesome Samurai or Straw Hat. Extra spawned patrols will always be normal guards (Only in later missions will they very rarely include a Samurai) which can be dispatched way more easily than a Samurai or a Straw Hat.
Mass Murder Is Not Frowned Upon
I have noticed this is one of the few stealth games that, outside of achievements, doesn't really care if you kill "innocents" (civilians) or not. It's often worth it to just kill them and avoid being detected rather than being "morally superior" and knock them out only for them to wake up a minute later (unless you're going for achievements, in which case, good luck).
Character Specific Tips
- Shuriken and Grab - Normally, Hayato's Shuriken takes a while to fully kill an enemy, leaving them in full sight. However, you can start carrying a dying target, effectively speeding up the process - Handy for when a patrol is coming around. Note that killing an enemy next to you and immediately grabbing them is faster than a melee kill, but it still makes more noise.
- Rocking the Shuriken - While it is true that Straw Hats are harder to distract, they're not toally immune. Throw a rock behind them, and they will still turn around, even for a second. This is enough for Hayato to run in and use his shuriken or ninjato - Depending on how close he is.
- Stone and Run - Hayato makes no noise when he runs, so that means he can easily slip past any enemy by throwing a rock and dashing for cover, no matter how close he is to that enemy. Be wary of Straw Hats and Samurai being less affected.
- Lead them Around - Guards will react whenever they hear sound - Even when already reacting to something they heard earlier. Yuki can lure them to a spot with her flute, reposition, and lure them further with a second use of her flute.
- The Trap is the Extra Member - Apart from Mugen's Sword Wind, Yuki is the only character that can kill more than one enemy at once semi-silently. Get around a corner, place your trap and lure a patrol of two- The first will die to your trap, and then you will be free to shank the second one with your knife.
- Do the Drag - This also goes for Aiko, but both Yuki and Aiko drag bodies instead of carrying then like Hayato and Mugen. This means they can be in the dark area of enemy's field of view while dragging bodies without being seen.
- Strength to Reach - Aside from the fact Mugen can carry two bodies at once, he can also throw them a fair distance - Onto roofs, for example, where no enemy ever looks. This makes for very good hiding spots for things like civilians that you KO'd instead of killed - They can't get off, so they can't alert guards.
- Ranged Blunt Weaponry - This is never directly told to you but somewhat implied when you use the ability to throw bodies: You can throw them ONTO enemies to stun them. This is very effective if you want to kill no one, as you can throw unconcsious enemies onto other enemies.
- Spearhead - Remember that Mugen has twice as much HP as the other characters. So, if you plan on doing something dangerous that could end up doing damage to someone, try to let that someone be Mugen, as he can have more of it.
- Losing is Instant - While the game says you can hold D to take off Aiko's disguise, pressing the spacebar twice is much faster - One to crawl, instantly losing your disguise, and a second to stand back up if needed.
- Not always Indefinite - Be wary when using Aiko's distract, because some patrolling guards will not be distracted forever. I have not yet determined when and how this happens, but it seems to be very specific, so watch out.
- Disguised Attack - You'll find out if you try, but Aiko's disguise is not lost when you use her abilities, unless an enemy sees her do it.This is useful for eliminating patrols with shadow mode - Aiko can go straight from distract to a melee kill with other characters, before the enemy turns back around.
- Limited but not Necessary - Takuma's Rifle and his Grenades are in limited quantities, however they are almost never super essential to completing a mission. This is why you shouldn't hesitate to use them to clear difficult parts - Like shooting a Samurai from a long distance so another character can finish them off.
- Not Agile but not Useless - While Takuma cannot melee attack, drag bodies or climb anything other than a ladder, bringing him along with the group is a good idea. He still has 3 bullets for his pistol, he has Kuma and his grenades are invaluable in some situations, since that is the only way to kill Samurai directly without Mugen.
- Rickety Rackety - Of course, with tip #2 in mind, Takuma does make noise when he runs. He is not made for sneaking, he is a supportive sniper character. So don't send him into the thick of the fray unless absolutely needed.
In this section I'll be covering the tricks, that I seperated from the tips - The tricks actually require a bit of fast or precise clicking, so you will have to be prepared to fail these a bunch until you mastered them. I will list general tricks as well as character specific tricks in the same section.
- Did not see me - Guards won't immediately see you if you're not directly next to them. If you are walking away from them, you can skim on their line of sight while running, and crawl back down in the far area before they spot you.
- Hidden Death Trap - Yuki's little trap actually draws enemies that enter its far radius into its center. So, if you place it on the precise edge of a bush, and lure a guard to the edge, the guard will step on it and be hidden when he falls down.
- Not distracted, just following suit - While patrolling Straw Hats and Samurai cannot be distracted by things like Yuki's flute or Mugen's Sake, if they happen to be patrolling with normal guards, you can lure those guards and the Straw Hat or Samurai will follow their patrol companion, allowing you to take them away from the prying eyes of others.
- First Impressions Count - With a bit of preplanning and some dexterity in your fingers you can eliminate guards when they investigate an "accident" and are away from their group. Be fast, for they will not leave their post for the same reason again!
Written by Tricking Trapster.