For those wanting to know what those hand gesture mean, how to remember them, and other things about being a cabaret club czar.
If the hostess holds up her hand in an L shape, that’s a guest glass. Remember it by guest gLass.
If the hostess holds her hand up with thumb and forefinger not far apart, like describing something small, that’s for the Ladies drink. You can remember it by saying she doesn’t want too much alcohol (getting drunk on the job is bad) so she just wants a little.
If the hostess mimes wringing something out (like a dishcloth) that’s for a towel. Wringing something out gets it dry, just like a towel does.
If the hostess mimes opening a book, that’s for a menu. It’s the only book-like thing in the building.
If the hostess holds her hands up in a circle, that’s for changing the ashtray. Circles are round, ashtrays are round. Yeah, it’s a bit of a stretch, but it works.
If the hostess holds her hand in the hang-loose sign (horizontal fist with thumb and pinky out), that’s for refilling the ice. They only mnemonic I can think of is her knuckles are sort of like ice cubes. Either that, or hang-loose is like saying chill out. Chill = ice.
I put those up top, just in case anyone needs them right away and doesn’t want to wade through a guide just for that specific part. Now, onto the rest.
The cabaret club mini-game is about matching the customer’s desires and preferences to the appropriate hostess. Guests will come in for a specific desire, either Talk, Party, Love, or Skill (color coded blue, yellow, pink, and green, respectively). To a much lesser extant, guests will also have a preferred look, either Sexy, Beauty, Cute, or Funny, but those tend to matter less.
Hostesses will have a rating (out of 100) in each of the desires. These ratings increase each time the hostess levels up, which happens when the hostess makes enough money from the guests she serves. Hostesses will also have ratings in looks, but these are fixed (usually. We’ll get to this in the next section); either x (bad), triangle (mediocre), circle (good), or double circle (very good).
Hostesses have four tiers: Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze. Platinum girls are gotten solely through the Cabaret Club storyline, and are the only girls acquired that way. Otherwise, hostesses can be acquired by completing some substories; by running into them around town (they’ll usually be dressed in very bright, very shiny dresses) and buying them a present (they’ll tell you what they want when you talk to them); or by buying them one by one from the CP shrine. That’s a bit of a slow process, since there’s a cutscene of the hostess walking up to you and introducing themselves after you buy one, and it needs to play before you’re allowed to buy the next one. However, there’s 10 available from that alone, so it should give you a solid starting roster.
Prepare to Open
Talk to Youda to start the minigame. At this point, a menu will pop up with four options on the left: Prepare to Open, open for business, rival battle (this one is usually unavailable) and Help.
Choosing Prepare to Open will open up a similar menu with different options. From here, the most important options are selecting your roster for the evening, doing training, or changing looks.
When you select the roster, you’re choosing 8 hostesses to work for the upcoming shift. It’s a good idea to get a mix of all the roles. That said, when you open the doors for the shift, you can target certain areas that prefer certain roles. We’ll get to that later.
Each hostess also has a mood, which decreases with each shift in a row they work. Anything worse than very happy confers a small penalty on their ratings and HP. Worse moods confer bigger penalties. If their mood gets bad enough, they’ll request time off and be unavailable for that shift. Giving girls time off (not selecting them to work that shift) will restore their moods to very happy, erasing all penalties.
With few exceptions, I never work a girl two shifts in a row. There are enough hostesses around that you really shouldn’t have to. That said, if a girl is still very happy after working a shift, she’s ready to work again with no penalties.
Doing training means you can spend a conversation with one of your platinum hostesses. Most of the conversation will happen automatically, but at four points, you will be asked a question, with two or three answers. Answering correctly fill will up a portion of bar in the top left. Answering incorrectly will fill up less of the bar, or none at all. At the end of the conversation, the lesson will be graded based on how much of the bar was filled, and then the hostess will gain experience proportional to the grade. I won’t tell you exactly which option to choose to get the perfect training, but IGN has a useful guide for that.
Twice for each hostess, instead of a conversation, you will go on a date. Most of these are competitive (darts, pool, disco). Win and it’s a perfect lesson. Lose and it’s a bad lesson. Don’t worry, the girls still get some experience for bad lessons. Karaoke instead will have the lesson grade be based on how well you did singing and backing up the girl when she wants to sing.
Aside from choosing the roster and training, you can give your platinum hostesses (and only your platinum hostesses) a makeover. This means choosing their dress, hairstyle, and accessories to change their looks. Usually it’s a trade-off. Going up in Sexy might mean going down in Funny. A watch might increase Beauty from circle to double circle, but will also decrease cute from triangle to x. With a bit of planning, though, it means you can reduce one look to x while increasing the others to double circle.
Opening for Business
Once you’ve done prep, you can open for business. Technically, you don’t have to do the prep before you open, but it’s usually a good idea. Once you decide to open, you must target a specific area. At first, it’s only the Club Mars area. Their customers are fairly generic, if a bit poorer than other areas. Later in the story, you can target Club Jupiter, Club Mercury, and Club Venus. Near the end of the story, you can target Club Moon. Highlighting each club gives a tip about the customers. Once you target an area, the real gameplay starts.
On the far left, you’ll see portraits of all the girls working that shift in a column. Most of the screen is occupied with six table, in two rows of three (basically, an overhead shot of your cabaret club). A three minute timer will start to count down, although it pauses frequently as you deal with problems, so the actual gameplay will take longer than three minutes.
When a guest arrives at the club, a random open table will have a three second countdown under it. When the countdown hits zero, the guest will be seated at this table, along with a 10-second countdown. You have 10 seconds to match the guest with a hostess. The better the match, the more the guest will spend. Luckily, a few things will help you. For one, a box will show above the table where the guest is seated. It will be color-coded to what the guest desires. That desire will also be printed above the box. So if the guest wants to talk, the box will be blue, and talk will show above the box. The box will contain a mood for the guest (they always come in at neutral) and their affluence level (poor, average, wealthy, or mega-rich). So, select a hostess from the list of the left that will be a good match for what the guest wants, and then select the table to have the hostess sit at that table. The girl’s HP will start to diminish.
Once that happens, a circle will appear under the box, showing how much time if left for that guest. A full circle lasts a minute. Guests will start with quarter circles, half circles, or full circles.
Guests have a number of moods: Neutral, happy, very happy, disappointed, and angry. They start off neutral. If matched with a girl they like, they’ll be happy and spend more money. If matched with a girl they really like, they’ll be very happy and spend lots of money. If matched with a girl that’s not really to their taste, they’ll remain neutral. Worse matches will make a guest disappointed, and the worst matches will make them angry. The better a guest is matched with a girl, the happier they will be, and the more money they will spend. Guests can also be mega-happy, but that takes special circumstances. Mega happy guests throw money around like there’s no tomorrow, and their name box will light up with lights.
While guests are seated with a hostess, three different pop-ups can occur. Navigate to that table and right click to deal with the pop-up. The thing about pop-ups is they only last for four seconds (though dealing with one will pause the countdown on others), so you must deal with them quickly.
If a guest is angry or disappointed (and rarely, if neutral), there might be a Trouble pop-up. The four ways you can deal with this are to kick the guest out, give an apology gift, berate the girl (but why would you? It’s your fault you matched up the wrong girl to the guest), or protect the girl. If the guest stays, their mood will improve by one (go from angry to disappointed, or disappointed to neutral). However, a guest may just decide to leave, taking their money with them (whoops).
By far, the most common if the girl requesting Help. Navigating to the table and right clicking will have the girl make a hand signal listed at the start of this guide. Choosing the correct answer will increase the guest’s mood (to a max of very happy), have them order something (increasing your money), and restoring some HP to your girl.
Lastly, when a guest’s time is done, the Check pop-up will happen. Navigate to the table and right click to have four options of how to deal with it. Extend time will occasionally have the guest decide to buy more time with the girl. 30 seconds will be added on, and the guest will become mega happy. Secondly, you can give the guest a gift. This will cost you money, but get you a lot of fans. You can give them a thank you, which will get you a few fans. Or you can apologize, which is what I do if a guest leaves disappointed.
If a guest is mega-happy and the time ends, the options change. There’s no option to extend their time, and no option to apologize (why would you need to? They were mega-happy). You can give them an expensive gift (costs you money, but gives you more fans), give them a gracious farewell (gives you fans), reward the girl (costs you money, but restores a lot of their HP) or praise the girl (restores a bit of their HP).
A lot of the gameplay involves prioritizing which pop-ups to deal with first, along with trying to match guests to girls, all at the same time. Sometimes it’s just 15 or 20 seconds of waiting around, and sometimes it’s dealing with trouble and a check while trying to find a hostess that’s good at Party.
Opening for Business (Continued)
Another thing to remember is that hostesses don’t have to stay with the table you’ve assigned them. So long as you replace them, you can move them around. Of course, that means they’ll take a hit to HP with no pop-up to restore it, but sometimes it can’t be helped. As an example, you have a girl who’s good with Love and Skill. A guest comes in who wants Love, so you assign him that girl. However, a second guest comes in and wants Skill. You can replace the girl at the first table with a girl who’s good at Love, then use the first girl at the second guest’s table, instead of leaving him with a girl who’s subpar at Skill.
Guests can be poor, average, wealthy, or mega-rich. The more affluent they are, the pickier they will become. This means that many girls with subpar ratings and unremarkable looks can satisfy poor guests, but mega-rich clients are going to need high ratings, and at least a circle to be very happy. If mega-rich guests get a girl with an x in their preferred look, they’re going to be neutral at best. Only a girl with incredibly high ratings (90 to 100) can overcome that. And they’ll never be very happy.
Occasionally, a mega-rich client will ask for a girl by name. They will only ask for platinum hostesses, and only one that is working that shift, so you don’t need to worry about giving your platinum girls the night off. Of course, if your platinum girl is busy at another table (and chances are they will be, since platinum girls have very good ratings and can cover a number of rolls), you’ll have to shuffle girls around to cover the tables appropriately. Now, if two guests come in requesting the same girl, one of them will be out of luck. Your best bet is to give them a suitable replacement, but the most this will make them is happy. You won’t be able to make them very happy.
Down in the bottom right corner will be two bars that fill up from the right. The top bar is how much money you’ve made so far this shift, but that’s pretty useless. Once it gets past the end, it just gets wavy and sparkly. But whether you’ve made 20 or 60 million is unknown.
The bottom bar is the Fever time bar, and it’s much more useful. It’s divided up into three sections, and fills up as you get more money. As soon as the first section fills up, you can use Fever Time (space bar). Fever time will pick two tables at random (or more tables, if more sections of the bar are filled when you use it), and change the guests’ moods to Mega Happy, regardless of what they were before! This makes it great for dealing with unsatisfied or even angry guests … provided the fever time hits them. It may pick different tables, in which case you’re stuck with an angry customer.
The fever time will last until the guest leaves. If a guest is nearing their completion time when the fever time hits, a few seconds will be added. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a Mega-rich guest who’s just at the start of their minute-long session. If you’re unlucky, you’ll get 10 seconds of a poor guest throwing small amounts of money around before it ends.
Wrap-Up and Other Tidbits
Once the three minutes have run down, a whistle will blow and all currently seated guests will disappear. The shift is over, now it’s time for the wrap up.
First, you’ll get a rundown on the club’s revenue and expenses that shift.
Next, you’ll get a list of how much money each hostess generated, which determines how much they level up.
Finally, you’ll get to see how many fans you got in the area you targeted.
A Rival Battle is an option you can take instead of Opening for Business. The goal is to make more money than the rival club. It plays out almost exactly like a normal shift, aside from not being able to target a certain area. The only big difference is that the rival club will also have access to fever time, which is usually an attack on your club, instead of a revenue boost for them. For instance, one may make a few of your customers decide to just up and leave. Another may decrease the mood of your girls, meaning they have penalties to all their ratings. So if you were counting on one of them to be great at Talk, they may not be that good anymore. However, some pop-ups can restore some HP, erasing the penalties.
Rival battles don’t have to be undertaken as soon as you get the challenge. You can keep building up fans in the area, which will increase the chances of getting more affluent guests.
Don’t be limited in which area you target. Your goal might be taking down Club Venus, but you can still target Club Mars’s area. This will help level up some of your worse Hostesses. Though you may just want to never work them. It’s up to you.
Yuki gets made fun of a lot in the story, but gameplay-wise, she’s excellent. At max level, she has a fantastic rating in every category, and can capably cover every guest aside from one that prefers a look she has an x in.
Club Cabaret is a good money maker, but not a great one. At best, you can make about 100 million from club moon guests. Which is fine, but will take an awful lot of time to purchase the outer skills. It’s probably why the storyline itself tends to award so much money.
Getting initial fans in an area might be hard, but businesses in that area will partner up with you (for a fee) to direct fans your way, essentially letting you buy a head start.