This guide will include a couple of tips I would have liked from the start to help me out in the game. I have not seen most of these in Steam or the Wiki so thought I'd share them here.
Tips to Basics
Going to share some tips, in no particular order, that I discovered or read about that I would have enjoyed knowing when I started the game:
- Hard-mode badge. Hard mode badge gives you medals when you beat mini-bosses and bosses throughout each chapter and many side-quests too. These medals are generally quite useful, and if you don't want to use hard-mode then you can purchase these medals after each of the encounters in the main caravan where you start. Apart from mini-bosses and bosses I would in general recommend you do not keep hard mode on: the increased damage and health of all monsters is not worth the extra 15% or so exp. You will have to go back to heal way more, constantly halt your progress, or avoid monsters, in which case you might as well have hard-mode off and get the base exp. This does make it annoying as you need to make sure hard-mode is on when you encounter mini-bosses and bosses though, but you can generally tell when that will happen, and you can always die on any of them and press "retry with different medals".
- Bank. use the bank as much as possible, and save all the money you can early/mid game. The bank gives 3% interest initially (every 30 min) and then 6% once you have 500+ berries. I would recommend you don't spend any money you don't need until the late game, especially if you are going for 100%. E.g. don't buy songs little buy little, just save the money, bank it, get free money, and then buy all songs at the end. 6% per half hour gets you a lot of free money when you get in the thousands, and you will need all of that for songs, medals, recipes, and tokens if you want to 100% the game.
- Cave of trials. The rewards are not significant unless you can power through 40 levels, by that time you probably don't want to do this again so might as well be strong enough to do all 50. For you this you probably need to be in the last chapter with a lot of TP regen badges. No reason to do it on hard either. I'd ignore this early/mid game unless you are desperate for money or exp.
- B.O.S.S. When you unlock the BOSS system switch to normal and see if you can do 3 mini-bosses and 3 bosses on rush mode. That is all you have to do to get the medal rewards. The discovery medal especially will save you a lot of guide/walkthough work (which I don't like hugely because it break flow). Just remember, tip 5:
- Retracing. There are key abilities that you will get throughout each chapter (they are all story blocked) which will allow you to go back to different areas and get additional rewards. If you notice a specific area or thing you cannot do I recommend you write down where you are and make a list so you can go back later. If you can't access it now then just move on and come back when you can and when you get more fast-travel points and the ant compass.
- Cherry. Sell your dark cherries when you get them and invest in the bank, you can buy them later for the same price.
- Metal island. I didn't fork out the 300 berries to go there early and don't know why you would. Save that money as you'll get there later anyway.
- Tunnels. This is an area I did spend some berries on. Making the additional tunnels is pretty handy for saving travelling times and worth the money.
- Side-quests. I recommend you do the side-quests as they come, and try not too have too many of them active. This will help you make sure you are a good level for the chapters, and will make it so it is not too easy when you do them. Helped me a lot for hard-mode badges.
- Bounties. Some of the bounty bosses are as hard as the end-game bosses. I recommend you try them a couple times but if you can't beat them come back to it later. They can give pretty decent rewards though. There is no benefit in doing these on hard. You don't get a medal and no achievement. They are hard enough on normal.
- Find your style. There are guides there for min/maxing damage with each character, making some 1 character builds, etc. I found the game challenging without these but not impossible or unfair in any way. I personally went for a rounded build with all characters having a role, but I just wanted to say that don't feel like you need to optimise every little thing to beat the game on 100%.
- Arcade. The badges from the arcade are among the best in the game. It might take a while to get the high-scores and get the tokens but I found mite knight very doable after the first 2-3 runs to get 70-80 tokens per 3-4 minute run.
- House. Buy the house when you get a chance in the hive. Saves a lot of money in the long-term.
- Team requests. Each of your party members will have a side-quest associated with them, these reward new moves for your party. Do them when you can!
- Berries. Buy the stat-boosting berries when you can, these are worth the money.
- Levels. Maybe this is personal but there are badges for more health and TP so I would suggest you put 80% of your levels on MP. A bit of health here and there is needed and TP too, but I found MP way more useful. (maybe this conflicts with find your style).