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FEATURED VOXPOP oblivion437 Update: I was unfortunately not aware of Shamus Young's severe criticism of Fallout 3 available here to link in the original piece and I regret that.  It dovetails rather nicely with what I've written and it's much better executed than my piece.  I strongly recommend anyone...

10 Tips For Ni No Kuni: A Young Wizard's Guide

Posted on Wednesday, January 23 @ 15:06:04 Eastern by

6. Exploit Chart Chests, Seek Fortune, and Levitate for back approaches.

Using this trick is somewhat unfair since it games the system, but all's well that ends well. If you follow the side quest line with Horace, the ghostly spirit who can be first found near the monastery grave in Ding Dong Dell, Oliver will earn the Chart Chests spell. The Seek Fortune spell has a similar effect while on the world map. Later on, he'll also learn the Levitate spell. These spells have useful functions, the former two allowing Oliver to see all of the chests in an area, and the latter allowing the party to float in the air to avoid traps.

If you use any of these spells, you'll notice that all enemies on the field will pause while the effect text scrolls. During this time, Oliver can run around the enemy and wait at its back, or he can flee away from the enemy if you prefer. Thus, for a small amount of mana, you can nail nearly every back approach every time. If you want to exploit this further, you can slow down the text scroll speed to its lowest setting in the options, giving Oliver ample time to do whatever he wants. You can even avoid every enemy if you wish, though it's not recommended (you'll need some experience, right?).

7. Items, items everywhere.

The world is full of items Oliver can find strewn about with little effort. Towns hold pots for gold and minor items that regenerate over time; the pots in Perdida have fairly strong treats for free. The world map has golden glints that hide alchemic materials and also regenerate over time. If you're looking for some rarer materials, Oliver can discover golden glints in areas unreachable on foot or by ship through some "air travel" (I'm keeping this vague so as not to spoil it... though it's kind of obvious if you look at screenshots). You can, of course, use the Seek Fortune and Chart Chests spells to locate every last chest in the game.

Oliver can open red chests liberally, but will need the Spring Lock spell to open blue chests. Once you find your third party member, green chests can be opened. And once Oliver has his magic wand fully powered and assembled, he'll be able to unlock purple chests, which hold some of the rarest items in the game. Last but not least, return to the oak tree in the Deep Dark Woods in between story points and it will give Oliver even more items for free.

8. Stick to "two wins in a row" pattern in blackjack at the Casino.

Once Oliver and company reach Skull Mountain, you'll receive notice from a messenger that the casino is now open. While we don't condone underage children to gamble, this is a video game, so who cares? Among all of the casino mini-games, blackjack remains one of the most consistent money-raisers as long as you keep to the "two wins in a row" technique.

If you win a hand, the dealer will allow you to double your winnings. Since winning blackjack is close to 50/50, the number of times you'll win twice in a row is fairly common and you'll receive at least 800 chips every time you nail two in a row. Compare this to only losing 200 chips if you lose twice in a row. Now, of course the calculation is more complicated than this, but the overall result is that the odds are in your favor to win over the long haul if you play by the book. Just make sure you quit after two rounds of winning or else the odds will begin to turn against you.

That said, it may be better to spend your time leveling up, getting money the old-fashioned way. Hey, you might as well earn experience, obtain loot, and capture familiars if you really need gilders.

9. For the endgame, concentrate on Thunderstorm and the last merit award.

Thunderstorm is a spectacular spell that inflicts storm damage on all opponents. Oliver's Windfall summon has a similar effect, but Thunderstorm has a ridiculously short charge time. For Oliver to learn it, he'll need to complete the side quest line with Horace, first encountered behind the massive grave in Ding Dong Dell. Horace will hop from town to town and ask Oliver to solve various riddles (I won't spoil the answers), awarding him with fantastic spells, the last of which is Thunderstorm.

Luckily, the final party character has access to Thunderstorm too, right from the moment he joins the team. Between him and Oliver casting Thunderstorm, alternating one after the other, the final story boss is no sweat. It gets even easier if either of them has a familiar that has Hocus Pocus, which raises magical attack.

The final merit award, Jack The Giant Killer, grants a ridiculous bonus to Oliver that dramatically improves his staying power and mana pool. Once you unlock the third tier of merit awards, by earning all the merit awards in the first and second tiers, save all the merit cards you can so that you can afford this 8-card bonus. It's a permanent boost to which no weapon or piece equipment can compare.

10. Defeat familiars with "toko" in their name, no matter how cute they are.

The "toko" family of familiars is comprised of four adorable little critters, but like the Metal Slimes in Dragon Quest, they award huge experience points as long as you can defeat them before they run away from battle.
Once you've secured "air travel" across the lands, you will find the city of Perdida hidden amongst the top of the mountains on the continent Autumnia. The valley beneath the city is called the Billy Goat's Bluff, a habitat where the Tokotoko resides. They have a low encounter rate, but if you manage to strike the killing blow on them, you'll earn a whopping 9,000+ EXP, enough to advance your entire party a few levels a time.
Last but not least, you can find one of its evolved forms called Tokotocold in the dungeon of the final story boss. Defeating this critter awards a whopping 27,000+ experience points! So if you ever feel the need to grind for levels, these are without a doubt the best places to do so.

Need some additional help with the game? Write it in the comments below. Maybe I'll answer.

Tags:   Ni No Kuni, Level-5, PS3, Tips

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