Square Enix and DeNA’s new social RPG, Final Fantasy: Record Keeper (Free), just came out in English, but it’s been available in Japan for several months. I like the game quite a bit and have been playing it almost every day, which means I’m hopefully well-equipped to give any starting players some pointers on getting the hang of the game. You can consider this guide something of a starter manual for the game, covering some of the important strategies you’ll need to get yourself established in the world of Record Keeper, but it will also help you over the long term as new features are added to the international version of the game. Let’s mosey!
Use your Mythril effectively. In the early part of the game, you’ll want to spend your Mythril on pulling rare relics. Once you have enough good gear to outfit a full party, you’ll then want to split your Mythril between relic pulls and expanding your inventory so that you can keep more gear on-hand. I wouldn’t waste it on stamina refills unless you really need it to finish off an event in time, and I would never recommend using it to continue. Nothing you earn as a random drop in this game is worth doing that. You might, however, want to use it to camp during a set of battles if you think it will make the difference between success and failure.
There’s more to gear than just power. A lot of weapons, armor, and accessories have special effects that can be very useful in certain battles. You’ll want to hang onto any equipment like this, because you’ll probably need it down the road at some point. To see if a piece of equipment has any special effects, simply check it from the equipment menu.
Plan your party set-up carefully. You can use whoever you want to, of course, but you’ll want to have at least one mage in the bunch to handle hitting enemy weak points. You might also want a healer, but I usually give a healing ability to Tyro and let him handle things on that front. Make sure someone has some healing magic, at least. Other than that, you’ll want good, heavy hitters. Cloud is almost the first character you get and he’s a very strong attacker for much of the game.
Don’t be afraid to swap someone out. It’s easy to make up the early levels, and sometimes a new character you earn is just plain better than one you’re already using. You’ll also want to take advantage of any high grade equipment you’ve pulled. If you have a five-star chakram but nobody in your party that can use it, it might be worth benching a swordsman in favor of someone who can.
Pay attention to each character’s special move. They can be a real decision-maker for whether or not you want to keep someone in your party. For example, Young Rydia is a decent enough mage, but her special ability quickly loses its effectiveness. You can change special abilities by equipping certain pieces of gear, but if that’s not an option, you’ll want to use characters with more useful specials. They can turn the tide of a battle, so make the most of them.
Keep the Synergy system in mind. Synergy gives a huge boost to characters and gear that are used in their home world. It’s not a bad idea to keep several characters leveled up just in case you need to call them in. The same goes for equipment, which is why it’s a better idea to spread your Mythril around various events rather than saving up and going all-in on one. Don’t forget to equip that gear when it’s appropriate. It makes a big difference, trust me.
If you’re not sure what you’re up against, try to cover every element. You have enough ability slots to do it. Mages can bring in different types of magic, while attackers can make use of elemental attack abilities. Hitting weak points is vital for getting the best yield from each stage, and it also makes winning a lot easier. The downside to this approach is that you’ll only have a few uses of each and will almost certainly be stuck with an ability that will only heal the boss.
It pays to look before you leap. Record Keeper is covering entirely old ground, as far as Final Fantasy goes. All of the boss weaknesses and behaviors are the same as in the original games. These are some of the most well-documented games in existence, so feel free to take a peek at the bosses in an FAQ of the original game before you enter a stage. There’s no excuse to not do your homework and come equipped with only the right abilities.
Don’t forget your defense. It’s easy to get caught up in offensive capabilities, but all the heavy hitters in the world won’t save you if they get petrified and you have no way to turn them back. This is another situation where it pays to do your homework. For example, many of Final Fantasy 4‘s levels have cockatrice enemies, so you’ll want to pack a spell to remove that. Shell is great if you’re facing off against a boss that uses powerful magic, and healing magic is always a must.
Power up your magic and abilities for more uses. This is especially important for healing magic, but being able to summon more frequently also doesn’t hurt. Mages especially rely on their special abilities, and having one with nothing to do but attack is almost worthless. Don’t forget to bump up to the next grade of each spell as you earn the components to do so, too.
Leave the Elite stages for later. They’re not going anywhere, and they’re meant for you to come back to later on once you’ve cleared a significant portion of the game and powered up a party. They’re extremely difficult, and some of them are a challenge even for a party at the default maximum level of 50. The main benefit of the Elite stages is that you can earn some high level crafting material, but you’re not going to need that stuff for a long while. If you need to scare up some Mythril in a hurry, you can take a chance on some of the easier ones, but you’ll probably just waste stamina.
Focus initially on getting a full party to at least level 30. The only seriously time-sensitive situations in Record Keeper are the events, where you can earn a new character you might not otherwise be able to get. Generally, you’ll need your party to be at least level 25 to clear these, and that’s with an optimal set-up. It’s better to have a few levels on top of that. Once you have a party that can handle events, feel free to experiment more. You’ll have all the time in the world.
Do the daily dungeons. Yes, this borders on a tool tip, but make sure you do the daily dungeons that will soon be found in the event tab. You’ll earn valuable materials and the first time through you’ll also get a good chunk of Mythril. The experience dungeons that should start running over the weekends can give you a huge boost, and are a great way to get new characters up to speed in a hurry.
These are just some tips to help you get a strong start with Final Fantasy: Record Keeper. Veterans of the series will probably already know a lot of it, but for everyone else, I hope it proves useful. This game involves deeper strategy than most free-to-play social RPGs, which makes your decisions all the more vital to the outcome. Good luck assembling your legendary party, and have fun!