This guide is based on trying to get all your party members to the highest level possible using the resources available, while still trying to get the most out of your game. This guide will be based on the idea that you do not gamble excessively but some notes will be added for those whom wish to gamble excessively. This guide prioritizes getting Yamamaya over getting Therese or Doll.
This guide is currently based on the October 2014 public release
NOTE: As of the March 2015 version 3 release soloing offers no in-game advantages to players. Players playing this or a later version of the game are advised to NOT solo.
- Be aware there are certain bonuses players might want to take advantage of before starting a new game. None of these bonuses will be taken into consideration in this guide.
- Note: I am fully aware that a player can recruit Doll without completing 'A Forge too Far', however players should not recruit her until instructed as even talking to the smith to start the quest WILL cause financial troubles if done at the wrong time!
- [If you absolutely must get Doll on day 1, then before fighting the Ogre, pay off your loan, then go and get her. Invest in the slave market on day 2 instead of paying off your loan, and be aware that days 5 and 6 should be switched since you cannot recruit Yamamaya any sooner if you do things this way, and if you somehow manage to raise the money to buy Chimei avoid doing so until day 6 as otherwise the manor invasion will happen before recruiting Yamamaya]
- During the introduction remember to: Loot the gambling den (2 lo-potions, leather cap, and a porno-mag), remove Therese's equipment after the boss, and remove Alina's equipment when she joins you. It is also advised that you try to get a few shiny bits and/or lo-potions from enemy drops in the gambling den but is not required.
- Day 1- Start by reading the red book and choose to learn encourage. It will become invaluable to those who wish to maximize their exp. Now go to the bank and talk to the loan officer and take out a loan. Please consider now if you're willing to save-scum with gambling to get free money.
- If you wish to gamble at all (if you don't skip down to number 3) then go to the pub that previously had the gambling den, talk to the guy behind the counter. Do so again and choose 'Joint Venture' and give him the money. Now go down to Sally's pub. The table with the old man and the merchant is the one that let's you gamble and has the highest reward currently available in the game.
- If you wish to gamble within reason (I'd say around 10 wins at most on day 1) then accomplish those wins now via saving before every flip and reloading if you lose. Now proceed to step 3.
- If you wish to gamble to get EVERY bonus you can then you're going to need about 87500 sil (7,500 for good investments, 10,000 for the slave market, 10,000 to repay your loan, and 60,000 for Chimei). I personally advise against this as it takes a large time investment and is kinda-game breaking. You could similarly accomplish this with far less effort by choosing to instead open the developer tool chest (though you would not get the money until day 2)
- Day 1- With gambling out of the way I advise that you refer to the EXP maximization solo preparation section for what you can do to buff up your main character. With that out of the way it is important to note what you're going to do to finish up the day. [Note: At this point if you cheat excessively please skip down to the bullet point below] Now if you still have Felix in your party return to the manor and remove him from your party as your main character should be in a party alone. Head to just outside Giant's Pass (mountain with a path on it in the range north of Eastfort) and save. Head inside and head straight for the Ogre, avoiding all other fights. It will be difficult however it is VERY much possible. To win watch your health, when it falls to around 450-500 use encourage. Now, after you make 4 attacks OR when your HP hits about 450 use encourage again. From here on remember that if you can use at most 4 actions in between encourage before it runs out (So turns would look like: encourage->attack->attack->attack->attack->encourage), never let the encourage defense buff run out because that buff is keeping you alive. It may take several attempts, but as long as the ogre doesn't use venomous swarm too soon in the fight, using encourage to both heal and keep your defense up should be more then enough to keep you alive long enough to kill the Ogre (as long as you're lucky enough to have him not hit you with strong attack too often). If you finish the battle while poisoned that is fine because poison cannot kill you outside of battle and you will not be fighting anymore battles before getting fully restored. Collect the loot from behind the Ogre, talk to all the human bones, wooden crates, and piles of gold. After this go out and save again. If you want to heal up head in the manor and then leave. Now go back to Giant's Pass and finish up the Every Day I'm Smugglin' quest avoiding all other encounters, making sure to grab the 160 gold on the second floor in the cave in the Northeast corner of the map.
- If you gambled excessively then defeating the ogre and completing that quest offer no real value. Pay off your loan then go and recruit Doll.
- Day 1- After getting that 1,000 from Giant's Pass, now would be a good time to get a couple of investments out of the way. Players are STRONGLY advised to ONLY invest in these things at this point: the slave market, the Apple Kid, the cannery (if you are okay with being cruel and do Cannery can-can immediately, otherwise don't invest in the cannery), and if you have the funds prosperous farm (if you don't it should be the first thing you invest in later). Go into your manor and open the chest near the front door for two lead bars. We'll be investing the rest of the money later, so don't worry. Now with this out of the way let's work on getting some porn as you'll need to get some more satisfaction for the next day. You can get an erotic novel in the townhouse in Southport academy district, grab the magazine in the real estate office, and the one in the bakery and that's all that you'll need. Feel free to collect the other (free) ones but you just need 5 satisfaction from porn by tomorrow.
- Day 1- Now, let's work on getting all those vendor items you have turned into money! Let's go and do a quest! I would like to make two notes first: If you are doing this quest stop after you do get the 1,500 sil from the guild and come back to this guide, and if you gambled excessively skip to the bullet point. Go and do the Na Na Why Don't you get a Job? and maybe get some pocket tomes along with other trophies during the quest! Make sure that you opened all the chests (there should be 6 of them) and that you dug at the top square of the grave without a sword.
- If you did gamble excessively this quest should not be done. Since it involves fighting, several party members will miss out on experience, and the only reason to recruit Florine today is to have enough money to make investments, pay off your loan, and other things which have already been done. Completing the quest even just to get the 1,500 sil will also be problematic as it means that the next day you won't be able to leave the 2nd floor before the day is finished. So if you gambled excessively you're going to be doing the next few days events a day in advance compared to those who didn't gamble excessively.
- Day 1- Now, I personally had about 3350 sil at this point, you might have more or less depending on how much you gambled or if you chose to get Alina or Felix presents today (probably better to not on this day or maybe just do Alina). Before you return to the manor you're going to want to invest your money to get as much as you can out of it. Try to make sure that you don't even have 50 sil left over. Use the Investments page to find ways to spend that money (I would advise getting the flower girl and sausage stand as they're not available when it's raining, which will then require even more save-scumming for day 2), and make sure to only get investments that offer a 10% bonus. And don't forget to finish up the Pusher's Lament quest. Oh, and importantly DO NOT INVEST IN THE DISTANT FARM. We will invest in it, but since doing so ends the day it will mess things up if you do it now. You can buy some lovely flowers if you want today, but I think the money is more important for now and you can save-scum to get some later so for now I'd advise not doing so. Once you're finished investing go to the bank and use whatever money you have left to pay off your loan (or deposit it if you already paid of your loan).
- Day 1- With all that done, save then head to your manor. I suggest saving right outside the doors because it's a good idea to do some save-scumming at this point. Let the day finish up, make sure that you burned prosperous farms (you need those 10 satisfaction points for tomorrow). Now immediately head to the manor's study and check what quest is available BUT DON'T DO IT YET. You want the quest to be slimes. Why slimes? Because at this point the hero can't handle a lot of the random quests solo, so your options are really slimes, thugs, orcs, or animals. Thugs and orcs don't give any vendor trash so they're not a good choice for money, animals do give vendor trash but bee swarms can poison you which can wipe you out and only about half of the enemies can be sold to special vendors. Slimes have a special vendor (which will get you about 1,000 from selling their items), are easily manageable at this point, and actually give the most base experience out of the four possibilities. Once you have Slimes available as a quest don't accept it but save.
- If you gambled excessively you should end the day by recruiting Meline, putting you at 4 recruited party members with the lowest exp difference between them and the Hero. You now want slimes even more than other players because your Hero will probably have some difficulty with thugs due to being a much lower level and you can ONLY sell vendor trash to special vendors. Remove everyone from your party and you can go right ahead and do the random quest now if you want since you already have Doll.
- Day 2- Pick up the lead bars from the Apple Kid on your way out and head to Florine's shop. Sell all your vendor trash (unless you have any slime jars, raccoon tails, or bear skin, then manually sell all vendor trash except those items). Feel free to also go through the shop menu and sell various unnecessary items, lo-potions, combat items, extra equipment, whatever you want except trophies, you'll want to keep all of those. You should also probably dig up the rubies for an extra 6,000. Go and pay off your loan EXACTLY. Now let's go and get Doll! See A Forge Too Far and stop after you get Doll.
- Day 2- With Doll recruited, go and do the random quest back in the study, remember every random quest has 2 treasure chests and kill every group of Slimes. After it's completed feel free to sell the 'Slime Fluid' reagents (NOT vendor trash slime jars) and chest items if you don't want them. Head to Southport academy, into the monster pen, and talk to the guy in front of the slime to get double the money from your slime jars. With all this money you should go and buy all those investments that give 10% that you didn't before. You could also grab energy principles 1 from the scroll shop in Southport academy if you want Felix to be working on learning a new spell (don't buy the other book as you'll be getting it for free in a few days).
- Note: If you have Meline you can also head to Westcastle and talk to the nun next to the church to buy a basic prayer book. You can also do this later if you don't have her. It will teach her a healing spell but you'll be getting two copies of this book for free later so it's not a big deal either way.
- Day 2- You're probably wondering why I had you get all that satisfaction? It's for the amazing old man. He's a very good investment, since he'll give a very good vendor trash item in a few days, a weapon upgrade item, and he'll give you a TON of combat items. These combat items can't be sold for money but are very powerful, so they make an excellent way for your hero to be able to deal some extra damage when he needs it. With this out of the way, I think it's about time that you do your daily chores. To help make it easier I'll give you a list that should help make things easier:
- Talk to the amazing old man
- Collect all daily gifts (Apple Kid, Orange kid, Alina, Penelope, and Randi can all give some)
- Do the randomly daily quest
- If you will be recruiting a party member, check the hero's status. Check the experience chart and consider if it would be worth it to level up before recruiting them (read the paragraphs below the chart for tips on how to decide if it is, and remember that Elaiya has a dungeon between you and her) then do so trying to get Hero to gain the level exactly, or as close as you can. Refer to the EXP maximization guide's section on 'controllable sources of experience' to figure out how to do this.
- Sell all unnecessary items to the appropriate vendors. (If you get raccoon tails, buy a fox skin from the huntervale item store, you'll sell the skin back at the same price but currently a foxskin is needed to sell raccoon tails at double price)
- If you wish, you can gamble. Taking only a few wins a day will not break the game. (I currently think that 3 wins a day, or 810 sil, is fine)
- Gift all your followers and torture anyone in the dungeon (use the followers page in the menu to keep track of who hasn't been gifted today) [Note: It is a good idea to stock up on lovely flowers since they will not be available every day. The flower girl will have two random flowers available and only on days that it is sunny, so try to have a stack of 10-20 flowers on hand from this day forward. You will only ever need up to 33 lovely flowers thus far]
- If needed, change what book your spell/prayer users have equipped so that they can work on learning new permanent spells
- Buy the Bizarre Bizarre item for 1,000 sil if you haven't gotten the second dark seed (7th item) [Note: Because it only takes seven days, it would probably be better to not buy any until you have Chimei as to help get her sooner]
- Buy any of the 5% investments you don't have (the four of them cost a total of 23,500, and need 23 days to give a comparative profit) [Note: Because of the expense of these investments and the length of time needed for them to pay you back, it might be a better idea to hold off until after Chimei or maybe not even get them at all]
- Deposit all remaining money into the bank.
- Day 2- With your chores out of the way, it's time to go and recruit Meline! Go to the bakery and walk into her from behind three times to end the day, make sure to save before the third time. You will have to do a quick segment as Meline, but whatever you do, do not draw on the hero while he's sleeping (you will lose one satisfaction if you do). Today would be a good day to save-scum to try to get some lovely flowers since there's not a lot else to save-scum for today, though use a separate save file if you're not sure if you can do the random dungeon (slime are not necessary for day three as you should be able to handle a lot more of the enemies now and you've already gotten all the awesome investments, so you might want to not save-scum so much to save on time and play the game more as intended).
- Excessive gamblers- You'll be recruiting Elaiya instead. She's a party member. Make sure the weather on day 3 is sunny.
- Day 3- After your chores you'll be recruiting Elaiya. You'll fight five battles before she joins your party (she'll be in your team during the boss battle) that give a total of 339 base experience so plan accordingly. Do the quest One is the Loneliest Party, but save before you enter the dungeon. There are two chests in the dungeon, and a porn magazine (hidden in the brown book after the fifth fight) that are all missable. During the boss, make sure that Elaiya uses her stealth skill given how low her HP is, and it's a good idea for the hero to have that whatever your highest resistance boosting accessory is. If you're lucky you'll get a pocket tome from the boss! Reload if the weather isn't sunny.
- Excessive gamblers- Recruit Penelope.
- Day 4- More chores. Then we finally go and recruit Penelope! Which is why we needed sunshine. To do so go to the distant farm and do a joint venture with her father. Also make sure to check out the flower girl if you don't have lovely flowers yet, if she doesn't have any and you don't either make sure to save before investing in the farm.
- Excessive gamblers- NOW you recruit Florine. You can fight the Ogre if you want to, but since you don't need the money might be better to save him for the 150 exp he gives.
- Note: As of the October 2014 public release, after day 4 any businesses that give a 5% return CANNOT give a comparative profit (investing rather than depositing money in the bank). Any businesses that give a 5% return that have not been bought before the end of this day should not be bought except for personal reasons (if you plan to do such, buying them sooner will be more profitable than later).
- Day 5- Chores once more. Make sure you have lovely flowers to give to Penelope before this day is over or else you might just miss out on her love quest. We'll be recruiting Yamamaya today who is a party member, but there's no fighting to get her. Talk to the slaver in the manor to get her. He'll only be there if you invested in the slave market back on day 1.
- Day 6- After you finish your chores, let's finish up A Forge too Far. You might consider getting improved encourage before this (to raise healing and be able to cure poison) Be aware that there are two missable pornos in the dungeon, a BUNCH of items (talk to EVERY shelf that has books or potions on it and the clock on the second floor) and a fair amount of experience (make sure to talk to the mirror in the bathroom, on the second floor talk to Elvo BEFORE you find the secret passage way, and maybe try to leave before you enter the secret passage too). Thanks to all that soloing you should be able to handle the boss fairly well, but bring your best resistance accessory. Take out the fairy first since their healing will be a big problem with your damage output. Then go after Elvo since he can probably hurt you some and has much less health than the jellyfish. You should probably save before you talk to the smith in your smithy.
- Day 7- Good news no chores today! Bad news, it's the Manor Invasion! Meline's not going to stick with you so she'll be missing some experience, aww. Now, I'll explain how you should handle the non-boss fights here as if you were fighting solo (since some of them will be), take out the glowing light/lantern thing first since it can die in one hit and attacks with magic, then take out any battle clerics since their light spell can blind you (improved encourage can fix that though) and finish off with the paladins, be aware that you can get pocket tomes here if you want to stock up. Now then, you should do is figure out who you want to get more experience in here because every character will require that you battle (with them) before they're added into your party, which you then get the option of changing your party [Note: If you managed to buy Chimei you should head to the slave quarters in the Northwest corner first since this will give you two party members and you don't have to fight anyone]. Your options are Elaiya, Yamamaya, Doll, and Felix (there is a scene if you don't save Doll, but you get a relationship point and she gets xp if you save her, so you can sit and watch and then reload so that you have the scene available in the title screen). You should get all of them before you visit any other rooms. Once you're done getting party members (and then removing them) visit the the kitchen and the study for some solo fights, and the alchemy lab for some combat items. Now make sure that you grabbed any gifts that you have available (from the Apple Kid) and head to the chapel for the boss fight. The nuns should probably be your first priority since they can buff and they have lower health, once they're out of the way I'd advise against using encourage for the defense buff since Therese doesn't have high attack, rather use assault to prevent her healing from stretching out the battle. Since currently there are no consequences to selling the nuns (except one's own morals), it is probably the better option given how useful that 15,000 sil would be. It would be a very good idea to praise Elaiya and Penelope (neither gets the other girls jealous) since they need a lot of points for their love quests, much more than anyone else.
- Day 8- Use the red book to upgrade the dungeon so that you don't have to buy Therese a gift. Then go and do your chores. After that? We're going to do the Night of the Raping Dead quest. Even though this quest introduces quite a few spell casters, it's actually pretty easy to do even though it takes some luck. Start by equipping Earth's Embrace, before you start the zombie attack (so after you've accepted the quest and talked to the mayor in the Inn) talk to the priest to get a free blessing, be aware though that blessings only last 2,000 steps so try to avoid needless walking around. Talk to the mayor, take care of the zombies, since there's a bit of a timed aspect feel free to be be moving as fast as you can (hit the D button) or the middle speed (hit the S button). The zombies should fall like flies, except for the bard, they'll take quite some time. The reason you wanted to make sure to grab the blessing now (instead of before part two) is because it takes FOREVER to kill the bard solo without the blessing (took me more than 10 minutes and I was never in any danger). During the fight with the bard you're going to be switching between Encourage and Assault, focus on using Encourage (you can use 4 actions before it runs out) when there are backup dancers around, and take them out quickly, and when it's just the bard focus on using Assault (you can use 6 actions before it runs out) and use encourage every once in awhile to heal yourself. The reason for this is because the bard alone isn't going to be doing a LOT of damage comparatively, but with two or three backup dancers (who the bard will buff all of the enemies attack/defense at the same time) the damage will stack up immensely, meanwhile the backup dancers will die in two hits (one if you critical thanks to blessing also increasing critical chance by a lot) but the bard has a LOT of HP (and I think that they either have a small HP recovery or heal some health when they sing badly, since my damage was about double with the blessing but it took about 1/4th the time to win). After you finish up talk to the mayor, save, equip the fortified cloak, and proceed to forest basically immediately, blessing will run out after a number of steps, and you don't get anymore freebies so use this one very carefully.
- Day 8- Ah the forest. Hit the A key, you can move at speed S if you're comfortable with that speed, but it's all about completing this area, doing every fight, getting every treasure, then hitting the boss all without your blessing running out. It's very doable, you just have to know what you're doing. First off, don't bother talking to the lumberjack he doesn't give you anything (if you want to see what he says you can talk to him and reload no problem), instead head North immediately. Do not follow the ghost that's moving around, they will come after you, be aware though they cannot trigger battle you will have to either by walking into them or by talking to them, so if you're patient enough you can wait until they're in front of you spamming the talk button. Fighting the spooks can be rather risky, it should only take 2 successful attacks or one crit to take them down, but they've got two attacks that do magic damage and will knock you to the ground, so they can theoretically kill you in only one fight, use the orb fights to heal up in-between the spooks. You'll see a purple orb to your left, choose your steps precisely to not waste any, we'll be heading North again next so make sure to approach the orb from the East. It'll take several hits to kill a fox, took 3 for me, but you've got nothing to worry about from the foxes, what you do have to worry about are the ghosts that appear after you kill any 'possessed' animal. They will only take one hit to die, but if you miss then they'll try to confuse you which can also kill you, but don't worry at your level you don't have much to worry about here, just make sure to heal up when there are only foxes on the screen by using guard/encourage so that spooks won't be likely to finish you off. Next you'll head North, past the trees, don't head to bridge because there's an orb on the West side of the river in front of you. After you finish with the orb, note that there's a treasure chest to the Southeast of the bridge, make sure to grab it, fight the spook, get the Dark seed, proceed East fighting any spooks along the way and hit the next orb where you will have to fight a fox and a spook. Take out the spook first obviously, and even though it's on the right side, it will appear first in the enemy list (so don't accidentally attack the fox on the first turn!) Heal up and finish off the fox. Head south into a big open clearing where I at least had two spooks trying to get me, try to not take on both of them right now because you're going to fight yet another spook before you hit the next orb, and four spooks in-between healing is very risky. Take the Southwest exit out of this clearing, cross the bridge, hit the orb, then WITHOUT CROSSING THE BRIDGE, head East above the trees to hit the second treasure chest. Go back to the clearing with the two spooks, finish off any that are left there, take the southeast exit, hit the orb and fight a possessed bear. It's basically just a fox with a lot more HP, shouldn't be an issue at all. Head West and go into the building immediately (I know there's still one more chest outside, we'll get it in a bit). I would advise at this point stepping into the little save circle to given the tutorial on what it is, sadly you can't save this time though, so proceed West, in this room immediately go South to hit the second treasure room out of five. It's an easy fight so finish it off, grab the chest, go up the ladder. From here there's a chest to the South in the trees, but first head West a little bit for yet another spook, then go and grab the chest and head back inside the dungeon, this time when you hit the save point save (I recommend on a different save file). Now you want to hit the other four treasure rooms, if you want you can try go and read the tablets to try to figure out how to navigate this dungeon yourself and then reload to avoid wasting the steps, or you can just use the quest section for the answers. Only save in the first room if you're heading West since it doesn't take any extra steps to do. My suggestions for how to get the treasure rooms are: 1- East, 2- South, 3- East, 4- East, 5- South, this is because it takes the fewest steps to go South in a room, and the most to go North (since there's a pillar in the way, it takes the height of the map to head North, but it only takes half that distance to head East or West, and since East is NEVER the right answer it's easier to remember than remembering three different directions). After you get the treasure from all 5 treasure rooms, save in the FIRST room then proceed to the boss, you should still have blessing active which will be an invaluable tool for the boss fight. Thanks to the defense boost and your already incredible defense, the two meatshield enemies will do next to no damage, so you'll want to focus on the Spectre and Necromancess first, they do about the same damage but the Spectre has MUCH less HP and can knock you down so take it out first (takes me about three regular hits, if you're lucky you'll get a crit in before it stuns you), then focus on the Necromancess using encourage to heal yourself. There's no point in using Assault or Encourage buffs when dealing with her because she can lower your attack and since she attacks with magic raising your defense won't help you. As the fight goes on she'll start trying to drain your mana, which since hero doesn't have any just gives you a breather from taking one of her magic attacks. Hope that the meatshields don't cover too many attacks and the fight should be manageable once you get the spectre down.
Congratulations! You have now 'recruited' almost all the party members currently available! Therese and Larelle will take several days of torture to get them to join your party, and Raina will take at least another 4 days to recruit, however getting all these party members this quickly and fighting all these battles solo should leave you in a VERY good situation level wise. It would be a good idea to take the next couple of days to recruit the maids (since they need to gain 40 relationship points to get a day passing event), get the Eastfort storefront (since she'll need 40 relationship points to maximize the profit from that store), and maybe even the condo (Since giving Randi a gift will get the hero +5 attack and her generic quest scene can ONLY be seen if you have her before doing the currently one Eastfort guild quest, which also gives you the second upgrade item for the Hero's sword). Since this guide is only meant to give you a strong start (with Yamamaya early) now would be the best time to leave you to your own decisions, have fun!