Disgaea: Hour of Darkness

Yes, after years of searching, I finally got a copy of this game! And, it’s every bit as fun as I’d heard it was.

Well, the story is anyway.

I’m very frustrated by some aspects of the game. One is that I never seem to have enough HL (money) to buy the best equipment for all the characters (I spend a lot of it at the Hospital- which charges you according to how badly hurt you are, instead of having a flat rate like most other RPGs. That sucks.)

Another thing is that I seem to have made a mistake in trying to play the game using only the in-story characters (I wanted to save the character-making process for the New Game + play; That’s what I did in FF Tactics, and it made the second playthrough feel just as fun.) But those Prinnies you start with are not very good helpers.

And I’m sorry, I’ve played several tactical RPGs over the years, and this game has some of the worst combat area effects I’ve ever seen. Heck, one battlefield has Instant Death on half of it, and Silence + 20% Loss of HP Per Turn on the other. COME. ON!! ::dekar!:: Thank goodness most fields are easier.

And no, I’m not playing with a guide this time. Had I known I would find a Disgaea copy beforehand I’d ordered one online. After trying playing on my own, I started using Gamefaqs, and I’m doing better now… but there’s something I still am not clear on: I know that you gain new Weapon Skills by using your weapons repeatedly. However, does using those skills increase your weapon level? Or does only using physical attacks do that? Because I’ve been using the skills a lot, but I don’t notice a big increase in their base Weapon Levels. (You’d think Gamefaqs would point this out, but if so I haven’t found it.)

Other than the system problems, I like the game well enough. It’s a riot, and it even has moving moments like when it’s revealed that the Big Sis Prinny was actually Laharl’s dead mother (!) Surprisingly touching for such a tongue-in-cheek game. :smiley:

My favorite character so far is Captain Gordon, the Buzz Lightyear knockoff. Even if he is dumb and his speech pattern is annoying, he seems sincere enough as a hero, and he cares for his friends. Heck, I like him and his team better than Laharl (whose brat act is starting to get tiring- I hope he gets better soon.)

The graphics are Ok (in fact, I think the sprites are surprisingly expressive, for their size) and the voice acting is good (is it true Laharl is voiced by the voice actress who voiced Rita Repulsa in Power Rangers? I wouldn’t know, I saw the Spanish dub.) The music is OK, but it’s better in some chapters than others.

So overall, a good game so far, even if it’s rather unbalanced.

So, anybody got any tips to give me?

Yeah, here’s an easy one. Stop using all the characters. Use one. Since you only get experience for KILLING an enemy, rather than individual actions, it’s much easier to just power up one person to absurd proportions. Laharl is a really easy character to do so with. I beat the game with a lv 96 Laharl, a lv 63 Etna, and like a level 25 Cleric. That’s how you do it. This will get get you through damn near every fight in the game with ease, except for like two.

I will echo SG’s advice will. I, like you, wanted to use the story characters at first. Then I learned the hard way, that’s just not going to happen. Just concentrate on leveling a select few characters, on for sure being a Cleric or Flonne with all the Cure spells, buffs, and Espoir.

Yes, Laharl’s voice actor did play Rita Repulsa from Power Rangers…that’s not the only Power Rangers reference in the game either, but I won’t spoil it for you.

I played the game over 200 hours, had a level 1600 Laharl transmigrated six times and I still couldn’t beat the prinnied version of the hardest boss in the game. I hope you’re ready for a lot of grinding.

One thing to take advantage of is the Item World and the Specialists. They can help you level up faster, learn skills/weapon levels faster, and so on. And yes, using skills helps to increase you weapon level. Also, this makes your weapons stronger!

Transmigration/Reincarnation is another thing to take advantage of, since that increases the base stats of your characters. Best to wait until you get enough mana for Distinguished or Genius.

And yeah, only focus on a few select characters, since you’re basically wasting time having to level up other characters. Helps to have a spellcaster with all (or most) spells and melee type or two (Definitely a Ninja! Killer evasion and good move helps!).

Of course, you could go and spend a lot of time, level up some characters and unlock Majins and just totally break the game. (Heh, this game was meant to be broken.) A shame that Majins get nerfed badly in the sequels…

200 hours? Yee-hikes! I have no intention of going that far. If necessary, I’ll hack the game with my codemaster. Hey, I prefer to beat games on my own, but I’m not a fanatic! I just want to see the story, anyway. Though I do enjoy tactical combat. It’s a pity this game is so counter-intuitive. Why even HAVE a big party if leveling them is so hard?

In fact, whose retarded idea was it that ALL new characters (even transmigrated ones!) start at FIRST level?? As if keeping them alive wasn’t hard enough! It’s a real pity, as the Job classes seem interesting.

In fact, how come most of the people who join your party are the kind that you would never expect to? I mean, we get the likes of Maderas and Kurtis, who were your deadly foes, but not the more likable Dark Adonis? Bleh.

Anyway, thanks for the advice. Anybody got some moneymaking tips?

Yeah, I got some: When you’re only using one person, it’s easy to afford the best stuff for them. :stuck_out_tongue:

Also, you don’t need to play 4 million hours to beat the game. The main game takes about 35 hours to finish. If you already have captain gordon then you’re well on your way.

I gave up and cheated my way through. I loved the story and abhorred the gameplay.

If you want to have more than one strong character, I would recommend replaying a level with experience bonus geo cubes. I remember a level with experience bonus and a bunch of zombies. I injured all the zombies until they were almost dead, threw them together and killed the last zombie in order to grow a character many levels in one battle.
Also, Disgaea 2 and 3 give you a better starting party. In Disgaea 2, I believe you get a warrior, mage and healer instead of 3 prinnys. The two main characters are a brawler and a gunner. Also, Disgaea 2 lets your healer gain experience for healing. Unfortunately, Disgaea 2’s story isn’t nearly as funny as the first.
In case you don’t know:
1. You can stack characters and throw them across the map. This makes getting rid of difficult geo cubes easier. I think the more insane geo cubes are there to encourage a strategy like this.
2. You can use the dark assembly to unlock extra levels.
3. If a character makes a mage and stands next to that mage, the character can learn the mage’s spells. Doing this so your best character can heal himself is helpful.
4. I think the elemental mages learn BraveHeart. I can’t remember if they all do, but the spell comes in handy. It increases attack power. Use this spell multiple times on your strongest character and his attack power will double.
5. Use the dark assembly to get much better items. Spend all your money on a super powerful weapon for one person. Try to level up the weapon. Use my BraveHeart strategy. Have an insanely strong guy.
6. I didn’t do this much, but you can capture only monster type enemies by throwing them into your base panel. Most likely, this will fail and all your guys in the base panel will die. Still, it is a cool thing to try.

Another way to get around mass level grinding is to throw higher level enemies (not too high or you wont succeed and you’ll lose your spawn point too) into your spawn point. Just wail on the target until they’re good and soft then toss away and let your inactive party finish the job. And if the enemy in question isn’t tuff-e-nuff toss one enemy onto another and watch them transform and rise up to their combined level and if that’s not enough just keep stacking them until you reach the desired level.

Edit: Fullmetal did you just add that sixth point while I wasn’t looking?

Those are great tips, Fullmetal. Thanks! (You too killmore! :slight_smile: )

No, I didn’t know that you could “stack” picked-up characters on top of each other until I read it on Gamefaqs (does the game even mention it? If so, I missed it.) Damn, that trick would have helped in SO many battles! Bangs head on desk Still, I must say I LOVE the whole picking up/throwing option; it’s not only useful in many ways, it makes the combat system more unique. :slight_smile:

SK: I’m planning on beating the game, THEN playing the New Game + using only created characters (if possible- I won’t hesitate to bring out Laharl -who I understand keeps his levels from the first game- if I’m having trouble) in order to make the second playthrough as different as possible. My goal is to use every Job at least once. I’m also saving all the optional dungeons for then (they probably require very high levels to tackle anyway.) As for the Dark Assembly, I’m also saving most of the propositions for then as well (except for requesting better stuff) because getting bills passed is so damn hard (Politics in Hell? How appropriate. :wink: Again, I hope that my high-level Laharl will be able to pass any bill by force. With all that stuff, the second game should not feel boring at all.

It just occurred to me that I could sell the items I win at the Hospital for money. Are they worth much? Or is it better to use them?

The Item World would be more fun if you could step out at any time (or just SAVE while inside.) -_- But I’m using it for leveling up anyway.

I also just found out about Etna’s diary. Damn, why didn’t the game even clue you about it? :frowning:

Oh, and a very important question: I understand that, to get the best ending, you have to beat the game without any characters dying. I’m not clear, however, if that means any death, or only deaths were you kill your own characters intentionally. Someone please clear that up for me. (In any case, I’m not bothering keeping the characters alive in every battle- it’s damn near impossible.)

If you want the “good ending”, then you can;t have any ally kills - you can;t accidentally kill them. poisoning doesn;t count as an ally kill. But honestly, Wil? Get the bad ending first. it’s what I got, and it’s way better than the “good” one.

To get the best ending, you just have to not kill your own characters. Some people prefer the “normal” ending you get if you only kill a few of your characters though.

If you read Etna’s Diary every chapter, then, you’ll gain a powerful weapon for Etna at the end of the game. (Don’t worry, I didn’t notice it until it was too late too.)

You can use Gentry’s Gate to leave the item world, but it is still a hassle to stay there a long time.

Are you using the hospital items like Imperial Seal? The items like that increase every stat so I found them very useful. Another type of item you get there boosts SP or something and really helps your mage.

I didn’t notice stacking until I stayed too long at the start screen and saw a video of the characters doing it. I think the game wanted stacking to be a secret to discover.

There are plenty of endings to the game, but some of the more obscure ones aren’t worth the trouble. I liked the “normal” and “good” endings though.

Hmm. Are the optional endings worth it? I understand that in one of them Laharl blows up the Earth; if they’re gonna be downers like that then I don’t care to see them. Go ahead and spoil them for me, folks; remember, I’m immune to spoilers. Yes, seriously. :wink: (Spoiler wrap them for others, though.) That way, I can choose which ones I will see. (If they were easier to get I’d see them all, but doing things like killing your characters 100 times!? No thanks.)

Btw, when I say I intend to use all Jobs, I mean the HUMAN ones- I don’t intend to use the monsters- too many, and besides, they suck (They don’t learn weapon skills and cannot even pick things in battle- not even if they have HANDS!)

The only ending I’ve gotten so far was the Mid-Boss one. Fortunately it’s very easy to get since all you have to do is lose to Mid-Boss at some point during the game.

After I beat a Disgaea game, I tend to youtube the other endings.

Oh, they’re available on Youtube? Geez, they’ve got everything there! (Except porn. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: ) Anyway, I’ll check there later, thanks.

And yeah, I already got the Vyers (I refuse to call him “Mid-Boss!” He’s too cool for that!) ending as well, for the same reason that you did, Kill. I found it funny. :smiley:

Is it true that in one of the Diagea remakes you get to play as Etna after she accidentally kills Laharl? Whoa, that has to be the most extreme alternate RPG play I’ve ever heard of (though I guess it fits this game.) :stuck_out_tongue:

Yep, the PSP version. I got halfway through it before Crisis Core came out. It’s pretty funny. 8p

I was incredibly annoyed, though, because my method of cheating through the previous game was using a Level 9999 Laharl, and eventually I paired him up with two secret characters (Level 2000 and 4500, respectively). Guess which three characters I could no longer use in Etna Mode?

It’s on the DS version as well, but I haven’t gotten that far yet. (On Chapter 10 right now.) It’s not quite as long as Laharl’s story, but it’s a lot harder from what I’ve heard (enemies have much higher levels). Of course, to make things worse, you can’t use most of the special/hidden characters. Just replace Laharl with a Ronin. On the plus side, it’s got the single best leveling spot in the game.

Also, if you want to see a messed up ending, check out Disgaea 2’s “worst” ending. Pretty disturbing (especially with the Japanese voice track on). Adell kills Rozy, gets possessed by Zenon, turns into a demon(?) and then turns on his siblings and eats them! Extra crunchy goodness on the Japanese voice track! Not sure why it’s omitted on the English track…but compared to the rest of the endings, it’s pretty fucked up much.

It is harder, but you get to keep your characters from the first playthrough, so I had a Level 70-ish Etna. It’s not 9999, but it’s a start.

Update: OK, I started selling off EVERYTHING after every battle (something I normally never need to do). Now that I have more money, I’m buying the best weapons and armors I can for everybody, and the characters are doing better in battle (even the prinnies!). Still, this is a hassle to do; I hate having to deal with the [strike]US Senate[/strike] Dark Assembly to get the equipment updated, and, as if THAT wasn’t hard enough, the blasted stock in the shops CHANGES EVERY TIME YOU TALK TO THEM- even if you asked two seconds before! That. Sucks. >:( Hopefully in the New Game + things will be much easier if I have the best equipment from the game’s end plus the power to beat the DA into submission.