MKR is incredibly easy. Your only problems may be either being underleveled (which will only happen if you run from nearly every single battle) or not knowing what to do in certain scenarios (what the walkthrough is for).
This shrine is based off the fan-translated version using a patch made by Lina-chan, Nuku-Nuku, and Filia's Translation Domain (dead as of the spring of 2003, apparently). Packed in with the normal patch is one to make the game more difficult. My walkthrough covers going through the game with the normal patch (there are no different scenes in the harder patch - as far as I know, it just makes it harder to win fights through some tweaking of stats and such).
The story of the game is based on the first Magic Knight Rayearth anime/manga series, made by the same people (CLAMP) known commercially in the US for Card Captor Sakura and by fans for a few other high-profile manga/anime projects.
- Combat in MKR is conducted in a typical turn-based fashion. Each character acts immediately after you select an action for her/him. The random encounter count for this game is very high. However, the battles are for the most part very easy. Once you are far enough into the game to buy StarCores, I recommend stocking up on them and just plowing through the game using spells that hit multiple enemies.
- There are two types of "critical" physical hits in the game. The first is called a "Crushing Attack," where your character will do 2x as much damage as usual. The second, and this is a departure from the RPG mainstay, is the "Greatest Attack," where your character will do 3x as much damage as usual.
- Each character is slightly different than the others. Hikaru is all about physical attacks, has the highest regular attack power, the lowest magic ability, and so on. Fuu is mainly about using magic, and has great attack and recover magic. She also has the lowest physical attack power of the Magic Knights. Umi is balance in both areas, but some how manages to end up with the most powerful single-enemy attack spell in the game.
- Throughout the game you'll gain and lose a person for the fourth slot in your party. With one exception, their membership is mandatory. These characters can level up while in your party, but do not gain additional spells.
- Unlike most RPGs, you do not have to worry about buying equipment. Each character has a weapon and armor. Except for the first set of weapons, these can both be leveled up in battle (through use - attacking physically (swords) or being physically attacked (armor)). From my play-throughs of the game, it does not seem like you need to attack/be hit a specific number of times for equipment to level up. In addition, the items will increase in power at certain scripted segments of the game (their levels will be reset to 1, and you will be able to level them up again). At the moment, I am unsure of the math of this process - I do not know whether the levels are multipliers, additions, or so on. However, I do know that attack = strength + weapon power, and defense = stamina + armor power.
|Just for kicks, here are the weapons and armor you gain (they evolve a bit each time they change):|
(the lists are arranged Hikaru > Umi > Fuu)
- Spells are gained through level progression in most cases. Each character's first spell is unlocked through a scripted story event, and from there on you learn them by level. The Mashin spells (the last four each character learns) are also unavailable until you encounter the final Mashin. In both cases, by the time you unlock a spell through a story event, you'll probably already be a high enough level to use the next spell, so you'll "learn" it at the end of your next battle.
- Status ailments - these are negative conditions that can be inflicted in battle. They disappear at the fight's conclusion.
Distraction - Attack own party members
Paralysis - Can only use magic or defend
Fossilize - Can't do anything
Poison - Attack power down
Swoon - Whoops, ya died
...and that's about it. That's what's great about a game like MKR - it's a nice little diversion, nothing too in-depth, but it still has a style all of its own.
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