Suikoden III Walkthrough

Friday, January 29, 2016

The Walkthrough is intended mainly to get you through the story with some
helpful suggestions thrown in.  If you want to deviate from it to level up,
walk around and talk to the townspeople, watch some plays, and so on, by all
means, do so.  I have clearly noted what will make the story advance so if you
don't want to proceed at that time to do something else, go for it.  If you've
got a radio, CD, or MP3 player handy, it makes getting through some of the
leveling up/lottery sequences much easier.  This is especially true if you're
going for the Chris Level 99 trick.

In terms of skill selection, I have a tendency to go for physical skills then
healing magic.  I am severely biased against Fire and Earth Magic-the first one
because it generally will hit your own group and the second because it's only
useful in a fight at the very end.  I go for physical skills first because your
characters will either be too low of a level to effectively use most offensive
magic or you won't get better magic users until later in the game.  The skills
system is meant so you can customize your characters the way you see fit so the
ultimate decisions are up to you.  When I mention what skills to boost, they
are also just meant as recommendations.

I have denoted when you recruit and how many stars with brackets [ ] at the end
of each chapter so as to avoid spoilers before they happen.  If a character is
marked with an asterisk (*) it means they are one of the NON-automatic stars.
In terms of when you should save, I will mention it at key times but other
times I leave it up to your common sense.  It goes without saying but it's the
angriest player who beats the Super-Mega Boss From Hell then the console resets
and 40 hours of game play time are lost forever.

It is always a good idea to fight all the possible treasure bosses in a chapter
at least once.  To make them re-spawn after 30-45 minutes, loot the entire
chest.  The only time you don't want them to do that is if you really don't
want to fight them again-leaving some items in the chest will make the bosses
re-spawn at a much slower rate (usually a few hours).  Fighting treasure boss
monsters is a great way to make a lot of money not to mention getting a nice
stash of skill points.  In my walkthrough I generally suggest fighting these
bosses at least more than once per chapter.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hugo Chapter 1

Pick Hugo's story from the Trinity Site.  After the cutscene, pick his story
again to start playing.  When the conversation's done between Hugo, Lulu, and
Sgt. Joe, I suggest you put and keep your team in this formation:

Hugo
Fubar
-----
-----
Lulu
Sgt. Joe
(No Support)

Walk to the right of the screen to talk to the man with his arms folded outside
of the hut.  This is the bujutsu teacher.  Talk to him and select Notes to get
a quick primer on how skills work.  Select lesson next and raise these skills
for your characters:

Hugo-Swing up to a D, Accuracy up to a C
Fubar-Accuracy up to a C
Lulu-Repel up to a C
Sgt. Joe-Accuracy up to a C

Hugo's Repel skill (which you'd have to add for him) can naturally go up to an
S but I don't give him this skill until chapter 3 at the earliest.  He is at
his best when paired with Fubar.  Lulu is similar to Hugo in that his best
asset is his speed.  Sgt. Joe is a serviceable healer and his melee attacks do
good damage but his speed, like all duck characters, is below average.

You can walk around and talk to all the villagers if you like.  Talk to the
little girl running around up the main street outside to get an Antitoxin.  You
can also talk to a duck clan member inside the inn to get a Medicine D.  Go to
the item hut and buy another Medicine D and also an Antitoxin.  To make the
story progress, go to the front of the village and talk to the man shining some
armor outside his hut.  This is Jimba and he will (not) tell you the story
about the armor.

Luce and Lucia come out at this time to tell Hugo to deliver a message.  Cycle
through the dialogue options from top to bottom to get filled in on the
mission.  When you're given the choice of whether or not to accept Lucia's
request, you can pick the top choice if you're confident ("I'm up to it") or
the second choice ("Um...") if you want some encouragement.  When Lulu says he
wants to go, too, you can say that you'll look out for him or that everyone
will be fine together.  After everyone's done talking, you'll receive the
!Letter to Zexen.  You can wander around the village some more if you like but
you can't exit.  When you're ready to make the story progress, enter the top
hut on your mini-map and choose "I suppose so."

The next morning everyone will gather to give your group a proper send off.
When Lucia gives Hugo a hug, you can pick the first choice ("Well then, I'm
off") to properly say goodbye or pick the second choice ("I'll be fine!") to
act snippy with Lucia.  When you exit the village, you'll run into Jimba, who
will ask you to do a favor for him.  Hugo will accept and you'll receive the
item !Pentacle.  After you leave the village the world map will open up.  Go
back to Karaya and save at the inn or at Lucia's house.  Exit Karaya again.

Here's the first lull in the game when I recommend taking some time to get some
money.  As I said before, the first chapters for each character except Chris
will be similar to this.  It really pays off to take the time to do this now
rather than later but again it's up to you.  Head to Plain of Amur-North.  If
you run into some spiders and get poisoned, wait until after the battle to
heal.  Access Sgt. Joe's Water Rune by going into the Rune options and heal
with the Kindness Drops.  If you run out of that spell then use the Antitoxin.
Cross the plains to get to Duck Village.

Time to play the lottery!  You have an option here.  I like to go to the Rune
Shop and remove the Sword of Cyclone Rune from Lulu and sell it at the item
shop.  All the Magic Sword runes have 2 spells-the first level one adds
elemental damage to your attacks and the other reduces elemental damage.  You
can tell what element each Magic Sword rune corresponds to by its name.  The
Magic Sword runes aren't that great until later in the game when your
characters can deal more damage so I feel it's pretty worthless early.  If you
_really_ want to hang on to it, then you can go back out to the Plains and
fight until you get 1,000 potch.

Either way, when you get the money, go to the lottery board and hit X.  A duck
in a boat will come up.  Buy 5 Sequential tickets and 5 Random tickets.  From
here on, when I say buy tickets for the lottery, this is what I mean.  You can
go around the village talking to the ducks if you want but I suggest you don't
pick up anything they offer you.  This is because Hugo has limited inventory
space compared to the other main characters and he'll need it later on.  If you
need to rest up to replenish spells, go to the inn and rest/save.

You need to kill about 20-30 minutes for the lottery to turn over.  I spend
this time going out and fighting random battles to get experience and skill
points.  I recommend you do so because they'll come in handy.  If you don't
care to do that, send Hugo out to Plain Amur North and let the console sit
while you talk on the phone or watch TV.  Your best bets for exp/skill points
is fighting the yellow spiders at Plain Amur North and the Purple Creepers at
just Plain Amur.  The Blade Bunnies drop Gale Runes, which boosts the SPD stat
of the wearer by 50%, but this is a very rare event.  The Purple Creepers will
sometimes drop an item called a !Screw.  If you get one of these, hang on to
it-you'll need it to recruit a character later.  You only need one !Screw so if
you get more just toss the extras.

The rare encounter for the Plains is the Wild Boar.  If you run into him, I
recommend that you be at least level 14 with all your characters.  Just defend
with Lulu and Sgt. Joe and attack with Hugo/Fubar.  When anyone gets hurt
pretty bad, use Sgt. Joe's water rune to cast Kindness Drops.  Use your healing
items once that spell runs out.  You can get up to level 15 by just fighting
the yellow spiders for a while.

After 20 minutes is up, go back to Duck Village and save at the Inn.  Check the
lottery board.  If the results aren't in yet, go back out and check back in
after every 5 minutes or so.  When the results are up, check through your
tickets.  If you didn't get at least 2nd prize (100,000 potch) soft reset by
holding down the shoulder buttons plus Start and Select.  You should then load
your most recent game which is the one at the inn.  Check the board again and
keep soft resetting until you get at least 2nd prize.  It usually takes me on
average 5-10 minutes to get the 2nd prize but it may take you longer some
times.  I've won the 1st prize (500,000 potch) a few times but it'll probably
take you considerably longer before hitting it.  There's no reason to keep
losing lottery tickets so just discard those.

The complimentary lottery prize for Duck Village is Recipe #3.  After you get
that, the complimentary prize will always be a Fish Badge, which you can buy at
item stores later on and isn't that great.  If you were lucky (or patient)
enough to get the 500,000 potch prize, congrats-you won't have to worry about
money for Hugo again until his chapter 3!  The 100,000 potch prize will do you
just fine for now, though.

After you get the money, save your game.  Go to the item shop and buy Sgt. Joe
a Silver Beak.  Buy a couple of Escape Scrolls as well.  Escape Scrolls are
very handy items.  Any time you're in a dungeon area, you can use an Escape
Scroll to immediately go back to the exit regardless of where you are.  Very
nice for leaving quickly after beating a tough boss all the way at the end of a
dungeon.  Try to always have one or two of these in your party inventory for
each of your characters.

Head out of Duck Village and go to Brass Castle.  At the first screen of Brass
Castle, there will be a man with a black turban standing around by the
easternmost bench.  Talk to him and buy any Ancient Texts and Salt he has.  The
Ancient Texts are a rare item so he usually won't have it.  Keep going west
another screen and you'll come to an area with a Blacksmith, an Armor Shop, and
an Item Store.  Go to the Blacksmith and sharpen Sgt. Joe, Lulu, and Hugo's
weapons up to level 7.  Go to the Armor Shop and check their Rarity section.
If they have Byakko Chainmail, get it for Sgt. Joe.  Buy Boots for Hugo and
Lulu each (replace their sandals).  Go to the Item Store and buy a Belt of
Strength for Hugo and Lulu each.

You can talk to all the people if you like.  Most of them don't say anything
interesting but some of it is kind of funny.  Head west one more screen and
you'll trigger a cutscene.  When Hugo's given the option to respond, pick the
first choice ("And who might YOU be?").  After everyone's done talking head
east to go back inside the castle.  In case you're wondering, there's nothing
you can do with the hungry knight outside the dining hall who likes Super
Pickles.  Just trust me on that and don't go out of your way to get Super
Pickles.  Head to the bottom of the screen and go into the last room on the
right.  Walk up to the man behind the desk-this is the bujutsu teacher.  These
are the skills I suggest you get:

Sgt. Joe-Accuracy and Damage up to C, Accuracy to a B after that
Lulu-Swing and Repel up to C, if possible get Repel up to B after that
Hugo-Accuracy up to a B, focus on Swing after that
Fubar-Accuracy up to a B, Damage up to a B, focus on Accuracy after that

There's a reason why I choose to focus on Accuracy and you'll find out why in
chapter 2.  Whatever you do, I highly recommend that you don't train up any
skill magic-related.  This includes Sgt. Joe's Water ability and Hugo's Wind
ability.  If you took time out to level up a lot in the Plains area you may
have more skill points left over even after getting the above.  Spend it on
whatever else you want except magic and don't bother to add new skills.

Head back out west and you'll be in the western courtyard.  In this area is a
Rune Shop and a Tutor, but there's nothing to do at either place so keep
heading west until you get to the blue save point.  Save then exit west to get
back to the world map.

Head to the Zexen Forest and you'll trigger another cutscene. You'll notice
herbs growing in certain areas of the forest.  I never bother to pick them.  In
the Zexen Forest, these herbs include Medicine and AsianHerbs.  Depending on
how far along they are, you can get these items at A, B, C, and D level.  You
can sell the AsianHerbs to the Trader at Brass Castle and later on at another
location in chapter 2.  The rare encounter for Zexen Forest is the Father
Holly, who is super dangerous.  If you run into him go for Escape ASAP.  He can
wipe out your characters at this point in a hurry.

At the first fork, take the bottom path.  The top path leads to the same spot
but I usually take the other out of habit.  Keep heading west another couple of
screens until you get to an area where there's three paths on your mini-map.
You will see a small sliver of yellow on the center bottom of the mini-map,
indicating a small pathway.  Head towards it and you'll trigger a cutscene
where you meet Fred and Rico.  When he asks if you know anything about evil
brewing, pick either choice, it doesn't really matter.  After that encounter,
head to the small pathway where you'll find your first corpse.  You can loot it
to get Recipe #2.  Head back and take the bottom exit this time.  Continue on
the path and you'll be back on the World Map.

Head to Vinay del Zexay (VdZ) to trigger yet another cutscene.  Head into town
and you'll trigger still another cutscene.  After this, you can walk around to
talk to the townspeople.  Again, if anyone offers you something, I recommend
you not take it yet.  From the entrance where you came in, go to the lower
left exit on the mini-map.  On this next screen, head to the small gate to the
left and hit X to enter.  This is Chris Lightfellow's house.  You will trigger
a cutscene where Hugo delivers Jimba's pentacle to Chris' butler.  When the
butler asks if you want anything, you can pick money and he'll give you potch.
Pick food and you'll get some food items.  I always refuse both since the
Karayans are an honorable people -_^  Plus, you don't need either reward.

After you're done with that, exit and head to the large red building in the
center of the mini-map (it's the building with steps leading up to it and the
big fountain outside).  This is the Guild Hall where you need to go to deliver
Lucia's letter.  Walk up to it to trigger a cutscene with the guard.  After
everyone's done talking, head to the middle bottom exit on the mini-map.  This
next screen is the area with all of the city's shops, including a Blacksmith,
an Item Shop, a Trade Shop, an Appraiser, an Armor Shop, a Rune Shop, and a
Lottery Stand.

If you didn't get the 500,000 potch prize in Duck Village, buy 10 more lottery
tickets here.  Head to the Trade Shop.  Go up to the counter and hit X to call
the Trader.  Sell any Ancient Text and Salt you bought before.  Buy any Deer
Antler and Crystal Balls they may have.  Head to the Armor Shop and check their
Rarity Section.  If they have Turtle Tunics or New Leather/Chainmail buy those
for Lulu and Hugo.  Exit this screen to the bottom right.

The next screen you see should have a red building in the lower right corner on
your mini-map.  This is the inn but you don't want to go there yet.  Head to
the middle area in the center of all the stands to see a cutscene between
Melville and Guillaume.  After this, exit the screen to the lower left on the
mini-map to get back to the area with all the shops.  Keep heading left and
you'll see a little girl in a red outfit outside the Rune Shop.  Get close to
her and you'll trigger a cutscene.  The little girl is Alanis and she meets
with her friend Elliot.

After they're done talking, follow them into the alley on the top right before
the exit at the very top on the mini-map.  Head into the alley until you come
to a dead end.  Walk up to the ladder at the center top of the screen and hit
X then up for Hugo to climb.  Climb up another ladder and make your way to the
window.  Hit X and choose "The Three Knights of Zexen".  After Melville shows
up and everything gets straightened out, just pick all three dialogue options
one at a time from top to bottom.

Exit the Saint Loa Knights' hideaway.  If you need to replenish your spells or
HP, go to the inn and rest.  Make your way back to the city entrance.  You'll
see the 3 kids standing next to the guard.  Walk up and talk to them.  After
the talking is over, set up your formation like this:

Hugo
Lulu
Sgt. Joe
-----
Melville
Alanis
Elliot (Support-this is automatic)

Leave the city and save at the blue crystal before going to the World Map.
When you get out to the World Map, a new area has opened up-The North Cavern.
Go there and you'll see some more conversation with your group.  After that's
over, head inside.  The Cavern is completely straightforward with no path
branches so just keep heading straight through.  During random battles, always
use Melville and Alanis' Child Combo attack.  Not only is it hilarious, but
it's quite useful once they get up some levels.  They'll have a hard time
surviving some of the early battles, but once they level up they'll be fine.
There are no rare encounters in the North Cavern.

Once you reach a clearing, your group will decide to make camp.  Head up the
very long circular pathway.  Go through the next tunnel.  At the screen after
you'll see some more dialogue.  When you're given the choice pick the top one
("We better go in, too").  Now head down this equally long circular pathway.
At the bottom you'll fight a battle with some of the bandits.  If you're at
level 18 or so you shouldn't have any problems.  Head into the tunnel.  Midway
through here you'll see a blue crystal save point.  Save your game then keep
going forward.

You'll see another cutscene where you find out the truth about Guillaume. After
that, Hugo, Lulu, and Sgt. Joe will fight 4 bandits.  You shouldn't have much
problems with them-concentrate on taking them down one at a time.  Once that
battle is over, Melville will duel Guillaume.  There's no way to win this duel
so pick whatever choices you like and it will end shortly.  After it's over,
you'll see another series of dialogue between your characters.

Once that's through, you'll be outside the North Cavern.  If you didn't level
up to at least 20 with Lulu, Sgt. Joe, and Hugo, go back inside and do it now.
It shouldn't take too long with the Banshee and Dark Wings.  Don't bother to
get Melville and Alanis up to that level, though.  Just keep heading as far as
you want inside the Cavern.  Once you're done leveling up, use one of your
Escape Scrolls to get back to the exit.  In case you're wondering, there's
usually a treasure boss at the very end of the Cavern (where you confronted
Guillaume) but there isn't one in this chapter.

After you're done leveling up, check your skill points for Hugo, Lulu, and Sgt.
Joe by going to the status menu option.  You should have enough points to
boost some of their physical skills.  If so, go back to VdZ first and save at
the blue crystal outside of the city.  Head to the Zexen Forest and go back to
Brass Castle to get to the bujutsu teacher.  These were the skills I had at
this point after visiting the teacher:

Hugo:                   Sgt. Joe:           Lulu:

Heavy Damage-D          Damage-C            Continual Attack-E
Counter Attack-D        Accuracy-B          Swing-B
Continual Attack-E      Water Magic-C       Repel-B
Swing-B
Accuracy-B
Wind Magic-E

If you want, you can continue fighting some more to level Sgt. Joe's Damage to
a B as well but that's only if you like leveling up.  It's not necessary to
level up anything for Alanis or Melville since they'll be leaving your party
shortly.  Leave Brass Castle and enter Zexen Forest.

Go through it again to get to VdZ.  Enter the city and you'll see some dialogue
with the kids.  After that's over, you'll be outside the inn.  Go inside, talk
to the man behind the counter and select Stay.  Head back outside and you'll
get more dialogue with your party.  Instead of going to the Guild Hall, go back
to the inn and just Save, don't pick Stay again.  Head to the lottery board and
keep soft resetting again until you get the 100,000 prize or better again.  The
complimentary prize for the VdZ lottery is one of the Old Books.  After you win
that, it's a regular Knight Statue.  After getting the potch, check the Armor
Shop again to see what Rarity items they may have.  If you can buy better armor
for your party, go ahead and do it.  Go back to the Trade Shop and buy any Deer
Antler or Crystal Balls they may have again.  Once you're done go back to the
Guild Hall.

Once inside, you'll see a conversation between a Zexen messenger and your
party.  When you get a dialogue option, just pick "Here it is".  If you keep
insisting on meeting with the Council in person, you'll just get more ticked
off and they're not worth the trouble.  Once you get control of Hugo, head to
the inn and you'll get another cutscene.

Head west to exit the screen.  Keep going straight and you'll run into a group
of 3 Zexen regulars.  The soldiers in orange will take damage for the armored
knight so take them out first.  After the battle, heal with Medicine if you
need to and head for the northwest exit on your mini-map.  Continue up the ramp
and you'll get into a fight with 4 Zexen regulars.  Use the same strategy as
before and you won't have a problem.  If you have a problem winning these
fights, you can cast Hugo's Wind of Sleep spell from his Wind Rune to soften
them up but you probably won't need to do that.  Continue toward the city gate
and you'll be confronted by Percival and Leo.  They'll fill you in on some
interesting developments and why they came to arrest you.

When you're given the dialogue option, I highly advise you to pick the bottom
choice ("There's no reason to believe you!").  After that, set up your original
formation:

Hugo
Fubar
-----
-----
Lulu
Sgt. Joe
(No support)

Go through Zexen Forest and back to Brass Castle.  Keep going east and your
party will stop to talk.  When they're done, keep heading east until you get to
the screen where the Super Pickles knight is standing.  Make a left and you'll
see a set of stairs.  To the left of that screen is the entrance to the inn.
Go there and save your game.  Afterward, go back out to the main hall and go
south on the screen toward the checkpoint, triggering another cutscene.  When
you can move Hugo again, just head north down the hallway until you get to the
end.  The rare encounter for this hallway is the Devil Eye with a couple of
Mega Watts.  They're not too tough.  When you get to the door, you'll get some
more talk from your party and you'll exit.

Talk to the Trader again and buy any Ancient Text he may have, don't bother
with the Salt this time.  If you picked any AsianHerbs in Zexen Forest, you can
sell them to him now.  Exit the screen to the east to get back to the World
Map.  Go to Plain Amur.  The enemies have changed to include Wolves, Dark
Bunnies, and Wild Boars.  None of them should give your party much of a hassle.
I believe the rare encounter for this area now is the Troll Dragon but I'm not
sure.  You can deal with him without too much fuss.  I know the Dark Bunnies
give you a lot of experience but don't spend time leveling up here-there's
really no point.

When you reach the second screen of Plain Amur, you'll see a quick conversation
with your party.  Save at the blue crystal.  Unequip all of Lulu's equipment.
Exit the screen north to get to the World Map.  You'll automatically go to
Karaya Village.  After everyone's done talking, head into the village.  After
another brief talk with Sgt. Joe, proceed into the village.

After Lulu's confrontation with Chris, you will have two options with Hugo.
Picking "Why?!" will result in an angry conversation with Chris.  Choosing the
other option pits Hugo in a duel with her.  You can choose whatever option you
feel like.  If you choose to duel, you'll get 3 rounds to do so.  Whether you
win, lose, or draw, the scene that follows is always the same.  After the
Zexen group leaves, you will immediately go to another cutscene and Hugo's
chapter 1 will come to an end and you'll be back at the Trinity Site.  Save
your game then pick Chris' chapter 1.

Hugo [1/108]
Sgt. Joe [2/108]
Fubar [3/108]
Jimba [4/108]
Lucia [5/108]
Luce [6/108]
Anne [7/108]

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Chris Chapter 1

After the opening cutscene, pick Chris' story again to start playing.  You'll
see another extended cutscene with Louis and Chris meeting the Zexen Council.
When you are given the dialogue option, picking the first choice, "Certainly"
and Chris will agree without question.  Picking the second choice, "Certainly,
but..." will have Chris question the Council's decision.  I go for the second
choice but it really doesn't change anything.  After this meeting, Borus and
Salome will drop you off back at your house.  Go ahead and enter the gate.
Pick "I need some rest..." to make the story progress.  Save if you want but
it's not necessary.  You can't play the lottery with Chris until her Chapter 3
but you really don't need to until then (if at all) anyway.  Chris also won't
loot corpses until Chapter 3.

You will then see a scene where the Six Mighty Knights of Zexen are at the
front gate.  When you're given the dialogue option, pick the second choice, "I
don't mind..." to put Percival in his place.  Pick the first choice if you'd
rather demure.  After that scene, you will head out the front gate.  Instead
of going out, go back into the city.

If you talk to the townspeople, their reaction to you is quite different than
when you played as Hugo, huh?  From the screen with the city gate, head to the
southwest exit on your mini-map.  Along the way you will see a tubby Zexen man
in a dark green outfit.  Talk to him to get Recipe #12.  Exit down the ramp to
the southwest.  Enter the Guild Hall.  Inbetween the two stairways are three
doors.  Take the one on the left and talk to the bujutsu teacher (he's the one
in armor).  Raise whatever skills you like.  I tend to raise each skill so the
grades are equal for Chris' group (i.e. raise all skills to a D, then a C,
etc.).  I go for Accuracy and Damage first for the most part.  After you're
done there, take the far right door and you'll enter the shops area.

Here is a Rune Shop, an Armor Shop, and an Item Shop.  Go to the Armor Shop and
replace their Boots with Winged Boots.  Buy Power Gloves for Chris, Roland, and
Salome.  Buy a Fine Casque for Salome.  Buy Fine Helms for Chris, Roland, and
Borus.  If you want, you can remove Borus' Sword of Rage rune and sell it.  Buy
a Sacrificial Jizo at the Item Shop but don't equip it on anyone yet.

Exit the Guild Hall and go to the screen with the inn.  Go to where the
musicians are performing.  You should see an old tubby lady with a cane
standing with two kids.  Talk to her to get Herb Seeds.  Enter the inn.  You
should see a little girl going up and down the stairs.  Talk to her and you'll
get Script #2.  Exit the inn and go to the screen with all the shops.  Visit
the Blacksmith and sharpen everyone's weapon to level 7.  Go to the Item Shop
and buy a couple of Medicine D and Antitoxin.  Go to the Trade Shop and buy a
GrapeC.  They almost always have it, but if they don't just check back in a
later chapter.  Once you're done, head for the city gate and exit VdZ.  Save at
the blue crystal then go on to the World Map.  Head to Zexen Forest.

I recommend you set up your formation like this:

Chris
-----
-----
Roland
Borus
Salome
Louis (Support)

The Father Holly is the rare encounter again.  You have a decent shot to take
him down but I wouldn't go out of my way to try and run into him.  Just head
east through Zexen Forest to get to Brass Castle.  When you arrive, keep going
east until you reach the inside of the castle.  You will see the same scene
in Hugo's chapter 1 but from Chris' perspective this time.  After that scene
and when you're done talking to Louis, exit and head to the east courtyard.

You will see a cutscene with Chris and Dupa, a member of the Lizard Clan.  When
you're given a dialogue option, you can pick the first choice ("What is he
saying?") and Salome will explain it to you.  Pick the second choice and Chris
will agree; Salome will then explain to Borus what Dupa meant.  Head back
inside and up the stairs to the hallway where Chris' room was.  Instead of
going in there, go into the room with the double doors-this is the Knights'
Parlor/Tea Room.  Talk to Salome and put Borus and Roland in your party.

Head downstairs back out to the east courtyard.  Go to the Blacksmith there and
sharpen their weapons to level 8.  This should pretty much be it for your
spending-you'll want to keep your money around 50,000 potch or more for
something in Chris' chapter 2.  If you have enough skill points to upgrade your
skills, go ahead and do so with the bujutsu teacher.

In the same room as that teacher is a warehouse keeper-he's hard to see but
he's to the far right of where the bujutsu teacher is sitting.  You can store
up to 24 items in this mini-warehouse.  Later on when you have access to Lake
Castle's warehouse, they will function like the magic boxes in Resident Evil.
That is, any item you put in one area will be available in the other, although
the maximum capacity will stay at 24 until ch. 4.

When you're done walking around Brass Castle, save at the inn.  To make the
story progress, go back to Chris' room and talk to Louis.  Pick the first
option ("I think I will rest").  An extended cutscene follows.  When Chris
mentions the Zexen Rune, this is a mistranslation according to Blue Moon at
suikosource.com.  It's actually supposed to say Zexen Crest.

After everyone's done talking, you'll be thrown into your first strategy
battle.  During the first turn, move Roland and the other Zexen unit into the
same circle as Chris.  End your turn.  During the Grasslanders' turn, Lucia
and Beecham will show up with some Karaya Units.  Salome will then suggest you
break through.  Use Roland's unit to attack the Karayan Unit (Unit #12) that's
blocking your exit.  If you didn't win, or somehow lost, send the mounted Zexen
unit (Unit #4) after them.  This should take out the Karayan Unit.  Send Chris
into the now empty circle that the Karayans were occupying.  Defend with the
remaining Zexen units.  The Grasslanders will no doubt attack you in the next
turn.  Just pick the retreat option.  You'll get attacked most of the time but
should make it into Chris' circle without much problems.  When your turn comes
up again, move any of the Zexen units into the exit circle (it doesn't have to
be Chris' unit).  This will conclude the strategy battle.

You will then see a brief cutscene at Plain Amur.  You can spend some time out
here to level up if you like but it's not necessary (unless you're going for
the Chris level 99 trick).  Put the Sacrificial Jizo you bought earlier on
Salome to replace his Medicine A.  Save at the blue crystal and continue to
head north.  When you get to the World Map, head to Karaya Village.

After everyone leaves, head into the village.  There will be a cutscene and you
will see the confrontation in Hugo's chapter 1 from Chris' perspective.  When
that's over, just keep the computer's default formation.  Head to the back of
the village.  You'll have to fight 2 groups of Karayan fighters but they aren't
much trouble.  When you reach the back of the village there will be another
short cutscene and Chris will order the Zexens to pull out.  Another series of
cutscenes detailing the aftermath follows.

When you get control of Chris, head to the Knights' Parlor.  View the scene
there then head downstairs toward the west courtyard.  You'll run into Leo and
Percival and have a brief chat.  Go out to the west courtyard and meet up with
Borus.  Pick the second choice if you want the story to progress.  If you want
to do other things, pick the first choice instead.

Exit Brass Castle to the west and go through Zexen Forest.  You'll run into
Fred and Rico again (the face Louis makes when he thinks of what Borus was like
as a kid is priceless).  Continue to VdZ.  You'll see a brief conversation
between Chris and Borus outside the city.  Enter the city and head to the
Guild Hall.  You'll get more storyline here and another meeting with the Zexen
Council.  You probably now have to resist a conditioned response to hurl
something at your TV whenever someone from the Council opens their mouth.  When
the meeting's over, you'll talk to Borus and Louis.  To make the story move on,
simply go to Chris' house.  You will see a cutscene where her butler delivers
Jimba's pentacle to Chris.  Chris' chapter 1 will then end you'll be back at
the Trinity Site.  Pick Geddoe's chapter 1 next.

Chris [8/108]
Borus [9/108]
Percival [10/108]
Salome [11/108]
Leo [12/108]
Roland [13/108]
Louis [14/108]

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
4d.  Geddoe Chapter 1

After the cutscene, pick Geddoe's chapter 1 again to start playing.  When you
get the dialogue option for Geddoe, pick the first choice ("It's necessary,
right?").  Walk downstairs and your group will decide to head to the Lizard
Clan.  Once you leave the inn, set up your formation like this:

Queen
Geddoe
-----
Jacques
Ace
Joker
(No Support)

Unless you _really_ want to use Fire Magic, I suggest you go to the Rune Shop
and remove the Fire rune from Joker.  Buy a Water Rune and affix it to him.
Go to the lottery stand and buy 10 tickets.  Go to the item shop and buy a
Belt of Strength for Geddoe and Jacques.  Use what money you have left over to
buy an Antitoxin and Medicine.  Don't worry if you spend all your cash.  Exit
VdZ and save outside the city.  Go to the World Map and cross Zexen Forest.
When you encounter a clump of weak enemies like Holly Boys or Vermitors, use
Ace and Joker's Mercenary A combo-it will take them out or put them close to
death.  The rare encounter is the Father Holly again and he can wipe out your
team at this point so just Escape.

Go to Yaza Plains to fight random battles to kill time so the lottery will turn
over.  The VdZ lottery can really be annoying because it seems to take longer
to roll over during Geddoe's story.  I've had to wait 45-50 minutes some times
but I suggest you check in after 25 minutes or so.  Your best bets for skill
and experience points are the Wild Boars and Arachnivores.

The rare encounter for Yaza Plains is a gray boar called Peckles, along with 3
Blade Bunnies.  He's pretty tough but beatable.  Use the Mercenary A combo
to take out the Bunnies.  Have Geddoe cast Soaring Bolt and have Jacques
attack.  The Peckles will usually charge Jacques since he's in the middle.
At the start of your turn, take note of who the Peckles is facing-this is the
person he will attack when it's his turn.  If he's facing Jacques, have him
defend.  When Ace can act again, use his Double Tusk Rune.  Heal when you need
to with your food items or Joker's Kindness Drops if you took my advice to get
the Water Rune.  In the next rounds, use Geddoe's Berserk Blow.  Geddoe's
spells at this point will take 2 rounds to complete so just continue casting
them until he gets them off.  After about 5-6 turns, you'll kill him.  The nice
thing about the Peckles is he'll bump you up a few levels every time you kill
him until about level 28.  When Queen has 235 Skill points, head to Brass
Castle to boost your skills.

Go to the Tutor in the west courtyard first.  If you put the Water Rune on
Joker, choose to Forget Fire Magic and Learn Water Magic to add it.  After
visiting the Tutor and bujutsu teacher, this is what my skills looked like:

Queen          Geddoe          Jacques           Ace             Joker

Swing-D        Parry-C         Sharpshoot-C      Accuracy-C      Accuracy-E
Accuracy-C     Damage-D        Accuracy-C        Repel-C         Repel-D
Repel-B        Accuracy-E      Damage-C                          Water-B
               Lightning-B     Repel-E

After enough time has passed, head back to VdZ to check the lottery.  Once you
get the 100,000 potch prize, go to the Blacksmith and upgrade everyone's
weapon to level 7.  Go to the Trade Shop and buy a Deer Antler if they have it.
You can buy another 10 lottery tickets if you like but it's not essential.
Exit VdZ, go through Zexen Forest, past Yaza Plain to get to the Great Hollow.
When you arrive, you'll be greeted by Shiba and some Lizard fighters.  After
entering, just follow Shiba around until you get to the room of the Chief,
Zepon.

After some cutscenes/dialogue, you're given freedom to roam the Great Hollow.
The second floor has a Trade Shop (where you can sell any AsianHerbs you
picked in Zexen Forest), a bujutsu teacher, and the Chief's room which is
always guarded by two lizard fighters.  On the first floor is an Inn, an Item
Shop, an Armor Shop, and a Blacksmith.

Talk to the lizard fighter on the right guarding the Chief's room to get a
Sunbeam Rune.  Talk to the lizard outside the bujutsu teacher room to get Old
Book Vol. 3.  Talk to the lizard inside the Armor Shop/Blacksmith to get Grape
Seeds.  You can talk to the human inside the Trade Shop to get the Iron Hammer
but don't do this yet.  Visit the Blacksmith to sharpen everyone's weapon to
level 8.  At the Armor Shop, buy Geddoe Byakko Chainmail if they have it in the
Rarity Section.  Buy a Gauntlet for Queen to replace her Gloves.  Buy New
Leather for Joker.

To make the story advance, head to the southeast corner of the first floor on
your mini-map.  You'll overhear some lizard fighters talking.  Follow them
into the tunnel.  When you get midway through, you'll get into a fight with 3
lizards.  Just use your melee attacks and you should be fine.  Afterward, Shiba
will fill you in on what's happening.  I recommend setting up your formation
like this:

Jacques
Joker
Queen
Geddoe
Ace
Shiba
(No Support)

Head north on the mini-map and you'll exit the tunnel.  Head to the northwest
exit on your mini-map.  It will trigger a cutscene with another lizard fighter.

Here's a decision option for you.  The next fight you get into is probably the
hardest in the game because it's all a matter of luck whether you win or not.
If you're one of those players that likes to be able to win every battle, I
suggest you go back to the inn now and save.  Keep in mind that it doesn't
matter if you win or lose this next fight.  If it's not a big deal, proceed
to the northwest exit on the mini-map.  Either way, once you go through this
exit you'll end up in another tunnel.  This tunnel has random encounters that
give very nice boosts to your experience and skills.  You can run around a
little to level up if you like.  Follow this tunnel to its exit and you'll get
the fight I mentioned before.

After Chris and Shiba discuss their differences, you'll get into a battle with
Chris and 5 Zexen Regulars.  The reason I say this battle is all luck is
because it all depends on whether or not Chris casts the Breath of Ice spell.
If she does, your party is dead meat-it will knock out most of your party
outright and only Shiba and Geddoe will probably still be alive.  Not only does
this spell do tons of damage, Chris can get it off before anyone in your party
can act.  In order to win this battle, you just have to hope she attacks with
her sword or casts a healing spell first.  If so, you can use the following
strategy:

Have Geddoe cast Soaring Bolt.  Have Ace do his Double Tusk attack on Chris.
Have Jacques attack Chris as well.  After that, concentrate your attacks on
Chris-she can cast Kindness Rain which heals all of her troops.  Use only
Items and Joker's Kindness Drops spell to heal.  If you kept Joker's Fire Rune,
you can try to get off some spells but keep in mind that most of those spells
will hit your own troops.  It usually takes about 3-5 turns before you win.
The loot you get is a few thousand potch and a nice bit of skill points.  All
my guys were at level 24 when I won and I didn't get enough experience points
to go up any levels.  The best items I ever got were some Damaged Helms, New
Chainmail, and Mega Medicine D, so nothing all that great.

If you won the battle, Chris tells Geddoe he's tough and wants to know his
name.  If you lost, Chris simply sheathes her sword and says this was enough.
Either way, she and the Zexen Knights then walk away without further incident.
You're probably confused at this point about what's going on.  Don't worry,
everything will get explained in due time.  Make note of Jacques' comment about
how the Knights' tracks were too light.  After Geddoe and his group talk it
over, head back up to Zepon's room.  Your group will then decide to head to
Karaya Village.

Leave the Great Hollow and go to Plain Amur.  I recommend taking the time to
fight random battles to get up to level 26.  It shouldn't take long with the
Dark Bunnies in this area.  When you reach that point, head back to Brass
Castle to visit the Tutor and bujutsu teacher.  Here's how my skills looked
after this visit:

Queen          Geddoe          Jacques           Ace             Joker

Swing-C        Parry-C         Sharpshoot-B      Accuracy-B      Counter-E
Accuracy-B     Damage-D        Accuracy-B        Repel-C         Accuracy-C
Repel-B        Accuracy-D      Damage-C                          Repel-C
               Lightning-B+    Repel-E                           Water-B

If you bought 10 more lottery tickets earlier at VdZ, go back there to check
the results now.  While you're there, if you didn't get a Deer Antler from the
Trade Shop before, try to buy one while you're there.  After you're done with
this, head back to Plain Amur and save at the blue crystal right before you get
to the World Map.  If you haven't already, put your team back in the original
formation I suggested:

Queen
Geddoe
-----
Jacques
Ace
Joker
(No Support)

Make sure all your guys are healed up.  Head to Karaya Village.  As you enter,
you'll be greeted by Aila and 4 Karaya Fighters.  This battle is pretty
straightforward-use the Mercenary A combo, have Jacques attack Aila, and have
Geddoe use Soaring Bolt.  In the 2nd round, heal Queen and finish off Aila.

Once things get squared away, you'll have control of Geddoe again.  Avoid the
back of the village for right now-going back there will make the story
advance.  Go to the inn and Stay/Save.  Visit the Item Shop/Armor Shop hut.
Buy a Sacrificial Jizo for Queen and replace her Gauntlet with it.  Buy
another one for Geddoe and replace his Belt of Strength with it.  The Armor
Shop some times has Winged Boots in their Rarity section.  You can buy some of
those for your guys if you like.  Visit the bujutsu teacher (the guy with his
arms folded standing outside) if you want to level up some skills.  When you're
ready to advance the story, head to the back of the village.  Enter the hut to
the far northwest on your mini-map.

Your group will have a talk then you'll get control of Ace.  Head to the front
of the village to make the story progress.  You'll see Aila confronting a
visitor at the gate.  Run after her and head to Plain Amur.  When you can move
Ace again, go to the right where two stone pillars are leaning against each
other (you should see Aila next to them crouched on the ground).

You'll then see a bunch of cutscenes in a row.  When you get control of Ace,
head toward Karaya Village and save at the blue crystal.  Go to Karaya Village.
You will then pick a formation for Queen and Geddoe.  I suggest this one:

Queen
Geddoe
-----
-----
-----
-----
(No Support)

You'll see a scene in the village then be given two choices.  Picking the first
option ("I have an inkling...") will put you in a fight against Borus and 2
Zexen Knights.  Picking the second choice avoids this fight altogether.  I
suggest you go ahead and fight-the experience and skill points are quite good.

If you fight, I used the following strategy.  In the first round, cast Soaring
Bolt with Geddoe.  Thereafter, heal with Queen's Medicine items (Geddoe will
attack automatically).  If Borus misses or doesn't do too much damage, use
Geddoe to cast Berserk Blow during the next turn.  It usually takes me 5-6
turns to take him out.  At level 26, I go up to level 28-29 and get about 100
skill points.

After your confrontation with Borus, you'll see an extended cutscene with
Geddoe and his group.  When you're given the dialogue choice, pick the first
option ("Let's head back to Caleria").  Here's the formation I used:

Queen
Geddoe
Jacques
Aila
Ace
Joker
(No Support)

When the World Map opens again, four new places have opened:  Mt. Hei-Tou, Lake
Castle, Mt. Path, and Caleria.  To make the story advance, you would go to
Caleria.  There's a lot of other stuff I highly recommend you do before
this.  First, stop at Plain Amur and take the time to level up Aila so she's
close in level to the rest of your team.  Fighting the Dark Bunnies will make
this a fairly quick task.

Next, head to Mt. Hei-Tou.  Because of what happened with Borus at Karaya
Village, you cannot visit the middle of Brass Castle (the area with the bujutsu
teacher) for a while.  It doesn't matter if you chose to fight Borus or not.
You can still visit the eastern and western portions of the castle, though.  If
you didn't have to use the Sacrificial Jizos during the fight with Borus,
replace them in Geddoe and Queen's inventories with the Belt of Strength and
Gauntlet.  Before going to Mt. Hei-Tou, make sure you rest at the inn at Great
Hollow to replenish Geddoe's spells and to sharpen Aila's weapon up to level 8.
Sell off any non-special loot (like armor and whatnot) you got from your random
battles that you're not using.

At Mt. Hei-Tou, keep heading right until you reach a blue save crystal.  Take
the path up on this screen.  Follow the path up and you'll come to a corpse.
Loot it to get the Yellow Kennel.  Go back and save at the blue crystal.  Go
left one screen then head up.  At the fork, go left to find another corpse with
Recipe #14.  Go back and take the right path this time.  At the next screen,
head right (both paths go the same place).  Head up a little on this screen
to see yet another corpse.  Loot it to get Recipe #5.  Head to the exit path at
the top of the screen.  At the end of this path is your first treasure boss, a
giant blue crab called the Blue Mantrix.  Here's my strategy:

The Blue Mantrix has a couple of attacks of note.  The first is a beam attack
that hits a single person.  He usually goes for Aila or Jacques with this in
this battle.  The other is an attack where these multi-colored bubbles come out
from him and hits any one within hand-to-hand attack range.  It doesn't do much
damage but there's a slight chance it will paralyze your guys.  In the first
round, cast Soaring Bolt with Geddoe.  Have Aila cast Battle Oath from her
Shield Rune.  Send Ace and Joker in for a regular melee attack.  Heal when
necessary with items or Joker's Kindness Drops (which also heals Paralysis).
After the first round, use Geddoe's Berserk Blow spell and have everyone else
attack normally.  If it goes like it usually does for me, you'll take him out
in about 3-4 rounds and he'll usually target Aila with the beam attack.

The noteworthy loot I got from the chest was:

Melon Seeds
Old Book Vol. 12
Wall Rune
Blinking Rune

Plus a bunch of other regular armor like Chainmail, Tulip Hat, etc.  The loot
in these chests generally vary so if what you got is different, don't worry
about it.  The major items all eventually show up during one of the treasure
boss encounters.  I suggest you loot the entire chest, which likely means you
will have to drop some items from your inventory.  Unless you've been hoarding
everything from random battles, you should only have to discard medicine and
antitoxin that you haven't used.

As a general rule, sell any of the excess armor and equipment you get from the
treasure bosses that your group can't wear.  I will note the exceptions as they
come up but in the first chapters you won't be able to get any of the really
great gear yet.  Any time you come back to Mt. Hei-Tou, there's a rare chance
that the loot on the corpse closest to the Blue Mantrix will be a Fury Rune.
Credit suikosource.com for that info.  You can exit Mt. Hei-Tou with an Escape
Scroll just like any other dungeon.

If you come across a Statue with the letter "S" following it (and you should
eventually if you use Geddoe to fight all the possible treasure monsters) hold
on to it.  When you get the chance, place it in the Statue Room at Lake Castle.
You can get to this room by going to the main house and taking the stairs up to
the second floor.  Make a left and it's the door in the corner.  The Statue "S"
you usually get is a Hex Doll S.  Place it on the middle pedestal.  Leave the
room AND DON'T GO BACK TO THAT ROOM.  You'll want to wait until Hugo's chapter
3 to do that so he can recruit someone.

Any antiques you get as Hugo, Geddoe, and Chris, especially the pricey stuff
like Sunset Paintings and Plant Vases, you'll want to display at Lake Castle.
This isn't for decorative purposes but will give Thomas a financial advantage
if you elect to play through his chapters.

You're done with Mt. Hei-Tou, so let's cross Yaza Plain and go to Lake Castle.
When you arrive there, you'll meet the castle master, Thomas, and the castle
guard commander, Cecile.  They fill you in on what's happening with the castle
and how they've opened it up as a free trade zone.  You can now recruit
characters with Geddoe and that is exactly what I suggest you do now.

An important thing to know about Geddoe is that he can't switch out the six
party members he has now until chapter 4.  Well, he can but it's only in a few
spots and in that time it's only for a few seconds so his six primary members
are locked in.  This is why I recommend only getting support characters for the
most part with Geddoe.

Before recruiting, head back into the main house Geddoe is standing in front
of.  Head to the right of the main staircase inside of the house, there is a
stairway down.  Go downstairs and go left of the screen.  You'll see Muto,
the warehouse keeper.  Talk to him and leave all the stuff you won't be using
any time soon, this includes recipes, seeds, kennels, and any other stuff you
know you won't be using.  Keep any Old Books you have-you can deliver them to
the librarian in a second.  Just like Chris, Geddoe also has his own mini-
warehouse back in Caleria.

Go back the way you came and go up the main staircase.  Head to the right of
the screen through the door at the end of the hall.  Talk to Eike, the pale
faced gent with the brown outfit on.  You will automatically deliver any Old
Books you have to him.  He will then show you a list of the Old Book articles
you can read.  That's it for Lake Castle for now.  Exit the house the way you
came in then just keep exiting to the bottom of the mini-map.  At the exit to
the castle, you'll see a couple of cutscenes and your party will be back
together again.  After this, Thomas' flame at the Trinity Site will be lit.

The next place to go is VdZ.  When you enter through the city gate, you'll see
Guillaume running around chasing a little girl.  Just ignore him and don't go
near the front of the Guild Hall.  Instead, head to the area with all the
shops.  Go to the Armor Shop and talk to Dominic, the man at the counter.  When
he asks if you know art, pick the first choice to agree with him.  The buy
window will then pop up with one item, Mole Armor which costs 37,200 potch.
Select Buy and pay for it.  You have successfully recruited Dominic.  If you're
wondering what good the Mole Armor is, it's part of a set that when equipped on
a character you'll hear squishy noises when you walk.  Other than that, I have
no clue what other special properties it gives you.

Walk outside and talk to the guy with the black hat on.  This is Augustine and
he'll explain his situation to you but you're going to recruit him with someone
else.  If you're wondering what's the deal with Guillaume running by, I think
it's implying he's the one who stole Augustine's Rose Brooch.  If you didn't
get a Deer Antler yet, go to the Trade Shop and buy one now.  I've never had
a problem getting one in previous playthroughs during my two visits to VdZ,
but if you haven't got one yet you can come back and try again later.

Exit VdZ and head for the western side of Brass Castle.  Head east two screens.
Right before you get to the gate, you'll see a man with a red hat and a parrot.
Talk to him.  This is Scott and he's a Trader.  When he asks if you know about
trading, pick the first choice to agree with him.  When the parrot asks the
same thing, pick the first choice again.  If you have a Deer Antler on you,
talk to him again.  When he offers to buy the Deer Antler from you, pick the
second choice to accept his offer and you'll recruit him.  If you don't have a
Deer Antler handy, just come back some time later (in this chapter or someone
else's) and he'll still be there.

Head east one more screen to get to the courtyard area with the Rune Shop and
Tutor.  Enter the Rune Shop and talk to the Rune Sage, Jeane.  Pick the first
choice and you'll recruit her.

Head to the Tutor and go to the adjoining room.  You'll see a little girl
wearing a cap and gown.  This is Ernie.  Talk with her a little and you'll
find out she's a scholar/tutor.  When you're given the choice, pick the second
dialogue option ("Budehuc castle has rooms").  She'll ask you a series of five
random questions.  You have to get all of them correct and she'll join.  Note
that each question has about a 5 second time limit after you've viewed the
question.  You can take as long as you like to look at the question before
viewing the answer list, though.  The possible questions with their correct
answers are:

Which musical ensemble only uses wind instruments?  3. Brass Band
Which of the following cannot fly?  1. Duck
Which one of these fruits grows on a tree?  2. Pomegranates
Which statement is false?  2.  Rice cleaned with soap
Which of these has nothing to do with farming?  3.  Quiver
What is the pattern on Karayan horses?  1.  Zebra pattern
What is the Duck Clan Chief's special characteristic?  1. Amazing tail
Which is the correct spelling?  1.  Sea bream
Which of the following phrases is not possible?  3.  I ate cactus for dinner
Which of these sounds is threatening?  2.  Gggrrr
Which skill can make a magical spell bounce back at its caster?  2.  Reflect
What are the colors of the Kamaro Free Knights' uniform?  2.  Green/Yellow
Of the following, which does not exist in blood?  2.  Blue blood cells
What is paper made from?  3.  Wood
Which of these cannot be found at any defensive gear shop?  Bizarre Chainmail
Where is the decorative feather worn on the head of the Flame Champ?  3.  Left
Which cannot be part of a string ensemble?  2.  Bodhran
Which one of these is a lizard man?  2.  Shiba
Of the following which one is not an insect?  3.  Serpent
What do Lizard Men do when they're surprised?  3.  Nothing

There may be a few questions I missed but this should be enough for you to
recruit her.  If you miss a question you can take her quiz as many times as you
need until you recruit her.  Exit Brass Castle to the west.

Cross Yaza Plain to get to the Great Hollow.  Go to the Trade Shop there and
talk to the human customer in a blue outfit.  He will give you the Iron Hammer.
Take it and go down to the Blacksmith.  Talk to the smith, whose name is Peggi.
Pick the first choice ("Can you sharpen my weapon?") when he first talks to
you.  After that, pick the second choice ("This should be handy") to give him
the Iron Hammer.  You've successfully recruited him.  Now's a good time to head
back to Lake Castle to make use of their shops.

If you're like me and you've been ignoring leveling up your skills, now's a
good time to do it.  Ernie is the Tutor and she can be found in the 2nd floor
room where you gave the Old Books to Eike.  Juan is the bujutsu teacher.  From
the first screen where you enter Lake Castle's courtyard (where Cecile is
standing), head to the west exit on your mini-map to take some stairs down.  In
the middle of the next screen will be a blond man with a blade of grass
sticking out of his mouth.  This is Juan.

Juan and Ernie's comments are different from the standard Tutors and teachers.
What they say and what they mean:


      Standard                   Juan                       Ernie

Perfect Match!           The Results are Amazing!   Unbridled Potential!
Fairly good match        Competent                  There's no denying talent
Natural ability exists   It could be much worse     Your mother would be proud
Average                  Absolutely average         WOW! Just kidding-Average
It will take time        It won't be easy           It won't be easy


Farther to the top of the screen where Juan is will be Peggi, who can now
sharpen your weapons to level 9.  Do so.  Next to Peggi will be some stairs up
which lead to Dominic's Armor Shop.

A word about the Armor Shop, Rune Shop, and Item Shop (which you'll get in a
later chapter).  In order for these shops at Lake Castle to have any stock, you
have to visit the related shops in other towns on the World Map and view their
items for sale.  The shops at Lake Castle will never have any Rarity items,
but any regular items you've viewed at other stores will automatically be
available.  You have to do this with each of the main characters.  That is, if
Geddoe has visited the Great Hollow Armor Shop and viewed their inventory, all
these items will be available at Dominic's shop during Geddoe's scenario.  They
will not be available for Thomas, Chris, or Hugo until they've done the same in
their chapters.

From the screen where Peggi and Juan are standing, head to the left of the
screen.  Keep going and you'll see a Trade Shop which Scott has set up.  Go
inside and buy any Pearls he may have for sale.  From now on, I will leave it
up primarily to you to decide on when you want to upgrade Armor and Accessories
for your teams.  The best stuff is always in the Rarity section and I will note
some of the better gear in the chapters.  For the most part, though, I leave it
up to your own personal tastes from now on.

In terms of what skills I had after this visit, here's what it looked like:

Queen:                         Geddoe:                      Jacques:
Swing-B+                       Parry-C                      Sharpshoot-B+
Accuracy-B+                    Damage-C                     Accuracy-B
Repel-B                        Accuracy-B                   Damage-B
                               Lightning-A                  Repel-E

Aila:                          Ace:                         Joker:
Accuracy-B                     Thief-C                      Counter-Attack-E                    
Repel-C                        Accuracy-B+                  Accuracy-B
Shield Magic-B+                Repel-B                      Repel-C
                                                            Water-B+

As I said before, I'm biased against Earth Magic.  The best offensive spells
it has only hits enemies who are on the ground.  The best defensive spells
aren't worth the time it takes to cast them with the exception of a battle at
the very end of the game.  This is why I choose to forget it for Aila to pick
something else.  I also removed her Earth Rune by visiting Jeane's Rune Shop
(it's in the main courtyard).  It's up to you if you want to keep it.

In terms of support characters, keep in mind that if you take one of them with
you in your party, they may not be available to your other characters during
their chapters.  For example, if you took Jeane with you in this chapter for
support, she won't be in Thomas' chapter 1, Hugo's chapter 2, or Chris' chapter
2 depending on whose chapter you play next.  I keep this in mind when choosing
parties so you don't have to worry about it too much.  When you want to make
any changes to your roster, visit the Inn in the main courtyard.  Talk to
Sebastian, the man with the Hitler moustache at the counter, and pick the
second choice "Organize Party."  My formation leaving Lake Castle:

Queen
Geddoe
Jacques
Aila
Ace
Joker
(No Support)

The complimentary lottery prize at Lake Castle is one of the Old Books.  After
that it's a Mini-Cactus (an antique worth 5,500 potch).

After you're done with Lake Castle, head back to Mt. Hei-Tou.  On the first
screen where you can head north on the mini-map, do so.  Take a left at the
next screen.  This leads to one of the corpses you looted earlier.  To the
left of the corpse hiding in the tall grass will be an orange-colored dog,
Koroku.  Talk to him and pick the first choice ("Adopt") to recruit him.

Remember that Yellow Kennel you picked up?  Outside of Lake Castle's main
house, to the left of that screen, you will see Koroku sitting next to a dog
house.  If you have a Kennel in your inventory, you can go up to the dog house
and hit X to place a Kennel.  You can do that if you like on a future visit to
Lake Castle.

For now, head back the way you came and keep going north to fight the Blue
Mantrix treasure boss again.  You should have killed enough time for him to re-
spawn.  If he's not there, fight random battles for a few minutes and keep
checking back.  You don't have to leave Mt. Hei-Tou to make him re-spawn.  Use
the same strategy as before and you won't have any problems.  Loot the entire
chest again.  This time around, the notable treasure I got was:

Medal Set #3
? Painting

Again, your items may vary but all the good treasure boss loot will eventually
pop up.  To identify any antique with the ?, just visit an appraiser (there's
one in VdZ in this chapter).  Exit Mt. Hei-Tou.  If you bought more lottery
tickets at VdZ or Lake Castle, you should pass the time to check the results
now because we'll be heading to the end of the chapter.  Any lottery tickets
you buy and didn't check by the end of a chapter become automatic losers.

Stop by the Great Hollow to sell off anything you don't really need like excess
armor and items.  I'd advise you to have at least 6 Medicine (36 total) and 2
Antitoxin in your main inventory.  Cross Plain Amur to get to the Mt. Path.
When you first enter, you'll see a blue save crystal.  Save your game now.  The
enemies you'll be facing in random encounters here are pretty tough.  Here's
some strategies for taking down the enemy groups you may encounter:

NEVER use Geddoe's lightning magic.  You'll be needing it for a treasure boss
fight later.  Try to use only Medicine to heal instead of Joker's Water Rune or
Aila's Shield Rune.  If you encounter a group of butterflies or the Yellow
Sirven (serpents), use the Mercenary A combo with Jacques' Boronda Hawk Rune to
soften them up and then use everyone else to take them down.  If you encounter
Salamanders, concentrate on taking them down one at a time.  Use Ace's Double
Tusk Rune and have everyone else attack normally.  If you encounter a group of
Devil Eyes, it's better to use Geddoe and Queen against one of them, then
Aila/Jacques and Ace/Joker after one of the other ones.  For the most part,
it's just a matter of taking down these enemies one at a time during the random
encounters on the Mt. Path.  I've never run into a rare encounter on the Mt.
Path.  You can also use Escape Scrolls to take you back to where you entered on
the Mt. Path.

From the blue save crystal, head for the northwest exit on the mini-map.  The
northeast exit just dead ends if you're wondering.  From the next screen, take
the east exit on your mini-map.  The north exit from this screen leads to some
herbs.  From here on, just follow the path on the mini-map.  When you reach the
blue save crystal after crossing the waterfalls, definitely save it here.  Keep
following the path to exit this screen.  If you keep going right, you'll see
another treasure boss, the Twin Head Snake.  Before getting close to him to
activate the fight, heal up all your guys.  All my guys were level 30 (except
Aila, who was 28) with the skills I mentioned previously.  This is the strategy
I use:

This boss has four attacks.  The Left Head uses Wind Magic and casts healing
magic.  The Right Head casts Fire Magic.  The main head has a rather gross
looking tongue attack that hits those within hand-to-hand attack range.  Its
most dangerous attack is a combination magic attack that involves all three
heads.  My strategy is to focus on taking out the Left Head first so it can't
regenerate HP or use the combination magic attack.

I cast Berserk Blow on the Left Head with Geddoe and use the archers' regular
melee attacks on it, too.  I then use Ace's Double Tusk Rune on the Left Head.
After that, I use Great Blessing with Aila to heal if everyone's hurt or
Medicine/Joker's Kindness Drops to heal if only a certain pair are hurt.
Following the first round, I focus my attacks on the Left Head again, using
Berserk Blow with Geddoe and the archers' melee attacks.  Once the Left Head is
gone, I cast Soaring Bolt with Geddoe and focus on the Right Head.  When only
the main head is left, I cast Battle Oath with Aila and mop up with melee
attacks from there.  On occasion, I lose Queen or Aila because of their low HP
but as long as you keep everyone healed properly, that shouldn't be a problem.
This battle usually takes me 4-6 rounds to finish.

The notable loot I got after this fight was:

? Figurine
? Statue

The rest was just regular armor and medicine. If you want, you can loot the
entire chest and wander around until the treasure boss re-spawns.  The next
time around it will be a different creature, the Rock Golem.  There's no need
to do this and I suggest you just take what you want and move on.

Instead of heading to Caleria, take the northeast exit on the mini-map.  On the
next screen, check your mini-map to see that the road leads to a dead end to
the south and an exit to the north.  You want to follow the mini-map to get to
the dead end to the south.  You'll find a corpse there that has Recipe #7.
Make your way back to the clearing where you fought the Twin-Head Snake.  Take
the east path on your mini-map (where the Calerian man is standing).  On the
next screen, just follow the path to the exit.  You'll end up back on the World
Map.  Head to Caleria.

When you enter, you'll see a brief cutscene.  Ace will point out where the HQ
is.  To advance the story, this is where you should go.  I suggest you do some
other things first.  Head to the inn, which is located in the right middle of
the mini-map.  Stay and Save.  There's a man with a theater mask on the second
floor of the inn, Nadir, but you can't recruit him yet.  Exit the inn and head
to the Trade Shop, it's located in the upper left of the mini-map right before
you enter the open doorway.

Inside the Trade Shop, to the bottom left of the screen is a man named Mike.
He will join your party if you can beat him at a game of cards.  The name of
the game is Kabu, which is essentially Blackjack but with the number "9"
instead of "21".  You can listen to his explanation of the rules to get a grasp
of the game.

One facet of the game you may have a hard time understanding (like I did) is
what happens when you go over 9 and how the point total is scored.  Basically,
if any number you get is over 10, the count starts over at 0.  Let's say you
start with a 4 then get a 6.  This equals 10.  Your total then is 0.  Let's now
say that you start with a 4 then turn up a 10, giving you 14.  Your score is
then 4.  To calculate what your score is if you go over 10 simply subtract 10
from it.  To view what the special scores are (such as Shippin), just press
Square at any time.  The dealer's special score, Kuppin, which is an Ace and a
9, will beat pretty much any score, including Shippin.

Keep playing Mike until you get 20,000 potch.  It usually takes me a few tries
but I've heard of many people going crazy because he beats them every time.  I
recommend soft-resetting if you lose more than 10,000 potch and simply trying
again.  Most of the time when I win I go for Shippin.  That is, I go with the
9,000 bet and go for the 4 or Ace when it turns up.  If you get Shippin with
this bet your win is automatically 27,000 and you can recruit him.

Mike will now be located at Lake Castle and you can play Kabu with him to earn
money.  His room is on the first floor to the right as you come in through the
main entrance (next to the elevator).  One of the major things I took into
consideration when writing this Walkthrough was to have it so you never have to
play Mike for money.  It's just not worth the aggravation.  A decent average
you can expect is 100,000-200,000 potch after an hour of playing him with lots
of soft resetting.  Most of the time, though, you'll just lose money and waste
a lot of time you'll never get back.  Mike is quite useful as a support
character, though.

After you get Mike, sell any Pearls you may have bought at Lake Castle at this
Trade Shop.  Exit and head to the Item Stand.  Check the Rarity section and buy
a couple of Soaring Bolt if they have it.  Also buy 3 Escape Scrolls.  Buy 2
Sacrificial Jizos, one for Queen and the other for Aila.  Head to the Armor/
Blacksmith Shop located to the lower left of the mini-map.  Talk to the little
Calerian boy and he'll give you Tomato Seeds.  Unless you've been on a spending
frenzy and have been hoarding all your loot, you should have the money to
upgrade everyone's weapon to level 10 here.  Head left to the Armor Shop to
upgrade whatever you like.  When you're done there, exit and head to the top of
the mini-map and through the open doorway.

You'll trigger a cutscene and Ace will leave your party.  There's a bujutsu
teacher here if you want to upgrade your physical skills.  To the top left of
the screen by the training dummies is another man with his arms folded.  This
is the other warehouse keeper that only Geddoe can use.  Talk to him if you
want to adjust your inventory.  If you have a bunch of items with ?, you can
leave them at the warehouse or take them with you, keeping in mind that only
VdZ has an appraiser right now (you can visit VdZ in Geddoe's next chapter as
well so don't think you have to do it right this instant).

Head to the inn to advance the story and trigger another cutscene.  You'll meet
Duke and his team for the first time.  Pick whatever dialogue option you want
when the choices come up, it doesn't really affect anything.  The cutscene will
continue then Geddoe's chapter will come to an end.  At the Trinity Site, save
your game and do not overwrite this save game-it's critical if you decide to
play Thomas' chapter now and choose not to play through it.

Geddoe [15/108]
Ace [16/108]
Joker [17/108]
Queen [18/108]
Jacques [19/108]
Aila [20/108]
Dominic [21/108]*
Scott [22/108]*
Jeane [23/108]*
Ernie [24/108]*
Peggi [25/108]*
Koroku [26/108]*
Mike [27/108]*

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Break--Time to Decide about Thomas

You can now decide whether or not you wish to try out Thomas' chapters now or
later.  Keep in mind that if you put off playing his chapters as I've suggested
you will see chunks of his story revealed in the other 3 main characters'
chapters.  Some of it is definitely spoilers.  I gave it a lot of thought and
still decided to put it at the end because I believe it'll actually make you
want to play his story after viewing bits of it to get an idea of what you're
in for.  However, I certainly understand if you'd rather not want to know about
anything that happens in his chapters ahead of time.  It's up to you and you've
been given fair warning.  His chapters are entirely optional and something of
an acquired taste.  There's a possibility you may _really_ dislike it and not
care to play through it.  You won't lose any Stars of Destiny if you skip it.

In the Walkthrough I've kept his chapters in mind in terms of recruiting and
whatnot.  One big advantage of putting off Thomas' chapters until later is you
can give him a nice financial advantage if you wait as I've recommended.  If
you want to do Thomas' chapters now, skip ahead to his section.  I've broken it
off farther away from Chris' chapter 3 so you don't inadvertently see something
from her chapter.  If you'd rather put it off until later, go ahead and
continue with Chris' Chapter 2.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Chris Chapter 2

Select Chris' Chapter 2 from the Trinity Site.

A couple of friendly reminders.  Chris can't play the lottery until Chapter 3
and try to keep your money level at around 50,000 potch.  Also, don't bother
upgrading Leo, Borus, or Percival's armor-they'll automatically get really good
armor later in the game (not in this chapter though).  At the start of Chris'
chapter, you'll see a brief scene with her butler.  Once you get control of
her, head to the Guild Hall area where you would normally enter to go to the
area with the shops (the middle bottom exit on your mini-map).  You'll see an
extended cutscene where Alanis, Melville, and Elliot say goodbye to each other.
If you didn't get a GrapeC from the Trade Shop in the last chapter check back
there now for one.  To make the story advance, head to the front gate.  You'll
meet up with Borus and Louis.  Leave the city and save at the blue crystal.

Head past Zexen Forest and Yaza Plain to get to Lake Castle.  The rare
encounter for the Forest is still the Father Holly.  For the Yaza Plain, it's
a Gold Boar with two Dark Bunnies.  I recommend you run from both of those for
now.  Once you arrive at Lake Castle, you'll see another extended cutscene
where Thomas and Chris chat.  When that's over, you'll be back on the World Map
and Chris can now recruit.  If you go back to Lake Castle, you can make use of
the characters you recruited during Geddoe's Chapter 1.  Note that you can't
put anyone he recruited in your party, though.  This is how it will work until
Chapter 4-your main characters can only put the characters they recruited
themselves in their party.

Cross Yaza Plain and head to Brass Castle to make the story progress.  After
you're done talking with Borus, head to the Knights' Parlor.  After conferring
with Salome and Percival, go to Chris' room.  Talk to Louis and pick the first
choice.  You'll see another extended scene where Chris gives the other Knights
their new orders.

When you get control of Chris, head to the Knights' Parlor again.  Talk to
Salome and pick the 3rd option ("I need to plan our formation").  I use this
setup:

Chris
Leo
-----
Roland
Borus
Percival
Louis (Support)

You can advance the story now by talking to Salome again but I suggest you take
some time to level up your party first.  You can check with the Trader on the
far east side of Brass Castle to see if he has any Ancient Text, but again this
is a rare occurrence.

Exit Brass Castle and head to Yaza Plain to level up.  In about 10 minutes you
should be able to get everyone to level 32 by fighting the monsters out there.
If you run into the Gold Boar/Dark Bunnies rare encounter, use Roland's Great
Hawk to make sure you hit the Bunnies to prevent them from casting lightning
spells.  Go after the Bunnies first with the other 2 units then focus on the
Gold Boar with your melee attacks.  Heal with your items and Percival's
Kindness Drops from his Water rune.  You can get everyone up to level 34 with
about another 10-15 minutes of running around for random encounters if you
like.  When you're done, head to Lake Castle to level up your skills.  This is
how my party looked afterward:

Chris:                     Leo:                         Roland:
Parry-C                    Damage-B                     Sharpshoot-C
Swing-C                    Armor Protect-B+             Accuracy-C
Damage-C                                                Damage-C
Repel-C                                                 Repel-C
Armor Protect-C
Heavy Damage-C
Accuracy-C

Borus:                     Percival:
Accuracy-C                 Parry-C
Armor Protect-C            Swing-C
Heavy Damage-C             Repel-C
Damage-C                   Accuracy-B
Repel-C

Exit Lake Castle and head for the North Cavern.  Just make your way to the very
end.  The Bone Soldiers are a particular concern here because they can do a
good deal of damage while your guys can't do the same.  Do your best to
concentrate on them one at a time and you'll get through it okay.  Don't be shy
to heal if someone gets really banged up.  Before you reach the very end of the
cavern, save at the blue crystal.  There's a treasure boss here now and it's a
Chimera.  Nothing special, really-it has some damaging attacks but nothing you
can't handle.  Just use your melee attacks and heal when necessary.  The
notable loot I got this time was:

Mangosh
Herb Seeds
Mother Earth Rune
Script #3
Old Book Vol. 11
Medal Set #5
Blessed Helm

Loot everything if you want to fight the treasure boss again later (I recommend
that you do).  Exit the cavern and head to VdZ.  When you get past the City
Gate, you'll see Guillaume chasing after a little girl again just like in
Geddoe's Chapter 1.  Head to the screen with the inn.  At the top left portion
of this screen, talk to Nei and Toppo, who will tell you that the 3rd member of
their Busker Troupe, Shabon, is missing.  Head to the front of the Guild Hall
where you'll see Guillaume chasing after Shabon in circles.  You'll get into
your first winnable duel.

Duels are one-on-one contests where you are given 3 options:  Defend, Attack,
or Deathblow.  It's a rock-paper-scissors type battle with an advantage meter
thrown in.  Basically:

When your Enemy does:         You Should:

Attack                        Deathblow
Defend                        Attack
Deathblow                     Defend

You'll note a small green circle at the bottom near the duel gauge.  This
indicates a DISadvantage.  That means if the circle is under your character's
portrait, your enemy has the upper hand.  In this case, the usual rules above
will be bent somewhat in favor of the person with the advantage.  For example,
normally if you Deathblow when your enemy Attacks, you take no damage.  On the
other hand, if they have the advantage, they will still get in an Attack and
cause you damage.  Therefore, if the advantage is totally in your favor, you
have some leeway to make a mistake and not pay for it.  It works the other way
as well.

An important thing to remember about duels is that some Runes that affect your
status will be in effect when you duel.  This can be good in the case if you
have something like a Fury Rune or very bad if you forgot to remove that
Hunter Rune you were messing around with.  Some of Guillaume's comments and
what he'll do:

Attack:
-------
You've made your uncle very angry!
Ouch, you'll pay for that!
Ho, ho, ho.  Allow me to make my point.
Pesky opponent!  The next one won't miss!
Ho, ho, ho!  Your life is mine!
Coward!
All this staring at each other.  Like a prelude to marriage.  But I don't mind.
Snap out of it.  There's no turning back now.
Ho, ho, ho!  I am simply too strong!

Defend:
-------
Ho, ho, ho.  Did you think I would only defend?
Hmph.  Your turn.
Careful, careful.
I'll take a page from your book!
Ouch!  I better stop to catch my breath!
Ho, ho, ho.  I am truly at my best today.
Ah, this is really quite comfortable.

Deathblow:
----------
Deathblow Attack!  Furious Flame!
Deathblow Attack!  Ominous Oceans!
Deathblow Attack!  The most furious of flames!

There're others but you get the gist of it and can pretty much tell what he'll
do.  After the cutscene, pick the first dialogue choice ("How about Budehuc
Castle?") and you'll recruit Nei, Toppo, and Shabon.  If you picked up any
Ancient Text at Brass Castle, you can sell them to the Trader here.  Sell any
excess items you may have, too.  You can go shopping here (definitely check out
the Guild Hall items) and sharpen your weapons up to level 9 back at Lake
Castle.  One skill you should definitely invest in is Chris' Swing-try to get
it up to a B.  In the low to mid-30's level this will give her two attacks per
round, which will make the upcoming series of battles much easier.

Exit VdZ and head back to Brass Castle.  To advance the story, go to the
Knights' Parlor and talk with Salome.  Pick the second dialogue option twice
and you'll see a custscene where the Knights prepare to attack the Great
Hollow.  You will then be taken to a strategy battle.  The winning condition is
to take out 5 enemy units.  The losing condition is losing Chris' unit, so make
sure she doesn't go down.

You will likely get annoyed at the computer AI controlling your units during
battle but don't let it get to you-it'll get better later.  There's a few
things to keep in mind here.  Borus and Percival will show up at the start of
your 3rd turn.  The most dangerous units are Dupa's and Bazba's.  Dupa has a
Fury Rune which puts him in Berserk status-if he gets one lucky critical hit,
it's lights out for whoever he hit.  Bazba will occasionally cast a Cyclone
Magic spell that can cause "Combat Stifled", which is another automatic lights
out.  Unless Dupa's team is damaged pretty well, only use Leo to confront him.
As for Bazba, just don't let him engage Chris-anyone else is fine.

To get a Major Victory, avoid losing an entire unit.  The prize you get for
scoring a Major Victory is an Evasion Ring, which boosts the wearer's Repel
skill by 1 grade.  Lastly, if you put your units in place to "Cover" this gives
your attacking unit a boost to the damage they do.  The more units covering,
the more damage.

At the start of the battle, move Chris one circle to the southeast.  Move Leo
and Roland one circle to the east.  Don't move past these circles until Borus
and Percival show up.  The computer's strategy can vary pretty wildly but it
usually will send the Lizard Units with 3 fighters up to meet your guys.  Just
use Roland and Chris at that point to try to take them out.  Once Borus and
Percival show up, try to put your units in position to cover each other.  Leo,
Chris, and Borus' units are the best to use for attacking.  As long as you
don't put your units in a position where they're attacked a consecutive number
of times, you shouldn't lose an entire unit.  If one of the units that's just
made up of Zexen Regulars is attacked by a unit with full health, just have
them retreat.  You should be able to get a Major Victory out of this.

After the strategy battle, you'll be asked to set up your formation.  I use the
same one as before:

Chris
Leo
-----
Roland
Borus
Percival
Louis (Support)

Head toward the front entrance of the Great Hollow.  On the way you'll have to
beat 2 waves of 6 lizard fighters.  They're not too much trouble-just focus on
taking them down one at a time.  You can get some decent loot such as New
Chainmail, Damaged Helms, and Mega Medicine D when you win.  When you reach the
front, Borus will send out a challenge, to which Shiba and 5 lizard fighters
respond.  Same tactics as before and you'll win easily.  Do make sure that
Chris has all her HP at the end of this fight.  You'll then see the Grassland
leaders come out to talk with Chris.  When you're given the dialogue option,
you can pick the second choice, "...." to which Salome will stand up for Chris.
After that, if you pick "But..." Roland will speak up for Chris.  If you pick
the other choice regarding duty, Chris will speak up for Zexen.

For the first dialogue choice, if you picked "Stop these foolish accusations!",
Lucia will challenge Chris to a duel.  If you pick the first choice, "So be it"
this is exactly what Chris will do.  Picking the second choice, "I cannot" and
Chris will say it is beneath her to duel in the ways of barbarians.  If you
opted to duel, the odds are heavily in Chris' favor-she can take down Lucia
pretty quick whereas Lucia has to get in about 8 hits or more.  Lucia's
comments and what she does:

Attack:
-------
Saucy Knight!
Such a lack of passion.  I'll spice this up.
If that is how you wish to battle...
Ha!  There's no need for discretion here White Maiden.
Let's see what the White Maiden can withstand.
It's been an even match.  Until now.

Defend:
-------
I suppose you're good enough to be called White Maiden.
A battle of resistance...
That won't help us decide who wins.
So you are serious after all.  But how serious?
I'll withstand your worst.
Without caution attack is useless!
Where's the sport in this?  It's not a battle if you don't fight.
Hmmm.  Too tired to give me your best?

Deathblow:
----------
By the power of Karaya!
Very well, stay like that!
Let's make this the final blow.
My Karaya brethren lend me your strength!
That wasn't very exciting.  Try this!
Ah, just like a little girl.  What about this?

If you won, Beecham and some Karayan fighters come to Lucia's aid.  If you
lost, the Zexen Knights do likewise for Chris.  If you beat Lucia in a duel or
you didn't bother to duel her, a messenger comes up to tell Salome some news
and the Knights withdraw.  If you beat Lucia in a duel, she'll tell Chris that
she won't forget this.  If things ended peacefully, Chris simply walks away and
asks Lucia to stop calling her White Maiden.  If you lost the duel, Chris
orders the Knights to withdraw.  Personally, I prefer not to duel Lucia because
she's got a good point.

The aftermath is the same regardless of what happened.  You'll see a cutscene
with Salome and Chris.  To make the story advance, head out to the western
courtyard of Brass Castle.  You'll see Salome talking to a soldier by the gate.
When you're given the dialogue choice, pick whichever one you want (I usually
pick the first one).  Head out to Zexen Forest-don't worry about random
encounters because you won't get far.  Head west a few screens and you'll see
a couple of cutscenes.  If you've ever fantasized about waking up as a hot babe
with a bunch of dudes looking over you, well here ya go.

When you can control Chris again, head to the bujutsu teacher and bump up your
skills.  I tend to go with Accuracy, Damage, Armor Protect, and Heavy Damage.
To make the story advance, head to the west courtyard and talk to Percival.
Pick the first choice and the two of you will head out.  Pick the second choice
then say you'd rather not go if you want to do other things first.  Exit Brass
Castle and Iksay Village will pop up on the World Map.

If you want, you can go to Mt. Hei-Tou to fight the Blue Mantrix.  You can win
with just Chris and Percival.  Put Percival in a separate slot and have him
defend.  If he gets hit have him heal with his items.  If Chris gets paralyzed
or hurt bad, have Percival heal her with Kindness Drops.  Use only Chris to
attack. It'll take a little while but you can take him down with just those
two.  There's a character in Iksay Village that you can recruit if you have
100,000 potch.  If you don't have that much you can opt to fight the Blue
Mantrix or just wait until a little later in the chapter.  I usually have the
cash and fight the Blue Mantrix just for the heck of it.  From that fight, I
got 70,000 potch plus a Double-Strike Rune.  It's a good idea to loot the whole
chest so you can come back to fight it later if you want.  You can't enter the
Great Hollow in this chapter, either, if you're wondering.

Heading to Iksay will advance the story.  You should know that once you enter
there you can't leave for a while due to story reasons.  There's an opportunity
while you're in Iksay to fight infinite battles, the only place in the game
that I know of.  If you want to get a bunch of skill points cheaply for Nei,
Toppo, and/or Shabon, stop at Lake Castle before going to Iksay and put them in
your party by talking to Sebastian at the Inn.  I recommend taking at least
Nei-she's quite good at higher levels.  You don't have to upgrade any of their
gear, weapons, or skills-they won't be doing the fighting.  You should go to
Lake Castle first just to replenish Percival's spells, to bump up skills, and
to sell any excess items/store anything you want.

Upon entering Iksay, you'll get a cutscene and learn a little more about
Percival.  When you get control of Chris, head to the right of the screen.
Between two houses is a ninja in black.  This is Watari.  If you have the
100,000 potch, go ahead and pay him to recruit him.  If not, later on you can
come back here once you have the cash.  Several people have e-mailed me saying
Watari isn't there.  I've never had this problem but if this happens to you,
just come back later after the story events in Iksay and try again.

Journeyman sent me this e-mail about getting Watari:

"In Iksay Village- If Watari does not show up instantly, go to the inn to save
then do a soft reset, After loading you should see Watari across from the inn
between the 2 houses."

Thanks to Journeyman for this tip.

If you've already played Thomas' chapter 1, skip to the next paragraph.  Go to
the Item Shop.  If you have a full party of 6 (not counting Support), you'll
trigger a cutscene with the owner, Gordon.  Tell him about Lake Castle and
he'll join.  If you don't have a full party right now, just come back later
after you can leave Iksay to get him.  Talk to the little girl in the shop and
she'll give you a Pale Gate Rune--don't sell this or get rid of it, it may be
the only one you get for the entire game.

The Item Shop in Iksay occasionally will have a Rose Brooch in the Rarity
section.  If you want to go ahead and recruit Augustine (the fellow with the
hat standing by the VdZ docks) with Chris buy it and give it to him later.  I
prefer to recruit Augustine with Thomas but it's up to you.

If you want to recruit someone with a strong rating in Healing support skill,
go to the 2nd floor of the inn.  You can leave this person for Thomas if you
like but it's up to you.  There's no one else in his chapter with this support
skill.  It's useful for both Chris and Thomas but not essential for either.
The person is Mio, a nurse.  When you go up to the second floor you'll see her
with a doctor, Tuta from Suikoden II.  Pick the first dialogue choice ("Excuse
me, are you doctors?") to recruit Mio.  You'll get Tuta later.

Although you can't play the Iksay Lottery with Chris right now, I'll go ahead
and tell you the prizes.  The first complimentary prize is a Recipe.  After
that, it's a SkyOwl Painting.  To make the story progress, head all the way to
the back where the windmills are and stand by the back fence.  You'll trigger
a conversation with Nash, the protagonist from the Suikogaiden games.  Pick
whatever dialogue you feel like-it doesn't impact anything.  You'll then be
interrupted and see a CG cutscene.

Head to the front of the village.  If you brought Nei, Toppo, and/or Shabon
with you, put them behind Chris and Nash in a formation like this:

Chris
Toppo
Nei
Shabon
Nash
-----
(No Support)

Only have Nash and Chris attack.  You'll run into a group of 4 lizard fighters
at the front of the village.  You shouldn't have too many problems-Chris can
take them out all by herself.  Percival will then join up with you.  If you
brought all the buskers I recommend this formation:

Chris
Toppo
Nei
Shabon
Percival
Nash
(No Support)

You'll then run into a group of 2 Karaya Fighters and 2 Lizard Fighters. Again,
nothing special.  Head to the back where the windmills are.  You'll next meet
up with Shiba and 5 lizard fighters.  Pick the first choice ("I'm ready to take
you on") to fight-you won't have much problems winning with Chris and Percival.

After this fight is the infinite battles I mentioned earlier.  If you want the
story to progress, head back to the windmills.  If you want to fight the
battles, head toward the front of the village.  The battles always have 2
Lizard fighters and 2 Karaya Fighters.  These guys aren't tough at all but they
are worth 300 skill points collectively plus 8,800 potch.  In about 10-12
minutes worth of work, you can get 4,200 skill points to be divided up among
however many people are in your party. If you just have Chris, Percival, and
Nash this means 1,400 skill points each; if you brought all 3 of the buskers,
this means about 700 skill points each.  You can also get 100,000+ potch in
that time as well.  The people to benefit most would be Percival and any of the
buskers you brought with you.  Chris and Nash will eventually get more skill
points than they'll ever need but you can give them an early advantage with
these battles.

When you're ready to head to the back to advance the story, make sure Chris'
health is full.  You'll run into Dupa and Jimba.  After some conversation,
you'll get into a duel with Jimba.  Again, this duel is in Chris' favor.  It's
pretty easy to tell what Jimba will do based on his comments so just counter
accordingly.  Some of his comments and what he'll do:

Attack:
-------
Now it's time for me to strike.
See how you like this.
You're playing it safe.  That's fine with me.
Strong enough.  Let's see how you handle this.
You're quite skilled.  How about this?
We'll lose our audience if we carry on like this.

Defend:
-------
Go on, take a swing at me!
Quite solid, but is it luck or skill?
Now it's your turn.
I've never had to play it this safe before.
Well, well...Having trouble?  Maybe next time.
Is this a staring match or a battle?
Damn!  I better take a breather.

Deathblow:
----------
Let's do this my way.
Milady, I will not hold back.
Sorry, but I've been doing this a lot longer than you have.
This has carried on long enough.  I'll finish it quickly.
I hope this isn't too much for you.

You'll then see another extended cutscene.  When that's over you'll have
control of Chris again.  If you fought some of the infinite battles, you likely
have a ton of Damaged Helms and New Chainmail.  You can sell those at the Item
Shop for a tidy profit.  Exit Iksay to see another scene.  If you don't want
to play Thomas' chapters, go back to Iksay.  Head to the back and on your way
you'll see a brunette girl with a hand puppet.  This is Mel.  If you intend to
play Thomas' chapters, I highly recommend you let him recruit her.  If not, go
ahead and talk to her now with Chris to recruit her.

Go to Lake Castle.  Upgrade any skills you want.  Head to the screen where
Scott's Trade Shop is located.  Move past it to the left of the screen and
you'll see a gray door.  Enter it.  In this hallway is Watari.  Talk to him and
you'll trigger a cutscene.  Go see Sebastian to put Watari in your party.
Upgrade Watari's skills however you like and sharpen his weapon to level 9.
It's not necessary to upgrade his armor.

Leave Lake Castle and go to the North Cavern next.  Head all the way to the end
again and save again at the blue crystal.  If your levels are pretty high
(my party was 34-36 at this point) you can just "Let Go" of those stupid Bone
Soldiers and not have to fight them at all.  When you reach the end of the
Cavern, you'll see the female ninja from Watari's flashback, Ayame.  Watari
will then duel her.  This is one of the tougher duels in the game so be
careful.  Her comments and what she'll do:

Attack:
-------
Let me show you how pleased I am to see you again.
Now I'll get you back.
If you only defend...
When are you going to stand up and fight?
Don't feel too good about that.
Enough messing around!
Here we go...

Defend:
-------
I believe this is how to properly defend oneself.
So, we think alike after all.
It's been a while, let's see if you've improved.
Are you getting enough to eat?  You're not very effective.
Sorry, no effect.
I wouldn't hold still like that.
That was good, but probably the best you can do.
At least you don't fight worse than before.
This is taking too long.

Deathblow:
----------
This will let you know how glad I am to see you again.
And now, the finishing stroke.
Good night, Watari.
I'll help you remember your past.

If you lose to her, Watari will say, "Sayonara, witch" and Ayame will leave.
It can take a while before Ayame shows up again so do your best to win the duel
the first time.  When you beat her, Ayame will join.  Heal up Watari and exit
the screen.  Go back and the Chimera treasure boss will be there again.  Just
use the same tactics as before.  The notable loot I got:

Castle Kennel
? Painting

If you want to fight this boss again later, go ahead and take everything.  Exit
the North Cavern.  Head to the VdZ Trade Shop and buy a GrapeC if you haven't
got one yet.  If you got a Rose Brooch earlier at Iksay you can get Augustine
now.  If you're planning on playing Thomas' chapters, I recommend you leave
him so Thomas can get him later.  You can also fight the Mt. Hei-Tou boss again
if you like (I opt not to since I've got 400,000 potch right now).  Buy a
Sacrificial Jizo from the Guild Hall Item Shop or Lake Castle Item Shop and put
it on Percival.  Make sure you've done everything you want with him in terms of
his skills.  To make the story progress, head back to the west side of Brass
Castle.

At Brass Castle go to the west courtyard to get a cutscene.  Head upstairs to
Chris' room and talk to Louis.  Pick the first choice to advance the story.
You'll then see a cutscene and a conversation with Salome.  When given the
choice, I pick the first option ("Salome...") but it doesn't really matter.  Go
to Chris' room and check the bookcase.  Nash'll pop out and ask you to go with
him.  If you pick the first choice, you'll agree and Chris' chapter 2 will be
effectively over.  If you'd rather do some other things like fight the treasure
bosses again or whatnot, pick the 2nd choice three times.  Nash will leave.  He
will then be in the eastern courtyard of Brass Castle to the left of the Item
Stand.  To advance the story, talk to him again and agree to go with him.  Then
go back to Chris' room and elect to rest and you'll leave with Nash.

Once you agree to go with Nash, Chris will change her outfit and you'll proceed
to the secret passageway.  You'll note that all of Chris' gear has changed-the
stuff you put on her previously is now stored at your warehouse.  Just follow
the passageway to the end-the random monsters won't be any trouble.  If you get
poisoned by the spiders, just use Kindness Drops from Nash's water rune to
heal.  When you reach the exit, there'll be another cutscene and Chris'
chapter 2 will end.

Nei [28/108]*
Toppo [29/108]*
Shabon [30/108]*
Watari [31/108]*
Gordon [32/108]*
Mio [33/108]*
Ayame [34/108]*
Nash [35/108]

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hugo Chapter 2

Pick Hugo's story next.  You'll be on the World Map.  Head to Duck Village to
get a cutscene with Rhett and Wilder coming up asking for help.  To make the
story go, you can head to the left.  Before doing that, I suggest heading to
the right to go to the Item Shop to sell any loot you don't need.  Buy 2
Sacrificial Jizos and put them on Fubar.  Also put the best Medicine you have
in Fubar's remaining item slot.  If you got any Deer Antler or Crystal Balls
from VdZ, you can sell those at the Trade Shop here for a nice profit.  If
you're like me, you probably have about 150,000-200,000 potch right now.  I
recommend you go ahead and play the lottery one more time just to give yourself
a money cushion-Hugo won't be able to fight any treasure bosses until his next
chapter and you'll be able to kill some time quite soon.

When you're done with all that, head to the front of the Rune Shop/Tutor to
see a cutscene with Lilly, whose all grown up since Suikoden II and my personal
favorite character in the game.  When she asks for Hugo's identity, you can
pick whatever choice you like.  Afterward, everyone runs off.  Head to the inn
to get another scene.  When Lilly asks, pick the first choice ("Okay...") to
advance the story.  When you're given another dialogue option, you can pick the
first choice ("Who is the Flame Champion?") to get more background info. on the
Flame Champ or the second option to question Lilly's motives.  When Lilly asks
if you want to join up, you can say no by picking the third choice, asking
the Sgt.'s opinion with the second choice, or agreeing by picking the first
choice.  To make the story advance you'll need to go with Lilly so I just pick
the first choice.  I recommend this setup:

Lilly
Samus
Hugo
Fubar
Reed
Sgt. Joe
(No Support)

A couple of notes about what you can do now.  You have access to the eastern
courtyard of Brass Castle where you can sharpen weapons up to level 7 and visit
the Item Stand and Armor Stand.  There's a Tutor in Duck Village but you won't
have access to a bujutsu teacher for a while.  Although VdZ, the North Cavern,
and the west side of Brass Castle are on the World Map, I don't believe there's
any way to go to those places in this chapter.  You're not allowed to pass
through the middle of Brass Castle and trying the secret passageway by the
Trader at Brass Castle doesn't work.  It's like the Great Hollow showing up in
Chris' chapter 2 even though she can't go there.  Also, Sgt. Joe will likely
get one of the Magic Chant skills soon.  I have no clue why this is because he
can't use the Jongleur Rune that goes with Chanting magic.  You can't make him
forget it, either.  I don't know if it's a programming typo and it should be
Focus or what.

Exit Duck Village.  When you get to the World Map, a new area will open-the
Ancient Highway.  Before going there, I suggest you buy about 3 Antitoxin from
the Item Shop and head to Brass Castle to sharpen everyone's weapon/upgrade
armor.  The only skill I would upgrade is Sgt. Joe's Water Magic to a B at Duck
Village. Unless you're really attached to Hugo's Wind Rune, I suggest you
remove it from him and sell it.  If you do this, you should have him "Forget"
his Wind Magic skill.  The only reason to keep it this long would be to use
Wind of Sleep against the Zexens at the end of his chapter 1.

When you're done preparing your party, head to the Ancient Highway.  You'll see
a cutscene then gain entry inside.  The rare encounter for this area is the
Malifaux with 3 TerrorKnights.  Nothing special and the experience boost you
get from that fight is decent.  If you go west 3 screens, you'll see a screen
with a circular room in the middle with a path to the north on your mini-map.
DO NOT proceed toward that circular room-it will trigger a cutscene and an
optional fight you're not ready to do yet.  Instead, roam around the eastern
part of the Ancient Highway and level up to 32.  This should take you about
10-15 minutes.  When you're done, head back to Duck Village to save and check
the lottery results.

The optional fight in the Ancient Highway isn't tough if you've leveled up Hugo
and Fubar's physical skills in his chapter 1, particularly their Accuracy.  If
you want everyone to make it through that fight alive, put a Sacrificial Jizo
on them-to win the fight you're really only going to need to use Hugo/Fubar to
attack and Sgt. Joe's Water Rune to heal.  SAVE at Duck Village again and head
on over to the Ancient Highway.  Keep proceeding west this time until you get
to the circular room.  Make sure everyone's health is maximum and you have all
your magic spells.  You'll trigger a cutscene.

When Sgt. Joe asks your opinion, pick whatever choice you want-it won't change
anything.  From here on, your dialogue choices will determine whether or not
you get into the optional fight.  When you're asked what to do, picking the
first choice ("Let's talk to them") means you WILL fight.  Picking the second
choice ("Hmm, what should we do?") will give you another dialogue option, to
which Lilly will suggest an attack. If you DISagree with her, you WILL get the
fight.  If you agree with Lilly, this is the only option that leads to avoiding
the fight (as well as a hilarious cutscene).  If you avoid the fight, you must
proceed west to make the story progress and won't be able to go back to the
rest of the World Map for a little while.  If you want to see the funny scene
as well as fight, just pick the choices to avoid it the first time, view the
scene, then soft reset to come back and do the fight.

The fight itself is against the Man in Black, who Aila, Ace, and Joker met in
Geddoe's chapter 1.  His best weapon is his Eight-Devil Rune, which will knock
out anyone in your party except Hugo/Fubar.  He can only use it once during the
battle though.  His other weapons are two strong melee attacks and a Thunder
Rune, which he'll usually use to cast Soaring Bolt although it won't do much
damage.  My strategy for beating him:

In the first round, use the Tinto combo and send the Hugo/Fubar pair in to
attack.  Rarely will the MIB move before Hugo/Fubar but if he does he'll
usually attack the middle where Hugo/Fubar are, which is what you want.  The
Tinto combo will do very little damage (most of the time only 1 point) but
that's not the point.  What you want to do is just attack with Hugo/Fubar and
have the MIB concentrate his attacks on them as well.  Heal Hugo/Fubar every
other round with Sgt. Joe's Kindness Drops unless the MIB got lucky and did
double damage.  You should be able to take him down before Sgt. Joe runs out of
Kindness Drops.  If not, use Samus' Wind Rune to heal them and if you run out
of _that_, use the Medicine you equipped on Fubar to heal (Hugo will still get
an attack).  Using this strategy, I'm able to win every time, although one of
the Tinto characters or Sgt. Joe may go down if they get hit with the
Eight-Devil Rune.  After you win, you'll get a Gold Emblem and some experience,
although usually only enough to bump a few people up 1 level if everyone's at
level 32.

After you win the battle, you'll learn the MIB's name and continue with your
journey.  If you got into the fight but lost, it'll just trigger another
cutscene but you won't have to start over.  The cutscene just shows the MIB
standing over your party's prone bodies then departing.  If you like, you can
head back to Duck Village afterwards to replenish spells or do whatever,
although you can just proceed west to advance the story.

Keep heading west until you come out of the passageway.  You'll see a cutscene
showing the Zexens' raid on Great Hollow from Chris' chapter 2.  When you're
given the choice, you can pick the first option ("Sgt. we must join!") to get
into some fights or pick the second option to just wait it out.  If you opt to
fight, you'll battle a group of 4 Zexen Regulars who aren't any trouble.  Head
to the front of Great Hollow and you'll get into another fight with the same
group.  They're not worth too much in terms of experience or anything else but
it's up to you if you want to fight them.

Regardless of what you chose, you'll then see a cutscene play out according to
whether or not you opted to duel Lucia with Chris.  Enter the Great Hollow and
you'll trigger a scene when you get to the main area.  You can pick whatever
dialogue option you wish when given the choice.  Another cutscene will follow.
When given the dialogue option, again you can choose whichever option you see
fit.  When you get control of Hugo again, head to the 2nd floor where the
Chief's room is to advance the story.  Dupa will give Lilly some background on
the Flame Champion and you'll get another flashback.

Head to the southeast exit on the first floor on your mini-map to get another
scene.  When Lilly asks you about the Flame Champion, you can pick the first
choice to lie and get called on it by Lilly.  Pick the second choice and Lilly
will fill you in.  When Lilly mentions she's been around someone with a True
Rune before, this is in reference to some events 15 years earlier that played
out in Suikoden II.  After this chat, head to the inn and talk to Anne.  Put
Fubar back in your party.  You can now upgrade your skills with the bujutsu
teacher on the 2nd floor, upgrade your gear, and sharpen your weapons up to
level 9.  I do recommend that you go ahead and "Forget" Samus' Wind Magic and
Lilly's Sword of Magic skills-you won't get much mileage out of them the rest
of the way.  To advance the story, exit the Great Hollow.

Head to the World Map exit and you'll run into a familiar face.  When you get a
dialogue choice you can again pick whatever option you want.  Head back into
the Great Hollow to talk with Lucia, who's standing outside the inn.  When you
get asked about delivering the pentacle, you can act goofy and pick the second
option or just tell the truth by picking the first choice.  After you talk some
more, you'll be given another dialogue choice.  Pick the first one to agree to
the mission or pick the second one if you feel uncertain.

After that's over, you can now close the chapter by leaving the Great Hollow
and exiting from there to the World Map.  If you like, you can go back through
the Ancient Highway to get to Duck Village and the other places available.  I
just opt to move ahead but it's up to you if you want to level up and so forth.

There's also one person you can recruit in this chapter, Twaikin the dwarf.  If
you intend to play Thomas' chapters, I highly recommend you let Thomas recruit
him.  If you want to get him now, head back to the Great Hollow.  At the main
area with the waterfalls, take the SE exit on your mini-map.  Follow this path
to the exit.  On the screen after, you'll hear digging noises.  Follow the path
to the left and you'll run into Twaikin.  Talk to him and when the lizard guard
shows up, pick the dialogue choice "Nothing".  When Twaikin asks, suggest to
him to join your group and you'll successfully recruit him.  You can put
Twaikin in your party now if you like by talking to Anne.  I don't because I'd
rather have Fubar.  Thanks to SimUser for providing info. on getting Twaikin in
this chapter.

[No new Recruits in this chapter]

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Geddoe Chapter 2

Pick Geddoe from the Trinity Site.  Head to the tavern portion of the inn and
talk to Aila and Ace to put them back in your party.  Head outside and take
the stairs up that are to the right of the Rune Shop.  Go back to the outside
of the inn to view some cutscenes.  I guess Sasarai had a hat-ectomy since
Suikoden II.  After that's over, and if you have the money, you can buy Gold
Bars at the Trade Shop here to sell in VdZ for a profit of 20,000+ potch each.

You'll now have the choice of heading to Le Buque to advance the story but I
suggest you go around the rest of the World Map to fight the treasure bosses at
the North Cavern and Mt. Hei-Tou first.  You'll definitely want to check the
Rarity sections of all the Armor/Item Shops-they've got really good stuff like
Blessed Chainmail at Caleria and Brass Castle as well as Thunderbolt Leather at
Brass Castle.  I also recommend that you add Swing to Ace's skill set-he can
get it up to a B+ with just a small amount of skill points.  Unless there's a
special circumstance, I'm leaving the skill selection/leveling up from here on
mainly up to you.  Just do your best not to let your skill points pile up (more
than 500)-use them when you can.  I do recommend that you leave one empty skill
slot for Geddoe.

When you go to the Mt. Path and come to the area where you fought the Twin-Head
Snake boss, you'll notice a new boss-The Rock Golem.  You can safely walk past
him to take the Le Buque route if you want to advance the story.  If you want
to fight him (and I recommend you do to get to the other places on the Map),
here's the strategy I used:

He's got three noteworthy attacks.  The most dangerous is a Fire Rune spell
called Explosion, which will hit everyone in your party for about 150-200 pts.
of damage.  It's very difficult to stop him from getting this spell off by
damaging him.  His other attacks are punches, one that swings around to hit
everyone in the immediate area and a super punch that targets one person. In
the first round, cast Geddoe's Soaring Bolt and Aila's Battle Oath spells.  Use
Ace's Double Tusk attack.  After that, use Geddoe's Berserk Blow, Ace's Double
Tusk, and everyone else's physical attacks.  Heal with Aila's Great Blessing
spell (if everyone's hurt) and Joker's Kindness Drops (if only a pair is hurt).
It'll take a while (usually 6 rounds for me) but you'll wear him down.  If you
keep getting wiped out, consider using the Soaring Bolt items found as Rarity
at the Caleria Item shop and/or equipping everyone with a Sacrificial Jizo.  I
beat this battle with everyone at level 32 except Aila who was level 31.

The notable loot I got was:

Stone of Magic
Blood Armor
Premier Leather
Fine Chainmail
Beautiful Kennel
? Statue

The Blood Armor is a very nice piece of armor that boosts several of your
stats.  It's only problem is that it causes 15 pts. of damage at the end of
every round.  You can counter this by equipping the person wearing Blood Armor
with the Sunbeam Rune you picked up earlier.  Only Ace and Geddoe in this party
can wear this armor.  Remember that Caleria nearby has a warehouse and a Rune
Shop if you either stored your Sunbeam Rune or have it attached to someone
else.

Some things to keep in mind if you opt not to go to Le Buque right away.  Going
'round the world so to speak to fight the Mt. Hei-Tou and North Cavern treasure
bosses and coming back to this spot will take you a solid hour-which is good
because it'll give enough time for the Rock Golem to re-spawn.  If you bought
Gold Bars in Caleria you can sell them at VdZ as well as getting stuff
appraised there.  While you're in VdZ you can buy some Deer Antler to trade
back at Caleria.  When you cross Plain Amur, the Dark Bunnies there may drop
the item !Screw as loot.  You can pick it up if you like to recruit Belle-the
little girl pounding away on a barrel in the eastern courtyard of Brass Castle.
I prefer to recruit her with Hugo because their scene is different but it's up
to you.  The notable loot I got for fighting the treasure bosses:

Blue Mantrix (Mt. Hei-Tou)    Chimera (North Cavern)      Rock Golem (2nd time)
Counter Rune                  ? Painting                  Guardian Chainmail
Fine Armor                                                LightningMagic Ring
                                                          ? Statue

If you got the LightningMagic Ring as well, slap it on Geddoe.  Go back to
Caleria to rest up and replenish your spells.  Also buy everyone a Sacrificial
Jizo but don't equip them with it yet.  After doing all this stuff, everyone
was at level 37.  To make the story progress, take the path north from where
you beat the Rock Golem.  Take the path north on your mini-map on the next
screen.  After that, follow the path east to get back to the World Map.  Select
to go to Le Buque.  You'll have a brief conversation then immediately get into
a fight with three mantor trainers and their mantors.  These guys aren't all
that tough-I just use Jacques' Boronda Hawk to soften them up then knock them
out with Geddoe's Soaring Bolt.  Concentrate the others' attacks on Franz
because he can use Lightning Magic.

A familiar face will come out to break up the fight.  When you're given the 3
dialogue options, pick whichever one you like.  Head into town and you'll see
another cutscene.  Go to the right over by where the Shops are-you'll set off
another cutscene.  Follow Aila over to the Rune Shop.  You'll notice a kid
standing outside the shop and we'll deal with him later.  Run up to Aila and
you'll eavesdrop on the conversation inside the shop.  Head back to the middle
of town for, yep, another cutscene.  Next, go to the left of the inn at the
back of town to overhear a chat between Iku and Franz.  When you get inside
Iku's house you'll be given 2 choices.  If you go for the first ("I guess")
you'll head outside to do some spying.  If you go for the second ("Let's hear")
you'll hear Iku talk more about Le Buque's situation and Harmonia.  It's up to
you but Iku's talk is pretty redundant, IMHO, so I opt for the spying.

If you decided on the spy option, head to the right of the Armor Stand on the
right side of town.  Next to it is a ladder.  Just get close to the ladder and
you'll trigger a cutscene.  Go back to Iku's house.  Head to the middle of town
for yet another cutscene.  When that's over, you can finally roam around the
town freely without worrying about setting off another cutscene every other
step.  You can get an Arabian Kennel by talking to the villager at the back of
town outside the inn.  Inside the inn, you can get Script #4 from the little
kid talking to her grandma.  You can get Herb Seeds by talking to the little
girl sitting to the left of the Item Stand.  After you're done shopping and
exploring, go to the inn and Stay/Save.

Go to the Rune Shop and talk to the kid standing outside.  This is Edge and he
will challenge you to a duel. Accept.  He's at level 42 so he's likely at least
a few levels higher than you.  His comments and what he'll do:

Attack:
-------
Don't get cocky.
You're better than I thought.  Again!
What's this?  All defense?
Don't chicken out on me.
You won't win just by defending.
I suppose I could go easy on you.
You're no slouch, eh?

Defend:
-------
Come on and take a shot!
Nice work.
Why don't you show me what you've got?
Might as well play it safe.
I see we're both cautious.
Don't get shaken...

Deathblow:
----------
Nice work.  Now how about this?
I'll pay you back double.
Try defending against this!
This should finish it.
I'll end this right away.
Let's make this interesting.
This might just finish it...
Time to get serious.
Stand still!

If you lose to him you can just challenge him again until you win the duel.
Once you beat him you'll recruit Edge.  You won't be able to put him in your
active party but no one else has access to Le Buque until chapter 4 so I just
go ahead and recruit him here.  There's nothing special about getting him with
Chris or Hugo, either.  When you're ready to make the story advance exit the
village.  You'll chat with Iku then be on your way.  When you get to the World
Map, a new location will open-Mt. Senai.  Once you enter Mt. Senai and take
care of business in there, you won't be able to go anywhere else on the World
Map for the rest of the chapter-this includes fighting the Mt. Path treasure
boss again.  This is just to let you know in case you really enjoy doing that.
When you're ready for the story to advance, head to Mt. Senai.

Go up to the blue crystal and save.  There are no rare encounters I'm aware of
here and the enemies aren't that hard.  Head north on the mini-map for 2
screens.  Eventually you'll set off a cutscene.  Head north one more screen and
you'll come to an area with a couple of bridges.  Make sure everyone's at
maximum health before you cross and that you've equipped them with Sacrificial
Jizos from before.  Cross over and head north-you'll get another cutscene.
You get 3 dialogue choices.  Here's what they are and what they'll trigger:

A.  Sorry but we have to keep going (2 consecutive fights)
B.  We're both in the defense force (Leads to Choices A & C)
C.  That Bishop is up to something (No fighting at all)

I always opt for A.  The first fight pits you against Duke and his team, the
second one immediately follows without any break and it puts you up against
the Masked Bishop and Sarah.  My strategy for Duke's team:

Cast Berserk Blow with Geddoe on Duke, have Aila/Jacques attack Elaine, and use
Ace's Double Tusk on Elaine.  DO NOT use Geddoe's Soaring Bolt spell-you'll
need it for the next fight.  After that, target Duke and Gau using Geddoe's
Berserk Blow and everyone else's regular attacks.  Once their gone, mop up
Nicolas-he's tough to hit with melee attacks so use Geddoe's level 1 spell and
Ace's Double Tusk.  When you're close to winning, make sure you heal everyone
with Aila's Great Blessing spell since you'll get into another fight right
after.  My strategy for the next fight:

Sarah will either go for Breath of Ice or a Fire spell.  The Ice spell is very
quick and will usually happen before you act.  On occasion, you might get
lucky and Sarah will go for Kindness Rain for her first move or both of them
will opt for melee attacks.  This is pretty rare though. The Masked Bishop will
go for either a Pale Gate or Wind spell usually but it'll come after everyone
in your group has acted most of the time.  I use Soaring Bolt with Geddoe,
target Sarah with Aila and Jacques, and have Ace do Double Tusk on her.  Most
of your guys will probably be reduced to 0 HP after the first round but that's
what the Sacrificial Jizos are for.  Sarah should've gone down in the first
round.  Just repeat what you did before and you should take out the Masked
Bishop fine in the next round.  You get a nice bump in experience and skill
points for winning these battles (I went from level 37 to 39).

After you win, the Masked Bishop will knock you out with a spell and Joker will
note what rune he used.  When that's over, or if you went for the peaceful
choice, your group will gather outside the altar.  For some reason, you can't
just use an Escape Scroll to zap out to the exit so just walk back.  When you
reach the exit, your group will discuss their options.  Head back to Le Buque
and Stay/Save at the Inn.  Go back to Mt. Senai-there'll be a treasure boss
now at the very back where you fought Sarah and the Masked Bishop.  It'll be
a big guy called Nemesis but he's no tougher than anyone else you've already
faced.  Just use the normal attacks (Geddoe with Soaring Bolt, etc.) and you'll
take him down easy.  The notable loot I received:

Script #6 (only if you loaded Suikoden II data)
Stone of Skill
Hunter Rune
Custom Casque
Custom Leather
Custom Tunic
Mangosh
? Statue

When you're done here, use an Escape Scroll and exit.  Go back to Le Buque to
Stay/Save again.  To end the chapter, go back to the Mt. Path and keep going
back toward Caleria.  Before you get to the treasure boss, you'll see a chat
with your group and a flashback.  The chapter will then end.

Edge [36/108]*

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Geddoe Chapter 3

Pick Geddoe at the Trinity Site.  Two things to keep in mind for all three
characters' chapter 3's-don't bother to try to hoard cash for use later.  Keep
it at a decent amount (a few hundred thousand) but don't go for having 999,999
potch at the end of the chapter.  Also, you should have primary armor (such as
the Chainmail, Leather, etc. not accessories) that's at least +60 or better for
them before their chapter 3's are over.  With all the treasure boss monsters
you'll be fighting this won't be much of a problem but it's something to
remember as you play through everyone's chapter 3.  Remember to save an empty
skill slot for Geddoe.

After the opening scene head west through the middle of Brass Castle.  You can
stop by at the bujutsu teacher to boost the team's physical skills if you like.
Head to the west courtyard and you'll see an interesting scene.  Keep heading
west until you come to the blue crystal.  Save and exit to the World Map.  You
have a little freedom to roam somewhat but I suggest you take care of the story
first-there'll be plenty of time to do other stuff later.

Head to Zexen Forest.  The most notable enemy here is the Do Re Mi elves, who
can be something of a pain.  Use Jacques' Boronda Hawk (hopefully he won't get
silenced) and have everyone else attack normally.  You'll also run into a big
orange crab enemy called the Mantikra.  If you get a Crab Rice Bowl as loot
from him, hold on to it.

When you exit Zexen Forest, you can opt to head straight to VdZ to advance the
story or go and fight the treasure boss at the North Cavern.  The new treasure
boss there will be a Stone Golem.  He's a bit tougher than the Rock Golem
because he has more HP and his attacks do a little more damage.  With all the
treasure gear you've gotten plus your skills, it should be more of a matter of
how long it'll take to win rather than if you win or lose.  Most of my party
was bumped up 2 levels after beating him and this was the notable loot:

Custom Leather
Robe of Mist
Herb Seeds
? Statue

If you want a real challenge, you can affix that Hunter Rune you got earlier
to one of your characters for this fight.  The Stone Golem drops Mother Earth
runes so if you're one of those players that really like rare runes, here's a
chance to get them.

Exit and go to VdZ to make the story advance.  When you arrive inside the gate
you'll see a conversation between your party.  Head to the inn to make the
story go if you like or check out the shops first.  At the Item Shop they'll
now have a Rarity called a Yellow Scarf.  This is one of the best accessories
in the game because it negates status ailments like poison, silent, asleep, and
paralysis.  I suggest you buy one for Joker, Geddoe, and Aila if they have it
and for anyone else in the future who uses magic a lot.  Starting in chapter 5
this item will be a regular item at this shop.  At the Armor Shop they'll now
have Wizard Hats.  I recommend you buy one for Geddoe-this will bump him up
another grade for Lightning Magic and will boost it to an A+ or S depending on
whether or not you got the LightningMagic Ring earlier.  Duck Village will be
open to Geddoe later in the chapter so you can pick up Deer Antler and Crystal
Balls at the Trade Shop to sell there later.

When you're done shopping, go to the inn.  Talk to the man at the counter and
pick Stay.  You'll then see a series of conversations with different members of
your team.  When you get control of Geddoe, head to the exit and save at the
blue crystal right outside VdZ.  To advance the story, go to the North Cavern.
After a brief scene just head to the end like you normally would.  Right before
you reach the hallway with the blue crystal, you'll run into an acquaintance.

When you get the dialogue options, pick the first choice if you want to duel
right away.  Pick the second if you want to heal up first or what have you.
Note that you can't get to the blue save crystal-the closest save is the one
right outside of VdZ.  If you lose this duel you'll go to the continue screen.
The odds are heavily in your favor, though.  Your opponent's comments and what
they mean:

Attack:
-------
Here we go!
I'll return that!
Now this is a fight!  Here it comes again!
Don't put me to sleep, Geddoe.
Well, well.  Aren't you cunning?
Come on now, are you really that meek?
What's wrong, Geddoe?  You wanted the real thing, right?
Not bad at all.  I'll go full speed as well.

Defend:
-------
Don't just stand there-Attack!
The next attack is yours.  Come on!
Nice try.  I'll take it as many times as you can bring it.
How long do I have to wait!
That luck will run out!
Hardly felt a thing.  Try a little harder.
So what do you want to do?  I'll give you a chance.

Deathblow:
----------
If that's your game, I've got a little gift for you.
Is that all it took?  This should finish it.
Better than I thought, Geddoe.  Now take this.
Looking me in the eye won't get you sympathy!
Hold still!

You'll see a cutscene after you win.  If Geddoe got banged up, don't forget to
heal him.  Head to the back where you'd normally fight the treasure boss-you
have to go all the way back toward the light.  This will trigger a meeting with
another familiar face and you'll get a new mission.  You'll then be outside the
North Cavern.  Oddly enough, even though I'd only beat the Stone Golem only
25 minutes or so previous, he was there again.  No notable loot this time but
he still gave 140,000 potch.  To advance the story, head to Lake Castle.

When you arrive, you'll see a cutscene of your party looking at a cutscene.
It's essentially pieces of a puzzle that you can see fit together if you play
through Thomas' chapters.  To advance the story, go to the library in the main
house where Ernie and Eike are.  Before that, you can visit the shops here as
well as the inn.  If you're out of Escape Scrolls, make sure to buy some here.

When you enter the library, it's another cutscene.  Exit and head down the
stairs.  If you want to look around some more, pick the second option when the
dialogue comes up.  If not, just pick the first choice.  If you opted to look
around some more, just come back to the front of these stairs to get the choice
to advance the story again.  When the story progresses, you'll see a very
interesting and revealing conversation between Geddoe and Joker.

When you have control of Geddoe, save at the blue crystal.  You'll want to keep
his regular Lightning Rune on him, BTW-it may come in handy later.  Exit the
main house and head to the front gate.  When you reach it, you'll see a little
more of Thomas' story.  Next up is a fight with 5 Zexen regulars.  Geddoe's
lightning magic will take care of them quickly.  Head to the main house to get
another fight with 5 Zexen regulars.  Continue to the house and you'll see some
more cutscenes before ending up inside.  One more battle with 5 more Zexen
regulars.  You'll get another scene to see how it all plays out.

When you exit Lake Castle, a new spot will open on the World Map, Flame
Champion Hideaway.  You can head there now to make the story progress but I
suggest you do a bunch of other things first.

If you aren't going to be playing Thomas' chapters, head to the Great Hollow to
recruit a dwarf named Twaikin, if you didn't earlier with Hugo.  To find him,
enter the Great Hollow.  At the main area, take the southeast exit on your
mini-map.  Follow the tunnel to the end.  At the screen with the 3 exits on
your mini-map keep going to the left of the screen.  You'll hear some digging.
Talk to Twaikin and tell the lizard guard that nothing's going on.  Suggest
Budehuc Castle and you'll recruit him.  If you plan on playing Thomas'
scenario, I suggest you wait until then to get Twaikin.

You can fight the Blue Mantrix at Mt. Hei-Tou if you like but I never got any
decent loot for fighting him and I was already at 999,999 potch at this point.
Head now to the Mt. Path.  The good ol' Rock Golem will still be the treasure
boss here.  I got another LightningMagic Ring and a ?Statue.  Go to Le Buque to
rest up then head to Mt. Senai to fight Nemesis again.  Notable loot from that
was a Premier Tunic and ?Statue.

Go to Caleria next.  Talk to the man at the outside stand to the left of the
Blacksmith/Armor Shop.  He will give you the Copper Hammer.  Head _all_ the way
back to Lake Castle.  Give the Copper Hammer to Peggi and sharpen everyone's
weapon up to level 12.  Make sure to train up all your _physical_ skills that
you want.  We're heading to the other side of the map where the closest teacher
is only the Tutor at Duck Village.

If you haven't got a Yellow Scarf yet, you can try again at VdZ and fight the
North Cavern boss again if you want (he still gives very good experience/skill
points).  If you've had enough hiking around the World Map, head to Duck
Village.  At this point, if you really, really like Geddoe's character, then I
recommend you add Fire Magic to his open slot and train it up (it tops out at
a B+).  In case you're curious, when I left Lake Castle this is how my skills
looked:

Queen:                         Geddoe:                      Jacques:
Swing-B+                       Parry-A                      Sharpshoot-S
Accuracy-B+                    Damage-B+                    Accuracy-B+
Repel-B+                       Freeze-B+                    Damage-B+
Heavy Damage-A                 Magic Repel-B                Repel-B
Damage-B                       Accuracy-B+                  Magic Resistance-B+
Magic Resistance-B             Lightning-S                  Swing-C
                               Swing-B+


Aila:                          Ace:                         Joker:
Acccuracy-B+                   Thief-B+                     Counter-Attack-A                    
Repel-B+                       Accuracy-B+                  Continual Attack-E
Shield Magic-B+                Repel-B                      Focus-A
Freeze-A                       Swing-B+                     Accuracy-B
Swing-B+                       Magic Resistance-B           Repel-A
Damage-B+                                                   Water Magic-B+
                                                            Magic Resistance-B

On the way to Duck Village, when you get to Plain Amur North you'll see a bunch
of horses and a cowgirl with a pink hat. Just run by them-we'll get them in the
next chapter.  At Duck Village, go to the Item Shop/Appraiser.  A Rarity there
is Haziness Runes which are very nice "default" runes for your characters who
attack up close.  That is, if you have nothing else to put on them in an open
rune slot, this is a good choice.  They may also have Blue Ribbons, which work
just like Skunk Runes (prevent the wearer from being targeted by single
attacks) but they're an accessory.  Only females can use them.  Buy 1
Sacrificial Jizo but don't equip it on anyone.

If you got the Crab Rice Bowl item from the Mantikra earlier, you can talk to
the girl with a Chef's Hat on the second floor of the Item Shop.  This is
Mamie.  Give her the Bowl when she asks for it and you'll recruit her.  Don't
worry if you don't have it-you'll automatically get a Crab Rice Bowl in Hugo's
chapter 3.  Once you get Mamie, she will be located to the far left on the same
screen as Scott's Trade Shop.  You can give her the recipes you've picked up
once you get her.  To make a wider variety of foods, pick up all the spices
from the Trade Shops (Salt, Sugar, Mayo, Red Pepper, and Soy Sauce) and bring
1 of each to her.

Go to the inn next.  You'll notice there's no counter person.  Exit to the back
of the inn and talk to the fellow with the red hat.  This is Hortez VII.  Talk
to him and give him directions to Budehuc.  He's not recruited yet but you'll
get him in a later chapter.  Talk to the woman in the blue outfit to get Old
Book Vol. 5.  Go to the top hut to trigger a cutscene.  When Kidd asks if you
want to help, pick the 2nd choice ("I'd rather not").  You'll get him in Hugo's
chapter 3 for a very good reason.  Talk to the Duck next to him-this is the
innkeeper.  Go ahead and Stay/Save.  Head to the exit.  On your way out, talk
to the duck sitting by the walkway on the left outside of the Rune Shop/Tutor
to get a Toy Duck.

Go to Kuput Forest. Go right at the first screen.  At the next screen, the path
to the northwest on your mini-map leads to herbs.  If you want to pick them, go
ahead.  If not, head east.  At the next screen, the left path will be a dead
end so don't bother-you won't be able to take that path until Chris' chapter 3.
Take the right path instead.  At the next screen, take the northwest path and
follow it to find a corpse.  Loot it to get a random item.  The rare random
item for this corpse is a Cyclone rune but you'll get something else the vast
majority of the time.  Head back to the previous screen and take the northeast
route this time.  Head east on the next screen and you'll be back on the World
Map.  Go to the Flame Champion Hideaway.

When you arrive, a cutscene occurs.  We're heading to the end of the chapter
just to let you know.  The Bronze Sun monsters in the random encounters are
good for skill points in case you want to boost some of those.  Go north.  At
the next screen, take the northeast path.  Follow it to find a corpse who has
Old Book Vol. 9.  Head back to the previous screen and take the northwest path
this time.  At the next screen, you'll notice the northwest path dead ends with
a white dot marked on the mini-map.  This is your final destination for this
chapter but don't go there yet.  Instead, head northeast.

On the next screen, take the dead end path to the northeast to loot another
corpse who has Old Book Vol. 1.  When you come back to loot these corpses, the
first one closer to the entrance will rarely have a Pale Gate Rune.  The second
one you just looted rarely has a WaterMagic Ring.  Both items are great but
again, they're quite rare.  Take the northwest route now on your mini-map.
Continue forward and save at the blue crystal.  Make sure everyone's at maximum
health.  If you keep going north you'll see a treasure boss, the Azzodess.  My
preparation and strategy:

This boss is invulnerable to Geddoe's lightning magic so don't bother with
using that.  She has 3 primary attacks.  The first one shoots beams from her at
one person, doing some nasty magic damage.  The second one she'll summon
another winged creature to damage everyone in your party.  In addition, this
attack has a chance to hit everyone with silence status.  The third is a heavy
duty Lightning magic spell that hits everyone.  If you got a Yellow Scarf from
VdZ earlier, it's a good idea to equip them for this fight.  If you only have
one, put it on Aila so she can heal everyone with her Great Blessing spell.  If
you don't have any, equip everyone with medicine and heal that way.  In terms
of attack, cast Battle Oath with Aila from the start then just use everyone's
melee attacks.  It may take 6-8 turns but you'll eventually take her down.
Notable loot:

Fire Magic Ring
Custom Tunic
Stone of Power
Wind Hat

If you want to progress the story head to the white dot on the mini-map you
saw earlier.  If you want to level up and do some other stuff first, feel free.
I'm at level 45 with everyone in Geddoe's party but if you went around to fight
the treasure bosses at the North Cavern, Mt. Path, Mt. Senai, and Flame Champ
Hideaway again you can easily get it to level 47, not to mention a boatload
more skill points.  It's entirely up to you but level 45 is plenty good.

Before you advance the story by going to the white dot, make sure Geddoe has
all of his spells and that you equip him with the Sacrificial Jizo you bought
at Duck Village earlier (my accessories for him were Iron Boots, LightningMagic
Ring, and the Jizo).

When you reach the white dot, you'll see it's actually a circle etched in the
stone ground.  Walk up to it and you'll trigger a cutscene.  When you get
control of Geddoe, just head north and go through the door.  Keep going north
and the chapter will end.

[No Characters Recruited]

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hugo Chapter 3

Hey, whatever happened to that Karayan kid?  Pick Hugo's chapter 3 from the
Trinity Site.  At the start of this chapter, you still can't go to the middle
of Brass Castle yet.  If you want to play the lottery again go ahead and head
through the Ancient Highway and buy tickets at Duck Village.  It's really not
necessary, though.  Also, don't bother upgrading Reed and Samus' gear to the
really expensive stuff.  As with Geddoe, save an empty skill slot for Hugo
until later in the chapter.

At the start of this chapter, head to Mt. Hei-Tou to fight the Blue Mantrix.
Shouldn't be hard-just attack normally with Hugo/Fubar, use the Tinto combo and
use Sgt. Joe to heal.  If you were looting the corpses like there's no tomorrow
with Geddoe (like I did) there won't be any treasure on the corpses here.  Make
sure you empty the chest completely to make the Blue Mantrix re-spawn quickly.
Notable items:

Premier Armor
Blessed Leather
? Figurine

Hold on to that Premier Armor-you'll get someone soon who can use it.  Exit and
head to Lake Castle.  Upon arrival, you'll get a brief chat with your party.
To make the story advance, head to the screen where the main house is located.
You can sharpen weapons up to level 12 although I recommend you only do so for
Lilly, Hugo, and Sgt. Joe.  You also have access to Muto's warehouse now.
When you go up to the main house, you'll get another cutscene.  You can pick
whatever dialogue choice you want when given the option.  Head into the main
house and Sebastian will tell you to come back later.  Go to the front entrance
to advance the story.  Follow Cecile to the front of the main house-you'll see
her talking with Thomas to the right of the screen.  Walk up to them to get
some more chat.  It'll end with your party at the inn.

If you want to advance the story now, talk to Sebastian and elect to rest.  I
always pay him just to make the ol' penny pincher's day.  If not, you can
explore some more but not exit the castle.  When you elect to advance the
story, everyone turns in for the night and you'll get control of Hugo again the
next morning.  Go outside to the front gate to see another confrontation.
After your party talks the situation over, head to the front of the main house
for another cutscene.  When you get a dialogue choice, pick either one you
like.  Go back to the front gate and pick the first dialogue choice.  Now go
back to the front of the main house again to talk with Thomas' group.

Two new characters will arrive at this time, Apple and Caesar.  After that talk
is over, head to the main courtyard then come right back to the front of the
main house.  You'll talk with Apple and Caesar again.  Pick the dialogue
options from bottom to the top when you get the choices.  When you're done
talking, go back toward the main courtyard.  Hugo will very briefly stop to
talk to Thomas.  If you wish to continue the story, go to the inn, talk to
Sebastian, and pick the first choice.  Another couple of cutscenes follow
including the chat Hugo wanted to have with Thomas earlier.

When you get control of Hugo, go out toward the front gate.  When Caesar asks,
pick the first choice to move the story ahead.  A strategy battle will ensue
but you don't have to do anything-just wait it out.  When it's over, exit the
castle to the World Map.  Go to Yaza Plain.  The object is to cross to the
second screen of Yaza Plain.  On the way you'll go up against 3 groups of 4
Zexen fighters-no problems there.  Just heal up inbetween the fights.  When you
reach the second screen, Apple and Caesar will leave your party.  You can
finally recruit non-automatic stars with Hugo.  To advance the story, go to the
Great Hollow.  I recommend you go back to Mt. Hei-Tou to fight the Blue Mantrix
again first though to get some more cash and items.

Now that you've played through this part of Hugo's story and Geddoe's story in
chapter 2 when he was at Le Buque, you've got a good idea of what Thomas'
chapters are like.  The pace of them are slower and it involves a good deal of
cutscenes and storyline.  The stories and characters are totally different, of
course, but in terms of the overall presentation and what you can expect to be
doing, Hugo's time at Lake Castle and Geddoe's time at Le Buque in his chapter
2 are a fair representation of how Thomas' chapters are played out.

After fighting the Blue Mantrix, the notable treasure I got was:

Taikyoku Tunic
Chaos Shield
? Figurine

Exit and go to the Great Hollow next.  You'll see some cutscenes then the Tinto
team will leave your party.  To advance the story, you would go to Brass Castle
but I recommend you do some recruiting first.  Save at the inn at Great Hollow
then exit to take the Ancient Highway.  Keep going east and you'll find
Guillaume at the spot where you spotted the Masked Bishop and co. in Hugo's
chapter 2.  Walk up to him to set off another duel.  He's even easier than he
was the first time you dueled him so no worries.  You can refer to Chris'
chapter 2 if you need a refresher on his comments but it should be obvious what
his next move will be.  When the dialogue option pops up, pick the second
choice to recruit him.  Yes, you have to >_<

Continue east to get to Duck Village.  Go to the appraisal shop to ID the
figurines you've been piling up.  If you got any urns, vases, or plants hold on
to them for later.  Go to the area behind the inn and to the top hut where you
met Kidd in Geddoe's chapter 3.  He'll still be there.  Pick the first choice
to agree to help him this time.  When he's done filling you in on the case,
check the body on the floor, the window to the left of the screen, and the
shelves to the right of the screen.  Talk to Kidd again and he'll ask you to
look for more clues.

Exit the hut and talk to the duck janitor right outside.  Go back out to the
main part of Duck Village and talk to the duck by the waterwheel on the right
side of the mini-map.  Go to the Trade Shop and talk to the only customer in
the store.  He'll give you the item !Letter Fragment.  You're done gathering
clues so go back and talk to Kidd again.  Pick whatever choice you like when he
asks who the killer is (for the heck of it I always say it's me).  When he
asks, pick the first choice to recruit him.

Kidd can do investigations for you now.  You can find him at Lake Castle's main
house.  He's in the second basement area where you talked to Watari previously
(the floor beneath Muto's warehouse).  He can scout any stars your haven't
recruited yet as well as do investigations into your current roster.  I have
compiled his investigations into a separate FAQ that's also here on gamefaqs.

More importantly to Hugo, Kidd's support ability is Treasure Hunt and his grade
is a C, the best in the game.  This ability increases the chances of the enemy
dropping items after you win a battle.  Later on in this chapter, a monster for
random encounters will appear in the Ancient Highway called the Bronze Sun.
These creatures' drop item is the Fury Rune, which automatically puts a person
into berserk.  It turns great fighters into godlike fighters and decent
fighters into very good ones.  It's definitely one of the better runes in the
game and Hugo's chapter 3 is your best chance to obtain them.  Credit to
suikosource.com's Rune List guide which I consulted to find out about the
Fury Runes.

If you want to know how many Fury Runes you should get, my answer would be as
many as you want.  I usually go for six so any time I take out a party each
member will have one but it's entirely up to you.  A reasonable average with
Kidd in as support is 1 every 10 minutes or so you're in the Ancient Highway.
I've restricted the amount of time spent on this while writing the Walkthrough
so Hugo's skills won't be skewed.  Do whatever else you want in Duck Village,
save your game, then exit to Plain Amur North.

If you skipped ahead to Thomas' Chapter 1 after playing Geddoe Chapter 1, just
go to the next paragraph because this covers someone you already recruited.
Talk to the cowgirl, Kathy.  She will ask you to count how many horses she has.
The number is random but always seems to be more than 15.  If you get the wrong
number, I believe Kathy will disappear for a while before showing up again so
try to get it right the first time or just soft reset and come back.  After you
get the count right, suggest Budehuc Castle and you'll recruit Kathy.

Go to Plain Amur.  The drop item for the dark bunnies out here is the !Screw
again.  If you didn't get Belle yet, try to get a !Screw some time in this
chapter since you'll need it to get her.  Most of the time I get the !Screw,
it's on the Plain Amur screen with the blue save crystal (the screen closer to
Karaya Village).  You can go to Great Hollow and talk to Anne at the inn to put
Kidd in as support to help with this.  You can also switch out party members by
going to Lake Castle and talking to Sebastian at the inn there.  You can
recruit Belle with anyone but she has a special scene if you use Hugo.

Cross Plain Amur and head to the eastern side of Brass Castle.  Save at the
blue crystal.  Keep heading west until you reach the east courtyard (Belle
isn't here right now but will be later).  When you get the dialogue choice,
pick either one.  Continue to the left of the screen and you'll meet Hallec
and Mua.  When Hallec talks to you, you can choose whichever option you want.
Roland and Leo will then come out.  Picking the first option will avoid a
fight.  Picking the second pits you against Leo, Roland, and some Zexen
regulars.  There's a turn limit on this fight so if you want to try to take
them down, do it within 3 rounds or so.  The experience and items you get for
winning aren't that great but it's up to you if you want to fight.  Credit Mr
KO from the gamefaqs message board-I previously thought this fight was not
winnable.

When Hallec and Mua get added, I use this formation:

Hugo
Fubar
Hallec
-----
Mua
Sgt. Joe
(No support)

If you check Hallec's inventory list, you'll see he comes with a Crab Rice
Bowl, the item you need to recruit Mamie the chef.  If for some odd reason you
sold it or discarded it, you can find another one later off of the Mantikra
enemies in Kuput Forest (have Kidd in support to boost your chances of getting
one).  In case you forgot, Mamie is on the second floor of the Item Shop at
Duck Village.  When you want to, go ahead and go there to recruit her.  I have
included her at the end of this chapter on Hugo's recruit list.

To advance the story, you would go to the Great Hollow but I suggest you take
care of some things first.  If you got the same loot I did, put the Premier
Armor and Chaos Shield on Mua.  Mua is a "tank" character-much like Leo and
some other characters you'll get later.  Those who've played Suikoden 2 likely
remember Humphrey and Miklotov.  These characters can take a ton of physical
punishment because they take very little damage.  Head to Lake Castle to
sharpen his and Hallec's weapons to level 12.  If you don't have the money yet,
go fight the Blue Mantrix again.  Just make sure you keep Sgt. Joe in the back
so he can heal.  You can also pick out skills for Mua and Hallec while you're
at Lake Castle as well as put in a Support person.

Now's a good time to recruit Billy.  If you got an "S" statue in one of
Geddoe's chapters and took my advice about leaving it there, then go to the
main house and save at the blue crystal to the left of the stairs.  If you
never got an "S" statue or accidentally sold it, talk to Sebastian and remove
Fubar from your party.  Head to the area where Juan and Peggi are standing.
Exit that screen to the north.  On the next screen, keep going right and you'll
come to where Kathy is standing.  Talk to her and you can race horses at the
Castle's track.  The rules are pretty straightforward so I'm not going to go
into details.  The times that are good enough for you to get prizes for each
track:

No obstacles:  49-50 secs, default prize is Deer Antler
Some obstacles: 49-51 secs, default prize is Mini-Cactus
Lots of obstacles:  49-52 secs, default prize is Mini-Cactus

These are just estimates based on my experience.  Start with the no obstacles
course and work your way up.  If you keep getting the default prize more than
twice in a row, then you've exhausted the prizes for that course so try the
next one higher up.  Once you get the Hex Doll S, stop racing if you intend to
play Thomas' chapters.  If you really want to give him an advantage when you
play his story, you shouldn't race at all because two of the prizes for the
races, Pale Moon Leather and LightningMagic Ring, are very helpful to him.

Some of the other prizes you can get in the races are Pale Moon Necklace,
Recipe #8, Haziness rune, Painting: Lady, and Prosperity Hat.  The mini-cactus
are nice because they're worth 5,500 potch each.  If Fubar is in your party and
you're playing as Hugo, you'll use Fubar instead of a horse (this is why I
stated earlier to remove him).  The prizes for that are different but all I
could ever get was Mega Medicine A.  Fubar is fast as heck and can jump a mile
but he's incredibly difficult to steer.  You can give it a whirl if you like.
Once you get the Hex Doll S, place it in the middle pedestal in the statue room
then exit and save your game.

When you enter the statue room again, you'll meet a cowboy, Billy.  He'll
challenge you to a card game called Guppo.  As far as strategy goes, I make it
a point to go for the really high cards (10 to King) since they can make up for
losing a bunch of the lower cards.  Someone's put up an entire FAQ devoted to
this game here on gamefaqs but I haven't checked it out.  You may want to
consult it if you're having some trouble winning.  Beat Billy at this game and
you'll recruit him.  You can now also recruit Melville and Elliot later.  If
you lost to Billy, just soft reset and try again.

Billy will be located in the library now along with Eike and Ernie.  When you
play him, you can put down a 5,000, 2,000, or 500 potch bet.  Before playing
him, make sure you save your game.  A random item you can win for the 5,000 bet
is a Tunic of Prosperity.  If you repeatedly get Potted Cactus then
unfortunately you didn't get it.  Soft reset and try again.  The Tunic is part
of the Prosperity Set.  You can find the other 2 pieces of the set later on in
this chapter.  When the entire set is equipped on a character, the money your
party receives for battles is multiplied by around 10.  Using this set means
you'll never have to worry about money ever again.  Full credit and kudos goes
to Abraxas who first posted about this on the gamefaqs message board.  Some of
the other notable prizes you can get for Guppo are Guardian Shield, Blue
Ribbon, and Blinking Rune.  There're others but I always stop after I get the
Tunic of Prosperity.

Like Belle, I recommend you get Billy with Hugo because his recruiting scenes
with Billy and the Saint Loa Knights is a lot different from the other main
characters.

Before you leave Lake Castle, make sure you place any figurines like urns and
vases.  To place them, just walk up to an empty desk on the first or second
floor, hit X, then choose to place an ornament.  Now that you've got Billy, you
can also place regular-sized statues in the statue room as well.  Time to go to
Great Hollow.  On your way there at Yaza Plain, you'll see a guy with a tanktop
stretching.

This is Kenji, the gymnastics teacher.  Most people don't like him because he's
well, a gymnastics teacher.  If you're going to play Thomas' scenario, I'd hold
off on recruiting him until then.  If you prefer to get him now, talk to him
and agree to exercise.  When he asks what's wrong, pick the second choice to
ask for water then recruit him.  Kenji's actually a decent fighter and magic
user.  If you played Thomas' chapters before Hugo's chapter 3 and never got
Kenji, go ahead and get him now.

Enter the Great Hollow and head to the northeast corner of the first floor,
near the waterfall fountain.  You'll see Apple with a group of lizard fighters.
Walk up and Apple will explain the situation.  Pick the first choice when she
asks if you can be counted on.  Head to the area by the entrance and talk to
Luce.  Exit the Great Hollow.  When you get to the World Map, you'll see 4 new
places have opened:  Kuput Forest, Chisha Village, Mt. Path, and Caleria. Now's
a good time to recruit Belle.  After you've gotten the !Screw, go to the east
courtyard of Brass Castle.  Talk to Belle and pick the first choice to agree to
help.  Talk to her again and you'll successfully recruit her and Gadget Z.  If
you loaded Suikoden II data Belle would come in at 5-15 levels higher than the
person who recruited her.

After getting Belle, I recommend that you head to Kuput Forest via the Ancient
Highway.  The Bronze Sun monsters that drop Fury Runes will appear there now.
Take Kidd with you, of course.  Take about 10 minutes to level up a little in
the Ancient Highway.  Fighting the Bronze Sun can easily bump you up a few
levels if you're like me and everyone's around level 35 or so.  After 10
minutes of fighting I was up to level 39 with 2 Fury Runes.  Note that you can
use Escape Scrolls in the Ancient Highway to zap you back to whichever entrance
you used.  I recommend you go back to the Great Hollow to bump up your skills
after leveling up.  You should also go back there to reconfigure your party
so that you have only 5 party members plus Kidd.  The open roster slot is so
you can recruit someone in Kuput Forest.  My skills in case you wanted to know:

Hugo:                        Fubar:                  Hallec:
Heavy Damage-B+              Freeze-B+               Heavy Damage-B+
Counter Attack-B+            Accuracy-B+             Damage-A
Continual Attack-B+          Damage-B+               Swing-B+
Swing-A                      Repel-B+
Accuracy-B+


Mua:                         Sgt. Joe:
Shield Protect-A             Damage-B+
Armor Protect-A              Chanting Volume-B+
Damage-B+                    Heavy Damage-B+
                             Accuracy-B
                             Water Magic-B+

Head through the Ancient Highway again to get to Duck Village.  If you got any
Fury Runes affix them to whoever you like.  I put mine on Fubar and Hugo.  Head
to Kuput Forest.  If you've got a radio or CD player handy, now's a good time
to turn it on.  The person you're trying to recruit is Landis, a Winghorde like
Sid and Chaco from Suikoden II.  He'll randomly join your party while you're in
Kuput Forest.  Most people think he joins only during a battle but this is
false.  One time while I was playing I checked my skill points from the
formation menu and he was already there even though he wasn't in the last
battle I'd fought.  I've never had a problem getting him and it's never taken
longer than 15 minutes for him to show up.  However, I've heard of people not
getting him even after hours of roaming around the forest.  I don't doubt that
they're telling the truth so fair warning to you.

Hitmancf sent me this e-mail regarding getting Landis:

"i remember you saying in your faq about people complaining about how to get
Landis.  Well finally, I figured it out, and I'm sure you already knew this,
and it's easy.  All you have to do is have your collective luck at a high
number.  My lowest was with Geddoe at around 120 something, the other 4 party
members had a luck of higher than 140 or so, after the first battle he already
shows up."

I couldn't confirm this because I don't have a save game handy but it makes
sense and is worth a shot.  Thanks to Hitmancf for this info.

wen sent me this e-mail with further information on recruiting Landis:

"as far as i can tell from one of my japanese sui3 guides which covers indepth
recruitments, luck isn't the deciding factor for getting landis. on the second
screen of the forest (entering from the duck village direction), there is a
VERY SPECIFIC area the player needs to run around in- the fork in the road.
Keep running around the fork in the road, and ONLY that area, and there's a 10%
chance that landis will join your party if there's an open slot. now, it's
possible that it might be higher than 10% if your characters have high luck,
but the guide doesn't mention anything about it. i got landis during chapter 5,
when my (main character) had high luck, and got him in under 10 minutes just by
running around where the fork in the road is and waiting until a monster
encounter occured. on the third one, landis joined my party."

Thanks to wen, falcon815, and crystalstar who all provided clarified content on
how to get Landis.

My formation after getting Landis:

Hugo
Fubar
Mua
Hallec
Landis
Sgt. Joe
Kidd (Support)

After you cross Kuput Forest, head to Chisha Village.  When you arrive, there's
a brief cutscene.  Head to the front where the Harmonian soldiers are standing.
You'll fight a group of 4 but they're no problem.  Head to the back of the
town.  On your way you'll meet a group of 5 Harmonian Soldiers and a Le Buque
unit with 2 Mantors and 2 Trainers.  Neither battle will challenge you.  Once
that's over, go to the back to activate a confrontation between Hugo and Chris.

If you pick the first choice, "Strike", Hugo will go for his dagger but Nash
and Sgt. Joe will put a stop to that quickly.  Picking the second choice will
result in Hugo angrily asking Chris what right she has to be here.  It's up to
you since whatever choice you pick won't affect anything.  Hugo and Sgt. Joe
will then have a chat.  To advance the story, talk to the woman to the right
outside of the Inn (the middle building), this is Chisha's leader, Sana.  I
advise you to do a few things before that.

Talk to Hortez VII, the fellow with the red hat you first met at Duck Village
in Geddoe's chapter 3.  Give him the directions to Budehuc and he'll wander off
again.  You'll get him later in this chapter.  Talk to the boy by the cow
standing behind Sana to get Medal Set #2.  Go to the Armor/Item Shop.  Two
Rarities at the Item Shop include Medal Set #4 and the Prosperity Ring.  Buy
both if they have it.  A Rarity for the Armor Shop is the Prosperity Hat.  If
you want to use the Prosperity Armor Set this chapter go ahead, but its real
usefulness won't be until chapter 4.  You'll also be getting a character in
Chris' chapter 3 that comes with the Prosperity Hat.

Take the stairs down in the Armor/Item Shop.  Ignore the tattooed guy on the
ground-you'll get him in Chris' next chapter.  The next screen is a tavern
area.  Talk to the redheaded young woman with her chin on the table.  This is
Emily and pick the first option to agree to an arm wrestling match.  After you
win, you'll recruit her.  Emily is the second best pure fighter in the entire
game, IMHO, behind only Juan.  Head up on the screen and exit through the
double doors.  Go left on the next screen and up the stairs.  You'll end up at
the inn counter.  Stay and save.  When you're done exploring and want to make
the story advance, go talk to Sana.

After she and Hugo have a talk, you can advance the story by going to the
front of the village.  You'll get another cutscene at that time and Hugo will
challenge Yuber to a duel.  This duel is rigged and you can't win so don't try
hard.  When Hugo wakes up, he'll have a very poignant talk with Sgt. Joe and
Sana about everything that's happened.  Exit and head to the middle of the
village to activate another cutscene.  Caesar will fill you in on the problem
at hand.  If you pick the first choice, "Hold on!" you can go and save first.
If you decide to move forward by taking the second choice, you'll go to the
front entrance where you'll be put in a duel.

At the front entrance, you'll see a highly entertaining exchange between Hugo
and the Harmonian forces.  This scene is my personal favorite in the game.  As
for the duel, you'll have about 10 rounds to duel before it's called a draw.
The result of a draw is the same as if you won since all you wanted to do was
stall for time.  The odds are heavily in your favor but if you get unlucky and
lose, you can just try again from the continue screen.  Your opponent's
comments and what they mean:

Attack:
-------
Our strategies are similar.  Let's see what you make of my next attack.
That's wise of you.  Keep defending.  I'll put you down for a long nap.
You've got some talent.  But I've also got a few tricks.
That was fine work.  I'll stop holding back as well.
Your skills still need honing.  Watch and learn.

Defend:
-------
Very well, then.  Come at me again!
You're far too submissive.  Try a little aggression.
Is that all?  I thought you had more in you.
I'll stand still.  Attack with all your might!
Playing it safe, eh?  Go on.  I'll take what you deliver.
What's wrong Flame Champion?  It's time to attack.
Not bad.  I'll take another shot.
Maybe I'm trying too hard...
A passive champion at best.  Come on now, have at me!

Deathblow:
----------
I won't hold back.  Defend yourself!
You're a quiet one.  Can you withstand this?
You're far too predictable.  And now...I strike.
You carry the name of Flame Champion?  I will prove your unworthiness.
I don't care to do this all day.  Let's finish it.

When it's over, you'll see a series of cutscenes of the aftermath.  At the end
of those you'll get a chance to put together a party-Sgt. Joe has to be in it
but that's the only restriction and you can change it later if you like.  I
go with this line-up:

Hugo
Fubar
Mua
Hallec
Emily
Sgt. Joe
Kidd (Support)

Along with Anne in the Great Hollow and Sebastian at Lake Castle, you can now
change parties with Luce here in Chisha-she'll be standing outside the inn.  To
advance the story, head to the World Map where a new location will open-the
Flame Champion Hideaway.  If you want a challenge you can go there and level up
then take on the Azzodess.  It's a little tough but certainly doable.  The
notable loot I got was a Stone of Evasion.  Everyone in my group was level 40
except Emily, who was level 38 when I won.

At this point in the game, if you really, really like Hugo then add Fire Magic
to that empty skill slot of his.  If on the other hand you've become very
attached to Geddoe and aren't letting go, add and train up Hugo's Lightning
Magic skill in that empty slot.  If you really, really like Chris then you're
probably a guy.  I was serious about everything except that last sentence.

Before advancing the story by going to the white dot in the Hideaway, there's
some other business I suggest you take care of.  First, anything unfinished
related to Belle, Mamie, or Billy.  After that, head to the Mt. Path to get to
Caleria.  The treasure boss there will be the Rock Golem again.  The notable
loot I got was a ?Statue.  Go to Caleria and upgrade any physical skills you
want.  On the same screen as the bujutsu teacher, you'll see Hortez VII again.
When he asks, give him directions to Budehuc again and he'll wander off yet
again.  If you're wondering about Nadir on the second floor of the inn, there's
no way to get him with Hugo at this point but you'll get him with Chris in her
next chapter.

Exit and go back to Brass Castle.  You now have access to the middle portion
again.  Go into the dining room where the Super Pickles knight is standing.  To
the bottom right of the screen is a young boy with glasses, Arthur.  Talk to
him and pick the second choice, "Tell him" to trigger a brief cutscene.  Follow
him to the exit and when he asks you what happened, tell the truth by picking
the first choice, "Tell him".  You've successfully recruited Arthur.

You can head to Mt. Hei-Tou to fight the Blue Mantrix if you want.  I don't
bother since the skill points boost isn't worth it anymore and I don't need the
cash.  Go next to the Great Hollow.  Talk to Anne at the inn and put in either
Arthur or Guillaume for your support member.  Head to Zexen Forest by way of
Brass Castle.  At the first fork in the Forest, take the top path.  Continue
left on the screen and you'll see a dark-haired man with shorts on.  This is
Goro.  Talk to him and pick the first choice, "I'll help you".  When you get
another dialogue option, pick the first choice again, "Okay" to recruit him.

Goro's support ability is Bath and his grade is an A+.  Bath is just like the
support ability Healing except it also will cure the Poison status ailment.  If
you ever put Goro in as support you'll never need to carry more than a couple
of medicine around in your main inventory if any at all.

Goro is located in the ship at Lake Castle.  When you first enter the ship,
take the stairs up to the main deck.  You'll notice one of the doors is white
and has a red handle.  Enter it and this is where Goro will be standing.  Talk
to him to take a soak in the bath.  If you bring certain party combinations
with you, you will trigger conversations between them.  Also, you can equip
your characters with bath items to change the look of the bath view.

Go next to the North Cavern to fight the treasure boss there.  It's just the
Chimera so you won't break a sweat.  The only thing of note I got was a
?Painting.  Exit and head to VdZ.  Go to the alley where you climbed up the
ladders to get to the Saint Loa Knights' hideout.  You'll see Melville and
Elliot running around playing.  Talk to them and you'll recruit them.  Buy a
Wizard Hat for Hugo if you really like him (or Geddoe) to boost his Fire and
Lightning Magic.  A friendly reminder that you can find the Yellow Scarf as a
rarity at the Item Shop.  Go to the Blacksmith and talk to the Zexen regular
in the orange outfit.  He'll give you Medal Set #1.  Exit VdZ and cross all the
way back to the Great Hollow.

Go to the inn to talk to Anne.  Put Melville and Elliot in your party (Elliot
is a support character in case you forgot).  Walk over to the fountain and
you'll see Alanis.  Talk to her to see a reunion.  When you get the choice,
pick the first option, "I'll try..." and you'll recruit Alanis.

Now that you have a healthy number of usable characters, you may be wondering
who you should level up.  The best time to level up is actually in chapters 4
and 5 so don't feel like you have to make sure everyone's trained up right now.
When you're done here, head to Lake Castle to sharpen up anyone's weapons you
want, upgrade skills, place antiques, etc.  Now that you have Arthur, his
bulletin will be posted on the wall on the second floor just to the right as
you come up the main stairs at the house.  The main story is usually something
related to the major recent event of the chapter.  If you press right on your
d-pad while viewing the bulletin, you'll see a serial novel called "Erk's
Adventures" written by "Hitman Bravo".

Leave Lake Castle and proceed to Duck Village.  Head to the inn and exit out
the back.  You'll see Hortez VII again.  Talk to him and this time, pick the
third choice, "Lie about location".  You have finally succeeded in recruiting
him.  In case you messed up, his pattern is always the same:

Duck Village --> Chisha --> Caleria --> Duck Village

When you get the third option to lie to him, pick it to get him.  Hortez' shop
is in the same spot as Jeane's-he'll be standing right next to her.  His job
is to make magic scrolls, which involves taking a Rune Crystal and making
Item Scrolls out of the spells.  Only certain Rune Crystals can be made into
scrolls, usually the elemental kind.  That is, if you took a Lightning Rune to
him he will make Item Scrolls out of the spells from the first three levels,
Thunder Runner, Berserk Blow, and Soaring Bolt.  It's definitely a bad idea to
do this with the higher order runes like Mother Earth, Thunder, etc. since
they're so rare.  I never used Hortez at all because Item Scrolls generally
take forever to get off in combat, although they guarantee a 100% casting rate
since you can't be interrupted.  Hortez' lack of direction is similar to the
Scroll Maker in Suikoden II, Raura.

Back at Duck Village, on the screen where you got Hortez, you'll notice to the
bottom of this screen a little girl talking with a duck clan member.  Ignore
them for now because Chris will take care of this.  Buy a Sacrificial Jizo
for Hugo but don't equip it on him yet.  Cross Kuput Forest and head to Chisha.
If you didn't get the Medal Set #4 or Prosperity Ring from the Rarity at the
Item Shop before, check it again.  Just try again later if they're not there.

Talk to Luce outside to set your party.  Keep in mind about putting support
characters in your party since we're coming to the end of the chapter.  That
is, if you want to make them available for Chris to use at their shops, don't
leave them in Hugo's party now.  If you put Guillaume in now, for example, he
won't be at his Appraisal Shop at Lake Castle when Chris goes there in her next
chapter.  When you're ready to advance the story, head to the Flame Champion
Hideaway.  My skills set and party:

Hugo:                        Fubar:                  Hallec:
Heavy Damage-A               Freeze-B+               Heavy Damage-B+
Counter Attack-B+            Accuracy-B+             Damage-A
Continual Attack-B+          Damage-B+               Swing-S
Parry-B+                     Repel-B+
Swing-A                      Magic Resistance-B
Accuracy-A
Magic Resistance-B


Mua:                         Sgt. Joe:               Emily:
Shield Protect-A             Damage-B+               Heavy Damage-B+
Armor Protect-A              Chanting Volume-B+      Swing-A+
Damage-B+                    Heavy Damage-B+         Repel-B+
Accuracy-B+                  Accuracy-B
Magic Resistance-B           Water Magic-B+
                             Magic Resistance-B+

You can fight the Azzodess again (or for the first time) if you like.  If you
got a Yellow Scarf in VdZ, put it on Sgt. Joe so he can use his healing spells.
If not, just use items to heal.  The notable loot I got was a Stone of Evasion
again.  When you're ready to advance the story, put the Sacrificial Jizo you
bought on Hugo and head to the white dot.  The same thing will happen as it did
with Geddoe.  Follow the path north, go through the door, and continue north.
Talk to Sana and the chapter will end.

Apple [37/108]
Caesar [38/108]
Guillaume [39/108]*
Kidd [40/108]*
Kathy [41/108]*
Hallec [42/108]
Mua [43/108]
Mamie [44/108]*
Billy [45/108]*
Belle [46/108]*
Gadget Z [47/108]*
Landis [48/108]*
Emily [49/108]*
Arthur [50/108]*
Goro [51/108]*
Melville [52/108]*
Elliot [53/108]*
Alanis [54/108]*
Hortez VII [55/108]*

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Chris Chapter 3

Pick Chris from the Trinity Site.  Some things to keep in mind first.  Chris
can never go to the middle of Brass Castle in this chapter, but she can still
go to the west and east courtyards to visit the shops.  She also cannot enter
the Guild Hall in VdZ.  She _can_ go to Great Hollow.  When you talk to the
townspeople and other characters, most of them don't recognize Chris.  I guess
there's a bunch of other silver-haired babes wearing giant knight swords in the
Suikoden world.  For this chapter, she won't be able to wear Knight-type armor.

There are three rare encounters worth noting.  For Plain Amur North, it's three
green, bird-like creatures called Horohoro.  For the Yaza Plain areas it's two
Golden Boars with three Dark Bunnies.  For Kuput Forest, it's the Ghost Holly.
All of these rare encounters are worth a total of 600+ skill points divided up
among your party members and aren't very tough.

After Nash and Chris get done talking you'll have control of her again.  You
now can opt to take the next part of this chapter in one of two ways.  One way
is my recommended approach but it means you'll have more legwork.  That is,
you're going to have to go to the Mt. Path twice in this chapter as well as
visit the VdZ area in addition to the other places on the map.  The second way
is shorter and means you'll only have to visit the Mt. Path once and can skip
the VdZ area (unless you still didn't get a GrapeC).

I can understand if you're tired of roaming around everywhere after doing Hugo
and Geddoe's chapters, especially going up and down the Mt. Path but hey, I did
warn you in the introduction -_^  If you opt for the shorter way, you'll be
missing out on a chunk of experience and skill points but you won't miss any
recruits.  The battles later in the chapter will still definitely be winnable
but more challenging.  It's up to you in terms of how you want to do it.

I've put the short way in brackets [ ] and the long way right after it.  Where
they meet back up I've marked with ++++ symbols.  Regardless of what path you
choose, I recommend you Forget Nash's Water skill and remove the Water Rune
from him.  You should also make it a point to visit the Armor Shops at Great
Hollow and east Brass Castle to upgrade your armor.

[Head into the village and you'll meet up with Fred and Rico again.  When Fred
asks, pick the first choice to tell him he's mistaken Chris for someone else.
After that, pick the third choice to say you're just sightseeing.  He and Rico
will then depart.  To advance the story, head to the left waterwheel and talk
to Rhett and Wilder.  Before that, let's do some recruiting.]

[Head to the inn and exit out to the back.  At the bottom of the screen, you'll
see a young girl with glasses talking with a duck.  Walk up to them and hit X
to chat.  Pick either the first or second choice to resolve the problem.  Ask
the girl to join your group and you'll recruit Sanae Y, the daughter of Freed Y
and Yoshino from Suikoden II.]

[Go back and talk to Rhett and Wilder now.  In order for them to go with you,
they'll ask you to talk to the village chief first.  Talk to the duck in the
green outfit outside of the Trade Shop-this is the chief.  Talk to Rhett and
Wilder again and they'll join.  I use this formation:]

Chris
Nash
Rhett
-----
Wilder
-----
(No support)

[Buy 3 Escape Scrolls and do whatever else you wish here.  Make sure that each
member of your party has healing items in their personal inventory and some in
your main inventory as well.  Exit the village.  Cross both Plain Amurs and
head to Mt. Hei-Tou to fight the Blue Mantrix.  Just use melee attacks and heal
when necessary.  It shouldn't take too long with Chris.  The notable loot I got
was ?Figurine.]

[Head to Iksay Village next.  Go all the way to the back with the windmill.  To
the right of the screen is a young man with a black bandana-this is Barts. Talk
to him and suggest Budehuc castle.  Talk to him again and you'll give him the
GrapeC.  Barts will now be at Lake Castle to the far left of where Juan is
standing.  Any seeds you pick up you can give to him.  I've never bothered to
pick up anything he grew.  Barts' support skills are Bath and Discount, both
with a grade of C.  He's one of the better support people in the game and he's
the person I always use for this chapter.]

[Go to Lake Castle.  Put Shabon in your party and either Ayame or Nei.  If you
leveled up Nei or Shabon during the Iksay raid in chapter 2, they probably have
a boatload of skill points and are at a decent level (30-ish).  Once you raise
Nei's magic chant abilities up, she's deadly with a group of fighters such as
Chris, Juan, Emily, and Hugo/Fubar.  One of the spells on her Jongleur Rune is
Song of Madness-which allows your party to do insane damage with melee attacks.
You'll know what I mean later in chapters 4 and 5 once your guys get more
leveled up.  Do whatever else you want at Lake Castle including placing any
antiques you may have.  Definitely sharpen up everyone's weapon to level 12 if
you can afford the price.  Put whoever you want in support, Mio or Barts are
good choices, and head out to the Mt. Path.  My formation:]

Chris
Nash
Rhett
Shabon
Nei/Ayame
Wilder
Barts (Support)

[The boss for the Mt. Path is again the Rock Golem.  If you brought Nei and
have leveled up her Magic Chant, cast Song of Madness and keep it casted.  If
you opted for Ayame, use her Shrike Rune.  Everyone else can attack normally.
Just heal up when you're hurt and you won't have much problems taking him out.
The notable item I got was a ?Statue.  Head to Caleria afterward.]

[Check the Caleria Armor Shop Rarity for Premier Helm-buy it if they have it
because you'll get someone later who can use it.  Go to the 2nd floor of the
inn and talk to Nadir, the gent with the theater mask.  You've got the right
match for what he's looking for.  Suggest Budehuc and you've successfully
recruited him.  Nadir will be in the tavern at Lake Castle, the same room as
where Nei, Toppo, and Shabon are.  It's the far left room on the first floor
of the castle.  You can give Nadir scripts to perform plays.  The theater plays
are my favorite gameplay aspect.  You can try it out it in this chapter but
it'll be a lot more fun once all the characters are recruited.]

[Bump up your physical skills here in Caleria if you want and do anything else
you like.  Cross over the Mt. Path and back to Duck Village.  Stay/Save and
replenish your Escape Scrolls.  Cross Kuput Forest and head to Chisha.  If
you've ever gone down the dead end path in Kuput that keeps teleporting you
back to the start, you'll be able to get there later in this chapter.  When you
reach Chisha, Fred and Rico will come out to greet you and join your party.  If
you brought Nei/Ayame and Shabon, they will be automatically removed.]

[If you got a Premier Helm in Caleria, put it on Fred.  Before heading into the
village, it's a good idea to level up Fred and Rico a little.  Take them out to
Kuput and get them to the low level 30's at the very least.  Fred is a tank and
Rico is a serviceable healer.  Rico's Swing skill tops at a C so I just choose
to forget it and add Accuracy instead.  I also Forget Fred's Sword of Magic
skill and remove his Sword of Thunder rune. It's a good idea to always put
Fred and Rico together so they can do their Maximillian Combo.  After leveling
them up, you can raise their skills via the Tutor at Duck Village (I recommend
getting Rico's Water skill up to its maximum) and the bujutsu teacher at Great
Hollow.  You can also sharpen their weapons there.  You can also do all this as
well as raise their weapons to level 12 by hiking to Lake Castle if you don't
mind the walk.  This ends the shorter path for this chapter.  Skip ahead to the
area with the ++++ symbols to continue.]


If you're reading this, you've opted for the longer, suggested approach.  Head
into Duck Village and you'll run into Fred and Rico again.  That's a nice
winged pendant Rico has on her left shoulder.  Anyway, when Fred asks, pick the
second choice, "Now that you mention it" then the first choice "Looking for
clues" and finally either choice to recruit Fred and Rico.  To advance the
story, you would talk to Rhett and Wilder standing by the left waterwheel.  But
first, some recruiting.

Head to the inn and exit out to the back.  At the bottom of the screen, you'll
see a young girl with glasses talking with a duck.  Walk up to them and hit X
to chat.  Pick either the first or second choice to resolve the problem.  Ask
the girl to join your group and you'll recruit Sanae Y, the daughter of Freed Y
and Yoshino from Suikoden II.

Buy 3 Escape Scrolls for your party and whatever else you like.  Rico's Swing
ability tops at a C so I usually choose to forget it and add Accuracy the next
time I visit a bujutsu teacher.  I also raised her Water Magic skill to its
maximum B+ level.  For Fred, I chose to Forget his Sword of Magic skill and
remove that Rune from him.  It's always a good idea to pair Fred with Rico so
they can do their Maximillian combo.

Go back and talk to Rhett and Wilder now.  In order for them to go with you,
they'll ask you to talk to the village chief first.  Talk to the duck in the
green outfit outside of the Trade Shop-this is the chief.  Talk to Rhett and
Wilder again and they'll join.  The formation I used:

Chris
Nash
Rhett
Wilder
Fred
Rico
(No Support)

Head to Mt. Hei-Tou to fight the Blue Mantrix.  Just use your regular melee
attacks and heal with Rico's Water Rune and your items.  The notable loot I got
was a ?Figurine.

Head to Iksay Village next.  Go all the way to the back with the windmill.  To
the right of the screen is a young man with a black bandana-this is Barts. Talk
to him and suggest Budehuc castle.  Talk to him again and you'll give him the
GrapeC.  Barts will now be at Lake Castle to the far left of where Juan is
standing.  Any seeds you pick up you can give to him.  I've never bothered to
pick up anything he grew.  Barts' support skills are Bath and Discount, both
with a grade of C.  He's one of the better support people in the game and he's
the person I always use for this chapter.

Go to Lake Castle to sharpen everyone's weapon to level 12 if you can afford
it.  Upgrade whatever skills you want and place any antiques you have in the
main house.  Leave Lake Castle and head to the North Cavern to fight the
treasure boss there, the Stone Golem.  Not too tough but this fight can take a
little while.  Use the same tactics with the Blue Mantrix.  I don't recommend
doing the Fred/Rico combo just in case you need to use Rico's Water Rune.  It
will take time but eventually you'll take him out.  The notable item I got was
a ?Statue.

You can stop in at VdZ if you like. I recommend you do so to check for a Yellow
Scarf at the Item Shop (Rico is the best candidate for it) as well as the
Rarity in their Armor Shop.  The next stop will be all the way on the other
side of the map at the Mt. Path.  On the way, you can upgrade your skills at
the Great Hollow or elect to fight the Blue Mantrix again if enough time has
passed.  The treasure boss for the Mt. Path is again the Rock Golem.  Just use
the same tactics as with the Stone Golem and you should be fine.  The notable
loot this time was ?Statue.  You can now use an Escape Scroll to take you back
to the entrance or, if you have the patience, head to Caleria to check their
shops.  You'll be coming back to Caleria later to recruit someone so don't
think you have to do it now.

The next thing to do is to advance the story by heading to Chisha-so if you
want to do any more leveling up and shopping, now's the time.  When you're
ready to go, stop at Duck Village first to Stay/Save and buy some more Escape
Scrolls if you need them.  By taking this route you'll have leveled up your
party by at least a few levels more than using the shorter way as well as
picking up a lot more skill points.  My skills at this point:

Chris:                      Nash:                        Rhett:
Parry-A                     Heavy Damage-B+              Magic Repel-B
Swing-B                     Accuracy-B+                  Accuracy-B
Damage-A                    Repel-A                      Damage-A
Repel-B                     Swing-B+                     Repel-B
Armor Protect-B+            Damage-B+                    Armor Protect-B
Heavy Damage-A              Magic Resistance-B
Accuracy-B+                 Armor Protect-B
Magic Resistance-B


Wilder:                     Rico:                        Fred:
Magic Repel-B+              Damage-B+                    Shield Protect-B+
Damage-B+                   Shield Magic-E               Armor Protect-B+
Accuracy-B                  Fighting Spirit-C            Damage-B
Repel-B+                    Water Magic-B+               Repel-B
Swing-B+                    Accuracy-B

Cross Kuput Forest and head to Chisha now.  You remember that dead end in Kuput
I mentioned in Geddoe's chapter 3?  It's a path that keeps teleporting you back
to the start.  You'll finally be able to take that path later in this chapter.
When you get to Chisha, your party will talk it over for a little and you'll
get control of Chris again.  This concludes the long way.

                             ++++++++++++++++++++
                             ++++++++++++++++++++

Head to the middle of the village and you'll be greeted by a young girl, Yun.
When you get the dialogue choices, pick whichever one you like.  Suikoden vets
will no doubt appreciate the third choice.  To advance the story, talk to Sana.
Some visitors will then arrive.  You can check the shops here first and save
if you like.  To make the story go, head to the front of the village.  You'll
see Sana confronting the visitors.  When given the choice, pick the first
option, "Watch out!" to have Chris stand up for Sana.  If you go for the second
choice, Fred will do it.  Either way leads to a fight.  You'll then be given
the option to replace one of your party with Yumi.  If she's a higher level
than Rico, go ahead and swap them-the next fight's not very hard either way.

Afterward, Sana will talk with you.  When the talk's over, go to the Item Shop
and down the stairs.  Talk to the tattooed fellow lying on the ground, Wan Fu.
Pick the first dialogue choice to pay 3,000 potch and recruit him.  To make
the story progress, head to the exit of the village where Chris and Nash will
talk some more.  When that's over, go to the back of the village to talk with
Yun and Yumi.  When Yun asks, pick the first choice, "OK, I'll help you."
Picking the other choice just delays the story and you'll have to talk to them
again.  Sana will talk to you a little more then it's off to Duck Village. It's
a short trip so pick whatever formation you want.  Cross Kuput to get back to
Duck Village.

Head to the inn for a cutscene where you'll meet with Apple and Caesar.  Do
whatever else you wish then head for the exit, where Rhett and Wilder will
join you again.  Now's a good time to upgrade Yumi's skills if you want via the
Tutor at Duck Village and the bujutsu teacher at Great Hollow.  I always have
her Forget Earth Magic and Add Water Magic plus switching out the runes.  If
you're one of those players that absolutely _loves_ leveling up, you can go
back to Lake Castle, put someone in the empty roster spot, and go fight the
treasure bosses again if you want.  It's definitely not necessary (and I don't
do it) but I wanted to let you know just in case.

To advance the story go back to Chisha.  Upon arriving you'll see two
cutscenes, one at the entrance then another in the middle of the village.  I'm
glad Caesar was here because I could never come up with a strategy as brilliant
as his (rolls eyes).  He'll then ask you to put your troops in formation.  This
is what I picked:

Chris (alone)       Rhett         Wilder
-----               Rico          -----
-----               -----         Yumi
-----               Fred          Nash
Yun                 Sana          Caesar


When he asks if you're ready, pick the first choice to wait a minute.  I'm
almost certain there's no way anyone can die permanently in this strategy
battle.  If you want to give yourself some leeway, buy Sacrificial Jizos at
the Item Shop and put them on each person in the battle.  You can talk to Sana
at the inn to put Fred and Rico in your party to put the items on them.  When
you're ready, save then talk to Caesar again.

At the start of the battle, have your three units attack the enemy unit across
from them, including Chris. The Harmonians have an annoying habit of retreating
in this battle so it takes a few turns to finish them up.  The only unit of
concern is Dios' because he has four troops instead of three.  At the start of
your turn, some HP will be healed for each of your units.  If you've taken the
time to get good gear and skills for your team, these first four units should
not be a problem.  Do your best to move your units into position to cover each
others' attacks and use Chris' unit to heal anyone banged up.  If your party
is damaged pretty good, don't hesitate to try for a retreat.

The goal of this battle is just to stay alive, not eliminate the enemy units
but I take this approach because the characters match up very well.  If you're
having trouble with your units going down or losing characters, take a less
aggressive approach and only fight if you're attacked.  Don't hesitate to pull
back toward the village or retreat if you keep getting banged up because you'll
still satisfy the victory requirement for this battle.

At the start of the fourth round, Sasarai will show up.  His unit's plenty
tough so I wouldn't take him on with any unit except Nash's and only if he's
at full strength with a cover team backing him up.  Two turns after Sasarai
shows up, Hugo and co. will arrive just like in his chapter 3.  If you got a
Major Victory, meaning none of your units were removed from the field, then
you get Earth ChainMail as a prize.

After the battle, you'll see the same conversation between Hugo and Chris as in
his chapter 3 but from Chris' view.  Another cutscene will follow then you'll
be on your way to Alma Kinan.  Instead of going there right away, head to the
inn and make sure everyone's rested up with all their spells ready to go.
When you leave Chisha, you can advance the story by going to Alma Kinan or
again you can walk around the World Map to do what you wish.  You should know
that once you're in Alma Kinan you won't be able to exit and there's a big
fight there.  I don't level up any more and just head there but it's up to you.
Before going to Alma Kinan, definitely save your game at either Chisha or Duck
Village.  If you put Sacrificial Jizos on your characters, replace them with
healing items but leave one on Fred.

To get to Alma Kinan from Chisha, head into Kuput Forest.  Go west from the
first screen then south at the next.  At this screen, take the northwest path
on your mini-map.  There'll be a cutscene and you'll continue on.  Go west for
two screens.  After that, you'll notice on your mini-map that you've come to
a clearing.  Make sure everyone's health is at maximum before you continue west
because it will trigger a cutscene followed by a fight with a familiar face.
This was my formation for the fight:

Chris
Nash
Yumi
Yuiri
Fred
Rico
Barts (Support)

This fight is the definition of "straightforward".  Just use melee attacks and
the Maximillian combo.  Heal when necessary with Rico, Yumi (if you gave her a
Water Rune), and your items.  Your enemy has a high Repel rate but with Chris
and Nash's Heavy Damage abilities, you shouldn't have any trouble winning.
After the battle, continue west and you'll be back on the World Map.  Head to
Alma Kinan.

If you talk to the duck in the middle of town, he'll give you an Orange Kennel.
Talk to the girl in the Item Shop looking at the jars to get Melon Seeds.  Of
note here is that a Rarity in the Item Shop are Killer Runes, which increase
the chances of landing a Heavy Damage attack.  Alma Kinan is one of the few
towns in the game with both a Tutor and bujutsu teacher.  To advance the story,
head to the house to the left of the Rune Shop.  Your party will have a
conversation and Yun will leave.  Enter the house and Yun will fill you in on
what she knows.  Chris will then leave.

Head back to the house for a quick chat with Nash.  Next, go north on your
mini-map to the very back of the village.  On the next screen continue forward
to the back to get an extended cutscene.  Leave and SAVE YOUR GAME.  Go back
outside of Yun's house to talk with your group.  If you want to wander around
some more, pick the second choice.  If you want to advance the story now,
select the first choice ("I need some rest").

Once you have control of Chris again, exit the inn and head to the back of the
village.  Another extended cutscene follows with Chris and Yun.  Things will
then be interrupted by the Masked Bishop and friends.  I use this formation:

Fred
Rico
Yuiri
Yumi
Chris
Nash
(No Support)

Your priorities in order are Sarah, Masked Bishop, and Yuber.  In the first
round, send the Chris/Nash and Yuiri/Yumi pairs after Sarah-do NOT use the Alma
Kinan combo.  If you've trained up Yumi's Earth Magic, have her cast Earthquake
instead.  Have Rico cast Kindness Rain and center it on Yuiri.  The reason for
this is that this spell comes after Sarah's water attacks but before the Masked
Bishop's Pale Gate/Wind attacks.  If Sarah hits you with Breath of Ice, it can
really wallop your team but Rico should get her Kindness Rain spell off to heal
the damage.  You should take out Sarah in the first round with your attacks.
In the next round, heal your team with Rico's Kindness Drops or, if Yumi has
Water magic, Kindness Rain and cast it on whoever's at the very center of your
party.  It's hard to go after the Masked Bishop because Yuber will be blocking
you.  Try your best though-Fred and Yuiri will automatically attack him since
the Bishop should be the closest to them.  If you target him with Chris/Nash,
Nash should be able to hit him as well.  If Yuber has gotten in the way, then
take him out but this is dangerous because the Bishop's attacks are very
powerful.  Once it's down to the last person, just heal and mop up.

An alternative strategy is if you gave Yumi the Water Rune and trained up her
Water Magic skill.  If she's at level 38 or higher, she should have the Silent
Lake spell, which negates all spellcasting for 5 turns.  If you want to try
this strategy, do everything else the same (Rico cast Kindness Rain, Nash/Chris
go after Sarah) but cast Silent Lake with Yumi.  Rico should still get her
spell off but there's a good chance you'll stop the Masked Bishop's spell.
After that first round, heal everyone with your items and start hacking away in
the same order as above.

Whether you win or lose won't affect the story-the game will still continue
either way.  This fight is one of the tougher ones in the game and my personal
success rate is about 60%, unless you went crazy with leveling up that is.  I
beat it with everyone in the high 30's level and after the fight everyone is at
level 40 or close to it.  A cutscene follows the battle and the story moves to
the next day.  Once Rico joins you, head to the very back of the village where
the altar is.  Chris will talk with Nash and come to a life resolution.  Head
to the front of the village to talk with Yuiri and to gain the location of the
Flame Champion.  After the World Map pops up, go back to Alma Kinan.

Go to the area outside the inn and you'll see a young man named Rody on a
broomstick.  Talk to him and pick the first dialogue option.  Pick the first
choice again ("I am looking for men") after that.  Go inside the inn and talk
with the woman sitting at the table, Estella.  Next, go outside and to the back
where the altar is.  Talk to the little girl on that screen then head to the
inn to talk to Estella again.  You'll then recruit Estella and Rody, two of the
best magic users in the game.

A quick word about Estella-she's a pathological liar.  Have Kidd investigate
her or put her and Chris in the bath and you'll see what I mean.  While she and
Rody are great with magic, don't expect any help from them in melee combat.
That's the drawback with all the characters who are primarily magic users-
they'll rarely attack if you pair them with someone else.  Out of all the
characters with 3 open rune slots, Rody's tops in magic.

Rody also comes equipped with a couple of runes you'll want to take off of him
immediately, the Wall Rune and Firefly Rune.  The Wall Rune doubles the
wearer's defense rating but they can't do anything else at all-not even use
items.  The Firefly Rune makes the wearer the first choice of an enemy attack,
making it useful if you put it on a tank character so they take the punishment.
If you learn more about Rody and Estella's relationship, it makes sense why
he'd be wearing this rune combination.

When you remove the Firefly Rune from Rody, keep it in Chris' main inventory-
don't sell it, store it, or put it on anyone else.

We're now heading to the end of the chapter.  Just like Hugo and Geddoe, to
advance the chapter you would head to the Flame Champion Hideaway and go to
the teleportation circle.  It's up to you if you want to go around the world
again to level up-if you have the patience I do recommend taking on one of the
Golems at either the North Cavern or Mt. Path because they give very good
experience.

I also highly suggest you add Water Magic skill to Chris' skills list and train
it up to its maximum of a B+.  Attach a Water Rune to her as well.  You'll also
want to make sure that when she steps on the teleportation circle she's
equipped with a Sacrificial Jizo like Hugo and Geddoe.  If you were following
my skills guide previously, choose to forget Magic Resistance and just add
Water Magic.  Along with Sebastian at Lake Castle, Sana at Chisha can also
switch out your party members for you.

If you took the "long" way earlier in the chapter, go back to Chisha and put
Ayame and Watari in your party.  You don't have to get them new gear or level
them up.  The formation I used was:

Chris
Nash
Ayame
Watari
Fred
Rico
Barts (Support)

Go all the way to the Mt. Path and head to Caleria.  The Rock Golem will be
there again but shouldn't pose a problem.  Use Ayame's Shrike Rune and Rico's
Kindness Drops to heal Ayame and Watari.  The loot I got this time was another
?Statue.  When you arrive at Caleria, go to the second floor of the inn.
You'll see Nadir, the man with the theater mask.  Your party fulfills his
requirement for an acting troupe.  When he asks, suggest Budehuc Castle to
recruit him.  Nadir will be in the tavern at Lake Castle, the same room as
where Nei, Toppo, and Shabon are.  It's the far left room on the first floor
of the castle.  You can give Nadir scripts to perform plays.  The theater plays
are my favorite gameplay aspect.  You can try it out it in this chapter but
it'll be a lot more fun once all the characters are recruited.

After fighting all the treasure bosses again, the good loot I got was Chaos
Shield (Blue Mantrix), ?Statue and Iron Heel Shoes (Stone Golem), and Premier
Chainmail and another Stone of Evasion (Azzodess the second time).  Everyone
was at level 46 in my party.  When you're ready to close the chapter, head to
the familiar teleportation circle, head north, and talk to Sana.

!!!VERY IMPORTANT!!!-If you elected to play Thomas' Optional chapters already,
when you've concluded Chris' chapter 3, you'll be taken to the Trinity Site as
usual.  SAVE NOW AND DO NOT OVERWRITE THIS GAME.  Sorry for all the caps, but
I can't stress enough how important this is.  The biggest decision of the game
occurs at the start of chapter 4 and you'll definitely want to have a save game
before making this decision.  Do what you have to do to make sure this save
game is never overwritten-save it in the very first slot or some other spot
that's "safe".

Fred [56/108]
Rico [57/108]
Sanae Y [58/108]*
Wan Fu [59/108]*
Barts [60/108]*
Yun [61/108]
Estella [62/108]*
Rody [63/108]*
Nadir [64/108]*

There's going to be a big Spoiler gap here in case you jumped ahead to Thomas
Chapter 1 after Geddoe's Chapter 1.

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Thomas Chapter 1 (Optional)

Just to keep the Stars count at the end of the chapter straight, I have
numbered them as if you played these chapters in the suggested order.  If at
any time during Thomas' chapters you feel absolutely sure you don't want to
play through his chapters, just soft reset and go back to your last save before
picking his story.

Pick Thomas from the Trinity Site.  You'll see Thomas walking up to Lake
Castle.  Move him to the front and you'll see his first meeting with Cecile,
the castle guard commander.  After she joins, go to the main house and you'll
get an extended meet and greet cutscene.

When you get control of Thomas, exit his bedroom to the right of the screen.
Head down on the next screen and go down the stairs.  Sebastian will suggest
to you to meet everyone in the castle.  Go back up the stairs.  At the top,
go right and head through the door at the very end of the hall.  This is the
library.  Talk to Eike, the man in the brown outfit to the right of the screen.
Exit and head back down the stairs to the first floor.

To the right of the main stairs is another stairway down-take it.  On the next
screen head left to talk to the Kobold with the blue hat-Muto.  He's the
warehouse keeper and he can store up to 24 items for you.  Head back the way
you came but instead of taking the stairs back up, take the stairs down that
are further down the hall (closer to the broken elevator).  From this next
screen, head left and follow the hallway past all the jail cells until you
reach a gray door.  Walk through it and you'll be outside the house.

Head right to exit this screen.  On the next screen, keep going right-just past
the stone stairs going up you'll see a man lying on the ground-this is Juan,
the bujutsu teacher.  Talk to him to find out about recent events regarding the
ownership of the castle.  Head up the stone stairs then to the front entrance
to talk to Cecile.  When you're done, head to the big white tent next to her.
Inside is the fortune teller, Piccolo.  If you ever want some advice, tips, or
to know how to advance the story, pay him 100 potch for his ACME prediction.
After talking with him, talk to the woman with the white hair at the lottery
stand, Martha.  That's everybody, so head back to the main house.

When you enter, Sebastian will tell you that a letter needs to be delivered to
the Zexen Knights.  You'll volunteer to take the job and Cecile will accompany
you.  Instead of exiting to the World Map, go back to the main house.  To the
left of the main stairs is a blue crystal-save your game.  If you're playing
this chapter after playing Chris' chapter 3 then go ahead and read the next
paragraph.  If you're playing this chapter after Geddoe's chapter 1, skip past
the next paragraph.

You'll notice the house is already decorated with all the antiques you've piled
up.  To give Thomas a hefty financial advantage right from the start, take all
the paintings, urns, statues, and vases-you're going to sell them when you get
to Brass Castle.  Don't worry about replacing them because you're going to get
plenty of paintings and vases in chapters 4 and 5.  Still, if you'd rather not
part with any of this loot, you can wait until you get some more money then
play the lottery.  I suggest you play the lottery anyway even if you do sell
the antiques.  Just to let you know, the most common antiques you pick up in
the later chapters will be Sunset, SkyOwl, and Ruins Paintings, Calerian Urns,
Hex Dolls, and Knight Statues.  It's up to you but giving Thomas lots of money
early this way helps a lot in upgrading his gear and weapons, making his
chapters _much_ easier.

Exit the castle to the World Map.  The formation I use:

Cecile
Thomas
-----
-----
-----
-----
(No Support)

Thomas and Cecile both start at level 1 and, as you'd expect, aren't very
powerful.  Their combo, Best Effort, is quite powerful once they're leveled up.
Sometimes when they do this combo, you'll see Thomas has his sword stuck in
the ground and has problems getting it out-this is a good thing because it
means the combo has done double damage.  I've never figured out a way to make
this happen more often, unfortunately.  In terms of skills, both of them can
get very high ranks (A to A+) in several areas each but it takes them a long
while.  The enemies you're going to face will reflect your starting level with
Thomas so there's not much to worry about.  Just heal when you need to and use
your melee attacks in the random battles.

Cross Yaza Plain and enter Brass Castle.  Head right two screens until you come
to the west courtyard.  Thomas and Cecile will have a brief chat.  Go to the
right to get another cutscene with one of the Six Mighty Zexen Knights.
Proceed to the main part of the castle.  Head down on the next screen and to
your left is Roland.  Talk to him to get some more information.  Continue
down on the screen and take the last door on the right where two armored
knights are standing.  Head right toward the stairs to see a cutscene.

If you got a bunch of antiques by playing the suggested chapter order, continue
down on this screen to get to the east courtyard.  Sell your antiques at the
Item or Armor Stand.  I usually make 120,000-200,000 potch.  Sharpen your
weapons up to level 5 and buy the best gear you can.  If you want, you can
check to see if the Calerian trader on the far east side of the Castle has
Ancient Text to sell.  Either way, head back to the open doorway where you
talked with Roland.  Head left through the doorway and go up the stairs.  Go
down on the next screen to see another of the Zexen Knights.

Next, go down and to the right through the double wooden doors.  Head to the
right on the next screen to trigger a scene with Salome.  When that's done,
exit Brass Castle to the west.  After Cecile and Thomas have a talk, you'll be
back on the World Map.  Enter Brass Castle again so you can save at the blue
crystal outside.  Exit west and cross Yaza Plain to get back to Lake Castle.

After the cutscene and if you have 1,000 potch, go up to the lottery stand and
buy 10 tickets.  Head back to the main house.  When he enters, Thomas will
wonder where Sebastian is but decides to turn in.  Head up the stairs to his
bedroom and you'll go to sleep.  When Thomas wakes up, head down the stairs and
out to the front of the house.  A cutscene follows and you learn that a young
boy is missing, whose name is also Thomas.  Piccolo and Cecile will join your
party.  Head into the main house and go to the library.  Next, go downstairs
and look at the broken elevator to the right of the main stairs.  After the
cutscene, go downstairs toward Muto's warehouse.  Take the passageway right
before you come to Muto's counter.  Head toward the big opening where rays of
light are coming through.  That's it for the house search.

Go back outside and go talk to Juan in his usual spot.  He'll explain what
happened and join your party.  When you get control of Thomas, head back to
the main house and save at the blue crystal.  I use this formation:

Cecile
Thomas
-----
-----
Juan
Piccolo
(No Support)

Some words about Juan and Piccolo.  Juan is the best pure fighter in the game,
IMHO.  He comes with a Waking Rune that can't be removed.  The bad thing is,
he's asleep at the start of a battle.  The good thing is, once he wakes up he's
berserk.  Once he reaches a higher level, Juan can get an S ranking in both
Heavy Damage and Continual Attack.  In the later chapters you'll be able to
remedy the sleeping problem with a Yellow Scarf and attach a Rune like Fury or
Double Strike to him.  I've beaten the strongest random encounters using just
Juan but a lot of people don't like him because he's real irritating at first
with the Waking Rune.  With Juan in your party, you can also do all the actions
related to skills at any time, such as Lesson, Test, and Forget.  To do this,
go to the Skills option, pick Juan, then select Bujutsu Teacher.  Piccolo's
strong suit is Lightning Magic.  He can get an A in it but it takes a while.
For the purpose of Thomas' chapters, it's the only skill of his I train up.

Two of the non-automatic stars I suggest you recruit in this chapter, Mel and
Kenji, come equipped with the armor Turtle Tunic.  This Tunic negates the sleep
status that affects Juan.  If you want him awake at the start of battles, take
the Tunic from either Mel or Kenji when you get them later and put it on Juan.
The armor rating for the Tunic (around +20 DEF) is good enough for Thomas'
chapters.  If you want to use Juan in chapters 4 and 5, make sure you get him
better armor and cure his sleep status with the Yellow Scarf item.

Exit Lake Castle and you'll see Mt. Hei-Tou has opened on the World Map.  Cross
Yaza Plain to head there.  During random encounters, I attack with Thomas and
Cecile and just have Juan's pair defend until he gets waken up.  Don't use any
of Piccolo's Lightning Magic-you'll need it later.  When you get to Mt. Hei-Tou
your group will talk it over.  Thomas will never loot corpses.  He also can
never fight the Blue Mantrix-once you get close he'll simply run away from it.
If you run into a green monster called the Creeper, use Thomas and Cecile's
Best Effort combo on it.

Go right and keep going that way until you get to the blue crystal.  Save.  If
you go right one more screen you'll head into a fight-make sure Thomas and
Cecile are at least level 5 before going there.  When you're ready to proceed
head on over.  At the next screen, continue all the way to the right toward the
dead end on your mini-map.  You'll find the boy being cornered by a Wild Boar.
This fight isn't too hard-use the Best Effort combo and have Piccolo cast
Berserk Blow (if you've leveled him up a lot he may have Soaring Bolt-use that
instead).  Alternatively, you could have Piccolo use the Wind of Sleep scroll
in his inventory but this only helps a little.  Heal when necessary and repeat
until the Boar is dead-he has about 500 HP.

After you win, go back to Lake Castle.  Head into the main area and the kid
will reunite with his mom.  When the cutscene ends, a week will pass.  When you
get control of Thomas again, leave the main house and talk with Cecile,
Piccolo, and Martha in their usual places.  Then go back to the main house and
head toward the main stairs to trigger another cutscene.

Thomas and Cecile will come up with an idea to make the castle viable.  Martha
will then chip in with some more history of the area.  When the talking ends,
go back up to Thomas' bedroom.  Another extended cutscene will follow.  You can
now switch out party members by talking with Sebastian but you don't need to do
that yet.  Instead, exit the inn and talk with Piccolo and Martha, who're
standing outside of her lottery stand.  You'll see the same scene as in Geddoe
chapter 1 but from Thomas' POV.  Head back up to Thomas' bedroom, stand close
to his bed and elect to Rest.  If you played Chris' chapter 2 already, you'll
see another cutscene involving her.  If not, you may not get it but I'm not
sure.

The lottery's probably turned over by now so talk to Sebastian at the inn and
save your game.  Check the lottery results and soft reset until you get the
100,000 potch prize.  If you sold a bunch of antiques earlier and still have
around 200,000 potch after winning the lottery, it's up to you if you want to
play again.  It helps but it's not essential.  If you're playing this chapter
after Geddoe's chapter 1, then I highly recommend you go ahead and play the
lottery one more time.

Now's a good time to do some recruiting.  Talk to Sebastian and put Martha in
your party as support.  Any time you go shopping, it's a good idea to put
Martha in your party because her Discount skill is a B, the best in the game.
Exit to the World Map and you'll notice a bunch of places have opened up.  Head
to Iksay first.

If you like, you can recruit Mio now with Thomas.  She's a nurse on the 2nd
floor of the Iksay Inn.  Her Healing Support Skill is a B+, one of the best in
the game.  Only Chris or Thomas can get her until ch. 4.  She's useful to both
but not essential so it's entirely up to you who you want to use to get her.
I've listed her in the recruit list as acquired in Chris' ch. 2 for reference.

Stop by the Item Shop and check their Rarity and buy a Rose Brooch if they have
it.  Buy another one if you can afford it.  If they don't have it, keep
checking every 25 minutes or so-you'll need it to recruit someone in VdZ.  Talk
to the little girl in the Item Shop to get a Pale Gate Rune.  Don't sell this
thing-it may be the only one you get for the entire game.

Leave the shop.  Head to the back of this screen toward the windmill and talk
to the young girl with the blue outfit on.  This is Mel and her, uh, friend
Branky.  When you get a dialogue choice, pick the first one to recruit her.
If you _love_ playing the lottery you can go ahead and play the one here in
Iksay.

Go back to Lake Castle.  All the shops you acquired previously will now be
there.  Now's a good time to advance the story-head to the main house to
trigger a brief cutscene and Thomas will go get some sleep.  Another cutscene
ensues and you learn that Eike is missing.  Leave the library and head for the
front entrance outside where Cecile is standing.  Shizu will show up to fix
your elevator and you'll automatically recruit her.

It's going to take Shizu some time to complete her work so now's a great
opportunity to do more recruiting.  Talk to Sebastian and put together a party
like so:

Cecile
Thomas
Mel
-----
Juan
Piccolo
Martha (Support)

Sharpen everyone's weapon up to at least level 5 except Piccolo-you never need
to sharpen his weapon because all of his offense is magic.  If you got a ton of
money, sharpen all the weapons up as high as you can, up to 8 is plenty for
Thomas' chapters.  Just to let you know, Thomas and Mel's weapons get a big
attack boost at level 11, but it's not necessary to go up that far.  Mel will
be your best offensive character (she always comes in at level 32) for Thomas'
chapters and is really the only party character you need to recruit for battles
but we're going to get a few more anyway.  Mel's Lightning Magic skill also can
naturally go up to an S but I wait until chapter 4 to add that.

Save your game.  Exit to Yaza Plain.  If you're playing this chapter in the
suggested order, you should see Kenji still out there on the plains.  He's to
the far left of the screen toward the middle if you're coming from Lake Castle.
If you're playing this chapter after Geddoe's chapter 1 he may not be there
yet.  If he's there, DON'T recruit him yet.

If you're playing this chapter after Chris' chapter 3, skip ahead to the next
paragraph.  Head through Brass Castle to get to Plain Amur North.  You'll
notice a bunch of horses around here.  Ignore them for now and go to Duck
Village.  Head to the inn and exit to the back.  Go to the top hut to talk to
the little boy in the blue outfit.  When he asks if you want to help, decline
his offer-you'll want to save him for one of your other main characters.  Talk
to the duck standing next to him and save your game.  Head back out to Plain
Amur North.  Talk to the cowgirl, Kathy.  She will ask you to count how many
horses she has.  The number is random but always seems to be more than 15.  If
you get the wrong number, I believe Kathy will disappear for a while before
showing up again so try to get it right the first time or just soft reset and
come back.  After you get the count right, suggest Budehuc Castle and you'll
recruit Kathy.

Next, go to Zexen Forest.  The rare encounter here is two Holly elves and some
Holly boys-they can be dangerous because they cast sleep but with Mel you
shouldn't have too many problems.  It's definitely worth good experience for
everyone else in your party.  Head to VdZ and save at the blue crystal outside
the city.  Go to the North Cavern next.

Head to the very back of the cavern where you fought Guillaume in Hugo's
chapter 1.  The banshee and purple creepers are random encounters here and will
boost your party's level up to 14-15 in a hurry.  To beat them, just use Mel
and the Best Effort combo.  The purple creepers drop Firefly Runes, which are
useful when put on Tank characters.  Save at the blue crystal before you get to
the end of the cavern.  There will be a treasure boss there, Magician.  It's
not a big deal if everyone's around level 14.  Just use Mel and the Best Effort
combo and you can take it down in no more than a few turns.

You don't have to empty the chest unless you really want to fight the Magician
again-it's not necessary.  Do take as much of the armor as you can to sell the
stuff you don't want.  I didn't get much money for this fight, only 17,000
potch or so.  Nothing all that great in terms of loot except a Kite Shield for
Cecile.  Exit the North Cavern.

Stop in at VdZ to check out their shops.  If you see Guillaume running around
just ignore him and avoid the Guild Hall area (you only see him if you're
playing this right after Geddoe's chapter 1).  Do some shopping if you want but
the main reason to come here is to recruit Augustine.  If you got the Rose
Brooch, talk to him (if you've forgotten, he's standing outside the Armor
Shop).  You'll automatically give him the Rose Brooch.  Pick the second
dialogue choice to recruit him.

Augustine's notable skills are his Parry and Swing.  His Parry naturally tops
out at an S.  His Swing tops at a B but his brooches can bump this up to an S.
Starting in chapter 4 you'll be able to buy a Rarity item at the Caleria Item
Stand called WhiteRose Brooch, which only Augustine can wear and boosts his
Swing skill by two grades.  You can equip these in all 3 of his item slots.
For some odd reason, he won't have the Rose Brooch you gave him in his
inventory-this is why I suggested you buy 2 of them if you could before.

Go to the Great Hollow next.  Enter the main area and take the southeast tunnel
exit on your mini-map. Follow the path and exit.  At the next screen, you'll
hear some digging.  Head to the left to follow the path until you see a dwarf
with a yellow helmet, Twaikin.  When the lizard guard shows up, pick the first
choice, "Nothing".  Pick the first choice again for the next dialogue option to
recruit Twaikin.  He's a pretty good tank character.  Go back to the main area
of Great Hollow and upgrade as much of everyone's gear as you can.  Exit to the
World Map and head to Yaza Plain.

Check to see if Kenji is here yet.  If he is, talk to him and pick the second
choice to exercise with him.  Pick the second choice again to ask for water and
he will join your group.  Everyone in your party should now be at around level
17 or better except Kenji, who comes in at 2 levels lower than Thomas.  To win
the rest of the battles in this chapter, you really only need Thomas, Mel, Juan,
Piccolo, and Cecile with the experience levels you have now and with the better
gear/weapon levels available in this chapter.  I also recruit Augustine, Kenji,
and Twaikin to give you more party members to choose from for battles.  Don't
focus too much on leveling up unless you really like to do it-level 17 is just
fine.  The best time to level up will come in chapters 4 and 5.

If you're playing this chapter after Geddoe's chapter 1, there's a chance Kenji
won't be at Yaza Plain at all in this chapter.  If that's the case, it's not a
big deal because you have enough party members to win all the battles in
Thomas' chapters.  You'll also be able to recruit Kenji later so you're
definitely not going to miss out on recruiting him.

Hike back to Lake Castle.  If you're playing this chapter after Chris' chapter
3, skip this paragraph.  Once you have Augustine, remove everyone from your
party except Thomas and put Augustine in as the lone other member.  Head to
Iksay and go to the Item Shop.  Talk to Gordon and accept his offer to join
your group.  He will open an Item Shop at Budehuc Castle.  Go back to Lake
Castle.

The lottery should've turned over by now so go ahead and check the results. The
money you've made until now (200,000 potch via the lottery if you're playing
this right after Geddoe's chapter 1) is all you really need for both of Thomas'
chapters.  Do some shopping and bump up any skills you want.  If you're going
to see Ernie, make sure you avoid the elevator area on the first floor-going
there will advance the story.

Now that you have Kathy, you can opt to pick up a couple of very helpful items.
They're not necessary by any means, but they can be a big help.  From the
screen where Peggi and Juan are, exit north on the mini-map.  Head right on the
next screen and you'll see Kathy.  Talk to her to race in the Horse Race mini-
game.  If you get certain lap times for the track, you earn prizes.  The three
prizes that are of interest are the Hex Doll S, Pale Moon Leather, and
LightningMagic Ring.  These prizes always show up but I believe it's random in
terms of which course you can win them on.

The times that are good enough for you to get prizes for each track:

No obstacles:  49-50 secs, default prize is Deer Antler (49.677)
Some obstacles: 49-51 secs, default prize is Mini-Cactus (49.853)
Lots of obstacles:  49-52 secs, default prize is Mini-Cactus (49.677)

These are just estimates based on my experience.  The times in parentheses are
my personal bests.  Start with the no obstacles course and work your way up.
The only strategy I can really give you is to stay to the inside of the track
and don't take really wide turns.  Lame advice, I know, but that's all there
really is to it.

If you keep getting the default prize more than twice in a row, then you've
exhausted the prizes for that course so try the next one higher up.  The Pale
Moon Leather gives a whopping 60+ Defense boost and the LightningMagic Ring
raises the wearer's Lightning Magic skill by one grade.  The Pale Moon Leather
is a great item for Thomas and the Ring for Piccolo.  Other prizes you can get
include Haziness Rune, Recipe #8, and Painting: Lady antique as well as some
others.  The mini-cactus are nice because they're worth 5,500 potch each.

If you're playing Thomas' chapter 1 in the suggested play order, skip to the
next paragraph.  When you get the Hex Doll S, go and place it in the statue
room. This room is located on the second floor of the main house.  When you go
up the main stairs, make a left and it's the left door in the corner.  Place
the Hex Doll S in the large middle pedestal.  DO NOT COME BACK INTO THIS ROOM
UNTIL HUGO'S CHAPTER 3.  Sorry for the caps but doing this is necessary to
recruit a character and if you mess up, it can complicate getting this
character a lot.

When you're ready to advance the story, save at Sebastian's inn first.  Head to
the first floor elevator and Shizu should be done.  If for some reason she's
not, go to Thomas' bedroom and select Rest.  This will move the game time some
more.  Thanks to Fate who e-mailed me this tip.  You should've killed enough
time already, though.  Shizu will then give your party a grand tour with the
elevator.  When she's finished, you'll end up in a new sub-basement of the
castle.

There's no need to adjust your party-there's random encounters down here but
nothing you won't be able to handle.  Head to the right and follow the tunnel
until you get a cutscene.  When you get control of Thomas, head up and exit
the screen.  On the next screen, keep going up until you see a path to the
left-it can be hard to see sometimes.  Take that path left and follow it to
exit the screen.  You'll get another cutscene.  There's nothing of note if you
took the other pathways in case you were wondering.  Once your party regroups,
head left and take the path up.  After the brief talk with your party, continue
up on the screen.  An extended cutscene will occur and the chapter will be
over.

You have recruited all the characters you'll need for Thomas' chapters.  If
you're on the fence about playing through his chapter 2, I can tell you that
your levels and party should be good enough now to where you won't have to do
any more leveling up, fighting random battles, or playing the lottery in his
chapter 2.  For Mel, Thomas, Cecile, Juan, and Piccolo, everyone was at level
17 except Mel, who was at 32.  Everyone's weapon was level 8 except Piccolo's
which was still at 1.  The only notable skill is that Piccolo has a C in
Lightning Magic and I gave him the LightningMagic Ring from Kathy's races to
boost it to a B.  If you've played this far, I advise you to go ahead and
finish it out just to see the complete story but it's up to you.

If you played Thomas' Chapter 1 right after Geddoe's Chapter 1, then to avoid
spoilers I suggest you play Thomas' Chapter 2 after Geddoe's Chapter 2.  You'll
see a few things in Thomas' chapter that precedes the other characters' chapter
3's but it's nothing major.

Thomas [65/108]
Cecile [66/108]
Juan [67/108]
Piccolo [68/108]
Martha [69/108]
Sebastian [70/108]
Muto [71/108]
Eike [72/108]
Shizu [73/108]
Mel [74/108]*
Augustine [75/108]*
Twaikin [76/108]*
Kenji [77/108]*

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thomas Chapter 2 (Optional)

Pick Thomas from the Trinity Site.  If you like, you can go around shopping
and fighting the treasure boss at the North Cavern.  Again, you really don't
have to level up your party any more if they're at the levels I mentioned
earlier.  This is your best opportunity to wander around during this chapter so
make the most of it if you choose to do so.  You do want to make sure to have
each of your characters readied with a Medicine C (all 6) or a better healing
item in their personal item slot for the later battles in this chapter.  If you
still have a lot of money left over, make the most of it by buying the best
gear available at the various shops in this chapter (armor that's +20 or
better is fine).

When you want to advance the story, head to Iksay Village.  You'll get a
cutscene with a Zexen Councilor.  Pick the first choice to agree to take him to
Lake Castle.  You don't have to go there right away-you can still elect to just
wander around some more if you like.  To make the story move forward head back
home to Lake Castle and a cutscene will occur.

If you told the Zexen Councilor you don't know where Lake Castle is, you'll
have to kill some time before he shows up at Lake Castle.  Go back to Thomas'
bedroom, stand next to the bed, and pick Rest.  Do this twice.  Exit Lake
Castle, put together a serviceable party and head to the North Cavern to fight
the treasure boss or do whatever else you like to kill time (e.g. play the
mini-games, trade, etc.).  The Councilor will eventually show up.

Once you come back to Lake Castle, you'll have a meeting with the Councilor.
If you're one of those people that gets angry easily at obnoxious jerks, you
may want to brace yourself every time the Zexen Councilor speaks.  Everything
that comes out of his mouth is an airborne toxin.  When that's over, to make
the story progress head up to Thomas' bedroom to talk to Muto and pick the
first choice.

The next day, exit Thomas' bedroom and save at the blue crystal by the stairs.
Head out to the front entrance where Cecile stands to view a scene.  Go back
to the main house to see your group talk it over.  Head to the outside of the
inn to meet Apple and Caesar then go back to the front of the main house.  When
the conversation's over, go to the front of the castle to talk with Cecile.
Next, go inside the main house.  Head to the far left side of the house where
Nei, Toppo, and Shabon are.  Outside the tavern room at the end of the hall
are Piccolo, Muto, and Martha.  Walk up to get another chat with them.  Head
upstairs to the library from there to get another cutscene with Sebastian and
Eike (they're standing where Ernie usually is).  To advance the story, go to
Thomas' bedroom.  If not you can wander around some more.  When you go to
Thomas' bedroom, you'll get another talk with Sebastian.

The next day, exit Thomas' bedroom and save at the blue crystal by the main
stairs.  Head outside to the front of the main house.  Talk with Caesar and
pick the first choice if you want to proceed with the strategy battle.  Pick
the second choice if you want to go back and save first or wander around some
more.  The strategy battle itself isn't hard at all.  The vast majority of the
time only one Zexen unit will actually attack-just don't get aggressive and
attack and you'll be fine.  The goal of the battle is simply to stay alive and
then move Hugo/Lilly's units to the exit.

In the first turn, just defend with both Thomas and Cecile's units-don't move
them.  In the second turn, hit the Zexen unit that's moved up next to Thomas
with his Wind Magic skill.  Defend again with Cecile.  During your next turn
and every turn thereafter, move Hugo/Lilly's units to the exit circle.  If
you're _really_ hunkering to attack, attack with Thomas' unit when Hugo/Lilly's
units are in position to cover.  Again, I don't advise you do because it's an
unnecessary risk.  Once you move both Hugo and Lilly's units to the exit circle
the battle will be over.  With a Major Victory you'll get a Counter Ring for a
prize.  If you didn't get a Major Victory, just reload from your last save and
try again.

The next day, head out to the front entrance to talk with Cecile.  If you want
to do any more wandering here's another good chance.  To advance the story,
simply exit to the World Map then come right back to Lake Castle.  Go to the
front of the main house for a couple of extended cutscenes.  To make the story
go forward, go up to Thomas' bedroom and pick the first choice.

In the middle of the night, Thomas will have insomnia.  Head to the library to
chat with Eike who's standing near Ernie's spot.  Then go down the stairs to
talk with Sebastian.  Next, go to the end of the hall on the far left side of
the house, where you talked with Muto, Piccolo, and Martha before.  Muto will
be there again and you can pick either dialogue choice when you get the option.
Now head back to Thomas' bedroom to have a conversation with Cecile.  You can
pick whichever choice you feel like when the dialogue box opens.

The next day, head out to the front of the main house to talk with the Zexen
Knights.  Go ahead and pick the first choice to move the story.  Another
extended cutscene will follow which personally shot my respect up for Cecile
and Juan by about a million times.  When it's over, you'll get the chance to
rename Budehuc Castle (which I will still refer to as Lake Castle for this
Walkthrough).  I just go with Cecile's choice since she's one of my favorite
characters.  For you Suikoden trivia buffs, this was also Jowy's suggestion for
the army name in Suikoden II.  When you can move Thomas again, head towards his
bed to move the story forward by picking the first choice.  You can still
wander around some more by picking the second choice.  When you advance the
story, Thomas will have one final talk before the battle the next morning.

After that, you'll see Thomas go up to the front entrance to talk with Juan.
When he asks, pick the second choice to tell him to wait.  Talk to Sebastian
and put together a party.  I used:

Cecile
Thomas
Juan
Piccolo
Mel
Augustine
(Mio--only if you recruited her with Thomas in this chapter)

This has no impact on the upcoming strategy battle-only for the battles after.
Talk to Sebastian again to save your game.  Talk to Muto then tell Juan you're
ready to commence the strategy battle.

I advise you to use the same tactics as in the last strategy battle-don't be
aggressive and fight only when you're attacked.  If you are going to attack,
the best spot is to the right of Thomas because you can put someone in a cover
position.  The best outcome for this battle is a Safe Retreat-you cannot get a
victory because Leo and Percival's HP will not drop below 1/2 in this battle.
In the first round, just defend with Thomas and swap Juan and Cecile's spots.
In the next round, if you love the fightin', move Cecile one circle to the
right and Juan one circle to the top right then attack with Thomas.  I advise
you don't and just use Thomas' Wind Magic to blast the Zexens and defend with
the other two.  You'll get attacked in the next few rounds so just use Thomas
unit primarily to take the attacks and retreat when you have to.  If Leo or
Percival's units attack you, retreat like crazy.  After 5-6 turns, the battle
will be over.  If you got a Safe Retreat, you'll get a Killer Rune as loot.  If
you didn't because someone got knocked out or an entire unit was lost, just
reload and try again.

After the battle, your group will fall back inside with the Zexen Councilor
charging after them.  Head toward the main house and you'll get into a fight
with 4 Zexen regulars.  They're not too tough-use the Best Effort Combo and Mel
will take them down.  Just defend with Juan's pair.  Make sure you're healed up
after the battle.  Once you get inside the main house, you'll see a brief
cutscene showing some Grade A guerilla tactics.

After this, another fight with 4 Zexen regulars except it's unwinnable.  I've
done over 5,000 damage to one of these guys and they don't go down.  You can
attack if you want but just keep healing until the battle ends and you get
some help.  The next and final battle is just against 2 Zexen regulars and this
time you can beat them.  Just mop them up with Best Effort and Mel and you
shouldn't have a problem.  When this battle is over, an extended cutscene will
play out and Thomas' chapter will come to an end.

!!!VERY IMPORTANT!!!-If you played Thomas' chapters in the suggested order,
meaning you've completed the chapter 3's of Geddoe, Hugo, and Chris, you'll be
taken to the Trinity Site as usual.  SAVE NOW AND DO NOT OVERWRITE THIS GAME.
Sorry for all the caps, but I can't stress enough how important this is.  The
biggest decision of the game occurs at the start of chapter 4 and you'll
definitely want to have a save game before making this decision.  Do what you
have to do to make sure this save game is never overwritten-save it in the very
first slot or some other spot that's "safe".

[No new recruits]

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Interlude--The Big Question (Spoilers)

From the Trinity Site pick the chapter 4 of Hugo, Chris, or Geddoe-it doesn't
matter at all.  The scene will pick up where it left off at the end of each
character's chapter 3.  An extended cutscene will follow.  The next paragraph
is chock full of spoilers so watch the scene first then come back-I've put
some spoiler space so you don't see anything accidentally.

-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-

Now you know the truth and it's time to pick a new Flame Champion.  The big
question is, who should it be?  My advice is to pick your favorite character.
Trust me when I say there is no battle that can't be won with any number of
different party combinations regardless of who is Flame Champion.  When you
think of it like this, the only thing that matters is YOUR opinion of who it
should be.

In terms of Fire Magic stats, Geddoe's is the best at a B+, followed by Hugo at
a B, and Chris at a C.  My personal opinion is that unless a character can get
their offensive magic skill up to at least an A it's not very good, and it
really should be at least an A+ for the very end of the game.  I never used the
True Fire Rune when I picked Hugo or Chris.  I've played through with each
character as Flame Champion and still beat the game with relative ease no
matter who I picked.  I'm not saying that to brag, only to re-emphasize my
advice to make your choice of FC based on your own personal tastes rather than
worrying about magic skill grades.

You probably have guessed by now that since Geddoe has the True Lightning Rune
the True Runes will be redistributed based on who you pick for Flame Champion.
The way that goes is this:

Flame Champion:               True Lightning:                True Water:

Geddoe                        Hugo                           Chris
Chris                         Geddoe                         Hugo
Hugo                          Geddoe                         Chris

The True Water Rune will come later.  Note that Geddoe can never receive the
True Water Rune and Chris can never receive the True Lightning Rune.  Once
you've made your choice, you'll see a small cutscene play out.  The main
storyline of chapter 4-5 are the same regardless of who you pick for Flame
Champion.  Chris has one extended cutscene unique to her if you pick her.  Due
to the overlap in storyline, I have not separated chapters 4-5 by each of the
main characters.  As long as you keep that save at the Trinity Site right
before you picked the Flame Champion, you can always play through the game
starting at that point with a different Flame Champion to see the differences.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Chapter 4

After talking with Sana, put your team in this formation no matter who is
Flame Champion:

Chris
Hugo
-----
-----
-----
Geddoe
(No Support)

When Sana asks, save your game if you want.  When she talks to you again, pick
the second choice to ask her to wait so you can adjust your equipment.  If
Geddoe is Flame Champion, take off his LightningMagic Rings and equip them on
Hugo.  Equip FireMagic Rings on Geddoe or Hugo if they're Flame Champion.
Don't bother with Chris because we'll only be using her Water magic.   Make
sure everyone still has a Sacrificial Jizo equipped.  When you're ready, talk
to Sana again and Save your game.  Talk to her again and ask her to take you to
the test twice.

The next battle's strategy is the same regardless of who's Flame Champion.
Send Hugo/Chris up with their melee attacks.  Cast the 4th level True Lightning
spell with Geddoe (Hammer of Raijin).  In the next round cast Kindness Drops to
heal Chris and Hugo even if Geddoe was hit in the last round.  Cast Furious
Blow from Geddoe's True Lightning Rune.  This should take out the True Fire
Dragon.  If you got unlucky and it didn't go down, heal everyone with Chris'
Kindness Rain and send Geddoe up for a melee attack-this should definitely take
it down or you haven't been properly leveling up.  There's a very slim chance
the Fire Dragon will reflect Geddoe's magic attacks.  If this happens, just
keep using Furious Blow with Geddoe and Chris/Hugo's melee attacks until he
goes down.

When the battle's over, you will receive the True Fire Rune.  Sana will lead
you out and some familiar faces will show up.  When given the dialogue choice
pick the first one if you're feeling heroic or the second if you want to
damage your reputation beyond belief.

If Geddoe is your Flame Champion, skip ahead to the next paragraph.  In the
first round, send up Chris/Hugo for melee attacks on Sarah.  If Hugo is Flame
Champ have Chris cast Kindness Drops on Geddoe if he's hurt.  Have Geddoe cast
Thunder Storm (3rd level spell).  This will wipe out all the Chimeras and
pretty much everyone else to boot.  Usually only Sarah and Yuber are left
standing.  You can take the Masked Bishop and Sarah's spells if they both get
them off with the Sacrificial Jizos equipped.  In the second round, cast
Soaring Bolt with Geddoe's True Lightning to finish off Sarah then take out
Yuber with Chris and Hugo.

If Geddoe is Flame Champion, have him cast Explosion and center it on Yuber.
Heal him with Chris' Kindness Drops if he was hurt in the last fight.  If not
send her/Hugo to attack Sarah.  All the Chimera should be gone in the next
round.  After that, go for Final Flame on Sarah if she's still alive or the
Masked Bishop if she's already down.  Heal with Kindness Drops/Rain from Chris
when necessary.  If Geddoe runs out of Final Flame, use Blazing Wall on the
enemy farthest away from him.

The battle with the Masked Bishop and co. does not need to be won-the story
will continue regardless if you won or lost.  When the battle's over, you'll
get a cutscene and wake up to have a conversation with one of your teammates.
Exit and stay/save at the inn.

Some changes to note before we continue with the story.

-The money of your main characters was pooled after chapter 3, meaning you very
 likely have 999,999 potch right now.

-The warehouses at Lake Castle, Brass Castle, and Caleria now have enough space
 to store 210 items.  Credit to Dazarath for this info.  All your items have
 also been pooled together and placed in the warehouse.  You can use all the
 storage areas now no matter who you picked for Flame Champion.

-Sebastian is no longer responsible for switching out party members at Lake
 Castle-it will now be Anne and she'll be at the tavern where Nadir and
 Nei/Shabon/Toppo are.

Exit the inn and head to the very front of the village.  The leaders of Zexen
and the Grasslands will be gathered there.  Walk up to them to trigger a
cutscene.  When that's over, head back into the village.  If you want to
advance the story now, talk to Salome (Chris), Caesar (Hugo), or Ace (Geddoe).
You can actually leave Chisha if you want but the only other places open on
the map will be Duck Village, Alma Kinan, and the Flame Champion Hideaway.

If Chris is not your Flame Champion, skip ahead to the next paragraph.  If
Chris is Flame Champion, talk to Sana and put Leo, Roland, Borus, Rico, and
Mio in your party.  If you got Mio with Thomas, take Barts instead.  You'll
notice that your Knights have gone up close to your level and they have better
equipment than when you last had them in chapter 2.  It's a good idea to get
enough skill points for Leo to raise his Armor Protect to at least an A+ (S
would be great but not necessary).  If you have the patience, level up Borus'
Swing to a B, you may have to forget the Repel skill to add it but it's worth
it to give him 2 hits/turn.  Take this party to the Flame Champ Hideaway to
fight the Azzodess and random encounters there.  Those battles will be tough,
but winnable.  If you run into a party with the purple ball monsters with lots
of eyes (I forget their name) just do your best to escape.  Visit Alma Kinan
when you're done to raise your skill levels.  While you're at Alma Kinan, put
the Firefly Rune you got from Rody on to Leo.  Remove Roland's Great Hawk Rune.
Head to Duck Village, buy 2 Skunk Runes, and put them on Roland and Borus.
Exit back to Chisha.  Buy a Sacrificial Jizo for Chris, Borus, Leo, and Roland
and equip them.

Talk to the person (Salome, Ace, or Caesar) you need to so you can advance the
story.  They'll ask if you're going to join the battle.  Agree to do so.  If
Chris is FC, just hit OK for the formation-the next strategy battle won't take
long.  After you agree to join, the strategy battle will begin.

This battle is unwinnable-after the third turn 2 Harmonian Units will continue
to appear each turn thereafter on any open circle.  You will have a maximum of
8 units and there are 11 circles, so there's no way to keep the Harmonians
from re-spawning.  In addition, at about the 10th turn Lucia will tell
everybody to retreat, even if you've wiped every Harmonian unit off the map.
Therefore, just get this battle over with as quickly as you can by sending the
first five Grassland units up against the Harmonians-they'll get defeated quite
badly.  I don't believe there's any way to lose your characters permanently
if they go down in this fight, either.

After the strategy battle, you'll go back to Duck Village for an extended
cutscene.  Go to the inn next to see a meeting between the Zexen and Grassland
leaders.  Exit to the front of the village where you'll learn the Harmonians
are on the move again.  Another cutscene follows between Chris and Dupa.

If Chris is not your Flame Champion skip to the next paragraph.  Caesar will
walk up to tell you he has a plan.  When you get to the dialogue option with
Salome, pick the 2nd choice to plan a formation.  I suggest you put Borus, Leo,
Roland, and Chris in one unit (Leo up front, Borus in the middle, Roland in
the back with Chris) and Percival and Salome in the other.  When Salome asks
again, pick the 3rd choice to ask him to wait.  Go save your game at the inn.
Come back and tell Salome you're ready to go with the 1st choice.  Skip the
next paragraph to continue.

Apple or Caesar will come up to you to tell you they have a plan.  Agree to
hear them out.  You'll find out that they believe half of the Harmonian Army
is just illusions.  When Caesar asks if you're ready tell him to wait.  If
Hugo is FC, talk to Apple and put in Hallec, Mua, and Fubar into your party.
Go to the inn and save.  Come back and tell Caesar you're ready now.

At the start of the next strategy battle, you just have to hold on for about
4-6 turns.  To get it over with as quickly as possible, move Units 1, 2, and
4 into the far northwestern circle and units 3 and 5 into the far southwestern
circle.  Only fight with the Duck Units if possible and heal with Dupa when
you can.  Franz and a Mantor unit will show up in turn 2 or 3.  Sarah will then
conjure more units and one turn thereafter Chris will show up to tell the
Grasslanders to fall back.

If Chris is not your FC, skip to the next paragraph.  You'll just have to stay
alive for 3 turns.  When it's your turn, move Chris' Unit into the far SW
circle.  Leave Salome/Percival where they are and have them defend.  When it's
the enemy's turn, just retreat Salome/Percival if they get attacked.  If Chris
gets attacked, go ahead and fight-her unit matches up very well because that
Firefly Rune you stuck on Leo means the Harmonians will idiotically try to
attack him first and do hardly any damage.  If they get lucky, you've got the
Sacrificial Jizos to give you some leeway.  Chris will also get HP back for
her unit at the start of her turn.  At the next turn, use Chris' Fire Rune to
hit the circle with the most enemy units on it that are adjacent to her.  Have
Salome/Percival only defend again and use Chris' unit to take the attacks.
Keep doing this until Sarah's unit retreats and you withdraw yourself for a
Safe Retreat.  No loot this time around.  In case you got Chris up to level 99
and were wiping out everyone, you still can't win this battle outright because
Sarah's HP won't drop below 1/2 so Safe Retreat is the best possible outcome.
Everyone will head back to Brass Castle afterward.  Skip the next paragraph to
continue.

You will advance to the back of the battlefield where you'll spot Sarah
conjuring the illusions.  You'll have to beat back 2 groups of Harmonian troops
who aren't much problem at all.  If Geddoe is your FC, just use Blazing Wall.
After dispatching them, you'll go up against Sarah.  To win this battle you
don't have to take out Sarah herself-just all of her Harmonian guards.  If
you're Hugo, use Aila's Shield Rune/Sgt. Joe's Water rune to heal and focus on
the guards-it shouldn't take you more than 2 turns to take them out.  If you're
Geddoe, just cast Blazing Wall and mop up.  When the battle's over, Yuber will
pop up again and your party will head back to Brass Castle.

To advance the story, head to the Knight's Parlor.  An extended cutscene will
follow.  If you're Chris, head back to your room to talk with Louis.  If you're
Hugo, go to the far eastern part of Brass Castle to talk with Sgt. Joe.  If
you're Geddoe, head to the west courtyard to talk with your group.

When you're given the dialogue options, pick whichever ones you feel like.
After your conversation, go to the east courtyard of Brass Castle to advance
the story.  Your FC will make a speech.  You'll then get the choice whether or
not you want to take the name of the previous FC.  If you prefer just to keep
your own name (i.e. Chris, Hugo, or Geddoe) pick the option "I will be Flame
Champion".  Caesar will then tell you it's time to organize your units for a
strategy battle.  This is the setup I used regardless of FC:


Leo           Borus         -----         Ace           Shiba
Queen         Fred          Dupa          Fubar         Sgt. Joe
Roland        Jacques       -----         Percival      Bazba
Chris         Geddoe        -----         Hugo          Lucia
(Caesar)      (Apple)       (Beecham)     (Salome)      (Joker)


About these units.  Your FC will have a Fire Skill attack and either Geddoe or
Hugo will have a Lightning Skill attack.  You'll need 3 good units that can
take down enemy units so I choose to shift the best groups into Chris, Hugo,
and Geddoe's command.  After you've picked your formation, pick the 3rd choice
to ask Caesar to wait.  Go to the inn and save then come back to tell him
you're ready.

At the start of the strategy battle, your FC will have a conversation with the
Harmonian commander.  Some Harmonian units will leave and only 7 are left
against your 5.  During your first turn, move the unit with Lightning and Fire
Skills together into the circle one move right from the starting point.  Put
the other units together in the circle below them.  If you ever need to heal,
you can now move back just one circle to the starting point-this also prevents
the enemy from being able to attack with Cover help.  I'm quite sure you can't
lose anyone permanently in this battle, too.

The two main enemy units to be concerned with are Yuber's and Sasarai's.  You
won't have to take on Sasarai in the field (his unit is just made up of 4
Regular Harmonian troops) but he has two Lightning Skill attacks that knock out
1/4 of your unit's health every time he casts it.  The units commanded by Dios,
Albert, and Sasarai don't have a commander-to beat them you'll have to take out
all 4 Harmonians.  I use my Lightning and Fire Skill both on Yuber's unit-he's
the most dangerous when you actually get to the field battle.  Sasarai almost
always will cast his Lightning attacks on 2 different units but if he hits one
unit with both of them, pull them back immediately.  Chris' unit is the best
for attack because of Leo and his Firefly Rune, followed by Hugo and Geddoe.

You can beat their 7 units with just these 3 with mop-up help from Lucia's unit
to attack enemy units that have been already hurt.  You can still score a Major
Victory even if one of your units is wiped out (I just played it and lost
Lucia's team) if you're able to take out the enemy's units before your
reinforcements arrive.  After the 5-6th turn, units lead by Thomas, Hallec, and
Mua will show up.  I always beat the Harmonians before they arrive, though.  If
you get a Major Victory, you get a Silver Shield.

After this hard fought win, an extended cutscene plays out showing the new
alliance and your team.  The Tinto group will then show up and formally join.
Head up to the Knights' Parlor to see all the sides join up as the new Fire
Bringer under your FC's leadership.  A new headquarters will be chosen and
you'll be asked to pick a team for going there.  This is the last chance you
will get to put Hugo, Geddoe, and Chris in the same party until the very end
of the game-as soon as you go to Lake Castle they can't be in the same party
until then.  This also applies to putting Lucia into your party.

Once you leave Brass Castle every place you've visited so far will now be
available on your World Map.  The connecting road from Great Hollow to the east
side of Brass Castle isn't there though for some reason.  A new spot will also
open that's right outside of Iksay and Lake Castle-the Tablet of Stars.  You
can go there to view how many stars out of the 108 you have.  It's a good idea
to check it after each strategy battle to see if anyone's dead.  A character is
permanently dead if their name is in red on the Tablet of Stars.  Yun's name
will be red but that's okay because she's supposed to die for story reasons.
If you want to swap out party members before going to Lake Castle, talk to
Apple in the Knights' Parlor.

To advance the story, head to Lake Castle.  Another cutscene will follow as
soon as you enter.  If you opted not to play through Thomas' chapters, the new
FC will get to rename Budehuc Castle.  Some notes about changes to Lake Castle.
You can access the fifth flame at the Trinity Site now by going up to Koroku
and talking to him.  You will then have the option to control him and walk
around as the dog.  Nothing special, really, other than hearing some
interesting comments here and there and running Kathy's track.  There's a
suggestion box by Arthur's bulletin which periodically will have notes from
your group to you.  The other main characters are all out on the ship-they're
in the three rooms opposite where Belle and Gadget Z are, at the bottom of the
stairs.  Now that your roster has expanded, giving the plays a whirl by
talking to Nadir can eat up a lot of your time as you watch all the different
possible combinations.  Clara has put up a Theater FAQ here at gamefaqs with
all the dialogue from these plays if you want to read them.

When you're ready to move the story forward, put together a serviceable party
but include Sgt. Joe in it.  By serviceable I mean just a party that you know
won't have problems surviving random battles.  Talk to Anne at the tavern
(where Nadir is) to put together your group and head to the front entrance.
You'll get a funny scene involving a new recruit, Cecile, and Juan.  The new
recruit is Jefferson and he's the Appointer; you should give all the Medal Sets
you've found to him.  He's located in the same room as Mike, which is on the
first floor of Lake Castle to the right of the elevator.  Once you give him the
Medal Sets, talk to Jefferson and you can give all your regular party members
(those that aren't just for support) titles that boost certain skills.  When
major battles come up, it's a good idea to make sure you've used these
appointments.

According to an e-mail that Dallas Strimple sent me, Jefferson won't show up at
the front gate if Juan is in your party.  This would also probably apply to
having Cecile in your party as well.  Thanks to Dallas Strimple for this
information and Fate for confirming it.

Exit Lake Castle to the World Map and head to the Great Hollow.  You will see
Jimba enter the path to the Ancient Highway.  Follow him and when you get to
the center you'll get a cutscene.  Enter the door and your party will have a
brief chat.  Exit and leave the Ancient Highway to the eastern side toward Duck
Village.  When you get to the World Map, go to Duck Village.  Talk to Rhett and
Wilder at their usual spot by the left waterwheel.  You'll see a chat between
them and Sgt. Joe.  Rhett and Wilder will be recruited following this talk.  Go
to the Rune Shop and talk to the little girl playing with the dog to get a
Thunder Rune.  Talk to the Alma Kinan woman sitting to the left of the Tutor's
counter to get the Silver Hammer.

Exit Duck Village and head to the Mt. Path.  Go up the path as you normally
would.  Just as you get past the clearing, Viki will fall out of the sky.  Pick
the second dialogue choice to recruit her.  Accept her offer by picking the
first choice so you can go back to Lake Castle.  Viki will now be located to
the immediate right of the elevator (next to Mike/Jefferson's room) and you
can teleport anywhere you want with her-but you'll need an item to get back
to Lake Castle.  If you had loaded Suikoden II data, Viki would come at a level
closer to what you had left her in that game.  Talk to Anne and put Viki in
your party and Mio in as support.  Walk back to Viki's spot in front of the
mirror and she'll appear.  Ask her to teleport you to Mt. Path.  On occasion,
Viki will mess up and teleport you to the front entrance of Lake Castle.

Head up the Mt. Path just like you did before.  When you reach the same spot
past the clearing again, Small Viki will appear.  When you get a dialogue
choice, pick the first one to recruit Small Viki.  You'll also receive the
Blinking Mirror (BM).  This item can be accessed by going to your Item menu,
then to Event Items, and then picking BM.  The mirror will instantly take you
back to Lake Castle but you can only use it on the World Map.

Exit the Mt. Path to the left and use the BM.  You'll get a cutscene with
Cecile telling you to go to the meeting hall.  Go there to get filled in on
what's going on with Harmonia and Jimba.  Going back to the Cyndar Ruins will
advance the story but there's no need to rush-you can take as much time as you
like before going back there.  Instead, I suggest you go ahead and recruit the
last possible non-automatic stars.

Talk to big Viki and teleport to Caleria.  Exit Caleria and head to the eastern
side of the Mt. Path.  Walk up the path about 3/4 of the way and you'll see
Futch standing off to the side (it's opposite where the herbs usually grow).
When he asks, pick the first choice to tell him you know the area.  After a
quickie cutscene, you'll be back in Caleria.  Head into Caleria and you'll see
Sharon walking toward the back of town.  Follow her to get another quick scene.
Head to the far corner directly opposite from the Item Stand.  When Sharon
runs away again, go to the front entrance of town.  Futch, Sharon, and Bright
will then join.  If you loaded Suikoden II data, Futch's level would've been
determined just like big Viki's.  Futch and Bright form a mounted unit if you
pair them together in your formation.

Exit Caleria to the World Map then use the BM to go home.  Teleport to Chisha
next.  Head to the inn and go downstairs.  Go right on this screen and enter
the 2nd doorway up.  Talk to Tuta and he'll reunite with Mio.  Tuta will then
join your group.  That's it for all the non-automatic recruits.  If you check
the Tablet of Stars you should have 93/108 at this point.  If you played in
the suggested order and recruited based on my suggestions, then went to Thomas'
chapters and decided not to play through them, you're probably missing Kenji,
Twaikin, Augustine, and Mel.  If this happened to you, here's how to recruit
them so you don't have to dig back through the Walkthrough:

1.  Mel, Iksay Village.  Talk to her and suggest she go to Lake Castle.
2.  Augustine, VdZ outside the Armor Shop.  Buy a Rose Brooch, a Rarity at the
    Iksay Item Shop, and give it to him.
3.  Twaikin, Great Hollow.  At the main area on the first floor, take the SE
    exit on your mini-map. Go through the next screen to exit.  At the screen
    after, head to the far left and talk to Twaikin.  When the lizard guard
    asks, say "Nothing" then recruit him.
4.  Kenji, Yaza Plain.  If you're entering Yaza from Lake Castle's side, he's
    to the middle and far left of the screen.  Talk to him, exercise then ask
    for water and he'll join.

This is now what I call "roaming" time-when you can level up who you want, go
shopping where you want, fight whatever treasure boss you want, watch plays,
whatever you want to do pretty much.  You will want to deliver all the items
for Barts, Peggi (the Silver Hammer), Eike, Jefferson, Mamie, and Nadir.  For
Mamie, if you want to try out her recipes, also pick up 1 each of the spices
she'll need to make different foods.  These spices are Salt, Red Pepper, Soy
Sauce, Mayonnaise, and Sugar and can be found at the various Trade Shops.

VERY IMPORTANT-I highly suggest you train up the Pale Gate Magic skill on
either big or small Viki or Estella and give them the Pale Gate Rune.  It will
be a huge help in beating a boss later in chapter 4.  In case you missed it,
you can get a Pale Gate Rune by talking to the little girl in the Iksay Item
Shop.  You can also find one as a rare random treasure on the first corpse
(closer to the entrance) at the Flame Champ Hideaway.  You'll only need one.

You will definitely also want to get the Prosperity Set now.  The Tunic can be
won as a random item for the 5,000 bet for Billy's game, the Prosperity Ring
and Hat are Rarity at the Chisha Item Shop and Armor Shop, respectively.
Estella also comes with the Prosperity Hat.  Put all three items on one
character and put Elliot in as Support-his potch finder ability is the best at
a C.  Go to the Flame Champ Hideaway and fight the Copper Sun monsters.  In
about 10-15 minutes, you'll have 999,999 potch.  The Flame Champ Hideaway is
also your best bet for skill and experience points with random encounters in
chapter 4 so you kill 2 birds with one stone.  Thanks to Abraxas again for the
Prosperity Set method.

sim st-pierre e-mailed me with this helpful tip to get money in chapters 4-5:

"hi, i checked a bit ur walkthrough. i just want to say that when it comes to
money, there's something really really easy to do. with the trade centers.
simply buy a lot of gold bars and pearls. lets say 15 gold bars and 30
pearls. gold bars can be bought at caleria and vinay del zexay and pearls at
budehuc and another place. anyway, get as much as u can and go to caleria.
{for the pearls, if u can have the rumor about a town being a sea
something,cant remember, u can get a lot of pearls for less than 10000)

sell all ur gold bar and buy all the pearls at caleria(do the oposite if
gold bars are low, 25000 and below) well when u come back in, lets say, 10
minutes, the ones u sold will be pretty low(gold bars are suposed to be
15000 and pearls are 13333, depends which u sold) and the other should be
high. anyway i was doing, one time i was selling my gold bar a around 60000
and buying the pearls at 13333, and when i come back, i was selling my
pearls at 30000 and buying my gold bars at 15000. so with not much time, u
can get a lot of money. if u want u can do the same thing with deer antlers,
then are sold a 2500 and bought at 7000-10000.

the trick is that the trade is having a lot of one item so they drop the
price and when its very low u buy it, after it will rise greatly. takes not
much time for the price to change. so u do something, u teleport to caleria,
u buy/sell u come back. takes about 10 minutes for each set of cash. i was
doing this at the same time i was forging everyone and equiping after. it
works as long as u want, the game is too stupid. (at one point, i had 25
gold bars and 40 pearls, i was selling like 23 goldbars and i had 1 million
this include the rebuy of the pearls. same thing with pearls, selling 35 and
had 1 million with the rebuy of the gold bars.)

this is the easiest and fastest way i think to make money, because the card
games sucks.  u get the hang of it pretty fast(i had the pearls and gold bars
accumulated since the beginning of the game.)"

Thanks to sim st-pierre for this tip.

In terms of other notable items you can pick up, in Iksay the man leaning on
the house to the left of the screen as you come to the main part of the village
will give you Tomato Seeds.  On the screen with the windmill, a man along the
path will give you Recipe #9.  A woman to the left of the screen up by the
windmill itself will give you Recipe #11.  In Caleria, the woman from Le Buque
by the bar will give you Recipe #15.  In Chisha, climb the ladder at the
Appraisal shop and talk to the woman there-she will give you a Cyclone Rune.
If Chris is FC, you'll have to wait until chapter 5 to get this since Chris
can't climb ladders while wearing Knight armor.  The Sirens in the Cyndar Ruins
area drop Thunder Runes.

You can now get the 4 non-star dogs.  You can start recruiting them after you
get Koroku and you don't have to have any of the dogs in your party to recruit
the others (unlike the squirrels from Suikoden II).  I believe you _do_ have to
get them in the order listed below because it's how Kidd scouts them:

-Koichi, North Cavern
 He's halfway up on the second screen from the entrance, to the right behind a
 barrel.

-Connie, Great Hollow
 Take the same SE exit you did when getting Twaikin.  Exit that path and take
 the middle exit on this screen on your mini- map.  Go up the pathway a little
 and she's lying right on the path.

-Kosanji, Mt. Senai
 From the entrance, keep going north a few screens until you can take the path
 that exits right on the mini-map.  Follow it out and you'll come to a cliff.
 Wander the edge of the cliff to the bottom of the screen and you'll see him
 struggling up the cliffside (just keep hitting X as you wander the edge if you
 can't see him).

-Kogoro, Cyndar Ruins
 From the main entrance to the Ruins where there's 3 pathways and a blue save
 crystal, take the left path.  On the next screen, take the first left on your
 mini-map.  When you get to the dead end square, look to the top right corner.
 You'll see a sliver of a black tail--this is the final non-star dog.  Talk to
 him after he's through dancing to adopt.  You'll be going to the Cyndar Ruins
 later so you can wait until then to get him if you like.

Here's a list of things to keep in mind about "roaming" time:

-Make it a point to visit all the Rune, Item, and Armor Shops so their regular
stock will be available at your shops in Lake Castle.  Do this in chapter 4 and
again at the beginning of chapter 5.  If Chris is FC, go to the Guild Hall in
VdZ and make sure to visit the Armor Shop-they have different Armor of the
Custom variety which is some of the best you can get.  If Chris is not FC,
you'll have to wait until chapter 5 before you can visit the Guild Hall.

-The notable Rarity armor includes TrueThunderbolt Leather (Caleria and Brass
Castle), Windspun Armor (Le Buque), Pale Moon Casque (Le Buque), Chaos Shield
(Brass Castle), Yellow Scarf (VdZ Item).  The TT Leather is the best non-Knight
armor in the game, IMHO.  The Windspun Armor is only for Knights and gives the
best defense boost at +120, but it's incredibly rare.  The Chaos Shield boosts
the Shield Protect skill by 1 grade as well as a +32 boost to defense.  The
Yellow Scarf will become a regular item in chapter 5 at VdZ.

-The notable Rarity items include Killer/Counter Runes (Alma Kinan), Hunter
Rune (VdZ Guild Hall Item), Hazy Rune (Duck Village/Alma Kinan), WhiteRose
Brooch (Caleria Item).  The Killer/Counter runes at Alma Kinan become regular
items in chapter 5.  The WhiteRose Brooch can only be worn by Augustine and
boosts his Swing by two grade levels.  He can equip up to 3 of these.  The
Rarity Item DragonTail Ornament found at Great Hollow is for the Lizard Clan
fighters.  The Rarity Item LionGod Ring at Chisha is for a character you'll
be getting later.

-The Gold Hammer, which allows Peggi to sharpen weapons to their highest level
at 16, is a Rarity at Iksay Village.  It's never shown up for me until late in
chapter 5, though.

-To save yourself time, do things in chunks.  That is, buy your characters
gear/sharpen their weapons until you run out of money, use the Prosperity Set
to get more money and level up characters, then come back to buy/sharpen again.
When you do this, make use of the O button.  At every shop including the Tutor
and bujutsu teacher, you can access your entire roster with the O button.  For
example, let's say you want to buy everyone a Premier Casque that can wear one.
Go to the Armor Shop to talk to Dominic, select Buy, press O, and voila, you
can now buy whatever item you want for anyone you want.  It works the same way
for leveling skills and sharpening weapons.  Talk to Juan, pick Lesson, press
O, and you can now teach your entire roster.  You can also do this with Muto
and all the items in your warehouse.   This is a huge time saver so you don't
have to swap people out 5 at a time through Anne to do what you want with them.

-On the same note as the last tip, every time you go on a spending spree, bring
Martha.  Her discount support skill is tops in the game at a B and this will
save you a ton of money in the long run.  She doesn't discount on sharpening
weapons, though.

-In terms of what's satisfactory gear and how high you should level up, you can
break your roster into two distinct groups.  One group will fight strategy
battles and the other group won't.  The characters that are directly involved
in strategy battles (meaning you see them on the battle screens):

Ace             Dupa           Hallec         Mua             Sergeant Joe
Augustine       Edge           Hugo           Percival        Sharon
Bazba           Emily          Jacques        Queen           Shiba
Borus           Fred           Landis         Reed            Thomas
Bright          Fubar          Leo            Roland          Twaikin
Cecile          Futch          Lilly          Samus           Viki (Big)
Chris           Geddoe         Lucia          Sanae Y         Wan Fu

You'll want to level up 20 of these characters to give you 5 really good attack
groups for the later strategy battles.  For the purpose of the strategy
battles, you only need Armor that's around level 60 (stuff like Blessed Leather
and Blessed Chainmail are fine).  In terms of level, 52 is very good and won't
take long to get to by fighting the Copper Suns at the Flame Champ Hideaway.
Keep in mind that all of these characters already come with a set number of
skill points that you can use up by visiting Ernie and Juan then making use of
the O button to train all of them at once.  You can also visit Peggi and hit O
to sharpen everyone's weapon as well.  Level 12 is good enough.  The Silver
Hammer you got allows you to level up to 15.

-Although only the characters above participate in strategy battles, the rest
of your roster are still quite useful because they can participate in the later
boss battles.  In this regard, level up and customize whoever you want.  You
will want 3-4 characters leveled up to be used as healers.  That is, characters
who are at least a B+ in Water or Shield Magic.  The game truly lends itself so
that you can beat the boss battles with practically any party combination so
have fun with it and try out whoever you want.

-The three people I always like to level up are Nei, Juan, and Emily.  As I've
stated before, I believe Juan and Emily are the two best fighters in the game.
Nei's Chant Magic is the best in the game and her Magic Resistance skill
naturally goes up to an S.  The final bosses are primarily magic users so she's
not as vulnerable as most other magic casters with this skill.  Juan's high
bujutsu skill (which aids group melee attacks) and Nei's Song of Madness will
allow you to do ungodly amounts of damage.  It's not unusual to have Juan and
Emily do 5,000-8,000 pts. of damage EACH in a single turn once you max out
their Swing, Heavy Damage, and Continual Attack skills.  The only drawback with
this is you have to invest a lot of skill points to raise them up properly.
You'll also want to put a Yellow Scarf on Juan so he's awake at the start of
battle and doesn't lose a turn.  You can counteract his lost berserk status
with a Fury Rune.

-A good default skill for the boss battles of chapter 4 and 5 is Magic
Resistance.  If you have an empty skill slot and don't really have a preference
for a skill, this is the most useful.  Some of your characters also can wear
the accessory Gold Emblem, which boosts this skill by 1 grade level.  It is a
Rarity at Brass Castle and the VdZ Guild Hall.

That's it for "roaming" time.  There's nothing special about the treasure boss
monsters in chapter 4 in terms of strategy.  If your party's around level 45
or better, you won't have much problem taking the bosses out as long as you
keep yourself healed.  The notable loot I got after doing 2 sweeps in chapter
4:

Mt. Hei-Tou:  ?Figurine
North Cavern:  Stone of Luck, ?Statue
Mt. Path:  Stone of Speed, Drain Rune, Resistance Ring, 2 ?Paintings
Mt. Senai:  2 ?Statues
Flame Champ Hideaway:  Nothing

Nothing too great, huh?  The best treasure boss gear pops up in chapter 5.  On
a very rare occasion, you can get a Balance Rune for the Mt. Path boss.  On 4
playthroughs I've only been able to get it once.  It prevents your character
from ever becoming unbalanced.  This is great for characters whose Runes make
them unbalanced (such as Ace's Double Tusk) or they become unbalanced after
doing a combo (such as Thomas).

When you want to make the story progress, put together a party with a healer,
whoever has the Pale Gate Rune, and three other characters that you feel
confident you can win with.  I personally took my FC, Juan, Nei, Emily, and
big Viki.  All of them were around level 53.  Before you head out, you can talk
with Jefferson to boost certain skills like Accuracy, Swing, Damage, etc. by
giving the characters in your party his titles.  Go back to the Ancient Highway
and head through the open doorway.  Save at the blue crystal.  As you make your
way through this dungeon, save at least 4 first level spells for whoever has
the Pale Gate Rune.  Remember that you can use an Escape Scroll to go back to
the exit if you want.

Take the left path first.  On the next screen, take the first left on your
mini-map.  When you get to the dead end square, look to the top right corner.
You'll see a sliver of a black tail-this is the final non-star dog.  Talk to it
and adopt it if you didn't get it earlier.  Go back and take the second left on
your mini-map.  Follow it to the end and you'll see a corpse.  Loot it for a
random item.  Go back and take the north exit on your mini-map.

On the next screen, take the first right on your mini-map.  Head to the dead
end area to the southeast.  There's another corpse in this square dead end.  If
you loaded Suikoden II data, you would get Script #5.  If not, it's another
random treasure.  Backtrack your way to the starting point where the blue save
crystal is.  Take the right path this time.  On the next screen, take the
second exit to the right.  Follow it then take a right (don't exit the screen
north).  Follow the path over the stairs to the dead end to the southeast on
your mini-map.  There's another corpse here that has Old Book Vol. 4.
Backtrack one screen.  Take the first exit to the right this time.  That is,
if you were just entering from the area with the blue crystal, it would be your
first right.

Follow this path around until it exits north.  Keep following it until you exit
the screen to the very top north (by taking a left diagonal route on the mini-
map).  On the next screen will be a blue save crystal.  Save your game.  Go
north and you'll run into Sarah again.  She will summon 2 Chimera and 2 Ghost
Armor to help her fight you.  This battle's not tough-you can win it just by
taking out the summoned monsters without laying a hand on Sarah.  As long as
you heal from her magic attacks you'll be fine.  You get an Armor of Rage when
you win.  A cutscene will follow and you'll end up in an area of mist, ice, and
horrible slowdown.

Make sure everyone's healed up.  When you get halfway past the screen you'll
trigger another boss fight-the True Water Rune Dragon.  This boss can be very
difficult because of its multiple attacks.  However, with the Pale Gate Rune's
1st level spell, Open Gate, you can take out all the icicles in one shot.  Once
they're gone, you can concentrate on the dragon itself.  If you lost the Pale
Gate Rune or didn't get one, this battle becomes very hard but still winnable.
You'll have to keep your party healed each turn and concentrate on taking out
the icicles one at a time.  The dragon can re-spawn them but when it does it
won't be able to do its primary magic attack.  Just keep hacking away and
it'll go down.  You get a Flowing Rune once you win.  The Flowing Rune's 4th
level spell is Mother Ocean-which will revive characters who've been knocked
out in battles.  There's an indepth strategy to beat this boss in section 9u
in case you have more trouble.

Keep going north to trigger a very extended cutscene involving the 3 main
characters, Lucia, and Jimba.  If Chris is FC, she has an extra scene inside
the giant True Water Rune Seal.  Hugo or Chris will then receive the True
Water Rune and Caesar says it's time to go back to Lake Castle.  At the Trinity
Site save your game.  Select chapter 5 for any of the 3 main characters-it
doesn't matter who you pick.

Dupa [78/108]
Bazba [79/108]
Shiba [80/108]
Beecham [81/108]
Lilly [82/108]
Reed [83/108]
Samus [84/108]
Jefferson [85/108]*
Rhett [86/108]*
Wilder [87/108]*
Big Viki [88/108]*
Small Viki [89/108]*
Futch [90/108]*
Bright [91/108]*
Sharon [92/108]*
Tuta [93/108]*

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Chapter 5

Sebastian will greet you in a short cutscene.  He will then ask if you want to
rest.  I strongly recommend you pick the 2nd choice so you can roam.  Picking
the first choice will advance the story.  Nash will be unavailable for a while
to your battle party.  Once again, take the time to go around to all the shops
to put new stock in your shops at Lake Castle.  The items of note:

-Alma Kinan's Item Shop now has Killer Runes as regular items.  Le Buque's Item
Stand has Counter Runes and their Rune Shop has Double Strike.  The VdZ Item
Shop has Yellow Scarf.

IMPORTANT:  If Geddoe is your Flame Champion, you'll want to get 5 Fire Sealing
Runes.  These runes negate all fire damage.  The Troll Dragons at Yaza Plain
drop them.  If you got the Hunter Rune, affix it to someone with lots of
attacks like Emily and get the runes.  Alternatively, just put Kidd in for
support and roam around fighting them.  It's not essential to do this, but it
can make Geddoe's battles in ch. 5 easier because it allows him to use all his
Fire attacks without worry of damaging his own party.

After fighting the treasure bosses twice, these were the notable items I got:

-Cyndar Ruins (head all the way to the ice area):  2 Champion's Runes, Earth
Shield, Recipe #17, ?Statue

-Mt. Senai:  Stone of MGC-DEF, Horned Helm, Chain Attack Ring, Recipe #18,
2 ?Figurines

-Mt. Path:  Flame Casque, Rage Rune, Dragon Scale, Earth Shield, ?Painting,
Dream Robe, Recipe #20

-North Cavern:  ?Statue

-Mt. Hei-Tou:  ?Painting

-Flame Champ Hideaway:  Nothing

When you affix the Champion's Rune to someone in your party, all the battles
where you have the option to "Let Go" will no longer appear.  This makes long
hikes through areas with weak enemies such as the North Cavern much quicker.
The Chain Attack Ring and Dragon Scale each boost the wearer's Continual Attack
skill by 1 level.  I generally give both to Hugo.  The Dream Robe can only be
worn by magic users and halves an enemy's ATK rating if the wearer is hit.  Its
defense boost of +83 is the best for all tunics/robes.

The strategy battles will be coming up soon so make sure you level up, equip,
and sharpen weapons for the characters you'll want to use in them.  If you want
to give yourself some leeway, talk to Gordon and buy a Sacrificial Jizo for
anyone on the strategy battle roster you may feel is vulnerable (remember to
use the O button to access your entire group).  Good default runes for your
characters are Killer, Counter, and Haziness.

When you're ready to advance the story, talk to Sebastian in your room and tell
him you are tired.  Everything from here on out happens the same no matter who
is FC.  A cutscene in Harmonia follows.  When you have control of your FC
again, head out to the front entrance where Cecile stands to advance the story.
When the cutscene ends, go back to the main house and you'll have a meeting
about what's happened.  Geddoe will volunteer to take the mission and takes his
original six group.

If Geddoe is FC, I highly recommend you take Jeane with you as support.  Her
Rune Sage ability aids in the speed of your group's spell casting and this will
help a lot, especially if Geddoe's grade in fire magic is only a B+ or A.  The
bad part about this is Jeane won't be at Lake Castle for a while since she's
with Geddoe.  The good part is, Jeane is a mobile rune shop so you can affix or
remove runes anywhere you want-meaning you don't have to affix any Fire Sealing
runes you got right this instant but can wait until later when the major
battles happen.

If Geddoe is not FC, take one of the support people with high healing skill
like Mio, Tuta, or Goro.

Viki will now be unavailable for teleportation so anything you want to do at
Lake Castle you should do now before heading out with Geddoe's team.  If you
like equipping your team with Sacrificial Jizos for major fights, I advise you
to buy them now at Lake Castle.  You'll also want to boost any skills with Juan
and Ernie since you won't get a convenient chance once you get far away from
Lake Castle.  You should also make use of Jefferson's appointments for Geddoe
and his team as well.  Don't take the Flowing Rune you got earlier with this
group-it'll come in handy for something later.

When you're ready to go with Geddoe, head to Plain Amur.  If Chris is your FC
and you want to get a Cyclone Rune, go to Chisha Village first.  Climb the
ladder at the Appraiser shop and talk to the woman up there to get the Rune.
To advance the story, head to the Mt. Path to get to Le Buque.  You'll have to
fight the Twin Head Snake Boss probably but he won't be any trouble.  If you
want to fight him again later in the chapter, loot the entire chest.  Once you
get close to Le Buque, you'll trigger another cutscene.  Keep heading there
until you exit to the World Map.

Go to Le Buque and a cutscene will play out.  Head to the middle of town for
another cutscene.  Go to Iku's house (the one by the inn) next.  Head inside
after Franz goes in there for another conversation.  When you have control of
Geddoe again, climb down the Mantor platform and Stay/Save at the inn.  Exit
Le Buque and go to Mt. Senai.

After the cutscene, save at the blue crystal.  Don't use Geddoe's higher level
spells and do your best to keep Aila/Joker's healing spells.  Make your way to
the very back of the cave where you normally fight the treasure boss.  Before
you exit out of the tunnel to get to that room, make sure all your equipment
is ready (Sacrificial Jizos/Fire Sealing runes) and your health is maximum.
The formation I used:

Queen
Geddoe
Jacques
Aila
Ace
Joker
(Jeane/Tuta for Support)

Once you reach the room, a cutscene will occur and you'll end up in a fight
with Sarah and Luc.  If Geddoe is your FC, skip to the next paragraph.  This
battle isn't hard with the TLR.  Just cast Thunder Storm twice and it'll be
over.  Use Aila/Jacques against Sarah and have Ace do his Double Tusk on Luc.
Heal when you need to and the battle will be over in short order.  Skip past
the next paragraph to continue.

The other monsters aren't really a problem-they're just there to get between
you and Luc/Sarah.  You'll want to take out at least Sarah in the first round.
You can either go for the 4th level spell which is quite slow unless Geddoe
has an A+ in Fire Magic or you can opt for the 3rd level spell, Final Flame,
and use it on Sarah.  Either way, you'll likely have to take at least one magic
attack.  In the first round, use Jacques/Aila against Sarah and have Ace do
Double Tusk on Luc.  Heal yourself in the next round then use Final Flame on
whoever's still standing with Luc/Sarah.  Mop up the rest for the victory.

After the victory you'll get a WindMagic Ring.  A cutscene will follow and
there's no way to stop Luc from what he does.  When you have control of Geddoe
again, heal up your party if they're banged up.  Head to the tunnel and exit
it.  A cutscene will ensue and you'll be plunged into a series of battles.
You can win these with just your melee attacks.  For the first battle, use the
familiar formula of Jacques' Boronda Hawk and the Mercenary A combo with Ace
and Joker then mop up.  Do the same with the second battle and keep your team
healed up if you have Jeane instead of Tuta for support.  A third battle will
ensue and again, the same formula works.

When the third battle's over, you'll be given a dialogue choice.  NEVER choose
the option to leave the townspeople behind-you will lose 7 Stars of Destiny
forever if you do so.  If you want to rest up, pick the second choice ("Return
to the room")-there's no penalty for doing this.  If you want to continue, go
ahead and pick the first choice.  The next fight is a little easier so I just
use Jacques' Boronda Hawk then regular melee attacks with everyone else.  After
this fight, pick the first choice again ("We can't just run away").  The next
fight is a little tougher but nothing you can't handle if you've made it this
far.  When this fight ends, pick the dialogue choice again to NOT leave the
townspeople behind.

A familiar face will then show up to offer help.  When you get a dialogue
choice, pick either one-it won't change anything although if you'd rather
Geddoe not swallow his pride, pick the first option.  A cutscene will follow
with your team.  Head back to Le Buque.  If you're wondering, there's nothing
left storywise to do in Mt. Senai-if you go back to where you fought Luc and
Sarah it's just the treasure boss like normal.

When you get to Le Buque, head into town to get another cutscene.  My only
comment for that scene is that Geddoe is THE MAN.  When it's over, you'll be
back at the Trinity Site and asked to pick Chris' flame next.  Go ahead and
elect to continue and you'll learn that Chris needs to go to Brass Castle.
The same things that applied to Geddoe apply here-Viki can't teleport you and
you should take care of everything at Lake Castle you want before advancing the
story (including re-arranging Jefferson's appointments).  Take a serviceable
party with you when you leave.

If Chris is not your FC, go to VdZ first to visit the Guild Hall.  Check their
Armor, Rune, and Item Shops so the stock there will now be at Lake Castle.  The
Armor shop has Custom gear which is the best non-treasure boss/Rarity stuff you
can find.

When you're ready for the story to progress, go to Brass Castle.  Head to the
west courtyard and you'll get a cutscene.  Head to the east courtyard and Chris
will be greeted by Yumi, who has come to ask for help.  When asked to select
your party, put in someone who's really good at Water Magic and attach the
Flowing Rune to them (remember that you can access your warehouse and a Rune
Shop here at Brass Castle).  For the rest of your group, put in people who are
strong melee attackers.  I took Chris, Borus, Futch/Bright, big Viki, and
Sharon.  If you didn't take Jeane with you earlier with Geddoe, she's the best
choice as support followed by Mike.  You'll want to make sure that each pair
has healing items in their personal inventories.  If you want to switch out
party members after this, talk to Salome in the Knights' Parlor.

When you want to advance the story, head to Duck Village.  Stay/Save at the inn
there then continue to Kuput Forest.  Take the route you normally do to get to
Alma Kinan.  Once you're about halfway there, a cutscene will occur and you'll
get into a battle with Sarah with 3 Azzodess.  In the first round, have the
person with the Flowing Rune cast Silent Lake.  Send everyone else against the
Azzodess and concentrate on taking them out 1 at a time.  In the second round,
heal with your items if you have to and keep hacking away.  This battle should
not take more than 3 turns.  You get a Drain rune once you win.  Another
cutscene will follow and what happened to Geddoe previously will happen to
Chris.  Again there's no way to prevent this.

You will then switch to Hugo's flame at the Trinity Site.  Pick it to continue.
When you have control of him, go to the front to talk with Cecile.  Before
heading out, put the Dragon Scale and Chain Attack Ring items you got earlier
on Hugo.  You can't go further than Yaza Plain but you can level up out there
if Hugo's still around the mid-40's level (it's not necessary, though).  Once
you're ready to advance the story, just exit Lake Castle and come back.  A
cutscene with a Zexen Knight will occur who tells your group that Brass Castle
has been attacked.

Hugo will decide to form an advance team to help out the Zexens.  The group you
put together doesn't have to be great-just good enough to beat the random
encounters you've already been facing in this chapter.  Putting in one of the
healers for support is a good idea.  No other special preparations are needed.
I took Hugo/Fubar, Hallec, Sgt. Joe, Mua, and Edge with Mio as Support.

To move the story forward, head to the west end of Brass Castle.  After the
brief cutscene, head to the middle of the Castle and Stay/Save at the inn.
Continue to the eastern side of the Castle for 2 consecutive battles with some
Harmonian regulars.  These guys are worth a bunch of skill/exp points but
they're total wimps-you won't have any problems if you just select Auto.  A
cutscene will occur and Salome and Roland will note something odd about these
troops.  You'll take on one more group of these guys and this fight's just as
easy.  You get a Hunter rune as loot for this fight.

When the battles are over, Hugo will go through the same thing Geddoe and
Chris did earlier.  A cutscene will follow this and you'll gain some new
allies.  Caesar will then suggest you go ahead and attack Luc's army outside
of Brass Castle.  The main 5 units I use for attack in this battle are:


Sharon      Leo           Fred          Emily         Nicolas
Borus       Percival      Gau           Fubar         Dupa
Viki        Shiba         Sgt. Joe      Hallec        Mua
Chris       Lucia         Futch         Hugo          Elaine
(Caesar)    (Tuta)        (Yuiri)       (Salome)      (Mio)


Note that Duke's unit already comes in at really strong levels-each member of
his team is great without doing anything to them right now in terms of their
gear or skills (you'll want to do that later, though).  If you got the item,
LionGod Ring, Gau is the only one who can wear them.  It doesn't matter what
you do with the rest of the squad line-up.  Just keep really weak characters in
Reserve all together and don't get into any field battles with any groups
except your best five.  If you're wondering about Geddoe, he'll show up later.

Before picking the first choice to move ahead, ask Caesar to wait with the
third dialogue choice then go to the Brass Castle inn to save.  Come back and
tell him you're ready and the strategy battle will commence.

This strategy battle's not hard-you can afford to be aggressive because you
have plenty of healing available plus some very strong units.  You will also
have 2 Fire Skill and 2 Lightning Skill attacks.  The goal of the battle is to
eliminate Yuber's unit.  As before, soften him up with 2 Fire and 2 Lightning
attacks.  You can't take out his unit until Sasarai shows up-until then Yuber's
HP won't drop below 1/2.  If someone gets attacked by Yuber's unit before
Sasarai appears, just have them retreat.  The rest of the opposition should
not pose a problem.  You should be able to put your teams in very good Cover
positions to make this fight easier.  After Sasarai appears and the color of
his unit turns from black to red, you can finally take out Yuber.  You get a
Flowing Rune as loot for a Major Victory.

When the battle's over, you get a quick chat with Cecile who tells you that
everyone's in the meeting hall.  To advance the story, go there.  Sasarai will
explain Luc's plot and Nash will come in to give you his location.  When Caesar
asks, pick the third choice to ask him to wait.

This is now your last roaming time before the final strategy battle.  If you
still haven't recruited all the non-automatic stars or leveled up your guys,
now's the time to do it.  Viki is available for teleportation again.  If you
go to Iksay, they should have the Gold Hammer in the Item Shop Rarity now.
Give this to Peggi and you can sharpen weapons to their maximum level of 16.
You can also now put Sasarai and Yumi in your battle party-they're 2 of the
best magic users in the game and Sasarai can go up to an S for Earth Magic.
If you have extra Firefly runes, put them on your Tanks like Fred, Mua, Leo,
and Twaikin.

BEFORE you confirm to Caesar that you're ready to start the battle by picking
the first option from the dialogue box, save your game.  This is so if you lose
the battle and have to start over, you can still wander around to level up and
change the formation if you like.  You can have a maximum of 10 units.  To win
the last strategy battle that's next, you'll be using 4 strong attack teams,
your Lightning and Fire Skill characters, and the rest is fodder.  For me, this
is the formation and characters I picked:

Sharon        Emily         Borus          Ace
Viki          Mua           Jacques        Roland
Bright        Fubar         Hallec         Augustine
Chris         Hugo          Geddoe         Futch
(Caesar)      (Salome)      (Apple)        (Joker)

The Lightning Magic Skill units:

------        ------
------        Dupa
------        ------
Sasarai       ------
(Tuta)        (Jeane)

And the all-star fodder teams:

Nicolas       Fred          Leo            Twaikin
Gau           Samus         Ruby           Landis
Reed          Elaine        Franz          Percival
Duke          Thomas        Lilly          Lucia
(Estella)     (Mio)         (Beecham)      (Yuiri)

After you tell Caesar you're ready, Sasarai and Dios will automatically join.
When you head to the front courtyard of the main house, it will trigger a
cutscene and you'll immediately go to the strategy battle.

Now to the overall flow of the battle itself.  The goal of the battle is to
eliminate Yuber's unit.  You cannot do this until you've taken out Sarah's
unit.  You'll be going up against 12 enemy units total at the start.  Luc is
Unit 1 but he'll disappear at the start of the enemy's 3rd turn and is never a
factor.  Along with Sarah and Yuber, 5 enemy units will start on the left side
of the battlefield screen and 4 enemy units will be to the right.  Once you
remove 5 enemy units, Sarah will summon 4 more.  She will do this twice until
she gets exhausted then disappears.  You will be able to move 7 units per turn
and the enemy 6.

My strategy for this battle is to take out Sarah first with your Lightning
Skill attacks and not allowing her to summon more units.  The way to do this is
by not eliminating 5 units at the start.  Once Sarah is gone, I use the Fire
Skill to soften up Yuber then take him out as well.

As far as the enemy goes, units 6, 9, and 12 are of particular interest.  Unit
6 and 12 each have 1 Fire Magic skill attack.  Unit 9 is made up of a Siren
with three Chimeras.  The Siren is behind the Chimeras at the start so whoever
tries to take them out should be a very strong attack unit.  Sarah's unit is
set up just like this.  Yuber is accompanied by 3 Bone Soldiers but he's placed
conveniently at the front.  The enemy units to the right of the field are melee
attackers.  Those to the left rely on Magic except the Harmonian units (4 & 5).
If any of your units gets hit really bad, don't be shy about using your healing
skills.  I usually wait until the characters in a unit are down to 1/2 HP
before healing them.

Here's a diagram of the starting area:


              A    
                \
                 \
                  B-----C-----D
                         \
                          \
                         Start


Your first objective is to take circle A with 2 of your attack units.  You will
also want to take both Lightning Skill units and the fodder team with Yuiri in
support to circle A as well.  The reason circle A is important is because once
you take it, it will prompt Sarah to move down toward you if she doesn't do so
early.  You'll want to move your 3rd attack unit to circle B and keep the other
attack unit at the Start circle.  Your other 3 fodder teams should be moved to
circle C.  That's the overall strategy, so here's the detailed process, keeping
in mind the unit formation I mentioned above.

PT = Player Turn, ET = Enemy Turn

PT 1:  Move Chris, Hugo, Geddoe, Sasarai, Dupa, Lilly, and Thomas' units into
       circle C
ET 1:  Will usually move 1-3 units each into circles B and D

PT 2:  Take out the enemy units in circle B with Chris, Hugo, and/or Geddoe's
       units.  After taking out all the enemies in circle B, move as many
       fodder units into circle C as there are enemy units in circle D.  With
       your remaining moves, put Dupa and Sasarai's units into circle B along
       with a fodder team and the 2 attack teams you want to use against Sarah.
       NEVER move Dupa and Sasarai's units into a circle without at least some
       other unit with them
ET 2:  The enemy units in circle D will attack.  Select the fodder units to
       meet them and select Retreat when you get to the field battle.  The
       strategy for now is to keep as many fodder units in circle C as there
       are enemy units in circle D

PT 3:  Keep an attack unit in circle B.  Move any fodder units you need to into
       circle C to match the number of enemy units in circle D.  Futch's unit
       should still be at the Start circle.  Move 2 attack teams, for me this
       is Chris and Hugo, toward circle A, taking out any enemy units you need
       to.  Along with these 2 attack teams, move Dupa, Sasarai, and Lucia's
       units with them
ET 3:  Luc will disappear.  The enemy units in circle D will attack circle C
       again.  Again, just retreat with your fodder units.  If you've taken
       circle A, Sarah will likely be moving toward you by now

PT 4:  Sarah will head toward you either to the right of circle A or to the
       left.  Once you take circle A, move Dupa and Sasarai's units plus the 2
       attack teams toward her side.  There will be 2 Harmonian enemy units,
       numbers 4 and 5, up here as well.  Take out ONLY 1 of these units.  You
       can avoid at least one of them if you take the fodder unit with you (in
       my case Lucia) and retreat them if they're attacked.  Once you're two
       connected circles away from Sarah, hit her with your Lightning skill
       attacks.  If you can get her with 3 of these, it will take out her unit
       completely.  If you have big Viki like I do, you can send this unit
       against Sarah after hitting her with the 2 Lightning spells.  This is
       because Viki will almost always cast Set!, which automatically knocks
       out Sarah if she's been weakened by the Lightning spells.  On a rare
       occasion, Sarah will heal herself.  In that case, just blast her again
       in the next turn with Lightning skills.  If Sarah doesn't go down in
       this turn, remember to move your fodder teams into circle C
ET 4:  Once Sarah's unit is gone, only the monster units to the right of the
       field and Yuber will remain.  Retreat your fodder units one last time
       from circle C if they're attacked

PT 5:  Once Sarah is gone, you can now concentrate on Yuber and company.  If
       she's still there in this turn, just repeat the steps in PT 4 until you
       take her out.  If you've taken her out, withdraw any unit you have in
       circle C into circles B and D.  You should have 1 attack unit in circle
       B plus another at the Start circle.  Move the units that took out Sarah
       toward Yuber
ET 5:  If Sarah's gone, allow the enemy to move into circle C.  You'll notice
       those goobs have wandered into a circle that is now flanked by your 2
       attack units--automatically putting them into Cover position so you can
       smash the enemy in the next turn

PT 6:  Take out the enemy units in circle C with your attack teams.  Once
       they're down, head toward Yuber's team with your healthy attack teams,
       the Fire Skill team, Dupa or Sasarai if they still have a Lightning
       Skill, and a Healing skill team.  When you reach Yuber, soften him up
       with your magic attacks first, then send in the attack team that has
       the best Accuracy and Heavy Damage skills among the characters to finish
       him off

The overall strategy can vary depending on where Yuber moves.  Most of the
time, he'll either stay at the top of the screen or move to the right.  If he
moves with Sarah, this isn't a big deal as long as you brought your fodder
team with you.  Just use them to meet Yuber then Retreat.  Your Lightning and
attack units should be close to Sarah if Yuber gets close to you so you can
take her out before having to confront him directly.  If you're having problems
winning this battle, I provide a little more detail and preparation tips in
section 9y for it.

If one of your characters' HP is reduced to 0, they are NOT one of the unit
commanders, AND they say something after the battle, it means they're dead
permanently.  Unfortunately, they don't say something real useful like, "I just
died and cost you the 108 Stars of Destiny bonus".  Instead, it'll be something
generic.  If this happens, just soft reset and go back to your last save to
start the battle over.  This shouldn't be a problem if you're well-prepared,
though.  After you get a Major Victory, you'll get a Wind Hat for a prize.  To
ensure you'll get the 108 Stars bonus, check the Tablet of Stars after this
battle when you get the chance-it should say you have 108 out of 108 stars and
only Yun and Jimba's names should be in red.  If you meet these 2 requirements,
you'll get the bonus at the end of the game.

A cutscene will follow at the last battle area, the Ceremonial Site.  Your 3
main characters plus Sasarai will then go for a different True Rune.  To get
the True Lightning Rune, you'll face Yuber.  To get the True Water Rune, you'll
face Sarah.  Depending on the Flame Champion, this is how these battles are
fought:

Flame Champion          Will Fight Yuber         Will Fight Sarah
Hugo                    Geddoe                   Chris
Chris                   Geddoe                   Hugo
Geddoe                  Hugo                     Chris

Before you head out to retrieve the True Runes, you'll be asked to choose your
party.  If you take the "default" parties of each character, you will receive
a special scene as they head in to fight Yuber and Sarah.  These default
parties are:

1.  Chris, Borus, Percival, Roland, Salome, Leo, and Louis (Support)
2.  Geddoe, Queen, Jacques, Aila, Joker, and Ace (doesn't matter who's support)
3.  Hugo, Sgt. Joe, Fubar (doesn't matter who else is in party)

You can win all the fights in the Ceremonial Site with these default parties
but you don't _have_ to use them.  If Chris is not FC, you will also see a very
funny scene between her and Lucia before she goes to get the True Water Rune.
You can leave the Ceremonial Site at any time by just walking out or using an
Escape Scroll.  You can switch party members either by talking to Apple at the
Site or going back to Lake Castle to talk to Anne.  You are free to roam and do
anything you want, including fighting the treasure bosses again.  The best
place for experience and skill points is the Ceremonial Site itself with the
random encounters there.  For these last battles, levels around 54 will be
plenty.  General strategies for Yuber and Sarah:

Always save at the blue crystal before heading in-the random encounters can be
tough so be prepared.  Save your spells for the end battle.  Sacrificial Jizos
are good items but only essential for your characters with low HP (such as
Queen and Joker if you take them to face Yuber).  For the team going to fight
Sarah, make sure they have healing items in each pair.  Having a Yellow Scarf
for your magic users is also a very good idea for the fight against Sarah.
Remember to make use of Jefferson's appointments.

For Yuber, he will be accompanied by 3 Skeletons and a HellSteed.  I focus on
taking these guys out first before going after Yuber.  It helps a lot to give
somebody a Thunder Rune in your party with really good skill (Geddoe, Mel, or
Rody) and have them cast Thunder Storm in the first round.  Yuber is dangerous
because of his multiple attacks and high repel rate but he has a tendency to
focus on only one person-if you can keep this person alive with your healing
items/spells, you can win this battle fairly easily with everyone alive.  If
you bring a Tank character with a Firefly Rune, it'll make this fight even
easier.  You get a Reflection Ring and the True Lightning Rune for beating him.

For Sarah, she will be accompanied by 2 HorroBeasts and 2 Azzodess.  Casting
Silent Lake is the key.  Put a Flowing Rune on someone with good water skill,
Yumi, Salome, either Vikis, Rody, or Elaine all qualify, and have them cast
this in the first round.  After that, go for your melee attacks and concentrate
on taking down your enemies one at a time.  Heal with your items after that and
you should be able to hack them down.  You'll get a Flowing Rune plus the True
Water Rune back for winning.

After you win these two battles to reclaim the True Water and Lightning Runes,
you'll get a cutscene with Sasarai and Dios.  Thomas and Cecile will also be
with them if you didn't use them in the battles against Yuber and Sarah.  After
this, your FC will then be asked to go get the True Fire Rune.  Just put
together a serviceable party-you'll be able to switch out before the final
battle.  Head to the end and you'll see a cutscene between Caesar and an old
friend.  When that's over, head to the open door.  Another cutscene will follow
and you'll be asked to put together a party.  Just pick anyone again because
you'll be able to choose again soon.  Enter the final platform to get an
extended cutscene.

You'll be thrown into battle with 3 Guardians but they aren't much trouble.
Another battle with them follows but again it's not a big deal.  After your
conversation is over, your party will ask that you fall back to regroup.  Do
so because you won't be penalized for it.  You can now roam again as well as
put Geddoe, Chris, and Hugo in the same battle party.  To fight the last
battle in the game, you would go back to the platform and tell your party that
you are ready when the dialogue choice pops up.

If you take the default parties mentioned before to this last battle, you will
get a special scene as they exit the Site AFTER the battle.  Therefore, each
main character has 2 optional scenes at the Ceremonial Site depending on
whether or not they are FC.  In addition, if you take Futch or big Viki and
put them in the top slot on the formation screen, they'll say a few words
regarding their past relationships with Luc.  Credit Raikochan from the
gamefaqs message board for the info. on Futch/Viki.

The last battle itself is against a super-charged True Wind Rune bird with
magical orbs that've been powered up by the True Earth, Water, Fire, and
Lightning Runes.  You don't need to take out the orbs to beat it, just the
main body itself but taking out the orbs removes its ability to cast multiple
magic attacks.  The best way to ensure you survive is to build up the Magic
Resistance skill on the characters you take to meet it.  If they can't
naturally go up to a B, don't bother.  You can enhance this skill with Gold
Emblems and Resistance Rings.  Your first priority is to take out the Water
orb.  While the Lightning orb is still around, you can only hit the Water orb
with archer and magic attacks.  Once the Lightning orb is gone, you can have at
it with any attack you please.  If you see the Earth orb cast a spell where
these stone columns fly around and a bright yellow disc with symbols appears on
the ground, don't cast any OFFENSIVE magic-it will be reflected right back at
you.  It goes without saying, but make sure you have the best gear and best
weapons available.  Jeane and Ernie are great choices for Geddoe and Hugo
because they aid in magic casting speed and power, respectively.  Specific
strategies for each FC's "default" party:

Chris-This is the toughest out of the 3 main characters but still very doable.
I've changed a few things about this fight since last time because several
people e-mailed me with specific problems about it.  I recommend training up
Magic Resistance for everyone except Salome.  Equip Salome with any Reflection
Rings you have.  Equip Chris with any Resistance Rings you have (big Viki comes
with it) and Gold Emblems for everyone else that can wear them except Salome.
Put a Water, Shield, and Killer Rune on Salome.  Put a Flowing Rune on Percival
and train up his Holy Dash and Water Magic to their max.  Fury Runes for Borus
and Leo are good choices, as well as Killer.  For Roland, Fury + Great Hawk or
Killer are good.  You'll also want to give Roland Jefferson's appointment that
boosts the Swing skill by 1 grade.  At around level 52, Roland gets 2 attacks
per turn if his Swing is a B+.  The formation I recommend:

Percival
Roland
Borus
Salome
Chris
Leo
(Louis)

Sacrificial Jizos and healing items are a very good idea.  The key to winning
this is pure attrition-just outlast the enemy.  In the first turn, send
Percival and Borus' units up against the Lightning orb and send Chris' unit up
against the Fire orb.  Percival's Holy Dash skill will allow him to drag
Roland up with him.  You want to send everyone up so they'll all be in range
for the Kindness Rain spell.  Heal after each round with Great Blessing,
Kindness Rain, or Kindness Drops from Salome.  Use Percival's Flowing Rune only
if it's really necessary or to use Mother Ocean if someone got knocked out.
Once the Lightning orb gets knocked out, send everyone after the Water orb.
It'll take a few tries because the Water orb will continue to revive the
Lightning orb but eventually you'll take it out.  I had to take out the
Lightning orb 4 times before I could finally get at the Water orb.  If you run
low on healing spells, you'll have the Jizos and healing items to fall back on.
Once the Water orb is gone, it's smooth sailing-just take out the Fire orb then
focus on the True Wind Rune.

Geddoe-Make sure everyone has a Fire Sealing Rune if you intend to use the 4th
level True Fire spell.  I prefer not to so I can fit everyone else with a more
useful rune like Killer or Fury.  The familiar formation I use:

Queen
Geddoe
Jacques
Aila
Ace
Joker
(Jeane)

Have Geddoe cast Final Flame on the Water orb and have Jacques' pair attack it
in the first round.  Send Ace and Joker up to attack the Fire orb.  In the
second round, heal with Great Blessing and, if the Earth orb didn't cast its
protect spell, have Geddoe cast Final Flame again on the Water orb.  If it did
cast protect, send Queen and Geddoe up against the Lightning orb.  Once that
orb is down, focus on the Water orb.  If you get the chance, use Joker's
Kindness Rain to heal everyone and command the archers to hit the Water orb.
Once the Water orb is down, it's just a matter of mopping up.

Hugo-His is the easiest since you can pick 3 characters out of your entire
roster, including Geddoe with his True Lightning Rune.  Not much to advise,
really, since there's so much versatility in strategy.  The general strategy
serves as a good outline in terms of how you should approach this fight.  If
you want to use Sasarai and his True Earth Rune, here's the one fight where
Earth magic is actually pretty helpful.  Casting Canopy Defense (the 3rd level
spell) will protect your party from magic attacks once.  Doing this once per
turn will negate a ton of damage and makes the battle pretty easy if you have
strong melee attackers (Hugo/Fubar, Futch/Bright, Juan, Emily, etc.).  In
terms of default parties, Hugo's really gives you the opportunity to play
around with all different types of groups.

After you win the last battle, a series of cutscenes will ensue with your
characters.  These include Thomas and Cecile, Fred and Rico, and Dios and
Sasarai.  Note that if you took any of these characters to the final battle,
you won't see their specific cutscene.  When these scenes end, you will see
an ending scene with your FC.  The screen will go dark, then the 108 Stars of
Destiny summaries will roll, letting you know what happened in the aftermath to
all your recruits.  A final still picture for each FC will then be shown.

If you got the 108 Stars of Destiny bonus, hit X after the still picture.  The
screen will go dark for a little while then you'll be back at the Trinity Site.
The 6th and final flame will be lit.  I won't ruin what this is so you can
find out for yourself.

In terms of what to do now, you can opt to replay the game in a different order
and pick a different FC.  I have compiled all the differences with scene
transcripts depending on who is FC in a separate Story Scenes/Endings FAQ
that's also here at gamefaqs.  If you enjoyed the game a lot, I highly
encourage you to go through it again and try different things, especially
going in a different play and recruiting order.  That's it until Suikoden IV.