Before you begin, you have to decide on the difficulty and autosave settings, which can also be changed any time you want at a later point. A cinematic will then play introducing the four main characters.
Caldisla, Land of Beginnings
Tiz awakes in an inn and is greeted by Owen. After the conversation, you now have control of Tiz. First, inspect one of the tables beside the beds for a free Potion, then go downstairs and inspect the plant near the entrance to get an easy 50pg. Exit the inn and explore the town. The townspeople don't have much to say, but you can get a few hidden items if you search thoroughly. An Antidote can be found around the exit of the town. Head up to the left until you reach the graveyard. The foliage at the east of the graves hide a Phoenix Down, while the tree beside the church can be inspected for a Potion.
Now, head to the top of the town and enter the palace. Speak to the King of Caldisla. Tiz tells the King that he is going to Norende Village to search for survivors, and he tells you to use the canyon trail to the west. While in the palace, inspect the left statue to obtain Eye Drops, then look in the right torch near the king for 100pg. Make any preparations you need at the shops and exit the city. A brief guide popups and Tutorial Quests become available. Head west to the cave and enter Norende Ravine.
|Rod||60||Bronze Helm||40||Bronze Bangle||40|
As your first dungeon, Norende Ravine is pretty easy to navigate, being a mostly straight path. Enemies in here include Goblins and their variants, which should be no trouble to take out. The trail splits in the middle, with the bottom leading to a treasure chest containing a Potion. Take the top trail to the Climb. Double back down the lower trail to reach another treasure chest containing 200pg. Continue west to the Vista. At the end is the Adventurer where you can save and buy any items you need. He will give you a Strange Hourglass. A guide then pops up explaining Bravely Second and Sleep Points (SP). When ready, continue on to the ledge overlooking the chasm.
At the top Agnès is praying and Tiz confronts her. The Knights of Eternian Sky attack with cannons and Tiz and Agnès flee. Agnès joins your party. Go back down the trail and you will have to fight three battles, two battles with a single Sky Dueler and one battle with a Sky Dueler and a Sky Archer. Sky Duelers are a bit stronger than Goblins and will focus on lower HP targets, while Sky Archers may inflict Poison status with Poison Arrow. Once all of them are defeated, the Sky Knights leave to resupply. Exit the cave and go back to Caldisla and speak to the King.
Boss: Barras and Holly
Back at the palace, the king makes Tiz the chairman of the reconstruction project of Norende Village. You can now access the Norende Village minigame. Additionally, he mentions that the Eternian forces are besieging Caldisla until they surrender the wind vestal. This prompts Agnès to give herself up to the Sky Knights, but Tiz offers to accompany her. Before you head southwest to the lake where the Sky Knights resupply, it's wise to train up a bit and get some better equipment for Agnes. When you think you're prepared, head southwest from Caldisla to the lake. At the lake, the two are attacked by Barras Lehr the Monk and Holly Whyte the White Mage.
This is your first asterisk battle. As you can tell from their appearances, Barras is the main damage dealer of the duo while Holly is responsible for casting buffs and healing. Barras will often use Brave to utilize Invigorate and attack consecutively, increasing the damage he deals. Occasionally, Invigorate may backfire, hurting him and your whole party. Meanwhile, Holly will use Protect to increase her or Barras's defense, as well as cast Cure when one of their health is low. She rarely attacks, and her strikes are weak compared to Barras. However, she may also use Aero, which deals much more damage.
Your focus should be on Barras, as he is the one that can hurt you the most. However, with Holly's Cure spell, you'll have difficulty wearing him down. Use Default to soften Barras's attacks and build up BP, then use multiple Braves to increase your damage output per turn. Your goal is to chip off Barras's health faster than Holly can heal. Barras may even quicken his defeat if his Invigorate backfires. After Barras is down, Holly is less of a threat. Again, use Default then Brave to deal damage faster than she can reverse with Cure, and you will eventually defeat her.
After winning the boss battle, you will gain two asterisks, expanding your job options. Barras's asterisk gives you the Monk job, a glass cannon attacker that doesn't require much armor, which can save you some gold this early in the game. Holly's asterisk gives you the White Mage job, which can learn many supportive spells. It is highly recommended that you have one party member switched to a White Mage, as having a healer is a great help in battle.
Back at the Caldislan palace, the king tells you that more Eternian forces are staying at the Centro Keep, but the bridge is currently out, and suggests that you rest at the inn. Follow his advise and enter the inn. Later in the night, Tiz and Agnès both wake up to see the Sky Knights, led by black mage Ominas Crowe and a young woman Edea, setting fire to a house, demanding the wind vestal. A mysterious amnesiac called Ringabel offers to join you, letting you gain an additional party member and access to D's Journal. You can flip through it from the sidebar to read extra backstory, review tutorials and see previous story events.
With Ringabel in your party, you may wish to shop for some new equipment and weapons to strengthen him. As you've just obtained the White Mage asterisk, you should also take a look in the magic shop. You must purchase a magic scroll to learn a spell before you can use it. For now, the only spells you can learn are Cure, Poisona and Blindna. It is recommended that you get Cure immediately, but Poisona and Blindna are immensely useful as well. Once you buy a scroll, you won't have to do it again, so they are well worth the price. Once you leave town, a tutorial about Abilinks will pop up. Head across the repaired bridge and enter Centro Keep to the north.
Ruins of Centro Keep
Upon entering, you will see Edea arguing with Ominas behind a wooden door. You can't move into the room, so you'll have to take the long way around. You'll encounter some new enemies here: the Orcs and the Cait Sith. Orcs will often use Default to raise their defense and rack up BP. Cait Sith are weak, but can cast Blind to cripple your physical attackers. When faced with a combination of the two, make Cait Sith a priority. Head into the right chamber and pull the lever to raise the gate to the north room. Enter it and take the stairs up.
On the second floor, you'll start encountering Orc Leaders. They can raise the attack of the enemy party and inflict Poison on you, so fight them with care. Move south and you will come to two paths. The left path is a dead end with a chest containing Silver Glasses, which grants Blind immunity, a helpful protection against the Cait Sith. The right path leads to a lever that will raise the gate to the stairs leading to the third floor. After pulling the lever, head upstairs.
Upon arriving at the 3rd floor, head east to find a chest containing a Phoenix Down. Once you head down the corridor, you will have a choice of three passages to the right. The top passage has a chest with Echo Herbs while the middle passage contains a lever that lets you access the left half of the floor. The lowest passage seems to be a dead end, but by traveling south from the end of the hallway, you will enter a secret corridor. Move south and west to reach a hidden chest containing the Silver Knuckles, an excellent weapon for the Monk in your party.
Having pulled the lever, go to the left half of the 3rd floor. Go up and around the bend to arrive at another split path. The right path leads to a chest with a Wakeup Bell. Go straight down to reach another lever, which opens up the room with the stairs to the floor below. In this new section of the 2nd floor, head west and south and you will come across more pathways. The lowest path leads to a chest containing the Mage Masher, a dagger that has a chance to Silence enemies like the Cait Sith. The middle passage leads to a vertical corridor. Go north for a chest with a Potion, then go south for the last lever, which raises the gate to the stairs leading to the bottom. Stock up on items and save with the Adventurer, then venture down the steps.
Boss: Ominas Crowe
At the 1st floor, the party confronts Edea and Ominas. Edea is fed up with Ominas's cruel methods and defects to your party, and all four face Ominas in an asterisk battle! As you start, note that Edea comes equipped with the Ise-no-Kami, a katana that gives her powerful physical strikes on par with a Monk.
It's no secret that Ominas is a pyromaniac, so his main form of attack is with Fire, which he will use on the whole group at once. Ominas also has several debuff spells. He can use Silence to stop an ally from casting spells, Sleep to disable an ally until they are hit, or Poison to do damage per turn to the whole party.
Having a White Mage in your party is integral for victory in this boss fight. A group casted Cure will partially negate the effects of Fire, while Poisona can dispel Poison from your party one-by-one. Their weak physical attack is also handy for waking up sleeping allies without causing too much damage. Keep some Echo Herbs in hand in case your White Mage is Silenced. With an active White Mage providing support, your physical attackers should have no trouble wearing him down. Use a combination of Default and Brave wisely to rack up large amounts of damage per turn, and Ominas will soon fall.
Defeating Ominas earns you the Black Mage asterisk. Black Mages have the ability to cast powerful elemental magic spells, as well as use a variety of debuffs to weaken foes.
Meanwhile, at Caldisla, the palace is stormed by Sky Knights, led by Argent Heinkel. He effortlessly defeats the palace guards and is confronted by Owen. Back at Centro Keep, you must return to Caldisla. Head straight to the palace to find the king kidnapped and a dying Owen. That night, Edea will have an argument with the rest of the party, and runs off on her own. After the cutscene, move to the graveyard to trigger another cutscene, and cause Edea to rejoin the party.
Edea mentions that the knight responsible for kidnapping the king, Argent Heinkel, is stationed at Lontano Villa, north of Centro Keep. She devises a plan to sneak into the villa using her authority among the Sky Knights. Before you head off, be sure to shop for equipment for the journey ahead. Now that you have the Black Mage asterisk, the Fire, Blizzard and Thunder spells are quite useful to you. You should save up buy all of them, but if you can only afford one, Thunder should be your highest priority.
Once you've made your preparations, leave Caldisla and head for Centro Keep. Inspect the door at the northern end of the keep and Edea will open it. The overworld beyond Centro Keep features some tougher enemies than your conventional Goblins and Zombies, so travel with care. Once you reach the villa, Edea will fool some Sky Knights into opening the entrance. Enter Lontano Villa.
The moment you arrive at the villa's interior, the Sky Knights will receive news of Edea's betrayal and attack you. This area is littered with Sky Knights, including the new Sky Pikeman that can deal damage to multiple party members at once. There are also Wolves and Panthers, the latter of which has high Evasion, making them difficult to hit for physical attackers. Sky Knights are weak to Thunder while the beasts are vulnerable against Fire, so a Black Mage will make your life easier in the villa.
The Lontano Villa is a bit more structured than Centro Keep, with all three levels following an octagonal design. Head around the outer perimeter to reach a chest if you need an Ether. Move into the inner circle and travel around the whole room to arrive at another chest with an antidote. Move back up north until you can return to the outer circle, and head up the stairs.
On the second floor, head south until you see a small pathway branching to the northeast. Through the passage is a chest with a Potion. Keep going south until you reach the outer wall, and follow it to some steps leading down. They take you to an inaccessible part of the 1st floor with a chest that contains a Spear. This unique weapon becomes stronger if you target multiple enemies with it. Back at the 2nd floor, move toward the center layer and head north. If you ignore the exit and head southeast, you will discover a small room with a chest containing 400pg.
Take the exit to end up outside. Move right until you reach another entrance, then reenter the villa. Travel north, ignoring the stairs till you reach a dead end, where a chest can be found that contains a White Cape. It provides Silence immunity when equipped, so it's a great accessory for your mages. Go upstairs and move north to find another chest with a Phoenix Down. Follow the mostly linear path to the center and the southern room. Ignore the blue chest to the north, as you won't be able to open it for a while.
In the southern chamber of the 3rd floor, there's an Adventurer. Get any items you need and save, then venture into the west room. Argent Heinkel orders some Sky Knights to attack you, then escapes to his airship. You will enter a forced encounter with a Sky Dueler, two Sky Archers and a Sky Pikeman. Using Braves and several Thunder casts should eliminate them quickly. Once the Sky Knights are defeated, head outdoors and hurry to the right, boarding the airship when you reach the end.
Boss: Argent Heinkel
Argent Heinkel, the bearer of the Knight asterisk, planned to trap you on the airship so that there's no escape. He isn't going anywhere either, so an asterisk battle will start. Argent is assisted by two Sky Archers, and he will use Protect Ally to intercept any attempts at taking them out. He will also use Ironclad and Shield Strike to raise his physical defense, the latter of which also deals damage. Additionally, he can use Stomp at low health as a desperate attack.
The Sky Archers will cause you a lot of grief if you let them live due to Poison Arrow, but Argent's Protect Ally will prevent you from taking them out with physical attacks. Having a Black Mage is the key to winning this battle. Cast Thunder on the whole group to hit them all, and it won't be stopped by Protect Ally. They'll likely fall within two turns, after which you can focus on Argent alone. Argent himself is also weak to Thunder, so keep casting it to wear him down. Physical attackers wouldn't be able to do much to him, so have them Default often to reduce damage taken and Brave to make up for turns spent Defaulting. Finally, a White Mage is handy for keeping your team alive and healthy, especially once Argent starts spamming Stomp. Keep up your offense and the last of the Eternian Sky Knights will fall.
Upon defeat, Argent Heinkel drops the Knight asterisk. The Knight is a defensive physical class made to tank attacks and protect teammates. They have high amounts of HP and are quite strong in combat but have poor speed.
Onward to Ancheim
Despite Argent's defeat, the group is not out of danger. The airship is going to crash without a pilot, until Ringabel discovers he can control the airship, called the Eschalot. The party makes a safe landing on the lake southwest of Caldisla. Head back to the palace to be congratulated by the king. He gifts the Eschalot to the party. With Caldisla safe, Agnes decides to return to her homeland Ancheim.
Before you head for Ancheim, make some final preparations in Caldisla. If you haven't bought all of the magic spells, do them now. Blizzard is especially useful for what's coming next, as many enemies in Ancheim are weak to it. Once you're ready, return to the lake and enter the airship. Even though you can fly wherever you want, there is only one place you can go, and that is to the continent east of you. The inner sea is the remaining body of water not rotted black, and there's a dock at the south where you can disembark. Once you do, Chapter 1 will commence!