The item world has two main benefits: first, the item world is where you subdue Specialists, and second, each floor of the item world that you complete adds a small amount of power to the item. The item world is also the only place you can get some of the best equipment of the game, there is an early chapter that requires you to go through at least ten levels of the item world, and it is necessary to complete the item world for a Legendary item to get one of the endings of the game.
The item world is essentially a long, randomly generated dungeon. Each level has random topography, and may include islands, some of which may be far out of reach.
Each level will always contain a base panel and a 'Dimensional Warp' which takes you to the next level without completing the current one. Although portions of the item world may be disconnected, the base panel and Dimensional Warp will be connected. (The Dimensional Warp may be too high for any character to jump or be thrown to, or may be otherwise unreachable, but it will always be *connected* to the base panel.) Sitting on top of the Dimensional Warp may be an enemy unit with the special type 'Gatekeeper'. A Gatekeeper will never move from that spot (and any unit on the Dimensional Warp cannot be lifted). It can, however, be moved by special attacks such as Triple Strike, or warped away. Every level will have a minimum of three enemy units. (Note: Though I have not confirmed it, I am told that very small levels (1 panel by 2 panels) can appear, and will have fewer than three enemies, since they do not have room for three.)
Every tenth floor in the item world is special. Each one contains an Item General, Item King, or Item God, and these are the only floors at which you can leave the Item World without using a Mr. Gency's Exit. The first Bonus item for these levels is always a Mr. Gency's Exit; after you get the free one from Karla, this is the only sure way to acquire one. These floors also have a red background instead of a white one and different music.
Item Generals appear on levels 10, 20, 40, 50, 70, and 80.
Item Kings appear on levels 30, 60, and 90.
Item God (or Item God 2) appears only on level 100.
If you are stuck or running low on HP, you can leave the Item World at any time by using a Mr. Gency's Exit. When you use this, you immediately return to the castle, and will reenter the item at the floor you left.
There is a single caveat on the use of Mr. Gency's Exit: if you kill an Item General or King, and choose 'No' when asked if you wish to return to the castle, then use Mr. Gency's Exit, the game will not count your Item General or King kill, and you won't get any of the power gain that you would normally get from the kill.
Except for the caveat above, there is no difference (in terms of the power of the item) between killing every enemy on every floor, skipping every floor, and using a Mr. Gency's Exit on every floor, then reentering, as long as you kill every Item General, King, and God.
Occasionally, a unit will spawn that represents a specialist. When this happens, the game will show that unit with the word 'CHECK' at the start of the floor. If you kill this unit, that specialists becomes subdued.
The Item World gives many people headaches; here are some strategies for dealing with particularly tricky situations, and for treasure hunting.
The single most important rule for the Item World is: always make sure that there is a Mr. Gency's Exit in your Item Bag when going through the Item World. This item will let you escape from the current floor, and when you re-enter the item, you will return to the same floor, but it will have a new, randomly-generated layout. It would also be a good idea to bring plenty of SP restoratives.
The most common Item World problems come from Geo Panels, particularly No Lifting and Invincibility. Although the details of setting up Geo Chains is outside the scope of this guide, it is important to know the ways of getting rid of Geo Symbols:
- Reduce symbol to 0 HP through attacks.
- Throw symbol into enemy unit.
- Enemy unit thrown into symbol.
- Damage from a color change will always destroy a Geo Symbol.
- The Scout "Geo Change" ability will randomly reset the Geo Panels and symbols on a field.
So, for example, if you have a Gatekeeper that is Invincible, and the Invincibility symbol is out of reach, you can destroy another symbol on the same color of Geo Panel (probably by throwing it onto an enemy or throwing an enemy onto it).
The other problem that sometimes happens is that the Dimensional Gate is at a location that is inaccessible due to height problems--for example, it is at the top of a high pillar. For this problem, there are two solutions: good throwers, and good jumpers. Rogues make the best throwers, and may be able to throw a character to a location that would otherwise be inaccessible. For jumpers, at low levels Ninjas and Scouts have the best jumping ability; late in the game, Ninjas and Majins do. Equip one of these with the best shoes(or teeth) you can find.
Treasure hunting requires more strategy than mere survival does; while the steps outlined above should suffice to get you through almost any undesirable layout, more is required to get Bonus Meter items and items from enemy inventories.
First, when treasure hunting, always check the Bonus and Character options on the battle menu to see if there is something that you want. Then, if there is, you need to figure out how to get it.
If the item is in an enemy inventory, it is usually easy to get. Simply have a Rogue use a Hand item from your Item Bag on the enemy, and, unless the enemies severely outclass you, you should have no problem stealing whatever you want. (The Rogue's level should be slightly over half of the enemy's level.)
If you want an item from the bonus meter, things get a little trickier. You have to both fill the Bonus meter and kill every enemy on the level. Filling the Bonus Meter is most easily done through Geo Chains (as explained in the in-game tutorial and other guides), but can be done through other means:
- Geo Chains
- Killing a unit
- Combo Attacking
- Team Attacking
Except for Geo Chains, the individual bonuses tend to be small. Note that the meter will rise a little further if a Rogue participates in the action. Also note that, if there are few Geo Panels on a level, you can clear them in a chain, then use Geo Change and clear the new set, getting a bonus both times.
Once you have filled the Bonus Meter (at least high enough to get the desired item(s)), you have to kill every enemy unit on the level. This can sometimes be difficult, particularly when the enemies are on far-away islands. In this case, there are a few tricks to help. First, you can try to throw characters to the enemies' islands; the Rogue is best for this with a throw of 6. Also use the diagonal throw technique: if you hit 'X' while rocking the D-pad back and forth between two directions, the game will allow you to throw a character in between those two directions.
If you can't throw a character (either because there are no free spaces on the island or because it is too far away), then you have to use ranged attacks. Guns have the longest range for normal attacks; magic is best for things that are just outside of gun range. However, the longest-range attack in the game is Dark Cannon, the other Scout skill. Dark Cannon can attack any place on the board that is not blocked by a wall; unfortunately, after the initial attack it will fire on the closest unit--ally or enemy--at the end of each turn, so you must move your characters away quickly (lifting and throwing the cannon helps as well).
Lastly, rely on your own cleverness. The Item World is randomly-generated, and although it has some constraints, some very strange and very difficult layouts sometimes appear. Hopefully these strategies will help you get through them.
There is no penalty in the item's growth for skipping levels, although if the item boss is not killed the gain due to that is lost forever. Furthermore, you only have so many units and SP and they will disappear quickly after 10 levels of hard fighting. Thus it makes sense to skip most levels if possible, after making sure that there aren't any bonuses or items worth stealing.
Use of a throw chain will get you to the gate quickly. If there's a gatekeeper, you can't lift them off the gate to let one of your units in. Fortunately, there are special attacks (predominately fists) that will knock them off the square. Probably 90% of the time you can escape within 2 turns. If the gate's on the other side of the map and has a gatekeeper you might as well just clear the level.