Week 1 Event
Zeppel welcomes the class back from summer break. He reminds everyone that the school festival will come in this term, and that everyone should finish their assignments before taking part. He mentions the main event of the festival will be a battle arena. Nikki tries to talk someone into joining her in the arena, but when it looks like she'll drag Vayne into it, Flay interrupts to mention he's already signed Vayne up as his partner, and he also introduces his mana. In the course of two cut-scenes the party has filled out from three to five.
Week 2 Class: Minerology
Flay notices that no one's written anything in the workshop schedule. At this point all of the freshmen are wondering what he's talking about, so Flay tells everyone he'll explain again, but they'd better pay attention this time. The Task Sharing tutorial is now available.
When he's done explaining the schedule, he goes on to explain Formations, which split the roles your party members have in battle (something that is only possible when you have more than three members in the party). The Formations tutorial is now available.Don't forget to check the Grow Books for Flay and Pamela, since none of their skill and attribute upgrades will be unlocked until you check them. Each will start with some AP, so you can get some of those bonuses right away.
When you're done building equipment for the new characters and expanding their grow books, assign some tasks on the schedule and head to Student Affairs to sign up for Minerology. Again the course is required and you have no other choices.
Dior teaches the class on Minerology, which is about finding ore for alchemy recipes. Apparently not all of the students find this subject fascinating, until it's time to go out and mine some ore. The students are given 2 Heal Jars and told to head out to the Mana Ruins, which become accessible Off Campus.
Heading to the Ruins will bring a short cut-scene and open up the tutorial for Chain Attacks. This will give you the basic idea behind using characters from the support row to boost damage from attacks and reduce the damage from enemy attacks, as well as switching characters out to recover SP. You have until 6pm to gather the ores needed to complete the assignment. You receive a pickaxe with which to gather the ore, and the tutorial is added to the Encyclopedia. This is essentially the same as gathering plants.
Shortly after the search time hits 9 hours the party will automatically return to the teacher to turn in their ore. This means that you'll need to know where you're headed and get to the ore pretty quickly. There's a shallow deposit to the east that will get you back to the teacher with a small supply of ore before the 6 hour mark, but you'll only receive a C for it. In order to get a B, you'll need to mine a second area, and to get an A you'll need a third.
It may be worthwhile to save the game in one slot before heading to the ruins, and then after receiving a grade in another. In that way, you can repeat the attempt by loading the previous save until you can manage the grade you would like. It should be noted, though, that a B will most likely be good enough to secure Free Time, since you can get three weeks of free time with a pair of Bs or better, and the second class for the week is easier, with a little preparation.
The first gathering point is just north and east of the starting point. The second is north and west of there. You'll have to jump up onto a pillar and across a small gap to another pillar in order to reach a semi-open area with what looks like a wall in the southwest. Walk against the wall and you should find a place where you can walk through it, and then you can go around to a path that will take you back to the second gathering point. The third will be far to the north, and by far the hardest to reach within the time limit. There's a save point on the way to this last one, which might be useful in case you have the misfortune of running into a monster that delays you too long on the way to that last point.
When you return to the workshop after receiving your grade, the other members of the party will report on what they completed for the week's schedule.
Week 3 Class: Combat II Burst
The first thing you may want to do after saving and adjusting your schedule is to head back to the Mana Ruins to pick up the items you couldn't get while rushing for the gathering spots in the previous week's class. Additionally, digging up some radishes to complete some recipes that may have been waiting a while would be a good idea.
Next, make sure you have a half dozen or so bombs for the monster you'll be assigned to kill in this class. They will make it much easier to increase the Burst gauge quickly so the students have a chance at a good grade. When your party is ready, head to Student Affairs and enroll in Combat II Burst.
Lorr gives a quick overview of Burst, then sends the class out to the Living Forest to defeat the Stone Watcher. You have to be sure to defeat him while in Burst mode, and he wants the battle done in less than 30 minutes (not including travel time; note that each card in a battle is roughly one minute). Lorr does give the party five Flames, one Nectar, and two Heal Jars, so it is likely that even without making some bombs in advance you'll have enough to fill the Burst gauge.
When you find the target near the Mana Ruins, you'll receive the Burst (Battle Basics) tutorial. The tutorial, unfortunately, doesn't tell you how to fill the burst gauge quickly in order to complete your assignment with a decent grade. If you want to do that, you'll have to use items to do damage to the Stone Watcher rather than using skills, spells, and standard attacks (which usually do more damage, but fill the gauge up at a significantly slower rate).
Start the battle off by having all three front row characters throw items at the creature. Depending on the speed of the characters, you can most likely get Burst mode started before the Stone Watcher gets a chance to attack (4 or 5 bombs will fill the gauge). Once Burst Mode is active, use the most damaging skills and spells you have, and don't forget to call in the support characters. The goal here is to take the enemy out in less than 30 cards, while still in Burst Mode.
If this mission seems particularly hard while using this method, it may be necessary to start the week over and fill out the characters' Grow Books a little more and make sure they're equipped with the best weapons you can make (and some decent items and armor). Or you can take the lower grade and possibly get detention (or a little less Free Time).
Weeks 4, 5, & 6: Free Time
Week 4 starts with a cut-scene in which Tony taunts Vayne a little about the up-coming Battle Arena. Flay and Roxis get involved, and the scene ends with a wager on the outcome of the battle.
As with most Free Time, you'll want to take every job available to you at the beginning of the week and finish those up before deciding to take on a character quest. Even if you don't need the money from the jobs, many of them give you the students chances to learn new recipes.
Visiting Vayne's Classroom during this week may give you a cut-scene involving the Vice Principal and Jess. Apparently the condition of Jess' room is enough to catch the attention of other students.
Nikki doesn't have a character quest this term as long as you completed all of her previous quests. This means that with three weeks of free time, it's still possible to get all of the character quests at this point (Jess, Pamela, and Flay).
Week 7 Event
This week is the school carnival. Visit a few of the displays and shops and eventually the Battle Arena will begin. Flay and Vayne will be dropped into the first battle of the arena. It should be fairly easy, just keep on top of the characters' health, since Jess isn't around to cast Healing spells, and use some high damage skills and spells to put them down quickly.
After the first round, Nikki will arrive with news that Jess has disappeared. Vayne goes with Nikki and Pamela to find Jess, while Flay keeps them in the competition. One of Pamela's friends says that Jess was spotted in the Mana Ruins, so head there to look for her.
Renee and Jess are found far north on the path into the Mana Ruins. Renee puts up a good fight, but still shouldn't be a problem if you have enough healing items to handle not having Jess in the party. If things seem to be getting close and Pamela is out of SP, let her heal the other characters with items while Vayne and Nikki continue doing damage. In the end, you can receive the Magic Stake Cloth (Misty Curtain) recipe.
When Vayne rushes back to campus for the competition, make sure to save and make any items needed for the battle ahead. Again, be prepared to use some healing items as needed for this battle since
Jess isn't around to help out. Focus the attacks of Flay and Vayne on a single enemy at a time to take them down quickly, using attacks that do as much damage as possible. When the battle is over you can receive the Radiating Disc (Divine Shield) recipe.
Roxis joins the party, but it is noted that he will not help in synthesis because he hates Vayne, and he does not have a mana yet, which will limit his skills.