Like many role-playing games, leveling up can make the fights easier. One of the unique things about this game is the ability to duel characters. You don't have to go out into the world or a dungeon to find a fight. Just kick somebody. If you kick somebody twice, they should fight you one-on-one. Some characters won't duel, so if they keep saying the same thing, try somebody else. You can only duel someone once per day. Fortunately, they don't seem to remember that you kicked them, other than a brief comment immediately after the fight. If you lose a duel, don't worry, the game isn't over, but you will have an HP of 1, so don't forget to heal (or talk to Miranda) before you get into a real fight.
When fighting in dungeons and in the world, you will notice that if you see more than one monster, that after the first fight, some of the other monsters may not be there. If you leave the area and come back, they will re-appear. In general, stronger monsters will be less likely to disappear than weaker ones, but it isn't always that way.
If you do a lot of leveling up, then you can pretty much ignore all the strategy hints you read about for the boss fights. Just plow in and start hacking, telling your healer to concentrate on you, and it will be over in no time.
If you don't level up, then links will be more important. Using a link allows all members of your party to share the combined skills off everyone in your party. You can just use links when you want to learn a new skill, or you might like to experiment with links. There's no "one right way" to play this game; if you're having fun, then you're doing it the right way.
If you are at a low level, then you should start off in the sewers below Theater Vancoor. That is a good place to kill a few minutes, and pick up some gold and experience at the same time. Once you are strong enough, you can do whatever you need to do during the day, and then clear out Septem Cave, and get home before daybreak to save your game.
Septem Cave is the best for leveling up before the split. In the very early stages of the game it might be a challenge, but as long as you have a good spear, you should be able to get through that area just fine, especially if you have the "Prevent Freeze" skill equipped. When you are in the second part of the cave, just before the exit, you will run into a large iceberg monster. Once in a while, after it is defeated, there will be another larva-like monster. This is the rare Killer Queen, who will give you a lot of experience, gold, and berries if you defeat it. Be careful, though, because she is tough. Don't be afraid to use your volty on it.
After the split, your best experience comes from battling members of the other group. If you pick the human path, use the Travel Pig to go to the Dark Elves location (Mikey won't fight you, but won't let you in, either.) Travel east, then southwest around the lake, and then head towards Fort Helencia. You can then use the pig to get to the Goblin village and wander around there. Towards the very end of the game, the Blood Orc homeland becomes available. You can get some great experience there.
You can also use the Travel Pig to go to Lupus Gate, and then walk from there to Earth Valley, taking all the side roads, including doubling back to the other gate at Radiata City. Be careful when you run into Godwin and Fernando (he is actually on the bridge); their volty blast can take out one of your characters. As long as it isn't Jack, that's not a problem, so if you see one of them flashing, just have Jack defend until he's beaten or has used his volty. When you get to Earth Valley, take the Travel Pig to the Tria Region and fight the troops around there. That should get you a lot of experience and money. You can usually level the entire party up a couple of levels each day.
Level Cap is 99.
Jack has the ability to kick things when he is walking around under player control. Hidden items can be found by kicking objects in the background. Every area has a few items that are scripted to always be there the first kick. On future visits there is also the chance that items have randomly regenerated in the objects.
It is also possible to kick other people. This will normally result in only complaints or make them attack you. However some characters can only be recruited by kicking them. Generally it is a good idea to talk to the person before kicking them. Some of them will no longer want to be nice if you just kicked them. There are many characters that will only be recruit-able after beating them in combat. Some of them will only initiate combat after the insult of a kick. The few characters that are recruited from only kicking normally will require being kicked more than once.
Red and blue flags are used as save points in Radiata Stories. The Red flags represent your current bed/home while blue flags are temporary save points that can be found anywhere. The location of red save flags is relatively permanent unless jack permanently moves somewhere else. The location of the blue save flags is closely tied to the game's plot. Once you have advanced far enough they will disappear and reappear in new places.
If a save flag is on a bed sleeping will be possible. Sleeping will heal you but it also has the chance to advance the story. Be sure you are done with everything at the moment before choosing the sleep option. If on a long term mission repeated sleeping will not advance the plot.
Like many RPGs, you have a selection of weapons you can use. You can also learn various attacks for each weapon. Once you have learned an attack, you always have it across all the games you play. You learn the various attacks by using a training dummy. Kick the dummy while you are holding the weapon you want to work on and you will be given a challenge (e.g., defeat enemy). If you succeed, you can learn a new attack.
If the challenge is "Receive no damage", all you have to do is run around avoiding the enemies so that you don't take any damage. (You don't have to defeat the enemies without taking damage, just avoid getting hit.)
There are two training dummies in the training room of the castle, two in Theater Vancoor, and one just outside Fort Helencia. If you haven't built up skills by the time you first get to Fort Helencia (the Crocogator mission), take some time there, since you have a healing spot and a save flag available.
Each weapon has a CP value, and each type of attack also has a CP value. You can select a series of up to 5 (combo) attacks as long as the total CP value is less than the value of the weapon. Each time you press , the next attack is performed. Unlike similar games, button mashing can cause problems. If you queue up four hits on an enemy, and kill it after two hits, Jack will still perform the remaining hits, swinging at thin air. In the meantime, another enemy can be attacking you.
You can change the weapon as well as the attacks at any time during the battle. At the beginning of a battle with a number of enemies, you can select a spear and wide circle attacks that will hit a number of enemies at once. When there is only one enemy left, you can change the attacks, or you can switch to a sword or axe, and use strong attacks. Available weapons are swords, two-handed swords, axes, and spears.
At a minimum, you should use the training dummies through enough levels so that you can release your volty attack. You only have to do this once. Your weapon attacks are carried over from one game to the next.
Radiata Knights Overview
Most of the guide deals with the game after you have been fired from the knights and join Theater Vancoor, when you are able to start recruiting characters. The beginning of the game pretty much leads you through whatever you need to do. There are some things you can do once you have arrived at some location for a mission, as well as some things you can do in the castle.
The important thing to remember is that whenever you have a chance, you want to level up your character as much as possible. This can be done by kicking characters to get them into a duel, as well as defeating various monsters in the field (or basement of the castle). Since the monsters regenerate at midnight, you can clear out an area, then wait until midnight, and clear it again. Most missions have a time limit, but it only kicks in once you have arrived and reported to whoever you were to visit. If you delay that meeting, you can prolong the time you have to level up. The higher your level, the better you will do when you start your own missions, and the easier it will be to recruit certain characters.
Kicking isn't limited to people. You can find items by kicking objects. Get in the habit of kicking everything and everyone in sight.
Part of the replay value of Radiata Stories is that the game has such a rich world with a diverse collection of characters. By selecting different characters in your party, the fights will take on different flavors. There is a lot of detail throughout the game, and a lot of fun things you can do in addition to the basic game. Look at the Easter Eggs page for more things to do.
Theater Vancoor Overview
The basic flow of the game is that you have some missions with your squad that you must take (there are only a few of these at the start of the game), and you can take a number of solo missions. In general, once you receive orders for a mission, you are expected to travel to some location, complete the mission task, and then report back to Theater Vancoor and speak to Thanos. If the client is known, then you would usually speak to them before and after the mission task. Once this is done, you can speak to Thanos to see if there are any more missions you can take on at that time. Usually you want to perform the missions in the order they are listed, although you can accept them in any order if you prefer. If there are no more missions, then you probably have to sleep to progress the game.
If you want to recruit Thanos (which is needed if you want to recruit Elwen and/or Nyx), then you must accept all missions and report back to Thanos at the completion of the mission. To prevent missing any missions, avoid going into your house during the day, and only save when you get there; don't sleep. Wait until 9:00pm before you go in and save. If Flau isn't sitting on the wall, don't go in. If you were waiting for her, wait a few minutes after she gets there before you go in, since she gets there a few minutes before 9:00pm. Don't sleep unless you want to progress the game. Once Thanos tells you there aren't any more jobs, then you probably need to sleep to make the game progress. You can do that right away, or you can take time to go out and level up your party, recruit more people, earn some more money, etc.
If you recruit every possible character (which takes at least two times through the game), you will be able to view a picture of the main characters. If you will be taking the human path, you probably want to recruit the guild leaders, which means you want to recruit all the members of the different guilds. The only reasons to recruit any of the farmers is to be complete, or possibly for a specific skill.