A very hard game
The 7th Saga is known for its difficulty. It is not a role-playing video game for beginners. It can be hard even on an emulator. It requires a good amount of grinding, even more than early RPVGs for the NES, like Final Fantasy 1 and Dragon Quest 1.
It is strongly recommended to be at least at Level 42 before the end of Chapter 9. That means that you should stop and grind at the beginning of every chapter to raise your level 4 times the chapter number, including the very beginning.
That means: leave the first town at level 4, when you get to the beginning of Chapter 2 stop and grind up to level 8 (4x2), at the beginning of Chapter 3 grind to level 12 (4x3), and so on. Anyway, sometimes you'll meet powerful enemies that will force you to stop for extra grinding.
A very good grinding spot is in Chapter 3, where the Brains enemies not only are worth a good amount of gold and experience points, but they also are the only source of Life Recovery items, that cannot be obtained anywhere else (except for occasional chests and one enemy type in the very last chapter).
Items, magic and runes
The effects of items, magic spells and Runes are similar or even identical. That's not lack of creativity; on the contrary, it is a stimulus for careful planning. You will need to use all three of them (items, magic and Runes), because even when they have the same effect, each one has advantages and disadvantages:
- Magic spells can be used until the character runs out of Magic Points (MP);
- Items require gold (G) to be purchased, and you can carry only up to nine of the same;
- Runes can be used unlimited times without MP consumption, but they can be lost or stolen (and they definitely will!), therefore learn not to rely too much on them.
Before advancing from town to town, or from town to dungeon, make sure you have 7-8 of each available item. Not 9, because you can find items in chest, and you can't afford to waste anything. When you're advancing through enemy-infested areas, use this priority list:
- use magic spells until your character runs out of MP; if your character learned the MP-Catcher spell, cast it a lot;
- use Magic Herbs to replenish MP; use just one at a time, or two if you need lots of healing, because many enemies can steal your MP;
- when you are low on both MP and M. Herbs, start using the other menu items; items are more expensive than the MP provided by Magic Herbs;
- when you are low on menu items as well, start using the Runes; at this point it's probably better to teleport back to a town, where you can rest and save.
Of course, you should definitely adjust this priority list according to individual situations.