Once you unlock the Item World, plan on spending a lot of time there. The best stuff in the game (and the later Disgaea games as well) goes through the Item World.
Specialists are the most critical part. When they are subdued they can be moved from items to items or combined. To get subdued specialists you must defeat them when you encounter them in the item world of any item. They will have a yellow health bar instead of a red health bar, wear no equipment, and have low health compared to the other enemies.
The trick is the optimizing the items. Below is a good video explaining it. Its in 5 parts cause of old youtube rules at the time of the upload.
Once you understand the basics you can start building up the best items quickly.
Recently someone posted on Facebook that he was just starting to play Disgaea Hour of Darkness for the first time and asked for some hints. Some of the most basic tips that will help everyone in the long run:
- Unlock Thief, Ranger and Star Mage as soon as you can. Star Mage is unlocked when you level a female ice, wind, and fire mage each to level 5. Thief is unlocked by leveling a male warrior and fighter to level 5 or higher. Ranger is unlocked by leveling 2 male warriors to level 5 or higher. This is very easy to do.
- The basic party you should be leveling should include at least two thieves. 1 star mage, 1 ranger, 1 cleric, and Lahral. The rogues not only have ability to steal, but have a throw of 6, which is useful later on. Star Mage can attack from nine panels away when the Staff and Magic skill is high enough. The Ranger is best used in the item world once they learn Geo Change. The Cleric can heal and remove nasty status effects, useful early in the game.
- Monster type characters are inferior in this game. This includes the storyline characters. The exceptions to the monster characters include Surts (with a 3×3 attack), and Talos (useful for Clone Wars). Don’t bother in creating them, capturing them is more efficient.
- Majins are overrated. Not only they are a pain in the butt to create (need level 200+ in male fighter, warrior, ninja, and rouge), they lack the special skills despite their S mastery in everything and high stat boosts per level up. Their lack of movement and throw compared to Thief and Ninja shows.
- A fist user is mandatory, especially for Item World exploring. If you want to get the gatekeeper off that dimension gate, sometimes they only way to do it is with Triple Strike. A Ninja is perfect for this, they have high movement and a good fist mastery.
Grinding is the only way to get the early levels and HL required to buy updated gear. Repeating easy maps is a fast way in getting quick HL when you first get started, as you will need the updated gear to survive later episodes and upgrade Customer Rank to 12. Leveling that Thief is very important, you will need that thief to be at least level 4000 later on just to steal the top of the line equipment. (All the best equipment in the game is only obtained by stealing.)
With some work you will eventually get the mana to unlock Cave of Ordeals to get the better power leveling map in the game for the best grinding experience.
The Item World is the place where your weapons and equipment gets upgraded. It can be an intimidating place especially for new players. But if you want the end-game gear, you have to go through the Item World and steal it.
The basic requirements of Item World exploring:
- Bandit Hands (purchased in the armor shop)
- Mr. Gency Exit (possible reward for clearing Map 2-1, always a reward for clearing every ten floors of Item World)
- 1 or 2 Scouts leveled high enough for Geo Change
- 2 or 3 Thieves (they got throw 6 and are a must for stealing. The higher the level, the better.)
- 1 or 2 players with high enough fist mastery for Triple Strike.
- At least couple characters leveled high enough for killing.
- One high movement character equipped with shoes
There is just 30 floors on a common item, 60 on a rare, and 100 on a legendary. Always start with lower rank items as the enemy level requirements is much lower. As your party gets stronger, move up to higher ranks. Eventually once you start collecting Legendary Rank 39 items, it will be time to tackle on the hardest challenges: stealing the Rank 40 items that the boss of Floor 100 holds.
The best items in Disgaea Hour of Darkness is only found deep in the toughest of Item Worlds. If you want that first Hyperdrive, you got to defeat the Item God of the Rank 40 Item Worlds. If you want the Rank 40 stuff, you got to steal from the Item God of the Rank 39 Legendary item worlds. Its important to have at least one thief that is at least level 4000 to do it. If this means grinding through Cave of Ordeals 3 for several hours to get that objective done, go for it.
After Cave of Ordeals 3 starts lacking in the XP, I actually turn to a method that Youtube user Ulillillia has posted: Clone Wars. At first I quickly got bored of killing clones over and over again, especially when clones give 1/4 of the experience of a normal monster. What if you stack the Clone Geo Panels with XP+ geo panels and 300 Statisticans on an item wearing by the person killing the clones?
First step is simple: unlock a member of the Cyclops tier by defeating it. Make sure in fact to defeat all tiers of that family. You will probably see them in the item worlds. This is important for two reasons: they got very small movement range and they give out the most XP of all classes in the game.
Second step: either level up a member of that family (it will take forever to do so) or better yet capture it. If you want to get a level 9999 member of that family in less than 5 minutes, you got to capture one and it took me several attempts before I got one.
Third step: Find an item world that has both clone and xp+50% panels. I prefer to find a floor that has a gatekeeper or monsters stuck on islands.
Fourth step: kill all unwanted monsters and arrange the geopanels as necessary.
Fifth step: put your character that will be cloned on one of those geopanels that is set up with both Clone and XP +50%. Weaken that character if necessary but do not kill it. End your turn.
Final step: Bring your the character about to level up and kill the clones that start popping up. Clones do not pop every turn. Clones in item world tend to charge at characters unless stuck on islands.
It can be done on cleared maps using Rangers to do geo change. However plan on trying several attempts.
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