This guide depends somewhat on having read and played Ryza 1, as the games are highly similar. Please check out that guide first, and also consider playing that game first before this one. Go ahead, I’ll wait, come back afterwards. 😉
This is intended to be a startup guid explaining some basic concepts, as well as pointing out a few things that are poorly explained in the game. However, it’s not a walkthrough, nor is it an iteration of every single game mechanic. Also, all of my mentions of button bindings are for PS4, so YMMV.
The basic game loop is:
- Check the map for icons indicating quests, whether for plot or otherwise
- Check the Cafe to turn in items for quests there, as this is your primary money source, and you need to increase your favorability factor with the people this way
- Synthesize stuff, either to fill requests, rack up SP, or move the plot forwards
- Go out exploring, whether to move the plot forwards or collect materials for crafting
Basic movement is your usual twin-stick movement. A button for jump, and eventually a bunch of additional navigation options for traversing the wilderness in new ways. Fast-travel will unlock fairly early in the game – give that a chance to unlock and use it frequently, as you really don’t want to have to run from area to area over and over. Especially at the beginning when running is slow. Make sure to turn on running, and when you get the opportunity to create the Wind Shoes later in the game, jump at it and max out the movement speed. It’s such a nice feeling to not be running through molasses.
You will eventually unlock a bunch of additional methods of traversing the environment. All you have at the beginning is jumping, and this game bizarrely almost never requires you to jump. For all it’s fancy navigation options, they forgot the humble jump button.
Notice those blue circles on the ground and the annoying “Rope” prompt with the red line through it? Yeah, so at some point you’ll be able to handle these, Indiana Jones style. Note that the floaty things in the sky nearby have a color, typically blue but not always. A blue rope will swing on a blue floaty thing. The trick here is that you need to forge an Emerald Brand with the “All Crystal Connection” option, which will require an essence to get. Then you can swing on blue, yellow, and red floaty things.
You get to ride an animal at some point. They never tell you how to call it, however. It’s the L3 button. I.e. press the left analog stick into the controller. It took me forever to figure this out – the little icon at the bottom noting the controls is not helpful at all in showing this button. Clicking it a second time will dispel the animal.
Note that enemies generally ignore you while you’re riding, so you can explore somewhat unmolested when riding it. You can still get into battles, though, and you can’t swing your weapon while riding, so you’ll be at a battle disadvantage. You also can’t use your gathering tools, either.
However, there will be a ton of yellow glowing points. Dig them up for items. Often these items will be WAY ahead of where you’re supposed to get them, allowing you access to crating recipes entire chapters ahead. So be cautious with how you use these. Consider trying to make “as perfect as possible” items with what you have, so you can duplicate them and reuse them, and make use of that rare material before it’s more common.
While it’s not critical, do consider increasing the effects on your whistle, as you can get much faster riding, and better quality items from your digging.
You’re able to swim from the beginning of the game, but you’ll learn to dive later with the help of the Air Drops. Unlike in Firis, they’re unlimited, there’s no time limit, even if the plot seems to indicate there might be. Improving the item lets you swim faster. You dive with the square button, and use that button to descend while diving. The circle button ascends, and will exit the diving activity if you ascend while near the surface.
The game lies. It says you need a lamp to get through dark areas. You do not. At all. You do need to use the lamp to light torches to solve some puzzles (so light every torch anyways), but the item is completely useless otherwise. Don’t bother upgrading it.