DON'T LET MARIBEL HOLD ONTO ANYTHING. After the events with Zeppel in Mardra, she will leave the party until you awaken the Flame Spirit in DISC FUCKING 2.
At that point anything Maribel has, she keeps until disc 2. If she keeps certain key items, the game may become unwinnable and you may have to restart entirely.
Maribel won't level up or have any new spells/skills when returning, making her severely behind your main party. Don't bother leveling her, just keep playing normally.
Melvin also leaves much later on in Disc 2, but he returns much more quickly. At most, he'll be 1-3 levels behind. Again: Key Items in the bag.
Play at a Leisurely Pace: Stick with it!
This is not a game for the impatient. This game can easily take 100 hours even without all the extras and post-game stuff. However, it can be managed with careful playing, even without speed-up, cheats, and so forth.
- Trust me, this is not a game you'll want to speedrun. Not only is it very hard to do, it's irritating to handle this much game at once (trust me, I know first-hand). Just chill and take it slow.
- Take it easy and you won't miss anything hidden you might have overlooked and you may even find out additional story details that won't ever be explained without your own exploration.
- It goes without saying, but: Take a break every so often. The game can get repetitive at times, and you'll want a rest from it.
- Party Chat helps keep your spirits up. This game gave DQ Party Chat for fuck's sake. It's not as expanded as in later games, but it is nice to talk with your buds.
- Turn on tactics for random battles. This relieves stress from 80% of random battles (20% are metal slime fights, dohoho), as the AI is fairly competent.
Here's some helpful tips to make your game a bit easier. Most don't come until later on, but it's good to know them ahead of time.
- Use "Guardian" when equipped with Dark Cloak (+78 DEF), Wind Robe (+38), or Evade Suit (+28) to potentially avoid damage due to the evasion factor. You won't see it until much later, but: This is amazing when a SL8 PlatKing does it as they have other resistances as well.
- Use "RainSlash", "QuadHits", "SwordDanc", "FalconCut", or "Retaliate" with a Paladin or EvilMech equipped with Demon Spear or Poison Needle on can potentially be able to instant kill foes even easier.
- Falcon Sword is ass in this game. +67 ATK and hits twice, but reduces your damage dealt by 75%, can't crit and won't work with the best skills like SwordDanc only the lesser ones like non-magic attacks and FalconCut (sucks compared to SwordDanc and even QuadHits). Better off with stronger weapons or...
- Needle Earrings only has +45 ATK, but hits twice and can pierce enemy Defense (even with some skills), and it doesn't cut your damage dealt. It may critical hit as well, while Falcon Sword does not.
- TwinHits, ChargeUp, PsycheUp don't boost the damage of set-damage attacks like EvilSlash, Massacre, Berserker, BackFlip, K.O.Punch, MetalCut, UltraHit, or a critical hit.
- When boosting damage for multiple hitting and multiple target skills and weapons, only the first strike's damage will be boosted for multiple hits/targets.
- Echo Hat (+25 DEF) lets the wearer cast a spell twice at the cost of 1 casting. Magic Hat (+8DEF) cuts the wearer's Spell costs by 50% (not sure about skills though). GET THEM ASAP.
Recommended Class Paths and Why
SwordDanc + ~3 other hybrid skills; Cleric > Fighter > Warrior > Paladin > Dragoon > Godhand > Hero
Alternatively: SwordDanc -> PlatKing Monster path, be it "Complete" or "Alternate"
- Above average at all stats, and fits in any role, He learns 5 spells naturally from level 3-12: Heal, Upper, Return, Healmore. Then Outside (at level 28!)
- He's best as a physical fighter first, but support-caster as a very close second. He can learn great stuff for both roles, so raise him towards your preference.
- The absolute first thing to do is to have him learn SwordDanc (when he can), no matter what. This invaluable skill that makes powerful enemies easier to manage.
- Learn around 3 hybrid skills if he goes Hero. After SwordDanc, consider Mineuchi, Increase, and TakeMagic. These support the party and keep his MP stocked.
- The above path is ideal for him to go Hero. The skills he gains will help for enemy swarms and bosses alike and Cleric lets him keep the party healthy.
- The PlatKing path is more support-oriented, but resists different types of damage with each form. Plus, there's great skills/spells and some are monster-exclusive!
- If you want to, after mastering his last class, make him a Pirate for non-boss fights. It's well rounded and gives a chance to steal items after battles.
- He can't equip an Echo Hat, but Magic Hat is a good non-boss hat. But, stick with helmets until you can give him a spare after everyone else you want to has one.
- Kiefer is very powerful, but never gains MP. He learns some skills: FireSlash, ParryPass, PsycheUp. Then at Level 15 onward: ZombieCut, VacuSlash. But...
- You likely won't even get Kiefer to Level 15 before he leaves the party forever. He doesn't die, but I won't spoil the actual event of his departure either.
- He will give you all of his stuff he had on him before he leaves. What a swell guy.
- Before that event though, it's best to give him your best gear so you can make use of his fighting skills.
- FireSlash+Psycheup will be your his main fighting combo, EXCEPT versus fire-resistant foes.
- ParryPass is risky, as your other allies might not stand up well to damage. Therefore, use it only when he's the last ally alive, if only for the boosted evasion.
- Giving him some healing items to use is a smart move. When FireSlash isn't effective, have him do pinch-healing until he runs out of items, then fighting.
- Kiefer leaves right before you access to Dharma Temple and get to change classes. What sucks is you have to beat a long and difficult dungeon first without him.
No hybrid skills; Mage > Cleric > Sage, then never use her again when the story gives you the option.
Maribel only gets 5 notes because she's a terrible character who can ruin your game as noted above.
- Maribel sucks. Her sole saving grace is her large MP pool. She learns some so-so skills/spells naturally: Blaze, Sap, Retaliate, Sleep, Outside, Heal, and Surround.
- Terrible personality and terrible stats. She tends to die rather often. Melvin is better than her in every way, save MP and just barely in that case.
- She has a shitty choice of good weapons and armor. She'll be stuck using armor from 2 shops ago. Gabo has a similar issue, but at least he won't die from a breeze.
- Sadly, you are forced to use her at times. Don't bother having her do anything else but become a Sage. She's awful at everything but that. Even hybrid skills.
- I shouldn't have to tell you that Maribel sucks too much to make a good PlatKing candidate. Far too weak, even with the resistances gained from monster hearts.
SwordDanc + ThiefHit + ~2 other hybrid skills; Fighter > Warrior > Cleric > Dragoon > Paladin > Godhand > Hero
Then, if you want to house monsters: Shepard > Thief > Tamer (up to SL2 only) > Hero
- Gabo is your physical strongman. He does gain a bit of MP later on, letting him support with spells in a pinch. Gabo learns some skills naturally, but well...
- Gabo's learned skills suck. Rip and Howl are okay before you get Boomerangs, but both are shit after that. Many enemies/bosses are resistant/immune to them.
- Sword Dance is a must and ThiefHit helps make easy money and gear. After those, learn ConfuHit to hurt+confuse groups, and BigTrip to flummox stronger single foes.
- Gabo's class path should work with the Protagonist's. One heals+supports, one hits hard, and vice-versa. This is handy given Gabo's slow-growing MP.
- The PlatKing path is pretty meh for him, since he's better with fighting and skills versus support and spells, which that path mostly learns and uses.
- One factor to note is that he equips only so much gear. He has enough strength to manage anyways, but it's something to keep in mind when shopping for new gear.
- He can equip the Echo Hat and Magic Hat. Yet, unless Melvin has an Echo Hat and Aira has a Magic Hat, he should stick with a helmet. Otherwise, Echo Hat him up, yo.
Optional for Monster Housing:
- After mastering Hero, Only go to Tamer SL2 to use meat and help coerce critters. Return to Hero ASAP, since he can use meat as any class afterwards.
~3 hybrid skills; Mage > Cleric > Sage > Jester > Dancer > Bard > TeenIdol > Summoner > Hero
Alternatively: Mage -> Cleric -> Sage -> "Alternate" PlatKing path
- Melvin's a pretty cool mage-warrior, emphasis on the magic, but still a good warrior. He naturally learns: Bang, BoxerDanc, Expel, Guardian, HealMore, Infermore, Outside, Return, and Vivify.
- SwordDanc isn't necessary for Melvin, but he can learn it if you want. However, I DO recommend having him learn CurseSong, TakeMagic, and Retaliate. These help to counter and debuff foes.
- Making him become a Sage is your first priority. Most sage spells/skills are life-savers versus harder enemies. Summon is very valuable as it adds a temporary ally to aid you and distract foes.
- After mastering that, you'll want to have him work toward becoming a TeenIdol and eventually a Summoner. There's a certain powerful boss you'll want to revert him to a Sage for, so be ready.
- While the path itself has so-so skills, TeenIdol skills are great to provide healing and damage while saving MP for stronger foes. He can potentially distract foes as well for a free hit.
- Summoner is pretty much a super-Sage, and if you don't reach Hero, it's a good point to be at before post-game. Thanks to his good stats and gear, Melvin can still do well physically.
- Melvin can also equip the Echo Hat and Magic Hat. Sage and Summoner keep MP costs low, but he uses spells often, so Echo Hat takes priority for Melvin. If you don't have it, stick with a helmet.
- Melvin is also a great candidate for the Monster path. The alternate variation is preferable since he joins a little late, even if you get him as early as possible. That or the PlatKing heart.
- Due to his armor options, he's arguably the best PlatKing candidate. However, it's best to master Sage first, as he won't learn Summon otherwise and lacks HealUs and Revive until a PlatKing.
SwordDanc+ThiefHit+TakeMagic; Cleric > Fighter > Paladin > Warrior > Dragoon > Godhand > Hero
Then, if you have the time: Mariner -> Thief -> Pirate (-> Hero (for bosses))
- Aira is essentially a reverse Melvin (more warrior, less mage). She naturally learns: Firebal, FireSlash, K.O.Dance, PsycheUp, RobDance, LifeSong, has Dancer mastered, and is an SL3 Warrior.
- Aira's on the path to learn SwordDanc, so have her learn that before anything else. The only other Hybrids she should bother learning are ThiefHit (for extra loot) and TakeMagic (for her low MP).
- The path above for Aira is a bit odd, but it provides helpful skills and spells for the tougher enemies you fight around when you get her. Having her learn Farewell early can be handy in a pinch.
- Vacuum is also good for striking all enemies nicely for 0MP and dealing wind damage. By the time she's a Godhand, she'll have enough MP for emergency castings of healing.
- Despite what some may say, it's pretty stupid to make her a TeenIdol/Summoner. To be quite honest, she learns TeenIdol's best skill (LifeSong) and doesn't get enough MP to be a good Summoner.
- Since her MP will never be that great and she can't equip an Echo Hat, a Magic Hat is best for her. However, when it's time to take on bosses, switch her to her best helmet right before.
- Aira comes a bit late to be a solid contender for either monster path variation. She pretty much has the same issues as Gabo when it comes to spell-reliance and Max MP.
- Once she masters Hero, make her a Pirate for non-boss battles (but just those). Those late/end-game equipment prices get kinda high, so you'll want to sell any extra loot for quick cash.
There's not really much point, since they don't fight along your side, but if you want pure completion here you go.
Blueprints given to the monster man will let him build new houses/areas for monster types to live. They won't be able to join if they have nowhere to live!
ONLY THE LAST MONSTER YOU KILL WILL BE TAMED. Don't kill the one you want tamed first.
The skill "Tamer" helps raise your chance of taming a monster. Up to 4 stacked uses of it can help for extra effect.
Meats like Rib and Fillet also help tame monsters, though the boost seems independent of the Tamer skill.
A character can't use Rib or Fillet sucessfully if the character has never been a Tamer of minimum Skill Level 2 (18 battles).
Some monsters are unaffected by Tamer and meats, but can still be tamed.
Some monsters can never be tamed.
BeefJerky does NOTHING. It is only acquired to turn the event switch on to let the game know you can start taming monsters (and get monster hearts, but that's for later).
Don't drop it though. Put it in your bag just to be safe.
- Note: "SL" is used here as short-hand for "Skill Level". Skills/Spells with a "!" are some of the better, if not best, skills/spells you may learn. "?" denotes potentially great skills, but with a sort of risk factor to them. The others are still quite useful to know though. And no, I'm not sure why some skills do the same thing and a few vocations learn some of the same moves.
EXAMPLE SUB THINGUS
|Vocation||Special Traits?||Battles to Master||Best Skills/Magic Spells Learned|
|Warrior||None||150||(SL2) Focus Strength !, (SL4) Double-Edged Slash ?, (SL5) Mercurial Thrust, (SL7) Falcon Slash !, (SL8) Hatchet Man !|
|Martial Artist||Higher chance to critical hit with a normal attack (approx. 3 to 4 times normal rate)||200||(SL1) Leg Sweep !, (SL2) Roundhouse Kick, (SL4) Dodgy Dance, (SL5) Knuckle Sandwich, (SL8) Multifists !|
|Mage||None||180||(SL4) Kasap !, (SL5) Boom, (SL8) Kasizzle, Bounce !|
|Priest||None||160||(SL2) Squelch, (SL3) Buff, (SL4) Tingle, (SL5) Kabuff !, (SL7) Fullheal !, (SL8) Zing ?|
|Dancer||Increased evasion (hidden stat).||120||(SL2) Dodgy Dance, (SL5) Cop Out ?, (SL6) Ban Dance !, (SL8) Death Dance !|
|Thief||Each in your active party may have stolen an item after battles, potentially letting you get more items from monsters.||140||(SL6) Padfoot, (SL7) Nose for Treasure !, (SL8) Snoop|
|Monster Master||When in active party, allows a small chance for foes to start the battle asleep or have them attempt to flee on the first round.||165||(SL4) Tongue Bashing, (SL8) Puff! !|
|Merchant||10% extra gold won after each battle.||130||(SL1) Peep !, (SL2) Muster Strength !, (SL7) Service Call|
|Gadabout||Sometimes ignores orders and does a "Lucky Dip" action, most of which are useless, but a few can potentially make a foe miss a turn.||155||(SL2) Whistle, (SL4) Puff-Puff, (SL5) Nap !, (SL6) Tongue Bashing, (SL7) Follow Suit ?, (SL8) Hocus Pocus ?|
Websites of Interest
Gotta give credit where it's due, and these sites are credit to the team. The info I checked was helpful to make this page and deserves a quick look.
DQ7 RPG Shrine - The best DW7 site I know. Extremely handy, but sometimes needs reloading when its server craps out.
Dragon's Den - Subsidiary to the RPG Shrine, IMO. Notable for its handy walkthrough with pictures.
Realm Of Darkness - Not the best, but not bad and easy on the eyes.
GameFAQs - Credit where credit is due, couldn't have done this without others' helpful knowledge.