This is a collection of information that helped me with getting though this game the first time I played. The information will be in no particular order, so the tips that come first are not necessarily the most important.
Some of the information here is also abbreviated from other guides and sources. While those guides are very informative, they can be hard to understand for a newer player. Check the section at the end if you are interested in them!
Before You Start...
One of the things that you should know is that you can't grind in this game. Like the older Fire Emblem games, the battles cannot be repeated, but unlike Shadow Tower, you don't need to optimize your play style to feel comfortable. You may not always be able to take the path to victory that you want, but you will be able to find one that works.
The Map, Or How To Chose Your Battles
If you've made it to chapter 2, you may have noticed branching paths on your adventure. These are marked "Safe", "Normal", and "Dangerous". You have the incentive to pick dangerous fights for more exp, better loot, and more items, but you need to consider if you're capable of winning a battle before you take it on. While a C rank victory on an elite battle will give you more exp than a S rank victory on the safe route, it won't matter much if you can't survive to the next checkpoint.
It's a good idea to consider how much SP and HP you lose/gain in an encounter before you commit to a route, along with how much you have and what healing you can see on the path. Dangerous routes often have longer battles with more enemies in each wave, along with stronger variants of those enemies. If your HP and SP are relatively full, you may want to consider attempting these routes, but if not, you should stick to the normal or safe route.
If you can handle the dangerous routes you can generally handle the chapter's boss, but there's no shame in going the safe route if you're struggling to make it to the boss!
Time Management In Intermisions
One of the most important parts of the game is managing your time in the intermission segments. You are given 20 AP to interact with other characters and to prepare for battles to come. So what should you do with this time?
Remove Depression and InjuriesThe first thing in every intermission you should do is alleviate depression and restore injuries on any children. Injuries can lead to K.O., which removes this character from battle until you restore them. Depression prevents the use of skills and link attacks, which cuts the utility of a character down by a significant degree. Neither of these status effects will naturally resolve, so it's in your best interest to fix them as soon as you can.
Fulfill WishesCheck the notebook to see if there are any wishes you can easily fulfill during an intermission. Fulfilling wishes increases morale, which eventually leads to hero mode, which makes the gunners much more powerful. A well timed hero mode can win a battle for you, so do your best to keep those kids happy!
UpgradeIf you have the resources, you should upgrade the Taranis. The Taranis' weapons, armor, and reactor require AP to upgrade, but any facilities can be upgraded without an AP cost. The most important facility to upgrade is the dormitory (to increase efficiency, since it costs a whopping 5 AP to rest the children) followed by the workshop (at least to level 3). The kitchen is also important, as you can use it to create buffs for the coming battles (and you should get at least one meal for each intermission).
PrepareMeals are very important. The buffs they grant you can save you in a tight spot, and don't wear off until the next intermission. Always remember to use the garden before you leave so that you can have a supply of ingredients for the next intermission!
Build a RapportThe most important thing, but not always one you have time for, is to build the relationship between characters. This increases the strength of their link attack and support effect. What's important is that you focus on building the affinity between two characters to it's maximum. While it is nice to have options for switching characters around, a level 10 affinity can and does make a huge difference in the performance of a gunner. Get a few level 10 affinities set up for use first, as this will make the biggest difference in your ability to win battles.
Look for LootIn your first play through, you won't really need to do any scrap fishing or expeditions, as the game will provide enough resources for you to keep upgrading the Taranis. If you have the time and no affinities you need to level, you can gather some resources to try and get a little boost to the Taranis' power.
LaundryAlways do the laundry if you can. It costs no AP, and provides almost a whole level of affinity between two characters. There's no downside, unless you have an issue with clean clothes.
Who Should You Use?
The short version is that there is no one ideal set up. While there are characters that are better at certain roles than others, there's no character that's truly awful (unless you're trying to use them for a purpose that they aren't made for).
Each character tends to be good in a specific area, and will excel if used for that purpose. Some are amazing as support characters with the right partner. Others just need the right partner to be a deadly gunner.
Gunners doesn't refer to machine gunners, but to everyone who mans one of the turrets on the Taranis. There is no one "best" gunner, but some of them are much more versatile than others, or have much more useful specialties. Despite that, every character can find their place on the Taranis, provided you know what to look for!
Malt MarzipanThe oldest kid is the first cannoneer you get. Cannons are the slowest class of weapon, but the most powerful. Malt specializes in providing damage buffs and dealing damage to enemies. His kit is simple, but highly effective.
His hero mode increases the damage of his basic attacks. Simple, effective.
Hanna FondantYour team's white mage offers healing of all types. While she is a grenadier, her specialty is in restoring the Taranis' health. She can also remove that pesky fear status from all active gunners as well. When it comes to damage dealing, all of her damage skills inflict weakness on the enemy, which reduces damage.
Malt's hero mode doubles all the healing she provides with one of her skills. It's not always possible to trigger it when you need it, but if you do, it helps a lot.
Kyle BavariosOne of the first machine gunners you get, Kyle deals decent damage while being really fast. As he levels up, he'll gain access to more skills for stripping the armor from enemy tanks. He also has the ability to buff accuracy and luck for all allies. He's a solid machine gunner for ripping up armor.
Kyle's hero mode turns every attack into a critical hit. This isn't the most useful because crits are a damage increase and nothing else, but the increased damage is always good. It also applies to skills.
Boron BriocheBig, round, and all about power, Boron is the slowest character, but also the hardest hitter. If his cannon can hit a drone, it'll usually be down in one shot. His skills let him deal huge damage to all enemies at once, at fairly high SP cost. As a bonus, he also gets a healing skill at higher levels.
Boron's hero mode is insanely powerful. All basic attacks strip the target of all armor, along with breaking all the weakness icons. If you use him, Boron is a great pick for boss battles.
Socks MillionA grenadier who specializes in status effects. Socks inflicts smoke (accuracy down), burning (damage every turn), and stun (enemy is unable to move forward in the turn order). With a buff for luck in his arsenal, Socks is great for making sure enemies get bogged down with status effects.
Socks' hero mode inflicts status effects when his basic attack connects. Socks' hero mode also ignores status effect immunity too. It's always helpful if you don't need a specific status effect to be triggered, but if you need a specific effect, you should stick to skills instead or relying on luck.
Mei MarzipanShe's the youngest, and also the fastest. As a machine gunner, she never gets the ability to strip more than one level of armor from enemies, but she gets some powerful support options. She can push all allies ahead in the timeline by a fixed value with one of her skills, restore HP to the Taranis, and boost her link gauge to use link attacks more often.
Mei's hero mode halves the delay any action incurs. This is super useful since she has so many support abilities that are really useful.
Chic MontblancThe first of the corgi murder twins, Chick has a lot of handy skills. She can inflict shock, weakness, and bad luck (doubles affliction rate of other status effects), and can also remove status buffs from enemies. Chic is one of the strongest grenadiers in the game. She also has access to some healing skills too!
Chic's hero mode is incredibly good; all skills cost 0 SP for the duration of hero mode. Spam skills, either for damage or healing!
Hack MontblancThe other half of the corgi murder twins, Hack is the fastest cannoneer in the game. He can boost the attacks of allies, and inflict burning on enemies, along with boosting the link attack gauge. What make him amazing is the skill called "Burning Trigger", which grows in power every time you use it consecutively. It stops getting stronger after the fourth use, but it carries over when Hack is benched and even between/across battles. As long as Hack doesn't do something that's not Burning Trigger, the damage boost won't be lost.
Hack's hero mode reduces the delay of his basic attack to 33%. Useful, but it interrupts Burning Trigger, if you're using it.
Sheena FalafelA moderately fast machine gunner, Sheena is a really good support gunner. Good at health restoration, with a skill to help negate damage, she's a good option for health restoration if you need it.
Sheena's hero mode removes all delay after using a skill. This means she can act up to 6 times in a row if you have her use nothing but skills. She can really clean house if you're ready for it.
Jin MacchiatoJin is the strongest grenadier in the game, with the skills to match. He specializes in attacking ground based enemies, inflicting smoke and burning, and can buff attack. He's a solid choice for tank busting.
Jin's hero mode doubles the damage of all his skills. Simple, but deadly.
Wappa CharlotteA cannoneer who specializes in link attacks. Her strength is low for a cannoneer, but her luck is very high. Her skills can increase luck, inflict smoke, but most importantly, build link attack gauge. One of her unique skills, "Bang-Bang!" increases the link attack gauge and deals damage. "Scavenger Hit" is another useful skill, which increases the item drop rate.
Wappa's hero mode makes all basic attacks become 2 hit attacks. It's not much to talk about, but can be useful with the right support effect.
Britz StrudelBritz is the strongest of the machine gunners, and pretty fast to boot. He's good at stripping armor and can also apply shock to help control the battlefield. He's quite handy, provided you go to the effort of raising his affinity.
Britz's hero mode doubles the number of hits in his basic attack, making it a 6 hit attack. A general damage increase, so it's useful, if not much to talk about.
Support effects are incredibly strong when used with the right character. While other guides offer much more depth on how they work, this one should be easier to understand for new players. The affinity of your characters determines how strong these are, so make sure you raise it when you want to use the effect!
Malt MarzipanBeing the oldest, his support effect is to increase the strength of his partner. A simple effect, but it's very useful on anyone who needs to deal a lot of damage.
Hanna FondantHanna functions as your white mage, even as a support. Her support effect restores health to the Taranis every time the gunner performs a basic attack. The effect only triggers once, regardless of the number of hits, so machine guns don't get extra. Hanna is best paired with a speedy character that gets lots of turns, so that her healing effect can be triggered more often.
Kyle BavaroisThe first machine gunner you get, Kyle adds accuracy with his support effect. This is an additive bonus, meaning that he increases accuracy by a fixed value instead of a percentage increase. While this is still affected by the fear status, the boost will still be useful for the right gunner. Even better, this boost applies to skills as well. Kyle is best paired with cannons so that they can shoot down aerial enemies with ease, but even grenade launchers will benefit from his help. Machine gunners don't get much from pairing with Kyle, but it can make the fear status completely useless on them.
Boron BriocheThe biggest, roundest, boy in the crew. His support effect increases the gunner's resistance to being injured. While this can be useful if you get a gunner injured often, it's not that useful if you generally pay attention and guard. Unfortunately, you'll never really know if this skill works or not because you never get notified that it triggers.
Socks MillionSocks adds luck to the gunner with his support effect. This is affected by buffs that multiply luck as well, so you're using him, use the right buff to get the most out of him!
Mei MarzipanShe's the youngest, and also the fastest. This extends to her support effect, which reduces the delay basic attacks have. This effect is a fixed value, so the effect will be more noticeable if she's paired with an already fast character.
Chick MontblancChick has one of the best support effects in the game; she reduces the SP cost of skills by a fixed amount. While the cost of a skill can't be lower than 1, low cost skills skills will become even easier to spam. She works best with characters who have low cost skills (that cost more than 1 SP) that want to use those skills even more.
Hack MontblancWhile Chick reduces SP cost, Hack increases skill damage. Hack works best with characters that like to use damaging skills often. That's often a grenadier, but some cannons can make good use of his support effect.
Sheena FalafelMuch like Hanna, Sheena restores SP on every basic attack. Also much like Hanna, Sheena is best paired with a speedy gunner to trigger her effect as often as possible. Her support effect is even better if she's on a team where Chick is supporting gunner that has low cost skills, as her support effect can mitigate further the SP cost of skill spamming.
Jin MacchiatoLike Boron, Jin's support effect reduces the gunner's susceptibility to status conditions. In this case, fear and depression. Like Boron, it's hard to tell if the skill is actually helping or not. The difference here is that it's much more likely for the gunner to suffer from fear or depression, so Jin's effect may save you some trouble.
Wappa CharlotteLink attacks are what Wappa specializes in, and that extends to her support effect too. Outside of the skill "Chit-Chat", her support effect multiplies the rate the link attack gauge fills. She's most useful with a gunner that fills the link attack gauge quickly, if you like using her link attack.
Britz StrudelSimilar to Mei, Britz reduces the delay after skills by a fixed value. As with Mei, faster characters benefit more from having Britz as a support.
So with all the above information, who should you use? There's no bad character, but there are definitely stronger combinations. Here's a few examples I used:
Kyle and Boron: At rank 10 affinity, Kyle's support effect solves the accuracy issue Boron has when trying target aerial targets. Since this applies to skills, Boron with Kyle as support can use his skills that target all enemies to clear entire waves in a single attack. Even outside of skills, Boron can shoot down any drone in a single shot, and Kyle helps make that happen reliably.
Chick and Hack: The corgi murder twins are an incredible pair, especially at rank 10 affinity. Chick makes Hack's "Burning Trigger" cost a mere 2 SP, making it incredibly cheap and easy to spam. When Hack is acting as support for Chick, he makes all of her skills do more damage, which means her hero mode can really wreck some encounters.
Mei and Sheena/Hanna: Mei is the fastest, and both Sheena and Hanna benefit from Mei making basic attacks as frequently as possible. Her hero mode means that she can trigger lots of healing/restoration very quickly. Otherwise, it's just a really good combination to help your resources last longer.
Britz and Sheena/Hanna: Like Mei, Britz gets to act a lot. He's better at stripping armor than Mei, but lacks the healing and support skills. Still, if you want to do a little more damage with your machine gun, Britz works well with this pair.
Socks and Wappa: As support, Wappa boosts link attack gain, and Socks can inflict a ton of status effects. With Socks as support, Wappa has a huge boost to luck and can crit very reliably. Since the link attack you get from Socks being support can inflict all sorts of debuffs, and Wappa can fill that fast, you can keep switching out the two in order to keep enemies from ever being clear of debuffs.
Mei and Britz: These two are fast, and together they make each other faster. Skills from Mei and basic attacks from Britz can cycle though turns fast.
Chick and Socks/Jin: Both Socks and Jin have some low cost status skills. With rank 10 affinity, Chick drops the cost even more, for maximum skill efficiency.
Sheena and Wappa: Wappa as the gunner can fill the link attack gauge quickly. Since Sheena's link attack (with Sheena as support) restores SP, you can use this combination to fill your SP gauge pretty quickly. With SP reducing food buffs, you can even have a net gain of SP using nothing but "Bang-Bang!"
In Depth Guides
This is the character combat guide. This is where you can get some really good details for how individual characters work.
This guide will help you figure out what ruins you need to tackle for upgrading the Taranis, and what materials you need to upgrade it!
This guide provides the level tables and some general ideas for how to get S ranks in battle!
Thank you for reading my guide! Hopefully this helps you enjoy this game as much as I did! If you have any suggestions you'd like me to add, or anything you'd like me to change, please let me know!
More Fuga: Melodies of Steel guilds
- All Guilds
- FUGA: Melodies of Steel
- How to back up your save data.
- How to win every time
- Character Combat Guide
- Moosheep's guide to loot
- An overly detailed guide to victory
- Guide 4
- WIP: Characters, Taranis, and some misc guide
- True TANK guide