Dark Cloud Walkthrough
Dark Cloud is a very unique game and thus will have a very unique walkthrough to go along with it. Your main goal(s) in this game are going to be clearing a dungeon in each area and rebuilding the town connected to it with the Atla that you find in the dungeon. All of the dungeons in this game are randomly generated which means they change every single time you visit them and they'll almost never be the same layout twice.
Even though every dungeon is randomly generated there are certain key things that remain the same and also many similarities that you will notice across the various dungeons. An example is that in order to progress to the next floor in every dungeon you'll need to find an item that drops from defeated enemies. Sometimes on the floors of the dungeon there will be a locked door and you can always find the key to this door from a chest on that floor.
Another thing that most dungeons share in common is you'll only be able to get to about Floor 9 on your first trip through. Usually on Floor 9 you will hit a roadblock of some kind that requires you to rebuild some of the town first and obtain the new ally in this area to proceed. If we use the Divine Beast Cave as an example, you need to unlock Xiao and recruit her as an ally before you are able to proceed past this floor and complete the rest of the dungeon.
When you unlock a new Ally you'll also start to notice a new "puzzle" that will start to appear on future floors and dungeons. For Xiao you have to jump across a large gap with a small pole in the middle of it - the same puzzle you had to solve in Divine Beast cave on Floor 8. Goro (2nd Ally) will have to use his hammer to smash a button and open a door. The most annoying Ally puzzle is Ruby's because she has to hit a crystal next to the door with a certain elemental damage depending on the color of the crystal.
These are just some examples of the various patterns you will start to notice while playing through Dark Cloud. My walkthrough won't give you much guidance as far as clearing the dungeons go since they are all randomly generated so instead I will give you guidance about the rest of the game. This game has many different mechanics that are quite unique to it and may be confusing to someone who has never played before.
Below is a list of Tips and Tricks that I believe will be helpful to first time players of Dark Cloud. Some of these tips and tricks are more advanced and won't become relevant until the 2nd or 3rd dungeon but you should read over all of them a few times as you play through the game.
Tips & Tricks:
- Typically when you get a new character in this game the #1 thing you want to do is get them a weapon that can be evolved as quickly as possible. Once you've done this use Status Break on a different weapon you have and turn it into a SynthSphere; combine the SynthSphere into the new weapon to make it significantly more powerful. You'll want to do this to max out the base stats on a weapon (Attack, Speed, Endurance).
- Never let a weapon break in this game... EVER!!! If you let a weak weapon that has never been upgraded break it's not that big of a deal but if you let one of your better weapons break you should reload the game. All of your character's power in this game comes from their weapon and you will be spending a lot of time in this game grinding to upgrade weapons.
- For more information about what weapons you'll want to Build Up and which are the best "Ultimate Weapons" in this game you should check out my Dark Cloud Ultimate Weapons Guide.
- When evolving a weapon primarily focus on the Monster Slaying attributes. Eventually you'll be building up the weapon to make an even better one and usually the hardest requirements to meet are those ones.
- You can equip a Synthsphere to your weapon and take it off before you evolve your weapon, reaping all the benefits of it but not losing it. This is particularly useful when you get a new Ally and are forced to use them on a floor, you can give them a Synthsphere of a good weapon so they are no longer terrible.
- Every dungeon has a back floor which is 100% optional to explore. You can reach the back floor by using a specific item at the ? location marked on the map. The back floor has buffed up monsters that give increased Abs and better loot (typically Gems) which can be used in upgrading weapons.
- Occasionally you will find a circle on the ground that does random things when you step on it (pictured below). If you're playing on an Emulator you should always use a Save State before stepping on this circle since it has some catastrophically bad effects (Changing the status of your weapons; lowering max wHP). Those of you playing on a physical console I honestly recommend you skip these circles unless you like high stakes gambling.
Circle of random effects
- On Limited Zones that reduce Abs when you use a weapon I would recommend using Bombs or items that you throw instead. They deal pretty good damage and since you aren't using a weapon you won't lose any Abs.
- Use the 'magic circles' that double your gold to your benefit. Raise your amount of gold as fast as possible to 30k then wait until you get one of the "Funds increased a little" circles to double it to 60k. The most you can hold in this game is 65k so you may need to buy some gold bricks and store them in a closet once you do this a few times. Try to always hang around 30k gold incase you run into one of these circles.
Below is a list of a bunch of good items to use on your Active slots while dungeon grinding.
Dran's Feather: This item doubles your movement speed while it is active and is invaluable for exploring dungeons and beating some bosses. Set Dran's Feather as an Active Item in the items menu and hold down Square to activate it while running around a dungeon. I keep one of these as my Active Items the entire game.
Anti-Goo Amulet: Depending on your playstyle this may be one of the best items to keep in your Active Items selection. An Anti-Goo Amulet does exactly what you'd assume it does, prevents you from suffering from the Goo ailment. For the most part Goo is pretty uncommon and easy to dodge if you're using a ranged attacker like Ruby or Xiao most of the time though. Melee users may want to use this amulet more often.
Antidote Amulet: The Antidote Amulet is a lot like the Anti-Goo Amulet, it'll prevent you from getting afflicted with Poison. I think Poison is probably the most common and annoying ailment in this game (aside from Goo) and this amulet will give you complete protection from it. Much like with the Anti-Goo Amulet, this one is typically best for melee users since they'll be getting hit with Poison most of the time.
Bomb: In Dark Cloud Throwing Items are actually quite powerful and the Bomb is one of the best there is. Usually all it takes is a single bomb to completely eliminate an enemy. Bombs are best on dungeon floors that reduce the Abs earned, since you're defeating an enemy with a Bomb it means that your weapon won't lose any Abs on this floor.
Stamina Drink: Stamina Drink is one of the more overpowered consumable items in this game. When you drink this it applies the Stamina buff onto your character which doubles the amount of damage you do and reduces the amount of damage you take. Additionally when you have a buff on your character like Stamina you can't be debuffed since you can only have one buff or debuff at a time. This means if you're fighting an enemy that uses Goo or Poison or whatever and they hit you with Goo or Poison it won't be applied to you since it doesn't strip off your current buff.
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