The highly anticipated Star Ocean 5 : Integrity and Faithlessness gets released in the USA on June 28th and Europe on July 1st. Fortunately, I have already finished the game in Japanese and have some important tips to share.
1) IMPORTANT! Collect 5 snake skins and complete the quest “閉店休業はご免だ (I refuse to close shop)” ASAP.
It is quite easy to reach 100% completion for side quests in this game, as there is only one item in the game that is really missable - snake skins, which you can get from lizard warriors and/or lizard shamans. The moment you start encountering them, just keep on killing until you have collected 5 snake skins. These two monsters disappear for good once you reach the final dungeon. To be more precise, they are only available from phase 6 (invasion of Trei’kur) to phase 11 (Signesilica).
They can be found at Trei’kur Sand Dunes, as well as the Cathedral Dungeons of Resulian Fields, Coast of Minoz, and West of the Eastern Eihieds.
As you can see from this screenshot, I am at 99% completion rate due to this one side quest that requires 5 snake skins. I have … 4.
In actuality, It is still possible to get them in the secret dungeon after completing the game. Although you would have to beat two out of three areas of that dungeon to reach the final area where you can find lizard tyrants who also drop snake skins. However, It is a lot of work to get that far in the secret dungeon as the bosses are incredibly hard. Best to just settle it as soon as you can.
2) Fusing emblem swords for easy reserve gauge
The moment you unlock the party skills “creative synthesis” and “equipment enhancement/accessory enhancement” by clearing Welch’s quests, you could fuse neat little things called emblem swords using 5 wires. Wires can be bought from Resulia’s tools shop at 900 g a piece. The swords appear at a pretty low probability, but you can just save and reload if necessary.
Emblem swords have a “reserve gauge increase rate + 7” factor, which drastically increases the rate at which your reserve gauge fills up. Use either equipment or accessory enhancement to put this factor on your best gears on the entire party, and watch the gauge max out in seconds. You can spam finishing moves all you want and make life at the secret dungeon or higher difficulty playthroughs much easier.
3) The invincible “Dead man” role
Dead man is possibly the best role in the entire game. When equipped, it grants invincibility to a character. The downside is that it will drain the character’s hp constantly. I don’t recommend using this role in the first playthrough as it will take away whatever little challenge this game poses on galaxy difficulty. However, this role would help very much for the bosses in the secret dungeon.
Another way to use the role is to equip it on Miki, the healer. Having an invincible healer helps… a lot.
Here are the requirements to get the role.
Dead man : Requires Necromancer level 3.
Necromancer : Requires Launcher and Breaker both at level 3.
Launcher : Requires Caster at level 3.
Breaker : Requires Fighter at level 3.
Caster and Fighter are available by default.
4) Lemon tarts, tiramisu, and shortcakes for power leveling
Lemon tarts and tiramisu provides 20% more experience for the next 3 battles and shortcakes provide 50%, also for the next 3 battles. Lemon tarts are available at cooking skill level 2, tiramisu at level 4, and shortcakes at level 5.
The ingredients required to make lemon tarts and tiramisu are all easily purchasable from ingredients shops from various towns. Shortcakes require “red fruits”, which can be dropped by the "Polyphaga" series of monsters (the big insects at Dakaav Footpath), or purchased from Radol in Resulian's inn after clearing the final Radol quest towards the end of the game.
Have a Japanese PSN account? You can purchase PSN prepaid cards and Playstation Plus cards from here.