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Denpa Men: A Trainer's Guide

27th September 2012; By KnucklesSonic8

They may be small, and they may seem to not take things very seriously, but the Denpa Men sure know how to make an entrance all on their own. Yes, underneath all those cute smiles, these brave little creatures can hold their own just fine. Even still, they are by no means an indestructible force, and the dungeons they find themselves investigating can take a toll when they're at the mercy of an ill-prepared manipulator. And so, with today marking the arrival of THE "DENPA" MEN: They Came By Wave here in North America (read our review here), here's a batch of pointers to help with that very preparation as you try to wrangle your troops to greatness.

Digitoll Attractions
Over the course of the game, players will find parts to be used in the construction of new areas or the expansion of existing ones. Two landmarks in particular that the following tips touch on are the Shop and the Spirit Shrine. First, the Spirit Shrine. The rule you need to remember is this: the higher the level of the creature you wish to bring back, the more offerings will be required of you. Therefore, it's in your best interests to bring back lost party members early on before you get far enough in the game that they become useless. If you think you can hold out long enough, offering requirements will reduced by half after clearing the Oasis World. But even then, it's often better to relocate Denpa Men the old-fashioned way -- through the Antenna Tower -- because if you do manage to find your lost friend once more, they will have increased in level since the last time you saw 'em and perhaps even saw an upgrade in their main skill.

You'll be making plenty of purchasing decisions at the Shop, and if you are ever tight on funds and not sure what to sell, consider getting rid of some equipment. As you progress, you'll find different types of the same equipment that promise the same basic thing but with different end results. For example, the Vision Ring and Insomniac Ring both offer protection from blindness, but only the Insomniac Ring does so in full. Thus, it would be wise to sell the weaker version, especially if you have multiple lying around. Also on the subject of finding things to sell, there is an item called a Lucky Charm that holds out to players a 1.5x multiplier for experience point gains, and this goes for 10,000 if you choose to sell it. There are at least two that you'll find for free in treasure chests, so even though the shopkeeper will warn that you may not get another chance to see it again, you will. Don't be afraid to sell it when you're in need and if you see it to be less useful than other equipment you choose to have on your Denpa Men.

Dungeon Adventuring
Sometimes you just can't be bothered to deal with certain enemies, so it can be helpful to know that you can make certain enemies tire out if you can keep running. On the other hand, others will chase you with such unavoidable speed that you might as well run into them, so while traversing the different dungeons, it can be helpful to know which enemies you can pass by and which ones you'll just have to bear up against.

It can similarly be useful to observe the approach that some enemies take when they're chasing you. More specifically, Furs and Oink Rabbits will approach in a straight line and occasionally get redirected when they collide with a wall, so you can use this knowledge to get out of the way, as you might need to do if you're rushing to get to a restoration point.

Be aware, too, that some enemies like Gold Flappers can float over the paths your team is confined to, or even pass through dungeon walls, as in the case of Dark Mists. In other words, if these enemies catch sight of you, there's no getting out of it. Well, unless you take the cowardly approach and transport yourself away from the situation, but you won't always have that luxury. Additionally, the idea of hunting for treasures may be very alluring, but it is advisable to save rooms endowed with poison traps for later on; and by "later," I'm suggesting that you save them until after you've defeated the world boss. That way, enemies will pose less of a threat and you won't be as panicky over lost health. Mind you, if you have lots of HP to throw around, then by all means, take advantage of the situation when it presents itself.

Battle Strategies
Should you ever realize the hard way that someone's special (or even normal!) attack isn't effective in the slightest, rely on them as your main "item guy" for that particular battle. Speaking of items, don't concern yourself over curing every single infliction as it arises. Burn, freeze, and paralysis all disappear at the end of a battle, so you should really only use Burn Creams and similar salves during longer battles or boss encounters. Unlike the ones just mentioned, Fatal status is not temporary and will carry over into future battles until it is corrected, so make sure you have a small supply of Antidotes at the ready. Two more things to keep in mind, also related to items: Herbert may be your stand-by when it comes to revival tactics, but in the event that he is incapacitated, it helps to have Revive Potions saved for just such an occasion. And the second piece of advice I have when it comes to items would be to hold onto Antenna Power for as long as possible whenever you find them, because the shop doesn't sell those (if it does, it's not until after you've beaten the game).

THE "DENPA" MEN has some pretty strange enemies in the later levels, but Molar has got to be the strangest. Normal attacks that you perform on this innocent-looking tooth will do either 1 point in damage or none at all. Before you even get into battle with them, it'll run away if it sees you on the map! And yet, its attacks can deal over 100 points in damage. Hey, if I had powers like his, I certainly wouldn't be taking the path of avoidance. Anyway, just because he's not an offensive type, that doesn't mean you'll be left off the hook, as he can still appear in a group with another enemy. So the question remains: How do you beat this guy? Well, to be honest, I hardly know myself! The best thing to do, I found, was to keep withstanding his attacks for as long as possible because eventually he does decide to run away from battle on his own. It's very possible that there's a simple strategy to vanquishing this little pest, and if it does exist, you'll have to find that out for yourself.

When dealing with a group of opponents that consist of different types, don't always rely on the Auto feature as it does have a tendency to focus on less important enemies that you stand a perfectly good chance against, instead of sending your party off to attack the more stubborn foes. It may be tedious but it really is the better method to manually select the Attack command for each individual member on your team. That way, you can direct your blows appropriately and furthermore have a whole bunch of them swarm one particular enemy if that's what you wish to do, versus different enemies being double-teamed and all still left standing. One enemy type that makes this strategy an especially wise choice is the Pink Ham (also comes in Green and Gold in later levels). This pesky foe's favourite move is to bring another enemy into the fight, and when you have three of these guys to deal with, it's even more critical that you focus on getting rid of them one at a time, even if there's another enemy in the group that poses a bigger threat.

This last tip is relevant to any battle where you have Mists and/or Ghosts to deal with. There are three strategies that you can use for dealing with these entities, with the first being to use someone who can perform light attacks; the second, to equip either Holy Talisman or the Skulls garment; and the third, to bring the Holy Water item with you into dungeons where you know these enemies will be found. Of the three, the last one is the most effective because it allows everyone the temporary ability to land attacks on these enemies, regardless of whether or not they are equipped to do light damage. When there's only one of these foes to deal with, it may not be worth your while and you may be better off saving this for battles where you have at least two to contend with. 

Boss Strategies
I'll leave tips for defeating the final boss out of here, but I was able to pick up on a few tricks in my encounters with three bosses in particular that I know will be of great benefit to other players. First, when fighting against the boss of Scorch Volcano...actually, before you even go into battle, it is of paramount importance that you bring with you someone who can do water damage or has been equipped with a Water Bracelet. If you have multiple characters who can channel this element, then great! But make sure you have at least one person who can do that. Otherwise, the boss will be near-invulnerable. One more thing: If, after being weakened, he performs two attacks in a row instead of using his second move to return to normal status, treat that as an opening to deliver another series of blows.

The second strategy is a much simpler one, and it surrounds the boss of the level directly after the last. Whenever this brute falls asleep, use that window, not to attack, but to revive and recover where needed. If you choose to attack, you'll cut his nap short and miss out on this opportunity to restore health.

Last of all, when going up against the boss of the Ice Island world, bring with you an antenna character who knows the Hot Blanket move, and also be sure to equip them with a Volcano Ring. The freeze effect from the boss' Ice Breath attack can be brutal if you're completely locked out from attacking, but the Volcano Ring will ensure that you never succumb to this status effect, thus giving you the opportunity to save all your other friends -- provided you're not wiped out before your next turn hits. You can also try to pre-empt this attack by selecting this move even when no one is frozen, and if the move is triggered before the turn of a character that's been immobilized, they'll still get to follow through on the attack you assigned.

The Denpa Men are a submissive bunch, so despite knowing what they need to do to survive, they still need you to guide them as they push past their infantile state. Plus, the less you have to run around and try to regroup from failures, the better. The knowledge these tips will arm you with will minimize said periods of weakness and leave you better equipped to overcome the various challenges that come up in your quest. Of course, this is just scratching the surface, so hopefully you'll discover your own strategies as you go along at your own pace.

Feature by KnucklesSonic8