I am finally playing Bravely Default. The looming release of Bravely Second kicked me into ‘Why haven’t I played this yet?’ mode and from the moment I started my journey in Luxendarc it just clicked with me. I am now looking for any excuse to sneak back to playing this amazing RPG.
I finished the Prologue last night. Like any classic JRPG prologue worth its salt, it’s looong. Not quite as long as Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky FC prologue … but it’s up there with the best.
The prologue introduces you – via well-timed mini tutorials – to the various game features, and by the end you should be well-versed in the essential skills and options. One option that is IMO really crucial (but may possibly be missed or under-valued) is the re-building of the village Norende. It *may* look at first like a tedious sim module tacked on … but it is in fact nothing short of crucial to how you fare in levelling and gearing up.
You need ‘workers’ to re-build. And workers are hard to come by in the beginning. You start out with just one poor soul. For those of us living in regions where Streetpasses are a rarity, you may be discouraged and therefore not pursue this task. But fear not – the game fortunately recognises this problem and you need not miss out! I have only ever had 1 streetpass in 3 years (!). And now, after just a few days of playing, I have 15 workers. How is that possible?
Easy: You can access the “Update” function (via an Adventurer who is also your Save point) and do a ‘Net Friends Update’ once per day. This will assign 3 random players to your in-game Friends list and also net you 3 additional workers for Norende. This – together with extra workers you get as you complete rebuilding tasks – will propel you forwards quickly. Why is this so important?
Because Norende has a variety of shops and traders. These will successively make available more and more equipment, items and even “special move” parts.
- These special moves are really important: they extend your repertoire of, well, ‘special’ actions you can take during combat. Think of them as a kind of high-powered ‘Burst’ move that can make or break a battle. As you level up your jobs, more and more of these become available. So getting cracking on unlocking these special moves via Norende rebuilding is a great way to ensure you won’t get stuck in the game, unable to advance because of lack of power skills.
- The equipment that unlocks in Norende becomes available for purchase from the Adventurer. This is gear that is far superior to what you can obtain from the regular town shop! I only ever shopped at the Equipment Shop in the very early stages of the Prologue. After that, you want to home in on the really neat gear made in Norende!
- The traders in Norende will also keep you supplied with a regular stream of ‘gifts’ of potions and other items. Very handy indeed.
How to best organise a steady flow of rebuilding and unlocking of gear and items? Just never shut down your 3DS! 🙂 I keep my game open all the time and just suspend it when I’m not playing. That way, Norende keeps ticking over, and it’s a great thrill every time I return to the game to be greeted with goodies! Just remember to keep your battery charged up …
Another wonderful feature that will also help you acquire extra abilities and moves is Abilink. If you have people on your 3DS Friends List who also have Bravely Default, they’ll be added automatically to your Friends list in the game. You can then use Abilink to link one game character to one Friend; this makes their job abilities available to you! Trust me, this is huge. Again, this can make or break a battle. It means you don’t have to be stuck just because you haven’t reached a certain level or skill set yet. It means that the inevitable grinding doesn’t have to be the tedious bore it might be. This game really does a lot to give you options to make your journey easier. Make use of those options, and I believe the game experience will be the better for it.
What if you don’t have many – or any – 3DS friends who play Bravely Default? Then you can still use ‘Summon Friend’ during combat and have access to the moves/abilities of those ‘Net Friends’ (which I mentioned above) you can recruit once per day through the Adventurer. I have had, on average, one useful/skilled new Net Friend out of the daily three, so this is definitely a useful extra feature well worth cultivating.
I have just started Chapter 1 and am really looking forward to uncovering new features and aspects of the game. Bravely Default gives you a rich experience – which is what I crave and look for in an RPG – and I hope my discussion of those available right from the start may have whetted your appetite to pick up this game again, if you put it aside, or indeed finally purchase it.