Disgaea: Hour of Darkness

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General

  • Laharl is likely to be your strongest unit for the main game and if you keep him up to speed with levels and gear, he'll do most of the team's heavy lifting.
  • You can throw diagonally by hitting the confirm button as you're changing directions.
  • Attack from behind or the side when using regular attacks if at all possible.
  • Only Thieves are any good at stealing, so keep one leveled up and bring your best stealing item if you want to have any hope at snatching something valuable.
  • You can get away with not worrying too much about characters' stat aptitudes, but be sure to give them weapons they are proficient with. Playing to their strengths rather than trying to pad their weaknesses lets you get the most out of them, though a squishy spellcaster can sometimes use some extra HP too.
  • Characters can learn spells from their pupils (generic characters created by them) by placing the two next to each other and having the "teacher" cast the (now-castable) spell in question repeatedly until it reaches lvl 1. Teaching Laharl healing from a Cleric pupil for example is a common and helpful strategy.
  • Team Attacks can be performed several times in a row by surrounding an enemy, attacking with one character, canceling the move actions of the other members and then repeating the process. Other uses of action canceling include temporarily lifting up an obstructing enemy to let an ally pass and then canceling the lift action.

Item World

  • Item World is for the most part optional for clearing the base game, but it can help you get some good EXP or gear in case you get badly stuck. Keep an eye out for EXP boosts and good clear rewards.
  • Don't forget to bring at least one Mr. Gency's Exit before entering the Item World. You acquire a guaranteed one from every 10th Item World floor, so quickly clearing a cheap item like Fairy Dust is one easy source.
  • You don't always have to kill every enemy to proceed in the Item World, so if the rewards don't seem worth it, it's often faster to just chain-toss your way to the exit. Abilities that move the target (most commonly from Fist weapons) can be used to dislodge Gatekeeper enemies blocking exits.

Character Creation & Transmigration

  • Don't bother creating "Good-For-Nothing" characters as the penalties aren't worth it. On the opposite end the highest ranks require Dark Assembly approval, so those are usually best saved for Transmigration instead.
  • That said Transmigration is not really needed until post-game when you can get lots of levels quickly, and even then should preferably done at the maximum "Genius" level to maximize its usefulness.