Jade Empire

From Before I Play
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  • The White Demon style is extremely powerful, but the combo is not very flashy. Thousand Cuts has a drawback that the end of the combo has you step back a bit, so keeping in range can get annoying. Every style works though, so it's mainly a case of taste.
  • You don't have to max Open/Closed Palm to gain most of the benefits. They main link is the special magical styles Stone Immortal (open) and Tempest (closed), where you need more than 75% to gain the highest boost. You do get an item near the end of the game, if you max it, but it's not a gamebreaker. That being said, you are probably still best off just picking a path and sticking to it, because the differences in philosophy are quite different.
  • Talk to your companions after each major mission. They usually have something new to say, and if you miss too many, you may not have enough triggers left to actually get to the end of certain dialogue chains.
  • Transformation styles can be very overpowered, especially if you sink points into them early. I tend to avoid them because they do take away much of the challenge of fights.
  • You can influence some of your companions to take either an Open Palm or Closed Palm view of the world, regardless of their natural inclination. You have to reinforce this attitude through dialogue, and some of it requires you pass a speech check.
  • You get enough points during a game to fully max about 4 or 5 styles/weapons/etc, but you can save a bit by skipping Chi Damage for Support styles: that one only applies when you activate the drain chi for extra damage ability, and most of the time you want to save your chi for either magic styles or healing.
  • Stones that improve major stats (Body, Mind, Spirit) are usually preferable to those at affect minors, since they also boost the associated minors. The exception are those with special effects, which is more a late-game thing, and a few that give quite considerable boosts to speech skills.
  • That said, as long as you don't spread yourself too thin, there isn't a way to gimp yourself really. Almost any combination of styles and stats can get you through. To avoid failing too many speech checks, pick a Path and preferred type of Speech and stick to those. Charm usually complements the Open Palm and Intimidate the Closed Fist as you would expect, with the final one (Insight?) serving as the neutral choice. You don't always get all 3, so having Insight as the the secondary is a good idea.
  • If you are ever in doubt whether a dialogue option will potentially give you Open Palm or Closed Fist points (usually painfully obvious, since dialogue is less than subtle, but there can be a few grey area ones here and there), watch your characters facial expression when you hover over the line: Good and he will smile, Evil and he will snarl.
  • Your followers can be set to attack or support, which can increase damage or regenerate one of your bars. Always keep your followers on support because the combat AI for them is rock stupid.
  • Invest points in Chi over Health or Focus. Due to chi healing, your chi bar can be used as a second health bar that also lets you shoot fireballs. Focus is only used for using weapon styles and focus mode. Focus Mode isn't all that helpful in the long run, and weapon styles don't need that much focus as long as you upgrade their reduction stat.
  • It's a Bioware game. Choose to be either a good or bad dude, talk to all your buddies for backstory, and do every sidequest you can. Despite the game insisting that it has moral depth, the Open Palm and Closed Fist options are always obviously evil or good.
  • Flip all the time in combat. Enemies can do a lot of damage if you're not paying attention.