Skies of Arcadia

From Before I Play
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  • Play it on the Gamecube if you can, the Dreamcast version has lost-forever DLC content that was just packaged in with the GC version, and it's got a much more reasonable random encounter rate.
  • Don't bother trying to 100% your first time through. You will need to have a guide attached to your hip, and that sucks all the fun right out. Conversely, once you decide you want to 100%, attach a guide to your hip. There are a lot of missable items.
  • Other than that, just be relatively thorough, don't run from battles unless you absolutely have to, and remember that dialogue choices are about acting like a captain, not a shonen hero. (If you're not sure how to answer, "what would Dad/Dyne do" is a pretty decent yardstick for the 'right' options.)
  • Bring torpedoes on your ship, they're good for helping to stack damage during rounds where the enemy is open. They can be fired by anyone, but your regular cannons should be fired by your physical attackers.
  • Before you land in the town of Maramba, stop back at Sailor's Island to buy and equip a secondary cannon, it's extremely useful for a fight coming up and you won't get another opportunity to buy one until after.
  • You can use healing magic during ship battles.
  • Save before fighting the bounties (they'll ask if you're ready before the combat triggers), they're generally the hardest fights in the game.
  • Don't bother catching fish unless you're going for the title, or just having fun.
  • Healing items still work through Delta Shield.
  • The game is a bit slow to start, but really opens up once Drachma joins the party.
  • The best loadout for your ship is one Main Cannon, One Subcannon, Two Torpedoes. Bring them all to bear in one big meaty turn of damage
  • You get another ship later in the game, but any captain's stripes you apply to your earlier ship will carry over to the next ship. There's no reason to save them.
  • Don't run from battles if you can, because every time you runaway it reduces your ranking towards Vyse the Cowardly. If you plan to try and acheive one of the challenging titles, running away will make it literally impossible to do.