Neoquest III Skills and Character Guide
By now, most of you will have heard about the third instalment of the Neoquest trilogy that was recently released. Good character progression, as with the two previous games, is essential if you want to have any chance of beating the later bosses. But never fear! I am here to walk you through the ins and outs of levelling your characters, and which skills you should be focusing on.
Skills operate much the same as they did in Neoquest II. Every time you level up from fighting monsters, you gain 1 skill point which can be spent on increasing your character's abilities. Be it healing magic, increased strength, or a variety of new devastating abilities. The difference between Neoquest II and Neoquest III, however, comes in the sheer amount of choice you now have when building up your party of characters.
As with Neoquest II, you are limited to 4 party members in battle. But you can recruit up to 12 characters to join your quest, and switch them around as you see fit. The only character you are forced to use during the quest is Kero, the main character. All other characters are entirely optional and can be recruited for a price in taverns you find in town areas. There are 10 classes of character you can recruit, ranging from a Healer to a Petpet Tamer. We'll deal with them later, though – first, let's focus on Kero.
Unlike normally recruitable characters that are locked into being a certain class from the moment you find them, you have a lot more choice when it comes to Kero, the main character. He has potential access to all of the skills that a Warrior, Magician, and Healer will have. As such, you can choose which of these three main routes he goes down.
There's always a catch, though, isn't there? Kero has a maximum level, just like all other characters in the game. This means that though Kero has access to all skills from the three basic classes, he can never actually gain enough skill points to be decently levelled in all three. In reality, you must pick one class to focus on levelling, and sacrifice the others. If you choose to do this, please refer to the below sections for that particular class for tips on which skills to learn.
Alternatively, and this is what I normally do when playing the game, you can pick a few skills from each class to learn. This makes Kero a jack of all trades – a character who can easily change tactics mid-battle. That becomes especially useful for some late-game battles where party changes in between battles are not possible.
The choice, ultimately, is up to you. It is possible to beat the game no matter what you decide to do with Kero – so feel free to experiment and have fun!
The Warrior class is the bread and butter of RPG games. Focusing on powerful physical attacks, these characters will likely be the main damage dealers in your party until certain other classes are higher levelled. However, they have a couple of other useful abilities that make them valuable party members even in the later stages of the game.
In the main, you should be focusing on spending their skill points on Increased Damage and Increased Defence – you'll be wanting to max out both of these skills with a fully levelled Warrior. As with Neoquest II's Rohane, you'll also want to try and max out Critical Strikes, which gives you a random chance of dealing more damage. You might also like to spend some skills on the Stun ability, that will delay your opponent's next turn should you score a Critical Strike.
These characters are offensive mages like Mipsy from Neoquest II (as in, they deal damage to enemies, not insults :P). At the beginning of the game, you'll probably find that Warriors are more powerful, but in the later stages of the game Magicians come into their own because their spells do fixed amounts of damage, whereas a Warrior's attacks can be reduced by an enemy with high defence.
In terms of skills, you again have a choice. You can either pick Blast Spells, which target a single enemy, or Wave Spells, which target every enemy you are fighting, but hit for less damage. Keep in mind that, as with Neoquest II, the final boss battle makes Blast Spells the more logical choice, but it really is up to you. You also want to spend skill points on Increased Defence.
These characters can cast magic that will heal your party, and spells that add additional protective shields around them. Unlike the previous two classes, you won't be able to recruit any Healers to your party until the Tyrannia stage of the game – unless you level up Kero significantly in that role, you'll likely have to rely on potion healing until then.
As with Magicians, Healers have access to the single target spell Focused Healing and the all-party spell Group Healing. Personally, I like to pick Group Healing, but it is entirely up to you. You should also spend skill points on Increased Defence, but you can largely ignore Increased Damage as that isn't what a Healer is there for. Instead, focus on Protection, which casts a damage-reducing shield over your party (up to a maximum of 40% when the skill is maxed out).
Taking inspiration from Igneot, these characters are only available from the Moltara stage onwards. They focus on using lava and earth based magic. They are primarily offensive wizards, but have some very useful defensive abilities as well.
As with Magicians, they have access to area of effect spells that target all enemies (Earthquake), and single enemy targeting spells (Lava Spout). Focus on one or the other depending on your preference. As you level, you will notice that a Lava Mystic's magic damage will far outstrip that of a normal Magician – but beware! Enemies that have wings or can float through magic (you can normally tell by looking at their images in battle) are completely immune to both of the Lava Mystic's main spells. Given that Lord Faerigan, the final boss, is one such enemy, you may want to rethink having a Lava Mystic in your party permanently. Aside from the spells, remember to level Increased Defence and, if you plan on keeping them in your party while you face flying opponents, Increased Damage so that their physical attacks actually do something.
It is also worth spending some skill points on the Lava Mystic's defensive spell, Surround. This acts like the Healer's shield spell, in that it increases your party's resistance to damage for a few rounds up to a maximum of 40%. The thing is (it's unknown if this is a glitch or not), the spell's effect stacks on top of the Healer's, giving a potential damage resistance of a whopping 80%!
Sky Pirates are only available from the Shenkuu stage onwards, and act somewhat like archer characters similar to Talinia from Neoquest II, but with a few differences. Mainly, Sky Pirates also have elements of thief classes from other RPGs.
The Steal command is mainly what I use Sky Pirates for. Normally, it results in the Pirate stealing a Potion from the enemy, and upgrading the skill means rarer potions can be stolen. This is a major help until you reach the Tyrannia stage and Healers become frequently recruitable, at which point stealing potions isn't really important. That said, certain late game bosses and optional enemies have special weapons that can be stolen from them, so it is always useful to have a Sky Pirate in your ranks.
As ever, spend points on Increase Defence and Increased Damage. The Cannonball skill targets all enemies for reasonable amounts of damage, so is another to level up.
The Chef class becomes available in Shenkuu. Upon reaching Moltara, newly recruited Chefs are instead referred to as Brewers, but they are exactly the same characters with no differences in their skills. Still, if you want to be a completionist, there is room in your party for both a Chef and Brewer, so there's no reason you can't have them all. Chefs have abilities that increase the effects of potions, making them good early-game Healers.
The Mix ability should be your primary focus. This increases the amount any item used does by 50%. This applies to healing potions, speed altering potions, and damage dealing potions. Late in the game, this can make Chefs/Brewers effective damage dealers due to the presence of several high damage potions which they can then boost. The Cook/Brew ability is also useful. It creates a new potion out of nowhere that any character can use on the next turn. Although it is possible that any potion can be created, the game seems weighted to producing a healing potion that is roughly on par with the level of your party at the time.
Remember to also spend skill points on Increased Defence, and while you're at it, spend some on Gatherer. It is a passive ability that increases the chances of finding potions after a battle.
Engineers can only be recruited from Moltara onwards. They are, for want of a better word, this game's wildcard. They can produce incredibly easy victories against the hardest opponents in the game, but can also quite easily cause you to lose battles against the weakest opponents.
The reason from this comes from the Invent ability. It creates a random effect in battle. This can be minor healing, full heal, a shield (which stacks on top of the Healer's but not the Lava Mystic's), a speeding up effect on either you or the opponent, a slowing down effect on either you or your opponent, minor damage to your opponent, an instant kill against your opponent, minor damage against your party, or an instant kill against your party. So, as you can see, the Invent command is very much a gamble. Certainly not something to use on Insane difficulty. That said, I still recommend levelling it. The more levelled the ability is, the more the chance of it performing negative acts against your party decreases.
Outside of that, focus on Increased Damage, Increased Defence, and Tinkerer, which increases the chance of finding rare armour after the battle.
The Petpet Tamer class is unlocked in Tyrannia. At the moment, I would suggest that the class is somehow glitched, as it appears to be far more powerful than it should be. That said, this information is accurate at the time of writing. If it has been fixed since, please ignore this section :P
Petpet Tamers, although they have 'Petpet' in their name, are actually more useful for taming monsters. Their Alabriss Whisperer ability is at the moment their strongest, as it effectively lets you hypnotise the monster you are targeting for one turn by selecting the move they make. This might not sound like much, but given that the chances of success can be raised to an absurd 80% when maxed out, it becomes a very useful ability. TNT appear to have forgotten to add immunity to the skill on several late-game bosses. This means you can use it on the final boss, Lord Faerigan, and constantly select the attacks targeting himself – effectively making the battle one of the easiest in the game. I expect TNT will fix this at some point, so make the most use of Petpet Tamers while you can!
Outside of that skill, you will as always want to level up Increased Damage and Increased Defence. Call Friend is a useful skill that summons a Petpet ally to attack an enemy for one turn. You'll also want to level up the passive skill Hunter, which increases the odds of finding rare weapons after battle.
This is the last regular class to be unlocked in the game, only being available from the Darigan Citadel onwards. They take inspiration from characters like Hubrid Nox and Morguss, casting several powerful dark magic spells on enemies. Unfortunately, because the class is unlocked so late in the game, you'll have to spend a lot of time grinding for experience if you want to fully level them up and explore their full potential.
Drain Life Force is a useful skill to invest skill points in, as it takes health away from your enemy and adds it to your own. The Darkness magic spell targets a single enemy much like a standard Magician's, but hits for slightly more when levelled up to the max. Zombie is an effective skill to learn if you have a Healer or Chef/Brewer in your party – it turns your opponent into a zombie for three turns, causing spells and potions that would normally heal to instead to damage against them.
You'll want Increased Defence levelled up, but personally I wouldn't bother wasting skill points on Increased Damage as primary damage will come from their spells. Dastardly Cape can be useful if you have skill points left over – it has the chance to make your Necromancer completely immune to any damage for a single turn.
I know what you're thinking – "I've completed the entire game and never seen a Space Ranger in a tavern!". Well, that's because it is a hidden Easter Egg class that only becomes unlocked after completing several side quests spread across the various lands. Unlike other classes, only one Space Ranger can ever be recruited, and only in taverns in the Darigan Citadel stage. As such, like Necromancers, you're going to need to grind if you want to level them up completely.
If you do take the time to level up your Space Ranger, though, you'll be pleasantly surprised. They are by far the most effective class in the game. Their main attack skill, Ray Gun, is an absolute must. At the top level, it is the strongest single attack in the game. Electro-Shield is a useful protecting ability that will help your party resist attacks up to a maximum of 50%. Unfortunately, this doesn't stack on top of the various protective spells offered by Healers, Lava Mystics, and Engineers.
Field Rations will heal your entire party for a decent amount, though it has to be said that the Healer's top level spell will heal for more. As ever, Increased Defence is important, but Increased Damage is less so, as you will mainly be using the Ray Gun skill which this does not boost.
... and that's that – a brief walkthrough of the various classes on offer and which skills to focus on. I hope that this guide has been helpful, but remember that nothing here is concrete. If you feel like doing something differently then go ahead – some people already claim to have beaten the game using only Kero, so nothing you can do will stop you being able to succeed. Good luck!