Welcome students, Professor RPG here! Need help understanding the Equipment Fusion system in Tales of Zestiria? Perhaps you would like a more deep dive into the history of Ivalice? What in the world does the Intelligence stat do in that game you like? Stick around and let Professor RPG clear up the mysteries and help you in on your quest.
The Alliance Alive is the latest RPG for the Nintendo 3DS system. Developed by Cattle Call and published by Atlus, it adopts many of the same mechanics that were present in their previous title, Legend of Legacy. With this handy-dandy primer open next to you, you will have at your fingertips a helpful resource to help get you started on your adventure in this Daemon controlled world. This guide isn’t intended to help you decide if this game is right for you or not, for that, go check out our review here!
-Nintendo 3DS / 2DS (All models)
One thousand years ago, Daemons invade the world of Humans. They subjugated Humanity and created the Great Barrier to separate the realms. The world was thrown into upheaval, and the Dark Current was born. It carved a cross-shaped swath across the ocean, swallowing countless cities in its wake. Humanity was decimated. Hundreds of years later, Daemons rule atop a hierarchical society. However, the time for resistance has come. The world is about to change yet again…
A boy in the resistance group “Night Ravens.” Usually calm and collected, he can also be very emotional. His childhood friend Azura has him under her thumb.
An optimistic Human girl who occasionally lets her curiosity cloud her better judgment. She has the ability to stay positive regardless of her circumstances.
A young Human man who belongs to the resistance group known as the “Night Ravens”. He’s extremely well-informed about goings-on in the world, so he’s earned himself the nickname “Insider Renzo”
A Beastfolk soldier assisting Humans in the “Night Ravens”. It’s rare for a Beastfolk to ally with humans, who they look down on, but he’s sworn loyalty to Azura’s father for saving his life.
Age: 20 (appearance)
A Daemon noble, acting as a historian with a fascination in Humans. She’s extremely gentle and caring for a Daemon, but she can be fairly empty-headed at times when she’s invested in her studies.
Age: 25 (appearance)
A Daemon who serves as Vivian’s butler. He has the utmost regard for social order and class, and would not hesitate to lay down his life for Vivian should the situation call for it.
A young Human girl who calls herself “The Genius Professor”. She’s young but incredibly intelligent, and pilots a power suit is known as “Swan Song” in combat.
A Human Signimancer who has earned the respect of Daemonkind due to his skill and knowledge.
A mercenary employed by the Signimancy Guild. She’s extremely impulsive and often finds herself embroiled in heated arguments with Gene due to their opposing philosophies.
A brave warrior Penguin!
Awakening is the process that The Alliance Alive uses to unlock new arts, (arts are the attacks you can do with your weapons) that can be used in battle. Think of this like a tech tree, where one art will lead down a path to another, which will lead to another, and so on. Triggering Awakenings is random, but there are factors that will improve your odds of unlocking a new art. Arts can lead to multiple other new arts as well, so just because you awaken an attack by using a move, doesn’t mean that is the last move you can learn from it.
- Stronger enemy encounters will cause your attacks to have a higher chance of causing an Awakening.
- Stronger weapons will have this effect as well.
- Each Talent tree has high-cost skills you can learn that will improve your odds of Awakening a new skill.
TACTICS – FORMATIONS / POSITIONS:
Combat takes place on a 5×3 grid with a front, middle, and rear line. Each turn you are able to place your party into different formations which will place them in one of the rows and assign them a Position. You are able to create your own formations when visiting the Tactics Guild.
Formation (the row they are in) which will provide the character different benefits.
- Front: Characters short ranged attacks do more damage, are more likely to be targeted.
- Middle: Characters mobile attacks do more damage
- Rear: Characters are less likely to be targeted.
Positions (think of these as roles of your party, like tank, dps, healer, that you would see in an MMO) give different bonuses to certain skills and stats. As you increase the level of the Tactics guild, you will be granted additional, more powerful, positions. These are the three main ones you have from the start. Arts have Position Levels as well so that the more you use an art while in a specific position, it will gain levels and get increasing damage bonuses applied when used in the given Position.
- Guard (Tank): Improves a character’s defense by 25 and their defense, evade, and counter arts apply to the entire party.
- Attack (DPS): Increases a character’s attack by 25
- Support (Healer) : Increases the character’s speed and healing abilities (for spells and items) by 25.
By mixing the various Formations and Positions together, you can really tailor your parties make up for any situation you may come across. Take some time to invest in making a few Formations and mess around with it, they can be real lifesavers!
The talent trees for your characters will be the main way of customizing your characters and party during your adventure. Each of your party members will have their own set of identical talent skill trees and talent points to spend. There is a talent tree for each of the weapon types, both types of magic, and then ones for Ability and Move. Ability talents deal directly with your stats, Ignition, and the amount of SP you gain per turn, while Move gives you more out-of-combat skills such as cheaper prices at stores, improved chances of pre-emptive attacks, etc.
Once you are about 8-9 hours into the game, you unite all five of the various guilds into a single Alliance. Each one brings with it abilities both for in combat and out of combat. By recruiting and placing NPCs you find around the world into each of the various guilds, will improve their capabilities and unlock new bonuses. Here is a break down of each of the guilds.
- Blacksmith Guild
- Main Ability: Repairs weapons and develops new weapons
- Combat Ability: Cannon attack deals damage to all enemies.
- Recon Guild
- Main Ability: Gives an idea of monster levels in areas you visit, Guild Girl will resupply you in dungeons.
- Combat Ability: Stuns enemies for the turn.
- Signimancy Guild
- Main Ability: Develops new spells
- Combat Ability: Improves party defense
- Tactics Guild
- Main Ability: Let’s you create and customize formations.
- Combat Ability: Places your party in the ideal formations.
- Library Guild
- Main Ability: Repository for information on characters, story, and enemy information.
- Combat Ability: Reduces enemy defense of enemies and shows information on their weaknesses, abilities, and dropped items.
- Improves the damage you do with weapons, including unarmed attacks.
- Higher values will help you go sooner in combat, reduces damage ticks from poison, and reduces damage when using shield arts.
- Higher values improve damage done with Sorcery attacks while also reducing the chance of being inflicted with status effects.
- Higher values improve the healing and damage done by Signimancy while improving odds of adding extra effects to attacks.
- Higher values improve your chances of evading attacks and also helps in making a character go sooner in combat.
AILMENTS AND ATTRIBUTES
- Your character’s HP will completely refill after each encounter (in the case of Battle Chains, it will refill at the end of the last fight). Be mindful that characters who get knocked out will have their max HP reduced. Until you rest at an inn, after the battle the injured characters life will only refill up to their new current maximum HP.
- By default, you regain a single SP per turn, so you are free to use any attack that costs only one SP! The damage output will jump considerably from early skills that don’t cost any. Eventually, you can learn talents that increase the SP regeneration per turn, allowing free use of even more advance arts!
- Only have characters equip a single weapon during normal encounters. Equipping more will add to the character’s weight, slowing them down and causing them to take their turn later. Bring a second weapon with you into boss fights so you can use an Ignition Final Strike attack and not be without a weapon!
- Do you have a sudden urge to change Galil’s name to Gingersnaps? Well, you can! The feature is a bit hidden in a layer of menus but in order to rename a character go into the Status tab in the menu (it is sandwiched between the Formation and Options tabs). From there scroll over to the character whose name you want to be changed and hit the “X” button. This will bring up a new menu and from there select name. Now you can change any of your characters names!
I hope that this Basics Primer will give you a better understanding of The Alliance Alive! With this you should have a better understanding of the complex mechanics at play during combat, allowing you to prepare yourself better for the difficult fights to come. The Alliance Alive is a fresh new RPG for the Nintendo 3DS, showing the system is alive and well. Are there any mechanics or areas you could use more clarification on? Sound off down below or tweet @IrrationalPod and perhaps you will see it’s very own breakdown soon!