The pages of this guide each deal with one of the story chapters, namely the Prologue, the ten Destiny Odysseys, the four Shade Impulses, the two Distant Glories and Inward Chaos. Each one consists of a set of up to five levels, which are dealt with individually in my guide.
The first thing present in each page is a pair of tables which list the rewards available for completing that story chapter.
The rewards for level completion are earned on completing each level, and correspond to the number of Destiny Points you have left when you shatter that level's Stigma of Chaos. Repeat performances earn the secondary reward. Since there are always more rewards than levels (with only a couple of exceptions), you will have to complete each story chapter more than once to earn 100% for it. The rewards for story completion are earned by accumulating Story Points. After completing all levels in a chapter, the SP earned in each level is totalled, and counts towards a star rating. The SP requirements for ratings are cumulative, i.e. if the table says that you need 100SP for one star, then 200SP for two stars, then 300SP and 400SP for three and four stars respectively, you need a total of 1000SP to reach a four-star rating. For most chapters, the one-star reward is "New skill"; the order in which you obtain these is fixed, regardless of the order you complete the chapters in. SP is cumulative over repeated playthroughs, which is just as well because it is usually impossible to get a four-star rating after one run through a chapter.
The level summary screen also has something labelled "PP won" (below "Bonus"). This PP reward also depends on how many DP you end the level with:
Each level consists of a "battle board" which has a starting point for your character, a level-ending Stigma of Chaos (although sometimes a Chaos or Cosmos Boss piece replaces this), and a number of enemy "battle pieces", representing crystalline imitations called manikins. There can also be treasure chests, red barriers (removed by defeating certain battle pieces), gold barriers (removed by a high enough star rating), Summonstones, Potions and Ethers.
There are up to four icons along the top of any square that contains a battle piece or other board element. The leftmost one is the ID, and is referred to in the tabs below the map. Red IDs are numerical (http://i759.photobucket.com/albums/xx238/SorcerorNobody/Dissidia%20guide/Enemy1.png) and are assigned to battle pieces, while blue ones are alphabetical (http://i759.photobucket.com/albums/xx238/SorcerorNobody/Dissidia%20guide/ObjectA.png) and are assigned to other board elements. There can be up to three icons on the right, but they are not always present. The first one (http://i759.photobucket.com/albums/xx238/SorcerorNobody/Dissidia%20guide/Berserk.png) only appears for battle pieces that are already in a berserk state. The second is either http://i759.photobucket.com/albums/xx238/SorcerorNobody/Dissidia%20guide/DPC1.png, http://i759.photobucket.com/albums/xx238/SorcerorNobody/Dissidia%20guide/DPC2.png or http://i759.photobucket.com/albums/xx238/SorcerorNobody/Dissidia%20guide/DPC3.png, and indicates the number of Destiny Points given by an enemy's DP Chance, and is only present for enemies with DPCs. The second is either http://i759.photobucket.com/albums/xx238/SorcerorNobody/Dissidia%20guide/Hidden.png or http://i759.photobucket.com/albums/xx238/SorcerorNobody/Dissidia%20guide/Enigma.png, representing a hidden piece (which appears after some condition is met) or a piece in an enigma area, respectively. These are only present when applicable, and are never applicable simultaneously. If you are struggling to read the icons (I'll admit that they're a bit small), you can also hover your cursor over the image of the battle piece or board element. This will bring up a tooltip which contains all of the same information as the icons, but much much easier to read!
Gold barriers are always removed by achieving a two-star rating (although it's only one star in Distant Glory), so they need no annotation. Red barriers always have conditions relating to defeating enemies, but the exact conditions vary. For this reason, red barriers are annotated. Since you never get more than four in one level, and I wanted them to be labelled separately from the numbered enemies and lettered objects, I picked the four symbols for the buttons.
|A||B||C||D||E||F||G||H||DP maximisation: Completing a chapter with a sufficient star rating triggers the appearance of Ultimate Battle Pieces, which generally offer DPCs. This means that DP maximisation often has to wait for later runs through the chapter, which is when you should refer to this. You can partially refer to it before then, and I do actually advise you to do so, but it obviously won't be perfectly applicable.
PP maximisation: It is vital that you are aware that PP maximisation routes are always on the assumption that you earn all of the DPCs that are included in the route, and never lose DP by Fleeing or moving the Home area. Less vital, but still worth noting, is that you should ideally have no Retries, nor end the level with less than 100% HP. This is to conserve SP, which in turn contributes to PP.
I originally provided SP maximisation routes too, but I've since realised that they were a waste of time. Once you have a complete star rating for a chapter, SP contributes to only one thing: more PP. This turns SP into nothing more than a means to the end of getting PP, which means that it is demoted to merely being a variable (an insignificant one, I might add) in my PP maximisation calculations.
The map will have either two or three tabs along the top of it. The "Normal" tab displays the map as described above, but the other two tabs are for the maximisation runs, and show no details on the board other than the squares you should visit, numbered in order. You should assume that all pieces surrounding each marked square should be engaged. The order in which those pieces are engaged is usually irrelevant; the main exception is the final numbered square on any map, which is adjacent to the level exit – this is naturally the last piece that should be engaged! Note that all three of these assumptions can be overturned by any contrary instruction given in the maximisation description. Also, with regards to engagement order, common sense helps. For example, if you have an empty EX gauge and are choosing between a non-DPC battle and a battle whose DPC is "EX Burst within 10 seconds", it is obviously sensible to choose the non-DPC battle first so that you can utilise it to fill your EX gauge in preparation for the second battle's DP Chance!
Although there are a couple of levels where there is more than one maximising route, this is rare. In any such case, the route I give is the one I reckon has less taxing DPCs and/or weaker enemies. The PP route is the one that requires the most calculation for me to produce, as I have to take into account the DP cost of detouring to additional engagements and the loss of PP bonuses that this DP loss causes! This then has to be offset against the PP earned from the enemies engaged on that detour, as well as the minimum PP reward from opening any chests on the detour. If a chest can give either 30PP or 50PP, then you have to be able to "break even" with the 30PP outcome for the detour to be worthwhile. Obviously, this maximisation requires both that the chests included in the route have been opened previously, and also that the relevant level completion DP rewards have already been obtained and replaced by PP. If the PP maximisation route is the same as the DP maximisation route, then there will be no PP maximisation tab above the map. This happens most often in levels which have high DP totals available, as the amount of PP earned due to DP rises sharply as DP increases.
A brief description of the level is given above the map, while a basic runthrough appears in the "Normal" tab's descriptive space. A set of tabs below the map contains details regarding non-battle encounters and board elements, i.e. treasure chests, recovery items, summonstones and red locked areas.
|Initial treasure||All Your Base|
|Additional info||Contains accessories that don't even exist in the game|
Wherever enemies are present, their details will also be recorded below the map. These tables do not list CP, because who gives a shit about how much CP they have? It's never going to affect a damn thing. All of the stats are initially taken from the BradyGames guide, but because it's BradyGames and therefore extremely unreliable (read: shit), I will always confirm everything myself by actually double-checking it all in the game. There are just two exceptions to this: I cannot confirm the Rank or the "Style" (Behaviour) from my own gameplay, because I can't find any in-game statement of either of them in Story Mode.
|Kain's Lance||Pure Pwnage||Perfect Awesome||Ultimate Kewl||Kain Highwind|
|Extra info||You are on the way to destruction. You have no chance to survive make your time.|