The Evil Summoner FAQ v1.0 "How to Be a Cheap Ass" -------------------------------------- By Mochan created May 28, 2001 last modified May 28, 2001 =============================================================================== cheap adj(1509) 1: at minimum expense 2: gained with little effort 3: obtainable at a low rate of interest 4: STINGY ass (bef. 12c) 1: any of several hardy gregarious mammals (genus Equus) that are smaller than the horse and have long ears 2: a stupid, obstinate, or perverse person =============================================================================== DISCLAIMER ----------------- This FAQ was written with the PC version of the game. Any discrepancies with the PS2 should be excused. Best read with a 79-width text viewer with a fixed-size font. This FAQ has no spoilers in the tactical section (How to Be a Cheap Ass) but it does have spoilers in the omake section at the end. This FAQ will likely not be updated because I am lazy. Besides, this particular FAQ isn't something I want to spend too much effort on. I have included my e-mail address in the header up there. If you want to write me anything be sure to include this tag in the subject: [SUMMONER FAQ] Actually, though, I'd prefer if you don't write me anything because I'm betting I won't like whatever you'll have to say. ^____^ =============================================================================== TABLE OF CONTENTS =============================================================================== DISCLAIMER TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. Why this FAQ was written =========================== 2. How to Be a Cheap Ass =========================== 2.I. THE ART OF WAR --------------------- Lesson 1 Lesson 2 Lesson 3 2.II. THE CHARACTERS --------------------- 1.) JOSEPH INSERT #1: A NOTE ON SKILLS SKILL LEVELS SUMMON SKILL WHY BLUNT AND NOT SWORD? DODGE AND PUSH PUSH AND DOUBLE ATTACK COUNTERATTACK INSERT #2: A NOTE ON QUICK SLOTS * The Fire Wall Technique * * The Fireball Tactic * 2.) FLECE *Uragiri Technique * 3.) ROSALIND * Guerilla Warfare * * Assess * 4.) JEKHAR 2.III. OTHER CONSIDERATIONS ---------------------------- * Chain Combo Attacks * * Speed * * Armor * 2.IV. OTHER TRICKS ------------------ * Never Die 3. HOW TO CHEAT =========================== LEGALESE CREDITS OMAKE!!! =============================================================================== 1. Why this FAQ was written (or, "Why I hate Summoner and so should you") ------------------------- Let me state this from the start, so that you don't get the wrong idea. This "Evil Summoner FAQ" is not like a "Fallout Evil FAQ" or a "Black and White Evil FAQ." It will not tell you how to play the game in the "evil way" because it is impossible to do so in Summoner. Being totally linear in plot, Summoner can only be played the "good way." So why call it the "Evil Summoner FAQ?" Most people write FAQs for games they love and worship and adore above all else. However, being unlike everyone else, I have taken it upon myself to write this FAQ with the sole intention of utterly trashing Summoner because I totally hate the game. And therein is the answer: this FAQ is "evil" because it is based on hate, hate for the piece of trash called "Summoner!" Summoner is one of those rare games that gets practically nothing right, and because of this it deserves to be soundly bashed, ripped, slashed, broken and consigned to oblivion. However, no matter what you think of the game, you cannot deny that Summoner did get ONE thing right: the time of its release! On the PC there was no other RPG out at the moment of its release, so Summoner will likely be bought and played by default. Even now, some months after its release, Arcanum has been bumped off to a September release, Blade Masters seems to have turned into vaporware, Anachronox is nowhere in sight, it will be a miracle if Morrowind is released any time soon. You get the point. Likely, as of now you will have no RPG to play on the PC except for this. PS2 players probably have it better, too bad I don't have a PS2. ^^; So, in anticipation of this sore trial my fellow gamers will have to undergo, I have resolved to write this guide to show you "How to Be a Cheap Ass" and breeze through the battles of Summoner, so you can get over the game quickly and move on to better things. Okay, so I won't mention all the bad things of Summoner right now. I'll do that later. Let's get on to the business of this FAQ: how to win battles easily and cheaply! =============================================================================== 2. How to Be a Cheap Ass (or the meat of this FAQ) ------------------------- 2.I. THE ART OF WAR ------------------- First things first, to win a battle you must understand your enemies. I will disclose to you how the algorithms work in controlling monsters. Lesson 1 -------- I will tell you the first hidden secret about Summoner: AI is ROCK STUPID! For the PC version, anyway. I don't know if it's better on the PS2, but on the PC it is utterly moronic. Enemies within spitting distance will more often than not ignore you as you bash their friends in right next to them. Take advantage of this by knowing the maxim: "Divide and Conquer!" If you ever have trouble with a battle, remember that fighting enemies one-on-many (one being them and many being you) will make things much easier. Lesson 2 -------- An enemy will typically attack your active character (the one you happen to be controlling at the moment). This, however, is mostly because you will likely be leading your party with the active character. The only time you won't will be when you are using a bow or a spell. At any rate, when engaged in melee I have noticed that the enemy tends to face your active character more often than an inactive character. This may not seem much, but it is important if you want to make the most of Flece's backstab. More on this later. For now, just know that if an enemy is fighting two or more of your party, if you control one of them and walk away a bit, the enemy will almost never pursue you, and will face the remaining inactive party member it is engaged with. This is useful for Flece later on, hee hee hee. Lesson 3 -------- If it can't sense you, it won't fight you. These enemies are all apathetic and are practically blind as a bat. What this means is that, as long as you don't walk in front of them and hit them, they'll ignore you. Remember this; it works wonders when using the Blizzard and Firewall spells. Alright, that's enough about enemy AI. Frankly because there's nothing else to talk about. These are all the important things you have to remember about your average enemy. 2.II. THE CHARACTERS ---------------- In Summoner, you will be controlling four morons who believe everything they're told, and who all look particularly stupid. However, they do have have diverse combat abilities. Being a Cheap Ass means knowing how to use each character properly. Here is my take on each one: 1.) JOSEPH ----------- RENAISSANCE MORON The dumb provincial idiot who gets to be the hero. As is the tradition with consoles games, the hero gets to be the well-rounded jack who, despite being an uneducated, untrained peasant, has great potential to learn to use all weapons and wield powerful magic. Despite being the "renaissance man" as heroes go, he is the 2nd worst character in your party. Regardless, Joseph has his uses. He has the Fire magic set, which is terribly effective, he can heal, and he is relatively tough with lots of hit points. Drawbacks: No CRITICAL HIT - for someone who's supposed to be a fighter, not having this skill makes him weak compared to the real fighter. Then again, since there are only four PCs in this game, comparisons are pretty stark. Ugly - Joseph is plain ugly. How to describe it? Someone must have dug a grave and dumped Joseph in, buried alive. Seven days later someone exhumed him, and he looks as he does today: a walking corpse. Don't believe me? Look at those gaunt cheekbones, that bony neck! And those eyes... they're evil! Skills ------ Raise the skills to the level dicatated, roughly in this order. That is, in Joseph's case raise Heal first, then Dodge, Parry, and so on. Typically, devote all the skill points you can to the top skills before raising the others. For Joseph, I recommend raising him in this manner: Dodge - get up to 4 or so Parry - about 4 or so Heal - up to 10 is nice; the heal spells are all good Fire - up to 7 just to get Fire Wall Blunt - raise up to 10 Heavy Arms - up to 7 (9, if you want to use swords) Magic Resist - get this up to 10. Do NOT put points in these skills: Sword Weapons Staff Weapons Push Holy Bow Weapons Double Attack Axe Weapons Dark Counter Attack When you have spare skills points, put them into either Darkness up to level 8, or Dodge and Parry, until you reach up to 10 with them. You can also put some in Staff Weapons at the start; you can get a pretty good staff early in the game: the Fellstaff (If you're lucky). Still, I'd stick with Blunt; more on that later. -------------------- INSERT #1: A NOTE ON SKILLS -------------------- SKILL LEVELS Skills can be increased from 1 to 10. There are basically two kinds of skills: those that give you access to certain things if their level is high enough (e.g. -- Spell skills, Heavy Arms), and skills that give you benefits from a formula derived from the skill level (e.g. -- weapon skills, dodge, parry). Generally, you will want to devote precious skill points to the second type of skill, the one that gives you a benefit if it is higher. Now, certain items can boost skill levels higher than 10. As far as I can tell, this gives you a positive advantage with the second type of skill, but is useless with the first kind. Thus, it is pointless to use items like the Hellfire Necklace to increase your Fire Skill from 10 to 13, for instance. A higher Fire Skill does NOT makes your fire spells do more damage, it only lets you access higher level fire spells. And since the last spell you get is generally the one at level 10, there is no point in increasing it further. The other type of skill, though, seems to benefit from increasing it beyond 10. Increasing a weapon skill beyond 10 apparently improves your chance to hit with it. However, the difference is quite negligible, and either way your characters are terribly cross-eyed, so it doesn't really matter so much. SUMMON SKILL Joseph has the Summon skill which can call up a monster to do his bidding, but frankly I discourage the development and use of this skill. It's next to worthless. The summoned creatures are pathetically weak at the start, heck they're softer than Flece and are about as effective as Rosalind. The worst part is that if they die, you lose hit points PERMANENTLY. Don't risk it. Admittedly, the summon monsters get stronger when you get the dragon rings later on in the game. But with the tactics I will be telling you you don't need these creatures, so don't bother. You also get two summons "ala Final Fantasy," that is you summon a creature who just drops by, gives an eye-candy animation, pops damage on your enemy, and leaves. Not really impressive, and damage is actually pathetic, so don't bother. WHY BLUNT AND NOT SWORD? I'll let you in on a secret: swords SUCK. Yes, it's true! Although the swords *LOOK* like they have better stats than the blunt weapons, don't be misled. Most creatures in this game take more damage from blunt weapons than slashing or piercing. Don't believe me? Just look at Flece. She is weak because she only uses swords and daggers. Watch her use her kick attack: it is her only "blunt" attack. Notice how the kick tends to do more damage than her sword? Weird, yes, but it's because of what I said. Want more proof? Use Rosalind to Assess your enemies. You'll notice that most monsters are "WEAK" or "VULNERABLE" against BLUNT but "STRONG" or something against slash/pierce. Not all monsters, but most of them. Now, Joseph's strongest weapon in the game is the Sword of Summoners. Sure, it does 150 damage but it doesn't mess your opponent up in any way. So the Debasser, heck the Dreadblade is 10 times better. Besides, you only get it at the very end of the game (and I do mean the end) so WHAT'S THE POINT!?!? I am also told that Jekhar's "strongest" weapon is the Breaching Claymore, which does 100 damage. Again, it does nothing else so what's the point? I'm pretty sure the Warhammer is a superior weapon, as it does 90 BLUNT damage. I can't say for sure since I didn't actually get the Breaching Claymore (I have no idea where to get it), but even without testing I am 100% sure it's no big deal. Stick to blunt weapons. As an added incentive, I'll let you in on another secret in the game: the Debasser is the BEST weapon. Period. Other weapons, like the Dread Blade and Nodachi, are also quite good, but nothing beats the Debasser. Why? It's doesn't slow you down (speed 1), does great damage (75), is one-handed (thus allowing you to use a shield), is blunt (which means it does more damage to most enemies), and most importantly it can TRIP your enemy. And it does so quite often, I might add. This is INVALUABLE. The Dread Blade and Nodachi, being capable of petrifying and freezing enemies, get runner-up for best weapons, but they have a lot of other cons (being swords, expensive, slow and two-handed) which balance out to make the Debasser better. Further, the TRIP ability combos well with Flece, as I will discuss later. There is only one other Sword weapon which I find to be useful other than the Debasser at certain points of the game: the Winterlong, which does 90 points of ICE damage. This is particularly useful near the end of the game where you fight Lichs and other monsters which take lots of Ice damage, and are strong against Blunt weapons. Yet when I fight those things I just fry them with Rosalind, so what's the point? Oh, yeah, there are some big golems in Ikaemos and some other parts who are resistant to magic, blunt and sword weapons, but weak against ice. The Winterlong is the best weapon against them. But still, too specialized an occurence. Blunt is best. Trust me. DODGE AND PUSH These two skills are sound really useful, but after closer inspection I have come to conclude that, like raising weapon skills, they don't provide that big an advantage. Even with perfect dodge and parry skills you'll be hit far too often for my liking, so again, what's the point? PUSH AND DOUBLE ATTACK These skills supposedly aid your chain combo rates. Bullshit. As far as I can tell, they do squat. Leaving an inactive member on its own, they did not do any more chain combos than they would with a zero double attack skill. If you use your character, it doesn't really help that much; I can easily get a 24 chain combo manually. In auto chain mode, there isn't much noticeable difference. Supposing these skills did increase your chain combo rate, why would you want to use combo attacks? You'll discover that combo attacks aren't really desirable, as I will discuss later. COUNTERATTACK This sounds like a great skill at first, since you get a free attack when your enemy attacks, right? Wrong! If this were Tactics Ogre or Final Fantasy Tactics, this would be a god technique. But this isn't. This is Summoner, with the lame real-time combat system which is trying to hard to be Diablo, and fails miserably. Why is counterattack useless? Because after your opponent is blocked you WILL ATTACK ANYWAY. And since it's real-time, you aren't given a "free attack," since you are doing your counterattack while you're supposed to be doing your normal attack! Trust me. I've timed the speed of attack, there is no difference. -------------------- END INSERT #1 -------------------- Now, let's talk about Joseph again. Joseph isn't particularly effective as a fighter because he lacks the one skill that makes Jekhar so strong: Critical Hit. It's annoying that Jekhar is the only fighter in your party who has that vital skill. However, he has lots of hit point and can wear lots of good armor, so he makes a good shock troop. How to Use Properly: At the start of the game, Joseph is most effective as a healer. Later on, he becomes a damage soaker (i.e. - shock troop), moderate damage dealer, and back-up fireman. Your gameplan is like this: Joseph is to be a shock troop who doubles as a melee fighter. However, his main use is to heal, particularly to revive Rosalind if she gets knocked out (which will probably happen a lot). At the start, Joseph will likely be using sword weapons and not blunt ones, because you will have a hard time finding good blunt weapons. Don't fear, this is only temporary. At this point, Joseph is not your fighter, Flece is. Joseph is your healer. Later on, you'll get stronger blunt weapons. Joseph's best weapon is without a doubt the Debasser. I thought at first it was the Dreadblade, but I realized that it's nigh impossible to get it, and it's a sword, after all. RECOMMENDED AI SCIPT: Healer RECOMMENDED QUICKSLOT ARRANGEMENT: 1 - Vitalize 2 - Firewall 3 - Meteor Swarm 4 - Fireball 5 - Heal 6 - Revive -------------------- INSERT #2: A NOTE ON QUICK SLOTS -------------------- Make sure to use your quickslots! Summoner's interface on the PC is pathetic. A quickslot is a slot which houses a special ability, which you can call by pressing buttons 1 to 6. This will save you much effort and frustration on the PC. To use, open your spell/skill menu, and pick a skill. Click on the icon, hold, and drag to one of the six squares at the bottom right. I'm mentioning this here because it is of VITAL import to your sanity to use these quick slots. If you overlooked it in the documentation, then don't overlook it here. They certainly over- looked it in the tutorial (dumb Volition, dumb!) -------------------- END INSERT #2 -------------------- SPECIAL TACTICS: * The Fire Wall Technique * You can use this with Joseph early on. It's slow, boring, but works all the time and has a 100% safety rate. You will NEVER lose with this technique. Creep up to an enemy, just close enough to use Fire Wall on it. Because of the stupidity of the enemies, you can creep up on any non-boss enemy to cast Fire Wall on it, and it will not see you! Even stupider, they will happily roast in the flames without a care in the world until they keel over and die. Take note that this is not very effective against monsters with high magic resistance and/or fire resistance. But there are other methods to deal with those.... Rosalind can also use this tactic, actually she uses it better. * The Fireball Tactic * This only works if you have Invisibility cast on your character. Use Flece or Rosalind to make you invisible (depending on who you grew to have that skill). Creep up as with the Fire Wall tactic, then shoot Fireball. They will be hit, but since you're invisible they won't notice. Pathetic. Note that this trick also works with the other projectile spells like Fire Arrow and Icicle. 2.) FLECE ----------- QUEEN OF BACKSTABS AND OTHER THINGS Flece is the best character in the game! No doubt about it. She has the best line-up of skills, and I get the feeling the game developers like her so much as their "favorite child" that they gave her so many perks, gameplay-wise and story-wise. Why is Flece the best? Because she does the most damage*, she has a lot of good skills, she's the prettiest person in the game (which isn't saying much), and she rules (literally; you'll understand when you get half-way through the game, hehehe!!!) Drawbacks: Low life: She is the 2nd weakest character in the game. Still, she's reasonably stout and won't fall easily. Pierce/Slash only: Flece can only use sword weapons, which means that she has no blunt damage ability except for the KICK skill, which doesn't cut it. No CRITICAL HIT skill: a shame, if she did she'd be a show-stopper! So many Good Skills: it's hard to grow her properly because there are so many good skills to choose from! Don't worry, I'm here to help. Skills ------ For Flece, I recommend raising her in this manner: Sword Weapons - raise to about 4 Dodge - Raise to about 4 Pick Lock - Raise to 3 Backstab - raise to 10 Dark - up to 8, just to get the invisibility Heavy Arms - raise to 4 Appraise - raise to a 9 Trip - raise to a 10 Magic Resist - raise to a 10 Do NOT put points in these skills: Bow Weapons Kick Aimed Attack Hide Parry Counter Attack Sneak It's annoying that Flece has some worthless skills raised to 2 automatically. I'd much rather have placed those precious points elsewhere. The reason why I tell you not to put points in Sword Weapons is because, at the start of the game, she can hit enemies well enough with a low sword skill. Come the end of the game, you won't be using her in frontal combat: you'll only backstab. And when you backstab it always hits. Only raise sword weapons to a 10 when you have spare points (not likely)! Sneak is a convenience to raise, but you don't really need to, if you're patient. Sneak skill actually just tells how long it takes for you to be able to use sneak again, it doesn't stand for a success rate. Also, certain items boost sneak skill, and you'll likely be using these items anyway. Picklocks - it is actually quite beneficial to raise picklocks to 10. But why not? Because precious points are useful elsewhere. Instead, you will sometime in the game come across Shadow Gauntlets (which give +1 Picklock) and the Ring of Thieves, which give +3. Whenever faced with a locked item, just equip these items and you'll boost your picklocks up to 10, no problem. After opening it, take them off so you can use the other better rings and gloves. Heavy Arms - you can actually get away with just raising it to 4. The only reason to raise it to 5 is to use the Bough-Kote, which is a great pair of gloves. Appraise - like Picklocks, you can get away with a 9 because there is a pair of gloves which can temporarily raise it to 10 for those hard to identify items. Dark - should only be raised to level 8. It is USELESS to get the Death Spell because the Death Spell almost never works! I tried the Assassin Crossbow and it never killed anyone outright. For fun I experimented with the Death Spell and only managed to kill 1 (!) guy out of every 25! Not worth it. Alternately you can put the Dark allotment to Sneak, so you can skulk around and backstab enemies a lot more conveniently. How to Use Properly: Flece was not meant to be a head-on character. You've got Joseph and Jekhar to do that. Flece was meant to be the "brains" behind Joseph and Jekhar's dumb brawn. Typically, in this game you should be controlling only one of two characters: either Flece or Rosalind. Controlling Jekhar is worthless, since he's just your shock troop to draw enemy attention while you do the good stuff with Flece or Rosalind. Joseph should be controlled as sparingly as possible; typically only when Rosalind's busy recuperating or something. If you have sneak skill (or even if you don't), be sure to sneak and backstab enemies every now and then. It's faster than using the Fire Wall trick, but it only works when enemies are isolated. When they are bunched up together, be sure to use the Fire Wall. Using Art of War Lesson #2, you must weave about the enemy and hit them from behind with a backstab. Use her to silence enemy mages early on when magic resistance hasn't been fully-developed. Finally, use her Invisibility on Joseph or Rosalind to let them use spells undetected. Notice that Flece's tiny daggers do pathetic damage against most enemies. However, check out the Special Tactics below. Flece should keep getting the best dagger available. For a long time her best weapon will be the Gutting Dirk, available at Tancred's for a whopping price. You will want to make her use the Katar from the Khosani. It says you can't backstab with it, but that's what they say. Just do the backstab motion with the Dirk, and go to your inventory and switch to the Katar. There you go, instant Katar backstab! The bonus is that they get poisoned. This is invaluable against boss fights, particularly that damn immortal Lich in the catacombs, and against that flying monster at the end of the game who loves to run away. Later on, her best weapon will be the Sornehan Dagger. RECOMMENDED AI SCIPT: Melee RECOMMENDED QUICKSLOT ARRANGEMENT: 1 - Trip 2 - Backstab 3 - Sneak 4 - Picklock 5 - Silence 6 - Invisibility SPECIAL TACTICS: * Uragiri Technique * Flece is the strongest damaging character in the game. Don't believe me? You will. Against any humanoid enemy who is not immune to piercing weapons, simply go up to them. Use trip to bring them down. Go behind them. Use backstab. You will then do something like 1200-4000 damage. Bye bye enemy. Backstab is the ultimate damage skill! Now, there are two kinds of backstab: the "fake" backstab which magnifies damage by about 500%, and the "true" backstab that does some 2000% more damage. The difference is in your enemy's "awareness." Used on an "unaware" enemy, you will magnify your damage by 1000% - 4000%. Normally, this means using the Sneak skill to creep up behind an enemy, and do the backstab. In combat situations, if you backstab an enemy, it is only a "fake" backstab that does lesser damage. In the heat of battle, remember Art of War Lesson #2 and you will be able to use Backstab to consistently chip away your enemy's life, even bosses. You can do this to ANY opponent, and average some 500 damage or so. However, the true art of backstabbing is in making "unaware" backstabs ALL THE TIME. How to do this? It works against any humanoid opponent. In the midst of combat, just Trip them with the Trip skill. This lays them flat on their back. Now, for some reason, when an opponent is levelled like this they become "unaware." I'm assuming they got the wind knocked out of them and are stunned senseless. Whatever the case, go behind them and use Backstab. Poof! 2000 damage on average! You will be doing maximum backstab damage! Incredible! The best part is, *THIS WORKS ON BOSSES!* This is the easy way to kill those pesky horsemen and the 2nd final boss (I killed him in five seconds, believe it or not). You can kill almost all normal humanoids in one blow (some, like the Ice Soldiers can take two because of their bladed-weapon resistance, and some can't be killed at all, like the Lich because of immunity). All humanoid bosses can be killed in two hits! How many times you can hit them isn't really a problem: after the backstab, as they get up, just trip them again! Viola! Instant win. Because of this Trip/Backstab combo, Flece is without a doubt the strongest character in the game. Note that the higher your backstab skill, tyhe greater the damage seems to be. I am not entirely sure of this, but if you raise your backstab skill to 20 (it is possible with a certain sword, glove and two rings) you will be doing massive damage. However, once you get a good dagger and a backstab of 10, it's usually enough to kill most enemies easily, so there's no need to raise it that high. I cannot emphasize enough that you should use this technique whenever you engage in battle. A word of caution: it is easier to do this if you have only one shock troop drawing enemy attention. Too many cooks spoil the broth, so to speak. Typically, you should have only either Joseph or Jekhar distracting the enemy and you will creep up behind, do a trip, and backstab. Better, if Jekhar or Jospeh are using the Debasser, they will drop the enemy for you, and you can just backstab away. Always have Trip and Backstab in your quickslots. If all four of you are in melee mode and whacking the enemy, it is very frustrating and difficult to pull off this cheap backstab trick. At the most only Joseph and Jekhar should be attacking; it is still relatively easy to pull it off with the two of them, but with Rosalind you will likely be clicking on her or the two dorks instead of behind the enemy, thanks to Summoner's pathetic interface. 3.) ROSALIND --------------- MASTER OF MAGIC Rosalind is another idiot coming from a cloister who does everything her headmaster tells her. I'm pretty sure she'd climb up the highest tower of the temple and strip naked if the headmaster told her. Regardless, she is the second best character in the game. She has absolute command of magic; she can learn all spells and because she is so fragile you will likely want to keep her in the back casting spells, so she has her work cut out for her. Drawbacks: Fragile - Rosalind has the lowest hit points AND the lowest defense in your party. She can only use staff weapons, which she uses SO slowly. Because of this, get her in battle and even if she has a dodge and parry of 10 she will die in ten seconds flat. No Heavy Arms - the only character without Heavy Arms, this restricts her equipment, making her incapable of using the better weapons and armor. Ah well, all the more reason to keep her at the back casting spells and shooting arrows. Has Critical Hit Skill - although technically it is a boon for a person to have this great skill, it is wasted on Rosalind because 1.) She has a glass jaw, and 2.) she can only use Staves. What's so bad about that? Well, get her in combat and she'll go down in seconds. Two, the staves, although they should be very fast (such as the Fellstaff), are wielded very slowly by Rosalind. It's because she twirls them around all the time. How silly! Combat is about practicality, not form and fancy tricks! Keep it simple, duh! Since she keeps twirling that stick around, enemies get free attacks while she's busy playing baton cheer leader. Ahou. Such a shame, since you can get the Fellstaff relatively early in the game, and it does great damage. Oh well. Skills ------ Fire - get it up to 8 Heal - up to 10, thank you Ice - up to level 8, just to get Blizzard Assess - I got it up to 10 Bow Weapons - get it up to 10 Magic Resist - up to 7 Trip - put spare points here Do NOT put points in these skills: Holy - (level 2 is fine) Dark Critical Hit Staff Weapons Dodge Energy Parry Holy is fine up to level 2, but the real prize is Faith at level 7. I recommend using two Ring of Blessings and a Bacite Medallion to get it up to 7, just to cast Faith. Magic Resist should normally be taken up to 10, but in Rosalind's case you'll be getting lots of clothing that boost Magic Resistance, and you'll likely be wearing them until the end of the game so save those skill points for something else. You should have Trip ability just in case someone sneaks up on Rosalind, so you can knock them down and laugh at them. How to Use Properly: Just keep Rosalind out of melee battle and you're fine. Rosalind is invulnerable to magic, so if you're fighting lichs and other mages, you have nothing to fear. Study the enemy, whether they are bunched together or solitary. If they're solitary, Flece is the way to go, or you can just overpower it. If there are a lot together, then it's Rosalind's turn and she will fry all the idiot enemies who seem to enjoy basking in a barbecue or sunbathe in a Blizzard. Since Rosaling is such a weak fighter, give her a bow. Her best weapon is the Long Bow, until you get the Bow of Lynnai, which is terribly useful against Fire-weak opponents. Be sure to use Assess on enemies, to find out their weak spots. Finally, I'm sure that you'll get sick of using Fire Wall/Blizzard guerilla tactics so if you're fighting Fire-vulnerable enemies don't be afraid to walk up to them with Rosalind. Just keep casting Meteor Swarm and they'll die after a few burning rocks to the head. RECOMMENDED AI SCRIPT: Healer RECOMMENDED QUICKSLOT ARRANGEMENT: 1 - Vitalize 2 - Fire Wall 3 - Meteor Swarm 4 - Icicle 5 - Blizzard 6 - Protect SPECIAL TACTICS: * Guerilla Warfare * I've already mentioned how to be cheap with Rosalind in Joseph's section. However, Rosalind can also use Blizzard instead of Fire Wall; this is helpful for fire-resistant monsters, or if you're impatient to wait for Fire Wall to regenerate. To be safe, be sure to have Flece cast Invisibility on Rosalind. That way she can also use Icicles and Fireballs to take potshots at nearby enemies. * Assess * The great thing about Summoner is that you can pause the game and use Assess as much as you want! It's stupid, but it's true. Just pause, activate assess from the skill menu, and point at your enemy of choice. It works, without any time cost or penalties! 4.) JEKHAR ----------- MUSCLE-BRAINED MORON Jekhar was Joseph's, uh, "childhood friend" (so to speak). However, since Joseph burned down their village, Jekhar's been holding a grudge for quite some time. However, Jekhar is every bit as stupid as Rosalind because he'll believe and do everything he's told. You'll see. Anyway, Jekhar is your team's muscle-man. He's got high hit points, high defense, high attack, and not much else. He is the perfect shock troop. Unfortunately, that's all he's good for. Drawbacks: Boring - Jekhar is totally boring. Just suit him up, give him a weapon, and let him loose. Stupid - I'll discuss his stupidy later in the omake section. Wasted Skills - Jekhar has a LOT of points wasted in worthless skills, because he comes with a 3 in them. Such a waste. Skills ------ Critical Hit - Raise to 10. NOW. Blunt Weapons - Raise to 10 Parry - Get up to about 5 Dodge - up to 5 is fine Heavy Arms - 7 is fine Magic Resist - Raise to 10 Heal - Raise to 10 Do NOT put points in these skills: Sword Weapons Axe Weapons Push Counter Attack Kick Double Attack How to Use Properly: Don't worry, you don't ever need to control him so just give him his armor and his Debasser, and he'll do fine without you. Set his script to Healer so that he'll stop and fix you up every now and then when necessary. You'll eventually want to arm him with a Debasser. This is his best weapon, make no mistake. RECOMMENDED AI SCRIPT: Healer RECOMMENDED QUICKSLOT ARRANGEMENT: 1 - Vitalize 2 - Heal 3 - Cure 4 - Regenerate 5 - Push 6 - Revive SPECIAL TACTICS: None. That's why he's the worst character in the game. However, just because he's the worst doesn't mean he doesn't have his uses. Shock troops and cannon fodder are vital in this game, too. 2.III. OTHER CONSIDERATIONS ---------------------------- * Chain Combo Attacks * "Wow, if I press the right mouse button I get to do a free attack! That's so cool!" WRONG! Chain Combo attacks are USELESS! If this were Vagrant Story, Chain Combo attacks would be god techniques. In Summoner, they are utter crap. Don't believe me? Then consider this: Summoner battle occurs in real time. When you attack with a chain combo, TIME DOES NOT STOP, like in Vagrant Story. So while you think that you are actually getting a free attack, you are NOT. That's while you are doing your chain attack, your enemy is also attacking. It is NOT A FREE ATTACK. Further, instead of doing a chain combo, you could be doing something more useful -- like doing another normal attack. This is because chain combos almost always do less damage than your normal attack. Those that don't do damage, have rather worthless effects. The only chain attacks that can do more damage than your normal attack are the Stamina Burst early in the game, when you haven't spent any mana, and the Desperation attack when you are at death's door. But since Chain Combos use up mana, your Stamina Burst isn't likely going to stay strong for long, and when you're dying I think you'd much rather heal yourself than attack, no? This isn't Final Fantasy 8 where you purposefully keep Squall perpetually dead. Trust me, it's not worth it. Further, as you get better weapons later in the game they will all do more damage than your chain attacks, so don't bother. It's not like speed is improved dramatically by chain attacks (I will discuss this later). So be sure to keep your chain combo setting to Manual and not Auto, so that you don't inadvertently do chain attacks. Your inactive party members will do chain attacks every now and then, but that's a necessary evil that can't be helped. * Speed * Here is the other important consideration. I do not know if this is just in the PC version, but in the PC Speed is MEANINGLESS. Yes, you heard me, the Speed attribute has NO EFFECT on the game whatsoever. Your attack speed is totally dependent on only two things: WHO you're using, and WHAT WEAPON you're using. It doesn't matter if that character's speed rating is in the red at 50%, or blue at 250%. They will attack at the same rate as prescribed by the character and the weapon. Don't believe me? You will. Give Rosalind a Fellstaff. That's supposed to be a 1.66 speed weapon. Give her all the good stuff to raise her speed up to 250% or so. Now attack. Notice how slow she twirls that staff? Now give Flece a Gutting Dirk. Then put all the heavy armor and shields on her, so that her speed is say 130% or so. Now attack. Notice how fast she stabs with that knife? Much faster than Rosalind, no? Try giving Rosalind a Reflex Bow (speed 1.43), and Flece a Heavy Crossbow (speed .50) Even if Rosalind's speed rating is 180% and Flece's is only 50%, Flece will still be attacking faster. You can give Flece the Reflex Bow and you'll notice that she attacks faster than Rosalind does, with the same weapon. So that proves that attack rate is totally dependent on the CHARACTER, not on the speed rating, thus proving my first assertion. Now to prove my second assertion. Try Joseph. Give him a Debasser (speed 1.00) and load him with all the heavy armor and shields. This should give him a speed in the red, probably about 80% or so. Make him attack. Notice the fast attack speed. Now give the same Joseph a Warhammer (speed .50), but load him with the light armor, shield, and equip the Torque of Time (+2 speed) and two Rings of Swiftness (+ 8 speed) so that he'll have a speed rating of about, say, 180%. Make him attack. Notice how slow he attacks? To take the experiment further, you can give him the Debasser and the torque and rings. Notice how his attack speed hasn't changed at all, even though his speed rating has gone from 80% to 200%? The same goes for the Warhammer, if you take off all the speed and give him the heavy armor. He'll attack at the same speed. That means that rate of attack is also totally dependent on the WEAPON, not on the speed rating! What does this mean? The Speed Rating is totally bogus! It doesn't affect movement rate, either, because in my games Rosalind always walks so slowly despite having the highest speed rating. So ignore speed altogether! When dressing your characters up don't pay any attention at all to the armor's speed ratings, they're all the same. The only thing to consider is how fast the character can swing whatever weapon you give them. * ARMOR * Just a quick tip: don't wear the full-body armors until the end where you get the strongest ones. Except for the strongest of them, you'll get better results wearing a good piece of body armor and a good piece of leg armor. I personally used nothing but Haramakis and Chain Leggings for a long time. That gives you a rating of 35 + 15. You could opt for hte Chainmail and Chainmail Leggings, which give a 40 + 15, but I like the piercing resistance of the Haramaki, and they look better too. Later you'll want Jekhar to use the Hero set. The combined armor rating is definitely better than the full-body suit ratings, except for the best ones. The only ones worth wearing are the Hero's Plate and Summoner Plate. 2.IV. OTHER TRICKS ------------------ * Never Die Summoner is full of bugs and bad design problems. One of the main exponents of this bad design is the real-time combat system. By exploiting the various design errors, you can achieve immortality! Well, not really, but it's close enough. If you pause the game, you will notice that certain commands, like Rosalind's Assess, can be used indefinitely even with time stopped! It's stupid, but that's what happens when you rip-off the Diablo system and giving it a pause feature, without knowing what you're doing (shame on you, Volition). Now, apply this concept to healing items like the Healing Elixir, Panacea of Life, and so on. What do you get? You can heal as much damage as you have healing potions, INSTANTANEOUSLY!!! What does this mean? On the brink of death, with no time to cast heal or vitalize? Simply pause the game, go to your inventory screen, and drink up! You'll never die, as long as you have potions! So if you're having trouble staying alive and have lots of extra cash hanging around, be sure to stock up on those healing potions. =============================================================================== 3. HOW TO CHEAT (or, The Best Way to be a Cheap Ass) ---------------------- Cheat! The Summoner savegame file is a whopping 265KB (270,755 bytes). With such a small size it is terribly easy to pinpoint several key locations to cheat by editing. As Summoner is such a crappy game, I really doubt that anyone will have the drive to write an editor. Now you might say that I had the drive to write this FAQ, but FAQs are writing and writing is a great way of venting frustration, especially since you can be very articulate about it. Editors tend not to be so politically-inclined, unless the crazy programmer makes a ton of pop-up windows screaming how much he hates the game whenever you press the "Max Gold" button. Alright, enough of that. Now, get your standard Hex editor and get to work. Here are the addresses and what they do. Oh, and if you don't know what a Hex editor is, don't bother. Sorry, I don't feel like giving simple hacking tutorials. File: x:\blah\Summoner\savegame\sumoner?.sav (quicksave.sav) - 265KB OFFSET PROPERTY NOTES ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 000150ED Gold It's beside the letters INVT 000277E3 Joseph's Level 000277E5 Joseph's XP 0002781F Joseph's Skill Points 0002796B Flece's Level 0002796D Flece's XP 000279A7 Flece's Skill Points 00027AF3 Rosalind's Level 00027AF5 Rosalind's XP 00027B2F Rosalind's Skill Points My apologies, I didn't feel like looking for Jekhar's offsets because he's so boring. However, by doing some subtraction and addition you should be able to come up with them. Simply subtract the value of Joseph's offsets from Flece's offsets, and add the result to Rosalind's. That should give you Jekhar's offsets. This should get you up and going make you as rich as you need to be. Very useful for buying the Dreadblade from the merchant in the hills in Medeva! By editing the skill points attribute, you can give yourself as many free skill points as you need. By changing the XP, you can go to any level you want. By changing your level back to 1, but keeping your current XP level, you will level up to your previous level instantly, gaining that much HP, AP, and Skill Points. Great trick! Only drawback is that you lose all skills you're not supposed to have at that level. The main use of this option really is to pump up your HP and AP. I was too lazy to look for HP and AP, so I just did it this way for simplicity's sake. Anyway, this isn't supposed to be a cheating FAQ so I'll leave it at this. (Actually, I'm just too lazy to find other offsets like items, specific skills, etcetera) ---- =============================================================================== LEGALESE ----------------- This document is copyrighted by me, Mochan, on May 28, 2001. That said, you can do whatever you want with this document. You can burn it, erase it, post it on SPAM lists, do whatever you want! You can even steal, plagiarize, or cut my name out and paste your name in if you want! Since this FAQ will generally be of ill-repute, I'm pretty sure no one would want to. I'm also pretty sure quite a number of you will be printing copies of this just to shred, immolate, and otherwise dismember it, giving physical, tangible release to your frustration at being unable to give me a good one for trashing your game. In light of this, I am expecting a lot of flame mail to be sent my way. Ah, the sacrifices one must make for what he believes is true and just. Anyone looking for an in-depth FAQ to this game probably likes it, right? Yet on the off-chance that you are one of those who, like me, played Summoner not because of its merits but rather for lack of anything better, then welcome aboard! I hope you have a great time. =============================================================================== CREDITS I don't think anyone will appreciate me naming them in the credits of this FAQ. I think they'd consider it more a black-listing than something to be proud of. So I won't mention anyone. Doesn't really matter, since I wrote this FAQ ground-up without help from anyone. As if anyone would want to help write this seditious material. ------------------------- OMAKE!!! (or the fun part of this FAQ) ------------------------- SPOILERS AHEAD -- both for story and the game. That is; I will diss the game such that I will "despoil" it. YOU DON'T NEED TO READ THIS UNLESS YOU WANT TO. SOME STUFF ABOUT SUMMONER ------------------------- Summoner is short. Really short, for an RPG anyway. That's actually a good point, because making this pile of garbage any longer would have been sheer torture. I managed to finish the game in 22 hours. I did so sporadically over a month, though. I had to mentally prepare myself to play this game every single time. If I didn't, I might have gone insane. Anyway, it took me 22 hours, but that was taking my time with it, and ignoring sidequests. A good player should be able to finish the main storyline in 15 or so hours, if he went breakneck through it, making no mistakes. Doing all the sidequests would probably add an extra 5-10 hours of playtime. If you play to level up your characters and do everything, you should finish in 35 or so hours. Typical of an American-developed RPG, side-quests occupy a lot of game time, are stupid, non-sensical, and totally uninteresting. But these American developers just seem to LOVE side-quests and think it's the Holy Grail of RPGs. Whatever, if you ask me it's just a cheap way of adding length to a game, when actually writing a more interesting story and providing character interaction is too difficult. Incidentally: Wakasashi - what the heck is a wakasashi? That's not what short swords were called. They were called wakizashi. And how come a "wakasashi" requires heavy arms 2, while a katana has no heavy arms requirement at all? Hen. HYPER SPEED Also, did you notice how fast the sundial goes? The sundial is the litte thing in the middle of your status bar that you click on to pause the game. Sundials were used in ancient times to keep track of time by measuring the sun's shadow. In Summoner, the sun dial finishes a complete cycle in about 7 seconds! That means that days in Summoner only last 7 seconds!!! I shudder at the thought of how fast the planet spins; that's even faster than Jupiter! WHEN CONSOLE MEETS PC ---------------------- Summoner is supposed to be a game which combines PC and Console conventions when it comes to RPGs. This is evident in Summoner. The bad thing is, Volition probably meant to combine the best of both worlds. What they managed was actually the opposite: they managed to get virtually all the bad traits of PC RPGs and combined it with the bad traits of console RPGs. An RPG renaissance Summoner is not. To be fair, Summoner does manage to get some good points from each convention. For instance, Summoner lets you save anywhere (but only outside of combat). Still, too many things have gone wrong with this game. Perhaps the biggest thing I have to complain about, though, is the lackluster character interaction. RPGs tell stories, and stories are interesting if the characters are memorable through their actions and the way they interact with each other and the environment. Sadly, in Summoner the intersest level for me was not so high, because the characters were totally unintersting. This is a shame because Summoner actually has a rather decent story plot. But even good plots are wasted if they are badly written; and in Summoner's case this is true. Proof of this is a failure to address a basic requirement of good writing: characters. Characters in Summoner are all very unbelievable and lack depth. They do not manage to achieve the suspension of disbelief necessary to make the player feel that they are real, living people. Instead, they feel totally artificial and fake, as if they were reading their lines in front of an audience. For instance, Jekhar, who allegedly hates Joseph's guts for destroying his entire life, is strangely civil upon meeting Joseph again in Lenelle. Sure, he puts on a show of saying he'll have Joseph's head on a pike if they meet outside Lenelle, but for all his apparent gruffness he suddenly stops to give Joseph directions when the summoner asks for Yago. Oh, how cordial you are, Vegeta! Later on, Jekhar displays his massive asininity by acquiescing to his King to join Joseph and help him. This on its own is not yet unbelievable, especially as Jekhar makes a show of protest to his liege (unprecedented!), showing his distaste. Yet as soon as Jekhar joins Joseph you will never see Jekhar so much as complain in his stay in Joseph's party! No grudging campside discussions, no murderous glares as they travel to Ikaemos, nothing! It's as if they're all goody-goody joyous friends and nothing was ever wrong. It's totally artificial and reeks of poor character interaction. It's the same thing with all the characters -- Joseph, Flece, Rosalind, and even the supporting characters like Qi Feng, Galliene, and so on. Joseph, for instance, is betrayed by Flece (I am not entirely sure how, though) and spends three miserable months without his hand in a stinking hell-hole. And yet, when Flece springs him, Joseph is head over heels ready to forgive her! Sure, he makes a show of being coy, but in the end he just quietly comes over like a lovesick puppy and not ever again does he even brood or sneer at his malefactor. It's so FAKE! Well, I think I've said enough dissident ideas about Summoner. Any more and I'll oversteep the bounds of a FAQ and likely be censored. ^_^ On a lighter note, I think that the best part of Summoner is the little Dungeons and Dragons skit you see at the end of the Credits screen. Yet, it's sad when the best part of the game is a little extra which the developers just threw in for laughs. Ah, Volition, how funny you are! Have fun everyone!