Short Guide to Epica Stella
for the Playstation by
Zhou Tai An (kain@pacific.net.sg)

Disclaimer - Anyone using this guide must notify me. Period. No questions
asked. ^_^

Second Disclaimer - I hardly think anyone plays this game, although it's
quite addicting (for me at least) so this is going to be really short until
I see more interest.

Third Disclaimer - Lots of stuff (especially as related to story paths and
character relations) hasn't been tested out fully, so bear with me on them.

******

General Battle Hints :

1. Get your characters Strong Slash ASAP. Without it they waste all their
excess AP and TP and besides; it's a damn good move even later on. So upgrade
STR, BAS and DEX as fast as you can.

2. Always upgrade weapons first and elemental stones later. Also, by this
same token, WEP stats go up quite fast (as your weapon power increases) so
you should spend little to no points increasing it.

3. Know what different elemental stones do. Fire ones have heavier damage
attacks, Earth allows for healing, Wind for long range etc...actually, I
think I'll just give you the whole list below. The stuff in brackets is the
Special Skills you can use when the equipped stone.

Wind : (Accel Powered - Increases Accuracy.)

1. Spiral Wind. Evade Down effect. 2 space range.
2. Air Blast. Knock-Down effect. 4 space range. (This one has special mention
in a later section.)
3. Wind Strike. Knock-Down effect, Damage and Accuracy Up. 1 space range.
4. Sonic Blade. Knock-Down effect (do you sense a trend here?), high Damage
Up, 3 space range. Excellent move overall.

(Both Wind Strike and Sonic Blade require very high POW and DEX scores to 
be learnt. I also suspect that Sonic Blade is actually Zenia's Super and not
the fourth Wind attack.)

Fire : (Flame Powered = Increases Attack, Phoenix = sacrifice unit to revive
another fallen one)

1. Flare Bomb. Attack and Accuracy Up, 1 space range. Easily the best of the
Level 1 elemental attacks.
2. Merton Flare. Attack Down effect, Accuracy Down. Hard to hit - don't use
this often.
3. Flame Blast. Heavy Damage, low Accuracy. Extremely powerful if used in 
the right situations - you'll miss a lot with this, though. 
4. Unknown.

Earth : (A note here - Earth is THE stone of choice for your support\weaker
characters since it has the all-important Earth Heal, the only thing in the
game which can restore HP.

Earth Heal = Restores HP. High AP cost, so be careful to position your healing
units near the front line.

Turn Quake = Not too useful, but can present the enemy's back to you.

Gaia Protect - Increases Defense.)

1. Earth Strip. Restricts movement, which makes it quite powerful, but it
does pitiful damage and is difficult as hell to connect with. Give it a miss.

2. Gaia Buster. Much better. Decent hit rate, good damage and Knock Down
effect. This move is excellent as an irritant\TP reducer.

3. Mega Quake. Like Sonic Blade but worse. I'm not kidding - Sonic Blade 
actually is better in every respect.

Water :

4. Again, with respect to levelling-up, remember that all characters have
a Super attack that is enabled once certain stats have reached a requisite
level, and that the more powerful elemental attacks are only gained by having
stats which are strong in that stone's particular areas - i.e, you gain Mega
Quake only by maxing out BAS, whereas Wind Strike is more POW and DEX based.

The only Supers I have now are :

1. Randi. Make sure all his stats are above 20 and balanced. The Ring of 
Kings (purchasable in the last shop) helps here. You MUST get this skill to
complete the game.
2. Rassell - Calling Upon the Soul of Fire. High POW is a prerequisite, but
I'm not too sure about the rest...I think BAS and DEX are safe bets though.
3. Zenia. Never actually got it, but POW, DEX and AGI are the stats to go
for.
4. Regina. Again, not sure, but I suspect DEX as one of them. 

I REALLY NEED more help on this section. ^_^

5. Always, ALWAYS *always* attack from the back if you can. Why? Not only
will the attack do more damage (much more in some cases), the enemy can do
nothing but evade - that means no blocking, counterattacking or even Deflecting
or Parrying your weapon. Note that attacks from a diagonal direction (that 
is, when using a more than 1 square range attack) count as side hits - the
attack must be totally from the back.

The only exception to this rule is when you're trying to increase the amount
of used TP the opponent has (which means, of course, you want your opponent
to block if possible) which is explained in more detail below.

5. One of the MOST useful tactics in the game is to force the opponent's TP
bar to overflow - thereby rendering him helpless for a turn or so; during 
which ANY attack will hit with a 100% success rate. Definitely not something
to scoff at.

So how does one accomplish this feat?

The primary method is to keep on attacking with attacks that the opponent
will block. Why block? Because blocking costs 30 TP, as opposed to evading's
20, and the enemy doesn't get a chance to counterattack. Now, the next and
obvious question is which attacks to use.

Things That Knock Down is the first, heavy-damage ones the second, the reason
being that the first prevents counterattacks (because it knocks down, duh) 
and the computer won't chance being hit by the second. You'll have to use
pretty accurate attacks, though, because the CPU will choose avoiding if it's
got more than a 50% to dodge.

This is where Air Blast comes in. It has a +20% Hit Rate, long range for
better aiming, AND knocks down. Your perfect Tp-drainer. Make sure at least
3-4 members of your party have it (especially at later stages) because it
makes fighting any bosses\powerful enemies much easier. Plus, it has a VERY
low AP cost, so it can be used quite often. Gaia Buster and other similar
elemental attacks work, but this is the all-time best.

Two things to remember after this, though :

1. The enemy will recover FULLY (that is, with zero TP used) after the one
turn is up, so make sure you kill him\her before that happens. It's not so
bad when fighting normal enemies, but this is dangerous with bosses.

2. If the enemy has a very high amount of TP, he\she will sit there and 
recover instead of attacking. This is sometimes preferable to running the risk
of the above, so keep it in mind. 

And that's all until I get some mails. ^_^