Side Update: How To Break The Game
If you’ll remember, back when we got the first sidequest for Martha, we got a second one to visit all of the randomly-generated dungeons in the game and finish them. This is not the worst sidequest in the game - the actual worst sidequest is a post-game one needed for Kingdom Level 4 that requires you to have done 200 errands for Swift Solutions. However, it is a LONG sidequest and also requires a few kingdom management upgrades that exist solely for this quest.
We’re going to do this, mostly because I want to be able to finish kingdom management by the end of the LP.
One thing that’s real confusing about this sidequest is that you don’t necessarily know where all the dreamer’s gates are… but the sidequest will tell you, so long as it’s your active sidequest. It will put a marker on the next gate in order of difficulty.
Before you start this quest, you’re going to want to build the Dimensional Lab (there’s an upgraded version you can get at KL3 but it’s largely meant for NNK2’s equivalent of the Pit of 100 Trials/Chrysler Building/Mementos) and get a couple of research items done.
The big one is this one, which will outright show you where the exit to each floor is. The first two items will reduce the amount the danger gauge builds, and the rest I mostly got just to show off how useless they are.
Our first target is right near the Forest of Niall, easily accessed by the airship.
As long as you’re on the sidequest, the game will show you which route you have to take through these mini-dungeons to reach the dreamer’s gate.
You can’t see it because the door was almost in a straight line forward from the entrance, but we now have an addtional option for our “detection section”.
Notice how Roland has that little door floating around him - that’s what you get from the door detector research. Even though the description says it only detects nearby doors, the detector is always active and will get brighter the closer you get to the exit.
When we reach level three of this four-level dungeon, the detector kicks in to notify us that the door is behind our current position. This is kind of an annoying trick the game pulls where the door is off-camera and is actually just inches from where you are.
In fact, it’s right there.
The boss on the final floor is a carbon copy of that one we fought as Evan way back when. It goes down extremely quickly due to the fact that it’s about half our party’s level.
Two down, seven to go.
Next up is the Eert Grove, which as far as I can tell is a copy-paste of Sundown Woods.
I don’t really understand why the developers didn’t just put the doors on the map, or make these locations (which usually have nothing else in them) a single room.
The Eert Grove is six floors, but most of them for this run turned out to be extremely fast. Here, I took maybe four steps forward and the detector is already emitting a strong glow.
On Floor 2, the door was literally right in front of the starting position. Here, we can see the idol detector on Roland’s back. The idol detector actually works as advertised: it pops up when you’re within a certain range of an idol and gets brighter as you get closer. In this case though, we got through the maze so quickly that there was no point.
The third floor has the “floor of respite” modifier, which means the danger level won’t increase. This floor was more or less one room, and with the detectors on it was beyond simple to find the door.
The reason this quest is the worst is because of how tedious it is. Most of the monsters up until the fourth or fifth maze are going to be well below our level. You might ask why I didn’t do these at a more appropriate level, and the answer is mostly because I wanted to show off how trivial the research makes these and didn’t have the money to spare. Plus, the item drops in most of the dreamer’s mazes suck.
The final boss of this maze is another golem-type enemy. This one, while a bit higher level than the last boss we fought, still goes down in seconds.
The next target is by Makronos, but I waited a bit to do this one… because there’s still another set of research we could be doing.
The one I have active here adds a THIRD tracker, which tracks chests. This is primarily in the game for the final dreamer’s maze, which actually has items worth a shit in it. Why they let you start researching it as soon as kingdom level 2, I have no idea.
But here’s the question: could we make this already dead-easy, mindless sidequest even easier? Why yes, yes we can.
I left the game idle for… a while… and built the Multi-Dimensional Lab, a building only available at kingdom level 3. In addition to having two more “slower danger gauge” upgrades, the Multi-Dimensional Lab also has this one, which… you’ll see. I actually upgraded a bunch of shit in kingdom management mode to get our income closer to where my first run’s was while I was waiting for this stuff to finish.
For the sidequest-related mazes, we absolutely do not need any further upgrades. In fact, we’ve already got more than enough.
By the way, one thing I forgot to add because I didn’t really understand it myself: the way research in this game works is that each research costs a certain number of points, minus the discount from any upgrades. Every second, the game subtracts the total IQ of all of the citizens in the building from that total, meaning that upgrading buildings will make research go faster as it lets you cram more citizens in. The game never tells you this at any point.
Enough talk though, let’s land at Makronos and head to the Shrine of Pining. We were here not all that long ago and fought a tainted monster, so now it’s time to do the Dreamer’s Maze.
The first floor is dead simple - the door happened to spawn maybe ten steps down the hall from the start point. Shrine of Pining is a major jump up in difficulty from the earlier mazes, however.
All of the other levels of this maze look like this, with a large staircase right near the spawn point. The first thing you’ll notice about this place is that if you don’t have the advanced door detector upgrade, your door detector won’t be present at the start because the levels here are so much bigger than any of the mazes we’ve done so far.
You’ll notice that we also have a blue chest marker on our ring. The ring will spawn a new marker for any chest in range, though nothing in here is worth picking up.
The other trick is that even though the detector is pointing to the right, the door is actually upstairs.
You can see there’s no hallway over there and no door.
For reference, this is what the chest detector looks like when it’s near a chest.
The rest of this dungeon is more or less the same floor copy-pasted a bunch. In every single instance, the door wound up being upstairs. On the fourth floor, we get a new floor modifier. This one causes a bunch of extra monsters to spawn, which can either be nothing or kind of a big deal if you’re in the Pit of 100 Trials.
Yep, that sure looks overcrowded to me.
On the 6th floor, I purposely let the danger gauge go to level 2. This raises the average enemy level from about 34 to about 37. It’s not a big deal, really.
Final boss here is a reskin, which spent most of its time charging up an attack that it never got off because I kept knocking it down.
One other shot I wanted to show off quick: double chest indicator.
Next up is Tidewash Cave, which actually has its own trip door. Thankfully, you can in fact land on the tiny island it’s on using the airship.
Tidewash Cave is a step back and a step forward from the Shrine of Pining. The levels are smaller, but…
There are now enemies scattered throughout the maze rather than grouped up like they were in the previous ones. In fact, this got a bit annoying once I hit danger level 2 later on in the dungeon.
Most of the floors here are nondescript caves, so I’ll hit the highlights.
On floor 3, we run into a “Rumpus Room”. Other than being a term so old-fashioned even my grandparents are probably too young for it, the Rumpus Room is basically an unmarked miniboss. This is why the door detector is important, because the miniboss is significantly higher level than the other enemies on the floor. Here, I took the time to seek it out.
For this part of the game, it’s basically a trash enemy, but if we had done this at the first opportunity we could have (back when we first got the boat) this would be a pretty difficult fight.
The fifth floor also has a few new things to it. First up, we have the “fast-filling danger gauge” modifier. At the level of upgrades we have, this basically equates to the danger gauge filling up about as fast as it would without them.
We also run into a random merchant. This guy just sells materials that we can already get at the general store, but without the discount we get there.
The faster gauge is enough to boost us into danger level 2, which raises the level of the enemies enough that they’re now in aggro range for us. This makes things significantly more annoying. Thankfully, Tidewash Cave only has seven real floors.
The last two are mercifully short.
On the final floor, we have an idol. I COULD have used that to lower the danger gauge, but I wanted to see what the boss was first.
Naturally, it’s the revenge of Spider-Squid. With the superweapons that Roland and Bracken have, this thing went down way faster than it did when it was still a boss enemy.
Oh, and if you’re ever wondering why I don’t bother with any of the chests… you see the notification in this pic where we got a starfall sword? That sword is maybe seven less offense than the one Roland found in Evan’s room during the last story segment.
The blue chests in the mazes cost orbs to open, but we had a ton so I opened one up… and got absolute trash, even for when we first could’ve done this maze.
Now comes our most challenging maze yet… and this one actually proved to be more annoying than difficult.
I went ahead and got the second idol locator upgrade. This is mostly important for the final maze, but is useful in this maze because it’ll tell us if an idol is anywhere on the floor.
The Sublime Shrine is just north-east of Broadleaf. Unlike Tidewash Cave, the enemies here are our level even before we reach the gate itself.
Floor 1 has yet another new modifier - Items Aplenty, which increases the drop rate. I didn’t stick around though, because the door was right behind the start location.
On Floor 2, we run into another random NPC type - Higgledies that will give us items if we talk to them.
Seraphic Silk is pretty hard to come by, and you need a bunch of it for a sidequest in Hydropolis that’s available now but that we couldn’t do because we lacked any way of getting it.
There’s a couple of random NPCs that do basically the same thing.
Floor 2 proved to be significantly more annoying, mostly because of the way random encounters in dungeons work in this game. Inside a dungeon, the entire zone is treated as a battlefield - you can actually pull out and swing your weapons around at any time as well as do combat-only skills like Bracken’s heal field.
The problem is that random encounters are always a group of enemies, and because of the way the dreamer’s mazes are laid out, that group might encompass six or seven enemies spread out across an entire floor - and you have to kill all of them before you can interact with the exit.
Sublime Shrine is actually high enough level that it drops gear upgrades - nothing better than Roland or Bracken’s weapons, but stuff that is definitely an upgrade for Evan. Sleep is kind of a shitty status effect: it puts an enemy out of commission for like 5 seconds or until they get hit. It’s more useful for the enemies than it is for the player.
Floor 3 I want to show off mostly because it’s a trick! This is one of those floors like we saw in Shrine of Pining, where there’s a staircase on the side. You’d think the door would be up there, but…
It’s actually on the ground floor, hidden behind a pillar.
The dungeon stays pretty uneventful until we run into another new NPC on Floor 7. This guy will reset the danger level to 1… at the cost of all of the pink orbs we’re carrying. The only way he’s ever going to be useful is if you’re in the 100-floor dungeon, because the idols cost 5 to reset and I think double in price every time you use them.
We also run into a new enemy: the light incarnate. Guns in this game tend to add darkness damage to weapons, and Roland actually has a dark-based special attack, so this thing goes down fairly easily compared to the other ones we’ve fought before.
By the time I reached the door to the boss, the danger level was almost at 3. This was mostly due to all the fights that we probably wouldn’t have had to do if we had done this after Ding Dong Dell.
I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to reset the danger level or not. The average enemy level at danger 2 was actually a bit beyond the party’s - Roland and Bracken both hit 48 but I was seeing 51s and 52s pretty consistently.
I saw this, then I went back and reset the danger level.
The incineraptor here is identical to when we fought it as a boss, minus the boss health bar.
Between spamming circle cuts as Roland and Bracken and Evan beating on it, the boss spent most of its time on the ground until it died.
Sixth Chaos Emerald complete, three to go.
The next one is in the desert near the Sky Pirate Base. I started going there… and then I remembered something.
Near this area is a trip door and a level 69 dragon whose sex number energy is too strong for us to penetrate.
However, just BEHIND the dragon (you can squeeze through without fighting it) is an unassuming red chest containing…
A new outfit for Roland that turns him from a shit version of William “Bushido Bill” Adams into Viggo Mortensen’s character in The Road. Each character has four alternate costumes, most of which require us to be in the final chapter (or post-game) to unlock. However, one of the outfits for each character is in a chest on the world map.
Bracken’s is hidden just to the west of Goldpaw, and turns her into Ada Wong.
Evan’s is near one of the other mazes we haven’t been to yet in the desert area near Broadleaf.
It makes him look like he went into the costume area for a live-action version of Aladdin and just kinda came out with whatever.
Tani, Batu, and Leander also have alternate outfits but since we’re not using any of them at the moment I’m not going to bother to grab them right now.
Crooked Cavern is our next maze location. I’m pretty sure the “intended” time to do this is after Ding Dong Dell, but fuck it: gear upgrades!
The enemies here are still more or less our level before we get to the gate, meaning we’re going to want to err on the side of caution when deciding whether to lower the danger level.
You definitely also want to pick up as many items as you can here: the next few mazes all have crafting items that are beyond what we can buy at the general store, even after I built a few more gathering buildings to upgrade the level of what’s available there.
We haven’t even gotten to the gate yet, and I found a spear for Leander that rivals Evan’s sword.
There’s a spirit in here too, which I never bothered to talk to the first time I played through this because I still didn’t know about the talk to ghosts spell.
Crooked Cavern may as well be Tidewash Cave - same rooms but with higher level enemies. The first floor had a bunch of chests on it, but none of them had anything good apart from a bunch of high-end crafting materials. I got the three Seraphic Silk for that sidequest in about 30 seconds.
By the way, remember that bone mail we found forever ago off a tainted monster? It finally starts dropping here, as does the steelpounder (Bracken’s hammer).
This dungeon has a few new palette swaps. Meet the Darkness Incarnate, which goes down about as easily as the Light-based one did.
Of course, there are also dark-based goos…
And an NPC who trades orbs in exchange for increasing the danger level. I felt like living on the edge and just accepted it blindly, bringing us to DL2 by floor 2.
If we hadn’t gotten grass-green thread for that one sidequest way back when, this is where it first starts dropping.
There’s also dark-based fairy enemies which aren’t anything to write home about.
Floor 7 brings us both a new level type and a new NPC. Slow-filling danger gauge works exactly as advertised. I had finished the third level gauge upgrade before I started this dungeon, so the gauge on this floor was raising extremely slowly.
The fortune teller will make it so the next floor always has a special type, and will then tell you what that type is in exchange for a fuckload of money.
Just before the final door, I let the danger level tick up to four. This made most enemies over level 60, which as it turns out actually isn’t a bad thing. If you notice, Roland is almost level 49 when he was 47 just a few dungeons ago.
I also forgot that idols only lower the level by 1, so I used two of them to get the danger level back to 2. The boss, as it turns out, was pretty easy even nine or so levels above the party.
Zagg is a total pushover when he doesn’t have scenery to jump onto. I purposely got hit by an entire chain of attacks and it didn’t even come close to killing Roland, even with the scant amount of armor upgrades I found along the way.
And that’s the seventh chaos emerald out of… nine. After a quick stop at Evemore to drain the coffers, it’s time to go to the penultimate dreamer’s gate and hopefully find some worthwhile shit.
I mean, apart from this wand, and a ring for Roland that increases all of his damage by like 10%, along with some other minor armor upgrades.
If you’re wondering how much I managed to grind kingdom management mode during this whole thing, the answer is that the LP kingdom is now actually better than my first playthrough’s kingdom in terms of income, and I still haven’t upgraded a few of the big-influence buildings all the way.
I also did that sidequest with the seraphic silk.
Our next stop is Blowtorch Cave, which I grabbed the warp point for when getting Evan’s alternate outfit. There’s no enemies between us and the gate, but there is one group out of the way. Let’s just check and…
Hoo boy, that’s not good. They’re a good 10+ levels higher than us. We want to go in, stay to Danger Level 1, and…
SET THAT SHIT TO EXTREME, I’M GOIN’ IN DRY.
This dungeon has a new enemy: the Skelepaladin, a dark-element skeleplasm that has a new multi-hit attack that can and will instakill via stunlock on Extreme.
There’s also the light-type fairy enemy, which… heals other enemies. Great.
Not much interesting happens until Floor 3, when we get an effect that boost all EXP earned. I got Bracken to level 50 here, which I believe is higher than I was at this point in my first playthrough. The fact that I built the second-tier training ground in Evermore and got the extra EXP boost upgrade definitely helps.
But you know what, fuck it. I went all the way through Floor 3 and got… THIS.
I think this is the first time I’ve ever seen a weapon from a tainted monster get beaten by a random drop.
However, I dicked around so long that by level 9, even with rushing to the doors, I was at DL3. What’s the worst that could happen?
Oh right, I get oneshotted. Thankfully, we upgraded the General Store (to maximum, actually) and have Soreaway Sweets, which restore HP to everyone. I didn’t game over here, either. I mean, how much worse could it…
Oh right. I used a ton of revive items here.
I dropped the danger level all the way to 1, because I was honestly afraid I was going to game over.
Floor 10 has one of the most dickish effects in the game if you’re not ready for it. This floor type disables one type of elemental damage. If your best weapon by a mile happens to be that element (thankfully, no one was using light at this point), you get dicked over pretty hard. The door spawned right behind the starting point, so it was real short.
Floor 11 was a Floor of Respite, which is guaranteed to have an idol (along with not raising the gauge while you’re on it). I took advantage of that and paid 10 orbs to the idol to get back to level 1.
The next idol, by the way, is 30 orbs. Mr. Reset definitely comes in handy (he spawned on the next floor but I didn’t use him) at that point.
The only other good drop I found was a ring that boosts all damage and also boosts sword damage, so I equipped that to Roland straightaway.
On Floor 15, I turned Extreme off and paid the 30 orbs to go back to danger 1.
Meet the Porchestrator. He’s a unique model (as far as I know) but he’s relatively simple for a boss.
His most damaging attack requires a long charge before he does a forward dash attack that carries him clear to the other side of the room. This is by no means a threat because it’s dead easy to dodge.
The real threat is his sword, which can hit a full 180 degree arc in front of him and has some insane range. The Porchestrator also can’t be knocked down, so you have to hope he doesn’t turn and hit you mid-swing while you’re behind him getting hits in.
Eight down, one to go. I stopped at Evermore again, and uh…
Advanced institute status: fully levelled, all important research completed.
Aranella Square costs 240,000 KG to max out without that research done.
By the way, even though this is a side update, it turns out you definitely want to level the training ground because it gives you more EXP for your citizens. Whoops.
It’s time for the final charge. The last door is in the frozen area that is never used for anything.
Shivery Shrine has a tainted monster in it that I did go ahead and kill, but killing tainted monsters is going to be fucking pointless. Remember how I said this game’s gear progression is broken? There’s a way to make it even more broken.
We can see right away that the enemies are way higher level than we are. Get used to that.
Doombo is a dark slime that, like all other slimes, is highly damaging and has broken hitboxes and also splits when it loses HP.
I can’t tell you how many healing items I wasted on this.
Roland finally hits level 50, and we also get a bow that is going to be a trash drop after we finish the final dreamer maze.
Behind Doombo is a ghost that tells us about the Faraway Forest, which is the 100-floor dreamer maze.
In this maze, I didn’t fuck around. I ran right for the exits, dodging as many fights as I could.
On Floor 3, I ran into this fucker. Do not talk to him.
Here we can see a fuckload of high-level enemies guarding the door. The trick to these kind of rooms is that enemies take a good couple of seconds to spot you even if you run right past them. If you run along the outer edge of the room, you might have just enough time to interact with the door before combat can start.
Well, that’s not good.
Thankfully, the door was right behind the starting position.
The rest of the dungeon is pretty uneventful, but here you can see what I’m talking about: the enemies are about to engage and I’m just slipping through the door.
It’s a good thing I did too, because there’s no idol here.
Time for a rematch with BL-Iterator. He’s exactly the same as he was in Broadleaf, only without the crazy sword beam spam attack.
Instead, he likes to waste time by rolling around a lot.
I swear, he spent like two full minutes just rolling around.
And with that, we have the last dream fragment.
Milleniyah gives us the key to get into the Faraway Forest.
We also get her as a citizen, which is pointless. Her skill doesn’t unlock anything and she can only really be effective in the dimensional lab… which we’ve already almost maxed out.
The Faraway Forest is on an island east of Broadleaf.
Unlike the other dreamer gates, the Faraway Forest is truly random: it uses all of the existing rooms from the other gate types as well as a few new ones. The enemies are also somewhere between level 65 and level 70 to start… and get harder the deeper you go. I believe the danger gauge also goes higher in the Faraway Forest than it does in the other mazes.
As you can see, the trash drops from the Faraway Forest outdo pretty much anything you can find in the base game. They get even better if you somehow manage to do it on Extreme.
The only bad part is that you’ll find a lot of items like this, where the second bonus is a series of question marks. This is because it’s used for a system that only exists in the paid DLC… but they still put this shit into the base game to fuck you over.
Honestly, just running into the first floor or two of the forest and exiting will get you gear good enough to finish the game with and then some. Nothing that drops between now and when we finish the game is probably going to be better than what we’ve got… including tainted monster drops.
Now you know how to break the game. The question is… should we? If yes, I’ll stream a farm session in the forest and grab more gear.
- FUCKING BREAK THIS PILE OF SHIT, ANIME WAS A MISTAKE
- DON’T BREAK THIS SHIT, ANIME WAS STILL A MISTAKE