A tips for newbies.
Trials of Mana Tips & Tricks for Beginners
- Dodge! Even normal enemies can blast through your health if you just try to stand and tank the damage, let alone a boss.
- Red circles can lie. A number of normal enemies, and bosses, project a red circle when they are doing a special attack, but sometimes the circles aren’t as large as the area they do damage in. An example might be the Cooper Knight, whose spin in place move seems about 25% larger than the circle they telegraph it with. Don’t try to game the system by staying just outside the circle until you realize how big it is.
- Don’t skip equipment shops. I have opened a lot of chests, smashed a lot of pots, and picked up a lot of sparkles, and the rarest thing to see out of those has been equipment. You’ll usually have an excess of money anyway, so always stop and buy when a new shop appears.
- Tailor you item wheel. You cannot use items from a menu in this game, you must equip the item to your item wheel or item quick-menu before you can use it. While some items should always be on the wheel (heals and cups of wishes) tailor the other slots to the area you are in. For example, when exploring a wind cave, equip your earth coins and earth claws.
- Talk to unique NPCs, a lot. Many unique NPCs give you new chain moves for your party. Most duplicate chained moves you can learn from training, but this can give you extra copies so you don’t have to level someone down a stat you don’t want to.
- You can pay to respec your training. This won’t appear until a while in, but the town that this is available in is a hub for its chapter.
- Spells have their own wheel. When controlling a character with a spell, there is a menu command that sends you to their spell wheel. On controllers, this is down and right on the same control that brings up the item wheel.
- You can avoid some fights. Not all of them, but some monster groups can be walked past if you give them a wide berth.
- Handle the shields yourself. These shields, visible when you strike an enemy and visible as an icon to the right of their health bar, makes these enemies immune to damage until you hit them with a fully charged power attack or a class skill. The party AI will eventually do this, but not until wasting a lot of time. When you start a fight with such enemies, take a moment to break all the shields so your party can skip straight to the damage.
- The party AI will use heals, but not until usually too late. They don’t seem to judge how much damage an enemy is doing, and ignore healing themselves when they are above a certain threshold, even when they could be one-shot at their current HP.
- Use your class skills, don’t save them. If you are doing well in combat, you will recharge your CS every 2~3 normal fights. You will fully recharge several times during boss fights, even without breaking the CS pots scattered around the arenas. Try to always be charging a CS gauge and you will make a lot of fights much shorter.
- The AI is *usually* pretty good at dodging. During a boss fight, if a huge red mark appears but your teammates keep wailing on the boss without trying to avoid the attack, it’s probably because this attack can be cancelled by doing enough damage (there should be a blue health bar either on the boss, or on something he summoned during the attack that you need to deplete) so you’d better help them!