Makai Kingdom: Reclaimed and Rebound is, in some ways, two games in one. That's an odd thing to open with, especially now that it's being offered as part of a two-pack alongside another game entirely in Prinny Presents Volume 2. But it's true.
You have the story, which requires a relatively slim degree of grinding in order to blaze a comfortable path for Lord Zetta to regain his body and show the cosmos who's boss. And then you've got Free Dungeons and similar modes, which can take you hundreds of hours to finish and bring your party's levels well into the thousands.
With so much of the Makai Kingdom experience revolving around the latter, we figure it's only natural to go over what you can expect from Free Dungeons — as well as Event Dungeons and Happy Dungeons. It's dungeons for days.
Free Dungeons Are Makai Kingdom's Meatiest Mode
In Makai Kingdom, you can complete the main story in, say, 25-ish hours. That sounds short, but it's feasible; with 56 battle stages and a few hours of entertaining cutscenes interwoven, you'd clock an estimated ten or so with combat, another three or four(we're totally estimating here, don't take it as gospel) with story sequences, and then the rest is for fiddling around with home base, customizing your party, wishing for facilities. That stuff.
Of course, being that Makai Kingdom is from Nippon Ichi, makers of the perennially popular Disgaea series, it stands to reason there would be hundreds of hours of gameplay available for players who want to dig in not just a bit more, but a lot more. This is where Free Dungeons come in. They can range from one floor to 100, the latter of which is almost double what the main story touts.
These are, to a fair degree, randomly-generated dungeons, so they were no doubt at least a bit easier to design than the plot stages when Makai Kingdom was in development. We say "to a fair degree" because the layout of each Free Dungeon is dictated in large part by the level a character has reached and the amount of mana they have on tap. Free Dungeons are created by making a wish with Lord Zetta and selecting the character whose mana will be depleted by x cost to create y dungeon layout. That's a bit of algebraic expression, but we hope it expresses to you the creation variation therein.
Tips for Beating Free Dungeons
You'll want to enter the longer dungeons with a Chef's food buffs active to maximize experience points. Understand that these are going to cost you thousands of mana to generate once your party has achieved level 100 or so, but the payoff is tremendous. Should you successfully complete a sizable Free Dungeon with solid foodstuffs, you will double that number almost every time.
One thing you won't want to do is bludgeon every enemy you come across. Focus instead on scooping up treasure, with combat occurring as necessary along the way. Recall that Makai Kingdom's stages are cleared when you've accumulated a set number of points, many of which will be yours just from plucking up valuables (or destroying less-than-valuables like shrubbery and such).
It's tempting to think that going head-to-head with all your foes will boost your experience further, so why not, right? The fact is until you're very highly leveled, these bogeys will eventually wear you down until hopes are dashed for actually completing the Free Dungeon. That's no bueno. You'll get the lion's share of your leveling done much more economically this way, and you'll get to keep the spoils to boot.
Lastly, don't start Free Dungeons with your party inside facilities. That's sad, we know. But many stages prevent Zetta from summoning facilities, which means your team is stuck on the sidelines. In extreme cases, when everyone in the squad was holed up inside their chosen buildings, Zetta's just a sitting duck. Things get ugly. Fast.
Happy Dungeons… Aren't Makai Kingdom's Meatiest Mode
You've only got a handful of these so-called Happy Dungeons per playthrough. Now, given that Makai Kingdom is best enjoyed by completing several "cycles" — that is to say, story replays with an increasingly powerful party to unlock extra endings and partake in Event Dungeons — you can take advantage of them every run. And you should. But, yes. These are very limited affairs.
But they're happy affairs. if you know what you're doing. Unfortunately, the game doesn't make this readily apparent, so we won't deny it — we totally messed up here the first time around. Happy Dungeons are single-floor stages with simplistic layouts. Enemies are all on one side, and they're not the most threatening beasties in the cosmos, to say the least. Treasure's on the other side. You come prepped to scoop as much of it up as possible, ideally all of it, and then you exit the stage (or beat up the remaining foes) because you've doubtless gained enough points for Zetta to point out that you can leave.
Don't make the mistake of engaging the enemy and inadvertently finishing them off first. And don't arrive here without pockets that are empty as possible, so that you can reliably grab every last prize. Keep these little tricks in mind, and you're golden for some good times. Happy times, even.
Event Dungeons Are For Replays
We can keep this last section short and sweet by simply saying, "ignore Event Dungeons entirely during your first playthrough of Makai Kingdom." And, if for whatever strange reason you're not at all interested in additional context, you could then click exit and be done with this article. That's fine! You've gleaned the most important information here.
For the rest of you, here's the gist: most of these can't be wished into existence until replays, and the few that can are going to be well above your party's paygrade until they've grown substantially in strength. Event Dungeons are fabulous. They've got lots of loot, and more importantly, they're how you'll recruit the majority of Makai Kingdom's unique characters. But those characters are mighty. Many aren't available to battle until your second time through the game. Others require your third, fourth, or even your fifth.
Just keep a close eye on the Make A Wish mechanic's to see what's on tap per playthrough. You'll be able to estimate the power of your upcoming boss battle per the level and mana requirements of the character you choose to make the wish, so go by those parameters for an easier time. Equip your finest wares, too!
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