Outside Gathelatio you’ll emerge on the world map–specifically, the area between Gathelatio and Pilgrim’s Grove. Before you can walk a single step, the game will thrust two tutorial windows at you. Bravely veterans can skim-read these as nothing has changed, but Bravely newbies will want to study them.
Right now, since you don’t have many jobs and abilities, you don’t have to worry too much.
Before long, you’ll encounter your very first battle. Like many other traditional RPGs, you will encounter enemies randomly on the world map or inside dungeons. Thankfully the enemies around here are weak, so if you’re new to Bravely, use this opportunity to practice the battle system.
Oddly, unlike Bravely Default, this sequel doesn’t bother to teach you the battle system at the beginning. Although even if you’re a Bravely newbie, you should be able to grasp the basics pretty quickly, especially if you’ve played a RPG before.
That said, if you’re new to RPGs or simply want a refresher, here’s how the battle system works…
In Bravely Second, battles are divided into turns. During each turn, you can select one of many actions for each character to perform:
Having selected an action for each character, you will be prompted to press “ Go “ to confirm your choices and begin the turn for real. At this stage, you can press Up on the D-pad to scroll up and press the A button on a selected character to revise your choices for that character.
Once you’ve hit “Go”, your characters and the enemies will take turns to perform their actions for that turn.
During battle, any characters that reach 0 HP will be knocked out (KO’d). Enemies that are KO’d will be removed from the battlefield; if all the enemies are gone, you win the battle. However if all your characters are face down on the floor, it’s Game Over…
Otherwise, if one side still has at least one person (or monster) standing, the battle will continue to the next turn and will continue indefinitely until one side wins or loses (or runs).
So far, so normal, right?
Brave and Default
Now this is where things get complicated, with the third and fourth options: “Brave” and “Default”.
During battles, every character–friend or foe–has a Brave Point (BP) value as indicated by the big number under the character icon. Normally, characters start a battle with 0 BP and gain 1 BP at the beginning of each new turn. For every action performed by that character, 1 BP is expended.
Say a character attacks an enemy, their BP will drop from 0 to -1 mid-battle, then return to 0 for the next turn. In cases like this, where you perform one action per turn, BP isn’t really important. But things change as soon as you use one of these two special commands…
Characters can exhaust a maximum of 4 BP each turn (allowing them to perform up to 4 actions) and can do so no matter their current BP value. However, if a character begins a turn with negative BP , they will be unable to perform actions until their BP value returns to 0.
There are many benefits of using Brave; for instance, finishing off an enemy with four attacks in one turn, rather than attacking once for four turns and suffering additional damage in those extra turns. However if you miscalculate and fail to slay the enemy, you may become a sitting duck.
To emphasise, this problem only occurs because you’re Braving to spend BP that you don’t possess at the current time–in other words, when you borrow BP or turns from the future, like a credit card. But what if you could somehow store up BP, like a bank? Well, that’s what that other special action is for…
Now the circle is complete. With Brave, you can spend multiple BP and perform multiple actions per turn, instead of just one. Meanwhile, with Default, you can “give up” a turn to increase your BP by one, effectively storing that turn until later.
The main benefit of Default, besides preventing characters from entering negative BP after Braving, is defence. When you’re locked in a fierce battle with a boss, say you attack once for four turns. During those four turns, you’ll suffer up to four attacks from the boss.
However if you instead Default for three turns and, on the fourth turn, Brave three times for four attacks, you’ll do the exact same damage, but receive reduced damage from the boss for the first three turns!
Anyway, that’s a lot to digest, so don’t panic if you don’t understand everything right away–especially Brave and Default. From here on out, you’ll be faced with many battles, so you’ll probably pick everything up soon enough.
By the way, enemies can use the Brave and Default commands too, but not during the early stages of the game, lucky you!
With everything said, it’s time to hurry to Pilgrim’s Grove– the forest path to the far east of the world map. Along the way, try to use your new-found battle knowledge to smite the foes that dare block your path.
Oh and before you leave the world map, head for the north-west corner to find a Potion deep inside the woods. That’s right, you’ll find hidden items even on the world map… That’s new!