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.
Job and Abilities : Each character can be assigned a job; every job has its own strengths and weaknesses. At the start, only the Freelancer job is available, but as you progress through the game you’ll acquire new jobs.
In addition, characters can level up their jobs by winning battles. As a character’s job level increases, they will gain new abilities from that job.
Types of Abilities : Abilities are divided into two types–command and support. “Command Abilities” can be used in battle by selecting the Command option. These typically inflict more damage, status effects, etc.
Meanwhile “Support Abilities” are abilities that passively aid the character (or party). These must be manually set for each character (via the Ability - Support Abilities menu) before they come into effect.
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:
Attack : The first available action is “Attack”, which does what it says on the tin. By selecting this option, your character will attack a selected enemy with their equipped weapon(s) and–hopefully–inflict damage, reducing the enemy’s HP.
Ability : This action allows access to Command Abilities. As mentioned, these abilities can do various things, so make sure to carefully read their description. Command abilities may also have specific costs, whether its MP, BP or something else.
By default, all three characters will have “Miscellany” (Freelancer) abilities, while Nikolai also has “Holy Magic” for healing and Janne has “Swordplay” for attacking. Be sure to make the most of your abilities!
Item : We’ll skip ahead a bit and move onto the sixth action, “Items”. You’ve probably guessed it, but this option allows your character to use items, such as healing items or combat items.
A lesser-known feature of the Items command is the ability to change your character’s equipment on their right hand and left hand and–if the equipment allows–use the equipment like an item.
Run : When all else fails, select Run and the character will attempt to escape from battle. If one character manages to escape, all characters will escape. Alternatively, you can use a Teleport Stone item to escape with 100% success. Beware that you can not flee from bosses.
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.
Note : The higher the character’s Speed stat, the earlier they perform their action. There is some variance, however.
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…
Brave : If you use the Brave command (shortcut: L button), you can increase the character’s number of actions during that turn to two and–if you select the Brave command additional times–three or four.
For example, if you Brave once, you can perform two actions, such as attacking an enemy two times, during the same turn. Remember that each action costs 1 BP, so doing this expends 2 BP.
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…
Default : By selecting the Default command (shortcut: R button), the character will forfeit their current turn. As a result, the 1 BP that would’ve been used for an action during that turn carries over to the next turn, up to a maximum of 3 BP.
In addition, while Defaulting, the character will receive reduced damage from enemy attacks.
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!
Examine : The first thing you should do when encountering a new enemy is to use the Miscellany (Freelancer) ability “Examine” on the enemy. Doing so reveals the enemy’s elemental weakness(es), family type, HP and MP.
Afterwards, you can press Left on the Circle Pad to review the enemy’s details. Even better, unlike Bravely Default, the game will monitor the HP and MP of all enemies of the same type after you’ve examined one!
In case you don’t have Miscellany assigned, you can use the Magnifying Glass combat item instead.
Enemy Tips : Depending on the time of day (day or night), you’ll encounter Applings, Slimes, Goblins, Rabbies, Zombies and Great Bats. You can fight these weaklings however you want, but the easiest way is to Brave four times with Yew and/or Janne to unleash four attacks for a one-turn victory.