The following tips are included in my General Guide and Bestiary and Caves Guide for Rune Factory Frontier but are equally applicable to ALL Rune Factory games.
Rune Factory is Harvest Moon plus traditional RPG which means that Cooking and Forging are important not only where Energy Recovery is concerned but in order to increase your Attack and Defence powers in the various Caves/Dungeons.
In any Rune Factory game, including Rune Factory Frontier, each Cave/Dungeon is ruled by a specific season. Each season is associated with a specific element. Spring is Wind, Summer is Fire, Autumn is Earth and Winter is Water/Ice. If there is any doubt in a player's mind as to the veracity of this, he/she need only confront the Boss Monster of the Cave/Dungeon to see how much Elemental Power affects the nature of that Monster.
Following the Seasons in natural order, you will find that each Cave/Dungeon tends to produce more powerful Monsters. In other words, the Monsters in the Snow Ruins are far more powerful than those in the Green Ruins.
Fortunately, there is a logic in this that affects other components in the game. The more powerful Monsters tend to supply War Trophies that can be used to create better weapons. The Lava Ruins, unlocked after the Green Ruins, is a place where one can find Gold instead of the Silver found in the Green Ruins. In general, Gold is required in Recipes for Tools, Weapons and Equipment that is superior to those in which you will find Silver as an ingredient.
Knowing your Dungeons/Caves and how to deal with Elemental power is the key to success in any RPG and therefore in Rune Factory as well.
My Guides contain tips as to the best Weapons, Equipment and Cooked Dishes to take into any Dungeon.
With respect to the Lava Ruins, Kross will tell you:
Kross: So you went to the Lava Ruins. Heh… The monsters there are resistant to fire and weak against ice. It’s a good strategy to aim for the enemies’ weaknesses.'
Each Monster has its own strength and weakness. Some Monsters are not ruled by ANY Element. Others, like the Giant Clucky, have a specific Elemental Power. Use any Earth Power against the Giant Clucky to increase the Damage of your attacks. In the case of the Giant Clucky, use of an Earth Wand will allow you to keep a safe distance from her as well when you attack.
In this situation, if you take a Silver Wolf with you, you need to dismount so that you can fight independently. Her attacks will cause some damage and may tip the scales in your favour if your own Levels still are low when you engage the Giant Clucky for the second or third time.
Incidentally, paying attention to the temporary effects of food items can make victory a breeze. If you intend to use Magic to fight the Giant Clucky, for example, eat a couple of Berry Jams before you walk through the entrance to engage her. Even a Level 1 Berry Jam (made in a Pot with a single Strawberry) will increase your Magic by 30 points!
If you have only an elementary Forge, you will not be able to make very sophisticated Elemental Swords. The best you will have probably are the Aquasword, the Windsword and the two-handed Flame Sabre and Earth Shade. You can use the Earth Shade fairly effectively against the Giant Clucky but a magic Rod with Earth power is far better as it keeps you out of range of her counterattacks.
Remember that any combat will serve to raise your own character's Experience Levels. Fighting the Giant Clucky again has other positive side-effects in terms of allowing you to obtain a number of War Trophies, including another Giant Cockscomb and at least two Bird Feathers. The rest of the War Trophies obtained in any Victory against her are randomly chosen.
Incidentally, another vital consideration in ANY combat situation in ANY Rune Factory game is the defensive equipment that you equip.
In Rune Factory Frontier, two of the items obtained as War Trophies from the Giant Clucky can be made into an excellent accessory in the form of Head Equipment. A Feathered Hat has the following stats:
Feathered Hat, Lv. 2: 804G. ATK 0, DEF 34, MAG 35, FX Wind Attack +5, Wind Resistance +5.
Wind Attack is of no use against a Wind Elemental Creature such as the Giant Clucky but the Defensive Wind Resistance will help. Apart from that, the Feathered Hat is one of the best Head Equipment items that can be created with only a small Forge, as it requires only 2 ingredients: Giant Cockscomb and Bird Feather. (There are two different Recipes for the Feathered Hat, actually. The other one requires 3 ingredients. Both create the same item.)
Furry Belt: 1240G (Torso EQ): ATK 0, DEF 60, MAG 30, FX Max HP +20, Fire Resistance -10
To create the Elemental Pendants, you will need a Great Forge, as they require 4 ingredients rather than 2.
In fact, in any battle with the Giant Clucky, if you want Elemental Attack boosted, the Earth Pendant may be the best choice of Neck Equipment:
Earth Pendant: 740G; ATK 0, DEF 40, MAG 30, Earth Attack +8, Earth Resistance +15.
You may prefer to have protection AGAINST the Giant Clucky's Wind power, however, by equipping the Storm Pendant.
Storm Pendant: 790G; (Neck EQ): ATK 0, DEF 40, MAG 30, FX: Wind Attack +8, Wind Resistance +15.
Note that, in the context of the Lava Ruins, the Furry Belt actually is weak to Fire, as it gives minus 10 Fire Resistance, but even so, its DEF and MAG power is very good.
If you want to have special power against Fire, you can equip the Aqua Brooch instead.
Aqua Brooch: 320G (Torso EQ): ATK 0, DEF 12, MAG 20, Max HP +40, Water Attack +12.
Obviously, its defensive power is far less than the Furry Belt, but it actually boosts Water Attack by 12 points, making it a weapon in a sense when confronting Fire Elementals.
A good defensive choice in the Lava Ruins would be:
Dew Pendant, Lv. 2: 948G, (Neck EQ) ATK 0, DEF 44, MAG 30, FX Water Attack +8, Water Resistance +15
As you can see, a player who spends time at the Workbench forging accessories can 'stack the deck' against any specific type of Enemy.
Personally, I always believe that Experience is both the best form of Weapon and Protection in any Rune Factory game or indeed, any RPG. Weapons and Accessories can maximise your strength and minimise your weaknesses, but high Skill and Experience levels can make victory much more likely in ANY situation.
Other Battle Tips:
Note that a single Bamboo Shoot baked in an Oven offers not only a gain of 10 HP and 100 RP but 100% defence against Paralysis AND Seal for two minutes! This can be extremely useful when confronting enemies with the power to inflict Seal.
Defeating the Boss Monster of the Lava Ruins
By the middle of Autumn, your experience Level should be high enough to defeat the Boss Monster of the Lava Ruins. In fact, the most difficult aspect of the Lava Ruins is solving the maze, especially with respect to the 4th and 5th floors. Finding the door that you need to open from the other side in order to create a shortcut via the stairway in the southeast corner is particularly difficult in terms of the 4th and 5th Floors. You actually need to unlock only the door on the 6th floor in order to be able to access the Boss instantly without being obliged to use Catapults and Round Giant Boulders each time to clear your path.
When you have unlocked the door on the 6th floor, make certain that you forge an Ice Hammer before you return to enter the Boss Monster’s Lair.
Ice Hammer: 620G
ATK 56, REQ SKL 26, SP ATK 1, RP Use 13, FX Stun Attack 24%, Water Attack +10
Other items that will be of great use are:
ATK 41, REQ SKL 38, SP ATK 2, RP Use 8, FX HP Absorption, Poison Attack 50%
As you can see, the Sakura offers a chance for you to drain Enemy HP, giving you an HP boost each time it does.
E. Drink S: 280G
HP 105, RP 0, FX 0
Ice Cream: 260G
HP 10, RP 125, FX 120 sec. Water Attack +10, Water Resistance +20
As you can see, Ice Cream offers 10 points of Water Attack, very useful against Fire Elementals.
The Boss Monster of the Lava Ruins actually is accompanied by a number of minions who will attack you before he ever appears. Defeating each ‘wave’ of Enemies will not deplete the Boss Monster’s HP at all. You must defeat each wave, however, if you ever wish to MEET the Boss!
The first wave consists of a number of Fire Hornets. They will sting you with darts. Stay mounted on your Silver Wolf Monster Ally for these attacks. They will harm your Monster Ally very little and you will be able to defeat them without using either HP or RP. As each Enemy is defeated, it will be transformed into fire. The fire will remain on the ground until the next wave appears.
If you choose to fight at your Monster’s side instead, I would recommend that you equip Sakura or the Luck Blade instead of the Ice Hammer. The Ice Hammer is slow and uses too much RP to be of use against multiple weak enemies such as these. With Sakura, you can absorb your Enemies’ HP in your Attacks.
The next wave consists of 4 Fire Panthers. Again, the easiest way to defeat them is by remaining mounted and using your Silver Wolf’s Special Attack but if you choose to fight unmounted, use the Luck Blade or Sakura again.
The 3rd wave consists of two Fire Trolls. They are monstrous creatures but, like all Trolls, rather slow. Make certain that you do not get caught between them. You can remain mounted for this as well.
When the two Fire Trolls are defeated, you will encounter the 4th wave of Monsters in the form of a number of Fire Slimes. Like all members of the Slime family, they have the power to inflict Poison so make certain that you use Antidotes when necessary to heal yourself and your Monster Ally. It is during this wave that your Monster Ally will be at risk finally. You may lose him in fact.
With all of these waves of lesser enemies, it is best NOT to use the Ice Hammer. Use Sakura or your Luck Blade. As previously stated, the Ice Hammer is slow and uses too much RP to be wasted on lesser Enemies. Furthermore, you will have two Special Attacks with the Luck Blade or Sakura as opposed to a single Special Attack with the Ice Hammer.
Once you have defeated all the Fire Slimes, the fire remnants will morph into the true Boss Enemy, a Giant Fire Slime. At this point in the battle, you should equip your Ice Hammer.
This Monster has a number of Fire Attacks, not surprisingly. You may need to restore your HP with E. Drinks S. Now is the time to consume Ice Cream as well in order to augment your Attacks. Use the Ice Hammer.
The most dangerous attack of the Giant Fire Slime is his third mode of Attack, when he will rise above the ground, then attempt to crush you beneath him. If you can avoid this, you should be able to remain standing. You can weather his first and second modes of attack and indeed, if you have sufficient energy, can counterattack during those attacks.
Make certain that you watch your Energy gauges and replenish HP and RP as necessary, using items that increase total HP, boost Attack and Defence and finally, offer Water Attack.
When the Giant Fire Slime is defeated, he will drop a number of War Trophies. Two are guaranteed: a Relic and a Red Core.
The Relic is the ‘key’ to unlock the Snow Ruins. The Red Core can be used in forging. Other items that the Giant Fire Slime will drop include Gold, a Gem and Cooking Items such as Curry Powder and Cooking Oil. The latter are items that are associated with heat and fire!
Ganesha will inform you that: ‘The Snow Ruins, as the name suggests, has monsters that are resistant to cold. But they’re also weak towards heat, so adjust your equipment that way to prevent needless damage to yourself.’
In other words, equip items that either offer Ice/Water Resistance or Fire Attack.
Upgrades that use Gold
My Guides as well as the preceding post give tips about easy acquisition of Gold from the Lava Ruins.
Gold will be an incredible aid in preparing for the Snow Ruins and the higher areas of Whale Island beyond the Whale's Fin.
Once you have a regular supply of Gold, you should study your Recipe Books to find Weapons and Equipment that use Gold as an ingredient. You will discover that many of the best Weapons you had can be used as ingredients, with Gold, to create a better Weapon of the same time. For example, your Windsword can be upgraded to an Aerial Blade. Your Aquasword can be transformed into an Icifier.
Aerial Blade: 1570G
ATK 63, REQ SKL 52, SP ATK 3, RP Use 21, FX Wind Attack +10, Seal Attack 100%
ATK 71, REQ SKL 54, SP ATK 3, RP Use 24, FX Water Attrack +10, Paralysis Attack 100%
The Icifier will be a liability rather than an asset in the Snow Ruins but you can use it to advantage in the Lava Ruins.
With Gold in your inventory, you can make a Gold Ring to supercede your old Silver Ring. A Gold Ring can be used as an ingredient to create other Rings as well as being worn. Better even than a Gold Ring, however, is an Au Bracelet. This requires 3 Gold and a Cheap Band but gives the following:
Au Bracelet: 560G
Arms EQ, ATK 15, DEF 60, MAG 50
Ingredients: Cheap Band, Gold x 3
Other upgrades that can be performed once you have access to Gold are upgrades to all your Farm Tools. Possibly the most important of these is the upgrade to your Watering Can from Lion Can to Rainbow Can. The Rainbow Can allows you to water 25 squares at a time and holds a total of 21 uses.
Depending on the amount of exploration and fighting that your character previously accomplished in the higher areas of Whale Island, you may have items such as the ‘Fair Hide’ and the ‘Magic Talon’ in your inventory. If not, however, the Snow Ruins offers easy access to monsters who drop these War Trophies.
A Fair Hide can be used to create a Stylish Hat, an item of Head Gear offering better protection than the Cats Ears.
Stylish Hat: 1890G
ATK 0, DEF 55, MAG 60
Ingredients: Feathered Hat, Toy Herb, Fair Hide, Quality Cloth
When you obtain a Magic Talon, you can create the Headdress.
ATK 0, DEF 85, MAG 80, FX Element Attack +10, Element Defence +10
Ingredients: Katusha, Quality Cloth, Charm Blue, Moondrop, Yarn Ball, Magic Talon
Note that the Headdress requires a Charm Blue, an Autumn flower. By the middle of Autumn, you should have both Charm Blue and the necessary Skill Level to create a Headdress. Skill Level Requirement for this piece of Head Gear is 70.
If you lack necessary experience for advanced Accessories, you can make Hand-Knit Hats from your Wool and Yarn until you raise your levels. You should have ample supplies of these in your Storage from your Woolies and their cousins by the middle of Autumn.
Make as many upgrades as possible to Weapons and Equipment as well as preparing Cooked Dishes that either give protection from Ice/Water Attacks or contain Fire Attack power before you begin to explore the Snow Ruins in earnest.
If you have unlocked the Snow Ruins in Autumn, you should have a large supply of Eggplants on hand.
An Eggplant Grill offers Fire Attack as well as boosting general Defence as follows:
Eggplant Grill: 310G
HP 10, RP 100, FX 120 sec. Defence +30, Fire Attack +10