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This page is dedicated to providing some helpful tips and tricks to help you get started and progress through Bloodstained Hands. I will periodically add content to this page as more questions arise about various aspects of the game.

Tips and Tricks Video
I created a (horrendous) video with some basic tips to help you get started, although I will reiterate them in this page as well. The video does provide some examples of how those tips work, especially regarding how to adjust battle settings and what those adjustments can do. I would recommend watching the video even if only for that segment. Be aware that with the latest update, the battle settings have been modified.

This section covers controls and how to adjust them.
I've gotten some questions about how the controls work in this game, and unfortunately it's not as simple as saying "Z is the selection key." The reason for this is based on how RMVX sets controls. Maybe I've been doing this wrong the whole time, but from my experience, when you change the controls for one game made with RMVX, you change the controls for EVERY game made with that platform unless they have a specific workaround. Maybe it's different in Ace, I don't know, but I've struggled with getting the controls consistent for years now.

So, to that end, I created a read-me file in the root folder of the game that explains how to adjust the controls. In addition, there is an in-game Guide that you can access from the menu any time after joining the Sanctuary. This Guide has a lot of helpful information, including how to adjust the controls, but also goes into detail about battle settings as well, so it's worth checking out.

This section covers Gold and how to earn it.
A big question I get often, how do you earn Gold? In this game, monsters do not drop Gold. They do sometimes carry Herbs, which you can sell, but not for very much. The Herbs are more useful for crafting potions. The primary source of income in this game comes from completing missions. Main missions will reward you nicely, and there are a plethora of side missions you can complete, but there are also random repeatable missions that are where you'll want to focus your time if you're looking to build a fortune.

In the Sanctuary, there are four guild members that offer missions. The first is in the dining area. He's a scout. While he doesn't technically offer missions himself, he will tell you if someone has a mission available somewhere else in the world. He's basically a progress tracker to help you find optional side missions.

The second member is in the Training area with the scarecrows. He (and all the other members) will have missions available as soon as you enter the Caeli Forest. He offers missions to kill a random target in either a town or dungeon. If the target is in a town, it is advised to kill the target at night, as they will be reinforced by town guards during the day. He will reward you with 100 Gold per level of the party leader, making this the most profitable way to earn money in the game.

The third member is in the chamber in the bottom left of the Sanctuary. He's an alchemist, and he offers missions to find an ingredient hidden somewhere in any previously visited town or dungeon. In a dungeon, you simply need to find the chest the ingredient is hidden in. In a town, you will need to use the spade provided for you to dig around patches of X shaped dirt piles. One of those piles will have the ingredient. This member will reward you with a leveled amount of Gold as well as a leveled Medicine, Remedy, and Toxin, which makes this an effective way of stockpiling potions while earning Gold.

The last member is in the same chamber as the third, and he will offer you missions to break into a locked chest to retrieve an item. In dungeons, you simply need to find the chest, but in towns, you must first find the house or shop that the chest is located in, then break into both of them at night. He will reward you with a leveled amount of Gold, as well as a leveled weapon, which can be extremely useful if you don't have materials to forge a weapon or if your equipment did not carry over into New Game Plus.

There is a point in the game during the mission Bombs Away where you'll be sent to Amethyne, and you'll be stuck there until the mission is complete. There is still a way to earn gold during this mission. When you get to Amethyne, enter the pub. In the bottom left corner, you'll find a guild member who offers you missions to kill a target within Amethyne only. He offers you a leveled amount of gold, but not as much as you'd earn from him in the Sanctuary. He will not be available here after you've completed Bombs Away.

Battle Settings
This section covers Battle Settings, how to change them, and the difference it makes.
Battle settings are one of the most crucial aspects of this game that I cannot stress enough. Most of the complaints I get about the difficulty of this game can be fixed with this one thing. There are two different settings you can change, and I highly recommend you play around with both of them to see what works best for you. They can be changed in the "System" section of the menu.

Battle Speed
This adjusts how quickly wait gauges will fill. The minimum battle speed is 10%. You can adjust the speed with the left and right arrow keys, and holding down the dash button (default Shift) will change the increments from 1% to 10%. It is highly recommended that if you choose a more active wait mode that you lower the battle speed significantly.

Wait Mode
This adjusts WHEN the wait gauges will fill. I'll go over each wait mode, as well as how this affects certain parts of the game.

Full: Wait gauges stop filling any time something happens. If a player or enemy has an action queued up, all wait gauges stop filling. If a battle animation is playing, gauges stop filling. If you're trying to escape combat and an enemy takes an action, YOUR ESCAPE GAUGE WILL STOP FILLING. This is different on other wait modes. Pros: Fast moving characters with high agility will take lots of actions. Cons: Slow characters with low agility will contribute a lot less, and escaping combat is almost useless.

Moderate: Wait gauges will stop filling when an action is ready, but not yet selected. They will continue filling during battle animations. This means that player wait gauges will continue to fill even while an enemy is attacking. They will also fill when a player is attacking. Furthermore, even when enemies are attacking, YOUR ESCAPE GAUGE WILL CONTINUE TO FILL while you are attempting to escape. Pros: Escape is considerably more viable, you'll maybe only take one or two hits when escaping instead of twelve. No exaggeration. Also, your slower moving characters will contribute to combat significantly more. Cons: Your fast moving characters will not be as effective, and become somewhat more utility.

Active: Wait gauges will fill even when actions are ready, but will stop filling the moment the item or skill menu is opened up, or when selecting an attack target. This means that when you have an action ready to go, until you actually select an action to execute, your allies (and enemies) wait gauges will continue to fill. Pros: You don't have to skip player turns as much to allow an ally's gauge to fill, you can simply wait. Cons: Enemies will take a few more actions, and it can be difficult to keep up. Recommend a low battle speed for this mode.

This section covers lockpicks, where to buy them, and how to use them.
There are two locations where you can get lockpicks in the game. The first is from a shop within the Sanctuary. In the bottom left chamber of the Sanctuary, the guild member on the left will offer missions, and he also runs a small shop where you can buy Toxins, Smoke Bombs, Shuriken, and Lockpicks. They're cheap, and well worth the Gold. The other place you can get them is from the member directly across the chamber. He also offers missions, and if you accept one from him, he will offer you lockpicks for free. The catch is that if you accept lockpicks from him, your reward for completing his mission will be reduced by 10 Gold for every lockpick you take. There is a way to exploit this at two points in the game, but you'll have to figure that out for yourself.

To learn how to use lockpicks, simply use the chest in this same chamber. The chest offers a lockpicking tutorial, as well as the option to practice your lockpicking indefinitely. While practicing, your lockpicks will not break, so you don't need to worry about wasting them.

Party Selection
This section covers how to swap party members. Possible spoilers ahead.
Late in the game, you will end up with more than four party members. When this happens, you can switch between party members by activating the list at the entrance to the Sanctuary. Party members that are left behind will not gain experience, however you can transfer experience to them from higher leveled party members using the Tome of Leveling on the Guildmaster's desk on New Game Plus. In addition, you can freely select from all party members in the game at the start of the first mission on New Game Plus.

Final Boss Fight
This section contains a video showing how to beat the last boss in the game. Obviously, there are major spoilers ahead. Do not open this section if you don't want spoilers. Get to the last boss, then read this section if you're having trouble.
I created a video to show that yes, it is actually possible to beat this boss. He's challenging, but very manageable if you're well prepared. I also want to highlight a few things about how I did this fight.

The characters I'm using are not the ideal load-out. Normally, you'd probably want to bring Grey with you, as he has the best support abilities in the game, as well as a powerful Auto-life skill that comes in handy. Instead of Grey, though, I'm using Mia, who is highly self-sufficient, but not a great support character. Also, instead of bringing both my heavy hitters, I've just brought Matthew, and I'm using Shadow instead.

The level of the party members are relatively low. I've had some people say that this fight is impossible below level 40, and that it's a huge grind to get to that point. For this fight, my party members are only level 32 and 33 at the start of the battle, and I've done this before with them at level 30.

The skills learned are relatively low level. With the exception of Cauterize VII on Fang, most of the skill levels for this fight are only around level V. You don't need max level spells to win this battle.

The equipment used is not ideal. I deliberately only used equipment that is relatively easy to find, namely the legendary weapons and armours, plus one life ring and a mana ring, both of which can be found while finding the legendary weapons. I did NOT use the Elixir Ring which can be acquired from the mission Death Games, nor did I use the Clear Badge which can be found by defeating the Black Knight. They make the fight much more manageable, but I chose to leave them out.

There were a relatively limited number of items used. Although I did have a fairly large stockpile of items on this save file, I didn't actually use that many. After counting it out, I used 10 Ultimate Medicines, 10 Superior Medicines, 1 Superior Elixir, 5 Panaceas, and 13 Stimulants. If you were to prepare for this dungeon and this fight with double that amount, it still wouldn't be that daunting of a task to acquire.

I set the battle wait mode to "Actions." 'Nuff said.

A couple notes about the strategy I was using. My main focus was keeping my allies alive and in good health. I used my assassins as item slingers, since they could do the least damage but had the highest agility. I let Matthew heal himself most of the time with the Life Ring, and had Mia focus on keeping her health up with Vampire. I also made sure everyone had their stat boosting abilities active at all times, and that Matthew had Blood Rage active any time he died. Finally, I prioritized Overdrive skills, even if the next shot would likely kill that party member, since I didn't want to lose the Overdrive meter due to an incapacitation. Keeping the focus on staying alive and letting Matthew and Mia be the damage dealers may make for a longer, more drawn out battle, but it's a highly effective strategy that usually only fails if you're exceptionally unlucky.

Anyway, without further ado, here's the video.