The GWJ JRPG Club - Q2 2020 - Bravely Second: End Layer


Started chapter 5 and decided to spend the day grinding out some job levels. Got every story and side quest jobs I picked up prior to chapter 5 up to level 9 or 10. I probably should not have done that, since it's unlikely Edea will need skills from the spell casting classes if I plan to focus her on physical damage. Oh well, the completionist in me is happier for it at least.

And I just figured out tonight the point of Greatswords. They are NOT two-handed, you can equip them with a shield still. So they are just better swords if you have the same proficiency (like for pirates).

Well, I'm now posting in the right thread again -- and am inching my way toward the endgame. I've obtained the Very Final Asterisk, and have beaten 3 of the 7 optional bosses needed to unlock its powers. From what I've seen so far, they're all powerhouses, and puzzle bosses to boot. I actually wonder if I could have lucked into an early victory with one:


Beelzebub has a move called Gluttony that makes all damage heal him instead. When you acquire the skill, it comes with a note that if you exceed your max HP, you die. The first time I fought Beelzebub, he triggered Gluttony on a round in which I went all out, and I very nearly got him back up to max HP by mistake.

The further into this game I play, the more I realize how the story probably won't work unless you've played Bravely Default. This game makes similar efforts to tie its various plot ends together into a coherent whole, but I find this game's efforts to be less compelling, and make less sense, than the multiverse twist in Bravely Default.

True to your last statement !!!

And done! Or at least, done with the main story. I understand there's some bonus dungeon content, which I'll probably get to later in the month.

My final party:

Yew: Yokai + Exorcist
Magnolia: Astrologian + Bishop
Edea: Ninja + Pirate
Tiz: Kaiser + Pirate

I'll post some thoughts on the ending later, but for now I have to get to work. Ugh.

It looks like we've had three people finish so far: me, Sundown, and Darkhaund. How's everyone else doing?

That’s an interesting party setup. My magnolia was the same as yours, and I had the exorcist as a secondary on yew as well and ninja as Edea’s primary, but I never used yokai, Kaiser, or pirate. I’d be interested to hear how they worked together.

I think the pirate worked well, but I'm not sure I needed two of them. The final handful of bosses loved doing things that dispelled my own self-buffs, but didn't do as much to buff themselves or remove debuffs. So it was helpful to have someone who could lower their defense and attack power before I made a push.

I used Kaiser in part because of its high base stats and affinity for armor, which made it a bit more durable even when wielding a greatsword in two hands. I never quite got the hang of the Kaiser's special abilities, which apply to everyone, friend or foe. It seemed like there was too much risk in there, for me. The best I could do was use Noble Eagle (set P.Atk and M.Atk to 200%) right before a round in which I'd use four attacks (and hopefully Multitask) for the Ninja. It was fine but I probably could have done better.

The Yokai, however, was great. I figured high base stats, plus some of the strongest magic in the game, would help. But the thing that really made this class shine was Echo -- a 25% chance for the spell to cast a second time. That includes any spellcraft modifications, and Echo can also trigger off itself. I had a couple rounds where one Firaja Rain became three, hitting 12 times for 5,000 - 8,000 damage on each hit. Unfortunately there's a lot of legwork required to get the Yokai's spells, though.

How did you like the ending?
It DOES help if you played the 1st. I liked it,, but IMO it does not suprpass the 1st game

I am nearing the end of Chapter 5 myself. My party is all a mess right now since I am just selecting asterisks that need JP still. Maybe I should do another grind session and level up into the 90s so I can just turn off random encounters and power through the rest of the game...

Just got the Kaiser asterisk and used up my last Sleep Point for the day. Actually using those this time around is making a lot of these boss fights much easier. Bravely Seconding one of your special attacks allows you to half health most bosses in a single attack, it's really nice.

I think if you send a Bravely Second attack, the person who receives it retains that break damage limit modifier, which is pretty cool. I sent a Bravely Second attack on my last two updates, I will have to do it again on the next boss and update my data in case anyone needs it refreshed. Don't forget to send new attacks and update your data regularly!

I'm near the start of chapter 5.

I haven't really played for a month or so. This game seemed like the perfect fit while we were locked down, but since getting back into the normal swing of things I just haven't found time in my day to pick it up. I hope to get back to it in the next few weeks as I am keen to see where it goes and am enjoying the combat.

At this point, it's a fine game, and I enjoyed it a lot when I first played through. Probably already said this but, it just doesn't offer that much on a repeat play through so I'm going to need to decide how badly I want that JRPG Club level up :).

I'm struggling to finish this.

The combat is great, and I love the job system, bt the story lacks any meaningful drive for me. I'm usually not bothered by a bland story if the systems are good...but there's just enough dialogue that I'm starting to feel frustrated.

Not sure if I'll finish it or move on. 30 hours is a lot of time to play and not finish, but ehhhh

A_Unicycle wrote:

I'm struggling to finish this.

The combat is great, and I love the job system, bt the story lacks any meaningful drive for me. I'm usually not bothered by a bland story if the systems are good...but there's just enough dialogue that I'm starting to feel frustrated.

Not sure if I'll finish it or move on. 30 hours is a lot of time to play and not finish, but ehhhh

The story does lack a bit to be quite honest, but for me the gameplay was enough to finish it.
In the end if you are not enjoying this... by all means stop

Darkhaund wrote:

How did you like the ending?
It DOES help if you played the 1st. I liked it,, but IMO it does not suprpass the 1st game

I've waited a few days to answer this, as I've been reflecting on my time with the game. Overall, I had a lot of fun playing it, though I lost steam at the end. And I agree -- having played the first one helps a lot. I think there are some areas, mechanically, where Bravely Second surpasses Bravely Default. But as an overall package -- and especially because of the music -- Bravely Default wins for me. Some reflections below.

On the plot and ending:


I think Bravely Default did a better job of tying up its story elements. Here, it seemed like there were a lot of interesting parts that weren't fully developed. Like:

  • I liked the idea of Vega's soul being trapped in a sort of purgatory, and her emotions giving rise to the Ba'als. And I loved the art design and music around the Via Celestio. But I could have done with more about Vega and Altair, and less about trying to humanize Kaiser Oblivion's followers. I actually would have loved it if the game went to the Via Celestio right after the time skip / NG+, and then there was more built out around the story.
  • I also would have loved more about the connection between the Celestial Realm and Luxendarc. That felt like a missed opportunity, as it's really interesting and there are some great unanswered questions. Is the Celestial Realm our world, and we are Celestials? This is either strongly hinted at or stated outright, both in the battles with Ouroboros (Bravely Default) and Providence (this game), and then in the way the camera captures our face during key moments, at the end, in both games. But then, Altair and Vega were from this realm, and as far as I can tell, the game never suggests that they were meant to be human beings from the real world.
  • I also love that the Celestial Realm's art resembles not only the Ba'als, but the summon monsters. That would have been a fun thread to tease out.
  • Isn't it interesting how Altair and Vega's shadows looked like Yew and Magnolia, and how Altair and Vega's courtship resembled the things that Yew and Magnolia did in the game? And how Yew and Magnolia were very aware of this during the final dungeon? But why did it happen that way? Unclear.
  • Who is Appleberry? It's never explained.
  • I thought it was cool at the end to see the time loop where Deneb / The Adventurer gave Tiz the SP Hourglass. But you wouldn't know the significance of that unless you played BD, and even then the moment gets lost after hours of play. It also seems a bit of a reach, as The Adventurer was never significant to the plot until that final moment. Laying some context in advance, about a friend who traveled with Altair and Vega, would have been great!
  • I think the back half of the game needlessly focused on trying to create a grey morality around the Kaiser, like it did with Eternia in Bravely Default. But it worked in Bravely Default because Eternia was trying to stop the apocalypse, and also because the whole empire was not as bad as its worst lieutenants. Here, the Kaiser and his lieutenants were always trying to end the world; more context into their actions does not change that. It just felt, instead, that the game was trying too hard to recreate the structure of Bravely Default.
  • Also, the game's focus on the Great Plague seemed a distraction, as did Yoko. And most of the "secrets" revealed in the Vampire Castle were explained elsewhere in the game, or were not very consequential. But then at the end, there was a suggestion that Foundar Geneolgia, and maybe Yoko, were also from the Celestial Realm / our world. Did they know Altair, Vega, or Deneb? I thought it would have been a cool twist if Yoko was also part of Vega, like a piece of her soul that tried to reunite with Altair and got trapped in Luxendarc.

On the late-game mechanics and classes:


I found the combat and gameplay strongest in the mid-game, as I had plenty of jobs to experiment with, and had found some great combinations, but had only maxed maybe one job per character. Once I found a good combination to string together wins, and then mastered those classes, it was hard for me to want to move out of them. Of course, my RPG completionist brain made me keep changing classes, so I could gain JP. But it either felt like my party was weakening over time, or I was struggling to recreate a great combo in a sub-optimal way.

I think there are too many classes. I also think some of the class revisions actually hurt the game. Having Late Bloomer as the Freelancer's innate ability (+1% to all stats for every mastered class) gave you another reason to keep experimenting after mastering your favorite class. It's something you know you're working toward. And, by the end of the game, I had come full circle and was using a party of Freelancers! But here, that's the secret level 11 ability, only unlocked once you get the Yokai asterisk -- and by then, you're right at the end of the game and probably won't acquire or unlock this ability.

Similarly, I found it disappointing that Obliterate -- the Yokai's level 10 ability, came too late to use for leveling. In BD, Obliterate was a great way to level and max out jobs near the end of the game. Here, I actually did start using the Yokai soon after I got it, but never got to Obliterate. And even if I had, the ability makes clear that using it cancels your battle bonuses, which is the opposite of how it worked in BD. In this game, fighting a single battle is worth so few XP and JP that I doubt Obliterate is even worth it.

Very good points last surprise... the MUSIC, especially the special attacks were much much better on BD.

Now, I'm slowly grinding my way through the post-game dungeons. I'm not even sure how you're supposed to know they exist; I wouldn't, without a FAQ. Maybe someone in a town tells you about them, but you have to load up your final save and leave the final dungeon to get to them, so ... who's visiting towns?

The first one contains an optional superboss--one of the dragons from Bravely Default! These were found at the stone obelisks, much like the Sins in this game. And, just as they were in Bravely Default, they are super easy to cheese. Spoilers in case anyone's curious about my slow-but-sure method to take down a dragon:


I believe all the dragons have a single-target attack, a breath attack (generally, a physical elemental attack), and an "evil eye" status ailment that makes you weak to their breath. But they won't do more than one move per turn unless they have extra BP, as in from Dawn of Odyssey. And, the breath attack's physical nature means it can be dodged.

So, here's my setup:

  • All four party members either are Ninjas, or have Ninjutsu as their secondary ability. This, for Utusemi. So long as you can act before the dragon, Utusemi protects you from anything it can do.
  • As many party members as possible have the Red Mage skill Turn Tables (+1 BP when evading), which will refund the BP used for Utusemi.
  • As many party members as possible have BP Recovery (+1 BP on sustaining a status ailment). The dragon's evil eye will trigger this.
  • Other skills as you like to support the following roles:
  • One party member to debuff the dragon -- Pirate, probably. You want to keep its speed reduced at all times.
  • One party member to buff the party's attacks and/or speed, probably an Astrologian or Performer.
  • One party member to hit like a truck. I'd use a Ninja with Triple Wield, but there are a lot of combinations that will work well here.
  • One party member as a backup healer. Exorcist, Bishop, or White Mage all work. This is just in case the Dragon gets off an attack before you. Otherwise, you will never take damage.

Kudos to you hehehe.. once the normal game as over... i was done

Post game what?! You're right about needing a faq :).

Even if i had kown abot that opst game stuff... i was not going to do it anyway hehehe

I think the three post-game dungeons are all located at sites on the word map that you couldn't enter at all during the normal game. I encountered some of that during the normal game -- including at sites you could enter later -- and I just figured that those locations were locked until the story unlocks them. Frequently, they were artifacts from Bravely Default, and I put it down to bad implementation of recycled assets. But there are 3 (at least) that you never visit.

Finally wrapped up the game today. Not planning to do any post game stuff since I am just ready to be done with the game. I enjoyed the combat in this one a lore more than Default, not sure if it is because the classes were better balanced, or there wasn't that time looping mechanic that made you repeat everything until regular battles were so tough you needed to cheese them. I also made use of my SP for boss battles, which made a few of them an absolute joke. Being able to use a special skill and deal 60k+ damage in a single attack meant I could one-shot just about anything that didn't have a special revive mechanic.

My end game party:


Edea: Kaiser/Pirate - Only thing I used the Kaiser class for was its high base stats and Noble Eagle. I would stack up 3 BP on all my characters, then have Edea use Noble Eagle, Shell Split, and Scale Strip to set up big damage from the rest of the party.
Magnolia: Templar/Fencer - Probably could have messed around with this a bit more, but I liked that Templar made her fairly tanky even with using Dual Wield and two greatswords. Switch into Falcon Stance and use the skill falcon skill to do 4x attacks that all hit for 9999.
Yew: Yokai/Astrologer - Yokai gave a good selection of elemental spells and strong skills to use with Spellcraft. Astrologer didn't get used in the later fights, but it was nice to have for Elemental Barrier on the bosses that only used elemental attacks.
Tiz: Thief/Bishop - Thief allowed Tiz to be self sufficient with Steal Breath and good damage from a bow. Bishop was a backup to allow him to full heal or rez other party members if needed. Was glad to have Bishop in this game, since in Default I had to have a black/white mage combo dual wielding staff/rod the entire game to have healing and elemental damage available.

If my normal barrage of attacks didn't kill a boss I could Bravely Second and use a special attack to guarantee a kill. Sometimes I just did it right away to end a fight immediately, but there were so many reviving and chatty bosses towards the end, it made more sense to save it.

Glad to hear that. Such a good game, but i as well did not care for the additional stuff


And done. I pretty much blazed through the last two thirds, blew away the last boss with some friend summons (cheap I know but I did have the game set to hard). I read that I now have access to the “real” NG+, 3 extra dungeons and job level 11 but no particular interest in playing more right now.

Like I mentioned before, the game doesn’t really offer much for multiple play throughs. If you were restricted to only getting one job for each encounter instead of just having them all handed to you in the final chapter then I could see that being a strong motivation to play through twice but I’m sure it would frustrate strategists. There were so many cameos and story beats from the first game which I haven’t played. So if I ever had the chance to do so, I could see myself coming back to this in say five years and getting a lot more out of the story. I’d definitely want to start from scratch though because getting new jobs and levelling then is a lot of the fun of the game.

I might some day come back.. but not anytime soon.. Glad I was able to finish it alongside you guys