Ready to plunge into The Denpa Men: They Came By Wave? Well, don't be fooled by its cuddly exterior,as this game offers some absolutely devious challenge! Of course you could learn the ins and outs of the quest through trial and error, but that's liable to leave your conscience strewn with avoidable — and adorable — Denpa Men corpses. If you'd like to avoid such catastrophe read on, and be sure to leave your own tips for fellow adventurers below.
As fans of Pokémon and Mega Man games well know, understanding a weakness chain is crucial to success. Here in The Denpa Men, it's no different. Failing to know which of your units will fare well against a particular enemy — and which are likely to die in a single hit — can mean the difference between early success and endless grinding. The manual offers a breakdown of each colour, but it can be a minor hassle to suspend the game every time you need to consult it. Here is a complete rundown for your reference:
Black Denpa Man: Neutral
Red Denpa Man: Strong against fire, weak against water
Dark Blue Denpa Man: Strong against water, weak against earth
Orange Denpa Man: Strong against earth, weak against wind
Green Denpa Man: Strong against wind, weak against ice
Light Blue Denpa Man: Strong against ice, weak against fire
White Denpa Man: Strong against darkness
With enough practice you'll be able to hone the perfect squad for one dungeon...but soon enough you'll move onto the next, and the make-up of your entire party will have to change. Don't get attached to particular Denpa Men. Knowing when to leave them at home — no matter what you've been through together — can mean the difference between life and death.
Whenever you exit a dungeon, your entire party's health and AP is restored, and you are also cured of any status afflictions. Use this to your advantage! By remaining close to an exit, you won't have to worry as much about getting wiped out in battle. No matter how much damage you take, you can always exit the dungeon and re-enter, retaining any gold, items and experience you accumulated in the meantime.
This means that it's safest to grind on the first floor of the dungeon. Venturing deeper will yield larger amounts of experience, but it will also mean you have a much further sprint back to the exit. Make sure you can survive a return trip if you choose to explore a dungeon deeply.
Also, you will periodically come across alternate exits nestled deeper in the dungeons. Use these every time you find them. Exiting will restore your attributes fully, and you can choose to restart the dungeon from that very point; there's no reason to pass these up, so make sure you're always using them.
Of course, there's one complicating factor here: if any member of your party is dead, exiting the dungeon will cause you to lose them. Make sure you revive them before you leave.
On a related note, even if you have a Denpa Man who has the Revive ability, make sure you always have at least one revive potion in your inventory. Why? Well, what happens if the Denpa Man who knows Revive is the one that dies? Yeah, better stock up on those potions...
You can get a feel for the types of attacks you'll face from the first floor or so of any dungeon. Whether they're wind-based, water-based, fire-based or anything else, you'll know pretty quickly what you're up against. Ideally what you'll want is a party full of Denpa Men who are strong against those attacks, but that's not always possible.
For starters, you simply might not be able to find enough of one colour. And even if you could, the odds are pretty low that they'd happen to have all the same abilities that you need. For instance, if you're entering a fiery area, Cure Burn would be a great help. But what if the only Denpa Man you have who knows Cure Burn is light blue, which is weak to fire?
Here's where consumerism comes in to save us all: visit the island shop to stock up on items and clothing. Items are available to assign elemental effects to your attacks, to protect you from other elemental attacks, and to increase your life and defensive abilities overall. As a bonus, if you do this through new sets of clothes you get to see your Denpa Men clad in some pretty adorable pajamas, which is worth the cost in itself.
Bear in mind that a colour does not add an elemental attribute to your basic attacks! If you have a Dark Blue Denpa Man, his attacks will not automatically be considered water attacks. You'll need an item for that, so don't be afraid to keep many items and wardrobes in rotation.
In the course of your travels you'll come across glowing blue pools in the dungeons. These restore all of your health and AP. If you see one, that's more or less a guarantee that a big boss is lurking nearby, and he probably won't be happy you made it far enough to find one.
There's one very important thing to keep in mind: you only get one use out of these pools. Squander it, and you won't be able to recharge there again.
Don't use a pool unless you know you're ready to fight the boss. A good rule of thumb is to be at least 5 levels higher than the recommended level for that dungeon, and preferably more. If you're not prepared, don't go in the pool, and don't venture any further!
Of course, the silver lining here is that if you are prepared, this pool gives you a great opportunity to grind for some last-minute experience, and hopefully a level up or two: just walk around fighting as many enemies as you can, rake in the gold and the goodies, and don't stop until you've been beaten within an inch of your life. Then simply run over to the pool, get a full recharge, and face the boss with that much more experience under your belt!
When you're collecting Denpa Man, be sure to collect as many as you can of different colours and abilities. Black and White Denpa Men are plentiful, but anything else should be grabbed immediately. You may not bother to grab all of the Light Blue Denpa Men that you see, for instance, because you know they aren't rare...but if you don't have enough of them in your party by the time you stumble upon the ice dungeon, you'll pay the price.
You can also find less common "swirled" Denpa Men that combine the traits of multiple colours, as well as glowing Denpa Men which are very rare and make for powerful allies. In short, if it's in any way different from what you have already, make a special effort to grab it. This is especially true in the case of a Denpa Man of any colour with a unique antenna. Don't let it get away, because you never know when it will come in handy, or when you'll find another one.
Also, try to collect the more useful spells in as many colours as possible. Revive, Heal, Insult and Cure are all endlessly useful, so it's important to have as many colour choices as possible when assembling your team.
Interestingly, abilities and colours are not always aligned in the way that you might expect. You can have a Green Denpa Man with a fire-aligned ability, a White Denpa Man with a wind-aligned ability, or even a Dark Blue Denpa Man with an earth-aligned ability. The weakness chain would seem to make that unlikely, but that's not the case, and it could in fact prove to be surprisingly helpful in particular combinations of enemy fights.
Again, if it's something you don't have already, grab it!
Anyway, those are just a few of the lessons we learned (painfully) as we got used to the strategy behind the game. That said, we loved it so much that we gave it 9/10 in our The Denpa Men: They Came By Wave review. In other words, don't get intimidated away from this one, and we'd love to see you share your own tips in the comments section below.