SAKURA TAISEN 2 (AKA SAKURA WARS 2) MINI-FAQ V1.01 BY KELVIN TAN
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Introduction
==========

Welcome to my mini-FAQ. This article is meant to help gamers who

1. know nuts about Japanese
2. love anime culture
3. want to know how to play the game with minimal Japanese skill
4. want to appreciate the beautiful game that Red created

First of all, Sakura Taisen 2 - You Must Not Die is a game created by Red and
released by Sega Enterprises. In a nutshell, it's a game with heavy anime influences
(some people like to say it's a date game) and can be likened to Square's Front Mission 1.
This is the fifth game of the Sakura Wars franchise; the first 4 being

1. Sakura Taisen
2. Hanagumi Taisen Columns (a Columns-variant)
3. Sakura Taisen Tsushin
3. Sakura Taisen Steam Radio Show (a must for fans)

The detail in this game is astounding (look at the animation on the cursor).
Also, look out for the OVA which is out now!!!

This is my first attempt at writing a FAQ of this nature so please feel free to send me
suggestions, comments and constructive criticism at bltan@maxisnet.com.my.

Background
==========

The central characters in the game are
1. Oogami - the hero played by you
2. Sakura - (seiyuu-ed by Chisa Yokoyama of Sasami in Tenchi Muyo
and Mahoshojo Pretty Sammy fame)
3. Sumire - aristocrat in purple
4. Maria - Russian in trenchcoat
5. Kanna - athletic and tanned
6. Iris - kawaii French girl (her teddybear is named Jean Paul)
7. Kohran - Chinese with glasses
8. Orihime - Italian (check out that accent)
9. Leni - German tomboy
10. Yoneda - head honcho who's almost always drunk ;)

The game starts with an anime intro. Press the Start button and the options are
1. start a new game
2. load a game
3. options (leave the options at default as they are adequate).

Remember that
1. button A/C is to confirm. Also can be used to skip text but will not cut the speech.
2. button B is to cancel. Also can be used to skip text AND speech.
3. any of the 3 buttons, when pressed, will cause the animation in battle screens to speed up.

The game is comes in 3 discs and is divided in episodes. Leave the intro on and it will show
you the trailer to the 1st episode. At the end of every episode, you will also be treated to a trailer
of the next episode. There are about 5 episodes per disc. Notice that the backgrounds are
different on each disc - a very nice touch!

I like to think of each episode being divided into these sections for easy explanation. These
sections are normally punctuated by save screens.
1. build-up
2. battle - 1st encounter
3. recess
4. battle - 2nd encounter
5. resolution

Build-up
=======
This is the section where people without any Japanese knowledge cannot fully appreciate.
Basically, you will have to interact with the game's characters. How you interact with them
will decide how they perform in battles. I'm going to keep it simple so I'll simply list out the
possible situations. Note that at the bottom of the screen is a bar which goes from blue to
red. How you answer any questions will cause this bar, and Oogami's personality, to go
from blue (tougher personality) to red (softer).

a. Plain conversation
This is when you simply meet up with any character and talk without any interaction.

b. Decision box 1
You are presented with 1-3 choices. You must choose before the red timer runs out. Most
of the time, a correct choice with a central character will cause a rising tone. A wrong choice
will cause a falling tone. An extremely adequate choice will cause a long rising tone. The more
correct choices you make, the better the mood of that character and her relationship with you.
The better the relationship, the better her performance in battle.

c. Decision box 2
Same as (b) but when the green timer runs out, some choices disappear or sometimes more
choices appear and then the red timer starts.

d. Screen interaction - untimed
Just click on any part of the screen when the cursor changes from an arrow to a hand or
mouth or blushing eyes. Note that if you keep looking at the women's cleavages, it will
cause you to lose points with them ;)

e. Screen interaction - timed
Same as (d) but you must click on a specific spot on the screen before the time runs out.

f. Theatre map
Exploration time. Just walk around until you meet someone. If you don't know where to go,
don't worry - you will automatically proceed to the correct location after a certain timeframe.
Note that the theatre has 4 floors - basement to attic. Go to the fan shop near the lobby at
each episode to collect pictures of the central characters. Simply choose the 1st choice when
talking to the girl at the counter. You can take only 1 picture per episode.

Important locations-
Basement - has swimming pool, conference room, Koubus (mechas) storage.
Ground floor - theatre backstage
1st floor - bedrooms of all the characters (go to the respective bedrooms when you are lost
and don't know where to go)

g. Videophone
The first few episodes require you to use the videophone a lot. Simply go to your room (it's on
the 1st floor) and select one of the choices (I can't remembr which). Play around with it. You
don't have to remember any frequencies as it will automatically be stored in the videophone's
memory. Just choose from the list on the right to talk to someone. Often when stuck and you
don't know what to do, just go to the videophone!

h. Pre-battle screen
Before the battle begins, you can choose the initial formation of the team. This decision is not
timed and is the one where when you choose from it, the kanji at the top lights up with fireworks.
The first choice is centralised formation and the second is basically 'divide and conquer'.

g. Save screen
Before a battle begins, you can save your game. You are also given the choice to save between
each section.

First choice - Save - select a lot. If you have to overwrite a slot, select the left choice which
says 'Yes'
Second - Load
Third - Scorecard; if all of the members survive the battle, you will get top marks
Fourth - Character relations; will display any status modifiers
Fifth - Proceed

h. Mini game
Sometimes, you will have to play a mini game. These games are easy to figure out so I won't
go into much detail here.

Battle - 1st encounter
=================

The battle is in 3/4 isometric view and is my favourite part of the game :) The blue bar is your HP
and the red is similar to FF7's limit breaks.

These are the choices from left to right.

1. a. top choice is undo last move.
b. bottom choice is move.

2. a. top choice is sure-kill attack - make sure that the red bar is full. In about episode 7 or 8,
your sure-kill attack will be upgraded as will be your normal attack.
b. bottom choice is normal attack.

3. a. top choice is heal (you have 2 per battle).
b. middle choice is shield.
c. charge up the red bar.

4. a. top choice is turn radar on/off
b. middle choice is character status
c. bottom choice is character turns

5. end turn

6. mission summary. For Oogami, you have 2 other choices.
a. Protect. You can protect a character of your choice 3 times in a battle - thus taking the
damage for them. This will gain points for you in relation to them.
b. Mecha setting - Wind (movement up, attack and defense down), Forest (neutral),
Fire (attack up, defense down), Mountain (defense up, attack down). 

Take note that in some episodes, a character has a special relationship with Oogami. It is the
character highlighted in that particular episode and has a +10 modifier. When this happens,
a super sure-kill attack is available (this is a must-see!). To do a super sure-kill attack, these
are the conditions.

- both the character's and Oogami's red bars must be full.
- both of them must be beside each other.
- a new option in (2) will appear above the sure-kill attack option.

After each battle, you can save your game. Save often!

Recess
======

See Build-up. This is basically some more conversation screens and maybe an anime cutscene.

Battle - 2nd encounter
==================

See Battle - 1st encounter. This is normally when you confront the episode's boss.

Resolution
=========

End of episode and trailer of next episode.

CLOSING
========

I hope you enjoy playing this game as much as I do. I have almost no knowledge of Japanese
and yet I immensely enjoyed to experience. If you need more info, you can check out the
various websites on the net. I recommend Ming's 
(http://pei.physics.sunysb.edu/~ming/anime/sakura.html). It's a comprehensive site and

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