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Legend of the Double Moon [Double Moon Densetsu] Strategy Guide (NES)
~ by tankMage (April 2017)
Legend of the Double Moon (or LDM for the sake of brevity) was not released in Europe or North America, but is now available in English thanks to the efforts of ROM hackers. This title may seem familiar at first glance, since it holds much in common with games like Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy, but some aspects of it are very different from the aforementioned games. LDM gave me a bit of trouble at times when I played it nearly two years ago for a review. Looking back, it would have been nice to have a concise set of tips to warn me about some of the game’s eccentricities, so I decided to write this short strategy guide in order to aid players who wish to take Legend of the Double Moon for a spin, but don’t know what to expect. Keep in mind that this is not a full walkthrough. Those looking for a complete walkthrough should visit Lastbosskiller’s excellent guide on gamefaqs: https://www.gamefaqs.com/nes/578137-double-moon-densetsu/faqs/69117
The following paragraphs describe how to get started, pick effective party members as the game progresses, and cope with the ever present threat of insta-death among other things.
Choosing a Class for Joule
Upon selecting the “start new game” option, players will be prompted to choose a class for the hero. Joule can be a Warrior, Paladin, or Battlemage. While every class has it’s pros and cons, I recommend that new players choose the Warrior class for three reasons. First of all, Warrior Joule is extremely hardy thanks to his high hit points and defense, which is great, because it’s Game Over if Joule dies in battle. Secondly, his high attack power will cut down both normal monsters and bosses fairly quickly. Finally, Warrior Joules will randomly “Slice and Dice”, which is an ultra powerful attack that hits all enemies.
Choosing Party Members
Double Moon Densetsu has a robust cast of playable characters, but only a few of them are truly useful. You can take up to three characters besides Joules into battle and you’ll want to make each spot count. One of those spots should always be filled by a competent healer like Leona, Rowena, or Sphinx. The other two slots should be taken by strong fighters, such as Meuller or Sephis. Avoid using any of the offensive spell casters, because they are generally underpowered. Having a threesome of powerful fighters and a healer will allow the party to dish out damage while enjoying the benefits of defensive buffs and heals. Sephis is especially helpful, since she can use Slice and Dice as well as Joules.
Save, Save, Save
This is a bit of tired old advice for RPG players, but it’s more true for LDM than just about any other game in the genre. The entire party can be wiped out in a matter of seconds in this game, even when grinding enemies you may think are nonthreatening. Save before setting out for a dungeon, after getting a level up, or exploring a new area and you will avoid A LOT of grief.
Dealing with Insta-death
Every RPG has a few enemies that can instantly kill a party member or two with some sort of death spell, but Legend of the Double Moon is filled with such creatures. They’ll cast both single target death spells and full party death spells and can wipe your party out in a single turn if your luck is bad. Even worse, the game is over if Joules dies and you’ll find yourself loading up a save at least once during the course of the game, because of this. There are three ways to ameliorate the negative effects of insta-death. Saving, can cut down on much of the grief associated with an insta-death induced game over, but you’ll still have to slog back to the dungeon. Leveling up enough to destroy insta-death spammers before they can act is another good tactic, especially since death spells cast by monsters weaker than you seem to succeed less. The absolute best way to deal with this problem is to simply flee from insta-death users. Unfortunately, luck plays into all of these tactics to some extent and you’re bound to get a game over from a death spell at least once.
Buy New Gear and Spells Right Away
You know that RPG where a monster dropped a great weapon or you find that awesome piece of armor in a treasure chest? Double Moon Densetsu is nothing like that game. Sure, enemies drop weapons and there’s treasure to be found in dungeons, but drop rates are low and you’ll find a new piece of equipment in a dungeon only occasionally. It’s best to clean out the shops right away and enjoy the benefits of new gear and Spells than to wait for something you may not get. You should also avoid equipping anyone aside from the four characters you keep in your party, because **Spoiler** everyone is going to leave your party permanently at the end of the game anyway, so save your time and money by only equipping/leveling the people you use. Make sure you keep you spells up to date as well, since a well placed great heal can snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
Don’t Be Afraid to Grind
Some games punish grinding, but LDM loves those who grind. Level up until you think you are strong, then get another level or two. Seriously. Also, many characters will join you underleveled, so take the time to get them within 4 levels of Joules’ if you intend to use them.
Level Up the Sphinx (Minor Spoilers)
About two thirds through the game, a character called Sphinx will join you. He starts out at a really low level, but take some time to teach him magic and get him some exp. In fact, you should consider replacing Rowena or Leona with Sphinx at some point. Doing this will save you a lot of time and grief, because everyone else in the party will leave when it’s time to challenge the final dungeon. If you made Joule a warrior, he’ll be reliant on Sphinx for heals in the final stage. Don’t worry, though, Sphinx is a fairly powerful character that can both fight and cast spells.
Hit ‘Em Where it Hurts
This game features a rather creative battle command called “Aim” that allows the player to select a specific enemy body part to inflict a status ailment on that enemy. This option comes in handy if you want to make an offensively weak character more useful or reduce the damage from bosses. Here’s a broad breakdown of some monster parts and the effects of damaging them.
Arm- hitting an enemy’s arm will often weaken its attack power.
Head- striking an enemy’s head can cause them to become confused.
Leg- reduces evasion.
Shell- reduces defense.
Body- can deal insta-death or cause massive damage.
Keep in mind that you may encounter body parts other than those listed and results may vary from one monster to another. Aiming also has a high failure rate, so you may have to try several times to hit a limb. Also pointless to aim at an already damaged body part.
The bits of advice in the preceding paragraphs should make life in LDM a bit easier. I also advise players that enjoyed Legend of the Double Moon to try the Paladin and Battlemage classes if they play the game again as well as experiment with different party combinations, because this can offer new opportunities and challenges. Thanks for using my Legend of the Double Moon Strategy Guide, hopefully it will prove useful!
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