The Let's Play Archive

Disgaea: Hour of Darkness

by Feinne

Part 1: I took a two year nap and all I got was this lousy castle.

Hello everyone, and welcome to Let's Play Disgaea: Hour of Darkness. I'll be your guide on this trip through the Netherworld, Feinne. This will, hopefully, be part one in a series of LPs of Nippon Ichi Software strategy RPGs.

Video 1: Episode 2 Intro Drama
Video 2: Episode 3 Intro Drama
Video 3: The Lavish Hall-Episode 3 Drama and Boss
Video 4: Episode 4 Preview
Video 5: Episode 4 Intro Drama
Video 6: Molten Labyrinth- Episode 4 Drama and Boss
Video 6: Episode 5 Preview
Video 7: Episode 5 Intro Drama
Video 8: Ice Queen- Episode 5 Drama and Boss
Video 9: Episode 6 Preview
Video 10: Episode 6 Intro Drama
Video 11: Nightdwellers: Oh come on...
Video 12: Heart of Evil- Episode 6 Drama and Boss
Video 13: Episode 7 Preview
Video 14: Episode 7 Intro
Video 15: Ember of Dreams- Episode 7 Drama and Boss
Video 16: Episode 8 Preview
Video 17: Episode 8 Intro Drama
Video 18: Under the Moon- Episode 8 Drama and Boss Battle
Video 19: Episode 9 Preview
Video 20: Episode 9 Intro Drama
Video 21: Primodial Soup- Episode 9 Drama and Boss Battle
Video 22: Episode 10 Preview
Video 23: Episode 10 Intro Drama
Video 24: Inferno- Episode 10 Drama and Boss Battle
Video 25: Episode 11 Preview
Video 26: Episode 11 Intro Drama
Video 27: Hero's Tomb: Episode 11 Drama and Boss Battle
Video 28: Episode 12 Preview
Video 29: Episode 12 Intro Drama
Video 30: Sidereal Rift: Episode 12 Drama and Boss
Video 31: Episode 13 Intro Drama
Video 32: Map 13-1
Video 33: Map 13-2
Video 34: Map 13-3
Video 35: Main Corridor 3: Episode 13 Drama and Boss Battle
Video 36: Bridge: Episode 13-5
Video 37: Final Episode Preview
Video 38: Final Episode Intro Drama
Video 39: Map 14-1 Field of Virtue
Video 40: Map 14-2 Paradise
Video 41: Map 14-3 Angelic Choir
Video 42: Map 14-4 Coliseum
Video 43: Map 14-5 Divine Prison
Video 44: Map 14-6 Inner Sanctum
Video 45: Hall of Justice- Battle with Vulcanus
Video 46: Sacred Altar- Final Battle with Seraph Lamington and Good Ending
Video 47: Disgaea Credits Feat. The Flower of Happiness
Video 48: Warrior Maiden- Battle with Priere
Video 49: Beauty of Evil- Battle with Marjoly.
Video 50: Lord of Terror- Battle with Supreme Overlord Baal.

King Krichevskoy, mighty ruler of the Netherworld...
His long reign came to an abrupt end as news of his death spread throughout the dark land.
Ambitious demons rose one after another to seize the opportunity, and thus began the age of turbulence and anarchy.
Two years later...

Disgaea: Hour of Darkness tells the story of Laharl, Prince of the Netherworld, and his quest to take over the throne of the Overlord. Our story begins with our Noble Prince fast asleep, with his Loyal Vassal Etna gently attempting to wake him.

Well, if that's the case... there's only one thing left to do.
...What fool dares awaken me, the great Laharl?
Prince! I'm glad you're still alive.
Who said I was dead? I was just taking a nap.
Anyways... Why are all those weapons behind you?
Well, I was having a hard time waking you up...
Are you sure you weren't trying to kill me instead?
No... Ah... I mean, yes. I just wanted to wake you up.
Hmph... Whatever. ... So, what is it?
You better have a good reason for waking me up.
Oh, yeah.

Two years ago.
...Wait a second.
So... you're telling me that I've been sleeping for over 2 years?
"Yup"...!? Why didn't you wake me up earlier!?
Excuse me, but what do you think I've been doing all this time?
The Netherworld has gone to hell while you were sleeping.
It's not my fault if some other demon steals the title of Overlord.
What...? Have they forgotten whose title they are trying to steal?
How bold of them! I shall show no mercy... for I am Laharl, the rightful heir to the throne!
Your humble vassal, Etna, will accompany you.
"Etna" joined your party!

So, we now have Laharl and Etna. We're going to start by taking a look around the Overlord's Castle. But before we do that let's look at some game mechanics. This is Laharl's status screen.

The left hand side shows all the nitty gritty statistical information. It's all pretty self explanatory. Atk is physical attack power, Int magical attack power. Def is physical defense, Res magical defense. Hit and Spd determine whether you hit or miss. Hit points go down when you are injured, and SP is spent on spells and skills. The right shows the weapon mastery information. Weapon masteries go from S-F, and determine how fast you gain experience in a weapon. Laharl's pretty decent with most weapons, while Etna's okay with everything except the spear and axe, both of which she's better than average at. Each weapon class has a set of skills associated with it, and its own upsides and downsides.

Fists: Fists are pretty solid weapons. Their skills allow movement of enemies, which is nice in some situations. Damage based on Atk.

Swords: Swords are probably the best weapon choice, especially early (and very late) in the game. They have the most versatile skills, solid attack, and long run the absolute best weapon in the game is a sword. Damage based on Atk.

Spears: Spears have a range of two instead of one. They're not as strong as other melee weapons, though. Their skills are decent, although some are awkward to use. Damage based on Atk.

Bows: Bows got hosed in Disgaea. They have less range than guns, and use both Atk and Hit to determine damage, meaning you have to stack two stats to be as good. They have some nice skills, though, and we might want to level up at least one archer for... reasons.

Guns: Guns are the premiere ranged weapons in Disgaea. Sporting a five tile range and some very solid skills, not to mention being only based on the Hit stat, makes them clearly superior to bows.

Axes: Axes have strong single target skills and the highest attack (except at the ultimate tier, where swords are much, much better). They also drop your Hit, though, meaning that your regular attacks are much less likely to connect. Uses the Atk stat.

Staves: Staff mastery is funny. You don't get skills from it. Your staff mastery instead provides you with range, damage, and area benefits on your spells if you have a staff equipped, which we always want for our casters. Staves use the Atk stat when meleeing.

Monsters: Monster class characters get no weapon mastery and use Monster weapons.

Weapon mastery also provides a % increase to stats from the weapon based on your mastery level, which means that at high mastery even a small upgrade in base attack on the weapon provides large dividends.

With that out of the way, let's get on to the Overlord's Castle.

This is Laharl's Room. It's not important for anything other than cutscenes.

This is the Throne Room. There are some vassals in here that greatly enjoy making fun of how much you suck. They worked for King Krichevskoy, and can't be bothered to help you out.

This connecting room has more vassals and Longinus, who explains all the weapon mastery information I just provided up there.

The dimensional gateway area of the castle has a few important areas:

The RosenQueen Corp. Netherworld Branch: This is where we buy all the weapons, armor, and supplies we'll need to retake our rightful place. You might know the RosenQueen from such games as La Pucelle or Rhapsody, by the way. It's also now their official online store.

The Netherworld Hospital: You can spend Hl here to restore characters' HP, SP, and to revive characters. There's no other way to heal people between fights, so this is pretty necessary. As the greyed out option suggests, you get prizes from them based on how much you spend on healing. Health gets you muscles (items that give +max hp), SP orbs (items that give +max SP) and deaths get you items that restore HP and SP in combat. Combinations of them get you treasures, which are +all stats.

The Item World: They're not open yet, so I'll explain about this later.

The Dark Assembly: This is where we create characters and propose bills to the Dark Assembly (the effects of which I'll cover at a later time). It's not open until we've completed the tutorial. Conveniently, though, I just did that.
By the way, I totally meant to lose all my screenshots of the tutorial levels. Any rumors that it was caused by the fact that I didn't bother to make sure my method of getting screenshots was working until I was already through that are SCANDALOUS LIES perpetrated by some pretender to the throne of Overlord. If anyone's really interested in seeing the tutorial levels (they're mostly pretty boring, and I can showcase the gameplay in practice just as easily with the regular levels), I can play through them again and show you some of it, but nothing really important happens. We do get three Prinnies, though, Etna's Loyal Vassals.

What are Prinnies you ask? Prinnies are the souls of those who committed great sins in life. They are reborn in the Netherworld and Celestia (its heavenly counterpart) as horrible little penguin things. And as the above image suggests, when lifted and thrown they explode violently, mostly just because that's the most cruel thing that could happen.

Now for the important part of this update:

Do you think you have what it takes to join Overlord Laharl's unstoppable army of doom? If so, fill out an application with your name and general preferences as to character type.

The classes we currently have available are, for reference:
Brawler: Good with Fists, bad with everything else. Decent Hp, Atk, and Spd, bad Def. Comes in male and female, with little difference at this point except that they are used to unlock different classes.

Warrior: Good with Sword and either Spears or Axes (females are good with Spears, males Axes). Much more tankish than Brawlers. Again, at the lowest levels they're pretty similar in stats, but are pre-reqs to unlocking different classes.

Skulls and Mages: Skulls are male, Mages female. They come in Red, Blue, and Green. Red has fire magic, blue ice, and green wind. My personal preference is for mages because they make less annoying noises, but there's no real functional difference between them.

Clerics: Again, come in male and female. Female clerics are slightly better, in that they have one less Atk and one more Spd than males. They cast healing and support magic and are okay but hardly great with bows.

Faeries: A monster class. Basically a goblin. Has some decent skills, but monster classes are somewhat questionable investments, especially early in the game when we have very little mana. This is because the cost of making them starts high and goes down as we kill more of them. I could grind the 25 or so monsters to make them as cheap as a regular character, though, if someone really wants a monster.

Ghosts: Another monster class. They're casters, but Disgaea doesn't have caster monster weapons, so that's kind of a flaw. They also don't have regular magic, although that can be remedied if we really, really have to have a ghost for some reason.

Prinnies: Prinnies are a monster class, but they're in a weird position, as we'll see when we start getting to reincarnating characters. Prinnies count as both monsters and humans for reincarnation. They use monster weapons, they have odd skills, and they explode when you throw them (more on that later, when I cover the first map).

Creating characters costs mana, more mana buys more base stat points buys better characters. Here at the start we can only buy pretty crappy characters, but that can be remedied later on, as we'll see. We get mana from killing opponents on maps, one mana per level of the enemy killed goes to the character or characters who landed the killing blow.

So what does all this mean? It means in order to make things more interesting for myself I'm going to limit myself to recruiting characters from the forums.