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Okay, so, I toyed with the idea in the main SMT4 thread started by Samias, and after a few days of deliberation, I decided to go ahead and go through with it. So here goes, I'll be walking you through my take on how I play SMT4. First things first, let me explain what happens on a NG+. The things that carry over to a new game are the following: Your Demon Compendium Burroughs Apps increasing your MC # of skills Burroughs Apps increasing your demons' # of skills The amusing but useless collection of facts recorded in the Playlog area of Burroughs Nothing else Fusion level limit is not lifted, like in many other entries in the franchise, you can still only fuse demons appropriate for your game position (modified by any Burroughs apps you can purchase). A few note about hard mode: Run % from battles is locked to 0% (as far as my experiences indicate) If you do not get a pre-emptive strike, 90% of the time (pulling numbers out of my ass, but ones that seem to support my experiences), the enemy will get a pre-emptive against you. Enemies will attempt to strike weaknesses a lot more, meaning your team can be wiped or near wiped before you even get a chance to act, especially early game when you are limited in demon variety and resistances That said, a 2nd cycle will still be a lot more tactically manageable. Why? Presumably on your first run, you collected a wide variety of demons in your compendium, which means that you will have a full log of their weaknesses, and possible fusion paths, and can effectively plan counters to bosses before you meet them for the first time, have to experiment, revise, grind, etc. This will help considerably, IMO. That said, let's get the first major sections wrapped up and reported on here: The Tutorial is somewhat rough, as enemies hit harder, and like I mentioned abuse weaknesses. If you don't save after every encounter, you are going to fail a negotiation at some point, and get wiped on the enemy phase. It will happen, I guarantee it. The first main quest after the tutorial segment are to complete the 3 quests from K's Tavern. 2 of these are gathering quests, and easy peasy. Defeating Orthrus will rock your world for two reasons. Fire Breath, and Bouncing Claw. At this stage in the game you cannot survive multi-hit attacks, as if your dudes have somehow become sturdy enough to avoid OHKO's they'll surely be 2HKO. When you lose demons, you lose press turns, and things spiral out of control in a very bad way, very fast. Oh, and in case you forgot, your starting armor has a fire weakness. Joy of joys. You have to spend most of your hard-earned Macca in getting Mikado Sand. My counter Orthrus strategy was the following: Fuse myself a Peri (with Ice Resist as a bonus, to cover her weakness and extend her longevity). This is accomplished by utilizing a fully trained Napaea with a Lham Dearg (also fully trained, because that's how I roll, it is kind of an OCD flaw of mine). This will provide heals, and Fire Null, which will be important. Next, I fuse myself a Melchom with a variety of useful attacks, and importantly, his Fire Repel. You could just catch one, but that will be far inferior in my opinion, as with only Agi, his utility will suffer greatly. My prefered fusion path for Melchom was a little convoluted, but IMO very worth it. First you fuse a Centaur and a Mokoi into an Angel. This provides important Bufu, Zio, Dia and Rakukaja skills. Then you fuse a Centaur and a Griffon into a Heqet, which will not providing much new in the way of skills, is a necessary prerequisite to fuse a Heqet with a Mokoi to get a Dwarf. Dwarf gives you Tarukaja, but more importantly will let you fuse with Angel to get the Melchom to begin with. Finally, I had planned on fusing myself a Fomorian and training it up to get Fire Resist, but it was taking too long, so I put that on hold. However, I still did acquire the ingredients, a Tangata Manu (which will give Sukukaja), and a Strigoii (made from fusing a Centaur and a Lham Dearg, again for Bufu access). I forgot how long it took for Strigoii to learn Light Resist, but it's a damn long time, and it may not be worth learning for passing on, in the long run, so I should have just aborted. But still, even grinding up the Fomorian for a Resist would have taken more time than needed. What I ultimately used in the team was a caught and trained Chagrin, for its Rakunda, to help take the beast down a little quicker. At the time of beating Orthrus, my stats were as follows: Fighting Party MC Lv 9: ( 7/18/16/20/14 ) (Agi+1/Bufu+6/Bouncing Claw+1/Zan+1/Zio+6/Dream Fist+3/Dia+3/Dream Needle+2) [samurai Sword:Samurai Hat/Mikado Sand Top/Samurai Bottom/Samurai Earring) Pele Lv 8: (Agi/Posumdi/Dream Needle/Resist Ice/Critical Wave/Scratch Dance/Dia/Healing Knowhow) Melchom Lv 7: (Life Bonus/Tarukaja/Rakukaja/Bufu/Agi/Zio/Dia/Posumdi) Chagrin Lv 8: Needle Shot/Zio/Rakunda Reserves: Strigoii Lv 8 Slime Lv 6 Tangata Manu Lv 5 Dybbuk Lv 5 This is still a fight where you're more than likely to lose up to half of your demons, without a little bit of lady luck smiling on you, unless I just suck at strategizing. Still, a Smirk here, or a Miss there, and somehow it is possible to make it out fully intact too. The next questline is the Missing Navarre string, and luckily enough, all of our current demons will still serve us well. Our first encounter with a hooded man will face us against 3 Naga. Weak to Fire, we can melt them with triple Agi. Our second encounter with a hooded man first faces us against a Wendigo, Weak to Fire. Then a swarm of Wendigo/Naga, curiously enough weak to Lightning. This is a little more dangerous to keep Melchom in, but you can still risk it. Finally, in the domain, we face off against Alraune, Weak to Fire. Her gun attack will pretty much OHKO anyone, but you do have guests so maybe you're lucky and she'll target them. Alternately, you could fuse up the lv 9 Drake Zhu Tun She using your Chagrin and Dyubbuk (which was made by using Fuxi and Myrmecolion), but that doesn't really grant many new skills, so I held off on it. In hindsight it would have been a really great idea, nulling both Gun AND Ice, making it pretty much an ideal demon for the questline... Live and learn, I guess. At the time of beating Alraune, my stats were as follows: Fighting Party MC Lv 11: ( 7/21/18/23/16 ) (Agi+1/Bufu+6/Bouncing Claw+1/Zan+1/Zio+6/Dream Fist+3/Dia+4/Dream Needle+2) [samurai Sword:Samurai Hat/Mikado Sand Top/Samurai Bottom/Samurai Earring) Pele Lv 9: (Agi/Posumdi/Dream Needle/Resist Ice/Critical Wave/Scratch Dance/Dia/Healing Knowhow) Melchom Lv 8: (Life Bonus/Tarukaja/Rakukaja/Bufu/Agi/Zio/Dia/Posumdi) Strigoii Lv 10: (Life Drain/Mudo/Bufu/Critical Wave/Gram Slice/Needle Shot) Reserves: Chagrin Lv 9: Needle Shot/Zio/Rakunda Bilwis Lv 8 Slime Lv 7 Tangata Manu Lv 6 Dybbuk Lv 7 I have yet to spend any of my App Points, because lazy and unsure, but I think I'm about to go on a spree imminently. I will keep you posted on that situation as it develops. Anyway, that's about as far as I've gotten, as I'm going at a much more relaxed pace this time around. Feel free to comment and questions, but as I'm doing my best to keep spoilers to a minimum, and to focus on the gameplay aspects (especially what I love most, fusing demons), I would ask that you too try to refrain from anything spoilery.