Okay, so I've been playing P4 off and on and have finally gotten to where I'm dealing with the battle system. So far I love it, which is a relieve since I can't get into turn-based RPGs. I had asked earlier about some advice, and thanks to everyone who posted, but I have a few questions. In the beginning is it normal to have to leave the dungeon before getting to the boss battle? I don't mean Chie's other self but the finally boss battle of the castle. I got to the last floor and Chie is out of SP, low on HP. I'm decently managed but I don't have anything that does ice damage. I've gone through all my items that give you SP, and I'm almost out of HP items. Of course I've died once...which I've had to do this dungeon twice now. Are there any items I need to stock up on before going back to the dungeon tomorrow? And further on, does the SP management become easier to deal with? Right now I can only attack one enemy at a time, and it become very expensive when you're up against 4-5 enemies at once...even when I cast a debuff.
The game is designed for you to go in and out of the dungeon, balancing battle and social. In theory. If you want to get your social links up you need to be clearing the dungeons right away. I finished every dungeon in 1 day no problem but it is OK if you can't manage that yet.
My method of SP management was to use physical attacks most of the time.
@Spiritgod: It's been a long time since I've played but SP management should be easier to handle later on in the game. There's should be a shop in town that sells a variety of items though I can't remember if they sell any SP recovery items. It's worth a look either way. More importantly later on in the story you'll meet with a certain character that'll restore your SP (which is quite expensive initially but you as level up their social link it'll become cheaper).
You'll eventually unlock elemental spells that attack all of your opponents and since you generally run into a group of enemies that share the same weaknesses you'll often find yourself casting that partiuclar spell to knock them out before finishing them off with an All-Out Attack. But yeah, it's quite normal to leave before boss battles to stock up on stuff though I do have to warn you that boss battles are really tough so it's inevitable that you're going to require some grinding every now and again.
No, in the first two dungeons at least you will be needing to bail out a couple times before you get to the boss. Don't worry about that, you have plenty of time. As dude above said, you need some Goho-Ms but that's it really. Value Medicines might be useful too but they're expensive. SP management does get easier when you get the Hermit S. Link and Fox and you get more party members and you just get better. Chie will have ice damage soon too so don't worry.
The first two dungeons are the hardest in the game, if you can get past them then the rest of the game will be no problem for you. Just an added bit of advice, you want to be Level 14/15 before going up against Shadow Yukiko. Oh, and don't ignore physical skills. Yosuke's Sonic Punch has an absurd critical hit rate which will knock dudes down and save you SP.
SP is actually designed to be the limiting factor in dungeons. Early on when you run out of SP, its best to call it a day and go home. Because of SP being a limiting factor you want to be a bit more miserly with SP early on. Eventually money will be limiting factor because of how SP replenishment works in this game, but you'll get to that later on in the game. Eventually you can actually game the system and get unlimited SP, but that's more of an exploit and requires a lot of time.
But yeah, the game is designed so that you are supposed to go take a couple of days in game to get through a dungeon. Don't sweat it if it takes you multiple tries to get through the dungeon.
Okay, thanks guys. I thought I heard someone say before that dungeons were designed to be finished in one in-game day, don't remember where I saw it, but it had me nervous when Chie was out of SP and I really need her Persona's ice damage. Right now I'm level 10...I think. I've been kind of grinding the lower floors, which I do in every RPG, and thought that might have been a mistake when I reached the floor that the boss is supposed to be on. I'll search for SP items in town, and maybe get some better gear before I do a little more grinding tomorrow. I think I have 3 more days until game over so I should be able to hit level 15-20 before reaching the boss.
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