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This guide is primarily meant for intermediate/veteran players who are looking to streamline their playthroughs or cut down on grind time. Well known grinding tips will be included, but with lesser known ones added, as well as tips often missing from most grinding guides.
Disgaea 2 Farming Spots & Methods
Hi! This is my first time writing a guide or walkthrough of any kind, and as such, feedback is appreciated. If you feel anything listed in this guide is incorrect or hard to understand and generally confusing, please let me know in the comments and I will make revisions as necessary.
This guide will go over exp/money/item grinding methods in Disgaea 2 that I’ve found to be the most efficient, from the start of the game all the way to the highest levels, listed in chronological order. I’ve spent many, many hours across several playthroughs of the PSP version, and according to my testing, anything listed here should apply exactly the same to the PC version. I have no experience with the PS2 version of the game and cannot attest as to whether these same methods work there, but if you prefer to play the original version, you’re free to test this for yourself.
At the end, I will list several common grinding methods I see commonly posted online and why I consider them to be “less efficient” for the sake of this guide. Of course, how you choose to play is up to you, and if you find the “less efficient” methods to be less tedious or otherwise preferable, you’re free to use them in place of any of the other methods mentioned more favorably here. While this guide is aimed at more experienced players, I’ve tried to write it so newer players can hopefully follow along and understand, and perhaps even learn a helpful trick or two in the process.
The goal of this guide is to cut down on the already immense grind with the hopes of making it feasible for knowledgeable players to get all of the achievements within about ~120 hours of starting a fresh save, providing some room for leisure. This is still a long time, but much shorter than the often 200-300 hour range many people report even while following many of the best guides out there, and hopefully, this will be a reasonable expectation by the end of this guide.
With that out of the way, let’s begin!
Beginning Tips (AKA Level Your Thieves!)
Right from the moment you gain control, there’s already a step you can make towards better efficiency: unequip and later delete the starting generic classes. The generic units given to you by Adell’s dad do not benefit at all from creation stat bonuses, the mentor/pupil system, or team attack bonuses. This is a minor detail that won’t affect you much immediately, but doing this now will be more beneficial for you later on. You don’t have access to the dark assembly right away, so until you do, just use Adell and Rozalin to hog all the EXP and mana on the early stages until you’re able to delete them and make new ones. Speaking of said mana…
As soon as possible, make at least one thief, preferably two or more. The reason for this is simple: thieves are available to be created right from the start, are incredibly useful in acquiring many of the best items later in the game, but most importantly right now, they learn incredibly useful status afflicting moves. They are as follows:
Health (level 1): Inflicts Poison:
As you’ll soon see, this is the most useful status effect of them all, and it’s available right away, although you’ll need some SP if you want to use it frequently. Poison inflicts 20% of the target’s max HP every turn, meaning they’ll die in 5 or 6 turns, depending on if their HP is odd or even numbered. Poison lasts 2-3 turns when inflicted through this method, meaning you’ll have to inflict it several times before the target would die to poison alone. Still, all of the thieves’s skills have 100% accuracy, meaning they should rarely ever miss (barring certain factors), regardless of the enemy’s level. Keep in mind that enemies killed via poison will not directly give exp or mana to any of your units.
Consciousness (level 8): Inflicts Sleep:
This is the second most useful status effect, and it’s learned fairly early, too. You can focus solely on leveling your thief early on in order to get this skill, but you’ll probably unlock this soon enough anyway. Being able to deny the enemy turns by setting them to sleep is invaluable, especially when going against enemies much stronger than you, as we’ll be doing shortly. Sleep in this game acts much like the first generation Pokémon games, where waking up takes a turn, and they can’t act until their next turn. So with a single thief, you could keep a target asleep indefinitely, for so long as you have the mana.
Freedom (level 20): Inflicts Paralyze:
You’ll be using this one far less than the other two listed above, and it will take you a while to learn early on, but it’s not without its uses. Paralysis keeps the enemy from moving for a few turns and sets their SPD to 1. This means that anyone, at any level, from any side, will have 100% accuracy when attacking said target. Again, this can be helpful when going against enemies stronger than you are, as they can often avoid your attacks.
Memory (level 40): Inflicts Amnesia:
While not bad or outright useless by any means, typically it’s far more beneficial to use one of the above status effects instead, meaning this one can be overlooked, but your mileage may vary. Amnesia causes the target to be unable to use their skills for several turns. Often it’s more beneficial to deny turns by inflicting sleep instead, or inflicting paralysis and attacking from outside the enemy’s range, instead of inflicting amnesia. Enemies can still basic attack while in amnesia, after all.
Now that you have your thief or thieves, it’s time to start levelling them up. As they’re often quite weak, you can use 1-1: Beginner’s Field to level them safely, as the monsters here barely pose a threat, although they also give very little EXP. Just be careful not to let your frailer units get ganged up on. 1-2: Reflection Pond can be finished in one turn by tossing the prinnies into each other, but this doesn’t provide any EXP bonuses. On top of that, there’s a large area that boosts the enemy’s parameters. While you could easily get the bonus gauge 0 rewards over and over by repeatedly finishing the map in one turn, this takes a long time, but this map will come in handy much later.
You may want to progress through the story as normal for now, but keep in mind that unique bosses (such as Axel) provide x4 the EXP of a regular enemy. You can take advantage of this by getting him and a few of his allies to low health, throwing them into him, and then dealing the finishing blow on the now much higher level Axel. You can also use tower/team attacks to split the EXP among your party.
2-1: Banquet Room is probably the best place to work towards levelling your thief to level 8 or higher, if they’re not there already. Thieves are one of the frailest units in the game, so make sure to take advantage of the DEF +50% tiles. Alternatively, you can break the clear geo panel for a boost to the bonus gauge and a little extra damage to all enemies. Your pick.
Now that your thief has levelled up enough to learn Consciousness, we’re ready to try a speedrunning strategy: unlocking the Dark World at level 8.
Dark World Strategies
There are several hidden switches in Holt Village.
- Behind the Post Officer, behind the tipped over column.
- The back of Adell’s house, in the corner.
- In the bottom right corner of the map, near trees.
- In a broken part of the wall near the Orc.
- Just to the left of the previous switch, there’s a house with a crate. It’s behind this house.
After flicking each of this switches, you will get the prompt “An eerie shadow lurks upon Holt Village…” At this point, Friday MKII appears in the bottom right corner of the map where you previously found a switch, standing under a tree. Speaking to her and agreeing to her challenge will throw you immediately into a fight. Save before this fight.
As soon as you start the fight, check the bonus gauge. What you’re looking for is either a fist or a gun weapon (for Adell or Rozalin) or a sword (generally very useful) in the 0 slot of the bonus gauge. If none of them are there, reset. You can try to boost the bonus gauge throughout the fight by employing combos, but this is risky, and you’ll seen see why.
Once you have the desired bonus gauge, send out a non-thief unit as cannon fodder to lure Friday closer to the base panel. Once she’s close enough to be in thief range, put her to sleep and inflict her with poison. You can even do this with one thief by inflicting sleep and poison back to back constantly, but you’ll run the risk of running out of SP if you don’t have any orbs equipped. After about 5 or 6 turns, Friday will succumb to the poison. She’ll count as defeated, but you won’t get any EXP or money for defeating her. However, you will get the highlighted bonus gauge item. This item should be of a much higher rank than what you can currently even see in shops, let alone afford, and will allow the one equipping it to carry you through the story, until you reach 3-3: Corpse Garden. This is where the Dark World will come in handy.
First, preparations. If you don’t already, make sure you have a healer that can use espoir, just in case. Go back to one of the earlier levels such as 1-1 and toss one of the monster enemies into the base panel to capture them. This will allow you to pass a bill in the Dark Assembly that allows you to create Beastmasters. On top of being helpful units, with 5 move and 5 throw and providing buffs to monster units, their attacks fill the bonus gauge twice as quickly as other characters do. Make about 5 of them, using little mana, and give them the cheapest bows available.
Now that preparations have been made, go back to 3-3 and repeatedly stack your allies on top of one another until you enter the Dark World version of the map. Make sure you stack this tower away from the large stump, lest your allies be killed by the level 500 zombie. You won’t even be able to put a scratch in him right now without poison, but before cheesing him to death, we can take advantage of there only being one enemy. Have all of your Beastmasters swarm him from out of melee range and ready up their attacks into a combo, finishing with a thief setting him to sleep before hitting execute. This should fill the bonus gauge very quickly while also giving him no chance to retaliate. The only annoyance is the dark sun, which will repeatedly poison allies, hence having a healer on deck. You can do this as much as you want, but it should only take a handful of runs before you have good equipment for your party members, decent money, and have levelled up to about 30-50 off of the bonus gauge EXP alone. The main story should be a breeze at this point.
(Alternatively to the above, instead of setting the zombie to sleep over and over again, you can toss him onto the stranded island in the corner before repeatedly attacking him with Beastmasters to fill the bonus gauge without wasting SP. However, you’ll also have to strand your thief/thieves when you want to go in for the kill, which can be risky.)
Now would be a good time to see about unlocking some new creatable classes via the Dark Assembly, especially the magic knight, which should be a priority from here on out. The EXP and equipment gained from Dark World 3-3 should be plenty to tide you over until you reach chapter 9.
9-2 and Cave of Ordeals (y’know, the usual)
From here on out, I recommend you select two characters you want to level up simultaneously. Preferably one of these should be a magic knight, due to their sheer damage potential. The other can be Adell, Rozalin, your thief, a lady samurai, whatever you’d like. Typically people like to overlevel one unit and plow through the game with him, and while that is actually quite often the most efficient method to playing Disgaea games, this one is a bit of an exception.
The reason for this is that the remaining grinding maps from here on out cannot be beaten by one character in one turn, and cheesing the maps for bonus gauge gains is both very tedious and very inefficient by this point. However, they can be finished in one turn by two characters splitting up on the enemies, and these maps almost seem deliberately made with ‘split grinding’ in mind, and therefore it’s what I recommend to keep things flowing smoothly.
9-2: Grave of Alchemy is one of the best grinding maps in the game, and as soon as you’re able to handle it, you should. Whenever it gets too easy, pass a “stronger enemies” bill in the Dark Assembly to increase their level, and therefore the amount of EXP/mana/money you get from killing them. The magic knights are a bit bulkier than the skulls and the skulls can hit pretty hard if you’re not careful, but their 2×2 formation on EXP +50% tiles makes it easy to wipe them out in one hit, provided you have area of effect skills such as levelled spells or Winged Slayer (a very useful skill unlocked at sword mastery 10).
You shouldn’t pass the “stronger enemies” bill any more than eight times, however, due to a known oversight in every Disgaea and most NIS games in general. To make a long story short, EXP gain up until level 100 follows an exponential curve, as with most JRPGs, to keep levels flowing at a steady pace through the story. However, from level 100 onwards, the exp gain increases at a flat rate instead. This causes an interesting effect where the exponential curve of levels 1-99 causes enemies that are level 99 to give much more exp than intended, roughly equivalent to an enemy at about level 320. This means that passing stronger enemy bills more than eight times actually lowers the amount of exp you’ll make from killing the mage knights.
You should spend quite some time here, until your two main attackers are at least level 200, but if you struggle with the following maps, you might want to grind as high as even 300. Now, pass ‘weaker enemies’ bills until the levels reset back to normal, and then pass the bill for the Cave of Ordeals. You’ll likely have to persuade by force to get it to pass. It’s here where you’ll find your next and final dedicated grinding map, but there’s a gauntlet to go through first.
- The first map of Cave of Ordeals could be used as another grinding map, but it’s far less effective than 9-2, so it’s not worth bothering. The enemies are only level 70 and standing in a pattern near the base panel, making them easy targets.
- The second map of Cave of Ordeals is a little more tricky. One path blocks ranged attacks and is full of melee-focused enemies, and the other blocks melee attacks and is full of range-focused enemies. If you took my advice earlier though and levelled up two of your units at once, though, this shouldn’t be much of a problem.
- The third map of Cave of Ordeals can be very annoying and can easily result in a game over if you’re not careful. The enemy levels jump up all the way to 150, and on top of that, they all lower your stats when they’re in adjacent tiles. The only way to traverse the map is by leaving your units on warp tiles, which is random and can make the map take much longer. Bear with it and be patient and you’ll be rewarded for getting past this map.
And finally, Cave of Ordeals 4, the best grinding map in the game. Eight marionettes line up in a 4×2 fashion on EXP and mana +100% tiles, making them very convenient to be wiped out by two party members. As soon as you’re capable of grinding here, you should. You’ll never need to bother elsewhere again. Whenever beating the marionettes isn’t giving as much EXP as you’d like, gradually turn up their levels with ‘stronger enemies’ bills and you should be pushing past level 1000 in no time. Probably everywhere else on the internet has already told you about how good this particular map is, so that begs the question, now that you’re here…
The Really Tedious Part
As Cave of Ordeals 4 gradually gives more and more diminishing returns, you might be tempted to consider reincarnating for higher stats. This is not a terrible idea, but you’ll have trouble catching back up if you do this, requiring you to go back to older grinding spots and work your way back up. First, you’ll need to make some preparations. First, make sure you’ve maxed out your customer rank at the store, if you haven’t already, and then pass bills for ‘more expensive stuff’. Having a few rank 38 items will make the following steps much easier.
Start farming felonies. I know, I know. It takes forever to reach the effective cap of 300. (Your portrait can only display up to 99, but your ‘gross criminal records’ in your character’s info can go up to 300). But it’s worth it, because on the characters you max out felonies on, you get a permanent 300% bonus to exp, which will make grinding way, way faster after. You can stack characters on top of each other and toss all of them into the court gate and all of them will get the felony charges. You can have up to nine different units gaining felonies this way. Generally, you don’t want to bother giving felonies to monster units, since you can only have one at the top of a stack and they can level up quickly through magichange later anyway.
While you’re doing this, start farming armsmaster and professional specialists from items. Again, it takes a while, but you won’t regret it. Armsmasters help you level up your weapon mastery faster up to a 1900% bonus which can lead to massive stat boosts. Professionals increase your critical hit rate up to 100%, making every successful hit a critical hit, essentially doubling your damage output. You can also go after mentors as well, which increases your skill EXP gain by up to 300%, but this is optional.
Since you’re in the item world so much for this segment, keep an eye out for pirates. Pirates appear randomly whenever you finish a turn on floors X1-X9 of an item (meaning that floors ending in 0 will not have pirates appear). As you progress deeper into an item, different kinds of pirates may appear. Defeating them or stealing from them will give you a treasure map. Equipping these maps to your units, even ones you don’t actively use, makes pirates more likely to appear. There are 16 pieces to the treasure map in all, and some of the pirates can be very rare, so be patient. The reward for finding all of the pieces of the treasure map is the Land of Carnage, which I will detail later.
Remember, the items you have are neat and all, but they could always be better, right? Always check enemy equipment to see if they have a legendary rank 39 item. Your particular priorities should be the rank 39 sword, staff, and armour pieces. It might not be a bad idea to take a note somewhere of what all the rank 39 weapons are to reference later and note which ones you already have. You want them to be legendary because it will allow you to access the rank 40 equipment, which is the strongest in the game. You’ll need to have your thief at a high level (roughly 6000) for the latter step.
This particular part of Disgaea 2 can get quite monotonous and boring, so try to focus on switching between different goals and changing things up so it doesn’t get too much to bear. At the same time as you’re focused on farming the above, you can also focus on levelling up your weapon mastery, trying out EX maps and Dark World maps, and so on. I also highly recommend playing through Axel mode before taking on the Land of Carnage, but it is by no means a requirement. Around this time, you can also work towards getting the alternate endings, such as the Mid-Boss ending, Etna ending, Laharl ending, and so on. I suggest leaving the Tink ending, crime ending 1, and especially crime ending 2 for last. (You can also savescum for the former two. You shouldn’t savescum for crime ending 2 because the boss you face counts as an EX boss and counts towards the EX Clear! achievement.)
Land of Carnage Unlocked… What Now?
The Land of Carnage gives a constant 50% EXP bonus at all times as well as having higher levels, making Cave of Ordeals 4 far more efficient than ever before. Provided you’ve maxed felonies and stronger enemy bills as well, it shouldn’t take you long to reach level 9999, and now would not be a terrible idea to consider reincarnating for bonus level points. However, you might want to hold off until you’ve made some strong equipment to make that grind a bit less risky.
You can level up rank 39 equipment in Holt Village. My recommendation is to pass bills in the item assembly to increase the counter rate on rank 39 weapons, which will make them useful for weapon mastery grinding as well. You could also increase the move and/or jump of rank 39 armour to make it more useful for item worlding. You can do whatever you’d like with the items, but be sure to escape using a Mr. Gency’s Exit on floor 99, and then save. Rank 40 equipment can only be found by stealing from floor 100 of a rank 39 item in the Land of Carnage. Since this is very risky and difficult to pull off, you’ll want to save first. You always want the legendary items you steal to be of the same rarity. It doesn’t matter which rarity this is. It can be anything from 0-7, your pick. The reason you want them all to match in rarity is due to the fact that equipment with matching rarity gains a bonus, up to 30% extra stats if all items are matching.
Around this time, if you haven’t already, you might want to wrap up all of the story endings and set about unlocking all of the bonus characters. (Summoning Experiments characters are entirely optional and can be safely left out if so desired.) Have a run where you unlock all characters, all Dark World stages, etc. and can safely challenge some of the tougher bosses without worrying about missing out on missable characters in that playthrough.
So, now that you presumably have some of the best items in the game, be they rewards from EX bosses or from stealing rank 40 items, how do you go about levelling them to their max potential? Well, that’s quite the tricky thing, and requires a lot of steps. There are many guides out there with complicated processes of using an exit every few floors to soft reset and stopping at floor 99 to handle lovers innocents and so on, but I’ve found a method that still results in perfect item stats (tested on both PSP and PC) that streamlines the process into being a little more straightforward and less confusing.
A Different Perfect Item Method
(Fair warning, this part is kind of complex and assumes you’ve read other ‘perfect item guides’ out there on the net before. This is to provide an alternative.)
The start of the process is simple. Before doing anything else, equip your rank 40 item(s) to one of your units, and then return to 1-2: Reflection Pond. I told you it would come in handy later. By repeatedly ending the map in one turn by tossing the prinnies into each other, you can very quickly cause lovers specialists to spawn on your items. The reason you want to do this is because each item can only spawn a lovers specialist once. By doing this, you remove the risk that you accidentally get an unsubdued specialist that you can’t remove on an item you’ve finished levelling. Items barely have space for specialists as is, so you don’t want these slots to be wasted after you’re done putting a ton of time into an item.
Next, of course, you get to work removing the innocents. Do not progress past floor 1. Basically what you want to do is clear the item’s specialist slots before we start going through the level process. This will cost you some Gency Exits, but don’t worry, you’ll be getting them back soon.
Now that the item is cleared out, you can put in the stat specialists of your choosing, but you don’t even have to yet, because we’re going to start farming for bonus levels, but we’re still not going past floor 1. Allow me to explain.
Mystery gates’s spawn logic isn’t entirely known, but what is known is that a mystery gate cannot spawn if one appeared in the last three item world floors you skipped or cleared. (Using a gency to escape does not count as clearing or skipping a floor.) Because of this, you theoretically shouldn’t be able to get more than one mystery gate on the same floor, right? Well, not quite.
Mystery gate spawns only check the last three item world floors you were on, not which item those floors were in. Because of this, if you get a mystery room on floor 1 of item A, Gency out, and then go through item B, you’ll be able to find another mystery room on floor 1 of item A, provided that the last three floors of item B did not contain a mystery room.
On top of this, item boss floors also count towards the ‘not mystery room’ counter, as well as the floor immediately after you exit a mystery room. Provided you clear them or go through the gate, of course.
If this is still too confusing, allow me to use an example. I want to get bonus levels on a Super Robo Suit. I soft reset on floor 1 until I find an ambush mystery room, which increases the levels by 3. I Gency out, and save. Then, I take an innocuous item from the store, like a Hell Strike. I go through the item like normal, and on floor 8, I encounter a mystery room. I enter it, exit, and then I’m back on floor 8. I clear floor 8, 9, and 10, and now I’m back in Holt Village. I will now be able to find a mystery gate on floor 1 of the Super Robo Suit again, because the last three item world floors I went through didn’t have mystery gates on them, even if it was a different item.
So, what are the benefits to this method? For one, it’s very easy to track how many bonus levels you’ve accrued/still need, because you’re not actually going any deeper in the item. You don’t have to keep gency’ing out every two floors, and constantly having to go farm gencys to keep up with demand. In fact, it creates a gameplay loop of its own, where you soft reset a few times until you get a level boost in the item you want, gency out and save, then you go into a different item, subdue the specialist, clear the last floor for the gency, save, rinse and repeat. You should never run out of gency exits using this method. You’re also farming specialists at the same time, and the throwaway items you’re levelling can be sold, as well. And you’re also getting weapon mastery EXP and skill EXP at the same time. Win-win all around.
Personally, using this method, I only get about 70 bonus levels or maybe even 60 before deciding to commit to the normal stat perfecting method (going through an item full of stat specialists, double killing item bosses, soft resetting for item assemblies, etc. etc.). Because of all the additional mystery gates you’ll come across naturally, as well as the level spheres that show up in the PSP and PC versions, this many bonus levels right at the start can sometimes be overkill.
Some of you may be asking, “but what about item boss kills? does getting all the bonus levels early affect the stat boosts from item boss kills, leading to an imperfect item?” According to my testing, no. I’ve tried and compared both methods on Super Robo Suits only to find that the stat results are the same every time, and match up with ‘perfect item values’ I’ve seen others post online, and it’s generally accepted that the stat bonus for killing an item boss applies retroactively. The main factor there is simply the specialists you bring, and how many of them.
Reincarnation and You
Now that you have a strong item or two, you might be considering levelling up and reincarnating until you max out your bonus stats as well. However, the boosts given by these aren’t very necessary.
Storing levels via reincarnating gives you bonus points up until you’ve stored a very hefty 186,000 levels on one character, at which point you get 210 stat points to allocate. However, generic classes also get 10 additional bonus stat points if they have reincarnated into the same tier of the same class at least 10 times in a row. This adds up to 220 bonus points. On top of that, base stats have an increased starting value depending on what your stats were before reincarnating. By having stats of at least 280,000 and HP of over 2,240,000 you ensure that you’ll have the maximum base stat increase of 40 in every stat. These stats can be achieved by reaching level 9999 with base stats of at least 67 all around before reincarnating.
By putting the maximum amount of points into one stat, it will come out to roughly 1.14 million by the time you reach max level, which is pretty high. However, by the time you’re able to achieve these reincarnation numbers with relative ease, you’ll likely already have several weapons that give stats so high that 1.14m is nice and all, but not particularly noticeable. I say it’s only worth it if you’re planning on tackling Pringer X with said character, otherwise it might be a big waste of time. Reincarnating a little here and there to have higher stats to fight certain bosses isn’t a terrible idea, but 186k is a LOT and will take you a LONG time just for one unit.
But let’s say you want to go through with it anyway, whether it’s to face EX bosses or just because you like a character too much. An important question is, “when should I reincarnate”? Well, reincarnating at level 9999 would allow you to reach 186k stored levels in 20 reincarnations. It takes quite a while to reach level 9999 though, and doing this is not as time efficient as it may seem.
I don’t know the exact numbers and have not personally done any tests as to the best level-to-reincarnation ratio for maximum time efficiency. I did find, however, that only levelling to 4000 instead, was a fair deal more than twice as fast as levelling to 9999. This meant that I would have to reincarnate close to or roughly 50 times, but because the reincarnations were always after just a small handful of map clears, it flew by much much faster. You might find that a different level is more efficient for you, however, and I encourage you to experiment if you’re unsure.
To Do List
- Add screenshots of items perfected using alternative method.
- Add screenshots/videos of alternative grinding methods.
- Make less word-y and drawn out descriptions.
- Write gooder when not sleep deprived.
Thank you for reading, I hope I’ve been able to help.