Disgaea D2: Stand on my Shoulders and Touch the Sky

I hope they all washed their shoes before this little exercise...

I hope they all washed their shoes before this little exercise…

We continue to detail various parts of NIS America’s latest game in the Disgaea series, bit by bit, culminating in a review right around the time of the game’s official North American release. Today we take a brief look at how the Tower system has evolved over the years, and why it is still a useful way to evolve your favorite characters despite some minor changes.

Tower skills were first introduced in Disgaea 2 for the PlayStation 2 as an improvement on the lift and move method in the very first Disgaea game. The very first implementation of the tower system allowed stacked units to attack a single target and share in the experience based on the number of units in the stack.
In Disgaea 3 “dual throw” was implemented into the system, which allowed units in the stack to throw without being on the very bottom of the formation. This was useful for dividing a tower up into several tower stacks when needed. Disgaea 3 also introduced the ability to bounce stacks off of friendly monster units deployed on the map (because monster units cannot be part of a tower, which we assume made them very sad). Disgaea 3 was also the first game to give the tower system a handful of special attacks that could be used against single targets on the map, complete with their own wacky animations.

Disgaea 4 added a few new skills into the mix, including a wacky jump rope attack, and “tower lift,”  which allowed a unit with the skill the ability to pick up an entire stack of units.

Disgaea D2 makes great use of the tower system and adds a few skills, while ditching a few of the popular options introduced in other games – which is, admittedly, a two steps forward, and two steps back kind of situation. That being said, the tower system has been greatly improved in the latest iteration of the Disgaea series, offering new ways to move, throw, lift an entire stack of units, and attack the enemy. Some of these skills are leftovers from Disgaea 4, while some are new to the series.

In Disgaea D2 there are seven tower moves: four attacks and three movement-related abilities. Tower Move allows the entire stack to move in a straight line. You can usually do this move twice in one turn depending on if the unit on the top and the bottom of the stack have learned it. Tower Lift allows a stack to add a friendly unit or non-friendly unit to the top of the stack – this can be used to lift another stack on to the top of an existing stack. Tower throw allows the unit on the top of the stack to be thrown a great distance – dependent on how many units are in the stack (the maximum is ten),  With this skill a unit could be thrown to the other end of a map  at the very beginning of a map.

just one of the odd tower single target attacks in Disgaea D2.

Just one of the odd tower single target attacks in Disgaea D2.

The tower attacks include Tower Fall, Tower Hamster, Tower Dunk, and Tower Break. Only Tower Break can hit more than unit at a time. The rest are amusing single target attacks. Tower break is pretty powerful if you have a stack of ten units because it can hit a whole line of enemies from a moderate distance.

Obviously movement is affected by height and terrain. When on a flat surface, it’s easy to move across a map very quickly, and if both units at the end of the tower have the Tower Move ability it can be done twice in one turn. Movement using this method is generally limited to one space when trying to traverse an incline or a hill. As with anything, the more people in a stack, the better your movement distance and attack radius will be.  Tower Move can not be used to move to terrain that would be considered “higher ground.” The increase in height has to be gradual in order to move there. Tower moves are a great way to move characters across the map, while protecting more vulnerable members of your team, because only the character on the bottom takes a direct attack.

Characters that are new to a stack learn skills simply by being in the stack, and as more and more skills are performed, characters learn even more tower skills.

But beyond movement and a few interesting attacks, what are tower skills good for? Th best use of tower skills has always been for combat, and in Disgaea D2 that formula remains the same. When used on the right levels in the game, tower skills are perfect for grinding out unit levels because, when an enemy is defeated by a tower, the entire stack gains some part of the experience. This is the perfect way to help grow weaker characters while protecting them from enemies that they would have no way of surviving against on their own. As has been the long-standing tradition with the Disgaea series, there are always a few levels in the game that are perfect for players to grind levels. Disgaea D2 is no exception, but we’re going to save the conversation on grinding for another day, because Tower Skills are just one of the tools players can use to get those low level characters into shape in a very short amount of time.

Until next time.

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2 Comments on “Disgaea D2: Stand on my Shoulders and Touch the Sky”

  1. […] Committing random acts of journalism. « Disgaea D2: Stand on my Shoulders and Touch the Sky […]

  2. […] Disgaea D2: Stand on my Shoulders and Touch the Sky (A closer look at throwing and tower […]

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