So Neptunia Re;Birth 1 has a pretty disastrously hard boss fight: Black Heart, and it’s right at the start of the game. If you’re here, you might have ragequit because of it. I come bearing the following good news:
- Re;Birth 1 is the only game in the series this unreasonable
- There’s only 2 fights like this, both at the start of the game
- A half hour+ of grinding is really all that’s needed to make this quite easy, it’s mostly a level mismatch
- I have a PC save file to help you get past it without spoiling the rest of the game!
Easy Mode (PC Only)
Download this save file (created by @badp) and you’ll be level 15 and just before the Black Heart fight. It copies to save slot 19 so it shouldn’t erase any of your saves. Copy it to “Documents\My Games\Idea Factory International, Inc\Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1”, on modern Windows systems pasting that into Windows Explorer’s bar will take you right there. Failing that, navigate to your My Documents folder and continue down.
No DLC was used in making the save so it’s maximally compatible, but you’ll have to re-obtain Peashy/Plutia and grind them a tiny bit if you bought the DLC (not a big deal at all since all characters get XP not just the party). Should be fairly easy but read the strategy below if you’re still new to the series/having issues.
Unfortunately due to trophies I do not believe such a method is possible on PS Vita so you’ll have to grind a bit yourself and follow below.
- Even the best strategy won’t fix this if you’re level 6 or so, which is possible. Spend a few minutes grinding on Boxbirds with Iffy’s Demon Flames, exit the map, reenter, repeat. Try to be at least level 10 but level 15 makes this real easy (ahem, save file above!)
- Get everyone a Stamina Ring from the store (and later, a Life Ring), the HP buffs make these the best accessories for…basically the entire game.
- Don’t waste any SP in the bird fight before Black Heart, it’s a very easy boss. You should be able to spam it with normal attacks, then heal up before finishing it off if needed
- Guard Break is incredibly vital to this fight, normal attacks will deal about 90% less damage if Black Heart’s guard is up
- Without DLC, Neptune is your only real chance here
- Have her STR buff herself just before Black Heart’s guard gets broken by IF/Compa, it should last a few cycles
- Cross Combo should deal over 5k damage with guard broken, and still deals reasonable damage without guard break
- With DLC, bring Neptune, Plutia, and Peashy and pretty much follow the rest of the strategy the same way, except you have three decent attackers instead of one
- Manage delay and guard break well
- Defend and forgo skill use to prevent excessive delay especially if her guard is up
- Cancel normal attacks just before breaking guard so you can hit her with all three characters during Guard Break
- Guard Break recovers partially after the boss gets a turn while in Guard Break
- Demon Flames is useless even when guard is broken
- Compa is good at breaking guard with Break Attacks, otherwise she’s best used to heal if necessary with her AOE heal
- Compa is, overall, a very bad character, but without DLC you have to use her for this. Later on you’ll be drowning in items that are better than Compa
- Compa has to be level 14 for her group heal
- Compa is bad because her skills do what items do except they add more delay, and any other character in the game can deal better DLC
- Compa is significantly less bad in Victory 2 (but she’s never good)
Please note that the rest of the Neptunia series is not like this. Neptunia is a series that is, if anything, a bit too easy in general. The biggest difficulty spikes, by far, are two that are in Rebirth 1 (both at the start of the game, sigh) and a couple in Sega Hard Girls that you’ll only experience if you rush into certain fights without using a (fairly cheap) strategy.
If you were put off from the series by this (terribly designed) fight, I’d strongly recommend giving it another shot. If you’re too annoyed to bother replaying Rebirth 1, it’s not even essential to play first. It’s also just fine to play Rebirth 2 first (just make sure you don’t let Planeptune’s shares go over 50%), or Megadimension Victory 2 first. You won’t be missing out on too much, mostly just some one-off inside jokes or callbacks. It’s much more comparable to Final Fantasy than Metal Gear Solid in terms of “playing any game as your first is fine”.