Makai Wars (魔界ウォーズ ) just released on Android (in Japan only) and as a huge fan of Disgaea I started a guide to both get you started quickly despite the language barrier and also detail the more intricate details that are harder to understand without knowing Japanese.
Makai Wars is a simplified Strategy Roleplaying Game much like Disgaea (and half of NIS’ other games), and it’s Asagi’s very own game! For real this time! No really, stop laughing!
Title: 魔界ウォーズ (Makai Wars)
Platform: Android & iOS
Release date: 2018-02-15 (Android)
Developer: Nippon Ichi Software and Clover Lab
Price: Free with IAP/Gachapon
Filesize: 520MB (installed and updated)
Always Online: Yes, persistent internet connection required
Gambling element: Yes (standard character Gachapon a la FateGO etc)
Battery Drain: High
Table of Contents
- What The Heck Is Makai Wars?
- Makai Wars Quickstart Guide
- Makai Wars FAQ
Current Timed Events
Free 10-pull Gachapon
End Date: ?
Claim a free 10-pull Gacha in the Gachapon menu. It’s the “banner” with Etna and Valkyrie. It’s once per-account but requires nothing to unlock and is actually free. It’s a reward for them getting 20,000 downloads.
End Date: March 30th
An extensive set of increasingly difficult SP quests. Earn Summon Stones for Usalia (up to 100, enough to summon her/awaken her once). The last 2 levels of the SP event (15 AP and 20 AP) can be repeated to “farm” for the last of the stones.
End date: April 16th.
Similar to Usalia’s event but easier, and rewards are earned only once with 100% success. Includes gems, two Prinny Tickets, an orb and some other goodies. Just beat every stage once and you’ll get all the items. No grinding like Usalia’s event.
Main Three Gachapon
A special Gachapon that has higher odds for Etna/Laharl/Flonne from Disgaea 1.
What The Heck Is Makai Wars?
Makai Wars is a long-running gag in the Disgaea/NIS community. Originally it was announced as a PSP game for E3 2004 and Asagi was to be the protagonist. It was a no-show. It was later re-announced as a PS3 game, which also never materialized.
Since then Asagi has shown up in a majority of NIS tactical games making cameo appearances, usually searching for her game, Makai Wars. She even got a full “Asagi Mode” side story in Prinny 2: Dawn of Operation Panties, Dood (yes that’s a real title).
Finally, in the fateful year of our Overlord 2018, Makai Wars is a real thing and Asagi didn’t lie about it being her game; though it’s basically a Disgaea spinoff title featuring her. It’s a mini-SRPG playing like a simplified version of many of NIS’s other titles, specifically Disgaea.
If you’re just curious and not curious enough to download a Japanese app, you can see some standard gameplay of the game here:
Makai Wars Quickstart Guide
Big word of warning here; this is not a text-light game. With the use of Google Translate’s image translate feature (Android Version, iOS version), experience with past NIS titles, and a healthy dose of highly scientific trial-and-error, you’ll probably be able to play this game. But it will not be easy, and the faint of heart will likely want to wait to see if an English release materializes.
Even with Google Translate you’re unlikely to be able to enjoy the story, so you’ll be playing it for the gameplay alone.
Heads up – Yes, this is a free to play mobile game and yes, there is a gachapon. If that’s a problem for you I strongly recommend not bothering especially if you cannot read Japanese. But if you just want to take a quick peek, you can try out Makai Wars for free of course
But for those who want to dive in headfirst like me, here’s how to get started. First you’ll be greeted by some Japanese menus, the intro isn’t too hard to work your way through but here’s an English translation of the first menus just in case:
Once you’ve downloaded and installed Makai Wars it will ask you to agree to the Terms of Service (check the box). Generally, pressing the Red button is Back/Cancel and the Blue button is Accept/Continue. Keep Accepting from the start and name your account (8 characters only).
Eventually you’ll have to download about 40MB of extra data to start the tutorial. Be warned that later you’ll have to download another 400MB of data after the tutorial to actually start playing. I recommend starting Makai Wars on WiFi for that reason.
You’ll get a little story sequence (which you can skip if you don’t know Japanese) and the intro will play. Turn your device on it’s side to see the intro in full 16:9 and turn your volume on if you can/like.
Before we start playing Makai Wars will give you a free Gachapon roll of 4 characters; three 2★ rarity characters and a special 3★. To use Disgaea terms, 2★ characters are “Generics” like Female Warrior and Prinnies, while 3★s are Story Characters like Laharl and Flonne.
The 3★ characters you can get in the tutorial gachapon are listed below. A few characters can only be earned in regular gachapon pulls, not this free one.
Tutorial Gachapon possibilities
You can see a current list of characters here (in japanese). Anyone in that list in Red cannot be gotten in the tutorial gachapon. Additionally Etna is a 20 day login bonus, Asagi is given for free, and Freya is given as a preregistration bonus (to all players); none of those three characters will be in the first Gachapon pull, but you’ll get them all free (eventually, in Etna’s case).
Famous characters that are in the gachapon:
You can reroll the tutorial gachapon as many times as you like by pressing the red button on the left after the draw. Shoot for a 3★ character you like, but remember no amount of spins will get you more than one 3★, and there will be plenty of draws for generic 2★s later.
After you get your starter characters a battle starts. The tutorial is basic SRPG stuff that any Disgaea fan should be most familiar with. Don’t worry about your actions in the battle, it’s very easy, just move forward aggressively and you’ll finish it in a few minutes tops.
After the tutorial you’ll get your first login bonuses; a total of 600 Gems, enough for two extra character Gachapon pulls to start filling out your ranks. From here you’re on your own (for now), just try to experiment and have fun! Some basic menu translations have been posted here to get you started.
Reroll First Gachapons
hate yourself enjoy min-maxing Gachapon rolls, a method was discovered to re-roll the first two gachapon rolls with the extra 600 gems you get early in the game without re-downloading the main game.
If you enjoy Shiny Hunting in Pokemon give it a shot for the 3★s of your dreams, personally I wouldn’t bother.
There’s a cloud save option in the Settings menu you should set up as soon as possible (the two phones and the arrow). Tap the top button to make a new CloverLab account or make one here, then log into it in the game to start using cloud saves. All that’s required is an email and a password no other info.
This will protect your data if your phone is stolen by a Prinny or mistaken for a Sardine by an overlord.
Much like Disgaea, Makai Wars has Team Attacks. Team Attacks are indicated by red exclaimation icons, and if your formation is right and the red mark is seen, a team attack will always execute.
Team attacks add ~10% of the damage from each additional party member. Elemental weakness/resistance is accounted for separately for each team mate. Amusingly, allies affected by Sleep will still join in Team Attacks.
Melee Team Attacks
Ranged units will join in Melee team attacks. Ranged units at melee range will not use this formation. Oddly, while Sword and Spear units both use the Melee team attack formation, Sword units will not join a Spear team attack and vice versa, but ranged units will join both.
A unit on the single tile on the opposite side of the enemy from the team attack initiator will join in to (so in this case, on top of the imp).
Ranged Team Attacks
Non-ranged units will not join in on Ranged team attacks.
Hitting an enemy from behind will do 50% extra damage. Both regular attacks and skills can be boosted by this, unlike Team Attacks which are regular attacks only. Back Attacks are always preferable to Team Attacks if a choice must be made.
Back Attacks with ranged weapons can hit from any tile behind the sprite, even if it’s diagonal. Since characters can only face right or left, it’s easier than you might think to pin a character in a state where you can move behind them and get a back attack.
A melee unit directly above/below a unit has a pretty good change of getting a back attack next turn unless the unit moves two tiles away; the AI usually doesn’t bother to do this.
HP: Obviously, HP is how much damage you can take before a KO.
Attack: Damage dealt is determined by Attack only in Makai Wars, rather than different weapons using different stats in Disgaea.
Defense: Reduces damage you take. Each Defense point is worth several HP points in terms of survivability.
Speed: In addition to deciding turn order, units with enough speed (usually due to speed boosting skills or equipment) can “lap” slow enough enemies, acting more than once per enemy turn.
Range: Range of normal attacks. Usually 1 for Melee units and 2 for ranged attackers. Some units increase in Range upon +2 Awakening levels (gachapon duplicates).
Move: How far the character can move per turn. Almost always at 2, but some units increase Move upon +2 Awakening levels.
There’s elemental effects and five elements: Fire, Water, Tree, Holy, and Darkness. Every character is associated with an element, and all damage that unit deals is of that element.
Tree beats Water beats Fire beats Tree, making a rock paper scissors effect, while Holy and Darkness are mutually weak to each other. There is no same-type resistance; Fire attacks deal weak damage to Water but normal damage to both Fire and Tree. For some reason, Dark Generic characters are excluded from the standard Gachapons.
There’s a login bonus as usual, with the first week getting two sets of rewards. The daily rewards are still pretty good even after the first week. You’ll also unlock Etna by claiming the login bonus for 20 days.
There are 6 daily rewards you can claim by completing Daily Missions. They’re not a huge deal but you might as well claim the free stuff if you can, and most you’ll do simply by playing the game anyway. Daily Missions roll over on the same timer as the Daily Login Bonus, midnight Japan time.
- Upgrade weapons 3 times
- Reward: 2000 Mana (Green spheres)
- Use 50 AP
- Reward: 10 Rubies
- Clear 3 quests
- 2,000 Hell
- Complete all other daily missions
- 20 Rubies
- Does not include the 50 AP “time bonuses”
- Play during 12:00 and 15:00 Japan time
- Reward Sandwich (50 AP Refill)
- Convert your timezone to Japanese time here
- Play during 18:00 and 21:00 Japan time
- Reward: Sandwich (50 AP Refill)
Differences from Disgaea
If you’ve played Disgaea (or any SRPG) you’ll have a good basis for understanding how to play. Here’s some key differences that Veterans will notice:
- The battlefield is much simplified and characters always have a normal attack and two skills
- Skills recharge over X turns, rather than having an SP cost
- Characters have inherent skills based on who they are, no learning/transfering skills
- Stats are more straightforward; Attack appears to always affect damage, rather than Fists using 50% Strength 50% speed etc.
- Facing will affect damage but not accuracy, and you cannot directly edit facing). Direct rear attacks only, not side attacks, deal extra.
- There is no “defend”, only “skip turn”
- Asagi actually has a game
- Elements are now an inherent property of a unit, so a Fire unit is always weak to ice and all units have elements
- There are still different equipment types, though weapon type appears to matter less than it normally would
- There is no throwing or height differences etc.
Leveling & Evolution (Level Cap)
Levels can be earned from Green Experience earned every stage, or purchased with Hell at a rate of 1 Experience per 1 Hell. Leveling with Hell is best saved for when there’s a wide gap between a new character you like and your regular team, so you can skip grinding.
Evolution means upgrading the Level Cap. Evolution is a process that will raise the ★ ranking of your character and their base stats as well. Once a unit’s Orange Experience meter is full and they’ve reached their current max level (60/60 for example), they can be upgraded to the next ★ by using Hell.
Evolution is basically always worth it, as only characters you actually use will ever hit it, it’s pretty cheap, and not evolving means your character is basically “stuck” stat-wise.
2★->3★: 10,000 Hell
2★->4★: 25,000 Hell
4★->5★: 50,000 Hell
5★->6★: 100,000 Hell
After reaching 6★ you’ll no longer need to earn Evolution Points. Additionally you’ll be given 5 Sandwiches, 1 Red Orb, 100 Rubies, and 1 Evolution Experience Booster for each character that reaches 6★.
Awakening is achieved either by getting a duplicate character in Gachapon (immediately raising that character’s Awakening level), or by spending Awakening Stones (the rainbow gems for Generics, or special per-character stones for Story Characters).
Awakening gives a small percentage boost every +1 awakening level, and either +1 Move or Range every +2 Awakening Levels.
Various characters can inflict status effects with passive (usually counters) or active skills. When used right many status effects can be devastating and deny their targets entire turns worth of action.
Sleep: Unable to act for duration of effect. Attacking a sleeping character will wake them up. Amusingly, sleeping characters will join Team Attacks.
Stun: Unable to act duration of effect. Attacking a stunned character will not bring them out of it.
Confuse: Will attack a random target with regular attacks only for duration of effect. They can target allies, but may will still target the enemy team if they’re in range. Attacking a confused character will bring them out of it. Confusion is best used when an enemy is in their attack range but not an ally; if only one target (or only enemies) are in their range, they’ll attack what’s in range rather than moving toward your characters.
Bind: Able to attack but not move. Most effective on short-range characters as it can make them completely waste turns if they cannot hit anything.
Burn: Character takes small damage over time relative to their total HP each turn while under the effect. Fire element characters can still be burned.
Poison: Same effect as Burn.
Buff/Debuff: Many effects will raise/lower defense/attack/speed for a turn or two. All buffs/debuffs stack their effect (not duration) if multiple of the same type are inflicted on the same target. This can make a single unit extra powerful/extra worthless if properly stacked between their turns. A target with Speed debuffs stacked may miss several turns.
Gachapon pulls will only give 2 tiers: 2 star and 3 star. Only 3 star pulls will be “Story” characters (Laharl, Flonne etc.). The likelihood of 3 star pulls in general is 8%, though the exact percent per-character can be viewed (in Japanese) inside Makai War’s gachapon menu. Stats are subject to change at any time and thus won’t be listed here.
Duplicates exist – Duplicates are “fused” with the one you already have for +1 Awakening level, giving a stat bonus.
Generics can be of different elements so you could get, for example, a Fire Female Warrior and an Tree Female Warrior. For some reason, Dark type generics are not currently in the regular gachapon pool.
The gachapon has a “mercy rule” where if you don’t get a 3★ character in 50 rolls (a very unlikely, but possible, event), your 51st roll is a guaranteed 3★ and you’ll get 100 Summon Stones to awaken that character as well. This counter is not shared between “banners”, so you’re unlikely to ever hit the limit on any gachapon other than the regular one (and only if very unlucky).
There is no benefit to rolling 10 characters instead of 1 at a time, other than spending less time.
I’ll get icons for these in a bit. This list isn’t exhaustive of uses, so if I’m missing something please let me know!
Used to buy levels for units in place of Experience and upgrade Formations.
Mana is used to upgrade weapons.
The standard lesser-premium Currency, rubies are mostly used for the standard Gachapon at a rate of 300 per single-character pull.
+50 AP, will exceed the AP cap temporarily so AP is never “wasted” from these. Eat by using the “items” (sandwich/clock) icon on the main screen.
These level up a unit’s skill by one level. Red is for Active skills, blue is for Passive skills. They’re pretty rare, so use them sparingly and/or for people who you’re absolutely sure you’ll keep on your team; either grinding-focused characters or your favorites.
Rainbow Potions add Orange Experience which allows a character at level cap to exceed it’s level cap and add a star to it’s rarity.
The Alarm Clock items boost Experience (green) or Evolution Points (orange) by 50% for a limited time. Best used with the weekly SP Quests that give huge amounts of EXP.
Diamonds (White Gems)
These are the premium currency, and are mostly used for a special 3★ Guaranteed gachapon (press the arrow key at the gachapon to see the diamond-only option). They can be used in place of Rubies wherever they are used, but are generally more valuable because of the 10-pull 3★ guaranteed gacha.
Formations are unlocked through Story progress, and come with both a formation (duh) of your units, and respective stat buffs for each character in each formation slot. Formations can be upgraded with Hell (coins) to increase the stat buff.
Change formations at the “team select” screen before starting a mission, and upgrade them from the same screen with the blue button at the far right.
Gems act as an “accessory” slot and you can equip up to 3. Gems can affect almost any stat and have three separate qualities.
Color: Color determines Set Bonus.
Effect: Exact stat that they buff, this determines per-level upgrades
Enchantments: Like other gear, every 3 levels on a Gem will add a random bonus to almost any stat. Rare/Legendary gems have better enhancements.
Gem Set Bonus
Set bonuses give 10% extra stats for 2 of the same color and 20% for 3 of the same color, with the exception of Status Resistance (unknown) and Criitcal Damage (20% and 40%). Here are the colors and what stats their set bonus affects:
Purple: Status Resistance
Red: Critical Rate
White: Critical Damage
Note that a Gem’s Effect is unrelated to its Color, so a gem with a color that buffs HP might give Attack as it’s Effect. Likewise, a Color set’s percentage bonus will still effect a unit even if all those gems don’t actually include that stat; the unit’s stat total will be buffed, not the gems’.
Geo Symbols are hidden away in the “prinny camp” icon along with the In App Purchases, but Geo Symbols are bought with Mana. Geo Symbols act as a full-team permanent (but slight) buff rather than their usual Disgaea function. Each upgrade level adds +1% of a stat (+1 point in case of speed) to certain effects. Note their color matches the Gem color for each stat as well, so they’re easy to remember.
In the order presented in the menu, they are:
Light green: Defense
Light blue: Speed
White: Critical Damage
Red: Fire Attack
Dark Blue: Water Attack
Dark Green: Tree attack
Yellow: Holy Attack
Purple: Dark Attack
Geo Symbols costs rise as they’re upgraded, making the earliest levels the best and safest investments. Geo Symbol costs increase as such:
These are the main levels of the game and unlock various items as you progress. Go through as much of the story as you can first before messing with too much else. Story Levels cost AP to replay, but are free the first playthrough.
Once a story Chapter is complete, you can play a harder “purple” difficulty by pressing the lower right blue button at Stage Select. There will be a second set of missions with new completion rewards and Stars to earn.
SP Quests are special missions you can do a few times per day in exchange for AP and have specific rewards to help you focus your progress.
SP Quests have three types: Equipment Quests, Timed Events, and Character Episodes
These are the standard SP Quests that give a specific type of reward
The first Equipment Quest is unlocked by reaching a point in the Story Missions (the end of the first chapter I think?). Each following quest is unlocked by beating other SP quests and unlocking more levels of each.
- No bonus (but helps unlock other SP quests)
- Cat Mecha boss
- Weapons 1 (Swords, Spears, Bows, Fists)
- Slumber Cat Boss
- Weapons 2 (Axes, Guns, Staffs, Books)
- Shroom Boss
- Accessories (Glasses, Necklaces, Muscles, Feathers, Earrings, Bracelets)
- Wood Golem Boss
- Dullahan Boss
- Gems 2
- Kitsune Boss
Weekly Timed Events
These events occur on specific weekdays only, and you may only complete Weeklies 3 per week. This means unlocking the highest level of each quest will take a couple weeks, so unlock while you can. Failing an event will waste your AP but does not reduce the amount of times you can complete that event for the day.
Times are all in Japanese Standard Time, not your local time. To see what time/day it is in Japan, use this clock.
The first character episodes, those for Laharl and Valkyrie, dropped just recently. Completing a character episode gives 10 Awakening Stones for that character (1/10th of the way towards a single awakening…) and some other rewards.
- Laharl’s Episode
- Beating the final quest gives 10 Laharl Summon Stones
- Valkyrie’s Episode
- Beating the final quest gives 10 Valkyrie Summon Stones
- Usalia’s Episode
- Dates: Feb 28th- March 30th
- Recommended level for final level: 100
- Some missions can drop Usalia Summon Stones at random (?), max of 100 (enough to summon her, but no Awakenings).
- This means by playing enough you can unlock Usalia without Gachapon during this event!
- The higher the level, the higher the Summon Stone drop rate. The final (20 AP) level drops them at about 50% chance.
Not sure when the Arena is unlocked yet, but it’s presumably a place to fight other people’s teams of characters. These are generally ways for whales to show off the fact that they wasted $5,000 a month on a mobile game.
Additionally, some basic menu translations for Makai Wars have been posted here! I’m in the process of making some graphics for the main menus myself.
4Koma Comics & Other Translations
Raw Images to Translate
If anyone has the skills and or time and wants to translate some parts of Makai Wars, here’s some raw image dumps:
Loading screen tips (likely incomplete)
The Japanese originals of the 4koma comics (Official site)
The Disgaea Wiki has a list (excluding Disgaea character generics) as well.
Haven’t really filled this in yet because oh my god there are too many with too many stats.
The non-Disgaea characters are actually from another Clover Lab game, Yurudora, which was localized in english as Ragna Quest.
Generics all come in one of each element. There are too many generics for me to list rn.
Characters Outside Typical Gachapon
Certain “boss” characters and other characters are not included in the “main” gachapon. I’ll list the
- Requires Prinny Ticket
- Earned in the Prinny timed SP Quest event
- Requires Prinny Ticket
- Requires Dragon Ticket
- 250 Tokens in the Token store
- Requires Dragon Ticket
- Requires Kitsune Ticket
- 250 Tokens in the Token store
- Requires Kitsune Ticket
- Dark Type generics
- Requires Dark Tickets
- Only one is in the main game, in Chapter 4.
- Two more can be bought as part of the Dark Package the game currently sells.
- This means it’s nearly impossible to get dark units.
- Requires Dark Tickets
Japanese Tier List
There’s an unofficial “Tier List” for Makai Wars on gamy.jp, a popular game wiki. It’s in Japanese but Google Translate is your friend. It contains some extra info on the story characters as well.
The Dark Thief generic has a passive that raises Mana earned.
Artina has a passive that raises Hell earned.
Stage 5-4-5 is recommended for early (60-80s) level grinding due to its layout and 4 boss characters .
The easiest place to get equipment is actually Story Mode for 4-5 star Equipment drops. Starting in 4-4-1, hard mode story levels will start to drop 4-5 star items and they’re beatable at a much lower level than the equivalent SP Quests would be.
Stage 4-5-3 (hard mode) is particularly good for 4 star Gems. The layout is a single Fire Dragon boss, very easily dispatched by any team who can make it to that level. It seems to drop a gem every time and a decent amount of experience (3,000)
Makai Wars FAQ
Q: I’m not earning AP over time!/ The Gachapon loads forever!
A: You have to be on Toyko’s Timezone (or JST, GMT+9) to recover AP and, as of the latest version, to use the gachapon.
Q: I can’t start a mission even though I have enough AP!
This is usually because you have too many equipped items, sell some in the Equipment menu, starting with your worst, least important items.
Q: I keep rerolling the tutorial Gachapon and I can’t get (X)!
A: The tutorial Gachapon is special and will only return one 3★ character, and it cannot be certain characters like Etna, Asagi, etc.
Q: I get a strange error message that says 504 and a bunch of Japanese
A: 504 is a Gateway Timeout error; basically your device couldn’t connect to the game, and the game is Always Online so it can’t continue. This may happen due to server issues at the game’s side, or internet issues at your side. There’s not much to do but keep trying, and try again later if it doesn’t clear up in a few seconds.
Q: How do I get Makai Wars if I’m not from Japan?
A: Japanese VPNs, APKs, stuff like that. There’s a lot of guides out there for similar games. I can’t personally help you there due to grey areas, but Google will probably get you started.
Q: Where is (Character)?
A: If they’re not in the game but in the title screen graphic, they’re sure to be added soonish. Otherwise, characters will likely be added to the game based on popularity. I’ve only listed characters currently in Makai Wars.
Q: When is Makai Wars coming out in English?
A: Between many months from now to never. There’s no official announcement of when or even if it’s coming at the moment. I asked NISA PR and (of course) it’s not officially planned, but these things are never known until they’re announced.
Character reference (Japanese)
Tristen – Some miscellaneous info to help get me started
Gamy.jp – Tier list and character info
/r/Disgaea Various minor info about Makai Wars