Is That a TREE Coming Toward Me?
In your portmantu you can create the spells you will use in the mission by dropping the proper ingredient into a talisman of one of three classes (thus each ingredient can form three different spells depending on which talisman it is placed into.) As you gain more experience, you can boost your life, mana, and summon limit statistics, though the amount of experience points it takes for each extra point in a stat begins to exceed tolerable levels after some time.
In each map, scattered around, you'll find "power-ups." These include one-time use talismans and spells, summonable creatures, food (to heal you), and mana sprites to regain partial mana in a hurry. The proper strategic usage of these elements is crucial to success in the game.
As you progress through the levels of the game, you'll incounter obstacles of increasing difficulty (or insane difficulty, depending on how good at the game you become.) You'll encounter multiple wizards at once, a large number of mana points to control, too few mana points to control, "stealth" missions in which it is guaranteed that at some point you'll lose your disguise, and you'll face wizards with extremely powerful spells (apocalypse anyone?)
In a typical mission, after entering the map, it is wise to avoid the enemy wizard at all costs. In my experience, I'd run around the map dodging the enemy entirely and head right for the mana pads. As I moved to control each one, I'd allow my mana to fill up then challenge the wizard head-on with fireballs, dragon's breath, or whatever my best offensive spell was at the time. Meanwhile, it's wise to keep traveling around the map and picking off any of the enemy's summonlings that are headed for a mana pad. Keep in mind that the AI is pretty good, so you'll frequently be tricked out of the "perfect plan."
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