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An Amateur Guide to Bungou Stray Dogs: Tales of the Lost

Hey my fellow intellectuals! If you didn’t know, the anime series by Studio Bones, Bungou Stray Dogs, is also available as a mobile game for both iOS and Android devices. Whether you’re a new fan of the series or an old one that has yet to discover the joys of this game, here’s an amateur guide to what it’s about.

The mechanics are fairly simple, shoot a marble around, kill enemies and clear levels. 

Yet, despite the game’s simplicity, it is 100% addictive because of its main attraction – scouting (which basically means it’s a gacha game). The main currency of the game is ability stones, or as most people call them, “moons”, and they can be spent to obtain characters from the series.

Characters come in different rarities: R, SR, SSR, UR -- in increasing order of rarity (you can refer below for a Dazai in each rarity). Most of the time, scouting gives R or SR characters, though our main aim is to get as many SSRs as we can. The maximum levels for each of the rarities are level 40, 60, 80 and 100 respectively. If you get duplicate cards, you can combine them to power up the skills of that character. Of course, you can also choose to sell duplicates which gains you “bungou points”, another currency in the game, albeit less precious, which you can exchange for other items. 


Besides that, there is also what we call “evolving” and “awakening”. Evolving basically means that you can add a “+” sign to the character’s rarity once they reach their max level. For instance, a level 50 SR character evolves to SR+, where it can they hit its max potential of level 60.

Awakening refers to a character completely graduating to its next rarity, usually for SSRs to URs. This happens when your SSR+ is at level 80, and it awakens to a UR. However, URs are an exception because the character does not continue on from level 80, but returns to level 1, and the character picture also changes. As a result, awakening characters are rare and can only be awakened when their respective events are released, such as the Akutagawa event below.

There will always be a permanent scout in which you can try to get your hands on the standard SSR characters from the ADA and PM. However, special timed events with deadlines are released frequently in which you can obtain exclusively-themed SSRs, for instance Halloween-themed characters or New Year’s characters where the characters are dressed for the respective occasions.

Another appeal of the game is that some SSR characters come with voice acting from the series’ VAs themselves, and some content is even exclusive to the game itself, the most notable example being the permanent Gakuen AU (basically, an alternate universe in which the characters are all students).

Of course, obtaining our coveted characters isn’t as easy as it sounds because they are "expensive" and it becomes increasingly hard to grind for moons when you level up. So how do we get moons? Basically: 

-   Completing main story levels
-   Reading through main story scenarios, which are basically condensed versions of the anime episodes (don’t worry though, a quick life hack is to just view one frame of the story and then click “skip”, and you still get your 1 moon)
-   Login bonuses every day, more if there are special events going on (essentially FREE moons)
-   Complete daily and weekly tasks on your roster
-   Since season 3 is still ongoing, you get a free 25 moons every Friday when a new episode is released!

If you’re super desperate, you can spend some moolah on moons (which I have regrettably done on 2 instances), but it’s not very cheap at all.

For myself, I normally save my stones for events and avoid spending them on the permanent scouts. It’s up to you to smartly ration your moons, because not every event released might have characters you fancy, so you can skip those and save up your moons for the next one! That being said, many people still participate in these events for the sake of completion.

But! If you’re as stingy as me, here’s a list of the kinds of abilities that exist for you to choose which characters are worth saving up for:

-    Nukes (deal a chunk of damage essentially, on either 1 or all enemies) – usually people’s favourites
-    Status effect cancellers or ability to inflict damaging venom on enemies for a certain number of turns
-    Attack boosters (think “bulk up” or “calm mind” from Pokemon)
-    Health recovery (useful for very hard battles)
-    Increasing the size and force of the marble, or allowing it to explode to clear more orbs
-    Increasing enemy turns (might be useful if you do not want to be attacked by strong enemies every turn)
-    Filling beatdown gauge (useful for prolonging the marble’s volley time)

Speaking of events, there are a few main types – points exchange system and drop events. For the points exchange system, you aim to gather as many event points as you can (from completing battles) to exchange for items and characters. Drop events are much more straightforward; when you defeat enemies, they have a chance of dropping suitcases which contain items or characters (see below). This does depend on luck though, because the drop rate for beginning players isn’t exceptionally high.


If you have a Twitter account, it might be useful to follow this account for daily updates:
Twitter: @bungotales

I don’t usually play mobile games because I’m a console kind of person, but I’m an absolute goner for this game because I’m head over heels for the anime. If you would like another way to destroy your life, download the game for free and watch yourself become an even more unproductive human being!

Side note: the picture used to be Dazai, but it's Shin Soukoku now after a recent update (the fangirl in me is quaking)

Written by Gin

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