You Can Complete Bravely Default Without Random Encounters.

By Eugene . December 9, 2013 . 5:30pm



Twitter user dol_goemon—who is a staff member at Dengeki Online—has completed Bravely Default: For the Sequel with random encounters turned off, he reports.


For those just getting caught up, Bravely Default: For the Sequel—or simply Bravely Default in the U.S. and Europe—has a random encounter slider in its options menu. By default, it’s set at 0%, which is the regular encounter rate. According to your preference, you can turn it up, going all the way to +100% for maximum grinding, or turn it all the way down to -100%, turning encounters off.


dol_goemon managed to complete the game on Easy difficulty with encounters turned off. Once they’ve accomplished this feat, players in Japan can upload their data to Square Enix’s website to be verified and placed in a Hall of Fame, which goemon did as well.


As reported previously, Bravely Default includes a Bravely Second feature, which lets you stop time to and deal more damage by spending Sleep Points (SP). In Bravely Default, SP can be charged two ways—by putting your 3DS in sleep mode (hence the name) or by buying SP Drinks using real money off the Nintendo eShop. dol_goemon says that he didn’t actually buy any Sleep Points, though, which means that he managed to beat Bravely Default from start to finish without random encounters and without having to spend money on DLC aids.


He also managed the impressive feat of clearing the game in 20 hours and 25 minutes.


This is important because it shows an incredible understanding of the changing times on the part of the game’s development team. Not everyone has the time—or patience—for random encounters or to grind in RPGs, and in Bravely Default, it looks like they won’t have to, provided they play smartly enough.


At any rate, if you’re the sort who wants to try for a no-encounter playthrough, it looks possible now. Get to it, Europeans! Meanwhile, America will get their shot starting February 7th, 2014, when Bravely Default releases in the U.S.

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  • Slayven19

    All I wanna know is if were getting the collectors edition or not. Really I just want to play the game which is what I will keep repeating until that time.

    • Jero

      If you mean america, yes we are getting a collector’s edition. Though it doesn’t have the figurine but it’s way cheaper.

      • Go2hell66

        and the figurine is butt ugly and overpriced so your not missing out on anything

        • Atopanda

          I bought the collectors edition for £80 and I think the figurine is actually rather nice, yeah I was a little disappointed it wasn’t in the style of the actual game but it still looks great.

  • Tatsuya Fabre

    Random encounters are such a lazy design choice in modern gaming. Final Fantasy and Tales already abandoned the system and they’re all the better without them.

    • KoRLumen

      If you think about it like that, then the default attack is pretty lazy, too. That said, I’m of the opinion that both were meant to be throwbacks to retro JRPGS.

      EDIT: Though it could very well be the case that that’s only an excuse for implementing a lazy design. Either way, I don’t mind it.

    • Preference really.

      • luckgandor

        Which is why the option of having them on or off is so great.

        • TheRealMalek

          I agree, i prefer my games harder/stressfull but being able to do it “the fast” way is also nice.

      • Fox

        Random encounters only ever existed due to technology limitations.

        They persisted for so long due entirely to “tradition.”

        You can achieve everything random encounters can with visible field enemies and more, making random encounters an objectively inferior mechanic. There are approximately zero valid arguments in favor of fully randomized encounters in this day and age.

        And “by this day and age,” I mean “more than the past decade”.

        • Enzo

          I disagree due to the fact that random encounters are by nature a totally different thing than visible field enemies.

          I think visible enemy encounters fit ARPG’s much better than the “take turn” RPG. However, visible enemy encounters do have its advantages over random encounters, which is obvious. But you probably don’t know that much about random encounters vs visible encounters to think that there aren’t drawbacks to visible encounters and strengths to random encounters.

        • gquain

          I am a legitimitate grinder and I have to say that even though the concept of random encounters are rather oldfashioned by nowadays standards, they aren’t without benefits.

        • Aaron K Stone

          Surprise element.

    • Shane Guidaboni

      I don’t mind them when the time between battles isn’t every 2 steps. Non-random battles can be just as annoying when you have an enemy chasing after you that is hard to avoid anyway. I still think Earthbound did it best.

      By the sounds of it, this seems like the best compromise if random battles are to exist in the game at all

      • DesmaX

        Constant random battles and hardly-avoidable non random battles are both poor design choices

      • PreyMantis

        Why don’t more games adopt Earthbound’s mechanics? Enemies staying clear off of you when they know you’re strong enough to beat them in one hit or two/ you’ve beaten the boss in that area; run away from a fight when scared, etc.; and what has to be the best thing to ever happen in RPGs, the insta-win which is such a great feature and takes the pointless fights out of the way by giving you the experience without going to a pointless battle scene with a weaker enemy.

        • Shane Guidaboni

          Exactly! It’s perfect. Oh, you’re stronger than these weak enemies now? They’ll run away and you can avoid them, or you can fight them; either getting advantage, or winning the battle instantly. Any game that has visible enemies should have this system implemented.

          • MrTyrant

            Some hentai games rpgs have it =)

          • British_Otaku

            Do you mind naming any of those games?
            For research purposes of course…

        • Daniel Jeanbaptiste

          Xenoblade Chronicles is only one today that does it

        • SolarisSpell

          I think you can also find that in Ni No Kuni, where enemies are visible and run away from you.
          Normally it depends on your level, but some enemies are cowards by nature and run instantly while others are bold and charge against you even if that means their obliteration

        • fairysun

          Some JRPGs have it. I know Star Ocean: The Last Hope use that mechanic.

          • PreyMantis

            Insta-win, surprise attacks, and enemies that can call their companions and can come or runaway during a battle as they please?

          • FlyingPony

            That would be annoying if you are grinding, because if they running away, you didn’t get any exp or item.

          • PreyMantis

            That’s why I said to copy Earthbound’s mechanics because in Earthbound, these are fairly rare and the only really weak enemies run away from you. And with the insta-win feature of the game, it just skips the battles against these weak enemies completely and just gives you the exp and items. But why fight really weak enemies that gives little exp, anyway, when you can just fight stronger ones for more exp? This is why Earthbound’s battle mechanics is still the best around.

        • Aristides

          Well modern persona games have enemies run away from you if you’re a certain x level higher than them and you don’t have to battle them unless you deliberately attack them. Even when you do they’ll be dazed and the auto attack will kill them practically instantly unless thy’re immune to physical attacks.

          • PreyMantis

            Right, and if they only have insta-win, like in Earthbound, they would be a lot more amazing (not that I’m saying they aren’t great already).

    • brian

      No lazier than on screen enemies, and even then some random battles (Wild Arms) are done very cleverly.

    • PreyMantis

      Buy yourself a bunch of Max Repel. :P

      • Bigabu Beaze

        No cast Estoma instead.

    • MrTyrant

      Trails too…well you could always saw the enemy and fight them if you wanted like in the latest Tales of. There is a bit of griding but that’s because some bosses are hard and challenging that is obligatory to do some battles to gain money/exp/etc. Also doing sidequest is rewarding plotwise.

      But I think there is a merit of fighting some enemies aside from obligatory bosses.

    • Jirin

      Eh, I agree random encounters aren’t the best but I don’t think what they replaced them with is better. Field encounters are either avoidable and thus trivialize the challenge of getting through dungeons, or they move faster than you and are possibly more annoying than random encounters.

      If you prefer the approach that dungeons should be a survival challenge, then random encounters work better. Unless you have some kind of situation where avoiding them is possible but difficult, but I’ve never seen that accomplished. I suppose games where enemies move faster than you but you can stun them like Lufia 2 and Tales of Symphonia sort of pull it off.

      • FlyingPony

        Just find the middle ground, by making some of the visible enemy move slow and some move faster so they won’t always caught the player. Make the field large enough to make escape possible, but not too large so you can always escape.

        In addition, I prefer field encounters because I can see the enemy far ahead, study their walking path (like patrolling from A to B), their movement, speed so I know when and how to run away from them.

        Sure I will get caught sometimes, but I can tolerate minimal number of battles. Heck, there is no way someone can walk through a dungeon filled with beast and come out unscratched.

        Field encounters is a lot better than random encounter where nothing can be done to avoid it..

    • Chaos_Knight

      So…..explain Pokemon then.

      • Daniel Jeanbaptiste

        well you have Repels, the move Sweet Scent and item Hony and Pokeradar.

      • Arrei

        *points to Zubats*

      • Aaron K Stone

        You can avoid grass.

    • Samsara09

      thank goodness.I would say lazy,for they allow the developers to say a game is “30 hours long” when,if not for the encounters being random,it would be 25 hours or less.
      Those “two steps,one battle” kinda of random encounter is what pisses me somewhat on classic rpgs.This is my only issue.As long as the encounter rate is just and the exp given is good,I don’t mind it.But yeah,being able to choose your encounters,or to see what it is you are facing,is a great thing.

    • Wappuli

      While I do like visible enemies more than random encounters in general, they do have their own negative sides.
      In pretty much all games with visible enemies, the respawn rate is really slow, or they don’t respawn at all if you stay in the same area. This can make grinding more tedious than it needs to be as you need to keep changing rooms or leave/re-enter a dungeon altogether.

      • FlyingPony

        That can be overcomes quite simply by make the spawning time quicker..

    • FlyingPony

      I’d prefer the visible encounter as well, where you can see the enemies on map and can choose to avoid them. It also interesting when the enemies is chasing you and you running away to avoid entering battle mode.

      A lot better than the constant surprise attack and being slowed down by many unavoidable battles, when I am on rush.

  • Suicunesol

    Excuse me? The game can be played without any random battles? None at all? So how do I gain enough levels to have a decent party?

    What does this say about the difficulty of the game overall? I hope this is not a bad sign. Yes, I know he said Easy mode. But that easy mode must be ridiculously easy.

    • TeddyAltman

      I think the implication is that he didn’t level grind at all. Probably only leveled up on bosses and mandatory encounters and stuff. Maybe play the game on hard mode?

    • Ren

      You should probably note that he played on easy difficulty. Also, as far as I know, mandatory battles still give experience.

      He basically did a lowest level run, like those people that play FFX without touching the Sphere Grid.

    • Daniel Gulyas

      It’s possible to beat Final Fantasy 9 at level 1. It doesn’t mean Final Fantasy 9 is an easy game. Challenge playthroughs are there for a reason. I doubt the average player will be able to beat the game, even on easy, without random encounters.

      • Suicunesol

        Well, I’m sure that possible. It’d probably be pretty damn difficult, though.

        This case, though? Given recent trends , I’m going to be pessimistic and bet that the average player will be able to easily beat the game without random encounters. On easy mode. They did do a survey, after all, that proved most players weren’t able to complete their game.

        • Daniel Gulyas

          I’d lean in the opposite direction personally. It’d be like most JRPGs in that there’s the classic, normal way of beating the game with a smooth leveling curve. You can do extra grinding if that’s your thing, or you can try to buckle down, understand how the combat and resource management works, and beat the game at a far lower level than the game was intended. There are a ton of other examples you could point to actually where a game’s mechanics allow you to win severely underleveled. That said, difficulty balance adjustments are always tricky, so maybe they didn’t do a great job. It’ll be hard to tell until we play the game ourselves.

    • ChirotheHiro

      He probably used SP quite a lot. All you need to do is put the 3DS to sleep after all.

  • TeddyAltman

    This is the best thing to happen to the random encounter system ever wow.

  • Detrimont

    encounter at 100%, speed at max, leveling up takes no time at all

  • Mimi

    maybe im not getting something but how is it possible to obtain anything and therefore move forward in the game if you dont have random encounters?

    • PreyMantis

      Plot points and story-based battles.

    • Arcana Wiz

      he seet the difficulty to easy, and only fought the battles to advance story, and abused a spot/streetpass feature.

  • Jirin

    Only game I’ve ever done that for is Lufia 2, beat it with no unnecessary-to-advance fights,

    I think this is a good idea, but it does imply that random encounters are trivially difficult and not a survival threat. If random encounters are going to be non-threatening and easy it’s awesome to be able to avoid them, but if there’s no chance of dying from them no reason to have them in the game in the first place. If random encounters are only there as grinding busywork I’d rather just leave them out completely and instead of making you grind to gain levels, let your stats scale up naturally.

    In other words, if the player gets full control over how many or how little encounters he faces, levels should have far less impact on your strength, so you can avoid them and not worry about being strong enough for the bosses. (And I don’t consider SP a good compromise for that because it feels like cheating).

    I’m not going to turn encounters down to 0, maybe -50%. But sure as hell won’t use any cheat points.

  • MrTyrant

    Well I’ll turn the battles on…I mean I respect the designer enough to watch their monster models haha and don’t get me wrong I have little time too but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to fully enjoy my time little by little with all that the game have to offer.

    • J_Joestar

      Well i’d say a no-encounter/super low-level run is really more of a 2nd or 3rd playthrough thing for most people so they could have seen all of the designer’s works before already.

  • AndreasStalin

    I actually enjoy the battles in jrpgs. Even with low level enemies its often fun just to play around with the battle system and see what happens, and I also like grinding for cool attacks and spells. I enjoyed the hell out of Star Ocean 4’s battle system with the blindsiding and rush attacks.

    I imagine it can be quite satisfying to play through a tough RPG with a low level party but there’s just so much cool stuff you miss out on then. Better save those low level runs for multiple playthroughs.

  • Best video game invention next to custom difficulty, and I don’t know or recall if this is the first game to have it, but I appreciate it nonetheless.

    We all like to fight some monsters, but when you just want to move on but have to fight through(or flee) a million random encounters shit can get really damn tedious. Also surprisingly neat replay value I feel. I might try that on a second playthrough~

    • Wappuli

      Final Fantasy 8 let you cut down the encounter rate or turn them off completely, but not make them more frequent.
      I also have a vague memory of some PS2-game that had slider like Bravely Default.

  • SlickRoach

    When I get this game I’m going to turn the encounter rate up to 100% to turn it into a Dragon Quest simulator.

    • 3PointDecoupage

      I think you mean Shin Megami Tensei.

      • SlickRoach

        Ah, yes. Or the original Persona as well comes to mind.

  • Dominic Hunter

    I… Don’t know how I feel about this.

    It’s WEIRD to see that the developers implemented a feature that allows you to complete the game BY PLAYING IT LESS. That’s supposed to be FUN, man. If you acknowledge that random encounter grinds are a pain in the butt, why wouldn’t you put effort into making them more enjoyable? THAT’S how you’re supposed to “move with the times”. Hey, Hideo Baba figured it out — I LOVE grinding in “Tales” games.

    • Armane

      That’s not really what this is about. This guy abused Summon Friend, which summons people you have streetpassed/spotpassed to do a move they have sent using the Summon Friend command in battle. Judging from some of the people I have spotpassed, the most obvious use of the feature is to send/receive special moves. With a few high level special moves, especially if they are attuned to the bosses weakness, you could probably stomp every boss within the first turn.

      • To clarify, no, he didn’t use the Summon Friend feature at all.

        • Armane

          That’s even more impressive then.

    • Chip

      Given its a mobile title, it makes sense to adjust the frequency to amount of time you have to devote to grinding.

    • RablaAndrews

      Some people have fun grinding, leveling up, building characters and equipment setups.

      Some people have fun playing through a story, with minimal distractions from said story.

      • Herok♞

        This exactly, my friend plays the persona series for the social links, while I only do the link out because you have to power up personas

  • ThunderGod_Cid

    Or they could show the enemies running around on the field like in Chrono Trigger, Grandia, Xenosaga, Xenoblade, FFXII/FFXIII, Radiata Stories, most of the Tales games,etc. etc.

    • The problem with that approach is that it generally doesn’t matter. Even if you can see the enemies, oftentimes they beeline for you so fast that you can’t really do anything to avoid them anyway.

      (It’s not an issue of reflexes either, I’m a danmaku veteran, but your character generally doesn’t have the speed to get away from a monster encounter quickly enough)

      • Arrei

        In such a case that just means it wasn’t implemented very well. For example, in Xenoblade you can see and avoid any enemy, even if they get close enough to initiate combat due to the combat mechanics, and in the 3D Tales games you can either stun enemies with good timing or outrun them with the speed boosting Winged Boots or Noishe, in the case of Symphonia and its crack-fiend world map enemies that make a direct beeline for your character that you cannot possibly outrun on foot..

      • Samsara09

        this is rather unusual…I only remebered seeing this on ni no kuni.

    • Chip

      Some people do enjoy random battles, but simply don’t want them every other step (Final Fantasy IX was a major offender).

    • Arcana Wiz

      like i said above, this game intends to please those who wants a old school rpg where it had random encounters, more specifically those who asks for FF return to its roots. And to please those who dont like random ecounters they made this system of difficulty and adjusting encounter rates.

    • Primus

      the game design wasn’t made to show enemies running around on the field. The dungeons especially, since they are narrower.

  • HansKaosu

    I turned the encounter rate to 100%.. im 14 hours in and still on chapter 1. loving this game.

  • Go2hell66

    The friend summon and abilli-link system is broken, makes any boss a piece of cake

    • Jero

      Don’t use them? I hate when people say things are “broken” when they’re totally optional, like you can just ignore them.

      • Suicunesol

        Players like him and myself don’t like to “make-believe” a challenge when there is none. I’m not going to pretend that a boss is tough when, with even the slightest extra effort, I could take it down in seconds. It breaks the world and the atmosphere that the game has worked hard to create for the player.

      • Wappuli

        Pretending that it isn’t there doesn’t make it any less broken.

        • Jero

          But games also has to be accessible to new players, you can’t just slap a really though boss in your game with out giving new players a way to beat it. I’ve read that lots of people struggle against the game and those features help them to get through the game, as broken as they may be. I think they’re not created with the hardcore player in mind but the new player who gave this game a shot and “oh man its really hard”.

          • Wappuli

            Well now you’re defending something unrelated, I never said anything about if it should, or should not be in the game.
            But a broken mechanic is broken, no matter to who it is desingned for.

          • Jero

            It was for suicunesol but I missed the button, it’s not that you should pretend that it isn’t there it’s just it exists for a reason and that is that newer players will find the game too hard and they need this overpowered moves to get through it, I don’t see any problem in having this. Plus it does have restrictions, and in the late game when the tougher bosses appears they’re no use since you already do 9999 damage. And it’s an RPG you can break it just by leveling.

  • Cameron Ward

    so wait…do you still fight monsters or you literally just go from dungeon to dungeon to fight a boss and thats it?

    • Jero

      You only play mandatory bosses (he probably didn’t even made the subquests). Though boss fights require strategy and planning rather than just attack with all four every turn. You can select how many monsters you want to fight in the dungeons if it isn’t clear (none(-100%) – few(-50%) – normal(0%) – lots(+50%) – pls leave me alone(+100%) )

      • Cameron Ward

        okay now i get it, but still…why not have visible enemies in the first place? I mean, DQ7 on the 3DS is getting that..

        • Arrei

          Some part of the game design was intended to hearken back to ole school RPGs, so there’s that.

        • Chip

          Doing that requires heavily scripted battles setups, which can get boring for grinds, where as random battles can provide more variety.

        • Arcana Wiz

          this games intends to cater the old school rpgs fans, those who crave for a FF returning to it roots.

          • Cameron Ward

            I get that, but alot of old school RPGs have had visible enemies. maybe not as many as the ones with random battles, but still

          • Jero

            I recall the producer specifically saying that they chose random battles because old school RPGs like FFI – FFIX, not DQ or shin megami tensei. Plus the game is huge and i don’t know a lot about this but random battles are easier to generate (in comparison to visible encounters because they have to move in a certain pattern) so it’s easier to make random battles plus it gives the old FF vibe~.

          • Arcana Wiz

            but it’s more for the old school Final fantasy fans… there was a interview where they said that this game was inspired from the older games, so it has many elements form the snes/ps1 era from SE games like jobs, random encounters, turn based combat, etc.

  • Go2hell66

    ummm slightly off topic but if anyone needs FC’s to rebuild the village

    My FC

  • Isaac Sanchez

    We need more FF games!

    • J_Joestar

      i think we have more than enough of those at the moment…

    • smashbrolink

      Realistic graphics have become overrated lately, especially in RPG’s.

      • exactly: scru the graphics, i want better gameplay, and this game looks to deliver, plus the graphics in game for this title are pretty awesome :)

  • Virevolte

    I’m doing the exact opposite. Hard mode and tons of random encounters.
    I like to level up the jobs.

  • That’s a neat idea. I wish the Morlia Gallery in Tales of Phantasia had that!

    • Brandonmkii

      I purposely got into fights there to EXP grind. Killing dinosaurs with no arts, like a boss.

  • Aristides

    Question, if you don’t have random encounters then how exactly do you engage enemies in battle? Pre-scripted battles?

    • ChiffonCake

      If you turn the slider down to -100%, you won’t be fighting any normal enemies at all. Only scripted battles should happen, yes.

      In other words, it’s like doing a low-level run, but without having to run away from every battle, because they’re not happening in the first place.

      • Aristides

        I see, so is there any fear of being under leveled when you get to a scripted battle? Like is the game balanced for that? I’m curious how this plays because it’s an interesting twist tho the game mechanics. Its pretty much an anti-thesis really.

        • Virevolte

          If you’re not in Easy Mode, I assume it’s the case. You can run into a scripted battle that you can’t win.
          But if you lose, you can reload and change the difficulty. However, it’s a little sad to not do any battles. The job system nearly loses all its meaning.

  • Pockystix

    While I still prefer the way the Chrono and now DQ handle encounters (as in seeing them visibly on the map, for you to avoid or hunt) I like this method very much. It shows how far you can take what are essentially old systems, and make them feel new and inventive again.

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