There’s a lot to do in Stella Glow. In addition to the story missions, there are optional battles on the world map, battles that can be purchased with Play Coins that are slightly more difficult, and a surprising amount of Free Time. Yes, what you’re doing when they’re nothing really critical to conquer is as important as beating down monsters and minions.
Free Time is identified on Stella Glow’s “clock” by little dots. On the first playthrough, downtime is divided into three periods. Players have a number of actions that can be engaged in during this time and heading out of the city to grind isn’t an option. Aside from being a good time to shop at the weapon and orbs retailers, which doesn’t take any time, these blocks are there to socialize and tune.
Socializing is most important in Stella Glow. While someone can take on some optional odd jobs or search locations in the hopes of finding a unique accessory, time is better sent getting to know party members so you can unlock supplemental skills, work toward an ending, and of course bond with these virtual characters.
As much time as possible should be spent in the Knights’ Barracks. It’s here that people will gather during Free Time periods. With some late game exceptions, each character will be around during only one part of the day. For example, both Lisette and Mordimort, the water and earth witches, will always appear during the first Free Time block. Popo, the wind witch, shows up during the second. You’ll only find the fire witch, Sakuya, there during the last block. Getting to know the witches is critical, since it’s the only way to add additional songs to their repertoire. Spending as much time with Lisette as possible is recommended, since that’s the only way to have her learn a song that damages enemies on the first turn, then heals all allies on subsequent turns.
Once witches are getting to the last Knights’ Barracks conversation that will unlock the new song or skill, they’ll need Tuning. It’s then that a player has to spend one Free Time period in Stella Glow’s Tuning Hall to unlock the ability. This is done via a brief battle with specialized objectives. Sometimes, winning is as simple as getting Alto next to the witch in question. Other times, you have to defeat the enemies while also ensuring the witch is protected. The goals vary, but the end result is always an ability that will make battles a little bit easier.
That doesn’t mean all attention should be focused on the witches during Free Time. There is a “true” ending in Stella Glow, and it can only be unlocked by befriending one of the non-witch characters. For those who want that best ending on the first try, I recommend talking to the following character Klaus.
On additional playthroughs, time won’t be such an issue for Stella Glow, but you’ll find it’s at a premium the first run. I recommend picking one or two characters you really like and spending as much time with them as possible, then choosing someone else from the rest of the party once you’ve maxed out affection with your favorite characters.
Stella Glow is now available for the Nintendo 3DS.