The Lost Child is one of those first-person dungeon-crawling JRPGs where most of your party is made up of recruited monsters. In games such as these, there may be a tendency to abandon certain characters as you go along. Unlike a title such as Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux, where it is encouraged to keep on fusing creatures and recruiting ones in later areas that are very much superior to the early options, this game is more like Pokemon and can encourage you to stick with who you choose.
Part of this is because The Lost Child involves evolution, just like Pokemon does. Every Astral you can find, no matter if they are an angel, demon or fallen angel, has three forms. The base form is the weakest and probably the version of it you encountered in a dungeon and captured. After hitting certain level caps, you can head to the temple. There, you can pay a fee and improve it. By having these different forms, all of which are increasing in strength, you are giving Astrals an opportunity to remain competitive.
The skill swapping functionality is another way The Lost Child helps you keep the characters you like useful. As I mentioned before, Astrals use a Fruit of Wisdom system that is similar to the ones found in Romancing SaGa. When a character is used in battle, it may be inspired and learn a skill. If you have an Astral you really like, but you feel like it needs a different defensive, offensive or support skill, you can make that happen with a skill swap. All you need is another Astral with the ability you want and to visit the temple to make things work.
I felt like the way in which leveling works is and the Sub Astral system encouraged it further. Characters only gain skills from battles. You use karma earned from fighting or visual novel segment decisions to choose who you improve. This means someone you like a lot does not have to always be present to remain at the same level as the rest of your party. You just have to maybe do a little extra grinding to save karma for them. And, if you are in an area where their elemental attribute might put them at risk, you can just slide them into the back row. Only three Astrals are in the party at once, with Hayato able to rearrange them on the fly. It means they can still be accessible and on deck, but not in a position where there have no chance of success.
While it does mean a lot of extra work and grinding, there is a way to permanently improve characters’ stats, even if you already reached the Astral’s third form. All Astrals can be reset. This takes them down to the very first form and level one. They lose everything they have learned. But, the stat jump after a reset will be substantial. Before making this kind of drastic change, it is a good idea to swap out any valuable skills the character has learned at the temple. Place them temporarily on another Astral ally. Then, go ahead and reset. That way, you will be in a better place to regain those abilities and have an Astral who can stick with you.
The Lost Child gives people a chance to take Astrals they like and keep using them. This is not a game where characters can be transient. If you really like a particular character and are attached, it is possible to keep them around. You can shield them, by making them a sub-Astral. You can save karma to level them up, even if you do not have them on your current team. You can make sure they have the skills you want, by swapping them at the temple. You can even make sure they keep growing, either by ensuring they evolve or by taking the time to reset them to improve their base stats. You get chances to keep the characters around that you like, rather than being forced to give them up.
The Lost Child is available for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita.