Area: Mine 1 Area Clear Time: 1 Hour 20 Minutes S-Rank Target Time: 40 Minutes Character Requirements: Ranger x1 or Force x1
Mate conservation should be a priority, don't let yourself run out of them as if you're careless you'll consume them very quickly.
If you're forced to have one or the other rather than both, a Ranger is preferable to a Force as the cover fire and damage they provide outweighs the benefits of Shifta and Zalure. (At least this is how I feel about it.)
Be sure to designate a Mech HUcast before you begin the stage, as from this point forward Mechguns are possible to obtain. Mechs make the stages far easier, so try to use them as early as possible. Be prepared to do a Mag swap between the Hunter and Ranger if one should drop, and once one HUcast is able to use a Mechgun start pumping up the ATA of the other HUcast (if applicable) through Hit Materials and Mag feeding so that both can use Mechguns.
If you get a Sword, only use it against Gillchics and Canadines as they fall over and move around when hit respectively. Don't use them against Sinows as they're much faster and you're going to get hit if you use a slow weapon.
Forces get Jellen and Zalure as well as Zonde to start with, Zonde is particularly useful and Zalure should also be used when there are groups of enemies of three or more to not only give the Force EXP but expedite the killing process. Just beware as Zalure 3 does not have good range so it's necessary to get rather close to the enemies to use it...
This stage contains a great many Popup Traps. Unlike the Traps that hover in the air, these Traps are hidden underground and cannot be dispatched by a Droid until they are activated. To activate them one must merely move close to them which causes them to pop out of the ground and shoot a Technique, either Foie, Gizonde, or Gibarta. (Most commonly Foie.) Once they appear they can be destroyed in a single hit by either a weapon or Technique, so always stand ready to dispatch them so the team doesn't take damage.
Gillchic: Fairly easy to kill enemies, they fall over every time you hit them so unless you get surrounded by them or miss on a crucial hit you can kill them without taking damage. Beware if they start charging their laser blast, the Ranger should particularly watch for this and shoot any Gillchics before they can attack anyone with their laser. If you can't hit the Gillchic in time to stop the attack, simply circle around it from a distance and the attack will miss, don't run away in a straight line as the beam will hit you.
Canadine: There are two varieties of Canadines, the first will rise up into the air and then come down to ground level to try to damage you with sparks. These can easily be dispatched with whatever weapon suits you. The other type is more annoying, they stay in the air and target you with a mobile laser, then once they've locked on they'll shoot Zonde. While the attack is easy to avoid, Hunters cannot hit them while they're in the air. It's imperative for the Ranger or Force to knock them out of the air so the Hunters can kill them.
Sinow Beat: The most annoying and deadly enemy in the Mine stages. They don't get stunned as much as Gillchics and they attack rapidly, so dispatching them quickly is imperative. Using a Dagger or Mechgun is preferable, but if neither are available the Hunters should gang up on Sinows with Brands to keep them from attacking. Having a Ranger provide cover fire with N/N/N attacks to keep the Sinow from attacking is also quite useful. If you come across a Sinow that tries to clone itself, simply look at the colour of the clones' shoulders to determine which is the real Sinow: the real one has red shoulders, the clones have white. (Also the clones can't hurt you, even though they attack.) Note that Sinows come out of the floor in Challenge mode instead of dropping from the ceiling, when a new spawn appears look for shadows on the floor as that's where a Sinow is going to appear. If you're a Force especially make sure when a new spawn appears that you run around a bit to avoid having a Sinow pounce on you.
Sinow Gold: The same as Sinow Beat except when they finish attacking they jump back and cast Resta on themselves and nearby enemies. However this is a potential weakness, you can dodge their attacks and then run after them when they're trying to cast, then attack. If you attack while they're trying to cast Resta they'll continually get their animation interrupted and repeat it until they can cast the spell, giving you time to take them out without taking damage.
It's worth noting that Cananes do not appear in Challenge mode, so you don't have to worry about them.
The Force should collect boxes if desired, however it is not necessary to collect most boxes in the side rooms. The Ranger should detonate the Traps in hallways as well as be ready to shoot the Popup Traps. In the third room the Force should run to get the light switch so everyone else can kill the enemies. In dark rooms pay attention to the area map to see where there are enemies so you can run around them and not get hurt in the dark.
In the next room there's a Popup Trap puzzle, pressing the button near the laser fence causes it to open, but also summons Popup Traps. Have the Ranger or Force shoot/Zonde them, then proceed through the fence to hit the laser fence switch on the left, opening the barrier for the others to come through.
Two rooms after the U shaped room, the Force can collect the boxes as shown on the map while everyone else kills the enemies in the next room. There is also a Healing Ring, but it is protected by Popup Traps. If teammates wish to use the Healing Ring, the player with the most HP will need to enter first and dispatch the Traps to prevent anyone from getting killed before healing.
The map indicates moving straight through the final room, however there are Traps so it is better to run along the right edge of the room unless the Ranger has already dispatched them. Proceed to the next area.
This is a pretty straightforward area, in the second room one player (either Hunter or Ranger) should activate the yellow switch to open the door. Approaching the switch will cause Popup Traps to appear, but all players should quickly run to the next room rather than trying to destroy the Traps.
In the fourth room is another laser fence puzzle that contains Popup Traps, again step briefly on the button then retreat and destroy the Traps, then let one player through the fence to get the switch on the other side, letting everyone else through the barrier. Move to the next area.
In the fourth room the door can be opened by a button as shown on the map, however the player who moves towards the button will be bombarded by Popup Traps. It's not advisable to try to take them out, merely run around the perimeter of the laser fence to activate the button and get off the raised platform as quickly as possible. A Hunter or Ranger with the most HP should do this to avoid getting killed. In the next room the Force should again get the light switch.
Four rooms after the dark room is a room with four large computers in it. These computers are actually switches to deactivate the laser fence, hit the one shown on the map. It is directly to your right when you enter the room. They are pushed the same way as a normal switch to a laser fence. Move on to the next area.
This is a pretty brief area, clear the Traps in the second room and carry on to the warp. After taking the warp marked 1 on the map, players should turn around and proceed through the fake wall behind where the warp took them to head to the next area.
As shown on the map, the Force can collect the items after the team clears the second room. Dispatch the Traps in the U shaped room and the hallway after it. The Force should then activate the light switch in the next room. Ignore the Popup Traps in the next room, it is possible to run right past them and into the hallway without getting hit.
Players should only pursue the Healing Ring if the team desperately needs HP otherwise it should be ignored unless the Force desperately needs TP. (If this is the case, the Force should move to the Healing Ring alone while everyone else moves forward.) Avoid the Popup Trap in the second to last room, and once you've defeated the enemies in the room that follows, you've cleared Stage 5!