The Wonderful 101 is a new IP and many gamers might not know what they’ll be in for. As such, I’ve put together a short beginner’s guide to help you out through the first couple operations, as well as some tips that should help you pull through the game. And if you want to know if this game is worth buying in the first place, feel free to consult my handy-dandy review right here.
When you first start the prologue (aka Operation 000), in order to rescue the children you must touch each one by using the left analog stick to direct Will Wedgewood (aka Wonder Red) to them. Once that sub-mission is over with, jump over the wreckage using the A button until you hit the top of the bus. Press the Y button to dash forward until some blasts destroy the bus top, then immediately drop down and move forward until you come across the game’s first enemies (if you overshoot the dash, you will get hit by enemy fire/falling debris). Hit dash again to quickly run past those foes since Wedgewood can’t attack them just yet, completing the second sub-mission.
When Wedgewood finally transforms into Wonder Red, you can start attacking enemies with the A button. The key with these mooks is that when you leave them alone for too long, they’ll charge up an energy sword/charge attack that will inflict some damage on Wonder Red, so make sure to evenly attack them. There are two waves of three-men each and once you defeat both, the red barrier that prevents you from moving on will turn green, so dash past it. You’ll notice red circles surrounding Wonder Red and you move across the bus. Keep in mind that when you see these red circles in an area, something will be shortly dropping down, so make sure that your controlled character and party are clear of those areas. Collect your reward for the third sub-mission.
Jump off the bus with the B button when prompted. When the quick time event comes up, form the Unite Hand by drawing a circle with either using the stylus and GamePad, or by using the right analog stick, then hit A to confirm your shape and create the Unite Morph. The handy thing is that characters will shout the weapon that needs to be formed so simply pay attention and draw the corresponding shape. Once you perform a second quick time event by drawing a straight line to form the Unite Sword, you’ll jump back on the bus again.
Do not go near the fire straight ahead, instead take on the enemies that will appear in a few waves. You can use a Unite Attack with A or use the Team Attack with the X button. Of course the option of creating Unite Morphs are also there, so use this chance to get more acquainted with the battle system. Once the enemies are all gone the red circles will appear again so make sure your party is clear of them. The giant holes on the bus’s ceiling will let you drop down, so do so and collect the little yellow and red batteries, which will recharge your Wonder Energy gauge. Draw a Unite Hand and bust down the broken-looking door.
You’ll come across some downed citizens that need saving, and to do so you must imbue them with Wonder Energy by using an ability called the Wonder Liner. In this case, the game requires you to draw the Wonder Liner with the right analog stick, so try to draw a medium-sized circle around the citizens by first pushing up the right analog, then moving it in a circle. If done correctly, the citizens will revive and temporary join the party, until the entire Operation is finished.
Jump up on the wreckage leading to the top again and you’ll spot a lone person standing there, along with more distressed citizens. That perfectly calm loner is one of the hidden Wonder Heroes from around the world. There are a hundred in total and one of the secrets in the game is to try and locate them all. The game will let you pick how to draw the Wonder Liner around the whole lot to recruit, so experiment with using both the right analog stick and drawing a circle with the GamePad to see which one better suits you.
Now move forward until you’re ambushed by more enemy units. The best Unite Morph to use when surrounded is the Unite Sword, so form it and attack, then collect the next sub-mission’s reward. Once again, stand clear of the red circles, which will blow the connecter keeping the buses together. Here’s where you’ll see the flexibility of the Unite Morphs: you can extend a Wonder Liner to the end of the second bus and create a chain, allowing you to cross. This can be accomplished by using, once again, either input method. I strongly recommend the analog stick in this case, since the lines needed for them must be accurately drawn from all angles. You’ll need to repeat this process again so take the time to get used to forming the Wonder Liner, and P-Star even helps out by showing you what area to start from by sending a signal beam.
Dash forward until the bus reaches the end of the tracks, then use an ability called Unite Build to form another section of the tracks. Tilt the right analog stick forward until enough heroes are sent out, which completes the track section. Finally, summon forth the Unite Hand to clear Operation 000 and collect your reward.
Take the time to enter the Wonderful Mart, which can be accessed between every operation. This is where you spend your reward money, called O-Parts, earned from each sub-mission and operation. There are four categories of merchandise that can be purchased: Items, Unite Morphs, Custom Blocks and Skills:
- Items are consumable goods that can be used during battle by accessing the menu on the Input Panel. Items can be very handy for healing when your Vitality Gauge gets too low. Although there are infinite continues, too many continues will badly affect your ranking, which in turns decreases the overall reward for each sub-mission and operation, so don’t be afraid to use these health replenishing items. Certain other items can be very useful in battle but will drop you results score as well, so only use them if you’re having difficulty. Other items, like the Wonderful Dummy, are very useful if you want to preserve your ranking.
- Unite Morphs add more of these abilities to your arsenal. Before starting Operation 001-A, I would absolutely recommend purchasing the Unite Spring and Unite Guts. Unite Guts will come in very handy as soon as the first operation and is outright necessary in some enemy encounters/boss battles. If you can reflect enemy projectiles back at them, it can cause great damage, especially for foes with a thick armor plating or shield. It can also cause charge attacks to fail, which will result in the foe losing balancing, giving you an opening. Unite Spring will be very useful because some moves cannot be blocked by Unite Guts (for example: laser beams). By dodging an attack, the enemy leaves themselves wide open for a counter-attack and your party gains a brief invulnerability while dodging. Choose other Unite Morphs based on your playstyle.
- Custom Blocks customize your other abilities, such as Unite Morphs, so purchase ones that best fit your playstyle. For instance, if you want extra healing and you tend to have plenty of energy in the Unite Gauge, buy the Healing Guts block. If you’d rather set traps and increase your damage output, get the Dodge Mine block to be able to place mines in every spot that you dodge in.
- Skills are independent and give your team extra boosts in certain areas. I would recommend getting the Speed Liner skill once you have the money, because being able to quickly draw shapes during battle is pretty important. Any other skill choices are dependent on preference.
Here are some tips and tricks to help you out during the rest of the game:
- Any citizens that can be temporarily recruited will have “Help!” above their heads. Once you acquire them, they will aid you for the duration of the operation. Most can be obviously seen but others may be hidden away so look thoroughly.
- Find yourself having trouble with Normal Mode? Don’t be afraid to switch to Easy mode–it won’t affect your rewards, ranking, ending or anything else. You can change the difficulty between each operation, so if you decide to try out another difficulty at any time, the option is there.
- Team Attack, which is activated by hitting the X button, has all heroes in the party attacking the enemy at once. Team Attack is very useful because if enough allies use it, they start to stick on the foe and immobilize them, in what’s called a Climb Attack. This is a good strategy to use when you want to attack with the much slower moving Unite Form without being countered.
- If you draw a Wonder Liner perfectly straight and and angled corrected but it’s in the wrong area, use the left analog stick to move the line of heroes over until the chain/ladder/bridge forms.
- Pay attention to P-Star–if he emits a signal beam in an area, that means you should use the Wonder Liner or use Unite Build in that specific spot. If you need to make a Wonder Liner but P-Star doesn’t indicate an area, any place is fine to start in.
- In the Menu screen between operations, you can mix your own items using the Mixer. You’ll need the ingredients Space Peppers, Space Carrots and Space Eggplants in different amounts to create different items, which are all listed in on a chart on the side. Experiment and see what happens.
- Sometimes progress hints won’t be obvious, especially during boss fights. Instead pay close attention to certain words used in the text box or if another character (like Wonder Blue) is trying to get your attention. Sometimes this means that a certain Wonder Liner or Unite Morph must be performed at a specific point.
- Experiment with Unite Morph combos by learning the properties of each one and how they affect enemies. An example combo would be to knock a large enemy in the air with Unite Sword, switch to Unite Gun to juggle and inflict extra damage, then end it with a heavy strike from Unite Hammer. Test out different combos and create a new masterpiece.
- When you use a certain Unite Morph weapon a set amount of time, the weapon will learn new attacks that enhance its combos. And by stringing along hits into increasingly high combos, you can earn extra O-Parts.
- By pulling up the menu during an operation, you can select one of the various Wonder Heroes you located to be the squad leader. A squad leader is the one that control an Unite Morph, with each hero possessing their own set of stats. Using a Wonder Hero allows them to level up and improve said stats. These stats affect their performance during battle, so carefully look over them before deciding on a particular Squad Leader. All 100 heroes can be leveled up, not just the main plot important eight.
- Your sub-mission and operation rankings are affected by many factors like time taken to complete a mission, amount of damage taken, number of continues used, amount of damage dished out, number of citizens saved, whether or not you used certain items that lower your scoring and more.
Hopefully this guide was of help to anyone attempting to brave this brand new title. Feel free to comment with any questions, suggestions and/or concerns and I will answer them to the best of my ability.