I thinking of starting Valkyrie Profile 2, since I've had it sitting on my shelf unplayed for too many years now. Do I need to worry about missing bigs chunks of the game again if I don't consult an FAQ, or can I just play it through it normally like any other game?
In addition to the above, you'll want to make a beeline for certain Sealed Stones since there are a lot of them and many are expensive to unlock since those
Magic Crystals generated during fights are the currency (i.e. those purple crystal thingies, not the purple orbs; they are counted at the end of a fight) and you'll be lucky to get more than 10 a fight without going for Direct Assaults. The Stones you'll want to make for are:
Sword Blessing (1.2* Attack to either side) 150 Crystals
Gold Blessing (1.5* Oht/Gold to player) 500 Crystals
Chasm Wrath (RDM & RST halved to either side) 4000 Crystals
Lifeforce Blessing (Doubles Healing to either side 2000 Crystals
Experience Friend Law (1/6th earned Exp distributed to non active party members) 4000 Crystals
Ore Blessing (Increases number of Purple Orbs to player) 4000 Crystals
Treasure Blessing (slows Extend gauge; makes getting Direct Assaults easier to player) 400 Crystals
Experience Pig Law (Doubles Exp gain + No Oth/Gold to player) 1200 Crystals
Gold Grubber Law (Triples Oth/Gold + No Exp gain to player) 1200 Crystals
Sharp Sword Law (1.5* Attack + RDM halved to either side) 2000 Crystals
Additional Stones that are situationally useful include:
Wrath of Forcefulness (Triple Attack + 1/5 chance to break a weapon to player) 500 Crystals
Sleipnir's Blessing (Evade Up to either side) 1500 Crystals
Gem Blessing (No Purple Crystals/Orbs + Increased Item Drop rate to player) 1000 Crystals
Holy Blessing (2* Holy Damage + Dark Damage Halved to either side) 1000 Crystals
Elusive Air Law (Cannot enter into combat by contact alone; you must strike with your sword first) 2500 + 10000 Crystals
Paper Tiger Blessing (1.5* Attack & Magic when HP is full to either side) 800 Crystals
Six Elements Blessing (+20% Elemental Resist to either side) 2000 Crystals
Desperate Soldier Law (1.5* Attack + Cannot Heal in battle to either side) 1500 Crystals
The general idea is that you'll want to go for things that can only really benefit the player (enemies have no need for Exp and Gold) and to eventually stack everything into Attack, Evade, and Elemental Resistance so that you can end fights as fast as possible (besides Reduce Damage becomes less useful as time goes on anyways, so why not completely abandon it to maximize your own DPS and work on turning yourself into dodge tanks).
As for what to do with your Einherjar, the quick and dirty rule is: Is s/he Kraad? If Yes, then stack up with the best gear you can buy, give him five levels, and dismiss him. If No, do not dismiss.
The reason for this is that most Einherjar can provide items or money to you during the course of the early game (up to about Chapter 5 depending on the Einherjar), however all said and done, most of them are kinda crap (although Mithra is kind of an exception, but only 'kinda' and there's the reason I'm about to go into). The real reason why you want to hold off on releasing your Einherjar is that when they depart they also give you a bunch of stat boosters based on their stats at the time of departure, these stats do not distinguish between bases and stats gained from equipment and later on in the game, some of that vendor fodder gets real good (the other reason is that Chapter 5 and onward is the Alicia/Rufus comedy hour, so having a couple of warm bodies around to fill the party is a good thing). As for Kraad, the dude hands you his Sword, the "Kraadicator" which is the best 2-H Sword you'll see for a long time to come (roughly Chapter 5 if you didn't bother with the gamebreaking bullshit).
That said, now
I'm in World 5 of Supra Mario (I was only in World 4 before).