Reproduced from 666’s post on guide thread 6, this is a strategy guide interspersed with specific examples, aimed at beginners.
Some spoilers are mixed in, so be aware of that before reading.
This guide is aimed at players who absolutely do not want to meet a Bad End.
Note: This guide is primarily for the Xbox 360 version. Additional passages which should be taken into account for the PS3 version are highlighted in red."Idolmaster 2 guide for amateurs by an amateur"
[Translation note: the original uses the term “ド下手” which is along the lines of “completely and utterly unskilled”. We have translated this as “amateur” which we think carries similar connotations even though it’s not quite the same thing. Also, the strategy in this document is not perfect - if you're reading it as a skilled player, take the advice with a huge grain of salt. However, it remains a good way to get started if you have absolutely no idea what to do!]
While I was still an amateur, I came up with this method for other amateurs - a technique to get a True End.
Be prepared to throw this play-through away... but don't lose heart. The main purpose is accumulating the equipment and know-how advantageous for later play-throughs.
Choose your leader from these three: Miki, Takane or Hibiki.
The point of choosing these girls is to get the Beyond the Stars costume.
In the PS3 version, the conditions for getting this costume have changed to require clearing the game with each of the three as leader. Because of this, you should substitute this for the costume with similar abilities, Princess Melody♪, which can be obtained by clearing the Extra Episode.
Recommended reporters: Kanamaru Taizō, Yamahara Tarō
Divide the schedule roughly half-half between normal promotion + lesson and stage performances. Do vocal, dance and visual lessons in turn.
For lessons, first, while getting accustomed to doing lessons, determine which of the lessons you are the best at.
Basically, becoming being able to get the BONUS at normal lessons is the best thing. For stage performances in this play-through, think about nothing except for hitting Perfect.
Watch the appeal circles and just put everything into focusing your eyes on them. “When it gets to the circle’s circumference, immediately hit the button.” That’s all you should be thinking. As for which buttons to hit, hitting -- (X-Y-B on Xbox 360) in order should be fine.
As for how to choose the stage performance, go with:
However, just on the week of the song’s release, you should take a low difficulty national audition.
The first battle against Ryuugu Komachi is a certain loss. Therefore, it is a perfect chance to practice using the “memory bomb”. The usage is the same as normal appeals, just stay focused and press Cross (A). And then, by using the memory appeal, watch what happens to you and your opponent’s status up the top. Amateurs like you and me can’t look at it for just that moment...
After losing this battle, the unit enters Strained status, but choosing the new song, then performing promotion and a Perfect clear of a lesson, and finally succeeding at evening communication, this will be recovered. (In the PS3 version you don’t need to worry about this, the unit status will recover from Strained as soon as the next week comes.)
In the second battle against Ryuugu Komachi, it is possible to win... but keep in mind that it’s okay to lose as even if you lose, there is only Hell Training. If you do get Hell Training, the rest of the game becomes easier. At this point in the game there is basically no drawback to doing it. If it comes at this point, I think your memory level will become 2 or higher, allowing the use of 2 memory appeals.
At this point it’s time to remember another fundamental: “After using a memory appeal, press L1 (LB on Xbox 360).”
By doing this, while changing the character performing the memory appeal, use memory appeal again. With memory appeals, if the same character uses them consecutively, the effect is fairly weak.
When the burst appears, hit R1 (RB on Xbox 360) and practice hitting the buttons which appear in turn during the burst appeal.
In conversations with Ritsuko, naturally, give the responses which are the most likely to please her (the most decent responses.)
When the second half of the game comes, the real preparation for the next play-through begins.
From those weeks of promotion + lesson up to now, you should have a reasonable amount of money saved up. But, in preparation for the next play-through, you want to leave yourself with around 200,000 money. So just like in the first half, continue to build up your funds.
Now, depending on which lesson you find yourself to be the best at, keep watch on the respective area of the map:
Wait for stage performances to appear in this area. When one appears, immediately choose it, and be sure to buy the amulet there when you get the chance after the performance.
Also, with your accumulated funds, buy from a shop as expensive an accessory as you can get (without, of course, leaving yourself short changed for the next play-through!) Ignore costumes for now. Do the visit to the shop in the place of a lesson.
Now, most likely, all you amateurs like myself will find yourself unable to make the IA selection. But don’t worry! I don’t worry either! After all, you do get some help.
More important than that is not to make the idols cry. Important for this purpose are the 5 weeks starting from week 35. On week 35, you should be close to selecting your 5th song. At this point, choose your leader’s “personal song”.
And, on weeks 35, 36 and 37, perform a quintet live. What you want to make sure of here is, without fail, to choose Ritsuko for one of the lives.
Then, on week 38, take a national audition.
Now, if you look at the rankings after this, if you’re lucky, you might jump to an unbelievable position in the charts. This is a “super break”.
For those of you who are unlucky, from week 48, repeatedly challenge festivals and aim for a “break”.
If either of these occur, you will almost certainly land yourself in the Top 10. With this, you won’t be making your idols cry on your first play-through.
After this, you can play the rest of the game however you want. Even if you lose against Jupiter, it’s fine to wind back the clock and retry it as many times as you want.
Now, from here on is the real deal. The route to take once you have the necessary accessories and sufficient funds built up.
With your play up to now, you should have gathered together the most suitable amulet for yourself, as well as the Beyond the Stars / Palace of Dragon outfits and some good accessories.
You don’t need the Sugamo amulet you might have heard about! As for why, that amulet is aimed at advanced players who are able to watch the opponent’s status during stage performances!
This time around, basically, we won’t be using “leave it to the idols”. We will just use it on the high level Utahime-Utaōji festivals.
In the PS3 version, take note: the Utahime-Utaōji festivals cannot be left to the idols!
Once the tutorial section of the game is over, the main game finally starts.
For clothing selection, choose the costume with the highest stats in the lesson you are the best at. Use the same criterion to choose your accessories and also equip the amulet you purchased on the first play-through.
Recommended reporters: Koshiba Tōru (first half), Ariake Jin (from around the third song onwards), Yamahara Tarō
For the song, go with a genre which you won’t be particularly good at yet: songs which are not the personal songs of your idols.
At this point, you should be doing the following:
What you want to be careful about here is where you should focus if paid promotions are available in more than one area. As much as possible, from the 6 areas available, you should try to build fans in just 2.
Ignore the capital area, it’s not needed. As for why, it’s because the capital area does not affect the ending. The capital area is just for doing shopping and lessons.
As for lessons, concentrate everything on your specialisation. In my case it is dance, so dance lessons only. Taking a minimum of two auditions is for the purpose of hitting high scores for your song. The highest score you get before release is directly connected to the CD sales.
Learning the fundamental of appealing your specialisation
Now, from here, like an amateur, it will help to be conscious of getting reasonable scores. Due to the practice from the first play-through, you should have become able to chain some combos together!
Firstly, the place to look is the bottom right of the circle for your specialisation. If you look here, you should see the current multiplier.
At the start of the performance, start by continuously appealing the ability to the left of your specialisation (e.g. if your specialisation is in dance, you should appeal vocal.)
By doing this, the multiplier for your specialisation will steadily increase.
When your specialisation’s multiplier becomes 1.5, switch to appealing your specialisation.
When your specialisation’s multiplier drops to 1.4, switch back to appealing the one to the left until it has become 1.5 again.
As you get used to this, the lower limit of 1.4 can be raised to 1.45 to gain more score.
Just by continuing this, you should be able to steadily gain points.
At this point, choose a personal song of one of the members of the unit and, if possible, one which does not match your specialisation.
Around this point, start to pay attention to the IA area awards.
Firstly, in the preparatory period (weeks 19 and 20), take an audition or two. On week 22 as well, take a national audition.
Then, after the song is announced, in the regions you were promoting earlier, hold a couple of normal (non-quintet) lives. After this, two weeks of paid promotion + lessons.
Now, were you able to break into the Top 20? You should have. How are lessons going? You should be passing Image Level 10 any time now. How is the fan count in your target areas? The numbers are pretty good, aren’t they?
Let’s evolve appealing your specialisation
“I don’t get the kind of scores I expect by just appealing my specialisation.”
Of course. Another fundamental begins here.
First, remember which song you chose (S4U! mode is good for this)
Next, look at the List of Songs, and discover where the last appeal rests for the song you chose. By using S4U! mode you can confirm the last appeal for your chosen song too, by trial and error. In the real stage performance, right before the last appeal, press R1 (RB on Xbox 360.)
By doing this burst appeal right at the end of the song, the number of appeals you get will effectively increase.
If all goes well, you should be able to get nearly 40,000 points. Any stage performances outside of the Top 20 should be a walk in the park.
Here as well, choose a personal song of one of the members of the unit and, if possible, one which does not match your specialisation.
Your aim at this point is the IA area awards.
Shouldn’t the areas you’re focusing on be showing 100,000 fans about now? Or perhaps you already have more than that? By getting over 100,000 fans in an area, a festival called Utahime-Utaōji will appear (it will have an orange border like national auditions.) If it hasn’t appeared yet, concentrate harder on those areas to get them over 100,000.
When an Utahime-Utaōji festival appears, you want to clear it. The difficulty level is high so just do your best and be prepared to reload from your last save.
Once you finish an Utahime-Utaōji festival in an area, that area no longer matters, so just leave it alone and move onto another area.
While producing the 4th song, you want to finish about two areas.
At this point, choose the personal song for your final member.
When the preparatory period starts, hold some quintet lives and clear them successfully.
Continue this for three weeks and then, on the final week, hold the usual national audition.
Then if you wait for the announcement, did you break into the Top 10 in a single shot? Depending on your high score, it’s possible to get to around position 2 or so.
After confirming that, in areas in which the Utahime-Utaōji festival hasn’t been finished (other than the capital area), hold normal lives to earn fans and if paid promotions appear in those areas, do a paid promotion + lesson. When the Utahime-Utaōji festival appears, go and take care of it.
In the Kyoto and central areas the opponent is tough, so it might be good to leave it to the idols (just not on the PS3 version...) However, if you do that, be sure not to forget to take a paid promotion + shopping to keep the girls’ fatigue at bay.
The 5th song is promoted and performed for a long time. If CD sales aren’t doing well, switch from lives to festivals and aim for a break.
My own pattern is, around weeks 45 to 50, to have finished off the last Utahime-Utaōji festival and have a CD at number 1. After getting there, the rest of the game is taken up aiming for Image Level 16 through lessons.
It’s probably a good idea to go shopping, spending off some of the money you have saved while leaving enough funds for the next play-through. Good job, you’ve worked hard.
At around Image Level 11 your specialisation will no longer grow by the same amount each lesson.
At that point, switch to lessons for the ability immediately to the left. The importance of this is simple: because you do hit it (for vocal, visual; for visual, dance; for dance, vocal - to earn more points while recovering your main multiplier.)
Now, the way to fight festivals is an important point too.
Anyway, in case you haven’t worked it out, there’s no need for preparation.
Immediately after starting,
At this point, if you have a maximum of one memory appeal, ignore the rest of the points here.
That is all. Just by doing this, you can survive festivals.
Just by raising your Image Level to a reasonable level, event battles and the North East, West and South area Utahime-Utaōji festivals should be beatable if you try. Central too, if you do your best...
At this point if your opponent is unreasonably hard (and you have the Xbox 360 version) you might as well give up and leave it to the idols.
An amateur like me has no high grade technique for changing tactics for festivals!