Gaming

Tips for Starting Your Adventure in South Park: The Stick of Truth

South Park has a rich history of video games since its debut in 1997, but it wasn’t until 2014’s South Park: The Stick of Truth that the series found its stride in the interactive entertainment world. Developed by Obsidian Entertainment, known for games like Pillars of Eternity and The Outer Worlds, The Stick of Truth seamlessly blends the show’s unique style and humor with a straightforward RPG framework. While the game may appear simple at first glance, there are still some learning curves to overcome in order to fully immerse yourself in the South Park experience. To help you make the most of your adventure, we’ve put together a handy guide on getting started in South Park: The Stick of Truth.

Creating Your Unique Character

South Park Screenshot 14
Image used with permission by OnSpec Electronic, Inc.

As you embark on your journey in The Stick of Truth, the game begins with a character creation screen. Here, you have the freedom to customize your “new kid” however you like, from giving them a black eye to applying a spray tan—let your imagination run wild! However, keep in mind that these cosmetic choices don’t affect your character’s abilities.

Shortly after the character creation screen, you’ll need to choose a class for your character. The available classes are Fighter, Mage, Thief, and Jew (Paladin), each offering unique skills and abilities. For example, Mages have status-inflicting spells like Dust of Dreams and Lightning Volt, while Thieves can stun opponents and steal items with their Mug ability. Additionally, each class has access to class-specific weapons. Warriors, for instance, are the only ones who can wield the mighty Laser Sword.

Choose the class that intrigues you the most and plunge into the adventure. The Stick of Truth isn’t overly complex, and all classes are designed to be balanced within the game. Plus, with a playthrough lasting around 12 hours, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to experiment with different classes in subsequent runs.

Leveling Up Your Skills

South Park Screenshot 19
Image used with permission by OnSpec Electronic, Inc.

Regardless of the class you choose, the leveling-up system remains the same. As you gain experience throughout the game, you’ll level up, earning points to spend on ability upgrades. Initially, you can only invest these points into your starting ability. However, as you progress, you’ll unlock four additional abilities. Keep in mind that the level cap is set at 15, so you won’t be able to max out all abilities. Carefully consider the upgrade paths for each ability before allocating your points. You’ll amass a total of 14 upgrade points during the game, with each ability having a maximum of four upgrades. Prioritize maxing out your favorites, then distribute the remaining points according to your preferences.

Even if you focus solely on the main campaign and ignore side quests, you’ll reach the level cap before completing the game. This, along with the diverse array of skills and abilities, incentivizes multiple playthroughs. Additionally, each piece of gear in the game has its own level requirement, so it’s worth venturing into side quests early on to acquire better equipment.

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Unleash the Power of Social Media

South Park Screenshot 4
Image used with permission by OnSpec Electronic, Inc.

In addition to unlocking new abilities, you can also gain perks through social media interactions. However, these perks aren’t acquired through leveling up; instead, you’ll need to meet and befriend various South Park inhabitants on Facebook. By adding more friends, you’ll unlock new perks. The first perk becomes available after befriending seven individuals, while subsequent perks require different friend counts (e.g., 18 for the third perk and 85 for the ninth). There are a total of 20 perks in The Stick of Truth, but keep in mind that you can only have up to 100 friends on Facebook, which means you won’t be able to acquire all the perks.

While experimentation is encouraged in subsequent playthroughs, there are a few perks worth considering early on. Healing Wind works wonders for Mages, automatically healing you whenever you cast a spell. Pyromaniac is a standout choice across all classes, increasing your damage output while reducing damage received from opponents. Another useful perk is Apprentice, which boosts your PP (Power Points) by 20%.

Gear Up for Adventure

South Park Screenshot 19
Image used with permission by OnSpec Electronic, Inc.

Although your initial cosmetic choices don’t impact gameplay, your costume selections throughout the game are crucial. Rather than traditional armor, you’ll equip costumes consisting of three slots: Head, Body, and Hands. Each piece of gear not only alters your appearance but also provides unique bonuses. For example, the Jester’s Cap grants you 1 PP whenever your Buddy attacks, while the Monk Robes increase your maximum HP by 150 and heal you for 50 HP per turn if you have a thrown weapon equipped. The game offers additional costumes through the Super Samurai Spaceman and Ultimate Fellowship DLC packs.

Furthermore, there are weapon strap-ons and equipment patches known as “patches.” Patches, similar to gear, have level requirements, and while they aren’t mandatory, they offer significant stat bonuses. For instance, the level 14 Rubber Grip weapon strap-on enhances your weapon attacks by 250, while the level 12 Ghost Pepper equipment patch boosts fire damage by 12%. Patches are often rewards for completing side quests, so keep an eye out for them.

Lastly, don’t forget about your inventory’s miscellaneous section, containing various objects with no practical use. Although they may serve as fun Easter eggs for South Park fans, you can consider them as extra cash. Whenever you encounter a merchant, make sure to sell off all your junk. While there isn’t a “sell all” option, you can quickly sell full stacks of items by spamming the appropriate button.

Engage in Strategic Combat

South Park Screenshot 4
Image used with permission by OnSpec Electronic, Inc.

Combat in South Park: The Stick of Truth draws inspiration from traditional turn-based JRPGs. Each turn, both you and your Buddy (a familiar face from the show who accompanies you) have two action phases: using items and certain Buddy Commands in the first phase, and attacking in the second phase. It’s essential to remember that your turn always concludes with an attack. Therefore, if you plan on using any consumables—such as healing items or support items—you must use them at the start of your turn. Consider stocking up on support consumables like Speed Potions, which grant you two attacks in a single turn, or Water Balloons, which remove positive status effects from enemies.

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Furthermore, you have the freedom to swap Buddies in and out of battles at any time. However, keep in mind that once a Buddy is switched, they won’t be able to act for the remainder of that turn. Additionally, while your Buddies improve over time, you have no control over their leveling process or equipment; you can only manage their actions during combat.

Apart from your own actions, The Stick of Truth’s combat incorporates real-time elements. Some late-game weapons feature unique abilities, requiring you to press buttons at the right time during attacks or defenses. If you successfully block all incoming enemy attacks, you’ll have an opportunity to counterattack—a crucial tactic in more challenging battles.

Master the Art of Status Effects

South Park Screenshot
Image used with permission by OnSpec Electronic, Inc.

Combat in The Stick of Truth becomes more intricate when it comes to status effects. Although you can progress through the game without focusing on them, understanding status effects adds depth and excitement to battles.

There are numerous status effects in the game, including familiar RPG staples. For example, being “Hasted” allows your character to take two actions in a turn, while “Riposting” enables enemies to dodge and counter melee attacks. Additionally, there are amusing status effects like “Tough Skinned,” which reflects years of smoking and reduces damage taken. As you play, you’ll encounter more status effects, so it’s wise to prepare yourself. Stock up on Bottled Water to remove negative status effects from you and your Buddy, and carry Water Balloons to eliminate positive status effects from your opponents.

In addition to standard status effects, vulnerabilities and immunities are tied to different types of magic in the game. Immunities render you impervious to specific types of damage, while vulnerabilities make you more susceptible to certain types of damage. Pay attention to these vulnerabilities and immunities, especially if you rely heavily on magic attacks.

Harness the Power of Summons

South Park Screenshot
Image used with permission by OnSpec Electronic, Inc.

Turn-based combat isn’t the only aspect of The Stick of Truth drawing inspiration from JRPGs. Similar to the iconic Final Fantasy series, The Stick of Truth features summons. There are four summons available in the game, and each can be obtained as a reward for completing specific side quests. However, there’s a catch—you can only use each summon once per day, and the game spans over three days. Additionally, one of the summons, Mr. Hankey, becomes available only later in the game. This means you’ll have a total of 11 opportunities to unleash summons throughout your playthrough, showcasing just how formidable they can be.

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Each summon has its unique animation, but they all share the same purpose: obliterating the entire enemy party. While incredibly powerful, summons cannot be used during boss battles. The four summons you can acquire are Mr. Hankey, Mr. Slave, Tuong Lu Kim, and Jesus. Completing the respective side quests—Dropping the Kids Off, Mr. Slave’s Package, Mongolian Beef, and Find Jesus—will grant you access to these summons. To replenish your summon usage, simply speak with the character who provided the summon on the following day.

Explore Every Nook and Cranny

South Park Screenshot
Image used with permission by OnSpec Electronic, Inc.

The initial playing area in The Stick of Truth may seem small, but it quickly expands, allowing you to explore locations from South Park’s extensive 24-season history. A valuable tip for new players: If you stumble upon a place or treasure that seems inaccessible, chances are you haven’t acquired the necessary tool to unlock it yet.

Certain paths require specific skills or tools to access. For example, if a swarm of mice blocks your way, you’ll need to utilize your fart magic to clear the path. Gray antenna-like objects require a teleportation device for interaction. You can eradicate red-glowing cracks in the environment with a well-powered weapon strike, but green-glowing cracks can only be destroyed with a later-game fart spell. Your character will also come across small holes and gaps that are initially too narrow to fit through. However, as you progress and acquire the ability to fit into these spaces, you can revisit them. Keep these locations in mind, and when the time comes, you’ll know it. Fortunately, the game’s fast travel system allows you to revisit locations without any hassle.

Every pathway in the game holds intriguing discoveries. Keep a sharp eye out for new tools, abilities, and cash along the way. You’ll hit the level cap before reaching the end of The Stick of Truth, so thoroughly exploring every nook and cranny becomes a major part of the gameplay experience.

To summarize, South Park: The Stick of Truth offers an engaging and humorous adventure with plenty of charm and depth. By creating a unique character, strategically leveling up, mastering combat mechanics, and exploring every corner of the game’s expansive world, you’ll be well-equipped to embark on your South Park journey. So gear up, make friends, and prepare for an unforgettable experience in the iconic town of South Park!

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