It’s the Sengoku period. The land is in chaos and powerful samurai clans wage war all across the fragmented island nation of Japan.
One ambitious warlord hailing from the province of Owari, Nobunaga Oda, has begun his campaign to seize Japan by its reins and become a mighty ruler above all. His climb in rank wasn’t easy however, since he had to contend with many members of his own clan trying to secure their positions as the head of the Oda.
Nobunaga saw this as his chance and took every opportunity possible to become Oda’s new ruler. However, his meteoric rise in power garnered him the unwanted attention of enemy samurai clans. After defeating the Imagawa clan at the battle of Okehazama, Nobunaga had his sights set on the province of Mino.
But this story isn’t about the exploits of the Demon King of the Sixth Heaven (this was Nobunaga’s actual title written as “第六天魔王” in Kanji, or “Dairokuten-maoh” in Romaji), it’s the story of one family estate, the Karekiba clan, that was under siege by brigands. The Karekiba clan’s estate was brought to ruin presumably by loyalists of the Oda’s opposition in an attempt to weaken any of Oda’s allies.
Fortunately for you, you are one noble who seeks to restore the Karekiba clan’s honor as well as the prestige and glory of the estate. The hurdles here would be the difficult times that now yank at your chains of destiny. Rise up, o child of Karekiba, take your daisho (sword pair) heirloom and survive now as a samurai.
Created by Colossi Games, the same makers of Gladiators: Survival in Rome, brings a new twist to the survival game genre wherein you are situated in historic Japan in one of its most turbulent periods: the Warring States period, or as we’ve called it earlier, the Sengoku period. Daisho: Survival of a Samurai puts you in the shoes of a young warrior woman or onna bugeisha who seeks to avenge her clan’s name and rebuild it as a beacon of prosperity and power.
Under the tutelage of Lord Nobunaga himself, the heroine must go through the task of seeing her clan’s future through. But the road to a successful future is paved with obstacles and danger along the way. Will you succeed or will you become a footnote in history? Read our Daisho: Survival of a Samurai beginner’s guide below and prepare to embark on a journey through the past!
Survival Games in General
The survival genre is nothing new.
It usually involves your character being in a wilderness of some sort where they are put against all odds. They will need to find shelter, craft weapons and armor to keep them safe, and live off the land by making use of wildlife and foliage as food sources.
Usually, the player character would come with stats like health and stamina wherein health denotes how long the character could take a hit before getting killed, and the stamina bar represents their hunger. Not all survival games have this kind of format, however, but such factors have been greatly popularized by titles like Minecraft, Don’t Starve Together, Rust, and more.
In the mobile gaming landscape, survival games have been made more streamlined toward the mobile gaming experience. They often forego complex mechanics in favor of more simple ones, allowing any casual survival game enjoyer to pick up their game and put it down whenever they please. On mobile, popular survival game titles would include Last Day on Earth, Frostborn, Grim Soul, and the aforementioned Gladiators: Survival in Rome.
The goal of a survival game, as hinted by its genre, is to survive, usually with the condition of each in-game day bringing you new surprises and new challenges. For instance, in some games like Frostborn, survival sometimes requires you to band together with friends.
There is strength in numbers and it often means quicker progression through the game since you’ll be able to do multiple things all at once. These things are, but not limited to, foraging, construction, hunting, creating defenses for your base, maintenance, etc. Doing this alone will often require lengthy amounts of time.
However, in Daisho, the game solely focuses on the single-player aspect. You alone control the heroine and it’s your duty as the player to guide her in her challenges as well as help her fix up the Karekiba clan’s estate. With each passing quest, the estate will grow bigger and more powerful, supplying her with better equipment, and even greater avenues to craft materials made from different parts found in the Hunting Grounds and the Rocky Crossroads, for starters.
If you’ve just started on your journey to making the Karekiba clan a formidable ally to the Oda, read on and we will show you what you can do to efficiently restore your estate to its former glory!
Daisho: Survival of a Samurai – Basics
As we’ve mentioned a few times prior, the Karekiba estate is in great disrepair. To restore it is your ultimate goal. Daisho is a simple game, but many elements will make it complex, allowing the player to come up with their own strategy along the way.
The primary theme of Daisho’s gameplay is to forage for supplies or raw material from the wilderness. At one point early-game, you will be introduced to your character’s father’s boat. This boat will take you to a nearby area where animals roam free and resources like wood and stone are ever-present.
Walking up to trees using the joystick on the left and holding down the Tool button (the smaller button located immediately at the left side of the Attack button) will cause your character to chop the trees down with her currently equipped axe. The same can be done for boulders which give stone.
Animals, on the other hand, need to be slain first in order for them to be able to give items. However, unlike trees and boulders, animals have a small chance of not giving you anything at all when they’ve been slain. Bandits also drop loot and, much like animals, they, too, have the chance to not have anything on them. These materials will be needed for quests, completing merchant orders, and most importantly, rebuilding the estate. Harvest as many of them as you can.
One thing you have to take note of each time you perform an action is that your equipment has durability. Much like in most survival games, your tools, weapons, and armor all have durability counters that slowly deplete each time you’ve used them. We’ll talk about repairing them later in this guide.
With all the basics of Daisho thus explained, let us now get into specific detail about how you can make the most out of your adventures in the Warring States period.
Daisho: Survival of a Samurai – General Tips
Samurai living is tough—you need to have a will of steel and a heart of fire. To survive through the Warring States period, you’ll need to have a quick wit and some ample training for when the enemy arrives. Here are a few ways you can do this.
1. Claim Your Gold from the Message Board
Granted that the Karekiba own their very own estate, this isn’t without having some form of income flowing through it. This is the very lifeblood of the clan since it’s what is going to help rejuvenate the ruined estate.
You’ll notice that near the estate manor (the biggest building in the middle of the entire estate), there is a small message board that often has a gold coin icon hovering above it. This is the message board of any and all jobs done by the remaining members of your clan. Whatever they earn, they take some of it and donate it to the betterment of the clan’s estate. Such a practice still hasn’t died out even if the estate is in shambles.
Gold can be spent on a variety of things. In fact, it is spent almost anywhere. Most importantly, you’ll be using these to maintain your gear as well as rebuild any lost buildings within the estate. Each time you take the gold left at the message board, you will have to wait for another 4 hours for more to come. While waiting for this, you may want to do other things like gather resources or follow your quests. Just remember that coming back here every now and then is very important.
Speaking of things to do while waiting for the gold to arrive, how about completing orders from the merchant?
2. Complete the Merchant’s Orders
Along the way during the tutorial, you’ll have brought a merchant back to your estate.
This merchant proves his usefulness to your clan by allowing you to export raw material out to neighboring villages. However, he won’t just do this with you not doing anything. You’ll have to go on an expedition and find the raw material yourself. In other words, this partnership is mutual: you bring him material, he pays you for it.
When you choose to speak to the merchant, he will show you a list of his available orders, all of which will outline a couple of materials that he needs you to give him in exchange for coin. Normally, the more difficult the materials, the more gold is given to you. By difficulty, he might sometimes ask for processed material such as planks instead of just plain wood.
Unfortunately, due to your limited inventory space of 8 slots (unless you expand your backpack size with gems), you won’t be able to complete all orders at once. At the very least, you might be able to come back fulfilling 2 orders if you took note of the materials you needed before you headed out.
Since the outskirts of the estate are full of dangerous creatures, you will need to keep your character well-supplied in case of emergencies. You can do this by having her prepare her lunch.
3. Pack Lunch Before Heading Out
Even before heading out to war, samurai had their rations.
While they might not be as fancy as you’d imagine them to be, samurai often ate what was practical*. Though, without food in their supply, samurai cannot function; their movements will be sluggish, their judgment will be cloudy, they can be totally annihilated by any force they meet on the battlefield. This is why food plays a huge role in Daisho, especially since it rewards your character with healing potions which can be used to stay in a fight for much longer.
In the middle of the estate, a little bit to the southwest of the manor, you should find a small pot boiling over a fire. Upon activating this, you’ll find yourself in a minigame wherein the instructions and rules are quite simple:
- You will be presented with a 3×3 board wherein you will have to merge meals together.
- To move the meals around, simply swipe in any direction you desire them to go.
- Whenever you move meals, new meals will appear in empty tiles in the opposite direction of where you swiped. For example, if you’ve swiped upward, new meals will appear at the bottom of the board.
- Each time you merge a meal, it becomes more elaborate in appearance, however meals cannot be merged with each other if they’re not identical.
- The game ends when you’ve run out of moves or if the board is full of meals that can no longer be merged.
Depending on how well you do, you will be rewarded with better healing potions. The criteria of “doing well” lies in the quality of the meals you have on the board. The simple rice ball you start the board with are at tier 1, then they turn into onigiri with filling which is tier 2, then the onigiri, when merged, turn into an onigiri and odango combo at tier 3, so on and so forth. Below is a list of what each meal provides when you’ve finished this minigame:
Do note that playing this game cannot be done continuously. When you’ve finished, you’ll have to wait 6 hours before you can try again. Granted, this should be enough time for you to go exploring or gathering more equipment before refilling your healing item stock.
Alternatively, if you lack practice for this minigame, you may also make potions at the Pharmacia. However, this will require some mild gathering since potions require herbs, wood, and a few animal parts.
Apart from keeping your healing items in check, it also pays to do the same for your gear.
*TRIVIA: Historically, the samurai have carried with them rations that had a rope made from dried taro stem called imogara, dehydrated miso balls, and raw rice. All they needed to do to eat these is to mix them into a pot of boiling water. The imogara provided fiber, the miso balls provided protein, and the rice provided starch, making this a complete meal on the go. The imogara rope was most likely used to hold the entire ration kit together due to its strength while dry.
4. Always Make Equipment Checks Before and After Gathering
As the saying goes: one’s actions determines their profit. If you don’t make any equipment checks before leaving the estate and after coming back from an expedition, you’d be hauling less material each time.
The rationale behind this lies in the fact that the game has a durability system, as we’ve mentioned earlier. Each time your character takes a hit from her enemies, her gear will deteriorate slowly. The same goes for both tools and weapons. If either impacts something, their durability will decrease.
Once the objects break, their overall efficacy will be cut in half, greatly reducing your chances of success in a fight or even drastically slowing down your material gathering. Do not let this happen; you will be thrust into an unnecessarily difficult situation.
To keep your equipment from breaking, you must constantly visit the repair bench to the immediate east of the estate manor wherein you can spend gold to quickly repair your gear. Remember that gold can only be earned by retrieving the stipends from the message board as well as fulfilling the merchant’s orders.
The catch here is that the lower the durability of your item, the more expensive it will be to repair it. While it may seem cost effective to repair your gear every time you’re at the bench, consider only repairing it when these have hit at least 50% of their durability.
A good way to keep yourself from repairing your equipment all the time is to not be reckless in any fight, whether you are up against man or beast.
5. Fight Smart not Hard
While it’s very characteristic of a samurai to never back down even in a losing fight, this shouldn’t be the case here in Daisho.
Firstly, try not to bite off more than you can chew. When you see a pack of wolves nearby, try not to engage them all at once. Instead, pick on them one by one if you can help it. Otherwise, you’ll have to deal with them and risk lowering the durability of your equipment.
One other thing you could do instead is to fight surrounding animals or enemies if there are too many aggressors or try to outrun them. In the end, if you’ve incurred too much damage to your health, leave the instance immediately and wait for your character to recover over time at the estate.
When it comes to healing, health potions don’t instantaneously recover your health whenever you drink them. They will slowly heal up a portion of your missing health at a highlighted area of the health bar. The same goes for herbs, albeit with weaker healing strength.
Drinking many of these at once will most certainly bring you up to full health, but save some for when you need to make it out of the instance you’re in alive. While it’s convenient that you can make more back at the estate, this takes time. If you ever feel the need to escape, just follow the arrow at your character’s feet. It will shift in direction each time you move and it should guide you to the exit whenever you’re out in the open.
Going back to combat, a simple way you can chase animals down, especially those pesky deer that would keep running from you, is to hold down the Attack button as opposed to tapping it repeatedly. Doing this, your character will give chase to the enemy they’ve locked on instead of you having to manually chase down your prey and fight them. It’s quite handy, so there’s no reason why you shouldn’t do it.
When your target has been defeated, your samurai will attack the nearest enemy if the attack button is still held down. Conversely, you may also equip the sling if you chance upon that weapon from the Rocky Crossroads, in case you’re trying to hunt deer down and have difficulty chasing them.
The Rocky Crossroads, which come after the Hunting Grounds, will allow you to encounter bandits as enemies. Bandits are more formidable than animals because they’re better equipped and some of them even have ranged weaponry.While they don’t drop animal parts like hide, bones, or teeth, they will drop gold, equipment, and the occasional Bandit Necklace.
These items are also bought by the merchant later on, but more importantly, the equipment can be upgraded when you unlock the equipment tier vendor. He will upgrade your equipment if you have duplicates of these. Improving your gear through the equipment tier vendor will also increase your chances of surviving anywhere. Come back each time you find yourself a duplicate equipment piece.
Lastly, there is a special resource that only comes from the Dojo, a place where only the strongest of samurai are tested. The Dojo involves taking on a group of trained soldiers and defeating them earns you a sum of experience points as well as the elusive Dojo Coins.
In the span of 24 hours, you can attempt to climb the Dojo’s ladder by defeating as many soldiers as possible with each wave rewarding you greater than the last. Be warned that risk and reward are partners in crime, and thus the higher you climb, the tougher the soldiers become. Additionally, you cannot repeat waves, so if you’ve bested Wave 1, you’ll now have to face Wave 2. Good luck!
This facility can be found on the northernmost part of your estate; head down the hill into the village and out the village gates. Then follow the road northeast until you find yet another walled facility. This is where you can test your skills.
Combat can get difficult, especially hunting, since you’ll be taking home a lot of material from the outside world. But what should you do if you’ve carried too much with you?
6. Manage Your Inventory
A samurai must always be prepared for any situation and this should include having to carry only what they need in their pack.
Unfortunately for you, you start with a smattering of 8 slots in your inventory. It takes 50 gems to increase that by 4 slots, but that’s what we recommend you spend your 50 gems on the first time you get them. The reason why is because you’ll later be getting things other than materials that you can stack, especially at the Rocky Crossroads. These will include duplicate equipment that you cannot stack upon each other.
To anyone unfamiliar with this term, stacking means to be able to put the item in the same slot as the other item. For example, you can have a stack of 5 fangs that you have collected from wolves that will take up just 1 inventory slot. Meanwhile, you cannot have a stack of multiple wooden wakizashi; each wakizashi you have in your bag will take up 1 slot each.
When your inventory’s full, naturally, you can no longer carry anything new. This poses a problem since your quickest solution to this is to go back home and unload all your stuff into your storage. The storage has its limits as well. It can only hold up to 10 objects per stack.
This means you can only carry 10 feathers, 10 bones, 10 hides or whichever item in the storage per inventory slot. You cannot, regrettably, store your gear in the storage, but there is a warehouse for that with even smaller space. If your inventory keeps filling up, you’d better get selling. Not only will you cover equipment costs, but some extra coin can always go a long way.
Going back to inventory management, if there are materials that you’re willing to forego for new ones, you may tap on an item in your backpack, and then tap the red trash can icon to discard it. Do know that in doing this, you can never retrieve the item. What you can do instead is to be careful in what you discard and where.
For instance, let’s pretend you took some feathers with you to the Rocky Crossroads where no feathers can be obtained. Discard it so you have room for stone, clay, and equipment from fallen bandits.
We’ve talked about the samurai’s outer person thus far, what about their inner person?
7. Invest in Talents Wisely
A samurai must be resolute both out and in. This is why training yourself with Talents each time you level up requires some careful consideration.
Talents, in RPG terms, are like passive skills that make your character more powerful. This means that there is no need for you to push a button to activate them; once you’ve invested a point in them, they remain active for the rest of the game. Although, you can choose to reset your Talents with a hefty amount of gems if you feel like you’ve made a mistake.
The game offers 3 distinct Talent Trees for your character to invest in:
The Forager Talent Tree allows your samurai to yield more loot each time they go gathering. It greatly helps in completing quests faster as well as restoring your estate in a more timely manner. With these Talents, you’ll have the chance to receive specific resources in greater amounts each time you come across them. This tree allows you to invest a whopping 90 Talent Points in total.
The Survivor Talent Tree offers defensive Talents to your samurai. We recommend investing some of your points here early on, especially the Sprinter Talent when you unlock it. Having the ability to outrun most of your enemies may help make it home more safely as well as gain distance from your enemies if you use the Sling as your weapon. This Talent Tree allows you to invest a total of 60 Talent Points.
When you want things deader than dead, the Warrior Talent Tree offers you many opportunities to improve your martial prowess. While it does allow you to invest in different kinds of weapons at once, we highly recommend investing in points for the Katana as well as the Sling.
The former, while its range is short, is one of the most balanced weapons in the game whereas the latter conquers with ranged supremacy. Slings especially make hunting down deer more efficient. Later on, the Shuriken may come in handy as well. Much like the Survivor tree, this Talent Tree has a maximum allowance of 60 Talent Points.
When we mean to invest in your Talents wisely, we mean that you shouldn’t spread your samurai out too thin. Having her Talents all over the place will make her rather difficult to play since she won’t be able to perform well in a situation that requires a spot of expertise.
To illustrate, having too many points in Foraging and having some in Survivor and none in Warrior will make fighting any enemy a chore. If anything, the best two trees to invest in as you’re starting out would be Warrior and Survivor, since you’ll be doing that plenty.
But fighting without a reason is a meaningless way to live. Each samurai should have a purpose, and you should never let go of yours.
8. Follow the Quests
Restoring the estate is a humongous task, but where should you start?
Surely, there is the main base of operations, the estate manor, which should be reconstructed first. Then there are the living quarters of many of the Karekiba’s retainers and servants. It’s all going to be a chaotic mess if you didn’t know what to do first. Thankfully, the game has a means to keep your purpose in check, and that’s to provide you with quests.
Quests, as in most RPGs, are a way to guide players into performing tasks that reward them with plenty of loot and experience. The same goes for anything done here in Daisho. Completing quests will lead you forward in unlocking newer, better facilities that you can craft in and a great way to earn large amounts of experience points, thus allowing you to invest in more of your favorite Talents. In short, following quests not only helps your estate rebuild, but it builds your character as well.
Quests can range from the smallest tasks to the biggest ordeals. For instance, you will start by getting key members of the Karekiba clan back to the estate. Later on, you’ll be rebuilding tents and houses, so you can only imagine what the future holds for your clan.
Many of these require you to be diligent, but if in case you’d like to keep an eye on a current quest you have, be sure to have it tracked. You can do this by tapping the Quests button, and then tapping which quest you’d like to follow closely. You may only do this for one quest at a time. Eventually, your estate will most certainly reclaim a fragment of its shimmer just by doing quests.
Do you feel like the game might be a bit slow with all the construction? There’s a way around that, but it’s not really for everyone. However, it’s what we suggest regardless.
9. Watch Ads to Your Advantage
Not even a samurai can escape advertisements!
Well, we aren’t quite certain with how goods were advertised during a period of war, but what we’re talking about here is how ads are available in the game. They can be ignored, but hear us out when we say that ads are actually a good thing.
For one, the most applicable use of watching an ad would be to speed up time spent constructing or crafting anything within the estate. Upon crafting or building anything, the game will offer you the chance to subtract the process’ timer by 10 minutes if you choose to watch an ad.
This could really help if you’re greatly invested in where you’re going in the game. In fact, watching a short ad of a few seconds certainly beats waiting for 10 minutes to pass. You may only do this once per project, however.
Another means for you to watch ads is after you’ve sold some items to the merchant. When you’ve sold a batch, the merchant will offer you an ad to watch which will reward you with even more coins than that of what you earned from selling your items. This can be quite useful, especially since a lot of the things you need in the estate will cost you gold.
Lastly, when you’re out in the wilderness and a piece of your equipment is about to break, a little icon that resembles the silhouette of a warrior appears on the side of the screen. Tapping this will have the game offer you an ad to watch which will slightly repair the damaged item.
After all is said and done, there is one last thing you can do in order to make the most out of your experience in the game.
10. Put the Game Down and Wait
When a field of grass has been cut, it will take time to slowly regenerate.
The same goes for anything and everything in this world. Certain things require patience and time in order for them to grow and flourish. As far as this goes in Daisho, putting the game down to wait for things to come to you is a good strategy. This means gold from your message board, food for you to make at the cooking pot, your character’s health to recover, etc. All of these will certainly demand your time.
When you’ve run out of healing items or if you feel like the enemy is just tough without you having any proper gear, take a step back and let things come back for now. One virtue of the samurai is self-control, and thus it would certainly help to exercise that, for losing yourself to greed and ambition would most certainly put the Karekiba at risk.
Take a walk, cook yourself your favorite meal, read a book, watch your favorite show, do anything that isn’t playing Daisho and when you come back to this game, your mind will be clearer and more concise, now with the fortitude to continue on and make even better decisions than before. You might even be able to make more healing supplies to keep yourself from dying so soon. A tired warrior would be better off a dead one.
Rest assured, Daisho rewards you for nearly anything you do. As long as you remain diligent and continuously improve your estate, you will carry the Karekiba name forward and hopefully lead the Oda clan toward victory (at least up until the Honno-Ji incident). Just remember all that you have learned from reading this guide thus far:
- Take the gold from the message board. The people are paying you to make their lives better.
- Aim to complete the merchant’s orders each time. You’ll need gold—lots of it!
- Always prepare food before leaving for battle. A warrior won’t fight properly on an empty stomach.
- Check your equipment before and after you’ve come from the outside. Avoid broken equipment as they will be deplorable in efficacy.
- Fight smart. Back away when your life is low, tackle your opponents one at a time, go home if you no longer have anything to heal yourself with.
- Keep your inventory in check. Its space is quite limited so make the most out of it!
- Pick your Talents wisely. You wouldn’t want to be caught in a situation wherein you don’t have the skills for it.
- Quests exist to guide you. In following quests, you’ll improve your estate and samurai much faster.
- Ads are a good thing. They speed up production time, construction time, earn you more gold, and even slightly repair your gear.
- If you’ve run out of things to do, put the game down and wait for things to come to you.
And this wraps up our beginner’s guide for Daisho: Survival of a Samurai! Wherever you are, whether it’s the estate or the battlefield, the life of a samurai is full of struggle that can only be overcome by discipline and the sheer willpower of the samurai themselves. Be one with your mind and body, be one with your weapon.
Are you, yourself, a high-ranking samurai fighting for Nobunaga’s side? How about a traveling swordsman who’s seen their fair share of many battles? Have you been playing Daisho for a much longer time? Feel free to drop us a line in the comment section below this article!