Since this is one of the most frequently asked questions, I like to explain how to get all your characters up to lv 99 as fast as possible. First of all, you should be aware of the drastically reduced stat growth beyond lv 59 (look at the Stat Growth Charts
for further details), so this might be only interesting due to perfectionistic motives, the joy of level building or the level bonuses received in S2 for returning characters.Is there a level 99 boost trick, like the one in S2?
No, there isn't.
The maximum jump you can accomplish, is from lv 36 up to lv 96, which is almost as good as the trick in S2. But this works only for characters who can equip a fortune rune or McDohl alone.
Fight a group of 2x Elite Soldier (lv 52), 1x Whip Master (lv 51) and 3x Hell Hound (lv 50) at Moravia Castle with a two-man party. The char you want to boost must be at lv 36 with at least 900 additional exp and must have a fortune rune attached. It doesn't matter if McDohl is alive at the end of the battle or not.How is experience calculated?
Unlike S2, exp is divided among all characters in battle, not only among the living ones. You can get a max of 10.000 exp per enemy, if it is at least 15 lv superior than you (thanks to Reinbach_III for figuring this out!). With a group of 6 enemies, the max is obviously 60.000. Divided by 2 (McDohl + char x) and you'll gain still 30.000, which can be doubled again with the fortune rune up to 60.000. Of course, McDohl alone receives 60.000 exp without the help of the rune.
6 targets with max exp: 6 x 10.000
devided by party size (McDohl + x): 60.000 / 2
with fortune rune: 30.000 x 2 = 60.000
If your lv is higher than 35, you won't receive max exp due to the enemies lv. At lv 36 you will get at least 59.100 exp out of this combination and this is the very maximum. In Shasarazade, there are no groups of 6 enemies at all. As soon as you can re-enter Gregminster, you are forced to travel with a party size of at least three, so it won't work either. And any area before Moravia gives not enough exp, due to the enemies lv.Lv 99 recruitment
Some chars will even join you at lv 99, since their starting level is based on McDohls (look here for a complete list
). You may keep McDohl at lv 1 in order to recruit Sheena and Kuromimi at lv 99, but since it's quite difficult to get past Kwanda at this level (still not impossible), you can simply boost McDohl up to 96 with the trick described above, train the remaining three levels, and recruit the optional chars with variable levels afterwards.
Characters whos lv is based on McDohl's will benefit if he is already at a high lv:
Blackman (+3), Flik (+4, auto-joins), Fu Su Lu (+4), Gon (-4), Kage (+5), Kirke (-2), Kuromimi (-1, auto-joins), Milia (+2, auto-joins), Rubi (+4), Sarah (-3), Sheena (-1), Valeria (+3, auto-joins)
While this is interesting for Sheena with his fixed rune, you can't do much about Valeria at this point. All the others have free rune slots anyway.And the rest...?
This leaves some poor souls, who join either at a lv beyond 36, or have fixed runes equipped which make them unable to perform the trick.Characters and their best way for level buildingLv 96 boost trick
McDohl, Antonio, Camille, Cleo, Eileen, Flik, Futch, Gen, Gremio, Grifftih, Humphrey, Kamandol, Kessler, Kimberly, Kirkis, Krin, Kuromimi (can be recruited at lv 1 easily, too), Kwanda, Leonardo, Lepant, Lester, Liukan, Lorelai, Lotte, Luc, Maas, Meese, Meg, Milia, Milich, Mina, Moose, Morgan, Mose, Quincy, Sansuke, Sergei, Sydonia, Sylvina, Tai Ho, Varkas, Viktor, Yam KooLv 96 boost trick OR recruit at lv 99
Blackman, Fu Su Lu, Gon, Kage, Kirke, Rubi, SarahRecruit at lv 1 or 99
SheenaRecruit at lv 99
Valeria (quite difficult and not worth the effort at this point of the story)Characters who can be boosted still to a decent level at Moravia, due to their starting lv (earn 900 exp in each case before using the trick)
Fuma (95), Kanak (95), Hix (94), Warren (91), Anji (91), Kreutz (91), Tengaar (87)Characters who can be boosted a bit, at Shazarazade. Fight a group with 4x Elite Soldier (earn 900 exp in each case before using the trick)
Mace (75), Kasim (75), Clive (71), Eikei (71), Sonya (69), Pesmerga (69), Crowley (60, quite useless...)Characters left, you have to train the hard way
Alen, Fukien, Grenseal, Hellion, Juppo, Kai, Kasumi, Pahn, Ronnie, Stallion
After all, you can use the time to farm some useful equipment or rare runes =)