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There is a lot to this game. I'll try not to cover material that can found elsewhere. I'll assume that you have access to the Brady Games's Saga Frontier book and have glanced through the FAQs at the sites I've listed.
Acquiring Money in a Reasonable Amount of Time
Takonomics is a great way to get money, but it takes around 7500 credits to start milking the system. This is a sizable chunk of change, so here's what I do to get the credits needed in about an hour and a half.
Have at least 300 credits and travel to Scrap (depart from Koorong, Scrap is listed on the second destinations screen). Go to the Junk shop and pay the amount the lizard behind the counter asks you for. (The more money you have, the more it will ask for. 300 is the minimum it will accept). Go to the next room over and select 3 items then go back up to the counter. Offer to sell something to the lizard (even if you don't have the item. Try to tell the item listed furthest down). The lizard will tell you that you don't have that item. Go back to the room on the left and pick out 7 more items. Now is where the hour and a half comes in. Keep false-selling and then going back into the side room and pick up items.
There is a pattern to the randomness of the items. You'll often get Repair Kits. Take the Repair Kits up to the counter and sell those off, then try to sell the bottom item to be allowed to go pick 7 more items. The more money you have when you pick the items out of the side room, the better the items will be. (Thus why the lizard tries to get all the money he can from you when you come in the first time). Repair Kits sell for 20 credits each. It's the only item you can sell at the shop and still be in the shop. Do Not Leave until you have enough credits to start Takonomics.
You're not quite doomed to selling Repair Kits to build up the credits needed. By the time your credits get up around 2000 you'll start getting Orc Swords pretty consistently from the pile in the uppermost left corner. You can sell those at Nakajima Robotics in Shrike for 200 credits each. From the box next to the pile you're getting swords from, you can also get a variety of Guns. (Including the Lethal Gun, which is the best you can buy for about 4000 credits from the robot in the sewers of Koorang).
The only character this trick doesn't really work for is T260G (because you won't get many Repair Kits, thus you can't build your credits back up while in the shop). You can still go in and get items, but it will take longer since you're going to have to rely heavily upon selling whatever you can find when you leave. Try to get Orc and Twin Swords. The leather items are also sellable on the market street in Koorong.
(Two irking things about this trick is that not all items are sellable and there is no auto-arrange option on the items screen. Your inventory is going to look very messy by the end of this).
Learning Techniques Effectively
The first thing is to try to keep two slots open at all times. You can learn two techniques during a single battle.
Next thing is to match characters up with the skill they have the most aptitude towards. For example, Blue and Rouge should always do magic unless the monster is immune to it. Fei-on, Mei-ling, and Liza all have strong aptitudes towards hand-to-hand combat. Gen and Roufas are excellent swordsmen.
Once you've got some low cost techniques under your belt, try mixing up what you use. A hand-to-hand person with the -1 WP bonus can use Kick, Punch, and Air Throw at no cost. If you've been using Kick a lot, try using Punch for a while. I've had it happen that after a few rounds of using a new attack, I'll start learning more techniques. Kind of like getting out of a rut or something.
Get the Dream Super Combo for at least one character at all costs! I cannot emphasize enough how much of a difference this technique makes. Especially if you have two characters who can use it. With the bonus, it costs 17 points, but they're well spent.
Don't go into a final confrontation until every character has at least 100 WP/JP. JP can be refilled with an item, but WP cannot. (A Sanctuary Stone will refill everything for everyone like a Cabin does in Final Fantasy).
And finally, some characters, no matter what you do, are born losers and won't learn quickly period. Lute suffers from this problem, a lot. The fact that he's a main character in a quest is frustrating since he holds everyone else back. Since you can't dump him from your main party during his quest, the best you can do is pray that he doesn't get killed too often.
Things to do in Every Quest
A real problem with SaGa is that you can stumble into an area before you're ready for it. Make liberal use of the Quick Save option and try these ideas for building your characters up at a reasonable pace.
Quest Specific Tips
Personally, this is my favorite of the seven quests. There are three endings available.
What ending you chose is up to you, but the Human one was the best in my opinion. (The other two freaked the crap out of me, to be honest..).
I've been working on a fanfic/walk through for Asellus' quest. If you're interested in a half finished rough draft, email me and I'll send it to you.
I would go ahead and buy the Asura sword for 3 LP. It's a steep price, but it's also an awesome weapon (especially in Asellus' hands).
There's really only one thing I have to say about this quest. If you want the better ending (in my opinion) when you're in the cave the Gnomes live in don't follow Joker. Simply leave at that point.
When going for the final ring at Virgil's Palace, you will have to pass a series of test. Here are some hints for getting through the more tricky ones.
Virgil's battle is a definite change of pace from what you're used to. You can't hurt him with attacks. He's testing you and expects you to get 10 points by performing combos. A 3 person combo is worth 2 points, 4 is 3 points, 5 is 5 points. Finding enough combos to finish this battle is difficult because you can't use the same combination twice. And if you take more than 3 or 4 rounds, Virgil starts attacking your party until he's picked everyone off.
What I recommend for pulling this one off is to have Riki and four Humans in your party. Have two of the Humans equipped with low level, offensive, sword techniques. The other two Humans should have low level, offensive, hand-to-hand techniques. Now pull out a piece of paper and pen and prepare to take notes. Try having the two sword and two hand people using the same technique with Riki trying something. If you create a scoring combo, write it down! And not just those 3 or 4 characters who scored, write down what everyone did since it does effect the combo working or not.
Keeping doing this until you have enough combos to get the 10 points. I had to fight Virgil three times before I had enough info to do it. I'd tell you what I used, but combos are so variable that they likely wouldn't work for you. The technique I've outlined is the most effective one.