Before starting a game, Speedwagon will ask which difficulty setting you would prefer: Easy, Normal, or Hard. This setting cannot be changed once the game has started, but can be reselected every time you start a New Game + (Easy mode excluded).
- 1000 bonus EXP (you will start with an item in your inventory which will grant 1000EXP to all party members when used)
- 10,000G at the start of the game
- Arrows on the map showing you where to go next
- Recovery items (full list below:)
- Tonio's entire takeout menu x5
- Ripple-Infused Wine x5
- Ripple-Infused Cola x5
- Requiem G.E. x5
- Overdrive SY x5
- Diamond C x5
- Bottled Water x30
- First-Aid Kit x5
- Knife x1
- Magazine x1
- The Rice Balls, Tea, and 100G that you start with in Normal Mode
- However, all party members will start with -10FP as a penalty
Though this mode is easier for first-time players, the -10FP will make it difficult to get the 30FP total required for New Game +. This mode is aimed at people who aren't very good at RPGs and aren't interested in clearing the game more than once. This difficult setting is unavailable on the 2nd playthrough and up.
The game's original and recommended difficulty.
- All party members start with -10FP (FP from previous playthroughs will not be retained)
- New, stronger attack patterns for enemies
- Certain items in inventory from previous playthrough will be forfeited (listed below:)
- Tonio's takeout items
- Ripple-Infused Wine
- Ripple-Infused Cola
- Requiem G.E.
- Overdrive S.Y.
- Diamond C
- Bottled Water
- You will also forfeit the Rice Balls, Tea, and 100G that you start with on Normal mode.
- Stat debuffs (listed below:)
(Please be aware that if you start a playthrough on Hard Mode, then start a New Game + on Normal, your party will retain these debuffs. This also applies to the protagonist, but only the one you started Hard Mode with - getting any other Stand on the personality quiz will start you off with normal stats.)
In addition to the debuffs and FP penalty, enemies attack patterns will change drastically. Previously weak enemies may start breaking out insta-kill attacks and recovery items, and bosses will gain the ability to use Push It To The Limit along with Hard Mode-exclusive skills. Playing on Hard Mode won't give you any special events or EDs - it's simply for players who want a challenge. However, you will get 3 Badges of Honor at the end of the game.