Gurumin comes with an instruction manual, as you well know. However, some people may rent it or borrow it from a friend. Perhaps they'll even buy a used copy with the manual missing. Then what do they do? Though the game does walk you through the basics right at the start, you may come to a point where you can't remember what you were supposed to press to perform certain actions. Or something.
Here, I'm going to walk you through the basic stuff that should get you started on the right foot even if you don't have the manual. I might even get generous and throw out some general strategies to keep in mind. You just never know. So this is the section to read through first if the game is kicking your butt. Best of all, no one has to know. It can be our little secret.
The controls in Gurumin are pretty simple but I'll outline them here in case you forget anything. Here's a rundown of what the buttons all do.
Jump, Launch (in conjunction with 'X')
Context-sensitive actions (examine, talk), attack (hold to charge)
Center camera behind Parin
access "Items" menu
See? There's nothing too complex. You can handle this!
Parin may be a little girl, but she fights like a champion. For that reason, the monsters she meets expect her to provide their salvation. They're not wrong to place their trust in her.
Early on, Parin acquires the item that is to serve as her weapon for the remainder of the game. It's a drill. You'll upgrade it with various skill boosts, but for the most part you should consider it the equivalent of Link's sword in a game like The Legend of Zelda. The similarities are extensive.
As Parin fights, she'll eventually build up the strength of her drill. There's a meter up at the top of the screen that is tracked independently of her health. When it's completely full and she has purchased them in town, Parin can use powerful special attacks that really make quick work of her enemies. She also can fire projectiles from the tip of her drill and take out enemies from a distance. This is quite useful, and there are areas throughout dungeons that restore the ability if she loses it.
How would she lose it? Any time she comes into contact with enemies or environmental hazards, she pays the price. Then she has to recharge, and in the meantime she's at greater risk of taking damage. There are items she can use to refill her meter, but the better strategy is this: don't get hit! Still, Parin excels even in close combat once you gain a few moves for her. This guide is written with the goal of making your life easier. Follow its directions and you should find that your path is fairly painless. Phantoms will suffer and much joy will be had.
You'll learn early on about charged attacks. They can demolish objects throughout the world, which is important since you gain as much currency from demolishing defenseless trees as you do picking on the various monsters. One thing worth noting is that you can use a charge attack without powering it up all the way. The temptation is always to fill your meter, which sends Parin flying about and is great in some cases. Other times, just a short charge is all it takes to demolish a boulder or remove an enemy's shield. In fact, that's the case more often than not. Practice and master both techniques early on to enjoy the game more.
On that note, impatient players aren't going to enjoy Gurumin nearly as much as those who take the time to let the world absorb them... before they destroy it! Take joy in bashing everything apart and you'll do just fine. That's really the most important tip of all.
Gurumin is a pretty simple game to understand, in part because of its simplistic navigation. When you start out, you'll wander through a town that is to serve as your restocking point in the future. It's not all that large or complicated, just a great place to refuel, so to speak. There you can buy all sorts of goodies that will help you to explore dungeons. Such options become available after you complete the first dungeon, which is really just a tutorial area.
In town, you'll find that the coins you have collected by smashing trees, vases and other debris don't go nearly as far as you had hoped. Thus, you should get used to conserving items and saving your coins for the important purchases: equipment upgrades. You're not going to get anywhere just buying and using expendable items, and later stages will get rougher just because you're not properly equipped.
Stages themselves are selected from a world map, and you can only go to places the game feels you're ready for. Early on, the developers introduce the Dark Mist, which is basically that intangible force that says not to go somewhere because it'll wipe you out at an early stage in the game. That's fine, though; just explore the areas available to you and head back to town regularly for improvements. Doing so keeps the game relatively simple.
It's also important to note that you can acquire items called 'Junk' as you defeat enemies throughout the world the monsters inhabit. Parin must defeat the appropriate enemies with a charged attack, which will then give her the items that allow her friends back at town to make powerful weapons and accessories for her. Gamers who ignore this element do so at their peril.