Feb. 2013 Kid Icarus Uprising 9.0 Intensity Guide Ver 1.25 by Reptobismol OOOOOOOOOOOOOO Table of Contents OOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO [Introduction] [Int] About this Guide [VH] Version History [Prep] Preparing Yourself [Prep1] Weapons [Prep2] Powers [Prep3] Problem Enemies [Prep4] Miscellaneous Advice [Walkthrough] [Ch1] The Return of Palutena [Ch2] Magnus and the Dark Lord [Ch3] Heads of the Hewdraw [Ch4] The Reaperís Line of Sight [Ch5] Pandoraís Labyrinth of Deceit [Ch6] Dark Pit [Ch7] The Seafloor Palace [Ch8] The Space-Pirate Ship [Ch9] Medusaís Final Battle [Ch10] The Wish Seed [Ch11] Viridi, Goddess of Nature [Ch12] Wrath of the Reset Bomb [Ch13] The Lunar Sanctum [Ch14] Lightning Battle [Ch15] Mysterious Invaders [Ch16] The Aurum Hive [Ch17] The Aurum Brain [Ch18] The Ring of Chaos [Ch19] The Lightning Chariot [Ch20] Palutenaís Temple [Ch21] The Chaos Vortex [Ch22] Scorched Feathers [Ch23] Lord of the Underworld [Ch24] The Three Trials [Ch25] The Warís End [Treasure Hunt Achievements] [T1] Play a level on 9.0 [T2] Chapter 3 (with Blade) [T3] Chapter 4 (kill 200 enemies) [T4] Chapter 6 (with Bow) [T5] Chapter 7 (450,000 pts) [T6] Chapter 10 (kill 220 enemies) [T7] Chapter 11 (with Arm) [T8] Chapter 13 (with Palm) [T9] Chapter 15 (with Cannon) [T10] Chapter 16 (40,000 Hearts) [T11] Chapter 17 (with Claws) [T12] Chapter 19 (with Club) [T13] Chapter 20 (with Bow) [T14] Chapter 23 (kill 150 enemies) [T15] Clear all levels on 9.0 [FAQ] Frequently Asked Questions [Thx] Credits & Thanks [Cinf] Contact Info & Legal Stuff OOOOOOOOOOOOOO [Int] About this Guide OOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Well hello there! How are you enjoying the game? Finally adapted to the control scheme, have you? Looking for a real challenge, or perhaps youíre tired of clearing a level only to find that your spoils wonít even garner a mere thousand hearts when crammed into the grinder with both hands? Then, please do allow me to be of some assistance. I realise that, having waited almost a year to begin writing this guide, Iíve missed the opportunity to help an enormous wealth of people who bought the game on its release and have long since accomplished the difficult task of clearing every chapter on the hardest setting. Still, I love to write, and saw that many gamers had only recently acquired the game on Christmas Day. This new batch of (likely) inexperienced players gave me the incentive to write a full-length walkthrough tailored to those that wish to test their patience, the endurance of the L button, the distance they can hurl their 3DS, and so on. While many levels are very difficult on 9.0 intensity, if not obnoxious, they can all be cleared with minimal frustration with a huge helping of intel and strategic planning. This is exactly what I aim to give you, while keeping my advice broad and concise to avoid completely alienating those without all of the options another player might have. Of course, you must still kill the enemies and bosses yourself, and intel alone will not give you Matrix-caliber evasive skills. A few attempts may still end in failure, but my guide should prevent quite a few painful lessons and errors in judgment, often the main factor in a run going to hell on a handcart. From there, your practice and persistance will see you through to the end. OOOOOOOOOOOOOO [VH] Version History OOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO (2/20/13): Guide is complete. Nothing to update at the moment. (2/25/13): Something happened during the posting process on GameFAQs, and the guide has been completely unreadable (clicking the link leads to a blank page, and the file can't be downloaded) for a few days. In the meantime, I polished the format a little bit and added a new FAQ, though I doubt anyone will have noticed. (2/26/13): Minor correction on one of Cragalanche's attacks. (2/28/13): What's this? Idol Transformation actually serves a purpose? I only just learned of this, courtesy of Primum Mobile. (3/2/13): As it turns out, Guttlers at their largest size are red, not yellow. I also realised I missed an enemy in my count for the Chapter 10 achievement. (Gee, now which level I was playing when I learned about the Guttler?) (3/5/13): Revamped a sizeable portion of Aurum Pyrrhon's strategy, encountered something mildly interesting during the fight with Amazon Pandora, and made a couple really minor corrections. (3/7/13): A substantial edit to Ch24's air battle, which contained a bad error. To quote Pyrrhon: "That is to say.. Oops. My bad." I also polished a couple of tactics during the land portion. (3/12/13): Provided an attacks list and method of battling Arlon without Playing Dead, and reworded some things more to my liking. (3/20/13): Corrected the trigger for a chest drop, courtesy of Kevin Werner. Also edited Sinistew's entry in the Problem Enemies section and added another method of heart farming to the FAQs. (3/27/13): A couple more notices, grammatical fixes and minor corrections. I also discovered that one of the more pathetic bosses, the Aurum Core, had an attack I hadn't witnessed in all this time. (4/2/13): A little tidying and polishing here and there. I also got the Aurum Core and Generator's names mixed up. Ahem. Repeatedly. >________> (4/5/13): Mistakenly said taking the Exo Tank ramps in Ch10 prevents the enemies on the side from spawning. Changed that, plus the count. (4/12/13): Couple additional bits of helpful info, primarily for Chapter 18. For reasons I cannot explain (at the cost of my own life, you see) I've been running through it again. (5/11/13): A whole bunch of miscellaneous additions. Kevin Werner provided some helpful corrections again. (5/15/13): Hello again, Kevin. ..and it was in an obvious place all along? Then why didn't someone tell me sooner?! ..I don't actually DO that to people, it was a frigging JOKE! (6/20/13): Found two small errors in Chapter 22's description, neither of which affecting the walkthrough in any way. I'm just nitpicking. OOOOOOOOOOOOOO [Prep] Preparing Yourself OOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO First and foremost, beat the game once on whatever difficulty you can manage. I cannot recommend this highly enough. The vast majority of weapons are unlocked by merely playing the game, whether it be defeating a boss or via a somewhat simple Treasure Hunt achievement. Iíll cover some of those later. But more importantly, by completing the entire game youíll have amassed a large assortment of powers from opened chests. Since many players will likely struggle with a particular aspect of a level, Iíve dissected each chapter by its segments and arranged them in the following format, so as to allow easy jumping: [ChX] The level name - Substitute X for the corresponding chapter number. The cost in hearts. Weapons more likely to be found inside chests, dropped from bosses, Treasurefish, or between Mimicutieís thighs. My weapon of choice and any weapon traits I think youíll find helpful. My power set and where I use them, if applicable. [NoteX] Notices - Particularly nasty enemies you must kill to proceed or spawn a chest, powers I implore you to bring, things I strongly recommend not doing, or otherwise info I want you to possess without needing to skim the walkthrough itself. [AirX] Air battle - Aggressive enemy placements and suggested special attack usage aside, I am not often going to dissect these segments wave by wave. The amount of content devoted to each chapterís air battle will vary greatly. [LandX] Land battle - Enemy placement and tactics for the clinical execution of enemy mobs will make up the meat and potatoes of this portion. Food and chest placement, as well as intensity gates, shall be the complementary beverage. [BossX] Boss battle - The final hurdle! Attack telegraphing and dodge timing matters a lot more on 9.0 than on lower settings, so some of these may appear to be written for a first-timer. Iíll also use quite a bit of abbreviations when talking about weapons. If you arenít already well-versed in weapon mods, this will show you what I mean: R - Range M - Melee V - Value SCF - Standing cont. fire DCF - Dash cont. fire FDCF - Forward dash cont. fire SDCF - Side dash cont. fire BDCF - Back dash cont. fire SCS - Standing charge shot DCS - Dash charge shot FDCS, SDCS, etc. - You get the idea. MDA - Melee Dash Attack FHB - Full-health boost HB - Heart bonus IPAB - In-peril attack boost IPA - In-peril autododge OD - Overall defense SD - Shot defense SR - Shot range WS - Walking speed RS - Running speed RE - Recovery effect ED - Effect duration While there are many more mods, thereís not much point in including them if Iím not going to be using them myself, is there? Anyway, now that youíve got a gist of the layout, letís get you suited up! ---------------- [Prep1] Weapons ---------------- Youíll want to do a bit of grinding for hearts and weapons to use as fusion fodder before you set out to clear every level on 9.0. While farming levels on 9.0 will eventually become your standard, farming for the purpose of being able to do that is a bit different. Play any level from Chapter 3 and later, at the highest setting you can manage with your present favorite weapon and skill level, and continue to raise the bar until you can make it through at intensity 7 or 8. Chapters 3 and 4 are good for this because of the intensity gates, which tend to drop weapons at a value respective of the intensity you chose. If your loot has no mods youíd care to pass, grind it up. With all this gameplay experience, youíll collect in excess of 100,000 hearts, which is a good benchmark for the pricing of high-end weapons in the shop. Your first goal should be a weapon with 5 or more stars in the Ranged category, without any dangerous negative mods, such as cuts to overall defense. Additionally, your weapon should have a defensive property or offensive mod that supplements one of that weaponís more powerful attacks. Of course, your comfort with the particular weapon type is just as important, and you should stick with the type you liked using while reaching this point. A weapon meeting this basic criteria should be enough to complete the first five chapters on 9.0, at which point youíll want to grind Chapter 4 repeatedly for quality fusion material or even weapons worthy of being used immediately. Chapters 6 and beyond take off the training wheels (barring some pathetically easy segments of specific levels) and youíll want a couple multipurpose, well-rounded weapons stacked with at least two excellent mods. -Clubs are strongly not recommended. Air battles are absolute hell without continuous fire, and swinging the club incessantly to bat away shots will not get you far enough much of the time. -While Arms are nowhere near as handicapped as Clubs in Solo, I find their downsides to be compounded by the combat settings and donít generally recommend using them without the Shot Range +3 mod (though Compact Arms will usually rape the air battle segments and leave few to no enemies alive.) -Palms and Orbitars are among the easiest weapons to use and often have strong, rapid SCF, the most important attack in aerial battles. -Claws are nowhere near the versatility of Palms or Orbs in the air, but they happen to be extremely effective on land. This is partially due to their naturally high stamina and speed (a stat some Palms and Orbs may also claim to possess.) While most claws have substantially weaker SCF than the aforementioned weapons, their rate of fire make up for it. -Many players stress the need for high overall defense and/or health, but I find both stats to become obsolete very quickly with some practice. Aggression and raw power, on the other hand, are useful regardless of your ability to dodge. Youíll be able to kill enemies before they can attack, and most levels have a steady supply of food that will compensate for mistakes. Still, high OD is invaluable for longer levels and newcomers, so it doesnít hurt to spend some time trying to fuse one. Suggested weapons: STAVES Laser - Insane range, excellent rate of fire, damage does not scale Rose - Very high damage overall, great range, doesnít hurt mobility much Dark Pit - Excellent damage and firing rate for SCF, insane DCF damage BOWS Darkness - Very high damage overall, great shot speed and mobility CLUBS Skyscraper - Yeah, we all thought clubs were the shit. ..while playing 2.0-5.0 Black - See above Magnus - See above ORBITARS Fairy - SCF damage and rate of fire insane in the air, shots charge very fast Aurum - Fairy Orbs on lots of steroids. Charge shots inflict retarded damage Centurion - Trade mobility and firing rate for extremely strong attacks Boom - Bad mobility and low rate of fire during SCF, but overall insane damage BLADES Gaol - Overall great damage output Aurum - Great charge time, shot speed and DCS/DCF damage, but poor range CLAWS Artillery - Awful melee, incredible range damage that does not scale Beam - Trades power for way more range and speed than Arts, very well rounded Pandora - Well rounded, but feels too outclassed by the above Viridi - Great mobility and damage output, particularly melee/DCF. Poor range PALMS Violet - Extremely versatile and strong overall, SCF incredible in the air Pudgy - High SCF damage, DCS also powerful with great homing and charge time Aurum - No homing, but great rate of fire, damage and charge time. Good in air Viridi - Damage on par with Violet, awful range but excellent speed and homing CANNONS Predator - Okay mobility for a cannon, excellent overall damage, easy to use Rail - Low mobility, excellent DCF, charge shots strike fast. Great in the air ARMS Compact - All about SCF with its rate of fire, damage and homing. Loves air End-All - High overall damage, great in the air Taurus - Insane melee and speed, decent range damage To unlock Aurum Orbs, clear Chapter 16 with a pair of Claws. To unlock Centurion Orbs, defeat the Chariot Master in Crisis Mode. To unlock Boom Orbs, clear Chapter 25 in under 15 minutes. To unlock the Aurum Blade, destroy 8 of the Aurum Coreís little turrets. To unlock Viridi Claws, clear Chapter 22 without dying on 5.0. To unlock the Aurum Palm, destroy the Aurum Generator without switching rails. To unlock the Viridi Palm, you must have owned any five different Palms. --------------- [Prep2] Powers --------------- If you havenít already unlocked these powers or found higher versions, I highly recommend doing so while you go about crafting weapons: Energy Charge: While you shouldnít be bringing this if you havenít already played the level on 9.0 or arenít too competent with dodging through attacks, this is your best friend when replaying levels for better weapon drops. During boss fights, I find pairing it with Bumblebee to work really well in my efforts to avoid losing the charge. Also invaluable when you want to make short work of Mimicuties, Reapers, and Clubberskulls, in close confines. Autoreticle: This power serves one purpose: dominating Dark Pit and Arlon in Chapter 13. The lv3 version provides three uses, which last long enough to see you through to the end of the level (one use for Pittoo and two for Arlon.) Super Armor: Its value lies in stacking nicely with high overall defense mods. While Iíd rather not use it in favor of powers that prevent damage altogether, the lv4 version has an easy shape to fit onto the grid and lasts long enough in one use to clear particular rough spots. In my case, those would be certain waves of the Chaos Vortex land battle. Brief Invincibility: Whether it keeps you alive in Crisis Mode, gets you out of an undodgable situation, or makes killing aggressive enemies much easier, this somewhat awkwardly shaped power has limitless potential. All you need to do is be up shit creek without a paddle. Note that it is drastically less effective in rivers or oceans. Bumblebee: Dodge Tokens in power form, albeit with a far more limited number of triggers. I often find it more useful during boss fights than enemy mobs, but itís still very useful for preventing being shot in the back. Playing Dead: Playing dead, my ass. You scatter some feathers and then spray the room with continuous fire, mowing down everything in sight. Unless youíre using Claws, Pitís Amazing Feather Trick will dupe enemies every time. Guess Hades was right about their being idiots. All jokes aside, be very careful about using it next to an enemy and accidentally attacking it with a melee strike, which will waste the power. Also note that highly mobile bosses will still scurry about and can keep themselves out of reach. Lastly, if you plan to use them back-to-back (say, during a boss), keep your volume up so you can use the alert that your power is about to wear off as an indicator. Effect Recovery: Eggplant and Tempura Wizards. Enough said. Celestial Firework: This power has one and only one immensely beneficial use in Solo Mode, and that is during the battle with Hadesí Heart. You get plenty of uses and it makes stalling out the rampages or blocking an explosion you canít retreat from that much easier. Just take a peek in your inventory to see if youíve found one yet. Idol Transformation: Provides the same protection as Celestial Firework- a very brief but handy period of invincibility frames- but grants ten uses while taking up half the grid space of Celestial Firework lv2 (just four blocks for a perfect square.) And here we all thought it was completely worthless. Trade-Off (Defeat 50 bosses): When your only issue with a level is a difficult boss, this is the ace up your sleeve. Provided you have the rate of fire and means to land your attacks, nothing will live long after youíve said to hell with your lifebar. With lv4 and at full health, youíll get about 25 seconds to rampage. It can also be used to keep yourself afloat while in Crisis Mode. However, you are still vulnerable to status, which you will note with extreme dismay should you ever become paralyzed. Iím looking at you, Phosphora. Instant Death Attack (Defeat 3000 enemies): This power becomes drastically less useful once youíre using a strong weapon loaded with damage mods, or perhaps Energy Charge, but it still enables you to kill meatier enemies quickly without charge shots. Its best application by far is during enemy mobs, particularly when you must turn your back to threats. By using this, you can immediately off your primary threat before they can act and then keep everyone else on-camera. Most of the really nasty enemies are immune to it, unfortunately, but Belunkas and Tortolunks are not, and they will often top your To Kill list when facing waves of foes. Smite them. And, hey, why not laugh maniacally while doing it? If youíre wondering why certain powers are not on this list, the Miscellaneous Advice section will likely shed some light on that. ------------------------ [Prep3] Problem Enemies ------------------------ Many enemies can be far more or less threatening depending on their groupings or programmed AI. For example, occasionally youíll face a Monoeye or Nutski that shoots far more often than those you encounter elsewhere. This list takes enemies that are universally regarded as very dangerous, and more often than not fought by themselves within a level, simply for that reason. -------------------- Underworld Monsters -------------------- CRAWLER Chapters: 1, 18, 19, 21, 23 Handling: First and foremost, donít bring a slow, clunky weapon into these levels. With the exception of Chapter 1, they are mandatory enemies. As long as you can get behind them and stay there while they constantly rove and turn, itís just a matter of pelting their backside with SCF or DCF, and avoiding their explosive shell. Once the sphere appears beneath you, the attack will land in about three seconds, at which point youíll want to dodge to the side. Playing with the volume up really helps you get a feel for the timing because youíll hear a distinct ďtingĒ right before the attack (keep in mind that the window between the ting and your successful sidestep is incredibly small.) There is also an instantaneous flare from the top of the tank, though there will inevitably be times you wonít be able to spot it. These things usually appear with other enemies, and unless it spawns with its weak point facing you, kill everything else first. Its purple arrows arenít difficult to run from or sidestep, though it takes a lot of speed to just run away from the shell. Theyíll also rumble in place, spinning wildly for several seconds, or jet forward extremely quickly. These are used only if you are directly behind or in front of it for an extended period of time. REAPER Chapters: 4, 5, 9, 24 Handling: Only the Reaper in Chapter 24 is a mandatory battle, but you should definitely learn to fight them for their bountiful hearts. Of course, without Energy Charge, they can withstand a lot of abuse, and if youíre facing one inside a cramped passage, youíll inevitably have to dodge its scythe. The attack is easily telegraphed and has a delay, though. Rather than run far away from it, let it approach you and be ready to flick the control pad down as soon as it raises its scythe. Depending on the damage output of your weapon and the size of the room, youíll need to limit the distance you retreat to avoid cornering yourself quickly. With many Claws and Arms, you can safely dash attack through Reapers and immediately spin the camera to keep them within your sight. This is usually necessary without high damage output. As far as killing them goes, aggress them with a dash charge shot and use your DCF intermittently amidst barrages of SCF, which should immediately be directed at Reapettes the moment they are summoned. Once youíve got a high-powered weapon, though, Reapers become little more than an interruption to the levelís primary music track. CLUBBERSKULL Chapters: 4, 8, 9, 10 Handling: Bulkiest and strongest enemy in the game. While Chapter 9, the only level with forced encounters, provides you with tools to make them far more manageable, they can still give you hell. Having said that, all Clubberskulls are encountered under very different circumstances and settings, so broad advice is not terribly useful, except for this: pissing off dormant skulls without Energy Charge in effect is a very, very big no-no. Also, the sound wave produced by their emergence will hurt you and remove your EC, so keep some distance. Its Forces of Nature counterpart, the Clobbler, is also encountered in various settings that change the way they must be fought. Iíll discuss killing these behemoths as theyíre encountered during my walkthrough. SNONG Chapters: 6, 8, 19, 23 Handling: The levels listed indicate Snongs encountered during land battles. The key to defeating Snongs painlessly is to remember that their stomps will increase in speed and number once theyíve taken a big chunk of damage, and because of their high HP, youíll want to kill their cohorts first. To avoid their arms, donít run; stand in place and flick the control stick to the side as soon as the arm appears overhead. Repeat this until the stomps cease, at which point you should unload everything youíve got on it. Stronger weapons can kill the Snong before it begins its attack, and if youíre able to do so, focus on eliminating this enemy first in a mob. SINISTEW Chapters: 6, 9, 10, 23 Handling: Most players will not want to destroy these enemies, but simply running past them once theyíve spotted you can be very risky, as their reach is quite long and their grab is quick. Position yourself to the left of them several feet away, and sidestep to the right once that arm stretches out. Youíll now have a few seconds to either get the hell away from it, or MDA through it twice (make sure the cursor indicates melee range, because itís easy to mistakenly FDCS as you come near.) Melee combos are quite effective (and usually faster) with many weapons, though you shouldn't be too greedy. While the Sinistew's slap is very quick, it has a hard time readjusting to your position, which makes dash-arounds extremely effective against it. Combo the pot once (or even twice if your combo is executed quickly) and then dash-around; even if you've been behind it for a full second or two, the Sinistew will slap the place you once stood. If it retreats back into the pot and sticks its hand out again, back off and be ready to dodge another swipe. Repeat the process until theyíre gone, which can take quite a while with certain weapons that have bad melee and no stars. Youíll really only want to kill them while attempting Chapter 10ís ď220 enemies slainĒ achievement. TEMPURA WIZARD Chapters: 9, 10, 20 Handling: The real problem with these bastards is their erratic movement and scattering of flour. Weapons with charge shots with high knockback are a big help, because your best window to land an attack is during his intro, as he lowers himself into the room. From there, hammer him with DCF until he dies or begins to levitate wildly around the room. Running except to get within strike range is a waste of time. Instead, you should patiently charge up shots or direct SCF at him while you wait for him to hurl batter. One of the batches will accurately target you, so staying still gives you the best chance of spotting the attack and flicking the control pad in time. The first two encounters are fights to the death, and youíd do well to bring Effect Recovery just in case. ERINUS Chapters: 9, 20, 23 Handling: This enemy is very aggressive when split in two and the top half is both strong and fast. It doesnít take a lot of abuse before splitting, but avoiding the bum rushes is done the same as youíd avoid its shots; dodging forward through the attack. Try to keep space between yourself and the top. Thereís a delay before it rushes, but it covers the distance really quickly, and you want to give yourself time to react. If the legs are right behind it when it charges, dodge to the side instead, and immediately run away to avoid being kicked. Always kill the top half first, to permanently confuse the legs. When these appear with other enemies, save them for last. Itís important to be able to keep your eye on the top half, and its projectiles arenít problematic. ----------------- Forces of Nature ----------------- JITTERTHUG Chapters: 11, 13, 14 Handling: If you are waiting for it to turn red, DO NOT SHOOT IT WHILE IT IS GREEN, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE. This is what causes it to launch three shots in a row, which can be very difficult to avoid. Otherwise, this fella is a piece of cake. Dodge forward through its little fireballs, and after 4-5 shots, itíll flip out. Most powerful weapons can simply spam DCF and kill it before it can reach you, but a simple forward dodge through its charge is all you need to get away from it. By the way, attack items register as melee damage, should you pick up a Boom Spear or Holy Hand Grenade. Toss Ďem at it while itís green. MEGONTA Chapters: 12, 13, 14 Handling: Its hitbox is tiny enough that high-homing weapons easily target the shell and not its underside, though disabling homing in the pause menu does help with this (this is also handy for Girins.) In the meantime, stick with SCF in order to flip them, so you can let go of the trigger at a momentís notice. Their roll should ALWAYS be dodged forward; do not be fooled by the delay caused by rolling in place; this attack comes at you extremely quickly and you should flick the control stick a second after it curls up. Do not keep your back against a wall when fighting them. It also launches a wave of four seeds and a single seed that detonates. By standing still, you have enough time to spot these and dodge to the side. Note that the single seed arcs and will leave your field of vision; the moment it does, that is when you should begin your dash. The explosion shouldnít catch you within it. While Chapters 21 and 24 have Megontas, they arenít fought the same way and are not remotely threatening. ------------- Aurum Troops ------------- DOHZ Chapters: 17, 21, 24 Handling: The key to destroying this mothership-like enemy is patience. Once it appears, launch a charge shot if youíve prepared one, or let loose a barrage or two of DCF, then stop. By now, the Dohz will have created the balls of light that will soon be launching themselves at you in laser form. It helps to try and keep a little bit of distance, so you can more easily tell when the first laser has been fired. Regardless, it will cross any gap nigh instantly and you must dodge three times to the side in quick succession, one right after the other. Itís very easy to get into a rhythm of flick-flick-flick and you should do this even if the lasers havenít actually targeted you (ie: Chapter 21.) Rinse and repeat. After each barrage, fire your charged shot and whatever else youíve got until the spheres appear again. Having said that, this really applies to the Dohz in Chapter 21. The one in Ch24 renders this moot with its ridiculous speed and should be avoided or aggressed while invulnerable, and the two Dohz fought during Ch17ís land battle can be killed quickly through sheer aggression. The Chaos Vortex Dohz has tons of HP and is fought under (likely) dire circumstances which makes patience and caution a must. XONEME Chapters: 15, 16, 17 Handling: Without using Brief Invincibility to safely shoot them while the barrier spins around, the safest method of killing them involves approaching them to trigger the spin, and then immediately dashing backward. Spam SCF or DCF to remove what little health they have. Most of these are optional. SIO Chapters: 15, 16, 17, 21 Handling: The most important thing is to avoid that black hole at all costs. Your badly hindered vision is more dangerous than the pull itself, as it makes it difficult to time a sidestep to its lightning-quick laser beam. These are usually fought in very spacious areas, so use that to your advantage and be running by the time they appear. During Ch21, make a beeline for a spring as soon as you spot it, which will take you far away from the hole. They can also be knocked down and are susceptible to freezing, but not instant death. BAGLO Chapters: 15, 16 Handling: If there isn't a safe corner immediately nearby for you to duck behind, do not attack these things without Playing Dead. The two Baglos in Ch15 are out in the open and will punish you dearly if you haven't defended yourself appropriately (even with Energy Charge, it's not easy to kill them before they can retaliate.) Ch16 is a different story, as they're mostly tucked into alcoves for you to stupidly run into while shooting at the first sign of foreign objects. Because of this, you can blast them, duck behind a corner, wait out their barrage (if you can see part of the Baglo, you will notice it close back up) and repeat the process until they die. Like all Aggress At Your Own Risk baddies, they drop plenty of hearts when slain. -------------- Miscellaneous -------------- CENTURION STRONGARMS Chapters: 18, 20 Handling: If youíre facing them as Magnus, remember that heís invulnerable while performing a combo. Youíll want to be very patient and simply keep an eye on them, until they abruptly turn to face you and stiffen up. This is your cue to hammer on the attack button. Once the combo is finished, itís back to waiting; however, because it takes four combos to finish them, you can pretty safely execute the fourth combo immediately after the third. As Pit, they are drastically less threatening because you can keep your distance and attack much more often. Donít use DCF or any attack with cooldown until theyíve charged and you can rest assured that they wonít rush again for the time being. They rarely use their dumbbell attack, but you can see it coming. As soon as they heft one overhead, stop what youíre doing and be ready to dodge. Always dodge their charging attack with a forward dash, as with most rushes. MIMICUTIE Chapters: 5, 7, 9, 10, 12, 14, 15, 18, 24 Handling: Here are some things to remember when facing Miss Thunder Thighs. -Weapons with high-impact charge shots will stall them and prevent them from getting in your face when performing their flurry. -Quick melee strikes will clash with their leg flurry and also stall them. -Low mobility weapons should never dodge backwards, ever. Side dodges should be avoided altogether regardless of weapon. Forward dodges are safest. -Likewise, their cyclone kick should only be dodged forward, and you should immediately rotate the camera 180 degrees and be ready to do it again. -Freezing and Confusion work well, though you shouldnít bring the powers that add the attribute. Itís merely a nice mod to have. Apart from Chapter 24, which forces you to kill three of them, you should not set these traps off without a powerful or highly mobile weapon. With strong, sluggish weapons, you should use your BDCS to nail the Mimicutie a second after it rises; if it intended to use its flurry of kicks, it will do so without rushing to your face, and you are free to do whatever. If youíre unable to kill it then, wait for it to act again and dodge accordingly. Several Mimicuties are guaranteed to drop items or weapons, so itís worth your while to practice facing them before tackling Chapter 24. ----------------------------ó [Prep4] Miscellaneous Advice ----------------------------ó -I suggest increasing the sensitivity of your reticle movement in air battles by a little bit. Max speed is very unnecessary, but a little bit allows you to quickly dart between targets without needing to move the stylus much. -Many players like to complete levels on 9.0 by avoiding all but mandatory encounters and sprinting as often as they can. I hate this play style for multiple reasons, but primarily because many enemies can just as easily shoot you in the back. I condone it at times, but rarely. This guide is meant for players that plan to fight and score plenty of loot. -Wean yourself off of Health Recovery while scaling the difficulty up to 9.0 and crafting your weapons. Itís awkwardly shaped and doesnít squeeze in nicely with a lot of really beneficial powers. On top of that, the frantic nature of boss fights and some mobs make this power ineffective in a pinch. Most levels have a steady supply of food that will keep Pit chugging along. -Recovery Effect +2 is more than adequate in replacing Health Recovery, if you absolutely must have some form of additional healing. At +2, Meat will restore an enormous portion of your health bar; at least half. Recovery Orbs in air battles will also be substantially more helpful following a rough segment. -Donít stop moving in circles during air battles, even during pauses in the action, unless you know exactly what is coming up and where it will appear. When enemies finally do appear and shoot, your risk of being hit goes way up. -When using weapons that are drastically better on land than in the air, youíre often much better off firing seldom, launching SCS at closer enemies, and spending more time in your gliding state. This allows you to avoid shots much more easily, especially when your weapon is lightweight and speedy. Aurum Blade lovers, take note. -Barrel rolling is very effective in dodging really accurate shots, and doesnít require gliding to do it, though you must not be shooting at the moment. Flick the control pad in the opposite direction you want to go, then immediately flick it in the direction you do. Use this when you find yourself being hit at the same points in an air battle no matter what you try. -Iíll occasionally use dialogue as an indicator of when something will happen that you must be ready for, so I suggest keeping the voice acting enabled. -I recommend adjusting your horizontal reticle speed to max under Land Battle controls, which will allow you to pan the camera 180 degrees nigh instantly. There are very many battles during which it's important to be able to do this. -If you havenít learned the basics of dodging through attacks instead of running away, play Chapter 1 on 9.0 and use the three Monoeyes at the start of the land battle for practice. Kill the Shemums and simply stand before the Monoeyes, waiting for each one to shoot at you. Flick the control pad up or to the side as each shot draws very near and repeat. You can practice with other ammo types by allowing enemies further on to shoot at you, also. -Great Reaper is an excellent boss for dodge practice, as well. His attacks are very quick and strong.. ..in execution. The indicator for which move heíll use is blatantly obvious and you can spend the entire fight without needing to move much or refocus the camera, which can overwhelm inexperienced players. -Dash-arounds are by far the least useful method of evasion and if you find yourself doing them often accidentally, get out of the habit of keeping your stylus on the touch screen at all times. Having said that, for the few enemies they are handy against, they are EXTREMELY effective in avoiding attacks; those being Sinistews, Snowmen, and Igniots. -Foxtrotting- that is, repeatedly initiating a dash without continuing your sprint- can be very effective in avoiding attacks of which you have not yet learned the timing. Itís also more effective than running for some weapon types, but does deplete your stamina rapidly. -Much of the time, dodging into the attack is the most ideal form of evasion. Sidestepping is most useful when facing multiple ranged enemies and is easy to chain when necessary (several incoming shots.) Backward dashing should be used against melee attacks that wonít pass through you otherwise. -Weapon versatility and experience with a weapon type matter a lot more than stars and mods, so donít be too quick to write something off as poor, just because it lacks six stars or +4 mods. If you can clear levels with it, youíre good to go. -Likewise, there are some levels that really do not cater to particular weapons or types, usually because of things like range or enemy speed. Itís best to use two or three different weapons as you see fit; donít discard or fuse away a decent weapon just because you acquired something ďbetter.Ē -Crisis Recovery is worthless on 9.0 and space should not be wasted on it. -Popping the cartridge immediately following your death, then hitting the Home button when prompted, will preserve your hearts. OOOOOOOOOOOOOO [Ch1] The Return of Palutena OOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Cost: 2960 Hearts Common Drops: Fortune Bow, First Blade, Violet Palm, Twinbellows Cannon (Max of 2) Youíll likely be caught off-guard by the severely jacked up enemy strength, particularly Wave Gliders, as well as shot speed, but this level doesnít offer much in the way of enemies or danger and is perfect for getting your feet wet. My weapon of choice: Fairy Orbitars R: 6 M: 0 V: 273 Freezing +4 RS +1 SCF +4 Powers: Energy Charge lv4, Brief Invincibility lv3, Bumblebee lv3, Effect Recovery lv1 This weapon is actually fusion fodder and not typically something Iíd use, but itís very basic and I wanted to tackle the first two chapters with something simplistic to demonstrate the usefulness of solid weapons with merely average strength. Fairy Orbs have a lot of neat features to compensate for generally low-moderate damage output on land (these reign supreme in the air.) As for powers, even if this is your first run of a level on 9.0, you really only need to prepare for Twinbellows. Bring invulnerability-related powers and perhaps Quick Charge or Libra Sponge if you want to make short work of him. If you canít make it to him in one piece, itís a clear sign you need to practice dodging a while longer. Use the Monoeyes for that. ---------------- [Note1] Notices ---------------- -If you had trouble getting behind the Crawler on difficulties as low as 5.0, do yourself a favor and skip the midway intensity gate. You wonít miss much. ------------------ [Air1] Air Battle ------------------ Up until Medusaís grand entrance, youíll fight nothing but Monoeyes and a lone Wave Angler. Roving in large circles is just as effective as it was in lower difficulties, so donít break the habit. While they do shoot much more frequently, they wonít do so the moment they appear on screen, which is usually when youíre at high risk of being hit. This wonít change until you fly close to the ground. Try not to position yourself in the middle of Octosí poison clouds, as this often makes it easier to be hit by anything else, if not the cloud itself, as the view can be very deceptive. This is much more important during later levels. Kerons (the chubby frogs) fire squirrely shots that arenít always easily dodged through circular movement, because they move slower and can be intersected with. Theyíll appear at the top of the screen following the Octos. Ditto for the Gyrazers that appear immediately afterward, which stream some constant laser beams toward the corners. Just stay still and kill them, starting with the top. As you soar above the town and the building comes back into view, among the enemies will be a Wave Angler that will likely launch at least two of them at you. Anticipate the horizontal one and stay on the opposite side of the screen from it, high or low. Those waves inlict massive damage in the air. I donít feel compelled to use my special attacks for this, but I recommend unleashing them on the Wave Anglers, if only to cancel their shots. -------------------- [Land1] Land Battle -------------------- Benign enemies ahoy! While Palutena yaks on, some Monoeyes will fly down over the rooftops and position themselves, frequently shooting at you. Just pick them off with standing charge shots, which allows you to dodge as needed. Killing the Nettler will bring forth another Monoeye in the distance. Your attention will be drawn to the grenade and likely the chest on your left, but be mindful of the two Monoeyes that will appear and quickly circle around the fountain. Theyíll shoot repeatedly and will score multiple easy hits if you make haste to the chest with your back turned. Stand by the grenade, anticipate and slay. One of them may still get a shot off as a parting gift. Should you go for the intensity gate on your right, stay left and sprint in, stopping once youíre about even with the Crawler, in order to kill the Gyrazer high above. Then move around the tank and kill the opposite Gyrazer. Listening for the ting-ting-ting indicates that the Crawler will fire its purple arrows, while rumbling in place means it will spin wildly. Since I know you had the common sense to enter this room only with a weapon granting agility, just get behind it and unload everything youíve got, worrying only about its shell. If that telltale glowing sphere appears, the attack itself will hit after about three seconds of whirring. With some terrible loot in your possession, you can head on to face one of the meatier low-level enemies, Keron. These will not back off once youíve been spotted, but spend more time hopping toward you than anything else. Still, landing on you will hurt. Their wobbly shots are simple to avoid on land, but they may also crouch down and quickly lunge forward a great distance. Youíll likely kill it well before it can do this, but run to the side if that happens. Killing the next one and the Shemum Vase will produce some fruit, should you have been hurt following the Crawler encounter. Behind the chest in between the steps is a Wave Angler. These have quite a bit of HP and fire spontaneously, making them very dangerous up close. If your weapon isnít quite strong, I suggest keeping your distance; otherwise, bum rush it and you can kill it before it fires (thereís a lengthy window.) Keep left of the staircase to avoid the wrecking ball, which will take out the Ganewmede. Your final Keron waits at the top along with arrow-launching Gyrazers, your first priority. Retreat from the Keron as needed, as it is not shy and will fire more often than the others. Grab your Drink of the Gods and boldly face your naughty puppy friend. -------------------- [Boss1] TWINBELLOWS -------------------- Youíll need to use Twinbellowsí stance and lowered heads as a sign that heíll charge from now on, as the move itself is much too quick to avoid once heís already on the move. Because of his size, sidestepping is the best method of avoiding all of his attacks, including his claw swipe. Your best bet is to strafe (as Pit himself mentions) as needed to avoid being directly in front of him. This gives you the best odds of sidestepping his flame attacks. Twinbellows will reposition himself to face you as needed immediately before attacking head-on, so use this sign to stop shooting and be ready to dodge. Heíll charge at you as many as four times before smacking into the wall, and because heíll repeatedly go off-camera, you should get into the habit of sidestepping on instinct with about a 1.5-second pause in between each one. Once you hear that telltale thud, resume shooting. His heads are easy targets and of course should be aimed for whenever possible. Because he attacks relatively quickly, save your DCS or any move with substantial cooldown for the instances he stuns himself. Since this level doesnít warrant power usage, you should have a full stock for the boss battle. Even with sloppy dodging, you should be able to tough it out. Enjoy your sexy sub-200 value weapons! You earned Ďem! OOOOOOOOOOOOOO [Ch2] Magnus and the Dark Lord OOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Cost: 5410 Hearts Common Drops: Insight Staff, Sagittarius Bow, Ore Club, Gaol Blade, Crusher Arm (Max of 3) This chapter will also not yield good weapons on 9.0, but it also keeps the training wheels on, so you shouldnít struggle if you take each enemy one at a time and leave yourself a window to dodge through shots. However, the air battle will be quite a step up from the first level, and if your SCF is terrible, youíll realise it shortly after dropping beneath the clouds. My weapon of choice: Fairy Orbitars R: 6 M: 0 V: 273 Freezing +4 RS +1 SCF +4 Powers: Energy Charge lv3, Playing Dead lv3, Instant Death Attack lv3 Provided the SCF or range isnít too bad, melee-centric weapons can be very effective, both for Gaol and the couple of Ganewmedes youíll face. On lower intensities I liked using an Ogre Club for that reason. Among the most useful attributes is range, as Gaolís room is extremely large and she is mobile, which can be hell for weapons with neither foot nor shot speed. Much like the first chapter, your power set should primarily be geared toward helping you take down Gaol. Most of her attacks either involve projectiles or damage within a fixed but large AOE, so Reflect Barrier and invulnerability or evasion-centric powers are very useful. Hyper-aggression, however, works quite well, and Energy Charge, Libra Sponge, and Trade-Off work great. ---------------- [Note2] Notices ---------------- -Specknoses can be pretty dangerous in close confines. Their bombs can and will nail you in the back after theyíve bounced off a wall, so your best bet is to face them with a clear radius around you. Your shots will detonate their bombs, but they spread apart quickly and youíll likely only shoot one of them. -Shrips block shots that connect with their blades while theyíre spinning, so be mindful of that when trying to kill one as itís winding up (on land.) -Porcuspines have an incredibly fast counterattack that theyíll use once their eye has turned to face you. If itís already looking right at you, donít use an attack with cooldown, at least not close up, as it severely limits your ability to sidestep the subsequent needle barrage. Keep in mind that Magnus can trigger the counterattack himself, which will still hit you. -Gaolís reflector can be fatal if youíre hit by your own charge shot (Flintlocks beware!) and quickly put you in crisis mode if youíre hit by your own SCF barrage close-up. Be careful. ------------------ [Air2] Air Battle ------------------ Before long youíll encounter Miks, now a mainstay in aerial battles, and one of them will whip its tongue vertically down the right side of the screen. This particular one is very easy to avoid, but from here on out youíll have run-ins with multiple Miks that swing their tongues simultaneously. On top of being a lot more powerful than basic shots, theyíll often be in mid-swing once theyíre within your strike zone, so youíll benefit from remembering where theyíll pop up and killing them first. The lightning bolts that sweep past will hurt you, but unlike later levels with this hazard, your flight path will not play mind games with you. Simply stay away from the portion of the screen they first appear, and theyíll miss you. More importantly are the two Wave Anglers that show up; use a special attack to null their shots for a few seconds, and try to kill at least one of them in that time. If you canít kill the second one, itíll create two or three waves. Donít use your second special attack if youíve got one, but move high or low depending on where you were when they were fired. As you spike sharply downward and level out with the canyon below, another pair of Wave Anglers will appear that, again, will fill the screen with many waves if you donít shut them down. Keep your SCF directed toward the center-right of the screen following the Wave Anglers; the Monoeyes that zip onto the screen will be firing as soon as they appear and can score three or more easy hits. There will be a few rounds of Monoeyes like this. Once you get your Happy Trigger, be ready for the two Mik groups; a few of them in each group will swipe their tongues after a moment if you donít kill them. At such close range, your charge shots should wipe out more than one per use. If you fail to kill one once its mouth opens, move accordingly, and hopefully youíll have left a safe gap you can move into. The Belunka that chases you will produce a few Monoeyes and Miks, and the upper-right Mik will launch quite a few shots, so kill it first. The Belunka will then barf up two Shrips on its left and right, and will be very close to Pit; stay centered while you kill them and then polish off the Belunka, unless your weapon sucks in air, which likely means itíll crash into the overhang and kill itself. The wall may appear too close to make wide circles as it rushes by, but you can do so without worrying about touching the jagged protrusions. Save any special attack youíve got stored up for when the couple Monoeyes appear and begin shooting. Otherwise, your enemies will randomly be coming from both sides and down the center, so keep the reticle back and forth to kill the few Gyrazers that will concentrate lasers in your path. Once over the canyon, a Shrip will show up on your right. Take this moment to direct a charge shot and some SCF at about the 11 oíclock position; a Monoeye will appear in the distance and launch four shots in rapid succession that can score easy hits. If you have a special attack, go ahead and use it. Beyond that, itís smooth sailing, and you can waste the few batches of Syrens that pop in from the right for easy points. -------------------- [Land2] Land Battle -------------------- Be on the move as soon as you drop down to the main entrance, as the two Skuttler Cannoneers will perk up and begin shooting. They have low HP, so SDCS from many weapons should take them out. The normal Skuttlers that waddle down the staircase should be at floor level once the Cannoneers are down and it takes next to nothing to knock them over and dispatch them. Walking backward while shooting is effective. With a long-range weapon you can nail the switch by the Boogity without needing to fight it (though homing weapons will go for its iron backside.) If you need to get close, save it for second, since the Handoraís attacks can reach you from the other side of the room. I use a lot of weapons with horrendous melee and prefer to ignore the spawned Ganewmede. In the next area, immediately run into the corridor on your left and let loose with a charge shot to dispose of the Cannoneer. If you want some hearts and crap treasure, go ahead and engage the four Skuttlers in the adjoining room, moving around the perimeter but taking care not to get caught against one of the pillars, which will allow them to catch up and hit you. Once the chests are open, if youíve gotten an attack item from either chest, use it as soon as you step back into the ambush room, prioritizing the Splin. With that out of the way, the Specknose is easier to handle. Stay in the middle of the room. As you cross the little bridge in the next room, you can avoid having to face the Commyloose alongside the Zurret by staying on the bridge once the Zurret appears. Send charge shots at it and some cont fire in between its shots, but be ready to sidestep. When fighting any Zurret, donít get close enough to put the head off-camera, your indicator that itís about to fire. Another Cannoneer lies in wait down the stairs leading to the interior garden. As with most teamups throughout this game, Magnus does little more than serve as a meat shield, though this usually ends up being really helpful. Youíll want to stay cornered much of the time, shooting whatever is facing you and not Magnus, moving in case something spawns right next to you. You can let Magnus kill the Ganewmede all by himself, but it will take a long time. He also makes killing the Boogity a pain in the ass by attacking nonstop and making its body turn every which way. Your sources of damage during that little mob come in the form of the Shrip, which is avoided by merely standing away from the angle itís pointing; the Specknose, which you should fight from the middle of the room, and that Boogity, should you not have learned to dodge forward through missiles. Running away is too risky. Once you drop down again, youíll likely be able to kill only one of the Miks before the other fires, so be ready to flick the control stick once you see its lips move. Magnus will be more than happy to melee the Corals that spawn one at a time, and the Wave Angler that spawns by opening the chest will launch a vertical wave, easily avoided by moving to the side while pelting it. Save the Mega Marble for once the Shildeen appears, if you can. Otherwise, move around the perimeter while blasting the Cannoneers. By staying to the walls, youíll lower the odds of being shot from an unseen angle. I noticed that even when Magnus was engaging them, their missiles were always directed at me. Be ready to dodge through them, though from a distance your charge shots can blow them up. The trap chest pits you against a beefy Belunka that spawns Handoras, one at a time, two Specknoses (also one at a time), and then a Mik with a Skuttler and Cannoneer. You have plenty of room to dodge the bombs. If 9.0 runs make you nervous, ignore the chest, but I like me them hearts! If youíre going to entertain the Boogity, kill the Handora on your right, first. A Porcuspine will spawn following the Shildeen, and Magnus will happily swipe at it, but the counterattack will still easily nail Pit if itís facing him. Let him wail on it, then simply sidestep right afterward if itís aimed at you, then shoot it yourself. Have you got all your powers intact? Someone needs a spanking. ----------------------- [Boss2] DARK LORD GAOL ----------------------- The key to knowing when Gaol will attack and preparing yourself for it is to watch for her fists to glow with energy. Two white fists means sheíll launch a large ball that homes in on you, while one white fist held above her head will be her vortex-like move that draws you in for a combo. Occasionally sheíll send a few pellets your way, easily sidestepped, and if youíve nailed her a few times, anticipate her reflector coming up and stop shooting for a moment. Her rushing attack isnít particularly fast and is easy to sidestep. Both her vortex and rush present great opportunities to damage her. Sheíll typically roll a few feet after completing each attack, so anticipate that and hold your fire until sheís standing again. As her HP is whittled down, sheíll focus on a few new moves, namely her laser beam. Look for her glowing red fist, and be ready to dodge into it. This move never seems to target your location from the get-go and will instead sweep toward you, so as to allow you to dodge into it, apparently. This attack also presents a great time to hit her, once the beam has moved past you. Sheíll also repeatedly summon Skuttlers, both swordies and Cannoneers, as the fight goes on. Kill the Cannoneers as you spot them and just ignore the sword users, as youíll be constantly on the move and they trip themselves up too much to be of any real threat. The problem comes when youíve got too many enemies nearby as sheís spamming that goddamn laser. Lastly, youíll want to keep a little distance and avoid standing even with her to ensure youíll avoid two rare, powerful moves: a thin line of dark energy that stretches across the floor, and a quick explosive shockwave that emanates a short distance away from her. The line attack is particularly dangerous because it can paralyze you, as well. Like her vortex, she doesnít move during her shockwave and can be easily hit. While she has a lot of strong moves, sheís beaten somewhat easily by good old-fashioned rage and aggression. Whether you need to don an invulnerability power first or set up Energy Charge, sprinting to within your weaponís ideal attack range and wailing away in between her post-attack rolls will take her down quickly. Remember to keep at least some distance, and youíll find that her attacks are actually easier to avoid than Twinbellowsí. OOOOOOOOOOOOOO [Ch3] Heads of the Hewdraw OOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Cost: 6840 Hearts Common Drops: Hewdraw Club, Standard Orbitars, Tiger Claws, EZ Cannon (Max of 3) From here on out, youíll be able to scrounge up some halfway decent loot from chests. Youíll also be exposed to things in air battles that are much worse than frenzied Monoeyes. Are you excited? My weapon of choice: Beam Claws R: 6 M: 1.5 V: 296 WS +2 SDCS +1 SCF +3 DCF +4 Powers: Energy Charge lv4, Brief Invincibility lv3, Bumblebee lv3, Effect Recovery lv1 Because of the kinds of enemies youíll be facing throughout this level, namely Wave Anglers, Stackjaws, Mega Mussels, Merenguys, and of course the Hewdraws, you may like to try weapons that specialize in raw damage, if youíre having trouble. Weapons that feature overpowered charge shots as their best traits will kill these enemies very quickly and the pacing will allow you to keep a charge ready and strike preemptively. This isnít a bad level to try and get to love Energy Charge. There are only a couple of enemies that will begin attacking as soon as theyíre on screen, so you have plenty of time to get up close for a FDCS, or just stand there and SCF them until theyíre dead. The Hewdraw Head can be nailed with a preemptive strike and have most of its health depleted as soon as it drops in. As for the boss, it gives you ample time to safely charge one up in its downed state. Quick Charge is a useful alternative if you just want help versus the bosses. For other powers, if Merenguys give you grief or youíre using a weapon better known for utility than damage, Instant Death Attack will suit you well. Reflect Barrier, Playing Dead and Bumblebee have various uses, primarily when dealing with Stackjaws and Hewdraw Reborn. In all, this level shouldnít be a drain on powers unless you have a miserable time avoiding Rebornís frequent homing scale spam. ---------------- [Note3] Notices ---------------- -Both the fruit sitting in a fenced-in area and the 7.0 intensity gate are guarded by very meaty Wave Anglers. The first one isnít too hard to dodge, but when collecting the intensity gate loot, do a 180 and get the hell away. -The Monolith that rapidly circles the food following the Hewdraw head can be removed by progressing a little further into the level and destroying the Stackjaw first. Return, and safely nab your food. -Occasionally, during the Mega Mussel-Ganewmede x2 combo, your attack item may be another Grenade and not a Rocket. This wonít necessarily kill the Ganewmedes instantly and theyíll both counter which, if unanticipated, will knock you onto your ass. And that ass will not be happy. ------------------ [Air3] Air Battle ------------------ This level introduces a number of enemies that will now be mainstays in air and land battles alike. You would have already met them, so hereís some preaching that I practice: -Paramush almost always attack more aggressively than your typical shooter goonies and should be at the top of your To-Kill List. -Shooting corals is a gamble I donít like to take unless theyíre very far away and I can see the shrapnel. While you may melee them in the air, they can still make contact with you and explode. Because they appear alongside enemies youíll want to shoot, I recommend ignoring them. -Specknoses encountered in the air should never be shot at from below or otherwise close proximity. Your new Paramush friends are introduced almost immediately, frequently entering the screen from the upper left and right. The vast majority of enemies will pop up in this fashion, and you can kill most Monoeyes and shrooms right away by keeping your fire focused there. The Komayto and Corals make their grand entrance shortly afterward, the latter of the two by way of a Belunka. Theyíll be positioned on either side of it, to force you to shoot carefully between them in order to kill the Belunka without making one detonate close to you. Following the drought of bloodshed from Hewdrawís distraction, youíll then have to deal with more Corals trying to intercept your fire as you kill some Specknoses and Syrens. The Specks take quite a bit of abuse and are pretty accurate with those bombs, so you may want to use a special attack to keep them out of your hair. The three heads are quickly and easily slain, though their attacks pack a real wallop. Kill one at a time, changing targets only if one of them is reared back and preparing to spew a giant fireball (a huge field of red particles will swirl around it.) When one is charging pink energy, a sign that a sweeping laser beam is coming, keep your distance and simply move up or underneath it as needed (the beam does not actively target you.) If its chompers begin to nibble at the air, quickly move to the bottom of the screen and to the corner furthest from the head. Thatís really the only attack I have problems avoiding. If youíve got only one special attack left after the fight, donít use it on the Komayto triplets youíll spot as you nosedive; save it for when youíre cruising above the ground and pass through the swarm of enemies. Your main concern here is avoiding the two Miks that will swing their tongues as they pass by, the first of which approaching from the left. Staying high and opposite each Mik as it comes by is all well and good, but a ton of shots will also be fired your way as you pick off whatever you can, and circling to avoid them makes you an excellent target for a licking. Hence, saving at least one special attack for this. -------------------- [Land3] Land Battle -------------------- The Monoeyes that intrude upon your picnic can and should be killed without rounding the corner, as that triggers the two Gyrazers to strafe the walkway with their lasers; otherwise, they pose no threat, either. Staying perched on the edge of that walkway allows you to kill the two Commyloose while having a surefire means of avoiding their missiles. Go get your treasure and Souflee. Stackjaws are pretty simple to defeat if you remember to stand away from the column of mouths as it first sprouts, and not to stay in place while you shoot at the top. Youíll likely need to sidestep the wall of lasers at least once while you whittle it down; once the final segment remains, if you donít have something strong to kill it immediately, instead wait for it to send some arrows your way and dodge forward through them. That attack comes pretty quickly, and you donít want to be caught in a cooldown state. If you botched toppling the Stackjaw and need more than the food it dropped, the fenced-in food will probably leave you even sorrier, as the Wave Angler that pops up to say hi will launch three very fast waves in quick succession. Youíll get some easily-earned Meat soon enough. I am often very unlucky when trying to melee combo Komaytos and will find myself face-humped at least once, so I prefer to MDA the bastards. Because of their constant rotation, itís often easier to simply wait for Monoliths to move completely out of your way before running by them; I still manage to mistime my rolls and get nailed by the ass end of one from time to time. Down the stairs is your tasty meat, albeit inside the giant Shemum. Be sure to open the chest sitting at the end of this passage, be sure not to linger on the platform with the Grenade, if you donít intend to kill the Daphne there, and be sure to save the Grenade itself for... ...one of only three Minos youíll ever encounter on land, if Iím not mistaken. Nail it along with the Shemum Vase, and once it inflates itself, immediately backward dash with the offense of your choice in order to inflate it to its bursting point without being near it. They aren't shy and will quickly rush at you otherwise, ramming you in the process. You canít hold both a key and an attack item, not that youíll likely be put in this conflict of options. OM NOM NOM. Following the Hewdraw Head ambush are a triple pack of Miks, which will not shoot at you unless you follow them around the corner and bid them farewell as they sink into the horizon. Giving them five full seconds to back away should suffice, if you donít want to face them. Youíll want as little company when you face your first Merenguy, anyway. Once you kill it, a Komayto and Fire Wyrm will show up. Donít open that chest just yet! It often contains a Drink of the Gods, which you will likely want before battling the Hewdraw Head. Instead, take to the corner opposite it or retreat back into the alley from whence you came, in order to avoid the Fire Wyrm prowling about, or rather, in order not to be caught in its flight path if that Komayto successfully latches onto you. Deal with the Komayto when the Wyrm is off to the side, then retreat into the corner while pelting it in the head. With that done, itís time to unlock the gate; if youíve got Energy Charge, nowís an occasion to use it. Strong weapon or not, firing a charge shot a few seconds after Pit asks ďWhat just happened?Ē is an excellent way to begin the fight. From there, you may want to take a moment to kill the Monoeye and Gyrazer that joined, an unwelcome source of side damage and EC removal, unless youíre using something like a Lancer Staff or Centurion Orbies, in which case you should just put the poor bastard out of its misery. Otherwise, it'll do nothing but bounce around two or three times, flip in the air, and then quickly hobble over to you. Run and sidestep as needed, attacking whenever youíre able to face it and it hasnít just flipped. This thing doesnít have a whole lot of health. The Mega Mussel has quite some range, so donít think retreating all the way to the miniboss area will guarantee your safety. Face them largely the same way you would a Stackjaw; keep moving and keep a bit of distance so that the much faster purple shots can fly by, and stop shooting when the homing shots draw near, in order to dodge into them. Focus on one orb at a time and donít back toward the circle of food, as youíll likely be hit by the Monolith. Run ahead and destroy another Stackjaw for some ice cream, then head back to grab that food without needing to avoid the Monolith, and enter the 7.0 gate. If you havenít played this level at 5.0 or above before, a Gloomerang will block your path to the sewers. They donít have much HP and you can try to nail their fleshy hand while the mask is still on, but itís better to dodge through the boomerang once itís thrown (keep your distance and watch for it to take off the mask first) and quickly shoot it before the return trip. Try not to take damage in the sewers, since the chest spawned by destroying the Shemum Vase may not contain food. Let the Komayto come to you on the raised walkway, and donít linger on the stairs, for a Gyrazer awaits above. Rumpus Room! Wave 1: Komayto, Minos, Daphne (Grenade) Wave 2: Mega Mussel, Ganewmede x2 (Grenade/Rocket) Wave 3: Stackjaw, Syren, Merenguy (Back Shield) Throw the Grenade at the Komayto immediately, and youíll likely kill the Daphne along with it and enrage the Minos. You know what to do from here, though you may also need to anticipate the explosion and sidestep it. If you got a rocket, plant it and then do nothing but circle the group until it lands. You may need to run or sidestep a bit if a homing shot gets too close. If you got a Grenade, target the Mega Mussel and hope for the best. Be ready to dodge forward through the spiked balls if neither one is killed. As soon as the second round is finished, grab the Back Shield and turn to face only the Merenguy. You know how this works. Once itís dead, wait for the telltale ping of both the Syrenís and Stackjawís shots to harmlessly connect with your shield, then turn around and focus on the Syren first. Move clockwise or counter-clockwise to keep a bead on the Syren while staying away from the Stackjawís little pellets, and sidestep the wall of lasers as needed. Be ready to sidestep the whirlwind as well, though the Syrenís pause before shooting is also the best time to hit it. With just the Stackjaw remaining, handle it like the previous two. If that mob left your lifebar looking pitiful, step forward to trigger the Monoeyes, then immediately retreat into the fight area, as they will unload shots onto you otherwise. Whether you kill them or give them a few seconds to leave, itís time for a Drink of the Gods. ----------------------- [Boss3] HEWDRAW REBORN ----------------------- This guy is potentially a complete joke if luck is on your side, by which I mean the Hewdraw repeatedly produces orange fireballs, and immediately swims under them for you to dunk. Itís possible to beat this guy before heís so much as launched a scale. Letís prepare for the worst, though. The first thing heíll likely do is spew a few fireballs your way, which you merely sidestep one after the other. This will be followed by the first of many baths. Both your charge shots and FDCF will dunk the fireballs, and youíll want to use whichever is available to you without going right to the waterís edge. This makes it so much easier to tell when those purple scales are coming your way, often in pairs or triplets. Theyíre not hard to sidestep, but being hit by one usually means youíll be hit by any that follow. Your charge shots can destroy them, but donít try to use them for that. Once out of the water, youíll have a good five seconds to unload on the head. However, you canít deal the final blow until the body is back in the water. Once back in the water, heíll either spew another round of fireballs, or begin charging his laser and swerving about. You can get a free shot on the head, and then try to dunk another orange fireball if one is present; otherwise, youíll want to use an evasive power to avoid the barrage of sparks that follows. Playing Dead works for this, as well as waiting for Energy Charge to activate, but Brief Invincibility is even better, as the attack is brief. His tail swipe is a very rare move Iíve primarily seen when rebattling him in the Underworld Castle, and really nothing to worry about. If nothing but purple fireballs remain, you can shoot one to get rid of it, but be ready to sidestep the balls of light that come racing your way. You may need to do this a few times if no orange fireballs are present. Apart from the scales, which can overwhelm you quickly if youíre blindsided by them, and the potentially aggravating game of waiting for the head to swim close to a fireball, this boss doesnít put up much of a fight. This is especially true if you went in with most if not all of your powers. OOOOOOOOOOOOOO [Ch4] The Reaperís Line of Sight OOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Cost: 9490 Hearts Common Drops: Flintlock Staff, Darkness Bow, Great Reaper Palm, Ball Cannon, Taurus Arm (Max of 4) This is among my favorite levels in the game, and by far my most played; Iíve even managed to clear it with the No Damage bonus with seven different weapons (150,000 pts.) Having said that, I do remember how difficult it seemed at first, and the things Iíve learned in my experiences should go some way toward getting you through it with fewer brushes with death. My weapon of choice: Aurum Palm R: 5.5 M: 0 V: 295 Freezing +4 RS +1 SCF +4 DCF +4 Powers: Energy Charge lv3, Playing Dead lv3, Instant Death Attack lv3 The Aurum Palm may not be the best Palm in any particular category, but itís by far my favorite and most used. Iíll be using one regularly throughout the rest of this guide. This one is particularly useful for Reapers because it freezes them quickly. As for you, as long as you have a weapon with at least some movement speed (be wary of Cannons and Staves) or range, this level and especially this boss should be a cakewalk. That is, if you also bring Playing Dead. I implore you to bring Playing Dead, as will be explained in the Notices section. Instant Death Attack is strongly recommended for weaker weapons, as there is a particular Tortolunk that must be killed ASAP, to keep your attention safely focused on the Belunka and its contents nearby. Nothing else is particularly needed, but EC is awesome. ---------------- [Note4] Notices ---------------- -Minos should always be your first priority when encountered in air battles. That explosion as you rush past will roast you alive, believe me. -Why the Playing Dead, you ask? Because fighting an Eggplant Wizard while being shot at from all sides by Handoras is retarded and begging for trouble. While this also applies to the Gloomerang and Handoras toward the end, itís especially important here. -You may earn a chest in the room with a raised platform and some food on it, patrolled by two Reapers, but.. Yep, you guessed it. You must defeat both of those Reapers, first. If youíre not equipped to kill them easily, itís best to vamoose, but note that the first Reaper will peek behind him for a second as you step into the room to reach the jump pad. Wait for him to do so first. ------------------ [Air4] Air Battle ------------------ Until you cruise at ground level, things are pretty uneventful. Youíll fight a lot of Shrips with Miks directly underneath them, and can kill both at once by shooting right where they meet. Most of the Miks will whip their tongues if they get close. Your first easy source of damage is the group of Monoeyes that move in from the left alongside a string of Handoras. Youíll be able to rake the ground with SCF and easily wipe out the Handoras, but some of the Monoeyes will be shooting quickly at extremely close range, and one in particular can be pretty hard to avoid. I suggest using a special attack once the first couple Monoeyes show up, and the protection will last long enough to deal with the rest. Once you begin flying in the other direction, another string of Handoras will appear, but as long as youíre circling, you can safely focus on the Wave Angler with them. OSHI- ARE THOSE REAPER EYES Into the ravine! Okay, NOW you have to really watch what youíre doing. All of the diagonally-slanting links of stone between the sides of the ravine can be smacked into, and the damage will add up quickly. I usually stay on the left side and move up or down a little as needed; fortunately the enemies met throughout this segment wonít really require you to move left or right much, though there are a couple Monoeyes that will get a shot or two off if not shot down right away. Keep an eye out for them from the left and below. I usually will use another special attack once the camera shifts to the Mega Mussel, since the homing shots can hit easily this time around. If a Minos explodes right next to the orbs, those will damage them also. Otherwise, keep your SCF concentrated on them, and it should be done before exiting the tunnel. That Treasurefish will drop a Happy Trigger, which is a must-have. Stick solely to charge shots and keep sending them toward the bottom of the screen, where your enemies will be appearing from. If you fire them off relentlessly, you should be able to kill almost everything before it fires, including the couple Miks that will vertically swipe their tongues. Get ready to use another special attack once you reach the large, open area. Unless youíre very familiar with the enemy placement and the order in which theyíll fire, this is an excellent place to use another special attack, as youíll have baddies on all sides. Stay to the right once the pair of Daphne show up, as their flowers will float on screen from the left. Once the Shrips are disposed of, youíll want to lay off the trigger and simply move to avoid the shots from the Monoeyes in the distance, unless your SCF can reach from that far away. There are two different places you might want to use another special attack. The first is the second of two tunnels youíll enter following the Reapers perched on tiny cliffs; there are quite a few enemies inside, and slower weapons will find it easier to be hit; the second is the final open area before reaching the castle exterior, with three Minos that will fly at you at high speeds, and a Wave Angler. Itís possible to shoot the Minos from far enough away that they explode before you rush past; otherwise, youíll need to swerve left or right to avoid the detonations. The Wave Angler WILL get a few attacks off if it isnít killed right away. While that isnít a tall order in itself, a special attack is still a good option for many weapons. The first time I played this level, I thought those laser beams could actually hurt me. Did you? No? Let us never speak of this again. -------------------- [Land4] Land Battle -------------------- You donít need any food, either? Good stuff, bromos. Pop an Energy Charge, and letís go knock some Reaperís shit sideways. For everyone else, break the pots and nurse your wounds as best you can, then creep through that door. If youíre not going to ruin that Reaperís morning (awwww, why nooot?!) then just remember that after turning around and walking past the alcove youíre hiding in, they WILL quickly turn around for a moment. If you do want to kill them but would like some pointers, see the ďProblem EnemiesĒ section toward the beginning of this guide. Summarized, you must back away while blasting relentlessly, but not so quickly that you corner yourself before they can be slain (not a problem for most powerful weapons.) Their scythe attack has a delay that is easy to spot and dash backward from. And of course, kill summoned Reapettes immediately. Whichever you decide, dash through that door and be ready to FDCS.. ..the Specknose that will immediately spawn above you. You'll want to kill that thing ASAP, before the Skuttler Mage on the other side of the area has a chance to afflict you with Weakening, an awful status ailment to have on 9.0. If the Specknose is able to attack anyway, dodge forward through the bombs and continue to move away from the side you were on to stay away from them. Being burned or poisoned is less of a concern, though you donít want to leave that Mage alone for long. With Energy Charge, this little mob is a snap. Remember to melee Shulms, or give them a wide berth. As an aside, the Weakening spell used by Skuttler Mages is avoided the exact same way as the explosive shell used by Crawlers. Either wait around three seconds to sidestep, or just run away from the sphere. If you stay back in the little alcove closest to the Shelbo, its suction will not pull you, allowing you to shoot it while waiting for the rotor blade to leave the area. Donít forget to take the side trip to the boulder and treasure room, and always dash backwards when a Zuree approaches you. Not doing so will all but ensure you take damage and are afflicted with Shaking. As for the treasure room, killing the Souflee (or letting it vanish) is what triggers the Orne and Octos to appear, so either leave it alone or donít kill it until youíre about to step onto the jump pad to exit. The Orne will follow you up, so no dilly-dallying. If you plan to use Instant Death Attack, use it before youíve hopped off the grind rail, and after killing the Reapettes, so you have time to fully charge. Rumpus Room! Wave 1: Tortolunk, Belunka (random combination of Skuttler Mage & Cannoneer) Wave 2: Shelbo, Shulm x2 That area is too large to be able to keep an eye on the Tortolunk, especially since youíll want to notice when a Cannoneer has fired a missile at you. With EC, a lot of strong weapons can kill it instantly, but for everything else I cannot recommend IDA strongly enough. Even better, it allows you to then turn and DCF the two Skuttler enemies as theyíre popped out of Belunkaís mouth, and then make short work of the Belunka itself. Otherwise, you have a lot of frantic sidestepping and shooting to do. Those Skuttlers will keep coming. As for the second round, those Shulms will keep respawning until the Shelbo is slain. Donít run away from the suction, though. Simply DCF repeatedly with your cursor over its eyeball, which should interrupt its attack sooner or later. Shoot the lips whenever it tucks back into the shell, and note that you have a small window to dodge backwards from its spinning attack, should the Shelbo draw you close enough to use it. As far as I know, that Shemum Vase will not stop producing snakes, hence the lack of hearts. Kill them anyway while waiting for the large(er) gap between the Ornes to align with the door, then dash on through. If you brought Playing Dead, this is a cinch. Immediately use it and then focus on the Eggplant Wizard if your SCF is very strong, or target the numerous Handoras if your SCF is not. That way, after killing all the little jerks, you have a much safer environment to tackle that meaty wizard. Sidestep the bombs as they come your way, though plain Ďol running works with a lot of weapons if you move as soon as he throws them. Eggplant Wizards move quite a bit and teleport, though they can be knocked down by powerful charge shots and are held in place by SCF from weapons like Boom Orbitars. Be careful not to run too far into the room and activate Playing Dead close to the stones, as youíll melee them accidentally and waste it. Without Playing Dead, use a lot of side dashes and turn your camera often. I hope you brought Effect Recovery. Youíre in my prayers. Donít mess with the Clubberskull without EC and a power weapon. You CAN shoot down from the above ledge and home in on it, but that takes forever. When taking the elevator to the intensity gate area, always go to the right of the elevator first. Focus on killing the Splins, not the Shrip (use SDCF until they split, then finish the job ASAP with SCF), then take your chest contents. If you got a Grenade, you can use it to make quick work of the Shelbo and its Gyrazer pals; otherwise, quickly kill the Gyrazer on your left and DCF away from the Shelbo like you did earlier. Once it stops, or is slain, have your way with the other. The following passage gives you a generous amount of space to kill the Reapers, but donít back into the side of the doorway mistakenly! You have much less space to kill the Reapers back on the normal path, but these must be defeated if you want that precious loot. Otherwise, shoot at the stone blocks from the ledge and drop down once you can tell the Reapers arenít near. If one sees you, no worries, as they canít follow you through the door, but a Reapette can. If you hear the music change, stop once you enter the next room and shoot wildly behind you. At this point, the chest in the adjoining area (remember the Gyrazer right behind that door) often has a power or Cyclone, neither of which I want, so Iíll skip it unless I havenít found four weapons yet. Otherwise, grab it and.. Rumpus Room! Wave 1: Paramush x3 Wave 2: Tortolunk, Octos x2 Wave 3: Gloomerang, Handora x3 (X-Bomb) The Cyclone you may have gotten will pull those Paramush together and probably kill them by itself, but you have more than enough time to shoot them before they hit the ground. Aim for the little guy, not the cap. Grounded Paramush are actually very annoying to fight, as they scurry about frantically and shoot often, and are hard to hit. If you ever encounter this situation, stay still and use standing charge shots, trying to get them when they pause; otherwise, you should be ready to sidestep at a momentís notice. Without IDA, youíll want to quickly turn and kill both Octos first, so you can sidestep the Tortolunk and take your time with it. Staying still, both Octos will be happy to line you up with the center of their rings and take care of the evasion for you. Feel free to use your second Playing Dead here, though this group isnít nearly as dangerous. Otherwise youíll want to grab that X-Bomb and toss it ASAP, so the explosion will work its way around the room and wipe out the Handoras. Lone Gloomerangs are easy peasy, lemon squeezy. If you left with an X-Bomb, itíll do a number on the Reaper in the poison spring, allowing you to easily finish it off. Save the Smart Bomb for the boss room entrance, making sure to dash left and throw it as soon as you enter the room, to avoid the Reapettes that will immediately pour out. You arenít afraid of what lies ahead, are you? --------------------- [Boss4] GREAT REAPER --------------------- Such a straightforward and easy boss. First things first, get on that jump pad right behind you and stay up there. Until his eyes begin to spark, heís got only three very clearly telegraphed moves: -Overhead scythe; three, count Ďem, three shockwaves. Run left or right. -Sideways swipe; sidestep a second after he levels the scythe with you. -Eye lasers; as soon as his head turns away, sidestep a split second later. Thatís all there is to it. Of course, the problems start when you, ah.. heh.. fail to dodge one of these moves, particularly the overhead and the lasers. The shockwaves will put you in critical nigh instantly if all three of them hit, and if the first one does, those that follow will, also. The lasers, on the other hand, are not so dangerous for their damage, but for the three Reapettes heíll summon right afterward. Heíll continue attacking like normal as they hover toward you, and paralysis in this fight is a death sentence. If you brought Brief Invincibility into this level and are beamed, use it while you take a moment to aim for the Reapettes. Once youíve poked those eyes enough, heíll immediately go into his whirling scythe attack, dodged the exact same way as the single sideways slash; only now you must perform the sidestep four times in a row. Do your first one after the Great Reaper has spun full circle once and the blade is in the three oíclock position. Because this attack moves pretty fast, you can be pretty early with your dodges and the attack will still whoosh overhead, using the last of your invulnerability frames. Apart from that, heíll speed up his other attacks a little bit, as well. Hit him with whatever will reach his eyes. His overhead attack will move him farther away and the sideways attack brings him much closer, so take advantage of these as they suit your weapon. With a good SCF, you can simply keep a steady flow of shots right on his peepers until he goes berserk, and even finish him off in mid-whirl, though Iíve just done this with Energy Charge. An additional benefit to SCF is the very minimal cooldown, which allows you to ceasefire in order to dodge his extremely quick gaze. If your weapon has awful range, you can bring him right up to your ledge by hopping off (donít wander too far from the jump pad!) and baiting his stomp attacks. Slower weapons really only have to worry about the shockwaves, and you can hop off the ledge to get away from them, as well. Because his attacks are so easy to predict and then avoid, thereís really no need for evasive power usage, and relying on them will not prepare you for fights with really precise timing required, such as the Phoenix. This level is so good for farming that you should replay it often and gets lots of practice. Enjoy the death scene. 2 Goddesses 1 Drink of the Gods Reaction Video! OOOOOOOOOOOOOO [Ch5] Pandoraís Labyrinth of Deceit OOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Cost: 8970 Hearts Common Drops: Atlas Club, Viper Blade, Pandora Claws, Bomber Arm (Max of 3) Here we have one of the easiest 9.0 levels in the game. The air battle can get pretty hairy for some weapon types, but the land battle is very slow-paced and easy, and the boss has so little HP, you can be very sloppy and still win. My weapon of choice: Aurum Palm R: 5.5 M: 0 V: 295 Freezing +4 RS +1 SCF +4 DCF +4 Powers: Energy Charge lv4, Brief Invincibility lv3, Bumblebee lv3, Effect Recovery lv1 Youíll regret using a Club during the air battle, but ANYTHING can handle this level. If youíve made it this far, your current 9.0 weapon will be adequate. That said, large charge shots and/or good SCF make the air battle much easier. This is another excellent level to become a huge fan of Energy Charge, with very few places you might lose it through unanticipated attacks, and Iíll be telling you when to expect the Quick Draw McGraws. ---------------- [Note5] Notices ---------------- -Donít be eager to run into the third room on land, with the Merenguy. The door will shut behind you and force you to stare at its ugly face while the two Monoeyes unload shots onto you repeatedly. Shoot the Monoeyes without stepping into the room, letting the door shut in front of you to block their pellets. -Once inside the cylinder of rotating platforms, only jump when the edge of a platform before you is green. Never try to jump toward a blue edge; youíll fall every time. -Before antagonizing the Armin, kill the lone bouncing Monoeye immediately following the platform youíre standing on, as it will eventually begin shooting at you. -The center chest behind the 4.0 intensity gate is a Mimicutie! It doesnít drop anything upon its defeat. ------------------ [Air5] Air Battle ------------------ Youíll notice that Komaytos need not be in tight groupings to be killed simultaneously by a melee attack. Donít waste your special so soon, though you must stay in the middle of them to kill all three at once. So long as you move in a nice, wide circle, you should also avoid the Monolith and its swarm of trigger-happy Monoeyes completely. Even if you stay low once the labyrinth stretches out before you, one of the Komaytos will still latch on, so feel free to use a special now and wipe all of them out. Duck under the red posts, but you must still move constantly to avoid enemy shots, Gyrazer arrows in this case. Once you head down, the Happy Trigger will be of great use, especially with big shots, as the enemies will be in tight clusters or bouncing about madly. When Palutena says sheíll let you decide where to go, hang a left and stay on that side; otherwise, youíll hit a dead end and turn around to face a pack of Syrens that will quickly launch whirlwind after whirlwind. Should you meet them, immediately use a special attack. On the correct path, quickly move center, then low, to avoid the Monoliths, then get back into your routine circle pattern to avoid the shots from a Monoeye foursome thatíll soon appear. The room full of Handoras provide a lot of easy kills and hearts, as will the Belunka, if you allow it to spit up a bunch of smaller Belunkas. Inside again. Hang a right as the split paths come into view to avoid getting stuck in a dead-end and having to entertain a Ganewmede and Monoeyes while you turn around. No one will shoot at you in the pillar room, though youíll still want to fly high to avoid Reapettes and Shulms. Simple stuff. Youíll also meet no resistance in outer space, but most weapon types will want to take the left jump pad once the arrow of Monoeyes appears. The right path begins with several meaty Wave Anglers before devolving into benign enemy fare and a Boogity; the left path consists of a ton of enemies with much less health but more deserving of your special attacks, among them a Minos and some Splins. The Gyrazers that pop out from behind the Monoliths are no real threat, though if for some reason you had no specials when entering the area, youíll probably take a hit or three. -------------------- [Land5] Land Battle -------------------- The first handful of rooms can be pretty violent, but soon afterward youíll be taking a relaxing stroll to the boss room, trust me. Your food is immediately right of you in the next area, as is a Skuttler Cannoneer, which should eat a FDCS right away, to prevent it from getting away, let alone shooting at you. Your next target should be the Cannoneer on the far left, though you must keep the Bluster in your view, to spot its attacks and dodge accordingly. Those bubbles will add up to tremendous damage; sidestep them in quick succession. They can hit the midair platforms instead, but donít count on it. The first Cannoneer will be quick to fire on you, but you can kill it from the doorway for your own safety, letting it shut in your face to block the shot. The enemiesí HP will reset when you do this, though, so you must kill them instantly. Youíll want to take the second door from the right in both this room and the next, though make sure you kill the two Monoeyes before doing so! You only have a second to line up your cursor and nail one before one of them fires, so open the door, shoot, and immediately step back to shut it. You may need to fire toward the spot the Monoeye will be if your shots donít move very quickly. With those pests gone, kill the Merenguy at your leisure and enter the second door from the left for some food. Trap doors can be avoided by dodging backwards immediately upon hearing the buzzer. Rumpus Room! Wave 1: Girin Wave 2: Skuttler Cannoneer, Mik x2 Should a Girin ever manage to even attack, you merely dodge in any direction once it lands. They donít ever pose a threat at any point in the game, though they can be annoying to kill with high-homing weapons that wonít go right for the pincer tips poking up. When the trio appears, immediately DCS the Cannoneer and step back from the Miks, in order to tell when one will attack. Wait for them to bob high into the air before dashing forward. Of course, with an Energy Charge active, you can just as easily kill one before the other can do anything. Take too long, and one might also swing its tongue at you. On land, you simply sidestep toward the tongue once you notice it extend. Aaaaand now we commence with our pleasant walk in the park, if youíd like to imagine the labyrinth as a colorful landscape rife with foliage and fauna. Which it basically is, well, minus the foliage. Would a Pit Panini taste any better than Roasted Angel? If you kill the enemies in the Exo Tank room on foot (which saves some time), donít be taken by surprise by the two Skuttler Cannoneers thatíll spawn on either side of the center passage. Remember: only jump toward platforms with green edges! Once you bounce onto the platform following the bouncing Octos, two Monoeyes and a Specknose will appear. Theyíll fire on you one after the other, but if you stand still and pick them off one at a time, you can easily dodge each shot as it reaches you. Patience. Of course, large charge shots and EC will just get rid of them all at once... Kill the bouncy Monoeye, then torment the Armin for some food. These arenít so fun to fight in rumpus rooms with numerous distractions. At your first fork, take a right and continue on to the 4.0 intensity gate. While numerous Mimicuties will always drop items, the center trap is not one of them, so avoid it (unless you prefer hearts.) Continue right, kill the Specknose with no fear of retaliation, and then the two Paramush before they land. While theyíll run off the ledge and kill themselves, theyíll still shoot at you before doing so. Drop off the MIDDLE of the left side of the platform beneath those enemies for an intensity gate. Outside, the Reaper below and to the left should have reappeared; tease it. You donít want to dilly-dally on the trampoline with the Monolith, nor do you want to let the nearby enemy morph into a Specknose. Whether you leave a lot of roadkill in your wake or not, make sure you boost off the ramp in order to score another chest. You may need to take a mulligan. Shoot as often as you need to, to keep an eye on the invisible floors. Donít get too close to the second Girin in this area, or else youíll trigger the Shildeen and Handora; the latter of which will be happy to shoot at you from a distance while you work on the Girin. Speaking of that Shildeen, a very carefully-timed FDCS can kill it the second it drops in, before it can throw up its shield. Youíll need to fire before it has spawned, so that your forward sprinting causes it to land on the shot. Note that a Mik will pop up to the right of the Leox near the Orne-guarded chest, and will happily shoot at you from far away. Remember to kill it before walking toward the chest. Now, letís watch Pittoo backhand Pandora in the face! ---------------- [Boss5] PANDORA ---------------- While her HP is extremely low for a 9.0 boss, her attacks will still amount to quite a bit of HP loss if youíre careless, so while your victory may be quite assured, letís at least learn the timing for our brief rematch in Chapter 22. Her most dangerous attack in this phase is her fireball spam, but you must simply sidestep repeatedly until the last of them has passed. Sheíll scatter them in a sort of V-shaped spread before they begin to target you, so donít begin dodging until one has turned toward you. When she burrows, simply dodge forward once sheís in front of you. She might try to bounce toward you repeatedly, but you can simply dash backward and avoid her tiny shockwave. Donít bother using melee attacks on her bombs, as your shots drive them into her face just as nicely. Sheíll show off the mirror in no time at all. Speak for yourself, toots. Dark Pit will never land the finishing blow on her, nor will he really make this go any faster, though he does make a great distraction. Sheís now added two more attacks to her repertoire. Simply run away from her suction; if she pulls you close, immediately do a dash-around before touching her. Dodge into her discs as they reach your location. Quite simple, really. Iíve never, ever found a real need for any powers during this fight, and Iíve always killed her before Energy Charge is ready to go. Despite finishing her so quickly, Pittoo is still unimpressed. =/ OOOOOOOOOOOOOO [Ch6] Dark Pit OOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Cost: 7220 Hearts Common Drops: Dark Pit Staff, Silver Bow, Gemini Orbitars, Ogre Club (Max of 2) This level and its boss have the potential to be easy or very aggravating, depending on both your luck and your power set. Luck is not TOO big a factor, though not having to face DP or EZ Dark Pit will conserve your powers for his actual boss battle, and wonít try your patience. My weapon of choice: Boom Orbitars R: 5 M: 0 V: 289 Shaking +1 RS +1 DCS +4 SCF +4 HB +2 Powers: Energy Charge lv4, Brief Invincibility lv3, Bumblebee lv3, Effect Recovery lv1 I use this particular weapon and power set just because I hate Altar Dark Pit so much and want to spend as little time on him as possible. Coupled with EC, a FDCS defeats him instantly the moment he appears on the altar, giving him no time to roll, let alone fire his Cannon. I have much more useful Boomers, but have taken a liking to these for the heart bonus and SCF mod in solo mode. Theyíre strong enough to do the job reasonably quickly. As for you, the ideal weapon depends somewhat on the locations Pittoo chooses to prowl around. Speed or long-range weapons are great for the cliffs, whether you choose to quickly end it by racing to him or picking him off from afar. Weapons with absurdly strong charge shots or fast shots with high knockback are immensely useful for the altar (fast because he easily sidesteps them otherwise.) The Cherubot and pitiful range game of the Ogre Club make the other two versions of Dark Pit a complete joke. Pittoo is vulnerable to all status ailments barring Instant Death, but donít let that dictate your weapon, unless youíll be abusing freezing (donít use the Freeze Attack power in solo mode, at all. Itís not worth the space.) If you just want to get this chapter over with, I cannot recommend bringing Trade-Off or Libra Sponge highly enough; preferably Trade-Off. The land battle segment is otherwise really short and presents little need for powers, though Brief Invincibility is extremely useful for jogging to Pittoo on the clifftop without fear of being sniped, and for avoiding the flashy arrow storm attack during his boss battle (what about the jump pads? More on that later.) Additionally, Playing Dead is good during his boss fight if you didnít bother with Trade-Off. ---------------- [Note6] Notices ---------------- -Snongs attack much more aggressively when theyíve been damaged. If you happen to venture into the ruins, donít shoot the Snong that greets you until itís executed its first three stomps, unless youíre sure youíll kill it beforehand. -Before approaching the altar to engage Dark Pit, make sure you spawn both sets of Skuttlers (by killing the Handoras from a distance) and kill them. -Donít attack the Merenguy within its dance AOE unless you got a Back Shield from the chest you stumbled across earlier. -With some extremely long-range Staves, you can actually shoot at Dark Pit and beat him without climbing much of the way. ------------------ [Air6] Air Battle ------------------ Once enemies begin appearing, ignore Dark Pit and focus on killing them. He is the least of your concerns for the rest of the level, and shooting him once he stops releasing hearts is just a waste of time (however entertaining.) Splins can be pretty frigging annoying in the air, canít they? If you know you wonít be able to kill both before they rush the screen, just position yourself opposite one (as in, high and right if one is hovering low and on the left) and kill that particular Splin, then avoid the other half of the screen. Vaklooms cannot quickly turn their mouths upward to fry you, so you can easily kill them by drawing the head out and staying above it while pumping the head full of ammo. By the time you draw the head out, some Monoeyes will have shown up, so keep up the circular movement while staying above the Vakloom. Eventually, youíll zoom by some cliffs with Kerons perched at various points. Once I spot the second one, I prefer to use a special attack. Because the shots come from above and are squirrely, I find it tough to pass through without any damage otherwise. Iíll use a second one shortly afterward once a flock of Syrens show up. As you pause in front of a wall of rock, three Gyrazers will lower themselves from the right and rove their laser beams back and forth. Rather than use a special here, begin shooting the lowest one immediately and work your way up. Your last real threat comes in the form of a few more batches of Splins. Remember that moving in circles doesnít keep you safe against these things, because their flight paths are scripted. It's best to kill one and then stay in the area it was going to attack, which is the area opposite its starting point. -------------------- [Land6] Land Battle -------------------- On the way to the fountain, your only adversaries will be a few Cannoneers and Miks in single file, making for easy pickings. Because the treasure chests are bound to the areas Dark Pit chooses to appear, thereís no point in venturing into any area except the one an Underworld foe will raid ahead of you. So, this level will be broken down by the enemy that appears and its corresponding area (as seen from the first point you drop into the main area.) ***Monoeye*** Plains, lower-left Dark Pit uses Violet Palm This is by far the easiest run-in youíll have with Pittoo in the game, unless you somehow manage to get your Cherubot destroyed, possible only by stupidly detonating those big crates while youíre nearby. All you need to do is make a sprint for that Cherubot and keep a steady stream of fire trained on Dark Pit. Youíll repeatedly knock him into the air and also cancel any charge shots he sends your way. Keep shooting him even while heís airborne, though this is also the safest opportunity to quickly pick off any Underworld troops that have spawned; just make sure to blast Ptooie again once he lands. Donít bother with stomping or melee attacks, though you can speed the process up by detonating the crates while heís close to them. A lone Girin will spawn by the jump pad afterward; more Cherubot fodder. ***Specknose*** Ruins, lower-right Dark Pit uses Ogre Club The Snong thatíll say hello the moment you enter the ruins is a bigger problem than Pit Stain could ever hope to be, with an Ogre Club, of all things. Stay still and wait for its foot to appear, then sidestep. Repeat twice more, then go all-out on the head, and you should be able to kill it before the next round of stompings. Should you have attacked right off the bat, itíll become enraged and, if you werenít strong enough to kill it right then and there, itíll rapidly plummet six appendages onto your head, and youíll be very sorry. Further on, there are two Zurrets to deal with, also, but with both of them in your view, their shots are easy to dodge through. Keep your distance. As for Pit Stain- er, Dark Pit, all you must do is keep a fair distance while slowly retreating from him (as heíll constantly be trying to close in on you) and peppering him with SCF or DCF. Heíll launch charge shots at the speed of molasses intermittently, and if he gets very close, heíll run in for a melee combo. If he gets too close for comfort, simply break into a sprint yourself. This can be an annoying fight if your rate of fire is very low, as while heís not a threat offensively, he can still dodge like nobodyís business. If your charge shots move extremely quickly, though, heís easy to nail, and SCF/DCF are unnecessary. Some Zuree and a Sinistew will have responded to a distress call regarding a domestic dispute, but thereís plenty of room to avoid their attacks. ***Mik*** Altar, upper-right Dark Pit uses EZ Cannon As you step onto that giant slope, three Miks will descend and begin hovering left and right, remaining high enough and spaced far enough apart that itís difficult to keep an eye on all of them. You want to keep your health up for what lies ahead, so the best course of action is to aggressively focus on one from the start- wait for them to move once, to avoid whiffing- and then rotate the camera to keep the other two in your sights. When they bob up from where they hover, theyíre about to shoot. Be sure to sidestep those tongues! Also be sure to kill the two Handoras to the left and right of the altar from afar, and the same applies for the two pairs of Skuttlers that spawn afterward. Approaching the steps to the altar itself will summon Dark Pit, and you really donít need attacks from enemies alongside his cannonballs. This is where fast, high-knockback weapons really, really, really help. Not only is he adept at rapidly dodging attacks, his charge shots deal lots of damage and will explode against the remnants of pillars and blocks scattered about, so it isnít always enough to just sidestep them, and you shouldnít rely on your ability to cancel them with your own shots. The easiest hit youíll land is the moment he drops onto the altar, so have a charge shot ready, and be running toward the steps. Even if you lose an Energy Charge shortly afterward, youíll have taken that much more off of his health, so use it if youíve got it. Without a fast weapon, your best bet is to keep moving left and right, while staying the hell away from rubble. Shoot him in between his charge shots, and, if you manage to knock him down, approach him with SCF or DCF. Powers like Playing Dead donít accomplish much, due to his reflexes, and if this isnít your second encounter with him, you should be wary of using up your Brief Invincibility as itís far more useful for the trail leading to the cliffs, and for the end-level boss fight. Remember to get the chest in the far left corner afterward and, if your health is dwindling, to strafe the top of the hill and try to shoot the Handoras one at a time. Back away from the slope in between shots, to ensure their pellets miss you. Theyíll never stray from their left-right movement patterns. ***Daphne*** Cliffs, upper-left Dark Pit uses Dark Pit Staff Ooh, this is an exercise in frustration, especially with a slow-moving weapon. The moment you get close to that chest, youíll be within sniping range, so pick off the Zurret that immediately pops up without moving further, then step forth to trigger Pittooís entrance, along with two Shrips. Retreat to the pillar closest to the entrance to the trail, and kill those insects. As long as you donít line yourself up with those blades, they wonít hit you. Hope that chest drops a Dodge Token, as itís by far the most useful. Your plan of action changes a bit depending on what you get, up until youíve passed the Merenguy and are rounding the bend (and your cover becomes much more scarce.) Shrinky Bean- While DP can still see and shoot you, youíre also protected by the shorter pieces of wall in between the pillar-like objects Pit must hide behind. Simply run for it while staying behind these whenever possible. Dodge Token- Simply run. Tokens have a really high success rate and, like Bumblebee, will kick in whenever a dodge is still possible during your present animation, be it running or SCF. Besides the Merenguy thereís really nothing for you to attack that will put you in a vulnerable cooldown state. Back Shield- Just move, stopping to regain your stamina behind pillars, just to stay on the safe side. Once you reach the Merenguy, attack it right up close, keeping your back pointed toward the cliff top. If you got a weapon or power, well... youíll have to make do with the pillars and tall sections of wall. As long as you can obstruct your head while keeping that piece of scenery directly between the two of you, youíll be safe. However, unless youíre very fast on your feet, be it via Claws or some speed mods, you should foxtrot to your first piece of cover; Pittoo will be ready to fire before you'll reach it, and a dodge is required. Whichever item you got, try not to kill the Mik that buzzes around the area; itíll shoot at Pittoo intermittently and it provides some useful covering fire to make your sprints to cover a little easier. By the time the Merenguy spots you and begins to dance, you should be able to shoot at it while standing right next to a tall portion of wall. While running along the path, you can also take a moment to kill the Monoeye and Handora that peek behind some rocks, as they will shoot at you, also, but youíll need to abandon your cover while you do so. Always wait for DP to shoot again before doing this; it may take a few attempts before the Monoeye exposes itself during DPís downtime. As you round the bend, your cover is spaced much farther apart. If youíre using a slow weapon, youíre going to have to foxtrot, or use Brief Invincibility or Transparency while moving. Notice how DP fires at you in fixed intervals regardless of your being exposed or not; you can use that to learn his timing and dodge while approaching him. Once your cover isnít spaced so far apart, be especially careful to keep DP out of your field of vision by blocking his character with a pillar. This ensures that his shots will continue to hit the scenery harmlessly. As you get even closer, Pittoo will begin using SCF. From this point, simply wait out his barrage before stepping out from behind your cover and unloading on him with as many attacks as you can launch before itís time to hide again. He doesnít have much health for this phase; if you can knock him down, you may not even need to hide again, as another pummeling or two should do it. Melee attacks are also effective, if your weapon is designed for them. Another Zurret and a Daphne await at the beginning of the trail. Donít count on the rubble to nullify their attacks, though it can help. Once that grind rail appears, CAREFULLY approach the Drink of the Gods so as to collect it without carelessly triggering the grind rail instead. ----------------- [Boss6] DARK PIT ----------------- The good news is, heíll make no effort to dodge your attacks. He also does not have much health. Unfortunately, he attacks quickly and is adept at rapidly chipping your health away. To make things worse, those jump pads tend to do a lot more harm than good during this fight, especially when things are getting hectic and you arenít necessarily trying to use one. His attack patterns are pretty simple; heíll launch single arrows, barrages of several arrows, and charge shots, each attack about three seconds apart. You can easily anticipate these and simply be ready to sidestep. Do not, however, attempt to cancel these shots with your own. Every three to five attacks, heíll either engulf his wings in energy and rush at you, or the platform itself will be engulfed and pelted with teen angst a few seconds later. Both these attacks have quite a delay and give you plenty of time to react, though the platform-wide attack may not leave you with any desirable options, pending your current power assortment. It may be tempting to stay around the sides of the platforms, so as to beat a hasty retreat if a rain of arrows is coming your way, but I strongly advise against this. It is FAR too easy to mistakenly land on the jump pad and be sprung right back into the frying pan and eat an attack which, in the case of the rain of arrows, will probably put you into Crisis Mode if not kill you outright. This is why I advise bringing Brief Invincibility, and using it whenever he decides to use that particular move. Playing Dead is kind of effective, though you run the risk of it wearing off immediately before his arrow rain, and thereís no guarantee that Pittoo will be flying close enough to be hit (his AI will not hold him in place, but instead cause him to buzz about randomly and spam random moves, his rush among them.) His arrow rain leaves him invulnerable throughout the attackís duration, so donít waste your charge shots on him. It does leave him vulnerable for a second afterward, though. If you do drop to a lower platform, accidentally or otherwise, itís always better just to wait for him to come to you than to time your bounce to his whiffed shots. Really, this fight is little more than a brief endurance match, as neither of you can sustain a lot of abuse. One little brain fart is all it takes to leave you on the brink of death (like most of my LvD matches, seemingly) which is why using Trade Off or Libra Sponge is such a good idea. If youíre not looking to practice or even replay most of these chapters, theyíre your best bets. Without either of those extremely strong buffs, play very defensively, which means attacking only right after heís fired and whiffed. This removes any chance of him hitting you during any moment of cooldown, and always leaves a window open to sidestep. Running will inevitably lead to careless mistakes. Did you even get two weapons? Chapters 1 and 2 aside, this is the absolute worst level to farm in the game (well, actually, maybe that belongs to Ch18.) OOOOOOOOOOOOOO [Ch7] The Seafloor Palace OOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Cost: 9270 Hearts Common Drops: Thanatos Staff, Meteor Bow, Eyetrack Orbitars, Poseidon Cannon, Volcano Arm (Max of 3) The aerial battle will be wakeup call for weapons ill-suited for Solo mode. Other mildly noteworthy tidbits include an intensity gate that may annihilate you if you run in blindly, one of few bosses that presents an excellent opportunity for HP Recovery, and my favorite land battle music in the game. My weapon of choice: Aurum Orbitars R: 5.5 M: 0 V: 300 RS +1 DCS +4 SCF +4 MDA +1 ED +1 HB +1 Powers: Energy Charge lv4, Brief Invincibility lv3, Bumblebee lv3, Effect Recovery lv1 Aurum Orbs are second to none in terms of aerial SCF, trumping the almighty Compact Arm, even. While the shots donít home, they are extremely fast and powerful, on top of having a very long range. On land, their charge shots are also obscenely strong and will be handy for killing Snowmen quickly, as well as ending Thanatosí forms soon after he takes them. If your weapon falters in SCF, be it damage, range or speed-wise, there are a few points you wonít be able to shoot without being hit, and should instead be in a glide. On land, much like Chapter 3, raw damage output reigns supreme. Range and speed are far less important, as the Rumpus Rooms youíll encounter (and the Snowmen within them) will not provide you with a great deal of room. As for powers, unless you plan on bringing Energy Charge, you should take only that which you plan to use against Thanatos. Contrary to most bosses, he has a phase which is very conducive to leisurely aggression and presents a great opportunity to heal, and you may prefer to use it. Brief Invincibility or Bumblebee are very useful for particular phases, as well. If Snowmen give you grief, Instant Death attack is a great asset to have, as is Energy Charge, which also happens to be particularly easy to use against Thanatos. Head shots are easy to land on Snowmen, also their weak point. Lastly, Thanatos has a couple moves that can inflict Weakening. Because his battle is more of an endurance match than anything, that status is your biggest threat. Effect Recovery is cheap on space and generous with its usage. ---------------- [Note7] Notices ---------------- -Donít use any special attacks until the sea opens (and even then, donít use them to kill Komaytos unless you are grabbed) because the first minute or so of the ocean is also the nastiest. -If you know you donít have the firepower needed to kill the Zurees, stay as low and right as possible to avoid the slashes of the first two, then QUICKLY get to the far left. Even if you can kill them, do not fly in circles. -Once youíve entered the 9.0 intensity gate, donít go for the Boom Spear. Move to the left of the puddle (so that the Shelbo wonít suck you over it) and immediately kill the Handora that spawns. Thisíll make the ensuing fight much less painful (though another Handora will soon take its place.) -When you enter the elevator, walk straight to the back and turn 180 degrees. Once Palutena says ďnow approaching the second floorĒ youíll have a split second to get the jump on the Handoras that will spawn, instead of being fired upon immediately. -The chest following the room with two Snowmen and a Frozum (right before the trap door) is a Mimicutie! This one will not drop anything. ------------------ [Air7] Air Battle ------------------ The cruise over the beach is quite easy and uneventful; one thing to remember is that the large wave of oncoming Monoliths can be avoided by staying low and on the far right. Youíll learn to despise Commyloose in the air, and the pair that assaults you from either side of an Octos are a headache. Try to resist using a special attack and instead kill one before it can fire its missile. If your SCF is quick or powerful, you can quickly blow the missiles up. It may be tempting to use special attacks against the packs of Komaytos that come your way, but you should use one only when a they approach with a pair of Commyloose right behind them. Itís fairly difficult to position yourself for melee strikes, and still destroy or fly around the missiles thatíll immediately follow. Despite being given a Happy Trigger, itís easiest to clear the Zurret channel by staying in a glide and doing barrel rolls (flick one direction and then the opposite immediately.) You can do this in any direction, and should lure the shots to a corner before rolling to the upper or lower corner. Only a few weapons (read: Staves) can kill them before they fire at their distance. The channel full of Octos and Gyrazers can be a real nightmare for poor SCF. You should prioritize killing the Octos, because their clouds wonít vanish if they launched one before dying. Your reticle will be going all over the place, as they come at all angles. If youíve no choice but to fly past two Gyrazers and have a ring approaching, you might as well use a special. Stay high when descending, to give yourself time to spot the Komaytos, and to wait for the flashing cursor. Staying low will get you ambushed. Once you encounter two screens of several enemies, the worst is over. Kill the Minos first, in both instances, as theyíll hurt nearby enemies. If you have a special attack and want to use it, unleash it on the first screen, which is more dangerous. Once you swerve to the left, kill the Mik on the center-left ASAP or stay high, as itís a tongue-lasher. Remember to stay bottom-right to avoid the slashings of the first two Zurees, and to quickly switch corners to avoid the third. If youíre able to kill them quickly, though, just stay low and right while shooting. By the time the palace itself comes into view, you should have at least one special attack ready. If your SCF doesnít have great range, once the six enemies appear at a great distance you should go ahead and use it. Otherwise, the next best occasion to use it is immediately afterward, when the Commyloose appear. Lastly, if your SCF or weapon speed is rather slow, youíll be safer by avoiding fire and gliding, than by trying to shoot the last couple packs of Monoeyes. -------------------- [Land7] Land Battle -------------------- If you havenít learned to deal with Wave Anglers, your run may not progress much farther than this. The Angler you spot the moment you gain control of Pit will begin shooting before youíve so much had a chance to chew your food. Horizontal, vertical, horizontal, forward dodge, sidestep, forward dodge. The waves donít move so quickly that you must anticipate them without seeing them, but it wonít wait long before firing them again. I prefer to wait out the first batch, then go all out on it. I suggest going after the Zurret on the stairs next. As for the Snowman, it is one of few enemies in the game that dash-arounds are very effective against, because theyíre able to turn their heads nigh instantly and graze you with their breath, which covers a pretty generous width. Unfortunately, most of them will be encountered in situations that make dash-arounds moot (ie: pairs) so going all-out and killing one before it can fire, then trying to flee the remaining Snowmanís attack will have to be your primary method. Too bad this is the only 9.0 intensity gate, eh? Rumpus Room! Wave 1: Shelbo, Handora x2 Wave 2: Shrip, Zurret Ignore that Boom Spear for now and just get to the left of the nearest puddle, killing that Handora as you do so. By the time the second Handora spawns, you should have been able to interrupt the Shelbo with a barrage or two of BDCF, and can kill the second before being pulled again. The Shrip and Zurret are of little threat, though you may not be in a good position to hit the Shrip without uselessly pegging its blade. Go ahead and spear that Zurret. Rumpus Room! Wave 1: Wave Angler x2, Gyrazer x2, Treasurefish Wave 2: Armin, Shemum Vase x2 With your Bolt of Judgment, this couldnít be easier. Fry the bastards, picking off the badly wounded Anglers if they somehow survived, then get to the raised ledges to remain safe from the Armin while you kill the dozen Shemum that will pop out of the vases (six each.) Do note, however, that if you stay too close to the steps themselves, the Armin CAN make its way up there and ram you. Take the middle grind rail and simply stay on the right, moving center when a spark intercepts your path, then moving back. This keeps you safe from the Shrip thatíll fly by, and gives you a good shot at the Souflee while dropping you by the chest at the end. Rumpus Room! Wave 1: Shelbo, Octos x2 Wave 2: Octos x2 Thereís no need to approach the holes unless your weaponís range is so poor that your charge shots canít reach the Octos. Otherwise, this is routine execution and the Octos will be happy to line you up with their ringsí holes. Once the elevator takes you up, immediately move right toward the staircase to kill that Skuttler Cannoneer, then put the camera back on those Miks to see their shots coming (hiding under the walkway is effective.) I suppose whatever is crushing Palutenaís wishes of having a skating rink in her domain is the same force that only allows her to grant the power of flight for five minutes. While the little pillars closest to the door can provide some protection against the icy breath, it wonít do much when two of them are around, and the second will be about ready to fire by the time youíre able to kill the first. While burning and poison can kill enemies (unlike you) the Flame Card doesnít do much, either. Just have a charge shot ready the moment you turn the corner, spam DCF, and do your best to avoid the breath coming shortly afterward. Youíll get some food, soon. Remember, walk straight to the back of the elevator and turn around. Once she tells you youíre approaching the second floor, the Handoras will spawn facing each other and not you, giving you a precious split second to kill them before they turn and open fire. Rumpus Room! Wave 1: Snowman x2 Wave 2: Frozum The exploding rock wonít be enough to kill either Snowman, but stronger weapons will be able to use that added damage to kill both before they exhale. I prefer to run straight into the room and unload on the Snowman directly across from me, then turn and detonate the rock, using a SDCS to hopefully finish it off. Frozums have a really long attack duration with a huge AOE, which is all but guaranteed to freeze you if it hits, but... itís extremely weak. Itís also easy to knock down. It does take a little bit of abuse before dying, but whatever. If you need food, the little area to the left of that Shelbo has some fruit, but a Pluton and two Shemums will immediately spawn. Just back into a corner and spam BDCF to remove them. Feel free to ignore the Mimicutie. Youíll likely have already found three weapons by this point, but the 4.0 gate on your right (immediately before the hallway leading to bridges lined with hearts) has a chest that you might as well open. You can kill the Frozum from high on the slope, shooting just beneath the ceiling, while staying out of their range; however, be mindful of the Bumbledrop that will spawn by the door behind you several seconds after you enter. Wait for it to appear and kill it first, taking note that theyíre invulnerable while revving and flooring it. If you want those hearts, slow weapons will need to dodge through those orbs as they approach. Donít jump the gun, though; the orbs are large and youíll want very little space between you before dodging, so theyíll clear your body once the invincibility frames wear off. Rumpus Room! Wave 1: Vakloom, Octos x2 Wave 2: Zik, Zak x4 Shoot the Octos from point-blank range, but not while any part of the Vakloomís opening is nearby (even if the Octos is between you) or else the shot will be absorbed. With both Octos dead, destroying Vaklooms is just a matter of sidestepping once the head pops out, as they will not turn to direct the laser onto you. Once the Zik & Zaks appear, the basic tactic of retreating while spamming BDCF works well, though you should dodge forward if youíre sandwiched by two Zaks at a time. The Zik itself does not actively chase you but will attack if you are next to it. The platform ride can be a pain. Stay on the right side and strafe left once the Handora is in sight, to kill it while avoiding its pellets. The real threat is the Skuttler Cannoneer, as short-ranged weapons canít kill it before it sees you and fires; stay at the front end of the platform and move to the left if it fires an arrow (be extremely careful not to dodge, as youíll fall off) or, if a missile is fired instead, retreat to the rear of the platform and dodge forward through it. You can also try to blow up the missile before it reaches you. Being shot by that enemy will likely knock you off the platform. As for the Bluster, you can avoid its attacks by hiding in the alcove, which blocks them. If you need food, the nearby chest MIGHT have a burger. Ah wa wa wa wa wa wa wa! Rumpus Room! Wave 1: Zik, Zak x2, Shemum x3 Wave 2: Skuttler Cannoneer, Stackjaw Wave 3: Bumbledrop, Shelbo Wave 4: Snowman, Frozum, Mega Mussel You need not be told how to deal with the snakes, though try not to back into a pillar by accident. The Zik will drop some food for you. Immediately move toward the left of the carpet lining the center of the room. One DCS is all it takes to kill the Cannoneer, and youíll have a great shot before it or the Stackjaw can attack. The Stackjaw is no different from the ones you fought in Chapter 3; instead of using the pillars for cover, just keep strafing and blasting the head while minding the relentless wall of lasers. Remember that the lone head will fire some arrows very quickly once it remains. Once the Stackjaw is gone, grab the Impact Amplifier if your charge shots happen to suck (avoid it otherwise, trust me), and sprint toward the left side of the stairs and fire one at the Bumbledrop thatíll appear, hopefully knocking it down. You have a few seconds to kill it before the Shelbo draws you in from the other side of the stairs, and really should do so, as itíll easily hit you otherwise. The stairs themselves make a great shield against the Shelbo itself. Similarly, youíll have a few seconds to kill the Snowman before the other two become a threat, so go all out on it. The IA will still be of use here if it hasnít worn off yet. As for the Frozum and Mussel, keep as far a distance as you can while still being able to hit the Frozum; this allows you to see every Mussel shot coming and react accordingly. From there, approach the stairs while relentlessly pummeling the Mega Mussel. ----------------- [Boss7] THANATOS ----------------- Thanatos doesnít hit particularly hard, except in foot form, though you still must be wary of his main and bat forms, which can inflict Weakening. The order of his transformations is random, though youíll have to inflict set amounts of damage to trigger each one. The benefit to this is that you can immediately end these forms if you hit them hard enough (read: overpowered charge shots.) Main Form: All this clown does is send little purple fireballs and large skulls your way. The fireballs target wherever you were standing when the attack began, and are avoided simply by getting out of the way; sidestepping them is unnecessary. The skull, on the other hand, will home in on you and should be dodged through in the direction it approaches, most likely from the front. It doesnít move that quickly and is clearly telegraphed, so you have no excuse for being hit! Thereís no need to run at all and you have ample opportunity to land easy hits after dodging each skull. If youíre patient, you can easily maintain an Energy Charge and then run through his forms like a hot knife through butter. Bat Form: This one will give your camera a workout. When heís in a vulnerable state, heíll send clusters of purple bats your way, which must be sidestepped. Otherwise, heíll morph into a few clusters of black bats and make a couple passes at you. These chip very well and will nearly kill you if youíre hit while weakened, so itís very important not to battle this phase sloppily. Fortunately, the bats donít home in on you and can be run from if sidestepping repeatedly isnít easier. Just be sure to quickly rotate the camera 180 degrees in order to spot the bats as they make their second pass. Sword Form: While the spears do get in the way of your shots, donít waste your time trying to get the sword to hit them. Instead, just focus on launching BDCS or BDCF as the cluster floats toward you, then be ready to dodge backward once the blade itself rears back for a slice. Focus on retreating if youíre close to the walls, and donít keep your stylus on the screen when dodging, or else the blade will nail you with its side swipes every time. Foot Form: If youíre slow, Brief Invincibility will do you much more good than trying to sidestep his pounds, since he will occasionally do three in quick succession and they're hard to avoid without running. Otherwise, nail him with your strongest charge shot as soon as the transformation is complete, and hit him with everything youíve got until the foot is close enough to be a threat. Then you should run like the dickens or use an evasive power. Doll Form: If youíve got healing powers, hope he brings this form out when you actually need it. The dolls will relentlessly hop toward you, but never at a pace that makes them remotely difficult to move away from, and theyíll never approach from more than one direction. Simply strafe in whatever direction is clear while shooting the red dots with SCF or charge shots, then peg the tiny Thanatos when he finally emerges. Urn Form: Catch a few Zs my ass, buddy! This form is also very easy, but you can take a lot of unnecessary chip damage (and lose your Energy Charge) by carelessly using dash attacks while skulls are still rolling. Use MDAs on rolling skulls only if youíve got weapons that reach in front of you a bit, such as Blades or Arms; otherwise, while youíll still hit it back at the urn, the skull will still register as touching you and hurt. This means that Palms and Orbitars should merely roam about while the skulls are scattered, and then approach one that is no longer moving, and melee it. You donít have to be facing the urn when you do this, either. Donít touch the red skulls, period, and five hits is all it takes to end this phase. Once he reverts back to his main form, it can be easy to brain fart out of nervousness when low on health, but his attacks are no faster or frequent at this point. If you stick to standing attacks, firing primarily after dodging through a skull, youíll emerge victorious. CRUSHINGLY victorious, at that. OOOOOOOOOOOOOO [Ch8] The Space-Pirate Ship OOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Cost: 13410 Hearts Common Drops: Knuckle Staff, Royal Blade, Cancer Claws, Needle Palm, Kraken Arm (Max of 4) Playing this level on 9.0 will make you appreciate the fact that the nastier Underworld enemies are often fought one at a time, or drop food upon death, or spawn along with powerful items, or alongside enemies that are one-shotted by almost anything, so as to make them far more manageable. tl;dr: Space Pirates are raving shitheads. My weapon of choice: Aurum Palm R: 5.5 M: 0 V: 295 Freezing +4 RS +1 SCF +4 DCF +4 Powers: Energy Charge lv3, Playing Dead lv3, Instant Death Attack lv3 Highly mobile weapons with quickly-charging shots (or, at least, lacking slow charging time as a downside) make this level pretty manageable. Space Pirates are really powerful and meaty on 9.0, and youíll have the displeasure of facing them in groups, often on either side of you. Until you learn the enemy placement, weapons with high overall defense are extremely helpful. While many seasoned players will tell you Shot Defense is generally better for its cheaper value, it does nothing against the Piratesí melee combo, which will do a number on you and completely negate the scarce amount of food scattered about the level. Having said that, this is one of those levels that gets easier with repeated failure, simply because much of the challenge is averted by knowing enemy placement and killing the pirates that spawn first, attack first, invade what will become a safe zone, etc. To that end, Energy Charge works really well. Playing Dead is extremely useful for the final rumpus room of this level, especially if you donít have Energy Charge, so I recommend it. Pirates are vulnerable to Instant Death, and there are a couple rooms (as well as enemies such as Snong) that are much less of a hassle with it. Most people consider the Kraken a joke boss, which isnít necessarily true, though I would agree that powers are not terribly necessary for it. Still, if I had to name one power that worked especially well, Iíd say Reflect Barrier, as the head uses almost nothing but projectiles. You may find the food placement disproportionate to the instances youíll really need it, at least during your first attempt. Of course, if you reached that point by nearly being overwhelmed by the pirates, Health Recovery wonít do much for the amount of space itíll use up. ---------------- [Note8] Notices ---------------- -Donít use any special attacks until youíve reached the starry sky and the Remoblams & Remoblamlings have begun appearing. -ALWAYS dodge forward through Space Pirate melee attacks. Itís especially important to do this when one is rolling toward you. -With the exception of the Clubberskull prior to the boss area, always kill Space Pirates first when interrupting battles with Underworld enemies. ------------------ [Air8] Air Battle ------------------ Because most of the Octosí clouds arenít moving straight toward you, itís often easier to avoid them by simply being on the other side of the screen. This goes especially for the pairs of Octos that layer clouds together (firing toward the middle of the screen can kill one if not both, before they can produce the clouds.) Resist the urge to use any special attacks, because a second one wonít be ready in time for... ...the swarms of Remoblams and their pals. Killing them as they come near is worse than allowing them to live and possibly ram you, as the explosion will still roast Pit. Because there are so many Remoblamlings, you want to try and take out the Remoblams (two antennae) ASAP which, if done shortly after they appear, will kill the Ďlings well out of range. If your weapon cannot reach or a couple have managed to come near, the special attack is a lifesaver. These are the positions of the Remoblams in each of the swarms: -Bottom-right -Top-middle -Left-middile -Top-right, moving left, following a Ganewmede -Bottom-right, moving up; bottom-left, moving right Be mindful of Monoeyes that will accompany these bastards and unload while you focus on killing the leaders! Keep circling! For the last two swarms, the bombs will quickly assemble in single file (on top of the former swarm having some protection from the Ganewmede) so your special attacks are best used here if the leaders canít be reached in time. Fortunately, thatís as bad as the aerial battle gets. Not much will happen between now and the arrival of the Space Pirate ship, which is avoided by staying in the top-left corner, though being hit by the ship is not a bad thing provided you have good SCF; youíll encounter several Daphne which take too long to move into dangerous range, more Splins, and two Snongs, very bulky yet nonthreatening, provided you nuke their HP before the arms slam together. Assuming youíre above the Galactic Sea.. Once you encounter a trio of arrow-shooting Gyrazers, direct your fire to the two oíclock position to kill a pack of Minos bearing down on you. Youíll be facing more of them in this fashion, and must kill them before they can get close enough to catch you within their blast radius. More Commyloose. These bounce along the surface of the water incessantly and launch missiles too close for most weapons to destroy, so use a special attack and spare yourself the aggravation.. IF the Treasurefish doesnít give you a Power-Up Drop. Youíll face a large number of Komaytos shortly afterward, though theyíll approach one at a time and are simply a matter of waiting for the cursors to blink. Theyíll come from the left, so keep right. Nothing else really poses a threat, though this air battle features an Orne, just like the previous chapter. Keeping right will avoid it, though you must to swerve left right afterward to avoid a wave of Monoliths. -------------------- [Land8] Land Battle -------------------- As soon as that door opens, run into the middle of the room and grab the Dodge Token there. Now youíll be equipped to handle the two Yellows and the four Snipers arranged around the platforms. Kill the Yellows first, of course, since their mobility makes them the biggest threat at the moment. Stick to standing attacks so that the Dodge Token can do its job as much as possible. The purple bomb will gravely injure the Yellow pirate that runs around the corner, but youíll have no such assistance against the Commando. Fortunately their missiles and grenades are not very fast even on 9.0 and pose little threat by themselves. In the next area, stay toward the door when killing the two Yellow Pirates (the latter wonít spawn until you kill the first) and then take the nearby Grenade and use it on the two Snipers. If youíve taken only a little damage by this point, save the food for later, unless you donít want to kill the next batch of enemies for a chest; in that case, sprint for the door and donít look back. If you do want that chest, proceed to the final bend before the ground floor, but donít go down there, yet. Turn the camera so that youíre looking up the slope, and proceed about halfway down the ramp; this will spawn a Sniper and a Commando on the two flat platforms above you, but will not take you by surprise, as youíll be facing the Sniper. Immediately dash forward and kill that Sniper, who youíll have noticed by now possesses an ounce of the HP that Commandos and Yellows have. Killing it drops a Yellow onto the ground floor, but you first must deal with the Commando. Pepper it with SCF until it poises to fire, then dodge (take care NOT to roll onto the main floor) and then go all out on it. Killing it spawns yet another Commando where the first piece of food sat, though itíll likely fall down to the ground level with the Yellows; otherwise, treat it the same. From the raised platform, youíll have a bit of protection from the Commando, whose attacks can harmlessly detonate against the walkway, and quite a bit of protection from the Yellows, who are now wildly spamming rolls and Shoryukens against the underside of the platform you stand on. Theyíll run out into the center of the floor, and can get onto the walkway if theyíre at the bottom when they roll, but will simply fall off again right after youíve dodged. Make sure you dodge onto a portion of this raised walkway when you do so, as you donít want to join the party on the floor, especially if a Commando is still around. Once youíve shot all of these assholes from the comfort of your walkway, a chest will finally appear on the floor. I recommend using Instant Death in this next room, if youíve got it. Youíll deal with a Yellow and Sniper simultaneously, and while the Yellow is the bigger threat, the Sniper will shoot while youíre dealing with it and can make for a conflict of evasiveness. IDA renders this moot (kill the Yellow first, still.) If you donít have IDA, hide on the far right, behind the glass bubble there, which will block the Sniperís shot. If IDA is active, waste no time sprinting into the other half of this room, where a Sniper and Commando await. No matter which you kill first, a Yellow will spawn immediately afterward, so kill the Commando first (stationary enemies are much less threatening when you can always see them.) With your X-Bomb, step on the elevator and immediately move to the left side (what would be left before you actually got on) and then turn slightly to face the door you just came through. This position allows you to see the Yellows that will join you; one drops onto the elevator itself, and the other will be standing in the doorway. Throw the bomb right at the one on the elevator, and the ring of destruction should catch the other inside it. Donít detonate that pink bomb yet; save it for the Belunka that spawns, as itís more useful against the minions it barfs up. Donít forget the 6.0 intensity gate in that little alcove before the door, either. Let the Snowman freeze the Commando before finishing both of them off. Be warned that the two Monoeyes and Mik are feisty and will fire very shortly after youíve taken the jump pad, so quickly turn your camera toward them and kill the Monoeye closest to you first, then the Mik. Ignore the Snong while you eliminate that frigging Skuttler Cannoneer first, which will spam arrows relentlessly. Try not to hit the bomb, which will only enrage the Snong. Donít just ignore it, as it will drop some food. Once youíve taken the next jump pad, ignore the Daphne for the time being and instead turn left, where a Gloomerang as well as a burger await. Collins are among the least dangerous enemies in the game, and as such can be left alone while you chase down that little jerk Cannoneer. Outside! You can easily roll off these edges if youíre careless, so try to avoid attacks merely by strafing. Youíll immediately spot a Treasurefish or even a Rare Treasurefish, and should not kill them until theyíve turned to the left and are over the platform. If you hurry, you can kill the Shildeen and two Daphne obstructing your path, and nail the fish before it flees. You may want to kill a Rare Treasurefish ASAP, since dropped weapons take a very long time to disappear. Playing Dead or IDA work well in the dual switches room, since hitting the switches while dealing with pirates is very irritating. Whichever you choose, break both doors and then kill whatever pirates are left. If you have Brief Invincibility, you can activate it once for each switch and just ignore the enemies. They wonít follow you through the door. Killing the Commando in the hot spring is easier if you wait near the edge, until it fires its first shot. Remember to linger until a chest spawns nearby. Deal with the Mega Mussel by constantly strafing along the path, dodging only when a homing shot is coming your way, as youíll be able to avoid it without falling. Purple shots can easily knock you into the abyss, so keep moving. A steady stream of DCF will kill the line of Shrips, and the Clubberskull will kill itself after the Snipers are gone. Damage it once to earn the hearts. The grind rail will drop you off into an immediate... Rumpus Room! Wave 1: Tortolunk, Space Pirate Commando x2 Wave 2: Belunka (Skuttler Cannoneer x2) Wave 3: Collins, Mik, Monoeye, Gyrazer x2 Here is where Instant Death and Playing Dead really pay off. The Tortolunk will ignore you until the Commandos are dead, and you should kindly help it kill both of them. Whether you have Energy Charge or IDA going, run to the far left and stand near the huge crack in the wall. After a delay, that Belunka will begin spewing Skuttler Cannoneers and steadily supply them as theyíre killed. You donít need multiple varied shots coming your way, so off that behemoth immediately. If you just brought Playing Dead, itíll keep you safe long enough to kill it and deal with the Skuttlers, as well. The Gyrazers will enter through the crack after a moment, while the others will spawn in the center of the room. If youíre still under Playing Dead, wait for the Gyrazers and kill them first. Otherwise, you can either spin and immediately kill the roundies, or run into the alcove the Cannoneers were plopped into and wait for the Gyrazers there. Before dealing with the Clubberskull and claiming its chest, first head to the adjacent room and hit the rightmost switch for some more easily-claimed loot. As for killing the Clubberskull, you should be able to finish it off with DCF and charge shots by the time the Snipers are gone and before it reaches you. Attack it relentlessly. --------------------- [Boss8] SPACE KRAKEN --------------------- You may need to rotate the camera quite a bit, and should do so in order to keep as many tentacles in sight at a time, but ending this first phase is a total breeze. Just keep strafing and firing the occasional charge, stopping once you see a tentacle rear back, an indicator that itíll be slamming down on your present location. These attacks are quite sluggish and easily avoided even without sidestepping, though not when you donít see them coming, hence the need to keep moving around and keeping as many in view as possible. The head has four different attacks to contend with: -Torrent; a huge blast of water that almost looks like a laser beam. itíll either sweep from the right or left, or straight ahead, from below or above. Sluggish and easily sidestepped. -Bubbles; itíll launch six in quick succession, which you must repeatedly sidestep, immediately flicking the control stick after each consecutive dodge. -Eye darts; after a very quick sparkle, both eyes will shoot a rapid stream of darts at your present location. These inflict SEVERE chip damage on top of paralysis and are an express elevator to Crisis Mode. AVOID THIS ONE. -Headdesk; used only if youíre right in front of its face. Itíll slam its face onto the platform for an obscene amount of damage. Just donít get too close. The key to killing this monstrosity with a minimum of difficulty is to ALWAYS be ready for its eye darts, which means a ceasefire as soon as it finishes any other attack, to look for the sparkle. If those eyes shimmer, immediately sidestep and you should be fine. Otherwise, you can do whatever the hell you please during its torrential blasts and have an easy opportunity to land charge shots before or after the necessary sidestep. Avoiding needless moving will keep your stamina up, as rapid sidestepping does consume quite a bit, and youíll be spamming them whenever those bubbles show up. Should you have any evasive powers remaining, you might as well use them here. You donít have a lot of damage to inflict before the boss is Calamaried. OOOOOOOOOOOOOO [Ch9] Medusaís Final Battle OOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Cost: 16650 Hearts Common Drops: Halo Club, Boom Orbitars, Palutena Blade, Bear Claws, Cursed Palm (Max of 6!) One of the longer levels, and perhaps a bit difficult at first. But this one is terrific for weapon farming, as it can drop six, yes SIX, in a single run. Of course, youíre more likely to find only five, but thatís still awesome. I hope youíre used to Clubberskulls by now! Theyíre eager to play with you! My weapon of choice: Boom Orbitars R: 5 M: 0 V: 289 Shaking +1 RS +1 DCS +4 SCF +4 HB +2 Powers: Energy Charge lv4, Brief Invincibility lv3, Bumblebee lv3, Effect Recovery lv1 Your biggest priority is a strong charge shot. While the air battle is difficult, gliding is extremely effective in avoiding the more intense sections and you can get by without good SCF without TOO much trouble. On land, though, youíll face a number of very meaty enemies, and a wicked DCS is necessary to take them down in as few as two hits, before they can pose much of a threat. Because of the levelís length, this is a prime candidate for weapons with high Overall Defense (Shot Defense probably wonít cut it) though if this also comes at the cost of a ton of power, youíll still have a hard time dealing with bulky enemies. As for powers, you need only concern yourself with standard enemies, as the boss rematches have greatly reduced health. To that end, Effect Recovery is an absolute must. Three Eggplant Wizards plus a Tempura Wizard presents plenty of opportunities to find yourself unable to attack. Bumblebee does protect you from Ornes, whom you will be dealing with amidst other enemies, and cannot necessarily keep your eye on them. Itís very useful. If not for the entire level, Energy Charge DOES work wonders against Clubberskulls, and you are forced to kill three of them in order to proceed. If you can hold onto it long enough, itíll be very helpful against the Wizards and the Erinus right before the boss. Almost all of the nastier enemies in this level are immune to Instant Death, so donít even bother. If Igniots frustrate you that much, pop a Brief Invincibility right before one fires. That particular power does have a couple other handy applications, namely the ambush immediately before Hewdraw Reborn. ---------------- [Note9] Notices ---------------- -This should go without saying, but, for the love of god, donít use the Three Sacred Treasures. -Conserve your special attacks, but do use one once the Trailtails appear en masse, as theyíre accompanied by Komaytos. Kill all other Komaytos with melee. -Stay at the top-left corner to avoid the first Zuree during the descent into Shootfly territory, then immediately move to the top-right to avoid a second. -Destroy the topmost and lower left & right ďgunsĒ on the Underworld Gatekeeper first, as these launch the converging shots that are hard to avoid. -Don't use SCF against Shootflies, no matter how powerful it is. They will instantly change direction and target you again every time a single shot is fired which, if the button is being held, amounts to many chunks being torn from your healthbar. -If you plan to kill the only optional Clubberskull in the level, backtrack a bit and kill the Pluton that will spawn, first. Itíll get in the way of your assault otherwise. -Never kill the Eggplant Wizard before the Igniot once you encounter the pair. An Orne will immediately spawn after either one is slain, and if the Igniot petrifies you, the Orne will quickly approach and finish you off. -The one and only Mimicutie youíll encounter, by itself in the invisible platform area, will always drop an item. Trigger it. You know you want to. ------------------ [Air9] Air Battle ------------------ If you did happen to enter without a weapon possessing good SCF, youíre much better off gliding the entire time. Youíll even score several points toward the various ďnarrowly avoided shotsĒ achievements. Otherwise, quickly move the reticle and zap the many Monoeyes and Paramush you descend upon. There are far more shots fired than enemies present, youíll notice. Once the Syrens appear, stop gliding for a bit and kill whatever you can amongst those enemies, especially the Octos/Commyloose combo, ceasing your fire once you resume your descent over several enemies again. Donít use a special attack, yet. Once you enter the chasm and those Trailtails start zipping across, be ready to use that special attack. Basically, you want to kill whatever you can with your weapon, including the Komaytos, then launch the special once you start to feel overwhelmed. This should make the most out of your invulnerability and keep whatever is left of the section unclogged by webbing. Killing the Komaytos is more important than the Trailtails, and you should stay on the left side of the chasm instead of circling. Feel free to ignore any Trailtails that arenít obstructing the left of the chasm, if your weapon canít keep up. No matter how strong your weapon is, there are way too many Shootflies to get riled up; only the Zuree will bother to attack you, so just leave everyone alone, including the Souflee (if you can do the air battle without a reliance on your special attacks, though, feel free to use one once the Souflee pops in.) Stay in the top left corner to avoid the first Zuree, then move all the way to the right to avoid the second, guaranteed. Thereíll be a couple more Trailtails and Komaytos to contend with, but nothing that warrants a special attack. To avoid the packs of Ornes, stay on the far left, dead center. All of them will look like theyíre about to crash into you, but trust me on this. More mandatory gliding for shitty weapons. That Vakloom, unlike any others youíll encounter in the air, has plenty of distance to take advantage of; this allows it to turn its laser beam and actually have good odds of hitting you, especially since you have a large number of other enemies to deal with. Use another special attack once youíve triggered its laser. Some Gyrazers and Octos will appear shortly afterward, and you should bother to kill them if youíve been gliding all this time. Try to kill the Octos in front of you, then stay on that side to avoid the cloud of the other. DONíT stop circling, as they are followed by Paramush that will quickly shoot. Donít waste your time with the Boogities, though you must kill the Gloomerang and Gyrazers that show up. Once Pittoo shows up, youíll want to have another special attack handy, as more Komaytos and some Specknoses will arrive and pose a serious threat much of the time. Youíll have a very small window to melee the Komaytos (they appear top-middle, then from the left), but unless youíre grabbed, save your special for the second Specknose to appear, as the first one will be by itself. Yet another Orne will appear, avoided yet again by keeping left; your last enemy wave comes in the form of several Monoeyes that show up in a large cluster, with a few more joining the fray. If you still have another special attack, either use it here, or keep your reticle focused on the middle-right for a Monoeye that will appear very close to the camera and is almost guaranteed to hit you otherwise. You may have extremely little health right now, but donít worry about it. The Underworld Gatekeeper deals little damage with its attacks, and you can actually survive for quite a long time in Crisis Mode because of that. The key to easing your misery, however, is to destroy the two topmost guns first (use the cursors to locate them) and then the two on the bottom left and right, at the inside tips of the ďwings.Ē These four will fire those really quick shots that converge on your location and can easily hit you. Whenever that attack begins, stop shooting and just move in circles to maximize your chances of avoiding them. From there, destroy the uppermost left and right. Your second biggest threats are the offscreen rush and the giant laser beam, easily avoided but also a bit more likely to kill you in Crisis Mode. Avoid these simply by staying away from the line it makes before dashing, and by staying away from the point the laser makes on the screen, respectively. Medusaís monologue and the sheer amount of flying around youíll do will build up your special meter. Donít be shy about using them! Of course, destroy the green shields and red mines (the latter attack is performed by the second set of guns) if they happen to show up. If you destroy the guns in the order I told you, youíll have made it easy to hold out until Pittoo punts the thing in the face. Some weapons can take the guns out so quickly that it has nothing it can do besides produce shields or charge, while the arbitrary timer ticks down. -------------------- [Land9] Land Battle -------------------- I prefer tackling the level revisits in their original order, though if I had to gauge the difficulty from easiest to hardest, I suppose Iíd go with Twinbellows, then Pandora, then Hewdraw (just because of the ambush.) All these loading screens will eat your Energy Charges, so try not to use any unless a particular section really gives you grief without it. ***That Old Town, Twinbellows Revisited*** You have plenty of room to kill the enemies leading to the fountain, and of the assortment, only the Zurret poses any real threat. The Reaper wonít register until you approach the fountain, anyway. Once you head inside that door, turn around and walk down the passage while facing the way you came. This allows you to immediately begin spamming DCF against that Clubberskull, who you may notice has slightly reduced HP. Once you hear the telltale chirp that youíve picked up an item, stop dashing and use the Bolt of Judgment. By the time youíve reached the end of the passage, youíll have killed it. If your weapon wasnít strong enough to do that, this level is going nowhere but downhill for you from here. Igniots donít have THAT much health, but enough to live long enough to nail you with that extremely fast laser beam. These three arenít accompanied by anything else, so youíll take negligible damage. A well-timed charge shot to their eye before it fires will also interrupt its attack and stun it. You can use the couple of Bouncy Bombs behind the rubble (which is also a good hiding place) to score some damage in safety. Donít forget the chest along the stairs patrolled by that Orne. Note the many puffs of smoke at the first landing, which indicate those Gyrazers are firing arrows like crazy. Approach carefully and strafe to the left. Youíll want to avoid needlessly damaging your Exo Tank in order to use it against the Clubberskull at the top of those stairs. At least, if you plan to kill the Skuttlers and Nettler in your way. Otherwise... Rumpus Room! Clubberskull, Shemum x10 The Exo Tank makes very short work of that Clubberskull; all you need to do is position it so that both lasers are hitting its body. Immediately back up as it approaches you, and keep moving as it swings its fists around. This iteration of Twinbellows has so little HP that you can just go nuts on the guy. Or is it guys? Whatever. Stick with head shots to speed things up. ***That Burning Town, Hewdraw Reborn Revisited*** Youíll be immediately greeted by three Miks. Remember that bouncing high into the air indicates an attack, and be especially mindful of those tongues. You may need to sidestep repeatedly, as they can attack in quick succession. Proceeding far to the left simply spawns more Miks and Monoeyes that are there only as a distraction. Defeat the Mega Mussel (strafe in circles) on the correct path to score some food, then bounce your way to an Aether Ring, and.. Rumpus Room! Wave 1: Stackjaw, Gyrazer x2 Wave 2: Minos, Shemum x9 Wave 3: Zik, Zak x5 This is extremely easy. All you need concern yourself with is moving counter- clockwise around the Stackjaw, killing the Gyrazers first, and staying ahead of that wall of lasers; from there, just be sure the exploding Minos doesnít reach your Aether Ring. Youíll need it to grab the treasure in the sewers. Destroy the two Gyrazers in the sewer immediately (sit in the water to avoid the lasers), then carefully work your way along the raised platforms to that chest. Once you reach that spring, if youíve got Brief Invincibility, be ready to use it. Two Skuttlers, two Cannoneers, one Monoeye, one angel. You donít have to kill them to get into the boss room, but a Cannoneer is blocking the Drink of the Gods, and the Skuttlers will be right in your face, anyway. By using BI, you can safely deflect at least three of the ensuing attacks and spam DCF to quickly eliminate at least three of them. If Twinbellows was a joke, Hewdraw is a tired internet meme that makes you want to castrate the guy who thought it was clever. Once youíre able to knock it out of the water, the ensuing aggression should wipe all but its single remaining HP, which can be removed once itís back in the water. Powers are unnecessary. This one does like to use its tail slap shortly after the fight begins, though; sidestep it toward the left. ***Pandoraís Labyrinth of Deceit, Pandora Revisited*** The spikes straight ahead are fake, though you should wait a moment for the Souflee to point this out for you, anyway, so you may kill it. SPRINT, donít walk, through those spikes, and keep to the left to round the corner there. A Sinistew is in the center of the floor and can easily grab you, otherwise, not to mention the couple of Gyrazers that can stall you with their lasers. Now for some fun with teleporters! Stay back in that alcove to kill the Daphne with some protection against their flowers. Occasionally one may still float over to you, so destroy it or dodge. As soon as you warp again, wait for the room to turn right-side up and immediately sidestep left, to avoid the Gyrazerís laer. Now you can kill them. Once youíve warped again, rather than proceed down the left and face the enemies up close, wait for the Paramush to approach you (theyíll eventually begin firing at you from a certain distance) and shoot once theyíre in range and coming right toward you. If you stay back far enough, the Syrenís shots will harmlessly hit the edge of the platform. And, if your weaponís range is long enough, you can even kill the Paramush before they can land. Through the phony spikes, youíll need to hit a switch while fending off two Zuree in close confines. Remember to keep your stylus OFF the screen when attacking, to avoid inadvertently closing in for a melee attack and getting yourself slashed. As soon as you touch that warp pad once, it wonít matter if the Orne is right on top of you; youíll be safe. Make a mad dash for the pad as soon as it moves away from the side closest to you. That nearby pad leads to a chest, but you must fend off a Bluster for it. Remember that its sound wave is extremely fast, but telegraphed and easily sidestepped. Try to grab the loot and vamoose before it can use its clouds. The food by the awaiting Cherubot is nice, but the mech is all the protection you need. Letís do this. Rumpus Room! Wave 1: Nettler x5, Shrip x5, Gyrazer x5 Wave 2: Gloomerang, Snowman Simply move in repetitive circles while focusing on one enemy at a time. The flying enemies will drop into the chasm and die, more often than not. Pandora is still just as easy peasy, lemon squeezy. I never bother with the attack items they plant in the rooms to assist, though I guess they speed things up for some weaker weapons. Boom Spears are great. Okay, now the fun begins! Into the darkness we go! Rumpus Room! Wave 1: Collins, Skuttler Cannoneer x2 Wave 2: Igniot, Specknose, Shemum x2 Wave 3: Suit of Skuttler, Handora, Shootfly x2 The Cannoneers will irritatingly bob up and down as they float around the room, so hitting them at close range works best. Be careful not to excessively use moves with cooldown, as you still want to be able to dodge any arrows and missiles thatíll come your way. That Spike Ball will not only keep the Shemum at bay, but if you can get in front of the Igniot with it before it can petrify you, itíll kill the bastard while you dash around it or shake out of your stony state. The Shemum will continue to spawn until the Specknose is slain, and two pieces of food will appear during this ordeal. Shootflies may not deal nearly as much melee damage as some of the more notorious melee enemies, but they amount to tons of damage when they land consecutive hits. Having said that, kill the Handora first. The best way to handle Shootflies is to fire at something and then immediately dash. Shootflies only move in straight lines while converging at your location, so if you know where they are before shooting, avoiding them is simple. To kill them, use DCS at a comfortable range which allows you to move if you know itíll survive. Hang a left at the first fork in the flamethrower area to get whatíll likely be some Speed Boots, then proceed along to the incessantly burning flamethrower. By positioning yourself carefully in front of the very end of it, you can dash through safely even as it billows, and it may not even register as a dodge. The Orne itself is avoided with a very carefully-timed sprint. If you picked up a Centurion Assist, donít approach the idle Clubberskull until it wears off! Magmoos take a little bit of abuse before dying, and hurt to the touch. Their fireballs themselves are easily dodged via sidestep and arc slowly. Feel free to kill the Souflee and set off the trap near the Clubberskull, but donít piss off the behemoth until youíve backtracked and killed the Pluton that will show up. I strongly recommend Energy Charge for this. Remember that the shockwave produced by its roar will hurt you, too. The Monoeyes moving along with the rotating flamethrowers WILL shoot at you, but seldom. That door leads to a small, confined area, which screams... Rumpus Room! Wave 1: Skuttler Cannoneer x3 Wave 2: Suit of Skuttler These Cannoneers are very trigger happy, so immediately begin strafing and do not stop unless a missile is coming your way, in which case you dodge through it or blow it up. That Suit of Skuttler is annoying to kill in front of the door like that, eh? The unlocked door immediately leads to this particular rumpusí afterparty. Afterparty! Wave 1: Eggplant Wizard Wave 2: Skuttler Cannoneer Wave 3: Suit of Skuttler Wave 4: Clubberskull The first three do not so much spawn in waves as they do at timed intervals, so the Cannoneer can show up well before the Eggplant Wizard is slain, and so on; make sure you donít mistakenly run into the columns of light over the elevator shafts, as theyíll halt your dash and can cause you to blow a dodge and become eggplanted. Have your Effect Recovery ready. Donít use the Power-Up Drop or Atlas Foot until everything else is gone, and youíre ready to take on that Clubberskull. Energy Charge is useful, but if the Drop fulfills its purpose, youíll still lose the charge. Retreat clockwise or counterclockwise around the area while you spam DCF and donít be afraid to just sprint away if it gets close enough to use its spin attack. Once that grind rail trip ends, immediately sprint forward and kill that Rare Treasurefish before it flies away or misses the ground with its drop. Note that there are two Shootfly nearby that will respond to this attack, so keep moving. Be especially careful not to shoot too soon if your weapon canít reach it, yet! Kill the Shootflies before proceeding. There are numerous enemies youíll face in single file, but none pose any particular threat, especially if you take the time to charge up shots before proceeding. The two Boogities at the end of this area can be a real headache, but just focus on dodging forward through their missiles, staying on the right side of the platform, getting in whatever damage you can. Be careful not to run along the invisible floor (drop off the forward end of the platform youíll come to, to continue) and kill that lone Monoeye quickly, as rolling through its shot will likely send you into the abyss. Rumpus Room! Igniot, Eggplant Wizard, Orne KILL THE IGNIOT FIRST. An Orne will replace the first enemy to die, and being petrified with an Orne closing in on you is an easy game over. Keeping an eye on a teleporting Eggplant Wizard and its bombs while also trying to detect an Orne is easier said than done, but it isnít nearly as dangerous. Try knocking that Wizard over with your charge shots. Quickly move along the series of invisible platforms to avoid the Handora shots coming your way, and make sure to kill the Monoeye that appears while doing so. That chest is a Mimicutie, but drops an item, so trigger it if youíre confident in your evasiveness and strength. Donít shoot during its spin attack, because youíre in close confines and must keep the camera on it, ready to dodge each time it comes near. Dodge forward through its flurry of kicks. As soon as you jump onto that next platform, two Monoeyes and a Skuttler Cannoneer will spawn, and all will soon shoot. Kill the Cannoneer first, because its arrows will push you off the platform. You can sidestep all attacks from that platform aside from the missile, and will need to do so at least once. Take the left set of platforms to the next area. Hopefully you still have an Effect Recovery. If that Tempura Wizard gets you, the Boogityís missile is a frigging nightmare to avoid, and the knockback will allow the Wizard to catch up and finish you off. Energy Charge really helps take this jerk down lickety-split, before he begins firing erratically. Just be sure youíre also dodging through the missiles while dealing with him. Once you drop off the platform, don't forget to take the chest and Drink of the Gods to the left and right sides of the door. Easily missed if you're just chugging along, though you can see them from the above platform if you're close to the edges. As you approach the forward end of that ledge, three Monoeyes will spawn and eventually begin shooting. You must kill them all to materialize the floor. From here, this final area is an enemy gauntlet that will produce more floor as each enemy set is cleared. The first two platforms will also give you food. 1st platform: Gyrazer, Mik x2 Easy stuff. The Gyrazer will likely be the first thing you see and kill. The Miks will prefer to attack from a distance, but will swipe those tongues before retreating. 2nd platform: Shrip x3 While theyíre arranged in a triangle, they donít attempt to converge on your point and you can stand near one (but not in front of it lol) to be safe. 3rd platform: Eggplant Wizard, Erinus, Orne Okay, no more playing around. Use Bumblebee if youíve got it, as it really helps guard you against the Orne should you lose sight of it. Hammer that damn Eggplant Wizard with everything youíve got, but donít waste too many resources on it, because the Erinus that immediately takes its place is much worse. Its shot spread is not hard to avoid, but damaging it causes it to split and go batshit insane, rushing you at high speeds and carving off tons of HP in the process. The legs are not as quick or strong, but will relentlessly hop after you until the top half has been destroyed completely. Here is where your weaponís strength really pays off, as well as Energy Charge. Donít stay in one place, either, because that Orne is still there, but you must still be ready to dodge forward through the bum rushes of the top half. Note the bit of delay, as it flails in place for a second before rushing. After all that, you could use a nice, easy boss battle, wouldnít you say? --------------- [Boss9] MEDUSA --------------- Itís not even worth the time to delve deep into her first couple of phases because, well, they arenít. -Destroy purple blobs, fly through gaps, destroy rubble. -Donít move except to position yourself between those... things, and shoot at the little blobs that come your way. Now that youíre much closer, she does have a few attacks, but takes so little abuse before detaching her head. Sheíll rapidly launch little shots from her eyes (much like those from the Underworld Gatekeeper) and occasionally swipe half of the screen with her claw. Iím sure sheís got more at her disposal, but sheís never lasted long enough to show them off, and likely wonít for you, either. Now that the head is alone, youíre actually at some risk of being hit. She launches small shots of her own that are even easier to avoid than those used previously, as well as huge globs of poison and her own massive laser beam which does not seem to target you very well, if at all. By circling constantly, you can easily avoid the majority of her attacks, though may take some poison damage on the side. The head will reattach itself in no time. If you found this level to be easy, the next few ground battles will feel like a walk in the park. If not, youíll probably find them even worse! Whee! OOOOOOOOOOOOOO [Ch10] The Wish Seed OOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Cost: 14770 Hearts Common Drops: Wolf Claws, Burning Palm, Leo Cannon, Phoenix Arm (Max of 4) This level can feel nightmarish, especially given all the opportunities for needless burn damage, but really is easy once you consider that most enemies are quite slow to react, and many enemies only come into play when particular enemies are slain, thereby allowing you to do a minimum of fighting. But I donít want to do that, so neither will you! My weapon of choice: Boom Orbitars R: 5 M: 0 V: 289 Shaking +1 RS +1 DCS +4 SCF +4 HB +2 Powers: Energy Charge lv4, Brief Invincibility lv3, Bumblebee lv3, Effect Recovery lv1 Slow, strong weapons will suit you just fine, especially if their power comes in the form of charge shots. Having said that, short range makes the boss much harder than he needs to be, so youíll want to shy away from Arms and some of the shorter-ranged Palms. While slow movement is not particularly crippling, slow shot speed will definitely cause issues, so avoid those, also. As an aside, Recovery Effect is an extremely useful mod. Food will seem a lot more scarce than desirable, but with at least RE +2, the Recovery Orbs during the air battle will restore most of your health, and Meat items will restore an enormous amount of HP (a little more than half.) Effect Recovery is extremely helpful here as well, not so much for the burn damage, but the Tempura Wizard you must tackle at the end of the level. Save them for this guy. Because many enemies are slow to react or fire, Energy Charge is easy to keep going, and especially useful when you consider that many of these enemies are also quite meaty. Youíll face plenty of Wave Anglers and Porcuspines. Playing Dead is very useful against the Phoenix, but not if youíve got poor range or shot speed, in which case Bumblebee is the better option. Much like Dark Pit, if the Phoenix is the only tough part of this level, you can bring Trade Off and make short work of him, of course taking into consideration the limitations of your weapon. You should really learn to avoid the Phoenixís attacks the old-fashioned way, though, as youíll have to do this toward the beginning of every Chapter 24 attempt, without wasting powers. ----------------- [Note10] Notices ----------------- -Be especially careful when circling in the lava geyser area, as you can easily dip too far and take a lava bath for ludicrous burn damage. Stay high! -Take the tunnel and not the upper route when prompted by Palutena. The tunnel is easier, particularly because there are fewer opportunities to be burned and it contains no Komaytos. -Blowing up exploding rocks will still trigger a Porcuspineís counterattack. Save them, regardless, for the Petribombers. -The Clubberskull encountered along the Exo Tank path will produce an item when slain, a feat accomplished easily if your tank is intact. -Likewise, the Mimicutie in the second hot spring area (behind the intensity gate near the boss area) must be slain to earn an item drop. -The chest in the room with your first encountered Suit of Skuttler will trigger an ambush in the form of a Gloomerang, Monoeye and Petribomber. If you go for it, immediately turn around and be ready for them (particularly with a power such as Brief Invincibility, or some good sidestepping skills.) -The two Wave Anglers before the boss may be killed by something really strong without entering the area, to avoid facing both at once, but their shots WILL go through the wall/door and can hit you if you arenít ready. Anticipate them. ------------------- [Air10] Air Battle ------------------- While the eruptions are very large, you can easily avoid them while maintaining the ever-useful circular flight pattern. Occasionally you may have to cut one short and make a beeline for a gap, but otherwise keep the circles going. I find it easy to be shot by one of the Monoeyes following the first appearance of some Petribombers, as theyíll shoot while passing through a narrow gap on the left of an eruption. Whenever passing a gap, at least be moving up or down instead of just waiting to safely resume circling. Following the Gloomerang and Fire Wyrm, youíll have a brief window to kill a Remoblam master in the center of the screen, off in the distance, positioned just left of a thin stalagmite. If you can do this, a Souflee will spawn. Also take care when dealing with the two Syren that show up right afterward. The Vakloom will quickly sweep its laser beam across the bottom of the screen, but you shouldnít be down there, anyway, because of the lava. A lone Mik will accompany it and should be dead by the time the Vakloom is ready to fire. Donít be shy about using special attacks in this area, as itís easily the hardest part of the aerial segment. I like to use one against the Monoeyes and Syren that appear once the geysers cease, following the pair of Petribombers. While you make the difficult decision of choosing to go left, youíll entertain seven Daphne that somehow thought this was a nice place for a flower to chill. The direct route features Fire Wyrms, numerous Syrens, tongue-whipping Miks, Komaytos, Petribombers and Shrips, not to mention the many lava eruptions that will play mindgames with you as you rush past, trying to find safe positions. Trust me, it is not worth the hassle. As for the tunnel route, youíll spend a few moments circling to avoid a ton of Handora pellets, while destroying the occasional Magmoo (be diligent in spotting and killing them, as theyíll easily hit you as you fly by otherwise.) Once you reach the open area, direct your fire to the upper left and kill the Paramush there, then carefully circle while ducking beneath or flying over the eruptions from the wall (duck the first, fly over the second two.) If you donít circle, youíll be easily nailed by the Paramush or Syrens. You should have two special attacks by now, and should use them during and after killing the huge Magmoo staring you in the face. This will eliminate the numerous smaller Magmoos and the nearby trigger-happy Monoeyes as well. Itís smooth sailing from here, as the only enemies left that will attack are a foursome of Petribombers that will approach two at a time, after the volcano erupts. --------------------- [Land10] Land Battle --------------------- If you arenít in dire need of food, ignore the goodies dropped for you and instead take a minute to kill the Magmoo and Petribomber that greet you, along with the additional enemy each one will spawn once slain. Petribombers on land can be a little bit of a hassle if you needlessly put yourself in a cooldown state. If a charge shot wonít hit them as soon as they produce a rock, use SCF instead as they fly about, then dodge forward through the rock. These bombers will take a few seconds to throw, so eliminate the two Magmoo first, who will attack sooner. Most weapons should not try to blow up the rocks in mid-flight. Girins are just as easy to kill here, but you must take care to dodge in the direction of the trail itself and not the edges. This goes for every enemy. If youíve got Energy Charge, let Ďer rip. Rumpus Room! Wave 1: Wave Angler, Porcuspine x2 Wave 2: Tortolunk, Petribomber x2 The Wave Angler will appear near the door, so you should run toward it from the right side of the room, to be able to kill it as soon as it drops down. Porcuspines are a matter of patience. Use a SCS and then wait for the needles, then finish them off. Once the Tortolunk & Co. shows up, nail the turtle with a charge shot, then try to set off those rocks, which will kill the Petribombers. Otherwise, dodge forward through the oncoming spin attack and be ready to sidestep any rocks. You should be able to get rid of them before the Tortolunk is upright. Tanky Tiiime! Hopping into the tank is whatíll spawn the enemies, so get right back out and begin shooting them. Use the tank primarily for transportation, avoiding needless damage, as you must keep it intact for the Clubberskull. As you run forward, have a charge shot ready to damage the Wave Angler thatíll join the trio of Leox. It may take a few laps before the final Leox is slain. Run forward again to trigger a Gyrazer from the right, then retreat to your tank, triggering a Syren. Now, the idea is to gun it along the heart-lined ramps, using your boosts once the Wave Anglers get in your face, but jumping out of the tank before you sail off the bend at the end. Itís important to get the Power-Up Drop from up there, which will deflect the shockwaves and shots from the nearby Leox and Monoeye, whom you should kill before using the tank to destroy that Clubberskull. The very long path is not obstructed by much; a trio of Miks along with a Wave Angler will appear, but are quickly shot down by your tank before they can do anything else. The Gyrazers at the end will be spamming arrows from a great distance, but your tank will easily outspeed them. Even without the tank, the arrows are easily avoided just by moving. Unlike the air battle of Chapter 8, itís easier to kill Remoblamlings before their master, just because theyíre closer. This also gives you hearts, because their self-destruct at the hands of the Remoblam will not count as a kill. If one is close to you when it blows up, a simple backward dodge will suffice. On the higher level, you can also drop back down to the ground if one is too close. Be careful not to walk directly over a crack in the floor, as itíll explode. Once the platform sinks, you can kill a Mimicutie for a Killer Eye item, which will not help you much in the area ahead, and can even shoot you. Guttlers were obviously intended to be nasty enemies, but they really arenít. In spite of the NPC advice, you should always kill the little enemies nearby, first, as youíll get more hearts, and in some cases they are much more dangerous than the Guttler itself (ie: Ch21.) Itís worth noting that Guttlers do gain substantially more HP as they eat, and will somewhat quickly lumber after you when you are its closest target, or there are no enemies left. This has not been an issue for me at any point throughout any levels featuring Guttlers. Rarely, theyíll even launch their little orbs at you. Even if you donít need healing, stepping into the hot spring is what triggers a Power-Up Drop to appear on the rocks outside, so at least do that. Killing that Shelbo produces a Gloomerang and Magmoo, but with the Power-Up Drop, you can run to it to make it stop inhaling, then just continue to the jump pad. Of course, killing them lets you safely grab the Grenade from that chest, and use it on the Sinistew up there. If you have Energy Charge or Item Attack mods on your weapon, the explosion should kill the Mik next to it also. Destroy the Petribomber even if you plan to ignore the Sinistew. The Sinistew will spawn a Tortolunk and Magmoo upon its destruction (to kill it, bait the grab by standing at the left edge of the path, sidestepping once the arm stretches.) Avoiding the spin attack on these narrow walkways is just a matter of standing in an area with enough room to sidestep, and carefully timing the maneuver. Ditto for the Magmooís fireball. Elevator. Melee that Shulm before blasting the Leox, which will happily commit suicide if you donít, but will still create a shockwave before doing so. A Petribomber will spawn once itís dead. You can take the jump pad right away and avoid numerous enemies, but youíll also miss two chests. Otherwise, head to the left to score some loot. Kill that Wave Angler once it appears to avoid having to roll around on the walkway and potentially bathe in lava. That Girin can actually be a threat, should the Shelbo draw you into it, but otherwise this is routine execution. For the final leg of this area, use the Power-Up Drop up there to run through the lava and kill the enemies there without consequence. Dropping off the ledge after grabbing that Meat will trigger a Wave Angler and Skuttler, and killing the Sinistew will spawn a Porcuspine. Avoiding either encounter is simple. That chest looks tempting, but will spawn a Monoeye, Gloomerang, and Petribomber once you leap to it, so immediately turn and face them. Try killing the Monoeye first, sidestep the boomerang and kill it next, then deal with the flaming rock thatíll be coming your way. It may be easier for some to just use Brief Invincibility. The Syren just outside that door will not wait very long before firing, and youíll need to sidestep if you miss your shot. The Happy Trigger is useful for the foursome of Monoeyes and Syren around that bend, but you should trigger the Shulms that tumble over the side and kill them from a distance, first. That Syren will also fire quickly, and stays well out of range for many weapons while itís flying around. Donít be too eager to jump onto the platforms by the door, as you can be caught standing on the same rock as the Porcuspine, which deals steady contact damage and makes its counter impossible to avoid. Rumpus Room! Skuttler Mage, Skuttler x2, Shulm x2 Charge straight into the room, past the Shulms as they drop down, and nail the Mage for a quick kill. Avoiding any Weakening hijinx is your top priority; the rest is nothing to sneeze at. Afterparty! Tempura Wizard, Suit of Skuttler If you arenít under the effects of Energy Charge, I would suggest firing it up just for this asshole. Sprint straight into the room, using your FDCS as the guy lowers himself in front of you, and then hit him with your next strongest attack before he begins spamming that batter. The Suit of Skuttler is mostly just... there, though if you keep it out of sight for too long, it WILL eventually slam into you. Still, just do whatever you can to annihilate Mister Shrimpy right away. Take the intensity gate for a well-deserved heal before the final area. Turning off auto-homing in the pause menu will really help you take down that Girin, if your weapon has a remote degree of homing. This makes drawing it out of the ground take much less time. Killing that Sinistew will give you a less crummy vantage point for that Souflee way up on that ledge; finally, destroying the Mimicutie in the small area off to the side (trigger it, use a BDCS, then quickly retreat up the stairs) will earn you an item drop. The Mimicutieís auto-targeting will have no problem zipping it out of that enclosed circle and getting right in your face, so donít think youíre safe up there. Relax if you need to, then head back to the final... Rumpus Room! Wave 1: Porcuspine, Wave Angler x2 Wave 2: Petribomber, Skuttler If you can, try killing those Wave Anglers without entering the area itself. This is easily done by a lot of FDCS, timed so that your dash stops you right in front of the door, which will open, but still apply the momentum needed for the shot to register as a FDCS. Should you fail to kill it, get the hell away from there; a wave is soon to follow, and can still hit you from well beyond the door. Youíll need to sidestep it. Otherwise, use your FDCS and enter the room, and be ready to dodge through the oncoming waves. The Porcuspine will waddle from the walkway into your area, but otherwise isnít a threat until you bother to shoot it. The second wave appears far up on the path and doesnít warrant a strategy. ----------------- [Boss10] PHOENIX ----------------- This guy really seems like a difficult boss, at first, but he follows a pretty simple pattern and his attacks are easily anticipated, which makes them easy for even slower weapons to avoid, like Staves. Well, actually, he technically follows two patterns, and switches between them after using one of his more grand attacks. He always begins with a trio of fireballs, which spawn in the distance and zoom in, soon converging on your present location. This is often followed by the hurling of flaming rocks directly overhead, which also target your present location. The sheer speed of the rocks means you must anticipate them and immediately flick the control pad following your fireball dodge, but otherwise this maneuver is easily done. Occasionally, he may hurl the rocks right away, instead of the fireballs. You must be on your toes, though if the Phoenix is far enough away, you can easily see the rocks arc through the air. The Phoenix may repeat this anywhere from once to twice more, or he may skip the rocks altogether (DO NOT plan for this) and go right into his flame charge, one of his most easily-avoided moves; heíll engulf himself in flame and, after a delay, rush toward you. Donít ever try to use the jump pad to avoid this, but simply roll forward as he nears, and youíll go right through him. Now you have a great opportunity to unload some charge shots and DCF. That flame charge also indicates he switched attack patterns. Now, the Phoenix will turn and face you and, after a quick shimmer of his wings, launch two very quick projectiles that converge on your location. As long as you arenít in cooldown when this happens, you should easily be able to sidestep them. Next, the Phoenix will slam his talons on the ground, creating three shockwaves that race forward with a lot of room between them. These are easily avoided through strafing alone. Like his first pattern, he is not guaranteed to begin with one attack and not the other, and will use them anywhere from one to four times. Following these attacks will be one of two moves, which you should take care to avoid; either his flame breath, or his whirlwinds. The flame breath must be run from, though he canít make sharp turns and will have difficulty hitting you the closer you are. The whirlwinds, on the other hand, will scatter about the area and will bounce off the edges to continue posing a threat. These will also inflict the annoying Spin status if they connect. Dodge forward through them, but keep moving about and turning the camera to spot any more that must be sidestepped. However, you have a golden opportunity to score some easy damage AND circumvent this attack by knocking him out of the sky. This is done by repeatedly blasting his noggin, most easily done during his shockwaves. You wonít have very long to hit him, which may not allow you to fully charge a shot, but heíll revert to his starting pattern of fireballs ní rocks without breathing fire or creating whirlwinds. He will have shifted back to the fireballs Ďn rocks, now. Lather, rinse, and repeat, though he does not have a tremendous amount of HP and can be killed prior or shortly beyond this point, provided you landed a lot of your attacks. If your shots lack range, donít even bother shooting him until after the flame charge, though you should be concentrating on spotting and rolling to avoid his fireballs, anyway, and then those damned rocks. Ah, yes, power consumption. I pop a Bumblebee first thing, then look for his fireballs, dodge them as well as the rocks, then use Energy Charge. By the time the charge kicks in, heís usually about to launch the shockwaves, and is soon to be plummeting to Earth and finished off shortly thereafter. Your use of evasive powers depends on what you have the most trouble avoiding but, like I said much earlier, you really should get in the habit of fighting this guy without defensive power usage, as you wonít be able to rely on them during your rematch in Chapter 24. I donít use Bumblebee or Energy Charge then, and use them here simply because Iíve got Ďem. Assurance and whatnot. Should you have bothered to face all of your enemy encounters like a man, you should be pleasantly surprised by your amount of hearts upon completion. OOOOOOOOOOOOOO [Ch11] Viridi, Goddess of Nature OOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Cost: 11330 Hearts Common Drops: Rose Staff, Divine Bow, Paw Pad Orbitars, Crusader Blade, Cragalanche Cannon (Max of 3) This is another level that seems much harder than it is at first, but much of the difficulty is averted by planning your powers around the segments that give your weapon of choice a hard time. More on that in a second. With some practice youíll find this entire level to be actually very easy and lucrative. My weapon of choice: Boom Orbitars R: 5 M: 0 V: 289 Shaking +1 RS +1 DCS +4 SCF +4 HB +2 Powers: Energy Charge lv3, Playing Dead lv3, Instant Death Attack lv3 If your weapon lacks movement speed, then you want range, and plenty of it. Boom Orbitars have more than enough to get by, as well as a fast-moving charge shot that will be a great asset in the first of what amounts to two separate (and potentially difficult) segments that your weapon must be able to handle: -The long passage near the beginning, loaded with distant Nutskis -The second and third waves of the Rumpus Room before Cragalanche Some weapons have an especially hard time dealing with at least one of those, which should be compensated by appropriate power usage. Playing Dead for the Rumpus Room, if youíre unable to kill Bladers before they get in your face and shred or blast your HP to a perilous amount; Brief Invincibility, if you have speed but little range, to sprint through the Nutski Trail without wasting a lot of time sidestepping over and over; Instant Death Attack is useful for Hugworms and Jitterthugs when using weaker weapons, but there are easy ways to deal with them (especially the former.) Lastly, this air battle can be unforgiving on poor SCF weapons and you should be gliding as much as possible unless directed otherwise. For that matter, you should not be playing Forces of Nature levels with a notably poor SCF weapon. ----------------- [Note11] Notices ----------------- -Donít move in circles when encountering Paragliders, as their shots do not turn and can be easily flown into by accident. The swarms in this level make very good candidates for your special attacks. -Thereís a useful trick for picking up an attack item, but killing other enemies without throwing it yet. All you need to do is be shooting before picking it up, and as long as you keep the trigger held down, you can continue to use SCF and DCF until youíre ready to use the item. -Be careful not to shoot the branch snaring the human from afar while shooting your way past all the Nutskis toward the beginning of the land battle. The Chocolate youíre rewarded with will disappear before you can eat it. -Hugworms are like mobile Sinistews, but can be tricked into mindlessly slithering against the edges of gaps while you shoot them from the other side. -Shooting Jitterthugs while theyíre green is what prompts them to launch three balls instead of one. So, yíknow... DONíT DO IT. ------------------- [Air11] Air Battle ------------------- While the Underworld Army portion is both brief and generally unnoteworthy, crummier weapons should be wary of the clusters of Monoeyes, and Iíve taken to using a special attack against the foursome of Syrens (the camera will pan to them after you follow a pair of Miks) regardless of my weapon at the time. Even if your weapon sucks during air battles, thereís not much to worry about until youíre in the forest itself. Kill the Trynamites as you spot them, as well as the Zerts, since their attacks are more problematic than the seeds. Once youíre right in front of the forest, a Zert will soon appear top-center; it can be a little hard to spot and, if not killed, will send a few lightning bolts toward you at a weird angle and can score multiple hits. Once youíve entered the forest youíll soon become acquainted with Paragliders, which hit particularly hard, attack in large numbers, and donít cater to circling. Theyíll come in from the upper-left (two sets) and then the upper-right in single file, amidst a few other enemies. I often like to use a special attack here, though they are easy to kill if you focus your fire where theyíll enter and quickly shift the reticle to the other side. Itís important to kill every Pew Pew, because if the camera pans away from one as itís making its ďscaryĒ face, itíll still fire from offscreen, and those explosives pack a wallop. Otherwise, they arenít a problem, and you should just be sure to kill any preparing to fire the moment you spot them. Hope you get a Power-Up Drop from the Treasurefish. If you donít, and your SCF is poor, I hope you havenít been firing, as youíll need to be in a glide to avoid the hundred seeds that row of Nutskis and Lurchthorn will be launching. Once Viridiís trademark ditty begins, the Paragliders will return, coming from multiple directions, starting with the right. Focusing on one spot wonít work here, so Iíll use another special attack (there are no other points during the air battle worth saving them for.) Once those two Bladers appear, unless youíve got a Staff, youíre going to want to glide. Weapons with charge shots with decent range can at least kill one of them as it loops around, but once theyíre way in the back, just stop. Theyíll unleash a large number of beams quick enough to graze you as you circle, hence the need for gliding; once the last one has passed, you can resume shooting. The way she says ďCímon out, Cragalanche!Ē just sounds extremely... English dub Pokemon Trainer-ish, doesnít it? --------------------- [Land11] Land Battle --------------------- That Nutski on your right is a real pain to approach if your range sucks, I know. Get rid of the one on the left, first, then just creep forward and be ready to sidestep those seeds while you get within killing range. While you can easily take out the Pew Pews before they fire, get used to dodging those explosives (any direction will work) as later ones will be much more quick to fire. Urgles are quite easy to avoid by themselves, but make sure you dash only once theyíre right in your face, and not a moment sooner. This first one, you can shoot from across the gap without consequence. Unless you have a Staff, that Happy Trigger wonít do a whole hell of a lot, since itíll wear off too quickly. As for the Grenade, pick it up while firing and donít let go of the trigger; this way, you can kill the first Nutski youíll encounter along the trail and then throw the Grenade at the pair behind it. If youíre using Claws, a Palm or an Arm, itís often more worth your while to simply gun it through this section and use up two Brief Invincibilities, which will block the numerous shots to your back. While it isnít terribly difficult to proceed slowly and sidestep again and again and again, firing only when itís clear, it does take a while and there are plenty of opportunities for mistakes. Make sure you kill the Pew Pew and Dibble Dops as soon as theyíre in range. Once youíve made it to that little tunnel, the two Nutskis that rush toward you will quickly fire, so be ready for them. Once you can see the red branches off in the distance, as soon as you enter that wide area, youíll have that orb to deal with. Ignore the Smart Bomb and instead immediately get on the right side of that large hole on the right. By this time, the first of potentially many Trynamites will have spawned, but that aggressive Hugworm will have begun trying to get close enough to grab you, also, and by being across that gap, it will just mindlessly slither into its own side, in vain. Now you can leisurely destroy that orb while killing the enemies it spawns. Of course, once you take down that Hugworm, a replacement will spawn on the side of the gap youíre presently using for cover. Get the hell away from there and repeat this tactic to safely kill the other one. You may need to move around a bit in case the Hugworm manages to work its way around the gap, but itíll soon be caught on an edge again. That Toxiecap will spawn from far enough away that itíll likely fire before you can do anything to it. Itís easier to run past the lighter-colored triplets as they bounce high, and the single dark purple bomb should be dodged right as it lands on you. Once you kill it, turn around, back into the chest to open it, and be ready to shoot the Rare Treasurefish that appears in front of you. As you move forward, an Urgle will spawn. These guys can be knocked over fairly easily if hit before they perk up at the sight of you. Be ready with a charge shot once you take the jump pad, as two Pew Pews will be waiting for you. The second will fire before you can do anything about it; itís easier to just stand there and sidestep instead of running for the other pad. At the top of this, immediately run to the left, to avoid the Lithinium thatíll fire its laser the moment you land. The sound it makes is not very loud, but audible enough that you can tell when itís safe to step out and shoot it. Killing the flower spawns a Blader that mindlessly flies around shooting and couldnít care less about you, and killing the Nutski playing peek-a-boo will spawn another Nutski that is also a huge fan of peek-a-boo. As you make your way along these wooden walkways that would make Bob Vila proud, a few enemies will spawn in your path; if you keep your weapon charged, they amount to no threat. Step off the edges and drop down if anything gets too close for comfort, namely the Zert that accompanies a Pew Pew. Note that at the top of this area, a Zert will spawn right behind you as youíre greeted from the front by a Trynamite. Donít stand still, or back up, for that matter. Kill the Dibble Dop near that chest (which often has a Grenade) before you go after the Urgle, which should not perk up so soon if you donít shoot at it. Some people just run away from the Urgle and get onto the grind rail, since killing it spawns a Jitterthug, but this enemy is really not a problem by itself, provided you never, ever shoot them while theyíre green. Single balls are very easy to dodge through, and after patiently avoiding five of them, you may unload on it. If you canít kill it before it will ram into you, a forward dodge will spare you, though they can turn around pretty quickly. Remember that attack items count as melee damage, so that Grenade will hurt the green form and knock it over. Firing constantly ahead of you as you make your way down the slide will keep the Aether Ring relatively damage-free. Once in the clearing, stay on the move constantly to keep away from the Boom Stomper (I like to go onto the higher ground) and its shockwaves. The sprout on its head is its weak point, though you should kill the two Nutskis with it first, which will spawn a Lithinium on the far end of the area. The flower wonít notice you from far away, so stick around there while pummeling the Boom Stomper. Killing it spawns an Urgle, which spawns a Blader upon its death. I like to kill the Lithinium as soon as Iím done with the Boom Stomper. When all this is done, donít forget about the chest down some stairs to the right of the jump pad. A Hugworm will already be in the hot spring, so use your strongest charge shot and then repeatedly BDCF into the left corner until itís gone. Their grab is a lot quicker than Sinistewís, and they wonít dumbly sit there after a miss, so go all-out on the thing. I always take the left side of the maze and keep left at each fork, though I like to work my way around and kill everything. Note the Lithinium that spawns high on the left as you move along (past that first Pew Pew) and also be ready to unload everything youíve got on the Lurchthorn by the end. Lurchthorns have the potential to be really nasty enemies, as once their segments begin to twitch, youíll be bombarded by a steady stream of seeds and powerful missiles. Youíll have a couple seconds to pound the head before you should take note of the body segments. While you can destroy the segments, itís easier to just kill the head ASAP. This one isnít quite as aggressive as in later encounters. If you did take the left like I do, at least head right from the Lurchthorn, to nab the Souflee right there. Rumpus Room! Wave 1: Jitterthug Wave 2: Nutski, Zert, Blader Wave 3: Boom Stomper, Blader x2 No shooting green Jitterthugs, a lesson you need not learn painfully. The Blader will appear right in front of the purple flame blocking you, and is easily the biggest threat, so go right over there and kill it ASAP. The other two are a piece oí cake, though youíll want to quickly find that Zert and kill it before it paralyzes you. Donít sweat a single shot from that Nutski. If you have Playing Dead, though, use it as soon as the Jitterthug is gone. If you have Playing Dead and wait to use it once a Blader is present, it will quickly run right up to you and stop once you vanish, which will force you to melee it and waste the power if you attack right then. Itís much better to use the power preemptively and keep them motionless. As for the pair of Bladers, theyíll spawn on either side of the flame and go nuts at your arrival, either by slicing your face or taking off right away and spamming that laser, whichíll nuke your health bar in no time. Ignore the Boom Stomper (but at least try to see what itís doing, to sidestep shockwaves) and just do whatever you can to eliminate the Bladers. Theyíre very mobile and can be hard to hit once theyíre in flight. Boom Stompers by themselves are no challenge, though donít assume youíre out of its shockwave range. --------------------- [Boss11] CRAGALANCHE --------------------- Graveler- er, Craggy, has too many attacks to list, the vast majority of them involving coming toward you and making direct contact. So, instead, Iím going to give you a very simple method of fighting him, which has not failed me yet. CRAGALANCHE CRUSHING 101: 1. Stand still. 2. SCF to face. 3. If he approaches for a direct attack, dodge forward through him, use your BDCS on his weak point, then use BDCF to get a safe distance away. 4. After a few shots of SCF, stop shooting and be ready to sidestep a shockwave or boulder hurled at you. If he produces a club, heíll swing it very quickly, so sidestep to the right once you spot it. 5. Rinse and repeat. 6. Once he begins spawning a wall of molten rocks, give it three full seconds before dodging through them. This move indicates his HP is below half. 7. If the ground begins to crumble and split before you, dodge backwards once the cracks reach you, as a huge eruption will follow (not to be confused with Cragalanche burrowing underground himself, which looks similar.) Iíll use this time to note a few changes to his attacks once his HP is low: -His club, formerly swung toward your left, now comes from the right and has much more of a delay, but covers a wide area. Sidestep to the right, still. -Heíll create two sets of shockwaves, and the second set will converge on your location. Avoid the first set simply by walking, then sidestep the second set. -The boulder he tosses will be larger and harder to cancel (not that you should be trying to shoot them out of the air, either way.) You may need to walk a bit instead of just using BDCF if you canít remain at a safe distance otherwise, but the main thing is to move reactively and not to run around. His attacks are spaced apart and really easy to dodge, much like those of the Great Reaper; so long as you stay in one place and use charge shots only right after youíve dodged something, youíll be fine. If he rolls around while showing off his sweet cheeks, bonus. Take your free shots (and enjoy the view, while youíre at it. Rrrrraaawwwwrrrr!) There is no real use for powers during this fight, apart from Energy Charge and perhaps Bumblebee for a little bit of assurance; however, using Playing Dead has the potential to make him face away from you for a while, spamming random attacks. This gives you plenty of free shots at his weak point. OOOOOOOOOOOOOO [Ch12] Wrath of the Reset Bomb OOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Cost: 13540 Hearts Common Drops: Skyscraper Club, Brawler Claws, Virgo Palm, Fireworks Cannon, Electroshock Arm (Max of 4) Ugh, SKREETLES. If the previous chapter didnít convince you that the Forces of Nature have a lot of nasty enemies (even though several of them are just mild tweaks to Underworld enemies in behavior) then this one will. Skreetles are hyper-active little shits that pack a wallop and can be hard to hit. Then, you have the Cacaws... My weapon of choice: Aurum Palm R: 5.5 M: 0 V: 295 Freezing +4 RS +1 SCF +4 DCF +4 Powers: Energy Charge lv4, Brief Invincibility lv4, Bumblebee lv3, Effect Recovery lv1 High Shot Defense and Recovery Effect mods are extremely useful here, given the enemy assortment, placement, and pacing. Brain farts tend to be deadlier, especially when up against an enemy like the Mudrone. Barring defense in the durability sense, a strong charge shot is the next best thing. Iíve never found the air battle to be difficult no matter which weapon I was using, but the ground battle is loaded with nasty enemies; so long as your charge shots or DCF have gotten you by up to this point, youíll be fine. It actually helps not to have good homing, as Megontas are much harder to roll backward when your shots tend to uselessly donk the shell right above its tiny weak point, though you can disable auto-homing, which also helps. The only power I strongly recommend you bring is Playing Dead. One of the devs thought it would be funny to pit you against a Megonta and two Cacaws simultaneously; there are so many ways this can go foul in only a second, and by immediately using the power, you can kill the birds without being confused, and be able to properly avoid the Megontaís attacks. Brief Invincibility is another alternative, though less handy in that situation. ----------------- [Note12] Notices ----------------- -Much of this levelís difficulty comes from wandering into an area not knowing what to expect and finding yourself quickly confused, or ambushed by Skreetles or Nutskis, and repeatedly shot in the back. While I canít dodge the attacks for you, I can at least assure you that I wonít leave them unmentioned. Have charge shots ready for the Cacaws in particular. -Mudrones are pathetic until you make a simple mistake- say, firing your charge shot before theyíre vulnerable again- and lose 80% of your health, because their beams require speedy and flawless sidestep chaining to avoid. They are also a problem if your weapon is mostly defense and doesnít deal a lot of damage in few shots. Get on either side of them if this is the case; though, this must be done after theyíve begun firing, as both the body itself and beams will turn as needed on startup to keep you within range. -Sprint through the circular enclosure with an Icy Aura sitting there, ignoring the item, and donít look back (at least not until youíve rounded the bend and killed the Nutski that pops up.) That item is not a reliable method for dealing with the extremely erratic Skreetles and Cacaw that will join you. -Taking a left at the first branching path while raiding the Depot Interior eventually leads to a Mimicutie. This one frequently drops a weapon or power when destroyed; while you can kill it from across the gap, a Skreetle and Cacaw will spawn once you come very close to the chest and then approach the jump. It takes careful and precise movement, but you can trigger the enemies without activating the Mimicutie, which makes things easier. -The final stretch of the Depot Exterior is a breeze if you can keep your Cherubot intact. Do this by staying constantly on the move. There are a couple attacks that will be impossible to avoid, such as a Meeba or Megontaís tackle, but the bot has enough health to at least shrug off a few of those. Never stop shooting, and remember that you can knock problematic foes over. ------------------- [Air12] Air Battle ------------------- This is one of the easiest air battles in the game. Even when equipped with a weapon that sucks during air battles, you can spend much of it just trying to kill whatever you can. I will, however, recommend gliding once you first begin speeding up, until the Trynamites and Nutskis have passed. Youíll have too many shots to deal with if youíre not equipped to kill them immediately. Resume shooting once the Badoots begin to approach. You actually have full control over which points you're able to shoot at while flying around the Reset Bomb. It isnít quite as simple as holding a direction to move to that point on the bomb, but itís close. If no exposed points are available, either begin to circle or hold a random direction until the bomb begins to roll around in midair. Kill Nutskis and Bladers as you spot them. Once the bomb is toast, poorer weapons will want to glide on top of using their special attacks, once the Badoots begin approaching while current flows between them. Not so much for them, but the shooting enemies that will join them. Resume gliding once you behold the view of the Depot, as thereíll be another storm of Trynamites and Nutskis. Once youíre flying inside some corridors of some sort, your only threats will be a few more single-file strings of Paragliders, and some Bladers that will come from the right, close enough to melee you. --------------------- [Land12] Land Battle --------------------- Three Nutskis will appear on your left as you stroll along the path, and fire once theyíve fluttered over to your right. You should be able to kill at least two of them before that happens. Head into the little enclosure to meet your first Bumpity Bomb. Theyíre knocked down pretty easily, but otherwise are fast and pursue you doggedly; youíre basically forced to kill them before they detonate in your face, which instead makes them detonate in midair harmlessly. Do this by opening with a charge shot and then strafing or chaining BDCF. Destroying the lone Bumpity Bomb will spawn a second, along with a Zert. Once inside the Cherubot, your goal is to make it over to the chest on the far end, without falling through any gaps into the rumpus already in progress. Take out the three enemies up there (a Nutski will spawn behind you) and then hop onto the platform that held the Pew Pew by building up your momentum from the back of your own platform. If you try to jump without rolling for a second, odds are you wonít make it. Rumpus Room! Wave 1: Urgle x2, Skuttler x2, Skuttler Cannoneer Wave 2: Zert, Belunka (Skuttler Cannoneer x2) Your Cherubot wonít sneeze at any of these, and the Belunka will be slain well before it can plop those minions onto the battlefield. Donít be afraid to destroy the walls blocking those Lithinium beams, but you should only do so when you know the thing wonít turn toward you afterward, and can kill it quickly. Really, going in all gung-ho with guns blazing is just as effective as patience, if not moreso, but remember the two surprise Nutskis: One spawns on the right, when meeting the first pair of flowers (youíll turn the corner and find two walls to hide behind;) another appears shortly afterward, on the left, as you proceed to the wall that lies just beyond the food sitting there. Go for the exploding seeds whenever you spot one. Ah, the Mudrone. These things zap you for insane damage if youíre unable to collapse them right away, but you can stay safe by immediately moving directly to either side of its body (right next to the crystals) once those beams fire. Fortunately, theyíll always drop food. Take the right side of the electric fence and be ready to kill that Cacaw that drops in 2/3rds of the way up. A Zert will have appeared on the other side. See the Icy Aura sitting there? Ignore it and just run, run, run. A Cacaw will drop in as you near the walkway on the other side, but ignore that, as well. As you round the little bend, a Nutski will pop up on your left. Now itís safe to turn around and begin shooting, beginning with that Nutski, as itíll shoot pretty quickly. Hopefully the Cacaw and Skreetles havenít followed you down, because theyíre the reason you ran like the dickens. Had you stayed and gotten confused by the Cacaw, those Skreetles would have pummeled you relentlessly while scurrying about, being nigh impossible to hit while confused. Should you kill them, yet another two Skreetles will take their place. The safest way to kill them (if you even want to) is to approach the circle slowly and shoot at one as it stops moving, then immediately retreat, as those buggers stop moving only so they can shoot! The Icy Aura is not reliable enough to warrant sticking around, as youíll be needing that health bar intact. Donít be eager to approach that Pew Pew, as a Cacaw will spawn on your left in addition to the Bumpity Bomb that drops right in front of you. Simply retreat. The middle fork will drop another liíl bomb for you to detonate. Before taking the item from the rotating fence, quickly head left and kill the Monoeyes engaging the Nutski, as theyíll see fit to shoot at you, also. Rumpus Room! Wave 1: Boom Stomper, Skuttler x4 Wave 2: Captain Galaxy The first wave is nothing youíre not used to. If you donít kill the Stomper right away, the Skuttlers will focus on it. Now, Captain Galaxy. He doesnít have much HP, but will disappear quickly (even if you knocked him down) and warp to anywhere in the area until he attacks. His comets are dodged similarly to that of a Blusterís cloud attack or a green Jitterthugís projectiles, which as youíll know is easier said than done. Try having a charge shot ready when he appears, then immediately follow up with DCF. Donít stand in the middle of the room once heís vanished, and even though those comets move slowly, donít try to just run away from them! Down the elevator we go. As a rule, while most Underworld enemies will prefer to target the Forces of Nature, you should give them a wide berth, as their attacks can and will hit you instead. I refer to Daphne in particular. As you enter the square, be ready to kill the Nutski to the left of the green arrow, then immediately turn and take out the Nutski on the right. If you want a shot at an item, take the path on your left, but be warned that itís dropped by a Mimicutie, who neither guarantees a drop, nor fights alone. If you went for the Mimicutie, the other enemies wonít spawn until the trap has been closely approached; the Smart Bomb wonít do much to the enemies, but whatever. Try to kill that Cacaw right away, to allow you to freely sidestep the Skreetleís beam. Back to the main square, and take that arrow. Another Cacaw will drop in as you approach the turn. The nearby Pew Pew is only a problem if you managed to get confused. As you approach the spring, youíll interrupt another little squabble. Rumpus Room! Wave 1: Pew Pew, Toxiecap Wave 2: Meeba The Pew Pew takes off more HP in less time, so kill it first. The Meeba is more of an introduction and poses little threat; when it springs up, just move to the location it jumped from and turn around, and shoot as it lands. They can be knocked over like many enemies. Yet another Boom Stomper to kill. Take the jump pad on your right and destroy another Mudrone for a chest, then bounce back to the fork. The slide will plop you right into an encounter with two Cacaws and a Megonta, so you had best be ready for them. Playing Dead is the safest and most effective method, even if you can only take down the Cacaws while under its protection. All three of them happen to be vulnerable to Instant Death. As soon as you take the jump pads up, youíll be faced with a seed bomb, and an assortment of enemies that spawn near it, including Bumpity Bombs and a Zert. Immediately shoot the seed, which may not kill all of them; the survivors will scatter and be easy pickings. The chest will drop a jump mat, and the pad that appeared will bounce you right in front of a Nutski and Dibble Dop. Kill the Nutski first, as it shoots faster, then run or sidestep as needed to avoid the water bomb that was fired in the meantime. Another fork; head left and deal with a few (non-problematic) Zerts as you carefully make your way across that moving bridge to yet another chest. The dark tunnel on your right contains a Lurchthorn. It is dealt with the same as that which you fought toward the end of Chapter 11, and youíll still have a few seconds to safely unload on it. Rumpus Room! Wave 1: Pew Pew, Dibble Dop Wave 2: Boom Stomper, Monoeye x3 Another seed bomb, another short-lived enemy gang bang. Youíll earn some fruit if you happened to need it. That elevator leads back to the surface, this time for a REAL- Rumpus Room! Wave 1: Nutski x6, Dibble Dop x2, Zert Wave 2: Meeba, Skreetle x2 Wave 3: Boom Stomper, Urgle x2 Immediately make a sharp left through that doorway and hop into the Cherubot. Move in a clockwise motion along the perimeter of the room, gunning down each little minion as you come across it, and you should easily lay waste to them before they can shoot. The second wave is the problem. Those Skreetles will continue to replenish the fallen bugs until the Meeba is slain, and you canít really do anything about the Meebaís charges, so just do whatever you can to get behind it and pummel it relentlessly. You can knock the Meeba over, which leaves it stunned and pretty vulnerable for a second. The Skreetles will vanish once it dies. As long as the Boom Stomper isnít too close once it lands, this is a piece of cake. Focus on killing the Urgles, which wonít take long (they will be able to move in close before dying, though;) aim for the sprout atop the Boom Stomper once the two of you are alone. Now, it was important to avert as much damage to that Cherubot as possible, as it makes the path to the boss room so much easier. Do not stop moving for anything, and continue to fire on your left, as two Nutskis and a Lithinium will spawn and begin attacking. Grab the food if you need it, then move toward the enclosure for an optional ruckus. If you donít want the nearby chest or to even deal with these guys, just make a beeline for the door and ignore them. Afterparty! Wave 1: Blader x2 Wave 2: Megonta, Lurchthorn Wave 3: Captain Galaxy The only real issue here is the Megonta x Lurchthorn; youíll want to kill the Lurchthorn first, before its segments can begin spamming missiles on your mech, but this also means the Megonta will roll into you at the very least. That inflicts substantial damage to the Cherubot, but if your earlier ruckus wasnít too sloppy, the attack shouldnít even leave the Cherubot smoking. Once you can focus on the Megonta, itíll flip over in no time at all and be killed very quickly. Captain Galaxy may warp quite a bit, but should not be able to fire and, too, will die easily. If you werenít aware of the chest location, walk off the edge of the little gap in this enclosure, and one will spawn in front of you. Should you have found this level aggravating, rest assured, the boss will not give you an ounce of the grief those Cacaws did. ------------------------ [Boss12] RESET BOMB POD ------------------------ Pop an Energy Charge and a Bumblebee if youíve got Ďem, and just strafe. Strafe like crazy. Strafe until the cows come home. Throw in some DCF or a charge shot if you please, or spot one of the soldiers right by the edge of the pit containing the pod. Once youíve battered the minions around a bit and have put one between you and the hole, itís time to step up the assault and hammer on that minion to increase the likelihood that itís knocked into it. Regardless, if youíve got EC active, you can take down the exposed pod in just a couple rounds of attacks, before it has a chance to re-shield itself. Either way, this is not a difficult or time-consuming process to repeat. If your weapon isnít really suited for strafing, such as various Cannons, youíll need to resort to a bit of sidestepping and should avoid strafing altogether, in favor of hitting multiple soldiers with your charge shots. Slower weapons should avoid melee attacks by dodging backward, though you may take a shot in the process; fortunately, their attacks are not hard-hitting. Who was at the top of Viridiís To-Kill list before this little escapade? Was it Hades? Do you think he feels miffed, deep down, even though he outwardly would appear as though he doesnít care? Is Viridi so angry because sheís so smitten with Pit that she canít believe he would wreck something belonging to his number one fan? OOOOOOOOOOOOOO [Ch13] The Lunar Sanctum OOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Cost: 14410 Hearts Common Drops: Lancer Staff, Arlon Orbitars, Samurai Blade, Stealth Claws, Midnight Palm (Max of 5!) This level is widely considered to be one of the most difficult in the game. Its difficulty is pretty overstated, actually, though I will concede that Dark Pit can be extremely problematic. Still, though, Iíve practiced this level and beaten it on 9.0 many times, and I hope to use what Iíve learned to make things go much more smoothly for you (Fun Fact: yes, Iíve had my fair share of quick and embarrassing deaths while learning from my mistakes.) Itís nice to be able to master this level, though, as it pays out quite a lot in hearts, even without Heart Bonus, and often drops a lot of weapons. My weapon of choice: Boom Orbitars R: 5 M: 0 V: 289 Shaking +1 RS +1 DCS +4 SCF +4 HB +2 Powers: Autoreticle lv3, Quick Charge lv2, Brief Invincibility lv4, Playing Dead lv3 The stronger, faster, longer-range of your SCF, the better. Those are what will ultimately be the deciding factor in the ease at which Pittoo and Arlon are taken down. Fast and powerful charge shots will work for your doppelganger, but Arlon demands a steady helping of that good 'ol SCF. Even if you donít have good SCF, I implore you to bring Autoreticle, as while it serves absolutely no purpose anywhere else in the game, it makes Arlon a thousand times easier. If you DO have good SCF, you also must bring Playing Dead, without question. That should tell you how the boss fight is going to play out, hmm? Otherwise, I recommend Brief Invincibility, for the purpose of destroying the very aggressive Lurchthorn right before the boss room, without taking any damage; it also has some use in protecting you from the two enraged Clobblers, should one come off the platform and get in your face. Of course, this is if you decided to stay and kill them for a chest. I brought Quick Charge for this purpose, given my Boomersí excellent DCS. If you're hardcore or insane or practicing for Boss Battles and don't want Autoreticle, then you should also pass on Playing Dead. Bring Energy Charge and Bumblebee instead (good SCF is still a must, and high walking speed is now crucial as well.) ----------------- [Note13] Notices ----------------- -Do not waste Playing Dead against Dark Pit. Not only do you need both of them for Arlon, he sidesteps like a pro and you wonít get good mileage out of them. -The second room of the moon surface motif immediately places two Pew Pews before you. Do not kill them, as itíll spawn a pair of extremely aggressive Nutskis. Go around them without stopping, then turn to blast the Lithinium. -Once you kill the Clobbler by the hot spring, a chest will spawn at the top of that curvy slope, that the Lithinium sat upon. Extremely easy to miss! -As mentioned earlier, killing the two Clobblers atop the spinning platform spawns a chest, but this is more trouble than itís worth for many weapons. -You might want to go ahead and craft a 9.0-caliber Palm now, because thereís a rather good possibility you will never want to play this level again. ------------------- [Air13] Air Battle ------------------- Iíd rather hear Pitís song incessantly than repeat the frigging Little Girl and Dog segments of Chapter 18 each and every time I die. The battle starts out simply and innocently enough. As Pit asks if Arlon is one of Viridiís commanders, fire a charge shot left-middle to wipe out a triple-pack of Nutskis, and be ready to do the same on the right a few seconds later. Youíll encounter Captain Galaxy in the air, now, and because he wonít vanish, odds are youíll have to deal with comets. They can be blown up just like missiles, and itís safe to try and do so with this one. Keep your fire focused on the Sanctum itself, from which almost all enemies will fan out. Also feel free to use both special attacks, as you wonít be needing them again until the end of your trip. I typically feel compelled to use just one, when Paragliders are attacking from multiple directions. What worthless timing for those Recovery Orbs. You probably donít even need them right now, but whatever. Youíll face a few screens of Bladers, and should be packing the firepower needed to take them down. Kill those closest to you first; gliding shouldnít be necessary. As you fly over the moon surface, eventually youíll encounter two Lithiniums as well as two Captain Galaxies. Ignore the Lithiniums for now and focus on the space dudes, the lower one first; if that comet isnít quickly destroyed, you may want to use a special attack. The lasers are easily avoided without staying in a particular part of the screen (I never stop circling) though make sure your flight path wonít intersect with the beams once they scroll up. While I donít think you should be here without great SCF, youíll want to glide while facing the two Mahva-Nutski-Trynamite clots if your weapon is lacking. Once you enter the corridors, kill the two Bladers first, then try to pelt the heads of the Lurchthorns. Youíll more than likely destroy most if not all of their segments before youíre able to land enough headshots to kill them, but no problem there. Another pair of Bladers will appear to interrupt, and while you should punish their lack of manners, allow the Nutskis to slide until the bony fish have exploded. Once the camera pans behind you, give the Flage on the left a half-second, then use a special attack. I find it quite difficult to kill both of them before one can slash me, so I resort to exploiting the invincibility frames. Keep firing as the camera pans back around, to net yet another Souflee kill. Much like Chapter 4ís ravine, you can take lots of unnecessary damage from the beams that stretch across. Stay centered (no circling) and simply lift up or down to the floor as needed to avoid them. The enemies you encounter shouldnít require you to move left or right, but then, Iím equipped to kill them easily. Until youíre about to fly through the weak spot on a gate, itís safe to circle, and you should do so when entering a passage with Nutskis. When you fly through a gap situated at the top of a gate, have your reticle focused on the bottom of the corridor, to quickly take out the two Pew Pews in the following passage; when taking a hole in the right side of the gate, immediately lower yourself to avoid the beam of a Lithinium situated directly across from it. You may wish to use a special attack if you find yourself overwhelmed, though youíre more likely to take damage via sloppy positioning as you fly through the gaps. As you enter the final area, be ready to destroy a comet from another Captain Galaxy, and then a Pew Pew perched top-right. Feel free to use another special attack, if youíve got one. --------------------- [Land13] Land Battle --------------------- As soon as you drop down, unleash a charge shot and kill one of those Nutskis. Begin shooting at the remaining one, but be ready to dash backward as that Urgle rushes over to you (I hope you didnít already back into the wall.) As you run into the passage on your left, more Nutskis will hurry in and be quick to shoot, so run in shooting, yourself. A FDCS followed by BDCF should be an adequate counter. In the room with that meteor, youíll want to pan the camera above and to the left of the meteor itself to catch a Nutski as it spawns along with that Mudrone. However, if you miss, donít go looking for it again until youíve collapsed the Mudrone, as the Nutski will inflict much less damage. If your weapon isnít equipped to down a Mudrone nigh instantly, donít even look for the Nutski to begin with. You have enough room to get behind or on the side of the Mudrone if need be. Fire a FDCS at the phony Pew Pew, because a real one is right on top of it. Stand on its platform and try to kill the Flage from afar; if you shoot at it and miss, itíll notice you and begin to approach on its own, getting close enough to shoot. To grab the chest behind that fake wall, donít begin running toward the wall until the moment you touch down on the sand (walk off the edge of your platform normally; donít sprint off of it.) This should allow even slow weapons to reach solid ground before missing out on the chest. Pause at the entrance to this alcove, afterward, and wait for a Souflee to zip past. Some Nutskis will spawn to the lower-left of the grind rail, and will shoot, but otherwise are not very threatening. As you ride around, shoot gems only if theyíre pink. The enemies situated about are also not a threat, though thatís soon to come to an end. Rumpus Room! Wave 1: Mudrone, Skreetle, Dibble Dop, Pew Pew Wave 2: Mahva, Nutski x2 Once you collapse the Mudrone once, a Skreetle will drop into the corner adjacent to it. The other two enemies will spawn as the one before it's slain, and the object is to target and slay these enemies during the Mudroneís downtime, to prevent having multiple targets firing at once, and especially to be able to focus on the Mudrone as soon as itís active again. I allow the Dibble Dop (corner opposite to Mudrone) to live long enough for the Mudrone to rise and fall once more, as it has quite a delay before shooting. The Pew Pew also appears near the opposite corner, but Iíll kill it as soon as it spawns. The Nutskis donít make much of an effort to stay within the protection of the Mahvaís shield, but they only shoot one at a time and spaced far enough apart that avoiding them is just a matter of patience and diligence. Youíll get two pieces of food in addition to the food dropped by the Mudrone. Quickly hop onto the left grind rail and unload on the Lurchthornís head to down it, then shoot only the first gem you come across to reach the door. Rumpus Room! Wave 1: Toxiecap, Bumpity Bomb x2 Wave 2: Urgle, Pew Pew x2 The Toxiecap will spawn by the stairs and should be your first target, as the bombs will be in your face and intercept all of your shots soon enough. Once Iíve nailed the Toxiecap, Iíll spam BDCF and am usually able to kill the bombs before theyíre able to explode near me. If your weapon is weak, you should instead try to keep them tumbling around with charge shots, which will allow you to get away from them and attempt to stall out their fuses. The Toxiecap will drop food. Once the second set appears, I run toward the middle of the room and quickly blast the Pew Pew by the stairs, then turn the camera to face the Urgle and remaining cannon; more often than not, the attacks from those two coincide and I am able to dodge both with a single backward dash, timed to the positioning of the Urgle. If youíre close to the stairs, you should avoid them both. Kill the other Pew Pew next. Yet more food will appear. Remember the chest in the alcove on the left side of the first mirror room. The two pieces of food in the third room are all youíll get before facing your bro Pittoo, so navigate the invisible platforms carefully. Aaaaaand, here is where most Ch13 runs go to hell. Dark Pit is somewhat aggressive, dodges like a pro, and inflicts tons of damage with his spammy charge shots. The silver lining to this (Iím not going to even try to make an atrocious pun for your reading pleasure, sorry) is that his shots have an abysmal cancellation stat and are really, really easy to null. He also doesn't have much health and can be quickly beaten through frenzied aggression of your own, especially if youíre able to freeze him, or knock him down. If you have a strong, rapid SCF, you can try using an Auto-reticle here, and just keeping it focused on him (be wary of the reticle accidentally targeting the control center as DP runs behind it.) Because his shots are so easy to cancel, youíll eat up the stamina of his charge shots quickly and pelt him more quickly than he can sidestep. Feel free to add some DCF if it wonít spray and hit the control center. My favorite method, though, is to use powerful charge shots and simply nail him at somewhat close range after he fires, ensuring hits, which knock him into the air and allow me to pepper him with DCF. I stop shooting as he gets up, then repeat the process. This works especially well with Cannons and Staves, and is very effective with the Boom Orbs Iím using right now. If you take the aggressive approach, at least make sure you sidestep his shots while waiting for your own to charge. Damage is acceptable, but donít count on beating him before he can finish you if you play sloppily. His charge shots do adhere to a predictable timing and you can make a habit of firing as he does, nulling his shot and giving you a window to retaliate. Either way, you donít want to treat this like an endurance match and be too patient with him, so pick a method of beating him and do it quickly. Thereís no need to be carelessly hasty with the control center, so just stick to SCS and sidestepping as the counterattack approaches. Running also works. Turn 90 degrees to your right when stepping onto the elevator, so youíll be facing the three Nutskis as you emerge. Be ready to sidestep, as they wonít hesitate to shoot and will even be firing before the elevator has reached the top. If you venture too far out, the Pew Pew will perk up and fire, so stay back until the Nutskis are gone. Once Palutena sneezes, a Captain Galaxy will appear near the location the meteor hit. Wait for it to appear (to not do so will allow it to launch comets that WILL follow you and nail you in the back) and go all out on the guy. Donít worry about falling off the main columns. If you grabbed that Boom Spear, you might as well use it on the Jitterthug that will spawn at the top of the area, triggered by taking at least one piece of food. The spear wonít make it launch three shots at you, so itís safe. Otherwise, kill it as you would normally, though be warned that you CAN fall off the rear of this particular column; donít retreat very far. Donít forget the chest opposite the door, by walking halfway around it. The enemies in this first moon area do little other than move out of range of your shots. Once youíve killed the things you please, hop into the Exo Tank and use it to effortlessly collapse the Mudrone. The tank is allowed through all of the doors in this area, so donít leave it. Ignore the Pew Pews, as killing them spawns insane Nutskis that fire way too often for your own good; instead, rove around them and begin shooting so that your left shot nails the Lithinium. With it gone, quickly and carefully position the tank so that it can go straight off the ramp (do not boost) and land on the platform with the chest. Continue straight beyond the chest, leaving the tank against the wall while you dispatch the Bumpity Bomb and Boom Stomper yourself (which spawns two more bombs a long distance away.) Donít engage the bombs from here, as you run the risk of perking up the Lithinium, which will be able to track you quite a long distance with its laser. Back inside the tank, hug the left wall as you move toward the door, making sure not to roll over the lenses in the ground; youíll have that Lithinium to kill as you turn around, this time pegging it with your right shots. Without stopping, continue on to knock the Bumpity Bombs into the chasm with a shot apiece, then quickly turn and kill the Trynamites before they explode. If your tank is smoking or destroyed, you can make a long walk back to the start of this area and get a new one. I strongly suggest you do (destroy the smoking tank with your weapon first, though.) In the third area, leave the tank sitting on the edge while you carefully pick off the two Zerts orbiting around the Megonta. The Megonta may notice you and fire seeds or explosives, so be ready to sidestep them. When both Zerts are down, get back into the tank, roll it off the edge, and immediately jump out while itís in midair. If you did as I told you, the tank will be safe as the Megonta immediately turns and attacks, likely with a roll. Killing that Megonta spawns a Lithinium on the slope, which you should quickly turn and destroy with a FDCS. By not using the tank, youíve ensured that you have it intact for the one reason you took it all this way: easily killing the Clobbler that drops in. Most players try to hide on the slope, but this is not foolproof, or necessarily fast. The tank is both fast and extremely simple. Just roll up to it, spamming your shots, and make slight adjustments as needed to allow both shots to nail it. The Clobbler will puff up and die shortly afterward. Wasnít that so much easier? Don't forget to venture up the slope on your right to grab the tiny chest at the end, which spawned once the Clobbler was slain. Using my method of killing the Clobbler, the chest is very easily missed. The jump pad leaves you in a tight spot. While the Hugworm can cross the pool of water even if you get out, you cannot, which means youíre going to have to sidestep a grab attempt.. ..unless you can kill it in time, which is not too difficult for certain weapons. My Boomers are able to (a BDCS and two barrages of BDCF works.) If you know you canít, rather than try to get out of the water, shoot it once and patiently wait for it to swipe at you, which will come from the left. Immediately sidestep once you see the body stretch out, then resume shooting. Once you've dropped into the chasm, briefly hold back as you fall, and then to the right. Ideally, you will be standing on the right side of this hole, out of range of the two Pew Pews positioned on the other side of the room. These will launch explosives regardless of your position, so listen for the explosions before stepping out from your cover. Theyíll drop food when slain, but you should be more interested in the item sitting in the alcove that was behind them. Hopefully, it was a Dodge Token. Facing two Meebas can be aggravating. Turn to the one on your right, first, and approach as it charges, dodging forward through it. Whether it sprung up or continued running, immediately turn and move toward it, blasting away (the Meeba that was on your left should be charging now, take heed) and hopefully killing it right then and there. The Shrinky Bean will be no help whatsoever in this room, but the Dodge Token is a big help. Hopefully you arenít rammed at all, or at least only once, until one of them is killed. Once your elevator ride stops, head down the stairs just enough to trigger the enemies, then immediately go right back up. The Skreetle will not be able to hit you from down there. Try to take out the Nutski to the right of the curved surface as soon as you spot it; if you miss, forget about it for a second and just be ready to destroy the Lithinium that spawns in the center of the curved area. Once it and the Nutski are gone, you can carefully aggress the Skreetle. Drop, donít run, onto the spinning platform, and THEN begin running to the other side. This makes it easier for slow weapons to cross without being hung up on a mine, or inadvertently touching a Clobbler (which will still piss it off.) If you plan to kill them, donít just start shooting, but wait for one to touch a mine; it will eventually. Then, go all out on it, using your most powerful attacks, provided your most powerful attacks can take off that boatload of HP in a short amount of time. While not as meaty as Clubberskulls, Clobblers still take quite a punishment. Quick Charge is a big help for some weapons, while DCF is enough for others. The Clobblers arenít always able to drop off of the spinning platform, but often will, which makes them a huge threat; in this case, itís best to immediately use Brief Invincibility, which will protect you from the ensuing arm flailing for just a moment, and should allow you to finish it off. If both of them are on that little strip, itís probably time to get the hell out of there (overpowered weapons can still handle them, but itíll require BI.) One final hurdle, guys... Use a DCS to nail that Toxiecap, and do what you can to finish it off before that Lurchthorn rounds the bend. Once that fish has begun its turn toward you, itís time to focus on it; use your remaining BIs, if you brought them, to block the large number of missiles and seeds that will be coming your way; strafe alongside it, pumping shot after shot into its head, stopping only to replenish your invulnerability the moment it wears off. The Megonta is not a difficult foe on its own, but the moment you step around that center column, be ready to sidestep an explosive or wave of seeds bearing down on you. You canít fall off here, but the Megonta wonít roll off, either, so be ready to dodge through its roll. Donít forget that intensity gate to the left of the boss room. --------------- [Boss13] ARLON --------------- The most stress-free method of taking down this snooty douche: 1. Keep your volume up. 2. Run to the center of the room and immediately activate Playing Dead. 3. Activate Auto-reticle right afterward, and begin spamming SCF. 4. Put the stylus on the touch screen only to quickly give it a little flick, in the direction Arlon moves. The little special effect produced by your shots hitting him will betray his location long enough to spot the direction. 5. With the sound on, youíll be able to hear the first Playing Dead wear off; ..like you need to be told what to do next. 6. If your second PD wears off and he's still kicking, immediately use DCF while under the effects of Auto-reticle, which typically finishes him for me. 7. If that still isnít enough, you may need the second AR, and should now be standing still, dashing only to avoid a shot that looks about to connect. I have managed to defeat him without this tactic or being hit much, though it must be said that I was using Artillery Claws, one of very few weapons well-suited for the task. The excellent SCF and walking speed are what make the fight manageable without resorting to cheese, though I also made full use of Energy Charge and Bumblebee. The best hit you'll land is with the charge shot you can plant on his noggin the moment the fight begins. If this momentarily drops him to his knees, you should follow up with two barrages of DCF at their ideal range. He'll then rise, and likely kill the lights. From this point onward, avoid DCF unless he is on his knees, as you must be able to sidestep at a moment's notice; many of his attacks are incredibly quick on the draw. A brief rundown: -Red darts: Dots appear at five points around his head and shoulders, then immediately rush forward and converge on your location. -Blue pellets: A cluster appears in front of him, then immediately rushes forward. Unlike the darts, these have some limited turning ability. -Chakram: A disc will appear overhead and is quickly thrown straight at you. As his health dwindles, the chakram will split into three before launching; apart from covering a wider spread, it's no more threatening. -Satellites: I dunno what the hell these things are actually supposed to be. He'll send three sets of three little blue balls shooting forward in a rather wide radius, which then turn toward you. Very reminiscent of Pandora's fireball attack, and avoided similarly by sidestepping over and over. -Fireballs: Arlon will conjure a pair of fireballs in the sky, which then descend while homing in on you, continuing the chase for several seconds once they've reached the floor. He'll produce three once his HP has dropped below half, and your charge shots will destroy them. Unlike his other attacks, these move slow as piss, but then you'll have moves to contend with simultaneously. -Starfall: Arlon leaps across the room, leaving three bright pink orbs behind him, which quickly plummet to the floor and explode. Even in the dark, the floor clearly indicates where they'll land. Whenever you see this move, you'll easily be able to tell where he is. -Crystal: A large radius of flaming energy twirls along the floor, homing in on you, before a jagged crystal erupts from the center. Run away from it instead of rolling through the flames. -Laser: The only move I've seen him withhold until his HP is below half. Arlon will simply create a laser beam which points upward at an angle, before quickly arcing it straight down. While it will initially be right overhead, he won't turn during its descent, so you must sidestep only once. Quite a few attacks. While all of them are powerful, the darts and pellets are easily the most dangerous, due to their speed and the amount of damage they'll inflict even to high-OD weapons. As long as your SCF fires quickly enough to hit him very frequently, you won't have a problem spotting his figure as it darts amongst the shadows. Strafe clockwise or counterclockwise away from him, though you're really just giving yourself enough room to spot danger. While you should reasonably expect him to attack each time he stops moving, he will often attack more than once per repositioning; keep your volume up to hear his chuckling (still quite clearly heard over your conversation with Palutena) and various grunts which indicate he will attack. Remember, do not use DCF unless he's in his downed state. You have extremely little time to react to some of his moves. While high walking speed is often an adequate means of evasion, DCF forces you into a cooldown state and, should you eat some darts/pellets, your lifebar will be in a sorry state afterward. Do not be content with constant strafing, either, as numerous attacks (especially in tandem with fireballs) will require actual dodges. If this is your first attempt at a 9.0 run, or you're an inexperienced Palm user going for the Treasure Hunt panel... trust me, just stick with the Autoreticle + Playing Dead combo. Spare yourself the aggravation of failure and wasted time, since I doubt you enjoyed the level leading to the boss. OOOOOOOOOOOOOO [Ch14] Lightning Battle OOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Cost: 10910 Hearts Common Drops: Phosphora Bow, Earthmaul Club, Shock Orbitars, Dynamo Cannon, Bowl Arm (Max of 3) Some of the best music in the game, right here. Not a terribly difficult level if you take it slowly, though the final third of the air battle can get really nasty and leave you on the brink of death. My weapon of choice: Aurum Palm R: 5.5 M: 0 V: 295 Freezing +4 RS +1 SCF +4 DCF +4 Powers: Energy Charge lv4, Brief Invincibility lv4, Bumblebee lv3, Effect Recovery lv1 Like Chapters 6 & 10, the boss battle easily makes up the most difficult part of the level, and you may wish to gear up just for the purpose of smiting her quickly and effortlessly. She has very little HP, and a method similar to Arlon works really well. Playing Dead and some solid SCF will down her in no time, though she does move around quite erratically and may not be easy to hit. Trade Off should not be used without Effect Recovery, as she can still paralyze you; Aeries Armor and Libra Sponge are also quite effective. The mobility my Palm offers gives it preference over my Boom Orbs. Those that also do not plan on using the aforementioned powers will have a minimal amount of headache so long as theyíve got a weapon with a good movement speed, particularly walking, decent Stamina, and Effect Recovery. Bumblebee is also a big help, and allows for a bit of sloppiness. ----------------- [Note14] Notices ----------------- -Be a little frugal with your special attacks; you want two of them stored up by the time Palutena clears a path in the storm for you. Itís loaded with Flages among other enemies, on top of lightning bolts, which make for a pretty difficult flight. -Once youíve ascended the first staircase on land, shoot at the wall without electricity coursing in front of it, which will crumble it. A chest lies just beyond it, but is guarded by two Cacaws and an Urgle. -The two chests found along the outdoor path (with the crumbling floors) are both Mimicuties, that do not drop weapons or powers, but (rather meh) items. -The second crumbling path you take will end with a Meeba charging at you as you flee a portion of the destroyed floor. Be careful not to stop on or near the soon-to-be hole as you make to avoid it, as being rammed and then falling into the hole will be enough to kill you without a ton of HP. ------------------- [Air14] Air Battle ------------------- Things will be pretty smooth sailing until Phosphora finishes Thanatos off, at which point the Underworld enemies will no longer be distracted by the Forces of Nature. As long as youíve been circling, the numerous shots launched by the Monoeyes, Miks, Paramush and what have you should miss. The Lurchthorn that appears midway may give weaker weapons some issues, as it flies in such a way that makes nailing the head and focusing on individual segments difficult. Resort to gliding if this is the case, since you wonít stop it from unloading. Many more Paramush will quickly float in from the right and be dragged away by the whirlwind, looping around if youíve failed to kill them. Theyíll soon be accompanied by Paragliders and you donít want to use a special attack here, so do your best to pick everything off without help. Slower weapons should glide once two Mahvas appear side by side, and resume shooting the moment Zerts appear right in your face. Once Syren-like shots begin bursting through the storm clouds toward you, stay low and center to avoid those that come close enough to hit you. Some of them will be carrying Nutskis, just for lulz. Now that youíre flying through the storm itself, things will get pretty hairy. The three lightning bolts that appear will pass on the far right, then the far left, and then the far right again. Donít stop circling as they near, but simply cut your turn short and head the other way. The ideal occasions to use your special attacks are at the beginning, with those Flages, and toward the end of the third bolt, with several Bladers and more Flages to contend with. As you near the temple, the only enemies following that last set of Bladers will be Zerts, which appear very close to you and are easy to kill. Thereís no need to circle; you should just stay top-center while picking them off, which will allow the beams from the tower to sweep harmlessly beneath you. --------------------- [Land14] Land Battle --------------------- Like Chapter 11, there will be some Nutskis just up those stairs that will frequently pop into view and shoot, so tread slowly. If you give it a few seconds, one will eventually flutter over the stairwell and shoot from up close. Another Nutski will ambush you as you round that first corner. As I mentioned earlier, that wall almost straight ahead, beyond those stairs, can be destroyed, and an Urgle plus two Cacaws guard the chest beyond it. Being confused isnít a big deal as long as you can do something about that Urgle, and youíre able to back out of the room once those enemies spawn; I suggest trotting inside to trigger the enemies, blasting the Urgle, then QUICKLY getting out of there. You've got a precious few seconds before one of the birds shrieks, and theyíll be following you out into the corridor; keep shooting while backing away, and you should remain unscathed. Youíll also have enough room to dodge the Urgleís flip, should it still be around. While you were out here doing that, the red Jitterthug at the end of this hallway was amusing itself; before you sprint to it, shooting, remember that it may have gotten to the end of its red phase while you were farting around, and will turn green in just a second. You may inadvertently piss it off and have to deal with triple shots. Yikes. The Mega Marble there will make short work of the Blader that accompanies it, and should be hit first thing, to kill it before it takes off. The damage from touching the sides of the elevator is quite menial, unlike the beams of the Skreetles opposite you, so donít be afraid to roll sideways into the electricity while avoiding them. Thereís some food just outside, anyway. With your Happy Trigger, take the jump pad and immediately begin blowing everything to smithereens. A total of six Trynamites will spawn before the orb can be shot at your leisure; rather than focusing on the orb, I suggest killing the Nutski and then choosing a side of the room from which to kill the closest Trynamite and Zert, and then dealing with the rest. The Trynamites will always spawn by the walls, so keep that in mind. DCF with multiple rounds is effective in clearing a side of the room quickly, though SCS and SCF is safer so as to allow you to dodge Trynamite shrapnel at a momentís notice. Leave room between you and the door to avoid the Urgle flip, and blow up the train from the safety of the corridor. Notice the enemies buzzing around the item that dropped, which means you go in shooting. Kill the Trynamite first. Another will spawn a few seconds later, but should be alone by then. Another train, another pair of Nutskis to kill right off the bat. Try to pick off the Cacaw down there from this height, which will render it harmless. As you approach those items, a red Jitterthug and two Flages will appear. If youíve got strong BDCF, just resort to spamming it, which will kill the enemies without a headache; otherwise, make a beeline for that Spike Ball and then treat the Jitterthug as you would normally. The Flages will be smacked around by the item whenever they come near. Before you work on that train, pan the camera left and kill those two Nutskis by the tunnel exit immediately. As you wind your way up this path, destroying each Bumpity Bomb will spawn another a little further on. You canít fall off, though there isnít much need for dodging if youíre killing your enemies right away. Note that an Urgle will immediately rush you as soon as your rail trip is finished. Killing the Toxiecaps from behind the corners will protect you from the green bombs, but not the dark purples, as their blast radius is huge. Remember to take the partially hidden path around the right boulder to a third one, which is guarded by a lone Skreetle (that may annoyingly take refuge behind the boulder itself.) When launched to the highest level, remember to take out those Skreetles before you go around smashing crates! Grenades are in the crate left of you, if you need one. Turn 180 degrees before dropping down the hole. If you turned around, you wonít be taken by surprise by the Lithinium thatíll soon begin firing. Another will appear behind you and to your right. The poor Clobbler there will be trapped by the overhang once puffed, allowing for an easy kill. As soon as you enter the next room, head right to spawn the Cacaw, and quickly kill it. Do the same to the Nutski (it will likely be shooting by the time you turn to face it, and it spams) and Dibble Dop on your left. On the far right and left are Lithiniums you should destroy from down here. The alcoves are safe from the electricity, but itís just as easy to sidestep the currents. Use the Grenade on the right side of the room against the pack of Flages and Dibble Dop at the top, and the Dodge Token inside the alcove beyond the first set of stairs will protect you further. Around that first bend of the temple exterior is a Megonta, so be ready for anything it dishes out, especially that powerful roll. Itíll drop some food. Beyond it is a line of single-file enemies, easily dispatched before they have an opportunity to do anything. The moment you spot cracked flooring, sprint. Youíll have stored a charge shot by then, for the Trynamite at the end. Beyond those Skreetles is a Lithinium, so be ready to quickly retreat into the bend to wait out its laser. A Lurchthorn spawns once youíve taken the jump pad, but gives you more than enough time to kill it before it fires. Then come the Mimicuties. Whether you trigger them or not, youíll want to deal with the Nutskis thatíll pop up and fire from a long distance away, and then the Lurchthorn that spawns near the first trap once both are dead (this one will not wait as long to fire, so shoot it from the front in order to notice when the segments begin firing.) If you accidentally trigger a Mimicutie while trying to nail the fish... have fun. Three crumbling holes, three enemies. If you killed the second Mimicutie for the Speed Boots it drops, youíll cruise over the holes, and can take your shot at the enemies as well; itís safest to stick to the outside edge, though. That Meeba has potential to be a real nuisance, but youíll be safe as long as you stop clear of the hole, and dodge properly. Donít forget the tiny chest behind the jump pad on the way to the boss! ------------------- [Boss14] PHOSPHORA ------------------- Iíll get the easy-peasy lemon-squeezy method out of the way first: If youíre just going to pummel her with cheese, simply activate your powers of choice and then unload whichever spammy move with which you plan to trounce her. If youíre going to be using Playing Dead, at least run toward the center of the room, first. She has very little health, though Trade Off users must come prepared for paralysis, which will waste a lot of rampage time. If you want to do this without much power consumption, sheís fought somewhat similarly to Dark Pit, though she allows for plenty of strafing and SCF, and will require you to rotate the camera frequently. All sheíll really do from the get-go is create three sparks in a row, which will race toward you after a split second; zip to a point on the floor and fire a straight line of small bolts; and, easiest of all to avoid, a large pink ball of electricity, which will home in on you. If you keep a bit of distance, you can spot the spark triplets quickly enough to stop shooting and roll, while the straightforward attack is avoided merely by moving a little to the side as itís fired. The pink ball of electricity can easily be run from, as it is neither fast nor relentless. You may also shoot it, but you should be saving your charge shots for Phosphora. Rarely, sheíll launch five huge yellow bolts of lightning, which fan out from her. At least three of them will quickly target you, and you should do your best to sidestep them, as theyíre quite strong and guaranteed to paralyze. Once sheís taken a beating, sheíll add a few more attacks to her repertoire. Sheíll also speed up a bit, keeping you on your toes. That said, these moves are not very complex or difficult to spot. A rundown is as follows: -Charge: A literal charge attack. Sheíll strike herself with lightning, and then rush at you after striking a pose and twirling. -Spark triplets 2.0: A fat yellow bolt of electricity will make a short arc, then split into three sparks as it hits the floor, which target you. -Thunderdome: Following a few seconds of charging inside a clearly visible area marked on the ground, sheíll create a field of electricity within. -Perimeter shock: Lightning will encase the room and a couple bolts will shoot out from her, followed by shots from each point on the walls, which target your immediate location. While the spark triplets are replaced with the newer version, sheíll still use every other move seen up to this point, which creates many possibilities; that said, sheíll spam the triplets, straight blue bolts, and pink ball like no tomorrow, so the other attacks wonít seem too common. As for her big perimeter attack, try to sidestep as soon as you see the walls covered in golden bolts, and again right afterward, as the shots will then be fired from the walls. Of course, the main thing that makes her a pain is her very quick, erratic and near-constant movement. Sheíll pause only briefly to attack, and then itís back to zipping every which way two or three more times, before using another attack. Itís important to keep spinning that camera 90 degrees or however far it must go to keep her within sight, as you wonít want to burn up those Effect Recoveries too quickly through failed dodges. Bumblebee should last plenty long as long as youíre diligent with your camera and strafing. If your SCF is a little too slow or she isnít being nice and using attacks with a little more stationary positioning, using DCS will also work, though you donít want to get into the habit of running around the room while lining up shots. Still, Palms and Claws give plenty of Stamina and there isnít a big risk of burning it all up so long as you give yourself a second or two to replenish it every so often. Her attacks are pretty fast, but clearly telegraphed nonetheless and are all dodged with simple sidesteps. You can avoid the vast majority of her attacks by merely flicking the control pad during each of her pauses, which will often clear it. Sheíll be helpful in keeping distance between the two of you, thanks to her squirrely behavior, which makes attacks easier to spot in time. OOOOOOOOOOOOOO [Ch15] Mysterious Invaders OOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Cost: 10420 Hearts Common Drops: Aurum Club, Jetstream Orbitars, Aurum Blade, Artillery Claws, Cutter Palm (Max of 3) While getting off to a rough start, this level quickly approaches joke levels of difficulty despite the generally ramped up enemy strength. Unfortunately it is not very lucrative despite its number of chests, two of which Mimicuties, as we will later learn was a dick move by the Lord of the Underworld himself, not about to let the Aurum steal credit for pulling a dick move. Speaking of Hades, he also makes his priceless :O facial expression numerous times. My weapon of choice: Aurum Palm R: 5.5 M: 0 V: 295 Freezing +4 RS +1 SCF +4 DCF +4 Powers: Energy Charge lv3, Bumblebee lv3, Playing Dead lv3 This level has no Rumpus Rooms and mostly optional fights, so your powers can be geared toward steamrolling the level, and rendering the joke of a boss even less threatening than it is. The powers Iíve brought are all that are really necessary to accomplish this, though you may like Brief Invincibility for the purpose of killing Xonemes risk-free (should you plan to even fight them.) However, I will say that weapons with good walking speed are a big help in avoiding unnecessary damage, as the boss room features enormous portions of damaging floor, which you may avoid without needing to stop shooting. ----------------- [Note15] Notices ----------------- -When you head inside a door for the first time, right around that corner will be a Sio. Donít walk around it, so as to block the black hole itíll launch. -The chest found inside the room with floors that rise to block you is not only a Mimicutie, but setting off the trap will drop you into an enclosure with Quoils, which inflict Spin and will be your death sentence if you're hit. -Speaking of this room, the two items found within can be taken out of reach by inadvertantly blasting the red switch nearby, and by approaching the hot spring from the front. -The chest sitting before the winding ramp during the Exo Tank segment is also a Mimicutie. -The Baglo found during the grind rail segment will spawn a chest once slain, though you should use Playing Dead to safely kill it. ------------------- [Air15] Air Battle ------------------- The squirrely shots fired by Tribytes are almost as bad as Zurret shots in midair, due to their squirrely movement. Wide circles are the safest way to avoid them, though a fast weapon also helps. Jyoks provide the obligatory missile attacks, but often appear in much larger groups than the other missile-firing enemies do, so itís important to have your reticle over the cursors that will appear before the Jyoks themselves become visible and vulnerable. Quoils in air battles simply rocket forward on predetermined paths, but are easily avoided by circling and shooting right ahead of you. As Pyrrhon makes his grand entrance and you zoom low over the island, you wonít be in any danger of making contact with the structures, overhangs, or floor, so keep moving in a wide, almost rectangular pattern. There will be a ton of Tribyte shots coming your way, so regular circles wonít always cut it. The Quoils coming out of the walls have little chance of hitting you, but donít let them obstruct your view of the Tribytes thatíll pop in and fire. Since you likely had no reason to use a special up to this point, why not use one now? Weapons with slower SCF will actually benefit from one right now. Once youíve passed the huge clusters of rubble, Blits will eventually take positions on the sides of the screen and sweep their lasers to the other side; kill them from top to bottom and stay up there. The Plixos (panels forming abstract art of sorts) will disappear and leave clusters of Quoils in their stead if you donít destroy them quickly, but this wonít be possible for shorter-ranged or slower weapons. --------------------- [Land15] Land Battle --------------------- Okay, these first few rooms can get pretty painfully messy. As you venture out, Tribytes will begin moving in from the right, but the real nuisance here is the Blit that will continue to spawn until the red core on that wall has been taken out of commission. The Blitís laser has a very long reach and will angle itself toward you, requiring chained sidesteps to avoid. Try destroying the Blit first thing, and then sidestepping the Tribyte shots, taking out whatever you can until the Blit returns. Bumblebee lasts a really long time, and may be of some use to you. Destroying the Kolma in this area will then spawn a Xoneme; while they're very annoying to fight, thereís another Blit thatíll spawn indefinitely until the red core is destroyed, so it isnít your only problem. Like the previous room, try taking out that Blit first, then the Kolma (staying on its flat side will help avoid its shrapnel) and then quickly take out the core. The Xoneme can be run away from pretty easily, though donít let it sneak up on you. Either way, run into the next room shooting, as a few Tribytes will fly into the center. You can score some food via the Treasurefish on the left. By approaching those stairs, a Sio will drop down. As long as you stay beneath this ledge, youíll have a degree of protection against its lasers, but donít stay in one place, either. Strafe as you destroy the three enemies up there. Through the door, stay still and kill the three Tribytes just ahead, then slowly approach and see what the Sio is doing. The corner will block its black hole, but it will still hover over the pit, past the corner, and can fry you from there. An attack with knockback can make it drop into the chasm. Zaurum will continue to spawn while that huge core is active, but if you took out the two Tribytes first, they pose no threat. Approach the jump pad to raise a section of the floor, but donít destroy that core! Carefully kill the Xoneme, and then you may bounce up and walk across to the now-raised platform with your weapon, power, or Spike Ball atop it. Ignore that chest unless you want to face a Mimicutie and Quoils for no gain apart from hearts (you can trigger the floor and not the chest, to kill the Quoils without having to deal with Chun-Li), then work around the right of the hot spring, so as to nab the item sitting in the alcove behind the water. Approaching from the front will raise the spring, blocking it off. You can clear the ramp and get the chest on that platform without boosting, so donít bother with it. Either destroy the enemies you encounter on the ramp right away or zip past them, as theyíll quickly blow up your tank if you idle. Ignore the Claxis on the way to the intensity gate, for the same reason; also note that a Xoneme will drop in while you plunder the chest inside. Iím not certain that any of the enemies encountered on the grind rails can hurt you, because Iíve never waited to find out (Quoils will follow you from behind on the second rail.) Do kill that Baglo for a chest if youíve got Playing Dead, but ignore it otherwise. On the next platform, quickly blast the Jyok right ahead of you and then spin the camera to locate the other one, or rather, the missile it will have fired, had it not also already been in your sights. At least youíll get some food if you take a hit. Youíll be safe from the Kolmaís rolling while atop this platform, but not the Xoneme that will soon appear, which makes Brief Invincibility handy for this. You can always make a beeline for the door, but killing every enemy will spawn a chest, so it may be worth it. If you only want weapons and already have found three, donít even bother. Once you pass the set of food that appears (currently out of reach) a Claxis will be waiting nearby. These are capable of shooting everything in the Aurum book at you, and will launch shots in sets of three in quick succession, making them deadly for anyone bungling their sidesteps. You can collect the food after killing it, and the rest of the level is quite tame from here; youíll have a Blit hiding behind a Rezda, but will give you a few seconds to destroy its protection before it can fire. If youíve got Energy Charge and a lot of health, you can test your weaponís damage capabilities against that Baglo, then use the Drink of the Gods. Some weapons will be able to handle it all right. -------------------- [Boss15] AURUM CORE -------------------- Your main sources of damage will come from the little shots fired by the turrets that spawn by the core itself and along the back wall, and by the floor itself (the sections that become heavily pixelated.) The turrets do not have a lot of health, and the shots themselves are somewhat slow and easily cancelled by your own SCF. All you need to do is strafe continuously, firing at the core and making brief detours with the reticle to pick off turrets and shots. If your weaponís range will allow it, stay toward the back of the room so as to more easily spot turrets along the wall, as they'll otherwise easily nail you in the back. Once the room begins flashing and the alarm sounds, the core will produce three large balls that rotate clockwise around it. These explode on contact and inflict moderately high damage, but move slowly and otherwise are not a real problem. If youíve got Playing Dead, just plop down and fire away. You may need a quick dash to the side to quickly get off of a pixelated piece of floor before it damages you, and shots from behind will quickly eat your Bumblebees, but this ďbossĒ does very little and wonít deplete your health quickly unless you donít bother to cancel the shots. OOOOOOOOOOOOOO [Ch16] The Aurum Hive OOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Cost: 14900 Hearts Common Drops: Scorpio Staff, Aurum Orbitars, Optical Blade, Aurum Palm, Rail Cannon (Max of 3) The air battle will be significantly more difficult than the previous chapter, though the land battle is still extremely easy, featuring a boss that is even less of a challenge than the Aurum Core. While the level features numerous Rumpus Rooms, the most difficult one is optional and two of them are a breeze with the Aether Ring intact. This level is great for farming hearts. My weapon of choice: Boom Orbitars R: 5 M: 0 V: 289 Shaking +1 RS +1 DCS +4 SCF +4 HB +2 Powers: Energy Charge lv4, Brief Invincibility lv3, Bumblebee lv3, Effect Recovery lv1 Because the boss is on-rails, SCF or SCS will be your only method of attack. Youíll also do a lot of fighting inside an Aether Ring or on a grind rail, so your power set is not particularly important, though you might like Brief Invincibility for the Xonemes, and Bumblebee for the Rumpus Rooms you must face without your vehicle. Quick Charge may be useful for the Generator. My Booms are much better at destroying missiles than my Aurum Palm, but there is little to consider when choosing my weapon for this level besides its general usefulness in Solo Mode. So, Iíve taken these for their HB mod and increase in range and power, as mobility is often moot. ----------------- [Note16] Notices ----------------- -Taking the disappearing floor to the chest toward the beginning will always yield a Power-Up Drop, which should be used to kill the Baglo nearby without incident. That Baglo will usually drop a weapon or power. -The final alcove in the room with the Aurum vehicle plowing everything in its path (the second alcove you may enter by shooting a pixelated wall) contains an Aurum Urgle. Donít use it. -The first grind rail on the left in a set of three will lead to the optional Rumpus Room, difficult but containing a Treasurefish along with the enemies. -Taklax won't open up during land battles if you are invisible, which wastes your Playing Dead and forces you to brave its barrage of shots the manly way. ------------------- [Air16] Air Battle ------------------- Remember, wide circles along the edges of the screen for all those Tribytes. Fortunately, they enter the screen in single file and are easily killed. If your SCF canít keep up, use a special attack once the Jyoks spawn en masse. Rozzes fly on predetermined paths and inflict crazy amounts of damage if they crash into you. Theyíll bowl right past at high speeds, so youíll need to know where theyíll go ahead of time; stay at the bottom of the screen and swerve left or right in rhythm, though after that fourth Roz (which you avoided by moving right) stay over there, as the next one will still hit the left side. Then continue swapping sides as normal. Once the clones begin appearing, following those Rezdas will be some Miks that swing around to the left and then approach, whipping their tongues once they are within striking range. Have your weapon firing at the left-middle as they come around and kill them before they come near. Youíll need to move left and right to avoid the pixelated zones the clones are produced within, and as Palutena says ďUh-ohĒ keep your fire directed to the far left-center, as the enemies will approach from that side. Ship weak points may be lucrative in hearts, but Pitís vulnerable heinie takes precedence. Donít go for them while enemies are present and shooting. As Hades mocks the Aurum, two Blits closely followed by two Claxis will be attacking in tandem, and you may want to use a special attack here. You may also want to use one against the Xoneme that follows, though this will almost certainly prevent you from also destroying the weak points. Glide from this point on if your SCF is poor, though you might not have even made it to this point without it; the Taklax fires rapidly and is joined by several other enemies. Maintain rectangular movement because of the Tribytes. --------------------- [Land16] Land Battle --------------------- Bwoo! Bwoo! Bwoo! An Urgle, two Skuttlers, and two Quoils will be behind that gate and attack in unison, albeit at very different speeds. Your only threat here is the Urgle, so stand still and wait for it to come to you. The Quoils will continue to appear inside the gate and dart forward until theyíre killed. The Tribytes and Monoeyes behind the next couple gates can and should be killed by abusing the tactic of shutting the doors to block their shots, though youíll also have to draw the Monoeyes out from some alcoves. Some food is opposite the Baglo at the end of the corridor. Aurum Shemums inflict paralysis instead of poison, but arenít any stronger. Pick them off as you see them while standing next to each vase with the Spike Ball. The Miks ahead are no problem, though be careful not to roll into the pixelated ground as you avoid their attacks (theyíll both shoot and whip.) Run along the vanishing walkway unless your walking speed is sufficient, which will allow you to pick off the Monoeye that passes for the hell of it. Use the Power-Up Drop up there to kill the Baglo for what is hopefully a weapon. Dropping down, you'll then meet the first of several Biotas. While Palutena makes it sound like ranged attacks are ineffective, this is not true; hitting the balls back at it merely speeds up the process. Be careful when using dash attacks on the orange ones, as swinging too late will still hurt you. Oddly, Quoils canít be damaged until theyíve dropped and are spinning. Speaking of spinning, those fans should be run past only when the gap is completely flat because, despite there clearly being enough space to run through, if an angled piece is still close to Pit, it likes to treat it as a hit. Regardless, thereís plenty of food at the end, so donít sweat any damage. The fans will block the Urgleís rush, but not cancel it, as you may notice. I always skip the first two alcoves and go straight for the second one on the left, which contains the wall you can blast away for a chest. Do the same to the wall up a little ways from here, which will become your next safe spot; I then run for the exit on the far left, rather than go for the alcove that contains an Urgle, which will likely successfully ambush you. The Treasurefish following the vehicle may take several attempts to shoot. Rumpus Room! Wave 1: Blit x3 Wave 2: Kolma x2 Wave 3: Zaurum, Aurum Urgle x2 Two Nukleen will crash the party, but the waves themselves will spawn whether they're present or not. Immediately hop into your Aether Ring on the left and and get onto the spinning floor, which will take you under the Blits (and away from their lasers, of course.) The Kolmas are quite easy to nail in their sides now that your maneuverability has vastly improved, but since this is the only Aether Ring youíll get, avoid moving in front of it to keep the shrapnel from touching it. Urgles may not be knocked down by the shots, but youíll move backward quickly enough that they wonít be able to flip you. I try to kill the Zaurum first. Once inside the room with transparent walls that open and shut, youíll need to get in the habit of quickly tilting in the opposite direction to kill your momentum and keep from touching anything. Once youíve reached the little upward slant, wait on it for the closer of the two blockades to slam down and lift, then floor it into the next room. If you destroy the Nukleen during your descent, hug the wall (and donít let it sink too low before shooting) to keep its explosion from touching the ring. Rumpus Room! Wave 1: Sio, Aurum Monoeye x2 Wave 2: Zrink, Quoil x4 Wave 3: Biota, Tribyte x2 Thereís no need to move into the center of the room at all, and rolling over those spinny things on the floor will hurt Pit directly. Just keep moving left and right between the walls right in front of the door you just came through. The black hole launched by Sio will have no effect on the Aether Ring. Whee! Unlike in air battles, that Zrink will shoot at you, and fairly often. It, too, will move left and right erratically much like yourself, but nonetheless is not difficult to hit. With it down, you can carefully approach the Quoils to bait them to come down. Turn and kill both Tribytes as soon as they spawn, and then get back over to your side of the room and resume the left-right movement, occasionally moving toward the Biota to prevent shots from homing in on your side. The Aether Ring will take many shots to destroy, but thereís no risk to yourself. Grind rail time. While the Monoeyes will shoot at you if you donít kill them as you spot them, the real threat comes from the Blits that take cover behind some Rezdas, once Viridiís Bladers show up to help you kill them. You can jump over the beams as they sweep across the rails (the front one moves left to right; the one behind it sweeps right to left), but this takes careful timing and is not easy to do. Strong weapons can kill them before this happens. If you donít want to face an optional, moderately tough Rumpus Room, stay off of the leftmost rail. Rumpus Room! Wave 1: Aurum Skuttler x4 Wave 2: Zaurum, Sio, Aurum Mik x2 Wave 3: Xoneme, Claxis A Treasurefish will prowl the far end of this massive platform so long as there are enemies. Donít be quick to approach it, though, as youíre safest while this far back. The second wave is where you have to start paying attention. Kill that Zaurum ASAP and then retreat again, to keep that Sio from perking up. Kill the Miks patiently, then engage the Sio. You have plenty of room to run away from the black hole, but must begin sprinting as soon as you see it fired. Try running toward the Sioís side, as the black hole does not loop around easily. The Claxis will be very far back and, again, should not be engaged until itís the only thing left. The Xoneme will eventually make its way to you, and youíll have plenty of room to bait it while also retreating from its strike zone. Hopefully the two pieces of food will be enough to get you through the final ruckus. As you ride that last rail, be ready to shoot the Rare Treasurefish at the very end of it. Rumpus Room! Wave 1: Xoneme, Tribyte x2, Blit x2 Wave 2: Nukleen, Zaurum, Tribyte x2 Wave 3: Rezda, Taklax, Biota That GODDAMN Xoneme. Theyíre annoying enough on their own, but now youíve got other things shooting at you in a room that is not all that large. Try to stay away from it while killing the Tribytes first thing; Brief Invincibility really helps here, particularly if you want to get rid of the Xoneme ASAP. The Blits will roll around in midair in cube form, before hovering a short ways above the floor and firing straight down. They donít pose much threat. Try to save the Nukleen for last, if only because confusion will make it nigh impossible to avoid the blast radius. Kill the Zaurum ASAP of course, and then avoiding the Tribytesí squirrely shots is just a matter of seeing them coming. That Taklax is your first target, and the Biotaís balls move so slowly that you can easily deal with them following each Taklax barrage. Stand still until it opens up, then be ready to sidestep five times in quick succession. Right as it closes and opens are the best times to nail the thing with charge shots. From there, the Rezda and Biota are sitting ducks. ------------------------- [Boss16] AURUM GENERATOR ------------------------- Most weapons will likely want to get onto the red rail from the get-go. From there, simply put your reticle over the generator, and... shoot. When the rail swerves and takes you out of range for a second (if at all), you should be able to charge a shot by the time youíre back within striking range of SCF. You can shoot the large Tribyte-like things that spawn, but they do incredibly little damage and will not delay the destruction of this thing. The walls it throws up do next to nothing, also. The conversation during this battle is very amusing, though, if the generator lasts long enough to listen to all of it. OOOOOOOOOOOOOO [Ch17] The Aurum Brain OOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Cost: 11250 Hearts Common Drops: Laser Staff, Aurum Bow, Raptor Claws, Compact Arm (Max of 3) My favorite of the Aurum levels, and one of my favorite levels, period. This is a fun one, though youíll come to despise it if your standard 9.0 weapon does not have extremely good SCF. The air battle gets very intense toward the end, as does the last leg of the Centurion segment. My weapon of choice: Aurum Palm R: 5.5 M: 0 V: 295 Freezing +4 RS +1 SCF +4 DCF +4 Powers: Energy Charge lv4, Brief Invincibility lv3, Bumblebee lv3, Effect Recovery lv1 Because the land battle is treated as on-rails, your weapon will have improved attack capabilities, most notably its damage; with SCF that excels in air battles, youíll be at a great advantage, though youíll need to know where a bunch of specific enemies will appear and what theyíll do. Strong, long-range DCF is also a huge asset on land, though weapons with slow DCF or fewer than three shots per burst should not rely on it. The slower your shots, the more important it is to fire preemptively. As for powers, the cheesy way to beat Aurum Pyrrhon is to use Playing Dead twice and then Trade Off, which will end this fight quickly and effortlessly. Without them, a setup similar to mine will work well, as Bumblebee is very helpful during his battle and Brief Invincibility has some great choice uses. Energy Charge will make the land battle even more of a snap, provided your weapon has a quick rate of fire. While Bumblebee alongside Energy Charge and great SCF make you an extremely strong and well-protected angel, I suggest you save all BB uses for Pyrrhon. ----------------- [Note17] Notices ----------------- -Sio are normally pitiful in air battles, until you face the one from far away during Pyrrhonís hostile takeover; if your weapon lacks the range to kill it before it fires a black hole, you will be susceptible to serious damage from the other enemies. Use a special attack if this is the case. -Keep your volume up so you can hear Palutena warn you at the various points enemies approach from behind or all sides. -Do not try to roll through the lasers inside the hive; bounce over them. -While many enemies will primarily target the Centurions during the final stretch, Aurum Fire Wyrms will kill them nigh instantly. Target them with extreme prejudice. -When killing the Wyrm that flies in from the front and on your right, be aware that a Xoneme will lower itself onto the platform immediately afterward, and if you stay toward the front, youíll be right in its strike range. You wonít see it coming, either, for that matter. ------------------- [Air17] Air Battle ------------------- Until you behold the exterior of the Aurum Brain, thereís really nothing to worry about; as Pit remarks on its massive size, though, a number of Blits along with Claxis and Monoeyes will begin attacking. I typically have a hard time avoiding damage, and prefer to use a special attack. Hold off on using any more of them. This level really picks up once youíre staring at the Brain. Forget about shooting it; youíve got enemies to deal with. Following the Rezdas will be a few waves of Tribytes, starting from the hole in that little... rod... thing poking out on the left side. Kill them as they approach, and then immediately direct your fire to the right and top, where the next two waves will appear. Remember to keep your circles very wide, but also be on the lookout for the Blit that will appear top-center while youíre dealing with the Tribytes. From the moment those two Taklax appear, youíre going to be under very heavy fire from large groups of enemies, until the air battle is finished. Your real problems come in the form of tongue-lashing Miks thatíll pop onto the screen from the right, already swinging; they stay high, though, so instantly drop the moment you spot them (though good weapons will remove them instantly.) When you spot your first Mik in the center following those Taklax, that is the time to move to the bottom of the screen. After the Sio spawns its black hole, youíll deal with tongues from both the right and left; the left one sweeps low, and these are amidst enemy fire, so I prefer to use a special. Apart from the enemies following the Sio (which is extremely dangerous for weapons with very, very short range, like Viridi Palms) I also like to use a special attack once Pit says "Yah! This is intense!" This is arguably the easiest place to be hit during the entire segment, as three Tribytes will appear along the top of the screen, in close proximity, and rapidly launch shots. You may also like to use a special attack against the large number of Jyoks that appear and spam their missiles, once Palutena makes a failed attempt to save Pit. If youíre using a weapon that destroys missiles very easily, such as Boom Orbitars, this will be a walk in the park. Things do get easier once Viridi drops a reset bomb on the exterior; if youíre still moving in wide circles, the swarm of Tribyte shots arenít an issue (lay off the fire when you have four or more shots approaching, though. This tends to be necessary to avoid all damage.) Large charge shots are very effective in killing off entire packs of them at once, and this segment groups many of them close enough to do this; Zrinks and Rezdas will leave really tight clots of enemies when slain, and Tribytes will often appear in the center, in packs of four or five. Now, even if youíre clinging to a sliver of life, things get much easier from here, and will stay that way for a while. --------------------- [Land17] Land Battle --------------------- While you scored only a measly burger and can barely move, the enemies will appear in very small groups (aside from Quoils) and only directly in front of you, making them very easy to kill before they can do a single thing. Do note that even when rocketing into you, Quoils will now inflict Spin status. Try to shoot Quoils in the order they appear while keeping the reticle straight ahead of you. Speaking of shooting things in the order they appear, this also goes for Blits, which almost always approach in their invulnerable cube form. Even as your platform increases in size twice more, the flow of this level does not change, and almost all of your enemies will not only approach from the front, but give you enough time to kill them as they do so. Itís best to use SCF as often as possible, to give yourself ample time to react and dodge, though DCF should also be spammed on more distant and/or meaty enemies. Rather than detail the land segment as one huge Rumpus Room, Iíll provide some guidance on the less generic or simple encounters. Almost as soon as you get a bigger platform, some ground enemies will appear on it, namely a Skuttler and Zaurum, the latter of the two on your right. Itíll confuse you very shortly, so be ready for it and kill it first. You havenít met many Jyoks on land up to this point, but missiles are among the most powerful attacks that can hit you during this segment, and you must kill them the moment you see those thin triangles appear. Two of them will accompany a Biota shortly after youíve killed the Skuttler/Zaurum combo. Remember that Back Shields will protect your front during BDCF. Itíll come in handy! The Dodge Token dropped will be of immediate help, as youíll quickly meet a Taklax with a Mik on each side. The Taklax will already be primed to spam its shots, so kill it first, but count on at least one of the Miks to swipe its tongue; using DCF to kill the Taklax will put you in a cooldown state and may leave you vulnerable by the time the tongue-lashing commences. Dohz spheres that havenít become actual lasers will still take form and target you after the UFO has been destroyed, so be mindful of that. Despite the Boom Spear found inside and your own barrage, itíll likely produce at least one before exploding. At close range, you donít have a lot of time to react, so count on sidestepping two seconds after spotting those balls of light. Youíll get a shot at a Rare Treasurefish upon exiting the tunnel. Palutena will warn you that enemies are coming from all directions as soon as youíre outside again. Thatís your cue to turn 90 degrees to the right and greet the three enemies there, then turn another 90 degrees and greet a second set. Turn 90 degrees right yet again, and one more set shall fly up, among them an Aurum Specknose. There are no walls for their bombs to ricochet off of, but they are still more dangerous than Tribytes. You can resume facing the Aurum Brain, now. As youíre sandwiched by the ships, a Rezda will take position in front; remove it immediately, since a Taklax and two Tribytes will be right behind it. Because the Tribytes will be quick to fire, you should kill them first. This gives you freedom to sidestep the Taklax barrage without finishing your maneuver right in the path of a squirrely shot. More pairs of Tribytes will replace the fallen ones, but you should be able to kill the Taklax by then. Pyrrhon Creed Number 427 is harmless so long as youíre not standing on the sides of the platform, which will result in your being burned. Simply donít move from the center, and youíll be fine. This is where the land battle gets a lot tougher. Enemies will now target the Strongarms almost as often as they target you, and will kill them quickly if you donít hang around up front and pick them off right away. You WILL get a game over if you allow four of them to die. For the time being, things are still pretty mild; youíll encounter most enemies in pairs, from Monoeyes, to Jyoks, to Kolmas, to Specknoses. Yet another swarm of Quoils will polish off the set. Once youíre inside the passage, Palutena will warn that there are enemies on your tail. A Fire Wyrm is behind you and will soon be crossing on your left, but before you unload on it, you should destroy the two Tribytes that appear in front, and especially the Blit that will be happily frying your Strongarm once it unfolds (donít stand on the far left, which will also put you in the path of its laser.) With those three gone, unload on the Fire Wyrm with everything youíve got before it turns. The ďobstaclesĒ are a little deceptive; theyíre essentially walls the platform will crash through, but if you havenít pumped enough shots into the centers by the time you reach them, both you and your Strongarms will be hurt. Stand between them and either use a barrage of SCF or a FDCS, followed by some FDCF; there will be a huge thud as you slam into the barriers, but you wonít take any damage, and your Strongarms will be fine. SCF is preferable unless your shots both charge and fly quickly. Be very mindful of your weaponís range and donít waste shots unless you know theyíll hit (a bigger deal for Arms and Palms.) Finally, a real use for that jump pad, albeit a forced one. You cannot roll through those lasers, so donít even try. As soon as Palutena warns you, get over to the pad immediately and wait for the beam to close in. Theyíll pass by extremely quickly, so the little bit of hang time from the pad will help. Remember not to jump for the second one. Okay, final stretch. The first six waves will do everything they can to kill your Centurions, while you are a bit of an afterthought. The last four will figure that the Strongarms arenít going anywhere, so they might as well focus on you again. No sneaky attacks from behind, and while you do get some attack items along the way (as well as another Back Shield), your weapon will be much more useful. The thing is, your flight path is timed, and so you can clear this segment without killing everyone; however, you must at least clear the first six, lest you allow your support to die; by continuing on to the final rounds, you also spawn the Treasurefish that join them, and can earn more powers and weapons. A quick rundown of the gauntlet: 1: Rezda & Monoeye x2 2: Blit 3: Fire Wyrm & Roz x2 4: Blit & Xoneme 5: Kolma & Tribyte x2 6: Claxis x2 7: Urgle & Skuttler x2 8: Zaurum & Jyok x2 9: Biota x2 10: Rezda, Tribyte, Dohz The third wave happens to be the most dangerous. One Roz will come right down the middle, while the second will bounce back and forth between the two walls, eventually passing over the platform and being able to hit you; however, by this time, the Fire Wyrm will have already flown right through your Strongarms and killed them both. So what do you do? As soon as youíve killed that Blit, immediately get onto the right of the platform (which will dodge the first Roz) and go nuts on that serpent. As soon as itís gone, back up (try to shoot that Blit while youíre at it) and do what you can to get a shot through the gap in that Xonemeís barrier as it spins around. The two Claxis will be a little below the edge of your platform and can remain out of sight until they spin. Once youíve finished the prior wave, move on up. Try to kill one of the Skuttlers as they spawn, and be ready to dodge as the Urgle rushes to you. I hope youíre not already at the edge of the platform! The Zaurum will spawn dead-center at the front of the platform and, like the others, will not wait long before confusing you. By the time you get that Rezda and annoying liíl Tribyte out of the way, the Dohz will likely have three spheres up and ready to go. Youíll be able to spot them with the Rezda still there, anyway, so be ready for those sidesteps. Youíll need to learn this timing now, because the Ch21 Dohz will not allow you to be sloppy. Foxtrotting will help you get a feel for it. If you killed them all quickly, thereíll be a lengthy delay between the explosion of the Dohz and the spawning of your Drink of the Gods. ----------------------- [Boss17] AURUM PYRRHON ----------------------- Nowís the time to pop that Bumblebee, if youíve got it. The green things you must blast to destroy the chains are easily dispatched with a single FDCS, but doing this often puts your camera at an angle that wonít give you a good view of Pyrrhon, so some attacks may go unnoticed. Heíll use one of four moves while any chain is still in place: -Fireball: Heíll launch three, one at a time. Not all that fast, so theyíre easily spotted and sidestepped. -Pyro snake: Exactly what it sounds like. The snake will first dart right through you, which you must sidestep, and then the rest of the tail will follow, lashing about. Just continue dashing to the other side. -Flame ring: An orange ring will linger around the perimeter of the platform and then close on itself after a few seconds. Keep your volume up and listen for the little alarm-like sound it makes, then dodge immediately after hearing the fourth one. The jump pad is unnecessary. -Cluster bombs: This one can be nasty. Pyrrhon will toss a group of five small bubbly things onto the platform, surrounding you, which may slide toward you a little bit before detonating. Try to carefully get through a gap between two before they blow up in quick succession. The green things will also shoot single shots at you while you move about, but they donít move quickly and are easily dodged if Pyrrhon isnít giving you something to worry about simultaneously. Itís best to end this first phase ASAP, so let loose with the charge youíll begin the fight with and destroy one chain right off the bat. You won't have too much breathing room between his attacks, so quickly turn to the closest chain and destroy it after each one. Fast charge times plus long range together make very short work of this phase, as you need not wait for the counter-clockwise movement to bring you toward any of the chains. If you've brought Brief Invincibility, you may wish to use it, ignore Pyrrhon, and just knock out the chains one right after the other. Fairy Orbitars are especially good at this (and one of the most advantageous weapons you can possibly arm yourself with for this level as it is.) Once all chains are gone, thereíll be several seconds before Pyrrhon is released from the field and becomes vulnerable; once he is, heíll also gain a couple new moves, as well as speed up his previous ones (notably his flame ring, which now closes extremely fast.) Heíll begin launching waves, very similar to the Wave Angler, albeit incredibly slowly and laughably easy to dodge through. Heíll also launch large, arcing fireballs through the air, which target your present location and leave a large scorching area behind, but these are also laughably easy to avoid. If you packed Trade Off, spamming a few rounds of DCF will finish him lickety- split. Otherwise, he will take a bit of abuse, but being a stationary target makes the fight go quickly nonetheless. Hope he spams his pathetic wave attack and unload your charge shots and DCF while waiting for the next move. His attacks do pack a wallop, especially the flame ring and cluster bombs; itís important that you donít chain too many moves with cooldown or even use too many dashing attacks, as these can inadvertently send you into a bomb. I wait until all the chains are gone before using Energy Charge, as it's far easier to maintain once he expands his movepool to include pathetic attacks. I've been able to maintain my Bumblebees throughout the fight, though this is largely because I primarily use SCF. OOOOOOOOOOOOOO [Ch18] The Ring of Chaos OOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Cost: 11480 Hearts Common Drops: Magnus Club, Guardian Orbitars, Bullet Blade (Max of 4) Easily the most hated chapter in the game for its obnoxious land and boss battle.. ..which requires players to repeat the mandatory time-wasting scenes beforehand, each and every time they fail. While there is still a large amount of luck involved (enemies canít be excessively spammy) Magnus at least has the benefit of a metric ton of stamina to burn through, which enables him to foxtrot like nobodyís business. He also cannot be interrupted during his combos, which effectively grants him immunity to the Strongarmís grab. You can earn as many as four weapons with some luck, though nearly all of these require you to contend with enemies you could otherwise avoid. Letís just get this miserable level over with, shall we? My weapon of choice: Midnight Palm R: 6 M: 0 V: 322 OD +7 FDCS +1 SDCF +1 IPA +1 HB +1 My original 9.0 weapon, long since abandoned in favor of much more power and less clutter by way of weak mods. Still, though, this weapon serves a purpose when I need little other than defense, so I havenít gotten rid of it. As for you, youíll do just fine with your own high-defense weapon, or at least something that chews through air battles. The defense is nice to have, simply because you wonít want to repeat the land segment once youíve succeeded. ----------------- [Note18] Notices ----------------- -Abuse Magnusí incredibly generous supply of stamina as much as possible. Rather than run toward a Centurion or swing your sword madly, foxtrot (repeatedly begin a dash, but let go of the control pad and dash again once he is upright.) Youíll get mileage out of his invincibility frames that way. -While Magnus canít be interrupted during his combos, attacking relentlessly is careless and will often result in your taking more damage than you would have if youíd dodged to get behind the enemy. Do this only when you have the opportunity to kill multiple Archers at once, or a Strongarm is charging. -By standing to the left or right of a Juggernautís head, right in front of it, you can execute a MDA to get right behind it. This prevents it from hitting you as well as blocking charges from Strongarms. -The second alcove on the right side of the passage housing the levelís second Juggernaut contains a Mimicutie. These always drop something, though theyíll take some maneuvering before you can safely combo them up. Three combos will kill them, and itís best to do this from behind, during their kick flurry. -Do not run toward Pitís Body. Only foxtrot. --------------------- [Land18] Land Battle --------------------- I strongly do not recommend going for treasures if youíre just looking to beat this level, as skipping them eliminates the risk of unwanted damage. Sure, lots of chests are like that, but youíve got ranged attacks and powers on your side. Iíll outline the numerous treasure locations first; pursue these at your own peril. 1. Destroy wall to the right of the fountain, down those stairs. Thereís the chest you ran right past as a dog. Two Centurions are here, and two more will be by the fountain once you return. 2. 6.0 intensity gate, found by rounding the first corner on your right, once you enter the room with a Monoeye being attacked by Centurions. As you make to exit this room, two Skuttlers and a Skuttler Mage will appear by the door. 3. In the same room with the intensity gate, kill the three Centurion Knights. Wait for them to attack and roll forward, then try to combo them from behind, which bypasses the shield. You may also try sneaking behind them when they fly into corners. 4. The Rare Treasurefish flying in the line of fire of the second Juggernaut. This is sometimes a plain Treasurefish, but Iím not certain what triggers it. 5. The Mimicutie in the second alcove on your right, facing the second Juggernaut. Better kill that Juggernaut first, and donít attack it unless you rolled behind it during its kicks. It resumes attacking too quickly after standing upright for you to safely combo at that point. All righty, now for your quick ní probably painful trek through town. You can avoid being irresistibly tempted by the garbage by waiting by the fountain until Pit makes his joke about the square looking rough. As soon as he begins that line of dialogue, bolt for the passage ahead and donít stop. As Magnus, run past the fountain and into the little room ahead. You might as well pick up the Back Shield over there, though the random enemy movement and shooting may not mean it does much good. There are a total of five Centurion Archers to defeat. Hopefully theyíll stay in tight groupings, allowing you to kill more than one in one combo. While the auto-homing with the first hit of your sword has some good reach, you should approach distant Centurions with foxtrots and not dashing or MDAs. One of the Archers within the second set will drop some Grapes when it is killed. Iíve never found the Skuttlers or Mage to be aggressive or give me trouble, though I prefer to bolt straight through into the next area, skipping the gate, as the enemies are no problem if I run without stopping. Weave left and right every few seconds in case an arrow was fired at you from behind. A lone Strongarm. These things are cake, IF you are patient and swing once they turn to face you, while stiffening up. You wonít be grabbed by surprise this way. Four combos will do them in, and once youíve made your third combo, you may safely begin the fourth (that is, if you attacked them when I told you to.) Keep on running. Up those stairs, making a left around the fountain, slipping past the doorway while that Knight is preoccupied with the Skuttlers. Now, choose your favorite bit of profanity and get ready to abuse it. Rumpus Room! Wave 1: Strongarm Wave 2: Strongarm, Archer x2 Another lone musclehead; very easy. Remember, patience! Wait for him to turn and face you before swinging, and you will never be grabbed during your downtime. With the two Archers present, youíd do best to kill them first, as your combo will not prevent their damage from piling up. Attack madly once you are in range, since youíre still vulnerable to being grabbed and must avoid that at all costs. This goes without saying, but avoid that electric barrier. Rather than taking the alcove via the hole in the wall, when facing your first Juggernaut, itís even easier to use a MDA to pass through the gap between its head and one of its launchers. A Centurion Knight guards the path around it. These are not a problem by themselves, as their attack has a slow buildup and is easily spotted and sidestepped. Iím making sure you get through in one piece, however, and that means fighting only what you must. Second Juggernaut. If you want to remain completely safe, ignore the Rare Treasurefish and simply get in front of the Juggernaut to destroy it, after waiting out its barrage of fire. The first alcove on your right has some fruit, which will spawn a lone Archer by the entrance once you exit. The second alcove has that Mimicutie. It will drop a Spike Ball, weapon, or power. Killing the Strongarm youíll first spot in this area produces another Strongarm up top; both drop pieces of Meat when slain. If you really need the food, what you should do is foxtrot your way over to that Knight, which will allow you to dodge the three attacks coming your way (one from the Archer, Knight, and Strongarm apiece) and then kill the Knight and Archer quickly. From halfway up the slanted walkway, you may bait the Strongarmís charge and slash at it with impunity. Do the same with the second one that spawns. Be on the lookout for the rare dumbbell, and immediately sidestep once itís thrown. Those chunks of Meat will gear you up for the Crawler ahead. Itíll more than likely kill the Archers plunking away at it, but you must deal with it up close, leaving you especially vulnerable to its spin attack. Youíll need to combo its rear three times to destroy it. You donít need to run to get behind it, but instead wait for it to pause before attacking; remember, itíll charge for three seconds before immediately launching its shell. The arrows are extremely easy to avoid via foxtrotting, as is the shell, and its spin is avoided primarily by backing off for a second in between combos, to see if youíve baited it. Are you still wearing your pants? Itís time for the final hurdle. Some players suggest not killing the Archer first, as it spawns a second Strongarm and can be problematic, but I find it easiest to get it out of the way immediately. This is in order to kill both Strongarms without being too vulnerable to grabs, or the Juggernautís own attacks. So, foxtrot right up to it and slash the bugger away. What you want to do is run up to that Juggernaut and dash between its head and launcher to get behind it, then wait for both Strongarms to charge into the Juggernaut in a failed attempt to grab you. You may need to sidestep a huge dumbbell or two while waiting, but youíll see them hoist it over their heads for a second before hurling. With both Strongarms in front of the Juggernaut, combo like crazy. Hopefully youíll have injured them badly enough that when the Juggernaut explodes, they will only take one combo to finish off. Really, the more you play this level, the more you notice that the final path to the boss is the only really awful part of the land battle. ...well, aside from the boss itself. -------------------- [Boss18] PITíS BODY -------------------- Pitís Body does not have a diverse array of attacks or patterns, and his AI is quite simple. Itís just that his movement may not always cooperate with yours, and all the foxtrotting youíll be doing may wreak havock with your camera angle. My method to beating him, however, is simple, and is really a matter of persistence: 1. Foxtrot toward him. In doing so you will dodge a charge shot or cont fire. 2. If you are close enough that his triangle flashes, begin swinging. Otherwise, repeat step 1. 3. Your combo will send him flying. Walk toward him if heís several character lengths away, then foxtrot again once he back is on his feet. If you ran straight to him, heíll just combo you himself. 4. Rinse and repeat. The idea is to foxtrot until you have dodged his attack, using side dashes if you are already close, and are close enough that your first swing will carry you to him. If you swing as he was about to attack, youíll both clang. Quickly swing again. If foxtrotting as an approach really isn't working for you, you can try stepping back a little bit following a combo, which will put a sizeable distance between the two of you. The idea here is that Pit will attack once he rises, which you will avoid via forward dodge, which (ideally) leaves you within striking range. While this is definitely easier than foxtrotting to the side and frequently tweaking the camera, it also requires Pit to cooperate and approach you himself, which he may not do. The most important thing is to play defensively and reactively. No attacking until he's whiffed and you're close enough to strike at that very moment. While you can begin comboing him as heís shooting and just plow through the damage, itís sloppy and you canít pull that off excessively before winding up in crisis mode, so donít make a habit of it. If you can keep that up, making nice, clean dodges, youíll have trounced this asshole before you know it. It takes six combos to defeat him. ------------------- [Air18] Air Battle ------------------- Ooh, six Recovery Orbs instead of four! Goody! This air battle is little more than destroying a bunch of Centurions and the occasional Juggernaut while avoiding large chunks of rubble thatíll pass in midair. Most of them are rather small and/or pass you on the side, but the large, partially demolished building will come toward you head-on and is avoided by positioning yourself in the middle of the screen. This ensures that the pillars will whoosh by on either side of you. When you first notice the building fly off into the distance, there wonít be any dangerous enemies (but keep shooting) so you may position yourself and stay there until it passes. Eventually you'll notice two Juggernauts being swept around by a huge tornado off in the distance. If your range is poor or shots weak, they can be a real problem in tandem with the spammy Archers that will soon join them. You've yet to have a real need for special attacks until now, so let one rip. Even if you do take a beating, four more recovery orbs will soon follow. Simple circle patterns of movement are just as effective as always, though Knights can be a tad resilient with those shields. If your weapon canít knock them off before theyíre ready to swing, use a special attack when facing them up close, in groups of three. This occurs shortly after you behold the ruined Skyworld; youíll face one Knight up close, and then three shortly afterward. The land masses Palutena hurls in your face do nothing but reflect poorly on her maturity and kindness, and perhaps her ability to resist mind control. OOOOOOOOOOOOOO [Ch19] The Lightning Chariot OOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Cost: 20610 Hearts Common Drops: Ancient Staff, Babel Club, Centurion Orbitars, Ninja Palm (Max of 6!) Iím not actually sure if this level is really that much longer than Chapter 9. You certainly do more mindless walking, at least. While lengthy, this level is not that hard apart from some of the Rumpus Rooms youíll encounter, but Iíve got some tactics (some involving powers) that will make Ďem a breeze. My weapon of choice: Aurum Palm R: 5.5 M: 0 V: 295 Freezing +4 RS +1 SCF +4 DCF +4 Powers: Brief Invincibility lv3, Playing Dead lv3, Instant Death Attack lv3 Hitting extremely hard, or mobility and hitting only sort of hard? The choice is yours. Iíve used Boom Orbitars to great success, but there are a couple places I would have really liked to strafe, and so my Aurum Palm wins out. Because of the length and large number of high-powered enemies, high overall defense is especially helpful. Recovery Effect mods are also extremely handy as food can sometimes feel scarce or wasted after a really bad encounter. There are a couple really nasty enemy groups that make excellent targets for Instant Death or Brief Invincibility. I recommend bringing one or the other. You may wish to bring Aeries or Super Armor for the boss, or even Playing Dead if your SCF is top-tier, to avoid coming all that way only to die from a few sloppy mistakes. Having said that, the Chariot Master is not terribly difficult, though a little insurance wonít hurt. ----------------- [Note19] Notices ----------------- -Sink the pillars holding up the Zurrets from outside the room before entering. This way, once they spawn, you can immediately kill one and not be taken by surprise by fire from high offscreen. -Donít throw the X-Bomb youíll find outside the ice rink. Iíll explain why, and how to keep it held while killing everything before using it, later. -The hated wind room is not difficult at all if you remember to run TOWARD the wind, instead of straight across the area youíre traversing. This is also the only way slow weapons will make it across. Also, be careful not to roll or sidestep toward the sides of the platforms when dodging attacks; youíll fall. -The scampering chest that spawns during the Crawler encounter will disappear if it isnít opened before the enemies are slain. Also be aware of the two Plutons that will spawn while fighting said Crawler. ------------------- [Air19] Air Battle ------------------- Allow Viridiís Flages to kill the few Komaytos in front of you, unless you want to expend a special attack so soon. You canít fend all of them off yourself. Apparently Pit wanted her to withdraw her forces without actually telling her, since youíre on your own from now on. Thanks, toots. For the next batch of Komaytos, just shoot the Minos once theyíre between all of them, as the explosion will kill them along with it. Staying on the far left will protect you from the Monoliths the Belunka barfs up, regardless of their height, though theyíll be appearing right after youíve dealt with many Monoeyes that have been shooting, so donít just stay in one spot. Should you have failed to kill the Belunka (a real possibility if you are attempting the Clubs Only Treasure Hunt panel) two more Monoliths will be waiting for you as the screen shifts, amidst all that enemy fire. Yeouch. Eventually, youíll zoom low over a large batch of trees (a Souflee will be in their midst) and encounter several Commyloose. Yes, I liked going a long time without seeing any, also. Once the second one comes into view, I use a special attack, as my Palm canít destroy those missiles quickly enough. I use a second special almost immediately afterward, once the Mega Mussel has opened and a Ganewmede has positioned itself between us. Aww, yeah. Good ol' Splins. This level has already brought back so many foes I was content not to see again. If you canít kill both, itís always effective to choose a side and kill only the one thatíll come toward you. Following the tunnel with all those Monoliths are three Komaytos; whichever way you prefer to deal with them, do it quickly, because a Remoblam and its minions will approach you very shortly afterward, and you wonít have long to kill the leader before its explosion is close enough to hurt you. Youíll then meet your first Monomiknose. While three Monoeyes will dart in from the left and be closer to you, itís important to focus your fire on the hideous abomination, as itíll immediately come up to you for a bite, which inflicts tremendous damage. If you were circling, the plain Monoeyes were no threat, anyway. Yet another level featuring lightning bolts during the air battle. None of the bolts will strike the center, though youíve also got Octos to deal with, among other enemies. The bolts will target the side of the screen at which they first appeared, so you wonít be mislead. Circle as usual (flying through clouds if you must) and adjust your position slightly as needed. Almost done. The string of Komaytos come with no distractions and are easily struck with melee attacks as they come into range. Even better, the Splins will go for the left side of the screen and then the top, which makes them simple to avoid from the lower right corner. --------------------- [Land19] Land Battle --------------------- I think itís easiest to break this level down into floors, with each floor separated by the brief ascension to the next. 1st Ramp: Two Miks and a Skuttler Cannoneer. This is a good time to mention that Cannoneers canít aim downward, so at a low enough position on the ramp, their arrows will sail harmlessly overhead. 1st Floor: Rumpus Room! Wave 1: Coral, Octos x3 Wave 2: Wave Angler Wave 3: Mik x4, Souflee Whack-a-mole! Your Dodge Token makes this an absolute joke, not that these attacks in these combinations are at all difficult to avoid. The Souflee wonít wait around to be slain, so nab those hearts while you can. 2nd Ramp: Six Monoeyes, two sets of three. The first set will be very quick to fire on you before flying up the ramp, so rather than DCF, just sidestep each shot and then kill them with their backs turned. The next set wonít do that. 2nd Floor: Ride the moving platform while carefully shooting the Cannoneers without hitting the Ganewmede. Their arrows will all miss, as long as the platform is moving. Iím able to kill them before they can fire while the platform is stopped, but that is when you must be ready to sidestep. Nuke the Ganewmede and donít forget your chest. 3rd Ramp: A lone Bumbledrop. While itís possible to avoid them by hugging the far left, itís much safer to dodge through them. Note their awkward shuffling due to the ramp, and donít jump the gun with your roll. That attack hurts. 3rd Floor: Rumpus Room! Wave 1: Splin x2 Wave 2: Shelbo, Zuree Just keep an eye on those floors and switch sides as needed. Both the Shelbo and Zuree drop food, so donít worry about some damage here or there. Itís more important to switch sides than it is to avoid being drawn close to the Shelbo. 4th Ramp: Three Miks, spaced evenly apart. Topple those pedestals from just outside the door. 4th Floor: The closest pedestal to your right has a Zurret, which should be your first target. Unload on it and try to kill it in time to turn and roll through the shots fired by the one on your left. Otherwise, once the one youíre attacking drops to your level, run behind it and you should avoid both. 5th Ramp: Two Wave Anglers. While not quick to fire, their shots move very, very fast. They also will fire from offscreen and over your head, so you can wait a good distance lower for them to pass. 5th Floor: First things first, stand just inside the door and on the left to kill those Miks without being whipped as they come near. Step onto the pads as the ball first hits the floor, then run for it. The third pad will not allow you to get away with jumping the gun. 6th Ramp: You know, if the traps having no effect on Underworld troops is a design flaw, how come so many of them rely on Underworld troops to be at all threatening? (This ramp features zilch.) 6th Floor: Rumpus Room! Wave 1: Tortolunk, Snowman Wave 2: Leox, Frozum Donít use that X-Bomb! Get right into your Aether Ring and kill the enemies without it. The Leox will drop food, but when you get out of the ring, make sure youíre holding your fire button and keep it held. This keeps you shooting without throwing the bomb. 7th Ramp: There are no enemies to deal with, so just make your way along while spamming cont fire. For Boom Orbs, youíll have to spam FDCF. 7th Floor: Rumpus Room! Wave 1: Zuree, Syren x2 Wave 2: Shelbo, Komayto x2 Use SCF and DCF to kill the first wave, without ever letting go of L. You may wish to move outside that little enclosure and past the bombs, which will give you a little more room to avoid the whirlwinds if you donít kill the Syrens quickly enough. Once the Shelbo appears, immediately get to the left, or close enough to throw the X-Bomb at the Komayto that spawned on the left. It should immediately detonate and kill both Komaytos with the explosion. Now that Shelbo poses very little threat (less if youíre inside the enclosure still) and you wonít have to use melee attacks on the Komaytos with a purely ranged weapon. It may seem like a lot of trouble to go through, but horrid melee weapons will really appreciate not having to deal with those Komaytos the hard way. 8th Ramp: Grind rail. 8th Floor: I kill the Reapettes without hitting the ball, because its ricocheting presents needless danger. Donít forget the treasure. 9th Ramp: A Belunka thatíll spit up a pair of Skuttler Cannoneers, and then an Orne at the top of the ramp, should you fail to kill it by then. You have a few seconds to do so before it produces anything, so I suggest going all out. 9th Floor: Ah yes, the wind. First, kill those Cannoneers and Monoeye quickly, and remember NOT to dodge toward a side with an edge close by! They are not solid and you WILL fall. Round that first bend as you enter, to give yourself more room. Otherwise, this is easy. Skip the Speed Boots if the chest drops them, kill the lone Monoeye not being pushed by the wind (3rd floor) and remember to always run diagonally, essentially sideways, facing the wind (turn your camera toward it, also.) Let go of the pad once you reach the other side, to avoid going too far and falling. 10th Ramp: Another grind rail, though now you get to kill two Cannoneers standing there, amusing themselves by drawing graffiti. 10th Floor: A Shelbo will drop in, quickly followed by two Cannoneers. Try to kill the Shelbo ASAP, as these Skuttlers will make full use of their missiles, and you must be able to safely roll through them. A FDCS the moment the Shelbo opens up should interrupt it, while some shots to the lips should finish it. Remember that you must boost off of the ramp to clear the gap. 11th Ramp: This seems like another relaxing stroll, but two Skuttlers will drop down about two thirds of the way up. Donít run headfirst into them! 11th Floor: A Monoeye will come around the left side of that pillar, and another will come around the right once you blast that jewel. The next jewel brings a Mik (if youíre moving counter-clockwise, itíll be extremely close to you, so be ready) and the next, a Specknose. The next jewel drops the center platform into place, and with it... Rumpus Room! Wave 1: Tortolunk, Snowman Wave 2: Snong, Handora x2 Wave 3: Vakloom, Mik x2 If youíve got Instant Death Attack, by all means, use it and off that Snowman and its turtle pal right away. Or, you can wait for the Snowman to exhale and use Brief Invincibility. Whichever, avoid being frozen at all costs, as the damage that pair inflicts is severe. If you opt to get close to the Snowman and dash-around, be very aware of the Tortolunk that will immediately follow its exhale, and take your stylus off the screen to sidestep its spin safely. With IDA still in effect, the Snong is nothing; otherwise, strafe and kill the Handoras in time to sidestep the three stomps that will follow. You know what to do with a Snong from here. These Miks will both shoot and swipe, but as long as youíre not shooting them from the side closer to the Vakloom, you can kill them without charging its laser for it. If this happens, just immediately sidestep. These guys arenít so scary if you didnít flub that first wave. Loading screen. How are your hearts looking at the moment? 12th Floor: Rumpus Room! Wave 1: Syren x2 Wave 2: Shildeen, Handora x2 Wave 3: Igniot, Mik x2 Unlike the previous floor, you CAN dodge and inadvertently roll into the abyss, so be extremely careful about your choice of dodge. Strafe while shooting, but be careful about being caught off-guard by the Shildeenís barrier and strafing into it, as you can push yourself off the side that way, as well. You can carefully DCF/DCS against the Syrens to kill them before they fire, and should do so, as their shots can also knock you into the abyss. The Igniot is the biggest problem. If petrified, you can roll off the side once you break free, and the Miks will happily unload on you while youíre still. Iíll use Brief Invincibility as it begins to launch its beam, blast the eye to shut it, and then quickly finish it off. If you are close enough to the Igniot before it rears back, you can easily dash-around to avoid the beam without spending a power. The Miks arenít so tough, then (they constantly move clockwise), but remember to be really careful with your evasive maneuvers. Hopefully you still have most of the life that Drink of the Gods restored. 12th Ramp: Yes, the floors precede the ramps, now. Not too confusing, I hope. This one contains two Bumbledrops. If your charge shots can knock them down, they wonít be invincible, unlike when they flop themselves. 13th Floor: A little maze! All you need to do is to tread slowly when blindly turning corners, as numerous Girin and Igniots await close by. The Igniots can be shot from over the walls, so long as you can see the cursor overhead. Those pits CAN be fallen into, so be careful. Both the Treasurefish and intensity gate will score you some loot, and donít forget to make a detour for three pieces of food, by taking the first left you find after meeting your first Girin. Note that rounding the corner will put you in range of an Igniot. 13th Ramp: A Fort Oink that, like the Belunka, produces two Cannoneers. It has too much health to prevent them from being spawned, but as with all Cannoneers on ramps, their arrows will fly overhead if you stay low enough. Roll through missiles as needed. Killing everyone spawns an X-Bomb. 14th Floor: Rumpus Room! Wave 1: Eggplant Wizard, Wave Angler Wave 2: Guttler, Shemum x9 Wave 3: Crawler, Skuttler Cannoneer x2, Pluton x2 With your X-Bomb ready to go, immediately hurl it at the Wizard as it spawns and let fly with a FDCS, which hopefully is enough to kill it. The Wave Angler will not enter until a few seconds have passed, and another few will pass before it begins launching its waves. Just get rid of that effing Wizard ASAP, so you donít find yourself eggplanted with no Effect Recovery, and large waves flying at you... Iíve never suffered this fate, thankfully. There are enough Shemums dropping in at a steady pace that itís not easy to prevent the Guttler from eating them, which substantially buffs its HP; Shemums themselves are pitiful even en masse. The Guttler will drop food. Okay, now is a good time to have a weapon with inherent agility. Seek out and destroy the two Cannoneers, first, one of whom will drop food, and then do the same with the annoying Plutons (youíll face these guys one at a time.) This Crawler is even easier by itself than the previous chapter, because you can shoot it from afar. Donít waste your stamina trying to run behind it; just walk and dodge its attacks as you do so, which you would have been doing while killing the little jerks beforehand, anyway. Remember, count to three and immediately sidestep when it charges up its shell. Hopefully, it didnít decide to rocket forward while you were dealing with the other enemies. Make sure you opened that running chest before killing the Crawler (while it usually has a Boom Spear, it CAN hold a weapon), and another Drink of the Gods is yours upon its destruction. 14th Ramp: Grind rail. Try to kill that Souflee in between those shutter doors as you zip through them. If you do, a chest will be there to greet you at the end of the rail. The other enemies are irrelevant, but go for the hearts. 15th Floor: Rumpus Room! Wave 1: Monomiknose Wave 2: Reapette x12 Wave 3: Splin x5 Wave 4: Fort Oink (alternates between Monoeye x3 and Mik x3) All fodder for your Cherubot. If you hop straight in, the Monomiknose will likely bite it, but if you donít, itíll fire laser beams while cross-eyed, which hurts about as badly as those of a Mudrone (read: extremely.) Moving around the room as usual will keep most attacks from touching you, if these enemies even live long enough to do anything. 15th Ramp: Iíve never actually bothered to jump the gaps while a Mik was whipping its tongue, but Iíd imagine it can actually hit you. The final gap houses an Orne. Letís not be stupid for the sake of satisfying curiosity. 16th Floor: That Bumbledrop only wants to be Bath Time Buddies, but youíll still kill it, wonít you? Linger in the water for a minute in order to score some loot, hopefully yet another weapon. 16th Ramp: Exciting news, indeed! 17th Floor: Like Chapter 4, since you just had a hot spring, youíre expected to have cleared the previous floor with full health. Even if there were no enemies, yes, that was extremely presumptuous of them. ------------------------ [Boss19] CHARIOT MASTER ------------------------ Despite your regular movement being restricted to lane-changes of sorts, as your chariot will only move a bit to the left or right when pressed, you can still perform every single one of your attacks, as well as dodge normally. However, if you brought Playing Dead, you may simply use both while holding down the trigger, unloading SCF at often point-blank range, which finishes him well before the second PD wears off. Since I canít assume you will be doing that, hereís a more conventional method. Heís got a mere four attacks, though the ease at which theyíre dodged depends on a few things, namely the width of the track youíre on: -Lightning bolt: Pretty straightforward. A bolt will strike a point on the track and stay there, forcing you to sidestep it. Ride through it, and youíll be afflicted with Shaking status. -Line bombs: Kind of like the bombs Aurum Pyrrhon used, only these are arranged in a straight line. Simply move left or right to avoid them. -Fireballs (Cross): These are tricky. A batch will appear on both sides of the Chariot Master, then cross each other, turning toward you as they do. If youíre between them while this is going on, you must quickly sidestep. However, once theyíve passed, they will circle around widely, and may need to be sidestepped again based on your position at the time. -Fireballs (triplets): Heíll spawn a small row of three fireballs and immediately send them rushing back at you, followed by a second set of three. Two quick sidesteps will avoid them. I suggest popping a defense buff (primarily for his fireballs) and using your DCF or DCS every chance you get, following each of his lightning bolts or bombs. His fireballs are indicated by a large blue flame held over his head a moment before the attack is used, so keep an eye out for them. Stick with SCF on the narrower straights, so as to give you more time to react. His attacks are not all that powerful (apart from the bombs), so you can treat this as sort of an endurance match. Thereís no need to be really aggressive at the expense of your health from all the sloppy charging headlong into attacks, though high-powered weapons with an armor power can get away with this. OOOOOOOOOOOOOO [Ch20] Palutenaís Temple OOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Cost: 9780 Hearts Common Drops: Angel Bow, Capricorn Club, Burst Blade, Doom Cannon, Drill Arm (Max of 3) This is the last easy chapter in the game (well, apart from the final boss, in most cases) and a great level for farming weapons. It will take a few runs before youíre comfortable enough to breeze right through it, but itíll quickly happen through persistence. My weapon of choice: Aurum Palm R: 5.5 M: 0 V: 295 Freezing +4 RS +1 SCF +4 DCF +4 Powers: Energy Charge lv3, Playing Dead lv3, Instant Death Attack lv3 Your weapon stats do carry over to the Lightning Chariot, so high stars and SCF mods will still help. Otherwise, just about any weapon can clear this level with due diligence on your part. Still, you should be careful about weapons with large charge shots, or DCF that sprays. There is but one instance where powers make a world of difference: the mob right before the boss. Playing Dead and Instant Death Attack are invaluable. The boss is pathetically easy and requires no powers, nor does the rest of the level, though I do like Energy Charge to speed up the minor enemy killing. ----------------- [Note20] Notices ----------------- -Unless the RNG has been really stingy and not given you three weapons by the time youíve gone inside and opened the chest behind the 8.0 intensity gate, avoid the chest in the prison. It almost always has an X-Bomb and the Komayto and Pluton are not worth the trouble. -Unless youíre packing Energy Charge and plenty of ranged damage, itís not worth taking on the Tempura Wizard and Erinus outside. Use the Dodge Token and just run like hell, picking up the Grenade along the way. -Hits landed on the Chaos Kin while itís invisible and above Palutena will not only deplete its HP, it can be finished off in this state. This is useful if youíve accidentally hit Palutena and are paranoid about finishing her off. ------------------- [Air20] Air Battle ------------------- The shortest air battle in the game, and one of the easiest, once youíve got the enemy placement down pat. Itís usually effective to just stay at the very bottom of the screen and sweep left and right, blasting enemies as you spot them, avoiding the occasional shot. Once two Gyrazers take position in both corners, quickly swing to the far left and kill the Monoeye thatíll appear there, then swing to the right and kill the Gyrazer and other Monoeye. These are quick to fire, and accurate. The Monoliths will force you to move up toward the top of the screen, staying centered so that they pass beneath you. When there's space to move, position yourself to kill the two sets of Handoras that will fan out. Now, the Daphne. Be wary of those on the lower half of the screen, as itís easy to collide with their flowers. Youíll need to move up to let the flowers pass, but the horses will kill the enemies on contact. If you were firing incessantly, youíll have wiped out the higher Daphne. WAAAAAARRRRRP ZOOOOOOOONE! Ahem. You may kill every Gyrazer in a set with one charge shot, even before theyíve produced their lasers, though itís easier to just move along with them until youíve looped and have a clean shot. Ah, the Fort Oink. The only source of grief for most players, but thereís an easy way of dealing with its feared second wave, the Gyrazers. During the first wave, you must kill the two enemies on your left and then immediately swing far right and into the lower-right corner. When the Fort Oink produces its Gyrazers, you'll kill the one that tries to get into the corner, which will only leave distant enemies to fire at you. Move up along the right side to avoid the first barrage of arrows, then quickly drop and sweep left to both dodge another set, as well as kill the enemies above you. You'll need to move to the right again to avoid a stray arrow from the far left, but by now you'll be quite safe from damage overload. The Fort Oink will then produce a couple waves of Minos that will spiral around it clockwise (staying low and left or right, then moving up as they sweep from the opposite side works well) and then a bunch of Shrips that spin straight forward, if you havenít destroyed it by then. --------------------- [Land20] Land Battle --------------------- Grab your food, then immediately head right and kill the two Archers that will lower into view, then jog over to the left and kill the other two. These guys are pitiful from afar, arenít they? Theyíll stick with slow, single arrows at this distance, and it should take only a single charge shot to defeat them. Donít advance on the left side, though; move in from the right. The enemies on that side are easier to deal with. The Juggernaut will be preoccupied with two Gyrazers, so grab that Grenade, toss it, and unload. Itíll kill both of them eventually and turn toward you as soon as itís finished, so donít dilly-dally. Inside, youíll face a lone Strongarm. These are a complete joke with ranged attacks, though you still shouldnít carelessly spam dash attacks. Save them for after youíve rolled through its charge, and use SCF in the meantime. Dumbbells are still very rare, but be ready for them nonetheless. Skip the intensity gate for now; youíll come back to it after grabbing another chest. This ensures youíll get your three weapons. I prefer to run along the passage and kill the Centurions with my own charge shots, but you can just as easily use the tank. Just be wary of that Knight, as you canít dodge attacks very easily while riding it. Get out and kill the Syren yourself (from inside the tunnel, if possible) and then back up the tunnel, to reset the Juggernaut and make it unaware of your presence. This will prevent it from using its bullets as you approach. Shoot the Juggernaut directly in its face. If it lobs some rocks, simply back straight up, then move in again once theyíve hit the ground. Hop out of the tank again and approach the ramp, killing the Daphne and two Archers from afar. You may have three or more arrows coming toward you at once, but they move slowly and are not hard to sidestep. With a clear path, you can ease the tank over the ramp (boosting is completely unnecessary) and open the chest. Proceed further just a little bit, enough to spot the cursors over the two Knights waiting there. Kill them, but watch for a thrown lance. Back to the intensity gate. Kill the two Syrens on your left, first, spamming DCF until you notice one hovering, at which point itís time to shift to SCF and prepare for a sidestep. With them gone, youíll have a Mega Mussel to deal with; jump platforms as needed, primarily when a homing shot is closing in on you, and sidestep whatever else you can. Be careful not to kill that Treasurefish until you clearly see it over the platform, as itíll drop your weapon into the abyss. If you killed the two Knights, they wonít be waiting for you here, though a lone Archer will drop in. Rumpus Room! Wave 1: Archer x5 Wave 2: Knight x2 Easy peasy. Simply strafe around the room, clockwise, killing the closest first. You donít even need Energy Charge to clear the room before so many as two or three have fired, but then, Iím assuming youíre using a weapon that actually inflicts remotely good damage. Dash charge shots quickly knock away the shields of the Knights, while piercing charge shots like those of Aurum Orbs will continue on and kill the Knights. Youíll have scored three pieces of food for your.. ..effort. There are two Archers, two Monoeyes, and a Knight down here. The second Archer and Monoeye will spawn after the first is slain, so keep track of what youíve killed to avoid being shot in the back by an enemy hiding in the corner (in other words, if you see nothing, tread lightly.) Drop through the center trap door, immediately fire your charge shot at the Erinus saying hi, and set off the Mega Marble. That will almost always kill it, but you should then launch some DCF to be sure and, if itís still kicking, just be ready for its attack. Nab that chest behind the intensity gate in the cave area, then return to the Erinus room (the other tunnel leads to a dead-end with two Archers) and grab the key. The following cave-like area of this cellar leads to a switch which opens to the Archer dead end I spoke of, while the remaining passage leads to an Archer and Knight. Partially up those stairs, take your first right to a jump pad and enjoy a quick bath if you need some health. The top of the stairs spits you back into the main floor of the prison. Get behind the Juggernaut and move along with it as it turns, clockwise, to try and face you; kill both Archers on the sides while you do so, then finish off the Juggernaut if you havenít already. Yet more food. Why the hell wasnít Chapter 18 this generous?! Well, it kind of was, but we had to work harder for it, damnit! With your Dodge Token, book it. Quickly pick up that Grenade, and donít look back. I toss it at the pack of Monoeyes that pops in from the left, while sprinting through the wind, as theyíll soon fire and I donít want to take the Dodge Token for granted all of the time (actually, because I bring EC, I stay behind and take the time to kill the Tempura Wizard and then the Erinus.) Rumpus Room! Wave 1: Daphne x2, Shulm x3 Wave 2: Leox x2, Monoeye x3 I find it quicker and easier to stay out of the Exo Tank. The Monoeyes on your left (if you stayed by the gate) will turn and fire after only a second, but if you immediately turn and launch some DCF, you can wipe at least two of them out and be standing up by the time the third one has fired. As Viridi said, stop for nothing. The Monoeyes and Specknose will be happy to attack if you linger, so just boost over both ramps and be done with them. Rumpus Room! Wave 1: Strongarm, Archer x3 Wave 2: Archer, Juggernaut, Strongarm x2 The easiest, safest way to do this, and also the most strongly recommended, is to run into the center of the room and immediately use both Playing Dead and Instant Death Attack, then slaughter everything one by one with SCF or SCS. During the second wave, you can get by with just targeting the Archer and then killing the Juggernaut before your invisibility wears off, as Strongarms are not very dangerous by themselves. If you are using my method, but also a pair of Claws, this may not go very smoothly, as enemies will still target you; this includes Strongarms charging, which can make them stop and resume walking right in front of you, which may cause you to inadvertently melee them and end your power prematurely. Or, even better, the power can wear off in mid-charge and you can be grabbed and piledrived for massive damage! HE HE HE -------------------------- [Boss20] GODDESS PALUTENA -------------------------- Itíll always begin by flying over Palutena in that purple mist, so loose some charge shots to knock it out of the sky. This ďfightĒ is, when you get right down to it, pathetically easy. You just need to keep some things in mind: -Never shoot it from afar with DCF that sprays outward, or even moderately large charge shots, as it is too easy to nail Palutena by accident. This also goes for killing the minions sheíll summon, though theyíll appear in the center of the room and are usually not an issue. -If most of your attacks meet this criteria, just be patient and wait until you can get the Chaos Kin far away from her, or right in its face. Strafe at a safe distance until you manage to knock it out of the air, or find it a long distance away (primarily following Palutenaís huge beam of light), at which point itís time to close in. When itís just flying around, another charge shot should down it again; though, if this will plop it right by Palutena, itís better to just pummel it with SCF. Keeping a fair bit of distance when itís unsafe to shoot is, of course, for the purpose of keeping an eye on Palutenaís diverse pool of moves, and sidestepping accordingly. Her homing orbs will inflict Weakening and it is especially important to avoid them. Everything else is easily rolled through, though keep in mind that her fast trio of shots (that launch from the balls over her head) will be used three times in succession. The orbs sheíll create that slowly move toward you while shooting can be canceled by your own shots. Lastly, whenever you see light radiating from her, immediately spin the camera out of view of her and listen for the burst that indicates her blinding light. Palutena takes little to no abuse on 9.0, but the Chaos Kin takes very little abuse, itself. So long as you aggress only when youíre positive itís safe to do so, this will be very quick and painless. OOOOOOOOOOOOOO [Ch21] The Chaos Vortex OOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Cost: 13890 Hearts Common Drops: Crystal Bow, Hedgehog Claws, Viridi Palm, Upperdash Arm (Max of 3) Another one of my favorite levels, and can feel like one of the toughest, if you donít go about it methodically. Some of the nastiest parts are actually really simple if you follow some strict guidelines and execute your foes clinically, in the prescribed order. My weapon of choice: Aurum Palm R: 5.5 M: 0 V: 295 Freezing +4 RS +1 SCF +4 DCF +4 Powers: Super Armor lv4, Playing Dead lv3, Instant Death Attack lv3 While Iíve beaten this level many times without any defense mods, I will admit that this is still a really good chapter for high OD weapons (if youíre prone to brain farts, shot defense just isnít going to cut it.) Beyond that, high mobility is the next most important attribute, and then, finally, your damage. Having said that, while strength should take a backseat to protection, if your weapon is too heavily skewed toward tanking hits, Instant Death Attack will be essential in preventing particular waves from being a headache. Playing Dead is for the third wave, which is just frigging evil, no matter how many times I play. It also serves a purpose during the sixth wave, if I've bothered to save some. Super Armor is mostly just there, though I have used it at points during various runs, if Iíve brainfarted and am feeling paranoid; otherwise, Iíll just use them during the boss battle, because, why not. Bumblebee takes up too much space for how quickly you can burn through it, so I suggest leaving it behind. ----------------- [Note21] Notices ----------------- -No matter which weapon youíre using, do not try to destroy the little explosives the Chaos Kin launches while youíre chasing it. Simply glide, and circle. More on this later. -Learn to love the jump pads. They are your best ally until your juvenile delinquent meat shield shows up, and should be kept nearby and used whenever you feel the slightest bit threatened. There are a few points where theyíre pretty much essential in preventing things from going quickly haywire. -Not only will Treasurefish vanish if they aren't slain before the final enemy of a wave (which probably goes without saying), the item they drop will also vanish if it isn't collected beforehand. I've learned this the hard way. -Remember that Shootflies will change direction mid-flight and target you if you continue to fire. Avoid using SCF against them, since it invites consecutive hits and will cost a ton of health. -Because the Dark Pit segment is drastically easier (well, usually) and the boss battle is so easy, donít hesitate to use almost all of your powers up before the ninth wave. If you need something for whatever reason, just use it. Of course, you also must make them count, so, know what youíre doing. -Youíll keep the land battle from going to hell so soon (and wasting food) by shooting the Corals first thing, but NOT the Shulms, as the two Boogities will spawn once both groups are dead. Shulms are extremely benign and you can safely kill the several waves of Tribytes and Monoeyes without being shot at from an unseen angle. -Even with no defense mods, Dark Pitís shots will inflict very little damage. However, theyíll still kill you at a sliver of life and are an unwelcome form of damage, so avoid shooting him by accident; he will usually retaliate. ------------------- [Air21] Air Battle ------------------- Aaaaaah! The eyes are your cue to position yourself on the far left of the screen, centered, and repeatedly tap the attack button. This will kill most if not all of the Komaytos that come from behind, to avoid using a special. Not that you have much of a reason to hold onto it, at this early point. Following the two rows of Splins in the dark void will be wind, along with two bouncy Rozzes and three Centurion Archers. Kill the Archers in the order of top-right-bottom, while holding your position in the top-left corner, which will avoid the powerful orbs. Keep circling amidst the huge Monoeyes, which you cannot kill; fire constantly at the number of Syrens that come into view, and feel free to use both special attacks to avoid damage (though I am almost never hit here.) The Chaos Kin clones donít do anything that warrants saving them, nor do the... ...Shadow Pits. When you approach the rings made of rubble, you should already be firing SCF and aiming toward your middle-right; that clone will be a Blade user, the most dangerous of the four types. Itís close enough to force a melee attack as you circle, hence the SCF. These guys are not a problem, otherwise, and will always appear at the same three points in an inverted triangle position. Iíve never found a real need for special attacks here, either. Now, the chase! Players make this so much harder for themselves by shooting at both the little explosives the Chaos Kin releases, as well as the benign enemies scattered about. This is foolish and impractical. By avoiding firing completely and staying in a glide, those explosives will miss or slightly graze you for a tick on your ďnarrowly avoided shotsĒ meter. None of the enemies will attack you, though touching a stationary Splin or the Brawny Claws will hurt; you can avoid them by readjusting your circling position if need be. However, there is a catch. You must inflict a bit of damage on the Chaos Kin, because it has a meter that must be depleted by the time you have a clear shot at it, or else it will escape. This is more health than you can hope to remove in that little time, which means you must shoot it during the chase. This doesnít mean you have to be vulnerable to the nasty explosives, though. The first three or four times it comes up close to launch waves or scatter little shots, fire your charge shot at it and peg it with some SCF, and then immediately return to gliding. You should be fine after three or four (use your best judgment based on your weapon strength or lack thereof) and can ignore the Chaos Kin for the rest of the chase. As for when to use your special attacks, I leave that up to you. You donít really need them, though you can use them both when the clones return, to try and score a 1000-point bonus; or, during the last leg, where there are far more enemies about. --------------------- [Land21] Land Battle --------------------- This is really just one long Rumpus Room, so I will break it down as such. Wave 1: Coral x4, Shulm x2, Boogity x2, Tribyte x8, Monoeye x10 If youíve got over half your HP, ignore the food for the time being and just move to the right a ways, and shoot every Coral in sight. Be very careful not to hit any Shulms. Corals are the biggest threat here, due to their ability to attack from any angle and their unpredictability. By leaving the Shulms alive, youíll prevent the Boogities from appearing, allowing you to go nuts on the several waves of Tribytes and Monoeyes that will sweep through. Youíll be able to kill most of them before any can fire, provided youíre able to focus on them, which controlling the enemy spawns has allowed you to do. Once you open the chest triggering the second wave, quickly get to the outer edge of the island. Wave 2: Rezda x3, Handora x3, Monolith, Orne Immediately begin strafing clockwise, as the nearest Handora will likely form a fist or send a shockwave your way. The others will spam their pellets, but since youíre constantly on the move, they are of no threat. Simply focus on whatever is nearest to you, which usually winds up being the Rezdas. The Monolith slowly spirals outward and will eventually sweep along the outer edge, so keep an eye on it if youíre taking too long. If you plan to use Playing Dead for the next, quickly run into the center. Wave 3: Tiny Cacaw x4, Tribyte x6, Treasurefish Oh god. If youíve got Playing Dead, by all means, USE IT. While being confused is very bad, it inflicts but the tiniest nick of damage. The Tribytes are the major source of damage, so focus on them, shooting Cacaws only when there are no other targets within range. Once it wears off, you may wish to use it again, or you may prefer to stay to the edge of the island and pick off the remaining Tribytes from there. If you do, donít keep the camera focused on any one point, so as to better spot shots that move in from the side. Pan left and right while strafing (be wary of little Cacaws poking out from behind rocks!) Remember that if you were holding the fire button down at the time you were confused, and stay still, you may aim properly. You may also flick the control pad to dodge, if you spot an incoming shot. Itís when you try to keep moving or lay off the trigger that your controls become wonky. Wave 4: Belunka (Armin x2), Belunka (Skreetle) If you brought Instant Death Attack, use it on the way to the two pieces of food that dropped near the center, and immediately fire a FDCS at the nearest Belunka, which should be the one that spews Skreetles. If you were quick to pull this off, youíll have killed it before it could barf one up. Regardless, do the same to the opposite Belunka (kill the Skreetle first if one appeared) and then scramble to the nearest rock. Do not let one chase you over to a rock, for they have some limited turning ability and can follow you behind it, scoring a nasty hit. Itís much safer to shoot one to get its attention, then to immediately move to a rock while it still has a fair bit of distance to make up. Use your jump pads in case you riled both of them up, as unless one is making a beeline for a rock, you shouldnít safely expect it to crash. Wave 5: Shootfly x3, Pluton x3, Treasurefish x2 Ignore Viridi and shoot the bats down first. Line yourself up so that shooting it will allow you to see the direction the others are moving when they take off. Donít shoot at point-blank range unless you know the shot will kill it instantly, because you must be able to roll through its counterattack. Donít spam, as the bats will instantly change direction as long as shots are being fired. Foxtrotting is effective in dodging multiple bats. With them gone, find and blast the two fish, and then pummel the Plutons at your leisure. Wave 6: Tribyte, Boom Stomper, Bumpity Bomb x3, Sio Here is where youíll really need those jump pads. Theyíll put enough distance between you and the bombs that theyíll blow up before reaching you; but, more importantly, theyíll get you the hell away from the black hole produced by the Sio, which spawns immediately once the Bumpity Bombs are gone. Try to kill the Tribyte on the way to the nearest jump pad, and make a beeline for the pad again once the Sio comes into play. Being caught by that hole will usually be your death sentence, as dodging the laser and shockwave together is extremely difficult. If you have a second Playing Dead and are caught by the black hole, go ahead and use it. Both the Sio and Boom Stomper drop food. You may also lure the black hole behind a rock, which will block the Sioís lasers, though you must still be able to dodge the shockwaves. Wave 7: Shildeen, Syren, Quoil x5, Monolith x2 The Monoliths are tied to the life of the Shildeen and will disappear once it is slain. As for you, this wave is handled no differently than the Rezda & Handora combo, though you must be aware of Quoils that may be coming toward you from the sides. Staying close to the outer edge while you strafe works best. Both the Shildeen and Syren will drop food. Wave 8: Zuree x2, Komayto x4, Orne, Treasurefish Should be a piece oí cake. Strafe the outer edge while waiting for the Zuree to attack you, so you can deal with the Komaytos without (much) interference. If your weapon canít kill a Komayto in one combo, use MDAs exclusively, as itís not worth risking being grabbed (more for the damage, not the Orne.) Always be mindful of that Orne, and constantly reposition yourself so that your MDAs will leave you nowhere near it once the attack is finished. Itís not very difficult to get both Komaytos in close proximity this way, either, which allows you to kill them simultaneously. Wave 9: Crawler x2, Urgle x2, Aurum Urgle x2 If you have over half your HP remaining, avoid the food for now and just focus on killing the Urgles, which Iíve noticed will always make a beeline for Pittoo. The Crawler likes to focus on him, as well, so long as heís closer to it, but you should always be ready for its shell attack. The second sets of Urgles are also more apt to go after you. I never bother with the Icy Aura. Be careful not to directly line yourself up with the Crawlerís face because, if both you and Pittoo are there, youíre just asking for its rocket attack. Now, getting behind the Crawler can be very annoying without the use of jump pads, so donít waste your time trying. Simply go for the nearest pad, which should jettison you closer to its rear. The pads are also a surefire way to dodge the shells, but youíre used to doing that the normal way, arenít you? Once the Crawler explodes, you get to repeat the process. Wave 10: Guttler x2, Skreetle x3, Pew Pew x3 Ignore Viridi again and target the snacks with extreme prejudice. The smaller enemies are much more dangerous than the Guttlers, who will almost always munch on Dark Pit at least once, so you really canít prevent them from bulking up. Target the enemies closest to you, though Skreetles have a ton of range and are no less dangerous from afar. Staying on the outer edge will also help somewhat. Quick-charging weapons are really helpful, here, as the enemies donít have that much HP. Both Guttlers will drop food. As a heads up, bright red (max size) Guttlers have HP similar to Clobblers and will live through a ridiculous amount of abuse. Remember this when one of them is quickly lumbering toward you, and have a jump pad you can use to escape. Iíve never been hit by its projectiles, but being eaten by a red Guttler will put you in Crisis Mode from full health, without fail. Nice work, Pittoo. Way to feed him for a day. Real valuable life lesson you taught him, there. Wave 11: Igniot x3, Monolith x3, Shrip & Gyrazer The Igniots are what drive this wave, and the Shrips and Gyrazers will spawn endlessly until youíve killed three of them. The second Igniot is orbited by a Monolith, and the third is protected by two of them. Because of this, you won't be able to exploit dash-arounds. The third Igniot will also drop food. I prefer to use Instant Death Attack again and make very short work of the Igniots. The other enemies arenít particularly accurate, but they get in the way, and that petrification beam lasts long enough to get tiresome very fast. Try not to get too close to the Igniots, as that tends to get you accidentally shot by Pittoo. Wave 12: Megonta x2, Trynamite x6, Shelbo Stay around the rocks and focus on killing all of the Trynamites, which will lower one at a time into the center, replacing those that just exploded. Once a Megonta has been slain, a Shelbo will spawn, but is no different than those youíve killed up to this point. Rocks, as usual, make excellent cover. Thankfully, the Megontas will do nothing but rhythmically slam down in that circular pattern. Imagine facing two of them that rolled independently, all the while launching seeds and exploding nuts. If you finished the previous wave with IDA still intact, you can kill a Megonta right off the bat and maybe even the Shelbo. Youíd better kill the Shelbo right afterward, as thereíll still be Trynamites showering you with shrapnel. Wave 13: Monolith & Skuttler Cannoneer x4 Giant Dohz & Snowman, Blader x2, Treasurefish or Rare Treasurefish A bit of an explanation is in order. Monoliths carrying Skuttler Cannoneers will whip around the island and pass through the middle two at a time, until youíve slain four. If you haven't earned more than one weapon yet, it seems far more likely that a Rare Treasurefish will join the second phase. As for the Giant Dohz, it will spawn Snowmen until youíve destroyed the funnel on the bottom. With its monstrous size does come quite a bit more HP, so be prepared to plug away at it for a minute or two. But first things first. Stay along the outer edge for the Monoliths, since you have much less chance of being plowed over. The Cannoneers seem to stick with arrows and are not terribly trigger-happy; try to accurately nail them with charge shots as soon as theyíre in range, by shooting in the path the Monolith will take. The second phase is where itís at. Youíll have a little bit before the Dohz busts out those nasty lasers, so do whatever you can to kill those Bladers ASAP, especially before one of them can take off. Their own lasers chip your HP away very quickly and are just a total pain to hit. Dark Pit likes to hang around by the Snowmen and will bait their breath. If you stay back far enough, you wonít be in danger of them, but that Dohz can nail you from anywhere. Hopefully youíve killed those Bladers by now, because that UFO demands your full attention. Be very diligent in spotting those spheres and stopping what youíre doing in time to sidestep them. As soon as you see the first one move, flick the pad, even if it ended up targeting Dark Pit. Repeat this movement twice more in rhythm with the other two lasers, and youíll assuredly avoid those as well. Donít trust the rocks to block them. You havenít gotten any food for a little while, and this is an awful time to be sloppy. Occasionally Iíll feel like using my last IDA and taking out the Bladers and Snowmen that way, but at this point Iím usually so caught up in whatís going on that it doesnít cross my mind. ------------------- [Boss21] CHAOS KIN ------------------- Because the Chaos Kin likes to repeatedly hop to the outer edge of the island, I tend to stay around there, myself, though I will advance toward it. While it does spam plenty of attacks, most of the challenge comes from just trying to nail it solidly, as it moves very often and erratically. After each period of fluttering, itíll land, quickly attack, and take off again. None of its attacks are to be feared, though itíll now release two little explosives that bounce outward, which will burn you and deal enough damage to require you to spot and avoid them diligently. Its melee attack (rushing to you and slashing once) also deals a little chunk of damage, but you can interrupt it and knock it to the ground with a charge shot. Because it moves so fast in general, it isnít easy to tell when the melee strike is coming, but then youíll be trying to nail it every chance you get. It will also use its slow but homing poison cloud very often, as well as fire three small fireballs in quick succession. Youíve seen too many enemy attacks like this by now, and avoiding them is no different. If you have the pleasure of being in the right place at the right time and it plops down right in front of you, go nuts in what little time you have. Your charge shot plus a barrage of DCF will do. If youíre close to an Electro Trap when it gets caught, itíll be held long enough for you to do the same. As I mentioned much earlier, Iíll use my four Super Armors here just because they allow me to get a little sloppy. If youíre packing a tanking weapon, any other form of protection is pretty unnecessary. This little guy isnít packing a lot of HP, so a handful of successful barrages should do it. Most gamers will probably appreciate an easy boss to what may have been an aggravatingly difficult level (though Iíd like to think I told you enough to prevent that.) Keeping the cursor lined up with Dark Pit is a little harder than it was to land on the platform in Chapter 17, but still is not a big deal. Once you move inward, begin slowly rotating the pad to try and keep the cursors touching as much as possible. OOOOOOOOOOOOOO [Ch22] Scorched Feathers OOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Cost: 9000 Hearts Common Drops: Hawkeye Bow, Fairy Orbitars, Viridi Claws, Sonic Cannon (Max of 3) The mother of all air battles. Of all Underworld enemies to have appeared during an aerial segment, only the Keron, Wave Angler, Coral, Shelbo, Magmoo, Commyloose and Shootfly are absent. Everyone else is present and accounted for; some of whom, youíll note with some dismay, in great abundance; namely, Splins and Syrens. The second half is incredibly difficult to run blindly, especially with low range and/or shot speed, but with a good weapon and some foreknowledge, the level isnít nearly as tough. My weapon of choice: Aurum Orbitars R: 5.5 M: 0 V: 300 RS +1 DCS +4 SCF +4 MDA +1 ED +1 HB +1 Powers: Brief Invincibility lv3, Bumblebee lv3, Playing Dead lv3 Aurum Orbs get my pick for the best aerial weapon in the game. Their shot speed, range and damage are insane. On land, they charge quickly and their charge shots hit like trains dragging a bunch of flaming petroleum cars. The only reason I havenít been using them religiously throughout this guide is merely due to personal preference. Now, then. SCF matters more than anything else. Most enemies pose no threat if youíre killing them as soon as they appear, which a weapon geared for aerial battles will do. Rate of fire is a little more important than power, followed by range. If you have those three things in abundance, you may get away with using a heavy weapon that hurts mobility somewhat (namely the Rail Cannon.) Shot defense and recovery effect are your most useful attributes, for reasons that need not be explained. As for powers, Brief Invincibility is great for setting off trap chests and looting the weapons inside, as I prefer to exit the level with more than one. Bumblebee is very handy for avoiding Amazon Pandoraís hearts when caught off- guard, though Effect Recovery is very important if you donít have it. If you are paralyzed by the first of Pandoraís hearts, BI will help greatly for the rest (if you arenít able to use ER right away) as your dodging will be poor. Playing Dead is for Pandoraís fireball phase. Youíll deal much more damage to her by shooting bombs back into her face, and she will spam that move if you remain invisible. Of course, this also keeps your health topped up for the real boss battle that follows. It isnít very effective against her true form. ----------------- [Note22] Notices ----------------- -Killing the Soul-Eating Monster during the first or second pass by its mouth will end the battle early enough for an extremely aggressive and bulky Mega Mussel to spawn. Even when using a special attack it still requires a lot of quick firepower to destroy it without taking damage. Youíve been warned. -As the music resumes during the second half of the level, two Syrens will fly in from the lower left and launch two very accurate whirlwinds. Even if you can kill them from afar, itís important to barrel roll Dark Pit sharply upward from the bottom of the screen once the shots near; the great jump in speed and height will be too much for the whirlwinds to turn toward, and they will assuredly miss. -Following those Syrens will be a Fort Oink, then a Vakloom, then a Snong; while these three come in groups that look enticing for your special attacks, you really should save at least one for the Splin & Ganewmede combo afterward. -The Fire Wyrm you encounter during the final stretch will eventually bolt through the left side of the screen and then return a moment later from the right. It inflicts murderous amounts of damage and moves suddenly, so you must be prepared for it well in advance. Keep both special attacks for this (more for the enemies before and after it.) ------------------- [Air22] Air Battle ------------------- The Belunka on your right will immediately be joined by a bunch of arrow- shooting Gyrazers, and spit up an Orne if not killed soon enough. Staying on the far left will spare you from the Zuree that follows, though you probably shouldnít be here if your weapon canít kill them before they slash. The Monomiknose is no big deal so long as you arenít afflicted with Shaking. You must keep circling to avoid all of the pellets from those Handoras riding atop the Monoliths, but you must also stay high, or else the platforms will ram into you as they pass. The longer your weaponís range, the better. If you scored a Power-Up Drop from the Treasurefish, donít even worry about being grabbed by the Komaytos that follow, but save your special attack, either way. The leftmost one will be ready to melee almost immediately and the other two will be vulnerable a second or two later. The upcoming Zuree will be in its vulnerable state well before it reaches you and slashes. Staying low and to the far left following that Zuree will keep you out of the Ornesí flight paths, though you will also be spotted by the Reapers, if youíre not killing them in time. I move to the right after slaying the first two and kill the third, then scoot over a little bit to stay clear of the next Orne. The next Zuree will also be vulnerable well before it poses a threat, though your bigger problem comes from the Miks that will swing their tongues as you pass over or under them. Your first special attack may be of use, here, though Iíve always been able to kill them all well beforehand. As Palutena remarks that Dark Pitís flight is unlimited, a Gyrazer will soon approach from the bottom-right, constantly firing its laser; this is your cue to stop circling, kill it, and then stay in that corner as the next two come in from the top-left corner. A fourth Gyrazer will enter from the top-right. Many trees abound (which you thankfully cannot crash into) and also the first of many, many Syrens. These will launch their whirlwinds the moment they stop gliding, so make the most of that little time. Theyíll be joined by many scampering Handoras, and another ideal occasion for a special will come up as the camera first turns behind you. If you have a slower weapon, circling may not squeeze you by both rocks hurled by Petribombers, though barrel rolling will do the trick. Theyíre thrown from far enough away that you can easily discern the line theyíll take. Youíll have a special attack ready by the time that Mega Mussel finally opens up, though weapons with large charge shots can just as easily abuse the Happy Trigger granted by the Treasurefish. Either way, youíll have a storm of shots coming your way as it is joined by all the Handoras, so donít let the Mussel stick around for more than a couple seconds. If you can kill every enemy in the following cubby-hole-like structure, youíll get a nice point bonus; either way, you must remove the Zurret quickly as its shots will not be dodgable amidst the flaming rocks, pellets, etc. Kill each enemy as it pops up, unless it is still around once the Zurret appears. As you fly through the structure you just eradicated of pests, have your fire focused top-center to detonate a Remoblam and its minions before you fly close enough to be caught in the blasts. Okay, now it gets pretty nasty. Because the normal Monoeye and Mik shots can be avoided through circling, your priority is those Splins; unfortunately, circling also increases the likelihood that Splins make contact. Better weapons can kill them before they have the chance to split, but there will occasionally be two at once, and attempting to kill one rushing at you will usually allow fresh Splins to live long enough to split as well. The occasional Mik will also lash its tongue at you, so donít ignore them completely, now. Use both special attacks, if you must. The faster you defeat the Soul-Eating Monster, the tougher the remainder of your flight becomes (up until the music resumes.) It takes a very fast rate of fire and extremely strong SCF to expose the ball of light in the monsterís mouth during the first pass along its body, but doing so will kill the monster in time for a few sets of Shrips and Syrens to attack you amidst a whole swarm of Monoeyes. The bigger problem comes in the form of a Mega Mussel with very sturdy orbs that will fire approximately once per second.. ..apiece. Avoiding every single one of them is much, much easier said than done, but avoiding the Mega Mussel entirely is not; simply wait until the THIRD pass along the Soul Eaterís body to finally shoot at the ball of light. If youíve skipped the Mega Mussel, the only other enemies you must deal with are your typical Monoeyes and Miks, and perhaps a stray Syren here or there (I always go for the Mussel.) From here on out you will enjoy many opportunities to quickly plummet your HP to zero, at least for the next couple minutes. Following the two Petribombers will be two Syrens that appear far off, approaching steadily from the bottom- left; they will launch two whirlwinds almost as quickly as they become vulnerable, and are very difficult to avoid without barrel rolling. Do not use your special attacks. Simply stay at the bottom of the screen and, once the whirlwinds come near, stop shooting and twirl straight up. By shooting to the top of the screen like that, neither shot can turn enough to reach. By now youíve got two special attacks. You should definitely save at least one for the Ganewmedes and Splins, but the Fort Oink that will pop in is the next best target. Itíll release Reapettes, but your bigger concern is the three Komaytos surrounding it, along with the Miks alongside it, which will shoot. To clear this without using a special, you should circle while killing the Reapettes and then the Miks, letting go of the trigger every few seconds to tap it and destroy one of the Komaytos (you will be able to spot the cursors flashing very briefly.) By doing this, you may find yourself inadvertently swatting the Mikís shots back at them. Of course, if you manage to be grabbed by accident, immediately use a special attack, as well as at least one F-bomb. Once the Fort Oink has flown away or exploded, a Vakloom will move in from the left, and some Daphne and Miks will soon join it. By flying close to the head, this one is able to sweep its beam anywhere you can go, but cannot circle very quickly. What you should do is focus your fire at the bottom-right corner to try and kill the two Miks that will pop in, and then the top-right to deal with the Daphne. Once the Vakloom has fired, avoid making small, quick circles; its head moves much faster when you are close to it, and itíll easily catch up. Barrel rolling also works if there are no flowers to crash into. The Snong is much easier to deal with than the previous two. Youíll have a second to blast away before four Gyrazers join the scene; the two that first appear on its left will spam arrows, so immediately kill them, and then the one that moved beneath it to fire a laser. The last Gyrazer to appear will be of the arrow variety, and by then, the Snongís arms should be showing up. Unlike land battles, they donít pound away at you aggressively, and the attack is easily avoided just by circling. You might even destroy it before the arms even appear. If youíre using a Staff or Cannon, I strongly recommend gliding once the first two Shrips have flown by; four Paramush will quickly drop in from above and spam enough shots to nail you if you arenít moving at top speed. Any Shrips that you failed to kill will loop around and come at you head-on, but there wonít be anything else to dodge at the moment. Here come those Splins, aaaaand... sadistically, Ganewmedes are sitting behind them and getting in the way of most of your shots. Once the initial swarm appears, I strongly recommend using a special. If you saved both of them, wait a second or two for the next batch of Splins, then use another. The Ganewmedes will fall easily to a couple pegs of SCF afterward. If you have no specials, well... youíre going to get hurt. The question is, how much? By shooting seldom, only when two Splins are rushing toward you, you can at least minimalise the number of retaliatory spiked balls sent your way. Exploding cannon shots can kill the enemies hiding behind the Monoliths, a nice little perk if youíre using one. Either way, so long as you circle clockwise and keep shooting at the left corners, you wonít be in any danger. Resume your glide following the second round of Shrips, as they precede the second round of Paramush. These Paramush will only fire once apiece, so go ahead and shoot once theyíve done so. This next section is actually pretty easy if you shoot preemptively and kill most enemies just as they enter the screen, often mitigating the need to fly in circles. As such, a simple breakdown is in order. -Two waves of Reapettes from above. Quickly divert your fire to the three Miks trailing the giant Monoeye, though, as they will soon fire. The Monoeyes that trail the giant Mik will not fire until they begin moving sideways. -Two Petribombers on the far right of the giant Komayto. After you kill them, the Komayto should be about ready to melee, and two more Petribomers will approach from the far right. -Three Daphne from the far left-center. -Reapettes at two oíclock. -Monoeyes bottom-center, though youíll inevitably waste some shots on the three Monoliths that guard them. Circle to be safe. -Reapettes at three oíclock. -The giant Mik and Monoeye do nothing but distract you from the Reapettes coming in at 12 oíclock. Here we are, the final stretch! It doesnít have to be the hardest, either, unless you waste your special attacks. Hope that you receive a Power-Up Drop from the Treasurefish, as itís a very big help. Your main threats come in the order of Syrens, then the Trailtails, then a lot more Paramush, then the dreaded Fire Wyrm, and yet more Syrens. Remember the barrel roll if multiple Syrens are firing at you, though these sets will be close enough to kill them ahead of time (provided you go after them first.) Once the Trailtails appear, your objective is to kill the one that zips across the very top of the screen, from right to left. If you can do that, you can get to the top of the screen and fly over the two crossing bands of webbing. You may also duck the horizontal band and quickly lift yourself over the other bands, but the timing is strict. Whichever you do, Paramush will then immediately drop in and fire at you from very close range. While raking the top of the screen works, another pair of Syrens will accompany them and should be your first targets. This is not a tall order if you killed the Trailtail earlier and have a clear shot at them before the shrooms appear. With the second set of Paramush comes the Fire Wyrm and yet more Syrens. What I prefer to do is use a special attack and move to the right corner and stay there, using a barrel roll to avoid the Syrensí whirlwinds if they were able to fire before I killed them, and moving back to the left right after the Fire Wyrm charges through it. I pelt the Fire Wyrm if thereís nothing else to shoot, and am able to finish it off before it charges forward again, this time through the right side. Naturally, yet another pair of Syrens shows up as it flies back onto the screen. Keep circling as you behold the Rewind Spring, while you wait for a set of arrow-spamming Gyrazers to appear, your final hurdle before the loading screen. Go ahead and fire once Viridi says ďas the name implies..Ē keeping the reticle on the upper-right corner, where the first one will appear; the next two will be on your left, and then the final two on your right again. If you have a special attack, you might as well use it. ------------------------ [Boss22] AMAZON PANDORA ------------------------ If youíre patient, Pandoraís fireball form is actually more difficult than her Amazonian form, if only because thereís much more to dodge at a time and she can rapidly deplete your stamina. However, with Playing Dead in effect, you can end this first phase in as little as ten seconds. With quickly-charging shots, itís even easier. All you must do is stand there and pelt her, aiming for her bombs every time she produces them; they will inflict much more damage than SCF alone and, with PD in effect, she will not move around and get out of the bombsí way in doing so. Without Playing Dead, you have a looooot of sidestepping to do. Hope that she uses her discs or little ramming attack more often than her fireballs, as they require fewer dodges to completely avoid and provide somewhat larger windows to shoot her. Have charge shots ready to hit multiple bombs back at her at once. You may take a lot of damage, but shouldnít sweat it. This fight is essentially the same as her Ch5 battle, albeit with much more aggression. The key to beating Amazon Pandora with as little frustration as possible is to stay along the outer edge of the spring, to be able to take in as much of it as possible. Her traps will not appear this far back, either, though she will swat her bombs directly at you. Apart from those bombs, which fly at you at high speeds, youíre primarily looking out for her giant hearts. These will paralyze you, guaranteed, and it is nigh impossible to avoid all of them if youíve been paralyzed by one. Fortunately, they only come one at a time and in an easily anticipated rhythm. By staying far back, you can easily notice her teleport to a bomb or to a random point on the spring, which indicates that some hearts are coming your way. In between hearts, if there are bombs present, you should always expect her to knock one your way. The hearts that fan out from her as she feigns defeat will inflict Weakening, so avoid them at all costs (sidestep the moment the music resumes; this is easier to do at a large distance.) Also avoid getting too close to her, as you will bait her blade attack; the blade itself will hit you for around half of your max HP, while the five shockwaves that follow (if you werenít quite as close) will hit you for full damage, which amounts to about 90% of your health bar. Instead, save your dash charge shots for her fourth heart or a bomb, which presents a nice window to nail her. If you are hit by a heart, use Brief Invincibility or Effect Recovery right away as damage control. While I do use BI to set off trap chests, itís still risky and can often prevent me from seeing where she is; save your own BIs for necessary protection unless youíre as greedy as I am. If youíve brought Bumblebee along and used it, avoid the chests altogether. Should you be so careless as to step on her traps that hold you in place, use an evasive power (Playing Dead will work, if youíve got a second one) and try to endure the punishment you deserve. Keeping your distance is all you need to avoid her blade entirely, easily the worst thing she can do, and you will also avoid triggering the summoning of mirrors to reflect your shots. Very rarely, sheíll launch six hearts instead of four, as well as a single, tiny heart, not unlike those during her feint, which will also afflict you with Weakening; apart from that, the remainder of the fight should be no different than before. Saving the cooldown-laden dash shots for the moment sheís finished attacking will ensure that you win this fight, even if her fireball form left you without much HP. I once managed to beat her without triggering her feint of defeat, but I have absolutely no idea what caused it. I was using a Pudgy Palm, and thought to myself that she was taking way too long to enter her second phase, when suddenly I heard the telltale "POW!" and the battle was over. I was still playing 9.0, so lower intensity had nothing to do with it. Perhaps I inflicted enough damage while she was in the middle of her bomb swat to avoid triggering it? Or maybe it was a bug? If this happened to anyone else, I'd like to know the circumstances. OOOOOOOOOOOOOO [Ch23] Lord of the Underworld OOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Cost: 13410 Hearts Common Drops: Somewhat Staff, Black Club, Aquarius Blade, Beam Claws (Max of 3) So many people hate the boss of this level, and I canít really understand why. I can only deduce that these people either come unprepared, or come prepared and waste their powers during the (admittedly difficult) Rumpus Room just prior to the the boss room. Barring the effing Komaytos, I find this level to be very enjoyable and only a tad on the difficult side. My weapon of choice: Aurum Palm R: 5.5 M: 0 V: 295 Freezing +4 RS +1 SCF +4 DCF +4 Powers: Brief Invincibility lv3, Bumblebee lv3, Playing Dead lv3 The decision behind your power set is simple: if youíre running a weapon with high defense, bring Aeries Armor, Health Recovery and Brief Invincibility (you can only fit lv2 BI with the lv4 versions of the aforementioned powers.) If youíre running high offense, just bring evasive powers, those being PD, Bumblebee, and your choice between BI, Idol Transformation, and Celestial Firework. The fireworks and Idol Trans are really useful for blocking explosions you have no hope of avoiding, as well as stalling out rampages with its many uses (not that you shouldnít use them very selectively.) Because Idol Trans takes up less space and provides the same number of uses as Firework lv2, you should take IT (unless you'll be using both.) The air battle is kind of pathetic for this point in the game, so anything that will do you well on land is sufficient, though you should preferably use something with at least decent speed and stamina. ----------------- [Note23] Notices ----------------- -The first Cellular Sinistew you come to will be in front of some platforms you must first lower to ascend. Do not try to board one and ride it up before that hand tries to grab you. -Once you reach two different platforms which will lift you once you stand on them, the left one will bring you to a Cellular Gyrazer which drops Meat when slain. However, this also spawns an Igniot and two Komaytos for you to face as you drop back down. Itís not really worth it. -Staying as far to the left as possible of the Cellular Shildeenís barrier will also keep you safe from the bevy of shots coming from its cohorts. -Unlike the chests, the food that appears during the Rumpus Room will not disappear in between waves. As soon as you eat one piece of food, the next item will immediately appear. This allows you to repeatedly restore health as you need it, so don't eat them unnecessarily. -If the Rumpus Room left you with pitiful amounts of HP, proceed extremely carefully down the hallway that opens. The first Handora is out in the open and must be shot immediately, but the small bends in the corridor make a decent cover from the others. Youíll still only have a small window to kill them before theyíll resume shooting. ------------------- [Air23] Air Battle ------------------- There is nothing that may pose a threat to you while circling apart from those Splins and, since youíve got a special attack, why not use it? Well, aside from not really needing it in the first place which, if youíre using the weapon that got you through the previous chapter, you probably shouldnít. While that Mega Mussel will shoot somewhat rapidly, it is nowhere near as fast as the one encountered during the previous level, and again doesnít really warrant a special. As you turn downward, center yourself and be ready to tap the L button as soon as that cursor flashes, which should kill all three Komaytos at once. Drop straight down right afterward and kill the topmost Gyrazer first, then the two on either side of you. Firing straight at the Fort Oinkís face will detonate the Shulms well before they reach you. As you enter the tunnel, youíll be pleased to note the lack of Trailtails, though there are still a number of Komaytos to contend with. Staying right will keep you away from the Ornes. The rotation of the camera makes it kind of tough to tell exactly where those blue.. things will be the moment you pass them, but they deal very little damage, so donít sweat it. Plus, the hardest is already over. This segment is more known for its dialogue than anything else, and for good reason; this is a complete joke. Once Hades retorts that his breath is really the least of Pitís concerns, begin shooting. Iím sure this guy has more than two moves, but this phase is ended so damn quickly that Iíve never seen them. You donít need any strategy, either. Circling alone will avoid most if not all of his fists and, should he teleport and cause the camera to pan left or right, a barrel roll to the opposite side of the screen (horizontally) will avoid his big slash. --------------------- [Land23] Land Battle --------------------- Rumpus Room! Wave 1: Handora x2 Wave 2: Bluster, Handora x2 For once, youíre made to work for your food, but itís easily earned, at least. Step forward just a little to trigger those telltale purple flames, and with them two Handoras; theyíll both drop Meat when slain. Itís been a long time since youíve fought a Bluster, but you can quickly blast away its cloudy coat, leaving it to do nothing but afflict you with Shaking status. The attack moves very fast, but youíll know itís coming by the Bluster drawing its head back. Those three Monoeyes in the distance will not only fire aggressively, but your charge shots can just as easily hit the pink fleshy wall behind them, and not the enemies. Take cover on either side of the door and run back and forth, firing a single dash shot into the doorway and waiting for any shots to come your way, which you should be ready to sidestep. Try to kill two of them before you enter the area to finish off the third. I deal with the four Komaytos by luring them individually into the little corridor behind me, and spamming MDAs to destroy them, though this is partly necessitated by my weaponís awful melee damage. Regardless, donít put yourself between the fleshy walls, or try to take on two at once (though itís not that difficult to do so, your next piece of food comes after something much more annoying than this.) As you approach the next fleshy wall, quickly shoot it and grab the Cyclone item, then lob it over the wall at that clump of Monoeyes. Stay in that little alcove, which should keep you safe 95% of the time; once in a blue moon, a single shot will make it over the wall and hit me. Use the cover of the intensity gate alcove to avoid Bluster and Monoeye shots while waiting for a moment to pop out and shoot. Your first target should be the tilting thing that spawns the Monoeyes (hopefully youíve got the range to hit it from atop the green sponge) and you shouldnít venture into the area to focus on the Bluster until it is gone. The organ producing the Monoeyes will drop Meat, but before you can grab it, you should carefully approach that bend and be ready to blast the three Handoras that will ambush you. Dash sideways after killing whatever you were able to, and donít turn your back until youíre sure youíve killed all three. Use one of the Bouncy Bombs on the Komayto cluster, and save the other. What you want to do is strafe while shooting, to avoid throwing the other bomb, which will allow you to kill the giant Igniot and then the Handora around the corner; stay back far enough to avoid the Sinistewís hand, then quickly get on the green sponge and ride it up. Rumpus Room! Wave 1: Snong, Komayto x2 Wave 2: Handora Toss the Bouncy Bomb at the Komaytos and be done with them, then deal with the Snong as normal, though itíll be pissed off and go for six stomps. If you have a weapon thatís powerful enough, though, you can avoid saving the Bouncy Bomb altogether and just unload everything youíve got on the Snong, killing it well before it even summons an arm. The lone Handora will spawn in the center of the floor. See that Handora in the distance? Itíll spot you as soon as you step off the piece of flesh that carried you up. The Skuttlers will also come running, though theyíre no threat. The Handora will drop another piece of Meat for you. Kill the Igniot from the raised platform with the Meat, and then that Monoeye buried in the flesh, which will spawn a nearby chest. As you approach the chest, some Gyrazers will appear in front of the passage in which the Igniot stood. Once you kill the Gyrazer in the passage next to it, another piece of flesh will lift you into an ambush of sorts, with two Handoras on your right. Choose the floor that was behind the Handoras to be lifted up to a Skuttler and two more Komaytos. Kill them quickly, and a Rare Treasurefish will drop down in front of the nearby tunnel. In addition to being patrolled by a Monolith, two Komaytos will also slowly be making their way down. If you want to be assuredly safe, wait until the Monolith has entered your area, then get in front of it and sprint, using a MDA to get past any Komayto in your way. Once your grind rail trip is over, immediately get as far left as you can and hold that direction while you pelt away at the Shildeenís barrier. The next rail will spit you out on a platform with a winding path behind it; the two Gyrazers that will appear shortly afterward will spawn a Sinistew when slain, and that Sinistew will spawn a Snong and two Monoeyes. You get no reward for your efforts, so Iíve always killed the Gyrazers and then fled. If you hopped back onto the rail and headed toward the Aquarius chamber, the enemies will be replaced by a mere two Handoras. And this little piggy had Skuttlers. Like the organ that spawned Monoeyes, youíll get a piece of Meat for destroying that one, as well. Stay in the back of the area youíll fall into, which Hadesí punches will not reach, and sidestep any shots that come your way if you couldnít kill both enemies before they fired. So Hades eats when heís upset, eh? Grab the food if you need it, then move to the rock nearest the Hamburger that will appear (well, technically, the burger will appear before the rock, but whatever.) RRRRRRRRRUMPUS ROOOOOOOOOM :D Wave 1: Skuttler, Skuttler Cannoneer, Boogity Wave 2: Tortolunk, Armin ~Slaying Tortolunk immediately spawns Erinus, Pluton ~Slaying Armin immediately spawns Bumbledrop, Specknose Wave 3: Porcuspine, Gloomerang, Zik & Zak Wave 4: Crawler, Skuttler Cannoneer x4 Hoo boy. Those second and fourth waves are a frigging doozy. Before I discuss them, I should warn you that standing in the places rubble will drop WILL get you hurt, and that the chests that spawn along with the enemies will disappear if they arenít opened before the next wave spawns. Avoid the Killer Eye during the second wave, because its shots are indescrimenate and will hurt you, too. As for the food, youíll get four pieces, one after the other, which will pass along with the waves; because of this, eat it only when you need it! Use your stored charge shot to nail the Cannoneer, and youíll have a clean shot if you stood where I told you. If you miss or otherwise fail to do so, just try to remove the plain Skuttler right away and keep that Boogity in your sights. That missile should be approaching you by now. Save the Ice Card until youíve got just the Boogity to deal with. I recommend killing the Tortolunk first because the Armin easily incapacitates itself (donít go too long without spinning the camera to check on it, though.) Let the Erinus shoot while you target the Pluton and stun the Armin again, if necessary, then go nuts on the ghoul. Its bum rush is the most powerful attack you can be hit with during this rumpus, so avoid it at all costs. Foxtrot if you havenít yet learned the timing between its windup and its charge. With the Armin by itself, things become much easier for a minute. All you must do is keep an eye on the Bumbledrop enough to notice when it flops over, and then stay out of its line. If youíve got a piece of rubble behind you, it will prevent the Specknoseís bombs from nailing you from behind, but then I prefer destroying them with my charge shots right after theyíre launched. Save the Dodge Token until the last enemy remains, which should be the Porcuspine. Youíll have enough time to kill the Zik and Zak before the Gloomerang is ready to toss its mask, though I suppose more tanky weapons will have to keep the camera toward the middle of the room to keep an eye on it. The Crawler will drop next to the largest rock, facing the wall, and will have its weak spot facing you if youíre standing on the other side. You can unload on it, but any weapon that canít kill it in those precious few seconds before it moves should instead focus on the Cannoneers, which will attack frequently. The Dodge Token will work only if you strafe, so stick with SCF or SCS unless you know your charge shot will kill them instantly. Be careful when doing this as the other Cannoneer or the Crawler can just as easily shoot you during your downtime! With all four gone (theyíll only appear two at a time) you can face the Crawler as normal, though you may not have your Dodge Token in effect by this point. Still, youíve encountered these bastards enough by now. The rocks will block those arrows, but the shell must still be sidestepped. Wait for the ďtingĒ or the quick flare that appears before dodging. Almost done... creep through the narrow passage very carefully, listening for the gaps in between fire and stepping out from the bends to fire a quick shot at both of the Handoras. The first one kinda requires you to hastily shoot it. Are we to assume that the Lurchthorns and Captain Galaxies that fight for Viridi werenít depicted on the screens displaying her meddling, or did she just think that Pit wasnít worth more than a handful of basic units? ---------------------- [Boss23] HADESí HEART ---------------------- So much fuss over such a simple ďboss.Ē The camera angle here is more an enemy than anything else. All you must do is stall out three or four rampages (the number depends on the amount of damage you inflicted before setting it off) and then barrage it with fire one more time. Itís easiest to do this by staying along the outer walls, especially in the corners, which limit the directions the heart can tackle you. Of course, this also allows the yellow clones to flush you out into the open, but you can both see this coming as well as rely on your (hopefully un-depleted) stock of handy powers to grant you imperviousness to damage. Donít bother running at all, unless itís to escape an explosion (not while the heart is chasing you) and you can round a corner in time. Instead, you should simply parallel the heart as it mindlessly walks the maze, firing charge shots and some DCF as it comes out into the open. The clones will only emerge from the heart itself and cannot take you by surprise, so you can halt your offense while you take a corner or two to get away from them. While they will try to line up with you to some degree, theyíll root themselves and explode before long and can be easily kept well out of reach just by maintaining a good distance. When you finally do piss the heart off, you should be in a corner. The heart will make a beeline for you and then repeatedly try to pass through you while making as few turns as possible, which is why cornering yourself is so effective (no need to guess which way to dodge, even if you canít see it.) Always dodge toward the heart. The only hiccup to this is when the heart creates a clone while it rampages, which typically leaves you between a rock and a hard place, but that is where Brief Invincibility, Celestial Firework, or Bumblebee comes in. If you keep moving along the outer wall as you dodge, youíll be able to more easily spot the clones if one is spawned, and book it for a corner or use a power in time. Playing Dead makes surviving the rampages so easy. Just piss off the heart, and hide. If your weapon isnít all that strong, you may need to set the heart off four times instead of three, and should hold out for the third rampage to use it. When I played this stage often using my OD +7 Middy Palm, I simply tanked the hits I failed to dodge and healed the damage with HR once I dropped below half. Aeries Armor has a pretty nice duration, though not long enough to use it and just dumbly follow the heart. As a final bit of advice, donít get close to the heart when it isnít enraged, as this is usually when it will leave a mine behind. The mines will inch toward you a bit before detonating, though they may also be rolled through. OOOOOOOOOOOOOO [Ch24] The Three Trials OOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Cost: 12500 Hearts Common Drops: Palutena Bow, Orb Staff, Pudgy Palm, Predator Cannon, End-All Arm (Max of 3) While it may not be as hated as much as Arlon or Pitís Body, the Great Sacred Treasure is widely considered the most difficult boss in the game, and the level itself doesnít hold back on the nastiness, either. Unfortunately, much of this level comes down to your own ability, whereas weapon guidelines and advice will only carry you so far. Having said that... My weapon of choice: Artillery Claws R: 6 M: 0 V: 303 DCS +4 SCF +4 DCF +4 Powers: Trade Off lv4, Brief Invincibility lv3, Playing Dead lv3 Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the mother of all Solo Mode land battle weapons... the infamous Arties. While a number of weapons are known for their absurdly high raw damage, none of them also pack the ridiculous speed and stamina of these babies. Seriously, if this level is routinely stomping you and your typical 9.0 weapon; if this is the last level you need to clear on 9.0; if this level has already driven you nuts, then itís time to get yourself a pair of Arty Claws. While I have managed to also clear it with my Boom Orbs, they still were not as effective as the claws. While you may prefer a little more bulk than I have, I must urge you not to settle for a pair of claws without at least a mod that buffs SCF or DCF. Artillery Claws are renowned for nothing but their damage- massive, long-ranged damage unscaled by distance- and so it is well worth your while to buff it. Many players swear by the Rose and Laser Staves, due to their excellent range and damage. While thatís true, their crippling lack of stamina makes Pseudo Palutena much harder than she needs to be (quite an easy boss with the Arts) that I must still hype the claws for players having trouble. As for powers, therein lies another huge divide between players. Myself, using the Artillery Claws, have beaten this level using two power sets: the aforementioned one, as well as Playing Dead, Super Armor, and Reflect Barrier. Neither set has failed me once in the dozen-plus runs Iíve made of this level, though the Trade Off set is easier. Most players will at least bring Playing Dead, while the remaining grid spots are taken up by any of Energy Charge, Reflect Barrier, Health Recovery, Tirelessness, Super Armor, Effect Recovery, and Trade Off. Tirelessness is used for the same purpose I use Brief Invincibility: that damn overclocked Dohz along the way to Space Kraken Redux. I greatly prefer BI not only because I am then able to destroy the Dohz for the chest it spawns, but because Tirelessness does not stop the Dohz from shooting me in the back unless I foxtrot the entire length of the staircase, which is bloody annoying. Players unanimously agree that, Dohz aside, all of your powers should be reserved for the Great Sacred Treasure. This means defeating Mimicuties without any help whatsoever, and tackling the many bosses with a minimum of sloppiness. Fortunately, failed runs of this chapter will still net you a lot of practice, especially against the Phoenix, the first boss youíll face and easily the most annoying of the rematches. ----------------- [Note24] Notices ----------------- -Save your special attacks for the Monoeye and Mik duo following the Monomiknose. They both have a ton of HP and are very mobile and aggressive. Weapons with Freezing mods and Claws have a much easier time. -If youíve avoided Mimicuties entirely until now, just remember that you should always dodge forward through them. Dodging backward to avoid their flurry of kicks is not foolproof. -Unlike the Phoenix and Cragalanche, the food given to you prior to the Space Kraken is not dropped in a set before the boss room opens, but by individual enemies; this also means you can needlessly take hits and waste much of it before entering the room. Avoid recklessly spamming dash shots. -Also avoid recklessly spamming dash shots against Pseudo Palutena, who is adept at rapidly chipping your HP to zero and demands you be able to sidestep at a momentís notice. -You will begin the GST fight well away from the left side of the area, which is the only place safe from its instant death attack. Slow weapons like Staves will want to gradually make their way over there while piling on damage. ------------------- [Air24] Air Battle ------------------- Iíve taken to using my special attack right off the bat against the enemies playing Space Invaders, as the clouds and missiles are an irksome combination. Avoid the right side of the screen when shooting the Pong imitators, as that Pip has quite a bit of health and can easily hit you. Slower weapons will be better off gliding when facing the number of fast-moving Bladers and Syrens, which take a lot of abuse and fire frequently. Shoot the Quoils in the order they appear, which is also the order in which theyíll dart at you. While it looks like the huge swarm of Aurum Monoeyes is creating more by cloning more off of the pre-existing ones, more will just appear out of nowhere if you are somehow able to kill every Monoeye immediately present. Somebody really likes putting Clobblers in air battles, because this is the second time weíve faced them without ground to walk on. Like Chapter 21, these take very little abuse to defeat. The Captain Galaxies that follow will summon Shootflies instead of comets, in a triangular formation. Those Nutskis will turn into a Roz if you are unable to kill them before the Monoliths shut in front of them; this requires a very fast shot and precise aim, so you should always move to a corner thatís safe, regardless. The first Roz hits the lower-left; the second, right-middle; the third, upper-middle; and the fourth, lower-left again. After youíve dealt with the ring of Aurum Monoeyes, keep your reticle on the upper-right and you should inevitably hit the two Minos which orbit the two giant Nutskis thatíll appear. Be firing as you enter the doorway to get a little jump on the swarm of Reapettes. Unlike the first Juggernaut you encountered, this one will already be lobbing rocks at you, so itís important to maintain your circling. Once the Juggernaut is gone, though, avoid the far edges of the room until the two Ornes have begun moving forward, or else you can be smacked by an offscreen Roz. Stay beneath the Orne on the left, and both Rozzes behind them will miss. The best way to handle the meaty Monoeye and Mik is to use a special attack, then repeatedly tap the L button to melee them as they fly past, which quickly charges the special meter. Claws will have a full special after just one full combo, that being five hits. If youíve got powerful SCF, you can also simply use both specials and freely blast away under its protection. Even better, Freezing +4 will take effect nigh instantly and effectively neuter them until the segment is finished. Stay centered as you melee the lead in the Komayto quintuplets, then either use another special attack or glide against the Taklax, which will fire more rapidly than those found in the Aurum chapters. The Shulms bouncing back and forth are more threatening than the Shrips spinning in the walls, but if you fire straight ahead of you, the passage should be cleared (of Shulms) in time. Stay in either bottom corner for the First Blades, then bottom-center for the Tiger Claws, and then top-left or bottom-right for the Palutena Bow. --------------------- [Land24] Land Battle --------------------- Just avoid the path to the Zodiac chamber, as your return trip will pit you against two Space Pirate Commandos and a Porcuspine, an annoying combination. The tight Cellular/Monoeye/Aurum formation that greets you at the base of the stairs will not shoot, and by leaving them alone, the second set will not even appear; for that matter, a second Monoeye will appear only to replace the specific one you had just slain. These will fan out and shoot somewhat frequently, but are easily sent to their doom by shooting once they're hovering beyond the staircase. Further on, youíll be halted by an Urgle, Centurion Archer, and Monoeye, but should be able to kill or dodge the Urgle by the time there are shots to sidestep. That Claxis ahead will be dormant until you get close, so take advantage of that and have a charge shot ready. The top platform will pit you against three Flages and a Captain Galaxy. Spamming DCF works quite well, though the comets will still be able to hit you on the stairs. Approach the middle of the room every so often to keep the Flages around there, as theyíll also make their way toward the stairs. ***Phoenix Redux*** That Boom Spear will do quite a bit of damage to the birdie, though you should wait for him to do his fried chicken attack before gunning for it, which allows you to concentrate on avoiding his flaming rocks. Apart from vastly reduced HP, this fight is no different than previously; if youíre only just now learning to fight him without powers, consult my Chapter 10 walkthrough. Donít forget to kill Plixos at ground level for their treasure chests. Youíll score another chest if you can kill that harmless Megonta before it rolls off the edge, though of course you should kill the Miks, first, as they will still attack. Killing both Bumpity Bombs yourself will create a piece of food further up. As you reach the flat level beyond that Orne, two Nutskis will pop in, but youíll have a second to kill each one before it begins firing; DCF that sprays outward is effective, as you need not have good aim. Ah, the notorious Mimicutie triplets. Remember: Always dodge FORWARD. Save the dash shots until youíre behind them during their flurry, and stick with SCF or SCS until their next attack. This ensures you arenít caught off-guard. Stand by the door once the third Mimicutie is toast, which allows you to score a back attack on the Reaper (kill the three Reapettes first.) Thereís more than enough room to avoid it; the Medusa Head will not be all that helpful, anyway, due to its sluggishness and petrification halving your damage. I wouldnít bother with it. ***Cragalanche Redux*** An even easier boss, with patience. By avoiding sloppy mistakes, youíll be able to save the food at the base of the stairs until after youíve destroyed the Dohz, which is much more difficult to defeat completely unscathed. If your weapon is quite powerful, which it should be, you should be able to unload on the Dohz at close range and destroy it within 2-3 uses of Brief Invincibility, if not one, or one use of Reflect Barrier; Staff users can simply retreat to the main platform, which frequently causes the Dohzís lasers to harmlessly plow into the pillars or base of the steps. Itíll eventually begin spawning Nukleens, but more often than not youíll destroy the underside well before that happens. Without destroying it, youíre basically forced to use Tirelessness; it fires way too often to rely on your own stamina, especially when foxtrotting, which is the only way to avoid being shot in the back. Youíll earn a chest for doing so, anyway, so go for it! The Aurum Shemum Vase up there will randomly produce five enemies, one at a time, from an assortment of Urgles, Porcuspines, and yellow Space Pirates. The vase itself has a ton of HP and takes forever to destroy with poor melee weapons. Up ahead, that single Trynamite poses no threat, but the worst is yet to come. See that Back Shield? Make a beeline for it. Rumpus Room! Wave 1: Juggernaut, Fort Oink (Trynamite x2) Wave 2: Space Pirate, Nutski, Claxis Wave 3: Monoeye, Souflee The key to preventing the first wave from getting extremely ugly is to face away from the Fort Oink and unload everything youíve got on the Juggernaut, rolling behind it if you must. Youíll have several seconds before those first two Trynamites explode and, with a weapon like Artillery Claws, can even turn around in time to safely kill them yourself. Remember that the shield will protect the front of you during a backward dash! From there, the Fort Oink is no problem and you can concentrate on eliminating the Trynamites until it produces no more. Once the Fort Oink explodes, move toward the outer edge of the platform to have a good view. This should allow you to instantly spot the Claxis, which you should kill ASAP, as it is very dangerous alongside the Space Pirate (both of which, ideally, demand your full attention.) The Nutski can be merely swatted out of the air. While the Space Pirate inflicts more raw damage than the Claxis, it attacks less frequently and is easier to dodge, requiring a single roll; the Claxis tends to launch a missile and then spam rounds of 5-6 energy balls. Once youíve shot at the Claxis, strafe with SCF while keeping an eye on the Space Pirate (probably on your left), which will allow you to dodge as needed. Once you've avoided its uppercut, go nuts with DCF and eliminate them both. The Monoeye just requires patience. It has a ton of HP, but can be knocked out of the air repeatedly. As long as you arenít spammy with the dash shots, you shouldnít take any damage. Remember that a scampering chest also spawned along with the Monoeye, but you donít have to open it before killing it. The Souflee on the other hand will leave once the Monoeye is slain. The Space Pirate, Claxis, and Monoeye will drop food, and... thatís it. Because of this, you can be excessively sloppy during the fight and waste most of the HP you restored, which can make surviving the Space Kraken bout unnecessarily difficult. ***Space Kraken Redux*** Remember to keep moving, and keep a lookout for tentacles folding at the tip, which indicates one will slam down very soon. The grenade sitting on the side can destroy two tentacles at once if aimed properly. Every time the head attacks, anticipate those horrible eye darts afterward and sidestep them, or youíre dead on the water. This means no dash shots until just after the darts. ***Magnus & Gaol*** The key to making this fight as easy as possible is to keep Magnus in a downed state, which is done rather easily by charge shots with high speed and knockback (such as, whaddya know, Arty Claws.) In doing so, youíll also be free to keep an eye on Gaol, who will send plenty of projectiles your way as well as charge, but otherwise provides only a fraction of the difficulty in this fight. You can focus on Gaol, who does not dodge, but this of course allows Magnus to actually pose a significant threat and is not recommended. Without knockback, this is a pretty difficult fight. Magnus is highly aggressive and fast, dodges quite well, and deals a ton of damage with his combos. While weapons with freezing and other useful status mods will inevitably afflict him with them, it takes quite a bit of abuse to do this and shouldnít be relied upon. What Iíll do is nail him with a DCS in any direction, sending him flying, and then launch DCF or SCF at Gaol (range providing.) Once he rises to his feet, heíll be adept at sidestepping most of the shots, so Iíll charge another and let him have it. With slower weapons, itís important to stick exclusively to charge shots, as youíll want to have another one prepared once he resumes trying to close in on you. The better your speed, the easier things get, as youíll be able to avoid Magnus without much hassle (arenít Arty Claws perfect for this level?) Itís especially important to keep your distance when he twirls his blade overhead, as it'll draw you in for an absolutely brutal overhead swing. The first opponent you defeat will drop a Drink of the Gods, and the second will fall shortly afterward (they appear to share an overall health meter.) ***Pseudo Palutena*** The first phase of this fight should be treated much like the Ch20 bout, only without the Chaos Kin getting involved. Once she shows her ugly face, though, things get much more hectic. Sheís got a couple more attacks, and has beefed up some of her earlier moves substantially. A quick rundown: -Sheíll produce two orbs that fire intermittently at you, instead of one. -Instead of blinding you, sheíll fill the screen with a thick red haze. -Just about everything she does is now drastically sped up, especially her vertical laser beams and fireballs that inflict Weakening status. -Red darts: Sheíll spray a ton of pointy little things outward a decent width from her, which deal quite a bit of chip damage but are highly inaccurate and avoided via foxtrotting. Taking no damage whatsoever is not easy; though, the farther away you are, the wider the gaps between some shots, which makes it possible to safely stand between them. Still, I donít recommend trying this. -Guided laser: Used only when youíre moderately close to her, sheíll fire a laser beam at the floor in front of her, which quickly traces a line straight ahead; once the beam is level with you, it'll turn once toward your present position. Because of its movement, this attack is extremely easy to avoid, and it'll often cancel itself immediately due to your already being out of its range. Once you spot the beam, moving backward or sideways a little will do. -Staff: If you come within a few character lengths of her, this incredibly powerful whack to your noggin will teach you the error of your ways. Sheíll run up to you to use this, but you must also be very close to her to begin with. Your stamina will be given a real workout, because she attacks almost incessantly and will force you to sidestep a great deal. Having said that, you can manipulate her moves somewhat by keeping quite a bit of distance, which will cause her to use her vertical laser beams more than anything else (usually the giant one that engulfs her and brings her closer.) With Artillery Claws, strafing while constantly firing works really well, while using DCF to destroy her shooting orbs. DCF from Arts can often be used in lieu of conventional sidestepping, for everything except her trio of vertical laser beams, and fireballs, but itís easy to be greedy and careless. There is no need whatsoever to run, and SCF will finish her before long. Charge shots are generally unnecessary, though her laser and fireball attacks will give you time to charge one, as you wonít be shooting. With a Staff, try keeping at least a third of the roomís length between you and using SCS if your SCF is not buffed. Your frequent sidestepping will not change, though youíll be far easier to hit and should not try to run unless she is getting too close for you to adequately see her shots coming. ------------------------------- [Boss24] GREAT SACRED TREASURE ------------------------------- Palutena is quite right in telling you that running from the GSTís shots is often more effective than trying to dodge the conventional way. Of course, if youíre using a Staff, this just isnít practical. What IS practical is a healthy diet of Reflect Barrier, followed by a charge shot and some DCF. Aside from Playing Dead, Reflect Barrier is arguably the best protection you can have in this fight. Of course, the GST loves to rush at you full throttle in between shots, so donít ever get comfy standing behind your mirror. If you brought Trade Off, you should simply begin the fight by using both PDs and damaging the GST as much as possible until the floor begins to glow; at this point, once it returns to the floor, immediately use Trade Off and finish the job lickety-split. Even if you took a ton of damage beforehand, a strong weapon should be able to clean up. Without Trade Off, itís safer to keep the Playing Deads until after the floor is ravaged, and use Super Armor and Reflect Barrier until then. While hiding, use Energy Charge or Health Recovery if you brought them. When the GST is close by, itís incredibly difficult to tell what kind of shot itíll use until the thing is pretty much going to hit you. With any luck itíll spend much of its time off the side of the level, which allows you to see the attacks coming much more easily. The GST adheres to a pretty simple pattern of charging, shooting three to five times (usually three) and then charging again. If you canít resort to running often and the GST is close, begin foxtrotting whenever it lifts its gun arms. Speaking of arms, Iíve noticed that its flame shots only come from its right arm (on your left, looking straight at it) and, because they only cover a narrow width, are relatively easy to dodge; with a high walking speed, you may even strafe the entire time and avoid running or sidestepping entirely. The other shots, those being everything from the right arm, all scatter or cover a much larger width, which makes rolling forward through them more effective. Unlike the Phoenixís whirlwinds, those of the GST will converge on your location and wonít turn around to hit you, so rolling through them is quite safe. The GST gains a few more attacks following its instant death move, though it will still happily spam its initial assortment of shots. Nonetheless, you now must be on the lookout for: -Vortex: Fairly similar to that used by Gaol in Chapter 2. Itíll draw you in toward its damaging center, thankfully with much less suction than that of the Aurum Sio; however, the GST will immediately teleport to another point in the room and continue attacking, forcing you to spin the camera to locate it. -Giant laser: Geez, who doesnít have one of these?! Very similar to the Krakenís geyser which began from the floor and tilted upward, the GST will fire an enormous laser along the length of the room before sharply tilting it into the sky. Itís neither difficult to spot, nor avoid. -Charged fireball: Launched only from the right-hand cannon, just like the smaller burning shots. The GST will charge for a little over a second before launching an exploding fireball at your immediate location. Itís dodged just like you would a Crawlerís shell, but isnít telegraphed quite as clearly. Now is the time to bust out those Playing Deads if you havenít already. Aside from the vortex potentially screwing you by leaving you especially vulnerable to a harder-hitting move, the GSTís additional attacks are actually a pretty welcome sight, as they provide more windows to nail it with charged shots or DCF. Your Reflect Barriers are more useful toward the beginning, when the GST primarily uses projectiles which bounce back. The damage from burns is pretty exaggerated, so I never really found myself wishing I had Effect Recovery, though the bossí overall damage output is not, which makes Super Armor extremely handy for softening the impact of dreadful brain farts. Luckily, lv4ís four uses will stretch quite a long time. You came fully stocked for this, didnít you? This is the last real challenge the game has to offer. You can do it with enough practice and persistence! OOOOOOOOOOOOOO [Ch25] The Warís End OOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Cost: 8970 Hearts Common Drops: N/A When you consider all the time spent making halfway-decent weapons and trying to clear every chapter on 9.0, this sure feels like a long game, doesnít it? Anyway, most players donít consider this chapter to be particularly difficult, but Hades does put up a much, much bigger fight than Medusa. My weapon of choice: Midnight Palm R: 6 M: 0 V: 322 OD +7 FDCS +1 SDCF +1 IPA +1 HB +1 Handy weapon attributes, in order of usefulness: -High overall/shot defense -Six ranged stars -Recovery Effect buffs -SCF and SCS buffs Your defense, of course, is what truly matters, though a pitifully weak weapon will still make things a lot harder than they need to be; damage buffs really bring out the most of the GST. ----------------- [Note25] Notices ----------------- -Avoid Hadesí giant tornado by hugging the far left of the screen and staying at least mid-height. ------------------- [Air25] Air Battle ------------------- This is a very brief segment in which your most basic assortment of common air battle enemies will pop in to say hi; Monoeyes, Wave Anglers, some Belunkas and so on. While they will shoot, Iím fairly sure they were included just to give you the pleasure of annihilating a few waves of enemies with your GST, which is overkill. Your SCF and SCS cover a huge radius, have long reach, and pretty much kill everything instantly. --------------- [Boss25] HADES --------------- Until he creates that enormous tornado, circling as usual will be your best form of evasion. Heíll use- gee, whaddya know- a giant laser beam (get used to seeing those throughout this fight) that will trail you for a second, as well as pound both fists together akin to aerial Snongs. The cluster of orbs he spawns will scatter darts that peck you for pretty insignificant damage, though you can blast them away, which will turn them into fireballs. Now for that tornado. Just hug the far left of the screen and stay high, which keeps you completely safe. Donít bother shooting while doing this. Make wide circles as Hades charges at you, firing charge shots at his face as you do so, and you should avoid the majority of his shots. ***Pursuit Mode*** Hades will become airborne himself, and itís time to go back to the constant SCF. Destroy those little things in order from right to left, which seems to be the order in which theyíll shoot, and every green barrier as it pops up. Circling is still quite effective. Once he flips again, go back to charge shots and gliding, which are better for avoiding the larger homing shots. Once the faces appear, itís safe to simply spam SCF to destroy them. While the giant, glossy orb is the only thing you must destroy to end this phase, I find myself taking far less damage by removing all of the turrets first. Be sure to destroy any slow, bright red shots you see, regardless. ***Mech Armor Mode*** Your charge shots now fire a single, straight beam. Your SCF is preferable in destroying his little armaments, particularly the flower-like objects, which fire laser beams that linger for a while and get in the way. Focus on removing them, first. Once the first round of turrets is gone, focus on his palm while maintaining your circles, and do the same to his opposite hand. While the palms draw you into their vortexes, itís harder to avoid damage by trying to stay far away from them, so instead allow yourself to pass by and simply make circles on its side of the screen. Now weíll be susceptible to a ton of damage, as thereís going to be shots all over the freaking place. I prefer to destroy the three flowery turrets on his chest and then focus on the glowing blue piece in the center, while making small circles (as needed to avoid the flowerís beams); while I do get hit, and plenty, this is no different than gliding, and it takes less time to finish this phase by focusing on the blue portion than it does to eliminate the turrets. Theyíll gradually respawn, though by that point I ignore the flowers and focus on the blue. ***Ultralight Mode*** Now your charge shots come in the form of vertical waves, much like shots from a Hewdraw Club. Youíll also want to stick with them for damaging Hades, as SCF can often accidentally hit purple orbs. This is also where the fight gets pretty difficult. This is more easily explained with a list of concise pointers: -You MUST destroy blue orbs quickly, as they will automatically explode when close enough. -Donít try to destroy the red barriers unless you have a good shot at them immediately, as itís easier to just avoid the fireballs. -Eventually purple orbs will be behind the blue ones. After using your charge shot, tap the L button to remove any you missed with a single shot. -Fire your charge shot at Hadesí stomach at every single opportunity you get! ***Final Strike Mode*** Yep, itís one of those cursor-positioning games again. You know what to do. Rather than frantically dragging the cursor onto Hades, repeatedly taking the stylus off of the touch screen, Iíve found it more effective to make tight, rapid circles over his head. Occasionally the reticle will be pushed far away, but Iíll just drag it back over and resume the process. So long as the reticle is yellow, youíre doing it right. Now, we just survive. Carefully buzz your way around the screen, avoiding the lasers around the points they are closer to the screen, as these are the only points that will actually damage you. You donít need to move incessantly, but donít stay still for more than a couple seconds, as youíll need to diligently look for openings you can squeeze through to keep as much distance between yourself and the middle laser. Fire as soon as Viridi yells at you to do so. Congratulations. Youíve beaten the game and, if youíve played the levels in order, have finished everything on the highest difficulty setting! Be sure to tell your parents, friends, pets, boss & reflection the first chance you get! OOOOOOOOOOOOOO [Treasure Hunt Achievements] OOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Anyone who took the time to complete the entire game on its highest difficulty setting will undoubtedly also be interested in satisfying the requirements for the many Hadesí Treasure Hunt panels that force you to play on 9.0. While many of these are actually somewhat easily done just by playing the game as you normally would, the weapon-specific panels can actually be very difficult, especially if you dislike the type or have become unfamiliar with the level layout. Donít stress yourself over creating high-end weapons for them, but stick with the most basic attributes that make a weapon decent, those being some semblance of defense and six ranged stars. I donít have an awful lot to say for several of these, though I can give you quite a bit of advice for the more notoriously difficult/disliked ones. The weapons I used were not exactly top of the line, either, which is generally the reason I donít have a few of them anymore, and canít provide their exact stat spread. ------------------------- [T1] Play a level on 9.0 ------------------------- Oh god. Why does the first step have to be SO SCARY ------------------------------- [T2] Chapter 3 (with Blade) ------------------------------- I remember using an Optical Blade for this, though itís long since been ground or fused. I do recall that the level was not any more difficult, and no real change of tactics are necessary. Aurum, Crusader and Gaol Blades are pretty well-equipped to handle Solo mode, so I suggest trying one of them. ---------------------------------- [T3] Chapter 4 (kill 200 enemies) ---------------------------------- Iíve never failed to do this in any run Iíve made of this level, and typically exceed the requirement by a large amount. Having said that, these sorts of challenges usually require you to slaughter a very large number of enemies during the air battles. Weapons with a good rate of fire or homing work very well for this. Reapettes, Shemums, and the Skuttler Mage and Cannoneer produced by the Belunka will all respawn on a regular basis and add to your kill count, but if you just make it a point to kill every single enemy you can face (and make sure to enter the side areas, including the intensity gate) youíll earn this quite easily. -------------------------- [T4] Chapter 6 (with Bow) -------------------------- Try a Darkness Bow. It works incredibly well in single player, as it fires very rapidly during air battles and its charge shots are extremely strong. Dark Pit doesnít fare too well against them even at close range, though his boss battle is still pretty difficult if you arenít used to his timing. I have a pretty good recollection of the bow I used. It was something like: Darkness Bow R: 6 M: 2 Burning +2 Speed +4 DCS +4 A random drop from Chapter 20 that was immediately put to good use. While that bow has very high damage output, the Darkness Bow in itself is so strong that you can easily settle for six stars. If Bows are not your cup of tea, I must recommend using Trade Off as soon as the boss battle commences. He will fall in a matter of seconds despite your awkward handling. ----------------------------- [T5] Chapter 7 (450,000 pts) ----------------------------- I suppose if you ignored most enemies during the air battle, it might be a little tough to do this? Iíve never failed to break 450,000 points in any run of this chapter, and as such Iím not certain of what I could be doing that someone might not, which would kill their chances at breaking that milestone. ----------------------------------- [T6] Chapter 10 (kill 220 enemies) ----------------------------------- You need not do a very clean run of the air battle to pull this off, though you must still kill a lot of the enemies. Always take the tunnel route instead of the extremely hot and painful upper route, as there are far more enemies to defeat. The majority of enemies in this chapter spawn yet more enemies when slain, which means you must diligently seek and destroy every one of them. Sinistews are a pain to fight with many weapons, yes, but they too will trigger more enemies, and so you must take the time to fight them. Kill Remoblamlings before their leader (though the enemy placement makes this likely, anyway) as their auto-self destruction does not count toward your milestone. Try not to let Petribombers kill themselves, either, or enemies to leave while riding your Exo Tank. Lastly, make sure not to venture beyond the Clubberskull when taking the ramps to kill the Wave Anglers up there, because doing so prevents the Monoeye and Magmoos from spawning on each side of the ramps. Once you reach the final ramp with the chest, drop off the side well away from the Clubberskull, and pick off the sizeable batch of enemies. How tidy must your air battle be? Here is a list of all the possible enemies you may defeat on land (excluding the Wave Anglers on the ramps, which you should skip in favor of the large number below); count those you know you will destroy, and then youíll have the remainder that must be killed while flying. Magmoo -> Magmoo (2) Petribomber -> Petribomber (4) Girin (5) Wave Angler, Porcuspine x2, Tortolunk, Petribomber x2 (11) Shelbo (12) Skuttler x3 (15) Wave Angler (16) Leox x3 (19) Gyrazer (20) Syren (Backtrack around the left side of the area after spawning the Gyrazer) Leox (22) Wave Angler x3 (Take the Exo Tank ramps) Magmoo (Between the first two Exo Tank ramps) Monoeye, Magmoo x3 (On left side of Exo Tank ramps) Monoeye, Magmoo x3 (On right side of Exo Tank ramps) Clubberskull (35) Monoeye, Leox x2 (38) Mik x3 (41) Wave Angler (42) Gyrazer x2 (44) Remoblamling x2, Remoblam (47) Remoblamling x2, Remoblam (50) Mimicutie (51) Guttler, Petribomber, Shulm x2 (55) Syren x2 (By Zodiac chamber) Skuttler (In hot spring) Shelbo -> Gloomerang, Magmoo (61) Mik, Petribomber (63) Sinistew -> Tortolunk, Magmoo (66) Shulm (67) Leox -> Petribomber (69) Wave Angler (70) Shelbo, Girin (72) Porcuspine, Magmoo (74) Suit of Skuttler (75) Wave Angler, Skuttler (Drop off ledge with Meat) Sinistew -> Porcuspine (79) Gloomerang, Monoeye, Petribomber (Open the chest) Syren (83) Shulm x3 (86) Monoeye x4 -> Syren (91) Porcuspine (92) Skuttler Mage, Skuttler x2, Shulm x2 (97) Tempura Wizard, Suit of Skuttler (99) Girin, Sinistew, Mimicutie, Souflee (103) Porcuspine, Wave Angler x2 (106) Skuttler, Petribomber (108) Phoenix (109) With a halfway decent weapon you should be able to kill 130-140 enemies during the aerial segment, if not more, easily. Itís just a matter of diligently hunting everything on land. --------------------------- [T7] Chapter 11 (with Arm) --------------------------- Because Arms typically have poor range, this one can seem very difficult. I recommend trying a Compact, Electroshock or Taurus Arm; the Compact Arm will serve you the best, overall, though Cragalanche can take a little while. My setup: Compact Arm R: 6 M: 0 V: 299 Burning +1 SCF +4 DCF +2 FHB +6 HB +2 Powers: Energy Charge lv4, Brief Invincibility lv3, Bumblebee lv3, Effect Recovery lv1 You may prefer Playing Dead over Energy Charge, mainly for the Rumpus Room just before Cragalanche, and Effect Recovery really isnít needed; itís there because this is my most oft-used all-purpose power set. You do not NEED Shot Range mods to do this without a ton of hassle, but it will make the long trail loaded with Nutskis toward the beginning very annoying. Because Arms grant some very nice movement speed, I recommend sprinting through it entirely without looking back, consuming two uses of Brief Invincibility in the process, as theyíll be shooting you in the back. The rest of my Chapter 11 walkthrough may be effectively applied to this, especially the Cragalanche strategy (thereís no need to run amok, trying to get behind him. Patience!) ---------------------------- [T8] Chapter 13 (with Palm) ---------------------------- The first time I cleared this chapter with a Palm, it was my OD+7 Middy Palm and I thought the level was a nightmare. During subsequent runs I was using my strictly offensive Aurum Palm, and found it so much easier. While Iíve posted it repeatedly throughout my guide, here it is again: Aurum Palm R: 5.5 M: 0 V: 295 Freezing +4 RS +1 SCF +4 DCF +4 Powers: Autoreticle lv3, Quick Charge lv2, Brief Invincibility lv4, Playing Dead lv3 Because the Aurum Palm doesnít have high knockback and Pittoo somewhat easily dodges its charge shots, I instead used Autoreticle and kept my SCF trained on him, which canceled his arrows and steadily damaged him. I closed in while doing this, and let loose a barrage of DCF once I was close enough that all would hit (waiting for him to shoot first, of course.) I strongly recommend the Aurum Palm if you havenít been maining or dabbling in them since youíve begun playing higher difficulties. High defense is not the key to surviving either boss fight, but damage. Pittoo hits too hard for you to tank his shots as it is. Anyway, the Aurum Palm has the best SCF a Solo Mode-oriented palm could ask for in terms of damage, rate of fire and range (the latter of which, the Violet and Viridi Palms sorely lack.) The DCF is quite strong and it charges quickly; attributes that will mow down the lesser enemies without a great deal of fuss. My walkthrough for the chapter will suffice for all difficulties you may come across, especially considering that almost all of my practice for that level was accumulated by use of that palm. I've used a SCF/SCS-oriented Ninja Palm with WS+4 and FHB+6 and easily taken down Pittoo and Arlon (while avoiding Pittoo's shots effortlessly) but even with Energy Charge and SR+3, it was not as effective anywhere else as my Aurum Palm. ------------------------------ [T9] Chapter 15 (with Cannon) ------------------------------ I recommend using the Predator Cannon, for its excellent damage output on both land and in the air, as well as its slightly better movement. Mine looked like this: R: 6 M: 0 Confusion +2 RS +1 DCS +4 DCF +3 The large radius of its explosions and their excellent knockback made them very good at killing Sios, the most annoying enemy in the chapter by far (well, more notably for the knockback.) The explosions will also destroy nearby turrets while damaging the Core during its boss fight. Because there are no mandatory mob fights, you can be overwhelmed only by allowing it yourself. The level itself is not paced quickly and youíll be able to proceed with charge shots at the ready. Quick Charge will also be handy during the beginning, which has a lot of enemies to deal with, sometimes at once (the Predator Cannonís BDCS will arc over a Xonemeís barrier and hit it on its top. Handy.) If your walking and running speed is very poor, you will have much less grief during the boss battle by using Playing Dead and/or Trade Off. --------------------------------- [T10] Chapter 16 (40,000 Hearts) --------------------------------- To do this without Heart Bonus mods, you should bring a weapon with a high rate of fire, which will be able to destroy the majority of ship weak points during the air battle. Youíll also want to be sure to take the leftmost grind rail in the set of three, to face the optional mob (where Viridi wonít admit that she likes Pit.) With even Heart Bonus +1, you may skip the optional fight, though your air battle must still see to it that many ship weak points are destroyed. If you enjoy grinding for hearts like many players, and have built weapons or power sets to do just that, this is extremely easy. ------------------------------ [T11] Chapter 17 (with Claws) ------------------------------ I found that Beam Claws, a Solo Mode favorite, are much better for this level than Artillery Claws; this is largely due to their more direct fire in both SCF and DCF, which means that despite the overall lower damage output, you are killing them more quickly (Arts will spray their fire and be wasted on distant foes, which means more enemies will be able to shoot at you.) They also have quite a bit more range, and are just as good as Arties in terms of mobility. My own pair, listed earlier in the guide: Beam Claws R: 6 M: 1.5 V: 296 WS +2 SDCS +1 SCF +3 DCF +4 Powers: Energy Charge lv4, Brief Invincibility lv3, Bumblebee lv3, Effect Recovery lv1 My power set has not changed, nor have I ever wished Iíd brought something different. However, because Beam Claws are not remarkably better than most weapons when it comes to air battles, the Level Infinity Epic Super God Plus Aurum Pyrrhon segment is very difficult and may take multiple attempts. My walkthrough is still as applicable as ever, though, and you may refer to it for any difficulties you face. I do not recommend using any Claws other than Beamers, Pandoras or Arts, because they are ill-suited as ranged weapons, at least in purely aerial battles (Viridi Claws are no slouch in the ranged department, on land.) ----------------------------- [T12] Chapter 19 (with Club) ----------------------------- While people have done this with Atlas and Magnus Clubs, if you want to do this with a minimum of frustration, youíll want a Capricorn Club. Trust me. The fast charge time, coupled with its slipshot ability and acceptable range and damage, are what make it the ideal club for this challenge. You donít need to stress yourself over bulking it on useful mods, either; just get some form of defense on it, as well as a decent number of ranged stars (SCS and DCS mods will also suffice for this.) Mine was very simple and effective: Capricorn Club R: 5.5 M: 0 V: 264 SD +3 RE +2 Powers: Brief Invincibility lv3, Instant Death Attack lv3, Health Recovery lv4 The equivalent of OD+6 for projectiles proved to be quite sufficient for the aerial segment, plus the charging time allowed me to kill a lot of the enemies before they could overwhelm me. I made no attempts to bat most shots back at the enemies, which you should not do, either. If there is one enemy that makes this challenge a pain in the ass, itís... no, not the Crawler, not the Eggplant Wizard, not the Guttler... Shelbo. Those God. Damn. Shelbos. Save two uses of IDA for the Shelbos in the electric floor room, and the practice course for the chariot track. Save the third IDA for the Snong later on; the Shelbo you face alongside the Komaytos is situated near a solid piece that can be used as a defense from its suction (swing the club to kill the Komaytos as they draw near.) I used Brief Invincibility to block the beam of the Igniot fought immediately after the loading screen, and later on as more protection against the Eggplant Wizard. The Guttler is actually a significant threat while armed with a club, but you may kill it before it can eat you by focusing on it as it appears and, once it notices you and comes over, launching BDCS each time the club is charged. If youíve been quite used to sidestepping Crawler shells, the one encountered here is not a big deal at all, even with the sluggishness of a Capricorn Club. Simply gradually make your way over, using the foxtrotting thatíll avoid its arrows to get closer. Your charge shots can hit the weak point from just over the tread if you aim carefully, though you must be able to see part of the red poking out when launching. Other than that, this level is actually very smooth sailing for a Capricorn. Abuse the innate Slipshot whenever you are given an opportunity; of particular mention are the enemies on the first floor, which hide inside holes; the Wave Anglers, Skuttler Cannoneers and Bumbledrops that lurk at points on the ramps; and, most satisfyingly, those Igniots inside the maze. The Chariot Master is easy with any club, as you may simply spam powerful charge shots and there arenít any attacks that require frequent movement to avoid. While I do recall using Health Recovery once, it was because I could, and I hadnít actually really needed it. ---------------------------- [T13] Chapter 20 (with Bow) ---------------------------- The Darkness Bow is also very effective here. Because of the overall ease of this level, I donít see why you canít succeed with any bow, though youíll still really appreciate the effects of Instant Death and Playing Dead during the final Rumpus Room before Palutena. Be sure to kill that Juggernaut first, since the Strongarms by themselves are cake with or without IDA. ------------------------------------ [T14] Chapter 23 (kill 150 enemies) ------------------------------------ Iíve done this without trying, every single time, even without killing the Snong and pair of Monoeyes that will spawn only when destroying the Sinistew following the grind rails. I also wonít take the platform that earns me some food, but forces an encounter with an Igniot and two Komaytos afterward. Having said that, the organs that pop out Monoeyes and Skuttlers will be happy to produce notches for your slain enemy count. I typically averaged about 75-80 enemies when using my Middy Palm, and 95 with my Aurum Palm. Nevertheless, allow me to provide a list of your land battle encounters: Bluster, Handora x4 Monoeye x3 Komayto x4 Monoeye x5 Bluster, Monoeye Generator Handora x3 Monoeye (Embedded in tissue) Giant Monoeye Komayto x4 Giant Igniot Handora, Sinistew Snong, Komayto x2, Handora Handora, Skuttler x2 Monoeye (Embedded in tissue) Igniot, Gyrazer x2 Gyrazer, Monoeye x3 Gyrazer (For Meat) Igniot, Komayto x2 Skuttler, Komayto x2 Komayto x2 Shildeen, Gyrazer, Monoeye x2 Souflee Gyrazer x2 -> Sinistew -> Snong, Monoeye x2 Skuttler Generator Monoeye, Gyrazer Skuttler, Skuttler Cannoneer, Boogity Tortolunk, Armin, Erinus, Pluton, Bumbledrop, Specknose Zik, Zak, Gloomerang, Porcuspine Crawler, Skuttler Cannoneer x4 Handora x3 Not including the generators, thatís a little over 85 enemies; you should have no problem whatsoever, even when passing on the Sinistews and some Komaytos. ------------------------------ [T15] Clear all levels on 9.0 ------------------------------ Finally beat the Great Sacred Treasure, eh? High five. OOOOOOOOOOOOOO [FAQ] Frequently Asked Questions OOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Q: Which enemies are immune to Instant Death? A: This is not necessarily a complete list, but those I have confirmed for myself or seen confirmed by other players: -Shemum Vase -Crawler -Komayto -Reaper -Eggplant Wizard -Clubberskull -Sinistew -Pluton -Mimicutie -Tempura Wizard -Erinus -Guttler -Lurchthorn -Clobbler -Dohz -Sio -Baglo -Juggernaut As an aside, I was very surprised to notice that Megontas were vulnerable to it, as itís generally considered one of the top threats of the Forces of Nature which, like the nastiest of Underworld and Aurum enemies, come inherently immune to IDA. Mudrones may also not be immune. Q: What is foxtrotting? A: Well, I do explain this elsewhere in the guide, but, anyway: foxtrotting is repeatedly initiating a dash and letting go of the control pad right away, which quickly returns you to an upright stance, at which point you immediately dash again, repeating the process until you've avoided whatever it was you were anticipating. It's extremely useful for approaching some specific enemies or when you haven't learned the timing for certain moves. Q: Why isnít Bumblebee or the Dodge Token working for me? A: Neither will take effect while youíre in a prone position following a dash attack of any sort; the former will only work if you are standing upright, which means no running. They will work while youíre spamming SCF or SCS. Q: Where is the best place to farm weapons and hearts? A: The consensus is basically that Chapter 20 is the best farming level, for both weapons and hearts, due to its ease, shortness of length, and the general luck players have in scoring high-valued drops for fodder. Of course, players that farm for hearts make use of the Heart Booster power, whereas I do not. Myself, I preferred to farm levels that naturally dropped quite a few hearts, particularly chapters 9, 10, 11, 13 and 16. Any chapter that can drop four or more weapons is also very nice for farming; plus, it makes good practice. If you're taking a potty break and don't have time to play a full chapter (the President is awaiting his emergency heart surgery, or perhaps a megaton bomb is minutes from annihilating the planet and you're the only one that can stop it) you can also quickly amass hearts by abusing a handy trick in Together Mode, though it requires weapons with absurdly powerful single-hit attacks. I mean well in excess of 300 damage on their own, without powers. This is indisputably the best setup for the job: Upperdash Arm R: 0 M: 6 V: Varies Speed/Running Speed +4 Melee Dash Attack +4 Effect Duration +4 In-Peril Attack Boost +6 Powers: Energy Charge lv2, Lightweight lv2, Trade Off lv4 With Running Speed instead of the more costly all-purpose Speed, the value is 299 and not difficult at all to reach, though negative mods will speed the process up. Many weapons' charge shots, particularly Staves and Clubs, deal much more damage than an Upperdash MDA. The key difference here is that those attacks must be charged, whereas the MDA is easily spammed. Still, though, you may still stockpile hefty amounts of hearts with such a weapon. Play a Free For All match with these settings: Players: 6 (5 CPUs) Stage: Small Arena Time: 1 Minute Items: None CPU Difficulty: 1 Handicap: Manual (CPU 10%) The idea is to use Energy Charge, then Lightweight, then Trade Off, and then sprint madly around the area, instantly killing everyone in sight with your grossly-overkill MDA, which inflicts in excess of 2000 damage with everything factored in (IPAB, EC, TO, etc.) Excess damage is converted to hearts, so all of that overflow goes toward your profits. Trade Off never replenishes itself after death, so playing for longer than a minute is a waste (it is also the biggest boost to damage you've got.) With the right weapon, you may easily earn over 10,000 hearts per minute. Keep in mind that it helps to save Trade Off until your Energy Charge has fully taken effect and you are pouring off energy. Q: How do I fuse good weapons? A: This is neither a good place to find fusion tips, nor am I a good candidate to give them. I merely take my fodder and look at the Arms Altar following every level, and see if anything decent can be made, which includes isolating desirable mods. Once in a while, Iíll get lucky; the Aurum Palm I showed off throughout this guide was one such byproduct of my immensely good fortune. OOOOOOOOOOOOOO [Thx] Credits & Thanks OOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO This guide was made after a great deal of procrastination, largely due to the fact that the game had already been out for over ten months. However, I had become increasingly addicted to it and had always liked the idea of writing a walkthrough geared toward Intensity 9.0. And so, with my other unbeaten games failing to pull me away, I immersed myself further in the game and set out to replay every single level, sometimes several times, if I was not satisfied that I had found an acceptably non-aggravating means of clearing it. ..the most replays goes to Chapter 18, which I cleared on 9.0 four times in a row, as I was repeatedly testing the success rate of my tactics. Iím satisfied, but I still hate that level with a passion and still donít feel as though itís remotely easy. I learned quite a few things in doing this and consider myself even better at Solo Mode than when I began writing the guide (which I would not have done, had I not been confident in my ability to clear each level without dying or going into Crisis Mode.) I hope I was able to make things significantly easier for you the first time around than they were for me. While Iíve received no help in the writing of this guide, I still have some thanks to bring to your attention: -Sakurai and his (now disbanded, apparently) team at Project Sora for this absolutely wonderful game. It continues to be my favorite 3DS title. -SBAllen, for hosting this guide and the forums at which I lurk. In addition to learning things, the petty arguments (and raw emotions that burst forth as a result) make for nice reading material during downtime. -Primum Mobile, for telling me about the usefulness of Idol Transformation. -Kevin Werner, for correcting the method of spawning a chest in Ch13. He also gave me incentive to change my advice on handling Sinistews. -KZ, the initials or alias of the fellow who made the extremely useful fusion calculator Iíve used to research chains I can make with my fodder. Itís not related to this guide, but it canít be understated how helpful that tool has been to me. The calc is presently located here: http://fusiongroupcalculator.cixx6.com/Fusion%20Group%20Calculator.html -Creative Japanese gamers, for discovering the Together Mode heart-farming trick, and then uploading videos of the method for everyone to learn from. -Dyntos, for making certain weapons feel very overpowered at times. He understands our need for wanton destruction, and gives us the means. What a bro, that guy. Instead of Dyntos, he should've been called Brometheus. Then again, Chapter 24 was not very bro-like at all. Dyntos it is. I hope to continue to update this list as little improvements are made. OOOOOOOOOOOOOO [Cinf] Contact Info & Legal Stuff OOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO I encourage anyone with questions pertaining to THIS GUIDE ONLY, or with useful information I can update the guide with, to send me an email. Iíll try to respond to them as quickly as I can. Please be polite and coherent in your message, and include something along the lines of ďKid Icarus guideĒ or ď9.0 intensity guideĒ in your subject line, or I will more than likely delete it without reading. There are plenty of common spam subjects with ďHelp!Ē or something to that effect, so it must appear clearly relevant to this guide. As I said, please be polite and coherent, as I wonít bother responding to anything that doesnít fall under either category. Please do not email me asking for fusion tips, or to rate your weapons or otherwise tell you if I think theyíll be sufficient for a certain level. If a weapon has failed you repeatedly, itís probably time to try a new weapon, and I would only tell you as much. That, or ďget better,Ē but itís hard to say that without sounding like an ass, so Iíd simply ignore those messages. Keep in mind that much of the work in clearing these levels on 9.0 is properly dodging enemy attacks, and no particular power set or amount of power usage will always compensate for horribly sloppy playing. I will not be giving completely reworked strategies to people that cannot get by without Trade Off and Pisces Heal, or other such tactics devoid of strategy or skill (even though I do occasionally recommend them, I almost always prefer to do things the less easy way.) Having said that, there is always the possibility that in trying to find the easiest way to do something (without cheap powers) I have overlooked details. Your own boss strategies or methods for handling notoriously difficult enemy sections are more than welcome, provided they didnít involve Trade Off or excessive power consumption. Creative uses for less common powers are especially welcome, as Iíve always taken a basic tried-and-true approach. Send your emails to slysludge(at)gmail(dot)com. I am not taking any requests to host my guide on your website(s). The answer is automatically no. Sorry. Having dealt with bad sites multiple times itís my opinion that Iím best off not allowing anyone else to host my work except those that have already received my permission. Sites that are at present allowed to host my work, on the condition that it is posted in full, UNTOUCHED, with proper credit given: -www.gamefaqs.com -www.neoseeker.com -www.gamerhelp.com -www.gameplayworld.com -www.supercheats.com -www.1Up.com *** www.cheatcc.com, Cheat Code Central, may not under any circumstances post my guide or any of my work on their site. *** This guide may only be used for personal, private benefit. You may not reproduce or edit any part of this document at all, and it may not be displayed anywhere other than the website(s) listed above. This guide especially may not be used for monetary profit. If I find that you have posted any portion of my guide and I have not given my approval, I expect you to remove my work promptly upon my request. I will handle all copyright violations and failure to comply with my guidelines with swift legal action. Kid Icarus Uprising, 9.0 Intensity Guide Ver. 1.25 Copyright 2013 by Dave Baker ďReptobismolĒ You know, I kinda wish more levels had Clubberskulls. Current high score for Chapter 4: 704780 Current name on multiplayer: Gir Scientists are presently studying what appears to be a very strong link between remaining AFK on an online multiplayer game and being fucked in the ass. They are not able to provide updates at this time, reportedly due to their test subjects being fucked in the ass.