The (Complete) Mission Ranking Guide
MISSION 19 - The Successor
All Modes = 3500
Normal = 12500 - Hard = 20000
Normal = 9500 - Hard = 14250
Normal = 7000 - Hard = 10500
Normal = 5000 - Hard = 7250
H = 22:30 - DH = 30:00 - SoS = 50:00 - DMD = 60:00
H = 25:30 - DH = 34:00 - SoS = 55:00 - DMD = 68:00
H = 30:00 - DH = 40:00 - SoS = 66:00 - DMD = 80:00
H = 37:00 - DH = 50:00 - SoS = 80:00 - DMD = 100:00
Total Devil Hunter Points
H = 76500 - DH = 90000 - SoS = 225000 - DMD = 375000
H = 42500 - DH = 50000 - SoS = 126000 - DMD = 210000
H = 22950 - DH = 27000 - SoS = 63000 - DMD = 105000
H = 10625 - DH = 12500 - SoS = 31500 - DMD = 52500
Alright, sorry, have to hand over the computer again. Once I can get back on, I'll wrap up this little party. 'Til then...!
MISSION 20 - La Vita Nuova
All Modes = 1000
All Modes = 5500
All Modes = 4500
All Modes = 4000
All Modes = 3500
H = 2:30 - DH = 3:15 - SoS = 3:45 - DMD = 4:30
H = 3:45 - DH = 5:00 - SoS = 5:30 - DMD = 7:00
H = 6:00 - DH = 8:00 - SoS = 9:00 - DMD = 11:00
H = 9:30 - DH = 13:00 - SoS = 15:00 - DMD = 18:00
Total Devil Hunter Points
H = 28050 - DH = 33000 - SoS = 59400 - DMD = 99000
H = 17000 - DH = 20000 - SoS = 36000 - DMD = 60000
H = 10625 - DH = 12500 - SoS = 22500 - DMD = 37500
H = 5100 - DH = 6000 - SoS = 10800 - DMD = 18000
At last, it is finished. I'll wrap things up soon with Part Three: Last Words and Tips for the Aspiring Devil Hunter, but now, at least, all the info this topic really needs, is here, set in silicon and vacuum-sealed for eternal storage (at least until some mod deletes it for whatever reason). Hopefully this guide will aide those of you unwilling to part with twenty of your hard-earned dollars for an arguably insufficient magazine-sized Prima guide.
Before I complete this topic, I'm going to back up all the info I compiled in this thread, as well as my opening posts, so that I can put together a FAQ (it'll be my first--wow, suddenly I feel so proud of myself =P ). In the meantime, does anyone have any advice or information they'd like to add to this topic?
In particular, two points remain to be resolved: the Prima guide's error regarding Human Mode Mission 18's B and C-rank clear times, and the issue regarding the "Style Rank Multipliers" (my guess is that those multipliers determine how many points you get during the course of the game, based on your current combo rating, but the Prima guide's wording suggests it's plugged into the actual ranking equation, despite that same guide's explanation of the equation omitting any such step). I would like to have these points resolved, if possible, before submitting a FAQ. Naturally, anyone who helps in this or any other regard will be credited--I'm not some wimpy plagiarist, just a noble scribe willing to sacrifice several valuable hours of his one day off to bring this information to you, who have lives (unlike me) and much better things to do with your time (unlike me).
Well, that's enough of my blathering. Get discussing! Who has a few pennies for the rankings jar?
(And can ya lend me some change? I am r e a l l y hankering for a strawberry sundae... =P)
Alright, it's time to wrap up this crazy party.
The (Complete) Mission Ranking Guide, Part Three: Last Words and Tips for the Aspiring Devil Hunter
Maybe you want to feel all warm 'n' fuzzy inside whenever you look at your rankings board. Maybe you want to make the online leaderboards and lord it over like you're King of the Hill in Vidgameland. Maybe you want to make flashy Youtube videos. Maybe you want to milk this game for all the achievements it's worth. Maybe you'd just like to get better. Whatever the reason, if you've stuck with it this far, you're looking for help, right?
I confess, I'm no pro. My standard rankings in DMC3 are Bs and As; in DMC4, they're As with an occasional S thrown in. I rarely get anything higher than a B in DMC1, and only beat Hard Mode Mundus by the skin of my teeth. I've never even managed to beat a game's Must Die mode. (DMC2, which doesn't exist, does not count--although if that game did exist, then I'd have beaten Dante Must Die no problem, but gotten stuck at the invisible fish boss in Lucia Must Die, trying in vain fifty times as Trish to no avail, finally screaming like a deranged jackal and hurling my controller at the room's farthest wall.) I'm no Exceed guru and (partly because the 360's d-pad sucks) can't switch styles mid-combo to save my life.
Even so, I know what I'm doing and how to get there, even if I can't get there efficiently. I may not be Leaderboard material (I'm not likely to find out without 'net connection in any case), but I have a thing or two to teach the aspiring hunter in regards to making the grade.
[grrr... these posting limits are KILLING me! KILLING me, I say!]
1: Smokin' Sick Style!!! (How to Hack 'n' Slash Like a Champ)
If you've been reading this with your eyes open at all, you'll know that the stone your house is built on is almost entirely made of Stylish Points--a score that derives itself from how efficiently you wipe out your enemies, and more importantly, how well you mix up your moves. Stale bread is unwelcome in the world of the devil hunters, so get used to using more than just your gun, arm, and four-hit combo. Learn even the more complex manuevers, practice until the game's direction-sensitive controls are second nature, and learn the intricacies of the two characters so you can use both to maximum effect--for Nero, this will involve mastering Exceed, learning when and how it is best to use, abuse, or ignore the Devil Bringer, and mastering when and how Blue Rose--in particular its Charge Shots--can be best utilized; for Dante, this will mean the considerably larger task of learning how best to use his various weapons and styles. Once you have a handle on those fundamentals, A and S ranks in the "Style" category should come with relative ease to you--even with my deficiencies, I almost always score A or S in that category, the sole exceptions being missions in which Style Points are especially hard to attain.
Those are the general things, however. A Devil Hunter must also learn more refined techniques specific to every situation. Enemies can be read like books if you learn the language, and learning that lingo is essential to keeping your style bar in the upper stratosphere where it belongs. You can't just hack away at any enemy and expect to come away unscathed (except, of course, in Human Mode). Remember that if you take any damage, that S-combo you've worked up could be knocked all the way back to a B. Learning how to predict the knight's charge, how to expect those annoying ice attacks the Frosts are always throwing at you, how best to evade and counter the tactics of the Faust, how to most efficiently dodge and damage the ever-famous Blitz, when and how to actually combo those damn Chimera things, and how to best combat the game's bosses--these are many talents the hunter will require. And in this game each is twofold--different characters require different methods. It's up to you to find and master each and every one--if, that is, you're looking to be as good as you can be. Or if you hope to even have a prayer at beating Dante Must Die.
The old saw is "practice makes perfect." That is truth. Go back and re-play missions that give you trouble. Go for an occasional Bloody Palace run. Whatever it takes. It's your party, now go out on that floor and get dancing.
Another thing to make sure of is that your control scheme is set for optimum efficiency and comfort. You might be tempted to mimic the mapping of previous games (as I was), but you'll find that sometimes that just won't cut it. Perhaps lock-on would best fit the trigger rather than the bumper? Maybe the gun could go on the shoulder so you could charge on the move? Maybe you're just more used to jumping with the X button. Your game, your call. Make the most of it. If you determine that your control scheme is subpar, perhaps you'd better remap it. If doing that means unlearning old controls and learning new ones, maybe it's time you finally got around to earning your Human Mode achievements. If you're serious, do what it takes. If not... your game, your call.
2: Where the Hell Are Those Damn Orbs?
I think we can safely skip the Clear Time aspect of the ranking, as that's mostly dependent on how quickly to pwn the demons (your mastery of the combo aspect) and how well you know your way around Fortuna (your memory, which I'm sure is photographic). One thing that may not come so easily to the player is finding all the hidden orbs in a level, or, more importantly, obtaining them all without damaging your Clear Time ranking. This is important: the orb ranking at it's best can double your overall Devil Hunter Points, but the Clear Time ranking can as much as triple it. If you hope to rank as high as you can, you can't very well sacrifice either of these massive bonuses, but if you give too much priority to one or the other, you're going to hurt yourself.
You know that photographic memory I just mentioned? Now's the time to use it. You know what else you can really abuse in this regard? The dead lesbian antenae you got from that over-phlegmed toad. (I mean the ability to home in on secrets, now get that stupid look off your face, you sicko.) Recall: Nero and Dante travel through all of the same areas. Dante's only unique area doesn't even contain any hidden orbs. If you're having trouble finding all the orbs at Dante, simply switch over to Nero and replay a mission that runs through the same areas. Seek and destroy all destructables, find all hidden orb caches at as leisurely a pace as you wish--a mad dash or a walk in Devilsville Nature Park. Then go back as Dante and get all those orbs again as fast as you can.
Don't forget the style statues--the "combat abjudicators" you comboed into oblivion to get those nifty Blue Orb fragments. Assuming you have a fair wealth of moves at your command and a nack for mixing up moves, these shouldn't even pose a threat to your clear time, and all of them give sweet orb payoffs. If the high-rank abjudicators are giving you trouble, you'll just have to practice. Never use the same move twice without three or four other moves in-between them--that's a good rule of thumb to go by.
Even with Nero's Rusalka Corpse, of course, some orbs must be found the old-fashioned way. Orbs in destructibles, free-standing orbs, and combat abjudicators simply can't be detected by this method. You'll have to keep your eyes peeled--fortunately, most destructibles are fairly obvious--tables, chairs, pots, wooden boxes, tombstones, statues, ice sculptures, giant seeds, flimsy stone pillars. Some may not jump out at you, so experiment--swing, shoot, buster anything that looks suspicious. Look high and low for all things smashable. Break a mirror and spit in the face of those seven years' bad luck. There might be a prize inside.
[post limit again... cutting into two pieces...]
Of course it's tedious, not to mention time-consuming, to hack all the chairs in the castle foyer apart, let alone actually walk to each one, so it's essential that you use the "Get More Orbs" ability--this automatically attracts all orbs in the room to you that result from a demon's death or an object's destruction. This allows you to blast objects from afar with your revolver, handgun, shotgun, or laser cannon, and simply move on while the game collects the cash for you--an ability that makes orb-collecting a breeze.
Learning the best ways to efficiently destroy things is important, as well--the sword works, but it's slow. The Devil Bringer's Snatch move can shatter long lines of objects or take out shelves from afar in a flash. Dante's shotgun can take out multiple objects at a considerable distance in single shots. Each character's handgun, well-aimed, can take objects out from as far away as needed. And Dante's Pandora laser cannon can blast massive canals through entire rooms of destructibles (those chairs in the foyer or the tombstones in the graveyard, for example). Learning to utterly tear a room to pieces (or reduce it to smoldering ash) in as fast and effective a way as possible is not only helpful... it's actually kinda fun.
Once you have a handle on finding the orbs and getting them with as little fuss as possible, you should have no trouble getting A or S in your orb rank without sacrificing time points to do so. Just seek and destroy. This is the easiest part of the entire game!
[gah, once again I must abdicate the thrown to another family member... this ain't my day...]
This info's really useful. After you're done, you should just put it in a .txt file and submit it as a FAQ. Or if that'd be considered plagiarism, I guess anyone can just take the info and organize it in a different way to make a FAQ.
Well, if there isn't a guide exactly like this in the FAQs section yet, there soon will be. That guide would probably take its numbers from the Prima guide or some other guide as well, and if it didn't, it would either be the product of extremely time-consuming experimentation, some amount of rather tricky hacking, or unreliable guesswork. If it were a reliable guide, it'd be identical to this anyway. If it weren't, it would simply be false information. The only differences between me and the Prima guide are formatting, source of information (Prima takes from Capcom, I take from Prima), and the fact that I've underlined an apparent printing error in the Prima guide. I give them the credit. And I explain things in my own words, not theirs. (I don't even know if they're even explaining the things I explain. Their explanation of the equation for rank calculation took about three sentences, for Pete's sake, and I've never seen a word in this guide on how to find orbs efficiently.)
What I'll do with the guide, once I'm finished, will be something almost but not-quite a copy and paste; I'll alter it a bit so it sounds less like a message board post and more like a cohesive FAQ. I'll also try to incorporate any good info that other members of this board feel like donating, though I don't want to make this guide anything much more than an explanation of the ranking system, a list of numbers, and some general tips on how to do good. I'll leave the deep stuff to whoever deigns to write the "Rank S Guide."
3: Last Words
Well, I believe that's all I have a right to say. I can't teach you how to be a hotshot combo king or reveal the locations of every hidden orb in the game, and at any rate, such things are better shown than told (and as I lack any kind of video capture tools, I can't do much showing). I hope that you, as a player, can benefit from what I did have to give--mostly the time to take the info from the Prima guide and organize it into a more convenient, mission-by-mission format rather than the massive tables (one for rank score, one for time, one for style...) that guide uses--and my own understanding of how the ranking system works as a whole. I do believe that this is a fair and balanced ranking system, though it's definitely more forgiving than those of previous games--and I believe knowing how that system works can be a big help in getting the most out of this game.
I love this game. I'm proud I paid $80 of my hard-earned Wal-Mart paycheck to buy this game's collector's edition. And I'm proud to have been of assistence to you, however much assistance I might have been.
Now get out there and kill something. Happy hunting.
February 21, 2008
um, topic of the year