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I'm now up against Armstrong, so every battle except that and the R-02 double GRADs have been S-ranked. Armstrong actually looks possible to no damage, but it will take a lot of practice.
Fights which are both legit awesome and difficult. Due to how weak the sword was (making you miss out on the time bonus) these had to be done no damage:
- Mistral - R-03 Double GRAD - Monsoon - BD Mistral/Monsoon - Sundowner (have to accumulate a 50-hit combo) - in normal playthroughs he's too easy, the fight feels alright here - Sam (have to accumulate a 50-hit combo, AND some BP)
With the exception of Mastiffs, it hasn't really been grindy. Mastiffs, though, are terrible, and discourages me from doing any more restricted VH runs. S-ranking the following battles made the run 'interesting' both in a good and a bad way in the sense that the fight became a puzzle with very few, hard-to-execute solutions.
Nice job man! DMC as a series never really hit home with me so I really missed that part of a mental mindset. I personally like tough runs that change things up, but do allow me to get hit, die and experiment. Something that's just not possible in these S-rank playthroughs.
It's funny how the Watermelon Room is a nightmare suddenly, and I can imagine. Usually I find it the "LOL EASY SRANK" room, but with handicaps I just stray far away from it. Especially because there's no checkpoint before it.
And the run is done. I'm done with Armstrong, got the no-damage along with the requisite combo and BP required for the S.
Since it's not possible to do the 'ripper mode then build up a large combo during blade mode' trick, getting the 100-hit combo (in my case, I only got to 95) went along something like this (I hope Dragenyo doesn't mind me posting his video).
Armstrong jumps and throws his first batch of debris when he gets to 155%. In the vid the primary means of offense is dodge offset TTTST, which can rack up 150+ hits. Since I'm not comfortable with the heavy string, I relied on lightning strike, dodge and sky high primarily, hence I could only go up to 95.
Even with the default FC gauge, all the debris can be cut if you ripper mode (electrolyte pack if necessary) when the ZAN symbol shows up. The game gives you a full gauge refill for every piece of debris.
In the end I got 1200/2000/2000/1800/2000/2000 (Time/BP/Zandatsu/Combo/Kills/No Damage) for a total of 11000, enough for the S rank.
With the exception of DLC I think I'm maxed out, just about done everything I want to do with the game. I already have (an embarrassingly high) 150 hours put into the game. Time to shelf it and wait for all the DLC to drop before I swoop in for round 2.
^That's nearly triple my time. But still, damn good showing. So R-02 is the only one you didn't S-rank?
Armstrong shouldn't ever be a big problem. Especially if you have the dodge ability, without he can put you in a few impossible situations (lava streams blocking your path and him doing a yellow explosion shockwave for instance).
But glad you enjoyed the game so much! What are you going to play now until the DLC hits?
Wooden Sword only, Inhibitor MAX with no other upgrades, default body, default Health/FC, no skills, no Blade Mode, no Items, no subs, no uniques, no stealth, no Ripper Mode, Revengeance. I don't know if it's even possible.