Walkthrough/Guide for Frame Gride on the Sega Dreamcast by Zhou Tai An (firstname.lastname@example.org) Version 1.0 Anyone using this document for anything besides non-profit uses must notify me. Thanks. Since I won't be covering the basic principles of the game here, I highly recommend you read D. McDonald's excellent manual translation, which I can attest to as being translated perfectly. I will also NOT be translating everything to the best of my ability, because I feel a bit lazy. However, since (not to boast) the best of my ability is pretty darn good, you don't really need to worry - it's just that one or two words\phrases might be off. Sorry, but after all that work I've been putting into FAQs recently (like Valkyrie Profile) I'm kinda tired. :( ****** Basic Tips and Hints : 1. Strafe. This is a technique that works in almost all games of this nature, and Frame Gride is no exception. Use the L1 and R1 buttons to circle your opponent and attack from the sides. Why strafe? Firstly, your enemy's always in your sights, ensuring a higher degree of accuracy. More importantly, though, he\she can't guard against most of your shots if you're firing from an angle. You'll also discover than if you remain stationary for too long in this game things will go badly for you fast - strafing helps with this problem as well. 2. Fire when the enemy lands. Because enemies tend to jump around a lot, one of the only times they present an easy shot in JUST when they land. Learn to time your attacks to take advantage of the slight lag after a jump. 3. Match your Element Stones to your opponent's. This might seem like an under-handed manner of playing, but it helps. If your enemy has a Fire Element Frame, switch to an Earth Element for the battle. Water? Use Wind. This could be just the edge you need to beat that battle. 4. Wait for opportunities to let loose with your cannon fire or other large-scale weaponry - you don't want to waste precious time and energy firing blindly. Some instances include when your opponent is releasing a Squire, firing his\her own cannon, setting mines\traps or generally anything that causes him\her to slow down for a while. 5. Guard often. You take much less damage from attacks while guarding, and in some cases can defend against the entire thing. Guarding only works right in front, though - if you're being hit from the sides you will take full damage. In addition to that, long streams of attacks and powerful attacks in general can't be guarded fully (you'll still take damage) but hey, at least you won't be eating it all. 6. Cornering is a useful strategy in this game if you can pull it off. Try to back your enemy into a corner with spread-fire Guns, Cannon and Mines, then let rip with the big guns (Exodus Gate, sword slashes) when up close. It requires some skill to really master this (mainly because the computer's Squires tend to snipe at you from behind) but it remains the best offensive strategy in the game, bar none. 7. Not really a tip, but the only way to increase LF besides equipping a better helm is to have your Squires go out and attack the enemy. If you win the battle, you'll have some points added to your LF total which will always remain. 8. Close-range attacks (sword blows and punches) do a whole lot more damage than long-range ones in this game (with the exception of a few Cannon) so melee might be the way to go if you're really looking to deal damage. More on this later... 9. Some degree of leg stability is important in this game so that you won't be knocked about too much by enemy attacks, especially when there are homing mines and whatnot floating about. Don't focus on this too much, but don't forgot about it totally either. 10. When trying to accumulate Material Stones to create better equipment later on, focus your attention on destroying enemy Squires and NOT the Knights, since they will give you comparitively little. And if you haven't noticed, only the more advanced Squires become rare Materials like Ramud, Angalt (and sometimes even Mithril and Orihalcon) when destroyed. This information is only when fighting the Knights in the Forsaken Town - the first time you whack them, they give you a whole load of stuff. 11. Squires can be hit by attacks, Mines etc from either sides, so try to lure your enemy into firing on his own Squires. On the same token, don't hit yours, especially not with stuff like Exodus Gate. ****** Walkthrough : Obviously because not everyone starting choices will be the same, and neither will they be using the same kinds of Frame during play, the walkthrough will not cater to everyone. However, I hope it at least helps. ^_^ Gordoba Your first opponent won't prove to be much trouble for you. He's dumb enough to let you run rings around him. (literally, in this case) Take out the Squire for an extra Stone and avoid his mines. Fallen Bridge - Cronea Slightly harder than Gordoba, might give you a real problem if you're not fast enough. The trick to fighting Cronea is to nail him as he lands so you get a clear shot; he is pretty fast, so accuracy will be a problem, but no real difficulty besides that. Great Ravine - Otalante (Main-Type, Water) This guy's easy. The only thing to watch out for is this fact that his weapons are stronger that most of the enemy Frames you'll fight. Use basic strafing tactics and he shouldn't put up much of a resistance. Vanity Castle - Redrall (Heavy-Type, Flame) Again, a quick win. The only thing to watch out for are his Squires, which fly and then self-destruct upon contact with your Frame. To prevent this, just guard against the explosion and note that the Squires need some time to track you first. Besides that, Redrall's lack of speed will make your attack and defense that much easier. Silent Forest - Lishirias (Light-Type, Earth) This guy's fast. With a multiple-shot gun weapon and Elemental Song, he might pose a problem if your Frame's not fast enough. However, he does have very little armor and can be taken out fast with precision shots. Be careful of his two powerful Squires, though - one of which is nearly as fast as he is and then other which fires a powerful beam-type weapon. Take them out before you do him or they'll pose a serious problem. Ancient Ruins - Baraelk (Light-Type, Flame) Watch out - this guy's FAST. He will give you trouble if you allow his Squires to hem you in so he can pepper you with gunfire...so don't. Either focus on him (he has low armor, being a Light-Type) or defeat his Squires so the battlefield's clearer. But do it fast; this is a serious opponent. Forgotten Temple - Eudorpho (Main-Type, Wind) His main asset are his two powerful Squires, so once you destroy them the fight will become much easier. Besides that, watch out for his gun shots, since the barrage can be deadly. Not too hard, all things considered...you'll be wanting to revisit this guy after he's beaten, though, because his two Squires are advanced enough to give you good Material Stones when destroyed. Grudge Arena - Valentine (Main-Type, Wind) This is where your fights start getting harder. Valentine packs a close-range punch (literally) and his Squires have very good AI - you should try to take out at least one before concentrating your attention on him. He also has an irritating tendency to lay a lot of mines around the battlefield, so watch out for those. Above average stats and power overall, but if you've gotten this far you should be able to perserve and beat him. Deep Cave - Racine (Heavy-Type, Water) Another toughie, but with planning you should come out on top. He packs versatile Squires, so it might actually be worth it to rush him and ignore them if you find yourself getting hemmed in. Once again, like all Heavy-Type foes, his lack of speed will ultimately be his undoing, so use that against him - if you can corner him and avoid his Squire's attacks he should be going down. Don't underestimate him, though, because the computer can be canny enough to trap you occasionally. Lost Tower - Sidranel Here we are - the last boss, and he's damn powerful. There are two main approaches for tackling this guy; either pick a fast Frame which will allow you to dodge his hellish attacks (a few hits and you're toast, though) or a medium one which balances speed and power. Heavy Frames are out - you'll be so slow that you'll get taken down in no time at all. Sidranel's got three main means of dealing damage - one where he fires fireballs up into the air upon which they crash down into you, (avoidable - just run continously in one direction) another when he shoots homing blasts (guard these) and the last where his arms raise and he generates a field of purple energy around you. This is the worst - I've tried and tried but I can find no indication of when he's about to use this, which makes it pretty much unblockable. This can do serious damage if it hits, which I why I recommended a fast Frame earlier. Of course, if you do get hit by this you're in deep trouble...if worse comes to worse, simply retry again and again until he doesn't use it with such regularity. On the offense, you're going to want at least a few Squires attacking him and drawing his fire. Try to pick ones which are reasonable intelligent (so they stay out of the way) fly (so that his constantly-moving tail doesn't hit them) and fire beams or shots (so they don't get in too close) You might need to do some "levelling-up" of LF for this battle. On your end, I find using a gun with a decent range and power works best - keep up a steady stream of fire and don't bother with Mines or Cannons. (Though if you want to use those, Homing Mines and long-range Cannons (like Elemental Song and Gungnir Charge) are effective enough) Hang in there and you WILL eventually beat him. ****** Equipment/Weapon Lists and Strategies : All these lists will be made from the top left-hand side down and then back to the top right hand side in order, so you know which piece of equipment is which. I will also be including an evaluation\strategy for use for and against the particular piece of equipment below it, but only if I've used it before, it's been used against me or it can be done (for example, most armor tends to be more or less alike in nature - don't need any help with usage I think) otherwise I will just translate the description. Main Type Helms : Sharp Knife - Low defense but conserves LF. (Ekshineet, Marl) Knight Masquerade - Helm which concentrates on a balance of all factors. (Filohait X 2) Satan Helm - The demon residing in this helm will aim for the enemy. (Angalt, Paskroa or Orihalcon, Ekshineet) Bolt Head - Composite head armor with high durability. (Marl, Firam) I usually pick this one as it has a good average of all stats. Sword Color - High speed, and has a distinctive horn for piercing. (Firam, Ekshineet) --- Cannon : Exodus Gate - Opens a door to the other dimension to suck things within. (Cromdait, Angalt) An EXCELLENT weapon. While the pentagram of light is starting up, it will drag the enemy Frame into it's range of effect, whereupon it will start spinning, causing spears to appear from the Frame and doing massive damage. The great thing in that you can continue to attack your foe while this is happening - try a few normal slashes, then use a continious sequence just as the pentagram disappears. If you can manage to corner your opponent fast enough, one use of this can make the difference between victory and defeat - truly a fearsome weapon. Hell, I had a friend who simply uses a fast Frame, Exodus Gate and maxed out close-range offensive capabilities to win all his fights. The only real drawback to this weapon is the charge-up time (not that long, but noticeable) and relatively small area of effect. Your Squires can also be trapped it in, which is a real bother. (So your can your opponents' though.) Gungnir Charge - Fires a beam of light which destroys all in it's path. (Rishia, Ekshineet) Pretty fast start-up for a cannon and the actual blast travels very fast. A good choice all-around; easy to use. If you're alert, it's easy to see coming and avoid, though. Holy Ray - Sacred lightning blasts your foes. (Parait, Paskroa) A close-combat weapon. The lightning which is generated appears in a field around you - excellent for repelling rushes, destroying multiple Squires or cornering, but useless for anything else. If you see your enemy using this, get AWAY, or if you're in too close simply guard and hope for the best. Dragonic Meteor - Summons a dragon which creates a destructive shockwave. (Ramud X 2) This has a delayed effect - i.e, you use it, you run around a bit while the dragon auto-tracks your opponent, THEN it hits and goes boom. Because of this, it requires some thought to be able to use it effectively, but overall it's another good cannon. If being used against you, try to outrun the dragon (possible - easier with a Light Frame) or else just guard. Elemental Song - Fairies fly out in a spread to chase your opponent. (Paskroa, Rishia) You have to use this from some distance away for it to be effective, because the fairies will fly in an upwards arc to start with and will miss totally if you're too close. Once released, though, their wide spread and limited auto-tracking make this a powerful weapon and hard to dodge. If it's being used against you, either close in as the cannon is being fired or guard immediately - unless you're damn fast you won't be able to avoid this one. Eldal Ruin - Creates a field of holy force which renders enemy attacks useless. (Orihalcon, Paskroa) The ultimate in defense, the Eldal Ruin's field blocks each and every attack, whether it be a Mine, Cannon shot or sword blow - and it'll even follow you about the place! But I don't like it. Why? Takes up a whole lot (too much, IMHO) of energy and I'm not really much of a defensive player anyway. It also doesn't last too long. If you see this, just run away and wait for the field to wear off. Flame Bird - The spirit released will crash down upon your foe. (Angalt, Cromdait) Fires a huge blast of your chosen element's energy at your opponent. Powerful enough if you actually hit with it, but the colossal delay before the shot means that you must be sure of actually hitting before firing - try after an enemy jump or when he\she fires a cannon. Might work better on Light Frames. This is damnably easy to see coming, so there's no reason you could get hit by this. Solomon's Rope - A green light is released from your body which enfolds and destroys your enemy. (Mithril, Cromdait) This is a short dash-type move which requires you to have enough speed to hit with - therefore, it's most useful on a Light Frame. Takes up quite a lot of energy, but does good damage and knocks down; plus, it can be activated right after a blocked attack and it's sure to hit. Stay away from your enemy if she\his has this - if you must close in, keep an eye out for the telltale green aura which signals the use of the Rope. --- Guns : Skiavona - A standard gun which has a good rate of fire. (Ekshineet, Cromdait) Basic gun, fires a steady stream of shots. Nothing much to be said about it; will serve you well enough until you upgrade to something else. This whiffs badly on jumping opponents and fast Frames, because the shots won't track the moving target fast enough. On the other hand, if you can get used to it, the sheer number of times it fires makes the Skiavona quite good indeed in the right hands...it's also excellent at taking out Squires, since most of them aren't agile and will furthermore be stunned by a single shot, letting the rest of them batter it for more damage. It also does well against Frames too slow to avoid the stream. If used against you, simply move out of the way - it's not too hard to dodge. Soul Strike - Fires a single powerful shot. (Filohait, Rishia) Like the description says. Also has good speed, so you needn't worry that this is merely a glorified Cannon. Works well enough due to the high damage. If fighting against, either close in or snipe from afar - the computer's a good enough shot with this to cause you some trouble. Distract Stare - Fires shots in a spread formation. (Cromdait, Mithril) Another weapon which functions more or less like the Frissa. (Don't these guys know the meaning of the word originality?) It does seem to do more damage but consume more energy, though. Knight Smasher - A shockwave-type weapon which is effective in close combat. (Mithril, Ekshineet) This is an extremely powerful weapon at close-quarters, but becomes next to useless if you even move to middle range. The Knight Smasher (quite aptly named ^_^) fires three fast-moving waves of energy - a combination which makes it very difficult to avoid. It also does excellent damage and doesn't even take that much energy! However, as I've mentioned above, it has one hell of a drawback - horrible range. If you can compensate for that, though, you have one powerful weapon on your hands. The counter to this Gun should also be obivous - Falcon Arrow. If you stay far enough away there is no chance of getting hit by the Smasher. Falcon Arrow - Has the best range; a gun used for aiming. (Firam, Angalt) Works like a less powerful Skiavona but with a much better range. This is your weapon of choice for sniping - with an Ether Stone you can keep up an almost continious barrage of shots which can do frightening damage if you keep your distance. Just don't get too close and be patient - the Falcon Arrow isn't really a powerhouse. The solution to an enemy using this should be obvious enough - get in close. Frissa - Fires two powerful spread shots. Useful if your accuracy is bad, your enemy is fast (the shots will prevent him\her from escaping the entire blast) or if you're attacking multiple Squires. Does use up quite a lot of energy though. Guard if you're being fired upon with this - either that or back off fast. Royal Spear - Uses large amounts of energy to fire a beam of devastating power. (Orihalcon, Mithril) This is it - the most powerful Gun in the game. It has everything; range, power, speed...except energy consumption. Or perhaps I should say even energy consumption - this thing eats up your gauge like there's no tomorrow. Boy, they weren't kidding when they said "large amounts of energy..." Because of this, I usually don't waste my precious Orihalcon trying to make this; other weapons do a lot more damage when you compare their respective energy and time costs. If you can find a way to offset this fault, then the Royal Spear's the gun for you. Lockroim - A weaker version of the Frissa. Much lower EN consumption ensures a steady flow of shots, but it's reduced power will be a real problem. The low damage shouldn't be difficult to counter if you're fighting against it. Shields : Flame Leaf - Offers protection against both material and magical attacks. (Ekshineet, Filohait or Cromdait, Marl) Eternal Guard - Excellent against magic. (Marl, Rishia or Paskroa, Cromdait) I'd recommend this as your first shield upgrade since most enemies tend to use distance attacks. If you're more of a close-combatant the Gosshic Plant might be a better bet. Cross Shield - A shield shaped like a cross which has long-lasting durability. (Rishia, Firam or Cromdait, Paskroa) If you're willing to sacrifice attack capability, a really good shield as if has damn high ratings in all other areas. Gosshic Plant - Large-type shield that protects against shock. (Firam X 2 or Mithril, Parait) See Eternal Guard section. Metal Blood - A shield with balanced defense. (Filohait, Cristobal or Mithril, Parait) Just like it says. Use if you're looking for an all-around average. Lutheran Shield - Although it's main use is for defensive purposes it has limited attack capability. (Filohait, Mithril or Angalt, Parait) Spontheen - Works well as a direct-assault weapon. (Ramud, Mithril, Orihalcon, Paskroa) Ransol - Better on attack than on defense. (Orihalcon, Ramud) If you really want to do heavy melee damage, pick this. For balance, try one of the above shields...of course, if you want pure defense get one of the non-attack ones. --- Swords : Balmunk Able to cover both close and long-range combat, this is a versatile enough blade. The long-range version fires multiple spheres of your chosen elemental energy in a wide-arc - very multi-purpose - while the short-range continuous one does a few large swings. Overall an excellent weapon. Durandal Your weapon of choice if you're a close-range fighter. Fast strikes and good damage tie this weapon with Answeller as premier melee choices. Short-range functions much like any sword but with noticeable speed and power upgrades, while the long version is a huge blast of energy that travels reasonably fast. (bad range though) Excalibur - Extremely fast strikes, but the range is very limited. Definitely a thrusting weapon only - the continuous version will actually connect with all three all the time, an instant combo. The true strength of this sword lies in it's long-range version (which is actually quite short - watch out) three precise blasts of purple energy that are both fast and do good damage. Answeller - A bit on the slow side, but excellent damage. Another good selection. Long-range version is a series of slow-moving pillars of energy that rise out from the ground - again, rather slow but decent range and knock-down capability. Note that you can hit the enemy only when he falls back to the floor. Rune Mace - Like Excalibur, this is geared towards long-range attacking. Up close, it's fast but doesn't do that well; the long-range version is a grenade-like blast with an okay area of effect. This one really depends on how you like to fight - pick accordingly. ****** Materials List : Again, in order from left-hand side down. I've also included descriptions to help you identify the stones - of course, some of them are rather skimpy, but then again, the shapes of these things aren't exactly regular either, you know. ^_^ --- Ekshineet (green emerald) - A jewel highly prized by nobles and well-to-do merchants. Marl (pinkish) - Used often in trading. Rishia (looks like a bowtie, orange) - Because of it's hardness, can retain magical energy. Parait (cross-shape) - Holds a shine which makes it very valuable. Cristobal (twin diamonds) - A stone often used for magic. Firam (greyish) - A precious stone said to contain a light which can cure wounds. Filohait (trident shape) - A jewel said to protect with good fortune. Cromdait (looks like a red tooth) - A material used far and wide in the Empire. Paskroa (diamondish) - Used in ancient technology, but now lost. Angalt (big yellow-orange X shape) - Gem that can be found in many areas. Ramud (small green cross) - Has magical energy which is difficult to surpass. Mithril (red triangle) - Sleeps deep in the earth and cannot be found on the surface. Orihalcon (golden diamond) - A legendary stone said to hold great magical power.