Hints and Tips\General Help Guide
for Maken X on the
Sega Dreamcast by
Zhou Tai An (kain@pacific.net.sg)

******

Anyone using this on a website or basically anywhere must notify me, and 
strictly NO use for profits. Thanks.


This is just intended to be playing hints, character evaluations and general
help with the game, not a walkthrough - if you want that, you can look at
jt.kauffman's excellent one, also at Gamefaqs. I will also be doing 
translations if there is enough demand for them. 

******

Basic Hints and Tips :

1. Know when and when not to lock-on. While mastery of targeting is 
indisputably one of the keys to success in Maken X, selective targeting is
even better. When one targets, your entire frame of movement and attacking 
becomes centered around the locked-on enemy, which can be very restrictive
when fighting multiple opponents or in battlefields where free range of 
movement is needed. So don't be too quick to press the Y button right off the
bat.

2. Use distance attacks. Sure, I know this game is a first-person slasher,
but you can save yourself a world of pain and frustration by taking out
enemies from afar where they can't get back at you. In addition, many enemies
will not consider you a valid target if they can't "see" you - i.e, you're
not within their sensing radius. Another technique you can use is to move
forwards, quickly lock-on (ensuring that all your projectiles will hit) and
then move back, retaining the lock. You can then snipe away to your heart's
content.

3. Learn enemy patterns. Most normal enemies and even bosses have some sort
of series of attacks and reactions to movements that they cycle through 
depending on the situation - for example, your basic sword-wielding masked
fiend tends to rush forwards, slash and then somersault backwards, slashing
so as to catch you off guard immediately after. If you have the inside info
on how they move, enemies won't pose much of a problem.

4. Of course, as Sun Tzu said "Know yourself and know your enemy and you can
win a hundred battles" and since this guy's been quoted for hundreds of
years you can assume he knows what he's talking about. ^_^ In this instance,
though, you've got my handy-dandy character evaluation section below to help
you with the first. Still, do brush up on the two. 

5. Jump. It's much harder to do so effectively in a first-person game, where
you can't see your feet, but it remains an excellent way to avoid enemy
attacks, especially if you have a high jump. Also learn to use the forwards
jump to vault over your enemies' heads when locked-on; it can be very useful
in a pitched battle. Furthermore, hits landed on an enemy with it's back
turned do double damage (Criticals) - even more reason to learn this 
technique.

6. If you want to avoid grabbing items so you can save them for later, there
is a trick you can use when it seems like you have to get the item (for
instance, in narrow corridors) - sidling past. Your character actually 
doesn't occupy that large a space, so it's possible to hug the walls and 
avoid touching the item\s.

******

Character Section :

---

Andrei - BJ Rank 1

Life : 2
Power : 2
Speed : 7

Jump : High

A weak character, but compulsory for the first few missions. Use his knife 
attack well because it charges fast and has good range. 


Fei Shan - BJ Rank 2

Life : 3
Power : 3
Speed : 5

Jump : Low

Very good for about the time when you first get her, and still quite useful
for some time afterwards. Her first two attacks are fast, and the arc of her
fan's spin is deceptively wide.


Shaja - BJ Rank 3

Life : 3
Power : 4
Speed : 1

Jump : Low

Good for power (he has a total of 5-6 attacks in every sequence) but not
much else. Skip this guy.


Ramrod - BJ Rank 4

Life : 4
Power : 5
Speed : 6

Excellent - what do you expect from a Sealed Warrior? Above average in all
areas with good, solid attacks. His ice attack will freeze it's target in
addition to doing damage so you can get a few quick hits in.

Jump : Low


Baderel 

Life : 6
Power : 6
Speed : 4

Jump : Low

Another good pick. Has only one standing and rushing attack, but those pack
a punch - the trick with Baderel is to strike before the enemies attack you.
High power and life make him a good selection in most cases.


Smith : BJ Rank 1

Life : 1
Power : 7
Speed : 1

Jump : Low

Utterly useless. You'll be Jacking into this guy only for the information he
provides.


Marguerite - BJ Rank 5

Life : 5
Power : 4
Speed : 10

Jump : Low

The fastest character in the game. Her speed is a definite asset in most
instances and her cannon attack bounces of walls, which makes it especially
effective in corridors. Slightly low Life and Power but if you can make use
of her quickness, no real problems.


Marakula - BJ Rank 6

Life : 6
Power : 7
Speed : 1

Another powerhouse. Low speed means that I usually forego him for more
balanced characters like Baderel and Ramrod, but his high Life and Power
aren't to be overlooked. The explosive puppet, though long to charge, is
also useful. In the case of Marakula it's all about getting in and hitting
hard; if played well his overwhelming power will tell. Due to this he's more
of a specialized character, though.

******

Stage Help :

Here is where I include sticky bits in certain stages that I thought were
hard or required some explanation of...it's very skimpy now, but I'll add to
this as I replay the game some more.

Brazil - use distance attacks on the first firebomber you see; jump from the
branch and hit him gun drones - fireballs will take them out. 

Sicily - hug the walls to avoid bombers.

vs Don Malakula - hit when he recovers from swinging, don't be too ambitious
and try to stay on the platform; you can block his jump and hit him 
afterwards. Later on, don't get hit by the suicide bombers; take them out 
before going after the Don because they can disrupt your attack patterns.

******

That's about it for now. My copy of Maken X is currently on loan to a friend,
so updates will be on hold until I get it back. ^_^