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Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow
Strategies, Secrets & Solutions FAQ

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For NA Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow for the Nintendo DS
Version 2.2 by FairEmma
Copyright 2005 by Lisa T. Davis. All rights reserved.
Email: fairemma@aol.com

When emailing, include "CDOS" in the subject line to minimize the chance I'll
inadvertently delete your correspondence. So far, I've replied to everyone who
has been kind enough to write ... if you didn't or don't get a reply, I
probably messed up (dreadfully sorry!).  Please try again.

That said, insincere mails will be disposed of without a second thought. :)


*****************
Table of Contents
*****************

1. Introduction
2. Unlockables
   A. Sound Mode
   B. Boss Rush Mode
   C. New Game + (and Hard Mode)
   D. Julius Mode
   E. Hell Flame Soul
   F. Of Good, Bad and Totally Lame Endings
3. Secrets & Solutions
   A. Rare Ring at Start-Up
   B. Locked Gold Doors
   C. Secret Rooms
   D. Mirrors
   E. Three Elusive Souls
   F. Three Hidden Ability Souls
   G. The Piano
   H. That Bouncy Red Ball Trapped in Ice
   I. Safely Killing Final Guards and Iron Golems
   J. That Nasty Spikey Corridor
   K. That Room with the Bells and Teeter-totter
   L. The Sliding Puzzle
   M. Known Soul Combinations
   N. Acquiring the Chaos Ring
   O. Easter Eggs: Crown, Bell and Konami Man
   P. Pink Walls
4. Glitches
   A. The Succubus Glitch
5. Basic Gaming Strategies
   A. Acquiring Souls
   B. Levelling Up
   C. Staying Alive
   D. Soul Food
   E. Making Money
   F. Weapons Synthesis
   G. Rings
   H. This and That
6. Legal Stuff
7. Version History
8. Credits


***************
1. Introduction
***************

Sticking points - those "How the heck do I do this?" moments that crop up in
a game - prompted me to create this FAQ. My solution, when stumped, was to
search through the message board hoping someone had raised the same question
(someone always does) and received a considerate, sufficiently helpful reply.
I'd copy out useful answers and collected them in a Word document; that
document eventually became this guide. So, in part, this is a researched
anthology infused with lots of personal experience.

As of this writing, there are 87 pages on the board and 49 pages in the special
board FAQ, which requires a lot of hopeful slogging. This FAQ should go a way
toward helping you find critical answers to the major stumpers all in one
place. (for general stuff like "Where's the Demon Guest House?" or "Where do I
find an Ukoback?", look to nmlynch2004's walkthrough). I've also included some
of the more basic game-playing strategies that I've found helpful.

I'm a hand-held gamer exclusively (the console stuff is my son's domain). I've
played every hand-held NA Castlevania available and simply adore the series.
And this is my first-ever FAQ for GameFAQs, although I've been a lurking fan
for years.

This version is by no means exhaustive, and I have yet to try a few of the
ideas within.  I welcome suggestions for improving and augmenting this guide.
Politeness is always rewarded with consideration and, at the very least, a
reply.

SPOILERS?  I've tried to minimize spoilers if at all possible, but if you are
reading this, then you are already immersed in the game, probably stuck and 
looking for a solution. Or you've heard about something that isn't obvious and
want to see what it's about.  Forewarned is forearmed. "Caveat emptor" and all 
that!


**************
2. Unlockables
**************


-------------
A. Sound Mode
-------------

Complete the game with the good ending and Sound Mode will appear on the main
menu at start-up.


-----------------
B. Boss Rush Mode
-----------------

Beat the game with the good ending (all bosses)

     Potion           Beat Boss Rush Mode in more than 10 minutes.
     Terror Bear      Beat Boss Rush Mode in 8 minutes.
     Nunchaku         Beat Boss Rush Mode in 7 minutes.
     Death's Robe     Beat Boss Rush Mode in 6 minutes.
     RPG              Beat Boss Rush Mode in 5 minutes or fewer.

sarcasteak suggested these combinations for blitzing through in under
5 minutes:

     Valmanways + Black Panther/Devil
     Death Scythe + Devil
     Alura Une + Skeleton Farmer/Draghignazzo
     Abaddon + Death


-----------------------------
C. New Game + (and Hard Mode)
-----------------------------

Beat the game with the good ending (all bosses). The "New Game +" will be the 
"clear" bat icon above your saved game slot. You can make a copy of your
existing game and then use the copy for playing New Game + in either normal or
hard mode.  That way you can keep messing around in that game as well.

You do not need 100% of the souls, nor do you need to have covered 100%
of the map to finish the game, get the good ending and unlock New Game +.

To access New Game +, select the clear bat icon that appears overtop your file
(or copied file if you don't want to overwrite your original game).  You get
a message saying items and souls will be transferred, with some exceptions, to
the new game.  You then can decide whether you want to play in normal or hard
mode.

In New Game +, you start at the beginning of the story, but you come equipped
with all the items you had before you started New Game + and most of the souls.
However, you start with entry-level stats.

These enemies did not transfer into New Game +: Procel, Black Panther, Mudman,
Malphas, Puppet Master, Rahab, Zephyr, Bat Company, and Paranoia.  

These did:  Gergoth, Aguni, Death and Abaddon.

You will reacquire all the items you found and the bosses you beat before.

If you want to experience the full glory of hard mode, you can free all your
souls and sell all your items.  You'll start "naked" and rich.

These are some basic differences between normal and hard mode (credit to
devilishmew, who contributed these to the message board):

     * Zombies and Ghouls move faster and can poison you.
     * Peeping Eyes wake up faster.
     * Slimes can poison you.
     * Attacks from Ghouls will knock you back and poison you.
     * Draghignazzo, Barbariccia, and Malacoda will all knock you back when
        attacking you.
     * All Medusa Heads petrify you.
     * Ukobacks get faster.
     * Bone Arks fire two energy shots instead of one.
     * Attacks from Tanjellies will poison AND curse you.
     * Flying Armor does more damage.
     * Balore gets faster.
     * Puppet Master's iron maiden dolls require 4 attacks to be destroyed
        instead of 2.
     * Rahab drops more icicles.
     * Aguni gets much faster.
     * Death gets faster and his attacks become more frequent.
     * Axe Armor throws axes faster.

(Thanks to Vince for help with this section.)


--------------
D. Julius Mode
--------------

Beat the game with the good ending (all bosses). Julius Mode now appears in the
main menu at start-up. You can access Julius Mode earlier if you go for the bad
(but not the totally lame) ending. See below.

To get Yoko to join you in Julius Mode, go chat with her in the Weapon
Synthesis shop.  And chat with Alucard in The Demon Guest House room where
you got Mina's Talisman from Arikado to enlist him.


------------------
E. Hell Flame Soul
------------------
 
Complete Hard Mode with Soma to get the Hell Flame Soul. (Draculaís Favorite
Move: the Triple Fireball.)


----------------------------------------
F. Of Good, Bad and Totally Lame Endings
----------------------------------------

There are three ending variations to the game: totally lame, bad (although
kind of cool) and good.  After reading the message board, I played under the
assumption that I had to get the bad ending to unlock Julius Mode, then go for
the good ending to unlock the other goodies.  Folks kindly have written me to
say my assumption was up the spout - JohnH tells me you don't have to get any
bad ending - just go for the good one and you'll unlock Julius Mode (another
board post concurs).

But the bad ending will unlock Julius Mode and let you play as Julius sooner
than you could if you waited until you got the good ending. 

Here's how to get the bad and good ending in one game:

The first time you face a battle with Dario is in The Garden of Madness. Best
him there (for which you get no new abilities, sigh).

The next time you meet Dario is in The Pinnacle.  Do not fight him here! If you
do, you get the totally lame ending (nDyAles wrote me to say that, in his
experience, if you fight Dario and get the totally lame ending, you do not
unlock Julius Mode - Vince wrote me to say you *do* unlock Julius Mode if you
fight Dario - I still can't add my two cents in this matter). Instead, equip
the Paranoia Soul and enter the mirror to fight the boss Aguni. Only after you
have beaten Aguni can you get the seal that allows you entry to the boss door
in The Garden of Madness (and beyond).

After you have beaten Aguni, return to The Garden of Madness. Here's where
you go for the bad ending. Make sure you do not have Mina's Talisman equipped
when you enter the boss door (Genya Arikado gave you Mina's Talisman in a
cut-scene earlier in The Demon Guest House). Sans Talisman, enter the boss room
(there's no battle this time) and settle in for an interesting final cut-scene.

Voila bad ending. The game automatically saves and unlocks Julius Mode (it will
appear in the main menu at start-up).  Now you can play as Julius.

Next, open your saved game.  Equip Mina's Talisman and re-do The Garden of
Madness boss door (no battle this time, either). The cut-scene concludes
differently and off you go to new adventures and the good ending.

I will say that if you go into The Garden of Madness without equipping Mina's
Talisman (which means you're destined for the bad ending), the cut-scene is
delightfully intriguing and worth not missing!


**********************
3. Secrets & Solutions
**********************

trancients has contributed an excellent map to GameFAQs for the main area of
CDOS (lacking only The Abyss). Motorbass has enhanced this map, identifying the
locations of secret rooms, rooms with mirrors, the three elusive souls and the
three locked Gold Door rooms. You can find the enhanced map at:

http://www.rockxz.de/stuff/castlevania_dos_map_extended.gif

Locations of secret places will be given in this guide based on trancients's
coordinate system as well.  In sort, check out trancients's GIF ... it's very
handy.

If accessing a location requires certain souls, this guide directs you to at
least one suitable source for the soul.


------------------------
A. Rare Ring at Start-Up
------------------------
 
Insert the Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow game cartridge in the GBA slot before
creating a new game. You will start with the Rare Ring automatically in your
inventory. Equipping the ring encourages monsters to drop items more
frequently, which nets you more food, attire and weapons.


--------------------
B. Locked Gold Doors
--------------------

Special items are located behind three Gold Doors with locks.  To activate the
door, the last three digits of your financial holdings must match exactly the
three digits on the lock.  

     * The Garden of Madness - 777: Map location Y/34 (Threeís 7 Armor)
     * The Cursed Clock Tower - 573: Map location K/47 (Shamanís Ring)
     * Wizardry Lab Part II - 666: Map location Al/6 (Gold Ring)
        This room is in the watery area below The Lost Village where dwell the
        Homunculi.  The Gold Ring is particularly helpful, as it encourages
        monsters to drop $500 bags of money, which helps you earn faster
        toward the Soul Eater Ring!

It's not terribly complicated to get the last three digits of your monetary
holdings to equal the three digits on the door locks.  Just find the nearest
productive light source, ideally near the door to a room so you can go in and
out quickly, and smash it. Take what you need and don't pick up what you don't
need. Press the Select button so you can see the status screen on the upper
window - you can watch just how many more 1s, 10s, 50s and 100s you have to go.

Then make very sure you don't pick up any more coins on your way to the Gold
Door or you're back to smashing more lights!


---------------
C. Secret Rooms
---------------

With the Peeping Eye soul equipped, you can see a pulsing glow in a floor, wall
or ceiling where there is an entrance to a secret room.  These rooms usually
contain special items: food, attire or weapons.  For wall doors, smack them
with a weapon.  The Axe Armor soul works well for ceilings (jump and fling).
The Bomber Armor works for floors.

     * Peeping Eye: The easier-to-kill blue eyes found in The Lost Village and
        in a lower corridor of The Demon Guest House
     * Axe Armor: Throws the circular blades and is found in The Lost Village.
        Once you make your way into the rooms below The Lost Village, there is
        a room full of Axe Armors and a Great Axe Armor just off the Wizardry
        Lab
     * Bomber Armor: Found in the Wizardry Lab

An overhead weapon, like the hammers, is great for opening both ceilings and
floors; if you use one of these, you don't have to bother with equipping souls
to get a good-enough attack mode to open those passages. (Thanks JohnH.)


     -------------------------
     Locations of Secret Rooms
     -------------------------
     These locations are referenced using the coordinate system in trancientsís
     "Castle Map (GIF)." Interestingly, all are found on the left half of the
     map!

     * The Lost Village: Z/10
     * Below The Lost Village: Ab/5-6 (about 3/4 up the very long shaft)
     * Subterranean Hell: Ag/25
     * The Wizardry Lab: Z/23 (this is that long room with the conveyor
        platform)
     * The Garden of Madness: Q/28
     * The Demon Guest House: N/27
     * The Pinnacle: L/29
     * The Pinnacle: C/26
     * The Pinnacle: A/25-26


----------
D. Mirrors
----------

Once you have the Paranoia soul, you can equip it, stand in front of a mirror
and then activate it to go behind the mirror and reveal a hidden item.  To
return to normal time/space, stand in front of the mirror and activate the soul
again.

     * Paranoia Soul: Fight Paranoia in The Demon Guest House

     -------------------------
     Locations of Mirror Rooms
     -------------------------
     These locations are referenced using the coordinate system in trancientsís
     "Castle Map (GIF)"

     * The Silenced Ruins: Ag/37
     * The Dark Chapel: Aa/42
     * The Cursed Clock Tower: H/45
     * The Lost Village: Y/11-12
     * The Demon Guest House: O/16 (this is the room top right off the puzzle)
     * The Wizardry Lab: X/22
     * The Demon Guest House: F/14


----------------------
E. Three Elusive Souls
----------------------

You've been reading those little newsletters you've been collecting, right?
They are actually giving you clues to locating monsters that aren't quite as
obvious as the in-your-face ones. To get these three souls - you'll need them
for your 100% soul completion rating - you have to either lure the monster to
you or kill it from afar. 

     * Yeti: Located in the first screen of the game, he lurks in the forest.
        Equip the Waiter Skeleton (one in The Demon Guest House).  When you see
        the Yeti in the background, lure him out buy tossing a plate of curry.
        When the Yeti comes to eat, nail him with a strong weapon. (map
        location U/1-2)

     * Flying Humanoid: Located in the room just outside the save point at the
        top of The Cursed Clock Tower.  Heís a flying spec against the sky.
        Equip the Mandragora (that screaming turnip from The Garden of Madness)
        and simply activate it while the Flying Humanoid is doing his thing off
        in the distance. (map location B/45)

     * Mothman: Located in The Pinnacle in the room with the two Final Guards.
        Between the two guards is a lamp and battery box.  Stand to the right
        of the setup, facing left, and equip the Rycuda soul (the blue
        feathered flier in The Garden of Madness).  Activating the Rycuda soul
        will send out a bolt of electricity that charges the battery and lights
        the lamp.  Mothman flies in (a moth to flame).  He hovers there very
        politely for you to nail him, but you may have to repeat the whole
        sequence several times to capture the soul. funnyginman wrote to tell
        me the special attack (A button) for Gungner, the final spear
        synthesis, also produces the requisite charge.  And sure enough, this
        works, too. Some people (like egpnoodlez) discovered Mothman quite
        by accident this way - if you use Gungner to kill the first Final Guard
        in the room, you often power up the light without even knowing that's
        what you did.  Mothman just appears, as if he were a regular old normal
        enemy! (map location G/32-35)


-----------------------------
F. Three Hidden Ability Souls
-----------------------------

Most of your abilities come from defeating bosses, but three are available
through other encounters.

     * Procel: Find this ghosty female head that rears up from water in
        Subterranean Hell.  Acquiring the ability occurs when you acquire her
        soul, so keep at her as you would any other monster.  The Procel
        ability allows you to move through water at a normal pace.

     * Mud Demon: This is the male equivalent of Procel, a muddy head that
        rears up from the mud in The Abyss. Acquire his ability the same way
        you acquired Procel's ability.  Mud Demon allows you to move through
        mud (which you find only in The Abyss) at a normal pace.  

     * Hippogryph: You don't have to fight anything!  At the bottom of the
        second mud room in The Abyss, you'll find a shiny chalice. 
        Smash it to get the Hippogryph ability, which allows you to jump way
        way up by pressing UP on the control pad plus the LEFT shoulder button.
        A must!  It's about the only way to help you polish off the final boss.

[Note: You get to The Abyss beyond the boss battle in The Mine of Judgment.
When you enter the room, stand in front of the open doors and press UP on the
control pad. This creates an opening in the floor.  The Abyss does not appear
on the Castle Map, although that lone blue warp point bottom right is how you
can go back and forth ... once you activate it.]


------------
G. The Piano
------------

In The Demon Guest House, on your way to those vaulted rooms on the left,
youíll go through a piano room.  An octaveís worth of keys work.  To the best
of anyoneís knowledge - and according to Konami - thereís no secret here.  Just
a playful moment where Soma has the opportunity to channel that FAO Schwartz
scene in the movie "Big." Take some time to execute a moving rendition of Hot
Cross Buns.

And while we're on the subject of "just for fun," the portrait with the eyes
that move appears to be only and just that.


--------------------------------------
H. That Bouncy Red Ball Trapped in Ice
--------------------------------------

At the very bottom left of The Silenced Ruins (room left-most from the warp
point, map location An/34), a ricocheting red ball is trapped in ice.  Above
that is a sealed door. To open the door, break the ice from below, giving the
red ball increasingly less room to bounce around in.  When youíve forced the
ball into the very top line of ice blocks, tap the ball when itís directly
under the door.  The ball explodes and the door opens.  Go up and snag the Rare
Ring.  If you started your game with the Aria of Sorrow game cartridge in the
GBA slot, you already have this ring.  So sell the new one for a tidy profit
against the purchase of the Soul Eater Ring.


----------------------------------------------
I. Safely Killing Final Guards and Iron Golems
----------------------------------------------

One of the safest ways of decimating Final Guards is to fly over them with the
Bat Company soul (the sword wonít inflict damage unless itís falling).  Final
Guards donít turn around, so drop down behind one and start hacking with your
strongest weapon.  It will take a lot of hacks, but you wonít be damaged unless
the guard touches you.  The Flame Demon soul inflicts more damage.  The Aguni
soul inflicts even more.  You can use these two distance attacks while standing
in front of the Final Guard - you just have to scoot out of harmís way when the
sword falls or the shield rams forward.

     * Final Guard: Found in The Pinnacle
     * Bat Company soul:  Fight the Bat Company boss in The Silenced Ruins
     * Aguni soul: Fight Aguni in the mirror behind Dario in The Pinnacle
        (instead of fighting Dario, use the Paranoia soul in front of the
        mirror to get to Aguni)
     * Flame Demon: Found in The Abyss

Paragon kills his big baddies this way: The absolute safest way to kill Great
Armors or Final Guards is to use a combination of Skeleton Ape + Puppet Master.
You can throw the puppet through the monster and land on the other side. He's
unable to get you and this is far safer and faster than flying over him.

Great Armors, found in The Dark Chapel, also won't turn around.  But they're a
bit easier to vanquish.

The fly-over strategy also works with Iron Golems, although in general, most
soul and weapon combinations will only diminish the Iron Golemís HP by 1 point.
Lots of hacking.  If you equip the Dead Pirate soul and attack from behind,
each blow will inflict 2 points of damage (see contributions below for faster
or easier strategies).

     * Iron Golem: One in The Abyss, one in The Demon Guest House
     * Dead Pirate: Found in Subterranean Hell

You can also try this for Iron Golems: Equip the Bat Company soul, the Imp
soul, and the Dead Pirate soul. Fly behind the golem, use the Imp soul, and
equip a quick, multi-attack weapon, such as Terror Bear or Valmanway. The Iron
Golem should go down with considerably fewer hits.  Handy indeed, but you can
only get the Terror Bear by completing Boss Rush Mode in 8 minutes.  And the
Valmanway is the end weapon synthesis in the Swords category, which requires
that you fuse a boss soul to get it, so this strategy isn't very useful until
you pay some dues!  And if you want the Chaos Ring, don't fuse any bosses until
the ring is in your possession.

     * Bat Company soul:  Fight the Bat Company Boss in The Silenced Ruins
     * Imp: Found in The Pinnacle
     * Dead Pirate: Found in Subterranean Hell

     ------------------------
     More Guest Contributions
     ------------------------

     BHall: Using the Kaiser Knuckle (with the Dead Pirate soul) works wonders
     for defeating the Iron Golems in short order.

     RavenWorks: One little thing that can make wearing out Iron Golems a bit
     less tedious: tossing a Waiter Skeleton's hot curry under their feet deals
     a nice steady 1,1,1,1... damage. Three lv.1 curries usually finishes
     one off, or two curries if you aren't too lazy to keep attacking in
     the meantime.

     Andrew:  Iron Golem is easy if you have a good combination.
      Bullet: Imp
      Guardian: Bat Company
      Support: Ghost Dancer (level 9)
      Weapon: Kaiser Knuckle
     The Kaiser Knuckle attacks fast and it's easy to acquire in synthesis. So,
     all you do is fly over, turn on Imp and pummel Iron Golem in the foot with
     the Kaiser Knuckle.  As for Final Guard, my current strategy is to pummel
     it with Guillotiner (lvl 9) Against Final Guard, Guillotiner does about
     twice the damage that my Golden Axe does to it.  I don't even bother
     flying over because I kill them so fast now.

     infestedorc456: If you use the skeleton archer soul at max level it can do
     up to 20 damage to the iron golems, making them completely harmless
     because you can just stand out of their range and hit them with super
     arrows.

     Brian equips the Lucky 7, Joyuse, Flying Humanoid (MP permitting), Ghost
     Dancer, and Soul Eater Ring to maximize his luck.  For Great Axe Armors,
     he equips the Waiter Skeleton and Skeleton Ape so he can throw the curry
     without moving from the door.  For Final Guards and Iron Golems, he gets
     behind them with the Puppet Master and Skeleton Ape combination, then
     tosses curry.


-----------------------------
J. That Nasty Spikey Corridor
-----------------------------

There is a corridor of spikes between Subterranean Hell and the Area of the
Homunculi (Wizardry Lab Part II, map location Aj/21-24).  Land on these and you
die very quickly! To cross the nasty spikes submerged in a shallow lake, fly
over them with the Bat Company soul or cross them using the Bone Ark.  When you
get to the stone wall, stand on the little platform.  Equip the Puppet Master
and the Skeleton Ape. Now you can throw the puppet farther, exchanging places
to the safe platform on the opposite side of the stone wall. Activate the Bat
Company or Bone Ark soul to cross the remaining spikes and exit the room.

     * Puppet Master soul: Fight the Puppet Master boss in The Demon Guest
        House
     * Bat Company soul: Fight the Bat Company boss in The Silenced Ruins
     * Bone Ark: Two skeletons carrying a skull on a platform, found in
        Subterranean Hell and in The Silenced Ruins
     * Skeleton Ape: Hunched skeleton that throws a firey barrel, found in The
        Garden of Madness

In truth, you can simply walk over the spikes and *through* the stone wall
using the Bone Ark (credits to Paragon, nDyAles and JohnH). Don't have one yet?
Then you can also use the Skeleton Ape and Puppet Master this way: simply turn
off your Rahab Ability Soul (do this on the Ability screen - without Rahab on,
you can't go under water) so that you float over them. When you reach the stone
wall, turn Rahab back on, throw the puppet across, and then turn the soul back
off and float across the remainder. No need for the Bone Ark or Bat Company
souls here. (Credit to Paragon.)



---------------------------------------------
K. That Room with the Bells and Teeter-totter
---------------------------------------------

In Subterranean Hell you'll come across a room (map location: Ac-e/42) with
three round bells going up the right side and a teeter-totter thingy at the
bottom. This works just like an old-fashioned carnival Ring the Bell game. You
need to smack a hammer-based weapon on the teeter-totter platform.  Depending
which weapon you use, you'll get different prizes.

     * Mace: Rings the lowest bell, for which you win a Potion
     * Morgenstern (Mace weapon synthesis): Rings the middle bell, for
        which you win a High Potion
     * Mjolnir (Morgenstern weapon synthesis): Rings the top bell, for which
        you win a Super Potion

No, you can't keep getting more potions by going out, then coming back in and
playing again.  You can only get one of each.  But if you wait until you have
the Mjolnir, you'll get all three potions at once.


---------------------
L. The Sliding Puzzle
---------------------

In The Demon Guest House you'll come across a sliding tile puzzle; it's 4 x 4
with 15 numbered tiles and one empty space. Just like it's cheap counterpart at
the 5 and Dime, you keep sliding adjacent tiles into the empty space to solve
it.

Each tile represents a room, with one, two or three halls. Line up the halls so
you can navigate to all the exits and you've solved the puzzle. You'll also
be able to access the mirror room off the top right of the puzzle.

Soma needs to stand on the floor button to activate the puzzle.  You can then
move the cursor with your control pad to the tile you want to move, then push
A. The tile slides over, up or down.  When you are finished moving tiles,
select OK. Push reset to return the tile configuration to the default pattern.

The tiles will remain in whatever configuration you OK until you either change
them or reset.

You don't need to do anything if you only want to get Soma into the other part
of The Demon Guest House - the default pattern is configured so he can carry on
without doing anything.  But if you want the nifty items secreted away in some
of the rooms (not all rooms have prizes!), you have to work the rooms around a
bit. I got these items by putting that one tile in it's correct location and
making sure I had a path to it.  And you don't need to do this all at once.  

     * Room 1: Cestus
     * Room 5: Cutall
     * Room 8: Turquoise Stud
     * Room 9: Justaucorps
     * Room 12: Great Sword

If you want to connect all the exits from the puzzle by putting the numbered
tiles in their correct order, here's the solution, taken directly from the FAQ.
With this solution, however, you will not be able to access rooms 5, 8, 9 and
12.

3UP, 13UP, 15RIGHT, 1UP, 9LEFT, 14LEFT, 6LEFT, 7DOWN, 4RIGHT, 10DOWN, 5LEFT,
4UP, 10RIGHT, 5DOWN, 12DOWN, 8LEFT, 4UP, 12RIGHT, 13RIGHT, 11RIGHT, 1UP,
15LEFT, 5LEFT, 13DOWN, 8DOWN, 3RIGHT, 2RIGHT, 1UP (1 2 3 4 done)

15UP 5LEFT, 13LEFT, 6UP, 7LEFT, 10DOWN, 12DOWN, 8RIGHT, 6UP, 7UP, 14RIGHT,
13DOWN, 11DOWN, 15RIGHT, 5UP, 11LEFT, 15DOWN, 6LEFT, 7UP (5 6 7 8 done)

15RIGHT, 11RIGHT, 9UP, 13LEFT, 14LEFT, 15DOWN, 11RIGHT, 14UP, 15LEFT 10LEFT
12DOWN, 11RIGHT, 10UP, 15RIGHT, 14DOWN, 10LEFT, 11LEFT, 12UP 
(9 10 11 12 13 14 15 DONE!)


--------------------------
M. Known Soul Combinations
--------------------------

Here are all currently posted special soul combinations:

     * Slogra + Gaibon (when you throw a spear, so does Gaibon)
     * Alamaric Sniper + Skull Archer (when you fire an arrow, the Sniper
        appears and fires one as well)
     * Flame Demon + Bat Company (shoot fireballs by pressing attack while
        you're a bat)
     * Fleaman + Bat Company (shoot fleas by pressing attack while you're a
        bat)
     * Puppet Master + Skeleton Ape (throw the puppet farther - folks debate
        whether this is technically a special combination, but whichever side
        of the matter you come down on, it does come in handy)
     * Une + Alura Une (each Alura flower constantly spits Une)
     * Needles + Fish Head (each Needle throws a Fish Head)
     * Mini Devil + Guillotiner (Mini Devil used Guillotine in tandem with
        Soma)

(Credit to nDyAles for filling in what the combinations do for you.)


---------------------------
N. Acquiring the Chaos Ring
---------------------------

Before you undertake your quest for the Chaos Ring, you must acquire 100% of
all souls (you can do this without fighting the final boss, so it is possible
to acquire the Chaos Ring to aid you in the final battle). You must have all
the souls in your inventory - if you acquired a soul and subsequently spent it
on a weapon synthesis, you'll need to acquire that soul again.  If you fused a
boss soul to get the ultimate Axe, Sword or Great Sword weapon before you got
the Chaos Ring, then you're out of luck this time around (you can acquire all
the bosses again in New Game +).

Check your list of enemies.  If there are any zeros in the number column, head
back out into the wilds to snag those souls.  When the percent number on that
list is 100.0, you're ready to acquire the Chaos Ring.

Make your way back into The Abyss and go to the room with the three Frozen
Shades (the blue ladies who manufacture ice daggers).  You'll find the Ring on
a shelf in the top left of the room.  The ring raises some stats, but it's
primary benefit is its ability to recharge your MP with inspiring speed.


------------------------------------------
O. Easter Eggs: Crown, Bell and Konami Man
------------------------------------------

There are three in the game. The items don't confer any special benefits, but
you can sell them to Hammer for $2500.

     * Crown: In The Demon Guest House, go to the room with the Waiter Skeleton
        a bed you can bounce on without nagging reprisals and a chair (map
        location N/23).  After you best the monster, sit in the chair (do this
        by standing in front of the chair and pressing UP on the control pad -
        it works with all chairs).  The crown emerges from the floor.

     * Bell:  Head to the area at the top of The Dark Chapel, past where you
        fought Dmitrii, to the belfry with three mongo bells (map location 
        O-P/44-45). Do the Hippogryph jump (get this ability from The Abyss)
        into the left bell, and the Bell drops out.

     * Konami Man:  Head to The Cursed Clock Tower, to the upper right interior
        vertical room (map location E-F/45) in which you'll find a Tanjelly, a
        Slime and lots of spikey walls. At the top of the room, there's a
        floating platform ringed with spikes but for one safe place.  Fly to
        that safe place with Bat Company.  I stood there waiting for ages, as
        advised, and nothing happened (except I started asking myself if I
        should get a life).  I waited after killing the monsters.  I waited
        without killing the monsters.  Nada.  Then I crouched down and drew my
        weapon.  Within seconds, Konami Man flew across the screen, left to
        right, directly into me. Turns out, it's the kneeling that summons him
        (credit to JohnH for the clarification).

Fun fact from JohnH: The three secret items, the Crown, Bell and Konami Man,
are in fact references to the bonus awards in the original Castlevania, where
doing weird things in certain places produced an object that gave a large score
award (hence their description in the game).  The Konami Man trick, especially,
references a couple of places like that in levels two and three of the original
game.


-------------
P. Pink Walls
-------------

Occasionally you'll run into a brick wall, sorta.  Your path is impeded by a
pink wall sporting a picture of one of the monsters.  You need to equip that
monster's soul and activate it against the wall to shatter your way through.
For the game's pink walls, you need these four souls in your inventory:

     * Skeleton: Abundant in The Lost Village and a lower corridor in The 
        Demon Guest House
     * Axe Armor: Found in The Lost Village and a lower corridor in The Demon
        Guest House
     * Killer Clown: Found in The Demon Guest House
     * Ukoback: This is the flying, pyromaniac imp found in Subterranean Hell

You must have the Axe Armor, the Killer Clown and the Ukoback to fight the
Paranoia boss in The Demon Guest House. (Thanks JohnH and nDyAles for catching
my error!)


***********
4. Glitches
***********


------------------------
A. The Succubus Glitches
------------------------

I haven't played with this (probably will), but I include it here because it is
an incredibly popular question on the boards.  What follows is information 
that sounds reasonably credible that I've collected from the board.  This is
definitely "caveat emptor" stuff.  Making a copy of your game before you mess
with this is in order.

Esods says: After obtaining a Succubus soul (some in The Demon Guest House and
one in The Pinnacle), buy a weapon that affords the ability to back stab (a
Cinquedas works).  Go to a wall and activate the Succubus Bullet soul. Mid-hug,
press A (special attack), then press B (normal attack) 3 times to backstab
again. You should start randomly warping in the castle, and the screen will
start flickering. Best done in the last part of the Abyss, as if you slide kick
there (as long as it wasn't on the top floor), you will appear in the room
above you.

MrLegosi offers these suggestions for getting out of the Succubus Glitch:

     * Suspend the game.
or
     * Get to a spot and wait 4 1/2 minutes and you'll stop moving
        (don't move around the map anymore), you'll then be able to hold left
        and move back to where you were. It's best not to go around the map
        more than once... makes it harder to get out of the glitch)

c00lman posts (the caps are his!):
WARNING, SAVING YOUR GAME AFTER YOU COME BACK FROM THE SUCCUBUS GLITCH WILL
RUIN YOUR GAME

transuranica says:  I have found it is quite easy to get the glitched souls. 
just find somewhere to do it where you can slide back into the map. Once you 
have identified a spot go there and while out of the map pause and check for 
glitched souls. slide into the map occasionally and save the ones you have 
and repeat.

Several messages have directed gamers to this web address:

     http://www.angelfire.com/stars5/tkcpics2/dos_glitch.html

Here you will find some interesting suggestions about the glitch and lots of
clickable pictures, plus a map showing you glitch locations.

I'm sorry, but I can't remember the source for this variation on the Succubus
Glitch, but it proposes an opportunity for temporary Invincibility.  Do the
same Succubus strategy, but instead use a knife or Sword with a quick special
attack. After doing that, while you are still glowing red, you will be
invincible for about 2 seconds. Anything you touch will take about 256 damage,
and you will gain 45HP.

nDyAles suggests using the succubus glitch to pop into adjacent rooms in the
sliding tile puzzle.  "It's random, so save first."

The thing to keep in mind here is that this glitch takes you outside the
parameters, and literally outside the boundaries, of the game.  There are
enough posts on the board to suggest that not everyone has the same experience
with this.


********************
5. Gaming Strategies
********************

These are some basic strategies that worked for me as I was playing the game.
Everyone has his or her own stylistic approach, so this is hardly be-and-end-
all advice.  Just some ideas you might want to try (many of them from people
who have written me as this guide has evolved).


------------------
A. Acquiring Souls
------------------

There's no trick to this. Kill a monster enough times, and you will eventually
acquire its soul.  Some souls release more frequently than others - it always
seems to work that the souls you really want or need take more time to acquire.
Rather like life.

At the earliest opportunity (once you've amassed that grand fortune of
$300,000), get the Soul Eater Ring.  It does help.

In the meanwhile, find the flavor of monster you are looking for and zero in on
one near a door, so you can go in and out repeatedly until you acquire its
soul.

If you are focusing on building up an arsenal of fused weapons (either for use
or to sell back to Hammer for ready cash), keep a list of which souls you need
to sacrifice for a synthesized weapon so you can get a spare soul or two while
you're out and about.

     -----------
     Soul Levels
     -----------

     While releasing souls seems to do little more than confer good Karma on
     your conscience, increasing the number of souls you hang on to can 
     intensify the strength of that soul's effect. You can keep up to nine
     souls from a monster, bosses excepted.  There are 5 categories of soul
     level: 1, 2, 3, 5 and 9.  (Thanks to Jimmyboy and Mario is the Best for 
     the clarification.)

        * Level 1 souls. No matter how many souls you acquire, the strength
          of the effect stays the same.

           Level 1 souls include: Ghost, Ouija Table, Peeping Eye, Slaughterer,
           Skeleton Ape, Mandragora, Yorick, Skeleton Farmer, The Creature,
           Ghoul, Yeti, Tombstone, Flying Humanoid, Treant, Valkyrie, Great
           Armor, Killer Doll, Skelerang, Devil, Draghignazzo, Hell Boar,
           White Dragon, Imp, Barbariccia, Medusa Head, Mimic, Dead Pirate,
           Bugbear, Procel, Bone Ark, Mothman, Dead Crusader, Dead Warrior,
           Erinys, Succubus, Black Panther, Mud Demon, Giant Slug, Werewolf,
           Flame Demon, Tanjelly, Arc Demon, Final Guard, Malacoda, Iron Golem,
           all the bosses.
          
        * There's only one Level 2 enemy in the game - Disc Armor - and you
          only need two of his souls to max the strength.

        * Level 3 souls offer three levels of strength. You increase strength
          with the 5th soul and again with the 9th soul you acquire.

           Level 3 souls include: Bat, Skeleton, Axe Armor, Skull Archer, Armor
           Knight, Bomber Armor, Mollusca, Catoblepas, Mini Devil, Waiter
           Skeleton, Persephone, Witch, Guillotiner, Needles, Harpy, Malachi,
           Larva, Merman, Fish Head, Killer Fish, Frozen Shade, Gorgon, Ripper,
           Gaibon, Alastor. 

        * Level 5 souls offer five levels of strength; levels increase with the
          3rd, 5th, 7th and 9th soul you acquire.

           Level 5 souls in the game are Spin Devil and Buer. 

        * Level 9 souls improve incrementally with every soul you acquire. 

           Level 9 souls include: Zombie, Warg, Student Witch, Golem, Slime,
           Une, Manticore, Rycuda, Corpseweed, Ghost Dancer, Quetzalcoatl,
           Amalaric Sniper, Lilith, Killer Clown, Fleaman, Bone Pillar, Wakwak
           Tree, Cave Troll, Heart Eater, Ukoback, Homunculus, Decarabia, Dead
           Mate, Alura Une, Great Axe Armor, Mushussu, Slogra, Stolas. 

     You can identify an enemy's level and where you are in the process of
     maxing out by looking at the enemy's description - where it notes LV. x/x.
     The second number tells you the enemy's level classification; the first
     number tells you the level you have achieved based on how many souls you
     have collected.

     I won't elaborate on the many possibilities ... discovering them for
     yourself is part of the fun of the game.  But here's an example: The
     Persephone soul allows you to hoover up HP from your enemies (it's very
     effective, especially with Dead Crusaders, who just stand there in guard
     mode letting you suck away until you are topped up).  A 1/3 Persephone
     produces a little graphic of a skull-canister vacuum cleaner with a 
     nozzle.  Activate a 3/3 Persephone, however, and you get the canister
     complete with maid, who stands in front of Soma and can defeat
     easier-to-kill monsters in a heart beat, hoovering up HP, items, hearts,
     coins and experience along the way while you simply zoom back and forth
     through the room.  She's a trip - it's worth it to make the effort to get
     9 of her soul!

     If you find you want to reduce the effect of a soul (some folks do say
     lower strength levels of certain souls actually work better), then visit
     Yoko and release some from your inventory.

     -------------------
     Guest Contributions
     -------------------

     Andrew's 5 Soul Hunting Tips:

     * Do everything you can to increase your luck!!  777 Shirt, Lucky Charm,
        Ghost Dancer soul ... all these things should be equipped if you are
        hunting souls. Higher luck seems to increase the rate at which souls
        drop, so definitely up your luck when soul hunting!

     * Exploit your enemies weakness.  Remember:  Rule number one in soul
        harvesting is to be able to kill your enemy as fast as possible.  
        Examples: Tan Jelly is weak against fire, so use Flame Demon.  Great
        Armor hates bash attacks, so use Amalaric Sniper. (another awesome soul
        ... so strong at Level 9)

     * Synthesize weapons.  You don't know how useful it is to have an axe like
        Bhuj in your hands.  Even though it is slow, it's very powerful early
        in the game; many enemies will die in one shot at this point, so it'll
        make soul hunting easier.

     * Use souls like Great Armor or Manticore, coupled with a strong weapon.
        This strategy just helps you kill enemies faster...and usually in one
        shot so it'll help you get souls faster.

     * Use Guillotiner! It does so much damage, and it's cheap.  It's crazy how
        well this soul works, especially at level 9 and especially when you
        have INT boosts.  It usually deals much more than your standard weapon
        attack, also.  I can kill a Final Guard with 4 hits from Guillotiner
        and 2 hits from my Golden Axe.  This soul may be very short ranged, but
        it greatly compliments big weapons like axes and great swords or even
        spears, especially when equipped with the Dead Warrior soul.


---------------
B. Levelling Up
---------------

The higher your level, the greater the damage you can inflict with any weapon
you have equipped.  So start early in the game.  Zombies and Ghouls, early on,
offer excellent opportunities to hack and slash your way to more experience
points, because these monsters keep regenerating.  When you find a room with
them, just keep trotting back and forth wrecking devastation with your weapon
of choice.  You'll not only build experience, you'll be collecting the coins
they drop.  More than that, Ghouls are great for dropping Rotten Meat, which is
worth 200HP (provided you have the Ghoul enchant soul equipped - without it,
you lose 200HP).  They also drop lots of Pendants, which you can sell back to
Hammer for nominal gain.

Zooming back and forth for Zombies or Ghouls can get tedious, so do it while
you're on the phone (turn the music off so they don't get the idea you are
otherwise occupied) or instead of picking up a magazine in the bathroom.

Zooming in and out on the room before The Pinnacle boss battle (the one with 4
Bugbears in it) also is a good spot for quickly levelling up. Flame Demon was
helpful here as the bullet soul - one shot and all four went down. (Thanks to
panzerace for recalling this spot to me - he used the Chaos or Rune Ring
along with Gungner.)

The best individual level-upper monsters are the Iron Golems (2000HP, located
in The Wizardry Lab, The Demon Guest House and The Abyss) and Final Guards
(1500HP, located in The Pinnacle and The Abyss).  Good thing, too, because even
with the Soul Eater Ring equipped, you're likely be at these acquisitions for a
while.

Grab Mothman as soon as you can and equip that enchant soul, which increases
the number of experience points you get when you beat a monster. A little more
bang for the buck, so to speak.  

You can also equip the Shaman Ring to gain more experience points in your
encounters.

     -------------------
     Guest Contributions
     -------------------

     R Zhao: In the corridor at Al/10-11, there are a LOT of mermen.  By using
     the level 9 Persephone soul, you can hold down the shoulder button and run
     across the hall, mowing down all of the mermen without getting touched.
     Each run through yields almost 1000 EXP.

     dragonsarm: The Iron Golem is my favorite to fight for leveling. I equip
     the Waiter Skeleton soul and the Kaiser Knuckles. First off throw a plate
     of curry, which will continue to do the 1 point of damage (like most
     everything else (this is more effective if Waiter Skeleton is level 9).
     Then the Kaiser Knuckles will add up the damage really quickly if you get
     in close. Just make sure to back off when he kicks or punches and you are
     all set. If mothman and the shaman ring are both equipped then you gain
     over 3k per kill.  


----------------
C. Staying Alive
----------------

It's a total pain in the neck - and expensive - to keep running back to Hammer
every time your HP potions get low.  More than that, you'll find you quickly
need more 200HP High Potions than 100HP Potions, but the unit cost of a High
Potion doesn't equate with "bargain."  Fortunately, you can whack repeatedly at
those monsters that drop useful food items.

One of the Student Witches in The Lost Village was more generous than the
others when it came to Cream Puffs (80HP, which helps a lot early in the game);
try repeatedly attacking the top right Student Witch (map location W/9). Beef
Curry (500HP, Waiter Skeletons) and Tasty Meat (290HP, Gorgons) are also good
deals, although these items are harder to come by.

Don't discount the "gone bad" stuff. If you equip the Ghoul soul, you can
consume it with impunity, so stuff like Rotten Meat (200HP, Ghouls)
and Rusty Food Tin (600HP, Dead Pirates) and Spoiled Milk (400HP, Hell Boars),
all of which are more common finds, become wonderful deals.  Ghouls are
especially generous with their Rotten Meat, and you can carry up to 9 of any
item.  A much better deal than High Potions! Absolutely make sure the Ghoul
soul is equipped, though, because if you eat decayed food without it, your HP
goes down the respective number.  You can't die from food poisoning alone,
however, as you will always be left with at least 1 HP (thanks Baboonius!).

The best HP values are found in Secret Rooms and, as far as I can tell, are
one-of-a-kinds:  truffles, foie gras and caviar are each worth 1000HP. There
are a few Super Potions in the game, but use them wisely - they supply a
whopping 5000HP.

I made it through the entire game on Rotten Meat and Rusty Food Tins, with an
odd this and that thrown in along the way.  Hammer didn't get my money for HP
potions, at least! Better still, when you build up your food items, you also
build experience and earn money for nothing, neither of which are on offer at
Hammer's!

Another way to recoup free HP is to acquire and equip The Creature soul, which
allows you to regain 1HP a second (more or less). Not hugely efficient, but if
Soma's health is low and you haven't got much in the cupboard, leave Soma in a
safe place like a Warp Room or a room in which you've killed all the monsters,
and go start up a batch of brownies.  When you return, Soma's health will be
all topped up.

Or, take a load off.  With the Ouija Table enchant soul (The Lost Village)
equipped, you can regain HP every time you sit in a chair.  Just stand before
a chair and press UP on the control pad.

And then there's the Succubus soul, which allows you to drink the blood of
monsters and suck up some HP along the way.  This works.  Trouble is, you often
wind up losing HP in the process.  Those dang monsters fight back.  Amazingly,
you can also smooch up to candles and draw HP from them.  As candles haven't
been known to fight back, this is a safe way to recoup HP.


------------
D. Soul Food
------------

MP - Magic Points or Mana - is the stuff that fuels the combat capabilities of
your bullet and guardian souls, as well as the special attack of a weapon. On
its own, it will sloooowly regenerate, so if you simply wait, it eventually
refills.

Waiting any longer than you have to is no fun at best and fatal at worst.  And
as with potions, Hammer isn't a bargain.  Frankly, it's a lot easier to recoup
HP than MP, but here are some no-cost ways to top up your mana resources and
speed recovery:

     * Whack away repeatedly at Malachis (in The Demon Guest House and The
       Abyss); they drop High Mind Ups.

     * Whack away at Devils (in The Demon Guest House); they drop Mind Ups.

     * Acquire and equip Treant (in The Garden of Madness), which speeds your
       automatic recovery of mana a little.

     * Equip the Rune Ring when you get it - that will boost recovery speed.

     * Save your bosses and snag the Chaos Ring once you've acquired 100% of
       the souls. With it, MP recovery speed is thrilling and will have you
       wondering how you managed to survive without it!


---------------
E. Making Money
---------------

     * The totally low-tech option you can pair with killing Zombies early on
        is to home in on a light source (a couple in a row is even better) and
        just go in and out repeatedly, demolishing them with your weapon and
        gathering up whatever they drop.  Dreadfully tedious.

     * Sell synthesized weapons.  The easiest way is to buy 9 Brass Knuckles
        from Hammer (it will cost you a total of $1800).  Then go acquire 9
        Zombie souls.  Go to Yoko and synthesize the 9 Brass Knuckles into 9
        Cestuses.  Sell the 9 Cestuses back to Hammer for $27,000, netting you
        $25,200.  Slick return on your investment, eh?

     * Get and equip the Gold Ring (left-most Homunculus room in Wizardry Lab
        Part II below the Lost Village, map location Al/6), then go slash some
        regenerating monsters (Zombies and Ghouls work well) to collect the
        $500 bags they will now start dropping.

     -------------------
     Guest Contributions
     -------------------

     nintendophreak1989 shared this strategy with me.  It's pretty cool.
     Acquire and equip the Mimic enchant soul (that irritating monster that
     masquerades as a treasure chest - you find them in The Wizardry Lab,
     The Garden of Madness, The Demon Guest House). Find an area with spikes
     (near a save point is great or take lots of healing food with you) and
     impale yourself on the spikes. Gather up the $500 bag that appears. If
     you impale yourself on spikes above you by jumping into them, the bags
     drop down so you can gather them safely.

     karadur: In the upper right corner of The Pinnacle you'll find a Final
     Armor, and three treasure chests.  Equip both the Puppet Master and
     Skeleton Ape souls before going into the room.  Once inside, get up close
     to the Final Armor, and use the Puppet Master soul to throw the doll
     through the enemy.  You'll get sent over to the other side of it, where
     you can break open the chests and collect whatever money comes out.  
     You can leave by fighting the Final Guard or going through him with
     Puppet Master. Keep repeating this for more money. (map location B/36-37)

     egpnoodlez suggests equipping the Gold Ring, the Black Panther and
     Hippogryph to repeatedly tackle the four statues in The Pinnacle. He uses
     the diagonal kick (down-B in the air) to break the statues right to left,
     then scoops up the proceeds with Black Panther.  Jumps in and out with
     Hippogryph and repeats. Sometimes, all 4 statues cough up $500.
     (map location E/36-37).

     Andrew uses this weapon synthesis variation to make money:  I use axes
     instead.  A great place to kill Axe Armors early in the game is in The
     Demon Guest House.  There is a room next to the draw bridge that is in the
     Lost Village...just go in there and hack away at the two Axe Armors until
     you have 9 Axe Armor souls.  They drop axes too, so this will help your
     funding.  Next, go to the Wizardry Lab and find the room with a Golem in
     it and two platforms on the far left side, with an entrance right above
     them.  Jump up there and on your immediate left you should see a
     Manticore.  Get 9 of it's soul, then go to Yoko. Fuse the axes with the
     Axe Armor souls to get 9 battle axes, and then fuse those with the
     Manticore souls to create 9 Bhujs.  Sell these to Hammer for 10,000.
     Repeat the process 2 more times and you should be close to having enough
     money for a Soul Eater Ring. It helps to equip a level 9 Ghost Dancer to
     boost your luck.


-------------------
F. Weapon Synthesis
-------------------

Yoko has set up a Weapons Synthesis shop opposite Hammer's shop in The Lost
Village (she also makes it possible for you to free extra souls if you feel
especially compassionate - the only benefit to freeing souls is cleansing your
conscience!). There are about 49 improved weapons available to you through
synthesis.  A synthesized weapon is usually more powerful than its source
weapon, so it improves your stats.  And you can acquire a better weapon
without having to pay Hammer, so you can keep saving for that Soul Eater Ring.
On top of which, synthesis is the only way to acquire many of the truly
impressive weapons in the game.

Working on 49 synthesized weapons may seem like an undertaking for all the
i-dotters out there, but weapon synthesis is also a good way to make money. A
synthesized weapon is almost always worth more money than its source weapon. 

And remember. When you're out gathering souls, consider gathering duplicates.
Synthesis "costs" you the required soul - if you only have one soul and you use
it for the fusion, it will no longer be in your attack arsenal.

You only get one boss soul, so if you use one to synthesize a weapon, you won't
earn the 100% soul completion, which means no Chaos Ring, the first time you go
through the game.  Get the Chaos Ring first, then you can synthesize with boss
souls.  If you have synthesized a boss the first time through, you can face
and reacquire that boss in New Game +.

Breakdown on Weapon Synsthesis (from the message board, credited to TidRPG).

1.Swords - start with a Short Sword

  Cutlass..........: Short Sword + Armor Knight
  Long Sword.......: Cutlass + Corpseweed
  Fragarach........: Long Sword + Great Armor
  Hrunting.........: Fragarach + Mollusca
  Mystletain.......: Fragarach + Treant
  Joyeuse..........: Hrunting + Killer Clown
  Joyeuse..........: Mystletain + Killer Clown
  Milician's Sword.: Joyeuse + Catoblepas
  Ice Brand........: Joyeuse + Frozen Shade
  Laevatain........: Joyeuse + Ukoback
  Burtgang.........: Milician's Sword + Iron Golem
  Burtgang.........: Ice Brand + Iron Golem
  Burtgang.........: Laevatain + Iron Golem
  Kaladbolg........: Burtgang + Arc Demon
  Valmanway........: Kaladbolg + Abaddon

2.Great Swords - start with a Claymore

  Falchion......: Claymore + Warg
  Great Sword...: Falchion + Great Armor
  Durandal......: Great Sword + Valkyrie
  Dainslef......: Durandal + Lilith
  Ascalon.......: Dainslef + Draghignazzo
  Balmung.......: Ascalon + Gergoth
  Final Sword...: Balmung + Final Guard
  Claimh Solais.: Final Sword + Alastor

3.Rapiers - start with a Main Gauche

  Whip Sword...: Main Gauche + White Dragon
  Whip Sword...: Small Sword + White Dragon
  Whip Sword...: Estoc + White Dragon
  Garian Sword.: Whip Sword + Quetzalcoatl
  Nebula: Garian Sword + Malacoda

4.Polearms - start with a Spear

  Partizan.: Spear + Armor Knight
  Halberd..: Partizan + Axe Armor
  Lance....: Halberd + Valkyrie
  Tridant..: Lance + Mini Devil
  Brionac..: Trident + Decarabia
  Geiborg..: Brionac + Slogra
  Longinus.: Geiborg + Erinys
  Gungner..: Longinus + Bugbear

5.Axes - start with an Axe

  Battle Axe...: Axe + Axe Armor
  Bhuj.........: Battle Axe + Manticore
  Great Axe....: Bhuj + Great Axe Armor
  Golden Axe...: Great Axe + Final Guard
  Death Scythe.: Golden Axe + Death

6.Hammers - start with a Mace

  Morgenstern.: Mace + Needles
  Mjollnjr....: Morgenstern + Bugbear

7.Katanas - start with a Blunt Sword

  Katana....: Blunt Sword + Bomber Armor
  Kotetsu...: Katana + Mini Devil
  Osafune...: Masamune + Barbariccia
  Kunitsuna.: Osafune + Malachi
  Yasutsuna.: Kunitsuna + Gaibon
  Murasama..: Yasutsuna + Malacoda

8.Punchs - start with Brass Knuckles

  Cestus.........: Brass Knuckles + Zombie
  Whip Knuckle...: Cestus + Slaughterer
  Mach Punch.....: Whip Knuckle + Hell Boar
  Kaiser Knuckle.: Mach Punch + Werewolf


--------
G. Rings
--------

Yes, the rings do exactly what they say they do.  The Soul Eater Ring is well
worth buying (probably by the time you narrow down to the last few bosses). It
really does increase the frequency of release, although there are still some
stalwart monsters you have to work at.  The Gold Ring is a blessing for
building up your financial status - when you equip it, monsters will start
dropping the occasional $500 bag for you!  Equip it and head for the Ghouls in
The Dark Chapel - I found them to be the most generous. The Chaos Ring is
brilliant for regenerating MP, but you'll find it in The Abyss only after
you've collected 100% of the souls.

These soul release rates have been posted on the message board and appear in
the Bestiary FAQ.  The Double Jump guide is credited as the source. It's said
the Soul Eater Ring doubles your chance of acquiring a soul.

Andrew wrote me to say the earliest you can acquire the Soul Eater Ring in the
game (the point at which Hammer starts stocking it) is after you defeat
Malphas, the boss from which you acquire the double-jump ability.

Zombie - 20%            Bat - 24%                Ghost - 8%
Skeleton - 16%          Ouija Table - 4%         Peeping Eye - 2%
Axe Armor - 32%         Skull Archer - 24%       Warg - 48%
Spin Devil - 32%        Armor Knight - 16%       Student Witch - 24%
Slaughterer - 16%       Bomber Armor - 24%       Golem - 12%
Slime - 32%             Une - 20%                Skeleton Ape - 4%
Manticore - 4%          Mollusca - 16%           Rycuda - 20%
Mandragora - 12%        Yorick - 16%             Skeleton Farmer - 8%
The Creature - 2%       Catoblepas - 16%         Ghoul - 2%
Corpse Weed - 32%       Yeti - 64%               Tombstone - 4%
Ghost Dancer - 12%      Flying Humanoid - 100%   Mini Devil - 20%
Quetzalcoatl - 16%      Treant - 8%              Amalaric Sniper - 28%
Valkyrie - 4%           Great Armor - 24%        Killer Doll - 4%
Waiter Skeleton - 16%   Persephone - 24%         Witch - 24%
Buer - 32%              Lilith - 12%             Killer Clown - 24%
Skelerang - 12%         Fleaman - 24%            Devil - 24%
Guillotiner - 32%       Draghignazzo - 8%        Needles - 20%
Hell Boar - 16%         Bone Pillar - 4%         White Dragon - 16%
Wakwak Tree - 20%       Imp - 16%                Harpy - 24%
Barbariccia - 8%        Malachi - 8%             Cave Troll - 32%
Larva - 24%             Heart Eater - 8%         Merman - 32%
Fish Head - 10%         Medusa Head- 2%          Ukoback - 16%
Killer Fish - 16%       Mimic - 8%               Dead Pirate - 10%
Frozen Shade - 16%      Homunculus - 32%         Disc Armor - 24%
Decarabia - 32%         Dead Mate - 32%          Bug Bear - 4%
Procel - 8%             Bone Ark - 3%            Gorgon - 8%
Alura Une - 20%         Great Axe Armor - 4%     Mothman - 64%
Mushussu - 16%          Dead Crusader - 8%       Dead Warrior - 8%
Erinys - 8%             Succubus - 20%           Ripper - 16%
Black Panther - 64%     Mud Demon - 16%          Giant Slug - 8%
Werewolf - 16%          Flame Demon - 16%        Tanjelly - 8%
Arc Demon - 8%          Gaibon - 20%             Slogra - 32%
Stolas - 8%             Final Guard - 8%         Malacoda - 12%
Alastor - 10%           Iron Golem - 8%          

Bosses (You can only get these once)
   Flying Armor
   Balore
   Malphas
   Dmitrii
   Dario
   Puppet Master
   Rahab
   Gergoth
   Zephyr
   Bat Company
   Paranoia
   Aguni
   Death
   Abaddon
   Menace


----------------
H. This and That
----------------

An in-no-particular-order collection of oddments that aren't easy to categorize
but help along the way.  Most of these are strategies and suggestions others
have emailed me throughout the evolution of this guide.

     * Make the effort to acquire the Tombstone soul - there's one just past
        the belfry in The Dark Chapel.  Equip it when you have to face those
        hateful yellow Medusas that petrify you.  Your progress through The
        Cursed Clock Tower will be soooo much easier!

     * made_of_bees wrote to me with this idea:  First, the low-tech gold
        gathering technique can be tedious, but effective if combined with a
        few other elements you describe. By equipping the Gold Ring, Triple
        Seven armor, and level 9 Ghost Dancer soul, and meandering back and
        forth in an area with zombies, you can not only gather a lot of money
        quickly, but frequently gather zombie souls simultaneously for use in
        synthesizing a batch of 9 cesti from brass knuckles as per your other
        suggestion. I would also like to add that a level 3 Persephone soul
        makes this process much easier- at +6 regen per hit and a damage at
        higher levels that can kill a zombie in one hit, you can just hold down 
        R and charge through the undead with impunity. You'll never die, though
        your left thumb and right index finger may give out before Soma does.

     * The Black Panther soul (in the Abyss) is brilliant for zooming through
        ground-dwelling monsters to collect money or souls.
 
     * Strategic use of Persephone and her Hoover (also from made_of_bees): The
        Persephone soul is extremely useful, in my experience. The only bad
        things about the soul is it's short range and goofy appearance. A great
        emergency use for it is versus Dead Crusaders. They block for eternity
        when provoked to do so, and don't seem to realize that Persephone
        gives you health even if her attack is blocked. Thus, if one is low on
        health, one can continually drain a blocking Dead Crusader for quick,
        easy health without a huge expenditure of mana. Also, it may be my
        imagination, but Persephone seems to drop her soul more frequently when
        destroyed with her own soul - she also gets stunned in a comical
        fashion when confronted with that goofy vacuum.
 
     * made_of_bees commented on the Silver Gun. It's utility is unparalleled
       in the mid-level area - instant damage at great range. Though it
       gradually becomes eclipsed by heavier damage dealing weapons, the gun,
       with a little practice, can keep Soma away from the enemy and still
       dishing it out. With it, I was able to kill Rahab without taking a hit
       (I know, yipee.) and the larger, slower enemies like Treant or Great
       Armor proved no challenge once their powerful punches and kicks were
       defeated by range. The only downside is the price tag. Of course, once
       you're vacuuming up zombies, you can recoup that pretty quick.

     * Paragon contributes: if you have a weapon that has the backstab special
        (the later daggers, or Alucard), you can use it to bypass those doors
        that have switches on the other side to advance to different areas that
        you aren't meant to gain access to. Get close to the wall and activate
        the special. You'll go through the wall and backstab as usual, and if
        you land on the switch, it acts as if you had stepped on it.

     * infestedorc456: The killer clown soul nearly breaks the game because it
        does about 120 damage at max level, is fast, low mana drain, and long
        range. After I acquired it I beat every boss on the first try with out
        using more than one potion.

     * tommy131: The combination of Imp + Black Panther is deadly for gathering
        some souls. If you use Imp on enemies with 1 mp then you can just Black
        Panther through them to kill them in one hit. You can use this
        combination on the Great Axe Armor in The Condemned Tower and the Alura
        Une in Subterranean Hell. Imp + Black Panther kills each in a single
        hit and allowed me to get 9 souls for both of them in 10 minutes. And
        both Great Axe Armor and Alura Une absolutely rock at level 9.



**************
6. Legal Stuff
**************

This guide is copyright (c) 2005 by the author, Lisa T. Davis.

This guide was written for GameFAQs at http://www.gamefaqs.com/. The most
up-to-date version will be posted there.  If you wish to post this FAQ on a
different site, please email me at fairemma@aol.com to secure permission. If
you wish to make sure you have the most recent version posted, you will need
to be responsible for that.

Feedback is welcome, particularly words extolling this guide's incredible 
value! Any errors are down to me, and if you bring one to my attention, I'll
right the wrong pronto and credit you in the subsequent version.


******************
7. Version History
******************

Version 2.2 created 5 November 2005

   Added to Acquiring Souls section.

   Added information about recouping MP (Soul Food).

   Clarified Hard Mode section.

   Lots of guest suggestions added.

Version 2.1 created 31 October 2005

   Corrected information on Chaos Ring, for which you need to acquire 100% of
   all souls, but you do not need to have fought the final boss (which means
   you also do not require 100% map completion).

   Added information to acquiring Mothman, Staying Alive, Making Money.

Version 2.0 created 27 October 2005 (enough changed to warrant the 2)   

   Thanks to xstreamzero for alerting me to one of the stupidest things I
   said - so stupid that I'm not even going to mention it here, except to say
   it wasn't a secret and it's gone.

   Updated Endings, Spikey Corridor, fighting Final Guards, Easter Eggs, Secret
   Rooms, Succubus Glitch and Pink Walls sections.

   Added some "oddments" under This and That.

Version 1.1 created 26 October 2005

   Removed "Imp Glitch" - turns out Imps impair your mobility as part of their
   attack strategy, and did this in Symphony of the Night, too.  Life is
   constantly surprising me.  Still!  Thanks to Bahhlmuuzeth, renmazuogk and
   UJINMO for setting me straight (and no doubt to the thoughtful others who
   will help me out between now and when this amended version lands on the
   site)!  Necrophiliac says he presses "the "x"(?) button (the one on the
   top)  to do a special jump attack while having a weapon like an axe equipped
   breaks this hold easily." Others say just keep up the button mashing as if
   you had been petrified.

   Also corrected a few typos.

Version 1.0 created 25 October 2005


**********
8. Credits
**********

Many thanks to all the kind souls who have participated in the message board
and unknowingly helped me along the way.  I've tried to credit folks when I
could, but I'm sure I've missed some. My humblest apologies!

A number of individuals have written with suggestions and corrections - you'll
find their names throughout. I'm indebted and tickled pink for the help. Being
thorough is actually a lot more complicated than it seems.  Gives me a whole
new appreciation for game guides where folks actually get paid to produce this
information, and I'm now in awe of everyone who conscientiously writes a
comprehensive walkthrough out of personal enthusiasm and makes it available for
free!

And thanks to Zachary, who doesn't complain when dinner's that little bit late!