Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow
Boss Rush Mode Guide
Version 1.1

Copyright 2006 Lowell Hillman


 - Table of Contents - 

Version History
Introduction
How to Unlock Boss Rush Mode
Terminology
Required Equipment/Souls
Walkthrough
Boss Rush Mode Rewards
Credits
Legal Information
Contact Information


 - Version History - 

Version 1.0
Release Date:  July 13, 2006
-Initial version.

Version 1.1
Release Date:  July 14, 2006
-Changed the Rahab strategy a little bit.  Original strategy fell about
20 damage short of killing him.

Version 1.2
Release Date:  July 19, 2006
-Fixed some typos and formatting errors.


 - Introduction - 

In Boss Rush Mode you are placed in a gauntlet consisting of 13 of the 
game's bosses.  Your goal is to destroy all 13 bosses as quickly as 
possible.  You will not find nice, easy strategies in this guide.  This 
guide aims to get you the fastest time attainable using advanced 
tactics that involve both skill and luck.  It is my hope that by making 
this guide I will spark the interest of more players and we can 
continue to come up with better, more efficient strategies.


 - How to Unlock Boss Rush Mode - 

In order to unlock Boss Rush Mode you must complete the game and get 
the best ending.  To do that you must get the Paranoia soul before you 
fight Dario in the Pinnacle.  Paranoia is located in the upper section 
of the Demon Guest House, accessible through the Pinnacle.  
Furthermore, you must have the Axe Armor, Killer Clown and Ukoback 
souls in order to reach Paranoia.  Use the Paranoia soul during the 
fight with Dario and defeat Aguni.  When you go to meet Celia at the 
center of the castle, have Mina's Talisman equipped.  Now go to that 
room in the Condemned Tower with the black smoke coming from the floor 
where you met Julius.  He will break the seal.  Now make your way 
through the Abyss and defeat Menace to receive the best ending.


 - Terminology - 

Before we begin there are a few things you need to know:

Land-cancel = This works with swords (not great swords, mind you), 
rapiers, katana, punches, daggers, guns (not the RPG) and bullet souls.  
Jump.  Right before you hit the ground, attack with one of the 
previously listed weapons or fire off your bullet soul.  You'll notice 
that as soon as you hit the ground Soma's animation is cut short and 
there will be no lag from whatever attack you performed.  By performing 
a series of very small jumps and land-canceling an attack at the end of 
each one, you can attack much, MUCH faster than usual.  Very handy.

Back-dash-cancel = This works with all weapons and bullet souls.  
Attack or fire off your bullet soul.  In the middle of the animation, 
hit L.  Whatever Soma is doing will be cancelled.  Note:  You cannot 
back-dash-cancel a weapon attack that was used in the middle of a back-
dash.  Basically what this means is that you can't back-dash-cancel 
weapon attacks over and over.  Please notice I specified "weapon" 
attacks.  That is because you can back-dash-cancel soul attacks any 
number of times.  Very handy, especially with your back against a wall.  
Also note that you can't back-dash-cancel an attack performed while 
ducking.  
 
Special-cancel = Works with any weapon that has a special attack and 
bullet souls.  Attack or fire off a bullet soul and then immediately 
use your special attack.  Just like with the back-dash, a weapon's 
special attack will cancel whatever Soma is doing.  Especially useful 
with Death Scythe because it will reduce the lag after an attack and 
allow you to hit with a mighty special attack that much faster.  Note:  
You can't special-cancel an attack performed while ducking.

Werewolf-cancel = Works with bullet souls that either do not limit how 
rapidly you can use them, or bullet souls that have a very high limit 
on how rapidly you can fire them.  Works best with Killer Clown, but 
also works with Slime, Slogra, Warg, Almaric Sniper and various others.  
For purposes of Boss Rush, you will only be using Werewolf with Killer 
Clown.  Hold up.  Hold R.  While still holding both up AND R, press Y 
as fast as you can.  Everything in front of you should die.


 - Required Equipment/Souls - 

Weapons             Armors              Accessories

Kaladbolg           Death's Robe        Chaos Ring
Death Scythe        Dracula's Tunic     Megingiord
                                        Rosary

Bullet Souls        Guardian Souls      Enchant Souls

Erinys              Black Panther       Stolas**
Killer Clown**      Devil               Golem**
Abaddon             Werewolf            Dead Pirate
Bomber Armor**      Death               Draghignazzo*
Slime*

* These souls are optional.  There are alternate strategies that 
do not require them.

** Make sure all of these souls are at full power (you have 9 of them).

 - Walkthrough - 

Unlike in Castlevania:  Aria of Sorrow, time DOES pass while you're in 
this first room.  Consequently, it's important to make sure you have 
Black Panther equipped and that you are holding R as soon as you start 
Boss Rush Mode so that you dash out of the starting room as fast as 
possible.

After every boss dies switch your guardian soul to Black Panther to get 
to the next room faster and switch your accessory to the Chaos Ring in 
order to recover some of the MP you lost in the fight.

--Flying Armor--

Kaladbolg
Death's Robe
Chaos Ring

Erinys
Black Panther
Stolas

Run in and hit him with Erinys.  Make sure it hits twice.  
The timer should appear at about 0:02.

--Balore--

Death Scythe
Dracula's Tunic
Megingiord

N/A
Devil
Golem

Activate Devil ASAP and hit him with a special attack from the Death 
Scythe.
The timer should appear at about 0:06-0:07.

--Dmitrii--

Kaladbolg
Death's Robe
Chaos Ring

Killer Clown
Werewolf
Stolas

Werewolf + Killer Clown > Dmitrii.
The timer should appear at about 0:13-0:14.

--Puppet Master--

Setup A             Setup B

Kaladbolg           Death Scythe
Death's Robe        Dracula's Tunic
Chaos Ring          Megingiord

Abaddon             Abaddon
Black Panther       Devil
Stolas              Golem

Start off by land-canceling an Abaddon while Black Panthering towards 
Puppet Master.  As soon as you have fired off Abaddon, switch setups 
either by pausing and switching or by pressing X.  The reason for this 
switch is that when you fire a bullet soul its power is calculated using 
your INT at the time you fired it; therefore, by using an INT raising 
setup like setup A to fire off Abaddon, the locusts do significantly more 
damage than they would if you fired them off using a STR oriented setup 
like setup B.  After you switch to setup B, activate Devil ASAP and 
attack, back-dash-cancel into another attack, then special-cancel.  If done 
properly, the first hit from the Death Scythe will NOT be affected by Devil, 
but the second hit and the special attack will be.  If enough locusts hit 
him, Puppet Master will die.
The timer should appear at about 0:18-0:20.

--Dario--

Setup A             Setup B

Kaladbolg           Death Scythe
Death's Robe        Dracula's Tunic
Chaos Ring          Megingiord

Killer Clown        Killer Clown
N/A                 Devil
Stolas              Dead Pirate

The instant you hit the ground, fire off Killer Clown, switch setups and 
activate Devil.  Note: it is possible to land-cancel the Killer Clown since 
you gain control of Soma just before he hits the ground.  This does save 
some time, but it is very hard to do.  Dario should get knocked towards you, 
but facing away from you.  Run up behind him and use a special attack.  
The timer should appear at about 0:23-0:25.

--Rahab--

Setup A             Setup B

Kaladbolg           Death Scythe
Death's Robe        Dracula's Tunic
Rosary              Megingiord

Bomber Armor        Bomber Armor
Devil               Devil
Stolas              Golem

Start on setup A.  As you fall, inch forward a little bit, fire off Bomber 
Armor and activate Devil as fast as you can.  Because Devil is equipped on 
both setups, you can switch to setup B while Devil is activating without 
interrupting the activation, so do so.  The instant you land, use a special 
attack.  If you started activating Devil fast enough, then it should be in 
effect by the time your special connects.  If it isn't, either try and get 
Devil going faster, or just wait an ever-so-brief moment after hitting the 
ground to use your special attack.
The timer should appear at about 0:28-0:30.

--Gergoth--

Kaladbolg
Death's Robe
Chaos Ring

Killer Clown
Death
Stolas

Activate Death and back-dash-cancel Killer Clown like a madman.  It may 
be helpful to deactivate the Hippogryph ability soul so that you don't 
accidentally use that while trying to back-dash-cancel Killer Clown.
The timer should appear at about 0:33-0:35.

--Zephyr--

Kaladbolg
Death's Robe
Chaos Ring

Killer Clown
Werewolf
Stolas

Just unload with Werewolf-cancelled Killer Clown.  Beware, if he dashes 
at you it is quite possible he will hit you and you'll have to turn 
around to finish him.  Other times he'll jump when you hit him.  This 
rarely happens, but if it does then it will cost you quite a bit of time. 
Best case scenario is that he starts slowly walking toward you, in which 
case he should die well before you run into him.
The timer should appear at about 0:37-0:40.

--Bat Company--

Death Scythe
Death's Robe
Rosary

Bomber Armor
N/A
Stolas

As soon as you hit the ground, use Bomber Armor, back-dash-cancel it 
into another Bomber Armor, then special-cancel.  That should end it.
The timer should appear at about 0:42-0:45.

--Paranoia--

Setup A             Setup B

Kaladbolg           Death Scythe
Death's Robe        Dracula's Tunic
Chaos Ring          Megingiord

Slime OR Abaddon    Slime OR Abaddon
N/A                 Devil
Stolas              Golem

Make sure both sets have the same bullet soul equipped!  If one setup 
has Slime equipped and the other has Abaddon equipped, then switching 
setups will cause all of the Slimes/locusts to disappear.  Either back-
dash-cancel 9 Slimes before he comes out of the mirror OR wait until 
just before he comes out of the mirror and use Abaddon so that the 
locusts swarm over the right half of the room.  Whichever you choose, 
hit X or pause and switch to setup B the instant you finish firing off 
bullet souls and immediately activate Devil.  You'll notice that as 
Paranoia moves he floats up and down a little bit.  If you time it 
right, you can attack and then special-cancel and have both hits 
connect.  Don't worry, it's not as hard as it sounds.  If enough 
Slimes/locusts have hit him he will die.  Try a few times with each 
bullet soul and figure out which one you're more comfortable using.
The timer should appear at about 0:50-0:53.

--Aguni--

Setup A             Setup B

Kaladbolg           Death Scythe
Death's Robe        Dracula's Tunic
Rosary              Megingiord

Abaddon             Abaddon
Black Panther       Devil
Stolas              Golem

This guy is tough.  Start on setup A.  As he comes down, Black Panther 
to the side, then jump up and use Abaddon on him and immediately switch 
to setup B and activate Devil.  Now for the tricky part.  You need to 
run underneath him and attack, back-dash-cancel into another attack, then 
special-cancel.  Then you need to do it again.  The problem is that Aguni 
is not content to sit around and take your hits.  Also, it is quite 
possible that you will run low on HP, MP or both at some point in this 
battle.  They start you with 2 HP restoring items, so feel free to use 
one now.  MP is a different story, however.  You can either use the Mana 
Prism they provide you with, or equip your Chaos Ring to get some MP back. 
I would suggest using the Chaos Ring and saving the Mana Prism for Death, 
but it's really just a matter of preference.  In any case, make sure 
the Megingiord is on whenever you are hitting Aguni, otherwise it may 
take some extra hits to finish him.  If all goes well and enough locusts 
hit him then it will take 4 attacks and 2 special attacks to kill him.
The timer should appear at about 1:02-1:05.

--Abaddon--

Setup A             Setup B

Kaladbolg           Death Scythe
Death's Robe        Dracula's Tunic
Chaos Ring          Megingiord

Abaddon             Abaddon
Black Panther       Devil
Stolas/Draghignazzo Dead Pirate

There are a couple of ways to approach this battle.  Start off with Setup A.  
You have a decision to make: you can either jump over Abaddon (do this if 
you don't have Draghignazzo) OR you can equip Draghignazzo and charge right 
through him.  If you want to jump over him then fire off an Abaddon as you 
ascend.  If you want to charge right through him, then do a VERY small jump 
and land-cancel an Abaddon while you still have Stolas equipped.  Immediately 
after you release the locusts, pause and equip Draghignazzo, then unpause and
charge through him.  I personally just charge right through him.  Whichever 
method you use, once you're behind him, switch to setup B and activate Devil. 
Once Devil is in effect, attack, back-dash-cancel another attack, then 
special-cancel and he should die.  If not enough of your locusts hit him then 
you may need to attack him once more.  It is possible to kill him before he 
gets to summon any locusts of his own, but it is very difficult and also 
requires a lot of luck.  Whatever you do, don't get caught in a locust swarm 
with Devil activated!  If you're going to get hit by the locusts then jump 
right before they hit you; the locusts won't trap you if you're in midair.
The timer should appear at about 1:10-1:14.

--Death--

Setup A             Setup B

Death Scythe        Kaladbolg
Dracula's Tunic     Death's Robe
Megingiord          Chaos Ring

Abaddon             Killer Clown
Devil               Death
Golem               Stolas

Death can start off with one a few things.  If he starts the battle by 
flying around, then activate Devil, hit him with Abaddon, and then just 
keep hitting him with the Death Scythe.  If the opportunity presents 
itself, try to back-dash-cancel and special-cancel so you can get more 
hits in.  I believe it takes 4 hits and 1 special to end his first form.  
Once he starts transforming, if you used your Mana Prism earlier, now 
would be a good time to briefly switch to the Chaos Ring to get some MP 
back.  Once you can start hitting him again, switch back to the 
Megingiord.

If he begins the battle by using his double slash attack then 
immediately pause, switch to setup B, activate Death and start 
back-dash-canceling Killer Clown.  You'll probably get hit, but ignore 
it and keep spamming Killer Clown.  I believe this start will yield a 
slightly faster time than if he starts the battle off by flying around.  
Once he starts transforming, switch back to setup A and activate Devil.  
If your MP is low, you may want to equip the Chaos Ring to get back some 
MP, but be sure to reequip the Megingiord before you start hitting him.

His second form should be handled in much the same way as his first 
form; use Abaddon, then just keep hitting him.  Don't forget about your 
Mana Prism if you didn't use it earlier and you need some quick MP!  In 
his second form he is much more likely to stop moving and either throw 
his Scythe at you, summon his huge skulls, or teleport-slash you.  If 
he throws his scythe or summons his skulls, then get under him and 
attack, back-dash-cancel another attack, then special-cancel.  Then do 
it again.  By now you may need to use that Super Potion or Rusty Food 
Tin; Death's attacks hurt when you're using Devil.  If he tries to 
teleport-slash you, take note of where he was when he disappeared, then 
either guess which side of you he's going to appear on, or hope you 
have good reflexes.  You should have enough time to attack him, then 
special-cancel.  You'll get hit, but you'll do lots of damage to him.  
Do you remember where he was when he disappeared?  He'll reappear in 
the same place, so fire off Abaddon in that general direction, and then 
position yourself right near where Death will reappear.  As soon as he 
reappears, attack, back-dash-cancel into another attack, then special-
cancel.  That should be enough to kill him.  If not just keep hitting 
him.  I belive it takes 4 attacks and 1 special, but it will be less if
you manage to hit him with a lot of locusts.  
Beware!  You're not done yet!  Just like in Castlevania:  Aria of Sorrow, 
Death can still kill you even after he's dead.  If he had thrown his 
scythe at you before he died it will keep going as though Death were 
still alive and it can still hurt you.  A lot.  Same deal with his giant, 
blue skulls of doom; any skulls that were fired off before his demise 
will try and take you down with him.  Also, the second Death is 
destroyed, pause and equip Black Panther.  Unlike in Castlevania:  Aria 
of Sorrow, the timer doesn't stop ticking upon the death of the final 
boss.  In this game, the timer doesn't stop until you've picked up your 
reward.
If all went well, the timer should stop at about 1:30-1:40.
As of this writing, my best personal time is 1:30:87.  Good luck.


 - Boss Rush Mode Rewards - 

Beat it in                to get

under 5 minutes           RPG
under 6 minutes           Death's Robe
under 7 minutes           Nunchaku
under 8 minutes           Terror Bear
over 8 minutes            Potion

Your reward is locked in as you exit Death's door, even though the 
timer keeps going.  This is why some people get a reward even though 
their time is over 8 minutes.  The reward you receive will be the best 
reward that you haven't already received.  If you beat it in under 5 
minutes and get the RPG and then beat it in under 5 minutes again, you 
will receive Death's Robe.  You can only get each prize once.  You will 
get a potion if you already have all 4 of the other items listed above.


 - Credits - 

Many thanks to Dejavu Boy and StuckInAPlate from GameFAQs.  Almost all 
of the strategies in this guide are theirs.  The topic Dejavu Boy 
started was what got me interested in Boss Rush Mode, and StuckInAPlate's 
phenomenal times are what have kept me interested in Boss Rush Mode.


 - Legal Information - 

This may be not be reproduced under any circumstances except for 
personal, private use. It may not be placed on any web site or 
otherwise distributed publicly without advance written permission. The 
only web sites currently allowed to host this guide are:

www.gamefaqs.com
www.neoseeker.com
www.supercheats.com 

All trademarks and copyrights contained in this document are owned by 
their respective trademark and copyright holders.


 - Contact Information - 

AIM screen name = RavenousOstrich
Email address = MetaKnight2040@cox.net

Please feel free to contact me.  This is my first and only FAQ as of 
this time, so I'd love to hear any questions and/or comments you may 
have.