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CASTLEVANIA PORTRAIT OF RUIN: OLD AXE ARMOR MODE GUIDE

(By Blorgh1212)

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Version 1.16: 02/21/2007 (Information update on section 5a)
Version 1.15: 02/16/2007 (Information update on section 4a)
Version 1.14: 02/07/2007 (Information update on section 3 and 4a)
Version 1.12: 01/25/2007 (Information update on section 4a,
                          and version number error fix)
Version 1.10: 01/12/2007 (Information update on section 4a,
                          and spelling/grammar fix on the whole guide)
Version 1.08: 01/10/2007 (Information update on section 5b)
Version 1.07: 01/06/2007 (Information update on section 4a and 6b)
Version 1.05: 01/04/2007 (Information update on section 5c, 7, and 8)
Version 1.02: 01/03/2007 (Information update on section 3)
Version 1.00: 01/02/2007 (Finished writing and submitted to GameFaq)
Version 0.90: 12/28/2006 (Started writing guide)


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*CAUTION!! THIS GUIDE CONTAINS POSSIBLE SPOILERS! READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!*
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===================================
Table of Contents
===================================
1. Introduction
2. Basic Terms
3. How to Unlock the Old Axe Armor
4. About Old Axe Armor
   4a. Characteristics
   4b. Sub-weapons
   4c. Special Moves
   4d. Basic gameplay
5. Boss Strategies
   5a. Castle bosses
   5b. Portrait bosses
   5c. Nest of Evil bosses
6. Nest of Evil Tips
   6a. Map and Enemy List
   6b. Tips and Tricks
7. Disclaimer
8. Contact Info


===================================
1. Introduction
===================================
Old Axe Armor is an unlockable, playable character that is based on an
actual monster with same name and same look in the game. To put it in a
simplest form, his gameplay is challenging, yet very fun.

Playing as Old Axe Armor is very different from playing Jonathan and
Charlotte. First, he has no partner. He has very limited arsenal of
weapons. He doesn't have any mass-slaughter super-spell. He can't use any
items. Thus, you have to depend solely on your "skill" to survive the
onslaught. At times, he may even seem a bit weak.

Does this mean he's impossible to beat the game with? Absolutely not. In
fact, he's quite strong and capable of beating Nest of Evil and True
Dracula on his own. Once you realize his true strength, you may come to
like the little guy in the blue suit of armor, as I did.

This isn't the first time Old Axe Armor is playable. He was also
unlockable and playable in Castlevania Symphony of the Night. Back then,
he was known as Axe Lord Armor. I believe that Konami included Old Axe
Armor in Portrait of Ruin as a part of tribute to that game.

Through out the guide, I'll abbreviate Old Axe Armor as "OAA." And
whenever I mention a name of a monster or a boss, I'll post its
corresponding monster ID number so that you can look it up if you want
to. You can use in-game enemy list or either of two beastiary on GameFaq.

DualGreen's Beastiary:
(with a nice looking ASCII art of Charlotte)
http://db.gamefaqs.com/portable/ds/file/castlevania_por_bestiary.txt

Darth Nemesis' Beastiary:
http://db.gamefaqs.com/portable/ds/file/castlevania_por_bestiary_a.txt


=================================
2. Basic Terms
=================================
I'm only posting these for reference.

HP  = Health Points
MP  = Magic Points
LV  = Character Level
EXP = Experience gained.

ATK = Attack Power
DEF = Defense Power
STR = Strength
CON = Constitution
INT = Intelligence
MND = Mind
LCK = Luck

(Note: Following controls are shown on default setting)

(D-pad)
^      = Up
v      = down
<      = left
>      = right


X      = switch partner
Y      = attack
A      = summon/recall partner
B      = jump
L      = back-dash
R      = call partner for his/her sub-weapon/spell
Start  = in-game menu / pause
Select = toggle between map window and status window


==================================
3. How to Unlock the Old Axe Armor
==================================
As far as I know (AFAIK), you can only unlock OAA mode while you are
playing as Jonathan and Charlotte.

To play as OAA, there are three things you have to do, in order:

1. Slay at least one thousand OAA (#092).
2. Save your game.
3. Beat the final boss and get the good ending.
(Read on for more details)

When you accomplish above three things, you can access OAA mode by
starting a new game and choosing "Old Axe Armor" at the character
selection menu.

UPDATE: If you are unlocking OAA while playing on "New Game+", you do
        NOT have to beat the final boss to successfully unlock OAA mode.
        (See below update at the end of this section for more detail)


----------1. Slay at least one thousand OAA----------

It might be a good idea to slay those 1000 Old Axe Armors during your
first play through the game. But if you already beat the game, just load
the file again, slay 1000 OAA, save the game, and beat the final boss
again to unlock OAA.

AFAIK, best places to find OAA is following:

- 13th Street
- Forgotten City
- Nest of Evil

I'll leave it up to you to choose which place is best for you.

It may take some time to kill 1000 OAA, but it will not take too long.
There is also a shortcut that shortens the process a bit. It utilizes a
unique glitch that allows certain spells to keep going, even after you
leave the room. If you want to learn about the shortcut, read on.

To take the shortcut, first go to 13th Street. There, go to Save Room at
the middle of the map. From there, go up three rooms to the top. At the
very top room, there are two Red Axe Armor (#71) and three OAA's. This is
the place to "farm" those OAA's.

You can only do this from right entrance to the room. Next, you need to
use Charlotte for this to work. Equip her with Explosion spell, exit the
room, and do following steps:

1) Enter the room. When you do, you'll see a Red Axe Armor and two OAA on
   your screen.
2) Immediately cast Explosion. Be sure to fully charge it for maximum
   effect.
3) When the two OAA die, IMMEDIATELY exit the room and re-enter. The
   Explosion spell will keep going and kill two additional OAA. That way,
   you score FOUR OAA kills, instead of two, with a single cast of
   Explosion.
4) Exit the room, rinse and repeat from step 1.

Some people may feel that above method is kinda cheesy since it abuses a
glitch. I have no objection to that, so you may use whatever method that
suits you.

You can buy Explosion spell from Vincent for 10,000 gold. I believe it
shows up on the shop menu after you beat the twin sisters.

Some people claimed that above glitch works with Chain Lightning spell
too. I did try it, but I was unsuccessful, so I can't say I recommend it.

CORRECTION: It's not Chain Lightning, but Thunderbolt. The glitch also
            works with Thunderbolt. (See below update for more details)

CORRECTION: There is another glitch, which you can try in Nest of Evil,
            in a room with 9 OAA. It respawns all 9 OAA without leaving
            the room. (See below update for more details)

<<<<< UPDATE: (01/03/2007) >>>>>

I recieved an email from a reader named Aegis5, regarding the glitch and
Chain Lightning.

Aegis5 (leblanct@gmail.com) wrote:

"Hey dude, just thought I could let you know that in your OldAxe Armor
FAQ. You stated that other people have used chain lightning to the same
effect, I found this didn't work, but Thunderbolt did. In the same manner
as Explosion, I think it's because they use the same enemy targetting. 
 
Just thought you would like to know,
 
Aegis5"

Thanks, Aegis5.

Apparently, I was mistaken; it was Thunderbolt, not Chain Lightning.
I tested it out and it works fine too, so you can use either Explosion
or Thunderbolt for the glitch.

You can find Thunderbolt spell in Tower of Death.

<<<<< UPDATE: (01/03/2007) >>>>>

I received an email from a reader named Captain Commando, about another
glitch you can use to farm OAA easily. It's a trick using suspend
option to respawn all monsters in a room without ever leaving there.

Captain Commando (email withheld at his request) wrote:

"I think there might be a little bit quicker way of dealing with those
OAA's, utilizing the respawn 'glitch' in the Nest of Evil. Respawning
occurs when you suspend the game and restart - all the enemies in the
room you are at respawn. I don't know if this is purposeful or a glitch,
but I'll take any shortcut when I have to kill 1000 of something. The
best place to use the suspend glitch is in the Nest of Evil where there
is a room full of 9 OAA's (Check Darth Nemesis's Nest of Evil guide for
the room location - it's room 6.3 on the floor with Grant, Sypha,
and Trevor
http://db.gamefaqs.com/portable/ds/file/castlevania_por_nest.txt).
Kill them all, then suspend the game and restart - the OAA's reappear,
plus it saves your nine kills. You do have to kill all 9 in the room in
order to suspend the game though - otherwise it won't let you. You still
have to repeat it a bit less than 112 times (you would have killed a few
before you got to the Nest of Evil), but it works. Because you can
usually kill all 9 OAA's in 30 seconds or less, the whole process should
take less than an hour.

When using this method, I recommend jumping into the middle of the OAA's
and casting Holy Lightning - the spell is fast, doesn't use much MP, and
kills any OAA in range. Couple this with the Magus Ring or Sage Ring to
help you recharge your MP faster and Charlotte's Heal spell when your HP
starts to run low. You might consider equipping the Shaman Ring to
double your experience. I also recommend having a Magical Ticket handy to
warp directly to the shopkeeper and a save point"

Thanks, Captain Commando.

Well, there you have it. An another method to speed up the farming
process. All for your convenience. Suddenly, killing 1000 OAA doesn't
seem so hard now, does it not? =)


----------2. Save your game----------

After you kill 1000 OAA, you have to save the game. Otherwise the system
will not recognize the kill count and will not unlock OAA.


----------3. Beat the final boss and get the good ending----------

To get the good ending, you must beat the twin sisters using Sanctuary
spell. Otherwise, the game will just end and you'll get a bad ending.

Once you successfully beat the sisters with Sanctuary, remaining half of
the game will open up: you'll gain access to second set of 4 portraits,
which then will lead to Brauner, then Dracula for final showdown. You
also get a chance to unlock the true power of Vampire Killer, and access
to Nest of Evil through a quest.

Once you beat Dracula, game will end and you'll get the good ending.

You can find Sanctuary spell in Sandy Grave, in the rolling boulder room.
Use Toad Morph or Owl Morph to squeeze through the narrow crevice and
grab the spell.

I'll not post where to go and how to beat above portraits and bosses of
latter half of the game with Jonathan and Charlotte. There are 
walkthroughs written for that. You can even find two on GameFaq:

Draferen's walkthrough:
http://db.gamefaqs.com/portable/ds/file/castlevania_por_a.txt

GCNzach's walkthrough:
http://db.gamefaqs.com/portable/ds/file/castlevania_por_b.txt

However, I'll post a mini guide on how to use Sanctuary on the twin
sisters in case anyone has trouble with it.

Before you enter the twins' room, make sure you are using Jonathan.
Equip Charlotte with Sanctuary. You may also wish to equip Jonathan with
any gears that give him highest possible CON, DEF, and MND. Now enter
the room and face the twins.

As soon as you enter, do not move (stay in the corner) and press R to
summon Charlotte and have her cast Sanctuary. Remember that Sanctuary
has very a long casting time. So you have to keep the twins away from
Charlotte for her to finish casting.

Now move Jonathan toward the sisters, and use him as decoy to keep them
occupied. You may wish to use Taunt to draw their attention. I also
recommend using Stonewall to absorb damage from their attacks.

Do not move too far away from Charlotte. If she goes out of your screen,
she will cease casting the spell and you'll have to start over.

When the spell goes off, make sure that both sisters are on your screen.

If successfully done, the battle will end immediately and there will be
a conversation between the twins, and Jonathan and Charlotte.

<<<<< UPDATE: (02/07/2007) >>>>>

I received an email from a reader named Obsidian Blast regarding the
third and last step of unlocking OAA mode (i.e. beating final boss and
getting the good ending). Apparently, if you are unlocking OAA mode
while playing on "New Game+", you can skip the third step.

Obsidian Blast (obsidianblast@hotmail.com) wrote:

"You mentioned that after saving the game when you killed around
1000 OAAs, the player would have to beat the game. Not true if the player
is playing a "New Game+". I beaten the game twice, once on normal and
the other on Hard Level 50. On the third try, I killed 1000 OAAs, saved
then reset the game and was able to choose OAA for a new game. Meaning
that if a player is playing through the "New Game+" option, then all they
have to do is reset their game when they have completed steps 1 and 2."

Thanks Obsidian Blast! I appreciate it!

Well, there you have it. So if you already beat the game and trying to
unlock OAA mode in New Game+, you don't have to fight the last boss.
Simply kill 1000 OAA's and save the game. You will be able to acess
the OAA mode right away!

==================================
4. About Old Axe Armor
==================================

----------------------------------
4a. Characteristics
----------------------------------
Playing as OAA is bit different from playing as Jonathan and Charlotte.
I'll try to list all the differences and any notable characteristics.
If I left something out, just email me and I'll add it in.

- There is no plot. So there is no dialogue through out the whole game.

- OAA has no partner. Thus, pressing R, X, or A button will do nothing.
  Pressing down plus A (v + A) or up plus X (^ + X) will do nothing
  either. And obviously he doesn't have any dual-crash either.

- Pressing Start will not bring up the in-game menu. Instead, it'll just
  pause the game.

- Pressing Select will not cycle between map window and status window.
  Instead, it will cycle between OAA's two sub-weapons. You are stuck
  with the map window for top screen of your DS in OAA mode.

- OAA cannot pick up or use any items. As matter of fact, only items that
  you'll find and pick up through out the game are hearts, HP-Max Up
  potions and MP-Max Up potions. All other items, including money, are
  NOT present and monsters will NOT drop anything either.

- Only way to heal OAA is to use the Save Room or picking up HP-Max Up
  potions.

- There is no Wind/Eric or Vincent in OAA mode, thus no quests and no
  shopping.

- OAA starts his game with all of his sub-weapons and special abilities.
  Therefore, the entire castle is accessible from the start.

- OAA can do double jump and super jump. 

- OAA can not slide. Pressing down plus B (v + B) will only make him jump.

- OAA can not do dive kick.

- OAA can not do diagonal attack, since (obviously) he does not use whip.

- OAA can not master his sub-weapons.

- OAA can fit through narrow passages by simply walking through them.


Next three characteristics deserve a special attention.

- OAA can deal damage to monsters by simply jumping when he's beneath
  them. Whenever he jumps, he sticks his axe out above and behind his
  head. And whenever an enemy touches the axe, it'll take a damage. This
  is a perfect way to break candles hanging above your head, and to
  dispose those pesky, small, flying enemies that constantly fly around
  you. You can even stand beneath a platform and repeatedly jump to
  safely kill any monsters standing on top.

  This property is also true for double jump and super jump, since he
  shares same sprite for all three jumps.

  However, it has ridiculously short range, since the axe is so small.
  If the target doesn't die in one hit, you may bump into it and trade
  hits.

- Whenever OAA back-dashes, he swings his axe above his head, from back
  to front. This too has same property that as long as something touches
  the axe, it takes damage.

  This can be used to hit flying monster just above your head, or
  negating destroyable enemy projectiles raining from above (ex: Gold
  Skeleton's (#127) bone throw).

- When you press and hold up (^), OAA sticks his axe out just above and
  in front of his head. This is probably one of OAA's best attacks and a
  preferred boss killer against most bosses.

  Unlike jumping or back-dashing, which OAA is in a motion and the axe
  can hit only once or twice at best, holding up keeps the axe held in a
  fixed position. And as long as an enemy is touching the axe, it takes
  a constant damage at an incredible speed.

  Large enemies or flying monster hovering just above your head
  (typically bosses) can be quickly dispatched in a record time with this
  move. The rate at which this move deals damage is probably equal to
  1000 Blades dual-crash or spamming Illusion Fist.

  Biggest drawback with this move is its ridiculously short range. It
  requires OAA to be dangerously close to his target to score hits. Often
  you'll stand too far and completely miss, or stand close and bump into
  it. It also requires OAA to be standing still while executing this
  move, which leave him open to all sorts of nasty surprises. The target
  also needs to stand still for this to work; otherwise it can move away
  or bump into OAA and cause damage.

  Some monsters are not tall enough to be hit by this move.

  Still, given the limited arsenal OAA has, this is his one of best
  melee combat skill.


This last one is just an interesting tidbit about OAA.

- Zacchino (#006) proposes to OAA, despite OAA's manly Jonathan voice.
  Astarte (#142) can not charm OAA with her Temptation spell. This means
  that OAA is actually a FEMALE character. Imagine, under that suit of
  armor, a beautiful woman~. (Hahaha) But then again, what about *her*
  voice? Of course, honestly, this was done to make sure that OAA can
  fight Astarte. Otherwise, it would be impossible since OAA has no
  partner.

  <<<<< UPDATE: (01/06/2007) >>>>>

  I received an email from a reader named Squall-kun (email withheld)
  saying that OAA is indeed a female; there is even an official art by
  Konami showing OAA as "she." You can find the picture by following this
  link:

  http://www.konami.jp/gs/game/dracula_ds2/galleryof/popup/41.html

  Thanks Squall-kun, for pointing that out.

  Still, that may be true, but it still doesn't answer anything about
  *her* voice. Beside, you can't see who's inside that suit of armor
  in-game. So, in my opinion, it doesn't really matter. :)

  <<<<< UPDATE: (01/12/2007) >>>>>

  I received another email regarding OAA's gender; this time it's from
  a reader named Crassadon. He says there is another proof that OAA is
  female, and it's in-game! The proof can be viewed in the Records mode,
  when you reach one of top ranks with OAA in boss rush.

  Crassadon (email withheld at his request) wrote:

  "I noticed you musing about Old Axe Armor's gender, and saw you state
  that one can't see what's under that suit of armor in game. Not so!
  Well, sort of, anyway. Since you're so experienced with Old Axe Armor,
  I'm sure you're already aware of this, and simply didn't bother to make
  note of it since it's such a minor thing, but I thought I'd point it
  out anyway: 

  Although Old Axe Armor doesn't have a partner, it still has two
  portraits like every other character in the game. You can't see this
  second portait during normal play, but if you take Old Axe Armor into
  the Boss Rush Mode, and do well enough to get a high score--somewhat
  difficult to do with Old Axe Armor--then, when you view the records,
  you'll get to see both of Old Axe Armor's portraits. The first shows
  the standard blue armor image that you see during normal play, and the
  second shows what is clearly a female character wearing some sort of a 
  blue headband. Presumably, this second portait is what Old Axe Armor
  looks like under that armor. Not the best example of an "in-game"
  image, but it's more so than an image from Konami's website, and it's
  more evidence that Old Axe Armor is a female."

  Thanks Crassadon, for that interesting info about OAA.

  And yes, I have seen that second portrait of the girl in the boss rush
  mode. However, that's the portrait of Maria, from Richter mode
  (misspelled as Richiter in-game).
 
  There was a minor discussion some time ago at a forum about that, and
  honestly nobody knows why OAA has Maria's portrait for the partner
  slot. A bug? A glitch? An error that beta testers overlooked?
  Who knows...

  Plus, it still didn't answer the question about *her* in-game voice. :P

  <<<<< UPDATE: (01/25/2007) >>>>>

  I received third email regarding OAA's gender. This time a reader named
  Alex_Kid88 gave me an interesting explanation about OAA's "manly" voice.

  Alex_Kid88 (email withheld at his request) wrote:

  "On the Old Axe Armour's voice and gender question, it is a common
  element in high fantasy and mythology(and some maintain real life) that
  women fought in ancient wars by disguising themselves as men using
  concealing armour and lowering their voices. The Old Axe Armour's
  description in the beastiary is that she is "a veteran zombie warrior
  wearing antique armor", if she is as old as her armour then she would
  probably have disguised herself as a man when fighting explaining her
  deep voice."

  Thanks Alex_Kid88, for that information.

  This explanation is more plausible. But something still seems bit
  bizarre: even if she did lower her voice, I think it's *too deep* for
  that to be true. Anyone listening to it can tell it is Jonathan's
  voice, not a girly-man voice. Of course, I am not an expert on this,
  so I can't say that I'm sure.

  Please don't get me wrong; I am NOT a sexist. I also believe that it
  might have been more fun if OAA was really a female. But it has been
  already established that Konami gave OAA female-like characteristic
  in order to make sure that OAA can fight Astarte (#142). If Konami
  really DID intended OAA to be a female, I believe they would have given
  her female voice in the first place.

  <<<<< UPDATE: (02/07/2007) >>>>>

  A reader named momo mo sent me an email asking a question regarding
  a contradiction between OAA's looks and in-game description for monster
  OAA's.

  momo mo (skullman387@hotmail.com) wrote:

  "Hello. You know that picture of the female Old Axe Armor. But if she's
  a zombie, how can she be beautiful?"

  Good question, momo mo. As a matter of fact, the in-game description of
  monster OAA says "A veteran zombie warrior wearing antique armor."
  (You can look it up on in-game enemy list, or on Beastiary with link
  posted on section 1.)

  Here is reply that I sent to momo mo:

  "In my opinion, it's all in the context. Most people think zombies are
  reanimated rotten corpses, probably due to popular media representing
  them as such. But who's to say that is absolute truth? Remember, this
  is just a game and it's all make-belief. I'd like to say we could allow
  few exceptions, don't you agree? :)
 
  Plus, the zombie description for Old Axe Armor applies to the monster
  Old Axe Armors. There is no proof that it's also true for our playable
  Old Axe Armor.
 
  I know it doesn't make much sense, but I can at least say our
  imagination is limitless. Remember, it's all in our head. :)"

  In other words, our playable OAA may or may not be a zombie.
  So, anything is possible! :)

  To be honest, however, there is no information regarding OAA anywhere,
  not even from Konmai. So... we can only imagine. xD

  <<<<< UPDATE: (02/16/2007) >>>>>

  Haha, it seems like a lot of readers are more interested in OAA's
  gender more than anything. Most emails that I received so far deal
  with this subject, more than anything. xDD

  I received yet another email, this time from a reader named 
  DanielSucks, with yet another clue that indicates OAA might be
  a female. And it's in-game too. According to him, there is a glitch
  that allows you to play as the person inside the suit!

  DanielSucks (email withheld) wrote:

  "You were talking about in your guide about how the OAA could be
  a girl...
  Here is another reason how OAA might be a girl. For the ending credits
  for OAA there is a picture of Maria. There is a glitch where you can
  play as Maria instead of OAA.
 
  I read this on gamespot.com-

  There is a glitch in the game that lets you play as Maria only.
  However, note that she can not beat the game by herself since she does
  not have a super jump skill. To unlock a Maria-only mode, follow these
  steps. You must have both Richter and Old Axe Armor modes unlocked for
  the glitch to work:

  1. Resume your completed Jonathan/Charlotte mode game.
  2. Switch the main character to Charlotte.
  3. Save the game. Restart.
  4. Choose New Game + with your Jonathan/Charlotte mode game.
  5. At the name entry screen, press B.
  6. Start a new game and choose Old Axe Armor as the character.
  7. Instead of Old Axe Armor, your character will be Maria!

  This could mean that OAA could actually be maria in the blue armor,
  even though the OAA sounds like a man. Who knows, maybe its the armor
  that makes her sound like that... But this is definetely another hint
  towards that subject."

  Thanks, DanielSucks, for that information on how to do the glitch, and
  your interesting interpretation. :)

  But, sorry to say, it's just a glitch. What is a glitch? A miserable
  little pile of overlooked bugs and errors! ;) Or, in other words,
  it's not a stantard feature in a game. Therefore, I believe that this
  clue is not a valid hint toward the subject at hand.

  Plus, even if it were true, what is Maria doing in the suit of armor?
  I mean, she is so much stronger WITHOUT it. So it doesn't make much
  sense. And it contradicts with the picture posted on Konami's website.
  Surely the girl in the picture is NOT Maria. Also, as I said before, if
  Konami really did intended OAA to be female then they would have
  actually given her female voice from the very beginning.

  
----------------------------------
4b. Sub-weapons
----------------------------------
OAA has only TWO sub-weapons: Axe and Puppet. Unlike Jonathan, OAA starts
the game pre-equiped with them. You can toggle between the two by
pressing Select.

----------1. Axe----------

No, it's not the horizontally thrown axe that the monster OAA uses. It is
exactly same as the very Axe that Belmonts used for many centuries. When
used, OAA will throw an Axe forward in an arc: it will fly upward than
fall down. The axe can hit enemies while both going up and falling down.
If the enemy is large enough and the axe is thrown at right angle,
it will hit multiple times. The axe will normally go through enemies and
hit multiple targets on its trajectory, but it will not go through
certain monsters with tough skin (ex: Iron Golem, #121). Its primary use
is for attacking enemies positioned above you, or tackling large, flying
bosses. And that's how it's used for most characters.

However, for OAA, this is ONLY projectile attack he has. No other attack
allows him to attack from a safe distance. Therefore, I highly recommend
you to learn the approximate distance at which the Axe hits the ground.
Make it your second nature to instantly recognize that distance, and
throw axes at any enemies you DON'T want to get close to (ex: Cave Troll,
#128). Learn it, use it, and love it.

There is a short delay each time you throw axes. During the delay, OAA
can't move or attack; and it could leave him vulnerable to enemy attacks.
Avoid this situation by throwing axes while jumping; it will at least
allow you to manuver and add tiny bit of range to the axe. Also,
back-dash cancel (pressing L as soon as you throw axe) is another good
way to reduce the delay.


----------2. Puppet----------

This sub-weapon was actually one of Bullet Souls that Soma Cruz used in
Dawn of Sorrow, to squeeze through narrow openings. It makes a come-back
in PoR as a sub-weapon for OAA. When used, OAA tosses a blue puppet about
a quarter of the screen length in front of him. When the puppet hits the
floor, OAA and the puppet instantly switch places; it's sort of a
teleport-like move.

Even though OAA can squeeze through narrow openings without any help,
this sub-weapon isn't entirely useless. It can be used to dodge nasty
attacks or escape from corner traps during boss fights. However, it does
require a certain level of precision and skill to use it effectively.
Otherwise, you might end up tossing it into wrong spot (i.e. boss' body)
and end up taking damage instead.

You can increase the distance by using it while jumping.

The puppet can not go through a wall; if the puppet hits a wall, it'll
just drop to the floor.

Also, if the puppet goes out of screen, it will do nothing. So make sure
that the puppet lands within the screen for it to take effect.


----------------------------------
4c. Special Moves
----------------------------------
During the Wind's quests while playing as Jonathan and Charlotte, you
will notice that Wind teachs Jonathan some funky martial art and combo
moves, with half-circle command and the like. OAA also has couple of
special attacks with similar commands. Unlike Jonathan, who has to learn
his moves through out the game, OAA already starts the game with ability
to use his from the beginning.

These moves will consume MP when used, and will not execute when OAA
does not have enough MP.

I do not know the real names of these moves, since there is no
description of them anywhere. I gave them generic names, for the sake of
this guide.

(Note: Following commands are done while the character is facing right.
       If the character is facing left, switch right with left, and vice
       versa. also, switch clockwise to counter-clockwise, and vice
       versa.)

----------1. Charging Attack----------

Command: > > + Y (right, right + Y)
         (if facing left, < < + Y (left, left + Y))

Correct way of executing this move is to tap a direction twice, and press
Y button at the same time during second tap.

This move is actually a weapon special for Jonathan, but for OAA, it is
a charging attack.

If done correctly, OAA will charge forward while flailing his Axe above
his head. A blue shadow will trail just behind him, showing that the
command input was successful. It is similar with the one used by the
monster OAA, except it travels longer distance but is less reliable as
only the axe deals damage, not the whole body.

Also, OAA is NOT invincible during the move and can take damage, which
may halt the charging immediately. 

Still, it can deal some heavy damage. Best used when dealing with enemies
floating at a height just above the head level.

Otherwise, it's not very useful.


----------2. Pouncing Strike----------

Command: ^ < v > + Y (up, left, down, right + Y)
         (if facing left, ^ > v < + Y (up, right, down, left + Y))

Correct way to execute this move is to go counter-clockwise, 270-degrees,
from up to right in a quick, smooth motion. When facing left, go
clockwise, from up to left, 270 degrees. Press Y button at the same time
you press the last direction on D-pad.

When done correctly, OAA will pounce forward for a short distance while
swinging his axe. If the hit connects, it will deal a lot of damage and
OAA will bounce back. While using this special move, a blue shadow will
trail just behind OAA, indicating that the command input was successful. 

This, IMHO, is one of OAA's best attacks, because it's so safe. It deals
good damage, and while OAA isn't invincible during the move, the bouncing
back effect will keep OAA from bumping into the monster.

This move can be used while jumping.

Because of Bouncing effect, it will not go through the monster whether it
dies or not.

I recommend using it for boss fights and quickly killing any monster that
are too close for axe sub-weapon to hit.

A word of caution: you DO need to execute it quite close to the target,
else you'll miss and fall short, or worse, bump into it and take damage.

Nonetheless, an excellent special that is powerful, fast, and reliable.


----------3. Triple Combo Special----------

Command: > v < ^ > + Y (right, down, left, up, right + Y)
         (if facing left, < v > ^ < + Y (left, down, right, up, left + Y))

Correct way to execute this move is to go clockwise, 360 degrees,
starting from right direction, in a quick, smooth motion. When facing
left, go counter-clockwise, starting from left. Press Y button at the
same time you press the last direction on D-pad.

If executed correctly, OAA will do a string of three attacks:

First he will take a step forward while swinging his axe.
Then he'll swing his axe back and forth above his head.
Finally, he'll end the combo by taking another step forward, with another
axe swing.

A blue shadow will trail behind him, indicating that the move was done
successfully.

The second attack can hit twice, if the target is large enough.

The third attack will travel bit further than the first.

The move deals good damage, but only axe will deal damage, not his whole
body. Luckily, OAA is invincible during the entire process, except at the
very end when you can get hit or bump into the monster.

This move consumes a lot more MP compared to other two.

This move can also be done while jumping.


----------------------------------
4d. Basic Gameplay
----------------------------------
For OAA, the game progresses at a slight different pace than Jonathan and
Charlotte.

OAA has access to entire castle from the beginning, because he is able to
use double jump and super jump from the start. He can also fit through
narrow passages by simply walking through them. Therefore, you can
technically fight most of the bosses in any order you wish.

However, despite that fact, you still need to complete the first set of
four portraits. Each portrait will unlock the door for corresponding
portrait in the second set of four portraits. (By corresponding portrait,
I mean that completing Sandy Grave will unlock Forgotten City, completing
Nation of Fools will unlock Burnt Paradise, and etc)

Completing all four portraits in the second set will grant you access to
Brauner. And beating Brauner lets you fight Dracula.

AFAIK, Nest of Evil is unlocked by completing all eight portraits.

I believe this pace of progression is same for Richter & Maria, and the
sisters.

Gameplay wise, it's very simple: walk around slashing things, or toss
axes at them. For large monsters, try holding up-direction
trick if you can reach them safely. The pouncing strike (see above) is
very handy too, so use that as well. But be careful as generally OAA has
short range and many enemies will out-range him.

Only way to heal OAA is to use Save Room or picking up HP-Max Up potion.
At times, going from one save room to next can become a real nightmare
when you are inexperienced or too low leveled for the area. Stay mobile,
and fight from distance by chucking axes. And if all else fails, run.
And be especially careful during boss fights. You can't drink potions
and that single HP bar is all you have between you and the game over
screen.


==================================
5. Boss Strategies
==================================
I'm going to post only the name, monster ID #, Resistance, Weakness, HP,
and EXP of each boss. Any other info about the boss is quite irrelevant,
so I'll not post them. You can still look it up on beastiary if you want
to. Links to beastiary is posted on section 1.

The bosses will be listed in the order of monster ID #, under their
respective section.

----------------------------------
5a. Castle bosses
----------------------------------

-------------------------
BEHEMOTH (#140)
-------------------------
Resistance: Dark
Weakness:   Sword, Fire, Holy
HP:         800
EXP:        1000

An easy boss, though it can keep you on your toes with its many tricks.
Again, holding up on D-pad is fastest way to kill it. Just be careful
when it moves or does something. His charging attack or tongue tentacles
can be dodged by standing on one of the platforms. You can even stay
there for the entire fight and throw axes all day. But watch out when it
jumps or spits rocks at you. Be prepared to get off the platform and move
out of the way at the moment's notice.

-------------------------
KEREMET (#141)
-------------------------
Resistance: --
Weakness:   Fire, Ice, Lightning
HP:         666
EXP:        2000

Very easy. You can stay on ground and chuck axes whenever it shows its
ugly face, or push the pot to a platform at the side and hold up while
standing on it. If he doesn't pop up, start hitting the pot. Hit the
little slimes to make them go away. Or stay on the platform and you can
completely ignore them. Keremet's red ball-o-fire can't even hit you
unless you jump or do something similarily stupid. Only thing you need
to watch for is the raining skull attack. Still, you can kill it faster
than it can ever do the same to you.

<<<<< UPDATE: (02/21/2007) >>>>>

A reader named JHF1889 sent me an email with an alternative strategy,
which he says it's easiest way to defeat Keremet. I haven't tried it, but
it sounds very reasonable, so I am posting it here for others to see. :)

JHF1889 (email withheld) wrote:

"Just a little addition to your description of how to defeat kermit.
I found the easiest way to do this is to jump onto to the kettle he is in
so that you are just barely on it, if you tap back you should fall off.
From here, hold up to use Old Axe Armour's quick damage trick and
he should die in seconds, hope i helped and great job on the FAQ!"

Thanks, JHF1889, for that strategy. And thanks for the compliment too.
You really did help. :)

Well, now you don't even have to use axe sub-weapon or push the pot!
Keremet is truly an easy boss... I'm beginning to think Konami made it
to be a joke boss or something. Haha. XP


--------------------------
DEATH (#145)
--------------------------
Resistance: Dark
Weakness:   --
HP:         4444
EXP:        0

Dracula's right hand man and his best friend.

(Following is a dialogue from "Castlevania Dirge of Inebriation" flash,
 made by OZero)

DRACULA: (to Death) "Y... you know you are like my ONLY friend man? You
                     are, man. You... you GET me. No-nobody GETS me."

(See the flash on Newgrounds:
                         http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/258184)
(Credit goes to Ozero for making such a wonderful Castlevania parody.)
(Ozero's website: www.ozero.ca)

Ahem... back to the guide. Death has two colors in this fight, dark or
white, which he'll switch between the two during the battle. They will 
determine what type of damage he is weak to at a given moment. When his
color is dark, he'll take MORE damage from spells and LESS from physical
attacks. When his color is white, vice versa. Your axe sub-weapon will be
completely useless when Death's color is dark, so throw axes only when
his color is white.

Death's first attack is slashing at you (either straight down when you
are under him or to the side when you are next to him); dodge it by
moving quickly out of the way.

His second attack is to throw his scythe: it will spin and bounce around
the room but only within the confines of the chain barrier. You can dodge
it by watching where it's going and moving out of the way, or standing
outside the chain barrier. Also, this is the best time to attack Death:
he'll float in place while slowly moving side to side. Walk up to him
and hold up to deal massive damage on him.

His third attack involves opening four little portals that take turns
shooting chains with a hand at the end. If one hand grabs you, remaining
three will shoot out, and the four hands will hold you at the center of
the screen. Then Death will fly in and slash you for a huge damage.
Since you don't have a partner to free you from this "grasp-of-doom,"
avoid it all cost, by staying away from the portals.

During the entire battle, small sickles will randomly pop up and home in
on you. They are mainly there for annoyance, but they can provide Death
with free hits on you if you are not careful. You can hit them to make
them disappear, fortunately.

Luckily, Death will not pose too much threat, as the battle can be
finished rather quickly with the holding up on D-pad trick. Death may not
even live long enough to do his "grasp-of-doom" attack, if you defeat him
fast enough.

--------------------------
STELLA (#146)
--------------------------
Resistance: Water
Weakness:   Whip, Sword, Fire, Lightning
HP:         2500
EXP:        0

Same ol' drill: throw axes and/or use hold up trick when she is hovering
close to ground.

Double jump or super jump over her ground wave attack ("Secret Furious
Wave!!"). When she shoots a green fireball, crouch; then jump to dodge
the second one. When she does her Crescent moon attack, keep as many
moons out of your screen. And if you do, some of them will not fire and
make your life whole lot easier. Sometimes she'll try to slash at you
when you are close to her, but that shouldn't be too difficult to dodge.

In the end, even she can't withstand the might of holding up on D-pad
trick and will fall easily.

---------------------------
LORETTA (#147)
---------------------------
Resistance: Water
Weakness:   Whip, Sword, Fire
HP:         2500
EXP:        0

You don't need to use Sanctuary to defeat the twin sisters. After all,
you don't even have that spell when playing as OAA anyway. Just beat them
the good old fashioned way: by using the brute force.

The twins battle can also be ended quickly, but you do need to watch
out for few of their attacks.

When Loretta twirls and summons a giant magic circle that follows you and
drops icicles, you can walk through a gap between the icicles or 
destroy them by attacking it. Better yet, start attacking Loretta and
she will stop the spell when she takes enough damage.

When Loretta summons the magic circle in front of her, she's going to do
one of two things: either summon 4 big wolf heads that shoots forward,
or shoot out a massive blizzard spell. Both can deal a lot of damage, so
just walk behind her when she starts casting them.

When Loretta summons a big chunk of ice that pushes you around and Stella
shatters it into many shards that scatters, try not to get hit by too
many shards. From my personal experience, it seems that more shards will
hit you when you jump. But I'm not sure so I need a verification or a
correction on this.

when Loretta enchants Stella's sword with an ice magic, run away. You
really need to watch out for this attack since it can deal a lot of
damage. When you see Loretta casting enchantment (look for small flakes
of ice spinning around her and ice blade forming above Stella's head),
walk away or go behind them.

Focus on Loretta since she takes more damage from your attacks.
Holding up trick works like wonder again, but axe sub-weapon is great
too since it can hit both sisters for multiple hits if thrown at right
angle.

---------------------------
BRAUNER (#148)
---------------------------
Resistance: Dark
Weakness:   Holy
HP:         6000
EXP:        0

If real artists could do what Brauner can, the world would be a scary
place to live.

Artist: "I'll make you my masterpiece!!"
Victim: "Noooooooooooooooooooo~!!!"

Brauner battle may be your first tough battle while playing as OAA.
Although he can fall victim to hold up trick, he has sufficient HP to
survive long enough and make your life miserable.

He has a distinctive pattern to his attacks, which he does in given
order.

For his first attack he'll say "Blood Art Technique!" and draw a pattern
with his hand. Then the exact same pattern will appear around you in
blood trails. There are three variations to this attack:
First pattern is two horizontal parallel lines (one forms on ceiling &
another on floor). Dodge these by jumping between them away to safe
ground.
Second is in the shape of letter 'X'; dodge it by staying in a gap or
moving away.
Last variation is in shape of letter 'V', rotated sideways. Evade it by
jumping away.
For all three variations, touching the trails will result in a damage.
Attack the parts of the trails to make them disappear, or you might get
trapped.

Brauner will yell "Painting of the Soul!" for his second attack. He'll
summon a portrait that spews blood drops like a fountain. Just stay away
and you'll be fine.

Then Brauner will yell "I'll make you my masterpiece!" and summon one
of three types of portraits:
First one summons bunch of flying cyclope heads that turns you into stone
when you touch them. Just attack them and they'll go away.
Second painting will split into two, then into two giant grey monsters
that charge at you from ground and ceiling. Jump to dodge the first one,
then stay on ground to dodge the second. If you get hit, you'll get
cursed.
Third portrait will summon two green giant wheel monster with 5 spikes.
One will roll to left, and other to the right. Walk between the spikes
toward the direction of their rotation to avoid getting hit. If they hit
you, you'll get poisoned.

Then Brauner will either go back to first attack and repeat the process,
or say "This is art!!" and summon a big portrait and disappear inside.
The big portrait will then fly around the room back and forth. Be
prepared to jump when you hear his laughter, because then the portrait will
swoop down across the ground to hit you. You can attack the portrait as
it flies around, so toss axes at it. After a while, the portrait will
land and Brauner will reappear. Then he will resume his attacks.

Again, axe sub-weapon and/or hold up trick will be your best means of
fighting this boss.

-------------------------
WHIP'S MEMORY (#153)
-------------------------
Resistance: Holy
Weakness:   Dark
HP:         5000
EXP:        0

Sadly, you can't fight Whip's Momery while playing as OAA. This boss is
reserved ONLY for Jonathan, as a plot device for unlocking true power of
Vampire Killer. But it would've been very cool if we could. =)

Unlock the true power of the axe! xD

-------------------------
DRACULA (#154)
-------------------------
Resistance: Dark
Weakness:   Holy
HP:         6666
EXP:        0

Jonathan said "Well, there is two of us. So I guess that makes it even.
No problem, bring it on!" when Dracula decided to team up with Death.

Too bad OAA doesn't have a partner to even things out. But no problem!
You can still tackle the duo all by yourself, as long as you stay very
vigilant.

Don't even bother with any melee attacks. Forget about hold up trick
too. You wouldn't want to stand beneath Death anyway. And Death flies too
high and Dracula is too tall for the axe to reach his head. So stick with
the axe sub-weapon and stay mobile.

Death doesn't change his color this time, but he will be susceptible to
all kinds of damage. As matter of fact, he'll take more damage than
Dracula, so focus on him. Thankfully, the duo shares same HP, which will
make your life bit easier.

Most of time, Death will hover around and follow you. If he goes directly
above you, he will dive while swinging his scythe. Move out of the way
to dodge it. While Death does that, Dracula will do his usual
teleport-and-fireball attack. His fireballs are beefed up too: for his
tri-fireball, he'll shoot 3, then 5, then 3 again. Jump between each
wave to dodge. You can hit them to make them disappear, but you may miss
one or two and get hit. For his boulder missiles, he'll shoot 4 instead
of his usual 2. Jump the first boulder, crouch the second, jump again
for third, and crouch again for the last one.

The duo can easily trap you with no means of escape using their attacks.
You need to jump in order to dodge Dracula's fireballs, but if Death is
hovering above you, you have no choice but to get hit. Avoid this
situation at all times by luring Death to dive at you just as Dracula
begins shooting his fireballs. That way, the space above you is cleared
for jumping.

Sometimes Death will create duplicate shadows of himself and they will
swing down on the ground. Dodge them by standing in between.

If Death hovers near Dracula instead of chasing after you, be prepared to
super jump and hug the ceiling. Dracula will turn into hundreds of bats
and fly across the screen. If you stay on ground, you'll get hit for
a lot of damage.

On a rare occassion, Death will summon hundreds of sickles that gather
in front of Dracula. Dracula then will convert them into couple dozen
boulders and shoot them out. The boulders will spread out across the
screen and float in place for a short duration. Stand/crouch in a gap
among the boulders to avoid getting hit.

Once you deal enough damage (about half of their HP), Dracula will change
form.

During the whole fight, keep throwing axes whenever you get a chance.
Again, stay mobile. The less hit you take, less difficult next fight
will be.

--------------------------
TRUE DRACULA (#155)
--------------------------
Resistance: Dark
Weakness:   Holy
HP:         6666
EXP:        0

This is it. This is the final battle.

Less HP you have left from the previous fight, more difficult this fight
will be.

Again, the axe sub-weapon is your only friend in this battle. Forget
about everything else. Going close to Dracula is a suicide as he moves
very fast and bumping into him will result in a huge damage. So stay
away from him at all cost. Also, avoid getting trapped in the corner.
In between his attacks, Dracula will float still for a second or two.
Quickly walk under him to the other side.

When Dracula flies low across the ground, super jump to dodge it.

When Dracula flies forward then stomps onto the ground, jump away
quickly. Be wary of small explosion at his feet at the point of impact.

When he extends his wings and does rain of fireballs, move around and
stand between the fireballs. But be careful: occassionally you may find
yourself trapped in a corner after this attack.

Sometimes Dracula will descend low, raises his hand up, and summon a
drak rift over his hand. Soon he'll create a black scythe with red
outlines, and throw it at you. He'll do it for three times total. Each
scythe has slightly different flight trajectory: first will travel
forward along the ground for a while then curves up. Second will travel
forward less, then curves up. Third will curve up into the sky
immediately. Your distance from Dracula will determine how easy it will
be dodge them. If you can get very far away, just crouch in the far
corner. If you are quite close, you may have to jump over the first one
and crouch for the rest. Be very careful NOT to get trapped in a corner
too close to him; you can't jump over Dracula since you can bump into the
black rift, and you may get hit by all three scythes.

After a while, he will fly to center of the background and execute his
infamous "Fingers of Death" move. You may not have a partner, but you
can still survive through this. Forget about using hold up trick on the
fingers; it can miss even though it looks like the axe is touching the
fingers. And you could die. So use regular attack instead; it can hit
two fingers at once. As the attack starts, pick a hand and start whacking
it until the other hand begins shaking. Now go to that hand and start
whacking it. Soon the first hand will shake. Go back to it and start
whacking it again. Rinse and repeat until Dracula retracts his hands.

Remember to KEEP MOVING and throw axes at him until you get sick of it,
and throw some more. And soon, he will bite the dust and you'll emerge
victorious.

----------------------------------
5b. Portrait bosses
----------------------------------

-------------------------
DULLAHAN (#139)
-------------------------
Resistance: Water
Weakness:   Blunt, Whip, Lightning
HP:         600
EXP:        500

This boss of City of Haze is first boss for Jonathan and Charlotte, but
may not be for you. Either way, he isn't difficult to beat. Fastest way
to defeat him is to walk up to him and holding up on D-pad. Just be ready
to dodge when he decides to move forward.

You can dodge his thrusting attack by simply staying on the ground. Dodge
his jumping attack followed by ground spikes by walking under him when he
is in the air (if you are close to him), or move back and super jump.
When he grabs his head and shoots homing fireballs, avoid it the usual
way by walking back and forth. And when he releases his head and shoots
little fireballs in every direction, move back and stand in a gap. You
can even hit those little firballs to make them disappear.

-------------------------
ASTARTE (#142)
-------------------------
Resistance: Fire, Ice, Lightning, Dark, Holy
Weakness:   Blunt, Whip, Sword
HP:         1500
EXP:        3000

You are immune to her Temptation, so go nuts! But remember to dodge her
attacks or this queen of Sandy Grave may put you out of commission first.
Even though she may not look like it, she is tall enough for holding up
on the D-pad trick to work. Again, throw axes if you want to fight safe.
Watch out for her spells: she can either summon a horizontal whirlwind or
jump up and summon green crystals in a row that rain down on you. Dodge
the first by jumping, and latter by moving out of the way. She'll also
slash at you if you are close; jump immediately when she pulls her arm
back to strike.

-------------------------
LEGION (#143)
-------------------------
Resistance: Dark
Weakness:   Sword, Fire, Holy
HP:         2000
EXP:        4000

Many people's all-time favorite Castlevania boss. I like it too. =) It
has been a boss in many Castlevania games, and in PoR its job is to act
as a stage boss for Nation of Fools. This incarnation of Legion is same
as one from Symphony of the Night; back then it was called Galafagoon.

This boss has an outer shell made up of thousands of corpses. Inside,
there is a red core with 8 tentacles pointing at every direction. The
shell is divided into 9 parts, and you need to break them off in order to
expose the inner core. Axe sub-weapon is your best friend here. Forget
about holding up trick since you can't reach every piece of the shell
even though the boss is floating in one place. Keep chucking axes until
you break them all off. The boss will continuously drop corpses until you
break off every piece, and those corpses will walk toward you when they
hit the ground. Stay on the platforms to avoid getting swarmed. As you
break off outer shell, some tentacles will be exposed and they will shoot
lasers in their respective direction. Avoid those by staying out of their
line of fire.

Once you break off the entire shell, it will change its tactics. It'll
either shoot lasers in 8 directions, or spit green poison streams in 4
directions while rotating. Dodge the first by standing in a gap, and
latter by staying in a gap AND moving along with the direction of
rotation: it will rotate clockwise, then counter-clockwise. Be ware that
you can get poisoned if you get hit by the green poison stream. Keep
throwing axes and the boss will hit the dirt in no time.

--------------------------
DAGON (#144)
--------------------------
Resistance: Water, Dark
Weakness:   Lightning, Holy
HP:         1800
EXP:        6000

Half fish, half frog, and all demon? Only its upper head can take damage,
so start throwing axes at it. You may have to jump before you throw to
actually score a hit. Or, if you are brave enough, jump toward its head
and do Pouncing Strike. It has only three attacks: jump across the room,
spit out a floating orange thingies from top of its lower head, or
engulfing all the water in the room then spitting it all out in a
powerful water stream. Dodge the first by staying on ground at the
center. You can hit the floating orange thingies to make them go away.
And just do super jump when it starts spitting water back out. Thankfully,
this boss of Forest of Doom isn't so hard and goes down real fast.

--------------------------
THE CREATURE (#149)
--------------------------
Resistance: Lightning
Weakness:   Whip, Sword
HP:         4000
EXP:        5000

Amazingly, this boss is not too hard although he'll keep you on your
toes with variety of deadly attacks. As long as you stay mobile and
vigilant, you will defeat this boss of Dark Academy in no time.

Holding up on D-pad trick will be your best method to dispose of this
boss. Axe sub-weapon is great too, if you don't want to get close.

When he lifts both of his hands up, he's going to shoot lightning. Dodge
this by super-jumping, but be be careful as this attack has surprisingly
large hit box. Also, if you jump too early, he'll shoot the lightning
toward the ceiling.

He may also jump forward and drop straight down on you. Move out of the
way to avoid getting hit.

He'll also try to grab you when you are close. When he raises his arm
back, back-dash or jump away.

This next attack is probably most dangerous: elbow rocket. You can tell
by a red tipped rocket sticking out of his elbow when he raises it.
The boss aims the rocket at your last position, so keep moving.

This last attack is only for annoyance: elbow machingun. You can tell by
the grey machine gun barrel at the tip of his elbow when he raises it.
The bullets can be destroyed if you attack it. This is the best time to
attack him as he'll be standing still for quite a long time. Super jump
behind him and hold up on his back. You can also do it from front, IF you
position yourself at just the right spot so your axe absorbs every bullet
fired.

--------------------------
WEREWOLF (#150)
--------------------------
Resistance: Blunt
Weakness:   Whip, Sword, Fire, Holy
HP:         4500
EXP:        6000

A big bad wolf. This boss of 13th Street isn't hard, but he too will
keep you on your toes.

Axe sub-weapon is your best friend against him. You could try hold up
trick, but he rarely stands still for it to work very well.

His first attack is picking up a lamp post in the boss room and throwing
at you. You need to stand close to him and crouch. If you don't crouch,
you will get hit. If you stand too far, you'll get hit. But don't stand
too close either or you'll get hit because he leans forward as he throws
the lamp post.

His more common attack is dashing towards you then swiping with his
claws. If you jump, he'll do an uppercut instead. Dodge it by carefully
timing your jump so he misses you.

Sometimes he'll howl and summon couple wolfs that run toward you. You can
attack them to make them disappear, but they run faster than OAA swings
his axe so you could get hit. I recommend jumping over them instead.

--------------------------
MEDUSA (#151)
--------------------------
Resistance: Dark
Weakness:   Holy
HP:         3500
EXP:        6000

Medusa can be a tough boss if you aren't careful. She's always bobbing
up and down, so hold up trick doesn't work so well. You could also get
hit while you are standing beneath her. So throw axes instead.

This boss of Burnt Paradise always starts the battle with a petrification
beam. wiggle your D-pad to quickly break out of stone status. Later, if
she tries to do it again, you could stand beneath her to dodge it.

UPDATE: Better yet, just turn away from her to nullify the attack.
        (See below update for more info)

She often releases bunch of Medusa Heads from her hair. Again, stand
directly beneath her and they can't touch you. Or you can whack them to
destroy them.

Sometimes she will swoop down and slash at you with her arm that
transformed into a snake. She could even change into a giant snake
herself and ram into you. Dodge either attack by moving away or jumping.

When she does a ground shaking tail-wave attack, try to stand in one of
gaps to avoid taking hits. But be careful! Despite how it looks on
screen, the actual gap is very narrow. You must stand at a precise spot
or you'll continuously take damage.

Don't give up and keep tossing axes at her. Eventually, she'll go down.

<<<<< UPDATE: (01/10/2007) >>>>>

I received an email from a reader named Thomas Borg about a better
strategy to avoid her petrification beam. Apparently, you can just
turn away from her to avoid the attack completely.

Thomas Borg (scooby31293@gmail.com) wrote:

"I read your PoR OAA FAQ, and it was great. However, on your portrait
boss strategy on Medusa, you didn't mention that you can simply turn
the OAA away from her (toward the door) to nullify the petrification
beam. You might wanna try it out! It helped me a whole lot, considering
petrification in that fight is deadly."

And guess what? I did try it, and he is correct! Thanks, Thomas.

So when you hear her say "Petrify!!" just turn away from her, and you
won't get turned into stone.

In addition, I also learned (while testing it out after reading this
email) that if you stay under her during the entire battle, Medusa will
not use the petrification beam anymore.

--------------------------
MUMMY MAN (#149)
--------------------------
Resistance: Dark
Weakness:   Fire, Holy
HP:         4500
EXP:        5000

Mummy man is a pushover. Just keep an eye out for his attacks and dodge
them accordingly.

His first attack is to raise a three giant block that pushes you into a
corner, trapping you against the wall. Then sharp spikes will sprout
from the blocks, filling the narrow space and dealing damage. Avoid
getting trapped by double jumping or super jumping out of the space.

His more common attack involves summoning 5 small blocks that floats in
the air. They'll either form a line above your head or encircle you.
The blocks will then fly at you one at a time. You can tell which block
is going to come by looking for the one turning red. They home in on
you, so keep moving back and forth to dodge.

Sometimes he'll raise his arms and launch a thin stripe of clothes
that follows you for a short distance. Don't touch it, and avoid by
staying away or jumping over the boss to other side.

Mummy man will teleport if you stay behind him.

Holding up trick works really well since he rarely moves. And even if he
does, he'll move very slowly.


----------------------------------
5C. Nest of Evil bosses
----------------------------------
Majority of bosses in Nest of Evil are from preivous Castlevania titles,
so you'll see many familiar faces.

Note that amount of HP you have left (when you enter their chamber)
determines how difficult the fight will be.

--------------------------
BALORE (#130)
--------------------------
Resistance: --
Weakness:   Sword
HP:         3000
EXP:        2000

This boss was originally in Dawn of Sorrow. He makes his reappearance
in PoR as first boss you fight in Nest of Evil.

Easiest boss you'll face while playing as OAA. Just walk up to his face
and hold up on D-pad.

Jump away when he pulls his fist to strike you. Crouch when he charges
his eye beam. Either way, he'll go down really fast.

--------------------------
GERGOTH (#131)
--------------------------
Resistance: --
Weakness:   Whip, Sword, Fire
HP:         3800
EXP:        2500

Another returning boss from DoS.

He is actually not a difficult boss. But in Nest of Evil, his difficulty
will depend on how much HP you have when you enter his chamber, because
you may inevitably get hit since he is so big and the room is so small.
More HP you have, easier it is.

Holding up trick does work, but not so well since he walks back and forth
a lot. Plus, his head bobs up and down as he walks. You could get hit if
you aren't careful. Throwing axes is whole lot better.

Watch out for his jumping attack. If you are close to him, you could
walk under him to the other side. But if you aren't, you may get stomped.
This may be a good time to actually use the Puppet sub-weapon.

Spam super jump and hug the ceiling when he starts sucking in air to
strike downward.

When he raises his head and release toxic gas from his belly, just
attack the gas clouds to push them away.

When he charges up his laser beam, immediately walk to his feet and
crouch; that is the only safe place until he finishes the attack.

--------------------------
ZEPHYR (#132)
--------------------------
Resistance: --
Weakness:   Whip, Sword, Fire
HP:         3210
EXP:        3210

Time stopping boss from DoS. Reminds me of a certain manga character with
an unique warcry: "Wryyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!"

This boss was easy in DoS, and he still is easy in PoR, but only if you
know his patterns and act accordingly.

You could walk up to him and hold up on his face, but I don't recommend
it, especially if you are low on HP. He could just stop time and
retaliate in your face. And when that happens, you'll be helpless to
dodge. So axe sub-weapon is the preferred way to go.

When he throws knives or dashes forward to slash at you, just jump.

When he goes up to ceiling then dives while throwing a knife, stand at
the gap between the boss and the knife to dodge. Or you could just move
far away from him.

When he stands still and suddenly there is a silluette around him, he's
about to stop time. If you don't do anything, he'll stop time, hop over
you and release 5 knives to rain on you. You could get hit if you aren't
standing between the knives. Or, if you did attack him during his
silluette, he'll stop time to negate the damage and dash at you. It's up
to you what you should do when you see the silluette, but I recommend
throwing axe at him to make him dash at you. It's whole lot easier to
dodge than the knife drops.

CORRECTION: Instead of throwing axe, super jump high into the air when
            you see his silluette. (See below update for more details)

Once you learn his patterns, this boss will be a cakewalk.

<<<<< UPDATE: (01/04/2007) >>>>>

I received an email from a reader named shadowblade123, regarding
Zaphyr's time stop attack.

shadowblade123 (shadow123@cox.net) wrote:

"Hello, I'm just emailing you because I have a tip for fighting Zephyr.
You mentioned that when he uses his time control ability he flashes and
gains a silhouette/whatever, and during that time he'll use his ability
no matter what. But I found that if you are in the air, use a super jump
or something, that the time control won't work. Or maybe I misunderstood
what you wrote, but I was just pointing that out."

I tested this out after getting this email.

And you are right, shadowblade123. Thanks!

Apparently, if you super jump and stay high in air while Zephyr tries to
stop time (when you see the silluette), he won't do anything.
This is easiest and safest way to dodge his time stop attack.

I can't believe I didn't figure this out, even back in Dawn of Sorrow.
And all this time, in both DoS and PoR, I was trying to dodge his
attacks "the hard way." Silly me. xD

--------------------------
AGUNI (#133)
--------------------------
Resistance: Fire
Weakness:   Water
HP:         4000
EXP:        3500

Yet another boss returning from DoS. This boss is easy for OAA, since
you have the axe sub-weapon. Forget about holding up trick, since he's
flying near ceiling most of time and you wouldn't want to stand still
during the fight anyway.

When he flies out of the screen, move sideways to dodge his dive then
jump to avoid the firewave.

When he flies side to side, just crouch.

When he start swiping his claws down, move out of the way! He'll do it
three times so be sure to dodge them all.

When he starts spitting ground fire waves, jump over each one. Really,
this boss isn't that hard to figure out.

Toss axes whenever you get a chance. He'll go down in no time.

--------------------------
ABADDON (#134)
--------------------------
Resistance: Dark
Weakness:   Sword, Holy
HP:         5000
EXP:        4000

Ugh. This boss was a pain in the butt in DoS, and he still is. Even
worse, you have to slog through 5 rooms full of monsters before getting
to him and you may not be at your full HP when you do.

Your best bet is to use the hold up trick. Throwing axe is good too, if
you can't get close to him.

But always stay alert, as he has a nasty habit of hopping and jumping
out of the blue. He can easily bump into you and cause damage.

His main form of attack is to summon waves of locusts to cover the
screen. When he raises his baton he'll draw one of four patterns, and
soon the locusts will pour into the room in same pattern. Each pattern
has a gap that you can stay in to dodge the swarm. But you have act
quickly and get there before they swarm in. If they hit you, they'll hit
for multiple hits and the total damage could be huge.

Keep an eye on which direction Abaddon is facing at the given moment.
Watch his baton when he draws the patterns. You have only a split
second to figure out which direction the locusts will come from.

First pattern is in a shape of waterfall. The locusts will fly in from
a top corner behind Abaddon and pour down in a waterfall shape. Only
safe place to dodge the swarm is the bottom corner below the wall
that the locusts enter the screen. If you can make it there on time,
stay there until the wave passes. If not, jump high as you can to
opposite wall. If you are lucky, you'll only get hit once.

Second pattern is in shape of U. The locusts will fly in from one side
of ceiling, curve up when they reach the floor, and leave through the
other side of the ceiling. There are two things you can do: go to
either corner and crouch, or super jump in-between the U-shaped wave and
hug the ceiling till it passes.

Third pattern is also in a shape of letter U, but rotated sideways. The
locusts will always fly in close to ground from the wall behind Abaddon,
curve up when they reach the opposite wall, then fly out close to
ceiling through the same wall they entered from. This is probably hardest
one to dodge. Best way to dodge this requires a good reflex: first run
toward the wall behind Abaddon. When you see the locusts entering the
screen, jump forward! The locusts will pass by beneath you and curve
back. Now time your double jump so that you start falling as the locusts
fly over your head, leaving the screen. If you time it correctly, you'll
dodge the swarm in a paper thin margin. If you can't do that, then you
could try crouching in a corner opposite from direction the swarm
enters the screen and pray that not too many hit you.

Fourth pattern is a straight, horizontal line. The locusts will appear in
three parallel horizontal lines, one near ground, another at center, and
the another near ceiling. They'll enter from the wall behind Abaddon,
fly across the room, and exit through the opposite wall. To dodge this,
you need to get to the corner under the wall that the locusts appear,
and crouch till the waves pass.

Note that you could destroy some locusts by attacking them. But since
there are too many of them at one time, it's not very helpful to do so.

--------------------------
DOPPLEGANGER (#135)
--------------------------
Resistance: --
Weakness:   Sword
HP:         2000
EXP:        2000

When Doppleganger copies you, he'll move and attack like your OAA, not
the monster OAA.

Do not go close the Doppleganger. He can deal more damage to you than
you can to him and you'll lose the battle. So keep your distance and
throw axes at him.

When you were playing as Jonathan and Charlotte, you could make
Doppleganger an easy boss by unequiping everything before entering his
chamber and thereby giving him no weapons, sub-weapon, and spell. You may
think the same with OAA, and may wish to give him Puppet sub-weapon
instead of the axe sub-weapon.

However, from my personal experience, that is a bad idea. At least, the
axe sub-weapon is easy to dodge. Doppleganger will also get stuck in
the delay each time he throws one. During that time, you could either
run away and buy some time, or attack him.

But if you gave him the Puppet, he will never use it. Instead he'll chase
you down walking at the exact same speed as you do. If you throw axe, it
will just miss because he'll be constantly moving. If you jump, he'll
jump too and slash at you, thereby blocking your escape. And when he
catches up with you, you are good as dead.

So give him the axe and use the delay to your advantage. Always jump
before you throw yours in order to give it longer range than his. If you
get cornered, super jump and hug the ceiling over him. His axe cannot
reach you up there.

--------------------------
FAKE TREVOR (#136), FAKE GRANT (#137), FAKE SYPHA (#138)
--------------------------
(Fake Trevor)
Resistance: Whip, Holy   
Weakness:   Sword
HP:         3800
EXP:        3000

(Fake Grant)
Resistance: --
Weakness:   Sword
HP:         3500
EXP:        3000

(Fake Sypha)
Resistance: Fire, Water, Lightning
Weakness:   Sword
HP:         3200
EXP:        3000

The zombie trio were originally from Symphony of the Night. In PoR,
they act as the last boss before Doppleganger in Nest of Evil.

The trio can easily corner you and slowly whittle your HP away. Once that
happens, it will be difficult to escape as they'll block every possible
escape route: Fake Trevor guards the ground, Fake Grant blocks the
ceiling, and Fake Sypha guards mid-air. Keep a sharp eye on their
movement and always look for an opening that you can escape through.

Your best tactic will be hit-and-run throwing axe sub-weapon, until one
of them dies. Then you can use whatever tactic you wish.

I heard many people saying that you should attack Fake Sypha first,
because she casts magic and revives Fake Trevor when he dies. That may be
true when playing as any other character. However, for OAA, I disagree.

Fake Sypha and Fake Grant move very slowly. They can hardly keep up with
you if you run. And Fake Sypha's spells are not difficult to dodge. She
even gives you plenty of warning ahead of time with her trademark yell:
"Oooooooooooooooooooooooh~!!" And Fake Grant rarely attacks; you can
completely ignore him until you decide to super jump.

I recommend you to kill Fake Trevor first. He can actually keep up with
you, chasing you down while whipping, hurling cross, and throwing holy
water. He'll even jump to whip you in mid-air. Keep your distance and
hurl axes at him.

Once he dies, focus your attention on Fake Sypha. If she is floating
close to ground, hold up trick will quickly end her life. Dodge her
spells accordingly: when she does petrification cloud, just don't stay
beneath her. when she does her fire spell, just don't jump in front of
her. When she does the magic missiles, move away then watch their
trajectory. Time your jump and jump between them.

Fake Grant can be easily dispatched by throwing axes at him. But if you
stay directly under him for too long, he will either throw a knife or
dive at you.

Note that it is possible to kill Fake Sypha first while throwing axes
at Fake Trevor, because the axe can hit multiple targets in its path.


===================================
6. Nest of Evil Tips
===================================
If anyone is actually reading this guide, I'm sure he/she is reading it
for this section.

Jonathan and Charlotte can suckle on potion bottles as they fight
through the level. But our friend OAA can't. You need to conserve as much
HP as possible in order to face the bosses at the end of each tier.
So your number one priority is to avoid getting hit as much as humanly
possible. It could be easy, or impossible, depending on your play style.
But if you need some help, read on.

----------------------------------
6a. Map and Enemy List
----------------------------------
I'm going borrow and post a map and enemy list from Zaraf's Nest of Evil
guide. I could draw my own, but his will look way better anyway. =P
I am going to use his map and enemy list as a reference in this guide.

You can also read his guide for more detailed information about
Nest of Evil. Link is here:

Zaraf's Nest of Evil Guide:
http://db.gamefaqs.com/portable/ds/file/castlevania_por_nest.txt

(Credit goes to Zaraf for Nest of Evil map and enemy List.)

-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-{Map}-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_


Legend:
E - Entrance/Exit Painting
S - Save Room
T - Teleport Room

                              |----|----|----|
                              |              |
                              |  E         S |
                              |----|    |----|
                                   |         |
                                   |       T |
|----|---------|---------|---------|    |----|
|                                       |
|        1.3       1.2       1.1        |
|    |---------|---------|---------|----|
|    |
|    |
|    |---------|---------|----|----|----|
|                                       |
|        1.4       1.5     1.6          |
|----|---------|---------|----|----|    |----|
                                   |         |
                                   |       T |
|----|---------|---------|---------|    |----|
|                                       |
|        2.3       2.2       2.1        |
|    |---------|---------|---------|----|
|    |
|    |
|    |---------|---------|----|----|----|
|                                       |
|        2.4       2.5     2.6          |
|----|---------|---------|----|----|    |----|
                                   |         |
                                   |       T |
|----|---------|---------|---------|    |----|
|                                       |
|        3.3       3.2       3.1        |
|    |---------|---------|---------|----|
|    |
|    |
|    |---------|---------|---------|----|
|                                       |
|        3.4       3.5       3.6        |
|----|---------|---------|---------|    |----|
                                   |         |
                                   |       T |
|----|---------|---------|---------|    |----|
|                                       |
|        4.3       4.2       4.1        |
|    |---------|---------|---------|----|
|    |
|    |
|    |---------|---------|---------|----|
|                                       |
|        4.4       4.5       4.6        |
|----|---------|---------|---------|    |----|
                                   |         |
                                   |       T |
|----|---------|---------|---------|    |----|
|                                       |
|        5.3       5.2       5.1        |
|    |---------|---------|---------|----|
|    |
|    |
|    |---------|---------|----|----|----|
|                                       |
|        5.4       5.5     5.6          |
|----|---------|---------|----|----|    |----|
                                   |         |
                                   |       T |
|----|---------|---------|---------|    |----|
|                                       |
|        6.3       6.2       6.1        |
|    |---------|---------|---------|----|
|    |
|    |
|    |---------|---------|---------|----|----|
|                                            |
|        6.4       6.5       6.6           T |
|----|---------|---------|---------|    |----|
                                   |         |
                                   |       S |
                    |----|---------|    |----|
                    |                   |
                    | 7.2    7.1        |
                    |----|---------|----|


-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-{Enemy List}_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_


This is a list of every monster that you will encounter in each of the
rooms.
The number in front of the name of the monster is the number of
the monster, and the number after the name is how many copies of that
monster you will have to fight in that room.  All bosses fight alone,
with the exception of room 6.6 in which you fight three bosses at the
same time.

1.1 - (#96) Dead Warrior x 2, (#113) Quetzalcoatl x 1
1.2 - (#123) Demon x 2, (#124) Bone Ark x 1
1.3 - (#102) Lightkeeper x 5, (#109) Mothman x 2
1.4 - (#108) Minotaur x 4
1.5 - (#83) Final Guard x 1, (#94) Jack o'Bones x 4
1.6 - BOSS - (#130) Balore

2.1 - (#89) Buster Armor x 2, (#112) Dragonfly x 7
2.2 - (#81) Heavy Armor x 2, (#86) Ruler's Sword x 1
2.3 - (#66) Dogether x 2, (#73) Skeleton Blaze x 3, (#128) Cave Troll x 1
2.4 - (#90) Armored Fleaman x 9, (#106) Guillotiner x 1
2.5 - (#121) Iron Golem x 1
2.6 - BOSS - (#131) Gergoth

3.1 - (#118) Lesser Demon x 3, (#125) Skeleton Farmer x 2
3.2 - (#126) Alastor x 1
3.3 - (#111) Yorick x 2, (#117) Demon Head x 3
3.4 - (#127) Gold Skeleton x 5
3.5 - (#122) DoubleAxe Armor x 5
3.6 - BOSS - (#132) Zephyr

4.1 - (#129) Amducias x 1
4.2 - (#126) Alastor x 2, (#127) Gold Skeleton x 3
4.3 - (#124) Bone Ark x 3
4.4 - (#100) Vice Beetle x 10
4.5 - (#86) Ruler's Sword x 2
4.6 - BOSS - (#133) Aguni

5.1 - (#149) The Creature x 2
5.2 - (#128) Cave Troll x 9
5.3 - (#121) Iron Golem x 1, (#122) DoubleAxe Armor x 2
5.4 - (#111) Yorick x 9
5.5 - (#107) Nyx x 1, (#114) Ripper x 9
5.6 - BOSS - (#134) Abaddon

6.1 - (#120) Vapula x 1, (#129) Amducias x 1
6.2 - (#81) Heavy Armor x 1, (#91) Amalaric Sniper x 2
6.3 - (#92) Old Axe Armor x 9
6.4 - (#75) Wyvern x 1, (#128) Cave Troll x 2
6.5 - (#82) Malphas x 2
6.6 - BOSS - (#136) Fake Trevor, (#137) Fake Grant, (#138) Fake Sypha

7.1 - BOSS - (#135) Doppelganger
7.2 - PRIZE - The Greatest Five Dual Crash


The following monsters (excluding bosses) are ONLY found in
the Nest of Evil.

(#121) Iron Golem
(#124) Bone Ark
(#125) Skeleton Farmer
(#126) Alastor
(#127) Gold Skeleton
(#128) Cave Troll
(#129) Amducias

(end of Zaraf's Nest of Evil map and Enemy List)

Note that the prize, 7.2, is not available when playing as OAA.


----------------------------------
6b. Tips and Tricks
----------------------------------
For strategies against Nest of Evil bosses, see section 5c.

Again, for more info on Nest of Evil see Zaraf's guide. Link is posted in
section 6a.

----------1. General Tips----------

Your number one priority is to AVOID TAKING DAMAGE as much as possible.
You will inevitably take some damage, but we want to minimize it.
Stay mobile at all time.

Throwing axes is preferred to walking up to monsters and whacking them.
Remember, OAA has short range with his melee attack and some monsters
will out-range him easily. Only engage in melee if you have no choice or
you can kill them safely.

Always jump before throwing axe or use back-dash cancel. You don't want
to get stuck in the delay after throwing an axe.

Spam super jump and hug the ceiling to move around the room while
dodging any nasty attacks. You'll use this a lot. I mean it.

Don't underestimate a group of weak monsters.
They may be weak individually, but they can quickly swarm you and deal
more total damage than a single big, tough monster can.

Always enter next room with full MP. You don't want to run out of MP in
the middle of combat and become unable to throw axes.

UPDATE: See end of the section for more general strategies contributed
        by a reader.


----------2. Room Tips----------

I am not going to post how to survive each and every room in the
Nest of Evil. You can figure that out yourself most of the time.

However, I will post guide for couple of rooms that gave me most
troubles. These rooms may give you trouble as well.

If you still need a help on a room I omitted and want me to include it
in the guide, please send me an email. My email address is posted in
section 8.

Use the map and enemy list (made by Zaraf) in secion 6a as reference.

DON'T READ this section if you want to figure out how to beat these
rooms yourself. You have been warned.

UPDATE: See end of the section for more specific strategies contributed
        by a reader.

--------------------------
ROOM 1.2
--------------------------
(#123) Demon x 2, (#124) Bone Ark x 1

The first demon and the Bone Ark can pin you down at the entrance and
they may deal some damage that could have been avoided. The Demon could
keep you occupied while the Bone Ark fires from a safe distance.

To prevent that from happening, fight Bone Ark first without provoking
the Demon to warp in. As soon as you enter the room, DON'T MOVE (stay in
the corner). You'll see Bone Ark moving towards you while the Demon is
no where in sight. Double jump or super jump straight up and throw axe
from highest point possible. Repeat the process until the Bone Ark is
dead. Now move forward, fight the Demon, and move on.

--------------------------
ROOM 2.2
--------------------------
(#81) Heavy Armor x 2, (#86) Ruler's Sword x 1

The first Heavy Armor and the Ruler Sword can easily pin you down near
the entrance and whittle your life away. Throwing axes will be useless
unless you first break off Ruler Sword's shields. While you are busy
fighting off the Ruler Sword, the Heavy Armor will mercilessly pound you
with his Flail.

Avoid the situation by taking the first initative. As soon as you enter
the room, rush to Heavy Armor and hold up on D-pad. It will die by the
time Ruler Sword summons all its swords and shields. Now break off
the Ruler Sword's shields and throw axes at it. Once it dies, move on.

--------------------------
ROOMS 2.3, 5.2, and 6.4
--------------------------
2.3: (#66) Dogether x 2, (#73) Skeleton Blaze x 3, (#128) Cave Troll x 1
5.2: (#128) Cave Troll x 9
6.4: (#75) Wyvern x 1, (#128) Cave Troll x 2

These three rooms have one thing in common: Cave Trolls.

Cave Trolls used to be easy enemies in Dawn of Sorrow, but in PoR they
are very powerful and a single one can kill you all by itself. Their
attacks out-range yours by a mile, and once they start attacking,
even throwing axes will be very difficult.

Luckily, they won't attack you unless you go very close to them. So fight
them one at a time. If there are other enemies, dispose of them first
before fighting Cave Trolls.

Easiest way to fight them is to go close to one until you have about
half a screen length between you and it. Then double jump straight up
and throw an axe. As soon as you land, throw another axe. The first axe
will hopefully hit and provoke the cave troll to leap forward, and
the second axe will kill it. Repeat the process with the others.

However, if it survives both axes, you need to quickly retreat and keep
throwing axes, hoping that it will get hit and die.

Also, in room 2.3, watch out for three Skeleton Blazes. They may not be
as dangerous as Cave Trolls are, but if you give them a chance they will
quickly swarm you.

--------------------------
ROOMS 3.4 and 4.2
--------------------------
3.4: (#127) Gold Skeleton x 5
4.2: (#126) Alastor x 2, (#127) Gold Skeleton x 3

Both of these rooms contain Gold Skeletons. In one sense, they can be
more dangerous than Cave Trolls.

They will take only 1 damage from your normal attack and 10-something
damage from the axe sub-weapon. But they can deal around 80 damage
per hit to you, so it's a tough fight. Given the fact that they have
255 HP makes it even more difficult.

Luckily, just like Cave Trolls, they don't attack you unless you go
close to them. So you could fight them one at a time. You could try
"waltzing" with one: move back and forth keeping it within the
axe sub-weapon range and throw an axe just before it throws bones,
so the axe can destroy all the bones as they leave its hand.
But you need to be very good at predicting when it will throw bones.
It's easier said than done.

Or, you could gather all their attention and move across the ceiling
by spamming super jump. They will throw bones at you, but will miss.
And when you see an opening, throw axes then retreat back to ceiling.
This may take long time, but if done correctly, you won't take any
damage from them.

Note that in room 3.4, you may not have to destroy all the Gold
Skeletons. Sometimes the door to next room opens when you kill only
one of them.

In room 4.2, be sure to destroy the Alastors first, before fighting
the Gold Skeletons.

--------------------------
ROOM 4.4
--------------------------
(#100) Vice Beetle x 10

These Vice Beetles will divide themselves in two groups, 5 each, and
skittle around the room in a clockwise direction while spewing a
poisonous cloud. They move so fast, it's almost impossible to hit
every single one in time with normal attacks on ground. And if you get
poisoned, you'll lose a ton of HP.

As soon as you enter, immediately spam super jump and move forward
along the ceiling. You'll dodge the beetles as they skittle across
the ground. And when they reappear along the ceiling, drop down and
wait. Once they pass, go back up to ceiling and keep going forward.

Once you reach the wall at the other end, hold up on D-pad on the wall.
The Beetles will ram themselves into your axe and kill themselves.

--------------------------
ROOM 5.1
--------------------------
(#149) The Creature x 2

One Creature isn't so hard, but two can mean a serious trouble.

The duo can easily deal heavy damage on you. As you struggle to kill
one, the other can pound you to his heart's content. The duo can even
match their paces and prevent you from attacking at all.
You actually need bit of a luck here.

Luckily, the door to the next room opens when you kill one of them.
So try to concentrate on only one, and run away when he dies.

Use any means necessary to kill one as fast as you can. Longer they live,
more damage they can cause. Toss axes and hold up on D-pad when you see
an opening. But DON'T OVERDO IT. Always keep dodging as your number one
priority and act accordingly.

Try to keep both of them on your screen at all times. That way, you can
see what other is doing when you are busy fighting one. But don't put
yourself in between them; that's just suicide.

Best time to attack is when the one of them is doing the elbow
machiegun, toward the direction away from you. Of course, it also
depends on what the other is doing, but at least the first one is
occupied and you are free to fight 1-on-1. And if they are both
doing elbow machinegun toward same direction, consider yourself lucky.

See section 5b for more info on their attack patterns.


<<<<< UPDATE: (01/06/2007) >>>>>

A reader by the name Dragon Fogel sent me a rather long email about
both general and few room-specific strategies regarding Nest of Evil.
It's kind of long, but it has some good points so I'm going to just
post it all for you to read.

Dragon Fogel (email withheld at his request) wrote:

"This is a tip about the Nest of Evil.

In normal rooms, the exit door will open on its own if you wait long
enough. (I imagine this doesn't work for the boss rooms, but I haven't
really been able to test it.)

This means you don't have to bother with some enemies at all, as you
can just wait near the exit and stand there or super-jump, depending
on the enemy's pattern, until the door opens.

This makes Golden Bones pretty simple to deal with; super-jump over
them and make sure you stay near the ceiling the whole time so they
don't move, then wait for the door to open. For the Golden Bones and
Alastor room, stay where you are and kill the first Alastor with the
throwing axe, then super-jump over the Golden Bones until the second
one appears, then super-jump back to the entrance. (Stay near the
ceiling; you can't deal with Golden Bones and Alastor together very
well.) Beat the second one the same way, then super-jump over the
Golden Bones again and wait for the door to open.

Cave Trolls also won't move if you super-jump over them near the
ceiling, so you can avoid those as well. For the room with nine of
them, I suggest waiting near the beginning for a few minutes, then
super-jumping to see if the exit's opened, as there's a much bigger
gap between the entrance and the first Cave Troll than between the
exit and the second. (I had to test this in Jonathan mode, as the room
with two The Creatures is proving too much for me with Old Axe Armor;
there doesn't seem to be an easy way to dodge their attacks until the
door opens, unfortunately.)

This also works for dealing with enemies that can't hit you at the top
of the screen. For instance, Double Axe Armors can't hit you if you're
super-jumping and staying near the ceiling, but they can be tricky to
hit without getting hit in turn. You can just super-jump near the exit
until it opens and get through a room of them with no damage.

Naturally, this applies to other game modes as well, but given his
limited attack options, especially while in the air, Old Axe Armor
probably benefits the most from skipping rooms this way."

Thanks, Dragon Fogel.

Well, this makes Nest of Evil whole lot easier. Now I'm beginning to
think that it may not be even very challenging at all. I mean, if
you could just skip everything this way, where is the fun?


===================================
7. disclaimer
===================================
Copyright 2007 blorgh1212

You may use any parts, or whole, of my guide as long as you give me
credit. You can ask me first if you want to.

Castlevania, and its all subsequent titles, are copyright of Konami.

Special thanks to: Zaraf, for his Nest of Evil map and Enemy List from
                          his guide.

                   GameFaq, for helping people to share game knowledges
                            across the Internet.

                   Neoseeker, for same reason as above.

                   Supercheats, ditto.

                   HonestGamer, ditto again.

                   Aegis5, for Thunderbolt glitch.
                   Captain Commando, for suspend trick in Nest of Evil.
                   shadowblade123, for better Zephyr strategy.
                   Squall-kun, for OAA gender identity. xD
                   Dragon Fogel, for additional tips and strategies for
                                 Nest of Evil.
                   Thomas Borg, for better Medusa strategy.
                   Crassadon, for another tidbit about OAA's gender. xDD
                   Alex_Kid88, for more explanation about OAA's gender.
                   Obsidian Blast, for tips for unlocking OAA mode in
                                   New Game+.
                   momo mo, for raising question regarding OAA's
                            undead status.
                   DanielSucks, for Maria-only mode glitch.
                   JHF1889, for even easier Keremet strategy.


===================================
8. Contact Info
===================================
Did you find any errors? Does the guide need any spelling or grammar
correction? Did I omit anything? Do you have a better strategy and
wish to share it? Any questions or comments?
If so, then please send me an email!

Please put "Portrait of Ruin: Old Axe Armor" at the heading of your
email, else I'll just delete it without reading it.
Also, please let me know whether you want your email address posted
with your contribution or not. Thank you.

All contributions will be credited fully. 

email: blorgh1212@yahoo.com