Strategy Guide by steelcow

Updated: 1998-09-03 | Printable Version

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	STRATEGIES FOR AZURE DREAMS

	By: 	Eric Housden
		ehousden@digipen.edu
		9/3/98

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*** ATTENTION *** If text run off screen while viewing with Notepad, 
go into 'Edit' and choose 'Word Wrap' (the last choice on the menu).



Table of Contents
-----------------------------------------------
   Brief Overview

   Tips
	Creatively Using Items............ I
	Equipment Check................... II
	Key Monsters to Tame.............. III
	Battle Tactics.................... IV
	Phase Theory...................... V

   Honorable Mention



Brief Overview:

Azure Dreams is an excellent treasure-hunter game from Konami that is moderately 
difficult to complete, and very rewarding to play.  This Strategy Guide was made 
explicitly for people who have a clue what's going on in Azure Dreams to begin 
with, based on the assumption that you are currently playing through the game.  
The information that follows will help answer some questions, and hopefully 
enlighten you on your journey up to the top of the Monster Tower.  Basically, 
I'm skipping most the obvious information you'd otherwise know if you had 
actually attempted to play the game.



Tips:

I)  Creatively Using Items
-----------------------------------------------

Some of the most useful items in the game include Tumna Fruits, Oleem Fruits, 
and Acid Balls.  Unfortunately, for the inexperienced they are misunderstood and 
underused.  The trick to using the fruits is to choose the item in your 
inventory and select 'HAVE' which puts the fruit in your hands over your head.  
Face the target (don't hit your familiar) and then use the item by holding the 
'O' button and pressing the 'X' button -- this will either use the fruit on a 
target in front of you, or throw it in a straight line across the screen.

Acid Balls come 1 to an Orb, but using White Sands will add a bonus usage to the 
targeted Acid Ball.  Acid Balls will destroy everything inside of the current 
room you're in (pathways seperate and connect the rooms) unless the targets 
happen to be Golems.  Then you reap the rewards for gaining the experience from 
each monster that dies.  On occasion, you'll enter a floor of the tower that is 
just one gigantic room -- enter Acid Ball, every monster on the floor dies in 
one usage -- cue major experience.

The best items in the game can easily be attained from a monster called BARONG.  
Barong is the loner monster someone mentions in the monster dealer's hut.  
Barong looks like a giant head with giant feet and a purple cape -- my 
observations found Barong to appear on double digit floors that end in a 6 (ie: 
16, 26, 36).  Throw items at Barong and he'll eat them, spitting up a random 
item that is usually rare enough to be well worth it.  Some key regurgitated 
treasures include Training Wand, Holy Sword, Dark Sword, Alchemic Scroll, Troll 
Bow Gun, and Roche Fruit.

The Roche Fruit is hands-down the best item in the game -- you can use a Roche 
Fruit on any given monster, and the monster will revert back to its egg form.  
That means you can take home any monster you want, which is amazing.  If you 
feed the Barong enough items, he'll lose all his magic points and fall to the 
ground...  Since he can't eat anymore, Roche him!  Bring that hungry bastard 
home with you!  =)

Another important item, the Water Crystal, will completely replenish all 
familiars that are currently out of your bag.  Make sure you have the important 
ones out of the bag beforehand, and don't use the Water Crystal until you really 
need it.


II)  Equipment Check
-----------------------------------------------

If you don't have the right equipment, you're wasting your efforts in the tower 
beyond training your familiars.  Rust traps can be your worst nightmare until 
you own the proper equipment, and what weapons and shields you rely on depends 
on what extreme you're willing to go.  Basic weapon differences revolve around 
familiar support-magic (like Brid) doing more damage when applied to wands then 
when applied to swords.

Basic Intro-Weapons:  Vital, Holy, and Steel.  Stay away from elemental swords 
like Blizzard and Fire as the damage depends on what creature type they're 
attacking.  These weapons only work as a go between until you decide on what 
you'll be playing through the Tower with.

Recommended Weapons:  use either the Training Wand or the Gold Sword, it's 
really that simple.  The gold sword sells for a decent penny, but the real trick 
here is that these weapons do NOT rust!  That means as soon as you decide on 
either focusing on the sword or on the wand, every Red Sand that gives you +1 to 
your weapons is PERMANENT -- hugely beneficial.  You immediately begin steadily 
increasing your permanent overall strength.

Basic Intro-Shields:  Diamond, Steel.  Steel is tough, Diamond is tougher; and 
diamond won't rust, which is very nice.

Recommended Shield:  the Mirror Shield, period.  Not only is it rust-proof, but 
it reflects magic frequently including paralysis spells, fire magic, blind...  
The reflection works like a 'WALL' spell from Final Fantasy, bouncing the cast 
spell back to the caster.  This is the best shield, and once you have it you 
won't need anything more.

Ideally, you use the 'Basic Intro-Weapons' to propel you through the tower until 
the 16th floor, where you would receive the Training Wand from Barong; from then 
on, it's up to you on improving the wand with Red Sands, or sticking with the 
gold sword.  I used the Gold Sword the first time through because I already had 
it up to +17 when I found the Training Wand.  It's really up to you, but I 
suggest putting the Red Sand in your safe at home until the right weapon 
arrives.



III)  Key Monsters to Tame
-----------------------------------------------

The CYCLONE and the CLOWN are the key monsters to hatch, as they will have 
important effect on the familiars you love.  When you fuse the Clown with a 
monster, they double their spell level (ie: 'Brid lvl23' turns into 'Brid lvl46' 
).  When you fuse with a Cyclone, the monster's magic consumption is halved...  
Very nice compliment to the Barong, who is just there to make items anyhow -- 
now you can make twice as many!

The general target level for any given familiar is lvl20 -- if the familiar will 
shape shift into a cooler looking monster (ie:  'Flame' into 'Ifrit') it happens 
on lvl20.  Some sample monsters to upgrade include Flame, Block, and Unicorn.

When you're leveling up familiars, don't take them out of the bag until you 
REALLY have to.  I've had a familiar go from lvl1 up to lvl7 from killing a 
single enemy that lived on a high floor!  This really helps conserve your 
familiar's magic points, too; giving you more results for your effort.  Taming 
familiars is great!  Their resale value immensely improves, and it's generally 
just a lot of fun.  On a last note, if there is a mysteriously empty spot in 
Weedy's monster book then try leveling up the familiar just under the empty spot 
-- usually it means there is a new monster released when you get that particular 
familiar up to lvl20.




IV)  Battle Tactics
-----------------------------------------------

Two simple strategies encompass Basic Tactics:  reach "High-ground", and "Get 
the Initiative".

High Ground -- when you are one step above your target you will receive less 
damage, and deal more damage (higher DEF, higher ATK).  Monsters that took three 
hits to kill, now take two.  Monsters that dealt 27HP of damage now do 19HP.  
Keep your eyes on the terrain and always know a retreat path to higher ground.

Get the Initiative -- If you 'wait' by holding the 'O' button and pressing 
'TRIANGLE', the monster is forced to use its turn to move closer to you.  Let 
them come to you, and you will get one free attack before battle ensues.  The 
additional attack usually saves you at least one attack round from the enemy.

Advanced strategies include:  "Familiar AI: Stay" and "Wait Level-Building."

Familiar AI: Stay -- when setting the familiar's "Line-Up" place your familiar 
directly behind you for the best advantage.  The trick is, you walk around with 
the familiar in "AI: Follow" so he/she will walk behind you.  When trouble 
comes, press R2 (Red Collar) or L2 (Blue Collar) and quickly change the familiar 
AI to "AI: Stay" -- this will make your familiar hold its position.  Now, take 
one step back diagonally so that you're side by side with your familiar.  When 
the attacking monster steps inside of attacking range, your familiar will get a 
'Stay' initiative attack, which you promptly follow with your standard 
initiative attack that begins the melee round; your own attack is followed by 
your familiar's 2nd attack, then the monster gets its first turn.  Hopefully, 
the attacker is dead before it gets the chance to strike.  Re-read this if you 
have to, it's a large advantage over the monster during the 'Heavy Hitter' Phase 
(see part 5, Phase Theory).

Wait Level-Building -- The stronger the character you are, the better you'll 
fair in supporting your familiars (or just guiding the familiars for 
experience).  After scouting out the floor you are on, hold the 'SELECT' button 
for the map -- on close inspection, terrain changes are shown as different 
shades of green on the map.  Find the smallest piece of high ground you can and 
wait ('O' and 'TRIANGLE') until monsters come to you.  You'll always get the 
initiative, you'll always have high ground, and you'll always be raking in the 
experience.



V)  Phase Theory
-----------------------------------------------

There are exactly 40 floors in Azure Dreams, most of which are progressively and 
consistently challenging.  Venturing from Floor 1 through Floor 40 there are 
five phases you and your familiars will encounter that rise above and beyond all 
others.  You must change your strategy to be proactive, and not reactive to the 
phases if you expect to succeed.

	Phase 1:  The Krakens
	Phase 2:  Pickett
	Phase 3:  Vipers
	Phase 4:  Paralysis
	Phase 5:  Heavy Hitters

Phase 1 -- The Krakens

Krakens are the blue and yellow striped squids that attack with electricity.  
Not only do they attack strongly, but when hit by standard swords they 
electrocute you in retaliation.  The more damage you do to a Kraken, the more 
they shock you back.  If three Krakens team up on you at once, if you don't have 
a handful of useful items -- you'd best have a Wind Crystal.

Phase 2 -- Pickett

Pickett is the green colored, bulbous critter from the intro movie  Pickett is 
FAST, taking two turns per one of your own.  Pickett will either do two very 
weak attacks, or steal a random item from your inventory; with the later being 
more severe.  Pickett could grab any item (including eggs) as long as the item 
is not equipped.  Pickett steals the item, then warps to a different location on 
the map, where you can kill him to get your item back (if you can catch him).  
Make killing Pickett a priority above all else.  Since he takes two turns per 
one of yours, if you wait (TRIANGLE + 'O') he will step two tiles closer to you, 
and if you walk away from Pickett he will gain one tile per turn.  Get your 
familiar in his way, and he will attack the familiar instead of stealing from 
you.  Don't underestimate Pickett; he is an irritating little bastard, and 
demands special attention when encountered.

Phase 3 -- Vipers

Vipers, huge dark-green snakes that attack for substantial damage.  Vipers 
should only be attacked from high ground, and should be killed within two 
strikes -- the damage they do is irrelevant, but their attack is the splinter.  
If a Viper hits you, there is a chance it will decrease your attack power by 
one; soon you won't be able to kill a Viper inside of four hits; and then you're 
dead.  The attack power decrease is unavoidable, regardless of your level.  If 
you find a Hazak Herb (restores attack power) or a Cure-All Herb, hold on to it.  
Preferably use the herbs after you've passed beyond the Viper phase, so your 
attack will no longer be decreased.

Phase 4 -- Paralysis

The dreaded Paralysis phase is demanding, there is no immunity.  Beware the 
Block and the Zu, as Block casts LoBind (Paralysis spell), and the Zus howl a 
special attack that will also paralyze. Paralysis take a while to wear off -- 
sometimes it takes one turn, sometimes it takes eight turns; but if a Zu is 
hitting you for 20+ damage each attack, you'll be dead.  Familiars will probably 
die, but they'll buy you time; the mirror shield can reflect LoBind, but since 
the Zu roars a special attack, theirs cannot be reflected.  Don't get caught in 
a narrow path where your familiar can't buy you time, and get high-ground when 
possible to reduce the damage you'll take if you get paralyzed.

Phase 5 -- Heavy Hitters

When you reach your first Grey scaled dragon, along with Golems, Killers, 
Tyrants, and Maximums you've reached the Heavy Hitter phase.  Monsters in the 
Heavy Hitter phase can do severe damage.  The plain strategy for dealing with 
the Heavy Hitter phase is to kill them before they can strike you.  Orbs such as 
Blaze, Fire, Pillar and even Sleep (for Golems) are key items to have here.  The 
orb of Acid Rain is a lifesaver (see Part 1, Creatively Using Items), and Tumna 
Fruits are a nice touch.  It takes a while to recover 40-60 hit points so don't 
allow them to strike you.  Use Monster Loupes to keep an eye on what's going on, 
zoom out the map and screen view to watch your outside perimeter, and keep an 
eye out for eggs!  The best eggs are here; anyone have a Roche Fruit?



   Honorable Mentions:  Thanks to Brad Ayres for additional gameplay assistance,
			and kudos to Cody Denver for alternative support.



o=============================================o

	STRATEGIES FOR AZURE DREAMS

	By: 	Eric Housden
		ehousden@digipen.edu
		9/3/98

o=============================================o


   Please let me know if this information was helpful; I'd like to 
   know if my efforts were in vein or not.  =)









  - End, version 1.0