hide results

    Equipment Guide by Marak

    Version: 1.2 | Updated: 06/14/04 | Printable Version | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Castlevania: Symphony of the Night Equipment Guide
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Version: 2.0
    Author: Mark Quaintance, a.k.a. Marak
    e-mail: nematocyst@hotmail.com OR mquaintance@sbcglobal.net
    
    Table of Contents:
     1. Legal Text
     2. Revision History
     3. The Basics (or what this guide is and is not)
     4. Shields
     5. Weapons
     6. Head Gear
     7. Body Armor
     8. Cloaks
     9. Accessories
     10. Wrap up and things to come
     11. Credit where credit is due
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1. Legal Text
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    This FAQ is copyrighted material.
    
     LIMITED REPRODUCTION LICENSE: This FAQ may be posted, emailed, or saved to a
     disk without express permission, provided that the FAQ remains unaltered, and
     the full copyright notice is in place. Removing the copyright notice and
     rights disclaimer voids any rights assigned.
    
     Exclusions: This FAQ may not be used for promotional purposes, nor may it be
     incorporated in guides, magazines, secured websites, or in any state or place
     where a fee is charged in order to obtain the information contained within.
     All professional use rights are retained by the author.
    
     Future revisions of this FAQ may be found at http://www.gamefaqs.com.
    
    Contact me!
    
     If you have anything to add, if you know something I don't know, or if you
     have CONSTRUCTIVE criticism/feedback, or heck, even if you just have a
     question about the game or a certain item, PLEASE e-mail me at:
    
       nematocyst@hotmail.com
    
       OR
    
       mquaintance@sbcglobal.net
    
     and tell me!  You could also post on the GameFAQs Castlevania:SOTN Message
     Board (http://boards.gamefaqs.com/gfaqs/gentopic.php?board=19969), but I
     don't get the chance to hang around there as much as I would like.  You'd get
     a faster reply by e-mailing me, trust me on this one.
    
    This FAQ should be found in only one of two possible places:
     http://www.gamefaqs.com
    and
     http://faqs.ign.com
    
    The latest revision will normally be found on GameFAQs first, as their update
    system is quick(er) and (more) painless.
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2. Revision History
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Version 2.0 - Completed 6/14/04
     After a bit of a break from the guide, a post on the GameFAQs message board
     got me interested again, and I added sections 6-9, detailing Alucard's Helms,
     Armor, Cloaks, and Accessories.  Fixed a few typos and spacing issues.  Added
     the alucart Luck bonus information to all the Alucart equipment, and adjusted
     their Overall Ratings accordingly.  Added to and clarified a majority of the
     infromation in Section 3.  I now consider this guide mostly complete, but I'm
     still missing some info about the Walk Armor and the Muramasa, and a couple of
     Accessories, so if you have any detailed info about these items, share the
     wealth, eh?  I'll even put you in the credits...
    
    Version 1.2 - Completed 11/13/03
     Mostly little stuff.  Added Holbein Dagger as the third Swing While Moving
     weapon.  Added elemental defenses found on certain shields.  Added additional
     commentary and/or clarification to most item descriptions.  Added numerous 
     text additions and clarifications throughout the guide.  Expanded the credits
     section a bit.  Realized that I kept using the terms "special properties" and
     "special abilites" interchangably, so I went through and defined both terms
     early on in Section 3 and then made sure they were used correctly.  Added more
     spacing to make parts of the guide easier to read.  I'm SUCH a nit-picker.
     Made one BIG addition: A 0 to 5 Star Rating system.  Gave each Shield and
     Weapon a Rating and added a summary of how useful the weapon fares in combat.
    
    Version 1.1 - Completed 6/29/03
     Added the dual-Heaven Sword C3 Property, and an explanation of the Shield
     Rod's C2 Property.  Added the Muramasa's Power-Up Ablitiy.  Various typo
     corrections and minor text revisions and additions.  Removed disclaimer
     section (Thank you, Zach Keene), as I figured out what was causing my weapons'
     Attack Power to fluctuate.  Removed damage figures, as I now understand how
     they work - and all my figures were wrong.  I will add more accurate figures
     to a later revision once I find a comprehensive way to do so.  Added Revision
     History section :p
    
    Version 1.0 - Completed 4/8/03
     My first posting to GameFAQs.  A mostly complete listing of the Special
     Properties of the game's weaponry.  Also, a full listing of each Shield and
     how each Shield interacts with the Shield Rod.
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    3. The Basics (or what this guide is and is not)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    So, what is this guide, exactly?
    --------------------------------
    
    Well, I recently picked up my old copy of Symphony of the Night, dusted it off
    (literally), and decided to continue my Ultimate Item Hunt.  My original intent
    was to collect one of EVERY SINGLE ITEM in the game, thus elimating all those
    irritating gaps in the equipment menus.  A rather thankless task, but as it
    turns out, it paid off by giving me some excellent new equipment to play with.
    
    Once I had at least one of every: Weapon, Sheild, Use Item, Healing Item, Helm,
    Armor, Cloak, and Accessory, I set a new goal for myself: fill both of the
    "Item Slots" on every "Monster Card" in the Master Librarian's Monster Listing.
    Even with my Ring(s) of Arcana, Lapis Lazuli(s), Luck Potions, Luck boosting
    equipment, and massive Luck (being Level 99 has its perks), it was a massive,
    tedious CHORE.  That memory card better not go bad on me...
    
    Anyway, once I did THAT, I starting really playing around with all my
    equipment, and it was then that I discovered that a lot of Alucard's stuff
    had special abilities and/or properties.  I mean, I knew about some of it -
    like the Rapier's Slice and Dice and the Alucard Sword's Shadow Warp - but
    after some experimentation, I found that a LOT of my weapons did something: it
    wasn't limited to just a couple of "special" weapons, as had been my belief
    before I started this guide.
    
    Once I made this realization, I went and eqipped every weapon and shield in the
    game, one by one, and tested each one to see if it could do anything...extra.
    
    It was about this time that I noticed that GameFAQs did not yet have a
    comprehensive guide to all the special properties of Alucard's equipment,
    only a couple of Equiment Lists in various walkthroughs.
    
    And thus, my Equipment Guide was born!
    
    What this guide is not:
    -----------------------
    
     -A walkthrough.  There's enough of those on GameFAQs already.
     -A "how to get every item" guide.  Again, 2 of those already.
     -I also don't deal in Boss Strategies, game tips, spell lists, etc.  I've
      written this guide assuming you've beaten the game at least once and are
      looking for a guide/teaser for some the stuff you may have missed on previous
      trips through the game.
     -Teaser-free.  There ARE teasers in here, because (again) I'm assuming that
      you've played the game through at least once.  You've been warned.
    
    Now I'd best take the time to describe two terms you'll be seeing repeatedly in
    this guide: Special Abilities and Special Properties.
    
    -----------------
    Special Abilities
    -----------------
    
    This refers to anything a weapon can do actively.  If a weapon has a special
    ability, you must first input a command to activate it (as discussed a little
    bit later).  Most - but NOT all - special abilities will cosume MP when
    activated.
    
    ------------------
    Special Properties
    ------------------
    
    This refers to a weapon or shield's innate abilities.  These properties are
    passive: they never consume any MP, nor do require any activation commands.
    They are simply "always on".  So don't worry about them, and just be aware
    that they're there.
    
    Anywho, I'll begin with an overview of how to activate special abilities and
    what you can expect from special properties.  Let's start with...
    
    -------
    Weapons
    -------
    
    There are 2 different commands that you use to activate a weapon's special
    ability/abilities.  I will call them Command 1 and Command 2, or C1 and C2
    for short:
    
    Command 1: Roll Down/Down-forward/Forward, then press the attack button for the
    hand the weapon is equipped to.  The default buttons are Square (for Alucard's
    left hand) or Circle (for his right).  In the case of a two-handed weapon,
    either button will work.
    
    Command 2: Back, Forward, attack button appropriate to the hand the weapon is
    equipped in (again, the defaults are Square or Circle).  In the case of a
    two-handed weapon, either button will work.
    
    Please note that many weapons do not have either a C1 or a C2 ability - in
    which case, attempting to input either command (C1 or C2) with these weapons
    equipped is a complete waste of time.
    
    A rare few weapons have BOTH C1 AND C2 abilities.  These weapons are typically
    very powerful (like the Yatsutsuna Katana), or have a great deal of utility
    (like the Rune Sword).
    
    However, most weapons fall into the "one shot" category: they either have a C1,
    but not a C2; or they have a C2, but not a C1.  It's important not to forget
    which Command you need to use with which weapon, lest you wind up in a bad
    situation.
    
    It is important to remember that certain special abilites will consume MP when
    used, while others will not.  So, if you suddenly can't get a special ability
    to work, it may be because you ran your MP dry and no longer have enough MP
    left to use it.
    
    Some weapons also have special properties, such as doubling in power when used
    in conjunction with Dark Metamorphosis, or bestowing status ailments on your
    foes.  These special properties do NOT have a command to activate them, other
    than pressing the attack button and making sure you hit something with said
    weapon.  Some weapons (like the Short Sword and all its numerous, NUMEROUS
    clones, for instance) have neither special properties nor special abilities.
    Weapons like this are only good for physically smiting your foes, and will do
    nothing else for you.
    
    Read each weapon entry for details on which (if any) special properties or
    abilities a particular weapon has.
    
    -------
    Shields
    -------
    
    This can get kind of complicated...
    
    Most shields, when the button is held down, will block incoming projectiles.
    However, there are 2 shields (the Dark Shield and Medusa Shield) that will
    actually cause damage to anything that touches them - be it monsters, candles,
    jars/urns, or breakable wall sections.
    
    In addition, there is actually a Command 3 (abbreviation: C3) ability, which is
    usable ONLY with Shields (and the Heaven Sword, but we'll cross that bridge
    when we come to it):
    
    Command 3: Equip either the Shield Rod or the Mablung Sword in one hand and a
    Shield in the other.  Now press both "hand" buttons (the default buttons would
    be Square and Circle) at the same time.
    
    The effects of C3 vary greatly, depending on which shield you have equipped.
    Using C3 will also consume between 10 and 50 MP, determined by the shield you
    are using at the time.
    
    C3 properties can be divided into 2 types: Offensive and Boost.  All Boost
    effects last for roughly 75 seconds, while the duration of Offensive effects
    vary greatly.  The 2 classes can be generalized as follows:
    
    Offensive: When C3 is activated, a monster or creature of some sort is
    "summoned" and attacks onscreen enemies in some manner.  The attack can be an
    instantaneous burst, 1 or more fired projectiles, or some type of physical
    attack.  These attacks will typically deal more damage than Alucard's standard
    attack would.  The damage actually dealt is based on Alucard's current Attack
    Power and Alucard's current Base (read: unmodified) Strength score.
    
    Boost: When C3 is activated, a creature appears and either boosts one of
    Alucard's statistics (Defense, Attack, Intelligence) or one of his elemental
    defenses (Fire, Lightning, Dark).
    
    With all this in mind, I'm going to start with the properties of Shields.
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    4. Shields
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    Here we go, the first "meat and potatoes" section.  I'm going to list all of
    the shields in the game, in ascending order of Defensive Power.  If two or more
    shields have the same Defensive Power (many do), they are then listed
    alphbetically.  Each entry will contain the following information:
    
     --Name of the shield as it appears in the game.
     --The game's poorly transrated description of said shield.
     --How many points the shield increases Alucard's Defense, listed as Def+x.
     --The Dark and Medusa Shields also have an entry for how much they increase
    Alucard's Attack Power.  This number, added to Alucard's Base Attack Power, is
    how much damage the Shield will deal to your foes; listed as Atk+xx.
    
    There is also a Shield Rod (abbreviated SR) entry which details what happens
    when you use the C3 command with this shield (see C3, above).  This entry
    contains the following information:
    
     --How much MP is consumed when you enter the C3 command to "activate" the
    shield; listed as xx MP.
     --Offensive or Boost type is listed.
     --A description of what is summoned, and what the effects of the C3 activation
    are.
    
    Finally, I give each Shield an overall rating of 0 to 5 stars (*).  A (/) is a
    half-star.  Thus, 3 1/2 stars would be ***/  The rating is based on a number of
    factors, including the Shield's Defensive strength, whether or not it's an
    Attack Shield, if it gives you protection beyond raising your defense, and how
    useful its C3 command is.
    
    Got all that?  Good!  Here we go:
    ----------------------------------
    
    Alucart Shield - Resembles family shield.  Def+0.
     SR: 10 MP; Boost (technically); The Alucart Shield appears near Alucard's
     shoulder.  A "?" then appears over Alucard's head.  What does this do?
     Nothing, other than waste 10 MP.  Just like all the other "Alucart" items,
     this Shield is totally worthless on its own.  However, if you have all 3
     Alucart items (the Sword, the Shield, and the Mail) equipped, Alucard's STATUS
     will change to "alucart", and you'll receive a +30 bonus to your Luck stat.
     Overall Rating: * - This shield provides NO benefit and is quite frankly not
     worth equipping for ANY reason - unless you're item hunting, in which case
     the +30 alucart Luck bonus might come in handy.
    
    Leather Shield - Leather shield - low DEF.  Def+1.
     SR: 10 MP; Boost; A cow is summoned (get it?  Cow... leather... its funny.
     Ha ha).  For whatever reason, this boosts Alucard's Defense by 20 for 75
     seconds.  Not a bad idea, since 20 more defense will cut the damage Alucard
     takes from physical attacks considerably, especially earlier in the game.
     Overall Rating: * - Fairly useful early on, but nothing special.
    
    Medusa Shield - Gorgon headed shield.  Def+1, Atk+13.
     SR: 30 MP; Offensive; Summons a floating Medusa head which shoots snaking
     eye beams around the screen. The beams have limited homing ability and will
     seek out foes to a limited extent.  And yes, it really is a decapitated Medusa
     Head that you're carrying around and shoving in your foes' faces.
     Overall Rating: ***/ - Low Defense, but a powerful C3 AND it's the stronger of
     the two Attack Shields.
    
    Iron Shield - Hard iron shield.  Def+1.
     SR: 20 MP; Offensive; Summons an armored knight who throws two very large,
     spinning swords horizontally across about 1/3 of the screen's height.  The
     Swords will tend to miss anything lower than the height of Alucard's
     shoulders, so keep this mind when "aiming" and activating it.
     Overall Rating: */ - It's technically better than the Leather Shield, but only
     by the slimmest of margins.  Its C3 can't hit anything, making it not worth
     casting.
    
    Knight Shield - Armored Knight's shield.  Def+2.
     SR: 10 MP; Boost; Summons an armored warhorse.  This boosts Alucard's
     Attack Power by 20 for 75 seconds.  Basically, while this is in effect,
     Alucard will deal 20 more damage to anything he hits.
     Overall Rating: **/ - The extra Attack Power is great to whip out against foes
     like Axe Knights and Bosses.  Mediocre defense.
    
    Axelord Shield - Favorite shield of Axe Lords.  Def+3.
     SR: 20 MP; Offensive (technically); Summons a blue Axe Lord (like the one
     that Alucard transforms into when he equips the Axelord Armor) that runs
     forward and hacks a single enemy with his axe.  Will disappear without
     attacking if he is hit by any sort of attack before swinging his axe.
     There are MUCH better ways to blow 20 MP (Tetra Spirit comes to mind).
     Overall Rating: ** - +3 Defense is pretty good for a shield, but its C3 is a
     joke.
    
    Dark Shield - Unholy dark shield.  Def+3, Atk+10.
     SR: 30 MP; Offensive; Summons a leering Zombie head which summons great
     boulders out of the ground to attack everything on screen.  All monsters on
     screen are dealt damage once per second for roughly 5 seconds. Note that the
     shield itself crackles with blue electrical energy when held out; very cool.
     Overall Rating: **** - While its Attack Power is not as high as that of the
     Medusa Shield, its C3 hits everything on screen, making this shield better
     overall.  Gets a bonus half-star for being really wicked looking.
    
    Fire Shield - Shield with fire properties.  Def+4.
     SR: 50 MP; Offensive; Summons a Lava Ball which then shoots out 3 long, snaky,
     flaming tendrils.  Similar to the Medusa Shield's attack, but with wider
     projectiles, and thus, a larger affected area.  Has the strongest attack
     (read: deals the most damage) of any shield.  
     IMPORTANT: As long as you have the Fire Shield equipped (it doesn't even have
     to be held out), Alucard will Guard against Fire attacks and take 0 damage.
     Note that the shield itself leaves behind a trail of glowing heat in its wake,
     but despite this it is not an "attack shield" like the Dark and Medusa shields
     are.  Go figure.
     Overall Rating: **** - This should have been an Attack Shield, darn it all!
     Oh well, it makes up for it with the most powerful C3 of any shield and +4
     Defense.
    
    Goddess Shield - Engraved with goddess image.  Def+4.
     SR: 40 MP; Boost; Summons a strange, green skinned, goddess (?) creature.
     Looks like a cross between Buddha and Dhalsim from Street Fighter. 
     He/she/it gives Alucard Resist Dark for 75 seconds.
     Overall Rating: **/ - Good Defense, but Resist Dark?  Come on!
    
    Herald Shield - Shield with heart crest.  Def+4.
     SR: 10 MP; Boost; Summons a semi-nude woman, who grants Alucard Protection
     From Fire and Protection from Lightning for 75 seconds.  Also, any time you
     successfully block an incoming projetile with the Herald Shield, you gain 1
     Heart (thus the Heart emblem on the Shield itself).  This Shield is why the
     Alucard Super Cheese Shield gives you Hearts when you "block" with it.
     Overall Rating: ***/ - Gaining Hearts while blocking is nice, while Resist
     Fire and Resist Ice - at the same time, no less - is a real boon against some
     of the game's more annoying foes.  Good Defense rounds this shield out.
    
    Shaman Shield - Shield used in magic ritual.  Def+4.
     SR: 10 MP; Boost; Summons a goat-like creature with stars that spin about its
     legs.  This bizarre ritual boosts Alucard's Intelligence by 20 for 75 seconds.
     Overall Rating: *** - Good Defense, and the extra Intelligence is great if you
     focus on Alucard's spell casting abilities.
    
    Skull Shield - Shield with Knight's crest.  Def+4.
     SR: 40 MP; Offensive; Summons a creature comprised of a mass of red-glowing
     skulls of various types.  After a couple of seconds, the skull beast shoots a
     narrow horizontal laser beam across the screen.  However, the beam is always
     positioned about 5 feet above Alucard's head and thus will only hit monsters
     that are above the level that Alucard is currently standing on.  This attack
     is actually very hard to aim, and takes forever to go off.  Fun to look at,
     but you probably won't ever use it in combat.
     Overall Rating: **/ - While this shield has good Defense, and its C3 LOOKS
     impressive, it really isn't all that great.
    
    Alucard Shield - Strong vs. all attacks.  Def+5.
     SR: 20 MP; Special; The grand daddy of all shield combos, but also very
     cheap and far too easy to exploit.  If you abuse this, the game suddenly
     becomes a cakewalk (not that its terribly difficult in the first place).  It
     has the following effects:
     -Drains 5 MP per second while you hold the shield button down.
     -Has a duration of 75 seconds of total shield button depression.  By tapping
     the shield button, you can extend the duration considerably.  The 75 second
     duration is consumed ONLY while you hold the shield button down, and thus by
     tapping the button you can use fractions of a second at a time.
     -During the active duration, the Alucard Shield gains 255 Attack Power and
     becomes an "attack shield" like the Dark and Medusa shields.
     -During the listed duration, any creature, candle, jar, or breakable wall
     section struck by the Alucard Shield takes 255 damage.  In addition, 8 HP are
     restored to Alucard as though he were Soul Stealing from the touched item, his 
     current Hearts increase by 1, and he becomes invincible for 3 seconds after
     contact is made!
    
    -----Warning!!!-----
    Abuse of the C3 Alucard Shield Cheese Spectacular at your own risk, as it tends
    to slowly suck ALL the fun out of the game once the novelty wears off.
    
     Overall Rating: ***** - But only because of its C3, which is basically like
     turning on a God Mode cheat.
    
    That's it.  Not much else you can do with shields.  Uh, well, besides that
    whole "blocking incoming projectiles" thing.  But with Alucard's mobility, who
    uses them to block?
    Right, anyway, now onto the FUN part: Weapons!
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    5. Weapons
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    This is going to be one BIG section, as there are a TON of weapons in this
    game.  I'm going to start out by giving the statistics, special properties, and
    special abilities of the Two Handed Weapons, and then I'll move on to the One
    Handed Weapons.
    
    Now, as with the Shields, I'm going to list all of the weapons in ascending
    order of Attack Power.  If two or more weapons have the same Attack Power, I'll
    list them alphabetically.  Each entry will contain the following information:
    
     --Name of the weapon as it appears in the game.
     --The game's poorly transrated description of said weapon.
     --How many points the weapon increases (or decreases) Alucard's Attack Power,
    listed as Atk+/-xx.
     --Some weapons also affect Alucard's Defense.  Those that do will have an
    entry, immediately after the Atk+/-xx entry, that shows how many points of
    Defense Alucard gains/loses when equipping said weapon, listed as Def+/-x.
     --Weapons with the "Bloody" descriptor after the damage listing will draw
    blood from monsters - at least, those that have blood to shed.  Thus, Bloody
    weapons can be used with Alucard's Blood Healing ability (Dark Metamorphosis).
     --The last item in the top line of a Weapon Entry is the Weapons' speed
    rating, from Very Slow to Very Fast.  See below for a description of the
    various weapon speeds:
    
     Very Slow.  Example: Red Rust.  Can only be swung every 3 seconds or so.
    
     Slow.  Example: Muramasa.  Can be swung once about every 1.5 seconds.
    
     Fast.  Example: Katana.  Can be swung roughly once per second.
    
     Very Fast.  Example: Yasutsuna Katana.  Attacks multiple times per second.
    
    There is also a Special Ability (abbreviated C1 or C2) entry which details
    what happens when you use either the C1 or C2 command with this weapon.  This
    entry contains the following information:
    
     --How much MP is consumed when you enter the C1/2 command to "activate" the
    weapon; listed as xx MP.  Some C1/2 commands do not consume MP; such commands
    will be listed as using 0 MP.
     --A description of what occurs, and what the effects of the C1/2
    activation are.  May contain tips for using some of the more useful C1/2
    abilities.
     --The Other entry will list any special advantages, limitations, or properties
    that the weapon might have.  Also contains my sarcastic comments about the
    weapons, and perhaps a description of the weapon, if it warrants one.
    
    Finally, I give each Weapon an Overall Rating of 0 to 5 stars (*).  A (/) is a
    half-star.  Thus, 3 1/2 stars would be ***/  The rating is based on a number of
    factors, including the Weapon's Attack strength, its Attack Speed, the
    usefulness of its C1 and/or C2 abilities (if applicable), and any other
    special properties.
    
    -----Don't Forget!!-----
    C1 is Down-roll-forward, Attack.
    C2 is Back, Forward, Attack.
    
    -------------------
    Two Handed Weapons:
    -------------------
    
    Before I list all the weapons, I'm going to give an overview of some of the
    C1/2 Special Abilities that occur on more than one weapon:
    
    Sliding Charge Thrust
    ---------------------
    Found on: Claymore, Flamberge, Zwei hander, Estoc, and Obsidian Sword.
    Always a C2 ability.  Alucard slides forward a few steps while fully extending
    the weapon in front of himself.  A good distance attack, usually with boosted
    Attack Power.
    
    Whirl of Blades
    ---------------
    Found on: Katana, Osafune Katana, Yasutsuna Katana, and Masamune Katana.
    Instead of a static sword slash, these weapons instead fill the air in front of
    Alucard with whirling blades.  Basically, it's like swinging high and low at
    the same time - with boosted Attack Power, no less - even while jumping.
    
    Shadow Warp
    -----------
    Found on: Osafune Katana, Masamune Katana.
    Always a C1 ability, this will cause Alucard to fade out and glide forward in
    midair a few feet, let loose with a Whirl of Blades attack, then reappear from
    whence he came.  Alucard is generally invincible whilst this is going on.
    The Masamune Katana's Dual Shadow Warp adds a Whirl of Blades attack before
    Alucard begins gliding forward.  Very wicked looking, and the extra Attack
    Power doesn't hurt, either.
    
    And now, the Two Handed Weapons List:
    
    Namakura - Poorly made sword.  Atk-5; Bloody; Very Slow
    C1/2: None
    Other: Probably the 2nd most useless weapon in the game, after Red Rust.  Has
     good reach and that's about it.  I mean, really, why would you equip a Very
     Slow Attack Speed sword that LOWERS your Attack Power??
     Overall Rating: No Stars - Its not worth equipping.  At all.
    
    Red Rust - Rusty red sword.  Atk-2; Bloody; Very Slow
    C1/2: None
    Other: Occasionally, Alucard will grunt and stall instead of swinging this
     already beyond useless weapon.  Which makes it even more useless.  Whee!
     Overall Rating: No Stars - Just like the Namakura before it, this sword is
     not worth equipping.
    
    Takemitsu - Bamboo sword.  Atk+1; Very Slow
    C1/2: None
    Other: Well, it least it doesn't have a negative attack power.  However, it
     doesn't draw blood, either, so it's still useless.
     Overall Rating: 1/2 Star - It raises your Attack Power, but its still not
     worth equipping when you can get the same +1 Attack Power from your one handed
     Short Sword and still have an arm free to slap a Shield on.
    
    Nunchaku - Strikes enemy twice.  Atk+10; Fast
    C1/2: None
    Other: A unique weapon, Alucard will swing it in a one-two combination whenever
     you tap the button.  Does not draw blood, but is reasonably fast and has
     decent Attack Power.
     Overall Rating: ** - Decent damage, good speed, crummy range.  Useful when you
     first get it, but not for much longer after that.
    
    Muramasa - Bloodthirsty sword.  Atk+5(starting; see below); Bloody(duh); Slow
    C1/2: None
    Other: First off, Alucard has permanent Blood Healing for as long as this
     weapon is equipped.  But that's only the beginning!  This sword will power
     itself up, provided you continue to soak up your foes' blood.  In order to get
     the Attack Power of the Muramasa to PERMANENTLY increase by one, you have to
     absorb blood (Muramasa's Current Attack Power x 2)+12 times.  Once its Attack
     Power increases to +45, the Muramasa gains a deep red 0 MP Automatic Whirl of
     Blades attack.  With a LOT of work (it only takes 8500 kills or so until it
     surpasses the Masamune in terms of Attack Power), this weapon can become the
     most powerful weapon in the game (Attack Power-wise, anyway).
     Overall Rating: ****/ -  Permanent Blood Healing plus permanent Attack Power
     growth plus Automatic Whirl of Blades = one hell of a weapon, provided you're
     willing to take some time and "power it up".
    
    Claymore - Scotch two-handed sword.  Atk+26; Bloody; Slow
    C1: None; C2: Sliding Charge Thrust, 4 MP.
    Other: See above for a description of Sliding Charge Thrust.  Otherwise an
     unremarkable weapon.
     Overall Rating: ** - Good Attack Power, and that's about it.
    
    Sword of Dawn - Summons Dawn Warriors.  Atk+27; Bloody; Slow
    C1: Summons undead Dawn Warrior, 4 MP, see Other for details.
    C2: None
    Other: Now THIS is a strange one.  By using C1, the sword will fly into the air
     and emit a beam of light that strikes the ground, which creates a puff of
     smoke.  Out of the smoke comes an undead Warrior who immediately attacks!  Up
     to ten of the following Dawn Warriors may be summoned at once:
     Skeleton Knight: They simply walk forward in a straight line, spear in hand.
     Group of 3 Skeleton Archers: Shoot a flurry of low arrows straight ahead.
     Skeleton Archer: Shoots a couple of high arrows straight ahead.
     Spirit Mage: Creates a Dracula "Here's true Power!" ball above her head (this
      takes about 5 seconds) and releases it straight ahead.
     Skeletal Archer-Mage: Shoots a few spinning arrows in the direction of the
      nearest enemies.  The arrows have limited homing ability.
     Overall Rating: *** - Good Attack Power, and a really fun C1.  Pales in
     comparison to the high-end 2-Handers, however.
    
    Flamberge - Flame-edged sword.  Atk+31; Bloody; Slow
    C1: None; C2: Sliding Charge Thrust, 5 MP.
    Other: More powerful then the Claymore, making it somewhat more useful.
     Overall Rating: **/ - Just a bit better than the Claymore.
    
    Katana - Unsigned katana.  Atk+32; Bloody; Fast
    C1: Whirl of Blades, 0 MP.
    C2: None
    Other: The first and weakest in the line of potent Katana swords.  Much faster
     then the previous swords in this listing, and has the highly useful Whirl of
     Blades (see description above) ability.  It also does not apply a Defense
     penalty to Alucard's defense, as the more powerful, signed Katanas do.
     Overall Rating: *** - Good Attack Power and speed, but becomes obsolete rather
     quickly.
    
    Zwei hander - German two-handed sword.  Atk+38; Bloody; Slow
    C1: None; C2: Sliding Charge Thrust, 4 MP.
    Other: Exactly like the Flamberge but with higher Attack Power.
     Overall Rating: **/ - Meh.  Another one of these things.
    
    Estoc - German thrust sword.  Atk+39; Bloody; Special (see below)
    C1/2: None
    Other: This sword contains the dubiously useful Automatic Thrust ability.  When
     you press either sword button, Alucard will perform a miniature Charge Thrust,
     moving forward about half the normal distance.  This works even in midair.
     The primary drawback is that you can ONLY use Automatic Thrust; the weapon
     cannot be swung.
     Overall Rating: ** - I'll level with you: Automatic Thrust is pretty useless,
     and therefore, so is this sword.
    
    Obsidian Sword - Two-handed obsidian sword.  Atk+42; Bloody; Slow
    C1: None; C2: Sliding Charge Thrust, 4 MP.
    Other: Exactly like the Zwei hander, but with higher Attack Power.  The most
     powerful of the "Charge Thrust" Swords, not that that's saying much.
     Overall Rating: **/ - Ooh, Zwei Hander with 4 more Attack Power.  Be still
     my beating heart.
    
    Osafune Katana - Osafune-made katana.  Atk+50, Def-10; Bloody; Fast
    C1: Shadow Warp, 0 MP (see description above).
    C2: Whirl of Blades, 0 MP.
    Other: Much more powerful than the standard Katana, as you have access to the
     Shadow Warp ability as well as Whirl of Blades.  It's important to note that
     neither of these Special Properties consume any MP and can thus be used as
     often as you like.  A very useful weapon if you're willing to sacrifice having
     a shield or item in your 2nd hand, and are willing to accept the -10 Def
     penalty.
     Overall Rating: ***/ - One of the best found-not-dropped weapons.  Two
     powerful Special Abilities for no mana makes this one a winner.
    
    Yasutsuna Katana - Yasutsuna-make katana.  Atk+60, Def-20; Bloody; Very Fast
    C1/2: None
    Other: Arguably the most powerful Two Handed Weapon of all.  This weapon has
     the Automatic Whirl of Blades property, which means that it performs a 0 MP
     Whirl of Blades attack whenever you swing it!  It ALSO has the Swing While
     Moving property, which means that Alucard can run while swinging this weapon,
     instead of stopping to swing as he would with other weapons.  These two
     automatic abilities make this one deadly (and useful) weapon!  This weapon
     DOES have one major drawback: it gives Alucard a -20 Def penalty.
     Overall Rating: ***** - Swing While Moving plus Automatic Whirl of Blades =
     Alucard the Walking Slice-o-matic.  Seek this weapon out!
    
    Masamune Katana - Legendary Masamune katana.  Atk+55, Def-30; Bloody, Fast
    C1: Dual Shadow Warp, 0 MP, Atk+110 (!) (see description above)
    C2: None
    Other: Despite being the "Legendary Masamune katana", I find that the Yasutsuna
     Katana fares better in combat.  The Masamune does have the wicked Dual Shadow
     Warp, which deals considerably more damage than its Automatic Whirl of Blades,
     but it does NOT have the Swing While Moving ability, which is why it ends up
     being not quite as useful as the Yasutsuna Katana.  The -30 Def penalty (10
     MORE than the Yasutsuna's, no less) doesn't help, either.
     Overall Rating: **** - Incredable Attack Power, but it still doesn't match the
     sheer wickedness of the Yatsutsuna Katana.
    
    Great Sword - Greatsword of Aubec.  Atk+65; Bloody; Slow
    C1/2: None
    Other: Has a higher Attack Power than any of the Katanas, but its utter lack of
     Special Properties and Slow Attack Speed severely limits its usefulness.
     Stick to your Katanas or the Sword of Dawn.
     Overall Rating: *** - Good Attack Power, but it has too many limitations to be
     of much use by the time you can get ahold of one.
    
    -------------------
    One Handed Weapons:
    -------------------
    Before I list all the weapons, I'm going to give an overview of some of the
    C1/2 Special Abilities that occur on more than one weapon:
    
    Long Throw
    ----------
    Found on: Chakram, Heaven Sword, Rune Sword
    As its name implies, Long Throw is a C1 & 2 command that increases how far
    Alucard throws a Thrown weapon.  It costs no MP, but neither does it increase
    the damage that the weapon deals.
    
    Swing While Moving
    ------------------
    Found on: Vorpal Sword, Crissaegrim, Holbein Dagger
    One of the best special properties a weapon can have.  Weapons with the Swing
    While Moving property allow Alucard to walk while swinging this weapon.
    Normally, Alucard will stop to swing his weapon (unless he's jumping at the
    time).  Thus, this property will turn Alucard into a walking whirlwind of
    death.  Enjoy!
    
    Rapid-Fire Weapons
    ------------------
    Found on: Vorpal Sword, Crissaegrim, Holbein Dagger
    These weapons, in addition to having the massively powerful Swing While
    Moving property, can be swung with outrageous speed.  The Vorpal Sword and the
    Holbein Dagger swing once per button press. In effect, they can be swung as
    fast as you can wail on the button.  The Crissaegrim takes this one step
    further, swinging 4 TIMES per button press, allowing you to hit a monster
    literally dozens of times PER SECOND.  For obvious reasons, this makes the
    Crissaegrim the literal best weapon, period.  And also the cheesiest.
    
    Strong Swing
    ------------
    Found on: Holy Rod, Star Flail, Gurthang
    This Special Ability increases the Attack Power of the weapon when you perform
    a C2. It's usually found on Flails and other blunt weapons in the game.  It
    costs no MP, the "cost" instead being the time invested in the C2 required to
    activate it.
    
    Elemental Burst
    ---------------
    Found on: Firebrand, Icebrand, Thunderbrand, Holy Sword, Marsil
    Very similar to Strong Swing, but it costs MP and normally gives off a burst
    of elemental energy that damages nearby foes.  What type of elemental energy
    given off relies, of course, on the elemental type of the weapon.  Marsil takes
    this to the next level by creating a large burst of flame about the size of
    two Alucards.
    
    Fists of Fury
    -------------
    Found on: Iron Fist, Fist of Tulkas
    Usually a C2, this Special Ability causes Alucard to release a flurry of
    punches with such speed that they begin to blur together.  This can hit nearby
    foes up to about a dozen time per second, but if Alucard takes damage the Fury
    ends.  Like Strong Swing, the "cost" in time to input C2, not MP.
    
    Slice and Dice
    --------------
    Found on: Rapier, Were Bane
    Very similar to Fists of Fury, but done with the blade of the weapon rather
    than with Alucard's fists, giving it much longer reach.  It is activated with
    C2 and deals additional damage.  Again, the "cost" is in Command input time
    rather than in MP.
    
    In addition, One Handed Weapons will have a Weapon Class entry, listed just
    before the Attack Power Entry.  The Weapon Classes are:
    
     Sword: The mainstay of Alucard's arsenal.  Most weapons fall into this Class.
      Almost all swords draw blood.
    
     Dagger: Since these weapons have shorter blades than Swords, they have less
      reach than Swords but tend to be faster.  All Daggers draw blood.
    
     Fist: Includes Knuckles.  Most of these weapons merely increase the Attack
      Power of Alucard's punch and kick attacks, but some have other properties.
      They do NOT draw blood.
    
     Mace/Flail/Rod (abbreviated M/C/R): This weapon Class consists entirely of
      Blunt weapons, none of which draw Blood.  Most have the Strong Swing Special
      Property.  Many Blunt weapons have a fast attack speed, which gives them a
      bit of a speed advantage over the majority of Alucard's swords.
    
     Thrown: These weapons are thrown across the screen in an arc.  Most are bladed
      weapons that draw blood.  Most can be thrown further than normal using C1/2.
      All Thrown weapons must be caught before re-throwing, with the exception of
      the Chakram, which supplies you with two disks to throw at once.
    
    Please note the speed of One Handed Weapons is different from the speeds given
    to the Two Handed Weapons.  The One Handed Weapon speeds are:
    
     Slow.  Example: Jewel Sword.  You must wait about 2 seconds in between swings.
    
     Average.  Example: Short Sword.  Can be swung roughly once per second.
    
     Fast.  Example: Alucard Sword.  Can be swung roughly twice per second.
    
     Very Fast.  Example: Crissaegrim.  Can be swung multiple times per second.
    
    Finally, I give each Weapon an Overall Rating of 0 to 5 stars (*).  A (/) is a
    half-star.  Thus, 3 1/2 stars would be ***/  The rating is based on a number of
    factors, including the Weapon's Attack strength, its Attack Speed, the
    usefulness of its C1 and/or C2 abilities (if applicable), and any other
    special properties.
    
    
    -----Don't Forget!!-----
    C1 is Down-roll-forward, Attack.
    C2 is Back, Forward, Attack.
    C3 is both weapon buttons simultaneously (default: Square and Circle).
    
    And now, the One Handed Weapons List:
    
    Tyrfing - Cursed dark sword.  Sword; Atk-30; Bloody; Average
    C1/2: None
    Other: It's possible to lower your Attack Power below 0 with this Weapon.  If
     this happens, the Tryfing will simply pass through enemies, inflicting no
     damage. A great way to handicap yourself, if you're into that sort of thing.
     Utterly worthless otherwise.
     Overall Rating: No Stars - Only useful if you're handicapping yourself.
    
    Basilard - Basic short sword.  Dagger; Atk+1; Bloody; Fast
    C1: None; C2:Swing instead of stabbing, 0 MP.
    Other: Despite the description, this weapon is more a dagger than a sword.
     When you press the weapon button, Alucard will stab with this weapon.  If you
     use C2, he will swing the Basilard (Fast speed) with increased Attack Power.
     Overall Rating: / - Somewhat better than going barehanded.  But not by much.
    
    Knuckle Duster - Iron studded brass knuckles.  Fist; Atk+1; Fast
    C1/2: None
    Other: All this does is add 1 point of damage to Alucard's punch and kick
     attacks.  In other words, a great example of a "why bother?" weapon.
     Overall Rating: / - As I just said, why bother?
    
    Stone Sword - May "petrify" enemies.  Sword; Atk+1; Average
    C1/2: None
    Other: While this sword doesn't draw blood, it WILL paralyze any foe struck
     with it (provided you don't kill them outright) for about 1.5 seconds.  This
     works quite well with a familiar, who can beat the paralyzed foe down.  Bear
     in mind that not all foes can be paralyzed in this manner.
     Overall Rating: * - Paralyzation is fun and all, but no Attack Power to speak
     of and pretty slow to boot.  One of many novelty swords.
    
    Alucart Sword - Resembles family sword.  Sword; Atk+1; Bloody; Fast
    C1/2: None
    Other: Looks just like the Alucard Sword and has its Fast attack speed, but has
     none of said sword's special abilities - and nowhere near its attack power!
     However, if you have all 3 Alucart items (the Sword, the Shield, and the Mail)
     equipped, Alucard's STATUS will change to "alucart", and you'll receive a +30
     bonus to your Luck stat.
     Overall Rating: */ - It may not offer much Attack Power, but it sure is
     FAST.  Also, if you're item hunting, the +30 alucart Luck bonus might come in
     handy.
    
    Short Sword - Common short sword.  Sword; Atk+2; Bloody; Average
    C1/2: None
    Other: The first weapon you get after Death absconds with your starting gear.
     This weapons exemplifies the Sword class, but has almost no Attack Power.
     Overall Rating: * - What's to say?  Better range then fighting with
     fisticuffs, but very low Attack Power.
    
    Gladius - Sword of ancient Rome.  Sword; Atk+3; Bloody; Average
    C1/2: None
    Other: Identical to the Short Sword but deals 1 more damage.  Woo hoo.
     Overall Rating: * - See Short Sword.
    
    Scimitar - Single edged curved sword.  Sword; Atk+5; Bloody; Average
    C1/2: None
    Other: Identical to the Short Sword but deals 3 more damage.  Whoopie.
     Overall Rating: */ - More respectable damage than previous Short Sword Clones.
    
    Holbein Dagger - Swift upper diagonal attack.  Dagger; Atk+6; Bloody; Very Fast
    C1/2: None
    Other: The weakest of the three Swing While Moving weapons, and the only one
     that isn't horribly broken.  When the weapon button is pressed, this weapon
     performs an uppercut-shaped Whirl of Blades attack (see its description in the
     Two Handed Weapons section).  Unlike a standard Whirl of Blades, this uppercut
     version has very limited range and only hits once per "swing".  Not terribly
     useful but kind of nifty looking nonetheless.
     Overall Rating: */ - Another novelty weapon.  Very, very fast but weak and
     suffers from poor reach.
    
    Cutlass - Sword of the English Navy.  Sword; Atk+7; Bloody; Average
    C1/2: None
    Other: Identical to the Short Sword but deals 5 more damage.  Wow.
     Overall Rating: */ - You know the drill.
    
    Rapier - Long bladed sword.  Sword; Atk+7; Bloody; Fast
    C1: None; C2: Slice and Dice (see description above), 0 MP.
    Other: Slice and Dice is a good way to dish out damage in a hurry, at least in
     the early parts of the game.  Other than that, it's a pretty unremarkable (and
     weak) weapon, although the green "sword trails" are a nice effect.
     Overall Rating: ** - Slice and Dice can be useful, and its a quick sword.
     Not a bad choice early on.
    
    Blue Knuckles - Knuckles for uppercut-use.  Fist; Atk+8; Fast
    C1/2: None
    Other: When the weapon button is pressed, Alucard performs an wicked uppercut
     that leaves a blue trail in its wake.  While impressive looking - and fast -
     this weapon is very weak and has such ludicrously short range (by the time
     Alucard gets within range, he might as well just give his foe a big sloppy
     kiss instead) that hitting anything with it is next to impossible.  Pass.
     Overall Rating: */ - Very similar to the Holbein Dagger.  Looks cool and all,
     but its a real chore to actually fight with it.
    
    Mace - Iron cudgel.  M/F/R; Atk+9; Slow
    C1/2: None
    Other: Wow, the first Blunt weapon.  How does it stack up to the mass of swords
     and daggers you already have?  Well, not very well, I'm afraid.  It's slow,
     weak, doesn't draw blood, and has no Special Properties.  Stick to your
     blades.
     Overall Rating: * - Very unimpressive compared to all the Short Sword Clones
     they've been throwing at you.
    
    Saber - Light cavalry sword.  Sword; Atk+9; Bloody; Average
    C1/2: None
    Other: Identical to the Short Sword but deals 7 more damage.  Neat-o.
     Overall Rating: */ - Getting very slightly better.
    
    Falchion - Norman curved sword.  Sword; Atk+10; Bloody; Average
    C1/2: None
    Other: Identical to the Short Sword but deals 8 more damage.  How many Short
     Sword clones do you really need, anyway?  Good grief!
     Overall Rating: */ - What, do we need one Clone for each number between +2 and
     +9?  I mean really...
    
    Morningstar - Spiked iron club.  M/F/R; Atk+11; Slow
    C1/2: None
    Other: Marginally better than the Mace, due to its slightly higher Attack
     Power, but it's still not really worth using.
     Overall Rating: * - Since it lacks Strong Swing to boost its damage, this is
     another weapon that you'll really never want to equip.
    
    Broadsword - Simple Mercenary's sword.  Sword; Atk+12; Bloody; Average
    C1/2: None
    Other: Identical to the Short Sword but deals 10 more damage.  Yay.
     Overall Rating: */ - Clone #6.
    
    Holy Rod - Anointed rod.  M/F/R; Atk+12; Fast
    C1: None; C2: Strong Swing (see description above), 0 MP, Atk+15
    Other: Finally, a useful Blunt weapon.  It's quick and Strong Swing makes it
     worth whipping out now and again.  It also does extra damage to Dark Element
     foes.
     Overall Rating: **/ - Now THIS is a Blunt weapon!  Whip this beastie out
     whenever you encounter undead foes, you won't be sorry.
    
    Bekatowa - Plain, easy-to-use war sword.  Sword; Atk+14; Bloody; Average
    C1/2: None
    Other: Identical to the Short Sword but deals 12 more damage.  Attack of the
     Clones!
     Overall Rating: */ - 7 Clones and counting...
    
    Chakram - Sikh steel throwing ring.  Thrown; Atk+15; Bloody; Average
    C1 & 2: Long Throw: throws it about 1.5 times as far as normal, 0 MP.
    Other: This rare Thrown weapon is a mixed bag.  Unlike most Thrown weapons, you
     can have two of them on screen at once (Well, okay, you CAN have four at once,
     but only if you bother to get 2 Chakram and equip them in both hands) but
     they're slow and have only moderate range.  The Long Throw increases the range
     to something more respectable, but it can be difficult to do it twice
     consecutively.  Verdict: fun to play with, but not very practical in combat.
     Overall Rating: ** - Being able to throw two Chakram at once is nice, but its
     still a difficult weapon to use effectively.
    
    Jewel Sword - Transforms enemies into jewels.  Sword; Atk+15; Bloody; Slow
    C1: Create Gold Coins: 1-4 $1 Coins fall to the ground in front of Alucard.
    C2: None
    Other: This sword is weak and SLOW, but it does have one major redeeming
     special property: it causes defeated enemies to drop salable gemstones at an
     alarming rate.  The most common dropped gemstone is the $150 Zircon, followed
     by the much more rare $500 Aquamarine and the almost-never-seen $1500
     Turquoise.  In theory, you could get any variety of gemstone from a defeated
     foe.  However, the odds of getting anything better than an Turquoise are
     rougly equal to winning a lottery jackpot.  Seriously.  Don't hold your breath
     for anything better than an Onyx, which itself is just outrageously,
     incredibly rare. Using this sword on the infinitely-spawning Mermen or Zombies
     in the Entry Hall is a great way to rack up large amounts of $$$: simply sell
     the gemstones they drop en masse (you can hold up to 99 of each gemstone) to
     the Master Librarian.
     Overall Rating: *** - Only worth equipping if you're trying to buy something
     from the Master Librarian.  Which will happen quite a bit, actually.
    
    Star Flail - Flail with spiked balls.  M/F/R; Atk+15; Fast
    C1: None; C2: Strong Swing, 0 MP.
    Other: Basically just an upgrade to the Holy Rod, sans the extra damage vs.
     Dark.
     Overall Rating: **/ - I prefer the Holy Rod, but to each his own.
    
    Shield Rod - Extra effective with shield.  M/F/R; Atk+11, Def+2; Slow
    C1: None; C2: Gradius Shields, 0 MP, see Other.
    Other: The shield is a very mediocre weapon, but if you've read the Shields
     section, you've probably figured out its real purpose.  If you haven't read
     the Shields section, go do it now.  It's rather important.
     As for the C2 ability: each time you execute it, the Shield Rod spits out a
     Shield (from Konami's old side-scrolling Gradius series).  The Shields (you
     can "cast" up to 4 at once) will block exactly one projectile each.  Of
     course, given Alucard's mobility and the much, MUCH bigger shield that you
     already have equipped, they're pretty silly.  And by silly I mean worthless.
     Overall Rating: **** - But only because it allows you to use all those C3
     Special Abilities.  Its actually a terrible weapon in all other aspects.
    
    Damascus Sword - Fine sword honed to razor edge. Sword; Atk+17; Bloody; Average
    C1/2: None
    Other: Identical to the Short Sword but deals 15 more damage.  How exciting.
     Overall Rating: */ - Up to 8 Clones now; at least this one has something
     resembling decent Attack Power.
    
    Moon Rod - Rod with Lunar markings.  M/F/R; Atk+17; Average
    C1: Lunar Blades, 4 MP (see below).
    C2: None
    Other: Now this is more like it!  Not as fast as other Rods, but Lunar Blades
     more than makes up for it.  When you activate Lunar Blades, four crescent-moon
     shaped blue blades fan out behind Alucard.  A second later, the rush forward,
     slicing through anything in their path.  The blades will seek out enemies to a
     small degree, and travel the entire length of the screen.  A powerful attack,
     indeed.  Don't be afraid to use it, as it only costs 4 MP.
     Overall Rating: *** - Not as fast as the Holy Rod, but its Lunar Blades makes
     this a better weapon overall.
    
    Were Bane - Effective against werebeasts.  Sword; Atk+18; Bloody; Fast
    C1: Slice and Dice, 0 MP.
    C2: None
    Other: It's basically a more powerful version of the Rapier, except with purple
     "sword trails" instead of green ones.  It also deals double damage to any
     were creatures - all 2 of them!  Oh boy, how useful!
     Overall Rating: ** - Just a Rapier Clone with a next to worthless Special
     Property.  Don't get too excited.
    
    Hunter Sword - Ivory handled hunting sword. Sword;Atk+20,Def-1; Bloody; Average
    C1/2: None
    Other: It's just a sword, no Special Properties.  The real puzzler here is WHY
     it lowers your Defense by 1.
     I guess it must be that Ivory handle...
     Overall Rating: */ - The 9th Clone.  That -1 Def still baffles me.  Why,
     Konami, WHY?!!
    
    Bastard Sword - Standard sword.  Sword; Atk+20; Bloody; Average
    C1/2: None
    Other: Identical to the Short Sword but deals 18 more damage.  I think they're
     improving.
     Overall Rating: */ - Clone #10 features the Attack Power of the Hunter Sword
     without the mysterious Defense penalty.  Go Short Sword Clones!
    
    Shotel - Abyssinian curved sword.  Sword; Atk+20; Bloody; Slow
    C1: Throw it instead of swinging it, 0 MP.
    C2: None
    Other: Sort of a hybrid weapon.  It's normally a fairly weak, very slow sword,
     but you can throw it with C1.  It has range equal to the Chakram (see above),
     the thrown speed is average, and you can only throw one at a time.  Another
     novelty weapon that isn't very practical to use in combat.
     Overall Rating: */ - If it had a faster Attack Speed, it might be somewhat
     useful.
    
    Heaven Sword - Enchanted floating sword.  Thrown; Atk+21, Def-2; Bloody; Slow
    C1 & 2: Long Throw: throws it about 1.2 times further than normal, 0 MP, Atk+0
    C3: SPECIAL: If you equip a Heaven Sword in both hands, and then press both
     weapon buttons at the same time, it activates a new special ability!  The
     Heaven Sword flies in an arc behind Alucard, then it shoots a multitude of
     blades across the screen before vanishing.  The blades taper to a point
     directly in front of Alucard, so don't expect to hit anything above or below
     him; 5 MP.
    Other: Better range than the Chakram or Shotel, but you can only throw one at a
     time.  It also has horrible, terrible speed.  It looks neat when you first use
     it, but the speed issue makes it a less than stellar weapon overall.  However,
     if you were to equip two in order to enable their special C3 ability, I
     wouldn't blame you.
     Overall Rating: **/ - If it wasn't so difficult to get, and if you didn't need
     to get TWO of them in order to activate its "hidden" C3 ability, and if it
     wasn't such a slow weapon, this sword might have gotten more stars.
    
    Jewel Knuckles - Jewel reinforced knuckles.  Fist; Atk+21; Fast
    C1/2: None
    Other: A respectable increase to Alucard's punch and kick attacks.  Also seems
     to have a very high Critical Hit rate, but maybe that's just me getting lucky.
     Overall Rating: **/ - Since Alucard's unarmed attacks are so quick, this
     weapon isn't a terrible idea.  I just prefer weapons with a bit more reach.
    
    Talwar - Curved Indian sword.  Sword; Atk+22; Bloody; Average
    C1/2: None
    Other: Identical to the Short Sword but deals 20 more damage.  Best.  Weapon.
     Ever.
     Overall Rating: ** - 11 Clones.  I don't see why you need so many Short Sword
     knock-offs...
    
    Combat Knife - Flat combat dagger.  Dagger; Atk+24; Bloody; Very Fast
    C1: None; C2: Swing instead of stabbing, 0 MP.
    Other: If you press the weapon button twice rapidly while standing still,
     Alucard will perform a one-two stab-slash combo.  If you press it rapidly
     while moving, he will simply stab repeatedly.  If you feel like doing
     something useless, try C2.  Not only does C2 take longer to do than the normal
     stab-slash combo that requires no command input, it also provides NO range
     benefit and actually lowers your attack power!  Talk about incentive!
     Overall Rating: ** - Good Attack Power and speed, but almost no reach.  There
     are better alternatives.
    
    Sword of Hador - House of Hador heirloom.  Sword; Atk+24; Bloody; Average
    C1/2: None
    Other: A new generation of "just like the Short Sword, but more powerful"
     Weapons is here!  These "new" swords add a flaming effect to the sword swing
     but have no Special Properties.  Great.
     Overall Rating: ** - The very first Neo Clone!  Aren't you excited?  I am!
    
    Firebrand - Fire sword of Oberon.  Sword; Atk+25; Bloody; Average
    C1: Fire Burst, 4 MP.
    C2: None
    Other: A Fire-element sword.  Deals double damage to monsters that are weak
     against fire.  Fire Burst gives a respectable Attack Power boost for a low
     MP cost and has a rather nice graphic effect, as well.
     Overall Rating: *** - Ahh, here we go.  All these Elemental Swords are very
     useful.  Fire Burst is very similar to Strong Swing but it looks much more
     impressive.
    
    Icebrand - Ice sword of Mim.  Sword; Atk+25; Bloody; Average
    C1: Ice Burst, 4 MP.
    C2: None
    Other: An Ice-element sword.  Deals double damage to monsters that are weak
     against ice.  Ice Burst gives a respectable Attack Power boost for a low
     MP cost and has a rather nice graphic effect, as well.
     Overall Rating: *** - Ahh, here we go.  All these Elemental Swords are very
     useful.  Ice Burst is very similar to Strong Swing but it looks much more
     impressive.
    
    Mormegil - Black sword - strong vs. holy.  Sword; Atk+25; Bloody; Average
    C1/2: None
    Other: Would be just another sword except that it does double damage to Holy
     monsters.  Most of these are found in the Royal Chapel, if you were wondering
     where you would find "holy" monsters in Castlevania, a decidedly UNholy place.
     Overall Rating: **/ - I'm sorry, but Stong vs. Holy is NOT a good replacement
     for an Elemental Burst Ability.
    
    Thunderbrand - Lightning sword of Indra.  Sword; Atk+25; Bloody; Average
    C1: Lightning Burst, 4 MP, Atk+25
    C2: None
    Other: A Lightning-element sword.  Deals double damage to monsters that are
     weak against lightning.  Lightning Burst gives a respectable Attack Power
     boost for a low MP cost and has a rather nice graphic effect, as well.
     Overall Rating: *** - Ahh, here we go.  All these Elemental Swords are very
     useful.  Lightning Burst is very similar to Strong Swing but it looks much
     more impressive.
    
    Gurthang - Gets stronger when bloodied.  Sword; Atk+25, Def+1; Bloody; Average
    C1: Strong Swing, 0 MP, Atk+15, randomly deals double damage.
    C2: None
    Other: What more could a half-vampire need than a sword that drips blood?  If
     all this sword had was dripping blood and Strong Swing, it would be a pretty
     good sword.  However, it one property that makes it a really good sword: it
     deals double damage for the entire duration of every Dark Metamorphosis spell
     you cast!  This double damage applies to ALL your foes, not just the ones that
     bleed.  It also gives you momentary Blood Healing whenever you swing it,
     regardless of whether or not you have Dark Metamorphosis cast.
     Overall Rating: ***/ - Not quite on the level of the Muramasa, but the whole
     "double damage for only 5 MP" thing makes this a quite useful weapon in its
     own right.  Automatic Blood Healing tacks on another 1/2 Star.
    
    Vorpal Blade - Slices cleanly through enemies. Sword; Atk+25; Bloody; Very Fast
    C1/2: None
    Other: This is the middle of the three Rapid-Fire Weapons in the game, but it's
     no slouch.  This weapon can be swung as quickly as you're able to mash the
     weapon button, enabling you to hit things several times per second, at the
     cost of your right thumb.  It also has the ever-powerful Walk While Swinging
     property, making it even more deadly.  A great all-around weapon until your
     thumb starts to get sore.
     Overall Rating: **** - If you've got fast thumbs, this weapon will take you
     far.  Not QUITE as broken as the Crissaegrim, but its close.
    
    Holy Sword - Cross Hilt - strong vs. undead.  Sword; Atk+26; Bloody; Average
    C1: Holy Burst, 5 MP, Atk+19
    C2: None
    Other: A Holy-element sword.  Deals double damage to undead creatures.  Holy
     Burst gives a respectable Attack Power boost for a low MP cost and has a
     rather nice graphic effect, as well.
     Overall Rating: *** - Oh look, its Mormegil's big brother!  Holy Burst is a
     real boon versus the undead.  This weapon pretty much renders your trusty
     Holy Rod worthless.
    
    Iron Fist - Owned by Karate master.  Fist; Atk+26; Fast
    C1: Fists of Fury (see description above), 0 MP, Atk+25
    C2: None
    Other: Blows previous Fist weapons right out of the water by adding the Fists
     of Fury Property, which can hit multiple times per second with increased
     Attack Power, albeit only at close range.
     Overall Rating: **/ - Fist of Fury deals excellent damage, but its hard to use
     because it leaves Alucard quite vulnerable.
    
    Luminous - Sword forged by elves.  Sword; Atk+26; Bloody; Average
    C1/2: None
    Other: An "upgrade" to the Sword of Hador.  No Special Properties.  Keen.
     Overall Rating: ** - Neo Clone #2.  More and more!
    
    Harper - The sword named Harper.  Sword; Atk+28; Bloody; Average
    C1/2: None
    Other: An "upgrade" to the Luminous Sword.  No Special Properties.  Swell.
     Overall Rating: ** - Neo Clone #3.  Must... make... more... Clones...
    
    Gram - The sword named Gram.  Sword; Atk+30; Bloody; Average
    C1/2: None
    Other: Harper's big brother.  No Special Properties.  Oh boy.
     Overall Rating: ** - Neo Clone #4.  These things are now beyond redundant.
    
    Terminus Est - Poisoned executioner's sword. Sword;Atk+32,Def+1;Bloody;Average
    C1/2: None
    Other: Being a poisoned blade, it will Poison any enemy struck with it,
     provided you don't kill them outright.  While poison doesn't seem to have any
     adverse effects on most monsters you fight, it does excel against 2 foes in
     particular: the Guardians near the Inverted Clock room, and the 2 Doppleganger
     bosses.  Go ahead, try it out!
     Overall Rating: *** - Good Attack Power, and Poison cripples a couple of
     bosses, so not too shabby.  Too bad it lacks any special abilities.
    
    Marsil - Powerful sword of flame.  Sword; Atk+33, Def+1; Bloody; Average
    C1: Flaming Burst, 5 MP, similar to Fire Burst with a Radius (see below).
    Other: Basically an upgraded version of the Firebrand, but it's quite the
     upgrade!  The weapon leaves flames in its wake for about 1.5 seconds after
     Alucard swings it.  These residual flames deal full damage to any creature
     foolish enough to touch them.  Flaming Burst is similar to Fire Burst, but
     adds a radial burst of flame that damages anything near Alucard.  A very
     powerful attack for only 5 MP.
     Overall Rating: ****/ - Surpassed by few other weapons.  Flaming Burst is just
     an incredible Ability for only 5 MP.  Toss in the residual flames and its
     respectable Attack Power, and you've got a weapon you can use for the vast
     majority of the game.
    
    Dark Blade - Sword forged by elves.  Sword; Atk+35, Def+2; Bloody; Average
    C1/2: None
    Other: The LAST (finally!  Good lord!) and most powerful of the Short Sword
     knock-offs.  Adds 2 Defense as well.  Has respectable attack power but the
     lack of special abilities really limits its usefulness when compared to other
     high-end weaponry.
     Overall Rating: **/ - Make them stop!  For the love of God, MAKE THEM STOP!!!
     ...Oh wait, they have.  Uh, nevermind then.
    
    Crissaegrim - Countless blades dice enemy. Sword;Atk+36,Def+1;Bloody;Very Fast
    C1/2: None
    Other: The upgraded version of the Vorpal Blade, and hands-down the most
     powerful weapon in the game.  With its improved Rapid-Fire Property, this
     weapon is capable of striking a foe over a dozen times PER SECOND.  Now factor
     in the ever-potent Swing While Moving property, and you'll find that good old
     'Grim turns Alucard into a Walking Death Machine.  Be warned, this weapon is
     much like the C3 Alucard Shield in that it makes the game a complete and total
     cakewalk, so do try to limit your use of it lest you suck all the fun out of
     the game.  Finally, I don't think I need to mention how sick Alucard's damage
     output gets when he equips one in each hand...
     Overall Rating: ***** - Even if it IS horrendously overpowered, broken, and
     all around quite sick.  Very abusable and cheap, but its hard to deny the
     sheer power this weapon grants you.  The best weapon.
    
    Mourneblade - Feeds upon enemy's souls.  Sword; Atk+36, Def+1; Bloody; Average
    C1/2: None
    Other: Another really nasty high-end weapon.  The Mourneblade will suck the
     Soul out of any monster, candle, jar, or breakable wall section (I never
     realized that inanimate objects had souls to steal) you swing it at.  Each
     stolen Soul restores 8 HP to Alucard.  For added fun, slap on your Bloodstone
     and cast Dark Metamorphosis, then laugh manically as each (bloody) enemy you
     slaughter restores 24 of Alucard's HP.  Who needs healing items?
     Overall Rating: **** - Single-target Soul Steal for free!  The real kicker
     with this weapon is the aforementioned Bloodstone/Dark Metamorphosis combo.
    
    Fist of Tulkas - Blessed by Tulkas the Valar.  Fist; Atk+38, Def+5; Fast
    C1: Fireball, 0 MP, Fire-element (see below).
    C2: Fists of Fury, 0 MP, Atk+32
    Other: The ultimate Fist weapon, period.  Besides having Fists of Fury, this
     beast of a weapon also allows you to toss literal Fireballs clear across the
     screen.  These Fireballs are Fire-element and will deal double damage to
     monsters that are weak against fire.  You can shoot Fireballs as fast as
     you're able to input C1; there's no limit to how many you can have on-screen
     at once.  Oh yeah, it boosts your Defense by 5 as well.  An excellent weapon.
     Highly recommended.
     P.S. Fists of Fury + Guardians not Strong vs. Blunt = dead Guardians.  Bear
     this in mind if you want to raise Alucard's Level above 45.
     Overall Rating: **** - Adds to Defense, shoots Fireballs, and slaughters
     Guardians with relative ease.  What more do you want?  Oh yeah... reach.
     Bad Fist!  You lose a 1/2 Star!
    
    Mablung Sword - Spirit sword - improved DEF. Sword;Atk+39,Def+2;Bloody;Average
    C1/2: None
    Other: This weapon would be nothing spectacular if it weren't for the fact that
     its a faster, stronger Shield Rod!  That's right, the Attack Power of a high-
     end sword coupled with the ability to use C3 with Shields, all rolled into
     one!  Once you get this, there's no longer any excuse to equip that slow,
     non-blood-producing, poor-excuse-for-a-weapon Shield Rod ever again!
     Overall Rating: ****/ - All the insane C3 powers of the Shield Rod coupled
     with a Defense boost, reasonable Attack Power, and improved Attack Speed.
    
    Rune Sword - Flying rune-inscribed sword.  Thrown;Atk+40,Def-4, Bloody; Average
    C1 & 2: Long Throw: throws it about 1.2 times further than normal, 0 MP.
    Other: Easily the best Thrown weapon.  While it's not the fastest weapon in the
     world, and you can only throw one at once, it can do something that no other
     Thrown weapon can do: it can hit once on the way out and once more on the way
     back in.  Combine that with its very high Attack Power, and you've got quite
     the nasty non-MP-burning, long-range attack.  For added fun, try equipping
     two at once.
     Overall Rating: ***/ - Nice Attack Power and long Range.  The ability to hit
     coming AND going makes this weapon quite useful against stationary (or just
     very large) foes.
    
    Alucard Sword - Mother's family heirloom.  Sword; Atk+42; Bloody; Fast
    C1: Shadow Warp (see description in Two Handed Weapons), 5 MP.
    C2: None
    Other: Probably the best found-not-dropped Sword in the game.  Shadow Warp is
     a very useful way to attack at range in relative safety, while the +42 Attack
     Power is the highest of any standard weapon.  You'll probably use this weapon
     exclusively once you get it, unless you're like me and decide to go and get
     all those rare, over-powered, exotic weapons from the various creatures in the
     Castle.
     Overall Rating: ***/ - The best standard weapon.  You'll probably wind up
     using this extensively if you don't go weapon hunting.
    
    Badelaire - Power increases with gameplay.
    Sword; Atk+1-99 (see other); Bloody; Average
    C1/2: None
    Other: One of Two "variable Attack Power" Weapons in the game (the other being
     the Sword Familiar; see below).  The Badelaire gains +1 Attack Power for each
     hour on the Game Clock, located in the bottom right of the Menu Screen.  Since
     the Game Clock stops at 99:59:59, the Badelaire's Attack Power tops out at
     +99.  Other than the fact that you can get its Attack Power outrageously high,
     the Badelaire is a very average weapon, with no Special Properties.
     Overall Rating: *** - Can become quite powerful, but is overall not that
     useful of a weapon.
    
    Sword Familiar - Sentient sword familiar.
    Sword; Atk+50-99 (see other); Bloody; Average
    C1/2: None
    Other: This will only appear in Alucard's inventory once you get his Sword
     Familiar up to Level 50.  Once that happens, it starts out as an Atk+50 Sword
     that gains Atk+1 for each Level beyond 50 that the Sword Familiar reaches.
     Since the Sword Familiar tops out at Level 99, the Sword Familiar's maximum
     Attack Power is +99.  Other than the fact that you can get its Attack Power
     outrageously high, the Sword Familiar is a very average weapon, with no
     Special Properties.  It's important to note that you cannot be equipped with
     the Sword Familiar weapon and have the Sword Familiar flying around helping
     you at the same time: if you equip the Sword while the Familiar is out, the
     Familiar disappears.  If you summon the Familiar with the Sword equipped, you
     will suddenly find yourself fighting bare-fisted.
     Overall Rating: ***/ - Can become quite powerful, but is overall not that
     useful of a weapon.  At least its faster than the Badelaire.
    
    
    ...Whew!
    
    Okay.  Now, onto Alucard's protective gear.  Unlike his weaponry, Alucard's
    defensive equipment has no Special Abilities, only Special Properties.  So, you
    can't really "play" with his Armor like you can his Swords and such.  However,
    due to popular demand (and my anal desire for completeness) I'm including
    sections for Head Gear, Armor, Cloaks, and Accessories.  And I'm starting
    with...
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    6. Head Gear
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    Alucard's Head Gear serves mainly as a way to boost your Int stat, although
    some Head Gear has other effects.
    
    As with my previous lists, I'm going to list all pieces of Head Gear in
    ascending order of Defense Power.  If two or more Helms have the same Defense
    Power, I'll list them alphabetically.  Each entry will contain the following
    information:
    
     --Name of the Head Gear as it appears in the game.
     --The game's poorly transrated description of said Head Gear.
     --What Class of Head Gear it is (Circlet, Helmet, etc.)
     --The Defense Power of the Head Gear, listed as Def+/-xx.
     --If the Head Gear increases any other stat (like Int), I list that as well,
       as (stat name)+/-xx.
     --What (if any) Special Properties the Head Gear has.
    
    Finally, I give each Head Gear an Overall Rating of 0 to 5 stars (*).  A (/) is
    a half-star.  Thus, 3 1/2 stars would be ***/  The rating is based on a number
    of factors, including the Head Gear's Defensive strength, how it affects
    Alucard's Intelligence, and the usefulness of its Special Properties (if
    applicable).
    
    You know the drill.  Here we go:
    
    Beryl circlet - Heals HP by lightning damage
    Circlet; Def+0; Int+10
    Special Properties: The Beryl Circlet does just what it says: any time Alucard
     is hit by a Lightning-element attack, he will be healed instead of harmed.
     If you have this Circlet, beating Galamoth suddenly becomes much, MUCH easier.
     Other: This Circlet - like ALL Circlets - doesn't increase your Defense Power
     AT ALL, but the +10 Int and Lightning-healing more than make up for a few
     lousy points of Defense, at least in MY book.  And anything that makes
     Galamoth more managable geta a big gold star in my sticker book.
     Overall Rating: ***/ - A nice Int boost plus Immunity to Galamoth.  This
     Circlet is topped only by a couple other pieces of Head Gear.
    
    Cat-eye circl. - Big HP restore by cat damage
    Circlet; Def+0; Int+8
    Special Properties: Ok, this is bizarre.  The Cat-eye Circlet will give you
     MASSIVE healing when... a cat touches you.  There is only ONE cat in the game
     that I'm aware of: when you "kill" the Witches in the Reverse Catacombs, they
     will transform into black cats and try to run off-screen.  If they run over
     you, and you have this Circlet equipped, you will have a ton of HP restored.
     Other: Well, the Special Property is a joke unless you're fighting the
     aforementioned Witches for the Wizard Hat, but +8 to Int is nothing to scoff
     at, at least until you can pick up a better Circlet.
     Overall Rating: *** - Good Int boost, but the Special Property is so limited
     that it might as well not even be there.  Sigh.
    
    Circlet - Circlet (no really, that's the description.  Circlet.)
    Circlet (gah! enough!); Def+0; Int+5
    Special Properties: None.  Whee.
     Other: The basic Circlet.  Increases your Defense by 0 and your Intelligence
     by 5.  And that's it.
     Overall Rating: */ - +5 to Int is nice if you use Alucard's Spells often, but
     you'll find better Head Gear to don not too long after you find this.
    
    Coral circlet - Immune to Curses
    Circlet; Def+0; Int+7
    Special Properties: Believe it or not, Alucard is immune to attacks that would
     otherwise Curse him whilst this is on his head.
     Other: There's not that many attacks that can Curse you, but I'm not going to
     knock Curse immunity, since being Cursed is so friggin' annoying.  +7 to Int
     is very respectable, as well.
     Overall Rating: *** - Honestly, I doubt you'll ever use this much, but at
     least it's good to have until you can find an Elemental Defense Circlet.
    
    Gold circlet - Restores HP by holy damage
    Circlet; Def+0; Int+6
    Special Properties: Like the Beryl Circlet before it, the Gold Circlet will
     restore Alucard's HP when he's hit with an elemental attack - in this case,
     Holy elemental attacks.
     Other: A nice thing to have in the Chapel/Reverse Chapel, but there are
     certainly more useful pieces of Head Gear you could be wearing.
     Overall Rating: ** - Meh.  Nothing special.
    
    Opal circlet - Restores HP by ice damage
    Circlet; Def+0; Int+10
    Special Properties: Seeing a pattern yet?  The Opal Circlet will heal Alucard
     whenever he is struck by an Ice element attack.
     Other: Again, not too many dangerous Ice attacks that would make you think of
     whipping this thing out, but the +10 Int is nice if you're doing a lot of
     spell casting.
     Overall Rating: ***/ - But only because of the insane +10 to Int, the second
     best of any Circlet.
    
    Ruby circlet - Restores HP by fire damage
    Circlet; Def+0; Int+10
    Special Properties: The 3rd in the set of 4 Elemental Healing Circlets, the
     Ruby Circlet will heal Alucard whenever he is hit by a Fire element attack.
     Other: Well, Fire is more common than Ice, making this marginally more useful
     than the Opal Circlet.
     Overall Rating: ***/ - Again, only because of the Caster-friendly +10 to Int.
    
    Silver crown - Increases Intelligence
    Circlet; Def+0; Int+12(!)
    Special Properties: None.
     Other: A Caster's dream, the Silver Crown boasts the best Int boost of any
     piece of Head Gear: +12.  Still no Defense boost, however.
     Overall Rating: **** - I use this thing ALL THE TIME, but I like abusing
     Soul Steal and Tetra Spirit.  Your milage may vary.
    
    Topaz circlet - Restores HP by poison damage
    Circlet; Def+0; Int+10
    Special Properties: The final Elemental Defense Circlet.  If Alucard is struck
     by a Poison element attack (of which there are few) while wearing this, he
     will be healed and not harmed.
     Other: Eh, the Beryl and Ruby Circlets have much more useful Elemental
     Defense.
     Overall Rating: ***/ - As with the other Elemental Defense Circlets, the high
     rating comes from the impressive +10 to Int.
    
    Felt hat - Felt hat (Whoa, it's a Felt hat?  Never woulda guessed.)
    Helm; Def+1; Int+1 (why?)
    Special Properties: none.
     Other: What's to say?  It sucks.  If you get lucky and get one to drop right
     away, you may find a use for it; otherwise, it's going to languish in your
     inventory.
     Overall Rating: * - not the worst Helm, but it's close.
    
    Goggles - Comfortable eye protection
    Eyewear; Def+1; Int+4 (??)
    Special Properties: none.
     Other: The goggles - they do nothing!
     Overall Rating: */ - gets a / for the +4 Int, but if Int is your thing, you're
     better off with a Circlet of some kind.  Or the Holy Glasses.  Or...
    
    Holy glasses - Sees beyond magical curses
    Eyewear; Def+1; Int+5
    Special Properties: Allows you to see Shaft's spell that is controlling
     Richter, thus allowing you to break the hold Shaft has on him.  Beating
     Richter in this manner allows you to access the Inverted Castle and see the
     game's better ending(s).
     Other: Well, other than the fact that you NEED THIS ITEM TO TRULY BEAT THE
     GAME, it's not that great of a helm: it's just like the basic Circlet, only
     with +1 Defense instead of +0.
     Overall Rating: ** - Yeah, you need it to defeat Richter, but when compared to
     other Head Gear it's just not very good.
    
    Sunglasses - Cool looking sunglasses
    Eyewear; Def+1; Int-1
    Special Properties: none.
     Other: These things get my vote for Game's Worst Head Gear.  Trading +1
     Defense for -1 Int is just... not a good idea.
     Overall Rating: No stars - When equipping something lowers your Int, take that
     as a not-so-subtle hint.
    
    Velvet hat - Velvet hat (Okay, enough with the repetetive descriptors!)
    Helm; Def+1; Int+2
    Special Properties: none.
     Other: An ever-so-slight upgrade to the Felt hat.  Big whoop-de-do.
     Overall Rating: * - Once again, these things blow.  Move along.
    
    Ballroom mask - Mask used at a ball (No!  Really?)
    Helm; Def+2
    Special Properties: none.
     Other: Yet another useless Helm.  Sure, it has +2 Defense, but that is IT.
     Overall Rating: ** - But only because it gives +2 Defense, which is good for
     a Helm.
    
    Bandanna - Protects sensitive head parts (Head parts?  Transration!)
    Helm; Def+2; Int+1
    Special Properties: none.
     Other: Whee.  It's a Ballroom Mask with +1 Int.
     Overall Rating: **/ - See above.  With +1 Int.
    
    Leather hat - Tanned leather hat
    Helm; Def+2
    Special Properties: none.
     Other: Yet another useless Helm.  Sure, it has +2 Defense, but that is IT.
     Overall Rating: ** - Identical to the Ballroom mask in every way (except for
     name and graphic, of course).
    
    Stone mask - Ancient ceremonial sone mask
    Helm; Def+2; Int+4
    Special Properties: none.
     Other: This isn't too bad: +2 Def and +4 Int, which makes it a nice, mid-game
     hybrid Helm: good Defense with a decent Int boost.
     Overall Rating: *** - If you can't decide on Defense over Int, this is the
     Helm for you.
    
    Dragon helm - Frightens enemy, lowers DEF
    Helm; Def+3; Str+4
    Special Properties: While Alucard has this helm equipped, the Defense Power of
     all his foes is lowered, and he will (in a nutshell) deal more damage to
     EVERYTHING with his physical attacks.  VERY useful.
     Other: You should have this thing equipped at all times, unless you're like me
     and prefer high Int to everything else.  But I'm crazy that way.
     Overall Rating: ***** - It's really the best helm in the game. I'm sure that
     some will argue a case for the Silver Circlet or Wizard Hat, but the fact that
     this Helm gives you the 2nd best Defense AND lets you deal more damage to
     EVERYTHING makes it - the best.
    
    Steel helm - Standard adventurer's helm
    Helm; Def+3; Int+1
    Special Properties: none.
     Other: This is a good Helm to use until you recover your stolen Dragon Helm,
     or if you want high Defense instead of high Int.
     Overall Rating: *** - Just a poor half-vampire/half-man's Dragon Helm.
    
    Wizard hat - Wide-brimmed for protection
    Helm; Def+5(!); Str+1, Con+1, Int+7 (wow...)
    Special Properties: none.
     Other: If you're going for an Alucard that doubles as a lean, mean, spell
     castin' machine, you're going to have to decide between this and the Silver
     Circlet.
     Overall Rating: **** - Not as versatile as the Dragon Helm.  Doesn't have the
     high Int boost of the Silver Circlet.  But it's still a damn good hybrid Helm,
     and worth a look if you are into Spells, or having the highest possible
     Defense (+5 vs. +3 or less for any other Helm).
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    7. Body Armor
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    Alucard's Armor is designed primarily to give you a big boost to your Defense
    Power, although some Armors have very useful Special Properties.
    
    As before, I'm going to list all the game's Body Armor in ascending order of
    Defense Power.  If two or more Armors have the same Defense Power, I'll list
    them alphabetically.  Each entry will contain the following information:
    
     --Name of the Body Armor as it appears in the game.
     --The game's poorly transrated description of said Armor.
     --What Class of Body Armor it is (Tunic, Breastplate, Mail)
     --The Defense Power of the Armor, listed as Def+/-xx.
     --If the Body Armor increases any other stat, I list that as well, as (stat
       name)+/-xx.
     --What (if any) Special Properties the Armor has.
    
    Finally, I give each Armor an Overall Rating of 0 to 5 stars (*).  A (/) is
    a half-star.  Thus, 3 1/2 stars would be ***/  The rating is based on a number
    of factors, including the Body Armor's Defensive strength, how it affects
    Alucard's other stats, and the usefulness of its Special Properties (if
    applicable).
    
    Survey SAYS:
    
    Cloth Tunic - Simple cloth tunic
    Tunic; Def+1
    Special Properties: none.
     Other: After Death strips you all nekkid, you'll get this almost immediately
     afterwords.  You'll put it on because you have nothing better.
     Overall Rating: / - You'll only use it because it's (technically) better than
     nothing.
    
    Alucart Mail - Resists fire, lightning, ice?
    Mail; Def+2
    Special Properties: none.
     Other: Well, by the time you can get it, you'll have Armors that give you a
     lot more than a measly +2 to Defense, making this item essentially useless.
     And no, it does NOT resist fire, lightning, OR ice.  However, if you have all
     3 Alucart items (the Sword, the Shield, and the Mail) equipped, Alucard's
     STATUS will change to "alucart", and you'll receive a +30 bonus to your Luck
     stat. 
     Overall Rating: * - But only because of the +30 alucart Luck bonus, which can
     make item hunting much more fruitful.
    
    Hide cuirass - Tanned leather cuirass
    Breastplate; Def+2
    Special Properties: none.
     Other: A very slight upgrade to the Cloth Tunic, this Armor will come in handy
     for a little while, at least.
     Overall Rating: / - Well, it's better than the Cloth Tunic.
    
    Bronze cuirass - Bronze cuirass (Again with the repetition!)
    Breastplate; Def+3
    Special Properties: none.
     Other: The Bronzeness of this Cuirass is better than the Leatherness of the
     one you've been wearing.
     Overall Rating: * - What can I say?  I know: meh.
    
    Mirror cuirass - Polished to resist stoning
    Breastplate; Def+3
    Special Properties: When Alucard is equipped with this Cuirass, nothing can
     turn him to stone: not medusa heads, not gorgon's breath... nothing.
     Other: Immunity to Stone is very helpful if you're fighting medusa heads to
     power up a familiar or trying for a Medusa Shield, and it really SHINES (ba
     bum BUM) when you're navigating the clock tower.
     Overall Rating: ** - Yeah, the Defense is terrible, but Immunity to Stone is
     more useful than you might realize at first.
    
    Fire mail - Strong vs. fire-based attacks
    Mail; Def+4
    Special Properties: Reduces the damage Alucard takes from Fire-based attacks.
     Other: One of 4 Elemental Defense Armors.  None of them are anything more
     than average, although if some firey foe is giving you trouble, it may come in
     handy.
     Overall Rating: ** - Mid-range defense and fire resistance.  It's okay.
    
    Healing mail - Restores HP while walking
    Mail; Def+4
    Special Properties: It does what it says, but there's a catch: it only restores
     1 HP every 3 seconds of continuous walking.  Wow, be still my heart.
     Other: The description makes this Armor sound all useful and stuff, but it
     really isn't.
     Overall Rating: */ - You're better off just walking to the nearest Save Screen
     rather than trying to heal with this thing.
    
    Iron cuirass - Iron cuirass (I hear an echo, echo, echo...)
    Breastplate; Def+4
    Special Properties: none.
     Other: Well, it's the Fire Mail sans fire resistance, and the Healing Mail
     with no healing.  If you get this before either of those, then I guess it
     might come in handy.
     Overall Rating: */ - Now that you're getting armor with Special Properties,
     there's no real reason to ever use this.
    
    Steel cuirass - Steel cuirass
    Breastplate; Def+5
    Special Properties: none.
     Other: Oooohhh, 5 Defense!  Let me equip it right away! /sarcasm
     Overall Rating: */ - See Iron cuirass for details.
    
    Silver plate - Silver breastplate
    Breastplate; Def+6
    Special Properties: none.
     Other: Third time's the charm?
     Overall Rating: */ - Okay, enough already.  We demand Special Properties!
    
    Dark armor - Impervious to evil attacks
    Mail; Def+8
    Special Properties: Near as I can tell, it gives Alucard resistance to Dark
     element attacks when it's equipped.
     Other: This is one of those Armors that would be great if you could get it a
     whole lot earlier than you do.  As it stands, by the time you get your grubby
     mitts on it, it's obsolete.
     Overall Rating: **/ - Resist Dark is only marginally useful, but at least it's
     Defense is pretty good.
    
    Gold plate - Gold breastplate
    Breastplate; Def+8
    Special Properties: none.
     Other: Well, if you're hurtin' for Defense, this will help you more than
     previous breastplates in this "series".
     Overall Rating: ** - Better Defense, better rating.
    
    Ice mail - Strong vs. ice-based attacks
    Mail; Def+8
    Special Properties: Reduces the damage Alucard takes from ice-based attacks.
     Other: Fire Mail's big brother, now with new and improved defense!
     Overall Rating: **/ - Resist Ice can come in handy, and it has pretty good
     Defense, too.
    
    Lightning mail - Strong vs. lightning attacks
    Mail; Def+8
    Special Properties: Reduces the damage Alucard takes from lightning attacks.
     Other: Just an alternate version of the Ice Mail.  Same Defense, different
     element.
     Overall Rating: **/ - If you don't have the Beryl Circlet, this is a good 
     thing to have when fighting Galamoth.
    
    Platinum mail - Platinum breastplate (Well?  Is it Mail or Plate??)
    Mail; Def+10
    Special Properties: none.
     Other: Just an upgrade to the Gold plate.  It's good armor if all you're
     concerned with is Defense.
     Overall Rating: ** - Good defense, but nothing else.
    
    Holy mail - Strong vs. holy attacks
    Mail; Def+11
    Special Properties: When you don this, Alucard takes reduced damage from Holy
     element attacks.
     Other: If you don't have the Gold Circlet, this isn't a bad thing to fall back
     on in places like the Chapel, where you encounter a fair amount of Holy-attack
     using foes.
     Overall Rating: **/ - Good defense, mediocre Special Property.
    
    Brilliant mail - Increases sub-weapon strength
    Mail; Def+12; Int+1
    Special Properties: Ahh, here we go.  +12 Defense AND it makes your sub-weapon
     stronger!  For added fun, pump up Alucard's Int with a Circlet, get yerself as
     many Hearts as you can, and have a field day with Daggers or that Ring thing.
     If you have it, throw on the Heart Broach and you can REALLY go to town!
     Other: There are better Armors out there - defense wise - but this one's
     Special Property can be helpful throughout the game.
     Overall Rating: **** - Not the best armor, but darn useful nontheless.
    
    Spike Breaker - Spike-breaking armor
    Mail; Def+12
    Special Properties: If you have this equipped, any Spikes that Alucard touches
     will shatter instead of dealing a % of his Max HP in damage.  You need this
     armor to get beyond certain portions of the castle.
     Other: Well, you need it in a few specific areas, and it's not bad Armor when
     you first find it, but you'll find better Armor not too long afterwards.
     Overall Rating: **/ - Like the Holy Glasses, you NEED it, but it's nothing
     special once its purpose has been served.
    
    Fury plate - DEF goes up when damage taken (you a Engrish)
    Breastplate; Def+13; Atk+1
    Special Properties: Well, supposedly your Defense should improve when Alucard
     gets hit, but it doesn't seem to do that.  If YOU know how it works, by all
     means, let me know.
     Other: Well, until I figure out the Special Property...
     Overall Rating: **/ - Good Defense and +1 Attack.  I'll add more stars if
     someone explains the Special Property to me and it actually DOES something.
    
    Dracula tunic - Embroidered mobleman's tunic
    Tunic; Def+14; Str+1, Con+1, Int+1, Atk+3 (!)
    Special Properties: none.
     Other: One of the most useful Armors in the game (and one of the hardest to
     get!), this beast will not only give you a very respectable Defense boost, but
     it gives you +1 to all stats (save Luck), and +3 Attack.  Only God's Garb and
     the Alucard Mail can contend with it.
     Overall Rating: **** - Great Defense and very useful stat bonuses, plus you
     get to harass the Librarian while you're trying to collect it.  Whee!!
    
    Axe Lord armor - Wearer becomes an Axe Knight
    Mail; Def+15; Atk+2
    Special Properties: Quite possibly the most bizarre equipment in the game.  It
     turns Alucard into a small, blue Axe knight that can barely jump and swings a
     very short range axe.  Basically a novelty item, as most people use it to
     handicap themselves, or to say, "Well, I beat it as an Axe Knight, so there!"
     Other: Being an Axe Knight is a pain in the rear.
     Overall Rating: *** - Good Defense, but being an Axe Knight is just... funky.
    
    Diamond plate - Diamond breastplate
    Breastplate; Def+15
    Special Properties: none.
     Other: Last of the "Defense and Defense ONLY" Armor.  Thank goodness.
     Overall Rating: **/ - Outclassed by pretty much any other high-end Armor.
    
    Mojo mail - Increases magic attack power
    Mail; Def+15; Int+1
    Special Properties: Increases the damage that Alucard's spells deal.  Combine
     with high Int (from Circlets and such) for best results.
     Other: I like this Mail, but by now you guys know that I'm very pro-magic.
     Overall Rating: ***/ - Great Defense and Spell boosting.  One of the best
     armors out there.
    
    Alucard mail - Resists fire, lightning, ice
    Mail; Def+20
    Special Properties: Combines the Special Properties of the Fire, Ice, and
     Lightning Mails, making Alucard nigh-on immune to most elemental attacks.
     Other: Once you recover this, you'll likely wear it for the rest of the game,
     unless you go item hunting for God's Garb or Dracula's tunic.  By far the
     best "not dropped by a monster" Armor in the game.
     Overall Rating: ***** - Only 2 types of Armor have better defense, and neither
     of those protect you as well as the Alcard mail can.
    
    God's Garb - Strongest of all armor
    Tunic; Def+25; Con+2
    Special Properties: none.
     Other: Has the highest Defense of any armor in the game.
     Overall Rating: **** - But it has no Special Properties, making it less
     powerful overall than the Alucard Mail or Dracula's Tunic.
    
    Walk Armor - DEF increases with map coverage
    Mail; Def:VARIABLE
    Special Properties: The Defense of this armor goes up as the "Rooms" on
     Alucard's Status Screen increase.  I don't have the exact numbers handy (look
     for those in a future revision), but with some very basic Sword Brothers
     Glitching, I'm up to 1955 rooms and +32 Defense.  If one of you glitchers with
     almost 375% on their saves would be so kind as to let me know how much THEIR
     Walk Armor boosts their Defense, that'd be great...
     Other: Well.  This armor can potentially top even the God's Garb for sheer
     Defensive strength, but not until after it matters.  You'd have to fill in the
     entire map, including Dracula's room, in order for it to be worth donning, and
     by that point you may as well just put on the Alucard Mail.
     Overall Rating: ***/ - Has the potential for hellacious Defense, but only if
     you're a Master Glitcher.  Stick with the Alucard Mail, God's Garb, or
     Dracula's Tunic.
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    8. Cloaks
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    Alucard's Cloaks are actually some of his neatest equipment.  They provide a
    small bonus to Defense, and a boost to Alucard's Con stat, but mostly they are
    there for 2 reasons:
    1) To look cool, and
    2) To provide a rather unique array of Special Properties (and Menu options).
    
    Once again, I'm going to list all the game's Cloaks in ascending order of
    Defense Power.  If two or more Cloaks have the same Defense Power, I'll list
    them alphabetically.  Each entry will contain the following information:
    
     --Name of the Cloak as it appears in the game.
     --The game's poorly transrated description of said Cloak.
     --The Defense Power of the Cloak, listed as Def+/-xx.
     --If the Cloak increases any other stat (like Con), I list that as well, as
       (stat name)+/-xx.
     --What (if any) Special Properties the Cloak has.
    
    Finally, I give each Cloak an Overall Rating of 0 to 5 stars (*).  A (/) is
    a half-star.  Thus, 3 1/2 stars would be ***/  The rating is based on a number
    of factors, including the Cloak's Defensive strength, how it affects
    Alucard's other stats, and the usefulness of its Special Properties (if
    applicable).
    
    And awaaaaay we go:
    
    Cloth cape - Well-made but shabby looking
    Def+0; Con+1
    Special Properties: none.
     Other: Urgh.  I prefer the "naked Alucard" Cloak color to the drab Leather
     tones that this Cloak so generously provides.  It's up to you if you want to
     equip it.
     Overall Rating: / - +1 Con and +0 Defense in exchange for a retarded leather-
     toned cape?  Blech!
    
    Blood cloak - Converts damage to hearts
    Def+1; Con+4, Luck-1
    Special Properties: It should say, "Converts damage TAKEN to hearts", because
     that's exactly what it does, on a 1 to 1 basis: each point of damage you take
     while wearing this Cloak restores your current Hearts by 1.
     Other: While it's Def/Con bonuses are low, and it lowers your Luck by 1, this
     Cloak is nevertheless very useful: you can use it as part of the Dark Octupus/
     Muramasa Infinite Power Up Loop (ask around on the forums).  Also nice to have
     if you use your sub-weapons a lot, as it means that you don't need to pick up
     as many hearts.  Plus, it's a sweet Blood Red color.
     Overall Rating: **** - Very, very useful (and wicked looking) despite it's
     low Def and Luck penalty.
    
    Reverse cloak - Dual colored reversible cape
    Def+1; Con+3
    Special Properties: When you equip this, it opens up a "Cloak lining" option
     in the Status Screen, under the "System" menu.  It's the second option, after
     "Button settings".  From there, you can select either "Normal" or "Reverse":
     Normal: Dark blue exterior with a greyish-purple interior.
     Reverse: Greyish-purple exterior with a dark blue interior.
     Other: Well, the reversible lining is kinda nifty and all, but just about any
     other Cloak will provide better defense.
     Overall Rating: * - Neat to look at, but it's not a good Cloak Def- and Con-
     wise.
    
    Crystal cloak - Enchanted semi-invisible cape
    Def+2; Con+6
    Special Properties: They're not lying: parts of the Cloak are invisible, and
     you can see the background behind them.  The remainder of the Cloak - the
     visible part - is a strange purplish sort of color.
     Other: The half-invisible effect is actually very intruiging, and it's backed
     up by nice Def and Con bonuses.  A great Cloak for the earlier stages of the
     game.
     Overall Rating: *** - A very useful Cloak for a good long time.
    
    Elven cloak - Perfect for forest camouflage
    Def+2; Con+5
    Special Properties: none.
     Other: Well, it's green on green.  If green is your thing, this Cloak is for
     you.  The rest of us will stick with the superior Crystal Cloak.
     Overall Rating: **/ - It's just simply not as good as the Crystal Cloak.
    
    Joseph's cloak - Select color [System Menu]
    Def+3; Con+9
    Special Properties: When you don this Cloak, it opens up a "Cloak color" option
     in the Status Screen, under the "System" menu.  It's the third option, after
     "Button settings" and "Cloak lining".  From there, you can change the color
     of both the Inside AND Outside of the Cloak by adjusting the Red, Green, and
     Blue color bars.
     Other: This is, bar none, my favorite cloak.  I love making theme Cloaks and
     running around with "Green Bay Packer Alucard" or "Even more Bloody than the
     Blood Cloak Alucard" or even "Good Guy White Caped Alucard", just to name a
     few.  Go on, experiment!
     Overall Rating: ****/ - Even though this is my favorite Cloak, I must concede
     that the Twilight Cloak is better, and deserves the 5-star rating.  Sniff.
    
    Royal cloak - Gorgeous blue cape
    Def+3; Con+8
    Special Properties: none.
     Other: Well, it is a nicely colored Cloak, but once you get either Joseph's
     Cloak or the Twilight Cloak, there's never any need to ever look at it again.
     Overall Rating: ***/ - It's better than the Crystal Cloak, but it's still just
     a placeholder Cloak until you find something better.
    
    Twilight cloak - Black cape for vampires
    Def+4; Con+10
    Special Properties: none.
     Other: This is the cape you start with - the one that Death steals from you
     right away.  This grandpappy of all Cloaks is not only the best in terms of
     Defense Power and Con boosting, but it sports an always fashionable Black and
     Red color scheme - with the interior of the Cloak always shifting from black
     to blood red and back.  Very nice.
     Overall Rating - ***** - Excellent coloration plus the best defense equals...
     the best Cloak.
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    9. Accessories
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    Alucard's Accessories bestow a unique array of powers on him, ranging from
    increasing his stats to boosting his blood healing.  Some even increase
    Alucard's Attack and/or Defense, or only operate at certain times or under
    certain conditions.
    
    In the paragraphs ahead, I'm going to create 2 separate lists: one list for
    Salable Gemstones, which will be in order of ascending value; and another list
    for standard Accessories, in alphabetical order.  For both lists, each entry
    will contain the following information:
    
     --Name of the Accessory as it appears in the game.
     --The game's poorly transrated description of said Accessory.
     --What type of Accessory it is - its Class (Gemstone, Broach, Pendant, etc.),
       if you will.
     --If the Accessory increases any of Alucard's stats, I list that as well, as
       (stat name)+/-xx.
     --What Special Properties the Accessory has, or what abilities it bestows.  If
       it's a Gemstone, I list its sale value here.
     --Finally, I list any items that work well with this Accessory, under the
       heading "Combos".  Not all Accessories have a Combos entry.
    
    Finally, I give each Accessory an Overall Rating of 0 to 5 stars (*).  A (/) is
    a half-star.  Thus, 3 1/2 stars would be ***/  The rating is based on a number
    of factors, including how the Accessory affects Alucard's stats and the
    usefulness of its Special Properties and/or conferred abilities.  Combo-ability
    is also taken into consideration.
    
    First, let's cover the Salable Gemstones:
    
    Zircon - Sparkling ring [salable]
    Gemstone; no equip effects or Special Properties
    Value: 150 Gold
    Overall Rating: * - It's easy enough to amass 99 of these by fighting Mermen
     or Spectral Swords with the Gem Sword, but that still only gets you 14,850
     Gold pieces.  Nothing too exciting, but it can add up.
    
    Aquamarine - Fairly valuable ring [salable]
    Gemstone; no equip effects or Special Properties
    Value: 800 Gold
    Overall Rating: ** - A nice jump in value, from 150 to 800.  These are still
     common enough that it's not too hard to collect 99 of them from respawning
     foes.  A batch of 99 Aquamarines nets you 79,200 Gold - not bad.
    
    Turquoise - Fairly valuable ring [salable]
    Gemstone; no equip effects or Special Properties
    Value: 1500 Gold
    Overall Rating: **/ - Almost double the value of the Aquamarine, but also much
     more rare.  You'll probably never be able to gather up 99 of these unless you
     fight a TON of Spectral Swords... but if you DID, somehow, you could rake in
     148,000 Gold.  Only 3 such trips for a Duplicator...
    
    Onyx - Valuable ring [salable]
    Gemstone; no equip effects or Special Properties
    Value: 3000 Gold
    Overall Rating: *** - Again, it's double the value of the previous Gemstone,
     but it's almost twice as rare.  You will almost never see these dropped, even
     if you're weilding the Jewel Sword, but you can find several scattered about
     the castle.
    
    Garnet - Valuable ring [salable]
    Gemstone; no equip effects or Special Properties
    Value: 5000 Gold
    Overall Rating: ***/ - A slight improvement over the Onyx, but due to its
     rarity, you won't see many of these.  Maybe if you kill hundreds of Spectral
     Swords...
    
    Opal - Valuable ring [salable]
    Gemstone; no equip effects or Special Properties
    Value: 8000 Gold
    Overall Rating: **** - A nice chunk of change, but again, you will only find
     a handful of these laying about the castle, and getting them to drop is
     basically impossible.
    
    Diamond - Highly valuable ring [salable]
    Gemstone; no equip effects or Special Properties
    Value: 20,000 Gold (!)
    Overall Rating: ***** - The best and most valuable Gemstone.  These things are
     incredibly rare: you can only find 3.  I've heard tell of people getting them
     to drop from Spectral Swords, but I have yet to see this happen.
    
    Alright, that's it for Gemstones.  Now for the real deal:
    
    Ankh of Life - Improves heal item power
    Pendant; no Stat changes
     Effects: While equipped, this item causes Potions and High Potions (the only
     2 "heal" items I can find) to recover 150% as much HP as normal.
     Overall Rating: * - Wow, it makes 2 items in the game more potent.  'Scuse me
     while I roll my eyes.
    
    Bloodstone - Improves blood-healing ability
    Pendant; no Stat changes
     Effects: This Accessory doesn't just improve your blood healing - it doubles
     it!  With this equipped, Alucard will recover 16 HP per splash of blood
     instead of 8.
     Combos: Try equipping the Mourneblade with this item, for 24 HP healed per
     swing; or, you can whip out the Gurthang or Muramasa, and not have to keep
     casting Dark Metamorphosis: Double Blood Healing, all the time, with no MP
     cost.  Nice.
     Overall Rating: **** - A very useful item, especially if you need some quick
     healing or if you're trying to power up the Muramasa.
    
    Covenant stone - Gemstone buckle STR+15
    Belt; Str and Atk+15
     Effects: Boots Alucard's Str by 15 and his Attack by 15.  That's it.
     Overall Rating: **/ - A nice item to have, at least until you get some of the
     "Increase All" Rings.
    
    Duplicator - Duplicates [use] items
    Broach; Con-10, Int-10, Luck-10, Def-28
     Effects: This insane item allows you to use as many [use] items as you like!
     Infinite Fire Boomerangs, Shuriken, Food items, Heart Refreshes, Mana Prisms -
     whatever!  A never ending stream of items...
     Overall Rating - ***** - Even with the rather outrageous Stat penalties, the
     sheer usefulness of this item is indisputable.  Possibly the most broken item
     in the game, but since you need to amass 500,000 Gold to get it, it's not so
     bad.  You can't even get it until your second play through, anyway, so it's
     not like it ruins anything for you (like the Alucard Shield Cheese Bonanza
     does).
     
    Gauntlet - ATT+5
    Accessory; Atk+5
     Effects: All it does is raise your Attack Power by 5.
     Overall Rating: * - Hardy even worth putting on.  All it does is allow you
     to deal 5 more damage per hit.
    
    Gold Ring - Inscription "Wear...Clock..."
    Ring; no Stat changes
     Effects: Only one effect: If you wear this Ring AND the Silver Ring both, and
     enter the Clock room in the center of the castle, it will open a new path for
     you.  It serves no other purpose.
     Overall Rating: No stars - It helps you not at all.  It serves only as one
     half of a "key" to unlock the final rooms of the castle.
    
    Heart broach - Reduces heart consumption
    Broach; no Stat changes
     Effects: Just like it says.  While Alucard wears this, the number of hearts
     his sub-weapon uses are halved (round up).  Nice for the Cross and the Ring,
     especially.
     Combos: For obvious reasons, this item is doubly helpful if you have the Blood
     Cloak equipped.  The trio of Duplicator, Heart Broach, and Heart Refresh will
     allow you to use your sub-weapons all day long.
     Overall Rating: **** - With the proper equipment combinations, this item can
     make you VERY powerful.
    
    King's stone - Gemstone buckle STR+10
    Belt; Str and Atk+10
     Effects: Boots Alucard's Str by 10 and his Attack by 10.  It's the Convenant
     Stone's little brother.
     Overall Rating - */ - Falls directly inbetween the Gauntlet and the Covenant
     Stone.  Nothing special.
    
    Lapis Lazuli - Jewel which brings luck
    Ring; Luck+20
     Effects: Boost Alucard's Luck by 20, which will greaty increase how often
     monsters drop items.  Invaluable when you're Item Hunting.
     Combos: When you're looking for Rare monster drops, try combining this with
     the Ring of Arcana and the alucart +30 Luck bonus.  It really helps to bring
     the tediousness of Item Hunting down to a more reasonable level.
     Overall Rating: ****/ - By itself, it won't help you that much in combat - but
     it WILL allow you to find all the really powerful equipment (that WILL make
     you more powerful) all the faster.
    
    Medal - DEF+1 ATT +1
    Ring; Def+1, Atk+1
     Effects: Raises Alucard's Defense by 1 and his Attack Power by 1.
     Overall Rating: * - It's sorta helpful when you first find it, but you'll want
     to replace it with better Accessories as soon as you get the chance.
    
    Moonstone - Improves status after sunset
    Pendant; Str+5, Con+5, Int+5, Luck+5, Atk+5, Def+2 (when applicable, see below)
     Effects: Near as I can tell, when the Minutes on the Game Clock are between
     :30 and :59, the listed stat bonuses are in effect.  If this is incorrect, and
     you know of a more accurate description, please let me know.
     Overall Rating: *** - Gives you great Stat bonuses - but only half of the
     time, so be diligant about swapping it for something else (like the Sunstone)
     when its effects expire.
    
    Mystic Pendant - Increases MP restoration rate
    Pendant; no Stat changes
     Effects: While this is worn, Alucard's MP regen will increase: from 1 MP every
     2 seconds to 1 MP every second (roughly).
     Overall Rating: ***/ - Very handy to have if you use the Soul Steal, Tetra
     Spirit, or Sword Brothers spells very often.  Also handy for recovering your
     MP after a lengthy form change.  Makes a great "fall-back" Accessory; if you
     can't think of anything to put on, equip this and it's always benefitting
     you.
    
    Nauglamir - Dwarven necklace DEF+15
    Pendant; Def+15
     Effects: Increases Alucard's Defense Power by 15, which reduces damage taken
     by a considerable amount.
     Overall Rating: **/ - 15 Defense is nothing to sneeze at, especially if you
     manage to procure (and equip) a pair of these things.  There are better
     Accessories out there, but these will still come in handy against powerful
     foes.
    
    Necklace of J - DEF+5
    Pendant; Def+5
     Effects: Increases Alucard's Defense Power by 5, which reduces damage taken
     by a small amount.
     Overall Rating: */ - Probably the least impressive item of Alucard's starting
     equipment.  By the time you recover it, it's obsolete.  Bleah.
    
    Ring of Arcana - Increases rare item appearance
    Ring; no Stat changes
     Effects: Ups the rate at which monsters are likely to drop their "rare item",
     which is the second item listed in the bottom left corner of their Monster
     Sheet in the Library.  This Rare item is almost always better than the
     monster's standard drop - in fact, many rare items are unique, thus making
     them very worthwhile to pursue in general.
     Combos: When you're looking for Rare monster drops, try combining this with
     a Lapis Lazuli and the alucart +30 Luck bonus.  It really helps to bring the
     tediousness of Item Hunting down to a more reasonable level.
     Overall Rating: ****/ - Like the Lapis Lazuli before it, thing Ring will not
     make you more powerful, but it allows you to more easily procure the items
     that WILL make you a force to be reckoned with.
    
    Ring of Ares - Confers strength of 24 men
    Ring; Str+24, Atk+24, Def-24
     Effects: Increases Alucard's Str by 24, his Atk by 24, and then lowers his
     Defense by 24.  Not the greatest of trades, if you ask me, but if you
     absolutely HAVE to have higher Attack Power...
     Overall Rating: ** - No.  Just... no.  It's not worth it.
    
    Ring of Feanor - Increases overall strength
    Ring; Str+7, Con+7, Int+7, Luck+2, Atk+8, Def+3
     Effects: Increases all of Alucard's Stats, and by a considerable amount, with
     NO drawbacks.  The catch?  They're a real pain to get ahold of.
     Overall Rating: ***/ - The 2nd of the 3 "Increase All" Rings.  Very nice to
     have, especially if you get one earlier rather than later. If you have the
     patience, try to get 2, and double your pleasure.
    
    Ring of Pales - Ring with holy powers
    Ring; Str+1, Con+1, Int+1, Luck+1, Atk+1
     Effects: Increases all of Alucard's Stats by 1.  Sounds great, and it has no
     real negatives, but in practice it really doesn't help you that much.
     Overall Rating: **/ - The weakest of the 3 "Increase All" Rings, and while it
     sounds great on paper, you'll find that it doesn't add up to much in combat.
    
    Ring of Varda - Golden ring to rule over all!
    Ring; Str+30, Con+10, Int+30, Luck+5, Atk+40, Def+14 (WHAT?!)
     Effects: Increases all of Alucard's Stats by an INSANE amount.  No drawbacks.
     Thing is, you can only get them on your second (and subsequent) play
     through(s).  True power is given only to those with persistance.
     Overall Rating: ***** - The greatest of the 3 "Increase All" rings (oh, and 
     nice Tolkein reference, guys).  All those Stat boosts make Alucard much, MUCH
     more powerful - and if you can get two, and a powerful weapon like the
     Crissaegrim, or the Yasutsuna Katana, well... things are going to get ugly for
     ol' Dracula and company.
    
    Secret boots - Discreetly increases height!
    Boots; no Stat changes
     Effects: At first glance, nothing.  But, if you look REAL close, you can see
     that these boots do, in fact, make Alucard taller - by stretching his sprite.
     I hate the effect, personally, but some like it.
     Overall Rating: * - Does nothing other than give you a rather novel graphic
     effect to look at.
    
    Silver Ring - Inscription "...in...Tower"
    Ring; no Stat changes
     Effects: Only one effect: If you wear this Ring AND the Gold Ring both, and
     enter the Clock room in the center of the castle, it will open a new path for
     you.  It serves no other purpose.
     Overall Rating: No stars - It helps you not at all.  It serves only as one
     half of a "key" to unlock the final rooms of the castle.
    
    Staurolite - Strengthens power of cross
    Ring; no Stat changes
     Effects: Does exactly what it says: when equipped, Alucard's Cross sub-weapon
     becomes dramatically stronger.
     Combos: Cross sub-weapon plus Staruolite plus Heart Broach plus a stockpile of
     hears equals mass devastation.
     Overall Rating: *** - While it is a very powerful catalyst, it only affects a
     single sub-weapon and nothing else, thereby limiting it's power (and rating).
    
    Sunstone - Improves status after sunrise
    Pendant; Str+5, Con+5, Int+5, Luck+5, Atk+5, Def+2 (when applicable, see below)
     Effects: Near as I can tell, when the Minutes on the Game Clock are between
     :00 and :29, the listed stat bonuses are in effect.  If this is incorrect, and
     you know of a more accurate description, please let me know.
     Overall Rating: *** - Gives you great Stat bonuses - but only half of the
     time, so be diligant about swapping it for something else (like the Moonstone)
     when its effects expire.
    
    Talisman - May absorb damage when taken
    Broach; no Stat changes
     Effects: Whenever Alucard is struck, this item has a very low chance of taking
     the brunt of said attack instead.  This destroys the Talisman.
     Overall Rating: ** - While this could, in theory, save your life, it's so
     unpredictable as to be worthless.  At least, I found it to be so.  Maybe you
     can find a use for it.
    
    
    ...That's all, folks!
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    10. Wrap up and things to come
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    Well, that's about it for now.  If I get some more positive feedback, or if I
    have some more spare time, I'll probably add sections for Alucard's Use Items
    and Healing Items.
    
    However, since neither of those Item classes are actual equipment, I'm not
    really worried about them.  Yeah, the Use Items are kind of like equipment,
    but without a Duplicator, they really aren't very much fun to play with, so I'm
    going to leave them out for now.
    
    I may even someday add some sort of Item Hunting mini-guide, and then there's
    the time-sucking task of playing through the entire game again in order to list
    what Castle Area each item is found in and/or which monster drops it.
    
    If you really, really want me to add any of those previously mentioned
    sections, or if you have any other ideas, or if you think I missed something,
    or even if you just want to argue about how many Stars I gave your favorite
    item, please contact me at:
    
         nematocyst@hotmail.com
    
         OR
    
         mquaintance@sbcglobal.net
    
    and/or post a message for me on the Castlevania: SotN forums at GameFAQs and
    let me know!  Your e-mail (or PM, or post) may be the one that kicks me in the
    butt and coerces me to sit my lazy butt down and add to this guide.
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    11. Credit where credit is due
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    -To Konami, for making this incredibly addicting game, and actually *gasp*
    releasing it outside of Japan!  Now if only they had hired a better voice
    actor for Trevor...
    
    -To Brian Kern and his Castlevania: Symphony of the Night FAQ/Walkthrough (here
    on GameFAQs), for his Legal Text - I borrowed quite a bit of it.  Sorry and/or
    Thank You, Brian!
    
    -To my best friend Luke for making half the discoveries I've gone over in this
    FAQ.  We both played this game to DEATH when it first came out.
    
    -To everyone who e-mailed me, from those who told me about the Shield Rod/
    Gradius tie in and/or the Heaven Sword C3 Property, to those of you who just
    wanted to pat me on the back.  I love hearing from you guys!  Keep the e-mails
    coming, eh?
    
    -To the Forum-goers on GameFAQ's SOTN Forum, who helped me figure out the
    Librarian Trick and gave me tips on Leveling Up past Level 70, among other
    things.
    
    -Big Time Props to Zancig's Item Checklist, Skultera's enemy guide/item check-
    list, and Erick Muņoz' Sword Brothers Glitch FAQ.  Those three guides helped me
    to finish my Ultimate Item Hunt successfully, and to rekindle my interest in
    the game.  Thanks guys!
    
    Copyright 2004 Mark Quaintance (Marak)