Chrono Cross Dario FAQ
By neored13
2/27/2001, Version 1.0:  And there was light.  And it was kinda crappy.
3/2/2001, Version 2.0:  Added "Who is Dario?" section, fixed my email address,
corrected a few spelling errors, and added the phrase "crispy strips of hero
meat."
3/10/2001, Version 3.0:  Added section on battling Dario with Serge.  Added a
few notices, and one contributor.
3/19/2001, Version 4.0:  Corrected errors, added another contributor's battle
strategy, added answers to a few questions, and included their solutions in the
main body of the FAQ.
5/11/2001, Version 5.0:  Added chunk on obtaining Glenn in FAQ section, and a
new strategy, removed the Yahoo! address, added new stuff for knowing about me.
6/16/2001, Version 6.0:  Added clarification to FAQ, fixed some stuff, and
changed email address.

===============
Contents
===============
1.  Why Dario?
2.  Who is Dario?
3.  Legal Stuff
4.  About Me
5.  Preparation
6.  Battle
A)  With Lynx
B)  With Serge
7.  SPOILS! (Not SPOILERS, what you win!)
8.  Afterglow
9.  Other Stuff

===============
1.  Why Dario?
===============
Well, I've seen a lot of requests for a Dario strategy out there, and I decided
I might as well do something about it.  Dario is the second hardest optional
boss (IMHO) in Chrono Cross.  On your first game through, and even your first
Game +, he is HARD!  However, the payoffs are extreme.  (Not like Final Fantasy
8, where you got a lousy Three Stars and a special citation for beating OMEGA
weapon)  Please note, this guide does contain a few spoilers, but if you've
played through to where you need this guide, they really aren't spoilers.

===============
2.  Who is Dario?
===============
Sun Tzu said, "Know your enemy."  To defeat Dario, you must know Dario.  Well,
not really, but I figured you might enjoy a little history.
Dario is the brother of Glenn and friend to Karsh.  They all trained together
as children, and that friendship remained into their adulthood.  Riddel is...
was Dario's fiance.  Karsh, as well, vied with Dario for Riddel's affection. 
There is also evidence that Glenn adored her as well.  When Dario announced his
engagement to Riddel, jealousy sprung up in Karsh's heart.  On their expedition
to the Isle of the Damned, one story is that Karsh drew the Masamune and slew
Dario because of the emotion-amplifying power of the Masamune.  However, the
story told by Karsh is that Dario drew the Masamune and tried to slay Karsh. 
Karsh, however, refused to kill Dario until the shade of Garai appeared and
threatened to take the life of Riddel.  I think this takes place in both
worlds, which is why both remember it.

===============
3.  Legal Stuff
===============
You've probably read enough FAQs by now to know this stuff by heart, but I'm
gonna say it anyway.
DON'T STEAL MY GUIDE!  Use it for any use other than personal gain on your own
saved game, and I will hunt you down, beat you with a chocobo and rip your
lungs out.  Read it, recommend it to your friends, save it to your hard drive
if you want, but DO NOT POST IT SOMEWHERE AND FOIST IT OFF AS YOUR OWN WORK!  I
shout too much, don't I?  Anyway, this fic is copyright and sole intellectual
property of neored13, yada yada yada.  Just give credit where credit is due,
okay?  Here, I'll go first.
Thanks to BRADYGames, for their helpful, if marginally incorrect, strategy
guide.
Thanks to lots of people in Yahoo! Clubs and FFO Forums for asking about
Dario/giving your own strategies.
Thanks to John K. for a few bits of advice.
Thanks to Leebot (dashrlebot@cs.com) for telling me who said "Know your enemy"
and for clearing up the world thingie.
Thanks to John Lee for another strategy.
Thanks to Grant Wu for a rather long e-mail converstaion about Glenn, Dario,
the Einlanzer and other stuff.
Thanks to Moocaw for yet another strategy.

===============
4.  About Me
===============
Yes, it's me.  Doug Studdert, the marvelous, wonderful existence that brings
joy to all who come into contact with me... NOT!
I am known by many names.

neored13 is my primary nom de cyber, and it's used on FFO and GSCCC Forums, FF:
 Worlds Apart forums, plus fanfiction.net, ign.com, ezBoard, LiveJournal and
GameFAQs Message Boards.  Anyplace else you see a neored13, it's probably me.

My other names, sorted by site/game:

Yahoo!:
redxiii_real
felignd
turks_no_23
murasame_samurai
minimog_da_cute

Diablo:
Neored13
Meggido_Warrior

Pogo:
felignd

Heh, quite a list, eh?  My online accomplishments to date (aside from this
guide) include a fan fic on FFO, ezBoard, and Fanfiction.net:  "Final Fantasy: 
The Darkness Rising" (As yet unfinished), a few poems, many ongoing fics, a
couple more finished fanfics, and the beginning of a collaboration with many
other writers to continue a rather famous fanfic writer's storyline.

I live up in Alaska, and I have a lot of free time which I divide up between my
daily chores, my wonderful cats, and video games/Internet.  I had nothing
better to do, which is another reason I wrote this guide.

===============
5.  Preparation
===============
So!  Decided to take the big leap and confront this "Dario" everyone's talking
about, eh?  Or maybe you tried fighting him a few times, and he kicked your ass
royally.  Well, my friend, you've come to the right place.  If you don't
prepare thoroughly, Dario will turn you into crispy strips of hero meat.  With
this guide, you can't lose!  (Note:  Victory is not in any way guaranteed or
implied by the use of this guide)

This optional battle can be fought almost any time after Dark Serge and Kid
attack the Burned-Out Hermit's Hideaway.  To fight this battle, you need to
have Riddel and the MementoPendant.  Riddel will join in Hermit's Hideaway.  To
get the MementoPendant, you need to have Sir Karsh in your party.  He will join
you either in Termina when you go to rescue Riddel, or later on the Invincible.
 To start the MementoPendant sidequest, return to Viper Manor in Another World.
NOTE:  You need to have Sir Norris in your party to enter Viper Manor at first,
since the Porre Army is still in control.  So, your party to go and get the
MementoPendant should probably be Karsh and Norris.  Unless, of course, you
don't like fighting with Norris.  Of course, you will have Serge/Lynx.

Go up to the throne room.  On your right is a door that was blocked off
previously.  Now that you have defeated Guillot, you can enter the room.  In
the room are four viper statues, a table, and a scroll on the wall.  The scroll
says something about "Respect my behind."  Push the viper statues into the
proper niches (Just the nearest one will do) and a treasure chest will rise
from the table.  Approach it from behind and open it.  Opening it from the
front will just dump your party into the prison in the lower level.  Inside the
chest is a letter from everyone's two favorite gimboids, Solt and Peppor.  They
say that they have what was in the box, and they've gone to the Isle of the
Damned.  They also say to bring Karsh.  Take Karsh to the Isle of the Damned
and follow the same path you took to get the Einlanzer (Through the dragon's
rib cage and through the mirror).

You will be confronted by Solt and Peppor, who accuse Karsh of killing Sir
Dario.  After a bit of memory, you will fight the two.  This time they don't
fool around with slapstick Element tutorials.  Peppor will use Strengthen and
Pepporbox, while Solt will use LoRes and occasionally Sommersolt.  Beware, both
of them can cast ThundaStorm.  Set a Trap Element to capture this lovely
Element.  When they are defeated, you gain Karsh's Lv. 7 Tech Skill, Axiomatic,
and the MementoPendant.  With the MementoPendant and Riddel on your side, you
can confront Dario at any time.  However, I DO NOT recommend taking him on
right after getting them.

The best time to challenge Dario is during or after the Dragon Relic Quest. 
Specifically, after the Black Dragon.  Take Fargo into all your battles with
Dragons and have him steal from them.  They carry armor that, while not being
very strong, has the ability to absorb Elements of that color.  Make ABSOLUTELY
SURE you steal the Black Plate from the Black Dragon!  This armor is vitally
important to defeating Dario.  Wearing it will make life much easier for one
character.
To obtain this armor, you need to talk to Nikki on the Zelbess (Home World)
after fighting the Sage of Marbule and agree to free Marbule.  Irenes will then
join your party.  Then, once you have Fargo in your party, take him to the
Zelbess and speak to the Fargo there.  The Zelbess will move to Marbule, Nikki
will play (Cool tune, BTW), and Fargo will obtain his Level 7 Tech Skill,
Invincible.  Allocate it.  Then run around Marbule, defeating every single
monster.  Once this is done, you should hear a roar.  The Black Dragon in
Another World's Marbule is now awake.

For Dario, I suggest your party be Lynx, Riddel, and your strongest PHYSICAL
fighter, preferably Red Innate.  Orcha is a good choice, but you should go with
your own personal favorite.
Riddel should have the Black Plate.  Your other characters should have Stone
equipment.  Accessories are up to you, but I recommend Dragoon's Honor and
Defender.  Up Riddel's Magic and Defense as much as possible.  HP for this
battle is recommended to be around 400 or higher if at all possible.  Note: 
Setup for this battle is a little different if you have Serge back. See section
6-B below.

Now for Element allocation.  Have Riddel with most, if not all, of your White
attack Elements.  Distribute your White attack Elements sparingly to your other
fighters.  Give your other fighters the majority of healing Elements and any
attack Elements except Black or White, Red is best.  + and -1s are suggested. 
You shouldn't need stat-affecting Elements like Weaken, Numble, etc.  However,
it is a good idea to have Strengthen, HiRes, Genius, and EagleEye.  Nimble
isn't necessary, since Dario has a high Accuracy and will generally have no
trouble hitting you.  Strongminded also isn't necessary, since all of Dario's
attacks are physical Tech Skills.  Revenge and SealAll are useless in this
fight, so don't even bother.  YOu might want to put in some Support Elements if
you take him on later, when your Element Grids have filled out a little and you
want to Summon on his behind.

To start the fight, take Riddel to Forgotten Island.  It's a small island to
the north of Mt. Pyre.  The Zelbess was docked just above it before you
awakened the Black Dragon.  There's smoke coming out of it.  Land on the island
and SAVE!  Walk to the center of the island and press X to enter the shack. 
Head into the shack and speak with the man sitting at the table.  This man is
none other than Dario.  Riddel immediately recognizes her long-lost love, and
sets about trying to restore his memory.  Karsh and Radius enter during this
period.  Dario regains some of his memories when shown the MementoPendant (This
is done automatically), and tells Riddel to run.  However, it is too late for
our heroes.  The Masamune appears and takes control of Dario.  Karsh then
explains what really happened on the Isle of The Damned.  Dario drew the
Masamune, and Karsh killed him in self-defense.  Lynx forged the lie that Dario
was killed fighting demons.  The scene switches to outside the hut, where the
party prepares to free Dario from the enmity of the evil sword.

===============
6.  Battle
===============
The battle with Dario is a tough one for those who haven't yet mastered the
subtleties of the battle system.  Fortunately, Dario follows a predictable
pattern.  He starts with a few physical attacks,  then uses a Tech Skill.  His
Tech Skills are flashier Black versions of Glenn's Tech Skills.  What do you
expect, he is Glenn's big brother.  However, his attack pattern changes
slightly when you cast an Element on him.  When you cast an Element on him, he
retaliates with a specific Element of the opposite color.

If you cast:       He will use:
Green              LoRes
Yellow             BatEye
Red                Numble
Blue               Weaken
Black              RecoverAll
White              ConductaRod

For god's sake, don't cast Black on him!  He heals for about 300 HP!
The safest Element to cast on him is Red (Inferno, MagmaBurst, Volcano, etc.),
since he will only cast Numble.
Do I need to tell you that ConductaRod HURTS?  It's capable of wiping out any
non-Black character, and taking a very hefty chunk out of a black character.
BEWARE!  Sometimes Dario will cast Upheaval or IceBlast instead of his usual
Black Tech Skill.  Just be prepared to heal.
John K. tells me that Diminish will not cause Dario to retaliate with
RecoverAll.  Thanks, John.

A)  With Lynx:  Have Riddel pound her love with White Elements.  Since she has
the Black Plate on, ConductaRod will HEAL her.  Avoid using Lynx's Tech Skills.
 Orcha is a good choice because of his easily obtained Lv. 7 Tech Skill, his
healing Lv. 3, and his Lv. 5 heals him and damages the enemy.  Don't worry
about Numble, since Dario has such a high accuracy that he'll have no trouble
hitting you anyway.  However, BatEye, LoRes, and Weaken can really ruin your
party.  Weaken doesn't matter so much with Riddel, since she's only attacking
to build Element Power.  Just focus on beating Dario down, healing whenever
your other characters are hurt, and you should be fine.  Just remember not to
cast any Black Elements.  If you don't cast a Black element on Dario, he will
never heal.  Just DON'T LET HIM TURN THE FIELD EFFECT BLACK!  After the Dragon
Battles, if you can manage it, turn the Field Effect all one color (With
support and healing Elements) and cast a Summon.  Don't use GrimReaper.  Try
and have Riddel cast Saints.  If you use Orcha, Salamander is the order of the
day.  With Fargo, FrogPrince or BlueWhale.  Just keep hammering at him and he
should fall.  If you run out of Revives and someone dies, RUN AWAY!  Heal with
Consumables and charge back into the fray.

B)  With Serge:  If you wait until after the Home World Fort Dragonia, when you
get Serge back, your fight will be even easier, believe it or not.  You may
think of two White chracters as a liability, but it actually helps.  For my
third character, I chose Glenn.  Mainly for the Dual Tech, but also because he
says some extra stuff when talking to Dario.  Plus, he's just kickass with the
Einlanzer.  I was only able to use the one Einlanzer for the Dario fight, but
immediately after, I went to the shrines in Termina and got the second one. 
For this fight, equip Serge with the Black Plate.  Since he's probably
currently your best fighter, this makes good sense.  Since you now have your
35th Star, and some Level 7 Tech Skills, you should use FlyingArrow as soon as
possible.  With Glenn, use their Dual Tech (X-Strike).  Dario will only cast
Numble on one of them.  Of course, it might turn out that you do more damage by
using Dash&Slash and Dash&Gash seperately.  Of course, using Glenn's Tech
Skills will result in LoRes.  As above, try using a Summon.  Have Serge use
Saints, and Glenn use Genie.  Dario should fall like a wet noodle.  Banish all
thoughts of fratricide from your head, and just BEAT HIM DOWN!

Extra:  John K. suggests allocating only Diminish, Revive, and healing Elements
to your characters.  Then only use physical attacks.  With this plan, it will
take a while longer, and your team will be equipped differently.  It really
depends on your preference.  I'm geared more towards Elements, some people
might be more inclined to attack.

Alternate Strategy:  Toasty!
John Lee suggests allocating mostly Red Elements.  Then use the strategy where
you use 6 Stamina points attacking, then cast a spell.  This can be risky,
since you are left without Stamina for Dario's next turn.

Another Toasty strategy:
Moocaw writes:  (Edited for spelling) "The characters I would recommend using
are, Serge (when you get him back), ZOAH, and of course Riddel.  start by
purchasing a whole load of MagmaBursts(Lv. 4 red elements) which can be
purchased at Termina. I would buy about 30 of them, and I'm also hoping you
have stolen some Infernos along the way (I had 7 of them but that many is not
nesessary) then evenly equip them between your 3 characters using level slots 3
to 5, putting most of your Infernos on Serge.  then equip Serge with the Black
Plate and soup up your characters with your best accessories, you won't need
any heal elements, you should only have red elements in your slots.

You are now ready to start the fight, bring you first character up to the
highest level with elements equipped (Lv. 5 is probably the best) and start
casting red elements, Dario will retalliate with Numble everytime, and never
attack you, just be careful and think out every attack so you don't always run
out of stamina. He has 3500 HP so just work him, and in no time he'll be down
maybe even with everyone alive... i'm telling you it was a piece of cake :)"

Remember:  HEAL!

Character suggestions for this battle are based on my own personal favorites
and their development.  If you use Radius more than Orcha, go ahead and use
Radius.  If you use Pip... DON'T.  You do NOT need three White characters in
this battle.  They will fall like grass before a WeedWhacker.  Remember, it's
your game, do what you want.

===============
7.  SPOILS!
===============
What do you get for winning this incredibly tough battle?  Only the best weapon
for Serge/Lynx in the game!  When Dario is defeated, the Masamune is released
from its former owner and focuses on Lynx.  Normally, this would be bad news. 
However, there is no longer the slightest bit of malice in the Masamune. 
Apparently, Masa and Mune were asleep while the Masamune was doing all this
evil stuff.  Now they're awake, and decide to help Serge/Lynx.  The Masamune
merges with the Sea Swallow and forms the Mastermune.  This weapon has
excellent attack, just a few points less than a Spectra Swallow.  However, this
weakness is more than made up for by the fact that it does critical damage
almost every hit!  Plus, it just plain looks cool.  For those that have played
Chrono Trigger, it's roughly the equivalent of Crono's Rainbow.
You also get Riddel's Lv. 7 Tech Skill, SnakeFangs.  This awesome Element
allows her to recharge some of your Elements in battle.  I've never used it,
but I suppose it has about the same effect as a Recharge Consumable, which
recharges Elements of Levels 1 through 5.

===============
8.  Afterglow
===============
So, you beat Dario.  Congratulations!  Give yourself a pat on the back and move
on.  If you haven't beaten the Sky Dragon, The Mastermune is going to make it
OBSCENELY easy.  Most of your fights in the game will be considerably easier,
since you now have a weapon more powerful overall than the Rainbow weapons.
Dario is supervising the reconstruction of the destroyed Viper Manor.  He's
going to turn it into an orphanage for all the children who have been orphaned
in the wars.  This plan sees fruition in one of the alternate endings you can
get in your New Game+.  If you take Riddel and General Viper to talk to him,
the conversation gets kinda personal.

===============
9.  Other Stuff
===============
Thanks for taking the time to read my guide.  If you have any questions,
comments, suggestions, fan mail, tschatkes, marriage proposals, or other pieces
of interest, please send them to neored13@pobox.mtaonline.net.  Include the
words "Dario guide" or something in your subject.  If I use your suggestion,
I'll give credit to you.  I'd enjoy seeing feedback.  This is my first
FAQ/guide, and I'd like to know how I did.

===============
10.  FAQ
===============
Yes, there is a FAQ in this FAQ.  It wasn't there before, since no one had
frequently asked me questions, but here it is.

Q:  Why can't I fight the Black Dragon?
A:  You probably didn't wake him up.  After you fight the Sage of Marbule on
the Zelbess, go up to Nikki's room (Take the platform from the mast) and agree
to help Marbule.  Then, once you have Fargo from the Invincible on your team,
take him to see Fargo on the Zelbess.  Now, after the concert (You may wanna
listen to it, it's pretty cool) head onto Marbule and beat down everything in
sight.  This includes the cave at the back where the Black Dragon is in Another
World.  After that's done, you should hear "A roar in the far-off distance" or
something like that.  The Black Dragon is now awake.  Well, why are you still
sitting here reading?  Go fight him!

Q:  Dario killed me!
A:  Hey, that's not a question!  Seriously, though.  If Dario kills you, just
try again.  You DID save before you entered the island, right?  If he keeps
killing you, you might be doing it at too early a time, with the wrong third
character, or you might be understocked on healing Elements.  Change the third
character, go buy some more Heals and RestoreAlls and HealAlls and Cures and
Nostrums and... Whoa.  A plethora of pills!  Go!  Shop!  Win!  Whatever works.

Q:  Here's another strategy I bet you never thought of...
A:  Actually, chances are I did.  I played through that segment about 12 times,
trying different things each time.  A tip:  Do not have your people wearing
Bone Mail.  It doesn't help.  But go ahead and send in your strategies, too. 
Chances are I can rip them off and... Oops, I mean, "Include them and give you
sufficient credit."  Yeah, that's it... ;)

Q:  You say you can give Glenn two Einlanzers.  How do I get Glenn and where
are the Einlanzers?
A:  Ah, Glenn.  Best fighter in the game, in my opinon.  Magic's a bit weak,
but he will R0><><0R the enemy.  In order to get him to join your party, you
must refuse to get the Hydra Humour to help Kid in Guldove.  This means you
don't get Korcha, Razzly, or Mel, but who needs a Speedo-wearing punk, a tiny
fairy, and a little brat anyway?  (Actually, Razzly is one member of the fabled
Triple Tech DeltaAttack)  If you decline to get the Hydra Humour, you can get
Korcha's Mama, Macha (Rather powerful Red fighter, not so good with Elements),
Doc (Fairly well-balanced White, but less powerful than Steena), and Glenn
(Kickass Green!!!).  After Macha rows you back to Termina, go to the entrance
of town and witness Glenn's conversation with the flower seller.  Now return to
your boat and talk to Macha.  Glenn will come up and offer to join your party
to go to Fort Dragonia.  There!  You now have Glenn!  And your first Double
Tech:  X-Strike.  Very useful, especially on places like the Ghost Ship and
Blue areas, since the Dual Tech is Red Elemental instead of Serge's White or
Glenn's Green.

Now, the Einlanzers.  One is easy, you get it in the normal course of the game.
 When you go to the Isle of the Damned as Lynx, you must fight Garai for the
Einlanzer.  Beat him and you have the sword.  Glenn is the only one who can use
it, though.  Once Serge regains his body and your old teammates come back, go
to Termina in Another World and examine the Einlanzer on the grave in the
shrines.  Glenn SHOULD take it and wave them both around a bit.  You may need
to go do a few things before it works.  I couldn't get the two at first, but
then I went and beat Dario and got the second.  Maybe you need to beat Dario to
inherit the Einlanzer...

Q:  Do I have Glenn?
A:  How should I know?  (Dontcha just HATE it when someone answers a question
with a question?)  Seriously, though.  If you opted not to save Kid when she
was poisoned in Guldove, then witnessed the conversation between Glenn and the
flower seller (No, not Aerith, wrong game, baka!), and agreed to share a boat
ride, you should have Glenn.  If you did all that, and you don't have him in
your party, check your lead guy.  Is it Lynx?  Okay.  Continue with the
storyline.  After Serge regains his own body, all your old party members will
rejoin.  This is good, since Guile (If you chose him for the Viper Manor quest)
and Sneff have a kickass Dual Tech.  So do Nikki and Miki (Rather obvious, but
hey).  Sadly, Pierre has no Dual Techs.  Ze French bastaird is unworthee of a
Dool Tech! :)