Guide\Walkthrough for Elemental Gearbolt on the Sony Playstation by Zhou Tai An (firstname.lastname@example.org) ****** Anyone using this for anything besides non-profit must notify me. I recently rediscovered this great game on a visit to a friend's house and on a whim decided to write a FAQ for it...after all, I used to memorize the stage layouts, so why waste all that knowledge? I hardly think anyone knows about or plays this anymore, but it's a fantastic game and deserves a FAQ, so there. ****** Basic Tips and Hints : 1) There are three weapons you have - Fire, Lightning and Water. Their uses are as follows : Fire - Your main means of attack. Has the best range and power of all the available weapons, great for pin-point shots. It's main uses are taking out enemies before they enter firing range, sniping and when battling bosses. Drawbacks include a delay for shots (avoid pumping on the button - tap just a split-second after your first press) and small hit range. Note that you can actually nab all the coins held in a Treasure Gem if you time your shot right. Also, due to it's power, a single shot of Fire tends to destroy everything in it's area (though small) so remember this. Lightning - Very wide range and auto-homing capability are the advantages of this weapon, but it also has a delay and does weak damage in comparison with the other two. Use this to rack up combos and clear fields of enemies, but be careful that not too many are on-screen at one time or your shots will spread too far. Has bad range, but is excellent for hitting Fairies and Treasure Gems if your accuracy is off. Another use is countering the clusters of shots bosses tend to fling at you. Water - The main asset of this is the ability to strafe. Works well at taking out streams of enemy shots (from bosses and otherwise) and hitting multiple foes that appear in a small area. Doesn't really do that much damage even compared to Lightning, but it has it's uses. 2) The screen moves around a LOT in this game, which will throw off your aim. Learn to compensate for this by not moving around your targeting cursor that much. Besides that, the only way to really compensate for that is by playing more so you get used to the stage layouts. 3) Try to get a high Hit and Combo score (consecutive hits) so that you can max out your score...this is important even if you're not playing for points. I'll explain this in more detail later. On the same note, getting all the Fairies in a stage nets you a huge bonus, so try for that too. 4) Only some of the enemies present on the screen at any given time will fire at you - when the green triangles form around them they're going to fire. (Though you have perhaps half a second before they actually do.) Because of this, you should only concentrate on the ones which actually attack you, instead of simply harass. Same goes for fighting bosses - it's sometimes better to just attack him\her\it. This also applies to a lesser degree to attacks and other projectiles - if they're now aimed directly at you they will tend to miss. 5) Now it's time for me to explain the point\life\levelling up system in the game. You see, you actually gain levels when you die. Well, it's not that simple, so bear with me... Anyway, for starters, the points you accumulate during a stage can be added to either your score or your level at the end of that level. (That is, if you're not playing on Master, which means that all points get added to score whether you like it or not.) Score earns you places in the high score table, gets you better ranks (Stuff like Spirit Knight and Spirit Warrior as opposed to the default Spirit Apprentice) and makes you feel good. Levels add more life and power to your attacks, making them a more viable choice for actually playing the game. ^_^ However, if you die during the game and have enough points, you will automatically gain a level and your score will be reduced drastically (at least for two player mode - in one player, the same thing happens but you get sent back to the beginning of the stage as well) This doesn't mean you have unlimited continues, though, since if you run out of points, you die for good. As you can see, even if you're not playing for score, you don't want to do this too often, so you're going to have to use your end-of-stage points to gain levels...and even if you're playing for score, you have to decide judiciously so you don't waste what you're earned. And that's about it. 6) Pause the game. This might seem like a cheap strategy, but trust me - it helps a LOT when the screen is filled from top to bottom and is invaluable if you're stricken by a momentary fit of insanity and like me decide to try completing the game on Master settings. 7) Completing the game on Easy unlocking the Sound, Movie, and Side Story sections. Normal seems to do nothing, and I have no idea about Master. ****** Stage-by-Stage Walkthrough and Translations : --- The scene opens on a strange orb-like object being carted through the city streets. A child runs by, remarking that it's boring, until we switch to a view of some machines which, after conversation, decide to go ahead with their "plan" - upon which lightning strikes the orb, freeing the two children. They promptly morph into frightening-looking armor-clad forms (which are the first and second players, actually) and the screen fades out. Scene 1 : Kanashiki Tenshi no Kourin (The Descent of Sorrowful Angels) This stage is easy - use it to familiarize yourself with the basics of gameplay. You can take out most of the enemies with well-placed Fire and Lighting shots, so take time out to raise Hit and Combo ratings if you can. Hot spots for enemies include the first two arches you come to sharp shifts to corners in the middle of the stage and some parts near the end. Keep your eyes open. There are two Fairies that can be considered difficult to get - one during the first big screen shift and the other appears over the arch just before the boss. As for the boss, Wardom's easy. Just focus on blasting him and he should die before he can close and attack you. (in which case you're the one that's dead) Use Water on the masses of enemies that approach and you should be fine. --- We now see a young man sitting on a throne, reminiscing about he received a piece of a pendant from two children a long time ago. He is awakened by his loyal servant, who informs him that he is reaching the palace and that their advance scout teams have found something. He acknowledges the information and settles down to wait... Scene 2 : Yasunaiki Ryu no Umi (Lake of the Quiet Dragon) Most enemies in this stage tend to hide behind trees and other obstacles, so keep a look out for them. Fire can pierce most barriers, though. Again, nothing too difficult in this stage. The few enemy barrages you'll face can be handled with a mixture of Lightning and Water, or even prevented from occuring altogether with Fire. No hidden Fairies, but right when you see the tall spire and the glider-type enemies appear, there is a Life Bottle WAY at the top of the screen you can nab. Midguld, while not exactly a pushover, isn't very difficult either. Lightning should make short work of both it's spines and leaping fish (not all will hit) while Fire mops up and does the main damage. --- The fat king of the palace chases after the young prince and complains about having to wait for him, and then, after being brushed off, taunts him with cryptic comments about his mother. As the prince leaves, the king talks about how he will wear his new war garb or something. (Not too certain here...) The prince is then seen talking to his loyal servant, who turns out to be his older brother, as they consider their plans. Heading into a room similar to the one seen in the opening, the prince muses about how he is under their control, but "that's fine..." Scene 3 : Imawashiki Haha no Dokutsu (Cave of the Fearsome Mother) Lots of shifts in this stage, so watch out. There are some hairy bits here and there which you'll need to be on your toes to avoid, the area near the boxes and the ridges in particular. There will also be a three Fairy chain near the start you'll have to use Fire to get all of. Neethog is even easier than Midguld, mostly due to the fact that it will crush it's own allies underfoot occasionally. Because of that, well-placed Fire shots will take out the remaining crabs and do enough damage to destroy it - the LONG time you get to fire at it when it loses it's head plating should help too. --- More memories for the prince, who is also revealed to have some kind of strange markings on his face. He makes a visit to an underground cavern to talk to his mother, vowing revenge on something. (I suspect the things that are controlling him, though I can't be sure) He is then notified of one or two targets (first and second player again) which are closing in on the capital. He cannot believe this, but leaves the matter to his servant again, while muttering "gods or devils, no matter which, I must hurry..." Scene 4 : Fukaki no Heigen (Wispy Plains) This is where the game starts getting hard. Lots of enemies all over the place...well, first things first. Your main problems in this stage will be caused by both the spider-like walkers and their ground escorts - take them out quick. Besides that, wait for the gliders to appear fully before hitting them, as they don't present much of a target from afar. Aumdra is one hell of a boss...you can tell just by looking at it. ^_^ Some things to remember : 1) Not all the flyers it sends out will hit, but the ones that look like fans will. Use Lightning. 2) Only firing at the lower section or the city on top counts as damage. 3) Cannon fire tends to arc at strange angles from the far left and rights, so keep your guard up. When you're circling the turrets themselves, the close distance to them allows them to fire almost without warning, so keep your Water handy. --- The prince stages a coup d'etat, taking control of the entire capital city, ordering everyone to ready a defense against the invaders. Scene 5 : Horabi Yuku Okan E (Towards the Capital of Destruction) You're probably going to have to accept taking about a bar or two of damage before even getting to the main part of the stage due to the falling boulders - if you've never played this stage before, you won't know which will hit. If you have, two Fire shots will destroy each one. If you've gotten this far, you really don't need my help any more, but there are a few things you should look out for - two Life Bottles at the bridge (use Fire - they're tough to get) and a hard Fairy to find is just above the entrance to the cathedral. Once inside, I'd advise you to stop worrying about points and Fairies altogether and concentrate on surviving - because there are a LOT, and I do mean a LOT, of enemies in there. Furthermore, the flying enemies which you don't destroy will return and cause you more trouble later, which is Not Good when the screen is as cluttered as it's going to be. You'll have to know how to use all your weapons well to get through here, and even after that your troubles aren't over, because who should turn up but... ...Ildon, who's your toughest boss to date. He'll send streams\bunches of energy blasts at you that any weapon can take out, but you have to know how to use them right; hit in when in a bunch with Fire, disperse with Lightning and strafe with Water. Ildon also has a nasty attack in which he jumps forwards and claws you - nothing you can do about that, so take the opportunity to Fire at him. If you can get used to his jumping about the screen he should go down eventually. --- The prince, having attained the throne, indulges in his favorite pastime - you guessed it, musing. ^_^ The jokes aside, the final stage is set as the prince is carted off for his own safety and the two invaders close on the capital. Scene 6 : Shime Tame ni Umarete (Born to Die) Considering the amount of Life Bottles there are in the early bits of the last level, it isn't THAT hard...don't let your guard down, though. Water will come in handy in taking out the masses of enemies due to it's fast firing speed. Get to the inner sanctum and it's face to face with the last few bosses. Maldel is TOUGH. He has three attacks - a spread of green orbs of lightning which can be neutralized by a Fire blast at the outset and Water later, columns of purple electricity that Fire shots to the bottom of counter, and the worst - dark purple flares which hang in the air and then track and fire. Either use Water or Lightning on those FAST, or they will ALL hit you. He's got a lot of life, but hammer at him long enough and he'll go down, which brings us to... Retraseal, who's the appetizer before the main course mainly because he's weak. Weak, you say? Yup. He's got some damn thick armor which only Fire can pierce, but he has only two attacks - pinkish fireballs which you MUST use Lightning to disperse before they hit, and a large fireball which a single Fire shot takes out. Once you master his pattern he's easy - counter his attacks with the respective weapons and Fire at him when he's prancing around the stage. Retraseal is also much more vulnerable on his left to right climb up the screen and can be dangerous on his normal run (lots of fireballs) and sharp right turns. (fast shots) You really didn't think he was the last boss, did you? Well, your suspicions are confirmed when the real one makes his appearance. If you thought the first two bosses were hard...to top it off, you only get one Treasure Gem with a Life Bottle. Again, three main attacks for this guy - a huge mass of green fireballs which you must use BOTH Lightning and Water to take out, a long stream of fire which Water counters, and extremely fast green swords that you use Fire for. (For the last one, note that only three out of the ten or so that he fires will actually hit.) He will raise his left arm before using the fire stream, but give no warning for the swords and lightning. He's actually very predictable, but the speed at which he attacks, along with the incredibly-long life bar, make this a last boss to remember. Once killed, the game switches to the ending sequence. The prince lies dead among the rubble of the once-grand capital, ****** And that's about it.