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    FAQ/Walkthrough by JChristopher

    Version: 1.1 | Updated: 11/21/99 | Printable Version | Search This Guide

      _____               .               ,__        .    _
     (        __.  ,   .  |          __.  /  `      _/_   /        ___
      `--.  .'   \ |   |  |        .'   \ |__        |    |,---. .'   `
         |  |    | |   |  |        |    | |          |    |'   ` |----'
    \___.'   `._.' `._/| /\__       `._.' |          \__/ /    | `.___,
                                          /
                _____
               (        ___  , _ , _   ,   . .___    ___  `
                `--.   /   ` |' `|' `. |   | /   \  /   ` |
                   |  |    | |   |   | |   | |   ' |    | |
              \___.'  `.__/| /   '   / `._/| /     `.__/| /
                                                                           
    KOTARO-> LIN WALKTHROUGH
    by Joseph Christopher <sirlordjoseph@icqmail.com>
    version 1.1
    Nov. 21, 1999
                                                                           
    this faq is copyright 1999-2000 Joseph Christopher
                                                                                       
    I didn't believe there will come a time when I'll have to write something          
    like this just to remind some people of what they all should be knowing            
    by heart :( Anyway, here goes...                                                   
                                                                                       
    By gaining access to this faq you agree to the following terms:                    
                                                                                       
    ___________________________________________________________________________________
    ===================================================================================
    ||                                                                               ||
    ||  1) I, Joseph Christopher, the author of this faq, is not in any way          ||
    ||     liable for any harm that anybody thinks came from reading this faq.       ||
    ||     Examples of this harm include physical ones, such as getting mauled       ||
    ||     by someone who lost to you via a technique found in this faq, and         ||
    ||     emotional ones, such as experiencing humiliation upon the use or          ||
    ||     most likely misuse of yet another technique found in this faq.            ||
    ||                                                                               ||
    ||  2) If this faq was accessed from a source other than gamefaqs.com, nine      ||
    ||     out of ten chances are it is not in its latest update. You must           ||
    ||     therefore read the latest version of this faq first at the said web       ||
    ||     site before sending in any comments, suggestions, and/or corrections.     ||
    ||     As for webmasters, web page contibutors, and all similar personnel,       ||
    ||     posting this faq on any other website requires every last sentence,       ||
    ||     phrase, word, and character contained within this file included and       ||
    ||     unaltered. Keeping this faq as updated as it is on gamefaqs.com is        ||
    ||     preferable, though not required.                                          ||
    ||                                                                               ||
    ||  3) This faq is not to be profited from---directly, indirectly, or in         ||
    ||     whatever other way possible. By directly I mean earning less than,        ||
    ||     equal to, or greater than a cent's worth in cash, items, or services      ||
    ||     in exchange for part of or all the contents of this faq. On the           ||
    ||     other hand, by indirectly I mean using a part of or all the contents      ||
    ||     of this faq as a convincing factor for the purchase of another product    ||
    ||     thus directly or again indirectly yielding profit.                        ||
    ||                                                                               ||
    ||  4) You will not use even a single phrase, sentence, or concept found         ||
    ||     anywhere in this faq on your own work, even if you expressed it in        ||
    ||     your own words, without at the very least giving me, Joseph Christopher,  ||
    ||     the author of this faq, full credit for it. If you in any way             ||
    ||     incorporated even a very minute part of the strategies found in this      ||
    ||     faq with your own in your work, then you must at the very least give      ||
    ||     me partial credit for it.                                                 ||
    ||                                                                               ||
    ||  5) Ignorance of the law excuses no one, therefore if ever anything           ||
    ||     unlawful is done to this faq and/or to me, its author, the appropriate    ||
    ||     legal actions will be taken. If at any point you disagree to this         ||
    ||     or any of the above statements, delete this faq immediately and discard   ||
    ||     any help it has done for you.                                             ||
    ||                                                                               ||
    ===================================================================================
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                                                                       
    * This society does not care if you're the dumbest vegetable on earth,             
      if you do something wrong, someone will make you pay the price! ;)               
                                                                                       
    * warning: DO NOT read this faq unless you are simultaneously playing
               the game with it or have already played the game before. This
               faq contains EVERY cinematic and dialogue directly related
               to gameplay and can therefore be considered a spoiler.
                                                                           
    Why read this guide:
        I. Starter Info
       II. Kotaro's Weapons
      III. Kotaro's Items
       IV. Kotaro's Moves
        V. Homecoming
       VI. Mystery
      VII. Soul Bugs
     VIII. The Nest
       IX. Friend
        X. Showdown
       XI. First Ending
      XII. Lin's Introduction
     XIII. Lin's Weapons
      XIV. Lin's Items
       XV. Lin's Moves
      XVI. Ninja
     XVII. Treachery
    XVIII. Raven
      XIX. Madness
       XX. Demons 
      XXI. Despair
     XXII. Ascendance
    XXIII. Real Ending
     XXIV. Lin's Secrets
      XXV. Credits
     XXVI. Revison History
    XXVII. Final Words
                                                                           
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
     ____      ___  ____    __    ____  ____  ____  ____    ____  _  _  ____  _____
    (_  _)    / __)(_  _)  /__\  (  _ \(_  _)( ___)(  _ \  (_  _)( \( )( ___)(  _  )
     _)(_     \__ \  )(   /(__)\  )   /  )(   )__)  )   /   _)(_  )  (  )__)  )(_)(
    (____)()  (___/ (__) (__)(__)(_)\_) (__) (____)(_)\_)  (____)(_)\_)(__)  (_____)
                                                                           
                                                                           
            It's raining---hard. Lin, a young female ninja enters the village
    and gets into a fight with a number of swordsmen. Kotaro, the masterless
    samurai, also arrives and hears some blade clashing.
                                                                           
    Kotaro: "What's this?"
                                                                           
            Kotaro then witnesses the skill with which Lin kills her foes.
    Just as one of them tries to pull off a sneak attack, the "honorable"
    samurai kills him from behind. (this, as you will find out, is one big
    inconsistency in a samurai's theme: honor)
                                                                           
    Kotaro: "Grown men picking on a child?"
            "Here baby, I'll lend you a hand."
                                                                           
            You then fight two men using Kotaro and you should find them very
    easy to beat, otherwise you're in for a loooong, loooong game. After you
    take out the trash,
                                                                           
    Lin   : "Whoever you are, I don't recall asking for your help. I'm...!"
    Kotaro: "Oops, shouldn't have treated you like a child."
            "Relax, I just don't like bullies. I'm not interested in kids."
            "Lady, what did you do to get the authorities in your tail?"
    Lin   : "I'm sorry but I don't have time to chat.
                                                                           
            As they exchange words, two men close in on them...
                                                                           
    Lin   : "I have to hurry."
    Kotaro: "Alright. Maybe we will run into each other again."
                                                                           
            They split up. You then have to choose one of them as your player.
    This faq was written for those of you who want to choose Kotaro and then
    Lin afterwards.
                                                                           
                                                                           
    GAMEPLAY---
                                                                           
    Green bar: Your health. Turns to red when you're low in it. While red,
               you walk a LOT slower and hold your midsection, signifying
               your being wounded badly.
                                                                           
    Blue bar : Your chi. Comes in five blocks and are required to execute the
               different moves that you will "learn" throughout the game.
                                                                           
    Yellow bar : Your experience. Every time you kill or hit someone, this
                 bar gets filled a bit. Every time it's all filled up, you
                 learn a new move the code of which you can access by pressing
                 start during the game.
                                                                           
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
     ____  ____      _  _  _____  ____    __    ____  _____ / ___
    (_  _)(_  _)    ( )/ )(  _  )(_  _)  /__\  (  _ \(  _  ) / __)
     _)(_  _)(_      )  (  )(_)(   )(   /(__)\  )   / )(_)(  \__ \
    (____)(____)()  (_)\_)(_____) (__) (__)(__)(_)\_)(_____) (___/
                     _    _  ____    __    ____  _____  _  _  ___
                    ( \/\/ )( ___)  /__\  (  _ \(  _  )( \( )/ __)
                     )    (  )__)  /(__)\  )___/ )(_)(  )  ( \__ \
                    (__/\__)(____)(__)(__)(__)  (_____)(_)\_)(___/
                                                                           
                                                                           
    1. Denta - A famous sword, but years of hard use have taken its toll on
               on its edge.
             - sharpness: dull
             - length: 4'3''
             - weight: 46 oz.
                                                                           
    2. Monohoshizao - Named "Laundry Pole" for its remarkable length. Famous
                      as Kojiro Sasaki's sword.
                    - sharpness: ordinary
                    - length: 6'
                    - weight: 71 oz.
                                                                           
    3. Osafune - The renowned sword, Bizen Osafune. With a good balance of
                 reach and heft, this sword is extremely easy to use.
               - sharpness: ordinary
               - length: 4'3''
               - weight: 36 oz.
                                                                           
    4. Ran-un - A jagged sword that is said to beckon storms. It appears to
                have been made in a foreign land.
              - sharpness: good
              - length: 5'4''
              - weight: 34 oz.
                                                                           
    5. Doujikiri - The sword that is said to have vanquished the legendary
                   monster Shutendouji. Over time, it gained the power of
                   fire.
                 - sharpness: good
                 - length: 5'4''
                 - weight: 34 oz.
                                                                           
    6.Masamune - A short sword that is commonly known as the "butcher knife"
                 Masamune. Its compact size enables rapid slashes.
               - sharpness: good
               - length: 2'9''
               - weight: 26 oz.
                                                                           
    7. Muramasa - Perhaps because of Yukinosuke's lingering despair, this
                  sword could only be used for quick draw attacks.
                - sharpness: excellent
                - length: 4'2''
                - weight: 33 oz.
                                                                           
    8. Houou - An ancient Japanese sword. Although its sharpness is merely
               average, it exudes an oddly evil atmosphere.
             - sharpness: good
             - length: 5'6''
             - weight: 37 oz.
                                                                           
    9. Kogarasumaru and Onimaru - Two renowned swords that are specifically
                                  intended for use as a pair. It is unknown
                                  how Mushashi came into their possession.
                                - sharpness: good
                                - length: 4'3''
                                - weight: 36 oz.
                                                                           
    10. Nihon - A magnificent sword that glitters with divine brilliance.
                Its sharpness is simply outstanding.
              - sharpness: excellent
              - length: 5'9''
              - weight: 26 oz.
                                                                           
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
     ____  ____  ____      _  _  _____  ____    __    ____  _____ / ___
    (_  _)(_  _)(_  _)    ( )/ )(  _  )(_  _)  /__\  (  _ \(  _  ) / __)
     _)(_  _)(_  _)(_      )  (  )(_)(   )(   /(__)\  )   / )(_)(  \__ \
    (____)(____)(____)()  (_)\_)(_____) (__) (__)(__)(_)\_)(_____) (___/
                           ____  ____  ____  __  __  ___
                          (_  _)(_  _)( ___)(  \/  )/ __)
                           _)(_   )(   )__)  )    ( \__ \
                          (____) (__) (____)(_/\/\_)(___/
                                                                           
                                                                           
    1. Heal herb - A mix of mugwort and other plants that cure infection.
                 - HP recovery: low
                                                                           
    2. Ointment - An ointment that supresses bleeding. Also prevents infection.
                - HP recovery: medium
                                                                           
    3. Foreign Medicine - A medicine that instantly stops bleeding. Its
                          ingredients are uncommon
                        - HP recovery: high
                                                                           
    4. Antidote - A curative herb that neutralizes poison. It must be ground
                  into a paste and ingested.
                                                                           
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
     ____  _  _      _  _  _____  ____    __    ____  _____ / ___
    (_  _)( \/ )    ( )/ )(  _  )(_  _)  /__\  (  _ \(  _  ) / __)
     _)(_  \  /      )  (  )(_)(   )(   /(__)\  )   / )(_)(  \__ \
    (____)  \/  ()  (_)\_)(_____) (__) (__)(__)(_)\_)(_____) (___/
                     __  __  _____  _  _  ____  ___
                    (  \/  )(  _  )( \/ )( ___)/ __)
                     )    (  )(_)(  \  /  )__) \__ \
                    (_/\/\_)(_____)  \/  (____)(___/
                                                                           
                                                                           
    Normal
    1. Thrust - any direction + []
                well, you pierce the opponent's chest, what else? This is
                the most damaging of his normal moves and is sure to knock
                an opponent down. It cannot be comboed into anything so use
                it on opponents who generally can counter combos.
                                                                           
    2. Quick Slash - any direction twice + []
                     you do an almost vertical slash that's very quick to
                     come out and can be comboed into your basic three slash
                     combo. Use this move after a sidestep for maximum
                     efficiency.
                                                                           
    3. Jump Slash - [] + ><
                    well, you jump and slash downwards, what else? Use this
                    move on zombies who can hit while lying on the ground
                    to finish them off. Not to be used otherwise because if
                    your timing is inaccurate, the opponent will be enough
                    time to stand up and hit you.
                                                                           
    4. One Hit Kill - Hold R1...[]
                      the R1 you have to hold to block an opponent's attack.
                      the [] you have to press just one moment before your
                      attacker's blade clashes with yours. The screen will
                      darken, the opponent will pause, and you will get a
                      free, FATAL slash. Won't work on bosses, as that would
                      make the game crap easy. Will be high on damage if it
                      doesn't work, though.
                                                                           
    Special
    1. Phoenix - Press [] rapidly:
                 makes use of three blocks of your blue bar. May only be
                 done when your life bar turns red, kind of a desperation
                 move. This move you already know from the start and need
                 not kill for. In this move, you kill EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE!
                 There are some limitations, though. If done against a boss,
                 won't kill 'em but would sure wreck havok! ALWAYS use this
                 move whenever you get the chance before you even think of
                 replenishing your life with a health item.
                                                                           
    2. Spinning Eagle - right, left, []
                        makes use of only one block of your blue bar. Does
                        some descent damage but what's important is you can
                        hit everyone within a certain radius. In this move,
                        you swing your sword in a 360 degree motion and it
                        leaves a red light as a trail.
                                                                           
    3. Pigeon Sonic - hold [] ... release
                      makes use of two blocks of your blue bar. Your sword
                      turns neon blue as you hold the [] and suddenly release
                      a forceful, unseen projectile that cracks the pavement
                      and hits everyone directly in front of you. Cannot be
                      comboed from anything and hard to connect, having to
                      target your opponent first, and all that. Use this move
                      only against bosses but then again you should reserve
                      your chi for the other moves.
                                                                           
    4. Hawk Dance - Press [], [], then [] rapidly
                    makes use of three blocks of your blue bar. Definitely
                    can, and must, be comboed from your basic three slash
                    combo. In this move, you make a multitude of slashes 
                    and hit everyone within your peripheral vision. Nice
                    move and particularly useful for bosses.
                                                                           
    Weapon Based
    1. Moonlight Cyclone - Press [], [], then [] rapidly
                           makes use of three blocks of your blue bar. Can
                           only be done while equipped with the Kogarasumaru
                           and the Onimaru. Definitely can, and must, be
                           comboed from your basic three slash combo. In this
                           move, you make a multitude of slashes and hit
                           everyone within a certain radius. Nice move and
                           particularly useful for a multitude of minor
                           opponents.
                                                                           
    2. Rai-jin - hold [] ... release
                 makes use of two blocks of your blue bar. Can only be done
                 while equipped with the MURAMASA. Cannot be comboed from
                 or to anything because of the nature of the sword. In this
                 move, you charge up your chi while your sword is sheathed
                 and then suddenly strike a heavy strike with lots of energy
                 packed within. If you're hit before you release the hold,
                 the move would be cancelled.
                                                                           
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
     _  _      _   _  _____  __  __  ____   ___  _____  __  __  ____  _  _   ___
    ( \/ )    ( )_( )(  _  )(  \/  )( ___) / __)(  _  )(  \/  )(_  _)( \( ) / __)
     \  /      ) _ (  )(_)(  )    (  )__) ( (__  )(_)(  )    (  _)(_  )  ( ( (_-.
      \/  ()  (_) (_)(_____)(_/\/\_)(____) \___)(_____)(_/\/\_)(____)(_)\_) \___/
                                                                           
                                                                           
    Prologue text: Kotaro Hiba, a masterless samurai in training, makes his
                   return to visit his parent's graves. Upon arrival, he is
                   caught up in a deadly incident with a young girl and the
                   law. The ronin makes his way to a bushido dojo to meet
                   Yukinosuke, a childhood friend.
                                                                           
    Walkthrough: 
                                                                           
            You are situated in an uninhabited area so nothing to do here but
    draw your sword and move on south. Fight the welcoming samurai, beat him
    up, and again head south. You fight two swordsmen this time, no problem.
    Take them one at a time and your done. Head to the obvious direction---south!
    Beat up the next two opponents and this time head west. Fight and defeat
    another one and head north. Two swordsmen confront you and they're too
    close for comfort. You can take them one at a time and hope to win unscathed
    but, the best way is to sheath your sword, go back, and make sure one of
    them follows you. NOW attack. Go back north and deal with the other samurai.
    Get the heal herb where the samurai was originally standing and don't
    enter the passageway, head north-east. Get the heal herb beside the gate
    and head east. Jackpot! Get another heal herb (beside the bird house of
    some sort) and get (not really) the flower beside it---that's your first
    save point.
                                                                           
    Save point quote: "First storm of the year
                       holding an umbrella o'er
                       small chrysantimums"
                                                                           
     (now i don't have the slightest idea of what this quote's use is in gameplay
      but help would be appreciated, and credited)
                                                                           
            Now go back to the passageway mentioned and enter. Go west, then
    southwest, west, then northwest (you should know that by mere observation
    but, ow well)...
                                                                           
    Kotaro    : "Yukinosuke! Look who's back!"
                (enters the dojo where Yukinosuke is)
    Yukinosuke: "What!? You killed some law men?"
    Kotaro    : "I don't care who they were."
                "They were in the wrong. But..."
    Yukinosuke: "But?"
    Kotaro    : "Something about their eyes were odd."
                "I must've imagined it."
    Yukinosuke: "Well, I see you haven't changed your ways much."
    Kotaro    : "This old dojo hasn't changed much either."
    Yukinosuke: "Do you remember? How you and I trained together?"
    Kotaro    : "How could I forget those days"
                (engages in a flashback)
                                                                           
    Kotaro    : "I'm bored of practicing!"
                "Come on, Yukinosuke. I'll take you on."
    Yukinosuke: "We can't Kotaro! Master will be angry with us."
    Kotaro    : "Nobody's watching. Come on, it'll be alright."
    Yukinosuke: "Oh, ok, just this once, though.
                                                                           
            Little Yukinosuke will fight you using a kendo stick while you
    are armed with your own. None of you can die, of course, cause this is
    just a flashback and both of you are alive now, aren't you? Hit select
    to quit the cute fight scene and stay longer only if you want to learn
    a few basic moves from your best pal...
                                                                           
    Master: (arrives) "You two stop! You pups are far from ready!"
                                                                           
            And they both run away to save their own hides (from a lot of
    spanking, perhaps?)
                                                                           
    (back to present)
    Yukinosuke: "..."
    Kotaro    : "Hey Yukinosuke! Are you listening?"
    Yukinosuke: "Huh? What?"
    Kotaro    : "What do you mean what?"
                "I said I'm going up to the graveyard to pay my respects."
    Yukinosuke: "The graveyard? You mean to go to the temple?"
    Kotaro    : "What are you flustered about?"
                "Is there something wrong with the temple?"
    Yukinosuke: "No, no. Uh, you just came back. What is your hurry?"
    Kotaro    : "It's one of those things you do first. Duty calls!"
    Yukinosuke: "Bu-but..."
    Kotaro    : "I won't be long."
                "Have the sake out, we need to catch up."
                                                                           
            As Kotaro leaves, Oda, a strange looking, predictably evil person
    enters the dojo...
                                                                           
    Oda       : "Kotaro Hiba! When did you return?"
    Kotaro    : "Ryu Oda, the military scholar."
                "Still the same, I see."
    Oda       : "Have you finally decided to serve Lord Tohjo?"
    Kotaro    : "Not on your life."
                "Why are your men acting so aggressively?"
                "I hope you're not firing them up for another war."
    Oda       : "The age of the sword has ended."
    Kotaro    : "My parents died in a war."
                "They would have enjoyed hearing that."
                (leaves)
    Oda       : (to Yukinosuke) "Lord Tohjo has summoned for you."
                "Please get ready now."
    Yukinosuke: "Yes, right away."
    Oda       : "By the way, Yukinosuke, how have things gone since...?"
    Yukinosuke: "I get the odd headache, but otherwise I'm fine."
    Oda       : "I knew you would not disappoint."
                "Lord Tohjo shall be pleased."
                "Endure a little longer and be rewarded with fantastic power."
                "...Kotaro has come back."
    Yukinosuke: "Yes, he left to visit the graveyard."
    Oda       : "The temple? Humph, that is amusing."
    Yukinosuke: (feels the headache) "Kotaro..."
                                                                           
            You're out of the dojo. Head south and back out of the passageway,
    beating up the two swordsmen waiting for your return. Go back to the first
    save point and re-save your game of you wish, but I'd rather head south
    and battle the incoming samurai to save time. Exit the dojo area after
    you're through with him and show-off against the next two. Head east and
    notice that the next area is lifeless. Go north...
                                                                           
            Two swordsmen close in on you.
                                                                           
            They're fairly easy to defeat. After you've killed them...
                                                                           
    Kotaro: "There is something strange with these castle law men."
            "They feel wrong even through the sword. This is creepy."
                                                                           
            After he leaves, one of the defeated samurai stands up, barfs
    something yucky, and then finally dies. Meanwhile, a poor man with his
    face covered in a basket has his life threatened by two samurai...
                                                                           
    Samurai: "There's no escape, die!"
             (notices Kotaro) "Who goes there?"
    Kotaro : "Heh, this just isn't my day."
                                                                           
            Fight the two big bullies, make them cry, and another cinematic
    takes place...
                                                                           
    Kotaro: "Are you alright?"
    Monk:   "Th-thank you."
                                                                           
            Another ronin suddenly appears and kills the monk from behind,
    making all your efforts worthless...
                                                                           
    Ronin: "My sword shall taste your blood too!"
                                                                           
                                                                           
    Strategy:
                                                                           
            Wow, your first boss! Just block all his attacks and retaliate
    with your basic three-slash combo. Whenever he does his intimidating
    special move, don't get intimidated. It may be unblockable and comes out
    really fast, but tapping right or left like crazy while he's busy whirling
    his sword will make sure you side step and evade the whole attack altogether,
    leaving you with another free three-slash combo.
                                                                           
                                                                           
    Walkthrough:
                                                                           
            After you've defeated the no-good back stabber, you shall have
    obtained the MONOHOSHIZAO. Then you get one last cinematic before the
    chapter ends...
                                                                           
    Kotaro: "Hold on!"
    Monk  : "N-no...I'm doomed. P-please, I n-need you t-to..."
            (hands over something to Kotaro)
    Kotaro: "What's this?"
    Monk  : "G-give it t-to m-my c-colleagues."
    Kotaro: "Colleagues?"
    Monk  : "T-this f-fiefdom...Bu-bu-bugs..."
            (dies)
    Kotaro: "Bugs..."
            (obtained stork code letter)
                                                                           
            Every after a level boss is defeated, you get to save your game.
    This boss is no different.
                                                                           
    Save point quote: "Bell flowers in sight
                       my heart bouncing up and down
                       from pure nostalgia"
                                                                           
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
     _  _  ____      __  __  _  _  ___  ____  ____  ____  _  _
    ( \/ )(_  _)    (  \/  )( \/ )/ __)(_  _)( ___)(  _ \( \/ )
     \  /  _)(_      )    (  \  / \__ \  )(   )__)  )   / \  /
      \/  (____)()  (_/\/\_) (__) (___/ (__) (____)(_)\_) (__)
                                                                           
                                                                           
    Prologue text: On the way to the temple, Kotaro is beset by murderous samurai.
                   After defeating the grotesque and sinister enemies, Kotaro
                   comes to the aid of a mysertious monk. But too late, the
                   monk dies before Kotaro's eyes, leaving only the words,
                   Bugs.
                                                                           
            Kotaro meets up with Lin once again...
                                                                           
    Kotaro: "Hi, honey. Remember me?"
          : "I'm Kotaro Hiba. We seem to run into each other."
    Lin   : "...I'm Lin. I suppose we're both lucky to be alive."
    Kotaro: (thinks: "Could this girl be a colleague that the monk spoke of?")
    Lin   : "I'm sorry, but I have no time for idle chats. I'm going.
    Kotaro: "Wait, before you go..."
            "Honey, do you know anything about this?"
            (hands over your stork code letter)
    Lin   : "Who did you get this from? Is he still alive?"
    Kotaro: "No, he's dead. What does that say? I can't read it at all."
    Lin   : "Why do you want to know?"
            "You shouldn't get involved in this!"
    Kotaro: "I can't ignore this. If I had a kid sister, she'd be like you."
    Lin   : "You, you have no right to say that."
            "But, I still owe you. Thanks for this."
            "Thank you. Farewell."
            (leaves)
    Kotaro: "Humph. So much for my lack of interest in kids."
          : "Anyways, the graveyard. Duty calls."
                                                                           
                                                                           
    Walkthrough: 
                                                                           
            Being positioned in the center of the village, go north to discover
    your nearest save point. Equip your newly found sword and...save the game,
    of course!
                                                                           
    Save point quote: "Cape Jasmine flowers
                       remind me of my dear mother
                       lone clouds in the sky"
                                                                           
            Go back to your starting point and head west, then east, northeast,
    then west. Ignore the villagers as they would only give you some tips
    which this faq has already or will mention. Head north. Unsheath your sword
    and kill the first samurai you see. Head south. Kill the two samurai
    in front of you and again head south. Slay yet another samurai and move
    on west. Two swordsmen will challenge you, and you'll just have to prove
    they aren't worthy. Head north. You fight to short men that are not to be
    underestimated. Their poles do quite some damage so be careful. After
    you've shown them you're boss, go up the stairway. You'll be given a full
    view of the temple's entrance. Notice the beautiful lady just standing
    there?...
                                                                           
    Kurenai: "Excuse me, are you going to the temple?"
    Kotaro : "Yeah, I'm going to the graveyard."
    Kurenai: "May I tag along? There's something wrong inside the temple."
    Kotaro : "Something wrong?"
             "Well, whatever. Sure come on."
             "A pretty lady is always welcome."
    Kurenai: "Really? Thank you! I'm here to visit my mother's grave."
                                                                           
            Don't go in, yet. Save your game on the flower standing just at
    the right side of the temple entrance.
                                                                           
    Save point quote: still the same
                                                                           
            Enter the temple, now with Ms. Kurenai tagging along. Make sure
    she doesn't die, or you won't get the best weapon in the game! Anyway,
    you'll be rudely greeted by two law men...
                                                                           
    Law man: "Halt! No one passes here! Get lost!"
    Kotaro : "Castle lackeys are here too?"
             "What are you doing here?"
    Law man: "I don't have to answer that! If you refuse to leave..."
    Kurenai: "Wa-wait."
    Law man: "Then you can join the corpses. Die!"
                                                                           
            The two law men will fight you, finding out that you're too strong
    and fast for them...
                                                                           
    Kotaro : "Hey, are you all right?"
    Kurenai: "What is going on? Why did they attack us?"
    Kotaro : "The law men around here are all acting insane."
             "Lady, I think it's time you headed home."
    Kurenai: "This is the anniversary of my mother's death."
    Kotaro : "..."
             "Now, I'm convinced that this just isn't my day."
             "Lady, stick close to me."
                                                                           
            Ms. Kurenai won't quit, so now you still have to protect her.
    Watch her life bar, as I've told you wouldn't want her to die. Head north
    and fight another two welcoming swordsmen. Once more you'll head north
    and fight two swordsmen, this time one of them has a heal herb beside
    him. Collect your prize and head east. Add an antidote to your collection
    and fight the two swordsmen guarding it. Head northeast. Walk a little
    further and be introduced to your first two ninja opponents. Not much of
    a challenge, really. Beat them up and head north. Defeat the two swordsmen
    who guard that twinkling blue thingy. Pick that up and find out it's actually
    an iron key. Head north. Take out the two ninjas who just give you a hunch
    there's more upstairs. Go up the stairway (east), kill the samurai there,
    and enter the room (northeast). You'll see a Buddha statue with corpses
    all around it...
                                                                           
    Kurenai: "Eeeyaaaah!"
    Kotaro : "A mound of bodies? What are they doing here?"
             "This is awful."
                                                                           
            Pick up another blue thingy resting just in front of the statue
    and trigger the arrival of two ninjas. Kill them both and head northeas,
    where you came from. Go back down the stairs and exit southwest. Get your
    first ointment and beat the crap out of the two ninjas guarding it. Head
    northwest. Both of you will see the gates to the graveyard...
                                                                           
    Kurenai: "We must be safe here. Can I have the keys?
             "I'll go ahead."
    Kotaro : "Lady, I said to stick with me."
    Kurenai: "Eeeyaaaah!"
    Kotaro : "Tch, what did I tell you?"
                                                                           
            Obviously, you know where to go---up. Defeat your everyday samurai
    and hear Kurenai scream once more...
                                                                           
    Kurenai: "Help me!"
    Kotaro : "That way!"
             (exits west)
                                                                           
            There'll be another pair of samurai waiting for your blade to cut
    through their skin. Give them what they want, collect the ointment somewhere
    north, and move on northwest. Eradicate the opposition and head north.
    Save your game on the obvious flower and again head north.
                                                                           
    Save point quote: still the same
                                                                           
            You hear and feel rumbles, then you see a huge bald guy, and I
    mean really huge! You also see Kurenai knocked unconscious.
                                                                           
    Kotaro: "!"
            "You, you're the priest!?"
    Muga  : "Hehehe, now this is a surprise. You came back, Kotaro!"
    Kotaro: "What happened to you? What are you doing with the girl?"
    Muga  : "Hehehe. She will make a fine gift for Lord Tohjo."
    Kotaro: "Tohjo? What does he have to do with this?"
    Muga  : "It would be a waste of breath to tell you, for you shall die!"
    Kotaro: "What?"
    Muga  : "I had been praying to test my new powers."
            (cracks knuckles)
            "I am a priest. There is a graveyard."
            "It is a perfect place to die!"
    Kotaro: "I don't know what you are, but you're the one going to the grave."
                                                                           
                                                                           
    Strategy:
                                                                           
            It's kind of challenging to beat him up the first time you see
    him because you have no idea what his moves are. Eventually, you'll realize
    you can't block ANY of his moves so you'll have to be quick at sidestepping
    and striking after he attacks, during his slow recovery time. A good thing
    to do is to step back, wait for him to execute a body splash on you, side
    step, and whack him at the SIDE, where he could neither punch or butt you.
                                                                           
                                                                           
    Walkthrough:
                                                                           
            Defeating him will yield those yucky things that came out of the
    samurai you killed way back in the first stage...
                                                                           
    Kotaro : "Wha-what happened here?"
    Kurenai: (gains consciousness) "No, oh no."
    Kotaro : (comes to Kurenai's aid)
    Kurenai: "The graves have been dug up."
             "My father would be devastated."
    Kotaro : "Somebody's going to pay for this."
             "But why? What are they going to do with corpses?"
    Kurenai: "..."
             "Look, over there."
    Kotaro : "Is that a cave?"
    Kurenai: "Look at all the footprints."
             "Those men must have been in there."
             "Maybe they carried the bodies in there."
    Kotaro : "It looks that way. I want to get to the bottom of this."
    Kurenai: "Don't go in there. I have a horrible feeling about this."
    Kotaro : "Don't worry about me. But you should go on home."
    Kurenai: "I will, but listen!"
             "I live at the edge of town at a blacksmith shop named Beni."
             "If you need work done on your sword, come see us any time."
             "I'll speak to my father about you."
    Kotaro : "Alright. Good."
    Kurenai: "That's a promise to keep!"
                                                                           
            You now have the OSAFUNE at your disposal. Save your game
    afterwards.
                                                                           
    Save point quote: "Dew drops to the ground
                       this must be a demon's lair
                       or a nest of snakes"
                                                                           
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
    
     _  _  ____  ____      ___  _____  __  __  __      ____  __  __   ___  ___
    ( \/ )(_  _)(_  _)    / __)(  _  )(  )(  )(  )    (  _ \(  )(  ) / __)/ __)
     \  /  _)(_  _)(_     \__ \ )(_)(  )(__)(  )(__    ) _ < )(__)( ( (_-.\__ \
      \/  (____)(____)()  (___/(_____)(______)(____)  (____/(______) \___/(___/
                                                                           
                                                                           
    Prologue text : The temple priest, Muga, had been transformed into a bizarre
                    monster. To solve the mystery of the priest's mutation,
                    and a mound of newly disinterred corpses, Kotaro, alone,
                    ventures into an underground cave where unknown horrors
                    await.
                                                                           
            As Kotaro headed down into the cave...
                                                                           
    Kotaro: "Tch, the rope snapped. There's no going back."
            (lights up a candle)
            "Better look for another way out"
                                                                           
                                                                           
    Walkthrough:
                                                                           
            This area is empty so proceed northwest...
                                                                           
            You hear a bunch of roars and groans...
                                                                           
    Kotaro: "Wha-what? What is this?"
                                                                           
            The path leads to two separate ways. Don't worry, you can always
    go back to the other path when you change your mind but, for now, to
    avoid confusion, let's follow the "right" path. Equip your new weapon,
    unsheath your sword, and move on northeast. Get the heal herb and proceed
    north. The path once again splits, this time with a zombie coming out
    from the right path. Beware, his attacks are unblockable and he can hit
    while down. Still, he's easy to kill so exit northeast. Oops, dead end.
    Go back and exit through the other path. Damn, another fork! Like I said,
    choose the "right" path. And then...another fork! Kill the zombie entering
    fromthe right, colloct the heal herb in front of you, and go where the zombie
    came from. Save your game.
                                                                           
    Save point quote: "The moon hides her face
                       digging soil for potatoes
                       tell me the season"
                                                                           
            Obviously you can't go through the doors so go back. Exit west
    this time and run through the bridge. Get the ointment beside the candle
    and exit northeast. See another twinkling blue thingy just before the
    ledge? Pick it up, but be careful not to fall or be defeated by the samurai
    zombie that jumps at you from nowhere. You have just picked up an archer
    figure. Go back and exit northwest this time. You'll be in a steep surface
    so grab the shining object and immediately run back. Go back through the
    bridge, then proceed south, northwest, west, then northwest, killing all
    the zombies in your way. Collect the ointment you see beside the farther
    candle and head north. Walk towards the end of the cave and hit []...
                                                                           
    Kotaro: "What's this hole here?"
                                                                           
            Use both figures acquired and hear a rumbling sound...
                                                                           
    Kotaro: "Hm? What's that sound?"
                                                                           
            Head south, south again, northeast, east, northeast, and finally
    east, again killing everything in your path. Notice the doors have already
    been opened. Save your game, then go through the doorway.
                                                                           
    Save point quote: still the same
                                                                           
            You get a horrifying view of the stacked corpses in the cave...
                                                                           
    Kotaro: "Wh-what, whoa."
            "So, this is where they were bringing the corpses."
                                                                           
            Three zombies close in on you. Use your spinning eagle move to
    hit the three birds with one stone. After you're done, you again see those
    yucky things...
                                                                           
    Kotaro: "Did these things have something to do with the human monsters?"
            (steps on one of the moving yuckies)
    Urabe : "How dare you trod upon my beloved soul bugs."
    Kotaro: "Who's that? Soul bugs?
    Urabe : (reveals himself, floating)
    Kotaro: "Heh, is this some kind of trickery? What are you, a sorcerer?
            "So, you're behind all this! You're paying with your life!"
    Urabe : "Fwohoho. I am but a mere servant. I am master to only bugs."
    Kotaro: "What were you playing at, here with your bugs?"
    Urabe : "Soul bugs are born here and enter their hosts. This is their nest."
            "I hear they are have smashing fun in their human hosts outside."
    Kotaro: "Soul bugs are parasites that turn people into monsters?"
    Urabe : (giggles)
            "Ah, enlightenment! Lord Tohjo's plans cannot be stopped now."
    Kotaro: "Tohjo's plans?"
    Urabe : "Fwohoho. A mere slip pf my tongue. No matter."
            "You shall soon be a particularly fine host to my bugs."
                                                                           
                                                                           
    Strategy: 
                                                                           
            He's floating yet I find him the easiest foe to beat (ok, maybe
    not easier than the first boss!) if you'd just be patient enough. Run
    towards him and slash, once. He'll teleport and execute a special,
    unblockable move so run away and evade whatever he throws at you. Run
    around him in circles to evade his every attack and when the time is
    right, run for him and slash. Just repeat this process over and over,
    and after your twelfth slash, hit him with a thrust move. (forward, forward
    + slash) When he's nearing death, he'll become a moving target so stop
    the circling and just run for him to smack. If that's a little too hard
    for you, don't worry. Once your life turns red you can execute your Phoenix
    move and that'd kill him WHEREVER he is!
                                                                           
                                                                           
    Walkthrough:
                                                                           
            After you've rendered his efforts futile, a cave-in starts to
    worry Kotaro...
                                                                           
    Kotaro: "The cave is coming down! Gotta get out!"
            (leaves)
    Urabe : (recovers) "Ah ah ah. My soul bugs!"
    Oda   : "You have served us well, Urabe."
    Urabe : "That voice! Oda! What is the meaning of his?"
    Oda   : (reveals himself) "You have outlived your usefulness."
    Urabe : "That cannot be! This plan cannot succeed without me!"
    Oda   : "You failed to dispose of that lone ronin. What use are you?"
    Urabe : "Who do you think made the plan possible?"
            "And it was you, Oda, who promised to keep intruders out!"
    Oda   : "You can save your excuses for the afterlife."
    Urabe : "L-let me talk to Lord Tohjo!"
            "H-he still needs my bugs!"
    Oda   : "We have a new colony. Thanks to my research."
            "You can rot here with your beloved bugs!"
    Urabe : "Wait! Wait! No!"
            "No! I shall not die here alone!"
            "Kotaro Hiba! You are coming with me!"
            "My, my beautiful soul bugs!"
            "Give me, give me your strength!"
            (morphs into a monster)
                                                                           
            You have been awarded with a new sword, the RAN-UN. Equip it, now!
    Head south and find out about the sorceror's mutation.
                                                                           
                                                                           
    Strategy:
                                                                           
            Use only two slash combos to prevent him from being knocked down
    and jumping on you as he gets up. Corner him and slash like crazy. He's
    a very easy foe to beat once you got the hang of it.
                                                                           
                                                                           
    Walkthrough:
                                                                           
            You'll be awarded with yet another sword, the DOUJIKIRI, afterwards.
    Remember the dead end? You'll have to find that area again if you hope
    to make it out alive. Head south then northeast to exit the cave. You'll
    have to do this all within a time limit, which is too long to even be
    worried about. Save your game.
                                                                           
    Save point quote: "Giant katydid
                       finding no good place to die
                       keeps on walking 'round
                                                                           
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
     _  _  ____  ____  ____      ____  _   _  ____    _  _  ____  ___  ____
    ( \/ )(_  _)(_  _)(_  _)    (_  _)( )_( )( ___)  ( \( )( ___)/ __)(_  _)
     \  /  _)(_  _)(_  _)(_       )(   ) _ (  )__)    )  (  )__) \__ \  )(
      \/  (____)(____)(____)()   (__) (_) (_)(____)  (_)\_)(____)(___/ (__)
                                                                           
                                                                           
    Prologue text: In the horrific cavern, Kotaro discovers a subterranean
                   lake. The lake teems with soul bugs, profane creatures
                   that turn mortals into monsters. Kotaro barely escapes
                   the collapsing cave with the knowledge that the fiefdom's
                   ruler is somehow involved.
                                                                           
            As Kotaro emerges from the cave...
                                                                           
    Kotaro   : "Hm? The village square? I never expected to end up here."
    Villager : "Waaaah! Monsters!"
               "Help! Please!"
    Villagers: (run for their lives)
    Kotaro   : "Damn! They've even invaded the village."
               (draws his sword)
               "I may have left once, but I won't allow this to happen here."
                                                                           
                                                                           
    Walkthrough: 
                                                                           
            A multitude of zombies will attack you but all of them need only
    one hit to die so don't fret. If you manage to kill more than three hundred
    of them (highly possible only if you ignore to two goodies found near
    your starting point) before the next cinematic, you'll acquire...the
    "RUSTY SWORD"! (what!? all that work for a crumy old sword? well, you'll
    see...)
                                                                           
    Kotaro: "I guess that was the last of them."
            "Oh, damn! Yukinosuke!"
            "Damn! They better not have gone to the dojo!"
                                                                           
            Remember what item of value was there in the buddha statue when
    you first saw it? A save point! Go now, and save your game.
                                                                           
    Save point quote: "The hem of garments
                       turn vermillion in autumn
                       hoping it never ends"
                                                                           
            Head west and meet up with another stranger...
                                                                           
    Swordsman: "Kotaro Hiba, I presume."
    Kotaro   : "Who are you?"
    Swordsman: "I shall await you at Ganryu Beach."
               "Come, for the sake of honor."
               (leaves)
    Kotaro   : "Gah. What presence. He held me rooted. He reeks of death."
               "Ganryu Beach...Should I go?"
                                                                           
            Well, it's your choice...either you head northwest or, more likely,
    you'll go the other way---east. If you choose the former, you'll just
    have to make your way via obsevation, collect an ointment before you enter
    the dojo area, and head west to end the level. If, however, you choose
    to the latter, things will get more complicated (to your advantage, that
    is) and would therefore require another paragraph of my faq. Here's what
    you'll do:
            Head northeast then northwest...
                                                                           
            Kotaro witnesses two zombies threatening the life of a poor,
    defenseless merchant.
                                                                           
    Ito: "Y-you're not laying one finger on m-my shop!"
                                                                           
            The zombies roar and scare the merchant by splitting their upper
    bodies in half.
                                                                           
    Ito: "Ayeeeeeh!" (shrivles)
                                                                           
            My, my, how easily defeated these monsters are! Kill them both...
                                                                           
    Kotaro: "Hey, listen."
    Ito   : "Ayaah! P-please take anything b-but don't kill me, please."
            "...?" (realizes the monsters are dead)
            "Oh ah, th-thank you."
            "I-I owe you my life!"
            "If there is anything I could do, just say it."
            "I, Ito, the master tailor, am at your service."
                                                                           
            Enter the house in front of you...
                                                                           
    Ito   : "Ah, my savior! Thank you for coming!"
            "If there is anything, anything I can do for you, just say it!"
    Kotaro: "But what can you do for me?"
    Ito   : "Ah, I know! This is what I will do!"
            "If we have any clothing that suits you, it's yours!"
            "Come, come, get out of those horribly scruffy clothes!"
                                                                           
            Choose from five different yet all cool-looking costumes (including
    your own), I'd prefer the...well, the... dam! I can't choose! Anyway,
    my choice is irrelivant. Now, YOU choose...
                                                                           
    Ito: "See, you look like an entirely new man!"
         "If you ever get tired of that outfit, come change it anytime!"
                                                                           
            Ok, enough of the fashion statements, and on with the honor at
    stake. Head south, east, south again, and finally another east. You'd
    be fighting a variety of opponents now, so I'll just be telling you
    where to go, it's up to you to slay all the demons who cross your path.
    Head south twice and collect the heal herb beside the gate, again killing
    everything on your path. Enter the gate, head south, east, and another south.
    Get the heal herb and kill the monsters who guard it, and continue running
    south twice. Enter the house with the black and white symbol...
                                                                           
    Kotaro    : "Hello, is your daughter in?"
    Blacksmith: "Ah, you must be Kotaro Hiba!"
                "My daughter owes her life to you!"
                "Unfortunately, she has gone out."
    Kotaro    : "That's too bad."
    Blacksmith: "As you can see, I run a blacksmith shop."
                "Please, may I see your sword?"
                (claims your rusty sword)
                "Oh my."
                "Though it is rusted, this is truly a most remarkable sword."
                "Please leave it with me for restoration."
    Kotaro    : "Sure that's fine."
    Blacksmith: "Being such a fine instrument, it would take some time."
                "Please return for it. This will be a most challenging job!"
                                                                           
           Now, see? The rusty sword builds up your curiosity a bit. Could
    this actually be a better sword than the ones I already have? When you
    get it, which by the way is much, much later, you be the judge of that!
    Now, head west into the forest. Turn and exit through the south. You'll
    welcomed by a bat-like creature. Kill it and move on north. Get your
    heal herb at the center of the screen, kill another bat-like creature,
    and proceed east. This area is empty so head south and face a ninja.
    Show that you are far better than he could ever dream of and head west.
    See the pain-relieving save point? Do what you must, but not before claiming
    the heal herb beside it.
                                                                           
    Save point quote: still the same
                                                                           
            Head north to find another empty scene. Grab the ointment nearby
    and head west. The road splits into two: Don't bother going west as nothing
    would happen there. Go north instead, and find another fork. Use the
    same strategy I mentioned earlier, and always follow the "right" path
    first. Grab the antidote as you enter and dispose of the two ninjas
    that run towards you. Proceed to the north, get the heal herb at the
    center of the screen (sort of) and may its guardian ninja pay with his
    life. Go north then west. Grab the heal herb and go north, all this while
    slaying the bat-like creatures that come to annoy you. Yes! a save point!
    Save your game, again not before picking up the ointment beside the flower.
                                                                           
    Save point quote: still the same
                                                                           
            If you'd like to get an extra antidote, head southwest and claim
    it, saving your game again afterwards. If not, or if you're already through
    claiming, then head northeast. Spot and take the ointment again situated
    in the center of the screen and head southwest. You get a view of some
    sort of lair but that won't be relevant to your story. Head west then
    north. Grab another heal herb just as you enter the next scene and head
    north twice. You hear the sound of waves so head southwest, where they
    seem to grow louder. Another west and you get to view the beach that
    swordsman was talking about. Head north, west, another north, and collect
    your ointment. Head north...
                                                                           
    Swordsman: "So, you have come."
    Kotaro   : "You have a name?"
    Swordsman: "I am Mushashi."
    Kotaro   : "What do you want of me?"
    Mushashi : "I wish to challenge you to a duel."
               "Honor and death are at stake."
    Kotaro   : "So you were hired by Tohjo."
    Mushashi : "No, that's not true. Like you, I serve no master."
               "I am a ronin."
    Kotaro   : "Then listen, there is something happening in this fiefdom..."
    Mushashi : "I know all about it!"
               "But it is of no concern to my swords."
               "You dare not turn away from me now! Come! Defend your honor!"
                                                                           
                                                                           
    Strategy:
                                                                           
            Ahh...yes, another expert swordsman. He's a lot more powerful
    and speedy than your first boss so beware. He also has an unblockable,
    but he doesn't need to enter into a cinematic to warn you before he
    strikes (unlike your first boss) so always keep an eye out for that move
    so you could side step out of it. Also, remember to perpetually block
    unless he just attacked and it's you turn. Master the art of parrying,
    and always use the Spinning Eagle move after a two to three slash combo.
                                                                           
                                                                           
    Walkthrough:
                                                                           
            He's quite a challenge, but you'll certainly have the guts to
    beat him. He realizes his mistake, and then...
                                                                           
    Mushashi: "Th-that was ma-magnificent..."
    Kotaro  : "Were you infected by those soul bugs too?"
    Mushashi: "Does it matter? To live for the sword is the s-samurai way."
              "T-to lose my life to a samurai like you, I am b-blessed."
              "T-to live and to die by the sword, th-that was all I d-desired."
    Kotaro  : "..."
    Mushashi: "I-I wa-want y-you t-to..."
              "T-take mmm-my swords. W-will y-you?"
    Kotaro  : "Yes, I will."
    Mushashi: "Th-thank y-y-you..."
              (dies)
                                                                           
            Holy! You've earned yourself TWO swords! And yes, you can use
    them like Mushashi did---TWO at a time! By the way, those swords are the
    KOGARASUMARU and the ONIMARU. But wait, you're not through yet! There are
    tons of goodies waiting for you by the shore so let's grab 'em all! Head
    east to get one (antidote) and go back. Head west twice this time and
    then south, southeast, west, southwest, another west, and finally north,
    where you'll spot a save point. What else to do?
                                                                           
    Save point quote: still the same
                                                                           
            Northeast is the place to go, as it will lead you to a shore
    filled with goodies (well, not really, just three of 'em) Grab them all,
    (they're all ointments) and head back to where you started, killing everyone
    who dares challenge you. When I said back, I meant WAY back---as in out
    of the forest! Re-enter the blacksmith's house and find out that he's
    still working on your sword (I told you this'd be much, much later!) Now,
    head back to the village square and proceed to where you met Mushashi---
    beside the buddha statue, remember? NOW, head northwest! Head south
    thrice, collect the ointment, and proceed west. End of a seemingly short
    level.
                                                                           
    Kotaro: "Hang on, Yukinosuke, I'm on my way!"
                                                                           
    Save point quote: "The tranquil autumn sea
                       ghouls and ghosts in harmony
                       loudly choke in tears"
                                                                           
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
     ____  _  _      ____  ____  ____  ____  _  _  ____
    (_  _)( \/ )    ( ___)(  _ \(_  _)( ___)( \( )(  _ \
     _)(_  )  (      )__)  )   / _)(_  )__)  )  (  )(_) )
    (____)(_/\_)()  (__)  (_)\_)(____)(____)(_)\_)(____/
                                                                           
                                                                           
    Prologue text: Kotaro emerges to find his home village overrun by monsters.
                   Enraged, he mows them down in the knowledge that they are
                   villagers who have been infected by the soul bugs. He hurries
                   to Yukinosuke's dojo to protect his childhood friend from
                   the ghastly carnage.
                                                                           
    Walkthrough: 
                                                                           
            You should be familiar with this place now. Equip Mushashi's weapons
    head north and punish the swordsmen that await. Head northeast and enter
    the dojo through the front gate. Head west and before you enter the main room,
    look for the free ointment in the upper right area, covered by your own
    body. Enter...
                                                                           
    Kotaro: "Damn! The monsters are here too!"
            "Yukinosuke, be safe!"
                                                                           
            Finish the self splitting piece o' trash and proceed south. Collect
    the ointment and go through the open room. You'll face two easy-to-defeat
    zombies and proceed west---not north through the door. Pick up the ointment
    and now go back through the door I mentioned, where another oinment and
    two zombies await. Head east, deal with the lone zombie, north twice,
    and kill the hunk that barges in. Go through where he came from and kill
    the zombie outside, picking up the ointment from where he first stood.
    Head south, and another of those hunks barges in, er, out I mean. Kill
    him and you'll acquire the dojo key. Head south and save your game.
                                                                           
    Save point quote: "An injured wild boar
                       willow branches are scattered
                       by the winter winds"
                                                                           
           Go through another open doorway and get your prize---the MASAMUNE
    located at the upper right part of the screen. Being able to get this
    weapon triggers the arrival from nowhere of two zombies which you should
    find easy to kill. Go back out, save, head east, northwest, northeast,
    and again northeast, killing opponents that come your way...
                                                                           
    Kotaro: "It's locked. Let's try the key I found."
                                                                           
            Well, follow the tip. Use the key and guess what? Yukinosuke's
    inside! Safe and sound. You're the one who's not!...
                                                                           
    Yukinosuke: "What are you doing? Come in."
    Kotaro    : "Yukinosuke."
                (enters)
    Yukinosuke: "Remember?"
                "How we used to fight all the time since we were kids?"
    Kotaro    : "What are you nattering about?"
                "Monsters are roaming the streets!"
    Yukinosuke: "And always, our fights in draws, no winner, no loser."
    Kotaro    : "Yukinosuke!"
    Yukinosuke: "It's time we put an end to this."
    Kotaro    : "What are you saying?"
    Yukinosuke: "I've been infected with the infernal soul bug too."
    Kotaro    : "Wha-what?"
    Yukinosuke: "My master Gendo Tohjo will conquer the world with the soul
                 bugs."
    Kotaro    : "So you were involved in this plan too?"
    Yukinosuke: "We can't afford to let you hamper us."
                "You have to die, Kotaro."
    Kotaro    : "Are you serious? Tell me you're lying!"
    Yukinosuke: (draws his sword) "Draw! I have so much more power now!"
                                                                           
                                                                           
    Strategy:                                                                        
                                                                           
            He's supposed to be as good as you are, and now that he's infected
    with a soul bug, he'd better find it easy to beat you, but he won't.
    Listen to the cool music, and you'll be able to sense when he'll launch
    his first attack. (nice strategy, no?) Block all day, and attack after
    he does. Keep an eye out for his unblockables which he'd be using more
    often than Mushashi and would cause a LOT more damage. You'll need your
    special moves, especially your Phoenix and your Hawk dance so use either
    your lightning sword or your fire sword instead of Mushashi's.
                                                                           
                                                                           
    Walkthrough: 
                                                                           
            When you've finally proven your superiority...
                                                                           
    Kotaro    : "...Why?..."
                "...Yukinosuke..."
    Yukinosuke: "Humph, it's funny how fate can turn."
                "If I had known that you were returning..."
                "No, what's done is done."
    Kotaro    : "Why did you become a monster?"
                "To prove your loyalty to Tohjo?"
    Yukinosuke: "I wanted to become stronger, be better than you, Kotaro."
    Kotaro    : "Than me?"
    Yukinosuke: "Ever since I was a child, I thought that, all the time."
                "I wanted to beat you, after your parents died and you left
                 here."
    Kotaro    : "Stop it! Don't say anymore."
    Yukinosuke: "I was so blinded by your presence, I lost sight of myself."
                "When I turned to the soul bug, I had already lost."
    Kotaro    : "Come with me, let's leave here and train together again.
    Yukinosuke: "I can't. Once infected there, is no escaping the soul bug."
                "I can no longer go on living in your world."
    Kotaro    : "You fool."
    Yukinosuke: "Lord Tohjo is ready and poised to start another war."
                "You might be able to stop him."
                "Go. M-m-my only f-f-friend..."
                (dies)
    Kotaro    : "Uggh..."
    Yukinosuke: (appears in spirit form as a child)
                "What are you doing Kotaro?"
                "Hurry, before it's too late!"
    Kotaro    : "Alright, Yukinosuke. I will put a stop to Tohjo's madness."
                (picks up Yukinosuke's sword)
                                                                           
           The MURAMASA, your best friend's sword, is now part of your collection.
                                                                           
    Save point quote: "Cold autumn showers
                       pour over and soak thousands
                       of wandering souls"
                                                                           
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
     _  _      ___  _   _  _____  _    _  ____   _____  _    _  _  _
    ( \/ )    / __)( )_( )(  _  )( \/\/ )(  _ \ (  _  )( \/\/ )( \( )
     )  (     \__ \ ) _ (  )(_)(  )    (  )(_) ) )(_)(  )    (  )  (
    (_/\_)()  (___/(_) (_)(_____)(__/\__)(____/ (_____)(__/\__)(_)\_)
                                                                           
                                                                           
    Prologue text: Yukinosuke had been under the foul spell of a soul bug.
                   His desire to best Kotaro made him fall prey to Gendo
                   Tohjo's machinations. Clutching his fallen friend's sword,
                   Kotaro races to the castle, his heart filled with sorrow
                   and rage for the showdown with the mad tyrant.
                                                                           
            Kotaro and Lin meet for a third time...
                                                                           
    Kotaro: "Lin."
    Lin   : "Kotaro?"
    Kotaro: "Have you heard about soul bugs?"
    Lin   : "They're foul parasites that make monsters out of people."
    Kotaro: "Those things have infected the entire fiefdom."
    Lin   : "The soul bugs took someone I loved from me."
            "This is all I have to remember him by."
            (shows something to Kotaro)
    Kotaro: "So you had a lover."
            "Lin. you were looking into what Tohjo was doing. Tell me."
    Lin   : "No, it's over. I don't have any reason to keep fighting."
    Kotaro: "Lin! Snap out of it!"
            (holds Lin tightly)
            "Stop your sobbing. You're acting like a..."
    Lin   : "Let go of me! I'm, I'm..."
    Kotaro: "I know, not a kid."
            (lets go of Lin)
    Lin   : "..."
            "They sank the shogun's transport ship and stole the gold."
    Kotaro: "So, they're using that money to prepare for war."
            "With the soul bugs, all you need are corpses to make an army."
    Lin   : "From corpses."
    Kotaro: "Lin."
    Lin   : "Yes?"
    Kotaro: "I understand that you're broken up over losing your man."
            "But we're the only two left who can fight."
            "You're though enough to take it, right?"
    Lin   : "No, I'm still a kid."
    Kotaro: "Heh, you're sure now?"
    Lin   : "Our target is Gendo Tohjo in the castle."
    Kotaro: "That's where we're headed."
    Lin   : "Kotaro, go from the inside. I'll approach from outside."
    Kotaro: "Alright. You watch yourself!"
    Lin   : (as she left) "Listen!"
            "It was my brother!"
    Kotaro: "Hm?"
    Lin   : "It was my older brother who died."
    Kotaro: "Oh, ah, I'm sorry."
    Lin   : "..."
            "I'll meet you in the castle!"
            (leaves)
    Kotaro: "This is it. Watch over me, Yukinosuke."
                                                                           
                                                                           
    Walkthrough: 
                                                                           
            You may save your game again, as you are near a save point, but
    I'd rather not to save time. You also be all psyched up for a final showdown
    in Tohjo's castle, but don't forget the rusty sword you gave to the blacksmith.
    Time to claim your ultimate prize! In case you forgot, the blacksmith
    can be found by going east, north, and then northeast. Follow the familiar
    path, killing the zombies and collecting the easy to spot goodies along
    the road. Enter the blacksmith shop...
                                                                           
    Blacksmith: "I am sorry to have kept you waiting so long."
                " I have never such a magnificent sword. I feel privileged!"
    Kotaro    : "Ho. I agree, this is impressive."
    Blacksmith: "Please, take it, and bring justice to the evil-doers!"
                                                                           
            Told you this was a prize! Just try it! Come on, you'll feel
    great as its speed does not compensate, but rather COMPLEMENT its great
    power! This is the kind of sword you'll use till the end of the whole
    game. Equip it and head back for the castle, which is just west of the
    path leading to where you are right now. Go for a series of norths, sheathing
    your sword and ignoring the demons, to finally reach the castle gates.
    Kill the two welcoming ninjas and proceed northwest. Kill the next two
    ninjas and grab the ointment to your west. Head northwest and notice
    the save point beside a second gate. Save your game, of course.
                                                                           
    Save point quote: "Stems start bending down
                       the silver grass realizes
                       its own weight increase"
                                                                           
            Head north and deal with the two long-time-no-see samurai. Run
    towards the same direction twice and deal with another pair of the same
    kind of opponents. Go through the doorway to face yet another pair, and
    then head west to face your final pair---at least until the next, empty
    area found beyond the stairway. Head northwest from that area and kill
    another pair of swordsmen. The next area, (north of the previous) is
    home to yet another pair so deal with them as you please. Exit through
    the northeast and finally to the north. A fresh face will great you,
    that of a ninja. Kill him and go through the doorway. Kill the incoming
    ninja and pick up the sword on the wall, the HOUDOU, though I don't advise choosing
    that over your Nihon. Sheath your sword and start ignoring your enemies,
    or you'll get tired of them. Proceed south, east, west thrice, and get
    the ointment at the bottom center of the screen. Continue northeast,
    turn and exit through the stairway. Go west to face a bloody zombie,
    though you may not. Turn right at the farthest part of the screen, head
    north thrice and east twice. Hoard the goodies on the shelves and save
    your game on the flower to your left.
                                                                           
    Save point quote: "Harvesting rice plants 
                       the smell of fertility
                       brings them hungry ghouls"
                                                                           
            Go east twice, then north. Grab the foreign medicine just below
    the stairs and climb up...
                                                                           
    Tohjo : "So, you have come."
    Kotaro: "Gendo Tohjo! I know all about your cursed plans!"
    Tohjo : "So what of it? Surely you don't think you could stop me."
    Kotaro: "This castle and the surrounding lands, they're not enough?"
    Tohjo : "The hell spawned soul bugs are our means to greater prosperity."
    Kotaro: "Do you realize how much bloodshed you caused?"
    Tohjo : "No mongrel ronin lectures me!"
    Kotaro: "I'm not your usual ronin."
            "Your lordship, this just isn't your lucky day."
    Tohjo : "You worm."
            "You will rue those words in hell."
                                                                           
                                                                           
    Strategy:
                                                                           
            Once the Nihon is in your possession, you can just slash him like
    crazy and never worry of the attacks he blocked. You can't block his
    attacks, but they come out slow enough for you to counter them. I don't
    think he has any desperation moves, unlike your previous samurai opponents,
    except for his healing, but you don't need to worry about that. Just
    attack as you normally would and he's fish bait.
                                                                           
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
     _  _  ____      ____  ____  ____  ___  ____
    ( \/ )(_  _)    ( ___)(_  _)(  _ \/ __)(_  _)
     )  (  _)(_      )__)  _)(_  )   /\__ \  )(
    (_/\_)(____)()  (__)  (____)(_)\_)(___/ (__)
                     ____  _  _  ____   ____  _  _   ___
                    ( ___)( \( )(  _ \ (_  _)( \( ) / __)
                     )__)  )  (  )(_) ) _)(_  )  ( ( (_-.
                    (____)(_)\_)(____/ (____)(_)\_) \___/
                                                                           
                                                                           
    Lord Tohjo is defeated, and Lin arrives from outside the castle.
                                                                           
    Kotaro: "What took you? I guess this is the end."
    Lin   : "It seems a little too easy."
                                                                           
    But Lord Tohjo is NOT dead! After our heroes left, a cinematic features
    the last boss being resurrected by an unknown energy...
                                                                           
    Save point quote: "One autumn twilight
                       in the name of the Hell Lord
                       I slay those demons"
                                                                           
    If you start the game again, using Kotaro, you'll get all you had during
    the first game! (weapons, items, moves, everything!) BUT you won't cause
    choosing Lin afterwards would yield the game's real ending, which you
    do want to see, right?
                                                                           
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
     _  _  ____  ____      __    ____  _  _ / ___
    ( \/ )(_  _)(_  _)    (  )  (_  _)( \( ) / __)
     )  (  _)(_  _)(_      )(__  _)(_  )  (  \__ \
    (_/\_)(____)(____)()  (____)(____)(_)\_) (___/
       ____  _  _  ____  ____  _____  ____   __  __   ___  ____  ____  _____  _  _
      (_  _)( \( )(_  _)(  _ \(  _  )(  _ \ (  )(  ) / __)(_  _)(_  _)(  _  )( \( )
       _)(_  )  (   )(   )   / )(_)(  )(_) ) )(__)( ( (__   )(   _)(_  )(_)(  )  (
      (____)(_)\_) (__) (_)\_)(_____)(____/ (______) \___) (__) (____)(_____)(_)\_)
                                                                           
                                                                           
    * unlike Kotaro, whose secrets are pretty obvious, Lin has a number of
      secrets which you have to solve using some clues, and lot of patience
      in checking everything out. However, again unlike Kotaro, these secrets
      are not that vital in beating everyone up. I have therefore decided
      not to include these secrets in my walkthrough (which is in my opinion,
      the most direct route to finish any mission) but instead include a
      separate section for solving those, and update that section whenever
      I discover new things and get the time. 
                                                                           
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
     _  _  ____  ____  ____      __    ____  _  _ / ___
    ( \/ )(_  _)(_  _)(_  _)    (  )  (_  _)( \( ) / __)
     )  (  _)(_  _)(_  _)(_      )(__  _)(_  )  (  \__ \
    (_/\_)(____)(____)(____)()  (____)(____)(_)\_) (___/
                       _    _  ____    __    ____  _____  _  _  ___
                      ( \/\/ )( ___)  /__\  (  _ \(  _  )( \( )/ __)
                       )    (  )__)  /(__)\  )___/ )(_)(  )  ( \__ \
                      (__/\__)(____)(__)(__)(__)  (_____)(_)\_)(___/
                                                                           
                                                                           
    1. Reimei - Lin's favorite ninja sword. It is short and suited for concealment.
                Its sharpness leaves much to be desired.
              - sharpness: dull
              - length: 2'3''
              - weight: 26 oz.
                                                                           
    2. Shigure - For a ninja sword, Shigure is relatively large. It appears
                 to have been made with emphasis on fighting
               - sharpness: dull
               - length: 2'7''
               - 28 oz.
                                                                           
    3. Raimei - The sword used by Shin. It is said to summon lightning bolts
                every time it tastes blood.
              - sharpness: good
              - length: 2'3''
              - weight: 18 oz.
                                                                           
    4. Byakuya - Said to be created by a feared wizard. It is a finely crafted
                 sword that is extremely easy to use.
               - sharpness: good
               - length: 2'2''
               - weight: 25 oz.
                                                                           
    5. Rakuyo - A superb short sword that is favored by the first Shogun,
                Iyeyasu Tokugawa.
              - sharpness: Excellent
              - length: 2'6''
              - weight: 17 oz.
                                                                           
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
     _  _  ____  _  _      __    ____  _  _ / ___    ____  ____  ____  __  __  ___
    ( \/ )(_  _)( \/ )    (  )  (_  _)( \( ) / __)  (_  _)(_  _)( ___)(  \/  )/ __)
     )  (  _)(_  \  /      )(__  _)(_  )  (  \__ \   _)(_   )(   )__)  )    ( \__ \
    (_/\_)(____)  \/  ()  (____)(____)(_)\_) (___/  (____) (__) (____)(_/\/\_)(___/
                                                                           
                                                                           
    1. Shuriken - A small dagger that is also known as "Kunai". It is thrown
                  at targets beyond reach.
                                                                           
    2. Explosive Shuriken - A shuriken that is loaded with a small explosive
                            charge.  Altough not powerful, it explodes on
                            impact.
                                                                           
    3. Happourinkosho - Although it is actually a prayer item, it is also a
                        powerful weapon that can pierce enemies.
                                                                           
    4. Hourokudama - An extremely powerful bomb that explodes on impact. It
                     has no fuse, so it must be thrown.
                                                                           
    5. Enmakudama - When thrown, this item generates a thick, obscuring cloud
                    of smoke on impact.
                                                                           
    6. Heal herb - A mix of mugwort and other plants that cure infection.
                 - HP recovery: low
                                                                           
    7. Ointment - An ointment that supresses bleeding. Also prevents infection.
                - HP recovery: medium
                                                                           
    8. Foreign Medicine - A medicine that instantly stops bleeding. Its
                          ingredients are uncommon
                        - HP recovery: high
                                                                           
    9. Antidote - A curative herb that neutralizes poison. It must be ground
                  into a paste and ingested.
                                                                           
    10. Stork Code Letter - "Lord Tohjo raided the Shogun's ship for its gold.
                            He appears to be preparing for an uprising against
                            the Shogun."
    
    11. Clown Code Letter - "Discovered Shin imprisoned in the forest. Rescue
                            attempt failed. His survival is unknown."
                                                                           
    12. Helmet Code Letter - "RAKUYO safely recovered from the ship and delivered
                             to Taka, a former ninja. Seek him at Beni, the
                             village blacksmith shop."
                                                                           
    13. Plaque - A plaque cherished by a brother and sister. Considered a
                 goodluck charm by Lin.
               - effect: Full recovery of HP and MP
                                                                           
    *MP is your blue bar
                                                                           
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
     _  _  _  _      __    ____  _  _ / ___    __  __  _____  _  _  ____  ___
    ( \/ )( \/ )    (  )  (_  _)( \( ) / __)  (  \/  )(  _  )( \/ )( ___)/ __)
     )  (  \  /      )(__  _)(_  )  (  \__ \   )    (  )(_)(  \  /  )__) \__ \
    (_/\_)  \/  ()  (____)(____)(_)\_) (___/  (_/\/\_)(_____)  \/  (____)(___/
                                                                           
                                                                           
    Normal
    1. Thrust - forward + []
                well, you pierce the opponent's chest, what else? This is
                the most damaging of his normal moves and is sure to knock
                an opponent down. It cannot be comboed into anything so use
                it on opponents who generally can counter combos.
                                                                           
    2. Back Kick - back + []
                   very self-explanatory. You just kick backwards and nothing
                   else. Cannot be comboed into anything so I'd rather try
                   and face the opponent first and slash.
                                                                           
    3. Side Slash - left/right +[]
                    you swing your sword 180derees to your left or right depending
                    and which direction you press. Can be a good starter for
                    your basic five hit combo.
                                                                           
    4. Quick Slash - any direction twice + []
                     you do an almost vertical slash that's very quick to
                     come out and can be comboed into your basic three slash
                     combo. Use this move after a sidestep for maximum
                     efficiency.
                                                                           
    5. Jump Slash - [] + ><
                    well, you jump and slash downwards, what else? Use this
                    move on zombies who can hit while lying on the ground
                    to finish them off. Not to be used otherwise because if
                    your timing is inaccurate, the opponent will be enough
                    time to stand up and hit you.
                                                                           
    6. One Hit Kill - Hold R1...[]
                      the R1 you have to hold to block an opponent's attack.
                      the [] you have to press just one moment before your
                      attacker's blade clashes with yours. The screen will
                      darken, the opponent will pause, and you will get a
                      free, FATAL slash. Won't work on bosses, as that would
                      make the game crap easy. Will be high on damage if it
                      doesn't work, though.
                                                                           
                                                                           
    Special
    1. Cherry Blossoms - Press [] rapidly:
                         makes use of three blocks of your blue bar. May only
                         be done when your life bar turns red, kind of a desperation
                         move. This move you already know from the start and
                         need not kill for. In this move, you kill EVERYONE,
                         EVERYWHERE! There are some limitations, though. If
                         done against a boss, won't kill 'em but would sure
                         wreck havok! ALWAYS use this move whenever you get
                         the chance before you even think of replenishing
                         your life with a health item.
                                                                           
    2. Anarylis - Press [], [], then [] rapidly
                  makes use of three blocks of your blue bar. Definitely can,
                  and must, be comboed from your basic five hit combo. In
                  this move, you make a multitude of slashes and hit everyone
                  within a certain radius. Nice move and particularly useful
                  for a multitude of minor opponents.
                                                                           
                                                                           
    Weapon Based (all these need you to equip your shuriken first)
    1. Agave - Hold R1, tap U+O
               makes use of only one block of your blue bar. You throw one,
               large, shuriken straight forward and it passes through your
               opponent, but not after doing some good damage. Recommended
               for minor opponents waiting in line.
                                                                           
    2. Crimson Peacock - Hold R1, tap L+O
                         makes use of only one block of blue bar. Besides
                         requiring the shuriken, also needs the RAIMEI in
                         your hands to execute. You throw one, large, FLAMING
                         shuriken straight forward and it passes through your
                         opponent, but not after doing some good damage. Recommended
                         for minor opponents waiting in line.
                                                                           
    3. Flame Lily - Hold R1, tap R+O
                    makes use of only one block of your blue bar. Besides
                    requiring the shuriken, also needs the RAIMEI in your
                    hands to execute. You throw EIGHT, large, scattered, and
                    flaming shuriken in all directions that doesn't go through
                    your opponents' bodies, but still deals nice damage.
                                                                           
    4. Night Queen - Hold R1, tap D+O
                     makes use of two blocks of your blue bar. You throw five,
                     large, scattered shurikens that deal lotsa damage! Highly
                     recommended for big opponents that can take them all
                     at once and die!
                                                                           
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
     _  _  _  _  ____      _  _  ____  _  _   ____    __
    ( \/ )( \/ )(_  _)    ( \( )(_  _)( \( ) (_  _)  /__\
     )  (  \  /  _)(_      )  (  _)(_  )  ( .-_)(   /(__)\
    (_/\_)  \/  (____)()  (_)\_)(____)(_)\_)\____) (__)(__)
                                                                           
                                                                           
    Prologue text: A ship laden with the Shogun's gold disappeared. A ninja,
                   Shin was dispatched to investigate. When contact was lost
                   with him, the shogunate sent three more spies. Unbeknownst
                   to them was the presence of a fourth ninja, Lin, Shin's
                   younger sister.
                                                                           
    Lin: "That was careless of me. So much for my ninja training."
         "Where could my brother have gone to?"
         "Maybe I can get clues by finding the lost transport ship."
                                                                           
                                                                           
    Walkthrough: 
                                                                           
            You are situated in an uninhabited area so nothing to do here but
    head to the obvious direction---no, not south, North! You'll then be given
    a nice view of the village square where you are right now. Exit anywhere
    besides where you came from and you'll find out that you can't. Must talk
    to all the townsfolk first, but not really. All you have to do is talk
    to the man in violet robes and blue pants...
                                                                           
    Villager: "Did you know that a big ship washed up on the shore?"
              "You want to see it? Don't go, it's unsafe outside."
                                                                           
            Now go for the Buddha statue and save your game on the flower there.
    Always remember that flowers like this are save points, and would greatly
    help in your journey. 
                                                                           
    Save point quote: "The calm autumn sky
                       following from underneath
                       the swallow on its way"
                                                                           
            Head east and grab your first heal herb. No need to talk to that
    man beside it so head north. With this group, all you'll have to do is
    talk to the lady in an orange kimono and your business with the village
    square is complete.
                                                                           
    Villager: "To reach the sea, you have to go through Raven Forest."
    Lin     : "Now I know where the transport ship is."
                                                                           
            Exit north-east...
                                                                           
    Lin: (hold and looks at something) "My brother Shin".
         (engages in a flashback)
                                                                           
    Shin: "Come on, Lin! Don't give up so easily!
    Lin : (exhausted) "But big brother..."
    Shin: "Do you want to be an orphan again?"
          "We were saved because Master recognized our potential as ninjas."
          "Get up, Lin! You're not a kid anymore!"
    Lin : "Yes, I'll try harder, Shin!"
                                                                           
            Little Shin will fight you using a kendo stick while you are armed
    with your own. None of you can die, of course, cause this is just a flashback
    and both of you are alive now, aren't you? Hit select to quit the cute
    fight scene and stay longer only if you want to learn a few basic moves
    from your best and only bro...
                                                                           
    Shin: (stops attacking) "It's getting dark. Let's call it a day."
    Lin : "Alright, Shin, let's go home!"
                                                                           
            You're now back to your good 'ol sexy self, so draw your sword
    and proceed south. Fight the welcoming samurais, beat him up, get your
    prize, (shuriken) and again head south. You again fight two swordsmen,
    so no problem. Take them one at a time and your done. Go through the gate
    (grabbing the heal herb on the way) to find yet another pair of samurai.
    You'll again head south after again beating up a pair of baddies. Only one
    samurai will face you this time and he'll be very easy to defeat. Move
    on through the arch. Damn it, another pair of swordsmen! This is getting
    monotonous, but, just consider this level a practice level. Head south,
    obviously, after you show off your ninja skills and then fight another
    samurai. Obtain your first Happourinkosho and again head south to find
    a badly wounded comrade...
                                                                           
    Lin    : "Hanzo!"
    Hanzo  : "Li-lin. Wh-why are you here?"
    Lin    : (thinks: "He's hurt bad!") "Don't move, I have to treat your wounds."
    Hanzo  : "Lin. Why did you have to come?"
    Law man: (arrives) "So this is where you hid, you shogunate dog!"
    Lin    : (draws her sword)
    Law man: "Hm? Another of your ninja friends? How convenient!"
             (draws his sword)
                                                                           
                                                                           
    Strategy:
                                                                           
            Wow, your first boss! Well, not really. He's just another samurai
    with a longer life bar. Treat him like you would any minor opponent and
    you'll be fine. Oh and don't bother trying to kill the men in olive green.
    They'll never quit. Just concetrate on slashing the one in dark violet
    cause once he's out all the minions will leave.
                                                                           
                                                                           
    Walkthrough:
                                                                           
            After you kill him, and no more pawns arrive, you check on Hanzo's
    dying condition...
                                                                           
    Lin  : "Hang on, Hanzo! What happened?"
    Hanzo: "Our identities as ninjas were known to them from the start."
    Lin  : "I was attacked as soon as I arrived. But why?"
    Hanzo: "This fiefdom is behind the disappearance of the transport ship."
    Lin  : "Just as I thought. What are they doing with the gold?"
    Hanzo: "Genzo is investigating that. Ken is searching for Master."
    Lin  : "Genzo and Ken? Where are they now?"
    Hanzo: "I don't know. They should have their findings with them."
    Lin  : "And what about you, Hanzo?"
    Hanzo: "I'm searching for the sword, Rakuyo, that was loaded with the gold."
           "I hid my papers at our safe house. G-g-go there."
    Lin  : "I will. Hanzo. Hang on!"
    Hanzo: "L-lin. M-master Sh-shin..."
    Lin  : "Shin? What happened to my brother? Hanzo?!"
    Hanzo: (dies)
    Lin  : "Hanzo, I promise, I will avenge your death."
                                                                           
            Every after a level boss is defeated, you get to save your game.
    This boss is no different.
                                                                           
    Save point quote: "Butcher-bird is gone
                       I frown that no longer can
                       I hear the bird sing"
                                                                           
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
     _  _  _  _  ____  ____
    ( \/ )( \/ )(_  _)(_  _)
     )  (  \  /  _)(_  _)(_
    (_/\_)  \/  (____)(____)()
           ____  ____  ____    __     ___  _   _  ____  ____  _  _
          (_  _)(  _ \( ___)  /__\   / __)( )_( )( ___)(  _ \( \/ )
            )(   )   / )__)  /(__)\ ( (__  ) _ (  )__)  )   / \  /
           (__) (_)\_)(____)(__)(__) \___)(_) (_)(____)(_)\_) (__)
                                                                           
                                                                           
    Prologue text: Hanzo, a ninja sent after Shin, manages to brief Lin despite
                   his grave injury. He directs her to seek out a safe house
                   as his life ebbs away. But he succmbs before he could inform
                   her of Shin. Lin is left to seek the others and her brother
                   alone.
                                                                           
    Lin: "So where is Hanzo's safe house?"
                                                                           
            Lin meets up with Kotaro once again...
                                                                           
    Kotaro: "Hi, honey. Remember me?"
          : "I'm Kotaro Hiba. We seem to run into each other."
    Lin   : "...I'm Lin. I suppose we're both lucky to be alive."
          : (thinks: "This isn't the time for this!")
          : "I'm sorry, but I have no time for idle chats. I'm going.
    Kotaro: "Wait, before you go..."
            "Honey, do you know anything about this?"
            (hands over something)
    Lin   : (thinks: "This is in code! And it's Genzo's writing!")
            "Who did you get this from? Is he still alive?"
            (thinks: "Genzo must be dead. Why? what went wrong?")
    Kotaro: "No, he's dead. What does that say? I can't read it at all."
    Lin   : "Why do you want to know?"
            "You shouldn't get involved in this!"
    Kotaro: "I can't ignore this. If I had a kid sister, she'd be like you."
    Lin   : "You, you have no right to say that."
            "But, I still owe you. Thanks for this."
            "Thank you. Farewell."
            (leaves Kotaro) "I guess I have no choice but to check every house."
            (obtained stork code letter)
                                                                           
                                                                           
    Walkthrough:
                                                                           
            If you choose to, you can re-save your game in the save point
    nearby. (buddha statue, remember?)
                                                                           
    Save point quote: "Gliding in the winds
                       the wagtail flies and feels like
                       king of the whole sky"
                                                                           
            Otherwise, or if you're through, head south and back to where it
    all started. Continue south, get your heal herb, and enter the house in
    front of you...
                                                                           
    Lin: "Is it here?" (enters)
       : "I have to check every house."
                                                                           
            Just stick to the walls and hit the [] button repeatedly to make
    sure you have checked everything. You'll know you're done when she has
    already said all of these:
                                                                           
    Lin: "Stone Pavement, it says."
       : "Banner, it reads."
       : "Broken Lamp, it says."
       : "Path of Guiding Light, it reads."
       : "Temple, it says."
       : "Broken Lamp, Stone Pavement, Banner, Path of Guiding Light, and Temple."
       : "Temple is obvious, but I wonder what the rest means."
       : "I wonder how they fit together."
                                                                           
            Exit the house (south, of course) to discover a spy...
                                                                           
    Lin  : "Who's there?!"
         : "Genzo! I heard you were dead! I'm so glad you're alright!
    Genzo: "Li-lin?"
         : "Alright? Come see for yourself if this is alright!"
         : (removes the basket covering his head to reveal a monstrous face!)
    Lin  : "Eeyaaaah!"
    Genzo: "Y-you too can join me!"
                                                                           
                                                                           
    Strategy:
                                                                           
            Wow, your first REAL boss! Just block all his attacks and retaliate
    with your basic three-slash combo. Easy, really, but at least he's the
    first guy not to act like a minor samurai opponent. 
                                                                           
                                                                           
    Walkthrough:
                                                                           
            After Genzo is killed a second time...
                                                                           
    Lin: "...Genzo...Why..."
                                                                           
            There's no explanation for this, but suddenly you have obtained
    the SHIGURE! (maybe it was what Genzo used when he was still human?)
    Anyway, time to save your game again.
                                                                           
    Save point quote: "The high autumn sky
                       after losing one's calmness
                       the thrush will return not"
                                                                           
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
     _  _  _  _  ____  ____  ____      ____    __    _  _  ____  _  _
    ( \/ )( \/ )(_  _)(_  _)(_  _)    (  _ \  /__\  ( \/ )( ___)( \( )
     )  (  \  /  _)(_  _)(_  _)(_      )   / /(__)\  \  /  )__)  )  (
    (_/\_)  \/  (____)(____)(____)()  (_)\_)(__)(__)  \/  (____)(_)\_)
                                                                           
                                                                           
    Prologue text: Lin runs, aghast at the news of Genzo's death as told by
                   the ronin she had met before. She is confronted by Genzo,
                   who has been transformed. Having killed her former ally,
                   Lin heads to the sea, taking a winding path through a
                   forest of ravens.
                                                                           
    Walkthrough:
                                                                           
            You're again situated on the path leading to the forest, as in
    level 1, so equip your new sword and proceed south. Fight the welcoming ninja,
    beat him up, get your prize, (heal herb) and again head south. You again
    fight another ninja, so no problem. When your done, go through the gate
    (grabbing the shuriken on the way) to find yet another pair of ninjas.
    You'll again head south after again beating up a pair of baddies. Only
    one ninja will face you this time and he'll be very easy to defeat. Move
    on through the arch. Damn it, another ninja! Head south, obviously, after
    you show off YOUR ninja skills and then fight another ninja. Obtain your
    another heal herb and again head south to find to where you last saw Hanzo.
    Get your first Explosive Shuriken while beating the crap out of the Ninja
    guarding it and head south. Nothing, here, exit west to get a nice view
    of the forest ahead...
                                                                           
    Lin: "I should come out at the beach when I get through this forest."
                                                                           
            Ooops, don't get too excited! Grab your first Hourokudama at the
    center-Northern area of screen and THEN move on. (south, I mean) You'll
    be greated by an accomodating ninja...
                                                                           
    Ninja: "Halt! Not another step!"
                                                                           
            Don't be intimidated by all the fanfare this ninja got, he's just
    an extra. Kill him swiftly and proceed north-west. Nothing here so head
    east. Nothing here again ('cept that big Antidote sitting on the lower-left
    rock) Head south for a little action with the ninja there, and move on
    west to gain access to another save point.
                                                                           
    Save point quote: "Walk the many roads
                       dance and turn to blow away
                       the dews on the way."
                                                                           
            Head north to find another empty area, again, 'cept for a free
    heal herb, and proceed west. Damn it, another empty area! (doesn't that
    just makes you feel something wrong is going on?) This time the road forks,
    take the north-bound one. Alright! Some action! Three girls guard a stone
    shrine with a shining blue thingy on it. Deal with the three beauts first,
    then hit [] on the shrine to obtain a stone key. One of these girls may
    hit you with their projectile and then your life bar turns violet---your
    poisoned! Unless you have an antidote, which you should use right away,
    your life will constantly decrease until you die so be careful. The path
    leads to two separate ways. Don't worry, you can always go back to the
    other path when you change your mind but, for now, to avoid confusion,
    let's follow the "right" path. Fight and slay another pair of those
    poisonous babes on move on north. You'll get another antidote which would
    be guarded by another lady opponent. Like I said, let's always take the
    "right" path first. There's another stone key in this area, this time guarded
    only by two high-jumping babes. Do your job, collect your prize, and head
    west. Fight another pair, get the ointment, and head north. Saving time.
                                                                           
    Save point quote: still the same
                                                                           
            Head north-east(the "right" path, remember?) to find another
    empty area with another prize, an ointment. Exit west to find some sort
    of training area in the middle of the forest...
                                                                           
    Karasu: "Hold it there!" (jumps from atop the bamboo platforms)
    Lin   : (draws her sword)
    Karasu: "You're one of the ninjas"
          : "You're not getting past me."
    Lin   : "Who are you?"
    Karasu: "Shin, he's your brother, right? A good looking boy."
    Lin   : "You know my brother? Where is he?"
    Karasu: "You can take that mystery to the grave!"
                                                                           
                                                                           
    Strategy:
                                                                           
            She'll allow you to get a free whack at her by dancing for a few
    seconds, so punish her immediately. After that, just block all day, dash
    to where she is, and whack. Be careful though, as she has an unblockable.
    You'll know she'll do it when she stays too long in mid-air and releases
    a blue aura. Sidestep quickly and counter attack to ensure victory.
    When you finally cut her down, she'll turn blue, grow wings, and become
    a grotesque monster! She'll again allow you to get a free whack at her
    by dancing for a few seconds, so punish her immediately. After that, just
    do what you did earlier, keeping in mind that she'll be having another
    unblockable move---a flashkick---that won't be as detectable as the first
    one.
                                                                           
                                                                           
    Walkthrough:
                                                                           
            She dies a second time, and you make a second plea...
                                                                           
    Lin   : "Please. Tell me. Where is my brother?"
    Karasu: "He's down at the beach."
          : "It'll be a tearful reunion." (dies)
    Lin   : "Shin. He couldn't be..."
                                                                           
            No more opponents will bother you for the rest of this level,
    unless you decide to go back. Anyway, head west to exit this training
    area and proceed north twice. Grab the ointment, and again head for north...
                                                                           
    Lin: "I can smell the sea. I must be close."
                                                                           
    Save point quote: "Rice plans been peck on
                       scarecrow chases birds away
                       it is just his job"
                                                                           
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
     _  _  ____  _  _      __  __    __    ____   _  _  ____  ___  ___
    ( \/ )(_  _)( \/ )    (  \/  )  /__\  (  _ \ ( \( )( ___)/ __)/ __)
     )  (  _)(_  )  (      )    (  /(__)\  )(_) ) )  (  )__) \__ \\__ \
    (_/\_)(____)(_/\_)()  (_/\/\_)(__)(__)(____/ (_)\_)(____)(___/(___/
                                                                           
                                                                           
    Prologue text: Lin fends off the concerted attacks of ninjas in the quise
                   of ravens as she races through the forest. She is challenged
                   by Karasu, the leader of the ravens. Defeated by Lin, the
                   dying ninja confides that Shin can be found at the beach.
                                                                           
                                                                           
    Walkthrough:
                                                                           
            Your journey through the forest was interrupted by that save point,
    and now you must move on. Head west to find an antidote you must collect
    and to once again head in the same direction. You'll be given a full view
    of the once lovely beach...
                                                                           
    Lin: "There's the transport ship."
                                                                           
            There's a heal herb nearby (east) so go now and grab it. Head
    for the center of the screen and battle the two ninjas and get the heal
    herb at the upper-right hand corner of the screen. Head west to get your
    hands on another ninja and the shuriken he's guarding at the lower left
    of the screen. Exit north, grab your first Enmakudama, and again exit
    north to encounter for the first time a group of Wolverines (yeah, I meant
    the X-man, not the animal) Be careful when hittin one of them, as the
    remaining two will try and claw you from behind. Head east when you're
    done just to collect a free ointment then go back west, twice. Fight
    and beat up the two ninjas that appear. Head another west, then south,
    collecting the Explosive Shuriken on the way. Show off against the next
    ninja, and grab your Happourinkosho. Head south-east, battle another pair
    of Wolverines, grab the heal herb near the hut, exit west, dis[pose of
    the second pair of Wolverines on the bridge (the second on drops from
    behind) and exit, yet again, west. Only one Wolveerine will challenge
    you this time, so deal with him with ease. Proceed north, kill another
    pair of Wolverines, grab the ointment, head north-west, and again deal with a
    pair of Wolverines. Exit north and, oh yeah, another save point.
                                                                           
    Save point quote: "The storm blows strongly
                       among the waves up and down
                       bobs the helpless boat"
                                                                           
            What else to do but head north?...
                                                                           
    Lin  : (spots two men and hides) "That's Lord Tohjo!"
    Oda  : "We have moved the last of the gold."
    Tohjo: "Fine. What became of the sword that was said to be in the cargo?"
    Oda  : "Regrettably, it appears that someone has already taken it."
    Tohjo: "That sword is Rakuyo"
         : "It is said that the sword steals the souls of those it kills."
         : "Find it, no matter what."
    Oda  : "As you wish, my liege."
    Lin  : (reveals herself) "Don't move!"
    Tohjo: "Hm? Ah, another of the shogun's ninja's? You're much too late."
    Lin  : "No one would have suspected you of robbing the gold."
         : "You don't think the shogunate will take this lying down?"
    Tohjo: "So what of the shogun? That spineless dog isn't fit to rule!"
         : "I am destined to become the new leader!"
    Oda  : "Lord Tohjo, we should go."
    Tohjo: "Fine."
    Oda  : "Summon the guards!" (leaves with Tohjo)
    Lin  : "Stop! Tch! (surrounded by guards)
                                                                           
                                                                           
    Strategy:
                                                                           
            Beating these bosses won't end the level, but you still can't
    escape from them. They're a lot more aggresive and of course, damaging
    than the average Wolverine. Just keep in mind that their AI is still the
    same and strategies for their "normal" versions can apply. Watch out
    for their sudden high jumps off the screen to dropping claw attacks, along
    with their teleports to team work moves, and you'll be fine.
                                                                           
                                                                           
    Walkthrough:
                                                                           
    Shin: "Useless dregs. Beaten by a mere girl!"
    Lin : (notices Shin standing atop the boat) "Sh-shin!"
    Shin: (jumps down) "I see that you have improved, dear sister."
        : "But you're still no match for me!" (leaves)
    Lin : "Wa-wait! Shin!" (tries to run after her brother)
                                                                           
            Ok, before you start looking for your bro, check the sand out
    first, and notice a bag of Foreign Medicine! (makes you think you'll
    need it, huh?) Head back south and re-save your game.
                                                                           
    Save point quote: "Swallows in sunset
                       with dreams never coming true
                       thin clouds remain calm"
                                                                           
            From this save point, go back (defeating every opponent on your
    path) to the nearest other save point which should be found by following
    this sequence: south-west, east twice, north-east, north, north-west,
    north-east, and finally east. Ok, that doesn't really lead you to the
    save point yet, but...
                                                                           
    Lin : "Please, tell me Shin. What are you thinking?"
        : "All our friends were killed!"
    Shin: "Listen, Lin. I have no desire to see peace in our time."
    Lin : "What are you saying?"
    Shin: "Don't you understand? We're starting a war so Lord Tohjo can rule."
        : "That gold is going to pay for our war."
    Lin : "But that's insane! What happened to you?"
    Shin: "Even you agree with Genzo and the others? Shame."
    Lin : "Shin, wake up! Let's go home!"
    Shin: "Foolish child! It is my duty as a brother to kill you!"
                                                                           
                                                                           
    Strategy:
                                                                           
            Parry, parry, parry! Block his every slash and immediately tap
    [] afterwards for a quick hit. Concentrate on landing one hit at a time
    and avoid combos cause he'll most likely parry the second or third attack
    and hit you hard. Don't release that block after gettting hit by a multitude
    of shurikens cause they're bound to make a return trip and you won't
    get injured even if you're hit from behind if you just block. If he charges
    up, he'll do an unblockable move that's sooo high on damage! Just wait'
    till the sfx of the charge up is over, wait a sec more, and then jump
    for him. He'll miss, and you'll get a free stab.
                                                                           
                                                                           
    Walkthrough:
                                                                           
            After you've defeated your beloved brother, you shall have obtained
    the RAIMEI. Then you get one last cinematic before the chapter ends...
                                                                           
    Lin : "Shin, why?"
    Shin: "Soul bugs."
    Lin : "Soul bugs?"
    Shin: "They're pure evil. They expose and exploit our darkest desires."
    Lin : "And these bugs..."
    Shin: "They infected me, and made me a slave to my worst evil thoughts."
        : "They brought out my deepest desire to fight and to kill."
        : "Now look at me."
    Lin : "Shin please get up. I, I can't go on without you."
    Shin: "You're not a child anymore! Quit your crying!"
        : "I can't be around for you anymore."
    Lin : "No! Shin!"
    Shin: "Lin. Th-they took the g-gold to the castle."
    Lin : "Shin, when I get you home..."
    Shin: "I'm s-s-sorry, Lin. The rest is up to you. Y-you can do it."
    Lin : "I need more training with you!"
    Shin: "Genzo, Hanzo, Ken w-wait f-for m-me..."
    Lin : "Shin? Shin!" (realizes Shin has passed away)
          (obtained BROKEN PLAQUE)
                                                                           
    Save point quote: "In the sunset sky
                       the swallow flies far away
                       beyond the thick clouds"
                                                                           
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
     _  _  _  _      ____   ____  __  __  _____  _  _  ___
    ( \/ )( \/ )    (  _ \ ( ___)(  \/  )(  _  )( \( )/ __)
     )  (  )  (      )(_) ) )__)  )    (  )(_)(  )  ( \__ \
    (_/\_)(_/\_)()  (____/ (____)(_/\/\_)(_____)(_)\_)(___/
                                                                           
                                                                           
    Prologue text: Lin finds her brother Shin perched atop the beached ship.
                   But infected by a soul bug, her once loving brother turns
                   on her with only murderous rage. Despair tearing at her
                   sanity, Lin lifted her sword to face the only family she
                   had known.
                                                                           
            Lin heads back to the village square...
                                                                           
    Lin: "Ninja. Duty. I have nothing left."
       : "It's awfully quiet. Where is everybody?"
       : "There are monsters in the square!"
                                                                           
                                                                           
    Walkthrough: 
                                                                           
            A multitude of zombies will attack you but all of them need only
    one hit to die so don't fret and equip your brother's weapon. If you manage
    to kill more than three hundred of them (highly possible only if you ignore
    the two goodies found near your starting point) before the next cinematic,
    you'll acquire...INFINITE SHURIKEN! Awright! Wait a minute, did you notice
    the two extra moves at your disposal when you equipped the Raimei? Well,
    then try them! (they're the Crimcon Peacock and Flame Lily)
                                                                           
    Lin: "I guess I got the last of them."
                                                                           
            Two "what the @#&%?"s come out from the ground and attack you.
                                                                           
                                                                           
    Strategy:
                                                                           
            Just GO BERSERK! Combo like crazy and run if they start burrowing
    cause they'll come out from beneath you. Very easy stage, believe me,
    absolutely nothing to worry about.
                                                                           
                                                                           
    Walkthrough:
                                                                           
            You have, upon killing these montrosities, the BYAKUYA. I'd still
    prefer your brother's weapon than this but, it's really your choice of
    trying it or not...
                                                                           
    Lin: "It's time I went home."
                                                                           
    Save point quote: "Devouring the souls
                       of evil ghosts and goblins
                       earthworms making cries"
                                                                           
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
     _  _  _  _  ____      ____   ____  ___  ____    __    ____  ____
    ( \/ )( \/ )(_  _)    (  _ \ ( ___)/ __)(  _ \  /__\  (_  _)(  _ \
     )  (  )  (  _)(_      )(_) ) )__) \__ \ )___/ /(__)\  _)(_  )   /
    (_/\_)(_/\_)(____)()  (____/ (____)(___/(__)  (__)(__)(____)(_)\_)
                                                                           
                                                                           
    Prologue text: The village have been turned into a charnel house of the
                   dead and demons. Lin, dazed and broken by her brother's
                   death, is beset by the unholy hordes. Without feeling,
                   she becomes a ruthless and efficient exterminator. In the
                   end, she stands as she started, all alone.
                                                                           
            Lin and Kotaro meet for a third time...
                                                                           
    Kotaro: "Lin."
    Lin   : "Kotaro?"
    Kotaro: "Have you heard about soul bugs?"
    Lin   : "They're foul parasites that make monsters out of people."
    Kotaro: "Those things have infected the entire fiefdom."
    Lin   : "The soul bugs took someone I loved from me."
            "This is all I have to remember him by."
            (shows something to Kotaro)
    Kotaro: "So you had a lover."
            "Lin. you were looking into what Tohjo was doing. Tell me."
    Lin   : "No, it's over. I don't have any reason to keep fighting."
    Kotaro: "Lin! Snap out of it!"
            (holds Lin tightly)
            "Stop your sobbing. You're acting like a..."
    Lin   : "Let go of me! I'm, I'm..."
    Kotaro: "I know, not a kid."
            (lets go of Lin)
    Lin   : "..."
            "They sank the shogun's transport ship and stole the gold."
    Kotaro: "So, they're using that money to prepare for war."
            "With the soul bugs, all you need are corpses to make an army."
    Lin   : "From corpses."
    Kotaro: "Lin."
    Lin   : "Yes?"
    Kotaro: "I understand that you're broken up over losing your man."
            "But we're the only two left who can fight."
            "You're though enough to take it, right?"
    Lin   : "No, I'm still a kid."
    Kotaro: "Heh, you're sure now?"
    Lin   : "Our target is Gendo Tohjo in the castle."
    Kotaro: "That's where we're headed."
    Lin   : "Kotaro, go from the inside. I'll approach from outside."
    Kotaro: "Alright. You watch yourself!"
    Lin   : (as she left) "Listen!"
            "It was my brother!"
    Kotaro: "Hm?"
    Lin   : "It was my older brother who died."
    Kotaro: "Oh, ah, I'm sorry."
    Lin   : "..."
            "I'll meet you in the castle!"
            (leaves and thinks: "Shin, please protect us.")
                                                                           
                                                                           
    Walkthrough:
                                                                           
            You may save your game again, as you are near a save point, but
    I'd rather not to save time. Head north, north-west, and then east to
    start your journey towards the castle. Go for a series of norths, sheathing
    your sword and ignoring the demons, to finally reach the castle gates.
    Kill the two welcoming monks and the other two north of them (who are
    probably already zombies by now) via infinite shuriken and you wouldn't
    suffer a scratch. Proceed northwest and grab the ointment to your left.
    Head northwest and notice the save point beside a second gate. Save your
    game, of course.
                                                                           
    Save point quote: "Meaning no hatred
                       kill with the sword to make bloom
                       the Patrinia"
                                                                           
            Head east and jump from rock to rock until you reach the roof,
    well, sort of. Exit north west. Grab the ointment, sheath your sword,
    and start ignoring your enemies, or you'll get tired of them. Proceed
    west, then north. Grab the ointment on the far east, and head north.
    Continue north, jump your way to another north, and then east twice. You'll
    be rewarded with another shuriken, which of course you don't need anymore.
    Head east, then north, grab a Happourinkosho, head east, grab a Foreign
    Medicine, jump your way to the north twice, and voila! a save point!
                                                                           
    Save point quote: still the same
                                                                           
            Enter the door, obviously, to fight your last boss...
                                                                           
            Lin finds Tohjo dead under the hands of Kotaro
                                                                           
    Kotaro: "What took you? I guess this is the end."
    Lin   : "It seems little too easy."
                                                                           
            Then Tohjo is resurrected, and extra arms sprout from his body.
                                                                           
    Lin: "He was infected with a soul bug too!"
    Kotaro: "Damn! I should have known!"
    Lin: "Kotaro, stand back, let me take him this time!"
                                                                           
                                                                           
    Strategy:
                                                                           
            Use your ever so invaluable infinite shuriken to subdue him and
    play keep away. When he's got low life, he'll start engulfing you with
    flames so keep an eye out for your burning feet and you'll know when to
    jump or side step. He'll try to close in on you, but you'll fend him
    off with a multitude of five hit combos. Beware his electric claws, cause
    they're unblockable.
                                                                           
                                                                           
    Walkthrough:
                                                                           
             Just when you thought you have defeated the last boss...
                                                                           
             A stairway suddenly appears from nowhere.
                                                                           
    Voice : "Come. Up here."
    Lin   : "A set of stairs!"
    Kotaro: "I guess it's not over yet."
    Lin   : "It looks that way. Let's go."
                                                                           
    Save point quote: "Right at this moment
                       a winter cherry ripe enough
                       to fall and disappear"
                                                                           
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
     _  _  _  _  ____  ____
    ( \/ )( \/ )(_  _)(_  _)
     )  (  )  (  _)(_  _)(_
    (_/\_)(_/\_)(____)(____)()
             __    ___   ___  ____  _  _  ____     __    _  _   ___  ____
            /__\  / __) / __)( ___)( \( )(  _ \   /__\  ( \( ) / __)( ___)
           /(__)\ \__ \( (__  )__)  )  (  )(_) ) /(__)\  )  ( ( (__  )__)
          (__)(__)(___/ \___)(____)(_)\_)(____/ (__)(__)(_)\_) \___)(____)
                                                                           
                                                                           
    Prologue text: A homecoming ronin and a shogunate ninja seeking her sibling,
                   brought together by cruel twists of fate, are united in
                   righteous anger to end the nightmare. Before their eyes,
                   a stairway appears, inviting them to come face to face
                   with ultimate evil.
                                                                           
    Walkthrough:
                                                                           
    Kotaro: "Ryu Oda."
    Lin   : "..."
    Oda   : "I made the mistake of taking you too lightly."
          : "I never expected my plan to be disrupted by a ronin and a ninja."
    Lin   : "Your plan?"
    Kotaro: "So Tohjo happened to be just another of your puppets."
    Oda   : "So long as I am alive, my plan can easily be resurrected."
          : "But for what you have done..."
          : "You must make restitution!" (shows his now grotesque face)
    Lin   : "You, you deliberately let a soul bug infect you!"
    Oda   : "No! I took the power of the soul bugs to be reborn entirely!"
          : "I can now create my own soul bugs in my body!"
    Kotaro: "Damn! Not if I can help it!"
    Oda   : "Too late! Feel honored to witness the new ruler of the world!"
            (releases a great amout of energy and becomes a huge monster)
    Kotaro: "Wha-unbelievable!"
    Lin   : "This can't be!"
                                                                           
            You'll now be given a choice to fight either as Kotaro or as Lin.
    Choose wisely, or better yet, don't! Cause when your first choice gets KOed,
    the other will continue the fight, and there won't be any effect and the
    ending. My advice is, choose the one you DON'T want to fight with, deal
    all the damage you could using that character, and let yourself be KOed
    and finish Oda off with the character you like. But really, you can beat
    Oda single handedly if you got at least a heal herb and your best sword
    equipped. If you choose Kotaro...
                                                                           
    Kotaro: "Lin, let me. I'm not going to quit until it's finished."
    Lin   : "Kotaro, don't forget, I'll be right behind you."
    Kotaro: "If I fail, it's all up to you, Lin."
          : "This is it! Come on, you misbegotten freak!"
                                                                           
    If you choose Lin, however,...
                                                                           
    Lin   : "Kotaro, let me! Let me avenge my brother and the others!"
    Kotaro: "Alright, I'm right behind you. Give it everything you have!"
    Lin   : "If I fail, it's all up to you."
          : "Come on, you profane evil."
          : "Say your prayers!"
                                                                           
                                                                           
    Strategy:
                                                                           
            His opening move is a cheapy laser beam that'd hit you no matter
    where you are except if you jump. Evade that attack, run for him, and combo
    like crazy. Don't care how much you hit or he hits anymore, cause this
    is definitely your last fight and you're free to use ALL your heal herbs
    ointments, etc. Watch for your life bar, replenish when needed, and...
    good luck!
                                                                           
                                                                           
    Walkthrough:
                                                                           
            When his life bar is all used up, he'll stand right in front of
    you and do absolutely nothing. What do you do? SLASH HIM! He'll explode,
    and you'll get to see the last eye candy, an FMV, depending on who got
    the last slash, which I wouldn't be saying anything anymore about because
    if I did, you might not have any reason to play anymore!
                                                                           
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
     _  _  _  _  ____  ____  ____      ____  ____    __    __
    ( \/ )( \/ )(_  _)(_  _)(_  _)    (  _ \( ___)  /__\  (  )
     )  (  )  (  _)(_  _)(_  _)(_      )   / )__)  /(__)\  )(__
    (_/\_)(_/\_)(____)(____)(____)()  (_)\_)(____)(__)(__)(____)
                                       ____  _  _  ____   ____  _  _   ___
                                      ( ___)( \( )(  _ \ (_  _)( \( ) / __)
                                       )__)  )  (  )(_) ) _)(_  )  ( ( (_-.
                                      (____)(_)\_)(____/ (____)(_)\_) \___/
                                                                           
                                                                           
    Lord Tohjo is defeated, and so is Ryu Oda, who was the real mastermind
    of all this chaos. You then...hey! I told you I wouldn't tell! *zzzzip!*
    (now go on and finish the game!)
                                                                           
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
      _  _  _  _  ____  _  _      __    ____  _  _ / ___
     ( \/ )( \/ )(_  _)( \/ )    (  )  (_  _)( \( ) / __)
      )  (  )  (  _)(_  \  /      )(__  _)(_  )  (  \__ \
     (_/\_)(_/\_)(____)  \/  ()  (____)(____)(_)\_) (___/
                                  ___  ____   ___  ____  ____  ____  ___
                                 / __)( ___) / __)(  _ \( ___)(_  _)/ __)
                                 \__ \ )__) ( (__  )   / )__)   )(  \__ \
                                 (___/(____) \___)(_)\_)(____) (__) (___/
                                                                           
                                                                           
    1. Townsfolk - How do you find out and make sure who among the townsfolk
                   you have to talk to in order to trigger an event? I've
                   got a simple yet brutal strategy for you...(any ideas?
                   hehe) Ok, you KILL them all! If you don't want to read
                   on, fine. So you still wanna? OK, killing the townsfolk
                   does NOT have any penalty on you so you can go around doing
                   that (if it's not against your conscience, that is, hehe)
                   Once you've killed everyone in a certain scene, exit and
                   re-enter the said scene. If you find one of your common
                   townsfolk resurrected,(!) he/she's the one to talk to.
                                                                           
                                                                           
    2. Gold key - Remember the pair of stone keys you got in level 3? You
                  didn't use them right? Well, notice how they instantly
                  vanish from your inventory after you exit the level, which
                  means you'll have to use them BEFORE the level ends. Here's
                  how: First of all, there are actually THREE of them in
                  forest, so you'll have to find the last one first. Let's
                  start from the save point just before Karasu's territory.
                  Sheath your sword, go back (south-west) collect your ointment,
                  and ignore the three opponents that grace that scene. Continue
                  ignoring and jumping over your every opponent as you go
                  east and collect the third stone key there, southeast, south,
                  thrice, and then west. Enter the room, get the Hourokodama
                  to your north, and hit [] where the shining item lies. The
                  door will close, and you shall have obtained the Gold Keys.
                  Wait! you're not done yet...
                                                                           
                  Lin: "Trapped? I can't remove this?"
                                                                           
                  Now turn around and use the three stone keys you have collected
                  and get out of that hot room.
                                                                           
                                                                           
    3. Clown Code Letter - Now that you have the Gold Keys, you'd be wondering
                           where to put that in. Here goes: Head north, northeast,
                           north twice, west, north, and save.
                                                                           
                           Save point quote: still the same
                                                                           
                           Make your way to Karasu (refer to that section
                           of this faq), defeat her, and exit west. Now comes
                           the secret part. Remember me telling you to head
                           north twice? Ok, now I take that back! Go to the
                           big door there (west) and...
                                                                           
                           Lin: "It's locked."
                                                                           
                           Now use your Gold Keys to open this large door
                           and then what else to do but enter? 
                                                                           
                           Lin: "Ken!"
                              : "Everyone died..."
                              : "Shin, please be safe!"
                                                                           
                           You'll notice the shining blue thingy (it's a CLOWN
                           CODE LETTER) next to Ken, of course, so get it!
                           There'll also be a Hourokudama nearby(west) so
                           grab that too. Exit the room, head north twice,
                           and you know the rest...(or just refer to that
                           section of my faq)
                                                                           
                                                                           
    4. Infinite Shuriken - I already told you this right? Well, just in case
                           you took a peek at this portion first, here's how:
                           In the fourth level, "Demons", a multitude of zombies
                           will attack you but all of them need only one hit
                           to die so don't fret and equip your brother's weapon.
                           If you manage to kill more than three hundred of
                           them (highly possible only if you ignore the two
                           goodies found near your starting point) before
                           the next cinematic, you'll acquire...INFINITE
                           SHURIKEN! 
                                                                           
                                                                           
    5. Changing Clothes - In chapter 5, "Despair", instead of heading north,
                          northwest, then east to start your journey towards
                          the castle, go west and grab another one of those
                          shining blues (Gold Framed Glasses) in front of
                          the buddha statue and save your game (you know where,
                          right? NORTH!) Now, head west, east, northeast,
                          and finally another west. Enter the house with the
                          violet cloth in front...
                                                                           
                          Ito: "Ah, those gold eyeglasses!"
                             : "Miss, I would be very grateful if you could
                                return them to me."
                          Lin: "Why yes, certainly."
                          Ito: "Thank you so kindly! I can't thank you enough!"
                             : "Ah, I know what I can do to show my thanks!"
                             : "If we have any clothing that suits you, it's
                                yours!"
                                                                           
                          Choose from five different yet all cool-looking
                          costumes (including your own), I'd prefer the...
                          well, the... dam! I can't choose! Anyway, my choice
                          is irrelivant. Now, YOU choose...
                                                                           
                          Ito: "Ah, it suits you wonderfully!"
                             : "You'll just slay the men!"
                             : "If you ever get tired of that outfit, please
                                come exchange it."                                                                       
                                                                           
    6. Rakuyo - Ok, enough of the fashion statements, and on with another
                secret, also in the same level. Sheath your sword and ignore
                everyone as you head on north, southwest, south, west, north
                twice, and save.
                                                                           
                Save point quote: "Tohjo Castle
                                   evil presence in the dark
                                   fills the air and night"
                                                                           
                Continue north, get the two foreign medicines, and proceed
                north. Grab the not so obvious item there, a little to your
                right, at the broken lamp, (as the clue stated) hit [] to
                obtain the HELMET CODE LETTER. You may continue north for
                more goodies, but I'll just talk about the secret. So, head
                back to the village square, which you probably are familiar
                of by now, and head east, south, and then another east. This
                is the way to get to the forest right? Ok, now just move on
                (refer to that section of this faq) until you reach the house
                with the bright white cloth in front of it, just before you
                enter the forest itself. Enter the house...
                                                                           
                Lin       : "Excuse me, are you the only blacksmith in this
                             village?"
                Blacksmith: "Indeed, I am."
                Lin       : "My name is Lin. A coded note directed me to seek
                             you out."
                Blacksmith: "A shogunate ninja? I have been waiting for you."
                Lin       : "Then you are Taka?"
                Taka      : "Indeed, though I have not been called that in
                             years. Wait."
                          : (gets a sword) "This sword was revered by Shogun
                             Iyeyasu Tokugawa."
                Lin       : "Then that sword is Rakuyo? It was on the transport
                             ship?"
                Taka      : "It had been removed by Hanzo and brought to me
                             for safe keeping."
                Lin       : "Hanzo was killed by enemies of the shogunate."
                Taka      : "I see. Lin, was it?"
                Lin       : "Yes."
                Taka      : "There is nothing that this old man can do. It
                             is in your hands."
                Lin       : "I will do my utmost to deliver the sword to the
                             shogunate."
                Taka      : "Wait. For the upcoming battle, you need a better
                             weapon, no?"
                Lin       : "You are saying?"
                Taka      : "You have my blessing to test the sword on the
                             monsters about."
                Lin       : "I may do that?"
                Taka      : "Thwarting Tohjo's evil designs gets priority.
                          : "Nothing else matters."
                Lin       : "Thank you. I will treat it with utmost respect.
                          : "Farewell!"
                            (obtained RAKUYO)
                                                                           
                Yes! now you got that frequently mentioned sword throughout
                the game! Now just head back again to the village square,
                head west, then east to start your journey towards the castle.
                (You MAY opt to save your game at the buddha statue first,
                though)
                                                                           
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
      _  _  _  _  _  _       ___  ____  ____  ____   ____  ____  ___
     ( \/ )( \/ )( \/ )     / __)(  _ \( ___)(  _ \ (_  _)(_  _)/ __)
      )  (  )  (  \  /     ( (__  )   / )__)  )(_) ) _)(_   )(  \__ \
     (_/\_)(_/\_)  \/  ()   \___)(_)\_)(____)(____/ (____) (__) (___/
                                                                           
                                                                           
    Janice (my kid sis) for copying some of the in-game text for me when I
                        just didn't have the time
                                                                           
    Red Phoenix (red_phoenix_1@hotmail.com) for info on the whats and hows
                                            of ASCII arts
                                                                           
    Randy Hicks (rjhicks@home.com) for this little added info:
                                                                           
                "Those "quotes" are the hiakus, or Japanese short form poems.
                 I don't think they have anything to do with the game, or give
                 clues. They are just kind of telling what is happening in
                 the game. (well, sort of)"
                                                                           
    Gamefaqs.com for paying attention to this faq
    Konami and all its affiliates for creating such a great game
                                                                           
    Ms. AsianCuteness for inspiring me in just about everything I do!
                                                                           
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
      _  _  _  _  _  _  ____      ____  ____  _  _  ____  ___  ____  _____  _  _
     ( \/ )( \/ )( \/ )(_  _)    (  _ \( ___)( \/ )(_  _)/ __)(_  _)(  _  )( \( )
      )  (  )  (  \  /  _)(_      )   / )__)  \  /  _)(_ \__ \ _)(_  )(_)(  )  (
     (_/\_)(_/\_)  \/  (____)()  (_)\_)(____)  \/  (____)(___/(____)(_____)(_)\_)
                                  _   _  ____  ___  ____  _____  ____  _  _
                                 ( )_( )(_  _)/ __)(_  _)(  _  )(  _ \( \/ )
                                  ) _ (  _)(_ \__ \  )(   )(_)(  )   / \  /
                                 (_) (_)(____)(___/ (__) (_____)(_)\_) (__)
                                                                           
                                                                           
    v1.1 - fixed a few errors
                                                                            
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
      _  _  _  _  _  _  ____  ____      ____  ____  _  _    __    __
     ( \/ )( \/ )( \/ )(_  _)(_  _)    ( ___)(_  _)( \( )  /__\  (  )
      )  (  )  (  \  /  _)(_  _)(_      )__)  _)(_  )  (  /(__)\  )(__
     (_/\_)(_/\_)  \/  (____)(____)()  (__)  (____)(_)\_)(__)(__)(____)
                                        _    _  _____  ____  ____   ___
                                       ( \/\/ )(  _  )(  _ \(  _ \ / __)
                                        )    (  )(_)(  )   / )(_) )\__ \
                                       (__/\__)(_____)(_)\_)(____/ (___/
                                                                           
                                                                           
    Please feel free to email me if there's something about Kotaro I left out
    or if you just want to comment on my work. Thank you. If ever I revise
    this faq and add something you feel came from one of your emails to me,
    email me again and remind me bout it so I can give you credit. Thanks
    again.
                                                                           
    General tips - You can go back to any save point as much as you want and
                   save your progress again and again.
                 - On the higher levels, when you are faced with a variety
                   of opponents, you can sheath your sword on situations you
                   think are too tough for you, go back, and re-enter the place
                   to find a different set of enemies, possibly even less than
                   before!
                 - You can also keep your sword sheathed, run through the different
                   parts of the village, and always be allowed to passed through
                   the next area without having to beat the current opponents.
                   This is a risky strategy, however, because if your opponents
                   were able to hit you before you leave, you'll have nothing
                   to defend yourself with.
                 - Always block in hostile environment unless you're ready
                   to attack.
                 - Every after a chapter ends, you can re-visit every part
                   of the town now accessible and hope to find lots of goodies
                   and, unfortunately, badies as well.
                                                                           
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
                                                                           
    And just in case you read the last part of this faq before the first,
    allow  me restate my legal notice...
                                                                           
    By gaining access to this faq you agree to the following terms:                    
                                                                                       
    ___________________________________________________________________________________
    ===================================================================================
    ||                                                                               ||
    ||  1) I, Joseph Christopher, the author of this faq, is not in any way          ||
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    ||     by someone who lost to you via a technique found in this faq, and         ||
    ||     emotional ones, such as experiencing humiliation upon the use or          ||
    ||     most likely misuse of yet another technique found in this faq.            ||
    ||                                                                               ||
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    ||     out of ten chances are it is not in its latest update. You must           ||
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    ||     As for webmasters, web page contibutors, and all similar personnel,       ||
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    ||     phrase, word, and character contained within this file included and       ||
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    ||     preferable, though not required.                                          ||
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    ||     other hand, by indirectly I mean using a part of or all the contents      ||
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    ||     thus directly or again indirectly yielding profit.                        ||
    ||                                                                               ||
    ||  4) You will not use even a single phrase, sentence, or concept found         ||
    ||     anywhere in this faq on your own work, even if you expressed it in        ||
    ||     your own words, without at the very least giving me, Joseph Christopher,  ||
    ||     the author of this faq, full credit for it. If you in any way             ||
    ||     incorporated even a very minute part of the strategies found in this      ||
    ||     faq with your own in your work, then you must at the very least give      ||
    ||     me partial credit for it.                                                 ||
    ||                                                                               ||
    ||  5) Ignorance of the law excuses no one, therefore if ever anything           ||
    ||     unlawful is done to this faq and/or to me, its author, the appropriate    ||
    ||     legal actions will be taken. If at any point you disagree to this         ||
    ||     or any of the above statements, delete this faq immediately and discard   ||
    ||     any help it has done for you.                                             ||
    ||                                                                               ||
    ===================================================================================
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~