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                                 Vagrant Story

+=============================================================================+
+                            GMB Requirements Guide                           +
+                                                                             +
+                               by RandomNumbers                              +
+                                                                             +
+                           Version 1.00 - 12/20/06                           +
+=============================================================================+

               ***WARNING: THIS DOCUMENT MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS***

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                                  LEGAL NOTICE
                             +----============----+

The following sites have express permission to post this guide:

www.gameFAQs.com
www.neoseeker.com
www.supercheats.com
www.1up.com

If you would like to post this guide on your website, please contact me at
<rnumbers@gmail.com> and ask. Chances are good I won't turn you down. Please
don't post this guide without permission. Thank you.

                        +-----===================-----+
                              CONTACT INFORMATION
                         +----===================----+

Email may be sent to <rnumbers@gmail.com>. I try to answer all email that I
receive, but sometimes it takes a while. Unless you specifically request
otherwise, I may include portions of your email that I deem relevant in future
versions of this document. If I do, you will be given proper credit for the
contribution.

                          +-----===============-----+
                                VERSION HISTORY
                           +----===============----+

=======================
Version 1.00 - 12/20/06
=======================
-I've decided to close out this guide for now. It's not as complete as I would
like it to be, but since I don't think I'll be working on it much anytime soon,
I will go through, polish it as much as I can, and consider it 'complete.'

=======================
Version 0.91 - 07/08/06
=======================
-Just a quick update to revise contact information and other minor details.
Please note that I will no longer respond to emails sent to the old address.
Also, I lost several emails that people sent me about this game, for which I
apologize. If you email me at my new address, I'll try to include your
information next time 'round.

=======================
Version 0.90 - 10/26/04
=======================
-First version. Nearly complete. The main thing missing are some good
strategies for getting points. Basics are covered, though.

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                               TABLE OF CONTENTS
                          +----=================----+

     1 - INTRODUCTION
          1.1 - Purpose of this Guide

     2 - BECOMING A GMB
          2.1 - Requirements
               2.1.01 - Titles
               2.1.02 - Points
          2.2 - Strategies
               2.2.01 - 'Knight of Brilliance' Title
               2.2.02 - Amassing Points

     3 - CLOSING
          3.1 - Knights of Brilliance
          3.2 - Acknowledgements

On to the good stuff!

                         +-----================-----+
                               1 - INTRODUCTION
                          +----================----+

===========================
1.1 - Purpose of this Guide
===========================
The purpose of this guide is to outline the requirements for becoming a Grand
Master Breaker (GMB). As you probably already know, Grand Master Breaker is the
highest level you can attain in this game (specifically, Level 16).

I accomplished this only recently myself, and I was only able to do it with the
help of many of my fellow Vagrants on the VS message board. As a show of
thanks, I decided to write this guide collecting this information that, as far
as I know, does not exist anywhere else in its entirety. Hopefully it's of some
use to those of you who are about to pour another 10-20 hours of your lives
into a game that has probably already taken several times that. Time well
spent, I'd say.

Before I go on, let me just mention for the sake of having mentioned it that
this document will contain some spoilers. To anyone who's actually played this
game enough to contemplate going for GMB, this should not be an issue. Lastly,
I should mention that this guide was written for the North American version
of Vagrant Story. That does not necessarily mean that it won't apply to other
versions, just that you should be aware that it may not.

                         +-----==================-----+
                               2 - BECOMING A GMB
                          +----==================----+

==================
2.1 - Requirements
==================
For those of you interested in the quick and dirty version of the requirements
to attain the rank of GMB, they are: (a) 16 of the first 16 titles and (b)
100,000,000 points. That's right, a cool hundred million. See below for more
details

---------------
2.1.01 - Titles
---------------
Of the 32 titles that you can earn in this game, only the first 16 are
necessary to become a GMB. This is good because earning some of the other
titles (two in particular) are very time consuming. Below is a list of the
titles that are required, and what you need to do to earn them. Note that this
requirement makes it impossible to attain the rank of GMB on a first play-
through.

01 - SEEKER OF TRUTH - Finished the game once.

02 - CONQUEROR OF THE DARK - Finished the game within ten hours.

03 - TREASURE HUNTER - Checked all the chests in the game.

04 - WANDERER IN DARKNESS - Visited every map location in the game.

05 - DESTROYER OF GAEUS - Defeated Damascus Golem in Forgotten Passage.

06 - HUNTER OF THE SNOWPLAINS - Defeated Damascus Crab in Snowfly Forest East.

07 - ALLY OF THE WOOD - Defeated Ravana in Iron Maiden B2.

08 - SLAYER OF THE WYRM - Defeated Dragon Zombie in Iron Maiden B2

09 - VANQUISHER OF DEATH - Defeated Death and Ogre Zombie in Iron Maiden B2.

10 - WARRIOR OF ASURA - Defeated Asura in Iron Maiden B3.

11 - CONQUEROR OF TIME - Received an 'Excellent!!' rating for all the Time
                         Attack battles.

12 - KNIGHT OF BRILLIANCE - Turned out more than 30 Chain Abilities in a row.

13 - BEARER OF THE NEW WORLD - Found the rare item Gold Key.

14 - HOARD FINDER - Found the rare item Chest Key.

15 - HANDS OF MIGHT - Mastered all Break Arts.

16 - HANDS OF SKILL - Mastered all Battle Abilities.

---------------
2.1.02 - Points
---------------
A table of how many points are required to get each level is listed below. Note
that for the last three titles, there are some Title requirements as well 
(though I'm no longer completely sure about the requirements for Levels 14 and
15).

LEVEL  RANK                   POINTS       TITLES REQUIRED
-----  ---------------------  -----------  ---------------
 1     Normal Agent                     0   none
 2     Gladiator                  500,000   none
 3     Daredevil                1,000,000   none
 4     Berserker                2,000,000   none
 5     Destroyer                3,000,000   none
 6     Spectrebane              4,000,000   none
 7     Paladin                  5,000,000   none
 8     Mystic Wanderer          8,000,000   none
 9     Blade Master            12,000,000   none
 10    Master Gladiator        16,000,000   none
 11    Courageous Adventurer   24,000,000   none
 12    Dragon Slayer           32,000,000   none
 13    Raging Berserker        40,000,000   none
 14    Radiant Knight          60,000,000   8 of the first 16 (?)
 15    Grand Paladin           75,000,000   12 of the first 16 (?)
 16    Grand Master Breaker   100,000,000   16 of the first 16

Notice that it takes 20 million points to get from Level 13 to Level 14, but
only 15 million to get from Level 14 to Level 15. Strange.

================
2.2 - Strategies
================
Now that you know what you're up against, you are no doubt wondering how best
to do it. While most of the titles are pretty self-explanatory, there is one in
particular that gives people problems. The 100 million points also seems quite
daunting at first. The next few sections should help make things more
manageable.

-------------------------------------
2.2.01 - 'Knight of Brilliance' Title
-------------------------------------
This title is notorious for being the hardest title for some people to get.
Personally, I think Blood-thirsty Hunter and Master of Arms are tougher (and
in fact, these are the only two titles I haven't earned yet), but they are more
a matter of having huge amounts of time on your hands rather than skill. Since
those two titles aren't necessary for GMB status, anyway, I think it's safe to
say that, in terms of titles, Knight of Brilliance (KoB) will be your biggest
obstacle. I myself have met or exceeded 30 chains about four times (and, yes,
30 chains is enough; you do *not* need 'more than 30' as the description seems
to suggest), and my record is 32. Not stellar, but respectable, I think.

Unfortunately, there are no instructions I can give that will allow you to nail
this title easily and every time. Instead, what follows is a short list of tips
that, hopefully, will allow you to earn this elusive title without destroying
your controller in a fit of rage:

CHOOSE YOUR WEAPON
Obvious enough, right? Some weapons are easier to chain with than others. Which
weapons these are is a matter of opinion. I like Great Axes. I know Crossbows
are a very popular choice. Try a bunch and see which you like. But once you
find one, stick with it. Changing from a Great Axe to a Dagger isn't going to
help your timing.

CHOOSE YOUR CHAIN ABILITIES
In my opinion, Chain Abilities are the most important choice you will make, for
obvious reasons. I like the combination of Heavy Shot and Raging Ache. Certain
Chain Abilities are much slower, and I would stay away from those. But again,
try some things out and see what you like.

CHOOSE YOUR DUMMY
Why does this make a difference? Well, it doesn't really, but there are a few
things to keep in mind. Although you won't be doing much damage to any of the 
dummies, unless you're some sort of chaining genius, you'll go through a few
before you can call yourself a KoB. Picking one near an area exit will make it
easy to quickly respawn the dummy. Having to teleport or going a few rooms away
every time is a pain. The Dragon dummy works well for this, but I wouldn't
recommend it; the Dragon dummy drops the Elixir of Dragoons item. Unless you
already have your UDDA and UDDS* and don't plan on doing any more racking,
Agility is BAD. Pick a dummy that drops something more useful. Finally, dummy
hit points might also be a factor you want to consider, but I confess ignorance
on the subject (I don't even know if different dummies have different HP). In
case you're curious, I usually use the human dummy, just because it's the first
you come across.

*(If I remember correctly, these stand for Ultimate Damascus Dread Armor and
Shield, respectively. See the appropriate guides or stop by the message board
for more information.)

CHOOSE YOUR ANGLE OF VIEW
Another minor detail? Maybe, but like they say, the Devil is in the details.
In case it's unclear, by 'angle of view' I mean how you rotate the map. 
Personally, I prefer the camera to be behind Ashley because it's easier for me
to see when the weapon will make contact. Experiment to see what suits you
best, but as with the others, once you find a good one, stick to it.

ELIMINATE DISTRACTIONS
Now that you've chosen your ideal setup, it's time to prepare your real world
environment. Unless your concentration is about a scrillion times better than
mine, having your brother/parent/best friend talking to you while you're trying
to chain is a mistake. Music is also a no-no. I find that either music makes
me miss like crazy, or the beat is such that it actually helps... until the
timing changes (more on that in a bit). Sometimes I go so far as to turn down
the volume on the TV as well to have complete silence. Every little bit can
help (but don't underestimate the value of the aural cues the game provides,
either).

BEWARE THE TIMING
I'm not sure exactly how many times or when the timing changes, but it happens
once for sure around 15 chains. You'll notice this because as you start to get
better and better, you'll find yourself messing up a lot at around 15-16. Even
once you start watching for the transition, you'll find that it can catch up to
you at around 18-19 if you're not careful. On the other hand, probably half of
my failures were the result of overcompensating for this change. Not much I
can really help with, here, except to assure you that you will get better with
practice. Which brings me to my next point...

BE PATIENT
Expecting to nail 30+ chains the first time you try is only going to lead to
frustration. It takes a while. Sometimes a long while. The key is not to get
discouraged. Instead of shooting for the big three-oh, aim to consistently get
above 15. One you can do this, try to get above 20. After a while, you'll be
able to handle getting above 20, and eventually 25. As long as you can keep
bringing your average up, statistically you'll make it to 30 eventually. I know
how infuriating it is to fail at 28 or 29 chains, but instead try to think of
getting that far as a good sign.

AVOID ADRENALINE POISONING
Right around the time you start hitting 20 chains, if not before, you'll start
feeling those adrenal glands kick in. Believe it or not, fight-or-flight is
not, repeat *not*, going to help your efforts. In fact, you'll probably have
trouble doing anything that requires more precision than a violent spasm will
allow. Now might be a good time to take a break. I know the feeling of wanting
to try just *one* more time, so if you really feel like you want to keep going,
then go ahead. The first time I got the title it was after a several-hour-long
session. On the other hand, the last time I did it, I did it on my first try,
*and* I got my highest score. Being 'in the zone' may be good, but if it's not
working out, find something else to do for a while, and come back when you feel
a little more relaxed.

Hopefully the above will be enough to at least get you on the right track.
Realize that this is tough, but also realize that it *is* possible.

------------------------
2.2.02 - Amassing Points
------------------------
Yes, 100 million points is a lot. Killing a single enemy (even a tough one) and
observing the effect it has on your score would make this task seem impossible.
Fortunately, there are some interesting features of the Vagrant Story scoring
system that can be taken advantage of. Most of the successful point building
strategies are based on this. Basically, using one weapon type consistently
will increase the number of points you get per kill. Not all weapons are equal,
though. You get the biggest bonus for using Long Swords, Heavy Axes, or Heavy
Maces. In addition, the same principle applies to killing monsters. The more
monsters you kill of the same type, the more points you will get per kill. In
this case, the Dragon class nets you the biggest bonus (for more details, see
http://www.geocities.com/xo_pitseleh/VS-07.html).

The catch is that if you goof up somehow, your 'points counter' gets reset.
For example, killing a different enemy type or changing your weapon means that
whatever bonus you were getting starts from scratch. Using magic, items, or
Break Arts is also bad. I've heard that letting an enemy hit you or cast a
spell resets you as well.

One solution to this is to use dummies. You don't have to worry about them
hitting you or doing something unexpected. Better still, you can get your HP
very low to do maximum damage with Raging Ache (triggering a trap does NOT
affect your points counter, and it can't reduce your HP below 1, so it's a good
way to lower HP), and you can chain the crap out of them without having to
worry about your Risk level.

One method (and the one which I used) is to repeatedly kill the Dragon dummy
(I'm trying hard to find out who came up with this method so I can give proper
credit). The Dragon dummy is good because, as mentioned above, Dragon type
enemies give you the most points. It's also next to a couple of area exits,
meaning you can easily respawn it. It took me about 15 hours (game time) to
get from ~27 million points to 100 million. Not too bad if you spread it out
over the course of a week or two. Keep in mind the tip I mentioned above
regarding the Elixer of Dragoons dropped by this dummy, though.

If you're too weak and it takes you more than a minute or so to kill the dummy,
here's another method I experimented with: instead of killing the Dragon dummy,
kill one of the dragons in the Time Trials. I tried this for only a few
minutes, but it seemed like it was working about as well as the dummy killing
method. I would get less points per kill (call it half), but I was killing it
much faster. Since I didn't experiment with this too much, I can't give much
more advice, but it's something you might want to keep in mind. Above all, just
be sure you can kill the Dragon without it hitting you.

That's all for now. In the future I hope to have more information about some of
the various strategies used for amassing points (relatively) quickly. I really
could kick myself for not saving a copy of the message board topic that had all
this info in it.

                            +-----===========-----+
                                  3 - CLOSING
                             +----===========----+

===========================
3.1 - Knights of Brilliance
===========================
The purpose of this section was originally to honor those players who had
managed to meet or exceed 30 chains (along with their highest chain, weapon
used, and Chain Abilities used) in the hope that it would also be helpful to
those still trying to earn the title by showing what has worked well for
others. Due to lack of response, however, and the fact that I likely wouldn't
be able to maintain it anyway, I've decided to cut this section. Just for
kicks, I will leave the setup I used. Maybe it can be used as a starting point
for those still trying to accomplish this. Note that this DOES NOT imply that I
was the first player to attain the title or that 32 chains is some sort of
record (other than my personal best).

PLAYER         WEAPON               CHAIN ABILITIES         RECORD
-------------  -------------------  ----------------------  ------
RandomNumbers  Halberd (Great Axe)  Heavy Shot/Raging Ache  32

======================
3.2 - Acknowledgements
======================
Thanks go to...

Roz, Marty81, Abbumaru, and runningmonkey for replying to my topic on the
message board.

xo_pitseleh for creating his Vagrant Story web page:
<http://www.geocities.com/xo_pitseleh/VS-00.html>

All of the regulars on the Vagrant Story message board that I haven't mentioned
by name.

Thanks again, guys!

-RandomNumbers
<rnumbers@gmail.com>
Level 16: Grand Master Breaker
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