Castlevania: Lament of Innocence
In-Depth Sub-Weapon Guide
By Jin Kim (goshuJINsama)
v1.0 October 28, 2003


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Contact Information
===============================================================================

Any comments/questions/contributions can be sent to my email address.  I'll 
respond whenever I have the spare time.

E-mail: anjinmito@hotmail.com
Copyright 2003 Jin Kim (goshujinsama)

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Disclaimer
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You should all know the drill by now!  This document is copyrighted Jin Kim 
2003. This guide cannot be duplicated or used in any way unless you give credit
to me. All trademarks and copyrights in this guide are the property of their 
respective trademark and copyright holders. You can always find the latest 
version of this guide at www.gamefaqs.com. Other than that, there isn't much 
else to say, so let's get this guide started! 

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Version Histories
===============================================================================

                            v1.0

     -- The beginning of this guide!  Summarized the results of my various sub-
weapon tests, as well as listing any other miscellaneous useful info.


========
Contents
========

1. Introduction
2. Subweapon+Orb Introduction
3. Knife
4. Axe
5. Holy Water
6. Cross
7. Crystal
8. General Orb Properties
9. Overall Monster Weaknesses
10. Frequently Asked Questions
11. Future Updates


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1. Introduction
===============================================================================

When playing games with multiple gameplay options, I tend to want to reach my
full potential by choosing the best options at my disposal.  Castlevania:
Lament of Innocence (henceforth referred to as LoI) has several such gameplay
options, such as a plethora of whip combos, relics, subweapon+orb combos, and
the real-time menu.  This guide will deal with the combination of a castlevania
staple (subweapons) and the new orbs, hopefully relieving some myths and
likewise shedding some light on some combos.


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2. Subweapon+Orb Introduction
===============================================================================

Taking its roots from the GBA Castlevania game, Harmony of Dissonance, Leon
can now combine his several subweapons (Knife, Axe, Holy Water, Cross, and
Crystal) to perform several different functions.  These can range from
offensive (missile attacks, boomerangs) to defensive (shields, high-speed
lunges) and everything in between.

If an enemy has a weakness against a subweapon, that weapon will do 50% more
damage than listed.  Likewise, if they have a tolerance, the weapon will do 50%
less damage than listed.  Since nearly every single monster in this game has a 
weakness or tolerance against certain subweapons, it's extremely difficult to 
make objective comparisons of combos during a typical play through the game.  
Also, it seems that different enemies have different defense, so one cannot 
just compare damage against two different enemies together.

Therefore, I have tested all the following subweapon combinations on a boss,
usually the Flame Elemental or Doppelganger (both of which have no subweapon
weakness or tolerance).  Keep in mind that, as bosses, these enemies have much
higher defense than common monsters, and thus the damage I list will generally
be lower than what you see in game.  However, this is still a useful method of
comparing the different combos since one can notice which does more damage over
a period of time or for a certain amount of MP.

In the subsequent sections, I will list in detail what each combination will
perform in battle.  Not only will I list the average and maximum damage, but
also any other gameplay gimmicks certain combinations may provide.  Keep in
mind that I am not wearing any int-increasing accessories, so the damage is
calculated from Leon's default INT.  The numbers in parentheses are the regular
MP cost and the reduced MP cost (with Heart Brooch equipped... the effects of
multiple brooches do not stack) respectively.  The Max Damage I list after
every combo denotes how much potential damage the combo can do against a single
target per MP cost.  This is just miscellaneous info, since most combos have
additional properties that justify its low damage/MP ratio (such as area-of-
effect properties, or shielding properties, etc.).  One last property I list
will be whether these moves can be used in the air or not; a key property that
many players overlook.

Note 1: All spelling errors are taken from the game... don't flame me please!
Note 2: Knockable enemies refer to smaller enemies that move when you hit them
  with certain attacks, like Rising Shot, Draw Up, etc.


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3. Knife
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Normal (1/1): 1 knife thrown quickly in a straight line, 5 damage.
    Max Damage: 5 damage/MP
    Air?: Yes

Blue - Needle Claws (4/3): 4 spikes explode from the ground at the base of the
  nearest enemy.  Does a maximum of 44 total damage.
    Max Damage: 11 damage/MP
    Air?: Yes

Red - Triple Dagger (3/2): 3 quick normal knives thrown in a line.  16 total
  damage.
    Max Damage: 5.3 damage/MP
    Air?: Yes

Purple - Magic Missile (8/6): Leon summons several magical daggers from thin
  air.  After the slight summon time, the daggers then quickly home in on the 
  nearest enemies.  Can do a maximum of 7 hits for 82 total damage.
    Max Damage: 10.25 damage/MP
    Air?: Yes

Green - Force Cannon (4/3): Has a small startup time, so it's not instant.
  After the startup, a beam travels very quickly from Leon's hand in a straight
  line and never stops until it hits a wall, damaging everything in its path.
  Pierces through enemies and does a single 49 damage hit.
    Max Damage: 12.25 damage/MP
    Air?: Yes

Yellow - Astral Knife (10/7): Leon summons 8 knives out of thin air which spin
  around him and attack anything nearby.  Has the longest startup time of any 
  Knife combo.  On the other hand, the combo can be used whether enemies are 
  around or not, since the knives will continue to circle around Leon until a
  target approaches.  The knives will then attack the target, for a maximum of
  8 hits and 219 total damage.  You can hold the subweapon button at startup to
  increase the radius of circle of knives.  One of the most damaging subweapon
  combos in the game, it's best to summon the astral knives while in the air,
  away from enemy attacks.
    Max Damage: 21.9 damage/MP
    Air?: Yes

White - Spread Gun (6/4): Has a small startup time much like Force Cannon, then
  emits a quick laser toward a target.  Unlike Force Cannon, Spread Gun does not
  pierce, and instead explodes upon contact.  The resulting explosion will also
  damage anything in the vicinity.  Does 1 hit for 79 damage.
    Max Damage: 13.2 damage/MP
    Air?: Yes

Black - Blade Serpent (12/9): Leon summons a serpent of knives to roam around the
  environment, homing in on potential targets and attacking them until they die.
  Has almost no startup time and can easily damage multiple enemies due to the
  length of the serpent.  Can do a maximum of 8 hits on one enemy for 168 total
  damage.
    Max Damage: 14 damage/MP
    Air?: Yes

Overview:  The Knife can best be described as a projectile subweapon.  Every
  combo can be used from a distance to full potential.  Magic Missile is
  extremely handy for hard-to-hit enemies, given its quick speed and homing
  properties.  Astral Knife is one of my favorite subweapon attacks, as it does
  incredible damage and is also homes in; the only downside is its long startup
  window.  It's best to summon Astral Knife when away from the enemies, then
  charge in and whip them while the knives do their work.  Spread Gun is 
  another handy combo, as it does respectible damage for its MP cost, is 
  extremely quick, and can affect multiple enemies if they're grouped together.
  Blade Serpent is another personal favorite of mine, especially against
  bosses.  After a quick summoning, the serpent stays on the screen for several
  seconds, dealing damage and distracting the target while you whip away to
  inflict even more damage.  Its quick startup time allows you to constantly
  have a serpent on the screen to add to your damage.


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4. Axe
===============================================================================

Normal (4/3): Leon throws an axe in a straight line in front of him, with
  better overall range than the knife.  It also pierces through enemies,
  damaging anything in its path.  1 hit for 21 damage.
    Max Damage: 5.5 damage/MP
    Air?: Yes

Blue - Spinning Edge (5/3): Leon throws a large piercing boomerang in front of
  him, which returns after reaching a certain distance.  Less distance than the
  normal axe, but has wider coverage.  Also pierces, and is capable of landing
  2 hits (one on the way forward and one on the way back) for a total of 62
  damage.
    Max Damage: 12.4 damage/MP
    Air?: Yes

Red - Spiral Axe (6/4): After a moderate startup time, Leon summons multiple
  axes and sends them in all directions around him.  They don't home in but
  instead spiral away from him.  Leon is invincible at startup.  Capable of
  hitting multiple enemies for 1 hit each (25 damage).
    Max Damage: 4.2 damage/MP
    Air?: Yes

Purple - Axe Tornado (10/7): After a moderate startup time, Leon summons a
  tornado of axes wherever he stands.  The tornado stays in place, even if Leon
  moves.  The tornado does not last very long but is capable of doing great
  damage: 7 hits for 154 damage.  Leon is not invincible at any time, so is 
  very vulnerable when he starts the combo.
    Max Damage: 15.4 damage/MP
    Air?: No

Green - Hi-Speed Edge (5/3): Leon dashes forward extremely quickly for a
  moderate distance with an arcing axe in front of him, damaging anything in 
  his path.  Leon travels with the axe and pierces through all enemies.  Also, 
  this move has almost no startup time and is extremely quick.  This combo
  can be used to escape from enemies if they are too close to him, since Leon
  will pass right through them, damaging them in the process.  Capable of 1
  hit for 42 damage.
    Max Damage: 8.4 damage/MP
    Air?: No

Yellow - Spirit Ripper (12/9): Leon quickly summons three spinning axes that
  rotate around him for several seconds.  Each individual hit does minimal
  damage (2-4 damage) but the maximum damage is 30 hits for about 90 damage.
  Although the damage is small, keep in mind that Leon can equip the entire
  time that these axes are pestering the enemy.  They also act as a convenient
  shield against mobs of enemies.  Better radius than some other shields, such
  as the Cross subweaon.
    Max Damage: 7.5 damage/MP
    Air?: Yes

White - Axe Trap (10/7): After a moderate startup time, Leon summons a trap
  of axes that spin in place wherever he summoned them.  The trap does not move
  with Leon.  At first glance, this move seems very similar to Axe Tornado, but
  there are key differences.  First, each individual hit does much less damage
  than an individual hit of Axe Tornado.  However, Axe Trap also lasts much
  longer than Axe Tornado, and also has a wider radius.  Second, Leon is
  invincible at the startup, unlike Tornado.  Third, the axes spiral outward
  at the very end of the move.  Lastly, this trap can be summoned in the air.
  Can do a maximum of 18 hits for 153 damage.
    Max Damage: 15.3 damage/MP
    Air?: Yes

Black - Rapid Slash (8/6): Leon attacks for 8 incredibly quick hits, for a
  total of 101 damage.  The execution is extremely fast and there is very
  little lag at the end.  Leon can change direction while slashing to attack
  different targets.
    Max Damage: 12.6 damage/MP
    Air?: Yes

Overview:  The axe has a key distinction of always piercing enemies, allowing
  for multiple hits or multiple targets.  The combos are usually slower than
  that of Knife, but also hit for more damage usually.  Spinning Edge is very
  useful at the beginning of the game, doing good damage and hitting several
  enemies at once.  The Tornado and Traps can do terrific damage as well,
  especially against stationary opponents.  Spirit Ripper is costly but useful
  when surrounded by enemies, or when you just want to add to the damage you
  inflict with your whip.  In general, the Axe has better range than most
  other subweapons, and can cause more damage at the expense of speed.


===============================================================================
5. Holy Water
===============================================================================

Normal (4/3): Leon sprinkles the ground in front of him with holy water,
  creating a half circle of holy flames.  Maximum of 3 hits for 51 damage, and
  can hit multiple enemies.
    Max Damage: 12.75 damage/MP
    Air?: Yes

Blue - Energy Gazer (5/3): Leon punches the ground and flames begin erupting
  in front of him, one at a time, and in a straight line flowing outwards.
  If the enemy is knockable, it will be carried along with the wave of flames
  for 5 hits of 98 damage.  If not, the combo can still do 2 hits for 39
  damage.
    Max Damage: 19.6 damage/MP or 7.8 damage/MP
    Air?: Yes

Red - Roaring Flames (6/4): Basically a double version of the normal holy water
  attack.  Creates flames all around Leon, not just his front half.  Can hit
  multiple enemies, totaling 4 hits for 69 damage.
    Max Damage: 11.5 damage/MP
    Air?: Yes

Purple - Cross Blazer (8/6): Once again, Leon punches the ground, this time
  causing an enormous cross of flames to burst upward.  The execution is 
  extremely quick and the cross itself has very good range.  However, the cross
  may miss even nearby enemies since the flames travel in 4 lines from Leon.
  Thus this move requires some aiming to be effective.  Can hit multiple
  enemies, and does 1 hit for 79 damage.  Also has the effect of knocking
  enemies upward if they are knockable.
    Max Damage: 9.875 damage/MP
    Air?: Yes

Green - Flame Sparks (4/3): Leon quickly throws a small ball of flame at a
  target, which then erupts into several smaller flames that stay on the ground
  for a while.  The initial hit does 28 damage, and the resulting residue can
  damage the enemy for up to 3 more hits, resulting in 51 total damage.  The
  flame residue can also hit other enemies near the initial target.
    Max Damage: 12.75 damage/MP
    Air?: Yes

Yellow - Holy Symbol (4/3):  Leon quickly punches the ground, resulting in a
  stationary circle emanating from the ground.  This symbol will stay for
  several seconds or until an enemy moves over it; then the symbol will erupt
  and damage any enemy over it for 1 hit and 49 damage.  Up to 3 symbols can
  be placed at a time.
    Max Damage: 12.25 damage/MP
    Air?: Yes

White - Aqua Disk (10/7): Leon quickly summons a large disk of holy water above
  his head.  The radius is quite large and the subweapon button can be held
  longer for a longer duration of the move.  If the enemy is knockable, they
  will take 1 hit for about 20 damage and get pushed away.  If the enemy is
  not knockable, the move can do 7 hits for 138 damage.  However, Leon is 
  not invincible at any point of this move, so is extremely vulnerable.  Can
  hit multiple enemies around Leon.
    Max Damage: 13.8 damage/MP or 2 damage/MP
    Air?: No

Black - Energy Wave (8/6): Leon quickly punches the ground, causing an energy
  wave to home in on the nearest target.  Once it hits the target, it stays on
  the enemy until it does 2 more hits or until the enemy dies.  After 3 total
  hits for 75 damage, the wave disappears.
    Max Damage: 9.4 damage/MP
    Air?: Yes

Overview: Holy Water combos are always extremely quick and also have
  relatively small heart costs.  On the downside, they tend to be weaker than
  other subweapon combos and have limited range.  Energy Gazer is extremely
  damaging against knockable enemies, and can hit multiple enemies.  Cross
  Blazer is one of the best skills in the game, since it is very fast and has
  decent range in 4 directions.  However, precise aiming is required since the
  width of the flame lines are not very large.  Energy Wave is useful sometimes
  since it's the only Holy Water combo that homes in.  Aqua Disk can be useful
  if Leon is surrounded and you wish to push back the enemies, but the Heart
  cost is high for such minimal damage.


===============================================================================
6. Cross
===============================================================================

Normal (4/3): Leon summons small crosses to rotate around his body, damaging
  anything that gets near.  He is invincible at startup (summoning), and the
  crosses last for a good duration.  Can do a maximum of 23 hits for 34 damage.
  Although the damage may seem low, remember that Leon can continue to attack
  the target while the crosses do their damage; plus, the crosses can hit
  multiple enemies if Leon is surrounded.
    Max Damage: 8.5 damage/MP
    Air?: Yes

Blue - Divine Cross (8/6): Leon summons a giant cross that stays in front of
  him for several seconds.  The cross moves as Leon moves and changes
  direction.  He is invincible at startup and the cross alone can do 18 hits
  for 99 damage.
    Max Damage: 12.4 damage/MP
    Air?: Yes

Red - Double Cross (6/4): Similar to the normal cross, but Leon summons twice
  the normal amount of crosses.  He is still invincible at startup.  Can do
  a maximum of 26 hits for 40 damage on a single target, but can hit multiple
  targets if surrounded.
    Max Damage: 6.7 damage/MP
    Air?: Yes

Purple - Michael's Sword (10/7): After a long non-invincible startup where
  Leon shoots a beam into the sky, a giant cross erupts on a nearby target.
  The initial hit does 70 damage, and each additional hit while the giant
  cross stays on the ground does 3-5 damage for a maximum of 10 hits and 105
  damage.  The enormous cross can damage multiple enemies in its vicinity.
    Max Damage: 10.5 damage/MP
    Air?: No

Green - Holy Light (6/4): A *VERY* unique projectile attack.  After a moderate
  startup time, Leon's summons a cross about as big as himself and then
  thrusts it forward.  The unique thing about this attack is that it travels
  through absolutely everything, even obstructions that would stop normal
  piercing projectiles.  For example, you can use this projectile against 
  Forgotten One while hiding behind a boulder.  Plus, it has a much wider hit
  radius than other projectiles.  Does 1 hit for 70 damage.
    Max Damage: 11.7 damage/MP
    Air?: Yes

Yellow - Grand Cross (12/9): Leon jumps into the air and after a moderate
  startup where he is absolutely invincible, giant crosses start rising up
  from the ground below him, damaging anything in their paths.  Has a good
  radius, hits multiple times on multiple enemies, but Leon is vulnerable
  after the startup time.  Still, there is little lag at the end, allowing
  Leon to actually combo this move into itself repeatedly.  Can do 13 hits for
  136 damage.
    Max Damage: 11.3 damage/MP
    Air?: Yes

White - Agnea (12/9): Leon raises his hand and electricity strikes all nearby
  targets.  He is not invincible at any time.  The subweapon button can be held
  for a longer duration.  The electricity will home in on all nearby targets
  and can do a maximum of 17 hits for 142 damage on one target.
    Max Damage: 11.8 damage/MP
    Air?: No

Black - Six Saints (15/11): Leon quickly summons six crosses in the air, which
  stay in place regardless of what Leon does.  They then fire lasers that home
  in on all nearby targets.  They can hit multiple enemies or hit a single
  target for a maximum of 9 hits and 147 damage.
    Max Damage: 9.8 damage/MP
    Air?: No

Overview:  The cross is a very unique subweapon.  Several of its combos grant
  Leon invincibility at the startup, so you can use these moves as a sort of
  dodge or block when an enemy or boss attacks.  Although many of them have
  very low damage-to-MP ratios, keep in mind that several combos allow you to
  continue your whip assault while the crosses attack independently over a
  period of time.  Cross and Double Cross are useful in keeping small enemies
  like Soulless or Maggots off your back.  Michael's Sword does wonders on
  stationary or slow-moving targets, and you can continue your attack while it
  damages the enemy.  Holy Light is a very unique and useful projectile that
  can go through absolutely anything.  Grand Cross is the best damage-over-
  time dealer for Cross combos, and with its wide radius, invincible startup
  time and minimal lag, is extremely practical in all situations.  I prefer
  Six Saints over Agnea for crowd clearing since Leon won't have to be a
  sitting duck.


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7. Crystal
===============================================================================

Normal (3/2): Leon quickly places a Crystal on the ground wherever he stands.
  He can place up to 6 at a time.  After a certain amount of time, the crystal
  shatters, damaging anything in its vicinity.  Also, any crystals nearby will
  also shatter, forming a chain reaction.  1 hit does 8 damage.
    Max Damage: 2.7 damage/MP
    Air?: Yes

Blue - Hail Crystal (8/6): A large crystal drops on a nearby target for 42
  damage, and then shatters, damaging any nearby enemies for up to 2 more hits,
  causing 58 total damage.
    Max Damage: 7.25 damage/MP
    Air?: No

Red - Mash Crystal (4/3):  Similar to a regular crystal.  Each mash crystal is
  slightly bigger and does 2 hits for 16 damage.  Many can still be placed at
  a time and has chain reaction potential.
    Max Damage: 4 damage/MP
    Air?: Yes

Purple - Shatter Plane (20/15):  One of the most heart-expensive combos in the
  game, and for good reason!  Shatter Plane is a good crowd clearer, as it
  damages EVERY enemy on the screen for 49 damage each.  Additionally, Leon
  is invincible in this move!
    Max Damage: 2.45 damage/MP
    Air?: Yes

Green - Drain Stone (8/6): An extremely fast projectile that does only 1 hit
  for 7 damage... however, it also heals Leon proportionally (8 HP in this
  case), so it might be more useful against monsters with a weakness to
  crystal, since Leon will regain more HP as well.
    Max Damage: 0.9 damage/MP
    Air?: Yes

Yellow - Satellite (15/11): After a moderate startup where Leon is invincible,
  several crystal satellites are summoned and circle around Leon, damaging
  anything nearby.  They stay on the screen for a very long time, until they
  finally home in on any nearby target and attack.  They can do a total of 26
  hits for 147 damage, in addition to any whip attacks that Leon makes.
    Max Damage: 9.8 damage/MP
    Air?: No

White - Judgement (20/15): After a very quick startup, several lasers fire down
  from the sky, homing in on nearby targets.  Leon is vulnerable for a small
  amount of time after the lasers start raining down.  Can do 7 hits and 110
  damage on a single target, but more lasers will rain down if there are
  additional targets.
    Max Damage: 5.5 damage/MP
    Air?: No

Black - Vanish Storm (12/9): Probably the best crystal combo available.  After
  a small startup time, Leon exudes large clouds of vapor in front of his
  body.  The vapor has a very large radius of damage and can easily hit
  multiple enemies for several hits.  Unfortunately, Leon cannot change the
  direction of the vapors after he starts this combo.  Can do 6 hits and 141
  damage on each target.  Some other good points: Leon is invincible for a
  small amount of time at startup, and if the enemies are knockable, Vanish
  Storm pushes them back slightly with each hit, keeping them from retaliating.
  Vanish Storm also pierces, hitting any enemy in its path.
    Max Damage: 11.7 damage/MP
    Air?: Yes

Overview: The Crystal is a very unique subweapon.  Most of the combos are not
  damaging at all, but can do unique things such as draining HP for Leon.
  The Crystal also has some of the best crowd clearers in the game with Shatter
  Plane, Judgement and Vanish Storm.  Likewise, Shatter Plane and Judgement are
  the most heart-expensive combos in the game.  Personally, I don't like
  Crystal combos much because they provide little damage with high heart costs.
  However, one cannot underestimate all its area-of-effect combos, as they are
  indeed useful... just too expensive for my tastes.  Vanish Storm is the only
  combo with a good damage-to-MP ratio, and it is also one of the best crystal
  combos due to its invincibility and wide range.


===============================================================================
8. General Orb Properties
===============================================================================

Although no orb has a specific attribute like DSS card combinations did in
Circle of the Moon, there is a general trend that each orb possesses.  Here I
will give a brief overview of each orb, which may help players who are unsure
of which orb to use with a particular subweapon.

Blue - Blue combos tend to create a bigger version of the said subweapon and
  project it forward for multiple hits.

Red - Red combos usually make multiple versions of the default subweapon.

Purple - Purple combos usually create a limited area-of-effect version of the
  subweapon.  Knife's Magic Missile is an exception, and Crystal's Shatter
  Plane is a full-screen attack.

Green - Green combos are projectile versions of the subweapon which are quick
  in both startup and execution.

Yellow - Yellow combos use the subweapon to form a circle around Leon.

White - White combos create an extended area-of-effect subweapon attack.

Black - Black combos usually function as both crowd-clearers and single-target
  devastators.  They can hit multiple targets and last on the screen for a
  while, but also tend to home in on single targets to do more damage.


===============================================================================
9. Overall Monster Weaknesses
===============================================================================

Since nearly every monster in this game has a weakness or tolerance to a
certain subweapon, I will list the *overall* number of monsters that have a
weakness or tolerance to a certain subweapon.  In a later update, I plan to
make specific sections for each different area as well.

*COMING SOON*


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10. Frequently Asked Questions
===============================================================================

No one has asked me any questions yet. I will update this as people ask or 
contribute. 


===============================================================================
11. Future Updates
===============================================================================

I plan to make the following additions in future updates:
  - An overall weakness/tolerance list.
  - A comprehensive monster list with their subweapon weakness/tolerance.
  - A listing of the monsters in each area.
  - A overview of the Pumpkin subweapon as soon as I unlock it.


===============================================================================
Credits
===============================================================================

Konami - Thanks for another superb game in its epic Castlevania series!

CjayC and www.gamefaqs.com - The absolute best gaming site OMG EVAR!! Honestly,
thanks for your dedication and effort to make this site possible.


Copyright 2003 Jin Kim