Castlevania: Lament Of Innocence
'Whip Combo System'- In-depth Faq
By Mr Bunny Ban
E-mail: mrbunnyban@hotmail.com

Index:
A)Intro
B)Whip Skills and Combo Rules
C)Combos Suggestions
D)Combo strategies: Normal Enemies
E)Strategies: Bosses



A)INTRO:
========
This in-depth faq concentrates on
-what inputs really triggers certain whip attacks skills.
-maximising whip combo damage by Leon or Pumpkin

Why such long winded combos?
-Combos hold normal enemies in place and prevent them from hurting you. Unless
they glow purple. So if you're hitting the enemy, why not keep them in place?
Unless you're surrounded, of course.
-Many bosses have 'stagger' animations when they are hit at certain times, so
a good loooong combo is perfect for them.



B)WHIP SKILLS AND COMBO RULES
=============================
The following inputs assume you have every skill available.
General Note: Whatever ground combo you intend to do, the first hit can be
either light whip or heavy and it'll still work. Honest!
I've listed the skills in order of their combo sequence, if any.

Abbreviations:
L- Light whip attack
H- Heavy whip attack
Any- Either light or heavy whip attack will do.
J- Jump, or double jump.
L(du)- "Draw Up" by inputing Light whip
L(sb)- "Spinning Blast" by inputing Light whip
H(vh)- "Vertical High" by inputing Heavy whip
H(bs)- "Big Swirl" by inputing Heavy whip
L(ss)- "Small Swirl" by inputing Light whip
L(rs)- "Rising Shot" by inputing Light whip
H(eb)- "Energy Blast" by inputing Heavy whip
Lx5- "Extension" or "Air Extension"
J(fc)- "Falcon Claw" by inputing Jump
H>L(fr)- "Fast Rising" by inputing heavy then light whip quickly

i)Draw Up
Input:   Any, H, L(du)
Comment: Now I know the game says you have to input L,H,L(du). It's lying. The
ONLY thing that matters to the Draw Up is that the second hit must be a heavy
whip. This move breaks guarding and so makes them vulnerable for a follow up.
(ie. shield blocking, gauntlet parrying by Doppledanger, etc.)

ii)Spinning Blast
Input:   Any, H, L(du), L(sb)
Comment: A premature combo ender after a Draw Up that adds little damage. You
get it pretty late in the game too. Why use it?
Although Leon/Pumpkin CAN hit people all around him while spinning if they are
close enough.

iii)Vertical High
Input:   Any, Any, L, H(vh)
Comment: Again, all that mattters to perform a Vertical High is that the third
hit is a light attack. In fact this can be combined with 'Draw Up' for big
damage since 'Draw Up' is the third hit and uses light whip.

iv)Big Swirl
Input:   Any, Any, H(bs)
or       Any, L, L, Any, H(bs)
Comment: It's not really called Big Swirl, that's my name for this common move
you start with.  Basicaly if you choose to press heavy whip for the third
attack instead of light you'll pull one of these out.

v)Small Swirl
Input:   Any, L, L, L, L(ss)
Comment: Again, I just gave this common move a name. Move along.

iv)Rising Shot
Input:   Any, Any, L, H(vh), L(rs)
Comment: Adds good damage damage, and doesn't end the combo. Now if only it
brought you high enough to dodge most ground attacks...

iv)Energy Blast
Input:   Any, Any, L, H(VH), L(RS), H(EB)
Comment: Okay damage after a Fast Rising or Rising shot. Not bad at all.
But the Air Extension does more damage.

vii)Air Extension
Input:   J, Lx5
or       ...J(fc), Lx5
or       ...L(rs), Lx5
or       H>L(fr), Lx5
Comment: Don't diss this move! While it's downright silly on the ground, in the
air it rocks because it KEEPS you up. The air time is excellent for whacking
flyers while ground enemies look on, and annoying certain bosses.
This move tracks targets. So don't aim, just whip away!
This move can be stringed in after a Fast Rising, Rising Shot and even after
some mid-air sub-weapons (Grand Cross for example). You could even trade the
last Small Swirl for a mid-air heavy whip aka fire kick.

vii)Falcon Claw
Input:   Jump, Jump, Jump(fc)
or       ...L(rs), Jump(fc)
or       H>L(fr), Jump(fc)
or       J, Lx5, Jump(fc)
Comment: You can also tack this weak attack almost any time you're in the air
and can't do another jump. Also, you can keep pressing Jump to perform multiple
Falcon Claws on tall enemies.

viii)Fast Rising
Input:   H>L(fr)
Comment: Good for flyers and Sparticans. Watch Pumpin take down gargoyles with
one hit! (Did I use Draupnir? I can't remember.)

ix)Step Attack
Input:   Any during Quick Step 1
Comment: Can not be done during your second quick step in a row.
-This move is tracking.
-Not comboable. However, QUICK STEP can CANCEL any ground combo you're doing,
after which you can use this.

x)Sonic Edge
Comment: To my knowledge, this can not be comboed from anything or into
anything. Still, this move is absolutely fantastic once you get the Vampire
Killer.

xi)Sub-weapons
Comment: Sub-weapons can be tagged at any time during a combo, thus ending it.
-DOING so however is generally quite hard. I can most consistently string in
an air-friendly sub-weapon after an 'Air Extension'. To do so, I need to count
out my five light hits and make sure not to press light whip too many times.
I'm even more consistent if I leave out the last light whip.
-Sub-weapon hits do NOT 'stagger' bosses even though your combo hit meter goes
up.
-The sub-weapons that work in the air tend to string in well. So most Holy
Water and Knife weapons combo well. The Axe's Rapid Slash is good too.



C)COMBO SUGGESTIONS
===================
Seeing as how I've explained how to do the moves, I'm only going to list a few
suggestions of how this is done in practise:

-Fast Rising, Lx5, Sub-Weapon
The best way to hit high flyers that aren't moving about TOO much.

-L, H, L(du), H(vh), L(rs), H(eb)
An easy long combo that hits consistently. Just be sure to start with Light
first, then keep alternating between the two.

-Any, H, L(du), H(vh), L(rs), J(fc), J(fc), J(fc), etc.
Want to do something different? Use the Falcon Claw after the Rising Shot on
tall enemies. Interesting...

-Any, H, L(du), H(vh), L(rs), LX5
My personal favourite. Awesome damage. The first hit can be either Light or
Strong depending on the situation.
The Air Extension at the end works best on light normal enemies and floating
bosses from closer up. But hey, that's why we threw a 'Draw Up' in there right?
Sometimes the 5 light hits at the end put you on the ground instead of in the
air, particularly when practising with no enemies around. I don't know why.
You can also trade the last light hit of the 'Air Extension' for something
else.

-Any, H, L(du), H(vh), L(rs), LX5, Sub-weapon
Same thing, but with a sub-weapon tagged at the end. Whoopee!

-Any, H, L(du), H(vh), L(rs), LX4, H
If you're confident and very close, you can trade the puny last hit of the Air
Extension for a flaming kick in the air. I don't bother though.

-H, H, L(du), H(vh), L(rs), J(fc), LX5
I've done this to Walter before. Tough, because unless he's against the wall he
gets knocked out of range by the Falcon Claw. Maybe someone else...

-H, H, L(du), H(vh), L(rs), J(fc), LX4, H, Sub-weapon
The theoretical possibility. Probably the most damaging combo in the game.
Tough as nails to perform all the way though.
The Falcon Claw and the last heavy whip/kick near the end will knock some
enemies flying. And the last heavy whip/kick may whiff entirely unless the
enemies(you?) are against a wall. You've been warned.


Updated: Holy toledo, Batman! There's an infinite loop in the game!
It's been a long time since I've played this game, and down the line I watched
JUSTE3310 and personaworld use these in their youtube videos:

Any, H, L(du), H(Vh), L(rs), L just before landing on the ground, L on the
ground, H, L(du), H(Vh), L(rs), L just before landing on the ground, L on the
ground,  H, L(du)...etc.

or, simpler and more efficient:

H>L(fr), L just before landing on the ground, H>L(fr), L just before landing on
the ground... etc.

This works on the same bosses that would be caught by other long combo strings
(such as Walter).

Credits again to JUSTE3310 and personaworld on youtube who posted up their vids
with these comboes. More of such intersting titbits can be found at
http://pileofsecrets.wikidot.com/lament-of-innocence , as pointed out by
personaworld.


D)Combo strategies: Normal Enemies
==================================
Heavy Enemies: Most of these guys can't be staggered by small hits, so long
combo's aren't always a good idea. So be ready to cancel into a dodge
halfway. Unless you're Pumpkin and packing a Draupnir(s), then every hit
you make may stagger it. :)

Blocking- forms of blocking like shields and Doppelganger gauntlets can be
broken with either a Draw in, or Vertical High- making them vulnerable for more
hits. I'm not sure about Big Swirl.

Flying enemies- Start a combo with heavy whips when they are low, or simply
double jump and 'Air Extension' when they are too high. Fast Rising may work
well too. Holy Water's Energy Gazer is very good on these guys.

Sparticans- Can be knocked out of their annoying drop stomp wave by a 'Fast
Rising'. Cool. Grand Cross works wonders too.



E)Strategies: Bosses
====================
I'm not going to cover what's already in other full walkthroughs. Just a few
things they missed.

-Whip Doppelganger(s): If they start blocking your attacks, be sure to use
Draw Up and Vertical High to break the block. 'Shield' type sub-weapons like
the Cross and the Axe's Spirit Ripper will force them to block, giving you free
hits with the 'Draw Up' and 'Vertical High'.
The flame walk relic also works to stagger them and set them up for a combo.
Also if you have the Mobius brooch you can Crystal Vanish Storm the two of them
to oblivion along the narrow alley where you start out.

-Succubus: If I'm not mistaken she will 'stagger' if hit BEFORE she spits
attacks at you, and sometimes as she's flying around. Air extension works best
for me on this constantly moving boss. But really, use the knife's Spread Gun
or equivalents to blow her apart.

-Medusa: On normal mode, Lx5 after a double jump will put you above her swipes
or her eye beam. You just have to wait for her to start first. On Crazy mode,
don't try this. Use the axe's High-Speed Edge to get the hell away from her
when she starts her 8-hit swipe combo.
As far as I know, she doesn't 'stagger' properly although sometimes she gets
knocked back. Odd.

-Walter: Staggers if hit after performing any move. For the multiple energy
geysers though, you have to get him before the last geyser has stopped.
For his megadeth explosions, a well timed Grand Cross will protect you from the
big blast and let you reach him. This is due to Grand Cross's looong
invincibility time. I'm not sure what else works.


Contact:
Something significant to add or correct? Send me an e-mail with the subject:
'Lament FAQ'
But no spelling or grammar corrections, please.

Legal stuff:
I don't own Castlevania: Lament of Innocence and didn't make it. I'm just a
fan writing tips on how to play it.
This faq however is copyright  2004 by Mr Bunny Ban. All rights reserved.