_____           _          __  __          __    
          / ____|         | |        / _| \ \        / /        
         | |  __  ___   __| |   ___ | |_   \ \  /\  / /_ _ _ __         .---.
         | | |_ |/ _ \ / _` |  / _ \|  _|   \ \/  \/ / _` | '__|       /  .  \
         | |__| | (_) | (_| | | (_) | |      \  /\  / (_| | |         |\_/|   |
          \_____|\___/ \__,_|  \___/|_|       \/  \/ \__,_|_|         |   |  /|
  .-------------------------------------------------------------------------' |
 /  .-.                                                                       |
|  /   \   Title    : GOD OF WAR - GOD MODE STRATEGY GUIDE                    |
| |\_.  |  Purpose  : Assist players in conquering God Mode for God of War    |
|\|  | /|  Platform : PlayStation 2                                           |
| `---' |  Author   : Chris A. (keltin_2002)                                  |
|       |  Email    : keltin_2002@yahoo.com                                   |
|       |                                                                     |
|       |  Version  : 2.2                                                    /
|       |-------------------------------------------------------------------'
\       |
 \     /
  `---'







  .-------------------------------------------------------------------------.
 /  .-.                                                                 .-.  \
|  /   \                     ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~                       /   \  |
| |\_.  |                     TABLE OF CONTENTS                       |    /| |
|\|  | /|                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~                      |\  | |/|
| `---' |                                                             | `---' |
|       |-------------------------------------------------------------|       |
\       |                                                             |       /
 \     /                                                               \     /
  `---'                                                                 `---'


 1. History

 2. Introduction

 3. General Tips and Strategies
      - Best Blades of Chaos Combo
      - Find the Red Orbs
      - Conservation of Health/Magic Chests
      - O Button Madness
      - Left Analog Stick Madness
      - R2 Shoulder Button Madness
      - Upgrade Order
      - Timing of Upgrades
      - Level 5 Blades of Chaos
      - The Blade of Artemis
      - Medusa's Gaze
      - Double Casting Magic
      - Directional Attacks

 4. Know Your Enemy
      - The Perfect Spot
      - Limited Range
      - Quick Freeze
      - Attack Cues
      - Grab Your Enemy
      - Grabbing Soldiers
      - Get your Enemy Airborne
      - The Death Bounce : From the Ground
      - The Death Bounce : In the Air
      - The Enemies

 5. God Mode Fighting Guide
      - Aegean Sea
      - The Gates of Athens
          * Medusa : Mini-Boss Fight
      - The Road to Athens
      - Athens Town Square
      - Rooftops of Athens
      - Temple of the Oracle
      - Sewers of Athens
      - Desert of Lost Souls
      - Pandora's Temple
      - The Rings of Pandora
      - The Challenge of Atlas
      - The Challenge of Poseidon
      - The Challenge of Hades
          * Boss Fight: Minotaur
              > Easy Cheat Win
              > Head On Fight 
      - The Cliffs of Madness
      - The Architect's Tomb
      - The Path to Hades
      - Temple of the Oracle Destroyed

 6. Final Battle Part 1: Ares Form 1

 7. Final Battle Part 2: Kratos Clones

 8. Final Battle Part 3: Ares Form 2

 9. Ending the Game

10. Commonly Missed Secrets and Puzzle Tips
    : This section was removed since I now
    : have a complete Chest Guide which can 
    : also be found at www.gamefaqs.com

11. Credits & Copyright




  .-------------------------------------------------------------------------.
 /  .-.                                                                 .-.  \
|  /   \                     ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~                       /   \  |
| |\_.  |                          HISTORY                            |    /| |
|\|  | /|                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~                      |\  | |/|
| `---' |                                                             | `---' |
|       |-------------------------------------------------------------|       |
\       |                                                             |       /
 \     /                                                               \     /
  `---'                                                                 `---'

 Version 2.2 Ė 10/03/05
 :Added a new strategy for the Centaur Sacrifice during the beginning
 :of the Challenge of Hades.
 :Added and updated strategy for the Final Clone battle and for the final
 :battle with Ares Form 2.

 Version 2.1 - 7/27/05
 :Minor update to the Clone Battle strategy.  I suggest the Square, 
 :(hold) Square combo, but I thought I had also pointed out its variant
 :the Square, Square, (hold)Square which is a little shorter but also
 :a little faster.  Thanks to taher ali (taherali_hamed@yahoo.co.in)
 :for reminding me that I didn't point that variant out in this guide.
 :Added a tip from to Christopher J Reifsnyder (chrisr29732@comporium.net)
 :that allows you to gain a full health and magic bar during the first
 :fight with Ares so that you are amply prepared for the clone battle.

 Version 2.0 - 6/27/05
 :Removed the Commonly Missed Chest section since I now have a complete
 :chest guide available at www.gamefaqs.com.  This section was small and only
 :listed a handful of the really hard to find chests, but it caused a bit of
 :confusion for some players since the section didn't list ALL of the hidden 
 :chests which led them to believe I had missed a chest.  So, check out the 
 :Chest guide at GameFaqs to find out where every chest is located in this
 :game - even the hidden ones.
 :Added a strategy tip for the Boulder Trap in the Challenge of Hades so
 :thanks to Shady0027@aol.com for that tip!
 :And thanks to Melvyn Lam Hau Ching (melvynlam@hotmail.com) for contributing
 :an alternate battle strategy for the Wraiths.
 :Also added my own observations about battling the Cyclops.

 Version 1.4 - 6/16/05
 :Added contributed fighting strategies for the Hydra, as well as 
 :the Cyclops and Cerberus found in the Challenge of Poseidon. Thanks to
 :Alex Malinovich (demonbane@the-love-shack.net) for sharing these
 :strategies. 
 :Also, added my own observations and tips for avoiding the Main Hydra's
 :bite attacks.  Also added a special note for the Athens Sewers
 :concerning the option of just running for it.
 :Added a tip for the conveyor belt trap found just before Pandora's
 :Temple.
 :Major aesthetic reformatting. 
 :Fixed a few typos and updated the Copyright section.

 Version 1.3 - 6/7/05
 :Corrected a few minor typos and formatting errors.  
 :Added a fight strategy for one of the big fights in the Cliff's
 :of Madness chapter.
 :Added contributed attack strategies for the Captain of the Undead
 :and the Hydras, so thanks to anthony_minto@hotmail.com for these.

 Version 1.2  - 6/1/05
 :Corrected a few formatting mistakes and typo's.
 :Updated the Enemy profiles to include a "Best Attack" option for each 
 :enemy as well as update the Wraith & Minotaur Death Bounce sequence.
 :Added an additional remark about the magic and the Minotaurs after 
 :the Medusa mini-boss fight, as well as added a remark about conserving
 :Health and Magic chests and about finding red orbs.
 :Updated the Credits & Copyrights section to show a list of sites that
 :can/are posting this guide.
 :Added another Hidden Chest that is found in the Athens Town Square
 :chapter.

 Version 1.1 - 5/30/05
 :Initial Guide finally finished.  Went back through and reformatted the 
 :Guide to manually insert CR/LF so that each line is less than 80 
 :characters.

 Version 1.0 - 5/24/05
 :Initial writing of this guide.




  .-------------------------------------------------------------------------.
 /  .-.                                                                 .-.  \
|  /   \                     ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~                       /   \  |
| |\_.  |                       INTRODUCTION                          |    /| |
|\|  | /|                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~                      |\  | |/|
| `---' |                                                             | `---' |
|       |-------------------------------------------------------------|       |
\       |                                                             |       /
 \     /                                                               \     /
  `---'                                                                 `---'


Well, as the title says, the purpose of this guide is to help you get through
God of War on the hardest setting "God Mode" (Very Hard).  I've contributed a
lot of what's in this Guide to others that have written FAQs about this game.
After having written so many emails to others, I finally decided to just sit 
down and put everything I had written in emails to other FAQ writers into one
place.  

While this is a God Mode Guide, the strategies listed herein can be used on
any difficulty setting.  Granted, the strategies in this guide are far more
conservative than needed for the lower difficulty settings, but several
things such as the Death Bounce, Grab Techniques, etc, are common to all
difficulty settings.

This is the first FAQ/Guide I've ever written, but God of War has become an 
obsession, so I must pass on what I have learned.  I've seen some other FAQs
that touch on getting you through God Mode, so look at them as well.  The info
I supply in this Guide is how I did it, and believe me, I spent A LOT of time
figuring out the best, quickest, and safest way to get through God of War in 
God Mode.  Some of the strategies and methodologies I suggest are contrary to 
some of the other FAQs out there, but diversity is the spice of life!  Try 
everything and see what works for you. 

This guide is NOT a complete walkthrough of the game, there are plenty of 
other FAQs out there that are doing a fine job of covering the full 
Walkthrough aspect.  

This guide is about getting you through God Mode.  This guide is going to 
simply highlight and describe methods and strategies for getting through 
the toughest fights in God of War in God Mode.  It will touch on the hardest 
battles in the game.  Battles that are overwhelming and can kill you in 
seconds if you aren't careful.  This guide comes in particularly handy if
you are playing God Mode straight after beating Normal Mode.  God Mode is 
like a whole new game if you're coming to it straight from Normal Mode!

I won't cover every single fight you'll encounter, but if you're having a 
hard time with a fight I don't cover, email me and I'll put it in here.

I won't cover all of the controls and combos since, if you're playing God 
Mode, you've already beat the game once and you already know how to play 
the game!

As for the Commonly Missed Chest section, it used to be in this guide, but
I have since written a Chest Guide that shows ALL chests in the game so 
this minor section was a bit redundant, not to mention it caused quite
a bit of confusion for some players since they would routinely find
chests not listed in this section and think I had missed those chests.
So, I removed this section and now refer you to my Chest Guide which shows
the location of every chest in the game.  Please visit www.gamefaqs.com
to see the Chest guide and find every chest this game has to offer - even
those elusive hidden chests!

Now, let's get on with it.




  .-------------------------------------------------------------------------.
 /  .-.                                                                 .-.  \
|  /   \                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~                  /   \  |
| |\_.  |                GENERAL TIPS AND STRATEGIES                  |    /| |
|\|  | /|               ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~                 |\  | |/|
| `---' |                                                             | `---' |
|       |-------------------------------------------------------------|       |
\       |                                                             |       /
 \     /                                                               \     /
  `---'                                                                 `---'


     /-
0####|=================> Best Blades of Chaos Combo 
     \-

- Square,(hold)Square, gained at Level 5. This combo is fast, easy to 
execute, and very powerful - particularly since this combo ends in a 
chain swipe that knocks nearly every enemy in it's path flying across 
the room.  Once you get your Blades of Chaos to level 5 (and you should 
do that ASAP), learn this powerful combo.  Use this combo.  Rely on 
this combo.  It will save your hide!
Also, the variant of this combo which is Square, Square, (hold) Square
is a little faster and ends in the same chain swipe.



     /-
0####|=================> Find the Red Orbs 
     \-

- Obviously, red orbs are needed for upgrades, so you want to find and obtain
as many as possible.  Opening chests, killing enemies, smashing enemies that 
have been turned to stone, etc, all give you red orbs.  Another great way to 
get red orbs is to smash statues, vases, decorations, etc.  If it's breakable
in the game, then smash it.  A GREAT plus side to destroying the scenery is 
that it ALSO contributes to your Rage of the Gods meter.  For every item that
you smash, a little bit is added to your Rage of the Gods Meter.
Also, I suggest using the Chest Guide to find every chest this game has to
offer so that you get as many red orbs as possible in the shortest amount of
time.



     /-
0####|=================> Conservation of Health/Magic Chests 
     \-

- If you come upon a Health or Magic chest and you do NOT need it, or if
you have more than 3/4 of your Health/Magic bar, then do not use the chest.
More often than not, you can back-track to an area and use a chest that you
have passed by.  This can save your hide on many occasions.  



     /-
0####|=================> O Button Madness 
     \-

- During the game, there are several instances where you have to furiously 
mash the O button (Minotaur mini-game, Poseidon's Rage at level 2 or 3, etc).  
Personally, I've found there is NO WAY to tap that O button very fast using 
just your thumb.  So, when you cast Poseidon's Rage or do the Minotaur 
mini-game, etc, let go of the controller with your right hand, still hold 
it with your left, lay the controller on your leg, and then use your free 
right hand to mash the O button like a mad man.  
While it is possible to get by with just using your thumb, its a LOT quicker
using this technique, and it is less prone to failure.



     /-
0####|=================> Left Analog Stick Madness 
     \-

- During the game, there are several times when you must quickly "wiggle" the
left analog stick back and forth from left to right (after being turned to
stoned, being grabbed by an enemy, etc.).  I've found it is far easier to
succeed at this by applying the same techniques as what is describe in the
above O Button madness Section.  Let go of the controller with your right
hand and use your now free right hand to madly wiggle the left analog stick.
You will rarely ever fail using this technique.



     /-
0####|=================> R2 Shoulder Button Madness 
     \-

- During the game there are times where you have to repeatedly press the R2 
shoulder button (opening doors, tearing heads off of skeletons, etc.).  Some 
of these instances are critical, so if extra speed is needed, apply the same 
technique as described in O Button Madness and Left Analog Stick Madness - 
simply let go of the controller with your right hand and use your now free 
right hand to madly wiggle the left analog stick.  You will rarely ever fail
using this technique.



     /-
0####|=================> Upgrade Order 
     \-

- This may sound repetitive, but it simply can not be said enough -> Level 
up the Blades of Chaos ASAP!  I suggest a level up order like this:

** Blades of Chaos to Level 2
** Blades of Chaos to Level 3
** Medusa's Gaze to Level 2
** Blades of Chaos to Level 4
** Poseidon's Rage to Level 2
** Blades of Chaos to Level 5 - Max
** Army of Hades to Level 2 
** Army of Hades to Level 3 - Max
** Poseidon's Rage to Level 3 - Max
** Medusa's Gaze to Level 3 - Max
** Zeus's Fury to Level 2
** Zeus's Fury to Level 3 - Max
** Artemis Blade to Level 2

When you get the Blades of Chaos to Level 3 you gain the ability to 
counter-strike, and at Level 5 you get the awesome Square, (hold)Square
combo as well as the L1 + O Button ground smash combo.



     /-
0####|=================> Timing of Upgrades 
     \-

- Since I'm writing most of this from memory, I can't remember the exact 
timing of my upgrades, but I do know you want Poseidon's rage at level 2 by 
the time you reach the Challenge of Atlas as it comes in handy for the fight 
with the gorgons right after you acquire the Blade of Artemis.  Also, you 
should have your Blades of Chaos up to level four by the time you reach the 
last horn you blow to summon Kronos and enter Pandora's temple.  Level 5 
Blades of Chaos are possible (I did it) during the Challenge of Poseidon.  
Other than that, concentrate on your Blades of Chaos and conserve your orbs 
for the Army of Hades upgrade.
If you do this like I did, you'll have saved up enough orbs to take Army of 
Hades to level 3 (max) the moment you get it.  I knew Army of Hades was 
coming, so I saved up till I got it and then immediately maxed it out.



     /-
0####|=================> Level 5 Blades of Chaos 
     \-

- The level 5 Blades of Chaos are an absolute must; and the quicker the 
better.  Your blocking ability is directly related to the level of your 
Blades of Chaos.  The higher the level of your Blades of Chaos, the more 
enemy attacks you can block.  At Level 5 you can block every enemy attack 
except for certain ground waves produced by enemy ground slams (and a couple
of Ares attacks can't be blocked either).  This means even the big hammer 
strikes from the Minotaurs, the Boss Minotaur Clap and Slam attacks, etc, 
can all be blocked.  
Level 5 also gives you unlimited magic while in Rage of the Gods.  And, it 
gives you the invaluable Square, (hold)Square combo as well as the L1 + O 
Ground slam that knocks enemies flying, knocks them off cliffs, and breaks 
the shield of the shield carrying warriors - and once their shields are 
broken, you can grab and throw them immediately. 



     /-
0####|=================> The Blade of Artemis
     \-

- I know there are a lot of people that like this weapon, but I'm going to 
have to disagree.  In God Mode, I found it completely useless except for 
breaking statues and other decorations in search of red orbs.  The O Button
upper cut works pretty well for that.  But, this weapon is SLOW, has no grab
technique, will mess up your "mini-game" grabs (O Button appears over your
enemy), has no room clearing ability, and is a waste of your red orbs.  
So, I strongly suggest you do not waste orbs on upgrading it until you've 
maxed everything else out.  Although, Zeus' Fury isn't that hot either, 
so you may want swap the order of the Zeus/Artemis upgrade - but Zeus' 
Fury Level 2 upgrade is CHEAP, so I'd still do it first.  I finished God 
Mode with the Blade of Artemis at Level 2 and all Magic maxed to level 3 
and the Blades of Chaos maxed to level 5.



     /-
0####|=================> Medusa's Gaze 
     \-

- I've seen many other gamers on the Net completely disregard and utterly 
cuss the Magic of Medusa's Gaze.  However, I'm here to speak strongly to 
the contrary and tell you right now that Medusa's gaze can be your best 
friend and is invaluable in getting through God Mode.  The reason is, 
once you get Medusa's Gaze up to Level 2, you gain the Quick Freeze 
(L2 + Triangle).  The quick freeze will instantly stone all low level 
soldiers, low level minotaurs, harpies, sirens, etc.  A DOUBLE BLAST of 
the quick freeze (hit it twice) will freeze the more powerful minotaurs, 
Cyclops, Cerberus, etc.  Granted, the stronger monsters will shake it off 
rather quickly, but if you use it while close to them and you have your 
blades of chaos at level 3 or higher, then you'll smash them to bits.  Not 
to mention smashing your enemy this way earns you a red orb bonus.
NOTE : When you press L2 for Medusa's gaze, you will notice the targeted 
enemy lights up.  If the light is RED, then they are out of range or just 
flat out immune to the gaze (such as Gorgons and Ares).  If they are out of 
range, keep holding L2 and targeting them as they approach you.  Once the 
target light turns blue, then they are in range and you can fire away.



     /-
0####|=================> Double Casting Magic 
     \-

- With the unlimited magic of the Level 5 Blades of Chaos comes infinite 
magic while your rage lasts. This gives you the remarkable ability of double 
casting your magic without losing a bit of your magic bar.  I'm talking about
double casting Army of Hades and Poseidon's rage.  As soon as you enter Rage
of the Gods, cast Army of Hades, then hit the right directional button to 
call up Poseidon's Rage and cast that. If you have Poseidon's rage at level 2
or better, you can furiously tap O for a stronger attack - use the O Button
Madness technique I described above for a super strong attack.  You can cast
Poseidon's rage four times for free while in Rage of the Gods mode which 
comes in very handy for some fights.  
For this technique, you should cast Army of Hades first, then quickly switch
to Poseidon's rage and cast it.  As you are mashing the O Button for the 
Poseidon's Rage, you can use your left thumb to push the Up Directional 
button and call up Army of Hades.  By the time Poseidon's' rage finishes 
you can cast Army of Hades again and then switch back to cast Poseidon's Rage.
In Rage of the Gods mode, you can get the following magic casts

... 3 Casts of Army of Hades
... 4 Casts of Poseidon's Rage
... 1 Army of Hades, 1 Poseidon's rage, 1 Army of Hades, 1 Poseidon's Rage
... 1 Army of Hades, 3 Poseidon's rage

There are other possibilities, but these are the most useful!



     /-
0####|=================> Directional Attacks
     \-

- As you are using the Blades of Chaos and stringing those combos together, 
realize that Kratos is NOT fixed in one position or stuck targeting only one 
enemy during the execution of his attacks.  At any time during the execution 
of a Blade attack, you can change the direction Kratos is facing, and thus 
the enemy that is being targeted by moving the left analog stick in the 
appropriate direction.
That is, once you begin executing an attack/combo, Kratos will go through 
the motions of the combo, BUT you can still change the direction he is facing
by moving the left analog stick. So as he is swinging away, move the stick 
about to face other enemies making sure everyone on the screen (and even off
screen!) gets a piece of the action instead of just letting him throw it all
in one direction.  This is very handy when you're surrounded by a bunch of
enemies. 
NOTE: At level 5 for the Blades of Chaos, you get the invaluable combo which
is Square, (hold) Square.  This combo ends in a chain swipe that can knock 
enemies flat and even knock them off ledges. Changing directions at the very
end of this combo so that the chain swipe hits enemies that are behind or to
the side of you can mean the difference between progress and the "You are 
Dead" screen.




  .-------------------------------------------------------------------------.
 /  .-.                                                                 .-.  \
|  /   \                     ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~                         /   \  |
| |\_.  |                     KNOW YOUR ENEMY                         |    /| |
|\|  | /|                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~                        |\  | |/|
| `---' |                                                             | `---' |
|       |-------------------------------------------------------------|       |
\       |                                                             |       /
 \     /                                                               \     /
  `---'                                                                 `---'


     /-
0####|=================> The Perfect Spot 
     \-

- In every tough fight I look for what I call the "sweet spot" (the best place
to stand for the duration of the fight) or the "cheat spot" (a place to stand
where you can hit the enemy but they can't reach you).  Sometimes the cheat 
spot is just out of reach of the monsters.  That is, the monsters have a 
limited area that they can travel, so if you get just outside of a room or 
hallway, they can't follow you out but you can reach in to hit them - but 
you have to be careful because sometimes their retaliation (the gorgon's
claw swipe is one) will let them out for a second since it is a far reaching
attack in the first place.



     /-
0####|=================> O Button Mini-Game
     \-

-Once you've dealt most enemies enough damage, the O Button will appear over
them signaling the opportunity to do that character's death sequence.  For 
some enemies such as the Gorgon's, it's a great thing since they yield Blue
Magic Orbs if you get it right.  The Minotaurs will give you Health.  
However, if you don't need the orbs they yield, or you're facing an enemy
that doesn't give up health/magic orbs, then strongly consider skipping the 
mini-game and just killing them.  Throw a few more attacks at them, 
especially the stronger Triangle attacks, to finish them off.  Doing this 
will result in a pay day of red orbs - and you NEED red orbs for your 
upgrades!



     /-
0####|=================> Limited Range 
     \-

- Use the enemy's range limitations to your advantage.  Every time you enter 
a room and meet an enemy, back up the way you came to see how far they can 
follow you.  More often than not, they end up stuck at the doorway and can't 
reach you, but you can hit them.  Medusa's gaze comes in real handy for that!



     /-
0####|=================> Quick Freeze 
     \-

- Nearly every enemy in the game is susceptible to a double shot of Medusa's
quick freeze (Level 2 : Hold L2 and hit Triangle).  Large minotaurs, the 
Cerberus, etc, can all be frozen by hitting them twice with the quick freeze.
Low level minotaurs can be frozen with a single blast of the quick freeze.



     /-
0####|=================> Attack Cues 
     \-

- Just before an enemy attacks, they usually make a distinct sound that is 
unique to each creature.  The sound and the visual clues are a perfect warning
that tells you to Hit L1 and BLOCK and parry.
The first Hydra you meet in the ship makes "tinkling" sound and will also 
wiggle the fins around it's head.  The undead soldiers with the heavy swords
(trail of blue light when they hit you) make a sound and have the blue light
to look for.  The gorgons make a swishing/hissing sound just before their 
attack.  Etc, etc.  Do your best to learn and recognize the enemy cues which
signal that they are about to strike.



     /-
0####|=================> Grab Your Enemy 
     \-

- You can perform a grab/grapple technique by being close to your enemy and 
hitting the O Button.

If your enemy is "grab-able" simply run up to them and hit the O Button and 
Kratos will lay his hands on them.

You can also "grab" your enemies while they are in the air.  This can happen 
while they are in the air and you are on the ground, or while you are both in
the air.  The "grab" can be either a bare handed grab or a stab & hook 
maneuver with the Blades of Chaos at chains' length.

For the duration of this guide, "grab-able" will refer to Kratos being on the
ground and running up to the enemy and laying his hands on them.  Techniques
that require the enemy and/or Kratos to be in the air will be covered in
sections below referred to as a "Death Bounce".

I CAN NOT SAY THIS ENOUGH : Grabbing is a VERY essential part to making it
through God of War, in God Mode, as painlessly as possible.
Grabs typically lead to instant kills or very serious damage not to mention 
room clearing sweep attacks!

Also, during the grab sequence, Kratos is invincible to other enemy attacks,
so if you are in the middle of the grab animation and another enemy takes a
swipe at you, you will NOT be hit!



     /-
0####|=================> Grabbing Soldiers 
     \-

NOTE : If a grab-able soldier, especially the archers, are re-spawning, the 
ground turns black/red as they are coming up.  YOU DO NOT HAVE TO WAIT for 
them to be completely out of the ground in order to grab them.  As soon as 
you see the ground begin to open up, hit the O Button and yank them out of 
the ground and perform your throw.

- For all of the undead soldiers in the game, once you grab them, you have a
few of options:

                         ---- Best Option ----
1. Square Button - YOUR BEST GRAB OPTION : Kratos stabs the soldier with his
sword and then swings them in a 360 degree circle before throwing them across
the room toward another enemy.  The chain swing will hit everyone in the 
general vicinity.  NOTE: This is the maneuver of choice since the resulting
chain swing will hit everything in range, and the following throw will not
only kill the soldier in question but damage/kill whatever the thrown soldier
hits.  The chain swing and throw can also knock enemies off of ledges 
meaning instant death for them.

2. Triangle Button - Instant kill in which Kratos becomes enraged and rips 
the soldier in half.  Cool to watch, but rarely gives you red orbs, and will
not affect other enemies on screen.  If you're in the clear and want a bit 
of stress relief, go ahead and do this (they deserve it)!

3. O Button - Tap the O button four times and the first three presses will
cause Kratos to punch/slap the soldier in the face, and on the fourth press
of the button, Kratos slams him to the ground and stabs him multiple times
with his Blades of Chaos for an instant kill. Cool to watch, but rarely 
gives you red orbs, and will not affect other enemies on screen.

4. X Button - Kratos will let go of the enemy so do *NOT* hit this button 
during a grab!

If you don't do any of the above but instead just sit there or wait too long,
the enemy will break free and counter attack.  So act fast!



     /-
0####|=================> Get Your Enemy Airborne 
     \-

- With nearly every enemy, it is often possible to knock your enemy into the 
air.  Once they are in the air, you can often perform special aerial grab 
techniques.  Some of these are repeatable which lead to instant death.  
I will call these "Death Bounce" sequences and will describe them shortly. 

Some enemies will block your attempts at getting them airborne, and some 
simply can not be tossed into the air, but for those that are susceptible,
there are several ways of getting them into the air for a grab depending on 
what level your Blades of Chaos are at:

(Hold) Triangle - Kratos does a heavy duty uppercut attack that launches the
both Kratos and the enemy into the air.

Square, Triangle - After hitting square, immediately hit Triangle for a light
duty uppercut that will launch your enemy into the air. If you hit X as the
enemy is being launched into the air, Kratos will super jump into the air 
with them, otherwise, Kratos stays on the ground.

L1 + X - This combo does an immediate uppercut that will launch your enemy 
into the air. If you hit X as the enemy is being launched into the air, Kratos
will super jump into the air with them, otherwise, Kratos stays on the 
ground.

Double Chain Ground Slam - There are several combo strings that end with 
Kratos slamming both of the blades of chaos (at full chain's length) into 
the ground.  The resulting force of this ground blow will cause most enemies
to be knocked a short distance into the air.  However, the enemy doesn't go
very high, so the aerial grab technique must be performed quickly in order
for them to work.  Some good ground slam combos are:
  - Square, Square, Triangle
  - Triangle, Triangle, Triangle
  - L1 + Triangle



     /-
0####|=================> The Death Bounce : From The Ground 
     \-

- If your enemy is in the air and you are on the ground (and relatively close
to your enemy), hitting the O Button for a "grab" will cause Kratos to throw 
out one of his Blades of Chaos to stab the enemy.  If it hits, Kratos will 
then yank down on the chain causing the enemy to be slammed into the ground.
  
NOTE : for most enemies, this slam is REPEATABLE.  That is, once they are 
slammed to the ground, they will actually bounce back up into the air.  By 
pressing the O button again IMMEDIATELY, Kratos will repeat the move by again
hooking them with the Blade of Chaos and repeating the slam.  Do this over 
and over again (assuming you don't get hit by another enemy) to completely 
destroy your enemy.



     /-
0####|=================> The Death Bounce : In The Air 
     \-

- For most enemies, if you and your enemy are both in the air (and you are
relatively close to your enemy), Kratos can perform a death bounce 
(depending on the enemy) in which repeated mashing of the O Button will cause
Kratos to slam them to the ground either by hand or by using the blades of 
chaos at full chain's length.   Just keep mashing the O Button, and Kratos
will continually grab and slam the enemy into the ground over and over again
until they explode in a burst of red orbs!



     /-                                                         -\
0####|=================>      THE ENEMIES      <=================|####O
     \-                                                         -/


<----------------------------------------------------------------------------->
 |                        BASIC UNDEAD SOLDIER                               |
<----------------------------------------------------------------------------->

- Grunts of the undead soldiers.  Weakest soldier that relies on light 
sporadic sword attacks.

*** Instantly grab-able.  You can grab and throw these guys the minute you 
get close enough.

Death Bounce : From the Ground - Possible! 

Death Bounce : In the Air - Possible!

Best Attack Option - Perform a grab and throw on these guys immediately by 
hitting the O Button to grab and then immediately hitting the square button
for the throw. It can kill the weaker ones instantly, once thrown they 
usually hit another enemy causing them damage, and the chain swing of the 
throw will also cause damage to surrounding enemies.


<----------------------------------------------------------------------------->
 |                            UNDEAD ARCHER                                  |
<----------------------------------------------------------------------------->

- This is basically a Grunt Soldier armed with a Bow and Arrow.  Later in the
game, they fire arrows that stick in the wall or ground and will explode 
after about 3 seconds.  Very annoying.  The will also punch you if you're 
close to them.

*** Instantly grab-able.  You can grab and throw these guys the minute you
get close enough.

Death Bounce : From the Ground - Possible!

Death Bounce : In the Air - Possible!

Best Attack Option - Perform a grab and throw on these guys immediately by 
hitting the O Button to grab and then immediately hitting the square button
for the throw. It can kill the weaker ones instantly, once thrown they 
usually hit another enemy causing them damage, and the chain swing of the 
throw will also cause damage to surrounding enemies.


<----------------------------------------------------------------------------->
 |                             MAGIC SOLDIER                                 |
<----------------------------------------------------------------------------->

- Shield Carrying Undead.  A Grunt Soldier equipped with a shield.  They use 
sword attacks and will occasionally ram you with their shield as well.

*** You MUST break/destroy their shield in order to damage them.  Destroy 
their shield using any of the double chain ground slam attacks:

1. Square, Square, Triangle : NOTE - Only BRIEFLY TAP the triangle button at
the end of this combo string.  If you hold the Triangle button even for a 
second at the end of this string then Kratos will do a double chain uppercut
slash instead that will not break the shield nor cause any damage to them.
When done correctly, the double chain ground slam will break the shields. 
Immediately available.

2. Triangle, Triangle, Triangle :  This ends in a double chain ground slam 
that destroys their shield. You get this attack later after upgrading the 
Blades of Chaos.

3. L1 + Triangle : Spinning attack that ends with a double chain ground slam
NOTE - You only get the ground slam if you perform this while on the ground,
the ground slam does not happen if you execute this combo while in air after
a jump. You get this attack later after upgrading the Blades of Chaos.

4. L1 + (hold)O - Hold O to charge this up, and Kratos slams both blades into
the ground sending out a circular shock wave that breaks the shield and
knocks enemies flat. 
Can be executed while in the air after a jump which is most preferable since
at the peak of your double jump, you can hold O for a full charge (which 
suspends you in mid-air at your current potion) and be high enough to be out
of reach of most attacks. You get this attack later after upgrading the Blades
of Chaos.

*** Once you break their shields, they are instantly grab-able.  So grab and
throw them as soon as you have their shields down and are close enough.


NOTE: If you have knocked a shield soldier down with a previous throw, it IS
possible to grab them WHILE THEY STILL HAVE THEIR SHIELDS if you grab them
QUICK before they recover from being knocked down (grab them as they are
getting up).

Death Bounce : From the Ground - Possible, after shield is destroyed.

Death Bounce : In the Air - Possible, after shield is destroyed.

Best Attack Option - First, you must break their shields.  The best option
for destroying their shield is the Level 5 attack of double jump, L1 + O
button.  This attack will break the shields of all soldiers that are in 
range of the shockwave.  Once the shields are gone, perform a grab and throw
on these guys immediately by hitting the O Button to grab and then 
immediately hitting the square button for the throw. It can kill the weaker
ones instantly. Once thrown, they usually hit another enemy causing them
damage, and the chain swing of the throw will also cause damage to 
surrounding enemies.


<----------------------------------------------------------------------------->
 |                           ARMORED SOLDIER                                 |
<----------------------------------------------------------------------------->

- Stronger Version of the Grunt Soldier. Sporting more golden armor than the 
basic Grunt and has a strong sword attack that leaves a trail of blue light.  
They also have a weaker 2 string sword attack in which they stab you twice 
(no trail of blue light for this one which means it can be harder to see this
coming and thus block).

*** These guys are NOT grab-able until you see the O Button appear over them.
Cause enough damage to them and the O Button appears.  Once you see the O 
Button, you can grab and throw them like the rest of the soldiers.

Death Bounce : From the Ground - Possible, no need to wait for the O Button 
to appear, just get them into the air and go for it.

Death Bounce : In the Air - Possible, no need to wait for the O Button to 
appear, just get them into the air and go for it.

Best Attack Option - These guys come in packs and can't be grabbed 
immediately.  Use Square, (hold)Square while frequently changing directions
to target a different soldier during your attack.  For a quick kill, go for
the Death Bounce (either one). 


<----------------------------------------------------------------------------->
 |                                 WRAITH                                    |
<----------------------------------------------------------------------------->

- Undead Soldiers with blades for hands.  They can tunnel under ground and 
unleash a vicious jumping spin attack once they are close to you.

*** Instantly grab-able.  You can grab these guys as soon as you are close 
enough (assuming they aren't in the middle of attacking you)
- If they have high health, Kratos will slam both of their blades into the
ground and automatically follow that with a double blade uppercut that sends
these guys flying into the air which sets them up for a Death Bounce! If
you don't do the Death Bounce, then they will recover shortly and come after
you once more.
- If these guys have low health when you grab them, Kratos will slam them
to the ground, rip off one of their bladed arms, and use it to stab them 
meaning instant death for them.

Death Bounce : From the Ground - Possible!

Death Bounce : In the Air - NO. Once in the air, Kratos will perform only 
one back-breaker ground slam.  So, stay on the ground for the Death bounce.

Best Attack Option - Perform a grab on these guys immediately by hitting the
O Button.  You can't throw them, but the grab's auto sequence (see above) can
instantly kill if they have low health, otherwise the uppercut at the end of
the sequence will get them airborne thus setting up the opportunity for a 
Death Bounce.

Alternate Attack Strategy
--- Thanks to Melvyn Lam Hau Ching (melvynlam@hotmail.com) for this one ---
Perform a grab on the wraith and Kratos will perform the uppercut to launch
the wraith into the air.  Immediately hit the X Button to super jump into
the air with the wraith and perform a grab.  This will perform a single
backbreaker slam but you are in the air and invincible while doing it so the
other enemies can't hit you.  Once the move is done, immediately repeat until
the wraith is dead.
---


<----------------------------------------------------------------------------->
 |                        CAPTAIN OF THE UNDEAD                              |
<----------------------------------------------------------------------------->

- Scythe and Sword Wielding Undead.  Strongest and most skilled of the undead 
soldiers.  Heavy armor and a bit taller than the rest of them.

*** These guys are NOT grab-able until you see the O Button appear over them.
Cause enough damage to them and the O Button appears.  Once you see the O 
Button, you can grab them:
- If they have high health, Kratos will grab them by the leg and slam them
to the ground.  They will recover shortly and come after you once more.
- If they have low health, Kratos will grab their arm (which will be holding
a sword), twist the arm behind their back, and then impale them with their
own sword followed by a leg sweep that means instant death for them.

Death Bounce : From the Ground - Possible, but if their health is High, this
only leads to the appearance of the O Button at which point it stops and 
they are left stunned and swaying in place (they recover shortly).  Once 
their Health is low, you can do this until they die.

Death Bounce : In the Air - NO. If you get them into the air, Kratos will
perform a short animation sequence where he simply uses the Blades of Chaos
to stab and slam them to the ground. After that, the sequence is terminated.

Best Attack Option - These guys come in packs and can't be grabbed 
immediately.  Use Square, (hold)Square while frequently changing directions
to target a different soldier during your attack. Keep your distance, and 
block as necessary.  Go for the Death Bounce (from the ground only) for an
instant kill.

Alternate Attack Strategy
--- Thanks to anthony_minto@hotmail.com for this one. ---
When fighting these guys, if you attempt a grab (hit O Button), they will
IMMEDIATELY block and parry with a stabbing attack.  This attack can be 
blocked thus setting you up for a quick parry of your own.  Simply hit 
O Button to attempt the grab, IMMEDIATELY hit L1 to block, and once you
see the pause animation, immediately hit Square for your parry.  This 
parry is a double chain sweep that will send him and everyone around
him flying.
---


<----------------------------------------------------------------------------->
 |                                 HARPY                                     |
<----------------------------------------------------------------------------->

- Annoying winged she beast.  The only flying enemy in the game.  Rather weak,
but late in the game, they will grab you occasionally and do a dive bomb 
attack that starts with a red flaming bull's eye on the ground that tries to
target you.  

*** These are instantly grab-able.  A grab means instant for these guys! Once
you grab them, Kratos grabs both of their wings, slams them to the ground,
places a foot on their back and rips their wings off meaning instant death 
for them.  You do NOT get any red orbs for killing them this way, but it 
makes light work of this annoying enemy if you get into trouble with a swarm
of them.

Death Bounce : From the Ground - Possible, but hard to do since they are 
airborne most of the time.  To get this to work, you have to knock them out
of the air and if they bounce once they hit the ground, then you can do it.
It's really not worth the effort.

Death Bounce : In the Air - Possible, but difficult to do.  In order to make
it work, you must jump up into the air close to them and then perform the
grab. It's really not worth the effort.

Best Attack Option - These guys are typically of little consequence.  So, 
just use your favorite combos to take them out.  A grab means instant death,
but no red orbs.  If you get covered up, do a grab since you'll be 
temporarily invincible during the death animation.  Otherwise, just beat 
them silly and claim your red orbs.


<----------------------------------------------------------------------------->
 |                                 SIREN                                     |
<----------------------------------------------------------------------------->

- Another annoying she devil.  Shoots blue fireballs that only cause minor 
damage, but can also use a shock attack that will leave you stunned for a few
seconds, and in groups they will often use a sucking wind attack that pulls 
you toward them while the others pour on the blue fireball attacks.

*** These guys are NOT grab-able until you see the O Button appear over them.
Cause enough damage to them and the O Button appears.  Once you see the O 
Button, you can grab them:
- High Health = Kratos slams their face into the ground.  They will recover
shortly.
- Low Health = If you grab them from the side or back then Kratos will break
their back over his forearm. Instant death for them.
- Low Health = If you grab them from the front, Kratos will stab them and do
a chain slam.  Instant death for them.

Death Bounce : From the Ground - Possible, but they block your attempts to 
get them in the air a lot.  If you succeed, the O Button will appear as you
are slamming them, continue slamming them for instant death or stop to 
perform a grab.

Death Bounce : In the Air - Possible, but they block your attempts to get 
them in the air a lot. If you succeed, the O Button will appear as you are
slamming them, continue slamming them for instant death or stop to perform
a grab.

Best Attack Option - These ladies block a LOT, but they don't hit that hard
String together your Square button Combos while changing directions often
Get them airborne for a Death Bounce if the opportunity arises.


<----------------------------------------------------------------------------->
 |                                GORGON                                     |
<----------------------------------------------------------------------------->

- Medusa type she beast.  They use a stoning gaze rather often that you MUST
shake off with the left analog stick or its instant death for you.  Physical
attacks are a tail swipe and a dangerous claw swipe.

NOTE: You can avoid being turned to stoned by constantly rolling out of the
way using the right analog stick.  However, getting turned to stone by these
guys isn't that bad since you can quickly shake it off and be set for a 
quick counter attack.  The easiest way to pull this off is, once you are 
turned to stone, IMMEDIATELY hold L1, then let go of the controller with your
right hand, rest the controller on your leg or arm of your chair, use your 
now free right hand to QUICKLY move the analog stick back and forth.  You 
will shake off the stone shortly and end up in the block position (assuming
you ARE holding down L1).  Gorgons always follow a stoning with a claw 
swipe, you MUST have your guard up or you'll take heavy damage.  However, 
with your guard up, their claw swipe is blocked and a counter attack is yours
for the taking.

*** These guys are NOT grab-able until you see the O Button appear over them.
Cause enough damage to them and the O Button appears.  Once you see the O 
Button, you can grab them and then do the O Button mini-game of matching the
left analog stick movements that appear on screen.  Match all three required
moves, and Kratos will rip their heads off which gives you a few blue magic
orbs for the effort.  Great way to get some free magic.

Death Bounce : From the Ground - Possible, but they block your attempts to 
get them in the air a lot.

Death Bounce : In the Air - Possible, but they block your attempts to get 
them in the air a lot.  For the Air grab, it is best to be very close to them
when you perform this.  When performed correctly, Kratos will grab them by
the tail and repeatedly slam them to the ground.  AS you're doing this
repeated slam, the O Button will appear.  Slam them one more time to 
instantly kill them, or stop the slam process quickly in order to do the
mini-game and get the blue orbs.

Best Attack Option - Death Bounce in the air.  Get these guys airborne ASAP
and follow them up for a Death Bounce.  Make sure you're relatively close to
them and then repeatedly do an O Button grab.  These guys will be destroyed
in about 4 slams.  A very nice and quick way to deal with these snake ladies.


<----------------------------------------------------------------------------->
 |                            CERBERUS PUP                                   |
<----------------------------------------------------------------------------->

- Very annoying since they always show up in swarms and try to overwhelm you.
They have a basic jumping bite attack and a spinning fireball attack (they
cover themselves in flames and spin into you) which is very damaging.

*** Instantly grab-able:
- High Health = Kratos will throw them a few feet away.  They will recover
shortly.
- Low Health = Kratos will slam them to the ground and drive his knee into
them meaning instant death or them.  AS A BONUS, doing this will also yield
1 to 3 green health orbs!

Death Bounce : From the Ground - Possible, but hard to do since these guys
come in packs that are constantly swarming all over you.  Not really worth
the effort.

Death Bounce : In the Air - Possible, but hard to do since these guys come
in packs that are constantly swarming all over you.  Not really worth the
effort.

Best Attack Option - Square, (hold)Square combo.  Change directions OFTEN as
these annoying little curs will surround you quickly and attack from every 
direction.  


<----------------------------------------------------------------------------->
 |                           CERBERUS ADULT                                  |
<----------------------------------------------------------------------------->

- Full grown 3 headed dog beast.  They use a vicious double claw attack and
will often pounce you (knock you to the ground) and chew attack you until 
you either shake them off with the left analog stick or die.  They also have
a fireball attack in which they shoot a long range fireball at you from 
their mouth.

*** These guys are NOT grab-able until you see the O Button appear over them.
Cause enough damage to them and the O Button appears.  Once you see the O 
Button, you can grab them:
- High Health = Kratos will jump on their back and stab his blades into them.
They will recover shortly.
- Low Health = Kratos will slam his blades into the top of their center head
driving its head into the ground and finally crushing its head. Instant 
death for them.

Death Bounce : From the Ground - NO : If you get them in the air, Kratos will
perform only one chain grab and slam.  The next one will be blocked.

Death Bounce : In the Air - NO : If you get them in the air, Kratos will 
perform a sort animation sequence in which he jumps on their back and drives
his blade into them for a single ground slam.  The next attempt will be 
blocked.

Best Attack Option - Medusa's Gaze.  I hate these guys, so turning them to 
stone and taking them out immediately is always a great idea.  If you don't
have the magic to use Medusa's Gaze, then get them airborne.  You can not
Death Bounce these guys, but getting them airborne and then slamming them
back to the ground stuns them for a few seconds giving you time to plan your
next attack.


<----------------------------------------------------------------------------->
 |                               MINOTAUR                                    |
<----------------------------------------------------------------------------->

- Half man half bull.  The carry heavy axes that aren't too bad, but they 
also can carry heavy hammers that they will slam the ground with which causes
shock waves in your direction that will damage you AND knock you flat 
leaving you stunned for a second. They also have a charge attack in which 
they paw the ground and ram you like a bull.

*** These guys are NOT grab-able until you see the O Button appear over them.
Cause enough damage to them and the O Button appears.  Once you see the O 
Button, you can grab them and then do the O Button mini-game where you must
rapidly match the O Button in order to win the power struggle. If you 
succeed, Kratos will knock the minotaurs arms out of the way and slam his 
blade into their open mouth splitting their head open.  Instant death for 
them.  AS A BONUS, doing this will also yield green health orbs!

Death Bounce : From the Ground - NO.  You'll get one chain slam and that's
it.  These guys will not bounce high enough for a second chain slam.

Death Bounce : In the Air - Possible, but they block your attempts to get
them in the air a lot.  For the air grab, it's best to be very close to 
them.  If done correctly, Kratos will grab them by a back leg and repeatedly
slam them into the ground.  AS you're slamming them, the O button will 
finally appear so slam them once more for an instant kill, or quickly stop
and initiate the mini-game to get the health orbs.

Best Attack Option - Death Bounce in the air.  Get these guys airborne ASAP
and follow them up for a Death Bounce.  Make sure you're relatively close to 
them and then repeatedly do an O Button grab.  These guys will be destroyed
in about 4 slams.  A very nice and quick way to deal with these rather large
trouble makers.  


<----------------------------------------------------------------------------->
 |                               CYCLOPS                                     |
<----------------------------------------------------------------------------->

- Very dangerous one eyed big beast.  They carry spiked balls and clubs.

*** These guys are NOT grab-able until you see the O Button appear over them.
Cause enough damage to them and the O Button appears.  Once you see the O 
Button:
- High Health = Kratos will stab them in the eye and do a chain yank 
slamming them into the ground.  They will recover shortly.
- Low Health = A mini-game will occur in which you have to match a 3 button
sequence.  Get it right and its instant death for these guys.

Death Bounce : From the Ground - NO. You just can't get these big guys into
the air.

Death Bounce : In the Air - NO. You just can't get these big guys into the
air.

Best Attack Option - Medusa's Gaze.  These guys typically approach you rather
slowly, so whip out Medusa's Gaze (at least at level 2, level 3 is better) 
and turn these guys to stone.  It's a quick kill that yields extra red orbs.
If you don't have the magic for Medusa's Gaze, then attack and move. Throw a
few square button attacks and then pull left or right on the right analog
stick to get out of the way since these guys attack rather frequently and
they hit HARD.

Alternate Attack Strategy
If you're running low on magic, then the best offense is to use the Square, 
Square, Triangle attack.  This is the combo you often use to break the
shields of the Magic Shield Soldiers.  The chain slam at the end of this
combo deals serious damage to the cyclops and STUNS him.  It is possible to
string several of these attacks together in a row so that the cyclops 
remains stunned the entire fight and never gets to attack you.
Also, for the smaller Cyclops that carry the Mace (spiked ball).  Hold your
ground with them, use the Square, Square, Triangle attack, and right when
they get ready to launch the spiked ball at you, simply jog the right analog
stick to the RIGHT.  The cyclops carry the spiked ball in their left hand, 
so evading to the right is a very easy and sure fire way to keep from getting
hit.


<----------------------------------------------------------------------------->
 |                               CENTAUR                                     |
<----------------------------------------------------------------------------->

- Half man and half horse.  They carry bows and arrows and do front paw 
ground slam attacks that send out very damaging shock waves in your direction
that will damage you AND knock you flat leaving you stunned for a second.

*** These guys are NOT grab-able until you see the O Button appear over them.
Cause enough damage to them and the O Button appears.  Once you see the O 
Button:
- High Health = Kratos will grab them by a back leg and slam them over his 
head and to the ground in the opposite direction he was facing when he 
grabbed them.  They will recover shortly.
- Low Health = Kratos will initiate a sword attack by stabbing them in the
chest which means instant death for these guys.

Death Bounce : From the Ground - NO.  They block most attempts at getting 
them airborne, and if you do manage to get them in the air, only one slam 
will work and all other attempts will be blocked.

Death Bounce : In the Air - NO. They block most attempts at getting them 
airborne, and if you do manage to get them in the air, only one slam will
work and all other attempts will be blocked.

Best Attack Option - Medusa's Gaze if you've got the magic.  Otherwise, use
Square, (hold) Square.  Change directions often if they are surrounding 
you.  Use the right analog stick to roll away from them, and double jump 
over and away from their ground wave attacks.  These guys are can be very 
dangerous, but they are surprisingly susceptible to attempts at getting them
airborne.  You can't Death bounce them, but getting them in the air and 
slamming them to the ground will stun them for a few seconds thus giving you
time to plan your next attack.


<----------------------------------------------------------------------------->
 |                                SATYR                                      |
<----------------------------------------------------------------------------->

- Very skilled half man half goat like creatures.  They carry a double bladed
staff that they are VERY good at using.  One of the most skilled opponents 
in the game.

*** Instantly grab-able.  Once you grab them you are entered into a mini-game
of tug-of-war.  You have to rapidly push the O button to win.  Get it right,
and Kratos will slam these guys to the ground.  The best part about this 
slam is that the Satyr will be flat on his back on the ground with his feet
facing AWAY from you.  When the Satyr recovers from this, he will hop to his
feet meaning his back is to you leaving him open to any attack you throw at 
him, so take advantage of this short window of opportunity.

Also, if you deal enough damage to them, the O button appears over their 
head:
- High Health = Kratos slams them to the ground and they recover shortly.
- Low Health = Kratos slams them to the ground for an instant kill.

Death Bounce : From the Ground - NO. They block most attempts at getting 
them airborne, and if you do manage to get them in the air, only one slam 
will work and all other attempts will be blocked.

Death Bounce : In the Air - NO. They block most attempts at getting them 
airborne, and if you do manage to get them in the air, only one slam will 
work and all other attempts will be blocked.

Best Attack Option - RUN!  Well, that won't kill them, so you'll have to rely
on Square, (hold)Square attacks.  These guys are fast and dangerous.  Block
a lot, try to counter/parry with Square, and be careful with your grabs if 
there are other Satyrs around since you CAN be hit as you're doing the tug
of war mini-game with them.




  .-------------------------------------------------------------------------.
 /  .-.                                                                 .-.  \
|  /   \                 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~                     /   \  |
| |\_.  |                 GOD MODE FIGHTING GUIDE                     |    /| |
|\|  | /|                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~                    |\  | |/|
| `---' |                                                             | `---' |
|       |-------------------------------------------------------------|       |
\       |                                                             |       /
 \     /                                                               \     /
  `---'                                                                 `---'


Ok, with all of that said and done, let's get to the heart of the matter - 
surviving some of the toughest battles in the game.



            \------------------------------------------------/
           O|                [ Aegean Sea  ]                 |O
            /------------------------------------------------\

NOTE: A Blade of Chaos upgrade to Level 2 is possible during this chapter
at the time you "interact" with the women on the ship.  The interaction
with the women yields 400 red orbs.

You'll meet lots of Basic Soldiers.  Easy stuff.  Use the Grab and Throw
technique (O button followed by Square button) on each and every one that
is close to you.  This will make QUICK and light work of these guys.

Hydras are a LOT tougher which may surprise you since they didn't cause you 
too much grief on your first play through, but its nothing terribly 
distressing.  What I found was that, on my first play through in Normal mode,
I was far more aggressive and blocked very little.  In God Mode, you MUST 
learn to block effectively or it's deadsville for sure.  You fought the
Hydras your first time through on  Normal mode, so nothing special here.
Just BLOCK A LOT.  Watch for their visual cues that signal a strike is
coming (they wiggle the fins around their head, a subtle noise, etc) and
block when you see the cue.

As for the BOSS Hydra, the big one in the Middle, well, as with your first
pass through this game, you CAN'T block his bite attack, so just roll out
of the way and continue pounding on him.  I've found that Poseidon's Rage
is of little use in this fight since the BOSS Hydra is usually out of 
range.

Update : I have recently noticed that this Hydra Boss clearly telegraphs
his bite strike!  As you're standing on the platform and wailing away on
him, keep a close eye on his head.  Just before the strike, he will do
a short sideways nod/tilt of his head in the direction he is going to
strike.  He'll tilt in the appropriate direction, and then moves his head in
the opposite direction as he rears back for the strike.  The crucial thing
to note is the INITIAL tilt of his head.  If his first move is a tilt to the
right, then its a bit strike to the right of the mast.  To the left is a 
left bite strike, and for a dead center bite, he simply rears straight
back.  Watch closely for the tilt, and simply jog the Right Analog stick in
the opposite direction to easily avoid his bite strikes!



     /-
0####|=================> Alternate Hydra Strategies
     \-

--- Thanks to anthony_minto@hotmail.com for these. ---
1. For the second Mini-Hydra, if you stay far away from him, he'll do an
inhale attack to pull you in toward him.  As you are being pulled in, start
a string of combos to get in several hits on your way in, and then simply
back up and repeat.

My Note : This strategy does work.  I found it interesting since I didn't 
know this Mini-Hydra had an inhale attack!  Every time I fought him I always
stayed close enough to him so that it wasn't triggered.  So this is an
interesting and viable alternative attack strategy.  In using this, his
3-way head slam is never triggered, but unfortunately, you also never
trigger the powerful O Button mini-game where he tries to eat you.

2. During the Main Boss Fight, you have to deal with the two Hydra Spawn
on the ground level before going after the Main Hydra.  As you're attacking
one of these Hydras, the other will often initiate an inhale attack to pull
you over to his side.  INSTEAD of fighting against this attack, go with it!
As soon as it is initiated, simply turn toward that Hydra and start your 
combo as you are being pulled in.  Then, start pounding on that Hydra as
usual. The other Hydra will eventually do the inhale attack.  So, using this
strategy, you can simply be pulled back and forth between the two, the whole
while chipping away at each one's health until one is finally dead, and the 
other is close to death as well.

My Note : This strategy works, and it's far better than trying to fight
against the inhale attack.  Just let them pull you back and forth between
them and pound them as usual. Using this strategy actually speeds up the 
fight.
---

--- Thanks to Alex Malinovich (demonbane@the-love-shack.net) for this. ---
When fighting the Hydra, as soon as it does a bite to the center, start a 
combo of four Square Button attacks.  Right as the 4th attack is executing,
IMMEDIATELY use Poseidon's Rage.  This will take off a considerable bit of
the Hydra's health, and it stuns it setting it up for another round of the
four square button combo attack.  Just repeat this over and over, 4 Square,
Poseidon's rage, 4 square, etc. until you get the O Button animation.  It 
makes this a rather easy fight!

My Note: I actually consider this something of an advanced fighting 
technique.  You MUST stand dead center at the 12 O'Clock position for this to
work, AND you must have perfect timing.  From dead center, move out of the way
at the last minute and start your 4 square button combo, just as the last hit
is taking place, IMMEDIATELY hit your Poseidon's Rage.  This stuns the Hydra
and you can continue again with the 4 square combo followed by the Poseidon's
Rage attack.  String four of these together, and he's at the O Button animation
in no time.  As for magic, with good timing of your hits, the Hydra typically
drops plenty of blue orbs to keep this technique going.
It's a great and FAST battle strategy, but as I said, it's a bit advanced and
requires perfect timing and far more work than simply dodging and striking.  
It's a good and viable technique that will end this fight QUICKLY, but you
better bring some skill with you if you plan on using it!
---



            \------------------------------------------------/
           O|            [ The Gates of Athens ]             |O             
            /------------------------------------------------\

NOTE: A Blade of Chaos upgrade to Level 3 is possible during this chapter
during the battle on the rooftop with the Bow and Arrow machine that fires
the rope that you have to cross to the other building.

>>> Medusa : Mini-Boss Fight
Well, she is a LOT tougher this time through, and you may find yourself a 
bit surprised at how quickly she hands you your head on a platter!  Her 
Claw Swipe is simply devastating, not only can she reach you from nearly 
clear across the room with it, but it takes away a LOT of health.  She can 
kill you in two hits if you aren't careful - 1 hit if you get turned to 
stone and don't shake it off in time.

Luckily, she telegraphs her strikes.  Just before she strikes, she makes a
distinct hissing type sound.  This is your cue to be ready to block.  If done
correctly, you'll see a slight animation pause meaning you have successfully
blocked the strike.  Later, once you have the Level 3 Blades of Chaos, the 
counter-strike becomes available, and this pause in the animation means you 
have not only blocked but can also parry the strike.
Use Poseidon's rage until you're out of magic (there's more magic to come),
and learn to block.  This is one of the first fights that really tests your
ability to strike, block, and counter well.
You CAN get her airborne, but only ONE grab and slam will work.  A Death
Bounce is not possible with Medusa - she is the Queen of the Gorgons after 
all.
As for being turned to stone, don't sweat it.  It's really no big deal since
it's just you and her in the room.  If you get turned to stone, use the right
analog madness technique I described earlier to shake it off and put yourself
back into a blocking position.  She will always follow turning you to stone 
with a claw swipe, and the claw swipe always leaves her susceptible to 2-3 
quick hits from your blades.

Beware of her tail swipes as she will often string 2 or more of these 
together.  Once you beat her, you have to stone the Minotaurs with her gaze
However, on my first play through, I thought I had to conserve magic, so I 
just beat the minotaurs with regular blade attacks.  Don't do that! The thing
to be aware of during this portion of the fight is that you are granted 
UNLIMITED magic (I did not notice that my first play through), so move 
around the room if the Minotaurs get close, and use Medusa's Gaze like mad.
You will have unlimited magic for the duration of this fight. So, as long as
there is a Minotaur left, you've got free magic.  

>>> After defeating Medusa, you come back to the courtyard where 
you knock the statue over, climb up the platforms, and then have to cross the
horizontal rope (the rope you actually have to fire from the crossbow). 
As you're climbing up the platforms, you'll meet some Gorgons.  Use the same
strike and block techniques on them that you used on Medusa herself.  Also,
the Gorgons are susceptible to Death Bounces (described else where in this 
guide), so look for the chance to get them into the air and pound them silly.
After the Gorgons, you'll meet some minotaurs.  If you've got the magic 
and want a quick end to this, Medusa's gaze works wonders on them.  Turn them
to stone and smash them to pieces - you get a nice red orb bonus for 
smashing enemies that you have turned to stone.  Otherwise, they are also 
susceptible to Death Bounces in the air - use them to make light work of 
the minotaurs.

>>> Once you finally have to cross the rope, the guys on the rope are a real
pain!  I've found that, if you're surrounded on either side, simply hit X
which causes you to fall to the ground, and then simply climb back up.  Once
you get back to the top, all the undead soldiers have worked their way back
to the platform but they do NOT get off the rope (unless you knock them off
or get too close).  So, just walk up to them, beat them senseless as they
hang stupidly on that rope and then try to cross the rope again.  If you get
surrounded again, drop and repeat. A bit tedious, but it beats getting killed
up there!



            \------------------------------------------------/
           O|             [ The Road to Athens ]             |O
            /------------------------------------------------\

Here is a great chance to test the range limitations of your enemy.  The 
Gorgons have a limited range and will stop at a certain point if they are
chasing you.  Use this to your advantage.  Stay just out of range or run 
and duck out of range if you get in trouble.  The archers can be very 
annoying, so run to them first thing and do a grab and throw to make light
work of them.  I'd suggest taking out the first couple of archers before 
tangling with the first Gorgon.  Just run by the Gorgon, get those archers,
and then back-track to deal with the Gorgon.  

You'll also meet the Minotaurs along the way, so for BOTH the Gorgons and
the Minotaurs, use the Death Bounce in the Air technique to quickly dispose
of them.



            \------------------------------------------------/
           O|             [ Athens Town Square ]             |O
            /------------------------------------------------\

The Cyclops, what fun.  You've beat them before, but they are harder now.  
You can't block their attacks, so the order of the day is to run and dodge 
when they get ready to strike.  Fortunately, there are hundreds of innocent
town's people running around.  The town's people get in your way quite a bit,
but you can kill them for health!  If you have to kill a town's person for
health, make sure you do it with a GRAB (Hit the O button) as that kills 
them instantly AND gives you THREE health orbs instead of the regular one 
you get by killing them any other way.  

If you want, use Rage of the Gods since you'll have plenty of time to refill
it before you might need it again.  Rage of the Gods makes these guy a lot
easier to handle, BUT don't use Rage of the Gods until after you've beat the
first single Cyclops since TWO More are going to re-spawn.



            \------------------------------------------------/
           O|             [ Rooftops of Athens ]             |O
            /------------------------------------------------\

>>> Once you get to the rooftops and meet the wraiths (the guys with blades
for hands that tunnel underground) for the first time, I've found that
blocking their spin attack and then immediately doing a grab is rather 
effective.  If the wraith has plenty of health, then when Kratos grabs the
wraith he'll grab both of the wraith's arms and slam the wraith's blade 
hands into the ground so the wraith is stuck, he then automatically does a
double chaos sword uppercut that is cool and can sometimes lead to a Death
Bounce if you aren't covered up.  Cool thing about the grab is that you're 
somewhat invincible during it.   Now, if the wraith is low on health during 
the grab, Kratos will slam him to the ground, rip his arm off, and then stab
him with his own severed blade hand - very cool!

>>> From there, you go up the stairs to more wraiths and two Cyclops - misery
for sure.  I've found however that you do NOT have to jump over the ledge
to fight these guys.  The wraiths and Cyclops will all come up to the ledge
but will not cross it.  So, stand on your side of the ledge and do jumping 
long range attacks.  Occasionally the wraiths and Cyclops will attack and 
reach over the barrier, so use the right analog stick to jump backwards and
out of the way.  If you're lucky, the Cyclops will approach from the left, 
and if he does, you can reach him with the Medusa attack.  Takes a little 
while to kill them all, but you definitely save yourself a lot of health 
and heart ache.

>>> After that bit of joy, you walk outside and see a bunch of soldiers 
running, the whole while screaming that Ares has breached the city.  They
try to cross a bridge and get wasted - which also takes out the bridge.  
Now, you have to jump across the platforms and do wall climbs on columns 
while archers are firing arrows at you.

IMPORTANT : There are two ways to handle this.

1. JUST RUN FOR IT.  Take the occasional hit and get yourself across the 
chasm to continue your quest.

2. TAKE THEM OUT. On the very first column you jump to, move all the way
to the right so that the column is between you and the archers.  Now move
all the way down as far as you can go.  You'll notice a new patch of vines
that lead all the way back to the left.  Go left and climb back up so that
your back is to the archers and you'll see a ledge.  Double jump over to 
the ledge, get the CHEST, kill some archers, and open the door.  Inside are
some Wraiths.  Take them out.  Walk around and go through the next door and
you'll meet the four or so archers that have been giving you grief.  Grab 
and throw these guys for a quick kill!

>>>  In this chapter, you'll also meet minotaurs, so use Death Bounce in
the Air on them.  You'll also meet Wraiths, so use grabs on them.  Two grabs
in a row will kill the weaker version found in this chapter.  Also, the first
grab always gets them in the air, so you have the option of using the
Death Bounce from the ground technique.



            \-------------------------------------------------/
           O|            [ Temple of the Oracle ]             |O
            /-------------------------------------------------\

Nothing too terrible here.  Same Harpy puzzle.  Proceed as usual.



            \------------------------------------------------/
           O|              [ Sewers of Athens ]              |O
            /------------------------------------------------\

Special Note : You do NOT have to fight any of the creatures in the Sewers.
It is absolutely possible to simply run for it and get to the exit ASAP.
Use the right analog stick to perform the occasional roll, and run full
steam for the exit.  There are no force-fields in here, so none of the 
fights are mandatory.  So, if you get stuck, tired, bored, or infuriated,
then simply high-tail it to the far end and get out of here!

If you decide to wade through the carnage and go for the straight up fight,
then there are Cyclops and Minotaurs that can give you some grief here, but
they are ALL susceptible to Medusa's Gaze.  Use the Gaze for the Cyclops.
Make sure you grab and throw the archers as that will kill other archers and
knock Minotaurs flat.  Try to get a Death Bounce in the Air on the Minotaurs
as that is a very quick way to dispatch them.

There is a section of the sewers that is raised and you must jump up to the
next level in order to continue (there are two chest in plain view right 
here as well).  This part is particularly annoying since Undead Soldiers with
the heavy swords come along with some Minotaurs.  This is a great place to
use your enemy's limitations against them.  If you get in trouble here, just
drop back down to the lower level where you came from.  The minotaurs and 
soldiers will be stuck up on the higher level, and you can use double jump 
heavy attacks against them.  This comes in handy if you're running low on 
health.



            \------------------------------------------------/
           O|           [ Desert of Lost Souls ]             |O
            /------------------------------------------------\

>>> As you approach Pandora's temple, you come to the second horn to call 
the Titan.  However, a bunch or sirens jump up to give you grief.  I found
here that if you use the medusa quick freeze (Level 2 upgrade - Hold L2 
and tap Triangle) and QUICKLY hit the sirens, you can make real light work
of this fight.  The sirens WILL shake off the stone rather quickly, so you
have to be close and very fast, but if you're lucky and catch two of them 
at once then its a big payday there.  When I did this, I went very quickly 
through about ten sirens before I ran out of magic, BUT the cool thing was,
once I'd cleared the screen of most of them, the sirens only re-spawned one
at a time making this fight very easy since you only have one siren at a 
time to deal with.

>>> Next you encounter a conveyor belt in which you have to push a block to
the far left hand side of the room while also fending off attacks from the
Armored Soldiers (heavy sword that leave a trail of blue light).  This can
be VERY frustrating.

                   !----------- IMPORTANT -----------!
To make your life a LOT EASIER on this puzzle/trap, BEFORE pulling the
block from the alcove and triggering the soldiers to appear, go to the right
and face the large spinning spiked wheel.  It can be destroyed!  Hit it with
Square, Square, Triangle three or four times (making sure to flip back away
from the wheel before you bump into it) and it will break!  This stops the
conveyor belt and makes this section much easier.
  
The soldiers come in packs of four by re-spawning 1 pair at a time (pair A
and Pair B).  If you can destroy all four of them relatively quickly, you'll
earn a few valuable seconds of peace before the next batch re-spawns.  If
you kill one pair and get stuck trying to kill the second pair, the first
pair will be re-spawning, so try to dispatch all four as quickly and close
together as possible.
Once you've killed the first wave of them, grab the stone block and do a 
charge kick.  You can usually make the jump after only two fully charged
kicks. The stone block does NOT have to be directly up against the wall to
make this jump, so if you get it pretty close, go for it and use your double
jump.  

TIP : As you are pushing the block, you can try to ignore the soldiers and
continue with your charge kick, just as soon as you see them initiate an 
attack, quickly release the charge and hold L1 to block and then immediately
go back to R2 and begin charging the kick again.  You can usually sneak in 
2-3 of these short charge, block, charge maneuvers before you are overwhelmed
and must fight them.



            \------------------------------------------------/
           O|             [ Pandora's Temple ]               |O
            /------------------------------------------------\

>>> Once you get past the Siren problem in the Desert of lost Souls, you meet
the burned guy and he lets you into the temple - but not before you meet the
three new Cyclops sand kings.  These guys suck!  This can be a very bad 
fight unless you know the secret/trick for this.  Across the courtyard 
(opposite side from the burned guy) there is a long narrow path lined with 
fences that leads to a dead end.  Run to the end of that, put your back 
against the fence and wait for the Cyclops to come after you.  The Cyclops
are so big, they can only fit down the path single file.  PLUS, they can't
get all the way down and can't reach you!  What ends up happening is they 
get stuck in a run forever.  They are in constant motion and running full 
speed toward you, but they are stuck in place.  

Now, if you get too close, they WILL hit you, but you can dodge that with 
the right analog stick, however, there's no need (that is, DON'T get that 
close).  All you have to do is use a 3 to 4 light attack combo (hit square
button three or four times) and after the last hit, immediately pull back on
the right analog stick to rebound away and have your back against the fence
again, then repeat with the 3-4 button combo.  Keep doing this, hit, rebound,
hit, rebound, and you'll kill them without ever taking a hit!  The coolest 
part is, if your quick and fluid with this strategy, all of your hits get 
strung together for an unreal number of hits.  I had a 148 hit combo!  The 
last description was "Pitiless" for plus 20 red orbs.  So, it takes nearly 
150 light hits to kill one of these beasts (assuming you've not hit them with
magic and they have full health).



            \------------------------------------------------/
           O|             [ Rings of Pandora ]               |O
            /------------------------------------------------\

Nothing too terrible here.  Proceed as usual.




            \------------------------------------------------/
           O|           [ The Challenge of Atlas ]           |O
            /------------------------------------------------\

>>> In the first room, after you kill all the regular soldiers in here, a ton
of blue gorgons pop out.  They can be very tough.  An easy strategy for them
is to have full magic and jump up on the broken ladder/steps (cool cheat 
spot) on the left hand side of the room.  Their gaze can't get you there and
they don't usually even try.  Plus, they will all converge right underneath
you and just sit there, so Poseidon's Rage is GREAT for this.  Especially if
you have it at level 2 (which I strongly suggest).  Just use Poseidon's rage
until you see the O over their head, jump down, do the mini game for the 
magic orbs they will release, then jump back up and repeat.  You can take 
them all out with hardly a scratch and still walk away with magic to boot.

>>> Later, when you acquire the Shield of Hades you get stuck in a trap with 
the wall on the left moving toward you in an effort to crush you against the 
right hand side, plus there are TONS of undead soldiers coming at you.  There
are two types of soldiers, the Basic Soldier with a sword and the Advanced
soldier with armor and a sword that leaves a trail of blue light.  The basic
soldiers can be grabbed right off the bat.  So, to make this battle a cake 
walk and finish it in 15 seconds or less, run to the right and the first guy
you bump into is a basic soldier, grab him and hit square to throw him at 
the others.  Now run further to the right and repeat.  Basically, you grab 
every basic soldier you see and then throw him, the swing of the throw hits 
everyone around you and kills the basic soldiers and knocks the advanced 
soldiers down (a second hit will kill the advanced ones as well).  Remember,
you are basically invincible during the grab & throw animation sequence.  
You may have to block once or twice in order to wait and get your hands on 
another basic solider, but using this method makes very easy work of this 
frustrating fight!

>>> After you get Zeus' shield, you end up in a room that is on a timer (the
floor splits open after a certain amount of time).  You've got a limited 
amount of time to kill the shield carrying undead and the sirens.  Joy.  I 
had the blades of Chaos up to Level 4 here which gives you the spinning 
attack that ends in a ground smash (L1 + Triangle).  The ground smash at the
end of that attack will break the shields of the soldiers.  
Once their shields are busted, you can grab them immediately.  Using that 
attack, then a quick grab and a chain throw makes light work of this area.
If a siren is being troublesome and throwing the soldier at her didn't kill
her, then a quick freeze (Level 2 medusa) will stone her and then pound her
with the level 4 blades to crush her and get some nice red orbs as a bonus.
Note: the sirens will shake the stone off rather quickly, so be close to 
them when you do it.  Also, occasionally a Siren gets stuck at the back end
of the room (the side opposite where the handle is).  That is, she will 
re-spawn back there and then just sit there.  So, you may have to go to that 
end of the room to make sure you've gotten every enemy before the time runs 
out and the floor splits.



            \-------------------------------------------------/
           O|         [ The Challenge of Poseidon ]           |O
            /-------------------------------------------------\

>>> Right off the bat you meet Cerberus.  Medusa's gaze will stone him and a 
quick square combo attack will do the rest.  Use a double blast of Medusa's
quick freeze (Level 2 magic) to stone him.
The pups are a pain, so it's all about moving around quickly and a level 2
Poseidon rage helps out as  well.  The sweet spot for this fight is under the
arches that lead to the  rest of the path (where the Cyclops will be) since
the pups spawn all over the outer edge of the circular area.  Standing in this
spot with your back to the force field makes sure all the pups are running
toward you instead of surrounding you.

>>> Right after the fight with Cerberus and it's pups you are confronted with
two cyclops. Use a double shot from your level 2 Medusa quick freeze.  You 
have to be quick, so I aimed at them while they were far off and you'll 
notice the target light on them is red, hold the aim as they approach and the
target light on them turns blue which means they are in range.  Fire away and
then run up to them and pound the daylights out of them with the square 
button (I had level 4 blades at this point). 


     /-
0####|=================> Alternate Cyclops Strategy
     \-

--- Thanks to Alex Malinovich (demonbane@the-love-shack.net) for this. ---
Right after fighting the Cerberus, immediately run through the archway to the
moveable block.  Grab the block and pull it BACKWARDS toward the archway you
just ran through.  Once you get the block dead center in the archway, step
back and watch the Cyclops come running.  They can never reach you because the
block is in their way, and they will be stuck forever in a run trying to get
to you.  If you get too close, they WILL try to hit you, but otherwise, they
simply run in place. So, just snipe hit them till they're dead, and make sure
to pull backwards to spring out of the way of any attack they happen to 
attempt.
It takes a little while to whittle them down this way, but if you're low on
Health and/or Magic, use this techniques to keep them from handing you your
head on a platter!

My Notes : Awesome!  I LOVE cheat spots!  Use this if you run into trouble 
and don't want to die!
---


>>> Next, there is a room that spins around slowly and opens a door to chests.
The door stays open for 4 seconds before closing the door and shooting spikes
up and then moves on to the next door.  The trick is to bump into the gate 
before it opens and keep pressing forward.  Kratos will run in place since 
the gate is holding him back.  Now, once the gate is high enough, you will 
run through and immediately hit R2.  As soon as you hear the "ding" that 
means you've broken the seal on the chest, pull straight back on the right 
analog stick and Kratos will easily rebound back out of the trap in the nick
of time.

>>> After you get the trident of Poseidon, you swim down to another room full
of Cerberus pups.  Infuriating!  (They kill you quickly in God Mode).  I found
the sweet spot in this fight is at the far end of the room.  As soon as you 
get out of the water, run to the far end of the room (next to the chest) and 
turn with your back facing the wall.  Do the long square button combo (mash 
square repeatedly) since that combo ends in a double chain sweep that hits 
everyone in the room.  Also, there's no way around the fact that some of those
pups will make it up to you, if they do, grab them.  
If they have enough health, Kratos will just throw them away, but if their 
health is low from a previous grab or a chain hit, then he will smash them to 
the ground and drive his knee through them which results in 2-3 orbs of green 
health!!!

As for a cheat spot, the pups can't hit you while you're in the pool of water!
As soon as you swim up into this are, sit still for a second and you'll 
notice none of them are moving - they are waiting for you to get out of the 
pool and trigger the fight sequence.  If you're in trouble, use the pool to 
your advantage.  You can do double jumps out of the pool and hit the Triangle
button at the height of your jump to deal out some decent punishment without
ever taking a hit.  Also, even though using the pool as a cheat spot takes 
quit a bit of time to get them all killed, the pups never grow up to the 
Adult Cerberus, so I'd imagine that being in the pool stops the fight counter
so that you're able to kill them with your double-jump hits within the 
window of time that is allotted to the pup form. Either that, or they simply
do not grow up.

>>> Once done with that, you come back to where you got the trident and there
are more full grown Cerberus and Harpies.  You do NOT have to fight them.  I
was low on health and just ran to the exit behind the statue.  Note: after 
running away, I found a save and some health and magic so I went back to 
fight them but the game locked up on me after killing a few Harpies, so I'm 
not sure what's up with that.  
If you do wish to fight them (and they deserve it anyway right), stand inside
the round area where the statue of Poseidon and the save point are located.
The Cerberus are too big to fit into this area and remain stuck on the other
side of the stone where you found the Trident.  The Cerberus will not attack 
you while you are in this area (as long as you don't get too close to them),
they instead walk in place forever trying to reach you in vain.  This gives
you all the time in the world to dispatch the Harpies and then snipe hit the
Cerberus when you're ready.


     /-
0####|=================> Alternate Cerberus Strategy
     \-

--- Thanks to Alex Malinovich (demonbane@the-love-shack.net) for this. ---
Take the Harpies out first.  Either stand in the cheat spot described above,
or dive into the water (either the right or left) and climb up the ladder
to the ledge and wait for the harpies to come to you.  Kill them as they
approach.  With the Harpies gone, go face the Cerberus head to head.
Use a combo of Triangle, Triangle, Triangle.  This results in launching the
Cerberus a short distance into the air.  Now, while it is in the air, you
can get a single chain grab on him, BUT it is far better to just start the
3x Triangle combo over again.  This will keep the Cerberus bouncing and
unable to hit you.  Keep it up till he's gone!
NOTE : Occasionally, the Cerberus will bounce so much that it falls off the
bridge and into the water.  This means an instant kill, but it also mean NO
red orbs for that kill!  So, if you're trying to get all the orbs you can
get (and you should be), then keep an eye on the bounces and back off if it
looks like he's about to take a nose dive over the edge.

My Notes: Great technique for a head to head fight.  It requires more work 
than hiding in the cheat spot, but it's MUCH faster than sniping him from the
cheat spot, and a bit more satisfying!
---

>>> During the underwater part to this challenge you end up in an area where
a NYAD is hidden behind a cracked wall and you have the option of going 
right or left.  If you go right you'll be in the area with a switch in the 
middle of the room with a red force field around it.  You have to kill tons
of Soldiers and Harpies to get past this.  
If you're in trouble and need a cheat spot, I've got one for you.  As you 
are swimming toward the platform with all the soldiers and harpies, on your
left is a ledge that you can jump up onto.  Once on the ledge, the lip of 
the wall is between you and the soldiers.  They all swarm over to the other
side of the wall trying to get at you, but can't touch you.  However, you 
can hit them with you square button attacks.  Just push and hold forward 
and left (about the 11 o'clock position) on the left analog stick to get 
Kratos pressed into the wall and mash away on the square button.  This 
really helps if you try to take everyone on and are getting slaughtered so 
it's a neat trick to have if you're down to the point where one more hit 
will kill you. 
For a straight up madman fight, stand in the middle of the room in front of
the force-field and continually change directions while using a string of 
square button combos.  Keep mashing square, and the combo string finally
ends in a room clearing chain swing.  Alternatively, you can run around the
switch in circles with the soldiers following you, the point of this is to 
catch the Harpies and grab them.  The grab kills them in one hit, and during 
the grab you're invincible from further attacks.  Once all the Harpies are 
dead, the soldiers are much more manageable.

>>> After the sequence described above, you go back to where you found the 
NYAD and take a left this time.  In this area you'll find a cracked wall that
conceals a bunch of jars you have to bust and a chest (the chest will contain
a Muse Key IF, and only IF, you didn't find the Muse Key behind the Statue
of Atlas, otherwise you get red orbs).  In this area you have to fight 
several of the Scythe Wielding Undead Captains.  The cheat spot here is in
the shallow water.  Right when you swim into this area, stop and nudge 
yourself forward a bit until you're actually standing up instead of treading
water.  The soldiers will come for you but can't reach you.  They seldom 
attack and often walk away if you just sit there.  From this cheat spot, you
can use long range attacks to pound them silly and never take a hit.  So, 
if you get in trouble, this trick can save you some grief.

NOTE : During the challenge of Poseidon, I finally got enough red orbs to 
take my Blades of Chaos to level 5.  The new attack (L1 + O) is great and 
the Square, (hold)Square combo is invaluable.  For the L1 + O combo, jump
into the air, hold L1+O to charge it up, and Kratos smashes into the ground
knocking everyone back and it even breaks the shields of the shield carrying
guards.  Once their shields are gone, you can grab and throw them with no 
problem.



            \-------------------------------------------------/
           O|           [ The Challenge of Hades ]            |O
            /-------------------------------------------------\

>>> On God Mode, those Centaurs during the sacrifice to Hades are TOUGH!  
I had the Blades of Chaos up to level 5 by then, and at level 5, the blades
can block nearly every regular monster attack EXCEPT for the ground waves that
are produced from a ground slam.  There are some minotaurs that do this (you
can block the hammer strike itself, but the ground waves get you) and these
Centaurs do it!  Very tough.  I found a great cheat spot for this fight,
it's the circular well in the middle of the room (the one that the statue of
Hades is in).  Jump into it, then when you jump out, land on the edge of the
pool (it's surrounded/framed in cobblestones that are a different texture 
than the rest of the floor).  You can stand on the ring/edge of the pool and
the centaurs never bother you.  It's as if they don't see you anymore, but 
take one step off the edge of the pool and they come running!  

The only problem is, the minute you try to hit them from here, any attack you
do causes you to step forward and they see you again.  You can always jump
back into the pool if things get tough.  I went into this with full magic 
and health, so by standing on the cheat spot, I was able to use medusa's gaze
to freeze the centaurs in the altar circle on the right (the one closest to 
the stairs that lead up to the dark room).  These guys will turn to stone 
with two shots from the quick freeze (L2 + Triangle).  If you're lucky, 
you'll catch two at once.  After that, you'll probably be out of magic, so 
you have to do the left hand altar circle the hard way, but you can always 
jump back into the pool and they will ignore you.  

You can even double jump straight up while in the pool (fall back into the 
pool instead of jumping out) and hit them with your long range attack and 
simply fall back into the water without taking a hit.

If you run low on health, there are two chests in the room, one on each side
of the stairs.  A REALLY easy and safe way to get them is to run over to the
stairs and then jump up on the ledge/banister/wall that frames the stairs 
(the same ledges/banisters you climb to get to the flaming bowls on the 
statues at the top of the stairs on either side - there are chests up there).
Once on the ledge, run all the way to the top.  The Centaurs will run up the
stairs after you but usually can't reach you since the ledge you're on is too
tall for them.  
Once you reach the top of the ledge/banister, jump off to the side and fall
down to the health chests, the centaurs will have to turn around and run 
all the way back down to get you and by then you will have all the health 
and can jump back into the pool in the center of the room in preparation for
your next attack.  This technique works for both chest on either side of the
stairs.

--- Updated Centaur Sacrifice Strategy ---

The centaurs are really weak against Poseidonís Rage, especially if you have
it at Level 3.  With a fully upgraded magic bar, you can get 4 casts of 
Poseidonís Rage, and that is all you need to finish this challenge!

Ok, assuming you have Poseidonís Rage at LEVEL 3 (max), start off by jumping
in the pool in the middle of the room.  Next jump into one of the circle;
preferably one the one furthest away from the Centaurs.  Wait for them to
come to you.  Once at least TWO of them are in the circle, cast Level 3 
Poseidonís Rage.  This will kill those two.  Jump back in the pool and repeat
for the next two in that circle.  then repeat for the next four in the 
opposite circle.  Challenge done!


>>> Once you reach the Flaming  Boulder trap room, here is a super easy way
to get past the boulders.

--- Thanks to Shady0027@aol.com for this tip ---
Once you jump over the gap to the other side where the boulders are rolling
toward you, immediately go to the left wall.  From there, hug tight against
the left wall and run forward.  Right when a boulder is about to hit you, 
push FORWARD on the Right Analog stick to do a roll that will allow Kratos
to slip through the gap between the wall and the boulder without taking a hit.
Just run and roll (the whole while staying tight against the left wall) and you
can easily make it to the back room at the end of this runway without taking a 
single hit.
---



            \-------------------------------------------------/
           O|           [ Boss Fight : Minotaur ]             |O
            /-------------------------------------------------\


Note: If you've concentrated on upgrading your Blades of Chaos, they should
be at Level 5 by now!  At Level 5, the Blades of Chaos can block nearly all
of the Minotaur's attacks.  Two obvious exceptions are when he causes the 
flames to rise from the grate beneath you and the left hand grab he performs.
But, concerning all punches, slams, and claps, the Level 5 Blades CAN block
them.  
Level 5 Blades can even block most of his ground attacks.  If you get on the
ground with him, his attacks change, but most of these can be blocked
including the flame thrower, the head-butt, the punches, etc.  However, you
can NOT block the ground waves that are produced when he does a ground punch
attack that causes the floor to explode.


     /-
0####|=================> EASY CHEAT WIN 
     \-

This is insanely easy.  You can beat this guy without ever taking a hit.
There is a cheat spot on the ledge that you stand on during this fight.
Once you get on the ledge, run to the far right hand side (the side opposite
where the switch for the flaming arrow log is).  
Once you hit the wall, push up a bit and you'll be standing on a little area
just right of the stairs but OFF of the grate that the fire comes through. 
While standing here, you can get in 2 hits safely and then back up.  You can
try to get in 3 or more hits, but those extra attacks move you forward and 
the Minotaur will sometimes hit you with his left hand.  When you stand in 
this spot, the Minotaur only does 3 attacks, the Clap, and 2 slams of his 
left hand.  He NEVER causes the fire to shoot up out of the grate since that
is a right hand attack and you're no where near his right hand, so he never
uses it. 

Note: fire still shoots up after he's done a charge from the far end of the
room after you've hurt him.  

So, all you have to do is just sit there, watch him stupidly slam and clap 
and do 2-3 hit combos to SLOWLY tear him down.  Now, in doing this, it takes
a LONG time since his health is so high and you're only getting in 2-3 hits
at a time - but it can be done.  I did it and then reloaded to go back and 
fight him again!


     /-
0####|=================> HEAD ON FIGHT 
     \-

- Now, if you're interested in a straight up fight, stand in the dead center
of the platform in front of the Minotaur.  You should be standing on the
special grate area where the logs are shot from.  If you stand dead center,
he rarely (if ever) does the right hand slam that causes the fire to come
out, and he rarely (if ever) does the left hand sweep where he bites you and
then spits you onto the lower floor.  By standing dead center and NOT drifting
near one of his hands he will only do right hand slams and two handed claps
(both of which are blockable with Level 5 Blades of Chaos) and the occasional
left hand sweep.  You can block ALL of his attacks with level 5 blades EXCEPT
for the left hand sweep.  That hits every time and leaves you down on the
lower floor.  
If you drift toward his right hand (toward the switch) he'll do the grate 
slam that causes the fire to come up, and if you drift toward his left hand
then he'll do the sweep.  So, the key is to stay dead center and not approach
his hands since approaching his hands will trigger their respective attacks.

When you stand dead center, simply block his right hand slam and his double
hand clap.  If he tries the left hand sweep, do a double jump toward the 
switch (your left) and you'll avoid that as well, but run back to the center
as quick as possible since you'll be close enough to his right hand to 
trigger the right hand fire attack.

Once you've damaged him and he charges you from the far end of the room and 
hits the ledge, the fire WILL come out even if you are standing dead center,
so simply do a well timed double jump from the dead center position, and at
the peak of your jump initiate an attack combo.  You'll end up getting in 6-8
(or more) hits without ever being touched by the fire.

If the straight up fight ever goes south on you and you are low on health and
near death, just run to the far right hand side of the screen and stand in 
the cheat spot - he can NEVER reach you there - you never take a hit there - 
and you can slowly pick him off while saving that last bit of health you've 
got left.  



            \-------------------------------------------------/
           O|            [ The Cliffs of Madness ]            |O
            /-------------------------------------------------\

Nothing too terrible here.  Proceed as usual.  Test your enemies range 
limitations, use Medusa's gaze on Minotaurs and such, and BLOCK a lot.  The 
Satyrs are really annoying, but blocking can save you a lot of grief.  Satyrs
are susceptible to Medusa's gaze, but use it sparingly as these guys often 
come in pairs and it can take a few seconds to actually turn a Satyr to 
stone - and while you're trying, his buddy is likely to hit you.

>>> There is one fight that you may find troublesome.  During your quest
to obtain Aphrodite's Necklace, you end up in a large split level cave. There
is a wooden cat-walk on one side that leads up to the second level.  On the
ground floor you meet a LOT of Armored Soldiers with heavy swords (the ones
that leave the trail of blue light) and several Satyrs.  On the second floor
you'll encounter a LOT of Armored Soldiers again but no Satyrs.

The ground floor can be troublesome because of the Satyrs.  The soldiers tend
to gang up on you 3 or 4 at a time, and the Satyrs are relentless.  The best 
strategy here is to rely on your Square, (hold)Square combo (you DO have your
Blades of Chaos to Level 5 by now - right?), and keep away from the Satyrs
for the time being.  Simply run to one side of the room, use your combo, 
block when necessary, and run to the other side of the room when the Satyrs
get close.  The Satyrs only appear one at a time, and they can be tough to
kill, so concentrate on taking out all of the soldiers first.  If you're far
enough away from the Satyrs, then use your ground smash combo where you
double jump straight up and then press and hold L1 + O Button to fully charge
the attack.  This will knock all of the soldiers flying, but Satyrs tend to
block it.  A few hits of this combo will take out the soldiers. If you get
into trouble, jump up onto the cat-walk to take a breather - they can't reach
you there.  This is also a great place to double jump from and use the fully
charged L1 + O button ground smash attack.

Once all of the soldiers are dead and are not re-spawning, then go head to 
head with the Satyrs.  They re-spawn in the same spot every time, and there
are 3 - 4 of them to deal with.  Medusa's Quick Freeze makes light work of
these guys, but it's hard to use when there are so many soldiers around.  
During this fight, you have Army of Hades available to you (assuming you've
still got some magic left), and it should be at Level 3.  This is a 
devastating attack for these guys, BUT it wears off way before they stop
re-spawning.  You'll end up completely out of magic with enemies STILL
re-spawning and coming after you, so it's not suggested that Army of Hades
be used for this fight.

Once the ground floor is clear, head up to the second level to take out those
soldiers using the same strategy of Square, (hold)Square, and the occasional
double jump and fully charged L1 + O Button attack.  If you get into trouble
here, run back to the cat-walk.  The soldiers will follow you to the 
beginning of the cat-walk, but can not step on to it.  So, they end up
milling around while you stand just out of reach.  You can hit them with 
your long range Square button attacks or even use Medusa's Gaze on them
for easy kills and lots of red orbs.



            \-------------------------------------------------/
           O|           [ The Architect's Tomb ]              |O
            /-------------------------------------------------\

>>> When you go in the wooden door on the right, walk SLOWLY up the hall.  
You'll encounter the scythe wielding undead soldiers.  Right when you enter,
one will come for you.  They aren't that bad one at a time, but having 
several gang up on you sucks.  So, take out the one that is there.  Then 
SLOWLY walk forward until the next one pops up then run back to the beginning
of the hallway and take him out.  There will be four soldiers in all, and 
you definitely don't want to tangle with all four at once - especially in God
Mode!  One at a time is the way to go.

>>> At the end of the above mentioned hallway, you come to the open area that
has the crane (the one you use to break open the hole in the ground).  In 
this open area will be a Cyclops and a TON of Cerberus pups.  There is a cheat
spot here.  Go into the open area to trigger the Cyclops climbing up the 
wall and then IMMEDIATELY run back into the hallway that you just came from.
None of the enemies can get past the doorway, and by running back in the 
minute you see the Cyclops climb up confuses the Cyclops and he ends up 
walking in circles on the far end of the platform and never notices you 
(unless you walk too far outside).  
So, stand in the doorway and beat the crap out of the pups as quick as 
possible.  If you're quick, you can get all the pups without them growing 
up - if they do grow up, they still can not get inside to get you, but their
fire ball attacks will reach you.   This is a safe cheat spot to conserve 
your health, but if they grow up on you, this fight takes forever.  
I got tired of this technique (it's safe, but very long and slow) and ended
up unleashing Rage of the Gods followed by a double cast of Army of Hades 
and Poseidon's Rage.  This took them out rather quickly!  However, it left
me in a world of hurt when I reached Pandora's box since I didn't have the 
Rage of the Gods anymore!  
**So, if you have Rage of the Gods at this point, I'd advise everyone to 
SAVE Rage of the Gods for the conveyor belt area outside of Pandora's box.**

>>> Once you've dropped the crane and jump back down to the ground, you are 
faced with some cyclops.  These can be stoned with Medusa's Level 2 Gaze 
(Level 3 is better) and a few hits from the Level 5 Blades of Chaos.  A good
thing to do is run back to the chasm where the moving blocks and blades are
and wait for them to come after you.  It's narrow and they will usually come
single file.  Use Medusa's gaze as they come for you.
If you get in trouble, jump down into the hole in the ground you created.  
You can often get a couple of hits in from a double jump from the top ledge
without the cyclops hitting you.

>>> GETTING PANDORA'S BOX : With no Rage of the Gods, I was left to find some
magic, and luckily I did.  I backtracked to the Cliffs of Madness and found 
a magic chest that I had passed by earlier.
NOTE: by this time, I had Army of Hades maxed out at level 3 - saved my orbs
for this and never wasted them on the Artemis Blade. So, I entered the conveyor
belt area outside of Pandora's box with full health and full magic, but no Rage
of the Gods.
However, with a full bar of magic, this area was surprisingly easy!  
Just run full speed to the center of the room (do double jumps to get there
quickly since the conveyor belts slow you down) and cast the Army of Hades
(do NOT double cast Poseidon's rage - save your magic!).  Once you've cast 
Army of Hades, continue forward, take out those archers at the door, then 
work backwards and take out the archers on the platforms.  Move quick, jump
a lot, and cast Army of Hades again once it stops.  The 2nd cast finishes 
off all but a handful of Harpies, and you still have enough magic left for 
Poseidon's Rage (which should be at level 3 by now - or at least level 2 so 
you get the spin attack).  After Poseidon's Rage, you're out of magic, but 
there should only be about 2 Harpies left.  Easy pickings!



            \-------------------------------------------------/
           O|             [ The Path of Hades ]               |O
            /-------------------------------------------------\

>>> IMPORTANT : SAVE YOUR RAGE OF THE GODS.  This is the last area/chapter 
before the final fight with Ares, so if you don't have a full Rage of the 
Gods meter at the start of this, do your best to fill it up ASAP during this
section.  If you do have a full Rage of the Gods meter, or you manage to fill
it up while you're in this section, SAVE IT FOR THE FINAL BOSS FIGHT.  It is
absolutely necessary if you wish to make your life easier.

>>> Those infuriating spinning poles with the blades on them!  During my 
first trip through this area on Normal Mode, I went rather quickly through 
the area and didn't notice something that is VERY important and which makes
this much easier.  The poles, every single one of them, is on a timer.  That
is, they will spin clockwise up to a max speed which is just faster than you
can walk (which requires you to use jumps and double jumps to stay on the 
pole), they stay at max speed for about 2 or so seconds and then they slow
down and finally come to a complete stop. After a complete stop, they reverse
direction and work up to max speed in that direction and it repeats.  
Clockwise to max speed, then slow to a stop, then counter clockwise to max 
speed, then slow to a stop, etc, etc.  So, all you have to do is watch for
the poles to start slowing down, then jump onto them and make a break for
it.  Once they approach max speed, try to be in an area where you can jump
off to a platform and take a break, either that or stand still and use 
double jumps straight up into the air to keep yourself centered on the pole.
It's really not that hard once you notice the pattern the poles use.

--NOTE-- The very last pole in this area that leads to the next area does NOT
operate according to this pattern.  That last short section of pole that 
leads to the next area is stuck forever at a constant speed in the same 
direction.  So be careful and use good timing to get across this section.

>>> Once you get past all of that, you eventually come to the four level 
fight with minotaurs and archers (the area just before the columns with
the blades). A good tactic here is to use the archers to your advantage
by constantly grabbing and throwing them.  On the first level (ground
level), a grab & throw of the archer at the back will usually causes the
Minotaur to be knocked off the cliff!  
Next, the level to the right you fight four minotaurs.  This is the hardest 
of the four fights in this area since there are NO archers at your disposal.
A good combo is the Square, (hold)Square combo.  That is a series of hits 
that ends with a chain sweep.  The chain sweep can knock these minotaurs over
the edge of the cliff to the right or low center where they fall to their 
doom (you can't knock them off to the left).  These guys block a lot, it's a
small platform that you're on, and with two of them pounding on you, it's
hard to get them airborne, but if you can, the Death Bounce from the air
makes light work of these guys.
Note: you can always jump down to the lower floor if you're having trouble
since the minotaurs can't follow you - this allows you to stand on the
lower ledge and do double jump long range attacks without ever taking a
hit.
For the next series of fights over on the left side there are a LOT of 
archers.  The key here is to completely ignore the minotaurs at first (they
are too slow to catch you and won't try to hit you until they get close to
you).  So, jump up, run to the first archer, grab & throw, run to the next 
archer, grab & throw, and repeat this all the way around the outside edge of
the area.  This usually causes a Minotaur or two to get knocked over the 
edge.  Once the archers are all gone, then worry about the minotaurs.  The 
Square, (hold)Square combo is the order of the day since that usually sends 
them over the edge.  Again, you can always jump down to the lower floor if 
you're having trouble since the minotaurs can't follow you - this allows you
to stand on the lower ledge and do double jump long range attacks without
ever taking a hit - HOEWEVER, don't try this until AFTER the archers are 
dead because they can hit you during your double jump up from the lower
level.
For the last fight on the top level, same as before, run immediately to the 
archers and do the grab & throw.  Repeat for every archer.  This usually 
knocks all but one Minotaur over the edge.  With the aid of the archers, you
can get by with hardly a scratch!

>>> Now for the joy of the columns with blades.  When I played through this 
on normal mode, I was a bit impatient and ended up dying a LOT on these 
columns.  But, when I finally got here in God Mode, after all the other 
trials and tribulations, I had a bit more patience and actually got through
these on my second attempt for each column - I only fell once per column! 
There are a couple of tricks:

*** You can not be killed or hurt by bumping into the edge of the cliff.  
That is, if you are holding onto a clear spot on the column and you don't
move, you will rotate all the way around and bump into the cliff, but it 
won't hurt you.  You can just hang there forever as the column spins as long 
as you do NOT get touched by a blade.  Great way to take a break and watch 
for an opening in your path.

*** As you climb up, keep an eye on the edge of the cliff/wall.  If there is 
a notch in it, then a blade is in that path that passes through that notch.  
When you see an area in the cliff without a notch, you know there are no 
blades and you can rest there. 

*** Every time the poles have a section break, the next section spins in the
opposite direction as the one you were just on, and the area of the section
break (the spot where the two sections meet) is ALWAYS clear of blades and 
is a good spot to rest and hang out as you check out the path ahead of you

*** For each and every segment, there IS a clear and easy path.  All you 
have to do is wait for it to spin around.  The clear path is never straight,
but angles upward in the same direction the pole spins.  So, after taking a
break and hanging out as mentioned above, find the path and simply push 
upward at the appropriate angle.

*** If you ever see 3 blades positioned horizontally together as you are 
climbing up, immediately move down!  Anytime there is an area with three 
blades in a horizontal row, you are on the wrong side of the pole and the 
clear path is on the opposite side.  Also, the three bladed areas always 
have several more blades just below them so you HAVE to move down quickly.
Simply moving low enough to avoid the three blades is not good enough since
there are always several more in a group below them.

*** Occasionally, the clear path is so wide and open, you can easily do wall
jumps upward (the same as you do on any climbing surface).  These jumps can
get you up the pole rather quickly, and sometimes save you from getting 
pegged by a blade.



            \-------------------------------------------------/
           O|       [ Temple of the Oracle Destroyed ]        |O
            /-------------------------------------------------\

>>> Right after you get saved from Hades by the grave digger, you save and 
enter the temple once again.  You are attacked by some Cyclops with spiked 
balls first, and then some Minotaurs.  I suggest entering the room to get the
Cyclops coming after you, and then running back to the door that you just 
entered.  You can't get out because of the red force field, BUT the door is 
at the end of a short corridor which keeps the Cyclops coming at you in a 
single file line.  They CAN reach you, but a double tap of Medusa's Quick 
Freeze (Medusa's Gaze and the rest of your magic should be at level 3 by now)
stones them and you can take them out with only a few hits from your level 5
Blades of Chaos.  Next, the minotaurs start to pop up, but they can be 
stoned with only ONE hit from Medusa's Quick Freeze.  

>>> After that, you enter the room/stairwell on your left and there are some
archers.  Run to them quickly and do a grab and throw, and then the gorgons
pop up.  They're mean, so run back down the stairs and back into the room 
where you fought the Cyclops and Minotaurs.  The gorgons will follow you all
the way to the door and then stop.  Snipe hit them (hit and roll back away 
from them) and do the mini-game to get some magic orbs.  Repeat for all of 
the gorgons you encounter on the stairs!  Great way to get free magic and 
save yourself some health!



            \-------------------------------------------------/
           O|         [ Final Battle : Ares Form 1 ]          |O
            /-------------------------------------------------\

And here we are, what we've all been waiting for!

Note: I didn't use the Artemis Blade for this or any of the final boss fights,
and I had the Blades of Chaos at level 5 (Artemis Blade was only at level 2 
anyway since I spent all my orbs along the way on the blades and all of my 
magic spells).  In fact, I very rarely used the Artemis Blade at all - only
occasionally to break a stoned creature or some decorative statues (usually
one O button upper cut can break the statues and give you red orbs).

Ok, there are health & magic chests in the hall just before the final fight,
so I suggest using them and THEN saving.  That way, if you die, you don't 
have to be bothered with opening the chest every time you re-start. 

Now, hopefully you've saved your Rage of the Gods for this last fight, so go
into this fight with full health, full magic, and full Rage of the Gods, and
Army of Hades at Level 3.  

With that, guess what, this fight is a cakewalk and you can win it in 20 - 30
seconds!  The key/secret is, right after the cut-scene, Ares stands there 
running his mouth for a few seconds.  As he is mouthing off, immediately use
Rage of the Gods, and the second it is active, cast Army of Hades (do not 
double cast Poseidon's rage!), then run over to Ares and pound the crap out
of him with your best combos, it's especially good to throw in some Triangle
hits since they hit harder.  As you're doing this, keep an eye on the Army 
of Hades symbol in the upper left hand corner.  It will be grayed out while
the spell is active.  Once the spell has run its course, the symbol lights
up again.  The second it lights back up, cast it again and keep wailing on
Ares with your Triangle hits and combos.  You can get 3 free casts of Army
of Hades while in Rage of the Gods mode.  Once the rage wears off, keep 
pounding on Ares with Triangle hits and keep an eye on the Army of Hades 
symbol, once it lights up, cast it again.  This time, you'll be spending your
own magic to cast it.  If it wears off, cast it again!  You MIGHT have to 
dodge once, but not really.  The hits you're dishing out and the Army of 
Hades causes Ares to drop TONS of health and magic.  So, all you really have
to do is cast Army of Hades, pound on Ares, cast Army of Hades when it wears
off, etc.  As you're doing this, keep an eye out for the O Button symbol to
pop up.  It usually pops up while the Army of Hades is still going, but you
can still grab Ares even with the Army of Hades running.  Once you grab him,
do the O Button quick taps and then the button sequence.  

A very valuable trick here is (if you're brave), once the O Button appears,
instead of doing the grab, hit Ares with a few well timed Square button 
attacks.  This will cause Ares to release green and blue orbs.  Keep your
timing just right, and Ares will simply stand there and take the abuse.  He
is actually trying to heal himself as he stand there, but with well timed
light attacks, you can keep his health down, a full health and magic bar,
and STILL have the O button sequence waiting for you.  The light attacks
will NOT kill Ares - only the O Button sequence will, so you can use this
trick to get full health and magic for the next fight, and you'll be glad
you did!  
Thanks to Christopher J Reifsnyder (chrisr29732@comporium.net) for pointing
this out.


                   -- Free Rage of the Gods --
IMPORTANT : Once you've done the button sequence and have stabbed Ares the 
final time, your Rage of the Gods meter gets completely filled up!  So, 
you'll have Rage of the Gods for the next part!   Also, you get tons of red
orbs and health and magic.  Ta-Da, you beat his first form in 30 seconds or
less AND you've got Rage of the Gods for the next battle.

NOTE: The next fight is incredibly hard! Killing Ares above should leave you
with Full Health, Full Rage of the Gods, and at least a little more than 
HALF your magic bar, preferably 3/4 of your magic bar.  If you have less than
half (preferably 3/4) of your magic bar or you don't have full health, AND
full Rage of the Gods then RESTART -- Seriously!
Using this strategy, he's so easy it's no big deal to restart. You don't want
to go into the second part of this fight with less than half your magic bar!
Trust me on this!

If you don't make it the first couple of times through, don't sweat it.  
Don't throw your controller!  Just breathe, and try again.  Use this 
strategy, and Ares is a cream-puff for Form 1.



            \-------------------------------------------------/
           O|         [ Final Battle : Kratos Clones ]        |O
            /-------------------------------------------------\

Can you believe this fight????  On God Mode, it's simply INSANE!  There IS a
strategy that works, but there is also a bit of luck involved in this.
The luck being whether or not the clones will drop health or magic orbs!  
Even the best strategy won't guarantee a win for you in God Mode, there is a 
bit of luck to it, but here's the strategy that will get you lined up for a 
win if lady luck is with you.

*** FACT : You WILL Die as you attempt this fight.  A LOT.  Don't sweat it.  
Don't throw your controller.  Come into this fully expecting to die a few 
times.  Several times in fact.  Look at it as necessary.  Use each attempt as
a chance to see how your enemy acts.  Memorize where they come from, how 
quickly they re-spawn, etc.  Breathe, and follow the rest of this strategy.  
You'll make it.

*** First, you must have Full Health, Full Rage of the Gods, and at more than 
half (preferably 3/4) of your magic bar.  If you don't have this, and you 
should from the previous battle with Ares, then restart and fight Ares again
till you get these conditions. (Note: Max Blades of Chaos, and max magic is
assumed by now).

*** IMPORTANT : Hugging/Healing your family rapidly REFILLS your Rage of the
Gods meter!!!!  Granted, it takes away your own health, but keeping them alive
AND gaining another shot at Rage of the Gods is invaluable in this fight.
Also, when you hug your family: 

-- YOU MUST HOLD DOWN THE O BUTTON TO HUG YOUR FAMILY! --

Simply tapping the O Button will do nothing more than a short hug that 
helps very little and will cause Kratos to let go too soon.  The longer you
hold down the O Button, the longer you hug your family.  Only let go of the O
Button to stop hugging them.

*** Also, please note that hugging your family DECREASES your own life bar.
You are transferring your life to them.  In exchange, you get an increase
in your Rage of the Gods meter and your family gets an increase in their own
life bar.  If you do not have enough health to transfer to them, then 
hugging them will accomplish nothing.

*** Don't bother trying to block or parry during this fight; it's pointless.
Instead, concentrate on combos that knock the Clones flat and keep them away
from you.  If they aren't near you, there's nothing that you need to block!

*** Only use the Blades of Chaos, and only use ONE combo which is the Square, 
(hold)Square combo.  OR its variant the Square, Square, (hold) Square which
is a little faster than just Square, (hold) Square.
This combo lays out a series of hits and ends in a chain swipe that knocks
most of the clones down! As I mentioned before, this combo is directional
which means you can change the direction Kratos is facing (and thus the enemy
he is targeting) at any time as he performs this combo.
The Artemis Blade is too slow, and the clones CONSTANTLY jump on your back
when you have this weapon, not to mention it's weaker and doesn't have a 
chain swipe to knock everyone down.

--- Alternate Combo Option ---
If you're having trouble with the Square, (hold)Square or its variant
the Square, Square, (hold)Square then you may want to try Square, Square,
Triangle.  Several other gamers have reported this works for them.  I find
the chain slam at the end of this combo a bit slow and it is a committed
move which means you have to sit through the whole chain slam animation
before being able to turn and face another enemy.  This could allow a clone
to jump on your back or cause you to miss a chance to turn and hit a clone
that is attacking your family.  However, if you are having trouble with the
other combo, then try this one or a combination of the two.

*** When performing the Square, (hold)Square combo, do NOT wait for enemies 
to be on the screen.  They are constantly re-spawning, and by the time you
see them, they are close enough to hit you or your family.  So, as soon as
you've done the chain swipe for the combo, immediately begin to execute the
combo again, the whole while changing directions.  

Ok, when the fight starts, run up and stand in front of your family.  Don't
wait for the enemies to appear, begin the Square, (hold)Square Combo facing 
toward the lower left hand side of the screen since this is where the first 
enemy appears.  Now, watch the combo, and right when the chain swipe is about
to happen, change directions to the right or to the upper right hand side of
the screen to hit that guy.  Begin your combo again, and change directions 
often.  If you get hit or bogged down, move to the upper left of the screen 
just to the left of your family and start the combo attack again.  If you hit
the clones (even if it doesn't kill the clone), they stop attacking your 
family.  With good timing and luck, it's possible to wipe out the whole first
wave with this technique which means you still haven't used Rage of the Gods
by the time the building has fallen apart.

IMPORTANT: Keep an eye on your family's health!  Once it gets down to about 
25% or a little lower, it's time for your magic attacks.  Do NOT use magic or
Rage of the Gods before your family's health is down to 25%!  The reason is,
once it gets that low and you hug them, you can nearly refill your Rage of 
the Gods meter as you refill their health.  If you try to refill/heal them 
too soon, you'll get almost no Rage of the Gods meter and will have wasted 
Rage of the Gods or the casting of Army of Hades

Once they are down to 25% or so, use Rage of the Gods and immediately cast 
Army of Hades, followed by casting Poseidon's Rage and mashing the O button 
like mad until it wears off.  You can cast Poseidon's rage three times before
Rage of the Gods wears off so do that and don't bother with any other attack.
  
Once you have cast that third Poseidon's rage, as you are mashing the O 
button like mad, use your left thumb to hit the up directional button to 
call up the Army of Hades.  As soon as Poseidon's rage has run its course,
immediately cast Army of Hades and then run to your family and hug them.  

IMPORTANT: You are casting Army of Hades at this point to buy yourself some
time to heal your family! As long as the Army of Hades is going, the clones
are tied up and can't hit you or your family.  NOTE: For this cast of Army 
of Hades, you are using your own magic instead of the freebee that Rage of
the Gods gave you which is why it's important to have come into this fight
with around 3/4 of your magic bar.  

Your family's health should be pretty low, so hug them until it either 
refills or a clone hits you.  As you are hugging your family, watch your 
Rage of the Gods meter increase!  Depending on how low their health was, 
you probably got knocked off by a clone.  So, take a look at your family's
health, it should be at 3/4 or more, so make sure you're standing directly
in front of your family, and start attacking the clones using the Square,
(hold)Square Combo.  However, from here on out, when using the Square, (hold) 
Square Combo, ALWAYS turn in the opposite direction for the chain swipe of 
this combo.  That is, say the closest enemy is to the left, face left, begin
the Square, (hold)Square Combo, and as the chain swipe is about to happen, 
immediately face right.  The hits you dealt out to the left will slow them 
down, and the chain swipe to the right will knock them down.  Once the chain
swipe is done, immediately face the opposite direction and begin the Square,
(hold)Square Combo again (and always change directions for the chain swipe!)
  
As you're doing this, watch your family's health. Once it's down to about 1/2
or less, cast Army of Hades again to buy yourself some time.  As soon as you
have cast Army of Hades, hug your family and watch your Rage of the Gods 
meter, once it is full and you hear that voice say "Let the Rage of the Gods
guide your blades", cast Rage of the Gods followed immediately with another
cast of Army of Hades, followed immediately with three casts of Poseidon's
rage.

When the final Poseidon's rage has run its course, depending on what you came
to this fight with, and what the dying clones gave up, you should have close
to half your magic bar left.  SAVE IT.  You need at least one more cast of 
Poseidon's rage, but preferably two!  So, make sure you're standing directly
in front of your family and start the Square, (hold)Square Combo to the 
right and left again.  Always remember to change directions for the chain 
swipe.  Once you get this far into the fight, the clones slow down a bit, 
and typically only re-spawn on the left and right, and they typically move in
groups which the chain swipe will knock down.

As you're doing this, watch your own health and your family's health.  If the
clones get too close and you or your family take more than one or two hits,
cast Poseidon's rage and then simply go back to your Square, (hold)Square 
Combo again.  You might consider casting Army of Hades, however, I've found
that, once you make it this far, Poseidon's rage is the better choice since
it doesn't use as much magic as Army of Hades does, so if you're lucky, you'll
have at least one more cast (preferably two) of Poseidon's rage.

As usual, once Poseidon's rage is done, start you Square, (hold)Square Combo
again making sure to change directions for the chain swipe.

---- Updated Clone Battle Strategy ----

This is strategy is a slight modification of the above strategy.  It requires
quick reflexes and good timing, but it does make this fight a bit easier
and faster.

At the start of the fight, run toward your family and then to your left
(your family's right). Head back a bit and get on the small step of the
platform they are standing in front of. Turn and face them. Now, as the
Clones approach, use Square, Square, Triangle. The triangle slam at the end
of this attack knocks all of the clones into the air and then they bounce on
the ground and are stunned. 

When doing this attack, basically aim for your family. It won't hurt them,
but that is the area where you will hit most of the clones. Also, this attack
causes you to move forward just a bit, so at the end of it, quickly turn
around and walk back to where you started and simply repeat over and over.
Using this technique, you can easily get a decent way past where the building
falls apart with no problems.

So, keep doing this till the building falls apart and your familyís health
is low enough to use the Rage of the Gods.  It is BEST (but tricky) to let
your familyís health drop down to about 10%.  Very trick, but worthwhile.

Once their health is really low (1/4 inch of the life bar), cast Rage of the
Gods, then Army of Hades.  Double jump from behind your family and stand in
front of them.  Once in front of them, cast Poseidonís Rage until Rage of the
Gods runs out.  Once it does, IMMEDIATELY cast Army of Hades using your own
magic.  NOW hug your family and hold down O button the whole time to get the
max hug.  You will eventually get hit by a clone.

At this point cast Poseidonís Rage again.  This uses you magic, but it pushes
the clones back.  Now, start using the Square, Square, (hold) Square combo to
the right and left to keep the clones pushed back.  Keep this up, and watch
familyís health.  Once it is down to 25%, cast Army of Hades and hug them.

This should give you a full Rage of the Gods meter.  Now immediately cast
Rage of the Gods, then Army of Hades, then Poseidonís Rage.  If youíre 
quick, you can get four cats of Poseidonís Rage in.  After this, youíll be
to the Artemis Blade clones.  Stand in front of your family, use the Square,
Square, (hold) Square combo to the right and left to keep them back.  If you
get overwhelmed, immediately cast Poseidonís Rage to thin them out.

At this point in the battle, the clones are slowing down and the Square,
Square, (hold) Square combo should keep them back.  If you have the magic, 
and you might since the clones drop blue orbs on occasion, cast Poseidonís
Rage again.  At this point, you should be down to the last few clones. If 
youíre lucky, they are coming only two or so at a time.  They are slow
to come out of the ground at this point, and it is possible to run over
to them the very minute you see them begin to pop up and do a grab and
throw.  BUT, be careful with this since the grab and throw is a new and 
somewhat long animation that can slow you down long enough for another 
clone to reach your family.

---- End of Updated Clone Battle Strategy ----

Ok, that's the gist of it, and luck does factor in.  Once as I was doing this,
I actually earned a THIRD Rage of the Gods, and by that late stage of the 
fight, the Army of Hades followed by a triple cast of Poseidon's rage 
finished the fight!  But uh, don't count on that, because I only saw that 
happen once!  The key to this is to go into the fight with around 3/4 of your
magic bar since you have to rely on your own magic on at least 2 different
critical points.  
Later in the fight, having enough magic to cast Poseidon's rage two or more
times is a life saver as it kills some clones and knocks the rest of them 
back so that you are dead center in front of your family and can then do the
Square, (hold)Square Combo to the right and left direction.  With luck and
good timing, you'll have all the clones pushed to either the right or left 
and just keep doing the Square, (hold)Square Combo till the fight ends or
they get too close and you use Poseidon's rage.  

In a nutshell, a perfect fight goes like this:
 1. Square, (hold)Square Combo till family's health at 25%
 2. Use Rage of the Gods, Cast Army of Hades, Triple Cast Poseidon's Rage
 3. Use your own magic to cast Army of Hades to buy yourself some time
 4. Hug your family till you get knocked off by a clone
 5. Stand in front of your family and use Square, (hold)Square Combo to the
    right and left making sure to face the opposite direction for the final 
    chain swipe of this combo
 6. When your family's health is below 1/2, cast Army of Hades again to buy
    time
 7. Hug your family till your Rage of the Gods meter is full
 8. Use Rage of the Gods, Cast Army of Hades, Triple Cast Poseidon's Rage
 9. Stand in front of your family and use Square, (hold)Square Combo to the
    right and left making sure to face the opposite direction for the final 
    chain swipe of this combo.
10. Cast Poseidon's rage when the clones begin to over power you, otherwise,
    continue with step 9 till it's over.

As you can see, you MUST come to this fight with as much magic as possible.  
You need your own magic to cast Army of Hades twice.  After that, it is 
nearly critical to have enough magic to cast Poseidon's rage at least once,
but twice is best since you use Poseidon's rage to kill clones and clear 
enough area around yourself to use your Square, (hold)Square Combo to the 
right and left.  The clones DO occasionally drop magic orbs, so as I said,
luck is involved!



            \-------------------------------------------------/
           O|         [ Final Battle : Ares Form 2 ]          |O
            /-------------------------------------------------\

***GLITCH ALERT***
During this fight, and it only happened once, but I encountered a weird 
glitch.  I was standing on the right hand side of the lake near the 3 o'clock
position.  Ares called up the columns, and I couldn't get out of the way in 
time.  I don't know if I jumped, blocked, tried to roll, or what, but when 
they hit me and exploded, I got shot straight up into the air and clean off
the screen.  The screen went dark for a second, and then I heard a splash.
The screen finally came back, it was really dark, the camera was way back
away from Kratos, and I was under water!  I couldn't go anywhere either.  
I was basically stuck in this body of water that was no bigger than the 
screen of my TV.  
---- Don't panic though, all you have to do is hit the pause button and 
select restart from the last check point.  Luckily, that puts you right back
at the start of the fight with Ares Form 2! ----

FINALLY!  He's a little tougher this time around!  When you first met him,
you threw on Rage of the Gods and went berserk on him for a 20 second kill!
This time, you can't.  He's stripped your magic and swords, and you're left
with a new weapon.  But, it's not so bad.  He's actually kind of easy 
(especially compared to the last fight).  

Now, as before, fully expect to die a few times as you attempt this.  Ares 
can kill you in ONE HIT this time around.  You WILL die.  A LOT.  But no big
deal.  The game reloads rather quickly, so use each attempt to familiarize 
yourself with the way Ares acts and how you're going to implement this 
strategy.

Also, you can NOT stop Ares' attacks!  Once he begins an attack, it is
committed to the end.  You can hit him all day, and he will STILL follow 
through with his attack.  This means that, if you try to strike at the wrong
time, if you try to hit him as he is preparing to hit you, you WILL get hit.
And Ares hits a LOT harder than you do!  So timing is everything.

Fortunately, you can block nearly everything he throws at you EXCEPT for his
two hit block breaker.  This can kill you instantly.  It starts with a
fireball from his left hand that nearly kills you and ends with a swipe from
the claws on his back that does kill you.  This move is the worst thing he
has in his arsenal!  Luckily, it is usually rather easily dodged.

He also calls up four columns from the ground that will kill you instantly 
and these can't be blocked either, but they are easily dodged. Further, as
he is preparing to call up the columns, he is vulnerable to a quick strike
from Kratos.

Ok, the strategy is simple here.  

VERY IMPORTANT : The new weapon has a great R1 attack.  Hit R1, and Kratos 
will lunge forward with a stabbing move that hits for 4-5 hits if it's not
blocked.  

The easiest thing to do is play around with this fight (that means die a few
times - it is inevitable anyway) until Ares starts the fight by teleporting
to the far side to call up the four columns.  That is, you want the fight to
start with Ares' very first move to be a teleport to the far side to call 
up the column attack.  Once he does that, run over to him for a quick R1 
strike, then pull the right analog stick to the left to roll over and out 
of the way of his ground strike. By doing this, not only do you avoid the 
shock wave that results from him stabbing his sword into the ground for his
column magic, but also, a roll to the left causes the columns to appear 
partially off screen and locks the strike box to the upper left of the screen
which means you simply pull back and to the right on the analog stick to
avoid the columns. 

--- Update ---

Right after Ares finishes the column magic, Ares is vulnerable to another 
R1 attack.  So immediately try to get close to him and hit him with R1.
Once youíve done so, quickly pull back on the right analog stick to evade
backwards and then get into your block position.

--- End Update ---

Now, Ares will stand up and run his mouth after the column strike.  He will
either run at you for the instant kill fireball/claw strike, or he will run
at you and try to hack and slash you - usually he does the 
fireball/claw-strike.  If you watch his left hand as he is running his 
mouth, you'll notice he makes a fist and crosses his body with his arm 
around his abdomens.  When he crosses it all the way across, he's going to 
do the fireball/claw-strike, if he doesn't cross all the way across, he's 
going to hack and slash.

Either way, you should be in middle of the lake at this point.  Take a few 
steps toward him and then STOP AND HOLD L1 to get into a blocking stance.  
Watch him CAREFULLY as he approaches.  Once he gets near you, if you see his
left hand twitch at all, pull back on the right analog stick to avoid his
fireball/claw-strike attack. 

--- Update ---

If Ares tries the Fireball & Clawstrike combo, immediately evade backwards to
avoid the fireball and then get into block position to block the clawstrike.
Once you have blocked the clawstrike, hit forward on the right analog stick
to quickly roll forward toward Ares and then hit him with an R1 attack.
This always hits, and more often than not will stun him allowing you to 
use the square button combo sequence which gets you to the O button sequence
which means a faster victory.

--- End Update ---

If Ares doesnít try the Fireball & Clawstrike combo, just hold your block and
let him try to slash you (you will block his regular sword attacks).  Once his
move is done, he'll drop his sword arm down to his side and scream at you. 

Timing is everything here!  As soon as you see him drop his sword arm down, but
BEFORE the scream, hit R1 for a stabbing hit.  This stuns him!  Immediately
follow that with a string of four Square button hits.  This will cause the
sword clash where the O button appears.  This is your best friend!  Mash O 
like mad to win the challenge, and as soon as Kratos is done with the 
animation, Ares sits there stunned, so hit R1 again for a stab attack 
followed with a string of square buttons (you can get three hits in after
the R1 attack).

Once Ares recovers from that, he typically teleports over to the far side 
again to call up the columns.  Follow him for the R1 attack, roll off to the
left, dodge the columns by rolling to the right, and then get into block 
position.

On occasion, Ares will recover by just dancing around the screen waiting for
you to come to him.  If you don't, he'll cast Army of Hades on you followed 
by a claw strike.  All of this can be blocked, but if this happens while he 
is close to you, he will follow the claw strike with the fireball/claw-strike
combo which means instant death.  

So, if he starts dancing, then hold L1 (block position) and then hit 
Triangle!  This causes Kratos to do a spinning jumping attack that will 
close the gap between you and Ares.  Sometimes this hits and sometimes Ares
will block it.  If it hits and Ares is STUNNED, initiate the four string 
square button sequence to get to the clash of the swords O button animation.
Otherwise, block immediately as he typically recovers from this attack with a
few slashes of his own.  If that's the case, if he does attack you after
you've tried this, block and once he finishes his attack (but BEFORE he
screams at you), do the R1, Square button sequence to get yourself to the
O Button animation.  
Depending on how many hits you've done in between, it only takes 2 O Button
sequences to finish him, three at the most.

IMPORTANT : If your R1 strike does not STUN Ares, then you will NOT get the
O Button animation and Ares will instead block your attacks and return with 
his own vicious counter-attack!

So, in a nutshell, a perfect fight goes like this:
 1. Ares teleports to the far side and prepares to call the four columns.
 2. Kratos rushes over to Ares as he calls the columns and does an R1 strike.
 3. Kratos rolls to the left and waits for the columns to appear.
 4. Kratos rolls back and out to the right to avoid the columns and get in the
    center of the lake.
 5. Kratos holds L1 for a block and waits to see what Ares will do.
 6. If Ares moves his left hand at ALL, Kratos leaps backward (back on the 
    right analog stick) and gets back into his blocking stance.
 7. Ares finally does a sword attack on Kratos that is blocked, Ares drops his
    guard and Kratos strikes with R1 which stuns Ares.
 8. With Ares stunned, Kratos does a string of four square button attacks 
    which causes the sword clash and O Button animation.
 9. At the end of the O Button animation, Kratos immediately hits with an R1
    attack followed by three square button attacks.
10. Ares recovers and teleports back to the far side to call the columns and
    everything repeats at step 2.

This sequence of events WILL happen.  It's a bit random, and sometimes you'll
miss the stunning blow for your R1, but a quick and perfect fight that can 
be ended in under a minute (may take several tries and restarts to get the 
order of events to line up) follows this exact pattern.




  .-------------------------------------------------------------------------.
 /  .-.                                                                 .-.  \
|  /   \                     ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~                         /   \  |
| |\_.  |                     ENDING THE GAME                         |    /| |
|\|  | /|                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~                        |\  | |/|
| `---' |                                                             | `---' |
|       |-------------------------------------------------------------|       |
\       |                                                             |       /
 \     /                                                               \     /
  `---'                                                                 `---'

***GLITCH ALERT***
When I beat Ares for the final time in God Mode, I was relieved and thrilled!
I talked to Athena, got the new blades, and was just about to go up into 
the throne room and see my new throne when I noticed I had a ton of red orbs
(45 full bars).  So, I decided I'd pull up my upgrade menu and max out my 
Blade of Artemis before I saved.  So, I hit the start button and the blasted
game LOCKED UP!!!!!  It completely froze!  I nearly passed out and had to 
reset the PS2 and beat Ares all over again!!!!! Well, at least I got to 
re-test the strategies I've put into this guide.
So, I suggest that anyone that beats Ares go immediately into the throne room
and SAVE ASAP.

***GLITCH ALERT***
After my SECOND time through beating Ares, I SAVED my game in the throne 
room!  After saving, I then decided to try again to upgrade the Artemis Blade
with all my extra orbs.  The upgrade counted orbs all the way down to 0 and
gave me the message screen saying the blade was maxed out, but it LOCKED UP 
AGAIN right there on that screen.  Luckily, I had already saved and simply 
reset the PS2 and reloaded my game.

Once you have saved, then destroy the statues of the Minotaur and Ares that 
are in the throne room (it's the only thing left to do anyway).  Doing this
will reveal the "Easter Egg" which is the Second Secret Message.

To break the statues, only ONE attack will actually hit them, and that is 
Hold L1 and Hit O button.  It's the ground strike attack, and you don't get 
that attack till Level five, so yet another reason to have your blades fully 
upgraded!  So, stand in front of each statue, face it, hold L1 and then 
repeatedly mash the O button.  You know it works when you see the Hit Counter
appear.  

Don't bother charging up the attack, just Hold L1 and mash the O button
repeatedly and Kratos will constantly slam the blades into the ground which
hits the statue you are facing.  The cool thing is, by mashing the O button
repeatedly, you can string the hits together!  It took me 155 hits to 
destroy Ares.  It took less to destroy the Minotaur, but I didn't string them
together to count them.

After destroying the statues and saving again, I decided to try again to 
upgrade the Artemis Blade - and it finally worked this time!  Go figure.




  .-------------------------------------------------------------------------.
 /  .-.                                                                 .-.  \
|  /   \          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~            /   \  |
| |\_.  |          COMMONLY MISSED SECRETS AND PUZZLE TIPS            |    /| |
|\|  | /|         ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~           |\  | |/|
| `---' |                                                             | `---' |
|       |-------------------------------------------------------------|       |
\       |                                                             |       /
 \     /                                                               \     /
  `---'                                                                 `---'

Well, this section used to be here, but now that I've written a Chest Guide
I found this section to be rather redundant.  So, check www.gamefaqs.com or
the site that you downloaded this guide from to find the "Chest Guide" which
will show you the location of every chest in the game, including all of the 
hidden ones.  The chest guide also gives some in-depth info on the Nyads, the
Gorgon Eyes, and the Phoenix Feather.  Not to mention the location of the 
Muse Keys.




  .-------------------------------------------------------------------------.
 /  .-.                                                                 .-.  \
|  /   \                   ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~                      /   \  |
| |\_.  |                   CREDITS & COPYRIGHTS                      |    /| |
|\|  | /|                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~                     |\  | |/|
| `---' |                                                             | `---' |
|       |-------------------------------------------------------------|       |
\       |                                                             |       /
 \     /                                                               \     /
  `---'                                                                 `---'


Well, this is the end of the guide.  I want to send out a huge thank you to 
all those that have used my guide, to all those that have emailed me, and to
all you wonderful users at GameFaqs on the message Boards.  Itís all of you
that make writing a guide so worthwhile.  Thank you for all of your support
and many contributions.  THANKS! 


     /-
0####|=================> Credits 
     \-


Well, obviously myself for finally beating the game on God Mode and putting 
this Guide together.

Also, a special thanks to Toni M. (DragonicFlare) here at GameFaqs for 
featuring some of the tips and strategies that are in this Guide in her own 
FAQ.  As I was playing through God Mode, she's one of the FAQ writers that I
had previously emailed tips and strategies to (she has a Complete Walkthrough
for God of War here at GameFaqs).  She liked what I had written and said 
she'd include it in her own Walkthrough (which she has!).  As a result of her
interest in my tips and strategies, I ended up sending her a BUNCH of rather
long emails as I continued playing through the game on God Mode.  Those 
emails are the basis for this Guide, so had she not responded and appreciated
my tips and strategies, I would never have typed them up in the first place.
So a big thank you to Toni!  Now, go download her Walkthrough for a more
detailed look at God of War than I have presented here!  She lists a couple
of hard to find chests as well as a fun walkthrough - so go see what you're
missing!

Thanks to http://www.network-science.de/ascii/ for having an Ascii Generator
that came in handy for the opening and closing text banners. 

For contributed material, a big thanks goes out to:
-- Alex Malinovich (demonbane@the-love-shack.net)
-- anthony_minto@hotmail.com for these 
-- Shady0027@aol.com 
-- Melvyn Lam Hau Ching (melvynlam@hotmail.com)
-- Christopher J Reifsnyder (chrisr29732@comporium.net)
-- taher ali (taherali_hamed@yahoo.co.in)


     /-
0####|=================> Copyrights 
     \-

As for the Copyright stuff, I wrote it, so I have the copyright.  Standard 
stuff there.  If you want to use part of this Guide for some reason, just 
drop me a line and give me credit where credit is due.  I'm not a big stickler
for this copyright stuff, so if you can use something you see here, just let
me know and at least give me credit!  :)

Concerning the sites that have my permission to post this Guide, they are:
-----------------------------
www.gamefaqs.com
www.neoseeker.com
www.1up.com
www.supercheats.com
www.A2zcheats.com
-----------------------------
There may be other sites that have asked permission, or that link to
GameFaqs' database, where you'll see this guide.  That's cool.  I doubt I'll
update the guide and thus it's version number every time a site asks for, 
and is granted, permission to post this guide. 

If you have a tip that you think works better for a given situation, pass
it on and I'll check it out.  Comments and suggestion are always welcome.


_________          _______    _______  _        ______    
\__   __/|\     /|(  ____ \  (  ____ \( (    /|(  __  \ 
   ) (   | )   ( || (    \/  | (    \/|  \  ( || (  \  )
   | |   | (___) || (__      | (__    |   \ | || |   ) |
   | |   |  ___  ||  __)     |  __)   | (\ \) || |   | |
   | |   | (   ) || (        | (      | | \   || |   ) |
   | |   | )   ( || (____/\  | (____/\| )  \  || (__/  )
   )_(   |/     \|(_______/  (_______/|/    )_)(______/