FAQ/Walkthrough for Digital Devil Saga : Avatar Tuner
by Zhou Tai An (kamenriderkirby@yahoo.com.sg)
Version 0.8

This document is copyright Zhou Tai An. Any use anywhere requires my
permission.

******

Why a FAQ for DDS? Because it's the second-best RPG on the PS2. ^_^ (The
first-place honor belongs to Shadow Hearts 2.) Besides which, I've always
wanted to do a FAQ for an SMT game, or one of it's spinoffs, like Persona,
since I think they're some of the greatest RPGs ever made. Well, I guess
here's my chance. :)

Thanks go out to the Digital Devil Strategy Guide -
http://gamekouryaku.com/ddsaga/index.html - one of THE best guides I have
ever seen for any game, official or not. Maps, stats, strats...they've got it
all. Most of the information here is taken from that page. So is the Mantra
Chart and the accompanying maps. If you can read Japanese, be sure to check
it out.

The Press Turn System explanation is from Ikelley's excellent SMT Nocturne
guide - I only changed a few bits so it would fit into this game. Full
credit is his. Thanks also goes to DB27 for some hints and tips.

I know that there is an English version from this game planned, but once
again, I personally am not going to get it. If someone were to send me the
English names used in the game, I will change the ones in my FAQ to make it
compatible with the NA release...BUT I will retain my original translations
somewhere in the FAQ, unlike my SH2 one. Why? Because I believe I've
rendered some of the names in this game damn well, that's why. :)

This walkthrough is 100% spoiler-free.

---

Version 0.8 Notes - Okay, I've labored long and hard, but this FAQ is still
not complete...there are a bunch of lists I need to touch up, some strategy
still needs to be added, and I don't have the maps yet. But the meat is here.
I'll get to Version 1.0 in about 2 updates, I think. Meanwhile, be patient.
(or offer your help, that would be very appreciated. ^_^)

******

Contents :

1.  Introduction, Notes, Credits
2.  General Hints and Strategies
3.  System Explanation (Press Turn and Hunting)
4.  Character Overview (spoiler-free)
5.  Walkthrough
6.  Other Information
7.  Subquests and Secret Bosses
8.  Mantra Guide (Evaluation and How to Get)
9.  Linkage List
10. Miscellany - Translation List, Translation Notes

*******

General Hints and Strategies :

1. Since you only have a choice of how to build Serph, know how you're going
to develop him. While possible, it's generally not a good idea to try to cover
all bases and create a main character who can do anything - you'll probably be
spreading yourself too thin. Here's a breakdown of what which stat affects so
you can make an informed decision :

Strength : Affects all physical damage dealt, basically any attack with the
wild beast icon. Very useful is you are going to be using Serph as a hunter,
since all Hunt Skills are physical in nature.

Magic : Affects all magical damage dealt, basically any attack with has the
spark and not the wild beast icon. Also affects magical damage received and
increases max MP. Useful if you want to build Serph to be a mage. Good for
mostly any build though, since you'll be taking a lot of magical damage in
the game.

Body : Affects maximum HP and all physical damage received. Pretty damn
important stat. ^_^ Get this high to have more life. Also affects
effectiveness of Hunt Skills.

Speed : Both essential and unimportant at the same time. A high speed actually
helps your party move first and avoid back attacks most of the time, which
is a Good Thing. On the other hand, Speed also affects your hit and dodge
rates, which aren't terribly important since even with very low Speed scores,
you still hit most of the time and dodge very little. Up to you how much you
value the increased chance of a first strike. (IMHO, it's a lot better to
leave Speed at a moderate value and use First Strike Expander, but your
mileage may vary.)

(Note, I am uncertain as to whether the game uses only Serph's speed to
determine first strikes and back attacks, or some other factors...from my
second playthrough in which I pumped Speed high at the start, it does seem
to factor into the chance of getting first strikes, but I don't have any
hard numbers.)

Luck : Affects a number of random things, including chance of criticals,
whether or not you will recover from a status condition at the start of a
turn, etc. The exact events affected by Luck are as yet unknown. It's
probably good to have some points in here as a precautionary measure,
but IMHO I would rather put the points in something that ALWAYS has an effect
than putting in it something random.

There are two basic offensive paths to take...magic and physical. Physical
is good early on, but doesn't allow you to exploit enemy weaknesses as
readily as magic, though you do get the benefit of Hunting, which can be very
valuable. Magic allows weakpoint exploitation, but drains MP. IMHO, it's
probably better to go physical with magic on the side, since Arjela will
already be putting points mainly into Magic whatever you do. You'll probably
need some Body too so you don't die as much, but Speed and Luck aren't
terribly important.

A last note : If this is your second time around and you're looking to rumble
with the Hitoshura, then I would advise not pumping Body at all, and putting
most of your points into Strength and Speed. Why? Simple, because Strength
and Speed Noises are the hardest of the stat increases to obtain. If you're
shooting for all 99, then that's the most expedient course. The low HP won't
matter to you on the second time around anyway, as you'll have plenty of
Mantra to use.

2. Some Mantra that you MUST get ASAP - Chakra Walker and Full Karma Getter.
As soon as possible, learn Fujin and then Ijin, but hold off on learning
Mitama, since you want to shoot directly for Shinkon. In the very beginning,
use MP Taster as a substitute. In the endgame, go for Happy Walker (High MP
Taster isn't bad if you hunt a lot, but Happy Walker is more reliable)

Another on the must-get list is First Strike Expander...Heat will probably
obtain it first. More First Strikes = Good. The jury is out on whether
multiple members equipping First Strike Expander has an effect or not, or
whether it's better to just raise Serph's Speed. I'll need to do more
research and get back to you on that.

3. Early on in the game, getting Dia for everyone is a smart move, as well
as having them learn the basic elemental spells (Jio, Zan, Tera etc) so
that you can exploit enemy weaknesses and get more Press Turns. Later on,
when you start developing with a more focussed approach, it's not so
necessary - see the Characters section for more details.

4. In case you didn't know, Cells sell (by the seashore? nah...) for the
most when the moon is full. So, always do your selling when the Solar Noise
is at 8, if not you'll be missing out on cash. The sole exception is the
Hi-Ho Cell, which sells for the most when the Solar Noise is at Min.

5. It's generally better to save your money and hold out for the more
powerful Mantras than to burn it and buy lousy spells and abilities for
everyone - because early on, you'll need every Makka you can get, and AP
is pretty abundant with a proper setup later on the game, so you don't
need to feel that's your losing out whenever you don't have an unlearnt
Mantra equipped. The one exception is getting your team to learn low-level
but useful skills, like the elemental spells and healing - those are always
good to have.

6. While the different decisions in the game may SEEM to indicate that there
are different endings...there aren't. No matter what you decide during the
game, you'll get the same ending. So answer whatever you like. ^_^

7. Always, always, ALWAYS try to exploit enemy weakpoints. This is probably
a no-brainer for SMT veterans (who probably know most of the stuff in this
section anyway ^_^) but to those new to the system, it bears mentioning.
Not only do you effectively get a free turn, you deal good damage and have
the chance to make the enemy Afraid for more successful hunting. As I've
mentioned before, it's a good idea to have each member of the party learn
basic elemental skills for this purpose.

8. Know how to use the Press Turn system to your advantage. (the system
itself is explained in a later section) Remember, you can always Pass a turn
if the icon is not flashing if another member would be of more use in a
particular situation...like you can allocate all the powerful elemental
magic to the last 2 members, start with the first, pass to the second,
act twice, pass again, second member acts again. Passing turns is a good
way to widen your combat options, so don't forget about it.

While we're on this note, the battle order is completely set by you and
is not affected by Speed or anything else - you have an equal chance to be
hit if you're 3rd or 1st. So pick your positions for maximum benefit...if
you have a character than can score weakpoints easily, for instance, it
doesn't make sense to leave him/her in the third slot where the flashing
icon will be of least use. And no, characters not in battle do not
regenerate HP or MP, but they do gain some AP (less than active members
though)

9. You can equip both a elemental Booster AND a High Booster at the same
time for even more attack power. This is actually the best way to deal with
most bosses, since physical attacks cannot be Boosted.

10. When a character leaves your party and returns later, any Mantra that he
or she was equipping at that time will be immediately mastered when he/she
comes back. Besides that, you don't get any new spells. Heat leaves your
party twice and Arjela once, so that's 3 free new Mantra...pity you can't
really get expensive ones at that time, but hey, free is free. ^_^

11. Don't EVER buy more ammunition for your characters, it's a complete waste
of cash, which is hard enough to come by in the first part. You aren't going
to be doing much fighting in human form, and you'll get plenty of spare
ammunition if you search the dungeons thoroughly. The few enemies who are
weak to gunfire can probably be dispatched more readily in devil form anyway,
since changing back costs you a turn. Finally, the most powerful ammunition
can't be bought anyway! So say no to guns! :)

12. Here's a little trick that is quite simple when you think about it...now
you know skills like Chakra Walker only work for active party members, right?
Have your NON-active party members cast healing spells on the active ones,
then when they run out of MP, use Makatora to restore their MP. That way you
save on slots for skills (since you don't need to include healing ones on your
main party) and healing costs as well.

13. Near the end of the game, make sure to get everyone the Stronger
skill of the element they are weak too...many enemies you'll meet use the
-dain forms of spells, and they will do tremendously damage to you and give
them more Press Turns besides.

14. Try to have a mix of two different elemental attacks on each of your
characters. Yes it means the "[x] Boost" abilities become less effective, but
you need to be able to take advantage of weaknesses to get all-important Press
Turns. Also, it means your magic-users won't be useless if confronting enemies
who block or reflect their focussed element.

15. Have at least one character get the Hama and Mudo paths, (I suggest
Gale for this) another the elemental paths, (I suggest Arjela for this),
another the status affecting paths (I suggest Cielo for this) and another the
physical paths (no points for guessing who I suggest for this ^_^) They all
have important things in them.

16. This might seem a little premature, saying it before the actual walkthrough
even begins, but I thought I'd mention it - if you are going to replay the game,
the only things that carry over are the Mantras you've learned...that's it. No
levels, items or anything else. Why would you want to replay the game? Well,
to fight the most powerful boss in RPG history. ^_^ (more in the secret bosses
section)

17. A really simple little hint - put all the status healing spells on one
person not in your active lineup (so it doesn't waste slots) so if you are
ever inflicted with an ailment, just win the battle and heal. Saves on fuss,
bother and healing items.

******

System Explanations :

---

Press Turn System :

The original source of this section was IKelly's SMT Nocturne FAQ - he has such
a good explanation of it that I've decided to use it here and not waste time
writing my own version. I have changed certain references to make it more
applicable to DDS, but it remains more or less his.

PLAYER TURN, THEN ENEMY TURN
----------------------------
Instead of giving your party commands at the beginning of a turn and then
enacting the round, with both allies and enemies attacking at the same time in
order of their Speed ratings, SMT3 has opted for a round-robin style of combat
where the entire party acts, and then the entire enemy party acts, trading back
and forth--somewhat similar to the Majin Tensei games.

PRESS TURNS
-----------
You may notice the little symbols that look kind of like Ryuo Yato-no-Kami from
earlier SMT games appearing in the upper-right-hand corner of your screen during
combat. These are your Press Turns. Each round, you get one Press Turn for each
character you have participating in the battle. If it's just your Hero, you only
get one. If it's your hero and two allies, you get three, and so forth. The same
deal goes for the enemies, except they can have five or more since they can have
larger parties. Cheap, but nobody said life was fair.

A Press Turn dictates how many actions you can take in a single turn. Normally,
you get one action per Press Turn, but depending on what actions you take, you
can get more or fewer actions per turn:

If you miss a target outright, you lose TWO Press Turns. A miss is defined as an
attack that the target "dodges," IOW you can actually see the target move out of
the way. Some attack magic (such as Mudo or Makajama) is all-or-nothing and says
"MISS" if it doesn't work, but this does not count as a miss since the spell
just didn't work and didn't actually miss the target. (If the spell misses
because the target dodged out of the way, that's a different story)

If your attack is Blocked via some sort of immunity, you also lose two Press
Turns.

If your attack is either absorbed or reflected by the target, you lose ALL of
your remaining Press Turns.

If try to run and fail, you lose ALL your Press Turns.

If your attack exploits an enemy Weak Point or is a Critical Hit, you don't lose
a Press Turn at all--rather, one Press Turn Icon will start "flashing." (the
manual says it takes "half a turn" but this is misleading) If all of your Press
Turn icons are flashing, then the first one will be used up.

If the active character passes his/her/its turn to the next character in your
party, it will consume a flashing Press Turn Icon, or or turn a Press Turn Icon
flashing if there are none.

"FLASHING" PRESS TURN ICONS
---------------------------
Flashing Press Turns work a little bit differently from normal Press Turns.
Let's look at a sample round of combat to see how they function.

*=flashing Press Turn, O=solid press turn

Start of round
Turns at Character 1's action: OOOO
Action 1: Character 1 attacks and deals a critical hit.
Turns at Character 2's action: *OOO
Action 2: Character 2 attacks and exploits a weak point.
Turns at Character 3's action: **OO
Action 3: Character 3 passes his turn.
Turns at Character 4's action: *OO
Action 4: Character 4 attacks and misses outright.
Turns at Character 1's action: O
Action 5: Character 1 passes his turn.
Turns at Character 2's action: *
Action 6: Character 2 deals a normal attack.
End of round-switch to other team.

Let's look at each step to see how things work.

Action 1: Clear enough, we turn one "solid" Press Turn into a "flashing" Press
Turn by delivering a Critical Hit.

Action 2: A Weak Point attack is delivered. There are still some "solid" Press
Turns left, so the first Solid turn is changed into a Flashing turn.

Action 3: Passing a turn will normally change a Solid Turn into a Flashing Turn.
However, passing a turn doesn't have as much benefit as dealing a critical or
dealing a weak point--if there is a flashing Press Turn present, it will consume
it. So after Action 3, the first flashing Press Turn is consumed and we're left
with three Press Turns--one flashing and two solid.

Action 4: Character 4 misses, so we lose two Press Turns. Note that we lose the
first two turns available--one "flashing turn" and one "solid turn."

Action 5: Again, we see a turn passed. However, since the one turn remaining is
a solid turn, rather than losing it outright (as in Action 3) it merely turns
the remaining turn to a Flashing Press Turn.

Action 6: No matter what character 2 does in this action, it would automatically
switch sides--even if he dealt a critical hit, all the remaining turns are
flashing, so he would consume the sole remaining one.

MIXED RESULT ATTACKS
--------------------
If you deal an attack that targets multiple targets, it won't necessarily have
the same effect on all targets. It could hit one target, miss another, and deal
a critical hit to the third. If you have Critical(s) mixed with Miss(es) then
you lose one full Press Turn as if it was a normal attack. If you have hits and
Criticals mixed with no misses, it counts as a Critical and turns a Press Turn
flashing. Aside from that, a mixed result attack will "count" as the worst
result in terms of Press Turn loss--for example, if you hit three targets, two
critical hits and the third enemy absorbed the attack, you'd still lose all your
Press Turns, because a target reflecting or absorbing an attack automatically
makes the attacking side lose all its turns.

Also note that missing multiple targets is not cumulative--if a multi-target
attack misses two enemies, you'll still only lose two Press Turns and not four.

BASIC PRESS TURN STRATEGY:
--------------------------
All in all, in order to play battles to the fullest in DDS, you are best off
trying to exploit enemy weaknesses as best as you can--not only will it hurt the
enemies more, but it will allow you to get more blows in before it's the enemy's
turn. Overall, DDS is not the sort of game where you can "save all your MP for
the boss" because if you don't exploit enemy weaknesses to try to prevent them
from getting their turn, they'll turn the tables on you and try to exploit YOUR
weak points. In addition, the faster you kill enemies, the more Makka you will
get,
which will allow you to get more Mantra to kill enemies faster, which will allow
you to...you get the picture. ^_^ The best way to fight a battle is not to try
and conserve MP or HP, and specifically target enemy weaknesses--and when
using multi-target attacks, using only those that no enemy facing you is immune
to. It's best to start out using Weak Point attacks (even if they're weak) until
you have three flashing Press Turn Icons, then use your strongest attacks until
your turn ends.

---

Hunting System Explanation:

Since this system is unique to DDS, I'll go into it with a bit more detail
here. Basically, in DDS, you eat people. Or more specifically, you eat
people in devil form, while you yourself are in devil form. Why? Play the
game to find out. ^_^

Now, hunting has several effects, most notably :

1. You gain HP for each enemy eaten.
2. You gain more AP than you normally would get from killing the enemy.

Since the HP gain isn't great and you can gain HP from healing spells anyway,
it's the extra AP than keeps you on the prowl for more prey. And trust me,
without hunting, certain Mantra will take an eternity to master.

Ok, how to go about hunting? Simple, grab a Hunt Skill and use it to attack.
If you finish off the enemy with a Hunt Skill, you will eat the enemy and a
message telling you that you have gained extra AP will appear. Not too hard
to understand.

However, to hunt EFFECTIVELY, you need to make enemies Afraid of you. When
enemies are Afraid, your Hunt Skills will do triple damage, and instant
kill Hunt Skills will almost always succeed (I've never had one fail on me
yet) Enemies only stay Afraid for one turn though, unless you make them
Afraid again on the next round.

How to make enemies Afraid? I'm glad you asked. There are 3 main methods :

1. Hit their weak points.
2. Critical them.
3. Completely block, drain or reflect their attacks (evading doesn't count,
the blue-white BLOCK word must appear. You can use elemental Breaks, Drains
and Reflects to accomplish this)

You are not 100% guaranteed that the enemy will become Afraid once one of
these things happen...a ballpark figure would be more like 75% of the time.
If you keep on doing it though, sooner or later the enemy will become Afraid
and then it's chow time!

So in a nutshell :

1. Equip Hunt Skill.
2. Find enemy and make him Afraid using methods outlined above.
3. Munch away in satisfaction.

There is one bad point about eating those...you can get a Stomachache. ^_^
No, really. Eating multiple enemies at one time increases the chances of
this happening, and if you eat certain races of enemies (such as Demons)
you will immediately get a Stomachache. What does this do? Well, not
only does the intense pain cripple you in combat (read : sometimes you
lose a turn clutching your belly and moaning) you also get NO, yes,
that's right, NO AP while you're in this condition.

(Note that you can have a Stomachache in combat, have someone heal you
before the combat ends, and you will get the full AP as if you had
eaten the enemies normally)

Generally speaking, it's prudent to have all members of your party have a
Hunt Skill, even just the basic Eat, even if it's just to get the triple
damage bonus and not for the AP. However, if you want to build a munching
machine, I suggest the following skills :

1. Voracious Consumption - Easily one of the best skills in the game.
Very reliable, works well on enemies even when they are not Afraid. Only
downside is that it costs 300,000 to learn the Mantra it's in. If you want
to Hunt, get this ASAP.

2. Stomach Guard. Prevents all occurences of Stomachaches, you can eat
whatever you want, as much as you want. Practically a necessity for
serious buffets.

3. AP Divider. Hey, share the food! This gives some AP to those who are
not currently engaged in stuffing their faces. And more AP is always good.

4. AP Booster. Gives you more AP. You do the math. Works well with AP
Divider.

Of all the characters, Heat is the most suited to hunting because of how
he allocates his stats. (fits in with his personality as well) Of course,
you can build Serph to be even better at it.

One last thing to note about the Afraid status...it can't coexist with other
bad statuses, so an enemy is either Afraid, or Closed, or Cursed...one or the
other, not both. This factors into many strategies in combat, especially if
you like to use status changing attacks, so take note.

---

Field Hunts :

OK, Field Hunts are sorta like a mini-game in DDS. Basically, Serph will turn
into Varuna and run around eating the small souls that appear. Eat enough
and somewhere in the hunting grounds, a Mitama will appear. Fighting and
eating them will net you boatloads of AP. Sound simple enough?

Some tips for Field Hunting -

1. Memorize the positions and order of the small souls. You can only get
more to appear when you have eaten the previous batch, so plan your route so
that you can hit all of them as efficiently as possible. Even small areas
can be tough to clear if you waste time backtracking, so once you know where
they appear you should be set.

2. Be sure to equip the corresponding elemental weaknesses of the Mitama you
are hunting, if not you probably won't be able to damage them, let alone eat
them. Once you hit them with it, they will likely be Afraid, so then we move
on to...

Mitama Weaknesses -

Aramitama - Ice
Nigimitama - Fire
Kushimitama - Shock
Sakimitama - Electricity

3. Chow time! Grab a skill that eats with an instant death effect (like Devour)
and munch away. BE SURE TO EQUIP STOMACH GUARD - you don't want to come all this
way and then get a stomachache and waste all that delicious AP, do you?

Lastly, 2 more notes about Field Hunting - you can only do each Field Hunt once,
and if you are too high a level, the spirits will be so afraid of you they won't
even appear. So do Field Hunts the moment you have access to them, if not you'll
waste the opportunity (you can wait a while, but not too long)

That's about it. More details on Hunting will be explained when they become
necessary in the different sections.

******

Character Overview :

Serph : The silent, cold but strangely gentle leader of Embryon. The only
character you have direct control over. More or less the "hero" of the
game. His mark is the Water Crown on his cheek.

Devil Form - Ashura Varuna. Strong to Ice, Weak to Fire

Human Form Attack - Handgun. Single target attack.

Well, you get to build Serph exactly as you like, so no surprises there.
He's just as good or as bad as you want him to be. And yes, you can take
him out of the active battle lineup, but he will always be in your party.
I say, since you get active control of how he develops, make the most of
it!

---

Heat : Reckless, forceful and fiery, with a temper and appetite to match.
Provides the strong right arm of the Embryon team. Has a rivalry with
Serph of sorts. Intensely protective of Sera, he sometimes has trouble
putting his intense emotions into words. His mark is the Fireball on
his right arm.

(Note : Heat levels up a bit more slowly than the rest of the cast. Why
this is so is unknown (perhaps it ties in with the story and will be
revealed later) but it's certainly true. The discrepancy in levels can
become a factor later (at Level 90 and over, my Heat was 3 levels below
the rest) so it's something to note)

Devil Form - Ashura Agni. Strong to Fire, Weak to Ice.

Human Form Attack - Grenade Launcher. Hits all enemies.

Heat is basically your frontline physical damage dealer. He will put
almost all his points into Body and Strength, making him a powerful
attacker and defender with respect to the physical side of things.
He's also ideally suited to hunting. Since his Magic score is low,
though, I would recommend giving him spells that don't rely directly on
the Magic stat, such as the -nda and Kaja spells as well as the Breaks,
Drains and Reflects.

Finally, note that many of the skills that Heat will likely be learning
are reliant on his HP...equip HP boosters for more damage, and avoid
using them when wounded since you'll deal less damage.

Good skills for Heat :

Early Game - Great Poison Fang is good. So are most of the early Hunt
Skills such as Eat and Devour. In the early game when the stat differences
aren't so great yet, Heat does a good job with basic elemental magic as
well. You might want to get Critical as well.

Mid Game - Definitely get First Strike Expander ASAP. Also learn the -nda
and Kaja skills. Blood Festival is my attack skill of choice for Heat here,
since it hits all, has a high chance of Critical and isn't dependent on
HP. He can also learn the physical attack skills that cause status changes,
which are useful in some encounters. If you're making him a hunter,
definitely go for Voracious Consumption. Learn Min and Max Critical as well
since you can always have them on for boss battles.

End Game - You'll probably have not enough cash to learn both and will have
to choose either Serph's hunting path or Heat's own pure physical path. Both
are good in different ways. It may seem initially attractive, but I wouldn't
get Attack All since some late game enemies are immune to physical. (If you
do, be sure to get Critical to make it more useful and get a powerful single
target attack) Many options here, actually, here are some notes -

1. You can't beat Guillotine Claw for straight, all-out physical damage.
Use when the enemy is frozen or electrified and watch them fall.

2. Gate of the Netherworld is very very good, high HP cost though. So is
World's End.

3. Physical Break can come in handy, since many enemies still use
physical and negating normal physical attacks also can make enemies
Afraid.

4. Cherry Blossom Flare can be useful because of it's Charm effect.

---

Cielo : The happy-go-lucky moodmaker of the team with the funky hairdo.
(Dreadlocks are never out of style!) Cielo can be relied upon to make a
funny comment no matter what the situation. Always cheerful and more
reliable than he looks, he's also remarkbly perceptive for someone who
appears to have his head in the clouds. His mark is the Rainbow Arch
on his thigh.

Devil Form - Deiaus. Strong to Electricity, Weak to Bad Status

Human Form Attack - Submachinegun. Hits multiple times, multiple enemies.

Though I like Cielo personally, I have to admit that he's not terribly
useful because 1) he's weak to BAD STATUS! Tons of enemies use status
changing attacks, and being weak to them is no joke...you can't even
protect against them easily because each has it's own associated Destroyer,
and by the time you get BS Destroyer you can probably own everything
already. 2) He puts all his points in Speed...no matter how charitable
I am, I can't really say Speed is all that useful.

On the bright side, though, when you get him, Cielo is a reasonably high
level and comes with lots of spells already learnt. He's mediocre at
both the physical and magical side of things, so you will probably use
him as a support character (his initial skill setup suggests that that's
what he's intended to be) But it's really up to you.

Good Skills for Cielo :

Early Game - He's in Embryon protecting Sera. ^_^

Mid Game - Your choice here. Healing is one option, status boosting is
another. You can learn some physical and magical skills too. Check the
Mantra section for my take on the skills.

End Game - More or less the same deal. Cielo unfortunately doesn't
truly excel at anything (except Speed...sigh...) so I can't really
recommend anything. Experiment and use what you like.

---

Arjela : Scarred, somewhat easily depressed but a fervent humanist at heart
(quite literally in this game) Arjela is nevertheless quite down-to-earth
(as befits her element ^_^) Capable of extremes of emotion, she is
however unwavering in her dedication to her friends. Possessed of a
somewhat drier wit that the other members (except maybe Gale) Her mark
is the Seismic Wave, located on her collarbone.

Demon Form - Pritivie. Strong to Earth, Weak to Shock.

Human Form Attack - Rifle. Single target.

Arjela is basically the "mage" of the game...she will develop Magic to the
exclusion of all else. This makes her a prime candidate for learning
elemental magic of all kinds, and a potent attacker and boss-killer.
While a bit weak on the physical side, Arjela definitely packs quite a
magical punch. If you want sorcery, she's your girl. I personally used
her quite a lot because well, she's more or less the magical
counterpart of Heat. ^_^

Early Game - Elemental Magic, definitely. Also pick up some healing.
Pick up Eat and MP Taster so she has some way to replenish spent MP.
Learn all the different kinds of elemental magic, not just Earth.

Mid Game - Definitely get Mediarama. GET CHAKRA WALKER ASAP. Don't
bother with statups and downs as those don't benefit directly from
her awesome Magic stat. Continue learning as much elemental magic as
you can. You might want to diverge a bit onto another learning path
and get Tentarafu, though, since that is really quite useful.

Late Game - Lack of funds rear their ugly head here again...like Heat,
she's got too many good skills to choose from, not enough cash and AP.
If you want to go the full elemental mastery route, you'll be rewarded
with super-powerful elemental spells and the Only God Mantra, but not
much else. Consider getting some all-purpose spells for her.

Some choices :

1. Megidora, Megidoraon - Reliable, unblockable damage to all enemies.
What's not to like? Don't bother with Megid, it's too weak.

2. Funeral Procession of the Flies of Death - If you can manage to
take down Fly Beezlebub, LEARN THIS ASAP. It's one of the best Mantra in
the game. If you have this, you can forget about Megidoraon.

3. Xanadu. Pretty helpful at killing off Demon enemies, plus you get
Dekaja and Dekunda.

---

Gale : Intelluctual and almost gravely serious, Gale is the thinker and
planner of the team. Unruffled no matter what the circumstances, he's
not really one for expressing his emotions, preferring to examine things
in a logical manner. His humor, when present, is definitely of the
deadpan variety, and he's often at odds with Cielo (in a kind of
friendly, non-serious way) His mark is the Twister, on his right shin.

Demon Form - Vahyu. Strong to Shock, Weak to Electricity.

Human Form Attack - Assault Rifle. Hits multiple enemies multiple times.

Gale is what I would term a "fighter-mage"...he distributes his stat points
very evenly, so he can fulfill almost any role. You can either give him
physical or magical skills - both are good. However, he won't excel at them
like Heat or Arjela. Still, well-rounded is often useful.

Good Skills for Gale -

Early Game - Joins you way late in the Early Game. Nothing much here.

Mid Game - Look at the Heat and Argela sections as well as the Mantra
sections for ideas on what to learn.

Late Game - Ditto. ^_^

******

Walkthrough :

(Note : As of this writing, the maps are NOT ready yet! (See Version Notes
at start of FAQ. Be patient, I'm halfway through them.)

(For each section in the guide, there is a corresponding map which you can
download from Gamefaqs as well. ALL maps are the property of the Digital Devil
Strategy Guide - http://gamekouryaku.com/ddsaga/index.html...I just translated
them for the English-speaking audience. Because I'm not terribly good with
Paint, there will be a few uneven words and dots here and there. Deal with it.
I got you the maps, you have no reason to complain. ^_^ I will also not be
doing maps for areas that just have a few doors, or just one item - I'll just
indicate it in the FAQ.)

(Since all bosses are immune to Hama, Curse and all negative status effects,
I'm not going to list them. Just know that if I write "Boss" that's what it
means. ^_^)

- Muladhara

After all the scenes are done with, go back to Ground Zero to pick up 5
Rations. Hey, it's not much, but it's free. Then check out all the rooms
that you can in your base to get a bunch of free items. After that,
head to Svadisthana to continue with the game.

- Assignments Base

(Soma Drop outside the base)

Easy dungeon, run here, flick the switch, run there
get the chest, eventually fight the boss. You should have no trouble here.

Boss : Haragriva

HP : 600 or so
Weak to Ice, Strong to Fire

Simple, just Fire Break when he uses Burn Storm, heal when necessary, Bufu
him with Serph. If you want, you can transform Serph and use Ice Magic
Bullet on him, which has a higher chance of freezing him. But you really
don't have to, the fight is so easy.

After that, go back to Muladhara, then go to Sarashara for more events.

- Svadisthana (again)

Whaddya know, here we are back again, even before the next dungeon. ^_^ Your
target now is the Blue Ice Key. Go back to where you fought Halley, talk to the
man there and you'll get it. Now you can open blue doors. Go back to the
Embryon base and open the blue door you couldn't before to get a Great Chakra
and two HP and MP Noises.

- Manipura

Not terribly difficult either. Go there, flick some switches, go here, get
the chest...sound familiar? The dungeon is pretty linear, so if you get lost
just walk around until you find an area you haven't explored. The game will
warn you before you enter an new area if there are enemies waiting for you, if
there are, heal up and get ready before you proceed. For the Mahha fight where
you are surprised, just stay in human form and shoot down the birds - they are
weak to guns. There's a tougher one when you get closer to the boss - a set of
3 Yakkas, followed by a set of 5, then a Gyuki. Use Mahabufu on the Yakkas and
Tera on the Gyuki.

There's also a Field Hunt here, which nets you pretty big amounts of cash and
AP at this point in the game, so go ahead and do it. Freeze the Aramitamas
with Bufu and then Eat them.

Finally, you'll come to the boss.

Boss : Camatotz

Whack him with physical attacks until he starts defending, then use Tera
because he then becomes immune to physical. Don't bother with other kinds of
magic because he'll just Block all of it. Be sure Arjela has Media to deal
with his Spiral Edge.

- Anahata

Now it's off to the Solid's Citadel. Be sure someone has Mahajio and Mahazan
here (I recommend either Serph or Arjela) The Archangels here are strong to
physical, so you'll need to beat them with magic. There are lots of Gyuki
in the misty area of the dungeon, so be careful since they attack first -
hit them with Tera to end the fight quick. And there's a Field Hunt as well,
Aramitamas like the first one.

Ok, now for the dungeon strategy. You'll need both keys to unlock the twin
red-eyed statues preventing you from going further. One is in the area to
the northwest of the Large Karma Terminal...you'll need to make your way
around the statues without falling in, upon which you'll come to a room
with a Valkyrie. Beat her with magic (she counters physical attacks and is
strong to them besides) for the first key. For the statues, be careful
since some of the eyes look yellow from a distance, but are actually red.
Also, always rotate the camera to look around corners since some statues
face backwards. ^_^

For the second key, head right from the Large Karma Terminal to the bottom
right of the map. After navigating through ANOTHER statue area, you'll come
to a room where you fight a Tarrasque. They might be powerful in D&D terms,
but this one is a pushover...^_^ Just hit him with Fire and Earth and he'll
go down in no time flat. After that it's back to the statues blocking your
way...turn the key right for the left one and left for the right one. (like
the dead body in the misty area says)

Almost at the end. Head to the throne room for a battle with Yomotsu-Ikusas
and Touldac - this is where Mahajio comes in handy in taking down the
Yomotsu-Ikusas (you did have someone learn Mahajio like I told you to right?)
Touldac is easy, just hit them any way you want, but don't use Fire.

Make your way back to the beginning of the dungeon. Before you exit, be sure
to save and prepare yourself for the boss fight.

Boss : Ashura Ushas
HP - 2000 or so
Immune to Poison and Nerve
Minion : Unicorn
HP - 400

Be sure to bring Patora and Hama Break into this fight, if not it can be
tough. Attack as normal and use Panaceas or Patora to cure yourself if
Charmed. When Ushas summons a Unicorn, KILL IT ASAP, or she will do a
combination attack, Seraphic Lore, with it (she needs 2 though) Once
she summons the Unicorns, cast Hama Break every turn in case she does it.
You'll also need Media to deal with her Tentacle Frenzy.

Back to Muladhara, then Manipura again. Be sure to stock up on items before
going back to Manipura, since you won't be able to access Vendors from inside
the dungeon.

- Manipura (again)

You'll get into a boss fight before the dungeon even starts proper...

Boss : Camatotz
HP - 651-791
Minion : Baphomet
HP - 666 (hehehe, kinda makes sense)

The first tough boss fight, you can die here if you are not prepared (I did
the first time. ^_^) Basically, the deal is that Camatotz moves first, and
before you can do a thing, he'll cast Giga Violence, then call for
Reinforcements twice and cast Hama Break. Whoa. You'll have to take out the
Baphomets because if you don't, Camatotz will go into defense mode and keep
on casting Earth Break...and he can only be hurt by Earth while defending.

Ok, so what do we do? Firstly, bring Hama into the battle to kill the
Baphomets more easily - Camatotz will not ALWAYS cast Hama Break, so use it
when you can. Secondly, be sure to cast Curse Break unless you want to risk
dying each turn - fortunately for you, Gale comes with it pre-learnt.
Thirdly, be sure to be prepared when you do kill the Baphomets, since
Camatotz will then start using Giga Violence and multiple Spiral Edges -
Media to heal and then smack him down with normal attacks.

After this fight, Heat chases after Bat and Gale joins your party. You're
also locked in.

This dungeon is the first moderately difficult one in the game, because the
Nues can cast Mudo, the first instant death spell. However, if you followed
my advice and had either Arjela or Serph learn Mahazan, they shouldn't pose
a threat (unless of course you get back attacked) Also be sure to have
someone learn Mahaagi since Heat will leave your party here for a while.

The dungeon is a bit more complicated this time, but not by much. As long
as you explore every direction you shouldn't get lost. Be sure to make use of
the free Heal Spot south of where you start. There will be a series of fights
with Kelpies, Nues and Onkotts...use Fire, Shock and Electricity on them
respectively. Shouldn't be too hard.

Before leaving the dungeon you'll have to fight an Atavaku. He's not really a
boss, just hit him with Earth spells and don't attack physically. He should
go down quickly.

- Point 136

Ah, the mandatory puzzle dungeon. This dungeon can be a headache...if you
weren't reading this handy-dandy FAQ. ^_^ Unfortunately, my ASCII skills do
not allow me to draw you a map of the area, even though I have one. The best
advice I can give you is, if you can, don't walk directly in front of any
black paintings, since those will drop you down to the basement. While you
progress through this area, be sure to have everyone learn Agirao and Zanma
to make the boss fight easier.

Once through the first part of the dungeon, you'll have to fight the Hip-Hop
Brothers (and listen to their song ^_^) This fight can be hard if you have
not prepared beforehand, since Jack Frost will constantly cast Mediarama and
can summon his friends besides. If you have Bufura and Agirao you should be set.

For the next part of the dungeon with the mirrors, I can be of assistance. ^_^
From left to right -

First one : Turn pedestal to right, turn mirror directly on top of pedestal.

Second one : Turn pedestal to right, turn mirror directly on top of pedestal,
then turn the bottom right and bottom left ones in that order.

Third one : A bit hard to explain. Turn pedestal to left, then turn the mirror
directly above the bottom leftmost mirror. Finally, find the two mirrors that
are touching each other (there are only two) and turn the right one.

On to the next part. The jet coasters are arranged as follows :

A B
     C
     D

More or less. ^_^ Ride D up and press the switch there to change C's route. Go
back down and ride C to the exit. You can take a ride on B before doing this to
grab a Nerve Bullet, though.

Last section. You'll need to examine of the paintings in order to make the
light appear first. The switches are arranged roughly in this way :

               G1
    E
       F

               G2 G3

Proceed in this order, going up and down the ladder as necessary - E, F, hit
the switch, G, hit the switch, G2, switch, G. Finally, go back to G, hit the
switch and then ride the coaster to get the Yellow Ice Key.

And now the boss.

Boss : Ashura Rahf
HP (Body) 1100 or so (Head) 1500 or so

You can be wiped out pretty quick if you're not prepared beforehand. If you
listened to what I said, you should have Agirao and Zanma for all your party
members by now, which will make the fight much easier. Hit the body with Agirao
first (since it's weaker) and kill it ASAP - be sure to cast Earth Break/Drain
every turn since his Dragon Quake is very powerful. You can't do anything about
Dragon Head, so just continue pounding on him and healing when necessary (you
can heal the person contained by the head) Once the body is down it's just the
head left, which should be quite easy.

- Point 136 Revisited (optional)

This part is optional, you can do it now, later, or not at all. If you're going
to be tackling the hidden dungeons, though, I heartily recommend it, as Arctic
Realm will be invaluable against the Arahabakis that appear there. You can do
this subquest immediately after completing Point 136 for the first time, but it
will be very tough if you do so. There's a Quick Noise you can obtain now since
you have the Yellow Ice Key, as well as a Field Hunt.

Basically, what you need to do here is find the Candy Key, among all the other
keys. The rest are useless, you can get them if you are a collector, but they
serve absolutely no purpose. Find Titania by taking jet coaster B. Once you have
the Key, return to the box at the entrance, then go back up all the way to the
balcony to fight King Frost.

Boss : Demon King Frost
Absorbs Ice, Immune to Fire, Bad Status, Curse and Hama, Strong to Physical.
HP - 4200 or so
Minion : Demon Jack Frost
HP - 320 to 400

Warning - if you choose to fight him now, it will be an extremely tough battle.
The best way to kill him easily is with Teradain, Jiodain and Zandain, boosted
with High and normal Boosters, but you likely won't have them now. If you STILL
want to go ahead directly after Point 136, read on.

Mediarama is practically a necessity for this fight, so are Rakukaja, Tarukaja,
Tarunda, Sukunda and Rakunda - have Cielo cast as many as possible. Have the
weakest member of the party cast Ice Break each round - for some reason, this
will make the Jack Frosts attack you instead of casting -Kaja spells, which
makes things considerably easier. Don't bother killing them as King Frost will
simply summon more. Heal when necessary, and spend the rest of the time hitting
King Frost with normal attacks - Min/Max Critical and normal Critical will make
your life much easier. And then it's just a matter of wearing him down...it
took me half an hour to kill him this way...:)

(Note : I have no idea whether the trick with Ice Break is intentional or not,
but if it's removed in the NA version, then I can't help you...)

Of course, you can always come back when you are super-powerful and breeze
through this fight, the choice is yours. When you win, you'll get some funny
dialogue (the pun is funnier in Japanese) and Crystal of True Winter, which
unlocks the King Mantra.

- Yellow Door Busting!

Now's the time to revisit all those areas with yellow doors you couldn't
open before.

Point 136 - Field Hunt and Quick Noise in two yellow doors on the 2nd floor.

Assignments Base - Vital Noise from B1. (you have to exit the dungeon)

Merrybell Territory - Power Noise in bottom leftmost area, and a Soma Drop
past the blue door on the 2nd floor.

Solid Citadel - Damask Shell on the 3rd floor, area with doors south of the
Karma Terminal (you don't really need to get this one as ammunition isn't
very important anyway)

If you feel you can do without these items for the time being, it's a lot
easier to just come back when are high enough level and have Estoma Sprays,
so you aren't bothered by minor enemies.

- Ruins of the Great Ship

Stock up before you enter, because you can't while you're in the dungeon.
You'll have to use Cielo and Gale for this dungeon, so be sure to equip
Arjela and Heat with Mantras that you want them to learn so you can benefit
from the trick. (see General Tips and Hints section)

Make your way down to the bottom of the ship to start setting up the bombs.
You'll need to set all 7, so explore each area for treasure and any
possible locations you might have missed. You'll have to fight with Nagas
(use Fire), Toukotsus (use Earth), Laughing Skulls (use Fire or Hama),
Phantoms (use Shock or Hama), Gurulus, (use Electricity or Hama) and
finally, Suikis. (use Fire) If you find the Suiki fight hard, just bring
someone with Ice Break.

Now it's time to fight Camototz AGAIN. Third time's the charm...

Boss : Ashura Camototz
HP - 1400 or so

Be SURE that at least one member of the party has Shock Reflect here,
or you'll be sorry. He fights mainly the same way as before...when he goes
into defense mode, hit him with Earth spells (it's actually possible to
kill him if you do enough damage here) He also doesn't use De-Kaja, so
you can buff yourself as much as you want (with enough Maka-Kajas
beforehand, you can kill him outright during his defense phase)

If he goes into the next phase, things get a little trickier. He will
use Giga Violence and then Curse of Zochiraha to turn your entire party
into bats. Now, this is the time to break out the Shock Reflect, because
if he uses Wind of the Demon World when you're in bat form, you WILL be
killed. (even Gale, who normally is strong to Shock) Besides that, just
heal with Mediarama and attack him normally - the batform wears off in a
couple of turns. Honestly he's not really that tough if you know what to do.

- New HQ, Svadisthana

Mainly plot scenes here. Make your way through Svadisthana (for the
umpteenth time) and talk to Rupa. You'll then be in the waterways.

There's a mandatory fight with a Suiki and Fuuki along the way, just
hit the former with Ice and the latter with Electricity before they
can perform their combination attack on you. Later on, you'll have to
fight Kinki, Suiki AND Fuuki in concert. Use Fire and Earth, which
they don't reflect or block, to kill him. They will cast Megidoraon on
you if you linger, so don't.

You'll also want to pick up the Red Ice Key here. In the second
water channel you come to, follow these directions - south, south, west,
south, south, north. Examine the water gate. Then go south, east, east,
north, north, east, east and south to a secret location.

Soon enough it will be time for the boss.

Boss : Ashura Cerberus
HP - Body (2300 or so), Right Head (1500 or so), Left Head (1700 or so)

Can be tough in the initial stages when all heads are active. Cast Fire
Drain every turn to negate the fire attacks and sap his Press Turns.
Focus on the right head first, as it can cast Dekaja and Dekunda. You
can attack in any way you want except Ice, since he will occasionally
cast Ice Break. Twin-boosted elemental attacks work well. Once the right
head is gone things become much easier...he has no way of countering your
status effects now, so buff yourself like crazy and debuff him. Be careful
though, if he does Mind/Power Charge he can still do pretty good damage.
Last thing to watch out for is that late into the fight he will start using
Gate of the Netherworld - you might want to have Curse Stronger to prevent
the petrification effects. And don't attack the main body physically because
it will Power Counter you (though if you are fully buffed and he's fully
debuffed it shouldn't matter)

Now is a good time to go break down all those red doors you couldn't before.
You might also want to attempt to defeat Humanform Beezlebub at this time.
(see sidequests section for that)

- Red Door Bashing Time

- Aljunia

Don't be too concerned with getting all the items on your first trip through
this area - you can get them all when you unlock the white object in the hall.
If a door teleports you somewhere else when you enter it, you're not meant to
go through it. I'm going through this dungeon in Red, Green, Blue and then
White order.

Red Area Boss : Beast Catoblepas
HP - 7000-7600 or so
Reflects Electricity, Absorbs Earth, Weak to Fire

You heard me...he's weak to fire. Very easy fight, get people with Agidain,
load them with twin Boosters and go to town on him. He can't even cast
Dekaja, so use Makakaja to make quick work of him. Bring along a healer
and Curse Break just in case and to stop his Petrification Ray.

Green Area Boss : Goddess Isis
HP - 1430

Super easy. Probably one of the easiest if not THE easiest boss in the game.
She only takes damage from all-purpose and elemental magic, so just grab
twin Boosters and your -dain spells of choice. She is so easy I recommend
blasting her until her life is in the red, waiting for her to summon more
Isises and then killing them all for more experience and Makka. I won this
battle without a single healing spell being cast...on my first playthrough. ^_^

Blue Area Boss : Dragon Nidhogg
HP (main one) 4400 or so (others) 400 or so

The hardest of the three area bosses, but not too tough if you know the trick
to this. When the fight starts, KILL ALL THE OTHERS unless you want to have a
hard time of it. There are various ways to accomplish this - Blood Festival
(which almost guarantees you a Critical, and thus an extra Press Turn, with
so many targets) or powerful elemental twin Boosted magic. Whatever you do,
just kill them, and kill them all in one turn, isolating the centre Nidhogg.
After that, he will spend EVERY turn summoning another Nidhogg, hoping to
use Cannabalism on them and become bigger. Don't let him. Kill the new
Nidhogg and whack him. Rinse and repeat. He can't cast Dekaja, so buffing
yourself will make the job easier.

If you mess up and actually let him become big, then it's going to be
tougher. Bring along Dekaja (since he will buff himself) and Ice Break/Drain,
as well as a good healer. Then wail away. But really, you shouldn't let him
grow that big to begin with.

White Area Boss : Ashura Ravana
HP (first part) 1000 or so (second part) 3800 or so

Irritating battle, but easy if you know what to do. BE SURE THAT EVERYONE
IN YOUR PARTY HAS SHOCK REFLECT BEFORE YOU ENTER. Trust me, it's the key
to this fight.

Ok, for the first part, you'll need to rely on Sera's direction to know
where he is. She won't give you exact directions most of the time, so
some guesswork is required. Just attack him physically, don't waste your
MP on this part. He doesn't use many strong attacks at this point in time,
so it's just a matter of waiting it out. If don't understand Japanese,
then you're outta luck and I guess you'll just have to keep attacking a
spot until you get lucky. ^_^

Now for the next part. He will be a cheapass and start using Pulse of
Thirst, which cannot be blocked by ANY means and rarely misses. However,
Sera will come and sing the Song of Prayer to heal you - trouble is, she
can only heal one person each turn. Now, the moment you can act, CAST
SHOCK REFLECT. That's all you need to do - don't bother with healing or
anything, just MAKE SURE you have Shock Reflect up. Why? Because Ravana
will use Gale of a Thousand Worlds with surprisingly regularity. This is
actually good for you, because he is not strong or immune to shock, and
the attack will rebound on him, causing about 600 damage each time.
So basically just keep on casting Shock Reflect and healing when the
Reflect is up. If you want to hasten the process of killing him, cast
Rakunda on him and blast away with elemental magic. Whatever you do,
DON'T CAST Tarukaja on yourself, since when Berserk you will physically
attack each other.

After this, it will be time for the final dungeon. You can go ahead and
complete the game now, but you might want to consider doing the extra
dungeons because they will not only make you much stronger, they're also
fun. ^_^ Go to the subquests section if you want to. But if you want to
continue the story, it's off to...

- Sarashara (the final time)

(A note before you traverse the last dungeon - if you are planning to
replay the game a second time for the secret boss, I suggest selling all
non-essential items before completing the game, as only mastered Mantra
and nothing else carries over into your second play.)

The Karma Guards here (the only non-devil enemies in the game, I might add)
are like Isis in that they can only be hurt by elemental magic and all-purpose
attacks. And their Maha Returner is very annoying.

The enemies here are substantially stronger than anything you'll come up
against yet...that's why you might want to attempt the extra dungeons first.
They typically will be immune to a bunch of stuff and have really powerful
magic at their disposal - if you get back attacked you can get wiped out
easily. The only way to reliably win against them is to master the most
powerful Mantras in the game...thankfully, both the last dungeon and extra
dungeon yield enough Makka and AP to do just that.

Proceed a ways into the dungeon and you'll come up against the first boss.

Boss : Dragon Vahshki
HP - 4800 or so

What's with this game and bosses that are weak to fire? Well, it just
makes them that much easier to defeat. ^_^ Once again, twin Boosted
Agidains are the order of the day here. You might or might not want
to Randomizer and/or buff yourself here...Vahshki can and will cast
Dekaja/Dekunda, but doesn't do it regularly. What you need to watch
out for, though, is Hiim Arahya, a powerful cold attack that WILL freeze
your party. If you get frozen you're probably dead (as Vahski will
proceed to Critical the stuffing out of you) so Ice Break/Drain is
a necessity here. However, the boss displays brains for once and will
instead use Megidora and Mahajiodain instead of futilely attacking you
when protected - don't use Gale in this fight, or if you absolutely must,
make sure he at least has Electricity Stronger. Besides that, just cast
Agidian and heal when necessary.

Up and up we go. It's a long road to Tipperary, it's a long road to go...
by now you've probably encountered Samael and are wondering how in heck
to kill him. It's actually quite easy.

The Long and Boring Way - Use Apocalypse or Makajamaon to seal his spells,
Physical Break to protect against his Akashic Baritz and then kill
him slowly. The first method I used.

The Dangerous Way - Use Great Poison Fang and poison spells to poison him,
then hope he dies from the poison. Pretty risky, hence the name.

The Incredible Efficient, Remarkably Simple and Overall Just Plain Great
Way - Thank you, thank you. No pictures please. Use Magic Reflect and
hope he doesn't use Akashic Baritz (he shouldn't, he only does it
rarely) His spells will reflect back and he SHOULD become Afraid. Then
you can eat him. If by some incredible chance he doesn't, just do it
again. This process is made a LOT easier if you just equip Full Specula
or Full Destroyer.

Go up high enough and just before the last Large Karma Terminal,
you'll have 2 more bosses to fight (you can see them flying around the
area you're on, so it's not THAT much of a surprise...)

Boss : Flying Heavens Jatayu
HP - 2300 or so

Not too hard. (I say that about all the bosses, don't I? ^_^) He will
use Mahamudon, so either cast Curse Break or equip Curse Destroyer.
He has Dekaja and lots of stat-downing spells - and he'll use them too,
but for some strange reason he doesn't have Dekunda! So Randomizer him.
Either physical attacks or twin Boosted ice will kill him pretty quick
(I prefer the ice since it has a chance to freeze him)

Reinforcements will arrive in the form of :

Boss : Flying Heavens Garuda
HP - 2900 or so

Aren't these two just different religions take on the same mystical bird?
He'll use a combination of Mind Charge/Megidora or Power Charge/Power
Wave which can pack quite a whallop, so be careful with your HP.
He'll also use Mahamaon, so Hama Break or Destroyer is essential.
Unlike Jatayu, he will use both Dejaka and Dekunda, so you might
not want to overcast Randomizer and/or -Kaja spells lest they all
be for naught. Besides that, just attack or use twin Boosted
Agidains to finish him off. Min/Max Critical can come in useful for
these two fights.

Continue onwards to Floor 6656. There you'll meet...

Boss : Dragon Ananta
HP - 5500 or so

This guy gets a whopping 7 attacks, so he can own you if you don't know what
you're doing. First off, have everyone equip Nerve and Confuse Destroyer to
neutralize his status attacks (if for someone reason you don't have them
yet, you should be able to gain the AP to learn them easily enough by now)
He'll cast Dekaja and Dekunda, so don't bother with status spells.
Physical Destroyer actually makes this fight terribly easy, but if you
don't have it, just heal normally. Twin boosted spells and/or physical
attacks should do him in readily.

Go to the Final Floor and talk to Gale. Once you enter the door, you
can't go back, so make sure you have done everything you wanted to do.
If you are getting to the Final Floor to make the Four Holy Beasts appear,
MAKE SURE you go ALL the way up until the title of the floor says
"Topmost Floor" - if not it doesn't count.

Assuming you are ready, enter the door and after the events, you'll face
off against the final boss.

Final Boss : Yin Yang God Hari Hara
HP - First and second forms (1000 or so) Final form (12000 or so)
Strong to all purpose, reflects whatever element Pulpas she has active
Minions : Pulpa
HP - 460 or so each
Reflects their element, strong to All-Purpose

Do NOT bring in all-purpose attacks or spells into this fight. You'll
find out why soon. Twin Boosted magic and physical is the way to go.
The first two forms are just warming up. She'll use Vaikunta on you,
which you should counter with Curse Destroyer (or Curse Break if
for SOME REASON you don't have that this late in the game...)
Be sure to buff yourselves to the max in preparation for the last
form, since the first 2 forms won't cast Dekaja.

For the final form, the way this fight is works is that for each Pulpa
active, she will reflect that element. So if the Fire Protection
Pulpa is around, she will reflect fire. And yes, they are all strong
to all-purpose. So what do you do? Believe it or not, there is a
ridiculously easy way to kill the last boss...

1. Use elemental magic on the Gold Protection Pulpa to kill it.
(it reflects physical)

2. Use an all-hitting strong physical attack (something like
Gate to the Netherworld) to kill all this rest of the Pulpas.
(they go down really fast)

3. Attack Hari Hara with either physical attacks or elemental
magic.

Each turn, she'll summon another Pulpa. Just kill it and attack
her. Repeat. If you want to make it REALLY easy, cast a -Kaja
spell and she will definitely waste a turn casting Dekaja...so
you can effectively render her useless. Kinda lame last boss, huh? ^_^
You don't even need stuff like Physical Destroyer, Full Specula
etc...she's incredibly easy to lockdown.

Once done, sit back and enjoy the ending. No, I don't understand it
either, but that's what makes it good, dammit.

******

Other Information : This section is placed here because it probably
won't make much sense if until after you've played the game a bit. ^_^
This is basically just stuff that really didn't fit in either the General
Tips and Hints section (because it wasn't General enough) or wasn't
really a part of the Walkthrough.

---

How to Kill Omoikane -

Ah, Omoikane, the secret enemy which yields a ton of cash and experience.
Can only be really hurt by guns, but runs away the moment you transform back.
To make matters worse, he always starts first too.

Ok, the good news is that he CAN be defeated with almost 100% efficiency.
The bad news is that you'll probably only be able to do this much later in the
game unless you're really lucky.

Alright then, here's how to kill Omoikane. You need someone with a single
target gun as the first person (that means either Serph or Argela, no one
else) and someone with Taunt as either the second or third person. But the
kicker is...you need a REALLY strong gun. The first gun that even has the
remotest chance of taking down Omoikane (you only get one shot) is the
Plutonium Bullets. Here's the list :

Plutonium Bullets - Two Taunts and a Critical
Silver Bullets - Ditto

Alluring Scent Bullets - Two Taunts OR One Taunt and a Critical
Black Gold Bullets - Ditto
Dead End - Ditto

Calamity Bullets - One Taunt

If you stay in devil form, Omoikane shouldn't run away, allowing you to
Taunt twice. However, he MIGHT run away...so Taunting twice is risky. You can
also can Rakunda to lower his defense, but each turn you don't attack him
raises the chance of him running away. As you can see, the only 100% effective
way
to kill Omoikane in one turn is to have the Calamity Bullets.

The exact turn order is -

1. First member turns into human form.
2. Pass or cast Taunt.
3. Last member passes or casts Taunt.
3. First member shoots.

Now, what happens if more than one Omoikane appears? In that case, you need
Dekunda. When they Randomizer, you Dekunda. Note that you will STILL need to
cast Taunt, since even a normal Calamity Bullet shot cannot kill Omoikane
unless it criticals. And yes, in all these scenarios, you will only have time
to kill ONE Omoikane.

Of course, this necessitates a specific character lineup (Argela or Serph
must always be the first to move) as well as taking up 2 seperate slots for
spells...but since you don't know when Omoikane will appear, it's a price you
have to pay if you want to take him down.

Now, some speculations on my part :

1. Meeting Omoikane in human form - Since Omoikane is a random encounter and
doesn't SEEM to be related to the enemy levels of the area, I thought of going
to an area with weak enemies, using Estoma Spray to keep them away, then using
Human Keeper and running around until Omoikane appears. Of course, this can
only be done on the second playthrough since you don't have Human Keeper the
first time round. I have no idea whether this would work, it's just
speculation on my part...you might run around for an hour with no encounters.
^_^ If possible though, you could shred Omoikane easily, perhaps more than
one.

2. Killing multiple Omoikanes - If my calculations are correct, the following
ideal situation COULD occur...either Cielo and Gale in the front slot, you
manage to cast 2 Taunts and a Dekunda to ward off the Randomizers, then you
Critical when you do fire. If all goes well, the Omoikanes don't run AND you
get the Critical (it goes without saying that you need the Calamity Bullets)
you SHOULD kill more than one Omoikane if all your shots critical. Of course,
that's a big if. I would rather just do it the usual way and be guaranteed an
Omoikane death. Still, while we're speculating, this is the only way I can see
to kill more than one Omoikane at a time, unless point 1 above works.

---

How to Obtain Noises :

If you're going to want to beat the secret boss of the game, or you just want
to power yourself up more, here's the list of what enemies drop Noises -

HP Noise : Girimekara (found in Brutish Camp Basement 3)
MP Noise : Isis (found in last dungeon and Manipura waterways)
Power Noise : Ongyouki (found in last dungeon, 1300m floor)
Vital Noise : Arahabaki (appears as reinforcements in Manipura waterway)
Quick Noise : Garuda (found in last dungeon, 1300m floor)
Magic Noise : Horus (found in last dungeon, 1300m floor as well as Brutish
camp 4th Floor)
Luck Noise : High Pixie (found in Arjunia, wait for Pixie to summon her
as a reinforcement. Also found in Svadisthana Underground Waterway,
Karma Terminal 3)

Some things worth noting about Noise hunting -

1. Ongyouki and Garuda appear VERY RARELY (Garuda about once in every 15
fights, Ongyouki once in every 35 or so. And then they only appear as
reinforcements.) So if you want to gain Power or Speed it's going to be
a very long haul. And yes, I did use a Riberama Flute to make them appear
more often.

2. If you are going for HP Noises, be aware that Sergeant Girimekara might
appear while you're hunting Girimekara. He's tough but gives decent EXP
and Makka, so you might want to fight him.

3. If you are going JUST for Magic, it's better to go to the Brutish Camp,
because the only enemy that appears on the 4th floor is Horus. If you
want all the Noises, then the last dungeon is better since you MIGHT find
an Ongyouki or Garuda once in a while.

4. By far the easiest Noises to obtain are Vital and MP...Arahabaki appears
a LOT in the Manipura waterways, and Isises are everywhere. If you want to
level up, you'll be using that area anyway, so chances are you will be
rolling in those 2 items (I once had 16 ^_^)

5. For getting Luck Noises, try hitting the Pixie once and then just
passing turns. But don't damage her too much or she will run away.

******

Subquests and Secret Bosses :

Here's how to open up all the extra dungeon/sidequests.

Beezlebub (human) - Get the Red Ice Key and go to Svadisthana B2. Can be
done once you have the Red Ice Key.

Beezlebub (fly) - Defeat Beezlebub (human) and go to the Manipura
waterways (the second entrance on the right)

Yamato no Orochi - Defeat Baron Omega (part of the story) then go to
the room in the Solid's Citadel on the 2nd floor.

Four Holy Beasts - Go up to the very topmost floor in the last dungeon
(Sarashara) and return. There will be an Embryon member at the entrance
to Sarashara who will tell you where you can find them.

Metatron - Defeat all four Holy Beasts and Yamato no Orochi, obtaining
the Red Tab Ring from the girl's corpse you can find once you beat the
latter. Then talk to the two girls who will appear outside the mansion
in Aljunia.

Kohryu - Defeat all four Holy Beasts, go back up to Floor 3820 in the
last dungeon.

Hitoshura - You must have beaten the game once. Go up to the very topmost
floor in the last dungeon (Sarashara) and return. He can be found in the
Solid's Citadel in the misty area.

We'll do these one by one.

- Beezlebub (human form)

Go back to the Assignments Base (yeah, again, I know) and to the area with
the red door. Go through it, and make your way to the bottom of the dungeon,
where they'll be a circuit breaker. Flip it and all the switches will become
active. Go back and flip all of them. Near the very first switch in the
dungeon there will be a ladder...go down and go right to find Beezlebub.

Boss : Demon Beezlebub (human form)
HP - 6000 or so
Reflects Curse and Hama, Immune to Ice, Electricity, Shock, Earth and
Bad Status

Pretty tough even if you know what's your doing. As you can see, the only
good ways to damage him are physical and fire. I recommend physical as you
can use the Min/Max Critical trick to ensure more Criticals - though if you
have Serph and/or Arjela with high enough Magic, twin Boosted Agidains can be
very effective too. Be sure to cast Hama Break every turn, as he will cast
Mahamaon and Mahamudo in succession (if you Break it, he'll lose the next
Press Turn, so you don't need to cast Curse Break) You MUST be able to
cast Dekaja in this battle, because he will buff himself and become even
stronger if you don't. Cast Electricity Drain (and try not to bring Gale
if he doesn't have Electricity Stronger) to protect yourself from his
lightning attacks. The real problem here is of course his Maka-kaja and
then Megidoraon combo...nothing much you can do but grin and bear it,
healing later and Dekajaing. Finally, some buffing and Randomizing is
probably in order, but don't go overboard because he can and will cast
Dekaja/Dekunda.

Once he's beaten, you'll get the Al Ajif and a Layer Cell, not too
shabby. Then it's on to...

- Beezlebub (fly form)

Okay, this is one of the hardest dungeons in the game, and the absolute
best place to gain experience. Lots of great items here though. Ok, first
off, BE SURE your party has the following before even attempting to enter
the dungeon :

1. A member of the party with twin Boosted Mahajiodain. ANother person
should have Tentarafu.

2. All members of the party must have Arctic Realm. (which means beating King
Frost if you haven't already)

3. All members must have the Stronger skill corresponding to their weak
point...if you get ambushed here by Satis or Titanias and they hit your weak
points, you can kiss your ass goodbye.

4. All members must have Nerve Destroyer, to prevent Lakshimi's Dormina/
Peaceful Repose combo.

5. A powerful physical or all-purpose attack to deal with enemies who don't
have weakpoints.

Once inside, tread carefully, and save often. You'll probably be really
shocked when Arahabaki first appears, but don't worry - he's a pussy, and
you'll learn to be glad when he pops up, because it's free experience and
Makka for you. ^_^ Just Arctic Realms him until he's frozen, then hit him
with the aforementioned powerful physical attacks. If you're low level
when you get here, bring along Curse Break so that his Gate to the
Netherworld doesn't petrify you. (it won't stop the physical damage, but
the petrification bit is considered Curse element)

You should take the time to build your levels here if you are going for the
rest of the extra dungeons. About Level 60 is a good number to fight
Beezlebub with, though it's possible to do it as low as 48 with the right
skill setup.

Speaking of Beezlebub, here he is -

Boss : Demon Beezlebub (fly form)
HP - A LOT. ABout 12000 I think.
Reflects Curse and Hama, Immune to all Elements and Bad Status except Fire,
which he is Strong to

Well, the Lord of the Flies in the flesh is no pushover. Prepare to die at
least once fighting him if you are not completely, 100% ready...and even
if you are, exercise caution. Basically, the only way to kill him is to
use physical attacks. (Lost Word isn't worth it since the MP cost is
prohibitive and it can't be Boosted) Make sure that you use the Min/Max
trick when fighting him.

Ok, now for the actual battle plan. He'll start out simply enough, just
using Mahajiodain, Mahazandain and attacking normally. (Once again, do
NOT bring Gale and Arjela to this fight unless they have Stronger to
cover up their weakpoints) At this point of the fight, you should take
the time to buff yourself and Randomizer him since he won't Dekunda/Dekaja
just yet. Once he uses Scream of the Soul, though, the fight begins in
earnest.

Now he will use of the nastiest attacks in the game : Funeral Procession
of the Flies of Death. Not only does this do MASSIVE all-purpose damage,
greater than Megidoraon, it's almost 100% instant death, Curse element.
Yes, you heard me right - if you don't have a Curse Break up or Curse
Destroyer equipped, you WILL die instantly when he uses the attack. As it
is, it already does tons of damage...ballpark figure is about 400 or so.
You might want to consider using HP Boosters to make sure you don't die
if you HP is below that.

After he casts that, he will then start using Dekaja/Dekunda, and
alternating between his first attack pattern (Mahajiodain, Mahazandain
and attacking normally), casting his dual Mahamaon/Mahamudo combo, and
using Power Charge/Scream of the Soul/Megidoraon. Occasionally, he will
do the Maka-Kaja/Funeral Procession of the Flies of Death thing again.
Just hunker down, cast the occasional Taru-Kaja and/or Randomizer and
wail away at him with physical attacks as best as you can...eventually
he will go down.

I recommend the following skills when fighting this form of Beezlebub :

1. Curse/Hama Destroyer. You really can't afford to spend every turn
casting Curse Break since you don't know when he will pull out the
Funeral Procession of the Flies of Death. Besides which, mastering
Jashin (which nets you these two skills) also grants you Randomizer,
so there is no good reason not to bring it.

2. Dekaja here is a MUST. If not, his attacks will shred you. They're
powerful enough already, you can't let him make them STRONGER.

3. Nerve Destroyer is useful in case you get hit by the status part of
Scream of the Soul. Of course, Physical Stronger/Destroyer are even
better.

4. Min/Max Critical, and normal Critical. You'll need them, seeing as
the best way to damage him is physically. Don't bother with skills like
Guillotine Claw, you can't spare the HP expense. Just attack him normally.

5. HP boosters if your HP is too low to withstand the Funeral Procession
of the Flies of Death onslaught.

6. Samarecarm for if you mess up during the fight.

Once he's down, you can reap the rewards - the Deathlife Stone, Skull of
the Demon King, and the Calamity Bullets! The last is probably the most
important, since it allows you to kill Omoikane reliably. (see the section
on How to Kill Omoikane) Once you go back to any Karma Terminal, you'll be
able to access the Honorable Lord Mantra, one of the best in the game.

- Yamato no Orochi

This dungeon is actually much easier than the one above, and Yamato
no Orochi is also easier than Beezlebub's fly form. So might want to
tackle this one first. The enemies here aren't TOO tough, but Samael
often appears as reinforcements, so you've got to know how to deal with
him - read my strategy on dealing with Samael in the Sarashara section.

Once you make your way to the end, you'll see Yamato no Orochi lying
in wait for you. Don't fight him unless you have saved and have slotted
the proper skills. Once you're ready...

Boss : Dragon Yamato no Orochi
HP - A lot. I forgot the exact number.
Immune to everything except Ice, Electricity and All-Purpose

He gets 8 attacks. 8. You get 3. Talk about unfair. ^_^ But really,
Yamato no Orochi is easily the easiest of the extra bosses, and once
you know the trick to fighting him he will go down in no time.

Stuff to have when fighting him :

1. Stronger for the elements you are weak against. Yes, I know I
keep on harping on this, but it's absolutely essential to withstand
Yamato no Orochi's initial onslaught.

2. Dekaja. If you don't have it you will die, plain and simple.

3. Enough HP to withstand his 4 Maka-Kajas/Megidoraon combo. Equip
HP Boosters if you need to.

4. Magic Seal Destroyer and Poison Destroyer. These are cheap to get
and they will make him lose Press Turns, so there is no reason not
to get them.

5. Twin boosted Bufudains. That's the only reliable way to damage him.

6. Raku-Kaja, Maka-Kaja and Randomizer. You'll need them for the second
half of the battle.

Ok, on to the battle. The first phase actually depends on lot on luck.
Yamato no Orochi can do the following things : hit you with status
attacks and try and steal your magic (good), hit with -dain spells
(ok), and use the 4 Maka-Kajas/Megidoraon combo (not so good). At this
point of the battle, don't bother attacking him, just focus on healing.
Don't bother casting any buffs or Randomizer as he will Dekaja/Dekunda.

Now, you see...for such a fearsome beast, Yamato no Orochi has a pitifully
low amount of MP. Normally, he would try and get some back by MP Stealing
you, but you have Magic Seal Destroyer. So, being pretty much screwed in the
magic department, he will then resort to using Muscle Bomber 8 times in
succession. This would normally be dangerous IF you didn't bring along
your Raku-Kaja and Randomizers to render it ineffectual...remember, he has
no more MP now, so he can't even cast Dekaja/Dekunda! (If you have
Physical Destroyer, even better. ^_^) That's the only thing he's going to
do for the remainder of the fight, so just Bufudain him and whack him when
he's frozen, healing when necessary. He'll go down soon enough.

Once he's beaten, you can go into the Brutish camp and get the Red Tab
Ring and a Layer Cell. Be careful, there are no enemies up till the
3rd floor, where Horus will start appearing. Thankfully, he is weak to
Curse, so use the Al Ajif/Deathlife Stone and he'll die. This is
also a good area to make Sergeant Girimekara appear and harvest
HP Noises from him (and Magic Noises from Horus) but I will detail that
in another section.

- Four Holy Beasts

These can be tough if you don't know their patterns (especially Genbu!)
but they are not so hard if you are prepared beforehand. Of course,
that's what FAQs are for. ^_^ Check the maps for their locations.

ALL the Holy Beasts absorb their chosen element at 10 times the strength -
that means if you cast an Agidain on them and they absorb it and it did
normally 100 damage, they would absorb a 1000. So whatever you do, do NOT
equip stuff like Full Specula, which would reflect their elements. Don't
cast Reflect spells either (with one exception, noted below)

If you have Full Destroyer, all the fights instantly become cake. :)
But honestly you don't need it - just Break and Drain spells will suffice.
For all the fights, you should bring in Dekaja or you will regret it - I'm
only saying this once, I won't repeat it in the strategies below.

Boss : Flying Heavens Suzaku
HP - 6700 or so

She's one of the easy ones. In the beginning, she will just cast Agi and
Mahaagi, moving on to Agirao, Maharagion and Maka-Kaja, and finally, when
she's lost about half her life, she'll get serious and use Giga Violence,
Dekunda and Maharagidain. Just Fire Break/Drain her when that happens.
However, she is not THAT dumb and will attack you with Power Wave,
Akashic Baritz and Taru-Kaja if you do so.

Basically, just buff yourself up to max power in the early stages of the
fight, because for some reason she doesn't have Dekaja! Then hit her with
twin Boosted Bufudains. She'll go down in a jiffy.

Boss : Beast Byakko
HP - 6200 or so

Again, not too hard. He'll attack with mainly Shock, just Break/Drain it.
Don't use too many status changers as he will cast Dekaja/Dekunda regularly.
Since he will Hyper Counter you if you attack physically, go with twin
Boosted Teradain and Agidains instead. Oh yeah, his physical attack power is
also quite strong, so equip Physical Stronger/HP Boosters as a precaution.

Boss : Dragon Genbu
HP - 6600 or so

Ah, the toughest of the Holy Beasts. Also the funniest. ^_^ His puns are so
bad, they're good! And the Kansai accent is just...WTF? Anyway, you'll need
to know the trick to beat him, so read on. Oh yeah, the MOMENT you cast
any status changing spells, he will use Violence and Dekaja/Dekunda (basically
getting it for free) so don't bother. But do do it at least once just to hear
the speech he gives - it's hilarious. ^_^

Basically, attack with twin Boosted Bufudains and whack him when he's frozen.
Be sure to equip Curse Destroyer, if not his Gate of the Netherworld might
petrify you. Besides that, he will use mainly Earth and physical attacks UNTIL
he loses about half his HP. Then he will proceed to cast Magic Reflect EVERY
turn.

So how do you deal with that, you ask? There's the normal way and the sneaky
way. The normal way is just hitting him with all-purpose abilities, which even
Magic Reflect can't block. This takes time and lots of MP though. The sneaky
way is to cast Earth Reflect when he starts casting Magic Reflect...his Earth
spells will bounce off your Reflect and negate his Reflect, allowing you to
cast Bufudain on him normally. However, sometimes he will not use an Earth
spell and attack physically instead. In that case, just heal and wait for him
to cash an Earth spell - he eventually will. Takes some time, but he'll go
down.

Boss : Dragon Seiryu
HP - 5500-6000 or so

Definitely the easiest of them all. He will cast Maka-Kaja X 2 then Mind
Charge, Taru-Kaja X 2 then Power Charge, then Dia (yes, DIA, not even
Diarama!) X 2 and Randomizer - thus letting you know EXACTLY what kind of
attack is coming next. And he also does this with unfailing regularity.
Talk about choreographed. ^_^

Bring in Magic Seal Destroyer to deal with his MP Steal and Apocalypse
and Dekunda for the Randomizer. Then just blast away with twin Boosted
Agi, Zan or Jiodain. Or you can attack him physically. Either way,
he won't pose much of a threat, because as you can see...HE DOESN'T
CAST DEKAJA OR DEKUNDA!

Are you laughing at him yet? You should be...:)

- Metatron

Just follow the directions at the beginning of the section to fight him.
It doesn't matter what you answer, he'll attack you anyway.

Boss : Flying Heavens Metatron
HP - 17200 or so

You know, for a figure considered in some Biblical texts to be the most
powerful angel ever, he's sure wussy. Much weaker than Beezlebub, that's
for sure, just like in SMT : Nocturne Maniacs.

Anyway, be sure to bring in Hama Destroyer for this fight, because that's
all he's going to use...Hama, Hama, and more Hama. (You can use Hama Break,
but it's a freaking waste of time having to cast it every round, and besides,
if you are fighting Metatron there is no reason you shouldn't have mastered
Jashin by now...)

Ok, once again, for SOME STRANGE REASON, this guy doesn't cast Dekaja. At
all. So just buff up to max power and you're more or less set for the rest
of the fight. He's so weak, I actually set my controller to Auto, went to
get a drink and when I came back, he was dead. ^_^ The only remotely
dangerous thing about him is that when he loses about half his life, he'll
get mad and start casting Maka-Kaja, Mind Charge and then Divine Flames of
Sinai - that can actually do decent damage even if fully Raku-Kajaed up,
because of the Mind Charge. So bring in HP boosters if you're worried about
that. As to attacking him, you can do so any way you want, physical or
twin Boosted elemental. You might as well make advantage of the Min/Max
trick and the fact you can Taru-Kaja to max power...I was doing easily
3000+ damage a turn.

- Kohryu

When you've defeated all the Holy Beasts, it's time to fight their boss.
Go up to Floor 3820 of Sarashara (yeah, you've gotta climb it AGAIN) and
you can find the strongest boss of the normal game.

Boss : Dragon Kohryu
HP - 22500 or so (yes, more HP than ANY enemy in the game)

Ok, the Holy Beasts might not have been that hard, and Metatron might be a
wuss, and you might think you're the bee's knees right now, but Kohryu
can be HARD. Since this is first time I have written the word hard in
capitals with reference to a boss in the whole FAQ, you'd better sit
up and take notice. ^_^

Anyway, the deal with Kohryu is that he has different attack patterns. When
he's using a certain attack pattern, ALL his resistances change. He can
go from taking 200 for a normal attack to 2. An elemental spell which
deal about 300 before can now heal him to max life. Add that to the fact
that he can cast Empyrean Halo, the most powerful all-purpose attack in
the whole game, and you've got quite an enemy to deal with.

So before fighting him, I heartily recommend you bring the following into
battle :

1. Either Mediarahan or Meshiaraizer.

2. Dekaja/Dekunda, Randomizer and Raku-Kaja (you might not need the
other -Kajas, but you WILL need Raku-Kaja.)

3. Bad Status Destroyer. Yes, I know this necessitates mastering the
Divine Spirit Mantra, which costs 1.4 million, but if you don't have
BS Destroyer, Empyrean Halo will inflict several different kind of
hurt on you and completely mess up your party. So it's more or less
a necessity here.

4. HP Boosters of some sort. When Kohryu decides to attack, he doesn't
do it half-assed, and he will use BOTH Empyrean Halo and Megidoraon,
sometimes both in one round! So make sure you have enough HP to weather
the storm.

5. If you can afford it, Master Canceller is VERY useful in this fight.
If you can't, at least bring along the Stronger elements that you are
weak too, since Kohryu casts all the most powerful non-combination
elemental spells in the game.

6. Use the Min/Max Critical trick...you'll need it.

Ok, so now you're all set to fight the Golden Dragon, you'll need
information about his attack patterns to do so effectively.
Basically, Kohryu will growl something and then change from one
attack pattern to another. You can SOMETIMES tell what he's going to
do from what he growls, but not always. When he used an elemental
spell during a phase, it means that he will absorb that element at
10 times it's strength, so do NOT use it. If you're not sure, don't
use it - you don't want to fight Kohryu for a while and the heal him all
the way back to full life.

Growls : Kyuu...kurururu...

Initial phase - Uses Megidoraon, Tarunda, Dekaja, Dekunda, Mahamudoon,
Mahanmaon, Power Charge, Empyrean Halo. Takes half damage from physical,
quarter from anything else.

Fire Phase - Uses Maharagidain, Makanda and Mind Charge. Takes 10%
damage from physical.

Ice Phase - Uses Mahabufudain, Makanda and Sukunda. Takes 10%
damage from physical.

Earth Phase - Uses Mahateradain, Maka-Kaja and Mind Charge. Takes almost
nothing from physical.

Shock Phase _ Uses Mahazandain, Maka-Kaja and Sukunda. Takes 10%
damage from physical.

Whenever he growls the above, he will switch to any of these phases,
including the initial one. He will also only take a quarter damage
from all-purpose.

Growls : Kuwahhh...

Attack Phase - Uses BOTH Empyrean Halo and Megidoraon, right after each
other. This is easily the most dangerous of the phases. If he changes to
this phase right after Fire, or worse, Earth Phase, you WILL be killed, (as
the Mind Charge will double his magical damage, and if you haven't Dekajaed
him, the Maka-Kajas he will have cast on himself will just makes things worse)
unless you have Tarunda/Randomizer cast on him or Raku-Kaja cast on you.
(It's possible to survive with 99 Magic and 999 HP, but well, that's kinda
extreme.) The only good thing about this phase is that now Kohryu will take
250% damage from everything. This is the time to go all-out of him, so do
it!

Growls : Foh...fuu.. OR Fushu...

Defense Phase : Becomes immune to everything, including all-purpose
(Kohryu gets an Honorable Mention as the only ever SMT boss to be immune
to all-purpose) Use this opportunity to heal and buff yourself. Of course,
if he changes to Initial Phase, he will Dekaja/Dekunda right off, but
generally it's a good idea, because if not, what are you going to do
anyway? ^_^

From this information, we can generalize certain things about attacking
him -

1. The only element that Kohryu NEVER absorbs is Electricity. Thus,
twin Boosted Jiodains are the way to go if you want to damage him
with spells.

2. However, physical is my attack of choice, because it allows you to
use the Min/Max trick and Kohryu casts Makanda, not Tarunda. You can
rack up huge sums of damage during his Attack Phase with this (on one
fortunate turn of phases, I racked up 6000 in one turn.)

And that's all the help I can give you. With the data provided, you
SHOULD be able to take down Kohryu at about Level 60-70. If you are
really having a hard time, Level 90 will allow you to beat him without
much trouble.

- The Secret Boss of DDS : The Hardest Battle in RPG history.

(I don't really know whether this can really be considered a spoiler
per se...some people think the mentioning of the boss's name is a bit
spoilerish (I don't personally think so, since although he does come
from the SMT universe, he doesn't actually appear in the game or have
any relevance to the plot whatsoever) So basically this is just a
disclaimer of sorts.)

Once you've beaten the game for the first time and gone all the way up
to the topmost floor of Sarashara, you'll be able to fight the final secret
boss of this game. Yes, that's right - the Hitoshura is the same person who
is the main protagonist of Shin Megami Tensei Nocturne. What he's doing
here in the game is beyond me - it's possible that the worlds are linked
somehow, he's just here for fun, Serph and Co. are hallucinating, etc.
But what IS certain is that he is most definitely the hardest battle in RPG
history.

(Note : Some people actually contest the last statement. As I'm open
to debate on it, if after reading all the information I've collected
on the Hitoshura and fighting him yourself, you still believe there
is a harder boss in RPG history somewhere, please do tell me. I'll
add a list of possible contenders here just for fun. It'll be an
interesting experiment at the very least. ^_^)

Before we go on into the nitty-gritty, here's basically
who you'll be facing...

Hardest Boss in RPG History : Hitoshura
HP - 18000
Immune to everything except all-purpose and Earth.

Attacks :

Zeloth Beat - Hits all, physical damage and can cause Paralysis status.
Javelin Rain - Hits all, physical damage and can cause Close status.
Heat Wave - Hits all, physical damage.
Hunt - Hits one target, all-purpose damage.
Gaia's Repast - Hits all, causes so much (17000+) all-purpose damage you
WILL die from it (considering your max HP is only 999...)

The Hitoshura also has an abnormally high Critical rate...he will
Critical at least one member of your member whenever he uses any attack
besides Hunt.

Now, what makes the Hitoshura so difficult is that if you use or
equip ANY skill related in ANY way to blocked, absorbing or reflecting
ANYTHING, he will go into Over Kill Mode and cast Gaia's Repast every turn.
Basically this means you die. Which means you cannot bring any Break or
Destroyer spell or ability into battle, and no Full Specula or Master
Canceller either. Even using a Physical or Magic Mirror will cause him to
Gaia's Repast.

If that wasn't bad enough, he also comes with his demon buddies. If anyone
of them dies, he'll summon the next in sequence, and the sequence never
ends...meaning if you kill No. 6, he'll just continue on with No.1. In
addition to that, even though there are only 2 demons and the Hitoshura,
he gets 4 Press Turns, with himself attacking twice. (since he always
moves first)

Here's the data on his demon friends :

1. All of them are immune to all status effects of any kind, as well as
Curse and Hama.

2. They all possess the ability to cast Mediarahan, Dekaja/Dekunda and
Recarmdora. The moment any status change is detected in either your party
or the Hitoshura's party, they will cast Dekaja/Dekunda at the first
available opportunity.

3. Once they have acted 29 times (not inclusive of casting Dekaja/Dekunda),
their next action, no matter what the situation, will be to cast Recarmdora,
restoring the Hitoshura's HP to max. Since Recarmdora only costs 1 HP to
cast, they can do so even if completely out of MP. This counts as an ally
death and the Hitoshura will respond appropriately, summoning a new demon
and, if it the demon is Pixie or Parvati, using Gaia's Repast.

4. When the Hitoshura's life drops to half or less, they will cast Mediarahan,
restoring it to maximum. Thankfully, they will only do this ONCE.

5. When Pixie and Parvati are summoned, they will immediately cast Dormina,
which counts as a free action (it will not take a Press Turn) Immediately
following this, the Hitoshura will use Gaia's Repast.

The Allies of the Hitoshura :

1. Chu Chulainn
HP - 3000

Attacks with Akashic Baritz and Guillotine Claw. Whenever possible, he
will cast Taunt on your party. Once he has cast Taunt twice (and you have
not Dekundaed it's negative effects) he will start to attack with
Akashic Baritz and Guillotine Claw.

2. Girimekara
HP - 3500
Absorbs Physical

Casts Mahamudon every turn. VERY randomly (like once in about 500 times)
he will use Demon Rave or Randomizer instead.

3. Pixie
HP - 1700

This is no normal Pixie, it's the Pixie From Hell. She casts Megidoraon and
occasionally, Matter is Void. She is also the only one of ALL the Hitoshura's
allies I've ever seen run out of MP.

4. Arahabahki
HP - 3500
Weak to Ice

Yes, he is actually weak to Ice, not that you'll be able to exploit that. ^_^
Uses Curse Epitaph, World's End, Randomizer, and Gate of the Netherworld.

5. Titania
HP - 2000

Uses -nda spells (not Randomizer, for some reason) and all the most powerful
elemental spells (Maharagidain, Mahabufudain etc)

6. Parvati
HP - 1800
Weak to Fire

See Arahabaki. Casts all the -Kaja spells as well as Mahamaon.

Ok, this is just all the raw data regarding the Hitoshura and his allies. Before
you actually read the Methods and Analysis section, I recommend going out and
fighting the Hitoshura a couple of times just to gain some practice with him.
It'll help you understand the section a bit more, because nothing is a
substitute for actual experience.

Methods and Analysis -

Here are some commonly-accepted strategies concerning this battle, and the
rational behind them :

1. You MUST have both Physical Stronger and Critical Canceller on everyone.
If you don't, even if you have 999 HP and 99 Body, the Hitoshura will do
so much damage and get so many free Press Turns that you as good as dead.

2. You must also have Meshiaraizer and Dekunda, the first to deal with
the status effects from the Hitoshura's attacks and the second to deal with
all the status downs that his demon allies will inflict on you. With your
defense lowered twice by Taunt, I've had the Hitoshura deal upwards of 400
damage normally, even with Physical Stronger equipped and max Body. And
he didn't Critical that time. Ensure that everyone has Meshiaraizer,
since you never know who will be Closed due to Javelin Rain (or Stoned,
Dead, Asleep or otherwise incapicitated) but you probably won't have
enough slots to have everyone equip Dekunda.

3. Avoid Sleeper is another must. Why? Because when Pixie and Parvati
cast Dormina, Gaia's Repast always follows. Since Avoid Sleeper
guarantees a 100% evade rate against ANY attack (yes, even the
mighty Gaia's Repast) this is the only known way to avoid it.

If you want, you can also equip Death Canceller...this has good points and
bad points. The good points are that obviously, you'll still be alive,
and when you are alive (even though Death Canceller turns you back into
human form) you'll still be able to use items (like Soma and the
Ranch Orb) to help your friends. The bad points are that it takes up
a slot, and you turn back into human form, not devil form, so you have
to waste one turn transforming back, and one turn is VERY precious when
fighting the Hitoshura (you see, if you die in devil form, when
ressurected, you'll still be in devil form, which is NOT the case when
you use Death Canceller)

4. You must have Cielo in your party. He is the most indispensable
member here, because...he's weak to Bad Status. Yes, the most irritating
weaknesses of all the character is actually your salvation here - he has
the highest chance of being hit by Dormina, and hence activating
Avoid Sleeper and avoiding Gaia's Repast. Note that this is not
guaranteed by any means...even with his weakness, the attack can still
miss him. Also, since he has no elemental weakness, Titania cannot score
a Weak Point on him, which is quite important.

5. The next few skills are all vitally important for different reasons,
but you will probably not have enough slots for all of them. It's
your choice which you will want to pick.

1. Elemental Strongers. Titania can exploit your elemental weaknesses
with frightening regularity, and more Press Turns for the Hitoshura and
Co. is never a good thing.

2. Curse Stronger. Girimekara casts Mahamudon EVERY TURN. The reason for
the ability should be obvious. This also prevents the petrification
effect of Arahabaki's Gate of the Netherworld from working as often.

3. Hama Stronger. While she doesn't use it EVERY TURN, Parvati casts
Mahamaon enough to make it dangerous.

4. Death Canceller. Has both good and bad points, see above notes.

5. Recarmdora. Face it, in this fight, there are going to be many many
moments in which there will only be one member of the party alive.
That's when this skill comes in. I don't believe it is 100% essential
since you can use the Ranch Orb, but it's definitely something to
consider.

6. A -Kaja spell. This is my own invention and it's endorsed by any
other site out there. ^_^ Basically, you are sacrificing one of your
turns for one of theirs, since once the enemy detects a -Kaja spell
being cast, they WILL cast Dekaja.

You do NOT need Dekaja. Why? Because of the simple fact that while there
are no Dekunda Stones, there ARE Dekaja Stones. ^_^ Don't waste a slot on
it.

Up to now, this has all been about how to stay alive and defend against
the Hitoshura. You won't win the fight by not damaging at all. Here are
some methods to consider :

1. Lost Word and Teradain are the two primary methods of dealing direct
damage to the Hitoshura himself. The former is stronger but takes a lot
more HP, but also works on all the other enemies. The latter only works
on some, takes less MP, and is weaker. If you twin Boost it, it will
actually do more than Lost Word (with a Level 99 Serph with 99 Magic,
Lost Word does 250, twin Boosted Teradain does 320) but I doubt you
can spare the two slots.

2. World's End is the attack of choice in this battle, since it does
damage to all enemies, and lowers their defense besides, thereby
wasting on of the demon's turns casting Dekunda. The downside of
course is that it takes a lot of HP, making it harder to withstand
the Hitoshura's onslaught.

3. Magicwise, you have a choice between Empyrean Halo and Divine Flame
of the Sinai. (Megidoraon and Funeral Procession of the Flies of Death
don't do enough damage) The former does the most damage, but the
latter has the POTENTIAL to do more damage. (because it hits from 1-3
time) However, the latter also has more chances to miss, and distributes
it's damage randomly (which might or might not be a good thing, depending
on how you look at it)

That's about it, there are not many other ways to attack in this battle.
You can of course use Bufudain and Agidain on Arahabaki and Parvati
respectively, but those attacks only work on them, not the Hitoshura
himself.

A last, very important note...

Always ensure that when the Hitoshura is about to summon either Pixie or
Parvati that you kill off ALL the demons at one go as well as either
hitting him with World's End or casting a -Kaja spell on the previous turn.
(or better yet, both) This is so that when he casts Gaia's Repast, the
Pixie or Parvati will then waste their turn casting Dekaja or Dekunda,
giving you more time to get your party back onto it's feet. Of course
this does not prevent the worst-case scenario of no one falling asleep
to the Dormina and subsequently, Death Canceller not activating when
Gaia's Repast hits...

******

Linkage List - This is a complete list of all Linkages in the game. A new
Linkage will appear once you have the requisite attacks that make it up
when you start a new turn. Because they are combination attacks, they
take up multiple Press Turns when you use them, so be careful.

Fire Elemental :

Maharagi = Agi + Zan
Maharagion = Agirao + Zanma
Maharagidain = Agidain + Zandain
Fire Spirit Bullet = Heat (human form) + a Break spell
(hits all enemies for small damage)
Fire Phantom Bullet = Heat (human form) + a Reflect spell
(hits one enemy for medium damage)
Fire God Bullet = Heat (human form) + a Break spell
(hits all enemies for large damage)
Trisagion = Fire High Booster + Shock High Booster + any Megid spell
(hits all enemies for huge damage)

Ice Elemental :

Mahabufu = Bufu + Tera
Mahabufura = Bufura + Teraji
Mahabufudain = Bufudain + Teradain
Ice Spirit Bullet = Serph (human form) + a Break spell
(hits all enemies for small damage + chance to freeze)
Ice Phantom Bullet = Serph (human form) + a Reflect spell
(hits one enemy for medium damage + chance to freeze)
Ice God Bullet = Serph (human form) + a Break spell
(hits all enemies for large damage + chance to freeze)
Crystal Dust = Savage Winter Breath + 2 -Kaja spells
(hits all enemies for medium damage + chance to freeze)
Fimbulviet = Ice High Booster + Earth High Booster + any Megid spell
(hits all enemies for huge damage + chance to freeze)

Electric Elemental :

Mahajio = Jio + Bufu
Mahajionga = Jionga + Bufura
Mahajiodain = Jiodain + Jiodain
Electric Spirit Bullet = Cielo (human form) + a Break spell
(hits all enemies for small damage)
Electric Phantom Bullet = Cielo (human form) + a Reflect spell
(hits one enemy for medium damage)
Electric God Bullet = Cielo (human form) + a Break spell
(hits all enemies for large damage)
Narukami = Electricity High Booster + Ice High Booster + any Megid spell
(hits all enemies for huge damage)

Shock Elemental :

Mahazan = Zan + Jio
Mahazanma = Zanma + Jionga
Mahazandain = Zandain + Jiodain
Shock Spirit Bullet = Gale (human form) + a Break spell
(hits multiple enemies for small damage)
Shock Phantom Bullet = Gale (human form) + a Reflect spell
(hits one enemy for medium damage)
Shock God Bullet = Gale (human form) + a Break spell
(hits all enemies for large damage)
Sonic Blast = any Zan spell + a Paralysis spell + a single target physical
skill (hits all enemies for medium damage and Paralysis)
Vahyabiya = Shock High Booster + Electricity High Booster + any Megid spell
(hits all enemies for huge damage)

Earth Elemental :

Mahatera = Tera + Agi
Mahateraji = Teraji + Agirao
Mahateradain = Teradain + Agidain
Earth Spirit Bullet = Arjela (human form) + a Break spell
(hits all enemies for small damage)
Earth Phantom Bullet = Arjela (human form) + a Reflect spell
(hits one enemy for medium damage)
Earth God Bullet = Arjela (human form) + a Break spell
(hits all enemies for large damage)
Titanomakia = Earth High Booster + Fire High Booster + any Megid spell
(hits all enemies for huge damage)

Hama Linkages :

Mahanma = Hama + Media
Mahamaon = Hamaon + Mediarama
Divine Punishment = Hama X 3
(hits all enemies for large reduction in current HP)

Curse Linkages

Mahamudo = Mudo + Death Shower
Mahamudoon = Mudoon + Iron Death Fist
Curse of a Thousand Years = Mudo X 3
(hits all enemies for either instant death or Curse status)

All-purpose Linkages :

Micronova = Agi + Bufu + Tera (a much much weaker Megid)
Megid = Hama + Mudo + a Kaja spell
Megidora = Hamaon + Mudoon + a Kaja spell
Megidoraon = Mahamaon + Mahamudoon + a Kaja spell
Matter is Void = Status Affecting Skills X 3
Black Sun = World's End + Megidoraon + Meshiaraizer
(hits all enemies for huge damage)
Demon God's Fervor = Last Supper + Gate to the Netherworld + Randomizer
(hits all enemies for huge damage and all status down)

Magic Seal Linkages :

Makajamaon = Makajama X 3

Recovery Linkages :

Media = Dia X 2
Mediarama = Diarama X 2
Mediarahan = Diarahan X 2
Archangel's Blessing = Dia X 3 (all party large HP recovery and defense up)
Great Angel of the Ferment's Blessing = Media + Mepatora + Recarm
(all party HP recovery and full status recovery)
Mepatora = Patora + Media

Support Linkages :

Dekunda = 2 Kaja spells
Dekaja = 2 -nda spells
Randomizer = 3 -nda spells

Wait Linkages :

Physical Reflect = Physical Break + Physical Stronger
Magic Reflect = Hyper Counter + elemental Reflect

Physical Linkages :

Rumble Fish = Single target physical skills X 3
(takes 13% of HP, small damage to all enemies)
Red Lotus Blade = Muscle Bomber + Agi + Tera
(takes 13% of HP, small damage to all enemies)
Violent Beast Wild Dance = 3 Hunt skills
(takes 13% of HP, large damage to a single target)
Trident = Single target physical skills X 3 + Sukukaja
(large damage to one enemy)
Mass Slaughter = Coma Step + Power Counter + Hellfang

Gun Linkages :

Fusillade = Gun attacks X 3 (takes 10% of HP, large damage to one target)

******

Mantra List :

Here is a full listing of all the Mantra in the game, including what abilities
and spells they provide, how to get them, and how much they cost. I will be
including a rating of 1 to 5 (1 being useless and 5 being GET IT OR ELSE) of
each Mantra and their spells/abilities, taking into account general
usefulness, whether it's worth it get them etc, as well as some comments.
When the Mantra only has one spell, it will have no generalized comments, since
the comments will just be for that one spell.

For the names, I'll be just using the romanized versions of them (that's what
is displayed on the corresponding picture, after all - there was no space to
write that much) but will be providing a translation. I have no idea how
these are going to be rendered in the English version, so you'll have to
inform me when that happens and I might make some changes then. Or I might
not. Whatever. ^_^

(I got so bored of writing out all the skills costs I stopped...if someone
will do the MP ones for me, I'll do the physical ones, ok?)

Without further ado, on with the list :

-----------------------

Hunting Path :

Kuraudo (Eater) - Serph's basic Mantra
Difficulty - *
Cost - 1000
Focus : Low-level Hunting
Condition to unlock : None
Rating : N/A

It doesn't get a rating, you have to get it. ^_^

Eat (3)
Costs 12% of HP, single target Hunt skill doing low damage.

The basic Hunt skill. As mentioned before several times in the
FAQ, it's probably a good idea to let your entire party learn this skill,
at least in the beginning of the game.

Hell Thrust (1)
Costs 12% of HP, single target physical damage skill doing low damage.

Not useful at all...you are better of just attacking, really. It costs
12% of your HP just to do a little bit more damage. Wait for the
better physical skills.

***

Majuu (Demon Beast)
Difficulty - **
Cost - 4000
Focus : Low-level Hunting and passive physical skills
Condition to unlock : Master Kuraudo
Rating : 3

Average Mantra. Just a step on a path.


Eat Many (2 and a half)
Costs 26% of HP, multiple target Hunt skill doing low damage.

I actually give this less than Eat because it takes so much HP
and you don't have Stomach Guard at the beginning of the game, so
eating more than one target at a time makes you vulnerable to
Stomachache. Still, if you manage to make all your enemies Afraid,
this skill can be VERY useful.

Great Poison Fang (3 and a half)
12 MP, all target physical damage skill doing low damage which can
cause poison. Power based on current HP.

One of the best skills in the early game. Hits all, does poison,
and costs MP but damage is based on HP. Pretty decent early on.

MP Taster (4)
Gives you back a small amount of MP for each successful Hunt.

VERY VERY useful early on, since it's the best way to regenerate
MP. Eat + MP Taster should be two skills slotted on each character
in the early game. Outmoded by Chakra Walker, but you only get that
later, so this is excellent for when you first get it.

***

Seijuu (Holy Beast)
Difficulty - **
Cost - 50000
Focus : Hunting and passive physical skills
Condition to unlock : Master Majuu
Rating : 4

A pretty good Mantra, has handy skills. Well worth the cost.

Gnaw (4)
Costs 15% of HP, Hunt skill doing high physical damage to a single target.

Very good skill. It's like Super Eat, more or less, and it does high damage
without expending much HP. Definitely get it.

Hellfang (2 and a half)
Costs 16% of HP, does medium physical damage to a single target.

I'd rather use Gnaw instead, seriously. Still, it's not a BAD skill,
it's just like Super Attack. ^_^

AP Divider (3 and a half)
When a successful Hunt is completed, some bonus AP will be distributed to
all other party members.

Helps a lot in getting AP...you might or might not want to make it a
permanent slot, depending on how much you Hunt. It's definitely useful
if you use the hunting setup detailed in the Hunting System Explanation.
But then again, the amount gained is not huge. Once again it's really
your call.

Stomach Guard (3 and a half)
Completely prevents Stomachaches.

Again, it's usefulness depends on how much you hunt. Stomachable
can be a really irritating status ailment, since it's occurence
generally means you don't get AP (unless cured during battle) -
it can also be potentially fatal in you're in a tough fight and
you miss your turn because of it. Like AP Divider, you might or
might not want to make it permanent, but definitely consider it
if you do a lot of hunting.

***

Shinjuu (Divine Beast)
Difficulty - *****
Cost - 300000
Focus : Hunting and self-effect skills
Condition to unlock : Master Seijuu
Rating : 4

When you first get access to this Mantra, you'll probably be going...
"WTF, why does it cost so much?" Start saving up for it, because it's
worth it.

Voracious Consumption (4 and a half)
Costs 32% of HP, Hunt skill doing medium physical damage to all target.
EXCELLENT skill. The best Hunt skills hands-down until the late game, and
then even THEN it's still useful. It does enough damage that it will
outright slaughter enemies who are Afraid, and even if they are not, it
still does enough damage to have a chance of eating them normally. You
can use this after any using enough all-attack spells and have a great
chance at consuming the entire enemy party. Basically, all good, nothing
bad...except MAYBE the high HP cost.

Scream of the Soul (3)
Costs 24% of HP, does medium physical damage to all targets. Has a chance
to cause Paralysis.

Paralysis isn't that great a status ailment to inflict, but the damage from
this attack is pretty decent. I'd use Cherry Blossom Flare instead though.

AP Booster (3 and a half)
Grants more AP after a successful hunt.

Like the other passive hunting skills, depends on how much you hunt. Really
makes gaining AP much easier if you have it on...VERY useful in conjunction
with Voracious Consumption and the other passive skills. I personally have it
equipped at all times, but again, your choice.

***

Tsuurajin (God of the Kingdoms)
Difficulty - *******
Cost - 600000
Focus : Hunt and self-effect skills
Condition to unlock : Master Shinjuu and Hishin
Rating : 4

Worth the money for Last Supper alone. Get it.

Last Supper (4 and a half)
Costs 38% of HP, Hunt skill that has a high chance to causing instant
death to all enemies.

The Hunt skill of choice in the late game, more or less tied with Voracious
Consumption for the best Hunt skill in the game. Later on, the enemies will
have so much HP that Voracious Consumption might not kill them outright
anymore. For this one, as long as they are Afraid, they're as good as in
your tummy already. Essential to killing Samael/Nidhogg/Catoblepas etc quickly
and effectively. This even works sometimes when the enemy is not Afraid, but
I wouldn't bet on it...the downside of this in comparison with Voracious
Consumption is that it doesn't do damage, therefore you can't do regular
damage and eat with it.

Akashic Baritz (3)
Costs 30% of HP, does high physical damage to all single targets.

I would personally use Gate of the Netherworld instead. Still a decent
skill, but Attack All does much the same thing.

MP High Taster (3)
Restores half your MP on a successful hunt.

Your choice between this or Happy Walker...I find that the latter is a lot
more reliable.

--------------

Physical Path :

(There are actually technically several Physical Paths...check the
Mantra Chart picture for details. However, I'm not going to indicate
the branches hre, but I will list the Mantra in the order obtained.)

Shura (Warrior) - Heat's basic Mantra
Difficulty - *
Cost - 1000
Focus : Low-level physical skills
Condition to unlock : None
Rating : N/A

No Rating, you have to use it.

Bio Claw (1 and a half)
Costs 12% of HP, single target physical damage skill doing low damage
and has a chance to inflict Poison.

It gets one more half a point since it can inflict point...but Great
Poison Fang is much better. Skip.

Muscle Bomber (2 and a half)
Costs 15% of HP, multiple targets physical damage skill doing low damage.

Pretty ok at the start of the game, sorta like a Maha physical attack.
It raises the chance of Criticals since you are attacking multiple times,
but it also means you are more likely to miss. Still, Great Poison Fang
is better.

***

Touki (Battle Demon)
Difficulty - **
Cost - 4000
Focus : Low-level physical/Hunt skills and self-affecting skills
Condition to unlock : Master Shura
Rating : 3

Just another step on the path...

Devour (3 and a half)
Costs 18% of HP, Hunt skill with low chance to instant death a single target.

Pretty good. If the enemy is afraid, there is a good chance you can take
him out with this instantly. SOMETIMES misses (because it's a low chance)
and you can forget about using it on anything that is not Afraid. Gets
an extra half point because it's pretty much essential for Field
Hunting early on.

Death Shower (3)
Costs 14% of HP, single target physical damage skill doing low damage
and can cause Curse status. Hits multiple times.

Also decent. Curse is an...ok status to inflict, not great, not bad
either. The chance that it will occur is low though, but since the
skill hits multiple times each time counts.

Red Lotus Blade (3)
Costs 16% of HP, all target physical damage skill doing low damage.
Power depends on current HP.

The alternative to Muscle Bomber. They're both pretty interchangable,
except that at high life this is better.

Taunt (3)
Casts the equivalent of 2 Taru-Kajas and 2 Rakundas on the enemy
party.

ESSENTIAL if you want to kill Omoikane. But then, you'll only be
able to do that later, and you get this WAY early on. It's...ok.
Raising the enemies's attack is never a good thing, but you think
you need the defense lowering very badly, you can cast it...hefty
MP cost early on though. You can also do the double Taunt, double
Dekaja trick. Still, honestly I believe Taunt is really only good
for Omoikane hunting.

***

Oniou (Demon King)
Difficulty - ***
Cost - 25000
Focus : Hunting and self-effect skills
Condition to unlock : Master Touki
Rating : 3 and a half

Gets a half point more for Consume. ^_^ Still, needed to advance along
the path.

Consume (4)
Costs 22% HP, high chance of instant death to one target. Hunt skill.

Like Devour but better. Also almost never misses (I have
NEVER seen it miss a target which was Afraid) but you shouldn't
try to use it on targets which aren't Afraid (it CAN succeed on them
though.) Very useful in Field Hunts. Overall one of the better Hunt
skills.

Power Wave (2 and a half)
Costs 21% HP, medium damage to all enemies.

All-around average physical attack skill. Nothing special about it.

Silent Contempt (3)
Costs 22% HP, medium damage physical attack to a single target that has a
chance of causing Close. Power depends on current HP.

An attack that can do decent damage AND cause Close can be pretty handy to
have sometimes, but it's not really what I'd call a great skill. Your call
on whether to equip it.

***

Rasetsu (Daemon)
Difficulty - ***
Cost - 25000
Focus : Physical and self-effect skills
Condition to unlock : Master Touki
Rating : 5

Basically it only gets 5 because of First Strike Expander...

Zumbalarin
Costs 17% HP, small damage physical attacks to multiple targets.

Funky name. But besides that, identical to Muscle Bomber. No, I'm not
kidding...I cannot find a SINGLE different between both attacks other
than that this costs 2% more HP to use. I guess that's the price you
pay for having a funky name. ^_^

Counter (1 and a half)
Whether you are hit with a physical attack (whether it's a normal attack,
Muscle Bomber or anything) there is a chance that you will counterattack.
Low chance and low power.

Really not worth it. "Low chance and low power..." - and it's true.

First Strike Expander (5)
Makes it more likely you will act first in battle.

GET THIS SKILL. It's one of the best in the game. Having the first turn
means you can do more damage, hence killing them faster and gaining more
Makka, preventing them from attacking, which means you take less damage...
you get my point. Learn this ASAP.

***

Miko (Medium)
Difficulty - ***
Cost - 15000
Focus : Physical skills and self-effects
Condition to unlock : Master Rasetsu
Rating : 2

Really not too great, just another step on the path.

Coma Step (2)
Costs 17% of HP, single target physical damage skill doing low damage
and can cause Sleep status.

It's like a normal attack that does a bit more damage and causes Sleep.
And takes HP. Not great.

Needles of Numbness (2 and a half)
Costs 15% of HP, single target physical damage skill doing low damage
and can cause Paralysis status. Hits multiple times.

Much the same as above. Gets a half point more since it has more
chances to cause the status and Paralysis is marginally more useful
in the early game, which is the only time you'll use this.

Critical Canceller (2)
Makes it harder for you be Criticalled.

Not too useful at all - or rather, not worth wasting a slot on. UNLESS
you are fighting the secret boss, in which case it's well-night essential.

Renewal Accelerator (2 and a half)
Makes it more likely you will recover from bad status at the beginning
of a round.

Semi-useful, but IMHO not worth a slot.

***

Tenjou (Heavenly Maiden)
Difficulty - ****
Cost - 50000
Focus : Physical and self-effect skills
Condition to unlock : Master Miko
Rating : 3 and a half

Good to get early on because of MIN Critical, which can make boss fights
much easier.

Bewitching Slash (3)
Costs 18% of HP, single target physical damage skill doing medium damage
and can cause Charm status.

Gets a 3 since Charm is a really good status to inflict.

Death Canceller (3)
When death occurs, there is a high chance that you will go down to 1 HP
and transform into human form instead of dying. Does not work in human
form.

This is again one of those skills which whether or not you use depends
on how paranoid you are. ^_^ Sure, it can save your ass if you are
surprised and Mahamudoned, but it doesn't always activate, and it's effect
(chance that you will go down to 1 HP and transform into human form instead
of dying) sometimes occurs even without this skill. On the other hand,
anything that can prevent death is good. The choice is yours.

Min Critical (4)
When the Solar Noise is at MIN level, the chance of scoring a Critical
on a normal attack rises.

VERY useful for some boss fights, since you can choose to fight them during
the MIN phase. Not useful for anything else. Basically a boss-killing
skill.

***

Hishin (Empress)
Difficulty - *****
Cost - 150000
Focus : Physical attack and passive skills
Condition to unlock : Master Tenjou
Rating : 3 and a half

Cherry Blossom Flare and Max Critical are useful, that's about it.

Cherry Blossom Flare (3 and a half)
Costs 23% of HP, medium physical damage to multiple targets and chance to
cause Charm.

Charm is a good status to inflict, so this is a pretty useful skill.

HP Booster (3 and a half)
Boosts max HP by 20%.

More HP is always good, and it makes physical attacks that depend on HP better.
Can be useful for certain boss battles.

Physical Stronger (3)
Become strong to Physical.

Since physical is used all the damn time in the game, this is quite useful.
Then again, it might be worth wasting a slot on. Once again, your call.

MAX Critical (4)
During the Solar Noise's MAX phase, raises the chance of Criticaling on a
normal attack.

See MIN Critical.

***

Kishin (Oni God)
Difficulty - ****
Cost - 100000
Focus : Hunt and physical skills
Condition to unlock : Master Oniou
Rating : 4 and a half

GREAT physical skills here (no pun intended), pretty cheap too at this
point in the game. No reason not to get it ASAP.

Great Revel (3)
Costs 34% of HP, low chance of success instant death hunt on all targets.

Can be great if you manage to make the entire enemy party Afraid at once -
you can end the battle in one shot and gain AP besides. But it might not
hit all of them, one or two might not be Afraid and besides it takes up
a LOT of HP. Plus it more or less misses all the time on enemies that are
not Afraid. Still it's a good choice in my book.

Crownbreaker (2 and a half)
Costs 21% of HP, large physical damage to one target.

Strictly average skill, it's basically just a super normal attack that
costs HP.

Blood Festival (4 and a half)
Costs 24% of HP, medium physical damage to all targets. High chance of
Critical.

One of my favorite skills in the game, hence the high rating. ^_^ When
it says "high chance of Critical", it's not a joke...this baby will
Critical ALL THE DAMN TIME, basically ensuring an extra turn. And it does
pretty good damage to the entire enemy party for a reasonable HP cost!
What's not to like? Perhaps the only downside is that since you're
attacking the entire enemy party, the chance to miss is higher, but
that is true of all these kinds of skills. Also loses half a point since
it's not worth to use it against single targets (I have before though,
that's how much I like this skill...^_^) Plus it has a cool name.

***

Aragami (Wild God)
Difficulty - ****
Cost - 100000
Focus : Physical attacks
Condition to unlock : Master Rasetsu

Iron Death Fist (3)
Costs 24% of HP, medium physical damage to all targets and chance to
cause Curse.

A pretty good physical attack skill, though I would much rather use
Blood Festival. Curse is not a bad ailment to inflict at all - the
enemies can still heal though, and still attack you (even if it will
cost them)

Power Charge (3)
Costs 5 MP, doubles damage of next physical attack.

I would for one prefer to attack twice instead of using this skill, but
it can be useful if you need to deliver one powerful blow, and it saves
HP on using the skill twice. Also, it can't miss or be prevented, since
you're using it on yourself...hmmm, maybe it's better than I thought. ^_^

Physical Break (4)
Protects against all Physical attacks for one turn.

VERY useful. Physical is used all through the game against you, from
early enemies to subquest bosses. Can be a lifesaver. Pretty much
essential against certain enemies (Samael and Arahabaki come to mind)
if you first meet them at low levels.

***

Gunshin (War God)
Difficulty - *****
Cost - 300000
Focus : Physical attacks and passive skills
Condition to unlock : Master Aragami
Rating : 3

Not too good, not too bad. You're almost to the end of the path though,
hang in there...

Mass Slaughter (3)
Costs 27% HP, does large physical damage all targets. Power depends on
current HP.

It's basically Super Power Wave. (Which doesn't sound as cool as Super
Muscle Bomber...^_^)

Physical Reflect (4)
Reflects physical attacks for the whole party.

More or less like Physical Break...I don't find the reflected damage that
big a deal. Still, a good skill.

Power Counter (2 and a half)
Whenever hit by a physical attack of any sort, you'll have a chance to
counterattack. Medium frequency and damage.

Still not worth it IMHO...wait for Hyper Counter. But it's not as bad
as Counter, so equip it if you like.

All Attack (3 and a half)
Normal attacks attack the whole enemy party.

This skill is a mixed bag...sure, it hits all enemies, but this also means
that if one guy is immmune to Physical, you get Blocked and lose 2 Press
Turns. So if you get this skill, definitely get a single target physical
damage skill (I recommend Guillotine Claw) since you can't turn it off.
On the other hand, when coupled with Critical, this can be very useful
for normal encounters.

***

Moushou (Fierce General)
Difficulty - *****
Cost - 300000
Focus : Physical attack
Condition to unlock : Master Kishin
Rating : 3 and a half

Some nice skills here.

Guillotine Claw (4)
Costs 25% HP, does huge physical damage to a single target.

For pure, outright physical damage, you can't beat this skill. The HP cost
is really quite low for the amount of pain it can dish out - use it on a
frozen or electrocuted foe and watch them die. Useful in almost any
situation.

Demon Rave (3)
Costs 26% HP, does large physical damage to multiple targets.

It's more or less Super Muscle Bomber. (Hmm, that sounds like something
from Kinnikuman...)

Apocalypse (3)
Costs 29% HP, does large physical damage all targets. Can cause Magic Seal.

As stated before, not many enemies are weak to Magic Seal, but this is a
decent physical attack skill. I'd STILL rather use Cherry Blossom Flare though.

***

Tenjoushin (Imperial God)
Difficulty - *******
Cost - 600000
Focus : Physical damage and self-effect skills
Condition to unlock : Master Moushou and Gunshin

Gate to the Netherworld (4 and a half)
Costs 31% HP, does large physical damage to all target. Chance to cause
Stone.

Probably the best all-attack physical damage skill in the game...does
MASSIVE damage (even more if your current HP is high) and has a chance
to cause Stone too. What's not to like? Also, it sounds cool, and sounding
cool is always a plus point. ^_^

Physical Drain (4)
Costs 25 MP, absorbs physical damage for the entire party.

IMHO better than Reflect, since absorption eats up more Press Turns.
A good spell to have.

Hyper Counter (4)
Whenever hit by a physical attack of any sort, you'll have a chance to
counterattack. High frequency and damage.

Finally, the only counter worth getting. It activates enough and does
enough damage for it to be pretty useful in most normal encounters.

------------------

Elemental Paths :

Ok, since all Elemental Paths are basically the same, they just have
different elements, this is how I will rate all of them :

Every elemental spell (3) except Ice and Electricity (3 and a half)
They're all fundamentally the same, they do a certain amount of
damage of a certain element. They're all very useful in certain
ways. Hence, they are all rated 3 EXCEPT for Ice and Electricity,
which can cause freeze and electrocution status, meaning that you
can 100% Critical on a physical attack - so they get half a point
more.

The final elemental Mantra of each path (4)
Since the final elemental Mantra of each path gives you the
corresponding elements Stronger skill, I give each a 4.

---------------------

Curse Path :

Yasha (Demoness)
Difficulty - **
Cost - 3000
Focus : Low-level curse skills
Condition to unlock : 3 * Mantra mastered, one **
Rating : 3

Kinda bland except for Curse Break. But there's more to come...

Mudo (2)
Costs 6 MP, Low chance of instant death to one target.

Not THAT useful since it misses all the damn time. Has limited use
again the few enemies that are weak to Curse.

Curse Break (4)
Costs 3 MP, blocks all Curse spells for whole party for one turn.

Absolutely essential for some battles in the game, and makes
traversing some areas with many Curse-using enemies that much
easier. Only gets a 4 since it is superseded by Curse Destroyer
much later in the game, though.

Escape Accelerator (1 and a half)
Makes running away easier.

I personally have never equipped this skill because I almost never
run away. ^_^ If you do, a high Speed score will probably serve you
better and have other positive side effects besides. Plus, this
skill will take up one valuable slot just to make running easier.
IMHO, not worth it at ALL.

***

Akurei (Evil Spirit)
Difficulty - ***
Cost - 25000
Focus : Curse skills
Condition to unlock : Master Yasha
Rating : 1 and half

Still has very bleah skills. Keep on hanging in there, better stuff
later...

Mahamudo (2 and a half)
Costs 15 MP, low chance to cause instant death on all enemies.

Like Mudo, not that great because not many enemies are weak to Curse.
But it does hit all of them, so it gets a half point more.

Petrification Ray (1)
Costs 5 MP, chance to cause Stone status on a single target.

There is absolutely no point to this skill...just use Mudo instead.

Cursed Incantation (1)
Costs 10 MP, chance to cause Curse status on a single target.

See above.

Curse Stronger (3)
Makes it less likely you will be affected by Curse attacks.

Can be useful, since one Mahamudo can really wreck your party if it
hits. Also helps free up turns during some boss battles (though
casting Curse Break is far safety and only costs one slot besides)
Depending on how safe you want to me, you might or might not
want to equip it.

***

Shirei (Death Spirit)
Difficulty - ****
Cost - 100000
Focus : Curse magic
Condition to unlock : Master Akurei
Rating : 3

Just a step on the path. You get Mudoon and Curse Epitaph, big
whoop. ^_^

Mudoon (2 and a half)
High chance to cause instant death to one target.

Like Mudo but better. See Mudo.

Curse Epitaph (1)
Chance of causing Curse status to all enemies.

Utterly useless. Just use Mahamudo/Mahamudoon instead.

***

Shijin (God of Death)
Difficulty - *****
Cost - 250000
Focus : Curse magic
Condition to unlock : Master Shirei
Rating : 3

Again, not great, but essential for the higher Mantra.

Mahamudoon (2 and a half)
High chance of causing instant death to enemy party.

You should know what I think about Mudo spells by now...same deal...

Curse Reflect (2)
Reflects Curse magic for the entire party.

Seriously, just use Curse Break. Like Hama Reflect, most enemies that
use Curse are immune to it.

----------------------

Hama Path :

Tenshi (Angel)
Difficulty - **
Cost - 3000
Focus : Low-level Hama skills
Condition to unlock : 3 * Mantra mastered, one **
Rating : 3

Has Tarunda, which is really good early on. Besides that, average.

Hama (2 and a half)
Low chance of halving HP of one target.

Actually better than Mudo even though it doesn't instant kill because
a LOT more enemies in the game are weak to Hama.

Tarunda (3 and a half)
Lowers enemies' physical attack power.

Pretty useful all the way until you get Randomizer. I am an offensive
kinda guy, so I prefer to Rakunda and attack instead, but Tarunda
can be handy against most bosses early on. I give it a half more
point for being so easy to obtain.

Curse Break (2 and a half)
Blocks all Hama spells for whole party for one turn.

The reverse of Curse Break...not so useful because not many enemies
use Hama. ^_^ But still, good to have occasionally.

***

Koutenshi (Thrones)
Difficulty - ***
Cost - 15000
Focus : Hama magic
Condition to unlock : Master Tenshi
Rating : 3 and a half

Has Mahanma and Hama Break, decent enough.

Mahanma (3 and a half)
Pretty useful at some points, as I have said previously, there are quite
a lot of enemies weak to Hama.

Sukunda (3)
I would prefer to cast Rakunda normally, but enough Sukundas will make
the enemy miss quite reliably, so his Press Turns will be eaten up.
Not too shabby.

Hama Break (3 and a half)
VERY useful when fighting enemies that use Hama. Essential for some
boss fights.

***

Chitenshi (Great Angel of Wisdom)
Difficulty - ****
Cost - 50000
Focus : Hama skills
Condition to unlock : Master Thrones
Rating : 3 and a half

Has Hamaon and Rakunda...getting better...

Hamaon (3 and a half)
Chance of dropping a single target's current HP by a great amount.
Again, good because some enemies are weak to Hama. Also reduces life by
more than half, always a plus.

Rakunda (3 and a half)
Costs 12 MP, reduces defense of enemy party.

I would personally give this a 4 since I love to attack, but I'm trying to
be objective for this guide. Like all the -nda spells, very useful for
bosses. Basically, go for this if you're more offense-oriented like me,
or Sukunda/Tarunda if you prefer to defend.

Makatora (2)
Costs 50 MP, restores 50 MP to a single ally.

Pretty much useless except for the little trick detailed in General Hints and
Tips. If it weren't for that I would give it a 1.

***

Shitenshi (Great Angel of Flame)
Difficulty - *****
Cost - 150000
Focus : Hama Magic
Condition to unlock : Master Chitenshi
Rating : 3

Pretty decent. Nothing great, nothing bad/

Mahamaon (3 and a half)
Costs 25 MP, High chance of reducing all enemies current HP by a large amount.

Like the other Hama skills, still very useful against certain
enemies.

Makanda (3)
Costs 12 MP, Reduces enemies' magical power.

By the time you get this, you might as well cast Randomizer. But again,
any status-downer is useful.

Hama Reflect (2)
Reflects all Hama magic.

Not too useful since enemies who use Hama are typically immune to it.
Just get Break instead.

----------------------

Recovery Path :

Hougou (Protection)
Difficulty - *
Cost - 1000
Focus : Low-level healing skills
Condition to unlock : None
Rating : 4

Essential early on. I recommend everyone getting this for the early
game.

Dia (4)
Heals one target for a small amount of HP.

Pretty much essential for the early game - you have to have SOME means of
recovering your HP, after all. 2 Dias also equal a Media, so that's good
too.

Patora (2 and a half)
Cures Confuse, Sleep and Charm on a single target.

Personally, I'd just use Panaceas - they're cheap and plentiful. Still,
2 Patoras equals a Mepatora, which can be useful in a pinch (you'd have
to waste 2 slots though)

Devil Analyze (3 and a half or 1 with this FAQ)
Gives you data on a single enemy. Doesn't work on bosses.

Let's face it - the FAQ renders the use for this spell useless. ^_^
Without the FAQ, of if you choose not to use the data, it's ok...but
doesn't work on bosses. You can get an item that has unlimited uses
of this for the low, low price of 50,000 Makka too, so it's not THAT
good. But ok in the early game without the FAQ.

***

Eirei (Heroic Dead)
Difficulty - **
Cost - 10000
Focus : Healing magic
Condition to unlock : Master Hougou
Rating : 3 and a half

You need Media, get it. All else is window dressing. ^_^

Media (4)
Heals the whole party for a small amount of HP.

Much the same as Dia.

Poison Dei (1 and a half)
Cures Poison for one target.

Just use a Dis Poison, they are cheap. Only good for skinflints. ^_^

Ache Dei (1 and a half)
Cures Stomachache for one target.

See above.

***

Irei (Spirit of Power)
Difficulty - ***
Cost - 15000
Focus : Healing magic
Condition to unlock : Master Eirei
Rating : 3

Just a step of the path again, Diarama is nice to have though.

Diarama (3 and a half)
Heals a medium amount of HP for one ally.

Not as essential as Dia. Still, pretty ok for healing. 2 of them makes
a Mediarama, which is very good healing at the point of the game in
which you get this.

Paralyze Dei (2)
Cures Paralysis for one target.

Like the other status healers, basically.

Mepatora (3)
Cures Confuse, Sleep and Charm for the whole party.

Handy to have in some situations. You might want to consider slotting
it for normal encounters for emergencies.

***

Warei (Spirit of Peace)
Difficulty - ****
Cost - 100000
Focus : Healing and recovery
Condition to unlock : Master Irei
Rating : 4

You NEED Mediarama. Get this ASAP.

Mediarama (4 and a half)
Restores a medium amount to HP to all members.

Probably the healing spell you will rely on the most during the game.
Essential throughout the middle game and a bit of the late, you
basically can't fight any bosses without it, and it comes in really
handy in normal encounters as well. Absolutely no reason not to
pick it up.

Close Dei (1 and a half)
Cures Close status.

Just use a Dis Close, they are cheap. Only good for skinflints. ^_^

Curse Dei (1 and a half)
Cures Curse status.

See above.

***

Meirei (Spirit of the Underworld)
Difficulty - *****
Cost - 250000
Focus : Healing and recovery
Condition to unlock : Master Warei
Rating : 2 and half

Besides Diarahan, useless. Almost there though...

Diarahan (3 and a half)
Heals one party member to full HP.

I'd really just rather use Mediarama, or wait for Mediarahan. But 2 of
these ARE Mediarahan. Pretty useful overall anyway.

Petra Dei (1 and half)
Cures Petrification for one party member.

You know my stand on these by now...JUST USE A DIS STONE DAMMIT. ^_^

***

Megami (Goddess)
Difficulty - *******
Cost - 500000
Focus : Recovery and ressurection
Condition to unlock : Master Meirei and Rokudou
Rating : 4 and a half

It has Mediarahan. 'nuff said.

Immaculate Flesh (3)
Costs 13 MP, chance to charm enemy party.

It's not too bad, but it's seriously outclassed by Matter is Void. Use
this if you want, (I didn't), but keep in mind not THAT many enemies
are weak to Charm, even though the status is good to inflict.

Mediarahan (5)
Costs 36, Heals whole party to max HP.

Kind of a no-brainer why it's so good. Essential for the last part
of the game and the extra dungeons.

Recarmdora (2 and a half)
Costs 1 HP (but is considered a spell, you can't cast it while Closed)
to sacrifice the caster's life and restore full HP/MP and ressurect (if
dead) the other 2 party members.

It's actually not too bad, you might want to use this if you like to
play things safe. Remember that it restores MP as well. After all,
you can just Samarecarm back the caster the next turn.

----------------------

Status Changing Path :

Kongou (Vajra)
Difficulty - **
Cost - 3000
Focus : Low-level status change
Condition to unlock : Master Hougou
Rating : 2

Very average...

Sleeping Gas (1)
Costs 5 MP, chance of causing a single target to sleep.

Pretty much useless. Just use Dormina instead.

Toxic Exhalation (2 and a half)
Costs 8 MP, does poison damage to multiple targets and has chance to cause
poison.

Just use Great Poison Fang instead. But if you want poison, not physical,
damage, then use this. It's just an average skill.

Charm Break (2)
Protects whole party from Charm attacks for one round.

Gets a 2 since not many enemies use Charm. Still, no Break spell is
completely useless.

Confuse Break (2)
Protects whole party from Confuse attacks for one round.

More or less the same as above.

***

Kichijou (Fortune)
Difficulty - **
Cost - 10000
Focus : Status Change
Condition to unlock : Master Kongou
Rating : 2 and a half

Confuse Destroyer can be useful, the rest are not...

Numbness Orb (2 and a half)
Costs 5 MP, chance to cause Paralysis on a single target, Nerve elemental.

Useful on enemies weak to Nerve. That's about it.

Poison Break (1 and half)

Poison is really no big deal...

Magic Seal Break (1 and a half)

Loses half a point since VERY FEW enemies cast Magic Seal. By the time
you fight the hard ones, you'll have Magic Seal Destroyer.

Confuse Destroyer (2 and a half)

Can be worth equipping for some areas if you want to play it safe.
Cielo needs it if you want to use him for some fights.

***

Meiou(Radiant King)
Difficulty - ***
Cost - 25000
Focus : Status Change
Condition to unlock : Master Kichijou
Rating : 2 and a half

Like most of the other status changing Mantra, nothing special here.

Strange Soundwave (3)
Chance of causing Confuse to all enemies.

Good against enemies that are weak to Confusion, of which there are
some. One of the better status changing spells, as Confuse is a good
status to inflict.

Great Wave of Numbness (2 and a half)
Chance of causing Paralysis to all enemies.

Good against enemies that are weak to Confusion, of which there are
some. Loses half a point since once Paralyzed you can still cast
healing spells, and there aren't THAT many weak to Nerve.

Nerve Break (2)
Protects whole party from Nerve attacks for one round.

Gets a 2 since not many enemies use Nerve and the status itself is rarely very
dangerous. Still, no Break spell is completely useless.

Charm Destroyer (2 and a half)
Protects completely from Charm attacks.

Not that many enemies use Charm, but the status itself is deadly, so it's
a decent skill. Does take up one slot, but it's 100% protection, which is
good.

***

Shinshou (Divine General)
Difficulty - ****
Cost - 150000
Focus : Status Change
Condition to unlock : Master Meiou
Rating : 4

Really good Mantra, has tons of good skills. It's probably a good idea to
have everyone learn this for the Destroyers.

Tentarafu (4)
Costs 24 MP, does medium Confusion type damage to all enemies, plus it
can cause Confusion.

Another of my fave skills. Confuse is a great ailment to inflict, some
enemies are weak to it, and the skill does decent damage and can STILL
inflict Confusion normally. Since not many enemies are immune to Bad
Status/Confusion, you can basically pull this out in any situation
if you don't know what spell to cast - it's very all-purpose. It's
even pulled my bacon out of the fire once when I was up against some
tough enemies and had no weak points to exploit - I just fired this
off multiple times until I had Confused some of them.

Magic Seal Destroyer (2 and a half)
Prevents any Magic Seal damage/status completely.

Essential for some subquest bosses, that's about it. Not worth
equipping normally.

Nerve Destroyer (3)
Prevents any Nerve status completely.

Gets a 3 since enemies DO use Nerve sometimes, and it stops Lakshimi's
deadly Dormina/Peaceful Repose combo. Equip in areas where Lakshimi
appears, or you'll be sorry. ^_^

Poison Destroyer (1)
Prevents any Poison status completely.

I have no idea why this useless skill is all the way at the end of the
Status Changing path. Ignore this, Poison is no big deal anyway.

-----------------------

Support Path :

Seirei (Spirit)
Difficulty - ***
Cost - 15000
Focus : Support Magic
Condition to unlock : Master Tenshi
Rating : 4

Has Dormina and TARUKAJA. Good stuff.

Primpa (2 and a half)
Costs 5 MP, chance of causing Charm status to one target.

Useful against enemies weak to Charm, that's about it.

Makajama (2)
Costs 4 MP, chance of causing Close status to one target.

Lower score than the other status causing spells since Closed
enemies can still attack.

Dormina (3 and a half)
Costs 9 MP, chance of causing Sleep to all enemies.

Not too bad actually. Some enemies (as opposed to FEW enemies) are
weak to Nerve, and you can use this in conjunction with Peaceful
Repose for the instant death combo.

Tarukaja (4)
Costs 12 MP, raises party's physical attack strength.

This is good. You'll need physical damage for some boss battles,
and this is always nice to have.

***

Gouma (Karmic Demon)
Difficulty - ****
Cost - 50000
Focus : Support Magic
Condition to unlock : Master Seirei
Rating : 4

Suku and Rakukaja are good, get them.

Marinkarin (2 and a half)
Costs 5 MP, chance to cause Charm status a single target.

I'd much rather use Bewitching Slash instead, actually. But this is
average.

Rakukaja (4)
Costs 12 MP, raises defense of entire party.

Essential for some bosses, just really generally very useful for
others. Ensure that at least one member of the party knows this.

Sukukaja (3 and a half)
Costs 12 MP, raises speed of entire party.

Gets half a point lower than Rakukaja since it's not essential for
any boss battle in the game, and speed is not a big a concern as
defense. Still, if you Sukunda and Sukukaja like crazy, the enemy
will be missing most of their attacks, so that's something to think
about.

***

Genma (Phantom Demon)
Difficulty - *****
Cost - 150000
Focus : Support Magic
Condition to unlock : Master Gouma
Rating : 4

Has Makakaja, get this (do you see a trend in the ratings and comment
for this path? ^_^)

Makajamaon (2)
Rating : 3
Costs 11 MP, Chance to Magic Seal enemy party.

Not many enemies are weak to Magic Seal...not great.

Peaceful Repose (3)
Kills all sleeping enemies with a 100% success rate.

The only way to use this is in conjunction with Dormina, but it can
be a potent combo, if a bit too reliant on luck for my tastes. I
didn't use this at all during both playthroughs, your mileage may
vary.

Maka-Kaja (4)
Raises magical power of your party.

There is a reason that this is the last of all the Kajas you get...
it's the best. Increasing magical power means that not only your
magical attacks but that your healing spells will also be more
powerful. Add that to the fact that magic becomes increasingly
important as the game goes on...it's immensely valuable.

***

Kyojin (Mad God)
Difficulty - *******
Cost - 500000
Focus : Support skills
Condition to unlock : Master Genma and Shitenshi
Rating : 4

Has some great skills, but doesn't get a 5 since they are not
100% essential, just really helpful.

Xanadu (4)
Costs 36 MP, does large Hama damage to all enemies.

I personally really like this spell because unlike the other Hama
spells, it does normal damage to enemies who are not weak to Hama -
it's not an all-or-nothing affair. Against enemies who ARE weak to
Hama, it basically does so much damage it's like connecting with
Mahamaon anyway.

Dekaja (4 and a half)
Costs 10 MP, removes the effect of all Kaja spells on the enemy.

You HAVE to have this by the lategame, unless you want the bosses
to own you. Doesn't get a 5 since you can cast it via Linkage, but
you are going to waste another turn if you do that.

Dekunda (4 and a half)
Costs 10 MP, removes the effect of all -nda spells on the enemy.

See above.

***

Jashin (God of Malice)
Difficulty - *******
Cost - 500000
Focus : Support skills
Condition to unlock : Master Shijin and Shitenshi
Rating : 5

One of the best Mantra in the game, get it ASAP. Why? Read the
comments below...

Randomizer (5)
Costs 48 MP, reduces all enemies' stats.

Another of the best spells in the game. It reduces ALL enemy stats,
that means speed, attack, defense, everything. The only bad part is
that by the time you get this, some bosses will cast Dekunda - then
again, some won't. A must-have for the late stage in the game.

Hama Destroyer (4)
Become immune to all Hama attacks.

Incredibly useful and also essential for some boss battles. You
might want to keep it on for normal fights since some enemies do
use Hama.

Curse Destroyer (4 and a half)
Become immune to all Curse attacks.

Even better than the above. Gets a half point more because more
enemies use Curse. Besides that, the same.

------------------

Alternate Recovery Path :

Fujin (Ancient God)
Difficulty - ***
Cost - 15000
Focus : HP/MP Absorption
Condition to unlock : Master 2 ** Mantra
Rating : 1 and a half

Next to useless. But get it anyway, because you'll need it to
unlock Ijin.

HP Absorb (1)
Costs 5 MP, absorbs HP from one target.

Just heal. Really. The amount is not worth it, you'd be better off
attacking normally.

MP Absorb (2 and a half)
Costs 2 MP, absorbs MP from one target.

A hell lot better than the above. I would prefer to use MP Taster,
but this is a viable alternative. You do waste one turn using it
though, but it can be used on any enemy. Completely outmoded by
Chakra Walker.

Ijin (Ancient God)
Difficulty - ****
Cost - 50000
Focus : MP Recovery
Condition to unlock : Master Fujin
Rating : 5

MASTER THIS MANTRA ASAP. Why? See below...

Chakra Walker (5)
Recovers MP with every step you take. Only works for active party
members.

This skill is the bomb. If you have it, you can use as many skills
and spells as you want in battle, since you'll get back the MP.
Doing that means you kill more effectively and so get more Makka
and need to heal less. And when you do need to heal, you have this
skill to make it that much easier. Basically there is NO reason to
get this skill ASAP (unless you are masochistic and want to make the
game harder for yourself or something...^_^)

***

Hijin (Secret God)
Difficulty : *****
Cost : 25000
Condition to Unlock : Master Ijin
Rating : 5

Essential for the late game. But you can put off getting it for a while.

MP High Booster (2)
Boosts max MP by 20%.

With Chakra/Happy Walker, you shouldn't need this. And there are NO
boss fights which drag on for so long you run out of MP.

Happy Walker (5)

Not as essential as Chakra Walker, since by the time you get this skill
you will be able to afford it. You can probably hold off getting it until
the late game, where it becomes essential.

-------------------

Resurrection Path :

Yomi (Hades)
Difficulty - ****
Cost - 18000
Focus : Ressurection
Condition to unlock : Master 3 *** Mantra
Rating : 3 and a half

Recarm (3 and a half)
Costs 20 MP, ressurects a single ally at low HP.

Recovery from death is vitally important in any RPG, and this is no
objection. However, you can buy items that duplicate this effect,
so it's not THAT good. Still, it can save you some cash, since they
are expensive in the early game.

***

Rokudou (Six Paths)
Difficulty - *****
Cost - 150000
Focus : Ressurection
Condition to unlock : Master Yomi
Rating : 4

Samarecarm (4)
Ressurects a party member with full health.

Once again, you can buy items that do this, but they are MUCH more
expensive than the ones that Recarm. So this is a handy skill to
have in case things go wrong. However, eventually you'll be able
to get an item to duplicate the use of this skill as well. Until
then it remains a valuable safeguard.

-------------------

EXP Path :

Mitama (Soul Aspect)
Difficulty - ****
Cost - 20000
Focus : EXP Gain
Condition to unlock : Master 3 *** Mantra

Half Karma Getter (1)
Gives half experience to non-active party members.

Not worth it. Just go for Full.

***

Shinkon (Divine Soul)
Difficulty - *****
Cost - 75000
Focus : EXP Gain
Condition to unlock : Master 4 **** skills
Rating : 5

Full Karma Getter (5)
All non-active party members with this skill also receive full experience.

I shouldn't need to point out how essential this skill is. Get it ASAP.

-----------------------

Ultimate Mantra : These are all the Mantra that are at the end of the
chart and require mastery of many of the previous ones in order to
unlock. As such, they don't really fit into any of the previous
categories.

***

Mashou (Demon General)
Difficulty - *******
Cost - 700000
Focus : All-purpose magic
Condition to unlock : Master any of the final elemental Mantra
Rating : 5

Gets a 5 just for Magic Reflect alone.

Lost Word (1)
Costs 66 MP, does huge all-purpose damge to one target.

Huge, they say. More like pitiful...for the high MP cost, you get a crappy
amount of damage. Really, just cast Megidora instead.

Megidora (3 and a half)
Costs 45 MP, does large all-purpose damage to all targets.

When you get this spell, it'll probably be about when enemies stop having
so many weak points, so it's a good skill to pick up. A worthy addition to
your arsenal.

Mind Charge (3)
Costs 10, doubles the effectiveness of your next spell.

See Power Charge. It's the same thing.

Magic Reflect (5)
Costs 30, reflects all magic for the party.

As you can see from the rating, this is a damn good spell...c'mon, it
reflects ALL magic. It's like basically casting a Magic Break. This
works on Hama and Curse, but not on all-purpose or status changers.
Still, it's probably the best defensive spell in the game.

***

Hakaijin (God of Destruction)
Difficulty - ********
Cost - 12000000
Focus : The ultimate physical Mantra
Condition to unlock : Master either Tenjoushin or Tsuurashin
Rating : 5

Another of the best Mantra in the game. Get this ASAP.

World's End (5)

IMHO, the best physical attack in the game (well technically it's not a
physical attack but it does cost HP and use Strength to determine
damage) It does loads of damage, is all-purpose AND it reduces defense!
Is this great or what? Plus it sounds cool (by now you have probably
realized that if the attack sounds cool I will write nicer comments
about it ^_^) One of my fave attacks.

Physical Destroyer (5)
Become immune to Physical.

Another no-brainer why it's so good. Physical attacks with status
changers (Cherry Blossom Flare, Apocalypse etc) won't inflict their
status since you negate them completely.

HP Mega Booster (4)
Boosts max HP by 30%.

The boost is significant enough to be notable, but by the time you
get this you'll probably have tons of other juicy skills to equip instead.

***

Maou (Demon King)
Difficulty - *********
Cost - 14000000
Focus : Ultimate all-purpose Mantra
Condition to unlock : Master Mashou
Rating : 5

It has Full Destroyer...what more do you want?

Megidoraon (4)
Costs 60 MP, does huge all-purpose damage to all enemies.

Doesn't get a 5 since there are other, even more powerful all-purpose
spells. But it's still really good, very reliable in any situation.

Full Destroyer (5)
Become immune to all elements.

I'm running out of comments to make about all these 5 skills...basically
equip this or you're a fool. ^_^

***

Majin (Demon God)
Difficulty - *********
Cost - 10000000
Focus : Ultimate recovery Mantra
Condition to unlock : Master either Megami, Kyojin or Jashin
Rating : 4 and a half

All the skills here are good, man. Too bad it's so expensive...

Matter is Void (4)
Costs 25 MP, inflicts random status ailment on enemy party. Attack is
considered all-purpose.

The be-all and end-all of status ailments. Note that since the attack
is considered all-purpose, it doesn't cause Weak Points to activate, nor
can be prevented by any means. So basically it has good and bad points.
It's effective enough to warrant inclusion in your normal lineup, IMHO
at least.

Meshiaraizer (5 and a half)
Costs 50 MP, restores party to full HP and cures all status ailments.

Yeah, you read that right, it gets an extra half point for being SO
good. ^_^ This might be the best skill in the game, if not for the fact
that by the time you get this, you'll be able to get enough Destroyers
that the status ailment part isn't so important.

MP Mega Booster (2)
Boosts max MP by 30%.

Even though the boost is significant...let's face it, you won't need the
extra MP...

******

Secret Mantra :

These are all Mantra that you must defeat a specific boss to obtain, or
fulfill certain conditions - i.e, they do not appear in the Mantra chart.

---

Ousama (Lord King)
Difficulty - *****
Cost - 100000
Focus : Has the power of King Frost
Condition to unlock : Defeat King Frost
Rating : 3

A decent enough Mantra...to tell the truth, I was expecting some cool move
like Super Hi-Ho Special Buster Supreme, but I guess that would have been
too funky for an SMT game. ^_^

Megid (3)
Costs 30 MP, does medium all-purpose damage to all enemies.

At the time around when you get this, you'll probably be better off
trying to exploit elemental weaknesses, and by the time that doesn't
work so well you should have Megidora. But it's still a good, reliable
spell to have.

Arctic Realm (4)
Costs 20 MP, does medium ice damage to multiple targets. Hits
multiple times.

Pretty good during the midgame as the multiple hits make it more
likely that the enemy will become frozen. Absolutely slaughters
Arahabaki in the Manipura waterways (extra dungeon)

Avoid Sleeper (1...or 5, depending on how you look at it)
When asleep, avoids ANY attack.

This seems completely useless except for ONE part in the game...
which I won't spoil. ^_^

---

Kiou (Exalted Monarch)
Difficulty - *********
Cost - 12000000
Focus : Has the power of Beezlebub
Condition to unlock : Defeat Beezlebub's fly form
Rating : 5

One of the best Mantra in the game - BOTH it's skills are incredibly
good. The moment you can get it, do so.

Funeral Procession of the Flies of Death (5)
Costs 80 MP, does huge all-purpose damage to all targets and instantly
kills any which are not immune to Curse.

Yeah, really long name, I couldn't find any other way to render it and make
it still sound as good. This is essentially the same attack Beezlebub uses
on you. It does MASSIVE damage and instant kills with 100% effectiveness on
non-Curse immune enemies - it's just too good man. Yes, there ARE enemies
in the late game which are not immune to Curse (Lakshimi comes to mind) so
it does have use there. Probably my personal favorite magic spell.

Full Specula (5)
Reflects any elemental attack.

If it sounds too good to be true...it actually is. ^_^ Not only will you
not take damage from most of the attacks in the game, you'll reflect them
and hence, eat Press Turns. The only drawback to this skill I can think of
is that you won't be able to use it when fighting the Four Holy Beasts, as
they will absorb their elemental attacks if reflected.

---

Ouza (The Throne)
Difficulty - **********
Cost - 15000000
Focus : Has the power of Metatron
Condition to unlock : Defeat Metatron
Rating : 3

Bah, not as good as Beezlebub's. Really. Don't believe me? Read on...

Divine Flames of Sinai (3)
Costs 70 MP, does huge all-purpose damage to multiple enemies.

This has the POTENTIAL to be the strongest attack in the whole game, IF
the multiple hits all target one enemy. Of course, that rarely happens.
Basically, it can hit from 1 to 3 hits, doing pretty high damage each
shot...however, more hits also mean more chances to miss. All in all,
I'll stick with the other ultimate attacks.

Hama Specula (2)
Reflects all Hama attacks.

You've already got Hama Destroyer by this time, you don't need this...
because most enemies who use Hama are immune to it.

Curse Specula (2)
Reflects all Curse attacks.

Same as the above, replace the word Hama with Curse.

---

Goshin (Five Gods)
Difficulty - **********
Cost - 20000000
Focus : Has the power of Kohryu
Condition to unlock : Defeat Kohryu
Rating : 4

No, it doesn't get a 5, since I don't think the skills are essential.

Empyrean Halo (5)
Costs 99 MP, does huge all-purpose damage to all enemies and
can cause any status effect.

This is essentially Megidoraon + Matter is Void in one package. Does
the most raw damage of any magical spell in the game.

Physical Absorber (5)
Absorbs all physical attacks.

I'd rather Master Canceller than this, but if you want to eat up
Press Turns and gain HP (though why you should need to do that
with Master Canceller is beyond me) then get this.

---

Shinrei (Divine Spirit)
Difficulty - **********
Cost - 12000000
Focus : The ultimate self-effect Mantra
Condition to unlock : One member of the party must Master Hakaishin,
Maou and Majin - it will then become available for everyone
Rating : 5

Probably the second-best Mantra in the game...^_^

Auto-Soma (5)
Restores you to full HP/MP after each battle.

Now you can use as many high-powered spells and attacks in each battle
and never need to worry about healing! Also saves time in the menu
healing...very useful. ^_^

BS Destroyer (5)
Become immune to all status effects.

With this and Master Canceller, you are now immune to everything except
all-purpose. I shouldn't need to tell you how freaking overpowered that
is. Even this just by itself is already too strong.

---

Yuichi no Kami (Only God)
Difficulty - **********
Cost - 20000000
Focus : The ultimate resistance Mantra
Condition to unlock : Master each final elemental skill. Must be done
for each member who wants to learn this Mantra.

Rating : 5

The ultimate Mantra, with the ultimate skill. 'Nuff said.

Master Canceller (5)
Become immune to everything besides all-purpose and status ailments.

That's right, Curse, Hama, everything. Except status ailments. Still,
it's the penultimate defensive skill, and perhaps the best skill in
the game.

******

Miscellany -

Translation List :

I'm really worn out from typing the rest of the FAQ...I had forgotten how much
time and energy long FAQs took...so if anyone is willing and can understand
Japanese, I'll provide the data and you type it out. Or even if you just only
understand English, I'll do the translations and you can arrange the data later.
In both cases you'll get full credit of course.

---

Translation Notes :

These have nothing to do with the game at all, they're just comments on how
I translated or rendered stuff in the game. Skip if you wish. If you're
interested, then just read on...

1. Cherry Blossom Flare - Actual name is Oukasenran, Sakura Flower Flashing
Chaos. Like so many "Japanese attack moves" it's hard to render in English.
Same goes for "Wild Beast Violent Dance"...^_^

2. I took some liberties with Consume and Devour, they're actually more like
"Full Mouthful" and "Demonic Eating."

3. Rasetsu is actually a term for an malefic or evil fiend in Japanese
mythology...it's one side of "Shura" and "Rasetsu" - which were famously
rendered as "Slash" and "Bust" in Samurai Shodown 3. ^_^ It's more like
"demonic" and "valorous", really.

4. All the angel names are really wrong...they aren't of Wisdom, of Flame
etc...they actually correspond to names of the ranks of angels (Thrones,
Dominions, Virtues etc) But the thing is, I don't have a Japanese
reference for them. If anyone does, please do tell me so I correct them.

******