Rurouni Kenshin: Enjou! Kyoto Rinne
Basic guide/move list
by Falx25 (falx25@yahoo.com)
Last updated 12/14/06

v .95

Rurouni Kenshin: Enjou! Kyoto Rinne (EKR) was released on 9/14 in Japan, 
with no indication so far that a US release is pending.  However, since 
this series has gained a considerable fan base in the US (myself included, 
can't you tell?), I'm sure more than a handful of you have gotten your 
grubby paws on an imported copy.  Since no guide currently exists for this 
game, I wrote this small FAQ in order to help those who don't speak Japanese 
get a little more out of this game than they otherwise would.

NOTE: I DO NOT SPEAK OR READ JAPANESE!  I have figured this game out more 
or less by trial and error, and by recognition of the occasional Japanese 
character.  This guide is merely a place holder until someone more competent 
than I come along with a better FAQ.

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------------------------------ Updates v .95 ---------------------------------
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-Added “Quick block recovery” to “Advanced techniques”
-Added scoring system to “Levelling up”
-Confirmed some secrets.  Those still not confirmed are marked.
-Added “Playing through the game” section
-Added Title Menu translation to “Menu translation”
-Added Sano’s desperation moves
-Changed “Miscellaneous” to “Survival mode”
-Added general tips to “Survival mode”
-Added SAITOH’S MURDER MYSTERY walkthrough
-Added a few secret boss fights

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Table of Contents
Use "Find" and shortcuts after each section to jump to that section

1) Common moves [1]
2) Advanced techniques [2]
3) Levelling up [3]
4) Move list [4]
---Himura Kenshin [Kenshin]
---Hajime Saitoh [Saitoh] (incomplete)
---Sagara Sanosuke [Sano] (incomplete)
---Shinomori Aoshi [Aoshi] (incomplete)
5) Menu translation [5]
6) Playing through the game [6]
7) Secrets [7] (incomplete)
8) Survival mode [8] (incomplete)

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----------------------------- [1] Common moves -------------------------------
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The game contains a great tutorial in the form of the fight with Jin-e.  
However, if you're reading this, it probably means that you didn't get much 
out of it.  Here are the basic moves common to all characters:

Left stick/Joypad: Move character
Right stick: Move camera
L1: Lock on/Ready stance
R1: Block
L2: Camera reset forward
R2: Camera reset facing opponent
Square: Weak attack 
Triangle: Strong attack
X: Jump
O: Dodge (in place)
O + direction: Rush
L1 + O + direction: Roll
R3 (push in the right stick): Desperation mode (when near dead)
Start: Menu

SAVE: When on the map, press Square to save

The desperation mode can be done in story mode when your character is near 
dead and the screen goes into negative lighting with your character mumbling 
something like, "What?  Me?  Lose?", to the sound of his own heartbeats.  If 
you transform, you will become much faster (or the enemies will be much 
slower) or more powerful, but you will get a very low rating and virtually no 
experience for that battle.  

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------------------------ [2] Advanced techniques -----------------------------
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-Tech Roll:
When you are knocked airborne, press Square or Triangle the moment you land to 
instantly recover.  If you've just been hit by a long combo (a la Shishio), 
tech rolling will also save you the subsequent dizzying animation that will 
almost certainly be the end of you.

-Dodging:
The circle button can be used to activate a dodging move that will render you 
invincible while your character is sidestepping whatever attack thrown at you.  
However, it has a high recovery time, making it unwise to keep tapping the O 
button expecting to be invulnerable.  However, there is a reward (aside from 
the inherent coolness of sidestepping an attack by a hair) in the form of 
Counter Attacks.

-Counter Attacks:
To perform a counter attack, lock on to a target (you MUST be locked on to do 
it), wait for an attack (does NOT have to be from the same target you locked 
on in the case of multiple enemies), tap the O button to dodge it precisely at 
the moment of impact, then retaliate with any attack BEFORE YOUR DODGING 
ANIMATION IS COMPLETED.  Counter attacks done correctly will have a green halo 
surrounding it and presumably cause more damage.  The timing here is very 
liberal compared to, say, Onimusha's Issen system, so feel free to experiment.  
You can also do a counter out of a locked-on roll, but it’s much harder since 
the opponent will most likely be out of his attack animation by then.  Note 
that tsunagi is disabled when performing a counter attack.

-Ougi:
Popular translated as "succession techniques", these are your super moves.  
Note that not all characters have them when you start the game out.  Kenshin 
will not obtain his two ougis until after training with Hiko Seijuro.  
Sanosuke will not get his first until training with Anji, and his second until 
after the Anji fight.  Aoshi can't use Rokuren (his 2nd ougi) until he gets 
his 2nd sword (duh...).  Saitoh, on the other hand, has BOTH from the 
start...lucky bastard.  To perform these (assuming you have them), hit or get 
hit or simply be close enough to and locking on to the enemy until the 
spinning orb near to your character's picture turns from blue to golden, then 
input the commands listed.

-Quick block recovery:
If you block an attack, there is a lag time before you can recover from the 
blocking animation.  However, if you push the block button JUST as the attack 
hits, you can recover right away and attack before the opponent finishes his 
attacking animation.  I suppose this could be useful if you get really good at 
it, but if you’re going to try it, why not switch to the O button instead and 
just dodge the attack completely, and you may even get a counter out of it.  
Plus, blocking reduces your overall rating.

-Tsunagi:
THIS IS THE CORE OF EKR!!  Be sure to understand this section thoroughly to 
enjoy the game more fully.  When you fight, you will notice in the bottom 
center of your screen, there are flashes that occasionally happen.  Whenever a 
flash appear during one of your move/combo/dodge, YOU CAN CHAIN/CANCEL IT INTO 
ALMOST ANY OTHER MOVE!  This will allow you to lengthen basic combos and (more 
importantly) chain special moves into an otherwise weak combo.  Here's an 
example with Kenshin:

Direction + Square, Square X 4 (basic combo #2)

But using tsunagi, you can make it into:

Direction + Square, Square X 4 (Flash), Direction + Square + X (Flash), 
Square + X

Making Kenshin follow up the combo with a RyuShoSen (sword uppercut) followed 
by a RyuTsuiSen (dragon hammer).  If done correctly, there should be a brief 
blue flash as your character transitions into the next move.  Note that you do 
NOT need to notice the flashing at the bottom of your screen all the time, but 
just use it as a guide to perfect the timing, and then you won't need it at 
all.  This technique is crucial if you are to develop hard-hitting combo that 
will allow you to survive.

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-------------- [3] Levelling up, as interpreted by a gaijin ------------------
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I can't tell you what all the stats mean, but I'm going to give you a taste of 
it until, as I said, someone more competent in Japanese can take over. 

After each fight, you are given experience point which MUST be distributed 
manually, IE you don't automatically get stronger.  I’m not quite sure of all 
the mumbo-jumbo on the end-of-fight screen, but a few of the things you’re 
graded on are:

-Time of fight: How quickly you finished off the fight
-Max combo: The higher the better
-Damage taken: If you take no damage, you’re almost certain to get gold
-Blocking: I presume the more you block, the less EXP you get
-Desperation: If you use desperation mode, you get virtually zilch
-Voice clips: During boss fights, sometimes the boss will yap their mouths 
off, and yes, you seem to be graded on how many times you can get them to do 
it.  After all, one of the omake features is a collection of voices.

Aside from these, there are several more that seem to be fight-specific, IE 
only occurring during certain fights.  The best rating is a golden letter, 
followed by a pink one, followed by a blue, followed by two blue, followed by 
two red which is the worst and most likely what you’ll get if you use 
desperation mode.  Anyway, it’s not too important HOW they give you the EXP, 
as long as they do, right? 

Sometimes the game will give you an option to level up right after a fight, 
sometimes you have to manually access the menu (when not in battle) and choose 
the third option.  This will bring you to a screen with lots of stats and 
intimidating kanji.  

The very first option is simply to quit out of the menu.  To the left and 
right of that are ways to distribute your points, which are recognizable by 
their ratios:

-Manually distribute points: 1.0
-Give all points to one stat: 1.2
-Distribute all points evenly: 0.8
-Computer recommended: 0.9

This is the amount your EXP will be multiplied by before application to 
stat(s) in the given modes.  If you choose to distribute your points manually, 
here's what little I know:

Choose one stat by pressing O.  Then use the direction to increase, decrease 
amount, or hold down Triangle and use direction to increase/decrease by 100.  
Use Square to increase the stat by exactly 1 level.  When you're done, press X 
and choose another stat, or press X again and the game will ask you if you're 
sure.  Choose "Hai" (top) and the points will be distribute, choose "Iie" 
(bottom) and it will ask you if you're sure you want to cancel.  If you pick 
"Hai", all the points will be reset.  Press L1 or R1 when selecting a stat to 
change page.  This second page contains all your moves, and you are able to 
power up each one as you see fit.

These are the stats, as far as I am able to decipher them:

-Physical power: Endurance or HP
-Mental power: Affects how much your ougi meter decreases when hit
-Combo: Strengthens your regular combos
-Block: Allows you to take more damage before your block is broken
-Ki: I believe this affects how quickly your super gauge refills
-Counter hits: Perhaps make your counter strikes more powerful, or make it 
easier to perform counterstrikes (larger time window)
-Tsunagi: Higher levels allow you to chain more moves (more hot flashes…)

Translations for the moves page are in the individual characters' section.

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------------------------ [4] Characters Move List ----------------------------
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**NOTE: The moves as they appear in the "Special Moves" sections are also in 
the order that they appear in the moves upgrading list.  Use this fact to pick 
out your favorite moves and level them up.  Note that moves without numbers 
are NOT in the upgradeable list.

**NOTATION: Direction + Button means push that button while any direction on 
the left stick or joypad is held down.  Comma means sequentially, addition 
means simultaneously.  A lower case x is a multiplication mark, IE Square x 3 
= push Square 3 times.  An uppercase X is...well...the button X.

******************************* Himura Kenshin *******************************
[Kenshin]

The main man of the series needs no introduction.  He is, true to form, very 
fast and has a great arsenal of moves that are very faithful to the series.  
His ability to chain together many moves to make hard-hitting combos easily 
surpasses that of anyone else's in the game, making him arguably the strongest 
character.  His story mode is the "true" RK series story with all the battles 
that Kenshin fights, as well as the "true" ending.  Overall probably the best 
character with whom to play, which probably isn't surprising (but on the 
contrary, pleasing) to most fanboys.  His ready stance (L1) is his Battoujutsu 
stance.  Note that while Kenshin is without his sword (between Shingetsu 
village and the fight with Cho), he cannot perform the battoujutsu stance 
(lock on), nor Ryu Mei Sen and Sou Ryu Sen for the simple reason that all of 
these requires a sword AND sheath.  Also note that he does not have either 
ougi until training with Hiko Seijuro.

-Basic combos

1) Square x 6
2) Direction + Square, Square x 4
3) Triangle x 4
4) Direction + Triangle, Triangle x 2

-Special Moves

1) Ryu Sho Sen (Direction + Square + Triangle): Sword uppercut.  Your gateway 
to combos, as you can insert this pretty much anywhere, and it can always be 
followed by RyuTsuiSen.  Become very good at this two-hit combo and use it.  
Also if you whiff, you'll most likely be far away from the enemy.  Very useful 
move.  Abuse it a lot.

2) Ryu Kan Sen (Square after Dodging [that is, O then Square]): This is a very 
good clearing move as Kenshin spins 180 while performing it.  You don't have 
to dodge an actual attack to do this move, but if you do, it will become a 
powerful counter attack that will stun most lowly enemies.  However, in terms 
of usefulness, it's not as good as...

---RyuKanSen - Kogarashi, Tsumuji, Arashi (Triangle x 3 after Dodging): An 
all-RyuKanSen combo (fanboys will recognize this from the Shishio fight) that, 
in addition to looking particularly cool, can combo for major damage.  If all 
three hits don't connect, as least it will take you far away from the line of 
fire.  If used as a counterattack, it can definitely do some damage.  However, 
if you want Tsumuji and Arashi to connect, delay the second Triangle just a 
tad to allow your opponent to fall down, otherwise Kenshin will zip right 
underneath them.  This move can, and probably should, be abused in many 
situations.

3) Ryu Tsui Sen (Square + X): Dragon hammer, Kenshin's staple move in both the 
series and this game (if not then it should be =P).  If done on the ground, 
Kenshin will do a small hop before striking down, and this move can also be 
done from the air (obviously).  It's best, though, following a RyuShoSen for 
an easy two-hitter.  Anyone hit by this will bounce slightly, and if they 
don't tech roll out of it (most non-boss enemies won't), you can continue the 
combo for 30+ hits in a crowd.  Very useful move, and a good combo ender if 
combined with RyuShoSen.

4) Ryu Sou Sen (Square + Triangle): Dragon flurry (tr?) or something like 
that.  Kenshin dashes forward while striking many times.  A little dangerous 
to use by itself since this move does NOT knock the enemy down, and Kenshin 
stalls a little afterwards, making retaliation likely.  However, if you can 
chain this move into other special moves, it's a very good combo connector 
since it's fast.  The timing is a little tricky, but well worth the practice.  
It's a cool-looking move too.

5) Sou Ryu Sen (Square, Triangle or Triangle, Triangle in Battoujutsu stance): 
Twin dragon, the move used to defeat Jin-e (for those hard-core fanboys 
hellbent on recreating the series).  Fairly weak and has a HUGE delay when 
Kenshin puts his sheath back.  Bad idea if not chained.  Its one advantage is 
that, true to form, it is VERY fast and will hit most of the time.  Good for 
knocking enemies away from you, especially in one-on-one fights, but its long 
lag time makes it less than spectacular against crowds.

6) Ryu Mei Sen (Triangle + X): Dragon roar (tr?).  Yes, Kenshin has this move 
even though he doesn't use it in the series until the last fight with Enishi.  
Yet, he didn't learn it along the way, so I guess he knew it all along.  It's 
a super-fast sheathing that causes a small area damage, hitting everyone 
within a few steps.  It has a long recovery time and seems very weak, but with 
a high enough level (3 or 4), it can stun weaker enemies, making it ideal in 
group fights.  Make sure you chain it, though, otherwise it's not very helpful 
and leaves you open to attacks.

7) Ougi/Kuzu Ryu Sen (R2 + Triangle): Nine-headed dragon (tr?).  Although 
underused in the series, this is a very powerful move in this game.  When 
activated, Kenshin zips across the screen and one enemy straight in front of 
him will get hit.  Very easy to do, very easy to connect.  Use lock on to 
ensure a hit.  Since it's a reliable move, I tend to use it more often than 
ARH in the heat of a close battle.

8) Ougi/Amakakeru Ryu no Hirameki (R1 + Triangle WHILE IN BATTOUJUTSU STANCE): 
For some inexplicable reason, this move is fairly difficult to pull off.  I 
find that it works best if you enter battoujutsu stance and press R1 + 
Triangle as soon as Kenshin sheaths his sword.  If you've been moving around, 
dodging, etc, in battoujutsu mode then I can never get it to come out, which 
sucks since the best time to pull it out is right after you've dodged a move.  
If you can pull it off, it's a very powerful move.  If an enemy is within 
about 3 steps in front of Kenshin, he will get hit, but if he isn't, Kenshin 
will generate a shockwave that pulls him in.  Basically, if you can get it to 
come out, this move does not miss, although it (like most ougis) can be 
blocked.  However, I think the whiffed version with the shockwave is probably 
much weaker than a direct hit (contrary to the series...).  Although a 
powerful move, I find that the reliability of KuzuRyuSen works better for me 
in a critical battle.
***Note by blackbagualnegoveio: Best if you remain absolutely still after 
going into battoujutsu.  You can wait as long as necessary but you can do 
anything else.

-Suggested combos

The game encourages you to be creative and chain your own combos, but here's a 
few to get you started.

1) “Sakabatou” - Basic Combo #2, Ryu Sho Sen, Ryu Tsui Sen: Your bread-and-
butter offensive.  Get familiar with it and use it a lot!  If you're feeling 
cocky then put in a Ryu Sou Sen at the end of the combo before Ryu Sho Sen.  
There's also no reason to stop after the RyuTsuiSen so feel free to add more 
on afterwards once you're comfortable.

2) “Crowd Control” - Ryu Mei Sen, Ryu Sou Sen, Ryu Sho Sen, Ryu Tsui Sen: This 
is my main offensive for crowds in survival mode since the first RyuMeiSen 
will stun some enemies and the other moves will combo for big damage.  Those 
not hit will hopefully be stunned and can't retaliate.  Not a good combo for 
bosses though since you need to be very close for RyuMeiSen to hit.

3) “Hitokiri Battousai” Infinity Combo - Basic combo 1, Ryu Sou Sen, repeat: 
This combo can pretty much kill any boss since you can chain it as much as 
your fingers or your tsunagi level would allow.  Note that you can start the 
combo with anything that links into a RyuSouSen and start from there.  A 
little cheap and repetitive, but it definitely evens the odds a little when 
playing survival.


******************************* Saitoh Hajime ********************************
[Saitoh]

Saitoh is definitely at the very least a close second favorite in this game.  
I think he is a little disproportionately powerful, but it could be just me.  
While slower than Kenshin and Aoshi, he has a plethora of powerful moves, many 
combos, AND both of his ougis as soon as you start out.  Shinsengumi's Third 
Division Captain is definitely a force to contend with.  His lock on stance 
is, appropriately, the Gatotsu stance, which unfortunately means you can't 
walk around when locked on (although you can still roll).  Also, I find it 
more difficult to chain together Gatotsus and I've only been able to chain 
together a maximum of 2 of any kind.  However, Saitoh is powerful enough that 
he should still be able to plow down the competition despite these setbacks.  
PS: "Mijime da na!" means "How pathetic!"

-Basic combos

1) Square x 4
2) Direction + Square, Square x 2
3) Triangle x 3
4) Direction + Triangle, Triangle
5) Triangle, Square x 3
6) Square x 2, Triangle
7) Square x 3, Triangle
8) (Lock on) Square x 4

-Special moves

1) Gatotsu First Stance - Short (Lock on, Triangle): Saitoh dashes forward and 
destroys all in his path.  Good move with a shorter range.  If you can, 
though, pull it off from Basic combo 8.

2) Gatotsu First Stance - Long (Lock on, Direction + Triangle): A longer range 
horizontal Gatotsu.  Good for hit-and-run.

---Sword Uppercut (Square during either First Stance Gatotsu): Saitoh slices 
upward in an arc after the Gatotsu.  This move interestingly will hit 
opponents behind Saitoh and will launch if hit, allowing for subsequent 
juggling.  A good move, and all self-respecting Gatotsu should be followed up 
with it.

---Side swipe (Triangle during either First Stance Gatotsu): Saitoh slices 
sideways after the Gatotsu, reminiscent of his fight with Kenshin.  This move 
is a little slower and leaves Saitoh unprotected from all other sides, so the 
Sword Uppercut is probably a better follow-up to the Gatotsu.  Nice to have, 
though.

3) Gatotsu Second Stance - Downwards (Square + X): This move can also be done 
in air and, like Kenshin, is best following the Third Stance.  Good set up for 
a combo.

4) Gatotsu Third Stance - Antiair (Direction + Square + X): A good launcher, 
although it can only be followed by a wimpy air slash or Second Stance, which 
is perfectly fine since the Third-Second combo is a powerful one anyway.  
Practice this two-hitter a lot.

5) Honki no Gatotsu - True Gatotsu (Block while locking on): Saitoh moves his 
sword upwards slightly and anyone who hits him during this time will have a 
horizontal Gatotsu jammed down their throats.  It's basically an attack 
reversal and a good move in theory, cool to use sparingly, but the AI seems 
programmed not to touch you until RIGHT after the move ends, so don't just 
throw it out randomly expecting an easy victory.  There's also a split second 
between when the move is activated and when Saitoh assumes the stance, which 
means you need to predict the attack a little.  Again, nice to have, though.

6) Sword Uppercut [Kiri futsui?] (Triangle + X): This unusual button 
combination is pretty useless.  It's the same as the Sword Uppercut performed 
from the First Stance, so you probably should just rely on that rather than 
move your fingers around just to push these two buttons.  Not a bad move, but 
too difficult to pull off in the heat of combat.

7) Ougi/Gatotsu 6 Strikes (R1 + Triangle): Saitoh dashes forward and hits one 
enemy in front of him.  It's very easy to hit with this move and therefore 
it's highly reliable from long range.  Decent damage and it's almost 
impossible to be hit out of it.  What's not to love?

8) Ougi/Gatotsu Zero-Shiki - Zero Stance (R2 + Triangle): Saitoh does a super 
fast and powerful Gatotsu while standing in place.  One unfortunate enemy 
within sword's reach in front of Saitoh will be impaled.  Good damage, 
reliable and easy to pull off, and again almost impossible to be hit out of.  
Both of Saitoh's ougis are punishing and reliable and should be abused as much 
as possible.  Note that this is not available when using Shinsengumi Saitoh.

****************************** Sagara Sanosuke *******************************
[Sano]

Sano, while quite popular in the series, is admittedly the weakest character 
of the bunch, and it shows in this game also.  If only the man would get a 
sword...which he can, actually, if you enter evil mode via the desperation 
transformation.  Otherwise, Sano does not rely on combos, but prefer hard-
hitting moves that seldom exceed a small hit count.  Yet, if used correctly, 
he can be a powerful character.  Due to the high recovery time of his special 
moves, Sano is, ironically, best played defensively, waiting for an opponent 
to whiff before laying down some pain.  His ougis are also rather difficult to 
land and easy to be knocked out of.  Yet, perhaps only too true to the series, 
Sano is very good against group of weaker enemies due to the fact that his 
ougis can hit multiple enemies.  Note, however, that he does not have either 
ougi at the start, but gains one after training with Anji and the other after 
defeating Anji.

-Basic combos

1) Square x 4
2) Direction + Square, Square x 2
3) Square x 3, Triangle

-Special moves

---Dash punch (Direction + Triangle): Sano dashes forward and knocks anyone in 
his path down, provided they are not Anji.  A good crowd clearer, but a little 
slow.  That, of course, can be fixed with chaining.

1) Flick (Square + X): Sano's trademark one-finger flick.  A close range move, 
it's fairly fast, but really quite useless in general.  Cool to have though, 
and imagine finishing Shishio off with it.

2) Machine gun punch (Square + Triangle): Rapid punches ending with a knock-
away hit.  VERY useful and a Sano staple.  A little slow to start, but its 
main drawback is the way Sano practically gives himself a hug at its end, 
leaving you wide open to attack.  However, this move has 3 tsunagi points: at 
the very start (allowing you to effectively cancel the move into another), in 
the middle (switch to another move), or at the very last punch (bypass the 
long recovery animation), which should definitely be exploited to overcome the 
move's slow recovery.  This move is good in a combo or just as a retaliation 
move when your opponent whiffs.  Best used in single combat due to the long 
animation, but not bad in a group.

3) Headbutt (Triangle after Dodge, or Triangle during Lock on): The only real 
throw in the game, Sano grabs one enemy and headbutts him.  A decent move, but 
very short range.  The move seems to be unblockable, but you really shouldn't 
be that close to a boss anyway because he would most likely cream your ass 
before you can throw him.

4) Bum Rush (Direction + Square + X): Sano dashes forward and punches in a red 
halo.  This is Sano's main offensive against groups of enemies.  A little slow 
to start, it has decent recovery time and can hit multiple foes.  Good also 
for hit-and-run, but don't overuse it lest it gets blocked leaving you a 
sitting duck.  As always, chain away out of it.

5) Down Rush (Square + X in air): Same as the Dash punch, only downwards from 
the air.  Much the same can be said about it.

6) Uppercut (Triangle + X): The uppercut that Sano uses to end some of his 
basic combos.  Not too great, especially given the button combination.  Use 
sparingly, if at all.

7) Ougi/Futae no Kiwami - Master of Two Layers (R2 + Triangle): Probably the 
most difficult ougi to land in the game, this move has Sano doing a hop 
forward, and the enemy has to be at the end of that hop for a direct hit.  Not 
a bad move if it lands, but even if it whiffs (and it probably will often), 
Sano strikes the ground and anyone in the vicinity will get hit.  This fact is 
useful when fighting multiple enemies since you can face the complete opposite 
direction as the hostile group while pulling off the move, and it will 
guarantee to strike at least 2-3 enemies.

8) Ougi/Santae no Kiwami - Master of Three Layers (R1 + Triangle): Almost 
identical to Futae no Kiwami in terms of logistics, although probably more 
damaging.  The same strategies apply.

-Desperation Mode
When Sano enters desperation mode, he pulls out his giant Zanbatto sword (kick 
ass!!!!).  In this mode, he only has two modes of attack, one is a four-hit 
combo using Square x 4 and the other is a 360 swipe using Triangle.  Both are 
slow, but have tremendous range and power, and are awesome to behold.  Anyone 
should try it once when playing through Sano’s game.  If you’re worried about 
not getting the bonus stuff then just save, try it, then reset.  

******************************* Shinomori Aoshi ******************************
[Aoshi]

Aoshi, as a ninja, is the fastest and most dynamic character in the game.  His 
basic combos are fast, long, and move him across the screen, making pecking by 
other enemies more difficult.  He also has an excellent ougi that is easy to 
land (although does not seem very damaging).  Alas, he is weaker than other 
characters, and also has a meager 5 moves INCLUDING 2 ougis.  Yet, as a secret 
character, he is a nice bonus, fun to play, and a great homage to fanboys with 
his very series-faithful move list.  His ready stance and rolling are actually 
his waterflow movement.  Note that he does not have all his moves (in fact, 
hardly any) until obtaining both swords.  Ougi/Kaiten Kenbu is available with 
one sword, but Rokuren is only available with two.

-Basic combos

1) Square x 7
2) Direction + Square, Square x 5
3) Square x 3, Triangle x 3
4) Triangle x 4
5) Lock on, Triangle x 3

-Special moves

---Twin slash (Direction + Triangle): Aoshi does 2 cuts with his 2 swords.  
Cool looking move, but slow to recovery.  Chain away.

1) Guard crusher (Triangle, when blocked, Square): Used to break Okina's steel 
tonfa, this move is very cool to have, but realistically is not that useful.  
Good to use against crowds since weaker enemies typically block.  Bosses 
usually dodge, though, so a whiffed Triangle might leave you open to attacks.  
Use sparingly.

2) Cross slash (Direction + Square + X): Aoshi dashes forward and do an X 
slash.  Good range and fairly fast, but a little slow on the recovery, so 
chain away.  Probably the best of Aoshi's special moves, but that's not saying 
much.

3) Sword thrust (Square + X): Aoshi gets a small windup, then lunges forward 
with one sword.  A good offensive move to get combos started, so be sure to 
chain in afterwards.

4) Ougi/Kaiten Kenbu (R1 + Triangle): Aoshi used this in the first fight 
against Kenshin after his waterflow movement.  When activated, Aoshi dashes 
forward and hits the first enemy he touches.  Very easy move to do and hit, 
but seems to be quite weak.  A good ougi, but if you have it, might as well 
use...

5) Ougi/Kaiten Kenbu Rokuren (R2 + Triangle): Almost identical to his first 
ougi only Aoshi slashes twice as many times since he uses both swords.  
Everything else is the same, so might as well use this since it seems to be 
more damaging.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
--------------------------- [5] Menu Translation -----------------------------
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-Title menu

1) Start story mode from beginning.  Will ask you to pick difficulty after 
being picked.  Sometimes will ask whether you want to skip the tutorial 
(Kenshin vs. Jin-e) if you have a save game or if you pick hard difficulty.

2) Load game.  Self-explanatory, I hope.

3) Options.  From the top: sound effect volume, music volume, stereo or mono 
sound, ???, camera zoom enabled or disabled, controls, save system (your 
option choices), load system, make everything default.

4) Survival mode (needs to be unlocked).  Fifty stages of grueling battle.  
File your teeth a bit if you have sharp ones because you’ll be gritting it 
quite a bit.  More details to come in the Survival Mode section.

5) Omake (bonus section unlocked after finishing the game once).  Contains all 
the secrets you’ve unlocked, which are almost all voice samples.  Top choice 
is apparently switching between voice sets.  Second choice displays the ending 
dialogue along with fragments of pictures you’ve unlocked.  Third choice is 
music test.  Fourth is voice collection.  Note that all of these need to be 
unlocked in turn.  See Secrets for more info.

-In-game menu

Note: Some of these options are not available at all times.  

1) Items: Anything with parentheses in the description is a healing item.  The 
character in the parentheses is either small (three strokes side-by-side), 
medium (a stroke down the middle of the box), or big (three connected 
strokes).  Heal yourself in battle accordingly if you have any since these are 
pretty hard to come by.  Anything with the number 1 in the description most 
likely will raise one stat by 1 level.  If you pay close attention to the 
characters, you can find the same characters in the stat screen and know which 
one it will raise.  Anything else I'm not quite sure...

2) Stats: Shows all your stats and available/total EXP.  Yay!

3) Point distribution: Disabled in battle.  Allows you to level up.  Consult 
section 3 of this FAQ.

4) Options: Sound effect volume, music volume, stereo or mono sound, ???, 
camera zoom enabled or disabled, and controls.  The last option is to make 
everything default.  Note that everything in this FAQ assumes default control.

5) Return to title: Choose "Hai" (top choice) to return to title with, of 
course, loss of all data after the last time you saved.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
----------------------- [6] Playing through the game -------------------------
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This section contains general hints and tips for playing through the game.  It 
is NOT a specific walkthrough and applies to all characters unless 
specifically stated otherwise.

First and foremost, this game is primarily TIME-BASED.  This means that events 
usually happen at set time and you only have to waste enough time until the 
next event happens.  You can waste time by entering and exiting a location or 
by doing something at a location (like fight a thug).  Overall, just explore 
and talk to people a lot, even if you don’t understand fully what’s going on.  
Sometimes you might just get items out of it.  Here is a list of some 
locations and things you can do:

-District one (top choice): Big bustling marketplace.  There is a man in the 
corner who asks you something.  If you choose the top choice consistently and 
then talk to everyone in the town, you apparently find what he’s looking for.  
Give it back to him and he’ll give you a healing item.  The characters you 
need to talk to in order to get what he needs changes with each scenario you 
play.  There’s also a lady somewhat in the center of the place, standing in 
front of some benches.  She will allow you to skip waiting and move on with 
the story IN A PLUS GAME!  So if you’re sick of waiting the second time 
around, talk to her and choose the top choice to rest at her inn until the 
next event occurs.  This will NOT always work (IE when you need to find and 
talk to someone in particular), but will get the game moving 90% of the time.

-District two (second choice): A small village.  Sano has some of his own 
scenarios here, but in general there is a thug walking down the center that 
you can beat up for EXP until he calls his samurai boss on you.  After you 
defeat the samurai, it’s over.

-Shirobeko (where Mae has her restaurant): Big street with a sharp right turn 
straight ahead.  There’s a thug walking down the street.  You can beat him up 
a couple of times for EXP.  With Kenshin, you can also find a thug bullying a 
man in a corner.  Beat him up to get an item.  Come back later and talk to the 
victim again for another item.

-Temple (small temple with Shinto gate): There’s a samurai here that you can 
beat up just for fun.  Apparently this does not affect the game in any way.  
At certain times in the game, you can also find Okita Soushi, captain of 
Shinsengumi 1st Division at night and have a fight with him.  More on this 
later.

-Grass plot (small grass plot): This is probably the biggest and best time 
waster.  There’s someone who stands here that has a variety of challenges for 
you ranging from beating one enemy to beating 100.  What’s more, in addition 
to EXP, everything he gives you is a stat plus that you can use to instantly 
level up one attribute!  This is the best way to level up and the best use of 
your time, probably, especially if you, like me, don’t speak Japanese.  Also, 
at certain times in the game, this is also your best chance to encounter 
hidden boss fights, so check here often.

That’s it for general directions.  Here are some points I think may be 
difficult for non-Japanese speaker that are NOT resolved by time:

-Kenshin: When you start a plus game (see Secrets), you face Misao first 
thing.  You need to dodge her attacks a few times here (using O).  The second 
scenario with her you’re supposed to find a way out without getting hit by 
her.  Navigate around until you’ve found the exit and make sure to stay away 
from Misao.  The camera makes it a little difficult, but overall it’s not too 
bad.

-Sano: To complete the training with Anji (to get limit break Futae no 
Kiwami), tap either square or triangle when faced with the rock.  AT THE 
MOMENT OF IMPACT, push either button again.  If done correctly, you will 
perform a Futae no Kiwami.  Do 5 to move on.  First thing you need to do when 
you get into the city is visit the Shirobeko restaurant (just walk forward and 
find the shop to your left).  From here, go to District 2 (the village) and 
find a thug bullying someone.  Choose the first choice to beat him up.  Do 
this a twice and then waste some time until the next event happens (or rest at 
the inn in District One).  After clearing the village of thugs, don’t forget 
to talk to everyone to collect healing items.

-Saitoh: The murder mystery in Saitoh’s scenario is a place where a lot of 
non-Japanese speakers will get stuck.  As I’ve received several emails about 
this, I will try to make it clear here.  This may not be the most direct way, 
but it works for me:

-After the scene with the screaming woman, find the corpse to initiate the 
investigation.
-Once the scene is over, talk to the policemen at the police station, 
ESPECIALLY THE ONE INSIDE THE STATION.
-Keep coming back to District One (where the murder took place) AT NIGHT 
(could take a few nights) and talk to the police stationed here during the 
day.  After some time, there will be another murder.
-Go back to the police station and talk to the policeman inside.
-Go to the GRASSY KNOLL AT NIGHT to find a gang paid to ambush you.  
-After dispatching them, go back to District One and talk to the policemen 
during the day.  One of them will be revealed to be the spy and murderer.

Otherwise, there is a scene inside Shishio’s compound where you need to get 
the keys from the guards by talking to the (non-fighting) ones and picking the 
top choice.

Other than these, I believe most events can be resolved by wasting time or 
resting at the inn in District One.  Aside from these, there are times when 
you can find miscellaneous Juppon Gatana members scattered throughout if 
you’re in the right place at the right time.  I’m not sure if the time of day 
matters for all of them (definitely some of them), but I’ll list the ones I’ve 
found:

-Saitoh vs Anji: Go to the grassy hill at dusk between the murder mystery 
(with Henya) and meeting Sano in jail.
-Saitoh vs Soujiro: Grassy hill when waiting for the final infiltration on 
Shishio’s compound, any time of day.
-Saitoh vs Kamatari: Grassy hill at night after Shishio “baptizes” Houji.
-Kenshin vs Okita Soushi: Temple at night when waiting for the final 
infiltration.
-Kenshin vs Usui: Grassy knoll at dusk near the end.
-Kenshin vs Katamari: Grassy knoll at night when all challenges are completed.  
Talk to the guy and he’ll mention a strong fighter he has for you.

I’ve found a few others, but have lost my notes.  Iwanbo can also be found at 
the grassy knoll around dusk (which seems to be a popular time/place 
combination so check often), but at which point in the stories I’m not sure.  
Niban_battousai mentions, and I have also noticed, that you may need to 
complete all challenges at the grassy knoll before some of these fights will 
take place. 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------- [7] Secrets ---------------------------------
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-Unlock Aoshi
To unlock Aoshi play through the game with any character without using 
desperation mode

-Unlock Survival Mode
Play through the game once as any character (Desperation mode allowed)

-Unlock different ending voiceovers (omake voices)
Finish with each of the three main characters (excluding Aoshi) without using 
Desperation mode to find a piece of the final picture and a different omake 
voice clip.  Once all three are found, the background will sometimes be 
replaced by the completed picture.  If you used desperation mode, you will get 
the voice but not the picture fragment.

-Unlock music test (unconfirmed)
Finish the game twice with 2 of the main characters

-Unlock voice test (unconfirmed)
Finish the game with all 3 main characters

-PLUS game
To start the game with all your previous stats, save when prompted at the 
finish (after Shishio) and load it.  You should start at the beginning with 
all saved stats and sometimes have a few added scenarios to play through the 
second time around.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
---------------------------- [8] Survival Mode -------------------------------
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This mode is unlocked after finishing the game once, with or without 
desperation mode.  It consists of 50 stages of grueling battle with enemies 
that get increasingly strong and cheap.  There are 2 types of battle:

-Group battle: 20 enemies of various kinds attack you.  Can be stifling and 
very cheap if many crowd around you and get in cheap hits.  In some ways more 
difficult than boss battles.
-Boss battle: Mano-a-mano with one of the game’s bosses.  Can be quite fun, 
but cheap at times (IE: Shishio at level 47.  If he touches you, you’re pretty 
much dead).

Desperation mode is disabled, but you’re allowed to load a character file with 
advanced stats.  I wouldn’t recommend trying this until you’ve levelled up a 
character by finishing the game at least twice.  All I can say is have fun, 
don’t take it too hard if you die because you will, a lot.  Just take a deep 
breath, eject the CD, and play something else for a while.  Here are a few 
general tips and hints for you to gnaw on:

-Learn to chain REALLY well.  Anytime you stop, enemies will be all over you, 
so keep moving, keep chaining.  Your opponents can’t kill what they can’t 
touch.  Especially use moves that move you away from your opponents.
-Get good at HUGE combos.  Bosses don’t leave themselves open very often, and 
you NEED those windows of opportunity to do big damage.
-This sounds counterintuitive, but let groups of enemies aggregate.  This way, 
your attacks can hit many of them.  If you don’t, stragglers outside the group 
will nick you when you’re recovering from attacks.
-If you have an ougi, USE IT!  No point keeping it around.  Remember that 
these can be blocked, though, so be sure to time it wisely.  Don’t waste a 
perfectly good free hit like most ougis can be.
-Level up individual moves in story mode.  Base stats are nice, but they make 
little difference once you get high enough (except tsunagi, of course).  
Levelling up moves you use a lot can make a difference in the punch you pack.
-Play dirty.  If they’re cheap then why not payback the favor?  You can hit 
most enemies while they’re on the ground (careful with Henya and Shishio 
though), and if you get enough hits in, your opponent will sometimes wake up 
stunned.  Definitely take full advantage whenever your enemies are dizzied.  
-Get VERY good at dodging moves and then countering.  This will save your 
hide, particularly in the fight with Soujiro.
-If you have trouble beating a Shishio, walk real close to him and your ougi 
bar will automatically charge.  Start walking away from him as he walks 
towards you.  If you get cornered, run around, and start all over again.  When 
you have your ougi, let him have it, then repeat till dead, or until you’re 
sick of fighting like a cheapass wimp.
-Lastly, have the patience of a saint.  This mode is MEANT to be hard, and it 
adds nice replay value to this game.  Respect it!  You’ll feel a proportionate 
sense of accomplishment once you get through it.

Listing of the 50 stages (enemies, location, time of day) and boss strategies 
are forthcoming once I get around to it since 1) I’ve been hooked on Okami and 
2) my saves were just erased by the #$%^ memory card.

******************************************************************************
Still to come:

-Suggested combos for Saitoh, Sano, and Aoshi are still forthcoming.  Sorry 
for the delay!
-Confirmation of the rest of the secrets.  
-Survival Mode listing and boss strategies

Thanks for reading.  My first FAQ ever, so I hope it isn't too difficult to 
read.  Questions, comments, please send it my way.

******************************************************************************
Special thanks

-All the people who made this kick-ass game, blah blah
-Nobuhiro Watsuki for being DA MAN
-niban_battousai for corrections on the first two stats as well as some secret 
fights
-blackbagualnegoveio for tips on Kenshin’s ougi and general 
support/encouragement

******************************************************************************
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