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GrimGrimoire Familiar Guide
Version 1.1
Serenitys_Cat, Resident Feline on the Firefly-Class Transport Serenity
First Posted 10/22/2010

Table of Contents

 1.0   Version History
 2.0   Introduction
 3.0   Quick Comparison Charts
   3.1   The Trees by Speed of Development
   3.2   The Trees by Mana Needed to be Effective
   3.3   Gathering Units by Tree
   3.4   Symbols by Tree
   3.5   Big Bads by Tree
   3.6   Familiars by Tree: Cost Comparison Chart
   3.7   Familiars by Tree: Population Count Chart
 4.0   General Tips
 5.0   Glamour
   5.1   Glamour Grimoires
      5.1.1   Fairy Ring
      5.1.2   Titania
      5.1.3   Wicca
   5.2   Glamour Units
      5.2.1   Elf
      5.2.2   Fairy
      5.2.3   Unicorn
      5.2.4   Morning Star
      5.2.5   Talisman
 6.0   Necromancy
   6.1   Necromancy Grimoires
      6.1.1   Hades Gate
      6.1.2   Acheron
      6.1.3   Purgatory
   6.2   Necromancy Units
      6.2.1   Ghost
      6.2.2   Phantom
      6.2.3   Skullmage
      6.2.4   Charon
      6.2.5   Obelisk
 7.0   Sorcery
   7.1   Sorcery Grimoires
      7.1.1   Hell Gate
      7.1.2   Chaos Nest
      7.1.3   Gehenna
   7.2   Sorcery Units
      7.2.1   Imp
      7.2.2   Demon
      7.2.3   Grimalkin
      7.2.4   Dragon
      7.2.5   Guardian
 8.0   Alchemy
   8.1   Alchemy Grimoires
      8.1.1   Laboratory
      8.1.2   Chimera Spawn
      8.1.3   Engrave
   8.2   Alchemy Units
      8.2.1   Blob
      8.2.2   Homunculus
      8.2.3   Golem
      8.2.4   Chimera
      8.2.5   Gargoyle
 9.0   Advanced Unit Combinations
 10.0  Frequently Asked Questions
 11.0  Credits and Disclaimers

*****     1.0   VERSION HISTORY        *****

Version History:

- Version 1.1
     Fixed a few typos and added "Version History" and "Introduction," which
     I'd forgotten in Version 1.0 somehow.

- Version 1.0
     Initial release. WOOT!

*****     2.0   INTRODUCTION        *****

Greetings and salutations to you all. I am Serenitys_Cat, follower of fantasy
and fiction, and this is my second FAQ on GameFAQs. Yay!

GrimGrimoire is a game that never obtained much recognition here in the U.S.
The real-time strategy-RPG genre is neither widespread nor much conducive to
newcomers; people who aren't fans of the genre ignored this game, while those
who ARE fans derided the system as simplistic and the game as too easy.

I am not a fan of real-time strategy games, so I can't address the accusations
of simplicity. All I know is, I fell in love with this game within the first
few hours.

GrimGrimoire starts out prosaic and rapidly grows in size and scope until you
realize that what you thought the game was when you popped it in was in fact
nothing like what it turns out to be. The game makes exquisite use of the
"Groundhog Day" style time-looped plot, developing mysteries, plot twists,
and especially its main character, Lillet Blan, in a most enjoyable fashion.
In a word, the story charmed me, and because of my involvement in it, I became
equally intrigued by the battle system, even though it honestly is not my
normal cup of tea.

Because I became so interested in the plot and, by extension, the battle
system, the urge to write a guide for this game - to give back to it, if you
would - seized hold of my tiny mind, and as one thing the GrimGrimoire section
of GameFAQs is sadly lacking has been a guide on the multiple different units
available in the game, I decided to create one. Thus the document you are
reading now.

I sincerely hope it will prove of use to you during your own travel of the
time loop.


*****     3.0   QUICK COMPARISONS        *****

In this section, I will show a few brief comparisons of the four trees and a few
of the common Familiar types. This section is not in-depth; it is intended just
to give a feel for the four trees, their similarities, and their differences.
The intention is to give beginners a rough idea of what they'll be dealing with
in this game, while allowing more advanced players to weigh the playing styles
of the various trees in order to select their favorite combinations.

 3.1   The Trees by Speed of Development
Glamour: Depends on large numbers and needs time to amass them
Necromancy: Extremely quick to develop
Sorcery: Takes time to hatch Dragons, but otherwise builds quickly
Alchemy: Takes a lot of time and setup to be truly effective

Necromancy > Sorcery > Glamour > Alchemy

 3.2   The Trees by Mana Needed to be Effective
Glamour: Units are cheap, but need to be summoned in quantity; Morning Star uses
         mana to attack
Necromancy: Main unit is very cheap to create
Sorcery: Requires great quantities of mana to be effective
Alchemy: Needs a lot of mana to get started, but not much to keep going once it
         gets into its swing

Necromancy > Alchemy > Glamour > Sorcery

 3.3   Gathering Units by Tree
Elf (Glamour)
 Advantages: Only non-Symbol healer
 Disadvantages: Limited MP for healing
Ghost (Necromancy)
 Advantages: Only Flying gatherer
 Disadvantages: Only attack is a kamikaze strike
Imp (Sorcery)
 Advantages: Moves quickly, can physically attack
 Disadvantages: Gathering units shouldn't really be attacking... ever
Blob (Alchemy)
 Advantages: Can slow enemy movement and attack speed
 Disadvantages: Moves slowly itself

 3.4   Symbols by Tree
Talisman (Glamour)
 Effect: Damages incoming units
 Advantages: Faster than Guardians, can attack Astrals
 Disadvantages: Lower HP than Guardians or Gargoyles
Obelisk (Necromancy)
 Effect: Heals HP of nearby allied Astrals
 Advantages: Only way to restore Astrals' HP
 Disadvantages: Most fragile Symbol, can only heal one unit at a time
Guardian (Sorcery)
 Effect: Damages incoming units
 Advantages: Most durable out of all four Symbols
 Disadvantages: Slower attack speed than Talismans
Gargoyle (Alchemy)
 Effect: Damages a small area of incoming units; cannot attack Astrals
 Advantages: Damages multiple units simultaneously
 Disadvantages: Cannot attack Astrals (get around this by using Homunculi)

 3.5   Big Bads by Tree
Morning Star (Glamour)
 Quick Rundown: Ranged, flying, Astral unit; damages multiple units per hit
 Advantages: Ranged, flying, Astral, AOE attack
 Disadvantages: Low HP, limited ammunition, costs 10 mana per attack
Charon (Necromancy)
 Quick Rundown: Ranged, flying, Astral unit; can transport other units
 Advantages: Ranged, flying, Astral, only "transport-type" unit in the game
 Disadvantages: Lowest HP of the "big bads," must destroy your units to attack
Dragon (Sorcery)
 Quick Rundown: Enormous creature that damages everything around it
 Advantages: Extremely hardy, deals enormous damage to everything around it
 Disadvantages: Moves and attacks very slowly, susceptible to Sleep and Slow
Chimera (Alchemy)
 Quick Rundown: Enormous creature that damages everything around it; steadily
                loses HP, but can eat other units to heal itself
 Advantages: Moves quickly, deals enormous damage to everything around it, can
             heal itself
 Disadvantages: More fragile than Dragons, constant HP loss, slow attack speed,
                must destroy your units to heal itself, susceptible to Sleep and

 3.6   Familiars by Tree Cost Comparison Chart
GLAMOUR              NECROMANCY         SORCERY            ALCHEMY
Elf - 50             Ghost - 40         Imp - 50           Blob - 50
Fairy - 75           Phantom - 75       Demon - 200        Homunculus - 125
Unicorn - 150        Skullmage - 75     Grimalkin - 150    Golem - 150
Morning Star - 355   Charon - 200       Dragon - 500       Chimera - 500
Talisman - 100       Obelisk - 100      Guardian - 100     Gargoyle - 100

 3.7   Familiars by Tree Population Count Chart
GLAMOUR              NECROMANCY         SORCERY            ALCHEMY
Elf - 1              Ghost - 1          Imp - 1            Blob - 1
Fairy - 1            Phantom - 2        Demon - 3          Homunculus - 1
Unicorn - 2          Skullmage - 1      Grimalkin - 1      Golem - 2
Morning Star - 6     Charon - 4         Dragon - 6         Chimera - 6
Talisman - 2         Obelisk - 2        Guardian - 2       Gargoyle - 2

*****     5.0   GLAMOUR        *****

"Glamour is the oldest form of magic that works with nature. You can work with
fairies and elves, who live in the mystical world."
   - Game Manual, on Glamour

Tree Emphasis: Fast units with special abilities
Strong Against: Necromancy
Weak Against: Alchemy
Primary Purpose: Overwhelm the enemy with speed and numbers

"Ghosts exist where they do not belong. They fear fairies, who embody natural
   - Surely, on Necromancy

"Fairies, who represent nature and wonder, don't like this artificial Alchemy...
Because nothing can break its rules, even though the Fairies can decipher it.
Remember that."
   - Chartreuse Grande, on Alchemy

Advantages: Only tree with the ability to heal other units (Elves)
            Two flying units
            One and a half Astral units (Fairies can become Astral with MP)
            Fast and powerful in battle
Disadvantages: Very high maintenance units
               Lacks a powerful solo unit - requires numbers to succeed

"Magic is a supernatural power. To control it, we must use the power of spirits.
Small elves who live in the forest are especially friendly towards people. They
may be whimsical tricksters, but they're also known for being good to us.
Learning to borrow their power is always the first step to becoming a magician."
   - Gammel Dore, on Glamour

Your first and most reliable tree of magic, Glamour is the magic of light, life,
and nature. Its forces range from humble, hardworking Elves to the radiant
goddess of light, the Morning Star. At first, you may be fooled into thinking
that Glamour units are fragile, as their base defense is low; however, Glamour
units all possess special abilities that greatly increase their survivability.
Elves have the unique ability to restore HP to their allies. Fairies can turn
themselves Astral, making them largely immune to attacks from Substance
familiars. Unicorns have Holy Barrier, which raises their defense to such a
level that they become virtually impossible to kill. And the Morning Star? Well,
if being a ranged, flying, Astral unit with the ability to attack multiple
enemies at the same time isn't good enough, then there's no pleasing you.

Glamour provides you with cheap multitudes of surprisingly hardy units. The
objective when using Glamour is to build up large numbers of units in order to
swarm the enemy and overwhelm them before they have the chance to retaliate. In
fact, Glamour (and on occasion, Necromancy) is the only tree where it might
actually be a good idea to have more than one of each type of Rune out on the
field at one time. Two Fairy Rings and two Wicca Runes allows you to amass the
two primary units of Glamour - Fairies and Unicorns - at an insane rate, playing
Glamour's strengths to their utmost. Once your army is built, flood the field
with your numbers and drown your foes beneath your horns and arrows.

Of course, Glamour has several weaknesses as well, the most pressing being the
enormous amount of maintenance its units require in order to be effective. If
you are using Sorcery, you can send teams of Demons in every direction and just
wait to see what happens. Not so with Glamour. Fairies and Unicorns require
constant reapplication of their special abilities in order to survive, and the
Morning Star must recharge her ammunition supply every five to ten shots, which
takes time, mana, and your constant attention to her status. Furthermore, any
tree with a way to handle Astral units has an automatic advantage over Fairies
and Morning Stars; Necromancy units can prove a handful despite Glamour's type
advantage over them, and a Homunculus' Psychic Storm will easily devastate a
Morning Star.

Glamour doesn't necessarily need help from another tree to cover its weaknesses
if you have the focus, timing, and quick reflexes necessary to maximize its
units' abilities, but like all magic in this game, it benefits greatly if it has
units of another type around to cover its weaknesses. The most immediately
beneficial tree to pair Glamour with is probably Sorcery; while you micro-manage
your Glamour units, Demons can provide adequate safety to the Runes at your
homebase, and supplementing a group of Fairies with a Dragon or two definitely
has its charms. Necromancy and Alchemy both bring advantages to Glamour's table
as well; Necromancy offers another solid fighter in the Phantom, while Alchemy
provides some excellent debuffs and the powerful Chimera.

The vast majority of the battles in the game will begin with several Glamour
Runes pre-built for you, and although you can certainly ignore them and their
units in favor of other schools of magic, there is no reason to do so when
Glamour is as powerful as it is. Whether you field them on the frontlines or
simply defend your homebase with lines of Fairies, you'll find Glamour a useful
tool in any situation.


Accessible Creatures: Elf, Fairy
When Obtained: Beginning of Stage 1-1

"A grimoire that works with forest spirits. Easy to use, and can summon basic
Glamour familiars."
   - In-game description

A staple not just of the Glamour tree, but of most of the game. Fairy Rings are
often one of the Runes drawn for you at the start of a battle; you'll get used
to them very quickly. It is often wise to draw a second Fairy Ring to double
your production of Fairies, as, if you are going to use them, you're going to
need a lot of them.


Level 1: Summon - Elf
   Allows you to summon Elves.
   Unlocked by default
Level 2: Summon - Fairy
   Allows you to summon Fairies.
   Unlocked: Completion of Stage 1-1
Level 3: Elf: Heal
   Elves may now use Heal.
   Unlocked: Completion of Stage 1-4
Level 4: Fairy: Astral Change
   Fairies may now use Astral Change.
   Unlocked: Completion of Stage 2-5
Level 5: Fairy: Power Up
   Increases your Fairies' attack range.
   Unlocked: Completion of Stage 3-5

Accessible Creatures: Morning Star
When Obtained: Beginning of Stage 2-4

"A grimoire that summons the great star spirit. Also brings out strength in
higher level spirits."
   - In-game description

In addition to granting a multitude of boosts to your Glamour units, this
powerful Grimoire allows you to summon the ultimate Glamour creature: the
Morning Star.


Level 1: Mastery Effect
   Reduces mana cost for summoning Glamour units.
   Unlocked by default
Level 2: Glamour: Attack Up
   Increases damage caused by your Glamour units.
   Unlocked by default
Level 3: Glamour: Defense Up
   Decreases damage taken by your Glamour units.
   Unlocked by default
Level 4: Summon - Morning Star
   Allows you to summon Morning Stars.
   Unlocked by default
Level 5: Morning Star: Power Up
   Allows your Morning Stars to hold 10 Star Children instead of 5.

Accessible Creatures: Talisman, Unicorn
When Obtained: Beginning of Stage 1-3

"A grimoire of holy supernatural occurrences. A rune that gives the skill to
guard grimoires."
   - In-game description

This Grimoire is valuable by virtue of being the first Grimoire that allows you
to summon a Symbol: the Talisman, which, although immobile, can be vital for
defending your homebase. However, once you unlock Unicorns and their Holy
Barrier, this Grimoire suddenly takes on a whole plethora of new uses. Like
Fairy Rings, a Glamour-heavy player might want to consider crafting two of these
Runes on the battlefield in order to double their speed of Unicorn production.


Level 1: Advent - Talisman
   Elves may now create Talismans.
   Unlocked by default
Level 2: Summon - Unicorn
   Allows you to summon Unicorns.
   Unlocked: Completion of Stage 1-5
Level 3: Unicorn: Holy Barrier
   Unicorns may now use Holy Barrier.
   Unlocked: Completion of Stage 1-5
Level 4: Unicorn: Astral Hold
   Unicorns may now use Astral Hold.
   Unlocked: Completion of Stage 3-3
Level 5: Glamour: Max HP Up
   Increases the maximum HP of your Glamour units.


Glamour Substance Familiar
Associated Rune: Fairy Ring

"Can gather Mana and use healing magic."
   - In-game description

HP: 20
MP: 30
Mana Cost: 50
Population Count: 1
Movement Type: Ground

   Move the Elf around the field.
   Gather mana from a Crystal and take it to the closest Glamour Rune.
   Requires Fairy Ring Rune Level 3
   Restores 10 HP to one Substance ally (20 HP on Sweet Mode). Costs 10 MP.
 Advent - Talisman
   Requires Wicca Rune Level 1
   Creates a Talisman Symbol.

Elves are the gathering units for Glamour, and although they aren't as fast as
Ghosts or Imps, they more than make up for this by being the only familiar in
the entire game that can recover other units' HP. It only works on Substance
units (if you want to heal your Morning Star, you'll have to use Obelisks,) but
since this is still a good 3/4 of the units in the game, that's not much of a
drawback. Heal won't have much effect on an individual-use basis, but when you
have a group of five to ten Elves working together, they can restore 50-100 HP
to a Dragon or Chimera; well worth your time and effort.

Glamour Substance Familiar
Associated Rune: Fairy Ring

"A well-balanced familiar. Freely flies through floors and walls."
   - In-game description

HP: 25
MP: 50
Mana Cost: 75
Population Count: 1
Movement Type: Flying

   Move the Fairy around the field.
   Commands the Fairy to attack the selected target.
   Commands the Fairy to stay in one area and attack only if enemies come near.
 Astral Change
   Requires Fairy Ring Rune Level 4
   Transforms the Fairy into an Astral unit. Her MP will slowly decrease until
      she reverts to a Substance unit by using Substance Change, which will
      replace Astral Change once Astral Change is used. Costs 25 MP.

Fairies are highly mobile offensive units that attack from a distance with great
speed and surprising power. They'll be the bread and butter of your army for the
first part of the game, and it's highly likely that even when higher-level units
become available, you won't stop using them. Around the middle of the game,
their usefulness begins to lag as their pitiful defenses catch up to them;
however, this disability is quickly remedied once you can use their Astral
Change command, which transforms them into an Astral unit, rendering them
immune to most attacks! To sweeten the deal, this also enables them to attack
other Astral units, finally making Fairies viable for countering nasty Phantoms
and Charons. Once Astral Change is unlocked, Fairies can - in large enough
numbers - handle anything the game can throw at them.

Glamour Substance Familiar
Associated Rune: Wicca

"Has a strong barrier for charging. Dependable with high attack power."
   - In-game description

HP: 35
MP: 50
Mana Cost: 150
Population Count: 2
Movement Type: Ground

   Move the Unicorn around the field.
   Commands the Unicorn to attack the selected target.
 Holy Barrier
   Requires Wicca Rune Level 3
   Causes all attacks to deal only 1 damage to the Unicorn for a limited period
      of time. Costs 20 MP.
 Astral Hold
   Requires Wicca Rune Level 4
   Prevents one Astral unit from moving or attacking for a limited period of
      time. Costs 25 MP.

Unicorns are extraordinarily powerful when used correctly, but require a
phenomenal amount of attention to utilize their full potential. Unicorns are, at
first glance, unimpressive; they have average-to-high attack power, but low HP
and very, very low defense. There is no point fielding Unicorns whatsoever
unless you have a Wicca Rune at level 3 and can use Holy Barrier.

Holy Barrier turns Unicorns into an unstoppable phalanx. It's costly, yes, and
it won't last forever, but it reduces all damage dealt to the shielded Unicorn
to one single point. Incoming Dragon? No problem. Loaded Charon? Even less.
Your Unicorns will shrug off the blows and retaliate with ferocity. Tiny though
they are, in large groups Unicorns can be quite dangerous. Although they can't
attack Astral units, they can incapacitate them using Astral Hold, which makes
them sitting ducks for your Fairies or Phantoms.

The problem, as I have already stated and you have probably already figured out,
is that, when using Unicorns, you must be paying attention to them at all times.
You MUST activate Holy Barrier before engaging anything in battle with a squad
of Unicorns, and you MUST have a lot of them present if you want to be able to
kill things fast enough to make the Holy Barrier worth it. When Astrals are
present, you need to carefully ration, target, and take advantage of Astral
Hold, which is not a cheap ability that can just be thrown around. In total,
Unicorns can be a big headache for you, but not as big as they can be for your

Glamour Astral Familiar
Associated Rune: Titania

"Able to use area attacks using Mana. Ammo stocking time needed."
   - In-game description

HP: 130
MP: 0
Mana Cost: 255
Population Count: 6
Movement Type: Flying

   Move the Morning Star around the field.
   Commands the Morning Star to attack the selected target. Uses up one Star
      Child per attack.
   Commands the Morning Star to stay in one area and attack 
 Star Light
   Transforms 10 mana into a Star Child (aka ammunition).

The Morning Star is the culmination of all of GrimGrimoire's finest systems and
characteristics. She is ranged. She flies. She attacks a wide area of enemies.
And she's an Astral, which is what pushes her over into godhood. Not only can
the Morning Star go anywhere and kill anything when she gets there, but she can
do it in relative safety (assuming lack of Homunculi, Skullmages, etc, which is
admittedly a rare occurence).

Don't get me wrong; the Morning Star has her drawbacks. She is surprisingly
fragile for a Big Bad, relying on her Astral status to protect her from harm;
therefore, she is rapidly overcome by enemies that can target Astrals and
completely helpless against Unicorns' Astral Hold. Worse, she needs to stock
Star Children ammunition in order to attack, which not only takes time but also
costs you mana. (She can hold five Star Children on her own; upgrading Titania
to level 5 increases this number to ten, which, believe me, makes a big
difference in the Morning Star's usefulness.) To be honest, though, these are
bigger impositions on paper than they are in game. Ten shots is enough for a
Morning Star to take out anything she's up against, which gives her plenty of
time to recharge afterward. Back her up with an Obelisk for healing and a cloud
of Fairies to provide support fire and watch her shine.

Glamour Symbol
Associated Rune: Wicca

"Attacks enemies with holy light. Only elves can advent these."
   - In-game description

HP: 70
MP: 0
Mana Cost: 100
Population Count: 2
Movement Type: Does not move

 The Talisman automatically attacks anything that gets within its range with a
ball of energy. You do not command it.

Talismans - indeed, all Symbols - can be extremely useful when used properly,
but in all likelihood you will neither need them nor want them until about
halfway through the game. Talismans provide convenient (albeit stationary)
protection for your Runes by shooting balls of magic light at any enemy that
gets close to them (even Astrals!) They cost a fair chunk of mana and you'll
need an Elf around to create them (although the second criterion is rarely a
problem,) but later in the game, when Astral units become commonplace and you
need to start watching your Runes like a hawk, Talismans can be quite useful.
Personally, I find Talismans less useful than hardier Guardians or wider-ranged
Gargoyles, but you should definitely try them out and see how they fit your

*****     6.0   NECROMANCY        *****

"Necromancy borrows the powers of the souls who live in the fires of hell. Open
the gates to Hades to summon the sleeping dead."
   - Game Manual, on Necromancy

Tree Emphasis: Powerful Astral units
Strong Against: Sorcery
Weak Against: Glamour
Primary Purpose: Tanking

"...Necromancy has a great advantage over demonic forces. The power of
sublimated spirits is similar to the greater power that evil fears. Only through
the pleasures and pain of flesh can devils tempt man. Therefore, a strong will
with no body is their most undesirable opponent."
   - Opalneria Rain, on Sorcery

"Ghosts exist where they do not belong. They fear fairies, who embody natural
   - Surely, on Glamour

Advantages: Three Astral units
            Ability to turn enemy or ally units Astral (Skullmage)
            Only tree with a transportation unit (Charon)
            Only tree with a flying gathering unit (Ghost)
            Two flying units
Disadvantages: Difficult to heal without the use of Obelisks
               Highly susceptible to Unicorns, Skullmages, Homunculi, etc.
               Weakest "big bad" unit of all four trees (Charon)

"...Necromancy is a holy magic, and yet, it is categorized as a dark art. This
is because we must control death, and contact the miracles of god, souls."
   - Opalneria Rain, on Necromancy

Necromancy is an extremely powerful tree that requires very little time or Mana
to unleash. The strongest unit in the Necromancy tree is, surprisingly, the
humble second-level Phantom - being Astral, Phantoms are nigh-on impossible to
kill for the majority of the game's units, and their main disadvantage - their
slow attack speed - is easily remedied with their special Berserk ability. On
top of this, they move quickly and hit like a semi, which makes them ideal for
both scouting enemy territory and defending your homebase. To make things even
better, Phantoms are cheap to make, fill two army spaces instead of a Demon's
three, and deal extra damage to Sorcery, which is the most common enemy tree in
the game!

The rest of the Necromancy tree is honestly built to support the Phantom. Ghosts
are the game's only flying gatherers, which makes them extremely efficient at
gathering mana, and Skullmages massacre other Astral units that might otherwise
prove dangerous to your Phantoms. The tree's big bad monster, the Charon, can
transport huge contingents of Phantoms deep into enemy territory and then let
them loose to create havoc and mayhem. The entire package results in you dealing
massive amounts of damage and taking none in return, which, if you ask me, is a
pretty sweet deal.

Of course, since the tree relies so heavily on one monster, any opponent that
can disable Phantoms makes Necromancy pretty worthless. Glamour is tailor-made
to decimate Necromancy: Unicorns become as hardy as Phantoms with Holy Barrier
and can stop any group of Phantoms dead with Astral Hold; Fairies can become
Astrals using Astral Change and easily overwhelm Phantoms or Charons with their
speedy attacks; and the Morning Star is Astral, ranged, faster, and stronger
than Phantoms, not to mention capable of attacking multiple Phantoms at once.
Necromancy against Necromancy is a losing battle, thanks to Skullmages, and
using any Astral when there are Homunculi on the field is just asking for

Despite these flaws, Necromancy is still an incredibly powerful tree. Unless
you're facing Sorcery, making your entire army from Necromancy is unwise, but
fielding a few Phantoms is almost always the best way to keep your homebase safe
from any enemy assault.


Accessible Creatures: Ghost, Phantom
When Obtained: Beginning of Stage 1-4

"A grimoire that opens the gates to Hades. Can summon ghosts without physical
   - In-game description

Your second Grimoire in the game, and definitely one of the most useful if you
intend on using Necromancy. The Hades Gate is the only non-Glamour Rune I would
ever consider making more than one of on any given level; Phantoms are very
useful creatures, and having more of them is always a good thing.


Level 1: Summon - Ghost
   Allows you to summon Ghosts.
   Unlocked by default
Level 2: Summon - Phantom
   Allows you to summon Phantoms.
   Unlocked by default
Level 3: Ghost: Charge
   Ghosts may now use Charge.
   Unlocked: Completion of Stage 1-4
Level 4: Phantom: Berserk
   Phantoms may now use Berserk.
   Unlocked: Completion of Stage 1-5
Level 5: Phantom: Power Up
   Increases your Phantoms' movement speed.

Accessible Creatures: Charon
When Obtained: Completion of Stage 3-3

"A grimoire to use the reapers of life and death. Summons Charon, the ferryman
of Hades."
   - In-game description

If you don't use Charon, there's no reason to set this Rune, as its only non-
Charon related function (increasing Skullmages' maximum MP) is of minimal use.
Of course, if you DO like using Charon, this Rune is the only way you'll be
gaining his services.


Level 1: Summon - Charon
   Allows you to summon Charons.
   Unlocked by default
Level 2: Charon: Power Up
   Increases your Charons' movement speed.
   Unlocked: Completion of Stage 3-5
Level 3: Skullmage: Power Up
   Increases your Skullmages' maximum MP.
Level 4: Charon: Anima Drain
   Charons may now use Anima Drain.

Accessible Creatures: Obelisk, Skullmage
When Obtained: Completion of Stage 2-2

"A grimoire that calls upon the ghosts of sinners. Strengthens the power of the
ghostly spirits."
   - In-game description

Purgatory is a Grimoire with fun, but particular, uses. Its summonable creature,
the Skullmage, is usually not worth creating a Rune for; it deals heavy damage
to Astral units, but then again, so do Morning Stars and Homunculi. On the other
hand, Skullmages (Skullmagi?) can also use Astralize to turn Substance INTO
Astrals, which has a whole host of neat offensive and defensive uses. Obelisks
are the only way for Astral units to recover HP, but this is generally more
useful for Morning Stars or Astralized Dragons than it is for Necromancy units
(Phantoms will usually die before they can recover, due to low maximum HP). At
full strength, Purgatory will increase the attack strength of all your
Necromancy units (not your ASTRAL units, your NECROMANCY units,) which is pretty
convenient, but not worth spending the 500 mana for if you don't also plan to
use Obelisks and Skullmages. So what does that all boil down to? Nothing very
specific. Use this Grimoire according to your own preference.


Level 1: Advent - Obelisk
   Ghosts may now create Obelisks.
   Unlocked by default
Level 2: Summon - Skullmage
   Allows you to summon Skullmages.
   Unlocked by default
Level 3: Skullmage: Astralize
   Skullmages may now use Astralize.
   Unlocked: Completion of Stage 3-2
Level 4: Necromancy: Attack Up
   Increases damage caused by your Necromancy units.
Level 5: Necromancy: Attack Up 2
   Further increases damage caused by your Necromancy units.


Necromancy Astral Familiar
Associated Rune: Hades Gate

"Ignores walls and can gather Mana."
   - In-game description

HP: 16
MP: 0
Mana Cost: 40
Population Count: 1
Movement Type: Flying

   Move the Ghost around the field.
   Gather mana from a Crystal and take it to the closest Necromancy Rune.
   Requires Hades Gate Rune Level 3
   The Ghost charges the target and detonates, damaging them at the cost of the
      Ghost's existence. Deals extra damage to Astral units.
 Advent - Obelisk
   Requires Purgatory Rune Level 1
   Creates an Obelisk Symbol.

Ghosts are, in my humble opinion, simply the best gathering units in the game
for the sole reason that they can fly. Elves can heal, but this is quite limited
in scope. Imps can attack, but do you really want your gathering units doing
that? Blobs... well, all right, Blobs' Gum Up is just as useful as Ghosts'
flight, but Gum Up is situational, whereas there is never a map nor a situation
when flying Astral gatherers aren't useful. Summon them with abandon and use
them with pleasure. They even make good anti-Astral measures in a pinch with
their kamikaze Charge attack; perfect for taking out an encroaching Morning

Necromancy Astral Familiar
Associated Rune: Hades Gate

"Calls upon a stern, ghostly knight."
   - In-game description

HP: 35
MP: 20
Mana Cost: 75
Population Count: 2
Movement Type: Ground

   Move the Phantom around the field.
   Commands the Phantom to attack the selected target.
   Commands the Phantom to move back and forth between where they are currently
      standing and the selected point, attacking any monsters that come into
   Requires Hades Gate Rune Level 4
   Increases the Phantom's attack speed for a limited period of time. Costs 10

Phantoms are arguably the most useful units in the game. Fast, strong, and hardy
if only by virtue of being Astrals, a Phantom's only weakness - its sluggish
attack speed - is easily overcome with judicious application of its Berserk
ability, which instantly solves this problem. A storm of Berserked Phantoms can
even take out a conscious Dragon on their own without difficulty. They are saved
from boring overpoweredness by their low HP, which makes them incapable of
handling any enemy that can target Astrals; a single Homunculus can hold the
gates against Phantoms until kingdom come (well, at least until it runs out of 
MP for Psychic Storm). However, fortunately for you, Phantoms are cheap. If 
enemy Homunculi or Skullmages are proving problematic, strike them down with
Fairies or Demons and resume Phantom production thereafter.

Necromancy Substance Familiar
Associated Rune: Purgatory

"Does a lot of damage against Astrals."
   - In-game description

HP: 30
MP: 50
Mana Cost: 75
Population Count: 1
Movement Type: Ground

   Move the Skullmage around the field.
   Commands the Skullmage to attack the selected target.
   Requires Purgatory Rune Level 3
   Changes one unit, enemy or ally, into an Astral unit for a limited period of
      time. Costs 25 MP.

"Does a lot of damage against Astrals" is something of an understatement. A
Skullmage does absolutely ridiculous damage against Astrals, to the point where
a small group of three or four can spit and roast any Astral in the game as
easily as... perhaps not breathing, since they probably don't do that anymore,
but definitely pretty darn easily. Unfortunately, the trade-off for this massive
power is a complete inability to even target non-Astral units. Skullmages are
highly situational, but at least it's extremely good at what it does.

And then it gets Astralize.

The idea of Astralize was clearly just to give Skullmages the ability to target
Substance familiars by turning them into Astrals. However, this wondrous ability
can do so much more than that. Astralize your own Dragon and send it, now Astral
and immune to damage, into enemy territory. Astralize your enemy's Dragon and
take it down with Skullmages. Astralize your enemy's Dragon and Astral Hold it
with a Unicorn. There are so many creative applications for Astralize that I
can't even list them all here, but have collected them further down in the
Advanced Unit Combinations section.

Necromancy Astral Familiar
Associated Rune: Acheron

"Loads familiars and taxis them. Can send in large troops at once."
   - In-game description

HP: 120
MP: 0
Mana Cost: 200
Population Count: 4
Movement Type: Flying

   Move the Phantom around the field.
   The Charon takes the targeted unit onboard his boat. A Charon can carry up to
      five units at a time for as long as you want. Flying units, Dragons, and
      Chimeras cannot be taken onboard the Charon's boat.
   Allows the units onboard the Charon to disembark at the targeted points. The
      units will disembark one at a time unless the Charon is interrupted, in
      quick succession but with definite delay.
 Anima Drain
   Requires Acheron Rune Level 4
   Transforms one unit onboard the Charon into a spectral projectile to launch
      at the target. The single most damaging attack in the game.

Charons stand out as one of the... oddest units this game has to offer. It isn't
a direct fighter; instead, it's something of a transport pod. The Charon can
load up other familiars onto its boat and then ferry them across to different
areas of the map. This is rather creative and mythologically very accurate, but
is admittedly not too useful on its own except for the maps where they force you
into using it by placing enemy Runes in otherwise inaccessible locations. So, to
up the usefulness of the Charon, the designers gave it Anima Drain, which does,
bar none, more damage than anything else in the game. Period. The Charon takes
one of its passengers, transforms it into an energy ball, and throws it at the
target for truly stupid amounts of damage. Its shots are obviously limited, but
if you load the Charon up with cheap gathering units and have it sail around
enemy territory taking potshots at Runes, Dragons, and other dangerous things,
you might be surprised at the efficiency of the results.

Necromancy Symbol
Associated Rune: Purgatory

"Heals nearby friendly ghosts. Only Ghosts can advent these."
   - In-game description

HP: 50
MP: 30
Mana Cost: 100
Population Count: 2
Movement Type: Does not move

 The Obelisk will send a pulse of healing energy at the closest injured Astral
unit within its range. You do not command it.

Obelisks are interesting, and can sometimes even be useful, but would be much
more useful if they didn't consume MP. Their function is to restore HP to Astral
units, since Elves cannot, and they're very good at this... until they run out
of MP, which makes them deadweight until they recharge it. Therefore, you can't
rely on Obelisks as free refuel stations for your Astral units. They do provide
nice spot healing for Morning Stars and Charons, but are otherwise rather
unwieldly. Definitely not my favorite Symbol, although they are certainly not
without their uses.

*****     7.0   SORCERY        *****

"Summon the rebels of god who dwell in the abyss. Force them to fight for you
with this magic."
   - Game Manual, on Sorcery

Tree Emphasis: Brute force
Strong Against: Alchemy
Weak Against: Necromancy
Primary Purpose: Bulling straight into the enemy

"And watch out for devils. Created lives are not of God's fate, thus seen as
fragile and easy to manipulate."
   - Chartreuse Grande, on Alchemy

"...Necromancy has a great advantage over demonic forces. The power of
sublimated spirits is similar to the greater power that evil fears. Only through
the pleasures and pain of flesh can devils tempt man. Therefore, a strong will
with no body is their most undesirable opponent."
   - Opalneria Rain, on Sorcery

Advantages: Only gathering unit capable of attacking (Imp)
            Takes the least maintenance of all four trees to use effectively
            Grimalkin. Just... Grimalkin.
Disadvantages: No flying or Astral units
               The "big bad" (Dragons) is powerful, but very easy to counter
               Easily outmanuevered by the tricks of the other trees

"Let's begin instruction... About an intensely fearful magic."
   - Advocat, on Sorcery

Sorcery is probably the most innately appealing of the four trees of magic. As
it spends the first part of the game surprising you with increasingly nastier
monsters (damn those Imps, always shredding my Fairies... wait, what the hell
was that enormous horned horror that just tore everything apart... hold on a
second, why is my controller shaking like HOLY MOTHER OF GOD IS THAT A DRAGON?)
you're probably dying to get a piece of that power for yourself by the time you
get your first Grimoire. And it is unlikely to disappoint you. Demons are 
basically massive chunks of HP that output damage at a frighteningly effective
rate, and they'll tear through any undefended Glamour or Alchemy unit like a fat
man at a buffet. Grimalkin are some of the nastiest support units in the game;
they can put any Substance foe to Sleep - a great way to handle enemy Demons,
Golems, Dragons, and Chimera - and can even output tremendous damage with their
Mana Burn skill. And of course, Sorcery has Dragons, which are every bit as
nasty as they look.

That being said, Sorcery unfortunately suffers from the glaring weakness of
being a one-trick pony. Sorcery's strategy focuses around summoning a few big,
powerful units and sending them straight at the enemy. It has no way of dealing
with Astral units short of Grimalkin Sleeping or Mana Burning them (both of
which are MP-inefficient and cannot be relied upon,) which makes the tree
largely useless against Necromancy or improved Glamour units. To demonstrate the
severity of this problem, let's take the Dragon, that most dreaded and powerful
unit. How many ways can a Dragon be disabled?

   1. A large group of Fairies using Astral Change will easily overpower it.
   2. A Skullmage and a Unicorn working in tandem can Astralize the Dragon, then
      Astral Hold it, rendering it useless and vulnerable to Skullmage assault.
   3. A Morning Star can easily outdamage it.
   4. A group of Berserked Phantoms will easily overpower it.
   5. A Charon can outdamage it even more easily than a Morning Star.
   6. A Grimalkin can put it to sleep.
   7. A Blob can slow it down with Gum Up, sending it from glacial to the speed
      of tectonic plate glide. A slowed Dragon is fair game for ANYTHING, even
      Golems, which are terrible against Dragons for all sorts of reaons.
   8. A Homunculus' Psychic Storm will tear it apart. (It will take multiple
      Psychic Storms, since the Dragon has a lot of HP, but if there are a few
      Homunculi working together...)
   9. A gamut of Symbols - Talismans, Guardians, Gargoyles - can overpower it.
   10. Another Dragon or a Chimera will destroy or severely weaken it.

That makes ten different ways to easily kill or completely disable a Dragon, two
of them from Sorcery's own tree and two more from Alchemy, which Sorcery is 
allegedly good against.

This is not to say that Sorcery is useless - far from it. However, it must be
used with other supporting trees in order to stand a chance in battle. When
facing Alchemy, Demons are the best offense you can muster, and it's always a
good idea to keep a few Grimalkin around to Sleep incoming dangers. Despite
their weaknesses, Dragons can also be invaluable; after an introductory swarm of
Demons or Phantoms has softened up the enemy camp, a rampaging Dragon can be
exactly what you need to decisively finish the job. Sorcery units are excellent
complements to any of the other trees; they add a decisive edge of strength
that can punch a hole into the toughest defense, but without help from a more
versatile tree, Sorcery will definitely run into problems.


Accessible Creatures: Imp, Demon
When Obtained: Completion of Stage 2-1

"A grimoire used to open the gates of hell. Allows you to summon vicious
   - In-game description

The Hell Gate's primary function is to give you a beast of a physical attacker
in the Demon unit, then make it even stronger than it already was. It's a key
Rune in any fight that involves Alchemy, as Demons are the best way to combat
any Alchemy unit, but is a massive mana sink due to Demons' high cost. If you're
in a battle with a limited mana supply, consider another Rune.


Level 1: Summon - Imp
   Allows you to summon Imps.
   Unlocked by default
Level 2: Summon - Demon
   Allows you to summon Demons.
   Unlocked: Completion of Stage 2-2
Level 3: Imp: Attack
   Imps may now use Attack.
Level 4: Demon: Power Up
   Increases your Demons' movement speed.
Level 5: Demon: Power Up 2
   Increases your Demons' maximum HP.

Accessible Creatures: Grimalkin, Dragon
When Obtained: Beginning of Stage 2-2

"A grimoire that awakens deep chaos. Can even call upon the merciless dragon."
   - In-game description

If I'm only going to make one Sorcery Rune in a level, the Chaos Nest is
definitely my first choice. Grimalkin are the most useful and versatile Sorcery
units around, and when all else fails, a final charge into enemy territory is
ever so much more dramatic with a Dragon along to shake things up.


Level 1: Summon - Grimalkin
   Allows you to summon Grimalkin.
   Unlocked by default
Level 2: Summon - Dragon
   Allows you to summon Dragons.
   Unlocked by default
Level 3: Grimalkin: Mana Burn
   Grimalkin may now use Mana Burn.
   Unlocked: Completion of Stage 2-4
Level 4: Grimalkin: Power Up
   Increases your Grimalkin's maximum MP.
   Unlocked: Completion of Stage 2-4
Level 5: Demon: Black Curse
   Your Demons' physical attacks cause the targets to steadily lose HP.

Accessible Creatures: Guardian
When Obtained: Completion of Stage 2-5

"A grimoire that awakens the vermin of hell. The vermin draw out the powers of
the devil."
   - In-game description

Gehenna is a bit of a letdown for the last Grimoire of Sorcery you receive.
You've already gotten all of your creatures from the first two Grimoires; all
Gehenna really brings to the table is the ability to advent Guardians, which are
nice, but not all that different from Talismans. Long Scope is a nice addition
to an army that is primarily Sorcery, and extra HP for your Dragons is never a
bad thing, but there's nothing all that stellar about this Rune. Stick with
Wicca's Talismans and Unicorns or Engrave's Gargoyles and Golems instead.


Level 1: Advent - Guardian
   Imps may now create Guardians.
   Unlocked by default
Level 2: Long Scope
   Increases the range of vision around your Sorcery units.
   Unlocked by default
Level 3: Imp: Power Up
   Increases the damage caused by your Imps.
Level 4: Dragon: Power Up
   Increases your Dragons' maximum HP.


Sorcery Substance Familiar
Associated Rune: Hell Gate

"Agile, and quickly gather Mana. Increase Rune level for attacks."
   - In-game description

HP: 40
MP: 0
Mana Cost: 50
Population Count: 1
Movement Type: Ground

   Move the Imp around the field.
   Gather mana from a Crystal and take it to the closest Sorcery Rune.
   Requires Hades Gate Rune Level 3
   Commands the Imp to attack the selected target.
 Advent - Guardian
   Requires Gehenna Rune Level 1
   Creates a Guardian Symbol.

As long as the mana crystal is on the same level as the Sorcery Rune you intend
the mana to be carried to, Imps are the fastest mana-gatherers you can summon.
They are also the hardiest, possessing twice as much HP as any other gatherer,
which is important, as they are also the only mana gatherers that can physically
attack. (Not the only gatherers that can deal damage; Ghosts can use Charge, but
Charge is one-use and therefore not the same). A large squadron of Imps actually
packs a nice bit of a punch, and in fact is one of the game's preferred methods
for beating you down.

It is important to remember, however, that Imps are mana gatherers first and
damage-dealers second. Although you CAN throw Imps against obstacles, it is
usually a bad idea, as the vast majority of stages will be easily able to
counter them, be it with Astrals, Symbols, Dragons, Chimeras, Unicorns, or
Homunculi. Due to their fast movement speed, however, Imps are great at sneaking
around the main conflict and taking apart those tender Grimalkin and Skullmages
that will plague you so many times during the main story.

Sorcery Substance Familiar
Associated Rune: Hell Gate

"Has sharp claws and a tough body."
   - In-game description

HP: 170
MP: 0
Mana Cost: 200
Population Count: 3
Movement Type: Ground

   Move the Demon around the field.
   Commands the Demon to attack the selected target.

Demons are powerhouses, pure and simple. They have big claws and they know how
to use them to rip apart anything that gets in their way. That's... really all
there is to them. Demons can't target Astral units, but they have phenomenal HP
and massive attack power that puts them up there with Phantoms for "Best Non-Big
Bad Unit Ever." Just create them, point them in the right direction, and let the
massacre begin.

Sorcery Substance Familiar
Associated Rune: Chaos Nest

"A cat-like familiar with black magic. Can sleep the enemy."
   - In-game description

HP: 50
MP: 100
Mana Cost: 150
Population Count: 1
Movement Type: Ground

   Move the Grimalkin around the field.
   Prevents any Substance unit from moving or attacking for a limited period of
      time. Costs 50 MP.
 Mana Burn
   Requires Chaos Nest Rune Level 3
   Reduces one target's MP to 0 and deals an equal amount of damage to the
      target. Costs 50 MP.

You simply can't do without Grimalkin. (Well, you could, but it would take a lot
of creativity and be way more trouble than it's worth.) These adorable magical
cats are highly situational (like most GrimGrimoire units,) but when the
situation allows, they can be the difference between victory and annihilation.
Their main use is countering the two nastiest Big Bads - Dragons and Chimeras -
with Sleep (and believe you me, you will have ample opportunity to abuse this
counter). Sleep turns both of these beastly behemoths into somnolent pussycats
no more dangerous than a sprig of catnip, and, short of a Skullmage-Unicorn
combo or liberal application of Psychic Storm, is pretty much the only feasible
way to handle those devastating familiars.

Mana Burn is trickier to use, as not all familiars actually have MP to target 
with it (i.e. Demons, Dragons, Chimera). Furthermore, a lot of units that do
have MP are too weak to merit the 50 MP cost of Mana Burn (i.e. Elves, Fairies,
Skullmages). Some units, however, can be worth it if they're really making a
nuisance of themselves (i.e. Phantoms, Blobs, enemy Grimalkin) and some enemies
are really worth blowing the MP on. Homunculi and Golems are two of the best
targets for this skill: Homunculi will be one-shot, preventing Psychic Storm,
and Golems need MP to attack, which means this spell completely disables them.
Well worth the cost, especially if you've got a few Grimalkin to split casting
duties between for the battle.

Sorcery Substance Familiar
Associated Rune: Chaos Nest

"A dragon with overwhelming power. Summoned as an egg."
   - In-game description

As an Egg
HP: 50
MP: 0
Mana Cost: 500
Population Count: 6
Movement Type: Ground

   Move the Grimalkin around the field.
   The Egg begins to incubate. Once incubation is completed, the Egg hatches
      into a Dragon.

As a Dragon
HP: 600
MP: 0
Mana Cost: N/A
Population Count: 6
Movement Type: Crawls on the outside of the stage, ignoring obstacles

   Commands the Dragon to attack the selected target.

Dragons are like Demons, only much, much, MUCH more so. With almost three times
the HP and an attack that not only hits multiple units but hits multiple TIMES,
Dragons are the Apocalypse given form... at least, until one of those ten things
I listed in the Sorcery summary happens to them, which can be rather
disappointing the first time it happens. However, once you get used to Dragons'
shortcomings and can see them for what they're supposed to be - a bulldozer that
you point in one direction, letting it bulldoze until it runs out of gas - your
respect for them may grow. Yes, they are easily nullified, but the point of a
Dragon isn't to last; it's to do as much damage as it can before it goes. Play
around its death instead of trying to stave it off and you'll find Dragons a
valuable tool for breaking through large groups of nasty enemies or paving your
way to attacking an enemy Rune.

Sorcery Symbol
Associated Rune: Gehenna

"Attacks enemies with the fire of hell. Only Imps can advent these."
   - In-game description

HP: 130
MP: 0
Mana Cost: 100
Population Count: 2
Movement Type: Does not move

 The Guardian automatically attacks anything that gets within its range with a
large fireball. You do not command it.

Guardians are pretty tough Symbols, and I would probably use them a lot more if
Gehenna wasn't such a lackluster Rune to be placing on the battlefield. They're
as strong as Talismans, but have more HP, a longer range, and a slightly slower
firing speed, which comes out in favor of Guardians in my opinion, so if you use
Sorcery as your predominant tree, laying down Gehenna and having your Imps
create a few Guardians is a great idea. (Being a Glamour-Necromancy man, myself,
I had less use for them, but this is definitely not because they're not worth

*****     8.0   ALCHEMY        *****

"The science of Alchemy can see through nature's laws, and can change anything.
Create lives with precise methods."
   - Game Manual, on Alchemy

Tree Emphasis: Debilitation
Strong Against: Glamour
Weak Against: Sorcery
Primary Purpose: Nullify the enemy's strengths to leave them sitting ducks

"Fairies, who represent nature and wonder, don't like this artificial Alchemy...
Because nothing can break its rules, even though the Fairies can decipher it.
Remember that."
   - Chartreuse Grande, on Glamour

"And watch out for devils. Created lives are not of God's fate, thus seen as
fragile and easy to manipulate."
   - Chartreuse Grande, on Sorcery

Advantages: Only tree with the ability to slow enemies down (Blob)
            Possesses the ultimate anti-Astral tool (Clairvoyance)
            Has the fastest "big bad" unit of the trees (Chimera)
            Has a Symbol that can attack an enemy area (Gargoyle)
Disadvantages: No flying or Astral units
               Unreliable offensive output

"This world is ruled by inviolable laws. That is the truth of Alchemy. We
crystallize and create life that nature can organically replicate. Originally,
alchemy required a complicated process with hundreds of syntheses. Luckily, now
we can use a magic facility to accurately unify this process. Inscribed in the
grimoire is our wisdom, the Rune to summon this facility."
   - Chartreuse Grande, on Alchemy

Alchemy is a tricky tree to master (although not as high-maintenance as Glamour
can be). It uses a plethora of debilitating skills to give its offensive units
an advantage over the enemy, and although its offensive units are far from the
best, its powerful debuffs more than compensate for this. Facing a deadly unit
like a Dragon or a Chimera? Use a Blob's Gum Up on it to slow their movement
and attack speed to a crawl. Confronted by a horde of Astrals? A Homunculus'
Clairvoyance makes all Astral units over a very wide area vulnerable to normal
attacks from Substance familiars. These two abilities in conjunction allow the
powerful ranged attacks of the Golems and the terrible speed of the Chimera to
disembowel literally any foe you could come across.

There is one important thing to keep in mind about Alchemy, however. It's not
simply that Alchemy CAN cause these debuffs; Alchemy literally MUST cause these
debuffs in order for their units to do any kind of respectable damage. Golems,
while strong, have a cripplingly slow attack speed and a very awkward targeting
aim that requires them to do lots of repositioning to strike a moving enemy.
Without the slowing of a Blob's Gum Up, Golems simply do not do enough damage
quickly enough to be worth using. Chimeras, if possible, are even worse. They
are quick and powerful, but they are enormous and surprisingly fragile targets.
Enemy Astrals or Homunculi can defeat a Chimera without breaking a sweat,
especially when you factor in the beast's constant HP loss. If you don't have
the proper allies to back up a Chimera (including spare units for it to consume
in order to restore its failing HP,) you're better off not using one.

As a general rule, Alchemy should be used as a support tree. Adding its potent
debuffs to the extensive versatility of Glamour or the raw strength of Sorcery
makes for a powerhouse of a team, and although it is less useful to Necromancy,
Golems can really benefit from the protection of a phalanx of Phantoms. However,
that doesn't mean that Alchemy can't take the forefront of your attack force
with a little help. Use Grimalkin and Homunculi as support units for a Chimera;
use their powerful abilities until they run out of MP, let the Chimera eat them
to recover its HP, and summon up more with fresh MP stores. Astralize your
Golems with Skullmages to protect them from enemy attack. Use a Charon to ferry
batches of Blobs into the enemy ranks and let them slow everything down while
your forces launch their attack. The possibilities with Alchemy really are
endless - make the most of them!


Accessible Creatures: Blob, Homunculus
When Obtained: Completion of Stage 2-3

"A grimoire that summons Alchemy equipment. Able to create life forms with 
various skills."
   - In-game description

This Grimoire provides access to all the debuffs of the Alchemy tree. With
proper use of the lowly Blob and the humble Homunculus, you will rule this game.


Level 1: Summon - Blob
   Allows you to summon Blobs.
   Unlocked by default
Level 2: Summon - Homunculus
   Allows you to summon Homunculi.
   Unlocked by default
Level 3: Homunculus: Psychic Storm
   Homunculi may now use Psychic Storm.
   Unlocked: Completion of Stage 3-1
Level 4: Blob: Gum Up
   Blobs may now use Gum Up.
   Unlocked: Completion of Stage 3-2
Level 5: Homunculus: Power Up
   Increases your Homunculi's maximum MP.

Accessible Creatures: Chimera
When Obtained: Completion of Stage 3-4

"A grimoire that allows synthesis of chimeras. Also increases the vitality of
man-made lives."
   - In-game description

For those who don't think that the Chimera is the spawn of Satan (or for those
who do, but think it's cool,) this is the Grimoire for you. After summoning
Chimeras, the rest of the Grimoire focuses on making your Alchemy units more
survivable, which is obviously great news; unfortunately, it is the last
Grimoire you receive in the normal game, so it'll be awhile before you get to
really play around with it.


Level 1: Summon - Chimera
   Allows you to summon Chimeras.
   Unlocked by default
Level 2: Alchemy: Max HP Up
   Increases the maximum HP of your Alchemy units.
   Unlocked: Completion of Stage 3-5
Level 3: Chimera: Consume
   Chimeras may now use Consume.
Level 4: Alchemy: Max HP Up 2
   Further increases the maximum HP of your Alchemy units.
Level 5: Alchemy: Max HP Up 3
   Even further increases the maximum HP of your Alchemy units.

Accessible Creatures: Gargoyle, Golem
When Obtained: Completion of Stage 3-1

"A grimoire that can control warmongers. Allows you to summon Golems shaped like
   - In-game description

Unless you're on an Astral-heavy stage or absolutely refuse to use Alchemy, this
is the ideal Grimoire for defending your homebase. This Grimoire summons Golems
and Gargoyles - both ranged attackers - and then focuses on boosting their
attack range. Set Gargoyles around your base and back them up with Golems, and
you'll find that the overall effect is similar to having a fence made out of
heatseeking rocket launchers.


Level 1: Advent - Gargoyle
   Blobs may now create Gargoyles.
   Unlocked by default
Level 2: Summon - Golem
   Allows you to summon Golems.
   Unlocked: Completion of Stage 3-3
Level 3: Golem and Gargoyle Range Up
   Increases your Golems' and Gargoyles' attack range.
   Unlocked: Completion of Stage 3-4
Level 4: Golem and Gargoyle Defense Up 1
   Reduces the amount of damage your Golems and Gargoyles receive.
Level 5: Golem and Gargoyle Defense Up 2
   Further reduces the amount of damage your Golems and Gargoyles receive.


Alchemy Substance Familiar
Associated Rune: Laboratory

"A slimy familiar that gathers Mana."
   - In-game description

HP: 20
MP: 30
Mana Cost: 50
Population Count: 1
Movement Type: Ground

   Move the Blob around the field.
   Gather mana from a Crystal and take it to the closest Alchemy Rune.
 Gum Up
   Requires Laboratory Rune Level 4
   Reduces the attack and movement speed of a target Substance greatly for a
      limited period of time. Costs 20 MP.
 Advent - Gargoyle
   Requires Engrave Rune Level 1
   Creates a Gargoyle Symbol.

Blobs are simultaneously the slowest and most useful gathering units in the
game. Their usefulness has nothing to do with their gathering and everything to
do with their Gum Up ability, which - short of Sleep - is the best way to turn a
dangerous Substance unit - i.e. a Dragon, Chimera, Demon, or Golem - into a
harmless speed bump.

This is not to say that Blobs are not perfectly functional mana gatherers; they
are. The speed difference between them and Elves is not major, and having them
around to Gum Up in case things start going horribly wrong for you is highly

Blobs work well in literally any situation, but it is preferable that you not
have them gathering and gumming in the same battle, as this requires substantial
amounts of Blobs for both tasks, which will take your Laboratory Rune some time
to create. If you intend to use Gum Up on a regular basis in a battle, it's
probably best to use Ghosts or Imps to gather mana instead of Blobs.

Alchemy Substance Familiar
Associated Rune: Laboratory

"Shoots flares, and shines light. Physical attacks hit astrals."
   - In-game description

HP: 40
MP: 100
Mana Cost: 125
Population Count: 1
Movement Type: Ground

   Move the Homunculus around the field.
   Allows all attacks to deal full damage to Astral units within a large target
      area for a limited period of time. Costs 30 MP.
 Psychic Storm
   Requires Laboratory Rune Level 3
   Throws a bolt of energy that creates a zone of psychic lightning. Any enemies
      that move in or through this zone take damage. Deals extra damage to
      Astral units. Costs 50 MP.

The humble Homunculus (plural Homunculi) may not look like much, but amazingly,
they are the best anti-Astral measure the game offers you. Between Clairvoyance,
which allows any unit to cause full damage to Astrals and has a tremendous area
of effect, and Psychic Storm, one casting of which can annihilate even a Morning
Star, Homunculi are easily one of the more useful units at your disposal.

Any battle that involves enemy Astrals - which is most of them - will become
much easier with a few Homunculi around to help out. The strength of Psychic
Storm means that even if you have no problems damaging Astrals - perhaps you're
using all Glamour units, or have a squadron of Skullmages around - Homunculi are
still worth the mana they cost.

Even if there are no Astrals at all, Homunculi are still useful. Trying to kill
a sleeping Dragon before it wakes up? Psychic Storm is perfect for the job. Is
your homebase being battered by huge waves of enemies? Force them to bottleneck
by using a gamut of Symbols, a group of Phantoms, or a Morning Star next to an
Obelisk; fire Psychic Storm into the middle of the enemy wave once they're stuck
in place; and watch them fall like wheat to the scythe. There really is no
disadvantage to using Homunculi; they are invaluable no matter the situation.

Alchemy Substance Familiar
Associated Rune: Engrave

"Attacks with MP. Can't harm ghosts. Longest range of all familiars."
   - In-game description

HP: 80
MP: 100
Mana Cost: 150
Population Count: 2
Movement Type: Ground

   Move the Golem around the field.
   Commands the Golem to attack the selected target.
   Commands the Golem to move back and forth between where they are currently
      standing and the selected point, attacking any monsters that come into
   Commands the Golem to stay in one area and attack only if enemies come near.

Yes, they need this much space to explain. They're that weird.

Golems are tricksome units to use. They suffer from two glaring weaknesses:
firstly, they attack approximately once a year, and secondly, they must be a
minimum distance from the enemy before they can attack at all. This means that
a Golem spends an enormous amount of time doing absolutely nothing at all, as
they move fussily around adjusting their distance from their target, attack
once, and then spend ages slowly charging up their next strike. However, despite
these flaws, Golems are really quite powerful. Their attack, when it comes,
delivers ample damage to a small area of foes, and while their minimum range is
irritating, their MAXIMUM range is the longest in the game. This makes Golems
ideal for taking out Symbols, since they can attack from such a distance that
they never come into range of the Symbols' counterattacks.

So when should you use Golems? The place Golems shine is in those "Survive for
20 minutes" battles you occasionally come across. When it comes to holding your
one little corner of the map against all comers, Golems can be quite a boon.
Simply manufacture several and place them on different tiers of the map. This
means that regardless of which direction the enemies begin coming from, at least
one Golem will notice and attack it; however, more cleverly, it also means that
if the enemies break through and reach one of your Golems, the others will still
be far enough away to attack said enemies and defeat them. The lack of any kind
of close-range defense is really a Golem's biggest weakness, so compensating for
this with extra protective measures is vital for successful Golem use.

Golems are not recommended for direct attacks; they are meant to serve as guards
rather than soldiers. Sending them into enemy territory usually ends badly;
attacking an enemy base usually results in a swarm of monsters, which will get
up in the Golem's face and take it apart before it can move far enough away to
resume attacking. On the other hand, Golems' long ranges make them ideal for
taking out enemy Symbols and Runes from a distance. If you send in a SWAT team
of Phantoms or Fairies to handle the monsters, a small group of Golems standing
well away from the action can take out the enemy camp's Rune quite quickly.
Don't try to use them to lay down support fire on the enemies for those Phantoms
or Fairies, however; Golems' slow attack speed makes them ineffectual at such a
duty. Use Symbols or Morning Stars instead.

To put it all together, Golems are best used to defend your homebase, especially
in a "Survive for 20 minutes" scenario when you'll have lots of extra forces at
your base to protect them. If you're feeling creative, you can also use Golems
to take out enemy Runes and Symbols, but ONLY if you've got a strong team of
fighting units to take the brunt of the enemies' retaliation.

There are two other important things to remember when using Golems. Firstly,
they use MP every time they attack. As a general rule, this isn't a problem,
since MP constantly recharges and they attack infrequently, but should Grimalkin
appear to Mana Burn your Golems, they will be useless until they've regained
their MP. Secondly, remember to use the Defend command! Aside from Fairies,
Golems are probably the unit most prone to disobeying your Move commands due to
their odd minimum and maximum ranges; they will detect something at the edges of
their long ranges and go haring off into enemy bases to attack it, which usually
results in their being swarmed and destroyed at close range, where they are
helpless. As a general rule, use Defend for Golems instead of Move; it will help
you a great deal.

Alchemy Substance Familiar
Associated Rune: Chimera Spawn

"Exceptional movement and attack. High HP that gradually decreases."
   - In-game description

HP: 500
MP: 0
Mana Cost: 500
Population Count: 6
Movement Type: Crawls on the outside of the stage, ignoring obstacles

   Commands the Chimera to attack the selected target.
   Requires Chimera Spawn Rune Level 3
   Causes the Chimera to eat the targeted Substance ally, recovering HP to the 
      Chimera based on the maximum HP of the familiar that was eaten.

The Chimera! A terrible fusion of monstrous beasts so unholy that its own body
cannot stand itself, every cell constantly rebelling against its own existence,
causing it to lose HP on a constant basis. I'm going to state this right from
the start: the Chimera is my absolute least favorite unit, due to its truly
nightmarish visage and its plethora of shortcomings. However, despite my dislike
of it, even I must admit that the creature is very powerful.

Chimeras are, pointblank, one of the strongest and certainly the fastest units
at your disposal. They crawl along the outside of the level like Dragons do, but
at an incredible clip, allowing them to zoom from one corner of the field to the
next in a matter of seconds rather than minutes. Their attack is as powerful as
a Dragon's, but they attack slightly more rapidly, making their overall damage
output higher. When you factor in their incredible movement speed, it becomes
immediately obvious that the Chimera is a force to be reckoned with.

At this point, you're probably thinking, "Incredible speed, ridiculous damage,
and HP in the triple digits? And Serenity doesn't like them? Is there no
pleasing this guy?!" Well, hold up a second. Chimeras certainly have several
advantages, but in GrimGrimoire, no unit is flawless, and Chimeras are more
flawed than most.

To start, Chimeras had to sacrifice something of their Dragon design to get all
that speed, and unfortunately, that something was defense. Chimeras, despite
their gluttonous amount of HP, are extremely fragile, to the point where it
generally takes half as much time to kill a Chimera as it will a Dragon. This is
compounded by a problem I mentioned in the first paragraph; due to a Chimera's
inexpertly-compounded nature, its own cells reject each other, causing it to
lose HP at a constant rate. Granted, 1 HP per second doesn't make much of a dent
in a 500-HP-pool, but it does add up over time, especially if you have your
Chimera waiting around for any amount of time while you build up your other

Now, Chimeras do have an ability to offset these two problems: Consume, which
allows them to cannibalize your other units in order to restore their failing
HP. However, I'm not fond of this skill, for two reasons. Firstly, creatures
cost mana, and Consume costs creatures, so essentially, you're using mana to
restore your one Chimera's HP rather than pouring it into upgrading Runes or
creating a second Chimera. For that matter, creatures also take time to summon,
and tying up your Runes to create creatures that are just going to go straight
down the Chimera's gullet seems less efficient than simply summoning a second
Chimera to me. This may not bother some people, but when you start thinking
about just how many Elves it takes to restore any portion of a Chimera's HP,
you start to see the time and mana add up.

The second reason is much more personal; the idea of telling my Chimera to go
and chow down on my Grimalkin just makes me feel like scum.

But anyway, let's assume that Consume doesn't bother you (perhaps you're feeding
the monster Demons, which are probably the most effecient mana-to-HP ratio and
aren't cute and cuddly, either). What else is wrong with Chimeras? Well, they're
just as vulnerable to all the methods of creature-control that Dragons are -
Sleep, Gum Up, Psychic Storm, Astralize + Astral Hold - except even moreso,
considering that their low defense makes them easier to kill. While it will
probably take two Sleeps to finish off a Dragon, a Chimera is easily killable
with only one. Furthermore, Dragons might deal reduced damage to Astral units,
but at least they still attack them. Chimeras plain-out have no way to damage
Astral units at all. Better hope those Fairies don't go Astral, and heaven
forbid the enemy be using Morning Stars.

Despite their shortcomings, Chimeras still have use as a kamikaze berserker
unit (as long as there aren't any Grimalkin around, that is). They can't hold
off waves of enemies the way Dragons can, but they can charge straight into
enemy lines, zero right in on the enemy's Runes, and destroy them (along with,
hopefully, a large portion of the defending forces) in record time. They
probably won't survive the experience, but if you're already summoning up
another one when the first one goes down, this won't prove much of a problem.
Chimeras definitely work best as part of an army focused on speed; pair them
with Imps, Phantoms, and Fairies and swarm the enemy at full throttle.

Alchemy Symbol
Associated Rune: Engrave

"Throws fireballs. Can't harm ghosts. Only Blobs can advent these."
   - In-game description

HP: 100
MP: 0
Mana Cost: 100
Population Count: 2
Movement Type: Does not move

 The Gargoyle automatically attacks any Substance units that come within its
range with a spurt of flame that will damage multiple units if they are standing
close together. You do not command it. It cannot harm Astral units.

Gargoyles are the most powerful but least versatile of the three kinds of
offensive Symbols. The jets of flame they fire will deal damage to groups of
foes rather than single targets, making them the only Symbol that can attack
multiple targets simultaneously. However, this power comes with a major
drawback: Gargoyles cannot attack Astral units, making them impractical in
battles with such opponents.

Gargoyles are great for defending your homebase as long as you're sure the enemy
is not fielding Glamour or Necromancy units. They serve as an excellent front
line of defense for groups of Golems, and after you boost their range with a
level 3 Engrave Rune, they will have the longest range of any Symbol, which has
obvious uses. They're also much tougher than Obelisks and Talismans; in fact, if
you just line up enough Gargoyles around your perimeter, no other defense may be

*****     9.0   ADVANCED UNIT COMBINATIONS        *****

Fairies are usually the best ways to take out enemy Symbols due to their quick
and ranged attacks, but Gargoyles' AOE damage quickly annihilates them. To get
around this, have the Fairies use Astral Change just as they get into the
Gargoyle's range. Now the Gargoyle will be unable to attack them!

One of the best ways to defend your homebase requires just two units: an Obelisk
and a Morning Star. The Obelisk will make your Morning Star nearly impossible to
kill, and her powerful AOE attacks will make short work of anything trying to
attack your Runes. Best of all, since enemy units usually attack in waves, she
will have plenty of time to restock her Star Children before she needs to fight

Use a Skullmage to Astralize a Dragon just before it encounters either another
Dragon, a Chimera, or, worst of all, a Grimalkin. This will greatly reduce the
amount of damage your Dragon will take from either of the first two Familiars
and will prevent a Grimalkin's Sleep or a Blob's Gum Up from having any effect.
As Sleep and Slow are devastating to Dragons, this allows you to remove one of
their biggest weaknesses as long as your Skullmage has MP. (This strategy also
works for Chimeras.)

A Skullmage can also use Astralize to make a unit Astral around an Obelisk. This
will enable the Obelisk to heal the Astral unit.

Homunculi can deal incredible damage with their Psychic Storm skill, but in
order to use it to its maximum effect, the enemy must not be allowed to move out
of the zone of damage. Pair Homunculi with Blobs and/ or Grimalkin (or Unicorns
if there are enemy Astrals about) to stop the enemy dead in their tracks with
Gum Up, Sleep, and/ or Astral Hold, and then let the Homunculus do its stuff.

Gargoyles are powerful Symbols, but they have the unfortunate drawback of being
unable to attack Astral units. Accompany your Gargoyles with Skullmages, which
cannot attack Substance units, and let the two cover each other's blind spots.

*****     10.0   FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS        *****

- "What units do you recommend?"
     I'm personally a big fan of Phantoms and Morning Stars. These are pretty
   unquestionably my favorite units; the Morning Star is my favorite Big Bad,
   and Phantoms are just all sorts of useful.
     For the other units, it depends on the stage, of course, but as a general
   rule, you can't go wrong with Fairies, Phantoms, and Homunculi. The best
   Symbols are probably Guardians, while I'm a definite fan of using Ghosts for
   my mana gatherers. However, any combination of units can reach victory in
   any of the stages of this game - as the stage packed with Sorcery enemies
   that forces you to use only Alchemy units proves... *horrible flashbacks*

- "What units don't you recommend?"
     I'm not so big on Elves, Obelisks, and Chimeras, personally. Elves take
   too long to heal things, Obelisks run out of MP too quickly, and Chimeras
   are just butt-ugly and I hate them. Golems are massively flawed as well, in
   my opinion, but I kind of regard using them as a challenge and therefore
   make myself do it occasionally.

*****     11.0   CREDITS AND DISCLAIMERS        *****

Thank you to...

.My boyfriend, who forced me to play this game even though I had no interest in
it... and look how that turned out. I love you, darling!

.Ultimecia, Dahlia Hawthorne, and Princess Peach: my video game idols.

.Phantoms and Morning Stars, my two favorite units.

.Vanillaware, for creating Lujei Piche, one of the craziest witches ever (and
boy, do we love her for it).

.Atlus, may they live forever, for bringing this and many other magnificent
games into my life.

This guide was written in 2010 by me, Ian Sentelik. All of it is my 
intellectual property: found by me, experienced by me, and written by me. The
information itself is property of Squaresoft, so ripping this document off is
actually to rip a video game company of monumental proportions off. Good luck.
You are not permitted to copy this document, in part or in whole, without 
attributing the proper credit to me. This guide belongs NOWHERE except for 
GameFAQs, under the account of Serenitys_Cat.

All rights, including the one to compress time upon anyone who dares to copy
this document, reserved.