GOD OF WAR 3 - CHALLENGES OF OLYMPUS
**********STRATEGY GUIDE************


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VERSION (1.5)
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V 1.0 - 03-20-2010 - This is COMPLETE Version 1.0 of my guide! Updates and new
version info will go here.

v 1.5 - 03-26-2010 - Added alternate strategy info (with credits to 
contributors in 'Special Thanks'). Fixed some typos, structure issues. 

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INTRODUCTION
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Welcome to my strategy guide for the Challenges of Olympus on God of War III 
(PS3). The game itself was amazing, awesome, pheomenal, outstanding (insert 
synonym here). It was a masterpiece through and through, and earned every bit 
of the perfect scores it received all over the place. But with the unlockable 
Challenge arena.......notsomuch.  

Unfortunately, the QA team spent the majority of their time polishing the 
main game to pristine shine of universal perfection and neglected the poor 
tacked-on Challenge Mode.

**GLITCH WARNING**

That being said, just be prepared for a multitude of bugs, glitches, cheap 
deaths, absurd failures and outright robberies that will leave you fuming. 
I'm not saying you won't mess up too. You probably will, but this arena is 
prone to glitches that will result in failure almost as much as your own 
human missteps (okay, your own mistakes will cause your demise more often 
than the glitches, but it's close!)

**SPOILER ALERT**

You have to beat the game to unlock this mode for which this guide is written. 
Obviously, therefore it stands to reason that this guide may contain spoilers, 
whether intended or unintended. I don't purposefully reveal anything in the 
following text beyond necessity for the guide content, but ya know - some
people are sensitive. Don't read beyond this point if you are allergic to 
spoilers.

The Challenges below are listed in the order by which I completed them, not 
necessarily how they appear in the Challenge select screen. It just helped me 
to get in the groove. Complete them in any order you wish.

And here we go......

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CHALLENGE: "POPULATION CONTROL"
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OBJECT: 

Never allow 50 enemies onscreen while the timer ticks down

STRATEGY: 

In my experience, this challenge was by far the easiest of them all. An 
experienced player should best this challenge on the first attempt without 
breaking a sweat. Armed with only the Nemean Cestus, your job is to keep 
the ever-increasing enemy count below 50 until the timer runs out.  You'll 
only face the basic sentries in this challenge, so they're easily defeated. 
Simply begin by pummelling the enemies as they spawn.  When they rush you in 
big groups, hold down block and press square to clear a radius with your 
spinning attack. Spamming this move is recommended.  

Don't worry about your health, as the enemies will increase before your health 
will deplete. Stay near the edges to maximize knock-outs to keep the enemy 
counter down.  If you see the counter start to spike upward toward 50, dash to 
the middle of the arena where they are likely clustering, and start spinning. 
Work your way back to the edges to keep your knock-outs up and you'll be done 
before you know it.


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CHALLENGE: "BARE HANDS"
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OBJECT: 

Kill all enemies without any weapons

STRATEGY: 

That's right, you have NOTHING but grabs to work with on this one.  You'll 
have to fell two Talos (those big hammer guys) and a Cyclops Enforcer as well 
as some lower fodder, all in under a minute. This is definitely a tough one, 
so you'll have to get a pattern down and really can't waste any time. Glitches 
will certainly piss you off with unfair deaths.  Start by running directly to 
the right and grabbing a spawning sentry. Using the Square command, run toward 
the Talos with the sentry as a shield. Repeat this process, and if you manage 
to max out the damage with this attack, you can slay the first Talos with 
about 3 sentries, before the Cyclops spawns (at the 50 second mark).  

Concentrate on one big enemy at a time. Take out the second Talos the same way 
as the first, avoiding the Cyclops at all costs. If you're about to get 
pummelled by the cyclops, take the extra second to evade, as you'll lose more 
time and damage if you're hit.  You should have about 25-28 seconds left by 
the time you the second Talos is down.  If your timer shows less, then good 
luck. Still doesn't hurt to try as sometimes those glitches I mentioned may 
work in your favor. 

In any case, once you're down to the Cyclops, start running him toward the 
edge relentlessly with grab-square on the sentries.  After 2-3 good charging 
runs, you should knock him off the platform.  Now run around and clean up the 
remaining sentries with grab-triangle and you've got this one in the bag. 

Some things to watch out for:  When grabbing the sentries, make sure you're 
precise and they are away from the big enemies.  You'll waste precious 
seconds if you're anywhere near the larger enemies and try to press the grab 
button. 

Also, if you are insta-killing the Talos enemies (pressing cirlce when it 
appears over their heads), make sure you're not near the edge.  The animation 
of the sequence will continue out over the edge in a gravity-defying event 
(another glitch) and it will end with you plummetting to your death. If you 
find yourself in this position, start jamming the jump button to get back on 
solid ground when the kill is complete. 


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CHALLNEGE: "KNOCKOUT"
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OBJECT: 

Score 1000 points by knocking enemies out of the ring before time runs out. 
Sentry: 15 points, Minotaur: 30 points, Wraith: 60 points.

STRATEGY: 

Begin by standing near the center, where the Cylcops will spawn. As soon as 
his hand comes out of the ground, start wailing on him.  You should be able 
to have control of the monster by the 50-second mark. If not, it will be a bit
of a close call without some luck. In any event, start swinging wildly in 
attempt to knock as many enemies out of the ring with your harnessed beast. 

As you may know, Square will execute a side-to-side sweeping attack while the 
Triangle button brings down a crushing, ground shaking blow.  Resist the 
temptation to spam the strong attack (Triangle) as it takes more time for the 
'wind-up' and tends to kill enemies by bludgeoning before they are knocked out.
This attack should be used when you have several high-scoring enemies near the 
edges (Wraiths, Minotaurs) to jolt them off the platform. Otherwise, just run 
around mashing Square near the edges and an occasional strong attack to clear 
off the big boys. Also resist the urge to focus on Wraiths and Minotaurs. 
You'll find it much easier to knock off 6 sentries in one swing (worth the 
same amount as one wraith plus one minotaur) than it is to repeatedly try to 
oust the tougher enemies. But by all means, take out the high-value foes if 
it's an easy push.  Not that it really matters in the last 10 seconds, as 
you'll have no idea what's going on anyway and you'll realize this challenge 
is won by a bit of luck and cyclops-club-spamming.


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CHALLENGE: "MATADOR: OLE'"
___________________________

OBJECT: 

Kill all the enemies. Don't get gored by the minotaurs or piled-on by soldiers.

STRATEGY: 

This one is the 'other' easy challenge (along with "Population Control"). 
Unlike other challenges, you can use a pretty cut-and-dry strategy to conquer 
this one.

Starting out, you'll face a single minotaur. Position yourself at the edge of 
theplatform, on the bottom side, to the left of the center. Stand there and
let the dumb bull charge you. Before he reaches you, jump and he'll dash off 
the platform. 

Then, you'll be met with some soldiers who will aggressively try to wrap you 
up.  Before they reach you, swing with strong attacks on the blades. Use 
precision and watch your back, as one lone soldier left alone can end the 
challenge. Evade as necessary and wipe them out. Next, use the same bait-and-
jump tactic on the two minotaurs. Easy. 

After that, carefully wipe out the next two waves of enemy soldiers, keeping 
your distance as needed. If you get too close and feel like you might get 
pinned down, jam on the circle button and you'll often get the drop on them by
grabbing first, then use square to charge around taking more foes down without 
the worry of getting piled on while holding the soldier aloft. When the final 
phase begins (minotaurs AND soldiers), activate your Rage and go to town. 

Stay near the edges for the chance to bait a minotaur or two off the platform. 
You should dispatch the enemies quickly with your Rage form, and be immune to 
the goring and piling whilst wreaking your havoc. 

Enjoy your new checkmark on the Challenge select screen.

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CHALLENGE: "GET STONED"
_______________________

OBJECT: 

Allow the gorgons to turn you to stone 10 times.


STRATEGY: 

Okay, in my opinion, this is the hardest one of all. Damn near ridiculous, as 
there will be a stupid amount of enemies mobbing you by the end. It's also the 
challenge most prone to frustrate you with cheap deaths and failures and 
glitches abound.  Luckily there's no time limit.One rule of thumb: STAY ON THE 
GROUND. Don't jump or use aerial lift attacks. You'll shatter instantly if 
turned to stone while in the air. If you must evade fast, use Hermes' boots, 
but that's also risky. 

When you start out, there's a single gorgon and a few wandering souls. 
Those weaklings will remain in play throughout the challenge, for a much-
needed constant source of health. Use them as needed (you must grab-n-stab for
health).  (On a humorous note, one of the more glaring bugs is evident here, 
as you'll sometimes execute the grab and still be able to move Kratos while 
the Brutal Kill stabbing animation runs its course as though a ghost took your
place to finish it off). Anywho, strike a pose when the gorgon lights up and 
wait to get stoned. Rattle around and break free to chalk up the first of 10 
laborious "Statues".  

The second one should be no sweat either.  From #3 on, you're in for a pain in
thebutt. Harpies show up in droves and begin dive bombing freely (I hate them 
so much). You've seen by now that it takes FOREVER not only to bait the 
gorgon into petrifying you, but also for the actual effect to occur while in 
the beam's focus.  SO, we'll use a little exploit to gain an advantage (fight 
bugs with glitches).  When you reach Statue number 3, you'll have to be quick 
about getting yourself turned to stone as you can only stay away from dive-
bombing harpies for so long. As soon as you're (mostly) away from the enemies 
and AS SOON AS you see that green beam, hit the Golden Fleece (tap L1) and 
press any button IMMEDIATELY after L1. Done correctly, the game will register 
a failed Fleece Return and you'll instantly be petrified. Yay! 

Shake free and repeat the process. You've got to streamline this sequence 
after Statue 5 as an insane amount of monsters will amass on the floor, 
including more Gorgons (which is actually a good thing as they offer more 
chances to get statues).  So when you see that green beam, you're going to tap
L1, any face button, and immediately start shaking the left stick like crazy. 
The animation on screen takes a second to catch up, which actually benefits 
you as you'll see that your stoned self won't shatter even under the impact of
a harpy's dive-bomb attack. Still, it's tough and about to get tougher. 

You won't even be able to keep track of what's going on after Statue 6, and 
you'll have plenty of vicious Satyrs, Minotaurs and even Cyclops Enforcers to 
contend with. At this point, a little more strategy might be wise to survive. 
It's easy to lose an entire health bar in this phase, so if you need a 
breather, start grabbing wandering souls, which will keep you immune to gorgon
beams, enemy attacks and grant you some precious health while the stabbing 
ensues. Also, if too many enemies are swarming you, use your golden fleece on 
a gorgon beam and return it correctly to petrify the surrounding enemies, and 
clear them out with quick shatters. 

Stay away from the edges as many glitchy cheap deaths will come from being 
completely flung off the platform by unknown monster attacks (Cyclops 
Enforcers are usually to blame).  I've been flung like a rag-doll from the 
CENTER of the arena by a lame swipe when I was on Statue 9, so be careful.  

If you're good on health and the mob of relentless brutes is abated, then 
continue with your quick-stone trick and rack up your last few Statues to 
complete the challenge.

**********************************
ALTERNATE TACTICS FOR "GET STONED"
**********************************

Several readers have emailed me to ensure I don't leave out a crucial tactic 
for this challenge that has actually been a tried-and-true trick in previous
installments, especially for earlier challenge arenas. The Gorgon Grab.

If you attempt to Grab a Gorgon, they will petrify you in retaliation. This
may work better for your play style, and it DOES give you more control over
when you would like to be turned to stone. While I personally didn't have 
much luck with this practice due to missed grabs, frequent death from 
getting too close to enemies and insta-shatters, you may find it quite 
useful as many of the readers did who submitted this tip. Credit for those
first who emailed me about this is given in "Special Thanks". Thanks Guys!


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CHALLENGE: "HADES' KIDS"
________________________

OBJECT: 

Get 5 Cyclops to Spawn

STRATEGY: 

Oh that's easy, sure - just get 5 cyclops to spawn. Okay.  Wait, that means 
before that happens, you'll be fighting four of them. Yup.  Not so bad really,
except that there's also about a minute in which to do so. A little bit of 
luck will help you here, but this challenge is mostly testing your fighting 
abilities.  Spam the crap out of your strong attacks with the blades, evading 
the slow brute's attack while battling Cyclops numero uno.  

Get him dead quick, don't use the Brutal Instant Kill (Circle over the head) 
as this takes precious time to unfold. Instead, dispatch the beast with a 
strong attack from the blades to spawn the next two.  From this point forward,
you'll have more opportunities to fell the foes by knocking them out of the 
ring, so stay near the edges but watch your step, of course. The idea is to 
keep them on the edge while you push them outward, keeping clear lanes to 
retreat to the center.  Never stop slashing. 

String together the most insane strong attack combos you can muster, keep 
pressure on the beasts to keep them on the edge and don't touch that circle 
button, no matter how shiny it is on their heads.  You may get one or two to 
fall out of the arena (bonus!) but all in all , this is more of a race.  Your 
health really isn't much of a concern as you might think if you stay moving, 
but if you're in the wrong spot, you'll pay dearly. 

Once you get to the 3 and 4 cyclops stages, keep an eye on a single monster 
and pummel it mercilessly. Keep track of each targeted Cyclops until you kill 
it, then pick another that you feel is the most worn down from the battling. 
In this way, you're focusing the damage rather than distributing it and you'll
kill freaks much more swiftly. Once you see that fifth ugly face pop up from 
the ground, you are indeed the victor.

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CHALLENGE: "SMASHING!"
______________________

OBJECT: 

Destroy all 30 Urns before time runs out

STRATEGY: 

This can be a pretty frustrating challenge, but doable none the less. The urns
are placed relatively well, and far enough apart to make it tricky. 30 seconds
is your time limit, and it will drain from the clock before you know it.  
Don't try to spam a bunch of crazy combos and spinning attacks, as it is clear
the GoW3 team thought of that.

It's also possible that they tweaked the collision programming to an absurd 
degree on the pots, because an imprecise hit, such as the back of the blades,
the chains, or retracting impacts from the blades won't even so much as 
scratch those urns. (Or this is more buggy-ness). You've gotta be precise with
your strikes, and the strong "explosive" attacks from the blades (Triangle 
spam) will burn your time faster than you can reach all the pots. 

SO, what you're gonna do is take it slow and methodical. Start near the bottom
and use only light attacks (square) to precisely smash each urn, with the best
strikes hopefully knocking out two-three at a time as you proceed. Work your 
way around the arena clockwise, striking 
pots in the center as you come in range while remaining on the outer portion. 
By the time your Urn Counter hits 27-28, you may only have a very short 2-3 
seconds left to nab the last couple of urns. If you're far away from the final 
few pots when your timer ticks to 5 or so, you might try to use Hermes' boots 
as a hailmary to cover more ground (breaking pots with your feet) and try to 
sweep up the last ones. 

If you shatter the very last pot when the timer hits zero, and you still Fail 
the challenge, then delight in the fact that the God of War team knows exactly
how to piss you off. You must destroy one urn per second to complete this 
challenge, and a good bit of strategy is simply knowing where they are. 
If you knock this out on the first try, then congratulations, you're awesome 
(lucky). BUT the best strategy is to stay cool, calm, collected and make 
those blades hit home every time with quick attacks. Knock out all 30 before 
time runs out to complete the final challenge. 

Congratulations! You've unlocked.......the.... Combat Arena. Yay?

THANKS FOR READING MY GUIDE!!

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END NOTES & CONTACT
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+++++++++++++++
* LEGAL STUFF *
+++++++++++++++

This file may not be reproduced, quoted, or posted by any other website aside 
from www.gamefaqs.com, except for those that specifically asked and received 
my permission. Proper notification via email and credit to me, Clay Adams, is 
required to attain said permission. 

I, Clay A Adams, wrote this guide in its entirety and thusly own the 
copyrights to it. 

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++
* SPECIAL CREDIT & THANKS *
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Thanks of course to Sony Santa Monica and the entire God of War team. What an 
amazing thing they've done!

Thanks to the following contributors for alternate tips on "Get Stoned"

- Arian D.
- David Kim
- Bart Thompson
- CyanBC
- Steven Dunn

++++++++++++++++++++++
* FEEBDACK & CONTACT *
++++++++++++++++++++++

I welcome feedback, criticism, critiques and pats-on-the-back.  You may 
contact me (Clay Adams) at truth_seeker27(at)yahoo(dotcom). Please don't send 
stuff about minor typos or ambiguous grammatical errors unless it prevented 
you from understanding a portion of the guide.  I welcome alternative 
strategies and other tidbits you deem worthy.  

THis is my VERY FIRST GUIDE ... be nice.

Also, one more thing about submissions to my email: I've created a well-
written guide, so please compose a well-written email. THANKS PEOPLE! 

THANKS GAMEFAQ's.com!