GOD OF WAR 3 - CHALLENGES OF OLYMPUS **********STRATEGY GUIDE************ ------------- VERSION (1.5) _____________ 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. ------------- INTRODUCTION _____________ 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...... -------------------------------- CHALLENGE: "POPULATION CONTROL" ________________________________ 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. --------------------------------------- CHALLENGE: "BARE HANDS" ________________________ 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. --------------------- CHALLNEGE: "KNOCKOUT" _____________________ 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. --------------------------- 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. ----------------------- 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! ------------------------ 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. ----------------------- 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!! ------------------------------- END NOTES & CONTACT ___________________ +++++++++++++++ * 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!