GOD OF WAR III - CHALLENGE OF EXILE
**********STRATEGY GUIDE***********
            VERSION 1.2

--------
VERSIONS
________

VERSION 0.9 - 04-07-2010 - This is the NEAR COMPLETE Version 0.9 of my guide.
It's a first draft that will go through some changes and fine tuning in the next
few days. Basic strategies are presented here for the time being and all updates
and new Versions info will go in this section.

VERSION 1.0 - 04-09-2010 - COMPLETE Version 1.0 of this guide. I added more
content in the INTRODUCTION and END NOTES and finally finished the more advanced
walkthroughs for some of the challenges. There is still a little polishing to do
and it would be nice to update to a 1.1 Version with some different strategies
and various observations from other fellow players.

VERSION 1.1 - 04-14-2010 - Fixed some typos and tweaked a few paragraphs along
with some formatting. Added URLs for some YouTube videos for all challenges.
Added ALTERNATE STRATEGY and SPECIAL NOTES by players bystanderg and GodModeGOD
(a.k.a. MrStarkiller) for some challenges. Added bystanderg, GodModeGOD and
Shinobier in the SPECIAL CREDITS & THANKS section. Finally, added neoseeker.com
and supercheats.com in the LEGAL section as websites authorized to publish this
strategy guide.

VERSION 1.2 - 11-11-2010 - Most likely the Final Version of this guide.
Reformatted a few paragraphs, changed a bit of language and fixed a few typos.
Corrected the naming of Orion's Harpoon to Orion's Snare for the "OLD BIRDS"
challenge, also corrected the button press for the leveled up Cyclone of Chaos
for the "HANDS OFF" challenge - thanks to GodModeGOD for pointing those out.
Added an ALTERNATE STRATEGY for "HANDS OFF" by GodModeGOD and corrected the Hit
Points info for the Chimera in Key Point #2 for the "HADES' KIDS 2" challenge.
Added URLs for more YouTube videos for some challenges. Finally, added UPDATE in
the INTRODUCTION regarding the availability of the Challenge of Exile on the
PlayStation Store.

------------
INTRODUCTION
____________

Welcome to my strategy guide for the God of War III Challenge of Exile on the
PS3 entertainment system. God of War III is one beautiful game, a wonderful
experience on many levels, but sadly also marks the end of the phenomenal God of
War Trilogy (or does it?). I assume that if you are reading this guide you are
familiar with Kratos, his story, his weapons and the general game mechanics, so
there is no need to review any of that here.

So what exactly is the Challenge of Exile... Well, it's a set of 7 challenges,
offered as exclusive content for the Ultimate God of War Edition in the U.S. and
for the Trilogy Edition in other parts of the World. I realize not everyone has
those challenges and it's a shame that at the times of these writings they are
only available to a few of us, but rest assure though, it's only a matter of
time before they are made available as DLC - DownLoadable Content -  on the
Playstation Store(s) all around the planet. I also KNOW that these challenges
are already on the disc for the Normal Edition as the code I got was just a
matter of unlocking them, a "key" if you will, and there was absolutely nothing
to download past the few kilobytes of the file itself - I really hate when game
companies do that! (UPDATE: On November 2, 2010, the "Dominus" character skin
and "Challenge of Exile" mode were released as a bundle to purchase on the
PlayStation Store for $2.99 - free for PlayStation Plus subscribers - see,
didn't I tell you...).

Anyway, some players complained that the Challenges of Olympus were to easy,
well, fear no more, with the Challenge of Exile you are in a for a treat. Some
of those challenges are actually pretty hard, with two of them near impossible
to complete... Yes, you know the ones I'm talking about...

**SPOILER ALERT**

Even if you entered your code to redeem these challenges as part of your
Ultimate or Trilogy Edition, you have to beat the game FIRST to be able to
unlock, and therefore play the Challenge of Exile. So, if you haven't beat the
game don't read any further as this guide may contain spoilers, minor ones yes,
but spoilers nonetheless.

**SPECIAL NOTES**

You cannot upgrade Weapons or Special Items during these challenges.

No Magic is available for any of these challenges. That's a little sad, I've
always liked Magic in all GOW games, the combination of moves and spells makes
for fun play, so I really wish a challenge or two had this option.

There is no background scenery change, you always fight on the same arena. It
gets a little boring but it's not that big of a deal.

There is no Ranking rewards for beating a challenge, nor a Results
screen that you can return to (save for the first time after beating a
challenge) to compare or brag about data. It's really too bad, contesting and
comparing against oneself or against other players could have been fun.

Finally, there is no Reward whatsoever for beating ALL 7 challenges. No unlock,
no costume, no easter egg, nothing. Just a screen that congratulates you on
beating the Challenge of Exile... That's a bit light if you ask me.

Now for fun, I'm also rating (because I can, this is my guide) each challenge on
a scale from 1 to 5, with 1 being obviously the easiest and 5 the hardest. I
like to think of this ranking system as a progression from Mortal to Spartan,
then to God, Titan and finally Chaos difficulty. There are 2 extremely hard - or
Chaos - Challenges of Exile, 2 hard - Titan - challenges, 1 medium - God -
challenge, 1 average - Spartan - challenge and 1 easy - Mortal- challenge.
Here they are in order of difficulty:
-Difficulty 1/Mortal: "HANDS OFF"
-Difficulty 2/Spartan: "OLD BIRDS"
-Difficulty 3/God: "PANDORA ON FIRE"
-Difficulty 4/Titan: "USE PROTECTION" and "FEAR ITSELF"
-Difficulty 5/Chaos: "SWITCH BLADE" and "HADES' KIDS 2"

But enough ramblings, let's get started!

The challenges below are listed as they appear on the Challenge of Exile select
screen. Of course you are able to complete them in any order since they are all
available to play from the start (which wasn't the case with the first 2 GOW
games on the PS2 as you had to pass a challenge to unlock the next one).

-------------------------
CHALLENGE #1: "OLD BIRDS"
_________________________

OBJECTIVE:

Kill 15 Crows before time runs out.
Hitting the ground will reset the counter.

CHALLENGE DATA:

Time limit: 120 Seconds
Average Completion Time: 90 Seconds
Weapon(s): Blades of Exile at Maximum
Magic: None
Rage of Sparta: Yes - Useless
Special Item: Boots of Hermes Level 1 - Useless
Enemies: A fair amount of Crows (that look like Harpies if you ask me)
Difficulty: 2/5 - Spartan

STRATEGY:

One easy, yet annoying challenge. The problem is that it doesn't take any real
skills, but some luck, yes definitely, as the aerial position of the crows in
the skies of Olympus seems (or is obviously) pretty random and will sometimes
work in your favor, and other times not.

Start this Challenge by pressing X and wait a second or two for all the crows
to appear. Double jump and immediately press L1 + O - Hyperion Ram - to grab
onto a crow, rinse and repeat while trying to gain some elevation. That's
pretty much it. The goal here is to last long enough in the air so you can log
in near 10 or 12 kills to your counter, and at this point and if you are high
enough, just execute a Cyclone of Chaos - L1 + [] - with the Blades of Exile
so Kratos can turn into a helicopter and rack the last few necessary kills. The
Cyclone of Chaos should give you the 15 required victims to beat this challenge
and some small satisfaction in your quest for beating all 7 of them ('cause
this is only the beginning and you've got some work ahead of you!).

Note that in order to gain the most elevation, you want to try to aim your grab
high up, and where there is a crowd. It will often happen that you will grab a
lone enemy, most likely below you, therefore dangerously closing you in with the
ground. At this point all is not lost though and you will usually be able to
catch up again by executing the same "aim high up" strategy. If you pass under
the 90 seconds mark on your time counter, seriously consider restarting the
challenge as you won't make it.

Note also that you have both Rage of Sparta and Boots of Hermes in this
Challenge and I'm not really sure why... The Boots are definitely useless but I
haven't tried Rage in the air yet so I'm not sure if it could be beneficial in
our crow serial killings past the grabbing frenzy. It's definitely worth a try
and I'll update this guide when I get around to it. (UPDATE: No, I just tried it
and activating Rage of Sparta throws you back on the ground. You can't jump with
it either since the X command - Spartan Glory - plants your sword in the ground
to launch enemy in the air... Like I said, useless!)

Finally, one last tidbit: depending on the frequency of your button - O -
mashing while you are airborne, you will either execute, when done slowly,
Hyperion Ram repeatedly, but if you press the O button too quickly the engine
will register an Orion's Snare move at times and therefore slam your enemy back
to the ground. I'm not sure what is the best strategy here so feel free to
enlighten me. (Also note that kills don't all register and so even though you
need 15 in order to pass this challenge you might have something like 70 or 80+
in the data screen after completion. Go figure...)

Watch a great video capture by bystanderg:
http://www.youtube.com/user/bystanderg#p/u/6/HuykuCMVg3E

******************
ALTERNATE STRATEGY for OLD BIRDS by GodModeGOD:

My slightly altered strat is to:

-L1 + O into a crowd 
-L1 + [] 
-CG - Combat Grapple - at another Harpy 
-(High enough) L1 + [] 
-(Not High enough) Briefly wait for the time slow to end and use another Combat
Grapple

That's the basic idea. You need to get a feel for getting control over the
fight.
******************

Okay, now let's take a look at the second challenge, "SWITCH BLADE" and brace
yourself as things are about to get incredibly difficult.

----------------------------
CHALLENGE #2: "SWITCH BLADE"
____________________________

OBJECTIVE:

Kill all the enemies before time runs out.
Your weapon will be switched every 30 seconds.

CHALLENGE DATA:

Time limit: 120 Seconds
Average Completion Time: 119 Seconds (Ouch!)
Weapon(s): Blades of Exile, then Nemesis Whip, then Claws of Hades and finally
Nemean Cestus, all at Maximum
Magic: None
Rage of Sparta: No
Special Item: None
Enemies: 50 enemies total, see below
-Wave 1: 20 Olympus Legionnaires
-Wave 2: 20 War Hounds
-Wave 3: 5 Minotaurs Elite
-Wave 4: 5 Olympus Guardians
Difficulty: 5/5 - Chaos


STRATEGY:

One of the two, if not THE Hardest Challenge of Exile. This one definitely takes
some skills, yes, but there is also a luck factor involved in regards to enemy
behavior and their spacial positions and movements around the arena. Basically
you have 120 seconds to defeat 50 enemies. Simple math would tell you that you
need to defeat an average of 12.5 enemies per cycle of 30 seconds, and therefore
per weapon, but unfortunately it doesn't really work that way. Why do you ask,
well, because the last 2 waves - 10 enemies or 5 Minotaurs and 5 Olympus
Guardians- are nearly impossible to defeat in one cycle.

Also DO NOT go for Circle prompts and various Quicktime animations in this
battle, they're a waste of time and you can't afford that.

So, you have to be fast and efficient for this challenge, very efficient. You
start with the Blades of Exile and you want to be using Spirit of Hercules -
/\/\/\ - only. Work your way through the 20 Olympus Legionnaires and let your
splashing end-combo land on big groups when possible. Sometimes you will be able
to repeat this move over and over again and sometimes things will get very
frustrating as the Legionnaires will interrupt it constantly. Going in the
direction of stunned enemies before turning around is a good idea, yet very
often a lone soldier will still sneak behind you and hit you over the head,
preventing you from reaping the reward from your powerful move. If that happens
more than 3 or 4 times just restart as you won't be able to rack enough kills
with the Blades. Remember that Spirit of Hercules allows you to rotate 360
degrees while building up the combo. This is a good thing and proves itself very
useful when enemies are fast to surround you.

If you can't kill at least 16 Olympus Legionnaires by the 90 seconds mark,
simply forget about it and restart the challenge.

Now, it is possible to get all 20 Olympus Legionnaires with the Blades and then
some. My best at the 90 seconds mark is actually 33 enemies - 20 Legionnaires
and 13 Hounds - BEFORE the automatic switch to the Nemesis Whip (the Hounds
usually show up at the 15th Legionnaire kill).

See it on the following YouTube video:
http://www.youtube.com/user/grandmort#p/u/1/-_LfYGqLtXo

The Hounds will also often pile up on you making you waste precious seconds.
Shaking them off will knock enemies back but since the procedure is too costly
time wise just try to avoid that whenever possible. In other words, don't let
those dogs pile up and overwhelm you!

Okay, phase 2 is where things get a little complicated. The Nemesis Whip is now
yours and there are maybe a few Legionnaires left on the field, Hounds barking
everywhere and Minotaurs coming out of the ground. Oh MY, what to do? Well, stay
in the front area of the arena, basically away from the emerging Minotaurs, and
using Furious Contempt - [][][][][] - with the Whip, dispatch as many Hounds as
possible. The Whip is powerful, the doggies should go down pretty fast. By the
80 seconds mark forget the remaining Hounds or Legionnaires (if any) and quickly
go position yourself in between 2, or even 3, Minotaurs and immediately launch
Severe Judgment - L1 + [] - and watch what happens. That's right, you are
sending 1, 2 or 3 Minotaurs flying up in the air with you while inflicting major
damage! Keep mashing the Square button and you almost never come back on the
ground, how cool is that! Rinse and repeat as long as you have the Whip, that
should weaken some of those Minotaurs pretty good and get you ready for phase 3
(I guess  there are other powerful combos with the Whip, I just don't think they
work as well, at least not for me).

Phase 3 is at the 60 seconds mark, things are really getting chaotic here and
your weapon is now automatically switched to the Claw of Hades. I personally
don't really care for the Claws but I figured out a playstyle with them; I use a
combination of [] and /\ only. No L1, no jumping, no nothing. Just Square and
Triangle buttons. 5x[] will give you Hades Agony and 3x/\ will give you Hades
Curse. I personally like to apply [][]/\, it's an old Blade habit and it seems
to give me pretty good results. Now you also HAVE TO evade a lot at this stage
as you have 5 Olympus Legionnaires on screen and most likely all, still well and
alive, 5 Minotaurs. These guys will stop at nothing to get you. Seriously, they
are mean, they charge, they maul you and their 2-swings axe combo is pretty
deadly. This is a stage where you will die a lot, so while keeping an eye on
your Life gauge, keep evading constantly and actually try to position yourself
in-between some of the Olympus Guardians as it will make it more difficult for
the Minotaurs to get you. Hack away with your Claws but prioritize staying alive
over inflicting major damage. I repeat, you will die a lot here. Unfortunately
you do not have any Special Items in this challenge so there is no blinding and
no air dashing to escape the crowd, you have to be very careful. Also it goes
without saying, use your Claws on the Minotaurs, it's rather pointless to try to
hit the Olympus Guardians as you need the Cestus to defeat them. Which brings us
to the next and last phase.

Now, for this last phase your weapon switches to the powerful Cestus and you
basically have (still) 10 enemies on screen and one last 30 available seconds to
defeat them. If you are as lucky as I was when I passed this, one Minotaurs
might be dead already (thanks to the Whip and the Claws) and/or a nice and
glowing Circle prompt could be rotating above another one's head. Do not use the
Triumphant labor - [][][] - attack here, this was my mistake for the longest
time because I just really liked the rhythm this combo gave me, yet I could
never finish the challenge. No, no, no, the key here is to use the powerful
Erymanthion Rage - /\/\ - only! Hack away with this deadly combo and watch
enemies fly in the air and disintegrate in front of you. Choose groups over
single enemy first and go for all the Minotaurs that are still alive. Finally
finish the few remaining Olympus Guardians with maybe even, and because you are
that good, a couple of seconds to spare... It's still very hard at this stage to
get rid of all remaining enemies in time but practice makes perfect and you will
eventually get it. How many tries did this one challenge take me you ask, A LOT
of tries!

Another great video capture by bystanderg:
http://www.youtube.com/user/bystanderg#p/u/0/IfW1xw2vD-Y

My own video capture - sorry for the poor quality - with 10 seconds to spare!:
http://www.youtube.com/user/grandmort#p/a/u/1/CyDnS9tr_LI

************
SPECIAL NOTE for SWITCH BLADE by GodModeGOD:

I found it quite worthwhile to QUICKLY get the shields off the Guardians then
use combos on Minotaurs that would incidentally kill the Guardians.
************

Next, the heat is still on and "PANDORA (is) ON FIRE", so let's move on as we
have more killing to do!

-------------------------------
CHALLENGE #3: "PANDORA ON FIRE"
_______________________________

OBJECTIVE:

Don't let Pandora's cage hit the floor.
Kill enemies to make the cage rise.


CHALLENGE DATA:

Time limit: None
Average Completion Time: 04 Minutes (My Best: 03:59)
Weapon(s): Blades of Exile + Nemesis Whip + Claws of Hades + Nemean Cestus,
all at Maximum
Magic: None
Rage of Sparta: Yes
Special Item: Bow of Apollo + Head of Helios + Boots of Hermes
Enemies: 82 enemies total, see below
Many Feral Hounds + Olympus Guardians + Olympus Legionnaires + Wraiths of
Olympus + 3 Sirens Seductress + many Harpies + 2 Cyclops Enforcer
-Wave 1: Feral Hounds, Olympus Guardians and Olympus Legionnaires
-Wave 2: Wraiths of Olympus, 3 Sirens Seductress and many Harpies
-Wave 3: 2 Cyclops Enforcer
Difficulty: 3/5 - God

STRATEGY:

After the last challenge, this one will definitely feel much easier, but stay
alert though as it's also twice as long. The Nemean Cestus are your best friend
here and your mission is fairly straight forward, destroy everything and do it
fast. You basically have to dispatch 82 enemies in about 4 minutes. Speaking of
fast note that your life will drain, well, really fast as you will get hit a
lot. Blocking on occasion would therefore be a good idea.

Here are the main combos I like to use with the Cestus for this challenge:

[][][] - Triumphant Labor
/\/\ - Erymanthion Rage
L1 + O - Ferocious Bite
L1 + [] - Vicious Maul
L1 + /\ - Crushing Strike

Of course you can use your weapon of choice here and the Blades or the Whip can
both inflict major damage. Since there is always a few Olympus Guardians with
their blue shields roaming around, I personally like to stick with the Cestus.

Start pounding and work you way around the fire in a clockwise (or counter
clockwise) manner. When the fight gets a little intense do not hesitate to
double jump and fly in some empty corner (using Icarus Wings and a quick Hermes
Dash - Right Analog Stick - thanks to your Boots), and then pull out Helios Head
and blind your enemies with a Solar Flare - L2 + Hold /\ - . This is also very
useful against the Sirens Seductress and the Harpies as anything that goes
airborne to attack you can get quite annoying in such a brawl. With blinded
enemies all over the arena you may now work your way around the fire again while
pummeling the ground with Erymanthion Rage - /\/\ - .

If necessary use Rage of Sparta (I never do) to clear out a few bad guys in some
original and colorful fashion but in the end just remember to dispatch enemies
as quickly as possible. Make sure to NOT waste any time with Quicktime
animations since even though this challenge doesn't technically have a Time
Limit, Pandora's Cage is coming down really fast in the last part of the fight.

Now the thing to do when the first Cyclop Enforcer appear is to go for him and
him only. At this point do NOT use the Triangle combo with your Cestus but only
the Square combination - Triumphant Labor - and so, as you constantly interrupt
him in his pre-charge, he never gets a chance to throw his mean spiky metallic
thingy at you (did you like that; his "mean spiky metallic thingy"). Once the
Circle prompt appears over his head, keep at it with the Cestus and do NOT
trigger the Quicktime Event, the kill would just take too long (yes, I lost a
few times this way). Rinse and repeat with the second Cyclop and at this point
you should only have a handful of enemies left on stage (or maybe none, in which
case, bravo, you are done). Get rid of them quickly and that's one more
challenge in the bag.

A third video capture by bystanderg:
http://www.youtube.com/user/bystanderg#p/u/1/ExfRkuyNvsQ

My own crappy capture:
http://www.youtube.com/user/grandmort#p/a/u/0/GPaM8zFJKyw

******************
ALTERNATE STRATEGY for PANDORA ON FIRE by bystanderg:

For Pandora on Fire I found it useful to score a few hits on the Wraiths or
Sirens and when they go to ground or out of phase, go after the Legionnaires
and then when return or phase back in score a few more hits on them. That way
I'm softening them up for later whilst maintaining kills to keep Pandora's cage
rising. Also it maybe worth mentioning that it seems to me the Harpies only
start spawning once you kill all the Feral Hounds.
******************

******************
ALTERNATE STRATEGY for PANDORA ON FIRE by GodModeGOD:

I favor Cestus here. Breaking shields is important to me. Harpies are a bother
so you may want to focus on them with infinite air grabs. Solar Flare does well
to bring foes down, stun, give you a pause, etc. At the start, I favor /\/\ and
[][]/\ against the trash. For Wraiths, I like to use something I just learned
and that is that I stay close to the fire and foes are killed by it. Wraiths
and Undead variants die instantly. You have to keep Sirens in it for a bit to
get the kill and it doesn't appear to effect the Cyclops Enforcer. If a Harpy
goes in, it should die. As I was saying, I pull Wraiths from the opposite side
TOWARD me with Cestus Combat Grapple *through the fire*. This works for Undead
and Harpies as well. Less so with Sirens and not at all with the Cyclops.
Sirens are tricky to get into the fire... so I mainly use it for the Wraiths
and 'cover' from Undead as I Solar Flare everyone then begin Cestus Rape.
Cyclops get [][][] evade cancel and repeat or [][]/\ while evading their
attack. A stray foe isn't much of a challenge.

So the idea is to Cestus rape the first set of foes until all the Hounds are
gone and Wraiths appears. Beat on the group a bit to take them out a little and
then align a Wraith on the opposite side (or catch a burrowing one and pull it
into the fire) of the flame. Kill all Wraiths. Next you'll be using Solar Flare
by the flame to knock foes down then going **** with Cestus again. Repeat until
you deal with all the Harpies. Then begin beating on the Undead. The Cyclops
Enforcer gets the attention now. Then Sirens who remain. If you can stun then
knock them into the flame (hitting the side of Pandora's cage keeps them on it
well), they die quickly.

This gives you the option of going ape**** outright (as I used to do) or
putting the flame to work for you as I now do.

NOTE: You can use 2x Flash to send Sirens (and others) into the flame.
******************

Next, even though it's time for "HANDS OFF" and its lovely set of Hades Arms,
don't put that controller down just yet.

-------------------------
CHALLENGE #4: "HANDS OFF"
_________________________

OBJECTIVE:

Kill all the Hades Arms before times runs out.

CHALLENGE DATA:

Time limit: 45 Seconds
Average Completion Time: 45 Seconds, duh!
Weapon(s): Blades of Exile at Maximum
Magic: None
Rage of Sparta: No
Special Item: None
Enemies: 69 Hades Arms
Difficulty: 1/5 - Mortal

STRATEGY:

Along with "OLD BIRDS" here is another pretty easy challenge. Probably the
easiest one actually. It reminds me a lot of the Breaking Pots one in the first
GOW and the other very similar "SIMPLY SMASHING" the Urns in the Challenge of
Olympus.

You start in the center of the arena and you have 69 lovely Arms to dispatch.
Immediately choose you combo of choice and try to work your way in some
clockwise (or counter clockwise) manner.

On this challenge you'll be using the Blades only and therefore you must work
with a very limited set of moves. Attempting to use the very powerful Spirit of
Hercules (my all time favorite!) - /\/\/\ - is not such a good idea as it takes
too long to deploy. Instead, work with the beloved Plume of Prometheus - [][]/\
- and start smashing at the Arms while moving forward.

Don't forget to roll for this challenge to reach Arms cluster in a quicker
fashion.

Now, another good combo to use here is Cyclone of Chaos - L1 + [] + keep
tapping [] - because the range with it is fantastic and basically damage
anything and everything 360 degrees around you. The combination of these two
moves should get the job done. (UPDATE: I've seen it done with ONLY Cyclone of
Chaos!)

Note that it's also very nice that a red on-screen indicator shows you how many
more Arms are left for you to destroy since sometimes they will be too dark
against the arena background or simply out of your field of view and you are
going to need to hurry to get to them.

Watch this fast (28 seconds!) video capture by bystanderg:
http://www.youtube.com/user/bystanderg#p/u/4/5KDXVP4g1aM

Are you done? Did it only take you 1 or 2 attempts? Good, see, didn't I tell
you it was an easy challenge...

Moving along, "USE PROTECTION" now awaits, let's go shatter some shields.

------------------------------
CHALLENGE #5: "USE PROTECTION"
______________________________

OBJECTIVE:

Break all of the shields without killing any enemies before time runs out.

CHALLENGE DATA:

Time limit: 60 Seconds
Average Completion Time: 60 Seconds
Weapon(s): Nemean Cestus Level 1 (Blades of Athena at Maximum - Useless)
Magic: None
Rage of Sparta: Yes
Special Item: Boots of Hermes
Enemies: 12 Olympus Guardians
Difficulty: 4/5 - Titan

STRATEGY:

12 Shields to break, no kills allowed. Easier said than done.

5 Olympus Guardians await you at the start of this challenge, but nothing is
too complicated here, you just have to break as many shields as you can and as
quickly as possible. The problem is how NOT to kill an enemy, otherwise it's
game over. Also it looks like the auto-aim feature is not working very well in
God of War III so be very careful when your launch an attack with the Cestus
and be prepared to use the block button - L1 - immediately to stop whatever is
it you were doing.

To get in the groove of things, I recommend using Triumphant Labor - [][][] -
with your Cestus since there is no other weapon you can use here (you do have
the Blades of Athena, yes Athena, available in the Menu but you can't select
them during the challenge, go figure). Also remember to jump often and go super
sonic using the very useful Hermes Dash. As more enemies appear in the arena
this will allow you to fly over them and reach some more necessary blue shields
in a much faster way.

When a shield is turning reddish it's now time to pay attention and go for one
blow only. Again, I repeat, one blow ONLY. Tap Square ONCE and immediately put
your focus on another enemy.

It's fairly easy to shatter up to 8 or 9 shields but at this point things get a
little tricky because, in case you haven't noticed, you now have a lot of
Olympus Guardians on screen. You have to go for the necessary remaining blue
shields while making sure you are not killing any unprotected Guardians in the
process. Again, this is easier said than done and most likely will take you a
few attempts to get it right.

Watch another great capture by bystanderg:
http://www.youtube.com/user/bystanderg#p/u/3/D1GLLjpu5JY

******************
ALTERNATE STRATEGY for USE PROTECTION by bystanderg:

On Use Protection, it seemed better to me to bring all the shields to red
status before going round and smashing them. It means towards the end of the
challenge you don't have to worry so much about killing anyone accidentally. I
found it easier this way as at the start you have more space to get two hits
and then go after the newly spawning Guardians. Once you've got most of them to
red status you can go about freely smashing shields without too much concern.
******************

******************
ALTERNATE STRATEGY for USE PROTECTION by GodModeGOD:

Use Protection - Basically as I said. Go crazy from the start with 1xSquare to
Combat Grapple pokes (2x). Combat Grapple is decent at distance *even in the
air*. It's great up-close to reduce the chance of hitting other foes *so long as
you hit the shield, no shock-wave should occur*. You'll have to practice you
ability to race around to where you learn they spawn and quickly get shields
shattered. When one is lost in the group you can get right in their face then
Combat Grapple poke them or try your hand at an air Combat Grapple poke...or
lure foes away and try for a 'poke'.
******************

Are you finished and ready to move on? Are you feeling all mighty powerful? Good
'cause, how do you like them Chimeras? "HADES' KIDS 2" will now test your skills
and limits (and how!), so taking a short break might be a good idea here. No,
really, go on, I mean it! Go get a snack or something, don't forget to drink
some fresh water too - water is good for you - and stretch those little hands of
yours while you're at it!

-----------------------------
CHALLENGE #6: "HADES' KIDS 2"
_____________________________

OBJECTIVE:

They still don't die, they still multiply.
Get 5 Chimeras to spawn before time runs out.

CHALLENGE DATA:

Time limit: 270 Seconds
Average Completion Time: 260 Seconds (my best is 210 seconds - 1 minute left!)
Weapon(s): Blades of Exile at Maximum
Magic: None
Rage of Sparta: No (I think they just forgot to give it to us here...)
Special Item: Boots of Hermes Level 1
Enemies: 4 (of 7) Chimeras
Difficulty: 5/5 - Chaos

STRATEGY:

Oh boy, WHAT were they thinking? WHO designed that thing? This is perhaps THE
hardest Challenge of Exile, if not THE hardest challenge of all GOW challenges.
Or at least one that definitely shares the top spot with its other two mean
brothers; those would be "SWITCH BLADE" and the first GOW Challenge #10 where
you have to raise-the-platform-while-fighting-annoying-Satyrs-and-fire-puppies
(yeah, I know you remember that one!).

Now, do you seriously think you have what it takes? This challenge is insanely
hard and extremely frustrating, and pretty much the reason for this guide to
exist in the first place.

Here you will basically find the most complete walkthrough you can find for any
God of War challenges on the Internet. I'm serious. I think it's safe to say
that it took me well over 50 attempts to beat this one, really!

Before we start, 4 key points that need to be addressed:

1 - When you defeat your first Chimera one will re-spawn AND a new one will
appear along with it. Yes, you read correctly, defeat 1 Chimera and 2 will show
up! Kill those 2 and you will now have 4 fresh ones on screen (gee, and the
arena is not THAT big!), defeat one of these 4 and you are through - in which
case you can now "call your mama in the room and show her how great you are!"
(I'm plagiarizing here, this is a quote from the game SSX on PS2, another one of
my favorite).

But anyway, let's get back to business and our key points.

2 - The Chimera is a mean creature, part lion, part goat and part snake.
Basically it's a huge lion with some goat-like back legs, an extra goat head and
it has a vicious snake for a tail. The Chimera has 390 Hit Points - 130 HP for
each form - and you need to go through 3 Circle prompts to defeat it. Some of
these prompts will trigger a Random Button press (don't jinx it!) while other
will simply be an - O - Button mashing. To defeat a form you CANNOT keep hitting
a Chimera when there is a Circle prompt above its head(s) as you can do with
many other creatures throughout the game (Sirens, Cyclops or Minotaurs for
example). In other words, you must go through each and every Quicktime Event
Sequence, EVERY TIME, to go on to the next phase or to claim victory. This takes
valuable time but there is no other way around it. In short, it's quite a pain.

(By the way, the Chimera is bad-ass looking in this game! They really
successfully came up with a convincing design for that creature, kudos to them!)

3 - The Chimera has a different set of attacks and they go as follow:
-In its first form it will chase you, slowly or quickly depending on its mood,
and it will either grab you with its snake-tail and slam you to the ground or it
will spew a greenish and gooey venomous substance that will paralyze you. Shake
the Left analog stick quickly to get out of this mess. Occasionally in the first
form the lion will mess with you with its claws but that's actually pretty rare.
-In its second form, once you cut off its snake-tail, the Chimera will now be a
lion standing tall on its back legs. It spits fire and has a deadly 2-swings
claw attack that has a VERY long reach. Just watch out.
-In its third and last form the Chimera goes on all fours but at this stage only
the goat enemy remains. It will ram you and still spit a wide fire wall at you
but even more frustrating, it will also dodge a lot, jump around and almost
always move in a counter clockwise fashion around the arena. Basically at this
stage it's pretty hard to keep up with it, very often making this form the
hardest and longest one to defeat.

4 - Getting caught by a Chimera, be it by its snake grab, its gooey spew, its
fire throws or its claw attacks will make you waste very valuable and precious
seconds while Kratos suffers the pain. Bottom line, those painful animations
will quickly enrage you (extra set of DualShock 3 controllers recommended here),
they will cost you time and YOU CANNOT AFFORD TO WASTE ANY TIME ON THIS
CHALLENGE! So, yeah, avoid them like the plague! Just avoid getting hit as much
as possible. If it happens too many times in a row - and it will - just restart.
Can you block you ask; well, yes, you can block the snake-tail swipe and the
claw attacks from the lion form, you can also block the ram attack from the goat
form and that's about it.

Now, here is a strategy on how to quickly kill a Chimera:
I came up with a rather efficient way to dispatch this powerful foe - or so I
think, prove me if I'm wrong - using ONLY the two following combos (remember,
you only have the Blades here):
-Plume of Prometheus - [][]/\ -
-Spirit of Hercules - /\/\/\ -
It is possible to defeat the first form in about 10 seconds flat with Plume
followed by Spirit. It is also possible to defeat the second form in another 12
to 15 seconds with Spirit followed by Plume this time around. This is a good
thing and you are going to have to try really hard to achieve that each and
every time. The third and last form is a little more tricky as it jumps, evades
and moves around a lot. Heavier combos will deal quicker damage but also often
get interrupted and therefore won't do anything at all but waste your time. You
do have the Boots of Hermes on this challenge and air-dashing with them will
most certainly come in very handy in the last part of the fight. Defeating a
single Chimera should take about 50 to 60 seconds on average. Keep an eye on the
Time counter at the top of your screen.

But let's just get it on with the walkthrough, that's why you came here for,
isn't it?

Okay, here we go, 270 seconds is all you've got! Press X and, even though the
first Chimera has not quite yet dropped from the skies, immediately launch Plume
of Prometheus - [][]/\ - in its direction, immediately followed by Spirit of
Hercules - /\/\ - while advancing toward the creature. This works almost every
time (and sometimes not as the Chimera will block - watch for the Hit counter on
the right of your screen) and at that point you should have the first Circle
prompt above its head. Wow, that was fast, I know! Trigger the animation with
one random press (again, don't jinx it!) and buh-bye snake-tail. The counter
should mark 260 seconds.

Now observe how each and every time you cut off its snake-tail the Chimera is
slightly disoriented and turns away from you. Stay behind it and start pressing
immediately the Triangle Button (even if Kratos is still in his animation
recovery phase) and launch Spirit of Hercules - /\/\/\ - again. As this combo
lands, and as you can see that the Chimera is taking a deep breath to spew fire
at you, roll immediately to the side and launch Plume of Prometheus - [][]/\
-. When done right, the roll animation will protect you from the first fire
throw AND Plume of Prometheus will hit a split second before the Chimera has a
chance to spew its second fire throw. If you've done everything correctly so
far the second Circle prompt should appear. This one is always about mashing
the - O - Button after climbing on the lion so it's fairly easy (even if it
feels like a real waste of time) and the counter should now be at 245 seconds
approximately.

Okay, you are once more in the animation recovery phase and the Chimera now
backs off to the right. You have a couple of choices at this point but here is
what I like to do. Either I immediately roll towards it and launch Plume of
Prometheus followed by Spirit of Hercules (if I can), or I stay where I ended up
after slaughtering the lion form and I deploy Spirit of Hercules, but - and pay
attention here - WITHOUT moving toward the Chimera. If you do so your combo will
most likely get interrupted as the Chimera will charge and ram you. Deploying
your combo facing left of the screen is what you want to do here to make sure it
hits. From this point on find your most efficient style of play, alternating
between the two combos, but keeping in mind that Spirit of Hercules obviously
deals way more damage than the Plume of Prometheus. Of course the goat form of
the Chimera rarely stays put at this stage and you will quickly notice that it
likes to jump around the arena counter clockwise. Pay attention and you can
definitely anticipate where the Chimera will turn up even though it will be out
of your field of view every now and then. I have to admit that the best thing to
do is really to try to stay on it and not let it get away. If you had strong and
successful hits with your Blades, the third and last Circle prompt should now
rotate above the stunned Chimera. Quickly trigger the random press (remember,
don't jinx it!) and mash the - O - Button for a few seconds to get the kill. If
you are lucky your counter should display a time somewhere in-between 206 and
220 seconds. Having 220 seconds left on your counter is very good, 206 not so
much, and anything below that, well, I'm sorry to say but you just going to have
to restart.

Now, you killed your first Chimera, you are proud, but you can't even take a
break. 2 more drop from the Heavens and you have to immediately launch Spirit of
Hercules again and try to have it land on BOTH enemies. Rinse and repeat as long
as you have the breathing room. If a Chimera gets too close, get the hell out of
there, roll, fly, do whatever is necessary. Adjust your style of play with the
space you have to work with. In essence you must be quick to decide which combo
to use and where to retreat before repeating the procedure. It will happen that
you can work on one Chimera only as the other one is watching from afar, in this
case, great, try to repeat the strategy you exploited on the very first one and
so you get this new one to its last goat form pretty quickly.

Now here is I think where most players make a mistake, myself included. Players
try to bring down those two Chimeras in an equal fashion, that is they go for 2
snake-tails, then 2 lion forms and then 2 goat forms. It's waste of time.
Getting both snake-tails out of the way, when possible, is a good idea as they
will frustrate you to no end when grabbing you or paralyzing you, but from there
on what you really want to do is to try to focus on one Chimera and one Chimera
ONLY. Why, because you will soon realize the other one will take some "free"
damage no matter what you do. Focus on one Chimera ONLY and go all the way for
the kill. At this stage of the challenge it is still relatively easy to achieve
that. When done, your counter should be in the 120-130 seconds area. 2 down, 2
more to go.

Because you have now killed your second Chimera, guess what, yes, 2 more drop by
and they are hungry for lunch. That's now 3 monsters on screen, one wounded and
2 fresh ones. It's getting a little tricky to follows some sort of safe rules
here so you have to start paying extra attention and protect yourself from all
attacks coming your way. Again, ignore the wounded Chimera as it will soon
suffer "free" damage, and just put your focus on a new fresh one, knowing that
you are going to have to try to defeat it in one long streak of moves and
strategically well placed combos. It's real difficult but doable. At times you
will get lucky with the creatures' position on the map, at others you will get
cornered, grabbed, spitted on and so on. If you can't get out from such a mess
very quickly, just restart. On the other Hand if you are able to take down your
third Chimera without too much troubles, then, excellent, be ready for the final
stretch as you are almost there. Your time counter should be in the 50 to 60
seconds vicinity. Now remember that the last Chimera you want to take down IS
NOT a fresh one, but the one you actually ignored all along, which at this point
should be pretty weak having suffered all the "free" damage it can eat (even
though it might still be in its lion form).

So you killed your third Chimera and 2 more (what's new!) drop by for the final
round. It's now 4 monsters on screen and it's getting crowded. At this point
it's hardly possible to come up with any reliable technique for anything. It's
just chaos. Beyond advising you to obviously try to go for the Chimera you have
been secretly hacking at all along, there is not much I can add here. Be extra
careful as even though you might have a good run time-wise, at this point things
can quickly, very quickly, get catastrophic. If you get cornered, grabbed,
rammed in, it's pretty much game over. If you have about 60 seconds left and
both a lion form and a goat form to go through, it's doable. With 30 seconds
left, you should only have to work on the goat form of your 4th and last
Chimera. Anything below that and it is very unlikely you will finish this
challenge. Once I had the third and last Circle prompt with about 10 seconds
left on my counter. Needless to say I wasn't too happy when I finished pressing
Circle like a madman with one second left and the new spawn didn't register. A
new Chimera has to get on the ground FIRST for the re-spawn to actually count I
think, and a re-spawn always happens a second or two after a kill - very
frustrating. Be sure to watch my "Epic Fail" video to see what I mean.

I should add that I read on various posts on GameFAQs that some people were able
to pass this challenge with 30+ seconds left on their Time counter. At first I
didn't believe it, but sure enough, when I finally completed the challenge for
the first time my counter had a perfect and even 30 seconds left staring at me
(unfortunately not captured on video - I'm still working on it for a future
update).

It's possible.

Good luck!

Watch and learn - An "important" video capture by bystanderg:
http://www.youtube.com/user/bystanderg#p/u/5/OOLndyZkXMY

My own video capture, with my new capture device and 40 seconds to spare!:
http://www.youtube.com/user/grandmort#p/u/3/MiWXtGjhqRo

My best non-recorded run, with a full 60 seconds to spare!:
http://www.youtube.com/user/grandmort?feature=mhum#p/u/6/UBprzR_Dnk0

For fun and if you want to see an Epic Fail:
http://www.youtube.com/user/grandmort#p/u/2/Yj0uoSHq27I

Well, we are finally almost done with these challenges of Exile.
After the painful "HADES' KIDS 2" ordeal you are now a God-like player and you
are almost through.

Bravo!

So.., how about facing "FEAR ITSELF"?

---------------------------
CHALLENGE #7: "FEAR ITSELF"
___________________________

OBJECTIVE:

Kill Fear Kratos.

CHALLENGE DATA:

Time limit: None
Average Completion Time: 08 Minutes (My best: 02:21, unfortunately with Helios
aura glitch)
Weapon(s): Blades of Exile at Maximum
Magic: None
Rage of Sparta: Yes
Special Item: Bow of Apollo at Maximum
Enemies: Fear Kratos + 3 Cursed Remains
Difficulty: 4/5 - Titan

CHALLENGE STRATEGY:

You are facing you and you is a bad ass, 'nuff said! Now, even if that's not the
case it certainly feels like Fear Kratos has more Hit Points than any other
bosses in the game; so if you want to survive this long battle, take it slow and
evade a lot as this last ordeal is really a test of patience and a game of
endurance.

Start this ultimate challenge and immediately go to your right to grab - O
button - the Cursed Remains and go for Fear Kratos with the Battering Ram attack
by pressing [] immediately after the grab (you could also press X to throw the
Remains at him, that's very fun too!). Rinse and repeat as long as the Cursed
Remains is still alive (that doesn't sound right, does it?) and then repeat
again the whole procedure with the two other Cursed Remains that show up. When
all is said and done you should have inflicted a pretty decent amount of damage
to Fear Kratos (yet, I know, it does feels like the guy never dies).

Okay, one should know that Fear Kratos runs fast, really fast, and he likes to
chase you. He blocks a lot, he evades a lot, he counters with the powerful
Athena's Wrath and, when launching an attack (yes, he is using the Blades of
Athena!), his combos of choice are usually Plume of Prometheus (deadly!) and the
elegant but ever so devastating Spirit of Hercules (super deadly!). Basically
Fear Kratos is very, very dangerous and he is a huge pain in the butt. Oh, and I
almost forgot, last but not least, Fear Kratos also enjoys throwing Magic orbs
at you every now and then.

So you are going to have to be very careful and stay away from him as much as
possible. You hear me? Stay away from Fear Kratos! Get hit by the mean Spirit
of Hercules once and, if you sustained little prior damage, you are history.

The good news is that you can use the Bow of Apollo in this fight and fire away
from a distance. I know, it's a bit like playing chicken and you won't always
get the Hits but this will get on Fear Kratos' nerves and this is when he
usually counters your annoying tactic with a little bit of magic spamming of his
own. Thanks to the Golden Fleece, you can efficiently parry with Argo's Return -
L1, right as you are about to get hit - AND return the spell to its sender. Once
in a while, only when you are sure he won't touch you AND ONLY WHEN, kick-in a
powerful Spirit of Hercules yourself - /\/\/\ - and make sure it lands in his
vicinity.

Dance around the arena with the above strategy for a while and you should be
fine. After about 7 or 8 minutes Fear will surrender, and not the other way
around.

GLITCH WARNING:
Even though you do not have the Head of Helios as a Special Item, there is a
glitch sometimes when you start the challenge where Fear Kratos will be hit and
knocked back by Helios aura every now and then at random places around the arena
- sometimes even interrupting his own combos. I'm not quite sure what to think
of it and if Fear Kratos actually takes damage from his collision with the
invisible aura but it might be something worth looking into.

One last awesome video capture by bystanderg, in this one he is done in less
than 3 minutes - very impressive!:
http://www.youtube.com/user/bystanderg#p/u/2/RW0BtmXGL9I

My own crappy capture in 2:21(!) with the Helios aura glitch:
http://www.youtube.com/user/grandmort?feature=mhum#p/u/7/sSB1Gqu1JjY

*************
SPECIAL NOTES for FEAR ITSELF by GodModeGOD:

NOTE 1: You can land Spirits and Plume lock pretty easily in the first portion
when he runs around at Cursed Remains. When Square whoring, feel free to land a
Spirit if you see the chance.
NOTE 2: He can aerial recover with Hermes Dash sadly.
NOTE 3: The first encounter (when you start the challenge) tends to have him
glitched with Helios aura and getting knocked back for no apparent reason. I
just restart to get rid of this.
*************

Well, we are done, YOU ARE DONE!
Congratulations, you've completed the Challenge of Exile, and if you actually
successfully finished all 7 of them you now have bragging rights!

THANK YOU FOR READING THIS GUIDE, I HOPE YOU ENJOYED IT!

-------------------
END NOTES & CONTACT
___________________

+++++++++++++++
* LEGAL STUFF *
+++++++++++++++

This file may NOT be reproduced, quoted, or posted on any other websites aside
from the followings:

www.gamefaqs.com.
www.neoseeker.com
www.supercheats.com

If you wish to quote or post this strategy guide somewhere else, just ask and
you shall receive. Of course proper notification via email and credit to me,
Laurent Daubas aka "grandmort", is required to attain said permission.

I, Laurent Daubas, wrote this guide in its entirety and thusly own the
copyrights to it.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++
* SPECIAL CREDITS & THANKS *
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++

A huge THANK YOU of course to Sony Santa Monica Studio and the entire God of War
Team for creating such a beautiful game. What an amazing job they've done!
Actually, THANK YOU for creating such a powerful trilogy, I know that for many
of us players it was an amazing journey. Those games will take their due place
in my library as Gaming Masterpieces, and I know that many of you reading this
will agree.

A Special Thanks to David Jaffe, Cory Barlog and Stig Asmussen - you know who
they are - they pulled it off, those guys rocks!

Thanks to Tia Daubas, my forever love, for collecting "on-screen" data as I was
playing and for helping me with this guide.

Thanks to the following contributors for alternate tips and strategies on some
of the challenges:

- bystanderg
- GodModeGOD (a.k.a MrStarkiller)
- Your Name here

Thanks to GameFAQs for being the one place I keep returning to when it comes to
games, forums, strategies and FAQs. I've been a member here for almost 10 years
now, wow, how time flies...

Finally, thanks to Clay Adams aka "bmfgamerx", the author of the Challenge of
Olympus Guide on GameFAQs. I borrowed heavily from his structure and reading his
guide is what actually inspired me to come up with my own.

Special Credits goes to Shinobier for providing some of the best video captures
for God of War on YouTube. Watch him execute NURs (Non Upgrade Runs) through the
hardest mode of all God of War games and see how ridiculously good a player can
be. Head for YouTube. Search user "shinobier". Watch and learn.

++++++++++++++++++++++
* FEEDBACK & CONTACT *
++++++++++++++++++++++

This is my very first guide and feedback is welcome (and I'd like to think even
necessary). Also note that English is not my first language so if you see
anything grammatically incorrect, don't hesitate and shoot me an email.

You may contact me, Laurent Daubas aka "grandmort", at daubas(at)mac(dot)com.
I welcome alternative strategies and other tidbits and observations you may deem
worthy in order to beat those challenges.

When sending me an email, just be as clear as possible and put "Challenge of
Exile" in the Subject line. I've created a well-written guide, so please compose
a well-written email and I will most likely reply. THANK YOU!

THANKS GameFAQs.com!