Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World: The Game System: Playstation 3 (and I don't see any reason why this won't work on an XBOX 360) Yet another guide from the Yuka Takeuchi Fan ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Contents: Phase 1: Versions Phase 2: Story behind the author Phase 3: Story behind the FAQ Phase 4: Storyline of the game Phase 5: Basic in-game controls Phase 6: Basic information Phase 7: Characters Phase 8: Useful tips Phase 9: The art of fighting Phase 10: Walkthrough Phase 11: Frequently Asked Questions Phase 12: Thanks, Links Phase 13: Closing Phase 14: End Use Control-F and type in "Phase (whatever)" to zip around a bit. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Phase 1: Versions -1.0 (August 20, 2010) First version of this guide submitted to GameFAQs. You, as always, may feel free to contribute, especially with any information pertinent to things I've missed or skipped on for the time being, but the guide is at a point where you will at least know how to beat the game without having to wait for the 1.1 release. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Phase 2: Story behind the author Still an anime geek, still a sarcastic bastard, still an oblivious dumbass. Nothing much has changed regarding me, your neighborhood-indifferent Yuka Takeuchi Fan, since I've hopefully been of use to you in Dead Rising. I'm still the longtime runner (if not exactly a longtime maintainer) of the website "Yuka Takeuchi Fan's Severe Waste of Time", and I'm still a big fan of both writing and video games. So here I am again with another FAQ! Fair warning, I'm still far from an eloquent speaker, my grasp on my own first language remains shaky, and you'd better believe that I still talk way too much when I know my audience is captive. However, for many, this doesn't seem to have been a problem thus far so it shouldn't be a problem for you now. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Phase 3: Story behind the FAQ Believe it or not, and no, I can hardly believe it myself, I somehow have managed to find people that I am able to call friends. Even more incredulously, my site has been in some capacity the means I've used to do so for all cases. One of these friends, a rather longtime one at that, is a fan of the Scott Pilgrim comic series, and it was around the time that the movie adaptation was announced that he decided to let me know about this, ultimately suggesting I give it a read if I got a chance. Well, during my sadly brief period of living in Florida, a comic book store gave me the opportunity to do exactly that. I was never able to pick up more than the first two books (work on that as I shall try if I get ever get a job at my new home), but I liked what I saw. It was a strange hybrid of American and Japanese style and yet didn't really resemble anything I'd ever seen prior, and the story is an equally bizarre mix of realism and video game logic. And thanks to its oddball nature, I actually quite liked it and would suggest you look into it yourself. Assuming you haven't already seen both the books and the movie given you're reading THIS. I recommend the movie too, by the way. There's really nothing else quite like it that I've ever seen. Anyway, moving forward. Around the time that the movie was announced, it was also announced that there would be a video game adaptation to roughly tie in with the movie's release date. And when I heard that it'd be a 2D beat-em-up that'd play like a cross between River City Ransom and Final Fight, all in SD and with a soundtrack that's a bitchin' cross between chiptune and rock? How could I NOT play that? And sure enough, the game doesn't fall into many of the traps that licensed games tend to fall into. Not only is the game quite well-designed (though not without a few annoying bits) and an excellent throwback to the SNES/arcade golden era of beat-em-ups, the creator of the comic series was involved heavily in the game's design, and it shows. And on top of everything else, it may very well be the only beat-em-up I've ever played where you are constantly coming across enemies you haven't fought before, all the way up to the final area of the game! So if you're willing to read, I'm willing to get you through the game. Sure, it's not all THAT hard if you know what you're doing, but hey, what's it gonna hurt, right? ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Phase 4: Storyline of the game Scott Pilgrim is in love with Ramona Flowers. Ramona has seven evil exes. To win her heart (or at least continue dating her without the lingering threat of randomly getting his face smashed in while going out, not conductive to a romantic atmosphere, let me tell you), Scott must defeat all seven, led by Gideon Gordon Graves. And hey, since this is a video game, Scott decides that this time around, he'll just be proactive and chase 'em down. Hey, anything to limit the chance of a surprise attack, right? Anyway, it's up to him, the other two members of the band "Sex Bob-Omb", and amusingly enough, Ramona herself to destroy the League of Evil Exes. Don't let them down. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Phase 5: Basic in-game controls I am going to assume you'll be playing this on a Playstation 3, and since I'm not a big fan of buying a game twice, I'm not going to be posting XBOX 360 controls until I know what they actually are. Just assume that the buttons roughly match up when the time comes. If all else fails, you can always refer to the game itself- just go into the menu and select "Help & Options". D-pad or Left control stick: Move around. You can double-tap the D-pad left or right to run, and you can choose yourself whether a quick-tap or double-tap of the Left control stick will do the same. In addition to that, you may also hop to the side by doing the same thing, but with either up or down. Square button: Fast attack. Repeatedly tap it for a flurry of combo hits that will ultimately lead to a knockdown attack. You can also pick up and use weapons (including the bodies of downed enemies) this way. You can also taunt by holding this down for a couple of seconds but it doesn't really seem to affect anything unless you're playing the game multiplayer- which I don't and may or may not discuss later. I use it after defeating bosses. Triangle button: Strong attack. While more easily blocked, it usually sends your enemy straight into its "send my ass flying with your next hit" stun pose. Repeatedly tap it for a much shorter combo that will ultimately lead to a knockdown attack. If you have a weapon, use this button to throw it- and if you have high Strength, watch out and make sure it doesn't come back and hit you in the face! X button: Jump. Assuming you're at level 1, you can only attack while jumping by hitting the Square button. If you're in a shop, you can use this to talk to shopkeepers and buy goods. Circle button: Block. You won't be using it too much but it's extremely helpful in certain situations. It also cancels out of menus. R1 button: Super attack. Attempts to knock down everyone on both sides of you at the cost of Willpower or if you don't have enough Willpower, HP. You won't be using it too often for reasons I'll get into later. L1 button: Call Striker. At the start of the game, this calls Scott's fake high school girlfriend Knives in to act in a character-specific manner. There's another one that you can get but I'll explain that when the time comes. Start: Brings up the main menu and pauses the game if you're in combat. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Phase 6: Basic information Being that the game is a mixture of Final Fight and River City Ransom, it shouldn't come as a surprise to you that the game allows you to stat-build. Allow me to explain that and some of the game basics. -Welcome to the world of Scott Pilgrim, ya damn noob. Every character you can play as starts out at level 1, with no experience or money to his or her name. You don't carry any experience, money, stats, or ANYTHING between characters, so don't build Scott to level 16 and expect to see the rest of your group at the same level. Each character has slightly different starting stats for HP and Willpower, which I'll get into later, but other than that, they have a flat zero in all four of the main stats, which I'm about to get into. You start the game with three lives, and since this game also counts 'zero' as a life, that means that you can be taken out a total of four times before it's the 'Continue?' screen for your horrifically beaten ass. -$1 for one game? I laugh in your face, arcade cabinet. A word of warning- whenever you save, the game keeps track of how many lives you have; it won't reset to three when you quit and come back, nor will it when you go to a new stage. The same goes for your HP and Willpower values. Keep that in mind when you feel like trying to beat a new stage so you don't make it halfway through and realize with annoyance that victory would have come so much easier if you had two more lives. That being said, being forced to continue is a slap on the wrist that does nothing but throw you out of the stage- you're allowed to keep any money, experience, and stats you may have gained, and as far as I can tell, you're allowed to continue as many times as you want. -Stats. What do they do for you? In addition to the main four, I'll explain the other things you'll be getting familiar with over the course of the game. Before anything else, this is a good time to tell you that NONE of this carries over between characters. If you level Scott up to his absolute maximum and only him, your other characters will all be level-1 pansies who require assistance to punch through paper bags, even while holding ice picks and the bag is on fire. Level: Leveling up does not make you more powerful in and of itself, and your max level is 16. However, with the exception of your basic arsenal of moves, your entire move list is locked until you level up; you get one new move per level. However, there is one move per character that you cannot obtain through leveling-up and I'll explain how you get it in the walkthrough. XP: Your experience points. You get some whenever you hit or defeat an enemy. I'd give you an experience table, but you really don't need it; you'll probably want to money-grind a bit before you beat the game (this isn't a challenge guide and I'll be suggesting it myself), ESPECIALLY so if you're playing higher difficulties- you will hit level 16 long, long before you're done with that. You can continue gaining XP long after that but it's just for bragging rights. Though if you're attempting to max out the XP counter for even one character, you need to consider finding a hobby even more than I need to. Trust me when I say that's saying a whole lot. Oh, and when you level-up, your HP and GP refill to their maximum levels. Money: Your cash on hand. You can earn a little by air-juggling enemies, and can earn some through certain in-game events, but the vast majority of your money will come from you mercilessly slaying everything in your path and stealing whatever they had on hand. You're going to need a lot of it, for buying stuff from in-game shops is the ONLY reliable way you can restore HP or Willpower, and even more importantly, your main stats will stay at zero if you buy nothing throughout the game. Again, this isn't a challenge guide, so having them at 0/0/0/0 kind of goes against my goal of helping the average player beat this game. If that upsets you, go play a few more Touhou games one-handed while gasping suggestively at the still shots of 'I Wanna Be The Guy' you printed out, freak. HP: Heart Points. Your health is stated numerically in this game, and when it hits zero, it takes a toll on your... GP: Gut Points, though I'll probably goof more than once and call it 'Willpower' despite that term sharing a name with the main stat. You'll see why. This allows you to use Super Attacks and call your Striker though its main use involves what happens to you when your HP drops to zero. If you take damage past that would drop your HP to zero, the rest is unceremoniously taken from your GP. When you're next knocked down, if you have any GP remaining, up to 100 are then converted into up to 50 HP and you're allowed to continue fighting without losing a life. The higher your Willpower stat is, the higher your max GP gets, and the less GP you lose and the better the GP-to-HP ratio you get when this happens. Obviously, when THIS hits zero and you're out of HP, sucks to be you! Bye- bye, life. Now for your main stats. They all serve more than one purpose. Strength: Purpose 1 is quite cut and dry; the higher this stat goes, the harder your attacks hit. Purpose 2 is a little more luck-based- as you send the Strength stat higher, you also get a higher chance of landing random critical hits, which as far as I can tell do five times the damage of normal hits. If you just started in on an enemy, this can shorten their lifespan drastically. For Purpose 3, the higher this stat goes, the farther items go when you hit or throw them, and the farther and higher your enemies go flying when you knock them down... or up. Uppercuts are such a lovely way of telling your foe that you care. Overall, Strength keeps your fights shorter by making you require fewer hits to kill the same enemies. Remember, the faster you take your enemies down (assuming you're not being reckless), the fewer the chances they get to kill YOU. Defense: Purpose 1 is also quite simple. The higher this goes, the less damage you take when you're hit by attacks. Purpose 2 is also pretty simple- for each point of Defense you have, you get an extra point of maximum HP on top of the character's natural maximum. Purpose 3 cancels out the effect of a high- Strength enemy somewhat by reducing knockback when you're sent flying. Remember that when you're flying through the air like you missed out on auditions for The Low-Budget Matrix, you can still get hit by enemies with good aim- or simply pingponged back and forth between two enemies for more damage than you'll care to take. Overall, Defense is what keeps you alive when your enemies score hits. And you WILL take hits no matter how hard you try, I assure you. The higher it goes, the more effort enemies have to put into killing you. Willpower: Purpose 1 is, again, pretty simple. For each point of Willpower you have, you get an extra point of maximum Willpower on top of the character's natural maximum. Purpose 2, as I mentioned, causes you to get more HP for the GP when the enemies take you down to zero HP, assuming you've got GP to spare (though the ratio seems to top out at just a little more than 1-to-1). As for Purpose 3, the higher this stat goes, the stronger your Super Attacks get and the less they cost- ditto for your Striker of choice. Overall, Willpower is mostly about giving you a second chance to stay in the game when your Defense ultimately fails you; consider it your second lifebar- and don't neglect a second lifebar that can be made to basically double your HP. Speed: Purpose 1 is, not surprisingly, simple once again. Higher Speed makes you move faster in every way, and lets you get up faster as well. Purpose 2 involves a very, VERY important fact- the higher your Speed, the faster your attacks come out. Nothing sucks more than having your combo interrupted because the guy behind you hit you out of it... except for having THE GUY YOU WERE HITTING hit you out of it because he remembered that his kung fu is faster than yours. Overall, Speed is all about making sure you hit the enemy before they hit you- IF they hit you, instead of the spot you were at a split-second ago. And in a beat-em-up where you can be fast AND not require 500 combos to take out a paraplegic child with osteoporosis who is having a high-level seizure, suddenly it's not so much of a dump stat. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Phase 7: Characters Allow me to mention before anything else that your characters have roughly the same move lists and will unlock their moves in the same order. However, each character's moves are not created equal, ESPECIALLY when we get around to discussing Tech Attacks, so I'll be discussing some of the finer points of most of them as we go. COMPLETELY COMMON MOVES: Level 4: Counter (Tap Circle right when the opponent would hit you) If you land a Counter, you will negate any damage your opponent would cause, and you immediately hit THEM for heavy damage and knockback (assuming the hitbox on your counterstrike hits, obviously). Use it wisely. Level 6: Judo Throw (Left/Right + Triangle near enemy [can grab them first]) Throws your opponent. It's best to wait until you can hold enemies (which happens at level 8) before you try to use this too much. While flying enemies can hit other enemies, the throw is arced too high to hit nearby foes. Level 7: Missile Throw (Run with object, press Triangle) Throws items in your hands MUCH harder. MUCH MUCH more painful if you're jumping while you do this, though it's a stone bitch to directly hit things with. Level 10: Evade ('Run' while blocking) A dodging maneuver that leaves you invincible during the animation and gives you a chance to reposition yourself. Level 11: Head Stomp (Jump, press Triangle) And screw you too, M. Bison. This sends you downward to try to stomp on your opponent's head, and this alone does more damage if you did a running jump. If you hit your opponent, you'll bounce upward and can either do another Head Stomp or another jumping move of your choice. The Head Stomp will inexplicably send those you hit flying, and no, you can't use this to plant your feet into a downed enemy. Level 13: Spin Attack (Jump while jumping) You double-jump. The 'double' part of the jump making you cannonball into enemies, damaging them. Level 14: Grand Slam (Attack with a weapon) Turns your weapon swing into a much faster three-swing affair, and makes using weapons all the better a choice for you to take when you can. You cannot go back to single swings, not that you would really care if you could. Level 15: Air Recovery (Hit any button while falling) Air Recovery lets you turn being knocked down into an opportunity to land a kick or something as you fall, rather than falling helplessly while enemies still get a chance to air-juggle you. Be careful; you 'brake' for a second when you use this, and it you use this low to the ground, you may give enemies a chance to hit you again. -SCOTT PILGRIM 23 Years Old Rating: Awesome! Starting Stats: HP: 100 GP: 100 Scott is, of course, the main character of the story. Though he has the lowest starting stats out of the entire group, it's not that glaring starting out and it's even less glaring once you begin maxing out your characters. Besides, how can you not pick him, he's the main character! His name is in the title! And remember, it's not self-discovery if you just make your friends do it for you. Super Attack: It's a spinning kick that has decent range on both sides and deals fair damage. It's probably the best of the Super Attacks, to be honest, though I still don't recommend you use it much for reasons I'll get into later. Striker (Knives): Hits everybody on-screen for very little damage- but it also stuns everybody on-screen. Capitalize quickly, as the stun doesn't last for very long. Striker (Mr. Chau): Either Mr. Chau will slash all the enemies on-screen for horrifying damage, or Mrs. Chau shout at one of the enemies, distracting them for a moment. Guess which one's the useful one. Now guess whether you choose which you get, though luckily the game will send out Mr. Chau quite more often than not. Level 2: Dash attacks (Run, press Square or Triangle) Square: A sliding kick that goes through enemies. Won't necessarily knock enemies down, setting them up for combos. Triangle: A shoulder-tackle that doesn't go very far, but deals more damage than the sliding kick and throws enemies backward from the impact. Level 3: Back attack (Attack while an enemy is close and behind you) A backwards elbow strike that does respectable damage and can be used as a combo attack. Level 5: Low attack (Down + Square) A crouching kick that does about as much damage as a Fast attack. Hits downed enemies. Level 8: Grapple Combo (Left/Right + Square near enemy [can combo into throw]) Scott punches the opponent in the stomach. Rapidly tap the button to do more hits. Level 9: Double Attack (Press Square then quickly press Triangle) Scott interrupts a Fast Attack combo to kidney-punch the enemy. Good at catching enemies off-guard. Level 12: Ground and Pound (Down + Triangle near downed enemies) Scott will bend down a bit and sock a downed foe. Stronger than the Low attack, and I think it's the fastest of the Ground and Pound moves. Level 16: Tech Attack 1 (Up + Triangle) Ultimate Boob Punch (It makes sense if you've seen Scott's first encounter with Roxanne in other media.)- Scott, while standing still, punches straight upward with a fiery burst that sends enemies flying. This is basically a free Super Attack that you can use whenever you damn well please, albeit with shorter range, and is AMAZING against anything that's trying to leap at you. Good to use while surrounded. Unlock: Tech Attack 2 (Down + Triangle) Charging punch. Despite the fact that it blows enemies backward when it hits, the Ultimate Boob Punch does it better, to more enemies, and for around twice the damage to boot. It's easily the lamest of the unlockable Tech Attacks and not worth buying unless you really need to fill that attack list. -RAMONA FLOWERS American Ninja Delivery Girl Drop the hammer, Haruko! Starting Stats: HP: 100 GP: 105 I love the fact that you are completely allowed to pick Ramona as a player character, and assuming you're playing single player, basically tell her to take care of her own damn problems in doing so. Well, Ramona is certainly no damsel-in-distress and is quite capable of defending herself. Must have something to do with... well... Let's just say that even though she's 2D in both the comic and the game, 2D has more than one meaning in the game. Ramona seems- in a rather surprising turn for a beat-em-up- to deal slightly more damage than Scott, all stats being equal. Super Attack: Ramona spins with her bag outstretched. Does respectable damage. Save your GP. Striker (Knives): Knives pops up with a big-ass cup of coffee. When she disappears, Ramona will heal a (VERY) small amount of HP, and immediately be given the Glow, without having to flawlessly kill five enemies in a row. Striker (Mr. Chau): Either Mr. Chau will slash all the enemies on-screen for horrifying damage, or Mrs. Chau shout at one of the enemies, distracting them for a moment. Guess which one's the useful one. Now guess whether you choose which you get, though luckily the game will send out Mr. Chau quite more often than not. Level 2: Dash attacks (Run, press Square or Triangle) Square: Slide. Hits enemies low, including those currently knocked down. Goes through enemies without knocking anyone down. Triangle: Hammer thrust. DOESN'T hit downed enemies, though it's a little more powerful to compensate. Goes through enemies. Level 3: Back attack (Attack while an enemy is close and behind you) Ramona kicks upward in what I'm pretty sure lands in the crotch. Sadly, there is no special animation in regards to the effect. It's also rather short-range, though it can combo into itself. Level 5: Low attack (Down + Square) A low swing with Ramona's hammer that does about as much damage as a Fast Attack. Hits downed enemies. Level 8: Grapple Combo (Left/Right + Square near enemy [can combo into throw]) Either she's punching them or bitchslapping them in the face, I can't tell which, but keep tapping that button to do more of whatever it is. Level 9: Double Attack (Press Square then quickly press Triangle) Ramona interrupts her Fast Attack combo to kick the opponent in the side. Good for catching opponents off-guard. Level 12: Ground and Pound (Down + Triangle near downed enemies) Ramona punches her hammer into her opponent. Stronger than the Low attack. Level 16: Tech Attack 1 (Up + Triangle) Flying Split-kick. Ramona flips forward and lands in a split-kick that inexplicably sends enemies flying. It's hard to aim and doesn't have a lot of range, though enemies flying through the air ARE currently off your back... Unlock: Tech Attack 2 (Down + Triangle) Fiery Palm Thrust. Does heavy damage and sends those unfortunate enough to be hit by it flying. It's a little on the short-ranged side, but it's not a bad buy. -STEPHEN STILLS The Talent He's getting tingles. Starting Stats: HP: 110 GP: 100 Stills, as the game refers to him, is the only known character that starts with an HP count of over 100. And to be honest, it's appropriate, I mean, look at him smash things in a blind rage! They say there's a pro wrestler in all of us, and with an elbow drop in place of a non-running jump kick, turns out it applies to guitarist/vocalists desperate to make a name for themselves. He does the most damage out of the four starting characters, assuming the stats are equal. Super Attack: Stills sends out a shockwave that has a rather surprisingly short range, but knocks enemies quite far away if it hits (for decent damage). I wouldn't bother with it; it seems like it doesn't hit enemies it looks like it should. Striker (Knives): Knives will hang in the air and throw really large knives down in a straight line in front of her, dealing horrifying damage to anyone it hits. He's the only one of the four starters who uses Knives for pure damage, so you know. Striker (Mr. Chau): Either Mr. Chau will slash all the enemies on-screen for horrifying damage, or Mrs. Chau shout at one of the enemies, distracting them for a moment. Guess which one's the useful one. Now guess whether you choose which you get, though luckily the game will send out Mr. Chau quite more often than not. Level 2: Dash attacks (Run, press Square or Triangle) Square: A charging elbow punch that goes through enemies and leaves 'em standing and stunned, but totally misses enemies that are already downed. Triangle: A running knee-kick that does more damage than the elbow punch and sends enemies flying. It too doesn't hit downed enemies, so keep in mind that Stills is the ONLY character with no running attacks that can hurt downed enemies. Level 3: Back attack (Attack while an enemy is close and behind you) A backhand punch that has fair range compared to the others' back attacks, does a fair amount of damage and can be comboed. Level 5: Low attack (Down + Square) A crouching punch, about as strong as a standing Fast Attack, that can hit downed enemies. Level 8: Grapple Combo (Left/Right + Square near enemy [can combo into throw]) Stills headbutts the enemy and can do it a lot more if you keep pressing Square. Level 9: Double Attack (Press Square then quickly press Triangle) Stills interrupts his Fast Attack combo to clap the enemy's head between his hands. While this isn't "Riki-Oh" and thus he won't smash the enemy's head into gooey paste in the process, he'll likely catch 'em off-guard. Level 12: Ground and Pound (Down + Triangle near downed enemies) Stills kneels down and slams his fist into the enemy. It doesn't seem as quick as the other Ground and Pound moves, but still does more damage than the Low attack. Level 16: Tech Attack 1 (Up + Triangle) A quick haymaker-to-uppercut combo that'll send the enemies flying if the uppercut connects. It's quick and about twice as powerful as a Strong Attack if both connect, so you may want to try using it to end a combo sometime. Unlock: Tech Attack 2 (Down + Triangle) Stills quickly rolls forward and comes out of the roll while throwing a hook that sends enemies across the room if it hits. Both the roll itself and the hook do damage (though obviously the hook does more), and the roll can hit around four times. DEFINITELY one of the better buyable Tech Attacks- be sure to nab it. -KIM PINE The Drummer She's just not into you. Starting Stats: HP: 100 GP: 110 Kim is awesome. I love how her sarcastic, who-gives-a-damn attitude translates to a nigh-perpetual eyes-half-open frown with at least one hand on her hip, until and unless she's got something in her hands. Tell me you can't crack a smile along with her while she swings a baseball bat into the face of some mook who didn't see her bitchslap the last ten clones into unconsciousness. Super Attack: Kim spins with her drumsticks out for respectable damage, but save your GP. Striker (Knives): Knives and Kim share a kiss, both pissing off moral guardians and restoring a small amount of HP. While the raw heal amount is low, it's still a better GP- to-HP tradeoff than you'll normally get. Striker (Mr. Chau): Either Mr. Chau will slash all the enemies on-screen for horrifying damage, or Mrs. Chau shout at one of the enemies, distracting them for a moment. Guess which one's the useful one. Now guess whether you choose which you get, though luckily the game will send out Mr. Chau quite more often than not. Level 2: Dash attacks (Run, press Square or Triangle) Square: A sliding kick that goes through enemies. Doesn't knock anyone down, though it hits enemies that already ARE down. Triangle: Peach Bomber, AKA "Flying Ass Bash". It doesn't go very far and doesn't hit downed enemies, but it does more damage than the slide and usually knocks enemies down. Level 3: Back attack (Attack while an enemy is close and behind you) Kim does the same thing as Ramona to similar effect. Or lack thereof for crotch-kick reactions. Level 5: Low attack (Down + Square) Kim quickly lies on her side and kicks the opponent. It hits downed enemies and looks pretty funny to watch, if you ask me. Level 8: Grapple Combo (Left/Right + Square near enemy [can combo into throw]) Kim will rapidly shove her knee into the opponent. Or at least she'll do it as long as you keep hitting Square. Level 9: Double Attack (Press Square then quickly press Triangle) Kim interrupts her Fast Attack combo to deliver a quick bitchslap. Nobody expects the bitchslap. Level 12: Ground and Pound (Down + Triangle near downed enemies) Kim stomps the enemy below her with a vicious-looking smile. It's stronger than the Low Attack. Level 16: Tech Attack 1 (Rapidly attack) Hundred-Hand Bitchslap. An extremely rapid slapping attack that's faster than the Fast Attack combo and deals a little more damage per hit. However, it's easier to activate on accident than on purpose, which can get annoying. Unlock: Tech Attack 2 (Down + Triangle) Mouthy Hadoken. Kim spits a huge fireball out of her mouth, which goes across the screen until it hits someone for fairly low damage. It's blockable, but you can throw these out as your Speed stat lets you- seriously, Kim can practically machine-gun these things. -NEGASCOTT (requires you to beat the game with Scott, Ramona, Stills and Kim) Rating: Negative Awesome! Causing paradoxes against sixth bosses everywhere. Starting Stats: HP: 100 GP: 50 Several things in life are inevitable and unchanging. Everyone WILL die, it's always easier to make enemies than friends, Tohru Nishimaki's protagonists will always look exactly like Tatsuya Hibino with minor modifications at MOST, and the boss that's now on your side is never as powerful as he was while he was still a boss. And with the lowest GP score of the known characters by a friggin' LANDSLIDE (and even at 100 Willpower, his GP maxes out at 100!) and a moveset that initially seems to be an exact copy of Regular Scott, Negascott seems like he fits straight into that trend. Then you begin leveling him up and find that, despite all I imply and all evidence that would imply he's just not the dangerous foe he is as a boss, it's actually entirely true. Negascott's moveset is, with a VERY few exceptions that don't really make him any better for it, exactly the same as Scott's but with a huge GP gimp. Oddly enough, though most of his moves are slightly stronger than Stills', he has the weakest Fast Attack combo for no adequately explained reason. Though you can certainly beat the game as Negascott, overall, you're at a disadvantage trying to do so. Now if you'll excuse me, I feel like daydreaming about Negascott beating the shit out of Tatsuya. Those who know me well enough to even get the reference, ignore the whinnying noises that are coming from the ghost of the dead horse. Super Attack: Exactly like Scott's. Striker (Knives): A rather demonic-looking Knives (Negaknives? Forks?) zooms down with two very large knives and does very high damage to those unfortunate enough to be in her path. Striker (Mr. Chau): Either Mr. Chau will slash all the enemies on-screen for horrifying damage, or Mrs. Chau shout at one of the enemies, distracting them for a moment. Guess which one's the useful one. Now guess whether you choose which you get, though luckily the game will send out Mr. Chau quite more often than not. Level 2: Dash attacks (Run, press Square or Triangle) Square: A sliding kick that goes through enemies. Won't necessarily knock enemies down, setting them up for combos. Triangle: A shoulder-tackle that doesn't go very far, but deals more damage than the sliding kick and throws enemies backward from the impact. Level 3: Back attack (Attack while an enemy is close and behind you) A backwards elbow strike that does respectable damage and can be used as a combo attack. Level 5: Low attack (Down + Square) A handstand sweep-kick with good range. It's slower than the other Low Attacks but it's hard to tell once your Speed gets higher. Level 8: Grapple Combo (Left/Right + Square near enemy [can combo into throw]) Scott punches the opponent in the stomach. Rapidly tap the button to do more hits. Level 9: Double Attack (Press Square then quickly press Triangle) Scott interrupts a Fast Attack combo to kidney-punch the enemy. Good at catching enemies off-guard. Level 12: Ground and Pound (Down + Triangle near downed enemies) Scott will bend down a bit and sock a downed foe. Stronger than the Low attack, and I think it's the fastest of the Ground and Pound moves. Level 16: Tech Attack 1 (Down + Triangle) Flying Double Knee Bash. This attack is the bane of your existence as long as Negascott's a boss, but in your hands, while still capable of dealing AMAZING damage, it's kind of clumsy to aim and the odd angle of attack makes it hard to hit enemies more than a few steps away... not to mention that little part where the attack ends and you fall to the ground, unable to attack during that fall if you whiffed... Unlock: Tech Attack 2 (Hold Triangle for 2 seconds, then release) Evil Hadoken. This would be one of the best attacks in the game- it goes through anything it hits, does a good deal of damage, and sends enemies flying on fire. It also takes two seconds to charge up that enemies will usually happily use to interrupt the charge, and is slow enough for enemies to dodge out of the way of, intentionally or otherwise. Ask yourself this- when you saw this coming, did YOU ever fall for it? ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Phase 8: Useful tips -Eating on the job. Some items, when you attempt to purchase them in shops, say "To go?" If you say 'yes', you'll buy the item as a snack, and instead of using them then and there, you'll use them automatically once your HP are dropped to zero, restoring HP (and possibly GP) rather than being forced to trade HP for GP like you normally do. Obviously, this process consumes the item, and you can only carry one at a time, so it's best to try to keep the best one readily available in your possession if you can manage it- that extra few HP/GP may be what gets you through a tough fight alive. Someday, I'll tell you what you can do this with and when. -Hey there, how you doin'? I think you need to feel worse. Enemies don't have HP bars at all, and neither do bosses, but there are ways to tell how hurt most of them are. Enemies (and bosses!) that are close to death will stop and catch their breath for a moment, typically leaving themselves completely open for you to finish the job, and bosses will begin to flash as you damage them more and more- the quicker they flash, the closer they are to becoming your funding for stats. You can also tell when enemies (as well as yourself) are down for the count; a "KPOW" will pop up next to whoever's just been finished off, at which point you are free to stop hitting them without worrying about retaliation. Bosses kind of make it obvious when they're down. Trust me on that. Oh, and in case you're wondering why your deathblows don't always seem to do a lot of damage, it's because if, say, your enemy has 4 HP remaining and you deal 20 damage, it'll only show a damage count of 4 for some reason- the final hit you land only shows the amount of damage that was necessary to defeat your foe. Don't worry, you did all the damage you needed to. -The Glow. If you're able to kill five enemies in a row without getting hit, good things happen. Before I explain what, I'd better mention, you don't have to wear five enemies down from full HP to get credit- you can get hit 20 times from each of them, and as long as you remove the last of their HP without taking a hit between the kills, that counts as 'without getting hit'. Anyway, once you do that, your character will flash. Until either a certain amount of time passes or your character is knocked down, your Speed temporarily increases by an amount you WILL notice. In addition, if you can stun an enemy, you can attack again and go into a combo attack that, as long as you keep pressing the proper attack button (it'll be the same one you just used), lasts until either 64 hits have landed (assuming other enemies don't wander into it, which adds to that total, but you can only land 64 attacks), or you get hit out of it. You can keep attacking LONG after the sap you're beating the hell out of dies, by the way. Whatever the case, once you either reach 64 hits or stop the attack, your character will launch one final hit that sends the enemy reeling, and if they SOMEHOW weren't dead before, they will be then, or will be very very close to it. No, I'm pretty sure you can't use that combo on bosses, no matter what the book or movie says. -Pahmping Ahp: I've stated that this isn't a challenge guide. I stand by that claim. And because I stand by that claim, I'm going to tell you that you can never have high enough stats. Well, at least until you hit 100, then the game intervenes on that decision for you. Even though I'm going to have stat recommendations at the start of each stage regarding what's REASONABLE to beat a stage with, I'm not going to give you hard numbers, and if you're still having trouble with the stats I give, the game isn't stopping you from going out and building even higher. In fact, I encourage you to grind and build to your heart's content. It's your game, squeeze some time out of it! -Tactical retreats. Assuming that you aren't currently stuck on a screen (which is normally, but not always, the case while you're fighting a group of enemies), you can- rather unusually for a beat-em-up- actually go back in the stage and either pick up stuff you didn't before, or more importantly, go back to shops in the section of the stage you're in and power up as needed. Be forewarned that for some reason, some stages won't let you go all the way back despite your not having really left the part of the stage you're on (And here I speak specifically of stage 1-2, even though this puts you right AT the shops). Still, in long sections that are made to wear you down, having a shop available to you is a huge help... assuming you can afford the items inside, of course. Bear in mind that if you have not yet beaten the entire stage, you have to start from the beginning of it if your progress is terminated for any reason, be it the loss of your last life or manually exiting the stage. -I don't think this is how spending money to make money works... In your not-so-endless quest to power your characters up through anything short of the Major League Method not cutting it for you? Well, the world map pretty much gives it away, but now's as good a time as any to remind you that the game lets you re-visit any stage you've already beaten, and beaten stages allow you to pick what section you start on... to a degree, anyway, though one that usually drops you exactly where you need to go. So if during the process of building yourself up, you run out of cash and don't like the prospect of trying to slug cash out of the enemies you're having trouble beating on your current stage, go back to an earlier stage and show them what a difference a few stages makes in regards to kicking their asses where it was once your ass with the prints from the size elevens. -Where are good places to go to build myself up? Step 1: To build yourself up, you'll need money, and to do that, I suggest that (once you've unlocked it, of course) you hit up Stage 4 or 5. Both stages (especially stage 4) are long enough to throw enough enemies at you to ensure a high return. Step 2: And to use that money, you'll need a good place to use it. Note that I am not going to bother giving you a huge list of shops and what to buy. This is because YOU DO NOT NEED IT WHATSOEVER. There are two areas that I believe to be the very best places in the game to build stats, which you should use exclusively- The first is the Shopping District in stage 1 (which is also a reasonable place to earn money if you either haven't made it to stage 4 or really don't feel like going through a whole stage), which has the best shops in the game, most notably Shock Wave (the music store), and Flatirons Books (the obvious River City Ransom reference). I recommend this stage if you're trying to build up your Strength and Speed (I'll explain what to buy in the actual walkthrough). However, the items in both of those shops only build one stat at a time, so... The other is Leo's Shop in stage 3, which sells the best item in the game for BOTH Defense and Willpower, the Concert T-shirt, which boost both stats by 8. There are two places that people will tell you about where you can build your stats as well, but for reasons I will get into later, don't bother with them- considering the amount of money grinding you need to do to make use of either of them, if you're able to build THAT much money at low stats, you really don't need to buy higher ones. -I'm getting a life. Three lives is plenty to take you through any given stage, but hey, sometimes things just don't go your way, and I hardly think less of you for wanting a little insurance policy if you're not so confident about your abilities. And to do that, you're gonna want you some 1-ups. 1-ups are not common by any means, but there are three ways to get them. One is to go to Wallace's Mystery Shop and buy a Tlaloc's Feast, which gives you one life at the cost of $49.95. You can also go to the No-Accounts video store and pay off Scott's late fees ($504.25, and feel free to spend a moment to let your pupils stop dilating), where you can then buy "The Mystical Head" for an extra life- which costs you only $4.95. To be honest, though this is the cheaper option and paying off the late fee allows you to pick up the best stat-boosters in the game for the same $4.95, by the time you've grinded yourself up enough to pay that late fee, you either no longer need the boosts, don't need the boosts in the first place, or are way past the point where you need extra lives that badly. The other way, and it's actually one of the quicker ones if you feel like grinding specifically for that purpose, is to head over to stage 3-2. Todd, the level's boss, drops one every single time you beat him, and if you start from stage 3-2, you only need to fight your way through Envy and Lynette to make it to him. To be honest, it's my preferred way of building 1-ups unless I've got a lot of money and not a lot of places to use it. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Phase 9: The art of fighting Yes folks, it's not just a middle-of-the-road SNK series. It's also my attempt at explaining to you some tips for actually fighting your enemies. -Combos Combos will be your basic way of dealing damage; know them well. And keep in mind that you can mix up the Square and Triangle attacks if you want to vary the combo up, or most likely, use Square to get a few quick attacks in before you hit 'em hard with the Triangle button. Just remember that you're not obligated to finish a combo attack once it's begun; if enemies are trying to creep up behind you, just stop attacking and get away before they repay the favor! -Running attacks Running attacks are quite useful. Whether enemies block them or not, you can still carve a little path through them and the enemies behind them. In addition, as enemies will show you themselves if they get a chance, it's a good way to quickly close the gap and catch your enemies off-guard. -Jumping attacks Jump-kicks (Jump + Square) are your friend and I suggest you make good use of them. They're very good at catching enemies off guard, and if you don't knock the enemy down outright with them, they're typically stunned for a follow-up knockdown. If you're running while you're performing ANY jumping attack, you'll also deal quite a bit more damage. It's a great way to greet a group of fresh meat, and to give them a nice tenderizing. -Downed enemies You have two dedicated attacks for giving downed enemies a little more punishment while they're down, the Low Attack and the Ground and Pound. However, you can also pick up MOST human mooks and heft them over your head (You can't do this on the human mooks that are notably taller than your character, specifically Malcolm, Rex and Brad). You can then either throw them with Triangle, or what I suggest, use them as an improvised weapon with the Square button. If you don't feel like using them as a weapon (or if they're the only enemy on-screen), you can also use running attacks to hurt 'em further, as discussed previously, though again, certain characters can do this better than others. Be careful, as there ARE certain mooks that can hit you on the way up if you try to hit 'em while they're down, and ALL of the bosses will do so as well. -Blocking Blocking in and of itself isn't all that useful and you won't be doing it much- the fact that you can't start blocking in the middle of an enemy's combo really curtails its usefulness. However, if you've leveled-up enough to have the ability to counter, you can really mess single enemies up by making them come to you and blocking at just the right moment... It's REALLY effective against bosses if you want to give it a go. Oh, and blocking isn't TOTALLY useless; there's a point or two where it's absolutely vital to survival. To be discussed as you get there, of course. -Grappling Once you hit level 8, you're able to grab human (or close enough to human) opponents and hold them in place while you either hit them a whole bunch or toss them across the room. It's worth knowing that you can't hold enemies forever and you can grapple-attack enemies as much as you please until either they escape the grab, or until you throw them- the higher your Speed, the more grapple attacks you'll be able to get off. Keep in mind that not all enemies can be grabbed; in addition to most non-human opponents, you also can't grab flying enemies or the myriad of opponents you'll fight that have 1 HP each (and you usually can't grab them for good reason). If you're fighting an enemy who blocks too much for your taste, try grabbing them; blocking doesn't save them from that. -Weapons You will find MANY weapons on the ground or in enemy hands over the course of the game. If an enemy picked up a weapon from the ground, they'll automatically drop it when they get knocked down, and some foes drop their weapons when they're killed (most notably the ninjas on stage 4). Weapons each have their own range and power behind them (it's basically up to your character's Speed stat and whether or not they have the Grand Slam yet to determine how fast they swing), and in addition, most weapons will break after a certain amount of use, though again, it varies quite widely between weapons. Try everything you see out; if nothing else, you can throw weapons you don't like at foes with the Triangle button. -Your environment Try to keep enemies on the same height as you; there are stages where you can fight on different elevations and it's basically your chance to see enemies abuse that to kick your ass. Of course, if you see a much lower height around you in the form of a pit, you can throw or knock enemies into it to instantly kill them. And in several situations, it's the best way to defeat the enemies around you. Keep in mind- when you hit an enemy that's blocking, they get pushed back just a little each time... To make things all the sweeter, falling into such hazards yourself doesn't kill you- it does a little damage, but nothing major, and you just pop back out a moment later to continue the fight! In addition to that, there are occasionally environmental hazards that you're (normally) warned about with a "!!!" pop-up in the middle of the screen. They'll be mentioned in the walkthrough, just be ready for 'em when they come. -Against crowds NEVER let your enemies surround you if at all possible. If enemies attack from both sides of the screen, try to get them all to one side of you if you have any means to do so- a good running jump-kick is one of the best ways to do it in my experience, just to ensure that nobody tries to punch you out of the air. Remember, if you get surrounded, you're completely defenseless on one side, and the moment an enemy punches you in the back of the head, you get stunned long enough to become completely defenseless on the other one as well- it's one of the quickest ways to die in this game. What's that? You've played beat-em-ups before? You can just tap a button that busts out a special move that clears out everything around you at the cost of an insignificant amount of health? ...ha... Hahahaha. Read on. -Super Attacks/Strikers Super Attacks have two very, VERY fatal flaws that make them nigh-useless for what they're normally used for in a game like this. One, enemies can block it, and often do. And two, YOU CAN'T USE IT TO BREAK OUT OF AN ENEMY'S COMBO, the typical purpose of such a move in a beat-em-up. To be honest, I wouldn't even bother with it, and instead just save your GP for not dying when you reach 0 HP. Strikers are kind of odd. You can't choose whether Knives or Mr. Chau appears should you have unlocked the latter, and Knives has WILDLY different uses depending on your selected character- some combinations are quite more useful than others, and Knives can sometimes do things for you BESIDES hurt enemies. Check out the move lists for more details. Keep in mind, you can't use either of them to break out of combos. Also, a nice note is that unlike your Super Attack, if Knives or Mr. Chau doesn't attack anyone, you don't lose any GP. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Phase 10: Walkthrough NOTE!!!: This guide assumes you're playing on 'Rough & Tough' (basically 'Normal') though all that really changes between difficulties are the enemies' stats, most notably their Strength and HP. It also assumes you started the game with a 'fresh', level 1 character with a flat zero in all stats. Above all else, I assume you're playing alone. Another NOTE!!: While I can at least tell you how many HP the enemies have to the best of my knowledge, none-too-keen eye, and math skills (and keeping in mind that occasionally an enemy will have more HP than usual; I only list the typical value), bear in mind that I don't have exact Strength stats for enemies on any level and never will. Forget about me trying to provide anything but estimates on most bosses, too, since some of these bastards refuse to die and I can't do 500 calculations in my head per minute whilst trying not to get Scott's face punched in. All listed HP values are for 'Rough & Tough'; enemies have about 66% of the listed HP values on 'Average Joe' and 133% of the listed HP values on 'Supreme Master'. Lesser NOTE!: Any enemies not named in the credit sequence to the game, I named myself. Unless Bryan Lee O'Malley says otherwise, they'll have to suffice unless more info pops up. STAGE 1: SNOWY TORONTO! DON'T BE LATE FOR THE BIG SHOW! Level Recommendations: This is the first stage. I think you're good to go without preparation. Stage 1-1: Frozen Suburbs NEW ENEMIES: MIKE (sunglasses, white hat and jacket) HP: 30 Drops: $0.40 Mike is the weakest enemy in the game (Lee isn't exactly that much better) and later in the game he'll show up in large groups. He's weak, slow, and isn't capable of doing much to you unless he surprise-attacks you, or unless he shows up in said large groups, and even then, he's a wuss. LEE (glasses, brown hair, black jacket) HP: 33 Drops: $0.50 He's basically a different-looking Mike, nothing much to say about him, though he does love his jump-kick. He sometimes goes for a weapon, but doesn't really go out of his way to do so, and usually isn't around wherever many fine weapons can be found at low, low prices (in other words, free on the ground). LUKE (black hair, brown jacket) HP: 39 Drops: $0.50 While not much more resilient than Mike or Lee, Luke tends to go get a weapon if one's available and use it against you, he's a little smarter about blocking, and he moves around more quickly. In regards to his tendency to go for weapons, you can either try to prevent it as best as possible or simply crack him in the face while he's taken away his ability to block due to having something in his hands. He's also got a tendency to actually try to combo his attacks on you, making him quite a bit more dangerous than his predecessors. RICHARD (blonde hair, blue jacket) HP: 36 Drops: $1.50 I hate this bastard. He blocks almost everything you throw at him, and he'll go for a weapon the moment he sees one, assuming he doesn't run off with THAT and throw it at your head. Short of simply catching him off-guard, he can't block while he's carrying a weapon, which as I've stated, he's almost ALWAYS going to try to do, and he'll turn his back to you to get them if he has to, and the spinal column was recently voted one of the ten worst things to use as an improvised shield. At least once you DO kick his turtling ass, he drops more money than damn near any non-boss enemy in the game. MALCOLM (A very large man with a trilby hat, vest, and gray pants) HP: 66 Drops: $1.10 What do you get when you combine Richard's high defense with his inability to use weapons, AND a much more aggressive fighting style with stats to match? The first few times you fight him, an ass-kicking. Malcolm isn't afraid to get in your face, attacks quite quickly, can't be grabbed (he'll even shove you back if you get close enough to try it), and he'll kick you in the face if you try to go after him on the ground. He's best greeted with a flying boot to the face or a charging punch in the stomach, and capitalized upon from there. DOBERMAN (What do you friggin' think he looks like?) HP: 48 Drops: $0.90 Dobermans hit hard and move fast, though they seem to be a little toned down for this stage. Make very good use of the fact that they can't block at all to get them before they get you, and try not to knock them off-screen, since they do have a fair bit of range on that bite. They also like to hang back and do nothing, then suddenly charge and attack without warning. You should make the first charge. JESSE (Purple hair over one eye, black shirt, indeterminate gender) HP: 54 Drops: $0.95 Watch me try to skirt the issue of what gender Jesse is because I seriously can't tell. Jesse is a bit of a pain to bring down because h...sh... um, Jesse tries to play keep-away with you, trying to stay out of your attack range and waits for you to get distracted, either leaping at you with a flip-kick or attempting a sliding kick. Jesse deserves your full attention whenever Jesse appears for that reason. WILLIAM (Fat guy with a hat, gray shirt, and tie) HP: 66 Drops: $0.95 William can't be hurt with a standing Square attack unless it's the very end of a combo, which you have to have set up through some other means- however, he's not hugely aggressive otherwise and he's slow as hell, so feel free to use pretty much any other attack in your arsenal to nail him. Don't hesitate, though, because when he DOES hit you, like Malcolm, it really hurts. The stage starts simply enough. Simply head right and quickly run into your first enemies- two MIKEs and a LEE. They may be the weakest enemies in the game, but at this point in the game, your stats suck and you lack most of your moves, so they'll take a few combos to whittle down. Luckily, they're not hugely aggressive as long as you don't just stand there and wait for them to feed you their fists. Still, if you want to keep at least one of the three out of commission, try to knock one of them down and pick them up as a weapon. The range boost won't hurt you, and it does respectable damage. Proceed when you've defeated enough enemies. Next up is a MIKE and a LEE, and LUKE joins the roster here, too. Watch out; they're likely to try to pick up the garbage bag or trash can and proceed to use a rather offbeat way to reuse refuse, and Luke is more aggressive than the others, so try to keep him down if you can. Consider grabbing the trash can yourself; it does fair damage for this point and you may want to keep Luke away from you. Beat all of them down, then proceed forward and get ready for the avatar of annoyance that is RICHARD. At this point in the game, you're not equipped to deal with his ability to block; it's a good idea to try to goad him into picking something up and cranking him in the face while he realizes with abject horror that he cannot block while holding a weapon. I'd pick up the baseball bat if you want a good combo of power, range and speed, in addition to keeping the most dangerous weapon on the screen away from Richard and his identical clone. Once they're both down, head to the right. The two LUKEs in the background will hop out and attack you, and two MIKEs will run in. Try to get in the middle of the screen to avoid surprises. You SHOULD reach level 2 around this point, which is a good thing as your Dash Attacks are- with the notable exception of Stills- a great way to hit opponents that are on the ground. I might get rid of my weapon at this point so that I could demonstrate this upon the masses. You might as well. Watch out, because around the time you've knocked out all four of them, MALCOLM will show up and at this point in the game, he outclasses you in a big way- he'll likely do about 20-30 points of damage to you with EVERY HIT and he's happy to combo them together, though mercifully you'll probably get knocked down in two hits. I'd get a weapon and keep the pressure on him; if he's getting hit, he's not maiming you. You can try to knock him into the pit, but setting it up isn't as easy as it looks (you don't have anything at this point that causes any major knockback) and it robs you of money that you currently are in great need of. And once you take him down, watch out for a LUKE that'll jump out of a blue garbage can without warning. Punish him with violence. Feel free to kick him into the pit whilst screaming overused catchphrases, his life is barely worth fifty cents. Moving on, stay on the bottom of the screen; a bus will soon drive by- when you see '!!!' on the screen, you'd better take my advice unless you enjoy being run over. WILLIAM pops out behind the bus- he's alone, so this is a good chance to practice fighting fat guys- remember, anyone sharing his general body shape can't be hit with a Fast combo. You'll come across a park fence, along with MIKE and LUKE. There's only two of them and they don't respond to your presence with any sort of speed. Punish their inattentiveness with your fist. Proceed into the park, and quickly grab your weapon of choice (I'd choose the baseball bat if you take any of the weapons), because you're about to be attacked on both sides. LUKE and RICHARD come in from the right, MIKE and another Richard come in from the left- I'd suggest taking the guys on the right first; Luke is more dangerous than Mike and you don't want to bother dealing with either Richard's defenses while you take him out if you can swing it. As you kick the asses of all around you, another LUKE and another RICHARD will both come in- focus on Luke and try to dodge the hail of weapons that Richard loves to throw. Once everyone besides you is on the ground and staining the snow a nice crimson red (you'll have to use your imagination as the game is rated E), move on, but use caution as JESSE will appear from the right. It's never fun to be introduced to a new enemy by means of offscreen flying kick. Another one will soon follow, and they're really quick, so try taking to the air and giving them the old aerial Size Thirteen Facial Upheaval- they've got enough of a speed advantage at this point to simply dart forward and give you a painful three-hit combo out of nowhere if you just try to approach them normally. You might reach level 3 around this point, so from here on, you aren't TOTALLY screwed if an enemy wanders behind you while you're in the middle of something else. MALCOLM is standing around immediately after this, and it's a good idea to get the jump on him before he commences with the overpowered beatdown. Be careful if you try to use your dash attacks on him while he's down; if he thinks you're too close, he'll punish you greatly with a low kick that's liable to do about 20 damage at this point. There's an ice block in the ground near where he is- it's a great throwing weapon that slides around on the ground for a long time (watch out because, like all weapons, it doesn't discriminate between friend or foe once it's thrown), but I'd wait for the next paragraph before you use it. Once the screen stops moving and two DOBERMANs appear, throw it right at them and be prepared to get out of the ice block's way- as long as the screen is locked in place, thrown items bounce off the boundaries of the impromptu arena. If you're careful, you can manipulate the dogs into staying right into its path and getting hit several times. Those bites of theirs hurt, so shortening the fight is a good idea. MIKE and LUKE come in when both of them are down, but you know how to take those two out by now. Do so and make a decision- would you prefer to make the next part of this stage a lot shorter AND get a lot of money that you currently need? If so, quickly get into the garage door with a star mark above it, and enter one of many Subspace Highways that you'll see throughout the game. Subspace Highways are- on most occasions- warps that are filled with blue bricks (destroy them with several punches and you MIGHT get 25 cents out of it), '?' blocks that hold multiple 25-cent coins (Let Mario be your guide), and flying piggy banks (I shall call them Capitalist Pigs) that, if destroyed before they fly past the starting point, drop $1.65 each. In addition, when you're done, you're typically warped past several fights (though you can usually go back and fight what you skipped if you really want to). There are a couple that don't fit this mold or are missing some of the things mentioned above (for example, this one lacks blocks of any kind), but for the most part, Subspace Highways are major breathers that only make your life easier. Those of you who take this option- a good idea considering you'll skip some tough fights this way- skip on down until I say 'fuzzy pickles'. Even if you DON'T take this option, at least come back here when you're done with the next two battles; you can get a LOT of money here for almost no effort. If you DIDN'T go into the Subspace Highway, prepare for a tough fight; MALCOLM, WILLIAM and LEE are going to run out to greet you, and the first two become quite a bit more dangerous with backup around. Yes, Malcolm was bad enough already at this point; this is the game pointing and laughing at you. Try to see if you can get Lee to be stupid and throw things into his friends' backs while you try to keep the other two at bay; it's not easy at this point to grab William and use him as a bludgeon but it's not a bad idea to try if he's open. Just don't accidentally position yourself so that Malcolm can kick you while he's down, it's easy to do. The fight becomes much easier when he's down and out. Next up is a gimmick battle, a snowball fight. See those white patches of snow all over the ground? Anyone can pick them up and use them as a weapon- swing or throw, it's used up in one hit. You've seen them earlier. I didn't tell you to pick them up. Take a wild guess why. However, in this battle, there's enough snow lying around for enemies to annoy you quite a bit with flung frozen fallout, and since said enemies are composed of four RICHARDs, the snow shall sail. Try to take them out before the snow's all gone; time they spend going for weapons is time not spend aggravating you with their blocking. I know I bring their defense up a lot, but they really are THAT DAMN ANNOYING. Two more come once you've sent the others to sleep with the snow angels. Fuzzy pickles. By the way, if you skipped the Subspace Highway, you can go back to the door and use it, it puts you right at the fight I'm about to describe. JESSE, LUKE and LEE rush in; I'd use the same trick you used on the Dobermans earlier regarding the ice block on the ground. Jesse might occasionally tuck and roll through it to avoid the attack, but not always, and you'll probably at least destroy Jesse's backup. There's no transition between this and the next part of the stage, but everything before this point is locked off to you if, in the future, you decide to just go straight to 1-2... Stage 1-2a: Shopping District ENEMIES: Mike, Lee, Luke, Richard, Malcolm, Doberman, William You don't have anything new coming your way in this section, but it's your introduction to shops. The game makes it pretty self-explanatory how they work, so I won't bore you with the details. I WILL point out shops of interest when we clear out the appropriate enemies, but I will ONLY elaborate on the shops of interest- I'm trying to give you the best value for your blood money, and telling you about the many things that are simply not worth buying is a colossal waste of both my finger strength and your time. For now, though, take down the single MIKE who at this point you will point and laugh at for being dumb enough to fight you alone. Respect his bravery. Pity his stupidity. Poke the body with a stick. Now that he's out of the way, take notice of No-Account Video. As in the comic, Scott has a $504.25 late fee. You can actually pay it off and be treated to both $4.95 one-ups and $4.95 stat boosters that work ridiculously well. If you do this because you earnestly want those things, you are a colossal idiot that should start bashing your head against the wall as many times as possible until you have turned your skull into powder and your brain into a remarkably unpalatable jelly, because you are wasting a bitch-ton of time getting them. There are FAR better ways to earn extra lives and bonus stats that in the long run will cost you far, far less. Racking up over $500 is no small feat that is not worth the pain and misery spent trying to grind out at the stats that would justify you even attempting to build your stats this way. Moving on. MIKE and LUKE are waiting in front of Delicious Cup. Since they're not too hard to beat, the store in question sells coffee and whatnot that is mostly your introduction to Snacks. The Iced Latte in particular can be used to give you 56 HP and 16 GP when you're dropped to 0 HP, but not far from here is a better store for a snack. Don't bother with this store unless you really need the health back (and at this point in the game, you might). MALCOLM stands in front of Dee's Tex Mex. He's still pretty dangerous, so be careful. You might reach level 4 and get the Counter technique around now, but it's kind of dangerous to use unless you really get the hang of timing your blocks, especially at this point in the game. Dee's Tex Mex is there to fill up your HP and GP by insane amounts- even the $7.75 Nachos restore 80 of both values, and most stores don't give you a good value on GP restoration. Keep this store in mind if you need to top off your HP and GP after completing a stage; eventually the route to get here will be of no threat to you whatsoever anyway. The next store is a Mini-Marts (hey, I call 'em like I read 'em), and of particular interest is the Energy Drink; for $2.95 you can get 64 HP, 16 GP, and The Glow on-demand. You can even carry them with you as Snacks and I highly suggest you do so; they don't come much better than this. Right next to that is LUKE and a Sushi Bar. It's basically Dee's Tex Mex but cheaper and more than a fair deal worse. The Rainbow Maki does boost all of your stats by 1, but it's not worth it compared to what's coming up. Don't bother with this place. Before I introduce you to two of the best stores in the game, watch out for the LUKE in the trash can, and the MIKE standing in the street. By this point, you're probably back to prime fighting condition and these two will pose no threat. Or at least no threat you can't cure. Now as for the STORES... "Shock Wave" sells music CDs that give you both a large GP boost (64 points!) and, with one exception, boost one stat by 8 along with a fair XP boost (64 points again!). This place actually can use a list as to what boosts what, so here you go. Clash at Demonhead: Willpower Smashing Turnips: Strength Crash and the Boys: Speed Winifred Hailey: Defense Kupek: This one is the odd man out; it adds 2 points to ALL stats, but also only restores 40 GP and gives you only 40 XP. Right next to that is Flatirons Books, of which all but one book boosts a single stat by 10 and gives you a bigger XP boost than the stuff from Shock Wave (230 each, to be exact). The cost per stat point is a little worse than Shock Wave, but the XP boost may make it up to you if you're more concerned about unlocking your moves quickly (it's a reasonable trade-off). Again, here's a list for you. Lost at Sea: This one's the oddball- it's a pure boost of 350 XP and you should never need it. Vegan Cookbook: Defense Get Rich Now!: Speed How to Study Hard: Willpower 101 Push-Ups: Strength It is probably worth mentioning that by this point, I will no longer make assumptions about what level you are. I highly suggest that if you boost stats, make them Speed and Strength, since at this point you'll probably only be able to boost two- at most. There's one more shop in the level but I'll get to it when you get to it. Just watch for the LUKE in front of Mechafetus Toys (sadly inaccessible) and the WILLIAM staring into space behind him. Another bus is coming, and LUKE and MIKE will run straight through the side of the bus to come after you, so watch out. Luke ESPECIALLY loves to use that cover to hit you without warning. Go down into the tunnel, and as soon as you can whilst minding LUKE, get to the road's shoulder (the top of the screen, past the line). If you go too far, a huge line of traffic will barrel down the road (and after about four cars pass, two LUKEs will jump down from the walkway above you by way of the step in the middle of the screen), and you're entirely safe on the shoulder. Be quick, not long after the cars stop coming, two MIKEs and a LEE run in as well, and at this point in the game, five is very much a crowd. I should point out that star on the tunnel wall is actually the door to Wallace's Mystery Shop. It's true that the bottom three items here give you insane stat boosts... but your stats cap at 100 and they are by no means good value for the money compared to the two stores I mentioned earlier- you will either waste most of the bonus or will be waiting far longer than you should to make use of it. Ambrosia is the ultimate snack, giving you 200 HP/GP when it's used, but it's $59.95 and the way the snacks work, you won't get to make anywhere near the full use of the GP bonus, so it's not worth it. However, if you have a lot of money and little to use it on, Tlaloc's Feast is a simple trade- $49.95 for a single one-up. You can buy as many as you like, as long as you don't already have the maximum of nine. While it's probably better to just beat the third boss over and over for extra lives, again, it's not a bad trade if you're getting bored of beating the same guy over and over. Anyway, after you've had your fun, lure LEE and MALCOLM out so you don't get jumped by another LEE, as well as LUKE and a DOBERMAN during the battle. Again, a group of five is not something you want to fight this early in the game, especially with Malcolm being among them. The last two mooks in this stage are MIKE (who runs at you with a shovel, so react quickly) and WILLIAM. They shouldn't give you any trouble. In fact, you can actually ignore them entirely and simply run straight into the doorway to the Subspace Highway if you give sufficiently low levels of damning. After the Subspace Highway, you enter the next part of the stage, and your first boss battle. Stage 1-2b: The Rocket BOSS! MATTHEW PATEL Ramona's FIRST Evil Ex-Boyfriend! Powers: Mystical. HP: 270 Drops: $2.10. Let's hope you don't need to ride the bus home. Matthew is, as you'd expect, not too hard of a fight, but keep in mind that you're still not that strong, quick or resilient at this point and he DOES have a few tricks up his sleeve. Most importantly, don't approach him directly from the front; he can and will combo you, and he loves to try to hit you up to ten or so times- this adds up to nearly lethal amounts of damage at this point, so don't get careless! He'll also rear back and fire a mystically-charged punch at you that will send you REELING from time to time, which is your cue to do what I described to HIM instead, so watch for it. Once you've taken about a quarter of his health away, he'll jump to the middle of the screen at the first opportunity and surround himself in a pillar of light- as well as four Demon Hipster Chicks that fly in a circle around Matthew and knock the stuff in the bar around if they happen to fly into it. Stay just outside the circle and keep jump-kicking the DHCs until they all pop out of existence (each one will probably require two hits at this point); Matthew can't be hurt until they're all gone. When you get Matthew to around a third of his health, he'll summon two more DHCs to pop in and out of existence at the sides of the screen and throw fireballs downward at you- and this time, he'll keep attacking you while they attempt to burn you alive. Make it your top priority to take the DHCs out (this time they'll probably require three hits); Matthew can wait- those fireballs are liable to keep interrupting your combos otherwise. Once they're down, Matthew poses little threat- take him down! STAGE 2: MOVIE MADNESS! FOLLOW THAT STAR! Level Recommendations: It's probably a good idea to have at least boosted your Strength and Speed slightly, but there's no need to go out of your way to do so more than once. Try to get your Strength up to 15 or so, so that you can take out certain enemies in one go, and so that you have an easier time against the boss. Stage 2-1a: Casa Loma's Film Set NEW ENEMIES: PAPARAZZI (Some jagoff with a camera.) HP: 48 Drops: $0.75 Paparazzi are no real threat in and of themselves, but in groups of anything, they're annoying as hell and constantly interrupt your attacks with a lightning-fast, long-range flash that does no damage, but stuns you for a distressingly long time and sets you up for anyone else who wants a piece of you. JOHN (A guy in a jacket and wild hair.) HP: 1 Drops: $0.75 John runs in from the side of the screen, jumps, and blows himself up. If you make contact with him in any way besides an attack, you get hurt. Otherwise, he simply dies then and there. Just be ready for him when the Director shows up, a squad of Johns won't be far behind! ALIEN (Totally not a Blue Mars People with the cuteness cranked up.) HP: 84 Drops: $1.00 They're really no less annoying than the Paparazzi with the added 'perk' that, although you can see their shots coming, they're hard to sidestep in time to dodge them and they actually do damage. They're also quite fast, to go along with their habit of waiting to attack until you're occupied with something else. RAXZILLA (Ever wanted to punch out an amusement park mascot? This'll have to do.) HP: 63 Drops: $1.00 Raxzilla does not fly back when knocked down, and he tends to randomly decide when you've knocked him down. Just to be on the safe side, make sure you're either out of the way he's facing of, or have sidestepped, because he may take the opportunity to get pissed, flash red, and decide to charge forward in an attempt to take your ass to the ground. Oh, and he can breathe fire at juuuust out of your non-weapon range to fry you for quite decent damage. Or he'll tail- swipe at you. Really, he's got a way to hurt you at any range. CAMERON (Guys in green motion capture suits.) HP: 1 Drops: $0.25 They don't do anything but charge slowly at you, but they'll line up to do so from both sides (you'll only fight them in groups) and if one of them hits you, you'll be stuck in a combo. And if you jump and fail to hit them, prepare to play ping-pong with them. You're the ball and they're the paddles. In less esoteric terms, they'll probably juggle your ass between them until they run offscreen. Just know to dodge out of the way when you see them; they won't correct their course. This stage starts with you immediately being attacked by three PAPARAZZI. Unlike in real life, here you are encouraged- nay, REQUIRED- to smash their faces it at the earliest possible opportunity. Ah, the stories we'd see in the news if real-life celebrities were allowed to do the same; I just might pay attention to entertainment news again. Wishful thinking aside, this stage is all about giving enemies little gimmicks to watch for, and 'unblockable, lightning-fast stuns in groups' is this guy's deal. Try to keep them together as much as you can so that you don't have one sneaking off to stun you from just out of range. Immediately after them is the Fancy Chip Wagon, and everything in here is a ripoff compared to the stuff you can get in stage 1-2. Only buy anything if the Paparazzi somehow managed to maul the hell out of you, or if you need the healing before you go into Stage 2-1b (remember, you can always go back as far as you like in most stages, as long as you haven't transitioned to a new area entirely). Past that, you'll notice a small movie set- be ready, as when the director leaves the screen, two JOHNs will try to jump you, followed by RAXZILLA and two ALIENs- stick to the middle of the screen so you can best tell where to avoid being blown up by either of the Johns, then make your move on the Aliens so they can't pick you off with their guns from across the screen- but don't neglect Raxzilla, because he's got some good range on that fire breath if you aren't able to get the three of them on one side of you. If you want to even the odds a bit, grab one of the tripods scattered around; it helps you close that little range disadvantage with some nice damage to boot. Once they're all in need of an understudy, get to the lower part of the screen; three CAMERONs will appear from the background on the set, one to one side, two to the other, and they act as quite the avatars of unstoppability if they run into you and start knocking you back and forth between them for titanic damage. Terminate them quickly and carefully. The director will throw a hissy fit and leave afterward, and no, you can't do anything that would require the studio to have to bring a new director to prominence. After this is a short, timed section- all you have to do is beat the hell out of the bomb in the middle of the screen before the timer runs out. While it does do quite a bit of damage if time runs out and it explodes, it really shouldn't- you're strong enough to smash the hell out of it even if you haven't boosted your Strength at all, and nothing's getting in your way that would make it harder to destroy the bomb. Two PAPARAZZI await you after that little diversion, and after they're defeated, simply pick up the key and either throw it at the door or simply hit the door with it. Either way, the door will open and you may proceed to the next area. Don't worry; I'm pretty sure the key respawns if you're being particularly careless and you knock it into the pit. Stage 2-1b: The Movie Setpiece NEW ENEMIES: G.D.BAT (They're bats.) HP: 6 Drops: $0.25 Go read TVTropes and fill in the blanks yourself on that name. Anyway, G.D.Bats pop up in the most inconvenient places possible and suddenly fly into you. And yes, unless you know they're coming, they're GOING to fly into and hit you. Take 'em out of the air with a jump-kick. OLD ENEMIES: Raxzilla This section is all about environmental gimmicks. All you need to do for the first one is to run past the rolling ball traps- they don't try to mix things up, so simply time your run through each of the traps and you'll get through them easily. Be careful because a small swarm of G.D.BATs will suddenly appear almost immediately after you pass the last of the four traps, so stay high up on the screen and flying-kick past the fourth trap so that you can probably kick one in the face without flinging yourself into the pit of lava with a loud battlecry, Shadowgate Suicide Style (give or take an actual battlecry). Keep moving forward, and for now, ignore the key (though watch for three more G.D.Bats as you walk past it), and instead concentrate on beating down the RAXZILLA guarding the door. After you've done that, go back and get the key, and open the door. For the next section, you have two options- either run to the back of the arena, break the statue, and simply escape the area (you have to do this to leave this section no matter what, anyway), OR, slap the hell out of the three RAXZILLAs, take the key, and shove it into the chest for an easy $14. Be forewarned that once the chest is open, a spiked wall will close in from behind and hit you for horrible, HORRIBLE damage- quite probably an instant kill at this point in the game- if you are unable to leave the area quickly enough (and really, it shouldn't come anywhere near you unless you let it do so). Get the money and get gone! Stage 2-2: Casa Loma's Parking Lot NEW ENEMIES: RAYMOND (Guys in skateboarding gear.) HP: 51 Drops: $0.65 Raymond's sole purpose is to show up in pairs and make it much harder for you to fight Lucas at the end of the stage; you will never see him before or since the fight in question. Think of him like Cameron, except Raymond is MUCH faster than he was, and once you knock him off that skateboard, he's not afraid to continue the fight (although amusingly, he'll only use skateboards as weapons afterward- perhaps he feels that they have failed him). Luckily, once he's off the skateboard, he's a lot less of a pain in the neck. OLD ENEMIES: John, Alien, Raxzilla, Cameron, Paparazzi There's another stage here, and things play out exactly as before, except this time, you're up against four JOHNs, two RAXZILLAs and two ALIENs, then four CAMERONs, in that order. Be careful, since it's not easy to stay out of the way of that many Johns unless you're able to hit one out of the air. Try to bring a tripod with you after the battle is over, it'll come in handy for the next section. See, the next section is another of those 'destroy something before getting blown up' deals, and this time, two PAPARAZZI will be coming by to make the going harder than it needs to be with their stuntastic cameras, and the resulting explosion for failure works much like the bomb from earlier. Try not to let the Paparazzi distract you for too long, though it may be tricky at this point in your character's life. I find they tend to get on your case less if you hide out behind the car's back bumper. Straight ahead of this little diversion is the boss. BOSS! LUCAS LEE Ramona's SECOND Evil Ex-boyfriend! Powers: Look him up on the Web... HP: 348 Drops: $13.95, Mithril Skateboard (Too bad you don't have the rank in Skateboard Proficiency to use it.) Lucas isn't all that much harder than Matthew was, but his backup can be a lot more tenacious, dangerous and unpredictable than the Demon Hipster Chicks were. Luckily, if you are fast enough in defeating Lucas and keep the pressure on him, you won't ever see them. You really want to do as much damage as possible before the RAYMONDs start showing up in pairs, because at this point, the fight gets a lot more difficult. Lucas doesn't exactly creampuff his hits as it is, but he's a lot faster to smash your teeth in with one of the skateboards you'll liberate from the Raymonds- and the Raymonds themselves cause a LOT of damage when they crash into you with their skateboards. Lucas ALSO gets a move where, when he has a skateboard, he'll run to one corner of the screen, and charge across the arena in an obvious Z-shaped pattern. If you're careful, you can hit him while he's doing the diagonal part of that pattern because he WILL NOT adjust his movement at all during that time. If you're NOT careful, Lucas will mess you the hell up when he runs your ass over. Try to keep skateboards out of his hands by any means and knock them out at the earliest opportunity. Once Lucas is defeated, he'll try to make a run for it. Unfortunately, he didn't wear the proper safety equipment and thus does doesn't survive the ensuing bail. Gotta think survival, Lucas. STAGE 3: EVIL-EX CROSSOVER! TAKE DOWN THE CLASH AT DEMONHEAD! Level Recommendations: Get your Strength up to around 30 and your Speed not much lower. I'd also have started putting some points into Defense by now. See, Todd is, compared to the bosses you've fought thus far, built like a brick wall. You'll need every to be able to capitalize on the few opportunities you'll get to deal serious damage. The fact that the enemies are numerous and getting increasingly nasty means that you'll also have a hard time living to fight Todd otherwise. Stage 3-1: Leo's Place NEW ENEMIES: REX (A huge, gray-haired guy in a blue suit.) HP: 96 Drops: $1.30 The good news is that you know how to take him out; he's a body swap of Malcolm. The bad news is that he- with exactly two exceptions- ALWAYS appears with Brad, and they're a lot more powerful than Malcolm- bad news considering that Malcolm was a badass by himself. If you get caught between them, you are in serious trouble. BRAD (Ving Rhames with sunglasses in a blue suit.) HP: 108 Drops: $1.30 See REX; he's an exact copy of him aside from his appearance and slightly boosted health. I don't think I NEED to tell you that all that in mind, he's one tough bastard. RYAN (A brown-haired guy in all red, and wears a baseball cap.) HP: 102 Drops: $1.25 Remember Luke? Yeah, he's still around, so I'm sure you do. Okay, take him, put him on Super Crack and in a cooler outfit, and you have a pretty good idea of how Ryan fights. He's EXTREMELY dangerous and does heavy, heavy damage with his combos, IF he doesn't get lucky and score a HP-shattering critical hit or two on your ass during them (while he's not the first enemy who's capable of scoring critical hits, he's the first who seems capable of getting them more than once in a bad moon). And yes, you'd better believe that he WILL try to combo you every chance he gets. The moment you see him, move to take him out as fast as you can, because if he catches you unaware, you are going to pay the price. Try to get him to pick up a weapon, it gimps his ability to combo you to death. Did I mention he'll happily shoulder-tackle you for heavy damage as well? He does. It really sucks. OLD ENEMIES: Mike, Luke, Lee, Richard, Jesse, William This stage marks the point where the game has stopped fooling around with you, as implied earlier. Remember when I told you that having to fight four or five enemies at a time can lead to a lot of problems very quickly? You can and will fight upward of ten or twelve in this level. Several times. Did I mention that it's a really good idea to have bolstered your stats by now? You're soon set upon by a huge crowd that runs to the right. What isn't obvious (they look like complete NPCs) is that you can simply face the left and punch like crazy, knocking as many of them out as you can in one hit each, for 10 cents each. Life is cheap, right? Don't go too far forward after the crowd clears; you can lure out the three MIKEs and three LUKEs in small amounts, and you won't be so lucky later on- you need to conserve that HP while you can, because you'll notice that the enemies are starting to hit harder than they used to. Luckily, they have the same amount of HP as they used to. Having a higher Strength ensures that you'll get to find this out the hard way far less often. Life starts getting really difficult in short order- the next enemies are REX, BRAD, two LUKEs, and two MIKEs, with a RICHARD soon to follow. Rex and Brad would be huge pains in the ass on their own- you are fighting them at the same time, in a small crowd. Another Richard pops in when you're done with everybody else. Note that Rex and Brad seem annoyed more than anything else, and that they're still on the ground- yes, that IS a bad sign. If you can, try to hit Rex and Brad with a thrown weapon so you don't have to fight the entire crowd at once. It REALLY helps. LEE, RICHARD, JESSE, and three LUKEs follow this battle. Try to concentrate on Jesse before that tricky fighting style takes you out. See Leo's Shop? Good news- inside is the single best item in the game for boosting both Defense AND Willpower- the Concert T-Shirt, which boosts BOTH stats by EIGHT POINTS for only $19.95. The two food items here completely suck, but at least they're cheap, can act as snacks, and can be bought over and over against until the mid-boss battle. I will not think less of you for going back to this place repeatedly to fix up your health during this stage. Keep this place in mind, it even kicks the hell out of the Shopping District for pure value for your stat-boosting dollar... but only for the two mentioned stats. If you're very careful, you can lure out the next set of enemies- RICHARD, WILLIAM, and LEE- one at a time. Just don't get too close, and punch each of them one time- then run backward to draw them away from the crowd. Around the space you need to be at to activate LEE, JESSE and another Richard will join the fight, as well. Once you take them all out, WATCH OUT. RYAN will join the fight and he is a complete son of a bitch. Put your full focus on him and forget the MIKE. Once they're down, REX, BRAD, and six MIKEs will appear. If you beat Rex and Brad, the Mikes still standing will flee. WILLIAM follows, and don't go too far forward unless you want to activate LEE, JESSE, and RICHARD, quickly followed by another Lee, LUKE, and RYAN again. As before, don't EVER let up on Ryan unless you absolutely have to. There's another RICHARD just past that battle, and do NOT advance forward beyond where he stands, or else you'll run straight into a crowd of two LUKEs and TEN MIKES, to be quickly followed by another Luke. Once that crowd is down, LEE, RICHARD, and RYAN appear, followed by another Lee and Richard once all three of THEM are lying face-down in your growing Mosh Pit O Doom. The final battle of this section is you versus REX, BRAD, RICHARD, LEE, LUKE, and three MIKES. Again, if Rex and Brad are defeated, everyone else flees in terror. And yes, this time, Rex and Brad are defeated for real and will finally drop their money. I would heal up and buy Concert T-Shirts at this point; the rest of the stage is just you and three bosses, and you can't go back once the mini-rush starts. Stage 3-2a: The Main Stage MID-BOSS! ENVY ADAMS AND LYNETTE GUYCOTT LYNETTE (The one in the black) HP: 204 Drops: $2.50 You only have to defeat one of the two mid-bosses to win the fight, and Lynette's much easier to beat than Envy- I suggest you take her out. Keep close to Lynette and don't approach her head-on from long distance; she'll use that bionic arm of hers to either stab you through the floor if you stop moving at long range, or throw it across the room to nail you, also at long range. Both hurt a bit, but we're not talking Death-in-a-red-hat Ryan damage levels. She's pretty passive and once you've scored enough damage (it's not a high amount), she'll stop attacking and instead keep trying to teleport around until she gets dizzy. Before or after her teleport frenzy is the best time to hit her, but watch out- once she's dizzy, Envy's going to tag in and take her place. Get far away when this happens. ENVY (The expressive one with the ponytail) HP: 174 Drops: $2.50 If you're feeling brave or stupid- perhaps both- you can instead defeat Envy and the fight will end all the same. However, while Lynette was spending most of her time trying to avoid you, Envy is much more aggressive and she's fast enough to bust through your combos if you try to launch one, at least until you've built up some serious speed- and she's not exactly a soft touch. Also watch out for her off-the-wall flying kick. Luckily for you, she's a lazy bitch and doesn't stick around long before telling Lynette to tag back in. Stage 3-2b: Backstage Maze The goal is simple- stay ahead of Todd, who will soon pop into the area with a wave of psychic energy behind him. If he catches up to you, he will fling you forward, likely through several walls. Both the energy wave and EVERY wall you hit during this knockback hurt you. Your job is to run forward, smashing down every door in your way (running jump-kicks speed the process up a lot and may be able to take down doors in one hit if your Strength is high enough). Be quick about it because Todd has the potential to soften you up a whole lot for his boss battle if you're not. The Bass Battle is a joke, literally. Just hit X when prompted and learn exactly how pissed a man can get when you wreck his combo in Not Guitar Hero. Stage 3-2c: Let's Take It Outside... BOSS! TODD INGRAM Ramona's THIRD Evil Ex-Boyfriend! DATING: Envy Adams. Cheating on her, too! HP: 270 Drops: $15.95 as well as a free 1-up (Must be one of them Vegan things.) Todd is rather dangerous and nothing like the first two boss fights in terms of how you have to beat him- though once you DO know how to beat him, he's really not that hard to beat. However, this doesn't change the fact that Todd's defense is sky-high, and you quite unfortunately have to deal enough damage to him to force him to use a certain attack before you can actually deal serious damage to him. I will explain that in a moment. Don't stand in front of him; he'll lift you up with a psychic stranglehold that you'll have to break out of by mashing Square. It deals little damage, but he's not shy about using it while you try to close in on him. His main attack is to rear his head back and throw it forward into an electrical headbutt that he'll hold out for a while- during which time you can't get close. He is VERY not shy about doing this whenever you try to hit him, so you'd better be ready to cut your combo short when he rears back! If you stay far away, he'll psychically lift every weapon in the arena and fling it. I do have some good news for you, though. With the exception of the choke, you can block all of those moves and he makes it very clear when he's going to use them. Once you deal enough damage to piss him off, he'll leap to one side of the screen, and flash a screen-filling WARNING screen. He'll proceed to do his best Tetsuo impression and shoot a huge beam made of vegetables across the entire screen, which is not blockable, but fortunately only does as much damage as the electrical headbutt if you wander into it. You can, however, face him and block the flying veggies that will go across the screen during this time. And it's when that attack concludes that you've got your chance. Run forward and hit him as many times as you can; from that point until the Vegan Police leave the screen (it makes sense in the context of the comics and film), Todd's rock-hard defense crumbles and you can do full damage to him. From that point on, simply keep doing what you've been doing until Todd is defeated, keeping in mind that he'll play Veggie Tetsuo one more time than before every time he decides to use that attack. He should be dead shortly after the time he uses it three times in a row. DO NOT MISS THE ONE-UP HE DROPS. And yes... as I've said in the past, he will drop it every single time you beat him. If you're able to beat 3-2 without dying- it's not very hard, especially later in the game- you come out of it one life richer than before every time. By the way, you can't hurt Todd at all with thrown items if he's not in the middle of attacking. Just something to know. STAGE 4: SUMMERTIME BLUES! FOLLOW THAT NINJA CHICK! Level Recommendations: Get all of your stats to 40 or higher, possibly even 50 for Strength and Speed. Stage 3 was all about throwing one or two tough enemies into a huge crowd of weaklings. This stage is mostly about throwing one or two weaklings into huge crowds of angry ninjas. You really, REALLY want to be level 14 before you start fighting the ninjas, because the Grand Slam makes dealing with them so much easier. Stage 4-1a: Transit NEW ENEMIES: STELLA (A black-hatted girl on rollerskates) HP: 1 Drops: $0.75 Stella will charge across the screen one time, try to flying knee-kick you if you're in the way, and she doesn't come back for a second pass. Your jump-kicks have higher priority than her charge. Teach her to be flighty. RICK (A blonde guy in sunglasses and a dark coat) HP: 126 Drops: $1.60 As a kid, I played a game called Brawl Brothers. One variant of an enemy called "Phantom" had a really annoying shoulder-tackle that wasn't easy to avoid, and he did it constantly. Rick has evidently studied his tactics well, because he ALSO has a really annoying shoulder-tackle that isn't easy to avoid, AND knocks fifty cents out of you if it hits (though you can get it back). No other enemy in the game has an attack with that property. DAVID (A guy with a gray beanie and a dark coat) HP: 102 Drops: $1.25 Remember what an aggressive, hard-hitting bastard Ryan was? David is that except somehow even worse. OLD ENEMIES: Luke, Lee, Richard This stage is a huge step up from the third. The enemies are even tougher than before, and problem enemies are either hard to isolate or are the only enemies you'll find! The first part is RELATIVELY easy, but it's still damn hard if you're not careful. You're immediately attacked by two groups of three STELLAs each, but they don't come back should you fail to hit them. The first group comes from the left, the other from the right. Three LUKEs and RICK await you; don't go too far forward so you avoid triggering backup in the form of the next group of three STELLAs (they'll come in from both sides!), LUKE, and DAVID, to be soon joined by LEE and RICK, then RICHARD. Watch David, he is a BASTARD. And grab the metal baseball bat; DAVID will immediately come back to life to meet you at the back of the bus with RICK. Stage 4-1b: Tramway Roof NEW ENEMIES: HANZO (He's a ninja. He wears black.) HP: 66 Drops: $0.65, a katana (usually) In a stage that's already filled with new enemies that are very capable of smashing your teeth in, Hanzo is another such enemy. He stands out a bit for one major reason- he's the most common enemy in the level starting from the moment you see him. Hanzo drops a katana when he dies, and you very much want to pick it up. It's a very powerful weapon that has a very long range. You'll want it because it does unto you exactly what it does unto enemies- Hanzo is fast as hell, extremely powerful and VERY capable of scoring critical hits, and he will happily combo the hell out of your HP even when you're overleveled if you're not careful. You NEED a weapon to take them on reliably; they outrange you, overpower you, and outnumber you- and they KNOW it. Do not let them surround you; the Law of Conservation of Ninjitsu has been repealed with a vengeance in Toronto and they will mess you up FAST. Oh, and he's capable of attacking you if you're standing too close while he's getting up. OLD ENEMIES: David, Lee, Richard, Rick You're immediately met by DAVID and two LEEs when you start the stage, hopefully you still have your bat. You can knock them off the back of the tram if you want, but it's not easy to get David to cooperate with that cunning plan. I suppose that jumping to one's certain doom always raises a red flag in the cognitive process. Two RICHARDs and another DAVID await just afterward. Again, make David your priority target; he hits the hardest and is very happy to wreck your shit at every opportunity. You're probably guessing that those hatches are some sort of enemy dispersal device. You guess correctly. Three RICKs pop out of the hatch, and try to keep them together so they're less likely to hit you with the Shoulders of Poverty more than zero times. It's very possible for money to fall off the train. Oh, and speaking of which, so can you and the enemies- don't go too far up or down! LEE and RICHARD will join for flavor shortly into the battle. The next hatch houses DAVID, and only him. Defeat him before trying to move on. Okay, the good news is, that's the last you'll see of David for this stage, and you won't be seeing Ryan either. The bad news is, you're about to be set upon by two badass HANZOs and the rest of the stage focuses almost entirely on fighting him and his army of clones. A third will promptly join for now, and if you don't have a weapon, beat one out of them QUICKLY. You need the range; unarmed, the Hanzos WILL stay back and slash the maple syrup out of you with their swords at every opportunity. You almost NEED the Grand Slam because the added weapon attack speed and combo potential is vital for you to actually KEEP the assload of swords you will be picking up constantly, as well as dispatching ninjas QUICKLY. Yeah. The rest of this stage is going to suck for you. Stage 4-2: The Frying Tengu NEW ENEMIES: FUUMA (He's a ninja. He wears a white hood and a lighter outfit.) HP: 57 Drops: $1.60 Fuuma is a prick. Rather than attack at close range, he shoots fireballs that go all the way across the screen, and you'd better believe he'll run away from you just so you have to concentrate on other enemies while he shoots fire at you like an asshole. At least he does a lot less damage than Hanzo. FRANK (He's a ninja in red.) HP: 1 Drops: $0.25 Frank runs in packs, jumps across the screen, and throws several shuriken down at the ground. Considering the pack mentality they fight with, there's going to be a curtain of shuriken that's hard to entirely avoid unless you're well out of range when he appears with no warning. BUTA (A fat female ninja with a ponytail.) HP: 120 Drops: $1.60 Buta is a rather passive enemy with those knives of hers, though considering what a pain in the ass the Hanzos are, you should probably just consider her an example of the game showing mercy on you. She does a pretty good amount of damage when she bothers to attack, but she rarely does so. She DOES completely ignore standing Fast combos, though, so keep that in mind. DENZEL (He's a man on fire.) HP: 1 Drops: $0.75 Denzel runs diagonally across the screen, trying to ram you and set you on fire. He will keep doing this until either you hit him once, or until he manages to set himself on double fire in a process involving the lit grills. He's pretty damn fast and he moves erratically, so keep your distance. OLD ENEMIES: Stella, Rick This is where things become really difficult. I wasn't kidding when I said you'd mostly be fighting ninjas that have severe range advantages over you; in fact, you're about to be set upon by two HANZOs and a FUUMA just offscreen, and the game decided that you don't need to keep that sword you were holding before the tram crash. Get a sword. NOW. Try not to let enemies knock it out of your hands. Once you're past the grill (if you need to be told why not to jump on the flames, jump in a bonfire and see why for yourself), be prepared to dodge two STELLAs (one from both sides), and do battle with two HANZOs. A third and fourth will join very shortly. Moving on, when you see a knife on the ground, look out, a STELLA will soon come up on you from behind. Punish her for her transgressions. And for looking vaguely like a redheaded Tifa with a ponytail. Cosplay with more passion! And while you're at it, do the same to the two who then approach from the right. Watch out when you pass a set of doors with statues on both sides, not only will HANZO bust out of them, three STELLAs will charge in from the right to use the element of surprise while you're busy preparing for Ninja Justice. Oh, and BUTA will show up from the left, with another HANZO showing up when she's taken down. I told you that there would be a lot of ninjas on this stage. We are only getting started. BUTA, three HANZOs, and two RICKs come at you in roughly that order the moment you pass BUTA between the grills. Work quickly, Rick's shoulder tackles will distract you heavily from the ninja menace. With any luck, they'll jump on the grills like idiots and burn their asses off. Speaking of which, meet DENZEL and his pals! You'll fight one, then three, then a few more- they come at you pretty quickly and they have a tendency to commit suicide via double fire on the grills, so it's hard to tell exactly how many come in all. Just watch their movement patterns. See that gong not far from the bunch of dead people on fire? It's a bonus section. Just destroy the eleven totems that come down before time runs out and you get a free $10. It's easy, especially if you have a sword. And you really want to have one. Two HANZOs and two FUUMAs make their appearance soon after, and three FRANKs jump in out of nowhere almost immediately after. TRY not to get hit, but there's no way I can guarantee your safety on this one. Two more HANZOs will show up once everyone else is down. Three HANZOs will pop out of discolored spots in the floor that then become pits, followed by two BUTAs. Don't get too close to the discolored spots you'll soon see a lot of; they will likewise become pits- with you likely to fall right in them in the process of 'uncovering' them. That in mind, do pay attention to the three HANZOs that are hanging around once you start seeing more of the spots. It's probably also not going to hurt by this point to enter that store in the back and pick up a few things to eat- the Kuchiyaki Moriawase will restore 100 HP/GP, and give you a couple of minor stat boosts as well. Keep the place in mind if you're hurting and haven't left the Frying Tengu yet. There's a door with a star-shaped hole in it that you can enter to reach another Subspace Highway. If you have any sense, you'll just skip the rest of the stage (there's not much left to go) and head straight to the Tengu Gardens. If you do this, just scroll down until I say 'I have a chip in my brain'. But if you're like me and don't have any sense, prepare to dodge a bunch of slow iron balls rolling in from the right. As punishment for your perseverance, you will also be forced to fight two HANZOs and three FUUMAs. Seriously, there is no reason to not use the Subspace Highway for bonuses. Just go inside of it. Stage 4-3a: Chengdu Gardens OLD ENEMIES: Hanzo, Buta, Fuuma, Frank You just don't listen to me, do you? You get to fight two HANZOs and a BUTA because you just HAD to do things the hard way, and now you can't get your bonus. I hope you're proud of yourself. You won't even get to keep your sword from earlier. I have a chip in my brain. Not really. Though it would probably explain a lot. So now you fight four HANZOs, straight out of the gate. If you came here from the Subspace Highway, you won't have a sword, so be sure you get one quickly. Two FUUMAs are ready to surprise you with a fireball to the face the moment you move on from the battle, so keep your eyes open. By the way, for now until I say otherwise, stay on the left side of the bridge. If you go too far beyond it, the game- however occasionally- may occasionally trap an enemy behind the river and bridge, where you will not be able to reach it, thus killing your stage progress, and you will have to return to the map. This sucks and at this point in the stage you really don't want that. Just stay where you are and kick HANZO's ass yet again, along with BUTA and her twin, as well as three more FUUMAs (the third will come in from the left after a few moments. Consider knocking a few of them into the river if they're really being bitches to you. At this point, you're justified. And while you're at it, do it to the fourth FUUMA that will probably wait until you try to cross the bridge to attack. How dare he take advantage of the occasional bug. I decree that you are to dunk him into the river for his shenanigans! Over the bridge are four HANZOs and three FRANKs. Again, watch out for the sudden appearance of the Franks; they do not know the concept of the warning shuriken. Another HANZO will sneak up from the left, but after all of them are done, you are finally done with this meat grinder of a stage. Just go straight into the star door and go through the Subspace Highway. Stage 4-3b: Ramona's Backyard BOSS! ROXANNE RICHTER Ramona's FOURTH Evil Ex-Boyfriend! Gender: Female. HP: 470 Drops: $24.95 in cuddly animals You can make this battle a LOT easier by picking up one of the bamboo swords lying around and I seriously implore you to do so- Roxanne's fighting style is basically Ultra-Hanzo and you know how well the normal ones can fight. Don't stand in front of her at any distance; short range will see you getting ninja'd hardcore, and long range will cause her to do her best Ivy Valentine impression- yes, that's a whip sword in her hand! And indeed, if she gets lucky and crit-hits you- and she's one of the few bosses that seems to be capable of doing so, at least at her level of frequency- well, it's gonna hurt a LOT. You are REALLY better off just getting a bamboo sword and swinging it at Roxanne repeatedly, not giving her the chance to attack- this is remarkably easy to do and will end the fight in a hurry, quite possibly without taking any damage in the process. If she decides to split into four, quickly get to the side of the screen and hide on the lighter part of the grass; during the series of attacks she'll do, she can't hit you as long as you're there- and I'm not sure you can hurt her at any point during this attack. Again- get a weapon, and don't let up on her. You REALLY don't want to go through the entirety of the stage again. STAGE 5: NIGHT OF TERROR! THE TWINS ARE UNSTOPPABLE? Stage 5-1: Halloween Party Level Recommendation: You actually don't need to do any special leveling for this stage; though the third section can be a bit of a pain, overall this is far easier than the previous two stages. The stage is a bit long so you may want to consider getting around 50 Defense, though... just in case. Really, considering how much money you earned from the last stage, what excuse do you have for not doing so? Hell, while you're at it, send your Speed as high as you can get it with whatever remains. NEW ENEMIES: PINATA (A giant pi¤ata with a sombrero.) HP: N/A Drops: $3.40 Just a little bonus that drops from the ceiling in specific places- slap it around a bit to knock it down for some easy money. RETURN OF RAXZILLA (Looks exactly like before.) HP: 63 Drops: $1.00 The only reason I'm bothering to mention him up here- not the least of the reasons being that you fight him exactly once- is because his attacks are far more powerful than before. Watch out. ROBOT CHUCK (He's wearing a blue suit, his (robot) head IBM.) HP: 84 Drops: $0.80 Robot Chuck is mostly about annoying you. He loves to jump up and perform a diving punch, and he tries to grab weapons when he can, but he's slow as hell and doesn't do much damage. Not a threat aside from how occasionally he refuses to stop blocking. LINUS (Get the pumpkin off your head.) HP: 24 Drops: $0.40 Linus is a complete wimp. If at this point you're NOT taking him out before the end of your Fast combo, I'm impressed at how you've gotten this far without boosting your stats- and stop reading this guide, as you clearly have no need for it. He shares Robot Chuck's love of not attacking you as often as he should. HARLEY (If William and Linus had a kid that aged very quickly.) HP: 132 Drops: $1.75 Harley is basically William, but with better stats. Despite his high health, he's really not much to be worried about. However, if he starts bothering to hit you, it does a lot of damage, so don't ignore them. Not that you really can with beat-em-up rules. TOM (Google "Tom Guycot". Otherwise, he's Skullhead Dude.) HP: 69, sometimes 99 Drops: $0.95 Tom is probably the only enemy in this area that poses any sort of real threat. Remember Jesse from a few stages back? Tom acts much like... Jesse, but with stats much more appropriate to the area. Despite the fact that he usually doesn't hit hard, he scores critical hits fairly often, so don't let him combo you; he'll try to do so at every opportunity. Keep in mind that he's actually immune to most Strong attacks (he'll simply step out of their way), and he's fast enough to stay out of range if you just walk at him. OLD ENEMIES: Alien You can skip the vast majority of this stage through the star door RIGHT AT THE BEGINNING OF THE STAGE- just go left and up. Hai Subspace Highway! If you're an idiot like me, refrain from scrolling down until you hear me say 'I don't like snow'. It's fair enough because most of the enemies here are no real threat. You start off fighting the RETURN OF RAXZILLA and ROBOT CHUCK, and a PINATA will drop from the ceiling. You don't need to destroy pi¤atas but it's a good idea to do so. Watch out because Raxzilla is way, WAY more powerful than before- at 33 Defense, he can deal 40 damage. Once you've ensured that Toho will have no competition, move on and kick the ass of the three ROBOT CHUCKs that appear from the conspicuous door. Another Robot Chuck and two LINUSes will show up once you've run the Fist Virus into their heads enough times. You'll soon come to another door, which houses another ROBOT CHUCK and three LINUSes. This is little more of a threat than the last battle; Linus is possibly even more of a wuss than Mike. The extra LINUS that will then appear is, by that definition, just the game wasting your time. Move forward- when the screen starts to shake, just hang out at the bottom of the screen. The rolling disco ball will never so much as touch you, but mind the two HARLEYs and ALIEN that very much want to touch you, with closed fists, on the face, at high velocity. TOM will join the battle shortly, so try to defeat the Harleys quickly, because their weaknesses and immunities are polar opposites. If you can take them all down, another PINATA will soon drop as a reward. I hate the cold. So not looking forward to winter on this end of the internet. Anyway, TOM stands around not long after that, and LINUS will hop by to say 'hi and suck my fist' as you battle him. If you decide to go forward, step between the two rolling disco balls that again come from the left, and get ready for the two ROBOT CHUCKs and three HARLEYs. Then you've got something different... MID-BOSS! ROBOT-01 Invented by the Twins! Size: Small. HP: 210 Drops: Dead and little else. Threat: Even less. Despite the build-up, and the first time you'll see the boss introduction anywhere besides an actual boss fight, Robot-01 should be ashamed to consider itself a boss. You have fought enemies on this stage that hit harder than this guy, have more tricks to their fighting style, and are overall smarter. Robot-01 has slightly less HP than two enemies on the next stage. Why am I bothering to continue this section? I guess he can kick you while he's down, but really... he's a breeze. Stage 5-2: Fire Escape OLD ENEMIES: Tom, Harley, Linus, Robot Chuck TOM will jump out of a window to come after you, and a HARLEY will come from both sides of the screen. Mind their opposing weaknesses, as before. After they're all lying dead in a rainstorm, proceed forward to fight another TOM, two LINUSes, and a ROBOT CHUCK. Wait before you jump over the railing; there's a welcome mat that is the ONLY clue you have as to there being a shop right there. Go in the door and recharge yourself, courtesy of Scott's parents. Keep a Tropical Drink around as a 40 HP/15 GP snack, and a Filet Mignon will bump you up to full HP/GP (assuming you're not Stills and happen to have 9 or less HP on a maxed Defense). NOW you can jump over the railing. IGNORE the enemies or jump-kick through them, just get them out of your way because huge robot hands are punching the fire escape out, and well, you need to get up to the roof before the whole thing collapses underneath you! Luckily, it doesn't do a lot to you if you actually DO fall down, but really, why trouble yourself? Just prepare yourself to get some revenge... MID-BOSS! SUPER FIGHTING ROBOT Invented by the Twins! Size: Maximum!!! HP (per hand): 152 Drops: From the sky and explodes into uselessness. Your targets are the hands, and you want to take one out as soon as possible. The hands will try to pound down on top of you, grab you (you can wiggle out, and if you're fast, it shouldn't hurt you at all), or try to clap you between them if both of them remain intact. They WILL try to knock you between them, and you really don't want that. The Super Fighting Robot can retreat into the background, as well- if both hands are intact, it will fire a huge volley of missiles that are a bitch and a half to successfully dodge, simply because there are so many of them. If only one is intact, the robot will fire a strangely weak laser that fires directly in front of it- get to the upper corners of the screen to avoid being hurt. Again, if you can take one hand out, the fight becomes a lot easier- you can't block either the missiles or the beam, but at least avoiding the beam is easier than Tina Foster after three beers. Stage 5-3a: Dragons' Den NEW ENEMIES: DOBERMAN X (They look the same as before, but they're more dangerous now.) HP: 108 Drops: $0.90 They're the same Dobermans you fought back in Stage 1, except on steroids. Their bites do MUCH more damage and they have much more health as well. Be very cautious. DONNIE (A fat Asian guy.) HP: 168 Drops: $0.95 Donnie is yet another Fat Guy with the same immunity to Fast combos. In fact, he's the last such new enemy you'll meet, and definitely the most dangerous of the bunch- he hits the hardest, is quick to attack (if slow to move), and he's got the HP to ensure that he'll stick around for a while. Even so, he's got nothing on his friend... SAMMO (A smaller Asian guy with glasses.) HP: 156 Drops: $1.60 Sammo is one of the most dangerous enemies in the game, if not THE most dangerous. He hits damn hard, is very fast on his feet, has a bitchton of health, and he's riding the block button like he's Richard. Your best bet for fighting him is to either attack him in ways he can't block (for best results, either wait for him to perform a diving punch, or try to get him to pick up a weapon), or by using running attacks to at least try to hit him HARD should he screw up and drop his guard. Do not take this guy lightly. OLD ENEMIES: Rex, G.D.Bat, Brad Be careful as you move to the right; three DOBERMAN Xs will quickly rush onto the screen with REX tagging behind, and you don't need a demonstration of the dogs' newfound strength. Something must be in that Iams. Stay aggressive, because if you aren't, they will be. After you've committed your share of animal cruelty for the day (everyone knows that Rex is a disguised gorilla), walk forward onto the pipe and flying-kick so that you're the one who catches the G.D.BATs off-guard. DONNIE and SAMMO approach you for the first time not far beyond it- be ready for them, and don't allow either of them a chance to attack if you can avoid it. Try to take out Donnie first, or at least get him away from Sammo so you can grab and beat down the blocky one. I know what you're thinking in regards to that pipe. Don't do it. Just walk across the path it takes around the spikes (which, by the way, count as a pit), and jump-kick when you get to the uppermost part, which will spawn another wave of G.D.BATs that are best greeted in advance with violence. The same thing will happen when you walk on the lowermost part, and when you're off the pipe altogether, another swarm will attack the same general area- just get to the upper part of the screen if you don't want to chance it. Time your passing between the dragon statues' breath attacks (they alternate), and stay high up so the bats don't hit you as they pass yet again. After your short platforming segment, REX, BRAD, and SAMMO will come after you. This time, SAMMO has a club in his hands that you'd do well to grab, and while you're at it, try to send one or more of them into the spikes if you can. It shouldn't be hard to take them down; you've got the advantage here. Just move on, and watch the snakes. Their pattern is obvious (first third, second third, third... third, GOTO 10), so just walk past them and be careful on the following platforms. G.D.BATs will attack you on the first, another dragon statue will try to fry you on the second, and past the third is a gauntlet of iron balls that zoom in from the right that you should NOT try to jump over or get fancy with- simply sidestep out of the way of anything that looks like it's gonna hit you. Afterwards, you'll be ambushed in the most obvious way possible short of a huge sign saying 'ENEMIES HERE' by three SAMMOs, all with clubs. It's a good idea to capitalize on their current inability to block, they tend to not go back for their weapons once you forcibly disarm them. After they're all down in the name of Project A, BRAD and a SAMMO will run in from the left, immediately followed by REX and another SAMMO from the right. That's the last fight of this section; just bash the statue halves ahead until they sink into the ground, and get ready for the boss. You may want to grab a club- the bosses are much easier with one in your hands. Stage 5-3b: The Twins' Lair BOSS! KYLE KATAYANAGI and KEN KATAYANAGI Ramona's FIFTH and SIXTH evil ex-boyfriends! Powers: Being Japanese... (The game slips and calls Ken 'Kevin' for some reason.) HP (either twin): 216 Drops (total): $34.90, knowledge that there's no way to NOT get the PS Trophy for defeating them at the same time. The Twins hit rather hard and they have some VERY nasty team-up attacks that, thankfully, they telegraph- trust me, you'll know it when they're setting them up. However, if you're carrying a club like I told you to, they're kind of like Roxanne in terms of what you can do to them... and less like Roxanne in that you outrange them and they can do little about it when you start attacking them from your maximum range. And funnily enough, if their team-up attacks hit you, they usually send you flying so hard that THEY get hit. This is quite funny if and when this hit manages to critical on them. I only speak entirely from personal experience. If either of the Twins goes down, the remaining Twin will immediately stop what he's doing and run over to revive the other. Don't panic too much; the heal is minimal and the healer is left WIDE open while he does his thing, which takes several seconds. Much like the rest of the stage, they're really not difficult at all. Enjoy the drops! STAGE 6: FRANK WEST IS NOT HERE TO HELP YOU! TOKEN DOPPELGANGER SMACKDOWN FROM THE GRAVEYARD! (There's no intro text for this stage. Sometimes you have to improvise.) Level Recommendations: If you've yet to build your Speed up to around the maximum, do so, it won't hurt you- and if you really don't want to go that far, shoot for around 70 or so. If you can manage it (you should), none of your other stats should be below 60, either. The enemies in this stage can get really nasty really quickly- in addition, the game is done throwing you breather bosses, and is all too happy to show it with one of the nastiest bosses in the game. Stage 6-1: The Park NEW ENEMIES: OWL (BIIIIIIIRDS!!!) HP: 7 Drops: $0.90 Much like all bird enemies in video games, these guys are quite the pests to take down despite their low HP (you can count on taking them out in one hit by now if you haven't been dragging your feet in regards to your stats). The problem is LANDING that one hit you need to take them down; they're high in the air, love to surround you, and if you miss them with your jump-kick, they'll likely send you dive-bomb you straight into their friends for heavy damage. Once they leave the screen, they'll come back for another divebombing run, so stay near the middle of the screen to give yourself the best chance of reacting to their reappearance. WOLVERINE (Looks more like a rabid badger to me.) HP: 108 Drops: $0.90 I'm convinced these things are bipolar because, while hardly slow to begin with, they'll seem to randomly and VERY suddenly get a huge burst of speed while they're moving around. All the better to almost immediately lunge at you with a claw swipe with a HUGE attack range, and boy does it hurt. Luckily, despite their low profile, MOST of your characters you can hit them just fine without having to resort to low attacks- and when I say that, I mean to say that for some reason, Scott (and Negascott) is the only one who can't hit them with standing Fast combos, though he CAN hit them with standing Strong combos among many other options. HERMEY (An elf.) HP: N/A Drops: $1.00 every time you hit him. These guys don't attack you and serve no purpose aside from allowing you to VERY briefly punch the crap out of them for extra money. Be quick to do so when you see them! OLD ENEMIES: Ryan, David, Doberman X, G.D.Bat This stage isn't very long, but a fair deal of the enemies are rather nasty to make up for that. Indeed, DAVID and RYAN immediately set upon you and I'm sure you remember them quite well. The good news is that at least with your stats being beefed up, they aren't nearly the nightmares they were when you first met them, but they still hit hard. Just to drive the point home further, the next battle in the snow is another DAVID, with two DOBERMAN Xs. The forested area just beyond the apparent rain shadow effect is home to another DOBERMAN X, as well as a rather nasty little section. When you see the key in a rock, quickly change your vertical position so two OWLs from opposite sides of the screen don't just dive-bomb you. Ignore them until you break the rock because they'll just respawn otherwise, and the fewer of those things you have to kill, the better- they really hurt and are annoying as hell. Ignore the key for now; the gate you need to use it on is after several more fights and you can simply go back and get it later. HERMEY should pop up just in front of a house in the background. Pummel him for extra cash but be ready for the two FURIOUS BADG- er, WOLVERINEs that will come in from the right- possibly very quickly with claws drawn if you're too close. Be careful, these guys hit REALLY hard and as I've mentioned, Scott has a lot of attacks that don't hit them if you're playing as him. The game leaves you a few clues as to a hidden shop- there's a star-like pattern in the foliage, with two people to both sides of it. Go inside and go to the right; there's some rather nice things in the shop- the Special Training unlocks your Tech Attack 2, whatever it is, and the Ginkgo Biloba is a snack- type item that restores 90 HP/GP- among the best in the game for just $9.95! I don't think I need to tell you to come back here if you're left hurting by future battles. And you may need it because just past here is a WOLVERINE and four OWLs- oddly enough, three from the left and only one from the right. They're kind of a pain. Once you're on the steps, stay on the top step so the four WOLVERINEs can't catch you with their terrain trickery- they can usually hit you that way while you can't do the same in return, though of course if THEY go down a step for whatever reason, follow, for the same reasons. Past the stairwell, wait for the signal that you should probably move, and stay out of the way of the shadows- they don't seem to ever change position, so stay in the lower-left to avoid being clobbered by morbid debris. Then punch the hell out of two HERMEYs that appear. They'll so need dentists. And don't rush too far forward too quickly unless you want to run straight into a pack of G.D.BATs, though just beyond them is the gate you need that key for. Go back and get it; I'll wait for you in stage 6-2. Stage 6-2: Eerie Forest NEW ENEMIES: ZOMBIE JERRY (A male zombie with what I'm pretty sure is a worm in his eye.) HP: 216 Drops: $0.60 Zombie Jerry is very slow. Zombie Jerry takes forever to get up when knocked down. Zombie Jerry absorbs more damage than John McClane after a chromium overdose and if you give him enough opportunity to do so, his decomposing ass can hit you rather hard, especially if you give him the opportunity to do so more than once. ZOMBIE LUCY (I don't think zombies are supposed to jiggle like that.) HP: 224 Drops: $0.70 The oddly busty distaff counterpart to Zombie Jerry, she shares many traits with him. Slow as hell, and even at max Strength she's not going down quickly. She's also a LITTLE faster to the draw when it comes to attacking, and that bony arm swipe she can do comes out much faster than it has any right for her brain-and-body-dead self to be able to do. OLD ENEMIES: Doberman X, G.D.Bat, Tom Four of those wonderfully hard-hitting (well, wonderful for THOSE bastards) DOBERMAN Xs rush you from the right as you start this section. Be quick and stay out of their way. You'll start seeing open graves, and if you spent the enemy list singing irritating songs while covering your eyes, you'd probably assume that's not a good sign. Well, not so much the two G.D.BATs that fly over the open grave, but the ZOMBIE JERRY that comes by a little more so. Alone, he is a complete pushover- you may beat him down or simply throw him into the grave, it's up to you. Not so simply are the four ZOMBIE JERRYs and the five ZOMBIE LUCYs just past him. This time around, try to just throw them into the graves; they have a TON of HP and aren't really worth the effort it takes to beat them down normally. If you go forward a bit, two TOMs will appear, and if you defeat them, you can simply flee past the zombies. Just watch out for the G.D.BATs that fly above regardless of whichever option sends you past this little skirmish. Five ZOMBIE JERRYs and five ZOMBIE LUCYs await you once Negascott does his little laugh, and the game kind of implies that you really want to just make things easy on yourself and throw everything down the two open graves. I kind of imply the same. TOM and two ZOMBIE LUCYs will eventually wander in, but this time around, there's no way to cut the fight short. Just give the province a reason to dig a few more graves. BOSS! NEGASCOTT Scott Pilgrim's Evil Twin! Rating: Negative Awesome! HP: 678 Drops: $18.95. The hardest bosses drop the measliest rewards. Negascott is your notice that from this point forward, the bosses are done screwing with you. He hits very hard, is fast as hell, and is one of the only bosses that can semi-reliably interrupt your attacks if you beat on him for too long. He is VERY happy to use his Tech Attack 2 (the same one you get when you use him) to suddenly bash you in the face and send you flying, seemingly whenever he thinks it would be funny- if your Speed isn't VERY high, it just means he'll do it more and more often. And on top of all that, he throws Evil Hadokens if you get too far away. There actually isn't a lot of strategy I can give; you're basically fighting a superpowered Scott as controlled by the computer. NEVER attack him directly from the front, and don't try to use Strong combos unless you like sucking Negascott's flying knees. In fact, try to make him wander into your punches if at all possible; Negascott's only real flaw is that MOST of his attacks are short-ranged (he IS a clone of Scott... an EVIL clone), so there's actually a chance that he'll do so. STAGE 7: BATTLE AT THE CHAOS THEATRE! GIDEON'S LAST STAND! Level Recommendation: If you plan on fighting the second boss (Gigadeon) here WITHOUT the aid of the superweapon I'll point out, you NEED to be maxed out or very close to it in every stat and even then it's going to be hard as hell to not only beat him, but to ALSO finish the stage without having the last of your shattered stock of lives leave you (assuming you don't want to bring more than your typical amount of lives into the stage). If you ARE going to use the superweapon, it's still a good idea to at least clear 70 in all of your stats; Gigadeon doesn't suddenly become completely harmless, and there are two long, difficult stages that bookend the battle- both of which have bosses at the end. Stage 7-1a: Chaos Theatre Elevator ENEMIES: Sammo, Rex, Doberman X, Donnie, David, Ryan, Brad See that timer on the top of the screen? If it reaches zero, the elevator blows up, causes far less damage than you'd expect, and throws you straight to the fight with Super Gideon. As the stage title clearly states, this is one of those elevator stages common to most beat-em-ups, so I'll break up this section by the fights you'll see; they very obviously come in waves. I don't think I need to tell you of two ways to cut most of the fights short, one on each side of the elevator. BEFORE STOP 1: Two SAMMOs. Just heave them off the elevator. STOP 1: So you know, for every stop you make, you'll have to break the four gadgets that hold the elevator in place before you can move on- though you'll have to beat everyone in the current wave before the elevator actually does so. That said, REX and two DOBERMAN Xs must be defeated to advance. The Dobermans are all too happy to charge at you and straight into the pit if they miss. I would share with you my opinions on dogs but there's a good chance I'd piss you off; suffice to say that these video game versions are pretty close to what I'd have to say. BEFORE STOP 2: Three DONNIEs. Just heave them off the elevator. Consider the extra weight exercise. If you don't want to throw them, note that Fast combos- while they still don't hurt them- do knock them back a bit. STOP 2: DAVID and RYAN. If you haven't defeated the Donnies yet, this is a bit of a pain, so act quickly. BEFORE STOP 3: Two SAMMOs and DONNIE. Another fight best taken care of the Leonidas way. STOP 3: SAMMO, DONNIE, REX and BRAD. Try to huck the first two into the remaining pit if you can. BEFORE STOP 4: SAMMO and DONNIE. Wild guess what I want you to do. STOP 4: DAVID, and two RYANs with baseball bats. David is your priority until the Ryans lose their weapons; once they do, just go nuts. BEFORE STOP 5: Two DAVIDs and another RYAN. Knock them off the sides. Trust me, it's quicker and safer. STOP 5: Iron balls zoom in from the door; stay on the bottom of the screen so they just roll harmlessly down the pit. BEFORE STOP 6: Five SAMMOs, some with clubs. Throw them down the pit as quickly as possible and get your hands on one of those clubs! STOP 6: A crowd just like the one on stage 3 appears. If you haven't beaten the SAMMOs yet, forget them and get to the bottom of the screen. Once all four of the elevator stoppers are destroyed, the section ends regardless of whether there are any remaining enemies, so if you need to get a club, make sure you take the opportunity before you've lost it. Assuming you made it through all the fights, in case of need to destroy seven evil exes, break glass. Stage 7-1b: Pleasure Palace BOSS! SUPER GIDEON GRAVES Ramona's SEVENTH Evil Ex-boyfriend?! Powers: Just look at him! HP: 931 Drops: Your ass into his own Subspace Highway Super Gideon is a tricky opponent, but not unmanageable if you know what you're doing... and especially if you've got one of Sammo's clubs. It becomes much more obvious that he hits very hard and very quickly at a nice range if you don't. If you see him pose similarly to Negascott, quickly get out of the way of a one-winged shoulder-tackle that goes across a fair bit of the screen. Super Gideon reacts... not like many other enemies when you knock him down. He'll occasionally jump off-screen and rain meteors down on your head (avoid the shadows)- or possibly just one big one when he's down to his last few hundred HP. I've seen him get annoyed and do the meteor drops without having first been knocked down though- unlike his tendency to do that same Negascott pose and suddenly start flashing as if he's invincible. Appropriate, really, because he IS invincible until he stops flashing. Just stay far away from him until he knocks it off. If he does the meteor drop, at least he lands exactly where he left the screen... Stay on top of things during this battle; Super Gideon is no joke and he's VERY capable of kicking your ass. Unfortunately, video game law is in effect, and the final boss never dies just once. As if the two substages after this weren't already an indication. Stage 7-2: Subspace Highway? NEW ENEMIES: MEDUSA HEAD (You know what they are, imagine them the Bryan Lee O'Malley way.) HP: 6 Drops: $0.25 Ah, the days of Castlevania, where these things would do just enough damage to annoy you while throwing you off of every platform in the game while you fought snarling undead horrors, monsters from every regional lore you could think of, and the most dreaded foe of all, horrible jumping physics. These cartoony equivalents exist solely to float quickly down the Subspace Highway and catch you off guard a couple of times while you're trying to make your way to Gideon so you can speak to him in your native tone of Bitchslap. This is the one Subspace Highway that is not like the others- it is not a bonus stage, you can actually be hurt here, and it's topped off with the biggest pain-in-the-ass boss in the game. What the game wants you to do is carefully walk through, avoiding pits and falling blood droplets that do a lot of damage if you fail to dodge them, in addition to fighting a couple of MEDUSA HEADs at the very end. What I want you to do is run as fast as you can straight down the middle of the stage, jumping over pits, failing to jump over some of the later pits, and ignoring everything until you have to jump-kick a couple of MEDUSA HEADs at best. Trust me, in the long run, you will take FAR less damage this way, and you will need every HP you have for the rest of the game. Once you see Gideon again, there's a sword in a cloud. If you're not familiar with Scott Pilgrim, that's the Sword of Love. Grab it and keep it, it makes the following fight easier by a value that should not be, it is so high in magnitude. If you are like me and do not grab it because you weren't that familiar with the series when you bought the game and you thought it was just an odd background element, the next fight is hell and will almost require you to stock up on extra lives if you want to get through the rest of the game with more than a few HP. I didn't figure the sword out until after I beat Supreme Master. I am an idiot. BOSS! GIGADEON GRAVES Ramona dated this guy?! Powers: Undefeatable!! HP (Part 1): Slightly over 1000 HP (Part 2): At LEAST 2500 Drops: Dead after far, far too long a fight, geez! Is it just me or does Gideon resemble Kazunori Shimoda when he does the shiny glasses thing? By the way, if you're not 18 or older, don't Google that so you can try to answer me. With the sword, this is a short, but very difficult battle. Without it, it will take you about thirty minutes, and make the Stop Having Fun Guys do biologically questionable things in pleasure due to the horrifying difficulty of the fight. I will not assume for a second that you don't have the Sword of Love. Phase 1 is simple, but annoying as hell if you don't attack from the farthest possible range you can still hit Gigadeon's bottom half with. The six heads of the evil exes (amusingly, Roxanne still has her boobs) spit lightning balls at you, one at a time, and if you get too close, Gigadeon emits a massive electroshock that has even more evil range than your Sword of Love- he loves to counter your hits with it as well, so again, stay well out of range. If you can do that, you shouldn't take a single hit- Gigadeon might not be able to attack at all aside from the constant countering-that-won't-hit. Phase 2 is not nearly so simple, though the sword will at least cut the fight down to a manageable time period. Gigadeon's fist reaches across most of the screen and does heavy, heavy damage- NEVER stand directly in front of his horrible death fist; though it's somehow blockable, you're carrying a weapon, and thus can't block. Be careful if he moves backward; he'll either shoot bloody skulls out of his mouth that'll bounce off the platform, or call down lightning from above (you can tell where it's coming from; this ain't Lightning Look-out). Be VERY careful if he gets mad and slams both fists into the platform; it removes part of the playing field (only to an extent, though if he does it too many times, you will indeed have nowhere behind you to run), and he'll soon shoot three massive skulls from his heart that scream across the screen. Stay low on the screen to ensure you're not in its vertical range. I've actually heard that his heart is the actual target and that all you're doing by attacking his arms is forcing that last attack to occur so you can actually hit it. That may be so, and I could buy that since it makes sense- and I've got my suspicions that the theory is entirely true. But it's kind of hard to tell if it's true since his arms ALWAYS flash when he's hit, and only his arms, no matter whether the heart's open to attack or not, I'm still going to guess that you'll need to ultimately deal around the value I brought up in damage to bring him down. If you have the Sword of Love, this is still a tough fight, but it's actually on par with the first and last forms Gideon takes... without it, Gigadeon is the most difficult boss in the game by a landslide. However, whichever path you take to victory, the game is not over, and Gideon still has some tricks up his sleeve... Stage 7-3: Final Stage: Techno Base NEW ENEMIES: ROBOT-01 (Can we say, "Degraded Boss"?) HP: 210 Drops: Nothing Robot-01 is EXACTLY the same as his 'boss' variant. He's still next to no threat; the only difference is that this time, he can show up in packs. MUSCLEBOMBER (A big, dark gray robot with huge 'hands'.) HP: 150 Drops: A nasty surprise if you're too close! These guys are a pain in the ass. They're basically a robotic version of Malcolm, Rex and Brad- they block a lot and they don't let you do much to get around it (you can't grab them and they're REALLY hard to knock down). They may not do as much damage as their meatbag counterparts, but it's not a whole lot less, and if you're standing too close to them once they're defeated, they're wired to blow. It hurts. ABSYMBEL (Totally not the Opa-Opa. Nopers.) HP: 108 Drops: Nothing This Fantasy Zone reject can shoot you, and will take every opportunity to do so. You're lucky that it doesn't do a whole lot of damage, because once it gets on a roll, it'll do everything it can to get into its attack range and stay there. They can also be an asshole and aim their shots upward to shoot you out of the air if you leap at them, so watch out. BEE-O (Baxter Stockman called. Stop modifying his Mousers.) HP: 1 Drops: Nothing Take these guys out FAST! They only take one hit to kill, but they're extremely aggressive until you land that hit, and what with them typically showing up in packs, their surprising damage output can add up very, very quickly with all their spinning and jumping around! FLYING BEE-O (Now they fly.) HP: 36 Drops: Nothing A few too many Red Bolts have given these guys the means to take you on from the air, acting much like a cross between and Owl and Absymbel, with the pack mentality of the Owls. Take them down as fast as you can with your best jumping attack; they'll never come down to eye level if you don't, and you'll get caught up in their gunfire very quickly otherwise. ALBERTA (Blue-haired Cyborg Robot Android girls.) HP: 156 Drops: $1.45 If they blocked attacks more often than they actually did, they'd probably be on par with Sammo regarding how dangerous they are. They almost always travel in packs, they hit HARD, are extremely aggressive, and they have the speed to keep pace with you if you try to get away! Don't underestimate their appearances, and try to get one of their shock rods if you can pry it from their unfeeling cybernetic hands- assuming you don't mind the fact that it's instant-knockdown on anything it hits (it does truncate your combos...). WRIGHT (Dudes with jetpacks.) HP: 120 Drops: $1.25 These guys are kind of like the flying Bee-Os if they stayed on-screen at all times, were a lot more resilient, and shot way bigger bullets. You're lucky that they're not nearly so trigger-happy; keep the pressure on them with flying kicks so they don't get a chance to attack. Interestingly enough, sometimes you don't have to jump to be able to hit them, but don't play "Find That Hitbox" with them- just hit 'em high. One of the things I like about this game is the variety of enemies. Sure, some are clearly based on others, but not all of them, and as this stage proves, new enemies are constantly entering the game up until the very end- indeed, everything in this section that isn't Robot-01, you have never seen before. First of all, however, grab that wrench and don't ever lose it; it's a really handy weapon and you can even bring it to the final boss. You can start by teaching the two ROBOT-01s in front of the laser gate how effective it is. Another one runs in after they're defeated, evidently wanting a similar lesson. Lessons are free. Don't move far enough right to let the 'R' door reach the middle of the screen, because it leads to a fight with a MUSCLEBOMBER and two ROBOT-01s. Hey, have you ever played the NES Double Dragon? Remember the first battle with Abobo? Aren't you remembering something that was always good for a laugh? Two ABSYMBELs are waiting for you just past the pit o' robodoom and it's a good idea to trick them into attacking, then hitting them during the cooldown between shots. Don't let them surround you or else things are going to get painful. Just after them are two MUSCLEBOMBERs and bad memories of the double Abobos in stage 3 of Double Dragon NES. How was I supposed to know that I was supposed to enter the holes they made, Technos? Avoid the lasers just beyond them- running and jumping would be useful- and be prepared for five BEE-Os. They attack quickly, and this is one of the few times I'd suggest a Super Attack, on the off-chance that they'll be close enough to you to knock most of them down in one hit. Beyond them and another laser are four FLYING BEE-Os, two from both sides, and they're kind of royal pains in the ass, so expect to take damage. After them are three sentry guns that you'd better take down to two very quickly as two ABSYMBELs and a ROBOT-01 are on the way from the left, and you really don't want to give them a chance to break their tight formation. Feel free to destroy the remaining sentry guns from behind after you've scrapped everything else; they deserve it for that move. Get on the conveyor and try to jump to one side of the two ROBOT-01s that come in, one from the left, one from the right. I'd jump to the left so the conveyor belt doesn't pull you away from them. Past the laser is another 'R' door, housing one MUSCLEBOMBER and three BEE- Os, assuming that the ceiling technically counts as a door for the latter. Behind the other laser is another conveyor belt, flanked by a sentry gun on each side. Destroy one of the sentry guns to save yourself the hassle of the conveyor belt while you fight the two FLYING BEE-Os. The obvious human-holding tanks in the background hold one ALBERTA each for a total of four, so quickly get to the side and don't give them a chance to surround you; cyborgs ain't ladylike. Two WRIGHTs follow their defeat. Do them wrong from above, and don't get careless because two more ALBERTAs attack shortly after that. Inside that 'F' door is a shop. Do not let it out of your mind, because inside is something very useful- an Energy Tank that functions as a snack and restores 100 HP. It's not the best snack in the game, but right now, you can't ask for much more, and that's still a respectable boost. The Fighting Software boosts all of your stats by 4, but if you haven't been boosting your stats equally, it's not that great compared to the stuff in 1-2 and 3-1, and unlike those two stages, it's not possible to earn money to buy much more with here. Past the door is the last fight in the game that isn't a boss: two ALBERTA tanks, two WRIGHTs, and a MUSCLEBOMBER. Stick and move; this group's got something for EVERY range and you don't want to stop dead in your tracks- the five of them will happily stop you deader on your back. Enter the glowing pink door at the end and prepare to fight the final boss. I hope you didn't lose that wrench. FINAL BOSS! GIDEON GORDON GRAVES Is this the real Gideon?! Powers: Unknown... HP: 1,992 Drops: Nothing Unlike Gigadeon, the wrench you should be carrying doesn't turn the fight entirely in your favor through a single weapon. Like Gigadeon, it still makes the fight a lot easier, since Gideon outranges you handily with that sword of his and a nice, strong way to deal fast damage outside of your typical fist range is very helpful. He's also prone to walking in front of the wrench while trying to attack you, which really helps, especially if you didn't do so well against Gigadeon and the rest of 7-3. Gideon is no slouch. He attacks at warp speed with his digitana, and he has a way to hit you from any range with his huge variety of attacks. Needless to say, he also hits very hard and can slash you to ribbons without trying if you give him the opportunity- he LOVES to combo his slashes in ways that will cut your HP to hell in mere moments. So the best way to fight him? Don't EVER give him an opportunity! Stay close to him as often as you can, but not quite on the same vertical plane, and attack rapidly- again, the wrench REALLY makes this easier on you. If you knock him down, step to the sides to ensure that he doesn't land a quick hit on you when he gets up. As I've pointed out, he has a TON of health, but don't give up- just hammer away at him and eventually he'll... explode...? FINAL FINAL BOSS!! GIDEON GORDON GRAVES The real deal! Powers: Who can say? HP: 1 Drops: $39.95 Hit the prone human form of Gideon Gordon Graves once. He's not wily enough to stand up to your skill and determination, and you'll win instantly. Enjoy the ending. Congratulations, by the way, for you have beaten Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World: The Game. Excellent work- go get yourself a soft drink, and if you want, beat the game with the other characters, play the bonus modes, or try a higher difficulty. Doing the first of those things gets you different shorts for the ending, and doing the third will make life more difficult on you without rewarding you very much! ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Phase 11: Frequently Asked Questions -"How do I get Mr. Chau as a striker?" Simply put, you have to fight him. He is not fought as part of the main game; he randomly shows up somewhere on the world map and will stay there until you either walk into his map location or go into a different stage. Walking into his personal space brings you straight to an optional fight- be forewarned, and I'll type this in caps since it's pretty damn important to know: IF YOU LOSE A LIFE DURING THIS FIGHT, THE FIGHT ENDS AND YOU'RE THROWN BACK TO THE MAIN MAP. Oh, and while he can be fought more than once, you don't get anything special for doing so. I'd suggest trying to have stats all above 50 or more before you try to take him on seriously; he's a tough fight. BONUS BOSS! MR. CHAU HP: 816 Drops: His unwillingness to help you and becomes your second striker. That 'you only have one life' bit is a dirty trick- especially when you're not guaranteed to have full health when you fight him- but really, assuming he's not using his more gimmicky attacks, this fight is actually good practice for your eventual fight with Gideon- he similarly hits hard and fast with a sword that greatly outranges you, and you should also never stay in front of him unless you are currently beating him senseless. His gimmick is that occasionally he'll jump off-screen and black lines will appear on the screen. Stay between them because he'll soon pick lines at random to come down or across, and you can't block any of the slashes that come at you this way. As you damage him more and more, he'll come down more of the lines before the attack ends, and eventually he'll even crisscross the lines and come across one of them and down the other at the same time! Again, he's a tough fight that you can only swing in your favor through leveling, but he's quite beatable. You've just got to be better than he is. -"What stats should I focus on?" If you've ever seen me play a beat-em-up, prepare to be surprised by my statement- Prioritize Speed above all else. If enemies are moving faster than you and constantly interrupting your attacks, you're not going to do much damage and you're not going to survive very long, completely regardless of your other stats- this is one of the very few beat-em-ups where speed only kills your foe. However, you also want to keep a high priority on Strength, because the fewer the times you have to hit your foes to kill them, the better, especially on late-game bosses that will only wreck you more and more the longer the fight goes. Defense is worth putting points into because let's face it, you can never COMPLETELY avoid damage, but if you have enough points in the first two stats you shouldn't be getting hit as often. Willpower is a dump stat. It does little that a high Defense can't do better. This said, don't ever just IGNORE any given stat. Let's face it, the best way to increase your Defense increases your Willpower by that exact amount as well, and actively going out of your way to ignore it is just stupid- and really, though some stats are more obviously useful than others, the best results really do come from putting something in every stat. That said, if you don't want to grind too much or you're early enough in the game to where building up everything isn't an option, hey, there you go. -"I want some information on the 'Survival Horror' mode." Sure thing. By putting in the code "Down, Up, Right, Down, Up, Right, Down, Up, Right, Right, Right" on the game's title screen, you'll unlock the Survival Horror mode. Your goal in this mode is to pick your character, who will then be forced to survive for 30 minutes against an endless stream of Zombie Jerrys and Zombie Lucys. You will keep your stats and start with full HP/GP but you'll only get one life- if you lose it, you're sunk, and the game ends. What this mode doesn't make obvious is that the more enemies you kill, the more enemies the game will allow on-screen at once- you start with six and can go up to crowds of over 30 once you've killed about 200 zombies, and considering that both Zombie Jerry and Zombie Lucy are exactly as powerful and resilient as they are in the main game, you're really going to need to be careful once things advance that far. Just to get you in the mood, 6 minutes in, the game plays a lead-up to Negascott's boss theme, which kicks in at 7 minutes and plays for the rest of the round. If you want to survive for the whole thirty minutes, I actually suggest you AVOID attacking the enemies for as long as you can (Ten minutes should be adequate)- the number of zombies allowed onscreen will ramp up VERY quickly as you get to killin', and things WILL get out of control to the point where it's very hard to avoid getting hurt. I STRONGLY suggest that you do whatever it takes to knock enemies down and use them as weapons, as well, as you need SOME sort of range advantage to really do well in this mode and it's the only way you've got to really do so. And I REALLY shouldn't need to tell you that with the odds as overwhelmingly against you as they are, you really want to have maxed-out stats in everything before you make a serious attempt at winning. If you lose, you are awarded $0.05 X the number of enemies you killed. If you win, you are awarded $0.50 X the number of enemies you killed. Considering what it takes to do well and actually survive for 30 minutes, this is purely for bragging rights, since you will be far beyond the point where you actually need money. Just have some fun! -"How about the Boss Rush?" First of all, to unlock it, put in this code- "Right, Right, Circle, R1, Right, Right, Circle, R1". Much like the Survival Horror mode, you are given one life at full HP/GP to defeat every boss in the game. Again, you're allowed to carry your stats over, and I suggest that you make sure they're very high. You'll defeat, in order, Matthew Patel, Lucas Lee, Lynette/Envy (you still only have to beat one of them to win), Todd Ingram, Roxanne Richter, Robot-01, Super Fighting Robot, The Katayanagi Twins, Negascott, Super Gideon Graves, Gigadeon Graves, and Gideon Gordon Graves. There are subtle differences between the main game and several of these fights- you're not given a weapon to use against Lucas, Roxanne, the Katayanagi Twins, or Super Gideon- and in the last three cases, those fights are probably going to be a lot more difficult than they usually are. However, you're given the Sword of Love in a much more immediately obvious fashion for Gigadeon (which is good because without it, there is no way in hell you'd survive the battle), and interestingly enough, you're allowed to bring it into the battle with Gideon, making the fight more than a bit of an anticlimax (though by the time you get there, you'll be glad that the game is showing you some form of mercy), but otherwise, the fights play out exactly as they did in the main game. You're also awarded the normal amount of money each boss usually drops when you beat each one, though not only are you not guaranteed to have enough time to pick it all up, the game is also wise to your tricks involving getting 1-ups, and Todd won't be dropping one. If you lose, you're awarded $1 for every boss you defeat. If you win, you're awarded a bonus of... $12, what the heck? That's the same per-boss rate as failure. As well, at least it was fun. -"Who the heck is the sixth character supposed to be? How do I unlock him?" I believe it's supposed to be Knives. I also believe that there currently ISN'T a way to unlock her; she's supposed to come out as promotional DLC when the movie comes out on DVD, though I don't know if it'll be tied to the movie itself or if she'll just be tossed onto PSN. Once she's available- assuming I can afford to pick her up since I'm REALLY in a bind as far as money goes- I'll update with her move list. And if I'm entirely wrong and it's NOT Knives, well, fool me once, right? -"I really like the game's music. Is there any way I can listen to it in-game without having to actually play?" Sure is. On the map screen, put in the code "L1, L1, L1, R1, R1, R1, L1, R1". The map will extend a new path to what looks like a radio mast. Go there and enter- that's the Sound Test. If you don't save the game in some fashion, you'll have to put the code in again the next time you play, though. Did you like the theme to 4-1 too? That's my personal favorite. =3 ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Phase 12: Thanks and Links This time around, the work done on this FAQ was entirely my own, tested entirely by myself, but I'd still like to think my friend Keenon- without him, I never would have known about this series at all and may well have skipped out on not only this game itself, but also what's really an enjoyable series, and what turned out to make one of the better films I've seen in recent years (damn shame it didn't do so well at the box office). In addition, I'd like to thank you guys once again for being nice enough to provide feedback on my guides, always taking a positive, constructive attitude in the process. It's at the point where I don't really think I NEED to put in the snarky comments about people who would e-mail me with useless flames, but I'll do it anyway, just 'cause you guys seem to get a kick out of my tone when I make 'em. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Phase 13: Closing I believe that's everything! Here's to hoping that either you've learned what you need to beat Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World (hey, there haven't been a lot of beat-em-ups out there in recent years and I expect more than a few people to be out of practice), or that you at least enjoyed reading the guide. In the future, with possible help from my friend or anyone else (I'd rather not know TOO much about what happens in the comics until I'm able to buy the last four volumes), I may add in some notes about the comic and film, and differences between them and the game, just to give you something extra to read. I've still got my site at http://yukatakeuchifan.bakunyuu.com (note that the URL has changed; I've had a few site hiccups so I just moved EVERYTHING to that server), though it hasn't been TRULY updated in a while and it's still mostly tuned toward the anime female form, in addition to my wiseass attitude that only shows in more recent sections. May your day be pleasant! As always, if you have anything to say about my guide, I can be reached at "yukatakeuchifan (Press Caps Lock, then realize that doesn't work and hold Shift and press 2) gmail (One-third of an ellipsis) com". Also as always, I really do have better things to do than read flames that are destined to end up in e-Hell with about a billion offers for questionable pharmaceuticals. Those who wish to contact me with all the tact and grace of your typical probably- pre-teenage thug-wannabe that is typing exclusively via headbutt will be met with a much more flippant attitude than those who tell me their problems in a cool, coherent manner with passable grammar and spelling. Be professional (or at least NICE) and I'll extend you the same courtesy, in addition to being much more likely to listen to you and take you seriously. Those who act like the kind of idiots that make me fear the younger generation (and I'm only 24) would do best to climb to the top of the nearest multi-story building and jump off of it headfirst while screaming a random name. I won't assume responsibility for the idiots who actually do it, but I rest assure you I'll approve of your inability to pollute the gene pool even more than your continued existence already does on its own. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Phase 14: End This guide for Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World was written by me, the Yuka Takeuchi Fan (and if you NEED a real name, I've grown partial to "Andy Kurland"). If you want to post this guide somewhere else, all you need to do is ask me, and assuming I remember to get back to you on it, I'll probably say 'yes' unless extenuating circumstances occur. Or I'm lazy. Or I hate you. Probably "I'm lazy" because I'm lazy. Obviously, I want my name left in the document, because FAQ writing is rather rewarding compared to my lame-ass resume. Though I'd GRANDLY prefer you not sell this document for money, if you're actually able to find someone unaware enough of GameFAQs to actually fall for your blatant scam, you are a true capitalist (though you'll need some work and a gas mask to become a mysterious capitalist) and have given us both something to laugh at very hard. Thanks! ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Phase 15: Obligatory 'Stop Reading' Joke I'm glad you enjoy my writing enough to have kept scrolling downward, but there's really nothing else to be said here. I decree in the name of the teacher from Eiken that you are to go do other, more productive things right now!