The default controls are simple. D-pad and stick move you around, A jumps, X is your main attack, Y your second weapon for most characters, and B your 'Hunter Skills' move. This will be your subweapons, spells, glyphs, or souls. You can have four equipped at any time, using them by pressing B, B-Up, B-Left/Right, and B-Down. Left bumper will do a back-dash, right bumper will do a character specific move. Right trigger will 'use' anything; opening chests, activating the equip menu, using items, and reviving teammates in multiplayer. Left trigger will bring up the item you have equipped, if any; while holding left trigger, hit right trigger to actually use the item. Moving the right stick around will move the camera around, and clicking it in will change the zoom settings, depending on how you set it up from the menu. Hitting the Back button will bring up a list of phrases you can say to other people online. Throughout the maps will be books on golden pedestals. At these books you can go to your menu and change your weapons and armor. Not that this does NOT pause the game, and you can still be attacked at the book if you're not careful.
Now, for the characters:
Soma can equip a variety of weapons, from swords and maces, to guns, to a teddy bear stuffed with lead. Two handed weapons like greatswords and battleaxes will use both weapon slots, otherwise you can equip two different weapons. As Soma kills enemies he has a chance to absorb their souls. Souls come in three different types: Bullet Souls (red), which can be equipped to the Hunter Skills button; Guardian Souls, which can be equipped to the right bumper, and will either be a continuous action by holding down the button, or a trigger to turn the soul's power on or off; and Enchant Souls, which are permanently on, usually a stat boost of some sort. You can collect up to nine of each soul, and usually the soul's power will increase the more copies of it you have. Every monster in the game except the boss of Chapter 3 can drop their soul, the bosses only in Gold Chests. To my knowledge, Soma's main weapon attack strength does not increase as he gains souls, or if it does, it increases at a very slow rate, so you'll most likely need to get better weapons and armor to increase the damage you do.
Alucard can also equip weapons, though his are only swords, maces, or fist weapons. He can equip shields, however. Shields provide a constant DEF boost, and when held out can block some projectiles; the stronger the shield, the more projectiles it can block, though even the best shield can't block EVERY projectile. His unique move is to turn into mist, which gives him a half-second of invulnerability. It can be used standing, crouching, or in the air; if timed just right, you can get a slight extra boost on your double jump. His Hunter Skill is Dark Magic, which he learns by finding scrolls around the castle. They can be dropped by enemies or found in treasure chests; like all other Hunter Skills, they increase in power the more copies of scrolls you find, up to 9 copies. Similarly, his main weapon increases either slowly or not at all in power as he gains more spells.
SteamID: [LUE] Marneshi
Jonathan can only use the Vampire Killer whip as his weapon. He can learn Martial Arts techniques through scrolls he findds, similar to Alucard; these, however, do not power up as he finds more copies. He starts out being able to guard with the right bumper, halving the damage recieved and stopping most knockback. All his other Martial Arts moves will be done with a button combo followed by the Y button. His Hunter Skill is subweapons, like all the Belmonts use. The dagger, axe, cross, etc. are all there. These do not level up as you find more copies; instead, they level up through use. Throw enough daggers, it will go from level 1 to level 2, and you'll do more damage. Some subweapons change at level 5, usually a bigger weapon or more copies of multi-throw weapons, like the Shuriken, and almost all change at level 9. As your subweapons increase in strength, so to does the power of your whip and your Martial Arts moves, so throw those daggers, people. This applies to subweapons NOT equipped as well, so make sure you use everything at some point.
Shanoa uses glyphs to attack her enemies. She starts off with just rapiers and a fire spell. Two enemies in the game, the Aliorumnas and Nova Skeletons, will use attacks that Shanoa can absorb by holding the Up button. You'll see these glyphs as triangles that appear above their heads with white symbols on them. Shanoa only gets 4 spells, and you get better weapons for her from Boss chests. She only gets two other weapons, Pneuma, which shoots a gust of wind, and Lapiste, which throws a giant stone fist. Like Jonathan, her glyphs level up in strength through use, and her main weapons increase in strength as your glyphs level up. Her right bumper ability is Magnes, which makes a magnetic field around her. There will be magnets found throughout stages that she can link to with this ability. When linked, pull the pad/stick in the opposite direction you wish to move, and then let go of the bumper to fling yourself (hold down, get flung straight up, for example). There are several shortcuts in the levels that only Shanoa can use do to these magnets.
Charlotte is a mage. Her only weapon is a book with which she projects a sword. Her right bumper ability will produce a magical shield in front of her, draining your mp constantly as it's up. If you block the right projectiles with her shield, you'll hear a metalic 'clink' sound. Any attack you block like this, you have a chance to permanently learn. Like Jonathan and Shanoa, the more spells you have, the stronger your attack gets, and once you have about half of the spells all learned, your weapon will change, now sprouting two axes as well, one diagonally up, one diagonally down. Your book will level up again when you've fully maxed out all your spells. To max them out, you simply need to absorb nine of each spell. However, one trick with this is that you can only learn one spell from each specific enemy. You need to fight nine different enemies to absorb enough spells to max it out. The Witch enemies, as well as Dracula's first form, can cast two different spells that you can learn; however, learning one copy of either spell will stop you from learning the other spell as well, meaning 18 copies of those enemies to fully max out your spellbook.
Now some tips to help you get around the Castle.
SteamID: [LUE] Marneshi
1. Slide and Jumpkicks. All characters can slide by holding down and pressing jump, except for on drop-down platforms. Slides can get you through small openings as well as dodge attacks and enemies, and even do some (very minor) damage if you kick someone. Plan ahead for how far you'll move while sliding as well as the lag in getting up after a slide, but get used to this. Jumpkicks can be done by all characters except for Charlotte, by double jumping, then holding down or down-diagonally and hitting jump again. You can bounce off lamps, enemies, some projectiles, and even your teammates. This will also do very minor damage, so it's mostly used to get up to hidden areas or dodge attacks, but it's also a key ability to learn.
2. The map is your friend. When you're getting used to the game, find a safe spot and zoom out the map to take a look and plan your route. Enemies can still hit you here, so be careful until you learn the layouts of the maps.
3. Treasure chests come in 6 different flavors. Wood chests will usually be food or low quality gear, blue and green chests middle quality gear, purple chests rare gear. Red chests will always drop money, and the gold chest that appears after the boss will hold a boss drop. These can be the boss's Soul, a subweapon or glyph, a Dark Magic spell, or, if you're unlucky, a bowl of ramen. The loot tables are frankly very random, so sometimes you will have to farm a boss for a long time to get good gear, and other times you'll get something awesome on your first kill. I can only wish you luck. Treasure chests work a little differently in multiplayer; if one person opens a chest, everyone currently alive will recieve an item, no matter where you are on the map. The one exception is blue chests, which will instead drop a Water of Life. Which brings me to...
4. Death and revival. First off, if you lose a level, don't fret. You keep any gold, gear, and weapon exp you earned in the level, as long as you didn't exit from the menu mid-game. So even if you couldn't beat the boss, you still got some better gear from the chests, right? You'll be stronger for next time. In single player, death means game over, back to the menu to start again. In mulitplayer, though, dying will mark the spot with a grave and turn you into a basic skeleton. You have 100 hit points, very low defense, no backdash, no ducking or sliding, no drop kicks. You can't use any of your abilities and your only weapon is to throw bones for very low damage. Dying again as a skeleton will knock 3 minutes off the overall timer. If a player has picked up a Water of Life, they can revive ANOTHER player that has died by standing on top of the skeleton and pressing RT. Water of Life cannot be used on yourself, and you can only hold one at a time, so if you already have one, let someone else open up a blue chest.
5. You have a 30 minute timer to each level. In single player, there shouldn't ever be a reason to run out of time, unless you're farming spells for Charlotte or something. In multiplayer, though, you have to be careful, because when a skeleton dies your time runs down 3 minutes. Too many deaths and you'll lose the level. Think carefully, plan your route, and above all... relax. 30 minutes is a very generous timer. If you try to rush, you will make a mistake, you will die, and you will take big chunks out of the timer as you keep dying. Don't bite off more than you can chew at first, sit back and see what's happening before you jump in.
And now a few strategies for the stages.
SteamID: [LUE] Marneshi
Stage 1: The boss will be shooting lasers throughout the level as you approach him. You'll see it well in advance, so just stay back and don't try to run in front of it, at least not until you know when to dodge it. When you're fighting him, you'll initially do less damage to his feet, as they're armored. However, if you keep attacking the feet, you'll eventually break the armor, and then do double damage to when you hit his feet. It's up to you if you want to break the armor or just hit him in the head or body. He telegraphs all his attacks ahead of time, so just pay attention, learn the moves he does for each attack, and dodge. Once you do enough damage he will jump back and charge at you with his mouth open. When he reaches the wall, he will jump back again, this time breaking the floor beneath him, sending him and you plummeting down. If you didn't clear the lower floors of enemies, you'll have to fight them AND the boss, so if you're new at the game, take time killing the monsters before you fight the boss. When he breaks the floor, if you hang left, you'll fall into a new room with a Blue and Purple chest, and one Amalaric Sniper guarding them. Easy level, take your time and you'll do fine.
Stage 2: Now we're starting to get clever. First off, in multiplayer, players 2, 4, and 6 will start on the opposite end of the map, so remember where you'll start. Throughout the stages are Iron Maidens. If you walk over one, it'll close on you, doing huge damage, and instantly killing you on Hard mode. Next to most of these iron maidens will be a crate. PUSH THE CRATE IN FRONT OF THE IRON MAIDEN; I'll explain why in a minute, just make sure you get them all. Remember that you can stand on top of the Bone Tower enemies without taking any damage, so you can use them as stepping stones to get to ledges. When you fight the boss he will have one of two attacks; he'll either spit dolls at you which can curse you, draining your mp to 0 instantly, or he'll summon a puppet and put it in an iron maiden. If he does that, you'll trade places with the puppet, taking tons of damage. The puppets will break in 3 hits on single player, but will be more durable in multiplayer. So, make absolutely sure to destroy these puppets FIRST before hitting the boss. If he makes a puppet, kill it, and then go back to hitting him. Once you get him to half life, he'll start to crawl around the map to other iron maidens left around, and you'll have to follow the stage to get there while he can walk through walls. This is why you blocked off the iron maidens earlier; if you didn't, he'll target them first, and there's no way for you to walk around to them before he gets there and puppet-warps you into the iron maiden. If you blocked them all, there'll only be 3 he can move between, all close enough to move back and forth between.. as long as you kept the bone towers alive to use as a platform. Tricky, but plan the stage out in advance, make sure you crate off all the iron maidens, and you'll be fine.
SteamID: [LUE] Marneshi
Stage 3: You'll be in a large room with many platforms, making you walk around the edges until you get to the top to drop down into the main room. You'll be split up again, starting in either of the bottom corners. On the left side there will be a switch to move a platform out, making a shortcut for climbing back up; make sure you flip it. At the very top will be a gigantic hammer, and a switch to release it. If you successfully hit the boss with it you'll do a huge chunk of damage and stun him for a while, letting you get more hits. To the right, in a small closed off room, will be a giant gear. If you hit it, you'll slowly, slowly start to wind the hammer back up. It's usually not a very good plan to try to hit the boss multiple times, but if you're having trouble you always have that option. When you hit the boss once, he'll stand up to his full gigantic size, breaking through lots of the blocks in the area, destroying paths and opening up the arena. He has three weakspots; his knee, his heart, and his face. Hitting anywhere else will only do one damage. Usually have have to destroy two of his targets to kill him, but if as long as you keep doing damage to those weakspots he'll go down eventually. He moves slowly, but he will lash out at you, so get used to how far he can step and how long his kick and punch will reach. Just be careful around him and don't run into his body.
Stage 4: Again you'll start on opposite sides of the map, running down a long train tunnel to each other to the entrance in the middle. This map is more of a maze than the previous ones. Around the map will be portraits, which, if you jump into, will warp you to other parts of the level. The maze comes in the fact that sometimes there will be two portraits with a light shining on the one you'll jump through, and a switch in another portion of the maze that changes which one the light's pointing at, warping you to a different spot entirely. The fastest route usually leads you to a switch which starts up a moving platform, moving you up to the mirror that lets you warp into the boss's room. In this map and later maps, you're stuck in the boss room once you enter, so make sure you're prepared before entering. This boss is a much harder challenge then the previous ones, as he has multiple attacks that are hard to dodge. You'll most likely die numerous times before you learn what each attack does and how to dodge. He usually follows a simple pattern, though; He'll paint red streaks across the room that you can destroy with your attacks, then throw up a fountain of paint, and then do one of three attacks. It's easiest to dodge if you stand back when he starts this, and once you see what the three attacks are you should be able to dodge them. Then he'll either repeat this process or jump into a giant portrait, flying around the room for a bit before landing and starting again. He's a lot harder to dodge at first, so stay back and take your time with him. Focus more on dodging his attacks then on hitting him, as he has enough life that you can't go blow-for-blow with him.
SteamID: [LUE] Marneshi
Stage 5: Ah, the clock tower. You know what that means; moving gears, Medusa Heads, and Death. This one breaks up the party further. Players 1 and 5 will be in the lower left, 2 and 6 in the lower right, 3 on the right side of the tower, and 4 on the left side. Eventually all these paths will meet up, leading you up the leftmost part of the tower, though if you have at least three players you can safely head up the rightmost side. Usually, if you want to go up that side for the treasure chests, you either need to warp through the mirror at the very top on the left side, or explore there after you kill the boss. After the one minute mark, Death will start flying around the map, throwing sickles at everyone. If you do enough damage you can banish him to his room, or you can ignore him and keep pressing on. The fastest way to do damage is through the spotlights; hitting the switch will change the angles of the beams. If you get the two beams to intersect, there will be a ball of light which does a whopping 550 damage to Death if he passes through, banishing him immediately. Death himself only has one form in this game, but he has several attacks, and he constantly spawns his scythes flying around and hitting you. Any attack will destroy the little scythes, but the bigger ones he can spawn can't be destroyed, they'll need to be dodged. He has a lot of life and he's hard to dodge, so be careful and alert. By this time you should know to sit back and get used to the boss's pattern, and Death's the main skill challenge of this, learning to react and dodge. At least until the final boss...
Stage 6: The party all starts in the same place this time. The map is long and twisted, but there's only one real way to go, so you won't be able to get lost easily. This also means you need to fight almost every enemy on the map to get to the Count, and there's only the one book at the very beginning, so plan your items and weapons carefully before you trek inside. Dracula has three forms. His first, you've all seen before. He warps around the room, either throwing fireballs or sprouting pillars of fire from the floor. You can only hit him in the head to damage him. His second form is the big ugly monster from the end of Rondo of Blood, or the beginning of Symphony of the Night. You can hit him anywhere, and he's slow and easy to hit. But he is powerful, so don't get cocky. His third and final form is the final boss from Symphony of the Night, the throne, 3 skulls, giant claws and wings. You can only damage the three heads in the middle, so slide under the claws and hit him. His attacks in this form are VERY powerful, and VERY hard to dodge, so expect to die a lot when you fight him. But every one of his attacks can be dodged if you get the hang of them... just keep practicing and soon you'll have defeated the Count for good. At least until you play that stage again, anyway...
SteamID: [LUE] Marneshi
Congratulations, you beat Dracula! Now you've unlocked Hard Mode! Hard Mode, the enemies are faster, stronger, have a lot more life, have new tricks up their sleeves, and will kill you in 5 hits. You better hope that you've gotten good at dodging attacks rather than just healing your way through them... Hard Mode, though, has much better gear drops from chests and bosses, and is the only way to get the best armor for your characters, and the best weapons for Soma and Alucard. Dracula will have some new attacks on Hard Mode though, and even the best gear won't last long if you don't learn to dodge, so make sure you develop your reflexes. But as long as you keep getting better gear and leveling up your weapons, you'll do fine by the time you get to hard mode.
I hope this helps all newbies with the game. Now get out there and have some fun!
SteamID: [LUE] Marneshi
why isn't this a FAQ? I like it. I learned a couple things too.
X box GT: Da blu j
I thought more people would care... :(
SteamID: [LUE] Marneshi
I care Marneshi, I care. <3
Very good FAQ.
Estelle: They're... bouncing... Judith: What are you looking at?
Estelle: I wish I could bounce...
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