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    Strategy Guide by steelcow

    Updated: 09/03/98 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    	By: 	Eric Housden
    *** ATTENTION *** If text run off screen while viewing with Notepad, 
    go into 'Edit' and choose 'Word Wrap' (the last choice on the menu).
    Table of Contents
       Brief Overview
    	Creatively Using Items............ I
    	Equipment Check................... II
    	Key Monsters to Tame.............. III
    	Battle Tactics.................... IV
    	Phase Theory...................... V
       Honorable Mention
    Brief Overview:
    Azure Dreams is an excellent treasure-hunter game from Konami that is moderately 
    difficult to complete, and very rewarding to play.  This Strategy Guide was made 
    explicitly for people who have a clue what's going on in Azure Dreams to begin 
    with, based on the assumption that you are currently playing through the game.  
    The information that follows will help answer some questions, and hopefully 
    enlighten you on your journey up to the top of the Monster Tower.  Basically, 
    I'm skipping most the obvious information you'd otherwise know if you had 
    actually attempted to play the game.
    I)  Creatively Using Items
    Some of the most useful items in the game include Tumna Fruits, Oleem Fruits, 
    and Acid Balls.  Unfortunately, for the inexperienced they are misunderstood and 
    underused.  The trick to using the fruits is to choose the item in your 
    inventory and select 'HAVE' which puts the fruit in your hands over your head.  
    Face the target (don't hit your familiar) and then use the item by holding the 
    'O' button and pressing the 'X' button -- this will either use the fruit on a 
    target in front of you, or throw it in a straight line across the screen.
    Acid Balls come 1 to an Orb, but using White Sands will add a bonus usage to the 
    targeted Acid Ball.  Acid Balls will destroy everything inside of the current 
    room you're in (pathways seperate and connect the rooms) unless the targets 
    happen to be Golems.  Then you reap the rewards for gaining the experience from 
    each monster that dies.  On occasion, you'll enter a floor of the tower that is 
    just one gigantic room -- enter Acid Ball, every monster on the floor dies in 
    one usage -- cue major experience.
    The best items in the game can easily be attained from a monster called BARONG.  
    Barong is the loner monster someone mentions in the monster dealer's hut.  
    Barong looks like a giant head with giant feet and a purple cape -- my 
    observations found Barong to appear on double digit floors that end in a 6 (ie: 
    16, 26, 36).  Throw items at Barong and he'll eat them, spitting up a random 
    item that is usually rare enough to be well worth it.  Some key regurgitated 
    treasures include Training Wand, Holy Sword, Dark Sword, Alchemic Scroll, Troll 
    Bow Gun, and Roche Fruit.
    The Roche Fruit is hands-down the best item in the game -- you can use a Roche 
    Fruit on any given monster, and the monster will revert back to its egg form.  
    That means you can take home any monster you want, which is amazing.  If you 
    feed the Barong enough items, he'll lose all his magic points and fall to the 
    ground...  Since he can't eat anymore, Roche him!  Bring that hungry bastard 
    home with you!  =)
    Another important item, the Water Crystal, will completely replenish all 
    familiars that are currently out of your bag.  Make sure you have the important 
    ones out of the bag beforehand, and don't use the Water Crystal until you really 
    need it.
    II)  Equipment Check
    If you don't have the right equipment, you're wasting your efforts in the tower 
    beyond training your familiars.  Rust traps can be your worst nightmare until 
    you own the proper equipment, and what weapons and shields you rely on depends 
    on what extreme you're willing to go.  Basic weapon differences revolve around 
    familiar support-magic (like Brid) doing more damage when applied to wands then 
    when applied to swords.
    Basic Intro-Weapons:  Vital, Holy, and Steel.  Stay away from elemental swords 
    like Blizzard and Fire as the damage depends on what creature type they're 
    attacking.  These weapons only work as a go between until you decide on what 
    you'll be playing through the Tower with.
    Recommended Weapons:  use either the Training Wand or the Gold Sword, it's 
    really that simple.  The gold sword sells for a decent penny, but the real trick 
    here is that these weapons do NOT rust!  That means as soon as you decide on 
    either focusing on the sword or on the wand, every Red Sand that gives you +1 to 
    your weapons is PERMANENT -- hugely beneficial.  You immediately begin steadily 
    increasing your permanent overall strength.
    Basic Intro-Shields:  Diamond, Steel.  Steel is tough, Diamond is tougher; and 
    diamond won't rust, which is very nice.
    Recommended Shield:  the Mirror Shield, period.  Not only is it rust-proof, but 
    it reflects magic frequently including paralysis spells, fire magic, blind...  
    The reflection works like a 'WALL' spell from Final Fantasy, bouncing the cast 
    spell back to the caster.  This is the best shield, and once you have it you 
    won't need anything more.
    Ideally, you use the 'Basic Intro-Weapons' to propel you through the tower until 
    the 16th floor, where you would receive the Training Wand from Barong; from then 
    on, it's up to you on improving the wand with Red Sands, or sticking with the 
    gold sword.  I used the Gold Sword the first time through because I already had 
    it up to +17 when I found the Training Wand.  It's really up to you, but I 
    suggest putting the Red Sand in your safe at home until the right weapon 
    III)  Key Monsters to Tame
    The CYCLONE and the CLOWN are the key monsters to hatch, as they will have 
    important effect on the familiars you love.  When you fuse the Clown with a 
    monster, they double their spell level (ie: 'Brid lvl23' turns into 'Brid lvl46' 
    ).  When you fuse with a Cyclone, the monster's magic consumption is halved...  
    Very nice compliment to the Barong, who is just there to make items anyhow -- 
    now you can make twice as many!
    The general target level for any given familiar is lvl20 -- if the familiar will 
    shape shift into a cooler looking monster (ie:  'Flame' into 'Ifrit') it happens 
    on lvl20.  Some sample monsters to upgrade include Flame, Block, and Unicorn.
    When you're leveling up familiars, don't take them out of the bag until you 
    REALLY have to.  I've had a familiar go from lvl1 up to lvl7 from killing a 
    single enemy that lived on a high floor!  This really helps conserve your 
    familiar's magic points, too; giving you more results for your effort.  Taming 
    familiars is great!  Their resale value immensely improves, and it's generally 
    just a lot of fun.  On a last note, if there is a mysteriously empty spot in 
    Weedy's monster book then try leveling up the familiar just under the empty spot 
    -- usually it means there is a new monster released when you get that particular 
    familiar up to lvl20.
    IV)  Battle Tactics
    Two simple strategies encompass Basic Tactics:  reach "High-ground", and "Get 
    the Initiative".
    High Ground -- when you are one step above your target you will receive less 
    damage, and deal more damage (higher DEF, higher ATK).  Monsters that took three 
    hits to kill, now take two.  Monsters that dealt 27HP of damage now do 19HP.  
    Keep your eyes on the terrain and always know a retreat path to higher ground.
    Get the Initiative -- If you 'wait' by holding the 'O' button and pressing 
    'TRIANGLE', the monster is forced to use its turn to move closer to you.  Let 
    them come to you, and you will get one free attack before battle ensues.  The 
    additional attack usually saves you at least one attack round from the enemy.
    Advanced strategies include:  "Familiar AI: Stay" and "Wait Level-Building."
    Familiar AI: Stay -- when setting the familiar's "Line-Up" place your familiar 
    directly behind you for the best advantage.  The trick is, you walk around with 
    the familiar in "AI: Follow" so he/she will walk behind you.  When trouble 
    comes, press R2 (Red Collar) or L2 (Blue Collar) and quickly change the familiar 
    AI to "AI: Stay" -- this will make your familiar hold its position.  Now, take 
    one step back diagonally so that you're side by side with your familiar.  When 
    the attacking monster steps inside of attacking range, your familiar will get a 
    'Stay' initiative attack, which you promptly follow with your standard 
    initiative attack that begins the melee round; your own attack is followed by 
    your familiar's 2nd attack, then the monster gets its first turn.  Hopefully, 
    the attacker is dead before it gets the chance to strike.  Re-read this if you 
    have to, it's a large advantage over the monster during the 'Heavy Hitter' Phase 
    (see part 5, Phase Theory).
    Wait Level-Building -- The stronger the character you are, the better you'll 
    fair in supporting your familiars (or just guiding the familiars for 
    experience).  After scouting out the floor you are on, hold the 'SELECT' button 
    for the map -- on close inspection, terrain changes are shown as different 
    shades of green on the map.  Find the smallest piece of high ground you can and 
    wait ('O' and 'TRIANGLE') until monsters come to you.  You'll always get the 
    initiative, you'll always have high ground, and you'll always be raking in the 
    V)  Phase Theory
    There are exactly 40 floors in Azure Dreams, most of which are progressively and 
    consistently challenging.  Venturing from Floor 1 through Floor 40 there are 
    five phases you and your familiars will encounter that rise above and beyond all 
    others.  You must change your strategy to be proactive, and not reactive to the 
    phases if you expect to succeed.
    	Phase 1:  The Krakens
    	Phase 2:  Pickett
    	Phase 3:  Vipers
    	Phase 4:  Paralysis
    	Phase 5:  Heavy Hitters
    Phase 1 -- The Krakens
    Krakens are the blue and yellow striped squids that attack with electricity.  
    Not only do they attack strongly, but when hit by standard swords they 
    electrocute you in retaliation.  The more damage you do to a Kraken, the more 
    they shock you back.  If three Krakens team up on you at once, if you don't have 
    a handful of useful items -- you'd best have a Wind Crystal.
    Phase 2 -- Pickett
    Pickett is the green colored, bulbous critter from the intro movie  Pickett is 
    FAST, taking two turns per one of your own.  Pickett will either do two very 
    weak attacks, or steal a random item from your inventory; with the later being 
    more severe.  Pickett could grab any item (including eggs) as long as the item 
    is not equipped.  Pickett steals the item, then warps to a different location on 
    the map, where you can kill him to get your item back (if you can catch him).  
    Make killing Pickett a priority above all else.  Since he takes two turns per 
    one of yours, if you wait (TRIANGLE + 'O') he will step two tiles closer to you, 
    and if you walk away from Pickett he will gain one tile per turn.  Get your 
    familiar in his way, and he will attack the familiar instead of stealing from 
    you.  Don't underestimate Pickett; he is an irritating little bastard, and 
    demands special attention when encountered.
    Phase 3 -- Vipers
    Vipers, huge dark-green snakes that attack for substantial damage.  Vipers 
    should only be attacked from high ground, and should be killed within two 
    strikes -- the damage they do is irrelevant, but their attack is the splinter.  
    If a Viper hits you, there is a chance it will decrease your attack power by 
    one; soon you won't be able to kill a Viper inside of four hits; and then you're 
    dead.  The attack power decrease is unavoidable, regardless of your level.  If 
    you find a Hazak Herb (restores attack power) or a Cure-All Herb, hold on to it.  
    Preferably use the herbs after you've passed beyond the Viper phase, so your 
    attack will no longer be decreased.
    Phase 4 -- Paralysis
    The dreaded Paralysis phase is demanding, there is no immunity.  Beware the 
    Block and the Zu, as Block casts LoBind (Paralysis spell), and the Zus howl a 
    special attack that will also paralyze. Paralysis take a while to wear off -- 
    sometimes it takes one turn, sometimes it takes eight turns; but if a Zu is 
    hitting you for 20+ damage each attack, you'll be dead.  Familiars will probably 
    die, but they'll buy you time; the mirror shield can reflect LoBind, but since 
    the Zu roars a special attack, theirs cannot be reflected.  Don't get caught in 
    a narrow path where your familiar can't buy you time, and get high-ground when 
    possible to reduce the damage you'll take if you get paralyzed.
    Phase 5 -- Heavy Hitters
    When you reach your first Grey scaled dragon, along with Golems, Killers, 
    Tyrants, and Maximums you've reached the Heavy Hitter phase.  Monsters in the 
    Heavy Hitter phase can do severe damage.  The plain strategy for dealing with 
    the Heavy Hitter phase is to kill them before they can strike you.  Orbs such as 
    Blaze, Fire, Pillar and even Sleep (for Golems) are key items to have here.  The 
    orb of Acid Rain is a lifesaver (see Part 1, Creatively Using Items), and Tumna 
    Fruits are a nice touch.  It takes a while to recover 40-60 hit points so don't 
    allow them to strike you.  Use Monster Loupes to keep an eye on what's going on, 
    zoom out the map and screen view to watch your outside perimeter, and keep an 
    eye out for eggs!  The best eggs are here; anyone have a Roche Fruit?
       Honorable Mentions:  Thanks to Brad Ayres for additional gameplay assistance,
    			and kudos to Cody Denver for alternative support.
    	By: 	Eric Housden
       Please let me know if this information was helpful; I'd like to 
       know if my efforts were in vein or not.  =)
      - End, version 1.0

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