hide results

    FAQ/Walkthrough by ZNicholson

    Version: 1.3 | Updated: 06/18/00 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

                               VAGRANT STORY 
                        Version 1.3 June 18th, 2000
                         Author: Zy Nicholson
                    E-mail: spangenhelm@hotmail.com
    All text copyright Zy Nicholson, 2000
    This guide is for private and personal use only. It is not to be used or 
    reproduced, in part or whole, for profitable or promotional purposes. This 
    encompasses paper-based and electronic reproduction, whether as part of a 
    magazine, book, website, CD / DVD format or any other medium. Permission has 
    been granted for www.gamefaqs.com to reproduce the full text, and I welcome 
    requests from other sites wishing to be granted the same, especially fan sites. 
    All content was created by Zy Nicholson and is owned by me. I also acknowledge 
    any trademarks and copyrights that are not specifically mentioned in the text.
    On a final note, you should also appreciate that I'm a professional journalist 
    with the means, the resources, the know-how, the moral obligation and the dogged 
    perseverance to pursue any legal action, no matter how large or small, should 
    you attempt any infraction of these terms in the false belief that you are safe 
    from international copyright law. You are not. You have been warned. 
    Vagrant Story is (c) 2000 Square.
     1. Revision History
     2. Introduction
     3. Level Guide
     4. Second Play Secrets
     5. Playing Tips
     6. Weapons
     7. RISK
     8. Break Arts
     9. Chain Abilities
    10. Defence Abilities
    11. Magic
    12. The Workshop
    13. Combining, Forging and Reforging
    14. Combination Tables
    15. Items
    16. The Bestiary
    17. Training Dummies
    18. Secrets and Extras
    19. Credits
    May 21 2000 - Version 1.0 created
    I've still got notes to write up, but figured that maybe some of you would like 
    what's already been written sooner, rather than later.
    May 26 2000 - Version 1.1
    Despite a hideous workload and a personal tax return to contend with, your 
    enthusiastic mails have been the Spur of Guilt to my Rump of Inaction. 
    - began revision of entire level guide, Weapons, RISK, Second Play Secrets 
    - added content to Break Arts, Magic, Combination and Combination Tables
    - added new sections Chain Abilities, Defence Abilities, Secrets and Extras
    May 28-June 1st 2000 - Version 1.2
    - revisions to every section bar Bestiary
    - added new sections in Playing Tips and Items
    - wedged heavy wooden chock under wheel of social life
    June 2nd 2000 - Version 1.25
    - *proper* revisions added to some sections
    June 11-18th 2000 - Version 1.3
    - make friends trick added to Playing Tips
    - dragon breath trick added to Playing Tips
    - maps for Iron Maiden B2/3 and Snowfly Forest
    - more on item lists and combination, as well as armour pegging
    - revision of main text, section re-jig
    Vagrant Story isn't easily definable. Sure, it's an RPG -- and an action game, 
    and a platformer, and a wargame, and a cinematic adventure. 
    The design team features staff from the Japanese development company Quest, 
    responsible for the Ogre Battle series, including director Yasumi 'Yazz' Matsuno 
    and artist Akihiko Yoshida: these two last worked together on Final Fantasy 
    Tactics. To quote Matsuno from the game's website at www.vagrantstory.com:
    "The design of this game came from the design sense and ideas of our staff and 
    was not the result of conventional product planning. This may seem very natural, 
    but this is something that recently has begun to disappear from the gaming 
    industry. We believe that it is important to return to our origins in natural, 
    even spontaneous, game design."
    In an industry that seems increasingly concerned with mass-market satisfaction, 
    it's refreshing to see a title created in the knowledge that it won't appeal to 
    everyone. Not because of any lack of quality, but through a respect for 
    individuality, diversity and the importance of experimenting with original, 
    untested ideas. 
    Yoshida's characters have finally been granted the dramatic stage of a 
    'realistic' 3D environment in which to act out their roles, and his strong sense 
    of design has impressed a unique and indelible style upon Vagrant Story's 
    engine-driven cut-scenes. By comparison, the sheer personality of these living, 
    breathing individuals shows up Metal Gear Solid's cast list as a bunch of 
    cartoon heroes and villains with black-&-white values. Credit is also due to 
    Hiroshi 'Nigoro' Minagawa, who I believe has succeeded in his ambition to turn 
    every single room, view and perspective into a work of art.
    I've worked in game scripting and design myself, so it pains me to neglect a few 
    names at this stage, but I congratulate a talented team on coming up with a 
    fascinating and addictive piece of original work that eschews the weary formulae 
    and conventions of the modern, commercial RPG product.
    One final point: once you've clicked through the intro, there's no more FMV in 
    the game. Vagrant Story uses engine-driven cut-scenes to deliver its dramatic 
    impact. Not only does this result in a fluid, seamless incorporation of non-
    interactive scenes within an interactive medium, but it also allows for those 
    scenes to reflect the state of play. The character delivering lines is standing 
    in the same position, holding the same items, as they were just moments ago when 
    you were controlling them. There's no pause and flick to a pre-rendered 
    interpretation of the moment: when the scene ends then you can go take a look at 
    something you just noticed, like a closed chest, and it's still ready to be 
    opened in the playing environment. This is, I'm convinced, the future model for 
    all videogames with a narrative to convey. 
    This isn't a strict walkthrough in the sense of a 'go left, open box' set of 
    instructions. You'll have a better time if you play the game for yourself, and 
    take advice only when you're stuck. For this reason, the structure strives for 
    completism and lists every room in the game, by name. If you're stumped at any 
    point or you'd like more information then a simple search for the room name 
    should take you straight to a description of where you are and what you need to 
    On a second point, there's little mention of the cut-scene placement. The game's 
    plot will be dealt with in a later version, as the twists involved would be 
    better placed in a spoiler section than being thrown at you against your will. 
    With regard to room contents, I haven't attempted to nail down the exact numbers 
    of inhabitants (Bats x 2, Silver Wolf x 1 etc.) because, frankly, it's 
    misleading. There is no fixed number. Over time, in response to your own 
    increase in power, every room will start to boast more creatures, or harder 
    creatures, or both. So for greater precision I've simply listed the kind of 
    creatures you're likely to find there.
    When you first load the game, let it run on after the FMV has played. There are 
    two engine cut-scenes that provide some background to the story, set in the VKP 
    headquarters and the grounds of the Bardorba Manor respectively. There's also a 
    version of the game's trailer based on a cut of the introductory sequence.
    Duke Bardorba's Manor, Graylands 2:32 AM
    Although you're free to skip straight through it, the game's introductory 
    sequence includes two playable battles that serve as tutorial for the weapon-
    targeting system. Just advance the speech with your CIRCLE button and avoid 
    pressing START (as this will end the intro).
    The Manor Courtyard
    Hardin issues instructions to kill the hostages, but his Mullenkamp cultists are 
    interrupted by a noise and go to investigate (honestly, you were nowhere near 
    the box...). "Here we go..."
    Mullenkamp Soldiers
    HP 60 / MP 20
    Special Attacks: none
    This shouldn't present any problem at all, as each will fall after a couple of 
    hits. Concentrate on one before turning your attention to the other. Also, take 
    a moment to try out the marvellous first-person pause on the START button and 
    have a look at both your opponents and your surroundings, as you won't be seeing 
    this place again. When both cultists are killed, this playable scene ends.
    (NB: if you're replaying this from a Game Clear Data, you'll be equipped with 
    the last weapon and shield you were holding and not, in all probability, 
    Fandango. Also, on a plot point, note that the bodies stay put where they fall: 
    Lea Monde's power holds no sway here...).
    The Manor Chapel
    HP 83 / MP 0
    Special Attacks: Fire Breath
    The bristle of spears still lodged in its body should be a sufficient clue that 
    this Wyvern has already encountered either the Duke's retainers, or 
    Guildenstern's Crimson Blades, or both. Consequently it's very weak, and can't 
    take much more punishment. A few blows to the head will be sufficient to finish 
    the job. Don't expect the next Wyvern you meet to be such a pushover.
    When this is done then let the game run on, including the lengthy quote, and 
    you'll get a proper explanation of your new mission in another cut-scene. 
    Inquisitor Callo Merlose fills you in on the known details of your quarry. 
    You've pursued Sydney Losstarot to Lea Monde, but first you need to get 
    Wine Cellar
    Your overriding aim is to reach the city of Lea Monde via the cellars and 
    catacombs running under the sea. But a magically sealed door blocks the way, so 
    your first objective will be to find the Chamomile Sigil that unlocks it. Win 
    the Sigil from the first boss, unlock the door and defeat the second boss to 
    leave the Wine Cellar.
    Entrance To Darkness
    You begin the game with a few basic items. Your sword, Fandango, is an Edged 
    weapon with a Scimitar blade and a Short Hilt grip that will serve you 
    adequately for now.
    This room is empty at first, but will house more enemies if you return later in 
    the game. Practise jumping around, climbing on the wine crates and getting in 
    and out of Battle Mode. When you have a weapon equipped then you can still jump, 
    but your hands need to be free to grab ledges or scramble up steep steps. It's 
    worth learning that lesson right now.
    If you pressed START at any time to skip the intro sequences then this is where 
    you'll find yourself - it may not be clear to the impatient player.
    Worker's Breakroom
    Magic Circle
    Chest (unlocked): 'Tovarisch' (B) Hand Axe plus Wooden Grip, Leather Glove (L), 
    Buckler (W), Vera Bulb x 5, Cure Bulb x 5
    Return here much later in the game and you'll also find a Training Dummy (Human, 
    Crimson Blade effigy).
    The Magic Circle is the first Save Point in the game, and standing on one of 
    these will make available the Save options within the Data section of the Main 
    Menu. If you've just played out the lengthy intro in full then you'll probably 
    feel like using it at once.
    Already, you have a choice of weapons. Examine them, by all means, but don't 
    attempt to mess about with the Disassemble options at this time. Until you get 
    to the first Workshop, you won't be able to put them back together. Equip the 
    wooden shield and leather glove before moving on.
    Hall of Struggle
    HP 45 / MP 0
    Special Attacks: none
    The first aggressor of the game will swoop down to attack, so you'll need to 
    have your weapon ready and target it when it comes within range of your weapon. 
    Fortunately, it's about as threatening as you'd expect of a mouse with wings.
    When that's dispatched, you can try picking up carry crates with the X button: 
    just as you found with jumping, you need your hands free of weaponry to do this.
    Smokebarrel Stair
    An overheard conversation between two Crimson Blades reveals that the lower door 
    is locked with a Chamomile Sigil. There's a secret floor trap in that gap 
    between the outer wall and upper staircase, but this one is a beneficial Heal 
    Panel. Besides restoring health, it also reduces RISK. If you need to use it 
    more than once, simply jumping up and down will reactivate it (it's worth 
    remembering that the same goes for more harmful traps - walk off, rather than 
    trying to jump clear).
    Wine Guild Hall
    Magic Circle & Container
    The Crimson Blades are the Cardinal's elite guard, under the command of 
    Guildenstern, and for political reasons they don't want Riskbreakers sniffing 
    around. You might have thought these stout, God-fearing fellows would be your 
    allies, but they have their orders...
    Goodwin HP 160 / MP 10, Human
    Sackheim HP 145 / MP 15, Human
    Special Attacks: none
    The Container is where you'll store excess items to free up your inventory for 
    more spoils, and using it will also save your game position. There's nothing in 
    it at first (in case you were hoping for a Resi-style stash of extras) so you 
    can ignore it for now. On your first trip through the Wine Cellar, the items you 
    win from enemies by defeating them will be scripted and predetermined.
    Use the Cloudstone to cross the gap to the exit - it gives a reassuring wobble 
    when you're fully standing on it. It's an odd state of affairs, perhaps, but 
    Vagrant Story certainly makes every effort to justify the mad things that gamers 
    would ordinarily take for granted.
    Wine Magnate's Chambers
    Bat, Silver Wolf
    As you take the final path to the door, stick to the wall so as to avoid a 
    hidden Gust Trap that's two floor tiles in front of the exit.
    Fine Vintage Vault
    Crimson Blade x 2 (thereafter Bats, Wolves)
    After the first swordsman has been dispatched, climb up onto the three crates 
    and jump across to the central span. There's a crossbowman waiting for you on 
    the other side: he'll try to back off and use his weapon's superior range, so 
    you'll want to rush him.
    Chamber of Fear
    Silver Wolf, Bats
    An earthquake will rearrange the room when you try to cross it. Climb onto the 
    low ledge and jump from there to reach the higher one: the wolf guards the 
    entrance to a treasure room.
    The Reckoning Room
    Silver Wolf, Bat 
    Silver Wolf HP 90 / MP 0, Beast
    Special Attacks: none
    Chest (unlocked): 'Seventh Heaven' (B) Gastraph Bow plus Simple Bolt, Reinforced 
    Glove (L), Vera Root, Cure Root
    The door locks behind you: there are many of these trap rooms in the game, with 
    the idea being that you have to defeat all of the inhabitants before the doors 
    will open again.
    Labourer's Thirst
    Silver Wolf, Bat
    To reach that exit door, pick up a carry crate while standing on the middle span 
    and walk over to the jutting platform. Drop the crate in front of it and stand 
    on top, jumping up to grab the ledge above. 
    The Rich Drown In Wine
    Silver Wolf, Bat
    A high lever opens the exit door and, as in the previous room, you need to use a 
    crate step to reach its platform. However, the stack of crates is too tall for 
    you to pick one off the top. So draw your weapons, target one of the crates and 
    destroy it. This is a trick you'll need to repeat in future puzzles.
    Then again, if you were nervous about jumping into the wolf-pit then one of the 
    animals below may have already destroyed the crate when leaping at your shins.
    There's a two-second time limit for jumping down from the lever and running 
    through the door. Mostly, it's just a tutorial device to introduce the idea of 
    timed challenges being suddenly thrust upon you.
    Room of Rotten Grapes
    Silver Wolf, Bat
    More crate-carrying antics will get you up the high wall at the end of the room. 
    I won't insult your intelligence with further description.
    Blackmarket of Wines
    Magic Circle
    Chest (unlocked): Cure Potion, Cure Bulb x 5
    You're about to meet a boss, so feel free to save. Upon your return, this room 
    will contain a Training Dummy - don't panic, it's just an effigy - on which you 
    can practise your newfound battle abilities. It looks like a Crimson Blade, and, 
    sure enough, counts as a Human target, so it will affect your weapon bonuses if 
    you spend too long hammering it. Try not to wear out your weapons too much until 
    you reach a Workshop that can restore their DP.
    The Gallows
    Boss: Minotaur
    HP 275 / MP 5, Beast
    Special Attacks: Giga Rush
    Prize: Chamomile Sigil, Grimoire Guerir (Shaman spell, Heal), Grimoire Debile 
    (Sorcerer Spell, Degenerate)
    Chest (unlocked): Pelta Shield (W), Vera Bulb x 3,Yggdrasil's Tears x 15
    Use the weapon that you've been building up on Bats and Wolves, as Minotaur 
    occupies the same creature class of Beast. His huge club can happily reach your 
    high, prominent entry point, so don't imagine you're safe there. Indeed, he'll 
    very likely get the first hit in before you can draw, so dive into the arena and 
    rush in to put him within the range of your own weapon.
    However, his stature means that you'll be struggling to hit anything above the 
    knee, and his legs are the best-protected location on his body, especially 
    against Edged weapons. Take advantage of anything else that comes into range, 
    going for the best damage-versus-probability gamble you can afford. If you take 
    too much damage, use a Cure item: holding down the L2 button will bring up a 
    faster shortcut menu when your control is restored. 
    He's not so hard unless you're unlucky enough to take a Giga Rush, so a few 
    solid hits will finish him off.
    Events in this room will also cause Ashley to remember his basic Battle 
    Abilities: in other words, Vagrant Story's *real* combat system. Assign all of 
    the abilities to buttons and go practice a few chain timings on that Dummy 
    When you're ready, you may make your way back to Smokebarrel Stair and open the 
    magically sealed door. As you do so, try out the Grimoire items you've acquired. 
    Using one of these will destroy the Grimoire in the process, but you'll also 
    memorise the spell permanently for future use regardless of whether it succeeds 
    or fails. Unlike most RPG scrolls, just reading the Grimoire will drain your 
    mana points and so you won't be able to use one unless you have sufficient MP 
    for the casting.
    Room Of Cheap Red Wine
    Upon entering, you'll be treated to an explanation of what is later referred to 
    as "an incomplete death". When the living die in Lea Monde, the Dark claims both 
    body and soul for its own ends. 
    Mandel HP 145 / MP 15
    Special Attacks: none
    Prize: Rapier (B)
    It's worth pointing out an old FF-styled trick here: if you cast Heal on an 
    Undead opponent, it actually attacks them as a single-target spell and does 
    damage. You probably won't need it here, though.
    Room Of Cheap White Wine
    You enter this room from an advantageous point, and you could try casting Heal 
    or aiming for the heads of creatures below before you jump down to floor level.
    Zombie HP 120 HP / MP 10
    Zombie Fighter HP 140 / MP 15
    Ghoul HP 120 / MP 10
    Special Attacks: none
    Prize: Cure Roots x 2 per head
    The Greedy One's Den
    Silver Wolves
    The Hero's Winehall
    Boss: Dullahan
    HP 180 / MP 30, Evil
    Special Attacks: casts Degenerate
    Prize: Elixir of Queens, Elixir of Mages, Grimoire Lux (Warlock spell, Spirit 
    Chest (unlocked): 'Rusty Nail' (B) Spear + Spiculum Pole, Braveheart gem, Cure 
    This animated suit of armour has a supposed weak spot in its abdomen, but that 
    rather depends on what you're packing. If you employ a Piercing weapon then the 
    extra damage is significant, but it's a trickier spot to hit. If all else fails, 
    go for the breastplate -- he's weak to Piercing weapons all over. Abandon any 
    combo if the first hit doesn't do decent damage, as high RISK will multiply the 
    damage of Dullahan's vicious sword-swipes (RISK-reducing Vera items can help 
    here). You should also try to get the timing down for the Impact Guard defence 
    ability to halve the damage you take. Cast your Shaman magic to Heal yourself 
    whenever you get down to near half your health. 
    When you're done, don't forget to check out the chest to the right of the exit 
    before moving on to the catacombs.
    Point o' fun: I once managed to alter the camera angle of this battle's opening 
    cut-scene by climbing up onto the right-hand ledge rather than walking straight 
    into the centre after entering the room.
    If you return to this room later in the game with much higher HP, you may find a 
    Dullahan and a Hellhound as the respawning enemies. The Dullahan will be 
    carrying an Iron Rhomphaia that you can (rarely) win as a prize. Also, if you 
    enter from the Catacombs, it's even possible to sneak up behind this Dullahan 
    and follow him around the room for ages before he sees you...
    Now that you've escaped the Wine Cellar, you'll have to do the same to pass 
    through the Catacombs. As the name declares, this was once an old burial 
    chamber. The double doors at the Withered Spring will only open to the Lily 
    Sigil, which you'll find by defeating the minor bosses in this area.
    Hall of Sworn Revenge
    Magic Circle & Container
    You'll find a hidden Cure Panel trap on the left raised step, opposite that of 
    the Save Point. This will cure any status ailments you have, but it's not likely 
    to see much use. There's also a Heal Panel next to it, which will restore HP and 
    reduce RISK.
    Much later in the game, this room will also house a Dummy of a Skeleton Knight 
    for training against Undead targets.
    The Last Blessing
    Hellhound HP 110 / MP 0
    Affinity: Fire
    Special Attacks: Fire Breath
    If it seems only slight harder than the Silver Wolf, the Hellhound's Breath is a 
    low-level multiple-target attack: this means that if the flame envelops your 
    entire body, every hit location will take damage. When you add all of that up, 
    it can make the Hellhound unexpectedly deadly at this stage. Prioritise the 
    Hellhound as a target and chain a couple of attacks together to take it out in 
    one combo. It's weak against Water, Light and Piercing blades, so you could try 
    out your new Spirit Surge.
    There's a simple challenge here: you must get through both corridors to the 
    Persecution Hall before the timer expires and the door at the end shuts tight. 
    Instead of dashing and dodging straight through, make the effort to take out 
    enemies while on the run. It's actually faster to kill them first than let them 
    have their attacks as you pass.
    The Weeping Corridor
    Skeleton HP 120 / MP 20
    Special Attacks: none
    Skeletons are able to camouflage themselves in the Catacombs by appearing as 
    inanimate piles of bones, but this one should be easier to spot.
    Finally, there's a Freeze Trap two tiles in front of the exit that's designed to 
    catch you off-guard. Approach the door from the side.
    Persecution Hall
    Skeleton, Hellhound
    If you examine this room on your map, you'll see a white dot indicating an exit 
    that you may not have noticed. Look up to the left of the entrance and you'll 
    see a dark passageway high in the wall - too high to reach by jumping, in fact. 
    Fortunately, there are some crates in the opposite corner. 
    Smash one of the crates in the stack so that you can pick off the top one. Carry 
    this over to the raised floor under the doorway. There's a step nearby that's 
    only half the height of the raised floor, so place the crate on that. Now climb 
    up onto the step yourself, pick up the crate, turn and place it on the raised 
    floor. This is how you move crates up steps, lifting them one tile height at a 
    time. Climb up again and put the crate under the doorway. Now you can jump up.
    Rodent-Ridden Chamber
    Chest (unlocked): 'Pink Squirrel' (I), Goblin Club plus Wooden Grip, Cross Guard 
    grip, Cuirass, Long Boots, Iocus gem, Mana Root x 3, Cure Bulb x 3
    Again, the surrounding floor is slightly too high to lift a crate onto it. So 
    use a step - in this case, the other crate - by placing one crate on another, 
    climb up onto the outer floor and pick up the top crate from there.
    Shrine To The Martyrs
    Skeleton, Hellhound
    "This would need an earthquake to open it." One scripted earthquake, coming up. 
    Take the open door for now.
    The Lamenting Mother
    In another Time Trial, you're given just 30 seconds to defeat a new enemy. 
    There's no penalty if you don't - it'll just disappear, in fact - but you'll 
    miss out on the booty.
    Ghost  HP 70 / MP 130
    Special Attacks: Mind Blast
    Because the Ghost's affinity is Light, the same as your Spirit Surge, your 
    Warlock magic is useless here. Stick to physical attacks.
    The Ghost will usually cast Degenerate to weaken your attack before using its 
    specials. It has the ability to teleport, and will use this in an attempt to 
    'hit and run' before you can get close. The trick to beating it is that it likes 
    to appear at fixed locations, only moving between a few key spots, so if you can 
    identify these regular warp points and stick by one then you can ambush the 
    Ghost as it pops up. If it starts to materialise beyond your weapon range but 
    just within its own spell range, then run away and get yourself to another 
    regular warp point: you can often force it to teleport again, right where you 
    want it.
    Prize: Cure Bulbs x 3, Elixir of Kings
    Chest (unlocked): Shandy Gaff (B) Broad Sword, Knuckles (B), Elixir of Queens
    You can rattle the handle of the door by the chest but it, too, is rusted shut. 
    When you return to the previous room, though, an earthquake will strike. This 
    will shake the rust off the hinges of both doors. It also knocks the floor out 
    of The Lamenting Mother, so only the first rusted door will be accessible.
    Hall Of Dying Hope
    Zombie Knight HP 160 / MP 40
    Special Attacks: none
    Scale the sheer wall first at this T-Junction, as the left door leads to a 
    single treasure room. First, you'll be introduced to the push crate: just shove 
    it forward and then left, all the way to the wall, placing the carry crate on 
    top of it for a higher jumping point.
    Bandits' Hideout
    Ghost, Bat, Hellhound
    Chest (unlocked): Soul Kiss (S) Scramasax plus Swept Hilt, Targe (B), Knuckle 
    (B), Bear Mask (L), Haeralis gem, Spirit Orison x 3, Eye of Argon x 3
    To reach the chest's platform, you need to move out that rolling cube from the 
    near corner. So break the push crate beside it with a weapon, step into the 
    space that's left and roll the cube into place. The last push crate will slide 
    under the chest's niche, allowing you to kneel and open it from the correct 
    The Bloody Hallway
    The puzzle here is how to get the wooden crates over that central span, and to 
    solve it you'll need to build yourself a step like the one you used in 
    Persecution Hall.
    Climb over the span and roll the lower of the two cubes along the wall until 
    it's underneath the higher one. Stand on it and you can push the higher cube 
    towards the other side. Climb up onto the span and keep rolling the high cube 
    until it drops down on the other side, next to the other crates. Now you have a 
    two-tile step and two spare carry crates. Lift the two carry crates onto the 
    central span via the step, then stack them under the exit.
    Faith Overcame Fear
    Skeleton, Zombie Knight
    The Withered Spring
    Ghost, Skeleton
    Mummy 90 HP / 5 MP
    Special Attacks: none
    Magic Circle
    The huge double doors are magically locked with a Lily Sigil, which is found by 
    exploring the rooms beyond the door to the right as you enter. First, though, 
    check out the door to the left as it opens onto the game's first Workshop.
    Also, look up with first-person pause and take a psychological deep breath.
    WORKSHOP: Work of Art
    Magic Circle & Container
    Tools for Wood, Leather, Bronze
    Now you can start experimenting with the real potential of your equipment. Try 
    combining that Reinforced Glove with a bronze Knuckle, for instance, or 
    disassemble a weapon and reassemble its blade with a better grip. You should 
    also have three gems - Iocus, Haeralis and Braveheart - to decorate and enhance 
    either weapons or shields.
    Repent O Ye Sinners
    Bat, Ghoul
    The Reaper's Victims
    Bat, Zombie Knight
    Although this is a locking trap room, there's no treasure chest to be had. You 
    might find some decent items on the creatures themselves, though.
    The Last Stab Of Hope
    If you forgot to open that chest containing Shandy Gaff, or the earthquake cut 
    you off from it, just take the side exit here. It's the second rust-hinged door 
    that you previously tried to open from the other side, in The Lamenting Mother. 
    The earthquake has shaken it loose. Beside the chest, though, and an irate 
    Ghost, it leads to nothing.
    Hallway of Heroes
    Here you'll find either a Zombie Knight with a hammer or a Skeleton with a 
    spear, in alternation.
    The Beasts' Domain
    Yes, this is the place to win the Lily Sigil. It looks empty at first, because 
    your opponents won't appear until you explore the raised area in the far left 
    Lizardman HP 240 / MP 25
    Prize: Glaive (B), Knuckles (I), Grimoire Antidote (Shaman spell, Antidote), 
    Elixir of Queens
    Lizardman HP 240 / MP 25
    Prize: Spear (I), Cuirass (L), Lily Sigil
    Special Attacks: none
    With the Lily Sigil in your possession, return to the Withered Spring and open 
    the grand double doors to advance to the Sanctum.
    NB If you revisit this room at a later date, don't expect to find more 
    Lizardman. The new inhabitants are rather less savoury:
    Slime HP 60 / MP 0
    Affinity: Earth
    Special Attacks: Acid Sneeze
    Defeating the Golem boss on this level will activate a Cloudstone to carry you 
    over the river.
    Prisoner's Niche
    Take a weapon to the rightmost push crate: with the space you've made, you can 
    slide its neighbour next to the others and thus make a solid base of three 
    adjacent crates. Now lift the two carry crates onto this base. Step up there 
    with them, standing in the gap that remains, pick up the nearest carry crate and 
    stack it on top of the other. From this three-crate column you can climb over 
    the barricade.
    Corridor Of the Clerics
    For now, just take the door straight ahead.
    Priests' Confinement
    Bats, bats, bats
    Prize: Eye of Argon (won from the bat in the far left corner)
    There's a Heal Panel trap on the low table just in front of you as you enter. If 
    you can't find it, you can use the Eye of Argon to reveal it.
    Look to the right, down this long room, and you'll see a dark passage entrance 
    high in the far wall. Though it may not seem likely, it is possible to jump to 
    it from this room, unaided.
    There's a heavy piece of furniture under the entrance and slightly to the right. 
    From the top of this tall cabinet, you need to jump slightly left and then up so 
    that you turn in mid-air to face the wall. It may take a few goes, but if you 
    get it right then you'll be able to grab the ledge and clamber up. If you're 
    using the Dual Shock then try facing the wall, jumping and adding a brief left 
    flick while still pushing forward into the wall.
    The Alchemist's Laboratory
    Skeleton Knights, Poison Slime
    Chest (unlocked): 'Bosom Cleaver' (B) Langdebeve, Dragonite gem, Grimoire Halte 
    (Sorcerer spell, Fixate)
    The chest is located on the far side of the room, and is fairly easy to reach by 
    jumping from bookcase to bookcase. To leave this room, take the exit at ground 
    level so that you unlatch its door for future access.
    Skeleton Knight HP 160 / MP 30
    Special Attack: none
    These skeletons are drawn from the city guard rather than the ancient burial 
    chambers of the Catacombs, so they're in better shape and their gear is slightly 
    more sophisticated.
    Poison Slime HP 110 / MP 0
    Special Attack: Poison Sneeze
    Prize: Faerie Chortle
    You probably won't have much beyond Piercing weapons to burst this creature 
    right now, but in future you should know that it's also weak versus Air and Fire 
    attacks. To counteract its poison, you can either cast an Antidote spell or 
    administer a Faerie Chortle (an item which, predictably enough, can be won from 
    the slaying of Poison Slimes). They're not tough, exactly, but the Poison Sneeze 
    can create a few menu-trawling chores for you...
    The Academia Corridor
    Theology Classroom
    Ghost, Skeleton
    A locking trap room, and another one that offers little beyond the Cure and Vera 
    items you might win as prizes from its denizens. It looks as if there ought to 
    be more to do in here, with all its nooks and crates, but I've found nothing 
    else of value.
    An observation: locking trap rooms often have a 'normal' set of occupants that 
    differs from the group you must beat to unlock the door. If you re-enter 
    immediately upon leaving, you may find a different set of creatures has 
    instantly respawned.
    Shrine Of The Martyrs
    Hellhound, Skeleton Knight
    Hallowed Hope
    Poison Slime, Bat
    Hall Of Sacrilege
    Boss: Golem HP 240 / MP 15
    Affinity: Earth
    Special Attacks: Granite Punch
    Prize: Cure Bulb x 2, Elixir of Dragoons, Grimoire Ameliorer (Sorcerer spell, 
    What you could do here is lure him over to the steps on the near right by 
    standing in the corner, then move down a step or two towards him: this will give 
    you a better selection of body locations to target. If that's a bit fancy, just 
    run in and whack his arms and legs with something Blunt until he cracks.
    Defeating Golem will activate a Cloudstone in Passage Of the Refugees, allowing 
    you to cross the torrent, so head back to the start of Sanctum and take the 
    remaining exit from Corridor of the Clerics.
    Advent Ground (South Bank)
    Bat, Lizardman
    A wide, fast-flowing river blocks the way here. There's no point jumping but if 
    you should fall in then you'll simply restart at the door by which you entered, 
    less 20 HP.
    Passage of the Refugees
    Bat, Poison Slime, Lizardman
    There's a carry crate buried at the centre of those push crates, so just hack 
    away the top one to reach it. You only need one crate to scale the wall. Then 
    jump aboard the Cloudstone and arm yourself in readiness for the Lizardman (you 
    can also try out your Fixate spell here).
    Advent Ground (North Bank)
    Magic Circle and Container
    Might be a good idea to save, here...
    The Cleansing Chantry
    Boss: Dragon HP 480  / MP 0
    Dragon (...)
    Special Attacks: Thermal Breath, Tail Attack
    Prize: Cure Bulb x 3, Elixir of Sages, Grimoire Analyse (Sorcerer spell, 
    Despite the flames, this Dragon has no particular affinity to fire or weakness 
    to water. Treat it as a heavy physical opponent. Dragons have weapon-type 
    weaknesses in their heads and in their tails - Piercing and Edged respectively, 
    here -- though it takes a bit of running around with a long-hafted weapon to get 
    so much as a glimpse of tail because the dragon will try to stay facing you. 
    You're unlikely destroy it with one chain, so use single hits or no more than 2-
    3 hit combos to keep your RISK down.
    A very smart trick for annoying dragons is to get in really close, under the 
    neck and head. The dragon can't use its breath attack unless you're beyond a 
    minimum range from its mouth, so stay tight and don't let it back off. It will 
    be forced to resort to a lunging bite attack, which is much less dangerous and 
    has only a physical affinity.
    Also, try to get down the Impact Guard timing for that Tail Attack: once you 
    suss out that you should press, not on the first sweep over your head, but when 
    it whips back at you, then you'll be able to halve some pretty immense damage. 
    It's a defence ability timing that will benefit you for the rest of the game.
    Start using the Analyze spell a lot, too - it'll give you more precise 
    information on specific foes than I'm able to provide here. See the Magic 
    section for details on using it.
    Stairway to the Light
    Bong! You've made it under the razor corals and deadly whirlpools, slain a 
    dragon and arrived in Lea Monde. Not bad for a morning's work. Now for the City 
    Town Centre West (north bank)
    The Crimson Blades have secured this area, so your goal here is to wrest a 
    Crimson Key from Father Duane and his cohorts. This will grant access to the 
    passages running through the City Walls. A Cloudstone spans the river that 
    divides the region, but it will only become operational when you return from the 
    Abandoned Mines B1. When it does, you'll also find that many of the previously 
    empty locations have acquired Crimson Blade patrols.
    Rue Vermillion
    Magic Circle
    The heavy door here leads to City Walls West but is locked with the Crimson Key, 
    so remember to return here when you obtain it. For now, take the north-eastern 
    The Rene Coastroad
    The reason for coming here first? Well, 'Number 1, Rene Coastroad' happens to be 
    the postal address of the game's second Workshop.
    There's also a Heal Panel trap on the grassy overhang in the far eastern corner 
    that overlooks both the sea and a tall facing building. This is as useful for 
    instantaneously reducing RISK as it is for improving health after a few lengthy 
    WORKSHOP: The Magic Hammer
    Magic Circle and Container
    Tools for Bronze and Iron
    The Magic Hammer offers a much-needed chance to repair your weapons and perform 
    any necessary metalwork, but it's purely a smithy. Bear in mind that if you 
    upgrade any equipment to Hagane by combining Bronze and Iron, this Workshop will 
    no longer have the tools to rework the material. 
    Rue Mal Fallde
    You'll get a cut-scene on your first visit, and the resting Blades will force 
    you to find another route. So double back to Rue Vermillion and head south this 
    Tircolas Flow
    Boss: Father Duane, Sarjik and Bejart, Crimson Blades
    Special Attacks: Poison Mist (Duane)
    Father Duane, Crimson Blade cleric lieutenant HP 250 / MP 100
    Prize: 'Magnolia Frau' (S) Wizard Staff, Wizard Robe, Crimson Key, Grimoire 
    Demolir (Warlock spell, Explosion), Grimoire Clef (Sorcerer spell, Unlock)
    Sarjik, Crimson Blade swordsman HP 180 / MP 70
    Prize: Rapier (I), Mana Root x 3
    Bejart, Crimson Blade halberdier HP 190 / MP 55
    Prize: Guisarme (B), Cure Root x 3
    The enemy's tactic here is for Sarjik and Bejart to run in, attack once and 
    retreat. Duane will keep his distance in the rearguard and use spells, attacking 
    with his staff only when you've been poisoned.  If you keep using Antidote to 
    null the effect of Poison Mist then he'll just keep casting it, so you could 
    either use this to stop him physically attacking; or else ignore the infection 
    and try to finish him off before the poison has too much effect.
    When the battle is won, you'll have that Crimson Key for Rue Vermillion.
    City Walls West
    There's not much to do here right now except follow the passageway to the 
    Abandoned Mines B1.
    Students of Death
    The Gabled Hall
    Zombie Knights
    This is a locking trap room.
    Where The Master Fell
    This Staircase leads down to the Abandoned Mines B1.
    Abandoned Mines B1
    Sydney has barred your passage through this mine with the Hyacinth and Fern 
    Sigils, which you'll acquire within the Mine itself from a boss and a chest 
    respectively. That means some fairly thorough investigation of the entire Mine.
    Dreamer's Entrance
    Stirge HP 90 / MP 0
    Special Attack: Bloodsuck
    This vampire is a much tougher form of bat, and can be formidable enough in 
    numbers (three, here) to throw you off guard. If your RISK is very high, the 
    damage done by its Bloodsuck rises dramatically.
    The Crossing
    Magic Circle
    A Hellhound often dogs this save point (sorry). Head west first to tackle the 
    treasure room.
    Miner's Resting Hall
    Goblins, Mimic
    Chest (magic lock): 'Stinger' (B) Guisarme plus Sand Face grip, Quad Shield (B), 
    Ring Mail (B), Ring Leggings (B), White Queen gem, Grimoire Visible (Sorcerer 
    spell, Eureka), Cure Bulb x 5
    Goblin HP 220 / MP 25
    Special Attacks: none
    You may find some interesting bits of kit when attacking these chimp-like 
    troglodytes. Collect it and save it all up for some future business in the 
    Mimic HP 120 / MP 0
    Special Attack: Numbing Needle
    This old D&D stalwart gives itself away a bit too soon, perhaps. We all know 
    that you should never trust a room with more than one chest.
    To open the chest, you'll need to use that Unlock spell. If it doesn't work 
    first time, just keep trying. As your reward, you'll get the Eureka spell and 
    never have to use another Eye of Argon.
    The Suicide King
    Goblin, Stirge
    A simple locking trap room to give you Yggdrasil's Tears from the corpses of the 
    fallen. You'll be needing plenty of them in the Mines.
    The Battle's Beginning
    Boss: Wyvern HP 340 / MP 0
    Special Attack: Fire Breath
    Prize: Hyacinth Sigil, Cure Tonic, Grimoire Ignifuge (Enchanter spell, Pyro 
    Nobody's had a crack at this one with a pointy stick beforehand, so it's all 
    down to you this time. Unlike ordinary reptiles, this Dragon-class creature is 
    strongest against Piercing weapons and weak against Blunt ones (you may find a 
    spear does more damage against its body when successful). If you can get behind 
    or to the side of it, the tail is susceptible to Edged weapons.
    In case you're wondering - and I know you weren't - the heraldic definition of 
    the difference between a Wyvern and a Dragon is that the Wyvern stands erect on 
    two legs, while the Dragon walks on four (as in the Welsh national flag). There, 
    that should save you any future embarrassment at dinner parties when you find 
    yourself sitting next to a questing Knight Errant and the discussion moves to 
    the profit margins involved in professional dracicide.
    What Lies Ahead?
    Goblin, Goblin Leader HP 260 / MP 60
    Special Attack: casts Stun Cloud, Degenerate
    Stun Cloud's effect is Paralysis, which prevents you attacking physically for a 
    short period. That's quite a serious status ailment when you're in a room full 
    of Goblins, all things considered, so assign the Defence Ability 'Ward' to one 
    button and attempt to counter the Stun Cloud. If that fails, use Yggdrasil's 
    Tears or retreat. Also, be sure to check this FAQ's Magic section for a trick to 
    using Ward. When you're a more accomplished mage, this won't matter so much.
    The Fruits of Friendship
    If you use this route to reach The Earthquake's Mark, just cross with the 
    Cloudstone and move the top push crate out and to the wall to reach the latched 
    Conflict And Accord
    Goblin, Hellhound
    The End of the Line
    Goblin, Stirge
    Another locking trap room to stock up on Yggdrasil's Tears. It's not so easy to 
    get the timing right for Ward, is it?
    The Earthquake's Mark
    Two of these doors are locked - one on a Latch, the other needing a Hyacinth 
    Sigil -- but the third, to the left, is open. Just be sure to avoid the Eruption 
    trap with Eye of Argon or Eureka.
    Coal Mine Storage
    Goblin, Goblin Leader
    Chest (unlocked): Ring Sleeve (B), Chain Coif (B), Undine Jasper, Fern Sigil
    Make a cursory check with Eureka before you head to the chest. Right in front of 
    it is a seemingly unavoidable Poison Trap, but on the ledge behind it is another 
    floor pad called 'Trap Clear'. Stepping on this deactivates all traps in the 
    room, and you'll see it crop up again in future (while there's no way of 
    discerning beforehand, Trap Clears are almost always placed where you wouldn't 
    normally go, while dangerous Traps are precisely where they expect you to 
    The Passion Of Lovers
    Another time challenge grants you just 15 seconds to make it to the Dark Tunnel 
    through the Hall of Hope.
    Hall of Hope
    Goblin, Goblin Leader
    The Dark Tunnel
    Magic Circle
    From here, take the east route first for a treasure room cul-de-sac. The north 
    route requires the Silver Key, which you won't find for some time.
    If you return later in the game, this room will house a Dummy in the form of an 
    Ogre for training against Beast-class opponents.
    Rust In Peace
    Goblin Leader, Goblin, Mimic
    Chest (magic lock): Chain Sleeve (B), Salamander Ring, Manabreaker, Elixir of 
    Sages, Grimoire Undine (Enchanter spell, Frost Fusion)
    Everwant Passage
    Goblin, Mimic
    This exit is sealed off with the Silver Key. Ignore it for now.
    The Smeltry
    Boss: Fire Elemental HP 320 / MP 140
    Special Attack: Fireball
    Prize: Grimoire Flamme (Warlock spell, Flame Sphere), Elixir of Queens, Mana 
    Equipping the Salamander Ring raises your overall Fire affinity and thus makes 
    you more resistant to fireballs. Decorating your weapon with an Undine Jasper 
    raises its Water affinity, causing more damage to Fire-aligned creatures. 
    Finally, when you're facing your foe and have your weapons drawn, open with 
    Frost Fusion to increase your weapon's Water affinity even further. Changing 
    weapons mid-battle will cancel an Enchanter spell.
    Clash of Hyaenas
    Using Fixate when it's closest will ease the task of jumping to the Cloudstone. 
    Then hack away three of the crates before sliding the last one to the wall.
    Greed Knows No Bounds
    Goblin Leader, Goblin
    Live Long And Prosper
    The door here is locked with the Fern Sigil, which you should have picked up 
    from the chest in Coal Mine Storage.
    Pray To The Mineral Gods
    Traitor's Parting
    Boss: Ogre HP 540 HP / MP 35
    Special Attacks: casts Degenerate
    Prize: Cure Bulb x 3, Elixir of Kings, Grimoire Rempart (Enchanter spell, Terra 
    Despite the humanoid appearance, you'll want your best Beast-hunting weapon for 
    the Ogre. Casting Prostasia beforehand is also recommended here. Ogres move in 
    and out of range with enviable speed, but to slow one to Movement 50% you'd have 
    to hamstring both legs (by which time he'd be dead anyway, so it's not as clever 
    a tactic as you might imagine). Instead, go for the head or the arms.
    On a final note, Ogres are incredibly resistant to combos. If you try to chain 
    more than a couple of attacks, you'll find you just start clocking up misses. 
    The stairs lead up, and a well-earned rest is in sight...
    Town Centre West (south bank)
    This place is busier on your return, but the Cloudstone over the river is now 
    functional and making regular ferry trips. Now that you're back, call in at the 
    Magic Hammer and get to work on upgrades and repairs. If you've been having a 
    rough journey so far, you might want to spend some time here and start picking 
    fights with Crimson Blades in order to steal some neat armour and learn a few 
    more abilities and Break Arts.
    When you're ready to move on, you need to locate the entrance to Undercity West. 
    That's your next destination.
    Rue Bouquet
    Magic Circle
    Tircolas Flow (south side)
    Crimson Blades
    Note that your human enemies are not only intelligent enough to cast spells, but 
    will casually use the Cloudstone to reach you. Try to attack them singly and 
    finish them off before picking another target, as many possess cure spells and 
    Glacialdra Kirk Ruins
    You'll find an intriguing gate-barred staircase here marked with the Rood 
    Inverse. Hate to disappoint you, but this simply isn't accessible on your first 
    game. You need to beat Vagrant Story at least once to be able to open it, so 
    don't expect to get a 100% rating straight off.
    Instead, clamber over some fallen masonry to find a slightly concealed entrance 
    to the south. Then pass straight through Rue Sant D'alsa to Villeport Way.
    Villeport Way
    A cut-scene shows you where you need to go, but when it concludes you'll find 
    that the gate is locked and the only other door is latched from the other side. 
    Return to Rue Sant d'Alsa for Dinas Walk to take you inside.
    Rue Sant d'Alsa
    On your first visit, you'll pass straight on to Villeport Way. You'll be coming 
    back, soon enough.
    Crimson Blades
    Ambushed! But pay attention and you'll see that one of the Blades jumps down 
    from a balcony terrace above you. Use the first-person and distant views to get 
    a look at it.  By standing on the raised grassy hillocks to the right, you can 
    get enough height on your jump to climb up onto it. There's a door here that 
    enters a derelict building.
    Dinas Walk
    This is little more than a corridor with some broken floor to leap and an exit 
    at the far end that places you on the other side of Rue Sant D'alsa's locked 
    When you emerge, drop down to the post that the Crimson Blade is guarding and 
    dispose of him before opening the inner gate to Undercity West.
    Undercity West
    The skyless streets and boulevards of the Undercity offer a refuge from the sun 
    for Lea Monde's walking dead and damned. In game terms, that means you should 
    pack your bags with weapons for despatching Undead, Evil, Phantoms and Beasts. 
    On this first trip your aim is to reach the Snowfly Forest, but later on you 
    will return here with the Iron Key to open up closed avenues, claim the Clematis 
    Sigil and eventually enter the Limestone Quarry.
    The Bread Peddlar's Way
    One of the more suspenseful tunes of the game, that.
    Way of the Mother Lode
    Zombie Knight, Ghast HP 120 / MP 0
    Special Attacks: none
    The Ghast is familiar Undead fare, but sometimes packs a decent weapon on a 
    fairly strong hitting-arm. 
    Sewer Of Ravenous Rats
    Skeleton, Zombie Mage HP 135 / MP 80
    Special Attacks: casts spells, including Lightning Bolt
    When he's facing the other way, you can often creep up on a Zombie Mage and stab 
    him in the back before he can utter so much as a magic syllable. 
    This passage joins up to another part of Undercity West, but for now the door is 
    sealed with the Silver Key.
    Underdark Fishmarket
    Boss: Giant Crab HP 420 HP / MP 0
    Affinity: Water
    Special Attack: Aqua Bubble
    Prize: Cure Bulb x 3, Elixir of Queens, Grimoire Sylphe (Enchanter spell, Luft 
    Switch that Undine Jasper to your shield, if you're packing one. The Undercity's 
    guardian has a weakness to Fire but it's probably not worth bothering with a 
    level 1 Flame Sphere, as you won't be able to target more than one or two hit 
    locations on such a huge crustacean. It's also weak against Air, and you'll find 
    that Fire, Air and Lightning Break Arts or spells will inflict immense damage. 
    Blunt hammers serve well for crushing its shell armour but if you're using a 
    Piercing attack then you might aim for the mouth.
    For the record, not one of the crabs in the game seemed to pose any kind of 
    threat. If you're getting stuffed, check that you haven't still got a Salamander 
    Ring attached - this would amplify its Aqua Bubble damage.
    The Sunless Way
    Magic Circle
    Hall of Poverty
    Zombie Knight, Ghast
    The Washing-Woman's Way
    Zombie Knight, Zombie Mage
    There's a Heal Panel near the door locked with the Silver Key.
    Remembering Days of Yore
    Zombie Knight, Ghast, Zombie Mage
    Come back here when you have the Iron Key: you'll be able to access Larder for a 
    Lean Winter and claim the Clematis Sigil. For now, though, take the steps up to 
    Snowfly Forest.
    Where The Hunter Climbed
    These steps will take you to the Snowfly Forest.
    Snowfly Forest
    Finding your way through this place is actually quite confusing. Not only is the 
    layout designed to befuddle, but the canopy of trees can also hinder your 
    ability to see pathways and creatures (I'm none too keen on that aspect). Many 
    exits in the Snowfly Forest do not lead to where you expect. Instead, they warp 
    you to a distant area or return to you a place already explored. The effect is 
    deliberately disorientating, but it can be mapped (see below).
    When Rosencrantz tells you to follow the Snowflies, that's not to be taken 
    literally: there's no clue to be discerned by trying to see which way they fly 
    across the screen. Instead, it refers to the fact that your path through the 
    Forest is blocked by a swarm of Snowflies at the Yellow Wood, and that's where 
    you need to get through to proceed, so you'll have to defeat the local boss 
    first to shift them. This boss will also give a Bronze Key for later use.
    A neat hidden trick is that if you click on a lone tree with the X action 
    button, Ashley will sometimes be able to tell compass direction by the side of 
    the bark on which the moss grows (you get an option to readjust the direction 
    you're facing). Amusing, but it's better to keep checking your map screen from 
    place to place.
    Map 1: Forest Path
    Each room is identified by its central letter. The exits are shown as letters 
    around the 'walls' of the room, and these letters indicate where you will end up 
    if you leave the room through that door or passageway.
    A - The Faerie Circle           N - The Secret Path
    B - The Hunt Begins             O - Hewn From Nature
    C - Which Way Home              P - The Wood Gate
    D - The Birds and the Bees      Q - The Giving Trees
    E - Traces of the Beast         R - The Wounded Boar
    F - Fluttering Hope             S - Golden Egg Way
    G - Return to the Land          T - The Woodcutter's Run
    H - The Yellow Road             U - The Wolves' Choice
    I - Where Soft Rains Fell       V - Howl of the Wolf King
    J - Forest River                W - They Also Feed
    K - Lamenting to the Moon       X - The Hollow Hills
    L - Running with the Wolves     Y - The Spirit Trees
    M - You Are the Prey            Z - The Silent Hedges
    ^ - Entrance                    * - Exit
              |         |~~~~~~|                  |
              |         |~~~~o~|           J      |
              |         |~o~~~~|                  | 
              |         |~~~~~~|                  |
              +- K ----------------- A ------- I -+
               | J |                         | J |             +-- Y --+
              -+   +-   -------   -----+     |   |             |       |
              V  K  U   Q  Z  Y   Q  Y |     | I |             |   G   |
              -+   +-   -------   -+   |     |   |             | boss! |       
               | L |               | W |     | H |             +-- F --+
     | X |     | K |               | Y |     | I |     | S |     | G | 
    -+   +-   -+   +-   -----+    -+   +-   -+   +-   -+   +-   -+   +-
    Z  M  L   M  L  X   L  X |    D  W  H   W  H  E   H  E  F   E  F  S
    -+   +-   -------   -+   |    -+   +-   -+   +-   -+   +-   -------
     | N |               | V |     | Q |     | S |     | D |           
     | M |               | X |     | W |     | H |     | E | 
     |   |              -+   +-   -+   +-   -+   +-   -+   +- 
     | N |              Z  V  K   K  U  T   U  T  D   Q  D  W
     |   |              -------   -+   +-   -------   -+   +-
     | O |                         | S |               | C | 
    +-- N --+                      | H |               | D |     | W | 
    |       |                     -+   +-   -------   -+   +-   -+   +-
    |   O   |                     F  S  R   S  R  C   R  C  Q   C  Q  Y
    | boss! |                     -+   +-   -------   -+   +-   -------
    +-- P --+                      | E |               | B |           
    +- O -+                                            | C | 
    |     |                    S                       |   |
    |  P  |                   E+W                      | B | 
    |     |                    N                       |   |
    +- * -+                                            | A |
    NB: the passage from H to I is blocked by a       +- B -+
    Snowfly swarm until the boss at G is defeated.    |     |
                                                      |  A  |   
                                                      |     |
                                                      +- ^ -+
    The Faerie Circle
    Magic Circle
    Your starting point. Go south from here to reach
    The Hunt Begins
    A straight path. Keep going south to
    Which Way Home
    Basilisk HP 120 HP / MP 0
    Special Attack: Acid Breath
    The Basilisk is smaller and less petrifying than you might have been expecting. 
    Its affinity is Earth, so Air spells and attacks will hurt it more. You can 
    occasionally win valuable Snowfly Draughts from Basilisks but it's the more 
    common Faerie Wings that you want to collect, as these will be vital later on.
    From here, go south again to
    The Birds and The Bees
    Ichthious HP 100 / MP 0
    Special Attack: Spiral Shell
    The Ichthious has an Air affinity, as opposed to the Basilisk, so Earth spells 
    and attacks will hurt it most. The Ichthious sometimes surrenders Snowfly 
    Draughts but it's the Faerie Wing that you should stock up.
    Go south to
    Traces of the Beast
    If you go east from here, you'll enter the Yellow Wood and discover the Snowfly 
    swarm blocking a south exit. So for now, to reach the boss, go west to 
    Fluttering Hope.
    Fluttering Hope
    Take a south again from here to enter Return to the Land.
    Return to the Land
    Boss: Earth Dragon HP 510 HP / MP 0
    Special Attack: Acid Breath, Tail Attack
    Prize: Bronze Key, Grimoire Parebrise (Enchanter spell, Aero Guard), Vera Potion
    This creature's armoured scales make it pretty tough to hit with almost 
    anything, even Air and Lightning assaults, despite its declared Earth affinity. 
    Once again, though, its head is weaker against Piercing weapons while its tail 
    is weaker against Edged blades. Earth Dragon's breath is significantly stronger 
    than the Basilisk's, but it's ultimately your choice whether to play safe with 
    the defence of Terra Guard, or take the offence of Luft Fusion and try to kill 
    it quickly. Cast one of those Enchanter spells, in any case, and use the Terra 
    Ward defence ability to halve damage from Acid Breath.
    Destroying the Earth Dragon causes the wind to change direction and removes a 
    swarm of Snowflies that were blocking an exit of The Yellow Wood. Both exits 
    from this boss area take you to the same place, so you'll need to retrace that 
    path to the Yellow Wood.
    Yellow Wood
    The southern exit is blocked by Snowflies until you defeat the Earth Dragon in 
    Return to the Land. When that's accomplished, head through it to
    Where Soft Rains Fell
    Fire Elemental
    You probably weren't expecting one of these. Head south again, obviously.
    The Forest River
    Basilisk, Zombie Knight
    Magic Circle & Container
    Chest (unlocked): Knuckle Guard grip, Circle Shield (H), Chain Mail (I), Sylphid 
    Ring, Nightkiller gem, Acolyte's Nostrum x 3, Grimoire Agilite (Sorcerer spell, 
    There are three exits from the Forest River. The one just left of where you've 
    entered is a warp shortcut back to the Faerie Circle. To carry on through the 
    forest, you want to take the exit over the river. Use the Container to dump some 
    of your booty if you're over-encumbered. 
    Don't jump with weapons readied or you won't be able to catch ledges if you 
    slip. Once you've lined yourself up to face the tall columns of rock, rotating 
    with L1 & R1 for a side-on 'platformer' view of the leap you need to make is 
    probably the easiest way to judge it.
    If the Zombie Knights seem a little bit lost out here in the Forest, just think 
    back a couple of cut-scenes. Hmm, now what fate might have befallen Faemdos and 
    Lamkin, Grissom's Crimson Blade escort?
    From the exit on the Zombie side, go north 
    Lamenting to the Moon
    Go north
    Running with the Wolves
    Go east
    You Are the Prey
    Go north
    The Secret Path
    Go north
    Hewn From Nature
    Sydney isn't your enemy in this battle, so just concentrate on destroying both 
    Grissom and his summoned guardian.
    Boss: Father Grissom, Crimson Blade cleric commander, HP 350 HP / MP 100
    Special Attacks: spellcaster
    Prize: 'Shillelagh' (H) Wizard Staff, Swan Song accessory, Grimoire Annuler 
    (Sorcerer spell, Magic Ward), Grimoire Gnome (Enchanter spell, Soil Fusion)
    If you can, sap Grissom's mana points with chains or beat him senseless about 
    the head to shut him up. His spells are good but his physical staff-swipes are 
    very weak.
    Boss: Dark Crusader HP 380 / MP 80
    Special Attacks: Prostasia, Degenerate, Tarnish
    Prize: 'Angel Wing' (H) Katana, Grimoire Deteriorer (Sorcerer spell, Tarnish), 
    Elixir of Queens
    The Crusader will cautiously cast Prostasia on itself and Grissom before closing 
    to attack with its huge sword (a two-handed Katana it can wield with one hand). 
    Air affinity magic and Break Arts have some of the best chances of denting this 
    armour in the chest or arm, while a Piercing blow to the abdominal region can be 
    the most damaging but risky physical attack. 
    Partner (!): Sydney Losstarot HP ??? / MP ???
    Sydney fights on your side for this battle, and proves reasonably useful by 
    casting Prostasia on you to begin and then dividing the attention of your 
    enemies if you stay near him. You can even dodge behind him physically to use 
    him as a shield against Katana blows, if you wish. It is genuinely possible to 
    defeat Sydney in this battle, albeit briefly, but ultimately rather pointless as 
    he's nigh-immortal. He'll utter a message about it not being his time, then 
    vanish in a blue column, but he'll be right back again in corporeal form for the 
    closing cut-scene. The fight ends only when you defeat both Grissom and his 
    Chest (unlocked): 'Corpse Reviver' (I) Firangi, Circle Shield (H), Demonia gem, 
    Vera Tonic x 3, Cure Bulb x 3
    Incidentally, you now have the spell Magic Ward - one of the most powerful 
    protection spells in the game. Be sure to test it out as soon as possible, as 
    you'll need to learn its advantages and drawbacks alike. Finally, leave by the 
    north exit (the path near the chest) to enter
    The Wood Gate
    Magic Circle
    The door here takes you back into the City Walls, but at the South side. A small 
    warning: this place looks very similar to the Faerie Circle, but importantly has 
    a heavy wooden doorway rather than a descending flight of steps.  Don't be 
    tempted to think you've come full circle and rush back into the Forest, 
    City Walls South
    This corridor carries you straight into the Keep if you stick to it, so head 
    there first and Save before exploring. You should also unlatch the doors as you 
    go to increase your freedom of access in future.
    The Weeping Boy
    Swords For The Land
    Lizardman, Blood Lizard HP 250 / MP 0
    Special Attacks: none
    Another time challenge demands that you clear this room completely in the 20 
    seconds allowed, otherwise you'll have to start again with all enemies restored.
    In Wait of the Foe
    The latched door here opens onto Villeport Way.
    Where Weary Riders Rest
    The Boy's Training Room
    Just keep heading forward and the corridor will become part of the Keep rather 
    than City Walls.
    Later in the game, this room will contain a Dummy in the likeness of a Lizardman 
    for training against Dragon-class creatures.
    The Keep
    The Sigil doors here are for time trial bonuses only, and not essential to 
    completion. You may also reach the Iron Maiden B1 from here. Regard the Keep as 
    your base of operations for now.
    The Soldier's Bedding
    The south door leads to Iron Maiden B1, and you'll be coming back here shortly 
    to use it. The north door is locked with a Gold Key: like the Rood Inverse 
    gates, you won't be able to open this on first play. Just head east for now.
    A Storm of Arrows
    Minotaur (Kalmia Sigil), Dragon (Columbine Sigil)
    Urge The Boy On
    Earth Dragon (Anemone Sigil), Snow Dragon (Verbena Sigil)
    A Taste Of The Spoils
    Damascus Golem (Schirra Sigil), Damascus Crab (Marigold Sigil)
    Wiping Blood From Blades
    Death and Ogre Zombie (Azalea Sigil), Asura (Tigertail Sigil)
    These eight doors lead to time trial rooms for the game's Record Time scores. 
    It's not essential that you hunt down the Sigils that grant access in order to 
    complete the game, and only two (Minotaur and Dragon) are actually accessible on 
    first play. The challenges themselves don't even have rooms on the map proper, 
    for % completion purposes. Instead you'll be warped to a previously visited boss 
    room for the battle, and automatically returned to the corridor afterwards. See 
    Second Play Secrets for obtaining the other six Sigils.
    The Warrior's Rest
    Magic Circle
    Chest (needs Chest Key): 'Sweet Sorrow' (I) Francisca plus Gendarme, Tower 
    Shield (I) plus Death Queen gem, Sallet (H), Sorcerer's Reagent x 3
    You'll need the Chest Key from the Iron Maiden B1 to open the Chest. This area 
    is perfectly safe until you try to open the door to Town Centre South, in the 
    north wall. Knowing that you're near, and hiding, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern 
    are ready.
    Mini-boss: Jan Rosencrantz, ex-Riskbreaker HP 400 / MP 100
    Special Attacks: Sword Break Arts (Vile Scar, Cherry Ronde)
    Most special chain effects and magic spells simply won't work on Rosencrantz, so 
    don't bother trying anything too clever. This is a Riskbreaker duel, pure and 
    simple, so pick your best weapon and just let him have it with Break Arts and 
    short, damage-orientated combos. Rosencrantz will only yield and plead for 
    surrender when you inflict enough harm, and he can also cast Heal or use items 
    to undo those wounds. His use of Break Arts doesn't affect the amount of HP 
    damage that you need to score against him before you're declared the winner.
    Analyze will always miss, but if you use the Status screen to examine Rosencratz 
    then you will at least discover that he packs a sword called Pussyfoot (looks 
    like a Nepalese Kora, by the shape). There's no prize for this battle, and 
    Rosencrantz slinks away quietly at the end.
    WORKSHOP - Keane's Crafts
    Tools for Bronze, Iron, Hagane
    You can now reforge or upgrade your Hagane armour and weapons with the advanced 
    furnaces here.
    Iron Maiden B1
    You can actually get away with visiting no more than the first two rooms of this 
    level, as this is enough to win you the items you'll need to complete the game. 
    The remainder of the Iron Maiden is essentially one big dungeon bash, a bonus 
    area that offers plenty of tough monsters and puzzles to overcome in exchange 
    for treasure: levels B2 and B3 won't even become accessible until you've beaten 
    the game at least once. In any case, you won't be able to reach most of B1 until 
    you've claimed the Tearose Sigil from the Abandoned Mines B2, but consider 
    coming back later. The useful Chest Key is located in the Iron Maiden B1, in the 
    possession of a boss.
    There are no save points in the Iron Maiden, quite deliberately, so you'll 
    simply have to retrace your steps.
    Here you'll find the Kalmia and Columbine Sigils for the time trials (the rest 
    are in B2 and B3). The Steel and Platinum Keys are only available on replay.
    The Cage
    Steps leading down...
    The Cauldron
    This is a locking trap room. You'll need the Tearose Sigil to pass through it, 
    but the only items vital to game completion are right here.
    Wraith HP 120 / MP 140
    Affinity: Dark
    Special Attacks: Mind Blast, Poltergeist, Reaper Scythe
    Prize: Mandrake Sigil, Grimoire Exsorcer (Warlock spell, Exorcism) 
    The Wraith's tactic is to cast Silence on you first, then pile in with its 
    specials (NB these count as physical rather than magical attacks, so they won't 
    cancel your Silent state and Magic Ward won't save you). Like the Ghost, the 
    Wraith has the ability to teleport.
    Light-affinity Break Arts and spells like Spirit Surge will have an advantageous 
    effect against this Dark spirit, but physical damage is still a good way to deal 
    with Wraiths.
    Gargoyle HP 120 / MP 0
    Affinity: weakest versus Air
    Special Attacks: Numbing Hook
    Prize: Spirit Orison x 3, Vera Bulb x 3
    When you're Numbed, your walking speed drops by 50% and you lose the use of all 
    battle abilities. Cancel this by administering a Spirit Orison, or avoid it in 
    the first place through timely application of the Ward defence ability.
    One point about flying creatures: to reduce their movement to 50%, you should 
    target their wings rather than their legs. Also, this high concentration of body 
    locations in a small area can make them prone to multiple-target spells. It's 
    worth packing a crossbow or a two-hand weapon to reach these fliers more easily 
    with your physical attacks. 
    The Wooden Horse
    This is simple enough when you're going into Maiden - just drop down. When you 
    want to get out then you'll need to return this way, so push the lowest movable 
    rolling cube next to the stuck one so that you can push the upper rolling cube 
    towards the crate. Stand on the cube and pick up the crate, placing it one ledge 
    higher. Use the crate to jump higher.
    Another locking trap room.
    Prize: Kalmia Sigil, Grimoire Venin (Poison Mist)
    Prize: Shamshir (H), Vera Bulb x 3
    Prize: Chamkaq (H), Vera Bulb x 3
    The Breast Ripper
    You've reached a crossroads. To maximise your treasure retrieval, try east, then 
    west, then head south.
    The Wheel
    Dark Skeleton, Shadow HP 170 / MP 260
    Affinity: Light and Dark
    Special Attacks: casts single-target elemental attack spells
    Oddly strong in both Light and Dark affinities but weaker in others, this flimsy 
    psychedelic spirit is physically weak enough to be polished off from a distance 
    with a decent crossbow. The four examples in the game will each stick to casting 
    one of the following, in order: Vulcan Lance, Fireball, Lightning Bolt or Aqua 
    Chest (magic lock): 'Bull Shot' (H) Griever plus Bhuj Type, Baselard (H), Djinn 
    Amber Gem, Valens wine
    The Branks
    Dark Skeleton, Shadow
    Chest (needs Chest Key): 'Balalaika' (H) Balbriggan, Bec de Corbin (H) blade, 
    Dao Moonstone gem, Volare Wine
    The Pear
    To cross to the west side using the Cloudstone, you need to add its momentum to 
    yours in order to propel yourself to the other side. That means making your leap 
    at the very last moment, just before it stops moving.
    To make the return journey, jumping that same distance to the Cloudstone, you 
    need to gain some height first. Destroy the two crates in the corner to make a 
    space; slide the free push crate right in front of the doorway; then climb into 
    the space of the exit passage itself (being careful not to leave the room 
    altogether) and push the crate out to the very lip of the chasm. A Faerie Wing 
    or Invigorate spell can also help your jumping here.
    To climb to the upper level, remove the two 1-point rolling cubes from play by 
    pushing them anywhere once, then roll the 3-pointer to the wall and left one 
    tile. Jump up and left to grab the wooden catwalk. It's tricky but possible, and 
    Invigorate can help again. Alternatively, roll the 3-pointer left two tiles only 
    - some players find this jump easier, as it's straighter.
    The Judas Cradle
    Dark Skeleton, Shadow
    Chest (magic lock): 'Sonora' (H) Bastard Sword plus Power Palm, Bullova (H) 
    blade, Ifrit Carnelian gem, Prudens Wine
    By now, it should be sinking in that practically every room in the Maiden sounds 
    like a really naff death-metal B-side.
    The Whirligig
    Dark Skeletons
    Spanish Tickler
    Boss: Wyvern Knight, HP 520 / MP 0
    Special Attacks: Flame Breath
    Prize: Elixir of Dragoons, Elixir of Queens, Chest Key
    This creature has a remarkably high INT (150), despite the lack of magical 
    power, and the result of this is a greater resistance to spells. Given that the 
    Wyvern Knight has no real elemental weaknesses to exploit either, melee combat 
    is a much better route to take. To that end, you'd be wise to turn Blunt weapons 
    against its head and Edged weapons against the Neck and Body. If you're packing 
    something like a spear, run around to the side of the Wyvern Knight and you'll 
    find a weakness to Piercing weapons in its Tail. 
    Here's the correct location of the Chest Key. I've tried to mark all chests in 
    the game with the correct method of unlocking them so a text search for Chest 
    Key should, in theory, turn up everywhere you need to use it.
    Heretic's Fork
    Dark Skeleton
    Be sure to use Eureka to pick out those Freeze and Gust Traps before your rush 
    your enemy.
    The Chair of Spikes
    Dark Skeleton, Wraith
    Another locking trap room, just for the hell of it.
    Dark Skeleton
    Again, the presence of only one enemy should alert you into casting Eureka. This 
    room has the deadlier Eruption and Death Vapour traps.
    Getting down here is simple enough - keep falling. But how do you get back up? 
    Like this.
    The highest ledge to which you can climb still leaves you one cube-height short 
    of grabbing the top. So you need to get a blue magnetic cube onto that ledge, to 
    stand on.
    There's only blue magnetic cube you can pick up to start: stand in the space by 
    the wall, lift the cube from its ledge under the push crate and place it over 
    the blue cube to your left side. Now step up, grab the other blue cube and place 
    it to hover in the space where you stood to move the first cube. By stepping up 
    onto this you can grab the first cube. Carrying it, step down onto the ledge it 
    came from and put it down just below the push crate. Now take the floating blue 
    cube behind you. Putting one cube on the other, you can climb up and grab the 
    hovering cube.
    Boss: Iron Golem HP 420 / MP 0
    Special Attack: Granite Punch
    Prize: Columbine Sigil, Elixir of Dragoons
    This incarnation is tougher in body only, and hasn't learnt any new tricks over 
    its stone predecessor. Blunt weapons and Air-aligned attacks will still have the 
    advantage. You shouldn't have too much trouble.
    Bit of a red herring, that pile of crates. You only need one push crate ever, 
    either to jump up to the door or to jump over to the Cloudstone when it's at the 
    nadir of its cycle. You can even make it to the Cloudstone without a crate at 
    all, although it's advised if your agility is low. Regardless, there's a rather 
    nasty Terra Thrust trap in roughly the spot that you'd cross upon landing safely 
    and dashing for the exit.
    Cleansing The Soul
    The Ducking Stool
    Dark Skeleton, Shadow
    Chest (unlocked): 'Red Viking' (H) Kora plus Power Palm, Pole Axe (H) blade, 
    Marid Aquamarine, Virtus wine
    The Garotte
    Dark Skeleton, Wraith
    Not only is this door sealed with a Steel Key, but there's a Platinum Key door 
    just inside so it's pointless venturing any further until you've got that too. 
    In fact, you may find yourself hopelessly trapped. These are available on replay 
    only, I'm afraid. See Second Play Secrets if you're ready to pursue it.
    Town Centre South
    You have a choice of paths to take from here. Now that you have the Bronze Key, 
    you'll find a door in the Rue Morgue that you can unlock to reach the Abandoned 
    Mines B2. This is the general direction to take to proceed to the next stage of 
    the game. However, if you've obtained the Mandrake Sigil from the first rooms of 
    Iron Maiden B1 then you may also begin to explore further accessible regions of 
    Undercity West via City Walls East. You'll have to do both at some point, and as 
    the creatures introduced in the Undercity are much weaker than those of Mines 
    B2, there's an implicit suggestion by the game itself that you should tackle the 
    Undercity a little way first. You only need to explore far enough to grab some 
    key items, including a Cattleya Sigil.
    Forcas Rise
    Crimson Blades
    When you've finished exploring the Valdiman Gate and Rue Aliano to either side, 
    climb the eastern steps of the inner courtyard and clamber up onto this 
    building's low, flat roof. Make a leap across the rooftops to the north-eastern 
    corner. There's a high exit here to Rue Faltes. If your agility is too low to 
    make the jump, cast Invigorate or use a Faerie Wing from the Snowfly Forest. And 
    make sure you're not still holding weapons in Battle Mode, of course.
    Valdiman Gate
    Magic Circle
    A latched doorway here will later offer access to City Walls South.
    Rue Aliano
    Crimson Blades
    The door to The House Khazabas is locked with a Mandrake Sigil, obtainable from 
    the beginning of Iron Maiden B1. 
    The House Khazabas
    Chest (magic lock): Eye of Argon x 10, Grimoire Muet (Sorcerer spell, Silence)
    Zebel Walk
    Like Dinas Walk,, you just have to jump and get through.
    Rue Volnac
    One door is latched, but on first visit you can pass through City Walls East to 
    Undercity West. The latched door simply adjoins City Walls East at a different 
    Rue Faltes
    That portcullis isn't opening. Take the archway.
    Rue Morgue
    Crimson Blades
    When ready, use your Bronze Key on the gate and descend to the Abandoned Mines 
    City Walls East
    Train and Grow Strong
    This room boasts another door locked with the Rood Inverse, available on replay 
    The Squire's Gathering
    Zombie Mage, Dark Skeleton HP 150 / MP 25
    Special Attacks: none
    The Invaders Are Found
    Dark Skeleton
    Unlatch the door here for that secondary access to Rue Volnac.
    The Dream Weavers
    Zombie Mage, Dark Skeleton
    The Cornered Savage
    Three gargoyles, no less. The staircase leads down to Undercity West.
    Undercity West
    Fear of the Fall
    Boss: Dark Elemental HP 380 / MP 160
    Special Attacks: Dark Chant
    Prize: Cattleya Sigil, Grimoire Meteore (Warlock spell, Meteor)
    Spirit Surge and other Light-affinity attacks or Break Arts will be your best 
    weapons against the Dark Elemental, unless you're confident enough of your 
    physical prowess to stick to bashing away with a Phantom-slaying weapon. Dark-
    aligned and Piercing attacks will have less effect.
    Sinner's Corner
    Magic Circle
    Dark Skeleton
    Dark Eye HP 100 / MP 90
    Special Attacks: Dark Chant, spells
    The Children's Hideout
    Dark Eye, Gargoyle
    Chest (unlocked): 'Sweet Death' (S) Shamshir plus Knuckle Guard, Footman's Mace 
    (H) blade, Steel Bolt grip, Spiked Shield plus White Queen gem, Sallet, Undine 
    Bracelet, Speedster gem, Grimoire Dissiper (Sorcerer spell, Dispel)
    Nameless Dark Oblivion
    Dark Eye, Dark Skeleton
    This passage connects this area to the rest of Undercity West, but is sealed 
    with the Silver Key at one end. The Washing-Woman's Way is on the other side.
    Corner of Prayers
    One door is sealed with the Gold Key. It leads to Hope Obstructed, which in turn 
    leads to the Abandoned Mines B2. If you haven't been able to get a 100% rating, 
    you may have left this route unexplored.
    Hope Obstructed
    This staircase leads downs to Work, Then Die in Abandoned Mines B2. Follow it to 
    the end and you'll enter Bandits' Hollow via the final, unexplored one-way door.
    Abandoned Mines B2
    This is a large and testing level, with more than half of it devoted to a major 
    time challenge. Follow it to the very end, though, and you'll reach Town Centre 
    East. Beating the final boss will also give you a Tearose Sigil that will enable 
    you to explore more of the Iron Maiden at your leisure.
    Corridor of Shade
    Enter here from the Rue Morgue, Town Centre South.
    Revelation Shaft
    As you enter, push the crate over the edge and use a weapon to destroy the top 
    carry crate. Drop down onto the push crate and pick up the remaining carry crate 
    on the stack. Take it to the chasm's edge and line it up with the high 
    Cloudstone, then place the nearby carry crate on top on top. From this high 
    vantage you should be able to jump across and grab the Cloudstone, but use 
    Invigorate to aid you if in you're having trouble.
    Gambler's Passage
    Orc HP 240 / MP 25
    Special Attacks: none
    Besides a weakness to Blunt weapons and a strength versus Piercing ones, this 
    demi-human hog-beast is also slightly more susceptible to Water affinity 
    The Miner's End
    Boss: Air Elemental HP 380 / MP 160
    Special Attack: Lightning Bolt
    Prize: Grimoire Foudre (Warlock spell, Thunderburst), Mana Bulb
    Soil Fusion will enhance your weapon attacks against this creature. If you've 
    acquired anything else, Gnome items on weaponry and Sylph items on armour and 
    accessories will help. If you're suffering too greatly from his Lightning Bolts, 
    try timing the Windbreak defence ability to halve damage.
    The Treaty Room
    Magic Circle
    Poison Slime, Slime
    Damned slime! Use that Magic Circle, as you're about to undertake a time 
    Way Of Lost Children
    Orcs, Orc Leader HP 280 / MP 110
    Special Attacks: casts Herakles, Prostasia
    Unlike his minions, the shamanic orc leader possesses great defence against 
    Blunt weapons and is weaker against Edged blades. 
    Here's the time challenge: twenty rooms, numerous dead ends, and just two 
    minutes to find the right path through to the Bandits' Hollow. Don't worry if 
    you get lost or foul up: the worse that can happen is for you to be teleported 
    back to the Treaty Room. It's not a locking door challenge either, so you're 
    free to return to the Treaty Room of your own volition before the two minutes 
    expires, if you wish.
    I haven't spotted any bonus for doing this perfectly on first attempt, and 
    correspondents have reported same, though I still need to know if there's a time 
    reward. The fastest route through from the Treaty Room is south (to Way of Lost 
    Children), east (to Desire's Passage), east (to Senses Lost), north (to Crossing 
    of Blood), east (to Fool's Gold, Fool's Loss), north (to Tomb of the Reborn), 
    north (to The Lunatic Veins), and finally, unavoidably, east (to Bandits' 
    Hollow). Calling up the Main Menu pauses the timer as well as the game, so 
    you've got a chance to get your compass bearings.
    If you want simpler directions from rushing through then that's forward through 
    the door of The Treaty Room, left, forward, left, right, left, then keep going 
    to the end. 
    If you choose to explore a little first, there are three treasure rooms where 
    you'll find chests and traps: these are Hidden Resources (requires Chest Key), 
    Acolyte's Burial Vault and Suicidal Desires.
    One last tip: if you've become reasonably strong, it's often faster to stop and 
    kill the creatures in your path before they get a chance to slow you down with 
    their own attacks. Otherwise, gulp down a Faerie Wing and watch that Riskbreaker 
    Hidden Resources
    Mimic, Imp HP 150 / MP 70
    Special Attacks: casts Poison Mist and Stun Cloud
    These can be quite tough against a crossbow that is Piercing rather than Blunt, 
    but you're in such a small space that a hand-weapon can be as effective. That 
    would mean letting them near enough to cast spells, but the Restoration spell 
    becomes available in this room.
    Chest (requires Chest Key): 'Eviscerator' (S) Kudi, Tower Shield (I), 
    Breastplate (I), Fusskampf (H), Trinity gem, Saint's Nostrum x 3, Grimoire 
    Mollesse (Shaman spell, Restoration)
    Desire's Passage
    There's a Cure Panel trap just before the door, if you're suffering from any 
    status ailments.
    Senses Lost
    Orc Leader, Orc
    Cast a preparatory Eureka for two Traps before attempting to dash through this 
    Crossing of Blood
    Diabolos and Death Vapour traps guard two exits. Very often you'll find this 
    beneficial, as one Orc regularly stumbles into a trap upon spotting you.
    The Abandoned Catspaw
    Hall of Contemplation
    Orcs, Orc Leader
    Hall of the Empty Sconce
    Orc, Orc Leader
    Acolyte's Burial Vault
    Mimic, Imps
    Chest (unlocked): 'Affinity' (H) Corcesca, Framea Pole, Circle Shield (H), 
    Gauntlet (H), Hellraiser gem, Grimoire Vie (Shaman spell, Surging Balm)
    The Fallen Bricklayer
    Not a pub I'd recommend, by the sound of it.
    Cry of the Beast
    Staircase down to...
    The Ore of Legend
    Orcs, Orc Leader
    Suicidal Desires
    Mimic, Imps
    Chest (unlocked): 'Dog's Nose' (H) Footman's Mace plus Sarissa Grip, Target Bow 
    (I) blade, Barbut (S), Gnome Bracelet, Elixir of Queens, Vera Bulb x 3
    Hit that Eye of Argon or Eureka before you take a single step, because this is 
    the second-deadliest trap room in the whole of Vagrant Story. Predictably 
    enough, there's a Trap Clear panel to deactivate the lot, and you'll find that 
    it's the lone tile high to your right.
    Lambs to the Slaughter
    Slime, Poison Slime
    There's a Heal Panel trap on the south wall that's worth bumping into purely for 
    its RISK reduction.
    A Wager of Noble Gold
    Orc, Orc Leader
    Kilroy Was Here
    Orc Leaders
    Fool's Gold, Fool's Loss
    If you approach from the west then you can drop straight down to the left via 
    that wooden catwalk. Those coming from the south will have to wait around for 
    the Cloudstone to ferry them across.
    Tomb of the Reborn
    Boss: Earth Elemental HP 380 HP / HP 160
    Special Attack: Vulcan Lance
    Prize: Grimoire Gaea (Warlock spell, Gaea Strike)
    Equip the Gnome Bracelet for better defence. If choosing between the Earth 
    armour of Terra Guard and the Air weapon enchantment of Luft Fusion, bear in 
    mind that the latter would probably bring about the end of the battle in a 
    shorter time. Also, this is an opportunity to try out your level 1 Thunderburst 
    spell and also throw in any Air Break Arts you have before chaining a single 
    If you're watching the clock move into the last few seconds then also keep in 
    mind that the time challenge doesn't end with this boss. Oh, no. You still have 
    to negotiate two more doors before it's all over, so be ready to get cracking as 
    soon as you're done turning this chap to sediment.
    The Lunatic Veins
    Almost there... The exit you're about to take is a one-way door rather than a 
    Latch, so you won't be able to return after passing through. If you haven't 
    grabbed all of the treasure, now's the time to consider letting yourself be 
    teleported back the Treaty Room for another exploratory foray.
    Bandits' Hollow
    Magic Circle
    Blood Lizard, Imps
    Cast Eureka to see both a Trap Clear (which is the panel beside the lower 
    rolling cube) and a Heal Panel. You must avoid stepping on the Trap Clear if you 
    want to use the Heal Panel.
    If the thing is still there when you try to climb up, you may need to shoot out 
    or spear the push crate that's wedged into a corner of the top ledge. Destroying 
    it makes a lower wall edge that's one cube closer for you to grab when you jump. 
    Often, as with the Wolves back in Wine Cellar, the Imps will attack and destroy 
    it beforehand if they consider it to be in their way. Also on this tile, under 
    the crate, is the Heal Panel - assuming you haven't removed it with Trap Clear.
    The second one-way door won't be opened on your first play, and there's also an 
    Iron Key door that's inaccessible right now. That leaves only one wooden door 
    you can take, but save, save, save first.
    Dining in Darkness
    Boss: Sky Dragon HP 675 / MP 0
    Special Attacks: Tail Attack, Thunder Breath
    Remove that Gnome Bracelet! You want the Sylphid Ring instead. You may have 
    acquired a Gaea Strike in the past few minutes, but the area of effect is too 
    pitiful at level 1 to reach many hit locations. So equip a Piercing weapon for 
    the head or an Edged weapon for its tail, decorate your grip with Dragonite and 
    cast Soil Fusion to get the job done quickly. Windbreak its breath attack if you 
    can and keep your RISK low or you may be surprised by the power of this boss. 
    Mind you, doesn't it have the loveliest translucent wings? Ahem.
    Prize: Tearose Sigil, Grimoire Demance (Warlock spell, Drain Mind), Elixir of 
    While the Tearose Sigil will let you have a crack at the goodies held in the 
    Iron Maiden (recommended), the Drain Mind spell starts you on the road to self-
    sufficiency and should be tried out as soon as you find yourself short of mana.
    Subtellurian Horrors
    There's a bit of work to do before you're free. Jump to the Cloudstone, using 
    Fixate to aid you if necessary. The other side of the abyss is blocked by a wall 
    of crates, but the rightmost stack is only two cubes high rather than three and 
    leaves a vital gap. You can reach that gap by jumping and grabbing when the 
    Cloudstone is lined up against the right-hand wall. If your agility is low then 
    use Invigorate or Faerie Wings to aid you.
    If you happen to have a crossbow on you then you can make the second jump even 
    easier by shooting out some of the crates beforehand.
    Ignore the frictionless cube here, as it's only useful when you're coming back 
    from the other side and want to get back up to the door.
    To return to the surface, you'll take a very short detour through two new rooms 
    of Undercity West. 
    ** NB Additional Room for 100% Completion
    Work, then Die
    This staircase isn't accessible on your first play, as it's on the opposite side 
    of the other one-way door that leads into Bandits' Hollow. To get to it, you 
    need to come down from Hope Obstructed in Undercity West (requires the Gold 
    Key). Follow it to the end and you'll enter Bandits' Hollow via the final, 
    unexplored one-way door.
    Undercity West
    The Crumbling Market
    Magic Circle
    Unlatch the door in the Crumbling Market as you pass through (it leads to the 
    Hall of Poverty), but don't take it yet - head east instead. And if you fancy a 
    laugh, try Eureka too. You won't be going *there* on first play, oh no.
    Tears From Empty Sockets
    Dark Skeleton
    ... The title might lead us to believe that this is one unhappy Lea Mondean, but 
    don't fall for it. He'll still have your guts on the cobbles as soon as look at 
    you, so be the cause of those tears and head on up to the fresh air of Town 
    Centre East with a light conscience. The only other exit is a Gold Key door that 
    you'll ignore for now.
    Town Centre East
    If you have the Cattleya Sigil then this will likely become your new base of 
    operations for the rest of the game. Your next port of call is Undercity East, 
    where you'll retrieve items and powers to open up more of the map. For now, 
    explore both the Town Centre East and the City Walls North to get the lay of the 
    Rue Lejour
    Magic Circle
    There's a side door here to the City Walls North. The more obvious path leads to 
    Kesch Bridge
    Magic Circle
    Crimson Blades
    The other end of City Walls North can be reached through the wooden door here 
    (some spatial dilation/contraction, surely?). You're now entering a region with 
    the toughest Crimson Blades in the game, but that's also a euphemism for 
    'Crimson Blades with the most desirable kit'. I spent hours robbing and looting 
    these fellows, and I think it paid off on the whole.
    Point o' fun: if you can kill a Crimson Blade in mid-air while he's jumping over 
    the water, he'll fall with a resounding splash. Hurrah!
    Rue Crimnade
    Crimson Blades
    Previously you met a defensive-type Crimson Blade magic-user: this area and the 
    next contains offensive-types. Don't get carried away on the old RISK.
    A regular trick with these areas is that each Crimson Blade is weak to a 
    different weapon. If you enter an area with three Blades then regardless of what 
    you're packing - Blunt, Edged or Piercing - you'll find that one takes lots of 
    regular damage, one takes half that damage and one takes almost nothing at all. 
    Getting rid of the easiest first and leaving the toughest till last for a one-
    on-one means that you don't have to worry so much about escalating RISK.
    WORKSHOP Junction Point
    Tools for Wood, Leather, Bronze, Iron, Hagane
    This workshop is sealed with the Cattleya Sigil, won from the Dark Elemental in 
    Fear of the Fall. Read back over Town Centre South if you haven't got it yet.
    Rue Fisserano
    Crimson Blade (magic-user)
    Look up: the street continues, but above head height. There's another useful 
    workshop here too. A Heal Panel on the upper level will help you recover from 
    unexpected Fireball / Aqua Blast damage.
    Some fun you can have here is that the Crimson Blade jumps down to the lower 
    level to attack. Usually you can hit him as he's falling through the air, but 
    grab the ledge and pull yourself up just as he's launched himself off. He can't 
    get back up (although he can cast spells if you're in line of sight) and you can 
    run on through.
    WORKSHOP Metal Works
    Tools for Silver, Damascus
    Finally, an opportunity to combine and upgrade your Silver weapons. Even if you 
    can't enter Junction Point, you can still repair all of your equipment here.
    Shasras Hill Park
    Crimson Blades
    Follow the path to the end and you'll find a small outhouse with a gate and 
    staircase leading down. You can use your Bronze Key here to unlock it for 
    Undercity East.
    Undercity East
    Your foray into the eastern Undercity has the overall goal of acquiring the Iron 
    Key, not to mention the Stock, Eulalia and Melissa Sigils that will open up 
    areas here and elsewhere.
    Hall To A New World
    Quicksilver HP 120 HP / MP 70
    Special Attack: casts Silence
    See, you don't need to be tough to be impressive: 'disturbing' is a far more 
    threatening characteristic. Though by far the most dangerous thing about these 
    creepy girl-doll puppets is that they work in tandem with other creatures, 
    rushing in with Silence spells just as you're about to protect yourself. Magic 
    Ward is well worth the mana cost in areas like this.
    They might be nimble, but a competently anti-Evil crossbow delivering a bolt to 
    the Quicksilver's Piercing-sensitive head can tangle their strings long before 
    they enter spell-casting range.
    Place of Free Words
    Mini-boss: Harpy HP 210 / MP 160
    Affinity: Dark
    Special Attacks: Blasphemous Howl, Banish, Devitalise
    Prize: Grimoire Intensite (Enchanter spell, Herakles), Angelic Paean x 5, Cure 
    Now, that's the kind of superb reinterpretation of a Western mythical cliche 
    that only the Japanese have the correct measure of understanding and distance to 
    pull off...
    The Undercity's two-faced Emu of Doom is actually quite docile and lethargic, 
    and it's possible to run through a room of them without disturbing them. Ruffle 
    their feathers, though, and you'll quickly invite a Howl that places a Curse on 
    you. The Curse reduces all of your attributes on an indefinite basis, and the 
    only way to undo it is to cast Blessing - a Shamanic spell only found towards 
    the end of the game - or to use an Angelic Paean. Appropriately, Angelic Paeans 
    can be won by killing more Harpies.
    The Encyclopedia isn't kidding about that "spell of death", either. Although it 
    uses it with thankful rarity, the Harpy also possesses Banish, an instant death 
    spell of Dark affinity. If either your RISK or your Light affinity is high then 
    it's almost guaranteed to work, too - phut! Game over. There may also be a rule 
    that the Harpy only uses its Banish as a last resort - if you let it get an 
    attack in when it's almost dead - but I've yet to establish this. Leave them or 
    finish them in one is still a good rule to observe.
    Upon winning Herakles, you have a STR-booster spell that will not just cancel 
    Degenerate but actually reverse it. 
    Bazaar of the Bizarre
    Boss: Lich HP 130 / MP 110
    Special Attacks: accomplished magic-user
    Prize: Summoner Baton (I), Agales' Chain accessory, Eulelia Sigil, Mana Tonic, 
    Elixir of Mages
    Prize ability: Teleport
    Liches traditionally open with Silence and then bring out the heavy guns of 
    multiple-target magic. They also possess immunity to many spells. Furthermore, 
    they can teleport (see the Ghost entry for dealing with that). All of this puts 
    them among the deadliest opponents in Vagrant Story, and if you regularly let 
    your RISK run high then you'll fall to one of these sorcerers more often than 
    Their only elemental weakness is Physical, so Talos Feldspar and Titan Malachite 
    gems will improve your weapon damage. As the armour on the arms and head tends 
    to be simple INT-raising wizard gear, target your weapons here. If you can 
    maintain a Magic Ward while wielding a weapon with range enough to catch them 
    before they disappear, you stand a better chance of killing them first. 
    When the Lich is defeated, he'll pass on his secret of Teleportation. In game 
    terms, this lets you warp between Magic Circles and so cut out too much trekking 
    back and forth. Access this new ability through the Magic sub-screen of the main 
    menu. If your mana point maximum is still relatively low, you may have to make 
    several jumps to reach your destination.
    Noble Gold and Silk
    An Iron Key is required to open the eastern door, so you'd best go and get it...
    Weapons Not Allowed
    Lich, Quicksilvers
    Chest (unlocked): 'Mojito' (B) Falchion, Stone Bullet grip, Titan's Ring 
    accessory, Grimoire Nuageux (Sorcerer spell, Psychodrain), Iron Key
    Now that you have the Iron Key, many previously inaccessible areas will open up. 
    You'll need to revisit Undercity West for the Clematis Sigil, but there's also 
    treasure to be had if you warp to Bandits' Hollow.
    A Knight Sells His Sword
    Harpy, Quicksilver
    Using your new Iron Key, you can reach the City Walls North from this room's 
    north exit. You'll pass through Traces of Invasion Past before reaching From 
    Squire To Knight. Finish exploring the available rooms of Undercity East first, 
    though, as you need the Melissa Sigil from here.
    Gemsword Blackmarket
    Boss: Nightstalker  HP 260 / MP 110
    Special Attacks: Solid Shock, Sorcery spells
    Prize: Melissa Sigil, Grimoire Eclairer (Sorcerer spell, Enlighten), Angelic 
    This is an overgrown Dullahan, by any account, but one with sufficiently good 
    armour to prevent it being a total pushover. It also has a very deadly special 
    in the Solid Shock spell (Magic Ward will nullify it - once, but it has Physical 
    affinity so it can be Guarded too). Keep using Herakles and Prostasia to counter 
    its spells and you may keep it so busy with magic that it neglects its sword 
    attack. If you can cast Degenerate and Tarnish on it, then your chance of 
    landing more hurtful blows in the chest or abdomen will greatly increase. 
    However, Nightstalker has a supply of Snowfly Draughts to dispel magical effects 
    even when Silenced. 
    The Pirate's Son
    Harpy, Quicksilver
    Eureka will reveal a simple Gust trap.
    Sale Of The Sword
    Lich, Quicksilver
    Chest (unlocked): Ahlspies grip, Pushpaka accessory, Grimoire Tardif (Sorcerer 
    spell, Leadbones), Stock Sigil
    The Stock Sigil is for a treasure bonus. When you get a free moment to 
    investigate, teleport to the Blackmarket of Wines in Wine Cellar and re-enter 
    the Minotaur's arena.
    City Walls North
    When you're done in the Undercity East (i.e. you have at least the Iron Key, the 
    Melissa & Eulalia Sigils), take the Iron Key exit from a Knight Sells His Sword 
    and follow City Walls North right to the end to get back to town. This way 
    you'll come across the door locked with Clematis Sigil, which is what you need 
    to find next. Rest up in town, repair your weapons and get ready to go look for 
    This is also a great place to hone your Dragon-slaying weapon, as just popping 
    between town and city walls respawns the enemies in each area.
    Traces of Invasion Past
    This staircase is locked with the Iron Key and connects City Walls North with 
    Undercity East.
    From Squire to Knight
    Blood Lizards
    If you come straight here from Rue Lejour, you'll find one exit leading to 
    Traces of Invasion Past (locked with the Iron Key) and another heading north.
    Be For Battle Prepared
    Blood Lizards
    Destruction and Rebirth
    Dark Elemental
    This time challenge asks you to beat the guardian in 20 seconds or try again. 
    There's no special prize.
    From Boy To Hero
    Blood Lizards
    For now, the wooden door leads out onto the steps of Kesch Bridge, Town Centre 
    East. The end door is locked with the Clematis Sigil on your first visit, but 
    you'll be coming back here soon enough to reach a different part of Undercity 
    East that can't be accessed from the Shasras Hill Park ingress.
    Later in the game, this room will house a Dummy in the shape of a Ghost for 
    training against Phantom-class foes. Given the relative rarity of Phantoms, it's 
    one of the more useful dummies.
    A Welcome Invasion
    Dark Elemental
    By using the Clematis Sigil to open the door in From Boy To Hero, this last 
    staircase of City Walls North grants access to a new part of Undercity East.
    You now have the Iron Key, plus Teleportation ability. You can take advantage of 
    both to acquire the next item you'll need, plus some bonus treasure.
    Finding the Clematis Sigil
    Teleport to The Sunless Way in Undercity West and head west to Remembering Days 
    of Yore. There you'll find a door that opens with the Iron Key.
    Larder for a Lean Winter
    Lich, Dark Skeletons
    Chest (unlocked): 'Balin's Revenge' (H) Tabar plus Heavy Grip, Vambrace (H), 
    Elixir of Sages, Alchemist's Reagent x 5, Clematis Sigil
    Bonus Treasure
    Teleport to the Bandits' Hollow in Abandoned Mines B2 and take the Iron Key door 
    right next to the Magic Circle.
    Delusions of Happiness
    Blood Lizards
    Chest (unlocked): 'Pirate's Mate' (H) Sabre Halberd plus Sarissa Grip, Kris (D) 
    blade, Heater Shield (I) plus Orion gem, Swan Song accessory, Vera Potion x 3, 
    Grimoire Salamandre (Enchanter spell, Spark Fusion).
    Undercity East
    from City Walls North)
    The Greengrocer's Stair
    An innocuous staircase at the moment, but we'll come back to this...
    Where Black Waters Ran
    Lich, Quicksilvers
    Arms Against Invaders
    Catspaw Blackmarket
    Lich, Quicksilvers
    Use Eureka to uncover traps. There's one placed directly in front of the chest, 
    but a Trap Clear tile on the right can be activated to remove it.
    Chest (unlocked): Round Shield (H) plus Dark Queen gem, Grimoire Paralysis 
    (Sorcerer spell, Stun Cloud), Aster Sigil
    You'll find that the Aster Sigil opens up a door in Undercity West. More on that 
    after this intermission...
    The Greengrocer's Stair revisited
    When you next enter this room in order to leave this cul-de-sac of Undercity 
    East, you're immediately confronted by two of Guildernstern's top-ranking 
    commanders. Father Grissom's corpse is also present, and they (not unfairly) 
    blame you for his death. The fight itself actually takes place in the previous 
    room, Where Black Waters Ran...
    Lady Neesa & Sir Tieger HP: unknown / MP unknown (800 HP total)
    Affinity: Fire (Neesa wears a Salamander Ring), Water (Tieger wears an Undine 
    Special Attacks: Break Arts, recovery spells
    This is a little bit unusual, as the overall aim seems to be to inflict an 
    undisclosed total of damage rather than taking out one, or the other, or both. 
    Neither can be defeated outright, and both will submit when just one falls. 800 
    HPs seems to be the ballpark figure for how much damage you need to inflict.
    A prior Magic Ward is advised, as both have decent spells (initial attacks can 
    be healed with your now-plentiful items). Because of their accomplished fighting 
    skills, a few Break Arts of your own will invite less danger than a chain that 
    takes your RISK over 25. Start with Break Arts and spells first.
    If you can then succeed with chains that sap mana points or cause Silence, you 
    may attempt to tackle them physically. Paralysing effects are also potentially 
    successful against these warriors if you prefer to use magic. Even a missed 
    Analyse tells you enough to know that they have slight elemental affinities, so 
    use that to your advantage. 
    There's no real victory here, as both will beat a hasty retreat on yielding and 
    victory carries no prize beyond escaping this section. When you attempt to leave 
    by the Greengrocer's Stair one more time, you'll be greeted by a final cut-scene 
    before being allowed to continue.
    Undercity West
    Now that you have both the Iron Key and the Aster Sigil, you're ready to embark 
    on a trek through the Limestone Quarry. This journey will take you all the way 
    to the ancient Temple of Kiltia.
    To begin, you should return to The Sunless Way again (you can teleport straight 
    to its Magic Circle, for ease of travel). There you'll find a door locked with 
    the Iron Key. Proceed to the Limestone Quarry.
    Limestone Quarry
    This isn't a straightforward journey, as this subterrain has a couple of 
    alternative paths, but follow it to the end and you'll reach the Temple of 
    Dark Abhors Light
    A simple staircase.
    Dream Of The Holy Land
    Boss: Water Elemental 380 HP / 160 MP
    Special Attacks: Aqua Blast
    Prize: Grimoire Avalanche (Warlock spell, Avalanche), Elixir of Sages, Acolyte's 
    Equip the Undine Bracelet and place Undine Jaspers on your shield. Decorate your 
    Phantom weapon with Salamander Rubies, and cast Spark Fusion if you have it. 
    Aqua Blast attacks are single-target spells, so even at high RISK you should be 
    able to halve the damage with an Aqua Ward defence ability. If you take your 
    time positioning the area of effect grid, even a level 1 Flame Sphere can be 
    placed so as to encompass many hit locations on a Water Elemental's body.
    You've done the Elemental thing many times by now, so this battle shouldn't even 
    require pause for thought.
    It's possible to take on the Water Elemental as soon as you acquire the Iron 
    Key, of course, but the door behind the Water Elemental is sealed with the Aster 
    Sigil. If you haven't got it yet, you should obtain it from Undercity East as 
    accessed from the City Walls North.
    The Ore Road
    Magic Circle
    Here you get a choice of east and west routes. Both lead the same way, meeting 
    at the Dreamer's Climb, but you'll want to see both if you're looking for 
    percentage completion on a replay. The east route also boasts a treasure room.
    Atone for Eternity (west route)
    Gremlin HP 190 / MP 90
    Special Attacks: casts Silence, Herakles, Prostasia
    If you were hoping to get by with just a crossbow against Evil creatures, this 
    Hieronymus-Bosch-inspired demon will show up your folly. It's pretty tough 
    against everything of magical origin, even Light, so strong physical attacks are 
    often your best chance of knocking them out of the air. Some of these flying 
    fiends are packing Damascus armaments, so it's not even safe to assume you're 
    now hard enough to withstand repeated attacks. Regard this as a chance to build 
    up a good one- or two-handed melee weapon against the powers of utter Evil.
    By the way, cast Eureka to reveal a trap here too. No point embarrassing 
    yourself as well by looking like a complete novice.
    Stair To Sanctuary
    The Fallen Hall
    The first time you enter here, this locking trap room will present a time 
    challenge with two Ogres to defeat. On the second visit you'll meet two 
    The Rotten Core
    This room feeds into the Dreamer's Climb, the meeting point of both routes.
    The Air Stirs (east route)
    Head east again for the treasure room.
    Bonds of Friendship
    Air Elemental
    Chest (unlocked): 'Matador' (H) Shiavona plus Counter Guard, Cranequin (H) 
    blade, Side Ring grip, Brigandine (H), Rondanche (H), Lionhead accessory, 
    Snowfly Draught x 5, Grimoire Benir (Shaman spell, Blessing)
    Bacchus is Cheap
    Screams of the Wounded
    The first time you enter here, this locking trap room will present a time 
    challenge with two Dullahans to defeat. On the second visit you'll meet two 
    The Ore-Bearers
    Again, the suspicious presence of just one Gremlin should have you sticking to 
    the spot until you've cast Eureka.
    The Dreamer's Climb
    There's a Heal Panel trap under the cubes in the north-east corner of the 
    floating island.
    In a reversal of this room's normal format, you'll be coming from the lower 
    levels in order to reach the high exit. The idea is to jump to the central 
    island and stack one blue magnetic cube on another, thus creating a hovering 
    edifice of three cubes in height. From the top, you can reach the wooden 
    catwalk. If you find yourself coming from the side with the long jump, it's 
    possible to make the leap to the island by moving the available crate two tiles 
    nearer for a diagonal jump. Faerie Wings and Invigorate will help as usual.
    Sinner's Sustenance
    The Timely Dew of Sleep
    There's a Gold Key door here that, yet again, you'll have to ignore on first 
    The Auction Room
    Magic Circle
    A most welcome save point.
    The Labourer's Bonfire
    You need the Melissa Sigil to leave this room by its high exit. You should have 
    picked that up from Gemsword Blackmarket in Undercity East.
    The obstacle course itself requires another leap to a central island. If you're 
    coming from the side of magnetic cubes then stack them for a jumping point to 
    the island. There's a Paralysis trap next to the cubes, but should you be stung 
    then the effect will probably have worn off by the time you leave.
    Use a weapon to destroy just enough of the island's crate stack to allow you to 
    jump up. If you're already on the island then you'll need a spear or crossbow to 
    pick them off, aiming high. If you then climb up onto the stack to find yourself 
    short, the obvious trick is to enter and leave through the nearby door of Stone 
    and Sulphurous Fire to restore the crates (you'll definitely want to enter it 
    once on your way through Labourer's Bonfire anyway, as it's a treasure room).
    Stone and Sulphurous Fire
    Earth Elemental
    Chest (unlocked): 'White Lady' (H) Morning Star plus Runkasyle, Balbriggan (H) 
    blade, Power Palm grip, Talos Feldspar gem, Acolyte's Nostrum x 3, Grimoire 
    Egout (Warlock spell, Drain Heart)
    If you haven't tried a Thunderburst spell yet, now's your chance.
    Torture Without End
    Boss: Ogre Lord HP 560 / MP 110
    Special Attacks: Tornado, also casts Degenerate, Surging Balm
    Prize: Shiavona (I) plus Power Palm, Braveheart gem, Morlock Jet gem, Agales' 
    Chain, Elixir of Queens, Mana Tonic x 3, Cure Potion
    The Tornado is pretty rare, and mostly he's content to cast Degenerate and run 
    away. Counter it with Herakles. If he tries to use Surging Balm then casting 
    *any* spell on him will negate it (If you haven't got Drain Mind then Antidote, 
    of all things, is cheapest on MP, but feel free to try more ambitious spells). 
    His sword does pack a punch, but if you keep him busy enough by undoing his 
    magic then you can effectively waste his time while getting in Break Arts of 
    your own. Like all Ogres, he's not only a left-hander but he also possesses a 
    natural combo-breaking ability: if you persist with a chain, you'll often score 
    nothing but misses.
    Way Down
    Magic Circle
    Take the east door before heading south.
    Excavated Hollow
    Water Elemental
    Chest (unlocked): 'Angel Face' (H) Balbriggan plus Heavy Grip, Elephant grip, 
    Casserole Shield (H), Beaded Anklet, Missaglia (I), Grimoire Flamme (Warlock 
    Spell, Flame Sphere)
    Must be a promotion on Balbriggans this week.... Otherwise, this represents a 
    major treasure stash. Beaded Anklet is one of the finest stat-booster 
    accessories you can equip on first play; the Elephant grip is the best Edged 
    haft for Axes; and using the Grimoire Flamme item will take your Flame Sphere up 
    by one level, increasing its damage, range and area of effect.
    Parting Regrets
    I recently discovered that if you run down one of these staircases with the 
    right timing, the Wraith is so busy teleporting to the wrong spot that you can 
    get all the way through without being touched. Nyar, nyar!
    Corridor of Tales
    Gremlin, Ogre
    Despite the name, there aren't many interesting anecdotes about this place at 
    Dust Shall Eat The Days
    The idea here is to use the Cloudstone's forward momentum to help you jump to 
    the other side. The problem you'll encounter is that the other side is hedged in 
    by two stacks of crates, so you've also got to aim for the narrow gap between 
    the two (a Dual Shock can help you here).
    Check the Cloudstone's path from all sides and you'll see how it moves down-
    forward and up-back, as well as left-right. You've got to use this down-forward 
    part of the motion to jump from. If you try to jump from the Cloudstone while 
    it's moving left-right, you'll be thrown sideways yourself when you leap.
    Also, if you're packing a Crossbow (you'll need the range of a Windlass or 
    higher) then you can pick off the crates as you slide back and forth and clear a 
    space on the other side. This will make your final jump much easier.
    If you're coming back the other way, get rid of the top cube and roll the lower 
    one two tiles towards the wall. It's just possible to jump and grab the edge.
    Hall of the Wage Paying
    Boss: Snow Dragon HP 720 / MP 0
    Special Attacks: Tail Attack, Frost Breath
    Prize: Grimoire Barrer (Enchanter spell, Aqua Guard), Panacea, Elixir of Queens
    Trying to catch you out, the Snow Dragon has a Piercing weakness in the Tail and 
    an Edged weakness in the head. That doesn't make too much difference at this 
    stage, though. It's still too huge for a level 2 Flame Sphere to frighten it, so 
    stick to Fire-affinity weapons and Break Arts with as much Water-aligned defence 
    as you can muster. If you've a grip that you can plaster in Dragonite then you 
    might even stand a better chance on pure physical terms.
    Tunnel of the Heartless
    This isn't immediately obvious, so have good look around first. But prepare to 
    be disappointed.
    There's a high exit door in the far wall, and a tall pier of rock extending from 
    the front of that exit, that you need to jump to. Except that, ordinarily, you 
    can't. It's too steep to reach from below, and if you try to leap across you'll 
    discover a cube-shaped gap that just stops you getting the height you need. But 
    if the gap were filled, you'd have sufficient height to make it across. So what 
    you need to do is move the push crate all the way around to fill that gap.
    As you enter, slide the lower frictionless cube forward to the central wall. 
    Climb up and push the higher frictionless cube on top of it to make a stack. Now 
    walk to the other crates and push the leftmost rolling cube to the right, off 
    the top of push crate, so that it fills the gap below the second rolling cube. 
    Push that second rolling cube twice so that it rolls onto the first one and then 
    onto the floor.
    You can now edge the push crate out and then onto the central wall with spaces 
    around it that allow you to push it right, along the edge of the wall. When it 
    gets to being lined up with the blue frictionless cubes, you can stand on them 
    to push it inwards. From there it's just a matter of getting the push crate into 
    the gap.
    Alternatively - and this is the killer - just eat a Faerie Wing and jump from 
    where the push crate should go. It works, and I got my finest ever rating of 
    Little Green Man (7 seconds) by solving it in this cheapster fashion. Tcha!
    Temple Of Kiltia
    There's plenty of plot going down here, but your tangible goal is to prise the 
    Silver Key from the Minotaur Lord and then use it to reach the final boss of the 
    Temple. You'll eventually surface at the doors of the Great Cathedral, where the 
    final chapter of Vagrant Story takes place.
    The Dark Coast
    A tile-wide ledge running along the left side of the room is your only means of 
    crossing the chasm: jump from the very edge of the floor before it dips a tile 
    and you can just make it up onto the narrow platform. If you cast Eureka then 
    you'll see the Trap Clear panel next to the wall that's very easy to drop onto, 
    but avoid it if you can. It actually removes a Heal Panel on the other of the 
    Hall Of Prayer
    Mini-boss: Last Crusader HP 480 / MP 240
    Special Attacks: Sorcery spells
    Prize: Agria's Balm accessory, Grimoire Purifier (Shaman spell, Clearance), 
    Alchemist's Reagent x 3
    This final incarnation of the Dullahan wields a huge Damascus Rhomphaia in one 
    hand, so you have to keep your RISK down - with Vera items if necessary - or a 
    single blow will gouge away half your health or more. If you're hoping to 
    Reflect Damage or use Impact Guard, note that he's got two different attacks; a 
    slow swing and a faster thrust.
    Despite his spellcasting ability, this isn't the most intelligent suit of armour 
    in the world. That means your own Sorcery spells will stand a good chance of 
    affecting it. One clever technique you might try is to cast Degenerate and / or 
    Tarnish on the Crusader, then Silence him before he can undo them (he doesn't 
    have Magic Cancel items). This buys you time and keeps his damage low. He'll 
    necessarily get physical with you, but if you Herakles and Prostasia yourself 
    then you'll have a much better chance of scoring damage against him. Or you can 
    just keep using Sorcery spells on him and let him waste his efforts on undoing 
    them while you're hitting him. Most chains will fail after a couple of hits, so 
    it isn't always easy to hurt him if you're packing the wrong weapon: this 
    particular enemy is weakest against Edged blades, though I also recommend a 
    Piercing Gale Break Art if you're packing a sword.
    If you pass through this room on later occasions, you'll be faced with a Water 
    Elemental and a Nightstalker instead.
    If you haven't got the Silver Key yet, take the right-hand door. 
    Those Who Drink The Dark
    To jump over the chasm, use the high column. If you're coming back from the 
    other way, push a crate to the edge for the same effect. There's a Silver Key 
    side-door here, but ignore it for now: it actually leaves the temple and enters 
    Ants Prepare For Winter in the Limestone Quarry.
    So, the side door isn't an option. The only way to get up that high wall at the 
    north end is to move that highest push crate straight towards it and use the 
    extra height to jump up. One problem: when you make the first push, it drops 
    straight down and you can't get behind it to push it any nearer.
    To solve this, you need to make a small side-platform at floor level out of two 
    adjoining crates.
    Push the topmost of the stack of two to the west by one tile, so that it fills 
    the hole in front of the two crates wedged next to the west wall. Now destroy 
    the innermost (northern) of those wedged crates so that you can push the 
    remaining one out (south) over the filled gap. If you keep pushing (south) by 5 
    tiles, you'll find enough space by the chasm at the entrance to get around it 
    and move it (east) two tiles into the centre of the corridor, with a space on 
    each side.
    Now smash the crate that you used to fill the gap and move the remaining floor 
    crate to the east by one tile. You'll see that this crate left on the floor has 
    enough space on each side to move it in and out (east and west) of where it is. 
    This slider movement will be instrumental. See, if you then push one of the 
    other crates onto this slider, and then again (north) onto the floor, you can 
    move the slider sideways to make a space behind the one that's just hit the 
    floor. This enables you to push the floored crate towards the high wall (north). 
    So, using the slider, move those two remaining southern crates (north) onto the 
    floor and towards the high wall, one at a time. That means moving the nearest 
    one east by one tile and then north by eight tiles (pausing to move the slider 
    west by one tile to give you that space). Now restore the slider (east one tile) 
    and move the second crate north by nine tiles. You've still got that highest 
    crate in place, but you've now made a two-tile ledge at floor level.
    More precisely, when you've pushed the high crate north by one tile towards the 
    high wall, and it's dropped down, you then want to be able to push it out east 
    one tile, onto a wooden crate on the floor, then north one tile by sliding it 
    onto the other crate; then back in to the west one tile, onto the raised stone, 
    so that there's a single gap behind it that will let you push it all the way to 
    the wall.
    There. Simple. You'll be wanting diagrams, I suppose.
    The Chapel of Meschaunce
    Mini-boss: Minotaur Lord HP 540 / MP 0
    Special Attacks: Giga Rush
    Intimidating as he looks, this particular Minotaur is rather more than 50% bull. 
    Go in ready for a straight physical fight, no tricks, and the whole thing should 
    be over in seconds. His attacks are unexpectedly weak and he doesn't have too 
    much in the way of armour if your Beast weapon is Edged. You may even find you 
    now have a Break Art that knocks whole slices of steak off him, finishing the 
    job without need for a normal attack.
    Prize: Titan's Ring, Elixir of Queens, Alchemist's Reagent x 3
    Chest (unlocked): 'Frost Maiden' (H) Mjolnir plus Runkasyle, Sonic Bullet grip, 
    Ghost Hound accessory, Cure Potion x 2, Mana Potion x 2, Silver Key
    Just like the Iron Key, the Silver Key opens up a few bonus treasures to hunt 
    down in a moment of diversion. For now, head back to the Hall of Prayer and take 
    that opposite door.
    The Resentful Ones
    There are two puzzles here, and it's quite a trek to reset the room if you foul 
    up on the second. 
    Puzzle 1: the rolling cubes here have only a limited number of moves, and the 
    idea is to use them as stoppers for the frictionless cube so that you can slide 
    it into position. The idea here is to get the frictionless cube right next to 
    the push crates, just between stack and high wall, so that you can push the top 
    crate onto the frictionless cube, one tile closer to the high wall.
    To do this, start with the rolling cube that's furthest from the blue cube and 
    push it north two tiles, then west one tile. Now push the other rolling cube 
    north one tile, east one tile, south one tile. With this set-up, just three 
    pushes on the frictionless cube to east, north and east again will set it up 
    ready to take a push crate on top.
    For the second stage, move the rolling cube to act as a stopper for both 
    frictionless cubes so that they line up with the crate stack. Close up the gap 
    between the two blue cubes. Then push the top crate over the two sliders. From 
    this nearer two-cube stack, you can jump diagonally for the exit platform.
    To do this, push the rolling cube north one tile and then west three tiles. 
    Slide the first of the blue cubes west so that it stops next to the push crates. 
    Now push the rolling cube north two tiles and repeat with other blue cube. Close 
    the gap by push the northern blue cube south and then move the top push crate 
    north by two tiles.
    (Time-puzzlers will realise that you can use the rolling cube itself to fill in 
    for the second frictionless cube, by pushing it north and east instead after the 
    first frictionless cube is in place).
    Those Who Fear The Light
    Air Elemental, Gremlins
    Chamber Of Reason
    A superb cut-scene is followed by...
    Kali HP 500 / MP 500
    Special Attacks: Raven Eye (poison), Caesar's Thrust (paralysis)
    By spreading individual weaknesses across her body - and only slight ones, at 
    that - Kali is tough against magic, and almost impossible to hurt with a 
    multiple-target spell. However, this also means that there will be body 
    locations that you'll have a chance of hurting, regardless of weapon type. Your 
    best bet here is to stick with whatever you've been sharpening on the Crimson 
    Blades, bolstered with a Haeralis gem and backed up by a Titan's Ring or Rusted 
    Nails accessory for maximum damage against Human-class opponents. Her legs and 
    head have no particular weapon strengths, otherwise.
    Her major weakness to Sorcery is the Leadbones spell, and you can really annoy 
    her with this. If she kicks off with Degenerate, don't forget that you can 
    reverse it with Herakles. This actually keeps her very busy, undoing either 
    spells on her or spells on you. As long as you keep your health up whenever it 
    drops then even her big hitters shouldn't knock you for six.
    Exit To The City Centre
    Just step onto the rising podium to activate it. There's a Magic Circle coming 
    right up, so don't rush back to the Dark Coast. When you arrive at Plateia 
    Lumitar, it's a good idea to teleport back to Junction Point and get yourself 
    organised for the Great Cathedral. You'll also find a few old doors on your 
    explored maps that are now unlockable with your new Silver Key.
    Town Centre East
    Plateia Lumitar
    Magic Circle
    The double doors are unlocked, and will take you into the Great Cathedral 
    itself. If you jump over the water to the small doorway and follow the path, 
    you'll get back to the latched door near Junction Point.
    Gharmes Walk
    Besides the treasure, there's already a Dummy here in the shape of Gremlin that 
    you can use for training against Evil-class creatures.
    Chest (requires Chest Key): 'Klondike' (S) Falchion plus Power Palm, Round 
    Shield (S), Angel Pearl, Sorcerer's Reagent
    The House Gilgitte
    Chest (unlocked): 'Ribsplitter' (H) Khukuri plus Power Palm, Dragonhead 
    accessory, Faerie Wing x 5, Audentia wine
    This is the house that had its door rattled in an earlier scene with Merlose and 
    Hardin. That very door is also the one you've seen latched in Rue Crimnade, just 
    above Junction Point, so now you can unlatch it and open up the whole of Town 
    Centre East. That's that solved, then.
    You don't really need it, but if you want to go back to Plateia Lumitar via this 
    path then there's a block puzzle to solve. Facing south, climb up and push the 
    highest cube onto the floor so that it falls in front of the treasure chest. 
    There are two wooden crates in the formation of four, and if you smash the upper 
    one then you can push the free blue cube left and forward to the wall. Now break 
    the lower wooden crate and use the gap to move the other blue cube on the floor 
    right and forward to the wall, mirroring the other one. The very first cube you 
    dropped into place will act as the stopper for doing this.
    All but one of the cubes is now wedged in place. Stand on the right frictionless 
    cube and push that last free cube towards the high left wall. It'll drop to form 
    a two-high stack, from the very edge of which you can *just* jump 'n' grab. 
    Honest. Invigorate if necessary.
    Using The Silver Key
    On first play through the game, the Silver Key opens up a number of locked doors 
    in previously explored areas. Only two will lead to extra treasures.
    (1) Teleport to the Dark Tunnel in Abandoned Mines B1 and go north to Everwant 
    Passage. Here you'll find a locked Silver Key door to Mining Regrets.
    Mining Regrets
    Cast Eureka to spot a Death Vapour in advance.
    Chest (unlocked): 'White Cargo' (D) Voulge plus Winged Pole, Mana Potion x 3, 
    Polaris Gem
    (2) Teleport to The Auction Block in the Limestone Quarry. Take the Silver Key 
    door to Ascension.
    Stairs leading down...
    Where The Serpent Hunts
    The east exit from this T-Junction leads to a treasure room, the west to a 
    corridor leaving the Limestone Quarry.
    Drowned In Fleeting Joy
    Dark Elemental
    Chest (unlocked): Falarica Bolt, Plate Glove (H), Elixir of Mages, Mana Potion x 
    Ants Prepare For Winter
    This corridor leads to Those Who Drink The Dark in the Temple of Kiltia.
    (3) For completeness, you might want to unlock the Silver Key doors in Undercity 
    West: one door joins Nameless Dark Oblivion to The Washing-Woman's Way, while 
    the other in Sewer of Ravenous Rats leads to Beggars of the Mouthharp and Corner 
    of the Wretched. The latter is ultimately a dead end, though, sealed with the 
    Rood Inverse and inaccessible on first play.
    Using The Stock Sigil
    Use Teleportation to warp back to Blackmarket, in the Wine Cellar. The Stock 
    Sigil will unseal the door that once led you to the game's first proper boss.
    Minotaur Zombie HP 720 / MP 0
    Special Attacks: Giga Rush
    Don't reach for your Beast-smacking blade: this is the very same boss you slew 
    before, but it's been reanimated by the power of the Dark. Draw the weapon you 
    reserve for Undead foes instead. If that's a short weapon, you might like to 
    take the fight to the steps in the far corner or run around the side of the 
    Zombie to reach its upper body locations more easily. In all other respects, 
    this should be a familiar fight with the only real difference being the enemy's 
    increased HP.
    Prize: Rune Earrings, Cure Bulb x 3, Elixir of Queens
    Chest (requires Chest Key): Circle Shield (D) plus Titan Malachite gem, Cure 
    Potion x 3, Vera Potion
    The Great Cathedral
    Quick check - on first play, does your progress show roughly 75% of the map 
    complete before you enter here from Plateia Lumitar? If it does, you've pretty 
    much found everything there is to see before this final temple.
    There aren't many normal enemies here, just bosses, so pack for Phantoms, 
    Dragons, Evil and Undead (pretty much in that order of importance). Because the 
    Cathedral sends you up and down between levels continuously, this section 
    describes the order of rooms in more of a walkthrough style than previous areas, 
    as a floor-by-floor description would be hopelessly confusing.
    Into Holy War, L1
    The Cloudstone lift is inoperative when you first arrive, so you'll have to take 
    the stairs down to Struggle for the Soul, B1. You'll need to defeat the Iron 
    Crab to activate the lift, which leads to the Convent Room, L2.
    Struggle For the Soul, B1
    There's a Heal Panel Trap here that will also reduce your RISK. Just jump up and 
    down for repeated use...
    There are exits on either side of the canal. You can either go straight ahead to 
    meet Ifrit, or jump over the water for Marid. My advice is to take Marid first 
    and explore as far as the Poisoned Chapel, then return and tackle the rooms with 
    Ifrit and the Iron Crab before taking the lift up from The Victor's Laurels. 
    Order & Chaos, B1
    Marid HP 500 / MP 180
    Special Attacks: Avalanche lvl 3, Aqua Blast
    Prize: Elixir of Queens, Grimoire Avalanche
    Marid is essentially a king Water Elemental, so use your previous Fire-offence 
    and Water-defence tactics and upgrade where possible with better Flame Spheres, 
    gems and Enchanter spells. If your resistance to Water is naturally good or your 
    weapon isn't capable of damaging him (Marid is stronger versus Edged) then a 
    Spark Fusion is going to speed things up.
    Defeating Marid also activates the Cloudstone elevator to L2 in The Victor's 
    Laurels on this level. The other door in this room leads to An Offering of 
    An Offering of Souls
    Stairs leading up to Sin and Punishment, L1
    Sin and Punishment, L1
    Magic Circle and Container
    Watch for two oddly-placed traps here, Curse and Eruption. You don't even know 
    they're there until, one day, when you're heading urgently for the save point...
    The southern door is broken (as in closed-off broken), while the north one leads 
    to the Poisoned Chapel.
    The Poisoned Chapel, L1
    The far door is locked with the Laurel Sigil, and before you can even get across 
    you'll need to activate this Cloudstone by defeating the Djinn in the Flayed 
    Confessional L1. For now, go back to Truth and Lies, B1 and tackle Ifrit (or 
    explore B1 further if you haven't).
    Truth and Lies, B1
    Boss: Ifrit HP 500 / MP 180
    Special Attacks: Fireball, Fire Storm
    Like Marid to Water, Ifrit is the big cheese of Fire Elementals and the same 
    tactics apply. He's also strong versus Edged weapons, but you should now have a 
    level 2 Avalanche for some multiple-target spellcasting fun. Again, if your 
    armour is strong versus fire or you're having trouble doing damage then go for 
    Frost Fusion. Otherwise, Pyro Guard against the deadlier attacks like Fire Storm 
    and set your defence abilities to include Fireproof.
    Prize: Elixir of Queens, Grimoire Flamme
    And if you look closely, you'll see that the huge crack casts a Rood symbol in 
    twilight on the opposite wall...
    From this room you can reach two others - Sanity and Madness, and the Victor's 
    Sanity and Madness, B1
    Boss: Iron Crab HP 375 / MP 0
    Special Attacks: Aqua Bubble, Tidal Rush
    With a good Spark Fusion on your Beast weapon, aim for the mouth with Edged and 
    Piercing weapons, or the shell with Blunt types. Unless you're accidentally 
    wearing Salamander gear, there's very little reason to fear this one: I found 
    him unusually pathetic, and even his specials seem underpowered.
    Prize: Valens wine, Elixir of Kings
    Defeating the Iron Crab also activates the Cloudstone elevator in Into Holy War, 
    L1. This gives you two ways to advance to L2, but I'd recommend The Victor's 
    The Victor's Laurels, B1
    The Cloudstone elevator rises to Cracked Pleasures, L1. It can be activated by 
    defeating Marid.
    Cracked Pleasures, L1
    There's another elevator to Free From Base Desires, but take a small diversion 
    first by going through the door to Hieratic Recollections. When you return after 
    slaying the Djinn, go up on the elevator and out to Abasement From Above.
    Hieratic Recollections, L1
    Or did they mean 'Heratic Recollections' ? I think the Heratic is supposed to be 
    you, and the Recollection is one of "Oh hang on, I've done this bit..." when you 
    accidentally stumble into here later on by mistake. If this is your first time, 
    just carry on. Nothing to see here.
    The Flayed Confessional, L1
    Boss: Djinn HP 500 / MP 180
    Special Attacks: Lightning Bolt, Thunderburst
    Prize: Elixir of Queens, Grimoire Foudre (Warlock Spell, Thunderburst)
    Getting to the chest is a simple matter of destroying the push crate in the 
    corner, then pushing the other one out until it falls into place.
    Chest (unlocked): Fluted Armour (H), Fluted Glove (H), Vera Potion x 3, Saint's 
    It's that Elemental thing again. You need Sylph / Air defences to defeat its 
    Lightning Bolts and Earth-affinity weapons (i.e. Gnome / Dao gems on weapons, 
    Soil Fusion enchantment) to maximise your effectiveness. By now, you might even 
    be able to inflict massive damage by taking advantage of Djinn's Phantom-class 
    status and equipping an anti-Phantom weapon bristling with Trinity gems. Check 
    out your Gaea Strike, by all means, but if the damage / probability result looks 
    lousy then those MPs might be better spent.
    Defeating the Djinn also activates the Cloudstone bridge in The Poisoned Chapel. 
    It's not worth going there until you have the Laurel Sigil, though, so for now 
    you should head back to Cracked Pleasures and take the elevator to
    Free From Base Desire, L2
    There's another Cloudstone elevator here that leads up to The Wine-Lecher's 
    Fall, L3. If you pursued that route right now, you'd find it blocked by the 
    Calla Sigil. So stay on L2 and go through the passage for
    Abasement From Above, L2
    Your goal is to reach the side door, and that requires a bit of jumping from 
    either direction. Cast Eureka to see this room's Paralysis, Curse and Poison 
    traps. You should be able to make the jump quite easily from this side (use 
    Invigorate if you can't), which is why I've brought you this way.
    It is also possible to get to the side door from the Convent Room side by 
    jumping along the west wall, but much harder. Not only do you need to run a 
    gauntlet of unavoidable traps, but to get around one particular column you need 
    to drop off the edge, curl around in mid-air (some players may find this easier 
    with the Dual Shock) and grab the column below as you fall past it. Yes, quite.
    Get your dragon gear ready and enter
    The Hall of Broken Vows L2
    Mini-Boss: Flame Dragon HP 750 / MP 0
    Special Attacks: Searing Breath, Tail Attack.
    Prize: Calla Sigil, Sorcerer's Reagent
    If you're wielding a Piercing spear, aiming for anywhere but the Head will 
    exploit a weakness. Its Tail is particularly prone to a cutting from Edged 
    weapons, if you can run round behind it with a Great Sword or Axe. And, of 
    course, this is a fire-affinity beast, so you can equip gems accordingly (don't 
    forget the Dragonhead accessory if you have it too).
    If you're not wearing a shield, put Fireproof on your Defence Ability buttons 
    and try to halve the damage. When armed, cast Pyro Guard or Frost Fusion for 
    defence or offence respectively. Also, use Impact Guard to half the damage from 
    its lunges and Tail Attack - this can add up to a lot of health saved over the 
    course of the fight. Note that this is a mini-boss, so you don't get any chance 
    of a stat upgrade or new rating.
    The Hall itself is locked on the south side by the Acacia Sigil, but two other 
    doors lead west and north. Go north to Light and Dark Wage War.
    Light and Dark Wage War, L2
    It looks impossible, but it isn't: you can get across. Instead of running down 
    the steps, look for the paths to each side of the entrance that run around the 
    walls. If you follow the left side, there's one long jump that may still require 
    Invigorate if your AGL is low. If you follow the right side, you just need to 
    push to the other side as you fall down into the gap so that you catch the ledge 
    on your way past. From both of these side platforms you can jump to the door.
    There's a lever to the left of the exit, so throw that first before you proceed. 
    It unlocks the door to Unknown on the upper balcony of the Heretic's Story, L3.
    But first, we're going treasure-hunting.
    An Arrow Into Darkness, L2
    Chest (unlocked): Fluted Leggings (H), Fluted Glove (H), Eye of Argon x 5, Cure 
    Push the northernmost cube west until it stops, then south, and leave it there: 
    it'll act as a stopper for the other one shortly, leaving a much-needed space. 
    Turn your attention to the other cube and push it west, west, south, east (it 
    can be tricky turning around there without stepping onto it), south and west. 
    You can now step up to the chest.
    Finally, take the elevator down to
    Where Darkness Spreads, L1
    Chest (unlocked): Oval Shield (H), Burgonet (H), Mana Bulb x 5, Elixir of Queens
    To reach the treasure you need to make a bridge of blocks by filling up that gap 
    in a straight line to the chest. The crucial first move comes in what you do 
    with the three wooden push crates already in the hole, so jump down into it and 
    stand on the highest step, facing the chests. Push the top one west, then go 
    stand on it and push the middle crate east. You can now move both of those two 
    crates on the steps north by one tile so that they fall into line with the blue 
    The rest of the puzzle is more arduous, taking place up on the main floor, and 
    requires you to use the push crates as stoppers so that you line up the 
    remaining frictionless cubes with the bridge and slide them on. For example, by 
    moving the northernmost push crate west and then north, you can slide the blue 
    cube back near the Cloudstone west, south, west into the hole. Unless anybody 
    wants more detail, I think the rest is really hard to screw up. When you're 
    done, use the stopper crates themselves to fill the last holes and then walk 
    across your bridge to the chest. Huzzah!
    The Cloudstone is the only way to leave this room as the doors are broken - that 
    goes for resetting the puzzle, too - and to get onto it you need to jump from 
    the blue cube that's placed uselessly close to the wall (so don't move it! I 
    haven't tried, but I can see you being able to trap yourself in here). This is a 
    good time to save and visit a container, but when you're done, return to the 
    Hall of Broken Vows L2 and go west this time to
    He Screams For Mercy L2
    Eureka first. There are two very nasty jumps to make to doors going north or 
    coming back from the south, so you'll need Invigorate and / or Faerie Wings if 
    your AGL is low. Visit both areas and defeat the Liches to win the Laurel Sigil 
    and open up a route you'll be needing shortly.
    The Acolyte's Weakness L2
    Stairs leading down to...
    Monk's Leap, L1
    Zombie Knights, Lich
    Prize: Ghost Hound accessory, Laurel Sigil, Elixir of Queens, Grimoire Demolir 
    (Warlock spell, Explosion)
    Maelstrom of Malice L2
    Dark Skeletons, Lich Lord HP 290 / MP 320
    Special Attacks: spellcaster
    The best protection against a Lich Lord is a Magic Ward, pure and simple. Every 
    time his spells are negated, replace it immediately. As you'll only have enough 
    MP for roughly three Wards on first play (four if you cast one before entering 
    and wait a sec), you can either use restorative items or replace your Mana 
    quickly with a chain combo that includes Gain Magic and also damages him.
    The weakness of the Lich Lord is Physical damage (he's supposedly weaker to 
    Light too, but high INT means that spells like Spirit Surge tend to bounce off 
    him). His own staff attack is not too strong either, and he'll only use it 
    rarely, so as long as your Magic Ward is in place then you can let your RISK 
    rise and concentrate on smacking him up good. You'll notice that the armour is 
    weaker on his head and arms, as with the Lich, and he wields his staff in the 
    left hand.
    When this Lich Lord is defeated, the Cloudstone that bridges the upper balconies 
    of the Heretic's Story, L3, will be activated.
    Now that you have the Laurel Sigil, head for the Poisoned Chapel via Sin and 
    Punishment. The Cloudstone will now be taking passengers (assuming you've 
    disposed of the Djinn in The Flayed Confessional, L1), and you have the means to 
    unlock the far door. 
    A Light In The Dark, L1
    Mini-Boss: Arch Dragon HP 785 / MP 0
    Special Attacks: Divine Breath
    Prize: Acacia Sigil, Acolyte's Nostrum
    You don't meet many Light-affinity monsters in Vagrant Story, and this makes for 
    a slightly odd battle. Your armour won't have been tested by many Light attacks 
    either, so you may suddenly find yourself very weak: especially as there are no 
    Light / Dark Enchanter spells you can use to magically align yourself. Worse, 
    the Divine Breath can also tear off MPs as well as HP, leaving you with only 
    your items or your chains to effect an immediate recovery. 
    Possibly the most useful trick here, then, is to run in and stay under its head 
    so that it can't use its breath at all. If you can guard against the physical 
    bites and tail swipes while whittling away at close quarters, you'll avoid its 
    worst attack.
    In any case, put Shadow Guard on your defence abilities, wear an accessory that 
    boosts your Light status and try to get the job done quickly. Use Morlock Jets 
    and Dragonite, sticking Angel Pearls on a shield if you're using one. The good 
    news is that Dark affinity spells like Drain Heart now have a superior chance of 
    success, so you can try reclaiming some of your lost health vampirically. This 
    Dragon has weaknesses against Edged weapons, and some of those Dark Break Arts 
    can prove worthy as well.
    You now have the Acacia Sigil, which opens a doorway in the Hall of Broken Vows 
    L2, but it's not worth trying to use that just yet as it leads straight to 
    another door locked with a Palm Sigil. Instead, return to Free From Base Desires 
    and use the Cloudstone elevator that takes you up to The Wine-Lecher's Fall, L3 
    (you need to jump to the Cloudstone from the tall boxes).
    The Wine-Lecher's Fall, L3
    A few easy jumps will deliver you to a door onto...
    The Heretic's Story, L3 (lower level)
    There are two levels to this room: from this entrance on L3 you can only move 
    east-west, while on the balconies (inaccessible from here) you'll cross the 
    chasm north-south.
    You'll need to use the Calla Sigil you acquired from the Flame Dragon to open 
    the door here. If you haven't yet, and you've come here early, go to the Hall of 
    Broken Vows L2.
    Grr, I really hate the way that you can't get a straight side-on view, whether 
    zoomed-out or close-up. Oversight or deliberate cheap trick? Regardless, making 
    a game harder by not letting the player see what's happening would certainly 
    have knocked points off a 40/40 score in my opinion...
    You've got to cross the abyss using the Cloudstones. Okay, so one way to do this 
    would be to jump like an idiot from Cloudstone to Cloudstone. That's the stupid 
    way. Another way would be to step from one stone to the next when they touch, 
    and that works, too. All the stones move in set rhythmic patterns, so you can 
    count off and predict when you should start to step across. It's easy to mess 
    up, but it also works. However, the real trick to making this room a doddle is 
    to remember that you've got a Fixate spell (go back to the Sanctum and find it 
    if you haven't!). Step onto the first stone and watch closely for the moment 
    when it touches the next. You've got a shortcut button on L2 that you can 
    release and hold, release and hold, until you capture the exact instant. Then 
    cast Fixate and casually walk across. Jump to the next stationary Cloudstone if 
    you think you can, or wait and repeat Fixate for that. Oh, the easy life.
    Another vital point is that you'll need to use the momentum of the fast, final 
    Cloudstone to jump the last gap. Leap when it's racing towards the edge, just 
    before it turns, and it'll practically hurl you through the wooden door. On your 
    return, Fixating the stone at its nearest point and using a Faerie Wing before 
    the jump may prove necessary.
    Use the Calla Sigil on the door and enter...
    Hopes Of The Idealist L3
    Boss: Dao HP 500 / MP 180
    Special Attacks: Vulcan Lance
    Prize: Palm Sigil, Elixir of Queens, Grimoire Gaea
    The ruler of Earth Elementals is naturally weak versus Air attacks, and you may 
    find Blunt weapons do much better than Edged ones. Magically, you can enchant 
    yourself with Terra Guard or Luft Fusion or else read your new Grimoire Foudre 
    to see a level 2 Thunderburst in action. You may find that the most trouble 
    you'll have with Dao is that he'll fly away in fear and cower high out of reach 
    in the far corner, rushing out only when he's ready to Lance you. If so, you may 
    find you have some Break Arts that offer Air affinity, and a longer range than 
    the weapon you're using, to spear him out of the skies. If not, play a version 
    of the old Sheepdog game and try to herd him into a corner without any crates in 
    With the Acacia and Palm Sigils tucked into your belt, you can return to the 
    Hall of Broken Vows L2 and open the door there. The Acacia Sigil first grants 
    access to...
    The Melodics of Madness L2
    Push the lower of the two blue cubes south and west, then move the push crate 
    east, so that both line up and fill the holes to for a bridge. You can now move 
    the higher blue cube all the way south until it stops, then east and south to 
    get it to the part of the wall where you can use it to climb up.
    Use the Palm Sigil on the next door to enter
    What Ails You Kills You L2
    Boss: Nightmare HP 500 / MP 180
    Special Attacks: Meteor level 3, Dark Chant, Curse
    Prize: Grimoire Meteore (Warlock Spell, Meteor), Elixir of Dragoons
    A master of Dark Elementals, the Nightmare is susceptible to Light affinity 
    attacks or Break Arts: try Spirit Surge, and weapons decorated with Angel 
    Pearls.  There's no Enchanter spell to help you here but a Morlock Jet on your 
    shield can help defend against Dark spells.
    Defeating Nightmare activates a Cloudstone in this room. You won't be attacked 
    between now and the next Save Point, so jump aboard to reach
    Despair of the Fallen L3
    There's nothing here but a door that re-enters the Heretic's Story L3 on the 
    upper balcony level. Just use the Cloudstone to cross to the door marked Unknown 
    and enter. If this door is still locked, that means you haven't yet thrown the 
    lever in Light And Dark Wage War on L2.
    Where the Soul Rots
    Here you'll find an Elevator to the Atrium, L4. There's nothing else for it...
    The Atrium, Great Cathedral L4
    Magic Circle
    Save, save, save. Believe it or not, you've made it to the closing scenes and 
    the final boss, so now is the time to make all your last minute preparations 
    (using the teleport makes it easy). Another point to bear in mind is that you 
    should use all of your elixirs and your wines, and read all of your Grimoires. 
    When you're ready, climb the stairs.
    If you're wondering why your save-file only shows 83% or thereabouts, that's 
    because the other sixth of the game -- those hidden areas behind Gold Keys and 
    Rood Inverses -- can only be accessed if you replay. And before you can do that, 
    you've got two small problems to overcome...
    The Paling, Great Cathedral's dome
    Final Boss, part I: Guildernstern HP 500 / MP ???
    Special Attacks: Stun Cloud, Poison Mist, Degenerate, Tarnish, Last Ascension
    Edged weapons seem to have an advantage here. Your foe is intelligent enough to 
    resist harmful spells, so use Sorcery spells and forget about Warlock magic. If 
    Guildenstern runs out of magic - either you've stolen it, or the battle is 
    dragging on -- then he'll unveil his Last Ascension, a kind of Break Art 
    performed with the 'Holy Win' Damascus Rood blade he wields.
    Final Boss, part II: Guildenstern, dark angel HP 700 / MP ???
    Special Attacks: Degenerate, Tarnish, Psychodrain, Leadbones, Gravity, Judgment, 
    Apocalypse, Bloody Sin.
    Talk about dropping you right back in it.
    For starters, getting close to Guildenstern is hard enough: you need to stand on 
    the edge of the circle and be ready to squeeze in as much as possible when he 
    comes within range. It's pointless trying to chase him: the only chance you will 
    have of attacking him is when he moves in to attack you. If you stand right at 
    the centre of the paling, or spinning magic circle, then you'll also find that 
    Guildenstern can't hit you with half of his spells: only Apocalypse and the 
    Bloody Sin can reach you there.
    You might also assume that you're supposed to use a crossbow or long two-handed 
    weapon, but unless you have a low RISK and good protection (from a shield, say) 
    then the dark angel's major attacks will kill you outright. Once close enough, 
    you may find that most of your normal attacks start with little or no chance of 
    success, so this boss is hoping to lure you into using long chains to break 
    through his defences.
    That's a very dangerous thing to do.
    Well, there are a several tricks to employ here. The first is to stick to Break 
    Arts: find a couple that work, use a few before the target flies away and then 
    heal completely. Many cheaper Break Arts have a much longer range than the 
    weapons that produce them, so you can still pull off hits with any weapon you 
    wish to use. Keep your RISK at zero to maximise a Break Art's success and 
    If your chance to hit is so low that you really need to use chains, remember 
    that you probably have some fairly serious Vera items (Tonics, Potions, Nostrums 
    and Reagents) to kill any RISK immediately when you're done.
    Another trick to this battle is to survive lots of hits. Some of Guildenstern's 
    big attacks seem to carry RISK: he's much easier to hit after a Bloody Sin has 
    failed to kill you, for instance. If you can keep your own RISK at zero while 
    his rises, your attacks will have greater success and damage. If you survive 
    long enough then it's even possible for him to run out of mana points, letting 
    you beat on him repeatedly when he's finished waiting to gather enough MP for 
    Degenerate and Tarnish.
    Guildenstern won't use his biggest special attack until you've reduced him by at 
    least 25-50% damage. You'll get a warning before the Bloody Sin special, as it 
    involves some extra animation and switching cameras. Keep your finger held on 
    the L2 shortcut button and you'll notice that control is briefly returned to you 
    when the camera is overhead. Exploit this free moment to use items that restore 
    your HP to maximum and your RISK to zero, and for heaven's sake equip a shield 
    if you aren't using one. 
    When Guildenstern swoops down over the arena, it's also possible to target him: 
    you need to be standing on or near his flight path, and you also have to be 
    especially quick, or very adept at a 'frame-by-frame' advance with a sneaky use 
    of the L2 button (release and hold, release and hold). If you launch any attack 
    on him as he passes overhead, no matter how feeble, you'll interrupt his 
    concentration and cancel the Bloody Sin.
    Even if you don't manage this, the Bloody Sin *is* survivable. It can be halved 
    or even reflected through defence abilities (see Alternative Tactics, below), 
    and if you're packing a shield then the difference is immense. The Bloody Sin's 
    elemental affinity is Dark, so don't decorate your shield with Angel Pearls 
    unless you want to be toasted. You could try Morlock Jets or Berial Blackpearls 
    if this attack is causing you problems, but the tactic may backfire if 
    Guildenstern decides to cast Judgment instead.
    Other points to note: Piercing attacks are generally useless. You'll have a much 
    better time with a Blunt or Edged weapon. That goes for Break Arts as well. 
    Also, if you cast Herakles and Prostasia on yourself then you may occasionally 
    provoke Guildenstern into cancelling them with Degenerate or Tarnish, rather 
    than a more serious attack. Every little helps.
    Alternative Boss Tactics
    Now here's a neat one. Fill out your remaining weapons inventory with long-range 
    weapons (crossbows, etc.) that have had their Phantom Points maximised to 100+. 
    When you get a shot at the dark angel, open a combo with Phantom Pain (or keep 
    it up until the Phantom Pain chain connects). Then equip the next weapon, and 
    repeat. 100+ damage per combo with each weapon through the amassed damage of 
    Phantom Pain will practically finish the job, no worries.
    It is indeed possible to reflect the worst attacks that the dark angel form of 
    Guildenstern inflicts, but you need to choose the right mode. Judgment (Light) 
    and Apocalypse (Dark) are spells, so select Reflect Magic or Shadowscale / 
    Demonguard. The Bloody Sin is a special attack, though, so use Reflect Damage or 
    Impact Guard.
    As it transpires, The Bloody Sin is actually easier to reflect than 
    Guildenstern's spells. The animation is long, true, but the timing to look for 
    follows Guildenstern's wings raining down blue spears of light. There'll be a 
    rumble on the paling, and the camera will suddenly zoom straight back down and 
    towards Ashley at high speed. The instant that the camera stops in Riot's face 
    is the moment to hit Impact Guard or Reflect Damage.
    If Guildenstern hurts you bad then you're better placed to hurt him back with a 
    Raging Ache chain. Getting by on low hit points rather than attempting to heal 
    can, when used correctly, really enhance the damage you inflict. 
    It's not over yet... When you finally deliver the killing blow, you'll be 
    treated to a real corker of a finishing sequence (engine cut-scenes, I tell 
    ya...). You'll also get a rating, with game scores (the last boss will add 1% to 
    your completion rating) and some rather attractive concept art to admire during 
    the credits, too. Then you'll get the chance to save a Game Clear Data, which 
    allows you to start from scratch with almost all of your kit and your stats 
    intact, but with the chance of opening up that last sixth of the game. The only 
    things you'll be missing will be your Miscellaneous Items: all of these will 
    have gone. That's why it's important to use the elixirs and read the Grimoires 
    before you tackle Guildenstern.
    Using the Rood Inverse
    The Rood Inverse isn't a conventional key, so you won't find it on your 
    inventory. You'll need to follow the later cut-scenes to find out just what it 
    (a) Town Centre West
    From the Glacialdra Kirk Ruins in Town Centre West, you can take the Rood 
    Inverse gate to a new part of Undercity West. You won't be able to get far until 
    you possess the Iron Key and Silver Key too, however.
    (b) Undercity West
    Path To The Greengrocer
    Crossroads of Rest
    Lich Lord
    Check in advance for a Gust Trap by the lamp-post. This T-junction has exits 
    that require either a Rood Inverse or an Iron Key. The Iron Key leads to Path of 
    the Children, while the Rood Inverse leads to
    Corner of the Wretched
    Lich, Dark Skeletons
    Follow this dogleg around to reach
    Beggars of the Mouthharp
    The end of the corridor is locked with a Silver Key. The door adjoins Sewer of 
    Ravenous Rats, which you may remember from your first play as a dead end.
    Path of the Children
    When you can boast the Iron Key as well as your Rood Inverse, you may head down 
    to Shelter from the Quake in Escapeway.
    (c) Escapeway
    Shelter from the Quake
    A Gold Key is required to enter Buried Alive, while the Silver Key grants access 
    to Movement of Fear. For now, take the open passage to 
    Fear & Loathing
    Marid, Dao
    This is a locking trap room, and these fellows are exactly as you met them in 
    the Great Cathedral.
    Prize: Grimoire Avalanche, Grimoire Flamme
    Blood & The Beast
    Water Elemental
    You're advised to use Eureka, to search for traps.
    Where Body & Soul Part
    Chest (magic lock): 'Bellini' (S) Double Blade plus Runkasyle, Vera Bulb x 5, 
    Elixir of Mages
    Very dark room, this, but just keep targeting and cancelling until something 
    comes into range. Also, you might try looking around with first-person pause to 
    suss the location of enemies as they drop down onto you. When you're done here, 
    return to Shelter from the Quake and use the Silver Key to access
    Movement of Fear
    Air Elemental
    Facing Your Illusions
    Cast Eureka to spot a Diabolos Trap.
    The Darkness Drinks
    Earth Elemental
    Interestingly, the exit from here leads back to a new part of Undercity West...
    (d) Undercity West
    Where Flood Waters Ran
    If you've seen that inaccessible chest in the Crumbling Market, I think this is 
    the door you were hoping for...
    The Crumbling Market
    Dullahans, Liches, Lich Lords
    Check with Eureka first: you'll see that the Chest is surrounded by trap panels, 
    and there's no Trap Clear this time. As long as you've killed any enemies in the 
    room who can reach you, that's not necessarily fatal (see PLAYING TIPS, Traps). 
    Jump across via that central island, using Invigorate if necessary, and minimise 
    damage by jumping straight onto the trap in front of the Chest (fortunately, 
    it's just a Gust Trap).
    Chest (unlocked): Agales' Chain, Elixir of Queens, Valens wine, Gold Key
    You now have the Gold Key!
    (e) In City Walls East, look for the room Train and Grow Strong at the southern 
    end. This room also has a Rood Inverse door that leads you the Snowfly Forest 
    (f) Snowfly Forest East
    Steady the Boar-Spears
    Interesting little glitch here: if you switch to first person PAUSE view, you 
    can see a Magic Circle that doesn't actually exist.
    A paling blocks your Map for now. Can you hear a noise in the Forest? Oh well, 
    just carry on...
    The Boar's Revenge
    Yep, definitely heard some kind of rumble... Just walk on down this long green 
    Nature's Womb
    Boss: Damascus Crab 500 HP / 0MP
    Special Attacks: Aqua Bubble, Tidal Rush
    Prize: Platinum Key, Cure Tonic x 3
    Oh, it's only a crab. And its specials haven't been upgraded either. This 
    Damascus version is mildly weaker against Fire spells and Blunt weapons, so 
    enchant your weapon with Spark Fusion and that 500 HP shouldn't take you more 
    than a few hits.
    Chest (unlocked): Knight's Shield, Djinn Amber, Acolyte's Nostrum x 3
    Hang on - I can still hear rumbling...
    Using The Gold Key
    (a) Escapeway
    Return to Shelter from the Quake and use your Gold Key to enter
    Buried Alive
    Fire Elemental
    Chest (unlocked): 'White Rose' (D) Bec de Corbin, Grimoire Grip, Grimoire Radius 
    (Warlock spell, Radial Surge), Grimoire Meteore (Warlock spell, Meteor)
    (b) Limestone Quarry
    This Gold Key door is easiest reached by teleporting to The Auction Block and 
    heading east.
    Companions in Arms
    Fire Elemental
    Chest (unlocked): 'Death Sentence' (D) Executioner, Side Ring, Balvus & Beowulf 
    gems, Spiral Pole grip, Casserole Shield (D) plus Orlandu & Ogmius gems, Close 
    Helm (D), Plate Mail (D), Edgar's Earrings accessory, Grimoire Fleau (Sorcerer 
    spell, Curse)
    (c) Undercity West
    To reach this Gold Key door, teleport to Sinner's Corner and head east to Corner 
    of Prayers.
    Salvation For The Mother
    Lich Lord, Lich
    Cast Eureka to detect a Poison Trap by the lamp-post.
    The Body Fragile Yields
    Lich Lord
    There's another Gold Key door here, but it merely joins up this section with 
    other parts of Undercity West by opening onto Tears From Empty Sockets. Head 
    back to Salvation for the Mother and take the other door to
    Bite the Master's Wounds
    Death HP ??? / MP ???
    Special Attacks: accomplished mages
    You'll find no less than two Deaths here, and you can always try running through 
    if you can't face them. You should look on these as uber-Lich-Lords, pretty 
    much, and use the same tactics of maintaining a Magic Ward and going for 
    physical damage rather than trying to outsmart them on the spellcasting front.
    To improve your Physical damage, decorate your weapon grip with gems like Talos 
    Feldspar and Titan Malachite. Death can surrender some pretty hot Damascus 
    WORKSHOP: Godhands
    Tools for Wood, Leather, Bronze, Hagane, Silver, Damascus
    The ultimate workshop, empowering you to work with and combine any materials you 
    (d) The Keep
    Yes, there's a Gold Key door here too. It leads to Stair to the Sinners in the 
    Forgotten Pathway.
    (e) Forgotten Pathway
    Stair to the Sinners
    As it says.
    Slaughter of the Innocent
    Damascus Golem 560 HP / 0 MP
    Special Attacks: Granite Punch
    Prize: Cure Tonic x 3
    Again, this fellow is weak versus Air and Blunt weapons. He really hasn't learnt 
    anything over his predecessors, so you won't have any problem here. Lightning 
    Bolt works well if you now have it, or use relevant Break Arts, but mostly 
    you're just toying with him. Then again, the prize is lousy.
    The Oracle Sins No More
    Blood Lizards
    Cast Eureka to check for two traps. From here you can go both east and west for 
    two treasure rooms.
    Awaiting Retribution
    Blood Lizard, Imps
    Chest (unlocked): Diadra's Earring accessory, Ogmius gem, Elixir of Queens
    The Fallen Knight
    Blood Lizard, Imps
    Chest (unlocked): Kadesh Ring accessory, Orlandu gem, Elixir of Queens, Steel 
    Using the Steel Key and Platinum Key
    Now that you have both the Steel Key and the Platinum Key, make your way through 
    the entirety of Iron Maiden B1 to the very bottom to use them. In Hanging, 
    you'll find a Steel Key door. Use this to enter Impalement.
    You're also advised to check out the Secrets and Extras section to get an 
    insight into the ultimate rewards of the Iron Maiden B2. Last Crusaders with 
    Damascus weapons, no less...
    Just drop down. The bottom door is locked with the Platinum Key, and once you 
    enter here then expect the Iron maiden's rule of no Magic Circles to persist 
    until you come out the other side. For that reason, make your inventory as empty 
    as possible before venturing inside.
    Mini-boss: Wyvern Queen HP 700 / MP 0
    Special Attack: Fire breath
    Prize: Anemone Sigil, Elixir of Sages 
    On the surface, the Wyvern Queen appears to be strong versus everything. But 
    take a closer look at her stats and, as you'll suddenly appreciate, she's so 
    STUPID (an INT of 13!) that spells are super-effective. Just Warlock her up 
    until you've got her near death, then try out your weapons purely for the 
    potential bonuses. Direct Blunt weapons to her head, and Edged weapons to her 
    body and tail. Piercing weapons are at a general disadvantage.
    When you're done, pass on through to...
    Map 2: Iron Maiden B2 & B3
    There's some magical jamming going on that prevents you looking at your map in 
    this section. It'll all be clear when you surface.
    Each room is identified by its central letter. The exits are shown as letters 
    around the 'walls' of the room, and these letters indicate where you will end up 
    if you leave the room through that door or passageway.
    Iron Maiden B2 & B3
    A - The Eunic's Lot      J - The Spider      S - Ordeal By Water
    B - Ordeal By Fire       K - Lead Sprinkler  T - Tongue Slicer
    C - The Oven at Neisse   L - Squassation     U - Brank
    D - Pressing             M - The Strappado   V - Tormentum Insomniae
    E - The Mind Burns       N - Thumbscrews     W - The Iron Maiden
    F - The Rack             O - Pendulum        X - Judgment
    G - The Saw              P - Dragging        Y - St. Elmo's Belt
    H - The Cold's Bridle    Q - Strangulation   Z - Dunking The Witch
    I - The Shin Vice        R - Tablillas       > - wraparound door
    ^ - entrance from B1     * - exit to The Keep
    (i) Iron Maiden B2
      E + W             +-----+    | M |    +-----+
        N               |     |   -+   +-   |     |
                        |  K  J   K  J  L   J  L  |
                        |     |   -+   +-   |     |
                        +-----+    | I |    +-----+
                                  |     |
                                  |  I  |
                                  |     |
                         | N |     | I |     | R | 
                        -+   +-   -+   +-   -+   +-
                        O  U  V   >  H  >   P  S  T
                        -+   +-   -+   +-   -+   +-
                         | T |     | G |     | Q | 
                                  |     |
                                  |  G  |
                                  |     |
               | F |               | G |               | U | 
              -+   +-             -+   +-             -+   +-
              U  V  R             >  F  >             S  T  Q
              -+   +-             -+   +-             -+   +-
               | W |               | E |               | M | 
                         | O |     | F |     | T | 
                        -+   +-   -+   +-   -+   +-
                        M  N  O   >  E  >   R  M  N
                        -+   +-   -+   +-   -+   +-
                         | U |     | D |     | J | 
                                  |     |
                                  |  D  |
                                  |     |
                         | S |     | D |     | Q | 
                        -+   +-   -+   +-   -+   +-
                        T  Q  P   >  C  >   V  R  M
                        -+   +-   -+   +-   -+   +-
                         | R |     | B |     | S | 
               | F |              +--C--+              | P | 
              -+   +-             |     |             -+   +-
              Q  P  S             |  B  |             N  O  U
              -+   +-             |     |             -+   +-
               | O |              +--A--+              | N | 
                                   |   |
                                   | A |
                                   |   |
    (ii) Iron Maiden B3
                                  |     |
                                  |  W  |
                                  |     |
                        +-----+    | W |    +-----+
                        |     |   -+   +-   |     |
                        |  Z  X   Z  X  Y   X  Y  |
                        |     |   -+   +-   |     |
                        +-----+    | * |    +-----+
    * - Exit to the Keep
    The Eunic's Lot
    Shrieker HP 160 / MP 150
    Special Attacks: Silence, Psychodrain
    Much like her Quicksilver predecessor, the Shrieker moves fast and attempts to 
    use Sorcery spells on you before hitting you. She's weaker versus Light, Fire 
    and Air, but you really ought to be nailing her in the head with a crossbow bolt 
    or great sword before that becomes important. This is a locking trap room, so 
    there's no retreating once you're in.
    Ordeal By Fire
    Dark Dragon HP 850 HP / MP 0
    Special Attack: Poison Breath
    Prize: Verbena Sigil, Elixir of Kings
    The lack of Enchanter spells of relevance comes up again, but that doesn't mean 
    you can't cast Spirit Surge and fit your weapon with Angel Pearls. With the 
    Dragon weapon you must have by now, you could win this battle on physical damage 
    The Oven at Neisse
    This is where the warping tricks start again. Take either side passage as you 
    enter and you'll simply re-enter the same room from the other side - there's 
    wraparound, basically - so just head straight forward (you're facing south as 
    you enter).
    Ravana HP 750 HP / MP 750
    Special Attack: Heaven's Tear
    Prize: Schirra Sigil
    This is a mechanical version of Kali, with a very fast weapon strike special 
    added to the ability list. 
    The Mind Burns
    Again, this crossroads has sideways wraparound. Go straight forward, but check 
    for a Gust trap first.
    The Rack
    More side-passage wraparound, so go straight forward to exit once more.
    The Saw
    Dragon Zombie HP 500 / MP 0
    Special Attack: Rot Breath, 'untitled' (turns and swipes with tail - fart 
    Prize: Marigold Sigil
    There's something very odd going on with that 'untitled' special attack, but 
    otherwise this is a breeze. By now, you'll have a weapon versus Undead that will 
    take apart anything that moves without a pulse.
    The Cold's Bridle
    There are no less than three traps to Eureka for in this room, and the 
    wraparound means that you should head forward once more.
    The Shin Vice
    Ogre Zombie HP 620 / MP 120
    Special Attacks:
    Prize: Azalea Sigil
    This once-ogre is still strong vs Blunt weapons, and can resist chain combos 
    after the first hit or two. Single hits, then, and am I glad I made Soul Kiss 
    into a silver Crescent axe before coming here...
    Death HP 360 / MP ???
    Special Attacks: Thunderbolt, Gravity, Fire Storm
    THIS IS IMPORTANT. Before you start running around, try to keep a grip on where 
    you came in. As there's no map, there's no red dot indicator either. When you're 
    done, you want to head out the way you haven't been yet.
    Unexpectedly, Death has a Light affinity. He's not especially weak against Dark 
    attacks, though, so try to take advantage of the other flaw in his armour. Like 
    the Lich, Death is weakest versus Physical damage. That means the Talos Feldspar 
    and Titan Malachite gems will increase your weapon's power against him. Aim for 
    the arms and head, as with the Lich, to target the lightweight pieces of his 
    mage's armour.
    Even if you've met Death before, this room puts you at a disadvantage. While 
    you're running around trying to finish off the Ogre Zombie first, as is 
    sensible, Death is teleporting all over the shop and appearing just out of range 
    of your weapon to cast spells before you can react. As his spells are so 
    powerful, my technique was the Magic Ward one of maintaining anti-spell 
    protection while using chains of Raging Ache and Gain Magic to recoup that 
    essential mana. I survived first time, so maybe there's something in that.
    The Spider
    This time, you don't want to go straight forward. Each of the two side rooms - 
    Lead Sprinkler to the left and Squassation to the right - is a treasure room 
    with decent gear, so clear them out before taking the straight-on route to The 
    Lead Sprinkler
    Lich, Shriekers
    Chest (unlocked): Hoplite Helm (H), Mana Potion x 3
    There's a Paralysis trap right in front of the chest.
    Lich, Shriekers
    Chest (unlocked): Hoplite Shield (H), Cure Potion x 3
    This chest is guarded by Terra Thrust and Poison traps.
    The Strappado
    Lich Lord
    Let's establish a small format here. By entering from The Spider, you come from 
    the north entrance and are facing south. To take in all of the rooms in Iron 
    Maiden B2 so that you don't have to come here again, take the last direction 
    listed in every subsequent room description.
    East: Tablillas
    South: Tongue Slicer
    West: Thumbscrews
    Lich Lord
    Coming from Strappado, you enter from the east.
    South: Pendulum
    North: Brank
    West: Pendulum
    Lich Lord
    Check for one trap.
    Coming from Thumbscrews, you'll enter from the east or the north. Bear that in 
    mind before you leave Thumbscrews, to keep your bearings.
    West: Brank
    South: Dragging
    Check for one trap.
    Coming from Pendulum, you'll enter from the north facing south.
    South: The Rack (don't go this way, or you'll start again)
    West: Ordeal by Water
    East: Strangulation
    Lich Lord
    Coming from Dragging, you'll enter from the west facing east.
    East: Tongue Slicer
    South: Ordeal by Water
    North: Tablillas
    Coming from Strangulation, you'll enter from the south facing north.
    East: Tormentum Insomnia (this is the route to take if you want out NOW - skip 
    down to the entry)
    West: The Strappado (don't want to go there again)
    North: Ordeal by Water
    Ordeal by Water
    Coming from Tablillas, you'll enter from the south facing north.
    North: Strangulation
    East: Dragging
    West: Tongue Slicer
    Tongue Slicer
    Check for one trap. Coming from Ordeal by Water, you'll enter from the east 
    facing west.
    West: Strangulation
    North: The Strappado
    South: Brank
    Coming from Tongue Slicer, you'll enter from the north facing south.
    South: Thumbscrews
    East: Pendulum
    West: Tormentum Insomniae
    Tormentum Insomniae
    Ogre, Ogre Lord
    Coming from Brank, you'll enter from the east facing west.
    West: Tablillas
    South: the Rack (Again, you don't' want to restart from here)
    North: exit to Iron Maiden B3
    Iron Maiden B3
    The Iron Maiden
    Boss: Asura HP ??? / MP ???
    Special Attacks: Raven Eye, Caesar's Thrust, Heaven's Tear, Judgment
    Prize: Tigertail Sigil, Cure Potion
    I've got a really good tip for beating Asura, and that's the Sorcerer spell 
    Leadbones. Not only does this reduce her agility, it also dispels her Surging 
    Balm. And as she's so eager to keep restoring her Surging Balm, she'll waste her 
    time on that while you're getting in small hits. If you go for her legs and try 
    to wound them for a Movement 50% injury, she'll be so slow that you'll have time 
    to do whatever you want -- Break Arts and Heal, long chains and Vera -- in order 
    to finish her off.
    The one good spell in Asura's arsenal is Judgment, as it's a multiple-target 
    attack with a Light affinity. If your armour is weak versus Light (perhaps 
    you've been suffering lots of Dark spells and not Healing much) then resort to a 
    Magic Ward just in case.
    You've entered this crossroads from the south. Instead of going straight forward 
    this time - which will take you back to the Keep, and to a Magic Circle save 
    point - check out the left and right side doors first for treasure rooms.
    St. Elmo's Belt
    Lich Lord
    Chest (unlocked): Hoplite Leggings (H), Hoplite Glove (H), Elixir of Kings, 
    Elixir of Queens
    Dunking The Witch
    Lich Lord
    Chest (unlocked): Hoplite Armour (H), Hoplite Glove (H), Elixir of Kings, Elixir 
    of Queens
    When you've seen both, go to the Keep and save first at the Warrior's Rest - you 
    don't want to waste all of that time and effort. Then you can go try out all of 
    the new Sigils you've acquired. Basically, they grant access to a number of Time 
    Trial boss battles in the various rooms that lead off from the Keep's main 
    corridor. On your first play, you could only get to see the Minotaur and Dragon 
    at best. Now you've got the lot.
    Getting 100% Completion
    The Gazette feature under the Score Option will tell you how much of the game 
    you've explored, as a percentage. You can use the map menu here to consult just 
    how far you've explored in any area, and the obvious trick is to look for the 
    white spots of doors that don't lead onto new rooms. Those spots may also be 
    locked Gates or Doors marked with an ???.
    Look, especially, for any minor unlockable areas that join different maps. Using 
    the Gold Key in Corner of Prayers in Undercity West, for instance, opens up just 
    two new staircases, but one is in Undercity West and the other is in Abandoned 
    Mines B2. Both areas are incomplete until you join them.
    If that's all done, and you can't find any doors or passages you haven't taken, 
    then the chances are that you've missed a location or more in one of the areas 
    with warps: namely, Snowfly Forest and Iron Maiden B2. To be complete, your maps 
    for these areas need to show 26 areas and 22 rooms, respectively. Compare your 
    maps with the ones below.
    <NB I'll have some more details shortly but, in the meantime, Ivan Gluscic 
    (ralf@ikari.dhs.org) has posted a very neat ASCII map of the Snowfly Forest's 
    warps on the GameFAQs Vagrant Story page. Nice one.>
    The last boss counts as the last 1%, so if you're already on 99% then the 
    chances are that you're not missing anything at all. When you've beaten him 
    after visiting every location in the game, you'll find the 04 'Wanderer in 
    Darkness' Title for 100% completion waiting for you on the Game Clear Data when 
    you next play. 
    Chasing down missing chests is more arduous: perhaps you didn't have the 
    inventory space to take any more gear, or you were missing a Chest Key at the 
    time, or maybe you reverted to an old save file and forgot to revisit a chest 
    you'd just opened. I've done all of these things in my time, so I've tried to 
    list the location, lock types and contents for all the chests in the game. The 
    Gazette feature under Score will let you know how near you are to finding all 
    the chests, and checking 100% of them grants you the (03) 'Treasure Hunter' 
    In response to some incredibly clueless pleas for help, this section includes 
    both basic and advanced playing tips and explanations of the game system. Have a 
    read anyway as - you never know - there might be something in here you haven't 
    spotted yet.
    (a) Attributes
    STR (Strength) determines the amount of damage you inflict when attacking with a 
    melee weapon. It also influences how resistant you are to an enemy's weapon 
    attacks, with higher STR reducing the amount of damage you take. STR can be 
    raised temporarily with the Herakles spell to increase damage, or reduced 
    temporarily with the Degenerate spell to decrease damage.
    INT (Intelligence) determines the amount of damage you cause with magic. 
    Increasing your brainpower with Enlighten will temporarily raise the amount of 
    damage that your spells inflict, while Psychodrain will reduce your spell 
    AGL (Agility) is used to determine your speed and your jumping potential in the 
    platform elements of Vagrant Story, but also determines your chance to hit an 
    opponent in the menu-driven combat sections. (Yes, it's one of those 
    Agility=Dexterity=Perception shortcuts that many RPGS, both paper-&-dice and 
    computer, often resort to for simplicity). If you increase your AGL with 
    Invigorate, your chance to hit an opponent with both melee weapons AND Warlock 
    spells will improve while making you more difficult to hit.
    Besides the Sorcery spell enhancements, the items you choose to equip will 
    affect your attributes. Every weapon has its own STR that is added to yours for 
    the purposes of resolving attack damage, while a heavy suit of armour might have 
    a large minus value on its AGL that will slow you down slightly. 
    There are no 'experience levels' in Vagrant Story, but consuming certain items 
    (elixirs, wines) will raise your stats permanently by a few points, as will the 
    bonuses acquired after defeating a boss. These points will start to make a 
    considerable difference as they add up over the course of the game. Otherwise, 
    the way to improve your effectiveness rests in improving your equipment through 
    (b) Weapon Types
    This is the single biggest cause of new players feeling that the game's too 
    hard, and they don't have a clue about how to get around it. If you're having 
    trouble hurting enemies then this is very likely the reason.
    Not all weapons are the same, and there are three different types in Vagrant 
    Story. Some are Blunt, meaning that they have a flat face for smashing the 
    enemy; some are Edged, meaning that they have a sharp cutting edge for slicing 
    up the enemy; and some are Piercing, meaning that they stab the enemy with a 
    sharp point. All weapons fall into one of these three categories.
    Your enemies will have varying resistances to these weapon types. Imagine 
    fighting a Skeleton: if you stabbed at it with a rapier, the point of your blade 
    would be likely to slip harmlessly through the gaps in its ribs. But if you were 
    to take a large club to its pelvis, the chances are that you'd shatter its 
    brittle bones. So, as expected, the Skeleton has a resistance to Piercing 
    weapons but is weak against Blunt weapons. And that, in a nutshell, is the 
    secret of the weapon Type Ratings. You need to find the right weapon for the 
    So if you've been attacking enemies and finding that your chance of damage is 
    given as zero, the chances are that you need to try a different weapon type. 
    When starting out, therefore, you should always try to carry a Blunt weapon, an 
    Edged weapon and a Piercing weapon so that you can try one if another isn't 
    having much success.
    Not all weaknesses are obvious. For instance, an enemy might be wearing chain 
    mail that you can't actually see on their in-game representation. Chain mail is 
    very good at deflecting Edged blades, but a Piercing attack could find a hole in 
    the links through which to penetrate. That's not something you'd guess when 
    trying to slice up an enemy with your sword. For this reason, you should learn 
    to use the Analyze spell so that you can read the enemy's strengths and 
    weaknesses versus different weapon types directly. Until you get the Analyze 
    spell, trial and error is your best bet.
    Weapon Type is the most important factor in resolving basic combat, and all of 
    the various creature-class and elemental affinity bonuses are just that: 
    bonuses, applied afterwards. That's not to say you couldn't eventually craft a 
    Skeleton-slaying rapier by magically enhancing it or improving it through use, 
    but if you're starting out then these bonuses play a lesser role.
    Of course, if everything you have is still unable to cause an iota of damage 
    then, especially early in the game, you may need to resort to attritional combos 
    and use some pretty desperate chain abilities to wear down your opponent. See 
    the Chain Abilities section for help with that. The support spells of Sorcery 
    are also incredibly useful for swinging the balance in your favour.
    (b) Elemental Affinities
    There are seven 'elements' at work in Vagrant Story. To make sense of its 
    elemental modifier system, you need to look at it as a matter of attack versus 
    defence. The basic rule here is that every elemental attack is weak against 
    defence of the same type, strong versus defence of an opposite type and average 
    versus all else. The elements are:
    Physical      - a neutral attack
    Air           - opposite of Earth
    Earth         - opposite of Air
    Fire          - opposite of Water
    Water         - opposite of Fire
    Light         - opposite of Dark
    Dark          - opposite of Light
    So if you come up against a Fire Elemental, a Water-based attack is the best way 
    to hurt him and douse his flames. When that Elemental strikes back, you want a 
    defence with the same elemental affinity as his attack (perhaps a shield with a 
    Fire-affinity gem attached to it, or the Enchanter spell 'Pyro Guard' active) to 
    weaken the effectiveness of his assault.
    Your equipped items will gradually accumulate elemental bonuses as you use them, 
    and these bonuses will improve the items with respect to the creatures they've 
    encountered most often. In effect, your items gain 'experience'. So if you 
    repeatedly fought Fire Elementals with the same equipment then your weapon would 
    gradually acquire Water bonuses after successful attacks, but your armour would 
    pick up Fire bonuses from successfully deflecting fireballs.
    (c) Enemy Thought Bubbles
    Even though they seem to sense your presence by casting Sorcery spells on your 
    arrival, not all enemies will spot you as soon as you enter a new area. With 
    some of the slower creatures (Zombie Mages, Skeletons resting as bone-piles) 
    it's even possible to sneak up or charge them and attack before they see you. 
    You'll know if a creature has spotted you and is planning to attack, as at this 
    point it will start to display the ellipsis '...' thought-bubble cycle over its 
    head. When this thought-bubble turns to an exclamatory '!' then it is ready to 
    attack and will do so as soon as you are in range. Your enemy will not be able 
    to attack again until it has cycled through its dot-dot-dot bubble to another 
    If you drop down into an area where a creature is already waiting below with a 
    '!' showing, and you happen to land within range of its attack, that creature 
    will automatically land the first blow.
    (NB: while enemies will normally wait for Ashley to touch down before they 
    strike, Ashley can happily hit opponents as they sail through the air or drop 
    down from crates. It's one of the built-in advantages of the game, and worth 
    exploiting if you haven't already. Ashley needs to be on solid ground himself 
    before he can attack or cast spells or change weapons, so stay on terra firma 
    and let the enemy do all the leaping. You can go exploring later, and if Ashley 
    is struck while hanging from a ledge then he'll be forced to let go).
    You can actually lose an enemy by moving out its range of perception, and if its 
    route-finding fails to lead it to you within a few moves, the creature will show 
    a small '?' over its head and stop for a moment. If you don't turn up then it 
    may begin looking for you by following its own pattern of movement.
    Along with the game's engine cut-scenes, the thought-bubble feature was 
    undoubtedly one of the reasons for those grossly inaccurate comparisons to 
    Konami's Metal Gear Solid made by early previews. I fell for it, so I should 
    (d) Line of Sight
    Vagrant Story makes good use of its 3D environment, and you can occasionally 
    exploit this to your advantage.
    If you take cover behind a wall or corner just as the enemy is about to strike 
    then an attack may be unable to reach you. Weapons will clang hopelessly against 
    stone, resulting in a MISS; Vulcan Lance spells will explode amid a stack of 
    boxes, fizzling out harmlessly. Multiple-Target spells will still frazzle the 
    entire area around you, though, so you're not safe from every kind of attack. 
    And if you're standing behind a wall but on a slope then it may not be clear if 
    the enemy's attack can reach you or not.
    A far more rewarding exploitation of this trick is to dodge behind an enemy and 
    use them as a living shield just as another enemy is about to attack. If you get 
    your position right, the attacker will strike and damage their colleague with 
    the attack intended for you. 
    The injured party will show a '\|/' thought-bubble when this occurs, and it 
    indicates an undocumented status of Confusion. Confused enemies react normally 
    with regard to themselves (casting Heal or Sorcery spells as usual) but if they 
    attack then they become less discerning in their choice of target. They'll still 
    aim for you if you're within range, but if not then they will happily attack 
    their allies instead. Judicious use of this trick can lead to some amusing in-
    fighting, as you stand back and watch Lea Monde's finest gouging holes in each 
    This system works both ways, so if you're in a tight situation and there are two 
    enemies in a line in front of you then you may not be able to hit the rear 
    enemy, even though their body locations are given as viable targets. If one 
    enemy is obscuring your line-of-sight on the next then they will take the hit 
    intended for their ally in the rearguard.
    (e) Enemy Friendship
    This trick follows on from the Confusion status, and is the discovery of Daniel 
    Day. I have got it to work by his method, but I think it's simpler than that. 
    Essentially, you need to heal an enemy - possibly several times - so that you 
    rescue it from a critical or near-death situation. You'll know if it works, 
    because the enemy will start following you everywhere, while displaying a little 
    thought bubble with a big, red heart! 
    Daniel's method gets enemies to ally with you by taking advantage of the 
    Confusion status mentioned in the previous section. Repeatedly position yourself 
    so that one enemy gets hit by its colleagues three times in succession. Then 
    keep casting Heal on that enemy until its wounds are healed (it may take more 
    than one Heal spell). If it works, you'll win the friendship of this enemy. The 
    loyal converted unit will fight other enemies on your behalf, and may be 
    targeted for attack by those enemies instead of you. 
    The state will be cancelled if you subsequently attack your enemy, but they seem 
    prepared to ignore the fact that you attacked them previously. If you try to 
    make friends with an enemy by healing them before they've taken three hits, 
    you'll need to start again from scratch to get another three enemy hits on them 
    before they'll be amenable to this technique again.
    (f) Status Ailments
    Enemies will try to react intelligently to status ailments, either on you or on 
    them, but there are a few loopholes in their AI that you can learn to exploit.
    For instance, creatures that use Silence will abandon spellcasting after 
    Silencing you, as they know this will cancel your Silent status. Spellcasters 
    are the most powerful enemies in the game, so they will view the maintaining of 
    your Silent status as a priority. All you need to do, then, is Paralyse them 
    physically with the Paralysis Pulse chain. This denies them their only 
    alternative course of action, and effectively befuddles them into doing nothing. 
    You'll see them stumbling backwards, '!' thought-bubble at the ready as they 
    wait for the Paralysis to wear off but don't know what to do in the meantime.
    Likewise, if you're Poisoned, Paralysed or Numbed by an enemy that's desperate 
    to see its major attack take effect then they may keep trying the same attack 
    after you counter it. So restore yourself and squeeze in an extra attack every 
    time they try it on. 
    Creatures with Sorcery spells often like to keep the odds in their favour. So 
    if, for instance, you hit them with Degenerate or Tarnish, then often they'll 
    keep trying to counter it with repeat castings of Herakles or Prostasia on 
    themselves. This wastes their time and their MP, and stops them turning their 
    attention to hitting you. Even when this technique fails then, at worst, you'll 
    be hit by an enemy whose equipment or attributes have been reduced in power.
    (g) The Spoils of War
    Enemies often have lots of great kit that you can steal by killing them. But if 
    you're after a specific item that they're carrying, the surest way to obtain it 
    is to repeatedly target the body location to which that equipment is attached. 
    Perhaps you'd like the weapon that they're carrying? Then try to kill them by 
    attacking the arm in which they're holding that weapon. The basic probabilities 
    for item acquisition rest on attacking the following locations with deadly 
    Right Arm    - equipped weapon, right arm armour
    Left Arm     - equipped shield, left arm armour
                   (equipped weapon for left-handed enemies)
    Head         - head armour, accessory
    Chest / Body - body armour, items from all adjacent locations
    Legs         - leg armour
    This isn't a guaranteed system, and you can often win unexpected items that were 
    nowhere near the location you targeted. All it does is positively influence the 
    probability of you getting the item you wanted, rather than determine it. Bear 
    in mind that there's also a probability of you winning a rare item associated 
    with that creature, rather than anything you can see on them. Getting the item 
    you really want may take many, many fights, so there's a lot of luck involved 
    In some areas, the items you win will be predetermined. In the first three 
    levels of the game, for example, all of your wins are pre-scripted by the level 
    If the enemy only has one or two pieces of equipment attached, you might as well 
    hit them anywhere you please. The limited choice of booty you can win greatly 
    increases the chance of the prize being exactly what you were after, by default, 
    so you might as well get the job done quickly and keep fighting them until it 
    turns up.
    (h) Traps
    TRAPS CANNOT KILL YOU. At worst you will be reduced to 1 HP, although that can 
    be enough to introduce the risk of death in a room with at least one enemy left 
    Being killed by a bat you hadn't noticed would be bad enough. It would be more 
    embarrassing still if, in an empty room, you were reduced to 1 HP and then fell 
    into a river / hole / abyss for the loss of 20 HP... Traps can also be 
    reactivated by jumping up and down on them, so for both of these reasons it's 
    safer to walk off a trap rather than jump to be sure of getting clear.
    To spot traps in advance, spend an Eye of Argon item or cast the Sorcery spell, 
    Eureka. Using either of these methods will reveal the room's traps to all 
    occupants, though, so note that some traps can snare enemies too.
    Traps attack with an elemental affinity, so your armour bonuses will be taken 
    into account for the final damage total. That includes any Enchanter spells you 
    might have active at that time.
    TRAP            EFFECT
    Gust            Air affinity attack
    Inferno         Fire affinity attack
    Terra Thrust    Earth affinity attack
    Freeze          Water affinity attack
    Death Vapour    Light affinity attack
    Diabolos        Dark affinity attack
    Eruption        Physical affinity attack
    Poison Trap     Causes "Poison" status
    Paralysis Trap  Causes "Paralysis" status
    Curse Trap      Causes "Curse" status
    Heal Panel      Restores HP, reduces RISK to zero
    Cure Panel      Cancels Poison, Numbness and Paralysis status
    Trap Clear      De-activates all trap panels in the room
    (i) Interface Options
    The options available under this sub-menu are woefully undocumented, and you may 
    have been playing the game at a disadvantage by not understanding just how much 
    helpful data it can provide.
    When you first call up the screen, you'll see Ashley and his basic stats 
    displayed. You can use the D-pad to move the arrow cursor from entry to entry 
    for extra information on what each particular stat means.
    As shown, pressing the SQUARE button calls up some status info on creature-class 
    and elemental affinities. You can keep pressing the SQUARE button to cycle 
    through the available lists.
    But if you press the CIRCLE button instead, you'll get a list of Ashley's 
    equipped items. Select any one of these with the arrow cursor and you can cycle 
    through the individual status screens with the SQUARE button. Aside from the 
    useful Creature / Element / Type details, do you see those + and - signs at the 
    end of each entry? These figures tell you all of the bonuses acquired since you 
    last saved or swapped items, with overall pluses shown in blue and losses shown 
    in orange. If you really want to keep track of the progress of your items, this 
    is where to check.
    You can use the X button to backtrack out of both of these modes.
    But here's the piece de resistance. Whenever you enter a new room, call up the 
    Status screen and use L1 & R1 to cycle. All of the monsters in that room are 
    instantly revealed and displayed. If you wish, you can immediately check the 
    items they're carrying by using the CIRCLE button. Successfully using the 
    Analyze spell merely fills in the ??? entries with firm details, enabling you to 
    check creature status info on elemental / type rating defences with the SQUARE 
    button, or individual equipment info with the CIRCLE button followed by status 
    info cycling.
    For extra fun, you can hold the L2 collar button and use the directional pad or 
    the controller's other thumbstick to manipulate the 3D representation of the 
    creature shown, whether that's Ashley or his enemies. It works just as it does 
    in the Encyclopedia.
    Accessed by holding L2, this is one of the finest and most intuitive pad 
    shortcut menus I've seen since Secret of Mana's 'torus' GUI. The full menu will 
    fill in as you acquire new options, and after a while your hands will learn to 
    find the desired sub-menu without the need to read it.
    With judicious use of the L2 button, you can also achieve a pseudo-'frame-by-
    frame' advance in the heat of battle. Hold L2 while an enemy's attack animation 
    is underway and wait for the menu to pop up, indicating that you have regained 
    control. Now release and hold again, release and hold...
    (j) Tricks and Tactics
    Once you've mastered the guard timing for the tail whip, the deadliest special 
    attack in a dragon's repertoire is its multiple-target breath weapon. So here's 
    the tip: the dragon can only use its breath when you're beyond a certain range. 
    If you run in close at the start of the battle, staying under its head and neck 
    even when it tries to back off, then the dragon will be forced to resort to a 
    lunging bite or tail swipe instead.
    When you beat a major boss, you'll be given the chance to increase your stats 
    with a little lottery wheel of possible upgrades. Simple HP bonuses are most 
    common, with high STR, INT and AGL modifiers being rarest. As soon as you can 
    read it when the wheel starts to turn, look at the second prize to roll down 
    through the window. If it's something you wouldn't mind having, start jamming on 
    the button immediately for all you're worth and you'll get it. Likewise, if it's 
    completely undesirable, you should let the wheel roll on a little before you 
    press. It would seem that the bonus highlighted in the window when you press 
    really is the one you get, but being able to pick out a good one at such high 
    speed is no better than sheer luck.
    I thought this was too obvious to mention, as surely you must have used it 
    before in any game with the same mechanisms, but people keep sending it in... 
    Use your elixirs after you've saved. If you get a string of +1 results, reload 
    and try again for those +4s before saving again. Though if you find yourself 
    replaying boss battles for better results, please bear in mind that your time on 
    Earth is desperately short and you still have much to achieve.
    If you open a chest, then decide that you haven't got inventory space to take 
    advantage of its spoils, you can opt to close the chest immediately with the End 
    (X button) option. The chest will close again and retain its treasures. If you 
    take so much as one item, though, anything you leave behind will be lost.
    Prizes marked in yellow text are impossible to ignore, as these are key items 
    required for the game to progress.
    6. WEAPONS
    Getting to know your weapons intimately is the mark of a successful Riskbreaker, 
    and this 'technical' side of gameplay carries more tactical weight in Vagrant 
    Story than in most of Square's recent RPGs. 
    When you arm yourself with a weapon, its STR, INT and AGL values are added to 
    your own for the purpose of resolving combat. So the relative powerfulness of a 
    weapon is determined by its attributes -- the higher they are, the better.
    STR determines your base damage for melee combat, so the stronger the weapon, 
    the more damage it will cause. As you progress, you'll discover that 'better' 
    weapons are those that start with a higher STR value.
    Your capacity for magical damage rests on your INT, and some weapons have better 
    INT ratings that will improve your spellcasting potential. The staff, 
    especially, is designed to be used by budding wizards.
    Your AGL determines your attack speed (among other things) so you'll find that 
    heavier weapons have a lower AGL - which may even be negative for very slow, 
    cumbersome hammers and the like - while faster, lighter daggers can actually 
    improve your combat AGL.
    As weapon designs improve to deliver greater STR or longer range, the pay-off is 
    always a higher RISK rating for the blade. Every time you make a first strike 
    with a weapon, the amount added to your RISK bar will correlate directly to the 
    RISK of the weapon you're using.
    As for the kinds of weapon you designate, the Type rating is far more important 
    than you may initially realise. All creatures and armoured foes will have a set 
    resistance to various types of weapon. At the start of the game, when your 
    weapons have no exceptional bonuses, Type carries even more importance in 
    dealing damage than creature-class and elemental affinities put together.
    There are three Type ratings for weapons: Blunt, Edged, and Piercing. Blunt 
    weapons rely on bludgeoning foes for damage; Edged weapons cut through the 
    enemy; and Piercing weapons rely on the focus of energy on a sharp point to 
    deliver a puncturing attack. 
    In short: if you draw a weapon against a foe and suddenly discover a prospect of 
    zero damage or 0% chance of hitting, the chances are that you're using the wrong 
    Type of weapon. Try swapping to a different weapon type, even if you've 
    dedicated that weapon to fighting a different class of creature, and see if it's 
    suddenly better against that creature. Eventually, you may discover that you 
    need to nurture a different Type of weapon against the class of creature you're 
    fighting. The workshop can help here, letting you turn a rapier with Phantom 
    bonuses into a hammer, and so on.
    While Ashley Riot doesn't gain experience in any conventional RPG sense, his 
    equipment does. The more you use a particular item, the better it gets at its 
    The most important rule in Vagrant Story is that you should never discard 
    anything you've used successfully.  Instead, upgrade it and reforge it when the 
    opportunity presents itself. The central principle of the game's system is that 
    everything you equip will improve with use, so an old bronze helmet that's been 
    through the wars will offer more head protection than a brand new iron one 
    you've just discovered. This is where the Workshops come in: by combining that 
    old bronze helmet with the iron one, you'll create a brand new helm in superior 
    hagane alloy that will boast the strengths of the iron and the accumulated 
    experience of the bronze.
    The way that the experience system works is very simple. If your bronze helm is 
    frazzled by a fireball, its resistance to fire stands a chance of increasing. 
    This would equate to an increase of +1 in its Fire statistic, but may also lead 
    to a decrease in a different statistic. When such changes occur, they are 
    displayed in the lower left corner: a blue message indicates a stat increase, 
    while an orange message reports a stat drop. You can disable this Weapon Status 
    display in the Options menu.
    The simple version of this tactic is to choose a weapon that you'll use solely 
    and exclusively against a particular class of creature, then stick with it. In 
    other words, reserve a weapon that's solely for use against Humans; carry a 
    different weapon that's solely for use against Beasts; and so on. Perhaps you'll 
    decide, early on, that the Rapier makes a great zombie-bursting tool: in which 
    case, stop to equip the Rapier whenever you fight zombies or any other form of 
    Undead creature. By doing so, you put that weapon on the fast track to becoming 
    a zombie-slayer, accumulating bonuses against all creatures in the Undead class 
    and improving its performance dramatically. This can mean a lot of fiddling with 
    your inventory in areas with mixed class foes - personally, I'm not averse to 
    swiping the odd zombie with a dragon-spear for the sake of an easy life - but if 
    you're reasonably diligent then you'll soon establish an arsenal of powerful and 
    dedicated weaponry.
    The other bonuses you'll start to clock up are those of elemental affinity. In 
    the Wine Cellar, for instance, you'll be hitting both Silver Wolves and Bats. 
    Bats have an Air affinity, being weak versus Earth, while Silver Wolves are 
    Dark-aligned with a weakness to Light. So while both will give up Beast bonuses, 
    you'll also get Earth+1 / Air-1 and Light+1 / Dark-1 bonuses attaching 
    themselves to your weapon too. 
    Such bonuses for weapons are only possible on the first hit of an attack, and 
    subsequently chained moves will not accumulate any further bonuses. So if you 
    want to advance a weapon quickly, stick with single hits instead of combos.
    It's also possible to 'double up' quite efficiently, so that you can get a 
    weapon to be effective against more than one class of creature, and the way to 
    do that efficiently is to consult the Quick Manual on the relatively 'safe' gaps 
    between class affinities. Essentially, the best combinations are Human and 
    Phantom, Beast and Dragon, Undead and Evil. Instead of having six different 
    weapons, you could try to get by with three. If this is hurting your head then 
    that's all you need to know, and you can move on now.
    Although this is explained in the Quick Manual, it doesn't really tell you how 
    to exploit it. I've got more space available to me than the poor manual writer, 
    though, so here goes.
    When you win a bonus of +1 on your equipment through use, there's also a chance 
    of a -1 being applied to another of the equipment's attributes. With the 
    elemental modifiers, that's easy to guess. If you get a Fire +1, then a Water -1 
    is most likely to balance it out. But with creature classes, there's a more 
    complex system of priorities.  It looks like this, and you're welcome to pull 
    faces of anguish at this stage.
    Say you've got a Dragon-slaying weapon. That means for every time you get a +1 
    against Dragons, any -1 modifiers are mostly likely to come from the next 
    immediate classes in the list, in that order of priority. Here, Evil follows the 
    Dragon so that means Evil is the class most likely to get a -1 for every Dragon 
    +1. Human is next most likely to see a -1, and so on. (This list actually wraps 
    around, too, so Beast, Undead and Phantom would follow after Human). Go check 
    against your weapons now and see how it's already worked on your gear.
    To take advantage of this, you could actually use one weapon against two 
    creature classes. Now, if you used your Dragon-slayer to kill Dragons then your 
    weapon's Phantom affinity would hardly ever be affected. But every time you then 
    killed a Phantom, you'd almost always be losing Dragon points. So you need to 
    balance out the probabilities to find the classes that least interfere with each 
    In this instance, the Dragon-slayer could happily deal with Beasts too and only 
    occasionally would you lose some of your hard-fought points. An Evil weapon 
    could be doubled to fight Undead, and a Phantom weapon could be doubled for 
    In the long term, this system is *slightly* slower than creating weapons 
    dedicated solely to one class, as sometimes you will exchange points between the 
    two classes. Also, your weapon's elemental affinities may advance more slowly 
    because of the broader range of creatures you're attacking. Then there's the 
    issue of gem attachment, that reintroduces the menu-fiddling you might have been 
    hoping to avoid... Nevertheless it's something to consider, especially if you're 
    fed up with weapon-swapping or want to free up your inventory for greater 
    carrying capacity.
    When looking at the information on weapons or items you possess, you might have 
    seen some described, variously, as a "Knightly Weapon" or "Prestigious Shield".
    To understand this, look at the stats that the item possesses. The rule that 
    governs an item's calibre or 'title' is determined by the two highest values it 
    can boast in either creature class or elemental affinity. Both values need to 
    reach the next plateau to advance: so you might have a weapon that has almost 
    100 vs Human-class opponents, but perhaps the next-highest value in either 
    creature-class or elemental attributes is 55. This would still mean you have no 
    more than a Warlord's Weapon, because the secondary factor is still only in the 
    50-59 range. It's only when these attributes jointly achieve a certain minimum 
    attribute level that an item's fame or 'title' is allowed to advance.
    Minimum Attributes      Title
    Below 10                Weapon / Shield / Armour 
    10 to 19                Warrior's Weapon / Shield / Armour 
    20 to 29                Knightly Weapon / Shield / Armour 
    30 to 39                Prestigious Weapon / Shield / Armour 
    40 to 49                Brave Weapon / Shield / Armour 
    50 to 59                Warlord's Weapon / Shield / Armour 
    60 to 69                Champion's Weapon / Shield / Armour 
    70 to 79                Glorious Weapon / Shield /Armour 
    80 to 89                Legendary Weapon / Shield / Armour 
    90 to 99                Supreme Weapon / Shield / Armour 
    above 99                Divine Weapon / Shield / Armour 
    The two highest values can be drawn from either creature class or elemental 
    affinity, so a Glorious Weapon could be Dragon 76 / Fire 71, or Dragon 76 / 
    Beast 71, or Fire 71 / Light 76, and so on.
    The title applies to the finished weapon, not the Blade, so you may also raise 
    its prestige by adding gems that boost the final stats.
    Picking the right weapon for the job is never easy to predict when you first 
    pick up Vagrant Story. By way of example, a mental association with frilly 
    duelling shirts and bodkins meant that I made the mistake of reserving a Rapier 
    for use against Phantoms, and only later did I discover that I was inadvertently 
    hindering myself. I've compiled the following to help you avoid my mistakes, but 
    please bear in mind that it inevitably includes a certain measure of personal 
    taste, too. If you want to use a dagger when I've recommended a two-handed 
    sword, look at the advantages and disadvantages entailed. As long as you 
    understand the factors involved, your choice should hopefully be as informed as 
    it is personal.
    The majority of human-class opponents wear additional pieces of armour, so Blunt 
    weapons enjoy many advantages here. On the other hand, you'll be fighting more 
    human-class opponents than anything else, so for this class it's more important 
    to pick a comfortable weapon that you really enjoy using. My own attachment to 
    Fandango meant that, bar an upgrade to Hagane, I stuck with it for the entire 
    game and eventually beat Asura with it. 
    Recommended Gems: Haeralis, Orlandu
    Recommended Accessories: Titan's Ring, Lau Fei's Armlet
    The majority of beasts are skin and fur, and the first creatures you meet will 
    be susceptible to Edged and Piercing weapons. The armoured shells of Crabs are 
    weak versus Blunt weapons but your most testing Beast battles will be against 
    Ogres and Ogre Lords, whose leathery hides possess a natural resistance to Blunt 
    weapons, so that's another reason to stick with the other types.
    Recommended Gems: Orion, Ogmius
    Recommended Accessories: Swan Song, Pushpaka
    Piercing weapons deal well with reanimated flesh, but a Blunt weapon exhibits 
    bone-shattering power against skeletons. You'll also meet zombie versions of 
    creatures from the other classes on occasion, so there's no perfect choice. 
    Since the Dead Who Walk tend to do so quite slowly, you can be sure of getting 
    near enough to use a close-quarter sword or dagger. Silver weapons come with 
    automatic bonuses against Undead: I used the early find of the Soul Kiss dagger 
    and honed it on zombies, later reforging it into a more powerful type of silver 
    Recommended Gems: Iocus, Balvus
    Recommended Accessories: Rood Necklace, Edgar's Earrings, Cross Choker
    Generally speaking, Piercing weapons are the most ineffectual against Phantoms 
    (some kind of ectoplasmic property, no doubt). Their ability to materialise in 
    and out of range similarly rules out very short daggers, unless you want to do a 
    lot of running around. But this class includes Elementals, whose attacks are 
    magical in nature, so you should still lean towards one-handed weapons that 
    would allow the simultaneous use of a shield decorated with protective gems. 
    Consider an intelligence-boosting staff to help you engage in magical battles: 
    granted, it's a low-STR club, and difficult to chain for physical attacks, but 
    the INT-boost is a good defensive measure.
    Recommended Gems: Trinity, Beowulf
    Recommended Accessories: Ghost Hound, Rune Earrings, Beaded Anklet
    If you want to get into the dragon-slaying business on a professional level, you 
    can't beat a scale-piercing spear or two-handed sword. Reach is very important 
    if you want to be able to locate weak spots other than the head, and the dragon 
    will make every effort to stay facing you. Build up your blade by practising on 
    the copious numbers of Lizardmen, as you'll only meet dragons in a boss 
    capacity. Since Lizardmen can't use spells or special attacks, a shield is less 
    important anyway.
    If you would rather have a one-handed weapon and then have to face off a fully 
    grown dragon, a neat trick is to get in under its head and stay close. The 
    dragon can't use its breath attack if you're practically hanging from its neck, 
    so you'll only have to fend off its less serious bite attack instead.
    Recommended Gems: Dragonite, Sigguld
    Recommended Accessories: Dragonhead, Faufnir's Tear
    The majority of Evil creatures you'll meet will be able to fly or teleport, so 
    the extreme range of a crossbow can prove useful here. To take on more fearsome 
    creatures, such as those suits of animated armour from the Dullahan upwards, a 
    stronger melee weapon and shield combination needs to be invested in too. Look 
    for a good sword or hammer to complement the crossbow, or you'll be rendered 
    ineffectual towards the end of the game.
    Recommended Gems: Demonia, Angel Pearl (for Dark enemies only)
    Recommended Accessories: Agales' Chain, Rune Earrings, Balam Ring
    The advantages of the dagger reside in its speed, its friendly agility modifiers 
    and its low RISK. This class of weapons actually encompasses all forms of short 
    blade, up to short swords: only a few are genuine Piercing weapons, with heavier 
    blades featuring a curve or hook and thus counting as Edged weapons. The payoff, 
    as you can guess, is that the range remains resolutely short, and this can 
    greatly reduce the choice of hit location when trying to catch up with a fast 
    Nevertheless, more advanced designs like the Khukuri and the Baselard also offer 
    extreme weapon STR and damage potential, even though the base RISK remains 
    consistently at 1 (even the Stiletto and Jamadhar, the most powerful daggers, 
    have a base RISK of only 2).
    The stalwart sword is likely to be the weapon of choice for some players, 
    allowing the simultaneous use of a shield for a balanced measure of offence and 
    defence. With later grips providing spaces for up to three gems, this set-up can 
    really benefit the player who enjoys using both magic and fighting skills in 
    There's a definite Eastern bent to Vagrant Story's one-handed swords - literally 
    - as most of them feature the innovation of a curved blade to focus the force of 
    the cut at the point of contact (historically, many European designs had 
    straight edges with a tapered point for 'cut and thrust'). The Rapier appears to 
    be the only form of Piercing sword in the game, but if you fancy sticking with 
    one for its unique bonuses against certain creatures then your own increase in 
    strength will gradually overcome the shortfall in the blade itself.
    The reason for grouping both weapon types in this category is that they share 
    the same grips, to which you may fit either Blunt or Edged heads. As with the 
    sword, these one-handed weapons allow the use of a shield for both offence and 
    defence in equal measure. If you had to choose between sword or mace and axe, 
    the difference would rest not just on the attributes of the available blades and 
    grips but also in the usefulness of the various Break Arts against your intended 
    The purpose of the staff is to improve your spell-casting ability by raising 
    your intelligence rather than your strength. It's your opportunity to play a 
    proper wizard rather than the warrior-mage that sums up Ashley's normal 
    To act the part, you should also look to equip other items that improve your 
    intellect. Look for accessories with a high INT rating, and also keep an eye out 
    for gems like Hellraiser, Polaris, Manabreaker and the myriad high elemental 
    gems with an INT boost of 6. The bonus of higher intelligence means that a staff 
    also provides magical *defence* as well as offence, so it can be worth taking a 
    bit of time to cultivate one. By the time you come to replay, you'll be hurling 
    stronger fireballs than Ifrit can muster.
    The physical strength of a staff is lousy, by way of balance, but you can still 
    improve its performance dramatically by building it up against enemies. It's 
    remarkably tricky to combo at first, thanks to some very sudden and unexpected 
    timings attached to its animations, but in the context you should never perform 
    more than single hits or short special effect chains anyway (Gain Magic can be 
    useful when the Drain Magic spell is unavailable or ineffective). RISK is a real 
    probability-killer, so you want to keep it in single figures to maximise your 
    potential for offensive Warlock spells. On the other hand, note that Sorcery and 
    Shaman spells thrive on RISK. 
    This category of two-handed weapon covers everything from the Scottish Claymore 
    to the Japanese Nodachi, but straight-edged European designs are dominant. In 
    exchange for the loss of your shield, you gain the advantage of superior range 
    and immense damage. That extra reach can mean the difference between being hit 
    by a killer spell and being able to cut down a materialising Lich Lord before he 
    can open his gob, so the best tactic for using this weapon is to adopt a 'first 
    strike' mentality. The slow attack rate can make it less intuitive to combo for 
    long periods, but the principle here is that you shouldn't need more than a few 
    hits to slay anything.
    Much the same goes here as for Great Swords. An occasional advantage is that the 
    Runkasyle, Bhuj Type and Elephant grips have slightly better Edged or Blunt 
    ratings over the sword's Side Ring and Power Palm hilts. It can be a less agile 
    weapon than the Great Sword, by way of pay-off.
    If you thought one-handed maces were fun, wait till you have a swing on these 
    stars. This class culminates in the deadly Destroyer, which is as much fun as 
    you can have with a big stick (unless you manage to swipe a Minotaur's club - 
    consult the Secrets and Extras section for details on how to do this). Although 
    the game's descriptions portray many of these hammers as being effective against 
    armour, that's a little misleading: it really depends on the armour, and whether 
    it's weak or strong versus Blunt attacks, rather than the blade itself. There 
    are plenty of armour and shield types designed to withstand Blunt attacks.
    Range is the selling point of the polearm. It gives you a full choice of enemy 
    hit locations from a long distance, and you should be able to polish off most 
    enemies before they can get near enough to raise their weapons. With only 
    slightly less reach, the damage is also more respectable than the crossbow. 
    Fortuitously, there's none of the real-world drawback of wielding space either 
    (consider a man with a dagger standing one step away from a man with a polearm - 
    who'd win, do you think?). These melee weapons are also useful against large 
    bosses, with practically every dragon in the game having a weak spot versus 
    Piercing that the polearm is best placed to find. It's not exactly a magical 
    weapon, and pole grips tend to be short on gem slots in comparison with other 
    classes, leaving you with little beyond the brute force of the blade. That's 
    often sufficient to get the job done, though sometimes you'll wish you'd been 
    carrying a shield.
    This projectile weapon possesses an extreme range that is balanced by its low 
    damage potential and high base RISK. Crossbows are remarkably easy to combo, 
    though, and one way to exploit them is to use them for special effect chains 
    where damage isn't the priority - silencing or paralysing enemies, for instance 
    - before you move in with a melee weapon. Different models of crossbow will fire 
    either Piercing bolts or Blunt bullets, so it's important to find a grip with 
    ammunition that matches the attack type of the 'blade'. If you're about to 
    upgrade a crossbow through combination, move the cursor up to the result 
    beforehand to check that you're not about to create something for which you 
    don't possess an advantageous grip. This reflects the historical difference 
    between crossbows that were used to hunt game (the 'prodd', or stone-bow, 
    wouldn't tear huge holes when you wanted the fur) and those that were used to 
    hunt people (a pointed steel tip could punch through armour).
    This is incredible fun for the accomplished player, rather than a serious combat 
    option, but still worth investigating when you've mastered your core arsenal. 
    There's nothing quite like smacking a dragon in the jaw and seeing it collapse, 
    or humiliating thousands of years of esoteric magical wisdom by dropping a Lich 
    with a gut-punch, to prove to yourself that you've beaten the game.
    Martial Art attacks rely on bare fists, and you won't gain any class or affinity 
    bonuses for your hands by using them, so advancement is purely a matter of 
    scoring kills to earn those Break Arts. The fastest way to do this, therefore, 
    is to return to the early levels - Wine Cellar, Catacombs etc. - and to start 
    duffing up bats, wolves and zombies (when starting out, a cheap blast of Heal 
    magic will soften up Undead opponents for a quick killer punch). The advantage 
    of your hands remaining 'neutral' is that you won't even need to swap weapons 
    for this task. Martial Arts moves are just as effective when carried out with a 
    shield equipped, as your left hand will simply pummel the victim with the 
    shield's blazon.
    Not strictly a weapon, but it enjoys more active use than the rest of your 
    armour. It's easy to underestimate the value of a shield when you see the damage 
    attached to those big two-handers, but the difference it can make is phenomenal. 
    Like weapons, shields improve through use: so if you stick with one and let it 
    soak up the fractures and fireballs of a hundred battles, perhaps reworking it 
    or upgrading it occasionally to take advantage of some new item's positive 
    modifiers, you'll end up with a shield that can deflect the lightning of the 
    gods themselves.
    When you cast a spell on yourself in Battle Mode, the shield's bonuses will 
    count against you. If you happen to have a Manabreaker equipped, that means 
    there's a 20% chance of your own spell failing to affect you. Your best bet is 
    to disarm and cast the spell, but this isn't always possible in the heat of 
    battle. In such circumstances, using an item with the same effect as the spell 
    would be the surest course of action. 
    A point about gems intended for shield use. For one thing, the modifiers for 
    gems like Manabreaker and Nightkiller don't seem to be cumulative when doubled 
    or tripled up, as you might expect. A Shield with three Manabreakers still seems 
    to possess only a 20% chance of a causing a spell to miss (and in practice, it 
    seems like far more than four in five spells cast by enemies hit their mark: but 
    when *you* really need a Heal spell to take effect on yourself, and can't afford 
    to let your shield drop, sure enough...). One way to counter Manabreaker's -20% 
    is to have a Hellraiser gem (+20% spell success) equipped to your weapon: I'm 
    not keen on this technique, though, as both Hellraiser and Manabreaker possess 
    lousy stat increases for the space they take up. When your shield is powerful 
    enough, do away with Manabreaker and find something better to put in its place.
    7. RISK
    Admittedly, RISK is an odd game concept. The premise is that if you spend a long 
    time attacking one enemy with chain combos or defence abilities, you'll have 
    spent your concentration and will have less focus for dealing with further 
    attacks or defending against other enemies present. But in reality it's more of 
    an artificial balancing mechanism for the idiosyncratic combat system, to ensure 
    that you can't afford to just rattle off chains indefinitely. The more you try 
    to fit into each attack by using battle abilities, the less effective you become 
    in subsequent attacks.
    So the clever fighter learns when to use RISK moves and when not. If you've 
    found the game incredibly tough without knowing why, the chances are that you've 
    been letting your RISK run riot by assuming that it's all about chaining hits. 
    It is not.
    Low RISK: chance to hit is greater. Damage done is greater. Enemy chance to hit 
    is lower. Enemy damage done is lower. This applies to Warlock spells, Special 
    Attacks and Break Arts for both sides as well as ordinary melee combat. (NB the 
    chance of success for both Sorcery spells and Shaman spells is *lower*, 
    High RISK: chance to hit is reduced. Damage inflicted is reduced. Enemy chance 
    to hit is higher. Enemy damage done is higher. This applies to spells, Special 
    Attacks and Break Arts for both sides as well as ordinary melee combat. (NB the 
    chance of success for both Sorcery spells and Shaman spells is *higher*, 
    The solution is to restrict yourself to single hits and short combos. If you 
    can't seem to hurt the enemy with normal attacks, check first that you're using 
    the right weapon type for the job. If you read the Chain Abilities tips then 
    you'll find a few pointers for causing more damage against tough creatures. 
    Using long chains is a fighting style rather than a necessity, so don't assume 
    you can't avoid a high RISK. Use long chains only when your enemies are either 
    extremely tough to dent, or if you think you have a chance of finishing off the 
    main opponent by persevering with the chain you've initiated. Breaking down your 
    combos is another technique: RISK starts to accumulate additionally through 
    'persistence', so two six-hitters will incur less RISK than one 12-hitter.
    I finished my first playthrough with almost a hundred Vera Roots unused. This 
    made me feel remarkably stupid about all the times I'd spent waiting for my RISK 
    to fall before entering the next room. When you need these items, the game seems 
    to provide them in the form of spoils from enemy kills; so don't be afraid to 
    make use of them when you have them.
    The second Staff Break Art, Riskbreak, has RISK-reducing powers. It still needs 
    Vera help on occasion, though -- see Break Arts.
    If you know you're near one, a Heal Panel cancels all RISK immediately.
    RISK falls naturally over time in any case, but the process is faster when you 
    don't have your weapons drawn in Battle Mode.
    As your RISK rises, so does your chance of scoring a critical hit. This is 
    identified by a loud explosion of extra sparks when the weapon first connects, 
    and the result is double damage for that hit. If you chain an attack onto a 
    critical hit, it becomes a critical chain and each subsequent hit in that chain 
    will have its damage doubled too. You can only score a critical on the first hit 
    of any chain.
    There are occasions when you'll be forced to let your RISK rise to dangerous 
    levels, and that's when the enemy is seemingly invulnerable. If your chance of 
    success is 0 damage or 0% success with everything you've got (try different 
    weapon types first), and you can't retreat, you'll need to wear them down 
    through repeated attacks in the hope of penetrating their defences. Combo damage 
    increases slightly with each successful chain, so if you chain stubbornly then 
    you can begin to improve on that 0 damage, though very slowly. Read the Chain 
    Abilities section for more information.
    Don't forget that you can also use Sorcerer spells like Tarnish, Prostasia, 
    Degenerate and Herakles to swing the odds in your favour before embarking on 
    such combos. Unless the spell has a 0% chance of success, which indicates an 
    enemy immunity, you'll save yourself a lot of effort through this judicious use 
    of magic.
    Here's one area where high RISK can really help you out. High RISK means that 
    enemy spells will hurt you more, but those same modifiers will also work for you 
    when you try to cast a spell on yourself. A Heal spell cast when your RISK is at 
    100 will restore many more points of damage.
    This is another area where RISK positively benefits your chances of success. If 
    you're having trouble getting a Degenerate or Analyze to work, but the 
    percentage for success is shown as a real possibility (i.e. above 0%), that 
    percentage chance will increase with RISK.
    The RISK rating attached to Blades is added to your RISK total whenever that 
    weapon makes a first strike. It doesn't have any further consequence for a 
    chain, where the RISK rating of the chain abilities will come into play instead. 
    A high base RISK will be more noticeable when you do a series of single hits or 
    short chains, but if you enjoy tacking on long chains then it won't be so 
    The Break Arts are class-specific groups of weapon techniques that you'll master 
    over the course of the game. Each class of weapons has four Break Arts to learn, 
    and any weapon within that class can be used to perform any of the four Break 
    Arts. Generally speaking, the really useful Break Arts are those that have 
    special effects (i.e. paralysing an enemy or tarnishing armour); those that 
    greatly increase either the range or the strength of the weapon; and those that 
    change the weapon's attributes for something that might be more appropriate in 
    context (i.e. getting a Piercing-Type attack from an Edged Great Sword).
    Learning Break Arts is achieved by clocking up kills. Or, more precisely, 
    killing blows: the kill will be attributed to whatever weapon type delivered the 
    attack that actually finished off the opponent.
    Using a Break Art makes an immediate drain on your Health Points, with the more 
    powerful versions demanding more of your life:
    Break Art Level   HP Cost
    1st               25
    2nd               40
    3rd               55
    4th               75
    Note that the power and effectiveness of a Break Art is always dependent on the 
    enemy it is used against. In the best conditions, you will find that your victim 
    is weak versus both the Break Art's affinity and its Type rating. This means 
    that a 1st level Break Art could be more effective than a 4th level one in 
    certain circumstances. At other times, you might even fare better by delivering 
    a single, normal weapon blow than by trying to use a Break Art at all.
    I've seen Break Arts described as finishing moves, but that's highly misleading 
    (and unlikely to work for certain fighting styles). The success rate of a Break 
    Art is adversely affected by high RISK, in much the same fashion as normal 
    attacks, so it's more commonly at its most powerful at the start of battle. You 
    can improve your chance of hitting by raising your AGL with Invigorate. Increase 
    the damage by raising your own STR with Herakles and the weapon's STR with 
    (a) The Break Art / Heal Trick
    Here's a really easy trick that actually feels slightly cheap, especially when 
    you use it to beat a boss who's barely finished making their big entrance scene.
    Find a Break Art that does a reasonable amount of damage to your opponent (i.e. 
    either its Affinity, or Type, or both, will exploit an enemy weakness). With 
    your RISK at or near zero, use it once, twice, three times - as much as you 
    think is safe - and then heal unto you're fully restored. Then repeat the 
    process.  It really works, and because your RISK never rises you're as safe as 
    you can be against enemy attack.
    (b) The Break Art List
    (1) Whistle Sting
    Bludgeons foe with focused power from the blade.
    Affinity: as Weapon
    Type: Blunt
    (2) Shadoweave
    Paralyses foe with a damaging strike.
    Affinity: Dark
    Type: Blunt
    (3) Double Fang
    Repeatedly strikes the same location.
    Affinity: as Weapon
    Type: Piercing
    (4) Wyrm Scorn
    Splits the blade to attack from all directions.
    Affinity: as Weapon
    Type: Piercing
    (1) Rending Gale
    Launches a sonic wave to shred foe to pieces.
    Affinity: as Weapon
    Type: Piercing
    This Art has a tremendous range to rival polearms and even crossbows.
    (2) Vile Scar
    Forms a poisonous cloud to choke the enemy.
    Affinity: as Weapon
    Type: Edged
    The toxic aspect of this Art works like Poison Mist, and will thus have no 
    effect on immune creatures such as Undead.
    (3) Cherry Ronde
    Encases both blade and foe in an icy sheath.
    Affinity: Water
    Type: Edged
    (4) Papillon Reel
    Calls heavenly light down into the blade.
    Affinity: Light
    Type: Edged
    (1) Sunder
    Focused energies cut the life from foe.
    Affinity: as Weapon
    Type: Piercing
    (2) Thunderwave
    Paralyses foe with a damaging strike.
    Affinity: Air
    Type: Edged
    (3) Swallow Slash
    A quick flick of the blade deals double damage.
    Affinity: as Weapon
    Type: Edged
    This is one of the most powerful Break Arts available, as it's effectively a 
    single critical hit on call.
    (4) Advent Sign
    Rippling holy energy shreds foe.
    Affinity: Light
    Type: Edged
    In exchange for Light affinity, the range of this Art is seriously limited.
    AXE & MACE
    (1) Mistral Edge
    Whips a stunning sheet of air at foe.
    Affinity: as Weapon
    Type: Edged
    (2) Glacial Gale
    Numbs foe with a damaging strike.
    Affinity: Air
    Type: Edged
    (3) Killer Mantis
    A blinding rush damages and saps MP from foe.
    Affinity: as Weapon
    Type: Edged
    (4) Black Nebula
    Blasts foe with a burst of negative energy.
    Affinity: Dark
    Type: Blunt
    (1) Bear Claw
    Smashes foe with a luminescent downward strike.
    Affinity: as Weapon
    Type: Blunt
    (2) Accursed Umbra
    Curses foe with a damaging strike.
    Affinity: as Weapon
    Type: Blunt
    Duplicates the effects of the spell, Curse.
    (3) Iron Ripper
    Powerful blow that damages both armour and foe.
    Affinity: as Weapon
    Type: Blunt
    (4) Emetic Bomb
    Unleashes a series of slashing blows.
    Affinity: as Weapon
    Type: Edged
    Great name, that.
    (1) Sirocco
    Searing hot winds and wildfire engulf foe.
    Affinity: Fire
    Type: Blunt
    Instead of being straightforward attacks, the Staff's Arts tend to play up its 
    role as a wizard's conjuring zapstick.
    (2) Riskbreak
    Focused blow that deals damage and reduces RISK.
    Affinity: as Weapon
    Type: Piercing
    This is the only type of Break Art - or, indeed, ability -- that reduces RISK, 
    so it's rather special. However, since the hit needs to connect successfully for 
    the RISK reduction to take place, then it's slightly limited on its own: if your 
    RISK is 100, then the chances of a Riskbreak actually working are going to be 
    minimal. Using a cheap Vera Root beforehand is often enough to get decent odds 
    on cancelling the rest.
    (3) Gravis Aether
    Solidifies aether to crush foe.
    Affinity: Earth
    Type: Blunt
    (4) Trinity Pulse
    Crushes foe with a triad of shockwaves.
    Affinity: as Weapon
    Type: Blunt
    (1) Bonecrusher
    Energy release metes out a bone-crushing blow.
    Affinity: as Weapon
    Type: Blunt
    (2) Quickshock
    Numbs foe with a damaging strike.
    Affinity: Air
    Type: Blunt
    (3) Ignis Wheel
    A spreading sheet of flame engulfs foe.
    Affinity: As Weapon & Fire
    Type: Blunt
    (4) Hex Flux
    Fuses powers of Light and Darkness in one.
    Affinity: Light & Dark
    Type: Blunt
    (1) Ruination
    Lashes out with a focused thrust of energy.
    Affinity: as Weapon
    Type: Piercing
    (2) Scythe Wind
    Inflicts damage and tarnishes arms and armour.
    Affinity: Air
    Type: Piercing
    (3) Giga Tempest
    Energy storm damages both armour and foe.
    Affinity: as Weapon
    Type: Piercing
    (4) Spiral Scourge
    Whips air moisture into a penetrating whirlwind.
    Affinity: Water
    Type: Piercing
    (1) Brimstone Hail
    Unleashes the fury of the Dark to damage foe.
    Affinity: Fire & Dark 
    Type: Piercing
    (2) Heaven's Scorn
    The haft becomes a conduit for heaven's light.
    Affinity: Air & Light
    Type: Piercing
    (3) Death Wail
    Fires a bolt of pure demonic energy.
    Affinity: Earth & Dark
    Type: Piercing
    (4) Sanctus Flare
    Channels the powers of the dragons of light.
    Affinity: Water & Light
    Type: Piercing
    Crossbow Arts reduce in range as they get stronger, and this one actually has a 
    range more appropriate to melee weapons. 
    (1) Lotus Palm
    Focuses spirit into Ashley's fist.
    Affinity: Physical
    Type: Blunt
    (2) Vertigo
    Numbs foe with a damaging strike.
    Affinity: Physical
    Type: Blunt
    (3) Vermillion Aura
    Strikes the Dark using the power of light.
    Affinity: Light
    Type: Blunt
    (4) Retribution
    Turns the power of the Dark against itself.
    Affinity: Dark
    Type: Blunt
    To acquire Chain and Defence Abilities, you simply need to land enough hits on 
    enemies to reach the next target figure. That includes chains themselves, so a 
    five-hitter will bring you five steps closer to the next ability.
    (a) Chain List
    Heavy Shot
    RISK: 1
    Information: Inflicts an amount of additional damage equal to 70% of damage 
    The RISK of 1 makes this your basic combo ingredient for normal usage. It 
    possesses no special effect, and actually has a slight negative modifier on its 
    chance to hit: if your foe is resistant to chains, Heavy Shot will miss more 
    often than most. However, the damage it causes is significant enough when 
    successful that it's a good chain for preceding special chains like Gain Magic.
    Gain Life
    RISK: 2
    Information: Regenerates an amount of Ashley's HP equal to 30% of damage dealt.
    It's not especially powerful on its own, and if you use it to follow a low-
    damage chain then you'll have a hard time recouping health. To maximise its 
    power, use it after a heavy hitter or gradually build up the HP it regains by 
    alternating it in a longer chain.
    Mind Assault
    RISK: 1
    Information: Reduces foe's MP by an amount equal to 30% of damage dealt.
    There's no personal gain for this chain, as it's purely designed for ripping MPs 
    from enemies. If you use it early on in a duel then you can stop some creatures 
    casting their most powerful spells. When it starts turning up zeroes then you've 
    cleaned them out, although, like Ashley, they will regenerate mana over time.
    Gain Magic
    RISK: 2
    Information: Regenerates an amount of Ashley's MP equal to 30% of damage dealt.
    The amount of MP you gain is directly proportional to the damage inflicted by 
    the previous hit, so there are two ways to maximise the effectiveness of this 
    If your enemy is easy to hurt, you should immediately follow the initial strike 
    with Gain Magic to take advantage of that massive opening damage. This is often 
    enough to refill your entire Mana Bar in one stroke, allowing you to concentrate 
    on dealing damage thereafter.
    If your opponent is hard to hurt, and you're dealing damage in pitiful figures, 
    throw this into a chain like Raging Ache / Heavy Shot and alternate it a few 
    times to claw back a few single-figure MP gains.
    Raging Ache
    RISK: 1
    Information: Inflicts an amount of additional damage equal to 10% of the damage 
    Ashley has sustained.
    Right, here it is. Raging Ache is the most important chain in the game. Why? 
    Because of that "10% of the damage Ashley has sustained". If you're below full 
    health, Raging Ache gets better. So if you're losing a fight, Raging Ache will 
    help you win.  Say you have a max of 250 HP, and you're down to 80. That means 
    Raging Ache will initially carry an extra 17 HP damage (10% of 170) on its 
    opening blow, and will just keep growing from there. Even if the chance to hit 
    and hurt with the first blow said something like 0 / 0%, and proved correct, 
    Raging Ache would do that base 0 + 17 HP damage when chained successfully - and 
    would climb from there. You see the potential?
    And because it's so cheap in RISK, you can afford to keep alternating it with 
    something like Heavy Shot, Instill or even Crimson Pain and do major damage in a 
    short space. There's a whole fighting style here based on keeping yourself weak 
    and not healing every point of damage as soon as you lose it, and Raging Ache is 
    the key to that technique.
    Mind Ache
    RISK: 1
    Information: Reduces foe's MP by an amount equal to 20% of the MP Ashley has 
    This is the Raging Ache of MPs, though less useful. If you really want to strip 
    an enemy of Mana, go in after casting several spells and alternate Mind Ache 
    with Mind Assault. Unless you're up against a spellcaster boss, you'll 
    completely destroy their magic potential within a few hits.
    RISK: 2
    Information: Inflicts an additional 40% of damage on foe and repairs a small 
    amount of weapon DP.
    In practice, Temper isn't a very effective weapon-healer because it needs to be 
    used in chains. And every time you land a first blow on an opponent, you're 
    damaging your weapon. So the best you can hope for Temper to achieve is to slow 
    your weapon's degradation, rather than restoring all of its DP.
    Crimson Pain
    RISK: 2
    Information: Inflicts an additional 100% of damage on foe and deals 30% of base 
    damage to Ashley.
    This looks like a stupid idea at first: "What, I have to take damage to inflict 
    it?" But just you see if it isn't. If you're on full health then alternating 
    Crimson Pain with Raging Ache is one of the most powerful combos in the game, 
    and matches high damage with a high success rate as a result of the danger it 
    incurs. If you want to make short work of a Training Dummy for the item bonuses 
    then this is precisely the combo to use.
    The damage inflicted by Crimson Pain starts at the weapon arm and spreads 
    outwards, so the first sign of overuse will be a yellow / amber / red arm on the 
    indicator followed by an "Attack 50%" warning. 
    One odd thing to try with Crimson Pain is to alternate it with Gain Life. You'll 
    find that the damage it recoups exactly matches the amount drained by Crimson 
    Pain, so you can keep doing your heavy damage and then heal on the next chain. 
    The timing isn't exactly comfortable, though.
    RISK: 1
    Information: Inflicts additional damage equal to 10% of damage dealt and adds 
    that amount to PP.
    Not only is this a great low-RISK chain, with a superior chance of landing a 
    successful hit, but it also restores a considerable number of Phantom Points to 
    a weapon. That's useful when you've just repaired, sure, but use it with Phantom 
    Pain and you have an interesting little trick you can exploit...
    Phantom Pain
    RISK: 3
    Information: Inflicts additional damage equal to the total accumulated Phantom 
    Points in Ashley's weapon.
    You probably haven't paid much attention to Phantom Points, bar the fact that a 
    weapon on full PP does more damage. Well, here's something else to consider. If 
    you have a weapon with 100 PP, this chain will spend the whole lot in exchange 
    for a hit of base damage + 100. And you won't actually lose the weapon's PP 
    until the hit actually connects, so it's safe to keep trying it until it works.
    On its own, a single strike with this chain inflicts an impressive one-off 
    killer hit. But if you also use it with Instill and another chain, building up 
    the Phantom Points with a sequence of Instill + other and spending them again 
    occasionally with Phantom Pain, that killer hit needn't be a one-off. This 
    really benefits early weapons too, as you'll find the weakest bronze Spatha will 
    often possess more Phantom Points than a hagane Falchion that's had its DP and 
    PP compromised through constant reforging.
    Paralysis Pulse
    RISK: 3
    Information: Adds "Paralysis" to attack.
    A remarkably useful chain, this, as it carries a high success rate. Paralysed 
    enemies aren't stupid, and will retreat from battle just far enough to escape 
    the range of your weapons (they hope) while still keeping sight of you. 
    Paralysis wears off after a short time.
    Numbing Claw
    RISK: 3
    Information: Adds "Numbness" to attack.
    The trick to using this special is that you need to make it the last hit of a 
    chain. Hitting the enemy again will simply cancel their Numbed status. Numbness 
    prevents the enemy using their Special Attacks, and also slows their actions and 
    movement by 50%.
    Dulling Impact
    RISK: 3
    Information: Adds "Silence" to attack.
    This is one of the first chain abilities you should select, as the chance to 
    shut up one of those darned spellcaster enemies can't be overlooked. Combine it 
    with Paralysis Pulse and you can take a short holiday while your enemies skulk 
    off to recuperate.
    Snake Venom
    RISK: 3
    Information: Adds "Poison" to attack.
    As mentioned elsewhere, Poison works a little too slowly to be effective. If you 
    want to be cruel, though, try Poisoning and Paralysing an enemy before 
    disarming, letting your RISK drop as you watch them curl up in a corner and die 
    slowly. Some enemies will pack spells or Antidote items that will negate the 
    effect, though. Another way to exploit this is to use a crossbow or polearm to 
    Poison enemies who can't reach you, allowing you to sit back and take a break. 
    It's interesting, perhaps, but it's not the most efficient use of a chain unless 
    you're locked into a long battle.
    Creatures such as Undead are immune to Poison, so you're wasting your time by 
    employing Snake Venom against them.
    (b) Chaining Tips
    You only need two chains, used in alternation, to get a combo going. So if 
    you're having trouble with the timing at first, try a simple Heavy Shot / Raging 
    Ache combo and just stick to two buttons, getting a rhythm going until you get 
    used to anticipating when to press. After that, you can be more adventurous with 
    different abilities and all three chain buttons.
    Generally, chains with special effects have less predictable timings. Those that 
    Drain and Gain tend to have a long, pulling draw-cut motion, while specials such 
    as Paralysis Pulse demonstrate a rather flash spear-shake or sword flourish 
    that's harder to follow with the next button-tap. Different weapons have 
    different animations for the same Chain Abilities: many people find the crossbow 
    to be one of the easiest weapons to chain, for instance, because its animations 
    are slow and simple.
    Ashley has both vertical and horizontal weapon swing animations for dealing with 
    enemies in all directions, and there's a slight difference in their timings. If 
    you're trying to hit an enemy in a room far below, or you're on the bottom of a 
    ramp swinging up, your chain might switch to a series of vertical or overhead 
    combat moves rather than the ones you'd normally see. The crossbow is the 
    obvious exception, but this weapon still needs line of sight on an enemy or it 
    will ring a MISS.
    When you press the button correctly to use a Chain Ability in a combo, the 
    effect of that chain will only take place if and when the following hit 
    connects. So if you attack an enemy and tap Gain Life successfully when the 
    first strike lands, it will only be on the next hit that you'll actually stand a 
    chance of Gaining some Life. If that second strike is a MISS then Gain Life has 
    Long chains are not the be-all and end-all of the game. They're just one way of 
    fighting, and carry many disadvantages in factors such as RISK. The reason for 
    using them is that the damage caused by chains rises slowly but surely with each 
    successful chain: so if you've been having trouble causing any kind of damage to 
    a particularly tough enemy, chaining hit after hit is one way to start making a 
    And let's not forget, they can be a lot of fun too.
    But most of the time, you'll be able to get by on single hits and short chains. 
    Take the first few rooms: Bats fall after a single blow, but you only need one 
    successful use of the Heavy Shot chain for a two-hit combo to completely 
    obliterate the tougher Silver Wolf too. 
    When a combo slips over 8 chains, you'll notice that you start to incur an 
    additional RISK penalty for 'persistence'. Even with a low-RISK weapon and 
    chains, you'll see your RISK follow a sequence something like this:
    1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 20, 33, 48, 65, 84...
    So if you get carried away then your RISK will start to shoot through the roof, 
    and just a few more hits will place you in the vicinity of a full 100. Worse, 
    your accuracy degrades as you persist with a combo, so you may be acquiring RISK 
    points in exchange for a string of misses. If you like chaining, observe the 
    Magic 8-Chain limit and you'll prevent your combo / RISK ratio becoming 
    hideously inefficient.
    The exclamation indicates the point in the attack animation when you should have 
    pressed, so if you watch for it and then press, you're already too late. You 
    want to be pressing as the contact flash occurs. Watch the attack animation 
    instead, as the contact is just as good an indicator. The sounds are also very 
    helpful: listen closely to a crossbow fire and you'll hear the whup-whup-whup of 
    the bolt, which connects with its target at the end of the last 'whup'. You can 
    even switch off the ! indicator in the Options menu when you're feeling 
    You've got a very small 'window of opportunity' in which to hit the chain button 
    around the time that the ! indicator is visible. We're talking fractions of a 
    second, but the closer you get to the centre of that window, the better your 
    rating will be. So if you only get a GOOD!, you're nearer to a SLOW! or a FAST! 
    than if you'd hit a PERFECT! and may need to work on it just a little bit more. 
    It's my opinion that the window contracts slightly at regular waypoints (14, 21, 
    I'm not sure) to make it harder to keep the chain going.
    (c) Combining Chains
    I run the risk of repeating some of the individual entry information here, but 
    it may be worth it. Just a few pointers, then:
    Heavy Shot, Raging Ache, Instill
    These Low-RISK specials are your friends. Raging Ache and Heavy Shot alone are 
    enough to kill most of the enemies in the game, while Instill is useful for 
    bringing freshly-repaired weapons up to par and also has a very generous hit 
    success rate when compared to other chains. And they're all RISK 1, so they make 
    cheap, safe, sugar-free combo components.
    Raging Ache, Crimson Pain
    Read the individual entries for more info. If you want to make short work of a 
    Training Dummy, or any other creature that claims to be invulnerable to your 
    weapon damage, show them a few chains of this. One feeds the damage of the 
    other, so its power increases quite dramatically through use. It's risky if you 
    don't watch your health, but against certain enemies this is one of the quickest 
    means of destruction. If in doubt, have a Heavy Shot or even Gain Life on the 
    third button so that you're not forced to use the Crimson Pain every time. 
    Starting the chain while Ashley is on much less than full health also makes a 
    big difference to Raging Ache's initial damage, of course.
    Instill, Phantom Pain
    As described in the individual entries, the idea here is to build up plenty of 
    Phantom Points in your weapon, spend them all in one massive hit, then start the 
    cycle again.
    Paralysis Pulse, Numbing Claw, Dulling Impact, Snake Venom
    If you want to see these in action then you only really need to use them on the 
    first hit and leave it at that, although they have a slightly lower success rate 
    than other chains. Throw in a basic Heavy Shot and Raging Ache or similar on the 
    other buttons, so that you've something to alternate in case it requires a few 
    tries for the special to successfully take effect.
    (a) Defence List
    RISK: 1
    Information: Prevents Paralysis and Numbness.
    The Ward ability has a little secret that makes it easier to use than you might 
    imagine. It's active, rather than reactive, and can cancel Paralysis whenever 
    it's used successfully.
    Okay, explanation time. Say a Goblin Leader hits you with Stun Cloud, and you 
    fail to block it with Ward. You're now Paralysed but, as long as you're not 
    Numbed, you can still use your Defence Abilities. So if a Goblin then runs up 
    and hits you with a sword, use Ward again to deflect the hit. If successful, you 
    will cancel the Paralysed state, even though the Goblin's attack didn't possess 
    a Paralysis element. It's much easier to time a Ward defence against a crossbow 
    or sword animation, so this is a really neat trick to remember.
    Siphon Soul
    RISK: 6
    Information: Adds 50% of MP used in foe's magical attack to Ashley's MP. 
    Effective versus magical attacks.
    If you used this against a Dark Chant then you'd win 14 MP for the sake of +6 
    RISK and a possible heap of damage. Even a Gain Magic chain is more efficient 
    than that. When you're able to withstand a Meteor lvl. 4 then the pay-off is 
    rather better, but it's still something of a novelty. Perhaps if that 6 RISK had 
    bought you 80-100% of the MP then it would have been more useful earlier in the 
    Reflect Magic
    RISK: 2
    Information: Reflects 40% of damage. Does not reduce damage received. Effective 
    versus magical attacks.
    I love this for its poseur value, especially towards the end of the game, but it 
    has some usefulness beyond that. If your enemy is difficult to hit, a successful 
    Reflect will turn an enemy's superior firepower against them. As long as you can 
    stand the damage, the pay-off is immensely rewarding. It's especially gratifying 
    if you weren't even looking at the enemy at the time: *nobody* screws with a 
    Riskbreaker, even when your back is turned...
    Reflect Damage
    RISK: 2
    Information: Reflects 40% of damage. Does not reduce damage received. Effective 
    versus non-magical attacks.
    Ditto Reflect Magic, except that Reflect Damage is more manageable (no enemy 
    melee attack is as powerful as the strongest enemy spell, so it's safer to try) 
    and it's usually easier to time against the visible impacts of enemy melee 
    animations than to remember the hot-spot of a long spell.
    Absorb Magic
    RISK: 4
    Information: Reduces damage received by 20%. Effective versus magical attacks.
    I've never used this seriously, as it's better to equip a Guard defence that 
    matches the elemental affinity of the critter you're fighting and so earn a 50% 
    damage reduction. If you haven't got the right guard, or you don't know what 
    affinity of attack you might be facing, then this is an all-round measure that 
    requires no button swapping.
    Absorb Damage
    RISK: 4
    Information: Reduces damage received by 20%. Effective versus non-magical 
    If you either don't know or don't have the right affinity guard to deflect 
    something like a Dragon's Breath special attack, or you simply can't be bothered 
    to keep switching, then this is the next best defence.
    Impact Guard
    RISK: 4
    Information: Reduces physical damage by 50%.
    RISK: 4
    Information: Reduces Air affinity damage by 50%.
    RISK: 4
    Information: Reduces Fire affinity damage by 50%.
    Terra Guard
    RISK: 4
    Information: Reduces Earth affinity damage by 50%.
    Aqua Guard
    RISK: 4
    Information: Reduces Water affinity damage by 50%.
    Shadow Guard
    RISK: 4
    Information: Reduces Light affinity damage by 50%.
    RISK: 4
    Information: Reduces Dark affinity damage by 50%.
    Phantom Shield
    RISK: 6
    Information: Uses the accumulated Phantom Points in Ashley's shield to counter 
    an equal amount of damage.
    (b) Defence Tips
    You never know what you're going to come up against next, so use that Shortcut 
    menu to change your set-up whenever necessary. If you encounter a Snow Dragon, 
    slip an Aqua Guard onto one of the buttons before you engage in combat and use 
    it against its icy breath attack. 
    You still want to make your use of defences become a natural reflex, though, so 
    try to use the same buttons for the same kinds of guard and establish a habit. 
    For example, Impact Guard is a vital defence for all combat, so stick it on your 
    most comfortable button and leave it there. Forever, if possible. Choose another 
    button that you will always use for the elemental Guards, and make sure they 
    only ever appear on that button. Over time, your hands will grow accustomed to 
    finding the right button for the job without the need to remember what's where. 
    Anything that makes your reactions faster will improve the stopping power of 
    your Defence Abilities.
    The 20% absorb and 50% damage recoveries are processed after the full attack has 
    taken place, so don't be too shocked if you seem to die (0 HPs) and then recover 
    a small health bar. The advantage of having it work this way is that it creates 
    a cut-off limit for damage. Theoretically, if you were hit for 1,250 HP damage 
    at the start of the game, then being able to halve it to 625 damage before it 
    struck wouldn't offer much comfort. But as it works, even if you managed a 
    simple Absorb Damage, then you'd regain 20% of damage dealt (= 250 HP) on top of 
    your 0 HP and have a full health bar again. 
    Because it works this way, though, do be aware that the transfer of recovered 
    health still needs to penetrate your defences. Like casting a Drain or Heal 
    spell, there's a chance of failure. It's quite possible to hit the guard timing 
    successfully but have the rest of the process fail with a MISS, especially if 
    you're packing a shield. 
    11. MAGIC
    There are four schools of magic, accessible from either the Main Menu's Magic 
    option, or by holding L2 and then pressing a button on the shortcut menu. Each 
    menu will only appear when at least one spell from that school has been read 
    from a Grimoire, of course.
    Teleportation is also covered under this topic.
    (a) Warlock (Attack spells)
    The probability of Warlock spells succeeding decreases dramatically with high 
    A word about elemental Multiple Target spells: these have four levels of 
    increasing power, and each increment offers a longer range, a larger sphere of 
    effect and increased damage potential. If you already have a level 1 Flame 
    Sphere, for instance, then reading another Grimoire Flamme will give you a level 
    2 Flame Sphere. After the reading, you have the choice of casting the spell at 
    any level up to that which you possess.
    All creature body locations whose centre fits within the sphere of effect will 
    be targeted, so readjusting the X, Y & Z coordinates carefully to include the 
    greatest number of targets can maximise damage. Bear in mind, though, that it's 
    possible for Ashley to target and damage himself if he's also standing within 
    the sphere of effect. You CAN blow yourself up with an Explosion...
    Generally, the individual hits of an elemental Multiple Target spell will carry 
    less power and probability than a Single Target attack of the same kind and 
    affinity, but the overall total could add up to much more damage. Experiment and 
    Lightning Bolt
    MP: 25
    Affinity: Air
    Single Target
    Information: Shoots out arrows of Lightning.
    MP: 25
    Affinity: Fire
    Single Target
    Information: Pummels enemies with balls of fire.
    Vulcan Lance
    MP: 25
    Affinity: Earth
    Single Target
    Information: Showers enemies with volcanic debris.
    Aqua Blast
    MP: 25
    Affinity: Water
    Single Target
    Information: Engulfs enemies with freezing water blast.
    Spirit Surge
    MP: 28
    Affinity: Light
    Single Target
    Information: Summons a spirit of light to attack enemies.
    Dark Chant
    MP: 28
    Affinity: Dark
    Single Target
    Information: Afflicts enemies with crippling pain.
    MP: 22
    Affinity: Light
    Multiple Targets
    Information: Exorcise Undead foes.
    When successful, this spell instantaneously delivers exactly the amount of HP 
    damage required to destroy each and every Undead creature caught within its 
    small, cylindrical area of effect. If you lure them close enough then that 22 MP 
    cost can be a very cheap method of eradicating 2 or more Undead, but you'll 
    probably find yourself using this purely as a 'convenience' spell when you're 
    not interested in fighting fiddling small enemies, or need to concentrate on a 
    more serious enemy in the room. Zombie Bosses possess a predictable immunity to 
    this spell, and you should check the probability of success for each target or 
    risk wasting your MP.
    MP: 25
    Affinity: Dark
    Multiple Targets
    Information: Forbidden spell of instant death.
    As with Exorcism, this spell instantaneously delivers exactly the amount of HP 
    damage required to destroy each and every creature caught within its small, 
    cylindrical area of effect. Check each of the targets for individual probability 
    of success before casting.
    MP: 36 / 44 / 52 / 60
    Affinity: Physical
    Multiple Targets
    Information: A highly focused, devastating blast.
    Explosion's affinity is Physical, hurting creatures with a blast of shrapnel 
    rather than any incendiary damage, so it's just as effective against Fire-based 
    creatures as Water-based ones. The pay-off for this general base damage is that 
    it never benefits from the modifiers that apply to elemental opposition, but you 
    will find some creatures (like the Lich) have a weakness to Physical damage.
    MP: 36 / 44 /52 / 60
    Affinity: Air
    Multiple Targets
    Information: Calls down a great bolt from the heavens.
    Flame Sphere
    MP: 36 / 44 / 52 / 60
    Affinity: Fire
    Multiple Targets
    Information: Wreaths target in flames.
    Gaea Strike
    MP: 36 / 44 / 52 / 60
    Affinity: Earth
    Multiple Targets
    Information: Creates crushing gravity warp around target.
    MP: 36 / 44 / 52 / 60
    Affinity: Water
    Multiple Targets
    Information: Super-freezes air around target.
    Radial Surge
    MP: 38 / 46 / 54 / 62
    Affinity: Light
    Multiple Targets
    Information: Pierces enemies with focused rays of light.
    MP: 38 / 46 / 54 / 62
    Affinity: Dark
    Multiple Targets
    Information: Rains meteors down on the target.
    Drain Heart
    MP: 12
    Affinity: Dark
    Single Target
    Information: Steals HP from enemies.
    Unlike many other RPG health-draining spells, the result of this magic isn't 
    limited by either the creature's HP max or by your ability to absorb damage. It 
    will still suck the life from enemies regardless of whether your health bar is 
    already full; and if you happen to be low on health, but your INT is relatively 
    high, then you can not only kill a small creature outright with this spell but 
    also drain hundreds of HP more than the victim originally possessed.
    This spell has no effect on Undead creatures, as Lea Monde's stumbling corpses 
    have no independent life-force to drain.
    Drain Mind
    MP: 2
    Affinity: Dark
    Single Target
    Information: Steals MP from enemies.
    Unlike Drain Heart, this spell will only drain Mana Points from creatures that 
    possess them, and will transfer as many MP to you as are taken from the enemy.
    (b) Shaman (Recovery spells)
    The probability of Shaman spells succeeding increases with high RISK.
    When casting Shaman spells upon yourself, you will have to penetrate all of the 
    magical defences that you normally present to magic-using enemies. Shields with 
    Manabreaker spells can actually cause your own spells to fail, in other words 
    (and I actually dumped the Manabreaker gem on my second play).
    MP: 5
    Affinity: Light
    Single Target
    Information: Restores Target's HP.
    The amount of HP restored will increase with your RISK, which can be very handy 
    in a tight spot.
    If you cast Heal on an Undead opponent, it will attack them and cause damage as 
    if it were a single-target offensive spell.
    MP: 3
    Affinity: Light
    Single Target
    Information: Cures "Paralysis".
    MP: 3
    Affinity: Light
    Single Target
    Information: Cures "Poison".
    A Poison status needs time to take effect and causes small amounts of damage at 
    frequent intervals, so if you cast this fast enough after being poisoned then 
    the toxins will have no effect at all.
    MP: 17
    Affinity: Light
    Single Target
    Information: Cures "Curse".
    MP: 15
    Affinity: Light
    Single Target
    Information: Cures all status abnormalities.
    This spell removes the status abnormalities of Numbness, Paralysis and Poison 
    but not Silence or Curse.
    Surging Balm
    MP: 20
    Affinity: Light
    Single Target
    Information: Recharges HP over a short period of time.
    In all honesty, that description should read 'long period of time'. Surging Balm 
    is 'Poison-in-reverse', restoring just a few hit points at frequent intervals. 
    Any subsequent spell cast upon you will nullify it, and most enemies are 
    intelligent enough to do so when they see you using it. And even if they don't, 
    most battles are over so quickly in game-time that the cumulative recouping of 
    HP can add up to less than a Heal spell. Remember, all chains take place in an 
    instant, and most creatures can fit in three or four attacks in the time it 
    takes the Balm to restore just 22 HP. Just leaving the area you're in will also 
    cancel a Surging Balm. I think I used this effectively just the once, when I 
    left the game running and went to put the kettle on for a nice cup of tea.
    I suppose you might be able to use it by sticking Ashley in a room with a couple 
    of bats and leaving it running for an hour, in order to get yourself some rock-
    hard anti-Beast armour, but I really don't like tricks like that myself. I'd 
    rather play the game. Consequently, I find this spell useless. The HP restored 
    doesn't even increase with RISK, which could have made it worthwhile, and it's 
    just too slow to work in a fight.
    (c) Sorcery (Aid spells)
    A quick point about Herakles, Degenerate, Enlighten. Psychodrain, Invigorate and 
    Leadbones: it's only possible to have one of these enhancements or handicaps 
    active on any one creature - Ashley included - at any time. So if an enemy casts 
    Degenerate on you, Invigorate will override it as surely as Herakles. The same 
    goes for your opponents: it's actually very easy to scupper the Sorcery spells 
    used by enemies, even early in the game, so don't fight on with a handicap if 
    you can take a moment to reverse it.
    MP: 12
    Support Magic
    Single Target
    Information: Temporarily increases target's strength.
    Herakles is one of the major spells of the game, boosting your STR and thereby 
    increasing your potential for damage with every hit, while simultaneously 
    reducing the damage that enemies can do to you. In many other RPGs this kind of 
    stat-booster is often a waste of MP, but here it really makes a difference. If 
    you're Degenerated, Herakles will cancel Degenerate and take its place.
    'Herakles' is the Greek name for Hercules, incidentally.
    MP: 7
    Support Magic
    Single Target
    Information: Temporarily decreases target's strength.
    Another vital spell, Degenerate reduces melee damage against you by sapping the 
    enemy's STR. The physical damage you can do against a target is also a result of 
    the comparison between their STR and your STR, so if you emasculate them with 
    Degenerate and cast Herakles on yourself, you'll maximise your potential for 
    damage and minimise theirs.
    MP: 12
    Support Magic
    Single Target
    Information: Temporarily increases target's intelligence.
    Just as STR vs. STR accounts for the extent of physical damage possible (see 
    above), so your INT versus an enemy's INT determines the damage exchanged in 
    magical battles. If you Enlighten yourself before casting a Warlock spell, that 
    spell will be more effective and more damaging.
    MP: 7
    Support Magic
    Single Target
    Information: Temporarily decreases target's intelligence.
    Psychodrain is the INT equivalent of Degenerate, and swings a magical battle in 
    your favour by reducing an enemy's magical strength and increasing yours by 
    comparison. If you're Enlightened and your enemy is Psychodrained, you'll 
    maximise the HP damage your Warlock spells inflict against them.
    MP: 12
    Support Magic
    Single Target
    Information: Temporarily increases target's agility.
    Agility or AGL is used to determine your speed and your jumping potential in the 
    platform elements of Vagrant Story, but it also determines your chances of 
    hitting the enemy. If you increase your AGL with Invigorate, your chance to hit 
    an opponent with both melee weapons AND Warlock spells will improve while making 
    you more difficult to hit.
    MP: 7
    Support Magic
    Single Target
    Information: Temporarily decreases target's agility.
    This is the 'Degenerate' of Agility or AGL, both slowing an opponent and making 
    them easier to hit (see above). If you successfully cast Invigorate on yourself 
    and Leadbones on your opponent, you'll maximise your chance of landing a hit.
    MP: 15
    Support Magic
    Single Target
    Information: Temporarily strengthens target's equipment.
    While Herakles improves Ashley's personal STR, Prostasia increases the 
    attributes of his equipped items. If you want to inflict more damage per hit 
    with your weapon, while making your armour more resistant to enemy attack, this 
    is right up there with Herakles and Degenerate. You can also have Prostasia 
    active at the same time as Herakles or any other stat-booster spell.
    MP: 7
    Support Magic
    Single Target
    Information: Temporarily weakens target's equipment.
    The antidote to Prostasia, Tarnish has the effect of weakening enemy swords and 
    armour. It's as important as Prostasia in swinging the odds, and if you use both 
    deftly then you'll be laughing at those previously untouchable suits of armour.
    MP: 7
    Support Magic
    Single Target
    Information: Temporarily prevents target from casting spells.
    Once you've had it used against you, you'll appreciate the sheer power of a 
    Silence spell. Its successful use against an opponent means no more magic spells 
    uttered from that particular orifice, and that could mean the difference between 
    life and death. To prevent this becoming a killer spell, therefore, plenty of 
    enemies - especially mages - are immune to Silence.
    Some creatures pack Magic Cancel items, similar to your Snowfly Draught and 
    requiring no words to activate, so you may find your Silence spell causes little 
    beyond a distraction. Also bear in mind that Silence will be cancelled as soon 
    as another spell - any spell - is cast on the victim. You'll notice that enemies 
    who use this spell are clever enough to give up on magic and go for physical 
    attacks after Silencing you.
    If you use it yourself, you should also appreciate that Silenced enemies have no 
    choice but to hit you. Repeatedly. So if your opponent would normally take time 
    out from physical attack to utter a series of hopeless spells that never had any 
    chance of denting you, there's every possibility that you've just made them more 
    dangerous by casting this.
    To cancel a Silence spell you can leave the room; use a Snowfly Draught item; or 
    wait for an enemy to hit with you with a spell. Another sneaky thing you might 
    be able to try here in the right circumstances relies on the fact that you can 
    still read a Grimoire while Silenced, because it counts as Using an Item. So if 
    you have an unread Enchanter, Sorcery, or Shaman Grimoire then you may still be 
    able to cast a spell on yourself, breaking the Silence.
    Magic Ward
    MP: 21
    Support Magic
    Single Target
    Information: Nullifies the next spell cast on target.
    Without a doubt, this is THE big magic protection spell of Vagrant Story. The 
    idea is to cast it in advance, as it lingers permanently until spent. Magic Ward 
    will then nullify the very next spell cast upon you.
    Essentially, it's a one-shot magic force-field. As long as you have an active 
    Magic Ward then any spell cast upon you, whether it's a Leadbones or a Radial 
    Surge level 4, will impact upon the Magic Ward and fail. If you consider the 
    latter example, you can begin to appreciate the true usefulness of this spell. 
    It kills all incoming magic, dead.
    Note that if the spell that attempts to hit you is a MISS then your Magic Ward 
    will remain intact. As soon as your Magic Ward absorbs a successful incoming 
    spell, though, it will be consumed and vanish. 
    There are several tactics to be observed when using a Magic Ward. Once it's 
    active then you can't heal yourself through magic: even your own spells on 
    yourself will impact upon the Magic Ward. There's no chance of you casting 
    Prostasia, or Antidote, or Invigorate etc. either, as all these will simply 
    destroy the Magic Ward while failing to take effect in the process. If you want 
    to keep the Magic Ward in place, get around it by using items with the same 
    effect: this is a mid-battle tactic when you haven't the time, the MPs or the 
    desire to cancel and replace the Magic Ward.
    Your own Drain spells will also attempt to pass HP or MP through the barrier 
    established by Magic Ward, so a Drain Heart will suck health from the enemy but 
    then cancel the Magic Ward when it tries to transfer the HP to you.
    When unsure, it's a good idea to have a Magic Ward in places where the occupants 
    of the next room may try to Silence you. If you restore a Magic Ward as soon as 
    the previous one vanishes, then you can maintain an effective anti-magic defence 
    against spellcasters like the Lich. Assuming you're still around the starting 50 
    MPs, it's possible to cast one in advance, let your MPs recover to full, enter 
    battle and still have enough MP for two more Magic Wards during the fracas. 
    Judicious use of Mana items will also let you keep up this magic shield in the 
    midst of combat. Once your MPs are exhausted then Mana items, Drain Magic and 
    the Gain Magic chain will aid you in restoring a Magic Ward whenever it is 
    Don't get carried away with its potential, though. Special attacks like dragon 
    breath are actually physical attacks with an elemental aspect, so Magic Ward 
    won't stop them.
    Stun Cloud
    MP: 7
    Support Magic
    Single Target
    Information: Casts "Paralysis" on target.
    Many creatures will boast at least a resistance, if not immunity, to this spell, 
    as it's immensely powerful. The same effect is available in the chain ability 
    Paralysis Pulse.
    Paralysis can be cured with an Yggdrasil's Tear item or the Shaman spell, 
    Restoration. It will also wear off after a short period of time.
    Poison Mist
    MP: 11
    Support Magic
    Single Target
    Information: Casts "Poison" on target.
    Poison is overrated, frankly, as - and we've mentioned this before - most combat 
    situations occupy very little game-time, while Poison takes a long time to have 
    any effect. If you're in one of those situations where the enemy can't reach 
    you, or you take the effort to Paralyse them simultaneously, then it's sometimes 
    a sure-fire way of hurting foes who may otherwise be resilient to your attacks.
    MP: 17
    Support Magic
    Single Target
    Information: Casts "Curse" on target. 
    Reducing all of an enemy's stats will grant you enormous bonuses in tackling 
    them, before you even start on your usual barrage of supportive Sorcery spells. 
    However, the creatures you would most think of using it against are often those 
    who are immune to its effects.
    MP: 3
    Support Magic
    Single Target
    Information: Freezes the room's Cloudstones in place.
    Many Cloudstone jumps can be made easier by Fixate if you're not a natural 
    platform-gamer. This effect only lasts for a short period, and the Cloudstones 
    will start flashing from red to green to warn you in advance.
    MP: 10
    Support Magic
    Single Target
    Information: Nullifies any spell currently affecting target.
    If you've been inundated with Degenerate and Tarnish or you don't have the 
    necessary reversal spells then Dispel is a quick way to cancel them all.
    MP: 3
    Support Magic
    Single Target
    Information: Opens treasure chests locked with magic.
    If it doesn't work first time, just keep trying.
    MP: 6
    Support Magic
    Single Target
    Information: Reveals all traps in the room.
    Note that Eureka reveals traps for all occupants in the room, so that casting it 
    will help your enemies to avoid them as well.
    MP: 5
    Support Magic
    Single Target
    Information: Analyses enemies' parameters and stats.
    A word about using the Analyze. If you haven't worked it out, then this spell 
    fills in the enemy's details that appear under the Status option of the Main 
    Menu (see PLAYING TIPS, Interface Options). What you have to do on the Status 
    screen is hit L1 or R1 to cycle through from Ashley to the creatures' entries.
    If the spell succeeds then full stats, HP, MP, RISK etc. will be revealed for 
    the target creature only. This means that you can press the SQUARE button to 
    cycle the Affinity and Type ratings for the target's armour in every body 
    location, or examine the enemy's armour and weapons right down to grips, gems 
    and even the affinity of unknown accessories through the CIRCLE button. Further 
    Analyze spells will need to be cast for every individual's details to be 
    (d) Enchanter (Affinity spells) 
    The Enchanter spells magically alter your elemental affinity for a brief period, 
    in order to enhance either your offensive or defensive power. You may only have 
    one Enchanter spell active at any time, and note that equipping or de-equipping 
    weapons or armour will cancel it immediately. Switching in and out of Battle 
    Mode will have the same effect, so cast them when your weapons are already 
    Enchanter spells are split into Fusion (attack) and Guard (defence) categories. 
    If you were fighting a Fire Elemental, for instance, then you could either 
    improve your weapon's effectiveness with a Water enchantment (Frost Fusion) or 
    you could raise your Armour's resistance to Fire (Pyro Guard). Many players seem 
    to be missing out on the usefulness of these spells for making many battles 
    easier, so you should definitely give them a try if you haven't yet.
    Luft Fusion
    MP: 10
    Affinity: Air
    Single Target
    Information: Temporarily strengthens target's Air affinity.
    Spark Fusion
    MP: 10
    Affinity: Fire
    Single Target
    Information: Temporarily strengthens target's Fire affinity.
    Soil Fusion
    MP: 10
    Affinity: Earth
    Single Target
    Information: Temporarily strengthens target's Earth affinity.
    Frost Fusion
    MP: 10
    Affinity: Water
    Single Target
    Information: Temporarily strengthens target's Water affinity.
    Aero Guard
    MP: 9
    Affinity: Air
    Single Target
    Information: Temporarily strengthens armour's Air affinity.
    Pyro Guard
    MP: 9
    Affinity: Fire
    Single Target
    Information: Temporarily strengthens armour's Fire affinity.
    Terra Guard
    MP: 9
    Affinity: Earth
    Single Target
    Information: Temporarily strengthens armour's Earth affinity.
    Aqua Guard
    MP: 9
    Affinity: Water
    Single Target
    Information: Temporarily strengthens armour's Water affinity.
    (e) Teleportation
    Teleportation can only be performed when standing on a Magic Circle. Once you 
    have acquired this ability, call up the Magic option on the Main Menu to see 
    that an extra entry has been added at the bottom of your existing spell groups. 
    Ironically, there's no shortcut to the Teleportation menu.
    The cost of using the teleport depends on how many Magic Circles you wish to 
    jump through. The formula is (4 x no. of Circles) + 15 MP, so teleporting from 
    Advent Ground back to the Worker's Breakroom (6 Circles away) would cost (24 + 
    15 = ) 39 MP.
    Magic Circles
    Worker's Breakroom
    Wine Guild Hall
    Hall of Revenge
    The Withered Spring
    Work of Art / WS
    Advent Ground
    Rue Vermillion
    Magic Hammer / WS
    The Crossing
    The Dark Tunnel
    Rue Bouquet
    The Sunless Way
    The Faerie Circle
    Forest River
    The Wood Gate
    Valdiman Gates
    The Warrior's Rest
    Keane's / WS
    Sinner's Corner
    Crumbling Market
    Treaty Room
    Bandits' Hollow
    The Ore Road
    The Auction Block
    Way Down
    Rue Lejour
    Kesch Bridge
    Metal Works / WS
    Junction Pt. / WS
    The Dark Coast
    Plateia Lumitar
    Sin and Punishment
    The Atrium
    Godhands / WS
    (f) Hidden Spells
    That's right - you can win pages of a Grimoire as rare treasures from certain 
    creatures. Although this is most likely to happen on your second play, when the 
    probability seems to increase slightly, it is possible to obtain major spells 
    like Banish on your first play too. Not all of your finds will be useful, 
    either: getting another Spirit Surge is a waste of good vellum, frankly.
    I'm still trying to assess whether the type of creature determines the type of 
    Grimoire - Phantoms seem to hold an awful lot - but here's the list as it 
    currently stands.
    Grimoire Banish (Banish) - Harpy
    Grimoire Terre (Vulcan Lance) - Ghost
    Grimoire Teslae (Lightning Bolt) - Zombie Mage
    Grimoire Glace (Aqua Blast) - Dark Eye
    Grimoire Incendie (Fireball) - Ghost
    Grimoire Patire (Dark Chant) - Wraith, Dark Eye
    Grimoire Lux (Spirit Surge) - Ghost, Wraith 
    Grimoire Zephyr (Solid Shock) - Ghost, Wraith
    Grimoire Radius (Radial Surge) - Lich
    Grimoire Avalanche (Avalanche) - Water Elemental
    Grimoire Foudre (Thunderburst) - Air Elemental
    Grimoire Flamme (Flame Sphere) - Fire Elemental
    Grimoire Gaea (Gaea Strike) - Earth Elemental
    Grimoire Meteore (Meteore) - Dark Elemental
    All Workshops contain a Magic Circle and a Container. You can use any Workshop 
    to repair all of your equipment through the REPAIR option, whether or not the 
    tools for shaping the weapon's component materials are present.
    Work of Art
    Catacombs, accessed from The Withered Spring
    Tools for Wood, Leather, Bronze
    The Magic Hammer
    Town Centre West (north side), accessed from The Rene Coastroad
    Tools for Bronze, Iron
    Keane's Crafts
    The Keep, accessed from The Warrior's Rest
    Tools for Bronze, Iron, Hagane
    Junction Point
    Town Centre East, accessed from Rue Crimnade
    Tools for Wood, Leather, Bronze, Iron, Hagane
    This Workshop must be opened with the Cattleya Sigil
    Metal Works
    Town Centre East, accessed from Rue Fisserano
    Tools for Silver, Damascus
    Undercity West, accessed from Bite The Master's Wounds
    Tools for Wood, Leather, Bronze, Hagane, Silver, Damascus
    This workshop is only available on second play
    The secret of happy assembling is to find a grip that best suits your blade 
    type. Perhaps you've come across an axe blade that you'd like to try out: an axe 
    is an Edged weapon, so select this option and check the status of your available 
    grips to find the one with the highest Edged rating. Assembling this blade and 
    grip will give you the strongest weapon you can make with your equipment.
    Consider, also, the number of gem slots that the grip possesses. It's better to 
    go with a grip that has more gem slots, on the whole, as any shortcoming in 
    strength can be overcome by equipping a suitable gem. Grips with gem slots will 
    also offer more customisation potential in the field, allowing you to (say) 
    stick a Water-affinity gem to a sword for extra damage against a Fire-affinity 
    The rule for gems on weapons is to pick those that elementally oppose the 
    creature you wish to hurt. If you're tackling an Air Elemental, for instance, 
    then Earth-aligned Gnome Emeralds will enhance your weapon's killing power.
    You don't need to disassemble a weapon to remove its gems. Go to the Attach Gems 
    option, highlight the gem you want, then click once to highlight it and once 
    again (either on that line or where it's repeated at the top of the screen) to 
    remove it. 
    Please, don't do it. Don't call your sword "Orcrist" or "Masamune" or 
    "Something's Bane". Force yourself to be creative for a moment, even if that 
    moment takes minutes, and thereafter you'll find that you never get your weapons 
    confused. You'll also be able to credit yourself with more imagination than the 
    majority of script writers working in the games industry.
    Vagrant Story can get a bit clumsy when it comes to inventory management, and 
    the fact that you need to access the memory card for your container can lead to 
    some slow swapping back and forth. Worse, on second play you'll find yourself 
    having to discard lots of items that you simply haven't got the space to put 
    aside for later combination. A few tips, then:
    (i) Accessories are often given to you more than once, but you only need one of 
    each kind. So if you find yourself with two Swan Songs, or two Rune Earrings, 
    then dump one. It's uselessly taking up Armour storage space.
    (ii) Accessories are easily superceded by later finds. If you've been using a 
    Swan Song for tackling Beasts with its +15 advantage, but then find the Pushpaka 
    with its +30 for Beasts, the chances are that you'll never need the Swan Song 
    again. Dump it.
    (iii) Many items are easily obtained by fighting creatures for their gear, and 
    could be obtained again if you desired them. So if you find you've got half a 
    dozen Wizard Hats won from Zombie Mages, you know you can dump them all to make 
    space for rarer items. If you really want another Wizard Hat, you can always go 
    fight for some more in the Undercity.
    (iv) Whenever you win a weapon from a fight, that weapon will contain a blade 
    and a grip. But only the blade might be combined into something better, while 
    the grip remains a single entity. So when the space fills up, be brutal and get 
    rid of all those Sarissa Grips and Short Hilts that you'll never be using again.
    (v) If you seem to have too many gems, check your shields and see if you haven't 
    got a lot of useless ones still sticking to weapons or shields. You should check 
    for attached gems every time you win a new shield from a chest or enemy.
    (vi) Always have spaces in your carried inventory before venturing into a 
    dungeon. If you open a chest but haven't got space to pick up all the treasures, 
    those spare items will be lost to you.
    The workshop ability to reforge equipment is possibly the finest option 
    available to the core player. This is where you'll really get the chance to 
    establish your daylight-shunning gamer status, spending hours in a to-and-fro 
    motion betwixt storage container and the Equipment Set-up option. Because this 
    guide is eager for you all to get those diurnally-necessary skin vitamins, 
    however, we're establishing this section for quick and easy referencing of both 
    techniques and component lists to so that you can check for the best 
    combinations on a handy table. The original lists are mine by research, and it 
    is merely a matter of time before I write up my remaining notes, but I'm also 
    hoping to credit many of you with unforeseen addenda.
    There are several reasons for choosing the COMBINE option:
    (a) Improving an item's metal
    There are seven different materials at work in Vagrant Story; Wood, Leather, 
    Bronze, Iron, Hagane, Silver and Damascus.  This order also represents the 
    increasing strength and resilience of the metals involved, with some additional 
    factors thrown in. Through use of the workshop, it's possible to combine various 
    materials to create either stronger items or items constructed of completely new 
    The general rule is that lesser materials become absorbed into greater ones. So 
    if you combine a Hagane shield with an Iron shield, the result will be Hagane 
    rather than Iron. Rare materials are more difficult to combine, and be warned 
    that you may even end up with a shield that is less powerful as a result (see 
    point 3 below). There are some interesting metallurgical results derived from 
    combination, though, as follows:
    (i) Combining Bronze and Iron creates Hagane.
    This is a useful trick to use early in the game, as you can take your starting 
    items and improve their strength while retaining all the bonuses you've 
    accumulated. So that much-loved Fandango blade needn't be tossed aside: find an 
    Iron Scimitar blade, combine it with the Bronze Fandango, then reassemble the 
    blade with the best grip you can find for a brand new Hagane weapon. 
    (ii) Sometimes, combining Bronze and Hagane items results in a Silver item. 
    I've yet to suss the exact conditions for this, and would like to hear how it's 
    resolved. But I can say that if you're looking at an unwanted Silver result from 
    a combination, try alternating the order of the items being combined. I've 
    noticed that the Silver result normally occurs when you have a Bronze item in 
    the first field and a Hagane item in the second. Reversing them so that the 
    Hagane item is listed first can actually change the result to Hagane rather than 
    (iii) Sometimes, combining Hagane and Silver items results in a Damascus item. 
    A couple of contributors and myself are on the brink of sussing the rules for 
    this, but Silver and Damascus aren't pure or unmixable at all. You will be able 
    to upgrade all of that Hagane equipment to Damascus, in time, and it is possible 
    to combine the two and retain a Damascus result.
    (b) Creating a new item
    Here's where you'll really get into the whole combination business through 
    addiction. The game will only surrender so many weapons and pieces of armour: 
    the rest are to be discovered, and most of those will only come into being if 
    you make them yourself. In other words, there's a stack of great kit in the game 
    that will only come into your possession if you use the workshop to make it by 
    hand. Excited, yet? (As Vincent Merken puts it, "Gotta forge 'em all!").
    There are some perceivable rules to combination that will take your experiments 
    beyond mere trial and error.
    (i) Upgrading items from the same weapon group.
    If you're looking to improve your weapons, the key is to stick with items of the 
    same class. Some commonsense applies: if you combine a high-STR dagger with a 
    low-STR dagger, you'll usually end up with a dagger whose STR rests somewhere in 
    Advancement through combination is also possible, and there are a couple of 
    tricks to try out here when you're looking for the next big thing.
    (ii) adding closely-related items.
    Especially, this is the trick to use when you wish to bring your familiar 
    starting items up to scratch. Combine a Jambeau leg-armour with the weaker 
    Poleyn and you'll create the superior Missaglia. Then combine the Missaglia with 
    another Poleyn and you'll have a Plate Legging. Keeping to the same class of 
    weapon is important here, so if you want to upgrade item x in the list of Great 
    Swords, try combining it with Great Sword x minus 1 (the next Great Sword down) 
    or x minus 2.
    (iii) combining identical items
    If you've reached what seems like the end of the line with the previous 
    technique, try doubling up for a result. For example, a Tilt Glove plus a Tilt 
    Glove results in a Freiturnier; a Mjolnir plus a Mjolnir creates a Griever; a 
    Hoplite Shield plus a Hoplite Shield will give a Jazeraint Shield; and so on.
    (iv) creating new items from mixed groups
    When you combine weapons from different groups, the results are less 
    predictable. A mace combined with a polearm might actually lead to a rapier, or 
    a crossbow. Mix legging armour with sleeve armour and you may find yourself 
    looking at a type of helmet. This is one good reason for never discarding 
    anything, in case it can be combined to create more than it seems. The rule here 
    is that the sophistication of the items will come into play, and items from 
    crossed classes will never be in the same league as those from which they're 
    produced: combine a basic knife with a basic axe and the results will be basic, 
    whereas a high-calibre dagger combined with a high-calibre axe might result in a 
    new, mid-calibre class of weapon.
    Furthermore, there seems to be a pegging system for the power of weapons and 
    armour that you can exploit to create a new item in a different class but of the 
    same relative strength. Try combining a glove with an armour, for instance, and 
    if both are (say) at Fluted level then the result will stay Fluted too. See the 
    table of suit groups below to find out how to make similarly pegged items.
    (c) Strengthening a weapon
    Even when you've created exactly the item you want, in the metal you want, the 
    possibilities of combination remain. 
    By way of example, let's take a piece of hand armour. Perhaps you've already 
    combined a Vambrace (I) and a Gauntlet (B) to make your own Plate Glove (H) 
    that's been serving you very well. Suddenly, you win a Plate Glove (I) that 
    ought to be less powerful, but when you consult its basic stats you realise that 
    it's almost as sound as the one you've made in Hagane and improved through a few 
    hits. The good news is that there's no either/or here: what you can do is head 
    to the workshop and combine the Iron Plate Glove with your Hagane model, 
    resulting in a new Hagane Plate Glove that has some of the Iron's bonuses added 
    to it.
    This system works both ways, of course, and you may find that adding a negative 
    statistic in the combination process has reduced some of your blade type or 
    elemental modifiers. Sometimes the pluses are overwhelmed by the minuses and 
    would result in an inferior piece of kit, so there's still a lot of status-
    checking and weighing-up of odds to consider before you combine items.
    In practical terms, this means you should use the SQUARE button to check the 
    various statistics of the components you're combining with the result before 
    acknowledging the combination. Keep pressing SQUARE to cycle through all 
    attribute displays, incidentally.
    (d) Strengthening armour
    The most important aspect here is the Type rating. A piece of armour can gain 
    all sorts of creature-class and elemental bonuses, but the Type rating remains 
    fixed. When combining, look for combinations that improve the Type rating and 
    avoid those that reduce it. The ideal combination will give your item a decent 
    stat in all three classes.
    The next factors to watch for are those negative affinity modifiers. If you 
    start adding lots of negative values, you're building weaknesses into the 
    armour. A helm with -20 vs Dark can be improved against Dark attacks over time, 
    but working off that handicap will inevitably result in a near-similar number 
    being subtracted from your vs Light score.
    The technique is further limited by the possibility of accidental upgrade. 
    Combine a Tilt Glove with a Tilt Glove and you'll actually get a Freiturner, 
    when you may have wished to retain a Tilt Glove for future combination.
    The long and short of it, though, is that you should never discard less 
    sophisticated items that might be combined with your existing equipment for 
    potential gain. No matter how simple its design, a Bronze Buckler made of a 
    thousand used and scavenged shields may offer more protection than a fresh 
    Damascus Targe that's never seen combat.
    My notes are still being written up for weapons, but this should set you on the 
    road to invulnerability. Note that there seem to be some 'key' items that you 
    can't make from lesser items in the same group, and that aren't available to you 
    until you reach certain areas. I suppose this is one way of moderating player 
    defence, and also preventing somebody putting together a suit of Fluted Mail 
    from piles of Leather Bear Masks and Bandages...
    To upgrade your starting items, at first you may need to add them to much more 
    powerful items of the same kind just to put them on the step of gradual 
    advancement, as outlined in these tables. For instance, combining the Tovarisch 
    Hand Axe with a Battle Axe will get you nowhere, but incorporate it into a 
    Francisca and you're on the upgrade tree.
    A quick note on end results. There isn't much difference between the Dread class 
    and the Jazeraint class, when it comes down to it, as it's more a question of a 
    single point that goes either towards STR at the expense of INT (Dread) or 
    towards INT at the expense of STR(Jazeraint). A personal choice, in other words. 
    Though why anybody would want that ugly great Dread Shield when you could have a 
    lovely red Jazeraint diamond with a Rood on it...
    Also, if you acquire the Holy Wind rood blade or the Hand of Light maces, note 
    that these work like metal converters and possess some unusual combination 
    properties. Place the rood blade in the first slot of Combine / Blades and, as 
    long as the weapon you add to it is sufficiently powerful, you'll produce that 
    second weapon in Damascus while retaining its design.
    The Hand of Light is also a metal converter: place it in the second slot of 
    Combine / Blades, stick any other item in the first slot and you'll produce that 
    first item in the same metal as the Hand of Light (Iron or Hagane). In reverse, 
    some alternative combinations are possible. The two tricks don't work together 
    to make a Damascus Hand of Light, however.
    Banded Mail          Cuirass                Ring Mail
    Ring Mail            Banded Mail            Chain Mail
    Chain Mail           Ring Mail              Breastplate
    Breastplate          Chain Mail             Segmentata
    Segmentata           Breastplate            Scale Armour
    Scale Armour         Breastplate            Brigandine
    Brigandine           Breastplate            Plate Mail
    Brigandine           Scale Armour           Plate Mail
    Platemail            Brigandine             Fluted Armour
    Fluted Mail          Platemail              Hoplite Armour
    Hoplite Armour       Hoplite Armour         Jazeraint Armour
    Jazeraint Armour     Jazeraint Armour       Dread Armour
    Reinforced Glove     Knuckles               Ring Sleeve
    Knuckles             Ring Sleeve            Chain Sleeve
    Ring Sleeve          Chain Sleeve           Gauntlet
    Gauntlet             Vambrace               Plate Glove
    Vambrace             Plate Glove            Rondanche
    Rondanche            Plate Glove            Tilt Glove
    Tilt Glove           Tilt Glove             Freiturnier
    Freiturnier          Rondanche              Fluted Glove
    Fluted Glove         Freiturnier            Hoplite Glove
    Hoplite Glove        Hoplite Glove          Jazeraint Glove
    Jazeraint Glove      Jazeraint Glove        Dread Glove
    Fusskampf            Poleyn                 Jambeau
    Poleyn               Chain Leggings         Jambeau
    Jambeau              Poleyn                 Missaglia
    Jambeau              Chain Leggings         Missaglia
    Missaglia            Poleyn                 Plate Leggings
    Plate Leggings       Missaglia              Fluted Leggings
    Fluted Leggings      Plate Leggings         Hoplite Leggings
    Hoplite Leggings     Hoplite Leggings       Jazeraint Leggings
    Jazeraint Leggings   Jazeraint Leggings     Dread Leggings
    Chain Coif           Bone Helm              Spangenhelm
    Spangenhelm          Chain Coif             Cabasset      
    Cabasset             Spangenhelm            Sallet
    Sallet               Barbut                 Basinet
    Basinet              Barbut                 Armet
    Armet                Basinet                Close Helm 
    Close Helm           Basinet                Burgonet
    Burgonet             Close Helm             Hoplite Helm
    Hoplite Helm         Hoplite Helm           Jazeraint Helm
    Jazeraint Helm       Jazeraint Helm         Dread Helm
    There are 16 distinct 'suits of armour' in the game, many of them roughly 
    corresponding to historical fashions (for instance, the angular 'poleyn' 
    kneepads and plate segments over mail both appeared in the early- to mid-14th 
    Century). If you combine items from the same suit group, you'll create another 
    item within that group. For example, add an Armet to a Brigandine -- both group 
    11 -- and you'll get the Missaglia. This is how the items match up for each 
     1| Bandage          Bandana         Jerkin           Sandals
     2| Leather Glove    Bear Mask       Hauberk          Boots        
     3| Reinforced Glove Wizard Hat      Wizard Robe      Long Boots
     4| Knuckles         Bone Helm       Cuirass          Cuisse       
     5| Ring Sleeve      Chain Coif      Banded Mail      Light Grieve
     6| Chain Sleeve     Spangenhelm     Ring Mail        Ring Leggings
     7| Gauntlet         Cabasset        Chain Mail       Chain Leggings
     8| Vambrace         Sallet          Breastplate      Fusskampf
     9| Plate Glove      Barbut          Segmentata       Poleyn
    10| Rondanche        Basinet         Scale Armor      Jambeau
    11| Tilt Glove       Armet           Brigandine       Missaglia
    12| Freiturnier      Close Helm      Plate Mail       Plate Leggings
    13| Fluted Glove     Burgonet        Fluted Armor     Fluted Leggings
    14| Hoplite Glove    Hoplite Helm    Hoplite Armor    Hoplite Leg's
    15| Jazeraint Glove  Jazeraint Helm  Jazeraint Armor  Jazeraint Leg's
    16| Dread Glove      Dread Helm      Dread Armor      Dread Leggings
    NB The game's sixteen shields also correspond to these groups - so that Knight 
    Shield (no. 13) would properly be worn with Fluted Armour, aesthetically 
    speaking - but as there's no workshop crossover, and you can't actually see the 
    armour, it doesn't really mean very much and there are no perceptible bonuses 
    for wearing a 'complete' suit.
    Targe                Buckler                Pelta Shield
    Pelta Shield         Targe                  Quad Shield
    Quad Shield          Targe                  Circle Shield
    Circle Shield        Quad Shield            Tower Shield
    Tower Shield         Quad Shield            Spiked Shield
    Spiked Shield        Circle Shield          Round Shield
    Round Shield         Tower Shield           Kite Shield
    Round Shield         Spiked Shield          Kite Shield
    Kite Shield          Round Shield           Casserole Shield
    Casserole Shield     Kite Shield            Heater Shield
    Heater Shield        Casserole Shield       Oval Shield
    Oval Shield          Heater Shield          Knight Shield
    Knight Shield        Oval Shield            Hoplite Shield
    Hoplite Shield       Hoplite Shield         Jazeraint Shield
    Jazeraint Shield     Jazeraint Shield       Dread Shield
    Dirk                 Scramasax              Throwing Knife
    Throwing Knife       Scramasax              Kudi
    Kudi                 Throwing Knife         Cinquedea
    Cinquedea            Kudi                   Kris
    Kris                 Cinquedea              Hatchet
    Hatchet              Kris                   Khukuri
    Khukuri              Hatchet                Baselard
    Baselard             Baselard               Stiletto
    Stiletto             Stiletto               Jamadhar
    Rapier               Spatha                 Short Sword
    Firangi              Short Sword            Shamshir
    Shamshir             Firangi                Falchion
    Falchion             Shamshir               Shotel
    Shotel               Falchion               Kora
    Kora                 Kora                   Khopesh
    Khopesh              Khopesh                Wakizashi
    Francisa             Battle Axe             Tabarzin
    Tabarzin             Francisca              Chamkaq
    Chamkaq              Tabarzin               Tabar
    Tabar                Tabar                  Bullova
    Bullova              Bullova                Crescent
    Ball Mace            Spiked Club            Footman's Mace (1-H)
    Footman's Mace (1-H) Ball Mace              Morning Star
    Morning Star         Footman's Mace (1-H)   War Hammer
    War Hammer           War Hammer             Bec de Corbin
    Bec de Corbin        Bec de Corbin          War Maul
    Katana               Broad Sword            Executioner
    Executioner          Katana                 Claymore
    Claymore             Executioner            Schiavona
    Schiavona            Claymore               Bastard Sword
    Bastard Sword        Bastard Sword          Nodachi
    Nodachi              Nodachi                Rune Blade
    Sabre Halberd        Large Crescent         Balbriggan
    Balbriggan           Sabre Halberd          Double Blade
    Double Blade         Double Blade           Halberd
    Footman's Mace (2-H) Sabre Mace             Gloomwing
    Gloomwing            Footman's Mace (2-H)   Mjolnir
    Mjolnir              Mjolnir                Griever
    Griever              Griever                Destroyer
    Summoner's Baton     Clergy Rod             Shamanic Staff
    Shamanic Staff       Summoner's Baton       Bishop's Crosier
    Bishop's Crosier     Bishop's Crosier       Sage's Cane
    Scorpion             Glaive                 Corcesca
    Corcesca             Scorpion               Trident
    Trident              Corcesca               Awl Pike
    Awl Pike             Trident                Boar Spear
    Boar Spear           Trident                Fauchard
    Fauchard             Boar Spear             Voulge
    Voulge               Fauchard               Pole Axe
    Pole Axe             Pole Axe               Bardysh
    Bardysh              Bardysh                Brandestoc
    Target Bow           Gastraph Bow           Light Crossbow
    Light Crossbow       Target Bow             Windlass
    Windlass             Target Bow             Cranequin
    Cranequin            Windlass               Lug Crossbow
    Lug Crossbow         Lug Crossbow           Siege Bow
    Siege Bow            Siege Bow              Arbalest
    15. ITEM LIST
    Dagger, Sword and Great Sword Grips
    GRIP               BLT/EGD/PRC      GEM SLOTS
    Short Hilt          0 / 4 / 1       x 0
    Swept Hilt          0 / 2 / 4       x 0
    Cross Guard         8 / 6 / 2       x 1
    Counter Guard       0 / 8 / 7       x 1
    Knuckle Guard       0 / 5 / 9       x 2
    Side Ring          10 /12 /10       x 2
    Murderer's Hilt     0 /13 /17       x 2
    Power Palm          0 /15 /12       x 3
    Spiral Hilt        20 /20 /20       x 3
    Axe, Mace and Staff Grips
    GRIP               BLT/EGD/PRC      GEM SLOTS
    Wooden Grip         5 / 1 / 0       x 0
    Czekan Type         8 / 4 / 0       x 0
    Sand Face           3 / 6 / 0       x 1
    Sarissa Grip        6 / 9 / 0       x 1
    Heavy Grip          6 /15 / 0       x 1
    Gendarme           13 / 5 / 0       x 2
    Runkasyle          17 / 7 / 0       x 2
    Grimoire Grip      21 / 9 / 0       x 2
    Bhuj Type           8 /19 / 0       x 3
    Elephant           11 /22 / 0       x 3
    Polearm Grips
    GRIP               BLT/EGD/PRC      GEM SLOTS
    Wooden Pole        11 / 0 / 1       x 0
    Winged Pole         2 / 6 /16       x 0
    Spiculum Pole       2 /12 / 4       x 1 (2 1 -3)
    Ahlspies           10 /14 /12       x 1
    Framea Pole        16 / 4 /10       x 2
    Spiral Pole        15 / 6 /21       x 3
    Crossbow Grips
    GRIP               BLT/EGD/PRC      GEM SLOTS
    Simple Bolt         1 / 0 /10       x 0
    Steel Bolt          1 / 0 /13       x 1
    Javelin Bolt       17 / 0 / 2       x 1
    Falarica Bolt       3 / 0 /20       x 1
    Stone Bullet       23 / 0 / 4       x 1
    Sonic Bullet        5 / 0 /25       x 1
    01. Battle Knife
    02. Scramasax
    03. Dirk
    04. Throwing Knife
    05. Kudi
    06. Cinquedea
    07. Kris
    08. Hatchet
    09. Khukuri
    10. Baselard
    11. Stiletto
    12. Jamadhar
    01. Spatha
    02. Scimitar
    03. Rapier
    04. Short Sword
    05. Firangi
    06. Shamshir
    07. Falchion
    08. Shotel
    09. Kora
    10. Khopesh
    11. Wakizashi
    12. Rhomphaia
    01. Hand Axe
    02. Battle Axe
    03. Francisca
    04. Tabarzin
    05. Chamkaq
    06. Tabar
    07. Bullova
    08. Crescent
    01. Goblin Club
    02. Spiked Club
    03. Ball Mace
    04. Footman's Mace (1-H)*
    05. Morning Star
    06. War Hammer
    07. Bec de Corbin
    08. War Maul
    *Don't get this confused with the Heavy Mace also called Footman's Mace.
    01. Broad Sword
    02. Norse Sword
    03. Katana
    04. Executioner
    05. Claymore
    06. Schiavona
    07. Bastard Sword
    08. Nodachi
    09. Rune Blade
    10. Holy Win
    01. Guisarme
    02. Large Crescent
    03. Sabre Halberd
    04. Balbriggan
    05. Double Blade
    06. Halberd
    01. Langdebeve
    02. Sabre Mace
    03. Footman's Mace (2-H)**
    04. Gloomwing
    05. Mjolnir
    06. Griever
    07. Destroyer
    08. Hand of Light
    **Don't get this confused with the one-handed Mace also called Footman's Mace.
    01. Wizard Staff
    02. Clergy Rod
    03. Summoner Baton
    04. Shamanic Staff
    05. Bishop's Crosier
    06. Sage's Cane
    01. Spear
    02. Glaive
    03. Scorpion
    04. Corcesca
    05. Trident
    06. Awl Pike
    07. Boar Spear
    08. Fauchard
    09. Voulge
    10. Pole Axe
    11. Bardysh
    12. Brandestoc
    01. Gastraph Bow
    02. Target Bow
    03. Light Crossbow
    04. Windlass
    05. Cranequin
    06. Lug Crossbow
    07. Siege Bow
    08. Arbalest
    01. Buckler
    02. Targe
    03. Pelta Shield
    04. Quad Shield
    05. Circle Shield
    06. Tower Shield
    07. Spiked Shield
    08. Round Shield
    09. Kite Shield
    10. Casserole Shield
    11. Heater Shield
    12. Oval Shield
    13. Knight Shield
    14. Hoplite Shield
    15. Jazeraint Shield
    16. Dread Shield
    01. Bandana
    02. Bear Mask
    03. Wizard Hat
    04. Bone Helm
    05. Chain Coif
    06. Spangenhelm
    07. Cabasset
    08. Sallet
    09. Barbut
    10. Basinet
    11. Armet
    12. Close Helm
    13. Burgonet
    14. Hoplite Helm
    15. Jazeraint Helm
    16. Dread Helm
    01. Jerkin
    02. Hauberk
    03. Wizard Robe
    04. Cuirass
    05. Banded Mail
    06. Ring Mail
    07. Chain Mail
    08. Breastplate
    09. Segmentata
    10. Scale Armour
    11. Brigandine
    12. Plate Mail
    13. Fluted Mail
    14. Hoplite Armour
    15. Jazeraint Armour
    16. Dread Armour
    01. Sandals
    02. Boots
    03. Long Boots
    04. Cuisse
    05. Light Greaves
    06. Ring Leggings
    07. Chain Leggings
    08. Fusskampf
    09. Poleyn
    10. Jambeau
    11. Missaglia
    12. Plate Leggings
    13. Fluted Leggings
    14. Hoplite Leggings
    15. Jazeraint Leggings
    16. Dread Leggings
    01. Bandage
    02. Leather Glove
    03. Reinforced Glove
    04. Knuckles
    05. Ring Sleeve
    06. Chain Sleeve
    07. Gauntlet
    08. Vambrace
    09. Plate Glove
    10. Rondanche
    11. Tilt Glove
    12. Freiturner
    13. Fluted Glove
    14. Hoplite Glove
    15. Jazeraint Glove
    16. Dread Glove
    Miscellaneous Items
    Cure Root
    Roots of an herb that restores strength.
    Item effect: restores 50 HP.
    Almost any creature can surrender a Cure item, if the game thinks you're 
    struggling to stay healthy.
    Cure Bulb
    Bulbs of an herb that restores strength.
    Item effect: restores 100 HP.
    Cure Tonic
    Extract of an herb that restores strength.
    Item effect: restores 150 HP.
    Cure Potion
    Potion made from an herb that restores strength.
    Item effect: restores all HP.
    Mana Root
    Roots of an herb that restores mentual acuity.
    Item effect: recharges MP by 25 points.
    Mana Bulb
    Bulbs of an herb that restores mentual acuity.
    Item effect: recharges MP by 50 points.
    Mana Tonic
    Extract of an herb that restores mentual acuity.
    Item effect: recharges MP by 100 points.
    Mana Potion
    Potion made from an herb that restores mentual acuity.
    Item effect: recharges all MP.
    Vera Root
    Roots of an herb that restores concentration.
    Item effect: Lowers RISK by 25 points.
    Practically any creature going can surrender a Vera item, whenever the game 
    thinks you're not doing so well on keeping a low RISK.
    Vera Bulb
    Bulbs of an herb that restores concentration.
    Item effect: Lowers RISK by 50 points.
    Vera Tonic
    Extract of an herb that restores concentration.
    Item effect: Lowers RISK by 75 points.
    Vera Potion
    Potion made from an herb that restores concentration.
    Item effect: Clears all RISK.
    Acolyte's Nostrum
    Nostrum used by the acolytes of Lea Monde.
    Item effect: Restores 100 HP and MP.
    Saint's Nostrum
    The nostrum that a high priest received from the heavens.
    Item effect: Restores all HP and MP.
    You can win these occasionally from Deaths.
    Alchemist's Reagent
    An experimental potion made by Valnain's alchemists.
    Item effect: restores 25 HP; lowers RISK by 25.
    Sorcerer's Reagent
    Reagent made by sorcerers in ancient times.
    Item effect: restores 50 HP; lowers RISK by 50.
    Yggdrasil's Tears
    Extract of Yggdrasil known to heal status abnormalities.
    Item effect: cures "Paralysis".
    You can win these from Goblins.
    Faerie Chortle
    Made by the faerie king as a remedy for use in battle against serpents.
    Item effect: cures "Poison".
    Win these from Poison Slimes.
    Spirit Orison
    Pellets made from flower petals and dried yak livers.
    Item effect: cures "Numbness".
    Angelic Paean
    A talisman bearing the icon of St. Iocus.
    Item effect: cures "Curse".
    Win these from Harpies.
    Potion made with odd bits of herbs.
    Item effect: cures "Paralysis", "Poison", "Numbness".
    Snowfly Draught
    Potion of dried snowfly wings.
    Item effect: cancels all magical effects cast on target.
    Win these from the Ichthious and Basilisk in the Snowfly Forest.
    Faerie Wing
    Powder that faeries use to accelerate movement and improve jumps temporarily.
    Item effect: imbues "Quickness".
    Win these from the Ichthious and Basilisk in the Snowfly Forest.
    Eye of Argon
    Temporarily enables Ashley to see traps set in the room.
    Item effect: reveals traps in the room
    You can win these from Bats and Stirges.
    A Lea Monde red wine with a delicate, yet robust, flavour.
    Item effect: permanently adds a few points to STR.
    The most elegant red wine, with a gentle flavour and bouquet
    Item effect: permanently adds a few points to INT.
    A Lea Monde white wine known for its honey-like fragrance.
    Item effect: permanently adds a few points to AGL.
    A Lea Monde quality sweet wine allowed to age to perfection.
    Item effect: permanently adds a few points to maximum HP.
    A sparkling wine made from a blend of three grapes.
    Item effect: permanently adds a few points to maximum MP.
    You can win these, very rarely, from Mimics.
    Elixir of Queens
    Elixirs given to soldiers by Lea Monde's monks in ancient times.
    Item effect: permanently adds a few points to HP.
    You can win these from the Crusaders of Iron Maiden B2.
    Elixir of Mages
    Elixir the mages of Lea Monde once used.
    Item effect: permanently adds a few points to maximum MP.
    You can win these from Deaths and Lich Lords.
    Elixir of Kings
    Item effect: permanently adds a few points to STR.
    I've won one of these from a Dullahan, but only rarely.
    Elixir of Sages
    Item effect: permanently adds a few points of INT.
    Elixir of Dragoons
    Item effect: permanently adds a few points to AGL.
    Note that your encyclopaedia doesn't cover all the creatures you'll fight. 
    Humans are excluded, and there are various modes of undead fighters (archers, 
    halberdiers, etc.) covered by just one entry.
    Monster stats and tactics are detailed in the level guide text, but I'll be 
    filling this section out properly for quicker reference.
    Encylopaedia List
    (01) Zombie
    (02) Mummy
    (03) Ghoul
    (04) Ghast
    (05) Zombie Fighter
    (06) Zombie Knight
    (07) Zombie Mage
    (08) Skeleton
    (09) Dark Skeleton
    (10) Skeleton Knight
    (11) Ghost
    (12) Wraith
    (13) Goblin
    (14) Goblin Leader
    (15) Orc
    (16) Orc Leader
    (17) Lizardman
    (18) Blood Lizard
    (19) Lich
    (20) Lich Lord
    (21) Death
    (22) Gargoyle
    (23) Imp
    (24) Gremlin
    (25) Mimic
    (26) Shadow
    (27) Silver Wolf
    (28) Hellhound
    (29) Bat
    (30) Stirge
    (31) Slime
    (32) Poison Slime
    (33) Dark Eye
    (34) Basilisk
    (35) Ichthious
    (36) Harpy
    (37) Quicksilver
    (38) Shrieker
    (39) Minotaur
    (40) Minotaur Lord
    (41) Minotaur Zombie
    (42) Durahan (sometimes written 'Dullahan')
    (43) Dark Crusader
    (44) Nightstalker
    (45) Last Crusader
    (46) Golem
    (47) Iron Golem
    (48) Damascus Golem
    (49) Ogre
    (50) Ogre Lord
    (51) Ogre Zombie
    (52) Giant Crab
    (53) Iron Crab
    (54) Damascus Crab
    (55) Air Elemental
    (56) Djinn
    (57) Fire Elemental
    (58) Ifrit
    (59) Earth Elemental
    (60) Dao
    (61) Water Elemental
    (62) Marid
    (63) Dark Elemental
    (64) Nightmare
    (65) Wyvern
    (66) Wyvern Knight
    (67) Wyvern Queen
    (68) Dragon
    (69) Sky Dragon
    (70) Flame Dragon
    (71) Earth Dragon
    (72) Snow Dragon
    (73) Arch Dragon
    (74) Dark Dragon
    (75) Dragon Zombie
    (76) Kali
    (77) Ravana
    (78) Asura
    If you revisit a room to hear a hollow rattle rather than the noises of its 
    usual inhabitants, you may have discovered a new Training Dummy. These inanimate 
    sparring partners are marked with the Rood, and will happily take a few hits or 
    spells directed against them. You can actually break them by getting a little 
    bit, shall we say, 'overzealous': and the reward is an item in the class of 
    potions, tonics and elixirs (not always worth the effort, in other words). If 
    you want the Dummy to regenerate, you'll need to leave the area entirely (ie. 
    that level map) and return. 
    Initially useful for practising combo timings, Dummies also come in different 
    creature classes so that you can build up a weapon's strengths against a 
    specific class. The nature of the Dummies means that you'll often win Physical 
    bonuses too, but this is very often at the expense of your Elemental ones. For 
    this reason, it's recommended that you only use them briefly to take a novice 
    weapon to a low level of competency. Even late in the game, there may be good 
    reasons for doing this: you might wish to nurture another weapon type without 
    reshaping the blade you already use for that class, so that you have a choice of 
    both Blunt and Edged, or one-handed and two-handed, or long & short range 
    weapons, versus a particular class. But because of the negative elemental drain, 
    on the whole, it's nowhere near as effective - or as fun - as fighting the real 
    Hits on training dummies also count towards your acquisition of Battle 
    Abilities, so after acquiring your new Abilities for the very first time in the 
    Minotaur's arena then you could easily acquire the next one mere seconds later. 
    However, you will need to attack a real opponent afterwards for the choice of 
    new Ability to be granted.
    Training Dummies are 'unlocked' gradually according to your position in the 
    game, but it's not really worth checking back until you have the Teleportation 
    ability. By design, all of them are placed usefully near to Magic Circles.
    Blackmarket, Wine Cellar (Crimson Blade)
    Worker's Restroom, Wine Cellar (Crimson Blade)
    The Dark Tunnel, Abandoned Mines B1 (Ogre)
    Hall of Sworn Revenge, Catacombs (Skeleton Knight)
    From Boy To Hero, City Walls North (Ghost)
    The Boy's Training Room, City Walls South (Lizardman)
    Gharmes Walk, Town Centre East (Gremlin)
    The excellent Sam Minh <samminh@hotmail.com>, another VS FAQ author, has 
    proposed that getting elixirs from these dummies is a case of beating them with 
    record chains, either before or, as a method of, the kill. I haven't got this to 
    work yet, but I'm still eager to learn the rule that decides whether you get 
    potions or elixirs from them. Anybody?
    (a) Getting the Rood Blade
    We've already mentioned that the creatures in each room vary depending on your 
    strength and power. Essentially, this trick relies on keeping yourself weak in 
    order to find a wholly different, and unexpected, kind of occupant.
    The key is to enter the rooms of Iron Maiden B2 on less than 150 HP. Instead of 
    Lich Lords or Ogre Lords, you'll find Last Crusaders waiting to take advantage 
    of your vulnerability. What's special about these creatures is their equipment: 
    all of them are packing Damascus weapons, including the 'Dainslaif' and 'Pinaka' 
    Rhomphaia blades and - best of all - the 'Excalibur' Holy Win Rood blade that 
    Guildenstern wields in the last battle! Fight the Crusaders for long enough and 
    you'll start winning these items, as well as the superior gems and Spiral Hilt 
    grips attached to them. Even if you don't win a weapon, you might pick up some 
    useful Elixirs.
    My recommended starting technique is to get all the way through to the Judgment 
    crossroads in Iron Maiden B3 as usual. Reduce your health by fighting either the 
    Lich Lords in the treasure rooms to each side (St. Elmo's Belt and Dunking The 
    witch) or the last Ogre and Ogre Lord with Break Arts, then go back through The 
    Iron Maiden, B2, and enter Tormentum Insomniae in low health. Instead of an Ogre 
    & Ogre Lord, you should find a Last Crusader. Keep stepping between the two 
    A warning, here. The rood blade is given out about as rarely as the Minotaur's 
    Hand of Light, so you won't get hold of one easily. Make sure you have space for 
    the whole weapon - blade, grips and two gems - as I'm not sure the game likes 
    giving away this special prize as disassembled components. If you're still 
    getting nowhere then try different killing methods rather than doing the same 
    thing on the same hit locations each time.
    If you want to venture further back into B2 then, by starting at the far B3 end, 
    at least you'll be well-placed to heal and run for The Keep when you've got what 
    you came for. 
    The rood blade also possesses some unusual combination properties. Place it in 
    the first slot of Combine / Blades and, as long as the weapon you add to it is 
    sufficiently powerful, you'll produce that second weapon in Damascus while 
    retaining its design.
    prize list
    The Eunic's Lot
    (1) Shrieker x 2
    (2) Dark Crusader with 'Brionac' (H) Rhomphaia plus Power Palm, Polaris gem, 
    Sigguld gem (+30 vs Dragons)
    The Oven at Neisse
    (1) Dark Crusader with 'Mjolnir' (S) Rhomphaia plus Power Palm, Basivalen gem 
    (PHY/FIR/WAT + 20, -10 all else), Altema gem (+30 vs Evil)
    The Mind Burns
    (1) Shrieker x 3 (2 with Kris (D), 1 with Agrippa's Choker)
    (2) Dark Crusader with 'Pinaka' (D) Rhomphaia plus Power Palm, Galerian gem 
    (PHYS/LIT/DRK + 20, -10 all else), Titan Malachite gem
    The Rack
    (1) Ogre
    (2) Dark Crusader with 'Sarnga' (H) Rhomphaia plus Murderer's Hilt, Vedivier gem 
    (+5 all), Djinn Amber
    The Cold's Bridle
    (1) Ogre
    (2) Dark Crusader with 'Izanagi' (S) Rhomphaia plus Murderer's Hilt, Berion gem 
    (+10 all), Ifrit Carnelian
    The Spider
    (1) Shrieker x 3
    (2) Dark Crusader with 'Ascalon' (D) Rhomphaia plus Murderer's Hilt, Gervin gem 
    (+15 all), Dao Moonstone
    (1) Dark Crusader with 'Isolde' (H) Rhomphaia plus Spiral Hilt, Tertia gem (+20 
    all), Malid Aquamarine
    (1) Dark Crusader with 'Dainslaif' (S) Rhomphaia plus Spiral Hilt, Lancer gem 
    (+25 all), Seraphim Diamond (+30 Light)
    Tormentum Insomniae
    (1) Ogre Lord (with Griever, Cross Choker), Ogre
    (2) Last Crusader with 'Excalibur' (D) Holy Win plus Spiral Hilt, Arturos gem 
    (+50 everything), Berial Blackpearl gem
    (b) Enemy Occurrence
    As mentioned at the start of the level guide, there's no fixed number or type of 
    enemies you might encounter when entering a room. On first play you'll find bats 
    and wolves make up your initial opponents, for example, but by second play 
    you'll have spotted that zombies and ghouls start cropping up earlier than 
    Essentially, Vagrant Story offers a reactive difficulty level. There's some form 
    of points system, tied into your current health and power, that determines the 
    occupants of any room you enter. If you're incredibly low on health, then the 
    Wine Cellar might offer little more than a bat to fight. A little stronger, and 
    you might find more bats, or wolves replacing those bats. Stronger still and you 
    could face bats, wolves and Undead in the same room.
    Even later in the game, you might come back to somewhere like the Crumbling 
    Market to discover that the expected Dullahan has been replaced by a Lich or 
    Lich Lord more worthy of your exceptional health and prowess. 
    The Last Crusader trick is a special case of this rule, offering up more deadly 
    enemies with incredible kit when you least expect it, but that's not to say you 
    won't get unusual results on other levels too. Try re-entering Catacombs or 
    Sanctum on very low health and spot the number of slimes replacing the usual 
    skeleton enemies. 
    Admittedly, there are places where the enemies never change. You're unlikely to 
    find anything but Crimson Blades by stumbling through town on low health.  But 
    it's an interesting tactic to consider, and one that you might exploit for a 
    Title-winning time of less than 10 hours for completion. If you're weak, your 
    enemies might not be so daunting. And if you're au fait with Raging Ache, 
    they'll fall even quicker. Get the idea?
    (c) Record Game Times
    The previous tricks came courtesy of Vincent Merken, who says he finished the 
    entire game in 10 hours *on first play* by adopting this technique of staying 
    weak and moving on, thus inviting weaker opposition, rather than resting up and 
    getting strong.
    Furthermore, Vincent contends that it's possible to get through the entire game 
    this way and rely on no more than one weapon and a couple of spells. I'm hoping 
    he'll do a Speed FAQ of his own at some point to inform the rest of us mere 
    mortals (although I understand his hands are tied in some respects, so he 
    couldn't give anything away), but within the remit of this FAQ I'm happy to 
    record any other speed tricks and techniques other players might have found.
    Director Yasumi Matsuno himself told the Japanese games press that he thought it 
    could be finished in 3-4 hours, although a mistranslation of the quote led some 
    Western game sites to erroneously report that Vagrant Story was *only* 3-4 hours 
    in length. Currently, the suggested record seems to stand at something around 80 
    Even if you've taken longer, I'd be casually interested to hear how long you 
    took to finish the game first time, and also how long you've been spending on it 
    since... (average current time for first play seems to be 25-30 hours).
    (d) Getting the Minotaur Club
    The good news is that you can win this weapon, and pretty soon in the game too. 
    On the other hand (like me, tch...), you may fight the same battle for hours and 
    turn up zilch. It's possible to get it on your first fight, according to some, 
    but it's a very rare prize. 
    If you don't succeed on first go (and the odds are against it) then there are 
    several places to try later. The weapon itself is the 'Hand of Light', and 
    you'll already appreciate both its range and STR potential from being on the 
    business end of it. There are subtle differences in the weapon assemblage that 
    you'll win, though, depending on where you win it.
    I've now confirmed that you can win items from creatures in the Time Challenges. 
    So once you've acquired the Kalmia Sigil for the Keep, stepping into the Time 
    Challenge repeatedly will provide you with an endless sequence of battles with 
    the game's first Minotaur.
    Prize: Hand of Light (I) plus Czekan Type grip
    Once you've acquired the Stock Sigil, it's also possible to fight the Minotaur's 
    Zombie incarnation repeatedly by teleporting out and back to the Blackmarket.
    Prize: Hand of Light (H) plus Runkasyle grip
    The Minotaur Lord in the Temple of Kiltia is also a recurring enemy, and once 
    you have the Silver Key from his room then the easiest way to keep fighting him 
    is to switch Puzzle Mode to OFF in the options, run back outside and take the 
    side door to the Limestone Quarry, then step back into the Temple of Kiltia and 
    climb up to the Temple of Meschaunce. The Minotaur Lord's Hand of Light has a 
    Titan Malachite attached, and this is one of the most useful gems for tackling 
    Lich-type opponents.
    Prize: Hand of Light (H) plus Runkasyle grip, Titan Malachite gem
    Quite apart from its comically huge and unwieldy appearance, the Hand of Light 
    also has some other bizarre properties. Like the rood blade, it's a metal 
    converter: place it in the second slot of Combine / Blades, stick any other item 
    in the first slot and you'll produce that first item in the same metal as the 
    Hand of Light (Iron or Hagane). In reverse, there are some alternative 
    combinations possible that result in existing weapon types. It doesn't seem 
    possible to make a Damascus Hand of Light, incidentally.
    (e) Record Combo Chains
    In all honesty, mine's a mere 22 Chains. This isn't the place for a high score 
    chart, but I'd be interested to hear from anybody who has bona fide tips on 
    massive chains. My only advice is that, as far as I can gather, it's not enough 
    to keep up a rhythm or observe the appearance of the '!': there seem to be 
    regular waypoints where the timing window moves slightly as Ashley pauses or 
    rushes, in order to catch you out at the same chain lengths every time.
    (f) Evolve Or Die
    You'll need to crack of handful of old-fashioned cube puzzles to make your way 
    through some of Vagrant's Story's rooms and passages. If you then return to a 
    room where you've already beaten a serious cube puzzle to progress, you'll be 
    thrown into a time challenge version of the same puzzle called Evolve Or Die.
    There's no prize for beating any of the time challenges, and no secret awaits 
    you for doing them all or trouncing the suggested times. It's just a minor 
    diversion with a touch of humour, thrown in for good measure. 
    If you look through the Options via the Main Menu then you'll see a Puzzle Mode 
    toggle. This is ON by default, and means that you'll enter an Evolve Or Die time 
    challenge every time you return to a solved puzzle. Switching the puzzles OFF 
    won't remove any that you haven't yet encountered, but any puzzle you've beaten 
    will remain solved so that you don't have to do it more than once. (Sometimes 
    the crates you'll find with Puzzle Mode OFF aren't an exact copy of the 
    solution, just useful steps to get you out of the room).
    I haven't tried for a complete list, but here's a rough summary of the ranks you 
    can win. As you can see, the extensive range of loser titles implies that you're 
    supposed to fail often and win rarely, so don't be put off by that 'average' 
    time being consistently tough to beat.
    Little Green Man   -  Beat the challenge with a superb time.
    Homo Sapiens       -  Win in roughly the given time.
    Neanderthal        -  Ooh, just missed it.
    Baboon             -  A couple of seconds late.
    French Poodle      -
    Capybara           -  A kind of guinea pig, apparently.
    Dodo Bird          -
    Platypus           -
    Horny Toad         -
    Scallop            -
    Sea Slug           -
    Amoeba             -
    Amino Acid         -  Mmm, primordial soup.
    Game Designer      -  Bottom of the evolutionary scale.
    Unplaced: Protozoa, Pregnant Yak...
    (g) The Bird
    Silly one, this, but if you look up into the sky in first-person PAUSE while in 
    an exterior town location then, very occasionally, you might catch sight of a 
    bird with a long wing-span circling in the skies above. Because of the excellent 
    ambient background sounds (Lea Monde still has some 'ordinary' wildlife, then, 
    despite the corruption of Bats and Wolves by the Dark?) I must admit that I 
    assumed it was a bird, and not something more serious...
    (h) Fine Wines
    I normally reserve nothing but disdain for those "you can get Gau's Dad as a 
    secret character!!!" rumours, so here's the deal.
    In the second intro scene, Ashley tells Merlose that if he finds any Lea Mondean 
    fine wines - all of which will have been laid down for at least 25 years, 
    remember - then they're hers.
    I stocked up all of my wines to the end of the game, and finished, and saved a 
    Game Clear Data without using any of them. You get nothing for doing that. It's 
    an intriguing piece of personable character dialogue, nothing more. Wines are 
    basically elixirs with interest, so you just miss out on improving your stats by 
    putting them by. Go on, prove me wrong.
    (i) Rumours
    The most worrying rumour of this month's newsgroups is that the VS design team 
    has been demoted within the hierarchy at Square because of the game's poor sales 
    (i.e. less than Square's requisite million) in the home market, despite the 
    global critical acclaim. I haven't had any confirmation of this story, and will 
    try to find out if it's true from an official source, as it seems highly 
    Vagrant Story has no real cheats to date, so I mention this purely because it's 
    the obvious way for a cheat to exist.
    What if you gave your weapon a certain name and it automatically became a cheat 
    weapon? It's an old-fashioned kind of RPG cheat (naming your character with a 
    specific title for starting bonuses) and I've seen it used as recently as 
    Harvest Moon, so half of me suspects that this might be a possibility.
    Knowing my luck, the names Orcrist, Masamune and Xxxx's Bane would work, but I 
    haven't dared try.
    (j) Bugs
    In the first area of Snowfly Forest East (second play), the first-person PAUSE 
    view shows a magic circle. Click back, and it's gone. 
    If you finish the first play without collecting all of the Break Arts, enemy 
    deaths won't start counting towards your next required total until you've 
    defeated the Minotaur boss again on second play.
    Vagrant Story has an enormous disc index to contend with, so if your PlayStation 
    is extremely old and has seen some bruisingly lengthy sessions in that time then 
    you may encounter occasional hitches as the head searches and searches again for 
    the precise track that it needs. Those tiny orbiting sparks you see when you 
    initiate a Break Art or spell are an effect to cover the disc access times, and 
    it's here that you're most likely to see the game pause for an extra second or 
    two while the read head has another go. It's NOT a bug or code glitch, but a 
    direct result of your hardware seeing *way* too much use over the years, so give 
    it a chance to catch up and it will. If you've taken to standing your PS on its 
    side occasionally to see games run more smoothly* (which may mean that the rack-
    &-pinion needs some lithium grease) then this applies to you. Hey, it's better 
    than having to swap discs just to teleport to old areas...
    *(For the record, my original Japanese SCPH-1000 series Serial A is still in 
    good working order: but I wasn't entirely surprised by PS2's supposedly 
    innovative vertical / horizontal dual mode, as I've been doing that for 
    19. CREDITS
    There's no way I could do all of this on my own, of course, and the amount of 
    really useful material I've had come my way since starting this FAQ is nothing 
    short of astounding. So here's a list of Rather Superb People: they've all 
    helped out for no reward beyond the knowledge that their work will be shared 
    freely and may help other players. I'm indebted to you all.
    James Savell <valorphoenix@hotmail.com>
    Not content with putting me right on the facts about Damascus, James suggested a 
    theory for combining different items of a similar pegging (empirical method re: 
    creating Damascus is still early stages), filled me in on the status screen and 
    also furnished me with an item list. He's since replaced my lost notes on 
    fighting the Wyvern Knight too, which meant this FAQ update got to you an 
    evening earlier. Yowza!
    Vic Palileo <vic_palileo@hotmail.com> 
    Vic did ALL the work for me on the Weapon Titles table, just when I was dreading 
    the possibility that I might have to research it all myself, and even went away 
    to level up his weapons for a complete list. Can't thank him enough for that. He 
    also simplified the Light & Dark Wage War jump better than anyone.
    Lawrence Oei <loei88@hotmail.com> 
    Lawrence kicked off the alternative boss tactics section with his Phantom Pain x 
    8 trick and, more importantly, came up with some metallurgy pointers that got me 
    back into the workshop. Greatly appreciated.
    Vincent Merken <vincent.merken@luc.ac.be>
    Vincent's speed playing tips, not to mention his discovery of Last Crusaders in 
    Iron Maiden B3, have made him one of this FAQ's most valuable contributors. He's 
    since contributed some equally valuable chain info, too. 
    Nelson Murphy <cybersol@penn.com>
    Some valuable RISK pointers for improving the chance of Sorcery spells came from 
    this guy, as well as a reminder of the Riskbreak Break Art, and I'm just as 
    grateful for his enthusiasm. The Stat Roulette tip is all his.
    Daniel Day <D_Day2001@hotmail.com>
    This guy's hot, and not only uncovered the friendship trick but did so weeks 
    before anyone else. He's also contributed a few other worthy items herein.
    Taunted me with his spanking Minotaur's Club, which he'd already obtained in the 
    Japanese version. Aha, I have several now!
    Robert Schmitz
    I first encountered Robert when he was editor of the sorely-missed Shining 
    Forth: a fine zine, not just a fanzine. He took time out from  reviewing for 
    workingdesigns.com to send me his Crimson Pain / Raging Ache tips and 
    observations. "One other observation: two room names in the Snowfly Forest are 
    Bauhaus songs (Hollow Hills and The Silent Hedges)". Goth-tastic!
    Joe P Shelton <SHELTONJP@prodigy.net>
    Continues to contribute some very helpful pointers for the hidden Grimoires 
    section, and always before anyone else too. Thanks!
    So, you don't need ranged weapons to take out the crates blocking your 
    Cloudstone jumps. This fellow showed me how.
    Kaworu <jspeer@uswest.net>, Trevor <ff4ever@sprint.ca>
    Kaworu noted how to cancel the Bloody Sin (that'll save a few tears, I'll wager) 
    while Trevor prompted me to re-try reflecting Guildenstern's attacks.
    Cyrus Nunn
    Suggested a couple of tips, including his version of Training Dummy 
    regeneration, and was more usefully pedantic about my typos. 
    Urged me on to explain the potential doubling-up of weapons for creature 
    classes, which is now in.
    D. Bingham Brown <dbrown1@stny.rr.com>
    Some canny observations mean the Ward defence trick is all his.
    Paul Riggle <rpriggle@hotmail.com>
    We like people who actually send full info, rather than just an "I found a 
    doohickey!" message which forces me to spend an evening working out what they 
    were saying and tracking down the item to discover either (a) its stats, or (b) 
    they were greatly exaggerating something perfectly mundane.
    Koh Chuan Koon <isc60489@nus.edu.sg> 
    Emasculate those dragons by running under them at the start of the battle.
    Benjamin Ford <fordbc@hotmail.com>
    Chest-closing info and Snowfly Forest East magic circle glitch, that's what.
    Tim Espasandin <pigenban@san.rr.com>, Bryce Rollins <bryce2501@hotmail.com>, 
    Sas2231@aol.com, William Simon <wsimon@mail2.sts.net> 
    These people convinced me to write more on Absorb defences, which was worth 
    including after all. Still, it is not the invulnerability trick that some 
    correspondents have suggested.
    Kyle <talon@QNET.COM>,Markweb Jimenez <markweb_3t@yahoo.com>
    Precise additional trap info and more.
    Chris Lai <clai@pc.jaring.my>, Keith Rhee <pckit@slip.net>
    Got lost in Iron Maiden B2 on my behalf. I've now done an Iron Maiden map that 
    is probably as flawed as my original guide, but here goes nothing.
    Ryan Kern <rjkern@students.wisc.edu>
    A correction-identifier of the first order.
    Gun Dream <Gunnm@operamail.com>
    Garrett Beaty <kleerwater@yahoo.com>
    NaturalH <NaturalH@msn.com>
    The first of many to note it, but these early sharpsters simultaneously pointed 
    out my gem removal error.
    Sorry if I'm still behind on some credits. V1.3 is an admittedly desperate 
    release of an FAQ that has only been half-updated in some areas, but I haven't 
    had a day off work in two weeks. That's the trouble with being freelance: even 
    Saturday Night is no longer sacred. I'm hoping to fit in a whole weekend to 
    myself on a wed/thu sometime before July, if it reassures...
    Zy Nicholson
    <This week, the author is indebted to Massive Attack vs. Mad Professor, Miles 
    Davis, Sneaker Pimps, and You Shall Know Them By The Trail Of The Dead (must be 
    getting old). And if he ever catches the burglars who made off with his original 
    US Secret Of Mana cart, among other valuables...>
    If you've discovered something that needs correcting or updating, or you've 
    spotted something that the Vagrant Story-playing world needs to know, then e-
    and I will see to it that your finest observations are both incorporated and 
    duly credited to you. Please bear with me, as, by dreadful misfortune, I also 
    need to fit in working hard for a living...

    View in: