GOD OF WAR II: TITAN MODE NO UPGRADE RUN CHALLENGE By Thundaka (thundaka@yahoo.com) Copyright 2008 Thundaka. This guide is solely for private use. If you wish to host this guide on your website, contact me for permission before doing so. Any profitable use is strictly prohibited. VERSION HISTORY v1.00: Published the thing. My strategies are pretty solid at this point, so I don't anticipate many revisions beyond possible grammatical or formatting changes. **NOTICE** If you have enough experience with the game to be contemplating this, it is assumed you have played through it at least twice (and probably a lot more) Thus I will largely ignore the solutions to most puzzles, as I'm assuming you've already solved them, and will post plenty of spoilers throughout the text. Consider yourself warned. INTRODUCTION For as long as there have been video games, there have been players who pushed the boundaries of their games through self-imposed challenges. In-game challenges like completing Titan Mode and the Challenge of the Titans can serve this purpose, but some players demand a bit more difficulty from the game than the developers explicitly provide. And for such players, there are few feats quite so satisfying as completing the No Upgrade Run (NUR) challenge in Titan Mode. In a game as fast-paced and all-around vicious as God of War II, the combination of miniscule health bar plus weak weapons and magic can easily prove fatal even to players with a clear battle plan. Good tactical sense and quick reflexes are equally important to surviving Kratos' crusade for revenge. Put simply, a No Upgrade Run challenge requires you to progress through the game with essentially the same capabilities as you start with. That means no upgrading of your weapons and magic with Red Orbs, and no increasing your health and magic bars via Gorgon Eyes, Phoenix Feathers, or the Gifts of Health and Magic. So how do you deal with wave after wave of increasingly dangerous enemies who come in ever-greater numbers, without becoming any stronger yourself? Partly by being sneaky, partly by being patient, and partly with a big hammer. A survey of the tools at your disposal: 1. Athena's Blades As Kratos' signature weapons, you will naturally be using these a lot over the course of the challenge (if not quite as much as in a regular game). Although they're easily the lowest-damage weapons, the Blades do have a number of unique advantages: they're very fast, they have excellent range without leaving you vulnerable, and a few useful aerial grapples are only available with the Blades equipped. They are mostly used as a tactical weapon after the Barbarian King battle, since the much greater damage of the Barbarian Hammer outweighs the flexibility of the Blades in most cases, but they remain useful enough to see use throughout the entire game. Important attacks include the following: *Plume of Prometheus: Square+Square+Triangle. The fastest Blades combo available, this is a quick-recovery attack whose final hit does respectable damage and knocks down your enemies. Your main form of attack against early bosses. *"Super Plume": Square+[Square or Triangle]+Square+Square+Square+Square+ Triangle. An extended version of the Plume of Prometheus, this combo ends in an even bigger finish that does significantly more damage than the standard Plume. Despite this, the long charge time makes it less useful against enemies who can't be stunned, since you will often have to abort the combo early in order to guard or dodge roll away. *Olympic Ascension: Hold Triangle. This simple attack is one of the best ways to launch enemies in the air, and is a great way to kill Minotaurs and Gorgons quickly. To stay on the ground while launching them, release the button the instant the attack animation starts; to follow them into the air, hold the button a bit longer. The downside of this attack is that you cannot abort it to guard, making it risky in mob situations. 2. Grapples Together with the Barbarian Hammer, grappling forms the heart and soul of your combat strategy. Grapples are among the most powerful attacks in Titan Mode, because their power is not tied to Kratos' personal strength and does not need to be upgraded. The grapple attacks which use your opponents as projectiles are particularly powerful, since they count as enemy attacks (which deal five times normal damage in Titan Mode) instead of normal character attacks. And of course, there are the many grapple attacks which either kill a tough opponent instantly or are required to complete a boss battle. Besides the greater damage, most grapples also render Kratos invulnerable to attack during their animations--an indispensable benefit in many battles. 3. Barbarian Hammer This weapon is your greatest source of damage, something you will badly need to get through the later battles. The Hammer has a few disadvantages, most notably the inability to dodge roll and its slow rate of attack, but these problems can be solved through clever use of weapon switching and Typhon's Bane. The Hammer has only two attacks worth using: *"Double slam": Triangle+Triangle. Your default attack against most high-HP enemies, this simple combo does excellent damage even at Level 1. Though not particularly fast, it can be aborted at any time if you need to guard. *Crushing Defeat: L1+Triangle. While this attack is a bit weaker and much slower than the double slam, and can't be aborted, it has several advantages. The attack can hit multiple enemies over a wide area, knock the lighter enemies off their feet and away from Kratos, and travel under barriers to damage enemies on the other side. This move is indispensable in the Translator and Loom Pathway battles, where it provides some crucial breathing room, and it is handy in a number of other battles. 4. Spear of Destiny Though admittedly cool, this weapon is of decidedly limited utility in a No Upgrade Run. Its damage is not as good as the Barbarian Hammer, it does not have the range or speed of the Blades, and its ranged attack is patently inferior to the Hammer's. The one thing it excels at is knocking enemies into or out of the air quickly, via the Triangle attack. I do use the Spear for this purpose in a few battles, but otherwise rely on either the Hammer or the Blades for virtually every battle. 5. Rage of the Titans The old Rage of the Gods from the first game has been revamped and upgraded in almost every way, and can transform any battle in which it's used into a glorious carnage-fest for a short while. The benefits of Raging are numerous and impressive: all your physical attacks deal double damage, enemy damage is cut in half, you cannot be stunned (though you are still vulnerable to the rare enemy grapple), and if using the Blades you gain a few powerful new attacks. It becomes even more powerful near the end of the game, tripling physical damage and cutting enemy damage to one fourth. Unlike its predecessor, Rage of the Titans can be used just a little bit at a time to conserve attack power; the gauge recharges much faster than in the first game, and thanks to the Yellow Orb chests and automatic recharge after boss battles you don't have to worry nearly as much about saving your Rage for a later battle. 6. Typhon's Bane The first and most basic of your magical attacks, Typhon's Bane is primarily useful as a tactical weapon. While its range is a sizable advantage, there are only a handful of battles where it is truly essential. Its primary use is to wear down slow-moving enemies who are dangerous at close range, most notably the Titan Minotaurs, so you can spend less time exposed to their attacks. It also allows you to quickly recover from your slow Hammer attacks via the "bow switching" trick, a tactic that will be essential in the Kraken battle. 7. Cronos' Rage Prior to reaching the Temple of the Fates, this is the best magic you have. While the damage is not great, it does stun surrounding enemies reliably enough to grant you a measure of safety in most enemy mobs. Its primary use is as an immobilization tool, stunning your enemies so you are free to attack them unmolested or perform some other task for a few seconds. I make little use of it after acquiring Atlas Quake, since the invulnerability and greater damage of the latter magic almost always outweighs the tactical usefulness of Cronos' Rage. 8. Euryale's Gaze Definitely the least useful of the four spells, though that is not to say it has no value. While the ability to petrify and shatter your enemies without having to wear down all their health may sound appealing, in practice the petrification state takes far too much time and magic to inflict and often doesn't last long enough to let you shatter them. It is useful for killing Satyr Champions, and can occasionally be helpful against the Legionnaire Captains, but in general I prefer to stick with the reliability of Cronos' Rage or Atlas Quake. 9. Atlas Quake While you get this magic fairly late in the game, it is good enough to be your primary form of magic for the remainder. Probably its most important benefit in a No Upgrade challenge is its temporary invulnerability, granting you a quick escape from your opponents' most dangerous attacks or allowing you to quickly deal a whole lot of damage to enemies who are not easily stunned. It also automatically knocks down nearby enemies (assuming they are not too heavy to knock down), allowing you to quickly defuse an otherwise inescapable mob situation. And of course there's the excellent damage, hitting every enemy in a decent radius with a double shockwave comparable in power to the Barbarian Hammer. 10. The Golden Fleece This neat addition to Kratos' panoply has all sorts of tactical applications. Its most obvious use is an area counterattack, allowing you to stun your enemies or knock them off their feet. While the damage is pretty minor, the powerful knockback is a great way to clear a crowd or put an enemy into position for a grapple--and like Atlas Quake, you enjoy a moment of invulnerability while you perform the counterattack. It is also highly useful for throwing back projectiles of all kinds, from the Sirens' magic blasts to Zeus' lightning bolts, and is a great way to kill Gorgons and the enemies fighting alongside them quickly. Though this FAQ was written specifically with Titan Mode in mind, the strategies shown here can be applied to a No Upgrade Run on any difficulty. Many of the elaborate strategies given here are no longer necessary at easier difficulties--you need little more than the Barbarian Hammer to beat the challenge on Mortal--though by the same token the grapples become weaker, forcing you to rely more on your own strength. ============================================================================= TITAN MODE NO UPGRADE RUN WALKTHROUGH I. Rhodes As you start out with the powers of a god, this first segment is vastly easier than the rest of the game. (This is Titan Mode, though, so that doesn't actually make it easy.) You enter the battle in Rhodes with maxed-out health and magic bars, along with the fully upgraded Athena's Blades and Poseidon's Rage. Take care of the ambushing soldiers with whatever moves best suit your fighting style. (I prefer using Tartarus Rage (L1+Triangle) to deal most of my damage, with Cyclone of Chaos (L1+Square) to gain some breathing room when too many of them crowd too closely.) Open the door, kill some more guards, and head up the ladder to face the first boss. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- BOSS BATTLE: Colossus of Rhodes, Part 1 Difficulty: 1/10 Unsurprisingly, the first boss battle of the game isn't hard at all. When you get control of Kratos, immediately double jump to avoid the Colossus's hand as he smashes the balcony. Once on the ground, simply wait for the Colossus to slap the ground with his hand. Turn on Poseidon's Rage as the attack animation begins for a few seconds of invulnerability, and follow it up with a quick attack on his arm. To deal with the soldiers on the ground, use Square attacks to keep them at bay. After three Poseidon's Rages the Colossus will grow tired; go to the catapult to launch yourself, then play the minigame to end the battle. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- You will be launched across the city, ending up in the water of a bathhouse. Swim to the first save point, swing across the gap, kill some more soldiers, and mash Circle to avoid being stomped. After a short climb up the wall, it is time for a rematch. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- BOSS BATTLE: Colossus of Rhodes, Part 2 Difficulty: 4/10 This one is quite a bit harder. As with the last battle, you want to jump off the ledge immediately; the Colossus' earth-shaking fist attack does some pretty nasty damage. I prefer fighting on the right side of the arena (the camera angle is lousy on the left), and so I always swing across on the way down. If you do this, be sure to turn on Poseidon's Rage the instant you let go to avoid the painful arm sweep. The Colossus has two primary attacks at close range: he will either lift his fist high into the air and slam it on top of Kratos, or push his arm forward to knock Kratos away. You want him to mostly use the first attack, since it is far easier to dodge; to ensure this, try to stay halfway between him and the edge of the arena. The quickest way to kill him is by hitting the hand on the ground with a Spirit of Hercules combo (Square+Triangle+Triangle+Triangle) until he readies the fist slam, using another on the attacking hand after dodging away, and hitting the resting hand once more to make him release some orbs. (Be careful not to get too close; the Colossus will shift his hand a few feet to the right before pulling it back, which can do some damage and knock you over. You can avoid this by aborting to a guard, but you're better off staying out of range by not moving back after the dodge roll.) He always opens with a fist slam, and if you're quick you can always stop him before the second attack. Once he's released the orbs, the Colossus roars loudly and lifts both fists in the air for his ground pound. This is instant death if Kratos is standing on the ground, so dodge roll to the swing point in the middle of the arena and grab on to avoid it. After two ground pound attacks, the Colossus will collapse on the opposite side of the arena. Swing over to the other side, play the minigame to carve up the boss's face, and repeat the process. Two more ground pounds, and he will again collapse. After winning the minigame a second time, remember to mash L1+R1 to escape his iron grip. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Once more, Kratos blasts off the Colossus and goes flying across the city. (This seems to be a recurring theme for him.) Lots of battles with Rhodes soldiers lie ahead, including two annoying ones with a swarm of swordsmen blocking your way to a few enemy archers. While the archers don't do much damage, they do constantly interrupt your combos and make it easy for the swordsmen to get a ton of hits in. There are a few ways to deal with this. The most obvious is Poseidon's Rage, though I suggest you conserve your magic for a bit further ahead. You could also close range and grab the archers, or simply use Cyclone of Chaos to stun both archers and fend off the swordsmen long enough to deal some good damage. Once you've passed the long hallway of soldiers and reached the balance beam area, you will have to kill a wall of archers to proceed. Three castings of Poseidon's Rage from the air should finish all the archers, and weaken the swordsmen enough to take them down with one or two aerial Tartarus Rages. (Don't use any more magic than that, since you'll want to be at full magic for the final Colossus battle.) Once they're dead, go back up the ladder and balance your way across the wooden beams to the save point. Kill the soldiers downstairs, refill your health and magic, and dash across the bridge before it collapses. Time to say goodbye to your precious godly powers, and for the No Upgrade Run to begin in earnest. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- BOSS: Colossus of Rhodes, Part 3 Difficulty: 2/10 Despite Kratos' gradual loss of power as the battle progresses, this fight is a lot easier than it looks. At long range the Colossus throws conduits of energy from his severed hand to block your path; at medium range he slams his fist to produce a powerful shockwave; and at short range he smacks you twice with his good arm before following up with a shockwave. The solution? If you stand near the Blade of Olympus, the boss will use nothing but his fist slam. You can avoid the shockwave by double jumping, and use your time in the air to attack the fist. Initially, while Athena's Blades are still fully powered, you can deal good damage with airborne Rampages of the Furies (L1+Circle). When it drains the levels from Kratos' blades, start using Poseidon's Rage; this will take most of your magic, with the Blade of Olympus consuming the rest. After that you will have to rely on your weakened Blades to finish the job; use Triangle attacks in midair. When the Colossus collapses for the third and final time, the Blade will drain you of your health and finally come out of the ground. With the Blade of Olympus equipped, and the Colossus' arm paralyzed, ending the battle is a cinch. You can either move to close range and take the Colossus down with Square attacks, guarding when he uses his energy jet, or use the slower but more powerful Divine Retribution (L1+Triangle) to kill him from a distance. When the Circle appears over his head, press it to get inside. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Time for a little internal sabotage. You know the drill: kill the soldiers, jump across the gaps, climb the ropes and netting, and use R1 to blow away the support columns. Note the impressive power of the Blade of Olympus; the laser attack is a one-hit kill, while two uses of the quick and powerful Square combo can take out an entire group. Climb the rope after breaking the third column, press the switch to lower the pendulum, hit it once to set it in motion, raise the pendulum again, and shimmy across the rope behind its protective cover. Destroy the final column, hop across the platforms to escape through the Colossus' mouth, and bask in your glorious victory. Or not. After a humiliating crawl back to the sword, an even more humiliating defeat at Zeus' hands, and a really trippy movie sequence, Kratos will be dead. ...Or not. Not if you can help it, anyway. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- EVENT BATTLE: Climbing Out of Hades Difficulty: 2/10 The most dangerous part of this battle is the beginning, since you start out with the same low health you had after being crushed by the Colossus. While the arms' damage is pretty low even on Titan Mode, there are enough of them that you can quickly be overwhelmed. The best way to deal with them is to grab the nearest arm; besides instantly killing that arm and the few nearest to it, it will also release some much-needed health orbs. So long as you are quick to grab any arms that spawn nearby, you should be able to make it out without too much trouble. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Once you've climbed out, talk to the Spartan soldier on your left. Save your game, then get on the Pegasus. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- EVENT BATTLE: Pegasus Battle 1 Difficulty: 3/10 Before the enemies arrive, you may wish to mash Square for a while to recharge your magic gauge. (You will need it when the Raven arrives later.) While you have access to Athena's Blades, the only attack you really need is the Pegasus' L1/R1 body slam; its damage seems to be based on the enemy damage formula, rather than the character one, because it is powerful enough to take out the Gryphons you encounter in two hits. Slam them once, move up or down to avoid their tail swipes, and slam again to finish them. You can dodge the energy beams they toss at you either by moving in wide circles around the screen, or by pressing X to dash while they are ahead of you; if the latter, be sure to recover your magic by swinging the Blades. When you see the Raven charging at you from the foreground, press X to dash forward for a midair collision. (Do not wait too long, as you will either get slammed for a ton of damage or miss it completely.) Press the button that appears to hop on, then mash Circle for a while to snap its neck. After you kill the Raven, the Dark Rider will appear. He forces you to follow him down a wind tunnel, draining away your magic to prevent you from dashing away, while he shoots bursts of energy from his spear. To survive his barrage you must evade the first three bursts, pushing the Pegasus hard toward the appropriate edge of the screen (down, left, and up respectively). The fourth burst cannot be avoided, though you can reduce the damage by sticking to one of the four corners of the screen. Quickly shake the left analog stick to break out of a tailspin and take a detour into a very cold place. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- II. Typhon's Prison Odds are that you've entered this dungeon with fairly low health. Try to grab as many Harpies as you can on the way in, as they will give you some badly needed health orbs. When you land, you will have to take on several Harpies by yourself--a dangerous prospect, given your low health. Knock them out of the air with either an aerial grab or an airborne Triangle attack--or simply stun them for a moment by parrying at the same time they attack--and then grab them on the ground to kill them. Grab the health chest once the Harpies are dead, move Typhon's finger out of the way, and grab onto the wall to begin the first major climbing sequence. Slide as far down the wall as you can, so the Fate Sentries can't attack you from below. Grapples are the way to take them out, though it would be wise to precede your grabs with a quick Square attack so they can't interrupt you. Once you've cleared all the enemies off the walls and ceiling, you can climb down to the floor and save. Down the hallway you'll meet a Minotaur accompanied by several Harpies. The Harpies can be dealt with as before, though it might be wise to use the Plume of Prometheus to knock them all down and keep the Minotaur at bay; once they're dead, use a few Olympic Ascensions to toss the Minotaur into the air and kill him with your grabs. Break the wooden crate attached to the rope, then slide down the rope to reach the snowblown outdoor area. Outside you'll fight yet another battle, this time with undead archers accompanying a few Minotaurs. Break the towers the archers stand on with two Super Plumes, then grab them and press Square to throw them at the Minotaurs. Kill any Minotaurs who survive with either the Plume of Prometheus or a few Olympic Ascensions, and climb up to the rope above. After breaking Prometheus' chains, climb down the rope and head right for another wall-climbing sequence. Once safely on the other side, it's time to practice throwing Fates Sentries. They attack really fast, so at least hit them with a Square attack to keep them from interrupting you. Save your game, head up the climbable wall--you would be well advised to fight the Fates Sentries on the ground instead of on the wall--and enter the cave above. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- EVENT BATTLE: Gorgons and Harpies Difficulty: 3/10 Initially, this will be a one-on-one battle against a single Gorgon. To finish her quickly, repeatedly knock her into the air with Olympic Ascension and grab her for impressive damage. (Make sure to do this AFTER avoiding her petrifying stare and waiting for her to charge you, since her tail sweep does fairly high damage.) You can attempt to do the same for the two Gorgons that follow, though the arrival of several Harpies and the Gorgons' twin stares makes this more difficult. Knock the Harpies out of the air, taking care to roll away from the Gorgons' stare, and then focus your attention on the Gorgons. If you cannot safely grab them, you can use the Super Plume combo to kill them from a distance. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Head down the path, grab some health orbs if necessary, and save. To progress you must cross the narrow pathways while Typhon pauses to catch his breath. You will need to kill lots of Harpies along the way; as usual, grab them to get rid of them. Get to the platform, make a bridge, and assault Typhon to gain the Typhon's Bane spell. (If they're hovering over the chasm, you can also use Triangle attacks to make them fall to their deaths.) It's not much, but at least now you have a little bit of magic on your side. Fire a few times at Typhon to keep him from blowing you away, then head down for a little target practice. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- EVENT BATTLE: Typhon's Bane Tutorial Difficulty: 1/10 Because you have infinite magic to work with, this battle is just a matter of spamming Typhon's Bane. Move to the far right of the screen to avoid the archers for the moment, and wait for the Fates Sentries to close in (weakening them with Typhon's Bane while they do so); grapple and throw them as usual. Move so you have a clear shot at one group, firing rapidly to kill both archers before they can fire back, and then do the same for the second group. The barrier will disappear, but you're not done yet; rapid-fire the bow at the archers spawning in the distance to the right to kill them. Easy. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Use the grapple points to make your way back to the save point, and save. Return to where you left Prometheus hanging--remember to break the cage holding a grapple point--and shoot him three times to kill him. You are rewarded with Rage of the Titans, and immediately get a chance to practice with it. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- EVENT BATTLE: Fates Sentries and Minotaur Grunts Difficulty: 2/10 Just turn on Rage of the Titans and go on an all-out offensive against the Minotaurs. That should kill them pretty quickly, as well as most of the Fate Sentries, and you can easily clean up any Sentries who are left with a few grapples. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- With the way out cleared, climb up to the rope and shimmy your way across. You can try to stun the Sentries and take them down with a grapple, though most of them will just try to force you off the rope. Break through the barrier, kill some more Sentries, and swing and climb your way back to the Pegasus. Use Rage of the Titans to lift the fingers--remember that you can recharge your Rage gauge by attacking them while it is off--and get out of here. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- EVENT BATTLE: Pegasus Battle 2 Difficulty: 2/10 The battles open with a whole lot of energy blasts from the Gryphons. You can speed through the first two or three rounds, but I advise you to save your magic after that for the first Raven. As before, charge forward and play the minigame to kill it. After that you'll fly through a cloud of Harpies. To kill them easily, just mash Circle; besides the temporary invulnerability and quick kills, it also releases some valuable health orbs. They're followed by a squad of Gryphons, some with Sentry riders; body slam them to death as before, taking care to avoid the frequent energy barrages. Kill one more Raven, and you get to fight the Dark Rider that knocked you down earlier. BOSS BATTLE: Dark Rider Difficulty: 4/10 While the body slam is still your best attack, you have to be more careful; the Dark Rider is rarely stunned, and he will often follow up your attack with a quick spear attack of his own. Try to take advantage of the recoil from your attacks to give yourself as much space as possible; he can't hit you while you're above or below him, so move vertically as much as possible. This is a good place to turn on Rage of the Titans and go crazy with the Blades; it prevents him from interrupting your attacks, and if you start out with a full Rage gauge you can take off over half his health before it ends. After losing a good bit of health, he will fly forward and release a string of very powerful energy projectiles; charge forward to avoid these, as they are hard to dodge and do a ton of damage. When you've done enough damage, the Dark Rider will charge forward and force you into another wind tunnel sequence. This time you will have to evade five blasts: move left, down, right, up, and left again to avoid them. If you survived that, the battle is all but won. The boss will automatically knock the Pegasus out of the sky. Play the minigame to kill the rider, catch the cliffside with a single epic button press, and you're home free. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- III. The Temple of Lakhesis At the top of the cliff where you arrive is a save point. Use it, then climb up a bit further for a quick battle with some Fates Guardians. These guys are incredibly annoying, mostly due to their exasperating refusal to be stunned. If you can hit them at long range with a Plume of Prometheus, you can usually knock them off their feet--though even then, they will sometimes block the Plume and charge forward anyway. The one attack they cannot block is Olympic Ascension, which you can use to start a nearly unbreakable juggle; this also does great damage against the other enemies, often enough to open their grapple attack in one hit. As with the Fates Sentries, throwing them via a grab does great damage against groups of them. If you're desperate, you can use Rage of the Titans; no battle will require it for a long time yet. Up top, you will have to cut through a large pack of Rabid Dogs. This is less a battle than it is a grappling tutorial, since Kratos' powerful punt attack is a one-hit kill against most enemies. After clearing them out, cut down one of the bodies and use it to open the gate below. Watch the cutscene, head over the collapsing bridge, and drop into the courtyard to fight the Cerberus. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- BOSS BATTLE: Cerberus Difficulty: 1/10 This would be a nasty battle if you had to fight him head-on. Fortunately he's accompanied by a pack of Rabid Dogs, the same enemies you practiced using as ammunition in the previous area. Two or three punts will trigger a minigame, which takes off a big chunk of health and releases some Rage orbs. After a few more punts and one more minigame, he'll be dead. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Use the collapsed pillar as a stepping stone, save, and climb over to the next area, grabbing Fates Sentries as you go. You will have to deal with yet more Rabid Dogs and a group of archers. Stand behind the pillar to avoid the archers while taking care of the dogs, then jump across and throw the archers at each other to kill them. Throw some more archers to finish the next group, grab some health orbs, and head down the elevator to fight the Siren Widows. My preferred strategy is to weaken each Siren Widow with Typhon's Bane, then use Olympic Ascension to repeatedly toss them in the air until the grab becomes available. Recover your health and magic at the nearby chests, use the save point, and head across the chain for the first truly nasty battle in the game. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- BOSS BATTLE: Theseus Difficulty: 6/10 *Phase 1* Always open the battle by guarding, as Theseus will generally open with his painful three-hit combo. The Super Plume is your best move here; the Square+Triangle opener will sometimes knock him back, giving you a few extra seconds to complete this powerful combo. Be prepared to abort your attack at any time, as he will often interrupt your attacks with one of his own. Don't worry too much about his grab-and-spin counterattack, as the damage from it is insignificant compared to his other attacks. *Phase 2* Your strategy is the same as Phase 1, with one exception: When he starts running past or away from you, roll away immediately. That signals he is about to summon icicles from the ground, which will take off over half your health if you're standing too close to him. Incidentally, the moment he starts the attack is an excellent time to start a Super Plume combo, since he will run back into range just as you're ready to deliver the finishing hit. A bit more intense, but still not too dangerous. *Phase 3* This is what earns the battle its high difficulty. Theseus climbs onto the roof and spends the remainder of the battle shooting blasts of ice and summoning icicle formations from the ground, completely out of reach of your attacks. Only Typhon's Bane can hit him. Take the opportunity to fire a volley of shots until he is no longer stunned; after that, roll to the left and right to avoid his blasts. While the damage from each blast is relatively small, over the course of a long battle they can do quite a lot of damage. After he's done shooting at you, he will summon two Minotaurs to fight you at close range while he shoots and summons icicles. While you can use Olympic Ascension to knock the Minotaurs into the air, it is a dangerous strategy that leaves you wide open to getting skewered from below, shot from above, or chopped from right in front of you. The safest strategy is to damage them from a distance with Plume of Prometheus, keeping a safe distance from them at all times. This can be difficult, both because of their charge attack and the maneuverability issues imposed by Theseus' rapid icicle attacks, but you can usually maintain sufficient distance by dodge rolling away. Your top priority is to avoid the icicles, which can sprout anywhere with only a little warning and are now strong enough to kill you in one hit. The Minotaurs' axe attack is almost as deadly; it has much longer reach than you'd think, and two or three hits from it can easily end the battle. (It also stuns you for a few seconds, leaving you vulnerable to the icicles or more axe attacks.) If you don't have time to roll out of the way, ALWAYS GUARD when you're right next to the Minotaurs. Their combo attack is also pretty damaging, but unlike the single-hit attack it can be interrupted. Once the circle appears over a Minotaur's head, immediately grab it and play the minigame. This will release some health and magic orbs, allowing you to continue using Typhon's Bane. Finish the other Minotaur, then fire at Theseus until he starts attacking. Wait for him to summon two more Minotaurs, kill them for orbs, and repeat the process. You will have to kill four or five pairs of Minotaurs before Theseus finally slips, at which point you can finish him with the minigame. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- With the Horse Keeper's Key, you can open the locked door Theseus was guarding. Climb the ladder and slide across to the first platform, then open the door there. You will obtain Cronos' Rage, and immediately use it to clear out a room full of Fates Guardians. Once the way is cleared, use the save point and head forward to the Steeds of Time. Do a little puzzling, take out the Harpies with a few well-timed grabs, and the way to the Island of Creation will be opened. There's a short battle with a few Minotaurs and Fates Guardians before you can go back. You could take care of them the same way you took care of the ones in Typhon's Prison, using Rage of the Titans to tear them apart, though you could also spam Cronos' Rage to stun them or just use Olympic Ascension to juggle one of the Guardians. Recover health or magic as needed, jump down to take care of the solitary Guardian at the bottom, and continue across the chain. The next area is filled with Fire Nymphs, a fairly harmless enemy who can be killed two at a time with grapples. Jump down, slam open the door, move the fountain, and do some swimming to obtain the Amulet of the Fates. Use the amulet to return to the upper level, then to reach the statue's head. Naturally, you're given an opportunity to practice using the Amulet almost immediately. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- EVENT BATTLE: Wraiths of Athens and Nymphs Difficulty: 2/10 Like most battles up to this point, grapples are the most effective way to win. Slow time with the Amulet, proceed to kick the Wraiths around a few times, and reuse the Amulet once it wears off. You can grab the Wraiths twice in a single combo, once on the ground and once in the air; doing so will provide you an extra second or two of invulnerability, and will often stop them from burrowing into the ground. When the Nymphs appear, focus on killing them first; their sticky webs are death when combined with the Wraiths' spin attack. Once you've cleared out the enemies, a few Plumes to the statue's head will destroy it and clear the way forward. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- In case you've lost too much health, there is a chest directly ahead. Climb down the ladder into Destiny's Atrium, and get ready for a long and grueling battle. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- EVENT BATTLE: Cyclops Tyrants and Wild Boars Difficulty: 3/10 This isn't a difficult battle per se, but it does require a great deal of patience. Your first priority is to get rid of all the Wild Boars, who can be thrown by the Cyclops and have an annoying combo attack of their own. Once they're out of the way, you can focus on the Cyclops itself. The only way to safely damage the beast is to wait for it to stop running, then use a basic Plume combo to do decent damage and stun it for a second or two. It will take a while for your weak Blades to wear away at his massive health, but eventually you'll weaken him enough to grab him for good damage. After two grabs and a whole lot of Pluming, the first Cyclops will fall and two more will arrive in his place. The strategy is exactly the same, except that you have to be even more careful about maintaining proper distance. Just keep gnawing away at their health, and eventually both Cyclops will fall. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Use the combo chest to heal if necessary, climb up the second ladder to reach the top, and use the two statues to break the beams and open your way to the rest of the island. Set Typhon's Bane as your magic, save, and head forward. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- BOSS BATTLE: Barbarian King Difficulty: 4/10 Prior to beginning the battle proper, you will have to play a minigame while being dragged behind the horse. You will have to press two buttons, then rotate the analog stick, and press one more button in order to survive undamaged. I strongly suggest that you reset if you mess up, since it will be difficult to recover any lost health once the battle starts. *Phase 1* The Barbarian King opens the battle on horseback, and begins with a vicious charge. Begin by rolling to the left or right, then position yourself directly in front of him as soon as the charge stops. He will try to whack you with his hammer, which you can easily block. By attacking with Square+Triangle, then aborting to a guard, you should be able to damage him relatively quickly without getting hurt. If for any reason you're not able to stay in front of him, he will start trotting away while firing arrows at you. Simply stand there and guard until he prepares to charge, at which point you can roll away and reposition yourself. After dealing enough damage the Circle will appear over the horse's head, and you can fight the Barbarian King on foot. *Phase 2* He is invulnerable to damage in this phase, so there's no point in attacking him. Instead, you need to kill the Barbarian Mercenaries he summons from the ground. It only takes one grab to do this, though you have to avoid his attacks in the meantime. I prefer to keep a good distance from the Barbarian King, as his long-distance attack is slower and significantly easier to block. After you've killed the third wave of Mercenaries, the Barbarian King will begin his transformation. Hit him with a Super Plume combo while he's transforming, then roll away. *Phase 3* The good news is that the game gives you a checkpoint here, and lets you recover a good fraction of your health. The bad news is that the Barbarian King now has ridiculous reach, and his attacks are unblockable. If you try to damage him directly with your weak attacks, you will probably die before you're able to end this phase. To survive you must keep your distance as much as possible, and minimize the damage when you must get close. Begin by firing Typhon's Bane at him, moving backwards as you shoot. When he gets too close, roll away from him at a diagonal; doing so should help you avoid getting trapped against the edge. Once you've used up all your magic, turn on Rage of the Titans and quickly move in. If you're lucky, your combo will stun him before he can get in the final hit; if not, you will still be able to deal good damage while only taking half damage yourself. It will take most of your Rage to do so, but eventually he will release more orbs and shrink down to a more manageable size. *Phase 4* The only real danger of this phase is his soul summon attack. He will lift up his hammer for a second, then summon a large number of blade-like spirits to skewer you. This attack cannot be blocked, but it can easily be dodged if you know it's coming. By rolling away when he lifts his hammer, then rolling back when the souls appear, you should be able to avoid them altogether. His other main attack in this phase is a circular hammer swing, which you can block. Attack him with the Square+Triangle combo, aborting it to guard or roll away as necessary, until the Circle appears over his head. Grab him to start the minigame--remember to keep mashing Circle, or he will take the hammer back and do some damage to you--then press three random buttons to steal the hammer and end the battle. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- IV. The Temple of Euryale With the Barbarian Hammer now in your possession, your damage output has multiplied immensely. Kill the Barbarian Mercenaries who spawn here with a few grabs, then swing across and do the same to the Wild Boars in the forest. Use the save point, and head off to the right to grab Euryale's Key. You will immediately be ambushed by a mob of Beast Lords. These guys can be killed with a few grab attacks, but their spinning axe attacks and mob tactics can still make things annoying for you. I suggest that you alternately grab all the nearby Beast Lords, as doing so will prevent several of them from mowing through your health once the first one dies. To the left of the save point you will have your first encounter with Cursed Remains, and your first chance to see the Hammer in action. Either attack them at range with Crushing Defeat, or wait for them to laugh so you can melee them safely. You need to grab them in order to kill them for good; two hits should allow you to do so. Once you've cleared them out you can use Euryale's Key to open the path forward. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- EVENT BATTLE: Beast Lords and Cyclops Berserkers Difficulty: 2/10 One of the Beast Lords will open this battle by summoning a Cyclops and immediately mounting it. Grab the Cyclops right away to dismount the Beast Lord; the Cyclops is much more dangerous while it has a rider. Grab the Beast Lord several times to kill it, then wail on the Cyclops with the Hammer. The timing is a little easier for this Cyclops: it attacks with an easily dodged two-hit strike, then stops for a moment to roar. Hit him with the double slam when he starts roaring; be sure to change to the Blades and roll away immediately after the second hit. (To do this more quickly, hold both L1 and R2 immediately after the second hit connects; Kratos will immediately guard and change weapons, circumventing the Hammer's long recovery time.) When his health is low enough, play the minigame to rip out his eye. Two more Beast Lords will spawn, and will summon another Cyclops. Grab the nearest Beast Lord, then toss him into the air with Olympic Ascension; you can toss him just as you did the Fates Guardians, doing huge amounts of damage to the other two if they get too close. Grapple the second Beast Lord to death, then finish the Cyclops. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Get onto the platform, move the stone, and lift the gate to progress forward. You will end up in a room full of Fire Nymphs and Wraiths. As usual, grapples are the way to go; be sure to take out the Fire Nymphs first. Swing across, then hop across the stones to the pillars where the Hades Fiends are throwing fireballs at you. Break the three pillars, along with the Hades Fiends standing on them, and make your way forward to the next area. Kill some more Hades Fiends, float the body across, and press some buttons to open the gate. After the save point, you will be forced to pull some levers while being attacked by endless numbers of Fates Sentries. To take them out quickly, grab them and then throw them with the Square button; if you're quick about it, you should be able to keep pulling without losing any ground. Hop across to the other side, and touch the big rock to make it come to life. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- BOSS BATTLE: Titan Minotaur I Difficulty: 3/10 The Titan Minotaur always opens with a ground pound attack. Roll away immediately, as even one hit from this attack can do heavy damage. After that he will primarily attack by spinning his arms around. While this can take off as much as half your health in one use, it is fairly easy to dodge if you see it coming. (He can also attack by throwing a big rock at you, but only if you wander too far away.) You can damage him pretty safely by running in as he is nearing the end of his spin attack, hitting him with a double slam from the Hammer, and rolling away when he starts his next spin attack. Despite his high HP, you should be able to wear through it to trigger the minigame fairly quickly. Press all four buttons--do not screw up, because this minigame will only appear once--and you can continue on. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- After some more climbing of walls and ropes, you will come across a short section involving a conveyor belt and some petrifying beams of energy. Your first priority is to get to the far end as quickly as possible; rolling under the beams will allow you to avoid getting turned to stone. The massive number of Fates Sentries can be difficult to deal with, but a Square attack or two followed by a quick grab and throw can do wonders. Remember to keep rolling forward, and be prepared to wiggle the analog stick for dear life if you become petrified. Once you break the barrier (either with the Hammer or by throwing Sentries at it), swing across and push the stone out. Move the two stones onto the platform, push the whole thing into the swamp, and jump across the newly formed stepping stone to access the cave with the Golden Fleece. Talk to the soldier, take out the Gorgon Assassin (roll to the side to dodge her instant-freeze attack, then use a few Olympic Ascensions to toss her into the air and kill her), and fight an ugly three-headed rat for what's rightfully yours. Set your magic to Typhon's Bane. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- BOSS BATTLE: Super Cerberus Difficulty: 5/10 This thing is fast, and most of its attacks do enormous damage. At close range, it has three basic attacks: a flame breath attack which can kill you in under a second, a fast double paw slam which can easily take off half your health, and a headbutt which is somewhat less powerful but can be used almost instantly. While there is usually a small opening after the flame breath and double paw slam, giving you half a second or so to whack it with the Hammer, ALWAYS be prepared to abort to a guard when you see any movement. Every once in a while, the boss will back up a bit and stop attacking. This indicates it is charging for its unblockable fireball attack, and that it is safe for you to go on the offensive. Turn on Rage of the Titans, and keep whacking it with the Hammer until it fires the fourth and final fireball; with Rage active, the damage is negligible. Then turn your Rage off, and prepare to play defensive again until it charges up for the next fireball attack. Once you've used up your Rage, switch to Typhon's Bane and fire at it from a distance. (Be sure to steer well clear of the fireballs when not under Rage; though they don't do much damage individually, getting stunned and taking four to the face can still cause significant damage.) After it's lost half its health the boss gains a new attack, a slow ground pound that does enormous damage if you're foolish enough not to block it, but the strategy remains essentially the same. When the circle appears over its head, kill it and grab the Golden Fleece to end the battle. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- With the Fleece in your possession, you can enter Euryale's Temple. Use it to shatter the fireball-spitting statue, then to petrify and shatter the Gorgon Assassins (attempting to grab them automatically triggers the stare), then to break the door. Inside the temple you'll encounter a few Cursed Legionnaires; shatter those you can with the Hammer, then hit the rest with the double slam or keep them at a distance with Crushing Defeat until you can grab them and throw them at their comrades. Be sure to guard frequently; the Fleece's counterattack is an excellent way to clear some space when they start ganging up on you. Head down the ladder to get a more intensive bit of practice. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- EVENT BATTLE: Cursed Legionnaires and Hades Minotaurs Difficulty: 3/10 Take out the Legionnaires here the same way you did upstairs, shattering those you can and knocking back the rest. Be careful to keep as much distance from the Hades Minotaurs as you can, and be especially careful not to let them back you into a corner; their torch slam attack is unblockable and does massive damage. Once the Legionnaires are all gone, you can focus on the Minotaurs. Whack them with the Hammer when you can, guarding when they use the torch like a club and rolling away when they use the torch slam. You can use Rage of the Titans here, since you won't need it for the next boss battle. Once their HP falls low enough, you can minigame them to finish the job. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Use the lift to reach the lower level, taking out the Fire Nymphs down there, and hop up the ledges to reach the other side. To take out the Legionnaire Captain, block his attacks with the Golden Fleece; you could use the counterattack to knock him off his feet, but it's quicker to let the parry stun him for a second while you continue whacking him with the Hammer. Heal if necessary, use the save point, and head up. After crossing the ceiling (be careful, since the blades are a one-hit kill) and lowering the barrier, jump down to the room below. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- BOSS BATTLE: Euryale Difficulty: 5/10 *Phase 1* Euryale starts with three attacks: a simple headbutt using her snakelike hair, a two-hit body slam, and a petrifying stare much like that of her younger sisters. The headbutt is easy to deal with; just abort to a guard whenever she raises her head up. (Don't waste your time with the Golden Fleece counterattack; you can do a lot more damage with a hit from the Hammer.) She prepares for the body slam by getting on her belly: switch to the Blades and guard for the first hit, then roll out of the way to avoid the unblockable second hit. The petrifying stare is definitely her deadliest move in this phase, though it's easy to counter if you're paying attention. Immediately guard to trigger the Golden Fleece, and mash Circle like your life depends on it. If successful, you will be safe and she will take some damage; if not, wiggle the left analog stick like crazy and pray that you're fast enough to break out before she shatters you. With the Hammer on your side, it shouldn't take too long to force her into the next phase. *Phase 2* She slithers up one of the two columns, and proceeds to use a cheap petrification+dive bomb tactic in order to shatter you. Though you should continue attacking while she's wrapped around a column (guarding against her three-hit tail slap as necessary), the best time to attack is immediately after she's used her dive bomb attack; she will be within easy reach of the Hammer, and mostly will not fight back while she slithers back toward the column. To trigger the dive bomb, you must allow yourself to be petrified for a certain minimum length of time; if you escape the freeze beam too quickly, or avoid it entirely, she will follow up by lobbing petrifying orbs of energy instead. When you are petrified by the freeze beam, wiggle the analog stick gently at first; start wiggling a lot faster once you see her spiraling up the column in preparation for the dive. If done right, you should be able to break out of your petrified state and double jump just in time to avoid the shockwave and hit her with one or two double slams. To break the columns, you must hit her while she is wrapped around them; the minigame will release a few health and magic orbs, which you can use to cast Cronos' Rage for a bit of extra damage. UNEQUIP THE HAMMER WHEN YOU BREAK THE SECOND COLUMN, and immediately roll away. *Phase 3* Her double ground pound is absolute death in this phase. If you ever see her lift her whole body in the air, IMMEDIATELY roll away--twice, if necessary. Your best form of offense here is Typhon's Bane, which does good damage without forcing you to close the distance and deal with the ground pound. You still need to be wary of her petrifying orbs, though, which she uses in place of the petrifying stare. This is significantly harder to avoid; the second of the three orbs is always fastest, so you want to pay the most attention to it. If you entered the battle with full magic, you should be able to take off most of her health using just Typhon's Bane. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Once the boss is vanquished you gain Euryale's Gaze, your third magic spell. To petrify the Fates Sentries, use Cronos' Rage to stun them and quickly switch to Euryale's Gaze while they're recovering; shatter them with the Hammer. Save your game, raise the four columns in the watery area, and pull a lever to open the door to the next area. Before you can lift the last column, you'll need to dispatch a few more enemies. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- EVENT BATTLE: Hades Juggernauts and Hades Fiends Difficulty: 1/10 Thanks to the Fates Statue behind the crank, this battle is a cinch. Use the Amulet of the Fates to slow down time, then start pounding at the Hades Juggernaut with the Hammer. A few hits will cause pieces of his armor to break off, stunning him and giving you the opportunity to do lots more damage. Renew the Amulet's effect once it wears off (keeping in mind that it takes a second or two to recharge), and resume attacking him. Before long the circle will appear over his head, and you can finish him with the minigame. When the next wave appears concentrate on the Hades Fiends, reusing the Amulet as necessary. Once they are gone you can finish the second Juggernaut, and the one which spawns after it, in the same way that you did the first. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- With the enemies out of the way, you can raise the final column and slow down time to leave the area. Climb up the ladder, freeze time once more, and start swinging between the poles until you reach the door. Set Cronos' Rage as your magic before you enter the door. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- EVENT BATTLE: Rabid Hounds Difficulty: 1/10 By this point, you should already know how to take care of the big pack that drops down at the beginning. The trouble starts when you reach the top of the shaft, and have to mash Circle to push yourself back down. Each time you do this, two more Rabid Hounds will drop down; if they're not both dead by the time the elevator reaches the top, they will break your grip and cause the elevator to crush you. To take care of both dogs, do the following: grab one of the dogs (killing the other in the process), roll to grab it again, and finish it with the Hammer's Triangle attack. This is the only method I've found which can consistently kill both dogs quickly enough. After surviving the minigame four times, the door on the far side will open wide enough for you to pass through. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- You will meet your first group of Hades Harpies after exiting the shaft. Their fireball attack is nasty, not least because they can use it to home in on you for several seconds at a time. If you get hit by this attack, I recommend resetting from the last checkpoint. Knock them down with the Plume of Prometheus and finish them with a grapple, just as you did in earlier areas. You can't reach them while they're performing a fireball attack, so just roll out of the way. Shimmy across to the other side, and ready yourself. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- BOSS BATTLE: Titan Minotaur II and Hades Harpies Difficulty: 7/10 A truly nasty battle. Where the first Titan Minotaur only used the spin attack at close range, this one loves to use the ground pound. This attack reaches too far to simply roll away from, and he will sometimes extend the attack for upwards of eight hits. In addition, the boss is accompanied by an endless assault of fast Harpies with deadly fireball attacks. The Harpies can very easily kill you here, either directly through their ridiculous fireball attack or by stunning you and trapping you in the spin attack. So what are you to do? Survival in this battle hinges on a powerful trifecta of tools: Cronos' Rage, the Barbarian Hammer, and Rage of the Titans. Besides stunning the Harpies, Cronos' Rage provides a split second of invulnerability when it is cast--an invaluable feature when you need to avoid a Harpy's fireball in a pinch. Open the battle with two Crushing Defeats during his ground pound, then unequip the Hammer. You can't afford to stay near the boss, because of the ground pound, so you need to wait for him to use the rock-throw attack; use Cronos' Rage to hold off the Harpies while you're waiting. Thanks to a quirk in the game design, you can completely avoid the rock by dodge rolling through it. (You must do so at the last moment, though, or else you will get tossed into the air and be completely vulnerable to the Harpies for a bit.) Reequip the Hammer, turn on Rage of the Titans, and perform a quick double slam attack as quickly as possible, then unequip the Hammer and roll away as quickly as possible. Though you do need to conserve your Rage, turn it off as you're rolling away; you don't want to lose it too soon, as its immunity to stunning can help you avoid getting trapped too close to the boss by the Harpies or his own attacks. Repeat this as best you are able, and if you can survive long enough the minigame should come up a bit after you've run out of Rage. Hit the four buttons--even more than before, you REALLY don't want to screw this up--and you'll kill the boss and trigger the next checkpoint. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- If you clear out the remaining Harpies, you can open the chest here to restore your lost health or magic. Swing across to the other side, making sure to save. Up ahead is a long hall filled with Cursed Remains, who only come to life once you reach the end. The easiest course of action is to simply ignore them and head up the stairs. If you do intend to fight them, I recommend backtracking toward the save point first; Crushing Defeat works marvelously here. After you ascend to the top of the stairs, you will be back in Destiny's Atrium. Head to the chasm with the fireball-spitting statue, and use the Golden Fleece to break it and open the path. There is a health chest and a magic chest in front of you, if you still need to recover either. Hop down, and quickly grab one of the archers to throw him at the other. A bit farther ahead, three archers and a Legionnaire Captain will spawn. The quickest solution is to simply ignore those archers and grapple to the other side, kill the two that spawn there, and use the grappling points to get all the way to the far end. Three more archers and another Legionnaire Captain will spawn there; take them as normal, then climb the ladder. V. The Temple of Atropos As soon as you enter the area, some Wraiths of Asphodel will spawn in the south. I recommend heading toward the save point in the upper left; by saving after you've killed one of them, you won't have to fight it again if the others end up killing you. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- EVENT BATTLE: Wraiths of Asphodel Difficulty: 5/10 Thank god this is the only time you have to fight these guys. What makes them so deadly is not merely that they are quick, or that their combos can tear you apart with little warning, but the fact that it is very difficult to close range with them. They have two different attacks to knock you back, both of which do horrendous damage: they will either throw their arms through the air like a discus, or stick them in the ground to cut you from below. The most effective strategy I have found for these guys is to roll in during a quiet moment, quickly grab one of them, and then move as far away from the other two as you can. The Wraith you grabbed will sink into the ground and follow you across the atrium, giving you a lot more space to avoid their attacks. The other two will close in eventually, but you should be able to get in a few more grabs before it comes to that. (Like their easier cousins, the Wraiths of Asphodel may be grabbed a second time while in midair.) Alternatively, you could try to keep the three of them close together and alternately grab each of them; they will burrow underground to attack you when they land, but if you guard after each grab there should be just enough time to grab another Wraith. This is a little risky, though, since if you're too slow one of the Wraiths may recover and resume throwing its arms at you. Regardless, do not let them back you into a corner; they can easily trap you with their attacks, especially since they will often be off-screen thanks to the lousy camera angles. Magic is not too useful against these guys: you could use Typhon's Bane to wear one down at a safe distance, but it's near impossible to stun or petrify them in a timely manner. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Once all the Wraiths are dead, save and head into the temple. Use the health chest in front of you if necessary, then walk right for another, much less frustrating battle. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- EVENT BATTLE: High Priests of the Fates and Erebus Minotaurs Difficulty: 2/10 The High Priest begins the battle by summoning one or two Minotaurs into the fight. For obvious reasons, he is your primary target. To damage him and stop him from summoning more enemies, grab him and win the button-mashing game to send him flying in the air. Guard until he lands, then repeat the process until he dies. (Be glad you can safely ignore the other enemies while you do this, unlike the next time you fight him.) Two more High Priests will appear; pick one to kill, taking care to avoid the other's magic-draining grab, and then kill the last High Priest. The Minotaurs are a piece of cake; their swing is easy to block, and when you do you can use the Golden Fleece's counterattack to knock them to the ground. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Use the crank and the two statues to reach the upper level, heal if necessary, and head around the top of the temple. I'd suggest ignoring the Harpies. You can knock down the two Fates Guardians at the bottom of the stairs with the Golden Fleece, throw one into the air with Olympic Ascension, and juggle it until both Guardians are dead. Set Euryale's Gaze as your magic. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- EVENT BATTLE: Satyr Champions Difficulty: 2/10 This is one of the few places in the game where Euryale's Gaze comes in handy. Turn on the beam as soon as you gain control of Kratos, moving away as you do. The Satyr Champions start out a good distance away from you, and thanks to the beam's slow-down effect they shouldn't be able to close the distance before you petrify one of them. Whack the petrified one with the Hammer to shatter it, then do the same to the survivor. Battle won, a whole more easily than if you had to kill them the old-fashioned way. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Push the block down into the courtyard, and use it as a stepping stone to reach the upper level. There are some Nymphs flying around here; knock them out of the air with a grab or Triangle attack, then kill them on the ground. Behind the door is an optional fight with some Fates Guardians and Hades Juggernauts. If you do fight them, I recommend launching a Guardian with Olympic Ascension (after knocking him down, of course) and using the grapple to kill the other enemies before you attack the Juggernaut. Use the save point, then leap between the grapple points to reach the area with the Fates Statues. Using the statues to slow down time works wonders; with your incredible speed, it's easy to launch the Fates Guardians into the air and use them to beat the other enemies to death. Just be careful of the Harpies, who seem to love dive-bombing you even more than in previous areas; try to kill them first. If you are having trouble surviving, Cronos' Rage is an excellent way to buy some breathing room. After crossing the final set of vines, use the health and magic chest and equip the Hammer before you head forward. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- BOSS BATTLE: Perseus Difficulty: 3/10 *Phase 1* The battle begins with Perseus turning invisible and teleporting back and forth across the room. He's not completely invisible--you can see his outline as he moves across the water--but it can still be tricky to spot his location when he's not moving. He will open the battle with a charging slash attack, hitting you between six and eight times (depending on how far away he started). Guard until the attacks stop, then quickly turn on Rage of the Titans and whack him with the Hammer's double slam. He will often follow it up by rolling around and slashing at you twice; Rage of the Titans reduces the damage enough that you can keep attacking. (Remember to turn the Rage off after he teleports, of course.) He will also sometimes sling projectiles at you from a distance; you can throw them back with the Golden Fleece, but it's generally just as easy to guard until he teleports and charges you again. When he becomes temporarily visible and a circle appears over his head, IMMEDIATELY abort your attack and grab him; you won't have much more than a second to do so. *Phase 2* With his helmet smashed, he is no longer invisible and can't teleport or use the charge attack. On the other hand, he is still fond of rolling around and slashing at you for big damage. Continue using Rage of the Titans to enhance your attack power. The Golden Fleece is a bit more effective against his attacks now, as you can use it to knock him off his feet and get in a few more hits. He will start using a very annoying move in this phase: He lifts up his shield and emits a bright flash of light, forcing you to shake the analog stick to regain your senses. Guard as quickly as you are able; the shield bash that follows will easily take off half your health. When he collapses, you should once again drop what you are doing and grab him right away. *Phase 3* With no helmet and no sword, he is much easier to dispatch. While he is still able to hit you with the shield, he will automatically abort to a guard when you attack. Keep pushing him back to the wall, and eventually he will collapse and leave himself vulnerable for a few seconds. The only move you really have to worry about is the stunning attack; it still does enormous damage, though you should have plenty of time to regain your senses and guard. When you've done enough damage, Perseus will start backing toward the far end of the pool, at which point he will once again using the stunning attack. Break out as quickly as you can--he follows up with his sling this time, so be quick--hit him a few times, and you will be able to finish him off with the minigame. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- With the Shield of Perseus in hand, hop down to the courtyard. Put the shield onto the statue on the upper level, push it down onto the lift, and block both beams to open the way forward. Up ahead you will meet two Undead Archers; swing across and grab one to take them both out. Head around to the climbable wall, pull the lever up top to lower the gate, and grab the Spear of Destiny. You will have to fight a short battle against some Fates Sentries. As usual, grabbing and throwing them is the fastest solution. Don't forget that you can slow them down with the Amulet of the Fates. Rotate the statue so it's facing the outside, then use it to cross the tilted platform and reach the save point. I recommend setting Cronos' Rage as your magic and the Barbarian Hammer as your subweapon before you cross the collapsing pillars. Once on the other side, equip the Hammer and walk forward. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- EVENT BATTLE: Cave Path Battles Difficulty: 5/10 While technically two separate battles, the fact that there is no checkpoint in between--and that healing between them is very difficult--makes this a single test of endurance. *Part 1: Sirens and Hades Minotaurs* The battle begins with two Sirens spawning from the ground. Their main attack is to sling a burst of energy at you. By blocking it with the Golden Fleece, you can toss it back at them to knock one of them into the air. While she is down, keep hitting her with the double slam. This will repeatedly toss her into the air, allowing you to continue attacking until the grab becomes available. (You will generally only be able to do this while the two Sirens are on the opposite end of the room, as otherwise you'll have to keep blocking the other Siren's energy bursts.) They will also sometimes stay in place while crackling with electricity, indicating that they're going to summon a pillar of energy underneath where you're standing. If they do this, simply keep moving around; it's easy to avoid, but will tear you apart if you don't get out of the way. Initially, focus on killing one of the two Sirens. Wear down the second Siren until the first grab becomes available, but DO NOT KILL HER YET. As soon as you've killed two Sirens the Hades Minotaurs will appear, and you want the surviving Siren to have as little health as possible. Wait for the third Siren to spawn, then focus on killing her. When she dies, attack the remaining Siren for as long as you can; the more damage you can inflict while she's still alive, the safer you'll be when the Minotaurs arrive. Once only the Hades Minotaurs are left, you need to play a very defensive strategy. Only attack if you're sure you have enough room to escape, and roll away immediately if one of them is about to perform its torch slam attack. This can be tricky in a space as confined as this, so take your time when attacking them. Their other two attacks are not a major problem, as they are slow enough to block easily, though you need to stay on your toes in case the second Hades Minotaur readies its torch slam while you're blocking them. Kill them with the minigame once they lose enough health. *Part 2: Satyrs and Hades Juggernauts* A Satyr spawns once you enter the second room. Guard against its initial attack, then grapple it to engage in a button-mashing contest. You should be able to complete three grapples before the Juggernauts show up, taking off a bit more than half its health. (You might be able to open the health chest during this phase, if you took too much damage in the previous battle, but don't count on it.) Once the Juggernauts show up, it's time to employ the Cronos' Rage+Rage of the Titans combo that served you well against the Titan Minotaur. Focus on the Juggernauts, using Cronos' Rage to keep the Satyrs off your back; when the option appears, press Circle to kill a Juggernaut (turning off your Rage for a moment) and then pick up where you left off. Once all three Juggernauts are dead, you can either grapple the surviving Satyr to death or keep stunning him with Cronos' Rage and whacking him with the Hammer. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Head forward, refill your health and magic, and save the game. I'd suggest switching to Euryale's Gaze and the Spear of Destiny now. Up ahead you'll meet a crazy little winged man, who will pull you down into a gaping abyss. There's nothing too difficult about this minigame; so long as you stay on top, avoid scraping the cliff at least once, and win the final minigame, you should be fine. Of course, now you've got a more serious problem: you're trapped below the bowels of the earth, with no way back up. VI. Atlas Head back toward the save point, and some Harpies will come down to fight you. Practice knocking them down with the Spear's Triangle attack, then rip their wings off. (You could also use the Icarus Wings' L1+X attack to knock them down, though that is slower and a bit less reliable.) After setting your magic to Euryale's Gaze and saving your game, climb up Atlas' nose and glide between the hanging platforms to reach the next area, killing the Harpies as you go. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- EVENT BATTLE: Satyr Champions and Hades Harpies Difficulty: 3/10 Your first priority in this battle is to kill the Harpies, as you need them out of the way before you have a chance of killing the Satyr Champions. I prefer the Spear for its impressive vertical range, though you can also ground them effectively with the Icarus Wings and the Golden Fleece counterattack. It's a good idea to knock the Satyr Champion off its feet in close quarters, as his fast combos can force you to guard and immobilize you while the Harpies aim their fireballs at you. Once it's just you and the Satyr Champion, you can freeze and shatter him with Euryale's Gaze just like you did in the previous battle. Do the same to the second one when it spawns. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Use the combo chest to recover your magic, then use the piece of bone as a stepping-stone to the health chest. Switch to Typhon's Bane and the Hammer, then fly across for yet another encounter with an annoying enemy. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- BOSS BATTLE: Titan Minotaur III Difficulty: 5/10 While somewhat less dangerous than the previous version, this Titan Minotaur is still a dangerous boss by any standard. Do not use Rage of the Titans here, as it is far more important that you save it for the upcoming elevator battle. *Phase 1* As always, he opens with the ground pound; roll away as normal. Unlike the previous versions he can follow you around, though he is still not too dangerous yet. His only attack in this phase is his spin attack, and so you can attack him in the same manner as the first Titan Minotaur. If he starts backing you into a corner, you can use the Icarus Wings to fly around him and move to a different part of the platform. *Phase 2* He signals the start of this phase with a slow pound that begins sinking the platform. Fly across to the newly exposed section of wall, and quickly jump to the top of it. The boss starts throwing rocks at you, which you have to dodge while holding on to the wall. The easiest way to avoid them is to hold R1 as he releases the rock, sliding down so the rock lands above you, then jump back to the top with X. After the platform floats back up, you will have to dodge one more rock; then you can jump off and glide back to the platform. *Phase 3* While he can still use the spin attack, he also starts using the ground pound very frequently. It is possible to dodge the attack altogether by rolling to one side of it; if you are able to do so, his back will be exposed to your attacks for a few seconds while he attacks in front. But doing so successfully is very difficult, and even one hit from this attack can take off a third of your health. The safest way I have found to kill him is this: Begin by using up all your magic on Typhon's Bane. After that, get just close enough to trigger his attacks, back up a few steps, and attack him from a distance with Crushing Defeat. This method is much slower than direct Hammer attacks, but it's also the only way to guarantee you aren't smashed by his ground pound. If you're the impatient sort I advise trying the first method until he hits you, then switching to the second; you cannot chance getting hit when you're at low health. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Upon death, the boss leaves behind a boulder you can use as a stepping-stone to the next area. Glide across, save your game (ignore the health chest unless you have only a tiny sliver of health remaining), and ride the boulder to the area with the Fire Nymphs. The objective is fairly straightforward: smash the nests, destroying them and the enemies that spawn from them with a few well-timed grabs. (The Hammer also works well when there are no enemies nearby.) Once the nests are taken care of, you can climb across the walls and ceiling and recover your health and magic. Climb your way across the ceiling in the next area, grabbing the Fates Sentries from a distance as you go. Climb up onto the weighted platform, drop the two stalactites to open the way forward, and drop down to the save point. Recover any health you may have lost to the Sentries, equip Cronos' Rage and the Hammer, save your game, and make your way to the elevator platform. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- EVENT BATTLE: Hades Legionnaires and Hades Harpies Difficulty: 7/10 Much like the second Titan Minotaur battle, the three Legionnaires are accompanied by an endless stream of Harpies eager to annihilate you with their fireballs. While some players are able to win the battle with Euryale's Gaze, freezing the solitary Legionnaire and then positioning the beam so the next two are frozen simultaneously, it's my experience that the Harpies will rarely leave you alone long enough to successfully petrify any of them. For sheer reliability, I find that the Cronos' Rage+Rage of the Titans tactic is once again the best strategy. I recommend fighting the Legionnaires two at a time, rolling around the platform to dodge the Harpies in the meantime, as this will maximize the damage inflicted by your magic. Alternately cast Cronos' Rage and wail away with your Rage-enhanced Hammer until the minigame comes up, at which point you should turn off Rage and wait for the third Legionnaire to arrive. The game will checkpoint you after the final Legionnaire is killed. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Clean up any remaining Harpies, then lift up the elevator to glide across the platforms toward the rope. Recover your health and save the game, then climb up the wall. Some Fates Sentries will spawn underneath you; hop back to the other side and grab them when they come into position. Be careful when smashing the rocks that block your path; they will kill you if you happen to be directly beneath them, though they will also kill the Sentries that spawn below you. Climb to the top and grab on to the grapple points above, use the Icarus Wings to glide across the ledges, solve the rock-piling puzzle, and jump across the cliffs with the falling rocks. Jump frequently to avoid the rocks--they are, as usual, instant death if they hit you--and climb to the top to break Atlas' chains. A cutscene and a little bit of L1+R1 button mashing will follow, you will earn Atlas Quake and practice using it in a ridiculously easy tutorial battle, and Atlas will lift you to the surface. VII. Palace of the Fates Use the save point, and glide across the platforms to reach the temple entrance. Pull the lever on the side of the ramp to initiate the next battle. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- EVENT BATTLE: Beast Lords, Cyclops Berserkers, and Hades Fiends Difficulty: 3/10 A few Beast Lords will appear, and immediately call a Cyclops. Launch the nearer one into the air with Olympic Ascension and juggle him to death with grapples. Focus on grappling the Beast Lords first, as they will call additional Cyclopses if left alone. When one climbs onto the Cyclops, your highest priority is to dismount it; the Cyclops' attacks are a lot faster and enormously more dangerous while it has a rider, and can easily kill you even if you're grappling another Beast Lord. Don't forget about Atlas Quake, which is invaluable for stunning several Beast Lords at once or providing a quick escape from the Cyclops' attacks. Once all the Beast Lords are dead you can take care of the Hades Fiends, juggling them in the usual fashion. If the Cyclops is still alive once both Hades Fiends are dead (it's usually dead at that point from all the juggling), take it out with the Hammer as before. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Recover your health and magic, then rotate the handle until the way forward is opened. Enter the room, and pull the lever to send the gates rotating. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- EVENT BATTLE: Nymphs Difficulty: 5/10 This battle is far more difficult than it ought to be, thanks primarily to the Nymphs' sticky web attack and their persistent refusal to be hit. Begin the battle by making your way to the block you will eventually need to pull out, and try to stay near that spot for the rest of the battle. While you should be killing the Nymphs at a good rate, your greatest immediate priority is to minimize damage received. That means looking at the floor, keeping an eye on which sections the spikes will pop from and how soon. As for the Nymphs themselves, aerial grabs are a fairly reliable way of getting them on the ground so you can kill them. (Just keep watching out for spikes as you do so. If a Nymph falls onto a section that is about to be covered in spikes, let it go and jump out of the way.) Do not ignore their normal attacks, either; while less dangerous than the webbing, they attack quickly enough and do significant enough damage that their normal attacks will probably kill you if you ignore them entirely. The most difficult part is the ending, when you're forced to pull the block far enough forward to obstruct the room's movement without getting interrupted by a Nymph. For the most part, you just have to get lucky and hope a Nymph doesn't come by and attack you while you're in the middle of the task. If there are any Nymphs nearby when you start, knock them down with Atlas Quake and hope for the best; it will keep them out of the way longer than Cronos' Rage, and if you're lucky may even kill them before they can interfere. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Once the room stops, it's a simple matter to finish the remaining few Nymphs. Open the health chest and pick up the handle, use the magic chest in the hall if necessary, then climb up the ladder to open the way forward. Make sure you have Atlas Quake and the Hammer equipped, then save your game. The vent puzzle is a bit annoying, but with well-timed use of the Icarus Wings it's not much of an obstacle. You'll have to kill a few Rabid Hounds and Fates Guardians before moving forward; I suggest restarting if you take any damage, as you'll want to be at full health for the Translator battle. Lift the gate, smash the scaffold holding up the block, and drag it to where the translator is praying. You better have plenty of patience, because you are about to enter the single most brutal part of the challenge. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- EVENT BATTLE: Translator Battle Difficulty: 10/10 (though it feels like 20/10) *Part 1: Fates Guardians and Rabid Hounds* It doesn't start off too bad. Move the translator to the back of the room as soon as you can, then wait by the entrance for the enemies. Throw the nearest Rabid Hound at the other enemies; this should kill the other dogs and allow you to grab and throw one of the Guardians for additional damage. Clear out the remaining dogs--remember to kill the ones that spawn further down the bridge--and you can continue. Position the block so it just barely rests on the button, and carry the translator to the middle of the bridge. *Part 2: Satyrs and Fates Guardians* The instant you cross the threshold, and the enemies spawn, IMMEDIATELY turn around and head back toward the translator's room. Dump him a few paces inside the room, then pull the block off the button to close the gate. You must be very quick about this, as even two seconds' delay can give the enemies enough time to reach the room before you can close it. Once behind the gate, you can safely kill the enemies outside with the Crushing Defeat shockwave. Be warned that a few of the Satyr's attacks can strike you even through the gate, so you should make sure to guard whenever your attack does not stun the Satyr. Once the two Satyrs and four Guardians are dead, you can continue forward. Lift the gate, unequip the Hammer, and carry the translator all the way across the bridge. This is the big one. *Part 3: High Priests of the Fates, Fates Guardians, and Rabid Hounds* Like the fragile idiot he is, the translator will break out of your grip and bolt for the center of the room. Your first move should be to grab the Rabid Hound that spawns nearby, then roll to the other side and throw him at the High Priest. What happens after that depends on how quick your reflexes are, but it also depends a great deal on luck. There are a number of ways to lose the battle which you can't really prevent. The worst is if a High Priest teleports near the translator and places a pillar of energy there. This attack cannot be interrupted, and it's automatic death for the translator. He also takes massive damage from enemy attacks, which inexplicably includes your own grapple attacks on the Hounds and Guardians: a single hound which is kicked nearby him will take off over half his health. But the most common cause of death is when enemies swarm the translator from both sides, making it impossible to fend them all off. DO NOT LET THEM ATTACK FROM BOTH SIDES! You can partially avoid this by staying near the upper-left section of the screen, so the enemies go around the top rather than directly to the translator and mainly focus on you; but it still will sometimes happen that a few Guardians or Hounds will go around the other side anyway. If this happens, or for that matter if too many enemies press in from the left side, IMMEDIATELY interrupt them with Atlas Quake, several times in a row if necessary. (This will sometimes damage the translator as well--like your grapples, their flying bodies apparently count as an enemy attack--but that is an acceptable risk compared to the direct damage he would suffer.) Unfortunately, the necessity of guarding the translator makes it impossible to go to the edge of the room and attack the High Priests. So how can you kill them and stop them from summoning more enemies? Your main offense here will come from throwing your enemies across the screen. Be careful about your "ammunition," though. The Rabid Hounds can be grabbed immediately and do a lot more damage, but if you grab them when their health is too low you will snap their necks instead of throwing them. This grab doesn't hurt anyone else and is very slow, often giving your enemies enough time to mob the translator and take off over half his health. If a Hound has just spawned or you are otherwise sure it hasn't taken much damage, grab it (provided it's not right next to the translator, of course); otherwise just attack with the Hammer or grab a Guardian. The Guardians have to be worn down before they can be thrown, but they are always effective against a group. The Golden Fleece is invaluable here; it is unquestionably the best way to stop a group of enemies when they are mobbing you instead of the translator, and it's the only way you have a prayer of winning (if a slim one) if you run out of magic. When the High Priest himself teleports to your position, turn on Rage of the Titans and smack him as quickly as you can. Don't neglect the translator--be prepared to break out Atlas Quake at a moment's notice if the enemies start to ignore you and focus on him--but focus most of your attacks on the High Priest. Watch out for his magic-stealing grapple though. If he uses this, shake the analog stick like mad to break the hold; this specifically takes priority over conserving Rage, since the longer it lasts the fewer Atlas Quakes you will be able to cast in an emergency. Hopefully you will be able to kill all three High Priests and mop up the remaining enemies before either you or the translator run out of health. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Once you've survived that living hell, it's time for the translator to tell us to kill him. (And to think, we could have saved so much time if we did that BEFORE they attacked.) After some button mashing, you can grab the Key of the Ram and make your way forward to the West Auditorium. Surely I don't have to remind you to save. Note that the gate to the previous area has been lowered, allowing you to take advantage of the health and magic chests. Make your way back to the main area, and use the Key of the Ram to open the path to the next area. After that last debacle, you surely shouldn't have any trouble here. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- EVENT BATTLE: Undead Legionnaires and Fates Sentries Difficulty: 1/10 Despite its limited duration, this battle is made easy by the fact that every enemy here can be grabbed and thrown. The Legionnaires are the best projectiles, since they can wipe out every enemy in a wide radius with one throw, but the Sentries are effective as well. Just be quick or attack the nearby Sentries to stun them, and you won't have to worry about their attacks at all. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Make your way through the Garden of the Gods, shimmy across to the next save point, and hop down to the next area. You will have to attack the Siren Widows in such a way that they are left stunned on one side of the room, so you can pull a lever to incinerate them. A good way to do this is to knock them back with the Golden Fleece, then use the Hammer's double slam to keep knocking them in the air and dealing heavy damage. Recover any lost health at the chest ahead, and navigate your way through the spike-filled water. Melt the ice holding the falcon statue in place, then use its flame attack to melt the ice covering the door. Up ahead is an interesting battle with some Fire Nymphs. The initial swarm on the ground is easy to take care of--you'll probably destroy their nest without trying--but to reach the other two nests you'll have to climb all the way up to the top without being knocked off by the Fire Nymphs. Fortunately they're easy to stun, and the Blades have impressively long range on the ceiling. Just position yourself near the nests and keep mashing Square, and you should be able to destroy them without too much trouble. Drop to the ground to take care of the remaining enemies, then rotate the handle to grab onto the grapple point and ride it up to the top. Open the health chest if you've lost even a little health; believe me, it could literally mean the difference between life and death. Make sure the Blades are equipped. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- EVENT BATTLE: Cerberus Breeders, Cerberus Seeds, and Fates Juggernauts Difficulty: 8/10 While not quite as bad as the Translator battle--at least now you only have your own health to worry about--this is still a ridiculously vicious fight. The problem is that in addition to killing the high-HP Breeders, you must also quickly destroy the Seeds before they turn into full-fledged Breeders who start spitting out Seeds of their own. And when the Juggernauts show up, even simple survival becomes questionable. There is only one way you'll be able to both kill the Seeds quickly enough and damage the Breeders while you're focused on doing so, and that is by throwing one at the other. After grabbing a Cerberus Seed on the ground, it will get spiked into the air; by holding Circle while Athena's Blades are equipped you can swing it like a lasso and hurl it at the nearest Breeder, instantly killing the puppy and dealing heavy damage to the Breeder. Of course, you won't always be able to do this on the first try; the Breeders' fireball attacks are quite effective at interrupting this move, and the Seeds themselves can interfere as well. (You will need to abort to a guard if you see a Seed charging for its fire attack, as it does far too much damage to risk letting it hit.) But with just a little luck, you will be able to launch most of the Seeds in this manner fairly quickly. You can attack the Breeders with the Hammer if there are no more pups, using the grab to interrupt when they prepare to belch out more Seeds, but that rarely happens; at least half the time I killed the first two without landing a single direct hit. The most dangerous part of the battle is just after the final Cerberus Breeder and the Juggernauts arrive. Turn on Rage of the Titans, and keep slamming the Breeder with the Hammer. When the grab becomes available, use it ASAP. Of course, the Juggernauts do far too much damage to simply ignore; when you see one about to attack, use Atlas Quake to avoid the strike and guard for a second before resuming the offensive. If there are any surviving Seeds, use your remaining magic to wipe them out with Atlas Quake. If they still aren't dead, just pray that you can grab them to death before they transform into Breeders. Though you can't let your guard down, you at least have a little more breathing room when it's just the Juggernauts. Defense is your absolute top priority; never attack, and ABSOLUTELY NEVER roll away, if you're not certain that neither Juggernaut is about to attack. If you're very low on health, I suggest luring both Juggernauts to the right side of the room and quickly running to the health chest; so long as neither uses the running charge (which they typically won't until you've inflicted a lot of damage), you can recover your health to full. To ensure your safety, try to separate the Juggernauts so you only fight one at a time; it's a lot harder to find a safe opening when you have two enemies attacking. Grab a Juggernaut once the option becomes available, use the same defensive strategy on the survivor, and finish him off. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Backtrack to the health and magic chests (there is another health chest a short distance ahead if you used up the previous one), then climb the ladder and save your game. Head forward to slow time and kill the translator, collect the Warrior's Skull, and use the vent to reach the elevator. Set Euryale's Gaze as your magic, then descend to return to the main area. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- EVENT BATTLE: Cyclops Brutes Difficulty: 2/10 With enemies this strong and tough versus a character as weak as your NUR Kratos, you might think this battle warranted a greater difficulty. You would be wrong, though, because there are numerous tricks of variable cheapness with which you can annihilate these guys. The most obvious is Euryale's Gaze. Wait for the nearer Cyclops to stop and roar at you, then unleash your magic while staying a safe distance away. Don't stop, though; the second Cyclops should be nearby, and with just a little more freezing he will turn to stone as well. Shatter them both with two quick blows from the Hammer. You won't have enough magic to freeze the next two, but they're not too hard to kill legitimately. Just let them chase you around the area until they stop to roar, perform a quick double slam, and roll away in time to avoid getting hit. It takes a bit longer, but it's still fast enough to be tolerable. Note that you can still climb the ladder leading to the Fates Statue and use the Amulet, giving you even more time to attack. Alternatively, if you're feeling really cheap you could simply lure the dumb brutes off the edge. If you glide toward the platform at the far end while a Cyclops chases you, it will continue to follow you, running off the edge and instantly killing itself. While it is a brazen exploitation of an AI bug, it is pretty funny to see in action. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- With the Warrior's Skull in hand, you can open the path leading to the Phoenix. Use the chests to recover your health and magic, equip the Spear of Destiny, and save your game. Grab on to the central column to start pushing the platform down. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- EVENT BATTLE: Cursed Remains Difficulty: 3/10 This can be an annoying battle, but it isn't really hard if you know what you're doing. The trick is to stay away from the Cursed Remains at first. All it takes to kill them is to toss them into the spikes on the ceiling, at least once it comes close enough; in order to do that, you have to wait for them to start laughing. (If you stay too close they will only use their spinning sword attack, during which they cannot be stunned.) You will have to hit the one holding the side once in order to toss him up. When you've made it all the way to the bottom (make sure you have, as otherwise you cannot open the door), I suggest ignoring the Cursed Remains if possible and focusing on lifting the door. Once it's open, you can roll away just in time to avoid getting crushed. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- That was a close one. There is a health chest up ahead, along with a few minor battles. Take care of the ones on the rope as normal, then shimmy across the ledge until you can climb up. After killing the archers, you will have to deal with a whole bunch of Sentries and Gorgon Assassins. I suggest guarding against the Sentries and using the Golden Fleece to return the Gorgons' petrifying stares, as it's not unusual for the Gorgons to freeze you in the middle of a grab. (Don't forget that you can trigger their stare by attempting to grab them.) I generally shatter the Sentries first, then the Gorgons. Once they are taken care of, glide over the lava and climb the ceiling toward the far end, grabbing Sentries as you go. Drop down once you've cleared them off the ceiling, and kill the spawning enemies by throwing them at each other. As usual, the archers make the best projectiles. There's also a magic chest here, so don't hesitate to smite the whole group with Atlas Quake. Use the chests to recover, then glide up to the top and use the Icarus Wings to navigate around the spiked arms. Read the inscription on the pedestal, then glide over to the save point. There are some Cursed Remains who spawn on the left platform; as usual, take them down with the Hammer and a well-timed grab. Kill the Hades Legionnaire in the usual manner, break the wall hiding the Fates Statue with Crushing Defeat (this will prevent the two Legionnaires from spawning near it), then collect the Hail of Boreas and escape through the far end by slowing down time. Equip the Spear of Destiny, then grab onto the statue on the left side and push it forward into the hall ahead. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- EVENT BATTLE: Hades Legionnaires and Hades Harpies Difficulty: 3/10 Unlike previous battles, there are a limited (if very large) number of Harpies in this battle. Push the statue all the way to one side, then far enough forward that you can catch it against the raised section. The Harpies should not arrive until you reach this point; it is vitally important that you position it so the raised section keeps it from being pushed back, as otherwise the flame blast will push it into a corner of the room and render moving forward nearly impossible. Since the Harpies come pretty slowly, and you can knock down the Legionnaire with either the Spear or the Golden Fleece pretty easily, it shouldn't be too hard to kill the Harpies while continuing to move the statue toward the center. (Just be sure to guard as needed and to roll out of the way when the Harpies ready their flame attack.) Once the statue is in the center of the room the area around the door will be shielded from the Phoenix's flame wall, and you can safely retreat back to the entrance. Your strategy from here is mainly to lure the Harpies toward the door, knock them down with the Spear, and kill them with a grapple, knocking down the Legionnaire as needed to keep him from interrupting. Once all the Harpies are gone, you can switch to the Hammer and take out the Legionnaire in the usual way. You will have to kill another Legionnaire when you reach the next raised section, then another two when you lower the barrier and move the statue past it. (I suggest kicking it forward, to put a little more distance between yourself and the Legionnaires.) The single Legionnaire isn't a problem, but the two can be risky if they gang up on you. My preferred strategy is to cast Atlas Quake while standing between them, knocking them in opposite directions and killing the nearer Legionnaire with the Hammer+Golden Fleece trick. When the second Legionnaire gets too close for comfort, simply cast Atlas Quake again. I managed to take them both out with less than half my magic this way. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- When the enemies have been cleared out, run back to refill your health and magic. Position the statue so it's all the way forward and just in front of the left button, then run to the right button once the flame wall has passed and stand on it to lower the grapple point and swing across. Push the jar with the Phoenix's ashes into the slot, then head forward to trigger the next battle. Note that you can fly to the other side to save your progress, even in the middle of the battle. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- EVENT BATTLE: Cursed Remains and Hades Minotaurs Difficulty: 2/10 Not too bad. I suggest you start with the Cursed Remains, whose low health makes them less enemies to conquer than obstacles to destroy. Once they're gone, it's just a repeat of the battles in Euryale's Temple and the cave pathway: roll away when they're preparing to slam the ground, guard when they swing the torch like a club, and take advantage of the minigame when it becomes available. Feel free to use Atlas Quake as necessary. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Once they're dead you can pull the lever to awaken the Phoenix. Use the updraft to glide to the upper level, and toss the Undead Legionnaires as you make your way up the stairs. Once back in the central area, make your way up to the save point near the health and magic chests. Blow the horn to release the Phoenix, glide across to the newly accessible platform, and make your way through the Hades Fiends and elevator puzzle to raise the towers. If you lost any health when fighting the Hades Fiends, open the health chest before continuing on. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- BOSS BATTLE: Spartan Soldier Difficulty: 2/10 Tenacious little guy, isn't he? He may not have the scary damage of a Cyclops or Legionnaire Captain, but the difficulty of stunning him combined with your limited mobility makes dealing with his attacks a bit difficult. Fortunately, you have ways of dealing with such things. Open the battle by spamming Atlas Quake until you run out of magic. Then turn on Rage of the Titans, and whack him with the Hammer until the grab becomes available. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- That was... kind of depressing, really. Gaia will come to give you a pep talk, your Rage of the Titans will be greatly upgraded, and you get to fight the REAL boss. A warning before you begin the battle proper: DO NOT ACTIVATE RAGE OF THE TITANS UNTIL THE METER IS FULLY CHARGED. You need to start the battle with as much Rage as possible, and if you turn it on prematurely you will not have enough to complete the battle. Set Typhon's Bane as your magic while you do so. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- BOSS BATTLE: Kraken Difficulty: 5/10 *Phase 1* Before you can start damaging the boss in earnest, you need to move the tentacle so you can activate the vent in the center of the arena. Begin by carrying the soldier's body right in front of the Kraken, then dropping him on the left side. When you see him start to shake the tentacle, immediately turn on Rage of the Titans and continue attacking. (See how much less damage the boss does?) Immediately turn off Rage once the tentacle lifts, and place the soldier's body there to turn on the vent. Once it's on, you can glide up to the Kraken's head and whack it with the Hammer. Typhon's Bane plays a powerful (if unusual) role here, even though you never fire a shot. Normally the Hammer's slow rate of attack would only allow you to perform one attack at a time. While faster than Athena's Blades, by itself it's still too slow; the Kraken will generally push the soldier's body out of the way before you can trigger the next phase, and will retaliate with a massive tentacle attack that hits the entire arena. However, by pulling out Typhon's Bane with L2 and immediately releasing it you negate the Hammer's recovery time, allowing you to use two Triangle attacks before you hit the ground--in effect, doubling your damage output. The main danger of this phase is his tentacle claw attack, where he lift one of his tentacles to stab it into that side of the arena three times. If you see him using it, glide away and wait for a better opening. Once you've done enough damage, he will bury his left tentacle in the vent. Climb up the side of the tentacle, and break the bit of shell blocking your path with a few Triangle attacks. Though you are restricted to your weak Blades, the vertical Triangle attack is powerful enough (at least as powerful as the Plume of Prometheus, it seems) to destroy it in a few hits. Climb up a little higher, then press Circle to sever the tentacle. *Phase 2* You are forced to batter the tentacle into submission once again, though thankfully without the tentacle claw attack this time. Turn on the vent once again, and continue the offensive. The strategy is basically identical, except that he seems to use his tentacle a lot more frequently (though only on the right side). If you cannot deal enough damage to prevent him from using the flailing tentacle attack, I advise immediately switching to Atlas Quake and casting it once to avoid the attack. The final part is quite a bit more difficult, however. (Make sure you switch your magic to Atlas Quake before you climb onto the tentacle.) Since you are hanging upside down you only have access to the weaker Triangle sweep, which is not nearly powerful enough to destroy the obstacle in time. That's why I stressed the importance of a full Rage meter earlier. By turning on Rage as you begin the offensive you can triple your damage output, giving you just enough power to break the shell and cut the other tentacle. *Phase 3* IMMEDIATELY roll forward, and start spamming Atlas Quake. The Kraken retaliates by whipping his tentacles all around the arena, an attack that is certain death if you let it hit. Keep abusing Atlas Quake until your magic runs dry (making sure that it hits both tentacles), and then start whacking one of the tentacles with the Hammer. Eventually the tentacle will slip, and you can focus on the other; turn on Rage of the Titans if either tentacle shows signs of movement. Once both tentacles have slipped and he is hanging on for dear life, you can pull the lever to skewer him with the bridge. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Head forward to reach the Phoenix. After a short and hopefully painless minigame, you get to ride the Phoenix to your long-awaited destination: the Temple of the Fates. VIII. Temple of the Fates Use the grapple point to reach the platform, then break the crystal to return time to normal. Save your game. Once you've rung the bells and smashed Lakhesis' face, you can head through the hallway and glide across to start the big showdown with the Sisters of Fate. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- BOSS BATTLE: Lakhesis Difficulty: 3/10 Try to keep the battle near the edges of the room, underneath the grapple points, and you should be fairly safe. In order to survive this battle, you need to be good at throwing back Lakhesis' energy blasts with the Golden Fleece. She will often volley several at you in quick succession, but when it ends the final blast will knock her to the ground, releasing some health and magic orbs and leaving her open to a double slam combo. Simply guard when she smacks you with her staff, and continue attacking with the Hammer after blocking the third hit. Every so often she will fire two waves of three energy blasts, which she signals with a complete 360-degree turn. These are significantly harder to block than the normal version, and obviously do a lot more damage, but because they only travel along the ground you can avoid this attack completely by pressing R1 to reach a grapple point. Later in the battle, she will sometimes counter your hits by laying an explosive energy bomb; you can likewise avoid that attack by grappling up, then jumping off again. To avoid her powerful dive-bomb attack, simply use one of the grapple points and jump off once she hits the ground. Near the end of the battle, her attacks naturally get a lot more dangerous. After she releases a big mass of orbs, she will begin tossing her staff and dropping a ton of energy blasts over your general position. Avoid this by latching onto a grapple point and jumping off, possibly twice in a row. She follows up by tossing a bunch of energy blasts at you; keep tossing them back at her, as that is the only reliable way to knock her out of the air and put her in range of your Hammer attacks. (She can occasionally be stunned and even knocked out of the air with Typhon's Bane, but odds are she won't sit still long enough to get a good shot in.) Most dangerously of all, she will every so often cover the floor with green energy, forcing you to use the grapple points to stay alive. To dodge her energy blasts while you wait out the attack, double jump as she fires them and immediately hit R1 to grab another grapple point. When she's taken enough damage, she will collapse in midair and the grab becomes available. Hurry to the nearest grapple point, grab it, then jump off and glide to her in order to grab her. Make sure Atlas Quake is set as your magic. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- BOSS BATTLE: Atropos Difficulty: 3/10 While there is no break between the battles, you receive a checkpoint and all your gauges are refilled. The main obstacle in this battle comes from the swarming Fates Sentries. While you can grab them, doing so won't help you damage Atropos. To deal with them, I suggest blocking their attacks and using the Golden Fleece counterattack to knock them back. Returning Atropos' energy blasts is a bit trickier, but if you can block one you should be able to block the following ones just by holding L1. Eventually Atropos will come into close range and begin attacking the sword directly. When she does this, start spamming Atlas Quake. Turn on Rage of the Titans once you've used up your magic, and start meleeing her with the Hammer until the minigame becomes available. (If she flies off before that, just turn off Rage and repeat the initial Fleece strategy until she comes back.) Hit the correct three buttons, and the final stage of this battle commences. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- BOSS BATTLE: Lakhesis and Atropos Difficulty: 4/10 Lakhesis starts the battle by supercharging the mirrors, allowing her sister to join in the fight. Atropos' attacks aren't especially powerful (though the sweeping beam attack is annoying), but you still need to return her energy blasts in order to focus on Lakhesis. Once you return an energy blast Atropos will leave you alone for a few seconds, during which the battle functions pretty much like the beginning of the first battle. Once she's taken enough damage, Lakhesis will lie on the ground and you can use her like a Fates Statue to slow down time. Make sure that Atropos is currently out when you do so, however; otherwise the opportunity is wasted, and you will have to inflict a lot more damage before it comes again. Use the Amulet, turn on Rage of the Titans, and start whacking Atropos' mirror with the Hammer. (Due to the limited time available, it is impossible to inflict enough damage without Rage. Fortunately, because time is slowed it doesn't consume very much of your Rage meter.) After two or three hits Atropos will fall to the ground and the mirror will crack; hit it once more with the Hammer to break it, sealing that entrance. Repeat the process when Lakhesis collapses a second time. After doing just a little more damage, Lakhesis will start backing toward the central mirror. When she does so, RUN LIKE HELL to one side of the room. She begins using her light column attack, which covers virtually the entire area and is instant death if it hits you. To survive it I strongly recommend pressing against the wall on the left or right side, about midway between the two nearest mirrors; this is the only spot in the room which is safe from this attack. As for offense, I suggest using up all your magic on Typhon's Bane. After that you pretty much have to rely on the damage from her returned energy blasts, though if you're feeling brave you could hit her with a Crushing Defeat or two. Once she's taken enough damage, grab her and win the minigame to finish the battle. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Break the mirror holding the two sisters, then head forward to the save point. Set Atlas Quake as your magic, climb to the upper level, and break the section of wall to open the way to the Loom. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- EVENT BATTLE: Loom Pathway Battles Difficulty: 8/10 While none of the individual battles deserve more than a 5/10, the fact that you have very limited access to healing and magic and no checkpoints between them makes this section as a whole highly dangerous. It is very important that you play the early battles conservatively, as you will badly need the health in the last three battles. *Part 1: Cursed Legionnaires and Fates Juggernauts* Probably the most annoying of the battles, since you will be running away more often than you attack. While the Legionnaires aren't incredibly dangerous by themselves, in combination with the Juggernauts they are quite capable of forcing you into a position from which you cannot escape without risking major damage. You will need to make good use of the barriers to maintain distance between yourself and the enemies, especially the Juggernauts. Begin the battle by gliding away from the Legionnaires. While there is a good distance between you and the nearest Legionnaire, or while all your enemies are trapped behind a barrier, you should attack with Crushing Defeat. Besides allowing you to attack entire groups of enemies with impunity, it also knocks the Legionnaires off their feet and away from you. When the Legionnaires get too close, use the Golden Fleece to keep them from mobbing you and whack them with the Hammer until you can grab and throw them. When one or both Juggernauts come your way, it's time to run. While near the top you can usually safely double jump and glide away with the Icarus Wings in between attacks. Closer to the bottom, I would suggest rolling away from them during a safe moment (assuming that a mob of Legionnaires isn't blocking the way). In either case, unequip the Hammer; you want to be able to guard even before you land if a barrier appears to block your way, and if the Hammer is equipped pressing L1 will often trigger Crushing Defeat instead. If you are trapped in close quarters by a barrier, do your best to put your back against it; doing so will let you make a quick escape by rolling away when the barrier goes down. If you get trapped against the top or bottom barrier, or on one side between two Juggernauts, you're pretty much screwed. You could try double- jumping and gliding away during a quiet moment, but more often than not you'll get swatted down by a Juggernaut or Legionnaire and still be stuck. I suggest you restart the battle if you ever get hit by a Juggernaut, since even if you survive you'll be in bad shape for the next six battles. Don't bother with the Juggernauts until all the Legionnaires are dead. Once it's just you and them, try to use the barriers to separate them. While they are seperated from you by a barrier, attack with Crushing Defeat (keeping a safe distance away in case one of them begins to charge); while just one is in range, use the double slam and guard as normal. After the first one dies another will spawn nearby, which you will deal with in the same manner. After killing the second and finally taking the third head-on, you can head forward to the next battle. *Part 2: Fates Sentries and Cursed Legionnaires* A much easier encounter, but you still can't afford to get lazy. Before you do anything else, you need to knock the group back with the Golden Fleece; this is easy if the Legionnaires attack first, a bit less so if the Sentries attack first. In either case, once they're down grab a Sentry and toss him across the room. Keep throwing enemies, particularly the Legionnaires when their grab become available, and you will finish this battle in no time. *Part 3: Sirens and Gorgon Queens* A very risky battle, and not just because of petrification. The Gorgons account for most of the danger here, due to their quick and vicious tail sweep as much as their petrifying stare. They will also occasionally release petrifying orbs similar to the ones Euryale used, which are not at all easy to block. (I find mashing L1 to be as reliable a method as any.) The Sirens are only dangerous for their electric pillar attack, which you can escape by moving a few steps to the side, though you should block as many of their energy blasts as possible to keep them at a distance and keep them from wearing away at your health. You MUST stay as far away from the enemies as possible, as you need breathing room to escape the energy pillars and avoid their tail attacks. For the most part you will have to wait for a Gorgon to start using the stare, at which point you can use the Golden Fleece to petrify all the nearby enemies. (Note that this will sometimes petrify only one Gorgon, even if both are standing nearby, so be ready to Fleece a second stare at a moment's notice.) Shatter the Sirens first, taking them out from a distance with Crushing Defeat if possible. The Gorgons stay petrified for a shorter time and require two hits instead of one, but if you're standing close enough you can reliably take one out with a single double slam combo. Just make sure to guard afterwards to avoid the tail sweep, and put as much distance as you can between yourself and the Gorgons. Ignore the chests unless you are desperately low on health, and continue down. *Part 4: Cursed Legionnaires* Another simple battle, even easier than the second because the Fleece timing is simpler. Knock the Legionnaires down, smack them with the Hammer, and throw them at each other. Easy. If you have most of your health still remaining, you can safely continue on. If not, you have a choice to make. The enemies in the next battle can do a considerable amount of damage even with Rage on (and God forbid if you get caught in a combo without Rage), so you may wish to open the combo chest for more health before you proceed forward. But if you open the health chest now, and you do take a lot of damage in the next battle, you will be in poor shape for the dangerous final battle against the Cyclops Brutes. While it is possible to recover your health then by sacrificing some Rage, you will be much safer if you can simply wait to recover your health. *Part 5: Satyrs and Hades Minotaurs As soon as the Satyr spawns, roll back and start using Crushing Defeat. While it cannot knock down the Satyr, it can delay him long enough to trap him behind the barrier and give you a few valuable seconds to whittle down his health before things get crowded. Once the Hades Minotaurs close in, it's time to get serious. Turn on Rage of the Titans and attack nonstop with the Hammer. You can largely ignore the Satyrs and the Minotaur's club attack, as your powerful attacks will easily stun them. You cannot, however, ignore the powerful torch slam. When you see him ready this attack, immediately cast Atlas Quake (temporarily deactivating Rage as you do so) before continuing your offensive. You'll be surprised just how quickly you're able to destroy the Minotaurs this way. Once all three Minotaurs have been destroyed, all that's left is to deal with the two Satyrs. I recommend hitting them with any remaining Atlas Quakes, then using whatever Rage is left to smack them to death, as their combos remain incredibly deadly even without the Minotaurs to back them up. With that out of the way, head back up to refill your Rage, health, and magic. Continue down. *Part 6: Fates Sentries and Cursed Legionnaires* These guys again? As before, kill them with the Golden Fleece and liberal use of throws. Do your best to avoid suffering any damage. *Part 7: Cyclops Brutes, Fates Sentries, and Cursed Legionnaires* As you can imagine, two Cyclops attacking in the same confined space can inflict truly brutal amounts of damage. Even with full health and magic, this will be a close thing. Start the battle by spamming Atlas Quake between the two Cyclopses, buying you some valuable invulnerability before you have to be exposed to their attacks. As soon as your magic is spent, quickly turn on Rage of the Titans and attack one as quickly as you can with the Hammer. The minigame should come up after a few hits, allowing you to quickly finish him off. (Be sure to conserve your Rage during the animation.) When he's dead, focus on the second Cyclops and use the minigame to finish him off. Then unload your remaining Rage on the third Cyclops; he takes a bit longer to kill, but with just one attacking you shouldn't suffer too much damage. After they're dead, you can deal with the surviving Sentries and Legionnaires the way you did in previous battles. I would ignore the chests until you've finished them off, as you are a lot more vulnerable while you're opening them. If you opened the health chest prior to the fifth battle, and have lost a large amount of health since then, you can still survive with a slightly different strategy. Make your way to the health chest as normal, and hold R1 to open it. When the enemies start approaching, turn on Rage of the Titans to reduce the damage and avoid getting stunned. The instant you see the chest open, IMMEDIATELY cast Atlas Quake and turn off Rage of the Titans; hopefully you haven't used too much Rage, but the little you have used can still weaken you. Attack as described above. You should be able to finish off the first and second Cyclopses just fine, but it's quite possible that your Rage will run dry before you're able to trigger the third minigame. (Make sure you're not standing in front of him after you run out of Rage.) If so, you would be well advised to take advantage of the barriers and to throw the Sentries and Legionnaires as the opportunity arises. It won't be easy, but as long as you have quick reflexes you should be able to beat him. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Intense, huh? SAVE, open the chests if you haven't already, and open the door to enter the Loom of Fate proper. Avoid the scythes (they are, as usual, instant death), incapacitate the left arm with the Hammer, and turn the crank so you can glide to the upper level and climb across the ceiling. After a brief minigame you can destroy the bodies and make your way to the upper level. There's a health chest on the left side, and if you like you can restore your magic or Rage with the chest on the right. (You won't need either for the next battle, though.) The puzzles here are a bit annoying, but I'm sure you can navigate your way through it just fine. As usual, the Hammer is the quickest way to knock out the arms; be sure to block when Clotho punches the ground, as it can do significant damage. Take the lift to the upper level. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- BOSS BATTLE: Clotho Difficulty: 2/10 Thanks to the Amulet of the Fates, this battle is a cakewalk. Begin by slowing down time (you may have to move to the side a bit to do so), then whack one of her arms with the Hammer until you knock it out. Slow down time again, head to the other side, and do the same to the other arm. Slow time once more, climb the wall on the right, and use your Triangle attack to break the webbing holding the lever in place. Move the handle two spaces to the left to gain access to the scythe. At this point Clotho's arms will have recovered. Take them out with the Hammer once again. Pull the scythe up with the lever, rotate it so the blade faces Clotho, and pull it back to initiate the minigame. An easy victory. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Go through the now-open doors and take the elevator up to the Fates' private time travel mirror. Pull the lever to bring out the threads, save your game, and go down to pull your thread back to the beginning of the game. Hurry back to the mirror, and jump in for the long-awaited showdown with the mean god who stole your sword. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- BOSS BATTLE: Zeus, Part 1 Difficulty: 4/10 With the Blade of Olympus and Atlas Quake in your possession, you should make it through without too much stress. Start by targetting one of the Siren Widows with Divine Retribution (the L1+Triangle attack); this will do large damage and knock her off her feet. Don't just use the attack willy-nilly, though. While you should block the Siren Widows' claw attacks as normal, the three attacks you really need to watch out for are Zeus' energy blasts, his ground pound attack, and the Siren Widows' disabling screech; the first takes off close to half your health and is difficult (though not impossible) to dodge, the second is certain death and cannot be dodged, and the third will leave you wide open to the first two attacks. Whenever you see one of these attacks coming, either use Atlas Quake or grab an available Siren Widow ASAP. Don't worry about conserving magic, as Zeus and the Siren Widows will give back plenty whenever you kill one. On the other hand, you should probably reset if you lose too much health, since your health is not restored at the next checkpoint. When the circle appears over a Siren Widow's head, immediately grab her. This deals great damage to all nearby enemies, most importantly Zeus, and it also interrupts any attacks in progress. Zeus will respond by punching the center of the arena, an attack that poses no danger as long you are a fair distance away, giving you a few seconds to freely attack the Siren Widows with the Blade of Olympus. After you deal enough damage Zeus will lay his hand down on the far edge of the Arena; hurry over to it, and stick the sword in to cut him down to size. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- BOSS BATTLE: Zeus, Part 2 Difficulty: 7/10 *Phase 1* Zeus has a lot of fast attacks that hit for scary damage. The worst of these are his unblockable rush attack, which you can barely survive under the best of circumstances, and his ground-pound lightning blast, which is instant death. Fortunately, you will have plenty of warning before he uses either. His main (and weakest) attack is to zip around the arena and hurl lightning bolts two at a time at blinding speed; while not individually powerful, the sheer speed at which he tosses them will quickly kill you if you can't effectively block them. Just keep returning them with the Golden Fleece, and eventually he will be hit and release a few health and magic orbs. Unfortunately, he also retaliates with his rush attack; use a well-timed double jump to avoid it, as you really do not want it to hit. Besides the lightning bolts, he has two additional attacks: he can call down the thunder to strike ahead of him in a vertical line, and he can warp right next to you to perform a three-hit combo ending with the unblockable lightning blast. To avoid the first, just keep your distance and circle around to one side; you will have time to safely perform one Divine Retribution attack, if you attack just as he gets the second hit off. (The first hit is an unblockable short-range area attack.) To avoid the combo, simply guard against the first attack and use the Golden Fleece counterattack to render yourself invulnerable to the next two hits. Once again, you will have just enough time to hit him with Divine Retribution and recover your guard again. If you aren't able to trigger the Golden Fleece, be sure to roll away before he performs the final hit. Once you've inflicted enough damage, he will release a bunch of orbs and grab you. I would suggest getting in as many hits as you can with the Blade, because it takes long enough to get through the next phase as is. *Phase 2* Zeus steals blade the Blade of Olympus, while you are stuck with your Level 1 Athena's Blades. You can and should use Atlas Quake to hit him for heavy damage, but once your magic is gone there just isn't a quick way to damage him. (Make sure to guard after the last Atlas Quake, as he will sometimes retaliate with a sword slash before you can move out of the way.) While you can hit him just fine with your first attack (usually), Zeus automatically blocks all subsequent attacks. Rage of the Titans is rendered useless because of this. Worse, Zeus' rapid sword slashes and his beam attacks allow him to damage you at considerable range with fairly little warning. There really is only one good strategy for this phase, and it takes an eternity to carry out. You need to circle around Zeus while hitting him with single Square attacks, taking care never to let him come too close. By keeping a safe distance you can avoid the powerful slash attack altogether and easily sidestep the beam attacks. The only real obstacle is finding the patience to keep whittling away at him while avoiding his powerful attacks. Really drives home the power of upgrading, doesn't it? After 10 minutes or so, Zeus will start flailing around wildly and you will be able to steal back the sword. DO NOT LOSE THIS MINIGAME! You recover some health and magic, and you get your beloved Blade back. *Phase 3* Exactly the same as Phase 1. It is even more important that you avoid getting hit now, since if you die all the time you spent in the previous section will be wasted. *Phase 4* Curiously, this is actually the easiest part of the battle. Zeus no longer zips around the arena, nor does he automatically block your combos. Use up all your magic on Atlas Quake, then turn on Rage of the Titans and go on an all-out offensive. None of his attacks deal too much damage now, and with the full might of your Rage descending upon him this phase will end VERY quickly. Grab him after he starts flailing, win the button-mashing contest, and the game is essentially won. Just complete the minigame that follows (don't worry, you get a checkpoint in case you fail), and the final boss is defeated. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Back in the Loom Chamber, things are building up to the climax. Save one last time, rewind Kratos' thread to the Great War, and hurry back to the mirror to liberate the Titans. Congratulations, mighty warrior. You have completed the fearsome Titan Mode No Upgrade Run Challenge, proving your mettle beyond a doubt as the TRUE God of War. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS shinobier: While I wrote the guide, most of the strategies are his. Many of the boss strategies listed here (perhaps a majority) were gleaned from his Titan Mode NUR battles on YouTube. I don't know how I would haven't gotten past the Translator, Cerberus Breeder, and Zeus battles without them. Dave Jaffe and the rest of the God of War team: For yet again producing one of the best action games on the market.</p>