Gungrave FAQ V 1.0 Written by Wong Si Yuan First Written 30th July 2002 --- Contents: 0.0 - FAQ Overview and Legal Stuff 1.0 - Introduction to Gungrave 2.0 - Controls & Interface 2.1 - Demolition shots Defined 2.2 - General Tips 3.0 - Explaination of Score & Difficulty system 4.0 - Stage Guide 5.0 - Extras Menu 6.0 - Tidbits about Gungrave 7.0 - Credits 8.0 - Contact me --- 0.0 - FAQ Overview and Legal Stuff - This FAQ will, among other things, do its best to get you at least 4 skulls, if not 5, in each stage. It also comprises of bits and pieces of the manual for the benefit of those who can't read Japanese, plus some Other Stuff. All credit will be given whenever possible. Also, this FAQ is protected by international copyright laws to Wong Si Yuan, etc. etc. etc. If you wish to post, do so with my knowledge (and blessings) by Contacting Me if possible. Don't copy it in part or in whole, no plagarism, this FAQ is NOT for profit, blah blah blah. If you want to find a loophole in this regard, I Hereby Cover Them All. So There. Now enjoy. --- 1.0 - Introduction to Gungrave - What is Gungrave? Gungrave is an arcade style PS2 3rd person shooter which has you in the boots of Beyond the Grave, an enigmatic and mysterious gothic cowboy with a mission... and a coffin on his back. Grave wields a pair of pistols named Cerberus and a coffin slung on his back which is more than it appears to be. The game takes place over 6 stages in which Grave will Jump, Blast, Smash and generally wreak havoc through, during which you will be attempting to stay alive while getting the most impressive record possible. True to good, old fashioned arcade style gaming, Gungrave is more about old fashioned blast-the-bad-guys and boasting rights rather than plot (which is good enough). It does, however, boast some pretty great outlandish foes which look like they came straight from a certain Todd McFarlane comic... However, everthing in this game is a pretty refreshing change from everything you've ever seen in an Anime or Manga. Enjoy. All the animation is actually done in 3D, with animated textures for facial details. You won't be able to tell just by looking, but they are. Game concept and Character Design is by Yasuhiro Nightow, best known for his works in Trigun and Trigun Maximum. Mechanical, vehicular and equipment design is by Kosuke Fujishima, best known for his works in Ah! My Goddess!, You're Under Arrest, and character designer for Sakura Wars. --- 2.0 - Controls & Interface - Controls - Controls are relatively straightforward, and pretty easy to get used to. The only problem is finger fatigue when the action gets too intense! Left Analogue Stick - Controls Grave's movement. Holding it down (L3) causes Grave to break into a Jog that allows him to shoot while moving slightly faster than usual. Triangle - Fires a Demolition Shot. There is a meter in the upper left hand corner that indicates your store of Demolition shots. Note that using a Demolition shot makes your invulnerable for the period of the firing, and that you are vulnerable for a short while AFTER firing. A Demolition shot is like the 'Bomb' button in other arcade games: You fire a mega-powerful attack that destroys everything in sight. There ARE limitations, which is covered in further detail below, but generally you use these to get out of trouble, and for something "special"... More details further down. Circle - Makes Grave run. While running, Grave cannot shoot. X - Makes Grave Jump/Dive. While standing still, Grave will jump very high. You can use the left analogue stick to move him a little in the air. While moving, this will make Grave Dive in the direction he is moving in. While Diving, Grave will fire twice as fast. This has an important use that I will elaborate later. Square - Makes Grave fire. Obviously the most important. While firing, Grave will lock onto anything in front of him within a specific radius and his bullets will travel to it. If you repeatedly tap the square button while standing still, Grave will break out into his 'Burst Mode', where he goes nuts and starts firing with unbelievable acrobatic skill. This is extremely fun, but also useful for taking out large numbers of enemies quickly without resorting to a demolition shot. L1 - Lock on. When pressed, Grave will 'Lock On'to the nearest (or most powerful) enemy. During this period, all his movement will be centered around that enemy, he can Circle Strafe the enemy, and his shots will be directed at the enemy with a greater degree of accuracy. If held down when no enemy is around, or if the enemy is dead, Grave will be able to Strafe from side to side. Undeniably useful. L2 - 180º turn. Grave will hop quickly and turn straight around, ready to shoot anyone behind him. When held down and used in combination with the left analogue stick, causes Grave to turn on the spot. R1 - Swing coffin. Grave swings his coffin in a 360º arc around him, smashing anyone and anything that comes in contact with it and causing MASSIVE damage. It also tends to send most people flying. While swinging the coffin, you are immune to small arms fire. That does not include Machine Guns, Missiles, Grenades, Gatling guns, explosions, or Melee attacks. R2 - Slow mode. Unlockable after obtaining a certain rank, Slow Mode is not so much bullet time (a la Max Payne) as it is a drop in FPS. Although not as impressive, it helps the more flustered players to cope with the situation better. Start - Pauses the game and brings up the menu. (Options covered below) Select - Vanity Pose. Grave has three to choose from, at random. --- 2.0 - Controls and Interface - Interface - While playing the game, your screen is divided into four interfaces. In the upper left hand corner is your Demolition Shots meter. The Skull in the center serves several purposes: The blue meter around it tells you how much more to store before the next demolition shot is available, the number in the above left hand corner is the number of shots available. The skull itself has one last purpose, covered under '2.1 - Demolition Shots Defined'. In the lower left hand corner, which is normally not used, is the Boss Life meter. This naturally only appears when you are facing the boss of the stage. Note this does not apply to the first two bosses you encounter. In the upper right hand corner is your Life Bar (Red), your Shield Bar (Green), and your Score. Your first line of defense is your Shield bar. This 'deathly aura' of protection protects Grave from any and all attacks directed at him for a few rounds before being exhausted. The shield can and will regenerate itself after a few seconds of inactivity, like Halo's Master Chief shields. However, should you come under fire for too long, or take too much damage for even your aura to protect you, your life will start to drain. This is your last line of defense. When it hits zero, you die. You can continue, but your score SUFFERS. (More on this later) Thankfully, you CAN restore it in increments of 1/3 - 1/4 by accessing the Pause menu. This is next. The Pause menu only appears when you hit the Start button, naturally. Under the Pause menu are several options, Sound, Restart, and Demolition Shots. Sound - Under Sound is the BGM volume, SFX volume, and Channel (Mono/Stereo). Nothing exceptional. Restart - Under Restart are the options Restart Stage, and Exit to Title. Restart stage brings you back to Dr. T's lab. Exit to Title does just that, bring you back to the title screen. I use the former liberally. Demolition Shots - You have 1 Demolition Shot Style by default, Death Blow. The other three can be unlocked by performing well in each stage, and there is a fifth option: Restore Health Now. This is useful if you're near death, don't want to restart the stage, and don't particularly care for your health ranking. This consumes one Demolition shot and restores around 2/5ths (amount may vary.) of your health and all your shields. You can use this while being hit by a Boss's combo to restore lost shields before he can damage your health. --- 2.1 - Demolition Shots Defined - As Explained before, Demolition shots are a big part of the fun in Gungrave. Its obvious use is to get you out of sticky spots, but besides that they gave you FOUR styles to impress the heck out of friends and family as well! These styles actually have a use though, and besides that, there is a special surprise for those playing Gungrave through the first time. Read on... Your Demolition shots are as follows: Death Blow - Grave fires a single missile at the nearest target, which explodes and kills everything in front of Grave. I suspect its range is limited, but I've never seen it do so, so... Bullet Dance - Grave spins 360º firing obscene amounts of ammo from his coffin. It kills everything around him, but has a more limited range than the Death Blow or the Hellhound Roar. Hellhound Roar - Grave fires THREE missiles at everything in front of him, which looks cool and causes obscene destruction of EVERYTHING in a 180º radius around Grave. Try this move in places with large numbers of enemies and exploding barrels. Raging Inferno - Grave spins 360º delivering his massive payload of bullets... then jumps in the air and does it again, delivering more gratituous death on the way up. Final Demolition Shot - From stage 3 onwards, whenever any Boss is near death, the Skull in the Demolition Shot meter will suddenly glow like it's Halloween. When that happens, you can activate the 'Final Demolition Shot' (Which I will now refer to as Graveyard Finisher). This is an over-the-top, insane finisher that Grave uses to put a Boss out of its misery. Note that this DOES consume a Demolition Shot round, so make sure to have one ready. This is readily available no matter how poorly you did in previous stages. Note that only the 'Final' forms of the bosses can be 'Finished' this way. One Demolition style is granted for every 12 or 15 skulls you net overall. (Not confirmed, but general values should be accurate.) It is entirely possible to get all four styles at the end of stage 2. Also, one final note: Enemies behind environmental cover can actually dodge the effects of a Demolition shot. If someone is behind a corner and you used, say, a Bullet Dance, it won't hit him so long as you can't see even a part of him. If he is covered on two sides by walls and out of sight, a Hellhound Roar may not be enough to reach him! This does not apply to people behind sandbags or destructible details. Be cautious. --- 2.2 - General Tips To play Gungrave, all you need is persistence and a durable set of fingers. However, to get a really good score, you need to adopt some viable tactics. - Lock and Strafe: I can't tell you how useful it is to strafe while moving. Most of the enemies in this game only fire at your current position. If you keep moving, they tend to keep missing. Locking on also allows you to focus on one enemy, even while Diving to one side. This allows you to get your shots in really fast while avoiding theirs in turn. - Dive!: Diving (using the Jump while moving in any direction) is not only a great way to get 100 Artistic points, but also a lifesaver. It allows you to move quickly while firing even faster, gets you places sooner, avoid lots of big guns, and perform some really cool moves down staircases. It gets ever better with the lock on. If you lock on someone and dive, you will pirouette around the opponent, allowing you to get in a lot of shots stylishly and doing a ton of damage at the same time. But as with everything else, watch where you dive. Diving into a horde of heavily armed enemies is as bad as diving into an explosive barrel, guns blazing. Also, if you hit a wall or anything while diving, you will stop, and this is bad if you are avoiding enemy firepower or a Boss's combo attack. They are very like to to catch you and harm you. Use discretion. - Jog!: I use the term 'Jog' because it isn't a walk, but it isn't a run either. When you hold down the left analogue stick, Grave will go into a 'Jog', faster than walking, slower than running, but the advantage is being able to shoot on the go. This is invaluable in saving time and progressing to the next area quickly, especially if you are aiming for a high Beat Count and/or low Time Taken. Again, lock and strafe. - Prudence is the better part of Valor: Unless you're playing on easy, it's not worth restarting the map just because you got cocky on some enemies, lost more life than you were willing to, and then pounding the controller into dust, especially after getting an oh-so-elusive 500 beat combo. On Normal and Hard, Diving into the thick of a crowd is either an act of supreme confidence or of supreme idiocy. It's better to use a lock and jog in this case, finishing enemies off one by one as you approach, both to get a better Artistic score and to make sure you can get a few more hits in with your Coffin. Always let your shields regenerate before moving into the next area, and be wise enough to back off if you're losing shields too quickly. Better to have 4 skulls in Time only than 4 in Time AND Life, right? - Demolition Shots are your friend: If stuck in an absolutely-no-hope situation, don't be afraid to use a Demolition shot. You generally get more than you can use anyway, so using a few now and then won't hurt. Better than, again, losing life unnecessarily. --- 3.0 - Explaination of Score & Difficulty system Gungrave has an interesting scoring system which has not been seen for a while in other games. You are graded in five categories: Beat Count, % Enemies Killed, Time Taken, Life Remaining, and Artistic Score. I will explain the scoring on each system, and general tactics to get them. More advanced tactics come with the Stage walkthroughs. Beat Count - Each Stage has its own beat count requirement to get 5 skulls: Stage 1 - 300 Stage 2 - 350 Stage 3 - 300 Stage 4 - 400 - 500 (difficulty based I think) Stage 5 - 200 Stage 6 - 200 - 250 Difficulty may or may not affect the beat count in certain stages. I have reason to believe that on Easy, the Beat Count requirement for stage 4 is 400+, but on Normal it apparently rises phenomenally. Getting a high beat is certainly a challenge, as your beat meter will eventually flicker and die if you don't continuously shoot things. Between waves of enemies, the game HAS generously provided you with plenty of things to keep your beat meter high. The exception is in Stage 5, where your top beat will have to be obtained by killing constant waves of enemies. Also, the higher the difficulty, the faster your beat meter dies. % Enemies Killed - Each Stage will send WAVES of enemies at you from start to end. Although most of the enemies WILL come to you, you may have to look for some of them. Most prominent is Stage 2, where getting the last few enemies may take some experimenting. More detail later. It is tricky to find ALL the hidden enemies... Time Taken - There is a fine line between killing ALL the enemies, and taking the time to do so. You want to kill them quickly, but you want to make sure you killed them ALL. This tends to, but is not limited to, involve a fine balance between rationing your Demolition shots to take out vast numbers of enemies and getting the Beat Count you so desperately need. Each stage has the time limits (for 5 skulls) as follow: Stage 1: 4 Minutes or less Stage 2: 8 Minutes or less Stage 3: 8 Minutes or less Stage 4: 8 Minutes or less Stage 5: 9½ - 10 Minutes or less Stage 6: 14 Minutes or less (Subject to Confirmation) If you find that my information is wrong, please send me your time for 5 skulls. Difficulties - There are three difficulties in the Japanese version. The North American version reputedly has a fourth 'Kick Their Ass!' difficulty, but that will be confirmed when it is released. Easy - Enemies do little damage, can take even less and have horrible aim. Environmental objects can take more shots (better beat count), explosions do less damage, certain stage requirements are lowered (speculation here), and Grave's auto-aiming is improved drastically. He will aim for everything without hesitation. Your Beat Count meter has a much longer lifespan, allowing you to net even bigger Beat Combos than on other difficulties. Not much of a challenge, and shame on you if you die. However, your score will be limited to around 5 million, depending on how well you did. Normal - Enemies are tougher now, do (a LOT) more damage, and have average aim. Environmental objects blow up faster, explosions hurt, certain stage requirements are higher, and Grave's auto-aiming is a little slow. Your Beat Count meter also dies much faster, making it a bigger challenge to get the 5 skull rating. A decent challenge, and definitely difficult for newbies. Your score can jump to 7 or 9 million or more on normal. Hard - Pray hard. Enemies take Grave's shields down like a hot knife through butter, have great aim and range, explosions are best viewed from afar, but I'm not sure about Stage Requirements. Grave's auto-aiming is survivable, and not much worse than normal (if at all), but considering the enemies... Oh, getting a decent beat count on Hard isn't difficult because of enemy endurance, but forget about getting a good one if there're no enemies within reach in 1½ seconds. Your score can reach 14 million or more on hard. *** Contributed by Remy, with 5 skulls in all stage times (and everything else too... whoa) - stage 1 4,20 stage2 6.41 stage3 7.50 stage 4 forgett to note stage 5 8.26 stage 6 don t note. *** Life Remaining - Very simply, anything less than 100% nets you 4 skulls or less. Using a Refill Life Now drops your grade by 1 skull (meaning at 100% but with a refill, you still get 4 skulls). Using a continue gives you NONE. Be careful to prevent the enemies from hitting you too much... no shame in hiding while your shields recharge, or using a Demolition shot to get you out of trouble. Every 25% drop costs you one skull as well. Therefore: 100% - 5 skulls. 99% - 75% - 4 skulls 74% - 50% - 3 skulls 49% - 25% - 2 skulls 24% - 1% - 1 skull Death/continue - None Anyone care to confirm if you still get 5 skulls for replenishing your shields only, without taking damage to health? Artistic Score - Basically, this is Gungrave's version of Devil May Cry's 'Coolness' factor. Anything that makes your audience more awe-inspired nets you points. Slamming people with the coffin, shooting enemies from point blank, diving all over the place, using Demolition shots, using the Vanity Pose, shooting someone as soon as you use the 180º hop, getting insane beat counts, etc. all add to your score. Generally, I find that using Grave's Diving all over the place will give you a perfect 100 and 5 skulls all the time. Occasionally you might want to combine all the above techniques... hehe... --- 4.0 - Stage Guide Here it is... a stage by stage introduction and general tips, plus boss strategies, special notes, and 'Beat Count' areas. Also included are some [poorly] translated transcripts of the character conversations. (By Yours Truly. ^_^U I only claim 75% accuracy here! Places where the exact words are unclear are made up for in general meaning.) Opening - *Cutscene - Snow is falling. We see a city, one that bustles with life and technology. In the background (or should I say, THE background) is a gigantic building with searchlights racing across its surface. The camera lowers down through the many layers of the city, through increasingly more imporverished areas, finally resting at the very bottom, the dark alleys and streets of the lowest class. A girl, in red, is dragging an attache case with much difficulty. She is bleeding from the head. A lab, where a kindly looking doctor and a dark mysterious stranger wait. A thud at the door, and the doctor is cautious. He carries a gun as he approaches the door, then opens it cautiously. The girl slumps in, dropping the case. The brooding figure pulls on his coat, adjusts some stuff, and pushes his glasses up. We see his face, and the prominent scar on it. Dr. T - "You're going to do it then? The Comany that you owed your life to, which took it away, that which you cannot forget... you're going for it?" The figure doesn't speak. He lifts one gun, then the other, deliberately. Dr. T - "Those guns.. seeing them again, I understand now. Do as you please then. You're free to pursue your goal... that most important goal of yours." The girl awakens as the figure leaves. She looks around. Mika - "Doctor?" Doctor T. - "You can call me T." Mika - "That guy? My mom's guardian, the one called Grave?" Doctor T - "Calm down. That guy is off to do his job now... he'll be back." Mika - "In that case... he's gone to stop Harry McDowell?" Doctor T - "Don't worry about him, he's the most evil demon of them all. The company's people are going to be in trouble, meeting that 'Graveyard'." *End Cutscene - Stage 1 - Slaughter House Boss - Mickey Time Limit - 4 Minutes or less Beat Count - 300 *Cutscene - A seedy bar in a shadowy district. Title - Stage 1: Slaughter House Inside the pulsing, beating nightclub, Grave approaches the rich looking man in yellow and his lovely ladies. Mickey - "To the new boss, Mr. Harry! Cheers!" They look at Grave. A bouncer accosts him. Bouncer - "What do you want? You ain't part of the boss's party!" Grave gives him a very nasty punch and floors him. Grave looks at the lounge chair Micket was in, but he is gone. Grave turns and sees Mickey escaping through a door. *End Cutscene - Details: Basic training stage, nobody here poses any serious threat to you. You start out in a bar with the bartender and several lackeys shooting at you. Simply kill everyone. A large brute will be the key to opening the next area. Stay around and kill everyone as you please, then move on. In the next area, you are in a corridor with three enemies and a stack of boxes in front of you. Kill them all, and proceed. *Special Note: Walk into the door on your side when you kill the three guys to find a toilet. Destroy everything (and everyone) inside, and when you walk out again there'll be more people to add to your kill %! The rest of the stage is pretty straightforwards. When you get to the area with the water towers, you are near the boss area. *Cutscene - Grave walks forbiddingly towards the railing, and looks down. Mickey is running out the front entrance, and several of his lackey's cars are pulling up. The Lackeys are aiming guns at the entrance, where they expect Grave to come out from. Grave jumps through the railings and lands on one car, caving its top in. *End Cutscene - *Beat Combo Area: The last part of the stage, where you chase Mickey through a gauntlet of lackeys and cars, is where you can get your 5 skull beat count. Start with the car in front of you, then kill the enemies behind the pickup and those near the car and those around you. Work on the cars as you Strafe around and be sure to use Dives to quickly reach the next targets if your beat's dying out. Note that you want to make use of Mickey's lackeys to get your last 50 or so beats if possible. There's almost not enough shootables to get 300 without them, depending on the difficulty. Boss: Nothing special. Mickey's just a lowly human pimp-scum, so go ahead and blast away. Finish him with a Demolition shot if you want. Points of interest: Exploding Barrels - After reaching the second floor rooftop, you will encounter your first ubiquitous exploding barrels. These not only harm/hurt your enemies, but you as well, if you're not careful. Not just barrels either. Exploding gas cans, exploding cars, anything that could go up in flames, be careful around! Fadeaway Shot - The area with your first staircase is also the first place you can practice your 'Fadeaway' shot by diving down a staircase. Try it! Enemies - No doubt by now you have already noticed that there are more than 1 size of enemy. The Big Guys always carry machineguns or something equally heavy, and are a bigger threat than the tiny Lackeys. They will also be a source of constant pain for you if you don't take them out fast. You will encounter many, many more types of enemies in the future... beware. Targets - Mickey will be the first of many such 'Targets' that you will encounter throughout the game. Targets are mission critical and must be killed/mutilated/destroyed before you are allowed to continue. They come in two flavours: Blue (Enemies) and Golden (Bosses, Objects). You CANNOT continue if you don't destroy these Targets, even if everyone else is dead. --- Stage 2 - Factory Boss - Koujouchou (Plant Manager, in English) Time Limit - 8 minutes or less Beat Count - 350 *Cutscene - A dusty floor in an industrial factory. A shadow crosses it, and it belongs to Grave. Behind him, the steel wire doors shut loudly. Grave glaces back, then continues his walk. Title - Stage 2: Factory *End Cutscene - Details: You begin in a factory in a slightly more scummy part of town. Start by destroying the barrels to the sides and then the enemies in front. When you reach the area with a lot of cars and even more enemies, clear everything to proceed. You will encounter a new sort of enemy here. *Beat Combo Area: The moment you start the stage, you will WANT to keep your Beat combo going by constantly diving/jogging/shooting at everything in your path. Your goal here is at LEAST 350 beats, and it is NOT easy. Between enemies, shoot crates and barrels as you move to keep the Beat alive. When you see a car, shoot it till it explodes and KEEP moving when they are near destruction. You will be able to get over 450 beats if you are careful, but it is rather difficult because of Grave's capricious autoaiming. Be careful. Your next arena will be in an underground excavation site, as well as some new enemies. Nothing special here, except that visibility is extremely low, so keep those guns firing! Past the excavation area is the staircase to the roof. En route up, you will find a pipe on the first landing with enemies on it. (Number varies with difficulty) After dealing with them and heading up the second flight, turn around immediately. More enemies will be coming from that pipe. clear them out, clear the roof out, and break the glass. Grave will jump in. Grave will land in a remote corner of a Warehouse. Blast your way to the warehouse main. Note that this area is extremely crowded, so be cautious where you dive and shoot. Nothing unusual here, but be careful of enemies that are scripted to take cover and ambush you behind the boxes. After that is a staircase leading to a lot more enemies, a Missile Launcher, and an odd Kill % area. Note that it is VERY easy to get damaged here (no 100% Life Remaining score, in other words), so use a Demolition shot if you want. *Special note: After clearing out the area, do NOT walk through the door yet. Walk along the catwalk to the end. Several enemies will fall from the ceiling and attack you. Kill them to add to your Kill %. Past the warehouse are the labs. You will encounter several... doctors and patients who are less than happy to see you. Kill them all. There is a new class of enemy here to be wary of: The Fat Heavy Weapons guy. They are always fat (unlike the big tall guys), and ALWAYS carry a weapon that is short ranged, but VERY painful. In this case, a shotgun. Stay away and take him out from a distance. *Special note: After clearing house, walk/jump into the room full of crates where the fat guy was shooting you. Several more enemies will run into the area from where you came in. Again, more Kill % for you. In the next area, you come across what appear to be cloning tanks of some sort. Half formed people float inside... weird. You will be greeted by a patient and a Melee guy from the start. Take them all out and continue downstairs. Note that the enemies here like to take cover behind the tanks, so don't leave until you're done with everyone! The next area is short. Several Big Guys and several Lackeys await you. A single Demolition shot is all it takes to finish them quickly. The next area is just before the boss. There are several catwalks, of which you are on one. Shoot everyone on your catwalk first, then finish off everyone else. There is a switch marked "Target", so shoot the switch and take out the new enemies on the catwalk and the lowering bridge. Cross it. It's time for the Boss. Boss: Slightly more challenging than last, Koujouchou hides behind several counters and crates covered with computers and Lackeys. They will bust in through the windows. Just keep Strafing left and right and killing everyone. Eventually the tide of enemies will stop. Feel free to finish him off as you please. He only carries a machinegun, so don't worry. Points of Interest: New Enemie Types - In the first area, you will also encounter your first Missile Launcher enemy. The missiles are supposedly easy to avoid, but in the thick of battle with clutter all around, it's much more difficult than expected. They are also dangerous because they can do a lot of damage and are very capable of ruining your perfect beat combo. Beware. In the second area, you will encounter Melee enemies. These guys are big, tough, and carry steel construction girders to smack you around with. You do NOT want to be hit. You will also encounter your first Grenade enemies. Although not as dangerous as Missile Launchers, they are an annoyance nonetheless. Stay away from them and finish them off last. Fat Heavy weapons guys are the final worry. You only meet them in two stages, but the weapons they use will leave a lasting effect on you, and even bosses use the same weapons! Thankfully they are generally short ranged, so just stand back and fire away! --- Stage 3 - Chinatown Boss - Bob Poundmax, Bob Poundmax (Overkill version) Time Limit - 8 minutes or less Beat Count - 300 *Cutscene - Bright lights and neon signs adorn the buildings. Title - Stage 3: Chinatown In a dark alley, Grave is 'speaking' (one sidedly) to an informant, who counts his wad of cash as he smokes a pipe. Informant - "There's a piece of news, came down from Brock. There's an airship called the Furidori Hide. The company's holding a party there. The new boss's face was seen, but I'd have to say it in a group of people, I can't say it here. If I did the Yakuza would get wind of it, and-" (Note: It's either the new boss's face was seen, but I'd have to say it in a group of people, or it was seen in a group of people I can't tell you about.") Suddenly Grave turns around as he notices something, and ducks. Bullets riddle the wall (and the informant) full of holes. *End Cutscene - You begin in a Chinatown alley. Nothing special, kill them all. Walk up the stairs and encounter your first Lackey Melee guys. These guys are basically the little brothers of the Big Melee Guys. Smaller, weaker, but they still do plenty of damage. Just whack them. Oh, enjoy the massive Fadeaway shot down the staircase. You will now be on a street with a Tram dropping off enemies and enemies that pop out from the alleys and balconies. *Beat Combo Area: It is possible, although supremely difficult, to get your 300 Beat combo here. As soon as you reach the top of the stairs, you'll want to keep shooting every enemy around you, as well as the telephone booths and the tram that's dropping the enemies off. However, keeping your beat alive at the end of the street before the Tram returns is difficult at best. The tram itself is good for about 150 beats though, so if you can reach 150 before working on the tram, you could concievably reach 300 beats here. Next up after the staircase is another street, filled with a lot of Missile Launchers and Melee guys, big and small. Nothing special here, keep moving and killing until you get to a gate. Try to open it and run around the street to get the enemies to come. Kill them all to proceed. *Special Note: There are more enemies here than required to progress. As soon as the 'Go' arrow appears, run back down the street. More enemies will appear. Again, good for your 100% kills. Run around a bit more to see if anyone you missed appears. Next up, a scene from Hong Kong movies - The Kitchen of Death! You will be in a kitchen filled with irate chefs and patrons alike. Note that due to the cramped quarters here, taking damage is a possibility. Enemies will come from all around, most notably the stairs, but watch your back as well. When you're done, walk down the stairs. You'll end up in an abandoned parking lot with Missile Launchers bunkered behind sandbags, and lots of trigger happy Lackeys. Diving and prioritizing targets here will get you through. When you reach the gates, more enemies will come from the top and behind. Kill them all to proceed. *Special Note: Keep moving back to the middle of the parking lot to find more bad guys to add to your 100% Kills rating. In the next area, you will meet a new sort of enemy that will be a very constant fixture from now on: Kurofukus (Black Shirts. More on them later). Kill them as usual, but watch for their acrobatic tricks. They will come from all over the place. You will also encounter the Heavy Weapons version of them. Be very careful with these guys, they can and will hurt you. After turning them all to jelly, move on towards the bridge. *Cutscene - A massive bulldozer will burst out of a warehouse and head for Grave. Grave makes a 'strategic retreat'. This is one of the more unique portions of the game, although not the most original. several Kurofukus will be standing atop the 'Dozer as it claws its way towards you. Simply keep backing up and avoiding their shots. You can't destroy it, and your goal is simply to run to the end of the bridge. The dozer itself will occasionally stop to let off a few 'passengers', who will happily add themselves to your Kill %. *Beat Combo Area: More risky than the start, but also much easier. You can shoot the 'Dozer for insane beat combos. Simply back up firing. Note that walking backwards is too slow, while jogging backwards (L3) is too fast. You want to mix the two together while being shot at and shooting back. If your shields get too low, jog back a litte further just out of the Kurofuku's range while still remaining within shooting range of the 'Dozer. It's trickier to pull off because Grave's range is barely longer than theirs, so it's a balancing act. You should get your 300 beats at the end of the bridge. *Cutscene - Grave turns at the end of the bridge and sees the massive Zepplin below him. He leaps, and makes a dramatic entrance through the window. People can be heard screaming as he breaks through the glass. Grave is now in a poshly furnished dining room. He starts out on the entertainer's platform with a grand piano to the side. Kurofukus will be your only enemies here, and they will jump from table to table to kill you. Go nuts as you please. Once they're all dead... *Cutscene - Nice western piano accompaniement, followed by a clapping. Grave starts and points both guns to the source. It is Harry McDowell and some of his subordinates. Balladbird Lee - "This, gentlemen, is Grave. Long time no see. A true returnee from the land of the dead, he is." Bear Walken - "A dead man. He's forgotten his manners and memory since the last time we saw him." Grave increases the pressure on the trigger, and Bunji points a gun warningly. Grave changes targets to Bunji. Bob waves his drumstick around. Bob Poundmax - "Now, now, Bunji, let's not be hasty. Grave, you were part of the company eh? A meal, a room, and where's your gratitude? Those guns you hold, they too belong to your supervisor (boss?) too! Come on then! let's have some fun together!" The music suddenly picks up, and McDowell and Co. take this cue to leave. Bob leaps from the balcony (whoa) and lands rather heavily. He is armed with a machinegun. Bob Poundmax - "COME ON! This will be your 'Grave!'/I'll send 'U' to your 'Grave'!" *End Cutscene - Mini-Boss: Bob Poundmax will be armed with a machine gun and grenades, screaming 'DIE!' while his four Kurofuku bodyguards fire at you. Simply keep your fire on him. The kurofukus will be constantly replenished at any rate, and you'll be wasting your health if you want to try. 'Killing' Bob will end the section. *Cutscene - Grave storms out the rooftop door, just in time to see a helicopter take off and fly away. He chases it, but it's a futile effort. A MASSIVE blob, Bob Poundmax (Overkill Version), floats up with propellers and fills the screen, glaring at Grave with glowy red eyes (ooh). Bob Poundmax - "Your opponent is right here, Grave! Get ready to die!" *End Cutscene - Boss: Bob Poundmax (Overkill Version) reminds us of someone, doesn't he? Can you say... Clown? Anyways, he is easily defeated. Run up to him and lock on as soon as you come into range, and Circle-Strafe while firing. He has four attacks: Pulling a clotheless Kurofuku (I call them Fukunai, clotheless Guys) and tossing it at you like a bomb, spawning several Fukunais which then crawl towards you like seeker missiles, launching himself into the air to butt-smash you, and spinning in a circle. The first two are easily countered: Dive to the side when he tosses one at you, and shoot the crawlers when he spawns them. The third one is also easy: When he jumps, watch his shadow and dive backwards when it is near you. The last one he only uses when you are near him. It damages you, sends you flying, and renders him invulnerable. Simple backpedal to avoid it. Other than that, keep shooting him while Circle Strafing and he should go down in no time. Graveyard Finisher - When Bob's life is nearly gone and your skull lights up like it's Halloween, hit the Triangle button and watch the fireworks. He uses a variation of the Hellhound Roar to finish Bob off. *Spoiler- To spoil you, several doves fly across the screen and reveals Grave standing here with his coffin verticall up on his back. It opens four ports, each with a missile, which then fire into the sky. They stop, orient themselves, and fly towards Bob, who is unceremoniously blown away. Points of Interest: New enemies - Kurofuku (Normal and Gatling). These guys only LOOK human, but they explode into little blue/golden/whatever colors of goo when shot at and killed. They are faster, tougher, stronger, and the ones carrying lighter weapons can jump like Spiderman on crack. The normal guys are irritating, the Gatling guys (carrying two briefcases) are dangerous. Graveyard Finisher - This is the first boss you can use one on. To tell when to use it, watch your Demolition Skull when the bosses' life is low. If it lights up like Broadway, FINISH HIM! Enjoy. --- Stage 4 - Subway Boss - Balladbird Lee Time Limit - 8 minutes or less Beat Count - >450 (Or around 450, depending on Difficulty) *Cutscene - Dr. T puts a hand on Grave's shoulder. Dr. T - "Grave, wait. Today's the 'Exchange'. I've gotten the chamber ready for your use." Flash to a chamber with four massive pipe leading into a chair where Grave sits gravelly. The view cuts to the ceiling, where four massive bell-like contraptions supposedly responsible for replacing his bodily fluids are located. Mika - "Doctor, he-" Dr. T - "That guy's body fluids must be changed periodically, seeing as he's a walking corpse. His heart, his hands, his body and his motives, are all for the sole purpose of being a Killing Machine." The 'door' slides close, fitting perfectly with the wall. Just then, Dr. T hears another strange sound outside his door. He watches it suspiciously. The door is suddenly riddled with bullets and Dr. T takes a few rounds as a horrified Mika watches on. The Kurofukus that break in then make off with her. Mika - "DOCTOR!" Inside, Grave can hear Dr. T as he struggles to speak. Dr. T - "Grave, can you hear me? That girl, Mika... she's been taken. Chase them!" The pipes disengage with a hiss of steam, the door opens, and Grave steps out. Dr. T has managed to drag himself to the wall and now lies slumped against it. Dr. T - "When everything's ended... go to a place far, far away, eh, Brandon?" *End Cutscene - *Cutscene #2 - Several Kurofukus are running down a staircase, one of them with a prominent red form slung over its shoulder. The others pause to watch the rear, before following again. Title - Stage 4: Subway. *End Cutscene #2 - You start out in a seedy subway with several Yakuza running away. Time to get Mika back, at gunpoint. Nothing spectacular at the start. Kill everyone, work your way to the end and kill everyone coming down the staircase. You have to turn around and enter the next area after that. The next area is a shopping arcade style hallway which has enemies literally popping out left and right and front to get you. Simply clear them while you progress through the area. There is an interesting enemy here. *Beat Combo Area: From the start of this area to the end of the next, you will need to work on your Beat count. Simply keep shooting everyone in the arcade till you reach the end (a heavily fortified sandbag bunker with several burning barrels in front), kill everything and everyone, and QUICKLY move into the adjacent room (the Electronics Goods Store). Better yet, stay near it so that the moment you've killed everyone and everything in the arcade, you can move in immediately. It's cramped and full of Big Guns, so be careful and take whatever cover is necessary. You will want to keep strafing while firing in this shop to get at EVERYTHING that is shootable. My record is 540. *Special Note: While you are shooting up the area, several enemies will drop from the hole in the roof. There are roughly three sets, so you might want to stick around if you want a 100% kill score. The following area is another area with more gang members. Kill them, and everyone behind you, then walk towards the corner. Behind a barricade are some mobsters with dual machineguns, kill them all. Past them is a staircase with three of the rabbit guys. In the next area, dive down the staircase and kill everyone. You will encounter some Samurai guys and your first Kurofukus for the stage, in the Ticketing Lobby. You will have to kill everyone here as well as those that pursue you from where you came from. Also, before going through the door, make a trip around each of the four benches. A Samurai will drop from the ceiling above each of them. After them, you will pass through another shutter and be greeted by a Gatling Kurofuku. Kill and proceed. More violence. (Yum) You will eventually come to a waiting area where you will kill even MORE people. (I see a trend forming.) Eventually you can pass through the shutters on one side. Burst Mode to kill everyone before walking in. There will be several waves of enemies from inside and outside before you can proceed down the hallway and down the staircase. In the next area are various Yakuza hiding behind highly explosive barrels. I wonder why. Proceed down the staircase and be ready for a very big fight. At the ticket gates lobby, many enemies will come from behind and to the side, so find a spot and stand your ground. I prefer to dive over to the sandbags and shoot from there. When you're done... *Special note: When everyone is dead and you see the Go sign, don't go yet. Move past the gates, then turn around and fight off the last pocket of resistance before proceeding. *Cutscene - You see a train with the car number 26 leaving the station. Inside, two Kurofukus, one with Mika, run from car to car. Soon after, Grave bursts in through one of the windows. *End Cutscene - In the next area, you are now on board a train. The first carriage is for your leisure. Simply destroy everything in sight as you please, and move on to the next car. Several Kurofukus greet you, so feel free to see them off. In the third carriage, you encounter a Gatling Kurofuku and something more... unusual. There are two rockets on either side of the car, with Kurofukus hitching a ride on them. They are 'Blue' Targets, which means finish them off NOW. Once one of them is dead, move to the next carriage and finish the second one off too. In the fifth car, you fight yet another Blue Target... a Helicopter! It has two attacks: It will launch missiles into the car and then fill it with lead from its Vulcan cannon. Use the Lockon and Strafe technique to destroy it as quickly as possible. The occasionaly Kurofuku will jump in once in a while. Once it's dead, it's on to the boss... *Cutscene - As the door opens, Grave stands there ominously. He suddenly raises his guns at Balladbird Lee, whos is holding Mika under one arm. Balladbird Lee - "So, Bob has failed too... so, what's his reason?" (Note, the latter part of the conversation has me stumped. This is the best I can conclude from the context.) Grave holds his position. Balladbird Lee - "Are you still loyal to Big Daddy/Does it mean anything to you?" (Again, the sentence is a little ambiguous.) Grave looks up suddenly. Balladbird Lee - "Ah, what's that look for? Is forgetting what (her?) father was like such a big matter to you? hahahaha! A dead man before me! This will be your last stop!" Lee tosses Mika out the window (!) as Grave watches on in shock(?), moments before the train hits something and derails. *End Cutscene - *Cutscene #2 A burning train wreck. Grave lies on his face, on the floor, unmoving. Suddenly, he gets up and looks around. A weird sound comes from behind the train. Balladbird Lee - "Shu! Waki!" (Note: Just sounds) A weird creature leaps and spins from behind the train, slicing the car in half as it does so. It lands, and the car behind it falls to pieces. Lee speaks to Grave, as Bunji watches on from atop a structure, Mika safely unconscious on the ground besides him. Balladbird Lee - "I shall avenge Bob!" Boss: Balladbird Lee looks like another old, 'Spawn'ed friend, doesn't he? Hm... Anyway, he has three attacks. A leaping slash attack, in which he jumps and tries to slice Grave in half. He also fires that HUGE gun in his other... appendage... which does a lot of damage if it connects. Simply Jog to avoid this. His final attack, which is also his most powerful, is his Combo. He will telegraph both his Jump Slash and Combo attacks by 'charging' up before attacking. Dive as SOON as he starts dashing at you. He will also circle strafe a lot, like you. Besides that, he is no harder than Bob. Graveyard Finisher: Grave uses modified Bullet Dance to finish him off. *Spoiler - We start out inside some highly complex piece of machinery which locks and loads, and we find out it is Grave's Coffin cannon. He fires up his coffin from the cross like a thruster, plants the spike into the ground, and extends one leg out. He spins like a top, firing bullets all over the place. Lee is unceremoniously blasted and sent flying. Points of Interest - Roger - See those crazy jumping guys in rabbit suits? They're called 'Roger's in-game. Hm... Roger... a Rabbit man... you don't suppose there's a RELATION do you? --- Stage 5 - Underground Boss: Bear Walken, Bear Walken (OVerkill Form) Time limit - 9½ - 10 minutes or less Beat Count: 200 *Cutscene - Grave revs and drives a cool looking bike with a sidecar containing his coffin. As he passes a building, a police-vehicle appears and launches missiles at him. Grave loses control as he dodges the missiles, then flies off the road towards a canal. As he falls, his coffin opens up and launches 8(!) missiles at the vehicle, which promptly explodes. Grave's bike lands on the side of the canal wall and he manages to drive into a drainage pipe. He looks around. *End Cutscene - You begin in a drainage channel inside a canal. Upon leaving the pipe, you will face an interesting foe: Special police riding on flying platforms. Note that they are unique to this stage only. In this case, the two that face you are tricky. When you destroy one, the other will flee. If you want a perfect kill score, finishing both off quickly is a must. A burst mode is generally the most effective, but running up to them and swinging a coffin at them works. Just so long as they are close enough to the ground, you can kill them. Or, if you're feeling generous, a Demolition shot works fine. When they die, they explode. Note that their explosions are like exploding barrels: They damage and kill anyone too close to them, including the Flyers next to them... Behind the two Flyers is a small gauntlet of enemies and obstacles. It isn't too difficult, so destroy them all. Once everyone is dead, walk up to the gate to open it. (Note that you are not given a 'Go' sign as a hint, so don't wait for it.) Up the stairs, you find several enemies on the next floor up. Note that the safety rails here are mostly missing, so be careful when you dive. Grave won't suffer any falling damage, but his Time Taken will most definitely take a hit. Grave is climbing up a giant multilevel tower of sorts, so making a wrong jump and landing at the bottom is a pain. Simply progress through the next gate, up the stairs, and be ready for a surprise. At the top of this stairs are some enemies, nothing special, but be careful. Next gate, several enemies await you just as you open it. Note that there isn't anything special on the way up besides two things: At around the fourth floor, you will start encountering Missile Launchers and Flamethrowers. The Flamethrower guys are the Fat Heavy Weapons Guys I warned you about in Stage 2: They do a LOT of damage with their weapons, so keep your distance and watch some pigs fly. Be careful around these floors, as the rails are in better repair, but the missiles can and will send you flying downstairs. Keep going all the way up until you enter the next area. Be ready. *Beat Combo Area: Be ready for the Gauntlet of the game. You will face off with Riot Shield enemies, protecting their Big Guy brethren. Always keep moving while firing, and aim for the Big Guys if you can. Note that the Riot Shield police are the key to getting 200 beats. Their shields can take a beating before going down. You might want to stay near one side of the stage though, to limit damage taken. Anyway, while you are shooting, keep moving slowly towards the other end of the area to make sure you have a constant supply of fresh enemies to fuel your beat. Once you hit 200 though, relax and take a breath. It's very difficult to get there so congratulate yourself. *Special Note: When all the enemies are dead, don't go through the door marked 'Go' yet. RUN back to the place where you entered, and turn around. There _should_ be a single Melee weapon guy who will accost you. Riddle him plenty, THEN go through the door marked 'Go'. In the next area, you are riding on a giant elevator up a giant tower, and both Flyers and normal enemies will descend on you like flies to dead meat. (Sorry, that was a bad joke.) The first wave will be enemies that drop onto your elevator, so take them out quickly. Next up will be Flyers, then enemies from your neighbouring elevator. Note that you must be close to the edge of your elevator to kill the ones on the other side, and that if you dally too long the elevator will move on, cheating you of your Kill %. Finish them off quickly and effeciently. More Flyers, accompanying enemies on YOUR lift, then enemies on the other lift that are braver than most and actually make the jump over to your lift. See them off and down.... way down... more of the same until the end. Your next area is serenely quiet. Nothing to destroy, nothing to dodge. Almost like an invitation to something, huh? Anyway, run under the Japanese arches (often used to denote a temple or shrine of some sort. Sets of 3 supposedly bring luck, but I can't be sure.) until you see the bridge and the little hut. *Cutscene - Walken stands before Gravem poised. Bear Walken - "Welcome to my Dojo. However, it ends here! Waaargh!" Walken performs some transformation that apparently levels the entire rooftop garden. When the light clears, a many-armed person (Gilgamesh, anyone?) faces off with Grave. Bear Walken - "Fall at my hands, Grave!" *End Cutscene - Boss: Bear Walken has two forms, so don't waste any demolition shots on the first form. His first form carries several weapons: Two Machine guns, a flamethrower, and a missile launcher. He has several attacks: He will simply shoot at you, which is easily dodged. He will fire several missiles into the sky that track you, which is dodgeable, he will spin in a circle firing his flamethrower, during which time he cannot be hit by bullets, and his combo attack, in which he charges at you, grabs you, tosses you into the air, and blasts you with 3 out of 4 guns. Very simple to defeat him, just use exactly the same tactics as you did for Bob Poundmax, or Balladbird Lee. As you shoot him up, he will lose arms one by one, and thus his offensive power lowers. When the first form is "dead"... *Cutscene - Walken, armless, pants as Grave watches. Bear Walken - "I see. Even with these demonic arms I have lost to another discipline. But, it is not over!" Walken then proceeds to transform into something nasty. His shadow looms over Grave as he transforms. *End Cutscene - Walken (Overkill Form) is a little bit more tricky. He will throw cars that fall from the sky at you when far. He will charge you when you are at a comfortable distance, and he will pound the ground to create a shockwave if you are too close. Simply run up to him, avoiding everything he tosses at you, then lock on and fire. When he's about to charge, you can hear the tires screeching (you'll find out when you play the game), so get ready to dodge. He will cross the arena to the other side, so run up, wash, rinse, repeat. Graveyard Finisher: Grave uses a modified Deathblow to finish off Walken. *Spoiler - Grave jumps and does a 360 flip in the air. When he lands, his coffin has a missile tube sticking out of one side. He then fires the missile which hits Walken and sends him flying. A nuclear explosion of sorts follows, lighting up the horizon. *Cutscene - Someone depresses a detonation trigger, and the tower explodes. Grave begins to slide as the top of the building collapses, but plants his Coffin spike into the floor to stay put. Bunji appears. Bunji Kugashira - "You haven't changed have you? Regain your memory soon, my powerful counterpart." The building then proceeds to fall completely apart, and Grave falls along with it. He hits a giant puddle of water with a massive splash and gets up as if he was getting out of bed. (ooh.) He looks up, and sees the Church before him. *End Cutscene - Points of Interest: Flamethrower - You probably haven't seen the flamethrower yet. Two words: Avoid Them. The Tenderloins (That's what the game calls them) can deal serious damage in a matter of one or two seconds, and are always placed at strategic areas, so you must get rid of them if you want to move on unscathed. Also, bosses that use them must be dealt with cautiously. Walken isn't too dangerous so long as you keep your distance, but there is another... --- Stage 6a - Bunji, Church. Boss - Bunji Kugashira *Cutscene - The doors close behind Grave. Ahead, someone lights up. Bunji steps out from behind a pillar, smoking. Bunji Kugashira - "It's come down to this. Because you disappeared I could be here. You did everything for the company, like I do. Everything I'm about to do and have ever done, it has been a fight with you." (Note: This translation is sketchy at best. The general impression is that Bunji is the man who 'replaced' Grave when he 'died', and sees him as a very dangerous but challenging competitor and wants a duel.) Bunji draws his guns. Bunji Kugashira - "Let's go." People have asked how to defeat Bunji. There are several methods. First, I'll explain Bunji himself: He is similar to Grave, in that they are both not-human superhumans, modified using the technology that made the Kurofukus. But Bunji differs from Grave in that Bunji wasn't dead to begin with, and that he wants nothing more than a showdown with Grave. Bunji has several attacks and one special - His normal guns, which are extremely powerful, a shockwave attack, which is even more powerful, his Graveyard Combo attack, which is yet more powerful, and a strong kick that sends Grave flying, which he uses if you are too close. His special ability is to restore lost health when out of sight. Sounds unfair, doesn't it? But he does have a weakness: Although his life bar is long, he takes a LOT of damage from Grave's guns, and can be sent flying with a Demolition shot. First off, at the start, Bunji is 99% sure to use a Graveyard combo on you, so dive as soon as he starts dashing for you. Lure him away from the pillars by staying near the doorway, and keep circle-strafe/shooting him, and dive whenever he fires a shot or activates his combo. Some people have reported success at smacking him with the coffin to send him flying if he gets too close, but I haven't managed this myself. Anyway, when low on health, Bunji will attempt to run behind the pillars to regenerate his health. Chase him, and use Diving shots to damage him if possible. Also, another tactic is to simply lock on him and circle the pillar he tries to hide behind constantly. The Merry-Go-Round tactic is tedious, but it works. If he gets behind a pillar, Strafe around to find him ASAP! If not, use a Demolition shot to send him flying away from the pillar. When his life is low enough... Graveyard Finisher: Grave performs a sort of Raging Inferno/Bullet Dance on him. *Spoiler - Grave runs, hops and goes into a slide as he preps his coffin. He then proceeds to fire ALL his bullets into Bunji, who starts to smoke after being hit a few times. *Cutscene - Bunji lies against a wall, smoking. Bunji Kugashira - "You've won. I'm saved. Didn't think you'd have such a poor successor huh? As my gratitude, I wish you well in your goal to destroy them. None of us can go back to what was, huh? Sorry." Bunji's cigarette dies in his lips, and so does he. He explodes into a hundred blue droplets of goo as Grave watches dispassionately. Now that that's over with, it's time to start the stage proper. Stage 6 - The Tower Boss #1 - Big Daddy Boss #2 - Alien Head Time limit - 9½ - 10 minutes or less Beat Count: 200 or more (Difficulty based) *Cue super-cool title screen. You start out in something similar to Walken's prelude, ruins leading to somewhere. Just walk in and enjoy... *Cutscene - Grave is on a strange elevator, heading up into the sky. The city glows below him. Grave is expressionless as the elevator continues upwards. Suddenly, one of the passing rungs flashes and... Flashback. We see the man Grave once was. Brandon. Someone is talking to him. Harry McDowell - "Brandon. Where do we go from here, Brandon? All the things we have never seen, would never see, shrouded in darkness..." McDowell has a hand on the glass window of the elevator, looking out over the city. He clutches his hand like he is grabbing power. Harry McDowell - "The power... I want it." Brandon listens dispassionately as McDowell continues speaking. Harry McDowell - "I want the sort of freedom that power would grant us..." Cue a HUGE office, with Big Daddy (human) standing there, his back facing Brandon. Big Daddy - "Brandon, I have achieved everything I wanted in this lifetime, with this company. I have achieved my dream. It is time to slowly enjoy my life, with Maria and the child within her." (Alternate translation: "It is time to slowly enjoy life. For me, Maria, and the Child within her.") Cut to Maria's room as she stares dejectedly out the window, one hand held protectively over her stomach. Maria - "Brandon, we lead a polluted, corrupted existence. Compared to the life I lead now, I want a normal life to protect 'her' with." (Note: 'Her' being the child in her womb, the future Mika.) Brandon walks over and places a hand on her shoulder. It is reciprocated. Maria - "Thank you." Cut to the lift again, with Brandon and McDowell. Harry McDowell - "Brandon, kill the boss." Brandon has a shocked look. Harry McDowell - "Then we can have everything we've ever wanted. Sound good? Now's our chance. take it now. And then... and then you can have Maria too." Brandon loses it and punches McDowell in the face when he mentions Maria. McDowell clutches his bleeding head and looks vengefully at Brandon. Harry McDowell - "What rudeness, Brandon!" A shot. McDowell has shot Brandon with a hidden pistol. He follows up with 11 more shots. Brandon hits the wall of the elevator, bleeding and in shock. McDowell holds the pistol to his left eye. Harry McDowell - "Nothing, and nobody, can stop me. You should've known that." McDowell fires, and Brandon's body falls from the elevator amidst a shower of glass, into the darkness below. Harry McDowell - "Fall Brandon, down into the darkness and the grave that suits you so well." (Alternate translation: "Fall Brandon, down into the darkness which suits your Grave so well.") We return to the present, where Grave is still expressionless. *End Cutscene - You start out somewhere in the sky, atop some massive stratoscraper. The first thing you'll see is something shaped like a cancerous kidney-bladder. Shoot it and it disgorges... something. *Special Note - Before I go on, I'll introduce the enemies as you meet them. This one is a 70mm Finger, one of the four ubiquitous main enemies you'll face throughout the stage. It launches a single missile, and can charge up and fire a rain of missiles down at you. It resembles a Kurofuku, doesn't it? Hm... more on that later. *Special Note #2 - Although people have complained of not having anything to shoot up here, do you see those floating structures all over the place? Try shooting them. They're not worth much, but you may need all the Demolition shots you can get. *Special Note #3 - If you've ever wanted to know if Grave can survive a fall off the top of the building, yes he can. If at ANY point you jump off the edge of the building, you will either land on the nearest floor beneath you, or in the case of flying off into Blue Nothingness, you start out from the beginning of the area (that means the glowing green elevator). No corny Game Overs/Continues? here. All enemies that were killed stay dead, but you have to climb up ALL the stairs again. Only Red knows if Grave actually 'survived' and took the elevator back up. Eeks. *Personal Note - Kosuke Fujishima must've been asked to do this level. It reeks of the Heavens in Ah! My Goddess!. Once it's dead, fill the bladder full of lead! You will learn to hate their presence, but not to worry. When you see the 'Go' sign appear, follow it to another glowing glyph-inscribed platform. A staircase appears. Whoo. climb up and encounter your next new enemy. *Special Note - Your new enemy is _THE_ most annoying enemy in the stage, aptly named Dragonfly. They will fly and buzz around, annoy you by shooting you, and dodging half your shots. Use a Lock on if possible, and use the 180º hop to keep an eye on them. Once again, clear out everything and proceed upstairs. You will encounter a few 70mms, Dragonflies, and then a new enemy... *Special Note - Death Scythes are seriously hardassed enemies if you're not used to dodging. They run circles around you, then come in for the kill, and they always come in groups. Learn to Lock and Dive if you haven't already. You can bat them with the Coffin, but on Normal it takes at least 2 swats so use them quickly. Again, up to the next set and repeat. Note that at around this time, Dragonflies will pop up as you move up the staircase. You WANT to finish them off as quickly as possible. It's more of the same, and eventually you'll reach another 'Elevator'. Go on. In the next area, it's more of the same, except this time you have a new enemy to contend with. *Special Note - Mad Asuras. These guys are seriously messed up. They share one pair of legs, but three upper torsos. As you can guess by the name, that means three heads and six arms. The front two arms can 'put up their dukes' and block your shots. Don't get too close either. Their guns alone can put serious hurt on you, but that is the only time when they are vulnerable. Keep firing at one until it is DEAD before moving on. You start out with a 70mm to your upper right, and when you approach it, more Dragonflies appear. *Special Note: When they're all dead however, don't go up the staircase yet. Walk around the perimeter of the building. This is the only time you need to note, if you want your 100% Kill score. Enemies include Dragonflies and one Mad Asura that drops from the sky. It only gets harder here as you climb the first flight of stairs. Another bladder and more enemies, this time working in tandem. Up more stairs, more enemies to face. At one point, you will come to an hourglass shaped area. Dragonflies attack from the narrowest area, and on the opposite end are some Death Scythes. However, once you cross, look behind. Another Bladder has descended, and is now disgorging Mad Asuras! The easiest way to approach them is with guns blazing. Take out the nearest one with a Lock on and work on them one at a time. They're not too tough, but they can cause you serious pain. Nothing special though, the sequence is almost too familiar when you finally reach the top... *Cutscene - Grave stands atop an elevator that rises to the very top of the building, where a giant Bladder floats. Harry McDowell - "Yo, Brandon!" Grave turns and fires at the face, which shatters. A pane of glass stopped the bullet from reaching McDowell's face. Harry McDowell - "Impulsive as ever. Is this is what you do to friends who haven't seen each other in a long time? Just what has happened to us?" The view changes to the world below, at the buildings below. Their scale indicates this is one TALL tower. Harry McDowell - "Look, at the world below us. We are at the top. The freedom to do what we like. Our dreams have come true eh, Brandon?" Grave doesn't respond. That gun seems permanently trained on McDowell's head. Harry McDowell - "Haha, you're dead. I forgot. Well, something there's an important personality I'd like to introduce to you." Something bubbles up from behind Grave and a giant hand reaches out from the floor to grab Grave and drag him under. Harry McDowell - "It's the boss. He's been dead a while, but time has made him see my way. You two should meet." McDowell stands at the edge of a rippling pool, hands behind his back. Harry McDowell - "Enjoy yourself, Brandon." *End Cutscene - Boss #1: Big Daddy. Big Daddy's really just a Big Weenie. He has only four attacks. One is a series of rapid punches. Another is a single, heavy pound and sweep. He has a 'finger gun' that he fires at you from time to time, and finally, he has Dragon-breath. Quite literally, he spits fire at you. Only this attack is worth noting, as it is in the same danger level as the other Flamethrower attacks you've faced in the past. He can't even move to dodge your attacks! You fight him in an encased arena with a half-circle for moving space. Lock and fire, and head for ONE end of the area. The second he starts an attack, any attack, Jog and Dive over to the other side. He'll miss completely. From the other side, wash, rinse, repeat. Just be careful not to be in the middle when he stops one attack and starts another, or you'll be feeling it in the morning, especially the flame attack. THAT one can be avoided just by Jogging. At any rate, enjoy his Graveyard Finisher... Graveyard Finisher - Grave uses a Hellhound Roar, and then a Deathblow to blow Big Daddy away. Phew.... he's dead and that's the end.... you think. *Cutscene - Big daddy groans and screams as he writhes in agony. His support breaks and he falls... and then something big and toothy bites him in half. Grave backs off as a giant four eyed freak-head appears and stares at him with shining eyes. The world spins and Grave falls to what appears to be inside a very long snake's body. (A red version of Big Daddy's stage, flipped horizontally, and of infinite length.) The Alien Head stares at Grave, and roars at him. (Pee-yew! Take a Clorets!) *End Cutscene - Boss #2: Alien Head. Now, although strictly speaking he's not as hard as Bunji, he IS the last boss and pretty damned ugly to boot. (if you look carefully at his forehead, between where the brows should be, you'll spot an alien. This boss is being controlled by an little green/bluish white man!) He has several attacks, all of which can be troublesome. His most basic attack is to simply ram you. While you dodge backwards, he will pick up speed and try to ram you. This does quite a bit of damage, and he does it often. Easily dodged by diving backwards. He has a Flying Bodies attack, where he launches several blue guys that explode on contact (destroyable by shooting). He also has a Flying Eyeball attack, where he uses a targeting laser to spot you first; let it touch you, and dive the moment it does. The eyeball explodes, cannot be shot down, and does nasty damage, but is too easy to dodge once you know to dodge the moment the laser touches you. Finally, he has a Brain Biter attack. He will open up that nasty maw in his... brain... and try to suck you in. Simply Jog backwards firing all the while. Diving actually causes you to lose distance because of the pause as Grave lands, but is a viable last resort if you get too close. If he does swallow you, he'll literally chew you up and spit you out. Now, on to killing him: Try not to use the L1 button on him. You'll lock onto his eyeballs, which are invulnerable. Instead, use it strafe yourself into the center of the corridor, and keep jogging backwards. Don't worry about losing him, he'll follow you as far as you care to run. Hold down your Square button and don't let go either, he involves on special tactics. Use the L1 ONLY to strafe yourself into a better position if you find yourself turning the wrong way. *Beat Combo Area: The final boss is a treat for everyone who's very nearly destroyed a controller getting a 5 skull in say, Level 4. Simply keep backing off and shooting. There's almost no way he can get far enough to avoid being hit except when he attacks. The only ways to break a beat is if you get hit by one of his attacks, but once you get about 200-250 you don't have to worry anyway. Again, when his life is low enough, enjoy the final Graveyard Finisher... Graveyard Finisher - Grave pulls out all the stops and uses all his Styles in one go. Bullet Dance, Deathblow, Raging Inferno, and finally Hellhound Roar. *In-Game Cutscene - Grave points a gun at McDowell, who has his arms up. McDowell : "It's all over then. Well done, Brandon. Come..." Note: You have to 'shoot' him. Guess which button does that? (NO! NOT the Demolition button!) If you want, you can leave the system on for three hours and Grave won't have moved an inch. *Ending Cutscene - I won't spoil the last scene for you, but it gives you an idea of just how faithful Grave is to Maria and Dr. T... even unto death. Congratulations, you've finished the game and gotten your rank! What's your total Skull Score, out of a possible 150? --- 5.0 - Extras Menu The Extras Menu is what you've been working your butt off for for so long. It contains the following options: * Camera - By default, this is always available. High means you're looking at the game from slightly above Grave's shoulders. Low means you're looking at it from directly behind him. * Slow - Not like Max Payne's bullet time by any appreciable stretch of imagination, Slow is more of a way to watch the finer details of the death and destruction caused by you, represented by a severe drop in frames. Auto means whenever you perform a Dive, Coffin Swing or Demolition Shot, the game slows down for you, and R2 activates it manually. On means you have to activate it manually, and otherwise doesn't affect the game. Off means it's exactly like the first time through: You don't get anything at all. Note that the tactical advantages of Slow include being able to plan your moves more freely in the face of a Boss charging at you to perform his combo attack, as well as assessing a nasty situation before wading into it. It also lets you fine tune yourself so that you can get a great beat without taking damage. ^_^ Unlockable with The Savage or below. * Movie - If you've always wanted to watch the movies in-game without having to play for them, this is the one. There are 25 standard movies and 1 bonus movie (of that pink idol you see in the Who? posters in-game). Unlockable with Beyond the Grave only. * Characters - Big fun here. Since you've been too busy blowing away everyone in- game to actually apprciate their detail, you can do so here. All characters are located here sorted to stage and are packed action-figure style! The back even has an 'authentic' Gungrave cardboard backing! Categories include stage 1-6, Last Boss, and Grave. Anyway, controls are as follow: Left Analogue Stick - Selects the 'Action Figure' you wanna view. With a selected figure, allows you to rotate 360º from the sides, and limited rotation up and down. O - Confirms the selection. Once more to open the box after confirmation. Triangle - With a confirmed selection, returns the figure to its initial orientation. X - Cancels selection, returns you to character menu, or replaces the box when you're done looking. Square - Nothing. L1 - Scrolls up while viewing the figure. L2 - Scrolls down while viewing the figure. Select - Scrolls to the next/previous page if any. Stages 1-4 Unlockable with the Rash or below. Stages 5-Grave unlockable with Beyond the Grave only. * Demolition Shot - Allows you to select between infinite Demolition ammo and standard Demolition ammo. With infinite on, you have access to all the styles from the start, but you cannot Refill Life, nor will you unlock any Extras with this option when you finish the game. Unlockable with the Savage or below. * Stage Select - Allows you to play from the start of any stage, from the 'waiting room' page onwards. Unlockable with the Savage or below. * Note that the unlock requirements are rough estimates, only those requiring Beyond The Grave are fully confirmed. - Ranks Available - For that matter, I have managed to determine the following ranks exist: (Note that ranks are rated from A-D, and Presumed Averages are given with no particular preference.) The Coward - Worst of the worst. Started from stage 6 and botched it. Rating [DDDDD], by Me. ^_^U The Dunce - Poor performance, but not the worst. Rating Unknown (Presumed Average: [CCCCC]) Contributed by SambaGuru The Savage - Decent performance. Rating [BADCD], by hgblob. (Presumed Average [BBCCC]) The Marauder - Average performance. Rating [BACCD], Contributed by pbruiz. (Average of [BBBCC]) ~ Akechi Samanosuke also got [CABCC] for The Marauder. The Rash - Above Average performance. Rating [BABBC], by me. ;P (Presumed Average: [BBBBC] The Steel - Good performance. Rating Unknown. (Presumed Average: [BBBBB]) By Holdincourt. I need someone to post a score for this. ~ hgblob also got [ABBCD] for The Rash. The Brave - Really Good performance. Rating [ASBAB] by Beyond the GraVe. (Presumed Average AAAAB]) Beyond the Grave - Best performance! Rating [AAAAA] or above. By me, and Remy. >;) --- 6.0 - Tidbits about Gungrave Little bits and pieces about Gungrave that the wonderful people on GameFAQs have provided, so read on! Story Summary - As of this FAQ's conception, only the Japanese version is out. As far as I can tell, not many people know or care about the story, but I'll give my take on it anyway... *MAJOR SPOILER ALERT* Brandon (First name unknown) is an employee of a megacorporation, which is the biggest in the world. (I presume it has a weapons program, among other things.) A loyal employee, Brandon is given the task of watching his boss's (Big Daddy) wife, Maria Asagi, who is pregnant with Mika. What the Boss doesn't know however, is that Brandon himself is in love with Maria. Only one other man knows, Harry McDowell, a greedy, power hungry corporate type with lofty ambitions. McDowell is not a nice man. In the elevator one day, he proposes to Brandon to kill the boss and take over the corporation, to share the wealth that it brings and the power it bestows. And in a wrong move, he suggests to Brandon that the boss's wife could then marry Brandon. Shocked and disgusted, Brandon gives McDowell a punch, which ends their 'working partnership'. McDowell fills Brandon with roughly 12 rounds from his handgun, and then sees him off with a message... and a bullet through the eye. Years later, Harry McDowell is the richest and most powerful man alive. He runs a secret weapons program with mysterious technology that produces the 'Kurofuku', one of a series of bio-mechanoid weapons that he intends to use to rise to even higher places. His base? The massive, sun-blocking Stratoscraper that he and Brandon used to work in. He is the new boss of the underworld as well, an indication of how far he can and will go. And in the lowest portions of the city, under the falling snow, a mysterious girl, dragging an attache case and bleeding, staggers towards some unknown destination. She is Mika Asagi, daughter of Maria Asagi. She has strange instructions to carry the case to a lab, run by Dr. T, and seek her guardian there. That guardian is a dark, quiet shadow, with no memory of himself or his past. The aura of death surrounds him, follows him wherever he goes... and feeds upon his kills. He is Beyond the Grave, a product of the selfsame research that McDowell carries out, but with a more private motive. After Mika's arrival, Grave dons his clothes, packs his Coffin, and carries the twin legacies of the Asagis with him, Cerberus, the twin guns, his dogs of vengeance. (I believe that the third head from this beast of legend is his Coffin, but who knows?) Bob Poundmax, Balladbird Lee, Bear Walken, Bunji Kugashira and Big Daddy are all products of McDowell's direct line of research, humans enhanced with the bio-mechanical elements of his weapons project. The key seems to be the strange blue-white goo which attaches itself to their 'hosts' and grants them strange abilities and powers. The goo itself can be animated to create the Kurofukus, 70mm Fingers, Mad Asuras, Dragonflies and Death Scythes as well. The goo apparently comes from some alien technology. What the story is behind that, however, remains to be seen... The main difference between Grave and the bosses is that Grave started out as a corpse, so the reanimation might have granted him powers nobody thought of yet. We know Grave is one-eyed, from the scar given to him by McDowell, but that doesn't stop him from laying the smackdown on everyone in his way, and looking flashy to boot. As an Undead, Grave must replace his body fluids on a regular basis to stay 'alive'. (I suspect that his blood 'clogs' after a while. What was that condition called? Rigor something.) At the end of the game, Grave and Mika set off into the distance, to lead the 'normal life' that Maria so desperately wanted for her daughter Mika... More tidbits: "Do you know Brandon's (Grave) wife? (I'm not sure is his wife, I only know she is Mika's sister...) is acted by the voice of Kikuo Inoue, the voice actor of Belldandy (Ah! My Goddess) and Lobelia Carlini (Sakura Wars 3)" - By Xenoseripha (Side Note: Kikuko fans rejoice! She's in the game! And I think he is referring to Maria Asagi.) "But one of the villians is voiced by Masaya Onosaka who plays Vash in the anime of Trigun." -Bebpo (Side note: I think it's Bear Walken who's voiced by Onosaka.) - Certain editions of Gungrave have an alternate cover on the flip side of the original. Take a peek, maybe your copy has one. --- 7.0 - Credits Credit goes to GameFAQs (http://www.gamefaqs.com) for posting this FAQ up. Everyone on the GameFAQs Gungrave board for posting all their info generously. Of mention are: hgblob, pbruiz, Beyond the GraVe, holdincourt and Akechi Samanosuke. Special thanks to Remy for being really helpful! --- 8.0 - Contact me If you see any discrepancies, errors, misinformation, etc, or want to add something, or want to praise me, etc. etc. etc., please send an email to [email protected], and add "Gungrave" to its subject. For everything else, I have the Junk Mail filter on at Exclusive. Beware. ranmafan out.